The trio reached Dumbledore's office in silence. After Harry's comment about Clover's voice he lapsed into deep thought and refused to answer his friend's prying questions until later.

They entered the office without knocking. They had officially become part of Dumbledore's "usual crowd" and he told them not to bother with casualties such as asking for admittance. "His home was their home" he told them. So they made themselves comfortable.

Dumbledore smiled at them from across the desk before picking up a bowl of sweets and offering it to them. "Lemon drop?" he asked politely.

"No thank you, Professor" Hermione said dutifully. Harry shook his head shortly and Ron snatched a treat out of the basin.

Dumbledore retook his seat and continued his smiling in silence.

After a long moment of silence Harry shifted in his seat, causing Dumbledore's eyes to latch onto him. Harry shifted again uncomfortably and shot Hermione a look.

"Er...Headmaster, shall we?" she asked timidly, now shifting herself under his watchful eye.

He blinked a few times and rose from his seat to pace before them. "Of course" he said well naturedly. "Where shall I start?"

"Perhaps with the meeting we missed" Ron suggested.

"An excellent choice, Mr. Weasley!" Dumbledore commented. "It wasn't much. Just a few reports from Professor Snape and a wonderful delivery from your father, Ronald."

Hermione and Harry shot a glance at a rather please Ron and turned back to the Headmaster.

Dumbledore strode over to a cabinet behind his desk and pulled it open quickly, extracting a roughly carved wooden basin. He carried it to his desk and set it between himself and the students gently. He then pulled out his wand and placed it to his temple. With a strained look he tore a memory from his brain and deposited it in the silvery mass that filled the basin.

Without warning a tall, eerie figure rose from the liquid. His hooked nose and sleek hair gave no doubt to whom it was. Professor Snape rotated slowly before them, a small, silver transparency.

Dumbledore sat and crossed his fingers in front of him, leaning back leisurely to watched the Potions Master with a thoughtful look.

The Trio settled for leaning forward more, to get an up-close look at the seemingly weary man.

They watched him silently for a moment before the image spoke.

"I have been to the lair of the Dark Lord and with much success. He still is not aware of the role I play in his army. He keeps me to the front of every queue and at his elbow when we sup. I am still in his innermost circle and he still resides every secret he holds with myself, Lucius, and Bellatrix."

Then Snape stopped talking and Dumbledore sat up, a sparkle in his eye.

"Here is where Messer's. Weasley and Weasley verbally attack Professor Snape for "Bragging about his Dark Side Status" I believe it was" Dumbledore explained.

And sure enough, the transparency of Snape's face distorted into a sneer and he straightened his robes and lifted his chin.

Dumbledore sat back and the Professor continued.

"Before I was so rudely interrupted, I was about to tell you the orders Lucius, Bella, and myself received from the Dark Lord.

"He requested the three of us to organize a certain mission. A mission that would lead a group of eight Deatheaters into Hogsmeade on the first visit of the year for the students."

Hermione inhaled sharply but was silence by a uncoordinated wave of Ron's hand which clipped her sharply under the chin. Hermione spun around to glare at Ron who grinned sheepishly and gestured quickly at Snape, who had continued talking.

"You're only hope is to set patrols around every corner of Hogsmeade and be sure you outnumber them. The Dark Lord already has the correct date of the Hogsmeade visit and he will not be distracted from his focus on this particular mission.

"Personally I think it's rather unnecessary. It seems he has no chance of coming out of this victorious. At most he will get back all his men in one piece, if that." Then Snape gave a small bow and tucked his robes underneath him to perch on the edge of his invisible chair, before slowly fading from sight.

Dumbledore gave a small nod of his head and replaced the pensive on its shelf, latching the doors shut firmly over it. When he returned to his seat the students noticed the slight frown tugging at his lips.

"After Severus's announcement," Dumbledore began, "the Order quickly began arguing over the best form of action to defend the students and the town. Many thought it was safest to lock down the school on that particular date and let no student out."

Hermione interrupted breathlessly; "But then Voldemort would know we were tipped off! He would know we have a spy! Professor Snape wouldn't be safe and we certainly wouldn't be!" she argued desperately.

Harry nodded his head urgently and Ron stared wide-eyed between Dumbledore and Hermione.

The Headmaster raised his hand calmly to silence Hermione. "Yes, Miss. Granger. We have thought of that. We have thought of everything. And we have come to a solution.

"We will, indeed, post Order members around Hogsmeade and we will, indeed, allow the students to visit. The students I am talking about are members of a particular rebellious group that was started some two years previously." Dumbledore looked at Harry pointedly and it clicked; the DA! Dumbledore wanted to reinstate the DA!

"However," he continued, "The DA will not be a large enough crowd to fool the Deatheaters. We'll need some students to sacrifice their safety. This is where the three of you come in. I need you to pick out those students whom you can trust in a battle and form a list for me. But do not tell anyone of the attack that has been planned by Voldemort. I do not want the whole school riled up!"

Harry and Ron nodded and had already begun thinking about what students they could trust to hold their own in a fight but Hermione spoke up.

"And what of the delivery you mentioned by Mr. Weasley?" she asked.

Before Dumbledore could answer, however, there was a light knock at the door.

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