Hi everyone!   This is my first story on fanfiction.   I hope you enjoy it.   (no slash)

Disclaimer:  I don't own Harry Potter, or the characters, or anything remotely related to it   and I am making no money from this.

When Hope Fails

Chapter One:  Perfect Day

Harry Potter, the boy-who-lived, the boy who had escaped death several times and had seen more tragedy than most see in a lifetime, was having a wonderful dream.   Normally this would be nothing of great importance, yet after witnessing the rebirth of Voldemort and the death of his godfather last year, good dreams were hard to find.

Harry smiled into his pillow, he felt peaceful and free.   All of the worry and fear surrounding his life was temporarily wiped away.   He was flying over the grounds of Hogworts, climbing higher and higher, soaring above the clouds.   He felt weightless as he flew through the air, the wind in his face.  

However, he was brought sharply back to reality when one of the clouds suddenly became solid, smacking him in the face and knocking him off his broom.

He woke with a start.   As his eyes began to adjust to the dim light of the bedroom, he realized that the cloud from his dream was actually a pillow thrown at him by one of his best friends, Ron Weasely.   Dumbledore had allowed Harry to spend the remainder of vacation at the Burrow.   He had only been there for nearly a week, yet he was having the time of his life.

"Wake up Harry," Ron said, giving him a slight shake, "come on."

He sat up and reached for his glasses.   "Can't you wake up someone like a normal person?"   He asked groggily.

"Well," Ron replied while pulling on his shirt, "that depends on your definition of normal."

"Normal," Harry said as he got up and got dressed, "would be to shake the person or say, 'Hey you, wake up!'"

"Come on Harry, being normal is vastly overrated."   He smiled and walked out the door.

Harry rolled his eyes and followed his friend down the winding stairs of the Weasely house.   Despite the fact that it was still fairly early, the house was full of activity.   The usual explosions, which had now become second nature to him, were heard from Fred and George's room.   With everything else happening in the wizarding world, the twins' joke shop was at the bottom of Mrs. Weasely's list.   Therefore, without their mother's hassling, their creations were in full bloom.   Downstairs, Mrs. Weasely was busy with breakfast while Mr. Weasely was rushing out the door for work.

"Good-bye boys," he said as he sped past them.

"Won't you at least have a bit of breakfast before you go, dear?"  Mrs. Weasely asked, holding out a plate piled high with toast.

"No time," he replied, pulling on his coat.   After giving her a quick kiss, he disapparated.   Harry glanced at the huge clock in the living room, where it showed Mr. Weasley's name going from "home" to "travel" and finally ending on "work."   Mrs. Weasley was watching it as well, saying almost to herself, "They'll work him to death, they will."

Harry sighed quietly.   Ever since Voldemort had returned a lot of terrible things had been happening.   People lived everyday in fear.   Many disappeared daily, while others were found dead, the dark mark hovering above them.   Fudge, the minister of magic, called all workers in the ministry on full alert.   Though he regretted to admit that he was wrong, he could not deny that he was a serious threat.  

"Oh, I've just remembered."   Mrs. Weasely said, breaking his thoughts, "Your school lists came this morning.   Later today we'll go to Diagon Alley to collect your things."

"Ok mum." Ron said, helping himself to some eggs.   Harry joined him while Mrs. Weasely fused over an article in the Daily Prophet.   Just as Harry was getting a heaping spoonful of eggs a loud explosion went off upstairs, startling him and causing the eggs to fling off his spoon and onto the floor.   Ron laughed while Mrs. Weasley shook her head, saying, "Oh those two.   One day when they blow a hole in the side of the house, they'll learn."

"Oh, come off it mum," Fred said coming down the stairs. 

"Yeah," George replied, "We're not going to blow any holes in the walls…any big ones at least."

"Well, when you both singe off your eyebrows one of these days," Ginny said, appearing downstairs, "don't say we didn't warn you."

"Hmm.   Singed off eyebrows might be an interesting look," George mused.

"Very interesting," Fred agreed.   "Care to test it out for us Ronnikins?   You could start the newest trend."

"I'll pass, thanks."   Ron replied, continuing with his breakfast.

"All right, suit yourself.   But don't say we never tried to help your image."

The rest of the morning, in Harry's opinion, was pretty uneventful.   Once breakfast was finished they all headed to Diagon Alley to get their various supplies.   After returning home, the twins went back to their inventing, while Ginny and Mrs. Weasely went into the kitchen to start dinner.   Left alone, Harry and Ron moved outside to play a game of chess.   The warm July sun warmed their skin as they settled in.   After several minutes of playing, Ron broke the silence.

"What do you think will happen this year?"

"What do you mean?"  Harry asked, trying to think up his next move.   He was, unsurprisingly, losing very badly to Ron.

"You know," he replied with a half-hearted smile, "Every year something big and dangerous happens, and we always seem to be in the middle of it."

"Example?" Harry asked, instructing his pawn to move.

"Come on Harry.   First year, it was the sorcerer's stone, second year was the basilisk and Riddle, third year was Pettigrew, fourth year You-Know-Who came back, and last year he...well…you know."   He said in one big breath while studying the chessboard.

"Why won't you just say his name?"  Harry asked.

"I dunno…"

"Say it."

"No."

"Come on Ron, after everything that's happened?"

Ron sighed in defeat.   "Oh alright.   What do you think will happen this year with V…Vol…"  he dropped his voice to a whisper, "Voldemort."

"Oh well, it's a start."  Harry said.

A smile spread across Ron's face as he said, "Knight to H-3" He looked up to Harry and said simply, "Checkmate."

Harry sighed and leaned back.   "I'll never beat you at this you know."

"Well, that is because I am the master."   Ron replied jokingly.   "You may now refer to me as 'Your Highness' and may worship the ground I walk on."

"Oh, how do I deserve such an honor," Harry said, teasingly.

"Be proud, Harry.   Be proud."

"Shut up," Harry laughed.

"Umm, that would be 'shut up your highness.'"  Ron replied.

"Whatever, your highness," Harry said, elbowing him in the ribs.

As they sat outside laughing, they had no knowledge of what evil was brewing and what was in store for their next year at Hogworts.  

Far away, surrounded by his deatheaters, Voldemort smiled evilly.   "Yes, it is all going accordingly.   Soon Hogworts will feel my wrath."

He laughed cruelly.

Hundreds of miles away, Harry's scar began to burn.

Well, there's chapter one.   Please leave a review and let me know what you think!