This gets better after Harry leaves to find the Horcruxes. In the future it gets a little morbid, so bear with me. I'm also going to do something that I absolutely HATE doing…I'm going to post this story in pieces. I will try to post a few ever day after the chapters that I have already finished…up to ten now. Please bear with me and keep reading. Don't leave!
CH 1 Back to Grimmauld
Harry watched as the figure of Hedwig came soaring swiftly through the brightness of the stars. Sighing, he glanced at the clock and felt his insides squirm. It was almost eleven thirty. Soon he would be seventeen, and the protection that he had would be gone. Harry let his imagination wander and had visions of Death Eaters swarming the house the moment the number turned to twelve.
Hedwig screeched and flew into the room with two rolls of parchments tied to her legs. She plopped onto his bed, nipped his finger, then waited patiently as he released her burden.
"Thank you, girl. Sorry, but I don't have anything for you." Harry smiled weakly at her, but that was all he could do. It seemed like after the death of Dumbledore, he never felt happy anymore. What made him more upset was when he glanced down at the post he received.
Why wouldn't you let us stay over at the Muggles with you? I take that personally! Mum has been upset all summer about you, not writing and all. She doesn't think that you should be over there all by yourself after Dumbledore's death. But listen, about this year, please reconsider us. We NEED to be there for you. I know that you don't want us killed or anything, but we have always done these things together. You said so yourself that you wouldn't have gotten the necklace if just Dumbledore had gone. Come over soon, everyone is anxious to see you again.
Ron P.S. Ginny wants to talk to you
Harry inhaled deeply. Why wouldn't they just leave him alone? And Ginny, he couldn't bear to think about her. What he had to do now was his business. They didn't see Dumbledore die and fall over the wall of the Astronomy tower. They didn't have a prophecy hanging over their head. Someone else could murder Voldemort, Harry knew that, but he would be the one to do it first. Another letter was under Ron's. Glancing at the handwriting, Harry's curiosity peaked. It was Lupin.
I'm coming for you early on the 31st of July. Your protection will no longer exist there. I will be taking you to the headquarters where everyone is waiting for you. We also have to discuss some issues immediately. Be ready.
Perfect, he thought. Just perfect. Today was the 31st.
Harry's eyes opened at the sound of his aunt's scream from downstairs, followed abruptly by Uncle Vernon's roar of fury. "GET OUT OF MY HOUSE! HOW DARE YOU PEOPLE BARGE INTO MY HOUSE WITHOUT MY PERMISSION?"
Harry flung himself off the bed and began throwing his belongings wildly into his trunk. Even from upstairs he heard his uncle's booming feet head in his direction.
"FOR THE LAST TIME, GET OUT!"
"I am here to take Harry away. He will not be coming back."
There was a brief silence until Vernon's voice returned to normal. "Not coming back you say? Well, by all means."
Harry was standing near his trunk when Lupin opened the door. He looked incredibly peeved. "How have you been?"
He shrugged. Harry knew that the man was feeling the same as he did. Neither of them had much strength inside them or any emotion to speak with. Harry wondered if like himself, Lupin felt as if his life had ended after Dumbledore was murdered.
"Hold onto your trunk. We're appearating to London. You've been given permission by the Ministry to do it without a license."
"Why," he asked bitterly. "Are they trying to let me do whatever I want to get me on their side? I almost want to refuse."
"Harry, please. We need to go."
His uncle came striding into the room sneering, "About time. Now you will not step another foot inside this house again, do you hear me, boy? We will not be caught in the middle of this."
Remus opened his mouth angrily to retort to his comment, but Harry cut him off. "I have no desire to. If something does happen, I won't be there to help you either, which suits me fine. Lupin, I'm ready to go now."
"Get your trunk then." Harry concentrated on his destination carefully, conjuring the image of the row of houses where Grimmauld Place resided. After hearing Lupin disappear beside him, he smiled at his uncle's gasp of fear and followed his lead.
With a pop, Harry landed on his feet next to the man, who hastily walked to the door of the headquarters. "Come, don't waste any time."
"Is everybody here?"
"Yes. Hermione arrived the day before last. They are all anxious to see you again."
"I'm sure they are," he muttered under his breath.
Lupin took his trunk and told Harry to head to the kitchen, where Harry knew his friends were waiting. He was extremely close to just blowing the whole thing off and run off to a place where he could be alone. He had things to take care of.
"Harry dear!" exclaimed Mrs. Weasley. "I'm so glad to see you! How have you been?"
He noticed the penetrating gleam in her eye, scanning for a trace of a lie. Knowing that he couldn't fool her he decided to be honest. "I don't really know, I guess."
"Well, you're here with us. That's all that matters now."
No it isn't, he wanted to say. Voldemort was somewhere out there and he was relaxing here doing nothing and suffering from annoying questions by Ron and Hermione.
"Go upstairs, dear. Ron and Hermione are there."
He nodded, seeing no point in disagreeing. He couldn't run away now.
The moment Harry opened the door, he felt an odd sensation of happiness. His friends were there, in the flesh, still by his side. Still alive. It was a good feeling.
"Harry!" Hermione squealed. "Oh, it's so good to see you! We've been so bored without you."
Ron gave him a pat on the back. "About time! Did the Muggles give you hell?"
"No. Seemed pretty glad to see me leave though. I think they're celebrating right now."
Hermione laughed. "And now you will to. No more Dursleys!"
The smile on Ron's face darkened, and Harry knew what was coming. "So you aren't going to Hogwarts?"
Harry walked over to the chair by the window and stared out with angry eyes. The silence was deafening. "No."
"But, Harry," Hermione sighed. "How are you going to learn new spells to fight? You need it more than anyone else. We have to go back anyway, why not you too?"
"Look, I'll have to go there every now and then, but I can't stay. The Room of Requirement is there, the Chamber of Secrets, and Dumbledore's portrait. I'll have to use all of them at one point in time."
Hermione and Ron glanced tentatively at each other. Harry could feel their eyes burning at his back.
"You can't go alone, Harry. My whole family is in the Order, so I have a reason to go with you. Hermione has been with us since first year. How would you have been able to do half of the stuff you've done without her?"
"You aren't going." Harry's voice was dangerously bitter. They were getting close to step over that invisible line he crossed with Dumbledore.
Hermione's words did it. "Harry, you aren't thinking properly. You never do when you act rashly like this. What makes you think you'd have a chance without anyone assisting?"
Harry rose to his feet and shoved the chair to the ground. "Just shut it! Dumbledore died. He left me like Sirius and my parents did. He died like Cedric, in murder! The one person that could help me and give me advice is gone. I will not let the same thing happen to any of you. I'm sick of feeling this pain, all right? Don't let me feel it again when it happens to you, because I won't feel sad. I'll be angry for you letting me feel it again. I would hate you forever."
No one spoke. Both of Ron and Hermione's mouths were open in shock. Harry couldn't bear looking at them. They never understood anything. Never. Harry collapsed onto the bed and glanced miserably out the window.
"You really are selfish, Harry," mumbled Hermione. "Completely selfish."
"Leave me alone."
He was slightly surprised to hear Ron comply. "Gladly. Come on, Hermione, let's go to the kitchen so Harry can brood."
They shut the door and Harry flung the pillow against it in rage. He was happy about it though. As long as they hated his guts, they would stay away. But what was he going to do? He knew that Nagini was possible to be a horcrux. The sword of Gryffindor, he knew, was out. It was kept secure away from Voldemort, from what Dumbledore seemed to tell him. Frustrated, Harry shoved his face into the blankets and hoped to suffocate.
Meanwhile, Ron and Hermione had entered the kitchen in bad spirits, which made Lupin and Mrs. Weasley ask them the matter.
"Harry," Ron muttered. "He's being stupid again."
"He's not being stupid, Ron," Hermione cut in. "He just doesn't know how to act."
Mrs. Weasley put her foot down on the issue. "What are you talking about?"
Hermione glanced at Ginny, who she just noticed for the first time and glanced down nervously at the floor. Getting some courage, she stared directly at Lupin.
"Do you know what Harry is planning to do since he isn't going to Hogwarts?"
Lupin appeared very alarmed. "He's not going back? What does he think he's doing?"
"Going after You-Know-Who." Ron stated flatly.
"WHAT!" Ginny, Mrs. Weasley and Lupin screamed at once.
"No, no!" Hermione shouted over the noise. She glared fiercely at Ron. "He's not going to do that directly. Dumbledore told him that he had to do something. We can't tell you what it is exactly, Harry said Dumbledore didn't want anybody to know."
"We want to help him, but he said no and made a big issue about it," Ron said with irritation. "Who the bloody hell does he think he is to tell us that?"
Ginny appeared frightened. "He's leaving us all? What will happen to him?"
Mrs. Weasley stood up quickly in protest. "He is NOT going anywhere if I have a say in it, I don't care what Dumbledore said."
Remus put his hands on his chin and gazed blankly at the table in deep thought. He was astounded that Harry had the nerve to plan all this in secret. What he didn't understand was what he was planning to do exactly, and how.
"I will have a talk with him." He rose from the table and crossed the room before anyone could object.
Harry was counting the seconds his face was shoved into the bed when someone burst into the room. Alarmed, he broke for air at sixteen.
"What are you playing at, Harry? Where do you think you are going to run off without any of the Order following?"
" I can't tell you, Remus. Dumbledore didn't want anyone else to—"
"I don't care, Harry. Dumbledore is dead now. In case you did not realize, I am responsible for you now."
Harry grew irritated. "Says who?"
"Don't get smart. What are you going to do for him?"
Harry wanted to get angry, he really did. But the truth was burying deep inside his heart that it felt like an anchor. What was he going to have to do? He didn't even know where to start.
Lupin was troubled by his silence. "Harry, you must tell me. Please, perhaps I can help you."
To Harry's fear, a hard lump tightened his throat and tears swelled in his eyes. What was wrong with him? "You can't do anything, sir. I can't even help myself."
Remus sighed and sat on the bed next to him. Harry didn't flinch when he placed his arm around his shoulder. "Whatever the struggle is, it cannot be done alone. You know this. What do you fear in letting others know?"
" I truly cannot tell anyone, but I don't want people to come because it's likely they will die and I will have to live to see it."
"You live in a time of war, Harry. There will always be many casualties. You, Harry, just fear to lose those who have given love to you when no one else would. I understand. I lost Lily, James, Sirius and Dumbledore, who all stood up for me and accepted me for who I was. I don't want to see you end up the same as they. Very few remain for me, but you have many. Don't try to get rid of them by ignoring the help given to you."
There was a silence that made Harry settle into a decision. It seemed an easy one to make, and once he chose it, he knew it was right. "I want you to go with me," he whispered. "Only you. The others Aurors can work around us while we go straight into the task."
"Will you tell me what it is?"
"Yes. It is pointless to hide it any longer."
Ginny sat tapping a spoon on the table as dinner was served, thinking about Lupin and Harry talking upstairs. What was taking so long? She also felt as if she was being left out of something important. Ron and Hermione knew what was going on, and probably Lupin by now. Harry was her boyfriend…….well, ex-boyfriend (not if she could help it), so she should be filled in on what was happening too!
"Ginny, dear," her mother called to her. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing," she mumbled in her soup.
"You know, it's useless to even try to talk to him," Ron said. "He's the one who broke up with you, I wouldn't try it again."
Hermione whacked him on the head and told him to shut up. Ginny, however, was seething. "Would you stop being so stupid! Harry is just under a lot of strain."
Ron laughed, mocking her. "Just wait until you learn what he's up to. Then you'll know what I'm talking about."
"Ronald Weasley!" his mother shouted. "I don't want to hear your voice again."
It wasn't until everyone was finished with their meals that both Harry and Remus Lupin entered the kitchen in silence. It seemed as if Harry was both relieved and upset, and Remus was blown away by something he was told. Neither of them glanced at anybody as they settled into the bowls set before them. It made Ginny nervous.
"What happened?" Molly asked worriedly.
Harry looked Lupin in the eyes, who nodded slightly in response. With a deep intake of breath, Harry decided to break the news. He went into detail about what Dumbledore had said about Horcruxes and how they were linked to Voldemort. He explained the purpose of them and why it was important to get rid of their existence.
"That's what he wanted me to continue. I have to get the rest of them and then get close to Voldemort to destroy him. The last one is in him, then he will be mortal again."
Mrs. Weasley had tears rolling down her face and clutched onto Ginny, who felt her eyes stabbing into Harry.
"Lupin and I will go sometime soon. Just so that you all are warned."
"Ron and Hermione." Remus said quietly. "Harry will not be alone. The Order and I will be with him. I must ask you to respect Harry's wish for you to remain here."
"But we were always there with him for everything! Everything at school we did together!" Ron shouted, completely shocked that Lupin would object. Harry glanced away painfully.
"Enough," Lupin ordered. "We can discuss this later. Right now I'm afraid Harry and I have to eat our dinner."
"You heard the man," Molly said. "Enough."