Author: YamiPaladinofChaos PM
On Hiatus. Under Revision as A Hearbeat Away, A Universe Apart. Harry and Ginny's adventures (as well as misadventures) as they chase Voldemort across different worlds.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Romance - Harry P. & Ginny W. - Chapters: 8 - Words: 71,337 - Reviews: 152 - Favs: 53 - Follows: 28 - Updated: 05-06-05 - Published: 07-26-04 - id: 1983483
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer- I don't own Harry Potter, or any game, book, or anime you may see here. No profit is being made from this.
Summary- Lord Voldemort has found a spell that will transport him to other realms. Seizing upon a chance to escape the emerging power of the Boy-Who-Lived and discover new ways to power, he jumps through the portal. However, to his dismay, Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley have followed him. (Inspired by Kingdom Hearts, expect many crossovers.) H/G
AN: This just suddenly came to me as I looked through the details of Kingdom Hearts 2. I thought about doing it as a Kingdom Hearts fic, but I wanted to put it in a different fandom and be a little more creative, so I chose Harry Potter. If any of you want to contribute a universe for Harry and Ginny to travel in, put it in your reviews. This will NOT be a super-power Harry fic (at least not yet). I hope to find a way to make Harry powerful, but not all-powerful. So here goes my hopefully original fic.
Chapter 1- The Journey Begins
It was a bright and sunny day in Little Whinging. The kind of day that makes you want to whistle, to laugh and play like the children, to be with your friends and family and just enjoy the beautiful day. That's the last thing that Harry Potter wanted to on this beautiful day.
Harry Potter sat in the smallest bedroom in Number 4, Privet Drive, laying in his bed, brooding and grieving. The reason for Harry's exceptionally bad and gloomy mood was the death of his godfather less than two weeks ago. Sirius Black, the innocent convict of Azkaban, had been killed rescuing Harry from the Department of Mysteries by his cousin, Bellatrix Lestrange. Harry had gone there thinking Sirius had been captured, and was intent on rescuing him, even if it meant facing the Dark Lord Voldemort.
Thinking about Voldemort only led to the prophecy, which deemed Harry had no choice but to kill or be killed by Voldemort. No middle ground. No negotiations, no protests. Just death.
For the first week of his 'exile' to the Dursleys, he grieved non-stop for Sirius. Then he remembered the Prophecy, and brooded on it as well as grieved for Sirius. Luckily for Harry, the Dursleys were keen on avoiding him and treating him with what bordered on a forced respect of him, thanks to his allies in the Order. It brought memories of the Department of Mysteries back.
He thought about his best friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. They always stood by him, no matter what. How brave they were, coming along with him even though it may have meant facing down Lord Voldemort himself. He thought about Neville Longbottom, the once timid boy who fought the longest and hardest by his side. He cursed himself for ever laughing about Neville, or thinking it absurd a few days ago that Neville could have been in his shoes. Neville was a powerful and determined wizard, and could have easily taken on the role. He thought about Luna 'Loony' Lovegood, and how the normally dreamy and detached girl fought at his side, helping him stand against Voldemort's followers, the Death Eaters. And he thought about little Ginny Weasley, who was not so little or shy anymore. He had been a fool to underestimate her, and a prat for ever forgetting her horrifying experience with Tom Riddle, now Lord Voldemort's diary. He recalled Christmas, when she reminded him of it, how her eyes flashed with anger. She was quite pretty when she did that.
Pretty? Whoa there Potter. Ron would kill you for thinking that way about her. Harry thought.
But didn't he looked at you when he said choose someone better? A voice inside of him answered. And besides, give Ron some credit man. You're his best friend.
Yeah, but she's his little sister. Harry shot back. Besides, Prophecy, remember? I doubt anyone wants to love a murderer.
The last thought backed him up. Love? Come of it Potter. Anyway, she's over you. Which is good, because you can't really get close to anyone, not without Voldemort going after them.
Trying to push thoughts of Ginny Weasley aside, he came up to thoughts about Lord Voldemort. He had to beat him. He had to. If not for everyone who was counting on him, then for his parents, and for Sirius. He wanted to make sure that Voldemort paid for his crimes, and he was the one to do it.
Why didn't I see that it had to be me? All the effort he put into killing me, how it seemed like instinct for me to fight Voldemort…
Harry sat up from his bed, his heart a little lighter and his grief just a tiny bit less. He began writing a letter to Ron, Hermione, Neville, Luna, and Ginny, thanking them for their help and encouraging their responses. After a moment of thinking, he decided to contact Remus Lupin as well. Being the last true Marauder, he was probably hurting as much as Harry. He also wrote a letter to Professor Dumbledore. He felt guilty about trashing his office, and wanted to talk about it, and how to help him defeat Voldemort, in person.
He wrote Ron's letter first.
How's it going mate? I'm sorry for being so distant lately, I'm only just starting to deal with Snuffle's death. I really hope I can come to the Burrow soon. Even thought the Dursleys are bordering on, dare I say, respectful, they're no way in hell they could ever compete with your family.
I wanted to thank you for your help back in the Department of Mysteries, and for all the times you've stuck by me. You could have quit at any time, and you still can mate. I won't hold that against you. Anyway, thanks. That's what I really wanted to say.
Speaking of which, there's a letter for Ginny. Yes Ron, Ginny. She's not a little girl anymore, and she did help us out back in the Department of Mysteries, so I wanted to thank her.
Well, write back soon mate, because I am bored out of my mind.
Smiling, he went over to Hermione's letter.
Hey Mione. I wanted to start this letter off by vowing to do something I should do more often. Listen to you. You were right about me, my love of playing the hero got you all hurt and Snuffles killed. But I know that if I start wallowing in grief, you'll tell me to stop. I've begun dealing with it, by the way, because I have things to do, and Snuffles would not want me grieving.
I wanted to know if you had any books about Defense Against the Dark Arts or advanced magic that could be useful in the D.A. Yes, I wanted to read them, so if you have any (which I know you do), can I please borrow them?
No, I haven't finished my essays yet, and no, I haven't gotten my O.W.L's yet. But I don't need Trewalney to tell me what you got. Let me guess. All Perfect O's!
I wanted to thank you for all that you did for me at the Department of Mysteries, and all our previous adventures. I don't think I ever thanked you for that, and I regret it. Thank you.
Anyways, write back soon! The Dursley's may be a little better, but I'm bored out of my mind!
He smiled, knowing Hermione would send him half a library if she could. He began writing his letter to Neville. It would be difficult to write to him and Luna, because he had less in common and knew less about them than Ron, Hermione, or even Ginny.
Hey Neville, how's it going? I know I haven't written to you before, but I wanted to thank you for what you did for me at the Department of Mysteries. You had nothing at risk, yet you came with me, and most importantly of all, you were the one who fought by my side the longest.
I hope your grandma isn't upset with you because your father's wand was broken. If she is, tell her it's my fault, and that I sincerely apologize.
If you want, you can write back, because I have nothing better to do, and letters are probably the only thing that get me through the summer.
Harry looked over the letter, satisfied with how it worked. He didn't know much about Neville, he was ashamed to admit, because he didn't pay attention. A mistake. He smiled at the three unexpected allies and friends he had received when he took them to the Department of Mysteries. Why is it I always make friends while in a life or death situation. First Hermione, now Luna, Neville, and Ginny.
Although you had a life or death situation involving Ginny before, Potter. The annoying little voice was back.
Yeah, well…Harry didn't really pay much attention to Ginny either. But Luna, Neville, and especially Ginny had proven their worth to him, and showed that although they were heavily underestimated, they were extremely powerful, to be able to contend with Death Eaters.
How are you Luna? Are you still looking for Crumple-Horned Snorkacks? I hope you find some!
I wrote this letter to thank you for your efforts in the Department of Mysteries, even though you didn't have to be there, you agreed to come. I hope you were not to injured back there. You fought well, and saved Ginny from a Death Eater.
Once again, thank you for your help, and if you would like, you can write back. I'm stuck here with nothing to do.
A little short, but polite and thankful. Now on to Ginny's letter, Harry thought tiredly. Writing letters was tough, and he still had two more to go.
First of all, Ron. Stop reading this, or trying to read it. Leave Ginny alone.
Secondly, how are you? I know I've never written to you before, but I wanted to thank you for your efforts in the Department of Mysteries, and all the times during the year you made me feel better, and brought me out of my moodiness.
So how is everyone? Is your mum mad at Fred and George for leaving school early?
Speaking of the terrible twosome, have they mentioned how they're doing? I'm speaking from a purely spectator position, with no reason at all why I would want to know.
Well, if you like, you could write back. I'm always here, and have nothing better to do than read letters.
The love part of it just casually came out, and Harry hastily added a with. Why in the hell did he write love? He wasn't as close as he was with Hermione, and writing that could cause some problems, especially with six redheaded brothers. He didn't really want to send her any mixed messages, or encourage her. Not when Voldemort was on the loose.
Wait. So if Voldemort wasn't out there, and if there was no prophecy- The annoying voice began, but Harry quickly amended it.
Nothing. Sod off already.
He quickly shoved aside the voice inside again, and grabbed another parchment to write to Professor Lupin. He hadn't ever written to him before, and his Order messages were sent normally to Mad-Eye Moody, Tonks, or Mr. Weasley.
Dear Professor Lupin,
First of all, I'm fine. Dursleys still treating me with what I wouldn't call respect, but a sort of fear-respect. I think out of all of you, Moody and Tonks scared them the most. Either Tonk's um… colorful hairstyle or Moody's battle worn figure would raise a lot of eyebrows and questions around here.
Secondly, and most importantly. I'm dealing with Snuffles being gone. I wrote to you, specifically, because I wanted to know how you are doing. I lost Snuffles, and he was the closest thing I ever had to a brother/father figure, but I still have my best friends, I suppose. I've been kind of distant lately. But all the Marauders are gone now, except you. Wormtail is traitor, so he's lost all rights as a Marauder.
If you like, you can write back. I'm stuck inside a tiny room with nothing but old books and unusable magical objects.
Finally, the last letter. However, writing to Dumbledore seemed so difficult now, bringing back the pain that was just now starting to heal.
Dear Professor Dumbledore,
I am sorry that our last meeting was disagreeable. I would like to apologize.
The topic of our meeting, however, I would like to discuss in person, please. I need to start working towards that topic.
It was short and cryptic, but Harry was sure Dumbledore would not only understand, but would respond.
Harry turned to his snowy white owl, Hedwig. She was nibbling on the remains of a mouse she had brought back last night. "Here you go girl. Go to Professor Dumbledore first, then Remus, then Neville, then Luna, then Hermione, then the Burrow. Sorry for the long trip girl." Harry added, at the bewildered look on his owl's face. "Hurry back." He whispered. Hedwig nipped his ear affectionately, took a long drink of water, then took flight.
Harry lay in bed, trying to clear his mind, as Snape told him. His scar hurt far less nowadays, and he thought he was finally getting the hang of Occulemency. Bit late though, Potter. A nasty little voice that sounded more and more like Draco Malfoy, Harry's rival at school's voice. Harry felt guilty at those words, but tried to ignore the stinging pain coming from his eyes.
Great. Now not only do I share minds with Voldemort, but I have an inner voice that sounds like Malfoy. It's a wonder between them and the Dursleys, I'm not crazy.
Harry turned over, and lay quietly, trying to sleep. After a few more minutes, he fell into a restless, uneasy sleep that he had more and more as the years went on.
Suddenly, Harry jerked violently up, and his scar burned like never before. Voldemort was happy. Immensely happy. Harry gritted his teeth, trying desperately not to scream and cry out, and managed small, painful groans of agony, as he collapsed on the floor, his scar bleeding badly.
Eventually, the pain subsided, and Harry was finally able to think straight. This could not have just been mere Death Eaters escaping Azkaban. Something huge had happened. Like the kind of happy Harry expect he would be if: a) Harry died, b) Dumbledore died, c) his dreams of immortality were realized, d) a massive part of the Order had been wiped out, e) someone from the Order was captured. Harry feverently hoped that it was none of them, since every single one of them involved Harry's chances of killing Voldemort reducing by huge numbers. The first one was probably about to die, though, Harry thought with a start. He grabbed his wand and peeked out the window cautiously. Nothing.
If it was b), then Harry was screwed. No one could teach him as much as Dumbledore, not to mention the huge morale blow it would have dealt to the wizarding world.
Number three was probably worse than anything else. Harry could go down with a fight, and Dumbledore could weaken Voldemort at the least. Number three would completely and utterly destroy Harry, unless Harry could kill an Immortal.
Number four was, a dark part of Harry admitted, the best of the four. Losing large parts of the Order would hinder the war effort, but wouldn't destroy their chances. It was cold-blooded thinking, and the Slytherin part of him was the culprit.
Number five was bad. The captured person could potentially give away everything. The Order members, their plans, Grimmauld Place, and Privet Drive. That would be a crippling blow for the war effort .
Suddenly, Harry realized the amount of pain he was in, and collapsed onto the bed, exhausted. Moments after his head hit the pillow, he was off into another restless sleep.
Harry woke to the familiar yelling of Aunt Petunia. Oddly, the normalcy of it comforted him. He was really, really screwed up.
He trudged downstairs, and plopped himself between Uncle Vernon and Dudley. It was his customary seat, and the worst one of them all. The smell was unbearable some days, even if the Dursleys tended to ignore him which made things easier.
Harry chewed on his toast quickly, trying to get upstairs and find a way to contact the Order, when a flame erupted in the kitchen.
Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia, and Dudley back away immediately, looking with a mixture of anger and fear of Harry, who they always blamed for everything.
Harry looked at the flame, trying to remember where he had seen it before, when Fawkes, Dumbledore's phoenix, materialized out of it. "Fawkes!" Harry cried jovially. The phoenix trilled its phoenix song, bringing some measure of peace to Harry's troubled heart. He loved Fawkes' ability to do that for him.
"What the bloody hell is that!" Uncle Vernon cried fearfully.
"This, is a phoenix. To be precise, Professor Dumbledore's pet phoenix." Harry said, looking pointedly at them.
Dudley and Uncle Vernon looked both surprised and angry, but Aunt Petunia's reaction was strange to him. She paled, and edged even more away from Fawkes.
"Get it out of my kitchen!" Uncle Vernon blustered, his face turning purple.
"Can't do that, Uncle Vernon. Professor Dumbledore has a message for me, and he's the head of the Order. You know, those people who met you at the train station?" Harry said, barely able to keep a straight face.
The reaction was instantaneous. Uncle Vernon paled, and muttered a few curses under his breath, before saying, "Very well boy. Take that-that- bird upstairs to your room!"
Harry smiled, and took Fawkes up to his, as he stroked Fawkes' neck lightly. Fawkes trilled happily in response. When they entered the room, Fawkes presented Harry with the note attached to his leg.
"Thanks Fawkes." Harry smiled.
He opened the note half-eager for news, half-deathly afraid of news.
It's quite alright. You're behavior that night was better than I had expected. I'm glad we can get over that disagreement.
As for the topic of our meeting, I'd like to discuss it in person, and begin preparing you for it immediately. Your babysitter will invite you over in a half-hour.
No mention of deaths or anything. Harry let out a breath he didn't know he had been holding. The note seemed freshly written, meaning nothing had happened yet to the Order. But what was Voldemort so happy about? Was Dumbledore to tell him this later?
Harry walked towards Mrs. Figg's house, thousands of questions popping out of his mind like popcorn on the fire. What happened? Why was Voldemort so happy? Were the Weasleys and Hermione safe?
Harry knew Voldemort hadn't tried anything yet. His Death Eater forces had been cut almost in half by the fiasco at the Department of Mysteries, and his plans had been set back immensely. He had to be cautious, now that the Ministry and the Order were onto him.
He walked to the door, and raised his hand to knock when the door swung open to reveal a smiling Mrs. Figg. "Hello Harry, lovely to see you. Albus is in the living room."
She ushered Harry into the living room, although Harry could easily have found the way there himself, considering she had been his babysitter for most of his childhood. And there, sitting in the living room, bright blue robes and all, was Albus Dumbledore.
"Hello Harry." Dumbledore said quietly, motioning for him to sit down.
"Hello sir." Harry said politely, moving to his seat calmly, but he was bursting with questions.
"I'll go get the tea." Mrs. Figg said cheerfully.
"Thank you, Arabella. Would you like some, Harry?" Dumbledore looked at him, studying him over his spectacles with his bright blue eyes.
"Sure, tea's fine Mrs. Figg." Harry said, giving her a smile. It wasn't a real smile, but it was a start, Dumbledore noted.
"So Harry, I imagine you have questions. I will answer them truthfully now, as I said when we last spoke." Harry turned slightly pink at the comment, and immediately threw out his first, and most pressing question.
"Is everyone okay?" Harry asked hurriedly.
"Of course Harry, the Weasleys and Miss Granger are perfectly safe." Dumbledore said calmly.
"But what about the Order?" Harry said worriedly, "Are they safe?"
"Of course Harry." Dumbledore replied, and Harry slumped slightly, a give away about the pressure he had been feeling. "Why are you so worried?"
"Last night sir, my scar" Harry began, and Dumbledore's attention sharpened, "it burned like never before. He was happy sir. Happier than he's ever been. He's got something, or done something, sir."
"This is troubling news." Dumbledore said, his blue eyes no longer twinkling.
"Sir, I need you to help me. If he's happy, it can't be good for us. I need to learn how to beat him. I need to learn how to fight like you did back at the Department of Mysteries." Harry said pleadingly.
"That is why I came here today Harry, to begin your training and tutelage under me." Dumbledore said, the twinkle back in full force.
"Wait, how will I train in magic? What about the Restriction of Underage Magic!" Harry protested.
"Well Harry, in light of your, precarious, situation, you and your friends have been granted a waver by the Ministry, as long as you keep it away from muggles. They would have only let it slide for dangerous situations, but I insisted you had to be trained by me." Dumbledore said smiling.
"So what will I be learning?" Harry asked eagerly.
Dumbledore resisted the urge to chuckle at his pupil's eagerness to learn. "Charms, Transfiguration, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Potions, yes Harry, I will teach you Potions," Dumbledore added at the look on Harry's face "Ancient Runes, Arithmacy, Appartition, and Wandless Magic."
"Wandless Magic? Do you mean Accidental Magic?" Harry asked, bewildered.
"No Harry, I do not. I believe you have the ability to do Wandless Magic, and I'll tell you why in a short while. Tell me Harry, after you learned you were a wizard, have you ever done anything without a wand?" Dumbledore asked.
Harry thought for a while, and remembered that out of instinct, he used a Lumos spell wandlessly, and had not been charged for it either. "I used Lumos last year sir, when I was looking for my wand."
"Excellent Harry. You do have the capacity to do things wandlessly. It is far more difficult however, than wand magic, because you draw the power and shape it from yourself, without a focus point, which is the wand."
Harry looked at him for a moment, trying to comprehend the magnitude of things he would be learning from Professor Dumbledore. But one more thing still bugged him. "Why Ancient Runes and Arithmacy, sir? I don't take those classes."
"These two classes I believe would be most beneficial for you to learn, in order for you to gain more of an edge against Voldemort. He will not know you know of these subjects, and will underestimate you."
"And I take it the same goes for Appartation?" Harry inquired, catching on.
Dumbledore's eyes twinkled merrily, pleased his pupil had become so mature. "Indeed Harry. We wouldn't want to risk you getting trapped somewhere."
" No indeed." Harry mumbled, remembering the Triwizard tournament. Had it not been for a portkey, Harry would have been trapped with over a score of Death Eaters and Voldemort himself. Harry looked up, only one more question remaining. "Would this continue at Hogwarts?"
"Yes Harry, it shall. However, I must ask you that this remain a secret." Dumbledore said gravely.
"I understand sir. We can't allow Voldemort to know, can we?" Harry said quietly.
" No indeed, Harry. Also, you will continue Occulemency under me."
Harry grinned. It was much better than Occulemency with Snape, although Snape would probably be better to toughen him up. "Sir, maybe after we're done, we can ask Snape to try to break my Occulemency shields."
"Why Harry?" Dumbledore questioned, truly mystified by his pupil's desire to spend time around a teacher who outright hated him, so much so that he forgot to correct Harry.
"Because Snape will probably attack my mind like Voldemort will, and I need to know I can stand against that as well, sir."
Dumbledore smiled at his pupil's wisdom. "Very well Harry. When you have completed your training, Professor Snape will perform Legilimency on you, to test your aptitude.
"Now then, Harry. I have a little present for you." Dumbledore reached for a long package Harry hadn't seen when he came in, and handed it to him. "Open it." He said gently.
Harry opened it, and it took him a few moments to register the fact that he was holding a sword. And not just any sword. The sword of Godric Gryffindor, which he used to save Ginny Weasley and kill the basilisk.
"But… why?" Harry asked, unable to form a full sentence.
Dumbledore chuckled for a moment. "Harry, let me tell you something. Godric Gryffindor, unlike Salazar Slytherin, had no heirs to continue his line, because the one love of his life, Rowena Ravenclaw, was unable to bear children. He was unwilling to force himself on another woman when he was unwilling to make love to anyone but Rowena." Dumbledore smiled as he said the last part, noting the healthy blush Harry was getting from the topic.
"But," Dumbledore continued, "Godric knew that Slytherin's heirs would terrorize the world, and he wanted someone to protect it. A Gryffindor." Harry looked up, struggling to comprehend what Dumbledore was saying. "He swore a magical, binding wizards oath that a true Gryffindor would be his heir in a time of need, and stand against the Heir of Slytherin. And the Heir of Gryffindor would be known by the sword of Gryffindor coming to his aid."
Harry looked at Dumbledore, trying to deal with the fact that he was Gryffindor's magical heir. "So, because of the Prophecy" Harry began.
"Not just this Prophecy, Harry. Rowena Ravenclaw had a small amount of the Inner Eye, and was shown a vision of Slytherin's heir. She was the one who helped convince Gryffindor to pass the heir of Gryffindor his power and sword."
"Wait a minute." Harry interjected. "I'm as powerful as a founder of Hogwarts?"
"Just as Lord Voldemort is as powerful as Salazar Slytherin." Dumbledore affirmed. "I hope this isn't too overwhelming."
"No, it's not sir. It's fine. But, I don't really know how to use a sword-" Harry admitted ashamedly.
"That is no problem Harry. I will bring an instructor from the Order to teach you sword fighting, in addition to helping you in your other magical training with me. In fact, I'll bring your instructor in right now." Dumbledore said, eyes twinkling even brighter than before. "I believe you know Remus Lupin?"
Remus walked in, smiling at Harry's shocked expression. "You-you're my-" Harry sputtered.
"Yes Harry, I am your sword fighting instructor. Your father and Sirius insisted on learning about it the summer before sixth year, and we trained secretly." Remus looked at Harry, gauging his reaction to mentioning Sirius. He was hurting, but he vowed to help Harry in anyway he could.
"I'm fine Remus." Harry said sincerely. "So, I'm to be learning Occulemency and magic under you, and sword fighting under Professor Lupin?"
"Harry, I'm not your professor anymore." Remus said, exasperated.
"Au contraire, Professor Lupin. You are teaching me something now, aren't you?" Harry said, his eyes twinkling like the Headmaster's eyes.
"He has a point, Remus. Yes Harry, you will begin studying for your inevitable confrontation with Voldemort." Harry looked at Remus, trying to gauge his reaction to the statement. "I have shared part of the Prophecy with the Order, Harry. They believe you will fight Voldemort, and that is why we protect you." Dumbledore said carefully.
"Okay sir. So, when do we begin?"
"Tomorrow, Harry. You look tired. Rest tonight, and we will return tomorrow to begin your training."
For the next two days, Harry began his grueling training with Remus and Dumbledore. They were slavedrivers!, Harry thought as he lay on his bed, thoroughly exhausted by the long day of training. He knew Remus was a good teacher, but as a sword master, he was downright brutal! And Dumbledore, he shuddered to think about him teaching Transfiguration. He was a bloody slavedriver! He had had a conversation about Transfiguration with Dumbledore yesterday.
"Professor Dumbledore sir. I had a question." Harry said as he and Dumbledore shared their afternoon tea. It had become a relaxing time to talk things over. They were not the two wizards who bore the weight of the world in that hour, nor Headmaster and pupil, but relaxed friends.
"Harry, please. During summer, call me Albus." Dumbledore insisted gently. Harry smiled as he went pink. He would never get used to calling him that.
"Right. Albus, why did you use Transfiguration against Voldemort? Was it because it was your specialty?" Harry asked, curious.
"Indeed Harry. I was always most adept at Charms and Transfiguration. Play to your strengths Harry, not to your opponents." Dumbledore said in a casual, yet lecturing tone.
"But my strength is flying sir, and I don't think it will work against Voldemort." Harry said dubiously.
"Harry, you must be joking!" Dumbledore said jovially. "I have talked with Griselda Marchebanks a few times, and, although I shouldn't tell you this, you have the highest Defense Against the Dark Arts O.W.L. in Hogwarts history!"
Harry's eyes widened. "Wow…" Harry muttered, "I know I did good, but that good?"
"Yes Harry. You got full marks on both exams, and extra on the practical, for what I believe was, and I quote, 'the best bloody Patronus I've ever seen!'"
Harry went scarlet at the compliment. "It wasn't that impressive." He muttered.
"Nonsense Harry. You are exceptionally powerful to summon a Patronus as a third year." Dumbledore chided. "So, as I said earlier. Use your strengths in Defense Against the Dark arts, as well as your other talents, to defeat Voldemort."
Dumbledore was a miracle worker in Transfiguration as he had shown Harry. He made McGonogall look like an amateur! He was also a master at Charms. Harry was learning more in the past two days than he had in weeks at Hogwarts. Dumbledore instructed him on everything from DADA to Potions. Harry felt confident he could have made N.E.W.T. Potions if Snape hadn't instructed him all these years, and secretly hoped Dumbledore would use this private tutoring to get him into N.E.W.T. level Potions. Ancient Runes was interesting, Harry wished he had taken it earlier. Arithmacy, the art of magical numbers, was a way to construct spells, something Harry decided was very good for him to learn. The two new subjects came to him somewhat easier than any other course, except Defense Against the Dark Arts.
His wandless training was slow going, Harry had only just mastered Lumos, and was struggling to master Summoning and Banishing charms.
His Occulemency was going much better, now that he didn't have the sneering face of Snape to face. Dumbledore said in a few days they might even start of Legilimency!
Harry suspected his other talents Dumbledore mentioned were his exceptional sword skills, wandless magic, and a few skills he hadn't learned yet.
A sudden tapping noise at his window brought Harry out of his reverie. Hedwig was back! Harry leapt out of bed excitedly, his exhaustion fading with eagerness to hear from his friends. He tore open the first one, from Ron.
How are the muggles? They treating you alright?
It's alright Harry, you were upset about Snuffles.
The Cannons are definitely going to win this year Harry! I can see it in my Inner Eye…
Everything's quiet here at the Burrow. I never though I'd say this, but I miss the twins. They kept mum distracted, at least. Mum keeps trying to get Dumbledore to get you over here, but he's never around!
Harry laughed. He knew exactly where Dumbledore was, but he couldn't tell anyone.
Well, let's hope Dumbledore changes his mind about you staying with those muggles. I mean, how can they possibly protect you!
What's up with you writing to Ginny, Harry? And ha ha, very funny about the first part.
Harry smiled. It was just the sort if letter he expected from Ron, casual, and normal. Exactly what he craved. Normalcy. Too bad that being Harry Potter guaranteed none of that. His next letter was from Ginny. He ignored the flip-flops from his stomach, claiming them as leftovers from Remus' cooking.
I was surprised to hear from you, but grateful that you consider me a friend. I wanted you to know that we all miss Snuffles. I talked to him a lot over the summer, seeing as how we were always the odd ones out. He said I reminded him of your mum!
I'm fine Harry. Madam Pomfrey works wonders in healing, as you should know. And there's no need to thank me for any of that, I just wanted to help. But if you start being moody again mister, I'll put you back in your place! Why do you think my brothers are all afraid of me!
Speaking of my brothers, Ron was reading the letter, but stopped when you told him to, apparently. As for the twins, they're doing great. Why do you want to know Harry? And don't tell me your just curious, Mr. Potter!
Harry grinned. It was better than Ron's, who still treated him like glass, and was just as fun to read. He smiled. He would enjoy having Ginny Weasley as a friend.
But is that all you want?
Harry threw his arms out in exasperation, oblivious to the fact that it made him look unstable. This voice would not shut up! He pulled out another letter, from Hermione.
It's alright Harry. I shouldn't have been so direct, and put it in simpler terms. I'm glad to know one of our rare fights taught you something.
As for listening to me more often, I'm glad you came to your senses! Now do your homework and prepare for your N.E.W.T's!
How are the Dursleys treating you Harry? Are they any better than they were last summer? Did they take the Order's warning seriously?
All Perfect O's? I hope so! How do you think you did? I think I may have only gotten an Exceeds Expectations on my Ancient Runes O.W.L. because I mixed up a few runes. How do you think you did?
Are you going to continue to D.A. this year, Harry? It seems like a good idea, and I would never have passed my DADA O.W.L. without your help!
Harry snorted as he read the last part. Hermione would have passes if she missed two years of D.A.D.A., without his help. But the D.A. seemed like a good idea. He loved it, and had lived for those meetings. He supposed that teaching would be like that. Obviously Snape does not live for his classes, or he could be a little more cheerful.
Harry looked at the last two letters, from Neville and Luna. A sudden wave of exhaustion crept over him, and he decided to read them the next morning. He smiled though, as he went to bed, secure in the knowledge he had friends.
Two weeks later, Harry was a changed man. His training with Remus had begun to turn his body into a well-toned athletic body, similar to that of those Olympic Athletes Harry had seen on the telly once. He had learned a lot from Dumbledore, from fundamental truths about Potion making to how to build a spell in Arithmacy. Harry was growing stronger, and he was sure that Voldemort would feel it soon.
He looked over at Hedwig's empty cage, missing his friend. He grinned at the thought of his correspondence with Ron, Ginny, Hermione, Luna, and Neville. They had become a tight-knit group, forged in fire and battle. Ron and Neville seemed to bring normalcy to Harry's chaotic life, Hermione mothered him in her letters, Luna's correspondence was humorous to Harry, because it was as random and strange as Luna herself, and Ginny's letters brought him the most joy, somehow combining elements of every letter into one, unique Ginny letter.
His latest correspondence from Ginny related tales of Ron and Hermione's being too thickheaded to get together. Harry feverently hoped they got together during sixth year, due to the bet he had placed on them. Fred and George had said seventh year, while most of Gryffindor had already lost, underestimating just how thick the two of them could be. There were so few people in the running, with the best bets on Fred and George's bet. But Harry just had a sneaking suspicion that he was correct.
Harry thoughts brought him back to his mail, and he wondered when Hedwig would return. It was not like her to miss his birthday, as she was always there for it, bringing him presents along with other owls.
A sudden knock on his bedroom door brought Harry back to reality. The Dursleys never knocked. Harry withdrew his wand, and moved to the door quietly. He swung the door opened and was about to curse whatever was out there when he was met with the twinkling eyes of his Headmaster. "My first year, what did you tell me when I asked you what you saw in the Mirror of Erised." Harry said quickly, not letting his wand down in case it was a Death Eater.
"I told you I saw myself holding a pair of socks, Harry." Dumbledore said smiling.
"Oops! Sorry sir!" Harry said quickly, embarrassed that he had almost cursed Albus Dumbledore.
"Quite alright Harry, At least you're being more cautious. Moody will be pleased." Dumbledore said.
"Why are you here si-Albus?" Harry amended, still not used to calling Dumbledore that, "Is something wrong? Is everyone alright?
"Everyone is fine, Harry. I'm just here to collect you, so we can go to the Burrow."
Harry was confused. "What? The Burrow? No one said anything to me about going there." Harry said cautiously.
"I'm afraid the Weasleys insisted it be a pleasant surprise." Dumbledore said, eyes twinkling. When Harry was finished gathering his things, he presented Harry with an old sock.
Harry felt the familiar tug of a Portkey behind his navel, as he was whisked away from Number 4 Privet Drive.
When Harry's feet hit the ground, he quickly lost his balance, teetering for a moment, then he hit the ground, hard. As he struggled up, a blur tackled him. "Harry!" Hermione cried. "How are you? Were the Dursleys treating you okay? Have you finished your schoolwork?"
"Mione, let him breathe!" Ron called out.
"Oh, sorry!" Hermione said, letting Harry go. Harry took in deep breaths, coughing slightly.
"Good to see you too Mione. You're getting stronger." Harry commented, leaving a faint blush on Hermione's cheek.
"Harry!" Ron cried, clapping him on the back. "Good to see you mate!"
"Good to see you too Ron." Harry said. A sudden voice however, brought his attention away from his two best friends.
"Hello Harry." Ginny said quietly.
Harry resisted the urge to gasp at the sight of her. She was beautiful, her hair shining in the midday sun, her big brown eyes searching his soul, it seemed. "Hi Ginny." Harry said cheerfully, shaking himself from his thoughts.
Hermione, however, noticed how Harry stared at her, fighting the urge to smile. Finally.
"Comeon mate, let's go inside." Ron said cheerfully, oblivious to the exchange between his little sister and his best friend.
Harry walked inside, and it was pitch black, which immediately put Harry on guard, and was about to warn the others when the lights flickered on. "SURPRISE!!!"
Harry was floored. The Weasleys had given him a surprise party. Harry looked around at the gathering. The Weasleys, minus Percy, Remus, Neville, Luna, Tonks, Moody, other members of the Order, some faces he couldn't see, and- Dumbledore!
"Wow! Thanks everyone!" Harry choked out, trying to hold back the tears that threatened to erupt. In all his life, this was the kindest gesture anyone had ever shown him.
"Aw come on now Harry. Don't go crying on us!" Ron said, and clapped him on the back.
"Sorry," Harry said, then added "It's just that no one has ever done anything like this for me." Harry added the last part quietly, and luckily for the Dursleys, the comment was not heard by the majority of the people, and he quickly greeted everyone. He smiled. This was going to be the best birthday he ever had!
Harry felt exhausted, and all he had done was greet the guests! There were so many! Even Professor McGonogall was here, greeting him! Harry was touched. They worked so hard to give him all this.
A sudden call from Mrs. Weasley brought Harry back to his senses. "Cake!" She called out, ushering Harry into the living room, where a gigantic birthday cake stood.
Harry smiled, a true smile, a smile that was so rare on him now, which warmed everyone's hearts. "Blow out the candles already Harry, so we can eat!" Ron called out. Hermione smacked him over the head a moment later.
Harry looked at all these people who came today to celebrate him, to give this wonderful gift to him. "Thank you." Harry said quietly, but everyone caught it. "This was the first birthday party I ever had." He smiled, but now no one was smiling. McGonogall's mouth went thinner than he'd ever seen, Remus suddenly looked a lot more fierce than before, Mrs. Weasley was doing her tiger impression again, Moody looked, well, like himself, and Dumbledore looked grave.
"Sorry." Harry said, apologizing for ruining the mood.
"Nonsense Harry." Mrs. Weasley said, but under her breath she was muttering something about "Cursed muggles".
Harry looked at the candles, and everyone called out, "Make a wish!"
Harry closed his eyes. I wish that everyone could make it through this war okay. He blew the candles out with one breath, and a thundering applause was heard.
Harry sat outside the Burrow, basking in the feelings of contentment and joy in the afterglow of the party. The guests had long since gone home, and Harry had never felt better in his life. It was as if for one night, his troubles had been taken away.
"Harry?" A voice called out.
Harry whipped around quickly, his wand out and ready for any trouble. It was Ginny.
"Jeez Gin, don't scare me like that!" Harry scolded.
"Sorry Harry. I just wanted to see if you were alright." Ginny said, blushing slightly at his use of her nickname.
"I'm fine Ginny." Harry said sincerely. "This had been the best day ever."
"I'm glad you feel that way. We were all worried about you, after…" Ginny trailed off, uncertain about how he felt about this topic.
"It's alright Ginny. I'm fine. Really." Harry said forcefully. "It hurts, but I'm getting better. And today really has been the best birthday, the best day I've ever had."
Of course, if he knew what was about to go down that night, he would have hit himself for jinxing it.
Harry and Ginny sat there for a while, talking about Quidditch, school, O.W.L's, anything. Harry found it so easy to talk to Ginny, and she looked so pretty in the moonlight-
Stop. Right there.
Suddenly they both stopped talking, and just looked at each other. They both drowned in each other's eyes, neither one of them quite sure what was about to happen as they felt themselves pulling closer to each other.
He's going to kiss me! Ginny thought excitedly.
Suddenly, Harry jerked back, screaming in pain and clutching his scar, which had turned a bright red. "Harry!" She screamed. "Are you alright!"
"Voldemort-have to-warn-get-Dumbledore!" Harry gasped as he collapsed, his chest heaving in pain.
Harry found the next few moments in a blur as people rushed to him, asking him how he was. The only sure thing he knew was there was someone holding him tightly. A girl. A girl who smelled like apple blossoms.
"Wha…" Harry asked groggily, still not fully aware of his surroundings. Suddenly, someone presented him with a beaker of liquid. Harry looked at it skeptically, or as much as he could with his mind still numbed with pain.
"Drink Harry. It'll clear your mind." Mrs. Weasley said.
Harry obediently drank the beaker, feeling the bitter potion slide down his throat, he almost retched, but managed to hold it in. After a few moments, his vision cleared with his mind. "Thanks." Harry said gratefully.
"I don't need your thanks Potter." Snape replied.
Harry goggled at him. Snape had given him the potion! What were people thinking! He probably wanted to poison him! He looked ready to throw up till another hand steadied him. The one who smelled like apple blossoms. "Harry, it's fine. The potion was just some Head-Clearing and Pain Relieving Potion." Ginny said.
Harry smiled at her, and whispered, "Thanks Gin."
"Mister Potter, you're awake!" Dumbledore cried jovially, walking into the kitchen.
"Yes si-Albus." Harry said, correcting himself at the last moment. Many of them looked fascinated and horrified that Harry would call Dumbledore that.
"Albus, the-" Harry began, before Snape groaned in agony, clutching his arm. "It's begun." Harry whispered, turning pale. "Go Professor. Go to him now." Harry urged.
Dumbledore nodded at Snape, who disapparated immediately to meet with Voldemort. "He's got something sir. Something powerful. A ritual. It's going to help him do something. Escape, I think." Harry said, still confused. "He's in the woods. Near Riddle Manor. I recognize it from the short time I stayed." Harry said bitterly.
"I see. Molly, Arthur, contact the other Order members. We must stop this." Dumbledore said, and he turned to leave.
"Wait sir!" Harry cried, grabbing his arm. "Please. Let me come along." Harry said pleadingly.
"Absolutely not!" McGonogall cried, but Dumbledore silenced her with a look.
"Harry…" Dumbledore said helplessly, obviously torn between trying to protect Harry and letting him make his own decisions.
"I'm going to be there sir." Harry said forcefully. "It's whether you come with me, or I go alone."
McGonogall looked like she desperately wanted to object, but Dumbledore sighed wearily. "Very well Harry."
"If Harry's going, so are we!" Ron cried, and Neville, Luna, Hermione, and Ginny nodded furiously.
"No!" Harry, Mrs. Weasley, and McGonogall cried in unison.
"Absolutely not! Why-" Mrs. Weasley began, but Ginny cut her off, seeing as how Ron had become to cower beneath his mother.
"Mum! We fought by Harry's side once! We'll do it again! We'll follow him no matter what!" Ginny said forcefully, and the others nodded.
Harry looked at her helplessly, knowing there was nothing he could do to change her mind. "Very well. Be careful." Dumbledore said. "You will take orders from an adult, however, and not expose yourselves. You do not have the level of training Harry has."
"Training?" Hermione asked Harry, who simply said nothing.
Harry looked at them, a group he had led into battle once. Could he, in good conscience, do it again? Suddenly, a screech was heard and Hedwig flew onto his shoulder, nipping his ear and clutching his shoulder tightly, reassuring him. He smiled at her, then turned to the others.
"Let's go then." Harry said quietly. "It's already begun."
Harry felt the tug of the portkey take him to the coordinates he had specified and Snape verified. How Snape got a message off was beyond Harry's knowledge. He looked around. The full Order, minus Snape, was assembled, as well as the five members of the D.A., Ron, Hermione, Luna, Neville, and Ginny. He was hesitant to bring them, but they would not be dissuaded. Hedwig still hadn't let go of his shoulder when he was portkeyed. "Shoo girl. I can't bring you here. You have to be quiet." Harry whispered.
Hedwig nodded, and took off into the sky, towards Voldemort though. "Your owl is very loyal to you Harry." Dumbledore stated. "Like a phoenix. She will serve you well."
Harry nodded at Dumbledore, not fully understanding his statement at the moment.
"Let's move." Dumbledore said as he turned towards the others, his voice oozing authority. The Order moved quickly, breaking ranks in order to cover more ground and not be caught all at once. The adults stayed with the five other students though, while Dumbledore himself ran alongside Harry.
Finally, they caught sight of a clearing that glowed with power and anyone half-blind in the magical Sight could feel the raw power in the place. Dumbledore called the Order to them, and they prepared to attack.
Harry ran into the clearing, breathing quickly, scanning frantically. Voldemort could not be allowed to escape. The damage he could do would only be stopped when Harry defeat him. He didn't know if he was ready, but he would try.
Suddenly he saw where Voldemort stood, over a pedestal, chanting in an unknown language, along with most of the Death Eaters. A small number stood, guarding the area. Harry saw that Snape was among them.
Quietly, he withdrew his wand and pointed it at Voldemort. "Pons Conor." He whispered, and the bright flash of light that accompanied the Exploding Spell went with a BANG.
It struck a shield, which was invisible till Harry struck it. The flash of silver immediately alerted every Death Eater that they were under attack. "Stay you fools! Continue the ritual!" Voldemort screeched to the panicking Death Eaters within the shield, while motioning the Death Eaters outside to sweep the area.
Harry made a dash from cover after Dumbledore gave a nod to him, as the Order loosed their barrage onto the Death Eaters and the shield. Snape had dived away, obviously getting some kind of signal from Dumbledore to avoid the area. Harry fired all kinds of spells at the shield, desperate to bring it down and face Voldemort.
The shield stayed strong, and desperation flooded Harry. He would not allow Tom to escape! With renewed vigor, he loosed another Exploding Spell.
This time, the shield shuddered under the impact, flickered, and went dead. The Death Eaters outside the shield were all but incapacitated, and now the Order was loosing their barrage onto the Death Eaters within it.
However, as the multitude of spells neared the Death Eaters, and wave of magical power stopped the spells cold, emanating from a growing power on top of the dais, inside of Voldemort. Suddenly Harry was aware of the powerbolts firing from the Voldemort's body, taking the life forces out of the Death Eaters it struck, fueling him, transforming him.
Harry ran the rest of the way, and used magic to enhance his movements as he propelled himself onto the dais. However, Voldemort had his back to him, and spread his arms wide. To Harry's horror, a black portal began tearing itself from the air.
Voldemort turned and sneered at Harry as he stood in front of the pitch-black portal. "You're too late, Potter!" Voldemort crowed, "The portal is open. Au revoir!" With that last one-liner, Lord Voldemort, Heir of Slytherin, leapt headfirst into the portal.
Harry looked around, noting the desperation and fear that had taken the Order members over. "I'm sorry." Harry whispered, but it was caught by everyone around him. But only one person and an animal had figured out what was about to happen, besides Harry.
"NO HARRY!" Ginny cried, dashing up the dais, clearly understanding the situation.
Harry gave her a sorrowful smile, but his eyes pleaded with her to stay, as he prepared dive into the portal. As he dove, a screech was heard, and Hedwig swooped down, flying through the portal with Harry. The portal began closing.
However, Ginny made one last dive as all of Harry and Hedwig passed through, and squeezed into it, just as the portal closed.
AN: I can't believe how long this thing is! I just decided that it would be better if I stuck the preparation chapter as one whole thing, before moving into the first new universe. I hope my other chapters are as long and fulfilling as this one was for me! Thanks for reading and please review!