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Chapter 10 : Grimmauld Place
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Harry was sitting on the garden bench of the Dursleys later that morning. He had told his aunt and uncle that Dumbledore would be coming by that day. His aunt didn't seem to care much, but his uncle was furious.
"It's enough we have to take you in!", he had shouted. "We don't need to see any more of your freak friends!"
Then he had sent Harry outside, ordering him to mow the lawn. Harry had finished his chore over half an hour ago, but didn't go back inside. The backdoor was open so he would hear it when the bell rang and he wanted to stay out of the reach of his relatives as long as possible.
He shot up when he heard the bell ring. He waited a minute, but when he saw Dudley running away from the hall as quick as he could, Harry smiled and made his way inside.
"Ah Harry", Dumbledore said calmly when Harry entered the hall. "I believe we need to have a talk. Is there anywhere we can talk in private?", he asked aunt Petunia, who had opened the door. She didn't give any sign that she had heard him.
"Er, we could go upstairs, Professor", Harry said nervously.
"Of course, lead the way Harry." Dumbledore didn't seem the least bit uncomfortable with the inhospitality and rudeness of the Dursleys.
Harry was a bit self-conscious about having his headmaster in his room at Privet Drive, but Dumbledore seemed completely at ease and plumped down on Harry's bed. He looked at Harry and said: "Tell me everything, Harry."
Harry told Dumbledore everything he had witnessed in his dream. He didn't leave out any details and he felt a strange sense of relief wave over him as he finished his story. A huge weight seemed to have disappeared. "Do you think it is the same as my other dreams, sir? Do you think he's really back?"
Dumbledore looked into the green eyes from his favourite student and thought deeply for a moment before he answered: "What do you think yourself, Harry?"
Harry was surprised Dumbledore seemed to value his opinion just as much as his own. "Well... It sure felt the same."
Dumbledore nodded with grief on his face. "Yes, Harry. What you just told me explains a lot. You see, this morning I was called to the Ministry of Magic by the Head of the Auror Office, Rufus Scrimgeour. It was clear intruders had penetrated the Ministry last night. Eric Munch, who had night duty was found dead and only feet away from his body they found a wand. The Aurors believed it to be from the killer who had left it there so his wand wouldn't betray him, but after a quick investigation, they found out the wand belonged to Cornelius Fudge. Prior Incantato made clear the wand wasn't used for the murder of Eric Munch. The last spell detected was a stunning spell, so we know the Minister tried to defend himself. The Aurors interrogated Fudge's wife, but she told him he hadn't come home the night before. It was quite obvious the Minister had been abducted… Or worse."
"This is bad", Harry said.
"I am afraid so", Dumbledore said calmly. "Not only has Lord Voldemort returned, by killing the Minister of Magic, he has made sure that the Ministry is one big mess right now. It is my belief that under normal circumstances, Voldemort would lie low for now. He would not want his return to be known to the greater public as he likes so much to operate in secret. Manipulating and deceiving are only two of his best practices. On the other hand, now that all is chaos at the Ministry, Voldemort will be tempted to strike hard. He is extremely intelligent, but he still is very arrogant. He will want to make sure everyone knows that Lord Voldemort cheated death, that he is indestructible."
Harry felt himself shivering. The passive threat of Voldemort seemed to be floating in the room with them. "What are you going to do, Professor?"
"All I can, Harry", Dumbledore answered. "Back when Voldemort was at large the first time I founded a secret society. It was called the Order of the Phoenix and it consisted of people who wanted to fight Voldemort and his Death Eaters." He paused. "Your parents were members too, as were Sirius and Remus. My first step will be contacting all of the old members and recruit new members. We can be certain Voldemort will be recruiting new Death Eaters too."
"What about the Ministry?"
Dumbledore sighed. "Much will depend on who the Wizengamot will put forth as new Minister for Magic."
"The Wizengamot?", Harry asked. "Aren't there elections in the wizarding world?"
"Yes there are, but we won't have those for a long time, I'm afraid. By unexpected retirement or death of a Minister, the Wizengamot puts forward a Minister ad interim. Other witches or wizards who wish to stand for election have ten weeks to put their names forward. Only then the magical community votes."
Harry once again realized that even after four years in the wizarding world, there was still so much he didn't know.
"For now, Head Auror Scrimgeour is keeping everything under control at the Ministry", Dumbledore continued. "I will have to talk to him about Voldemort's return."
"Will he believe you?", Harry wondered. "I mean, I don't think a dream of a 15-year old boy is going to be sufficient evidence for the Auror office."
Dumbledore smiled. "I will not mention your dream, Harry. I do not think it wise for too many people to know about your connection with Voldemort. By the way, Harry, do not be alarmed if that connection intensifies. Now that Voldemort is back among the living, I expect you to have a lot more of those dreams now." He looked at Harry as if he was thinking of something. "Perhaps it would not be a bad idea for you to learn Occlumency."
"It will allow you to protect your mind from any attack of others", Dumbledore explained. "Voldemort is a very accomplished Legilimens. It means he can penetrate the minds of his victims", he added when he saw Harry's confused look. "But I will talk about this with you later. I will make arrangements for you to leave this place in the course of this week. I think two weeks should be sufficient."
"I will explain it to you later, Harry. I really need to go back to the Ministry now."
Headmaster and student descended the stairs together. Dumbledore lifted his hat at the Dursleys, who were peering at them through the window in the kitchen door. His eyes were twinkling brightly. When he walked out the door he turned around and said: "I will see you later this summer, Harry." He shook his hand and smiled. Harry watched his favourite Professor walk away. He looked hilariously out of place in the very normal Muggle suburb. When Harry blinked, Dumbledore had disappeared.
Harry spent the following days waiting impatiently for someone to come and get him. When uncle Vernon came into his room on Thursday night and informed Harry aunt Petunia, Dudley and himself wouldn't be home that evening, Harry merely shrugged. It didn't make that big of a difference if his relatives were or were not home. Harry only saw them during meals, the rest of the day he spent in his room.
Harry lay on his back, reading Flying with the Cannons for the fourth time when there was a knock on his door. He hadn't heard anyone come home or enter the house. It couldn't be someone from his family, they would never knock before entering his room. He jumped of his bed and pointed his wand at the door. "Who's there?"
"Remus John Lupin, werewolf and former Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher of Hogwarts, who thought you, Harry, to perform a Patronus that takes the form of a stag."
Harry quickly walked to the door, threw it open and saw Remus Lupin beaming at him. "Remus!", he exclaimed and hugged his former Professor. "Sorry about that."
"Don't mention it, Harry. You were right to be cautious", Remus said. "Now Mad-Eye will have my skin if I don't make sure you're not an imposter so, which creature did I have in my office the first time you visited me at Hogwarts?"
"Er, a Grindylow, right?", Harry said.
"Very good", Remus smiled. "Now let me help you pack your things. The others are waiting downstairs."
"Yes, the Advance Guard. We were assigned by Dumbledore to escort you to headquarters", Remus explained.
"Headquarters? You mean of the Order of the Phoenix?", Harry asked.
"Oh of course", Remus said. "Dumbledore must already have told you about it."
"So we won't be going to The Burrow?"
Remus couldn't help but smile. "I'm afraid not, Harry. But all the Weasleys are staying at the headquarters over the summer too, so you'll feel at home."
"Where is it?", Harry asked.
"Better not to mention that here", Remus said. "But it's well hidden and Dumbledore performed the Fidelius Charm so you will be perfectly safe."
Harry nodded. He grabbed his trunk and Hedwig's cage and made his way downstairs together with Lupin. When they arrived in the kitchen, Harry was greeted by a big group of witches and wizards, all of them carrying a broomstick with them.
"I believe you have already met Alastor Moody", Remus said.
Moody nodded. "Evening, Potter."
"This is Kingsley Shacklebolt and the colourful young witch next to him is Nymphadora Tonks", Remus continued. "They both work for the Ministry of Magic as Aurors." They both nodded and smiled at Harry, who did the same. Remus continued to introduce the other members of the Order of the Phoenix to Harry: Dedalus Diggle, Hestia Jones, Emmeline Vance, Sturgis Podmore and Elphias Doge.
"Alright everyone, enough chitchat", Moody said bluntly. "Let's go."
The others followed him outside and got on their brooms and got off. Harry followed Tonks' tail. At first he was enjoying the freedom of flying again after being stuck at Privet Drive for almost three weeks. After flying for a couple of hours, he started to long for their arrival though. He was absolutely freezing, he had never been this cold on a broomstick.
Finally Tonks was lowering and eventually they landed on a forlorn square. Harry wondered where on earth they were when Moody motioned him over. "Read this", he grumbled and he pushed a piece of parchment in Harry's hand. "Memorize it." Harry looked at the parchment and saw the familiar handwriting of Albus Dumbledore.
The headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix are located at number twelve Grimmauld Place, London.*
When Harry thought about the words he saw and old house had appeared and they all hurriedly made their way inside.
"They probably already started the meeting", Lupin whispered. "You go straight upstairs, Harry. You're sharing a room with Ron. It's on the first floor, second door to the right."
Harry nodded and made his way upstairs. When he opened the door Lupin had sent him too, he heard two squeals and a body smaller than his hit him rock-hard.
"Ginny", he murmured and pulled his girlfriend even closer to him. He buried his head in her red hair and inhaled the soft flowery scent he had missed so much. "I missed you", he whispered. "I missed you so much." Ginny looked up at him smiling happily and kissed him deeply.
"Oh for Merlin's sake, Ronald. You said you were okay with them being together!"
"Yeah, but that doesn't mean I want to see my little sister and my best mate snog each other in front of my eyes!"
Harry couldn't help but grin when he looked over Ginny's head and saw his two best friends bickering. He realized he had even missed that.
"Hermione! I didn't know you'd be here", Harry said happily as he finally let go of Ginny.
Hermione smiled at him. "Ron wrote me you would be arriving today. I convinced my parents to let me stay here for two weeks, so I'll be here for your birthday. But then I have to go back." She walked over to her best friend and hugged him. "How are you?"
"I'm fine", he said.
"So what exactly happened, mate?", Ron asked.
"You don't know what's happening?"
"Not a clue", he said, while Harry and Ginny went to sit down on the unused bed. "One day dad comes home from work and tells us Fudge was killed and that You-Know-Who was back. Next thing we know they tell us they were joining the Order of the Phoenix and we moved in here."
Harry told his friends everything about the dream he had and the talk he had with Dumbledore. They were looking terrified. It seemed to Harry that they hadn't fully realized Voldemort had really returned until they heard Harry confirm it.
Harry enjoyed being able to talk and laugh with his friends again until they waited for Mrs Weasley to call them down for dinner.
* Quote from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, chapter 3: The Advance Guard by J.K. Rowling
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