I've finally gathered my courage and am writing to you. I really wanted to actually talk to you, but I just think that I would stutter or mumble or something stupid. This way I'm a little less likely to embarrass myself.
The real problem is that I'm afraid to tell you who I am. You see, I'm in Slytherin House, and I know your feelings about people in my House. I have to tell you that you're wrong. Not all of us are like Malfoy. Some of us truly despise him and all he stands for. I'm one of them.
I often feel that I was sorted into the wrong house. I often feel alone among my housemates. If it were not for my two best friends, I would be.
For the past four years, I've watched you. I've heard the tales of the things you've done, and saw for myself this past year how truly great you can be. It wasn't the tasks of the tournament, it was your sincere abhorrence to the fame, and the spotlight that was shining on you. I saw what so many others refuse to see. I saw that Harry Potter just wants to be normal. That is the Harry I want to know.
I wanted desperately to ask you to the Yule Ball. My friends encouraged me to ask, and I spent weeks trying to pluck up the courage to ask, and when I finally had it, and was prepared to face you and ask you to escort me, I heard you had asked Cho Chang.
Imagine my surprise when you appeared with Parvati Patil on your arm.
Anyway, I feel like I'm rambling on, so I'll get to the point. I want to get to know you, and allow you to get to know me. If you are agreeable, we can become pen pals. If things go well, then perhaps we can then meet face to face. I won't tell you my name, as I don't want that to influence you, and I'm afraid that you won't give me a fair chance. You can ask me any question and I will answer honestly. I hope you will show me the same courtesy. If you don't wish to hear from me again, just send my owl back.
Hoping you'll take a risk,
Harry Potter re-read the letter from the anonymous sender for the fifteenth time. All the while his mind was weighing whether or not to reply. It felt so sincere, and yet, Harry's brain was buzzing with warning. A Slytherin was writing to him, asking to be his friend. Having a new friend would be quite nice, but a Slytherin friend…of that he wasn't sure. It could be a huge trick. After all, there was no love lost between Gryffindor and Slytherin. Ever since the Tri-Wizard Tournament, Harry found himself more on guard than ever.
Still, what could it truly hurt to have someone else to talk to? After all, his own friends, Ron and Hermione, had been strangely silent this summer, their own letters disappointingly short.
But there was still the possibility that this was some kind of trick. A big prank orchestrated by Draco Malfoy, his school rival, to embarrass him, or learn all of Harry's secrets.
Still, if he was careful what he wrote, the damage would be minimal. What could it truly hurt to make a new friend? So what if they were Slytherin? Perhaps it might benefit the both of them.
So, with a trepidatious sigh, Harry got a clean piece of parchment and began writing his potential new friend.
Thank you for writing to me. What you said meant a lot. I must admit, however, that I'm feeling very concerned. What if this is just some joke to embarrass me in front of the entire school?
However, I'm willing to take the risk. Maybe because I'm curious about you. Why go through all this just to play a prank? Besides, I don't feel the same about all Slytherins. Other than Malfoy, I don't know any of you.
Tell me a bit more about you. Give me a sporting chance to learn who you really are. I promise not to judge you solely on the fact that you are Slytherin. I have learned the hard way that it doesn't matter what house you are in, only what kind of person you are. Though I have to be honest, I've seen little proof of that in Slytherin.
Waiting to hear from you,
Harry attached the letter to the rather arrogant brown owl and watched as it took flight. When the owl was nothing more than a speck, Harry laid back in his bed and closed his eyes. It had been almost a month since the end of term and the death of Cedric Diggory. Harry's nights had been spent fighting through endless nightmares of Voldemort's return. Every night it was the same high laugh and the empty dead eyes of the Hufflepuff champion. However in his dreams, Harry never could beat the Dark Lord. Every night Harry awoke in a sweat just as the Dark Lord cast the Killing Curse.
During the days, Harry would work in his Aunt Petunia's garden. Weeding, pruning, mowing the lawn, building a new fence and any other chores that his Uncle Vernon could think of. Harry had even been building a fence around the Dursleys back yard. He had overheard his Aunt and Uncle discussing putting in a Jacuzzi, but only once they had a little privacy. Harry often made himself smile thinking the fence was more for the neighbors benefit.
Harry did everything without complaint, and it seemed to please his Uncle. Harry had been kept very busy this summer, and not once had he mentioned is Godfather to scare the Dursleys. He did every job without complaint.
Harry was actually thankful for the work. He toiled away in the boiling summer sun, and had been able to keep his mind off from the dark thoughts that haunted his nights. The work was good for him. Harry had noticed that he'd actually built up a bit of muscle from carrying the wood, and swinging the hammer. Perhaps if he had gotten his fair share at meal times, instead of the miniscule portions he was used to, it was possible he might have a bit more. However, the Dursleys were still enforcing the diet that his cousin Dudley had been forced on last year. Dudley had actually shown a difference as the result of a years worth of dieting and exercise. His bulk had turned into hard muscle, and he'd become the Smeltings school boxing champion. Harry didn't think that Dudley learning to hit harder and more accurately was that great. However, Dudley was hardly home this summer.
Harry's thoughts drifted to his friends, and he wondered again, why he had not heard from Hermione or Ron. Hermione had sent one letter early on in the summer, but had been oddly quiet since. She had expressed deep concern for Harry, asking if she could help in anyway. Harry had been thankful, but told her not to worry. He thought it might have been why she hadn't written, yet he knew Hermione well enough to know she'd not stop writing. In fact, Hermione was a machine. She could write volumes on the mundane. She often used to write telling him what books she was reading, where she went on holiday with her parents, or even what new toy she'd gotten for her ginger cat, Crookshanks.
Ron on the other hand was not reliable at all when it came to writing letters. It was this fact that comforted Harry. If there was any news about Voldemort, Ron would have written him straight away. And this made Harry quite curious. What was the Dark Lord up to. Surely he was causing chaos and death all across the country. Where were Voldemort and his Death Eaters?
Harry noticed the clock read one in the morning. Harry had to finish the new fence his Uncle Vernon had made him build. Tomorrow was supposed to be the hottest yet, and Harry knew he'd need to get some sleep if he were going to make it through the day.
"GET DOWN HERE BOY!"
This was how Harry had been awoken every morning since he'd returned from Hogwarts. Rather, it would have been had Harry been actually sleeping. He'd been plagued by nightmares all summer long, forced over and over again by his subconscious to relive that horrible night.
After the first two weeks of the summer holiday, after his first nightmare, Harry would stay awake the rest of the night. He had taken to reading his old textbooks, and trying to learn all the wand movements for each new spell he could find. He would use a pencil in place of his wand, so he didn't accidentally do magic.
Because of this, he was already dressed each morning when his Uncle would bellow for him.
Harry came down the steps and into the kitchen, where his relatives were all enjoying breakfast. He saw there was a small plate with a piece of toast, and a small glass of water for him. Harry sat without speaking, and waited for his Uncle to give him his chores for the day.
"I want that fence finished today, boy. I want the lawn mowed and the weeds pulled. I want it all finished by the time I get home, is that clear?" Vernon snarled, his face coloring a bit as he spoke.
"Yes, Uncle Vernon." Harry said, nodding that he understood.
His days usually went by quite quickly. Harry easily lost himself in his labors, especially in building the fence. He had to be accurate with his measurements, and like carrying a heavy pile of wood from the garage to where he was working. Swinging the hammer allowed him to vent at least some of his frustrations each day. Around five o'clock he put the final nail into the new wooden fence. He stood back and admired his work. Harry wondered, not for the first time, if he had not been a wizard if he might make a career in woodworking. He had come to really like working in the garage with tools and wood. It really made it easy to forget his real world woes.
Harry had lost track of time, and just as he pounded the very last nail into the fence, he heard his Uncle's car pull into the drive. Harry began collecting all the tools and putting them away.
"Finally," his Uncle growled lowly. "It took you long enough. Tomorrow I want it stained. There are brushes and new stain in my car. Get it into the garage, then come in for supper." He grumbled. Harry thought it was quite a compliment that his uncle couldn't find anything to criticize in his work.
After a small supper and cleaning the dishes, Harry decided to take a long walk. It was still hot outside, but he didn't care. He just walked, fists shoved into his pockets and hung his head low. His unruly black hair had settled somewhat, but only because his hair had grown quite long. Harry knew he needed to have it cut, but he'd never let his aunt do it. The mere memory of the last time she cut it, and the accidental magic that follow made him smile momentarily, but his thoughts turned dark once again.
Harry was quite sick of Privet Drive, and his relatives. He wanted nothing more than to spend his birthday with his friends and his godfather. Just once he wanted to be away from what he considered his temporary jail and with his friends. He was tired of not knowing the reason he was forced to come back here every summer.
More frustration built inside him as he entered the park. It was quite empty this evening. Harry sat heavily into one of the swings and began slowly pushing himself. A new thought came to him. The mystery letter he had received. It still felt like a prank. Something cooked up by Malfoy to get at him.
Harry tried to think about other people in the serpent house. He was a bit disappointed in himself that other than Draco, Crabbe, Goyle and Pansy Parkinson, Harry knew virtually no one from Slytherin. He had shared classes with them for the past four years, and yet he could barely picture any of them. Outside his own class, Harry knew even fewer Slytherin students. It got him to thinking about the other two houses, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw. He knew Padma Patil from Ravenclaw. She had been very angry at Ron after Yule Ball. Harry felt a bit guilty as he thought of the evening. He'd been horrible to Parvati. He knew he should try and make it up to the girl. It hadn't been his intention to be a prat, but it was too late to change it. Hopefully, with an honest apology, she'd consider forgiving him.
Harry tried to think of others in his class from the other houses. There was Susan Bones, the pretty redhead from Hufflepuff, and her perky friend Hannah Abbott. He knew who they were, but he'd never really talked to them. There was also Justin Finch-Fletchly, who'd been terrified of Harry during second year, and who had since, never spoken to him.
That was it. Harry couldn't place names or faces for any of his other classmates. How difficult was that, there weren't that many in his year. It seemed rather a shame to him that he should be so limited in who he befriended. Why shouldn't he have other friends. Even in his own house. He was friendly with Dean, Neville and Seamus, but Harry didn't think they were actually friends.
It was then that Harry decided he would try to be friendlier to people, and he would learn all the names of his other classmates. One never knew when that information could be handy. In the meantime, Harry would simply wait to see what his new Slytherin friend had to say. He would keep his guard up, but he would not treat them poorly based on what house they had been sorted into.
It was approaching midnight and Harry was finishing the last of his summer homework. He had begun it almost as soon as he returned to Privet Drive. He was nearing exhaustion with his lack of sleep, but he was also afraid to sleep. The nightmares had worsened. He tried everything he could think of, even meditation, though it seemed every time he closed his eyes he saw Voldemort's red eyes staring back, and he could hear the high cold laughter.
With a final swish of his quill, Harry sat back and capped the ink bottle.
"Finally." He sighed. Leave it to Snape to assign the longest essay of all about the most complex potion he could find. It had taken Harry two weeks to finish it. Harry was sure that a fair teacher would give him top marks, but would be satisfied if Snape gave him "Acceptable". He glanced through the window and smiled to himself. He saw them coming closer, and immediately chastised himself. He'd forgotten that it was his birthday. He was now fifteen and four large owls were gliding toward his window burdened with gifts.
A huge smile appeared on Harry's face as he rushed to open the window. One by one the owls fluttered in and landed on his bed. Harry rushed to his trunk and gathered a handful of owl treats, giving each bird one, save for Hedwig who got three.
He quickly undid the packages from each of the five owls, and grinned as the four that didn't belong to him swept out of his bedroom. Hedwig nipped his finger, hooted softly and flew up to her cage where she began drinking her water.
Harry turned back to his pile of gifts and began opening them. The first was from Hagrid, the Hogwarts Groundskeeper, and Harry's first friend. It was a magnificent book on Dragons. He couldn't help but think it would have been more useful the previous year before he'd actually had to face a real live fire breathing dragon in the First Task. Still, Harry loved all the photographs in the book of the different species. He remembered fondly when he'd first been introduced to dragons in his first year when he was with Hagrid the night Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback hatched.
Harry picked up the next gift. It was from Ron. A selection of sweets, mostly chocolate frogs. His gift from Hermione was surprising. It was a dragon hide wand holster that fit on his wrist. There was also a note, which Harry quickly read.
I hope you like this. It has a Quick Draw charm on it. Follow the instructions, and your wand will fly right into your hand with just a flick of your wrist. There's also a charm to prevent it from flying out if someone tries to disarm you. I'm sure you'll find it useful. I can't wait to see you. There's so much to tell you, but I can't say anything right now.
Harry couldn't stop himself. He spent the next twenty minutes firing his wand into his hand, his smile growing bigger with each correct catch. Thanks to his quick Seeker reflexes, Harry had no trouble mastering the new holster.
"This is so brilliant." Harry grinned broadly.
The last package was from Sirius. Harry tore open the package to stare blankly at a small hand held mirror. It was the strangest gift he'd ever been given. He lifted the mirror out of the small box, and saw a small note underneath.
Happy Birthday. When you finish reading this, pick up the mirror and say my name. Everything will be explained then.
Harry shrugged and held the mirror up and called out his godfather's name. It was with welcome excitement that Harry saw his godfather's face appear in the mirror.
His face was fuller now, but his eyes still looked haunted. His smile was broad and he looked quite relieved.
"Hello, Harry. Happy birthday."
"It's so good to see you. Where are you? Are you alright?"
"I'm happy to see you as well. I have a lot to tell you, but right now isn't the best time. But soon. Very soon. Keep this mirror with you as much as possible. You never know when I might be calling. How is everything there?" Sirius grinned. Harry noticed how much better his godfather was looking. His face wasn't as drawn anymore, and his eyes looked less sunken, though they still had dark circles underneath.
"Fine." Harry lied. He didn't want to put his troubles on Sirius. "Do you know when I might be sprung?"
"Interesting choice of words. I don't know a specific date, but I know it will be soon. Very soon if Molly and I have any say. Your friends are dying to see you."
"Ron and Hermione? They're with you?" Harry asked shocked.
"Yes. Again I can't say much, but suffice to say, we've all been in a sort of lock down. It's late, Harry. Get some sleep. I'll try and contact you tomorrow. This is very important, Harry." Sirius said, becoming quite stern. "Stay low, keep your nose clean and stay out of trouble. Keep close to your home. I promise I will tell you everything the next that we speak. Goodnight."
"Goodnight, Sirius, and thank you."
Harry smiled at the mirror, now only reflecting his tired face. He felt much better knowing that he would be able to talk to his godfather whenever he liked. It would make the rest of his time at the Dursleys a bit smoother. He set the mirror carefully on his bedside table and picked up the last envelope.
It was the same neat smooth handwriting as before, and Harry sat back against the wall and read his letter from his new secret friend.
If I have heard correctly, then today is your birthday. I hope it was good. I apologize for my lack of gift, but seeing as I have no idea what you like, I hope a heartfelt birthday wish will suffice.
I'm so pleased that you're willing to take a chance and get to know me. Maybe I will work up the courage to speak to you when we get back to Hogwarts. I just want to remind you that I'm taking a bit of a risk here as well. It's almost like a law that we Slytherins should never associate ourselves with Gryffindors. Some people are just so narrow minded and bigoted. I think you might know who I'm referring to.
I guess it would only be fair to tell you something about me. How else would you be able to guess at who I am. If you can guess who I am before September 1st, there could be a prize. Although I am unsure of what a suitable prize might be. Perhaps we can figure something out together.
You already know that I am in Slytherin House, I am also in the top ten students in my year. I don't want to tell you which year as it would give me away more easily. After all, there are only four girls in my year. I will say I am above third year. I have black hair and I am partial to lilies. I don't like quidditch unless I'm watching you play. Not to be too flattering, but it just seems more exciting when you're up there. Something interesting always happens.
Well, I want to get this to you so I must finish this. Anything you'd like to ask of me, please don't hesitate. I swear I will answer everything honestly. I want this to be a real friendship, possibly more, and I know you have to be able to trust me. Once again, I'm sorry there is no gift, but I don't know you well enough yet to get you anything of real substance.
Hope to hear from you soon.
Harry smiled. A girl. It was a girl writing to him. Now this had become very intriguing. Harry sat back on his bed still grinning.
"Something more?" That intrigued him a bit. A girl wanted to be his friend and possibly more.
Then an awful thought occurred to him. What if this was Millicent Bulstrode, Harry might be in more trouble than if Malfoy was plotting against him. If it were Pansy Parkinson, Harry slapped his forehead…He didn't want to finish that thought.
Harry closed his eyes. He wondered who the person might be. A Slytherin who was taking a risk in trying to be his friend. It said a lot to him. Anyone who would be willing to risk inner house ridicule was worth their weight and more in gold. On top of that, they might hear things from the children of Death Eaters.
The graveyard was dark. The laughter was cold and taunting. Cedric's eyes stared lifeless. But something was different. Something in the dream had changed. He wasn't afraid this time. He was calm.
Possibly more…the words echoed in his mind, and a face appeared behind Voldemort, who seemed frozen in place. He couldn't see it clearly, but the eyes comforted him. They were deep pools of chocolate brown, and they seemed to be smiling at him. They seemed to warm him inside. A voice was calling out his name. Harry… Harry….
Harry sat up, nearly falling out of his bed. He blinked his eyes, and took several deep breaths, looking about his bedroom. Harry reached over and put his glasses on, trying to figure out who was calling him. Harry knew it wasn't his aunt or uncle because there was no banging on his door.
Harry brightened as he remembered his birthday gift from Sirius, the two way mirror he'd received the night before. He picked it up and was quite surprised to see Ron Weasley's face smiling back.
"'Bout time, mate. I've been calling out for ages." He smiled.
"Oh, stop it, Ron, it's only been a few minutes."
"Hi, Harry, it's good to see you. Happy Birthday." Hermione said, though Harry couldn't see her. Ron's face took up the entirety of the mirror, though Harry thought he saw some of Hermione's bushy brown hair.
"How are you? Where are you? Sirius said you were all in lock down. What did he mean?"
"Slow down, mate. We'll tell you what we can, but I imagine you'll see it all soon. I think they're planning to come get you in the next few days. We're all together at a place I can't tell you. Not that I don't want to, I just can't. Only the Secret Keeper can tell you, and I've no idea who it is. Hermione's been here for a few days, and it's been kind of boring."
"Sorry to hear it." Harry said sarcastically.
"No need to get snippy." Hermione said, her face coming into view. "We said we'd tell you all we could. We're at the headquarters for the Order of the Phoenix. It's a group that Dumbledore assembled to fight Voldemort."
"What's he up to?" Harry asked, suddenly interested. He'd been monitoring the Muggle news in hopes that he might hear anything that might be related. The Daily Prophet had had nothing to say on the matter. It was like there was a big cover up.
"Nothing that we know for sure." Ron said sadly. "We're not allowed at the meetings."
"We've tried to listen in, and we've gotten a bit of information, but nothing solid." Hermione said sadly. "We're sorry we couldn't write, but Dumbledore said we couldn't, for your safety."
"Don't worry about it. It was worth it, thanks to these mirrors. We should get Sirius to make us some more, or teach us how to make them."
"They really are brilliant." Hermione said brightly. She was obviously impressed by the magic work.
"So what else is going on?" Harry asked.
"Nothing other than that. Well, we've been put to working cleaning the house. Mum's in a right state about how much work there is. What about you?"
"Nothing much. Except I have an admirer."
Both Ron and Hermione gapped at him. Harry quickly explained the letters from a secret Slytherin admirer, and his concerns. Predictably Ron seemed disgusted that any Slytherin would be interesting. Hermione on the other hand, was much more welcoming of the idea, though she seemed to be puzzling through something.
"I think it's nice. Of course not all of them are Malfoy clones. Do you have any ideas on who it might be?"
"No. To be honest, I don't even know any of their names, outside Malfoy and his goons. It got me thinking about how I know very few people in any other house. Seems kind of wrong to me. I'm thinking I might try to get to know some new people this year."
"That's a very good idea. Harry, would it be alright if I looked at the letters when you arrive? I might be able to help you figure out who it is." The bushy haired witch asked.
"I don't see the harm in it, so long as she doesn't put anything too personal. Should I continue to write this person, though?"
"I don't see the harm in a pen pal, but be careful. Don't share anything important. Not until you know for sure if this person is trust worthy."
"That's sound advice. Thanks."
"Look, mate, we have to go. We'll be seeing you soon, alright?" Ron smiled. Hermione waved and then the mirror reverted to it's normal state and Harry set it carefully on the bedside table. Harry picked up the newest letter from his new Slytherin friend, and read it all over again. He decided that Hermione was right. There was no reason not to write to this anonymous friend, so long as he kept everything of any importance from them and out of his letters.
Harry got up and made his way downstairs. His uncle had already gone to work, and Dudley had left the house for who knew where. His Aunt was also absent. In her stead was a note that told him of the chores that were expected of him that day. Harry made some toast, and got dressed. He made his way out to finish staining the fence. While he was brushing on the wood stain, his thoughts were on who might be writing him from Slytherin house. He knew that it must be a girl. The writing was far to nice to be a bloke's. But he couldn't think of any Slytherin girls, short of Bulstrode and Parkinson. He racked his brains for hours and couldn't think of a single other Slytherin girl. He chastised himself for not knowing more names, and not just in Slytherin.
Late that afternoon, his Aunt called him in. He put away the stain and headed inside. He finished the meager salad his Aunt had made for dinner and then headed up to his room, peeling off the sweaty shirt and closing his door. Hedwig, his snowy owl blinked at him as he sat down at his desk. He had been thinking all day about what to write to his new friend. He sat down, opened his ink bottle and dipped his quill.
Thank you for your birthday wishes. It was unexpected, but very nice. How did you find out it was my birthday anyway?
I've tried to think of who you might be, and am sad to say I've no idea who anyone in Slytherin house is. With a few exceptions, Malfoy, Pansy Parkinson and Millicent Bulstrode, Crabbe and Goyle, I don't know anyone from Slytherin.
I expect this is not uncommon in most houses. But I might be wrong. I wonder if you are younger or older than me. What is your favorite subject in school? I'm partial to Defense, but I also really like Charms. Who's you favorite teacher? What do you like to do outside of school? Would it be wrong to ask for a physical description? Maybe if I know what you look like, I can figure out who you are, unless you want to make it challenging?
This is all I can think to ask. Maybe by the time you write me again, I will have thought of more questions. I hope your holiday is going well.
Hope to hear from you soon.
"Well, Hedwig, are you up for a flight?"
Hedwig hooted proudly and puffed herself up. Harry tied the letter to her leg and offered her an owl treat. Hedwig nipped his finger affectionately and then took to the air. Harry couldn't help but smile as he watched her soar off. He couldn't wait until he got the response from his new friend.
He thought then as he watched his faithful familiar soaring into the distance, how nice it had been to talk to his two friends that morning. Thanks to Sirius, this summer locked away at the Dursleys was turning out to be not so bad.
Harry was contemplating how to thank Sirius when the mirror spoke his name again. Harry picked it up and grinned widely as he saw his Godfather's smiling face.
"How are you, Harry?"
"Good. Thanks for letting Ron and Hermione use the mirror earlier. It was really great to talk to them."
"It was my pleasure. Hermione has already asked if I could show you all how to make some more. I imagine it would've been handy last year. Those two are really missing you. I don't know how much time I have, so we'd better get to it. I promised I'd tell you all I could about what's been happening, but you must promise not to repeat any of this while Molly is around. She's not too keen on you youngsters knowing more than you should."
Harry began to frown, but Sirius cut off the inevitable tirade. "Don't get you knickers in a twist. She's a mother, and she just wants to protect you all. Your own mother would have done the exact same. It's in their nature to protect their young, and she cares for you a lot."
"I understand, I guess, but her wanting to protect me doesn't change the fact that I've already seen and done things no one should ever have to experience." Harry shook his head slowly. "What's been going on? What's Voldemort up to?" Harry asked quickly.
"Quite frankly, he's lying low. You foiled his plans of surprise when you escaped. You weren't supposed to live. You ruined his resurrection, and so he's lying low and trying to collect new members. Thanks to the denial by the Ministry, he's able to bolster is forces unimpeded. But that's not all. He's after something. A weapon. Something he didn't have last time, and something that contributed to his downfall."
"What? What could he need?"
"Harry, what I'm about to tell you could cause a lot of problems. So I want you to swear you won't tell anyone about it. Promise me." Sirius looked quite stern and troubled.
"I promise." Harry said solemnly. He saw Sirius looking around, steeling himself.
"Harry, before you were born, there was a prophecy. I don't know what it says, so don't ask, but it's what led to your mother and father getting killed. James wanted to tell me, but I made him keep quiet. I was afraid the Dark Lord was going to come after me, and I didn't want to know anymore than I needed to. Voldemort is going to try and get his hands on that prophecy, because he believes it holds the secret to killing you."
"Does our side have it?"
"No, but it's safe, and Dumbledore has been posting guards. It's hidden in the Department of Mysteries deep inside the Ministry. I tell you this, because it's near impossible to get in there. Voldemort himself won't risk it because the Ministry is very graciously denying his return. In fact, they've taken to bad mouthing you and Dumbledore in the press. Dumbledore isn't concerned. So I want you to follow his example. Don't let it get to you. There are other things to concern yourself with."
"Is that all we're doing then? Protecting some stupid prophecy?" Harry asked.
"No. We're trying to build our numbers just as he is. We've got people trying to recruit every auror and former auror we can. We're also feeling out officials in the Ministry. We know he's doing the same. Don't worry, we're not just going to roll over and let Voldemort win. We're better prepared than we were last time."
"So what happens now?" Harry wondered.
"We're trying to get Dumbledore to allow us to come get you. He keeps saying that you'll be allowed to leave there soon. Between your friends, Molly, Arthur, and several others, including myself, Dumbledore's getting pretty tired of being pestered about it. I'd have your things packed and ready to go at a moments notice. In the meantime, stay safe, and keep your head down. You'll be among family soon. I need to get going. I've hidden up in the attic, but I'm sure someone's looking for me. They're afraid I might find a way to let you in on all our secrets."
Harry chuckled at the little joke, and bade his godfather goodnight. Harry finally felt some semblance of hope at the thought that soon, he'd be leaving the Dursleys to be with his friends. He couldn't think of anything that sounded better than that. Harry laid down and closed his eyes. Soon, he'd be home. That thought lulled him into a restless sleep.