Disclaimer – Please note that none of these characters in the story are mine, except for the ones you don't recognise.


Harry Potter and the Protectors of Hogwarts

Chapter 1 - Of Thoughts, Plans and Actions

If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain. Maya Angelou

Mr and Mrs Dursley of number 4 Privet Drive were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. However, their desire for normalcy was exactly what made them abnormal, which they would vehemently deny, should they ever be asked.

Currently, their thoughts drifted to the one person they had vowed to stay away from, all those years ago. Harry Potter was currently sitting in Dudley's second bedroom, Harry would never call anything in the house his own, except perhaps the cupboard, for that was the only thing willingly given to him.

Usually, the Dursleys didn't care about what happened to Harry. But they had been threatened by HIS KIND, and so they couldn't act as normally as they used to, towards him. At least that was what they told themselves. They only left Harry to his own devices because they didn't want his complaining to HIS OWN KIND. Of course they didn't care about Harry, they didn't. They didn't care that his usually defiant emerald green eyes were strangely blank, they didn't care that his apathetic attitude was frankly unnerving, and they didn't care that his simple compliance was downright miserable, and that was saying something, because the Dursleys loved making Harry miserable. They never thought his defiance, the spark of happiness and longing for his school would really be missed. Because even though they'd rather not let him go to that school of his, they were happy to get him out of their hairs for nearly a year.

The Dursleys, yes-even Vernon Dursley, were concerned about Harry's emotions, or lack of. They decided to be more civil towards him, starting out by buying him new clothes. They'd never, ever, never in a million years consider telling him that they got him new clothes because they wanted to, of course they wouldn't. They had their reputations to consider after all.

No, what they told him was –

"Get up, boy. We can't have your friends thinking we're mistreating you. Now, come on, we're getting you decent clothes. Have you seen the rags you've made out of Dudley's clothes?" said Aunt Petunia.

Harry simply didn't have the energy to argue, so he simply complied. And so Petunia and Dudley and Harry set off towards London in the car.

They spent most of the day walking form shop-to-shop, carrying new bags from each, full of new clothes, sock and shoes for Harry. They sopped at McDonalds for lunch. The day was almost shocking enough for Harry to come out of his silent reverie, but yet again Harry simply couldn't muster the energy.

When they got home that afternoon, Harry had to make several trips to the car and back to take out the shopping and groceries. Harry was ordered to cook the meal that night since they had spent so much money on him.

That night, as with every night at the dinner table was a quiet affair, with the Dursleys casting furtive glances towards Harry. Harry seemed to studiously ignore the stares coming his way, either that or he just didn't notice.

Later up in Dudley's second bedroom, Harry lay on his bed, his back leaning against the wall, his legs tucked under the cover, practicing to clear his mind. After his failed lessons with Snape, and Voldemort's false visions, Harry vowed to practice Occlumency. He had owled Remus after the first night back and had received a book on Occlumency, in which he learned more than he ever had with Snape. This had renewed his anger, and made his even more determined.

Though, if he admitted to himself, the real reason Harry was angry with Snape was not only because of his unfair treatment towards Harry, but also because of the fact that Snape couldn't stop living in the past. He couldn't stop thinking that just because Harry looked like James; it didn't mean he acted like him.

He wouldn't purposely steal a snitch and show off to his friends, he wouldn't bully another student because his best friend because his best friend was bored. Snape was a hypocrite, not only did he let his students, his own Slytherins, get away with such behaviour, but he himself humiliated other students such as the Gryffindors, namely Harry and definitely Neville, who was reduced to near tears many times, in exactly the same way.

Harry vowed to get to know Neville better, and to prepare himself. Actually, Harry vowed to get know a lot of other people better. His friends were his allies, the more friends he had the more allies. And he didn't think he'd need to protect them, he'd help them protect themselves. Just because Harry was the only who'd be able to defeat Voldemort, didn't mean he had to fight the whole battalion of Death Eaters.

So you see, Harry wasn't as apathetic as he seemed. Yes he stayed in his room for the majority of the time, yes he didn't talk much to the others in the house - Harry was too busy planning.

Harry had also taken up to jogging in the morning and evening to build up his stamina, and he used his new clothes as exercise attire.

Harry may never have liked the Dursleys, but this summer was certainly more tolerable than the rest put together, in more ways than one. Harry could feel their stares, even though he looked like he didn't at the dinner table. But he didn't complain, nor yet did he put their fears to rest. He had more important matters to attend to, like vanquishing Voldemort.

Not that Sirius' death wasn't important. Of course it was. But he would honour Sirius, and learn all he could to avenge his death. And he knew that Bellatrix Lestrange was also going to pay for what she did to Neville's parents, and he knew Neville would do all he could to help.

Harry now saw Neville in a new light. After Harry learned about the prophecy, he knew that Neville had a lot of potential, and he had already proven he had power. His transformation during fifth year was more than enough. Yes, Neville would prove to a worthy ally, and more importantly a worthy friend.

It would be very easy for Harry to shut himself off from the world, from his friends and to sink into depression, but then Voldemort would have already won the first battle. He had to think about the others, his friends, the Weasleys whom Harry considered family, his fam – I mean the Dursleys. The Dursleys were innocents (sort of) who were involuntarily left to take care of Harry. Harry still wondered what Dumbledore could have said in the letter to Aunt Petunia to have agreed to have taken Harry in.

Dumbledore.

Now Dumbledore was another person Harry had a bone to pick with. As much as he wanted to forgive the man, Harry simply couldn't bring himself to do it. Yes, Dumbledore was a powerful man. Yes he was sorry. Yes he loved Harry. But that didn't give the man the right to interfere with everyone's lives. To use them like puppets, then to discard them like rubbish – because Harry had no doubt that that was exactly what Dumbledore would do, as much as he protested otherwise.

Harry decided to think of everyone else. Thinking of Dumbledore made him angry.

Harry thought of Remus. Harry's last connection to his parents. The last marauder. If Harry decided to brood, then Remus would brood even more. Harry remembered how shabby and tired and old Remus had looked, given his young age. Harry promised himself to spend more time with Remus, and he owled Remus a separate letter every time he owled the order. He didn't talk about Sirius however; he just couldn't bring himself to. He did write about other things, they talked about everything under the sun, and Remus in turn talked more to him about defense and he had also recommended some books. Harry wanted advice and was given several books to study from.

He also wanted to be physically prepared, and when he went shopping with his aunt and Dudley, Harry had slipped away for a while and picked a few book on Yoga, meditation and a few martial arts. Not as good as practical training, but they would have to do.

The books helped him clear his mind, more than Snape ever did, but clearing his mind still made his scar hurt in the morning. Harry used to feel angry with Snape, but for some reason he couldn't bring himself feel more than pity. But he didn't want to feel pity, especially for Snape. Snape spent most of his time reliving the past, therefore becoming a lonely, angry and bitter man, whose only goal seemed to be to remember how he was bullied in his childhood, by Harry's father and godfather. He kept taking out all his anger on Harry for what he had suffered at James' hand. Snape had many years to come to terms everything that had happened to him, to come to terms with everything he had endured. But Snape seemed to purposely dwell on those dreams, whereas Sirius wasn't allowed to have new memories. Azkaban took that away from him. Sirius' mind was stuck on the incident that had happened on Halloween, when Voldemort was defeated and the years before that. He wasn't given a chance to grow up.

Harry was going to make Pettigrew pay, just like Lestrange was going to pay. Pettigrew still owed Harry a life debt. And he was going to call on it the first chance he got.

Harry had many plans for his years at Hogwarts, and not much time to complete them in. What with classes, DA, Quidditch, Harry would have very little time to himself. Even though Harry had wanted to be an Auror during his fifth year, Harry decided that working with a corrupt ministry wasn't what he wanted. Harry rather liked teaching, and decided that if he was still alive after Hogwarts then try to become the DADA teacher. Becoming the teacher was what he wanted, and then there was the added bonus to annoy Snape, the rumours that Snape had wanted the job were finally confirmed. Of course Harry didn't believe that the entire ministry were corrupt. There was Arthur Weasley who worked hard and honestly yet had so little to show for it, the retired Auror Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody, who though was paranoid beyond doubt was still a good and loyal friend. He had also suggested many books with jinxes and curses. Then there was Nymphadora Tonks, who Harry admired like a sister, clumsy and accident-prone as she was. And Kingsley Shacklebolt, another Auror who was trustworthy, he had had kept Sirius' whereabouts secret, for which Harry would forever be grateful.

Harry knew he was cared for, sometimes as the boy who lived, sometimes as the son James and Lily Potter, but what how was really grateful for, was how his friends saw him as just Harry. Just a poor little boy to whom Fate had dealt out more than he wanted.

Fate. Now that was another thing that Harry thought about. Ever since his return from Hogwarts, Harry experienced and otherworldly feeling, like he was being watched. Harry knew that Dumbledore had placed guards to watch over him, but this was undeniably different. Added to that was the dream he had after he came back from Hogwarts.

DREAM SEQUENCE

It had started out as any other nightmare. Harry had heard Sirius' screams of help, of pain. Had heard him being tortured. Heard that cold cruel laugh. He heard that mocking voice of Bellatrix Lestrange. He and his friends who had accompanied him to the Ministry of Magic, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Neville and Luna.

Suddenly Death Eaters, including Lucius Malfoy and the other who were there that night, surrounded them. Though, instead of the burning hatred he saw a fear, and a plea and a reluctance to curse him from Lucius Malfoy's eyes.

But for Bellatrix Lestrange Harry felt anger and rage coursing through his veins like fire.

But Harry and his friends quickly disposed of them, but in the end only Harry was left to rescue Sirius.

The Death Eathers had disappeared, Ron was lying on the floor, with brain tentacles wrapped around him, Hermione unconscious, lying disturbingly still, Neville in a corner holding his nose which wouldn't stop bleeding staring at his father's broken wand forlornly. Luna was staring at the ceiling dreamily, ignoring everything around her. Ginny was nursing her broken ankle, which looked gruesome with blood welling out from all directions.

Finally Harry progressed further towards Sirius' screams, which hadn't stopped throughout the battle. And then Harry entered the Death Room, and saw Sirius kneeling just a few feet away from the veil, crouching in pain. Harry turned to Voldemort, who raised his wand towards the glass that was the prophecy that Harry hadn't noticed was in his hand till then. Harry raised the prophecy in the air and brought it downwards where it crashed and broke with a satisfying crunch and pieces of the prophecy scattered everywhere, including towards Voldemort's feet. Voldemort raised his wand in anger and retaliation towards Sirius who had stood up with a look of worry towards Harry- when a spell from Voldemort sped towards him and propelled him backwards in a graceful arch… when everything froze.

Literally.

Sirius was frozen in the motion just before he fell through the veil, inches away from falling through.

Harry breathed a sigh of relief of relief and thought that Sirius was saved, but then he noticed that everyone had frozen as well. Voldemort was frozen, his wand pointed at Sirius, his expression a mixture of anger and satisfaction of watching Sirius fall through the veil.

A couple of other Death Eaters had entered, including Bellatrix Lestrange, Rudolphus and Rabastien Lestrange, with Crabbe and Goyle Sr. All kneeling down behind Harry. Harry turned to look at his surroundings, and saw his friends in the far corner, lying unconscious and unmoving.

Harry felt a moment of panic, hoping they weren't dead, when he heard the phoenix song that filled his with warmth, and he felt something else. He saw Sirius unfreeze; yet everything else was still frozen. He saw Sirius fall through, and he felt guilt sadness and pain tug at his heart. But he also felt a wave of comfort that told he couldn't do anything about it and to accept it. He knew he felt something bigger than at work, something he couldn't explain. But he also knew that he had a part to play in it.

END DREAM

Harry woke up after that dream and he felt whole, and Harry wanted to say wise, but he felt something else had settled in his body, and it kept him calm.

Harry didn't lose much sleep after that either. Even though he did have the occasional nightmare, he still felt more rested than he did last year.

Harry looked very different than he did before. Now that he was being fed more, and his exercise, plus the added benefit of the growth spurt he looked taller and healthier, if still a bit on the thin side. He finally felt like he was catching up with Ron.

Harry felt cool and collected and analytical. He thought about letting his Slytherin side out. Harry thought his Occlumency was helping him keep his thoughts in order, but it still made his scar hurt. This told Harry that he had long way to go if wanted to become a successful Occlmens.

The first two weeks of summer had let him think and dwell, but he thought he could mourn for the lost lives afterwards, because he knew there was more to come. Harry was determined to defeat Voldemort, even if he died trying. Harry decided not to tell his friends about the prophecy; he didn't want to worry them more than he had to. He could already predict their reactions. Hermione would drag them all the way to the library, and would be determined to find another solution. Ron would rage and shout and be his tactless self, giving him pitying looks. He wouldn't know how act around Harry.

He didn't know Ginny, Neville and Luna that well, but he didn't want anything to spoil their budding friendship.

Dumbledore, if he already hadn't, would have told the Order.

Harry decided to be more pro-active this summer, and through out the year. He had owled Rita Skeeter and had recruited her, starting with Sirius' innocence. He would pay her for it, and he had told that he would be her informant within Hogwarts, as long she didn't reveal her sources until he told her to.

Rita had agreed if only to help Harry's purpose of trying to kick Fudge out from the Ministry of Magic. Harry would tell Rita of the many decrees passed by Umbridge and Fudge, all of Umbridge's foul administrations and everything that had happened in the school year. Including her devices of trying to sack the teachers.

The articles would come out gradually during the school year, building up a resistance towards the Minister, and calling a vote of no confidence against Fudge. Electing new Minister for Magic, and Harry had a few candidates in mind.

Harry didn't particularly like his fame, but decided his newly reinstated status of tragic hero and lone voice of truth would do him some good, as more people would listen to him.

Harry had many more plans concocted for the summer and the school year. And he planned to take thorough advantage of all opportunities that would come his way. After all, he had to prepare, not only for fighting against Voldemort, but also for Hogwarts, and the arrival of that powerful someone from Harry's dream.


Please review.

I'm not sure if this will be finished before HP and HBP comes out, but I'm determined to finish it, so as of 16th July, this will be AU

Lady Connor