Chapter 3 A Call from Dumbledore
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Summary: What is 'The power he knows not' and how did Harry get it? How did Harry survive the killing curse and what does Sirius Black have to do with it? Who is the voice Harry is hearing in his head?
A/N The 'Ritual of Anthrokrak' and Cauldron of Chaos are from a fine work called 'Sunrise over Britain' by Bobmin (bobmin(dot)fanficauthors(dot)net). It is being used without permission, and will be removed if there is any trouble (Tis' easier to ask forgiveness then permission). Be sure to also read Bobmin's 'Sunset over Britain' and 'Sunrise over Britain' (now both finished). Both are Major AU with HP/HG relationships. Both are great reads, and show what Fan Fiction should be, as well as the others at (www(dot)fanficauthors(dot)net).
Chapter 3 - A Call from Dumbledore
The next several weeks went as well as could be expected for both Lily and Alice.
Between talking with her husband, and talking with Alice, Lily was able to get over the loss of parents fairly quickly.
Both Alice and Lily had decided to work as long as they could to keep they minds busy, and off of the battles and attacks that were around them everywhere.
Both couples had learned through their Order of the Phoenix meetings that Professor Dumbledore had been able to procure a new 'spy' within Voldemort's Death-eaters and that he had information that could be important to both the Potter's and the Longbottom's.
Lily continued to work on new spells and rites for the war effort against Voldemort and his Death-eaters. One set of rites she was working on, would allow the Aurors to increase the size of the magical core thus allowing them to cast more powerful spells. This was important since it had become apparent that many of Voldemort's supporters were under going what were considered 'Dark rituals' to increase their strength. Unfortunately, many of these 'Dark rituals' that Voldemort's followers had participated in had severe side effects.
The problem with Lily's rites were that they too were considered 'Dark' since they required a small amount of blood from the Auror so that the rites could be more finely attuned to that Auror, but Lily had made sure that the normal 'blood sacrifice' was not required, thus, the participant would not be corrupted. As Lily tried to explain it, "It's like putting 'Miracle Grow' on your magical core" (Of course most of the wizards didn't know what she was talking about). But even these rituals could only take you so far. Without constant hard work, the core would slowly reduce back to its original size. But if you worked hard enough, for a long enough period of time (one lunar cycle), the magical core would 'settle' into its new size and the change appeared to be permanent.
The main ritual the Ministry was concerned about was called 'The Ritual of Anthrokrak'. This was used to rip a wizard's magical core from them, and merge it with the magical core of another person.
The Ministry wasn't too concerned about Voldemort having done that yet for several reasons; 1) You had to have two 'Cauldron's of Chaos' in order to brew the different potions, and 2) you could only perform this ritual five times. However, several of the Unspeakables in the Department of Mysteries had pointed out that Voldemort was insane enough to allow five of his more powerful inner circle to perform this ritual on themselves, and then use them as a sacrifice in the ritual for him – in effect giving him the magical cores of a total of 30 wizards (the five from the inner circle, plus the twenty five that they had previously absorbed)!
Of course, the Unspeakables also stated that, given enough time, the inner circle five could do the same thing. But they didn't think that Voldemort would be patience enough for that, or that he would want to tip his hand to his inner circle to think that they were only being used as a sacrifice for him to reach his ultimate goal. After all, what good is having power if you're dead, and can't use it?
Another spell that Lily had developed would help the Aurors learn new information faster by transferring the knowledge of a spell or any other given subject from one persons mind to others. This spell would greatly speed up learning of a spell or charm, however, the Auror had to still practice the spell to get the fine muscle motor skills needed for the wand movement, and to learn how much energy the spell or charm would require.
Lily was getting a bit upset with the short sightedness of the Ministry in preventing her from doing her job and the way they regarded Voldemort and his followers. They wanted her to develop new, more powerful spells that could be used by the Aurors, not some 'Dark ritual' even if it were only to be used by the Ministry.
She knew that she could develop all the powerful new spells they wanted all day long, but if you didn't have a powerful witch or wizard with a large enough magical reserve, these powerful spells wouldn't mean a thing! Either the Auror wouldn't be powerful enough to cast the spell, or could only cast it once or twice before being completely magically exhausted.
Arriving home that night, Lily was approached by Sassy, a house elf.
"Mistress Lily?" Sassy started.
"Yes Sassy? And please, you can call me Lily when we're alone like this." Lily stated kindly. She had been trying for over a year to get the house elf's to lighten up just a little bit with this arcane attitude they had about address the master and mistress of the house.
"Thank you mistress, Sassy will be trying." Sassy said yet again. All Lily could do was roll her eyes.
"Mistress, you's is having a fire-call from Professor Dumbledore. He's is wanting you and Master James to floo to Hogwarts for dinner at 6:30 PM this evening and a meeting afterward. He's is saying it is very important for both yous and Master James to attend. He's is also saying that the Longbottom's will be there."
'What could be so important that Albus would want Alice and me to floo to Hogwarts in our eighth month of pregnancy?' Lily asked herself. 'All I can say is, this had better be good, or he'll have the wrath of two pregnant women to run from.'
Lily fire-called James to let him know about the dinner appointment, and to make sure he came home in time to change and get ready.
At 6:00 PM James and Lily flooed to 'The Three Broomsticks' in Hogsmeade. They would use the extra time to take a nice stroll to the castle. Normally, it would take only 20 minutes to walk from Hogsmeade to Hogwarts, but Lily would need a few minutes more in her current condition. She may be 8 months pregnant, but still she was in pretty good shape, and she and James did take a half hour walk most evenings, so this really was nothing.
Approaching the castle, they where a bit surprised to see that Professor Dumbledore greeted them at the door instead of Mr. Finch or Professor McGonagall.
"Ah, you made it! How good to see you again James, Lily. I should have had you floo directly to my office like the Longbottom's had done. Oh well, I'm sure the walk did you both wonders." Dumbledore's eyes were twinkling brightly as he looked at the young couple. They were both so full of life, and just starting this new phase of their life. But there was something else that Lily saw in his eyes. Was it pain? Remorse? Misgivings? It seemed that a great burden was on his shoulders and he had to, reluctantly; shift that burden to younger shoulders then his.
Following the Headmaster up the stairs and down the halls to his office, Professor Dumbledore and the Potter's mostly made small talk. Lily did glare at James for a few moments thinking about how much easier it would have been if they could have flooed to the Headmasters office instead of the 'little' walk they just had. Not that it really mattered, but right about now, the small of her back and her legs were beginning to feel the affects of trying to offset her pregnant belly protruding out in front of her.
Upon reaching the gargoyles, the Headmaster gave the password ('Hershey's Kisses'), and the small group proceeded to the Headmaster's office. Alice and Lily ran and greeted each other with a long hug and small talk. After telling each other how beautiful they looked (they both laughed) they returned their attention back to the gentlemen in the room.
"Before we talk, let's relax and enjoy this fine meal the house elves have made. They don't have much opportunity to work during the summer, so I'm sure this will be a meal to be remembered." Dumbledore said.
Everyone smiled and agreed, but Lily had the impression that something else was going on and that Professor Dumbledore was trying to get everybody as comfortable and relaxed as possible.
The evening was truly one to be remembered. The house elves had truly out done themselves, and everybody agreed that they couldn't remember a finer meal, or a finer time spent together.
At the end, as drinks where being handed out, (fire-whiskey for the men, and pumpkin juice for the women), Lily broke the silence. "Alright Professor, we've been wined and dined, and have had a totally enjoyable evening, so, why do I get the impression that – as the muggles say – 'the shoe is about to drop'?"
Professor Dumbledore's smile slipped from his face. His eyes stopped their twinkle, and his proud, strong shoulders slumped down, and looked defeated.
"Of course you are correct as usual Lily." Dumbledore began. "I did not mean to bring you here on false pretense, but I do have something of great importance to talk to both of you about. But before I get started, may I ask when your babies are due?"
Alice and Lily looked at each other for a second, each seeing the shock and confusion in the other one's eyes.
"Well Professor, my son will be born the latter part of July." Alice answered.
"Same for mine, my son will be born in the latter part of July or early August. Why?" Lily asked.
Professor Dumbledore motioned them to come into an adjacent room and sit around a circular table which held a large pensive on it.
"As you may or may not know," he started, "I have been directed by the Board of Governors to find someone to teach the 'art' of Divination."
The other occupants in the room gave a brief 'smirk' as they recalled the last Divination teacher 'Professor Plum'. He was so bad; he couldn't even predict his own death, with a rope in his own Study. But let us not think ill of the dead.
"Yes, well, be that as it may, I have been interviewing several candidates that were just about as creditable as our late Professor Plum. Then last of all, I interviewed a Miss Sybill Trelawney. She is the great, great grand daughter of Cassandra Trelawney. Cassandra was truly a person gifted with the 'inner-eye'. But as far as I could tell, Sybill possessed no such gift."
"I was just about to dismiss the meeting with her when she went into an involuntary trance, and stated what I believe to be a true prophecy."
"It involves the downfall of Lord Voldemort and possible, one of your infants as well.
Lord Voldemort has learned the first part of the prophecy, as an unidentified person was outside the door where the meeting was being held, before the bartender of 'The Hogs Head' discovered him and chased him out of the bar."
"Oh, so that's where that back door came from." whispered James to Frank.
With that, Professor Dumbledore placed the tip of his wand to his forehead and withdrew a small, silver memory strand from his mind. After placing the memory into the pensive, and giving a wave, the lights in the office dimmed, and a small silver image of Sybill Trelawney rose from the liquid.
Everyone was quiet as the image began to speck:
The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches…Born to those who have thrice defied him…Born as the seventh month dies…
With that the silver image sank back into the pensive.
"That's it? That's the whole prophecy?" James asked angrily.
"No James that is not it. But I feel that for now, it is in the interest of the greater good that this is all you know. You and the Longbottom's are the only two couples that even begin to meet the criteria of this prophecy."
"Both you and Frank have been a pain in Lord Voldemort's side since you started as Aurors. You both have escaped from his Death Eater numerous times, and are the only two Aurors to have escaped when facing Voldemort several times."
"Ya, it's what now, three times Frank? And each time get luckier and luckier."
"Right now you have enough stress in your lives with the upcoming births of your son's. Let's get past that point and see where we go to from here." Came Albus' reply.
Neither James nor Frank was happy with that response.
"No Albus, you will tell us the rest of the prophecy now." Frank yelled. "You can't just bring us in here to wine and dine us and then just drop this type of a bombshell on us and not tell us the whole thing!"
Alice and Lily were sitting there dumbfounded, crying softly into their husbands' shoulders at the magnitude of these opening lines.
One of their children could have the power to vanquish the Dark Lord? Which one? What was the power? How did they get this power? HOW WOULD THEY KNOW WHICH CHILD WAS IT TO BE? Could this someone already be alive born in the latter part of July?
Dumbledore raised his hand to calm the two couples down.
"Now, now Frank. Nothing will be gained by raising our voice like that." Dumbledore stated calmly, his eyes twinkling in over-drive. "I have some experience in these things. I knew that I had to inform you and the Potter's that there was a prophecy out there. But I feel it is best to take things slowly." "I would recommend that both of you go into hiding as soon as the babies are born. Lily, I believe you are familiar with the Fidelius Charm are you not?"
Lily ended her sniffs as she looked at the Headmaster. She had to stop and think about what the Headmaster had said, and was just barely aware that he had asked her a question.
"What? The Fidelius Charm? Yes I am familiar with that charm. It is where you use a Secret Keeper to hide the location of a person, place or thing, I think, but it's very hard to perform. It takes a great deal of power, and a person who you can trust without question or reservation."
"Very good Lily! 5 points to Gryffindor!" That got a small chuckle from the girls, but their husband's were still just as upset as before.
"Now look here Professor, you can't get off the hook that easy." This time it was James who was ready to spit nails.
"You can turn off the damn twinkle for all I care, it won't work on me! You have to tell us the whole prophecy NOW!"
Professor Dumbledore stopped, and looked coldly over the top of his half-moon glasses. Indeed the twinkle had gone out of his eyes as he looked as James and replied quietly: "Remember who you are talking to James. Not only have I received the Order of Merlin – First Class, but I am also the Grand Sorcerer and Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot; the Supreme Mugwump of International Confederation of Wizards; and the Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I think I know more about this type of thing then you do."
The dressing-down did its job, Frank and James both shut-up, for a few moments, but they still had red, angry faces and you could see small puffs of steam come out from beneath their collars.
"But Professor, you have to tell us!" Alice cried. "There are a thousand questions that I have, and I'm sure Lily has even more questions, that need to be answered; that HAVE to be answered!"
Dumbledore looked sweetly at the two expectant mothers, giving the impression of a kind, understanding Grandfather. "I understand how you feel my dears, but now is not the time to answer these questions. We must be prepared for the birth of these two marvelous babies, and get everything you need to go into hiding. You know I will be there to help you, as well as all of the members of The Order of the Phoenix. You have many other things to be thinking about; where you will be living; who will be your secret keeper; and other more important things."
Lily looked up sharply at Professor Dumbledore, then over to her husband James. 'We're not going to make it out of this alive!' She thought to herself. Something in the way that Professor Dumbledore had phrased his last statement had trigger a vision in her mind where she knew, regardless of which child was selected as the chosen one, she and James would be dead, and they wouldn't be there to raise their son.
Lily resolved that she would do everything in her power to see that her son survived the coming dark days regardless of the cost to herself and James.
James noticed that Lily had become quiet, and had stopped crying. He stopped arguing with Dumbledore and came over to his wife. "What is it honey, are you alright?" He asked sincerely.
"Yes dear. I'm fine, but I think it is time for us to go home." Was Lily's replied.
It was clear that Professor Dumbledore was not going to explain anything else with regards to the prophecy and so James asked for his permission to use his fireplace so that he and Lily could return home. Frank and Alice indicated that they too should be going home as it was getting late.
Scene – James and Lily Potter's home
Arriving home, James had started to head upstairs to get ready for bed. Lily stopped him and asked him to come into the kitchen for a few minutes.
"James," she said. "We need to get everything ready."
"Hu? What? What are you talking about Lily? I know Dumbledore said…"
"I'm not talking about what Dumbledore said James! We have to get everything ready because… because…" she couldn't finish the statement but started crying instead.
"Because we aren't going to be there. Are we?" James asked softly, holding on to his wife and comforting her. All Lily could do was shake her head 'no'.
"When the Headmaster said that we had to get 'more important things' ready, I had a glimpse into the future… a premonition that we would not be around to see our Harry grow and develop. At least not here."
"We need to get EVERYTHING ready for our Harry: guardians, where his elementary schooling will take place, where he will live - I want him to have children his own age - school trust fund, everything."
"We need to make sure he does not go to my sister and her husband! They would hate him as much as they hate us. I know that every time Petunia sees me now, all she can think about is the death of our parents by those Death-eaters!"
"Shhh… I know honey, I know. Come on, let's go up to bed and get some rest. We have a lot of planning to do in the next few weeks."
With that, Lily and James retired upstairs to their bedroom.
For her part, Lily was now, just too tired to worry much about what had just transpired. She didn't have the time or the energy to waste on Dumbledore's antics. She still had one week more to go at work, and the Ministry still wanted new and improved charms and spells to use in their fight against Voldemort and she had to make sure that she and James had everything ready for Harry, not if, but when they died.
Lily took the time to sit on the edge of her bed, and relax and clear her mind. She had learned that Occlumency helped her think clearly when she was working on a spell, and she didn't need this information from Dumbledore distracting her. But she couldn't get it to go away completely.
Just one more week, then three months for maternity leave. Lily thought that there probable wasn't another mother-to-be who wanted their pregnancy to go long. Anything so that her Harry wouldn't be involved with that stupid prophecy.
As James came over to join her in bed, Lily rolled over (as best she could) to cuddle close to James. She needed to feel his strength and support right now.
"James," she started out.
"Hum." came an unenthusiastic reply.
What if it is Frank and Alice's baby? We'll still want to do something to help them. We can't let them face this alone; after all, I will be little Neville's Godmother. It's my responsibility to look after him."
"We won't let them face it alone. Frank's my partner, and almost as close to me as Sirius is. I don't want anything happening to them either. Let's just go to sleep now, and try to address the problems tomorrow. Okay?" James kissed his wife on the top of the forehead.
"Okay, thanks dear. Good night, I love you."
"I love you too Lily."
End Chapter 3.