The Eye of the Snake
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters,
settings, and happenings belong to JK Rowling.
I am just borrowing them for my own amusement. The title also belongs to JK.
Arthur Weasley shivered and drew the
Invisibility Cloak tighter round his shoulders, straining to capture the little
warmth it provided. His eyes drooped but
he hurriedly snapped them open again. It
would not do to fall asleep on the job.
He wouldn't be able to forgive himself if it were he who enabled
You-Know-Who to get hold of his most dangerous weapon.
Yawning, he sat up straight and peered
down the dark hallway. Though he
wouldn't be able to see if anyone was coming, he wouldn't be totally unprepared
either. His right hand gripped his wand
so tightly his knuckles were white, and the Invisibility Cloak gave him an
advantage. He tried to control the
growing fear he hid in his heart. He was
not a natural fighter; his instincts had always been to peacefully negotiate. Even the brawl with Malfoy in Flourish and
Blotts had been reluctant and provoked.
Hermione's poor Muggle parents (fascinating people, really) were not used to
prejudiced worthless excuses for wizards like Malfoy. Weasleys had pride, and to be taunted and
insulted by scum like Malfoy in front of his children and the Grangers left him
no choice but to retaliate.
His darling Ginny was so grown up, so
mature at such a young age. Ron too had gone through so much so young. His two
youngest children far surpassed their age in maturity and intellect. They had both had such traumatic experiences
in their first years at Hogwarts and had faced them bravely and triumphed. But
he knew they were safe as they could be at Hogwarts while Dumbledore was there.
Fred and George were always ready with a
laugh and a joke. Though as much alike
as ever, the subtle differences between them were becoming more
pronounced. They were becoming more
independent from each other and from their parents. Dumbledore had already hinted to him that
their products would be helpful in minor defenses against You-Know-Who.
Charlie and Bill were already fighting
against You-Know-Who. Bill had even
given up treasure hunting at Gringotts for a desk job in England so he could be
closer to the Order and Charlie was recruiting members abroad.
His sweet, beautiful Molly was being so brave. She was dealing with so much, acting like a
mother to the whole Order. He was so lucky
to have her.
Arthur had been so worried when Remus had told him
about Molly's Boggart. He understood; he
saw the same thing every night in his dreams. He wished he could comfort her,
confide in her, but Remus had told him she had not wanted to tell anyone. She seemed reserved and was pretending
nothing had happened. He yawned and
quickly sipped from his newly acquired flask.
Mad-Eye Moody had suggested Wit-Sharpening Potions to the Order in
general to help stay alert on missions.
He had also generously provided all Order members with their own
flasks. He took another sip and
shuddered visibly. As helpful as it may
be, the taste was awfully foul. Then he
allowed himself, for the first time in many months, to think about Percy. He
had never really fought with any of his children, not about anything big
anyway. He would have given anything to
shut out the Order, tell Percy he was right, and welcome him home with arms
open wide. But the Order needed him and his family. He needed to let go and simply hope Percy
would come around soon. The risk
involved with foregoing his duty to the Order could have a negative affect on
the wizarding world's situation. If
Percy and the fools at the Ministry refuse to believe in You-Know-Who's return,
You-Know-Who would have an easy time of recruiting supporters and taking over
the wizarding world. Even if Percy did
come around, would Arthur be willing to forgive him? He had insulted and degraded Arthur, blaming
him for his personal lack of ambition and for the family's lack of money. Percy's promotion at work had made him more
of a smug prick than he had been before.
Yet still Arthur worried. If
Malfoy was influencing or controlling Fudge, Percy could be in danger since his
new job was so close to Fudge's.
His wand began to slip from his fingers.
Afraid of dropping it, he stowed it safely underneath his belt. His eyes finally closed of their own accord
regardless of the many gulps of
Wit-Sharpening Potion to prevent them from doing so.
He was in the
brightly lit kitchen of the Burrow, drinking a cup of freshly brewed coffee,
inhaling the delicious aroma. Molly
walked in from a door he thought hadn't been there before carrying a large
trunk he had never seen before..
that, Molly?" he asked her. She
didn't answer, but her smile conveyed a cold callousness that transformed her
face into a mask. He didn't know this Molly; this wasn't his Molly. As she set the trunk on the floor, the rusty
hinges creaked slowly open and Percy rose out of it. He immediately fell to the floor, blood
pouring out of an unseen wound. His
mind, caught off guard, didn't react in time and Percy hit the floor with
help him!" he shouted, kneeling beside his son. But Molly had disappeared. He looked wildly around for anything that
might help him. A faint hissing filled
Arthur jerked awake, the hissing still
filling his ears. A huge snake, bigger
than any he had seen, filled the shadowy hall in front of him. Its coils trailed off into the impenetrable
darkness. He stood up, the Invisibility
Cloak slipping off. He raised his wand
hand before realizing with sick horror that his wand wasn't there. He grabbed blindly for his belt, hoping his
wand was there. Finally, his fingers
touched wood. He grasped his wand, took
a deep breath, and shouted, "Stupefy!" His caution was thrown to the wind in light of
this new danger. It had no affect
whatsoever. He was powerless against this beast. The snake rose above him, mouth open and
fangs bared. The fangs, so long, so
sharp, cut into his flesh, tearing it.
The wound seared with pain as his blood poured out of it.
"No, Molly…Percy!" he screamed in pain, his shouts fading into
unintelligible howls as the snake slithered away into the night.