Fanfic: Kingslayer- ignition by onethousand_birds (Free to read, 564,411Clicks)

Description:

Harry Potter is a political favorite in uncertain times, still hailed as a war hero despite his tender age and constant desperate attempts to stay out of the way of the second magical war that was brewing… and out of the spotlight. The one and only Harry Potter is about to rock the boat when he discovers the magical world’s best-kept secret… the truth about the paradigms of dark and light.With the help of his new half-fae friend Luna and a little bit of magic, Harry delves deep into a secret world within the forbidden forest and finds himself caught in a magical war of an entirely different sort. The only difference? Now he has something to fight for.

Characters:

Creator Chose Not To Use Archive WarningsNeville Longbottom/Harry Potter Luna Lovegood/Harry Potter Neville Longbottom/Luna Lovegood Neville Longbottom/Luna Lovegood/Harry Potter asexual character(s) – Relationship Other Relationship Tags to Be AddedHarry Potter Luna Lovegood Neville Longbottom Ron Weasley Hermione Granger basically all the other weasley stooges Hogwarts Students Hogwarts Staff ok like literally everyone this is a harry potter rewrite Original Characters Original Fae Characters original terrifying fairy queen of the deep forest charactersFix-It Add a bit of spice not that kind of spice tho Powerful Harry Potter BAMF Luna Lovegood Powerful Neville Longbottom Fake Prophecy multiple/different prophecies Asexual Hermione Granger Supportive Ron Weasley Ron Weasley is a Good Friend Draco Malfoy Bashing he’s an entitled rich buffoon Albus Dumbledore Bashing batshit crazy albus dumbledore Animagus characters Fluff and Humor but also some serious moments and some sirius moments Fae & Fairies Fae Magic Dark Magic but not really because dark magic isnt real i’ll explain the fae/fairy difference in-universe dw guardian of magic harry potter neurodivergent characters ND harry ND neville ND hermione ND luna what is consistent posting times Prophecy Soulmates Bisexual Harry Potter buffoonery and tomfoolery from every which direction mini molly ronald weasley well not mini cuz that boy TALL fred and george play an ongoing game of badminton with their single brain cell babe wake up new lore on the decoy detonator just dropped

Summary:

Summary:

Harry Potter is a political favorite in uncertain times, still hailed as a war hero despite his tender age and constant desperate attempts to stay out of the way of the second magical war that was brewing… and out of the spotlight. The one and only Harry Potter is about to rock the boat when he discovers the magical world’s best-kept secret… the truth about the paradigms of dark and light.With the help of his new half-fae friend Luna and a little bit of magic, Harry delves deep into a secret world within the forbidden forest and finds himself caught in a magical war of an entirely different sort. The only difference? Now he has something to fight for.Check my bio for any necessary disclaimers about the series.,Summary:

Harry is whisked off to Grimmauld Place for the very first time, and he is given a chance to sit in on a meeting of the Order of the Phoenix.

Notes:
A few small things before we begin… You’ll find the way i write harry is a bit different than canon, in that he’s more sure of himself. I find in my own life that the people who suffer from trauma or some form of mental illness are the most introspective and self aware, which we need to be from time to time. Harry is a person who has been through monumental trauma and, instead of making him clueless about the state of his own mental health, i thought it would be more interesting to write him as a more lucid and inner-directed. He’s a smart dude, too, with a strong concience and an extremely sensitive moral compass, and this is due to circumstances i’ll reveal later.Also, i thought that writing his ministry hearing would be a pain so i just… didnt put it in. In this story the dementor incident just didn’t happen by circumstance. Maybe umbridge gave the dementors the wrong address…?The fidelius charm is described differently than in the book and that’s just a matter of artistic preference.I also didn’t want to write the whole cast and crew of the order as showing up to abduct harry from privet drive because we get a more intimate look at the main character’s actions and reactions when there’s less going on in the backgroundthat said, please enjoy!

Chapter 1: Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Chapter Text
Harry Potter awoke to something going bump in the night.More specifically, he woke to an agonizingly obvious series of crashes coming from the kitchen, right below his bedroom on the second floor of number four Privet Drive.Harry had a bit too much experience with sudden, unprovoked peril for comfort and he immediately sprang out of bed and grabbed the nearest object that could pass as a weapon: the heavy transfiguration book on his desk. He crouched down beside his door, out of sight in the shadows of just-past-midnight. His only plan: bean his attacker on the head before they even saw him.Now see, the problem with Harry’s plan is that there was no room for missing the attacker on the first swing, more than one attacker, not knocking them out in the first blow, or any other reasonable worries which could be planned for. He found himself praying to nothing in particular that whoever this was, they wouldn’t even enter his room. The sounds of multiple heavy footsteps came up the stairs and Harry’s whole body tensed in anticipation.“Ah fuck!” Came the sound of a woman’s voice immediately after a rather loud thud.“Language, Tonks!” Came another voice, sounding oddly familiar.“Can you stop tripping on your own feet for three seconds?” A third, gruff and gravelly voice that made the hairs on the back of Harry’s neck stand up.“Sorry…”“It’s okay, you’re just making a lot of noise,” The second voice said gently and Harry recognized it suddenly: Mr Weasley! That was Mr Weasley’s voice!“Let’s try this room.” Harry relaxed a little bit as the sound of hinges creaking came from directly across the hall. Whoever they were, they were with Mr Weasley.“Nothing. This one?” Harry’s own door creaked open and he was met with a lit wand to his face and the three surprised visages of an unfamiliar pink-haired woman, Arthur Weasley, and finally, bone-chillingly, the man who had entered him into the Triwizard Tournament: Alastor “Madeye” Moody. It took him a minute to remind himself that the man from the previous year was not really Moody at all.“Harry, whatever are you doing?” Mr Weasley asked. Harry realized with a pang of embarrassment that he was still crouched, brandishing his transfiguration textbook as if it were his only lifeline.“Erm… sorry. I thought you were home invaders,” He said mildly as he stood. “Technically we are,” The pink-haired woman said cheerfully, “You certainly didn’t invite us, which means we’re trespassing on the grounds of an attempted kidnapping!”“Kidnapping?” “We’ve come to pick you up and bring you to London,” Mr Weasley explained, giving the woman a gentle nudge in the side with his elbow.“Oh… alright. Let me just get my things—” “Now wait just a minute, lad!” Moody sounded almost indignant. His leg made a hollow *clunk* as he stepped forwards towards Harry, “How do you know we aren’t death eaters who have been on polyjuice? You’re just going to go with us, no questions asked?”“Only the real Moody would say that…” The pink haired woman snorted.“Well… yeah. That was the plan, actually. It didn’t occur to me that I would be meeting two people impersonating the same man within the span of a month,” Harry said rather flatly. “I can vouch for these two, I’ve been with them all night,” Mr Weasley said quickly. “Ask me something only I would know, just to make sure.”Harry thought for a moment, inhibited greatly by the three sets of expectant eyes upon him as he hesitated. It all felt rather unnecessary.“Besides flight, what charms did you put on your Ford Anglia?” “Disillusionment for invisibility, of course. It also had an undetectable extension to make it larger on the inside.” “Okay… can I go get my things now?” Harry was mortified.****Thus, Harry found himself scooped up and whisked away from his Dursley hellscape by broom and landed safely on the ground, two-hundred miles from his sleepy hometown near Manchester. The destination his esteemed kidnappers had had in mind was a run down lot holding the ruin of a gothic London townhouse. It was a wreck to look at.Well, actually it would have been were it not for the slip of paper that Madeye Moody shoved into Harry’s hands after they landed. He looked at the grizzled old man curiously.“Read it, then rip it up.” Moody said gruffly.It read: 12 Grimmauld Place, London.“How does an address help—“ Harry was baffled for a moment until his attention was pulled from his peripheral vision to the lot they stood before and he gawked at the sight of a shimmering veil falling before his eyes. Behind the veil, the townhouse was resplendent in its ornate, classic design. “Fidelius charm.” Mr Weasley explained before Harry could even ask what had happened. “You’re seeing the place for what it really is. Welcome, Harry, to the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix.”“The Order of the… What is that?” He looked at the three adults who stood before him, rather hoping he would get a full explanation rather than the occasional direction to follow. It was hardly Harry’s fault for wanting real, actual answers.“You’ll see,” The redheaded man said patiently, turning back towards the townhouse.“I’d like to know before I see, though. Not a one of you has given me half a clue what I’m doing here…” His protest fell on deaf ears as the pink-haired woman and Mr Weasley approached the townhouse. Harry let out a small yelp as Moody grabbed the back of his shirt collar and pulled him along towards the door without so much as a second thought. When he was deposited across the threshold he immediately jerked away from Moody, straightened his back and puffed his chest indignantly at having been manhandled. He felt rather like Hedwig when she fluffed her feathers to look more intimidating to the other birds in the owlery, though it didn’t have the same effect when paired with his scrawny body. The point is, he was rather miffed at being physically moved when he could very well have walked. There was a rather loud series of crashes up ahead of him that made his entire body bristle: The pink-haired woman had tripped on the umbrella stand, knocked over a coat rack and managed to break a clock on the wall all in one go, which was a rather impressive feat considering that none of those items were in her immediate reach only seconds before. Harry took a minute to blandly take in the picture of incompetence for about three seconds before a high-pitched shrieking like the wail of a banshee permeated the air and forced Harry to cover his ears as the sound only mounted in volume.“MUDBLOODS! MUDBLOODS AND BLOOD TRAITORS IN MY HOUSE! NOTHING IS SACRED! MONGRELS AND HALF BREEDS AND BLOOD TRAITORS ARE SULLYING MY GOOD NAME! I WILL NOT HAVE IT! I WILL NOT HAVE THE MUDBLOODS IN MY HOUSE!”“SHUT THE FUCK UP, YOU SHRIVELLED, MISERABLE HAG!” A second, male voice bellowed out as a curse was cast from the bannister separating the hall from the stairs at a solitary curtain on the wall. Harry looked up to see none other than Sirius Black wearing a look of rage as he stood at the top of the stairs, wand brandished in front of him.“MY OWN SON IS ONE OF THEM! HE’S A BLOOD TRAITOR LIKE ALL THE OTHERS! SULLYING THE HOUSE OF BLACK! MY OWN SON HAS JOINED THE MUDBLOODS AND HALF BREEDS! HE HAS BROUGHT A MUDBLOOD WHORE INTO MY HOUSE AND HE ASSOCIATED WITH THE FILTHY BASTARDS AND MUTTS AND SCUM!” The disembodied shriek behind the curtain only grew louder as it worked itself into a rage. “MY OWN SON DEFILES OUR NOBLE HOUSE AND BRINGS THE DISGUSTING CURS OF THE STREET INTO OUR HOME BUT I WILL NOT HAVE IT!”There was an incredibly loud BANG and a fireball was hurled from the top of the stairs and impacted the wall. Harry threw an arm up in front of his face to shield his eyes and all he heard were the coughs of those around him who were closer to it than he. When he raised his head back up he saw, behind the now-destroyed velvet curtain was a portrait of an incredibly ugly woman who was fixed in a silent scream like a muggle painting.“There,” Came Sirius’ smug voice. “That always seems to shut the damn cunt up for a while. Harry! Sorry about mother dearest, It’s good to see you.”Harry took his warm exclamation and opened arms as an invitation to run in for a hug as his godfather met him at the bottom of the stairs. The tall man smelt of cigarettes and incense along with the unmistakable smell of unwashed hippogriff feathers, something Harry had learned the previous year was apparently an occupational hazard to hiding out with an animal on the run. “Have you grown since I last saw you?” The older man asked cheekily, stepping back to take a look at him. “An entire half-inch,” Harry said bitterly. His godfather just shrugged.“James was short at first too.”That was the not-so-lovely thing about Harry and Sirius’ relationship: In every conversation, every letter, every correspondence or communication in any way, the man always brought up his father. This may have been charming at first: a rare link to the real person his father was that Harry had never gotten to see, a portal into the past and a way to honor his family… But now it was just irritating. Occasionally Harry wondered if Sirius was fully aware that he was not James Potter, but his own person. Sirius had some major issues with closure and grief.Harry was caught even more off guard by a joyful shriek coming from the staircase. He whipped around to see the source of the noise as a blur of curls and an oversized jumper barreled towards him. Arms were thrown around his body and he was wrapped in the smell of coconut oil. He buried his face in the crook of his assailant’s shoulder and grinned.“Hermione,” Came the voice of Ron from behind her, “Let the poor bloke breathe.”“Sorry Harry! It’s just so good to see you. We were worried, you know, about you all alone with those awful people.” She looked at him with compassion bordering on pity. See, Harry’s abuse at the Dursley household was one of those things that was known but never discussed. Harry had talked to his friends in vague detail about his treatment there before, but they knew better than to bring up the details. When discussing their summers, though, it hung above everything else like a dark cloud. He simply wasn’t ready to talk about it all.Hermione sensed that she had touched a nerve and backtracked quickly.“Anyways, come upstairs with us, everyone’s waiting to see you!”“Everyone?” Harry asked as Hermione began leading him up the stairs, Ron trailing behind.“Yeah, Fred, George, Ginny… everyone. Well, everyone but Percy. The prat’s off on some sort of Ministry business because he’s still got his arse planted on that high horse, holier than thou bit he’s been doing.” Ron said bitterly. Harry didn’t ask for details, knowing eventually the whole story would come out.At the top of the stairs there came a loud popping noise that reminded Harry of cracking knuckles, but somehow ten times louder. The trio all jumped in shock as, behind them, the twins appeared wearing identical shit-eating grins. Ron looked as if he was having heart palpitations. Harry took a second to wonder how someone who had lived his whole life with his troublesome brothers wasn’t more used to being startled and snuck up on.“Never gets old does it, Forge?”“Especially not with ickle Ronniekins,”“What was that?” Harry asked.“That would be apparition,” came yet another voice from down the hall. Ginny stood in the doorway to one of the Grimmauld guest bedrooms. The small smile she gave Harry was about the sum of a typical greeting from her. He hadn’t received a proper ‘hi’ or ‘good morning’ since she had gotten over her odd little crush on him around mid-third year. According to Ron, this was how she treated everyone in the family except Mrs Weasley. “Obviously, they just got their license and they’ve made it their mission to give Ron and Mum as many heart attacks as possible.”“And so far it’s been a resounding success!” One of the twins noted happily. “It’s good to see you, Harry. Did you blow up anyone else this summer?”Ah, the Marge incident. The Weasleys had gotten a kick out of the story and at least one of them had managed to bring it up everytime discussions of summer break rolled around. Hermione, who had never seen the humor in it, gave the lot of them a sweeping dirty look as Ron and Ginny chuckled.“Not yet, but there’s still time I think… More importantly, what are you all doing here?” “Invading London and wearing down on your godfather’s good graces, mostly,” Ginny said. “We’ve been staying here for the past week on some sort of business for Dumbledore. I heard Bill might be coming tonight.”“Bill and just about every other light wizard we know…” Ron explained. “I even heard from Dad that Mcgonegall is coming in for some sort of meeting!”“Professor Mcgonegall, Ron,” Hermione sighed, “And Professor Flitwick is coming too. Mr Lupin got here last night as well.”“How is he?” Harry blurted, “Lupin, I mean.”“Well we don’t know. He’s only been sleeping for the past sixteen hours.” “We did just have a full moon…” Someone muttered. Harry exchanged a look with Hermione, getting the impression she hadn’t known that Lupin’s condition had been common knowledge either. It wasn’t that much of a surprise: things never stayed secret inside the Weasley household for very long.“The point is,” One of the twins stressed, “The meeting tonight is a really big deal… and nobody will let us join in.”“So we’re going to spy on them.”“Naturally.”“How—“ Harry began, but his eyes were drawn to something that every one of the Weasley siblings began pulling out of their pockets: an odd, fake plastic ear on a string that looked suspiciously like one of the twins’ prank products for their joke shop.“I’m not going to like this, am I?” Hermione bemoaned.“Probably not.”****The group began to listen in before everyone had even arrived. Harry’s eyes widened as he saw Hagrid cross through the narrow hall and he peered through the gaps in the old wooden bannister to see the details of the man he was walking with to no avail. Flashes of conversation became audible to those who didn’t have a turn with one of the four frequently exchanged “extendable ears” as the door opened when people went in. The well-meaning attempt at eavesdropping had been rather quickly foiled by the sharp-eyed Weasley matriarch, who had managed to spot the extendable ears within about two minutes of what sounded like a rather passionate argument. Harry’s name had come up multiple times and the lot had listened in avidly until they heard the words “eavesdroppers” and began a chaotic scuffle to hide the ears and act as innocent as possible before Mrs Weasley got up the stairs. This had, of course, failed. As much as Harry would have loved to blame Hermione’s terrible poker face of ultimate guilt when Mrs Weasley had demanded to know what they were up to, but he figured it was most likely the ear that he hadn’t realized was hanging out of his pocket that was to blame. The lot crowded into Ginny’s room as Mrs Weasley confiscated the fleshy magical contraband and returned to the meeting wearing a sour look. They immediately started talking in rather loud whispers.“What was that argument all about? They were saying my name!” Harry demanded with no small degree of alarm to the twins. “They erm… they seem to think that you should be a part of the meeting.”“No fair!” Ron sulked, “None of us get to join!”“Do you know why they wanted me there?” “Not a clue, mate. I passed my ear off to you for that part.”“Well it stopped working. All I heard was a purring sound and a lot of crackling.”“Crookshanks must have found it,” Ginny giggled.“Did any of you hear anything?”“Not a thing,” Hermione said diligently. Ron and Ginny also shook their heads. “That must have been the point mum saw the ears then.”“Well what do we do?” Harry asked.“Cross our fingers and toes that they decide to let Harry in?” “Bullshit! We should have had a backup plan!”A knock came from the doorway and the lot turned to see Sirius standing there grinning. “C’mon then, Harry. You get to join the meeting!” “What about us?” One of the twins demanded. “Mum said we’re too young to join but we’re of age and everything!” “Sorry but your mum overruled me.” Sirius gave a shudder. “She’s one terrifying woman. She didn’t even want Harry in there, I had to fight pretty hard for him.”Both twins muttered bitterly as Harry got up from his place on Ginny’s bed. Ron grabbed his wrist gently as he went.“Tell me everything that happens?”Harry looked at Sirius, who just shrugged and held up his hands on mock surrender. “Hey, as long as Molly doesn’t find out that you know I won’t say a word. They’re waiting for us, kiddo. Let’s go.” The man led him to the kitchen: a huge, open room with a large oak table that was enough to sit twenty comfortably and waited for about half its seats to be filled. Sirius sat Harry between himself and Hagrid, who gave him a big crinkly-eyed smile. At the table he saw Mr and Mrs Weasley, the pink-haired woman, Moody, Hagrid and the tall man that the half giant had come in with: he wore silver auror robes and sat with a cool but shrewd demeanor. He had very dark skin, close-cropped black hair and unsettlingly cold blue eyes. He acknowledged Harry only with a curious glance.“So, we have our newest member… Besides Severus, Minerva, and Mundungus Fletcher, who should we expect tonight?” Mr Weasley asked after nodding curtly to Sirius. Harry’s eyes widened at the sudden mention of his teachers.Molly looked ruefully towards him and Sirius.“Fletcher’s been arrested… again,” Moody noted with a tone of distaste. Nobody at the table looked at all surprised.“Remus got in last night, actually. He’s upstairs in one of the spare chambers right now. Daedalus owled last night and said he wouldn’t be able to make it and Elphias is out on ministry business. Molly mentioned that her eldest may be joining us tonight,” Sirius listed off expertly.“What is all of this for, though?” Harry interrupted. “Patience, Harry. We have to wait until everyone’s here.” Mr Weasley murmured. “Well if Remus is here, why isn’t he *here*?” The pink-haired woman from earlier asked.“He sleeps like the dead,” Sirius said fondly, “I couldn’t find it in me to wake him.”The kitchen door opened with a creak and in swept Harry’s least favorite professor: one Severus Snape, with the disposition of somebody who had just stepped in dog shit. He took one look at Harry, sat there looking quite small indeed between the massive figure of Hagrid and broad-shouldered Sirius, and he stared at Harry as curiously as the man in silver had… but his eyes betrayed a far less welcoming aura to him. Harry knew this game: whoever broke eye contact first was the weak link. It was an unspoken rule, of sorts. Harry’s jade eyes would lock with his Professor’s obsidian ones and the game was afoot. Neither of them played, neither of them spoke to each other, but they both knew better than to look away. He’d never won it with Snape except once. The time in Dumbledore’s office when Lily Potter was brought up. It only ever lasted a few seconds.The prick.Harry stared bitterly at the man down the row and across the way, sitting near the end of the long table with nobody beside him. He stared and stared until Sirius noticed the pair of raven-haired wizards surveying each other sharply and nudged the teen in the shoulder. Harry would take another loss. Snape’s face didn’t change as Harry looked down and away.The next to arrive was Minerva Mcgonagall, followed by Remus Lupin, who looked more tired and worn down than ever before. He sat across from Sirius and the pair exchanged an indiscernible look that Harry couldn’t have missed for the life of him. As the room filled in with a few more adults that Harry barely knew, he grew steadily more uneasy. Nobody had bothered to explain a thing to him yet, and nobody was speaking aloud, instead choosing to murmur to one another in hushed and sober tones. Finally, just when Harry was sure he couldn’t bear the building knot of writhing nerves in his stomach, Sirius stood and spoke. “Welcome, everyone, to the second July meeting of the Order Of The Phoenix. At our last meeting, we discussed the necessity of bringing Harry Potter to the headquarters for his protection. Now that we have done so, we need to discuss the next step… Kingsley, how goes it at the ministry?”The silver-eyed man stood up to speak, giving Harry another cursory glance as his gaze swept across the meeting table. When he spoke, he did so in a rich, deep voice that commanded the room even more than his rather impressive height had done.“Presently my team is investigating an anonymous report about the whereabouts of one mass murderer Sirius Black in Southern Whales. The team still has no idea that Mr Fletcher has filed every single one of these reports.” An appreciative chuckle rippled across the room and Harry realized: the “Order of the Phoenix” had men inside the Ministry leading them on a wild goose chase.“There has also been well over a dozen reports of suspicious death eater activity,” Kingsley continued. “They are on the move again and we have noticed the same trends in activity as the war. We have received several requests to investigate the shop Borgin and Burke’s and Nocturne proper.”Mr Weasley stood up. “It’s been determined that Borgin and Burke’s has no connection to the death eaters, though The Misuse department has intercepted several imports of cursed objects. The owners have not cooperated with the ministry, and we are going on our third week trying to get an auror search warrant.”“The auror department is overloaded with work. We recently found a web of dark covens in Scotland. None of them are known death eaters, which just means there’s more common dark scum on the loose than we had anticipated. Legally, we aren’t allowed to take them out… yet. Most known members are simply in custody.” Kingsley said with a look of disgust.“Take them out?” Harry blurted. Most of the eyes at the table turned to him. “Exterminate them.” The silver-eyed man said curtly. He turned to the table in general: “We shut down their practices but we are still investigating along the vein of informants we have to see if we missed one. These dark covens spread like weeds unless they’re pulled at the root.”“How about interrogation?” Sirius prompted.“Even with veritaserum we couldn’t get it out of the lower-level members… apparently they have quite the sophisticated way of keeping each other in the dark about the identities of their sister covens. It’s only a matter of time until we find something, though.”“Why are you trying to arrest them all if they aren’t even death eaters?” Harry blurted again. He found himself held in the scrutinizing gaze of everyone at the table once more.“Because that’s what the Order of the Phoenix does,” Lupin said calmly. “We hunt down all dark magic users. The goal is to completely eradicate all dark magic from Britain.”“Oh… but if they aren’t supporters of Vol— sorry, You-Know-Who, what did they do wrong?” “They’re too dangerous to exist, Harry.” Sirius looked, for once, serious. He wore a look of hatred on his face as he spoke: “Dark magic is a barbaric practice that doesn’t have a place in the wizarding world. The Ministry’s hands are tied when it comes to dealing with dark wizards effectively, but ours aren’t. That’s why we’re all here.”Every head in the room turned towards the kitchen door as it swung open. The figure emerging from the threshold was unmistakable: Albus Dumbledore swept into the room with aqua robes trailing behind him. He cut a commanding presence when he spoke:“Good evening to you all,” His electric blue eyes, half-shielded by his crescent-shaped glasses, seemed to survey everyone in the room… except for Harry. “To what do we owe the pleasure, Albus?” Mr Weasley asked as the man took an empty place at the head of the table that Harry had noticed all the order members avoiding. “It’s been a while since you’ve come to lead a meeting, even if it is just a debriefing.”“I received a troubling letter from Mr Kingsley… I simply wished to be a part of the conversation surrounding these new dark cults. I also wished to welcome our newest potential member.” Finally, the blue eyes shifted to Harry, who fought the urge to squirm with sudden discomfort in his seat. He always felt as though, when the headmaster met his gaze, he was an open book with all his private thoughts and concerns out in the open, as though his mind was being read. That was, of course, impossible. Still, the unsettling twinkle in the old man’s eye…He was being paranoid. He shook his head and tried for a smile, redirecting his thoughts back to the meeting, back to his questions.“You have questions about the order, my boy?” Dumbledore prompted, causing Harry to feel even more on-edge.“Erm…” might as well. “Yes, sir. These… these dark cults, why are they so evil? what are they doing wrong?”There was a stir of discontent around him, and from the less familiar members of the order he heard an indignant whisper or two. Dumbledore merely looked amused. “Now, my boy, it is simply because they are dark that they mustn’t be allowed to continue on. Dark magic is a dangerous practice, and if left untended to it spreads like a disease. Wizards who practice dark magic do so because they wish to harm light wizards, because they harbor some hate for humanity. In the case of most, they are saveable, but covens like the one Mr Kingsley was just addressing are beyond saving. None but the practitioners benefit from dark magic, and even then it is but a hollow reward that they may reap. Some know not what they do, but others have been fully consumed by the dark. We simply wish the best for our world, so like a tree we must prune away the rotten, diseased branches so that the festering shall not spread.” Dumbledore looked rather proud of his speech, and Harry was only marginally convinced. Still, perhaps the Order of the Phoenix was right: perhaps it was better for everyone if dark wizards did not exist. After all, Voldemort was as dark as they came. These were people he loved and trusted at the table, those with vast volumes more experience than he… did he have a right to question them?No. He wouldn’t decide here and now, surrounded by people and social pressure. He would keep an open mind and breathe like Hermione always told him to. He would push down the uneasy feeling in his stomach and he would get through the night. He would talk to his friends, see what they thought. Many objective, righteous minds were better than a single clouded one.“Harry,” Sirius said gently, “We’re doing the right thing. We’re going to stop you-know-who and everyone who’s like him. That’s the end goal.”“It’s for the greater good.” Albus finished, before addressing the table as a whole. “Now, anyways, we need some way to exterminate the cult leaders, whoever they may be, and find a way into the inner circle.”Harry stopped listening. There was that phrase: “for the greater good”. He had heard Dumbledore say it before. It seemed hollow: a means to an unsavory end. He didn’t much like the term ‘exterminate’ when talking about human beings, either. None of it sat right with him.Harry was no idiot. He knew the adults in his life were trying to drag him into a war that he had no business in. They called him a hero one minute and a liar the next, but he was just a teenager. He also knew that they had a good point: terrorists like Voldemort could not be allowed influence. All the same, were they going about it the right way? Were all dark wizards really terrorists… dangerous, extreme, unstable? Was the war effort always like this? Unconcentrated… vague, based in lofty ideals that seemed unachievable when spoken out loud… For some reason, he couldn’t convince himself that they were right. His very instincts told him to question it all.The order finished up, and Harry sat in the kitchen as everyone left, just thinking. He said his goodbyes in a daze and barely noticed as Sirius patted him on the back and excused himself to bed. He was left sitting across from Mr and Mrs Weasley, murmuring to each other over lukewarm cups of herbal tea and seemingly not minding his presence in the otherwise empty room.He thought about his options: Eventually he could join up, become a Phoenix like everyone he knew and loved, and fight for a seemingly shallow but certain definition of good. He could put himself on one, concrete side of history, fight for something with no nuances and win the support and love of his found family. Or… he could follow the instincts telling him to question everything and find a way out of the war. If it turned out that the Order of the Phoenix was right all along, he would feel guilty for not helping them for the rest of his life, but at least he would be free…Man, he needed Hermione’s input.He got up to leave and had nearly reached the door when Mrs Weasley called out for him.“Harry, dear?”He turned around to face her and Mr Weasley.“We know you’re a bit young, but perhaps it’s for the best if you know what’s happening after all. Welcome to the Order.”His insides felt twisted as he left.

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