Chapter 8: Dumbledore’s Army
By mid-October, the Dumbledore’s Army was re-formed. All the members of the former D.A., who were still in school, were again members of the new army. Among the new members, there were as many Ravenclaw as Hufflepuff as well as Gryffindor. The new Army had in total thirty members, including Harry, Ron and Hermione. The idea of re-forming the Army was heartily welcomed by the former members who all liked Harry very much. They all decided to keep the name of Dumbledore’s Army.
The first meeting began with a reproach :
“Why didn’t you call us, last year, when the Death Eaters came into the school”, said Micheal Corner.
“Yes”, Hermione hastened to reply, “we’ve called you by way of the Magic Galleon, but only Neville and Luna replied, they were the only ones to have checked their Galleon”.
“We will use again the magic Galleon as means of communication”, said Harry. “We should keep it permanently in our pocket, when it turns hot, the date and time of the meeting will be indicated on the Galleon. This year as I come from outside the school, the rhythm of our meetings would not be more than once a week.”
“I have prepared the Galleons”, Hermione said. But this year, I made them in the form of a token one could hook to a key ring, so that it would be easier to keep in your pocket”. Then Hermione distributed one to each member, including Harry.
“I would like to ask you all to keep our activity secret”, Harry stated, “not that our group be illegal. According to school rules, we are perfectly right forming study groups. But in my opinion, the least people know about it, the better for us. The Death Eaters should not know that at Hogwarts there is an Army ready to reduce them into pieces ! It would be the same for me, I’ll request you never to mention my visits here or anything else concerning me. It would be better that way... Well we still have about fifteen minutes’ added Harry after consulting his watch, “I wouldn’t like to waste time. First, I would like to know, among the former members, if there are some spells that you haven’t yet been able to master, and whether these spells interest the new members too ?”
“I don’t know yet how to conjure a Patronus”, Colin Crivey hastened to say.
“I can’t cast the ‘Reducto’ spell yet”, said his brother Dennis. “It’s a spell that, in class, I haven’t yet been able to cast, and that I should succeed in mastering it by tomorrow”.
“Ah !” said Harry, “I’ll propose you my own program consisting in interesting and important spells, but you can ask me to help you master the spells that in class you haven’t yet been able to do. Does that suit you as a program ?”
Then turning to Dennis, Harry said :
“Dennis, you should bear in mind this, in every spell, the important thing is the concentration and determination of the spirit. You want to cut this bench in halves ?” added Harry in pointing at the bench in the corner.
Then with a smooth wave of his hand, without pronouncing the incantation, Harry pointed his wand on the bench as quickly as a flash, and the bench snapped neatly into two parts. Then he repaired it with another wave of the wand.
“Now, you want to destroy it into pieces ?” asked Harry.
And again, with a smooth wave of his wand, Harry pointed at the bench, and it broke into thousands of pieces with a detonation.
“Harry !” Hermione burst out, putting a hand on her mouth.
But Harry didn’t pay attention to Hermione.
“Dennis ! First, you should pronounce the incantation in a clear and determined voice, secondly, you should know exactly what you expect from the spell you’ll cast. You need concentration and determination of your spirit, said Harry pointing a finger on his forehead. Now, try it pronouncing in a clear voice: “Re-DUC-to”, with a smooth wave of the hand. The smooth movement of the hand allows you to concentrate, see in your head, as in a flash, what is the result you wish to reach. Try it now. Look ! In that way the wave of the wand (and Harry showed the movement of the hand).
Dennis turned his wand, then pointed it at the bench crying ‘Re-DUC-to’. And the bench broke into two pieces.
“Woouuawh ! I’ve done it !”, Dennis burst out, both happy and surprised at his own exploit.
“Well done !” Harry said as an encouragement.
Everybody applauded Dennis, or rather applauded Harry.
“You should have been our prof. of DADA”, said a new member of Ravenclaw.
“Harry, you’ve seen the time ?” Hermione reminded Harry.
“Well then, I cannot linger on. Good night to everybody !” Harry said. “Leave in small groups and don’t take the same direction. We’ll meet again next week. And do come in small groups too, next time. And don’t forget, that out of our meetings, when you pass in front of the class, you must act as if you didn’t see anything, in order not to draw the attention of the other people, who are not members of the D.A., and specially of Filch, the caretaker’… Then to Gabrielle Harry added : “How are you, Gabrielle. You like being at Hogwarts ?”
“Yes, very much”, Gabrielle replied simply, in a timid but clear voice, and with a faint smile in her beautiful eyes that didn’t pass unnoticed by Ron who watched her mischievously
“Good night, Ginny, Gabrielle ! And … Good night, Luna,” Harry added because Luna was waiting for Gabrielle at the door.
“Your demonstration was brilliant !”, Hermione burst out, after everybody had gone. “And Dennis must be very happy. For a whole week, he had been unable to master the spell, in two minutes’ time with you he succeeded it at the first try !”.
“How can you manage to break the bench into two and then into small pieces with the same spell ?” asked Ron. “We have known you for many years, and still you can surprise us every day !”
“I told you that during a month at Privet Drive, I’ve done nothing else but training myself, practicing concentration !” replied Harry. “It’s in the concentration and determination of the spirit that lies the power. My Patronus is enormous now … well, if I want that way !” added Harry after a pause.
“What ? ‘IF YOU WANT THAT WAY, what does that mean ?” asked Ron.
“That means according to my wish. If it were to chase a Dementor, a normal stag would do. But what if Voldemort sent me an army of these monsters … then ? But, for me that’s not enough. My stag should be able to destroy them, not only to chase them ! You see what I mean ?”
“Yes, I understand what you mean, but I don’t see how we could ?”
“By determination and concentration of the spirit ! I don’t see any other ways !” replied Harry in a firm voice.
Hermione fixed Harry with both admiring and observatory eyes as if she saw him for the first time, but she said nothing.
“I think that Gabrielle has a crush on you, Harry ! Ginny will have a dreadful rival !” said Ron smiling teasingly.
“No, she should not. I cannot get involved with any girl, and as for myself, I don’t know if I could come out unscathed, once more, from the last battle with Voldemort.”
“You’ll succeed; we will be always with you. But now, we should go”, said Hermione.
“Not yet” said Harry, leading Hermione and Ron towards the Pensieve. “I would like to show you a piece of memory, of a dream I have seen again and again lately, since Dumbledore’s death. Then with his wand he withdrew a long silvery strand from his temple and deposited it in the shallow stone basin, turned its contents neither gaseous nor liquid with the tip of his wand. Hermione and Ron plunged their head together into the basin :
“Perhaps you think too much about the Horcruxes and about Voldemort’s snake, I mean Nagini”, said Ron. It sometimes so happens, that when we think too much of something, we see it in the dreams, at night.’
“It’s quite possible”.
“Why did the rope ladder turn into a snake ?” asked Hermione.
“That might be a clue to our problem … Think hard about it … and now, good night to you both”, Harry said to his friends.
So, Harry’s life as an ‘Invisible’ student went on, calm, and regulated between the lessons under his ‘Invisibility’ Cloak and the training meetings with the members of the D.A. Harry had shown them how to conjure a Patronus, because no one among the new members of the D.A. knew how to do it. Harry explained to them that the Patronus was really personal, each one conjured a different Patronus, specific to himself, and that it was a very efficient way to fight against the Dementors … The Patronus was an animal created by the wizard which acted as a shield to protect anyone from the Dementors, by chasing them away. To conjure a Patronus, the wizard should think of a particularly happy memory, and in the beginning, it was almost difficult to select a happy memory. Harry had to devote two entire sessions before everybody could succeed the spell, and this despite the help of Hermione and Ron, who had already mastered the spell long time ago. Neville who had not been able to do it the last time, three years ago, could now conjure a wonderful silvery penguin.
And when Christmas holidays arrived, Harry could have shown to his friends ten new spells among the long list prepared by Hermione. Harry also had been able to help along many of them make up for the gaps in their knowledge.
“Where will we spend our Christmas holidays ? It’s in four days ?” asked Ron at the end of the last training meeting before the holidays. “At The Burrow or at Grimmauld Place ?”
“I think that your parents would not appreciate it if we were not with them for the whole year-end holidays. But I would like us to spend Christmas this year at ‘Concerto’, then the New Year at the Burrow ? What do you think of it ?”, suggested Harry.
“Woouuawh ! That will be great ! And how could we go to Concerto ?” asked Ron.
“On the back of a Thestral, or a Hippogriff.”
“I long to see Austria”, said Hermione.
“We’ll do it together” replied Harry, happy at the thought that he would always have his best friends with him.
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