Summary: With Dumbledore dead, Harry's mentor and close friend is no longer there by his side as he fights to fulfil the Prophecy made so long ago. He's not completely alone however, Ron and Hermione have vowed to stay by his side until the end. Harry knows what he must do. Find the remaining Horcruxes, destroy Voldemort's scattered pieces of soul and ultimately eradicate the evil of the Dark Lord. And on the way, avenge his old Headmaster as he searches for Severus Snape. Harry will never rest until he hears Snape pleading for mercy..
- CHAPTER ONE -
There was a subdued silence over Privet Drive that suited Harry Potter's mood perfectly. Harry sat quietly at his desk, eyes resting vaguely upon a letter that was unrolled on the scrubbed wooden surface. The rays of the afternoon sunshine spilt into the room and illuminated the writing he was reading. Outside the window, a crow flew past the window sending a sudden dark shadow across Harry's face that caused him to blink and look up into the pristine blue sky. Feeling distracted, he allowed his eyes to fall down upon the letter again and reread the lines slowly.
Ron and I shall be arriving on Friday to pick you up for Bill and Fleur's wedding. Ron's mum was really worried about security, but I have promised her to set a good number of shield charms around us She doesn't seem completely satisfied but I think she'll be alright. Yes, so we shall be arriving at 2pm for the wedding starts at 6pm. Bring your dress robes! Might want to let your Aunt and Uncle know we are coming. Or not. We'll just turn up. Goodness knows we need a laugh.
Love from Hermione (and Ron – but I don't love you, no offence mate!)
Harry laughed quietly to the scribbled comment of Ron's after Hermione's neat handwriting. He had read it a good number of times now, but the comment amused him highly, perhaps more than it should have done. But Hermione was right, they needed a laugh. And seeing Ron's face swim into his head pulling a rather revolted expression was thoroughly amusing as far as Harry was concerned.
Harry wasn't completely sure how they would arrive. He didn't know if Ron had passed his Apparition test yet after leaving behind half an eyebrow. He had kept looking up whenever he heard a sound in the road, wondering if it had been them Apparating. He also kept watching the cars that came down the road, if it was possible that they may be driving here. However at 2.05pm there was two simultaneous cracks on the road outside and Harry quick wrenched his head to stare at the street outside. Hermione had landed perfectly in the centre of the drive entrance whilst Ron was cursing and digging himself out of a violet Hydrangea bush. He saw Hermione look around before she laughed and walked over, pulling Ron out of the bush. Ron shook leaves from himself, some of which floated upon Hermione who had stepped back at the actions. But Ron flushed and moved forward to pick the pieces of the bush out of her hair. Hermione grinned sheepishly before she turned and strode towards the door. And sure enough a few seconds later, he heard a sharp couple of raps on the door.
"Didn't know we had anyone coming round," Harry heard Aunt Petunia saying as she walked through the hallway. Harry had arrived on the landing to watch his Aunt reach the front door, wiping her soapy hands on her apron. She unlocked the latch and pulled open the door with a ready smile. The expression quickly dropped as her eyes fell over the pair, undoubtedly recognising them from King's Cross station. Her eyes lingered over Ron's appearance. Whilst his clothes were not as shabby as they used to be since Fred and George's money gifts on the household, there were bits of dirt on his trousers whilst his shirt was dotted with petals and leaves whilst a twig was stuck lopsidedly in his hair. Also a smudge of dirt was over the bridge of his nose. He spread an inept smile at her as though she was being extremely pleasant.
However Hermione held a stern face, her eyes smouldering as they met Aunt Petunia's. She did not receive such a harsh glare though; perhaps it was because she was tidy and cleaner than Ron at the moment. Hermione stood with her arms folded, but her voice was calm and composed as she spoke, "Good afternoon, Mrs. Dursley. I don't know if Harry has informed you, but we are here to pick him up for a friend's wedding."
Aunt Petunia's eyes glared over the pair again, "No, he did not tell us. Who are you?" she added rudely.
"Hermione Granger," said Hermione, refraining from extending her hand or smiling, "This is Ron Weasley. May we come in?" Her voice remained calm and composed, but her eyes were sharp and glinting. She stepped forward anyway, and Aunt Petunia shuffled back. Just then, Uncle Vernon walked out of the living room, apparently on his way to the staircase when he paused and flashed his beady little eyes on the pair of teenagers at the door, "Petunia?" he said cautiously.
But Aunt Petunia did not answer, "Wait there," she snapped to the pair. She turned her head, yelling up the staircase even though Harry was close to the top. "Harry! People are here for you. Be quick and go!"
Harry quickly darted out of view to grab his readily packed trunk – heavier than usual since every possession he owned was in it. The room had been oddly bare for days and neither Aunt Petunia nor Uncle Vernon had noticed since they rarely visited. Harry was sharply back out onto the landing again, scrambling his trunk down the stairs as one hand held an empty cage whilst Hedwig swayed on his arm serenely even with all the movement and commotion.
Uncle Vernon cast a beady eye on the bulging trunk as it reached the hallway. He cleared his throat importantly for a moment as though he was about to start a speech, "So.. is this, er, final goodbyes?" His small eyes lifted upon Harry's face, "That old man said it was to be your last stay before your 17th birthday, eh?"
Harry's insides flared up a little to the casual lack of knowledge about Dumbledore's name. "His name is Albus Dumbledore, and yes that is true."
"I was expecting a final letter from him," said Aunt Petunia as she watched him, "Why hasn't he sent it?"
"Barmy, I suppose. Old man's losing it," said Uncle Vernon idly as his eyes shifted over the two in the doorway. Ron shifted uncomfortably as Hermione flashed her eyes at Vernon.
"His name is Albus Dumbledore!" repeated Harry in a thunderous bellow, his anger flaring wildly. He swivelled his eyes off his Uncle to watch Aunt Petunia instead. "He didn't get chance to write the letter because he is dead. He was murdered at the school by a former teacher." His hands clutched his trunk tighter, the knuckles turning white.
Aunt Petunia looked rather taken aback, "He's dead?" she said in a hurried whisper, "But.. isn't he the only one that that man fears.. that Voldemort?" Ron flinched at the door, but Hermione remained stonily still. "Wasn't he the one who was supposed to get rid of Voldemort?"
"No," said Harry grimly as he stood his trunk up. "I'm the one who's supposed to do that."
Uncle Vernon's eyes widened slightly and he began bobbing on the balls of his feet, "Oho," he said, as though about to place Harry under arrest, "Oho.." His placed his arms behind his back, clutching his hands, "So you're off to be the hero, eh?"
"Yeah, he is," said Ron from the door. It had been the first time he spoke and his voice was registered by surprise by the two adults. Even Dudley had poked his head around the door to see who the visitors were.
"Something like that," murmured Harry as he turned to face his friends. He spread then a smile to which Hermione gave a weak gasp and flung herself over the doorstep as Aunt Petunia sniffed disapproval. Hermione threw her arms around Harry's shoulders, holding him as though he would disappear.
"Oh, Harry.. it's been terrible not knowing how you were. So relieved to see you."
Ron watched Hermione silently before his eyes rested upon Harry, who was holding the quietly crying Hermione. Harry lifted his head slightly to smile to Ron who rested a hand on his shoulder heavily with a comforting squeeze. "Yeah, it's good to see you."
Aunt Petunia had stepped back from the crying girl, looking rather scandalised at the performance in her doorway.
"This is where it starts Harry," whispered Hermione as she pulled from him, quickly composing herself as she wiped her eyes and forced a gentle smile as she stood besides Ron. "From now on, we're here by your side. We're going to help you fight him, every step of the way."
"And you aren't going to make us think otherwise," said Ron as he folded his arms and gave a stern nod. He plucked his wand from his belt waving it as he disappeared with a crack that sent Dudley running into the living room.
"I promise you Harry," said Hermione quietly as she bent and picked up the empty cage. Harry's hand tightened on his trunk handle, preparing for the sensation of the Apparition. Her hand outstretched as she took hold of his arm securely, "I'd die for you. I'd die to help you get rid of Voldemort." With one look of sincerity in her eyes that bore into his, she lifted her wand, and the pair disappeared with a resounding 'crack!'
Sorry, but couldn't continue with my sixth book story after the heart wrenching events of HBP. So here is my new story, some small ideas planned for the previous story been put into here. Trust me though, this is going to be good! So please review, hope you like this!