AU, Post OotP summer story: Summer at the Dursleys has always meant Harry is overworked, underfed and lonely. All Harry wanted was a normal summer, what he gets is anything but normal. repost
Disclaimer: Jk Rowling owns Harry Potter not me.
AN: Thank you for all the wonderful reviews and special thanks to my beta Evan,
Harry's OWL scores came the next morning just before he was ready to leave for Mann's shop. He was almost too nervous to open them.
Harry James Potter
O =outstanding- 2owls
E=exceeds expectations- 1 1/2 owls
P=poor- no owl
D=dreadful -no owl
Care of Magical Creatures O
Defense Against the Dark Arts O with distinction
History of Magic P
Congratulations on the completion of your Ordinary Wizarding Level Examination
Head Wizarding Examination Authority
It wasn't as bad as it could have been, Harry decided. He was carrying the parchment down the stairs when the phone rang. He knew, as Aunt Petunia answered, that is had to be Hermione. He knew he was right when his Aunt thrust the phone at him.
"Hello Hermione, how did you do? All O's?" he asked.
"Yes," she squealed, "I got all O's how did you guess? I was so worried, I was sure I mistranslated that one rune and the Astronomy exam when McGonagall was attacked was just horrible I didn't get to check all my answers. Oh Harry how did you do? Hurry, tell me quick."
"Breath, Hermione," he laughed, "I did all right, mostly, three O's, one with distinction and three E's."
There was silence on the other end of the phone for a long minute.
"Oh Harry, that's only six of the nine what about the other three, did you fail, oh, I'm so sorry, I didn't make you study enough."
"Easy Hermione it's not the end of the world, I got an A in Astronomy and P's in Divination and History. I knew I failed the History one because I fell asleep and had that vision."
He looked up to find Aunt Petunia standing in the kitchen doorway with her hand out. He handed her the parchment with his grades on it with a grin.
"The distinction was DADA wasn't it Harry?" asked Hermione.
"Yes, it was, but one of the E's was Potions. I'm not so sure I want to be an Auror anymore, anyway. I can't help being relieved that I didn't make it into Snape's class."
She huffed at him, "Well I certainly don't want to take it by myself; maybe he will have to lower the prerequisite."
"I don't know Hermione, I need to go though and explain my marks to Aunt Petunia, I was just coming down the stairs to show her when you called."
"Ok, Harry, I'll talk to you later. Bye."
He hung up and went into the kitchen where Petunia was looking at the parchment.
"You failed two classes," she said.
"Yes I know, I should never have taken Divination in the first place, it's supposed to be an easy class but -" he shrugged. "I had a problem during the History exam and completely blew the test."
"The other grades are good enough I suppose," she sighed looked away, "you did better than Dudley."
Harry looked surprised and blurted, "How did you find out about Dudley's scores?" Then he flushed.
Petunia looked angry. "I called the school of course. I'm waiting until you've gone for the summer before I tell Vernon."
"I -thank you for that, I suppose. I'm sorry that, well," he broke off deciding he wasn't sure what he was apologizing for.
"You are learning the things you need for your world aren't you?" she asked glancing once more at his grades.
"Yes Aunt Petunia, I am," he said.
"Well, best put that away. I thought you were going out?" she said and shoved the parchment across the table at him.
Harry nodded and took his parchment and himself away from her sight.
Harry spent the day at Mr. Mann's shop enchanting his phone to work in and around heavy magic fields. He took it one step further and enchanted the battery to run on magic as well. He spent sometime and made copies of the little booklet The Magic of Electronics, he intended to give one to Hermione and another to the Creevey's and perhaps one to Dean Thomas if he would swear to keep it quiet. Harry felt that the information should be shared by those muggleborns who could make use of it.
He discovered that night that he had accumulated far too many possessions to fit into his trunk.
At 9am the next morning he again approached his Aunt.
"Aunt Petunia, I think I'll be away for at least part of the day today. Tonks is coming to take me for some testing," he said.
"What sort of testing?" she asked suspiciously.
"Er, for an Apparition license, I have special permission, it's a form of-" he answered.
"I know what it is, jumping about from one place to another; scaring people half to death. You won't be doing it here in the house I won't have it," she ordered.
"No, ma'am not in the house," he agreed.
"Very well I don't suppose I could tell you no, anyway," she said with a sniff.
"Er, there's something else too. I'd like to know if it would be all right for me to leave some of my stuff here this year, either in my room or in the attic if you'd prefer. I have too many things to all fit in my trunk and it will help the wards as well," he said.
"What do you mean, help the wards?" she demanded.
"Well, part of what I was told was that as long as I considered the place where my mother's blood dwells my home, it would protect me and in return you. I talked it over with Stonefist the uh, specialist that was here; if I leave stuff here then it's like I'm still living here all year."
She sniffed, "None of Dudley's things are in that room anymore, I suppose you can leave whatever you want. You might consider putting a lock on the wardrobe and using it."
"Yes Aunt Petunia, that's a good idea, I'll do that. I've also fixed the phone to work for me while I'm away. I'll start carrying it today."
"You do that. Be back before dinner."
The Apparition testing went well and his tester, Leland, although shocked by his identity, was quite willing to keep the matter confidential, that Tonks seemed to be flirting outrageously with the man didn't seem to hurt.
After the testing Tonks asked him if he wanted to do anything else and Harry wistfully wished he could go to Diagon Alley. Tonks shocked him be agreeing to take him.
So, with a small glamour to change the color of his eyes and the One Mann's Treasures cap pulled low, they apparated to the courtyard behind the Leaky Cauldron. Tonks morphed to match his age and the two of them entered into the Alley.
Harry wanted to get a new trunk. They browsed the luggage store and Harry finally settled on a black leather and brass model with three expanded compartments and a permanent lightweight charm. The selling point for this model was the third compartment with magically rotating bookshelves. You could store your books in a series of shelves and a word or two would bring the shelf with the book you wanted to the top. The space was advertised to hold approximately 1000 books of average size.
Harry picked up owl treats and browsed the bookstore. He'd finished the basic Runes book he'd found at Mann's and picked up the text that the clerk said would be on the 6th year elective list along with the reference book Hermione always used, The Runes Compendium. He added several Defense books and a book of charms that had been referenced in one of the books he'd gotten from Mann.
"Got enough books?" asked Tonks with a laugh.
Harry blushed and replied, "I think Hermione's rubbed off on me."
Harry didn't understand Tonks' hysterical laughter and tried to pretend they weren't together as people started to stare at her.
Harry sorted through his things that night. Dudley's old clothes that he'd saved for gardening, his too small quidditch robes, the two smallest of his Weasley jumpers, and his old Hogwarts robes all went into the wardrobe. All of Lockhart's books and his Divination texts were to go into his old trunk along with the broken mirror from Sirius and the pocketknife with its melted blade. They weren't any use to him but he didn't want to get rid of them either. As he sorted his belongings he ran across more things to place in his old trunk. The fanged and furry wallet from Hagrid, the picture Dobby had given him, and the Grow Your Own Warts kits from his first Christmas at Hogwarts that he found in the very bottom of the trunk when he cleaned it out.
Everything else went into the new trunk and Harry was please to find that he still had plenty of room.
Harry was able to pick up his contacts the morning of the day before his birthday; he met with Remus at Mrs. Figg's house that afternoon.
"Hello, Remus, how are you?" Harry greeted the man and followed him around to the back garden.
"I'm good, Harry, you are looking well. Are things are better for you this summer?" asked Remus.
"Yes, my Aunt and I came to a bit of an agreement," said Harry.
"Good, I brought you a few things, Dumbledore didn't want you to receive a flock of owls so I have presents from Hagrid, the Weasleys, Moody, and myself, as well as a letter from Dumbledore and your school letter," said Remus with a smile. "Would you like to open them now?"
Harry grinned a bit, "I suppose I could force myself."
Remus pulled out the first package and Harry opened it to find and new Weasley jumper and a tin of fudge from Mrs. Weasley, a smaller package from Ron with six chocolate frogs and a Cannon's pennant and an envelope containing a braided bracelet made of what looked to Harry like Ginny's hair.
Remus raised and eyebrow and asked, "Something you want to tell me about?"
"Harry frowned at the tone and said, "Why did she send me something like this, it's odd."
"Harry it's a token," Remus looked at him expectantly.
Harry shook his head, "I have no idea what that means."
Remus groaned, "Merlin, Harry, this is not something I ever thought we'd have to discuss. By sending you that Ginny Weasley is saying that she would accept an offer from you. If you wore it openly you would be stating publicly that you and she were-well that you," he broke off flushing.
"That we were what? What kind of offer?" Harry almost shouted.
"A token like that implies a sexual relationship, Harry. By sending it to you, she is indicating that she would welcome your advances. If you wore it, you would be claiming Ginny as a consort at the very least; at her age you could easily be forced into marriage with her. If you refused to marry her, you could still be force to pay a bride price for ruining her reputation."
Harry paled dramatically and almost whined, "Why would she send me something like that? She Ron's little sister, what would make her think I like her like that?"
"Did you date her at school or have you been writing to her?" asked Remus.
"No we didn't date. I knew she had a crush before, but Hermione said she was over that. She wrote me a couple of times early in the summer but I didn't write back. What am I supposed to do with that?" he pointed to the bracelet with a look of loathing.
Remus reached over and pushed it back into the envelope and said, "Would you trust me to handle this for you? I'll go see Arthur and Molly, I think they need to know about this and that you didn't have any idea what it meant and are not interested in Ginny that way."
"She was dating Dean last I knew, I just don't understand why she would do that to me," complained Harry.
"Here, open this one," said Remus trying to distract Harry by handing him the lumpy package from Hagrid. Harry unwrapped it to find a six-inch hand carved grim like dog and a batch of rock cakes.
Moody's gift was a small foe glass and Remus gave him a book on Defense.
Remus handed over the two letters and asked how Harry had done on his OWL's. Harry admitted he'd failed two but done all right on the rest and slowly opened the letter from the Headmaster.
Happy Birthday my boy, I had hoped to allow you to travel to the Burrow after your birthday but, alas, I have not yet been able to repair the Ward monitor that was damaged recently; so I must request you stay at your Aunt's until August 29th when you may go to the Burrow.
Please give Mrs. Weasley your key and allow her to purchase your school supplies at that time. It is much too dangerous for you to wander about Diagon Alley.
If you have any questions or if you have any visions, please do not hesitate to owl me.
Harry snorted at the letter and flipped it over to Remus.
"Last time we saw each other you wondered why I was angry with him," said Harry. "He is making me stay here simply because he can't be bothered to come and check the wards to see if they've recharged and he's trying to make me feel guilty for trashing his office and breaking the monitor."
Remus raised his eyebrow at the letter.
"That isn't the reason he gave Molly for not letting you go to the Burrow, he told her that the Wards weren't recharged enough yet. I suppose if the monitor is broken he's trying to err on the side of caution," said Remus.
Harry glared at him, "My Aunt has a monitor, and the wards are fully recharged now and have been for several days. Would you like to see it?"
Remus shook his head with a sigh, "No I believe you, what are you going to do? Would you like me to speak with the Headmaster?"
"No, Remus, don't say anything to him. You should know though that he doesn't have any legal control over where I go and what I do," said Harry with a grin that Remus recognized from his Marauder days.
"I don't think that I want to know. Just promise me you will stay safe and if you need anything you will let me know," said Remus starting to pity the Headmaster.
"You can count on that Moony," said Harry laughing. Remus was just happy that the evil laughter was not directed at him.
They visited for a short time more and then Harry gathered his things and returned to the Dursley's. Remus patted the pocket with the token and with a feeling of doom Apparated to the Burrow.
Harry sat up in his room that night waiting for midnight even though he'd already had his presents. He read through his school letter again and contemplated the electives he might take.
Harry pulled out parchment and wrote thank you letters to Ron, Mrs. Weasley, Moody and Hagrid; then started on a letter to McGonagall.
Dear Professor McGonagall,
Enclosed please find my course request sheet. I am not really interested in becoming an Auror any longer. I don't think that I would be happy working for the present Ministry. So there is no need to try to get me into Advanced Potions. If possible I would like to meet with you once term begins to go over other career options.
I would also appreciate if you would see if you could find my broom, last I knew it was chained in the dungeon somewhere. As it was a present from my godfather and quite expensive I would like to have it back even if I can no longer play quidditch.
On the course sheet Harry had requested NEWT level: Charms, Transfiguration, Defense and Creatures. With year long electives in Healing, Runes, and Accounting and Estate Management, and one term electives in Spell Crafting, Magical Artifacts, and Broom Design.
At midnight, Hedwig flew in with a package from Hermione. Three other owls joined her and Harry snickered.
"So much for not having a flock of owls," he muttered as he removed letters from two of the owls and a package from the third.
Hermione's package revealed a NEWT study guide for defense and a gold chain with a lightening bolt charm on it. Her note read: Harry, saw this and thought of you. Gold holds enchantments well; see me when we get back to school. Love Hermione. Harry laughed and placed it around his neck.
The second package was a packet of wizard photos from Colin and Dennis Creevey.
Happy Birthday, we thought you might like to have copies of some of the photos we've taken at school and wanted to let you know what we found out about the chest from the auction.
The letters were all addressed to Clifton Miles who turned out to be our Great Grandmum's older brother. The list of Order of Merlin holders reports him as being a muggleborn Auror who wiped out a clan of Vampires in 1932.
The letters were from his girlfriend and the last one was dated January 29 1935. We found his obituary in the back issues of the Daily Prophet; Grindelwald killed him February 2nd.
We got a book on the rise and fall of Grindelwald; too bad Binns doesn't teach this stuff. Is Grindelwald on the OWL's?
Colin and Dennis
Harry flipped through the pictures with a smile on his face. There were pictures of him and his friends and several of the different Gryffindors in the common room, several of the teachers and a group photo of the entire DA waving at him. There was one of the twin's swamp and an absolutely perfect one of Peeves waving McGonagall's walking stick and chasing Umbridge from the castle.
Harry picked up the next letter.
Happy Birthday, Daddy and I are back from Sweden. We didn't find any Snorkacks. Are you feeling better?
Harry was surprised at the last letter
Please accept my wishes for a joyous birthday.
He felt a warm tingle at getting a birthday greeting from family, the first that he could remember.
Harry spent the day of his birthday buying gifts for his friends. He bought a brown leather bottomless bag for Hermione and a dagger and sheath with matching wand holster for Neville from Mr. Mann's shop. He gave Mr. Mann his phone number and told him he was leaving for a friend's house the next day. Mr. Mann reminded him he was only a floo away and to stop by anytime.
He purchased a variety of muggle candy for Ron and several pairs of odd earrings for Luna. He didn't buy anything for Ginny as he wasn't sure if he should be angry with her or not, but he certainly didn't want to encourage her. He bought Mrs. Weasley a set of non-stick baking pans and a plastic spatula and a set of rechargeable batteries and a charger for Mr. Weasley.
He picked up another package of socks and assorted toiletries.
When he got back to Privet Drive, he spent the afternoon tidying the garden. He cleaned up and helped with dinner. Harry was surprised at the end of dinner when his Aunt brought out her special dark chocolate fudge cake.
"Pet, dear, what's the occasion?" asked Vernon.
"I just felt like baking today, Vernon," she said pleasantly.
Harry smiled at his Aunt as she handed him a plate, "Thank you Aunt Petunia," he said.
She just nodded and the corners of her mouth turned up slightly.