The Sugar Quill
Author: Jedi Boadicea (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Tears of Fire  Chapter: One - Into the Fire
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                                                                                    TEARS OF FIRE


                                                                                                One - Into the Fire



It was just after the first pale shadows of dawn light began to drift through the trees that Albus Dumbledore saw the unicorn.

He had seen many unicorns in his life, and he knew that this forest was old and strong in the sort of power that would attract magical creatures, so the unicorn’s appearance did not surprise him. What surprised him was the fact that the creature had stopped in its progress through the trees to stare at him, when the distaste of its kind for human men should have ensured its quick disappearance. But it emerged from the forest shadows, pearl-white coat shimmering in the dawn, and stared at him - met his gaze with a slow deliberation that seemed to imply it understood his surprise, and was giving him time to master it.

Albus tried to make as little noise as possible as he shifted out of his crouch, using the trunk of the tree behind him for support as he straightened, both to get a clearer view of the creature and to cause a disruption in the Chameleon Charm shielding him. He had no doubt that the unicorn was perceptive enough to know that a human hid here, masked by magic, but he wanted to be certain that the creature would be able to see him clearly - to know him for male, and a wizard. He hoped that it would cause the creature to flee; in these woods, in these days, a unicorn could find itself in mortal peril by exposing itself to the kinds of wizards who lurked here. That he and his companions were an exception to the situation didn’t matter; it was in the unicorns’ best interest to trust no wizard at all. At least until this was all over.

So he shifted, feeling the camouflaging illusion around him flicker - but the unicorn did not flee. It continued to stand in the distant shadows, like a beacon of pale light, and it stared at him.

Albus frowned, perplexed by the creature’s behavior. He glanced about his immediate surroundings, searching for any sign of something amiss in the wards he and his companions had cast around their hiding place the night before. But he noticed nothing irregular in the feel of the wards, nor in the sleeping forms of his companions. Antonio Carrillo lay completely cocooned in his cloak at the foot of a nearby tree, wand clutched in the hand beneath his bent chin. And right beside Albus, nestled among the thick roots of the tree against which he was leaning, lay Miranda McKinnon, her brow furrowed and eyes closed tightly in restless sleep. She had slept hardly at all in the last week, and it was beginning to worry him.

Had she been awake, he might have credited the unicorn’s interest to her presence. Unicorns preferred women, virgin or not, and Miranda always seemed to have a glow about her that attracted men and animals alike. He had found himself not immune to that allure. 

But she slept now, and the unicorn continued to gaze at him fixedly, as though waiting for him to acknowledge that gaze in some way.

It wasn’t an illusion, he was sure of that much. The Clear Sight Potion he’d taken before his watch ensured his immunity to all but the most sophisticated of illusory spells. And besides, he doubted that any wizard in Grindelwald’s service who found them hiding here would have bothered with illusions. The unicorn was real, which meant that it had revealed itself to him deliberately, and like the centaurs they considered to be their closest kin, unicorns rarely revealed themselves in the heart of their forests without specific purpose.

Albus rose slowly to his feet, careful to make no noise that might disturb his sleeping companions, and took several slow and quiet steps toward the unicorn. He stopped with the space of several paces between them, and pushed back the hood of his cloak. Minutes ago, his body had ached with the chill and the pressure of crouching too long in unnatural stillness; he was not a young man anymore, and a passion for life could still not make old joints any more limber. But now, mere paces away from the soothing shimmer of a unicorn’s radiance, he no longer noticed the pain.

“Greetings, my fine friend,” Albus Dumbledore said softly, and smiled.

The unicorn moved for the first time since stepping out of the morning mist; it lifted one silver hoof and pawed at the leaf-strewn earth. Then it tossed its head, horn gleaming, and gave a very soft snort.

Albus frowned again, curious, and asked quietly, “What are you trying to tell me?”

The unicorn gave another snort, one that rang distinctly of impatience.

He smiled again. He’d heard similar sounds many times before, from colleagues and students both. He seemed to have a gift for exasperating people.

But before he could speak again, the unicorn tossed its head once more, and this time the motion was clear: he was being given a direction, guided by the angle of a silver horn. East.

The smile faded from his face as he turned eastward, gazing into the shadowed trees as though the shadows might suddenly part and reveal the deeper darkness lurking in wait beyond.

East. They hadn’t considered the east. North had seemed so certain. So much evidence pointed north. But the unicorn did not, and more so even than the centaurs the unicorns lived in harmony with the magic and the life of their forests. If any creatures knew where a gathering of Dark forces could be found in these trees, it would be the unicorns.

Albus turned back to the unicorn, to find it gazing intently at him once again.

“Thank you,” he murmured solemnly. “We will fight the darkness for you, if we can.”

The unicorn released a shuddering breath through its nostrils, then slowly lowered its head until its horn was pointing directly at Albus’ hand - his wand hand, in which he still held the wand that had been drawn all night long. The wand, it occurred to him now, which had at its heart a unicorn’s hair - the first combination of bloodwood and unicorn hair that had ever successfully been forged. He remembered the look of surprise on Ollivander’s face when that wand had come to life under his young hand, so many years ago.

“It’s a rare magic that can combine the power of a unicorn’s giving spirit with the impassive strength of an ebony bloodwood casing. And it is a rare man who can embody both aspects of such a magic. That wand has sat untouched, and unequaled, in this store for three hundred years. I will be most interested to see how you use this wand in future, young Albus. Most interested indeed.”

Old Ollivander had died forty years ago, leaving shop and art to his son, but not the memory of those words. Those words lived in Albus’ memory alone, and they had haunted him for over ninety years now. Because some instinct had told him, even then, that satisfying the old wand-maker’s curiosity would involve more hardship than any man wanted to bear. His foresight in such matters, even as a boy, had always been quite painfully clear.

The unicorn before him now could not hear the echoes of an old man’s voice or a young man’s fears, but Albus wondered if it could sense the unicorn hair at his wand’s core, for it advanced the short paces which separated them, and very lightly touched the tip of its horn to the back of his outstretched hand. A gentle tingle of warmth spread over his skin, and an answering warmth ignited in the wand between his fingers.

Then the unicorn lifted its head, snorted softly once again, and turned to disappear into the forest as swiftly and silently as it had come. And as it left, something rustled in the branches above, a sound almost musical in the still morning air.

Albus looked up, trying to pinpoint the sound. Despite the cautious reaction, after two days spent creeping through the trees, waiting for an ambush, he could not feel too anxious about the sudden sound; the unicorn would not have lingered in this spot if there were a threat nearby.  

But except for the swaying of disturbed branches, and the flash of morning sunlight on leaves turned golden by autumn, there was nothing to be seen. Whatever magical creature might have come with the unicorn had left with the unicorn as well.


He turned to see Miranda lurching to her feet, her dark hair in disarray, and her wand in hand. She flung off her cloak with one sharp movement to free her arms, a deeply anxious look on her face.

“It’s all right,” he assured her, retracing his footsteps to return to her side.

Disturbed by the sound of their voices, Antonio grunted and rolled out of his cloak with an ease that spoke of practice. He was on his feet, wand in hand, in no more than a second.

“Where?” he demanded in a voice still hoarse with sleep, blinking furiously as he scanned the surrounding trees.

“There’s no one,” Albus said firmly. “It was a bird in the trees. The wards are still strong.”

Carrillo grunted again, and lowered his wand.

“What were you doing?” Miranda asked Albus sharply, her brow still furrowed in an anxious frown. The lines in her face had deepened over the past months, and it pained him to see it, pained him to see how much she let the tension get to her. But she had always been one to feel obligated to assume the full weight of every burden - and wasn’t that part of the reason he loved her? How well he understood her. 

Albus?” Miranda’s voice was cool with the professional edge that so often governed everything she did, especially out here at a time like this. It was why she was one of the best field operatives the M.L.E.S. had to boast of.  “You’re preoccupied. What happened?”

He smiled at her, hoping it would serve to put her more at ease. “We were paid an equine visit.”

Miranda’s tense expression eased, though she continued to frown.

Antonio frowned as well, and scrubbed a hand through his already tangled black hair. “Horses?” His accented voice cracked hoarsely on the final syllable.

Albus fought the urge to give his teacher’s indulgent chuckle. “A unicorn.”

“Unicorn?” Antonio echoed, and glanced around the trees with widened eyes, as though hoping to catch a glimpse of the creature. “It approached you?”

“Peculiar,” Miranda murmured. “As far as we’ve been able to tell, the forest’s denizens have been hiding in their protected zones for the last several weeks.”

“I believe,” Albus put away his wand to shake out his cloak, settling it more carefully on his shoulders, “that it was attempting to give us a message about Grindelwald’s location.”

“What?” Miranda turned back to him so quickly that the movement looked painful. Yes, the tension was truly getting to her. It was getting to all of them.

Carrillo muttered something in Spanish which Albus assumed, from its tone, must be quite a colorful curse.

“How can you be sure of this?” Miranda demanded.

“While I cannot lay claim to fluency in the unicorn tongue,” Albus began, gratified to see that his tone managed to draw a grin from Antonio...

“Yet,” Carrillo interjected with a guffaw.

“Yet,” Albus conceded with a smile. “I do feel certain that it was indeed attempting to communicate a location to me. It directed us east.”

“East?” Miranda's attentive frown broke, and she looked for a moment almost wild with surprise.  “But all of our information indicated that the caves in the north hills...”

“We assumed,” Antonio interjected again, looking suddenly grim. “Because we wished to assume.”

“It is equally possible,” Albus said, thinking of all the reports that had come to them, of all the hours spent poring over maps and scrying spells, “that the evidence which pointed us northward was planted specifically to mislead us.”

“I know that,” Miranda snapped, her composure cracking. “Don't forget, Albus, that this operation was researched and planned by my department. I already considered that possibility! But I've made patrols of the area myself and-“

“Never close enough to determine anything for certain,” Albus interrupted as gently as possible. The last thing he wanted to do was to further aggravate her - all who knew her knew she had a temper best not aroused. But they did not have the time to allow their uncertainties and frustrations to get the better of them. They were living the final moments of this conflict, one way or another, and they must keep their minds open to any and every possibility or chance that might lend them victory. “And I would trust a unicorn's senses over our scrying spells in this.”

“You would,” Miranda snapped, though it was obvious to him that her irritation was not so much for him as it was for being forced to admit the possibility that her careful planning had been misguided. He had been tempted many times in the course of their acquaintance, and of their unusual relationship, to tell her that she took too much upon herself, but he was not so much a hypocrite that he could accuse her of anything of the sort. Not unless he wished to expose himself to the sharper side of her tongue. And while he often found her displays of temper endearing, one hundred years of life experience had taught him that there were some situations in which his smiles would not earn him the desired results.

But he smiled nonetheless.

“At least we know that this is an informant we can trust,” he said.

“The unicorn came to you,” Antonio murmured, scrubbing his hand through his hair again in a gesture that had become familiar to Albus in the last few days. He then ran his hand down his tanned features, over dark stubble, and gave Albus an admiring sort of smile. “Only to you, Dumbledore. Mas santo que hombre.”

“So you think we should go east,” Miranda muttered, pulling her cloak back on as she directed a stern but questioning look at Albus.

“Yes,” he replied calmly. “I think it would be unwise to dismiss this possibility.”

Miranda nodded, then turned to Antonio. “Carrillo?”

He frowned, scratched at the stubble on his chin, then nodded. “I agree with the professor.”

“You've been given power of discretion by the D.S.M.?”


Albus privately suspected that Antonio Carrillo didn't need authorization from his department to act as he saw fit in these matters. Though Carrillo had never claimed to be anything more than a regular Hit Wizard sent by the Spanish Ministry to help in these attempted infiltrations, he spoke and acted with a confidence and sense of experience that men of authority exuded in spite of themselves. Albus would not have been surprised to learn that Carrillo held a position in Spain's Department of Magical Security high enough that right of rank should have placed him in charge of this mission rather than Miranda. But Miranda McKinnon had invested the last six months of her life in this struggle, and Antonio had bowed to her expertise at every turn; Albus found that sense of awareness and humility an admirable trait. He liked the man. He only hoped that he would not be another acquaintance lost before friendship was given a chance to grow.

“Then I agree as well,” Miranda said after a pause. She shot Albus an exasperated look. “Damn you, Dumbledore. I should have known that you'd start wreaking havoc with our plans the moment we let you come along.”

“When permission is so hard won,” he smiled, unfazed, “one can only expect the petitioner to cause difficulties at every opportunity.”

She wanted to glare at him, he knew she did. But he was pleased to note that she seemed unable to muster the heat for another glare, and instead gave a light sigh and shook her head at him with the bare hint of a smile at the corners of her lips. A somewhat sad smile, perhaps, but every smile was precious in these times. And every smile of hers had always been precious to him. Eight years he had known her, and he never tired of fighting to earn those smiles. Just as he had fought to be here today, in this place.

The Ministry had been more than happy to hear his opinions on war matters, and to heed his hypotheses about Grindelwald's plans, his forces, his motivations. They knew Albus Dumbledore for a notable professor and scholar, and he had friends in the Ministry, especially in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. But it had taken all of his determination to persuade them to allow him to join the M.L.E.S. in the field on this, what many hoped would be the final engagement in a long struggle. Before, while Grindelwald made his slow rise to power, Albus had felt that his greater responsibility lay with his students, and his post at Hogwarts. But after the events of this last year, when the Chamber had been opened and children attacked within Hogwarts itself, he had decided that the time had come for him to step onto the field and lend the whole of his strength where it would be needed most. His conscience would allow him to do no less.

And he hoped that, when this was over, his dreams would not be so plagued with restless doubt. Because he felt certain that there was something he had missed in the chaos with the Chamber of Secrets, something vital, and the doubt hovered on the edge of his thoughts like a dark specter he had been unable to banish.

“All right, then.” Miranda tucked her wand into her belt and swiftly tied her dark hair, faintly streaked with the first touches of silver, back into a knot. “Let's eat and move. We can give this a try, but we don't have time to waste if we hope to be in position by moonset.”

“Or to advise the others of a change in plans,” Antonio added.

“Yes.” Miranda nodded. “I doubt this unicorn of Albus' has been paying visits to anyone else.” She grinned suddenly, the first grin to light her face in a very long time. “I might be tempted to draw certain conclusions from that visitation, Albus, if I didn’t know better.”

“It does seem quite incriminating, doesn't it?” He smiled serenely in reply, then calmly set about conjuring a quick breakfast as the morning light grew brighter around them.

After eating, while Miranda paced the perimeter of the clearing wiping out all traces of their wards, Antonio fixed him with a curious look and said, “Have you ever been approached by these kinds of creatures before?”

“I've had experience working with magical creatures in their habitat before, but my encounters with unicorns have been few. They are typically quite elusive.”

“Yes, especially these deep forest breeds. There was a herd of unicorns living in the forest behind our family home,” Antonio added with a smile, his accent thickening as his thoughts clearly wandered. “As a boy, I used to hide in the trees hoping to see them. But I had as little luck then as I have had here.”

“These woods are supposed to be home to many magical creatures,” Miranda said, in a lecturing tone the teacher in Albus couldn't help but admire, “not all of them as harmless as unicorns. Davies swears he saw a Dementor near the caves, but no one else has confirmed a sighting yet. But we know for certain that there are some Harpies unusually active here, and we've had problems with Erklings on previous forays. Davisson even reported sighting a Phoenix nest. He was very excited, finding one so far from their usual habitat - you know how Davisson gets. But the birds themselves are almost impossible to spot.”
            Phoenix?” Albus echoed, thinking of the flash of gold in the leaves above his head, thinking that he had perhaps jumped too quickly to assumptions about the origin of the rustling sound, and reminding himself that they had made too many dangerous assumptions about this forest already.

A Phoenix. Of all the magical creatures he had known, even those he had not yet had the fortune to see, he found the stories of the Phoenix the most fascinating.

He had dreamed of them in his youth. 

“How interesting.”





The Blackmist Forest had been given its name over two hundred years ago, when a Dark witch of immense power had settled in the woods behind the nearby wizarding village and cloaked the entire area in an obscuring black mist. The stories said that the forest had rotted beneath its shadow blanket, trees twisting and blackening at their heart, plants withering for lack of sun. The villagers fled, and the creatures of the forest fled, and all those who could not flee fast enough were twisted by the witch's Dark magic as completely as the Forest had been.

It was difficult, however, to assign credibility to the stories, when the Blackmist Forest now was a green place full of life both magical and mundane. Albus had walked beneath the heavy-boughed trees for two days now, and he found the place beautiful. The feeling of menace lurking in the woods was one entirely in the mind, alive only in the fear of trespassing men - the fear of stepping over an unseen boundary and into Grindelwald's stronghold, of triggering a ward that would alert the enemy to their presence.

Albus thought it a sad thing that they should be bringing their fear into this place, to taint the quiet and the green beauty with the mist and shadow of their doubt and worry. He thought it a terrible thing that this place had no doubt already been tainted with blood, more blood than they probably knew. So many of the people who had disappeared while fighting Grindelwald were never found again - not body nor spirit nor echo. Practitioners of Dark magic had many foul uses for their victims.

Albus had lived long enough to see several wizards and witches fall to the dark side of power, but few ever succeeded in treading that path for long before destroying themselves - or being stopped by the Ministry. In his lifetime, those few that managed to pose a true threat to wizarding society had committed atrocities, certainly, but their influence was never wide spread, and after a few violent endeavors they had always, in the end, been caught and stopped. It had been a long time indeed since a Dark wizard had acquired enough power in Europe to elude the forces of allied Ministries, especially after exposing themselves in the sort of violent take-overs that Grindelwald had led or plotted.

Only now, four years after Grindelwald's first 'appearance,' did Albus feel that the necessary steps were being taken to truly bring about the man's defeat. The men and women currently trekking secretly through the Forest in small teams had come willingly, all of them; trained Hit Wizards from various Ministries who had taken it upon themselves to petition their Ministers for permission to go into the Blackmist Forest alone, in an attempt to defeat Grindelwald once and for all. No more waiting.

Albus had never worked directly for the Ministry, but he had known many admirable witches and wizards who did, and many of them had been killed in this underground war against Grindelwald's forces. He wished to see an end to this as much as any of his Ministry associates, and he fervently hoped that today would mark that end. He hoped, and he tried to ignore the dark premonition in his dreams and in his gut that told him there were shadows in the future worse than any he had yet known.


He had never had the passion for Divination that might have made it one of his stronger arts, but he had long since learned to heed his instincts in such matters. Whether or not the foresight which had been so clear in him since boyhood was sign of a strength in Divination or merely a product of an analytical and clear mind, he did not presume to know. But he did know that his foresight had proven accurate more often than he liked, and he could only hope that this time would be the exception.

Hope could be such a fragile, painful thing.

The sun was beginning its fall behind the horizon when Albus stopped beside an ancient black oak and ducked into the shadows cast by its low-hanging branches. He didn't risk another Chameleon Charm, only held himself as still and silent as possible, and allowed his gaze to drift slowly over his surroundings, taking in every detail.

It seemed, at first glance, that he was standing in a copse of trees the same as any other in this forest, heavy with mossy undergrowth and the scent of growing things. Yes, at first glance it seemed a normal place - but sight could be deceiving when it came to matters of wizardry, and there were other details, details not so easily hidden or altered by magic, which betrayed that this place was not as it seemed.

The air here felt thick with a preternatural stillness, a silence that drowned all sound. No birds sang or rustled in the trees, no rodents scurried through the undergrowth, and even the faint whisper of breezes through the trunks and branches could not be heard.

There was no doubt in Albus' mind that the silence was magically induced, but whether stillness had been forced on all life in this area or the magic merely masked the sound and movement, he did not know. But one thing seemed clear: the unicorn had guided them true.

He felt the faint tingling at the base of his neck a moment before Miranda's voice sounded like a whisper just inside his ears.

“The ward extends for at least half a mile further north.”

Antonio's voice followed hers.

“And the same to the west.”

Albus tapped his wand to his throat, then to his ear, and whispered his reply. “To the east as well, though I suspect it extends farther than we've searched. It would seem we've encountered a rather neat square.”

“Or a circle bigger than we know,” Miranda retorted, sounding more pensive than argumentative. But it made Albus smile anyway.

“I do not believe,” Antonio said, “that this is a defensive ward.”

“It's like no ward I've ever seen, I'll admit that much,” Miranda said thoughtfully.

Albus frowned, and for the first time since they'd sensed the alteration in their surroundings and split up to investigate, he knelt and pressed his fingers against the earth. He touched the tip of his wand to the earth beside his fingers, and murmured the words of a sensory enchantment.

Circles of pale green light spread from the tip of his wand, rippling over earth and root. The light drifted southward without interference, but northward, into the area of stillness, the light lines wriggled as they moved and darkened to a deep red. The earth beneath his fingertips warmed, and sharp darts of energy tingled like pinpricks on his skin.

“As I thought,” he murmured.

“What?” Miranda's voice echoed in his ears instantly.

“This is a Dampening Enchantment. It should not interfere with our spells, but we must be cautious of what our senses tell us. They will all be somewhat impaired once we enter the field.”

“I should have brought my glasses,” Carrillo muttered. Albus smiled.

“How did you test that?” Miranda demanded, frustration evident in her voice.

“When we have returned home safely, I will be only too happy to give you an extensive lecture,” he replied easily. “But for now I think we should move forward quickly.”

There was a moment of silence, in which Albus could see in his mind’s eye the way Miranda would be frowning, fingers moving restlessly on her wand as she thought. Then she said, “Agreed.  I’ll alert Davisson’s team. Antonio - ”

“I will alert Rousseau.”

“As soon as they take care of their relays, we can all move in. Albus… is there any point in asking you to wait until we can go in as a team?”

“Miranda, you wound me.”

Antonio’s chuckle came through louder than his voice.

“I will,” she swore, “if you don’t wait.”

He smiled. “I will - ”

But he stopped, freezing with his hand still close to the earth as a flash of gold light in the trees ahead caught his eye. It was gone too quickly for him to fix on it, but he did not credit it to autumn leaves this time. He would not yet credit it to anything more fanciful, either, but he felt certain that it had had a purpose - a purpose served, for with his eyes fixed on that distant spot he was now able to see what the Dampening Enchantment had most likely hidden from him: a faint glimmer of a unicorn’s head and horn, angled around a dark stand of trees to stare at him.

Albus?” Miranda’s muted voice was urgent in his ear.

“A moment,” he whispered, and lifted his hand in a slow, solemn gesture, to show that he could see his guide. For there was no doubt in his mind now that the unicorn was guiding him.

With a small toss of its head, horn flashing, the unicorn beckoned him forward, then disappeared completely into the shadows.

Albus straightened from his crouch. “I’m afraid that I can’t wait for you after all,” he said.

“Why?” The instant demand was sharp.

“My unicorn guide has returned.”

Brief silence. And then Antonio muttered, “Next time, I am staying beside you.”

Albus would have smiled, but something in him turned, twisted away from the instinct which filled him, the sense of foreboding. Foresight, perhaps. Part of him knew that he should wait, that he should have his companions beside him, for all of their sakes. But another part of him knew, with equal certainty, that he must move forward now, before he lost the unicorn’s path completely.

“If we are fortunate,” he said softly, “there will not be a next time.”

Albus…” Miranda began anxiously.

“I am heading northeast from my position,” he said, knowing that the firmness of his tone would distress her, but knowing it for necessary. “I will retrace my steps when I understand what I am being led to see. Be cautious until we meet up again.”

Miranda’s muttered imprecations were so soft as to be almost inaudible through the Charm. Antonio’s murmur was clearer: “Cuidate bien, maestro.”

            For a moment, before stepping deeper into the Enchantment, Albus hesitated on the verge of altering the Charm and speaking to Miranda alone… but what, truly, was there to say? They had no time for the amenities of emotional discourse, and as uncertain as many things had been between them, he did not doubt that she knew him, and what he might say, well enough. Such things said, at times like these, only echoed farewell before it had come to pass. No, he would let silence speak instead, for it spoke of trust here, and surety. They would follow him eventually, with all of their skill and determination and trust - of that he was sure.

            Breathing in deeply of the forest air - made still and silent in the Enchantment, but nonetheless alive with the scent of things vital and resilient despite the threat of corruption - Albus moved deeper into the Forest, following the trail the unicorn had made for him. And for a moment he thought he heard, in the distance, a brief, sweet note breaking the stillness of the air.




Continued in: Two - The Ashes of Loss


A/N: Well, I started writing this story several months ago, but was unfortunately distracted by other projects and never got around to finishing it. Then I decided - hey, OotP comes out soon, and I’m sure we’ll learn more about Fawkes in it, so I’ll just wait and finish/rewrite this story afterward, having absorbed and processed all of that new knowledge. Because, as you can guess by now, central to this story is how Dumbledore finds Fawkes - or Fawkes finds him.


There was only one problem: very shortly after I’d started writing on this, I started creating family trees for the OCs, and quickly found a way to tie them into other stories I was also working on. So now I had a dilemma: Hold off on posting any unfinished pieces of this, and leave all the family connections in my head alone, because really, I’m the only who cares about it enough to miss it since no one else would even know! Or: Post this story unfinished, and risk having to come back and rewrite it entirely after OotP comes out, all just for… well, just for the heck of it. J


Obviously, the latter won out. So I know I’m going to feel like an idiot when OotP comes out and I have to rewrite this (because I DO want to write a story about Dumbledore and Fawkes, and I’ll do it one way or another, dammit!), but I couldn’t help myself. Those family connections are coming up very soon, you see, and I couldn’t resist the urge…

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