Chapter 3: The Revelation
It had been a full two hours since Remus had first read the letter, left for him by Dumbledore. Sirius looked at his friend, who was sitting next to him at the kitchen table in complete silence, nursing his third glass of Firewiskey.
It had taken Sirius an hour and two generous glasses of the amber liquid to get Remus into a semi-functioning state where he would be able to talk to the group of people about to descend on the Burrow. Molly had called an emergency meeting of the Order and they were waiting on Mad Eye and Tonks to arrive before they could start. Bill and Fleur had arrived first, along with Charlie who was home for their wedding, and were sat at the table. Kingsley was the only other member who was present, as everyone else had other pressing business matters to attend to.
Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Fred and George were also in attendance, but only because they had been privy to the events earlier that day as they were reminded by Molly for the third time.
“Remember,” she said sternly wagging her finger at the five faces who were standing in the doorway to the kitchen from the living room, “This does not mean that you’re a part of the Order and can attend further meetings”
“We know mum!” said Ron, exasperated. Hermione simply nodded in agreement, as it did not sit well with her, that Mrs Weasley thought she of all people would disobey an order. Ginny however, did not want to push her luck as she rarely got a chance to be a part of any sort of discussion relating to order business and she was not about to risk losing her place so instead stayed silent.
“But we’re of age!” said Fred and George in unison, “Why can’t we join?”
“Because I am still your mother and I said so!” snapped Mrs Weasley, putting an end to any further discussion. Turning on her heel, she walked back to the kitchen table and sat down next to her husband.
“What’s the matter Hermione?” asked Ginny, peering past George at her friend “Why do you look so nervous? Mum just said we could be here.”
“I know,” whispered Hermione, “I just think Harry should be here too. It feels wrong without him.”
Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Fred and George all exchanged an uncomfortable look. Just as Ron opened his mouth to say something, there was a knock on the kitchen door. Mrs Weasley went over to complete the task of asking for passwords and it was clear that the atmosphere in the room had changed. The meeting was about to start. Ron closed his mouth and looked at Hermione “It’ll be alright” he said unconvincingly, because he agreed with his best friend.
Watching Mad Eye and Tonks take their seats at the table, he thought to himself, Harry should definitely be here.
Stunned silence filled the kitchen at the Burrow. No one could quite believe what they had just heard. The members of the Order sat completely still, occasionally sharing a glance with each other; though something seemed unusual about some of the shared looks.
“So, you mean to say that Harry has a sister, who is alive, and most likely just down the road from our house?” asked Ron incredulously, breaking the silence. He was still standing in the doorway with Hermione, Ginny, Fred and George. They had not wished to make their presence too known, through fear of being asked to leave.
“That’s right” said Sirius looking over at Ron who had taken a couple of steps forward, thankful the conversation was starting again. He was never fond of an uncomfortable silence.
“Blimey” muttered Ron, looking back at Hermione. They both shared a knowing look. This was going to blindside Harry and they were both worried at what that would look like.
“But wait,” said Hermione, finally finding her voice and looking at the Order members around the table. She took a couple of steps forward to join Ron where he was standing. Everyone at the table looked at her, apart from Remus.
“Why hasn’t anyone said anything about Harry’s sister until now? Why has he never mentioned it to us?” she asked, motioning at herself and Ron.
Remus, now on his fourth glass of Firewiskey and looking a little worse for wear, raised his head and looked at Hermione. “Because,” he croaked, “Because, Harry doesn’t know he has a sister.”
Hermione’s eyes widened with horror, looking frantically at the members of the Order around the table. “What! You mean no one in this room, or Harry, knew he had a sister? How is that possible?”
To her surprise, some of the order members looked away awkwardly, the rest looked puzzled. Remus buried his face in his hands. “Only some of us knew”
Sirius put his hand on Remus’ shoulder. He took a moment to compose himself. He was trying to be strong for his friend but in reality, this was just as hard for him as it was for Remus.
Sirius, taking a deep breath, looked over to Hermione to explain, “Only the original members of the Order knew. We were sworn to secrecy by Dumbledore.”
Hermione opened her mouth to speak, but Ginny got there first. “But Mum, Dad, you weren’t in the original order and it was clear earlier today that you knew what Remus was talking about when he got the letter from Dumbledore.”
Mr and Mrs Weasley looked at their daughter. It was a while before Molly spoke. She had the attention of the whole room and she looked uncomfortable.
“My brother told me, Gideon. He was in the original order and we were always so close. I only told your father when Ron became friends with Harry six years ago” she said, sadly, looking to her husband and then at rest of the order. “I approached Dumbledore in Harry’s first year at Hogwarts and told him that Arthur and I knew. He made us swear not to say anything.”
“This is unbelievable.” said Bill, leaning back in his chair. He ran his hands through his hair and looked at Fleur, his soon to be wife. “Unbelievable.”
“Oui” she said in agreement. Unsure of what else she could say, she took Bill’s hand in hers and gave it a gentle squeeze.
“I can’t believe you knew.” Ron said to his parents.
“And didn’t say anything.” added Ginny, standing next to her brother. “How could you?”
“We didn’t have a choice” said Arthur, looking at his children. He could not quite tell, but the way they were looking at him and Molly was not a look he had ever seen before. Was it disgust?
“A choice?” asked Fred, joining Ron, Hermione and Ginny from the doorway, “Harry has a sister! He has a right to know! Imagine if you gave me or George away when we were born, but didn’t tell us the other existed? I’d be furious! Living my life feeling incomplete? Like something was missing. How do you know Harry doesn’t feel that?” George, stepping forward, nodded in agreement.
“It wasn’t that simple, Fred!” said Sirius, his voice beginning to rise, “It was different back then! We lived in constant fear! Dumbledore was leading the Order and when he gave us an instruction, it was for the safety of our lives. We trusted his word and never asked questions!”
“But! How –”
“Enough!” came the booming voice of Kingsley. “That’s enough.”
The room fell silent. Kingsley looked around the room, until his eyes fell on those of Mad Eye.
“There will be time enough to debate the rights and wrongs of Albus Dumbledore and the existing members of the Order. But!” he said, holding his hand up, silencing the sounds of protest. “Now is not the time.
“While I do think that – even for Dumbledore, this seems quite extreme. I have always, and will always, trust his word. As should all of you. We will get answers but for now, we need to think about Harry. Remus, Sirius, what are the next steps?”
Tonks, who up until now had been in a silent state of shock, looked at Remus who still had his face buried in his hands and gently squeezed his arm. She had so many questions and though frustrated by the total lack of answers, decided to wait until there was a better time to ask. For now, she would try and be as supportive as she could. “Remus?” she whispered, shaking his arm lightly.
Sirius looked at Kingsley and then at Remus and Tonks and took another deep breath. “I don’t know.”
“Well it’s obvious isn’t it?” asked Hermione, “We have to get Harry from the Dursley’s and tell him everything!”. Hermione had started to wring her hands, a nervous habit of hers when she sensed trouble or, more accurately, was involved in something troublesome.
“No.” came Remus’ muffled voice through his hands. “No, I need to see her. We need to be sure.” Remus rubbed his face and then placed both hands on the table either side his glass. He made a movement like he was about to get up but stopped himself.
“No offence mate, but don’t you think waiting until the morning, when you’re not two thirds of the way through a bottle of Firewiskey, would be better?” asked Bill, leaning into the table slightly. He looked up at his brother, who for the entire time this had played out, had been leant against the kitchen sink a few feet from where Remus sat. Charlie made a slight movement, ready to jump in, should Remus need a little assistance in standing up.
“No.” said Remus, more clearly than he had sounded all evening. He looked at Sirius. “No, I need to see her now. Right now.” He took out his wand and waved it, muttering something under his breath. Just like that, the Firewiskey was gone and he looked steady; not at all as though he had been heavily drinking moments before.
“Moony, are you sure?” Sirius asked, eyeing up his friend. A sudden overwhelming feeling had taken a hold of him. Was it nervousness? “Surely, tomorrow will be better? It’s been almost sixteen years. One more night won’t make a difference.”
Remus stood up quickly, making everyone jump. “That’s just it, Padfoot. It’s been sixteen years. I am not wasting one more second.” He said, forcefully.
“But Remus - ” protested Tonks, “why don’t we talk about this first. We could all go together.”
“No!” shouted Remus. Turning away from Tonks, he looked at his best friend. “Please, Padfoot.” The tone in his voice had changed. It wasn’t anger, it was grief.
Sirius looked straight up at Remus and saw the pain in his eyes. A pain he recognised all too well because he had felt it. He was feeling it. Nodding, he stood up and placed a hand on his shoulder.
The two friends started making their way to the back door, when Mad Eye spoke, “Wait.” He barked.
The whole room turned and stared at Moody. For a moment, they had forgotten that he was there as this entire time he had sipped silently from his flask, saying nothing. Moody stood up from where he was sat at the head of the table closest to the back door in the kitchen.
He walked over to Sirius and Remus.
“I know what this means to you, to both of you” he began, almost sounding sympathetic. “But, remain vigilant. This could be a trap. I trusted Dumbledore, but even so, I think one of us should come with you.”
“No Mad Eye,” said Sirius, “This is something we have to do alone.”
Remus nodded. “We’ll still be in sight. We’ll send up red sparks if for some unknown reason, this is a sick and twisted joke and we get into trouble.”
Remus thought about what he had just said and felt nauseous. What if this was a trap?
“It’s not a trap, Moony.” muttered Sirius, knowing full well what his best friend was doing. Trying to downplay the enormity of this situation so that he would not start to hope. Sirius could understand that, he hardly dared believe it himself. “We’ll be okay.” He added, mainly to Mad Eye, but glanced around the room at the others, before looking back at Remus.
“Come on. It’s now or never mate.”
With that, the two friends walked out of the back door and down the garden path.
The others, left in the Burrow, all walked to the kitchen window to watch. Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Fred and George could not see past the large group. Ginny motioned to them all to follow her into the living room which had a window looking out to the dusty road and fields. A slightly better view than the kitchen.
They all peered out of the window, watching Sirius and Remus walk down the path. They both turned left onto the dusty road. The Burrow was surrounded by greenery and crop fields, except one, which was home to a few wild horses. The pair continued to walk towards the field with the horses. No one dared breathe.
Finally, Remus and Sirius reached the large field gate and had stopped in front of it. They stayed there for what felt like a lifetime. Suddenly, the gate vanished, and they took a couple of steps forward, disappearing behind some of the bushes and hedges that lined the edge of field entrance.
The occupants of the Burrow, both in the kitchen and the living room waited with bated breath.
There were no red sparks.
Ron and Hermione looked at each other silently. Both pale and with the same wide eyed, slightly panicked look on their faces. They thought the same thing. How on earth was Harry going to react.
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