Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or anything, not making money off of it, etc.
Chapter 1: Three Letters
He had been there for twelve hours, thirty-three minutes and fifty-four... no make that fifty-five seconds. The raven haired boy sighed and put the watch down before going back to his thoughts. His thoughts were mainly on Sirius. It was just so unfair to his mind, there was no closure, nothing that proved without a doubt that Sirius was dead. It seemed like any second now it felt like Sirius could come through and tell him that he was alive. Which also meant that every second seemed to mock him and torture him with the uncertainty. He rolled to his side and clutched his pillow, both wanting to hug it and rip it to shreds, but in the end hanging on to it for dear life. After another hour of depressing thoughts, he drifted off to sleep.
His dreams started out decently enough with being chased through a pink Forbidden Forest by little bunnies with blue twinkling eyes while Ron, who sounded like Malfoy, made comments about the prophecy and Trelawney predicting his long life. Okay, so it was just plain weird, not that Harry would remember it in the morning anyways. After a few dream cycles in his personal Wonderland, his dreams took a slightly darker turn. Gone was the insanity and it was replaced by the now normal setting of Voldemort's lair.
Looking around the room, he noticed that a few things had changed since his last visit to the area. First and foremost was that instead of screaming of neglect, the room was showing signs of wealth and comfort. The next thing he noticed was that there was somebody talking to him.
'...ord, Severus has finished brewing the potion you requested...'
The mask figure was trembling as he spoke these words and he saw his own arm lift his wand and hissed out the word 'Crucio'. He watched as the figure squirmed in pain and as quickly as it started, it finished.
'Then tell me why he is not here with it'
The figure trembled, but he also noticed that his, well, Voldemort's hand was trembling as well. He decided to mentally note that for later.
'M-m-my Lord, the old fool is watching him too closely. Severus sends word that he'll be able to escape tomorrow and deliver the potion.'
The figure took a small step back, obviously hoping to escape punishment. It seems luck was on his side when the next words uttered were 'Excellent Wormtail, you are dismissed'
The figure quickly bowed down and kissed the hem of the robes before scurrying out the door. As he exited, a more shapely robed figure entered and bowed down.
'My Lord' the feminine voice started. She inquired of what they were going to do about Potter and their captured comrades.
'Let them suffer for failing me, we'll get them out in due time Bellatrix. For now let's lead them into a false sense of security'
'You are most brilliant my Lord' and with that Bellatrix bowed down and kissed the robes and then looked up. He could tell that Voldemort had nodded his head, another curious thing he noted for later analysis. But then all thoughts of that nature quickly escaped his head as Bellatrix sat in the lap of Voldemort, whom Harry currently was seeing out of.
Thankfully, the dream/vision ended there. Harry quickly sat up and grabbed his pillow, thinking about what he just saw, and trying to forget what he never wanted to see. At the very least, his dream/vision brought his thoughts off Sirius for an hour as he wrote down everything he could remember in the dream/vision on a piece of spare parchment.
'Voldemort must be weak after everything, he could barely hold onto the Cruciatus Curse for a few seconds. I'm sure the headmaster will find that information useful. Plus he's having the Death Eaters lay low. That should give us time to strengthen up. With the people we captured at the Ministry, Dumbledore should be able to capture a few more Death Eaters'
Harry sighed and put his quill down, mentally exhausted from going through this dream/vision. 'But the thinking had to be done', he reasoned, 'I won't let anybody else die because I didn't think before I acted'. He figured that he had no need to doubt the validity of this dream/vision. Sure, it could have been a ploy by Voldemort to lull them into a false sense of security, like his plans dictated. However, it just didn't feel the same, it felt like it had when 'he' bit Mr. Weasley.
Hedwig was asleep on her perch 'No need to wake her, since Voldemort is laying low, this information can stand to wait until morning'. In a way, Harry envied Hedwig at that moment. He knew he wouldn't be able to fall back asleep anytime soon. He sat back at his desk and started to compose some other letters for his friends. He must have been more tired than he thought, because the next thing he noticed was that it was sunny outside, and he was lying on his desk with a quill with a huge blot of ink on his letter for Ron. With a quick note after the blob ('Sorry mate, fell asleep writing'), he put the letter off to the side to finish later.
He looked at his watch and noticed that it was still pretty early in the day. He got up and went to the bathroom to take a nice warm shower, since he was a bit sore from sleeping at his desk. So far the Dursleys were avoiding him and treating him decently, but he wasn't sure how long that would last. After drying and getting dressed, he quietly went downstairs and grabbed a banana for breakfast before hurrying back up to his room. He quietly ate the banana and chucked the peel into his wastebin. As he was going for the letter he had written Dumbledore about his dream last night when he noticed another owl on the edge of his bed and an exotic bird next to it. Hedwig was hooting at the owl and they seemed to be communicating.
"Second day of summer and I'm already getting mail... I wonder who they're from," Harry pondered out loud to nobody in particular. He quickly relieved the birds of their post. The exotic bird immediately left, but the owl flew over to Hedwig's perch and they seemed to continue their conversation from earlier. In his amusement of watching the two birds communicate, he didn't notice another bird arrive in a bout of flames until the Phoenix landed on his shoulder and stroked it's head against Harry's. Harry was momentarily startled before he gave a slight chuckle.
"Hello Fawkes, what brings you to my part of the country?"
Fawkes sung a few notes in response while wiggling the letter he brought in front of Harry. Harry patted Fawkes' head and took the letter from him. "Well, I'll be sending Dumbledore a letter later today Fawkes, so you don't have to stick around if you don't want to." And with that, his thoughts went back to the scene of a few days ago in the Headmaster's office. Harry sighed, Dumbledore was probably sending him a bill or something for all the broken items. He was a bit ashamed of himself, but he wasn't sorry that he had done it. If he had only known of the prophecy earlier, then he wouldn't have been so eager to find out what laid beyond that bloody door. 'For all his wisdom, Dumbledore is only human'. While he wasn't as angry as he had been, he couldn't help but wonder if the headmaster was keeping anything else from Harry. 'I'll just have to think about that later though, for now I have three letters to attend to'. With a quick glance seeing that Fawkes had flown over to the two Owls and joined in their 'conversation', he sat down at his desk and opened the letter from Dumbledore.
I know you're not terribly happy with me at the moment. However I thought it most prudent to contact you as soon as I found out. Our favorite spy returned from a meeting last night and we've learned that Voldemort is looking for you and has his followers out out with orders to kill first and check later. As such, it isn't safe for you to travel outside of the house. Please stay inside and report if you have anymore visions to us as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, for your safety, you cannot visit the Burrow or Headquarters until the very end of summer, the wards just aren't as strong as they are there. Keep post to a minimum, your owl is very recognizable.
-Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts
Harry looked at the letter in confusion. The letter just made no sense 'Why would Dumbledore say that Voldemort is actively looking for me when he decided to lay low? And Snape wasn't at the meeting last night...'. Getting nowhere with making sense of Dumbledore's letter, he put it off to the side and went to the other two letters. One was sealed without any trace of a crest to indicate the sender and the other had the seal of Gringotts. He put the blank seal to the side and curiously looked at the Gringotts letter.
"I wonder what they want, I've never gotten a letter from them before. I didn't even know they sent letters out," he pondered outloud. The Gringotts' Owl hooted at this, in a manner which clearly meant 'Of course they send letters out'. Ignoring the owl, he broke the seal and read the letter.
Dear Mr. Harry James Potter
It has come to our attention that Mr. Sirius Black has passed beyond the veil and we wish to extend our condolences. Mr. Black had left us with an updated Will a few months ago leaving you as the main benefactor. We have included a copy of the will with our letter, as well as the Potter Will, as was requested by Mr. Black. If you have any questions about either Will, please owl us or visit us at your convenience.
Office of Wills and Inheritance
Harry stared at the letter. The letter, grim as it was, did provide Harry with some of the comfort he was denied earlier. The letter confirmed that Sirius was actually dead, which brought him grief, but at the same time, he could let go of the maddening hope that it was all a trick of light and that Sirius was still alive. The letter allowed him to move on to acceptance that his godfather would not suddenly send him a letter declaring that he was alive and it was all a late April Fools joke. Lost in his thoughts about Sirius, he made his way to his bed, forgetting about the two sheets of parchment attached to the letter. Fawkes flew over to Harry and stroked his head against Harry's, warbling a tune to comfort him as Harry went through all his experiences with his godfather. Before he knew it, he was asleep again, dreaming not of Voldemort or of Sirius's death, but of the good times they had together.
When Harry awoke again a few hours later, it was time for lunch. Fawkes was gone, as well as both Hedwig and the Gringotts' owl. Harry wasn't very hungry and went back to his desk. He still had one more letter to read and then he'd finish his correspondence to Ron and then send it to Headquarters. he picked up the parchment and broke the seal and nearly dropped it when he saw the handwriting. He knew this handwriting. But it wasn't possible - was it? Getting back on track, Harry started to actually read the letter.
Just wanted to let you know that although you might swear you're up to no good over a spare bit of parchment, it's better to see if others are up to no good.
Harry looked at the parchment for a few minutes before the message clicked. He quickly took his wand and tapped the letter saying "I solemnly swear I am up to no good" and quickly the words disappeared to be replaced.
If you're reading this, I've either been captured by the Dementors or I am dead. If I'm back in Azkaban (shudder) I doubt I'll be able to break out again, and so I'll never be able to impart this information to you. If I'm dead, I can only hope I went down protecting you from Voldemort and not from Aurors. But that is neither here nor there. I'm not sure how much time will have passed since I've written this or how close we have gotten, but always know this, I love you like you were my own son. When I first saw you again a year ago, I suddenly had a reason to go on living besides capturing that traitorous rat. I'm currently writing this from a nice cave in a location I cannot tell you of, but I still wish you were here. I think you'd like it after Privet Drive.
Now, for the main reason I'm writing you. When I was at Hogwarts at the end of your third year, I took the time to add you to the wards of the Marauders' Tower in the case of my death or imprisonment. If you think hard enough, you'll find you know where to find it. When your father and I were in our 3rd year, we found this tower and by the end of 5th year, the Marauders had their own headquarters within the school. It was charmed so that none of us could speak of it, or write about it for that matter, unless it was to each other or we were in the tower itself. Nifty piece of spell work if you ask me. I ended up being the Secret Keeper for the tower, and since you're reading this, you are now the secret keeper for the tower as I am no longer able to do it. Keep the secret closely guarded and tell only those you trust. Inside the tower you will find many marvelous things, I can't detail them in this letter due to a lot of charms on said items, but you'll be pleasantly surprised when you get there.
Just one last note before I leave and that is to say live a little. From my brief acquaintance with you, I've noticed that you seem to have the world on your shoulders. Just live, have fun. You're only young once. Oh, and before I forget, in case you didn't know, you're the main benefactor of the Black Estates, so you should have a nice pile of galleons to live a little on.
PS - Don't forget to Manage your Mischief, we wouldn't want unfriendly eyes to read this (wink)
Harry read the letter over a few times, digesting its contents. It was nice to have a letter that stated his godfather's love for him. Harry tapped the letter and muttered 'Mischief Managed' and watched as the words melted away leaving the original message. Tucking the letter away under the loose floorboard with the rest of his prized possessions, Harry went back to his desk. He still had two Wills to read and another pile of letters to write. At the very least, he had to change his letter to the Headmaster, he still wasn't sure what was up with him, but it was clear that the headmaster was hiding something. He was lying to Harry again and Harry wanted to know why. Until then, he wasn't going to let it on that he knew the headmaster was lying.
Next Chapter: Two Wills and a Plan