Title: Harry Potter and the Second Order

Part: 2/? - Beyond The Worst

Author: Usagi-chan [usagilikesduochan@hotmail.com]

Warnings: SPOILER for book 1-5!!!, depressing

Pairings: Sirius/Remus, Harry/Ginny, Ron/Hermione

Archive: -

Anyone want the story? Well I am honored then but please ask me first so I can put you to my archive list and so that I can see where my stories are landing. ^^

Feedback: Please, yes, I love critics! =^^= But NO FLAMES!

Comment: Well after book five came out I have so many ideas in my head, I HAVE to write. ^^ And I won't accept the believed-to-be-death of a certain person as long as there is no real proof. I mean, come on guys this is Harry Potter, the world of magic. Anything can happen and most things so far were never as they seemed. :)

Anyway, Harry is back at the Dursley's and thanks to Voldemort he is still grieving deeply over the death of Sirius. When everything becomes too much for him to bear he runs away and back to the place where the worst started. And suddenly something happens which no one counted on.

Disclaimer: Nothing is mine, but all to J. K. Rowling. I don't make any money with it and write only for fun and to release the many ideas she gave me.

And not to forget, much thanks to Deb for betareading.

"..." = Speaking

/.../ = Thoughts

#flashback#

JUST TO BE SURE, THE WARNING AGAIN: THIS STORY CONTAINS SLASH AND A LOT OF SPOILERS FOR ALL FIVE BOOKS! SO IF YOU HAVEN'T FINISHED WITH BOOK FIVE AND DON'T WANT TO KNOW ANYTHING, DON'T READ!!!!

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Beyond the Worst

Right after the news ended Vernon Dursley turned the TV off and his little pig-eyes faced Harry, who was still staring at the now black screen.

"So," he addressed the boy, his mustache was shaking with every word, "This, this... what happened there, that was your fault, wasn't it?"

It took quite some time for the words to sink into Harry's now throbbing head. Only slowly did he register that everyone in the room was looking at him and even more slowly did he turn his head to face his Uncle on the couch.

"Do I look like I walk around and burn houses for fun?" Harry asked in a light annoyed voice. Vernon had already opened his mouth to, what Harry was very sure, would have been a 'yes' but thought otherwise in the last second and closed it.

"But if you mean to ask if this has been the crime of Voldemort, then yes it obviously is," the teenage boy continued in a hollow tone. "Seems it has started now."

"So, this,... this Voldething walks around blasting houses away and killing people?"

"Yes."

"And, and he is after you?"

"Yes, evidently."

"Then why do we keep this damn boy?" Uncle Vernon now furious turned around to face his wife. Aunt Petunia lost more color than she already had and began to shake, not meeting the gaze of her husband.

"Last year you also declared we have to keep him and you said so for this year too."

Harry's eyes widened when he heard this. His Uncle wanted to get rid of him again and his Aunt had been against it? Did she get another Howler from Dumbledore? Or did she still remember the one from last year? His thoughts were disturbed by his Uncle as he continued with his little rant, his voice a mix of suppressed anger and fear.

"This all seems to be so simple. If we get rid of the boy, we get rid of the danger of becoming victims to this Voldelord. I don't care if this troupe of his comes over here and... and... try to hex us if the alternative is to get killed!"

He was interrupted by his nephew who suddenly gave a dry chuckle, which ended in hollow, gloomy laughter.

"WHAT?!" bellow Vernon, now completely losing his temper. "WHAT ON EARTH IS SO FUNNY, BOY?"

"You are so wrong," Harry explained to his Uncle in a slow, quite voice. "As long as I am in this house Lord Voldemort won't be able to find me. This means he would also not be able to find you. I am not certain how this kind of magic works that they put onto this house, but, I am nearly certain, if I have to leave this house, Voldemort would be able to come over and play, if he feels like it. So, ironically, me being here means we are safe."

He made a quick face while his relatives watched him, speechless for a moment. Aunt Petunia's eyes were huge and her face white and she seemed to have forgotten how to move. Her son didn't look any better, only his mouth opened and closed wordlessly, like a fish. Uncle Vernon's normally purple face had lost all color and his pig-like eyes were unusually wide with fear, fear beyond the one the whole family normally felt for Harry because of his magic ability.

"What do you mean with 'you being here means we are safe'?" his Uncle finally croaked out. "I thought this Lord was... is so powerful that your whole world fears him? This means whatever... these, these things do, they won't be powerful enough to hold him back, will they? And you are the obvious threat. If you are out, we are safe, we don't have to have to do anything with your kind. Actually we never wanted to in first place, as you full well know."

Again Harry let out one of his unnatural hollow laughs. His head was killing him right now.

Just like it was last year when we had this discussion, he thought bitterly, but forced himself to calm down before speaking again.

"Listen carefully because I am not in the mood to continue this discussion much longer," he snapped. "Fact is, Lord Voldemort isn't out to get every wizard and witch in our world. After me, he is only interested in the people who support Albus Dumbledore in his war against him, the witches and wizards who are born by a muggle family, like my mother and to muggles themselves. Voldemort HATES muggles. His father was one himself and when I recall it now, it seems he was a lot like you, hating everything with magic. He abandoned his wife and his child when he found out she was a witch. Voldemort never forgave him for that. Right after school he killed his own father you know. And he has been hating muggles for as long as he can think. So to say you are safer without me is the worst joke I've heard in a long time. If you would excuse me now, I have a headache and want to go to my chamber. Good day!"

With these words, he whirled around and left the living room and three very stunned Dursley's behind.

Harry needed a while to calm down from his anger. But soon as he felt the worst gone, he ran to his desk, grabbed for his quill and some blank parchment and started to write letters to his friends Ron and Hermione.

Hope you are safe. Did you hear about it? Seems the war really has started. We should prepare for the worst it seems. The muggles here were so shocked when they saw it in the news that Uncle Vernon again wanted me to leave the house in concern for their safety. But I think I have convinced him to let me stay, so no one has to come and check so far. If anything happens, I will tell you immediately.

Please take care of yourselves!

Harry

After he had done the two similar letters and addressed them to his two friends, he grabbed another parchment and started a third letter. In the first second he wanted to start with addressing it to his godfather, before he, with a pang, reminded himself to the so deeply hurting fact that his godfather wasn't there for him anymore. What he wanted to write was for Remus Lupin, the last best friend from his parents that he knew.

Dear Remus,

Well it feels funny to address you in this way. I think I can still not get rid of the image from third year with you being my teacher. Somehow I am really sorry that we hadn't meet before school but, I shouldn't sulk in the past, should I? How are you? I hope you are well and safe. Of course I am not asking you about your whereabouts. I know the time is not safe for this and I am sure you have already heard about what happened near London. The muggles here saw it on TV as well, unfortunately. I am very surprised at the behavior of my relatives in this instance. Normally they are just grumpy and of course a little afraid of my magic abilities, but this time, it's more fear than anything else. I think my Aunt knows more than I ever expected her to. I already got this feeling last year when the event with the Dementors happened. Anyway, my Uncle was suggesting they throw me out of the house but, I think I could persuade them not to. So no need for you to come over and check so far. If anything else happens or my Uncle changes his mind again I will write you immediately. Do you think, I can go to old Lady (I think you know who I mean) if you people don't make it in time? So far nothing special has happened at home itself. I don't go out and my Aunt forbid me and Dudley to do so on weekends and after dark during the weeks anyway. She is really afraid since I told them that Voldemort will start to work in the open now again. Maybe, can you tell me how much she knows about this problem at all and from who? I would be happy to have something else I can think of besides... yeah well you know what I mean. And I am sorry that I now mentioned it after all, I didn't mean to. To go back to the point, it would be nice if you write me back in the future and... maybe you can give me some hints about what you are doing. I understand of course if you can't reveal anything. Times are not safe at the moment.

At this moment the voice of his Aunt Petunia called him for dinner. Harry let out a little sigh and took a look at the clock. It was already past one pm. He didn't look forward to having to face the Dursley's again so soon, but on the other hand it seemed he needed food after all. His stomach was hurting badly because of the lack of food he had had in the last few days. He hurriedly scribbled some last sentences.

Well my Aunt just called me for dinner so I need to finish now. Take care and hopefully we can meet again before school term starts.

Best wishes

Harry

He addressed the letter to his former teacher and called Hedwig, who had watched him from her cage all the time since he started writing the letters. She had come back from her last trip around midday with two letters from his friends when he had watched the news, but so far the letter hadn't said anything about the last events, that was why he had written about them in his own letters to them now.

"Would you be so kind and deliver these three to Ron, Hermione and Remus Lupin, Hedwig?" he asked his snowy owl quietly. "Of course, if you are tired, you can rest a little more and fly out as soon as you are fit again."

Hedwig simply held out her leg and let him fasten the letters. When he was done she hopped onto his shoulder and nibbled lovingly on his earlobe for a while. Of course his only friend in the house had already noticed how tired, sad and worn out he was right now. Harry, sensing her well-meant gesture stroked the soft feathers and gave his first smile since he'd been back.

"I am all right Hedwig, well I will be, I promise," he told her. "All I need is a little more time to accept some things you know."

She hooted quietly as if she wanted to say that she understood. Then she spread out her wings and set off out of the window into the clear blue sky. Harry watched her go until she was only a point on the horizon.

"Be safe, Hedwig," he whispered and took off to dinner.

Dinner was very quiet, a unusual thing for the Dursley's. Normally they all would ignore Harry and sit watching Dudley's TV. Or Uncle Vernon would talk about Grunnings. But not so this time. Everyone simply sat in his place and ate. The only thing which was as normal as ever was that they tried to ignore Harry as best they could.

Harry himself didn't eat very much. Although his stomach had hurt because of hunger just before this was quickly gone after the first few bites when his thoughts unwillingly were brought back to his godfather.

He finally gave up on eating any more and pushed away the still half full plate to run back to his room. The rest of the day he spent grieving again over the loss and tried to convince himself that it hadn't been his fault. Especially after Voldemort sent him these nightmares did he try to use them as proof that it hadn't been his fault after all. Nothing Voldemort tried to say was right.

While Harry was staring outside his window without seeing anything at all, a sudden idea came into his head. Maybe what he needed, really needed, was a chance to say goodbye. Like when people went to the grave of their beloved and put some roses on it. Except for the nightmares, maybe this was exactly what he needed.

But the whole idea held one very big problem. There was no grave for Sirius. There had been no corpse after all because it had vanished behind the veil. This meant the only place to perform such a ritual was at the ministry of magic. Harry would have to go to the ministry and to the veil if he wanted to say goodbye in such a personal way.

For a long time Harry spend his time not thinking about past, but to form a plan on how to get to the ministry and the room with the veil. He would need his Invisible Cloak, the only thing he could use without being punished. Maybe his Firebold would be helpful as well for the journey, but he suddenly remembered Moody saying that using an Invisibly Cloak on a broom wasn't safe enough because of the wind.

It was also clear that Harry would have to go to the ministry at night, when nobody was there. He didn't want to run into a bunch of witches and wizards who would do nothing more than to stare at his scar. And if he had very bad luck he would meet a Death Eater. After all he wasn't supposed to be out, was he?

He thought a little while longer. Supper time had arrived when at last a fully grown plan was ready in his head. What he needed was: his Invisible Cloak, his wand (just in case), a normal cloak where he could hide his face easily under, some muggle money for buses and - Vernon Dursley!

Dinner with the Dursley's was taken in an uncomfortable silence. Harry wasn't in the mood for saying anything and his relatives were too afraid to complain about anything after his outburst at the end of the news. Only when Aunt Petunia served the dessert did Harry lay his eyes on his Uncle.

"Uncle Vernon?"

It came so suddenly, that Vernon nearly choked on his first bite of dessert.

"What?" he snapped, after he had drunk a little water.

"I need to go to London tomorrow," Harry said calmly.

"Is that so?" grunted his Uncle. "Well, do what you want boy. I don't hold you back."

Harry made a short grimace before he explained.

"Well, you have to drive me."

This time Uncle Vernon *did* choke on his dessert. His face became purple when he focused his furious eyes on his nephew. Harry continued quickly before his Uncle could say a word.

"I can't drive a car as you may realize and it's a little far to go by foot, isn't it?"

He made a little pause before he added slyly,

"Of course I could ask one of my friends to take me, but they are very busy you know. I think they won't appreciate it very much that they have to break their work just to take *me* to London because my relatives won't."

Uncle Vernon's face had gone from purple to chalk white.

"I... I have to work as well if you remember, you stupid boy," he growled. Harry gave him a fake smile.

"Don't worry about that Uncle. You can take me there before work. You don't have to pick me up again because I am not sure how long I will stay anyway. Just leave me a little bit of money for my return journey. I can go by train in that case. Oh and I think I will stay one last night in the 'Leaky Cauldron', so I definitely won't be back before tomorrow, I think."

This whole discussion was tiring in Harry's eyes. Under normal circumstances he would have simply taken the Knight Bus and not bothered with asking his Uncle to take him to London and come back by muggle train, but he couldn't risk being recognized and the people of the Knight Bus would do so, since he had taken the bus before.

For a moment there was silence before Uncle Vernon asked shakily.

"What the heck is the 'Leaky Cauldron'?"

"A pub," answered Harry shortly. "It's the place where wi... our kind goes when we have to buy our things."

Uncle Vernon grunted, a sign that he had understood. There was silence again while the Dursley's finished dessert. Harry gave his own untouched dessert to Dudley, who took it without complaint. Harry never ate his dessert just as he never ate much for lunch.

After dinner Harry made his way upstairs again to get at least a little sleep before he would have the nightmare again. It was still early evening and he knew from experience that Voldemort never disturbed him before midnight.

The last thing he heard for the day, just before he stepped into his room, was Uncle Vernon shouting from the kitchen.

"If you want me to take you to London boy, make sure you are ready at 6 am!"

If Uncle Vernon hoped that Harry wouldn't wake up in time to get ready for their drive, he was mistaken. Harry had been up since three in the morning, after he woke up from his nightmare again. He knew that with the dream and him looking forward to go to the place where it happened, he was way too disturbed to go back to sleep.

After half past five arrived he got dressed, packed a little bag with the belongings he needed and went down to the kitchen for a half hearted breakfast. Uncle Vernon joined Harry at breakfast at six o'clock. He looked tired, bad tempered and refused to look or speak with his nephew. Only when he finished with eating, did he grunt to Harry that it was time to leave.

The journey to London was uneventful. They arrived before seven and Harry was able to remember the way and direct his Uncle to the Leaky Cauldron.

When Harry left the car he wore the dark blue cloak he had taken with him. Now his face was safely hidden deep within the hood. He thanked his Uncle politely for the ride while checking that all he needed was with him. Vernon grunted and gave his nephew, and the dark looking pub, a nasty glare before he closed the car door with a loud bang and drove off.

Harry didn't much care. Shoving the folded Invisibility cloak from his father deeper into his pocket and holding his wand in a strong grip, he anxiously stepped into the Leaky Cauldron.

The first thing Harry noticed when he stepped into the pub was that there were already a lot of people there, although it was still early in the morning. His appearance got a lot of attention. Tom, the barkeeper, as well as some of the wizards and witches gave him nasty, suspicious looks.

Harry suspected that this was because he hid his face from view and the mistrusting behavior was a painful reminder of how afraid people were nowadays. Mistrust for everyone who didn't show himself in the open because sneaking around and hiding was exactly the way Death Eaters acted.

Harry tried not to pay too much attention to the looks they gave him and walked swiftly to the wall at the back of the pub. He tapped the bricks with his wand and went through the entrance into Diagon Alley.

His first stop while there was to the 'Magical Apothecary for slight injury cure potions'. He asked the seller for a big bottle of dreamless sleep potion. The selling wizard was very suspicious of Harry's appearance, but he couldn't argue against the boy's explanation of not sleeping well for weeks now.

After he brought what he needed he asked politely if there was a way via Floo Powder to the official ministry entrance. The still very mistrusting wizard gave him the name of the fireplace only, because going to the ministry wasn't a crime after all.

Now that he was done with the important things, Harry thought of what to do next. He wasn't going to leave for the ministry before evening. Firstly he didn't want to be disturbed and secondly he wasn't supposed to be outside the house and its wards after all, especially with no company to keep him safe. If he were to show up at the ministry in the daytime with all the people there and demanding to take him to the veil while disguised with his cloak, he would end up in Askaban before they realized that he wasn't a Death Eater after all.

Harry wished that he could visit the joke shop of Fred and George, the older twin brothers of his best friend Ron. But he knew it was impossible; the danger of being recognized was too great. He finally decided to eat a little breakfast to gather some strength. He still wasn't exactly hungry, but he knew it wouldn't do him any good not to eat anything the whole day after his humble breakfast early that morning.

After eating he decided to walk aimlessly around for a while. He stopped at 'Quality for Quidditch' to take a look at the newest Nimbus 2003 from the Nimbus series. The 2003 wasn't as good as his Firebold, but still it was a nice broom to look at and definitely better than the Nimbus 2001 which the players from the Slytherin house team at Hogwarts used.

Harry's next stop was at 'Flourish and Bloots' the biggest bookshop in Diagon Alley. He spent the rest of his day looking and reading through different books. Most of them were about the Dark Arts.

But there was one book which caught his eye especially. After reading it for a while, thoughtfully he decided to buy this one. It was a book about Animagi and how to become one.

When Harry left the bookshop again he took a look at his watch, it told him it was 8 pm. Diagon Alley would be open for another two hours. So he decided it was time to buy the very last thing he needed for his journey - Floo Powder.

Harry was able to get a small sack of the greenish powder for the last of his wizarding money, which he had gotten a year ago for the school year. He didn't intend visiting Gringotts during his actual visit, because if he did, he would had been forced to reveal his identity for getting to his money. Fortunately what he had, had been enough for everything.

For the rest of his time he had before leaving, Harry sat near the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron and kept himself busy with reading his new book. The time seemed to fly, suddenly a voice tore him from the words in front of his nose.

"Visitors of the magical streets are asked to start leaving right now," a bodiless voice announced. "The entrance to the Leaky Cauldron will be closed in ten minutes. The connection of the Floo-networks will be cut in 15 minutes as well as the start of activation for the anti-apparating child's. We hope you have had a pleasant stay and that we can welcome you back again. We wish you and your families a safe journey home."

Harry was amused and surprised at the same time. Although he had spent a week at the Leaky Cauldron when he was 13, he had never been in Diagon Alley long enough to witness the closing. And now he noticed that the system wasn't so much different from the closing of the big Muggle shopping centers.

With a deep breath Harry closed his book, put it in his backpack and stood up.

TBC...