Usual disclaimers apply... none of these characters are mine, if Ms. Rowling, WB, or any of the agents related have a problem with this, let me know, I will take it down, just don't sue me (I am a poor college student!!). This story takes place the summer after Goblet of Fire...

Harry woke up to the voice of Vernon Dursley bellowing with delight. Groggy-eyed, he walked down the stairs to see what was going on.

"Oh, Vernon, darling, can you believe that we won? An entire two week vacation to America! It will be just wonderful-you me and Dudley-poops!"

"Can we go to Disneyworld?" Dudley whined. Uncle Vernon stood by with the letter in his hand.

"Well, boy, about time you got up! Did you hear the news? We are going to America on vacation. We won it from a contest that Dudley entered at school."

Harry sighed. Two weeks with the Dursley's in America. Wonderful. This was just what he needed-two weeks without Owl Post, without his schoolbooks, and without a moment's privacy. What would he do with Hedwig? Obviously, the Dursley's wouldn't let him take her with them.

"Right, then. When do we leave?" Harry tried to put on a smile. The three of them stared at him.

"Right, as if we'd take you with!" Dudley broke the silence with a laugh.

"Don't you be gettin' any funny ideas, boy. Just got off the phone with Ms. Figg. You're to spend the two weeks at her place." Dudley chuckled and made a face behind his father's back.

Harry sighed again. The prospect of two weeks without the Dursley's was heartening, but the idea of spending them with Ms. Figg and her cats in the house that smelled like cabbage was more than he could bear. Dudley saw his expression and smirked.

"I called the travel agent a few minutes ago. We're leaving tomorrow. I've gotten off work and all, and we are going to have a right special time. You'd all better pack your things." Dudley walked out of the room with his mother.

"Mum, can I get a new suitcase? And a Game Boy for the flight? Are we sitting in first class?" His voice faded away as Harry turned to go back upstairs. Mr. Dursley followed him out and grabbed him by his shoulder. Harry spun around. His uncle put his fat, bulging face right up to Harry's, but he didn't back down, not even under the oppressive odor of his breath.

"If I hear that you've tried any of your magic with Ms. Figg or mentioned one word about that blasted school of yours, you'll wish that you'd never been born. Is that clear?"

Harry contemplated several hexes or charms, but thought better of it and simply nodded, while staring at his uncle straight in the eye, and then tore upstairs, packing his things.

Early the next morning, Uncle Vernon drove Harry and his belongings to Ms. Figg's house. He had almost forgotten about this woman who he had stayed with occasionally earlier on in his life, although the last time had been before he started school at Hogwarts. The first thing he wanted to do when he got there was send Hedwig with letters to Ron and Hermione telling them of his predicament. In no time whatsoever, they had arrived, and Uncle Vernon shot Harry a look before letting him out of the car.

Ms. Figg opened the door. She was a little younger than Harry had remembered, however, the cats that were wandering around looked the same. "Oh, Harry! Do come in and make yourself at home! I've got you a room all set up upstairs for you and all of you things."

At the intense pressure he felt on his shoulder by his Uncle's hand, he quickly replied "Thank you," and ran upstairs with his things.

"Thanks a lot for agreeing to look after our dear nephew for us. You don't know how much this means, to have him out of our hair, er… out over here while we go on vacation. It's a crying shame he couldn't have come with us, but…" Vernon trailed off.

"Oh, it's no problem at all. Not at all. He is a pleasure to look after. Have fun on your trip!" Vernon forced a smile on his face, and hurried back to his car.

Meanwhile, Harry had reached his room. Once he was upstairs, he realized that he had never been in this part of the house before. There was something different and unexpected about the upstairs, something that he hadn't expected but that felt strangely familiar.

"Harry? Oh, Harry, be a good lad and come downstairs. I've baked some cookies for you." Ms. Figg's voice carried upstairs and startled Harry out of his reverie.

"Coming!" he responded, and bounded down the stairs.

In the kitchen, he felt oddly as if he was in the kitchen at the Burrow. Everything was messy but homey. As Ms. Figg pulled the cookie sheet out of the oven, she pointed to a seat at the table. There was a dish of jellybeans on the table, and Harry helped himself.

"So, Harry, how is school going?" she asked.

"Well…" Harry didn't know how to respond.

"Liking your professors all right?" she prompted.

"They're all right…"

"I've been wondering about that. Especially about how good old Remus was as a teacher. After all, he was always quite bright, but I would imagine that after only one year of teaching…"

Harry was astounded. He was frozen with shock. Had he heard right? Remus? Remus Lupin?

"Uh… Ms. Figg? Did you say…"

"Oh, Harry, dear, I'm sorry. It slipped my mind. Dumbledore must not have told you. I know all about you, of course, but I had to keep it a secret all these years. Didn't want the muggles sniffing around, you know. But, by and by, you've managed quite well, in fact, quite well."

"You're…" Harry stuttered. "a…"

"Witch. Yes, to put things bluntly, however, I'm a bit out of practice. I'm working as an incognitium right now-that's an undercover witch. My best subjects at school were Defense Against the Dark Arts and Muggle studies, so, naturally I was in the best place to watch out for you all those years. I have virtually no problem adapting to muggle life, me growing up as one and all."

Harry blanched. His jellybean ended up being wasabi flavored, and he wasn't expecting it.

"Oh, sorry about that, dear. They're Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans. Thought it might be a nice treat for you."

"Oh, thanks" he said, a bit sheepishly. He took a bite of cookie, and then realized that he had a flood of questions that needed to be answered. "So, you've been watching me all these years? Is that why I had to go live with the Dursleys? So that you can watch me? And Dumbledore knows? Is that why I'm safe as long as I'm there? And is that how he knew all about me changing rooms and such?"

She smiled. "Come upstairs with me." He followed her up the stairs, and then, up a rickety old latter to an attic. "Lumos," Ms. Figg muttered, whipping her wand out of her pea coat. The attic lit up, and Harry was amazed. The entire place was covered with magical objects. There was a box of Remembralls in one corner, another of old, tattered broomsticks ("They're antiques, they are"), as well as some interestingly shaped clear objects that seemed to be made out of smoke. Old robes were hanging in a wardrobe, and Harry noticed that some were the same black robes for Hogwarts that he had in the trunk on the floor beneath them. The patch on the right hand side was scarlet and gold and read "Gryffindor." What was the most astounding was the center table. It seemed to be a large dollhouse of his own home on Privet Drive. Everything was identical, down to the food in the refrigerator and the trapdoor in his floor. The house was empty and desolate.

"But, what is this?" Harry asked, amazed. Ms. Figg smiled.

"This is how I've been keeping tags on you. If necessary, I can perform spells from here that will actually happen in your very home. This is how Dumbledore could ensure your safety while you were growing up."

"You mean, you could do spells here that take place there?"

"Yes. It's a complicated process that took me months to set up. But, for example, watch." She pulled out her want, and pointed it to Harry's miniature unmade bed. "Fairecamaum." Instantly, the bed was made perfectly.

"So, at home, my bed is made?" Harry asked, and his amazement was plastered on his face.

Ms. Figg nodded. "I'm not supposed to do that for trivial things. It's only in case of something like the Dark Arts. In fact, I couldn't really do anything when that house-elf visited you a few years ago either, although I wanted to. This is strictly for emergencies."

"Have you ever had a chance to use it?" he asked? She looked away.

"Come. We have much to do. Dumbledore is expecting you right away." They walked downstairs, and, to Harry's surprise, there was a letter on the table addressed to him in the care of someone named Arabella. Hedwig, who Harry had let out as soon as he had heard Ms. Figg calling him, looked quite pleased with herself. Harry tore the note open:

Dear Harry (and Arabella),

Sorry to throw all this on you at once, but I didn't have a choice. Dumbledore heard some bad news from Snape, and so I'm sending these letters to you, Hagrid, and a few others. Something has come up, and it must be dealt with immediately. Harry-I know this might all come as a shock to you, but with Arabella gone, we couldn't leave you at the Dursley's without some kind of back-up, and you are as involved in this as any. What you are about to enter into is like a totally different world unlike any you have ever seen before. You must understand this. You have shouldered a large burden before. Now, comes time to make the choice-between what is right and what is easy. Believe me, when you come with us, it will not be easy. Do be careful, and follow Arabella very closely. She was an Auror once, and a damn good one at that so you should be safe with her.

Take care of yourself. I will see you soon.


P.S.- Arabella, congratulations on getting the Defense against the Dark Arts position. Those kids don't know how lucky they are!