Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter nor anything related to the Harry Potter franchise.
AN: So for those of you who have read this fic before, I have gone through chapters 1-14 and edited and re-written some things so as the story flows better. This is my first fan fiction, and I think it is blatantly obvious when looking at these first few chapters. The second reason for this re-edit is that I felt that I could do more to make this fic just a tiny bit more original (or closer to the books, either way…) I like to consider my original postings 'rough drafts' and that this is the final. I hope you enjoy.
Letters and A new Resolution
The late June sun burned high above the residents Privet Drive. It seemed everyone was either out enjoying the heat or staying home and keeping cool. The sounds of young kids playing in the street echoed off of the walls of the houses while neighbors chatted happily in their back yards, sipping instant lemonade. It was a perfectly normal summer day on Privet Drive and it seemed the weather had brightened everyone's spirits. Except for one young man who sat at his desk in his bedroom on the second floor of #4 Privet Drive. He had sat there for almost an entire week, moving only to go to meals and to use the bathroom. This young mans name was Harry Potter.
He had spent the week since his arrival back at his "home" trying to just comprehend all that had happened during the last month. First and foremost on his mind the recent death of his Godfather Sirius Black. Sirius had been a father, older brother, and friend wrapped all in one. He felt, and rightfully so, that he had just lost his last piece of his family. Well, not exactly true. Mrs. Weasley, his best friend's mother, had practically adopted him as a seventh son. Even so, she always wanted to mother him and protect him when what he really wanted and needed was for someone to be open and honest with him. And in the end, she was Ron's mother, not his. Sirius had always been looking out for him, even when he was on the run. Hary's thoughts drifted to his fourth year when Sirius and Buckbeak had hidden out in the cave near Hogsmeade and had lived off of rats just so he could be nearby incase something happened.
His musings were cut short with the arrival of an owl bearing the latest edition of the Daily Prophet. He paid the owl and glanced at the front page.
Early this morning ministry employee Darell Grendel was found dead in his home along with his wife Kristine and their two sons Carl and Chris Grendel. The dark mark was seen hovering above the home when Aurors arrived. It appears that the Grendel family was just sitting down to dinner when the attack happened. It has been determined that all occupants of the home were killed by the Killing Curse. It is unclear why the Grendels were targeted, as Mr. Grendel worked in muggle relations department.. The oldest son, Chris, was eleven and was going to attend Hogwarts School of...
Harry did not need to read any more. His first thought was surprise. He hadn't felt so much as a twitch in his scar since the incident at the Ministry of Magic, so either Voldemort was keeping low, or he was blocking his mind off from harry. He was also surprised to find that the emotion he felt was not sadness, but anger. It was not right that these people were allowed to just wander around killing at will. Someone had to stop them!
Then it hit him.
He was the one who had to end this. He had no choice in the matter. 'I suppose I should have realized it long before I heard that damned prophecy,' he thought to himself. 'After all, the first war ended with me, and the second began with me. It really does follow that I should have some responsibility in ending it. The prophecy just solidifies my destiny.' His thoughts drifted to the prophecy that Dumbledore had revealed to him after Sirius's death.
What concerned him most were the last two phrases:
One must die at the had of the other
For neither can live while the other survives
That phrase, 'one must die at the hand of another' intrigued him. Did that mean that he could only die by Voldemort's hand? Did his death Eaters count since they followed his orders? 'No, then the prophecy becomes pointless because then the same would apply to me. If that were the case, I would order Dumbledore to kill him and not deal with it myself.' That led to a whole string of thoughts and questions about his possible immortality when it came to his Death Eaters. 'Could I die then? How would that work? Could I actually take another Killing Curse and live?'
And then there was the part about some power the 'dark lord know not.' Dumbledore said it was love. Well, everyone has love, so obviously that couldn't be the whole story. Either the headmaster was hiding something from him, or he was merely taking a guess. Besides, if, as Bellatrix said, spells like the Cruciatus require hatred, how was he supposed to destroy someone with love? It all sounded a bit dubious to Harry, but he didn't have much else to work with. One thing did stand out though, he needed to learn more, more than what was taught in the standard curriculum at Hogwarts. Indeed, he needed to know more than what the Aurors were taught. He would have to take his education into his own hands. After all, it was apparent that their training wasn't enough to effectively confront Death Eaters and their Lord. Harry couldn't guaranty that anything he learned by himself would help defeat Voldemort, but it was always better to do something than nothing. Again he was brought out of his musings by a small ball of feathers slamming into his torso.
"What the hell!" he yelled, swatting at the thing that had hit him. The ball of feathers fell to the floor after taking a direct hit from Harry's hand, but quickly recovered and soon began racing around his room. Realization dawned on him as he watched the creature twitter around the small bedroom.
"Pig, get over here!"
The hyperactive bird starting circling around Harry's head before he was able to snatch the owl out of the air. Holding the small bird in one hand, Harry untied the letter from Pigwidgion's legs and released the bird as he sat back at his. Pig flew over to Hedwig's cage, disturbing the said owl who happened to be sleeping at that moment. Harry could not help but smirk at Hedwig's obvious disdain for other small bird as Pigwidgeon drank greedily from Hedwig's water dish. Still smirking, Harry turned his attention back to the letter in his hands. Just from the messy scrawl on the front of the envelope Harry knew the letter was from Ron. Unfolding the parchment, Harry read the letter.
Hey mate, how are things with the muggles? Look, I know you and I know you're blaming yourself for Sirius's death. I want you to know that it's not your fault. Mum's not sure when we will be able to get you out of there, but it sounds like it won't be until after your birthday. You should have seen mum when we got home from the station! She yelled at us for a good half-hour about how reckless we were being, etc, before she broke down crying. Mental, I tell you! I swear, I will never understand her sometimes, or any female for that matter. I won't be able to write you for a while, my family is going on a trip to spend "quality time" together. Apparently Percy has approached Dad at work and apologized so mum arranged this trip so we call all 'get to know each other again.' I still think Percy is a git, but mum and dad are happier now that he has apologized, so I guess its ok. I apparently can't tell you where we will be going in case Pig got intercepted. Hope your not mad, but security and all that I can tell you that it is too far to send an owl, at least the owls we have, and that where we are going there are a lot of the things you have a model of from the tournament. Well, mum's yelling at me to de-gnome the garden, so I have to go. Don't let life get you down.
I hope to see you soon,
Judging by the hint left by his friend, Harry figured Ron and his family were probably going to Romania where Charlie worked with dragons. A smile crept onto his face as he thought about the Weasly family. Ron was the first, no third friend he had made in the wizarding world. Third because Hagrid and Hedwig were truly his first two friends. Ron was a good guy at heart and had a great family. Yeah, they had had their arguments, but overall they had a good friendship. The Weasley's as a whole were probably the best thing that had ever happened to Harry. The family was not that well off but what they lacked in money they most definitely made up in spirit. There were the twins, Charlie, Bill, Ginny, and of course Molly and Arthur. He loved them all and got along great with them. Well, almost all of them. There was still Percy, but it looked like things might work themselves out there. Harry knew that he could count on the support of the family. There was that little issue of Ron's jealousy that seemed to get the better of him in their fourth year, but he seemed to have gotten over it though, and was now, once again, a very good friend. Of course, as his thoughts were on his friends, he could not help but think of his other best friend, Hermione Granger.
She was the voice of reason among the three of them. She was also probably the most good, decent human being that Harry knew, if sometimes a bit pushy (ok, very pushy). Her heart was always in the right place though, if S.P.E.W. was any indication. They did not always see eye to eye on some issues, but she always looked out for him and had been a good, loyal friend even when he had been an ass all last year and during his third year. The thing is, she always seemed to be right, from Snape in their first year to the broom incident in their third year. She was the best friend one could ask for, though she sometimes got carried away in her efforts to help everybody. The greatest proof Harry had of her friendship was when she accompanied him to the Department of Mysteries. She knew it was a trap, they both knew Voldemort would be there, but she came anyway. And for that, she almost died.
With that thought in mind, he grabbed out a piece of parchment and a pen (he did not want to deal with a quill at the moment) and began a letter that really should have been written a while ago.
I know I don't usually send letters, but there was something that I wanted to get off my chest. I wanted to thank you for all your support last year, even when I was being a giant prat. I also wanted to let you know how sorry I am for the whole Ministry fiasco. You were right, as always, that it was a trap. Though, in my defense, Professor Dumbledore had never given me reason to suspect that the visions might have been fake. I suppose that the only good thing to have come out of this is thatI have definitely learned my lesson: Always listen to Hermione. I can't begin to tell you how scared I was when Dolohov hit you with that curse. I was so afraid that you were, well, dead. Your friendship means a lot to me and I realize that I have not shown how much I appreciate what you have done for me. Hell, I never realized how much you have helped me until now. I suppose I should do this introspective stuff more often. You have always been (don't tell Ron this as he was first) my best friend. I may have not realized this before, but it has become clearer to me now. I know that we have not always seen eye-to-eye on issues, but you have always stood by me and have always looked out for my best interests. I hope you will forgive me for my mistakes.
He quickly rolled up the parchment and tied the note to Hedwig and sent her off to the Hermione. He grabbed another piece of parchment and wrote a quick letter to Ron.
It's good to hear that the family will be going to spend some time together. God knows your family needs some quality time together. Don't worry about the muggles, they are behaving after Moody's threat. Enjoy your trip with your family. Hopefully we will be able to go to Diagon Alley together before Hogwarts. I think you should try to accept Percy back, as we can waste our time bickering among ourselves, given the situation. Have fun on your trip!
He gave the letter to Pig and sent the small bird on his way on his way back to the Weasley's. He then prodded Hedwig awake, who agreed to take Hermione's letter only after he had given her an owl treat. After both birds had flown off into the distance, he just sat their, staring out the window. He did not address his feelings about Sirius in his letters because, quite frankly, he did not know what he felt. He thought he should feel guilty, that it was his fault. But he could not. Deep down, he knew he was a pawn and that he had been manipulated. He blamed Voldemort, who orchestrated of the entire fiasco at the Department of Mysteries. He blamed Bellatrix Lestrange since she was the one who had pushed him through the veil. Mostly though, he blamed Snape and, to a lesser extent, Dumbledore.
He needed to talk to the Headmaster. Changes needed to happen, and soon. He was not going to let something like that ever happen again. He had to defend his friends and the rest of the Wizarding world. He would not be manipulated again and he sure as hell was not going to be beaten. He needed to take action, and to do so, he needed to work with Albus Dumbledore.
AN: Yay! The re-editing of Chapter one is complete! Not much change, but I didn't expect much. My goal has always been to clean this fic up, so I hope that I have.