The Assassin

The Assassin - Chapter 3

Chapter 3

The only two occupants in the Headmaster’s office at Hogwarts stood in a tense silence. Kingsley Shacklebolt would have flinched at the immense power emitting from the other if he was not already used to the common power show-offs at the Ministry of Magic. It was unfortunate that he could not just deliver the news and take his immediate leave. He knew that once Albus Dumbledore heard the rumours he came to deliver, than an order meeting would be called.

Albus, on the other hand, had no clue as to what he was about to hear. Never before had Shacklebolt called an emergency meeting with him in the last nine years. He waited anxiously after the other had arrived for the news, but the hesitance really concerned him. Dumbledore had never seen the man in this manner before.

“What is wrong, Shacklebolt?” demanded Dumbledore, magic lashing out only slightly.

“I have come to tell you the rumours and talk that’s been going around the Ministry lately,” Kingsley cleared his throat nervously. “There are rumours suggesting You-Know-Who is back.”

“Preposterous,” scoffed Dumbledore. “I took the extra measures to ensure he could not come back until Harry Potter was found.”

“Albus,” Kingsley paused as he tried to look at anything but the other man. “It’s been almost five years since that duel and since you got rid of him. He’s come back once, what makes you think he would not have found another way back sooner than you thought?”

With his face quickly becoming red, Dumbledore turned on the spot and marched over to the nearest window to overlook the quiet grounds of Hogwarts. His magic flickering out at being questioned on his capabilities. He couldn’t even remember the last time someone dared to doubt him, his powers or how he executed a successful plan. How dare Shacklebolt come to his office and show such disrespect to the leader of the Order of the Phoenix.

“Do you think these are just nonsense rumours?” Dumbledore asked without turning around. “Do you believe these have a merit to any truth?”

“Yes I believe there is truth behind all of this talk,” he immediately responded without hesitation. “Albus, there have been a lot of old, dark and wealthy wizarding families discussing this in the vicinity of others. They do not care if they are overheard because they all believe Harry Potter is dead and no one can stop He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named if he was to come back. I have been listening, been collecting intel on the situation. I would not have come here tonight if I did not believe there was a serious threat.”

Dumbledore stood in silence for a few minutes, contemplating all of the information from his little rat in the ministry. If this was true and Voldemort was truly back, he needed to act fast and devise multiple plans to be well prepared. Now, more than ever, they all needed to find that missing nuisance of a prophet child and prepare him for immediate battle. Everything had all been going to his carefully, malicious, detailed plan until the Potter spawn disappeared. If, no, when he was found… Merlin help him not to kill the child out of rage.

“I’ll call an Order Meeting now,” Dumbledore muttered grumpily as he walked over to his desk and sat down in his chair. “Expecto Pratronum!”

A white, glowing Phoenix materialised from the tip of Dumbledore’s wand. It flew around the office before perching itself on the edge of the Headmaster’s desk. The Phoenix’s silvery eyes eagerly looking at its caster, awaiting instruction since there was no danger in the vicinity. Dumbledore looked back upon his patronus with fiery eyes, trying to contain all of his raw emotions in front of Kingsley Shacklebolt.

“Go to all of the Order members and deliver this message,” Dumbledore’s annoyed voice filled the silent room. “Emergency meeting now. Come immediately to my office.”

Dumbledore turned his head and waved his hand dismissively at his patronus. Without another word needing to be said, the whispery silver Phoenix flapped its beautiful wings and flew directly out of the window into the quiet night sky. The room once again fell upon a tense silence. While one man was consumed with all of the new information and beginning to construct plans, the other was wishing to leave this situation, to leave before he would be stuck in this cramped office for hours.

Time seemed to slow down for the two of them as they waited in anticipation for the other Order members to arrive. The first few people landed within five minutes, looking around at each other and towards the leader of the group for some indication as to why they had been called so suddenly. They remained silent out of respect and a bit of fear of Dumbledore, waiting for him to engage first so they would not face his wrath. The room was practically sizzling with his anger, magic lashing out without the man’s knowledge. This rarely happened and they all knew that when it did, it was bad news.

Soon enough more members begun appearing via different methods. Some apparating, some flooing and some even simply walking up to the office if they were already at Hogwarts. The large, spacious room suddenly became cramped with each new arrival. They stood almost shoulder to shoulder in quiet, although a certain red headed family couldn’t grasp the understanding of quietness. All eyes were eagerly looking at Headmaster Dumbledore, the leader of the Order of the Phoenix, the only current person to defend them all from the Dark Lord.

Dumbledore had been so zoned out that he did not notice the arrival of majority of the Order members. He looked up and scanned the room with his icy blue eyes. He mentally checked off his members, noticing only two people were yet to arrive; Severus Snape and Minerva McGonagall. One was down in his dungeon, the other away in Scotland. Mentally shaking his head in disapproval, he stood up and walked towards the window, his back facing the members.

“We shall give Severus and Minerva another five minutes,” suddenly said Dumbledore, gazing out at the grounds. “But we need to begin. With or without them.”

Confusion and anxiousness flooded through the room. Never before had their leader demanded they start an emergency meeting without all current members being in attendance. They looked around the room at each other, the tense silence filling with talk as they tried to sus out the situation. Dumbledore however, ignored everything around him as his mind once again became consumed with plans.

If there was only one thing he wanted to get out of this meeting tonight, then it would be that Voldemort is back and the search for Harry Potter needed to resume with more intensity than ever before. If any of these baffling baboons wanted to live a happy and long life, they needed to get through their thick skulls that the boy wasn’t dead and is the only hope for the wizarding world. He knew that time was of the essence, it was quickly starting to run out. Yet no one seemed to give a damn except himself.

Hearing a pop from behind him, Dumbledore knew that would have been Minerva. His patience was running out with his double agent. Severus should have been here already. For Merlin’s sake he was in the same building as the meeting. Although, deep down he knew that Severus wasn’t of too much help these days, so why bother waiting for him? It’s not like he would care for the missing boy. Anytime the Potter brats’ name is mentioned, he sneers or rolls his eyes. He would definitely give a talking to the younger man, this was completely and utterly disrespectful.

“Thank you all for coming so quickly,” Dumbledore suddenly said before turning around to face the anxiously waiting members. “I called this emergency meeting at receiving some very devasting news.”

The whole room fell silent, all attention towards the outwardly calm Headmaster of Hogwarts. No one seemed to breathe as they waited for him to continue, all hanging on to each word he spoke like some type of God. Well most of the members. There were a few in attendance that didn’t see Dumbledore as the wholly and mighty wizard people make him out to be. They knew firsthand how vicious and dark the wizard can get. Secretly, those people only joined the Order to defend the wizarding world from the Dark Lord when the ministry did nothing about it almost five years ago.

Before Dumbledore could say anything else, all attention turned to the door being opened. Severus Snape froze for a millisecond at the sheer amount of people in the cramped room. With a disgusted look on his face, he closed the door and practically hugged the wall. If anyone got to close to him then he would give them his famous, deadly stare. Dumbledore’s magic unintentionally lashed out to the nearest people at the utter disrespect the late member showed.

“The Dark Lord Voldemort has returned,” he said seriously, looking upon the group with his icy blue eyes.

The room erupted in to shocked chaos. Dumbledore watched their reactions intently, taking note of each person. He noticed majority of the members that worked within the Ministry of Magic were not shocked. Obviously Shacklebolt had not been lying when he said the talk was not being hidden. The rest of the group shook in their shoes, fear and hysteria rapidly setting in. This was the news they had all feared; that one day Voldemort would return. The family of red heads huddled together, Molly squeezing all of her children that were present.

“We need to find Harry Potter,” Dumbledore continued loudly, trying to be heard over the noise. “I have a proposed plan for our searches.”

“Why search, Albus?” Molly cried out, tears rolling down her face while hugging Fred… or George. She was so upset she couldn’t tell in this moment. “He could be dead for all we know.”

“Yeah we could be wasting our time if he’s dead,” Nymphadora Tonks yelled from the other side of the room. “Instead we need to be prepared for his return. Prepare for a battle or two. Prepare for the attacks on Muggles and Muggle-borns.”

“How are we going to tell the children when they arrive this year, Albus?” Minerva’s thick Scottish accent floated above all the other voices. “How are we going to protect them all?”

The room only got louder and louder. Everyone was eager to put their own two cents into the situation. Dumbledore felt like his head was about to explode from the sudden increase in volume. He could no longer concentrate on one person’s voice, instead it all just blended into a sound like the stamping of Hippogriffs.

“Silence!” he yelled, holding up a hand. “I did not bring you here to waste my time. We must make a solid plan and act on it now!”

Silence. Silence is what he asked for, and silence is what he got. Everyone had felt the wave of magic wash through them as the eldest member in the room yelled. It was full of rage, full of hate, full of anger. Never had they felt that from the Headmaster before. No one dared to speak another word, nor look at one another in fear of feeling that raw magic again.

“Now that I have your attention,” Dumbledore sighed tiredly, running a hand down his face. “Let’s discuss things, shall we?”

No one dared to mutter a word, instead they nodded their heads wordlessly. Dumbledore waved his hand and chairs appeared for them all to sit on. It was in fact going to be a long meeting with a lot to discuss and a lot of plans to put in place. Satisfied that no one was going to speak out of turn, Dumbledore walked back over to his desk and sat down in his chair. He looked at the members and internally chuckled at the visible fear shown from most of them.

“By the end of this meeting, I would like to have a plan in place for the following,” he said more calmly. “Search parties, Rescue parties, Nurturing group, Rehabilitation group, Training group. Does this seem fair to begin with?”

Once more, not a word was spoken. No protest was given even though there was much going on internally from the group.

“Firstly, as we know, Harry Potter is turning 16 within one week. He will be a little easier to track as he is nearing the legal age in the wizarding world. This will help us immensely,” he continued after a few seconds. “Now, let’s talk about search parties. I would like small groups of at least five to go out a minimum of three times a week. We will start at Little Wellington and then continue expanding out in to the neighbouring suburbs, towns, cities, and states either until we find him or have looked all over England.”

“Do you expect us to take time off work to do this?” Alastor Moody barked from the back of the room.

“Why of course not,” Dumbledore tried to soothe. “I would like people to work around their schedule and find an unanimous time for the search party to happen. Whether this be before or after work, only on the weekends, whenever you have the free time is when you should be out there helping to search.”

“You can’t seriously be expecting us to drop our spare time like that, now do you Albus?” Molly tutted at him in disapproval.

“I do, Molly,” Dumbledore sat up straighter in his chair, taking offence. “And I’ll tell you all why. This boy is the missing piece to our puzzle. He is the only chance we have at finally vanquishing the Dark Lord Voldemort for once and for all. Time is of the essence, Harry Potter must be found.”

“But he would know nothing about the wizarding world, let alone how to duel,” spoke up Arthur Weasley for a change. “He would have no time to prepare.”

“That is why I want to put together a solid plan for his rehabilitation and reintroduction into the wizarding world. I want a dedicated team that can spend days with him, teaching him and training him everything. I need to have a team to nurture him, to be his friend and family. Must you question everything and waste our precious time, or may we continue without further interruption?” Dumbledore’s voice begun to grow dark and cold, nothing like the usual kind-hearted tone.

Chills were sent down majority of the member’s spines at the darkness seeping from their leader. They shuddered at yet another wave of relentless raw magic lashing out at them. The group stayed silent and avoided eye contact with Albus Dumbledore, waiting for him to tell them what to do instead of working as a unanimous team to reach the same end goal; Getting rid of Voldemort.

2am flashed in blue lights on Albus Dumbledore’s opened palm. He sighed tiredly as he closed his hand and softly lent back in his chair. Relaxing into the soft cushioning his trusty, old chair provided and looking around the dark, unlit room. He remembered all of the faces that were there not more than half an hour ago. All of his energy, both mentally and physically, were gone. Drained away by the unrelenting questions and ruthless stupidity the group held. It took five and a half hours for him to work through his plans and get it through their thick skulls. At least now he had a little more faith that this group were actually going to try and find Harry Potter.

Harry Potter. The-Boy-Who-Lived. The Dark Lord’s equal. The one who can save the wizarding world. To him, he was none of that. To Dumbledore, he was the biggest pain in the arse one could imagine. The brat had ruined all of his detailed planning he spent years making. Placing him with an unloving family to make him more needy of attention and approval. Making sure the family of muggles lived in constant fear of the magical world, which in turn subjected Harry to feeling like a freak. Appearing secretively at important events and causing small bursts of ‘accidental magic’ to cause the riffle in their relationship. Manipulating and monitoring the boy’s friendships once he would have arrived at Hogwarts to mould him exactly in to the weapon he needed to be.

The little shit just had to go and mess up everything. Severus was probably right in assuming he was a spoilt brat. While he may not have been a spoilt brat when he lived at the Dursley’s, he probably was currently living a life of luxury under the care of someone. Probably someone who knows nothing about the wizarding world. Otherwise they would have been utterly selfish to hide Harry from his fate. He was destined to defeat Voldemort by giving his life up during the duel, yet now he was completely unprepared and untrained. This was all thanks to whoever took him.

Not only did Dumbledore have to think about training the small idiot, but he needed to take him immediately out to hunt for the hidden Horcruxes. Dumbledore wouldn’t be able to destroy Voldemort once and for all if Harry doesn’t properly destroy them all, which included the one hidden inside of the young man. He didn’t care if Harry died soon, but he did care if he was found. There was so much to do, so much to teach, so much to find, yet so little time. Dumbledore rolled his head to the side and looked out the window. He watched the stars twinkle as he wondered where the little mutt was right now.

Not knowing that the Headmaster of Hogwarts was currently wondering where he was, Harry Potter was serenely asleep in his bed. Blissfully unaware of all the chaos and turmoil he was causing half way across the country. Harry briefly awoke from his slumber at the sound of a creaking floor board from inside his room. Not wanting to alert whoever was currently standing near him that he was indeed awake, he turned over on to his left side. Now with his back facing the intruder and body obstructing his movement, he slowly slid his right hand under his pillow until his fingers touched the cold metal handle of his favourite knife.

Stilling all his movement and quieting his breathing, Harry listened for any other signs from the intruder. He could hear a very soft exhale from less than a metre away and knew the person was leaning forwards slightly. Not wanting to put himself in any more danger or vulnerability, Harry pushed up with his left hand and thrusted his hips forwards to slid off of the bed. While he was still in motion, he twisted his body to the left and pulled out his right hand to reveal his weapon. He begun to landed in a crouch on the ground, protecting most of his lower body by using the bed to his advantage. Before his eyes could fully adjust on the intruders face, his right hand had already reeled back before it flung forwards and released his Blackhawk Tatang knife with precise aim.

His eyes widen in shock as he watched in slow motion as his knife travelled directly towards Drew’s forehead. He could not react or do anything in time before the inevitable impact to his boss and mentor. Squeezing his eyes closed tightly and turning his head away, he waited for the sickening noise of impact and spurt of warm blood to hit him. But it never came. So with a racing heart, he slowly opened one eye in hesitation.

What he saw almost made him jump if he had not been so in control of his body reactions. Floating in mid-air, less than an inch from his eyeball, was his Blackhawk Tatang knife. It was dangerously close to his iris that if he had moved, it would have indeed pierced the surface. Leaning back, he shook his head before snatching the offending weapon from thin air. Hearing the dark chuckle from above him, Harry looked up at Drew with anger. He stood up from the ground and placed his knife carefully in his leg holster.

“Never close your eyes when attacking,” chuckled Drew, lazily sitting down on the bed. “I could have easily injured or killed you in that time.”

“I’d rather that than think I’d done that to you,” Harry sighed and wiped the slight sweat away from his forehead.

“But apart from that,” Drew paused as a smirk overcame his rugged features. “Your timing was excellent. I did not know you were awake.”

Harry shook his head in amusement, a fond and rare smile settled on his face. He too sat down on his bed. However he sat with his back to Drew, hunched over with his hands in his hair. He was still half asleep despite the sudden surprise attack. Ever since he had started training with Drew, he would plan these surprise attacks randomly to prepare him for anything. It was a fun way to keep Harry on his toes. Alert and ready always.

“We have a lot to discuss after last night,” Drew said after a few seconds of silence. “Let’s go to the training grounds. I’ll be waiting for you outside. Five minutes.”

Drew stood up and left the room without another word. After the door was softly closed, Harry immediately walked over to his wardrobe and started to get changed in to his training gear. Although his dark, warm clothes were very appealing in the cold weather, he knew that he needed to train in his usual fighting outfit. He needed to know all the physical limitations of his leather cloak, where every weapon was situated on his body without thinking, what movements make sounds that could give him away.

With his thin, black shirt and long, black pants on that hugged his body in all the right places, Harry shrugged on his leather cloak. Wrapping it around his shoulders and clasping it in place around his neck. Opening his holster drawer, he picked up the first one which was his wand holster. He flicked aside his cloak as he held out his right arm. As soon as the holster was adjusted in to place, Harry used his magic to nonverbally attach it to his forearm. He repeated the process for his two bicep holsters before manually attaching the calf holster to his right leg.

Harry paused for a second as a wave of tiredness washed over him. He fought off the sleepiness as he started to equip the weapons to their rightful place. Before putting on his shiny and slightly heavy black boots, Harry begun to jump on the spot and shaking his arms to loosen them from the fatigue. The sounds of the equipment clanging and his socks softly pounding against the floor filled the silent room. He stretched his upper body by twisting it from left to right then backwards and fowards, waking up his muscles. After rolling his shoulders and letting out one last yawn, he grabbed his boots from the ground beside the wardrobe and hastily put them on, tying them up nice and tightly.

As Harry closed the wardrobe doors he looked out of his window and up at the bright, twinkling stars. Mesmerised by the beauty, he walked closer to his window. He took a second just to stare at the clear night sky as he calmed his mind and body, preparing himself for the events ahead. Knowing he didn’t have much longer until Drew’s time limit was up. Just as Harry started to turn and take a step away from the window, his eyes caught sight of a still figure waiting with their back to the house.

A plan developed in his mind quickly. Harry smirked as he grabbed the handle and twisted it slowly, only pausing when it made small screeching sounds. His eyes never left Drew’s form, praying he didn’t turn around while he was daring this new manoeuvre. With his window wide open, Harry leaned out of it and pointed his right hand towards the wall next to it. He concentrated on conjuring his magic to preform the ‘Carpe Retractum’ spell. Within seconds a thin, long rope shot out of his palm and attached itself firmly to the wall. Glad his plan was working so far, he begun the most difficult part of it all; climbing out of his window.

Harry lifted his right leg up and carefully controlled each movement until it was successfully through the window. He held on tightly to the rope with his right hand as he pushed his body up from the windowsill with his left. Bringing his left foot up to rest near his left hand and then twisting his body to face the building, Harry looked down at Drew to check on him as he prepared for his next move. As quietly as he could in this situation, he slowly shifted his left leg off the ledge to hang next to his right one while at the same time lowering his body to release the tension in his left arm.

Stilling as he heard a cough, he looked down to find Drew still looking out on the land in front of him. Sweat started to build on his left hand and forehead as he slowly manoeuvred his body to the right towards the rope, trying to be more centre under it. He used his hands to guide him over, not really needing his feet as this was more of a side-to-side movement. Once Harry was satisfied with his positioning, he grabbed the rope with both hands before proceeding to steadily and gradually bring his feet up to be against the wall. He felt comfortable with his legs about a shoulder length apart and how they were firmly flat against the surface.

Taking one last look beneath him, Harry slowly lowered the top half of his body until he was completely horizontal to the side of the building. Each step he took down was lost entirely in the surrounding noises of the nocturnal animals and the soft noise of the leaves being brushed together. He tried to descend quickly but caution took the best of him, afraid of being caught in a such an exposed position. Relief washed through him momentarily as his right foot touched the grass. With both feet firmly and safely on the ground, he crouched down as the rope disappeared. His wand fell in to his opened palm, his fingers wrapping around it securely.

Without any more hesitation a nonverbal spell was shot from Harry’s wand to Drew’s unsuspecting back. The red coloured spell whirled through the air before it struck the black clothing. Harry frowned as the spelled pierced straight through Drew’s back and continued hurling in to the distance while leaving behind a massive gaping hole in his mentors’ back. Slowly, the silhouette became transparent before completely fading in to thin air.

The entire world quietened as Harry heightened all of his senses to be fully alert. Eyes were darting in every direction for any signs of danger or Drew. Something caught his attention from the corner of his left eye, a shimmer of a Disillusionment charm. He stayed still for a few seconds to see if there was any movement from the other, before he shot a nonverbal ‘Petrificus Totalus’ spell at the person. He chuckled as he heard the inevitable thud of the person falling to the ground from the full body-binding spell.

Harry ran over to the almost completely transparent person, wand trained on them in case they managed to break free of the cruse. The shimmer of the charm apparent now as he stood directly above the still body. He crouched down and tapped the person on the head gently to disable the Disillusionment charm. Slowly the charm faded and revealed Drew who was lying flat on his stomach with his wand in one hand and a dagger in the other.

Knowing all too well what was about to happen, Harry rolled backwards to get further away from Drew. His body was low to the ground with his right leg outstretched to the side, left leg crouched taking majority of the weight, left hand flat on the ground for support and his right hand pointing his wand at his mentor. Before his eyes could fully focus, a spell was being sent his way followed immediately by the silver handed dagger. He didn’t have enough time to dodge the spell so he threw up a quick ‘Protego’ while simultaneously pushing himself back, sliding back a little as his legs gave way from their current position to help his body be flat against the ground.

The spell dispersed as soon as it hit the shield, the dagger continuing past the now broken shield and flying only centimetres away from Harry’s body. He watched the dagger pass his face in slow motion as his hand travelled down to his right leg to grab out his Blackhawk Tatang knife. The millisecond he saw the dagger had cleared him, Harry begun to sit up and pulled his trusty weapon out of its sheath. To distract Drew from his important movement, he threw a silent ‘Expelliarmus’ followed by a ‘Stupefy’ at him then quickly threw his knife. The tactic seemed to work because just as the older man had disarmed both of the incoming spells, his left bicep was hit instantly by Harry’s unsuspecting knife.

Everything paused as Harry looked at Drew with unwavering concentrated eyes, looking out for any movements that could result in a threat towards him. The seconds passed by slowly until the silent air was filled by a roaring laughter from the Scottish male. Drew looked down at the knife with an unfazed expression, moving his right hand over to pull out the offending weapon without a grimace. He stood up from where he knelt, walked over to Harry and held out the handle of the weapon for him to take.

“Truce,” Drew said with a smirk. “For now.”

“For now,” Harry chuckled as he grabbed his knife.

Harry stood up from where he sat on the ground. He gave both his knife and himself a quick cleanse from the small amount of the debris and blood. Drew started walking away from him without a word, heading up the untamed but walkable path that lead towards the back of the property. With quick strides, Harry quickly caught up with the other. The two walked alongside each other in a content silence for a while, just taking in the peaceful environment.

“That entry was very innovative of you,” Drew broke the silence after a few minutes. “Ten points for creativity. However minus five for tardiness.”

“It was my first time conducting it,” Harry rolled his eyes. “Give me a break.”

“I am,” he chuckled. “Next time you should try going face first down that way your eyes are always on the target.”

“Seems sketchy to attempt for my second time,” Harry laughed.

“If you are interested in learning different ways of descending buildings, I can arrange some lessons,” he shrugged.

“Finding someone that has the free time will be a challenge, will it not?” he asked as he looked up to the taller.

“It may,” Drew shook his head with a fond smile. “But training you is an important task. Especially since, you know.”

“I know,” Harry sighed, his mood deflated a little.

The two continued to walk in silence for a couple more minutes until they reached a clearing in the tall, untamed grass. Scorch marks had been engraved in to the dead grass patch from previous training sessions. The clearing so large it was about the size of four football fields. Both Drew and Harry continued walking until they stood roughly in the middle of the giant patch. Harry looked up towards the sky and admired the stars for what they were in this moment. Bright, shinning spots in the clear sky that added to illuminating the earth along with the semi full moon.

“I suggest you execute your plan to go to Hogwarts the night after your Birthday,” Drew sighed as he sat down on the ground with both of his legs crossed. “I know it is only less than a week to prepare, however, you are ready.”

Harry stayed silent as he too sat down. He continued to watch the beautiful night sky while he processed the information. Was he ready? Sure, he was more than capable to duel Voldemort and finish collecting all of the Horcruxes. The real question he had was if he was ready to go to Hogwarts. Was he ready? Not really. He didn’t know what to expect while attending the school. He wasn’t used to mainstream teaching or how school kids acted. He had never had friends before. Only family. The family he was brought in to by Drew that kept changing and evolving over the years.

“What are you feeling? Thinking about?” Drew’s soothing voice cut through Harry’s thoughts.

“I’m apprehensive,” he gulped and looked over to his boss and mentor. “I don’t know what to expect when I arrive at Hogwarts.”

“Hopefully nothing spectacular so we, or more so you, are able to focus on the main mission,” he sighed. “Expect to be pampered and swooned over. They’ll smoother you with kindness, friendship, and caring gestures to persuade you over to their side.”

Shaking his head with a dark chuckle, Harry threw himself backwards. He placed his arms under his head as his eyes focused back on the stars. Drew made no sign to move, instead turning his head to stare ahead at the empty field.

“Expect private training sessions from them,” Drew continued. “Once Hogwarts starts back you’ll be sorted and then attend the usual classes. You’ll have to keep an unsuspicious façade on the entire time so they don’t get wind of your mission.”

“I know that I’ll probably be an outcast. That I won’t fit in with the students,” Harry spoke up before the other could continue.

“Does it truly matter if you are an outcast?” he asked with a frown.

“Well, yeah I guess,” he shrugged. “I guess if I need to keep up some type of a façade then I need to show some type of social skills with the other students. Or am I wrong.”

“You are not wrong,” he chuckled and looked over his shoulder at Harry with amusement. “However making and maintaining friends should be the least of your worries. As you know, you’ll be around people we have identified to be suspicious and dangerous.”

“I know,” Harry sighed once more. “How will we be staying in contact? I guess you have a discrete method already planned?”

Drew chuckled loudly as he moved his coat to the side. Harry sat up in curiosity, watching as the older male pulled out a squared shaped gift that was covered by a brown wrapping paper. He held it in his hands for a second before he passed it over to Harry. He took the gift from Drew gently as if this was the most precious item his hands would ever hold. He placed it on the ground in front of his crossed legs and slowly unwrapped it, careful not to break whatever was inside. The brown wrapping paper fell aside to reveal a brand new, clean mirror. It reflected the stars above, the well defined twinkling made Harry smile.

The peaceful stars were sudden replaced by an image of Drew’s softly smiling features. Harry looked over to find an identical mirror begin held up to the others’ face. He looked back down at his own mirror and picked it up to be right in front of his own face. Smiling back at Drew, he waved and laughed softly when he saw both the mirror Drew and the one sitting beside him wave back.

“This is incredible,” Harry laughed as he put down his mirror, hearing a soft echo of his own voice emitting from Drew’s mirror. “A two-way mirror?”

“I thought it would be both practical and an easy method,” Drew nodded in response as he placed his own mirror back in his coat pocket.

“Where will you be keeping yours normally?” he asked as he leant back on his hands.

“My office, of course,” he smiled as he too leaned back.

“Of course,” he shook his head in amusement. “Where else would the mighty Drew McIntyre keep his mirror?”

The two chuckled at the joke before settling in to silence once again. Harry closed his eyes and tipped his head back slightly. He took a deep breath in, held it for a second, and then exhaled deeply. The soft early morning breeze doubled up with his cooling sweat sent small chills down his body, raising goosebumps on his arms. He opened his eyes to stare at the sky once more. There was something so calming about a clear night sky when all of the stars were out in full force. He couldn’t explain it, but it was one of few things to help him find peace in stressful times.

“Shall we discuss our next topic?” Drew asked eventually. “The planned attack?”

Harry nodded his head silently knowing the other was looking at him.

“I know you want to draw everyone away from Hogwarts when you are discovered,” he continued. “And I also know you have always secretly wanted revenge on your relatives.”

Drew smirked when an ungentlemanly snort was released from the younger beside him. Shaking his head in amusement, he sat up straight as his tone switched from light-hearted to serious.

“As you know, your magical signature in the immediate area of their house triggers an alarm. So once that is disabled you will be fine. Also as you know, we have tested what triggers the alarm protecting the Dursley’s themselves,” he said quietly. “Any physical or emotional harm done to them that is not self-inflicted will cause some order members to arrive within ten minutes. I will be going tomorrow night to test how long the response will take this time. Especially considering the arising circumstances of Voldemort’s return and no doubt with their search efforts.”

Harry hummed in agreement as he too sat up, the whole mood from their current conversation turning serious. He needed to be paying full attention to everything being said. No distractions. Not even from the beautiful sky.

“I will test out a small attack on one or two of them,” Drew continued, staring ahead. “I have never seen if being unconscious triggers the alarm, so I will use a Stupefy before cutting a small line on them. Bringing Charlie with me will help me monitor the changes in the wards while I experiment with the limitations.”

“I wish I could come along,” Harry sighed. “But I know it’ll be safer to remain here.”

“Correct,” he nodded solemnly. “However, it will be less than a week until you, yourself, will be executing your revenge safely.”

“That’s true. I have been waiting almost eleven years. Another week can’t hurt,” he laughed darkly. “I wonder if they’ll recognise me.”

“It’s plausible,” hummed Drew. “Although I reckon if anyone were too, it would be your maternal Aunt.”

“I agree,” Harry nodded. “Shall we head back inside now? I’m quiet cold now the adrenaline has worn off.”

Drew laughed loudly as he stood up, offering a hand for Harry. He took the hand and stood up, stretching his aching muscles from being on the ground for so long. The two walked side by side along the path back to their house. One anxiously thinking about the youngers near future, while the other imagined of all the different ways he could inflict his suffering he felt at the hands of his relatives. The house came in to view shortly and soon enough they were approaching the door. Drew’s hand hesitated on the handle, not turning it, as he looked back at Harry with a serious expression.

“What?” Harry asked in a whisper as adrenaline started to pump through his system again, ready for a fight with danger.

“You sure you don’t want to go through your window?” Drew asked with concern.

Harry took a second to process what the other had just said, before he burst out laughing. Drew chuckled before opening up the door to their home. A wave of nostalgia hitting him as he stepped in, thinking back on the very first time he brought Harry in to this room as an almost five year old child. The way the child’s eyes lit up at the new environment. The way he would gasp at the sight of any magic. The way he would flinch if a hand or voice was raised around him. Looking over his shoulder, Drew smiled proudly at the strong, resilient, confident young man Harry had developed in to. He wouldn’t have traded anything in the world for the past eleven years.

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