Chapter XI: An Urgent Notice

Chapter XI: An Urgent Notice

A Chapter by Ashleigh

Bellatrix begins acting strange and Harry is called to Gringotts for an urgent matter. Tonks still tries in vain to convince Dumbledore to allow Harry in the Order.


               Over the next few months, Harry's life took a turn for the better. Dobby and Kreacher had finally cleaned every square inch of the vast mansion, which made the mansion look almost (but not quite) new again. He was sharing a bed with the woman he planned on spending the rest of his life with and he was becoming increasingly skilled with the Dark Arts. Tonks and Harry's friendship was still strained, but she was still keeping him updated on all the Order's meetings as she had promised him she would.

                Today, Harry and Bella were sitting on the large porch of the mansion, reading. It was now the beginning of May and the weather had become quite beautiful and warm. It was a great improvement from being holed up in the study.

                "The Ministry's still looking for me," Bella sighed, looking over her copy of The Daily Prophet. "Do you think they'd even bother to hear what I have to say before throwing me in Azkaban again?" she wondered aloud.

                "Probably not," Harry admitted truthfully. "Anyway, I wouldn't let them find you so why are you worrying?" Bella just glared at him before refocusing her attention on her paper. Harry frowned. Lately, Bella seemed to be rather moody. She tended to lose her patience with him more quickly than she used to and became very snappish towards him without any warning or valid reason. Harry was worried about her, but whenever he would tell her this, she would smile and insist that she was fine; just feeling a little under the weather, that was all. He put down his book and stood up. "I'm going to visit Sirius' memoriam. I'll be back soon," he announced, bending down to kiss her before heading towards the cemetery. Bella just nodded.

                Once Harry had taken the ten minute walk to his godfather's memoriam, he sat on the ground, thinking. His life had changed drastically over the past year. He went from living with the Dursleys to becoming a multi-billionaire and falling in love with the last woman anyone would have expected him to fall in love with. He was also using one of his closest friends to spy on The Order of the Phoenix, risking her job and freedom. Harry gave a weak chuckle when he referred to Tonks as his closest friend. Ron and Hermione had been his closest friends since first year, but they had drifted apart after the will reading. Harry knew that things were just too different to go back now. The inseparable trio had separated and moved on with their lives. If it weren't for Bella, Harry would have felt very alone. Sighing, Harry stood up, stretching the kinks out of his knee. He briefly touched the stone memoriam for his godfather before turning back towards the mansion. A look at his watch told him that he had spent nearly two hours in thought.

                "Hedwig arrived with a letter for you about a half-hour ago," Bella informed him once Harry got back inside. She was straightening the paintings in the foyer.

                "Thanks Bella," Harry replied before ascending the staircase to the aviary. "Hey girl. Did you bring something for me?" Harry asked the snowy owl perched loftily on a tree branch. She hooted and flew down to Harry's shoulder, sticking out her leg for Harry to take the letter tied to it. Harry did so, but not before scolding his pet. "You know it wouldn't kill you to let Bella take my letters from you," Harry chuckled, stroking her head. Hedwig just gave him a severe stare, as if to say that her job was to deliver letters to him and only him. She took off into the branches of the aviary and Harry opened up the letter.

Dear Mr. Potter,

Please excuse the informality of this letter, but your presence is requested at Gringotts Wizarding Bank in Diagon Alley immediately. It would be best if you arrived as soon as possible after recieving this letter. Details will be explained there.

Yours Sincerely;

Crawbeck (Head Goblin)

                Harry furrowed his brow in confusion. Why was he needed at Gringotts? Was there a problem with Sirius' will? Harry doubted it. If there was a problem, they wouldn't have waited almost an entire year to notify him. He went downstairs, his eyes scanning over the letter. Bella gave him a concerned look.

                "Is something wrong?" she asked, putting a hand on his shoulder. Harry slowly shook his head.

                "I'm not sure. Look at this," he told Bella, handing the letter to her. She scanned through the brief notification, frowning.

                "That's strange," she muttered. "It seems urgent, but Gringotts usually sends very specific information in their letters; something as vague as this just doesn't make sense." Bella was gazing at him with worried eyes. Harry put his arm around her.

                "I think I should go. The letter does say to go to Gringotts right away," he reasoned. He wished she would stop looking at him like that. He hated it when she worried about him, which she did a lot.

                "What if it's a trap?" Bella whispered. Harry sighed and stepped away from her slightly.

                "Then I've got my wand with me, Bella. Relax," he replied reassuringly. Bella raised her eyebrows and crossed her arms defensively.

                "If you're not back by tomorrow, I don't care if I'm a convicted criminal, I'm going after you," she threatened. Despite his best efforts, Harry broke out laughing. She was so funny when she tried to sound menacing. Living with him for so long must have softened her from her Death Eater days.

                "I'm pretty sure I'll be back by then," Harry replied, still chuckling slightly. Bella just punched him in the arm before stalking off, muttering about the man she loved not taking her seriously. Grinning, he walked to the sitting room and grabbed the jar of Floo Powder off the mantelpiece. He carefully grabbed a handful of the powder and threw it into the fire. Immediately, bright green flames sprang up from the grate. "Diagon Alley!" Harry shouted very clearly before stepping into the flames and the familiar, nauseating feeling of being spun around and around very fast came over him. The whirring of the many wizarding fireplaces going past him made his stomach lurch, so he shut his eyes. Soon, he felt himself being thrown unceremoniously onto the floor of the Leaky Cauldron.

                "Mr. Potter! My, I haven't seen you around Diagon Alley in quite a while! How have you been?" Tom greeted him with his usual toothy smile. Harry shook the soot out of his hair and stood up, brushing himself off.

                "Er, I've been good Tom," Harry replied. For the first time in quite a while, he was able to say this truthfully. It felt good to be in love, he decided as he declined a drink from the old barman and walked out of the pub towards Gringotts. He would have loved to stay and chat with people for a bit, but the letter had sounded urgent and Harry's infamous curiosity had been peaked yet again. As he walked down the street, witches and wizards all around him stopped in their tracks and stared. After all, the entire wizarding world must have been wondering where on earth The Boy Who Lived had been these past ten months. His new, darker appearance must have also attracted attention. Harry ignored the stares and approached the front doors of Gringotts. As he walked through the entrance and headed towards the counter where Griphook was, again wondering whether he ever took the day off, Griphook looked up and bowed respectfully when he saw Harry approach.

                "Ah, Mr. Potter. We've been expecting you. This is a matter of great importance, if you'll just follow me," Griphook drawled, beginning to lead Harry into the same long hallway he had walked down at Sirius' will reading. To Harry's surprise, Griphook also led him into the same room that had been used for Sirius' will reading.

                Harry's eyes widened in shock. Every bench was filled by a row of goblins, and at the front of the room at the marble podium, was another goblin who looked very important as all the other goblins seemed to show respect for him. As Harry walked towards the front of the room, all eyes were on him and the goblins murmured and scrutinized him. Harry kept a tight hold on his wand, feeling rather uncomfortable. The goblin at the podium began to speak. "Welcome, Harry Potter. I am Crawbeck, Head Goblin of Gringotts and the British goblin community," he began. "We have many matters to discuss with you; matters that are of imperative importance not only to us, but to the entire wizarding world as a unified whole."

                "This sounds like it's going to be a long meeting," Harry observed. He was very confused and a little frightened but did not show it. "I have to be back before tomorrow morning, or my girlfriend will worry," he warned them. He wasn't stupid enough to tell them who his girlfriend was, but he figured if they were planning on hurting him, they should know that other people knew where he was and were expecting him back. Crawbeck nodded.

                "I assure you this meeting will be over by nightfall. Your er... girlfriend need not worry." he replied in a tone of authority. Harry nodded cautiously.

                "What is this about? Why do you need me?" Harry asked. He was getting frustrated at the lack of answers he was receiving. Crawbeck motioned for Harry to sit down and he did so, looking up at the goblin expectantly. Crawbeck cleared his throat and began a speech that had obviously been prepared.

                "The Chosen One is finally within our midst," he announced. "As we all know, my very own wife and child were slaughtered at the hands of He Who Must Not Be Named and his followers just last week." Crawbeck's eyes glistened for a moment. He looked down at the floor in a moment of grievous silence before continuing. "The madness must stop! This war has gone on for far too long and taken far too many innocent lives! It is time for us to band together and end this war by defeating He Who Must Not Be Named once and for all!" Crawbeck paused as the goblins all shouted and cheered. "We cannot do this alone, however! With the help of the Chosen One, we will overthrow the evil of He Who Must Not Be Named for all eternity! I ask you this, Harry Potter; are you with us?"

                Harry's jaw dropped. He had an entire army of goblins virtually at his command. Voldemort would surely never expect retaliation from the goblins. This could be just the thing that would stop him at last! The goblins were looking at Harry expectantly, waiting for his response. Without hesitation, Harry stood up and gave his answer. "Of course. If an army of goblins can't stop him, then nobody can!" Harry said fiercely. The goblins whooped and cheered and yelled out Harry's praises until Crawbeck held up his hand to silence them.

                "It is truly an honour to fight alongside someone as noble and great as the Chosen One," Crawbeck bowed. "Of course we realize that you and only you are the key to the demise of He Who Must Not Be Named, but we feel that our assistance will aid you greatly. Thank you Harry Potter." The goblins all bowed to Harry and then filed out of the room, leaving only him and Crawbeck.

                "What are your plans?" Harry asked. An army had to have battle strategies and combat preparations, he thought. Crawbeck gave Harry a rather crooked smile before laying maps out across a nearby table. He began to explain all the tactics he had worked out to him, often stopping to ask for his input. The whole process took several hours and finally, Crawbeck stood up and stretched.

                "It is late and Gringotts must close for the night. If you ever need us, just call," Crawbeck said. Harry reached out to shake Crawbeck's hand and he looked at it with mingled awe and emotion before smiling and taking Harry's hand in his own. "Wizards and goblins shaking hands as equals; you are truly the saviour of the world, Harry Potter," Crawbeck beamed up at him. Harry shook his head.

                "I don't think so. After all, I'm only human," Harry replied. Before walking out of the room to return home to Bella, he paused and looked back at Crawbeck. "I'm sorry to hear about your wife and child. I hope justice is served," Harry added sympathetically. A shadow crossed Crawbeck's eyes, but he merely nodded and thanked Harry for his sympathy.

                When Harry got back to the mansion, it was very late. He quietly tiptoed to the upper levels and slowly eased open his and Bella's bedroom door. The room was dark, but Harry could just make out Bella's figure lying in the bed. Figuring she must be asleep and not wanting to wake her, Harry quietly undressed and climbed into his side of the bed for the night. Beside him, Bella stirred and rolled over to face him. She smiled and took his hand in hers. "Sorry. Did I wake you?" Harry whispered, stroking her hair.

                "No. I was worried so I decided to wait for you," she replied. "What did Gringotts want you for?" she asked, shifting closer to him so that she could rest her head on his chest. Harry put his arm around her shoulder.

                "I'll tell you in the morning," he yawned, pulling the covers up over both of them. "Goodnight Bella," he whispered, kissing the top of her head before drifting off to sleep...

*   *   *

                "This is ridiculous!" Tonks snapped. She was at another Order meeting and just like all the other meetings, this one was going nowhere. Dumbledore gave Tonks a very cold stare.

                "Nymphadora, we are all aware of your concerns and as you can see, no one else here seems to share your concerns. Please sit down so we can move ahead with this meeting," Dumbledore said calmly. Tonks threw up her hands in frustration. How could this crazy old man still think that these meetings were important? As far as she was concerned, they were nothing but an excuse for people to argue over what should be done, when they could actually be out there, doing it!

                "These meetings are a joke! What have we accomplished since re-establishing the Order of the Phoenix? It seems to me all we've done is sit around on our backsides, arguing with each other instead of doing anything productive... and stop calling me Nymphadora!" she added angrily. Only her parents were allowed to call her that. Her eyes were slowly starting to turn red again, but she stopped it before it got out of hand.

                "Tonks, dear! What has gotten into you lately?" Mrs. Weasley admonished. "Since when have you doubted the Order?" She was gaping at Tonks as if she had grown three extra heads.

                "I think Tonks has a point," Shacklebolt commented. "Have we come up with a plan for defeating You-Know-Who and his followers yet?" He looked around the room as everyone reluctantly shook their heads. Everyone was completely silent, except for Mundungus who was snoring loudly in the corner of the room.

                "I am surprised that you would choose to agree with someone as young and inexperienced as Tonks, Kingsley," Dumbledore answered curtly. Tonks stood up, ready for a fight, but Kingsley gently pulled her back. He then fixed a hard stare on the old man.

                "As her supervisor, I would have to strongly disagree with your perception of Tonks. She is one of the best Aurors the Ministry has in their employ at the moment and has shown bravery far beyond her years. I'm afraid I cannot let you insult my colleague that way." He said this in a very cold voice that made even Dumbledore shudder. Tonks folded her arms and gave Dumbledore a satisfied smirk. Maybe now the senile old bat would give her some recognition.

                "I'm with Shacklebolt!" Moody growled, banging his wooden leg on the floor in protest. Molly scowled at him, but other people in the room started to murmur in agreement.

                "Enough!" Dumbledore snapped rather sharply, tapping his fingers on the dining room table in irritation. He could see that he was losing control of the situation and it unnerved him. Tonks stood up, refusing to submit to his will.

                "What about Harry?" Tonks asked him. Dumbledore raised his eyebrows, but otherwise did not show a particular emotion.

                "What about him?" he replied. Tonks scowled and put her hands on the table to steady herself. She was shaking with anger and she still hadn't forgotten her last frightening encounter with Dumbledore.

                "You know damn well what I mean! Five months ago, you were refusing to let him in the Order. I've asked you time and time again, during every single meeting whether you had changed your mind. Time and time again, you refused without giving a specific reason why! Saying that it's too dangerous for him isn't a valid reason. Everyone in this room knows that he can take care of himself. He's been doing so just fine for the last five months." Tonks paused, letting her words sink in. All eyes were on her. She took a deep breath and continued. "I'm asking you again. Will you allow Harry a place in the Order?" There was a long silence in which the Order members looked from Tonks to Dumbledore expectantly. Dumbledore seemed to be in deep thought, and looked up at Tonks.

                "My answer still has not changed," he replied simply. Tonks shook her head and sighed. She hated the stubborn, pigheaded old coot standing in front of her.

                "Then don't pretend to be looking out for Harry's best interests," she said coldly. Molly stood up angrily.

                "Tonks! How can you say such horrid things? I always thought you were a good girl, but now I'm beginning to wonder," she scolded Tonks as if she were a toddler. Tonks rounded on Molly.

                "First of all, I'm not here to gain popularity! Second of all, I am not a girl! I'm an adult! I think I've proven that I deserve to be treated like one!" she retorted.

                "You are blind to the truth!" Molly yelled. Tonks' eyes really did glow red this time and Molly shrank into her chair, very frightened.

                "No Molly. I've just begun to see the truth. You're the one who is still blind," she accused menacingly. Molly opened her mouth to reply, but could not think of anything to argue against her and shut it again, giving her a very dirty glare. The tension in the room could have been sliced with a knife. Finally, Dumbledore cleared his throat and stood up.

                "I'm afraid it is late, and I'm sure we all have families to go home to, so I think we should end our meeting here for tonight. Thank you all for coming," he said graciously, but Tonks was no longer fooled by the old man's courteous mask. As everyone filed out of Number 12 Grimmauld Place, some avoiding Tonks and some patting her on the back, she walked straight over to Dumbledore and leaned very close to his ear.

                "You don't fool me, Dumbledore," she hissed. "It's only a matter of time before the whole world sees you for the manipulative a*****e you are."

                Without waiting for him to respond, Tonks spun on her heel and stalked out of the dingy old house, breathing hard. She leaned against a wall outside and sighed heavily. She tried to steady her breathing, but it wasn't much use. Suddenly, she felt a hand on her shoulder and jumped.

                "Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you. Are you alright? You haven't seemed well lately." It was Remus Lupin. Thankful that it wasn't Molly or Albus, Tonks sighed with relief.

                "Yeah... Just stress, that's all," she only half-lied. Remus nodded but kept his hand on her shoulder.

                "Well, I hope things get better for you," he said politely.

                "Thanks. I do too," Tonks admitted with a faint smile.

© 2008 Ashleigh

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Added on December 16, 2008



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