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Chapter 1. The Plan

 

It was a chilly night in July, quite unusual except for the fact that the weather was hardly predictable in England. The wind howled and whipped around the abnormally shaped cottage that was The Burrow. For anyone looking at it from the outside, would worry that it would soon topple from the sheer force of the gales. To the trained eye however, its bizarre shape and jaunty angles, were obviously being held together by magic and it would take a lot more than a fierce wind to knock it down.

 

There was a gentle, warm and welcoming light coming from the kitchen window on the lowest level of the house where a group of people sat huddled together on the long, wooden kitchen bench. The atmosphere, however, was tense and riddled with anxiety.

 

“We have got to think of a better way to get Harry out of that wretched house, once and for all” said Sirius, pausing to take a sip of Butterbeer and scowling slightly. “We’ve had no contact with him, just assurances that he’s alright. He must be going out of his mind!”

 

“Well what do you propose Sirius? Clearly, you don’t agree with my suggestion!” hissed Mrs Weasley.

 

“Now now, Molly, Sirius” said Remus, holding a hand up to Sirius, before he could retort. “Let us not get irritated with one another. It is of no use to anyone. Mad-Eye, what do you think? Kingsley, what’s the latest from the Ministry?”

 

“Well, we know that the Floo networks are being monitored, as are Portkeys and the skies. It would be unwise to use any of those options. I believe that Mad-Eye has come up with the best suggestion, Mad-Eye, care to explain?” came Kingsley’s low and rumbling voice.

 

The Order turned to look at Mad Eye, waiting expectantly for an explanation. Mad Eye, who was leaning back slightly in his chair and cleaning his magical eye on a cloth, did not respond immediately.

 

“Well?” barked Sirius, “We don’t have all day Mad Eye and - must you do that right now?” Sirius motioned his head towards the magical eye that made an ever so slight squeak on the cloth.

 

Mad Eye looked up at Sirius and without breaking eye contact, popped the eye back into the socket with a distinct pop!

 

“If your eye had been worn by someone other than you Sirius, I can assure you, that you would want to clean it too.

 

“But moving on to more pressing matters. My plan is that I go and collect Potter myself using side-along apparition and a disillusion charm”

 

“Why you?” asked Sirius, “Why can’t I go? I am his godfather after all!”

 

Remus sighed but did not bother to respond. The closer it came to getting Harry away from the Dursleys, the more irritable and quite frankly, annoying, Sirius became. Mad Eye could have this one.

 

“Because Sirius, I am an ex-Auror who has ample experience in situations like this and you don’t” growled Mad Eye, “and let’s not forget that you, though you can walk as a free man, are still a target for You-Know-Who!”

 

“I don’t care!” shouted Sirius, standing up abruptly waving his arms in frustration, “I’m his godfather!”

 

“Exactly!” said Mad Eye, who stood up awkwardly and limped over to Sirius, backing him into the edge of the kitchen counter. Though not too different in height, Mad Eye seemed to tower over Sirius. “Exactly” he repeated in a threatening whisper. The room was silent, all eyes were on the pair.

 

“You are Harry’s Godfather. That is precisely why you of all people should not go. If You-Know-Who captures you, if he uses you against the boy, what do you think will happen. It was not too long ago when he did just that and look at how that turned out!

 

“But by all means. If you don't care, well go on then. Go and get yourself captured and see what it does to Potter. Let’s just hope You-Know-Who doesn’t possess him again!” Mad Eye turned away from Sirius and limped back to the kitchen table. Sirius stood silently, pale in the face and a light sweat had appeared on his forehead. Mad Eye was right, but recently, he found it harder to remain level-headed. Feeling more and more nettled by the situation, he looked at the room of eyes staring at him waiting for his response. It irritated him further.

 

“Fine.” He muttered, “But don’t you ever use that against me again, or your remaining eye will live to regret it” and with that he stormed out of the house and into the gardens of the Burrow, suddenly needing some air. The house shook with the force of the door slamming shut. Partly due to Sirius but also because at that same moment, the wind whipped up and caught the door assisting with his somewhat dramatic departure.

 

The remaining members of the order were silent, stunned at Sirius’ overreaction.

 

“I don’t know what’s gotten into him lately” mumbled Tonks, desperate to break the deafening silence. “I’m sure he didn’t mean that Mad Eye”. Tonks, who was particularly fond of Mad Eye as he had trained her as an Auror, was embarrassed by Sirius’ remarks.

 

“I know” said Mad Eye, taking a sip of Firewiskey from his hipflask, “it’s not the first time I’ve been threatened, won’t be the last, I’m sure”

 

“I don’t know that it was a real threat, Alastor” said Mr Weasley, taking of his glasses and wiping them clean on his worn out sweater, “I think he’s just feeling frustrated at not having Harry around, despite being able to offer him a different home. He never did quite understand Dumbledore’s instructions”

 

“Does anyone?” asked Kingsley, much to everyone’s amusement “I for one, generally take his word without ever trying to understand what it means, I just trust it is for a reason and it will work out in the end”

 

“Well said,” laughed Remus, clapping Kingsley on the shoulder, “So are we agreed then? Alastor will retrieve Harry, two days before his birthday and bring him here?”

 

The order all nodded and murmured their agreement.

 

“Perfect,” said Remus, standing up, “If that’s all then, I’m going to try and speak to Sirius. Can’t guarantee you’ll get an apology Mad Eye, but I’ll do my best”

 

“Don’t bother Remus,” said Mad Eye, “It’ll take a great deal more than that to offend me. Just get him on board so he doesn’t try anything stupid.”

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