17 Chapter 17:

Lord Abbot spoke, "It is also acknowledged by House Abbot, that our noble house owes House Potter two life debts. Something now must be decided Lord Potter, there is to much on the line here at this point."

James and Lily exchanged glances while Harry was struck with some inspiration, "Headmaster, with Madame Bones here today, perhaps there is something that we can ask of these people. I ask for your permission to reveal it. I know what your thoughts on the matter are, but here could be a chance to start preparations for the next step. If we get things in motion now we could have a better chance years later."

Lily and James instantly lit up at the idea, but they knew the dire situation that their son may have just created. Dumbledore and Harry locked eyes, and they seemed to exchange thoughts through active legillmency which allowed a decision to be made, "Lord Abbot, Lady Bones, I fear the information Harry wishes to give you is what I would consider state secrets. Your son and daughters would need to be able to perform Occulemency before we informed them of any impending information."

Amelia Bones answered, "Due to the number of people coming in and out of my home as well as information, Susan is already quite adept at the art."

Lord Abbot nodded, "Our family was natural mind healers for many centuries, where the Potters were given the affinity for Battle Magic, ours was minded defense and assault. Our grimoire states that all Abbots entering Hogwarts must be at least at an apprentice level of Occulmency before they enter school. Hannah is proficient enough that it would take a full assault to break her for information."

Dumbledore seemed to be grave at those words, "The level of secrecy must be kept. The fewer people that know of the prophecy the better."

Lady Abbot spoke up for the first time, "A Prophesy? Rubbish all of them are. Divination is at best an educated guess of the future."

Lily Potter however countered, "I worked with the unspeakable after Hogwarts for quite some time. I can assure you Lady Abbot that not only are some prophesies real, they are always fulfilled if a true seer was the one to predict them. Whether they are self-fulfilling or not is certainly debatable, but they always find a way to happen. I have seen it first hand. The scar on my son's forehead is living proof that the Dark Lord believed in the prophecy that Dumbledore speaks of."

Dumbledore gave the women a slight nod as he spoke, "It started in early October of 1981. A young woman was applying for a job interview for the divination professor here at Hogwarts. Before I could dismiss her she gave what I believed to be her first true prophesy. It went like so, "The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches... born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies... and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not... and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives... the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies."

The room went dead silent, and the adults seemed to stare at Harry with a mixture of horror and pity. Dumbledore continued through the silence, "Only two young men in our world could have fit that prophecy. Harry Potter and Neville Longbottom. Alice and Frank had evaded the Dark Lord three times, and Lily and James had not only defied, but nearly defeated the Dark Lord twice, and were forced to evade another. This left us with a huge question, who do we protect? James and Lily went into hiding, and Frank along with Alice and their son did as well. On Halloween of 1981, the Dark Lord picked his target and attempted to prevent the prophecy from coming true. The rest is history."

Amelia was the first to attack, "There are some rather large holes in your story Headmaster. One being the Dark Lord is dead. Two being how did the Dark Lord even know about this prophesy?"

Dumbledore spoke sadly, "The Dark Lord is not dead. A body was never found, but he was temporarily repelled, but it won't last forever. As to how the Dark Lord found out, we cannot to this day say."

Harry knew that wasn't true. He had been told the truth by his father one day after he attempted to end his Occulmency lessons between him and Severus. Harry however spoke with his mother and they came to an understanding on the matter. Harry never brought it up to the headmaster or his potions master. Amelia growled, "You allowed the whole world to believe he was gone, yet you told no one?"

Dumbledore held his hands up in peace, "It has been ten years since the death eaters have attacked in the open. If they were aware their master would one day return, the war would never have left the streets of Britain"

James trying to console the people in the room added, "I know you all remember what it was like. Most of our families were wiped out during this time. Jackson, I know you lost your parents and your sister, Amelia your husband, and your sister. I almost lost it all though. In my own life, with my wife, my son, both my parents, and most of my friends, I was happy to let everyone believe that the threat was gone. We knew it would be years before the Dark Lord could return, and in this time we had hoped to destabilize the death eater movement and take away its momentum. If you can look me in the eyes and say we didn't do the right thing then I will humbly apologize and face any legal consequences you can come up with."

Harry knew this was a power play made by his father and a very smart one at that. Making the matter personal and showing just how much everyone had lost last time, was an effective way to get people off their case about the matter.

This time Harry spoke, "A Life Debt to me would be useless, as would it be to our family. If you sign a marriage contract you might as well sign the death warrants on your daughter's certificates and have them notarize final wills and testaments, because when the Dark Lord returns his wrath is going to fall on the Potter family."

"I have trained day in and day out for the past four years. Even more so for the past two since I found out about the prophecy. This isn't a game, nor is it a laughing matter. The Death Eaters are quiet now and trying to build themselves up for bigger things, but once they realize the Dark Lord known as Voldemort is not gone they will all rally back more powerful than ever. My proposal and reason why I wanted you all to know this was because it can now be time to prepare."

"If the head of the DMLE started quietly raising up her auror reserves perhaps between the two life debts that would have been paid to me can be used to fund the endeavor. I have spent my whole life growing up in politics, and I can think of a lot of lives we could save if we started preparing the light faction for part two of this war, because hopefully by then I will have reached my majority and peak of power, and will be ready to combat death eaters."

Amelia Bones interjected, "It is not your responsibility to take on the Death Eater problem Mr. Potter!"

Harry sharply spat back, "Nor was it my responsibility to get rid of him last time. I can be guaranteed that when he returns he is going to come straight for me since I cost him ten plus years of assaults. I am offering a solution to help take the fight to him when he returns. Both families now owe me a life debt, and I don't want to take the traditional path and get both your daughters killed. If House Bones and House Abbot want to survive the next part of this war then action must be taken now."

James looked at his son with pride. Padfoot and himself had raised his son to be a political genius, but they weren't out of the woods yet, "My son is speaking the truth. It is one thing to be allied to house Potter, but if one of your girls were to marry into our family it would certainly cause a target painted on their heads. If any of these three grow older and fall in love it's an entirely different matter, but to put their lives in jeopardy for the sake of tradition and legal matters is not something House Potter can support."

Lord Jackson Abbot sighed, "He is right Amelia. If everything they are saying is true then we owe it to the Potters to at least draw the lines. I will gladly make a large contribution to the auror force."

James Potter took up the throne to, "I will gladly match anything Lord Abbot throws in. Harry is certainly right that if we bulk up the auror force now then perhaps we have a better chance when the Dark Lord is trying to reassert his power."

Dumbledore sat back with a smile and a proud look going toward the youngest man in the room, "I have never seen a young man such as Harry driven by such ambition. I truly believe that with time, and proper training he will be ready to help combat the Dark Lords forces, but I must say it is imperative that the information that was disclosed today be kept a secret until the time is right."

Amelia and Jackson exchanged looks before nodding, "Alright Dumbledore. We will play it your way for now. But there are still a lot of questions I would like answered. I wasn't sorted into Hufflepuff without reason. If a friend of my house is in trouble, especially one we owe a life debt to, I will be glad to help. Especially if it is to see the true end of the death eater movement."

Lady Abbot smiled at her long-time friend, "Well said Ami."

Susan spoke softly, "If you-know-who really is going to return shouldn't we receive training too?"

All eyes went on to the now blushing red-haired girl. Hannah to interjected though, "If our friend is going to be in trouble or danger then I want to help too."

Lily smiled at the conviction behind the two girls, but Harry was the one to speak, "Training for something like this isn't easy. In fact, it's sometimes nearly impossible. The only thing that keeps me going is the fact that one day a death eater may point their wand at my family, and I will not just sit there and let it happen."

Darrel Abbot spoke for all of them, "This isn't a matter of what is easy Harry, it's a matter of what's right. Had you been in my year and had we been friends in Hufflepuff together I would be following you out to training every morning. Hearing that the Dark Lord is coming back may lead me to do so anyway. You saved my sister's life, I know that if I had done the same for you there is nothing I could have said or done that would have prevented you from helping me."

"Regardless of what is decided I am with you, Harry. I owe it to you, and to my family to be able to protect them. I wish we could tell some of the other Hufflepuffs but I respect the privileged information we have been given, but there may come a time when you may want to let some others in on this. I know people like Cedric who lost his mom in the first war would gladly step up beside you if you were known to be training to fight You-know-who."

Harry privately thought that he may be approaching his quidditch captain about the matter one day, but today was not going to be that day, "Thank you, Darrel. I really appreciate that."

The young man nodded while Susan spoke, "Then it's settled, Harry we will begin training with you, or doing whatever it takes to prepare ourselves."

Amelia Bones spoke quickly, however, "I don't know if I feel comfortable with you training to fight Death Eaters Susan."

"Auntie, I am not training to fight them and neither is Harry. Not really. We are training in order to be prepared to fight them when they come looking for us. In the last war both my parents were killed by those monsters, and we would all be foolish to think they won't come back to finish the job if their master was beside them."

Dumbledore smiled widely, "Well said Ms. Bones, well said."

Professor Sprout seemed to be wiping at her eyes had remained quiet for most of the morning, "I am not the best with my wand Mr. Potter, but if you or your training partners are ever to need anything, whether that be spell work or advice, a Hufflepuff such as myself would be glad and determined to help you in any way I can."

Dumbledore and Harry exchanged looks for the last time that day. They knew that Harry's gamble had paid off, and hopefully new battle lines were going to be drawn by what they had done here. Part of Harry would wish that he hadn't dragged his friend into something he considered his fight. But later the Wizarding World would rejoice that the young man had such powerful allies when the fight would be coming to their streets.

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