Chapter 42 – Summer at Hogwarts

"So, when do you want to go to Diagon Alley?"

Harry looked up at his father from the novel he was reading (Storm Front by Jim Butcher).  He found the book very interesting as it was about a wizard named Harry Dresden who – like Harry himself – got into more than was healthy.  Harry (the character) also had a familiar as Harry did.  Only his was an air spirit named Bob who resided in a skull, not a telepathically talking raven who had powers Harry still didn't know of.

"I told ye, Da.  I plan to go wi' Ron and them."

Over the summer, Harry's accent has slowly begun to come to a more normal tone.  His voice still sounded the same and he still said a few words that lingered from his years on the streets however.  He had also grown a few inches taller, which made him even ganglier than he had already been.  Severus had jokingly told him he looked like a scarecrow.

"An' besides, no one but you, me, Jar, Dumbledore and N…  and Dumbledore know yer me father."

Severus arched an eyebrow.

"Who else knows?"

"Nobody," said Harry quickly.

"Harry."

"I swear, Da!"

"Harry."

Harry sighed and closed his book, turning down the corner of the page he was on.

"Alrigh'.  Ni knows."  He added sharply, "But she found out on 'er own, mind you."

"What?  How on earth did she do that?"

Harry shrugged.

"Doan know.  But she badgered me 'fore she left about tellin' everyone else.  An' she's been badgering me in 'er letters, too."

Severus frowned and said, "Now I don't know."

"Da, if I doan tell 'em an' they find out on their own, there'll be Hell ter pay."

Severus sighed.

"Alright.  Just don't tell everyone."

Harry snorted.  "Ye think I'm an idiot?"

"No," said Severus, smiling.  "I know you're an idiot."

"Oi!"

Severus simply grinned down at his son then asked, "Where is that crazy bird of yours?"

Harry reopened his book as he replied, "Off deliverin' letters.  I expect an invite to the Burrow from Ron, more badgerin' from Ni, warning from 'Ermione not ter get in trouble, and Mika tellin' me not ter get in McGonagall's way."  He looked up at his father and asked, "Why does she seems ter dislike me so much?"

"Minerva?" asked Severus, sitting down in a chair.  "I believe she holds a strong dislike to you, my boy, because you ended up in my house instead of hers."

"Tha's insane!"

"I know!  She also doesn't like my Slytherins.  Having never liked me, I think she carried over her dislike of me to all of you."

Harry shook his head and muttered, "Crazy.  Jus' plum nutters."

"Don't let her hear you say that."

"She woan."

"How so?" asked Severus, arching an eyebrow.

"I'll say i' in Elven."

Severus looked at him for a moment then burst out laughing.

"Gods.  No wonder you ended up in Slytherin!"

"My immense charm?" asked Harry with a grin.

"Merlin, no.  You are simply too much for any other House to handle."

Harry beamed and bowed mockingly in his chair.

"Thank ye, thank ye."

"Don't get a big head, now," said Severus with a laugh.

"Like Lock'art?"

"Don't even mention that idiot.   I don't see how he became an Obliviator in the first place.  He was three years about me, you know.  Take Draco and multiply him by fifty then add Miss Parkinson in."

Harry shuddered violently.

"Yes, that's exactly what I thought…"

Suddenly Jardin swooped into the room, cawing incessantly and flapping about the ceiling.  Harry glared up at the bird and snarled, Come down here, you, or I'll give you to Fang as a chew toy.

Severus laughed as Jardin folded his wings immediately and landed on the nearby table, glaring balefully at Harry.

"Oh, shut it," growled Harry good naturedly as he rose to untie the rolled up letters from Jardin's legs.  He then flopped back down in his chair, legs thrown up over the side.  Jardin fluttered over and landed on his knee as Harry unrolled that first letter.

"Who's that one from?" asked Severus.

"Ni," replied Harry.

Harry,

How are things at Hogwarts lately?  Any trouble?  Any adventures we're missing out on?  I hope not.

I dearly hope you do really intend to tell Ron, Mika, and Mione the truth when we're at the Burrow.  And Ginny too.  Perhaps Fred and George as well.  With those two, I'd not be surprised if they already knew.

And I warn you, if you don't tell them, I'll tell them myself.  After all, Mione lives right next door.  I could easily open the door and prance over to her house…

Or I could have already told her.

Harry groaned, "Ni, yer incorrigible."

Severus arched an eyebrow but said nothing, picking up the copy of the Daily Prophet an owl dropped off earlier that morning.

But – I haven't.

I couldn't do that to you, mate.

Anyway, see you at Ron's.

Cha, Ni

Harry smiled and shook his head in amusement as he set Niamh's letter aside and picked up Ron's.

Harry,

Having fun all up in the castle with no one else there?  Lots of stuff to do?

"Damn boring actually," muttered Harry.

Well, maybe you can ask whatever teacher your staying with if you can come to the Burrow.  Two weeks before we go back.  Ni, Mione, and Mika should be here too.  Mum's worried us and the twins are going to tear the house down.  Dad keeps telling her that if Fred and George haven't blown us up by now, they never will.

I think we should keep an eye on them anyway.  Just a precaution.

Anyway, see you here if you can come!

Ron

"From Ron I presume?"

"Yeh."

"So, that's two left."

One actually, said Jardin.  Hermione didn't write back.  Just told me to tell you that she can't wait to see you and she keeps wondering what this big secret you want to tell everyone is.

Severus frowned at Harry and the boy picked up Mika's letter hurriedly.

Harry, mate,

I'm assuming things are good for you.  You are at Hogwarts after all.  Best place in the world in my opinion.

Anyway, I'm guessing I'll be seeing you at Ron's before term starts again and you'll tell us that Big Secret here, correct?  I tried to get Jar to tell me what it was but he threatened to set my hair on fire.

Harry arched an eyebrow at the raven, who shrugged.

See you at the Burrow!

Mika

"So," said Harry, putting all the letters together into a roll.  "Can I go ter Ron's?

"I suppose…  That's almost a month away."

"I can wait tha' long."

"Mmm," said Severus.

"Oh, shut up."