Disclaimer: I am neither J.K Rowling nor the owner of Scholastic books. So no, I do not own any of these characters. Except Keith. Who isn't even in this chapter, so forget I even mentioned him.
Chapter One – In Which Harry Seemingly Dies
Harry Potter was not a person to be taken lightly. At a mere sixteen (almost seventeen, he would vehemently correct), he had already defeated the Dark Lord almost single-handedly, and had alone destroyed almost all of his faithful Death Eaters, including Lucius Malfoy. Draco, however was another story.
"Why should I trust you, Malfoy?" Harry asked, looking away from the teen before him and gazing intently at 12 Grimmauld Place's fireplace, as if willing it to do something interesting. As he received no response, he spoke. "It seems you can't think of a reason. Quite frankly, neither can I. And to put it bluntly, I don't like you or your father. Or your hair. Why should I believe your word?"
"Potter. I am not asking for your trust, I am merely informing you of my family's political status." Draco said, clenching his teeth in anger. "I don't like you either, but I assure you, the Malfoys do not work for the Dark Lord any longer."
"Why, Malfoy, why?" Harry asked exasperatedly, running a hand through his disheveled hair. He had dark bags under his eyes, and looking like he hadn't slept in days, which, considering all the activity from the other side, he probably hadn't.
"Question me under Veritaserum." Draco responded, narrowing his eyes.
"Takes a month to make, and I don't have that kind of time." Harry said, waving a hand in dismissal of the idea. "Either give me a reason why you left Voldemort or go away and let me get back to my work."
"My father was the only one in my family who follows the Dark Lord's rule. My mother and I have no need or desire to follow him." Harry made no move to show that he had heard. "Please. I am telling the truth. " The Slytherin said after a moments pause, still maintaining his dignified air.
And Harry believed him. He didn't, however, trust him.
And thus, the Malfoy line was passed down to Draco, a supporter of Dumbledore. Lucius, however, was dead. Killed by Ginny Weasley herself, at the age of fifteen.
Harry, saviour of the wizarding world, was also an expert at weeding gardens.
"Hurry up with that garden, boy!" Vernon shouted through the window at Harry, who was currently kneeling in dirt and pulling out what few weeds were left after his lengthy labour. Harry sighed, but reluctantly continued with his work. He didn't altogether hate the work, as it gave him something to do over the summer. At sixteen, he still couldn't do magic outside of school.
But after tomorrow, he could. He would turn seventeen the very next day, and would be on his way to The Burrow. The only reason he even returned to Privet Drive that summer was because Dumbledore asked him to, and Harry, as expected didn't go against the powerful wizard's wishes.
Harry wrenched the final weed from the ground with a grunt, pulling back and wiping his sweaty brow with the back of his hand, At least tomorrow he might not have to work so much, as it was his birthday.
"Boy!" Came the shrill voice of his aunt. "Come inside for dinner now." Petunia stood in the doorway, a bony hand placed on her equally gaunt hip. Harry rose from his crouching position and gratefully entered the cool kitchen, finally escaping the heat.
One of the things that Harry enjoyed about being in the muggle world was that he wasn't special. He wasn't "The Boy Who Lived," or "The Boy Who Defeated You-Know-Who." He was just Harry Potter, an odd teenager with a peculiar scar on his forehead. Just Harry.
"Thanks." Harry muttered when his aunt placed a bowl of thin soup in front of his usual place at the kitchen table, as far away from his uncle and cousin as he could manage. Dudley smirked from behind his thin, long blond hair, and gave him a vicious kick from under the table. Harry smiled tersely at the larger boy, and glanced warily at his uncle, whose face was still hidden behind the weekly newspaper.
"Petunia?" Vernon called to his wife, who scurried to the table and took her place next to him. "Have you read the newspaper yet?" Petunia shook her head and sent him a questioning glance, but began to primly eat her food. "Funny happenings. Funny happenings." He repeated to himself, before abruptly tucking the newspaper underneath his chair and beginning on asking Dudley about his summer so far.
After dinner, a rather stiff affair, as it was Harry's birthday the next day, and as usual he would probably just be working less than usual, Harry escaped up to 'his' room and immediately took a long shower. After doing so, he pulled on a pair of boxers and some old sweatpants.
"Hullo Hedwig." He said glumly, sprawling across the bed. Hedwig hooted in reply, gazing at him with large, unblinking eyes. Harry then slipped into unconsciousness, not even remembering to remove his glasses.
Petunia was silent as she moved about in the kitchen. She was cooking a rather difficult meal for a party that they were hosting the next day, and as her husband was at work, her son was at a friends house, and her nephew was still asleep, she was progressing rather quickly. As the clock turned to three in the afternoon, she began to feel slightly uneasy. She knew teenagers slept a lot, but just how long did the normal ones sleep? Surely not this long.
At four o'clock she decided that enough is enough and that even if it was his birthday he couldn't sleep the day away.
She slowly and lightly stepped up the stairs and meticulously knocked on the white door before her. No answer. A harder knock. Still no answer. An even louder rap at the door, to which the raven-haired boy gave no reply. Petunia frowned, and dropped her hand to the metal doorknob, and pulled open the door. Her beady eyes peered into the room, and what she saw didn't shock or amaze her too much.
Harry was still sleeping on the bed, spread out over the entire thing, a thin stream of drool hanging from the corner of his mouth, his cheek squashed into the sheet and his glasses on at an awkward angle.
"Harry!" she said crossly, briskly walking across the room and shaking the boy. However, when he didn't respond, she paused for a minute, a concerned expression crossing her face briefly. "Harry," she repeated, shaking him again. When he still didn't respond, her eyebrows creased in worry. She gently placed two trembling fingers to the inside of his wrist. No pulse. She resisted the urge to scream, but backed away quickly, her hands shaking and her mouth in a silent 'o' shape of horror. "What did he say? What did he say?" She muttered to herself, wringing her hands together frantically.
She ran downstairs and grabbed one of the expensive vases on top of the fireplace mantle. Sure enough, there was some dust in it –what had the old man called it? Flew Powder? Something like that-, which she was to throw in the fireplace? The shuddering figure did so, stepped into the roaring green flames without a second thought, and clearly enunciated "12 Grimmauld place." Before Petunia could even think about what she was going to say, she was there. At least, she presumed she was there. She had never been there, before.
"Is D-Dumbledore here?" She asked the redhead boy before her hurriedly, the panic evident in her voice.
"Yeah, he's having an important discussion though. Why? Hey, aren't you Harry's muggle--" the boy said, looking curiously at her while an identical person appeared beside him.
"--Family watching over him for the summer?" the other boy said, looking at Petunia with the exact same expression of curiosity on his face.
"Yes, yes. I must speak to Dumbledore!" Petunia screeched, her face contorting to an expression of pain, causing the Weasley twins to look very alarmed.
"Well, he's in a meeting, but—" One of them began, and for once it wasn't his twin that interrupted him to continue the sentence.
"Harry's dead!" Petunia shrieked, waving her hands about frantically. The twins paled, and there was a crash from behind a closed door. The door opened swiftly, and Dumbledore appeared behind it, looking very grave, and very concerned.
"We are leaving." He said shortly, stepping towards the fireplace that Petunia had arrived in and grabbing a handful of dust from a nearby flowerpot. He tossed it into the fire and gestured for the hysterical woman to join him. She stepped quickly in, needing to get to Harry as soon as possible. Dumbledore said in a brisk, clear voice, "Number Four Privet Drive."
The moment Dumbledore saw Harry, he apparated him downstairs and to the fireplace, and from there Flooed to the Order of the Phoenix headquarters, where everyone was currently in a state of confusion, and a city of panic.
"Is… is he…" Hermione asked in a small voice, unable to finish the sentence as she watched the twins place Harry's cold, unmoving body on the bed in a spare room. She gently placed a hand on his chest, and paled, moving back to stand beside Ron. Dumbledore didn't respond as he placed a hand on the boy's forehead.
"No." the headmaster replied solemnly, looking at the people who were clustering outside the door.
"Then what's wrong with him?" Hermione cried, leaning on Ron for support. "His heart isn't beating!" Ron slipped his arm around her shoulder, gently holding her.
"It is, Miss Granger." The old man replied calmly, adjusting his half moon glasses. "Just extraordinarily slowly. I believe that Harry will be fine, and that he should wake up sometime soon. Most likely within the next two or three weeks. Four at the longest."
"So… is he just sleeping?" Ron asked slowly, not at all understanding what was happening, along with almost everyone else in the room aside from Bill, who was in fact, sharing a look with the headmaster.
"No." The headmaster said. "He is undergoing a… transformation. To what I am not quite sure." Bill's eyes widened, comprehension dawning on him.
"Should we tell mum?" the twins asked in unison, beginning to leave the room.
"Yes, that would be for the best. And please inform Sirius that his godchild is in his house as well." Dumbledore agreed. "Now, if you'll excuse me, Mr Weasley, Miss Granger." He nodded at them, and then gestured for Bill to follow him into the next room, talking softly and hurriedly.
"What do you think is happening to him?" Hermione asked softly, creeping towards the bed and tucking in the unconscious boy. She gently stroked his forehead, finding it almost ice cold.
"I have no bloody idea." Ron replied bluntly, joining Hermione at Harry's beside. "But it looked as though Bill knew." Hermione looked at him sharply.
"So it wasn't just me that saw that look on his face?" She demanded, her eyebrows furrowing in thought.
"No. But I don't know, I mean, Dumbledore said Harry should be up pretty soon, but what did he mean by 'transformation?'" Ron said thoughtfully.
"I don't know, but I'm guessing it isn't puberty." Hermione said dully in response, causing Ron to emit a chuckle.
"It'd be a bit late too, don't you think?" Hermione joined Ron in giggling, and then followed him, turning around to leave the room. "We should probably talk to mum, she'll be distraught."
"Why, Ronald. I didn't know you knew what that meant." Hermione teased, causing Ron to laugh hollowly. But then his strained smile disappeared, as did Hermione's as they lightly shut the door, giving their friend one last look.
"Don't worry Hermione. Harry'll be alright." He squeezed her shoulder one last time, and shuffled into the kitchen only to find his brothers Fred and George, Sirius, Remus and his mum, who was indeed beside herself with worry.
"Mum. Muuuuum." George began, trying to interrupt her wailings, and failing horribly. Finally, he looked and Fred, and together they shouted, "Mum!" The wailing ceased. Finally.
"Yes dear?" Molly asked absently, bringing a shaking hand up to her hair as she patted it to make sure it wasn't mussed.
"Professor Dumbledore said that Harry should wake up tomorrow or the next day. He's okay." Fred said, rolling his eyes.
"Oh, that's wonderful!" She squealed, hugged him and George in turn, and then turning to Ron and Hermione. "Did you hear the good news?"
"Yes…" Hermione began. "But how does he know? What's to stop him from thinking that Harry could be dead in the next ten minutes? I couldn't feel a heartbeat either. What does it all mean?" Hermione asked, choking back a sob.
"Hermione, its Albus Dumbledore. If he says Harry should be all right soon, then who are we to argue?" Molly replied, forcing a smile on her face.
"Well." Said a voice from behind her. Bill entered the room, a grim expression on his face. "He said that Harry would wake up. He didn't say that he'd be okay."
"Billy, what's going on?" Ron asked sharply, eyeing his older brother carefully. "You obviously know something that we don't."
"Nothing, Ron. I merely had a suggestion." Bill replied calmly, walking over to his mum and hugging her gently. "Hey, Gred, Forge, why don't you show them your new inventions?" He asked brightly. The twins looked at each other and simultaneously shrugged.
"Okay. We have this new one-" Fred.
"It's really cracking." George.
"Literally!" Both. They left the kitchen, leading the way to the room they were currently sharing, Ron and Hermione trailing reluctantly behind them, Ron casting Bill dark looks, but was soon lost in the "cracking" invention.
Bill sighed in relief as soon as they were out of earshot, and asked the three remaining adults in the room a question that they most certainly did not expect.
"Sirius, Mum, Remus. Have any of you ever met a vampire?" Bill asked evenly, one hand running through his long hair. These six words caused five expressions of shock, disbelief, and terror to run across five faces simultaneously.
"No." Molly choked out, his eyes wide with fear as Remus said nothing, but shook his head.
"No. And I can't say I have a desire to either. Supposed to be awful creatures." Sirius replied, wrinkling his nose in distaste.
"Well, you might very well meet one soon." Bill said shortly, turning around and stalking back upstairs. Sirius gaped at his retreating back disbelievingly. Remus handed Molly a cup of tea, and nervously sipped from a cup of his own.
"Remus… What…?" Molly trailed off, baffled and anxious. Remus just shook his head and patted Molly on the shoulder comfortingly before trotting up the stairs after Bill.
A few minutes later he found Bill and together they made their way through the Black library, searching for a few select books.
Dumbledore sighed as he paced around the room. It had been twenty-six hours since Harry was brought to 12 Grimmauld place, and he had yet to move the slightest bit. His chest wasn't even rising. The only positive thing that could be said about his predicament was that he wasn't dead. Yet. His heart was beating painfully slowly. It was as if it was hit by a freezing charm, and was only just thawing.
Dumbledore sighed once more, and sat down in a chair that had been moved to Harry's new room. The only reason that the headmaster of Hogwarts believed that Harry would awake that day or the next was that he did have a slight idea of what could possibly be occurring, and the fact that Bill, a well informed curse breaker, seemed to agree with him on the possibility, made it more probable. Also, the changes taking place to Harry's body only made the likelihood of it more feasible.
Now they just had to wait.
The end of Chapter One.
This is my first fanfic, and I know it starts out extraordinarily slow, but it does pick up pace, I promise. Please review and tell me what to change and work on and if there is anything you like. :
If there is any of the wording that is a little off, I'm realllly sorry. English isn't my first language, so please forgive me.