The Sugar Quill
Author: LuthAn  Story: Of Cauldrons and Comrades  Chapter: Prologue
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"For myself, those things that have died, in dying, entered my own heart

Author’s Note: Special thanks to my wonderful SQ Beta Heather, aka Felina Black, for her excellent beta!  And thanks to my dear friend Nielawen who has also helped me a great deal.  Enjoy!

 

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"For myself, those things that have died, in dying, entered my own heart."

--Rainer Maria Rilke

 

November 3, 1981

 

Albus Dumbledore sat alone in his office.  It was very late in the night, and even the more talkative of portraits were soundly asleep.  The past few days had flown by.  Such triumph, such joy.  And yet, such deep, profound loss. 

 

The war was over at last, or so it seemed.  Dumbledore wasn’t as sure as most.  Could Lord Voldemort really have been vanquished forever?  Yes, what happened at Godric’s Hollow was powerful, but was it really enough?  And did it require the noble sacrifice of two of Hogwarts’ brightest students?

 

He knew the answer to that question.  Yes, of course he knew.  James and Lily Potter were dead.  But they were not the only ones.  Would they and the others be remembered by history?  Or would they all just become footnotes in the story of the Boy Who Lived?

 

And of course there was the matter of Harry.  Tiny little Harry Potter, bereft of his parents barely after he could say their names.  Harry was now totally alone in the world; any semblance of the life he would have led was now shattered.

 

The silence was deafening.

 

As he frequently did in times of trouble or great contemplation, Dumbledore removed his Pensieve from the shelf behind his desk.  He sat the great basin on his desk and stared at it for a moment, no emotion registering on his careworn face. 

 

As the silvery surface twinkled and shimmered Dumbledore withdrew his wand from his sleeve.  He aimed it at the Pensieve’s liquid depths and twitched his arm upwards.  Ten ghostly figures slowly emerged from the liquid, their bodies spun out of the translucent matter.  The Gryffindor Class of 1978.

 

For, Dumbledore had come to realize as the losses sank in, this class had suffered more than any from Hogwarts in recent memory.  The Class of 1978 as a whole had been absolutely torn asunder, it was true.  They, more so than any other class at Hogwarts had truly felt the rise of Lord Voldemort.  The Class of 1978 had produced heroes, had produced villains, all because they had the misfortune of being of the precise age that Lord Voldemort desired of his followers—and his victims. 

 

Yes, each House had seen casualties.  Hector Harkiss and Athena Coddington from Ravenclaw.  Two Hufflepuffs had died and a third was missing, all because of their outright support for Muggles.  The Slytherins of 1978 had suffered casualties as well, but, as Dumbledore noted with a heavy sigh, they were mainly on the other side.  All five Slytherin boys from that year had become Death Eaters.  Where had he gone wrong?  What had he, what had Hogwarts done to turn these young men to evil?

 

And his thoughts turned again to Gryffindor.  To Godric’s House.  To his House.  Why had they suffered so much?  Why had they been targeted?  Five students dead.  Five.  More than Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw combined.  One student in Azkaban.  Not more than twenty-one years old.  Two in hiding, though for how long?  The Death Eaters had found Lily and James.  And, what really shook him, two Gryffindors had completely given up Magic and had gone to live as Muggles.  The war, the strife, the struggles had so completely nauseated two people that they had relinquished their blood, their inheritance, their talents.  They were so disgusted with what the Wizarding World had come to that they had left it for good.  What kind of a world was this?

 

The figures continued rotating in the air above the Pensieve.  Lily, James, Gwendolyn, Sirius, Diana, Remus, Artemia, Janus, Marlene, and Peter.  As he stared a little while more at their vaporous figures, Dumbledore felt the most profound sorrow on his heart.

 

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