Chapter 22 What lies behind the veil Oky dokey, here’s chapter 22, ready for your enjoyment. (Even if it is a little cruddy, cuz I still feel like I’m in a funk.) So we are over 200 reviews now, and that, well that just plain rocks. I’m putting the finishing touches on this chapter now, and I’ll post it tonight. (I’m waiting for my bf to come over….oh he stresses me out) Please review, even if I am in a funk. I love to read your reviews, and try to answer as many as I have time for, but it’s hard because I’ve started my study schedule for finals, I’m working, I have homework, and I have to keep up with my social life. I am seriously busting my arse off. That’s beside the point…ENJOY!!!! * ** *** ** * * ** *** ** * Harry spent all of Sunday with Ginny, Hermione, Ron, and Brooke. He enjoyed being able to just sit back and listen to his friends talking with each other, with no fights. Ginny and Brooke spent a lot of time talking with each other, working out any problems they had with each other, while Ron and Hermione snuck off together, Harry didn’t want to know what they were exactly doing. During that time he busied himself with homework, and more research on Acer Motar. * ** *** ** * * ** *** ** * The next month went by just as smoothly. There had been no altercations between anyone, and everything seemed back to normal. Brooke and Ginny had successfully repaired their friendship, and Harry had dismissed any feelings he had for Brooke who apparently had now set her sights on Seamus (sp?) Finnigan, who was more than happy to accept her advances. Ginny was still seeing Kurt Haus, who according to her, had told her she was the most beautiful girl in the world. Ginny had taken to talking about Kurt regularly, Brooke still hadn’t mentioned her Hogsmeade run in with Kurt to Ginny yet. Whenever she talked about Kurt, Harry could feel his blood boil, as he thought about how much he would just like to push Kurt into a large pit full of fire crabs, however he restrained himself. He was almost certain that his feelings for Brooke had been successfully been replaced by Ginny. No matter how hard he tried he couldn’t forget about her, and felt even more stupid for saying the things he had said to her at Christmas, knowing now that none of them had been true. Hermione and Ron’s relationship was thriving, and both seemed very happy with the other. Ron turned to mush around Hermione, who in turn would scold him in some way or another, but then switch to doting upon him. Harry laughed whenever he saw her do this, thinking vaguely how much they reminded him of Mr. and Mrs. Weasley. Harry’s Acer Motar lessons were going very well. Professor Stallworth had told Harry on countless occasions how far along he was coming in such a short amount of time, and hoped that he would have a firm grasp on his powers by the end of the year, if not sooner. Harry could now control his emotions to the point where the power didn’t involuntarily switch on when he was feeling a particularly large emotion like he had in the common room a few weeks back. He was also able to do most minor spells without his wand, and was beginning to work his way up to more powerful wand less magic, like the summoning and levitation spells. Everything was going well, there was no denying it. That however, would quickly change. * ** *** ** * * ** *** ** * It was the first day of March, and winter was slowly subsiding into spring. Harry crawled out of bed and went into the bathroom to prepare himself for the day. Upon entering the large bathroom he examined himself in the mirror, frowning at his appearance. He didn’t look good, but at least he looked a little better than he had during his weeks of depression at the beginning of term. His face no longer held dark circles under the eyes, and an unshaven beard, nor was his hair long anymore, having cut it back to its previous appearance. The downside was the hollow look of his face and features. He had lost a good ten, fifteen pounds since the beginning of term. He had almost completely stopped eating, he just couldn’t. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to, it was just the fact that he was now so hungry that he couldn’t stomach the food. He could barely take two bites without becoming nauseous, and he would immediately have to stop eating whatever it was, before he made himself throw up. His friends had noticed of course just like they always did, but he told them not to worry, soon coming up with ways to make it look like he was eating more. He now had begun to load his plate full with food at meals, eating as much as he could, then vanishing the remainder of the food off his plate when they weren’t watching, and when they asked him why he kept losing so much weight he would simply reply, ‘stress’. He gazed at his reflection for a few more moments before taking a shower and changed into his Hogwarts robes. He re-entered his dorm seeing that Ron had already left, he made his way down to the Great Hall, smiling and acknowledging all of the greetings he received from passer bys. When he entered the Great Hall, however, it was to a much different response. The silence surrounding the crowded hall was deafening. Teary eyes gazed up at him as he entered; a few whispers followed him as he slowly walked towards the Gryfindor table. He glanced around nervously around from the various grief stricken students. He stopped when he saw the look on his friend’s faces. Ginny was crying into Kurt’s shoulder (Harry inwardly clenched as he watched them). Ron’s expression was stony and hard as he held a sobbing Hermione. Something was very, very wrong. He sat down across from Ron, merely watching everyone’s faces, afraid to ask what was wrong, dreading the answer that awaited him. He was spared by Ron shoving the Daily Prophet in front of his face. Harry gulped and stared up into Ron’s eyes who simply nodded, telling him to read. He shifted his gaze down to the paper he was now clutching in his hands and read.
Voldemort Resurfaces, by Joe Netburn
Late last night the wizarding world was taken aback at the news that Voldemort has finally resurfaced and begun his attacks. It was not up until last year that the wizarding community was alerted to the dark lords rebirth by none other than Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore, after a year of being ignored and shunned, despite their constant warnings. This recent attack just shows how foolish we were to ever have doubted them.
Last night Voldemort entered into the small suburban neighborhood of Forngrove Plaza, a entirely wizarding neighborhood. Voldemort proceeded in entering each home individually and killing the inhabitants. It is estimated that a total of two hundred witches and wizards died last night, our hearts go out to their families and friends.
This is the largest attack ever seen by Voldemort, even during his terrible reign more than seventeen years ago. The most disturbing aspect to this attack however was seen in the skies. Along with the dark mark, in the air floated the words Your Next Potter.
Of course the wizarding world was made aware to the existence of a prophecy and Harry Potter, but what could this cryptic message mean? Is everybody’s favorite teenager in trouble? No one for sure at Hogwarts has confirmed the condition of Mr. Potter, although the Daily Prophet has sent representatives along with Ministry Officials to Hogwarts to confirm the boy’s state.
Just recently Mr. Potter gave an interview which was detailed in several well-known wizarding publications, where he mentioned no word of a threat. One thing however looms in the back of this reporters mind. In the interview Mr. Potter when asked of his knowledge on ‘the power the dark lord knows not’ answered that he could not discuss the matter. Does this mean that the young Mr. Potter has discovered the power needed to defeat the dark lord? We can only hope, and pray that he had and that his safety is ensured so that this whole ordeal may soon be over.
He stared at the paper, mouth hanging open in shock. Two hundred dead? A message in the sky? And the fact that the reporter had inadvertently brought up a reference to his hidden power, that he wanted to keep just that, hidden. His mind was numb, he couldn’t absorb the information, it was all so frighteningly real. He realized with a jolt, what the note in the sky must mean, Voldemort was nearing the point where he was going to go after Harry. It would all soon be over.
He chanced a look up at his friends. Hermione and Ginny were still crying where as Ron was clenching his fists and examining the table beneath him. This wasn’t happening, this couldn’t be happening. Not now, not while they were all so happy. Not now that no one was fighting with each other. Not now that he was coming so far in his training with professor Stallworth. Then an idea clunked into his brain, he had to see Stallworth, had to talk to him about why this was all going on, surely he could help.
Harry hadn’t told anyone, but he now regarded Professor Stallworth as his mentor. He looked up to him, not only because he used to work with his father, but too because he didn’t hide things back from him. Harry appreciated the honesty that Professor Stallworth showed him, and only hoped that he would be honest with him now as well.
He watched the tense room once more before he raised himself from his seat and walked up to the front of the staff table. He looked up at all of the teacher’s faces before he spoke. They all were grim looking, all seemingly lost in their own thoughts. Harry was quick to notice that Dumbledore wasn’t amongst them, probably off to help the ministry. Harry turned his head back to Stallworth who was staring at the plate in front of him appearing to be lost in his own mind. Harry cleared his throat and spoke.
“Professor Stallworth I really need to talk to you.” Stallworth looked up at Harry’s words, and nodded standing up and gesturing to a door behind him, which Harry recognized as the room that he had entered upon being chosen as the fourth Tri-wizard champion in his fourth year.
He followed the Professor swiftly into the room, very aware of all the eyes and tear filled whispers that followed him. Once inside, he latched the door shut quickly behind him, and turned to look into his Professors face, which seemed like it hadn’t seen sleep in days.
“What’s this mean?” Asked Harry hurriedly, anxious to know what was going on.
“Well as I’m sure you’re aware Voldemort has struck, but far worse than we ever imagined possible. Of course we should have known, he was quiet for so long, too long if you were to ask me.” Answered Stallworth, who had begun pacing the small room.
“The message in the sky, what does that mean for me?”
“It means one thing, and one thing only Harry, that Voldemort has decided that he has waited long enough, and I fear that the time to face him is swiftly approaching, which means you will have to concentrate on harnessing the Acer Motar, even more now.”
“He’s going to get me? How? I’m at Hogwarts, I’m safe here.” Harry said it out loud more for his sake than to ask a question.
“That hasn’t stopped him before though has it? We believed you safe in your first year, your second year, your third year, your fourth year, and your fifth year, but some way or another he was able to outsmart us, he was able to get to you, and before we were able to save you, stop him from harming you to the point of no return. But now, he has been back in power for three years, completely unseen or heard of for the last two. Merlin only knows how his powers have grown, and the ways he has thought of to bring you down. You must be ready Harry, no where is safe now.”
“But this is Hogwarts.” Said Harry, now struggling to keep his voice steady, nerves threatening to overpower him.
“Yes this is Hogwarts, but sometimes even the safest places aren’t safe anymore, especially since Remus believes there to be a spy amongst us.”
“Yes, he’s been tailing the death eaters for awhile now and from the small bits of information he was able to receive he has come to the conclusion that there is a spy working for the death eaters in the castle.”
“Snape!” Harry exclaimed.
“Well he would seem like a likely candidate, but I am afraid that Dumbledore trusts him, as do I, meaning that it is someone that no one would suspect.”
“Who would no one suspect?”
“A student.” Stallworth replied simply.
“A student? But, who, obviously one of the Slytherins.” Said Harry.
“Well I would have thought the Slytherins as well, but after veritaserum was slipped into their pumpkin juice they weren’t able to tell us anything, they are innocent of supplying information to Voldemort.”
“So you’re saying it could be anyone, someone I trust, someone I’m friends with?”
“Precisely, which means that you MUST be careful what you tell people not only about the order and Voldemort, but especially about you. The way Voldemort was able to lure you away so many times was that he knew information that may seem trivial, but supplied him with the means to get to you.”
“I understand.” Said Harry, trying to grasp the fact that any one of his friends could be a death eater. Deep down he knew that it had happened to his parents with Pettigrew, but he never believed that any of his friends would really become a turncoat, never.
“Now Harry, all classes today and tomorrow have been cancelled, and I do not expect you to come to your lessons with me either, I dare say everyone needs a chance to recover from the news, and I know you do.”
“Why don’t you go up to your dorm and have a lay down, you seem like you could use it, you don’t look too good.” Said Stallworth, examining Harry’s appearance. With a jolt Harry realized that Stallworth must be talking of the gaunt appearance that now haunted him, and the way his robes hung off his body.
“yeah, I’ve been feeling a bit, uh, under the weather lately, yeah that’s it. Well I think I’m going to go take that nap now. Thanks professor, I hope everything gets sorted out.” Said Harry hastily as he let himself out of the room, wanting to avoid any discussion of his recent appearance. He stood outside the door for a few minutes before realizing that everyone was staring at him. Without one backward glance he tore out of the Great Hall, ignoring the shouts of his name behind him.
He ran all the way up to the portrait hole, hearing footsteps behind him as he went. He hurriedly said the password and launched himself up to his dorms, not really wanting to talk to anybody.
He climbed into his bed and pulled the curtains shut around him. He could hear voices downstairs apparently debating whether or not to go up and see him. He didn’t really care, and after sitting on the bed for a while he began to feel drowsy.
“Maybe a nap is a good idea.” He mumbled to no one in particular as he sank down into the sheets and shut his eyes.
It was a wonderful dream. He was with Ginny, and they were dancing while Professor Sprout played the piano. Everyone was watching them, but a few faces stood out clearly. There was Ron and Hermione, and Neville? Harry found it odd that his dream would contain Neville, but brushed it aside, turning his head back to face Ginny’s. But when he turned his head back he didn’t see Ginny Weasley, he saw a fluttering veil.
He spun around quickly, no one was around, they were all gone, and he was standing on the dais in the middle of the room that Sirius had fell to his death in. He looked once more at the veil, this time hearing voices, whispers.
He walked slowly towards the veil, eager to examine it. Maybe there was a way to get Sirius out? He kept walking, closer, and closer. Suddenly he felt his foot hook around a piece of rubble and he flew forward, straight forward and into the veil.
He clambered to his feet, looking around wildly, he was no longer in the department of mysteries, but a great stone room, with several doors leading in all different directions. He took a step closer to the door directly to his left, he didn’t know why, but he was drawn to this door. He opened it carefully, poking his head inside, and felt his jaw drop at what he saw.
It was Sirius, and not only Sirius, but two other people, his parents. They looked exactly like they did in the pictures, only seventeen years older, and they were kneeling in front of something. Harry found his voice and began to speak.
“Mum? Dad? Sirius?” He choked the words out, feeling his eyes fill with tears, there was no answer. It was like being back in Tom Riddle’s diary, he could see them, but they couldn’t see him.
Slowly he made his way over to where they were, and settled himself down onto the ground next to his mother, and looked at what they were watching. Him.
They were watching what seemed to be a giant window, and in the window was himself, asleep, tossing and turning letting out screams. He watched as Ginny entered the room and sat down next to him, taking his hand in hers, whispering to him trying to calm him down.
“Wonder what he’s dreaming about?” Harry’s head jerked over to see his godfather speak.
“Well what do you expect after what he found out this morning. Voldemort sending a warning in the sky, after killing two hundred people, I would have nightmares too.” Answered his father. Harry felt his heart constrict, that had all just happened, if he was dreaming now, well then he was looking at himself right now, that was him at the current moment.
“I just worry about him, he’s been through so much, I mean even after James told me what he had learned in the future I never knew it was this bad. And how Petunia treated him, and how he started drinking, and stopped eating.” Lily said breaking down into tears. Harry watched as his father gathered her into a hug and felt tears jerk at his eyes as well.
“You know what this means don’t you?” Asked Sirius, who had a grim look on his face as he watched Harry in the window. When no answer came he continued. “I think it’s about time we left, it’s only a matter of time before Voldemort strikes and I want to be there when he does.”
“Me too,” whispered Lily from inside James embrace.
“Then it’s settled, we go tonight.” Said James, a determined gleam in his eye. “I can’t wait to see Wormtail, can you Padfoot?” He asked, a small grin playing across his lips.
“Oh yeah, can’t wait to see old Petey.” Relied Sirius, laughing his bark like laugh.
Harry watched in amazement, did they just see they were going to leave? He had to talk to them.
“MUM, DAD, SIRIUS I’M RIGHT HERE, RIGHT HERE, LOOK AT ME.” He screamed in front of them, but they still didn’t notice.
“Please, I’m right here.” He mumbled, dropping to the floor tears filling his enormous green eyes, “Right here,” he whispered, before he jerked awake, only to find himself surrounded by a mass of red hair. His heart leapt in excitement.
“MUM,” he cried.
“No Harry,” said a strained voice, “It’s just me, just Ginny.”
“Oh,” Harry replied lamely, before he remembered in the dream, Ginny was with his sleeping form in the window, and she was here now. “Ginny, what happened,” He tried to speak without crying, but he could feel the tears beginning to form.
“You were tossing and turning when I came in, and then you started screaming for your parents and Sirius, then you woke up.” She said, looking into his eyes. He realized that she too was crying. “I’m sorry Harry.”
“It was so real, they were there, and they were going to come back and see me, they said they were going to…” He was cut off again by Ginny hugging him.
“Harry I know you miss them, but they’re gone, I miss Sirius too, but he’s in a better place now.” She soothed.
“I know, but I just hoped that maybe…” He couldn’t finish the rest. His mind was still reeling, it had been so real. He didn’t think he could imagine something like that, and hadn’t Dumbledore said his parents might not be dead?
“You’re just reacting to the news you heard this morning, we all are scared, but we’ll get through it together. I know you can do it Harry, I believe in you.” She continued to soothe. He didn’t answer just let himself be held and rocked, needing to be reassured that someone cared for him.
Harry eventually fell back asleep in Ginny’s arms, who in turn tucked him into bed, and left him to rest, wishing in some way that she could ease his pain.
“What the hell, did you hear what he just said.” Shrieked Sirius, who had been listening to Harry talking to Ginny.
“Sure did Padfoot,” Replied James in a somber manner.
“How could he know?” Asked Lily, while she chewed on her thumbnail obviously quite disturbed by the fact that her son knew about their plans.
“This is Harry, he knows a lot of things that other people don’t know.” Replied Sirius, to Lily’s question.
“That is it!” Exclaimed James, clenching his fists.
“What’s it?” Asked Sirius.
“I am tired of watching my son suffer when he shouldn’t have to and now Voldemort is going to try and kill him, and by god I am going to be there with him, it’s time to leave, we’ve let everything be played out, it all went according to plan, but now it’s time to end it.” James said in a low growl.
Lily and Sirius exchanged nervous glances with each other before turning back to James.
“Let’s do it, I’m with James.” Said Sirius.
“I don’t want Harry to be alone anymore.” Said Lily.
“But when are we going to go James?” Asked Sirius.
“There’s no better time than the present.” Said James simply.
“You mean go…now?” Asked Lily.
“Yes Lils, now.” James replied. Before anyone could answer, James was gone and in turn replaced with a large silver stag. Sirius watched James transform, and quickly changed into the large black dog. The two creatures stood next to each other gazing at Lily, who took a deep breath, and transformed into a phoenix.
The stag reared it’s head towards the door, and the other two followed him out into the main hall, and out of the veil.
A/N: Okay, here we go, the plot is really going to start picking up now, I hope you liked this chapter, sorry to leave you with a cliffy, but if I get a lot of reviews I may be able to update soon! The quote in this chapter is one of my most favorite quotes of all time, I hope you like it.
Some men see things as they are and say, "Why?" I dream of things that never were and say, "Why not?" – George Bernard Shaw
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