Disclaimer- Harry Potter and its respective characters belong to J.K. Rowling. Also part of this chapter uses direct quotes and semi-direct quotes from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix; these lines belong to J.K. Rowling and were only used to advance the plot of the story.
Authors Note- First off, sorry for my absence! I had a mini-holiday, a birthday party and a 4th of July party (my uncle's American so even we celebrate it in Australia!) which left me with very little time. Also there's the fact that this chapter is in part a 1 of 2 since there's a lot that Harry has to catch up on! So on the bright side the second part will be up in the next few days after I do a few tweaks with it. As always I want to say thank you to all my readers! With my last chapter I reached past 11,000 views, 200 favs, and 300 alerts - which is utterly incredible!
I also want to do a shout out to two amazing people: "Slytherin66" for your amazing reviews (I always look forward to reading your comments and suggestions!) and "harryfan160889" who wrote a story based on my story which is amazing and such a big honour to me as a writer! I suggest you go check it out, it's in my favourites list or search "Ministry's Mistakes Exposed"!
Most Wanted: Peter Pettigrew
3rd August 1995
Hogwarts; Headmaster's Office
Looking back on the past month Albus Dumbledore really should have expected this.
He had obviously expected Harry to react poorly to his decision to keep him out of the loop; the boy was nothing if not curious as his escapades over the past four years had proved. At the most Albus had expected resentment, which he had been hoping for, as it would be easier for him to distance himself from Harry in the long run. The connection between Harry and Voldemort was now stronger then ever with the blood that Voldemort now possessed and should his suspicions about the boy be proven then it would be prudent that he sever the connection between them both as quick as possible.
Not that it was an easy thing to do at any rate; he had grown rather fond of Harry over the years and the boy had gone through enough trouble without Albus adding to it. Such was why his decision to keep Harry uninformed was so important, so he could let Harry remain a child for as long as he could.
How could anyone go through what he has and remain a child?
A voice whispered in the back of his mind and Albus grimaced in response. His convictions on this matter had been shaken by Harry's brash declaration of war on Peter Pettigrew…what if he was ready to hear the whole truth?
Harry's actions had begun something far bigger then Albus believed that Harry realized. At the most he expected to be able to free his godfather, to get the truth of Voldemort out to the public but the reality was not so limited. For the first time in many years people were beginning to question the legitimacy of their own governments. They were questioning the prophet, their history, their place in the world and themselves. Harry had started not only a manhunt, but also the beginning of a new train of thought that seemed to be gaining strength.
While the chaos had admittedly caught him at a loss there was some good to come out of it, his eyes flickering to the red report that was on his desk. In the midst of all the chaos it was easy for the Ministry to overlook such a small thing like an underage magic infringement.
It had been relatively simple, finding his way into the Ministry – his disillusionment charm was no match for anyone there, especially sleep deprived and coffee reliant ministry workers. It had been a simple matter of a performing Confundus charm on the doorman, before he made his way through the relatively deserted Improper Use of Magic Office and simply grabbed it from a box that had been helpfully marked as "LATER". His original intention when he went there was too delay the notice and hopefully rectify any mistake before Cornelius was informed, but it seemed that Harry had once again manage to fix that problem as well.
'Tired?' A voice sounded to his left and Albus smiled good-naturedly at the Sorting Hat, who had taken the sudden turn of events in its stride. Not that a hat could stride, but it was a rather fitting term for how it had reacted to the entire situation Albus mused.
'Alas, I fear we are nowhere near the end of this,' Dumbledore lamented, looking down at the pile of reports he had received from the Order.
'Not by a long shot I'd wager,' the Hat chuckled.
The door to his office suddenly opened, banging on the wall as Minerva strode in; her face flushed red as she glowered at him, her arms full of letters.
He knew that tone. It was the same tone she had when he had told her about the Philosophers Stone…and the Dementors…and the Triwizard Tournament. That tone did not bode well for anyone involved.
'Lemon drop?' He said pleasantly, ignoring the glare she shot him as she slammed a pile of letters onto his desk.
'No,' she said shortly as Albus smiled, popping one into his mouth. 'What do you intend to do with all of Mr Potter's letters?'
'The letters will be given to him when he arrives at headquarters this evening,' Albus smiled, chuckling as Minerva snarled at the pile of parchment. 'Though perhaps not this very evening, I'm sure he'd appreciate having some time to settle in before we dump five hundred or so letters on him.'
'They keep on coming!' She huffed, 'Why did you have to direct them here of all places Albus!'
She knew why of course, this had been the main topic of discussion between them for the past three days. Luckily Kingsley had been able to inform him of the bounty early enough that he could divert Harry's mail to a far more secure location, Hogwarts.
'Several of these letters have been cursed Minerva,' Albus looked at her over the top of his glasses as she sniffed unhappily. 'One underage wizard, no matter how brilliant, does not have the resources to examine each letter individually to determine whether there are any foul or harmful curses present.'
'Also,' he continued more cheerfully, 'I severely doubted that his guardians would take kindly to having several hundred owls arrive on their doorstep.'
'You had no problem with that before,' she said dryly, clearly remembering the incident in first year.
Albus chuckled in remembrance of that event, it had been amusing to come up with different ways in which to deliver Harry's letters; Filius still regarded his charm work in placing letters within Petunia Dursley's eggs as being some of his finest work.
'Times are not the same anymore,' he noted softly, his eyes flickering to the copy of Peter's bounty.
'Indeed,' she agreed quite briskly, the smile dropping quickly. 'There is a meeting tonight?'
'Yes at seven-thirty tonight, only a short meeting,' he assured her as she relaxed. 'Mr Potter should arrive just before it starts and Kingsley will update us on the DMLE's current progress.'
'Have you had any lead on the Dementors?' She asked worriedly and Albus frowned.
The issue with the Dementors had worried him considerably, as well as the rest of the Order. When he had been informed of the matter he had initially been furious with Mundungus, his blind greed could have cost Harry his soul or any of the other innocent people who lived on Privet Drive; he had decided to let him go with a firm warning however after the combined spell work of Molly Weasley, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and Alastor Moody had required him to seek medical attention at Saint Mungo's. The attack however was a definite sign that Harry life was in direct danger from forces within and outside the Ministry.
'I do not believe they were a direct attack from Voldemort,' he admitted, 'but I do believe that this event was linked to the bounty.'
'You think that someone within the ministry ordered this?' she said horrified. 'Do you believe Lucius-?'
'No, Voldemort-' He ignored her flinch, 'intends to keep quiet about this; to murder Harry, especially straight after the announcement of his bounty would bring far too much attention to him and his followers.'
'The public would instantly suspect Lucius and his crowd,' Minerva agreed though she did not look any happier. 'You do not intend to alert Amelia to this?'
'And let Cornelius know of his underage magic infringement?' Albus raised an eyebrow at her. 'Cornelius is already at his wits end in trying to find ways to discredit Harry without having the public turn on him. I'd rather not give him any more ammunition then he already has; Cornelius has never been particularly bright but he has a high sense of self-preservation, and so do his allies. They will do all in their power to try and ruin Harry.'
Minerva seemingly weighed the benefits in her mind before she sighed reluctantly and nodded.
'Will Mr Potter be included in the meeting tonight?'
'No,' he replied shortly, his eyes flickering to the bounty on his desk. 'There is no need to preoccupy Mr Potter with the workings of the Order Minerva. Let him remain oblivious to the dangers for a while longer.'
'Oblivious Albus?!' Minerva looked at him rather disgusted to his surprise. 'I think the poor boy is tired of being oblivious,' she picked up the bounty and waved it in his face, 'or is this not enough proof! It's a cry for help Albus! You left him alone with those people with a killer on the loose, and no contact with the outside world! I believe he's proved himself to be more then ready enough to face the dangers involved with the Order.'
Minerva was voicing a new opinion that was growing strong within the Order, an opinion that could be summarised as Moody had summarily put it as "Tell Potter before he causes any more trouble."
Of course Sirius and Remus had been pushing for informing Harry since the reformation of the Order, only recently had the auror members (mainly Kingsley) decided to push for this as well. Albus removed himself from these thoughts as Minerva glowered at him and he sighed.
'Mr Potter will not be informed until it is deemed necessary,' he said finally and Minerva snorted disdainfully, throwing her arms in the air as she left the room, the door to his office slamming shut.
'I almost put him in Slytherin,' the Sorting Hat began conversationally, speaking up from its perch on his shelf where it surveyed the discussion with amusement.
'I am aware,' Albus replied, 'you mentioned that he asked you to place him in Gryffindor.'
'No, he convinced me Albus,' the Hat chuckled. '"Not Slytherin" was what he said, not "Put me in Gryffindor".'
Albus sat back thoughtfully, his mind whirling with flashes of a small little boy with bright green eyes and messy black hair.
'After all,' the Hat continued, 'The true Slytherins' never get put into Slytherin.'
Surrey; Number Four Privet Drive
Harry woke up to the sound of a door banging shut and a lot of loud cursing.
Blearily looking around his eyes focused onto his clock, 6:38; he'd only been asleep for a half hour then. It wasn't as if there was much else he could do at the Dursley's at this point, all his homework was done and there wasn't anything to look forward to besides the beginning of next term. Thinking of the Dursley's made Harry pause…who was here then?
The Dursley's were out for the night, attending some lawn competition they'd apparently won. After the outburst yesterday Harry had been confined to his room all day again, only being let out in the afternoon for a quick break before Vernon had roughly shoved him back in and locked the door. Hedwig had also disappeared on him, not returning from delivering a letter he sent to Sirius that could be roughly summarized as "GET ME THE HELL OUT OF HERE".
The fact remained that no one should be in the house at this time besides him and that he was now locked in here.
A feeling of unease settled in Harry's stomach as he grabbed his wand. Of course he could do magic to get out of here but Harry was unwilling to tempt fate anymore then he already had, especially since his magic infringement notice seemed to have disappeared – Thank God – off the face of the earth.
'Look at how clean this house is! Are you sure that two teenage boys live here?' A feminine voice called out, coming closer towards his room. 'There's locks on this door…you don't think?'
There was a small shuffle outside his door and Harry held his wand tightly as a number of small clicks sounded, signalling the unlocking of his door.
If she was a Death Eater then it was a clear sign that Voldemort's standards had drastically changed from the aloof, elitist Lucius Malfoy to the kind of comic book villain he'd see on a muggle TV show…she had bright pink hair.
'Wotcher!' The feminine voice grinned in greeting, before she faltered slightly as her eyes snapped onto the cat flap on the bottom of the door. He noticed with alarm that her hair changed abruptly from pink to a dull shade of blue and stepped back in surprise as "Mad-Eye" Moody emerged from around the corner.
The Moody he had come to know had been a Death Eater who had tried to murder him and had successfully aided in murdering Cedric. To say he was feeling alarmed was an understatement. He'd already had Dementors sent to kill him, what if Voldemort had used polyjuice potion again to try and get at him? Harry's hand never faltered as he kept his wand trained on them, particularly keeping it focused on Moody.
'Potter,' Moody nodded, 'Dumbledore sent us, we're here to collect you and bring you to safety.'
'Forgive me if I don't believe you,' Harry snarled at him, 'I've had a few bad incidents with mistaken identities, I'd rather not have a repeat.'
'Bit twitchy isn't he?' the woman said amused, before her smile fell. 'Is this your room?'
'Remus!' Moody suddenly called as Harry's wand snapped back to him, 'Potter's up here, come and calm him down won't you?'
There was the sound of multiple hurried footsteps as more people made their way up the stairs, stopping to gawk at his door and then him. Of course, why would he expect any different? A black haired witch at the back muttered the same old, "Looks just like his father, but has Lily's eyes" bullshit that followed him around everywhere as his temper finally snapped.
'Come to have a good look have you?' Harry didn't bother trying to cover his bitterness as he glared at the people outside his door. 'Come to see how the famous Harry Potterlives?' He held out his hands and motioned to the cramped space that was his room in a sarcastic motion of grandeur.
'Take a picture! Maybe you could send it to the Prophet, I'm sure everyone would love to see how the great Boy-Who-Lived lives!'
'Move out of the way please Hestia,' a familiar voice said as Harry's heart stopped.
'Harry!' Remus pushed his way forward past the shocked group of people before he stood in the doorway smiling widely. Any bitter remarks went out the window as he smiled back, his wand lowering slightly as Remus entered the room, stopping as Moody held an arm out.
'We should make sure he's the real Potter,' he growled, ignoring Remus who rolled his eyes.
'I would've imagined that Harry's speech a moment ago would be proof enough,' Remus said dryly before he turned back to Harry. 'What creature was in my office the first time you visited?'
'A grindylow,' Harry answered immediately before he fired his own question. 'What do I hear when I'm near Dementors?'
'Your parents last moments.'
They stared at each other for a moment before Remus suddenly hugged him tightly as Harry froze. The only people he could remember ever hugging him had been Hermione and Mrs Weasley, and Harry could only pat him awkwardly on the back as Remus straightened up his cheeks slightly red.
'Sorry, It's been a long time,' he explained, 'and there's a lot to talk about. Let's get you ready, we'll be leaving soon.'
'We're leaving?' Harry asked hopefully, his spirits soaring as Remus nodded. 'What about the bounty I made?' He continued frantically, 'has it done anything? I haven't had news in the past three days.'
'You've certainly done something,' Remus chuckled, before looking over his shoulder and nodding at a grumpy looking Moody.
'Be quick with the introductions we don't have much time,' Moody said gruffly as he made his way downstairs and Harry watched him go warily. If there was one thing he learnt from last year it was "CONSTANT VIGILANCE" after all.
'You've met Mad-Eye,' the pink haired witch spoke as Remus pushed him out the door, waving his wand and packing all of Harry's belongings into his trunk. 'I'm Tonks!'
'Harry,' he replied as she grinned, tugging him down the stairs as everyone filed down. 'You coming Remus?' Harry turned back to see him staring at something rather intently in his room, before he waved him off as Tonks yelled at him to be quick.
'So that's Hestia,' she pointed to the black haired witch, 'and Dedalus-'
'I know you!' Harry blurted out, smiling at the man who jumped in excitement; he remembered the man knocking his hat off when he first went to Diagon Alley.
'And that's Kingsley-' Tonks was cut off by Remus who had abruptly turned Harry around and gripped him by the shoulders.
'Why are there locks on your door?' He asked Harry calmly.
'They commonly keep doors shut,' Harry replied, grimacing at the glare that Remus shot at him.
'Try again. How about, why was there a cat flap on your door?'
'For my cat,' Harry blurted out, wincing as Remus gave him a look of disbelief.
'You have a cat?'
'Was that a question?'
'Remus, look I can say your name patronisingly too!'
Remus hands twitched and shot him a look that clearly stated "we are talking about this later." Though all his life Harry had yearned to have some type of parental figure, suddenly he was feeling a lot more apprehensive about it.
'Really Remus it isn't that bad, it keeps them away from me as much as it keeps me away from them.'
Judging by the look on Remus' face that was not the best thing to have said.
'It's not that bad!' Harry pleaded with him. He was stuck in an odd paradox where he wanted everyone to know about how the Dursley's treated him, yet at the same time wanted no one to know at all. Remus happened to be one of those people who he did not want to know. One of the main reasons he had posted his bounty had been because he wanted to get away from the Dursley's, to go and live with Sirius and Remus and just get away from here…without all the questions.
'That room is far better than-' Harry cut him self off mid-sentence as Remus looked at him suspiciously.
'Nothing,' Harry said shortly as he turned away. There was no way he was mentioning the cupboard to Remus.
'The letter Remus?' Dedalus asked hesitantly, and Harry looked up to see Remus breathing deeply as he calmed himself.
'What letter?' Harry asked, looking between them both, rather annoyed at the fact that he was still out of the loop.
'It was supposed to explain to your aunt and uncle about where you've gone, and also to say that you'll be returning next year,' Remus said with an odd aura of calmness as he took out the letter and set it on fire. 'I don't believe it will be necessary anymore however,' he shot Harry a smile that was a little too enthusiastic. 'Do you have anything else here? Anything you want to take?'
'No,' Harry shrugged at his trunk, 'everything I own is in there.'
'Let's get going then,' Hestia interjected gently pushing Harry out of the house as Moody began shuffling everyone out gruffly.
'How are we-?'
'We're flying there,' Hestia answered, handing him his broom.
'Where are we-?'
'Tell you when we get there!'
'You know I believe you were right Tonks,' Remus said outside looking at the pink haired witch intently. 'The house is a little too clean, isn't it?'
'Couldn't agree more Remus!' Tonks agreed, smirking. 'Oi, Mad-Eye!' She suddenly called up front, making the ex-auror snarl at her to shut up as she shrugged unapologetically. 'Me and Remus are gonna make sure we locked up alright in there.'
Moody smirked, and Harry grimaced slightly as he remembered Crouch Jnr sending him that exact same look, as he nodded at Tonks.
'There's a spare key behind the family photo,' Harry called out and Tonks waved him off, following Remus into the house. He frowned as he watched them enter, unnerved by the look of fierce determination on Remus' face. Several minutes later a smug and vibrantly red headed Tonks emerged, followed by Remus who was tugging the sleeves of his shirt down smiling happily at Harry.
'All done Alastor!' Remus called up front as he mounted the broom, mouthing "later" at Harry who was looking at him questioningly before he turned back to Tonks. He could barely make out whatever they were whispering to each other, but he managed to hear the end of what Tonks was saying.
'…Put a barrier charm on the toilet, the next time one of them goes to take a piss-' She made an exploding sound as Remus snickered, before he coughed and straightened up. Harry looked at her in awe as she laughed, imagining the look on Aunt Petunia's face when the toilet backed up and exploded.
'Potter,' Moody gruffly called him and Harry whirled around to look at him apprehensively, eyeing the wand in his hand. After all, a few months ago that wand had tried to kill him. 'Need to do a Disillusionment Charm,' he explained as Harry edged away, looking to Remus who noticed his discomfort and came over.
'I've got it Moody,' he nodded as he tapped his wand on Harry's head, making him squirm as cold trickles began running down his body. 'Feel odd?'
'Yeah, what-,' Harry paused as he looked down at his hands, eyes widening as he noticed the now chameleon-like skin he now possessed.
'Good one Remus', Kingsley said appreciatively as Harry marvelled at the new properties of his skin…this was so cool.
'Clear night,' grunted Moody as he examined the sky, his magical eye spinning around as it scanned the clouds. 'Could've done with a bit more cloud cover. Right, you,' he barked at Harry, 'we're going to be flying in close formation-' He was cut off as a shower of bright sparks flared in the sky and all eyes turned upwards.
'That's the first signal,' Kingsley cut off Harry, 'we were delayed Moody, let's get going now.' He turned to Harry and quickly summarized the rest of the plan. 'Follow us.'
Nice and simple; Harry liked it.
Green sparks exploded in the air and everyone pushed up, the air whooshing by his face as Harry grinned. The ride passed in a blur as Harry flew, moving every now and then as Moody yelled about muggles, but it was wonderful. The place in which they landed however, was anything but.
Harry looked around confused at the grimy neighbourhood in which they landed. To the right of him a streetlight flickered on and off before the bulb burst, bathing the street in darkness.
They were all going to die, was the first thought that ran through Harry's head as every horror cliché ever ran through his head as they all stood in the dark street.
'Read this quickly and memorize,' Moody shoved a piece of parchment in front of him, knocking Harry out of his thoughts as he squinted down at the parchment.
The Headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix may be found at number twelve, Grimmauld Place, London.
'The Order? This is what Mrs Figg -?' Harry began before he was hurriedly shushed as Moody snatched the parchment back and set fire to it.
'Think about it,' Remus muttered and Harry decided to humour them, squinting at the houses opposite.
There was no number twelve Grimmauld Place.
Good going Harry you're standing on a dark street surrounded by people who may or may not be Death Eaters, trying to enter a house that clearly did not exist-His train of thought was abruptly cut off as another house began to emerge from between number eleven and thirteen; looking as though it was inflating like some type of giant bouncy castle being pumped full of air.
'I'm not the only one who saw that right?' Harry turned to the rest of them who seemed perfectly calm at the fact that a house appeared out of nowhere. ''Cause that was fucking-'
'In,' Moody grunted as he pushed Harry forward, ignoring the scowl and muttered obscenities that burst from Harry's mouth as he tripped upon entering.
'Here Harry,' Remus tapped the top of his head with his wand and Harry watched as his skin became normal again, losing it's Chameleon camouflage properties.
'Lumos,' Kingsley muttered and Harry blinked at the sudden appearance of light before his jaw dropped as he looked around. This settled it. He was in some kind of fucking horror movie.
THERE ARE HOUSE ELF HEADS ALL OVER THE WALLS.
'The fuck are we?!' Harry burst out, looking at them all accusingly. 'What-'
'Harry dear!' Harry whirled around to see Mrs Weasley emerge from the end of the hall; looking rather frazzled as she caught him in a quick hug that Harry squirmed in uncomfortably. 'You're looking peaky; you need feeding up, but you'll have to wait a bit for dinner, I'm afraid.'
She turned to the group of people behind him and whispered urgently, 'He's just arrived, the meeting's started.'
Everyone behind him made various noises of interest and excitement and began to file in through the door that Mrs Weasley had just exited. Harry craned his neck as he watched them enter, moving towards the door to follow Remus when Mrs Weasley stopped him.
'No, Harry, the meeting's only for members of the Order-'
'The Order, the Order, the Order!' Harry snapped. 'You say that like I'm supposed to know what that means! Well surprise, surprise! For someone to understand what's going on, usually someone has to tell them first! It seems to be a concept that everyone has forgotten lately!'
Mrs Weasley, clearly not accustomed to back chat, fixed Harry with a stern look as she stood in place between him and the meeting.
'Ron and Hermione are upstairs-'
'And I thought this situation couldn't possible get any worse!' Harry snarled, his anger rising at the realisation that his friends were sitting comfy a few metres or so away from him.
'-You can wait with them until the meeting is over,' she continued as though Harry had not loudly voice his opinion, an observation that made Harry's blood boil even more.
'WAIT WITH THEM?!' Mrs Weasley hurriedly shushed him, looking down the hall with wide eyes as Harry shook her off. 'NO! I'VE SPENT A MONTH WITH NO FUCKING NEWS! LIKE HELL YOU'RE NOT TELLING ME-'
Harry was cut off by ear splitting shrieks from down the hall as a set of curtains flew back, revealing a sallow faced ugly woman who began shrieking at the top of her lungs. Staring at the painting shocked, he barely registered as Remus ran past him, pulling the curtains shut with great difficulty, shutting her up.
'Harry,' Remus grabbed him by the shoulders and steered him away from a wide-eyed Mrs Weasley. 'I'll talk to you after this meeting,' he looked at Harry sternly, 'I promise that Sirius and I will talk to you after about everything that's been going on,' Harry shoulders slumped as he nodded and Remus gave him a strained smile in return. 'Right now I have to have a word with Dumbledore about your living arrangements.'
The only time he had heard Remus speak with such venom in his voice had been when he was confronting Peter in the Shrieking Shack; the barely concealed rage on his face did nothing to reassure Harry as he left, shutting the door behind him.
He was exactly back at where he was before and was nowhere closer to finding out any information about Voldemort, the Death Eaters, the Order and whatever the fuck his friends had been doing all summer. After listening with his ear at the door for several minutes Harry came to the frustrating conclusion that yes there was a silencing charm on the door, and that yes it was not likely to wear off any time soon. He looked up stairs apprehensively, simultaneously dreading and longing to rip into his friends about his treatment before he looked towards the front door. He supposed he could just leave after all, maybe teach them a lesson and have them run around trying to find him.
In the end his desire to learn any new information won out and he ascended the stairs intent on finding Ron and Hermione and demanding answers. He had just knocked on the first door he came to on the second floor when it was roughly pulled open as Harry staggered back. Hermione had thrown herself on him in a hug that nearly knocked him out flat, while Ron's tiny owl, Pigwidgeon, zoomed excitedly round and round and round their heads.
'HARRY! Ron, he's here, Harry's here! Oh, how are you?' - How am I?! - 'Are you all right? Have you been furious with us? I bet you have,' - Understatement of the fucking century! - 'I know our letters were useless -' - A round of applause for Hermione, the brightest witch of our age! - '-But we couldn't tell you anything. Dumbledore made us swear we wouldn't tell you anything!'
A feeling akin to ice ran through his body as he ran that sentence over in his mind, "Dumbledore made us swear we wouldn't tell you anything."
'Let him breathe, Hermione,' said Ron, grinning as he pried her off him.
'We heard about what you did as well,' Hermione fixed him with a stern look, 'Really Harry? Putting a bounty on Peter Pettigrew was so-'
'Immature? Reckless? Brash? Stupid?' Harry suggested sarcastically as his temper rose higher.
'It was reckless.'
'Maybe I wouldn't have been so reckless if I'd had some news once and a while-'
'We couldn't tell Harry!' Hermione interrupted him, 'Dumbledore-'
'I spent a month- a month - wondering about what the hell was going on about Voldemort. Trying to find any information if anyone was doing a damn thing because the Prophet sure as hell wasn't!'
'We know mate,' Ron spoke up hurriedly, 'Bill mentioned it when he came back from watch, said you were going crazy there.'
His rage was overtaken by a cold numbness when he realized that Ron had just confirmed one of his suspicions. Everyone had known.
'I don't want to speak with you,' Harry said quietly, looking away from them both.
'Harry-,' he shrugged off Hermione's hand and tried to find a way to formulate into words all the anger, bitterness, disappointment and hopelessness that he had been subjected to over the past month.
'Mate, we wanted to tell you -,' Ron began but he turned away from them both and Hermione frantically followed him into the hall, her voice thick with emotion as she looked at him tearfully.
'Harry, we're really sorry,' she said desperately, 'We wanted to tell you!'
'Then why didn't you?' Harry rounded on her angrily, taking grim satisfaction in the way she flinched as he glared at her, shooting a murderous look at Ron who was observing the exchange with an open mouth from the door way.
'Dumbledore made us promise!'
Harry looked away and shook his head as he suddenly laughed, clapping his hands together. It always came back to Dumbledore; he told them to leave him isolated, he told people to watch him, he told Harry to stay at Privet Drive…it was amazing just how much Dumbledore told people without telling them anything at all. His attention was brought back to Hermione and Ron who were looking at him apprehensively as his laughs died down.
'Are you or are you not a witch Hermione?'
'I, what?' She seemed taken aback by the question and shot a confused, frightful look at Ron who shrugged back at her.
'Are you or are you not a witch Hermione?' Harry repeated patiently.
'Then did you even imagine the possibility of using some type of magic to communicate with me?'
'I'd thought about it,' she admitted thickly as she sniffled, 'but Dumbledore-'
'But Dumbledore!' Harry cried out sarcastically, 'It seems you can tack that onto any sentence and suddenly it becomes a viable excuse for acting like a dick! Guess what guys, I decided to completely neglect my friend whose been in constant emotional distress since he witnessed the MURDER OF ANOTHER FRIEND but Dumbledore said it was all right!'
'I didn't know how Harry!' Hermione burst out, 'I couldn't come up with any ways to contact you!' Tears were streaming down her face and Harry swallowed tightly as his throat constricted, watching as he made one of his best friends cry. Something wrenched painfully in his chest as he turned away from her.
'No Hermione, you just didn't try,' Harry said simply before he left, walking as far away from them as he could.
After an entire month of hoping to see his friends again he suddenly wished that he had never seen them at all, at least then he could still pretend that maybe things were not as bad as they really were. But now he'd been forced to face it and had possibly just broken up their friendship for good; Hermione and Ron would never survive as friends on their own, third year had been proof enough, with Harry being forced to play the mediator in every single argument they ever held, even when the argument was about him himself.
The sound of small explosion drew Harry's attention away from his rampaging emotions as he walked further down the hall, stopping outside a door that had bright orange smoke seeping through the cracks. Knocking rather hesitantly, he was surprised when a second later the door was thrown open and he peered in the smoke filled room. As soon as he entered the room a party popper went off in his face, making him blink in surprise as streamers and glitter flew around him.
'Potter!' Fred and George both chimed at the same time, beaming as they tugged him in.
'There he is-' Fred began, letting loose several fireworks that exploded around Harry.
'The man of the hour-' George continued, shoving a glass of what Harry believed was firewhisky into his hand.
'Of the century-'
'Of the decade-'
'Pretty sure a century is longer Gred,'
'Fair point Forge-' George nodded as Harry downed the drink, hoping it would help him make sense of whatever was going on at the moment.
'Harry,' Fred continued, holding an imaginary microphone in front of him. 'How does it feel to have completely toppled the ministry within a day?'
'I-what?' Harry looked at them both in shock, what the hell where they talking about?
'You posting that bounty Potter!' Fred looked at him as though he was crazy.
'Made the whole country go crazy-' George continued looking rather impressed.
'Well more then it was already-'
'But we digress Harry, it seems you had no knowledge of this?'
'I haven't had any knowledge all summer,' Harry replied rather coolly before looking at them apologetically. Fred and George, while their letters had not been informative, had always been amusing and they seemed to take great strides in keeping him distracted from that fact. Not every second sentence was "Dumbledore said!" or "I'll tell you when you get here!" Which was a great deal more then he could say for his best friends. Wrenching his thoughts away from that particular issue he suddenly paused.
They mentioned my bounty.
'Say that again,' he turned to them breathlessly, suddenly feeling rather woozy (from the alcohol or what Fred said he couldn't tell) as he ran that statement over and over in his head.
'But we digress Harry,' the both chimed at the same time, 'it seems you had no knowledge of this?'
'Not that part!' Harry snapped, looking at them both frantically. 'You mentioned the bounty – My Bounty – Did it work?'
'If you intended chaos-' Fred said amused, grinning at George as they both finished at the same time. 'Then yes!'
He looked at them shocked for a moment before he burst out laughing and tackled them both in a hug.
He had done something!
'Have they caught him?' He continued eagerly, his excitement falling slightly as they shook their heads.
'Not yet mate,' George replied though he was still grinning. 'But they probably will soon, the whole country's searching for him.'
Any further questions were interrupted by a high pitched squealing noise from the cauldron behind them; with Fred hurriedly getting up, cursing as he waved his wand frantically over the smoking liquid waving George over.
'What is that?' Harry asked, his curiosity winning over his desire to interrogate them both for every bit of information they knew.
'This Harry, is your investment!' George answered, pulling out a small box and throwing it to him.
'He sounds so confused Forge!' George laughed as Harry looked at him perplexed.
'Allow me to explain,' Fred grinned as he sat next to him, pulling one out. 'So say you want to get out of potions-'
'Completely understandable, Snape being the greasy git he is-' George chimed in, from where he was stirring a thick orange liquid.
'This little thing here is the answer to all your prayers!' Fred beamed at the little sweet and Harry looked at him incredulously.
'What'll it do? Poison Snape?' Harry asked, looking at the sweet with a renewed interest.
'While I admire the forwardness of your idea-'
'And believe me we have tried-' George piped in.
'It was not pretty-'
'Got a very nasty howler for that incident – but you're distracting us Harry!' Fred reprimanded him as he shoved one of them into his hands. 'So you eat one end and voila! You end up decorating the dungeon floor in a magical liquid entirely of your own creation!'
'But it'll make you sick,' Harry pointed out the obvious flaw as they both laughed.
'The trick to our sweets Harry is that one end makes you sick-' George grinned.
'While the other makes you feel better!' Fred finished as Harry looked at the little sweet in awe.
'That's brilliant,' was all Harry could manage. Because really, that was the most ingenious idea he'd ever heard of. He was just about to interrogate them again when George suddenly stood up, looking closely at his watch.
'It's eight-thirty Fred,' said George, looking over at his twin.
Fred went over to his bed and pulled out - to Harry's immense surprise - a copy of "Hogwarts: A History". He winked at Harry, waving him over as he opened the cover to reveal a hollowed out shell that contained a mesh of long flesh-like objects attached to ears. He shot an alarmed look at them both and they waved off his concerns as they shoved one – this was so gross – into his hands, tugging him out onto the landing as they peered over the bannister.
'They usually finish the meetings around now,' George explained as he helped Harry hook one of the ears onto his own. 'Usually get a bit lax too, unless if Dumbledore does the charms then it's unlikely that it holds for the whole meeting.'
'This is how we've been getting our info, or more realistically fragments of our info,' Fred gestured to the ear that was attached to their ears. 'Extendable Ears…They are exactly what the name implies, no more no less!'
'You kept them in a hollowed out copy of "Hogwarts: A History"?' Harry asked amused as they carefully lowered them to the door.
'Mum keeps on confiscating them,' Fred rolled his eyes before shrugging at George. 'It was his idea.'
'Who would dare desecrate "Hogwarts: A History"!' George mimicked in a high voice that made Harry laugh. He was suddenly shushed as fragments of conversations began streaming through the cords.
'…Not everything! Surely it can wait-'
'It's not…decision to make is it?'
'…Checking the manors now, Bones wants him found-'
'Lucius…where will he stay?'
'Cannot say….under protection.'
Harry grunted as he heard Fred and George both give frustrated sighs at the jumble of sentences that assaulted their ears.
'They're talking about Bones again,' George said
'Whose Bones?' Harry asked, the mental image of some type of wizard pirate coming to mind.
'Director of the DMLE,' Fred answered, 'she's been pushing to find Pettigrew, set Kingsley on his case'.
Everyone suddenly jumped as the door flew open and they hurriedly yanked the cords up as people began exiting.
'Hear anything interesting?' Harry turned to see Ginny walking towards them, looking over the bannister with interest as she waved goodbye to Hestia.
'No more interesting then usual,' Fred said glumly as he and George gathered up the cords and popped out of sight, making Harry look at Ginny alarmed.
'They just got their apparition licences,' Ginny supplied, not meeting Harry's eyes, as she continued looking over at the mass of people congregated beneath them. 'They've been doing it all summer, it drives mum mad.'
Harry snorted at the mental image of them both popping up in thin air everywhere before he turned to look at Ginny with surprise. That had to be the longest conversation they had ever had. Well, a conversation that was not related to either a giant killer snake or a possessed diary. He was about to comment on this new development when a familiar flash of greasy hair and a dark cloak caught his attention.
'Why is Snape here?!' He asked alarmed, looking to Ginny. 'He's a Death Eater!'
'He's a spy for the Order,' Ginny answered, glaring at the man as he exited the building.
'HE'S A WHAT?!'
'HARRY!' A voice yelled up and Harry leant over the bannister to see a face he had been longing to see all summer.
'WELL FUCKING DONE HARRY!' His godfather beamed at him as he ran up the steps. 'WELL FUCKING DONE!'
Harry was barely aware of the fact that the portrait had begun screaming again, or that Mrs Weasley's own screams had joined in the noise, all he was aware of was the fact that he was finally with Sirius.
He was finally home.
A/N- So there's part one of Harry yells at people!
I really didn't want to skimp on this moment, because this is a pivotal point where Harry will not only learn that he made a big difference, but he starts to change his mindset into someone who acts for himself, rather then waiting for Dumbledore or Voldemort to move. Dumbledore as a mentor figure is suddenly coming off his pedestal and losing a lot of respect from not only Harry but a lot of other people.
I didn't want to summarize Harry's anger as simple as "Harry yelled and left the room". He's been under immense emotional pressure and is finally venting, and the backlash of his actions is going to cause a strain amongst his relationships like it did Ron and Hermione.
So in part 2 Harry get's the full low down on the entire situation and deals with everyone else's opinions and yells more and we'll head back to see how some other people are doing and it'll be a lot more fun then this chapter was…in my opinion anyway. It was a bit of a drag to write...but I hope you all like it anyway :)
Also I don't imagine that anyone in their right mind would willingly ignore the fact that Harry has bolts and a cat flap on his door, especially Remus. In the books Tonks goes upstairs to help him pack and she's the only one to see his room, and to her credit she's quite distracted and never actually see's his door bolted shut or anything. But still the fact that Harry lives in such obviously abusive conditions and no one notices is incredibly disturbing to me.
That's the end of my notes (theses chapters are getting progressively longer :P) and I'll post the next part in the next few days!
Thanks for reading!