Chapter 2. The Letter.
Get to the phone Harry.
Puzzled, Harry sat at his desk trying to figure out exactly what Moody meant. Phone? What on earth was that about? Moody never used phones, he did not believe in them. The only time Harry ever had a phone call was from Ron and Hermione. Frustrated, he stared down at the letter. The first letter he had since he was here, and this is what he got?
“ Fucks sake!” he said screwing the letter into a ball and chucking it into the bin. He slammed his hands down on the desk and then brought them up to rest his head in his hands. He sat there fuming when he heard the phone downstairs ringing. He raised his head slightly, listening out for Uncle Vernon’s Voice.
“ Hello?” He heard his uncle shout. “ WHO?”
There was silence and Harry didn’t dare breathe. Was this what Mad Eye was on about? Was he calling Harry? He waited, still and silent.
“ BOY!” He heard Vernon shout “ GET YOURSELF DOWN HERE RIGHT NOW!”
As if the wooden chair burnt him, Harry jumped up from his desk and ran to the door and down the stairs to come face to face with a purple-faced man. Happiness swelled inside Harry at the very thought of being contacted by his side, his world, by the people he called his real family. Harry snatched the phone from Uncle Vernon.
“ Harry? Is that you?”
“ Yes, of course, who else would it be you idiot”
“ Sorry” Harry said grinning, “ Why are you calling?”
“ Well we all decided that it would be a safer way of contacting you all the floo networks are being watched, and so is the post, in fact that clever friend of yours Hermione came up with the idea. Pure brilliance if you ask me.”
Harry smiled, Hermione was after all the smartest witch he’d ever met, and was happy that she had come up with a plan to get in contact with him, even if it was Mad Eye that he was talking to.
“ Anyway Harry, as you know it’s your birthday this coming Wednesday…”
“ Well after that, you’re not safe at your aunt and uncle’s. The protection that is currently keeping you safe, breaks as soon as you turn 17 and become an adult by our law.”
“Right… so what’s the plan?”
“ I’m getting to that. I’ll be coming to get you on Monday evening. Two nights before your birthday.”
“Really?!” Harry could not contain his excitement. That was only two days from now.
“Yes… Why would I lie about that?”
“ No reason... Go on...”
“ Anyway, just wanted to tell you, be ready by 6 o’clock, you hear? Do not be late. It is imperative that we leave on time.”
“ Got it. Thanks Mad Eye. ”
“ No problem Kid. Talk to you later”
“ Yeah.. see you Monday.”
Harry placed the receiver on the hook and bounded up the stairs ignoring his Aunt and Uncles complaints. Only stopping halfway up the stairs to call down to them.
“ I’m leaving for good. Just put up with me till Monday”
The Kitchen Table
Dear Mr. Lupin
I would like to organise a meeting with you, as I currently hold something that belongs to you. It was held in Albus Dumbledore’s will, and as I am currently very aware that the meeting in which Albus Dumbledore’s will is going to be discussed has yet to come, I was informed that I was to give you this letter before the 31st of July. Reasons are unknown to me, but I will be arriving shortly with Arthur Weasley.
This meeting will not take very long. Thank you for your co-operation
Minister for Magic
Remus passed the letter around to everyone at the kitchen table in the Burrow, and for a moment there was a hushed silence. What on earth could it be about? No one talked as everyone’s eyes fixated on the magic clock.
The arrow with Mr Weasley’s head on it was currently hovering over ‘travelling’ until it swung to ‘home’. Everyone jumped with its movement and looked at the door. They could hear faint voices, and footsteps that were growing louder and louder before they stopped altogether.
There was a knock at the kitchen door and both Remus and Mrs Weasley stood up with a jolt. Mrs Weasley ran to the door and after asking for the password, let both her husband and new Minister for Magic in.
“Thank you Molly.” said Scrimgeour, eyeing the room he had just walked into, “Apologies for interrupting your lunch, but Remus I wonder if we could have a quick word?” His eyes landed on Remus, who had made no further movement.
“Er, y-yes, Minister – this way” he stuttered, before regaining his composure and pointing the Minister towards the living room. He was keen to get away from the prying eyes of Molly, Arthur, Sirius, Ron, Hermione, Fred and George, who had all, apart from Ron, stopped eating and instead were watching intently at the scene before them.
Once in the living room, they both stood and stared at each other momentarily before the Minister opened his mouth.
“As I said in my letter, I have something from Albus Dumbledore that we have been asked to give you prior to 31st July. I assume this has something to do with Potter?”
“I would have to read it first Minister” replied Remus, honestly. “I take it then, that you have not read it?”
“No, I have not” said Scrimgeour, “Albus saw to it that only you could be the one to open it”
Then there was silence. Remus stared at the Minister, waiting for his next move. When there wasn’t one, he shuffled uncomfortably.
“May I have the letter then?” Remus asked.
Scrimgeour, reluctantly reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a letter. Before handing it over, he held it up. “I suppose you will not share the contents of this letter with me?” he enquired.
Remus thought about it for a moment, but then realised that if this letter were to be read by anybody, they would not be having this conversation. “No Minister,” he said solemly, “I am afraid that I won’t be able to do that”
“As I expected - fine” he huffed, “Take it”. The Minister slapped the letter into Remus’ outstretched hand.
Remus turned the letter over in his hand, unsure of what to expect. At his touch, the letter gave off a faint glow, as if it knew he was the intended recipient.
I am terribly sorry for asking this of you, but as you have this letter, it obviously means that I am no longer around. I therefore must ask you to do something for me.
Throughout the last couple of months before my death, I was out with Harry as you so know, however I spent a great deal of time attending to other matters.
I realise this is a sensitive topic, but there is only so much I can say in a letter so I shall get straight to the point. It is about Lily and James’ first child, Charlotte. Remus, my friend, I must confess to something that I am not proud of but something I hope in time, you will understand.
Charlotte is alive.
Remus’ heart stopped. His blood ran cold and the hairs on his arms and the back of his neck stood upright. This cannot be possible. He could hear his heart beating in his ears, almost unbearable. His eyes felt like they were vibrating, the words in front of him dancing on the page. He blinked several times to bring the letter back into view and inhaled deeply, as until now he realised, he had been holding his breath. With shaking hands, he continued reading.
Forgive me for hiding it from you for all these years, but believe me when I say, I thought it was in everyone’s best interest – particularly Harry’s. The time, however, has come for them to reunite.
It took me a while to gain her trust, as I am sure that you can imagine, she was quite angry with me. I believe that she now understands why I did what I did, though I fear I will never have her forgiveness. Nor yours, or Harry’s.
I sense great power in Charlotte, a power I know will be of the upmost importance when the time comes. You will of course know this; you were, after all, her Godfather. Sometimes, we believed that you knew her better than her parents.
She is waiting for you and she will share everything I have told her, with you and Harry in much greater detail than this letter could ever provide. If I know her as well as I will allow myself to believe, then she will have been camping nearby the Burrow for the past week. She promised me, when I gave her the address, that she would not approach until you were ready. You will find her at the end of the road, in the nearby field - the one with the horses.
Rufus Scrimgeour had left the house as soon as he had handed over the letter to Remus. He said he had to get back to the Ministry.
Everyone had crowded close to Remus to see what was going on, and who the letter was from. The house was completely silent. Confusion and anxiousness washed over them all as they watched Remus’ eyes flick back and forth across the page.
Shaking, Remus held the letter in his hand.
“No” he breathed, staring at the letter, “that’s not possible”
It was unbelievable. It could not be, there was no way she was alive, he had checked the night that it had happened, and she was not anywhere to be seen. He should know, he spent hours checking for her, calling for her, and in the end after weeks of searching, he had to give up. He had never recovered from the loss.
“Remus, my friend, what is it?” asked Sirius worriedly, reaching out and placing a hand on his friend’s shoulder.
The sensation of Sirius’ hand on his shoulder brought Remus back into the room. He looked at his friend before falling into the nearest armchair.
Sirius knelt next to the armchair that his friend had just collapsed into. His eyes were open and he was clearly conscious, but Sirius questioned whether Remus was truly there; his mind seemed to have wandered.
“Remus” he said, more firmly this time. “Talk to me, what does the letter say? What’s happened Moony?”
At the sound of his nickname, Remus’ eyes darted to Sirius. He tried to speak, but it felt as though his mouth, throat and entire existence had dried up. He managed to make a sound somewhere between a grunt and a whimper and handed the letter to Sirius to read.
Confused and somewhat bewildered, Sirius hesitantly took the letter from Remus. He glanced up at the group that were all nervously waiting for some sign that everything was okay. He shrugged his shoulders and looked down at the letter and began to read.
By the time he had finished, it was clear to everyone in the room that something significant had happened, because as soon as Sirius had finished reading, he fell back on to his heels with his hand over his mouth.
“Remus” he breathed, taking his hand away from his mouth and staring at his friend with wide eyes “Remus, how is this possible?”
Remus, who looked as though he was about to be sick, shook his head. He was pale and clammy and looked terrified. “I don’t know” he said, hoarsely.
“Sorry, but what the bloody hell is going on!” demanded Ron, breaking the silence and making everyone jump.
“Ronald Weasley!” scolded Mrs Weasley, frowning at her youngest son, “Watch your language!”
“Remus, dear” she continued softly, “Whatever is the matter?” She approached Remus carefully, followed by her husband.
Ron, Hermione, Fred and George all exchanged quizzical looks as they watched the ‘grown ups’ in a huddle by the armchair under the window.
Remus looked up at Molly and Arthur, the only other people in the room who would understand what he was about to say. “Charlotte – she’s alive” he whispered to them both. Molly gasped and clapped her hand to her mouth, whereas Mr Weasley looked simply at Remus and then at Sirius.
“You cannot be serious” he said to them quietly, his face unreadable. “You mean to tell me, after all this time?”
Remus nodded. It was all he could do.
“But where?” asked Molly, barely audible.
Remus turned his head to look out of the window, that looked out on to the garden path that led all the way to the dusty road. If you turned left at the end of the garden path it would take you into the nearby village. If you took a right at the end of the garden path it would lead you down to a dead end, leading into some fields. His eyes followed the road to the right and stopped on a large expanse of green. He could see the horses.
“There” he replied.
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