Authors Note: This is kind of a prequel to my one shot 'Clueless', I say kind of because the period covered will be over a year I cannot see me getting from here to there without them even kissing. That story, which you do not have to read to understand this one, does sort of hint that Harry's first kiss is after Hermione's nude flying trip.
It is my belief that just because JKR doesn't tell us that Harry gets or is given something it doesn't preclude him from having it, if it was not relevant to the plot the lovely lady simply didn't have space in her book to tell us about it.
Return of the Valkyrie.Chapter 01 It's Your Own Fault.
Thursday 19th June 1997
"I wonder what the Headmistress wants us for?" Hermione asked as she and Harry made their way to what was now Professor McGonagall's new office it was the last evening of the school year, the next morning they were all being sent home, weeks early, after their disastrous sixth year.
"It is just as well that I cannot answer that question. If I knew the answer to that I would be teaching Divination and then you wouldn't love me any more." Harry replied with a smirk.
"Don't push your luck Potter. Anyway what did the Minister of Magic, none less, want whispering with you?"
"Well it didn't really seem like it was 'what can the Ministry do for you,' it was more a case of 'what can I con you into doing to help strengthen and advance my position in the Ministry'. The lot of them make me sick, they should ban everyone who was in Slytherin from joining the Ministry, unless they want to sweep the floors and I am not sure that I would trust them to do that without them fiddling the concession for supplying the brooms."
"Not a big fan of Mr Scrimgeour the new Minister of Magic then? 'Ptolemy'." As she gave the password the gargoyle moved out of their way so they stood on the spiral stairs and were carried up to the Headmistresses office door.
"You could say that." He mumbled on their way up.
"Come in." the new Headmistress called before they had chance to knock.
"Good evening Headmistress, you wanted to see us?" Harry asked.
"Yes I do, please sit down." As they sat Minerva continued, "These are for you Harry, they are a provisional use of magic licence and an Apparation Licence from the MLE offices, Kingsley organised them for you, keep them safe, pass me your wand for a minute."
Very uneasily he passed the Headmistress his wand and she cast two spells on it and it glowed each time and then she passed it back to him.
"I have just removed the underage charm and the Ministry tracking charm from your wand, I checked Miss Grangers shortly after her seventeenth birthday, perhaps I should check the tracking charm again." Hermione's wand proved neutral as Harry thanked her and she continued, "Luckily Snape wasn't our only spy and he didn't know about our others; we have received information that the Death Eaters are going to begin to attack student families and unsurprisingly your names are at the top of the list.
"These rings are reusable voice actuated Portkey's, if you are wearing one and say your first name followed by the others middle name it will take you and whoever is touching you, to Headquarters, keep them on your finger all of the time. Oh; and Harry, don't wait around, if there is a problem get out immediately.
"Also make sure that your owl is free to fly and keep everything that you value together so you can, if possible, grab it and go. Miss Granger, have your parents make what I believe the Muggles call a grab bag for essentials, it might be an idea to keep it in your school trunk and remember Mad Eye's motto, Constant Vigilance. By the way we have had to revise the wards on the Headquarters building, they are currently set for Remus Lupin, however because it is your house they will be keyed to you soon after you go there.
"As usual read this." She handed them a piece of paper that had 'Remus Lupin lives at 12 Grimmauld Place' written on it and when they read it they remembered where Headquarters was located.
"Now I have some good news, this morning this new portrait appeared, of course it is of the Headmaster but it won't be awake and functioning for ten to twenty days and we will not know how much he remembers until then. Generally speaking the longer it takes for an incumbent to awaken the more it will recall so let us hope that he doesn't wake up too soon.
"Remember both of you," she said fixing Harry with what could only be called 'a look' which made Hermione smile, "that your main objective at this time is to keep yourselves alive, neither of you are of any use to each other or your friends if you get yourselves killed. You will be Head Boy and Head Girl next year, if you manage to get back here in one piece, so take care of yourselves and each other."
The pair had said goodbye to the Headmistress and were making their way back towards the Gryffindor common room, Hermione started talking quietly and she said, "Whatever you do, if Death Eaters come to your house get away. From what you say if you try to get the Dursleys to come with you it will only cause an argument with your uncle and they are not worth dying for."
In a very serious manner he replied, "It is absolutely pointless me saying something similar to you because you will not listen to a word I say, but to me you are worth more than anyone else, so whatever you do please keep yourself alive for me."
What ever it was that Hermione had been going to say was lost to the world for all time that simple statement offered by Harry in complete sincerity, as though it was the most obvious thing in the world had completely thrown her. He was not the kind of boy who would mess with a girl's emotions, she didn't believe that he would even know how to, so what he had said had to be accepted at face value.
Quite simply she was the most important person in his world, the problem was, that consciously, he was totally oblivious to that fact. Consciousness would be a fine thing…how?
Ninety percent of the witches in Hogwarts would like him to say something like that to them but probably Ginny was the only other witch anywhere near fully understanding what went along with the messy hair, green eyes, the smile and the scar.
The fat ladies portrait was opening in front of her and she had no recollection as to how she had arrived here.
For the first time Harry would be able to use magic outside of school so he asked Hermione to help him repack his trunk magically, he would be able to reverse the charms at home.
Whilst they were packing Harry was talking quietly with Hermione and he was asking her about her parents, apparently they were well aware of the trouble in the Wizard world but she knew that they would be very reticent about leaving their home. Her parents were very much of the opinion that the wizard world's problems belonged to wizards and they did not concern a pair of dentists in the middle of Kent.
Harry promised her that he would to talk to them at the station the next day.
Friday 20th June 1997
It was a sombre train ride to Kings Cross the following morning, all in all a very subdued trip, in addition to the students there were about twenty Aurors on the train and a lot of the students were viewing the upcoming holiday with trepidation. That morning's Daily Prophet hadn't been very reassuring; it had detailed two Death Eater attacks the previous evening, apparently according to the paper, they had been just for sport, Harry thought that they were more probably for training.
Surprisingly the only two who seemed oblivious to the current situation were Ron and Luna; they simply sat in the corner of the compartment kissing the whole way. Harry had to ask Hermione when the pair had got together and she told him to ask Ginny or Lavender because she didn't have a clue. So the pair went back to the book they were both reading which was called 'Charms and Wards, a Wizards Guide to Defending Property'.
When the train had eventually dragged itself from Scotland to London and ultimately parked itself at Kings Cross station allowing it's despondent cargo to disembark at platform nine and three-quarters. People were saying good-bye to each other and not many plans were being made beyond promises to write or keep in touch by other means.
Mrs Weasley seemed worried and she left hurriedly so Harry spoke with Hermione's parents adding force to her plea, for them to look after themselves and then after the pair hugging and kissing each other's cheeks, several times, it was time for him to face his relatives.
"Dudley is still in school for the next ten days and your uncle Vernon is in work so I had to come and collect you on my own. Where are the rest of your things?" Harry was only carrying Hedwig in her cage so he took his shrunken trunk out of his pocket and showed it to his aunt who hadn't sounded quite as spiteful as usual. She continued, "We will have to get two trains and a bus to get home."
Now she sounded like this was very much beneath her dignity but Harry said, "We will get a taxi."
Petunia looked horrified, "But that will cost about forty five pounds and Vernon will kill me if I spend that on you."
"Never fear I will pay." Harry said, he looked like a reject from an Oxfam shop but he stalked over to the first cab in the taxi rank.
"We need to go to Little Whinging please." He asked the driver.
"That'll cost yuh about forty five quid guv, yu got the dosh?" the driver asked.
Harry took out the money bag that Remus had had Gringotts send him after Sirius's 'Will' had been read earlier in the year and he pulled out half a dozen fifty pound notes to show the driver. He quite happily set off after they had climbed into the back of his cab believing he had picked up an eccentric millionaire because Harry really did look like a street urchin.
The taxi had been travelling for about five minutes when in her poshest icy tone Harry's aunt said to the driver, "This is a very pleasant tour you are taking us on driver, but I would like to reach my home this evening and you quoted my nephew forty five pounds and that is what he will pay you."
"Sorry Missus." The driver replied sullenly.
Harry spent the next hour quietly explaining to his aunt what had been going on in the Wizard World and telling her about the precautions in place for his and if they wanted it their safety. His aunt told him that Vernon would never leave with him but if she were to be nearby, in an emergency she would come with him and she couldn't speak for Dudley until he came home from school.
Harry asked how long Dudley had left in school and was told ten days, so then he said, "I don't think that it will take more than two or three, events will probably decide for him."
The taxi was just pulling away from the house in Privet Drive as Uncle Vernon arrived home and before he could begin to rant Petunia made him come into the house supposedly to prevent him showing them up in front of their neighbours.
As Harry closed the front door behind himself his uncle started to bellow so Harry simply stunned him and said to his aunt in answer to her unspoken query, "I have special permission to use magic whenever I want to so I will just take Hedwig up to my room and come straight back down."
When he returned he thought that his aunt looked slightly amused but she had made a cup of tea, he didn't take much notice of her as he levitated Vernon to a chair in the lounge and sat him in it. He recast his spells to lock his uncle's hips and knees releasing the rest of his body however he immediately had to cast a silencing spell to shut his bellowing uncle up.
"There are a whole lot of things that I need to explain to you, but if you are not going to listen then I will keep you this way." He had said this whilst his uncle was silenced but when he tried removing the charm Vernon started shouting so he reapplied it and carried on.
"You really are your own worst enemy, for years you have been regaling all and sundry including me with a fairy tale of my parents being unemployed drunken layabouts that were killed in a car crash. Didn't you know that my father was a billionaire and now since I inherited all of the family money I am one, so it was me who paid for the taxi I did not spend any of your money.
Amongst other things I own seventy percent of PG International check out what the 'P' stands for before the Grunning in your employers parent company. I found out four months ago and I am still getting used to the idea that I employ you. We could all have had a wonderful time for years but being a self-righteous, bombastic, ignoramus is your stock in trade around me and so we were all made to suffer and I do mean all.
"I am well aware that you are very good at your job in the drill factory and I happen to want to keep my mother's sister alive so I am offering you a new job as Head of Operations in our new offices in Bolivia. You might have seen an announcement for it in the Grunnings company magazine there is only a little bit about the job in there so let me give you this to read."
Harry took his shrunken trunk out of his pocket and placed it in the middle of the floor and having expanded it he removed a folder from it and passed it to Petunia, then he reversed the process with his trunk and put it back in his pocket.
As he did it Harry said, "I am going to remove the silencing spell from you now but if you start bellowing again I will charm you so that you can only whisper." Vernon did not immediately start bellowing so Harry continued, "If you take my job offer which will triple your salary this house will be looked after whilst you are away.
"Your company car will be a Range Rover and you will have a handyman, a driver as well as a cook and a housekeeper. In here are pictures of the six-bedroom villa that the company will provide with all services provided and rent paid by the company who will also supply all of the food, you pay for your own alcohol and private telephone calls.
"Dudley's schooling will be paid for however serious application of his diet will be enforced, if he doesn't loose weight soon he will have a heart attack and die; his fare to and from La Paz will be paid three times a year.
"You are going to be the company figurehead in Bolivia, there are already people in place to run the company, if you do your job there as well as you do in Grunnings then you'll do fine. Nobody is to know that you even know me or your life will likely be forfeit, Voldemort's price on my head is international. Screw up and you will be brought back here without your job in Grunnings do a good job and you can stay there as long as you want to, living a good life.
"I explained what has been going on in my world to aunt Petunia, please treat what I have told her very seriously, it is not a case of if this house will get attacked but more a case of when and I believe that it will be sooner rather than later. It was one of Voldemort's right hand men who recently killed my Headmaster and I am fairly certain that he knows where I live, so even if I am not here they will still come. If this building gets destroyed then I can easily have it rebuilt, however there is no known way, magical or otherwise, to bring someone back to life, if I call you have three seconds to touch me and then I will be gone."
His aunt asked quietly, "Would you like me to make some dinner Harry?"
"Thank you aunt that sounds like a good idea, I need to go up to my room and sort some things out." Harry stood and went upstairs to his room; he had previously removed the immobilisation spells from his uncle's hips and knees.
As he was in his room Harry came to the conclusion that something inside him had changed and he was, as much as possible, going to take control of his life. He had a job to do and he wasn't going to get it done if he allowed people to push him from pillar to post, it was likely that along the way a few people were in for a bit of a surprise, if so, so be it.
Saturday 21st June 1997
For obvious reasons the next day was extremely fraught, his uncle had decided to take the job in Bolivia before they had even finished dinner the previous evening. This resulted in Harry spending an hour the previous evening and almost the whole of the day on the telephone. He wanted to get his aunt out of harms way as quickly as feasible and ensure that every thing would go as smoothly as possible. He also spent twenty minutes chatting to Hermione about nothing in particular, which she seemed to like. He had already told his uncle that the Goblins would take care of all the household bills whilst he was away; the word goblins had produced a wonderful expression on his uncle's face, he wished that he had a camera.
He would never have believed that things could be organised so quickly but miraculously his aunt and uncle were to leave the house at six thirty the next morning and also amazingly Harry had not argued with them once. His aunt and uncle had argued, Petunia wanted to take all of Dudley's baby photographs and there were hundreds of the stupid things and a lot of them were nearly the same as each other. Harry solved the problem by shrinking the whole heap of pictures to the size of a pack of playing cards; whoever helped them to unpack would have to resize them, poor thing.
Harry gave his aunt a P.O. Box address for the Harry James Music Appreciation Society; letters sent there would be sent to Gringotts and forwarded to him, he also impressed on her that for securities sake she was not to use it too often.
Petunia and Vernon had written Dudley a long letter half explaining what was going on, it was in an envelope with his passport and some money; Harry would put Dudley's ticket to Bolivia in the envelope as well and it would be hand delivered to his cousin. Harry said that he would try to deliver the letter himself however, despite their pleading he could not promise that he would be allowed to do so, personally he thought that Dudley might well be being watched. He also thought that it would be a fairly rare Death Eater who would have any idea what was going on if they were trying to follow Dudley through Heathrow, it would defy most Muggles.
The previous evening Harry had eaten the best meal he had ever had in Privet Drive and for the first time ever he had been allowed to eat it in the holy of holies, the dining room.
During this last school year in between his bouts with Dumbledore Harry and Hermione had taken the time to learn some really useful charms, so his room had not been so bad. First he had cast impervious and strengthening charms on all of the walls, the floor, the ceiling, the door and the window except for one pane, which was an illusion as a passage for Hedwig and then he had transfigured his bed into a very comfortable double. The only things he had unpacked were all of his clothes everything else remained packed in his closed shrunken trunk and he carried it and his wand everywhere with him, he was of course wearing his Portkey.
He checked through all of the books that had been dumped in his room over the years, he left the trashy novels but took all of the classics and quality fiction. There was a complete set of Encyclopaedia Britannica as well as 'how to do', how to repair and 'how it works', type books that must belong to his uncle, they were all miniaturised and packed in his trunk. Then he went to Dudley's room, doing the same to his bookshelves, he found an old Marlboro cigarette packet and shrunk all of the exercise and weight training equipment to fit in the packet that went in his trunk as well.
At one point Vernon asked him why the Death Eaters would bother targeting the pair of them and Harry told him that apart from the simple fact that they were Muggles it was simply to be a nuisance in his life. Actually Harry was amazed that his uncle had actually said Death Eaters without cringing. The more he thought about it the truer this answer seemed to be but also it became more puerile, sort of 'I'm too incompetent to hurt Harry Potter so I will hurt everyone around him,' in a perverse sort of way this gave Harry some encouragement.
Harry had told his uncle that he wasn't allowed out of the house without an escort so at lunchtime his uncle went and collected some Pizzas he had ordered by telephone, it made a pleasant change for Harry. After the afternoon had been spent much the same way as the morning, Petunia cooked them an evening meal that was every bit as good as the previous evenings and she did enjoy Harry magically clearing up and washing the dishes.
The three of them went to bed fairly early that evening, they had to be up very early in the morning.
Sunday 22nd June 1997
It was quite light in Surrey at quarter to six on a summer's morning, Harry discovered this as he dragged himself out of bed to see his relations off on their supposed holiday. Hedwig was extremely agitated and he guessed that it was because he had forgotten to let her out of her cage the previous evening and she had had no exercise. He let her out and she headed off in the direction of Hermione's house, 'I only spoke to her yesterday,' he thought as he pulled on some clothes, he would have a shower later.
Having been prearranged, Harry was being shouted at as he was putting his aunt and uncle's cases into the boot of the car for them to supposedly go off on holiday. As the car pulled around the corner out of Privet Drive, Harry wondered if he would ever see the pair of them again and if so when? The thought of never seeing the obnoxious pair again didn't really bother him, the thought of them being tortured or killed by Voldemort or his thugs did.
This was another first, he was alone eating a proper breakfast in the Dursley's kitchen, of course he had had to cook it but all in all he thoroughly enjoyed it, especially afterwards cleaning up magically.
He had been thinking that he still didn't particularly like his relations, he was perfectly aware that their being relatively nice to him was purely a function of 'what he was doing for them'. With them living in Bolivia the chances of him ever meeting either of them again was pretty remote, Dudley was a slightly different matter Harry would have some people keep an occasional eye on him but eventually he would leave school, what then? Hopefully the Voldemort business would be successfully concluded by then and it wouldn't matter.
When he had finished cleaning up after his breakfast he went around all of the ground floor outer walls and windows of the house casting similar impervious and strengthening charms to the ones he had used in his room.
It was now twenty-five past nine and he went upstairs for a shower.
Before his shower he again he went around all of the outer walls and windows of the upstairs casting the impervious and strengthening charms. He didn't know how much good it would do him but if it bought him ten seconds it could be enough to keep him alive.
Harry smirked as he went into the shower wrapped in a towel carrying his wand, shrunken trunk and wearing his Portkey.
He wasn't smiling seven minutes later when, with first a fizzle then a POP the wards went down.
He simply grabbed a towel and his things then said, "Harry Jane".
Authors Note. So here it is, the first part of what could well turn out to be a saga, if you like it and would like some more please let me know.
Question: It is obviously open season on Snape and the Ferret but who else's lifedeserves to be madeunbearable?