Disclaimer: I don't own any of the original Harry Potter characters. I just love them.

A/N: This is my first fan fic. Hope it's not too bad an effort and that you'll enjoy and like this.

A Glimpse Of Hope

"Nicolas Flamel's descendent? Can he really help Sirius?" Harry Potter asked in a high-pitched voice that hardly sounded like his own.

The corners of Albus Dumbledore's mouth curled upwards as he looked into Harry's green eyes that were now shining and wide open.

"Nicolas' descendent happens to be a 'she', Harry. A girl with a healthy sense of humor, that April Flamel. A more-than-healthy sense of humor, I would say," Dumblebore chuckled softly, eyes reflecting the familiar twinkle.

"But Professor Dumbledore, what can April Flamel do? I mean, how can she help Sirius?"

"All will be revealed in no time," the elderly man replied. "I am not able to promise you success, but I'm sure April will try her best to clear help clear Sirius' name. She will arrive at Hogwarts tomorrow evening. You can meet her here after dinner, at eight. I'll leave it to April to tell you more. Now, you must hurry to the Great Hall if you don't want to miss the Sorting."

Harry wanted to protest, to find out more. The Sorting was hardly the most important thing to him now. But something in Dumbledore's tone and wave of hand told him that it was time to leave the headmaster's office.

"And Harry…"

Harry turned around, hopeful that Dumbledore had changed his mind and decided to reveal the details.

"My new password is Rum Toffee. Now run along."

Harry gave one last look before he left the room, in time to notice a little frown creeping into Dumblebore's face.

*

"Claudia Hewts – Ravenclaw!"

Harry managed to slip into the Great Hall unnoticed as loud cheers broke out as the Ravenclaws welcomed its new member. He quickly made his way to the Gryffindor table and took his seat.

A redhead leaned towards Harry and whispered, "So why did Dumbledore send for you? Is it to do with You-Know -"

"No," Harry answered before Ron even completed his question. He knew fully well what his best friend Ron Weasley was about to ask and he did not want thoughts of his long-time nemesis to dampen his mood. Not right now anyway.

Hermione Granger, Harry's other best friend, turned her head and stared at Harry, "Then what was it about? Or are you going to keep us in suspense?"

"It's about Snuffles. Someone may be able to help clear his name. Details later," ended Harry abruptly as he caught the Potions Master Professor Snape staring daggers at him from the teachers' table.

There wasn't much else Harry could share with Ron and Hermione once they found some time alone after departing from the Great Hall. After hearing all that Harry was told by Dumbledore, they only shared Harry's mixed feelings of frustration, curiousity…and hope.

The next day, Harry, Ron and even the usually attentive Hermione, could not concentrate on their classes.  It was hence fortunate that they only had Care Of Magical Creatures and Herbology that day. All were counting the minutes and hoping that it would soon be eight in the evening.

At eight, Harry would meet April Flamel.

*

Harry had been looking forward to meals at Hogwarts during the summer holidays. There was never much to eat at the Dursleys. Not much to eat for Harry anyway.

But Harry found that his stomach was in knots at dinner. It was the same at lunch. But then, he had been able to force down a few bites of the roast chicken. Now, his stomach was growling a little from the lack of food but he felt sure that he would not be able to take a single bite.

"C'mon Harry. You have to eat something," said Ron as he placed a scoop of mash potato onto Harry's empty plate.

"I'm not hungry," lied Harry.

Ron gave a loud sign before nudging Hermione. "Why have you gone all quiet? Tell him that he should get some food inside him!"

Hermione kept silent, looking thoughtful for a moment. Then, she raised her head and told Harry slowly in a firm voice, "Harry, this April Flamel may or may not be able to help Snuffles. I'm not trying to dampen your spirits, but I don't want you to bear too high hopes either. We all hope that Snuffles will be made a free man once again, but…"

"Dumbledore won't have told Harry about April Flamel if he doesn't think she can help Snuffles. If Dumbledore thinks she can do it, there's no reason why we should doubt her ability," Ron interrupted Hermione, anxious to show his fierce loyalty and devotion to his idol.

Harry managed a little smile before telling his friends, "Both of you are right. I should not bear too high hopes, at least not before I meet this descendent of Flamel's. And I'd better eat something."

Harry forced the mashed potato down his throat.

"Well, at least if April Flamel turns out to be a real beauty, you'll not have to worry about fainting from hunger in front of her," Ron muttered weakly.

*

At fifteen minutes to eight, Harry left the Gryffindor Tower and made his way to Dumbledore's office. He was feeling so nervous that he could feel perspiration on his palms. Harry would have preferred it if Ron and Hermione had accompanied him, but they were not sure if the headmaster would mind.

Before long, Harry was knocking on Dumbledore's door and almost immediately, he heard the headmaster's voice saying "Come in, Harry".

Harry pushed open the door and looked around.

***

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