Molly Weasley woke them all at dawn, or rather tried to. Ron and Harry just groaned and rolled over, stuffing their heads under pillows. Normally Harry wouldn't mind getting up at that time, but he'd made several trips to The Hideaway to prepare for Hogwarts, only to find that all his stuff wouldn't fit in his trunk.
With a huff, Mrs. Weasley left, muttering about sending Snape in to wake them. Ron jumped out of bed with a cry of "NO!" and Harry was already back asleep. Unfortunately, since he didn't hear Mrs.Weasley's threat, he didn't know that she was being serious. A minute or two later, Harry had a bucket of water dumped on him by Selena, while Snape shouted, "UP POTTER!"
In his surprise, Harry instinctively shot a stunner at the two professors. Selena blocked it with a cackle, and they left, leaving Harry to dry off. Annoyed, Harry used a drying charm to get the water out of his hair and clothing. He put on a pair of jeans, a dark blue t-shirt, his dragonhide boots and vest, and his leather jacket. He combed his hair back into a ponytail, and went downstairs, muttering darkly in Parsletongue about rude awakenings.
As he reached the landing, a loud "SURPRISE!" met his ears.
"Expelliarmus!" he shouted instantly in Parsletongue, startled for the second time that morning. Everyone's wands flew from them, except Selena and Moody, who had both gotten out of the way in time. Blushing as they laughed, Harry lowered his wand, and put it back in the holster he'd strapped to his arm.
"You're almost as jumpy as Mad-Eye," Ginny muttered, "Happy belated birthday Harry!"
"Er—thanks Ginny," Harry said. Smiling nervously, he returned the wands that had flown in his direction. "Sorry about the spell, he told them."
"What was that?" Ron asked.
"Parsloz magic I believe," Selena answered, "You are a Parslemouth, correct Mr. Potter?"
Harry nodded, "Thanks for the shower," he added darkly.
She nodded, straight-faced." You're welcome."
"Well? C'mon mate, open your presents!" Ron exclaimed, steering Harry towards the dining room. Most everyone, but Snape and Epans, followed still chuckling from Harry's reaction.
A pile of presents were on the chair where he usually sat. Harry stared at them until the twins pushed him towards the gifts, "Come on slowpoke!" they chorused.
The first gift was from Hermione, it was a book (not surprising) on professional Quidditch tactics and techniques, it was much better than the one he already had. From the Weasleys was a new watch to replace his broken one. Hagrid had sent him a trunk that would hold up to five hundred pounds of items, but it wouldn't get any bigger or heavier. Remus' gift was the last; it was a dark red and tan photo album of the Marauders' many exploits, it also contained photographs of James' many attempts to get Lily to go out with him.
Harry smiled at all of them, "Thanks," he said, "You know, since it's more than just me, this is my first birthday party."
"Expect plenty more mate!" Ron said cheerfully, while the adults looked at each other in surprise.
Mrs. Weasley made chocolate chip waffles for everyone, and Tonks tried to help in making the sausage. After she burned the first batch, Selena excused herself with a sigh from the conversation she was having with Snape, and went to save the rest of the sausage. "I didn't know you could cook," Remus joked.
She nodded, "It's amazing the things one learns on their own." She answered. Snape glared at Remus, who in return set out the plates, head bowed in silent apology.
Harry carried his present upstairs and re-packed his bag while Hermione helped Tonks to set the rest of the table. Hagrid's gift was incredibly useful; Harry conjured up some separators so he could make compartments for separate things. After he was finished, he jogged back down the stairs, nearly running into Snape who was bringing his own bag down, and made it just in time to see Tonks trip over a chair, sending the forks she'd been holding into the air.
Laughing, Harry ducked behind another chair, and accidentally let Selena, who was carrying a platter of sausages, get stabbed by them.
Epans swore loudly, and quickly jumped out of the way of Tonks, who came sprawling towards her.
Harry didn't stop laughing until Selena 'accidentally' hit him with a minor stinging hex. Harry could've sworn Snape complimented his twin on the hex under his breath as she set the platter down. Harry glared at the two, rubbing his arm where the curse had hit him.
Selena smirked and told him quietly, "Be thankful I'm in a good mood."
"Sure," Harry muttered in Parsletongue, then sat down with his friends to eat.
"Come on, or you'll get stuck in a compartment of first years!" Ginny said, pulling her trunk towards the Hogwarts Express.
The adults had their own means of getting to Hogwarts, but Tonks had been sent along as a guard until the students left.
"Don't worry about it Ginny," Hermione said, "If we do get in a compartment with first year, we can tell them what to expect! Some might even decide they want to be in Gryffindor!" The two witches argued about it, while Ron and Harry stored their luggage and got onto the train. Ron left for the Prefects' cabin, a bit red around the ears, and Harry found a compartment that actually only had Luna and Neville in it. "Hi Neville," Harry greeted, "Hi Luna."
"Hiya Harry!" Neville replied.
"Hello Harry," Luna said, then went back to reading the newest issue of the Quibbler.
Harry sat down next to Neville, and pulled out the gift he'd wrapped. "Sorry it's kind of late," Harry said, "But I wanted to wish you a happy birthday."
Neville's face glowed as he saw the title. "Gee, thanks Harry!" he exclaimed, and eagerly flipped through it.
Harry smiled, and got out the book Hermione had given him, then began to read.
An hour into the train ride, Harry realized something odd—Malfoy hadn't made his annual appearance. Weird, he thought, I don't know if that's a good thing, or a bad thing. Thinking of Malfoy made Harry think of the escaped Death Eaters, then Voldemort, and finally, about the Prophecy. The one phrase that dwelled in his thoughts more than the rest was 'and he will have a power the Dark Lord knows not.' What power? Did he already have it? Or did he have yet to gain it?
Still thinking about the unknown power, Harry went and changed into his robes, refastened the holsters and sheath, and then returned to the cabin—still pondering.
"Hey Harry," Neville called, "We're here."
Startled, Harry looked out the window to see Hogwarts: School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
His sixth year had begun.
A/N: Alas, this story is done. The summer has ended! Thank you very much for sticking with me to the end. The sequel's first chapter should be up in a very short time, and the title will be: Power the Dark Lord Knows Not
Please, search for it an R&R. Thank you!
Most of all, I would like to thank the following reviewers who have helped me the most:
athenakitty, WildRaven, TuxedoMacIce-Phoenix-TearsbandgsecurtiyawHeWhoComesWithTheDawn, and BeautifulLady. You seven have submitted many reviews, and I wish to thank you for that. I also thank all other reviewers, no matter how short or few your comments/questions were, for taking the time to review; my thanks goes out to you who have taken your time to read this story as well. Sincerely,
Aanchal, Rhysel Ash: Congratulations, you guessed right. The answer to the riddle is shadow. (response to reviews of ch.16 and ch.17)
dj : Thank you for pointing that out. (response to riddle of ch.16)
BlurryFuture: Harry is not going to be a teacher's pet.
athenakitty: No, the Order was not very trusting; naturally, I mean, if someone just randomly appears in a place that is supposedly unfindable, and you have no idea who they are, I don't believe you would be very trusting. And yes, Selena is a very confusing character; I find that very entertaining. :)