Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Time to Live

There's no Place like Home

by loralee1 12 reviews

AU Post OotP, No HBP, With Voldemort gone it's time for Harry to Live.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure - Characters: Arthur Weasley, Dobby, Dumbledore, Fred, George, Ginny, Harry, Hermione, Kingsley, Luna, Lupin, Molly Weasley, Moody, Neville, Ron - Warnings: [?] - Published: 2007-01-21 - Updated: 2007-01-21 - 3827 words

Time to Live 31
By Loralee

Disclaimer: Not mine

A/N: Thank you for all the lovely reviews

There's No Place Like Home

Harry rose early September 1, he'd spent the day before riding his motorcycle, making sure he had everything packed and clearing up some last details with Picklock.

He and Severus had a pleasant breakfast in Winky's kitchen and discussed the household details.

"Severus if the shop takes too much time, you should have Dobby find an elf that can help in the greenhouse. Oh, by the way I got this for you," said Harry pulling out a brown paper package.

Severus raised and eyebrow, "A present, really Potter, I hardly think,"

"Well that's your problem, Sev, it's not really a present but something I want you to have in case of emergency."

Severus's lip curled at the name but he opened the package. "What is this?"

"It's a magical mobile phone like mine which I've been assured will work at Hogwarts. So if you need to talk to me you can. Faster than an owl."

Harry showed him how to work it and gave him the instruction booklet.

As they rose from the table, Severus said, "So, will I be seeing you over the holidays or will you continue your habit of remaining at school?"

The question surprised Harry at the neutral tone and he wondered if it was because Severus wanted him to come or not.

"I be back during the holidays, but I may spend part of them elsewhere, if that's all right with you," he said.

Severus inclined his head. "That would be acceptable. Be sure to deliver those vials of Stomach Soother to Madam Pomfrey this evening. Do try to contain your rule breaking ways and stay out of trouble, Mr. Potter."

Harry grinned, "Hey, trouble finds me, I don't go looking for it."

"That's what worries me," Severus said dryly and then turned and head for his lab without another word.

Harry had sent Hedwig ahead to the school and shrunk her cage so he apparated with his trunk straight to the apparition point on the platform. He dragged his trunk over to the train and into a compartment and then went back to the platform to look for his friends.

He saw Neville and snickered as his Grandmother spit on to a handkerchief and wiped at Neville's face while standing on tiptoes.

He saw Sophia and went over to her.

"Hey Sophia," he said.

"Hello Harry, I want you to meet my mother and my brother. This is Teddy's first year. Mum this is Harry Potter," she said.

"It's a pleasure to meet you Mrs. Banner," he said.

"The pleasure is mine, Mr. Potter, I can't tell you how happy you and your friend, Mr. Snape have made me, taking Sophia on. I worried about her working for that man Jigger, you know," said Mrs. Banner.

Harry nodded and turned to the boy, he was stocky with brown hair and eyes.

"How are you doing Teddy, excited?" asked Harry.

"It's Ted, Mr. Potter, sir," said the boy.

Harry grimaced and said, "Call me Harry, Ted. Want me to help you with your trunk?"

Ted's eyes widened and he nodded, said a hurried good bye to his mother and sister and grabbed on end of the trunk. Harry grabbed the other, nodded to the ladies and helped Ted onto the train, depositing him in a carriage with several other boys.

He found Hermione a few minutes later following Neville who had gotten away from his Gran by then and Harry led them to the compartment he'd staked out. Neville hung out the window and called to Luna as Harry settled back into his seat. They heard the warning whistle and Harry watched as Ron and Ginny raced onto the platform at the last minute.

Ron had barely dragged his trunk into their compartment before Hermione was dragging him out to the prefects meeting. Ginny made a comment about a boy and left too. Luna settled back with an upside down Quibbler and Harry grinned at Neville.

"Exploding snap?" asked Harry.

"Sure," said Neville in an agreeable tone.

They played snap until Hermione and Ron returned Ron was all for joining in but Hermione glared and ask it they were still eleven.

"Luna how was your training?" asked Hermione turning to the blonde.

"It went very well, Hermione, I learned a lot. Daddy will file a request with the examination board to allow me to take the Divination OWL the end of the year," she said.

"You aren't taking Divination then?" asked Neville.

"Oh no, I'm taking Arithmancy, Runes and Muggle studies. Daddy and Pythia agreed that I should try for the OWL and then next year take Divination as an Independent Study and so that I may complete a NEWT. Not that I need it since I already have one verified prophecy."

"So did your dad tell Dumbledore?" asked Harry.

Luna shook her head, "No Harry, I told Daddy that you didn't trust Dumbledore and that I would rather he not know. So Daddy spoke to Professor Flitwick and they agreed not to tell the Headmaster at least for the time being. I would hate to find myself locked up and used for personal gain." She was staring intently at Harry.

Harry flushed slightly, "I never said that I don't trust the Headmaster."

"You don't have too, Harry, I have eyes," said Luna.

"Er, you don't think that Dumbledore would do that, do you?" asked Hermione.

Luna's eyes lost their focus and she replied airily, "Daddy says better safe than sorry. Don't you agree? I really don't want other people to know, they might think that I am strange." She turned back to her paper.

Hermione's brows furrowed and she looked at Harry. He just shrugged, "We should all just stay alert."

"It seems odd not to have Malfoy come bursting in, doesn't it?" asked Ron.

"Severus said Nott is the one we should watch this year. That he is rather vicious," said Harry.

"It's really odd hearing you call Snape by his first name, mate. Who do you think they'll get for Potions? Have you heard anything?" said Ron.

"No, Sprout came past the shop but if she told Severus who was replacing him, he didn't tell me. Doesn't really matter, as I'm not taking Potions," said Harry with a smirk.

"You know Harry, you should sign up for Independent Study and get Snape to tutor you on the holidays," said Hermione.

Ron looked horrified, "Why would he do that?"

"Honestly Ron, Harry wants to be an Auror, he really needs Potions for that. Yes he'll get some in the Basic Healing class but not everything. By signing up for Independent Study he could take the NEWT for Potion. Remember if you don't sign up you can't take the test if you change you're mind, but if you do you don't have to take the test."

Ron shook his head while Harry and Neville laughed.

"I thought I'd talk to McGonagall about it, actually, Hermione," said Harry. "I am also thinking about taking the Household Management course next year."

Ron's jaw dropped and he almost shouted, "Household Management? Are you bloody insane mate, that's a girls class!"

Hermione's mouth opened and Neville winced but Harry broke in before she could begin to berate Ron.

"Ron, let me ask you something, are you going to live at home until you get married?" asked Harry.

Ron blinked and Hermione got a look of satisfaction.

"What are you on about now Harry? What's that got to do with anything?"

"Well if you move out of the Burrow before you are married, who is going to cook your food, clean your flat, and do your laundry?" asked Harry. As Ron started to sputter he continued, "Beside that, think about what you said, 'it's a girls class' now doesn't that mean there will be a lot more girls in the class than boys. Those classes have not only a mix of all the houses but of sixth and seventh years as well, right?"

Ron was nodding now but still very confused.

"So," Harry continued, "If you want to date a girl whose goal is to get married and take care of the house, what class would you look in. If you want to meet more girls than what are in Gryffindor common room where would you look? And to top it off, I've always heard that girls like guys who know how to take care of themselves, who occasionally make them a meal," his voice dropped to a dramatic whisper, "they think it's romantic."

Ron's eyes were wide and as he thought this over his grin widened, Hermione however looked outraged and only Luna, who was whispering in her ear, kept her from coming completely unglued. Neville was trying to stifle a giggle behind his hand and Harry just looked innocent. Ron looked thoughtful throughout the rest of the trip while Hermione kept shooting glances at Harry.

As the train pulled in to the station and they got ready to disembark, Hermione broke.

"Harry, you didn't really mean what you said to Ron did you? You wouldn't take the class to meet girls would you? You'd take it to learn how to take care of yourself, wouldn't you/" she asked in a low voice, as Ron stepped off the train.

"Of course not Hermione, I don't need to do that. If I want to meet girls I have them sending me their knickers in the mail all the time and I have house elves to take care of me," said Harry, winking at Neville and ducking out of the compartment.

Hermione stood there with her mouth open for a moment then bellowed, "Harry James Potter, how dare you."

Ron looked around, "What'd you do now, mate?"

Harry shrugged and made for the line carriages with a grin.

Harry stepped through the front doors of the castle only a few steps behind Hermione and Ron with Neville behind him. He stopped there for a moment. Tingles of magic washed over his skin, he took a deep breath and closed his eyes, listening. He heard Hermione saying, 'Honestly, Ron!' and someone else further away, 'Creevey, I'm going to shove that camera,' and even further in the distance a cackling laugh with a shout of 'Peeves' over the muted rumbling of hundreds of students. He could smell the coming feast and the underlying odors of floor polish and musty old castle. A hand on his shoulder startled him for a moment.

"All right there, Harry?" asked Neville.

He grinned, "Yeah, I'm good, it's just good to be home. Come on we don't want to miss the feast."

Harry sat at the table next to Ron facing Hermione and Neville. The promise of a new year, a Voldemort free year stretched before him. He heard whispers across the room wondering where Snape was. He looked up at the head table, Dumbledore's gaze twinkling out over the room, Professor Flitwick almost bouncing in his seat, a new woman with iron gray hair and a hard gaze, her face pinched as if she smelled something bad, next to her an older man with messy white hair and a mustache. Harry snickered into his hand; Hermione catching him raised an eyebrow.

"New professor," he jerked his head, "Einstein." She turned to look; Dean who was sitting just down the table heard the comment also and laughed.

Ron leaned over to him, "So which one do you think hates you, Harry?"

"Ron, be nice," said Ginny.

The first years came in trailing McGonagall and Ted Banner waved to Harry.

"New recruit for your fan club?" asked Seamus, with a cheeky grin.

Harry ignored him to listen to the sorting hat, wondering what it might have to say this year.

In the seeds of friendship

The Founders Four created me

To Sort you all in rows

In the garden that is Hogwarts

To flourish and to grow

And though the evil which threatened is now gone

The root remains and seeds its sown

Will soon begin to grow dissent, disharmony and woe

Now is the time to pull together, to grow strong and unite

Deny the seeds of evil, put your faces to the light

In Ravenclaw I sow the seeds all bright and shiny smart

In Slytherin ambition reigns and cunning sets them apart

In Gryffindor they value most a courageous heart

And Hufflepuff has all rest, happy to do their part

So step up here

And put me on

And I'll tell you where you belong

Harry snorted to himself as McGonagall raised an eyebrow at the hat and lifted the parchment to begin the sorting.

"That wasn't bad, not nearly as ominous as last year," said Hermione.

"Well it wouldn't be would it? What with Voldemort gone and all," said Ron.

"It still is advising the school to unite, although I like the garden analogy," said Neville with a grin.

Harry just nodded and watched as the hat settled over Ted Banner's head. He wasn't surprised when it shouted Ravenclaw a few moments later.

"Do there seem to be more of the little buggers this year," asked Ron.

"I think there are, now that you mention it," said Hermione.

"Probably more people decided to let the children come because Voldemort is gone and Harry has been proven to be a light wizard," said Neville. "There have always been those who were afraid to let their children come to Hogwarts because they weren't sure about Harry."

Harry gaped at Neville. "What!" he sputtered.

Neville looked back, "Well Harry, everyone wanted to believe that you killed Voldemort the first time but there was no body, so there were theories that he either wasn't dead or that he had taken you over and would turn you dark and kill everyone around you." He shrugged, "I always thought the idea was daft, but a lot of neutrals wouldn't let their children come to Hogwarts because their children getting close to you could put them in a position of having to come off the fence in one way or another."

Harry looked at Ron and Hermione, "Did you know?" Hermione shook her head and Ron just shrugged.

"It's not that big of a deal now," said Ron.

Harry blew out his breath in irritation. "Could we talk some more about this later, Nev?" he asked.

Neville just nodded and they turned to the feast having missed the end of the sorting.

As most of the table polished off the last of the desserts Dumbledore stood.

"I like to welcome you all back to another year at Hogwarts, there have been some staff changes. Our new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher is Ruth Baxter, Professor Baxter is a retired Auror, was an instructor in the Auror academy for many years and has been teaching DADA at the Institute for Magic in Bolivia, for the last few years."

The pinched face woman nodded.

Our new Potions Professor is Albert Timmons whose background is in the healing arts. Mister Filch has asked me to remind you that no magic is to be practiced in the halls and the list of banned items can be found in his office. I'm sure he would be delighted to show it to you. The forbidden forest is, as its name implies, strictly off limits. Now prefects please escort your student to their houses. Good night."

Everyone began to move; the fifth year prefects began to herd the first years and Harry, Ron and Neville hung back for a moment to escape the press of students. McGonagall approached them and handed Harry a folded parchment

"Mr. Potter, the Headmaster would like to see you tomorrow after classes. If you have I moment, I need to speak with you now," she said.

"Of course, Professor," said Harry. He gestured for the others to go on without him and turned to follow McGonagall to her office with a sigh.

"First of all, Mr. Potter I would like to return this," she said bringing his Firebolt out from behind the desk. "Professor Flitwick, Madam Hooch and myself have thoroughly checked it for damage or hexes. It appears to be fine."

"Thanks, Professor, I'm really glad to have it back," said Harry, lightly caressing the broom.

"Yes, well, it should never have been taken from you. I expect you will need it for this," and with a smile she handed him the captains badge.

"But Professor, I have a contract with the English National Team, can I still play? And shouldn't Katie be Captain, this year?"

"Miss Bell declined the captaincy, stating she would rather enjoy playing instead, I also checked the rules, until you participate in a professional game you are eligible to play for a school team. The English Nationals first game is two weeks after the last Gryffindor game. I would suggest training a replacement for next year, now."

"Of course, this is brilliant Professor, I wasn't sure you'd let me back on the team."

She sighed, "Now I know that you wrote that you no longer wished to be an Auror and for me not to worry about getting you into potions, but as Professor Snape is no longer teaching I thought I should ask if you'd like to take the class? Professor Timmons has relaxed the standards and I believe he will be an excellent teacher."

"No, thank you Professor, I thought I might sign up for Independent study though. I think my schedule will be pretty full as it is. Assuming of course I got the electives I wanted?" he asked.

She pulled a parchment toward her. "You wrote that you wanted Basic Healing, Elementary Runes, Introductory Accounting and Estate Management, leading to Warding and Spellcrafting in Seventh year. The Headmaster has mentioned the he is willing to tutor you in Occlumency and Politics-"

"He what? Professor my relations with the Headmaster are not the best right now. I don't think that I would like to take any classes with him. He wrote me over the summer that he would stop trying to run my life but yet he continues to try to interfere," Harry fumed.

She raised an eyebrow. "You are not required to accept the Headmaster's offer, Mr. Potter. I would advise against it if you were to ask my opinion. Don't think I haven't noticed his treatment of Severus.

"I've been informed that you are emancipated?" she asked. Harry nodded, surprised by the change of subject. "Then you realize that you are not required to stay on the school grounds when not in class. You are not restricted from Hogsmeade and your Quidditch practices with the National Team will require you to leave the school on a regular basis. However I would appreciate it if you would let me know when you are leaving. When you are on school grounds you are still to follow the curfew rules but as a sixth year you have an extra hour each night."

"Yes, ma'am, I'll get you a copy of my training schedule and inform you whenever I need to leave for anything else," he promised.

"Very well, I'll inform the Headmaster that you have declined his offer. You may go now, oh, the password is victory." She smiled at him.

He nodded and left the office to make his way to Gryffindor. He still had some potions to deliver to the infirmary. If he hurried he could make it before curfew. It seemed that his Head of House was on his side in the on going power struggle between the headmaster and himself. 'Politics!' he thought.

He hurried through the common room with an absent-minded wave to Hermione and up to the dorm. Dropped off the broom and collected the small crate for Pomfrey from his trunk and hurried back down.

"Harry it's almost curfew where are you going?" asked Hermione.

"I need to run these potions to Pomfrey. I won't be long," he said.

When he entered the infirmary, he was surprised that there were three students already sitting on beds. Pomfrey hurried over to him.

"What have you done now, Mr. Potter?" she asked with no small amount of exasperation.

"Er, nothing, I'm fine, I just have some stuff from Snape here." He set the crate down on a small table just outside her office. She opened the top of the box and sighed with relief.

"Oh, very good," she said. Then she pulled three vials out and strode over to the waiting students. One vial to each and watched them drink, then shoo'd them back to their dorms.

"I'm very happy to see that, Potter, Severus makes the best Stomach Soother. There are always some who overeat during the feast or who eat too many sweets on the train. I was afraid I'd have to give the awful stuff I brewed myself."

He grinned at her. "He made this yesterday, I would have been down sooner but Professor McGonagall wanted to chat with me right after the feast. Oh, I have this for you to try out. It's something Snape made for his own use."

He pulled out two jars of the purple muscle balm and a sheaf of written instructions.

"Hmm, I always like anything he makes for his own use."

Uhm, Madam Pomfrey, Snape said, well, he led me to believe that you sometimes have trouble making ends meet here in the infirmary and well, I just wanted to know if a donation would help?" asked Harry, hesitantly.

Pomfrey looked startled for a moment and then smiled and patted Harry on the cheek.

"Thank you Mr. Potter for the offer but I believe I have matters under control for the moment. Now that we have Professor Timmons here it has eased the strain considerably and of course Severus was a big help after I let him know there was a problem. Which we wouldn't have had if the Headmaster hadn't waited so long to hire Timmons, ah well I will be sure to let you know if I need additional support later in the year.

"Oh, my you've missed curfew, let me write you a pass."

She scurried around for a moment and then Harry found himself, pass in hand, summarily ejected from the infirmary. Chuckling he made his way back toward the tower. Even though he had the pass he pretended he was sneaking through the halls.

As he ducked into the Gryffindor common room he laughed at himself, it truly was good to be home.

AN: So we come to the end of Time to Live, there is a sequel planned called Time to Learn. I've barely started it though so it may be a little while before it's ready to post. Thank you reading and for all those wonderful reviews.

Revised 1/18/07
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