a/n: This story is also in progress at The first four chapters are much shorter than the later ones (chapter 5), and up to chapter 10 has been written. Please leave a review!
Disclaimer: JK Rowling owns Harry Potter - not me.
Chapter 1: déjà vu
The atmosphere at Number 4 Privet Drive was tense, to say the least. Vernon, Petunia, and Dudley Dursley avoided their housemate like the plague, and that housemate was in a towering rage at the moment. Broken objects were scattered about the small room he called 'his cell.' The mirror inside his wardrobe was shattered, a clear fist mark imprinted in the wood beneath it. Scraps of food were on the walls, the remains of smashed plates amongst the clutter on his floor. Harry Potter stared at the broken glass of the mirror from his wardrobe for a moment, and was immediately reminded of Sirius' shattered mirror at the bottom of his trunk. Tears did not come this time; he had cried himself out already. Instead, he turned away from the wardrobe and walked straight over to the nightstand by his bed. Pulling out a small, framed photo, Harry collapsed onto the lumpy mattress and heaved an exhausted sigh.
"I really need to stop doing that every time I get upset," Harry thought with another sigh. He looked at the photo of him and his best friend, Hermione Granger. The picture had been taken at the end of their 4th year, and they both looked extremely happy considering the circumstances. Notably absent from the photograph was Ron Weasley, Harry's other best friend and the boy he had come to think of as a brother. Harry vividly recalled Ron sprinting back to the Hogwarts Express after realizing he had forgotten his owl, Pig, when that picture was being taken.
It had been like this every night since his return from Hogwarts after that disastrous 5th year. Harry would work himself into a fierce rage, destroy half of his room, and then calm himself down by looking at that same picture. Somehow the smiling face of his best friend reassured him that things would be okay eventually. "If you think that demolishing your bedroom is the way to go about this, I suggest you think again, Harry Potter," her voice echoed around his head for what must have been the hundredth time this summer. Hermione had come to be his voice of reason; chastising him when he did wrong, and warning him when he wasn't thinking. Harry didn't mind this at all; he'd rather have Hermione's voice inside his head than anyone else's.
Harry's stomach gave a loud rumble, and he figured it was about time he ate something. He hadn't felt up to eating much since his return to Privet Drive, nor had he felt like sleeping. Consequently, Harry had lost quite a bit of weight and was looking rather peaky. Not that it bothered him, but Harry knew that it would have more of an effect others, say, Hermione or Mrs. Weasley. He walked over to a loaf of bread sitting on his floor, and tore into it, eating rather savagely. After downing a bottle of water, Harry walked out the door and into the bathroom for a long shower. He always felt better after a shower, as though he had washed away the guilt and grief with the gallons of water he used up. Taking a moment to examine his appearance in the bathroom mirror, Harry came to the conclusion that while he was a bit on the skinny side, he still looked all right. His arms and stomach had muscle tone, and while he wasn't big or beefy like Dudley, he was definitely strong enough. "Quidditch has done me well over the years," Harry muttered to himself with a small chuckle.
Falling onto his bed for the second time that night, Harry felt refreshed but not yet ready for sleep. Every time he slept, he had nightmares about that fateful night at the Department of Mysteries. Surprisingly, the nightmares weren't about his godfather's death, or Voldemort's battle with Dumbledore. No, Harry's nightmares were about Hermione's injury at the hand of escaped Death Eater, Antonin Dolohov. When she was hit with Dolohov's spell, all rational thoughts fled Harry's mind. All that mattered was Hermione, and whether or not she was alive and okay. Not the raging battle all around him, not the well-being of his other friends, and certainly not some prophecy. That moment in time was all about her, and it was that very moment that haunted Harry in his dreams every night.
Harry shuddered at the image of Hermione falling to the floor, and pushed it out of his mind. "She's fine, you saw her after, she isn't mad at you. Hermione is still here, and still your best friend," he repeated in his head over and over, reassuring himself that the most important person in his life was still there for him. Yes, Hermione had become the most important person to Harry, even more so than Ron or Professor Dumbledore. For it was Hermione who stuck by him through it all, it was Hermione who never lied to him, and it was Hermione who cared about Harry, and not just The Boy Who Lived.
He tossed and turned on his bed for what seemed like hours, and was about to give up on sleep and write another letter to Hermione when he heard a crash downstairs. Leaping off the bed and grabbing his wand, Harry was struck with the odd sensation of déjà vu when his door opened of its own accord- just like the previous summer. Peering out onto the landing below, that sensation was amplified by the fact that Remus Lupin, Nymphadora Tonks, and Alastor 'Mad-Eye' Moody were standing below staring at him. Harry descended the stairs, and was soon swept into a manly embrace by Lupin.
"Harry," he said hoarsely, as though he was fighting back tears, "Harry, how are you?" Lupin released Harry from his hug and took a good look at him.
"I'm well enough." Harry was aware of Lupin, Tonks and Moody all looking at him intensely, and shifted uncomfortably. Thankfully, Tonks broke the silence by smashing her elbow on the corner of the wall as she moved towards the kitchen. Harry couldn't help but give a small but quiet laugh, and saw out of the corner of his eye that Lupin was smiling as well.
"I'd say it's about time we get Potter back to headquarters, don't you two?" Moody growled in his usual gravelly voice.
"Yes, yes," said Lupin absently as he continued to watch Tonks furiously rub her elbow. He cleared his throat, "Harry, Professor Dumbledore has arranged for us to take a portkey back to the Order headquarters." He handed Harry a folded piece of parchment, and Harry quickly opened and read it.
'The headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix is located at The Burrow, home of Arthur and Molly Weasley.'
He looked up at Remus and nodded, thinking it was probably a good thing the headquarters wasn't at Grimmauld Place anymore. That would only bring back memories of Sirius, something he did not need at the moment.
It was Moody who broke the silence this time by rummaging in his cloak. A moment later he pulled out a tattered copy of 'Witch Weekly' and held it out in front of him. Taking the cue, Harry stepped forward and grabbed onto the cover. Lupin and Tonks followed suit after summoning Harry's trunk and Hedwig's cage downstairs, and not a second later Harry felt the familiar jerk from behind his navel and knew they were going back to The Burrow.