Disclaimer: I own nothing, it all belongs to J.K.Rowling. I'm just borrowing the characters to play with for a while. This is for pleasure only, no profit is being made and no copyright infringement is intended.

Chapter Thirty-seven

Back Into Hell

The Hogwarts Express was due to leave at ten o'clock in the morning. The four Gryffindors cleared out of their dorms, checking under the beds for any last-minute stray items, and left their trunks in the hallway for the House Elves to load onto the train.

Harry was feeling sad and rather discouraged about leaving, knowing he was in for a long, hot summer with the Dursleys. He hoped Bill could succeed in getting them to just leave him alone. Still, if Ginny and Ron were allowed to use the Floo to Mrs. Figg's house, this could turn out to be his best summer yet. He certainly had enough work to keep him occupied. It was bound to be interesting, at least, and he wondered what it would take to get Aunt Petunia to change her mind about going to Grimmauld Place. Knowing Aunt Petunia and Bill Weasley, neither was likely to back down.

He just wished he felt better physically. He was tired and pale, the excitement over leaving the hospital combined with last night's feast was catching up to him. He lagged slightly behind the others on the way down to the carriages that would transport them to the station in Hogsmeade.

The station was crowded and bustling with activity when they arrived. Harry allowed Ginny to pull him along as he precariously managed Hedwig's cage. His owl ruffled her feathers indignantly over being jostled about. "Come on, Harry, move along. We're never going to find an empty compartment otherwise," Ginny cried, tugging on his arm while gently stroking his hand with her thumb to soften her words.

"Hold up, you lot," a familiar, booming voice sounded from somewhere behind them causing them all to stop and turn around.

"Yeh weren't gonna leave without sayin' G'bye, now, were yeh?" Hagrid asked, with a touch of disappointment in his voice.

"Course not, Hagrid," Harry replied, flinging his arms around the half giant and giving him a squeeze. Hagrid was surprised, but seemed pleased by the affection.

"Yeh take good care of yerself, Harry. Do everythin' yer supposed ter and take all yer Potions. They'll have yeh feelin' better in no time. Lemme know if them relatives of yers give yeh any trouble. I haven't added a pig's tail ter anyone in a while." Hagrid smiled, fondly recalling the memory.

"Will do, Hagrid. You take care of yourself as well. I'll see you in September."

"Right. I know Professor Dumbledore is plannin' to have yeh out of that place as soon as he can. Great man, Dumbledore."

"I know. I'll be fine. Did you know Dobby is staying with me this year?"

"I heard that! Ne'er seen a House Elf so excited in me life."

Harry rolled his eyes and groaned, imagining Dobby's exuberance. This ought to be interesting. He had to admit the idea of seeing Aunt Petunia's face if she caught sight of the indomitable House Elf was rather amusing.

"Good-bye, Hagrid. Do be careful and take care of yourself," Hermione said, giving him a hug farewell.

"Take care, Hagrid. See you in the Fall. We'll be Seventh years then and ready to rule the school." Ron beamed and clapped him on the shoulder.

"Heh," Hagrid scoffed. "As if ye hadn't been doin' that since yer first year anyways."

"Don't worry, Hagrid, I'll take care of Harry." Ginny promised as she, too, hugged him goodbye. Her small frame nearly disappeared within his massive arms.

"I have no doubt about that, Ginny. You keep him on the straight an' narrow. I know he'd do anythin' for yeh."

Harry hugged him again and turned to follow the others. They boarded the train at last and did manage to find an empty compartment. As in the ride to school back in September, Neville and Luna joined them.

"Another year done," Hermione sighed as she sank down into a seat.

"Next year will be our last," Ron said, sounding slightly nostalgic already.

"Not for Luna and I, we still have another year after that," Ginny added.

"I wonder who will be Head Girl and Boy next year?" Hermione queried.

"No doubt about Head Girl, that would be you," Ron said, pointing at Hermione.

Hermione smiled tightly. "You don't know that, Ron."

He rolled his eyes in exasperation. "Of course I do, Hermione. You're the smartest witch in our year. You have been since first year and you got more O.W.L.s than anyone. Who else is even competition?"

Hermione smiled, obviously pleased with his high praise. "It's not how many O.W.L.s you get that decides who will be Head Girl," she insisted.

Ron patted her hand but ignored her. "It's more of a question who will get Head Boy. Ernie MacMillan has certainly been posturing for it, but I don't think he should get it. It's not even necessarily a Prefect who gets it. I think it will be you, mate."

Harry was startled to realize Ron was talking to him. "Me? No, I don't think so. I've broken way too many rules around here. Snape would have a fit. Maybe it will be you, Ron."

"I think we'll just have to wait and see," Ginny interrupted. "Let's enjoy some of our vacation before we start worrying about next year."

"Where's Dobby?" Ron asked, grinning. He found it highly amusing that the mental House Elf was going to be living with Harry and teased him about it unmercifully.

"He's going to Apparate and meet me there. House Elves can Apparate right through the wards so he can get into the house. That's how they do it at Hogwarts, too."

"Fred and George want to make a visit. I'm sure they plan on enlisting Dobby's help to leave some treats for Dudley." Ron was grinning evilly and Harry, too, began to smile at the thought. After Dudley's rudeness at Christmas, Ron was dying to get a chance for some payback.

"Couldn't happen to a nicer guy," Harry said sarcastically.

"Your relatives haven't even been told he's going to be there?" Hermione asked, a slight frown of disapproval on her face.

"Nope. Professor Dumbledore says one of the duties of a House Elf is to not be seen, so he feels Dobby will have no trouble hiding his presence from the Dursleys."

"That's reprehensible. By calling it a duty it reinforces the idea that they aren't even worthy of being acknowledged. I can't believe Dobby would agree to this! He knows better." Hermione was indignant and glaring at Harry as if it was his fault.

"Don't blame me, Hermione. If it were up to me, I wouldn't have him there at all. I don't need him, I could manage."

"You could not, Harry Potter," Ginny interrupted furiously. "You don't take care of yourself under the best of conditions, never mind being trapped with them. Dobby will make sure you eat, and sleep, and take your Potions. And he won't let your relatives treat you like slave labor or dole out any undue punishments. It's a good thing he's going to be there, and it's necessary." She exclaimed, turning her glare to Hermione as she finished her tirade.

Hermione had the sense to know when to shut up, even if she didn't like it. She pursed her lips and sat back in her seat with her arms folded across her chest. Harry noticed Ron grinning at his sister. He seemed quite pleased to see someone turn Hermione off the subject of House Elf rights.

Harry knew Hermione only gave up because she was actually more concerned about him than she was over even the House Elves plight, and it touched him deeply. He really had a lot of people in his corner watching out for him.

As the train rolled on, memories of his captivity and the battle at Malfoy Manor replayed in his mind. He finally allowed his thoughts and memories about Jonathan to filter through his mind. For days, he'd tried to block them out. Now, sitting here on this train with Jonathan's face looming large in his mind, he let himself remember.

He remembered how he'd thought of Percy when he first met him, and how different from Percy he'd actually turned out to be. He remembered all their duels, the ones with swords, or wands, or even just hand-to-hand. He smiled as he thought of his stunned exhilaration the first time he'd managed to beat him.

Jonathan had promised to help Harry defeat Voldemort. Defeat the creature that had stolen his family and the life he'd built. Now, he'd never get the chance to be there at the end to see if all his effort would pay off. He had helped him, though. He'd helped him a lot. Harry felt he never would have survived the last few weeks without Jonathan. Even at the end, it had been Jonathan yelling instructions to him on how to beat Voldemort.

The notes and books he'd found would be invaluable. Harry felt with a certainty in his heart that the answers were in there somewhere. He just had to find them. He had a lot of the Order, Hermione, and even Professor Dumbledore helping. Harry was sure the answer was within their grasp. And he had Jonathan to thank for that.

"Are you all right?" Ginny's quiet voice broke into his reverie. He'd been starting out the window and she must have noticed the pained expression on his face.

"I'm okay. I was just thinking about Jonathan."

"I'm sorry, Harry," she whispered, keeping her voice low so as not to be overheard by the others. "I know you two had grown friendly. But from everything you've told me about him, he died doing what he wanted to be doing."

"I know. He said if he had to go down, he'd want it to be fighting Voldemort. I just wish it hadn't been for me."

She pulled him towards her and kissed the top of his head. "Just hang in there, luv. There was nothing you could have done."

"Oi, Harry, interested in a game of chess?" Ron asked.


Neville and Luna had left to visit with Seamus and Dean while Ron set up his chessboard. Harry proceeded to lose spectacularly. He was just about to set the pieces up for a rematch when Hermione said, "Ron, we really should make rounds. We haven't done so at all yet."

Ron assumed a put upon expression and shrugged apologetically. Harry smirked in acknowledgement. "Come on, Ginny. Want to take Ron's spot while he plays the role of a good little Prefect?"

Ginny grinned while Ron glared and followed Hermione from the car. Harry began setting up his pieces but noticed Ginny wasn't positioning hers.

"Ginny," he asked. "Aren't you going to play?"

"Do you really want to?"

Harry shrugged. "I guess not."

Ginny smiled mischievously. "I can think of other things I'd rather do." She batted her eyes dramatically.

A slow grin spread over his face. "What did you have in mind?"

She jumped off her seat and plopped herself in his lap, capturing his lips with her own and giving him a long, tender kiss.

He smiled as she pulled away. "I remember thinking about doing that on the ride to Hogwarts last September."

Surprise showed on Ginny's face. "You did?"

"Uh huh."

"I wished I'd known that then."

"Really? What would you have done about it?"

She leaned in and rested her lips right against his. "I'd have thought of something," she whispered.

He smiled against her mouth and resumed kissing her. He gently ran his tongue along her bottom lip, seeking entrance and she hungrily responded. The little moan she made in the back of her throat nearly drove him to distraction. Merlin, it had been too long since they'd been able to do this!

He tangled his hand in the softness of her long hair and trailed kisses along her neck and up towards her ear. Ginny sighed softly as he moved his mouth, making him want more of her. He pulled her tightly to his chest as she flung her head back and bared her throat to his exploring tongue.

Harry almost raised his hand to wandlessly lock the door before remembering he shouldn't. It was a simple spell and probably wouldn't drain much energy, but Madam Pomfrey requested he use as little as possible to help his reserves restore more quickly. Ginny sensed the tenseness in his shoulders and pulled back.

"All right, Harry?" she panted, slightly breathless.

"Yeah," he sighed. "Wishing for more privacy."

She giggled. "I'm in love with you, Harry, and I really don't care who knows it! We've got a little while before they all return, let's take advantage. It's going to be a while before we get to do this again."

He grinned and kissed her again, gently tugging on her bottom lip with his teeth. He still got a thrill every time she told him she loved him, and every time he replied in kind. It was as if the words held some strange, mystical strength that gave him an incredible surge of power. "So, is this what you hand in mind for how we could have spent the ride to school, then?"

Pulling his face close to her own, she spent the next half hour showing him exactly what she had in mind.

Everyone returned to the car when the lunch cart made it's way around. Harry bought lunch for everyone and they all began pondering their arrival at the station.

"Who do you think will be picking us up?" Ron asked.

"Probably both Mum and Dad, plus some members of the Order will be there to greet Harry and make sure he gets off with the Dursleys okay." Ginny replied.

"Mum is probably going to have kittens when you walk away with those Dursleys, mate. She's beside herself that you have to go at all. The poor dear' she keeps crying," Ron imitated his mother dramatically. "She'll probably squeeze the life out of you. She worries about you, being so delicate and all." Ron ducked as Harry threw some of the lunch wrappers at him.

"Delicate!" he huffed indignantly. "I am not delicate."

Ron was grinning broadly. "She thinks you are."

"Tosser," Harry grumbled testily. He knew in his heart that Mrs. Weasley did coddle him, and although it drove him crazy at times, there was a small part of him that enjoyed the attention. He'd never admit that to anyone, least of all himself, and Ron certainly wasn't allowed to call him on it.

"She needs someone to baby. I'm much too grown up and manly for her to do it to me anymore." Ron answered smugly.

Harry glared at him, deciding it was worth a little extra recovery time. He silently and wandlessly conjured a thread to hang down and tickle the side of Ron's face. "Watch out for the spider," he commented casually.

Ron jumped from his seat, wiping frantically at his face with a look of sheer horror. Ginny and Hermione were both giggling hysterically while Harry smirked. "Yeah, Ron, you're so manly!"

"There is really no need to be afraid of spiders, Ronald." Luna commented airily. "They are actually only bits of magic sent out as guardians by the Steeple Horned Rishaks. Quite fascinating really, if you think about it."

"Yeah, right." Ron replied warily.

"Most people think they just bring rain."

"Don't try that again, you wanker." Ron hissed at Harry.

They were interrupted when the door slid open and Crabbe, Goyle and Blaise Zabini entered their car. They all stared at the newcomers warily. Did Malfoy have a replacement already?

"What do you lot want?" Ron asked aggressively.

"We know how Malfoy died," Zabini said, looking directly at Ron and Harry while ignoring the others.

"And?" Harry prompted.

"We just wanted you to know we knew the real story, not that rubbish Dumbledore was spouting. Mrs. Malfoy lost her son and her husband. She's not happy."


"Word is, both you and the Dark Lord were hurt. So the question is, which one will heal the quickest? From the looks of it, Potter, I think you may be in trouble."

"Don't count me out yet."

"You, too, Weasley. Mrs. Malfoy has a personal vendetta with you. This is going to get ugly quickly. I just thought I'd let you know."

"Well, thank you for the warning." Hermione said waspishly. "Now if you could please just leave."

A tense silence fell upon them after the group departed. No one knew quite what to say to break the silence. Ron was brooding moodily and Hermione watched him, wringing her hands. Harry was growing sleepy and he had trouble keeping his eyes open. He wanted to stay awake to keep an eye on Ron, but his head kept nodding forward. Ginny and Neville took over the chessboard while Luna babbled to both of them about her planned summer adventure. After a while he rested his head on Ginny's shoulder and let the conversation around him lull him to sleep.

He didn't wake again until the train was pulling into the station at King's Cross. Ginny gently shook his shoulder as the others were leaving the compartment. "We're here, sleepyhead. How do you feel?"

He looked around, momentarily confused to find his head on Ginny's lap, the train at a standstill, and the compartment empty. "I'm fine," he answered automatically.

She scowled at him.

"Okay, okay. I ache all over, I'm still tired and I'm really worried about how I'm going to manage with the Dursleys like this. Better?" he asked in exasperation.

"Not better that you don't feel well, but at least you're being honest."

They began gathering their things. Before they could get out the door, however, Fred and George had bounded in. "Hello, family," they chorused.

"We thought we'd just help you with your trunks! I missed not taking the journey this year. Didn't miss the school year much, but I missed the train ride."

Fred levitated Harry's trunk while George got Ginny's and they climbed from the train. They chatted happily as they waited to cross the barrier. Once they were through, Harry found Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, Bill, Remus, and Tonks awaiting them on the other side with Ron and Hermione. The muggy heat hit Harry full in the face as they entered the Muggle platform. This summer was already shaping up to be much warmer than last. He felt a drop of sweat roll down his back almost instantly.

"Ginny! Harry!" Mrs. Weasley shouted, wrapping them both in a bear hug and squeezing until Harry gasped at the pressure on his ribs. "Sorry, dear. How are you feeling?"

"Fine, Mrs. Weasley," Harry lied. He saw Ginny scowl at him again.

Shaking hands with Mr. Weasley and Bill, he turned to Remus while Tonks hugged Ginny. "How are you, Moony?"

"I'm well, Harry. And you?"

Harry shrugged, "I'm okay."

"We're going to get you to Grimmauld Place as soon as humanly possible," he promised. "Bill, here, is planning on making life plenty interesting for the Dursleys. They'll be begging to come before you know it."

Harry smiled at Bill, enjoying the thought of tormenting the Dursleys with Ron's brother. Bill smiled at him innocently, but Harry definitely detected a mischievous shine reminiscent of the twins twinkling in his eye. His dragon tooth earring glinted in the sun streaming in from a window.

"Wish we could go, too," Fred moaned.

"Yeah, we have a whole bunch of new products we could get that load of a cousin of yours to try," added George.

Harry glanced over at the Dursleys. The three were huddled together on the far side of the station, staring in revulsion at Harry's greeting party. Harry felt his stomach knot at the sight of them and he was sure he'd paled again when Ginny linked her arm with his.

Uncle Vernon was wearing his suit, which was never a good sign. He only wore it when he wanted to intimidate someone. Aunt Petunia had on a ridiculous straw hat with a silly pink ribbon and Harry knew she was using it to try and hide her face. Dudley cowered behind his parents, somehow managing to convey both his intimidation by the Wizards and his annoyance at having to pick Harry up at all. Harry almost wished he'd had them leave Dudley's memory about Christmas in tact so he'd remember sharing pudding with them all. Then he recalled how that had ended, and it reassured him that he'd made the right decision.

As they all walked over towards the Dursleys; Remus, Tonks and the Weasleys surrounded Harry like shield. His heart filled with gratefulness towards his family. That's just what they are, his real family. The Dursleys may share his blood, but they'd never been family. He'd never even remotely felt the connection to them that he felt to these people walking with him through the train station, ready to defend and protect him at all costs.

Vernon and Petunia stiffened as they approached. He felt Uncle Vernon's glare upon him even before he raised his eyes.

Mrs. Weasley spoke first. Her tone was civil, but Harry could easily detect the coldness. "Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Dursley. I guess this is it. Harry has all his Potions with him and knows the schedule he needs to take them."

Harry smirked at Aunt Petunia's horrified expression when Mrs. Weasley had used the word Potions.' He knew she'd never know anything about how many Potions Harry still needed to take or how often, but he let Mrs. Weasley believe it if it made her feel better.

"He's really doing much better, although he tires easily. If he nods off, don't worry about it, it's good for him. Just make him comfortable and let him sleep," Mrs. Weasley continued. "I'm sure you're aware how independent he is, but one always enjoys a bit of smothering when sick."

Harry started to get annoyed that she was treating him like he was six, but the repulsed expression on Aunt Petunia's face made it worthwhile. She was aghast by the thought she would be expected to somehow act as Harry's caregiver. The most she'd ever done for him in his childhood was to slam a bucket on the floor and tell him not to make a mess on the rug or he'd be in big trouble.

He shared an amused grin with Ron, knowing his friend would understand the ludicrous situation. Aunt Petunia was spluttering, but couldn't seem to make her words form a coherent thought.

"Now see here," Uncle Vernon blustered.

Mrs. Weasley interrupted them. "I'm sure everything will go smoothly. I'd be extremely upset if Harry ended up back in hospital."

Uncle Vernon's face paled at the veiled threat.

"Not to worry, Mum," Bill stepped into the conversation, beaming at the wary Dursleys. "I'll be around plenty to keep an eye on Harry. We're going to have a great summer." He gave the Dursleys a mischievous wink that had Dudley stepping back in alarm.

"Hem, hem," a voice sounded from behind the assembled group. Several heads turned in surprise to find Percy Weasley standing there. He looked uncomfortable and his eyes shifted nervously as he used a handkerchief to wipe the sweat from his brow. Harry had the distinct impression he wished he were anywhere else.

"Percy," Mr. Weasley said in surprise.

"What are you doing here?" Ron demanded angrily. Both twins wore the same furious expression as Ron and stood shoulder to shoulder with their brother, facing the fourth. The Dursleys had backed up in surprise; their faces clearly showing that they were unsure what was going on, but knowing they wanted no part of it.

"I am here on official Ministry business," Percy stated pompously. "I wondered if I might have a word with you, Harry."

Harry saw the distress in Mrs. Weasley's eyes as Percy so casually dismissed his family and an intense fury burned within him. The Weasleys were the best family anyone could ever possibly hope for, how could he just throw all that away? "What do you want, Percy?" he asked coldly, refusing to follow the older boy to a more private spot. Harry's friends gathered closely around him, plainly stating to Percy which side they were all on. He could see Remus's eyes scanning the station for any other signs of Ministry people.

"What do you want with Harry?" Ginny demanded with a cat-like hiss.

Percy puffed out his chest; indignant at being refused a private conversation. "Minister Fudge would like to arrange a meeting with you. I was wondering if I could set one up?"

"So why isn't he here then, if he wants to see me?" Harry asked.

"The Minister is an extremely important and busy man, he doesn't have the time to chase after people. He asked me to make the arrangements for a public meeting."

The pieces were beginning to fall into place for Harry. "So, let me get this straight. He wants to meet with me publicly. I'm guessing somewhere there will be plenty of reporters around so I can give the Minister my full support?"

Percy didn't detect the incredulous tone in Harry's voice. "Exactly," he gushed; obviously relieved this was going easier than he'd expected. "These are dark times and the public has faith in you. Minister Fudge thought a show of solidarity would bolster the public's confidence that this unpleasantness is being dealt with."

"Bloody Hell," Ron burst, no longer able to contain himself.

"Unpleasantness?" Harry was enraged. "UNPLEASANTNESS, PERCY? Is that what you're calling this now? There are people dying! Fudge's refusal to accept the truth delayed our defense and gave Voldemort time to plan and recruit unhindered. Fudge isn't worried about the public; he's still worried about nothing more than saving his own hide! I've heard about the vote of no confidence and I hope it happens! I can't think of a more fitting end to our illustrious Minister."

Percy's ears had turned red as he stepped closer to Harry, "Now listen here! I will not tolerate any disrespect towards the Minister from the likes of you. It's been proven you were right about You-Know-Who, but–"

"SAY VOLDEMORT!" Harry yelled and swayed slightly on his feet.

Ron and Hermione each grabbed on to him until the scenery stopped spinning.

"That's enough, Percy," Remsu interrupted standing in front of Harry. "Tell Fudge that he's not going to get any support from Harry, so he can bin that idea."

"We need to come together–" Percy gave one final attempt but was again interrupted, by the twins this time.

"Yeah, he was all over coming together last year while he tried to discredit Harry in the press. Now he needs his fame to boost his sagging career," George said in disgust.

"We all know what he's on about and it won't work." Fred added.

"If you can't stand with us, Percy, you're against us and we don't have time for you," Ron piped in, sounding remarkably mature.

Percy turned on his heel and walked away without a word, his head held high and shoulders stiff. Mrs. Weasley let out a cry and buried her face in her husband's shoulder. He patted her back gently and kissed her head.

"We need to be getting a move on. I don't like to drive after dark," Vernon spoke sternly.

Harry nodded and turned to face the group. Hermione threw her arms around him and hugged him fiercely. "Do take care of yourself, Harry, and get plenty of rest. I'll owl you from my travels and send loads of pictures."

Ron stepped up and awkwardly patted him on the back. "Take care of yourself, mate. I'll be seeing you soon," he said with a wink.

The twins each shook his hand while Bill promised to stop by in the morning. He told Dudley to make sure he carried Harry's trunk for him. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley both gave him hugs and promised to get him to Headquarters as soon as possible.

"Take care, son. Let any one of us know if you have any trouble, we'll be there faster than you can turn around."

"Thanks, Mr. Weasley."

Tonks bounded up next, slapping him on the back hard enough to make him stumble. He hadn't got his strength back entirely and was feeling tired enough to be shaky on his feet. She held him up after she realized he wasn't joking. "Oi, sorry about that, Harry. I forgot you just got out of the hospital. You hang in there, and let us know if they aren't feeding you properly. Remus and I are planning to make a visit one day and take you shopping in Muggle London. It's time we get you some clothes that fit!" She pulled on his dreadfully baggy T-shirt. It was normally too big for him. With his recent weight loss, it was just hanging off him again.

Remus moved up and gave Harry a brief, one-armed hug. "I'll be awaiting an owl telling me how your first night back went. The mirror will still work as well if you need some face time. Let me know how the research is going and I'll do the same."

"I will. Thanks, Moony."

"Take care of yourself, Harry."

"You, too."

Remus looked over at the Dursleys ferociously. For the first time, Harry thought he could detect a hint of the wolf within his personality. "I expect everyone to keep their hands to themselves at all times, if they don't want to deal with me," his words sounded like a low growl.

Uncle Vernon stepped back in alarm, clutching Aunt Petunia and Dudley too him tightly.

The rest of the group pulled back slightly and only Ginny was left standing there. She launched herself at Harry, throwing her arms around his neck and wrapping her legs around his waist. He nearly fell over from the force.

"Ginny," he laughed. "It won't be long."

"I know," she sighed, letting her body straighten on the ground. "I'm going to miss you, though. As soon as you and Bill get a routine set up, Ron and I will come by to see you."

"I can hardly wait."

"I love you, Harry."

"I love you, too, Ginny," he replied as he pulled her close to him and kissed her with enough intensity to last all summer long if it had to.

Ginny stepped back slightly dazed and Harry enjoyed the outraged expression on Aunt Petunia's face.

"All right, boy. It's time we move along," Uncle Vernon huffed. Dudley reluctantly began pulling Harry's trunk under the watchful eyes of the Weasleys.

Remembering Ron's words on the train about his mother, Harry ran over to Mrs. Weasley, wrapped his arms around her, and kissed her on the cheek. It was the first self-initiated embrace he'd ever given her. "Don't worry about me, Mrs. Weasley. I'll be fine and I'll see you soon."

With that, he ran back to the Dursleys and finally turned to face them. "I'm ready. My family was just trying to help."

"Family?" Uncle Vernon spluttered. "You don't have any family."

"Yes I do." Harry smiled confidently as he led the Dursleys out of the train station and into the warm summer sunshine.

The End.

A/N: Here it is, the last one! OMG, I actually finished something I started! Hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it! This has been my baby, my passion, and my obsession for so long now. I can't tell you how good it feels to have completed it. Kind of bittersweet though.

I owe huge thanks to all of you faithful readers who kept me going and inspired me when I got discouraged, and calmed me when I got neurotic. THANK YOU!!! To all of you who've written and told me you clicked on the Highly Recommended button, a great thanks as well since this one will no longer appear on the Recently Updated list. Sniff.

Will there be a sequel? Yeah, I'm gonna do it! My kids are out of school for the summer and I need to stop ignoring my family for a while, LOL! I'll begin in the fall but bear in mind that I need to do an outline, sketchy chapter layout, and write at least five chapters before I post anything, so, don't hold your breath! I hope the ending was everything you expected and I didn't let you down!

In the meantime, if you're interested, I've begun posting on FictionAlly at Snoogle. I've since had this story beta read and the beginning chapters have a lot added to them. I needed to up the word count as well as put in some things I'd wished I'd thought of earlier!