Disclaimer – the usual. I don't own any of the main characters, just a couple of my own, and I'm not aiming for any monetary reward, etc, etc.

chapter 1 – beginning of summer:

Harry lay flat on his back under the bright sunlight of the midsummer sun. Beside him he could hear a light breeze gently rustle through the flowerbeds that he was currently supposed to be weeding. He sighed when he was reminded of this task, and raised himself up onto his elbows to scan the windows of the house in front of him, making sure that his aunt and uncle had not yet arrived home from their shopping trip.

It was now three weeks into the summer holidays, and, unlike most teenagers who were celebrating their newfound freedom, Harry was willing the holidays to pass quickly so that he could return to school to see his friends. Harry, you see, was not an ordinary boy. He was a student at Hogwarts, a school that taught witchcraft and wizardry and in this world he was famous, known for defeating the dark wizard Voldemort when he was only a baby. He had only found out about this when he had received his first letter from Hogwarts on his eleventh birthday after his aunt and uncle had brought him up believing that his parents had been killed in a car accident when he was little. Since then he had met Voldemort another four times, and had somehow managed to escape death each time.

Harry sighed and closed his eyes. Even though he had survived these encounters, there were many people who hadn't. Since Voldemort's return the year before many people had been killed by Voldemort's hand, including Cedric Diggory, a student Harry had been competing against in the Triwizard tournament the year Voldemort returned, and only a month previously Sirius Black, Harry's godfather and nearest thing he had to a parent, had disappeared when Voldemort had attacked the ministry of magic.

"What have I ever done to deserve this?" Harry muttered to himself as he pulled himself up and walked over to where the hosepipe was gently sprinkling water over the flowers he had planted that morning. He picked up the hose and gently sprayed it over his body, dampening the t-shirt and cooling his sunburnt skin before he adjusted the angle of the arc of water to spray over a dry part of the flowerbed.

He sat down cross-legged on the grass and watched the water fall, adjusting the angle of the arc slightly until a rainbow appeared and he raised a hand to flick one of his wet bangs out of his face. The action revealed a lightning shaped scar on his forehead, a memento of his first defeat of the dark lord all those years ago. He sighed again, and absently rubbed the scar as he rested his head on his hand and his elbow on his knee, his other hand took up the hose and played with the arc of water, making it bounce and enjoying the sound of the water on the leaves.

He sat like this for a couple of minutes, relaxing with the rhythmic pattern of water hitting the leaves and thought about the prophecy that Harry's headmaster Dumbledore had revealed to him at the end of his fifth year at Hogwarts. He resisted the swell of fear inside of his chest as he recalled the part which stated that this battle would end with the death of Harry, or with Harry's defeat of the dark lord.

Part of him was angry about this prophecy. He had never been happy with the idea that someone could predict his fate and felt out of control whenever he thought about what could happen in the future. The other part of him had accepted the prophecy, and had become determined to do all it could to ensure that when he did come up against Voldemort again, he would be ready. That was one of the reasons he had happily agreed to help the Dursley's re- landscape their garden. All the digging, planting and earth shifting he had been doing over the past few weeks had already started to show in his once childish physique. The addition of a couple of inches on his height also gave an indication as to the changes that were occurring in his body and as the days passed Harry began to feel stronger both physically and magically.

As he sat and watched the water he let his mind fill with memories of Hogwarts and what he could remember of his parents and of his godfather. His mind filled with screams of Sirius's name, and the look of pain on Remus Lupin's face as he had tried to stop Harry from jumping through the veil after his godfather. He shook his head slightly, changing the image to the graveyard where Voldemort had returned the year before.

Kill the spare...

His face grimaced when he heard the inhuman voice hiss the words, and his eyes shut when memories of the green light flashing by him and look of the Cedric's face when he saw the boy hit the floor next to him, his eyes staring blankly in surprise and his handsome features quickly paling as life left the body.

Harry's breaths became shorter as other images of people being hurt by the dark lord entered his mind. Now the wizarding community had accepted the return of Voldemort, the dark lord had not bothered to hide himself any longer, and had started to "train-up" his death eaters with regular attacks on muggles and the weaker members of the wizarding world. Not a night went by without Harry being awoken by sharp pains in his scar when Voldemort was attacking and every news broadcast was filled with reports of more people going missing, or found tortured and dead. And now, thanks to the prophecy, Harry felt personally responsible for not being able to do anything about it.

He angrily swiped at his face, annoyed with himself for allowing tears to fall from his eyes. What was it Dumbledore had told him once? That it didn't pay to live in the past and forget about the present? Harry mentally shook himself, and rocked forward onto his knees so that he could stand up and go back to where he was supposed to be weeding. He had had a lot of support from his wizarding friends this holiday. Though this was partly due to the continuous presence of a wizard supplied by the Order of the Phoenix for his protection, a lot of it also had to do with the death of Sirius, and Dumbledore's orders to make sure that Harry wasn't left out of contact for over three days at a time.

"Hey, Harry."

Harry turned quickly to see Remus Lupin, once a professor at Hogwarts and part of his father's group of friends. He was dressed in his familiar shabby clothes and had his usual sickly look about him, though most of it was hidden by the wide smile on his face. After a quick calculation Harry realised that the full moon had just passed, meaning that Lupin had just been through the ordeal of being a werewolf once more.

"Long time no see." Harry held out his hand to the man, but it was ignored as the man pulled him into a tight hug.

Harry laughed slightly. "It's only been a fortnight, Remus." He said, pulling away. "And its not like you haven't heard from me."

Remus nodded and laughed as well. "Only two weeks?" he asked. "It seems longer." He stood back a little and looked at the rapidly growing lad in front of him. As well as the addition of height and muscles, Harry's hair was finally beginning to grow out, now long enough to tie back in a stubby pony-tail with a few bangs that were still too short to reach falling forward into his face. "And haven't you changed in those two weeks!"

Harry laughed again. "Its all the work I've been doing for the Dursley's" he said, absently indicated the nearly finished garden.

Lupin frowned. "They aren't forcing you to do this are they?" he asked. "You know what we said about them over working you..."

Harry shook his head. "I offered." He assured the werewolf. "It needed to be done and if I've got to be stuck here I needed something to keep my mind off... things."

Lupin nodded, understanding. "I haven't stopped working, myself." He said, his voice losing its happy edge. "Don't dare to take the time to think."

Harry gently placed his hand against Lupin's arm. Sirius' death had hit the people who knew him hard. He gulped slightly, resisting the urge to take his father's friend in his arm and let spill about how guilty he felt, and how scared he was about the prophecy Dumbledore had told him about.

"So, to what do I owe the pleasure?" Harry asked, changing the subject.

Lupin fumbled in his robes slightly and pulled out a letter that Harry recognised as being one that he had written to his headmaster a couple of days before. He quickly remembered the question he had asked about continuing his Occlumency lessons, hoping to prevent Voldemort's actions from invading his dreams and maybe to reduce the constant throbbing in his scar. Harry hadn't liked to admit it, but he was almost willing to face the wrath of his potion master again in order to stop the visions.

"You look tired." Lupin said quietly as Harry took the letter and ran his eyes over it. "Tonks was on duty last night, and reported that she could hear you screaming from your room in the early hours of the morning. Thinking you were being attacked she ran into the garden, but then saw you at the window."

Harry nodded. "Another of Voldemort's escapades." He muttered. "Leaning against the cold window helps sooth my scar sometimes."

Lupin nodded. "Dumbledore wants you to come back to Hogwarts with us. You- Know-Who is beginning to attack wizarding families as well, and he thinks that your visions, if that's what you want to call them, might get more vivid and lifelike. He wants to keep an eye on you."

Harry's eyes had lit up at the idea of going back to Hogwarts early, but fell when he heard of Dumbledore's reasons.

"More like he wants to know what's going on and where." He said but felt guilty as he said it, remembering that Dumbledore had admitted that he had cared about him and would never want to hurt him at the end of last term.

"What do you mean by that?" Lupin asked.

Harry shrugged. "Dumbledore's had me filling in a diary and sending him daily updates on these dreams. By identifying those that have been in my dreams he hopes to be able to have a slight advantage over Voldemort and get some of them back."

Lupin nodded. "So you're his source of information? I was wondering about that. But how do you know who they are?"

Harry shrugged. "Sometimes, especially with the magic folk, their names get spoken. Other times I can only describe them, and their surroundings. Hopefully picking up on something that can be used to find out who they are."

"So you can walk around in these dreams?" Lupin asked. "I thought that last year you saw everything through Voldemort's eyes?"

"Still happens, sometimes." Harry said, shuddering slightly. "They're the worst. I not only have to watch but also have to experience it. The last one I had was last night, which must've been what Tonks heard."

"What happened?" Lupin had slowly moved towards a bench that Harry had painted the weekend before, and now the two were sitting down in the shade of the large sycamore at the bottom of the garden. "Do you want to talk about it?"

Harry sighed and hung his head. "Voldemort attacked a wizarding family. A father, his wife and two daughters. I – he tied the father up and made him watch whilst he and the other death eaters...um..." he paused and glanced up to see the horror in Lupin's eyes and knew he didn't have to explain further.

"And you actually experience all of that? Feel all that he feels?" Lupin asked and Harry nodded.

"It scares me." Harry said. "Sometimes I actually believe it is me doing those things. It is so real." He looked over the garden in front of him. "Last night I could actually feel the rope binding the hands of the girl I was..." he shuddered again. "And I could feel her tears on the side of my neck as she cried."

"Harry, it wasn't you. Remember that." Lupin said and he put his arm over the boy's shoulder. "I'll let Dumbledore know what you are going through, and I'm sure you can work on your Occlumency so you can prevent it in the future. I think he was hoping that now You-Know-Who knows Dumbledore would never hurt you that he would leave you alone."

"Bu the hasn't." Harry said. "Though it isn't like before. Last year he was trying to get me to do things, to go the ministry... but this year, its almost as if he wants me to feel his presence all the time. I think he's trying to get me scared."

"Is he succeeding?"

Harry thought for a few moments before answering, then nodded. "But I don't think I'm scared in the way he planned. I'm not scared of him, just of what he is doing to others to get to me. I feel responsible for what they are going through, yet I know I can't do anything to help. The feeling of helplessness is what scares me the most." Remus nodded in understanding. "When am I going back?" Harry asked.

"Tonight." Lupin said. "Same sort of process as before. But heading for the station. Hogwarts is too far away to fly all the way on brooms and so we'll be travelling most of the way by the Hogwarts Express."

Harry nodded. "What time?"

"About midnight. The train leaves at half one, and we don't want you exposed more than necessary. Is that okay with you?"

Harry nodded, smiling slightly. "I'll look forward to it." he said. "What do I tell the Dursleys?"

"The truth. You are going back to school."

"And Hermione and Ron?"

Lupin hesitated. "They don't know anything about it yet." He admitted. "Arthur will be meeting us at the station though. He's been allowed to be more actively involved with the Order now that Fudge has admitted that You- Know-Who is back"

Harry thought back to the previous year when the Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge had denied all facts that suggested Voldemort had returned, even going as far as firing Dumbledore from Hogwarts school and making Harry look like a mad, hallucinating school boy.

Lupin looked at his watch. "I'd better go," he said. "I need to meet the others at the station. They are checking over the train at the moment and posting guards until tonight."

Harry frowned slightly. "Seems to me there are a lot of people going to be involved with this." He said. "Is it worth all the hassle?"

Lupin frowned. "Harry. You're safety is the most important thing. And yes, you are worth the hassle."

"Me? Or the boy-who-lived?"

Lupin froze. "I don't think I understand, Harry."

Harry sighed. "I've been getting so many owls this summer, fan mail I suppose you could call it. Loads of people apologising for doubting what I said, telling me that they'll follow me to the end. It seems to me a lot of people only like what I stand for rather than me for myself."

"I guess that could be the truth, Harry." Lupin admitted. "A lot of people do think that way. But there are those closest to you who know you for who you are. Ron and Hermione for instance. Not to mention myself, Dumbledore and your other friends and teachers at Hogwarts. We don't have any over ambitious expectations of you."

Harry smiled. "I appreciate that a lot." He said and Lupin stood up to go.

"I'll see you later tonight then." He said. "I suggest you go and pack soon, just in case we can convince the train to leave early or something."

Harry nodded and followed Lupin to the front gate. "Oh," Lupin said. "And I nearly forgot to give you this." He handed Harry a small box. "I meant to give it to for you before you left, but had to get it on special order." He gave a small wink. "I suggest you open it indoors, just until you get used to it." then he turned around and headed off down the street, turning into a small alleyway between two houses before Harry heard the tell-tale pop of someone disapparating away.