I OWN NOTHING!!!  THEY ALL BELONG TO JK ROWLING!!!  Sue me and get two dollars and fifteen cents plus the lint from my pocket.  Cuz that's all folks – one very very poor college student here, yessir! 

Faith Chapter 1: Unpleasant Letters

            Harry's summer had not gone well.  He was plagued by nightmares of the Tri-Wizard tournament.  Dumbledore's letter to the Dursley's had actually made some kind of dent in their thick-witted, magic-hating attitudes: instead of tormenting him all summer, they just ignored him instead.  And in a way, that isolation was almost worse for Harry – he didn't want to be left alone, really – it gave him too much time with his thoughts and the memories that he wished he could forget.  Harry tried to fill his time as much as he could – his summer homework had never been so detailed.  He poured over his textbooks, methodically reviewing them chapter-by-chapter, year-by-year.  He'd sent letters off to Ron and Hermione, but strangely they were not writing him back.  He felt so alone, and more than a little depressed.  He sent a letter off to Headmaster Dumbledore, requesting more books from the library, sighting Voldemort's return and his own need for more information on defending himself from hexes and curses.  Harry had made a solemn vow to himself after his duel with Voldemort – he would learn all that he needed to learn in order that something like that would never happen again.  Dumbledore had been amiable to the requests, sending Harry books every week.  Harry devoured the books – even the ones not on hexes and curses, for Dumbledore had also sent books on advanced charms and transfiguration, which Harry began to find absolutely fascinating.  Dumbledore had also sent books on Potions, which Harry had at first been leery of.  But in the end he'd picked them up as well and began to read – and soon found himself beginning to understand why Snape was so fascinated with his work.  There was a delicate balance; a precision needed with Potions, a certain flair was needed in order to work one's way around them.  Harry found the books Dumbledore sent engrossing, but also realized that he himself did not have that touch needed to become a Potions Master – not, he mused, that I ever really wanted to become one.  But still – it would be nice to be able to get through one Potions class without being insulted by Snape. 

            Harry began to get uneasy when his birthday rolled around and no letters or presents from Ron or Hermione showed.  Prat, he thought at himself, a few years ago you never would have expected presents – now you're whining because barely a day has gone by and nothing's showed.  Harry snorted; his sarcastic inner-voice sounded a lot like Snape.  But still, the silence from his friends worried him greatly.  He didn't know if they were ok, or if they were mad at him for some unspecified reason.  It wasn't until he got a letter by owl in the middle of the night that he knew something was definitely wrong. 

            Harry was up, reading in bed, curled around a small desk lamp that he's rescued from the heap of things his cousin had thrown into the room over the school year while he was away.  The tapping at the window drew his attention, and when he saw the owl his face lit into a grin.  He quickly let the owl in and watched with confusion as it sped off just as he barely got the scroll off of its leg.  Harry watched it's hurried flight for a moment, then opened the letter.

            Dear Harry,

                        I'm sorry to have to tell you this.  I know you usually come and stay

            with us, but the way things are in the house right now, that wont happen.

                        Harry, you're my friend and I don't care what everyone else thinks

            or says about you.  The Daily Prophet has been speculating all summer as to

            whether or not you're sane, and Ron and Hermione are mad at you for some

            reason I can't understand.  But everyone's worried – and Mom and Dad are

            upset – well, Dad is confused and Mom's the one who's upset.  I just don't

            understand Harry – I know it wasn't your fault that Cedric died and that

            You-Know-Who got reborn ( yes I know about that, I heard Mum and Dad talking

            about it).  People are scared though, and when they're scared they look for

            someone to blame.  Maybe it's because I got possessed by You-Know-Who, who

            knows, but I'm not letting my suspicions run away with me.  I know what evil is,

            I've met it – and you're not it.

                        So, this is my warning for you Harry.  And my sad Happy Birthday too.

            I'm sorry this happened – I'm sorry you had to find out like this.  But I thought

            you should know – so you wont be taken by surprise on the train.  I'm sorry

            Harry, I wish it was different.  I'll do what I can about Ron and Hermione, but

            they're not listening to anyone, but I will try.  Take care, Harry.  I'll see you

            September 1st.



            Harry stared at the letter in shock.  He – they – Ron? – Hermione? – What – his thoughts were confused and a sick cold feeling was spreading though his stomach.  They – how could they – him help Voldemort?  Him – mad?  It wasn't until the hot tears splashed onto his hands that Harry realized he was crying.  Harry raised a numb hand to his face and rubbed at the tears there, looking at the wetness that came away on his fingertips in shock.  His hand convulsed, wadding the letter up – he was past the shock and moving into anger now.  And oh, how he was angry – and scared, hurt, and confused – he didn't understand how his best friends and the family that had accepted him as one of their own could turn so quickly against him.  And – what about that damned reporter?  Hermione was supposed to have her on a leash!  Harry felt a headache coming on, and absently raised a hand to rub at his temple.  How could they?  The thought still echoed through his mind.  How dare they?  Didn't he get a say in this?  Didn't they want to hear his side of the story at least?  Harry dropped the letter and buried his face in his hands.  He shook his head slowly, drawing his legs up onto the bed.  This isn't happening, Harry chanted to himself.  This is some horrible dream.  He slowly began to rock as he chanted this mantra in his head, tears occasionally making their way down his face.  It was several hours before he fell asleep – unconvinced by his own mantra and with a cold feeling in the pit of his stomach.

End Chapter 1

A/N:  Well, I hoped you enjoyed that.  Yes, I will get the next chapter up as soon as I'm done writing a silly-ass history paper.  Please review!