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Chapter 1

What is Thought to be Lost May Not be Lost at All

Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, stood at the window in his office. His bright blue eyes, which normally twinkled relentlessly, were dully peering over his half-moon glasses to the grounds outside.

It was July 31, 1997. The sole day in July that stood out in the old wizards mind.

For it was this day that, if he had not been killed, Harry Potter would be celebrating his seventeenth birthday. But the boy who had been the cause of the Dark Lord Voldemort's downfall had died on that fateful Halloween night in '81.

And contrary to popular belief, Voldemort had not.

Dumbledore smiled grimly at that thought. It was good to have an ex-Death Eater on his staff sometimes. Severus Snape had not only been essential to the Order of the Phoenix in his spying duties but for his skill in the art of potion making as well as his knowledge of the Dark Arts.

Because of Severus, he knew that Voldemort had not yet been defeated. Dispelled but not defeated.

And it was only a matter of time before he discovered a way to return. He had nearly done so six years before, during the last days of the soon-to-be seventh year students first year. Hermione Granger, a very brilliant Muggleborn student, had stumbled upon the idea that the Philosopher's Stone – which had been stored in the school during that year – was going to be stolen. It was through her that the staff had caught Quirenius Quirrell, who had been the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher that year, attempting to steal the Stone. He had, unfortunately, died in the crossfire that had begun when he was discovered.

After that, the following years at Hogwarts had passed uneventfully. They were boringly normal.

And now it was only a month before another year began. But this year felt…different. As though something was about to happen.

Something big.

Dumbledore chuckled and shook his head.

Perhaps he was just being silly.

Nothing was going to happen. It was going to be another year – just another year of wondering when Voldemort would arise again.

Just another year…

"Albus!"

Dumbledore jerked and stepped away from the window to look at the head now in his fireplace.

"Alastor?"

Alastor 'Mad-Eye' Moody smiled grimly and said, "Got some news for you, Albus."

"News?" said Dumbledore. "What sort of news?"

"There's a rumor going 'round, Albus."

"Rumor? What rumor?"

Moody's smile turned even grimmer as he growled, "There's a rumor that Harry Potter is alive."

Dumbledore's breath caught in his throat at those words.

Was it simply a rumor? There had been several after the Potter's death and Voldemort's subsequent downfall.

Could this one be true?

"Have you investigated?" he asked.

"Not yet," replied Moody. "But I'm going to. Myself."

"Yourself? Alastor, is that wise?"

"Rather it be me than one of the new rookie's."

Dumbledore frowned and asked, "Does Cornelius know?"

"Not as of yet," replied Moody with a wry grin, his scarred face causing it to look more like a grimace. "Only me and my contact know, as far as our information goes."

The old wizard nodded and said, "I see. Good luck then."

"You think it could really be him?"

"I don't know, Alastor. I truly don't." Dumbledore paused and frowned. "Where is he?"

"Tokyo, Japan."

" 'Japan?' " repeated Dumbledore. "I see."

"Hmm," said Moody. "I'll be off then. Contact you when I get there."

Dumbledore just nodded and stood in front of his fireplace as Moody's grizzled head vanished in a swirl of flame. He blinked after a moment and sank into a chair.

Harry Potter might be alive.