One Missed Traffic Light
a continuation of "One Traffic Light" by witowsmp and "A Missed Traffic Light" by coolhacker1025
This story is not written with that writers permission, nor the permission of J. K. Rowling, Scholastic, Bloomsbury, etc. who own the rights to Harry Potter.
"One Traffic Light" by witowsmp may be found at s/7058158/1/One-Traffic-Light on fanfiction. (After / paste/type the s etc)
Chapter 1: The Three Summers
Ginny Weasley was a witch that was going to turn eleven in a couple of months. This was not usual, as there are millions of girls around the world the same age. What was unusual was that Ginny was also going to start her Second Year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, because she was a witch.
Not only was she a powerful witch, but she was a witch bonded with two of the most powerful eleven year old students in Britain.
Her bond was with Hermione Granger (a Muggle-born), and Harry Potter (widely considered to be The Saviour of the Wizarding World for defeating a wizard variously known as 'Voldemort' or 'You-know-who'), and it caused her to receive regular reports on their mental and physical status.
That was new, having just developed towards the end of the last School Year after Harry had fought Voldemort for a second time. Ginny was a lot more used to saying and thinking the Name now.
"Fear of a name only increases fear of the thing itself," Harry had said. Her brother, Ron, had completely disagreed. "You-Know-Who deserves a healthy dose of fear! He killed thousands of people!"
Thinking of Harry, she realised that somehow, none of her post was getting to Harry. She needed to bring this up to her mother.
"Mum, something is up with Harry," she said to her mum one morning at the breakfast table. "He hasn't been getting his mail."
"Well, I told the Muggles that we would get him on his birthday," said her mum. "I'm sure that they...want to spend time with him after a long year away."
Ginny gave a snort of derision. "They hate him, Mum," she said. "They treat like a house-elf. They treat him like a Malfoy house-elf. He's been barely given enough food to live."
"Just how do you know this?" asked her mum. "Harry hasn't replied to your letters, and you have certainly not been out of the house—unless of course, you found a Time Turner and are completely deceiving me."
"You know that those are illegal without clearances," replied Ginny.
Before she could say anything more, her mum said, "So's the car. Now, how do you know about Harry's living conditions?"
"He, Hermione, and I share a bond," answered Ginny. "A rather powerful one, if the look of surprise on Mme. Pomfrey's face is to be believed. I believe that right now, he's been ordered to wash the windows, clean the car, walk on the newspaper, cut the grass, and cook dinner. And they're only giving him a small slice of bread, with no butter or preserves."
"I suppose that's what your friend was talking about at the end of Term?" asked her mum. "I'll have to talk with Dumbledore and your father about this to see if we can't 'borrow' Harry sooner. Does the Headmaster know any of this?"
"He and Mme. Pomfrey both know about the bond. Pomfrey nearly fainted at the end of term. She says that there is quite a connection between the three of us."
"There has to be—Surrey and London are quite a distance away,"
Hermione Granger lived outside of London with her two parents, who were dentists. She was also a witch who had just finished her first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and would be turning twelve in September (as her birthday was on 17 September, she started Hogwarts a majority of a year later).
She was one of the people bonded to Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley. Unfortunately, her parents were Muggles, and understood very little of Hogwarts and the Wizarding World. Fortunately, despite being dentists, they were extremely liberal, and more understanding of certain lifestyle choices. This didn't stop them from interrogating Hermione about her possible lifestyle choices.
"At the station, you said that Harry was your boyfriend," stated Dan, her father. "And you also explicitly referred to Ginny, was it?, as your girlfriend. In what context are you using these terms."
"I believe that your father is trying to ask if you've ..." Emma, her mum, trailed off as she rather did not want to vocalise the rest of the sentence. Instead she made a gesture with her hands.
"We've not been intimate, if that's what you're asking," responded Hermione.
"Good, because we would have been very disappointed in you if you were, young lady." said Dan forcefully. "Explain for us, then, in what context you use these words."
"In the Wizarding World, there is such a thing as a 'Bond,' which can form between people. Generally, it would be between two people destined to be spouses, but in our case, we are all bound to each other. I believe that there are quite a number of loopholes in Wizard law that Ginny would love to exploit."
"So what are the consequences of this 'Bond'?" asked Emma.
"We can communicate by just looking at each other sometimes," said Hermione. "Lately, I've been getting glimpses of their mental and physical state. Ginny is annoyed at her twin brothers for some reason. Harry is being treated like a personal slave."
She then gave the same listing of chores that Ginny had.
"What's being done about this?" asked Dan. "Maybe you could get something to him through the normal post. You know, the Royal Mail."
"He's warned against that," responded their daughter. "The Dursleys would just destroy any post that he received. Any post coming for him logically would be from 'Freaks' and 'Unnatural People' I believe their terms are."
Dan decided to switch to a different subject. "Have you started with your holiday assignments, yet?"
"I started them yesterday, dad," said Hermione.
Mr and Mrs Dursley of Number 4, Privet Drive were quite normal, thank-you very much. They had a son by the name of Dudley, and in their opinion, there was no finer boy anywhere.
The Dursleys also had a secret, and their greatest fear was that people would find out about their secret. They had a nephew who'd come to live with them after the death of his parents. This, of course, was widely known, and not their secret.
Their secret, in their opinion, was much worse. Not only did their nephew live with them, but he was a Wizard. It was their greatest fear that someone would find out about the abnormality in the family.
The neighbours thought that Harry was the son of a drunk who died in a car crash on Halloween of '81, and that Harry himself was some sort of nutter who was mentally unstable and went to St Brutus's Secure Centre for Incurably Criminal Boys.
The Dursleys were doing a good job of making sure that Harry was miserable and had almost no down-time this summer. They hoped that this would prevent him doing 'Freaky things.' At the beginning of the summer, they'd locked Harry's things in his old bedroom—the cupboard beneath the stairs.
Unfortunately for them, his things were no longer there. On the plus side for them, Harry wasn't allowed to do magic outside of Hogwarts. Unfortunately for them, they didn't know it, or they would have treated him even worse.
The reason that Harry's things were no longer in the Cupboard was that Ginny had taught him how to pick Muggle locks. For some reason, she'd learned the skill from the Twins, who also could pick locks with no magic.
Hedwig wasn't happy at all, either. The Dursleys had chained her cage shut so that she couldn't get out. This was to prevent Harry sending messages to his "Freaky Friends." She longed to stretch her wings and fly and hunt and be a good owl for Her Boy. She gave Her Boy pleading looks, but understood that there was nothing he could do without getting in trouble.
At various points in the summer, he could tell that his friends were talking about him. He really hoped that Liberation Day would be soon, for as his birthday grew closer, the Dursleys got more brutal (to beat the "Freakishness" out of him, or preferably, kill him).
For not pruning the rosebushes properly, Harry got punched in the face by Vernon. For getting blood on the floor, when he collapsed after getting a concussion after being hit by Vernon, he was hit with a frying pan by his Aunt Petunia. For being in the house, Dudley attempted to punch him. Harry was able to dodge that time.
On the eve of his Liberation, Harry went to his bedroom, and found that it was already occupied by a creature about 1 to 1.5 metres tall, with large bat-like ears and bulging green eyes the size of Tennis Balls.
"Hello," said Harry to the creature. "Who exactly are you, and what the Devil are you doing in my bedroom?"
"I is Dobby, sir. Dobby the House-elf. Dobby is here to stop terrible things from happening at Hogwarts."
At the Burrow, the Weasleys were having their supper. Molly had cooked mountains of food, and nearly a third was consumed by Ron.
Ron still wasn't a full member of the group yet (and would never join the Bond), because of many reasons, including the fact that he was useless, and would sometimes say insulting or rude things without thinking.
"Could a House-elf stop a person's mail?" asked Ginny.
"If their Master ordered them to, why?" asked Arthur.
"Because Harry has just received a visit from a House-elf by the name of Dobby," replied Ginny. "Apparently, there is an evil plot for this year at Hogwarts."
Molly had told Arthur about the Bond the night that she and Ginny talked. The Weasley family had talked to Dumbledore, but Harry's birthday was apparently the first day that Harry was allowed to come over. Molly had to scold Ginny many times for what she said to the Headmaster.
The Rivalry between the Malfoys and the Weasleys was historic, dating from back in the late 1200s. Traditionally, they were the two families that had never intermarried, though, due to other family members, they were related. For example, a Weasley had married a Black, and then one of that person's cousin twice-removed had married a Malfoy (much to the disgust of the living Weasleys).
"Oh, the only one with that much ambition is Malfoy," said Arthur gleefully. "Maybe I can catch the damned fool unawares and raid his house. There has to be something illegal in there."
"Now, don't go cutting off more than you can chew, Arthur" cautioned Molly. "He's a very powerful man, and could have you on the street before you could say 'Quidditch.'"
After dinner, Molly and Arthur went to Ginny's room. "Can you send information to Harry?" asked Molly.
"I think so, why?"
"Tell him that we'll pick him up around three or four in the afternoon," said Arthur. "It'll be a long drive on those Muggle roads, especially because someone" he gave a significant look at Molly, who hit him, "doesn't want me using the enhancements."
"He's very excited, Dad," said Ginny. "He wants to be here as soon as possible."
By 3:45 in the afternoon the next day, the family's Ford Anglia was parking in front of Number 4, Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey, England. Arthur went to the door and knocked. When the door opened, it appeared that a cross between a pig and a small whale was at the door.
"Yes?" he asked. "What do you want?"
"We're looking for a Mr Harry Potter, if it is at all possible," said Arthur. "And a...'Mr Vernon Dursley', I think, for that matter as well."
"One minute," said the whale. He tried to slam the door, but Arthur used his foot to stop the door from closing.
"Dad!" bellowed the whale, whom Arthur remembered was called 'Dudley.' "There are freaks here!"
"Get out of my house!" screamed Vernon. "Petunia will call the Police if you don't leave immediately."
Vernon attempted to run at Arthur, but due to his size, was quite slow.
"All we want to do is retrieve Harry and not draw this out any further," said Arthur, still using a calm voice.
"You can't have him! He hasn't finished his chores!" answered Vernon.
"Is that so? Do most children have to mow the lawn, clean the toilet, scrub the walls, walk on the newspaper, and cook dinner all on the same day?" asked Arthur, taking his wand out. He was starting to talk in a more forceful voice. "You will tell us where Harry is, and we will take him."
Dursley grunted in a mockery of a laugh. "You can't do...that... here. They'll think that it was the Freak, and then we'd be stuck with him for another five years."
The wand was in Dursley's neck as Arthur asked, "Do you really want to test that theory, Muggle?"
His voice was turning into the same type of disdain that people like Malfoy showed Muggles.
"T-t-the f-f-freak is upstairs," said Vernon, nearly wetting himself in fear. The twins went upstairs to release Harry from Durzkaban.
"Now, you say that we won't see the freak...that is I mean to say the Boy, until next summer?" asked Vernon with a hint of glee in his tone, although he was still scared out of his mind that these Freaks, who for some reason actually liked The Freak, would do him harm or kill him.
"Unless, of course, you wish to see him sooner," offered Arthur as the Twins brought Harry's things down the stairs. There was a renewed look of fury on Vernon's face as he saw this.
Harry was nearly at the door when Arthur stopped him. Arthur turned to the Dursleys. "You're not going to see your nephew until next summer," he said. "Aren't you going to say goodbye?"
"Oh, no, It's perfectly OK," said Harry.
Uncle Vernon grunted, "Good-bye, then. And see if you and your freakishness can stay somewhere else next summer."
The twins released Hedwig from her cage, and then told her where they were going. She took off, and the twins, Arthur, and Harry piled into the car, which was bigger on the inside. In a shorter time than expected, possibly because Mr Weasley used the 'enhancements' on the car, they were pulling into a dusty lane.
At the end of the lane was a house. The house was almost as odd as the Dr Suess books that had been at school in Primary. It almost looked like it was held together by magic. Knowing the Weasleys, it probably was.
"Welcome to the Burrow, Harry," said Arthur. "It's not much, but it's home."
"I think that it is fantastic." responded Harry.
I realise that I use a lot of American terminology like 'Studying' when I think that the proper version is 'revising'. I apologise for that, and will attempt to use the right terminology.
If anyone would like to "Brit-pick" my stories, feel free to send me a message.
Book One stats:
5000th word was in chapter four "their" as in "their new friend"
7500th word was in chapter six "put" as in "When the three put on the glasses..."
10000th word was in chapter seven "did" as in "So did Harry [suspect Quirrell]"
12500th word was in chapter eight "and" as in "and his friends would be over that night"
15000th word was in chapter nine "the" as in "went to the Hospital..."
final count for the revised version of The Bonds of Friendship: Book I is 17,439 words
1000th word: 'was' ('their greatest fear was...')
2000th word: 'immediately' ('Pet will call the police...leave immediately')
(these word counts are the number of words with the chapter titles, but without the (sometimes extensive) Author's Notes