This is a story created bytwo best friends. We are Jewel and Taela. Jewel's the one that created this lovely plot line and the one who creates the chapter outlines. I, Taela, am here to write it up all nice and pretty and in a form that is actually understandable. Oh, and as a forewarning, the first chapter or so may not be all that grand, or resemble that much of the rest of the story, but it's just a stepping-stone to get us to where we need to be. So please be a little patient. Believe us when we say that it gets much better later on. You know, when we finally get to the Tonks and Remus part.
Disclaimer: Amazingly enough, we aren't J.K Rowling. These characters sadly do not belong to us, and really, why would you even think that? Oh, and please don't take the few things that do belong to us. We worked hard to create them.
Ch. 1 – A Temporary Return
The familiar noises of the Hogwarts Express carried on around the quiet compartment that held Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny. Nothing much had been said since they boarded the train early that afternoon, and even then, the only expression made was Hermione's exclamation that Ron had stepped on her foot, again. They had all been deep in their own thoughts about the recent events, taking it in turns to glance at each other or stare at the floor, the ceiling, the door, or out of the window. It was an uncomfortable silence that nobody really wanted to break.
When the food cart came around, with Ron's mind on his stomach, he finally mumbled something about food.
"If you're that hungry, Ronald," said an exasperated Hermione, "then get something to eat."
Her statement was short and simple, but it was enough to break the silence.
"Get me something, too," Ginny blurted from behind her magazine.
"Then give me some money."
"You have your own money.".
"Exactly, it's my money. I'm not buying you anything with it."
"Can't you just be a nice, big brother for a change and get me something to eat when I'm hungry?"
"No, that's Bill's job. Or maybe Charlie's. Mine is to be the annoying big brother."
"I thought that was Fred and George's job."
They continued arguing. Harry finally got out his own money and proceeded to buy enough food for everyone. He then tossed some of the food imbetween the arguing siblings who remained oblivious to the sudden appearance of the sweets.
"You didn't have to do that, Harry," Hermione said.
"Yeah, I did. I'm getting tired of hearing them argue."
He then decided to poke Ron in the side, carelessly with his wand, getting the response:
"Ow! What was that for?"
Harry's reply came in the form of him silently pointing his wand to the large pile of food.
"Oh…um…I couldn't—" Ron protested.
"You can and you will. Now please stop arguing."
Ron immediately began to rummage through the pile of food, followed shortly by Ginny who showed her gratitude with a small, grateful smile directed towards Harry.
After the brief amount of words exchanged, the group returned to their solitude. Eventually, Ginny became annoyed with the bad atmosphere in the compartment, and abruptly stood up, announcing that she was going to go find her other friends. Her brief departure went practically unnoticed.
Lost in his thoughts once more, Harry continued to replay the recent events over and over again in his mind. The thought that this was his last ride on the Hogwarts Express kept popping up into his head. He would never again be returning to his true home. Without Dumbledore, Hogwarts was…well, just not Hogwarts. It would never be home again. Harry would have to find a new place to call home.
He glanced over at the bench opposite him to find Hermione asleep with her head resting lightly on Ron's shoulder. Oblivious to Harry's watching eyes, Ron gently put his arm around her and began to smile to himself. This only averted Harry's thoughts back to Ginny, a topic that he absolutely refused to let himself think of.
Before they knew it, the train was coming to a stop, and Hermione awoke suddenly. The trio gathered their stuff as they were told to leave the train. Harry was one of the last to leave the Hogwarts Express, turning around to have one last, fond glance at it before turning his back to it and proceeding to say farewell to his best friends. He then scanned the crowds for the Dursleys. There was no sign of them. Well, one thing had gone right today…depending on how you looked at it.
"Hello, Harry," said a solemn voice from behind him.
Harry spun around to see Remus Lupin standing there, hand-in-hand with Tonks. Suddenly, Lupin bent his head down to say something inaudibly to her. Tonks nodded and cheerfully raised a hand in farewell, then Apparated off of the platform to who-knows-where.
"I'm here to take you home," Lupin explained to Harry. "Or at least, I'm to escort you back to the Dursleys. We have a ministry car waiting outside. They seem to have taken a keen interest in your well-being lately."
"Yes, they would have, wouldn't they?" Harry mumbled bitterly.
"Well, at least it's a legal way to get you to where you need to go," Lupin said, leading Harry out to the car.
The voyage was brief. Nothing much was said between Harry and Lupin except for polite conversation that completely avoided the recent goings-on in the wizarding world. Neither was quite ready to bring anything up so soon after the funeral that had occurred that morning.
Lupin helped Harry to get his things out of the car, and as they were walking up the walkway to Privet Drive, the ministry car drove out of sight. Harry looked questioningly to Lupin, getting the reply of:
"I have the ability to Apparate. I'm in no need of the ministry's assistance, and they're in no need of mine."
Together, they walked up sidewalk to the front door. Harry rang the doorbell and waited awkwardly for the door to open, glad to have his friend and mentor at his side. Suddenly, two beady eyes could be seen peering from behind a curtain in the front windows, followed shortly by the explosion of Uncle Vernon whipping the door open. He grabbed the front of Harry's shirt and viciously yanked him inside, while Lupin quickly followed him in, his calm complacency temporarily shattered.
Lupin addressed Uncle Vernon fiercely, while still containing a slight amount of his usual calm demeanor. "You will take your hands off of your nephew right now before you have half of the magical world attacking you in return."
Uncle Vernon quickly let go of Harry and proceeded to glare at this new intruder into his home while his face grew redder and redder from rage.
"You can't tell me what to do in my own home!" roared the angry Vernon, apparently oblivious to the fact that he had just obeyed the order.
"It looks like I just did. And you'd better listen to me, because I have some important things to say. Harry will be staying here for the remainder of this summer until his seventeenth birthday, at which time he will be of legal age in the wizarding world."
At the mention of 'wizarding,' Uncle Vernon very visibly flinched, growing angrier by the second. Harry just contented himself to watch the scene unfold, reminding himself never to get on the bad side of Lupin.
"He is also to remain well-treated."
"Let me tell you—," however, he was abruptly cut off by Lupin's raised hand and cold stare.
"Now, Harry, shall we take your stuff to your room?"
Once they had gotten into Harry's room, Lupin said, "I hope you were paying attention to what I said down there."
Harry quickly nodded.
"Good. Now, as I said, until your birthday, you are to stay here. Do you hear me? No leaving. And we'll be watching you. Have no doubt of that. It may be myself or someone else that I trust deeply, but we will be checking in with you periodically to make sure that you're behaving and, of course, still here. Do you understand me, Harry?"
"Alright. Now, be good, stay here, and please, Harry, watch your back."