Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or his characters, and have no right to it except as a long time fan.

Secrecy

The Progression of Summer

Harry woke early the next morning and just like the morning before he dressed and made breakfast so as not to cause himself trouble with his relatives. He needed to be free to do what he needed to do, and them being angry at him wouldn't help. Although he was sure his own anger would top theirs and prevent them from doing anything. He didn't want to risk a major blow up. He didn't want to cause Ginny any more concern with his emotions.

Once he was finished making his relatives breakfast he returned upstairs to his room and got ready to leave. He put on his jacket, covered his hair and scar with his new black beanie, and slung his weightless bottomless bag over his shoulder. He left his room and made sure to close the door behind him, and went back down the stairs and left the house without a word to anyone.

He once again caught the bus to downtown London but instead of going straight to the Leakey Cauldron he went to a nearby restaurant and had breakfast. When he finished he went to the magical tavern and headed straight through to the hidden alley beyond the magical brick wall entrance.

First he headed to Flourish and Blotts and grabbed a basket before he began to stroll through the bookstore. He found a section on mind magic and grabbed a few books that he knew he needed. The Mind Arts Identified went into his basket followed by Occlumency: A Guide to Mind Protection, Legilimency: An Exploration of the Mind.

He then went down a different isle and grabbed a few books on Arithmancy and Ancient Runes since he had been seriously considering taking one or both of them as his elective classes during the next school term.

After looking around and seeing if there was anything else he wanted he went back to the front of the store where the register was and purchased his books, thankful that the salesperson didn't recognize him.

As he was leaving he placed his books inside his bag and walk a short distance to his next destination: Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions. He strolled around the store looking at the various wizard clothes to see if anything caught his interest.

He saw some wizard robes that were similar to his school robes and went over for a closer look. He had always liked the way his school robe looked on him over his uniform, but it didn't look right with his regular clothes because of the added house color and badge. The robes he was looking over now had solid colors and were hooded as well.

Harry looked for a black one in his size and when he found it he took off his bag and jacket and tried it on. It went down pass his ankles just above his shoes and fit him rather well. He moved off to the side where a full length mirror stood and looked at himself and was pleased with what he saw. He looked like a wizard and yet casual. He put up the hood and was pleased with how it looked and that if he wasn't wearing his hat it would cover his scar.

He moved back over to his jacket and bag and went to take the robe off when he noticed it had an inside pocket. It sat low against his chest on his left side and was fairly large. He was positive his wand could fit without being in danger of falling out. In fact, he tried it and saw that it fit perfectly.

He took the robe off and grabbed one in navy blue, red, and green leaving him with four robes. He put his jacket and bag back on and headed to the cash register, and within minutes he was walking out of the clothing store with his robes in his bottomless bag.

From there he went to Ollivander's to get two wand holsters, one for himself and one for Ginny, since he had seen some people wearing them in the alley and thought it was a good way not to lose your wand. The wand maker recognized him as soon as he laid eyes on him, but there was no one else in the shop so he didn't worry about anyone knowing he was in the alley. He showed him a few different holsters that could be used and Harry picked the kind that could be worn on the wrist as that would make it easier to get to the wand.

His last stop was Eeylops Owl Emporium for some treats for Hedwig, and then he was leaving Diagon Alley and looking for the muggle mall so he could do the rest of his shopping.

After walking around for a bit and getting directions Harry finally made it to the mall. He walked around the first floor and immediately headed to the bookstore when he spotted it. When he stepped inside he noticed a stack of baskets off to the side and he grabbed one.

Not feather light and bottomless. He reminded himself as he went searching the isles for what he was looking for. He followed the signs and went to the section on health and grabbed a book on the human body and meditation methods since the Occlumency book he had got mentioned mediation.

As he was passing another section he saw books on fighting and martial arts. He gravitated to the books on martial arts simply because of the name, and after looking them over he found one on something called Tai Chi. He flipped through it and after skimming some of the pages thought it might be something that could help him with controlling his emotions and growing magic.

He added the book to his basket and headed for the checkout. After he bought his books he left the store and paused in front of a stationary store that was right next door to it. He walked in and looked around at the different types of paper. He found a pack of white paper with red flames in the background and grabbed two packs before he continued to browse.

A few moments later he was surprised to see another pack of white paper, but this time there was a red phoenix in the background. He grabbed two packs of that as well and continued looking around the store. A few minutes later he came across small bottles of ink that could be used with a quill, and decided to get a couple of bottles of red, green, and purple.

Harry purchased the items and added the small bag to his bottomless and weightless bag before beginning to look for a clothing store since he knew he needed clothes badly. He was finally able to pick things out for himself without his aunt around to deny him or Mrs. Weasley to try and do it for him.

He eventually found a department store and began to look for clothes that would fit him. He found the boys section but those were too small, for boys younger then him, and definitely not Hogwarts age. He continued on and found men's clothes but those were obviously too large for him. Eventually he found the section for teens.

Technically I'm not a teen yet, but I will be in a few months. He thought as he began to look through the pants.

He looked around at the section as what he needed raced through his mind and he realized it would be too much for him to carry, so he went looking for a shopping cart to hold it all. Once he found that he returned to the section he was at and began to fill his cart with his choices.

A couple of jeans in various shades of black and blue went into the cart, and a couple of sweat pants in black, navy blue, and gray joined them. Long sleeve and short sleeve t-shirt's in various colors joined the cart before he went for the section on pajamas, and grabbed some that would keep him cool when it was hot and warm when it was cold.

That thought reminded him of the cold winters in the castle and he went and grabbed some thick long sleeve pullover sweaters with and without hoods. From there he searched until he found socks and grabbed a few packs of those, and underwear since those were in the same section. He also grabbed a few packs of boxers in dark colors.

He walked around to see if anything else caught his attention and he came across the shoe section. He looked through them and found tennis shoes, dress shoes, sandals, and slippers to choose from. He grabbed a black pair of tennis shoes to wear when he wasn't wearing the shoes that went with his uniform, a pair of comfortable slippers, and a black pair of slip on sandals to wear when he didn't feel like wearing his tennis shoes with his clothes outside of his uniform.

Harry couldn't think of any other clothes he needed so he headed to the registers. On his way he passed the electronics section and paused as he remembered the Tai Chi book came with an instruction dvd. He would obviously need something to watch it on since he wasn't going to ask his relatives to use theirs.

So he browsed and eventually found a portable DVD player. It would allow him to watch the DVD in his room or anywhere as long as the internal battery was charged, but he reminded himself that it most likely wouldn't work around lots of magic.

He added that to his cart and continued to the registers. He got some strange looks when he got there, which wasn't surprising considering he was young, by himself, and buying a lot of things. He ignored them all and paid for his items and left the store.

His bags were a bit heavy but there was nothing he could do at that moment. He could stuff the items into his bottomless bag, but he would need privacy to do it since he couldn't fit the whole bags in it. He would have to put his things in there one or a few at a time.

Later. He thought as he made his way to the food court of the mall. He was hungry and it was around that time for lunch.

As he followed his nose to the food he saw a store for eye glasses. He paused and read the signs and looked through the windows at the clean store and glasses. He hummed thoughtfully before he continued on his previous course for food.

When he reached the food court he searched through the different selections and settled on a restaurant stall that sold sandwiches, soups, and salads. He got himself a toasted turkey sandwich with fries and orange juice. He took his food and sat at a small two person table that was off to the side of the main group of tables, and took a bite of his sandwich as his eyes roamed the large room.

I definitely need some new glasses. He considered as he focused on the view he was seeing. It wasn't as clear as he imagined it should be. In fact, it wasn't clear at all. It was slightly blurry and he had always had to squint slightly when he was trying to see something far away or when he did a lot of reading.

Besides that, he remembered very well that the glasses he currently wore weren't from a doctor or a professional since he had never been to one. He thought it would be nice to be able to see properly, especially when he was playing quidditch, and not have to worry about constant headaches from straining his eyes.

Then it's settled. He thought as he ate. I'll go to that store after I finish eating and get some new glasses.

As he took a bite of a fry he looked down to his bags at his feet and decided he could fit some of his new things in his bottomless bag right then.

Harry wiped his hands on a napkin and begun to dig through the bags. He pulled out his new portable DVD player and put that into his bag, and followed that up with his packs of underwear and socks. He then quickly added his tennis shoes, slippers, and sandals.

That should be enough while I'm sitting right here. He thought as he closed his bag and tested the bags now that only his clothes remained. The bag with the shirts and pajamas are lighter, but the sweats, jeans, and sweaters are still heavy. Not surprising but still inconvenient.

Harry finished his food and threw away his trash before he grabbed his bags and began to head to the store to get new glasses. When he reached the store he read the signs again, pleased that he remembered correctly that they do eye exams there since he was sure he needed one.

He walked in, slightly nervous that they might ask for an adult to be present, and looked around. He wished he could've gone to a store in Diagon Alley but he hadn't seen one, and really wouldn't have gone if he had since he didn't want to be recognized.

"Can I help you?" A kind looking woman asked as she approached him, and he nodded.

"I need new glasses. School just ended but I noticed during the year that I was straining my eyes a lot and getting headaches." Harry explained and the woman made a sound of sympathy.

"Follow me please." She said and guided him to another room through a door from to the side where there was a chair and some instrument thing next to it that he assumed was for looking at eyes.

He placed his bags aside and sat in the chair and handed over his glasses as the woman instructed, and watched as she swung the instrument toward him and listened as she told him to look into the holes and to tell her when everything was clear and in focus.

"So where are your parents?" The woman eventually asked as she adjusting parts of the instrument according to his comments on it being blurry or clearer.

"I'm an orphan, so I'm used to taking care of myself." He answered truthfully. It's just now I have the means to do it properly. He thought as he blinked at the new slightly clearer view.

"Why haven't you had your eyes examined before?" She asked and he guessed she could tell just by looking at his glasses.

"The people I live with don't like me and don't like taking care of me." He explained. "I got a little money recently, and decided to take care of my eyes before the next school year started."

"That's wise and mature of you." The woman praised him. "Most kids would spend their money on games and nonsense instead of thinking about things they really need."

"Most kids have their parents or relatives that take care of them, so they can afford to spend their money on nonsense." Harry replied.

"Very true." She replied sadly.

Eventually, after a few more adjustments, Harry was able to see perfectly through the holes. He sat quietly as his new prescription was being made and a few minutes later she came back with a pair of glasses. He put them on and blinked in surprise at the difference from his old glasses.

Everything was crisp and clear. He could see just fine clear across the room and small details that he wouldn't have even thought to try and see before. He wasn't straining and squinting his eyes. It was great and he told the woman so.

"Excellent!" The woman said with a smile. "Now all you have to do is pick out a pair of frames and you'll be all set." She added as she led him back into the main part of the store and pointed him toward the wall of frames.

Harry walked over and immediately skipped over the square and rectangular frames. He was comfortable with round ones and had no plans to change that. Once he stood before the round frames he focused on sizes since there were large and small ones.

Maybe I should stick to something close to or similar to my old ones. He considered as his eyes flickered over the various frames. I don't want it to be obvious I have new glasses, especially if it means keeping people out of my business. He thought as he moved toward a pair of black frames that looked very similar to his old ones. The only difference was the darker tone of black, the new glossy look, and the slight details on the frames that no one would see unless they took his glasses off his face and examined them.

"Would you like one pair or two?" The woman asked as she took the frames he chose.

"Two please." He replied, thinking it would be good to have a second pair of glasses incase anything happened to the other pair.

"Alright. And would you be interested in contacts?" She asked as she opened a drawer behind the counter and grabbed two pairs of the frames he had handed her.

"Contacts?" He asked with a confused frown.

"Yes. Contact lenses." The woman said as she pulled opened another drawer and pulled out a small case with two capsule-like circles. "Instead of wearing glasses you put these directly on your eye and you see just as you would with your glasses." She explained as she opened one of the capsules and showed him the lenses floating in liquid.

Harry hummed and wondered if he actually wanted to put something on his eyes. How would I even do that? He wondered, but he pushed that aside and tried to think of the benefits. Wearing them would definitely ease his mind when it came to quidditch as he wouldn't have to worry about his glasses being knocked off or blown off by the wind.

Maybe I should get it just in case I decide to wear them. He considered with a nod, deciding he'd rather be safe than sorry. He hoped to be out on his own as soon as possible and he never knew when he would need to be without his glasses.

"I would like them." He said with a nod.

"Alright. Just fill this out so we know that this is your prescription. We'll take the prescription from your glasses and make the contacts so you won't need to do anything else." The woman explained. "They'll be ready in twenty-four hours, so just return at this time tomorrow. I'll be working at that time, so I'll be able to show how to wear them and what to do to maintain them."

"Okay." Harry said gratefully as he filled out the paper. He was glad he wouldn't have to worry about providing a phone number and being contacted when they were ready, and he was also glad he would be taught how to wear the contact lenses.

When he was finished filling out the paper he wait since the woman helping him had gone into another room with the frames he had chosen. When she returned she had one of the frames in her hand and in the other hand a black case that was obviously for glasses.

"Trade you." She said as she held out the glasses in her hand.

Harry silently took off the glasses he had on and handed them to her and took the ones she held. He put them on and was glad to see that he could see just as well. He looked in the mirror that was on the counter and was pleased with the frames and how they looked on him.

"Do you like them?" The woman asked and he nodded.

"Yes. They're brilliant." He said with a smile.

"Great." She replied. "Here is your second pair." She added as she opened the case she had held and showed him before she closed it and put it in front of him.

From there she took the paper he had filled out and gave him his receipt for the pairs of glasses. He paid the slightly large amount and placed the case with his second pair of glasses in his bottomless bag. He thanked her for all her help, adjusted his new glasses on his face, grabbed his shopping bags, and walked out the store and back into the mall.

With there being nothing else he could think of for him to get he left the shopping mall and returned to his relative's house. He went to his room, greeted Hedwig, and placed his bags on his bed and closed the door before he took off his hat and jacket and got comfortable.

As he pulled out his new clothes he told Hedwig he had two letters for her to deliver. The first would be to his lawyer and the second would be to Ginny. He explained that he was picking the lawyer first because he was sure the man could contact him after that on his own, but he wasn't willing to let Ginny fend for herself in contacting him.

Hedwig hooted softly at him and he smiled in return as he knew she agreed with him.

Once he finished that he unlocked and opened his trunk and began to pull out everything that looked like it had at one time belonged to his overweight cousin and tossed it off to the side. When he finished he put all his new clothes in his trunk, and added all of the things he bought in Diagon Alley in there as well.

He then pulled out the pack of white paper with a red Phoenix in the background and his black ink and quill. He considered using some of his new ink but decided against it for a first letter to his lawyer. He got situated at his desk and began to write to a man he had never met.

Dear Mr. Bekham,

I was told by my family account manager at Gringotts that you were the lawyer my parents used, and could help me with some business I need to take care of. My name is Harry Potter and I was wondering if you could meet me at Gringotts at your convenience? I would like us to meet and get familiar with each other.

Sincerely,
Harry James Potter

He read the short letter through and decided that was good enough. There was nothing else he wanted or was willing to say in the letter, so he sealed it and addressed it to the man. He then turned to Hedwig who flew the short distance to him and landed on the desk.

"This is for Arnold Bekham; the lawyer I mentioned earlier. As soon as you get this to him I need you to come right back. I'll have a letter and a package for Ginny for you to take to her." He explained to his faithful familiar.

Hedwig hooted softly and gently nibbled at his finger before she took the letter in her beak and waited for him to open the window. Harry did just that and watched as she leapt through the window and soared off into the air.

Once she was out of sight he sat back down and pulled out another sheet of the new paper and began to write to his secret girlfriend.

He described his day of shopping and how he had gotten some new clothes, shoes, some books, new glasses and a few other things that he thought would be useful. He described his trip on the bus again, where he had eaten breakfast, and the building that made up the mall.

He told her about the many stores inside and the large food court with many different places to eat, and what he himself had chosen to eat for lunch. Then he explained his experience with getting his new glasses, and getting contact lenses to try out some time and on the off chance he might need them at some point.

He then told her about the items he was sending her and his hope that she would like them before he sealed the letter. He put it aside and gathered the packs of white paper with red flames, the book, and wand holster and arranged them together. Then he grabbed both bottles of purple ink and a bottle of red ink, and carefully packed them together so nothing would be lost during flight. He secured Ginny's letter to it and set the package aside for when Hedwig came back.

Harry stretched and then grabbed his book on meditation and sat on his bed. He opened it and began to read the first chapter which was on breathing meditation.

The first stage of meditation is to stop distractions and make your mind clearer and more lucid. This can be accomplished by practicing a simple breathing meditation. Choose a quiet place to meditate and sit in a comfortable position. This can be the traditional cross-legged posture or in any other position that is comfortable. The most important thing is to keep your back straight to prevent your mind from becoming sluggish or sleepy.

Sit with your eyes partially closed and turn your attention to your breathing. Breathe naturally, preferably through your nostrils, without attempting to control your breath, and try to become aware of the sensation of the breath as it enters and leaves your nostrils. This sensation is your object of meditation. You should try to concentrate on it to the exclusion of everything else.

At first, your mind will be very busy, and you might even feel that the meditation is making your mind busier; but in reality you are just becoming more aware of how busy your mind actually is. You'll be tempted to follow the different thoughts as they arise, but you should resist this and remain singularly focused on the sensation of the breath. If you discover that your mind has wandered and is following your thoughts, you should immediately return it to the breath. You should repeat this as many times as necessary until your mind settles on the breath.

He was distracted by knocking on his door and looked up when it opened to reveal his aunt.

"Come on. Time to start dinner." She said and he nodded.

I'll start doing this mediation before I go to sleep. He decided as he closed the book and put it aside. He got to his feet and followed his aunt out of the room, closing the door behind him, and headed downstairs.


The lawyer Harry had contacted wrote him back quickly. He received the letter when he woke up the next morning.

Dear Mr. Potter,

You were indeed informed correctly by your account manager. I am in fact the lawyer your parents retained to handle all legal matters involving your family. I am pleased that you contacted me, and look forward to helping you with your business concerns.

I understand your wish for us to become better acquainted, and am perfectly willing to meet you at Gringotts. If you are available I would like to meet you at twelve o'clock in the lobby. If you do not appear I will assume you could not make it and will await your reply to this letter. Looking forward to meeting you.

Sincerely,
Arnold Bekham

PS. I'll be the average height guy with short brown hair, blue-gray eyes, and wearing tan pants, a white button up shirt, and a black long coat.

Harry had no problem being available for that meeting. He showered, got dressed in his new clothes and shoes, and fixed breakfast for his relatives before he gathered his things and left the house. He took the bus yet again to downtown London and made his way to The Leaky Cauldron. He made sure his hat covered his scar and walked through the tavern and out to the magical entrance to the alley. He used his wand to tap the right bricks and entered the busy alley before he made his way to the large white building that the goblins ran.

He walked inside and paused, after moving off to the side out of the doorway, and searched for the description the lawyer had given him. He finally spotted him standing casually in the corner by the fireplaces watching the people in the lobby. He had a kind face and looked like an easy going guy from a distance, but Harry would put that to the test when he met the man.

He calmly, much more calmly then he felt, walked over to the man and stopped next to him.

"Mr. Bekham?" He asked quietly, not wanting to draw attention, and watched as the man looked over to him. His eyes widened before he smiled kindly and held out his hand.

"Mr. Potter." The man said just as quietly, which pleased Harry and gave him a good first impression of the man.

"Nice to meet you." Harry said as he took his hand in his and shook it before he released it.

"You too." Mr. Bekham replied. "I took the liberty of arranging a conference room for us to use here. Is that alright with you?"

"Yes. I appreciate the gesture." Harry said with a slight smile.

"This way then." Mr. Bekham said as he gestured off to the other side of the lobby.

The older man led him across the lobby and toward the doorway he had used before when he was meeting with his account manager. A goblin then led them through and to a nice sized room with a large table and comfortable chairs. The two of them thanked the goblin and then took their seats as he left.

"So you knew my parents..or at least they were your clients?" Harry asked as he looked at the older man. Now that they were settled he could see that the man was older then he thought. He must be around Mr. Weasley's age. He just doesn't really look it. He thought curiously.

"Yes. I was hired by your parents a few months before they married to handle all their legal affairs." Mr. Bekham explained and he nodded.

"How do I know you won't tell anyone anything I say? How do I know it will all be safe and you won't use it for your own purposes?" Harry asked, deciding he needed to know just as he did with his Gringotts account manager.

"Lawyer client confidentiality covers that. It makes it so I'm legally unable to tell anyone anything that is said between us." The older man assured him.

"That means nothing to me." Harry said bluntly. "You can tell me our conversations and dealings will be confidential all you want, but that doesn't mean they actually will be."

"I know this seems strange coming from someone my age, but I don't trust easily, especially after the year I had." He explained.

Mr. Bekham nodded with a frown. It was strange for a young man to be so cautious and concerned with privacy. He implied he had a bad year which was either the source of his caution or what helped intensify it. If he wanted to find out why he was going to have do more than just spout words; he needed to prove it.

He needed to understand what was going on with the young Potter. His parents were more than just clients, they were friends, and he hated that their son had grown up away from his heritage. He had obviously had a hard time of it if he was acting this way about information possibly getting to the wrong person.

The young man deserved his help and he wanted to help him. He should have known the boy all these years instead of having to wait for him to contact him or wait until he was of age. Of course he could have contacted him before he came of age, but considering the trouble someone went to to have him completely removed from the wizarding world made it likely the young man would be watched and his contact prevented.

Well it's time for actions instead of words. The older man thought.

"How about I swear on my magic?" Mr. Bekham suggested.

"What does that mean?" Harry asked since he had never heard of that before.

"My swearing on my magic means that if I go back on my word I lose my magic." Mr. Bekham explained and watched the young man nod thoughtfully. "Is it okay if I take out my wand?" He asked, not wanting to make any sudden movements for it since he had no idea how the young man would react.

He's adding to his good first impression. Harry thought as he nodded to the man. He would have been instantly on guard and tense if he had pulled it out without a word.

"I, Arnold Timothy Bekham, swear on my magic never to discuss anything about Harry James Potter without his express permission." The man said as he held his wand up in front of him.

The tip of the wand glowed brightly before it faded. Harry nodded in relief, having felt the magic, and added another positive mark on the first impression he was getting of the man.

"Thank you for that." Harry said as he relaxed a bit more.

"You're welcome." Mr. Bekham said sincerely. "If I may ask, what has caused you to be this way? You implied that you haven't had the best year. I assume you mean at Hogwarts?"

"Yes." Harry said slowly as he stared at the man. His gut told him he could trust the man, especially now that he had sworn on his magic to keep all their conversations and dealings strictly between them. He had trusted his gut feeling when it came to Ginny and that had worked out wonderfully. He wasn't going to start ignoring that feeling now that he was getting use to acting on it successfully.

"Yes." He repeated as he made his decision. "It started just after the school year started. I apparently have the ability to naturally use Legilimency, and after unexpectedly using it on my best friend I learned that he had actually been paid to be my friend and report on me and manipulate me." He explained.

Mr. Bekham sucked in a sharp surprised breath. He hadn't really had anything in my mind as to why the young man was so worried about his privacy and being cautious, but he hadn't expected anything of this nature. And he had only just started speaking! What more would there be? Because he was sure there was more with how wary the young man was.

"I saw the meeting as if it was my own memory. I was upset and confused. I didn't know what had happened or why I had seen what I saw. After thinking about it a while I decided I must have imagined it, but I was still going to try and find out what had happened." Harry explained.

"It happened again not long after that. I saw another meeting and realized I had forgotten all about the first time and the research I had planned to do, but it wasn't that it had just slipped my mind. The knowledge of what I had seen and planned to do seem to slip back in place as soon as I saw the second meeting." He continued.

"Who are we talking about here? Who is your friend and who was he meeting with?" Mr. Bekham asked seriously, not at all liking what he was hearing.

"My former best friend is Ron Weasley, and he was meeting with the headmaster." Harry answered.

"The headmaster?!" Mr. Bekham repeated in shock. "As in headmaster Albus Dumbledore?"

"Yes. The very same. He told Ron he wanted to make sure I was going down the right path. Ron was to report on everything I was doing and saying no matter what it was so they could make sure I wouldn't go dark." He explained angrily.

Harry explained how he had pulled away after that. He stopped hanging out with Ron and his other close friend Hermione Granger, and was distrustful of everyone in the castle, not knowing who else had been in on it, especially after he began to think over his entire first year.

He explained all about the sorcerer's stone and how he had been curious about what it was, but that when he found out what it was and who was after it he was done. He had satisfied his curiosity about the stone but wasn't interested in anything more to do with it, especially if it allowed Voldemort a chance to finish what he started when he was a baby.

When he looked back over that year he found instead of being done with the matter he found himself more involved in it, doing things toward trying to keep the stone safe as if it had all been his idea.

Harry continued on his tale and explained how it hadn't stopped there. He had found himself suddenly doing things that Ron wanted to do, and when he tried to hangout with other people he would suddenly find himself not wanting to or doing something with Ron and Hermione.

Beyond that, he had come to understand that Ron hadn't wanted him to spend time with his sister Ginny. Every time he had tried to go talk to her he was diverted or distracted. If that didn't work and he managed to make it to her and start talking he would suddenly cut in and pull him away and before he knew it he was suddenly doing what Ron wanted him to do and thoughts of Ginny were far from his mind.

Luckily after he pulled away from everyone she had approached him. He had followed his instincts to trust her, especially since she hadn't been in the castle for his first year, and now she was his best friend.

"What of the other girl? Ms. Granger?" Mr. Bekham asked with a frown. "Didn't she realize something was wrong during your first year?"

"No." Harry said as he shook his head. "That's why I pulled away from her as well. She was supposed to be as close to me as Ron, the smartest witch in our year, and yet she had not noticed a thing. When it happened after Ginny and I became friends Ginny noticed instantly."

Mr. Bekham looked at the young man in dismay. He couldn't believe what he was hearing. The rumors that had come out of Hogwarts about the Sorcerer's stone appeared to have been true and Mr. Potter had been in the thick of it against his will. What hadn't been mentioned in those rumors was who was after it. Apparently He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named was still around.

He could also tell from years of experience that he wasn't being told everything, and the fact that there was more going on left him concerned. This boy, Mr. Weasley, had some way of taking Mr. Potter's will from him, and that concerned and angered him. He knew the Weasley's were a light sided family, and couldn't see any of them doing something like this, but clearly the boy was doing it for the young man before him to be so cautious and wary.

"Do you have any idea why they are doing what they have been?" He asked, his mind still processing what he learned.

"Ron was told he would be helping The Boy Who Lived stay on the right path. Maybe at first that was all it was, or more likely that's my wishful thinking. Dumbledore is paying him to do what he's been doing, to be my best friend, and the power of making me do what he wanted also likely went to his head." Harry explained. "The only good thing out of that is that Dumbledore isn't using my family's money to pay him." He added bitterly, remembering that his relatives were being paid.

"I don't know why Dumbledore feels the need to try and be in my life like that, but I sure as hell don't like it and I'm going to do all I can to make sure he has as little part in it as possible. Hopefully none at all." He said firmly.

"Then I will do all I can to aid you in that." Mr. Bekham said just as firmly, more determined now then before to help this young man. "Please, call me Arnold. Let's get to the business you wanted to discuss." He added.

"Then call me Harry." He said with a nod. "I want a place of my own to live in so I can get away from my relatives. They hate magic and anything to do with it, and that includes me. I just need to get away from them. For my health."

"I know about my family properties, and I've decided to spend as much time as I can this summer at my family's manor house, but I want a place that I picked and decorated. It'll be my contribution to the family properties, and at this point, one no one would know of." He explained.

"But you would be living alone." Arnold said with a concerned frown, and Harry sighed heavily.

Do I tell him? Do I trust this man with my childhood? He considered as he gazed into his blue-gray eyes. My instincts have already told me I can trust him, and he's already sworn on his magic, so I don't need to hold back. He reminded himself.

"My relatives house is a place no one would want to live, especially someone who's magical." Harry began with a sigh. "I live with my aunt on my mother's side, uncle, and cousin, and they hate magic and everything to do with it, especially me. I've had to deal with their verbal and physical abuse for years."

He explained some of the same things he had told Ginny about life with his relatives. How when he was younger he used to think his name was 'Freak' because that was all they called him whenever they spoke to him. They were always yelling at him, commanding him to do this and that, and treating him as little more than their personal slave.

He had been doing all the cooking and cleaning since he was old enough to understand, and had lived in the cupboard under the stairs for just as long. That had only changed when he received his Hogwarts letter, and it had been addressed to the Cupboard Under The Stairs. Right after that he had been moved to his cousin's second bedroom since they were afraid they were being watched.

Harry took a steadying breath and briefly described some of the beatings his uncle gave him, and how they had worsened over the years when, to his recent understanding, it became clear his magic was healing him to the point where all the damage would disappear overnight.

"I was punished for everything. For not moving fast enough when I was doing all those chores they made me do, for doing better in school then my cousin, for things my cousin did, and many times for things I didn't do and couldn't have possibly done." He added.

"It wasn't and isn't just living in the same house with them that's the problem. It's also outside of the house. They have the entire neighborhood thinking I'm a troubled kid who's always doing bad things and getting into trouble, and it was believable because of the clothes they had me wearing. My cousins oversized hand-me downs."

"Because of that I didn't have any friends, helped along by the fact that my cousin and his friends would beat up anyone who tried to be my friend, driving them away. And last summer they locked me in that second bedroom intent on keeping me from returning to Hogwarts. I'm talking locks on the door and bars on the window. They even locked my owl in her cage." He said with a weary sigh.

"I can't deal with it anymore. I don't want to deal with it anymore. It's becoming dangerous on different levels." He stressed.

"How so?" Arnold asked with a frown, already upset at the various things he had just heard.

"I've recently learned my magic is growing and it seems to react to my emotions. My relatives make me feel anger, stress, and frustration, so I could hurt them if I'm not careful. On top of that I get the same verbal abuse from a professor at school that makes me feel the same emotions, and I just can't handle it from two sides." Harry explained.

"That's why I need my own place. I have no problem living alone. As far as I'm concerned I've been taking care of myself all these years, looking out for myself, since no one else wanted to. I know how to cook, grocery shop, travel on my own, and shop for my own personal needs. I have friends that I can write to, and I can always visit them or they can visit me if everyone's allowed, so I won't have to worry about being lonely." He informed the older man.

"The most important thing to me is that I'll be away from the constant abuse and able to thrive." He finished.

Arnold sighed sadly at what Harry had endured. The majority of the British wizarding world had thought the Boy Who Lived was living a quiet peaceful life, but now he was learning that wasn't the case. The young man had been abused both verbally and physically, and now his statement that he needed to be away from his relatives for his health took on a whole new meaning.

He didn't like the thought of him living alone, but he would rather have him living alone then with his abusive relatives. And he reminded himself that while Harry was a teenager he was also a wizard, and that made him more mature then a muggle teenager. Witches and wizards grew up faster as a result of wielding magic as it was a great responsibility.

My first impression of Harry gives me confidence that he'll be fine living alone, but I'll make sure to keep in touch with him for my peace of mind. He thought with a nod.

"Okay. Well, first things first. Have you been to the manor to see if it's in the proper living condition?" He asked.

"Yes. It's perfect. It just needs cleaning and to be stocked with food, which the elves are taking care of." Harry answered.

"Ah. The house elves are still there?" Arnold asked in surprise. He thought that was good. That assured him that Harry wouldn't be entirely alone, and would be taken care of if he couldn't take care of himself for some reason.

"Yes. There was only one left, but after I bonded with him he found more. There are enough to take care of the manor and help with the new place once I get it." Harry assured him.

"Good. Now tell me. What do you have in mind for the new place you want? I'm assuming you want a house and not an apartment or studio. Where do you want it? In the city or out in the countryside? In a magical community or muggle? How big do you want it to be in terms of rooms? Do you want it to have a front-yard, a backyard or both? Those types of things." Arnold explained as he pulled out pen and paper.

Harry blinked and frowned at the list of things he was asking. A lot of those he hadn't even thought of, so he wasn't sure what to do.

"Take your time. You can tell me what you know now and I can come up with a list for you, and as you see what I find and have time to think it over you can be more specific." Arnold reassured him and he nodded thankfully.

"Right. Okay. I want it in the city in a muggle community since I don't want to be recognized if I'm seen walking around. I want it near a park where I can exercise, and near public transportation since I can't use magical means of transportation right now." Harry said right away, knowing those things were a must for his needs.

"I want it to have a nice sized backyard, nothing too big, and no front yard. At least three bedrooms and a basement, a large basement. It would be great if the basement was split into rooms." He said thoughtfully. "That's it for now. I'll probably add more when I see what you come up with." He added.

"Excellent." Arnold said as he finished writing down his requirements. "I'll have something for you in the coming days. First I'll send you a package of options, and that will continue until you've picked the one or ones you like best. Then we'll set up a date and I'll take you to view the properties so you can decide from there."

"That sounds good." Harry said with a satisfied nod, pleased with how this meeting had gone.

With that business out of the way the two wrapped up their meeting with the promise to write and keep in touch beyond the bounds of lawyer and client as well as for Harry to contact him if he needed any issues handled. To remember that he had a lawyer now and didn't need to feel like he had no one to fight for him.

Harry thanked him and said he would remember before they left the bank separately. He then moved through the alley and headed for the shopping mall to pick up his contacts before he returned to Privet Drive.


In the days after his meeting with Mr. Bekham Harry received letters from Ginny, Neville, Hermione, Ron, and from the other friends he had made during the school year. They wrote of how their summer was going so far and what they were doing to keep themselves busy when they weren't doing their homework. Some complained about doing the homework, and others said they wanted to hurry and finish it so they wouldn't have to spend the rest of the summer worrying about it.

One of his older Ravenclaw friends suggested a wizard fiction book for him to read called The Unusual Time Turner. It was about a young jaded and bitter wizard that had lost everything and decided to become a treasure hunter. It kept him away from people for the most part and gave him something exciting to do. On a hunt he found a strange looking time turner in a hidden temple in the Amazon rainforest. He finds out after months of study that it had the power to go back years to the body of his younger self or how he was now.

Harry had been intrigued by the summary and had gone out to Diagon Alley and bought the book the same day and started reading it on his way back to the Dursley's.

The next time Ginny wrote him it started them on an unexpected yet informative discussion.

Dear Harry,

I was wondering what electives you're going to be taking this school year? I ask because I just overheard mom and Ron talking about it. He's told her the two of you are taking Care of Magical Creatures and Divination.

Since the elective classes usually help toward jobs for after Hogwarts, and because mom also lectured Ron on those classes helping toward a career, I'm curious to know if you have any ideas on what you want to do when you finish your seventh year.

Can't wait to hear from you.

Ginny

*s*S*s*

Dear Ginny,

Ron said that because that's what he wants to happen. We did talk about elective classes, but I never told him what I planned to take. I just listened to what he said he wanted to take. Anyway, I plan on taking Ancient Runes and Arithmancy instead, but I still want to try out Care of Magical Creatures as well.

I have no idea what kind of career I want to go into after Hogwarts. I don't even know what types of careers there are. Tell me, do you know what kind of jobs there are in the wizarding world?

Eagerly awaiting your response.

Harry

Ginny answered quickly and the pair wrote back and forth as they talked about what types of jobs there were for wizards and witches, and what they might want to do after Hogwarts.

Ginny wasn't quite sure what she wanted to do, but she had a few choices picked out that she was thinking over. First was being a professional quidditch player since she loved playing the sport so much, then she thought of being a curse breaker since her favorite and oldest brother was one and it sounded interesting, and last she was considering being a healer since it also sounded interesting and seemed like something she could see herself doing. She couldn't help wondering if you could be more than one thing.

Harry had even less of an idea what he wanted to do with himself after Hogwarts. He thought he might make a good professional quidditch player since he was a good seeker and he liked to fly, and from Ginny's description being a curse breaker sounded interesting. Although thinking about that had him thinking he might want to do something that was the opposite of being a curse breaker. Maybe someone who made curses and such.

According to Ginny that meant he was considering being a spell creator, but he also wouldn't mind doing something that was rare in the magical world like being someone who designs and makes buildings and houses or someone who makes things either magically or physically.


As the summer wore on Harry worked on his homework but also made it a habit to work on his meditation, occlumency, and martial arts every day. Early in the morning he got up and practiced his meditation and Tai Chi, after he had watched the DVD, which he hoped would help in controlling his emotions and magic, and during the morning and nights just before he went to sleep he worked on occlumency. He hoped the mind art would also help him control his emotions, but also help him understand the ability he had for slipping into a person's mind.

Beyond that he hoped it would do what it was actually supposed to do and protect his mind. The thought that anyone could get into his mind, like he had unknowingly done to Ron, was disturbing, especially with the things he wanted to keep secret.

So he worked diligently to make his mind a place that represented himself in his entirety and where he would feel comfortable. It looked like a combination of a normal forest and the forbidden forest outside Hogwarts. It was dark with sunlight coming through here and there with mist and fog covering the floor.

June and most of July passed in this fashion. Aside from his daily habit, which had become a mandatory ritual, he continued to trade letters with his friends and girlfriend, and spent time exploring his family manor house. The place was large but not outrageously so. He saw that it could house a large family just fine, and cater to all the needs of a magical family. Aside from that he discovered that there were talking portraits in the house, but he avoided them since he wasn't ready to meet and talk to long gone family members.

Beyond that Harry had received two packages from his lawyer with multiple choices of houses in each. He was surprised that they looked like what he thought muggle listings would look like in that there were pictures and glossy print. Only with them being magical the pictures moved, which was nice since he got a nice look at each house.

The first package didn't have what he was looking for. Some of the houses were in neighborhoods too similar to Privet Drive, and some didn't have either a backyard or a nearby park. Others were too far from public transportation and required a car or magical transportation to get anywhere.

The second package held only one that he liked and it was a townhouse. It was two levels with a basement and an attic, and had a nice sized front yard and a backyard. He liked it but it had a front yard and there was no nearby park. Aside from that the description of the neighborhood warned that the neighbors were very friendly. He took that to mean they were nosy and would be in his business like the neighbors in Privet Drive.

He returned the last package with the rejected options and an attached letter to Arnold stating that he liked the townhouse and would like to see more of those, and to please keep in mind there really needed to be public transportation nearby because he couldn't apparate yet and didn't particularly like the floo.

The rest of July brought news that the Weasley family had won the lottery, and would be going to Egypt for a full week. Ginny had expressed in a letter that she was unhappy she wouldn't even be in the country on his birthday, but he had assured her he didn't mind and told her to enjoy the experience and visit with her oldest brother.

On his birthday a letter arrived from his girlfriend wishing him a happy birthday and that she wished she could be there with him, but that since she couldn't be there she wanted to let him know she was thinking of him.

In the small package that was attached was a necklace. It was a silver chain with a strange symbol hanging by its loop. Reading the attached note Ginny explained that it was the Egyptian symbol for life called ankh. He decided right then as he slipped it over his head that he would always wear it no matter what.

A few days after Harry's birthday three Hogwarts letters arrived much to his surprise since he couldn't understand why there would be so many. He opened the first one and read the list of books he would need for the next school year.

Please note Third year students will require:

The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 3 by Miranda Goshawk

Unfogging the Future by Cassandra Vablatsky (if attending Divination)

Intermediate Transfiguration by Emeric Switch

The Monster Book of Monsters (if attending Care of Magical Creatures)

•Numerology And Grammatica (if attending Arithmancy)

Home Life and Social Habits of British Muggles by Wilhelm Wigworthy (if attending Muggle Studies)

Spellman's Syllabary (if attending Study of Ancient Runes)

The Essential Defense Against the Dark Arts by Arsenius Jigger

The second letter was a simple request to choose and submit which electives he planned on taking, which he guessed was so they could plan out his class schedule, and the third he found when he read was a permission slip to visit Hogsmeade.

PERMISSION for VISIT to HOGSMEADE for

...(Harry J. Potter)...

This document hereby serves to state the aforementioned
Third-year student of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
is permitted to visit the village of Hogsmeade at such a time
That the school arranges, and with the signature of the undersigned
parent or guardian.
The student shall abide by all such rules & regulations relevant
to such expeditions and set by the school as per article 528/Z
of the 1714 Edict.

Print Name ...
Relation ...
Signature ...

Harry didn't think about the permission slip as he tossed it aside. He wasn't even going to bother asking his relatives since they would probably try and make him do something for it. He had never been to the village and hadn't known it existed the last two years so he wasn't going to be missing anything.

He picked up the second letter and read through it again, this time noting that it said he had to choose two electives.

Only two. Harry thought as he looked at the book list. So Ancient Runes and Care of Magical Creatures it is then. Hopefully I'll be able to take more than two electives, and hopefully asking for Arithmancy will give me a better chance than if I was asking for Care of Magical Creatures.

He nodded to himself and pulled out a fresh piece of parchment since he didn't think his head of house would appreciate his new letter paper.

Dear Professor McGonagall,

My elective choices are Ancient Runes and Care of Magical Creatures. However, I was wondering if it's possible to take more than two electives. If so, I would also like to take Arithmancy as well.

I had recently been talking to a friend about what we wanted to do after Hogwarts, and one of my choices was spell creation. Arithmancy sounds like it would be needed to enter that career, so I'm really hoping I can take the class.

Sincerely,
Harry J. Potter

The next day Harry received a reply letter from his head of house.

Dear Mr. Potter,

Students must choose at least two elective subjects, but can take more if they so choose. The issue is that some classes are at the same time therefore students have to pick one. However, considering your progress in all of your classes and overall behavior during your second year I will grant your three choices. We will discuss the details of how you will get to all of your classes before the return feast.

Sincerely,
Minerva McGonagall
Professor of Transfiguration
Deputy Headmistress

Harry was pleased with the reply he got, and that he would be able to take the classes he wanted. He wondered how he was going to get to his classes since he assumed two of them were at the same time, but he guessed that was why he was going to meet with her before the return feast.

Later that day he received his third package from Arnold, and eagerly opened it up to see what options he had this time. All were various types of townhouses, which he was pleased about. The first one was a townhouse that looked like a regular two level house but it was connected to another, and the description warned that it shared a wall.

He immediately put that one off to the side as a rejection. He didn't want to hear his neighbors through the wall of his own house.

The next option was a double townhouse. It looked like two four level townhouses since the picture showed two side by side entrances, but the description said it was actually one large house since the interior separating wall was taken down.

He put that aside to think about. He didn't need something so big, but he wondered if the separating wall could be put back up at some point. After all, what if he had a pair of kids one day that wanted to live close to each other. Twins ran in Ginny's family, so it was possible they could have a pair some day and that house would be perfect for them.

He moved on to the next option. It was also a four level townhouse, but it was connected on both sides by townhouses. It had no front yard but there was a little cement layered space with an open gate around the front. It had a very small backyard and no nearby park. Though it was close to public transportation, and apparently most of the neighbors kept to themselves.

He looked at the pictures of the inside and saw that the rooms were small like the bedroom he was currently living in his relative's house. If he was going to have his own place he wanted the rooms to be larger then what he was currently living in.

Harry sighed as he lifted the next option. Another four level townhouse, but this one stood alone, or rather separated from the ones next to it. It had a small grassy space that served as the front yard on either side of a set of what looked like ten stairs leading up to the front door. It was fenced off by a black wrought iron gate with a little matching door that could be opened and closed by a latch.

He lifted the pictures and saw that it had a nice sized backyard, large enough to do his Tai Chi in and run around if he felt like it. The rooms of the interior were spacious though he wondered how much space there would be with furniture since the pictures showed empty rooms.

According to the description there were three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a nice sized kitchen, dining room, a living room, some type of sitting room, a study type room, and a full basement level. There was a park nearby and public transportation.

He nodded to himself. Looks like I've found a winner. He thought before he began to inspect the information for the double townhouse again. I'll tell Arnold I want to see these two in person. He thought as he looked back and forth between the two townhouses.


Near the middle of August Harry unexpectedly received a letter from Ron inviting him to stay the last two weeks of summer at the Burrow.

He wasn't sure he wanted to go with how his and Ron's friendship currently was, but then he figured it might be better to work on their friendship in a comfortable environment and away from the castle gossip mill.

But then there's the fact that one of the adults in that house doesn't seem to want me and Ginny together. Do I really want to risk my memories like that? He wondered as he stared at the letter. But if I do go I get to see Ginny. He considered. He would get to spend time with her for two weeks, and he did miss her. He missed everything about her.

So he wrote Ron back telling him that he would like to come stay for the rest of the summer, and Ron wrote back saying that his dad would come pick him up in two days. Harry quickly wrote back asking if Mr. Weasley could pick him up at the park down the street from his relatives house so they wouldn't have to deal with them, and Ron answered back that his dad said that would be fine and he would see him in two days.

The next day Harry was up in his bedroom rereading his book on occlumency when his uncle charged in slamming the door open.

"My sister is coming to stay here for a week, so I want you to be on your best behavior; no freakiness got it!" He said loudly.

"I won't even be here since I'm leaving tomorrow, so how I behave won't matter." Harry said as he looked up from his book.

"What do you mean you're leaving tomorrow?! I don't remember giving you permission to go anywhere freak!" His uncle snapped.

"I didn't ask! I don't need your permission to go anywhere!" Harry snapped back, his eyes beginning to glow as his magic responded to his anger. "Out! Get out! Now!" He yelled and his uncle was suddenly flung back out of the room, and the door slammed closed behind him as Harry sat unmoving on his bed already focusing on his newly built occlumency shields to calm his anger.

Later that night once everyone in the house was asleep Harry grabbed all of his personal things, making sure nothing he owned was left in the room, and used his Lord's ring to go to his family manor house.

As soon as he arrived Dinki appeared with a welcome greeting and took his belongs to his room as he calmly made his way through the house to his bedroom. Once he arrived in the master bedroom he greeted Hedwig, who he had sent ahead of him earlier that day, and slipped under the covers on his bed to get some sleep, eager for the morning to arrive so he could see Ginny sooner.