The Dead of Night

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1978, 27 January, Wednesday, 6:48 pm, Hardford Street

Sirius walked briskly down the path of Hardford Street, hands in his pockets, shoulders at ease. The air was chilly, and his breath swirled in a cloud of mist before him, illuminated by the Muggle street light across the road. He could not help but feel a certain sense of foreboding as he turned back to look at his black, sleek motorbike, before continuing on his way the The Order Head Quarters. He had been reading that day's edition of the Evening Prophet when a rattling on his desk coming from his Order Badge had signaled that Dumbledore expected him to turn up on Hardford Street. He hadn't minded the interruption, for the Evening Prophet seemed to contain about as much information on the war as the bottom of his boot. All that Sirius had managed to gather from the printed pages was that the current Minister for Magic, Harold Minchum, was also similar in comparison the underside of his shoes.

Reaching the front gate of Head Quarters, Sirius pushed it open, and with a slight disturbance in the air, the garden beds appeared green and flourishing, and the front door looked as though it had just been given a new coat of paint. Sirius stumped up the steps to the doors, and after fitting his badge into the small block of wood, he entered the long hallway of Head Quarters. The gas lamps that lined the wood paneled walls were sputtering as if low on fuel, and there was a great deal of chatter coming from the door of the meeting room.

Sirius hurried down the corridor and opened it to see that the room was not overly full of people, but the people there where being undeniably talkative.

"But what's the problem, Dumbledore?" asked Marlene from beside Emmaline, in a chair in the back of the room, "Is it Death Eaters or not?"

"Are we going to be fighting?" asked James, who was sitting beside a tired looking Lily.

"All, in good time", Dumbledore replied calmly to their half-frantic questioning, "We will wait until all of those that I have summoned arrive.. Speaking of, which, young Sirius is here."

"Hi everyone", Sirius said, sitting beside James and Lily, "What's happening?"

"We'll have to wait app-" began James.

"We are waiting until the others arrive", Dumbledore elabourated, "I have asked some of your friends to come here, as well as all of you who are here at the time being."

At that moment, Sirius noticed quiet voices coming from the other side of the door, which was opened a second later to emit Peter, as well as Frank and Alice. The three of them were soon seated when Remus arrived, looking slightly shabby and quite tired. Once everyone was greeted and seated, Dumbledore finally spoke to the group.

"Now that you are all here, I am able to tell you the reason that I have called you to Head Quarters", Dumbledore paused, his bright blue eyes roaming over the group, seeming as if he were looking straight through each of them, "There has been a disturbance at a Muggle caravan park just east of London. I have received no more information other than the fact that there has possibly been spells fired, not to mention a large amount of noise. It could perhaps just be that it is something completely benign, but recent events in the area lead The Order to believe otherwise. You will be going in a group to the location, just to find out more, if anything at all. I will be expecting you back around eight o'clock, and if you aren't, I will send help. Now come, we will go out into the street, and you can Apparate from there."

Dumbledore stood and moved to hold the door open. As he went through, Sirius greeted Remus and Peter.

"How's it going, Moony?" Sirius asked.

"Not too terribly", said Remus, his voice sounding slightly dull.

"And you Pete?" he asked his other friend.

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