Belletrix works to ensure the success of her mission. Work, work, work.
Harry woke the next morning feeling drained but very relaxed. He half-remembered his very erotic dreams from the night before and wondered what had brought them about. He hadn't seen or done anything that would have carried over into his dreams. He also worried for a moment that he might have to wash his shorts and or sheets from any night time emissions but a quick check set his mind as ease. It had seemed so real. He could almost imagine the scent of sandalwood and musk lingering in the air. Maybe Dudly was burning incense to try to cover the smell of cannabis in his room.
He performed his morning ablutions then headed downstairs to see what chores were on his list today. Since returning from Hogwarts and Dumbledore's funeral the Dursleys had thought it best to treat Harry as though he weren't there. Their only real form of communication was in the form of pages from a memo pad left on the kitchen counter with short notes like "weed the garden" or "vacuum the living room." The rest of the time Vernon, Petunia and Dudley were just not there. Not that they were "there" even when they were home. Harry had a room and a plate at dinner time when the Dursleys took evening meals together but the rest of the time Harry was allowed to fend for himself. Perhaps the Dursleys realized that Harry was soon to come into his wizard majority and would be able to use whatever magic suited him. It suited them to not piss off what was shortly to become a fully vetted sorcerer in their own home.
Petunia had taken Dudley off to some training matches today while Vernon was away at work. Harry made toast and coffee and had a bit of left-over bacon for breakfast before cleaning up the kitchen. The ubiquitous note was on the counter. Today the note simply said "Don't leave the house unlocked if you go anywhere, and don't leave any mess." That was a laugh. Harry had spent the majority of his life cleaning up after the Dursleys, especially his pig of a cousin, and they were telling him to clean up after himself. He shrugged and thought to himself "I'm going to make someone a fine house-elf someday."
One good thing about having the house to himself, he could ring up Hermione anytime he wanted. He had in fact spoken more with her over this summer than in the previous five summers that he had know her combined. It was nice to hear a friendly voice on a regular basis. Just yesterday she had told her parents that Hogwarts might not be re-opening in September and that she and Harry and Ron might be completing their magical education elsewhere.
Harry wondered for a moment if his conversations with Hermione might be the reason for his erotic dreams but then remembered large, dark eyes and soft fragrant hair that flowed on and around him. Hermione's hair was brown and bushy, and her eyes were likewise brown. The times that she had hugged him Harry had caught the distinctive scent of apples and spice. His dream girl smelled of sandalwood.
He shook his head and thought "I have got to get a real girlfriend; I'm starting to compare Hermione to a dream. Maybe Ginny? Ginny who smelled of clean soap and strawberries? Ginny who'd said she'd never given up on me, maybe she could. . . No! Not until Voldemort is dead and gone. Better to have a dream girl than someone that old snake-lips can get to and use against me!"
Harry decided to get out of the house for a while, maybe sit on a bench at the play park and study his defense lessons neatly disguised as a novel. He took two small cartons of some kind of fruit juice (something of Dudley's no doubt) and put an apple in each pocket of the light jacket he wore. He took his wand just in case; dementors after all, knew where he could be found courtesy of the undersecretary of magic, Umbitch. And now all the dementors worked for Lord Moldishorts.
A short walk later he found an empty picnic table where he could spread out his little picnic and his study materials. He was glad for the windbreaker as it was an unseasonably cool day for mid-July in Surrey - overcast and breezy. Mothers kept half an eye on him as well as their own sprogs playing on the slides and swings. Harry didn't mind, you really can't be too careful these days. He waved cheerfully at the clutch of mums of all ages and descriptions, some waved back in a desultory fashion as if to say "we know you know we're watching you."
One young mom had long, slightly wavy black hair and large eyes like black pools surrounded by an olive-skinned Mediterranean complexion; Harry was yet again reminded of his nocturnal visitor. Maybe she was the inspiration for the dream, but where if at all had he seen this woman before? She noticed him noticing her and stared quizzically back at him. He reddened under her scrutiny, but smiled and waved again. The lady nodded in greeting then went back to her little charges. Harry went back to studying.
"It is far easier to deflect a curse than to block it altogether," he read. "With practice the duelist can deflect a curse back at the attacker before the caster can come up with a shield or counter spell in time."
Duels. Harry didn't need lessons in dueling. He needed lessons in fighting; knock-down, drag out, up-close and personal hit him where and when he's not expecting it fighting. But where was he going to find that? Where was he going to find someone with lots of real combat experience who hated death eaters and would be willing to teach. . . Teach. A real teacher, someone who had enough free time to help him and Hermione and Ron to fight with a reasonable chance of surviving.
Moody. Alastor Moody. Excellent; Harry would owl him immediately and see if he could be persuaded to help them in his quest for the remaining horcruxes. Harry closed the dueling book with a satisfying snap and happily munched on an apple while he watched the kids play. If he had anything to say about it, these same muggle children would be growing up in a Voldemort-free world.
Back at number four a death eater, dressed as a meter reader was carefully placing the delayed-action rune stone that would ensure that all in that house would sleep deeply and peacefully that night between the hours of 10 PM and 6 AM. Nott nodded to himself and deemed the rune work doable before apparating away with a look of smug self-congratulation.
Later that night Harry finished the letter to Moody, he had to be careful what he put in the letter, but had no qualms about asking the retired auror to train him and his friends. He left out any reference to horcruxes and their search for them. That information was too sensitive to put into writing. He looked longingly at his little lumpy bed and opted to write letters to Ron and Hermione for Hedwig to deliver after she got back with Moody's reply. Probably not till morning. Harry left the unfinished letters on his little table that doubled as a desk, striped down to his boxers and crawled between the sheets.
"Wonder if I'll have a repeat of last night's dream?" he thought as he turned the light off.
At half twelve he caught the scent of sandalwood and heard the sound of heavy cloth as if a blanket (or a cloak?) crumpled to the floorboards. As had happened the night before he couldn't move so he thought he was in a vivid dream; what was it called? He remembered reading something about it in one of Petunia's magazines. Lucid. That was it, lucid dreaming. When you are dreaming but know you are dreaming. He couldn't see owing to the dim moonlight and the fact that his glasses were on the nightstand but he could hear bare feet padding toward him.
He felt the right side of his mattress dip downward as his dream lover placed her knee so that she could swing her other leg over to straddle him. She didn't feel heavy but there was a substantial weight concentrating on his nether regions. He couldn't help but rise to the occasion. Well, that part of him anyway. She leaned forward and Harry felt the now familiar cascade of soft, scented hair on his neck and chest.
"Anything worth doing is worth doing right, darling," she whispered in what sounded like an eastern European accent, "and we have all night."
Harry wanted to groan but had to be content with a very satisfied sigh.
Four hours later his dream girl staggered up the drive to the play park where Harry had spent his previous afternoon.
"Did you get what you needed Bellatrix?"
"I believe so m'lord, but we should return tomorrow to be sure." She hoped that she didn't sound too hopeful to her lord and master.
"Yes, yes. What is that old saying? Ah yes, 'third time is the charm' and we want this charm to succeed, oh yes."
"And then we kill him?" she hoped her voice was flat and devoid of emotion.
"Oh contraire my dear, we must not let any harm befall the boy while you carry his child - the enchantment is very specific. The sire must come to no harm. Even though his very existence is a danger to me, until this child is born we must cherish him and protect him from all that would harm him. It is a delicious irony."