Nostalgia hit Harry like a brick and for the first time in weeks, Harry felt like he was truly home. He hadn’t realised he had missed it so much.
Disclaimer- Yeah still doesn’t belong to me, never will. Sniff. Still not J. K. Rowling either. No profit or copyright infringement intended.
The room was dark; Harry/Voldemort was sat in the chair in the centre of the old room. Nagini was on the floor next to the end of his robes, hissing noisily. Around his chair was a series of death eaters, kneeling before him. All wearing identical black shapeless robes. Their masks concealed their faces, but Harry could feel that Voldemort knew who was who.
“When Fudge has been taken care of, the world will be in confusion that’s when we strike.” Voldemort began, “Bellatrix I trust you can handle this or shouldn’t I after last time, Dumbledore needs to sorted as well. Hmmm” He looked into Lucius terrified eyes and then finished, “Yes, your son, Lucius, I wish to speak to him, bring him to me.”
The room was silent. None of the other people looked at Malfoy. In fact they were looking anywhere but a Malfoy.
Lucius shakily got to his feet and hurried out of the room, Voldemort’s eyes were alight with delight.
“Severes, what news do you bring?” He asked in a blank voice.
The death eater on Voldemort’s left rose, “Dumbledore, he is going to teach Potter himself, My Lord” Snape said coolly but almost instantly.
“Teach him what?” Voldemort said steadily, without missing a beat. His face and body language gave nothing away.
“Forgive me.” Snape said quickly bowing down, “I do not know my lord.” Nagini hissed softly as she slithered up the chair and around her owner’s shoulders. Voldemort stroked her absentmindedly with one long bony finger.
The room was immersed in silence. As Voldemort studied the professor, who was entirely still, it looked as if he was barely breathing.
A knock on the door broke the silence. Lucius returned. His figure looked even worse in the short amount of time. His mask was gone and his unshaven face was pale, his clothes hung off him like a cape. Behind him was a 16 year old boy, his eyes wide. The boy had blond hair as well. He was the spitting image of his father. Lucius bowed deeply to the dark lord before leaving, without giving so much as a glance at his son.
“Severes, you may leave.” Voldemort said without looking at him, but instead in pleasure at the boy before him.
-“Harry, HARRY!” Hermione’s voice rang out, as the room simultaneously faded and another more familiar room came into sight. “Harry, Ron’s mum said we are going to be late.”
As Harry leant out and collected his glasses, another voice rang out, “Aww bless, sleeping beauty has finally awoken” Said a twin.
“Damn, Ron can’t kiss him now, sorry Ronniekins, try not to be too disappointed” Came another voice.
“Whaa-ttt” Ron said suppressing a yawn.
“Honestly Ron have you never read any of Ginny’s old muggle books” said one of the twins.
Harry and Ron were now sat up in their separate beds, their eyes half open. Hermione had left and both boys were at the mercy of the twins. Harry felt a wave of confusion pass over him, going to be late for what?
He felt better though. He still felt weaker than usual, but less dizzy. The wonders potions and sleep could do. He hated to think how much potions he had made his way through in the last how ever long.
Fred came over to Harry’s bed. “You have been asleep for ages, mate; the train for Hogwarts leaves in about over an hour.” Harry wasn’t sure if he was joking or not.
“Yeah, Hermione and Ginny were going to wake you sooner but mum was like ‘he looks so adorable all curled up asleep lets leave him have snooze for a while.’” George continued.
Harry felt well and truly confused now, was it actually time for school? The door opened hurriedly. Mrs. Weasley appeared several items of clothes in her hands. The twins quickly left after one look at her expression. “RONALD WEASLEY, this is the third time I have been in here this morning, do you want to be responsible for your friends missing the train, no? Then GET UP!” She yelled as she whipped the covers of the bed and Ron quickly arose and grabbed some clothes and hurried to the bathroom. She then turned around and went over to Harry, who felt slightly apprehensive.
“Harry, dear, Poppy came round this morning and gave you some more potions and said you’re a lot better now and recovered quicker than she thought possible but you have her permission to return to Hogwarts if you promise to be careful, I have packed your trunk for you and your breakfast is waiting downstairs, as is Ron’s if he gets a move on.” She finished with a smile, placing Harry’s clothes for the day on the bed next to him. “Give me a call if you need anything.” She said sweetly and affectionately, as she then rushed out of the room, and Harry could have sworn he had heard her then yell at Ginny to finish packing. As Harry carefully rose he felt fine, a bit stiff and bruised but well. He slowly as not to push his luck got changed as Ron then returned into the room.
“Opps I haven’t got round to packing yet, mum is going to skin me alive.” Ron said his face paled considerably.
“What do you know, I have just finished” Harry said as he put his pyjamas in his trunk, with a smirk.
“Prat” Ron said trying to hide his grin. “Good to have you back to normal though.”
It felt good too, he wondered how he would feel if he had been left to continue his dream. “Your mum said breakfast is downstairs.”
“Oh, Good” Ron said as he dropped his stuff to be packed and left with Harry, their trunks sprawled across the floor, forgotten.
It felt strange to Harry to walk down the hall and flights of stairs. Harry didn’t like the memories it provoked. It was still dark, dismal and empty. It was like nothing had changed except that it felt emptier than previously. The only other difference he noticed was the addition of another house elf on the wall, although Harry didn’t feel anything from it. Harry would have preferred to have stayed in his room than walk down the hall to the kitchen. The only thing that kept him going was the smell of breakfast although his appetite had lowered greatly with every step he took.
The kitchen was brighter than the hallways and was filled with the sound of plates clattering and people chatting, the sound was oddly reassuring. Ron was behind Harry, probably so I don’t run back upstairs, Harry half thought. Inside, Mrs. Weasley was busy over by the cooker, she had bewitched a sponge to wash the dishes and Bill was drying them. Mundungus was talking to the twins who were under the watchful stare of their mother. Remus and Tonks were around the far table, whispering, the sight of them seemed oddly private, Harry looked away. Ginny was also sat at the table, but towards the door, next to her father, who had hurriedly hid the paper he was reading, and put it in his robe pocket as he then smiled at Harry. Mr. Weasley nodded towards the chair next to him, and Harry took it. Ron sat in-between Harry and Hermione, who was also at the table, reading a book called Ancient Runes and You.
“Ahh, Good morning Harry.” Mr. Weasley began.
“Morning” Harry said pleasantly. Taking a bowl of cereal that Mrs. Weasley had carefully placed in front of him.
“Sleep well?” Harry was asked by Mr. Weasley, although Harry couldn’t help but notice Ginny, who was on the other side of her dad, looked rather lethargic.
“Erm…yeah…fine.” This was truthful because he had slept for the last two days or so.
Although Harry secretly felt he might have had a Voldemort dream because when he thought about it his scar had been burning numbly when he woke, but he was so accustomed with it over the summer, he had stopped noticing. Ron and Hermione however didn’t look fooled but remained silent
“Good, I’m glad, did anyone tell you, the ministry are sending cars to drive us to the station?”
Harry nodded in acknowledgement as he ate some more food. Bill had finished drying and left the kitchen. Remus and Tonks had noticed Harry’s arrival, stopped whispering and mover to become more involved in the conversation.
“You finished that fast Harry.” Tonks commented as Harry began scraping the bowl, Ron had just finished licking his own clean.
“Okay, you have half an hour, I make it, to get all your trunks downstairs by the door.” Mr. Weasley said with a grin as all the children left the room, Ron and Ginny in front.
Harry rather enjoyed watching Ron run about the house collecting various things, but even more enjoyed watching Ron’s face fall when he couldn’t fit it all in his trunk. The run was carpeted in various items of clothing, chess pieces, quills, books and sweets. Halfway through packing Bill came up and levitated Harry’s trunk down the stairs for him and also laughed at Ron’s failing.
“This is impossible.” Ron said after twenty minutes. “Do you have any space in yours?” He asked desperately.
“No, sorry mate, mine fits perfectly. It’s already downstairs anyway.” He tried to hide his grin.
“Don’t think so, I saw Bill take her’s downstairs for her a while ago.” She would probably have taken pity on him and said yes or told him it was his own fault. Most likely the former of the two.
“Ginny?” Ron asked desperately.
“Don’t know, haven’t seen her.”
Ron suddenly looked hopeful.
“Can you ask her?”
“She’ll say no to me.”
“She’ll say no to me as well”
“Yeah, right!” Ron said in a sarcastic tone, whilst grabbing a hand full of stuff off the floor and shoving it in Harry’s, not giving Harry an opportunity to refuse. Harry sighed before leaving Ron in the mess which was their room, as he went to find Ginny.
Ginny and Hermione’s room was tidy as he entered. A typically girl room, he thought. Hermione’s side was a lot tidier as Ginny’s had an open trunk lying open on the floor. Hermione’s bed was made but empty. Ginny was leaning against her own bed with her eyes closed; Harry couldn’t decide if she was asleep or awake, and so turned to leave the room as he heard a “Yes?” from behind him.
Ginny had one eye open as she gazed at Harry and then smiled at the stuff in his hands.
“When will he learn? Mum refused to pack it for him so now he has got you running around after him instead.”
“I offered to help, I think, or I didn’t refuse so he took it as a yes. So… any room?” He asked. Ginny got up now and walked over to Harry, stopping when she was in front of him.
Ginny just smiled and took the stuff out of his hands, studied it, no doubt to see if it was anything interesting to steal, or anything for blackmail purposes, and threw it in her messy trunk. She then pushed the lid over; it didn’t shut properly.
“Come here” She said, her back still to him as she kneeled next to her trunk. Harry came over.
“Sit” She pointed to the trunk.
“It’s a trunk, not a dog Ginny”
“Not the trunk, you!”
Harry sat on the floor, by the trunk, confused.
She giggled, “On the trunk, so I can close it” She finished.
Harry then sat on the trunk and watched her. He had never had any amount if stuff to great to not be able to close a trunk. He had to admit it felt weird to have Ginny move around him as she zipped it up. Her hand would lightly brush his leg as she did so.
“Have you never packed a trunk before?” She said as she did the buckles around the side.
“No, I just have never really had that much stuff.”
She smiled as she listened and finished securing the trunk. He then rose as she did.
“Thank you Harry” She said quietly, he had unconsciously leaned in to hear her. Her eyes watching his. He could hear and feel her every breath. He continued staring as she did the same. The door had been left a jar and swung open quickly as Hermione entered and froze; Harry put some space between him and Ginny, well aware of how it must have looked.
“I …am going to see Ron thanks Ginny” Harry said as he left, moving the fastest he had all day, and leaving Ginny and Hermione completely bewildered. He could feel one of the girl’s eyes on his back.
Before long, Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Bill, Mr and Mrs. Weasley, Remus, Tonks and Mad eye were walking along the middle of Kings Cross Station, their destination the Hogwarts express.
“Come on, we’re going to miss it at this rate.” Mrs. Weasley said, as she grabbed Harry and Ron, forcing them to hurry. By 10:58 they were practically running as they reached the wall of platform 9 and ¾. Harry couldn’t help but recognise some of his guards around the station trying to inconspicuously watch over him.
He and Hermione went through the wall together. When they arrived outside the train some were nearly out of breath and some were breathing widely. Mrs. Weasley hugged all the teenagers fiercely; Remus also gave Harry an awkward one armed hug.
“Be careful all of you, wont you?” Mrs. Weasley cried as they stepped onto the train.
“Ron and I have to go to the prefect compartment, we’ll see you soon.” Hermione said, practically dragging a reluctant Ron off towards a separate carriage. Ron made a face to him when Hermione’s head her turned.
“Come on Harry” Ginny began. “We are going in the same compartment, aren’t we?” She finished, seeming to not have liked how she started.
“Er, yeah. ” Harry replied as they searched for a free carriage.
At the end of the train they found a carriage containing Luna and Neville. Neville was sat on one side of the carriage holding a rather interesting looking plant, which Harry made a mental note not to ask about unless he wanted a 2 hour documentary on it. Luna was sat opposite Neville and was reading the quibbler, which was a wizarding tabloid published and edited by her father. Both turned as Harry and Ginny emerged through the door.
“Hi Harry” Neville said whilst moving up as Ginny made to sit down.
Harry took a seat next to Luna, “Hey Neville, and Luna.”
“Hello Harry” Luna replied pensively with her eyes still on her magazine.
“How was your summer Neville?” Ginny asked politely.
“Oh, yeah, good, Gran kept saying how proud she was of me because of the ministry, she even bought me a new wand, 10 and ½ inches, look” Neville said showing his wand. He looked really happy, and his chest grew as he said it.
“Luna? How was yours?” Harry asked, against his better judgement.
“Very well, thank you, my dad and I went to Sweden to search for a crumple-horned snorkack.”
“Did you find one?”
Luna laughed, an airy, free laugh and replied “Oh no, but we really didn’t expect to, they much prefer the colder months, but we found lots of Dirigible Plums though.” She said happily.
“Oh… I’m glad, good for you.” Harry said lamely. Ginny smirked discretely. Neville smiled and shook his head slightly. Harry then played a game of exploding snap against Neville, as Ginny and Luna whispered quietly in the corner, which made Harry feel slightly uncomfortable.
As tradition stated Draco strutted into the compartment half way through the journey. His friends, by his side. Well if you could call Crabbe and Goyle friends. He was the same height as Harry, and strangely enough looked more or less the same weight, as though he had also lost of lot of weight in a short time, which made his skin appear even paler. His robes were on, in a pristine shade on black and his shinning prefect badge pinned to his chest. His eyes were blank and expressionless, his mouth was the only thing that showed emotion; in the form of a sickly sweet smile. He stood in the doorway and waited for acknowledgement.
Harry decided he couldn’t just ignore his arch nemesis in the doorway. “What do you want Malfoy?” Harry said coldly, not looking up from his cards.
“I would be more polite if I were you, Potter, you wouldn’t want me to take any points of you would you?” Malfoy said with a fake smile.
“I don’t really give a damn what you think, Malfoy, Do you want something, if not I suggest you leave.”
“How was your summer Harry?” Draco said with a smile in a sweet patronizing way, as he turned around and Crabbe and Goyle shared a laugh together. Neville, Luna and Harry shared a confused expression, Ginny cast an uneasy eye at Harry and back to Malfoy.
“Shut up Malfoy” Ginny said firmly but steady at the same time. Standing up. Making all the others stand up as well.
“Oh need your girlfriend to help you Potter.” Malfoy said as he entered the carriage, his friends entering behind. Crabbe and Goyle seemed to become even more impossibly large and looked even more intimidating, Harry walked in front of Ginny so he was face to face with Draco Malfoy. “So, Potter, miss your dead dog?” Malfoy finished, his eyes gleaming and all the slytherins simultaneously burst into laughter.
Harry couldn’t see Neville, Luna, or Ginny’s expression, in fact he couldn’t see anything but Draco.
Anger suddenly built up in Harry, he forgot everything, where he was, who he was, what he believed in. He felt like a bomb ready to explode. All he wanted was to hurt Malfoy. He also felt sadness again, something he had not felt since the beginning of the day. Before even a second had passed Harry had a wand out in his hand, but a spell wasn’t enough’ he wanted Malfoy to know his pain, even a fraction of how he felt, Harry lunged forward towards Malfoy’s throat. Just as Harry knocked Malfoy to the floor, Neville grabbed Harry and Harry’s wrist. Crabbe was standing stunned, apparently too in shock to do anything or maybe because he hadn’t been told to yet, Goyle quickly helped Malfoy to his feet. Malfoy jumped towards Harry and withdrew his wand. Luna and Ginny withdrew theirs and stood in front of Neville, who was trying to hold Harry back, so he didn’t do anything he would regret.
“Touched a nerve?” Malfoy said angrily. Draco, Ginny and Luna were about duel as “Anything of the trolley” came from around the corner. Everyone stood still glaring angrily at their enemies, Neville released Harry, who gave him a reluctant nod of thanks for not letting him get months of detention, even though half of him thought it worth it. As the woman with the sweet trolley came, the slytherins hurriedly left.
“Anything dears?” the elderly woman asked to the group of fuming teenagers in the carriage who were all standing up staring directly at her.
“No thanks” Luna said blankly.
Harry sat down in the seat nearest him; the others sat down as well. Nobody said anything. Harry looked at the floor to avoid looking at the others. After at least two minutes in silence, Harry got up and walked out of the door in an attempt to lose the haunting silence. He could feel his friend’s eyes on him as he left. He walked down the more or less empty hallway. He went to the toilets and splashed some water on his face. It helped a little but not enough. His mind was still thinking of Sirius. Half of him wished for Remus, as he would understand, he also wondered where Ron and Hermione were, they had probably just arrived in the compartment and were now being now all the detail of the encounter.
As he left the toilet, he slowly and reluctantly made his way back to his friends. As he appeared outside the compartment, he saw Ron and Hermione inside. They had just arrived as they were both standing. Hermione was talking intently with Neville but stopped when Luna said something and they turned and smiled at Harry as he turned the doorknob he heard “Harry!”…“Harry.” It was Cho. Harry turned round and saw Cho hurrying towards him.
“Harry” Cho said with a huge smile, she then gave him a hug, which lasted quite long he noticed. As she released him he saw tears in her eyes, am I that bad a hugging, Harry thought to himself. “Thank you, I couldn’t have done it without you” Cho said.
“Er…what?” Harry asked stupidly.
“Didn’t you hear…about the dementors?”
Harry raked his mind, “Erm…no?” In his defence he had been out cold for most of the summer.
Cho looked surprised at this, then she stared behind Harry at where his friends were presumably watching him, having noticed him standing on the other side if the door.
“Come to my compartment, I’ll tell you” Cho said, taking his hand before he answered, even though he was about to suggest they just go in his as it was closer, and his friends were probably waiting for him. As she took him, he looked at his compartment, Neville was smiling slightly, Luna was waving, Hermione looked confused, and Ron and Ginny’s faces were blank.
Cho’s carriage was busier than his, Ernie, Dean, and Seamus, Marietta, and another boy and girl in the seventh year that Harry didn’t know. As Harry was pulled in, he assumed Cho must have mouthed something as the others left, before giving Harry a friendly smile. Harry sat down on the seat, Cho sat closely next to him.
“Didn’t you read the daily Prophet?” She asked, looking up through her lashes at him.
“No” Harry now regretted how long he had been unconscious for, he felt really stupid and dense.
“Some dementors turned up at my house late last night.”
“What! Are you ok, what happened? Was anyone-” Harry knew the dementors were on Voldemort’s side but how soon they were going after innocent people shocked him.
Cho smiled slightly when Harry asked after her. “I did a patronous and they left, just in time actually they were really close to getting my mum. Everyone was really proud of me.” Cho said with a smile. Sometime during Cho’s explanation she had moved closer and Harry could feel the heat form her body radiating on to him. “You taught me to do that, thank you so much Harry, how will I ever repay you.”
Was that a question, he wondered. “Oh, it doesn’t matter, really.” Harry was now aware that they were nearing Hogwarts and really did need to get his robes on, but Cho was practically sitting on him.
Cho seemed to disregard his last statement, “I’ll think of something, Harry. I promise.” She then leaned over and gently but deeply kissed him on the cheek and then smiled, her eyes twinkled strangely, although Harry didn’t know why, “Tell everyone in your carriage I said hello.” She said beaming as they got up. As Harry opened the door the others filed in again, and started getting their robes out. Everyone gave him a strange look as he left.
When he arrived back outside his own compartment he had received a lot of odd looks along the way, mainly from girls, he felt more self-conscious with every step he took.
When he arrived back in his own carriage, everyone gave him strange calculating look.
Ron threw his robes at him and said, “Don’t suppose we need to ask what Cho wanted?”
“What?” Harry said as he put his robes on, under the watchful eyes of everyone in the carriage.
“Haven’t you looked in a mirror Harry?” Neville asked, his tone had a slightly teasing manner about it.
“What? No why?” Harry’s hands immediately went to his hair; he ran his fingers through it, granted it was messy, but no different than usual. Luna giggled. Hermione sighed softly; she looked slightly irritated but also amused.
“You have lipstick on your cheek” Ginny said in a quiet voice, without looking in his eyes.
“Oh” Harry said in a small voice, and rubbed his face.
“Is there a blushberry flying around in here again, I felt one earlier, and now it back again as it is causing Harry to redden” Luna said serenely, looking around at the ceiling. He couldn’t tell if she was being serious or not, but knowing Luna he presumed she was.
Neville and Ron looked as if they were fighting laughter. Hermione took pity on Harry and pulled a tissue out of her pocket and whipped his face for him. Ginny looked out of the window, seeming to be concentrating very hard on something.
Soon after a quick go of losing chess to Ron the train had stopped and everyone got up. Outside the crisp September air was cold and the sky appeared moonless. The sound of Hagrid greeting the first years could be heard but Harry was far too far down the platform to get his attention. Ginny, Luna, Hermione, Ron and Harry all shared a compartment. As they approached the carriage Harry couldn’t help but feel a fresh wave of guilt as the passed the thestrals. Luna took his arm as gave it a gentle pat as he climbed in the carriage, how he used to not like her he didn’t know. The journey was quiet Harry didn’t feel in the mood to talk, neither did Ginny by the look of it, Hermione and Ron had an argument about their prefect duties, apparently Ron wasn’t dedicated enough according to Hermione, as he didn’t take his duties to seriously. Harry was thankful that Neville and Luna seemed to be content to sit in silence.
Out of the window, Harry could see Hogwarts. Lights illuminated it like the sun. It looked huge but welcoming. Harry could see this years first years on the boats across the water, glad it wasn’t him. It wasn’t really nice weather be go across the great lake in. From its great grey stone work to its great deep murky lake, nostalgia hit Harry like a brick and for the first time in weeks, Harry felt like he was truly home. He hadn’t realised he had missed it so much.
As they walked up to the great hall, Harry felt relaxed again. Nearly headless Nic greeted him on the staircase, giving him a sympathetic look, but Harry didn’t let it bother him, no one is going to die this year because of me, he told himself, but whether he believed it was a different matter entirely.
The smell of food had his stomach rumbling and by the looks of Ron, it had the same effect on him as well.
As they entered the great hall, nothing had changed, but that was how Harry liked it. The sky was dark and looked like a solid sheet of blue velvet. The teachers (minus Professor McGonagall) were all seated at the top table, looking over at them. Professor Dumbledore was clothed in midnight blue robes which Harry thought twinkled slightly when the candle light flickered near them; like the night sky shown in the ceiling above their heads. He also wore a welcoming smile.
Everyone sat down at their separate tables. As Harry looked down his table he saw Colin and Denis give him a thumbs up. Ron had sat next to him; Hermione and Ginny were on the opposite side. Seamus and Dean were on Harry’s other side. Luna waved at them from her seat on the other side of the hall, the other people in her house appeared to be leaving as much space between themselves and her as possible, this annoyed Harry.
Then in no time at all Professor McGonagall entered with an unusually small amount of children, huddled together at her tail. They looked small, scared and nervous.
“Were we actually ever that small?” Ron whispered.
“Well I doubt you ever were” Harry replied.
The professor then took the usual stool at place the hat on it. The new students looked shocked when it opened its mouth.
“Welcome students old and new,
Never had we seen so few,
We must unite, to be one
To ensure that evils gone,
New allegiances must be made,
Whilst old friendships must not be frayed,
From Slytherin to Gryffindor,
From Hufflepuff to Ravenclaw,
Attempts have been made to unite,
But without there is no hope to fight,
Now, I shall fix, mix and sort,
In an attempt to hold the fort.”
The hat finished suddenly, all students looked around at each other in confusion.
“Friends with Slytherins? As if” Ron said, mirroring Harry’s thoughts precisely, as Harry remembered Malfoy on the train and hate built up in him once more.
“It mentioned the DA Harry!” Hermione whispered, leaning across the table.
Harry tried to remember the sorting hats song, “Attempts have been made to unite?”
McGonagall’s voice was now heard calling out the names of the students but Harry wasn’t listening, ‘Attempts have been made to unite, But without there is no hope to fight’, did the hat honestly think that friendship was the way to kill Voldemort then he remembered that it had lived in Dumbledore’s office for the whole of the year and so had heard the prophecy when Dumbledore showed Harry it, ha, thought Harry, it is just repeating something about love, love a Slytherin, the thought made him nearly gag.
However at that point all the students had been sorted and Dumbledore was just standing up.
“Welcome” He said, in his calming voice. Everyone had become quiet again.
“I would like start off by saying that Voldemort is back, as you all no doubt know.” Most students and even some teachers gasped as he said the name, but he ignored them.
“Inside this castle you are safe, protected but outside of the grounds I cannot vouch of your protection” Harry noticed Dumbledore was looking towards Malfoy, more often than a glance, “if any of you see any suspicious behaviour, in the interest of safety, you must tell your head of house immediately. That is all I have to say for now, bon appétit.”
The speech was followed by a short silence and as the food appeared, everyone tucked in. The hall had a much calmer atmosphere, now Dumbledore had promised them safety in the castle, but it made Harry feel even more uneasy as outside the castle was even more unsafe than normal, Harry, having grown up in a cupboard under the stairs was used to being trapped, but at that point in time he felt the most claustrophobic he ever had.
“Not beating around the bush is he?” Ron said as he swallowed another mouthful of food, he had already spilt some gravy down his front.
Hermione looked at him and raised her eyebrows before saying, “Well you- know-who is properly back now, isn’t he, Ronald?” She also appeared worried although she was usually good at hiding stuff, so Harry guessed it was important.
‘Mmmm’ Ron sounded in agreement, as he tried to chew a massive mouthful of chicken of the bone.
“Ron, for goodness sake, you’re not at home anymore” Ginny said, she also appeared worried but also stressed. The bags under her eyes were more dominant than earlier. As Harry looked around he noticed most people looked worried.
“I don’t get it why is everyone worried; Dumbledore says we’re safe here.” Harry whispered to Seamus.
Seamus looked at him oddly then returned, “Well he said we are safe here, I know that you don’t particularly like the muggles you live with but-”, he whispered, stopping as he didn’t need to carry on. Harry understood. Dumbledore had not said anything about the safety of children’s family outside of the castle, but then again he couldn’t- people were dying everyday and it was near enough impossible that no-one in the hall would not have their family wouldn’t die, Dumbledore couldn’t promise that, it would be a lie.
“Oh” Harry said, looking down. Seamus smiled a smile that didn’t reach his eyes before turning back to Dean. The mood was more subdued than past welcome feasts and was over more quickly, or so it seemed.
“I hope you have all enjoyed out magnificent feast. I would like to tell all of our new students, and some of the older ones, the forbidden forest is out of bounds for a reason and it is even more important than ever that you do not enter it without permission. Mr. Filch, our school caretaker, would like me to remind you that the entire contents of Weasley wizard wheezes is banned as is a collection of other items which consists of 678, no, forgive me, 679 other items, found in Mr. Filch’s office. There is also no magic in corridors. Now, your beds await you even more comfortable than you can imagine, Goodnight.”
“He didn’t say who the defence against the dark arts teacher is.” Harry commented worriedly, it was his best lesson, and most teachers tried to kill so it would be good to know who was going to try next, he thought.
“There is an empty chair” Hermione said, as the other students started getting up.
“Maybe he forgot.” Ron said, as he tried to fight a yawn.
“No, he wouldn’t forget.” Harry replied.
Ron and Hermione then left to deal with the first years, leaving Harry to walk up on his own. He started walking over to Ginny, preferring her company than being on his own. As soon as he got over to her however someone yelled his name. Parvati and Lavender than ran over. Ginny walked away without looking back, leaving Harry with the two girls, who seemed to like wrapping their arms around his fore arm, when they got through the portrait, he practically ran up to the safety of his dormitory, which now said sixth year on the front of it.
He was the only one up; the others must still be talking. He was sure on the way up he saw Neville walk Luna up to her common room, and Seamus and Dean talking to Ernie. The room seemed even smaller than last time, but the bed did look more inviting. As he was just about to flop down there was a knock on the door.
“Yeah?” Harry yelled.
“Can I come in?” Ginny’s voice said nonchalantly.
Harry answered “Yes” and she came in, already in her blue dressing gown, clutching Ron’s stuff which had been put in her trunk earlier.
“He sleeps over there.” Harry said, pointing to Ron’s bed, which was next to his. She came over and dumped it on his bed and made to leave. Harry was momentarily taken back by her harshness.
“Ginny?” Harry called out as she disappeared.
“Yes?” She said, as she appeared back around the door.
“Are you ok?”
She came fully back into the room now, “Why wouldn’t I be?”
“You walked off before, and you have been quiet since the train.”
“I am rather tired if you must know, and I thought you would rather walk with Lavender and Parvati” She said in a rush.
“Just to clarify, they really scare me.”
Ginny smiled sincerely and came over and sat on Ron’s bed.
“Usually Ron or Hermione save me when people harass me, but they haven’t been around recently when I really need saving.” Harry confessed, “I have to admit I am not usually pestered this much, it hasn’t even been a whole day yet.”
“I have a feeling you are going to get pestered by a lot more girls this year Harry. Every one finally knows that you have been telling the truth for the whole of last year, and the daily prophet means that everyone knows something happened with you and Voldemort in the ministry, in girl language that means you have never been more likeable… to other people.”
Ginny raised her eyebrows in question.
Harry answered, “Girls…they’re too much drama,”
Ginny laughed a sweet laugh, “Have fun telling Cho that.”
Harry considered that, “Oh god!” Ginny smiled again for longer this time.
Hearing noise from the corridor, Ginny stood up, and smiled evilly as she saw how messy Ron’s bed looked.
“If he asks it was Dean.”
This caused Harry to laugh. Neville arrived in the dorm and smiled at the mess of stuff on Ron’s bed and nodded at Ginny before turning to his trunk, which had been brought up the same time as everyone’s by the house elves.
“Oh and Harry?” Ginny said as she was at the door.
Harry turned to look at her, she then finished, “Next time, I’ll try and save you.”
“Next time and all the times after that” Harry clarified.
She smiled widely and left. Neville didn’t comment on what on earth they were talking about. After they had changed Ron arrived and moaned about how Hermione had made him ask every single first year if they had any questions. When Seamus and Dean arrived Ron scowled noticeably at Dean, who drew the curtains around him and his bed without a word.
“Git” Ron said under his breath.
“Why?” Harry asked inaudibly as he stuffed his previously worn robes in his trunk.
“He broke up with Ginny; I think she cried for ages, said she wasn’t crying because of him ending it with her but anyone with half a brain knew it was.” Ron responded as he got into bed, with all his clothes and writing implements being made to fall on the floor.
Harry got into bed as well, drawing the curtains around his bed. It felt like it took Harry forever to fall asleep, he just lay there, listening to the different snores of his room mates.
That night Harry was dreaming of Privet drive. Whether he had been dreaming before; he didn’t know. In the dream, he woke up suddenly, his room was dark but his door was left a jar. The curtains were wide open illuminating his tidy, nearly empty bedroom. He got out of bed and walked to the door and looked round, the rest of the house was engulfed in silence and shadows. He passed his aunt and uncle’s room, the bed was empty, he passed his cousin’s room, the bed was empty. He could see light coming from the downstairs and crept over, the front door was wide open; usually aunt Petunia locked it every night. Harry crept down the stairs it didn’t creak; it put Harry oddly on edge. As he reached the door to the lounge he could see the TV was on, the chair in front of it had its back to Harry but Harry could see Dudley’s podgy hand lying on the table next to it, near a half empty crisp packet, which Harry thought was odd. Harry stood there as he saw two figures emerge at the doorway.
“-so sure I locked it” Uncle Vernon said.
“Maybe Dudley left it open?” Aunt Petunia retorted, although she didn’t sound convinced.
Both parents walked into the hallway; they appeared not to be able to see Harry. Vernon tried to turn the light. “Powers off… Lazy, good for nothing electricians.”
Aunt Petunia walked round the other side of the chair and screamed a high frightful, blood curdling scream and fainted. Then uncle Vernon, and Harry, ran round the chair. Dudley was lying there covered in blood, so much it was tripping of the front of the chair. His face had been destroyed. The sight made Harry gag and splutter and then he couldn’t breathe. It felt as if someone was pressing down hard on his chest. He couldn’t look away though.
Harry awoke suddenly, and ran to the bathroom, where he was violently sick. He was also shivering wildly; he wished he had his dressing gown on. His scar was burning wildly. He ran down the stairs into the common room. All he was thinking was, Dumbledore, have to tell Dumbledore, then it felt as if he has been plunged head first into a bucket of ice, as he realised the clock in the common room said 4:53am- it was far too early to knock on the door to Dumbledore’s office, he didn’t even know the password. He sunk in a chair. Voldemort couldn’t possibly know how Privet Drive looked, and his relatives, so was it real?
Last year Voldemort showed Harry a fake vision which had resulted in his godfather’s death, so running into Dumbledore’s office would seem melodramatic and as if he couldn’t handle it. Then again, in the vision Dudley couldn’t still be alive, so rushing to Privet Drive wouldn’t do anything, but what about his aunt and uncle, granted he didn’t really care for them, but they were all he had left, he didn’t want anyone else to die for or because of him. Harry didn’t recall seeing a death eater in the house though, could it have been a muggle that did it, no his scar was hurting still, so it had to have had something to do with Voldemort.
Harry was shivering intensely when he noticed the clock 5.30 am, late enough, Harry thought. He noticed his dressing gown was on the arm of the chair, but couldn’t remember getting it, in fact he was sure it was on top of his trunk last night.
Harry ran up and quietly grabbed his invisibility cloak and marauders map, and then disappeared out of the portrait hole. He had to go a long way round to dodge Filch and his cat but made it there quickly. He was thinking about what he would say to his headmaster, but stopped as he walked head first into the gargoyle that guarded Dumbledore’s office. Harry fell over. As he picked himself up he named every single sweet he could think of, finally as he said liquorice wand, the gargoyle jumped aside, allowing Harry to run up the stairs to the office. Harry’s nerve was starting to get the better of him as he knocked lightly on the door.
“Enter” Said the voice of the person he most desperately needed to hear.
Harry entered the office. The office looked as it did last year. The portraits were once again pretending to be asleep, but failing miserably; as Harry distinctly heard one on his left sneeze. The silver table which had delicate objects on was once again standing, giving Harry a reminder of why he was there. Dumbledore was coming down a set a stairs in the near centre of the room. The head teacher was wearing burgundy robes which had stars shining dully on it. His expression was curious but sympathetic, Harry had the feeling Dumbledore already knew the reason for the early visit.
Dumbledore was now at the foot of the stairs and came over to his desk in the centre of the room, motioning Harry to sit in the seat the other side.
“Harry?” Dumbledore said quietly, Harry knew that the professor knew he didn’t have to say anymore.
“Dream, I think. Privet Drive. Dudley dead? Scar hurting.” Harry mumbled all at once, not meeting Dumbledore’s eyes, out of habit or shame; Harry didn’t know. Dumbledore looked at Harry, giving him an x-ray feeling, before leaving his desk to return holding a silver instrument, which Harry had tried his hardest to break last year. Dumbledore stroked the object with on long finger and it emitted a twirling vapour but nothing else. The professor nodded thoughtfully.
“Harry, I do believe with a level of certainty, that no harm has befallen your relatives, I suspect it was just Lord Voldemort planting a false image into your mind.” Dumbledore said quietly but caringly.
“But, Sir, how did he know what they and the house looked like?”
“Did you notice anything different that shouldn’t have been?”
“Well, no, it was too dark…oh” Harry said stupidly, “how did he have an idea as to what it looked like though?”
Dumbledore leaned forward, towards Harry and answered Harry’s question with another, “Which was the clearest image in the vision?”
“Erm…my room?” Harry couldn’t see where this was going.
Dumbledore’s’ eyes had lost their twinkle, and he looked sort of ashamed, Harry thought, “I see, Harry, I have reason to believe that Voldemort has been using the connection to you over the summer.”
Harry found himself lost for words. He starting thinking of the danger that Voldemort knew about the Dursleys and Privet Drive. That was how Voldemort knew what the Dursleys looked like; he had seen them.
“Harry, let me explain. I believe, that through no fault of your own, you were un-able to defend your mind against him. What saved you from possession in the ministry was love. Over the summer you would, naturally have been grieving, but also may have closed up some what, which would have allowed Voldemort access. I do not feel that Voldemort could have found anything vitally important to you but that he could see things you thought less important or trivial, for instance, I believe your room was clearest in the dream because you spent most of your time in there over the summer therefore unwillingly allowing Voldemort a view of your room. Although I do not believe it was easy for him, as the dream, you said, was in near darkness.”
Harry nodded, disappointed with himself, but Dumbledore had discretely tried to tell him it wasn’t his fault, Harry knew it was. “What about the Dursleys? Can Voldemort get to Privet Drive? Are they safe?”
Dumbledore considered Harry, his eye’s twinkled slightly, “I would have been alerted had a death eater even stepped onto Privet Drive.”, and he said motioning towards the silver instrument still on his desk, “In answer to your questions, the Dursleys are being watched by the order an a twenty- four hour basis, but I do not believe they are in any danger-.”
“ Why?” Harry interrupted.
Dumbledore seemed to be carefully considering his response, and took longer than normal to answer, “The fact that Voldemort had an idea of their appearance, shows that…your love stopped him in the ministry, it pained him, I think Voldemort could see them, using you, because you do not have as… greater affection for them, therefore it wasn’t too difficult for Voldemort. The fact Voldemort could see them, shows us and him, you don’t care for them as greatly as you do for others, your friends Ron and Hermione for example, Unless I am greatly mistaken your relatives aren’t in immediate danger or peril because Voldemort won’t hurt because does not see them of importance, and does not want to do a favour towards you.”
“Oh… I don’t hate them I just-”
“I understand Harry.” Dumbledore said clearly.
The light was streaming through the window highlighting the quidditch pitch. Harry had the feeling he had been sat there for at least an hour. The sun was illuminating the office, giving Harry the feeling of déjà vu.
Harry could feel his eyes wanting to close, only to remember that he still had a full day ahead of him. Dumbledore interrupted his thoughts by saying, “When exactly did you have this dream?”
“About an hour before I came here”
Dumbledore sighed, “Harry, if you need to see me, my door is always open regardless of the time, particularly since you have already guessed the password when you have only been back for a number of hours. Don’t be afraid of depriving me of sleep, your far more important than that.”
Harry nodded, looking down at his knees, an odd alien feeling engulfing him.
“I think you should return to your dormitory now, Harry, I believe your friends will be anxious if they are unable to find you when they wake. Tonight at” He looked down at his confusing watch. Harry couldn’t understand what time it was, “…hmmm… yes, 9.00 o’clock, if you are agreeable, I shall teach you some occlumency to see if we can help you to sleep better.”
A.N. Another chapter completed. Here’s a funny story about the quote. “Professor Dumbledore was clothed in midnight blue robes” line, originally I wrote, “Professor Dumbledore was clothed in magenta robes”. It was only until I checked over this chapter when I understood what a big mistake it was, I then Google imaged it and billion of pink images came up, I laughed a lot of the image of Dumbledore in hot pink robes.
Yeah, so back on topic, longest chapter yet. Remember I still don’t have a beta (or any offers) so sorry for any mistakes in the chapter, I am trying to fix them. If you want to write a review and point out any, that would help a lot. I can’t post this story up on another more Harry potter orientated fan fiction site until I fix them all.
Anyway thanks for reading.