Disclaimer: I do not own anything you recognize. The only thing that is mine is the plot. Everything else belongs to J.K. Rowlings.

Chapter 1 Ickle Diddeykins

Darkness had long set in upon number 4 privet drive. Most of the houses along the road were silent and all that could be heard from number 4 was the low murmur of the television down in the living room where Mr. and Mrs. Dursley were waiting for the return of their son Dudley.

Harry Potter lay in his bed in the smallest bedroom on the second floor and stared intently at the night sky. He was not just any boy. He was a wizard, and a famous one at that. He had been attending Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for the past five years and it was the only place besides perhaps the Burrow that he really thought of as home. He longed to be there more than ever.

With Sirius gone he felt as if he needed his friends and he wished that he could leave the Dursley's.

This summer had not been as bad as he expected however. For once he was happy that his spoiled cousin Dursley was an insolent prat. For the first couple weeks that Harry had been back at Privet Dr., Dudley was creating all kinds of problems with his parents. He was fine tuning his adolescent rebellion to perfection and Harry's aunt and uncle were not sure what to do with him.

He had resorted to hanging out with his gang and after a full night worth of no good he would come stumbling home around dawn. When Harry's aunt and uncle would try to talk to him he would only throw a fit.

On one occurrence he had even hit his father during one of his infamous tantrums. Because of all of their problems with Dudley, Harry's aunt and uncle had more or less chosen to ignore him.

At first his uncle Vernon tried to blame him for Dudley's behavior but he gave up after a while as dealing with Dudley was taking up all of his efforts. So life on Privet Dr. continued as usual.

As Harry lay he heard the front door open and the loud footsteps that alerted everyone of Dudley's return. He could hear the muffled voices of his Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon. He lay their silently and waited… And then it came. Dudley gave out a loud yell and he clamored up the stairs into his bedroom next to Harry's. Harry did not even need to hear the conversation in order to know what had occurred.

Harry had overheard his aunt and uncle talking about sending Dudley away. They had at last agreed that his Uncle Vernon should take Dudley on a sort of father son camping trip in the country for the rest of the summer. His uncle had been hesitant at first as he did not want Petunia left with Harry alone. But in the end he decided that Dudley's welfare was more important than worrying about the likes of Harry. They had settled that that they would leave the following morning and Harry could not be more delighted. Indeed he could not have asked for a better birthday present.

Harry was stirred from his thoughts of a Dudley free summer when he heard a light tapping on the window. He turned his head and peered toward the window. He could make out a small fuzzy ball flying excitedly outside. Recognizing Pigwidgeon right away, Harry jumped out of bed and ran to the window. As he opened it he realized however that Pig was not alone. He was accompanied by a very old tired looking owl that he recognized as Errol, the Weasley family owl.

Harry could hardly conceal his excitement as he had not received many owls from his friends so far that summer. He had received two letters a couple weeks into the summer. They had been from Ron and Hermione respectively.

Much to Harry's dismay they had been rather brief in their content. Harry figured that it was because they did not know what to say to him as they knew how much Sirius's death had affected him. He did not really want to hear any one else try and console him for his loss. Despite this, Harry still wanted to know what was going on his with his friends as well as in the wizarding world. He did not wish to have a repeat of last summer and have no idea what was going on.

Harry quickly untied the letter from Pigs leg and placed Pig carefully in Hedwigs cage where he quickly replenished himself with some water. Hedwig was out hunting for the night so Pig was happily fluttering by himself. Upon first glance of the letter Harry's hopes fell. This letter was shorter than the others, if that was even possible. However after reading it he felt more excited than he had all summer.

Harry,

Mom and dad are worrying about mine and Ginny's safety (what else is new?) Anyway, they are arranging something with Dumbledore that I think you will like. Can't tell you what it is mate. But I will see you soon.

Ron

Harry quickly discarded his annoyance of being left in the dark because of the last sentence. Ron had said that he would see Harry soon. Maybe this meant that Dumbledore has agreed that sending Harry to the Burrow for the rest of the summer would not be such a bad thing.

Harry just then remembered that Errol was sitting perched on his bed post. He went over to the owl and carefully untied the letter, as it looked like the old owl might fall apart upon contact. He recognized Mrs. Weasley's handwriting.

Dearest Harry,

I hope that summer finds you well. Do not let those Muggles get you down as your real family is here for you. Professor Dumbledore has recently suggested somewhat of a security measure to ensure Ron, Ginny, and Hermione's safety. He sends his apologies about not being able to write himself but he hopes that you would be able to meet him tomorrow at Mrs. Figg's house accompanied by your aunt Petunia around noon. Take care dear and Happy Birthday!

Love,

Molly Weasley

Harry glanced over at the clock and smiled as its face read 12:03 as it was indeed his sixteenth birthday. He placed Errol inside the cage and began a response to send Pig back with.

Ron,

Tell your mom that I will find a way to get to Mrs. Figg's tomorrow. It might be difficult to bring aunt Petunia but I guess she will go as she doesn't know about Mrs. Figg's connection with us "freaks". Although, something tells me that she will soon enough. I'm sending my response with Pig because I thought that good ol'Errol could use a rest. And also I am not sure if he would survive the journey back. Hopefully see you soon,

Harry

Harry quickly fastened the letter to Pig's leg and watched as it he flew out the window. He was happier than he had been in weeks. Not only were Uncle Vernon and Dudley leaving, but he could see Dumbledore.

Harry lay back on his bed and thought that this birthday might be a good one after all. With that thought he drifted off to an unusually full night's sleep.

The next morning Harry was awakened by a loud bang on his door that caused the floor to creak.

His uncles voice boomed through the wood "Get up! You need to get downstairs and pack the car."

With that his thunderous footsteps turned away from the door and went banging down the stairs. Harry reluctantly got out of bed and put on a pair of his oversized hand me down jeans and a tee shirt.

He glanced over at Hedwig's cage which revealed a sleeping Errol. Harry walked over and opened the door and was almost knocked over by his enormous cousin Dudley who was walking down the hallway toward the stairs.

"Get out of the way before I make you sorry", roared Dudley.

Harry knew it was an empty threat as he knew that after last summer and the dementors, Dudley was more afraid of Harry than ever. But he chose to let his cousin pass anyway. He was in no rush to go down and carry their bags. As he made his way to the kitchen he could smell the breakfast of eggs and sausage of which he would probably not be privileged to. His guess was affirmed as he sat at the table and was presented with a plate of bread and a small piece of grapefruit by his Aunt Petunia.

His aunt have him a condescending look through her beady eyes, "Hurry up and eat. Vernon and my ickle Diddeykins need to be on the road early today."

After eating his rather pitiful breakfast Harry went into the living room and much to his dismay saw the huge mountain of bags that they expected him to move. Harry could not believe that they were bringing this many things.

 Indeed, Harry had never been on a vacation in his life but he assumed that if he was going to go on one he would not pack half as much as them. Reluctantly he picked up as many bags as he could carry and walked to the front door. As he was loading the trunk he saw his uncle stride out of the house, of course no bags in tow.

His uncle gazed at him until he spoke, "If anything happens to Petunia while I am gone you will be very sorry. There will be none of your ma…. nonsense! Do you understand boy? Do anything and you will be very sorry you were ever dropped on our doorstop."

Not even giving Harry a chance to respond he walked away and before reentering the house he turned to Harry once again. "Oh and I told Mrs. Figg to stop by often so you will be watched."

Harry only smirked at this last comment. His uncle Vernon was not aware that Mrs. Figg the old woman who lived up the road was in fact a part of Harry's magical world. She was not a witch herself as she was a squib, someone with magical parents but lacking in all magical ability themselves.

If anything, having Mrs. Figg stop by was a good thing. She was part of the Order of the Phoenix that Dumbledore had set up to protect Harry. Harry hoped that through her he would be able to find out about anything that was going on with Voldemort.

Harry was able to finish packing the car within twenty minutes as it helped that he had started something of a workout since school ended. It was nothing extensive as he just ran for a little while during sunset. Harry wanted to make sure that he was strong both physically and mentally for his next meeting with Voldemort. It was only a question of when as Harry knew that coming face to face with his nemesis was a certainty.

The rest of the morning passed without much action. It had taken Harry's aunt and uncle an extra half an hour to persuade Dudley to leave with his father. He had once again decided that he would much rather stay home with his friends.

It was after Harry's uncle finally decided that a new car might be in Dudley's future that he was in the car and ready to go. Harry sat in the backyard passing the time by trying to think of a way to persuade Aunt Petunia to accompany him to Mrs. Figg's house.

****Thanks to my Beta Junglejim ****