A Dance Through Thyme [Harry Potter]

There are no strangers here; only friends you haven't met. An unknown man sends Hermione back to the Marauder's Era as revenge, however, the consequences are far more disastrous than what even he imagines when Hermione loses her memory of the past. Why did that man do this to her, and what secrets will be spilled? Who is the guilty party?

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25. Chapter 24: Beginn der verammlung

 

Calling Order

 

There was already at least a dozen people already milling about the crowded bar. There was a great sense of camaraderie as they greeted each other warmly, seemingly knowing one another quite well.

Hermione could pick out a few of the faces. Aberforth was the most recognisable as he stood behind the bar, issuing each person with a drink as they walked by. The smell of goats in the bar was less pronounced than what it had once been, but Hermione still couldn’t help wrinkle her nose a little at the faint smell of manure which seemed to emanate from the padded bar-stool she sat herself down on to people-watch. Molly and Arthur stood out rather remarkably thanks to their vivid hair colour, and Hermione was sure that she could detect a bit of extra plumpness around Molly. Fred and George would surely only be a few months old at this point in time.

Dumbledore had said that there would be a few new members present at tonight’s meeting of the Order. Under Hermione’s advice, he had recruited a few new members of the older generation in addition to those whom had just left school. James had owled Hermione earlier in the week to say that he would be there. Sirius had sent an owl along similar lines, but neither of them had made mention of Remus. Would he be present this evening?

The possibility of it made Hermione’s stomach start tying itself in knots. She had not spoken to him since their argument, and Hermione was not sure how she would need to act if he did show up tonight. Would she pretend that it never happened, and they would go back to being friends? Or would he start to treat her with a cool indifference?

Just as the palms of her hands began to feel a bit damp, she heard the little bell above the door jingle a little. A warm gust of air brought in a few new faces, and amongst them was James; however, he was not alone. He had his arm around a pretty red-headed woman. Hermione only had to briefly lock eyes with her to know that this was Lily Evans. The couple made their way over to Hermione. James immediately let go of Lily to wrap his arms around Hermione in a hug, whilst Lily stood beside him, a polite smile on her face.

“Hermione! I’d like to meet my girlfriend, Lily. Lily, this is my friend Hermione. Don’t let her young face deceive you, she’s the one who is working those experiments for Dumbledore.”

Comprehension seemed to dawn on Lily’s face, and she moved forward to give Hermione a brief hug.

“It’s lovely to meet you at last. James couldn’t wait to get here so that he could introduce me,” Lily chuckled, whilst James scowled.

“Yeah, well, Sirius will be here in a minute. He’s just parking his bike outside,” said James, attempting to divert the conversation.

Hermione nodded and smiled at him, not really knowing how to steer the conversation and make it even remotely interesting. Although she was comfortable with James, Lily was a new person in her life, and Hermione had spent so much time in the Room of Requirement that meeting new people seemed a little harder than what is previously had been.

Thankfully Lily seemed to sense Hermione’s discomfort and attempted to engage her in conversation.

“So, Hermione, James has told me that you’ve been working quite closely with Dumbledore for the past few months. Is this your first meeting with the Order, or have you been here before?”

Hermione smiled at the young woman. Very polite and well-spoken, she seemed just as lovely as everyone had ever made her out to be. She could see why James, and even Severus Snape, would be attracted to her.

“It’s actually my first meeting. I’ve been working with Dumbledore to try and recruit as many people as possible. There seems to be quite a turnout tonight.”

“Oh, yes,” replied Lily, “much more than what I expected. But I suppose that every person counts.”

Hermione murmured her agreement, turning her head to see who had just opened the door and walked into the bar. Heart beating fast, she half-expected it to be Remus. Feeling half-disappointed and half-relieved to see that it was only Sirius, she waved her hand in the air to let him know where they were standing.

He quickly made his way over, giving Hermione and Lily a hug, and James a firm pat on the back.

“Is Remus coming along tonight?” Hermione could not help herself from asking. She winced slightly as she saw James and Sirius exchange a serious look. Never having seen them do that, Hermione grew nervous. Knowing that she would be here this evening, was he perhaps avoiding her?

“Remus couldn’t make it tonight,” replied Sirius softly. “He had other plans for this time of the month.”

It took Hermione a second to realise what Sirius was actually insinuating, and her mouth silently made an ‘O’ shape as she understood.

The group was spared from any awkwardness as the door of the bar opened once more, and Albus Dumbledore stepped over the threshold. Immediately the atmosphere of the room changed, and the noise level decreased rather dramatically, although it was still not entirely silent. There were a few people who attempted to continue conversations with their friends however; they continued to look out the corner of their eyes, waiting to see what Dumbledore would do next.

Ignoring all the glances, Dumbledore strode through the bar with purpose, moving to speak with Aberforth. A few moments later, the sound of a bell ringing could be heard over the crowd, and finally everyone ceased to speak, turning their attention to Dumbledore.

“Good evening! I’m sure that you all have other important matters to attend to, so I wish to make this meeting as efficient as possible. The first item on the agenda concerns all the new members whom we see amongst our numbers. I would like to introduce to you the newest graduates of Hogwarts who have decided to join our cause. First we have Frank Longbottom.”

Frank turned a lovely shade of pink as Dumbledore singled him out, giving a small wave to the crowd.

“We also have Lily Evans, James Potter, Sirius Black and their friend, Hermione Granger.”

They each nodded their heads in acknowledgement as Dumbledore introduced them.

“We have a few other members who were unable to make it this evening, Remus Lupin, Marlene McKinnon. Also, we have Arabella Figg who was unable to join us this evening, however it is through her that we have our first discussion point of this evening. There have been recent reports on the muggle news of the sharp increase in incidence of murders.”

Every person in the entire bar was silent. Hermione had never seen attention so focused.

“She tells me that they have a tendency to fall into three categories. Those genuine cases where it has been a muggle attacking another muggle. There have been cases where cause of death has not been able to be determined. There were no signs of struggle, or even any malicious marks on the body. It seems that the person dropped dead of their own accord.”

Dumbledore’s incandescent blue eyes swept around the room, making sure that each person understood the message he was trying to get across.

“Then, there has also been a third category,” he said, his voice deepening as his tone grew more serious and grave. “In this category, we see bodies which have been mutilated to the point where they can no longer be identified. I have been assured through various correspondents within the muggle law enforcement that it couldn’t possibly be the work of muggles.”

Hermione felt sick to her stomach at the mere thought of this.

It did not take much brain power at all to know that it was Death Eaters unleashing this kind of catastrophe and discord into the world.

“It is with this news that I implore you to take extra precautions regarding the safety of yourselves, and those around you. It takes very minimal effort to cast the odd protective enchantment around the homes nearest to your own. Also, if there are any other disturbances which sound like they may be the work of Voldemort, I request that you inform me urgently. Although there does not seem to be any rhyme or reason to the occurrences at the moment, we may be able to distinguish patterns in the future.”

Many faces seemed to look rather pale at Dumbledore’s speech, and a few still had their hands grasped around their mouth in shock from when Dumbledore had used Voldemort’s name.

“This brings me to my next topic. I am looking for number of volunteers who are willing to infiltrate various muggle services, and act as spies. Some of these roles will require you to maintain protection over various services. For example, Edgar Bones has already secured a position as extra protection for the muggle Prime Minister. Arabella Figg is heavily involved in various community activities...”

Although Dumbledore continued to speak, Hermione was sure that she heard Molly Weasley hissing at her husband.

“No, Arthur!”

Suppressing a giggle, Hermione turned her attention back to the meeting, wondering what jobs Dumbledore would be willing to give her now that she was attempting to assimilate back into society.

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