Harry Potter Day
"He'll be famous Ė a legend Ė I wouldn't be surprised if today was known as Harry Potter day in the future..."
-- Professor McGonagall, in Harry Potter and the Philosopherís Stone --
Harry Potter Day
"You have really outdone yourself tonight, Hagrid. Your pumpkins were so large that Professor Flitwick actually had difficulty to charm them to levitate."
"Thanks, Professor Dumbledore. I jusí wish there were more students ter enjoy the feast. The food was delicious."
After eleven years under Voldemortís reign of terror, many families were afraid to let their children out of their sight, even if that meant sending them to be under Albus Dumbledoreís care, possibly the only wizard Lord Voldemort feared.
Dumbledore was now sitting with Hagrid around the small table the gamekeeper had inside his hut. He sipped the tea that Hagrid had made for them both while they waited. A plate of cookies lay untouched in the middle of the table.
The clock behind Hagrid chimed twelve times. Midnight. He would arrive anytime now.
"Well, I think Iíd better be going, Professor Dumbledore." Hagrid got up and started to slowly head for the door, his arms dangling back and forth awkwardly. However, before he got to it, he turned abruptly. "But lemme say one more time that I doní like yeh meeting a Death Eater alone, Professor Dumbledore. Sir."
Dumbledore looked up at Hagrid, seeing the loyalty shining in those small, black beetle-like eyes. "Itís a small risk that Iím willing to take, Hagrid. We have to gather as much information on Voldemort as possible. Besides, I have my reasons to trust this Death Eater."
Hagrid grunted, but soon Dumbledore heard the muffled sound of footsteps and then the door closing behind him when Hagrid finally left. A few minutes later, as if on cue, a couple of taps were heard on Hagridís door, as if a flying creature was flapping its wings against it, or someone was lightly rapping his fingers on it.
Dumbledore turned towards the door from his sitting place. There, standing against the moonlight coming in through the open door, stood a cloaked figure.
"Come on in. Have a seat," Dumbledore said pleasantly.
The mysterious figure entered, closing the door on his way. Once he was facing Dumbledore, he lowered his cloak to reveal a shallow, pale face framed by greasy black hair.
"I prefer to stand, thanks," Snape answered, in a silky voice.
"As you wish," Dumbledore sipped one last gulp of tea from his cup, and put it down on the table. He crossed his arms, but since he was now sitting sideways on his chair, only one elbow was supported by the table. "So, do you have news for me?"
"Lord Voldemort has vanished," Snape said, and something on the tone of his voice told Dumbledore that was not all.
"I see. And...?"
"The Potters are dead."
The red and gold coloured bird that was perched near the door gave a soft chirp that sounded suspiciously like a sob. "What about Harry?"
"He is alive. Somehow, Voldemort tried to kill the boy and not only failed, but disappeared. Some say he is dead."
"I find that very unlikely." Dumbledore said, matter-of-factly.
"So do I," Snape replied, his eyes unfocused.
After a moment, Dumbledore spoke up. "How did Voldemort find the Potters?"
"We donít really know. But, apparently, whatever precautions you made to protect them didnít help. Voldemort killed both James and Lily, but not the boy. There was something about him that stopped Voldemort."
Dumbledore took a minute to let the information sink. With the Fidelius Charm placed, the spy could be only one person. The Potterís Secret-Keeper. "Is there anything else?"
"No. Not yet, at least."
"My offer for a job and a place to live still stands."
"Yes, sir. I know. However, I still have a few...errands...to run. If I survive this unexpected turn of events..." Snape left the sentence unfinished, as if afraid to acknowledge Dumbledoreís offer, or perhaps afraid to hope for his own survival.
"You may go then. It wouldnít be wise to rise suspicions at such a distressing time."
Snape left as soundless as he had come in. After a moment, Dumbledore stood and took his and Hagrid cups next to the cupboard, moving as slowly as if he were carrying the weight of the world on his back. He sighed heavily.
"Fawkes, you may warn Hagrid that itís safe for him to return," he spoke out loud.
The phoenix opened its wing and flew through the open window towards the castle. After a few minutes, Hagrid returned with Fawkes right behind him.
"Lord Voldemort has vanished," Dumbledore informed Hagrid as soon as he stepped into the hut. Fawkes flew towards Dumbledore and landed on his shoulder. "He was defeated, at least for the time being."
If it was the fact that Dumbledore wasnít facing him, or the fact that his voice beared no joy when proclaiming that Voldemort had been defeated, Hagrid felt uneasy and asked, uncertain. "Professor, is evírything all righí?"
Dumbledore sighed once more before turning to Hagrid and facing him for a moment in silence.
"Hagrid, I want you to go to Godricís Hollow to gather young Harry Potter. We need to take him to his auntís house on Little Whinging, Surrey. I trust you to be discreet about this."
"Why?" Hagrid asked, the uneasy look on his face being slowly replaced by apprehension.
"James and Lily Potter are dead."
(or rather, The Beginning...)