Disclaimer: I do not own the rights To Harry Potter, or any of the cannon characters or ideas. I only wish I did.

AN: I have read many fan fics. And have, no doubt, been influenced by them. I will always try to give credit where credit is due, however, occasionally I will have forgotten where I read a particular idea and for that I do apologize. Thank you for you time.

SHIPS: I was asked to add this part so as to avoid people getting too involved and then finding out it contained a ship they couldn't stand, so here it is.

The Relationships in this story will be:

Harry: H/Susan, H/SallyAnnPerks, H/O(F)C, and (eventually) H/G,
Ginny: GW/DT, GW/Justin FF, and (eventually) GW/HP,
Ron: R/O(F)C, R/Hr,
Hermione: Hr/RW
Neville: NL/O(F)C,
Other: RL/NT.

On with the show...


Number four Privet drive had never felt so lonely. The grey wall to the right of the bed had been poor company for the past two weeks, but still he lay there and stared at it. Behind him the rattling cage brought him out of his hypnotic fascination with the wall whose colour so accurately reflected his mood.

Rolling over he swung his legs off the edge of the bed and got up. The wave of dizziness that soon followed caused him to grab the chair at his desk in order to remain vertical. Between lack of sleep and the virtual starvations he had endured this last week, it was almost a wonder he could stand at all.

Making his way over to the cage, he looked in it and sighed to the bird.

"I'm sorry Hedwig. But you know uncle Vernon would kill me if I let you out."

The bird seemed to respond with an exasperated sigh of her own.

"I'll see if I can sneak you out tonight after everyone's asleep, but I can't make any promises"

The bird's mood notably brightened at the prospect of freedom and so she sat quietly and patiently awaiting nightfall.

'Birds like this were not meant to be locked up indoors.' thought the young boy.

Some would say that a snowy owl was an odd pet for a 15 year old boy, but then again, odd seemed to be the only word that could describe this 15 year old boy to begin with.

Harry Potter was far from normal.

A quick look around the room would reveal a whole new world to the average person: books strewn about with such titles as 'Standard book of spells: grade 5' and 'Jinxes for the Jinxed', a metal cauldron sitting in the corner, pictures of people who were still moving, and a thin piece of wood sitting on his desk. It looked a little like a conductors baton from the orchestra, but just a bit thinker and longer. There was that other small difference between the two items: I don't know of many conductors batons whose centers held a phoenix' tail feather.

You see, Harry Potter was a wizard and that thin piece of wood was his wand.

"But even in the wizarding world I'm not considered normal." sighed Harry to himself remembering, yet again, the events of his life that the world he had become so fond of, had used to define him.

The Boy-Who-Lived.

Rubbing the lighting shaped scar on his forehead, he remembered all he had been told about that night. As a baby, his parents sacrificed themselves instead of turning and aiding an evil wizard. His mother's sacrificed not only saved him, but somehow gave him the power to send the curse that would have killed the baby right back at the one who casted it, successfully ending that evil wizard's reign of terror…at least for a time. That night, he had become famous, but he never found about it until he reached the age of eleven.

Before that day he had been living full time with his uncle, aunt and cousin, thinking that his parents had died in a car crash. They treated him like a freak and a worthless piece of vermin. He was shunned at school, constantly picked on by his cousin and his cousin's cronies, and had no friends of his own.

Harry's life had certainly been different since that birthday. It was then that he discovered he was a wizard. For the last 5 years he had been attending 'Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry' and had actually made friends and started living a life of his own. Of course it hadn't all been fun and games. There was bad with the good.

The worst of the bad being the return of Lord Voldemort, the same dark wizard who killed his parents. He was back…thanks to Harry.

Sitting back down on his bed and closing his eyes he remembered the events of two years ago. 'Kill the spare' the cold voice had said, at this someone shouted 'AVADA KEDAVRA!' and the green light slammed into Cedric and he lay dead on the ground in the graveyard. Then later he was being cut and his blood was being used against his will to bring back his greatest enemy.

And then there was Sirius at the ministry this past June…

"BOY! GET OUT OF THAT ROOM AND GET DOWN HERE NOW!" cried a voice from down stairs.

"Coming, Uncle Vernon." Harry yelled back. He would almost be thankful for the distraction from his thoughts, had it come from almost any other source.

Harry got up, grabbed some over sized jeans, recently thrown at him by his aunt while she complained that they must have shrunk since they no longer fit her precious Duddikins, and pulled them on. He grabbed a faded t-shirt, yet another cast off from his cousin, and put that on as well.

Arriving at the bottom of the stairs he was greeted by his not so pleasant uncle. "For years now we have clothed you, and fed you. We even let you use Dudley's second bedroom! Well, now it's time to start paying us back for all of our sacrifices to you over the years." He paused and a sinister smile appeared on his face. "Tomorrow morning you'll get up early and help Mr. Walthers who'll be coming over to replace our roof. I'd make you to do it alone, but I want it done RIGHT! And I know full well that you can't do anything right! So just do what he says. Do you understand me?"

"Yes uncle Vernon."

Harry could tell that his uncle wanted to say more on the subject, though. Uncle Vernon had developed an amazing sense of control. He knew full well that Harry was being watched this summer, after the warning he received at Kings Crossing from Mad-eye. This was only the third time, in the fourteen days since he'd been home, that he had actually spoken to Harry, and Harry didn't mind that one bit.

"Right! Now get out of my sight!" he yelled as he turned to go back into the kitchen, then he stopped and turned back around. "And make sure you send…them a letter saying we're treating you well!" After this, he finally made his way into the kitchen.

'Ah well. In the very least this should help keep me distracted' thought the boy. 'I just hope this guy's not as much of a git as my uncle is!'

Arriving back at his room, Harry sat down on his bed. Unfortunately, his mind decided to pick up where it had left off before it had been interrupted.


'Why did I have to go to the ministry? I had the mirror he gave me, why didn't I just look in that? Why do I have to play the hero all the time!'


Harry was suddenly torn from thoughts by a burst of flames followed by a phoenix.

" 'Lo Fawkes" said the boy, trying to appear to be in a better mood then he was.

The phoenix trilled it's reply, immediately lightening Harry's mood and bring something to his face that almost resembled a smile. Fawkes' music always made him feel better.

The beautiful phoenix flew over to Harry's desk, deposited an envelope on it and then flew over and sat on Harry's knee.

Harry started petting the bird's plumage as it continued to sing a soft soothing melody. The phoenix' song always calmed Harry and relaxed him both physically and mentally.

After about 5 minutes of singing, Fawkes flew up off of Harry's leg.

"Good bye Fawkes. Thanks for coming, I really needed that."

With another quick goodbye trill he vanished in a small burst of flames and a puff of smoke.

"I wonder what he wants." Harry asked himself as he looked at the letter on his desk which he knew was from the headmaster of his school, Professor Dumbledore. "It's probably a bill for the replacement cost of all the items I destroyed in his office."

He had been receiving letters from many people this summer, Ron, Hermione, Mrs. Weasley, Luna, Neville, the twins, even Ginny had written him, but he had answered none of them. Heck, he hadn't even opened them. Opening them would have caused him to want to reply to them. If he replied to them, they'd know he cared and then he wouldn't be able to distance himself from them like he knew he had to do for their own safety.

After what he had done to Sirius, he couldn't let anything like that happen to another one of his friends. It would hurt them at first, he knew, but it would be for the better.

He realized he couldn't just throw this one away though, so he slowly opened it and began to read it's contents.

Dear Harry,

I am writing you this letter for I fear that I might have, once again, done more harm then good when it comes to making decisions pertaining to your well being and for that I am truly sorry.

'Another apology?' thought Harry.

Harry still remembers the last apology that Dumbledore gave him back in June after he had returned from the ministry. He remembered the guilt behind the old man's eyes as he asked for Harry's forgiveness at the pain he knew he had caused Harry. The sadness…

He shook his head briefly. 'Finish the letter, then think about it.'

I have received, more then one, urgent owl from some of your friends, fearing for your health. Not your physical health, but your mental and emotional health.

They are concerned that you have not written to them yet this summer despite their initial attempts at contacting you. One of them even informed me that she heard you tell your aunt that you weren't home last time she tried to call you on the telephone.

I fear I might have fed this personal retreat by sending you back there alone, in a time when you needed people the most, and for that, I once again apologize.

Do you remember what I told you in June about some of the mistakes I've made in your life? How I said 'distancing myself from you was an old man's mistake'? You are still young Harry, do not start making the same mistakes I have when you know what the outcome will be. This burden that I passed on to you should not, no,can not be carried alone. You will need the support of your friends before this is all over.

I know that I have damaged the relationship between us by what I kept from you (the prophecy and myself last year) but if you will allow me, I would like to try to earn your trust back. I care for you too much to give up on you and as such, you will find that I will be there for you whenever you need me, till the end. That being said, I do not think I am the only one who thinks this about you.

Your friends are writing to me because they are concerned for you. Because they care. Please, do not push away those who choose to be with you. They are there because they have chosen to be there, not because you have tricked them, or failed to warn them of the dangers, but because they could think of no other place in the world that they would rather be then by your side in your time of need.

Always remember that you are not alone.

If you need anything at all, please do not hesitate to contact me and I shall do everthing in my power to help you.


Albus Dumbledore

Harry was surprised, to say the least, to receive such a personal letter from the headmaster whose office he trashed not even a month ago, but it was welcome.

'What should I do?'

Would you want your friends to shut you out if they were having problems?

'No, but this is different. This is a BIG problem.'

If they had a BIG problem, anything like this one, would you want to help them?

'Especially then...but they could get hurt by helping me!'

Would it stop you if you thought you could get hurt helping them?

'No, but I can stop it from happening to them!'

Would you want them to stop you if the situations were reversed?

'No...but...that's not the point!'

Isn't it?

'We'll continue this later' he told that frustrating voice in his head that had been arguing with him for quite some time now. He assumed it was his conscience. He was still a little confused as to why it sounded like the voice of a young lady, but it made him think of his mother and he thought that it was somehow appropriate that she was guiding him.

'It's nice to have a conscience and all…but I wish it wouldn't take such an active role in my life'

Don't we all. She said, slightly amused.

With this last thought in mind, Harry picked up his book and continued reading where he had left off before his odd fascination with the wall had drawn him from it.

He had been doing a lot of reading these past couple of weeks. It was helping to keep him distracted from the feelings of guilt and sadness that had been brought on by Sirius' passing this past spring.

Besides, if the prophecy was right, he'd need to start doing some work towards making sure it turned out the way he wanted it to: With him as the victor.

His summer resolution was to memorize every one of his spell books. He would be fully prepared the next time he faced Voldemort. He might not know what power he had that 'the dark lord knows not' but, none the less, he would do all he could to prepare for the enviable.

Sure, "Curses and Counter Curses" wasn't the most advanced book that he owned, and he knew that spells like the Jelly-legs and the Hair loss curses probably wouldn't be very much help in an encounter of that nature, but he wanted to leave no stone unturned. He wanted to familiarize himself with every offensive spell he had at his disposal, no matter how insignificant they may appear.

Surprise was always the best weapon.

The corner of Harry's mouth turned up in a slight grin at the though of Voldemort laughing hysterically due to the tickling hex as he wiggled and wobbled around from the jelly legs hex at the same time. This was the closest thing to a smile to grace his face since June.

Then a new thought crossed his mind.

'I wonder if I can combine spell effects and set them off with only one spell?' This was something he would definitely have to look into when he back at Hogwarts.

Not being able to actually use magic outside of school, due to his underage status, all he could do was read his books, practice his wand movements and become as familiar with their contents as possible. He was looking forward to getting back to school so that he could really start preparing. But for now, he just did what he could.

AN: Please review and give your input. I will continue to post if I find that I there is sufficient interest in what I write.