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Chapter 1 : The Doubt in the Strength
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Marlene McKinnon: Brunette and broken.
Lily Evans: Lovely and living.
Dorcas Meadowes: Hard and hopeless.
Mary McDonald: Confused and cracked.
Sirius Black: Uncouth and undone.
James Potter: Leading and losing.
Remus Lupin: Protective and predisposed.
Peter Pettigrew: Conflicted and choleric.
Dumbledore gathered the eight students in his office. They were seven Gryffindors, one Ravenclaw, the headmaster, and the Transfiguration professor. It was the second to last week before term ended on their last year at Hogwarts, and it was, characteristically to May, bright and sunny out. The weather, however, was the opposite of the tone of the meeting.
"I'm sorry to have to pull you out of classes," the old man began. "However, I'm sure at the tender age of seventeen, I too would enjoy a free period in this heat." The students held worried gazes, as the Headmaster rarely called them all in if there was no trouble. As a matter of fact, all ten of them had never met in the same room together at once. Lily and James clasped hands nervously, waiting in anticipation. Everyone stayed quiet, even though it was apparent there was a frenzy of emotions going on behind closed mouths.
"I've spoken with a few of you before about an idea, another rather spectacular one of mine, if I do say so." The thin-lipped professor stood in the corner behind the Headmaster, her fingers fiddling, her emotions stirred as well.
"It's a difficult subject to broach, with children such as yourself," Professor McGonagall inserted.
"You don't have to say it aloud, Professor. We know what you mean." The Head Boy gripped the Head Girl's hand tighter, and she moved in closer to him. Mary, the Ravenclaw, was becoming increasingly confused.
"I'm sorry Mr. Potter," the headmaster answered the tall boy,"but we have to address this. Sooner rather than later, if I would have my preference." A shaky sigh came from the lips of the only Ravenclaw in the room. She was not comfortable with these people yet.
"I've brought you here to discuss the Order of the Phoenix." His revelation somehow created more tension, and it seemed as if everything in the world stopped talking, moving. "I want to form a group of people to oppose the dark times that are ahead of us."
"Wouldn't...wouldn't adults be more useful, in such an important position, Professor," Remus asked timidly.
"Professor Dumbledore has chosen the few he has for a reason," the Scottish woman interrupted very solemnly.
"I'm sorry, Headmaster," Mary said. "What is all of this?"
"We're preparing for something Miss McDonald. There is something, someone, very dangerous rising." Her pursed lips and furrowed brow stayed, but Dumbledore did not continue.
"The eight of you each possess something very special, and I would consider myself a fool if I did not extend an invitation."
The students looked around at each other again. James to Lily, Lily to Dorcas, Dorcas to Sirius, Sirius to Remus, Remus to Marlene, Marlene to Mary, and Mary to Peter.
"The Order of the Phoenix is an organization that continually aims to defeat those who are continually aiming to defeat the society we live in. I'd like to give you each until the end of your schooling here to think about this," the elder man said.
"Thank you, professor," the red-head said, finally speaking up. "We understand," she said, her conviction becoming stronger as the one with the spectacles rubbed the back of her hand.
"I'm sorry, but what's happening?" Mary asked again, clearly scared. The seven other friends exchanged glances again, rather pitifully. She really didn't know.
"Don't apologize, Miss McDonald. This is my fault I'm afraid. Can I trust that you will help Mary understand?" He looked at Remus, who was next to Mary, and he nodded yes, along with all the others who weren't addressed directly.
"I'm sorry to bring this upon all of you in your very last days, but it is necessary. And I apologize further for not being able to assist anymore than I am." Most of the student's gazes had been cast downwards, and eyebrows were bent.
"I'll let you get back to your classes now. Please, take into account everything you have learned in your time here," he said cryptically. Almost as if the students knew something more than he did. Something important.
They filed out as Dumbledore had clearly become focused on something else. It was a brief meeting. Short, fleeting. Like the time they had left together.
A/N: I realized that Mary McDonald is canonically in Gryffindor, but it is important to the story that she is in a different house! Sorry for any confusion.
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