Author's Note:  Just to let you know, I do not live in Britain, even though I used British punctuations and spellings because I feel that they make it seem more realistic to the storyline. (Which is why you ppl might find a few mistakes here and there…)

Silent Tears

Part I:

The Dream

'Now my—ah—faithful Death Eaters,' sneered a high, cold voice…the voice of Lord Voldemort.  The picture of the dim room of the Riddle House was coming into sharper view.  Voldemort was pacing, addressing his companions.

'We must continue with arranging our plan.  Unfortunately, my most faithful Death Eater has received the Dementor's Kiss—destroyed by our own ally.  We did not even manage to kill Harry Potter…and I confess myself disappointed once again.  But no matter.  We will soon have our revenge.  And after we have that fool Albus Dumbledore out of our way, we may prepare for world domination.'

Voldemort glared menacingly around the room, as though daring anyone to speak, but everyone merely sat in silence around the fire.  Wormtail twitched nervously, his powerful artificial arm glistening by the light of the flickering flames.  Nagini, the ten-foot-long snake, slithered past the Dark Lord.

'First,' he continued, ' we will need to position another Death Eater at Hogwarts.  That Death Eater will be you, Wormtail.' 

From what Harry could see, Wormtail's face had suddenly drained of colour.  He sputtered incoherently.

'M-m-me, My Lord?' he managed to ask fearfully.

'Why, certainly, Wormtail,' Voldemort replied coldly.  'You are an Animagus.  You alone can slip into the castle unnoticed, disregarded as simply a filthy, common rat.'

Wormtail shuddered convulsively.  Harry continued to listen with bated breath.

'Then,' he went on, 'I want you to brew the Potion and—'  

'My Lord!' gasped Wormtail.  'How can we possibly kill Harry Potter?'

Voldemort's pitiless red eyes narrowed as Wormtail shrank back in his armchair.  Voldemort drew out his wand.

'Meaning…?' he hissed evilly.

Wormtail flinched, his eyes fixed upon Voldemort's wand.  He gulped.

'W-w-well…' he stuttered.  'I merely thought that we could first—um…uh…' he trailed off, afraid to continue.  Harry stood in the shadows and watched in silence.

'Wormtail…' Voldemort began.  'You remember that new and wonderful hand I made for you?'

Wormtail nodded timidly.

'Don't forget that I can take it away just as easily….' He waved his wand threateningly.

'Y-y-yes, My Lord…My apologies… It will never happen again—'

'That will do,' said Voldemort, and Wormtail lapsed into silence.

'Now, where were we?' No one moved or said a word.  'You, Wormtail, poor wizard though you are, you will have your uses.  Make the Polyjuice Potion, turn into the girl's closest friend, and—'

'Oh, but My Lord—!' Wormtail burst out again.  

Instantly, everyone knew he had gone too far.  They drew a collective breath as Voldemort advanced towards Wormtail, his wand held forward.

'What is it this time?' Voldemort spat.

When Wormtail said nothing, he raised his wand.

'My Lord…no…I beg you…'

Voldemort gazed down at him, a look of cruel amusement on his face.

'Crucio!'

Wormtail shrieked and flailed on the floor; all the Death Eaters stood up and got out of the way.  Harry's scar seared with a sharp pain as he began yelling too…Voldemort would know he was there, listening to his every word—

Harry woke with a start.  He was drenched in cold sweat and shaking with fear.  His scar was burning on his forehead.  He sat up and looked around.

Sure enough, he was safe in his four-poster bed at Hogwarts in the fifth year boys' dormitory.  He was still breathing hard and fast as he snatched up his glasses, ink, parchment, and quill.  Dumbledore had told him to write down every dream he had about Voldemort, as they were extremely valuable clues as to how Voldemort was going to attack. 

As for Harry's frequent scar pains, both associated with the nightmares and during the day, Dumbledore had told him that these were to be thought of as good signs—at least, they would be able to know when to be on their guard. 

Harry had met with the Headmaster at the beginning of the year.  He had asked Harry to remain calm.  He was to keep his head down and concentrate on his studies.  After what happened last year—what with that Crouch/Moody guy wandering around—he was especially apprehensive as to what Voldemort had in store for him this time.  So all he could do was wait in worry.

Harry was still writing feverishly fast, determined not to forget anything, rubbing his forehead.  He though as he wrote, trying to get down all he knew before he forgot, they're in the house again…and this time all the Death Eaters are with him…Wormtail is going to come back as a rat and turn into a girl's best friend, and with a potion…damn, this doesn't look good…

All at once, the memory faded.  He sighed and glanced at his alarm clock.  It was only three in the morning.  Neville was snoring, and Ron, Dean, and Seamus were all sleeping peacefully as well.  He couldn't go to Dumbledore now; it was much too early.  And what was the point in waking Ron?  He would just panic.  He would have to give it till morning…. it was just lucky that it was Saturday….

Harry sighed again and fell back against his pillows, still running his fingers over his scar.  The pain was so terrible that he couldn't fall back to sleep.  He shifted restlessly, still thinking about the dream.  Who was the girl?  Hermione, Parvati, possibly Lavender?  Or maybe even someone he didn't know—but how would that ensure his death?  Well, he couldn't think of many other girls at the moment, and he normally avoided thinking about them for that matter.

No, the thing that was bothering him most was how successful Voldemort was going to be this time.  Thinking back to the dream, Harry realised that Voldemort was probably going to try and get rid of Dumbledore first.  It would be terrible if Dumbledore were suddenly wiped off the face of the earth.  They wouldn't stand a chance.  Even with Harry's surviving, and the fact that he was probably just as powerful as Voldemort, if not more, just wasn't as reassuring as if there was that wise, guiding hand of Albus Dumbledore helping him through these dark and dangerous times.  Survival would be the most difficult thing of all, during the continued rise of the Dark Order….

But there was no time to brood on this, as sleep was finally over-powering him, and all his pain and exhaustion carried him off.

*********

'Harry!  Hey, Harry!  Come on, get up!' Ron called.

Harry sat up drowsily.  There was the sound of crinkling parchment while he tried to find the divide of the hangings in the semi-darkness.

''Smatter?' he asked sleepily.

Ron didn't answer.

'Ron?'  Finally finding the part, Harry ripped back his curtains to find his best friend reading about his dream.  Ron's jaw dropped as he read.

'Oh, no,' he muttered.  'Harry, what's this?' he asked, not looking up from the parchment.

Harry didn't know what to say.  Ron looked up at him nervously, waiting for him to explain. 

'Oh, that's…um…err…' He couldn't find any way out of this one.

'Okay, if you really want to know…' Harry began, 'I had another dream last night, and Dumbledore thinks that they could've really happened, so I'm going to send Hedwig to him,' he said in a rush.  He sucked in his breath as Ron looked at him with worried eyes.

'Oh, no…there's no way you could see the future…I mean, come on…you would've seen more stuff in Divination if you really are a Seer…you've got to be joking….'

Harry remained silent.  He had been afraid this would happen.

'Well, come up to the Owlery with me so I can find Hedwig,' he said finally.

'Yeah, okay,' Ron answered, a look of utter disbelief still on his face.

Harry picked up his glasses, pulled on his robes, stuffed the parchment into his pocket, and walked out of the dorm, Ron behind him.

Up in the Owlery, Harry sat down against the stone wall to write the letter while Ron convinced Hedwig to flutter down on his arm.

Dear Professor Dumbledore, he wrote,

It's happened again.  I woke up at three in the morning from another dream, and my scar hurt, too.  After the dream, I wrote down what I saw.

He wanted to say something about his worries for his friends, but didn't know how to explain this, so he simply signed his name.

'Finished,' he announced, rising to his feet.  Ron strode across the room, the snowy white owl still perched peacefully on his shoulder.  Harry tied the letter to her leg, and she soared through the open window and out of sight.  Ron and Harry left the room.  Harry kept looking sideways at Ron, who looked nothing short of petrified.

'Are you okay?' he asked, raising an eyebrow.

'Yeah,' Ron replied, but there was still a look of shock on his face.

Down the stone steps, they passed the Great Hall, neither of them feeling much like eating, and headed for Gryffindor Tower.

'Harry,' Ron said abruptly, ' who do you reckon the girl is?'

'I dunno,' said Harry uneasily.

They walked in silence until they reached the Fat Lady.

'Password?' she asked.

'Turnabulbs,' they said dully.

She swung forward, and they climbed through the portrait hole and into the common room.

It wasn't very crowded, mainly because most people were either still asleep or eating breakfast.  Those who were in there bade them good-morning as they walked across the large room to a corner table.

Ron seemed to recover as they played chess.

'Check!' he said triumphantly, placing his knight in front of Harry's queen.

Harry didn't say anything.  He had played in silence for most of the game.

'You feeling alright?' asked Ron, looking concerned.

'Mhmm,' Harry answered vaguely.  He moved his queen and took Ron's knight.

'Checkmate,' Ron said, and his bishop moved in front of the king.

Harry gazed absently out the window as Ron put the game away.

'Harry, are you sure you're feeling okay?' Ron asked, looking down at him.

'Yeah, I'm just fine…' he trailed off.  But he wasn't fine.  He couldn't get his mind off the dream.  It had been haunting him ever since he had woken up at three a.m.  He was surprised that he didn't have a 'normal' nightmare about Voldemort after he got back to sleep.  It wasn't easy to forget is livid face and wide, mad eyes—

'Why weren't you two at breakfast?' asked Hermione's voice, bursting in on his thoughts.

Harry sat up quickly and looked uneasily at Ron, who looked stonily back.

'What?' she asked quizzically.  Hermione looked curiously from one to another as they wondered how best to explain their problem.  Finally, Harry decided to tell her about the dream, and his worries of Voldemort.  By the time he had finished, she had her hands over her mouth.

'Oh, Harry,' she whispered.  'You're going to have to be really, really careful.  We all are.'  She paused, then, as though struck by a sudden thought, she asked timidly, 'You—you did say that Wormtail got a new hand, didn't you?'

'Yeah,' he said uncomfortably.  The memories of that night were still painful.

Hermione looked at him sympathetically before continuing.

'Well…I just thought—maybe, when he's turned into a rat, his hand'll show up.  Then we'll know if it's him.'

'You're right, Hermione,' Ron said slowly.  He smiled feebly. 'I guess we'll be looking for Scabbers all over again!'

'I s'pose,' Harry said wearily.

Hermione glanced at him.

'You know, Harry,' she said.  'Remember what Hagrid said last year?  "What's coming, will come, and we'll be there to meet it when it does."   This just proves that there's no point in worrying about it now.  You have been given a gift to see into the future, or what's happening right now.  And you know what You-Know-Who is going to do next.  Now we can try to prevent it.'

Harry smiled at her.  She always had a way of cheering him up.

'I guess you're right again, Hermione,' he said.  'I can't afford to go to pieces like this.  We'll just have to keep a lookout for Pettigrew and watch our step.  Maybe Dumbledore'll have a plan before he manages to hurt anyone.'

'Did you send him an owl?'  Hermione asked.

'Yeah.  That's part of the reason we weren't at breakfast.'

The three of them sat in silence for a few minutes.  Finally, Hermione spoke again.

'Oh, what's the use in moping?' she said forcefully.  'Why don't we go to Hogsmeade with everyone else?'

The two boys agreed, so they grabbed their cloaks from their dormitory and walked out the portrait hole.

As they walked through the corridors, Harry perked up a bit more.  He was even feeling well enough to crack a joke.

'You know who's going to have a really good time with all this?' he asked.

They shook their heads, surprised by his sudden change of attitude.

'Crookshanks!' said Harry, and they all laughed.  Feeling much more cheerful, they walked out the wide oak doors and set off for Hogsmeade.

It was a chilly day in late October; Halloween was just next week.  Large pumpkins could be seen from every window, and the air was crisp with the scents of autumn.  The trio stayed huddled under their cloaks as they walked.

They entered the Honeydukes Sweetshop and emerged ten minutes later, slurping large, cinnamon/pumpkin-flavoured candy canes. By the time they had finished, Harry suggested that they go into the Three Broomsticks to warm up with some butterbeer.  The other two were more than willing; it was extremely windy outside.

It was warm and noisy inside the inn.  They each ordered a butterbeer from Madam Rosmerta and sat down at a table in the back.  Soon they were back on the subject of Voldemort.

'You know,' said Ron, 'if he was trying to do you in again, don't you think we would've heard something about You-Know-Who by now?'

'You do have a point, Ron,' Harry said.  But he was soon distracted once again by his burning scar.

'Ow!' he moaned, rubbing his forehead.

Ron and Hermione exchanged tense glances.

'It's getting worse,' he told them quietly.  'It hurts worse and worse everyday.  He's getting closer.'

Hermione looked as if she were about to burst into tears, though she did have some words of wisdom again.  But when she spoke, her voice trembled.

'Harry, like I said before, you're really going to have to watch you're step from now on.  But we're forgetting about Dumbledore.  As long as he's around, You-Know-Who wouldn't touch you.  You-Know-Who's still afraid of him, isn't he?'

'Alright, alright,' said Harry in a defeated voice.  They finished their butterbeers and walked out the door. 

They were almost to the outskirts of Hogsmeade when Hermione cried out, 'Look, it's Snuffles!'

Harry and Ron whipped around to see a large black dog bounding towards them.

Seeing the curious looks of the villagers, they hastily dropped to their knees to pet and coo at Sirius, pretending he belonged to them. 

Once everyone had gone back to his or her business, Harry, Ron, and Hermione straightened up.  It was then that they realised that Sirius had a soiled piece of parchment clamped tight in his jaws.  He dropped the note at Harry's feet.  Harry picked it up and read:

Harry, we need to talk. Follow me.

He looked up at Ron and Hermione, who had read what Sirius had written over his shoulder, then looked back at Sirius and nodded.  The dog turned around and trotted towards Hogwarts.

********   

A/N: So what do ya think? Pretty good for a first fanfic, huh? You're all probably thinking, 'where's the romance?'  Be patient, my friends, it is on its way…