A scarlet passenger train making its way from Scotland to London was traveling at a rapid pace away from a tiny village with a small market square and some houses. In a compartment near the back, three student-aged kids could be seen sitting together in black robes. One was a red-head, who was rather tall for his age, and was sorting through some oddly shaped cards, looking up at the others every so often. Another was a brown-bushy haired female with a closed book on her lap who was looking, not intently, but worriedly at the last, an average looking boy with messy black hair that was leaning his head against the window, eyes closed. This was the Hogwarts Golden Trio, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, and Harry Potter. They were on the Hogwarts Express, heading back to their homes for the summer, after a stressful fourth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry had been forced to compete in the Triwizard Tournament this year and after the last task watched one of his competitors get killed and saw Lord Voldemort rise again. Needless to say it was not a good year.
Suddenly, a loud tapping sound echoed in the compartment, jerking Harry out of his depressing thoughts and causing the other two to jump, a little startled. What they saw surprised them, a brown owl was struggling to keep pace with the train while getting buffeted by the air currents. Harry quickly opened the window and the owl flew in and collapsed on the seat between him and Hermione. Tied to the owl was a parcel and letter that had an inky paw print on it. Harry, seeing this, exclaimed "Snuffles!" and quickly untied the parcel, giving the owl a grateful look. He shut the window for the time being, so the owl could rest, and started to open the envelope, Hermione and Ron listening in.
Sorry I couldn't talk and give this to you before you left, but Dumbledore, heck all of us, are worried sick and scared stiff. Dumbledore told me not to say anything about what's gonna be going on, so I won't. However, if you brush up on your reading, with the right book you might be able to guess what's going on. Speaking of the right book, I included something in that package that may be of use to you. That is your father's journal from our years at Hogwarts and on. It contains lots of notes, from us becoming "True Marauders", to making the map.
Anyway there are two things in his journal you should know about. The first is inlaid in the cover. Just say the Marauder phrase, followed by my name, and it becomes a two way communication device. You can chat with me all you want now pup! The other is for you and Hermione. At the end of the book, there are two blank pages, one is attached to the binding, and the other is loose. I just recently found out that this is how your father and mother talked after some testing. Take a quill and write something on one of the pages, tap it with your wand and it shows up on the others. When they are done reading, they tap it, the writing vanishes, and they write what they want. I figured this would be good for now since Hermione doesn't have an owl and Ron has Pig.
Lastly pup; I want you to do something for me. I like to think I know you pretty well, and if I do, you are somehow blaming all that happened on yourself. Listen, don't believe that. Ron and Hermione, I know you will be reading this, stay in contact with him, talk to him, console him, do whatever, I know he will need you guys more than ever. Harry, you might not want them to, but trust me, blaming yourself for something never works, especially in your case where it's not true. Trust me, I know from the experience of chasing a rat.
Once again, sorry I couldn't say or give this too you in person, I actually sent it from Hogsmeade so you would get it on the train and it couldn't be intercepted. Have a good summer, get your work done, listen to your friends, pull a few pranks, and give me a call sometime!
Snuffles aka Padfoot
Harry, finished reading, handed the letter to Hermione, who had been reading over his shoulder while he took the package. As he carefully unwrapped it, he came across a black leather notebook, closed and shut with a matching cord opposite the binding. He carefully untied it and slowly opened the book. There, inlaid on the back of the cover, was the mirror Sirius had mentioned. He decided he would wait to try it out in the privacy of his room at Privet Drive, and instead took to looking at the book.
Noticing that all the pages were blank, Harry pulled his wand out of his pocket and tapped the page he was on saying, "I solemnly swear I am up to no good," and watched as his father's writing appeared across the pages. He flipped back to the beginning and read the title page.
"Mr. Prongs would like to congratulate young Prongslet on discovering the one and only Marauder Journal!
Please flip to the next page for further instructions."
Harry quickly and eagerly flipped the page, excited to see something of his father's life. It read,
"Hey son. If you've got this then that means you are on your way to being like your old man, and I gave you this to help. It's a compendium of my life's work, well, work from school anyway. They don't let Auror's keep journals about their jobs, too many questions. Most of what's in here is for getting into trouble (so don't tell your mother!) but some of it is actually useful. Try to learn and train from it, and maybe we can practice duel sometime eh?
Harry's eyes filled with tears as he read the words his father had written so long ago. He laughed a little and wiped his eyes, flipping through the book and finding various subjects. Eventually, he found one of the things that Sirius had mentioned, the notes on how they made the map. Harry let out a low whistle, he never realized how complicated the map was! It must have taken years to create!
However, noticing that both Ron and Hermione were done reading the letter and looking at him oddly, he hastily opened to the last page of the book, where he found the two parchments that Sirius had wrote about. He took the loose one out, and gave it to Hermione, who broke out in a wide grin and looked at the paper. She immediately took out a quill and wrote a short sentence before tapping it with her wand. Harry looked down at his blank paper, and saw the words, "Hey Harry! Let's see how it worked?" appear at the exact same spot Hermione had been writing. Smiling, he held the book up for her and Ron to see, Ron giving a quiet "wicked" and Hermione smiling wider.
Now that the discovery was done, Harry looked to the owl that had been so good about delivering so quickly. The owl was standing again, and looking oddly at Hedwig, in her cage, and Crookshanks, who was sitting on a seat next to Ron across from Hermione. Harry stood and opened the window to let the owl out. When he left and the window was closed again, Harry sat back down and tucked Sirius' letter into the book and started reading from the journal. Hermione smiled and opened her book, and Ron went back to his wizard cards.
All too soon they had arrived at Kings Cross station. They had slipped out of their robes soon after the owl left, getting uncomfortable just sitting there in them. Once the train stopped, they got their luggage and started making their way to the portal. Ron went through first, but before Harry could follow, Hermione tapped his shoulder. He turned to look at her questioningly and she took a deep breath.
"Harry, I really wanted to talk to you about this on the train, but couldn't with Ron there. I know Fudge isn't accepting that Voldemort's back, and Voldemort will want to keep it that way, at least, that's what Dumbledore said. So I was hoping, if it's alright with you, if you would come and stay at my house for the summer?" She ended looking at Harry hopefully.
He was stunned. Harry had been expecting to spend a miserable summer at the Dursley's, and to be offered an escape? Hell yea he would! But wait…
"Hermione, there is nothing I would rather do, but didn't Dumbledore say I had to stay there? He said the Blood-wards had to be replenished every year, that's why I couldn't stay at Hogwarts before." Harry finished sadly, wishing it were otherwise. But to his surprise, Hermione smiled at that.
"See, that was my first thought too Harry, but when you told Ron and me about the cemetery, well, I realized that Voldemort has your blood now, he used it for the ritual right? And since the blood worked to protect him from your mother's love, it should protect him from the wards. I already told Dumbledore about this, and he said that if you agreed, it would be fine. He figures that most wizards don't know where I live and wouldn't be able to find me anyway, especially not those arrogant pureblood fool death eaters." She shuddered a little at that last part, but soon looked up and smiled at him again. "So, what do you think? Could you come for the summer?"
Harry couldn't help the huge smile that was making its way across his face. "I would absolutely love to Hermione. If it's okay with your parents of course, I don't want to intrude." She beamed back at him.
"No of course I'm sure they won't mind, they've wanted to meet you for ages anyway. I've umm… I've told them quite a bit about you," she was blushing by the end.
Harry blushed a little too, but quickly joked, "Well, I hope nothing bad! I'd hate for your parents to think I was, did Rita put it? A weepy teen who cried at the mere memory of his late parents?"
Hermione giggled, actually giggled, at that, but shook her head, trying to hold in the laughter. "Not quite the exact quote, but no, all I told them was about my first hand experience." She stopped giggling, and tried to look serious, but there was a teasing mischievous glint in those chocolate orbs. "Now come on Mr. Potter, it's time for you to meet my parents."
As she was dragging him to the portal and he processed those words, Harry realized the impact of what she said and groaned. Hermione was bringing a teenage boy to live with their family over the summer, and now he got to meet her dad.
A/N: Just like a Troll encounter, this was started months ago, and I might not continue it. R&R