A flashback to Harry's time at the Dursleys before going to The Burrow
Dear Mr. Potter, he read. You are required to present yourself at a special meeting of the Wizengamot which will be held on Aug 8th at 10:00 a.m. to give evidence in the inquiry into the recent events in the Department of Mysteries.
The joy of the day turned to ashes in his mouth and he fell onto his bed and not for the first time wished he hadn't been born Harry James Potter.
Chapter 2 The Start of Summer
After receiving his letter Harry found it hard to relax, each time he drifted of to sleep memories of the night Sirius had died flooded his mind, and he found himself awake once again. As he tossed and turned he remembered the meditation lessons that Tonks had given him during his enforced stay at the Dursleys, and dropped into a light meditation, finally relaxing enough to drift off to sleep.
The 'chat' his uncle had had with Mad-Eye Moody et-al at Kings Cross, had affected the Dursley's relationship with Harry. On the positive side, Petunia and Vernon had decided the best thing they could do was to ignore him, the negative of this was that they took it to the level of not telling him when they were eating.
Dudley had mumbled "Thanks for last year" and then avoided all contact with him.
Harry couldn't see much difference in Dudley, and had 'inherited' the gym equipment that Dudley had got when he thought he was going to be the next 'Great White Hope' of British boxing. Dudley had changed his mind about a boxing career when he had boxed a fellow heavyweight who was several inches taller, muscular rather than fat, and infinitely more talented than he. The fact the other boxer had knocked seven shades of shit out of him was the deciding factor.
The only reason Harry hadn't starved was that Tonks and Remus had disobeyed Dumbledore's orders about having no contact with him. On his first night back Tonks had been on duty and had heard him sobbing late into the night. The following morning she had spoken to Remus, and they had decided between them that they would take time to speak to Harry.
That afternoon while Tonks distracted Mundungus who was on duty, Remus Apparated into Harry's bedroom to find him curled up on his bed, still wearing the same clothes from the previous day. When Dung went off to check on the rumours of cheap untraceable cauldrons, Tonks joined them.
Over the next few hours they managed to coax Harry into cleaning himself up, while he was in the shower Tonks had looked through his trunk to find him a change of clothing and had been shocked at what she had found. Other than the clothes he had for school, everything was a Dudley cast off, she decided there and then that she would get Harry some new clothes, even if she had to buy them herself.
While Tonks had been checking through Harry's trunk, Remus had made a quick trip to the local Pizza Take Away. Over pizza and fizzy drinks, the three had made polite if somewhat stilted conversation. None of them had raised Sirius' name although he was in each of their thoughts.
After they had finished eating Tonks looked at the gym equipment and said, "Nice stuff Harry, where did you get it?"
Harry explained about Dudley's brief foray into the world of schoolboy boxing and how everything that Dudley got fed up with, or broke, ended up in his room, or as it was still referred to by the Dursley's, Dudley's second bedroom.
"I could show you how to use this stuff if you want, Aurors use similar equipment to keep fit, we'll get you set up for Quidditch next season, keep the Cup in McGonagalls office for another year." Said Tonks.
"Umbridge banned me for life." Replied Harry, "but I need to be fitter for the next time I face Death Eaters, the fight in the DoM left me exhausted."
"Yeah" replied Tonks "That's why we work out at the D.M.L.E. it gives us an edge over the bad guys, the fitter you are and more stamina you have the more effective your magic becomes, it's a pity they don't teach you that in school, they could cut a year out of Auror training if the recruits were fitter when they joined."
"Sure thing, Tonks, I can see the point in that, how about some pointers."
She explained each bit of equipment to him and made him promise not to use anything without her or Remus being present to supervise, and then asked the leading question, "Do you have any clothes you could wear for working out?"
Harry bowed his head and shook it. "The only things I have is Dudley's old things and my school stuff."
"Well your school stuff isn't any good, and Dudley's stuff is too baggy, it'd get caught up in the works and could injure you, how about I get you some shorts and t-shirts?"
"Tonks, can you get money from my vault or do I need to be there?"
"It's better if you're there, but it's my treat."
"No, I've plenty money, its getting to Gringotts that's the problem, Remus, can you ask Dumbledore if it's safe for me to go to the bank and Diagon Alley?"
"Sure, Harry, I'll ask him tonight at the Order meeting."
Later that night.
Once again Harry lay on his bed with feelings of despair flooding over him. The few hours that he had spent with Remus and Tonks had distracted him from his grief, but now it was back in spades. He gradually realised that the two people who had spent their time with him must be feeling as bad as he was, after all Sirius was Tonks' cousin, and he had been Remus' last surviving best friend from school. He remembered the reunion between the two Marauders and wept for the lost friendship.
He heard the faint crack of someone Apparating and sat up, drawing his wand from under his pillow. He heard someone stumbling over and a soft exclamation of 'Bugger.' He recognised the voice as Tonks'.
"Hi, Tonks, what brings you back?"
"Hi, Harry." She replied, "Dumbledore says you, me and Remus can go to Diagon Alley tomorrow, he's sent a list of books that he says you might be interested in. He's also managed to persuade the D.M.L.E. to second me as your full-time escort. Remus and I are to help you study anything you want to learn. We're also going to get rid of the Dursleys by the weekend, Vernon has 'won' a four week holiday for the family, once they leave Remus and I will move in."
"Brilliant, but how will you persuade them to leave me in the house? Normally they wouldn't trust me."
"Don't worry, they think you've gone to your friends for the summer, it's not just Lockhart who knows how to do a good memory charm. Oh, Poppy asked me to give you this, it's a Dreamless Sleep potion, she'll send one a week if you're having trouble sleeping, but only if you ask."
Early the following day the three went to Gringotts by Portkey and after Harry had drawn a substantial amount of Galleons they went shopping. While Harry wasn't really bothered, Tonks was thrilled by the experience, Harry allowed her to play dress up with him, only refusing to try on the more outlandish outfits she selected. Only one thing puzzled him, she had insisted that everything he bought was slightly baggy on him and charmed to expand a few sizes. The day after the Dursleys left he discovered why.
He was startled out of his sleep by Tonks pouring a bucket of water over him, it was the last time she did it though, as she found the body bind he had put her in was very uncomfortable. When he went down to have his breakfast, his eyes nearly popped from his head, the table was laden with food.
Tonks handed him a vial of potion. "You'll need to drink one of these before each meal for the next week, it's a nutrient potion and it will also help you put on muscle at a quicker rate than normal. Dumbledore has also provided us with a Time Turner which will allow us to spend up to sixteen hours a day training and studying. The first thing he wants to work on is Occlumency, he is going to teach you himself."
Harry nodded and swallowed the potion, for once it was a potion without a bad taste, or so he thought, the initial taste was fine but the aftertaste reminded him of the Quidditch changing room after a hard practice.
After he had eaten, the structure of his day was laid out, he would start with three hours of study, then use the Time Turner and repeat the three hours but it would be physical training, the next two hours would be rest, followed by three hours of Charms or Transfiguration, then the Time Turner again and repeat the three hours with D.A.D.A again followed by two hours rest.
Before he started teaching Harry Occlumency, Dumbledore had Tonks teach him relaxation and meditation techniques. Tonks had been disgusted to find that Harry hadn't been taught these techniques by Snape, as this was the basis of learning Occlumency. At Harry's request she didn't inform Dumbledore of Snape's method of teaching.
After a few days of living in close proximity Harry, Tonks and Remus finally managed to talk about Sirius. The adults let Harry speak about his feelings of guilt and then started asking 'what if' questions, leading him through different scenarios. It took time, but after several sessions Harry could apportion blame where it belonged. Yes, some of it was his, but equally some of it belonged to Umbridge, Snape, Dumbledore and Bellatrix, some to Sirius for not taking the fight seriously, but most of it to Voldemort for his skewed world view. Remus also wanted to take some of the blame for not stopping Sirius from leaving Headquarters, but Harry and Tonks persuaded him that holding back the Niagara Falls would have been easier than holding back Sirius from going to rescue Harry.
As he came to terms with his loss, Harry started to heal, yes it still hurt to think of Sirius, but he could also look back on the good times. Remus told some tales of the Marauders during their time at Hogwarts, avoiding all unnecessary mentions of Peter.
Harry asked about the scene he had witnessed in Snape's Pensieve.
Remus thought for a minute, and spoke. "I remember that, it was payback, James had caught Snape bullying a second year Puff the day before, he took House Points but Slughorn, the Slytherin Head of House, gave them back saying James was biased. How did you see it?"
Harry explained the situation where at the start of every Occlumency lesson how Snape would remove memories to the Pensieve, and how every lesson he would be left alone with the Pensieve.
Tonks interjected, "But, Harry, a Pensieve doesn't remove a memory, it only makes a copy of it, he was setting you up, you don't actually believe his view of your father, do you?"
"Tonks is right," said Remus. "The relationship between Snape and James was similar to the one between you and Malfoy Jnr. Yes, James could be a prat, but in that he's no different from most teenage boys. When Lils finally went out with him he grew up quickly, mind you, some of the pranks your mum set up were pretty good, she brought a finesse to them. I think that's when Peter started feeling left out, I'm think he had a crush on your dad. I'm sure I saw him stealing one of James' Quidditch tops"
"EEEWWW" came from the other two.
"You two never liked Peter." Said Remus, "Tonks, Sirius used to take you with him when he visited James and Lily, if Peter was there, you used to disappear into the garden. You, Harry, threw up on him more than once."
"Yeah," said Tonks. "I remember visiting Harry, Lily used to sit me in her rocking chair and let me hold him, my mum cracked up the first time she heard, she knew how clumsy I was. I really missed those visits after James and Lily went into hiding."
After three sessions of Occlumency training with Dumbledore, Harry was deemed to be proficient, and for the first time in Harry's knowledge, he criticised Snape's method of teaching. He didn't however say he'd been wrong to get Snape to teach him, this rankled a bit with Harry, but he was willing to let it go until he could give Dumbledore absolute proof that Snape wasn't fighting for the Light.
Because they used the Time Turner judiciously, and timetabled extra rest periods and meals, they didn't succumb to the fatigue problems Hermione had faced when she used one at Hogwarts. By the time it was safe for Harry to leave Privet Drive, he was well on his way to having the body of an athlete. His muscle were starting to become better defined and he was starting to develop a six pack. He could run six miles without too much effort, he also found that his body being fit had a positive effect on his mind. Between the fitness training and the Occlumency and meditation he found he could grasp concepts and facts quicker and recall them easier, all in all although it had been a tough regime, he had enjoyed the challenge.
He had also kept up a correspondence with Hermione, Ron and Ginny and had written to Neville and Luna thanking them for their assistance at the DoM. One thing that had really surprised him was that he'd received a letter from Neville's grandmother thanking him for befriending Neville and helping become more confident.
Hermione's correspondences was newsy and chatty, and full of advice for him regarding his feelings for Ginny. (She had a similar correspondence with Ginny.) Ginny's letters were also newsy and chatty, she kept him up to date with all the gossip (she also had a correspondence going with some of her classmates) and had informed him that she had been winding Ron up when she said her and Dean were dating. Dean was aware of what she had planned and was happy to be involved in the wind up.
Ron's letters were mainly inconsequential, ranting on about Malfoy and the Slytherins or berating the Quidditch officials that 'had it in for the Cannons' after all there had to be some reason that his team had went yet another season without winning a game.
When Harry arrived at The Burrow two days before his birthday, he caught Ginny checking him out, she gave him a double thumbs up when no one else was watching. Ron also checked him out but was overcome with jealousy.
'Potter, who does he think he is, new clothes, new hairstyle, looking fit and Ginny practically drooling over him. Percy is right, he needs taken down a peg or two, the sooner we get rid of him the better.'
Molly was taken aback, for the first time Harry had arrived at The Burrow looking well nourished, he was almost as tall as Ron, but carried himself with a confidence she had seen in very few people. She had noticed the look that Ginny had given him and vowed to herself that she would be happy whether or not they ended up together, Ginny might have some competition for Harry's affections.
When Hermione arrived the next day she too was bowled over by the changes in her friend, but unlike Ron was very happy for him.
When he awoke the next morning, Harry wasn't as cheery as he had been the past few days, but was determined that he wouldn't be bullied by the Ministry. He wrote a quick note to Dumbledore and also to Remus and Tonks. There was no way he was going in to a hearing unprepared, his motto wasn't 'Constant Vigilance' but rather 'Be Prepared.'
Next chapter, at the Wizengamot.