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Chapter 65 - Pretence

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"Harry, Draco, my dear boys," Dumbledore said as soon as they entered his office, "to what do I owe the pleasure."

Harry glanced at Draco and did his very best to ignore the trepidation making butterflies dance in his stomach.

"Albus," he said, walking towards the headmaster's desk, "we would like you to call a meeting of the key members of the Order of the Phoenix."

Dumbledore's smile became much smaller and the twinkle disappeared from his eyes.

"That is a most serious request," the headmaster said, "may I enquire as to why."

Taking a deep breath Harry centred himself.

"We have a plan," he said, "what we think is a good one. We'll need the Order's help to make sure we can carry it out. People have started dying in this war, too many, and we think we can force Voldemort's hand, bring him to us when we want him to be here before he kills more."

"Please," Dumbledore said, "sit down. If you would not mind, I would like to hear this plan."

"Of course, Albus," Draco said, folding into the nearest chair while Harry took the other, "and we would appreciate your ideas as well. We have an overall strategy, but not quite all the details."

"I do believe this requires something far stronger than tea," Dumbledore said, "would you gentlemen like a hot chocolate?"

That was so very much Albus Dumbledore that Harry even managed to raise a smile at that.

"Thank you, Albus," he said, "that would be lovely."

He was pretty sure it was going to be a long evening. If nothing else he was pretty sure Dumbledore was going to like the idea of him facing Voldemort about as much as Draco did.

* * *

Dumbledore stood slowly, glancing around the table and bringing the room to silence without ever having to say a word. If there was one thing that the headmaster of Hogwarts had in droves it was presence and every person in the room reacted to it.

"Good evening, My Friends," Dumbledore greeted as he swung his gaze around the room, "thank you all for coming."

When wizened blue eyes passed over him and paused momentarily, Harry felt his nervousness jump in the pit of his stomach. Albus had not tried to talk him out of the idea, but they both knew there would be those who were very unhappy about the new proposals.

"I have called you here tonight because it is time for us to stand together and let ourselves be known," Dumbledore said calmly, the twinkle in his eye belying the seriousness of his words. "Voldemort has chosen to submit our world to the force of his terror and considerable power; he has attacked our children, we cannot allow this to continue."

Harry could not help the cold feeling that spread through his bones as he heard the headmaster paraphrase his words. That they were true was no comfort.

[You have always been destined to lead the light,] Draco told him silently, [this is how it begins. Just remember I will always be here.]

There were no words that could convey how much his soulmate's support meant to Harry so he did not try, he simply opened his emotions to Draco and let them speak for him.

"I did not choose to call this congregation," Albus continued, as calm as ever, "and had I my wish, I would never have instigated it, however, we do not always receive what we wish."

The blue eyes that looked to him this time, felt to Harry as if they were placing a huge weight on his shoulders. He could see the regret in Dumbledore's gaze.

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