PROMPTS AND CHALLENGES


Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter and the other characters; they are the property of J. K. Rowling. I am merely playing with them in this fic/chapter. No money is being made through this by me.


A/N: Hello readers! Well, it seems to be a fashion nowadays to have a kind of odds and ideas fic in one's profile; so here is mine. All chapters will be related to Harry Potter with minimal crossover elements. These may or may not be expanded upon in future.

Anyone, who is interested in adopting these, is welcome; just PM me about it, and when the story is going to be posted. Oh, and please follow my rules as much as possible.

That's all folks. Enjoy!


A/N2: Okay, this chapter is the prologue of the challenge I have left in my profile; read that for details.


Chapter 1

Tonks to Hogwarts: Prologue


12, Grimmauld Place,

London

The meeting of the Order of the Phoenix was in full swing with Albus Dumbledore pointing out the Ministry of Magic's new educational decree about them sending their teacher if Hogwarts' Headmaster is unable to procure one by the end of August.

There was a huge outcry against this, especially from the older generation.

"But Albus, in all history; Hogwarts has been free of Ministry's influence. Now what they have done through this decree, it's just…wrong." Elphias Doge remarked amid heavy support from Dedalus Diggle and McGonagall.

"Alas, Elphias; Cornelius and Lucius influenced enough of the Wizengamot to get the bill passed." Dumbledore spoke in a weary tone, ending his statement with a tired sigh.

"But can't you do something about it?" Tonks blurted out suddenly, every eye turned on her; she felt like she had committed a cardinal sin speaking in a meeting for the grownups. Summoning her courage, she continued, "I mean you are the Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot and all. They must have broken some rules to get that bill passed. It's not like you lack influence of your own." Her tone was borderline accusatory by the end.

On her left, Sirius snorted. As if, had he wanted it; I would have been free and Harry would have been living with me instead of those blasted muggle filth. He had been very angry when he had learned of his Godson's living conditions from Tonks who had pulled guard duty once or twice.

"I am sure Albus must have tried his best to stop that bill, Tonks." Remus spoke before anyone else could, almost the entire table nodded emphatically.

"That blasted Malfoy must have filled all the naysayers' mouths with gold." Molly said. Again, the table nodded as a whole.

Tonks rolled her eyes. Tell me something that I don't know.

"So, who is this new teacher they are intending to send in?" Moody, who had been silent through the entire meeting, spoke.

"Dolores Umbridge, Undersecretary to the Minister." Dumbledore replied.

"Presumably for the Defense against the Dark Arts post. That is the only vacant post." Snape observed looking sour as ever.

"Her!" Emmeline exclaimed, "She failed her Defense OWL, she can't be allowed to teach that." She continued.

"Alas, stopping her would mean Cornelius would become even more resentful and try another method to get her into Hogwarts."

"But if you can find a teacher before September, he would have no reason to place her in Hogwarts. At the very least, it would make it harder for them to get their way." Sirius spoke.

"Black is right, any one of us can teach better than she would and it would thwart their plans." Moody said.

"I cannot allow that, you all have your lives to live; and it would bring the Order into the front completely. We would lose any advantage of stealth doing this." Dumbledore spoke.

A few members looked like they wanted to disagree with Dumbledore but he still had an ace up his sleeve, "Not to mention, this would put your lives on the line in more ways than one. Even we do not know how far the Minister is willing to go in order to have his way." There, mention their families and danger to their 'own' lives and they all back down. No one would stand for a boy who has virtually no one. His eyes lost their twinkle momentarily. Except a few, that is; Black and his niece are proving interesting to say the least. The twinkle was back, albeit dimmer than usual.

"Now that that's said and done; Severus, what are the reports?" Dumbledore asked.

"None whatsoever, the Dark Lord has become suspicious of late; my delay in reaching his resurrection did not help the matters either." Snape replied, in a carefully guarded tone.

Sirius snorted again. You are hiding something, Snivellus; I can almost smell it.

Snape glowered at Sirius, about to say something scathing but was stopped by Dumbledore's voice.

"Mundungus, how goes the guard duty?" Dumbledore asked, in the process stopping another argument brewing between Snape and Sirius.

"Harry is fine, keeps to his room or that park most of the time." Mundungus, fully sober in a very long time, answered.

"That's all then, thank you for your time. However, I would like to discuss a few things with Alastor, Minerva, Severus, Sirius and Nymphadora; the rest may go." Said Dumbledore causing the Order members to leave the room and return to their posts/homes.


"So, what is this all about, Albus?" McGonagall asked.

"I believe the main reason Cornelius wants Dolores in Hogwarts is to spy on me and the staff, and also to further alienate young Harry from the student population. The smear campaign the Prophet has run these past few days only serves to strengthen my belief." Dumbledore spoke slowly, as if thinking to himself.

"That makes sense, but what have you planned?" Moody asked impatiently.

"Patience, Alastor." Dumbledore chided, his eyes twinkling brightly. "Then there is also the matter of the vision Harry had previous summer." He continued.

"The one that he wrote to me about?" Sirius asked.

"Precisely; now that Voldemort is back, I believe, the visions would become more frequent. Has Harry communicated such a thing in his letters this year?" he asked.

"No, not to me; I don't believe he would tell Ron and Hermione either." Sirius replied.

"Hmm, I believe these visions are caused due to a mental connection forged between Voldemort and Harry due to the failed curse." Dumbledore continued.

McGonagall and Tonks gasped. Why does he need me here then, I am not exactly a core member of the Order?

Sirius looked at the other occupants in the room carefully; all, bar Snape seemed shocked by this revelation. This whole deal with Snape was rubbing him the wrong way. He concentrated back on Dumbledore who had started speaking again.

"Unfortunately, we do not have any precedent in such cases as Harry is the only surviving victim of the Killing curse." Dumbledore was interrupted by Snape.

"A rather big reason for his overblown ego, just like his father." Snape grumbled a bit more until Sirius could take no more, but he was leapfrogged in shutting the sour man up by Tonks.

"Looks like someone is a little jealous." Tonks said slyly.

You have no idea, Tonks. Sirius had to hand it to Tonks; she had hit the nail right on the head; he, as did the other marauders and Lily herself, knew that Snape fancied Lily and most of the reason for his constant barbs against James were due to the fat that Lily never noticed Snape more than being friends and married James. He was now taking his frustration out on, in his own words, Potter's spawn.

On the other hand, Snape's rant was derailed and the normally unflappable Slytherin alumnus sputtered a little before glowering at her and saying snidely "Mind your own business, Nymphadora."

"Oh how original, Snivellus." Tonks did not miss a beat.

Sirius howled with laughter, even McGonagall could not look completely disapproving even as her lips thinned. Moody snorted, Dumbledore's eyes could rival a supernova.

"If all you would like to sing ballads in Potter's glorification; I cannot be bothered to sit around, Headmaster." Snape growled; he looked at Sirius, "Unlike some, I have work to do."

Before Dumbledore could say anything, Sirius grasped the opportunity with both hands; "Kreacher." He called.

A house elf, with wrinkly skin and completely bald head; arrived in the room with a crack. He had bloodshot eyes and a bull-like nose; and looked at Sirius with pure loathing. "Yes Master Black." He said and then muttered under his breath; "Oh how my Mistress would react, blood traitors fouling her home. Mongrels, filthy half breeds."

"Shut up, Kreacher." Sirius barked; "Show Snivellus here out of the house, then make some tea for the rest of us, and for your sake, it better be good." He continued.

"As you wish, Master Black." The elf said and snapped his fingers; Snape vanished with a slight popping noise. The elf too, vanished, but not before glaring at the remaining occupants of the room.

"Must you antagonize him so, Sirius?" Dumbledore said looking very disapproving, "He would be insufferable for at least two days now." He continued.

"He is always insufferable; it was actually pleasing to see him being put into his place for once." McGonagall remarked.

"Now that the biggest interruption is gone, Headmaster; let us continue the discussion." Sirius said; a mocking smile on his lips.

Dumbledore understood the true meaning of Sirius' words in an instant; "I trust him, Sirius; and I hope that you do too." He spoke.

"I do not trust him, though. He has not done anything to gain my trust" Sirius said; Moody looked very interested in the conversation now.

"If you trust me, then you should not have any doubts to his loyalty." Dumbledore said in a steely voice.

"I do not trust you too, Dumbledore." Sirius said, slowly.

McGonagall gasped, "Mr. Black." She looked deathly pale, but livid.

Sirius did not even acknowledge her; he was looking intently at Dumbledore, finally able to vent what he wanted to yell for years.

On his right, Tonks too gasped. Her eyes as big as saucers; hair turning white rapidly. Only Moody looked unfazed; and quite interested as far as the conversation was concerned.

Dumbledore looked pained; and quite shocked too; this he had not anticipated. "I regret the mistakes that I made, and their effects on your life. I am, but, a human." He spoke heavily.

"Yes, you are a human." Sirius began, "Yes, you made mistakes," he continued; voice thick with years of bubbled torment and emotion; "but you are even now unwilling to correct them."

Tonks and Moody were definitely interested now; while McGonagall looked half torn between defending Dumbledore and looking interested herself.

Dumbledore himself looked as if he had expected something like this to happen but he would rather not deal with it right now. The epitome of a tired old man.

"You could have given me a trial then; you could have saved me from going to Azkaban, you could have stopped Harry to be taken away from me; you could have cleared me now." Sirius' voice had become louder steadily and he finished on a roar.

"Yes, I admit; not having captured Pettigrew hurt my case, but damn it, if Lucius Malfoy could get away, if you could stop Snivellus from being chucked into prison, you could have damn well helped me." Sirius continued after a lengthy pause.

Dumbledore looked clearly uncomfortable, Tonks was too shocked to balance herself and ended up falling from her chair. McGonagall's lips had thinned to the point that they were entirely white now. Moody still looked mildly curious.

"I have more," Sirius smirked; "but that would be between you and me. For now, let's see what you have planned."

Dumbledore grasped the opportunity like a drowning person had been thrown a lifeline. He shook his head to clear it, cleared his throat; and started speaking "I apologize for the terrible ordeal you have faced as a result of my mistakes, my boy. But, I hope you understand that I did my best to help you."

Sirius snorted in disdain; Tonks barely could keep her own snort in control. McGonagall still looked lost. Moody joined Sirius with his own snort. Things did not look too good if your name was Albus Dumbledore.

"Getting back to the topic at hand; as I was saying, Harry has a mental connection to Voldemort. I believe; Voldemort, though still unaware, would try to manipulate Harry through the connection. Also, there is the fact that in order to discredit Harry; Madam Umbridge would target him specifically and basically antagonize him into giving her a more suited opportunity to portray him as a liar, or even get him expelled from Hogwarts." Dumbledore spoke.

"It is my belief; in order to save Harry from the Ministry's wrath, and to keep a check on his connection with Voldemort, we need one of our own close to him, at all times." Dumbledore said.

Tonks' eyes widened.

"No." She nearly yelled.

"Pardon me, Ms. Tonks?"

"No, I will not get close to Harry, I will not spy on him." She spoke in a steely tone having put the clues together as to why her presence was required at this particular meeting.

"She is right; you would lose his trust faster than you can say 'Quidditch' by going through with this." Sirius spoke.

"Harry doesn't have to know that you are an Order member. We could arrange it in such a way that he would not even meet you before school." Dumbledore said, looking entirely convinced in his plan.

"No; if being in Order means doing such things. Betraying my morals; I quit." Tonks spoke and stood up, intent on leaving the room and the meddlesome old coot far behind and never look back. Really, that man has turned senile in his old age.

"I think you should reconsider Miss Tonks; if not for me saying so then for the safety of your family." Dumbledore's voice stopped her at the door.


A/N: And that's it… I leave it here; you have directions Manipulative+Evil Dumbledore/Manipulative+Good Dumbledore.

You must have seen that Sirius was a bit more vengeful than in canon, I figure he should be; after all, all his allies abandoned him. I also thing that he put two and two equal four in Snape's case here. How hard it can be? Really, he knows Snivelly at least fancied Lily, he knows he is a Death eater, so why is Dumbledore protecting Snape? Because, being as slippery as Slytherins can be; Sirius did have a whole lot of them in his life… he figured out that Snape groveled on Dumbledore's boots to save Lily out of his love for her and all, and voila; he has a free 'get out of jail pass.' Not too much stretching the imagination even if Sirius does not know about the existence of the prophecy, yet.

After all, the friends did know that the Potters were going into hiding. Meaning, they were being especially targeted. Now as good as Lily was, Voldemort would not allow a mudblood into his ranks. It is mentioned in the Philosopher's Stone; the Potters were offered to join him, continuing on that let's say, James was offered, Lily was not, cannot be offered due to her Blood status. So Snivellus groveled to the best man to keep her safe, and himself remained safe due to that.

Also, Dumbledore comes across as a bit jaded, doesn't he? I think, when yo have seen and survived in Darkness as much as the old coot, you would be a bit jaded. And, in case you did not figure it out; I am more for a Good but manipulative Dumbledore than an evil one.


Read and review. PM if you want to continue.


Again, I say; these are all rough ideas… may or may not be continued in near future, at least by me.