11th August 1986 (continued)
Dumbledore and Harry arrived back at the five bar iron gate that separated the Weasley's property from the small lane that led to Ottery St. Catchpole.
If it hadn't been for the Professors steadying hand, Harry would have fallen flat on his face.
"I don't think I like travelling that way sir. It felt like I was being squeezed all over."
Dumbledore chuckled as he opened the gate and allowed Harry to walk through first.
"It's called Apperating Harry, and I must admit that it takes a bit of getting used to. The elves do it far better than us humans."
Harry looked confused, "Elves sir? Are their really elves?"
"Yes Harry, there are really Elves, it was an Elf who works at Hogwarts who took us to that little island."
Harry stopped and looked up at Dumbledore while shielding his eyes with his hand from the midday sun.
"Sorry sir, I don't remember him. What happened to me, why did I feel like… like… Sorry I don't know how to put it into words.
"That's quite all right Harry. I will explain what happened to you when we get back to the Burrow."
They walked the rest of the way in silence, the only sound being made was the soft crunch of their footsteps on the gravel path.
As they rounded the bend, Harry spotted Ginny running towards them. She was sprinting as fast as she could, her long red hair streaming out behind her. She barely slowed down as she tackled Harry with a hug. Harry had to lift her up and swing her around to stop himself form being bowled over.
Harry! What happened to you? I was so scared when I felt whatever it was that was happening to you.
Harry glanced up at Dumbledore before speaking out loud.
"Good to see you too Ginny! The Professor said he would explain to us what happened when we get home."
Ginny quickly let Harry go, completely forgetting that Dumbledore was with them. Shyly she held onto Harry's hand as they continued walking towards the house.
Upon entering the Burrow, they found Madam Pomfrey and Mrs. Weasley sitting at the kitchen table with a steaming mug of tea in front of each of them. As soon as Harry stepped through the door, Molly rushed over and enveloped him in a gentle hug. Releasing him, she dropped down onto her knees and held him out at arms length.
"You brave, brave, boy. Ginny told us about the man in the woods, and how you made sure she was behind you all the time."
Dumbledore raised his eyebrows at this news, "would you mind showing me where this man was?"
Ginny and Harry looked at each other before turning back to look at him. "He was really mean sir, he tried to hurt us, we don't want to go back there", said Harry, with a quiver of fear in his voice.
Dumbledore pulled himself up to his full height, throwing off the illusion of a kindly old grandfather figure. He radiated power, waves of magical energy rolling off of him. Before them stood a being that demanded absolute respect.
"I don't think you will have anything to fear whilst you are with me, do you?" He said with a wink. "I dare say that Molly and Poppy would also like to accompany us, just to make sure you are in no danger."
The two children and two witches followed Dumbledore back out into the garden. The Headmaster turned to Harry and Ginny.
"Can you point in the direction where the man was for me please."
Harry lifted his arm and pointed towards the trees on the far side of the meadow.
"Very good Harry, let us go and see what we can find shall we?" said Dumbledore with a smile.
He led the way, with Harry holding onto Poppy's hand, and Ginny holding her mothers hand, following a few steps behind him. Upon reaching the tree line, Harry looked around nervously.
"We went through there sir." Harry said as he pointed through the trees.
Dumbledore lifted his wand as he strode towards the point that Harry had indicated. There was now no sign of the man that had attacked them. Harry and Ginny looked around wildly, as if expecting him to jump out from behind a tree and start firing spells at them again.
Dumbledore muttered a long incantation under his breath as he turned full circle with his wand extended.
"Well, one thing is clear, magic was certainly performed here. But the question is, by whom?"
To everyone's surprise, Ginny stepped forward and started tugging at Dumbledore's robes.
"Sir," she started in a small timid voice. "Harry took the nasty man's wand before we ran to get mummy."
Dumbledore crouched down in front of Harry and Ginny. "Well that was rather clever of you, do you know what happened to it?"
Harry looked at Ginny and shrugged his shoulders.
I think I dropped it in the meadow when I got sick.
Returning his gaze to Dumbledore he softly answered him. "Sorry sir, I don't know what happened to it, I may have dropped it in the meadow before Molly came and found me. I'll try and look for it if it's important."
Dumbledore stood back up straight and started walking back towards the meadow.
"I know a handy little spell for finding lost things, we'll have it back in a jiffy". He said, looking back over his shoulder.
When they had reached the middle of the meadow, Dumbledore once more withdrew his wand.
Rowle's wand flew out of the grass from a few feet behind them. It was Harry who had spun around in time to catch it.
"Good reflexes Harry," praised Dumbledore. "Now if I may have it, we shall see what we can learn."
"Prior Incantato". A faint green mist appeared above the wand in Dumbledore's left hand. It condensed into the figure of a man. He could clearly be seen pointing his wand and crying 'crucio!'
Molly Weasley had to bite back the words she was about to utter. How could anyone even consider hurting little children with such a cruel curse.
"Shall we return inside and discuss what happened next, I for one am rather looking forward to hearing this story." Suggested Dumbledore.
"Before we do, let me give young Harry a quick check up. If he is as well as he looks I'll make my excuses and return to Hogwarts." With that Poppy ran her wand up and down Harry's body a couple of times. With a nod of her head she gave him a clean bill of health. "I'll see you at supper Headmaster, do please try and stay out of trouble Harry. If you need me for anything at all Molly, all you have to do is ask."
She accompanied them back to the Burrow, from where she flooed back to her office.
"Tea Albus?", asked Molly, and without waiting for a reply she busied herself by filling the kettle and placing it on the stove to boil. Going over to her fridge she produced a larger pitcher of pumpkin juice and placed it on the table in front of Harry and Ginny. Dumbledore quickly conjured a couple of glasses for the children.
Molly smiled her thanks, "drink up you two, you've had an eventful morning".
After Harry and Ginny had had two glasses of juice each, they started on their story. Dumbledore and Molly listened patiently without interrupting. The only interruption being Ron and the twins hammering down the stairs. Molly soon shooed them into the rear garden to play.
"Well that was a very interesting tale you told us Harry and Ginny. Very interesting indeed!" Exclaimed Dumbledore. "Molly is quite right in praising your bravery Harry, stepping in front of Ginny like that was a very selfless thing to do. Now I have a couple of questions for you. Did you see the nasty man perform an magic before he cast the… the.. How did you put it? Ah yes, the hurty curse at you?"
Harry scrunched his face up in concentration for a few seconds before answering. "Well he did pop out of nowhere, and he waved his wand around his head like this." Harry put his hand in the air and spun it around his head a couple of times.
"Interesting, very interesting. Harry, when you said you 'sucked' his magic from him, do you know if you took it all?"
"Yes sir, he had nothing left for me to suck out."
Dumbledore's eyes were twinkling merrily. " I believe then, if that is the case, that the nasty man will never be able to harm either one of you again. At least not with magic. You way have punished him more severely than any court would have been able to."
"How do you mean Albus, what exactly did Harry do to him?" Questioned Molly
Dumbledore turned his attention to her, deep in thought before answering.
Molly held out her hand. "let me finish the tea before you answer that."
Once she had returned to her seat at the table, she looked at Dumbledore expectantly.
"As you may remember from your days at Hogwarts, you were taught about the soul and the magical core." Without waiting for a response he carried on. "They are in essence the same thing, in wizards and witches at least. Muggles, whilst having a soul, lack the magic core, as do squibs."
Harry raised his hand. "What's a squib sir?"
"A squib, Harry, is someone who has a witch and or a wizard as a parent, but possesses no magic of their own."
Dumbledore took a sip of his tea before continuing.
"Now when a wizard or witch use magic, the magic that is produced comes from the core part of the soul. The magic then recharges itself so more magic can be done."
Part of his explanation was aimed at the two children, who were listening attentively.
"Now what you did Harry, was use up his core completely. If this is indeed the case, his magic will not be able to replenish itself, because he has none left with which to do so."
Molly snorted back a laugh. "So by attacking these two, this basta…this man has had himself turned into a squib? Brilliant Harry!"
"Yes indeed, quite brilliant." Agreed Dumbledore.
"However, a word of caution. I do not know how you managed it. It, as far as I am aware, has never been done before. But I would advise against you doing it ever again. Unless of course, it were a matter of life or death. You see, you nearly died because of the extra magic you absorbed into your core."
Dumbledore pulled out his wand, and transfigured his now empty tea mug into a balloon.
"Please allow me to explain. You see this balloon? Well imagine it was your soul and magical core."
Dumbledore then preceded to blow up the balloon until it was nearly at bursting point. Pinching the end he held it up in front of the three others at the table. "This is what it would look like for a normal magical person who hasn't performed magic for a while. What you did Harry, was this."
He started to inflate the balloon again, Harry and Ginny placed their hands over their ears waiting for it to go bang.
Stopping again, he held the now dangerously over-inflated balloon in front of everyone. "This is what your soul was like when I found you on Molly's sofa. Had the nasty man not performed magic before you 'sucked' his magic out of him, this may well have happened."
Dumbledore pointed his wand at the balloon. With a loud 'bang', it popped.
"That is why I needed you to perform magic Harry, I needed you to reduce the size of your core. Over time, your core will grow of it's own accord, but it will only ever be big enough to hold your magic. Not somebody else's."
Dumbledore arose from his seat. "Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go and see an old friend of mine called Ollivander. He's a wand maker in Diagon Ally, and he knows every wand that he's ever sold. If this," he said, holding up the wand from the meadow, "is one of his, he will be able to tell me whose it was."
Looking at Molly he bowed slightly. "A pleasure as always Molly. Before I go a thought has occurred to me, what was it that caused you to leave the Burrows Wards in the first place?" He directed this question at the two children seated at the table.
Harry stood up to answer him. "It's Ginny's birthday today, and she's always wanted a pet of her own. I was trying to help her catch a rabbit." Turning to Ginny he continued. "I'm sorry Ginny, I'll have to try and make it up to you when I get some money."
Dumbledore smiled at the seriousness of Harry's little speech. Placing the wand back onto the table he took off his tall wizards hat.
"I'm sure I might have something suitable for a five year old birthday girl in here somewhere." He plunged his arm into the hat all the way up to his shoulder and started to feel around, a puzzled expression on his lined face.
"Here we are, " he exclaimed. Before pulling out an old boot.
"No, this will never do. Let me try again"
Plunging his arm in again he pulled out various items, including: a spanner, a belt, a walking cane, a broken quill and a white lace bra.
This last item caused the kids and Molly to roar with laughter.
Dumbledore frowned. "I'll have to remember to have a small chat with the elves at Hogwarts about keeping my laundry separate from everyone else's. Never mind, lets have one last go shall we?"
Once more he plunged his arm into his hat. When he withdrew it he had victorious expression on his face. He pulled out a pure white rabbit by its ears and placed it on the table in front of a stunned Ginny.
Stuffing all of the other items back into his hat, he replaced it on his head. "Your going to need a hutch for him, and straw, and food. The straw and food you'll have to find, but as for the hutch…". He gathered up the pieces of the burst balloon and transfigured them into a small wooden hutch.
"Happy Birthday Ginny. Enjoy your day, and make sure you eat far to many sweets this evening." Retrieving the wand from the table, he turned around a walked into the garden.
Molly, Harry and Ginny couldn't help but snicker at the sight of a bra strap hanging out of his hat behind his left ear.
16th August 1986
Albus Dumbledore was enjoying himself immensely, it had been a long time since he had been so totally stumped, and it amused him greatly. Normally he knew exactly the solution to any puzzle that presented itself to him. But not this time.
Harry Potter was the name of the current puzzle, and Dumbledore found himself directing more and more of his time and energy trying to solve it. Young Harry should, by rights, be dead. But he wasn't, he was very much alive. The things he could do, the amount of power that he had at his disposal, the amount of control he was able to exert. They were all far beyond what any normal six year old was capable of. Come to think of it, they were far beyond what any one hundred and six year old was capable of.
Yes, he thought to himself, young Harry is going to have to be watched very closely, very closely indeed. When the time was right, Dumbledore knew that he would have to play a major part in his training.
Walking down the gravel path that approach the Weasley's property Dumbledore stopped to admire the scenery around him. Even at his advanced age, he still took great delight in being able to appreciate the finer things in life. Putting his hand into his pocket, he pulled out a Lemon Drop. Popping it into his mouth he watched a pair of butterflies as they danced an aerial ballet in front of him. Smiling wistfully, he carried on down the path towards the Burrow.
Approaching the kitchen door, he could see the five eldest Weasley boys, towels in hands, heading towards the pond that he knew was on the edge of the woods. Just for a minute he was tempted to transfigure himself a towel and go and join them. Laughing at himself he walked towards the half open door that led into the kitchen.
Just as he entered, his sense of smell was assaulted by whatever it was that Molly had just cooked. Looking around he saw a tray of fresh scones left to cool on the windowsill. Congratulating himself on his timing, he called out.
"Molly, it's Albus, are you home?"
Molly Weasley came bustling into the kitchen, followed by Ron, Harry and Ginny.
"Why hello Albus, good to see you. Your just in time for our afternoon snack, would you care to join us? It's only some scones I'm afraid."
"Molly, it would give me the greatest of delights in joining you. Your cooking is legendary, after all."
After removing his tall Wizards hat, Dumbledore joined them at the old kitchen table. Harry and Ginny started sniggering between them, both of them looking at his hat as it lay on the table in front of him.
"Children! Stop it, what in Merlin's name are you laughing at?" Scolded Molly.
"Sorry mummy, but we were wondering if the hat still had all those things in it that we saw a few days ago."
Dumbledore looked at them with a twinkle in his eyes. "No need for you to worry, that little exercise reminded me to have a good clean out. You will be glad to hear that my hat is now considerably lighter. That reminds me, how is your pet rabbit? I hope you are taking proper care of it?
Ginny smiled shyly at the old wizard. "He's fine sir, he's out side. Daddy helped me make him a little pen that he can run around in."
Dumbledore nodded his approval, "and what, might I ask did you name the little fellow?"
Ginny started to blush as she lowered her head to try and hide her embarrassment.
"Go on Ginny, he wont be mad, tell him." Said Harry as he nudged her with his elbow.
Ginny looked up at the Headmaster sat opposite her. "I named him after you sir, I called him Dumbles."
Dumbledore clasped his hands over his chest and chuckled lightly at the little girl.
"A fitting name for him I'm sure."
Molly had retrieved her wand in order to levitate the scones onto the table when Dumbledore stopped her.
"Molly, do you mind if we try something?" Hearing no arguments he turned to Harry.
"Harry, I was very impressed by the magic you did the last time we were together. Do you think you would like to try doing some more for me?"
Harry looked around at Ginny, then at Molly before turning to look at Dumbledore. "If you think I can sir, I would love to."
"Albus, aren't you forgetting something? Harry is only six, I don't want him getting in trouble with the Improper use of Magic office at the ministry." Molly said, once more reaching for her wand.
Dumbledore placed his hand on hers, " Oh, I don't think we need concern ourselves with them Molly. They only monitor children between the ages of eleven and seventeen. Any magic performed by a child under eleven years old is attributed to being accidental."
Turning to Harry he continued. "Now Harry, what I would like you to do is to try and move the plate of scones from over there on the windowsill, to over here onto the table. Now you seem to be able to do magic without a wand, so it would be pointless to teach you the incantation and wand movement that normally accompanies the levitation spell. What I want you to do is feel with your magic, imagine if you will, that your magic is a part of you that you have complete control of. Just like your hand or arm."
Harry looked doubtful, but turned to Dumbledore, sat up a little straighter and said in the most confident voice he could muster, "I'll try sir, but what if I drop them? I'd hate to ruin the scones."
"No need to worry about that Harry, I'll catch them if they drop." Replied Dumbledore, withdrawing his wand.
Harry turned to look at the plate full of scones, closing his eyes, he felt deep inside of himself for his reserves of magic. Feeling something stirring he raised his right arm in the general direction of where he remembered the plate to be. He could feel… something. The something travelled slowly down his arm until it reached his out stretched fingers. Using nothing but willpower he forced what he could only assume to be his magic out of his body, and into the empty space between him and the scones.
Opening his eyes, he was surprised to see no physical manifestation of his magic. But he knew it was there. Pushing his magic out further he could feel it approaching the plate. Ever so gently he directed it to envelope the plate and its contents.
All the while Ginny had been a not so silent companion. She sent him a constant stream of encouraging words and feelings. At the same time she was studying him, seeing what he was doing and how he was doing it. She knew that if he was successful, then this was something that she would want to try and copy.
Ron watched what was going on, but he just wished that Harry would hurry up, he was hungry after all.
Harry tried feeling the weight of the plate and scones with his magic. He did this by forcing more of it under the plate until he thought there would be enough to try and lift it.
Molly looked on amazed as she saw the plate begin to rock on the windowsill. First one side lifted, then the other. It was as if it had a life of its own, and was trying desperately to jump from its current perch.
Harry knew that his magic was uneven around the plate, this was why it wasn't lifting smoothly. Closing his eyes once more he concentrated on evening out the amount of magic he was using, so that the plate would lift effortlessly. When he was happy with what he had done, he reopened his eyes. Concentrating once more, he was pleased to see the plate slowly begin to lift.
That was the hard part over and done with, the rest should be easy, he reasoned to himself. But he found keeping the plate balanced whilst trying to move it extremely difficult. Slowly it wobbled closer to him, a couple of times it almost tipped its contents all over the floor. Eventually the plate was hovering over the table, reducing the amount of magic he was using to keep the plate levitated, he lowered it on to the table.
Unfortunately he had reduced his magic too quickly, and the plate landed with rather a loud thump. Fortunately it had not been to high, otherwise it may well have broken.
Ginny jumped up and started clapping enthusiastically, before wrapping her arms around him and giving him a hug.
Harry simply grinned at her. He knew without having to ask, or even having to look at her how, pleased she was at what he had been able to do. He also knew that the first opportunity she got, she would be trying something similar as well.
Dumbledore also rose to his feet and applauded Harry.
"Well done, well done indeed my boy. That was astonishing, truly remarkable. To be able to wandlessly levitate anything with such control is something even grown witches or wizards are unable to do. I doubt that even I could do it without tiring myself considerably."
As Dumbledore sat back down, Harry looked at Ron, "well? I thought you said you were hungry?"
Ron grinned at him and helped himself to a couple of the still warm scones.
Turning back to Dumbledore, Harry looked thoughtful. " I must admit sir, I do feel a little tired. Is that usual after doing magic?"
After taking an offered scone from Molly, he stroked his beard thoughtfully. "Imagine your magic is a muscle. Now, an unused muscle would not be very strong, would it?"
Harry shook his head in response.
"So if you started using it, you would tire easily. Do you not agree?"
Harry nodded, beginning to understand where the Headmaster was going with this.
"But the more you use the muscle, the stronger it will become. Magic is very similar, the more you use your magic, the stronger it will be. You will also find that your control of it will also become easier. Off course, it all depends on the amount of magic you possess. A small amount of magic, like a small muscle, will take time to grow and get stronger. It would seem though young Harry, that you possess a considerable amount of magic. Far more than a child of your age should in fact. Don't get me wrong, it isn't a bad thing, just like having large muscles isn't a bad thing. It's just a little… unusual, that's all."
With that Dumbledore returned to his scone and started to spread the jam that Molly had just provided.
After he had finished, Dumbledore spoke once again. "Now to the reason for my visit today. Do you remember the wand that you took from the bad man?"
Harry and Ginny both answered at the same time. "Yes sir."
"As I said I would, I showed it to an old friend of mine. Ollivander recognised it immediately as one of his creations. He told me that he sold it a number of years ago to a eleven year old boy by the name of Thorfinn Rowle."
Ron snorted as soon as he heard the name 'Thorfinn'.
"Ronald!" Scolded his mother.
Dumbledore winked at the young redhead. "A most unfortunate name. Why new mothers decide to give their offspring names such as 'Thorfinn' I will never understand. But I digress."
Quickly taking a bite out his scone, Dumbledore continued.
"Thorfinn Rowle is a known Death Eater. He is, or should I say was, a very vicious and dangerous wizard indeed. The Aurors and the Hit Wizards have been searching for him ever since you put an end to the war Harry."
Molly Placed a comforting arm around Harry's shoulders as she saw him getting upset. Ginny, sat on the other side of him, tried her best to send him her support through their link as she felt him sadden.
"We, that is to say, Arthur and I, only told Harry the true story of what happened a few days ago. He took it very well, but it's still new and painful for him." Explained Molly in reply to Dumbledore's questioning look.
Dumbledore slumped back in his seat. Taking off his half moon glasses, he wearily rubbed his lined face.
"I had forgotten about your relatives Harry, am I correct in assuming that they had neglected to tell you anything regarding your parents and the events that led to their deaths."
Harry sadly nodded his response.
"The Dursley's, and by extension, me, have a lot to answer for."
Replacing his glasses he lent forward and gently held Harry's hand in both of his.
"Please believe me when I tell you that I only had your best interests at heart Harry. I should have checked on you, or at least checked that your relatives were a suitable family to place you with."
Releasing Harry's hand, Dumbledore sat back in his chair.
"In my defence, I doubt you would find anybody in the magical community who would have believed that a blood relation, such as your aunt, would ever mistreat a child. You see, because there are so few magical children born every year, they are raised in as safe and loving environment as their parents can provide. Of course there are always going to be exceptions to this, but these exceptions are very rare and treated very harshly by the authorities. Molly and Arthur are the exception rather than the rule in the magical world."
Harry turned to look at the Weasley Matriarch.
"What he means is Harry, that because we have so many children, we are considered unusual in our community. Most magical families have one or two children, three at most."
Dumbledore nodded slowly in agreement before speaking again.
"I never imagined that when I left you with your relatives that they would treat you as anything other than one of their own. Just as magical children who are orphaned and have to stay with other magical relatives are treated. Minerva McGonagall warned me the night that we left you at your aunt and uncle's house that they were not the best kind of muggles, but I truly believed that you would be brought up and cared for in a loving and safe environment".
Dumbledore seemed to grow even older in front of Harry's eyes, gone was the elderly grandfather figure that he had become accustomed to over the last few weeks. Instead a very old man with far to many worries on his mind sat before him. Gone was the ever present twinkle in his eyes, this had been replaced by a look of regret and self pity.
Before Harry could speak, Dumbledore continued. "There were many reasons why I thought that you would be better off with your relatives Harry. But the main one was that I didn't want you thrust into the limelight at an early age. I didn't want you deprived of something that most people take for granted. A childhood. You see, had you been placed with one of the magical families, you wouldn't have been left alone. The press, especially, would have followed your every move. I doubted that you would have had any privacy, and this would have extended to the family that you were with."
While Dumbledore had been speaking, Ron had finished off the last of the scones that were left on the plate, and was looking around for something to do. Molly noticed this and indicated to him that he should go up to his room.
Although nobody would have described Harry as highly intelligent or particularly logical, he was still used to living in an environment that had sharpened his mind and made him quick witted. Not that he doubted the sincerity of what he was being told, but did raise one question that he wanted the answer to.
"Excuse me sir, but why couldn't Mr. and Mrs. Weasley have looked after me? I mean, they've been so kind to me and everything, and I don't think they've had any trouble because of me."
Dumbledore was about to reply but was interrupted by Molly.
"No Harry, we've had no trouble at all, and it has been a pleasure having you here. But I very much doubt that we would been given the task of raising you after your parents were killed. For a start, we didn't know your family all that well, and although all wizards and witched are related in some way or another, the Potters and the Weasley's have not had a direct relation in quite a few centuries. Come to think of it, neither have the Potters and the Prewett's"
Harry raised his had timidly.
"There is no need to raise your hand Harry, just ask your question." Molly said with a warm smile.
"Sorry, but who are the Prewett's?"
"My Name before I married Arthur was Molly Prewett".
Harry nodded his understanding.
Dumbledore looked at the now empty plate of scones that was sat on the Kitchen table. He could easily have used magic to refill the plate, but conjured food never quite tasted the same, nor did it provide any real sustenance.
Sighing to himself he took over from Molly's explanation. "There is also the fact to consider of the size of Molly and Arthur's family, at that time they had six children already, do you think it would have been fair to ask them to look after one more?"
Harry sadly shook his head.
Molly decided that she had had enough of this depressing conversation. In her mind all that mattered was that Harry was now safe and sound, and that he and her daughter had formed their special connection. Not that she was going to tell Dumbledore about that. No, she still didn't quite trust the man. As great a wizard as he may be, he had still proven that he was able to make mistakes.
"Ok you two, it's getting late. Would you mind going down to the pond and telling the boys that I've started cooking dinner? Don't get to close mind, George and Fred would like nothing more than to soak the pair of you, so be warned."
After watching the two youngster run from the kitchen, she turned to the headmaster.
"Would you care to join us for something to eat Albus?"
Dumbledore though back to the single scone that he had managed to eat. With deep regret he shook his head.
"I'm sorry Molly, there is nothing I would prefer more than to join you and sample more of your excellent cooking, but I have to return to Hogwarts. The house ghosts have requested a meeting with me regarding Peeves."
Molly laughed, "good luck with that, he was a nuisance back in my day."
As she started busying herself in the kitchen, Dumbledore stood to leave.
"One more thing before I depart, you and Arthur should seriously consider formally applying to be Harry's guardian, if not adopt him outright. As it stands, Harry is now considered to be a ward of the wizarding world. What that means is that any family can now apply to the Wizengamot to be his guardians".
Molly turned to look at Dumbledore from her place at the stove. "I'll be sure to mention it to Arthur when he gets home," she said distractedly.
Bidding her farewell, Dumbledore stepped out into the back garden. In the distance, toward where the pond was he could see a group of children laughing and joking with each other as they returned to the Burrow.
Although he knew that he didn't any seer abilities, well none that he knew of. He still felt as though something quite ominous was about to befall. Putting the feeling aside would have been foolhardy at best, but at the moment he could see nothing that he could do to protect Harry and the Weasley's any further.
Pulling a long stemmed pipe from his robes, he lit it with his wand and made his way back up the gravel path towards the apparition point.
Thorfinn Rowle slipped quietly away once he had seen Dumbledore leave. The meddling old fool had not even bothered to re-home the Potter brat. That was a mistake he would live to regret. He turned eastwards, in the direction he knew an old acquaintance lived. It was going to take him a few days to get to where he was going, especially on foot. But to his mind, his revenge was more than worth it. Yes, in a few days he would put wheels in motion that would destroy Harry Potter for good.