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The clock on the bedside table blinked 23:55.
"Five minutes left." Harry informed the snowy white owl sitting on his otherwise empty desk.
Excitement rose through Harry quickly and suddenly. This was it; the time had come at last. He looked around his room, checking for about the hundredth time that day if he'd forgotten anything. Apart from a small pile of carefully selected items placed neatly at the foot of his bed, Harry's room was so perfectly neat that it would have passed an inspection by his Aunt Petunia. It was odd to see the smallest bedroom of number four Privet Drive looking so immaculate; Harry usually had a rather odd collection of both Muggle and Magical items strewn randomly all over it.
As the clock changed to 23:56 Harry took out a piece of parchment and quill from his desk drawer; after all the Dursleys (although rather regretfully) had provided a roof over his head for nearly sixteen years, they were at the very least due a letter from Harry explaining his disappearance. Harry began to write.
'If you are wondering where I am; I've gone to live my own life. I won't be returning, there are things I have to do that you will never understand.
Thanks for every thing
He'd been contemplating whether or not to actually thank them, but he supposed the thanks really was more for Aunt Petunia than Uncle Vernon or Dudley. After all, it was only Aunt Petunia who truly knew what having him living with them for most of his life had actually done for him. If they hadn't let him live there, if they'd thrown one-year-old Harry into an orphanage just as Uncle Vernon desperately wanted to; he knew he'd probably be dead by now. He left the letter on his desk, placed his quill back in the drawer and turned to look at the clock once more. 23:59.
Hedwig hooted as she glanced out of the window.
"Sshh!" Harry silenced her, afraid of the Dursleys waking.
Harry's glance followed Hedwig's out of the window, he almost leapt with joy when he saw three shadows flying in mid-air slowly approaching his window.
"Three?" Harry thought bemused. "Who's the third?"
His question was soon answered when Ron and Hermione tumbled off their broomsticks rather unceremoniously and their secret companion dismounted his broom with dignity and ease.
"Happy Birthday Harry" whispered Remus Lupin.
"Yeah, Happy Birthday Mate." Ron agreed.
Hermione just smiled, evidently shaken by the flight, she wasn't exactly the greatest of flyers.
Harry urged them to hurry up as they separated Harry's rather small collection of items and attached them magically to the four broomsticks. Harry thought it was truly amazing to be able to perform magic outside of Hogwarts without consequences. It wasn't long before they were ready Harry and Hermione made a few last checks just to make sure that nothing would fall out of its magical ties and Harry performed one last check of his room, just to make sure he wasn't forgetting anything that could be in anyway helpful.
"Ready?" Lupin asked once they'd all mounted their brooms.
The three nodded. Harry kicked off from his bedroom floor and flew out of the window. He hovered outside the window with Hedwig's empty cage and a few more of his belongings placed in his old school bag apparently floating below his broom defying all the laws of gravity. He beckoned Hedwig out of his room and waved his wand to close his bedroom window. He'd never return to Privet Drive again, there were far more important things to do now than live as a Muggle with his Aunt and Uncle. Hedwig with her amazing sense of direction leading the way, Harry followed, the other three close behind.
"Where are we going?" Ron bellowed through the wind.
Harry thought the answer was obvious, couldn't believe Ron didn't know. Hedwig made a sudden jolt heading further up towards the heavens, Harry gave his Firebolt a forceful tug upwards and followed suit, the answer to Ron's question would have to wait until they got there.