Well, here I am again. I know it's been a long, long time since I updated this fic but to be honest I abandoned it cause I have another fic up and keeping up with two fics was just impossible for me. But seeing that I have the biggest writer's block on Protector and I cleaned out my computer I found the draft I made for this chapter and decided to restart it. Now I hope to keep it alive for now and I hope I can do as good a job as your reviews let me believe I was doing.
DISCLAIMER: Not mine but all Rowling's work, she is the queen of imagination next to Tolkien, who is in my opinion the King
Not that Harry was complaining off course, he was having the time of his life. Remus had taken him shopping in muggle London, finally he had clothes that fit him. Harry of course paid for these things himself after he had changed a great amount of galleons in pounds.
Somehow Tonks had ended up going with them and Harry had to admit that, even though Remus was getting a bit irritated about her more and more obvious crush on him, Tonks had a good taste when it came to clothes.
She just kept picking out outfits for him and handed them over as he was in the changing room. Harry felt as if he had tried on every piece of clothing there was.
Also, with Tonks having a muggle for a father she knew the works for shopping and she knew the way in London, whereas Remus was pretty lost since he usually avoided the big city.
Harry and Tonks had ganged up to get Remus to try some clothes on as well and seeing how good they looked on him Tonks blushed and Harry grinned and bought them for him.
Throwing aside all Remus's objections of course. The werewolf was not happy with Harry paying for him but when Harry angrily told him it was not charity and to just accept the bloody gifts he decided to let it be.
The rest of the day Harry just enjoyed the day as he watched Remus and Tonks squabble over where to go for lunch with Tonks aiming for McDonalds and Remus wanting to go somewhere more quiet. In the end Tonks won and she enjoyed her Happy Meal very much whilst playing with her toy.
Harry didn't spend a whole lot of money taking in account he bought a whole wardrobe. He had fitting jeans and shirts, slacks and sweaters, a black leather jacket that he had fallen in love with and also new shoes.
Once they came to their room both Remus and Harry fell on their bed, closed their eyes and groaned as they recalled the day.
"That is the last time I'm taking Tonks along to go shopping." Remus said tiredly.
Harry chuckled. "It wasn't that bad, she was very helpful to me. Besides, even though she's an auror she's still a woman. Every woman loves to shop, even Hermione loves to shop even though she tries to hide it."
"Does she now?" Remus asked but Harry could hear that the man was almost asleep already and decided to do just the same.
The next day Tonks had barged in very early startling both Remus and Harry awake and told them to get changed and do it quickly. Seeing as she wouldn't tell why the two just shrugged and followed her orders.
A week after Harry still couldn't believe where she had taken them. Somehow she had gotten Moody to give his approval to take Harry to an amusement park as long as Kingsley went along as well. They took a portkey to get there, though they landed in an alley not far from the park.
Kingsley proved to be useful when he caught Harry as the younger man lurched forwards as they landed and nearly hit the brick wall.
Though Harry didn't know the male auror very well they got along fine and the two talked a lot that day about what it was like to be an auror and what Harry would have to do to get accepted into the program.
Of course Harry enjoyed this very much but he didn't enjoy it nearly as much as he enjoyed the roller coasters. He loved the speed and the loops and he dragged his escorts on them as often as he could.
Now Kingsley went a few times and Tonks couldn't get enough of them either, but Remus didn't like them at all, him not being a big fan of heights.
He only went with Harry once while Tonks and Kingsley were in the cart behind them and while Tonks screamed in delight and Harry and Kingsley whooped at the experience, Remus was quiet and had his eyes squeezed tight.
Once the ride ended the poor man had to be helped out of the cart and he wobbled a bit before he found his balance again. Seeing how he had turned deathly pale the quartet sat down at some sort of bar and drank some soda.
Tonks had disappeared for a while and when she had returned she showed them the picture that was taken and they all had a great laugh at Remus's terrified expression. Even Remus laughed after a while, admitting it was funny once he got over the shock.
They stayed at the park until it was closing time and they went on all the rides at least once and Harry bought the four of them a silly T-shirt with the words 'I survived the Python' on the front. Python being the name of the roller coaster Remus had gone on as well.
When they returned to Grimmauld Place it had been very late and after thanking Tonks for her great idea and Kingsley for coming with them Harry went to sleep, leaving Remus to talk to the two aurors.
The following morning Tonks showed all the photos she had made at breakfast, photos Harry didn't even know she had taken in the first place. Looking at his face Harry could see Remus had no idea either and as they watched photo after photo they were baffled.
"When did you take all these?" Harry asked.
Tonks grinned impishly and turned her pink hair blue before she answered. "Wouldn't you like to know that Mr. Potter."
Harry grinned and studied them more closely. "They're really good by the way."
"Well my dad's a photographer and he taught me how to take photographs when I was really young so it's always been a passion of mine. Especially when I have something nice to take photos of."
She grabbed the stack from Remus and flipped through them quickly until she reached the one she was looking for. "This is my favorite."
It was a picture of Remus and Harry together. They were laughing at something and Remus had slung an arm over Harry's shoulder while Harry seemed to try to poke Remus in the stomach.
Harry looked at it for a while and then grinned widely. "Can I keep this one?"
"These may be muggle photos Harry but I'm still a witch. I already duplicated them for you and put them in your room before coming down."
"Thanks Tonks." Harry said and he nearly ran upstairs to look at them but once he reached the staircase he turned back to the kitchen and hugged her tightly. "You're the best." He said and he even went as far as kissing her on the cheek, shocking not only Tonks but also himself, before he ran off again, happy there had been nobody in the kitchen besides Remus.
She sat down on the chair and smiled. "He's a great kid isn't he?"
"Yes he is." Remus answered her rhetorical question. "He just needs to get out of here for a while, even though Molly doesn't like it. Speaking of her, where is she? I expected to be here already and tear my head off for taking Harry out once again."
Tonks chuckled. "Well Kingsley told me she exploded when we went shopping but since Moody backed us up there's nothing she can do. And seeing as how I talked to Moody and asked him for a week off to take Harry out every day and he agreed she has no say."
"Moody agreed to let Harry go out in public? Remus asked astonished.
"Well it took some persuading but even old Mad Eye could tell that Harry's stressed out and in need of some fun, with the prophecy and all. Besides who can resist this face?" and she pulled out a puppy dog look that Sirius would have been jealous of. Pouting lips and sad eyes.
Remus threw his head backwards and laughed. "So where are we going today oh mistress of persuasion?"
"Well I was thinking of the zoo, I always loved going there and I even managed to buy this muggle car so we can get there. I always wanted a car and I persuaded Charlie to come along with us."
"Talking about me Nymphie?" a voice behind them asked and turning around they saw Charlie standing behind them.
Tonks grinned. "Wotcher Charlie, wait here I'll go get Harry and we'll be off." She quickly ran up the stairs and a minute later Harry appeared demanding to know where she was taking him.
"It's a surprise Harry, come on guys we're leaving." She led them to her car, which was shiny and red, and after they had gotten in she raced off with such a speed that Harry had to cling to the door not to fall over.
From the front Harry heard a familiar voice comment on her driving. "Not to complain but don't you think it would be smarter to slow down a little Nymphie? I mean the zoo will still be there in an hour."
"Charlie!" Tonks exclaimed as she screeched around a corner. "I can't believe you ruined my surprise, now Harry knows where we're going."
Now Remus mingled in the discussion as well. "I think Charlie has a point Tonks, slow down and we'll arrive safely and without trouble from the muggle police."
But Tonks wasn't listening to Remus's voice of reason and continued to bicker with Charlie about ruining the surprise and somehow Remus got pulled into it as well.
Harry just watched as if it were a Quidditch match after recovering from the shock that Charlie was there and that he was calling Tonks 'Nymphie'.
He smiled at the thought of going to the zoo. He hadn't been to one ever since that first and only time with the Dursleys.
Thinking of them made him frown a little but when he heard Tonks yell at an old lady in a car to stop driving like an old hag, he burst out in laughter shutting the three other occupants in the car up.
No matter how hard he tried he couldn't stop laughing and he didn't notice the flash as a picture was taken of him. Once he managed to control himself a little he just looked at Tonks and chuckled.
"Tonks don't take this the wrong way, but you're nuts."
She shrieked in mock outrage and tried to swat him but Harry leaned back far enough to stay out of her reach. "Me nuts, is that the thanks I get for getting you out of the house?"
"You didn't let me finish. . . Nymphadora." Now she growled under her breath. "What I'm trying to say is that you're nuts, but I wouldn't have it any other way."
Then Charlie butted in. "See Nymph, I'm not the only one who thinks you're nuts Harry agrees with me, don't you?"
"You two know each other?" Harry asked, not answering Charlie's question.
The redhead grinned. "Went to Hogwarts with the nut over here, we had loads of fun didn't we Nymph?"
"Oh yes, loads of fun. Detentions, Quidditch, detention, hexing Slytherins, detention, kicking Mrs. Norris and did I mention the detentions. Hey I made a rhyme."
Remus got a dreamy look on his face. "Ah, kicking Mrs. Norris, that brings back fond memories, how I hate that cat."
"Everybody hates Mrs. Norris." Charlie commented, after a second he corrected himself. "Except for Filch that is."
Harry rolled his eyes. "Well Filch is completely insane, so of course he loves that blasted cat. I mean, he adored Umbridge, that toad."
"Fred and George filled us in about her." Charlie said. "Ron had a few choice words as well but mum didn't exactly appreciate the language."
"Aren't you angry with me?" Harry asked. "I mean I did shout at your mum and Ron and I don't exactly get along either anymore."
It was quiet for a moment as if Charlie was trying to find the correct words, which was what he was probably doing anyway.
"Mum's. . . well she's mum. Highly protective, highly explosive and incredibly overbearing. I mean I'm 23 years old and she still tries to control my life. Bill is 25 and she still wants to cut his hair and get rid of his fang. We've all blown up at her for one thing or another, though Bill has had it harder then the rest of us. What I'm trying to say Harry is that I know my mum and I also know she's trying hard to take care of you, but she's overdoing it."
Harry nodded. "I really like your mum but compared to the Dursleys she's. . ." he didn't finish his sentence cause he couldn't come up with a good comparison and frowned, like always as he thought of his 'family'.
Seeing his mood shift Tonks changed the subject. "Anyway, Molly's having a rough few weeks. She had a row with Remus, a row with Harry, a row with Harry and Remus and now she's had a row with Moody."
"Pity I wasn't around to see that one." Charlie commented.
"Oh it was bloody hilarious Molly was cooking at the time and she was waving her pan around and then Mad Eye went all, well mad eyed for a lack of words. His eye went spinning all around and he was waving his wand in her face yelling that constant vigilance was being upheld in your outings."
Remus snorted and Harry laughed along with Tonks and Charlie at the mental picture that was presented for them.
Finally they reached the zoo and as they got out of the car Harry started to feel excited. When he came to Grimmauld Place he never expected it to turn out like this. What he didn't know was that Remus had all but threatened Dumbledore to let them out for a while or Harry would explode from the pressure and anger.
The day was a lot like the one before, well without the exhilarating rides. Just four people having fun whilst doing sometimes childish things.
Like Charlie managed to persuade Harry and Tonks that they just had to go up in the 'Jungle Gym' before they even went to see the animals. This 'Gym' consisted out of huge nets that were tied together and lead up to a slide. It was a fairly high climb and somehow Tonks managed to get her foot stuck in the net four times. By the time she had reached the top Harry and Charlie had gone up and went down the slide twice already.
Remus, being the adult at that moment, took pictures of them all mucking around without them knowing, thinking it a great revenge for being photographed without his knowledge the day before.
Once the three had finally decided that it was time to look at some animals they went on their way and looked at every animal they encountered.
While Charlie was complaining about the lions and tigers being so tame, the giraffes entranced Tonks. "Did you see those eyelashes, they're so thick and long. Do you know how many women would kill for lashes like that?"
However it was with the wolves that they had a special encounter. The wolves had a large area for themselves with lots of trees and hiding places so it wasn't often to see them walking around.
As Tonks, Charlie and Harry were staring to catch a glimpse of any wolf Remus just leaned against the fence and watched them with a smile.
Suddenly he felt someone observing him and looked into the wolves' territory and stood face to face with the alpha male of the pack. It was black with silvery gray highlights on his back and piercingly blue eyes.
Tonks gasped as she noticed this and pointed it out to the other two. Not breaking eye contact with the male wolf Remus felt Moony's instinct take over a little.
The tension between the two male wolves, even though Remus was in human form, was reaching an all-time high when suddenly Remus's amber eyes flashed dangerously.
Then the alpha male broke from the stare and lowered his head as he acknowledged Remus as his superior. The wolf let out a small howl and the rest of the pack started to appear as well.
"This I have to photograph." Tonks murmured and as she took the pictures Harry got closer to the fence fascinated by the wolves.
Beside the alpha there were eight adult wolves, varying from the colors black, brown and gray, and also there were three cubs running around.
One of the cubs came very close to where Harry was standing and looked him straight in the eye. It then let out a high bark as it chased around his own tail for a few circles, making Harry laugh. Hearing him laugh the cub jumped up and ran off before it stopped to look back at Harry.
"It's a challenge Harry." Remus explained. "He wants you to race with him."
Chuckling Remus nodded. "Just run close next to the gates and see if you can keep up with the cub, he seems to like you."
Thinking why not Harry took off after the cub, who had started to run again. For a creature as small as the cub, Harry found out it could run very fast. As they reached the end of the gate the cub doubled back and Harry sprinted after it, determent not to loose too badly.
He reached Remus only four seconds after the cub did and growled in mock anger as it seemed to do a victory dance, jumping up and down. "Very well you won. Happy now? It's no wonder you won, you have four legs and I only have two."
This made his three companions three companions laugh and when Harry looked at the other wolves he swore he could see an amused glint in their eyes.
Harry raced the cub one more time, with the same result, when Remus finally decided it was time to go before they attracted the attention of the muggles. Because it was still early there were few people in the park.
As they started to walk away from the wolf territory the alpha started to howl, making them look back as the other wolves started to howl as well.
"It's like they're saying goodbye." Charlie said in awe. "I've never seen anything like that."
Remus nodded but before he answered he looked around to see if there weren't any muggles around. "They could smell the wolf in me and the alpha felt threatened. When he accepted me as his better the rest of his pack was comfortable enough to appear."
"Well I sure won't forget that in a long time." Charlie commented.
Then Tonks grinned and pointed out a building. "There's the reptile house, lets go there next it's always warm in there."
Harry squirmed a little and she noticed. "Something wrong Harry?"
"Well, last time I went into the reptile house I kind of set a snake free from his cage. Let's just say I do not have a good track-record in there."
"How did you do that?" Remus asked.
"I was talking to a boa constrictor and then it winked at me and then Dudley pushed me out of the way to have a better look when suddenly the glass disappeared and the boa slithered out and thanked me for setting it free."
He rolled his eyes as he remembered the incident. "Uncle Vernon was so angry I thought he was going to explode. I wasn't allowed to leave my cupboard for weeks after that incident. That was when my Hogwarts letters started to arrive."
"What?!?!" Three voices cried out as one and Harry looked at them oddly.
Tonks was the first to recover and asked what they were meaning. "What do you mean with cupboard?"
"You know the cupboard under the stairs where the Dursleys usually lock up my trunk."
"What Nymph meant to ask was what did you mean with not being allowed to get out of the cupboard, you slept there?" Charlie asked a disbelieving tone in his voice.
Harry started to feel uncomfortable and avoided their eyes, realizing what he had said. "Only until I got my Hogwarts letter then I moved in the room I now have." Noticing the stares he was receiving he glanced away.
"Did you tell anyone?" Remus asked.
"Ron and Hermione know.'
Sighing impatiently Remus rubbed his hand through his hair. "You didn't tell an adult, someone who would have been able to help you?"
"It wouldn't have made any difference. The people in Little Whinging wouldn't have believed me and by the time I went to Hogwarts I had a room. Besides I didn't want any pity, still don't want any."
Remus seemed hesitant to ask but he did eventually. "Didn't you tell Paddy?"
"What and make him feel even more guilty? Sirius had enough on his plate already and when I did see or hear from him there was always trouble about. Wormtail, the Tournament and Grimmauld Place were all more important then issues in the past. Besides I had a great time threatening the Dursleys with Sirius. They were so afraid he'd show up and turn them into toads or something."
"Padfoot never did like toads, he was more of bug man." Remus said absentmindedly as he absorbed the information he had just been given. Tonks and Charlie seemed to be in the same state.
"Look." Harry said. "It's happened, it's over can we get over it. Oh and Charlie please don't tell your mum, I don't know if Ron ever did but just don't ok?"
Charlie nodded. "Yeah sure Harry, no problem."
"Well shall we go to the reptile house then?" Tonks asked. "Though no setting snakes loose Harry, I prefer them locked inside if you don't mind."
Harry laughed. "I don't know Tonks, I mean that boa constrictor was pretty friendly." He then linked his arm through hers and the two ran towards the reptile house leaving Charlie and Remus in the dust.
"Makes you wonder doesn't it?" Charlie asked.
"Makes you wonder what?" Remus replied.
"What else he hasn't told the adults about his life. I mean I know about the Basilisk cause Ginny told me, but she made me swear not to tell anyone. I know nothing about his first year except for the fact that Ron beat McGonagall's chess set and that they saved the Philosopher's Stone, he handled the Tournament basically on his own with almost the entire school against him. Now with Sirius gone and this prophecy hanging over his head. . . "
"It's not easy on him. He pulls a brave face in front of everybody but I can tell he's scared." Remus said. "Though if he ever heard me say that he'd kill me."
Charlie chuckled at that. "He's tough and now he has you to fall back on as well. He'll manage somehow."
They started to walk to the reptile house when Remus stopped Charlie and looked the younger man in the eye.
"Charlie, thanks for coming along. Harry really needed this."
The redhead shrugged. "It's no bother really, I love animals and well, Nymph has a pretty good puppy dog face so I was easily persuaded. Besides, I like Harry, almost like another brother really."
Once they reached the reptile house they found Tonks and Harry easily, the auror sticking out with her long blue hair. They were laughing loudly and jumped when Remus spoke.
"What's so funny?"
Tonks twirled around hand on her wand before she recognized who it was and when she did she hit Remus in the arm, she hit him hard.
"Would you not do that! Merlin you scared the living daylight out of me."
"Sorry." Remus said unconvincingly. "Now what was so funny, beside the look on your face when I startled you?"
"Hardy-har-har." Tonks grumbled. "Harry was just telling me what these two snakes were saying, I never realized snakes had a sense of humor."
Raising an eyebrow Remus questioned her. "Snakes have sense of humor?"
"Uh-huh." She nodded vigorously. "These two here were commenting on the. . . "she now lowered her voice, "annoying muggle that was just here. He apparently kept tapping on the window to make him move so when they jumped towards the glass he squealed in fright and ran off."
Seeing Remus raise his eyebrow even further and Charlie shaking his head at her she shrugged. "You two have no sense of humor. Come on Harry lets see what that python over there is saying."
Dragging the teen along she only stopped once they reached the large snake. It reminded Harry a bit of the boa constrictor and he got a small smile on his face as he watched.
"Well this one is saying how this weird girl just came around."
Tonks seemed interested. "Really now, what was so weird about her."
"Apparently she had vibrant blue hair and wouldn't stop asking her friend to tell her what the snakes were telling him."
She giggled at first until what he said was processed. "Hey, get back here you brat." Tonks yelled as she noticed Harry running away. "Making fun of me is not nice."
Harry managed to escape her grudge and once they'd seen the entire zoo the four returned to Tonks' car. Remus tried to persuade her to let him drive but she would hear nothing of it.
So as they drove off it was once again at a neck-breaking-speed. "So Harry." Tonks asked as she performed a dangerous passing maneuver on the car in front of her. "What do you want to do tomorrow?"
"You're telling me we're going out again?" Harry countered incredulously. "Not that I mind of course, I love getting out of there."
Remus answered his question. "We can go out this week so you have next week for preparing for school and then it's off to Hogwarts with you once again."
Taking this in consideration Harry thought really hard, but came up with nothing. As he said so Tonks just shrugged and said she'd think of a surprise.
"Can I come Nymph?" Charlie asked. "I've got another week of vacation and mum's in a bad mood, dad, Bill and the twins are working and Ron and Ginny are doing last minute homework. It's boring."
"Sure the more the merrier right Remus?" Tonks said and suddenly she softly swore. "I'm almost out of gas, do any of you see a gas station? Ah never mind there's one, hang on I'll have to turn here."
As she skidded next to a pump she jumped out. "Right I'll fill her up, Harry will you get us some goodies? I'll be in later to pay."
"Sure." Harry said. "What do you two want?" He asked the two men left in the car. Once he had taken their order he went into the station where he grabbed the asked drinks and headed to the junk-food aisle.
From the corner of his eye he saw movement and tensed up, but when he was able to take a better look he saw it was just a girl so relaxed again.
She smiled sweetly at him so he gave a short grin in return as he hurried to get the snacks, the look in the girl's eyes was making him uncomfortable.
Where are you Tonks? Harry thought desperately as the girl approached him.
"Hi. I'm Tiffany, you come here often?" The girl asked in an airy voice which, horror over horror, reminded Harry of Professor Trelawney.
"No, just passing through. The car ran out of gas." Harry said.
Tiffany giggled as if he had made the world's best joke and Harry stopped himself from asking the girl if she were on any medication.
"Now it's not fair is it? I gave you my name but you never told me yours. Care to correct that stranger?" She fluttered her eyelashes in a way Harry had seen Parvati do once when she was trying to get a seventh year to ask her out.
Not wanting to give her his real name Harry blurted out the first name he could think of. "James, my name's James."
"James." Tiffany stretched his name out as she said it. "Very classy, I like it. So what are you doing tonight?"
Huh? Harry was confused.
Disregarding his silence Tiffany kept talking. "Cause there's this really nice party at my friend Carry's house and I thought you might like to come with me. Her brother Orlando, you know like Orlando Bloom from Lord of the Rings, he is so cute in that movie and in Pirates he's even hotter, but as I was saying Orlando is bringing the good stuff, you know beer, vodka and he promised to get some tequila as well. So you coming James, it'll be fun."
Tiffany had Harry pinned with her eyes as he tried to come up with and excuse, coming up with none of course.
"There you are, I was looking all over for you." A voice sounded from his left.
Never before had Harry been so happy to see Tonks as that exact moment. He smiled a little as Tonks grabbed his arm and led him to the register so they could pay as she kept on talking.
"What took you so long, I thought you were only getting us some drinks and candy and did you get me some Skittles? Yes? Good boy, now come on or mum will kill us if we're not home before dinner."
They paid and got in the car quickly where Tonks burst out in laughter while Harry just sank back in his seat until he sat up abruptly as he watched none other then Tiffany exit the store and seemingly walk in their direction.
"Tonks stop laughing and start the car, come on." Tiffany got closer and closer. "Go, go, go, go, go!!!"
He sighed in relief as Tonks turned the key in the ignition and drove out of sight of the gas station. He turned red when he saw the inquisitive looks on both Remus and Charlie on one side, and Tonks still wiping tears of laughter on the other side.
"What happened in there?" Charlie finally asked, seeing as he got no explanation.
Tonks giggled again. "Casanova over here was having a little lady trouble, weren't you. . . James?"
"You heard all that and didn't rescue me sooner?" Harry exclaimed. "Some friend you are. Here I was, cornered by a girl that looked like she was covered in all the make-up found in the world and had a voice like Trelawney and you left me to fend for myself?"
"All that make-up did give her pretty lashes, you couldn't have missed those with the way she fluttered them." Tonks joked.
Harry stayed quiet as Tonks now replayed the meeting for Remus and Charlie, who were by now howling with laughter.
This is how they arrived back at Grimmauld Place. Remus and Charlie were still in stitches, Tonks was still giggling and Harry was flushing red every now and again when either of them made a comment.
They bumped into Hermione first and she raised her eyebrow. "Had fun?" she asked.
"Hermione thank Merlin." Harry gasped as he grabbed her arm and started to lead her upstairs to his room to talk. "Someone sane at last. Those three have gone NUTS on our way back."
"Hey!" he heard Tonks yell but then she started to giggle again. So Harry closed the door behind him and dropped on his bed.
His best friend had her arms crossed and had the 'you-better-give-me-an- explanation-quick' look on her face. "Harry where have you been, I haven't see you in days."
Lighting up Harry started to tell her all about the past three days, showing her his new clothes and the photos Tonks had made the day before.
He didn't notice it but Harry seemed to light up as he told all his adventures and smiled in a way that Hermione hadn't seen him do in a very long time.
"So basically you had a great time and are going to so more fun stuff for a few more days. I'm happy for you Harry, it's been dreadful here the past few days. Mrs. Weasley is making us clean again and Ginny is doing her homework. And don't get me started on Ron, he's been in a terrible mood all week and. . . oh Harry I'm sorry I shouldn't have brought that up."
"It's all right, it's not your fault Ron's acting like a git is it?" Harry sighed. "It's like the Tri Wizard Tournament all over again. And you're caught in the middle once again. I am sorry for that Hermione."
She shrugged and sank in the chair that was standing between the two beds in the room. "It's not like it's the first time that I'm dealing with an irate Ron before, but I do wish he would stop feeling so envious of you. You never asked for any of this and he's getting upset over it."
Feeling himself get a little angry with Ron's behavior again Harry decided to change the subject as an idea popped in his head.
"What if I ask Remus if you can come along tomorrow to wherever we're going now? I bet he wouldn't mind and Tonks apparently has a puppy dog face that will win Moody over."
Hermione's face lit up. "Really you think I'd be allowed to come?"
"If not I'm not going anywhere either, I need your help with the DA this year. So I need you to be sane, besides I definitely will need you with Potions. "
This got her attention. "DA? You want me to help you? I thought you were going to do it on your own like last year. I mean I helped set it up and charmed the parchment and coins but. . . "
Harry once again clapped his hand over her mouth to make her stop talking. "We'll be mainly working on the Patronus and since you can already perform it perfectly I thought you could deal with those who can't yet. That way I can teach those who aren't able to produce a Patronus other defensive spells."
"Of course I'll help you, I did kind of pushed you into starting it anyway."
"Kind of pushed? Hermione you invited over 20 people and told then I would teach them, that's more then kind of pushing but it all turned all right."
Then Hedwig suddenly flew in and dropped a letter in Harry's hand. He quickly read it and then handed it to Hermione so she could read it.
"So Ernie will tell the Hufflepuffs?" she asked after she'd read the letter.
Harry nodded but was thoughtful. "Yes but did you read the part in which he mentioned that more people wanted to join? Terry wrote me as well about people asking him if they could join. He told me even Roger Davies, who's Head Boy this year, owled him to ask."
"That's good right, more people wanting to join. Isn't it?"
"Won't it get too crowded?" Harry questioned. "I mean I don't know about how many more people we're talking about and you'll be having a day putting that Protean charm on the coins."
Hermione sighed. "You'll do fine Harry and if you're worried about giving me extra work I'll just teach you the Protean charm so you can help me make them for the new members."
"But that's a NEWT level spell, I can't do that."
Once again Hermione sighed. "Most thirteen-year-olds aren't able to learn a Patronus but you can do that can't you? And now with the O for potions you managed to get and your other OWL results you proved that if you apply yourself you can do so well. You'll be able to do the charm I promise you."
"Yeah. Thanks 'Mione, you really are the best friend a guy could ask for. Better then Ron even and after everything that happened last year with me blowing up at you I'm not sure I deserve that actually."
Hermione jumped up and put her hands on her hips. "Harry Potter I don't know where you got that silly idea but let me tell you how wrong you are. You are a great friend and sure we had our fights but that's what friends do they fight and make up. Besides, how many people would stick their wand up a trolls nose to save my life?"
The two laughed at that and Harry gave Hermione a hug, which she returned even though she was surprised. They pulled back when Harry's stomach rumbled loudly.
"Hungry?" Hermione asked but when his stomach rumbled again he didn't even bother to answer and the two ran down the stairs towards the kitchen when Harry bumped into Ron.
He held out his hand to pull him back up. "Sorry Ron, didn't see you there." But Ron knocked his hand out of the way and pushed Harry aside without saying a word before he disappeared into the kitchen.
"Ignore him." Hermione said.
Harry then smiled, he was through with running off in anger because of Ron. "You know Hermione? I think I will."
In the mood for doing something silly he offered his arm to her. "My dear lady, would you give me the pleasure of accompanying you to the dining table?"
"Why good sir." Hermione answered giggling only a little. "I thought you'd never ask." Linking her arm through his the two marched into the kitchen laughing at their own act.
Ignoring Ron's glare Harry grabbed the chair next to Fred and started to devour his meal as soon as it was set in front of them.
When he was finished he looked at Mrs. Weasley. "Could I have some more Mrs. Weasley, this spaghetti is really good."
A huge smile broke out on the redheaded woman. "Why of course, all you have to do is ask. You know that Harry." And she piled his plate full again.
Dinner was over and people were starting to leave when an enraged scream seemed to come from the dungeons that made those that remained look up.
"REMUS LUPIN! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH MY CAMERA?!?!?"
Chuckling Remus grabbed his cup of tea, pretending to be innocent. His eyes betrayed him however as they were twinkling brightly.
Tonks stormed into the room, a blush on her face, waving her arm around as the other clutched a thick stack of pictures.
"Hello Nymphadora." Remus greeted calmly. "Would you like a cup of tea?"
Bristling she answered. "First of all it's Tonks, TONKS not that dratted name you keep calling me even though I know you know I hate it. Second, when did you take these pictures? Huh?"
"Ooh, photos." Charlie crowed. "Let me see Nymph." He tried to snatch them from her but she kept them out of her reach.
"Not until Remus over here explains himself."
Seeing her wave her arms again Harry managed to grab the photos and he ran out of her reach as she tried to catch him.
They ran three laps around the table until Tonks stumbled over one of its legs. This gave Harry time to look at the photos and he started to chuckle when he saw what had gotten Tonks so upset.
"Getting revenge?" he casually asked Remus and the older man nodded.
"Since she saw it fit to make pictures without us knowing I thought it only fair to return the favor she placed on us."
Charlie was by then all but leaning on Harry to take a look as well. "Hey, that's when we climbed those nets in the 'Jungle Gym'. Come on Nymph, these aren't that embarrassing. You got stuck in the net so what, I happen to own a photo of that incident back in fourth year when you. . . "
"Say another word Charles and I might just tell your mum what you really did to earn that detention in our sixth year. Remember, that was the year you. . . "
She stopped before she said any more but the message seemed to come over clearly as Charlie turned white, red and very quiet.
Hermione broke the tension that seemed to build between the two. "Let me see, Harry told me about today but Tonks makes such nice pictures."
"I would like to see if those pictures I took look like as well." Said Remus. "But I think it'd be smarter to see them in the living room, much more comfortable you know."
So the small group consisting out of Harry, Hermione, Remus, Tonks and the Weasley's sat down in the comfortable and now clean couches.
Remus took the big comfortable chair, but it got a lot less comfortable once Harry managed to worm himself in the chair as well.
"What?" the teen asked when Remus looked at him strangely. "I want to see the pictures first before I hand them out. That way I can hide all the embarrassing ones."
Charlie came to sit on the arm of the chair, making everyone laugh with his exclamation of if Harry could do that so could he.
The pictures, like the ones of the day before, were fantastic. Taken on the most unexpected moments, showing the people in them as they acted naturally instead of smiling forcedly.
Of course stories accompanied the pictures and soon the living room was filled with laughter. No one noticed Ron slipping out of the room with a scowl on his face.
When the clock on the wall struck 1, Mrs. Weasley jumped up. "Oh dear, look a the time. Come on children up you go."
Not really complaining they went upstairs, leaving the adults alone. Although some of them went to bed as well. Harry said goodnight to Ginny and Hermione and let himself fall onto the bed and fell asleep almost immediately.
Downstairs Molly Weasley picked up one particular photo up and stared at it again. "He looks so happy in these." She sighed and then turned to Remus.
"I apologize Remus, for what I said and the way I acted lately. It's just I've been so worried about him and he really feels like he's one of mine."
Giving her a kind smile Remus answered. "I happen to know for a fact that Harry thinks of you as family as well Molly but coddling won't help him. He's sixteen years old and has a load on his shoulders most adults don't have."
"But he's just a boy." She protested weakly. "He shouldn't have to deal with all this war yet."
"No he shouldn't, but you have to accept that he has to."
Molly Weasley sighed deeply and wiped away a tear as she observed the photo again. It was a picture of Charlie and Harry where the redhead had jumped on the boy's back so that he was now being carried.
"Here Molly." Tonks said quietly as she duplicated the photo. "Now you have your own copy." She then yawned. "I'm going up as well."
"So where are we going tomorrow?" Remus asked. "Because we just are going to have an addition to our number."
Seeing her confused Remus explained. "Harry offered Hermione to come along, I heard them talking when I went to collect them for dinner."
"But you came back without them."
"They were discussing some important things, or I'd better say Hermione was scolding Harry for thinking so negatively about himself. It was amusing really."
Tonks shrugged. "I was planning to go to a forest or the beach or something and one more can fit in my car so that's no problem. You coming again right Charlie?"
But neither Charlie nor Remus were paying attention to her anymore. They both had the same horrific thought. Not the car again!!!
The rest of the outing week was filled with fun and laughter. Harry went to the forest where they took a long walk that had to be stopped when Hermione stumbled upon some kind of fungus that was a rare potions ingredient.
Another time Tonks managed to drag Harry with her to the beach, just the two of them. But since it was so crowded and hot even for her, they escaped to this pavilion where they just sat the entire day watching people and sipping cold drinks under a large parasol that blocked the blazing sun.
Harry found out a lot about Tonks that day, besides the fact that she was a really cool auror. She told him about some of her and Charlie's more extravagant adventures, but also about her auror-training and how it was so hard now and again because of her clumsiness.
She also let it slip that who the people would be who were going to teach him the lessons that Dumbledore had mentioned before he was allowed to enter the order.
"Mad-Eye and Kingsley will work on your dueling with you, I'll make an appearance every now and again as well, but it'll be mostly those two. Now I, I will help you with some very advanced transfiguration, it is my best subject after all. Remus will do charms and Snape will handle your Occlumency."
After hearing all this Harry raised his eyebrows. "And when will I have these lessons? I mean I still have Quidditch training, or so I hope, and the DA. It'll be a tight schedule."
"We'll be doing them in the evenings after dinner mostly and in the weekend as well. You brought it on yourself really. You could've been lounging around but no you had to be an adult and take on responsibilities."
He knew she was teasing but still Harry frowned as he thought about her words. "Do you really think that Tonks? Should I just forget about it just because I'm not of age yet? Should I let Voldemort get the upper hand?"
Tonks shuddered at the name though she tried to suppress it. "I don't know Harry, I have no idea what I would do. I think no-one knows, not even Dumbledore. You'll just have to figure it out on your own."
Then she scrunched up her face. "That was my responsible adult side for the day, so one more day Harry. What do you want to do?"
"If I tell you will you promise not to tell anyone?" Harry asked.
"Ooh, you're making me all curious now. Fine I swear that I won't tell as soul, come on tell me!" She was bouncing in her seat.
Harry grinned as he thought about he was going to ask. "I was combing out the attic a few days ago, you know to keep Buckbeak some company. That guy has it worse then any of us."
"Yes poor Buckbeak, now get to the good stuff."
"I was just browsing through the attic when I found something I really want to have with me at Hogwarts cause it used to be Sirius's."
A fond smile came on Tonks's face when she heard her favorite cousin's name. "What is it and what has it to do with tomorrow?"
"I found his bike Tonks, his flying motorcycle. It's a bit banged up and rusty but it should work fine once it's fixed up. I found the spells he used to make it and he also wrote about how he worked on it the muggle way. It just sounded so very cool."
"I remember that bike." She whispered. "I was still very little, 5 or 6 at the time, when Siri took me flying on it one day. Dad helped him get it you know and explained all about the muggle parts. Of course mum was horrified when she learned what he had done. It's not exactly legal to tinker with muggle machines but in the end even she had to admit that Sirius had done a fine job with the spells."
Her eyes grew a bit damp but she blinked back the tears that had started to gather. "So what time do you want to leave? I know just the perfect place to go for fixing up the bike, I have a friend that owns a garage and he knows about magic even though he's muggle."
"Seriously? You'll help?"
"Sure it'll be a challenge don't you think? Besides I heard Sirius conspiring with Remus once that he was going to give you that bike for your birthday or something like that."
The two decided to go back 'home' and when asked how the day had been they just shared a secret grin.
Hermione tried to work it out of him but when she got no information she stalked off. Ginny just winked at him about their friend's behavior before turning back to her conversation with the twins.
"I'm off to feed Buckbeak." Harry said a little loud so that Tonks could hear. "Is the bucket ready?" he asked Mrs. Weasley.
"Of course dear, here it is." Then she picked something up in the conversation between her children and stormed towards them. "Fred and George Weasley how can you even suggest that your sister. . ."
Harry shook his head as he started to go upstairs but waited when he heard Tonks yell at him she was coming along. "I was never really introduced to that Hippogriff."
They ran up the stairs quickly and after Harry greeted him Tonks bowed as well but she tripped over her shoelace and fell rather ungracefully.
Holding his breath about what Buckbeak would do Harry started to laugh when he saw the animal bow back. "He thinks you intended to that Tonks."
"Ouch, not funny that hurt you know. Oh well where is that bike you were talking about?"
Throwing a rat in Buckbeak's opened mouth he waved with his free hand. "I hid it behind those boxes over there."
He concentrated on feeding the hungry Hippogriff as he heard Tonks rummage around. Once the bucket was empty he continued giving attention to him and petted the huge eagle head.
After about half an hour, in the time which Tonks had been muttering and rummaging some more creating a chaos in the neat attic, he gave the head one more pet. "I'll just go over with Tonks for a while, you don't mind do you?"
Finally Harry turned to look what Tonks had been doing and what he saw made his jaw drop to the ground.
"How is it possible?" he asked when he got control of his voice again. "To make such a mess in such a short period of time?"
The woman chuckled. "What can I say it's a gift. But did you ever went through this stuff?"
"No, I just found the bike and that's about it."
"Well then, that explains why you never found these treasures."
Now Harry was interested. "What do you mean treasures?"
"Oh, not much. Only Sirius's school trunk and loads of photo-albums filled with pictures of his time at Hogwarts." Tonks said airily but she grinned widely when Harry all but threw her aside to examine said objects.
They started to flip through the album first and Harry had to swallow a few times to get rid of the lump in his throat at the sight of pictures of both his dad and godfather. The two were just about half-way through it when the door opened and Remus entered.
"What are you. . . "his voice hitched when he saw the objects that were strewn around the attic, his eyes starting with the albums, traveling to the motorcycle, before landing on the trunk. "How. . . I mean where. . . do you. . ."
Seeing he was a bit shocked Harry quickly explained about finding the bike and the promise Tonks had made to him and how they ended up with all this.
Remus smiled a thin smile. "Would you mind another companion tomorrow?"
"Depends." Harry tried to joke to lighten up the mood. "How much do you know about motorcycles and how they work?"
The man groaned. "I know all, no I know more about those blasted things then you would think possible. It may have been Sirius's pet-project, but we Marauders all worked on it. So the question isn't how much do I know, but how much do you want to know?"
"Then it's a date." Tonks said. "The three of us are going to fix this bike and after that the fun week is over."
Harry pouted. "Damn and I was just having such a good time. Oh well, I suppose I should get started on that potions book already like 'Mione suggested. I have a feeling potions will be hell and if it isn't Snape will surely make it feel like it."
The trio laughed at this and after Remus shrunk the bike and put it in his pocket they went down carrying both trunk and albums.
Somehow Tonks picked up on a vibe or something cause she muttered an excuse and left Remus and Harry alone in their room, the trunk in the middle of the room with the albums on top.
"Great woman that Tonks." Remus said. "But not at all subtle. Do you want to take a look Harry?" he motioned towards the trunk.
Nodding Harry went to sit on the floor next to it and he vaguely heard Remus mutter a silencing and locking charm on the door before he too sat on the floor.
In silence they opened the dusty trunk and first thing that jumped to Harry's attention was how neat and orderly the trunk was arranged.
Robes and books were stacked on the left side, while a few boxes were on the right. In these boxes were some potion ingredients, vials and cauldrons and also some loose photos and letters. Waiting with examining these Harry reached for the biggest box and was surprised to find the most gorgeous chess set he ever laid his eyes on.
Hearing Remus gasp Harry faced the other man and listened as he started to explain while touching each and every piece.
"These were very special to him. The three of us; me, James and Sirius that is, made this chess set in our fourth year for extra credit for both transfiguration and charms. We received full marks if I remember correctly."
Remus swallowed thickly. "In stead of the more traditional pieces Prongs and Padfoot wanted something original so instead of pawns, rooks and knights they used magical animals. It was up to me to charm them and let me tell you it was quite a task."
Holding a dragon-shaped piece he continued. "James and I decided that Paddy should keep the set after a rather dismal Christmas that he had had, his mother had been once again goading him or something like that. He just lit up when we gave it, never let anyone else play with them and never lost another game either."
Then a tear slipped down the man's face, shocking Harry. Remus had never cried in front of him and just the thought of his godfather being carefree made his tears break free as well.
He leaned against Remus as the two cried together, mourning for Sirius Black one last time.
Early the following morning they stood ready for Tonks. She took one look at them, took a breath to say something, but seemed to change her mind again.
Harry for one was happy that she didn't comment on their appearance. Both he and Remus were pale and had red puffy eyes surrounded by dark circles. But he had to admit that he did feel a little better, being able to share his grief.
The three stepped into the car and Tonks drove them through all kinds of alleys that took them all through London. The silence in the car was comfortable but Tonks always had hated silences.
"So we'll reach my friend's garage in about 5 minutes. He's a muggle but he knows about magic, well it would be hard to ignore when you see your friend constantly changing her hair-color and turning a big branch in a feather. He's cool about magic really but it's best to refrain from using it too much, he still has customers and a few people who work with him."
"That's fine Tonks." Remus said quietly. "It is nice of your friend to let us use his garage."
Tonks grinned. "Ah Remus, have you learned nothing these past few days. Nobody can withstand my puppy dog face, not even a great muggle like Dave. Besides, Davie loves motorcycles."
The conversation seemed to get stuck but soon they reached the garage where Dave was waiting for them. "Hello Dorrie and friends, name's Dave though you probably know already. Dora told me you have a great but neglected motorcycle on your hands. The space over there is yours to use and if you need a hand just let me know." Then he left again.
"That was interesting." Remus commented.
Harry grinned. "He seemed nice enough, lets start on the bike. You coming 'Dorrie'?"
"Don't you call me that, Dave is about as stubborn about calling me that as Remus is about calling me Nymphadora. It's horrible. It's just that we were about 3 when we met and he couldn't pronounce my name and he refused to call me Tonks, which I referred by then already, thus resulting with Dora or Dorrie."
As she said this Remus had un-shrunk the motorcycle again and the three just stared at it, trying to figure out what to do.
"Shouldn't we start?" Harry asked and when the two looked at him he rolled his eyes. "And don't go looking at me, I have never worked on a bike before."
Remus was walking around the bike as he tried to guess its condition. "As far as I can tell the balance is still right and the brakes look fine too. It's the engine I'm worried about, that and. . . "
Then he started on this rant with all kinds of mechanical terms and while Tonks seemed to understand most of them Harry just stared as if the man was speaking an entirely different language.
When he saw the two start to move and grab some tools he just walked over to Remus and asked what he could do.
Remus handed him a wrench and explained him what he should do and then the three went to work, with Harry asking for help more often then not.
At the end of the afternoon, after a little of blood, lots of sweat and quite a few tears had been shed, the bike seemed to be in top condition.
Of course, they had cheated a little and used magic for both getting rid of the rust and the repainting since both would take a lot of time if done the muggle way.
Harry was grinning like an idiot when Remus opted that the two of them go back to Grimmauld Place on the bike instead of taking the car with Tonks.
Though she pouted at this a little Harry could tell she wasn't really upset about it. She proved that when she transfigured two black helmets and handed them over telling them to be safe and that she would wait for them with her car.
"Do you really know how to use this thing?" Harry asked once they were ready to go, standing in a deserted alley.
Remus pretended to be upset. "Do I know how to use this bike, let me tell you young man that if there's one thing your godfather made sure of, it was that me and Prongs knew how to handle his 'baby'."
"Just to make sure." Harry chuckled as he sat behind Remus and held on to his waist. He held his breath when Remus started the engine and took off.
"Now hold on cub." Remus said loudly too overcome the noise of the roaring machine. "I'm now going to activate the invisibility and silencing option and ten seconds after that we'll start flying."
Harry nodded but then realized Remus wouldn't be able to see it so he squeezed the man's side to let him know he had heard and understood him.
Suddenly there was a shimmer around them and the bike fell quiet. Guessing that these were the invisibility and silencing part Harry started to count to ten and once he reached that he felt the bike leave the ground and soon they were soaring high above London.
"Remus!" Harry called after about five minutes. "I thought you hated heights, but you seem fine now, how come?"
He felt rather then heard the man chuckle. "It's strange but as long as I am in control, like I am with this bike or with a broom for that matter, I don't care about heights at all. Only when there's nothing I can do I'm bothered with them. Look there's Grimmauld Place Harry we'll have to go down now."
"Do we have to?" Harry whined.
"Do you want to let Tonks explain why she is returning without us? Molly will surely love to hear how that has happened."
Sighing Harry admitted defeat. "But we have to do this again sometime soon."
"I'll see if I can squeeze it into one of your lessons." Remus amusedly replied as he started his descent. He spotted Tonks and managed to land right next to her, without her noticing since they were still invisible to all eyes.
Only when Remus stopped the engine did they appear startling Tonks badly as she started to hit him repeatedly, making Harry laugh.
"Never do that again." Tonks said shakily once she stopped hitting Remus, who was now rubbing his arm. "Come on before we miss dinner."
They arrived in the middle of dinner actually and Mrs. Weasley opened her mouth to scold them for being so late when she caught sight of Harry's sparking eyes and decided to keep the peace.
Harry accepted the plate she handed to him with a smile and sat down next to Hermione. "Say 'Mione, would you mind going over potions with me tomorrow. I want to make sure I'm properly prepared before we start class."
"Finally, someone starts taking studying seriously. I've gone over the material for this year already and though most of it is do-able there are some points I really have to go through again before I get them. But would you mind terribly if we do some transfiguration and charms as well? Focusing on one subject for an entire day does get rather mind-numbing."
Harry shrugged. "Whatever rocks your boat, I'm the one asking for your help aren't I? So I might as well follow your schedule. Though I want to do some research for defense as well." He hoped she would get the hint.
"Oh, sure we better make sure we're up to sixth year level. I do hope our professor this year is better then Umbridge was. I mean this is our sixth year and the only good teachers we've had were professor Lupin and Moody, well he seemed to be good until we found out he was fake."
Then an amused voice interrupted her rant. "It is good to hear what you think of the teachers I've hired the past few years Ms. Granger and I do assure you that this year I made a good selection if I say so myself."
Harry had to hide his grin when Hermione's eyes widened until they compared to Dobby's and she turned bright red when she hear the headmaster's voice. Seeing that she was embarrassed to say a word he asked the question he knew she was dying to ask.
"Who will be teaching DADA this year Professor?"
Dumbledore chuckled. "You will have to wait until the feast to find out, but I can say you've heard about him before and that you will like him since he is a very accomplished teacher and person from who I myself learned quite a deal. You will find him very knowledgeable for he has been able to gather a lot of information in his years."
"I'll just see first day of term professor." Harry said seemingly calm but the gears in his mind were working really hard to place the hint the headmaster had dropped.
Then he felt a quick squeeze on his leg and he looked at Hermione who tried to signal to him to find an excuse to go upstairs.
He looked around subtly but it seemed that nobody noticed their exchange. Taking a deep breath he stood up. "I'm pretty beat, I'm heading upstairs. Night everyone."
"Good night." Several people chorused as he went to his room. Once he got there he waited for about an hour skimming through 'Total Defense' before Hermione finally appeared.
She entered quickly and locked the door behind her. "Sorry I'm so late, I didn't want to arouse anyone's suspicion."
"That's all right, will you now explain what got you all worked up?"
Hermione sighed. "Didn't you figure it out by now, don't you have a clue who will be teaching us this year?" she sounded a little incredulous.
"No, but obviously you have if you're looking at me like I should be ashamed for not knowing." Harry said with humor laced in his voice.
"Of who have you heard before who knows Dumbledore. Who has even taught Dumbledore according to his own words." Seeing him look at her with a puzzled expression she blurted the answer. "Flamel, that's who; Nicholas Flamel."
Harry's head shot up and as her words processed all the pieces of the puzzle seemed to fit together perfectly.
"Of course." He said. "Dumbledore did work with him on alchemy and Flamel has been around for hundreds of years so he's bound to know stuff Dumbledore doesn't."
"Exactly, I can't wait till our first lesson. Flamel must know so much that has been forgotten and perhaps he will teach us those things as well."
Harry started to grin at Hermione's excitement. "I hope he will, but I'm not that worried any more about the DADA teachers Dumbledore picks. Sure it's nice that this year we'll have a good one but after all his failures I don't see why it should matter. We're the ones who made sure we did great on the OWL's didn't we?"
"Well not all of us." Hermione said hesitantly. "It's one of the reasons Ron's so angry. He didn't do so well on his OWL's. I told him he should've studied more but he never listened to me now did he?"
Grimacing Harry asked the inevitable question. "How did he do?"
"Well he got an E for DADA, which was his highest mark, A's for Charms, Transfiguration and COMC a P for both Herbology and Potions and D's for the rest of the classes."
His eyes widened. "That's only 4 OWL's. I take it Mrs. Weasley didn't take it very well?"
"Not well?" Hermione snorted. "She was so angry that me, Ginny and even the twins made ourselves scarce for the rest of the weekend."
"I can imagine that, but what do Ron's bad scores have to do with me? Why is he so angry with me for something I had no control over?"
Rolling her eyes his friend sighed. "Isn't it obvious?"
"I wouldn't be asking you if it was."
She sighed again. "Ron is jealous. Not only do you have the fame and money he's dreamed of having since he was a little boy, but you're also intelligent enough to get good grades without really putting effort in it. Not to mention that you are getting out of here accompanied by not only Tonks, who usually hangs around us when she's here, but also by his own brother. Which, by the way, is something he'd like as well. You know, taking it easy and get good grades at the same time."
"And how easy I've had it during my time at Hogwarts, not even mentioning last year." Harry said sarcastically. Then his shoulders slumped a little. "Why does he have to act this way? I mean, I thought he was my best mate and best friends to treat each other like this."
"I think we're talking in circles here." Hermione noted. "Didn't we have a similar conversation just a few days ago?"
Harry grinned a little. "Yes that was when I decided to ignore his behavior instead of blow up at him because of it. Though he has been pushing the limits more then once."
Then Hermione glanced at the clock and gasped. "I can't believe how late it is. I have to go to my room now, I'll see you tomorrow in the library bring your books." And then she was off without giving Harry the time to say goodnight.
Rolling his eyes at her behavior he changed into his pajamas and crawled into his bed, but after tossing and turning for what felt like hours Harry grabbed one of Sirius's albums and leafed through it again.
He stopped at one picture which had the three Marauders that mattered to Harry in it; Sirius, Remus and his dad. There was some kind of party going on and the three were laughing their asses off for some reason.
Deciding to really get some sleep Harry rolled over and closed his eyes. . . only to be swept off to disturbing visions.
Harry wasn't in the dungeon this time. He was worried about this actually since he had become somewhat accustomed to their dark surroundings.
No this time he seemed to be standing outside in some sort of street. When he heard footsteps behind him he jumped to hide himself but the Death Eater that had been approaching walked straight through him as if he were a ghost.
On the one hand Harry was happy about it cause if he were ghost like it also meant he wasn't Voldemort in his visions. The bad part was of course the fact that he was having visions in the first place.
More Death Eaters had gathered and Harry was getting more and more discomforted, when Death Eaters gathered something bad was happening.
The fact that Voldemort was not in his vision was disturbing as well, for as long as he could remember it he'd never had a vision without Voldemort in it. Though his confusion was easily solved when he heard the hissing voice that belonged to the monster himself.
"My loyal servants it is the time. Time to stand up once again and make the world notice us. Time for us to strike fear into the heart of every witch, wizard and muggle. Now go, go and spread chaos."
Harry was forced to follow Voldemort in his vision but he counted a group of about twelve Death Eaters that spread out at his command. Only two remained with their master and it took only a second for Harry to catch their voices.
"Where do you want to go Master?" asked a woman and Harry growled as he recognized Bellatrix Lestrange.
"Loyal Bellatrix." Voldemort said. "Will you not do the honors of picking our first target."
The woman seemed to become giddy with glee and anticipation and Harry could do nothing as she picked a house with a white picket fence around it and opened the door with a muttered charm.
He watched as Voldemort entered the seemingly perfect house and walked towards the stairs.
He watched as a man stumbled down the stairs with a baseball-bat, only half awake.
He watched as Voldemort hit him with the killing curse without blinking an eye.
He watched as the Lestranges gathered the rest of the inhabitants of the house. A mother with two children, neither older then 8 years old.
He watched as the children were tortured and he cried along with their mother, who was by now hysterically pleading for the lives of her children.
He screamed loudly as the youngest had her throat slit by Bellatrix and he sank to the flour in despair as the eldest kept calling for her mother to help her.
But the mother could do nothing as she herself had fallen to the ground with unmoving eyes. He could hear the girl scream in terror when suddenly he was pulled from his vision when he became aware of someone calling his name and shaking him awake.
"Harry wake up, Harry? HARRY wake up cub, come on that's a good boy open your eyes, come on now."
More voices invaded Harry's ears.
"What's going on in here?"
"My word, Ginny go get Madame Pomfrey now love. Remus how is he?"
"His scar, his scar is bleeding."
Fighting to open his eyes he found himself staring in the concerned face of none other then Remus, who was looking more concerned then Harry had ever seen him.
"What happened." Harry croaked.
"I was hoping you could tell me. You were asleep when you started to scream and then your scar began to bleed." Remus answered.
If it were possible Harry got even paler as he started to remember what his vision had been about and he felt sick.
"It's happening." He managed to whisper. "Voldemort is back in business. He went to a town and into this house and he. . . he. . ."
Tears started to fall down Harry's face. "He killed them all, the father and mother and the children, oh Merlin." A vicious sob escaped.
"There were two little girls and they were screaming so loud, pleading for someone to help but no-one came and. . . "
When more sobs escaped he felt himself being pulled into a tight embrace and unashamed he buried his head in Remus's chest.
He didn't notice the sharp intake of breath as Tonks gasped, the tears stream down the faces of Hermione and Mrs. Weasley or the grim looks on the faces of Mr. Weasley, Charlie and the twins.
All Harry noticed was a pair of strong arms around him and a quiet soothing voice that was mumbling words of love and compassion, making him feel a little more peaceful.
That peace was shattered when there was an intrusion. "Everybody out, I have a patient to care for and I can't do that with the lot of you hanging around."
"But Madame Pomfrey. . . "Harry could hear Hermione plead.
The mediwitch was stern though. "No Ms. Granger, I will not hear any complaints now please leave me with my patient."
She then turned to Harry and when he looked up at her with red-rimmed eyes her eyes softened a bit and a smile formed on her face.
"Really Mr. Potter, couldn't you have waited two more weeks before you could see me? I know you like my company, since you have been in my care so often, but this is getting a bit extreme. Now what seems to be the problem? All that Ms. Weasley could tell me was that your scar was bleeding."
Harry shrugged his shoulders. "Vision." Was his explanation.
"Not very forthcoming but it'll do." She started to rummage through her bag and handed him a few potions. "Take these please."
Even though he knew better Harry had to ask. "What are they?"
"The ones in the green flasks are pain-relief and the other is the Dreamless sleep potion."
Grimacing Harry looked up at Remus who looked at him with a sympathetic smile on his face. "You better take them Harry, I speak from experience when I say that resistance is in this case really futile."
Harry took the first two and was about to drink the last when Dumbledore seemed to appear out of nowhere. "I'm afraid Poppy, that I cannot allow for young Mr. Potter to take his sleep potion just yet."
"Why on earth not. The boy is in pain and needs his sleep." The nurse was indignant.
"I would like to speak to him first, alone if you please." The headmaster wasn't rude but the nurse huffed as she left the room.
Harry saw him sit down and glance at Remus. "Perhaps you will leave us as well Remus." Dumbledore said nicely. "I would really prefer to speak to Mr. Potter in private."
No Harry thought as he unconsciously strengthened his grip on Remus. I don't want to do this, I don't want to be alone.
It seemed as if the werewolf could read his mind because he shook his head at the request. "I believe I am fine where I am Albus and I also think that your conversation with Harry should wait until tomorrow."
He then turned to Harry and held the flask of Dreamless sleep potion against his lips. "Drink up now cub, everything will look better in the morning."
Gratefully Harry swallowed the potion down and felt himself get drowsy. The last thing he could hear was Dumbledore berating Remus.
"Mr. Lupin, I thought I made it clear that I wanted to speak to Harry." Dumbledore said sharply as he followed Remus into the kitchen.
"And I believe that I said you may speak to him in the morning when he has had proper rest and time to calm down."
Sighing the headmaster said down. "I believe you do not see the importance of this. I needed to speak to him while everything was still fresh in his mind. Now whatever information that might be important will be lost."
"Is that all that you can think of?" Remus asked incredulously and he rambled on, not noticing the fact that the volume of his voice was raising or that an audience was forming.
"I don't think your 'information' will be lost, no Harry will remember. How could he forget? He just watched an entire family being butchered by Voldemort and all you want is information? Sirius told me about your inquiry of Harry after the Tournament. He also told me that he regretted not standing up to you and make sure that Harry was all right first. Seeing as how Paddy isn't here anymore I will stand up for Harry and make sure he comes first."
Taking a deep breath he continued. "It seems to me that you have forgotten we are not talking about some informant of yours but of a sixteen-year-old boy who has not only recently lost his godfather but also just found out the reason why the darkest wizard in this century is after him."
If Dumbledore had an answer to all this he didn't let it show, though the twinkle in his eye had long since disappeared.
"I will call a meeting tomorrow, where we will discuss this further." The old man said and abruptly stood up and left.
Remus muttered angrily as he went upstairs to check on Harry but a hand on his arm stopped him. He found Tonks staring at him with concern.
"Are you all right?" she asked him quietly, very unlike the normally bubbly Tonks. "And don't you dare say fine cause I can tell you're not."
Rubbing his eyes wearily Remus sank into the chair she had led him to. "You're right, I'm not fine, I was terrified tonight Nymphadora. I'm worried about Harry."
"We all are Remus, but you told Albus off. Not even Molly does that, Sirius never did so either. What on earth possessed you to do that?"
"Sirius actually, I know it ate at him to hide things from Harry and not being able to protect him. Plus there's the fact that I really love that boy." He closed his eyes and sighed deeply. "What a way to end this week."
Hesitantly Tonks sat down next to him and patted his leg. "We'll just have to look out for him and if I know Hermione like I think I do, then she'll provide enough distraction to last a month."
"What about when he's at Hogwarts?" Remus asked.
"He'll deal with it, he always does or that's what I've come to understand in the past week. I mean, I wasn't half as mature as Harry is when I was his age."
"Yes but you didn't live in dangerous times, Harry does."
This time Tonks sighed. "Lets get some shut-eye Remus. We could sure use it for the meeting tomorrow."
"Don't remind me." Remus moaned as they walked up the stairs. "Thanks Tonks for the talk I mean, I needed that." On a whim he hugged her for a few seconds before he disappeared into the room he shared with Harry.
Tonks smiled widely as she slipped into bed with the thought If it gets me hugs I'll reassure you every day in her head.
The following morning Harry awoke to the aroma of hot toast and bacon. When he opened his eyes he saw Tonks standing at the door with a giant tray in her hands.
Seeing he was awake Tonks walked over and put his glasses on his face after she had sat the tray down on the floor.
"I thought you'd might like a quiet breakfast today." Tonks whispered. "So I brought you and Remus some."
Looking over at the other bed Harry saw that the man in question was still asleep. "Thanks Tonks." He whispered back. "You're too sweet."
"Now don't go and spread that around will you, I have a reputation to uphold."
"The one as a klutz?" Harry joked.
Pretending to be offended Tonks put her hands on her hips. "Is that the reward I get for bringing you nice and yummy breakfast? Well I'll just take it away then won't I."
"Don't leave, I'm sorry, please." Harry pouted a little and Tonks giggled as she handed him his plate and sat down on the chair next to the bed.
"You all right? Agh, a stupid question, of course you're not."
Thinking for a while as he nibbled on his toast Harry formulated his answer. "I'll be okay, it's just I've seen people die before but never children. They were so small."
"You'll probably have to relate what happened at the meeting that's in an hour."
Harry frowned. "What meeting?"
"Order meeting, Dumbledore called it after Remus refused to let you be questioned last night. Got him a bit angry, but Remus held his ground saying he could talk to you later."
Recalling Dumbledore pressing him for details Harry sat up. "I remember the headmaster berating Remus but then it goes all fuzzy."
The boy smiled a little when he looked over at the man that had come to play such an important role in his life. "He shouldn't have done that, now he's in trouble with the headmaster."
A raspy voice interrupted. "I've been in trouble more times then I can count during my years at Hogwarts cub, I think I can manage being in trouble pretty well."
He sat up slowly and stretched. "Now I know I smell bacon, which one of you is hiding it?"
"Here let me get you some." Tonks jumped up and handed him his plate and a cup of coffee. "Both are charmed to stay hot so be careful." She warned as she handed said objects over.
Then she blushed when she noticed that Remus wasn't wearing a shirt. "I'll just leave you two to it then, see you later."
Seeing him look at the door for a minute after she left Harry tossed a pillow at Remus. "Stop staring at the door she's not coming back."
"What? I wasn't waiting for her to come back, I was merely lost in thought."
"Sure." Harry muttered. "And I'm best friends with Malfoy."
This comment resulted in his pillow being chucked back at him. "Eat your food, we'll have to face the music sometime."
Neither mentioned the vision as they ate and dressed in silence. But before they went downstairs Remus put a hand on Harry's shoulder.
"Just keep in mind that I'm right next to you. If it's too much just grab my hand and squeeze it as tight as you want, you won't hurt me. One of the perks of being a werewolf."
Harry nodded and went after Remus when he started to walk to the kitchen. He was slowed down a little when Hermione suddenly appeared and grabbed her best friend in a hug. A hug Harry returned tightly.
"Oh Harry, I'm so sorry." She said, her voice muffled by his shoulder. "Do you still want to study or should we do something else after the meeting?"
"It's okay 'Mione." Harry reassured. "Lets just do what we planned."
Pulling back Hermione looked into Harry's eyes. "If you want to talk. . . about anything, you know that you can come to me right? Even if it's bad."
"Thanks Hermione, you just go to the library and I'll see you later." Harry said and then he jogged down the stairs, where Remus was waiting for him.
"Ready?" he asked Harry and when the boy nodded he opened the door to the kitchen where most of the Order had already assembled.
Tonks waved them over since she had kept them seats. Harry sat between the two and he couldn't help but notice that they were sitting very strategically.
It seemed that Tonks had not only chosen seats that were closest to the door, but they were also the ones that were the farthest from Dumbledore.
The man in question was already seated and as soon as Harry and Remus took their place he started the meeting.
"I know that it's early, especially for a Sunday morning, but there has been a development last night. It seems that Voldemort has dealt out the first strike of terror. He attacked a town called Crawley, it's south of London. Kingsley if you'd please continue."
The auror stood up. "24 houses were found to have the Dark Mark above it and all the residents were killed. We're not certain as to how many Death Eaters were involved in the killing spree but it seems a quick job so we think it was at least one or two Death Eaters per house."
Harry interrupted. "There were only twelve of them. Voldemort only took those in his inner circle of followers."
"That is true." Snape added. "If it were anything but an attack preserved for the inner circle I would have been informed."
Kingsley nodded and continued. "All the muggles were killed by the killing curse and. . . "
"Not all of them." Harry said quietly. "Bellatrix Lestrange used a knife to slit the throat of a little girl."
Dumbledore, Harry noted, avoided looking into his eyes as he addressed him. "Yes Harry, before I was interrupted yesterday," the headmaster glanced at Remus. "I was going to ask what you had seen in your vision, the entire story if you will."
As calm as he could Harry began to tell about his vision, he told every little detail he could remember, from the color of the fence till the ages of the victims.
When he had to tell about the eldest girl screaming for help he grabbed Remus's hand under the table, Tonks had by then openly grabbed his other hand.
Once finished Harry saw that Dumbledore still didn't look him in the eye and couldn't stop himself from speaking sharply.
"He hasn't possessed me Professor so I think it's safe to look me in the eye. If I had been possessed I would have seen it from Voldemort's point of view."
Then before Dumbledore could answer Harry turned to Snape. "Professor Snape, when can we start Occlumency, I really want to stop this from happening again."
"The actual lessons will have to wait until September for you will have to use your wand." Snape answered, for once without his usual malice. "But you could start with clearing your mind and practicing meditation. Merlin knows you are unable to keep your mind empty for long."
Not taking the bait Snape left for him Harry nodded. "Thank you."
The rest of the meeting consisted of reports of how the Ministry was reacting and what the aurors were doing to prepare for the safety of the students at the Hogwarts Express.
Harry listened intently but refrained from asking any question, his eyes still on Dumbledore, who had still not looked at him.
The moment the meeting was over Harry was the first out of the room and he all but ran to the library to see Hermione.
She was reading her potions volume while Ginny was sitting next her, struggling with her transfigurations essay.
When they heard him approach they both looked up and smiled at him. Harry took the chair between the two and sighed deeply as he absentmindedly ruffled his hair.
"Hard meeting?" Hermione asked.
Harry nodded. "I had to tell them in detail about my vision. Not very nice, but enough about that, we were going to do school."
"If you still want to." Hermione decided to give him a chance to back out but Harry would have nothing of it.
"'Mione, if I want to stop I'll say so. Right now I need something to take my mind from. . ."
Ginny spoke for the first time. "Did he possess you again, or aren't you allowed to tell us?"
"I can't talk about Order business and I really don't want to go into the details of my vision, but I can and will tell you that Voldemort hasn't possessed me since our debacle at the Department of Mystery. Now if I have visions I'm on the outside looking in, I'm not Voldemort or the Snake."
Both girls nodded in understanding and Hermione started to explain one of the potions they would have to brew in the first classes, while Ginny returned to her essay.
After an hour or more Harry knew everything there was to know about the pain-relief potion, besides the fact that they worked wonders when he was in pain.
"Could we stop with potions for the day, my mind is turning into mush." He asked Hermione and she nodded as she closed her book.
"Sure, I'm going to get something to drink, do you two want anything?"
Ginny asked for pumpkin juice while Harry decided on a cola like Hermione. While Harry was waiting for Hermione to return he heard Ginny sigh.
"What's wrong Ginny?"
The redhead sighed again. "Transfiguration, why does it have to be so complicated?"
"Because it's the hardest branch of magic." Harry imitated McGonagall but then turned serious again. "It will get better I promise. Let me see your essay." He read it through quickly and found nothing wrong with it.
"Maybe you can ad a bit about the basics of transfigurating inanimate objects to animals, remember the theory we learned in second year when we turned that cup in a turtle. That will lay the beginning for the more complicated transformation of a silver spoon in a mouse."
Ginny smiled. "I remember that, I'd only have to get my second year books unshrunk and then I'd be able to look it up. And if I ad that part I'll have enough on my essay. Thanks Harry."
"Your welcome, it's not like I'm perfect in Transfiguration like Hermione but I do know a few tricks to get some extra inches on an essay."
"Writing it in a larger script doesn't count Harry." Hermione said from the doorway. She handed each of them their drink.
Harry grinned widely. "We're not all as brilliant as you are 'Mione and I'd like to inform you I had a real tip for extra inches. So Transfiguration for us as well. I want to do very well on this one assignment but I'll look it up myself."
"Okay." Hermione said as she grabbed her textbook as well. "If you have any questions just let me know and I'll try to explain."
Nodding Harry started to read the theory of how roses were turned into cats.
A/N: I know long chapter with lots of non-essential things but I wanted Harry to have some fun for a while. I'll try to update within the next month so please let me know what you think of this chapter.
To all my reviewers: Thank you all so much, especially those who have seen it fit to review just a weeks ago, making me remember about this fic. I'd thank each and every one of you personally but seeing as how I just put a lot of work into the chapter, I now have to return to school-work. Next chapter the gang will finally move to Hogwarts so stay tuned.