Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters mentioned in this fanfiction. Harry Potter and all characters from the Harry Potter Series are property of J.K. Rowling.
Chapter One: Much Awaited Salvation
Harry slowly turned a page of The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 5 trying to understand that after only two weeks of being at Number 4 Privet Drive he could have completely forgotten everything about Vanishing Charms.
He looked up at the quiet living room. Uncle Vernon was sitting in his very old and overstuffed leather armchair with the morning's paper held close to his face. His tiny beady eyes were moving back and forth quickly, his mouth slightly open. Aunt Petunia was slowly and meticulously cleaning every one of her long finger nails, something she had been doing for the last 30 minutes. Dudley was no where to be seen but Harry knew he was once again roaming the streets around Privet Drive looking for his prey of 11 year old children.
Harry took this moment to savor the simple pleasure of being able to do what he wanted. He still could hardly believe he was reading one of his schoolbooks in the presence of his Aunt and uncle. This normally would have been strictly forbidden in the Dursley household but ever since he, Harry was picked up at Kings Cross Station all that had changed since his aunt and uncle were now too scared to even look at him.
Harry smiled to himself, reminiscing about the look on Aunt Petunia's face when she saw the crowd of wizards who came to talk to her about Harry. Harry smile vanished in an instant. Yes it only been two weeks at Privet Drive but Harry was growing more and more unhappy now that he was confined to the dull Muggle world he once thought was his only home.
Harry looked back down to his book once again immersing himself in the complicated theories which now seemed so distant to him. After another half hour, giving up on getting anything else done that night he climbed the steps to his bedroom. When he opened his door he received a surprise, there was an owl perched on his bed post which he instantly recognized as Pigwedgeon, Ron Weasley's owl. Harry rushed over to the now bouncing owl and detached a scroll from the owl's leg. He unrolled it quickly:
Great news!! Your not gonna believe this but we got the OK to go ahead and get you out of the hellhole you call home. We are all heading over to the same place as last year. I hope your ok with that? It's not safe at my place anymore, but I shouldn't say more right now. Anyway someone should be coming to your place tomorrow so be ready. I can't wait to see you and Hermione is coming too! Hold on one more day, mate!! See you soon!
Harry hesitated. They were going back to Number 12 Grimmuald Place. The place where Sirius grew up, the place he left to come to Harry's aid….
Harry shook his head. Every waking moment, and most other moments all Harry could dwell on was his late godfather. Always reliving the look on his face as he fell threw the veil in the Department of Mysteries. The way the laughter was not gone from his face as he left this world….
This was not a time to dwell on things like that. He was just going to have to suck it up because anything was better than spending the rest of the summer at Privet Drive. He strode over to the desk next to his wardrobe and began piling parchment and books in to his trunk and emptying out his wardrobe. He spent the rest of the night reading Quidditch through the Ages as had become custom with him every night so he would not fall asleep and dream about the things he tried so hard not to think about. However he had not ever not fallen asleep as exhaustion always overtook him at some point and he would sink in to a restless sleep full of high laughter and Sirius's face falling through the veil and Harry screaming with all his heart to let him go and save the only person he could call a parent….
Harry awoke with a start, cold sweat clinging to his body and his scar prickling. It took him a moment to realize exactly what had woken him up when he heard the shrill screech of his Aunt downstairs. Bolting out of bed he ran to his door and wrenched it open the door and ran to the steps. It was immediately evident what had caused his aunt's screaming. Mad-Eye Moody, Nymphadora Tonks, and Remus Lupin were all standing in the entrance way looking up at him; all three Dursleys were cowering in a corner next to a plastic plant.
He suddenly remembered with a sense of amusement he had forgotten to tell his aunt and uncle that some unusual company would be arriving today. Smiling, he went down to greet them.
Tonks' eyebrows were raised, and Remus was looking down at his feet suppressing a smirk. Harry suddenly realized with a jolt that he was still in his pajama bottoms without a shirt on which he must have taken off sometime during the night.
Harry blushed and mumbled, "Be right back." and dashed up the stairs to his room. Highly embarrassed Harry looked out his window, realizing that it must be at least 11:00 in the morning and should have been up and fully dressed hours ago. He glanced at himself in the mirror. His hair was rumpled and his pajamas were wrinkled and it was obvious that they hadn't been washed for a fortnight. His chest was too pale and hairless for Harry's liking and his arms looked gangly and sinewy from months of hard Quidditch training. Turning away, Harry grabbed the white undershirt and blue plaid shirt he had laid out last night and threw them over his head. He descended down the stairs a minute later fully dressed and dragging his trunk and his owl, Hedwig's, cage. The Dursley's were still hovering around the corner apparently still afraid that one of the visitors might whip out a wand and turn them into hyenas.
"Hello Harry," said Lupin striding over and embracing him in a hug, "good to see you."
"Hey Harry!" said Tonks smiling warmly at him and helping him carry his trunk.
Moody merely grunted, his magical eye watching the Dursley's closely and his right hand twitching near his hip, as though he wished he could bring out his wand.
"So you ready to leave?" Remus asked turning to the door, clearly wanting to make a quick exit. Tonks' had taken his trunk and charmed it to hover 3 inches off the ground. Aunt Petunia was watching it warily as though it might attack her if she looked away.
"Yeah," said Harry slowly and turned to face the Dursley's. He felt as if he needed to say something to them. Especially Aunt Petunia as he had learned from Dumbledore that she had at least been decent enough to take him in as a child when he had been left on her doorstep and she was after all was his mother's sister.
He walked forward his hand extended, toward the Dursley's. Uncle Vernon and Dudley moved against the wall as one, but Aunt Petunia stayed rooted to the ground staring at Harry's hand. Harry didn't know if she would react positively to this gesture of companionship and was more surprised when, instead of shaking his hand she stepped closer and kissed him quickly on the cheek and turned away, not looking at him. Everyone's eyes: Tonks', Lupin's, Moody's, Uncle Vernon's, Harry's, and Dudley's eyes all went wide in shock. This was certainly an unprecedented sign of affection from his Aunt. Harry could not recall a time in his life where he had ever been kissed by his aunt. Harry stood rooted to the spot staring dumbly at her when Lupin cleared his throat. Dudley and Uncle Vernon were staring at Aunt Petunia while she stared determinedly at the plastic plant as though if she looked at it long enough it would become real.
Harry turned away and walked to the door opening it for Tonks so she could navigate his trunk through. Lupin strode after her followed closely by Moody. Harry moved forward and glanced back at the Dursley's. This time Aunt Petunia was not staring at the plant but was looking at him straight in the eye with a look he had only seen once before, which was last summer. Her eyes looked pleading as though all hope for her happiness rested with him. Harry found it hard to look away but finally nodded to her and then strode out the door.
Parked in the drive way was a highly polished black car with tinted windows that looked as if it would be used to escort the Prime Minister. Getting more confused with the appearance of the car Harry heard the distinct and all too familiar voice of Uncle Vernon ring across the lawn.
"WHAT THE BLOODY HELL WAS THAT?!" Harry shook his head wondering exactly what Uncle Vernon was asking. What in the world was that?
"Professor? What is this car for? We're not taking are we?" asked Harry, getting slightly worried since he doubted any wizard had a driver's license or could let alone drive.
"They're Ministry cars." Lupin said smiling down at him. Harry stared up at him. It was a mark of how much the Ministry was cooperating with Dumbledore's secret society the Order of the Phoenix. It was maybe only 3 weeks ago that Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic, had accepted that the most terrible dark wizard of the last century had indeed risen again. The wizard who had killed Harry's parents…
Harry's parents had once belonged to the Order of the Phoenix until one Halloween night Lord Voldemort came to his parent's house and killed them. He, Harry, had only been a baby and had only survived when Voldemort tried to kill him by the sacrifice of his mother. It was until just recently that Harry understood why Voldemort tried to kill him in the first place. It was all because of a prophecy made some 16 years ago… It was perhaps the only other thing he thought about as much as his godfather.
"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches…
Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies…
And the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not…
And either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives…
The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies…"
So Harry was faced with the horrible knowledge that his future was decided. He would either be a murderer or a victim of one, neither which he found appealing.
Clearing his mind he walked toward the car and driver in a green button down suit dashed forward and opened the back seat door for him smiling cheekily at him. Harry stepped in and was surprised to see what looked like the spacious interior of quite long stretch limousine. The dark, rich leather interior, Harry realized, could have only been created to fit in this car by magic. A moment later Tonks and Lupin stepped into the car while Mad-Eye opened the door to the driver's passenger seat. Lupin settled himself next to Harry while Tonks sat on the opposite side of him and suddenly contorted her face to a serious expression. To his left, Remus was looking at him grimly.
"We have a lot of things to tell you now Harry." Lupin began. "No doubt Dumbledore has already explained a lot of it to you. You understand about the prophecy don't you?" Harry nodded. "Good. Well then you will understand that the rest of the Order and I will be helping you build up you skills, by skills I mean skills that will help you defeat Voldemort."
Harry stared at him. They were actually going to train him to go against the most terrible and powerful wizard of this century? This had never occurred to Harry. He had been dwelling so long about his decided future and Sirius that he had never thought about actually trying to defeat Voldemort. The idea even to him sounded crazy and ludicrous. A fifteen year old versus Lord Voldemort?
"I know what you're thinking. It's not going to be easy but you understand how important this is. We are not saying you are going to fight Voldemort this year or anything; we simply want to get you prepared. Because if Voldemort wins, if he doesn't die….." Lupin shuddered involuntarily.
Harry suddenly felt as though an enormous burden was put on him. It was up him to save them, all of them, all the wizarding populations. Just as suddenly Harry felt a pang of injustice, of anger. Why did it have to be him? Why did everything happen to him? Why did Voldemort choose him? He could have chosen anyone born at the end of July. Why couldn't he have chosen Neville…?
Harry cursed himself. No, no. He would not wish his ordeal on anyone else, especially not someone like Neville. He had been through as much pain as Harry, maybe more, for Neville's parents were tortured into insanity bye Voldemort's Deatheaters. No he would not wish this on Neville.
The car shuddered signaling they were moving and set off at a speed much too fast for Harry's comfort.
"Obviously there is a lot of work to do," Lupin continued. "We are going to train you in everything we know and Dumbledore will be helping you at Hogwarts. I will start you off by teaching you the dark arts. I'm afraid you will have to learn some very powerful Dark spells… Tonks will be teaching you to see if you have the skills to be a Metamorphmagus. Alastor will be teaching you about Pain Deflection. That's teaching you how to throw off pain from certain spells, even the Cruciatus Curse. Dumbledore will continue your Occlumeny lessons you'll be happy to hear, instead of Snape."
Harry smiled at this. He would rather be fed to a box of Blast-Ended Skewrets than go through another one of Snape's Occlumency lessons.
"And oh yes. Professor McGonagall will be teaching you to become an Animagus…"
"A what?" cried Harry. He barely dared to believe his ears.
"An Animagus." Lupin said, chuckling softly. "Just like you father," He added fondly.
Harry couldn't believe it. An Animagus was a wizard who could transform into an animal. He knew it took years and years of practicing, for his father and Sirius had too been Animagi too, though they had learned illegally.
"Wow!" he said softly. Then another thought occurred to him. If he was to be an Animagus would the Order tell the Ministry? Was the Order cooperating well enough with the Ministry that they would be told Harry would be learning to be an Animagus?
"Professor? Are we going to tell the Ministry about all this training I will be receiving?" Harry ventured.
"We are still deciding that. Fudge is cooperating well enough but only reluctantly. It's a wonder to me how he still can be when he saw Voldemort himself right in his precious Ministry." Lupin said bitterly looking out the window at Muggle Suburbia.
That's all for now. Hope you enjoyed. Next chapter coming very soon. ~Michelle AD