Chapter 6 : Integration
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Sitting in high stiff backed chair sat the current Minister of Magic Kingsley Shacklebolt; reviewing the notes of the latest meeting regarding Harry and his covert team made up of a few Dumbledore’s Army members. This past meeting didn’t go as well as the others had, because the Wizengamot was starting to get impatient to the lack of information or power for that matter within the team. ‘Harry’ why did you have to go and make such bold statements at the press conference, and why did you have to make true on them. Sure this was a war and the Ministry expected casualties and the necessary need to take a life. Kingsley argued having to take a life in the line of duty while engulfed in a war was a necessary force in order to prevail. But this was not to be the case according to the Wizengamot based on the brute savagery in which Harry used to dispatch Death Eaters.
Starring at all the photos on his desk from the raid Harry’s team executed was a bit unnerving he had to admit, but he felt Harry was still in, for lack of a better word ‘control’. Again he had to admit to himself that Harry has changed, and maybe not for the better as he once thought. He had hoped Hermione Granger would be able to calm him, and settle his quest for vengeance, but again that was too much to hope for. It seemed that nothing and no one would be able to quench his thirst for revenge.
The shock the entire Ministry felt when the bodies started to show up so soon after they had been formed was and understatement. And then to find out that it wasn’t the team, but only Harry was staggering. Once the Wizengamot found out, they quickly wanted to use him for their advantage as an assassin. Kingsley had to put those fires out as much as possible, but he knew the battle was far from over.
After receiving word on the team’s first real mission as an entirety went fairly well only to see Harry in the hospital wing at Hogwarts School a few days prier didn’t pose well for his cause with keeping the Wizengamot out of the loop. But then again that was in a sense Kingsley’s end of the bargain he struck with Harry about the whole thing. His only part in this team was keeping the spot light off of Harry and let him run things how he saw fit. And if Harry kept going at this pace the war will be over in no time.
Shaking his head out of his reverie the minister went back to signing the documents needing his attention, when suddenly he felt all the hairs on his arms stand up on end as if an electric charge entered the room. Standing up from his chair pulling out his wand he began looking around the office, as the tingling sensation intensified. Even though the room was empty his old auror instincts told him otherwise, which kept him on edge.
A loud crack in the center of his office sent a powerful tremor throughout the entire floor that could be felt as a small shudder in the atrium. Whirring around to face the intruder that shouldn’t have been able to apperate within his office stood Harry Potter. He stood shirtless in the center of a small fissure he had created apperating within the office. His hair along with everything else in the room seemed to whip around like a small hurricane was surrounding him and only him. But his eyes were the most terrifying, as they had a bright white glow about them.
Loud heavy banging could be heard from outside the hallway as the Minister’s Guard was trying to make their way in to the office. When shouts of spells could be heard Kingsley tensed up a little bit only to find the door to be unmoving and undamaged.
Taking a closer look at him, to say the year training as been good to Harry would be wildly understated, because he looked to be the most physically built human being he has ever seen. Completely chiseled all around from his biceps to his abdomen, but the sight of all the scars adorn his body was barbaric. The physical violence to cause each and every one must have been torture. As the small hurricane died down, his eyes stayed the same. The green hue now completely absent from the irises is now a bright white glow that simmered to a dull pearl.
Harry stood there still as a statue, his eyes boring into the ministers, searching for something Kingsley did not know.
“Harry, how? How did you get in here?” Kingsley finally asked taking a steady step back.
“There is no place on this earth that will be able to keep me out, I can feel the very essence of magic itself.” He said with confidence. “I think we need to talk about some things minister.” Harry added gesturing for him to take a seat.
Not seeing any other option, Kingsley sat back down at his desk. “What can I do for you Harry?”
Taking the seat in front of the minister, Harry took his time in gathering his thoughts. The second he woke from his stasis in limbo; Harry had a feeling deep within his subconscious that they had a spy of some sort within or around the team. Knowing this didn’t bring any comfort to Harry, because he considered them to be his friends. He felt confident he would find out who it was without them knowing, but wasn’t looking forward to it. This new betrayal seemed to justify his reasoning’s to push everybody away.
“I need more soldiers, and I need them now.” Harry told the minister. “I want the Order under my command.”
Kingsley stared disbelievingly at him for a second as if he hadn’t heard him. When this all started Harry was adamant the Order played no part in the army; but now not only was he asking for the Order to join the army, but he was asking for the Order to be completely under his command. Sitting back in his chair, Kingsley rubbed his face with his hands not knowing what to do, this was not what he had expected Harry to want. This seemed all to sudden and out of the blue for this to not mean something more under the surface. Knowing Harry as much as he did, he knows how calculating he is in everything he does, and this request meant something big.
“I thought you didn’t want the Order?” he asked trying to stall so he could come up with an alternative. Because now he didn’t think having all his eggs in one basket was a wise move.
Giving a small smile Harry nodded his head, “I’ve had a change of mind sort to speak. But don’t worry; I don’t want all of our eggs in one basket either. I am of the mind of divide and conquer would be a better chance of killing the Death Eaters. Don’t you think Minister?” When Kingsley heard him finish, he wasn’t sure if Harry was asking his permission or giving him an order to follow.
“I’m asking Kingsley. As a friend.”
“And how are you going to divide our forces Harry?” Kingsley asked fearing the answer he knew he was bound to hear.
“The Order will join the rest of my team, and I will go off on my own.”
“That’s what I was afraid you were going to say Harry, and my answer is no. I can’t risk you getting killed because you want to be a vigilante.”
“That won’t happen Kingsley.” Harry replied simply with a shrug of his shoulders. Harry knew coming in the way he did would put Kingsley on the edge, but he felt it was necessary at the time. “I’m discovering new abilities with every new day, so I’m confident that in the end I will be fine.”
Looking down at his hands laying in his lap, Harry realized he was not wearing a shirt. With a small gesture of his hand he was wearing his team apparel with the big difference being, now they were a bright pearl white.
“New color?” Kingsley asked.
“The rest of the army will wear the traditional colors, but I want to stand apart from the rest so that Riddle knows the difference. The newly inducted will start from the bottom and work their way up the ranking. Our uniforms now, aside from mine, are black with our symbol; the symbols will be changed to gold for the people I have already, and we will have different symbols to show their officers rank as well as to identify the others also.” As Harry explained his new decisions for the army Kingsley realized Harry must have been thinking about this for some time.
“From now on I’m going to have the others attack from the front, while I come through the back door when they’re not looking and hit them hard. They will use the same approach as before: scout, recon, plan, and then attack. I plan to do the same but at different locations. I think this will be the best way to accomplish our goals long term.” Feeling a bit thirsty Harry waved his hand again and two cups of tea appeared on the desk in front of them.
Harry continued to discuss his plans for another half hour, before he stood up to leave.
“I will wait for your patronus when you’ve reached everyone.” Turning slightly he disappeared, this time with out a sound. The second Harry was gone the door to his office burst open, his bodyguards falling in pointing their wands around the office looking for the intruder. Seeing no one but the minister, they looked to each other in confusion.
“He’s gone gentlemen.” Kingsley stated, “and if you would excuse me, I have some work to do.” Not seeing any immediate threat they left the office.
Deep in a wooded forest of Albania, there was a cave; a cave that penetrated the base of the snow covered mountainous region known though out this part of the world. The cave delved deep within the rock face, and was covered by the sheer darkness with in the mouth. If you were not already looking for it there would be no way to find it. Although the entrance was near impossible to find, it was also heavily warded by magic to keep all unwanted muggle’s from stumbling across it. To them it would seem like a solid cliff face looking up towards the peak.
A loud popping noise could be heard a long walk away from the cave opening out side the apparation ward revealing a man that appeared out of thin air. Cloaked in all black, the man walked purposefully towards the opening of the cave. Striding through the invisible barrier the man continued on passing through the mountain surface disappearing in the darkness. Fallowing a pathway invisible to the unknowing, he strode purposefully to what peered to be a dead end wall. Reaching in his robes producing a small knife, he continued to slice his hand. Opening and closing his hand causing more blood to flow towards the laceration, he placed his hand on the wall. Smearing the blood on the wall a door materialized that wasn’t there before. Pulling it open he entered revealing a meeting room with a long table surrounded by figures clothed in the same dark attire. Interrupting a still silence brought forth by the being at the head of the table, the man took his place at the far end.
“Now we can begin.” The Dark Lord Voldermort softly spoke. “I trust you have a good reason for being late Yaxley.” This statement coming from any other person might have come across as harmless, but everyone sitting around the table knew otherwise. The Dark Lord did not tolerate tardiness among his followers, and liked to punish brutally and publicly for all to know.
“Ye-Yes my lord.’ Yaxley stammered, “I was able to gain access with in the ministry’s air ducts directly looking in the Ministers office an-”
“And you let him live!” snapped The Dark Lord, anger clearly audible with every word spoken.
“I didn’t have the chance ma` Lord, ‘You-Know-Who’ showed up.”
No one said a word; complete silence ensued throughout the room, even the slow drips coming down from the stalactites seemed to freeze in anticipation. Every person in the room knew exactly to whom he was referring to, but the thought never came across in using the Dark Lords own abbreviated name. However this was not what upset the Dark Lord, but abandoning the task at hand had.
“`E’s different ma` Lord. Appeared out of thin air `e did.” This garnered a few laughs from around the table, and a strange look from Voldermort caused all the laughter to die away instantly.
“And why would that make him any different than any of us here?” Someone questioned.
“Because `e apparated thru an anti apparition ward, that’s why.”
“Impossible, no one can do that, not even our Lord.” Another shouted out.
“`E did, and it was the loudest apparition sound I’ve ever `eard. E`’s powerful ma` Lord, `e’s impossibly powerful, too much for any of us-”
“Speak for your self Yaxley!” cried Rabastan Lestrange.
Steeling an angry look towards the middle of the table where the protests have been coming from, Yaxley continued his report to the Dark Lord.
“`is very presence seemed to cause a-a-a, I don’t know some kind of electricity. The hair on the back of my neck as well as the ones on my arms stood on end. When `e appeared `e left a small crater in the floor, and `e also `eld Kingsley’s personal guards outside the room.” He sped through the rest, rambling fast. “`Ow is this possible my Lord?”
Staying quiet as if he had not heard him, their Dark Lord weighed his words carefully, allowing his followers to squirm under his gaze as he looked around the table. Picking up his wand he began to twirl it around causing his Death Eaters to twitch in fear of being punished.
As he sat there in complete silence, he contemplated how this child has been able to achieve such a feat. Sure he knew the boy had talent, but this was something different entirely. Something happened to him the moment Bellatrix killed his blood traitor, something released inside him. And then it hit him; the moment Bella killed his girl, the barrier that keeps all the magical power in check sort to speak must have broken. Realizing this, a feeling he has not felt in many years started to creep into his mind. Fear like he has not known perhaps ever in his life started to filter in through his black mind causing him to recognize the mistake Bella made in killing her. This was a problem, and a problem he may not be able to nullify. Not to mention when he tried to enter the boys mind as he had done so many times before, but the boy toyed with him before pushing him out completely.
“The Order is going to be inducted into the Army starting now, and will be put under Harry’s command.” Kingsley told the large group sitting in the Room of Requirement in side Hogwarts. As predicted by him, the Order did not take the news well.
“Kingsley we have been fighting for much longer than Harry, and we can do better being in the fight separate.” Came the reply by none other than Arthur Weasley of all people.
“Yes Arthur, I know but Harry by himself has more fighting experience than both groups put together. He needs more men, and he trust you more than anyone else.” The Minister added.
Kingsley knew this wasn’t going to be a smooth transition, but he had hoped the younger generation would see that this was the best scenario for all. Harry had a legitimate plan at going about ending this war and they all needed to play their part. And the part they needed to play was going to be vital in that success.
Tensions rising within the room brought forth Minerva McGonagall, and standing tall the room quieted down allowing her to speak. “I for one think this union is the best way to finish this; however, I will not be joining. My place is here, and I will stay here to protect the children. Bill? What do you think?”
“I’m in, regardless of what is settled here. Harry needs our help and I for one think he has more than earned it.”
“Not all of the Weasley’s feel the way you do Bill.” Mr. Weasley stated.
“I know, but Ron’s issue with Harry is his own personal issue.” He said to his father, than turned toward his wife. “ We will leave Victorie with mom, and we will join Harry.” Hearing her son’s statement brought tears to Mrs. Weasley’s eyes, as this was not the life she had wished for her family.
Gradually the room started to turn towards the out come Kingsley had hoped, thanks in part to Bill and his wife. Although the Order wasn’t a very large operation, but what it lacked in sized more than made up for it with the love they all shared for one another. They lived and fought for everyone in and outside of the Order, and they were all putting faith in Harry to end this war.
Seeing that his part of the meeting was at an end, the Minister of Magic sent his patronus to call the man they all came to see. Almost immediately the hairs on his arms started to stand on end, looking around the round he noticed that everybody in the room was feeling the same thing.
“What th-” somebody started to say until a tremor similar to the one he had felt in the ministry shook the room. This however was different, the tremor lasted a lot longer then before and the crack that followed was much louder putting a large crack in the floor that traveled up the wall and across the ceiling.
Six figures appeared from thin air: five all in black, and one in bright pearl white stood at the center. Everyone in the room including the Minister him self stared wide eyed in disbelief at the new arrivals, because the general consensus was no one could apperate in or out of Hogwarts.
Everyone in the room stood frozen with their wands pointed at the spot they appeared, but were unable to move out of fear. The new arrivals had their faces covered, and even though they knew whom they were the people in the crowed still stayed their wands on them.
“Harry?” The man in white stepped forward facing the woman he had known as long as he has been in the magical world, and the very one who had taken personal responsibility to take care of him.
Removing his hood he looked around the room taking in the faces of the people he had known for years, and now look to him to lead them. Running a hand thru his unruly hair Harry conjured a chair out of thin air as he sat down. He knew he had the support of his team, and Hermione in particular but trying to convince Molly Weasley was a whole other thing entirely. When this affair started she put up a strong opposition towards him even being apart of it all together let alone leading it him self.
“I have decided to induct the Order of the Phoenix into the army, and your service should you choose to accept it will start today.” The moment Harry finished his words the objections came forth. Some voiced the same concerns as Mrs. Weasley had, and some flat out didn’t want to be integrated with in the Ministry. Although they had faith in the new Minister, they didn’t have faith in the government as a whole and he did not blame them.
He knew and felt all their concerns about the Ministry before because he felt exactly how they feel now, but he knew they needed the backing of the Ministry to handle this situation. So far his standing army only consisted on five others and his self, and that was not an army that was supposed to instill fear against Riddle. He knew he could count on the people he had already, but these coming from the Order would have to earn their ‘stripes’ sort to speak. Looking around the room the only faces he saw the conviction he wanted to see was in Bill and Fleur. The others seemed to be waiting to see what he could offer them before making their decisions of staying with in the Order or joining in the army, but little did they realize that it was not ‘one or the other’ sort of offer. It was either join the army because the Order will be disbanded altogether, it was a sad choice to make but this time the public needed to see a force they could instill all their hopes in defeating Riddle, and the Order was not it.
“For those of you that still wish to fight for the cause of our freedom I would like you to join me, and for those who do not wish to openly declare yourself at war with the criminal Tom Riddle then you will not be thought less of for it.” A long silence followed his pause while he surveyed the stray emotions coming from everyone in the room.
“We will fight with you Harry.” Bill and Fleur both stood up and was instantly clad in the Phoenix Army garb, shocking everyone in the room once again. One by one more members of the Order stood and their colors changed matching the black as well.
“This moment will be marked as a key turn in the Wizarding world, as the Ministry and the Order of the Phoenix come together. This is the only way we were going to be able to fight back, as one single fighting force. I’m sorry, but this was the only way.” When Kingsley took his seat everyone could see that this was not an easy decision on his part, but it was one that was necessary for the very survival of the world.
“And you Ron?” Harry shouted out over the noisy crowd. “Will you join us as well?”
All the noise died down at Harry’s question, and was eagerly waiting for the response as all eyes shifted towards the rear of the room. Everyone in attendance knew the parting between Harry and Ron was not a pleasant affair, and the tension amongst them filled the air around them like a gas chamber.
Not giving his answer, Ron turned and walked out of the room ignoring the insistent cries of his mother. The pain and anger he still harbored towards Harry was evident, but it still brought sadness to most in the room.
Although he felt their relationship was over, Harry still felt a little disheartened at seeing his best friend; former best friend leave for what was more times than he could count.
Taking a few steps towards Harry, Hermione put her hand on his shoulder and gave it a gentle squeeze trying to give him some type of support. Although he was putting on a tough face, she knew that seeing Ron again wasn’t easy for him. Regardless of how he claimed to be heartless she knew better, and she was going to make good to remind him.
Feeling his shoulders stiffen, and the air charge with magical energy she knew what was happening immediately, and was not disappointed. Harry disappeared with a resounding crack leaving a small crater where he stood before. She hurriedly ran out of the room in search of Ron knowing that’s where Harry was going. Running down several flights of stairs, and turning down a corridor she found him. Shouting for him to stop she was surprised to find he did. Stopping in front of him she started to draw a blank as to what to say to him now he was in front of her, so she started with the safest question.
“Where are you going Ron?”
“That’s none of you business anymore Hermione, so if you don’t mind I have things to do.” He made to go but when he turned around Harry was blocking his way. Taking a couple steps back to compose himself he quickly covered his surprised expression. “Get out of my way.” He forced out, “Now.”
“No.” came the chilly reply from Harry.
When Ron made to go around him Harry simply moved to block him.
“Get out of my way or I’ll make you.”
“I am beyond petty threats Ron, especially coming from you.” Trying to gage the depths of his once best friend state of mind to see if there was any possible way for them to reconcile their friendship, he finally moved to the side to let him pass.
“Why did you let him leave?” She asked him as the image of Ron slowly faded away in the dark halls of Hogwarts.
“Because there is no way for us to be friends again.”
“You cant know that Harry, there is always a chance you just have to try harder.”
A small smile playing on the corners of his lips he lifted his hand to her cheek in a gentle caress of her face. “I read his mind and searched his heart. He will never forgive me for Ginny.” Lowering his hand he walked in to the nights darkness of the halls, that once given him so much joy.
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