The next morning was the typical Weasley nightmare. Even though Ron and Ginny were the only ones still in Hogwarts, they were still late in leaving Grimmauld Place. Ron had to go back for his Captain's badge. Ginny had to go back for a package she wouldn't tell anyone the contents of. Harry and Hermione of course were packed and ready to go the night before and waited for everyone else to be ready. It was a good thing the house was close to Kings Cross station.
The night before they left, while everyone else was packing Harry had a talk with the elves. He called them into his room.
"Okay guys now that I'll be heading back to Hogwarts I need for Dobby to listen for me so that you can continue to take messages to Gringotts and my solicitor. Dobby I need you to keep me up to date on how the curse breakers are doing at Gringotts. Come and find me about once a week and let me know. Winky and Kreacher I need you to keep this place clean. It looks great now and I'd like to keep it that way. Kreacher if someone calls you to do something just do it as long as it doesn't go against the house.
"If Professor Snape comes to get his books let him have them. Don't let him take any more than the 10 books he is allowed. If he puts up a fight then simply don't let him take any and pop away. Then he will have to come to me to get them. And remember, all of you, keep an eye on Fletcher. If he tries to steal from the house bar him again." Though he didn't think that would happen with the vow Dumbledore got from him. "Actually don't let anyone take anything from the house. This is not their house. Dobby once the curse breakers or Bill breaks the curses on the Dark books I'd like you to put them in a trunk and bring them to me." He really needed to write a note to Spearhead to see what the damage to Godric Hallow was so he could rebuild that would give the elves something to do.
"Dobby will do what the Great Harry Potter wants. Dobby is a good house elf." Dobby nodded enthusiastically almost sending his many hats flying.
"Winky will keep the house clean, Master Harry Potter sir. Winky will not be seen and Winky will keep her eye on the thiefy person, sir. No one will steal from Master while Winky is around." Winky stated nodding just as fast as Dobby.
"Kreacher will do as the Half-blood Master says. Kreacher will keep the house of Black in good repair. Kreacher is liking how the house looks now and is thinking maybe the Half-blood Master will be better for the house of Black than the Blood-traitor Master. Kreacher is feeling more like himself since Master is cleaning out all the Dark objects. Kreacher will keep all that belongs to Master safe in the house. Kreacher will come and tell Master if someone is trying to steal from Master. Kreacher is confused but will do as Master has asked. Kreacher will talk to no one except Master and the Masters other elves." Kreacher answered Harry noticed that he wasn't glaring at Harry like he had in the past. Maybe soon he would be able to trust Kreacher. But he felt that would be a long time from now.
Going through the barrier was done without fuss though they were cutting it close. Soon the 4 friends were on the train and chatting away. Neville and Luna soon joined them.
"Hey, Harry, you look good without your glasses. Did you get your eyes fixed?" Neville said.
"No I went and saw and eye doctor, that is a muggle healer, this summer and got contacts. They're a real improvement in my opinion." Harry said glad someone finally noticed. He had wondered why no one at Grimmauld Place had noticed, maybe the war had everyone off their game this summer. That and the article he had written caused quite a commotion.
"Wow I'm surprised I didn't notice sooner Harry. I have to say it does make you look better though. But when did you have time to see a doctor?" Hermione said.
"It was at the beginning of summer, Hermione. Don't worry I know someone was following me the whole time. That was the few times I left the Dursleys." Harry bluffed hoping that Hermione bought it.
"Harry you shouldn't have left your house. You know how dangerous it's for you to leave." Hermione said.
"Hermione, I told you I was with someone the whole time. I know how dangerous it's so went when Tonks was watching me. She didn't say anything so I'm sure she didn't mind." Harry lied hoping that Hermione wouldn't ask Tonks about it.
"Well I suppose it's okay if Tonks was with you." Hermione conceded.
Hermione and Ron left for the Prefect meeting and came back after about an hour. Harry was hoping that this year Malfoy wouldn't make a show of it. He was of course disappointed.
"Ah look it's Potty and his motley crew." Draco said and he leaned in the doorway, his two bodyguards, Crabbe and Goyle, behind him.
"Really Malfoy what are you, 10? You can't think of something better then Potty. Most people leave off with childish nicknames around 10 years of age. I don't ever remember once calling you anything but Malfoy. I'd have hoped you had grown up this summer." Harry said not rising from his seat. He was getting pretty tired of all these childish games that Malfoy engaged in. He was hoping to stop them or maybe call a truce. But given who Malfoy's father was that would probably not be happening. He had more important things to worry about then Malfoy. Hermione was hold on to Ron.
"What would you know about growing up, Potter? Last I heard you were still living with Muggles." Malfoy sneered.
"What does that have to do with anything? Muggles have to grow up too. Or did you think all the many, many babies just came to be all on their own?" Harry answered. "Or maybe you aren't that far in you adolescence to know that."
"Watch yourself, Potter. I know what you did to my father and you'll pay for that." And with that Draco and company stormed off.
"Why did you let him speak to you like that, mate? I mean you gave back as good as you got but why not punch him in the nose or hex him?" Ron asked he seemed confused that Harry didn't seem to want to fight like he usually did.
"Honestly, Ronald, Harry is right. What are you, 10? Harry acted like a grown-up something you would do well to imitate." Hermione said with a huff.
"Oi I'm a grown-up. You thought me grown-up enough to snog me. Or do you go around snogging little boys?" Ron said heatedly making Hermione blush.
Well that explains a lot, like why Harry was never caught with the timer and why it took so long for Hermione to ask about how clean the house was or about his glasses. Well it really wasn't a great surprise that they got together, just the timing of it.
"Honestly Ronald, of course I think you are grown enough to date. I just think you need to grow up when it comes to these petty hates you have on all things Slytherin. Or is it just Malfoy that reduces you to childlike tendencies?" Hermione retorted.
Harry couldn't agree more. He was pretty sure that not all Slytherin's were in Voldemort camp. After all his grandmother, Dorea Black, and Sirius' cousin, Andromeda Tonks, were from Slytherin and Sirius said they didn't believe in blood purity. Just as he was pretty sure not all Death Eaters were from Slytherin. Look at Wormtail and Quirrell they were not from Slytherin. Wormtail was from Gryffindor and Quirrell was from Ravenclaw. He also knew that not all Death Eater were pure-blood. Look at Quirrell and Snape both were half-bloods not to mention Voldemort himself. Harry had done a lot of research on Death Eaters and Voldemort after 2nd year. There were books in the Hogwarts library that had up to date lineage on all students. Though what anyone would need that for he wasn't sure, maybe people like Malfoy wanted to make sure that who they were dating was pure-blood enough.
"I'll grow up when Malfoy does. Until then he can just bugger off." Ron replied heatedly. "And he needs to leave off Harry. If Harry won't stick up for himself than maybe he needs someone to do it for him."
"Hey leave me out of this. I said my piece to Malfoy. I'm just tired of the schoolyard arguments. I think it's time we stopped that. We're in the middle of a war. And unless Malfoy is proven to be my enemy then I'm just going to ignore him. I don't think that he is a Death Eater yet and until I see the Dark Mark on his arm he is just a petty annoyance." Harry said.
"See Ronald that is what I'm talking about. Harry that was a very mature thing to say." Hermione said.
"Oi I'm mature." Ron replied.
Harry, Neville, Ginny and Luna started chatting among themselves while those two argued. They chatted about their summer and what they had done for homework. Neville thanked Harry for the book. Soon Ron and Hermione joined in having finished their arguing.
Harry was wondering something. "Hey Neville how do you get to the station, I mean do you go through the muggle side?" It didn't make sense that all the students went through the barrier. It would go against the Statute of Secrecy all those owls and cats had to be noticed. And when he first went to the train there were no other wizards, other than the Weasleys, that he could see. And he was there hours before the train left.
Neville shook his head "No we go through the floo. Most Wizarding families do, the muggle side is for muggle-born and muggle-raised."
"Oh okay, I was just wondering. Hey Ron how come you guys go through the muggle side?" Harry was wondering if his meeting the Weasleys might have been set up. He wouldn't put it past Dumbledore to make sure Harry met a Light family.
"We use to go through the floo, but when I started we started going through the muggle side. Not sure why though. That could be why mum didn't know where the platform was. Good thing though we wouldn't have been able to help you that day if we keep going through the floo. We go through the muggle side now 'cause of you and Hermione." Ron answered.
'Well that answers that. I know Dumbledore had something to do with it. It would've been easy to get Mrs. Weasley to help a poor lost boy find his way. And it really doesn't make sense why they didn't use the floo now. If Dumbledore really wanted to keep me safe why make them go through the muggle side. Why not just have them go through the floo from Grimmauld Place. Sometimes I wonder what that old man is thinking; he seems to want to make things harder for me. Or maybe he is keeping his Order members on their toes by making them keep me safe. Like flying across England to get me to Grimmauld Place the other summer, it would've been safer to port-key or apparate. I'm not sure and it's not like I can ask him' Harry thought to himself. He didn't doubt Ron's friendship just how they met. He did however wonder about Dumbledore's sanity.
Shaking himself out of his thoughts he joined the conversation that was going on around him. Soon enough it was time to change into their robes.
The rest of the train ride was uneventful. It was time for the Welcoming Feast. There was a new potions teacher Horace Slughorn, which left Snape for DADA. This was going to be a nightmare. Maybe he could talk to Snape and put aside their differences until the end of the war. He knew Snape would never like him, there was too much history. But maybe they could call a cease fire and work together since they had the same goal, getting rid of Voldemort.
Heading back to the common room Harry noticed that he was once again the main topic of conversation. Only this time he was The Chosen One and really could they have come up with something lamer, then again they came up with The Boy Who Lived which was just as lame. It was a good thing his friends didn't treat him any different. And it looked like most of Gryffindor was going to treat him like just another classmate. And after how half of them treated him last year this was a relief.
After the children had left for their common rooms Dumbledore went to his office. He had noticed Harry talk and laughing with his friends and again wondered if he was doing the right thing. He hadn't told Harry about the will. He couldn't give Harry a reason to stay and fight. If he was correct Harry was a horcrux and he needed to die in order for Voldemort to die. Though he was hoping that once the horcrux was gone Harry wouldn't stay dead. He just didn't know for sure.
He looked down as his blackened hand; he had already taken care of the ring. The diary was taken care of in Harry's 2nd year. Now he needed to get Harry up here to view the memories so they could piece together what the other horcruxes were and how many there were. If he was to die then Harry needed to find the others and destroy them. Due to the prophecy Harry was the only one to fulfill this task and he was the only one Dumbledore trusted with information on the horcruxes. It was a good thing the Severus had slowed down the curse but that was all he could do. Dumbledore knew he had little time and much to do.
He thought back on all that he had done to Harry. Leaving him with the Dursleys was something that needed to be done. He knew Harry would be raise with little love and much hardship. However he couldn't have Harry raised as a hero to the Wizarding World, if that had happened then Harry wouldn't look to him for advice and guidance. Harry needed to view the Wizarding World as a place of wonder and safety. Now Harry would seek him out and he would do what needed to be done for the greater good of the Wizarding World.
When Hagrid had told him he had forgotten to tell Harry how to get to the Hogwarts Express it had been easy enough to have Mrs. Weasley go through the muggle side of the platform and help little Harry get to the other side, insuring Harry met a Light family. The friendship that spawned from that was an added bonus. Ron was the type of person that would keep Harry humble. Keeping them going through the muggle side had been easy; Harry didn't need to know there was another way. If he knew then he would know that it was a set-up. Dumbledore needed Harry to think that the Order would do anything to protect him.
Having Harry fight year after year so that he would test himself as to how far he would go to prevent Voldemort from winning was a hardship he, Dumbledore, had to endure. And Harry proved himself time and time again that he would do the right thing. The first year with the Sorcerer's Stone, the second year with the Basilisk, third year with Sirius and Remus, fourth year with Tri-Wizard Tournament and Voldemort's return and last year with Umbridge and the DA.
Harry proved that he was a leader among his peers and that he would see them through the dark times coming. And with the letter to the Prophet he proved that he was someone the Wizarding World would listen to. The letter he had received from the Ministry after Harry's letter showed that the public was indeed listening to Harry. That and the fate of Umbridge lay solely at Harry's feet.
Though Harry wouldn't have succeeded if it hadn't been for his friends, who also proved they would do anything to help Harry win. Would they support him when the time came for Harry to die? Was he putting too much of a hardship on these young people? Was it the right thing to do? He didn't know when he had set all this up that he would come to care for the boy. It would be hard to set Harry up to take the fall for the greater good.
Sometime Dumbledore had a hard time sleeping at night.
The next morning they handed out schedules. Since it was Monday they had class first thing. Harry and Hermione were both scheduled for Potions and Ron had a free period. Ron opted out of potions he wanted to be a Quidditch player and you don't need potions for that. They didn't have DADA till Tuesday right before dinner which gave them more time to adjust to the fact that Snape was teaching it. Harry had free afternoons the period right before dinner on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. He was wondering if he could use the Room of Requirements at that time and if the timer would work on such a magical room. He really didn't understand the magic that made the room work so he didn't know if he needed to find an empty classroom or not. And since Professor Dumbledore seemed to know everything that went on in the castle, except in the ROR or the Chamber of Secrets, he wanted to avoid that.
The mail came after the schedules were handed out and with it the Prophet. There was much buzzing going on as Harry's letter was read. Harry wondered how much mail he was going to receive this time and how he was going to be able to sort through it without getting cursed. He knew he could use his ring but then he would have to explain where he got it. Maybe he should have the Hogwarts house elves sort through it. He would go down to the kitchens during his free period and ask.
Glancing up at the Head Table he saw that Dumbledore wasn't happy that he was still writing the Prophet. He would have to be careful when talking to the Headmaster as he didn't want to give up the game too soon.
Harry and Hermione headed to the dungeon for Potions. Harry hadn't found the book needed in the old school books. They were different than the one he needed. But he would use them as references. He told Professor Slughorn that he needed a book and was directed to a cupboard at the back of the classroom. In there were two books one newer than the other. Having gone through all the old books in his trunk he checked out both books and found the older one to have notes in the margin. So he chose that one.
Paying careful attention to the notes he was able to make a perfect potion.
"You cheated, Harry. That is not how the book said to make that potion." Hermione stated angry that Harry's potion was better than hers and she had followed the instructions in the textbook to the letter.
"Hermione I didn't cheat, there were notes in the textbook that made sense. I followed them and got a good potion. How is that cheating? Besides all you have to do is ask and I'll be more than happy to share this with you or anyone. It's not like I'm selfish or something. I thought you knew me better than that." Harry said. 'Why does she always question me?' He thought. 'Why can't she just except that I brewed a better potion?'
"They weren't your notes. You are following someone else's notes and that is as good as cheating. Harry you can't trust the notes in that book. You've no idea who wrote them. You should give that book back to Slughorn and owl order one instead." Hermione insisted.
"Hermione, having someone else's notes is not cheating. If I found a book that use to be my mother's and her notes were in it would you say the same? 'Cause I've found a few textbooks that have notes in the margin and I did the research and most of the time the notes are accurate. That is not cheating it's studying. Like having a tutor in written form. You have no problem letting me look at your notes so I don't understand what the problem is now. I'll check out these notes in the library and ask either Professor Snape or Slughorn what they think of it." Harry answered again getting frustrated. 'Why does she always have to argue?'
"Well if you are going to talk to the Professors and they say it's okay then I won't say anymore." Hermione said "But you had better ask them before your next class or I'm going to tell them that you are not using your own notes."
Harry wondered when it was that Hermione thought so low of him as to accuse him of cheating. He figured that she knew him better than that. Maybe this is what he could use to break the ice with Professor Snape, if he let him know that he really wanted to do well in Potions then maybe they could reach an accord.
"Hermione, do you want to go to the kitchen after dinner and talk to the elves. I think this needs to be done and soon as possible." Harry asked diverting her attention so something else.
"Yes, I think your right and it should be done quickly." Hermione said. "Will you come with me? The elves seem to like you."
"Of course I will, I said I would didn't I." Harry answered.
Harry had already went down to the kitchen during his break and talked to the house elves. They were more than happy to screen his mail. So that the only mail he received at the table would be clean of curses, howlers and port-keys. All dangerous mail and howlers would be incinerated. After dinner Harry and Hermione went to talk to the house elves. Hermione apologized and let them know that she only wanted them to be treated fairly and that she wasn't trying to kill them. It took quite a bit of talking on her part, but Harry was there to support her. Finally after promising there would be no more clothes or hats the elves agreed to clean the tower.
The next morning the mail came and there was quite a lot. Instead of coming by owl it just appeared in a big pile by Harry's plate. Harry drafted his friends into helping and sorted them in two piles this time. The ones that showed support and the ones that didn't. He drafted form letters similar to the ones he did for the last article and would send them out with the school owls. He wanted to stress the need for them to protect their family from Voldemort and the Death Eaters. He wanted the responses to have as much positive reinforcements as he could give them.
The first letter read:
Dear (insert name here)
Thank you for your show of support. I know it's scary that there are Death Eaters at the Ministry I do however have great faith that the Minister will do his best to get it sorted. I also don't want you to panic; the Aurors are a good group and will do what is necessary to protect the British Wizarding World. I'm sure that the Ministry will tighten security around Azkaban if enough people show concern.
Again I'd like to ask that if you can produce a Patronus charm that you practice it so that you can protect your loved ones. And if you can't produce a Patronus than please try and learn. Forget what you were told that it's a spell only the strongest wizard can do, if I can learn it at 13 than anyone can. Also it would help if you brushed up on defensive spells. I'm sure that there are many books and Flourish and Blotts that can help. If you cannot afford them then there is a second hand store, the Junk Shop, which carries old books in Diagon Alley. I only ask this so you can protect yourself and your family.
If you are concerned then please write to the Minister and show that you'll support them in the cleansing of the Ministry and that you'll support a Minister that supports you.
Thanks again for your support
The second letter will read:
Dear (insert name here)
I'm sorry that you feel that way. I do truly want to support the Ministry. I want the public to support the Ministry as well. I know for a fact there are Death Eaters in the Ministry as I've seen them myself in the presences of Voldemort. I'm hoping that with the help and support of the public they will be flushed out and we can win this war if we fight together. I'd like it if you would write to the Ministry and show that you'll support him in this trying time. I'm sure you know the Ministry has your best interest at heart.
And again I'd like to ask that if you can produce a Patronus charm that you practice it so that you can protect your loved ones. And if you can't then try and learn it. As you were told only the strongest wizard can produce it, I learned it at 13 than and I'm sure you are stronger that a teenager. There are books shops in Diagon Alley that carry defensive spells. I'm asking that you brush up on these to defend yourself and your loved ones.
Harry didn't mention the Junk Shop to the ones that were unsupportive because like last time he was sure they were pure-blooded bigots and mostly rich. However he didn't want anyone to be defenseless so he hoped that they would at least brush up on defensive spells. He also played up to them that they believed they were stronger than a half-blood teenager.
Harry did receive a letter from the Minister that proclaimed that Harry was trying to cause public panic and that this was no way to work together in getting the public to support the Ministry. Harry wrote him back, and the letter read:
Dear Minister Fudge
I'm sorry you feel that way. I'm truly trying to get the public on your side. I need help fighting this war with Voldemort and thought that now that you've seen that he is back we could work together to put a stop to him. I wasn't lying when I said there were Death Eaters in the Ministry. I wasn't lying about Umbridge either. You've seen with your own eyes that I'm not an attention seeking liar. I had hoped that you would see that I just want what is best for the British Wizarding World.
Now that I'm once again put in a positive position in the eyes of the public I want it to be seen that we will work together to end this war. If you get the Death Eaters out of the Ministry and tighten security around Azkaban then you'll have my support 100% and the public will know that we can fight and win together. I've written to everyone who wrote me that they should show you support if you clean up the Ministry.
Once again I'm on your side; however I can't hide what I know. For the sake of the entire British Wizarding World let's work together.
He needed that idiot to think that they would fight together. He needed to throw his hat into the political ring, so to speak. Then he would get rid of Fudge and try and get someone who would do some good into office. As far as he knew the Potters and the Blacks didn't have seats on the Wizengamot but like Malfoy he could get his voice heard by his name alone. But first he needed the Ministry cleaned up.
Later that afternoon in DADA they could see that Professor Snape loved the Dark Arts as much as he loved Potions. His teaching skills in this class far outweighed his teaching skills in Potions. Some of the class was way behind as they hadn't been a part of the DA last year. And since Umbridge taught them nothing and they only had two good professors, if you count the impostor in 4th year, in the 6 years they had been at Hogwarts, most really hadn't advanced. The ones that had been in the DA were up to par and some surpassed the current curriculum. Professor Snape started at a happy medium telling the ones behind they would have to catch up and the ones ahead they would have to be patience as he couldn't teach two classes at once. He was still a right bastard but at least they were learning something.
After class Harry stayed behind telling Ron and Hermione to go on ahead.
"Professor, I wondered if I could ask for your advice about something." Harry started hoping that Snape at least listened to him. They hadn't really seen each other since he told Snape about Sirius being tortured at the DOM after Voldemort sent him the false vision last year. Even though Snape had been at Grimmauld Place many times over the summer Harry had done his best to avoid him and the rest of the Order.
"What could you possibly want from me, Mr. Potter? Last I saw of you, you were running as far away from me as you could possible get. If I remember correctly you were holding me to blame that your dogfather went and got himself killed." Snape sneered as usual going for the most painful thing he could think to say.
'Yep this wasn't going to be easy.' Thought Harry "Well Professor, I did a lot of thinking about that over the summer and I know you did the best you could. At first I was confused as to why it took the Order so long to come to the rescue, and then I realized that there were many people and it would take time to get organized. But I do have to wonder what would have happened if Sirius really had been there and was being tortured, I mean he probably would've died anyway or wound up like the Longbottoms. Putting my past into perspective I also know that I've been given many tasks to toughen me up. So I don't really blame you.
"I also know that when I looked in to your private memories that what I did was wrong. Even though I thought I was justified at the time looking back it really was a bad thing for me to do. And I do apologize about that. I was hoping we could call a truce, at least until the war in over. I know we'll never like each other however we're fighting on the same side. Dumbledore trust you so I'll do my best to trust you as well." He said noticing that Snape was indeed listening.
"I will think on it. What did you need my advice about?" Snape said wondering what this boy was up to. But if he really wanted to call a truce then he would try and put his animosity aside and do his best to get along with the brat. That and a very little part of him was impressed that the boy seemed to be maturing and that he didn't blame him for something that really was not his fault. That night he looked everywhere for Dumbledore to let him know what was going on, however the man was very good at not being found if he didn't want to be. When they finally had all of the Order together they all hoped that they didn't arrive to late. Snape would have gone himself but he then would have been exposed as a spy and Dumbledore didn't want that to happen.
"I found this book in the Potion classroom. There are notes in the margin. I was wondering if you could take a look at it and tell me if they're useful. Hermione is accusing me of cheating by using it. But if you say it's okay to use then she will leave off. I want to do well in potions this year. I know I need the NEWT to get in to the aurors program." Harry said pulling the book out of his satchel. He handed it to Snape.
Snape looked at the name on the front of the book and did a double take. On the front of the book was the words 'Property of the Half-Blood Prince' Snape of course knew this was his old text but he couldn't tell Potter that. The boy would more than likely throw the book away and Potter needed all the help he could get in potions. "You found this in the Potions class?"
"Yes, sir." Harry said not noticing the double take.
Snape looked through the book carefully and had a contemplative look on his face. "I see no reason why you should not use this book for class. I strongly recommend that you do your own research in anything you find in the book. Don't do any of the spells without research. You don't know who wrote the book and you don't know what some of the spells can do. If you can find a place to practice then go there and try them out before you wind up hurting someone and knowing you and your lack of patience that is quite possible." He said snapping the book closed and handing it back to Harry.
"I will, sir. And thanks." Harry said retrieving his book and putting it away.
"Oh and Mr. Potter, good job on your Defense class last year though it does make my job harder. Who knew you could teach Longbottom anything. Good day Mr. Potter." And with that Harry fled the classroom. Ron and Hermione were waiting for him.
"Well what did he say?" Hermione asked.
"He said he saw no reason for me not to use the textbook as long as I did my own research." Harry answered. Though he was glad of that answer he was a little shocked that it went so well. He couldn't have asked for a better ice-breaker. "It was weird; he complimented me on the DA. I think he is going to try for the truce I offered."
"Why did you have to go and ask him anyway? Why didn't you ask Professor Slughorn? At least he is not a greasy git." Ron asked.
"While Snape may be a greasy git and a right bastard we at least know he is on our side. I wanted to call a truce with him. We might have to work together sometime in the future and I don't want to have to fight with him if we do." Harry replied once again trying to get Ron over his preconception that all Slytherins were evil.
"Oh well that makes sense I guess. Don't know if it will work though you two have a lot of history." Ron said rubbing his nose in confusion. He really didn't think it would work but if Harry felt it was important then he would try. He would still hate that greasy git, but Harry was right they might have to work together in the coming war and he could only fight one enemy at a time.
"Well the only thing we can do is try and I know that he will not treat me any better in class. He has to keep up appearances after all. We really shouldn't be talking about this in the hall. Who knows who could be listening." Harry said looking around the empty hall.
"We really should look up some privacy spells so that we can have a discussion without worrying about that. I will see what I can find in the library tonight after I do my homework." Hermione said also casting her eyes about to see if anyone was listening.
Harry figured he could reread some of the Light and Grey books in his trunk and see what privacy spells were in there. He seemed to remember reading about a few; he just didn't know if they were what was needed. He really needed to get to the ROR tomorrow and see if he could use the timer. He would put it in his bag in the morning and sneak off when everyone else was in class.
The next day during his free period Harry snuck away to the ROR and paced in front of the door three times. 'I need a room to study and practice my magic.' He thought as he paced. The door appeared and Harry went inside. Inside there was a room that was split in two. The first half was a cross between the Gryffindor common room and a small study. There was a book shelf and a desk with a couple of easy chairs scattered around a fireplace. The other half was a dueling platform with a dummy on one end, there was also a place where he could practice his transfiguration and charms. It was a perfect set up for one person to study. He really loved magic.
He went to the door and pulled out his timer. He set the timer 60 minutes/hours and prayed that it worked. The timer started and Harry let out a sigh of relief. Now he could get to work. He pulled his shrunken trunk from his bottomless bag and set it near the desk. He then enlarged it and started on the Light books to see if he could find a privacy spell. After studying for 5 minutes/hours he ate one of the ready-meals. Then he asked the room for a bathroom with shower because nothing beat hot water. After that he went to sleep in one of the recliners. After about 8 minutes/hours he woke and decided he needed to practice his magic. He hadn't found any spells for privacy that he deemed would be useful and was tired of looking. After practicing his magic on the dummy for a good 5 minutes/hours he ate again and went back to the study area. He had decided that he would do his homework outside of the timer as to not tip off Hermione. She would notice that he wouldn't have had time to do all his homework in his free period. And if she asked he could say he was doing research.
He did however find the book Sirius left him. He had forgotten all about that so he used the rest of the time in the timer to read that book, eat and nap. The book told him all he needed to know about being a Lord to the House of Black. There were some private notes from other Head of Houses in the margins and they were helpful in explaining what some of the concepts meant or updating something that was out of date. He did notice that none of the notes were from Sirius, much to his disappointment. However when he reached the back of the book there was a letter.
I just wanted to let you know that I'm sorry that I couldn't have taught you what you needed to know. I'm not sure if you can find any more books on this subject and I hope that this one will do you well. Most of what is taught in this book has not changed and the notes in the margins are up to date as well. I was going to go through this book with you next year, but if you've found this letter then I'm not there to teach you. I only hope that I'm dead and not in Azkaban.
If you get a chance talk to some of the portraits at headquarters. They can answer some of your questions. Don't talk to Phineas or he will report you to Dumbledore. He used to be Headmaster after all and his portrait still hangs in the Headmasters office. I think he was used to spy on Grimmauld Place and so I don't put much trust that your secrets will be safe with him. As a matter of fact before you talk to any of the other portraits you should have Kreacher remove him from the wall so he can't visit any of the others at the house.
Speaking of the old man, I wrote you a letter telling you to break free from him and if I'm dead then you probably already read it. Now I'll tell you why. Dumbledore is a great man, he does what he thinks is right for the Wizarding World. His problem is people are expendable if it's for the 'Greater Good'. And for some reason he thinks you are expendable, this doesn't mean that he does not care for you just that for some reason he feels that you have to die. He has not come out and said this, but remember that I heard people talk that and he is not training you and keeps you locked with your relatives all summer I don't feel that he means for you to live. I know there is a prophecy but I don't know what it says. You should try and find it, it would be in the Department of Mysteries.
Do what you have to do to stay alive and if that means going against Dumbledore then that is what you should do.
I've great faith in you Harry and never once regretted making you my son. I had hoped for more time with you but if you are reading this note then that didn't happen.
Hope you find this book helpful.
'Well that wasn't really helpful' Harry thought. 'Wish I'd read this book at Grimmauld Place then maybe I could have talked to some of the portraits. Oh well I understood the book well enough. Maybe I'll ask Neville he might know something Ron wouldn't.' He knew the Weasleys were not Ancient and Noble houses. He didn't know about the Longbottoms though but it wouldn't hurt to ask. 'I still wonder why he thinks that Dumbledore means for me to die. I wonder if it has to do with the soul anchor that was in my scar. Maybe I should tell Dumbledore that it's gone. I'll have to think about it.'
When the timer let him know that it was almost done he packed up his trunk, reshrunk it and put it in his bag and glance at the watch he had found in one of the trunks from the Black vaults. The watch only showed the time from outside the timer. If he wanted to know how many hours passed inside the timer he just looked at the timer or do the math on how many minutes passed on his watch. He wasn't sure why it worked like that and really didn't feel the need to question it. Magic was just weird sometimes. It was almost dinner time so he didn't eat again.
He ran into Ron and Hermione on the way to dinner. "Where have you been Harry? I couldn't find you after class." Hermione said inquisitive as ever.
"I was studying. I looked through some of the books I found in the Black library looking for privacy charms. And no they're not some of the Dark books from there." Heading off that argument before it started.
"How did you get the books out of the library? I tried to take some for nighttime reading when we were there and they wouldn't leave the library. I asked Kreacher why that was but he wouldn't answer me." Hermione said showing her disappointment at being denied reading material.
"Yeah, the twins were quite put out that they couldn't take any out either. I think they wanted to study some of the Greyer books for their joke shop and didn't want mum to know. They tried to sneak them out. I remember you talking to Remus about it, I don't think they heard you though." Ron stated remembering how disgruntled the twins were.
"I'm the owner of the house, remember. I'm the one to put the lock down on the library. There are many cursed books in there and I didn't want anyone hurt. I'm having Bill go through and remove the curses when he was at the house. I'm glad that you and the twins were not hurt looking through the library." And he really was, though he was a little put out that they all thought it was alright to just go through books that didn't belong to them. After all it was only polite, he knew if he was at their house he would've asked. He was still wondering why Hermione hadn't asked for the books left to her by Sirius. Maybe Dumbledore said something to her to make her hold off on that, although he was quite surprised that anyone could keep Hermione from books. Then again Hermione thought Dumbledore could do no wrong.
"Oh yeah I had forgotten that. Do you think Bill got rid of all the curses? There are so many books I want to read in that library." Hermione stated with her usual enthusiasm for all things written.
"I'll ask next time I see him. But Hermione I'll be putting restrictions on what can and cannot be taken out of the library. I'm sure that you don't want to look through some of the darker books they're dangerous with or without curses." Harry said once again miffed that she didn't ask him for permission. It was like the whole Order felt it was their right to just go through the house as if it was their own. He put the blame on Sirius because he had giving Mrs. Weasley permission to clean the house when they all stayed there the summer before his 5th year. However now that Harry was the owner he took full responsibility for what was in that house.
"I see your point Harry and if I can't take it out of the library then I'll just have to study it in the library. I know there are dangerous books there and I'll stay away from anything too dark."
They had reached the Great Hall and it was filling up for dinner. They sat beside Neville and started talking about their day.
After dinner they were joined by Ginny and Luna and all of them went to the library to do their homework. They had about 2 hours before curfew and they wanted to get as much homework done as possible. Harry started with his potion homework. Hermione gave him a glare when he pulled out his textbook. But true to her word she didn't say anything. He did offer to share it with her and even asked if she knew any books that would help him with his research. She just turned up her nose and told him that she still didn't approve and that he would have to find the answers himself.
After he was done with his homework Harry set about answering his mail. He would have just enough time to get to the owlery before curfew.
The next few weeks followed that pattern. Harry would go to the ROR Monday, Wednesday, and Friday though he set the timer for 50 minutes/hours so he was done before class let out. He was using half the time behind the timer to practice his magic and it was coming along really well. The other half of the timer he spent doing his exercises and studying the old schoolbooks and the books Dobby brought him.
He did read the potion textbook and did a few of the spells in the margin. And boy was he glad he had promised Snape that he would practice them. He could've really hurt someone with a few of them. The Sectumsempra spell alone would kill someone. He vowed that he wouldn't try anything without practicing on a dummy first. Though he hadn't found any useful privacy spells in the Light books he did come across the Muffliato spell in the margin of the potion book. Now all he had to do is teach it to Hermione and Ron without Hermione going off on where he found it.
The mail was still coming in at a steady pace though nothing like the days after the articles. He was glad he enlisted the house elves help he would never have time to go through it all. He did notice that Dumbledore seems to be a little upset that he was receiving fan mail and wondered why he hadn't put up the charm again. Maybe he didn't want Harry to get suspicious that he was the one to tamper with his mail in the first place. Either way Harry was quite pleased that most of the British Wizarding World seemed to want to support the Ministry if it was made Death Eater free. Harry wrote to Minister Fudge and let him know what the public was telling him. What he had written to the Minister was true, he would support him as long as he put the public first. For now anyway, if he learned one thing about Fudge was that he could be bought.
His class work was going well. He was glad he had studied over the summer and it made it much easier. Ron and Hermione didn't say anything about his new study habits which he was most thankful for. He had worried that Ron would be put out that he wasn't spending a lot of time with him. But then again with his new relationship with Hermione Ron was pretty booked up.