Something made sixteen year old Harry Potter sit up in his bed at number four Privet Drive. At first he just sat in his bed wondering what had woke him up. It wasn't long until he heard it again. A boom that sounded like fireworks going off in the distance. Confused he looked at the clock it was 2:30 am. Then he looked at the calendar July fifteenth. The next time it boomed Harry felt the magic in the shaking of the house.
"Wake up they're trying to get in." Harry yelled to his relatives. A thump in another upstairs room told him someone had heard, "Hurry, get in here for the portkey." He was dressing as he yelled.
He wrote a quick note and was attaching it to Hedwig's leg as the three Dursleys entered his room. He threw the owl out the window and turned towards his relatives as another spell shook the house violently. The roof above him came down crushing him to the floor. His aunt screamed but his cousin and uncle were frozen to the spot.
From under the rubble he yelled at his aunt, "Grab the tennis ball on the bedside table and all three of you put a finger on it."
"Ok, we're touching it, what next?" Petunia yelled.
"Safety net." Harry yelled then collapsed under the rubble as his relatives were whisked to safety. At least they're safe he thought as he lapsed into unconsciousness.
Below the spell that brought down the roof onto Harry had also blasted the front door off its hinges. Death Eaters had poured into the room lead by Voldemort. He heard Harry's voice yell and then felt the magic of a portkey leaving the house. He yelled in frustration, turned and stalked back out the door. The Death Eaters swarmed the house looking for anyone to torture. Outside Voldemort found Snape and blasted him with a curse. The man fell to the ground as his body was tortured by the evil man's wand.
"Why didn't you tell me about the portkey?" Voldemort screamed.
"They've never given him one before." Snape gasped as he recovered from the torture.
Draco reached the upstairs room that Snape had said was Harry's. Looking around he noticed a hand sticking out of the rubble by the window. His father was checking the other rooms and walked past him.
"Find anything?" Lucius asked.
"Nope." Draco replied looking at the hand again before backing out of the room to follow his father back down the stairs. Since his flight from Hogwarts a month ago he had learned he didn't want Voldemort to win. He believed his mother and father agreed with him but none of them could say anything. No one would find from Draco that Harry was still in that house. Outside the Death Eaters were taking out their anger on the neighborhood but new pops and spell fire announced the arrival of the opposition Draco apparated away.
Earlier the Dursleys landed with a thump. Four wands were pointed at them and a voice demanded, "Who sent you?"
"Harry." Petunia gasped but could say no more.
"We heard some sounds like fireworks exploding." Dudley said, "Then Harry yelled that they were trying to get in and we needed to go to him for a port something. We arrived just as the house was jarred with something and part of the roof collapsed on Harry. He told Mum to get the tennis ball and for us to touch it and then he yelled safety net."
"He's still in the house?" one man asked.
"Yes under the debris that fell from the roof in his room by the window." Dudley replied watching his parents cling to each other as they were seated on the ground.
The man with the weird eye moved his wand around and then turned and left. He was followed by two of the others. The other man in the room walked over to the fireplace and threw something in it. It turned green and he stuck his head into the fire. Dudley was sure the man was committing suicide but he didn't catch fire. When he came back he wasn't even smoldering.
"I'm Remus Lupin." Remus said with a kind smile, "I can't tell you where we are, but I can tell you we are safe."
"Who were they?" Dudley asked, "The ones that attacked."
"Death Eaters." Remus replied and started to explain about the Dark Wizard that was trying to kill Harry, "We had been worried that the wards wouldn't hold after Dumbledore's death and I guess we were right."
"Who's Dumbledore?" Dudley asked.
"The man who put the safety wards around your house to protect Harry and you three." Remus said, "He was the Headmaster of Harry's school. He was killed by Death Eaters about a month or so ago."
"Why do they want to kill Harry?" Dudley was full of endless questions while his parents seemed to be in shock.
"Why don't we get off the floor first?" Remus suggested as he waved his wand at a chair and it changed into a hospital bed, "And I think a spot of tea may be in order."
"Will he be ok?" Dudley looked hopefully at Remus.
"I don't know."
Within a few seconds the house was in an uproar again as the three wizards returned. The largest of them was a black man and he was carrying Harry.
"Poppy's on her way." Remus stated before they could start, "She was gathering supplies and will be here any second."
"Tonks stay. Shacklebolt come on we need to get back." the weird eyed man ordered. The black man put Harry on the bed and followed the other man out.
"What happened Dora?" Remus asked after they had left.
"They were ripping up the area when we arrived on one side and about thirty Aurors on the other. They were torturing people and destroying houses. The cowards left as soon as we got there." she then turned to the Dursleys, "Your house was on fire but we managed to get to Harry before it got too far out of hand. We also put out the flames but it's in bad shape."
Dudley knew his parents were still in a bad way when they didn't even yell about the house being ruined. Remus went to Harry and was whispering to him as the fire flared and a woman walked out of the fire. She rushed over to Harry and began waving her wand around. The fire flared again and another woman walked through.
"How is he Poppy?" she asked.
"I'll tell you when I know." was the brisk answer.
Remus moved out of her way and back to the Dursleys, "Come now off the floor, let's get you on the couch shall we?"
Dudley watched as the man basically picked up his mother and sat her on the couch. He then reached for his father and Dudley thought, there is no way he'll even budge Dad. But he was shocked further when his father was pulled to his feet and then pushed onto the couch beside his mother.
Dudley's shock must have shown on his face because the man grinned sheepishly, "I have a condition that makes me stronger than I look."
"Oh." was all that Dudley could reply.
"This is Professor Minerva McGonagall, Healer Poppy Pomfrey and Auror Dora Tonks." Remus introduced the women in the room and in turn he addressed the women, "This is Dudley, Vernon and Petunia Dursley."
"Nice to meet you." the professor said, "Remus what happened. I thought we gave him a portkey to escape with?"
"We did." Remus said, "But the roof collapsed on Harry before he could get to it. He had these three touch it and he sent them."
"Typical Harry, I shouldn't be surprised." Minerva glared, "What was he thinking?"
"Minerva, you know he always makes the best of whatever situation he finds himself in." Remus pointed out, "He went for the biggest win in his choices. You know he never places enough value on his own life."
She grumbled in reply and Dudley thought she said, "Stupid idiot. Brave to the point of foolishness. Always has to save others."
The fire flared again and a voice was yelling before a head showed up in the flames, "Remus, is Harry there yet?"
"We have him Molly." Remus moved to the fireplace and told her what happened, "How did you know?"
"Harry sent Hedwig with a note that said they were being attacked and that they were going to use the portkey." Molly said, "Hedwig is exhausted but safe. Where is he I want to make sure he's ok?"
He turned to see Poppy still working on him, "He's not doing very well right now. The roof caved in on him before he could portkey. He sent the Dursleys ahead and Tonks, Madeye and Kingsley went after him. Poppy's been working on him for maybe fifteen minutes."
"Keep us informed, I'm going to let the kids know." Molly sighed and disappeared.
After what felt like another hour to Dudley the woman stopped waving her wand over Harry, "He's stabilized. He had six broken ribs, a broken leg and his shoulder and arm were shattered. I'm going to need to give him some skell-gro for his shoulder and arm but not until he's a little better. He had multiple internal injuries that I was able to fix without any problem. His head was hit hard and his skull was cracked. I've repaired it but he won't be waking up for a few days at least. I want to move him to Hogwarts but I'm not sure it's safe enough."
"It's not." Minerva answered, "I have an appointment with some Ministry people in a few hours to discuss the Headmaster position. I'm just hoping I get to stay at the school."
"That bad?" Remus asked.
"The only people at the ministry that aren't on His side are the order members and Scrimgeour." Tonks said, "Everyone else is suspect. I was really surprised that there were thirty Aurors that showed up tonight. Moody only expected the ten other order members so he's going to check the other twenty."
"Poppy can you stay?" Remus asked.
"For a few days." she replied, "It will depend on the outcome of Minerva's meeting tomorrow. Ok let me check these three."
Dudley stood up as she waved her wand at him, "I think I'm fine but Mum and Dad seem to be in shock or something."
"I agree you're just tired and need some sleep." She turned to his parents and waved her wand, "Here's some calming draught for them. They can sleep it off too."
The next morning Dudley woke to hear a yell, "Ginny wait don't." Followed by footsteps running past his door. That was followed by a door down the hall being slammed open.
"Harry you great stupid jerk wake up." she yelled, "If you die on me I'm going to bring you back just so I can kill you."
Dudley had gotten ready and finally left his room. Instead of heading back the way he had come last night he walked towards the open door. Inside he found several red heads and a girl with bushy brown hair huddled around his cousin's bed, "The woman last night said she thought he'd wake up in the next couple of days but probably not today."
The group spun around with wands drawn at the unknown voice. The youngest red headed male was the first to drop his wand, "Hello again Dudley."
"Hello Ron isn't it." Dudley tried for a friendly smile."Sorry I know you're the Weasleys but don't know any of your names."
"I'm Hermione Granger." the one with brown hair said.
"Oh, right the other best friend." Dudley said, "I remember him mentioning you. He says your scary smart."
"I didn't know you ever talked to him." Hermione stated.
"This year was really the first time we've been friendly." Dudley said, "It took a while before he realized I was genuinely curious about magic."
"What changed your mind?" the red headed girl asked.
"He saved my life last year." Dudley pointed out, "I've always been so horrible but he still saved me. I knew he was a much better person than I was. Then last night he did it again. He couldn't get away but he got us away safely. I'm very thankful about it too. I've heard some of the stories of what your Aurors saw in our neighborhood. Are you Ginny?"
"Yes." she replied.
"He only had wonderful things to say about you." Dudley smiled, "Of course he's been kicking himself nine ways from Sunday for what he did. He just couldn't think of another way to protect you. He agrees with you about him being a great stupid jerk too."
Ginny laughed for a second. She then pulled a chair to the head of the bed and sat in it, "He said good things about me?"
"I actually got tired of hearing about it." he went on with added sarcasm, "She's so beautiful. She's so brave. She's so beautiful. She's so smart. She's so beautiful. On and on about it. He'd start with one story and when he got to your part it in he'd start again."
Ron chuckled, "I know what you mean."
"Honestly." Hermione punched Ron's arm.
"I've found him Vernon." Petunia called from the doorway, "Come on Diddy breakfast is ready."
"I'll be down later." He replied, "I'm not hungry."
"Are you feeling well?" she asked.
Vernon reached the door, "Come on Dudley."
"Dad I'm talking with Harry's friends, I'll be down later." Dudley turned his back on his father.
"Dudley I don't want you associating with these…" his started his face turning purple.
Facing his father Dudley interrupted, "These what Dad? I've told you before I won't stand for your name calling anymore. After last night you shouldn't even try. Harry would have been much better off if he would have just left us there but he didn't. Despite the treatment he's received at our hands he didn't reciprocate in kind. He's a much better person than any of us are. He saved your miserable hide last night and you need to be more appreciative."
"He didn't do anything but drop us in this dirty…" Vernon again started to put down his surroundings.
"Shut up." Dudley said in a hard voice, "Didn't you hear what that guy said last night. Ten people died and seventeen people were hospitalized including Mr. Wen who is a black belt in karate. If he couldn't do anything you wouldn't have had any luck. Harry saved your life using magic and you need to quit being so ungrateful."
"Come on Vernon. Let's get you some breakfast." Petunia pulled on his arm and the two of them left.
Dudley turned back to the people in the room and saw the same amused look on three faces, "Sorry about them."
Several hours later Ginny was the only one still in the room. As she sat there holding his hand she got a funny feeling. Looking around she noticed a bright light near the window. Before she could yell the bright light moved across the room and surrounded her. She fainted and her body started to slip from the chair but the light caught her. The chair shifted from a straight backed chair to a soft cushioned chair with arms. Her body was placed back into the chair and then the light partially seeped into her mind.
Ginny opened her eyes to find herself in the same room but Harry was sitting on the side of the bed, "You're awake!"
"Actually no, you're asleep." He replied but she had already jumped out of the chair and thrown her arms around him.
"What?" she pulled back to look into his face.
"There was a light by the window and then you passed out." he smiled.
"So I'm dreaming." she stated flatly.
"No. You're just asleep for this conversation." Harry chuckled.
"Ok you're trying to be difficult." Ginny glared.
"No I'm not it's just a difficult issue to explain." Harry paused for a moment before continuing, "It's best to just start from the beginning so if I repeat something you already know I'm sorry."
Ginny nodded her head even thought she really didn't understand.
He started by telling her about the lessons Dumbledore had been giving him for the last year. He explained about the Horcruxes, including the book, then went on about the year until he reached Dumbledore's death. She finally realized that the death of Albus Dumbledore was more than the death of a mentor. Harry had assumed all year that Dumbledore would be accompanying him to hunt for the Horcruxes. But his death forced Harry to see he would be on his own. She understood why she couldn't be part of the hunt. And why she couldn't be part of his life until Voldemort was gone.
"Then came the night of the attack." Harry sighed, "When the roof caved in on me I knew I wasn't going to escape. I thought I was going to be tortured and then killed by Voldemort. But he never came. I really thought I was dead by the time Tonks, Shacklebolt and Moody arrived. I was sitting on my bed as they were levitating the debris off my body. I can't explain how shocked I was when Moody said I was still alive. They apparated and I went with them. When I got here I watched as Madam Pomfrey healed my body and gave her diagnosis. When everyone else went to bed I was sitting in there watching my body, it was freaky let me tell you."
"Can't you just get back into it?" Ginny asked.
"When I'm done I will be able too." He smiled at her concern, "But in the meantime I have a… project to finish."