AN: This is a Post-OOTP story. Harry's long summer after Sirius's death, he finally grows up. Will have Harry-Tonks (Honks) pairing, maybe some HGRW. Rated Mature for later chapters :Violence & Sexual Content. You have been warned. Novel Length.
I'd like to thank Lorddwar & Volans for their great honks stories which served as the primary inspiration for my own, any plagiarism is unintentional, but with over 300K Harry Potter stories, I'm am realistic. If you notice blatant plagiarism, let me know and I will apologize personally and give credit to where it is due. I've been reading stories on this sight for over two years, and many elements from many stories will probably be included.
I DO NOT OWN HARRY POTTER, nor do I have any money, so don't bother trying to sue me. I do this for fun, and it is a lot of fun, so on with the story…
Harry Potter & the Never-Ending Summer, by Kassien
Sat. 17th of June
The long car ride from King's Cross passed in relative silence at first as the three Dursley's came to grips with the threats they just received from four scary looking adult wizards. The silence however was most welcomed by the long member of the car ride without the last name of Dursley. Harry Potter, "The Boy Who Lived", sat in the back seat behind his whale of an uncle and next to the even bigger whale of a cousin. He had spent the first part of the long car ride in a daze, blankly starring out the window as the scenery flew by in a rushed blur. He wasn't really looking at anything however, as his eyes were glazed and watery. He had hoped to never see his so-called 'family' again, especially after learning about his Godfather, Sirius Black, two years ago. But even his greatest hopes were now destroyed again, and by none other than his greatest enemy and tormentor, Lord Voldemort.
The same Lord Voldemort, who was responsible for his parents' death, for his annoying scar, for living with the Dursley's, and for the terror in the wizarding world. Harry had always hated Voldemort from the second Hagrid, the Half-Giant, had told him about the most evil wizard of the age, but now his hatred and the rage he felt towards him was burning inside of him and threatening to consume him. Harry felt like he had been dealt the final blows already. Sirius Black, his Godfather was dead. Harry still couldn't believe it, it had only happened days prior, and still every minute of his days and nights had been spent reliving the night in the Department of Mysteries. He watched over and over again as Sirius slowly fell through the veil, all the while with the voice of Bellatrix Lestrange ringing in his ears.
Bellatrix, even thinking about her made every hair on his neck stand alert and caused his body to start shaking under the suppressed rage he felt trying to overtake him. He knew he was fighting a loosing battle, any day now his rage would take over, and he did not think he would be able to control it much longer. Every night since the Department of Mysteries, his dreams came with more intensity, but the intensity isn't what scared him the most, it was how he felt afterwards. He was always scared and shaking and sometimes crying, but now the growing hate in him was tainting everything, he now wanted revenge. And not just a justified or righteous revenge, he wanted to kill Voldemort and Bellatrix, and he wanted them to have to suffer pain beyond imagination, pain he felt every second of every day. He wanted them to have total fear in their eyes, as he had to witness the fear in the eyes of those around him.
As he continued to sit and stare in the silent car thinking over the last few days again, he could feel the wave of pain and panic pass over him again as he began sobbing pathetically into his hands.
"Be quiet boy," snarled Uncle Vernon from the front seat obviously caught off guard by the 'freak' crying. He immediately remembered the threats not to mistreat the 'boy', and his face stiffened and began changing colors at will. It went from pale and pasty, to pink, to red, and finally to a purplish color where it stayed for many minutes as everyone could hear Uncle Vernon mumbling to himself angrily.
Harry continued to cry, but grew much quieter after the yelling from his uncle. He was however, still drawing very nervous glances from his Aunt Petunia in the passenger's seat, as well as from his oversized cousin Dudley next to him. Neither had ever liked Harry or treated him well, but they were both very nervous looking at the fifteen year old boy crying silently. They had never really seen him cry, get angry, yes; but never break down and cry. They both knew how hard his life was with them, and yet he never cried in front of them. Aunt Petunia immediately knew that something was seriously wrong, for the boy to act weak in front of them, especially Vernon. They tried to ignore Harry as Uncle Vernon's muttering grew louder as they approached Little Winging. They pulled into the driveway at number four Privet Drive, and the three Dursley's immediately exited the car and made their way into their perfect looking house, leaving Harry alone to bring in his enormous school trunk.
Twenty minutes later, and an exhausted Harry had just placed his trunk at the foot of his tiny bed before dropping unceremoniously onto his bed face first. After a few minutes, he heard someone stomping up the stairs and come to a stop right outside his bedroom door. The door was thrown open, with his very large uncle standing in the threshold with a purple face, beady eyes, and bulging veins popping out of his neck and head.
"You will stay in your room; I will not be threatened by your kind. You're lucky you're even still allowed to be here," yelled Uncle Vernon before quickly stepping out of the threshold and closing the bedroom door. Harry heard the distinct sound of him locking all six of the large locks on the outside of his door, and just lay in bed stunned that he wouldn't have to see his 'family' over the summer, despite being a prisoner in his own room.
This was fine for Harry, he was all too used to being locked up in his room or cupboard, and didn't really to be around any of his relatives anyway. Although he would miss the quiet walks around Little Winging, or trips to the small park, Harry really didn't want to deal with any people, wizards or muggle. He stayed in bed for hours crying and thinking, and didn't move until he heard the cat flap on his bedroom door open and a small plate of leftover roast and potatoes being dropped onto his floor. Harry, realizing that he hadn't eaten much today, quickly picked up the plate and devoured the food in seconds before putting the empty plate back in the hall through the small cat flap. He was still starving, the small amount of food was just a tease to a growing boy, and did little to lift his dreadful mood.
Harry went back into bed without taking off his shoes or clothes and curled up into a small ball and continued crying uncontrollably. He had never felt so bad in his whole life. He was upset after Cedric Diggory was killed at the end of last year, but it was nothing like how he felt now. Sirius was gone, and it was primarily Harry's own fault. He couldn't forgive himself for being so weak and allowing Voldemort to use his love for his Godfather against him. Now that he knew the contents of the prophecy, he understood why he had been having dreams or visions of the Department of Mysteries, but he still couldn't forgive himself for the horrible outcome. Nor could he forgive Voldemort or Bellatrix Lestrange for their involvement, or even his own Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore.
It was Dumbledore's lack of faith or trust in Harry that led him to hide the knowledge of the prophecy and its contents from the one person who it truly affected. He was still so mad for being 'protected' or kept in the dark by his mentor, that he could no longer picture himself ever forgiving or trusting the old man. He hid his destiny from Harry, as well as general knowledge about his past, the lives of his parents, and the Order of Phoenix. He was also responsible for forcing him to stay at the Dursley's every summer, and now Harry was beginning to hate him for it.
Thinking back to the night in his Headmaster's office only a few days ago, the tiniest of grins appeared at the corner of Harry's mouth, as he remembered his trashing of many of the Headmaster's things. He was still beyond angry with the old man, but was starting to feel like his little tantrum did wonders at alleviating some of the resentment towards Dumbledore since Sirius died and the Prophecy was revealed.
Am I really his equal? He asked himself as he thought back to the words of the Prophecy. At this thought, his hand instinctively went to his forehead as he traced his trademark lightening-bolt scar with his index finger. He marked me as his equal. He said to himself reassuringly as the first true smile since the night at the Ministry appeared on his tired face. But what really is this 'power he knows not' business? It can't be as simple as Dumbledore said; love isn't power, as all the people he loved were dead. He remembered all to well the sacrifice of love that his mother made for him that saved his life, and the sacrifice Sirius made coming to my aid against all those Death Eaters that probably saved Harry's life. He knew that his parents and Sirius had loved him, as do all the Weasley's, Hermoine, and Remus.
Other members of the Order of Phoenix came to his aid that night, and they didn't all love him, most just disliked Voldemort, yet they saved him as well. Thinking about the Order of Phoenix however, was not what Harry wanted to do at all. While there were a few Order members that he truly knew and liked, most were faceless strangers, or loathing Potion Masters. The Order that he was too young to join, yet concerned his life the most, the Order that followed him and kept things from him, and the Order that was the tool of his Headmaster, the manipulative Albus Dumbledore.
Harry slowly started to drift off into an uneasy sleep, thinking about what the Order really did, and if they were even that useful. The DA was not great, but Harry thought that even them, a group of school kids, could probably give as good of a fight to some of the Death Eaters as most of the Order did, with minimal training. Thinking about the DA, or Dumbledore's Army however, brought a foul taste into Harry's already dry mouth as he finally fell into a restless and uneasy sleep.
Harry woke up with a start, his breathing hard and heavy, and sweat dripping off his face and covering his clothed body. He had just seen Sirius fall through the veil for the thousandth time. He looked around his dark room, and it took him a second to remember that he was back at 'home', and that he only just got there. He knew it was still very late; the house was eerily quiet except for the distant sounds of snoring coming from his whale of an uncle. There was no point in trying to go back to sleep now. So he slowly stumbled out of bed and began the task of unpacking his trunk from school.
Hedwig's cage was sitting on top of his trunk empty, Harry had let Hedwig fly home from King's Cross, and she had yet to return. Hedwig was his only friend or company over the summers when stuck at Privet Drive and Harry hated not having her here with him. But Harry would never force her to stay locked up. Even the though about being locked up brought out his anger at Albus Dumbledore for both his treatment of himself and Sirius.
Harry cleaned Hedwig's cage and set it atop his beat up old wardrobe. He emptied the oversized clothes from his trunk and put them un-ceremoniously into the wardrobe, while he pulled out all his books and set a few of them on his rickety desk before it started to waiver under the strain. He put the rest on his bed for now, and continued on.
When the trunk was almost empty, Harry's unpacking came to a quick stop as he caught sight of over twenty small pieces of mirrored glass. The broken fragments of the two-way mirror Sirius had given him this past Christmas, which he had destroyed only the other day back at Hogwarts. Harry's eyes began to mist over, and sobs slowly engulfed his whole body as he sat on the floor hung over the trunk crying over the now broken pieces of the mirror. After what must have several hours, judging by the now risen sun, Harry's sobbing continued, until he heard a distant chirp from the slightly open window.
"Hedwig," he called out with a rasped voice from hours of crying, as he ran towards the window and threw it open just in time. His bright white snow owl swooped into the room with a soft grace, and came to a gentle rest on Harry's waiting shoulder.
"Hi Hedwig, …how are you girl?" asked Harry as his owl affectionately nipped his fingers and hooted happily in reply before flying to her perch above the wardrobe to survey the damage. Harry's spirits immediately began to rise at the presence of his feathered friend, and even the pieces of Sirius' mirror in the bottom of his trunk couldn't hurt his new mood change. He returned his school robes and cloaks, as well as his Firebolt back into his trunk and dragged it next to the rickety old wooden desk. He took all of his spell books and lined and stacked them up on his trunk, so he could actually use the desk to work at before a good breeze destroyed it.
For the next week, Harry moped around the small bedroom, a prisoner at Privet Drive dwelling on his thoughts and dreams, and very unpleasant dreams at that. He had witnessed every encounter in his life between himself and Voldemort, each ending in his terrified screams and loud banging at his door from his annoyed uncle. Harry cared very little what the Dursley's thought and was constantly stuck within his own mind reliving his worst moments in life. By the end of that first week, Harry felt like he had cried himself empty of all feeling, and a strange sort of detatchment began to settle over him every time he thought about his godfather and the Prophesy.
His blank detachment was interrupted the following Sunday morning by his Aunt Petunia who came to his bedroom door, and after unlocking the locks, let him out to use the loo. When he came out of the bathroom, his aunt was waiting in his doorway with a small plate with two pieces of toast and a glass of water. After handing them to Harry with a nasty scowl on her horse-like face, she closed and locked him back into his room with three words.
"Clean this room."
Harry, slowly gathered the weeks clutter that had gathered in the small bedroom, and was now awake and refreshed, but bored to death. He was still locked in the smallest bedroom of number four Privet Drive. He didn't really want to see anyone or go anywhere, but he didn't have much else he could do in his bedroom without being able to practice magic. He didn't have the usual summer homework, because he had just completed his O.W.L. year, and didn't yet know how he did, or what classes he would be taking next year.
Knowing his role in the Prophecy, and what he was supposed to do to fulfill it, kill or be killed, Harry knew he should use this time to get smarter, stronger, and more prepared than he'd ever been. He quickly realized that if he wanted to survive this war, then he would have to give a much more serious commitment, and train as if his own life depended on it, which in fact it did. He could use this time to revise and study all of his old text books. He figured to have a good amount of time to study, locked up here in his room for the summer, so he started thinking about different things that he wanted to learn.
On the very top of this list were Occlumency and even possibly Legilimancy, skills he felt were an essential in the upcoming war with Voldemort, lessons with Snape, or meetings with Albus Dumbledore. After those, he was most interested in strengthening his basic magic's; Charms, Transfiguration, and even Defense Against the Dark Arts. He was also slightly interested in Potions or Herbology, mainly for their healing capabilities, another skill he would very much like to learn as well. He didn't want to spend any more time in the hospital wing than he already had, and he knew his life was not going to get any easier in the coming months or years.
Finally, Harry knew that he would have to get into better physical shape. He is much too small and weak, and although he had amazingly fast reflexes, he also tired too easily. The biggest problem with working out however, was that right know he wasn't being fed enough to do it properly, and didn't know how long he could even survive on the miserable amounts of food he had been given so far. He decided to wait until he had some real food in his stomach before doing much physical exercise.
Harry made his way to his desk, and pulled out his previous texts for Defense Against the Dark Arts. He spent the entire day sitting or lying around his room, re-reading all of his old books, while making notes every once in a while in a muggle notebook Hermoine had got him to help study the previous year which he ignored. At some point in the afternoon, Harry's aunt let him out to use the loo, but his day went by completely uninterrupted. He was brought very meager amounts of food for lunch and dinner, and by sharing a little with Hedwig, Harry's hunger was rapidly growing out of control. He devoured a few chocolate frogs that he found in his school trunk, and continued reading deep into the night before exhaustion and hunger overcame his body and he fell off into another fitful sleep.
Harry awoke Monday morning to the sound of his uncle's car pulling out of the driveway, and quickly found and put on his glasses which had fallen off in the night. Within minutes after his uncle had left, he was let out again to shower, and returned to his 'prison' to find two slices of toast and a cup of water near the door. After sharing his pitiful breakfast with Hedwig, and petting the beautiful owl for some time, Harry continued his task of re-reading everything he'd learned over the last five years of Hogwarts.
He had never considered himself as being very smart, that was Hermoine's department, but still revising everything went very quickly and easily. He felt like he remembered everything right away, and only needed to really study certain things. Potions ingredients and theory, something Snape never grasped or passed on; History of Magic, something he normally slept through; and Herbology ingredients and theory, something he never much cared for. Herbology was easily the least interesting of his subjects apart from Divination, but he still wanted to have a more firm base knowledge of the subject. A few questions did stick out in his mind from studying Herbology, and Harry decided that they were good questions to ask Neville Longbottom, the Gryffindor resident Herbologist.
He had been thinking about his friends constantly since the night at the Department of Mysteries, and had wanted to write them all to apologize first for putting them all in such danger, and also to thank them for standing by him, even if he didn't ask them to. Those five friends, he considered his very best, and loved, trusted, and feared for each and every one of them. Harry decided it was time to take a reading break, and began to write letters to his five friends. He figured that a few, if not all of them could be angry with him for putting them in danger or getting them hurt or in trouble. So he decided to only apologize and thank them for now, and not ask for anything until he knew he was still their friend.
I'm really sorry about what happened, and I hope you can forgive me for getting you hurt and into trouble. Please tell your Grandmother that I am truly sorry for getting my friends involved. I hope you have a great summer, and thanks so much for believing in me and helping me and being my friend. I truly treasure your friendship, but understand if you no longer want to associate yourself with me.
I hope your having a good summer. I am so sorry for what happened; I hope you can forgive me. I value your friendship a great deal, but would understand if you don't want to be around me anymore, it can be dangerous. Thanks for coming with me and again I'm very sorry.
Please don't be mad at me, I'm really sorry for almost getting everyone killed. I'd totally understand if you never want to see me or talk to me again. You're a much better friend than I deserve and I can't thank you enough for believing in me enough to join me. Please tell your mum that I am truly sorry for everything.
P.S. Could you please try and send some food, anything, PLEASE.
Hey mate. I'm sorry about all the trouble this year, I hope your mum doesn't kill you, or me for that matter. You're my best mate, and I almost got you and Hermoine killed, I'll never forgive myself, I am so sorry Ron. I would totally understand if you hate me and don't want my friendship anymore, I don't deserve it. But thanks for believing in me in the past, I'll never forget it.
I am so sorry for everything 'Moine. I hope you're not hurt; I would never forgive myself if something happened to you. Your friendship means so much to me, please write back and let me know that you'll be okay. I am sorry again for not listening to you when you warned me it was a trap, and getting you hurt. I hope your doing well, please forgive me.
Harry sat back and re-read the letters he had written to his friends, hoping that they would forgive him and not be too angry with him; he had enough anger at himself for all of them combined. They were the only people he had left who truly loved him and believed in him, and whom he trusted, loved, and believed in as well. Hedwig, noticing the gathering up the letters flew down to the desk and started to nip at Harry's finger affectionately as he pet his owl with his left hand. He asked Hedwig to take the letters to his friends and to wait patiently for replies. He tied the letters off and Hedwig gave one last hoot before taking off into the late afternoon sky. Harry watched his only friend at Privet Drive fly away until she became a tiny dot and then vanished from view, before returning to his studying.
The next two days passed very slowly for the teenage wizard trapped at number four Privet Drive. Without the company of his owl, he was forced to sit alone in his room and think or study. He had already read every text book that he owned, and even some fun one's like, Quidditch Through the Ages, and was still returning to study every hour of the day. He was yet again going over his defensive magic texts, and felt pretty confident that he could even teach any of the lessons from his first five years at Hogwarts. In fact, he had already taught some of the lessons, spells, and techniques to the members of the DA.
Harry realized that he still needed to know a lot more if he was ever going to fulfill the Prophecy and defeat Lord Voldemort for good. He couldn't rely on simple stunners and third year leg-locking jinxes when it came to fighting for his own life, or the lives of his friends. The Death Eaters proved the night at the Department of Mysteries that they were playing for keeps, it wasn't some little hex that almost killed Hermoine, it was a very powerful Dark Art cutting curse that few Hogwarts students had ever seen, let alone learned how to counter or fight.
Harry knew that he would have to train and study harder than ever if he wanted to get out of this war alive. And even that would never be a guarantee; he would never be able to rest as long as Voldemort was still out there. Neither can live while the other Survives. It wasn't just the Prophecy anymore, although that did help confirm Harry's thoughts and fears. No, it was Harry's own desire to rid the world of the most evil being to walk among it. To avenge the deaths of his parents, Sirius, Cedric, and countless others who suffered at the hands of Voldemort or his Death Eaters. To make Voldemort feel the pain that Harry was now so accustomed to. To fulfill Voldemort's only real fear, death.
Harry lay in bed late into the early morning wishing and hoping that he would survive this war, and destroy the man who had made his life what it was. He no longer held the anger he did at the very end of term towards Dumbledore and Snape, although he wasn't happy with either, he knew who the blame really fell on. He lied around for hours thinking up ways to make Voldemort hurt, suffer, and eventually die. He realized now after reliving the night so many times, that it had hurt Voldemort when he tried to possess him almost three weeks ago in the Ministry's atrium.
From what Dumbledore had said about the Prophecy, Voldemort couldn't possess Harry because of the love he has within him. This same love that is supposedly the 'power he knows not', but how can he use it to kill the evil Dark Lord. He's not likely to try possessing Harry again anytime soon, but how else could Harry's love hurt something that evil. His blood protection was gone, so Harry's touch was no longer fatal to the Dark Lord, and Harry also wondered how the blood wards at Privet Drive were now affected. He and Voldemort now shared the same blood, so how could his aunt's house protect him any longer? That was another question he had for Professor Dumbledore whenever he had the chance to talk to him. And then it happened all of a sudden, a wave of pain exploded across his scar and a stifled scream escaped his mouth before everything went black, and Harry slipped into unconsciousness.
Everyone was slowly gathering around the large wooden kitchen table of number 12 Grimmauld Place, preparing for another meeting of the Order of Phoenix. Albus Dumbledore peered around the table at the gathered side of the Light with a small twinkle in his eyes as he stood up to begin that Wednesday night's meeting.
"I'd like to thank all of you for joining us tonight, we have just a few reports to listen to, and first I'd like to hear from Harry's guards on what the boy has been up to, Nymphadora…"
Nymphadora Tonks, shuddered at the mention of her first name, she hated it so much and usually cursed anyone that dared call her by it, except for her parents, and of course, her old Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore.
"Harry hasn't left the house once since he got back from King's Cross, in fact, I don't know if he's even left his room at all," Tonks said with a little apprehension in her voice after expressing her view in front of everyone.
"Have neither yourself or Mundungus spoken to him?" asked Dumbledore with a hint of worry behind his words.
"No," they both replied in unison.
"Very well," replied Dumbledore as the twinkle in his eyes vanished and it appeared as if he had aged decade's right before them. "I fear that our young Mr. Potter, is dealing with an awful lot right now, and has shown tendencies in the past to bottle up these feelings and withdraw from those around him. The depression and blame he placed on himself after Cedric's death last year spoke volumes of not only his love and compassion, but also of his pain and guilt.
"He can't be blaming himself for Sirius can he?" asked Molly Weasley with fear in her eyes and heart over the boy she had loved as a Son since she first saw over five years ago.
"I'm afraid Molly, that he blames himself a great deal over the events of that night. If you need proof, you only need to see the destruction he caused in my office after we returned," spoke Albus quietly. Every pair of eyes in the room widened in worry over 'The Boy Who Lived', all eyes except one pair.
"That's just like Potter to think he's more important than the rest of us …" spat the Potion Master, Severus Snape. "…That rules don't apply to him,-" he continued before being cut off by the Headmaster as most members of the Order glared daggers at the hated Head of Slytherin House.
"That is enough, Severus," cut in Dumbledore abruptly. "Remus …" he continued as his eyes fell on the worn face of Sirius Black's best friend, the Werewolf, Remus Lupin. "…could you possibly try to write Harry a letter, try to break the ice, see if we can get a sense of what's going on with him?"
"Of course, sir," replied Remus.
"Molly, has Ron heard from Harry at all?" asked Albus as he turned to the motherly matriarch of seven Weasley's and a Potter.
"Hedwig delivered letters to him and Ginny this morning, but I have no idea what was said, only that Hedwig left later in the afternoon with a small package of food that Ginny prepared," replied an extremely nervous Molly Weasley. "You don't think he's being mistreated, do you Albus?" she asked with growing panic in her voice.
"He better not be after the talk we had with those no good muggle relatives of his," replied the scar faced ex-Auror, Alastor "Mad Eye" Moody quietly.
"And what talk are you referring to, Alastor?" asked a now curious Headmaster.
"We told the muggles to behave, and to treat him right or we'd do something about it," sneered Moody. "We should have heard something from the boy by now, though."
"Why do you say that?" interrupted the strict Transfiguration Professor, Minerva McGonagall with a raised eyebrow as she glared at "Mad Eye" Moody.
"Uh…we may have said something about writing us every three days to scare the muggles and keep them in line," answered Moody shrewdly.
"We?" inquired Dumbledore with his characteristic eye twinkle coming back in full force, and a small grin forming at the edge of his mouth.
"It was me, Moody, Arthur, and Tonks," replied Remus Lupin intently, "and I intend to hold them to it."
"Very well, we will discuss this more at a later time, for now I'd like to hear what Voldemort and his Death Eaters are up to, Severus?" spoke Dumbledore trying to get the meeting back on track, as he eyed his Potions Master.
"Many of the Death Eaters left are underlings; most of the inner circle was caught last week. We have not seen the Dark Lord since that night, and I believe he may have been injured. The only people who have seen him are Wormtail and Bellatrix, and they have me brewing a few restorative draughts and strengthening potions, as well as pain relief potions, but have not specified what or whom they are for, while they continue recruiting efforts" he stated as his eyes locked with the Headmasters before continuing. "You never told me that you injured the Dark Lord during your duel, sir?"
Several gasps were heard around the room as this question was asked and the implications behind it were contemplated by those in the meeting.
"That is because I did not, Severus…" replied Dumbledore to the shocked crowd. "Voldemort had the upper hand for most of the duel, until he made a mistake that I am sure he now seems to be regretting, and a mistake I doubt he will make again," finished the aged Headmaster.
"What mistake?" demanded Severus Snape as he stared down one of the most powerful wizards in the world, not believing his ears that the Dark Lord could make any mistakes?
After a very long pause, where Dumbledore continued to look at the expecting faces around the room, he began to answer.
"He made the mistake of trying to possess someone so filled with love that I think it severely injured him," answered Dumbledore calmly and slowly.
"WHAT!" screamed several Order members at once, as several others let varying gasps escape their mouths?
"He possessed Harry?" asked a white faces Arthur Weasley who seamed to be supporting his even more horror stricken wife.
"Yes," replied Dumbledore over growing noise level of the meeting. He quickly stood and silenced the room before continuing to speak with a commanding authority that immediately settled down the Order members. "He did possess young Mr. Potter, but as I said was spectacularly unsuccessful before fleeing with Mrs. Lestrange."
"Sir?" began Dedalus Diggle, a short wizard in purple robes and a large equally purple awkward hat before receiving a nod from Dumbledore to ask his question. "How is it that the six kids survived a battle between a dozen of the best Death Eaters?"
Many of those in attendance eagerly began nodding their heads and murmuring excitedly, all wanting to know the answer to this question.
"Unfortunately, Mr. Potter was not very forthcoming in details when we met afterwards in my office, so I don't know that whole story, however, Mr. Weasley and Ms. Granger were able to fill in some of the story when I spoke with them in the Hospital Wing," started Albus Dumbledore to the eager Order, before taking a deep breath and continuing with most of the story as he knew it.
"Apparently, Mr. Potter received a vision showing him his Godfather being tortured at the Department of Mysteries. His friends, not wanting to abandon him, followed him to the Ministry on the back of Thestrals. Harry apparently tried to floo here, but was met by Kreacher who lied to him, telling him Sirius truly was trapped, which led him to London. According to the badges they received upon arriving at the Ministry, they were there for over an hour before we arrived. They made their way to the Department of Mysteries, more specifically to the Hall of Prophesies. After arriving at the spot Harry believed his Godfather to be, they found only Death Eaters waiting for them."
"According to Ms. Granger, Harry was taunting both Lucius Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange in order to stall for help before pulling over a nearby shelf causing a distraction. At this point all the kids ran and scattered, so I only have bits and pieces of the actually fighting and chase that led to the Death Chamber. But when our first Order members arrived, the Death Eaters had Mssr.'s Potter and Longbottom engaged in fighting. There was a fight between those of you in the Order and the Death Eaters were our own Sirius Black was thrown through the "Veil of Death" by none other than his cousin, Bellatrix Lestrange."
"It was at this point I arrived, and Bellatrix fled with Harry right behind her. After helping to subdue the remaining Death Eaters, I followed Harry up into the atrium where he had been dueling with Mrs. Lestrange, but Voldemort had just arrived before me. We dueled for a few minutes before he possessed Harry, and tried to get me to kill him and Mr. Potter. He was however unsuccessful as I've said, when I did not attack and Mr. Potter expelled him from his body and mind. It was at this point that Minister Fudge and several other Ministry employees began to show up, and Voldemort fled with Bellatrix," Dumbledore finished tiredly, hoping that nobody would notice the lack of mention of the Prophecy with all the other information he out into the story.
Everyone around the room was in shock and sat with wide glazed eyes, and in some cases mouths gapingly open. Arthur Weasley was one of the first to regain control and ask a question that was plaguing him.
"I thought Harry's visions were pretty accurate, what was the difference between the one he had of me versus Sirius'?" he asked with a solemn face at the mention of their fallen friend.
"It's only speculation on my part Arthur, as I've discussed with Harry, but his scar serves as a connection between him and Voldemort. Harry has told me that he often could feel Voldemort's emotion or get glimpses through his eyes when he was especially angry or happy. I believe that more recently, Voldemort became aware of this connection, which is why I've had Harry start learning Occlumency before Voldemort started using this connection to his advantage, which it now appears that he has," replied Dumbledore to the silent crowd of witches and wizards gathered around him.
"Occlumency, but he's too young," exclaimed a very worried Molly Weasley, as she thought about the little boy she had grown to love as one of her own over the last five years.
"Molly, there is no such thing as too young to learn to defend yourself, especially for Harry," replied the scarred and twitchy ex-Auror, who turned towards their leader sitting on his left. "Are you teaching him, Albus?"
"Unfortunately that could not be arranged, Severus has been teaching Mr. Potter," Dumbledore replied.
"SNAPE?" yelled Remus Lupin and several others that knew how much Harry, or anybody for that matter hated the Slytherin Potions Master.
"Severus is a highly skilled Occlumens and Legilimens, and is more than capable of the task," Dumbledore spoke in a tone as to drop the subject immediately.
Everyone seemed to quiet down at once at the tone of Dumbledore's last statement, everyone except one. His jaw was clenched tightly, and his steal grey eyes locked on the Potions Master with an absolute hatred and rage bubbling to the surface before it erupted at the smug smirk on Snape's greasy face.
"THEY HATE EACH OTHER!" roared Lupin jumping to his feet, and breathing heavy as he glared daggers at Snape and Dumbledore. The room quickly erupted into a frenzied circus, as most people shouting and yelling in support of the werewolf. The animosity between Snape and the Potters was legendary, and most members of the Order knew of the reciprocal loathing between the two. Dumbledore stood, quickly recognizing the unrest in the room and shouted a loud silence.
At once, all noise came to an abrupt end, as every eye starred at the most powerful wizard of their age, and control returned to the meeting. Lupin and Snape were still glaring at each other with immense hatred on their faces, but quieted none the less at Dumbledore's command.
"This is getting us nowhere, Remus, Severus. Please sit down," Dumbledore finished as he waited for the two former enemies to sit before joining them in his own chair at the head of the large wooden table. "Are there any more questions about the Department of Mysteries battle, before we move on to other matters?" Dumbledore asked heavily to everyone around the kitchen of Grimmauld Place.
"How were the children able to fly thestrals from Hogwarts to London, or get into the Ministry unnoticed and end up at the Department of Mysteries?" asked a red-faced and worried Molly Weasley.
"Mr. Potter's resourcefulness is quite incredible Molly, it may even surpass your twins' or the Marauder's, Remus," replied Albus Dumbledore with the familiar twinkle returning to his warm blue eyes.
"What happened to Harry, after he was possessed?" asked a still somewhat angry Remus Lupin, this was no time for niceties in his mind, he wanted answers, and he knew Dumbledore knew a lot more than he was letting on.
"He was exhausted, confused, and angry. I made him a port-key to return him to my office at Hogwarts where he awaited my return. It was after my return that he managed to destroy a great deal of the many items filling up my office," replied Dumbledore trying to keep the mood light and not further upset Remus, he could still see the questions in his grey eyes lingering beneath the surface searching for answers. He nodded slightly to the werewolf, which Remus took as a sign that some of his questions would have to wait to be discussed more privately.
"Very well …" said Dumbledore after a short pause fell upon the group, "… this meeting of the Order of Phoenix is now over, I thank you all for your time and efforts. Would everyone who has received a letter from Gringotts today, please stay behind for a few minutes, and Alastor, can you join us as well?"
At these words almost everyone got out of their seats and exited the kitchen quickly, talking excitedly amongst themselves. Alastor Moody and Albus Dumbledore sat near the head of the table and were joined by Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, Remus Lupin, and Nymphadora Tonks all looking rather nervous and uncertain as to what was coming next.
"Have you all been summoned to Gringotts at 10am on Friday the 14th of July?" asked Dumbledore as he looked at the four adults for confirmation, and after receiving small nods continued. "The will reading of Sirius Black has been scheduled, and Harry also will be receiving his summons tonight. Although I fear for his safety, I am allowing Harry to attend, but would like you three …" he said as he pointed to Tonks, Lupin, and Moody, "… to act as Harry's guard for the trip."
"You're allowing Harry to attend, Albus? It's his right to be there!" spoke Lupin more forcefully than any of the others had ever seen the usually mild mannered werewolf speak, especially towards Albus Dumbledore.
"He is still in great danger, Remus," he replied with finality in his tone that quickly ended the discussion.
"What about us, sir?" asked Arthur Weasley as he looked to the leader of the Light.
"I will be accompanying you, along with Ms. Granger and Fred, George, Ron and Ginny, who are also requested at the reading …" replied the Headmaster evenly, "… I will be by with Ms. Granger Friday morning at 9 o'clock to escort your family to Gringotts. I would like you three to bring Harry to Gringotts via the Night Bus, muggle transportation is just too unpredictable for my liking," finished the Headmaster to a group of nodding heads. "Very well, until we meet again, I wish you all a pleasant evening."
Everyone got up to leave the old House of Black, when Remus caught Tonks' eye and motioned for her to wait so they could talk privately. Once everyone had left the kitchen, Remus put up a silencing charm on the room and sat across from the spiky blue haired auror in front of him. Tonks didn't look good now that he got a good look at her up close. There were dark heavy bags under her eyes from lack of sleep, and her hair was not it's usually bright self, but a more depressed or sad blue. Remus immediately felt bad for his younger friend, knowing how much she must be missing her favorite cousin or only cousin that really mattered. Remus himself knew all about the pain of loss, Sirius was his last remaining best friend; he had long discounted Peter Pettigrew the rat traitor, who died to Remus Halloween night almost fifteen years ago.
"Uh … Tonks …" Remus began nervously not knowing exactly where to start as he opened and closed his mouth dumbly.
"Wotcher Remus," Tonks said somewhat apprehensively knowing how difficult everything must be for the last true Marauder as she gave him the smallest of smiles she could muster, which happened to be the most she had managed since that night at the Department of Mysteries.
"Tonks … I need to ask you … a favor," spoke Remus shyly, unsure of so much that he was stumbling over both his thoughts and his words. "It's Harry … I'm really worried about him. You didn't see how he reacted when … when, you know …" choked out Remus as a single tear fell from his tired and cloudy grey eyes, he just couldn't say it, and if he did it would finally be true.
"I think I have a very good idea of how he reacted, Remus," she spoke softly as small tears began to well in her eyes and fall freely down her face as her shoulders began shaking softly from the escaping sobs.
"I don't know, Tonks. You didn't see him … his face … his eyes … I've never seen anyone that hurt and angry at the same time, I'm really scared for him. He's been through too much for any one person, and he's not even sixteen yet. Merlin only knows what I was dealing with at sixteen, and it was still never this bad. He and … S-S-Si … Sirius shared a very special bond from before Harry was even born. That bond has only grown an intensified over the last three years," replied Remus wearily as he cried silently for his fallen friend.
"What do you mean? What kind of bond?" asked the still watery eyed auror in confusion?
"Before Harry was born, when James and Lily asked S-S-Sirius to be the Godfather, he found some ancient spell that would bind him as a blood guardian to Harry forever. Sirius only told me about it just last year. He said he always felt a connection with Harry, and thought that connection was what saved him in Azkaban. Then Harry not only saved Sirius' life, but his very soul from the Dementor attack two years ago. Sirius said that everything inside of him changed that night, but he never got very specific. He mentioned a while a go, how his very feelings and emotions became more closely linked with Harry's, and It was not until last week, did he mention anything else about it. He knew something was wrong with Harry, that's why he was so adamant about tagging along. He said he felt almost sick with worry all day, but couldn't really place the feeling until the fighting at the Ministry began. But I'm afraid I don't know if he ever told Harry … or if I should tell him …" trailed off Remus, who suddenly became conscious of how much he was just unloading unto Tonks, who sat there wide eyed and motionless throughout his ramblings.
"An ancient binding spell? Like a blood adoption?" asked the stunned auror after a few seconds passed in absolute silence as she filtered through all the information Remus just shared with her.
"I don't really know, I've never come across anything like it except supposedly Gringotts, which has used the spell for Pureblood families that have adopted or taken in," replied Remus exhaustively, realizing that he too must look absolutely miserable and even worse than the worried auror in front of him. He hadn't slept at all, not for even a second, since he saw the look in Harry's eyes after Sirius fell through the veil. It was a look that haunted him whenever he closed his eyes, even to blink; the image remained ingrained in his minds eye and couldn't be forgotten no matter how hard he tried.
"What do you want from me?" asked a nervous Tonks, not knowing where this conversation was heading.
"I was just hoping you could try and talk to Harry, next time you've got guard duty, nothing much, and not about this stuff. I just want to see how he's coping with everything," replied Remus with great concern shining through his now sparkling silver eyes. "I just don't want him trying to shut everybody out; he needs to know that there are other people who also care a great deal about him."
"Sure Remus, I'll see what I can do, although I don't know why he'd talk to me?" replied Tonks skeptically, knowing she was nobody special, and figuring that Harry wouldn't want to be around anyone right now either.
"Well, besides being very friendly and fun, you are also Sirius' cousin, and one of the few links Harry has left to his Godfather," said Remus truthfully, hoping a talk between the two could do them both some real good. "Please help me Tonks, both Sirius and Harry need our help, now more than ever."
With those final words and a nod from the young auror, both Tonks and Remus left the kitchen at Grimmauld Place and headed to their respective apartment and home.
'Those we truly love, never really leave us. You can always find them in here …'
'Come on, you can do better than that …' said Sirius after he dodged a stunner. Then he was hit with another red light and his eyes widened and his body arced and fell back very slowly through the thin veil. Her laughter echoed throughout the room filling his head in torment.
'She killed Sirius, she killed him … I'll KILL HER!'
'Come out, come out, Little Harry,' she called him in her mock baby voice. 'What did you come after me for then? I thought you were here to avenge my dear cousin!' 'I AM' shouted Harry. 'Ah, did you love him, little baby Potter?' 'Crucio' 'Never used an unforgivable curse before, have you, boy? You need to mean the Potter! You need to really want to cause pain – to enjoy it – righteous anger won't hurt me for long – I'll show you how it is done, shall I? I'll give you a lesson – Crucio'
'I have nothing more to say to you Potter, you have irked me too often, for too long. AVADA KEDAVRA!'
And then Harry's scar burst open. He knew he must be dead; it was pain beyond imagining, pain past endurance – he was locked in the coils of a creature with red eyes – fused together – beyond pain. He was standing in front of Dumbledore in the atrium of the Ministry of Magic. A snake was wrapping itself around his insides, squeezing out his very life, controlling his body and taunting Dumbledore. 'Kill me now, Dumbledore … If death is nothing, Dumbledore, kill the boy …' Let the pain stop it's killing me. Let him kill us … Let it end … death is nothing compared to this … and I'll get to see Sirius again …
Harry was frozen, locked, looking into the snake-like cold red eyes of his arch enemy, Lord Voldemort. There was nothing else, only two pairs of eyes staring holes into the other. The evil crimson one's were ablaze with absolute hatred and spitting with power and destruction; while the bright emerald eyes shimmered with a pure love and painful loss while radiating an unmatched intensity. 'You are weak Potter, you couldn't even save your godfather … another person you love has left you, abandoned you, you are all alone again … and soon you to will join those pathetic scum who succumbed to death. I will destroy you and everyone you have ever cared about, you will be completely abandoned by everyone you have ever loved … you will watch as everyone you have ever cared for is killed before you … and it will all be your fault," hissed the high-pitched snake-like voice of the most feared dark wizard ever to walk the earth, "CRUCIO."
"NOOOO," screamed Harry as he quickly sat up in bed sweating and breathing heavily.
It was pitch black, and he knew immediately that it was very late, and he was still stuck in his bedroom at Privet Drive. The dreams kept playing over again even in his now conscious mind, but the closing words of Voldemort left him even more devastated than he already was. Everyone he loved had died, left him all alone, he was already destroyed. It was his own fault that everyone around him was in danger, that those he loved, and who loved him were targets, and those targets had almost all been eliminated, leaving Harry feeling completely alone, helpless, and abandoned. An angry hoot broke Harry's internal reverie, and he quickly looked up to see Hedwig sitting on his windowsill skeptically investigating a very regal looking yet unfamiliar hawk-owl, with an official looking letter attached to it's leg.