Hello to all my readers! I'm really, really sorry for not updating soon. And really I have no plausible reason. I'm just lazy!
I'm sorry, sorry, so very, very sorry! But here's chapter two and I hope you like it. Thanks to all my reviewers, you're the best! It really means a lot to a beginning writer like me to receive all the feedback.
The morning sun pierced mercilessly through the curtains that covered Harry's window. To escape their rays Harry rolled on his side to where he hoped the shade would be more plentiful. But it no such luck.
With a startled cry he fell right out of bed and with a loud plop right onto the hard floor… and onto something warm and feathery.
Another yelp escaped him and he jumped up with a strange agility he did not know he possessed. A rather annoyed looking owl stared at him reproachfully from its position on the ground.
Harry grinned sheepishly; he could not blame it the slightest for being ruffled at being sat upon. But he did not find the slightest bit of sympathy in him when the owl swooped down on him and with a rather stinging peck drop its letter.
As Harry nursed his hurt finger a pale hand reached for the letter. Harry stared. He was sure his skin was not that white; not to mention he was sure he had only had two arms yesterday.
Sasuke's pretty face then came into visibility. He opened the letter and started to read, but Harry managed to overcome his surprise before he finished.
"Give it here," he snapped. "It's mine."
Glares that would have destroyed most sane people penetrated Harry, who was, unfortunately, the slightest bit unstable due to the shock of his Headmaster's death.
The letters had come from Hogwarts. Harry frowned, he hadn't be expecting one this year. But it was written in the same fashion as every year. Small angry bubbles burst into life in Harry's chest.
It was as if no one cared if Dumbledore was alive or not! It was as if there was no difference! The bubbles started to mutate and duplicate. Well I care! Harry thought furiously.
Sasuke who had been watching Harry with a strange amused expression on his face and who had been silent until now said, "I think you'd better take a look at this before you explode again."
He held out a small piece of folded parchment that Harry suspected he had taken from the letter without his notice.
Snatching it out of Sasuke's hands, Harry snarled. "Wipe that smirk off your face."
The only effect he got was a pair of rolling eyeballs, but Harry chose to ignore it. He buried himself in the contents of the parchment. It said:
Dear Mr. Potter
Everyone one of us at Hogwarts is deeply saddened and disheartened by the death of the great wizard and headmaster, Albus Dumbledore. We would deeply appreciate it if you could come to the school early this summer. It so happens that there are a few things that he neglected to show you, that I must.
This is for our sake as much as yours. Expect someone who will be escorting you to the school, very soon. His favorite muggle sport is football.
Even as Harry read, he felt his anger subsiding. When he finished he threw the letter aside and placed his head in his hands. He knew he needed to get rid of his anger. It was clouding his judgment. Guilt sank its claws into his mind. He had been extremely rude to Sasuke who had been trying to help in his own way. Sasuke was probably going to be an asset to the war and Harry knew he had to tread carefully around him as to not offend him.
"Hey look, I'm really sorry…" he began hanging his head in shame.
However the room was devoid of any signs of the Sasuke.
This was slightly depressing but not all together surprising. After all Sasuke looked like the kind of guy who wouldn't take a single command or insult lightly.
Harry was just about to go after him and apologize properly when a loud CRACK blasted a hole in his wall. A cloaked figure entered the room hesitantly.
Fumbling for his wand, Harry cursed. Those useless bodyguards! What good were they if they weren't with you when you needed them?
Finally Harry found his wand and pointed it straight at the intruder, who was foolishly unarmed. Stupid! Harry sneered at him in his mind. Just because you don't' carry a weapon doesn't mean I won't either!
The figure noticed Harry at last as well as the deadly aimed wand. Quickly they backed away with hands palm up in front of them.
"Hey, take it easy, Harry, it's only me!" a familiar voice said. The hood was thrown back.
"Lupin!" cried Harry in recognition. For a moment his guard faltered with the welcome feeling of relief but very soon it was up again, "What is your favorite muggle sport?"
Lupin or Lupin's look alike looked very surprised but then said, "Football." Harry nodded that was correct answer that was written in the letter.
Completely discarding his ready for action stance, Harry flopped down on his bed and smiled at Lupin. "I didn't expect you quite so soon. I mean I didn't think soon would be so soon."
A grin flitted across Lupin's face before the tired and sad lines that were there before once again replaced it. "Well, the Orders decided to learn to act more quickly Perhaps then we won't lose another life."
And so once again it was proven that a single slip of tongue could invoke a bout of suffocating silence in the room that neither Harry nor Lupin had wished for.
However being the amiable companion he was, Lupin tried to make conversation again. "I didn't think that you'd catch onto the reason why Minerva wrote down a useless fact about me, Harry."
His voice oozed with attempted humor and teasing but Harry could tell that he was hiding pain underneath. But two could play at the game and Harry played along. Didn't everybody have to master his or her fear during this time?
"Yeah, well I've learned a lot in the past years and I've changed from the scruffy boy whom I used to be into someone who has to rely on his wits and instincts to stay alive," Harry said.
"Harry…" Lupin hesitated. "I know that you know that the entire magical world looks to you as it's single beacon of hope."
Harry tried to speak but Lupin hushed him with a look. "I know that you hate all the attention, but I must let you know that you are the only hope we have."
The angry bubble that lived in Harry threatened to burst but Lupin went on speaking, "And I speak for all of the Order. All we can really do is make sure that the lives of humankind doesn't get too battered up by Voldemort. We can take care of the death eaters all right, but only you can deal with their big boss. I'm serious Harry. We're all depending on you. I know this is a huge responsibility but try not to fail this world."
Lupin was out of breath when he had finished. His voice had rose several intervals to tune out Harry's angry interruptions. Now he watched Harry's expression closely. He hated having to be the one to spill out the truth to Harry, but it had had to be done. Lupin would have been glad to have Harry storm at him and demand for him to acknowledge that he was only a boy who needed adult help, but Harry did none of that. A peculiar look engulfed Harry's face. Lupin did not like it.
Harry was tired of hearing the same things over and over again from complete strangers, but Lupin was a special case. Having once been his teacher, Harry depended a lot on the man for support in the direst situation. But having Lupin tell him that he had no choice but to be the hero of the world really depressed him.
The truth was however that Lupin was only repeating what others had told him many times before. Harry had worked out a very long time ago that he had to defeat Voldemort, because if he couldn't no one else could and he accepted it.
It wasn't as if he wanted to, but his future and path had been chosen for him, and he couldn't let pressure get to his head. He had survived peer pressure in elementary school, so was there any reason he couldn't live through the pressure the whole world put on his back? They were only a single step apart, Harry mused.
"So I guess no pressure right?" he said wryly to Lupin, for once sliding into his old self, the person he was before Dumbledore's death.
For the first time in what felt like forever a genuine smile stretched found its way across Lupin's face and silence extended her lovely hand again to make comfortable silence. After all what more was there to say?
Once again though, Lupin broke the still air. "You know Harry, you're right. You've really changed. You've become so much more than I expected of you, and mind you I expected a lot from you," he deliberated. "You're father would have been proud. I know I am."
Harry did nothing but smile. It made him happy that Lupin thought so highly of him, but in the long run it really didn't matter. What mattered was destroying Voldemort; everything else was second to that.
The door creaked open and Harry shot to his feet. Naruto entered waving a hand waving his hand and wearing what Harry was sure was a guilty smile under his porcelain mask that he once again adorned.
"Hey, I've just been eavesdropping on your private moment, and since it's over, we'd better get going," said Naruto easily as if listening in on personal conversations was a perfectly normal thing.
"Who are you?" asked Lupin warily with a side look of confusion to Harry.
"He's my bodyguard," explained Harry. "Who seemed to have been spacing out conveniently when a cloaked figure came into my room."
The last part was directed in an angry manner towards Naruto, who shrugged and sidestepped the accusation by saying. "But he wasn't an enemy."
"He could have been," countered Harry.
"Oh no, don't worry," said Naruto. "If he was I would have known and he would have been long dead."
Moments like these made Harry realize that Naruto's power was far greater than normal, for it was moments like these when Harry could tell he was everything but normal.
Chapter three is coming up soon I swear. I already have its blueprint written up in my head. I just need to get it on paper.
Review please, my wonderful reviewers! I know I should say something really crazy to make you review, but I'm more of a boring person so I'll just have to skip that part.
But if anyone knows a good beta out there send me a personal message please, and I'll get to it as soon as I can. I'm a computer idiot so I'll have a lot of problems finding it.