The Unexpected Letter

Surprisingly it had always been the summer holidays that was the busiest time for Harry Potter. The amount of chores that had accumulated the previous year was staggering.

The flower beds, that normally looked quite beautiful and well groomed, were starting to be overgrown by weed. Of course it wasn't as bad as number 12 up the road, Petunia would never let it get that far, but the begonias were starting to looking somewhat droopy from the lack of care.

Everything in the garage had to be sorted, and tossed in the bins if it was broken. The garage had been turned into a storage space for all the toys Dudley broke throughout the year, since Harry had "so graciously" been given Dudley's second bedroom. How one child could ever need so many toys Harry could never understand.

In addition to the long list of chores, Harry was still expected to help aunt Petunia with ordinary housework, like laundry and tidying around the house.

At the end of another long day, of trying to rid the garden of weed. Harry tiredly made his way up the stairs while chewing on a piece of toast he had managed to snatch from the kitchen, while the Dursleys was in the living room watching TV. It was the only thing he'd had time for since breakfast that morning, and by now he was famished.

He had just managed to complete his long list of chores for the day, while doing his best to avoid his uncle, Vernon, along with his bad temper. Something Harry had down to near perfection after so many years of living with the Dursleys.

The only thing he had the energy for was to go straight to bed, not even bothering to shower or brush his teeth. He would do that in the morning before anyone else had time to get out of bed.

Just as he was about to close the door to his room, Harry noticed the strange bird, resting on Hedwig's perch.

The bird blinked at him with dark eyes, that seemed to have no pupils. Its wings were black and white striped, while its body was orange with odd looking feathers sticking out on top of its head.

Having birds in his room, wasn't anything new for Harry, he did have a pet owl after all. This bird however was not one he recognised, and there was only one person he could think of that would have any reason to send him a letter with such a strange looking bird.

Feeling excited for the first time that day, Harry quietly closed the door, making sure that none of the Dursleys had noticed a new bird in his room. They barely tolerated Hedwig as it was, and Harry was not about to press his luck by making it obvious that he was in contact with other wizards. Moving carefully towards the bird, he made to relieve it of the letter that was tied to its claw.

As soon as Harry had removed the envelope, the bird immediately took of out the window that always stood open so that Hedwig could come and go as she pleased.

Before throwing himself on the bed Harry dropped some of the dry toast into Hedwig's food bowl, just in case she didn't have any luck hunting tonight. Harry dragged his hand carefully over the envelope, The letter looked innocent enough, standard envelope and written on your typical parchment that most wizard tended to favour. Tearing the envelope open, Harry recognised the elegant handwriting immediately.

Dear Harry

I know it has not been long since my last letter, but there is something that I have to tell you. I really wish that there was an easy way to say this to you Harry, but after trying to write this letter half a dozen times I'm beginning to realize that there really isn't one. So i'm just going to come right out and say it.

James Potter was not really your father. I know that this must be a terrible way to find out, and I wish I could tell you this in person, instead of writing it in a letter, but being on the run makes that somewhat difficult. If you would please bear with me, I will explain everything to you. Before I start though I want you to know that James always knew he wasn't your birth father, but know that he loved you as his own from the moment you were born, you should never doubt that!.

Almost a year after your parents and I had graduated from Hogwarts things started to take a turn for the worse. At Hogwarts the war always seemed so far away, but we soon realised that the Ministry had forced The Prophet to keep a lid on some of the most violent attacks. So most of us were completely blindsided by how far the war had progressed when we left school.

Most of You-Know-Who's followers were obsessed with keeping the bloodlines pure. In an attempt to stop more muggleborns from being born, You-Know-Who's followers had started to attack the muggleborns parents and sibling. I think the idea was to erase the bloodlines that had first created a muggleborn, to ensure that no other muggleborns could be born from that bloodline.

One evening your mum's parents and your aunt was attacked by a few Death-eaters, that is the name of His followers. They never caught who it was. Your grandfather died in the attack, your grandmother a couple of weeks later from the injuries she got.

Lily didn't handle it very well, and James parents had died of dragon-pox just over a month earlier. Neither of them handled it well to be honest, both were too lost in their own grief to be what the other needed. At one point they both decided it was best to take a break from each other. James stayed with me and your mum originally left to stay with her sister.

I don't know exactly what happened, but I think they had a fight of some kind. According to James they hadn't been close for years. She ended up staying with one of her mum's childhood friends, I don't remember her name.

I don't know much more about what happened while she was away, but she stayed with her mum's friend for almost a month before she came back. After that she lived with one of her own friends, while she and James worked of their relationship.

They didn't find out that she was pregnant with you, until over a month after she came back. She and James had just gotten back together properly, when she found out. They managed to work things out between them eventually, and decided to get married. Neither of them wanted to make a big deal out of James not being your birth-father, so they only told Remus, Peter, a couple of your mums friends and me.

I'm so sorry that you had to find out this way. I know both James and Lily had planned to tell you this when you were younger, but they never got the chance. Please don't think any less of either of them. Both Lily and James loved you so much, you meant the world to both of them.

N-no that couldn't be true, Harry sat up on the bed. It just didn't seem possible. Didn't everyone that knew his parents, comment on how much he looked like his father and had his mum's eyes? Breathing out a slow breath in disbelief, Harry lay back down on the bed staring intently up at the ceiling. The letter dropping somewhere beside him

If this was true why had no one ever told him this? Professor Lupin had known, why hadn't he told him when they had tea together or after the extra lessons? No one had ever mentioned his mum's friends to him, so Harry had no clue as to who that could be, but surely one of them had to be alive and could have told him, right?

Taking a deep breath Harry picked up the letter where it lay discarded next him on the bed, and kept on reading.

There is another reason that I'm telling you this, beside the fact that you deserve to know the truth. The other reason I'm writing to you now instead of waiting till next time we meet, is that I'm concerned for you.

Admittingly I know hardly anything about your home life, but even I know that it can't be considered normal to immediately want to move in with someone that you have only just meet, and considering you thought I was responsible for your parents death only an hour earlier, and I think that says a lot about the situation with your family.

I want to help you Harry, I swear I do, but considering I'm a wanted fugitive that is next to impossible. Telling you this I truly the only way I can think of that can help you.

Lily told us the name of your birth-father once, he is the son of your grandmother's friend, the one that Lily stayed with after her mother died. Lily said he worked for the muggle ministry, so it shouldn't be to difficult to find him. His name is Mycroft Holmes.

Lily never told him that she was pregnant. It wasn't very safe to have contacts in the muggle world during the war, some wizards and witches were killed because of their connections to the muggle world.

I want you to contact him, he can get you away from the Dursleys. I tried to send a letter to Dumbledore about my suspicions, but legally there is nothing he can do. When you were placed with them, you became a part of muggle jurisdiction, and so there is nothing he can do.

I know this is a lot to take in, but If you have any questions about anything, don't hesitate to contact me.

From Sirius.

Harry's head was spinning, he was just laying there unable to form any sort of coherent thought. It just didn't seem possible that this would happen to him. couldn't he just have one thing about him that could be considered relatively normal? Harry thought hopelessly.

No he just couldn't deal with this now, he wouldn't. Taking the letter, he putting it back into the envelope, and roughly shoved it into the drawer on the nightstand by his bed. Out of sight, out of mind and all. Except getting the contents of that letter out of his mind was far easier said than done.

That night Harry quickly got undressed and threw himself on the bed. Turning his back to the room, and fell into a restless sleep.

Any thoughts, comments or suggestions that can help me be a better writer are much appreciated. I'm also looking for a beta, so if you know anyone would like to do it yourself please PM me.