Disclaimer: Sadly, it is still not mine. You know the drill.
April 11, 1981
Lily Potter sat encircled in the arms of her husband, both of them staring down at their baby son as he played before the fire. It had come as no surprise to them that their son was extremely talented. Both James and Lily had displayed their first accidental magic before they turned two. But Harry, he was barely a month old. They had gotten used to this in their little home, and were inordinately proud of their son. However, neither of them was expecting something like this. When he first displayed the skill Lily had spent nearly an hour frantically casting detection charms on her infant son to determine if anything was wrong with him.
"Do you know where he gets it from?" Lily whispered. She had never even heard of the talent until James recognised what Harry was doing.
"No. I know Sirius' great aunt was one, but that's the only one I've ever heard of." James was equally as quiet, still in shock from discovering that his son was more powerful than they had expected.
"Your grandmother was a Black, wasn't she?" She was hoping there was a reasonable explanation, as that was easier to stomach than it simply appearing out of the blue. Pun not intended; it was still too new for puns and sarcasm.
"Yes. I suppose it could have come from her blood." They both breathed a highly relieved breath at having stumbled onto a reasonable explanation.
"How will we control it?" They both tensed again. Knowing where it came from was not much of a relief when they had no idea how to help their son deal with this.
James shrugged. "I don't know. I think that will be up to him." Neither of them were exactly happy with that answer, despite its probable truth.
"Should we tell anyone? Maybe Professor Dumbledore will know something." Her voice was strained. Lily never had liked to not have all the answers.
James was quiet for several minutes. "No, I don't think we should let it get out. It might make Him even more interested in Harry, and if the worst happens, this might give Harry a chance of getting away. We'll keep it to ourselves." Stumbling along blindly as they dealt with this was much better than having it leaked to the other side.
Harry's happy giggling drew their attention back to him. He was watching in awe as the model Quidditch players flew around their little Pitch, completely oblivious to the worry his parents were expressing over him. He had always been such a happy baby.
Lily sighed happily, allowing her worries to recede for the time being. "I love the blue. It reminds me that he's still a happy child, untouched by the world."
James smiled and pulled his wife closer. He only hoped they all survived long enough to witness what his son could really do with his gift. He had such high expectations for his son from the moment Lily had told him she was expecting. And then it had all come crashing down with Dumbledore's little announcement. He hadn't truly known the meaning of the word fear until that moment. The knowledge that his precious son was a target for the worst Dark Lord in centuries and there was little he could do to keep him safe had caused his entire world to tilt dangerously and nearly come crashing down. Harry's entire life, even if they were able to keep him hidden, would be marked by Voldemort's unrelenting attention. He could not have a normal, happy childhood and would have to be prepared at an early age to fight for his life.
James did not want this for his son, but could not see any way around it.
October 31, 1981
Voldemort sneered down at the woman in front of him. Severus had begged for her for himself, but he had no intention of following through with his word. He would instead use Severus' grief to further his cause. Once he took care of the whelp, of course.
He chuckled as the women fell to his curse. In his glee, he did not notice the brief light that came from the crib, or the brief flash of red.
He turned slowly towards the babe that was prophesied to be his downfall. He scoffed at the notion; he was immortal, and this babe would ensure that. Slowly he lifted his arm and brought his wand to bear.
August 17, 1982
An enraged Vernon Dursley threw the door open and tossed his nephew, whom he had been dragging along by the arm, into the small cupboard. The small child, barely two years old, curled into a tight ball on the floor in an effort to protect himself, and fervently hoped that his uncle was done hitting him. He didn't know why Uncle was so mad, he hadn't done anything. Aunt had given him a bit of cake for dessert and he had been so happy—the first time he could remember being happy in this strange house—when suddenly Uncle had started to hit him.
"You listen here, you little freak," Vernon spat. "The next time you do something like that, I don't care what anyone will say. I'll toss you into the ocean and leave you for dead."
Harry quietly cried himself to sleep, still confused. It would be three days before he would be let out of his prison.
June 24, 1996
Hermione Granger watched carefully as her best friend wandered out by the lake, taking his daily walk. He had started holing himself up in the Room of Requirement most of the day, doing goodness knows what, but every afternoon he could be found aimlessly wandering the grounds. She had no idea what he had been up to. Since they had returned from that horrible night at the Ministry, Harry had barely spoken to her at all. In fact, he seemed to have an aversion to being in anyone's company.
Well, that wasn't quite true, she had to admit. For walking by his side, as she had been for the past several days every time he took a walk, was Ginny Weasley. Hermione didn't know what to make of that new development. She was quite certain that Harry and Ginny would be good together, but she wasn't very confident this was the right time for anything of that nature to develop. Ginny, despite what she had been through in her young life, was still a teenage girl. She may be able to understand Harry's connection to V... V... Voldemort, but Hermione wasn't sure if the girl was mature enough to handle Harry and what Hermione knew he would have to face in his life. At least, not yet. She didn't think anyone was maturing enough to handle it, even her. She was worried about Harry making it through himself.
Hermione knew that Harry needed someone in his corner, and she could see that he was hoping Ginny would fill that position. Hermione hoped that Ginny would live up to his expectations. But that was a lot to ask of a fourteen year-old girl. Hermione desperately hoped they would make it, but a small part of her worried about what would happen to Harry if Ginny wasn't able to handle it.
She didn't know if he would recover. It might be too much for him on top of everything else he had gone through in the last few years.
Harry Potter got off the train at King's Cross, and smiled at the Weasleys who were there to welcome him and his friends. He immediately headed over towards Fred and George, who were wearing the most hideous jackets he had ever seen. They grinned when they spotted him.
"What can we..."
"...Do for you?" They wore matching expressions of intrigue on their face.
He chuckled slightly. "Do you think you guys could do a bit of magic for me before I go home? I don't want to get in trouble."
"Sure, Harry." The one on the left responded.
"Whatever you need." This time it came from the right.
"Thanks. I want a time-released shrinking charm on my trunk. Maybe one that will last for about, oh, five hours? That way I can make sure Uncle Vernon doesn't take it away from me when I get home." He smiled innocently at them. He would have done this himself before leaving the castle, but he hadn't been able to figure out the timed release.
The twins gave identical smiles of mischief, and Harry was quite sure they didn't believe him, but he knew they would do it anyways. One reached out immediately and tapped the top of Harry's trunk, which he immediately pocketed, and the other pulled out a small box and passed it over.
"What's this?" Harry asked.
"Oh, just a little something to make your summer go by easier. It's shrinking charm should wear off in about 12 hours, as well."
Harry grinned. "Thanks, guys."
With one final glance to where the rest of the Weasleys were congregating, and a lingering gaze at the youngest of them, he walked over to where the Dursleys were standing, getting some kind of talking to by several Order members. Harry rolled his eyes. He appreciated the gesture, but did they really think that talking to Uncle Vernon would make him a new man? Not bloody likely. His uncle was a bully, and bullies only understood force superior to their own. That was a lesson he had learned well in his childhood. But he wasn't too worried; he had plans of his own. Plans that, in his opinion, were long overdue. He just hoped his friends understood why he had to do this.
Taking a deep breath, Harry turned to where Ginny was standing quietly on the platform. He smiled shyly at her. "I hope you have a really good summer, Ginny. I wish we could spend it together."
She beamed at him. "I'll miss you, too. But we'll write and then maybe Dumbledore will let you come for a visit in August."
He smiled to hide his nerves. "Yeah, maybe. I'll see you in September, though." He gave her a quick yet awkward hug, and hoped fervently that he would be able to do so again after she found out his plans.
After bidding a quick goodbye to the rest of his friends and the Order, Harry dutifully followed the Dursleys out to their car. He had to force himself to not look back at his friends again, wondering if he would ever see them again. He didn't say a word until they were all piled in and Uncle Vernon was about to start it.
"Yes, boy?" The man gritted out. Harry had no doubt that his uncle would be screaming at him for having the gall to ask a question if he weren't worried that some of the freaks might still be hanging around and watching them. It was the reason that he was asking now, before they lost sight of the station.
"I've decided that I would rather live on my own from now on, if you don't mind." All three Dursleys turned to him with shocked expressions. "I've made some arrangements. If it's not too much trouble, could you drop me off at this address? And then you'll be free of me."
He handed Vernon a small scrap of paper. "That's not too far from here," the man noted gruffly.
"No. I'm sorry you had to come all the way here to pick me up, but Professor Dumbledore would never have just let me run away. This was the only way I could think of to do so." He said this with a careful tone, hoping not to raise his uncle's ire.
"And if we take you to this place, we'll never see you again?" Harry thought it was the calmest the man had ever been when speaking to him. The vein in the man's forehead that usually throbbed angrily wasn't even visible. It was a little unnerving, actually. Harry had never seen his uncle so calm when speaking with his hated nephew.
"Correct. The blood wards that were tied to me will no longer work on your home, but I've made arrangements for other protections to be put in place. They should be there by the time you get home today, and they should be enough to keep you safe. I will continue to send regular letters to my friends for the entire summer, so that no one will come looking for me, but I won't be back."
"Well," Vernon said. "Good riddance. Alright, boy, I'll drop you off. But I never want to hear from you again."
Twenty minutes later, Harry Potter, with all his earthly possessions in his pockets and his owl in a cage by his side, watched with great glee as the Dursleys drove out of his life. With a small smile, he turned and entered the building behind him. They were expecting him.
July 15, 1996
Life is pretty normal and boring here at the Dursleys'. But I haven't been attacked by Dementors yet, so I really shouldn't complain. I'm glad to hear that the healers were able to help with the scarring on Ron's arm. Despite his acting like he would always like a scar of his own, I really wouldn't wish it on him. I can't believe that Fred and George thought they could catch you with such an amateur prank. Don't they realise that you are just as devious as them? Your revenge was hilarious, though. I had to laugh into my pillow so Uncle Vernon wouldn't tear into my hide.
Thank you for writing to me; your letters always make my day and remind me that I do have a reason to get through this. I'm working as hard as I can without being able to use magic. I figure it wouldn't hurt to get in better shape before the next time I have to fight Tom's snivelling servants. I'm also trying to work on my Occlumency. I was able to order a book on it; boy, did Snape ever mess me up. His methods caused more harm than good, for me at least. Can't say I'm really surprised. He's always been a git.
Anyways, I can't wait to see you again, even if I don't know when I'll get the chance. I'm really looking forward to that date you promised me to Hogsmeade. Gives me something happy to think on. I hope you and your family are doing well.
August 13, 1996
I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed your birthday. I wish I could have been there for it, but you know I was thinking about you.
Don't worry too much about me. I expected that Professor Dumbledore wouldn't let me leave Privet Drive this summer and so I made some plans ahead of time. Really, this summer hasn't been too bad. I am sorry about not getting to spend any time with you, though. You are sure better to look at than my cousin Dudley, that's for sure. I know you are concerned, but I can handle myself just fine.
I'm continuing in my studies. Because what else is there to do here, really? I've been working ahead in my school books, too. I figure I'll spare Hermione the usual start-of-term lecture about not being prepared. I even practice the wand movements, though not with a real wand, of course. I don't want to risk getting another note from the Ministry. I'm not sure if they like me enough now not to put me on trial again, and would rather not risk it.
I've been able to get out of the house quite a bit. I made a deal with Dumbledore at the end of term: he would stop having people follow me around if I promised to be careful and wear an emergency portkey. That means I'm free to roam around here a bit, and I'm not constantly being watched. I hate being watched, and so this arrangement is much better. It makes me feel a little less like an animal on display at the zoo.
Ginny, there's something I really wish I could tell you, but I can't. And I'm afraid you are going to be really mad at me when you find out. I'll let you know as soon as I can, when it is safe to, at least. Please, Ginny, trust me.
Sept 1, 1996
I'm sure it didn't escape your notice that I failed to board the train today. I'm sure this caused quite a stir among Fawkes' fan club. I don't really mean to be difficult, but this was something I felt I had to do. All of my life, I have been forced to do what everyone but me wanted. All of my life, I have been miserable as I dreamed about the day when I could finally make my own decisions. It wasn't until the end of last term that I finally learned why everyone felt the need to butt into my life. Suffice it to say I didn't think much of their reasons.
Well, I've finally had enough. I know that, legally, I need to be seventeen to make this decision, which is why no one will see me until that time. I will be back, Ginny. I, better than anyone, know there is still a fight to come, and I intend to win. But I can't do that if I can't be myself.
I'm sorry that I couldn't tell you the truth, but I needed the last two months to make sure I couldn't be found, and you know that they would have come looking for me immediately.
I'll still keep in touch, and hope to hear from you often. At least until I can be there back by your side. I still want that date.
Trust me, Ginny.
September 1, 1996
Dumbledore looked around at the people crammed into his office. Most of the Order was here, and even the young Weasleys along with Ms Granger. They all looked grave and a few were anxiously wringing their hands. Molly was full out crying in a corner; there was no calming her.
"Has anyone actually seen Harry since he left the train station in June?" Now it made sense why the lad had insisted on no guards at Privet Drive. He had used Dumbledore's guilt over withholding the prophecy to wring the concession out of him, allowing him to make his escape.
"No. He's been writing letters to Ron and Ginny all summer and always said he was at the Dursleys, but we haven't seen him." Mrs Weasley answered through her tears.
"Um," Ginny hesitated before setting her shoulders and speaking up. "His last letter to me mentioned that there was something he really wanted to tell me but couldn't and that he hoped I would understand." Her eyes flashed. "Well, of course I wouldn't understand! He ran away like a coward! I never thought Harry could be that selfish and he had better hope that I don't find him because he isn't going to like my reaction!"
Mrs Weasley placed a comforting hand on her daughters shoulder. She hoped they found Harry soon, or it looked like there would never be a chance for them to make this relationship work. And she very much wanted this relationship to work.
Sept 10, 1996
As you wish.
A/N: Story is fairly well done by now. Just doing some editing, so the chapter should be posted regularly. Parts of it will get a bit mature, as I don't see how you can do this pairing without that. Enjoy.