Disclaimer: No money is being made by this. It is JK Rowlings world that our imagination just played in.
Harry Potter and the Dimensional Trunk
Chapter 1 Beginning at Privet Drive
The teenaged boy sat at his window staring out at the falling raindrops. He actually almost preferred the rain right now. The sun was too bright; too many people moved about their regular, ordinary days when the sun shone. They didn't seem to realize that things weren't ordinary or regular anymore. At least not for him. Harry's godfather had died just over a week ago. He had fallen through a mysterious veil in the Ministry of Magic right before Harry's eyes.
Harry Potter had been home from school for a week now. It was time to send another letter to his minders, The Order of the Phoenix. He hadn't been sure if it was for real when Mad-Eye Moody told him at the train station to send word every three days. He found out on his fourth day home that they had meant it.
There had been a knock on the front door. Aunt Petunia shouted for Harry to answer it. "Boy. Get the door!" Her voice as soft as a razor.
Harry had been feeling depressed, sitting alone in his room. Aunt Petunia was cleaning the bathroom but Dudley was in the living room downstairs, near the door. But of course, it would be Harry who should open the door.
He got up and went downstairs. He could hear his aunt following a little ways behind him. He opened the door and saw Tonks standing there in a Weird Sisters t-shirt and a multi-colored pair of ragged jeans. Her hair was a lemon yellow. Harry could hear a gasp behind him as his aunt saw who was at the door.
"Wotcher, Harry! We hadn't heard from you so I volunteered to come to check on ya. How are ya doin'?"
"Hey, Tonks. Has it been three days already? I'm doing fine." It wasn't so much of a lie. He was feeling better seeing her. A feeling inside of him expanded a bit when he realized that the Order did care enough to check on him.
Tonks looked behind him and saw his aunt on the stairs. She had paused and was looking around anxiously as if all the neighbors were gathering on the lawn just to stare at their house. Tonks got a gleam in her eye.
"Harry, I just got a most brilliant idea. I have to say that your clothes never seem to quite…fit you. I think it would be a great idea for me to take you shopping." She gave him a small wink. "Don't you just love my clothes? I could get you some like mine. Ya know, t-shirts are great. I know a little shop that sells some that show other groups besides the Weird Sisters, like the Hobgoblins or you could even get Quidditch teams! I just love to shop. They come in all colors, too!"
Harry heard a funny choking sound behind him. He turned and saw his aunt with a look that combined a gaping fish and someone who smelled something rancid. She was staring at Tonks with a look of horror. She finally found her voice.
"That won't be necessary! I plan on taking him to the shops myself this afternoon."
Harry felt incredulous. His aunt was going to buy clothes for him? He didn't ever remember that happening. He turned back to Tonks with a raised eyebrow. She smirked back at him.
"What a pity. Oh, well, I guess maybe another time." She turned serious and spoke to Harry. "We do want to know how you are doing. I know it's a hard time for you right now, but if you need us, we will be there for you. Owl any of us; me, Dumbledore, Remus, the Weasley's, even Old Mad-eye." Another squeak was heard behind him. "Send us an owl."
Tonks paused and looked around. "You know, we are around, but we were told not to talk to you directly when we're on duty. That way if anyone else is watching it doesn't tip our hand or show our position. So I guess we're stuck with letters. Well, keep your chin up and shoulders straight." Her voice became softer and more gentle as she finished, "He would have wanted you that way." Tonks eyes had shadowed a bit with that. Harry's godfather had been a relative of hers. Then Tonks turned and left.
Harry watched as she walked off down the street until she turned the corner. He slowly closed the door. A feeling of melancholy lowered onto him at the thought of his godfather.
Aunt Petunia was standing behind him. She drew herself up and started in on him. "Boy, didn't you send them one of those letters they asked for at the train? I will not have those freaks coming to my house in broad daylight dressed like…like…THAT! Her hair was YELLOW! No one has that shade of hair! Who would buy wigs that look like that?"
"It's not a wig. She has a talent that allows her to change her looks however she wants; her hair, her face…it's great fun when she changes her nose."
Aunt Petunia was shaking with this overload of information. "I don't want to hear about it! Be ready to leave in an hour. I will not have anyone looking like THAT buying clothes that will be worn in this house." With that she stomped back upstairs.
She had taken him shopping at a local discount store. Dudley always had custom clothes from upper scale stores; he needed them to be custom with how big he was. Harry didn't mind discount, though. He now had several outfits that actually fit him. And as much as he liked the clothes Tonks wore on her, he didn't think it was quite his style. These were just normal t-shirts and blue jeans, but that was good for him. As a token of his appreciation, he offered to help out around the house a bit.
It was quite funny. Aunt Petunia actually wanted to refuse to let him help, afraid that the freaks would think it was abuse. Harry had reassured her that as he was offering, everything would be fine. Aunt Petunia relented and Harry was to help with the outside upkeep and working with the new flowerbeds. Aunt Petunia had a new idea of how she wanted the outside to look since she saw over the garden hedge how the neighbors in Number 6 recently redid the landscaping of their lawn. If Harry was willing to help set it up, she would draw out what she wanted changed and he could work on the digging and carting the dirt back and forth. She could then get the plants she wanted and he could plant and care for them a bit. Dudley was too busy to help with his part-time job at the ice cream parlor in the afternoons and needed time with his friends in the morning, not that he would have been asked to help anyway. Needless to say, Dudley's size hadn't gone down at all and seemed to be increasing day by day. Dudley tended to avoid Harry. Harry thought Dudley wasn't sure how to react to Harry; not knowing if Harry had saved him last year from the Dementors or if Harry had caused those feelings himself. Either way, Dudley didn't like either feeling indebted or want to have those awful feelings back so he just avoided Harry altogether.
Harry shook his head thinking of the last few days. Helping out with the yard actually helped him sleep better at night. He still got the occasional nightmare, but even worse were the dreams where he and Sirius were happy and laughing together over something and then he would wake up and it would all crash down on him again. Sirius was gone. He had gone just like that. Then he would feel worse than before.
He looked around his room, trying to get his mind off of recent events. He looked at the telly in the corner. Harry still wanted to know what was being said on the news. Last year Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia would not let him watch, feeling it was an "abnormal" thing to want to do, but this year they didn't feel like they could forbid him watching it, what with that woman with the strange hair saying that there were freaks all around here. As they preferred it if Harry wasn't watching it with them they came up with an idea. Uncle Vernon came home a couple of days later with a brand new 24 inch television. It was a present to Dudley and had all the fanciest features anyone could dream up. Harry then got Dudley's old television.
Harry didn't have cable hook up in his room, but he could get the local new channels with the help of some old rabbit ears and some tin foil. Everyone seemed happy with this arrangement.
Harry quickly fell into a routine. He would get up, put on a pair of Dudley's old clothes over a pair of new shorts, then dig out and build up where his aunt said to on the grounds for a couple of hours in the morning. In the afternoon, when the sun was too hot to comfortably work outside, he would take off for the park or just mope in his room. He would watch the news after dinner and wait in his room for bedtime, sometimes flipping through his old schoolbooks or his Quidditch Through the Ages. He couldn't quite bring himself to look through the Practical Defensive Magic and Its Use Against the Dark Arts book he had received from Sirius and Lupin for Christmas last year. He tried not to think of Sirius. He tried not to think of the prophecy. His dreams and nightmares continued most nights and he started to look more tired.
He was trying to keep his temper under control. He was a bit embarrassed over how he totally lost it in Professor Dumbledore's office after…. Don't think about that. He still had the occasional flare up. He remembered the panic he felt yesterday morning when frustration and anger got too much for him.
He was digging near a tree and there was a root close to the surface of the ground. This was to be part of a path and he needed this to be smooth. He tried to chop at it with his hand-spade, but it would not cut it well enough. His frustration level grew. He dug away the dirt around it. It was being stubborn. He yanked on it. This just wasn't working. He started to see red. He just wanted an ax or something to chop up this root so he could get it out of the path! His knuckles turned white as he gripped the hand-spade. He heard a thump and a crack coming from the greenhouse and his frustration left him as curiosity took over about what he had heard. It had sounded like something hitting against the window. Harry went to the greenhouse and saw one of the panes had a crack in it. He went inside the greenhouse and found the ax that usually hung on the back wall lying just below the window.
Harry panicked. Did he do that? He wasn't sure. Normally he would look for Dudley to see if he was trying to get Harry into trouble, but Dudley was away with his friends on an outing to the cinemas. What was he going to do? Harry stared hard at the glass with the feeling of panic in his chest. His uncle was going to kill him! He needed to get this fixed. He was tolerating Harry so far, but this would push him over the top. Harry's hands tightened around the hand-spade he still held in his hand. Harry's eyes lost their focus. Suddenly the crack seemed to get fainter and then had just seemed to melt together. Harry felt a wave of dizziness and leaned against the plant table. The window now didn't have any crack in it at all. Harry had his wand with him, but it was in his back pocket; he hadn't used it. Would he be getting a letter from the Ministry? Harry had waited, unmoving, in the greenhouse for several minutes. How long had it taken for the Ministry owl to get to him last year? He had performed the Patronus charm and then had to lug his cousin, Dudley, almost half a mile back to their house. Mrs. Figg had pestered him to go faster the whole way. It couldn't have been more than 15 minutes for the owl to deliver the letter. Harry had sat perfectly still, waiting. How long has it been now? Finally he began to believe that he wasn't going to be getting a letter from the Ministry. Harry gave a sigh of relief, picked up the ax, and went back outside to work on that root.
Harry had puzzled over what happened the rest of the day and finally just tried to chalk it up to luck and put it from his mind. Harry heard a noise by his door. A paper was being slid underneath it. He walked over and picked it up.
Remember to write to those people tonight. –Aunt Petunia
Harry shook his head with a slight smile on his face. To stop any wizards from coming here again, Aunt Petunia was even willing to remind Harry of his schedule. Now, who to write to? He liked Tonks but knew that she was running flat out a lot between her full-time auror position and her work with the Order. He could just picture what would happen if he sent it to Mad-eye. He would probably end up incinerating it before actually reading it trying to make sure it wasn't a trick of some kind. "Constant Vigilance" you know. He still couldn't face writing to Remus Lupin. Remus was now the last true Marauder; the last of his dad's friends still alive (who wasn't a traitorous rat, of course). Over the last year Sirius and Remus had been constantly together, renewing their friendship and now Sirius was gone. The Weasley's loved him, he knew, but they were Ron's parents and he just felt a bit awkward writing to them. What about Dumbledore? Harry hesitated.
Albus Dumbledore was the greatest wizard alive. He was the Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the school Harry went to. He was the only one He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, Lord Voldemort, was afraid of. He was the wizard Harry had most looked up to…until last year.
Harry had always felt that Albus Dumbledore knew everything. He had always been there for Harry. Harry had gone through quite a lot in his life, especially in the magical world. His aunt and uncle hated magic and denied there even was such a thing while Harry was young, yet every time anything strange would happen, they blamed Harry. Harry hadn't known why things always happened around him. When the letters from Hogwarts started coming for Harry, the Dursleys kept them away from him. Eventually Dumbledore sent Hagrid, the half-giant groundskeeper of Hogwarts. Hagrid became Harry's first friend. In the years that followed, Harry got into quite a bit of trouble, but also ended up helping to save the day quite often. Harry and his friends had saved the Sorcerer's Stone, stopping Lord Voldemort from regaining his body; he and Ron saved Ginny Weasley in the Chamber of Secrets, again stopping the memory Tom Riddle (pre-Lord Voldemort persona) from gaining power; he and Hermione saved Buckbeak the Hippogriff and then his godfather Sirius Black from the Dementors; and then he had been the unwitting witness to murder and the rebirth of Voldemort in his fourth year at school. He had been able to get away with the help of the shade forms of his parents and had brought Cedric's dead body back with him to Hogwarts.
All through these events, Harry had turned to Dumbledore with his doubts and questions. Dumbledore wouldn't always answer his questions, but he had always showed he believed in Harry and helped him with his doubts. Dumbledore had even put his reputation on the line on Harry's word when no one else believed when Harry said that Lord Voldemort was back.
Then came last year. Harry had been frustrated with the lack of news people would give him about what was going on now that Voldemort had returned, even his friends had been under orders not to say anything. Then when Harry had seen Dumbledore, Dumbledore wouldn't look Harry in the face. Harry was confused about Dumbledore's feelings for him then. Was he angry? When Harry returned to school, it continued on. Dumbledore would always try to avoid eye contact with Harry. Harry's visions of what were happening started to increase and he had to admit, he started losing control. His mood swung all over the place. He was told to study Occlumency, but not clearly told why and worst of all, his teacher was Snape. Needless to say, things went badly. Harry had gotten the vision of Voldemort torturing Sirius and was determined to go save him. By this time, the school had stopped being a haven for Harry. Dumbledore had been evicted and was on the run from the Ministry, taking the blame for something Harry did; all the teachers who he believed would help him were out of the castle. There had been no one to help. Harry had decided to rescue his godfather himself. His friends refused to let him go alone. When they got to the ministry, they had found it was a trap. Sirius hadn't been there. Harry had been lured there because he was the only one besides Voldemort who could remove a prophecy from the shelf. Voldemort hadn't been willing to risk going to the ministry at that time and had decided to make Harry do it. He and his friends had managed to get away from the Voldemort's followers, the Death Eaters, long enough to survive until help arrived. Some members of the Order of the Phoenix arrived and took over the fight against the Death Eaters. While trying to escape, the prophecy had smashed. Then Harry's godfather, Sirius Black, took a hit from a spell from his evil cousin Bellatrix LeStrange and fell through the Death Veil.
Voldemort had been so angry at the loss of the prophecy that he, himself, showed up in the Ministry. He had been about to kill Harry (again), when Dumbledore showed up and saved Harry. The duel between Dumbledore and Voldemort had been like nothing Harry had ever seen. At the end Voldemort even possessed Harry, hoping that Dumbledore would kill Harry in trying to kill Voldemort. By that time, Harry wished Dumbledore would kill him himself. The physical pain of the possession added to the emotional pain of the loss of his godfather had Harry hoping to die. Dumbledore didn't kill him, though, and Harry's emotions had apparently caused enough pain to Voldemort for him to leave Harry. He escaped the Ministry with Bellatrix, but not before being seen by the Ministry officials arriving from the summons Dumbledore had sent.
Dumbledore sent Harry to his office by port-key. Harry had been a mess. Dumbledore's office had locked him in and by the time Dumbledore arrived, Harry had been ready for violence. Harry started trashing his office. Dumbledore didn't stop him. At this point, he explained that he should have told Harry something long ago. He had kept putting it off because he cared for Harry too much to tell him. He then finally told Harry what the prophecy that had been so wanted was about. It had been said that a child would be born that could defeat Voldemort. The first part, the part Voldemort already knew, narrowed down the choices to two boys; pure-blooded Neville Longbottom and half-blooded Harry Potter. Dumbledore pointed out that instead of choosing the pure-blood, which their philosophy would deem to be the stronger, Voldemort chose the half-blood, like himself. The part Voldemort didn't know stated that Voldemort would mark the child as his equal, but the child would have power Voldemort didn't know. When Voldemort had tried to kill him as a baby, the curse left a lightning bolt shaped scar on Harry's head. Then the kicker came. 'Either must die at the hand of the other, for neither can live while the other survives.'
When Harry finally looked up, he saw a tear on Dumbledore's face. That tear is what kept Harry from hating Dumbledore. Harry still felt the pain of loss from his godfather and wasn't sure what to do with it. Talking with Luna had helped some. Working in the yard helped some. Harry had never apologized for the destruction of Dumbledore's office. Maybe he would write to him.
Dear Headmaster Dumbledore,
This is my letter to check in with the Order. Everything is fine here. My aunt and uncle are treating me ok this year. While I am writing, I want to apologize for what I did to your office last week. I had no right to destroy your things. I'm still trying to deal with recent events but keeping busy with yard work is seeming to help. The manual work helps calm me down. Speaking of calming down, are there any books on Occlumency that you know of? I have been trying to 'clear my mind' but I just don't seem to know how. I haven't been having any V related dreams so far. Not that I want to, but if I do see something, what do you want me to do about it? I know they can't be trusted to be true anymore, but sometimes they have been true in the past and I'm not sure they should all be discounted.
Harry debated about asking about the ax and window incident but thought it may be better not to push his luck. If it slipped by their notice, he didn't want to bring it to anyone's attention. Harry looked at Hedwig's cage. She was just waking up. "Hey, girl. I've got a letter for you to deliver if you don't mind." Hedwig gave him a short hoot and flew over to him, landing on the desk in front of him and stuck her leg out.
"Sorry about the rain. I think you could just bring this to Headquarters. Here. Wait a minute."
He added a postscript.
P.S. Professor, where should I send these notes? Do you want mail going regularly to HQ?
Harry took the letter and sealed it. On the outside he wrote:
Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts
The 'Everything is fine' letter
Harry attached the letter to Hedwig's leg. She flew up to his shoulder, gave his ear a nip, then flew out of the window, into the rain. Harry looked after her until she disappeared.
Hedwig was back by the next morning. Someone must have taken the letter from her and hopefully they would hold it until Professor Dumbledore would be able to read it.
Harry still felt as though there was a wall between him and other people. It had shown cracks a few times; when he talked with Luna at the end of last year, when he was met at the train station by some members of the Order, when Tonks came for that visit. But after a short while, the wall would rebuild itself.
It was the second day after Harry had written to Professor Dumbledore and Harry was in his room listening about some mysterious deaths down in Kent and several people found in comas in a park in Derbyshire that morning on the local news. It was curious that his copy of the Daily Prophet didn't mention anything about the attacks. They sure sounded like Death Eaters and Dementors. Maybe because they were muggles that were attacked that they weren't reporting anything. The Prophet seemed to carry editorials mostly of how the Ministry should have believed Dumbledore and the Boy Who Lived long ago and how now they were all doomed. The articles didn't seem to go into any specifics on who had died in recent attacks or what the Ministry was doing about it now. Harry was frustrated.
The news was just finishing up when there was a sudden flash of fire at the end of his bed. Fawkes, Dumbledore's phoenix was standing there.
"Fawkes," said Harry. "What are you doing here?"
Fawkes lifted up one golden talon and Harry saw a letter tied to it. He carefully approached the magical bird and removed the letter. Fawkes looked deeply into Harry's eyes and let out a soft trill. Harry felt the birdsong affect him as his frustration leaked away.
"Thank you, Fawkes. You always know how to make me feel better."
Fawkes looked at Harry and with a gentle bob of his head indicated the letter in Harry's hand. Harry looked down and opened the parchment.
I was glad to receive your letter. You bring up several good points. First, no apologies are necessary from you, my boy. I feel the greater burden was mine. I should have known that to wait for the right time to tell you, it would never come until it was too late. Belongings are easily repaired or replaced. People are not. I apologize for my short-sightedness.
It was a strange feeling if you thought that the greatest wizard in the world was apologizing to you. He could feel that Dumbledore really felt what he was writing.
For dealing with recent events, it may help to talk with someone. I have asked Remus Lupin to stop by your house tomorrow at 1:30 pm. I think it would do both of you good to speak of your loss. Please let me know if this will work for you. If your family has plans that would interfere or you feel it is too soon, let me know, but I really feel it would be beneficial to you both.
A bit of panic was building in Harry. Was he ready to face Remus?
As for books on Occlumency, I am afraid to say that I know of none. It really is an obscure branch of magic and until recently there has been virtually no cause for anyone to learn it. You are correct that physical labor does help to work out some aggressive feelings and brings a sense of calmness, but most likely not enough for our purposes. I am sorry that I did not bring up different possible methods to help you with this before. There is no one way to clear your mind. It will be something that is personal to you. For me, chamber music helps. I have become quite fond of it. If you can lose yourself in the music, you'll find it has a magic of it's own. Alas, this does not work for everyone. I will have Remus bring you a small Wizarding Wireless for you to try out. It will play different types of music as well as tell of the news. I would recommend that you not listen to the news directly before bedtime as it is not conducive for aiding sleep or clearing your mind.
It hadn't been for Dumbledore to bring up methods of relaxing. Snape was the one who was supposed to be 'teaching' Harry how to do Occlumency. He wondered what the Wizarding Wireless looked like. He hoped it wasn't obviously magical.
Try to think of things that relax you. Try to relax in a nice bath, or have a massage if someone else is willing to help. Sometimes instead of a totally clear mind, you may be able to focus on one particular thing. Picture a scene or an activity that brings you to a point where you can let go of all your troubles. At that point your mind can let go of everything else not related. Try a few different things. When you find something that works for you, we can try to proceed from there.
He liked to fly. He quite often could lose his troubles that way. Maybe that would help.
I will have to think about how you can contact us with any visions or problems that you are having. As I'm sure Mr. Arthur Weasley would be first to agree, discounting all of your visions may not be in our best interest. Although, now that Voldemort is aware of the connection, he may be better able to block those visions from his end.
Yes! If he could report whatever he saw, they could follow up on it and if it was true, he didn't have to feel the guilt that he knew something but could do nothing about it. The Order would approach things cautiously knowing it could be a trap. He wouldn't mind if he never received any other visions either if it came to that. Hopefully Voldie could block them. He wouldn't mind not having the pain in his scar that came with the visions.
You also bring up a valid point about letters regularly going to Headquarters. That would not be the best idea. Neither is the idea of owls going to you. Owl mail is not secure at the moment and your beautiful Hedwig is particularly distinctive. I will have to give this some thought and maybe ask for opinions from a few others. I hope you will forgive an old man for his interference but I also canceled your subscription to The Daily Prophet. The Wireless will be a much safer way for you to get the news.
I would, once again thank you for giving an old man another chance. You truly have a forgiving heart. Take care, Harry. Your stay with your relatives will not be for long this time.
Harry put down the letter. He wouldn't really miss the Prophet. There was never real information in there anyway. He looked at Fawkes. He seemed to be waiting for something. Harry started to re-read the letter. Oh, was it ok for Remus Lupin to stop by tomorrow at 1:30? Harry thought of his Aunt Petunia's reaction to any other of his 'freaky friends' showing up, especially if it had been one of his 'awful fathers' friends. The tension had been building up. Harry could feel it. The Dursley's couldn't keep up this tolerance for very long. It just wasn't in their nature. Harry quickly grabbed a quill and penned a short note.
Professor, Meeting Professor Lupin tomorrow will be fine, but it would work better if we could meet at the park off Magnolia Road instead of at the house.
Harry didn't really want to meet with Professor Lupin, but knew he had to do it sometime. He might as well keep relations with his aunt as smooth as possible while doing it. He tied the letter to Fawkes leg, gave the bird a rub under his beak, and stepped back. Fawkes gave another trill and in a flash of fire, was gone.
The next day dawned with cloudy skies. It looked like it would threaten rain at any moment. Harry hoped it would hold off until after he met with Professor Lupin. The yard was shaping up nicely. Most of the heavy preparation work was done and it was almost time for planting the flowers. To Harry's eyes it didn't look much different. It went from a square garden with a garden bench in the middle to a square garden with a path going to each side, centering on where Aunt Petunia's new gazebo would be. Digging out the garden bench had been the most difficult thing. It had been reinforced with concrete and was heavy! As it was going to be dumped, Aunt Petunia didn't mind if Harry broke it into pieces, which he did with a sledge hammer he found in the back of the greenhouse. Of course, Harry had to try to keep all of his digging from disturbing any part of the immaculate lawn that wasn't to become new pathway.
Harry ate his breakfast and hurried outside. He was just finishing the back side of the yard, preparing for the block to be put down, making sure the ground was even, when Aunt Petunia came outside.
"Boy! I received a call from the supply store. They said they would be delivering the block today at a quarter to two. You will have to help unload it."
It was amazing how fast asking for help disappeared from her mind. It was back to commands already. Harry shook his head.
"I'm sorry, Aunt Petunia, but I won't be here."
"Just where do you think you're going?" she asked in a snooty manner.
"One of my dad's friends is meeting with me at 1:30. I can't break it off."
Aunt Petunia paled and then her face started to tighten into a strong pucker. "The convict? I will not have a freak like him anywhere near my family!"
Harry felt a hammer blow in his chest. "Not the convict. Another friend. And he won't be coming here. I asked to meet with him at the park," Harry said softly. No, he wouldn't be meeting with 'the convict' ever again.
Aunt Petunia relaxed a little. She noticed Harry's expression had closed up. She glanced at him curiously but asked no questions. "As long as they don't come here. I won't stand for any unnaturalness here." She sniffed and turned away.
Harry turned back to his work. His depression weighing heavy on him again. He resolutely pushed it away. "I will not think about this now. Talking after lunch will be bad enough."
Time passed and soon it was time to break for lunch. He went into the kitchen, shedding the oversized clothes as he went. He went upstairs to take a quick shower. Afterward he returned to the kitchen to eat a quick sandwich. Aunt Petunia kept shooting him suspicious glances. Dudley was due home from his friends at any moment. He generally had lunch at home and then played his Nintendo until he had to leave for his job at 2:30. Harry decided he would wait until it was time to meet Professor Lupin in his room.
He checked on Hedwig who was sleeping in her cage and filled her water dish. At quarter past the hour he started down the stairs. He could hear Dudley in the kitchen whining to his mother, "You want me to do WHAT?"
Harry laughed softly to himself. It wasn't that Dudley wasn't strong. Under all that blubber, there was quite a bit of muscle he had built up with his boxing. But Harry didn't think his parents ever actually asked him to do any type of manual labor for them in his life.
Harry walked down Privet Drive over to Wisteria Walk. Mrs. Figg's house seemed dark. Harry wondered what she was doing. Thinking of Mrs. Figg made him wonder if he had a guard following him right now. Harry cut into the alley to Magnolia Crescent and increased his pace. This was the alley he had first seen…. He wasn't going to think of that right now. He followed Magnolia Crescent around to Magnolia Road and started a light jog. He reached the entrance to the park with a few minutes to spare. He sat on the park railing to wait.
After a few minutes Harry saw a man walking towards the park. Harry knew this man. His clothes were a bit worn and he seemed a bit weary. He was carrying a box. Harry jumped off of the rail and approached him.
"Hello, Harry." Remus Lupin looked Harry up and down. He noticed the bags under his eyes. "It's good to see you."
"Hello, Professor Lupin." Harry heard a sound like a crack off to his left.
"Harry, you can call me Remus or even Moony. I have a couple of things for you. Is there somewhere we can talk?"
"There are some benches a way off from the children's play area. We can talk there."
Together they walked towards the back corner of the park. They found a bench that was partially blocked from outside views and sat. An awkward silence filled the air between them.
Harry gathered up his courage and decided to ask a question that he had been thinking about since Tonks visit. "Professor," he started.
"Remus, Harry," he was interrupted.
"Oh, well, Remus, how close do the guards follow me? I mean, can they hear my conversations? Where are they now?"
"To answer your question, your guards keep you in a line of sight, but stay back far enough that you don't have to worry about being overheard. Since I also am a trained wizard, I am your guard for this afternoon."
The awkward silence fell again. Harry stared at a squirrel running from tree to tree. This time Remus broke the silence.
"I have a Wizarding Wireless for you from Professor Dumbledore." To Harry's surprise, Lupin reached into a pocket instead of the box and pulled out a triangular cone-shaped item. It was a hexagon on the bottom, but the sides came up to a point. It was about 4 inches tall and 4 inches around at the base. It had a mother-of-pearl look to it and had different runes on each side. "Professor Dumbledore pre-programmed certain channels for you. When you get to school and can use magic you may change them if you wish, or I could change it for you before you return."
"What types of music is played over the Wizarding Wireless?" Harry was curious. He had heard of the Weird Sisters, but other than that the only music he heard was at Nearly Headless Nick's Deathday party back in his second year.
"Oh, all sorts of music. Some are enchanted to play natural fairy music, or the kind that Tonks likes, or even muggle music. To start it playing you simply have to touch one of the sides. To increase the volume, hold your finger at the point. To lower the volume, touch a bottom edge. To turn it off, touch the same side again." Remus handed Harry the small wireless and Harry stared at it for a while. The silence became thick again.
"So what's in the box?" Remus had set the box to his side and Harry was curious what it was for.
Remus lifted the box to his lap and hesitated, looking down at it for a while as if searching for what to say. "After you had left for Christmas, Sirius remembered some things he had of your father's and started boxing them up for you to give you this summer. I don't know all what's in here, but if you run across anything you have questions on, just let me know."
Conversation died again until Remus remembered something. "Harry, Dumbledore mentioned you wondered about sending owls so regularly to Headquarters and asked for alternative ideas. I was…Well, I was looking through some things in Sirius' room and I found a mirror." Harry stiffened. "I remember that James always had one, too, and they would use those to communicate. I will keep looking for it, but if you run across the mirror in that box, let me know and I can show you how it works."
Harry's breaths started coming in gasps. It was coming. He could feel a huge pressure in his chest building.
"Harry! What's wrong?"
"It's not in the box, Professor. I have it at home, but it's smashed up." Suddenly everything spilled over. The wall between him and others finally fell. "Sirius had given me a package after Christmas and told me to use it if I ever needed to get in touch with him. I wasn't going to let him get in trouble because of me so I buried it at the bottom of my trunk. I never even opened it! For once, I didn't let my curiosity get the better of me and find out that if I had I could have stopped Sirius from dying! It's all my fault! If I had just opened that blasted package I could have used it to find out that Sirius was ok instead of believing Kreacher! It's just not fair!" Harry had tears streaming down his face and he couldn't stop now that he had started.
'I've tried not to think about him all summer so far. I've tried to close off my feelings. I don't know what to do! I dream at night. I dream he and I are laughing together, having a good time, and then I wake up and I hate myself for getting him killed. I miss him so much." Remus reached over and grabbed Harry in a hug. Harry buried his face in Remus' shoulder. He had never cried like this in front of someone since he was a small child. He almost had at the end of the Tri-Wizard Tournament with Mrs. Weasley, but had stopped himself when Hermione had caught Rita Skeeter. He hung on tighter to Remus.
"Of course, you miss him, Harry. I miss him, too. But you can't bottle up your feelings and expect them to go away. Let it all out." Remus' had tears in his eyes as well. He was gently rocking them back and forth, rubbing Harry's back. "You don't know that if you had used the mirror things would have been any different. I found the mirror in his room. He had been up tending to Buckbeak. He might not have heard you if you had called on it. You know he would never want you blaming yourself for what happened to him. He loved you."
"I just want the pain to go away. After he fell through the veil, I was so angry. I was angry at Bellatrix. I wanted her to feel the pain I was feeling." Harry broke off and looked at Remus in the face. "Remus, I tried to use the Cruciatus curse on her."
"Did it work?" Remus hadn't lessened his grip on Harry, but he had a hesitant look on his face as if he wasn't sure he wanted to know.
"No. It knocked her down but didn't cause her any pain. She said I was using righteous anger and that I had to want to enjoy her pain. I hate her. But it still didn't work. Can you get sent to Azkaban if it didn't work?"
"I'm glad it didn't work. No you won't get sent to Azkaban. The only proof they would have would be the Priori Incantatem which comes out as a scream. If it didn't work, the scream wouldn't be there."
"She did scream, but I think it was anticipation or the surprise of falling. It didn't sound like a painful scream."
"Listen to me, Harry. People who use the dark spells and can make them work have something wrong and twisted inside of them. That's the main reason they're called Unforgivables. It's the intent that drives the spell to do the damage." Remus looked very serious. "It is not something I ever want to hear that you tried again."
Harry looked down. "I won't. Remus, I had heard that during the first war with Voldemort, aurors had been authorized to use unforgivables. How could they then?"
Remus sighed and seemed rather sad. "The Imperious was the main one that was used, though a few aurors occasionally used the others. Unfortunately, once you get one to work, there seems to be a bit of a power buzz, if you know what I mean. Many aurors couldn't handle it and went too far. Using that powerful of a spell corrupted many of them. Once it was used in a battle situation it seemed a little too easy to use it in a not so urgent time. Several old friends had to get quietly sent on a 'vacation' after the first war to try to get their priorities back in line. Not all of them made it back. Some ended up in Azkaban anyway."
Harry and Remus stayed together on the bench. Harry finally had some measure of control. He looked, with some embarrassment at the wet patch on Remus' shoulder. "I'm sorry for crying all over you."
"No problem at all. I'm glad you could finally get some of it out. I do have two other things to mention to you. Owl post is no longer safe. You and your friends should not write to each other, but you only have another week here before Dumbledore says you can leave. We'll leave the same way as last year, so dress appropriately. I can get you more details as it gets closer to the time."
"I won't have to go to…" Harry wanted to leave Privet Drive, but he wasn't sure he wanted to have to face Sirius' family home.
"No. No, you will be going to the Burrow. I am currently staying at Headquarters, however. Someone has to take care of Buckbeak." He said the last with a bit of a laugh.
"How are you able to handle this so well?" Harry knew Remus had been as close a friend as could be. He just didn't understand why he wasn't falling apart like Harry was.
"Unfortunately I've had a lot of practice. You never stop feeling the pain but you learn how to deal with it better and move on. Remember, I've been the last Marauder before. At that time, in my heart not only was Sirius dead, but also a traitor. I'm just so glad I had the chance to get to know him again. I try to focus on the good memories."
"Yeah," Harry didn't know what else to say then something came to mind. "Oh. Remus, I don't have my broom. It's still locked up at Hogwarts."
"We'll find it and bring it to you."
"What was the second thing you had to tell me?" Harry tilted his head and looked at Remus with curiosity.
"Um…The goblins have asked that you and I meet with them to go over Sirius' will. Apparently there has been some sort of problem which has held them up, but they are going to go ahead anyway with this meeting."
"What sort of problem? And how do they know he's dead?" Harry didn't understand much about how things were done in the Wizarding bank.
"I have no idea what the problem is. But when a wizard dies, their key materializes back in the bank. This will also trigger a notification if there is a Will present or not. The goblins then verify the contents of the Will against the assets, then disburse them."
"Sirius had a Will?" That seemed like such a somber thing to do. Not like his irresponsible godfather. On the other hand, Sirius definitely had his darker side, too…
"Everyone in the Order has a Will. It only makes sense. Those in the Order face danger more regularly than most. Harry, why don't I go back to your house with you and take a look at the other mirror." Remus got up and offered a hand to help Harry up.
Harry heaved a sigh and took Remus' hand. He let Remus pull him up and Harry picked up with Wizarding Wireless and opened the box to see if there was room in it to put it in. There seemed to be plenty of room, even though the box wasn't that big. Harry looked at Remus with a quizzical look.
"It has an expansion and lightening charm on it." Remus replied. Harry shrugged, put the Wireless in it, closed it back up and lifted the box up. Together Remus and Harry walked back to the entrance of the park, then on to Privet Drive. As they walked, Harry showed Remus where he had first seen 'Padfoot' and where the Dementors had attacked last year. He told him in an amused sort of way of trying to lug Dudley home with Mrs. Figg yelling at him to keep going faster. He told of his summer so far and how Dudley actually had a job. Eventually they reached Number 4.
Harry asked Remus if he would try to be as quiet as possible so as not to upset his Aunt. Remus didn't mind. He pulled out an invisibility cloak and put it on. Together they entered the house and quietly made their way up the stairs to Harry's bedroom. In the bedroom, Harry set the box on his desk and went to the trunk at the foot of his bed and began digging through it. Remus removed the cloak and spent the time looking around, taking careful note of the cat flap and the damaged sill of the window where the bars had been torn loose.
"You are being treated better this year, aren't you? You know, all the stuff they've done to you is wrong, right?"
"They are treating me better this year. The work I'm doing for them I'm doing because otherwise I would go crazy. I needed something to work my frustrations out on and to keep me from getting too depressed. There! I've found it!" He pulled out the casing of the mirror and looked it over carefully. Luckily the glass had shattered, but didn't seem to have fallen out. "Can it be fixed?"
Remus took the mirror and set it on the desk. He took his wand and said "Reparo." The mirror melted back together. He picked it up and handed it to Harry. "Now just say my name in the mirror."
"Remus Lupin," Harry said in a tense voice. He heard a sort of echo of his voice coming from Remus' pocket. Remus reached in his pocket and Harry could see his face in Remus' mirror.
"Hello, Harry." Remus said with a smile. Harry looked at his own and saw Remus' face appear in his as soon as he started talking. "Good. Now to close the connection you just need to say 'Out'." As Remus said the word, Harry's mirror blinked back to his own reflection, but Harry was still showing in Remus'.
"Out." Harry's face blinked out of Remus' mirror as well.
A rumbling sounded across the hall. "Potter! Are you in there? I bet you did that on purpose. Do you know what I had to do? I'm going to make you pay for that!" Dudley didn't sound too happy.
Remus lifted an eyebrow and turned to Harry. Harry just rolled his eyes and waited for Dudley to come in. Sure enough the door burst open and there stood Dudley in all his wide splendor with a fist clenched. He stopped short when he saw Remus standing there with his wand in his hand.
"Dudders, I believe I told Aunt Petunia I had an appointment with one of my dad's friends. Meet Remus Lupin, a close…protective…friend of mine."
Remus had a bit of snarl on his face. "A – pleasure – to meet you. I've heard so much about you. Harry tells me you have a job. Maybe it would be best if you left for it soon."
Dudley had a look of horrified disbelief on his face and his hands were creeping ever backwards towards his bottom. He slowly backed out of the room.
Remus turned back to Harry. "Harry, would you mind showing me what you have been working on so far this summer?"
Harry didn't mind so Remus put the invisibility cloak back on.
Harry opened his door and walked out on the landing. Dudley peeked out from his room and saw Harry was alone and his room seemed empty through the open door.
"Where'd that man go? Is he still in your room somewhere?"
"No, Duds. He turned invisible. You've heard of invisible friends haven't you?" Harry was starting to enjoy this.
Dudley started turning purple. Harry noticed he was starting to take more and more after Uncle Vernon. "Now that's too far fetched!" Dudley started stalking towards Harry.
Suddenly a voice spoke near Dudley's ear. "You wouldn't believe how many far-fetched ideas are possible with magic…. Boo!" Dudley jumped, eyes darting to every corner of the hallway. He squeaked and darted back into his room.
"Thanks, Remus. Now all I'll have to do to get him to keep away is start talking to 'myself'". Harry chuckled as he started down the stairs.
"Glad to be of service, Harry. Anytime at all. Brings back fond memories." the disembodied voice of Remus Lupin replied.
Harry led the way to the kitchen and the back door. He wondered briefly where Aunt Petunia had gone. He led Remus to the back of the yard where most of the landscaping was being done.
"You're sure you are doing this of your own free will?" Remus was a bit concerned that life wasn't any better this summer than the previous summers.
"I need something to do. I seem to have a lot of pent-up anger inside that doing this work has helped release in part."
Suddenly there was a shout. The snarly voice was someone Harry never expected to hear on Privet Drive. "Lupin! Where are you?" A black-clad figure strode around the edge of the house to the backyard.
"Is that Snape! What would he be doing here?" Harry's anger from the end of last year started to rise. Remus removed the invisibility cloak.
"Lupin, spending your time coddling the hero?" His snide voice grated on Harry's nerves. "Of course, there would be no need for a hero if he didn't create the situations in the first place." A direct hit on Harry. His emotions started to swing between anger and guilt and back again.
'Lupin, they're having trouble with some other of your 'kind'." Remus winced. "Dumbledore asked that you meet with them a day earlier than planned." Snape sneered at Lupin and Harry, taking in the eyes reddened from previous crying. "If you can tear yourself away from this pity party. There's been no great loss as far as I can see…We're down to just two of the famed Marauders now and one hardly counts…" Snape was watching for Harry's reaction.
That was too much for Harry. How dare he come to Harry's house and mock what happened and mock their feelings of loss. Harry could see that Remus was taking it hard, too. Harry felt his emotions boil over. His fists clenched. He wanted Snape away from here. He wanted him to shut up, just stop…
Suddenly there was a wave of force which blew Snape 25 feet across the yard. When he landed he was stiff as a board. Harry and Remus watched in shock.
"What was that?" Remus started to jog over to where Snape was lying. He kneeled down to check him over. "He's stunned. Harry?" Remus looked up with a troubled look on his face.
"I didn't do anything! At least…not on purpose. I never touched my wand. Do you think I did that?" Harry was beginning to panic again. Why was this stuff happening? Was he going to get in trouble for this? What was he thinking? He just blew Snape across the yard and stunned him. Of course he was going to get in trouble for this!
"Remus, am I going to get expelled? Snape will kill me for sure!" Never mind expelled. He would be lucky to still be alive after Snape was revived.
"Since no wand was used, I don't think you'll be in trouble. No owl has shown up yet, though we should probably give them a bit more time before we totally rule them out." Remus stood planning. Harry could begin to see a bit of the Marauder in him as he plotted on how best to avoid trouble. "Professor Snape was looking right at you when it happened, so maybe he saw that you never pulled your wand. We could say that I stunned him because he went too far with his comments."
"He did go too far." Now that Remus was helping Harry, he could start to fume again about what Snape had said. "OK. So if you stunned him, how did we get way over here?"
"Good point. Let's get him back to where we were." Remus pulled out his wand and muttered a levitating charm. Snape's body rose in the air and floated along beside Remus as he and Harry walked back to where they had been talking before. "It must have been about five minutes now. Why don't we sit down here and wait for a while. I'd say another ten minutes and we can say we're safe from Ministry owls. It looks like I may have to leave for a bit. I should be back before we have to come get you. How about I contact you in three days time to make sure everything is all right. If you have a dire emergency, of course, you can contact me sooner than that."
"What are we going to do about Snape?" Harry sat on the ground next to Remus as they both faced Snape's body.
"I think we'll leave him just as he is for the moment. What he doesn't know won't hurt him." Remus smirked a bit. "Do you have any ideas on what just happened?"
Harry took a deep breath. "Sometimes things happen around me. Doesn't that happen to everyone? I've had accidental magic happen before. I've had it happen once before this summer when I was angry about something. You know, like what happened a couple of years back with Aunt Marge. You…know about Aunt Marge, don't you?"
"Yes, I know what happened with your Aunt Marge. Are you saying you didn't use your wand for that?"
"No, of course I didn't. The Dursleys kept it locked up in my truck in the cupboard under the stairs that year." Remus looked shocked. "I keep it with me all the time now, though. Fred and George taught me how to pick locks so I can get my stuff out now when they try to lock it up."
"Harry, I know they recorded wand use, otherwise how would they have known to come out here? You did that without your wand?" Remus was now sitting with his mouth hanging slightly open.
"Well, yeah. The only time I used my wand was when I accidentally summoned the Knight Bus outside when I tripped over my truck after seeing Padfoot." Harry was beginning to feel uncomfortable.
Remus started muttering to himself. "That must be what notified them that something was off then since you're the only wizard around this area. Without a wand? I had always assumed the wand was used for the inflation." He turned back to Harry. "Tell me exactly what happened."
Harry told him of the deal he'd made with his uncle, but how his Aunt Marge was insulting his parents and he just couldn't take it anymore, blew up his aunt, grabbed his stuff and left the house.
Remus listened attentively, frowning in concentration. "You said earlier your uncle locked your wand with your trunk in a cupboard. Did you have to pick the lock to get it out?"
Harry thought for a moment, trying to remember. "Er…no. I was still riled up and it just kind of opened for me. I'm not really sure. I was quite angry at the time. Remus, why are you so shocked by this? Don't all kids do stuff like this? I know wandless magic isn't something that strange. I've seen Dumbledore and Snape do it before."
"Most children tend to have their last bouts of accidental magic just before they attend Hogwarts. You may have some innate ability for wandless magic. You may want to try to see if you can do some wandless magic when you are in control. You should wait until you're back at Hogwarts just in case something should register with the Ministry. Apparition and the Animagus transformation are spells that can be cast wandlessly after learned properly with a wand. But otherwise only a few adults can do big spells wandlessly and they are normally quite powerful witches or wizards. Most people who study for a Masters learn some basics of it. As much as I hate to admit it, Professor Snape is a quite powerful wizard and, of course, Professor Dumbledore is the most powerful wizard. For you to be able to do some at your age really is quite remarkable. Of course, I already knew you had a lot of power. I've never seen anybody be able to conjure as powerful a corporeal Patronus at the age that you did." Remus had quite a proud look on his face.
"That was one of the things I was helping teach the others in the DA. Hermione formed an otter and Cho Chang had a swan and several others had starts. I've told them that it wouldn't be as easy in a real situation, but at least they have the idea." Harry was quite proud of his 'students'.
"That's great. Especially with the Dementors on the loose now." Remus took another look into the sky. "I think that we can safely say that there will be no Ministry owls coming. Maybe you should go into the house before I wake up Professor Snape. Remove a target from line of sight." Remus winked at Harry.
"Probably a good idea." Harry thought Remus had a good bit of wisdom there.
"When we leave, there will be a short while when you don't have a guard at all. Try to stay inside the house, ok?" Harry agreed, said his goodbyes and went back into the house. He watched what was happening from the kitchen window. Remus enervated Snape and Snape got up rubbing the back of his head. He looked around quickly, obviously searching for his favorite target, and Harry could see Remus talking quietly to him. Snape's eyebrows came close together as he listened but he kept a suspicious eye on the house. Finally Remus motioned for Snape to come with him and together they left the yard. Harry breathed a sigh of relief.
The sigh had come too quickly. Aunt Petunia came out of the greenhouse. She was livid. Harry started backing away from the window.