Note: I do not own any of the characters, places, names and stuff like that. All comments are welcome. First fic by the way.
Chapter 1: Home Bitter Home
Summer is most kid's favorite time of year. School is out. The weather is nice and they can hang out with their friend all day long. Not so for Harry Potter. While he is out of school and the weather is nice he cannot hang out with his friends all day and it's his least favorite part of the year.
The second week of the holidays and already Harry was finding himself bored out of his mind. But at the same time attentive. Like last summer only now more than ever Harry was listening to the news all day. He finally persuaded his aunt and uncle to let him have a paper rout so that he could earn some extra cash. He had a whole stack of galleons in Gringotts but he doubted muggle shops would accept them. So with his first pay check he bought himself a radio for his room. So far Voldemort had remained quiet this summer. The only thing Harry heard on the news that may have anything to do with the wizarding world is a set of streetlights that turn off whenever a car drives by.
But Voldemort and his recent inactivity wasn't the only thing on Harry's mind there was something else there too, try as he might to forget it. Sirius. Almost nightly Harry had been having the same dream. In it Sirius taunts Bellatrix before being caught off guard and falling through the curtain behind him. He had heard voices behind that curtain, he could hear them softly talking.
But no one else had heard them, save Luna. She said that she could hear them too. Luna believes that she will someday reach her mother on the other side of that curtain, as will Harry with Sirius. But Harry wasn't certain he could believe any of that, in fact he probably shouldn't since Luna was a bit loony. But then again she had heard the voices. Perhaps what she had said was true.
Harry sat up in his bed at 4 Privet Drive. Perhaps he should write Luna right now and ask her how he could get Sirius back. He dove for his desk and snatched out a quill and a piece of parchment and started writing.
'Dear Luna, How's your summer been so far? Mine's been great. I was wondering if you knew how to get Sirius back?"
Harry sat back to read what he'd written. Then violently crumpled it up chucked it in the general direction of his wastebasket and kicked the leg of his desk before flopping back on his bed.
"Keep the racket down in there!" yelled uncle Vernon from downstairs, "I'm trying to read!"
His uncle muttered some other inaudible curse then fell silent once more. The letter would never work Harry thought. If she knew how to get Sirius back then why didn't she save her mother as well? Every time he thought about Sirius he thought about how much it had been his fault that he had died in the first place. It was all because he had disregarded what his best instincts told him and made a foolish decision.
He was just about to turn on the radio once more to listen for any more wizard activity when the doorbell rang. Although usually when people come to the door they are just delivering a package or something but for some reason Harry had a different feeling today. He listened attentively.
"Who's that Petunia?" asked uncle Vernon.
There was no answer and Harry heard a shuffle that was his uncle going to the door. As his footsteps rounded the corner he heard the distinguishable voice of Lucious Malfoy.
"Petrificus Totalus" he said.
"What in the name of..." uttered uncle Vernon as he saw his wife stiff as a board on the floor.
Then Harry heard a large thump, obviously Harry's uncle falling to the floor. Harry felt a chill go up his spine. Lucious Malfoy was in his house and all he had to protect himself was his wand. He heard Malfoy's shoes thumping on the stairs. Slowly.
Wait, he thought to himself. Wasn't Malfoy in Azkaban? He was sure of it and yet that had sounded an awful lot like him. He heard him reach the top of the stairs. He looked franticly around the room but found nowhere to hide except his closet but he would be found soon enough. He'd rather face him now.
He slowly drew his wand from his back pocket and held it at the ready as the door handle started to turn. All of a sudden the door flung open revealing Lucious Malfoy in the flesh.
"Impedementia!" yelled Harry
But Lucious blocked the curse wordlessly and kept up his advance. Harry tried several more spells and jinxes but to no avail until Lucious was right on top of him and leaned right into his face.
"I've been sent to retrieve you Potter." Sneered Lucious, "Care to guess who sent me?"
When Harry didn't reply Lucious laughed although the laugh didn't sound all that sinister. When Lucious regained his composure he backed off of Harry a bit.
"Wotcher, Harry." Said Tonks as she started crumpled up her face turned her features back to 'normal' and her hair back to pink, "Mad-Eye asked me to see if I could get in your room without a struggle. Looks like you need to step up security a bit here, eh?" Harry exhaled deeply and he realized that he'd been holding his breath throughout Tonks's advance.
"Gave me quite a fright you did." Remarked Harry, "what are you doing here. I thought Dumbledore would have kept me in the dark until I was 20."
"Now I know you're upset at Dumbledore but he's got your best interests at heart you know." Tonks said reassuringly, "Best pack your trunk and stuff I'll be ready to go in five"
As Tonks exited the room he wondered if she had been sent alone. Although she was a formidable opponent she was no match for even two death eaters. But he supposed it would look a little odd if a horde of wizards entered someone's house and might draw unnecessary attention. Harry finished packing his things and gathered up Hedwig's cage and started down the stairs wishing he could use magic to levitate them instead of dragging them down the stairs the old fashioned way.
When he reached the bottom of the stairs he saw his uncle laying motionless on the floor but could find no sign of his aunt.
"Ready to go" asked Tonks, "Stepping through the front door.
"Ya, think you could give me a hand with these, I can't use my wand during summer."
"Oh sure, sorry Harry forgot you couldn't use your wand. Been a few since I was last in Hogwarts. Although as I recall you've got a history of using magic in the summer."
He was still a little worried about being expelled from Hogwarts as he had come so close to doing last year. It was the only home he'd ever really had, along with the burrow. He didn't even realize that he'd already used magic just a second ago on Tonks. Harry watched as Tonks levitated the Trunk and pretended to carry it out the door. Carrying it, Harry realized would be a good idea since the locals, Mrs. Figg not included, where not used to seeing floating suitcases. As Harry stepped out the door he saw to his horror a familiar Ford Anglia.
"Where'd you find that thing?" asked Harry a little shocked, "I thought I'd never see it again."
"Well Hagrid found it one day in the woods, finally ran out of gas it seems. Gave it to Dumbledore who in turn gave it to Arthur and he donated it to the ord- I mean the, um, well, you know."
Tonks looked around her but saw no one that may have overheard her. Harry went around the back to open the trunk for Tonks.
"No space back there Harry, we'll have to put it in the back seat."
Harry wondered briefly what might be in the back trunk but he had the feeling that Tonks wouldn't tell him anyhow.
The trip to twelve Grimauld place wasn't a long one but it gave Harry some time to do some thinking. He certainly wasn't looking forward to going back to the house. He had considered going to live there with Sirius until his death but now he wished he never had to go back there. Sirius had been the closest thing he'd ever had to a father.
Just before their arrival Tonks aroused him from his thoughts.
"We've got some legal stuff to take care of when we get there. Sirius left half of his possessions to you and Remus and a few things to the, uh, the, um, the, the..."
"I get it," said Harry, "why don't we just call it the naturalists society or something?"
"You know that's a good idea, oh, and so Sirius left you twelve Grimauld Place so we've got to have you sign some papers before we can officially live in the place again. Dumbledore is there waiting for you. He's lucky that Arthur works for the ministry. He got him to be the witness from the ministry so that we wouldn't alert anyone in the ministry and we can be sure Arthur won't go blabbing."
"Yeah, I suppose." said Harry. He was looking even less forward to going to Grimauld place now. He and Dumbledore hadn't parted on excellent terms last year. In fact the last he saw Dumbledore was right after he trashed his office. Harry wished silently that he could keep a better check on his emotions.
After a while they pulled up outside number 11 Grimauld place and soon enough number 12 appeared in between the two other houses and it slowly shoved the other two houses aside. Tonks walked up and tapped her wand on the door and they walked in. Harry could hear voices coming from the kitchen and he recognized them to be those of Dumbledore and Arthur Weasley. They seemed unaware that Harry and Tonks had arrived and continued their discussion.
"What about Petunia, Albus?" asked Mr. Weasley.
But at hearing this Tonks gave a loud cough and the kitchen when silent. And then Dumbledore rounded the corner and came into view.
"Ah, Tonks" Dumbledore said, "did you bring those petunias for me, this place is very dingy without something to liven it up, I thought a couple of flowers could do the trick."
"Oh, yeah" replied Tonks uncertainly "they're in the trunk, didn't want someone to step on them."
Although it was a great impromptu act by Dumbledore Harry didn't buy one word of it.
"OK, if you think for one second that I don't know darn well that you're talking about my aunt you've obviously got some cards missing." Said Harry starting to shout; "I'm old enough so that you don't need to make up dumb excuses for not telling me things. Out with it."
"Harry what I think you need to understand is—"started Dumbledore.
"NO! NOW!" yelled Harry "I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU'VE TREATED ME LIKE A BABY FOR THE PAST FIFTEEN YEARS NOW TELL ME WHAT'S GOING ON!"
So much for my new resolve to keep my anger in check, thought Harry. But right now he didn't really care. Much to Tonks's surprise and Harry's own Dumbledore answered in his calm and secure voice.
"Fine Harry, I can understand where your anger is coming from," he said. Harry was sure he wasn't sure where his anger was coming from but he wasn't going to argue in case Dumbledore changed him mind, "Come with me into the kitchen we have a lunch waiting there and I will tell you what you wish to know."
Harry followed him cautiously into the kitchen with Tonks tailing him.
Harry entered the kitchen behind Dumbledore to see a slightly pale-faced Arthur Weasley watching the situation unfold cautiously. Dumbledore waved his hand in the direction of a chair on the opposite side of the table from him. "Sit" he said.
Harry moved and took the chair and waited intently. Dumbledore seemed to be considering something then continued on.
"You are well aware I am sure that your aunt knows more of the wizarding world than she lets on, correct?" started Dumbledore, Harry nodded and he continued on, "She was your mothers sister but has she ever told you of her sister Myrtle?"
"No" replied Harry, "I have never heard of that sister"
"She too was a witch Harry. She was eight years older than you aunt. Well she too was your aunt but Petunia was the aunt to which I was referring. Anyways, I'm sure you know that a child of muggle parents was killed in the first opening of the chamber that child was Myrtle. You may know her better as 'Moaning Myrtle'. At the time Lily was only in her first year and Petunia was but 9 years old. After that Lily became a great witch and her parents began to play favorites amongst their two remaining children, Lily being the favorite. You aunt grew up loathing magic for it had taken away form her the sister she admired and her parents whom she had loved. It is the reason she hates magic with such passion." Dumbledore took a break and let Harry ask a few questions.
"But what does that have to do with my aunt now? And why didn't she have magic as well?" Harry questioned.
"Well the reason behind that is simple. It is a rare occurrence that a muggle couple gives birth to a squibble, very similar to a squib only a squibble cannot see or use anything magical and are almost every bit a muggle. When two of these people or their descendants decide to have a child there is a twenty-five percent chance that the child will be magical. This was the case with your parents and their first two children." was Dumbledore's reply.
"You still haven't answered my question Professor." Said Harry, slightly frustrated.
"It is my intention to tell you but I will wait and tell you and your aunt at the same time. Tonks."
Tonks contorted her face then changed her features to be the most normal possible and changed her hair to blonde. Most likely as to not startle aunt Petunia.
"How has your summer been Harry?" asked Mr.Weasley
"Fine I suppose, not excellent by any means but certainly not the worst I've had to endure with those oafs."
"You should give them the respect they deserve Harry," said Mr.Weasley "they've watched after you for the past fourteen years of your life you should be thankful. Now Harry, coming from someone who lived with muggles I must ask you a question. I was looking through a muggle shopping catalogue and I came across a device called the 'pooper-scooper' could you please tell me the function of a 'pooper-scooper'? There is a wizard who enchanted one to mow his lawn in plain sight of muggles and we need to decide on his punishment."
The question was so absurd that Harry laughed out loud. Just a minute ago they had beendiscusing Harry's aunts past and the topic had suddenly jumped to pooper-scoopers!
"Well when muggles take their dogs for walks and they need to do their business then they can't just use a scourgify so they use a pooper-scooper to pick up the poop." Said Harry through fits of laughter.
Mr.Weasley looked like he wanted to say something more but just then Tonks arrived with a still unconscious floating aunt Petunia.
"Sit her down here" instructed Dumbledore, "I don't want her to wake up to find herself floating"
Tonks moved to obey Dumbledore and set Harry's aunt down on another chair at the table Dumbledore and Harry where seated. For a moment they all sat there. Harry was unsure of what was supposed to happen so he sat patiently. Dumbledore examined aunt Petunia a moment then said "Enervate"
Immediately Harry's aunt shot open her eyes and attempted to bolt but she found that she was stuck firmly to the chair on which she had sat.
"You" was all she could manage and looked menacingly at Dumbledore. Harry was very grateful that looks couldn't kill otherwise Hogwarts would be one headmaster short.
"Sit," said Dumbledore as if she had any choice in the matter, "there are some things which I must tell you."
"You will tell me nothing, after dropping him on our doorstep all those years ago" she said, "I'm through with you and you pathetic-"
"Silencio" said Dumbledore calmly, "You will be quite disappointed to discover otherwise. Not only has your involvement not come to an end but you also will be displeased to find that it has only just begun."
He let Petunia squirm for a while then started talking once more as if Petunia was enjoying the conversation. "All those years ago you thought that you had no magic in you but however you where wrong"
Harry sat up straight at this revelation; he had never considered this before a few seconds ago. Surly Hogwarts would have detected his aunt's magic and have sent her a letter much like his own. But why then would she have not gone? Did she ever receive a letter? He saw Dumbledore start to talk once more so he decided to listen in on what he had to say.
"The reason you never received a letter as your sisters did was because you magic is powerful. It hid itself from our magical children radar. But there is something a bit odd about your magic. I'm sure you're aware that your sisters where witches and that Harry is a wizard" said Dumbledore nodding his head towards Harry while maintaining eye contact with Harry's now very shaken aunt, "You are neither a which or a wizard but instead a mage. Very similar to a witch or wizard with two major differences. One being that you don't need to recite the words to perform a spell and the second being that you can do this wandlessly."
Dumbledore pauses again to give time for this to sink in then continued on. "Although this is not what concerns us the most. I have researched the protection given to you by your mother Harry. Petunia, 14 years ago a dark lord presented himself as Lord Voldemort. A prophecy was made concerning Harry and the Dark Lord. Voldemort was only able to hear the beginning of the prophecy and sought out to kill Harry but when he did so his mother protected him giving him a kind of blood protection but it only works with people on her side of the family. The only one remaining is you Petunia. That is why I gave Harry to you. So he was protected from the Dark Lord but a problem has been found with our theory. While Harry remains safe from harm while you are around, you are not.
Aunt Petunia seemed extremely terrified by this and she started mouthing threats to Dumbledore but he continued on with his story.
"So while the Dark Lords death eaters would normally not attack you Petunia, if they discover what I have you will become their main target." He paused looking at the shock reflected on both Harry's and his aunt's faces. He turned to Petunia, "For if you are killed Harry too will die as the killing curse Voldemort cast upon him will be able to affect him with his mothers last relative dead."
"So I only live as long as she does?" asked Harry pointing an accusing finger at his aunt.
"For the moment, yes" replied Dumbledore, "Unless the Dark Lord is vanquished before you aunt dies then you will be freed your bond with her."
Harry breathed a sigh of relief. He was still very stunned by all that had been told to him in the past few minutes and was hoping that was all Dumbledore had to say. And was relieved when Dumbledore dismissed him from the room while Dumbledore continued his discussion with Petunia. As much as he wanted to hear what was going on down there he had heard enough for today to keep his mind stimulated for a good while.
He sat in his room thinking for a while. He had been dreading this time since summer had started. He knew Ron and Hermione would be arriving shortly since they would want to keep Harry company. They had both sent him brief letters. Hermione's letter went like this.
How's your summer been so far? Well I know it's probably not great but try to get the best out of it. I'm sure we'll have you out of there in no time. After the first week of holidays I went to Ron's and we're hoping that you can come by sometime soon. I'm sure you need to talk. Don't dwell on it too long. There's nothing you can do now, it wasn't even your fault anyways. I hope to see you soon!
While Ron's went like so.
How's things with you? My summer's been great. Percy still hasn't come home, thinks he too good for us I guess. Make sure you don't think of unpleasant things too much and think of other stuff like how bad we're going to waste Slytherin in quidditch this year. Keep your spirits up and we'll see you soon!
He'd also received letters from Ginny, Fred and George, Neville and even Luna. While the letters warmed him they also made him feel guiltier. He was a marked man. But he just couldn't bear to tell them about the prophecy. None of them would understand. He was afraid that he would loose them.
But at the same time he wanted to loose them so that when the time came for him to face the Dark Lord and if he died then nobody would mourn over his death. He kept thinking on this topic for a few more minutes before drifting off for a quick afternoon nap.
When he woke he went downstairs to find that no one was there except Dumbledore who sat patiently at the table with a few papers in front of him. Harry sat down across from him.
"Where's my aunt?" he questioned.
"She is safe." Replied Dumbledore evasively. Harry decided that he wasn't in the mood to argue and left it at that.
"We have some business to attend to at the moment Harry," said Dumbledore, "Sirius's will."
Harry didn't really feel like looking at anything that might remind him of Sirius with his loss still so fresh in his mind but he had no choice really if the Order wanted to continue using Grimauld place as their headquarters. He looked silently at an envelope with his name on front lying on the table; it was clearly in Sirius's handwriting.
Dumbledore followed his gaze and handed Harry the letter. Harry took it wordlessly and shoved it in his pocket. He wasn't in the mood to read it right now.
"Now if you'll just sign here" said Dumbledore pointing to a line on a legal-sized piece of paper. Harry complied and scratched out his signature where Dumbledore had indicated, "and that's all. We've already got Arthur's signature for someone from the ministry and mine as witness" He then wrote his own, neater signature underneath Harry's.
"There," he said looking satisfied, "Now Grimauld place is yours along with Sirius's bike and half of his assets. Now I'm sure there are a few people whom you'd like to see."
Dumbledore sat up and straightened out the papers he'd been looking at and went off to the fireplace. He took a pinch of something that resembled floo powder but was blue in color. He threw it into the fire and said "The Burrow" and promptly stuck his head into the fire.
Harry couldn't hear anything of what Dumbledore said after that but stood around in anticipation of seeing his two best friends again. Wait, his three best friends counting Ginny. After a few moments Dumbledore removed his head from the fire.
"They'll be coming shortly, they simply need to pack their things" said Dumbledore but then more seriously he said, "It is up to you whom you will tell the prophecy to. Tell it to no one if you so desire but you should confide in at least one person. It will take a great load off of your shoulders. But you may do as you wish. I will share the prophecy with no one as long as you wish it so."
"Thanks Professor" said Harry.
"Let's not bother with this 'professor', I'm not your professor and you should address me as my friends do, Albus."
"Sure Professor, er, Albus."
At just that moment several figures emerged from the fireplace. Hermione burst out and ran straight into Harry flinging her suitcase aside and enveloped him in a tight hug.
"Harry! So good to see you. I'm glad they got you out of there sooner this year. It must have been dreadful." Said Hermione.
"I'm glad to see you guys too" said Harry as Ron emerged from the fireplace followed by Ginny. Harry couldn't help but smile at the red tinge that had crept into Ron's cheeks at seeing Hermione hug Harry so warmly.
After Hermione finally let Harry go he walked up to Ron and took his hand and gave him a friendly smack on the arm.
"Good to see you mate" said Ron, "I was thinking about it the other day and I'd be bored silly in a muggle house without being able to use magic."
"You're not the only one" said Harry.
Then he went over to Ginny. He wasn't quite sure how good his relationship was with her so he extended his hand and rested his hand on her shoulder.
"Nice to see you too Ginny" said Harry.
"Well" said Dumbledore with a laugh, "I'll leave you four to yourselves, your parents should be here shortly."
And with that he left the house. Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny made their way up the stairs to Ron and Harry's room. And continued their discussion there.
"Harry, you look awful, have those relatives of yours been mistreating you again. You really should eat more." Said Hermione.
"Lay off Hermione, he's had a rough time, he looks fine." said Ron but something in his voice told Harry he looked much worse than fine.
Harry hadn't even looked in a mirror lately since his room at privet drive didn't have one. But if he would have he would have seen a very disheveled boy looking back at him. He hadn't eaten much since Sirius's death and he had only washed his hair once or twice in the last two weeks. Also he'd started growing some sideburns which he had shaved last year at school but had neglected over the summer. The end result was a very rugged look. He made a silent not to clean himself up.
"So Harry, is there anything you want to talk about?" asked Hermione.
"No, is there something you wanted to talk about?" asked Harry.
"No Harry it's just-" started Hermione.
"Oh, so there's something you want me to talk about. Is that it?" asked Harry.
"Harry, you mustn't look at it that way, we all know you need to talk about him and we're just trying to help." replied Hermione.
"Here we go again Hermione, treating Harry like a baby again. He doesn't even know what's good for him so let's make all his decisions for him. He might get a paper cut if we're not too careful. He can't do anything right. He has a 'saving people thing'. Let's tell him what to do so-" Harry argued.
"DON'T YOU 'BUT HARRY' ME HERMIONE. I'VE HAD IT WITH YOUR INSISTENT NAGGING, JUST SOD OFF!" shouted Harry.
Harry kicked the chair beside the desk in his room sending it flying into the wall splintering upon contact and spraying all over Ron, who was standing near where the chair hit. Hermione looked absolutely furious whereas Ron was absolutely petrified whilst Ginny remained impassive. Harry walked over to his bed and sat down heavily and put his face in his hands.
"I'm sorry" his voice no more than a whisper, "I shouldn't have exploded like that."
"Harry, I really think it'd do you a load of good to talk about him." pressed Hermione.
"Why? I've got enough on my mind with Voldemort killing people by the dozens. He has to be stopped!" proclaimed Harry.
"I know Harry but you're taking this way to personally. It's not your fault that all of those people are dying. Voldemort and his cowardly death eaters are the only ones to blame for that. Besides there's nothing you could possibly do to save those people anyways." said Hermione.
"Ya, it's not like it's your responsibility to take out you-know-who, Dumbledore'll be the one to do it I recon." added Ron.
No sooner than the words had left his mouth Harry started to cry. Not a childish cry more like a sob of some enormous inner pain. Hermione gave Ron a deadly look and Ron went a pale white then she was about to console Harry when Ginny stood up and went to sit on the bed next to Harry and wrapped his arm around him.
"It's alright Harry," said Ginny.
"What if it's not?" asked Harry.
"I'm sure everything will be fine," said Ginny, "We'll give you some time to sort thing out OK?"
Without waiting for an answer she got up and ushered Ron and Hermione out the door. Harry was very grateful for this act and flopped onto his bed to sort things out. They could be so ignorant sometimes. It was his responsibility to kill Voldemort. He really wanted them to know the prophecy but he just couldn't bring himself to tell them.
And then there was the matter of Sirius. He wasn't quite sure how he stood on the matter. A small chunk of him was still unwilling to admit that he was really gone but the rest of him knew better. He'd have to talk about it eventually but he'd be willing to put that off for as long as possible. He wasn't quite sure why he didn't want to talk about him. Sirius had died with honor, in battle. Harry knew it was how he would have liked to go but it still didn't make it any easier.