Chapter 25 : Chapter twenty-five
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Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny woke up late the next morning. They had a late breakfast and decided stay home. It was a nice change to their schedules. It was very relaxed morning and the four of them had a long, leisurely breakfast.
"So, you two, have you given any thoughts to kids?" Hermione asked.
"Yes and no," Ginny said casually.
"We've talked about it but nothing official," Harry said.
"But we definitely want kids," Ginny added.
Just then, there was a loud tap-tap-tap that made the four of them jump. Ron walked over to the window and found an owl waiting with a letter. Ron recognized the owl as Professor Lupin's. Although Remus wasn't their professor anymore and insisted on them calling him Remus, the four friends still called him 'professor' out of respect. Ron took the letter and went back to the living room.
"What is it?" Hermione asked.
"It's a letter from Professor Lupin," Ron said ripping open the envelope. The other three waited while Ron read the letter. His eyes grew wide.
"Ron? What's wrong?" Ginny asked.
"We have to go," Ron said dropping the letter and walking to the coat closet.
Harry picked up the letter and read it.
You need to get down to The Burrow immediately. You may bring Harry, Ginny and Hermione as well.
Harry got up and handed the letter to Hermione. Hermione gasped and gave the letter to Ginny. Once everyone read the letter, they sat there for a moment in silence. They were all thinking a thousand thought a minute.
"Come on! Let's go!" Ron said, breaking the silence.
There was a rush to grab everything and Ethan. They Flooed to the Burrow.
"What's wrong? What happened?" Ron asked as soon as he stepped out of the fireplace, into the Burrow.
Ginny and Hermione stepped out a second later and gasped when they saw the Burrow. It was in a disastrous state. The usually crowed yet neat and tidy living room was a mess. The worn couch had been slashed and all the stuffing pulled out, the coffee table had been turned over and all the magazines ripped. A second later, Harry stepped out of the fireplace and walked over to Professor Lupin who warmly embraced him. The girls watched Lupin's worn face talk and explained what happened. The girls slowly made their way through the house and each room was worse than the next. The kitchen had been destroyed. All of Mrs. Weasley's neatly put away pots and pans had either been pulled out of their cupboard of broken. All the Weasley's fine China (the little that they did have) were smashed against the wall and all over the floor. When they got to Ginny's room, they were utterly shocked. All of Ginny's girlhood posters, magazines, and photos of friends had been burnt. Her lavender comforter and matching pillow cases had been ripped and thrown on the ground. Her old oak desk was scratched and smashed. They made their way back downstairs and found Ron sitting with Professor Lupin in the living room.
"Professor, what happened here?" Hermione said, her voice barely above a whisper.
"I'm not quite sure. I was on duty for the Order and when Molly and Arthur didn't show up for their shift, I got worried and came here to check things out. It's not like Molly or Arthur to miss a shift and not send an owl,"
"Then where are my parents?" Ginny asked.
"They weren't here and I found the Burrow like this,"
Ginny collapsed onto the floor and started sobbing. Hermione crouched down beside her and tried to comfort her with tears in her own eyes.
"I've alerted the rest of the Order and they're forming a search party as we speak,"
Ron was sitting on the mutilated couch. He was white as a cotton ball and his hands were clenched in a fist. He was gazing out into space with his jaw set.
"Do we have any idea who did this?" Hermione asked.
"You mean other than the Death Eaters?" Lupin asked. He rubbed his eyes and sighed, "Yes, and we don't think it was the Death Eaters,"
"What do you mean!?!?" Ron yelled jumping to his feet making everyone jerk, "There is no other possibility! It was them!"
"Think about it, Ron. They haven't done anything in years and their first sign of activity is kidnapping two high-end members of the Order? Even Voldemort himself wouldn't be as foolish as to arise suspicion from us. Not until he was sure that he can beat us,"
"But...there's no other possibility," Ron said lamely, "It's not as if they knew any useful information other than about the Order,"
"Oh, but that's where you're wrong,"
"What about you talking about?"
"You may not remember but when you were younger, you're parents took part in a number of missions to protect anything that was for the good of our world,"
"Yeah, I remember," Ron said, "Mum and dad would be gone for months...we would have to live with Gran and Gramps,"
"Well, of of their earlier missions was to make sure that the Longbottoms were well protected,"
There was silence. Ever since they bumped into Neville at St. Mungo's in their fifth year, Ron, Harry, and Hermione knew what had happened to Neville's parents. Now Ron was hearing that it was the duty of his parents to make sure what happened, didn't happen.
"So people blamed mum and dad for what happened to Mr. and Mrs. Longbottom..." Ron said.
"At first but then they seemed to understand that your parents did their best,"
"What does this have to do with my parents going missing?"
"Well, there are still some people who feel that your parents are to blame,"
"But who would still be so angry about something that happened nearly 2 decades ago?" Hermione asked.
"The night that Neville's parents were killed, many people lost their friends and colleagues and the Ministry, two of the greatest Aurors they ever had. The whole wizarding world felt that your parents were selfish and cowardly to have let them die that way,"
"That's ridiculous!" Ron said indignantly, "Mum and dad have never thought of themselves before others!"
"Well, you and I know that but the rest of the world doesn't and it's them we have to persuade,"
"So then what do you think happened here?" Hermione asked.
"It was most likely a revolutionist group called W.A.N.D, Wizards Against Narrow-minded Dictators. They started out innocently enough. They wanted equal rights for all magical creatures and people, regardless of social class or what have you. They started out with protests which lead to riots which lead to full on terrorist crimes,"
If Professor Lupin had mention W.A.N.D and it's morals at any other moment, Harry and Ron would have laughed. It sounded so much like S.P.E.W, an 'organization' that Hermione had started in their fourth year for the freeing of house elves.
"But then, why would they target mum and dad?" Ginny asked.
Everyone was startled. They hadn't even noticed that Ginny had stopped crying and was now listening intently.
"I mean, we're really poor. We don't have anything to offer, and if they managed to get equal rights for everyone, it would be better for us,"
"If anything, we'd join them," Ron added in agreement.
"It's all very complicated," Professor Lupin said with a sigh, "The good news is that we, the Order that is, have been watching their activities for the past while because we had a hunch that they might have joined or would join Voldemort. As it turned out, they hate Voldemort perhaps even more than the Ministry does. They see him as the ultimate dictator,"
"So, then why would they kidnap Molly and Arthur?" Harry asked.
"Well, that's what makes it complicated. We don't know. Keep in mind that W.A.N.D is only a suspect. They may have nothing to do with this,"
The five of them sat in the living room of the den for hours discussing possibilities. It frightened Ron and Ginny to think the worst...that their parents might already be dead. Harry and Hermione were devastated to think that anything could have already happened to Molly and Arthur. They had always been second parents to Hermione and parents to Harry. Their relationship with them was not only those of in-laws but also of friends. At one point, Ron and Harry just wanted to leave and start looking for them.
"NO! Boys...men...you need to calm down. We don't know anything about what happened and if we just start a random search, people are going to become suspicious and it might even tip off the culprits,"
It took a while for Professor Lupin, Hermione, and Ginny to calm the guys down but once they did, they were very reasonable.
"I know it seems ludicrous and absurd to just sit here but for the time being, that's the best option. We just need to wait to hear from someone in the Order and then make our move. Believe me, it kills me to just sit here while my friends are out there somewhere, possibly hurt," Lupin didn't mention 'dead' but they all thought it.
It killed them all to just sit there, feeling useless but especially Ron and Ginny. It was a long wait for news and they were all tense. They sat in silence for a long time, only speaking when absolutely necessary. None of them went to sleep that night and they were all red-eyed in the morning. Hermione and Ginny made some breakfast around 7 in the morning. They all sat down and ate their meals in silence. This meal was so different from all the bright, cheerful meals that they had shared before. There was a edgy silence and atmoshpere. After breakfast, the only sound was that of Hermione and Ginny washing the dishes. When they joined the men in the living room the tension was at the breaking point when...
Copyright ©Crystal Lim 2004
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