(A/N: So I lied. There's one more chapter, albeit a short one. I'm sure you're all heartbroken. Enjoy.)
Chapter 53: Visits and Letters
The car ride from London to Little Whinging was silent. Harry put Hedwig's cage between himself and Dursley and sat against the door, staring out the open window and thinking about the turquoise Ford Anglia headed for Devon.
Hermione and Neville were probably still talking about O.W.L.s, a subject Hermione had opened on the train. Luna would be asleep with her head on Draco's shoulder, ignoring his loud argument with Ron over nothing at all, which would continue until Danger told them to pipe down or she'd pull over and make them. At some point would come shrieks from Ginny and Meghan because Fred and George had tied their braids together, in between counting their newly acquired gold...
At least one good thing came out of this whole mess.
Although the Weasleys still had some of the money they'd received after Wormtail's trial, Mrs. Weasley refused to let the twins have any of it for their "foolish notions" of a joke shop. They'd tried to get some by betting with Ludo Bagman on the Quidditch World Cup, but that had gone sour when he'd paid them in leprechaun gold, which vanished within a few hours of being created by the little creatures. Harry had more than enough money of his own, and he liked the twins' prank ideas when they weren't directed at him. It seemed logical to him that they should have his Triwizard Tournament winnings.
I sure as hell don't want them. I couldn't even touch that sack without thinking about Cedric...
Quickly, Harry summoned his fiery shield and concentrated on it. Fire. Fire all around me, keeping me safe. Nothing bad can touch me through the fire.
"Thinking about something else works much better than not thinking about whatever-it-is." Moony's voice echoed through his memories. "Because every time you think, 'Oh, I won't think about that,' you're thinking about it anyway. Find something else to concentrate on, and practice that concentration until you can make your mind come back to that no matter what you were just thinking about."
Unfortunately, Occlumency was working about as well for Harry right now as the Patronus Charm had the first few times he'd tried it.
But that turned out well, didn't it? said a chirpy part of his mind. I can do a really good Patronus now. I just need to stick with this.
Harry's hand closed into a fist. I don't want to stick with it. I don't want to have these memories at all. I want to be a normal human being, dammit! Not some fated hero with a freaking destiny I have to fulfill!
A tiny glimpse of humor got through his rising anger. I think I forfeited the 'normal human being' bit the night Danger stole me out of the cupboard. Nobody raised by the Pack is going to be normal.
But the anger would not be denied. I don't want to be here. I hate these people already. And they hate me, I can smell it. He had the window down as far as it would go, and the stink of distrust and dislike was still rank in the car. More of it came from Vernon — Uncle Vernon, Harry grudgingly corrected himself — than from Aunt Petunia, but both of them were giving it off. And interestingly, it wasn't all connected with Harry.
Uncle Vernon doesn't like Dudley. Or he does, but he doesn't at the same time. And Aunt Petunia is... scared of him? And of me?
Den-night stories came to him, stories about his parents and their families, about his mother's Muggle sister. "We never met, but Lily often talked about her," murmured Letha's voice. "She thought her sister's aversion to magic was mostly due to fear. Magic is very frightening when you're not ready for it, or used to it. I speak from experience."
Harry shrugged a little. Magic's just power, like anything else. You flip a switch, a light goes on. You turn the key, the car starts. You wave the wand and say the right word, the couch goes up in the air.
His hand clenched shut again. And I ought to be with people who understand that, not idiots who're bloody scared of it!
Or maybe I'd still be with scared people if I went home. Maybe that's why they're pawning me off. They're scared of me, or of what I mean. Voldemort wants me, dead or alive. Preferably alive, so that he can make me dead. And he doesn't care who he wades through to get to me.
Harry's breath was starting to come raggedly in and out. Dumbledore told me I shouldn't be afraid to love, that love's what makes me different from Voldemort. But how can I love people I never see? And how can I be sure they love me, if they're kicking me out of the Den like this?
In his mind, he knew these feelings and thoughts were nonsense. The Pack's love was the one constant in his life. Wherever he'd gone, whatever he'd done, the Pack had always been behind him, around him, with him, their love tangible and known.
But his heart refused to hear the rationale his mind set out. Maybe they've always been there, but now they're not. Now I'm alone. A Pack of one.
That sounds really stupid, but it's safest this way. Safest for everyone.
He recognized dimly that he'd heard this argument somewhere before, coming from someone else, and it hadn't made sense even then, but the memory wouldn't jell for him, and he didn't care. He was too busy keeping the burning in his chest from turning into audible growls.
I was stupid to say I'd do this. I was stupid. I was so bloody stupid.
And now I have to live with it.
Maybe they'll figure out while I'm gone that life's easier without me around. Maybe they'll decide they don't need the aggravation, and just tell me to stay where I am. They'll put a good face on it — "You'll be safer there, and we don't want you to get hurt" — when what they really mean is, "We'll be safer without you, and we don't want us to get hurt."
He held himself back from transforming with an effort. No magic. I can't do any magic while I'm here, not even Animagus. That had been made thoroughly clear to him. The Ministry was keeping tabs on him, and would know in an instant if anyone did magic at Privet Drive.
And they're just looking for excuses to say I'm out of control and dangerous. I don't even want to think about what they'd say if they found out I was an Animagus, and half my friends too.
Of course, now that he was thinking about why he couldn't change into Wolf, either to howl out his anger and frustration or to get rid of it by hanging his head out the window and playing 'name-that-smell,' he wanted to even more. It was like an itch in that place in the middle of his back that he could never reach on his own.
Harry closed his hands tight around his knees. Thank God for the seatbelt. I can't transform when I'm sitting like this.
We never wear seatbelts in the Weasleys' car. We never need to. It's got so many Safety Charms on it I don't think we'd get hurt if it ran straight into a brick wall...
That sounds like something Fred and George would do. Or more likely, they'd get somebody to do it for them. Somebody stupid. The Pride are all too smart to try it, but they'd find someone...
And he was right back where he didn't want to be, thinking about the people he wanted more than anything, the people who, it seemed, no longer wanted him.
Well, fine. They don't want me, I don't want them.
But even as Harry summoned his anger again to push the memories away, a small, childish part of him, deep down inside, was still sniffling and wondering why Danger or Letha didn't come to kiss him better.
Uncle Vernon pulled the car into a driveway and parked. Harry was out the door almost before the engine stopped running, breathing deeply and gratefully of the fresh air.
I think I would have thrown up if I'd had to smell him another minute. Or look at that smirk on Dursley's face — Dudley, I suppose I'd better call him now. What does he think is so bloody funny? Famous Harry Potter, back where he started?
Then he took a better look at the house. "I thought you lived at Number Four," he said before he thought.
Uncle Vernon glowered at him. "We used to," he said darkly. "Before your kind came into our lives. But we found this place when we got back on our feet, no thanks to you. And I won't have you ruining it for us again, understand me?"
"Yes, sir," Harry said, most of his mind worrying at the problem of the number beside the door.
Number Seventeen, Privet Drive. Why does that sound familiar?
Then movement near the corner of the house caught his eye, and the half-emerged memory in his mind fled back into hiding.
What is he doing here?
Albus Dumbledore had just come around the corner of the house, his wand pointing back at the walls. His lips moved, though Harry could hear nothing. None of the Dursleys seemed able to see him, not even Dudley, who was dragging his trunk up the front walk.
"Hurry up, boy," Uncle Vernon barked from the boot. "What're you staring at?"
"Nothing, sir." Harry sidled around the back of the car to get his own trunk out, glancing back at Dumbledore from the corner of his eye. The Headmaster was still deeply engaged in whatever he was doing. But as Harry returned to the backseat to retrieve Hedwig, Dumbledore looked up and met Harry's eyes.
Harry sucked in a breath as a picture appeared in his mind. He and Dumbledore sat together on a small bench in a grassy yard. "Here?" he mouthed as the picture disappeared. "Now?"
Dumbledore inclined his head in a grave nod.
But... I thought...
Harry nodded back, and hurried to his trunk with Hedwig's cage in one hand.
"You'll be in the bedroom at the top of the stairs," Aunt Petunia said as Harry pulled his trunk through the front door. "The bathroom is across the hall."
"Thank you," said Harry automatically, his mind preoccupied with what Dumbledore could be doing there. Isn't it dangerous for him to be around me? Couldn't Voldemort decide to attack one of us if he figures out he can get into my head?
Trunk at the bottom of the bed, Hedwig on the desk, cage door open and window up, Harry was out the door again, not forgetting to close it. Padfoot had sent him a trunk alarm as a going-away present, so he'd know if Dudley or anyone else tried to get into his things, and Hedwig was capable of defending herself.
There wasn't any bench in the front, so it must be out back...
He slipped out the back door and sure enough, there sat Dumbledore, looking at something in the air at about the level of the first-floor windows and nodding in satisfaction. "The wards are taking well, Harry," he said. "Will you sit with me?"
Harry made it most of the way across the lawn before his curiosity got the better of him. "What are you doing here, Professor?" he asked, getting the title in at the last second so as not to sound too rude. "I thought..."
"That we could not be near one another, and under normal circumstances, we cannot," Dumbledore finished. "However, these are not normal circumstances for two reasons. First, here and now, with the blood magic wards once again present, Voldemort cannot invade your mind purposefully. Second, I arranged for him to be otherwise engaged for some two hours this afternoon, to give you time to arrive here from King's Cross, and myself time to recreate the wards. It would be wasteful for me not to use that time to speak with you, since this may be our last opportunity to do so for some time."
"My last opportunity to speak with anyone," Harry muttered before he could help himself.
"I beg your pardon?" Dumbledore looked surprised.
"I can't very well go visiting, if the point of my being here is to keep me safe," Harry said bitterly, the anger of the car ride resurfacing. "Why not leave me here all the time? That'd be even safer. Why don't you just tell them to lock me up and feed me through a hole? Voldemort couldn't ever get at me then."
"I will not insult you by telling you I understand your feelings," Dumbledore said quietly. "I doubt anyone who has not been through what you have would truly understand. But I do sympathize, and I have come here to tell you one of the reasons I wished you to return to your relatives for a time."
"One of the reasons? The only one you can let Voldemort know about?"
"No, one of the reasons because the others I believe you already know."
Harry tucked his arms across his chest and let himself slide down on the bench. "Yeah, I'm dangerous," he said, staring across the yard. "I'm an effing time bomb. You have to keep me from exploding until you can throw me at Voldemort, right?"
"You could see it that way, if you chose. But what I have come here to tell you does not involve you, except peripherally, as it involves all of us. There is a spy in the Order of the Phoenix."
"Snape." Then the words twisted themselves into a new meaning, and Harry sat up to stare at Dumbledore. "Wait. You don't mean..."
"I do." Dumbledore was not smiling, and his eyes were completely sober. "One of the current members of the Order reports to Lord Voldemort."
For a long moment, Harry couldn't find any words. "Why do you let him stay, then?" he blurted finally. "Why haven't you turned him in as a Death Eater?"
"I doubt the Ministry would believe me, at the moment," Dumbledore said mildly. "As well, I am not certain that I have determined who the spy is. However, that there is a spy I am sure. We must therefore proceed with caution."
"Proceed with caution?" Harry shook his head in disbelief. "How do you do that, when somebody's telling Voldemort everything you do?"
"Take your case as an example, Harry. There are, at this moment, two places where you could spend the summer. The spy knows, and will be reporting to Voldemort, where you go. However, one of those places has wards on it that cannot be breached by anyone intending you harm. The other, well-warded as it may otherwise be, does not."
"But you can't do anything about that." Harry slumped again. "So I'm stuck here, aren't I?"
"Not necessarily. We have begun proceedings to create a headquarters for the Order of the Phoenix. The Fidelius Charm will be placed over the chosen house. No one who is not told of its location by the Secret-Keeper will be able to find it. Meaning that the spy, try though he may, cannot tell Lord Voldemort where it is."
Harry snorted. "Unless the spy is the Secret-Keeper."
Dumbledore's eyes twinkled for a second. "I hope you are not accusing me of being the spy."
"What? No, of course not... you're going to be the Secret-Keeper?"
"I would have done it for your parents, had I been allowed." A flash of pain and sorrow showed in the blue eyes. "But things past are past, and we must live in the present and look to the future. You will remain here only as long as it takes for the Order to set the wards and charms on our new headquarters, Harry. After that, I doubt you will ever need to set foot in this house again."
Harry knew his relief showed on his face, and he didn't care. "How long will it take, sir?"
"Approximately a month. I would like to ask you to obey a few rules while you are here. The wards extend only to the limits of your aunt and uncle's property, but in daylight I believe you may wander the neighborhood to some degree. After nightfall, though, please stay within the house and yard. I believe you were instructed as to the degree of contact expected."
"I'm to write as often as I can, every other day at least," Harry recited. "And someone will come by every three or four days to check on me."
"Indeed. Those who know you personally will, of course, announce their presence, to you if not to your relatives."
You had to go off like that, yelling about never seeing anyone again, when you knew all along there'd be people coming and going, part of Harry's mind nagged.
You didn't know they'd be talking to you, another part answered. What if they'd just come and watched you, made sure you weren't bruised or bloody, then left? They could have been Disillusioned or under Invisibility Cloaks, and you'd never have known they were there.
Oh, come on. People wouldn't do that.
Harry suddenly realized he was missing what Dumbledore was saying and tuned back in. I think it was something about passengers. What's he doing? It looks like he's petting an invisible cat...
"You will take precautions, I am sure." Dumbledore rested his hands in his lap. "Now, may I ask if you have received any instruction on how to behave while you are here?"
Harry took a moment to translate "play omega" into more usual terms. "Do what I'm told, and don't put up a fuss," he said. "Let them order me around. Act like I don't have a mind of my own, or like I'm afraid of them."
Dumbledore smiled. "Likely a difficult task for you, as it goes against your true nature. Have you perhaps wondered why?"
"It's so I don't get in trouble with them. Isn't it?"
"Yes, but another reason also exists. You are aware that your cousin has had troubling encounters with Dark wizards in the past."
"Well, he was part of that thing with Malfoy and Wormtail last year. But they just used him, he didn't have anything to do with it..." Harry trailed off. "Did he?"
"I do not know with any certainty," Dumbledore said. "He may be as innocent as he seemed, or he may be interested in the darker side of magic. If he is, and if Voldemort comes to hear of your summer with your relatives, he will receive an account of you that is exactly what we want him to think. Dudley will tell him of a shy, quiet boy who obeys orders without question, and Voldemort will believe you a child he can cow. What he will find facing him is a young man with the heart of a lion, who obeys his chosen authorities but does so with his eyes open."
"Sounds great," said Harry. "Where're you going to find him?"
Dumbledore chuckled. "I should depart," he said, standing up. "Before I go, may I see the chain on which you wear your pendants? I have something I wish you to carry with you at all times, and that seems the most likely place for it."
Harry pulled the necklace over his head and handed it to Dumbledore. "Do you want it open, Professor?"
"If you would be so kind."
Harry willed the chain open at the top, and Dumbledore separated the two ends and slid something onto one of them. "You may close it again," he said, handing the chain back to Harry.
A small golden phoenix hung beside Harry's last pendant, a loop of the flame surrounding it curling around the chain to hold it on. "Nice carving," Harry said, fingering it. "What's it for?"
"Dire emergencies," said Dumbledore. Harry looked up, surprised, at the worried note in the Headmaster's voice. "The wards on this house should be impregnable, Harry, and I hope to have an adult member of the Order nearby at all times, but unexpected circumstances have a way of arising. Should the protections fail, or should you be caught outside them with no help within call, press the carving to yourself and speak the phrase 'Denward bound.' You will be taken to a safe place."
"A passworded Portkey?" Harry slipped the pendant chain back over his neck. "I didn't know you could do that."
"Most wizards cannot, and I would prefer to have my ability remain unknown. As well, Portkeys are strictly monitored by the Department of Magical Transportation, and to create an unauthorized one incurs, at the least, a heavy fine." Dumbledore looked Harry in the eye. "Do not use the Portkey unless you are in true peril of your life," he said firmly. "You are of an age, and an understanding, that I trust you with it. Do not make my trust misplaced."
Don't use it to run off because you don't like the Dursleys, Harry translated mentally. "Yes, sir."
"If all goes well, it will be unneeded," Dumbledore said. "But I would rather be in trouble myself for creating an unauthorized Portkey than give the Ministry a chance to make trouble for you by forcing you to do underage magic. I do believe you capable of defending yourself, Harry — you have shown that capability many times — but Cornelius Fudge thinks that you and I are a threat to him, and his years in the Ministry have taught him that threats must be eliminated. And there are those on his staff whom I trust far less than he. I do not want you saved from one sort of trouble only to fall into another."
Like this isn't trouble right here. My relatives hate me, Professor, and maybe they can't shove me in a cupboard anymore, but they're not going to make it easy for me. But Harry only nodded. "I understand, sir."
"Excellent, and now I really must leave you. My best wishes for your month. And if you should happen to need more information, I suggest you ask the monster underneath your bed." Dumbledore turned in place and was gone.
"I'm a little old for that," Harry said to the empty air.
All the same, when he walked into the bedroom again, he regarded the bed with trepidation. Dumbledore didn't lie, and he might say silly things sometimes, but there was usually meaning behind them. Was there really a monster under the bed? Maybe a snake, that Harry could talk to and get advice from...
He opened his trunk, disconnecting the alarm as he did so, and took out his Firebolt, which lay corner to corner across the top. Holding it just above the tail, he sat down beside the bed and jabbed the broomstick under it.
Something grabbed it.
The thing pulled back.
Harry ducked a bit lower, enough to see that the form under the bed was human. "Give it back," he said, pulling harder.
Harry let go of the broom in surprise and fell over backwards.
The bed bucked. "Ow!" it complained. "That was my head!"
Harry sat up, rubbing his shoulder. "At least it wasn't anything important," he said, his usual smartmouth tendencies rekindled by the familiar voice. "Weren't you going on some secret mission?"
A sudden suspicion surged into Harry's mind. "You're supposed to watch me, aren't you?" he challenged. "That's your secret mission. To keep an eye on little Harry, because he can't survive a month alone with the big bad relatives."
"Er, no, actually. I just thought I'd stop off here on my way out. I can go if you don't want me."
Harry's anger, its fuel removed with Padfoot's answer, burnt itself out as quickly as it had started, and he sagged in place. "No, don't go," he said. "I mean, if you can stop a little while."
"I can." Padfoot crawled out from under the bed, his Muggle shirt and jeans slightly dusty. "I don't have to be where I'm going until late tonight."
"Where are you going?"
Padfoot shook his head, dusting himself off. "Sorry, Greeneyes. There's a reason it's called a secret mission."
"But it can't hurt to tell me," Harry wheedled, getting up to sit on the bed. "I won't see anyone long enough to tell."
"Not falling for it, Harry. You can still write letters — I know, I know, you wouldn't put anything like that in a letter. But this one needs to stay secret..." Padfoot stopped and frowned. "On the other hand, I don't see why it has to stay secret," he said, sitting beside Harry. "Voldemort's likely to know about it before anyone, considering who he deals with. All right, if you want to know, I'll tell you."
"I want to know."
Padfoot plastered a big fake grin across his face. "I get to go home. Isn't that exciting?"
"Home?" Harry asked in confusion. "The Den?"
Padfoot dropped the smile. "I wish. No, home as in where I came from. I'm Albus' ambassador to the purebloods. I get to make the social round, go to the parties, shake the hands, kiss the babies — not that there are many of those these days."
"Is that why Letha's not going with you?"
"That, and Albus wants her at Hogwarts rebuilding the wards. Apparently I'm not special enough." Padfoot huffed. "I'm special. I'm very special."
Harry suggested, with a word or two his godfather had taught him, just how special Padfoot was. "How long will you be gone?" he asked.
"About as long as you will. Maybe a bit longer, depending on when they finish with Headquarters. My last party ends August 5."
"Yeah, Dumbledore said it would take about a month to get Headquarters set up." Harry found himself thinking of the place with a capital letter already. "Where are they putting it?"
"Can't tell you that either. This time for real." Padfoot tapped Harry's temple. "If you know before the Fidelius goes up, then that's bad news for everybody."
"Yeah." Harry's mood, which had been slowly climbing out of a pit, lost its grip and tumbled back in. "Yeah. I guess so."
"Hey." Padfoot slipped off the bed and went to one knee in front of Harry. "Hey. Look at me."
Harry turned his head away.
"Fine, don't look at me. I always knew I was ugly." Padfoot sniffled. "Nobody loves me, everybody hates me..."
"If you finish that sentence, I'll push you out the window," Harry said without turning.
"True, that's not the most natural food for either of my forms. Luna might go for that, or Draco, but not me. Wonder if there've ever been any fish Animagi?"
"How would they practice?" Harry wondered, interested in spite of himself. "Would they have to have a bucket there to breathe when they did their head transfiguration?"
"Probably. And then they'd just have to be near water when they tried the first transformation."
"And hope they didn't run out of air before they finished the incantation. It took me a while to get through it, the first time."
Padfoot grinned, sitting down cross-legged on the floor. "Sounds like a song. All those '-ation' words."
"You have to be near water when you try your transformation," Harry chanted, "and don't run out of air before you finish your incantation..."
"Hey, that's good!"
Harry bowed. "But the transfiguration part should go first, and we need one more word to go with it."
"Let's see. '-ation' words." Padfoot rocked back and forth, thinking. "Cogitation," he said finally. "'If you want to be a fish, you'll need some cogitation; bring a bucket when you do your head transfiguration.' Then yours go after that."
"Now we need a tune." Harry hummed a snatch of song. "How about that one?"
Padfoot blanched slightly. "Do me one favor," he said. "If Letha ever hears about this, claim I suggested the melody."
Harry snickered. "I didn't learn it from you."
"That's what frightens me. All right, let's put it together."
They were on their third rendition of the 'Silly Fish Song' when heavy footsteps sounded on the stairs. Padfoot dived for Harry's open trunk, yanked out the Invisibility Cloak, and threw it over himself just as a fist pounded on the door. "Open up in there!" Uncle Vernon's voice bellowed.
Harry got his earnest and scared face on and opened the door. "Yes, sir?" he quavered, moving slightly to one side to direct a kick at the patch of air which was having a hard time suppressing sniggers.
"What is all that noise coming from in here?" Uncle Vernon was peering around Harry and the door, inspecting the corners. "It sounded like two people singing at once."
"I'm sorry, sir. I'll be quieter."
"You'd better be."
Harry shut the door and leaned against it. "Oops," he said.
"Me too," said Padfoot quietly, emerging from under the Cloak. "I forgot we weren't in Den."
"So did I." Harry looked around the room. "I don't know why, but I like this room," he said. "Better than the rest of the house, I mean. I haven't been here very long, but this already feels a little bit like home."
"Don't get too attached to it," Padfoot advised, standing up. "You're not staying. I'd better go, Harry, before I get you into more trouble. Someone will be along within the next couple of days, and you're probably going to wear out all your owls writing back and forth."
"Probably." Harry hugged his godfather tight. "Don't let the purebloods bite."
"Fine, and don't you let the Muggles get to you. Oh, and be careful if you put anything under that bed. There's a floorboard loose under it." Padfoot pressed his ear to the door. "Nothing," he said. "Go scout the terrain for me? I just have to get out of the house without anyone seeing me, then I'll walk around the corner and Apparate from there."
Harry slipped out the door and checked to see that a path to the front door was clear, then waved Padfoot onward. The older wizard came down the stairs with the quiet grace of his dog namesake and dodged out the front door adeptly while ruffling Harry's hair on the way past. One hand waggled its fingers, and he was on the sidewalk, looking like just another passerby.
Harry watched his godfather out of sight, then turned and went back upstairs. Depending on how loose the floorboard was, it might be a good place to hide things.
The floorboard was very loose. And Harry wasn't the first to have the idea.
Within the dust under the board reposed a folded piece of paper.
In the light from the window, it became a letter, addressed in a familiar girlish half-scrawl to "Whoever Finds This."
Whose handwriting is that?
Harry sniffed at the letter, then sneezed. Any scent on it had long since been overridden by the dust. Maybe Wolf could have taken a scent from it, but he couldn't be Wolf for four long weeks.
And there's a much easier way to find out...
He scooted back until he was leaning against the bed, tore the letter open, and began to read.
4 November, 1975
To whoever finds this letter,
Greetings from the past! Did you know you were in my bedroom? Well, it's probably your bedroom now, but it's my bedroom in my now, when I'm writing this. I won't tell you my name, because you'll think it's silly, but I'll tell you about me. I'm a girl, I'm almost fifteen years old, and I live here with my mum and my dad. I don't have any brothers or sisters, but I'd like one. A sister, I think. I don't like boys much.
The letter went on, giving little details about the writer's life, her hopes and dreams, what she liked and didn't like. Harry ran a finger along the faded lines of ink, imagining he could feel the writer's presence in them.
I wish I could have known her. I think I'd have liked her.
Finally, he neared the end.
Well, this letter's getting very long, so I think I'd better end it here. I'll hide it in my bedroom, under the floorboard — of course, you knew that, because that's where you found it. Maybe you can hide a letter here too, and see if someone finds it years and years from now. Maybe, if you could find out where I am and what I'm doing in your now, you could tell me you've found my letter. I'd like that. Though I suppose you have to know my name for that. Oh well. Here goes.
Harry read the signature, then let his head sag back against the mattress.
I am such an idiot.
30 June, 1995
I made it and I'm all right. It hasn't been bad so far, but I've only been here about fifteen minutes. The house is very clean, so it doesn't look like I'll have much to do beyond day-to-day things. Yes, I know, those are what take up most of the time. That and cooking. I'm already thinking about dinner.
There isn't much else to tell, so I'll send this right away and write more tomorrow. But I do have to ask one thing...
Danger, does Moony know that you don't like boys much?
(A/N: Can we call off the hunt for my blood now, please? They are not abandoning him, and this is not a set-up for every canon problem JKR ever invented. Maybe a few of them, but I'll spin them my own way. And this is really and truly the end of DwD.
Shall we see if I can do a bit better in Facing Danger? Coming soon to a computer near you! Well, maybe not that soon. I do have a lot of side stories begging to get finished, and a lot of planning to do. But when it's ready, it shall come. Until then, cheers!
Update as of June 2012: I am now a published author! Go to Amazon or Smashwords dot com to check out my first original novel, A Widow in Waiting, an exciting historical fantasy about a noblewoman who has to keep the truth about her husband's death a secret if she ever wants to marry the man she really loves...
Second update as of February 2013: If you enjoy the Dangerverse, please check out the first original Dangerverse-based fantasy novel, Homecoming, a Cinderella story with a twist... what would you choose? A life of luxury filled only with loneliness, or one of hard work where there nonetheless is love?)