Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, it belongs to JK Rowling, etc etc.
Authors Note: Not much to say. I've wanted to write something like this for ages, finally got the motivation to do so. For those of you who read my Buffy story, as you can see my Internet didn't get cancelled (yet, cross your fingers that it doesn't), and don't worry, I'll be doing my best to get another chapter for that up soon. In the meantime, enjoy!
Harry Potter and the Alternate Universe: Year Six.
Privet Drive was quiet, the only sound being the faint twitter of birds and the whistle of wind as night descended. Harry Potter, a student of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, was a member of Slytherin House, and he was currently holed up in his Aunt and Uncles house, waiting for his Godfather Sirius Black to come and pick him up and take him to his true home at Grimmauld Place.
Harry had packed his bags earlier in the day, having nothing better to do in the oppressive Dursley household. His trunk was waiting for him at the bottom of the stairs and Hedwig, his snowy owl, was locked in her cage on his desk. Harry was currently resting on his bed; his legs propped up one on top of the other, reading a book about Advanced Magical Defences.
You might be asking yourself why Harry was even at his Aunt and Uncles house, when he could have been living with his Godfather, but Harry wasn't your average wizard. Harry was special. He was wanted, in fact, by one of the most powerful and evil wizards of all time, Lord Voldemort. And the only way Harry could stay safe outside of Hogwarts was by spending a short amount of time inside his Aunt Petunias house, the only blood relative he had left.
Harry hated it, but he understood the importance of spending the beginning of his summer holiday with his awful relatives. You see, Harry had spent five years at Hogwarts, and during those five years he had developed a close relationship with the Headmaster of the wizarding school, Albus Dumbledore. But during the last year, he had felt that Dumbledore had distanced himself, and at the end of his fifth year, only a few weeks ago, he had confronted his mentor about this.
Harry had spent the entire year knowing that Voldemort was back, knowing that he was a wanted wizard, and knowing that nobody besides Dumbledore, the Order of the Phoenix, Voldemorts Death Eaters and his best friend Draco Malfoy knew the truth. The rest of the wizarding world denied this knowledge, choosing not to believe Harry and Dumbledore when they both clearly stated that Voldemort had returned after the Triwizard Tournament, murdering a fellow champion Cedric Diggory in the process, and nearly killing Harry.
But Harry was used to the wizarding world fearing him, and he wasn't at all surprised that they didn't believe him. Dumbledore was another thing all together, but he couldn't help that. So Harry had gone about his year as normal, studying as much as he could, learning as much as he could, so that when he eventually faced the man – if you could call the snakelike visage Voldemort now possessed a man – that had murdered his parents, he would be ready.
Harry soon discovered that he was dreaming and feeling things that Voldemort himself felt, most especially a dream where he walked down the same corridor, towards the same door, a door he had seen earlier in the year when he had to go to the Ministry of Magic for his trial.
Shortly before Christmas Harry dreamt that he was a Snake, and that he attacked a familiar person, a man with bright red hair, who was standing guard outside of the same door he kept seeing in his dreams. Harry recognised the man as Arthur Weasley, one of the Order members, the man who escorted Sirius and himself to his Ministry hearing earlier that year. Harry quickly contacted his head of house Professor Snape and told him what had happened, but unfortunately he was too late, and Arthur Weasley did not make it. After that Dumbledore told Harry that he needed to learn Occlumency, in order to keep such things from happening again. Harry knew he wasn't getting the whole truth, but decided to let it slide for now, and went to his lessons with Professor Snape as told. Regrettably, he had a hard time learning Occlumency.
During one of his end of year exams, Harry finally finished the dream, and saw Voldemort torturing his Godfather Sirius Black. He had quickly gone to Dumbledore and told him what he had seen, then demanded that Dumbledore contact Grimmauld Place to see if Sirius was okay. He was, but that was only the beginning:
"…Yes, thank you Sirius, I'm sorry to have troubled you." Dumbledore nodded his head inside the fire, before pulling out and turning to face Harry with that familiar twinkle in his eye. "Your Godfather is fine Harry. It was just a dream."
Harry let out a sigh of relief, but then turned his head up to meet the tall wizards eyes. Dumbledore looked away, and Harry grimaced. "It wasn't a dream, and we both know it." Harry spoke clearly, not with anger, but annoyance.
Dumbledore cast his eyes to the floor, bringing up an old and wrinkled hand to rub his forehead.
"You are wise beyond your years Harry," Dumbledore said, but he still wouldn't meet Harry's eyes.
"I want to know what you're keeping from me," Harry said. "You haven't looked me in the eye all year. I know I'm seeing things through Voldemorts eyes and feeling what he feels. And now he just tried to lure me to Sirius's aid, when Sirius isn't even in danger. Why?"
Dumbledore sighed, but nodded his head in resignation and walked around his desk to take a seat. He motioned for Harry to do the same. Harry did.
"As you have correctly assumed," Dumbledore began. "Voldemort is indeed trying to lure you to something through your special scar connection. The room you saw was called the Hall of Prophecies, and Voldemort wants you to retrieve a prophecy for him."
"Because only you can Harry. Voldemort could do it himself, but he would be risking too much, and could possibly be discovered. Something I am sure he is not ready for yet. You, however, would easily be able to retrieve it, and then it would just be a simple matter of taking it from you."
"But why am I the only person who can get it?" Harry asked. "I'm assuming it's a prophecy?"
"You assume correctly." Dumbledore confirmed. "And that is why Harry. Only the people directly referred to in the prophecy can remove it, meaning, of course, either you or Voldemort himself."
"So I'm…mentioned in this prophecy?" Harry ventured.
"You are." Dumbledore nodded, then sighed again. "I think it is time I told you why Voldemort attacked your parents that night Harry, and I am sure you will not like it. I have been putting this off for too long, and I can no longer justify doing so. Please understand that I kept this from you in what I believed was your best interest."
Harry scowled a little, but nodded. "Go on."
That night Dumbledore told Harry about the prophecy, about how he would have to either kill Voldemort, or be killed by him. Harry was indeed angry that Dumbledore had kept this from him, but not as angry as Dumbledore seemed to expect, because the old wizard seemed a bit relieved. Harry left the Headmasters Office with a lot of questions and some very disturbing suspicions.
Instead of going back to the Slytherin dormitory, Harry headed for his own secret liar, a place he had found in his third year, after much searching. His liar was in fact a secret chamber like the Chamber of Secrets (which was also what gave him reason to start examining the castle more thoroughly) belonging to Salazar Slytherin, and it, like the Chamber of Secrets, was also only accessible through Parsletongue.
Inside Salazar's hidden chamber was a bedroom, a library full of books on the Dark Arts, amongst other things, and even a large training room full of magical training objects. For example, a puppet that responded to the touch of a wand, enabling whoever was using the room to fire of spells and increase his accuracy by attempting to hit the moving puppet. Harry also found a number of Salazar's personal belongings, including a musty diary that was practically falling to pieces, the words hardly legible anymore. Harry also found many secret doors within the chamber that allowed him to move about the school, leading to all kinds of places, including Professor Snapes office and even the Gryffindor head of house Professor McGonagalls office.
Harry spent a lot of time here, and this was where he came after meeting with Dumbledore, taking a seat at Salazar Slytherins desk and losing himself in thought. A number of little things started to add up, and Harry found himself reaching a disturbing thought. Professor Snape, Dumbledores double agent, was a spy for Voldemort. Could it really be true? Harry didn't know whether to believe it or not, but it did make a lot of sense.
Snape tried to have Sirius's soul sucked out of him by the Dementors in his third year, not even an hour after Harry had found out the truth, but that could easily be explained away. Snape hated Sirius. It didn't necessarily mean that he was a spy for Voldemort.
But then again, Professor Snape was the one Harry went to and told about Arthur Weasleys situation. Was it really too late? Or did Professor Snape delay in telling Dumbledore, so that Arthur would die before anyone could get to him.
And then when Harry had to learn Occlumency, was it just a coincidence that he was having trouble with it, or was it because Snape was somehow sabotaging him so that his Master, Lord Voldemort, could lure Harry to the Hall of Prophecies?
Harry didn't know what to believe, but since then he had taken a personal interest in learning Occlumency by himself, looking through every book he had, searching the school library and even Salazar's personal collection.
Last year was also the year he confronted Draco about his true allegiance. That was also an interesting conversation:
Harry was sitting at Salazar's desk again, doing some last minute homework, whilst Draco was playing himself (don't ask me how) at wizard's chess over on the bed. Harry grinned as he heard one of Draco's knights take out a pawn, Draco cheering it on. He set his quill down on his parchment and turned to watch Draco. His best friend was completely engrossed in his game, and didn't even notice Harry watching him.
Harry was overcome with emotion, thought he didn't show it. Truth be told, Draco was the only friend he had. It was a strange thing, really, his friendship with the young Malfoy. On the surface, Draco was just like Dudley Dursley, Harrys bully of a cousin, but underneath it all, Draco was totally different.
When Harry had first come to Hogwarts he had been weary of Draco, but his determination to become strong enough to defeat Voldemort had placed him in Slytherin, and he didn't want to make any unnecessary enemies. So he was civil to Draco. Draco, on the other hand, seemed to go out of his way to befriend Harry, especially in their second year. He succeeded, but not because of whom he was, but who Harry knew he could be. When Harry went into the Chamber of Secrets to save Ginny Weasley, Draco went with him, determined to stick by Harry's side. In doing so, Harry saw the man Draco could be, if only he could disregard his father's ways.
And slowly but surely, Draco had done just that. Sure, he was still a bit of git, but Harry wasn't picky. Deep down, Draco was a good guy, and that was enough for him. But something needed to be cleared up, because at that moment Harry truly felt he had a friend. But would Draco really be loyal too him? Even over his own father?
"Draco?" Harry broke the silence of the chamber.
Draco looked up, frowning. "Yeah?"
"I need to ask you something." Harry began. "It's serious, and very important, okay?"
"Okay." Draco nodded, still frowning.
"I've never pressured you about this, you know that, but it's getting to the point where we can't ignore it anymore…"
"Bloody hell Harry, would you just ask the question already?" Draco snapped, though he was smirking slightly, letting Harry know he wasn't really mad.
Harry chuckled and nodded. "Okay." He took a breath. "I need to know where your loyalty lies. With me? Or with Voldemort and your Father?"
Draco's eyes widened a fraction, almost impossible to notice if you didn't know Draco, and he sat up. He took a breath as well and ran a hand through his silvery hair. He looked down at the chessboard before him. Harry gave him the time he needed, knowing this wasn't something to be taken lightly. When he finally looked up, he gave Harry a shaky smile, not his usual smirk, but an actual smile.
"My loyalty is with you Harry." Draco murmured. "Damn, I sound like a stupid Hufflepuff, but I swear to you, I'm with you."
Harry smiled back. "Thanks Draco."
Harry knew that Draco was telling the truth. He could see it in the boy's eyes. Draco was loyal to him, not his father. Harry had at least succeeded in that.
Harry closed the book he was reading, setting it down on the table beside his bed and getting up to stretch his legs. He walked to the window and peered out, looking for any sign of Sirius. Nothing. He turned to face Hedwig and found his faithful owl regarding him with her amber eyes.
"You hungry girl?" Harry asked, walking over and rummaging through a bag on the side, which was full of owl treats. He opened her cage and gave her one, whilst stroking her head absentmindedly. The lights from the lamppost outside his window caught his attention and he turned, rushing over to the window. Yes, every one of the other lampposts had gone out as well. Sirius was here.
He quickly shuttered Hedwig back in her cage, grabbed his discarded book, and rushed out of his room, hurtling downstairs just as the doorbell chimed. He opened the door to find Sirius waiting for him with a big grin on his handsome face.
"Harry." He greeted, grabbing him in a quick hug.
Harry smiled back at his Godfather and looked past him to find more familiar faces, including Remus Lupin, Nymphadora Tonks and Mad Eye Moody.
"Harry." Remus echoed Sirius greeting, offering his hand. Harry shook it.
"Wotcher Harry." Tonks added, winking at him. Harry smiled slightly in response.
"Here, are they." His Uncles grumbling voice came from behind him.
Harry turned and smirked at his Uncle. "How observant of you."
His Uncle started to turn purple, but before he could say anything in response, Sirius spoke up.
"Ready to go?"
"Yeah," Harry motioned to his trunk. "Just need help with that."
"We'll take them," Tonks said, walking into the house and shrinking the large trunk down to pocket size with a flick of her wrist. She pocketed it. She motioned Harry out of the house and followed him. The door shut with a bang behind them.
"Remus, Alastor and Tonks will take your stuff Harry." Sirius told him.
Harry handed Hedwig over to Remus.
"You ever side along Apparate before?"
Harry shook his head no.
"It's really easy," Sirius assured him. "Just grab hold and don't let go. Ready?"
Harry grabbed onto Sirius. "Ready."
And with a slight crack, they disappeared.
They reappeared outside of number twelve Grimmauld Place. The night was darker still, and Harry could hardly see the dark house that loomed before him. Only previous knowledge of it's existence made it possible for him to see it, and he was sure that if he didn't know he wouldn't have been able to. He wondered idly if that was part of the Fidelius Charm or not. Either way, he followed Sirius up the dark lawn and into the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix.
The first thing Harry did when he entered the house was check if Mrs. Black's portrait was still there, and he let out a sigh of relief when it wasn't. He turned and raised an eyebrow at Sirius.
"How'd you get it off?"
"With a lot of effort." Sirius said with a grin. "It was the last thing we did to make this damn house friendly, and I think you'll agree it's a hell of a lot better. Wait until you see your room, I know it was pretty horrible before, but I've finally had time to do something with it. I'm sure you'll love it."
"I can't wait," Harry said, looking around at the mostly clean house. "It already looks different from last time I was here." Harry looked back to Sirius, who was still grinning at him. "It's great to be home."
Sirius grin only got wider. The sound of a door opening down the corridor caught his attention and he turned to see Molly Weasley coming towards them. She looked a little worn out and tired, and her smile didn't reach her eyes, but that was to be expected. Harry still felt a little guilty about what happened to her husband. He was a little weary about how she would respond to him.
The last time they had met, which was last year; she had been very nice to him, even going such lengths as stuffing food down his throat to fatten him up. He just assumed she was one of those Motherly types that can't help but fuss over everyone. But now, with his involvement in Arthur's death, he wasn't sure how she would react to him.
"Oh good," she said, wiping her hand on her apron. "I'm glad your back. We're just waiting for the others to get back and then he meeting will start. I've made a casserole, why don't you go help yourself to some Sirius."
Sirius looked at her for a moment before nodding and leaving him alone with Mrs. Weasley. Harry looked at her expectantly, not letting her see how nervous he was. He actually really liked Molly Weasley, and the thought of her resenting him for what happened last year scared him more than he expected. He was relieved when she smiled at him.
"How are you Harry?"
"Okay." Harry replied.
"Good." She looked over her shoulder, obviously wanting to talk to him privately. "Listen Harry dear, I just wanted to let you know, I don't want you to feel guilty for what happened…you know, with Arthur." She sniffed and wiped at her eyes. "It wasn't your fault."
No, it certainly wasn't, Harry thought, his mind once again going back to Snape.
"Thank you Mrs. Weasley." Harry said, and he meant it. "I'm just sorry I couldn't prevent it."
"Oh no dear," Mrs. Weasley said. "That's very sweet of you, but you did all you could."
The door behind Harry opened and Remus, Tonks and Mad Eye Moody appeared, carrying Harry's stuff. Mrs. Weasley patted Harry on the arm comfortingly and greeted them.
"The meetings ready to start now, just go on through." She told them.
Mad Eye nodded and left, followed by Remus, who also patted Harry on the arm as he passed, much like Mrs. Weasley had done. Tonks handed over his shrunken trunk and motioned up the stairs.
Harry nodded, gave Mrs. Weasley one last smile, and then followed Tonks up the stairs to his room.