Carpe Diem – Seize The Day.

By Deanne Gray

Summary: Angry and traumatised after the Department of Mysteries fiasco, Harry returns to Privet Drive where he is determined to seize the day and take charge of his life. Will be M for romance and violence, contains Sexy!Smart!Inheritance!Harry, Mentor!Snape, friendly (as possible) Slytherins, and Harry/Luna. Non-canon AU.

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or associated characters. I am not a Pom or a Billionaire, though I wish I was both. Also, I have read a LOT of fanfiction, so if you read something you think might be similar, I apologise profusely.

No matter how long he stared at the ceiling for, it refused to change. Harry Potter lay on the worn carpet of his bedroom in Privet Drive trying to burn holes through the sickly peach coloured paint with his eyes alone, green eyes narrowed in anger and frustration. He felt as though there had been a bludger ripped through his stomach, caused by a combination of losing Sirius and the past three weeks on minimal food. Ceiling-hating had become a ritual of sorts for Harry since he returned for the Summer Holidays, as the confined space of his bedroom, the persistent eyes of the Order of the Phoenix and his inability to perform any magic outside of school really limited his options for entertainment. Harry might have saved his cousin from Dementors last Summer, but he wasn't desperate enough to seek him out. He let out a deep sigh that shifted his stubborn black hair from his forehead, and picked himself up off the floor to stare out the window. Harry was shocked to see that the sky had turned a deep black somewhere in between ceiling-hating and Sirius-despairing, and looked down at his battered watch to reveal that it was indeed eleven thirty, leaving a half hour before he turned sixteen. He crossed the floor to Hedwig who was staring at him curiously from the top of her cage. He scratched the top of her head and was rewarded with an affectionate 'hoot' and ruffling of feathers. Her amber eyes suddenly widened and she looked towards the window where three shapes were winging their way towards the glass. Harry opened the window to let the trio of owls in and they dropped their packages on the bed before settling about the room. He fed each an owl treat and settled on his threadbare blanket to open his presents.

The first was from Remus and Harry smiled softly to himself thinking of his honorary godfather. He felt a small surge of guilt for not considering how Remus was taking the loss of the final marauder and promised himself that he would write to him more often. Harry opened the brown package to reveal a black leather bound book that had 'Ritualistic Magics' embossed in curly gold writing down the spine. Setting it aside for the moment, he unfolded the parchment that had been attached to read his letter;

Happy Birthday! Dora and I are sorry we couldn't give this to you in person, but Dumbledore has disallowed it. The book should be able to help you in more ways than one, don't hesitate to write if you need assistance. Hope you're holding up over there, remember that you're still pack.

Harry frowned at the comment about Dumbledore, wondering for the thousandth time that summer what it would be like in a world where madmen weren't either trying to kill you or control you. Taking a deep breath to avoid another ceiling-hating session, he looked over the other two packages. One package was obviously from Hagrid, judging by the poorly written scrawl of 'HARRY' on the paper and opening it revealed a highly disfigured birthday cake that may have had writing on it at some point, and a bag of owl treats for Hedwig. Resisting the urge to dive headfirst into the chocolatey mess Ron-style, he picked up the final package that had two letters attached. The first was from Gringotts, and claimed that it was forwarded to him as per his parents' instructions. The second was from his parents. With shaky hands, he opened the second letter to reveal the small, neat writing of Lily Potter.

If this letter has reached you, then we must be gone and I am so sorry that we aren't there for you anymore. Know that we are always looking down on you, and are proud of who you are and what you will do. This package should contain the Potter and Evans family rings, which you are entitled to claim today. They are password-activated portkeys that will take you to any of our properties and are used in replacement of vault keys. We both love you and miss you very much.
Carpe Diem, Harry.
Love, Mum and Dad.'

Harry traced a finger over the last line of his letter, before folding it up reverently and picking up the rings. The Potter ring was gold with a crest that contained a lion and a phoenix, and as he slid it into place on his right hand, a cool shiver ran down his spine as the ring recognised its new lord. Harry had always assumed that Lily was muggleborn, due to his Aunt Petunia, but a family ring only existed in those of pureblood, so his grandparents must have been squibs. With a shock, Harry realised that Aunt Petunia must also be a squib, but as Harry was the male heir, he received the family ring. A warm caress washed over him as he placed the Evans ring, that depicted a rose and a sword on the next finger. At this point, Harry was exhausted, but the memories of his parents, combined with those of Sirius, Dumbledore and the Dark Lord emotionally drained him so he removed his glasses and lay back on the bed. His last thoughts before drifting off to sleep were on his mother's words, 'Carpe Diem, Harry' and Harry knew that he would do just that.