I don't own anything Harry potter related, all those rights belong to JKR.. boohoo.
'The blackest of space.. A place probably more peaceful and inviting' Harry thought. He tried to take in his surroundings but the soft tug on the back of his mind kept him occupied asking the obvious questions 'were am i? how did i get here? what happened?'. Before he could find answers, a bright green door to his left flew open from a forgien gust of wind. He finally took a long look around him.. It was a small room, no bigger then his bed room at Privet drive. The walls were bright white, bare of any windows or shelves. The floor was a white tile, reminded him of the tile he scrubbed in his aunts kitchen until his fingers bleed. The green door was the only entrance, or exit he could see, but on the other side was that black space he had been asking for. "Hello?" His voice cracked from the dryness of his throat. "Hello?" he tried again, this time taking a long step towards the open door. The black emptyness seemed so inviting, calling to him with a gentle breeze grasping the thin shirt resting across his skin. Harry reached his hand out before him, his fingers felt the black space covering them like a cold shadow of a shade tree.
"Ah, Mr. Potter?" His fingers snapped back into a fist he dropped quickly to his side. Turning around he saw a tall slender man standing with a warm smile along his tan face. His eyes were a sparkling blue. His dirty blonde hair looked more nature then the off white he had seen peeled back on Draco Malfoy's head. Harry turned back to the green door but it was closed missing a knob he could turn. "Why don't you have a seat with me?" The voice called him back from his thoughts. Harry turned now seeing the man sitting in a red wing back chair, an identical one facing him looked almost as inviting as the black space. Harry took in a long breath and steeled his nerves before taking the offered chair.
"Do you play Chess?" The man's question was so random it threw him out of his own list he had planned to berate onto the stranger. Harry nodded mutely, his voice seemed all but gone. "Wonderful". Suddenly a table appeared between them, with what looked like a muggle chess board sitting in the middle.
"Never liked Wizards Chess, just doesn't feel natural. Damn hard to concentrate when your own pieces are arguing your moves.. Don't you think?" The blue eyed man looked up at Harry, his head still tilted towards the board, but the eyes were glued onto him.
Harry only nodded again, fixing his own stare down onto the chess board. "Hope you don't mind going first.. Something about the color Black is more fitting for me." He chuckled lightly. Leaning back in his chair he waited patiently for Harry to make a move.
"What is this place?" Harry found his voice, just as the pawn left his fingertips. "This.. Is my office." The man waved his arms around, suddenly the walls turned a deep red, like wallpaper neatly pressed against its frame. A border of oak wood outlined the wall hiding the edged corners between the wall and ceiling. The same nice oak wood replaced the tile floor below his feet. Harry looked behind the man's chair at a large desk covered in stacks of papers.. his eyes peered to the left corner of the large desk, a coat rack holding a large black cloak, and a scythe. He blinked, staring at the obvious signs it seemed he suddenly got the joke.
"I'm sure you know who i am now. Instead of the formal term just call me Jack...I'm sure you have a thousand questions, so i will make you a deal. I will answer any questions you have until the end of this game" Jack looked up after making his move. His expression was soft, and mischievous. Harry nodded, he stared at the board trying to think of his next move and question. "I'm dead, your the grim reaper.. and we are in your office.. so, how did i die?" Looking up, his fingers still touching the rook.. he changed his mind at the last moment and moved for the knight.
Jack's expression never changed. "Can't come up with a more unique question? alright.. well.. You died at the age of 29. Sad really, your file says you were suppose to live for a much, much longer life. This isn't the first time you have been in my office. But this is the first time you died after defeating Tom Riddle. I had high hopes for you, but it seems that to many influences had messed with you far to much. To answer your question.. you were shot with a killing curse in the back just down the street from your home."
Harry didn't seem to show much emotion, his mind was struggling to remember the event but it seemed like a blank memory just toying with him under his subconscious.
"You said this isn't the first time i have died.. how many times?" Harry swallowed hard, his question broke the dam in his mind, now memories flooded his conscious like a waterfall. He could feel his body aching from each death that passed threw his eyes. Jack smiled faintly, moving another pawn forward with a swift ease of his thin fingers. "a few. a couple thanks to your aunt and uncle, once during the triwizard tournament, and again in the department of mysteries. You thought it was a good idea to follow your godfather threw the veil." Harry felt a pain in his head, more memories were flooding his thoughts at rapid speed.
"What was behind that door?" Harry motioned with his eyes towards the green door on his left. Jack kept his expression soft, he stared at the chess board watching Harry's hand hovering over his king. "Your family. Everyone you loved who has died is behind that door waiting for you..I find it interesting you haven't asked the one question you really want answered" Jack crossed his arms lightly over his chest. They looked more broad and built with the flex of his muscles. Harry tor his eyes from the door, turned them onto the Grimm reaper's blue orbs. "Who killed me?" it was a whisper, barely a sound but heard over the deathly silence.
"You know the answer" he slid his knight forward snatching another pawn from Harry. His fingers held the piece up like he was examining his kill. "Your life was much like this game, each piece had its own place, its own destiny. But sometimes, the king is really just another pawn in another game being played by a master of chess. You were a pawn, for many people.. your martyrs death was expected, but surviving wasn't. So, you became another pawn.. to another game for another chess master." He lifted his gaze back onto Harry. "Dumbledore played you well, as did the one person you thought was your closest friend.."
"Ron" Harry sighed, his heart ached slightly. He felt an echo of his pain crashing around his chest. "Ron followed me home and killed me.. Why?" Harry wasn't sure why but part of him almost expected his death would be caused by his best mate.
"Love. All ends with love. You had everything he could ever want, and when the one thing he had you didn't decided to change, he couldn't handle it anymore." Jack slid his bishop forward.
"I had money and fame. But i had no family, lived in a cupboard and was beaten to an inch of my life almost everyday. What could i possibly have that would make my friend..my brother kill me?" He felt his emotions rising, but something was blocking it from boiling over. a shield slid in his mind forcing his feelings into check.
"Love. You had the love of a girl who Ron wanted for himself. Can't say he loved her, only that he wanted her, because she wanted you.. and you wanted her. Even with the love potions slipped into your system over the years it still wasn't enough to completely break the love you had for her." Jack slid his knight towards the left, snatching another pawn. "You may notice your mind is blocking your anger. Your not flying off the handle and screaming, because none of this is new to you. You always knew Ron wasn't your friend, that Dumbledore was using you, and that your wife Ginny had been spiking your drink for years.. But because of all the potions and charms that were placed on you, you couldn't truly see the significance of it until now.
Harry sighed, his eyes slid closed for a moment letting the images fly behind his eyelids. He could see Ginny spiking his pumpkin juice. Her wand waving over him when she thought he was asleep. Dumbledore's lemon drops soothing him into a mild state while his hand placed more charms onto his head. "all those years.. and i just let it happen?" He looked up feeling the stinging pain of tears slipping down his eyes. Jack took in the man's soft features. The tears that fell down his cheeks. "Yes. Because you thought it was how it should be. Your soul mate was one of the few people to love you unconditionally. Just like deep in your soul you felt that same love for her. It's why you couldn't let her go, even as a friend you could never truly let Hermione slip from your fingers." Jack clasped his hand down onto his rook. "Sad really, the things you two would have done would have set forth the changes that could bring the wizard world out of its own arse so to speak". Harry closed his eyes tightly, he felt his heart skipping just thinking of Hermione, her soft brown eyes staring at him with that look of happiness when she learned something new. He pulled up his hand, and wiped away the salty stains on his cheeks.
"Did everyone play me for a fool? or was it only the select few i let into my heart." Harry felt a shiver of anger slip down his back before being placed back under the control of his shields. Jack looked almost thoughtful for a moment, his hand scooped up another lost pawn. "Not everyone, just those you gave the most importance too. Your friends you kept at arms length were very loyal and loved you like a brother, but you never let them get as close as you did Ron and his family. Don't get me wrong, not all the Weasley's are bad. Just the two youngest and their mother, they had plans set in motion long before you knew of hogwarts or your magical abilities. From that first trip on the train you were set to become the answer to their prayers. With all the money stashed in your families vaults and the power you would have it was like a god sent. With the help of Dumbledore keeping you locked away at Privet drive, it was all to easy for you to open up to the first person to be nice to you. And so slip in the Weasley's." Jack slid his bishop forward. "Those who didn't control you were the ones you should have trusted, and a part of you did. But by the time you were older it was far to late to stop all the plans set in motion. After your fourth year every breath you took was dictated by those who wanted to use you." Jack slid his hand around one of his own pawns, lifting up the peice towards his eyes he showed it to Harry. "Like you, many people played a pawn in a giant game of wizards chess. Now that you have died, they all will feel a weight lifted from their minds showing them everything that has happened behind their backs, and all the games they helped play just to keep you a martyr to the cause." Jack sighed, he played the piece back down on the board.
"What does it matter now? Voldemort is dead. Hermione married Ron, i'm dead and behind that door is my parents, Sirius, Remus and Tonks. So my life was nothing more then a stupid game for everyone, but everything i ever wanted is behind that door waiting for me." Harry stood, making a move towards the green door, he stared at it waiting for the nob to reappear.
"What about Hermione? your soul mate? what about all the children you were suppose to have? that family you always wanted. What about your friends? your REAL friends." Jack stood up, he kept himself beside the table watching Harry's shoulders lift at Hermione's name. "what do you want from me.. Go back? arrest Ron? explain to my wife that i know she drugged me.. tell my best friend that I've been in love with her for as long as i can remember? oh and i just arrested your husband for trying to kill me?" Harry turned back, his eyes gave a glare even the Grimm reaper was fearful of.
Jack shook his head, replaced his frown with a soft smile. "arguing with death.. kids got balls" He said to no one in particular. "Come on, lets finish our game" He sat back down. Harry stood still for a long moment, taking in his surroundings again, he turned and stepped back towards the table, slumped into his chair. Without thinking he pushed his rook forward and stared up at the blue eyed Grimm reaper. "I don't understand what you want me to say. I fucked up, i let people into my life when i should of known better. Years with the Dursley's taught me not to trust people and i did anyway." Jake frowned, his brow dropped over his eyes. "If you could go back and do it all again, what would you change?" He didn't look up from the board, his queen slid out of hiding and cornered Harry's king.
"Drop the Weasley's, at least Ron and Ginny. Refuse to play Dumbledore's games. Get the hell outa Privet Drive, and beg with all of my might for Hermione to be mine." Harry looked up, he saw the faint smile in Jack's eyes.
"What would you really do?" Harry was taken back by the question, he sat in silence staring at his cornered King. Every move lead to a check mate. 'What would i really do?' he asked himself. He eyed the game with more interest then he had before. His hand hovered lightly over the last few pieces left on the board, without thinking he picked up his king and placed it down in the middle of the board.
Jack laughed, his eyes peered up into Harry's emerald ones. "Good answer" He said giving a soft wave of his hand forcing the board and table to disappear. "One thing few people realize is that even in a game, you still have a choice. For the first time you made yours" Jack stood up with a swift glide of his feet he sat down behind his desk, scooping up a file from the low stack in the center.
"I cheated. it was against the rules", Harry stood up, the wing back chair behind him disappeared without notice. "yes you did. You played a game of chess against death and you cheated.. ultimately you cheated death" Jack chuckled softly. "rare people figure out that little trick, but the ones that do are the ones who are given a chance. A chance to do it again but this time.. with their own rules". Jack pulled out a sheet of parchment, his fingers snapped and a red quill appeared in his other hand. "If you sign this, i will give you the chance to do things over again. All your memories in tacked, including all the knowledge and control i can offer. Think of it.. as a chance to play the puppet master in your own show." Jack had a evil grin plastered on his face, he looked like he was caught with his hand sunk into the cookie jar.
Harry stared at the parchment for a long time, his eyes tried to read the fine print from afar but he just couldn't. With a heavy sigh, his head turned and longingly stared at the green door.
"I know what your choices are, and i understand how hard this must be. The only advice i can give, is to ask yourself if your mother and father died so you could be played as a pawn in your own life.. the life they gave you". Jack could see his words sinking into the young man before him. Harry's eyes took on a hard gleam look of solid rock with fluid anger building up to its peak. With one single breath, it all disappeared and turned into a calculated motion of his legs caring him towards the edge of the desk.
"What are your terms" He asked, hands slipping out to take the soft red quill, its feather felt like silk in between his fingers. The other felt the rough dry scratch of parchment. His eyes trailed the lettering but he couldn't quite understand the runes written across the faded sheet.
"You will go back to a time i find most important, with all your memories intact. No charms, no bonds, no potions.. Everything and i mean everything will be gone leaving your magical core open to expand and grow as it was suppose too. I have to warn you, because of the bonds placed on your magical core it kept it from fixing some of the problems your malnutrition and abuse caused. It can't fix your scars, but it can fix a few other issues. So, if you wake up one morning and you find you are a few inches taller don't worry." Jack smiled softly, his eyes fell back onto the parchment. "The moment you sign you will disappear back into the time i pick. But!" He held out his hand stopping Harry from dropping the quill down onto the dotted line. "there are a few things you need to know first" Jack took a deep breath, wondering if his long dead heart just jumped out of his throat. Harry took the offered chair that appeared to his right, sitting back he placed the quill and contract down in front of him, watching Jack in wait.
"One of the bonds placed on you was also set on your intelligence. Its why your thinking things threw so much, why your able to analyze every move i made on that chess board. You are much brighter, then made out to be. I must admit having Ron as your best friend didn't help things either, but now all that can change." Jack smiled at the shocked expression playing across Harry's face.
"Also, this is a large challenge to take on, and normally i wouldn't do what i'm about too.. but because of all the people trying to use you on top of the dark lord running rampant.. I am sending you back, with help." Jack smiled a broad grin, his brow rose up a little watching Harry closely take in what he said. "Who?" He asked, feeling his brain cells kicking into over drive.
"Ah, that will be a surprise. But, you will know the second you see them. I promise you that. Secondly, in normal cases you can't tell anyone about this but since you will have help you can obviously discuss this with them and a very, very select few people you trust and i mean truly truly trust. Don't forget these rules, and have fun." Jack laughed, his eyes motioned to the quill. Harry looked down at the parchment and picked up the red quill slowly, his hands were shaking with nervousness as he gently pressed it against the paper. "Also, remember that wands are traceable by magic" Jack smiled, waving his hand just as Harry finished writing his name.
Harry lifted his hands up pressing them gently against his eyes, the bright light that surrounded him was blinding enough to cause a light headache behind his emerald orbs. 'bloody hell', he thought rubbing them gently enough to take out the dull stinging pain. "You ok?". His eyes opened wide, staring out around him he took in the small train compartment. 'i know that voice', he thought looking around more he spotted Ron across from him petting a tiny bouncing owl. 'pig..wait that means' he turned to his right and saw those beautiful brown eyes shinning with deep concern. "Harry?" Her soft voice spoke again like angelic singing in his ears. "huh?" Harry felt his throat scratching from dryness. "Are you ok? thinking about Snuffles?" She whispered the name so softly he could barely hear it. Nothing she said registered as his mind was filled with only her lovely image. "Yea..i'm ok." He smiled, watching her eyes brighten under his happy gaze.
"Isn't this great! I got my own owl!" Ron's high pitched voice broke Harry from his trance, he looked back at his red headed companion. The raw emotions running threw his heart forced his spine to shiver with anger. It took him a few long stretched seconds to remember were he was.
"Harry, what is it?" Hermione's hand lightly pressed against his arm, skin on skin. Harry's anger disappeared, the tingles of her touch rushed a bright red warmth into his cheeks. "nothing. head hurts a little" he mumbled back lightly. His eyes shut back closed forcing himself to breathe. 'i did it, i'm back..' he felt his heart swelling with joy, Sirius was alive and Hermione was sitting beside him on the train ride home. 'home, what home?. Privet Drive.. the Dursley's..' his mind was moving at warp speeds trying to digest everything in the short time he had appeared in his younger self.
Harry turned his gaze down on the tattered clothes and skinny frame of his thirteen year old body. 'i look terrible' he thought, chuckling lightly. 'i'm back! i can fix this, i can.. i can stop this'. he turned his head again looking back at Hermione, she seemed to switch between the book in her lap, to his face with a concerning smile gracing those sweet beautiful lips. 'no' he shook the thought away. 'not yet, have to be patient.'
"Want to play a game of exploding snap mate?" Ron set his owl down on the empty seat beside him. Pig decided to spin and bounce flapping his wings frantically around the tiny cabin. He barely got any air before flying into the nearest wall . The poor excited owl fell back onto the bench and continued to flap its wings like nothing happened. "uh, maybe later.. I'm going to go get a drink". Harry shot up from his seat and rushed to the cabin door, he pulled it open and stepped out into the busy hallway breathing a deep sigh of relief. He needed to get away from Ron long enough to relax his emotions, to piece together his thoughts.
"Watch out!" someone yelled from behind Harry, he spun around and shot his wand out into his hand. "Sorry!" A tiny first year yelled back looking terrified. He sighed a bit of relief, reminding himself he isn't an Auror anymore. Harry waved it off, giving the tiny boy a soft smile. "Careful" he mumbled out towards the shaking boy, turned on his heels and walked down the long hallway peeking lightly into each compartment he passed.
Harry half hoped to find an empty compartment he could sink into for a moment, if only that. As he reached the end his hopes seemed useless as every compartment was packed with students chatting happily with friends over the past school year. He started to turn back around, his eyes peaked for only a moment into a cabin spotting a tiny second year sitting all alone. Her blonde hair was flowing down her back like silk, her eyes were gazing into a magazine with deep interest. Harry was about to walk to his cabin when the light caught a butter beer cap necklace dangling from the girls neck. 'luna..' harry thought, a soft smile played across his features. He pulled open the cabin door and watched the girls eyes turn onto him. Harry expected the foggy far away look he was so use to seeing on the girls face, but instead he saw something else.. he saw recognition.
"Harry.." She spoke softly, dropping the magazine and leaped into his arms. In that one single moment Harry knew he found the person Jack sent back to help him, but he had to be sure.
"Lou?" he asked softly, stepping deeper into the cabin with the girl still clinging tightly onto his frail body.
"yes Harrison.. its me, the old me..or older me" She laughed lightly taking a step back to get a long look at her old friend. Harry felt his heart swelling with joy, slipping the cabin door closed he shut the blinds and locked the door. his hand waved around it absently placing a silencing charm on the door.
"Lou..i..how.." Harry felt confused, conflicted. He took the seat across from her and stared into those silvery blue eyes, still expecting the lost girl to appear.
Luna had grown to be a close ally in his fight with Voldemort. even before the trip to the department of Mysteries he knew he could trust Luna with his life, though she tended to speak about mysterious creatures and imaginary insects he still wasn't sure existed. Harry felt his mind spinning back to the last time he saw her, she came down the long stairs towards the great hall with a dark mystic look across her face. She looked up at him, for the longest moments of silence and then Harry knew. Luna had just killed someone, she had caused death and the innocence of her was gone to the empathy of war. Harry never saw her again, he asked Ginny that next morning if she had seen his little sister in all but blood, but she told him with a sad smile that Luna couldn't handle the pain of what she had done and left. he always assumed she ran off to continue the search for a Crumple-Horned Snorkack across Ireland. Harry would be lying if he said it didn't hurt that she left, but a bigger part of him was happy to think that she was at least going to be safe. He could remember how in Fifth year it seemed she was the only one who could bring him under some semblance of control with his emotions, his anchor into reality from the girl who spoke so ill of it.
"Lou..if your here, really here then..then you..when did you.." He couldn't bring himself to ask the question, thoughts of her dying and he didn't know this whole time broke his soul in two. If anyone had a closeness to his heart like Hermione, it had been this shy lonely tormented girl who hid behind the facade of mythical creatures.
"That day in the great hall, after the first attack. Remember Harry?" She smiled faintly, her eyes took on another glossy far away look. "You hugged me, told me how sorry you were that i had to do what i did.. You never asked, you just held me and let me cry." she wiped her eyes softly trying not to cry again. "That night i went into the astronomy tower to look for Ginny.. I found her, with Ron talking about a potion they were giving you and Hermione.. I tried to run and tell you but they, they caught me and.." The tears started to flow, she dropped her head down in shame. Harry felt his heart breaking, the wetness of tears pressing against his own eyes. "oh lou.." Harry stood up and sat down beside the girl, wrapping his arms around her tightly he let the feel of tears cascade down his own cheeks.
"lou.. you haven't called me that in such a long time" Luna smiled slightly. Lou was the nickname he gave her during his sixth year after the slug club Christmas party. Since then he always called her Lou when the two of them had their long night talks in the room of requirement. Harry learned about the girls mother dying when she was nine, and how her father was mentally destroyed and focused all his time onto the paper. She used the quibbler and her odd dress of clothes and speech to derail people from getting to the truth.. The scared little girl with no friends, and no social skills, who was so brilliant it was scary. Though he would never admit it, he knew Luna could give Hermione a run for her money any day of the week. In those same nights of insomnia Harry opened up about his childhood for the first time. He even pulled off his shirt and shown her the long white scars that covered his back like a second skin. It was a moment of cleansing for them both, a time that brought them together in a way even Dumbledore's meddling couldn't change.
"Bringing back old times Harrison?" he held back a laugh. Hearing her call him that brought back so many lost memories that he cherished so long ago. She smiled again, snuggling her head on his shoulder. "I'm sorry. I wish i had known what they were doing to you two, i guess in a way i did. I use to have visions of you two together and then they became fogged and distorted but i just couldn't understand why.. maybe the narggles were at work."
Harry looked down at Luna with a perplexed expression. "Lou..Don't. It's me, its Harrison..your big brother" Harry picked up the little girls chin, placed a soft kiss to her forehead.
"Sorry. old habbits" She mumbled snuggled back into the arms of her brother in all but blood. Harry leaned his head back staring out towards the passing trees, his eyes were still watering with anger and pain. Ginny had told him the morning before that she saw Luna leave, she told him how Luna just couldn't handle what she had done. It broke him to loose his sister yes, but it warmed him to know she was going to be safe..But now, now he felt a deeper weight breaking down in his chest morning the loss of his last bit of family he didn't even know he lost.
"h-how?" She felt him tremble, holding down his emotions into a tight capped bottle. "tripping hex, i think.. i fell down the stairs. I'm sure they didn't mean too. They probably were just going to obliterate me." Luna snuggled her head deeper against his shoulder, tugging him as close to her as she could hoping to calm him down.
"I'm so sorry luna.. i'm so, so sorry" Harry let the tears drip down his closed eyes, pressing his face into her flowing blonde hair. He shook with anger and thoughts of revenge building deep in his skull. All those passing years after the war, and he never once bothered to write, to figure out what happened to that blonde girl he loved so much.
"I know Harry. I know you loved me as much as i loved you, but its ok now because we are back together again.. and everything is gonna work out this time..right?" She looked at him with such a hopeful expression, that split flash of light behind those silvery eyes gave him all the joy in the world.
"Yes, we will. First things first. Did you get back all of your stuff?" He stood up motioning to her trunk hanging above their heads. "mostly, but its ok i'll get the rest back next year". Luna tried to play the mystical gaze card only to be shoved back into reality by Harry's gentle slap on her arm. "Knock it off Lou, i'm not buying it." Harry sighed, he started to pace casually back and forth across the compartment. A light bulb flashed in his mind, "Dobby!" he called out into the empty silence.
"Harry potter sir called dobby! Dobby is so happy to hear from mr. Harry potter sir!" The house elf was bouncing in circles around Harry's legs. It made it hard for Him to reach out and calm down the excitable elf. "Dobby.. Dobby chill!" Harry dropped to his knees and held the elf with both his hands. A large part of him wanted to hug the elf against his chest, he had missed him so much over the lost years from the war. "Dobby.. Would you like to work for me?" Harry was slow to ask, he couldn't help but wonder what Hermione might say to this. "Oh the great Harry potter is asking to bond with dobby? oh dobby knew Harry potter sir is a great wizard but now he is making Dobby's dreams come true!" Dobby slipped out of Harrys hands only to wrap his arms tightly around Harry's thin neck. The elf's body was shaking, with giant tears pouring out of his tennis ball eyes. "Dobby will be a great house elf for harry potter sir!". Harry looked up at Luna who struggled not to laugh. He gave her a soft glare, then turned his attention back down onto the elf still shaking in his arms.
"Ok Dobby how do we do this?" Harry felt slightly sheepish for not knowing properly how to bond with an elf. It was just another thing that Ginny took care of around the house. Harry couldn't count the amount of times he came home to find another house elf working for his lazy wife.
"Just take my hand sir, and ask me to be your elf" Dobby held out his shaky hand waiting for Harry to grasp it. When he did, he asked Dobby to be his elf, and felt the low glow of a blue light covering his hand for a few seconds. "master Harry potter what can Dobby do for you?" Dobby looked up with a bright wide grin on his face. Harry sighed, he could already see this decision was going to come back and bite him right on the arse.
"Ok Dobby, first.. I want you to round up all of the house elves at hogwarts you can. Ask them to help you search the school for miss. Lovegood's stolen items, then bring them back here and help her pack up her trunk.. ok?" Harry smiled at the enthusiastically nodding elf. Harry turned his eyes back on Luna who was still trying not to laugh.
"Ok Lou. I have to get back to Hermione and Ron before they get to suspicious. I will be sending Dobby by with letters as often as i can.. hopefully i can figure out a way out of Privet Drive and have a home for you to visit me in this summer.. ok?" He smiled, lifting the girl of the bench and into his arms. "I'm sorry you have to go back there Harrison". She sniffled a little into his shoulder but Harry just held her tightly against him. "its ok lou, its ok".
He took a long breath just outside Luna's compartment. Staring at her threw the glass reading the quibbler upside down brought tears to his eyes. No matter how much he had changed her in the past, he knew he would have to work twice as hard to get back his sweet little sister. Harry could remember those nights he spent in that special room by the fire. Just listening to Luna talk about her family, her fears and her goals brought a new self worth to Harry. It was something he never felt before, a new emotion and a new space opened into his heart with her permanently. Harry slid his hand up across his chest, he felt the burn of his heart breaking for her all over again. 'I should have known.. I wish I had known.' With a long breath Harry walked back towards the other compartment. Images in his mind of her tears as she walked the hogwarts halls stung his own eyes.
"Where have you been?" Hermione broke Harry of his trance. Staring around the compartment he spotted her with a quill in hand scribbling over a bit of parchment.
"where's Ron?" he asked out of habit. A big weight was lifted from his shoulders when he spotted Ron missing from the compartment. 'less chance I'll beat his face in this way' he thought, with a haunting grin trying to break on his face. "Went to see the twins.. Are you ok? you took a long time getting your drink" Her body showed concern, but her eyes showed anger. Harry felt the waves of heat pass by him like the crashing ocean on sand.
"I'm sorry. I got caught up talking to Luna". The second the name left his lips he cursed himself silently. With quick succession he thought as best as he could on his feet. "I saw her alone.. A second year Ravenclaw, and I thought i would just talk to her." He shrugged, ignoring the obvious looks Hermione was throwing his way. "right. We should be there soon" Her eyes gave him one last look, then turned back to the parchment she was working with.
Harry sat beside her in silence for the last ten minutes, letting his knew body and mind merge with his old one. All of his thoughts were focused on all the work he knew he would have to do the second he got off the train. 'do i try and ditch the Dursley's at the station, or wait until we get home'. It seemed like the hardest question he could answer. A working plan was set into place, with that one last tiny detail still erupting his thoughts. "Hermione?" He asked, tilting his head enough to look down at her curled up form still scribbling away on the long lengthy parchment.
"hmm?" She didn't bother looking up, keeping her eyes peering from her work to the book. Harry felt a bit of awe watching her work. the way her hand would glide the quill across each inch of parchment in sweet rhythmic movements brought back memories of many nights watching her study.
"um. Think i could ask a favor?" Suddenly Harry was second guessing his plans. The bit of silence that passed before she turned to look at him only made his worries grow. "Sure, what do you need?" Her voice was sweet but cautious. Harry wondered why.. 'do we really bother her for homework help that much?'.
"Could you, take Hedwig for me?" He spit it out in a quick sentence. Watching her expression go from curious cation to shocked disbelief he quickly sped out the rest of his thought. "Its just, my uncle never lets me let her out and i don't want her locked up all summer.. and it would only be for like, a week or two maybe. And this way she can get some exercise and she doesn't like Ron as much as I know she likes you.. besides, I, I trust you." 'I'm twenty-nine struggling under the gaze of a fourteen year old girl.' Harry felt bewildered with his thoughts.
"ok, if your sure. I'm sure my parents wouldn't mind, as long as Hedwig is fine with it" She turned her gaze up on the Owl in question watching them both from her cage. She gave them both a quick hoot and closed her eyes, letting the rhythmic train ride lull her back to sleep. "One, more small favor" Harry felt his cheeks flush, again he couldn't understand how she had such control over him even at this age. "Do you think, i could get your address.. and Phone number?"
Hermione's expression was priceless. A mix of joy, shock and just confusion all wrapped into one tiny smile. Her brown eyes peered into his green orbs holding him in a hypnotic gaze he couldn't break. "I just, i thought it would be nice to hear your voice this summer. And, if the worst happens maybe i could hide out at your place instead of the Burrow." Harry felt a chain on his heart pulling his body forward, drifting towards her lovely lips begging to be kissed.
"Sure Harry" She broke eye contact at the last moment, feeling her own heart pulling her forward in hopes to share that kiss she had been dreaming about since riding on buckbeak. Hermione shook the cobwebs from her head, and pulled out a blank sheet of parchment. With a quick scribble of her address and number, she passed it on to Harry who took it with a wide smile. "I'd give you mine, but if you called the Dursley's might lock me in my cupboard again". Harry chuckled at the thought of being stuffed back into that cupboard. He never would admit it, though he now hated small spaces a tiny part of him always bore comfort from those tiny walls playing guard from the evil monsters outside his door. It was his prison, and his safe haven.
He was to focused in his own warping thoughts, that he didn't notice the confusing expression that played in Hermione's face. She wondered what this cupboard was she heard about off and on. The cabin door slid open, Ron stepped in complaining about his brothers trying to stuff a new experiment down his throat. The grumbling redhead shook Hermione from her thoughts, she filed the question aside hoping maybe she could ask him over the summer. "Are you doing homework already?" Ron's loud annoying voice shook even the windows. "No ron, just finishing up something i started a few months ago" Hermione sighed, she felt his eyes still on her expecting a better explanation then what she gave.
"Oi!, What are you doing?" Hermione looked up thinking Ron was talking to her again but when she turned she saw Harry holding a text book open in his hands. "huh?" he asked slowly lifting his eyes up towards Ron. "mental, both of you. Look what you've done to Harry! I've only been gone twenty minutes and you already got him reading.. during holiday vacation!" Ron ranted with his hands helping explain his point. Hermione was about to speak when Harry cut her off "Not much else to do on the train you know."
Ron looked slightly put off, staring between the two of them a few more times he sighed and flopped down onto the bench and turned his eyes out towards the passing trees. Harry struggled to keep his focus on the book in his hands, he didn't even know what he picked up from his bag only that it was the only thing keeping him busy enough to think over the lasting details of his summer plans. 'Things are going to change this time, if its the last thing i do'.
Let me know what you think.. love it hate it? wish i would finish Ch2 or wish i never uploaded such a mess of words?