Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter. The only thing I own is the plot!
Harry sighed as he slipped upstairs to his bedroom – if he could really call it that. In reality, it was Dudley's room where the Dursley's – Harry's last living relatives – grudgingly allowed him sleeping space during the summer holidays.
"Although," he snorted quietly "I could still be in the cupboard, so I shouldn't complain where the Dursley's might hear me."
He leaned his forehead against the cool glass of the window, absently scratching Hedwig.
"I wonder if Ron and Hermione have got their acts together yet." He laughed quietly. This summer, as opposed to others, Harry, Ron and Hermione had managed regular correspondence without the danger of discovery due to a nifty little charm Harry had stumbled over. The charm connected books or parchment so that what was written on one appeared on all other connected implements. Of course all three diaries (or journals as Harry and Ron preferred) were enabled with individual passwords and the strongest security spells available, courtesy of Headmaster Dumbledore, who had been delighted with their ingenuity.
Harry flicked his eyes to his (Dudley's repaired) alarm clock, and hurriedly opened the window.
"Time to go before Vernon comes in," he whispered to Hedwig, allowing her to perch on his arm as a stepping point to the window. Hedwig hooted softly and butted her head against Harry's arm before taking flight out the window not a moment too soon, as Harry heard Vernon's heavy footsteps start up the stairs.
Harry left the window, quickly turning out his light and curling up on the bed staring out the window at the moon.
Vernon opened the door, grunted, then pulled it closed, pushing the deadbolt and locking padlocks to keep Harry in. Harry in turn, while his uncle was busy, quickly locked the door from his side.
Normally, this was unnecessary, as the Dursley's avoided him like the plague, however lately Dudley had been eyeing him disturbingly, making comments about how pretty Harry had become. It had gotten to the point that even Vernon and Petunia had noticed, and had gone out of their way to keep him and Dudley separated. Of course, they blamed Harry for it all, but Harry wasn't going to complain about the inadvertent help. At least they were aiding him, rather than enabling Dudley, even if it was to keep him from becoming 'contaminated' with 'freakishness'.
Not that Harry could honestly refute Dudley's claims. Always small from malnutrition early in life and cramped dark living quarters, this summer Harry had gradually matured. He'd allowed his hair to grow to his shoulders, so that it now framed his face in silky waves. He'd owl-ordered (anonymously) an eye-correction potion from Snape, removing his need for glasses. Combined with thick lashes framing vibrant emerald eyes, cherry red lips and flawless porcelain skin, Harry had gained an extremely flattering androgynous look.
He was actually, for the first time since he'd turned eleven (and discovered he was a wizard), somewhat dreading the return to school, knowing he'd probably be teased unmercifully.
Harry heaved a sigh and grabbed his dia– journal. Whispering the password (Sherbet Lemon, borrowed from the Headmaster, of course), he cracked it open, moving to today's date, and noting Ron had left him a message.
Good news! You're birthday present won't cost me anything this year... Just kidding (Hermione) but seriously, Professor Dumbledore, with Bill's help (he's transferred to Britain for a while), has just added piles of extra wards to the Burrow, to make it safe for you to stay. Apparently they had to wait for the right time of the moon cycle or something else I didn't understand, which is why it couldn't be done sooner. He said to let you know that he will be coming to pick you up at noon on your birthday.
Guess what else! The Cannons won a game (Harry snorted, loudly)... No, actually, that's just wishful thinking, but truly, me and Luna are now going out. I've no idea how it happened, but hey, happy anyway.
Hermione is currently talking to Viktor's head in the fireplace (you were right by the way, he's a nice guy once you're not jealous of him), but they both told me to say hello, so 'hello' from Herms & Viktor. 'Mione is going to write to you later (prob tomorrow).
Buck up mate, only a day and a half left with the Muggles, then you get to come home... even though you can't call it that according to Dumbledore (I will never understand half, no more than half the things he says).
Anyway, Mum's started cooking for you already, so by the time we get to Hogwarts you'll be too fat for that Firebolt, and will have to give it to me... joking (kinda).
Talk to you later, Mate,
p.s., we'll wait till you're here for presents, so don't wait up tomorrow night.
Harry laughed softly, quickly penned that he couldn't wait and congrats about him and Luna. Hissing softly to the diary to close it, Harry slipped between the sheets to try and sleep.
Harry had been suffering nightmares since the night at the ministry. He and Sirius had been duelling Lucius Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange, when she had cast a modified banishing charm at Sirius. He had been blown backwards, straight towards the sinisterly waving curtains of the Veil. Panicked, Harry had instinctively summoned Sirius straight to him, sending them both crashing to the floor as Dumbledore, who had arrived moments earlier, quickly stunned and bound Malfoy & Lestrange.
Fudge and a number of ministry officials – including some angry Unspeakables – had turned up before they could leave, and in front of numerous witnesses, bowed to the law and called an emergency session of the Wizengamot, with Veritaserum to be administered to all discovered within the bowels of the Department of Mysteries.
In front of the full Wizengamot, Fudge had committed his gravest (and stupidest) mistake yet. Electing to question Harry first, under a full dose of Veritaserum, Fudge had been exposed as knowing of Voldemort's return and doing nothing, aiding and abetting the torture of children through the placement of Dolores Umbridge (and her blood quills) at Hogwarts, abusing his position, sending an innocent man to Azkaban without trial, accepting bribes, and perhaps most damaging of all, suppressing the Potter Will and withholding Harry's rightful heritage.
Since then, Lucius Malfoy had been Kissed, with Draco taking the title, already having reached 16. Bellatrix had been, in a fit of irony, sent through the Veil she attempted to blast Sirius through.
Amelia Bones had been elected as Minister for Magic, with Harry and Dumbledore's full support. Albus had been reinstated to all positions, and had immediately called for trials of Umbridge and Fudge. Both had been prosecuted, and sentenced to Azkaban.
Most importantly in Harry's opinion, the Ministry had immediately released a statement validating Harry and Dumbledore's claims of Voldemort's return, and was in the process of preparing for war – approaching the Giants, Centaurs, Goblins, Werewolves, Vampires and Merpeople, among others, armed with unbreakable treaties.
It had come out during the trial that Sirius was innocent – he was currently sequestered at St Mungos Hospital with the best mind healers in the country attempting to reverse the effects of twelve years of Dementors. Dumbledore had altered the Fidelius Charm on Grimmauld Place for a short time, in order for the Goblins to remove all dark artefacts (including the portrait of Sirius' mum. When Harry asked how this had been accomplished, he laughed when told they had merely removed the wall) to the Black Family Vault. Dobby and Winky, along with a team of four other elves had been hired to clean and repair the house, and the Order was now holding regular meetings there. Harry and Sirius intended to live there together after he turned seventeen and the wards on the Dursley's fell. Harry had already authorised the purchase of a home in a community not far from Greater Whinging. He intended to offer the Dursley's the home, in return for them signing over the house on Privet Drive to him. If they chose to keep the house, they could rent his new house. He may not like his relatives, but as he told Remus when he asked him to find the place and liaise with the Goblins, he didn't want them dead.
The most shocking to Harry was quite how much Fudge had stolen from him. A quick trip to Gringotts after his trial had allowed the Goblins to inform him of his various vaults and titles. It turned out that Harry was descended from Gryffindor and Ravenclaw on his father's side, and surprisingly, Hufflepuff on his mother's. The Evans line was apparently a squib line. Furthermore, due to Voldemort's attempt to kill him at fifteen months, Harry had become the Magical Heir to the Slytherin Line, explaining the Parseltongue.
Harry had promptly (with some explaining and urging from the Goblins) cast Voldemort from the Slytherin family due to his disgracing of the name, and taken the title for himself. He then invoked his right to act a regent for Sirius, as the Godson of Lord Black, and cast Narcissa Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange from the family. Draco he had left, forwarding a message through the Goblins that he would be removed from the family also upon deciding to join or support Voldemort, though this in no way meant he had to support Dumbledore and Harry. He was well within his rights to remain neutral, but these were his only options with regards to the Black Family. Andromeda and Tonks had also been reinstated to the family, with Andromeda finally receiving her dowry. As payment for the offence against the Black Family, the Lestrange Family vault had also been seized.
As the heir to the Founders, as well has holding his own familial title (Duke Potter) and acting as Regent for Lord Black (Sirius) while he was incapacitated, Harry had been able to renew the old wards, adding a phenomenal amount of power to the castle, and waking the semi-sentient guardian. He went on to enact the old laws of ownership, removing the influence of the Ministry and the Board of Governors. He had, instead, implemented the old process of electing parents and citizens to a panel, who would monitor the school, and review the rules. He had further been able to open the old school vaults that had closed themselves as the Ministry corrupted the school. Teachers had received a pay rise, tuition had been decreased, and a new curriculum was being devised. Harry sighed as he slipped into sleep. This was going to be an excellent year.
A/N This is my first (published) story, so any reviews (complimentary or critical) are very welcome. No guarantees I will post more, nothing is written yet.