Hope of the Phoenix (1/?) Rating: PG-13 Eventual Pairing: Remus/Petunia Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling owns it all. All bow to her genius!

A/N: This is my first fanfic; hope you like it. The inspiration for a Remus/Petunia fic came from a wonderful one called "Her Sister And the Werewolf". Unfortunately, I don't know who wrote it, and I haven't been able to find it again, so if you know, please tell me! This fic isn't related to that one at all, except that it inspired me to attempt the pairing myself! Now, on with the fic!

The Hope of the Phoenix

Chapter One: "Not Again!"

Harry looked over at the alarm clock beside his bed, and closed his eyes when he realized just how much more of this day he had left to endure. The days since he had returned to Privet Drive from Hogwarts had been empty: shells of days where he did nothing but lie on his bed and think of Sirius, think of the home that he might have had if not for Voldemort. He had written back to his friends, checked in at Grimmauld Place, Hedwig had left with a letter just that morning - but he did not confide in them. He remained by himself, alone with his grief. What did the war matter, what did any of it matter, when Sirius was gone?

As for the Dursley's, they hadn't been too bad this summer, and Harry had been largely left alone. Dudley was still convinced Harry had cursed him the previous summer, and wouldn't allow himself to come near to Harry; Uncle Vernon, after raging at the members of the Order for daring to threaten him; who did they think they were, the insane freaks, left Harry alone, and Aunt Petunia, who had been strangely quiet after they had left King's Cross, for once not joining in her husband's diatribes, had returned to her previous state of ordering Harry about when she had a chance, and ignoring him the rest of the time.

This afternoon was one of those times where she had the chance. Aunt Petunia needed to go grocery shopping, as Aunt Marge was coming tomorrow to visit, and they needed supplies. Harry didn't bother trying to argue that Dudley could go shopping with her just as easily, what did it matter anyway? He simply got ready to go shopping; silently dressing in the oversized clothes. He did bring his wand, and his wizarding money, though, just in case. He didn't think it was likely that they would meet any Death Eaters at the grocers, but then, he hadn't expected Dementors in Magnolia Crescent either.

Harry was silent on the motor ride to the store, and Aunt Petunia didn't try to engage him in conversation. He was silent at the grocery store, silently fetching and carrying various produce in response to Aunt Petunia's terse commands. He was aware of her glare though, and the tight, angry set of her body. It didn't surprise him: Aunt Petunia had been angry when he was around for all of his life. The only difference was, it no longer bothered him.

Harry silently helped his aunt load the groceries into the boot, and silently looked out the window on the way back to the house. The streets surrounding Privet Drive were silent too – the local community center had organized a weekend camping trip, which only the Dursley's had opted out of. Harry wasn't sorry not to have to go camping, but it did mean that Dudley was at home this weekend instead of with his gang. Aunt Petunia had sunk into her angry silence once more. They both sat there, lost in their own private anger, all through the drive back – which was why they didn't see it until they arrived.

Hanging over the roof of Number Four was the ghastly symbol Harry had only seen once before – in the sky after the Quidditch Cup. The skull leered evilly down at them, the snake tongue nearly touching the chimney. The front door stood open, and many of the Dursley's beloved belongings were strewn across the front lawn. Harry's shocked mind barely registered Aunt Petunia's strangled cry of not again, not again, before he was aware of her running into the house, until he was aware of her desperately clutching the body of her son. Unable to lift him, Aunt Petunia had simply put his head in her lap. Dudley was still clutching the controls to his Playstation in his rigid hand, while Uncle Vernon's prone form clutched at a china figurine. The shards that surrounded the living room told Harry that Uncle Vernon had tried to throw them at the Death Eaters – but they had not been as polite as Mr. Weasley had been, had simply killed him for his trouble. The TV, which was still on, showed a black screen, with Try Again written across it in bright yellow letters; the digital Dudley too, had met his end this day. Joined with the theme music to the video game was Aunt Petunia's repeated wail: Not Again, Not Again, Not Again.