Disclaimer: All recognizable works in this story are the property of their respective creators. I'm not doing this for any monetary gain, just for the fun of it and hoping to get better at writing.
Harry Potter sat on the balcony overlooking the grounds of Potter Manor, listening to the sounds of the night. If you happened to come upon Harry, you would most likely see a thin, black haired teenager who seemed lost to the world. But if you saw his eyes, you would realize that this young man had seen more horrors than most of the battle hardened war veterans; magical or muggle. Harry's emerald eyes, inherited from his mother, while normally bright and full of life, were dimmed and shadowed as flashes of a graveyard, a sickly green beam and a brown haired, gray eyed young man, a few years older than Harry, lying on the ground, eyes open and blank, surprise etched on his face.
Tears sprang from Harry's eyes as high, cold laughter filled his ears. Blood red eyes were glaring at him from the shadows, a pale white hand raised a bone white wand, its tip glowing a sickly greenish/yellow.
"Avada Kedavra!" a voice hissed. The green beam jumped from the end of the wand, speeding toward a fallen body, a body wearing a Hogwarts uniform, with the scarlet and gold of Gryffindor and an abundance of bushy brown hair.
"NO!" Harry cried as a wave of magic erupted from the young wizard, sending everything near him flying. "Hermione!"
Harry's eyes flew open, glowing brightly as he leapt to his feet, spinning around wand drawn.
"Harry!" a man's voice called from the other side of the door. "What's wrong? Open the door!"
The door burst open and two men came rushing in. The scene they came upon was one they hoped never to see. Harry Potter was in the middle of the room, curled up in a ball, his body wracked by sobs. Sirius Black and Remus Lupin glanced at each other for a spilt second before rushing over to the distraught nearly 15-year-old teenager.
"Harry, come on Harry, snap out of it. It's just a dream," Sirius cried as he tried to settle the thrashing Harry.
"No, not Hermione, you can't hurt her, I won't let you hurt her," Harry cried, his eyes screwed shut.
"Harry, wake up. It's only a dream, Hermione's fine," Sirius said. "We're going to pick her and her parents up tomorrow. Come on pup, snap out of it."
Only one word seemed to get through to Harry. "Hermione," he muttered, his body relaxing. His eyes fluttered open, and saw Sirius and Remus hovering over him. "Sirius, Moony, what's going on? What are you doing in here?"
"You were screaming something about Hermione," Remus said, not truly meeting Harry's eyes. "Like 'don't hurt her, I won't let you,' don't you remember anything?"
Harry looked down as his mind was assaulted by images of Hermione being struck down by Voldemort. Harry shook his head. "No, I can't remember anything," he said. "What happened in her, it looks like a herd of hippogriffs came through."
"We're not sure. But before we got here, there was this pulse of magic," Remus said, looking at Harry as if studying him.
"Why don't you get back to sleep, we've got a long day tomorrow," Sirius said. Harry nodded and crawled into bed. "Night pup."
"Night Sirius, Moony," Harry muttered as he rolled over. Sirius and Moony crept out of the room.
"He's not telling us something," Sirius said. Remus nodded. "Do you think that he's having nightmares? And maybe that wave of magic was Harry's magic reacting?"
Remus was dumbfounded. "That might have been the most insightful thought I've ever heard you have," the werewolf said. Sirius huffed. "But I think you're right, he's definitely having nightmares and I wouldn't be surprised that wave of magic was Harry. He's exceptionally powerful, much more than anyone his age. I mean what 13-year-old can produce a corporeal Patronus, powerful enough to drive off 100 Dementors."
"Moony, remember when he was just a pup, I mean like a baby, didn't James and Lily put a block on Harry because his magic was so advanced that they were afraid that it would hurt him," Sirius said.
"Yeah, but that was supposed to dissipate when Harry got to Hogwarts," Remus said.
"I know but what if it didn't. I mean Dumbledore has kept a whole lot from us and Harry," Sirius said. "In the morning, we should check Harry and also get him to open up, mainly about his dreams."
Remus nodded. "Imagine if that block is still there, I mean look at what Harry has done. Two years ago, Harry was the most powerful student at Hogwarts, only the professors were stronger magically but he seemed to have trouble getting many spells down. It was like his control was out of sorts, he seemed to have to force his magic to perform the spell."
"Do you think that if the block is still there, it's interfering with his control? I mean James and Lily both had exceptional control of their magic," Sirius said.
"We'll have to look into it in the morning. Its too late right now," Remus said. The two Marauders dredged off to bed, not knowing what the morning would bring.
"Argh," Harry groaned as he sat up in bed, he felt like Hagrid and Mrs. Weasley had hugged him, at the same time. Looking around his room, Harry was shocked to find that his room was trashed, nearly everything was on the floor, pictures on the floor, books and clothes strewn all over the floor.
"What happened?" Harry muttered. He picked up his wand from his bedside table and waved it. The room slowly reverted back to its normal state. Harry's room was neater than one a boy his age would look like, but most of that came from the years spent at the Dursleys, and working like a house elf. The past year with Sirius and Remus, along with living at Hogwarts with four other boys had let him relax somewhat but years of habit were hard to break. And Sirius made the crack that any woman Harry ended up with would be happy that he could pick up after himself.
"Hermione," Harry whispered. When Sirius brought that up, at first Harry thought nothing of it, because he didn't think of dating as something very important at the time. But now, Harry couldn't think of his life without Hermione.
That revelation rocked him to his core, but the more he though about it, the clearer it became. She was his best friend, confidant, and his anchor. She had never abandoned him, unlike Ron (thought Ron had pulled his head out of his arse quick enough) had the previous year and she knew the real Harry Potter, not the Boy-Who-Lived, that the rest of the world thought they knew. After taking a soothing shower, Harry pulled on a pair of sweats and T-shirt, and made his way downstairs for breakfast.
"Hey there pup, how are you feeling?" Sirius asked when Harry entered the kitchen. He and Remus were already at the table, Dobby was bustling around making breakfast.
"Fine, why?" Harry asked. Sirius and Remus exchanged a look.
"Well, last night you seemed have had a nightmare or something because we felt this explosive wave of magic that came from your room," Remus said. "When we got to your room, you were standing in the middle of what looked like a tornado or maelstrom. Your room was a mess and you were yelling about Hermione."
"And it wasn't the good kind of yelling," Sirius quipped. Remus shot the dark-haired man-child a glare between turning back to a blushing Harry.
"I was dreaming about Hermione," Harry stated.
"It seemed like that but I would call it more of a nightmare," Sirius said. "You were saying stuff like 'Don't hurt her,' and 'I won't let you,' it sounded pretty bad and not one I'd fancy having."
Harry paled as the jumbled thoughts and images of the previous night came back to him. His legs trembled as he collapsed into his seat.
"Harry," Remus and Sirius exclaimed, getting to their feet.
"Master Harry, are you all right?" Dobby cried.
"Mione," he whispered.
"Harry, what's wrong?" Sirius asked.
"I don't know. I had this dream last night about the graveyard, and Cedric, then it changed and I saw Voldemort," Harry snarled the name. "He…he killed Mione," he finished, his voice small and childlike.
Sirius and Remus paled. They both knew that Harry was more concerned with Hermione's safety than his own, if she got hurt Harry would go berserk or fall apart at the seems.
"I just have this bad feeling about today," Harry said. "Like something is going to happen, something bad."
"Don't worry Harry, we're taking all the precautions we can," Sirius assured the young man. "Remus, me and you will be going to get the Grangers this afternoon, I don't think that Voldemort will be making a move this early. His return didn't go off very well, and because of that, we have an advantage. Riddle doesn't have his pieces in place yet, and we're trying to thwart his plans."
"We will bring Dobby as well, he can get the Grangers here quickly if anything happens," Remus said. "But we have to first get the Weasleys. I still don't like how we're allowing Molly and her daughter to come here, I don't trust either of them and Dumbledore, he'll try and get you back under his control."
"I know but if I didn't allow Molly to come, she wouldn't allow Ron or the others to come no matter what, even if they're safer here," Harry said. "I'd like you two to check Mr. Weasley when we get them here. I have this feeling that he's under a spell or something to not stand up to Molly. She is the one who runs the house, and while that's fine normally, her stubbornness and bull-headedness will cost her."
Sirius and Remus nodded, they had had similar thoughts about the dynamic of the Weasley family. During the first war, Arthur was a much more forceful person, he still had a calm temperament but made his opinion known. But from what Harry had told them, Molly Weasley seemed to have taken over the Weasley family.
"Ok, but it will have to be quick and we'll have to get Arthur away from Molly for a bit," Remus said.
"Maybe something about Head of House business, that way Molly won't be able to say anything," Sirius said.
"True but it will also put her on her guard if she is truly doing something to control him," Harry said. Sirius grimaced. "I'm going to work off some steam, come find me when lunch is ready."
Sirius and Remus watched Harry leave the kitchen, without a eating.
"He's really edgy," Sirius said, looking at his brother. Remus nodded.
"He's got a right to be," the werewolf said. "Maybe we should get some more help, Harry's instincts are usually right."
"I know, let's Floo my cousin, Dora, she'll give us an extra wand. I don't want to bring in the Order because they'll tell Dumbledore," Sirius said.
Meanwhile, Harry was in the gymnasium. His parents, mainly Lily, had decided that a mix of magical and mundane exercise equipment would be perfect. So James purchased quite a bit of exercise equipment; free weights, and stationary bikes as well as setting up training dummies for dueling.
"Let's go," Harry growled as he drew his wand, facing the training dummy. "Level 6."
The dummy shuddered to life, and raised a wand. Without warning, a bolt of green light shot toward Harry. James and Lily had charmed the dummy to fire only Stinging Hexes but one's of different colors. Green meant the Avada Kedavra. Harry rolled to his right, and raised a shield as a second spell, this one blue, came at him.
Sirius and Remus had professed the importance of quick recognition of spells and dodging. 'If they can't hit you, they can't kill you,' Sirius had said the previous summer, while he and Remus had peppered Harry with Stinging Hexes until Harry couldn't move, then they would keep going.
"Reducto!" Harry cried as his shield dropped. "Percutio! Diffindo!"
The Blasting curse was blocked by the dummy's shield, but the Piercing Hex caught the dummy in the arm, and the Cutting Hex neatly sliced off the dummy's head.
"You're getting better at that," Remus' voice said from behind Harry. "What level were you practicing at?"
"Level 6. Is it time?" Harry asked.
"Almost. I thought you'd like a chance to get cleaned up and something to eat before we go to the Burrow," Sirius said, entering the room carrying a tray of sandwiches and a few bottle of water.
Harry graciously took a sandwich and inhaled it, he hadn't had breakfast after all. "So what's the plan for getting the Weasleys here?" Harry asked.
"We Apparate to the Burrow, collect the Weasleys and then Floo to Grimmauld Place. Then we pick up the Grangers, take them to Grimmauld. Afterwards, we will make sure that we get confidentiality oaths from everyone, saying that they won't disclose where you're living, we'll Floo here."
"I'm sure that will go over well with Molly," Harry muttered.
"Yes, well it doesn't matter, if we ask her last after her kids have agreed, she won't have much of a choice. Also, if she doesn't agree, then she can shove off and leave, it's my house and your house they'd be living in, she doesn't have a foot to stand on."
"And that oath, we'll need to word it so that no one can find the information without my permission, even if Dumbles uses Legilmency," Harry said. "Thanks for the snack, let me get washed up and we can get our guests. When's the next Order meeting anyway?"
"Dumbledore hasn't called one yet but I won't be surprised if he calls one for tonight once he realizes that you aren't living at Grimmauld Place," Sirius said.
"Probably, but we'll deal with that when the time comes," Remus said. "Go get changed."
The two Marauders watched Harry leave the room before continuing. "How bad do you think it's going to get?" Sirius asked.
"Molly will try and tell Dumbledore as soon as she can and that's why we need to make sure we get them all to sign the oath," Remus said. "We'll make it so they can't tell anyone where Harry's living without his consent. We might be able to convince Molly that it's for Harry's best interest and we can make her think that we'll tell Albus."
"That might work but we'll have to do it right," Sirius said.
"Let's go," Harry said as he reentered the room. "I want everyone back here as quickly as possible." Sirius and Lupin nodded. The trio made their way to the kitchen where they Floo'd to the kitchen of Grimmauld Place. The Black ancestral home was empty, as Sirius had restricted access to the manor from anyone aside from Harry, Remus and himself, at least until the Order began meeting.
"Let me call Arthur before we Apparate over," Sirius said. He headed over to the fireplace, and Harry and Remus heard the Floo start up. A few moments later, Sirius reappeared. "Ok, we're all set. The Weasleys are waiting for us, but Harry be careful, do you really want them to come live with us."
"Yes Sirius, even though Molly and Ginny will probably try something, I can't condemn them all because of those two," Harry said. "And Molly will understand that it's my way or the highway."
Remus smiled. James and Lily would be extremely proud of their son, he had grown into a very strong young man even with the various hardships Harry had faced in his life. The three men went out back, Dobby had done a brilliant job at fixing up the derelict Black home, where the Apparition point was set up. Sirius and Remus each put a hand on Harry's shoulder before they vanished with a CRACK!
The trio reappeared about two hundreds yards down the lane from the Weasley's home, the Burrow. Harry grinned when he saw the lopsided home that seemed to be held up by magic rather than anything else. Harry, Sirius and Remus made their way up the lane, wands holstered but they weren't far from the wands.
"Hello," Sirius called out, as they got close. "Arthur, Molly, are you there?"
The door burst open and the Weasley matriarch came bustling out.
"Harry dear," Molly cried, throwing her arms around Harry in a smothering hug. Harry grimaced as he felt his ribs creak. Sirius and Remus watched with hidden frowns, they were wary of Molly and still hadn't forgotten her mother comment from when Harry was recovering in the Hospital Wing two weeks previous.
"Hello Mrs. Weasley," Harry grunted as he extradited himself from the plump red head's arms. "Are you all ready to go?"
"Yes dear, or very nearly. I can't thank you enough for opening your home and letting us stay with you."
"It's no trouble Molly, what better way to pay you back for being there for Harry the last couple of years. We better get inside and get moving," Sirius said.
"Of course, come in. I'm sure you'd love to see Ron and Ginny," Molly said. Harry exchanged a look with the two Marauders before following Mrs. Weasley.
"Yes, it'll be good to see Ron and the twins again," Harry said, deliberately skipping Ginny's name. He saw that Molly noticed, but he didn't care.
"Well come on then," Mrs. Weasley said with a shrewd smile. The trio followed the Weasley matriarch into the house.
"Harry!" a high female voice cried out as soon as Harry entered the house. He was assaulted by a little red blur as Ginny threw herself at Harry. Hiding a grimace, Harry caught the tiny redhead and gave her a quick hug.
"Hi Ginny," he said neutrally, before slipping out of the girl's arms. "Are you ready to go?"
"Of course," she beamed, tucking a lock of hair behind her ear. Harry felt something tingle in his chest, similar to what he felt when someone would test his Occlumency shields. He brought the shields up and the tingle vanished. Hiding an internal frown, Harry realized that Ginny had some sort of perfume on that caused the reaction.
'I'm going to have to talk with Sirius and Remus,' he thought.
"Hey mate," Ron called as he entered the kitchen.
"Hey Ron, you ready and packed?"
Ron nodded before glancing down at his sister, noticing how close she was standing next to Harry. "Do you mind giving me a hand with my trunk?"
"Sure," Harry said.
"Ron, you can do that yourself," Ginny said. "And Harry can come help me?"
"Sorry Ginny, Ron asked first and I want to talk to him about something. I'm sure the twins or your parents can help. Or even Sirius and Remus could?"
"NO!" she snapped. "I mean, I'm sure I can get it." She dashed off in a flash.
"Now that wasn't obvious," Harry muttered. "I need to talk with you two later," he added to the two Marauders.
"Come on Harry, let's go," Ron said. Harry followed the tall redhead up the rickety stairs to Ron's attic bedroom.
"What was with Ginny downstairs? She seemed really clingy," Ron said.
"Don't I know it," Harry grumbled. "I think she's going to try and up the score. Downstairs, I felt this weird stirring in my chest when I was around Ginny, but when I concentrated on it, it went away. Does Ginny wear perfume?"
"How should I know?" Ron exclaimed. "She's my sister mate, I don't worry about her girly stuff."
Harry smirked. "I understand, but I think Ginny got a hold of something that might try and 'convince' me that I like her."
"You mean, like a love potion?" Ron whispered.
"It's possible. But I hope not, to try and ensnare a Lord of a Most Ancient and Noble House with a Love Potion can be charged with Line Theft, which is a really bad crime. If she's caught or if it is true, she would go to Azkaban for life."
Ron paled. "What are you going to do? And how do you know this?"
"Sirius taught me and there was this book in my family vault that had all the stuff that I would need to know. It's a pain and half the stuff doesn't even relate to me."
"I feel for you mate," Ron said. "Come on, let's get back downstairs before Mum goes even more spare."
The two boys each grabbed an end of Ron's trunk and made their way downstairs. When they returned to the kitchen, they found everyone waiting for them.
"Took you long enough," Fred said.
"Ron forgot to pack a couple of things," Harry said. Ron looked down. The twins snickered, while Sirius and Remus grinned.
"So what are we waiting for?" Molly said.
"Now that we're all here," Sirius said. "We can get going. Now all you have to do is say 'Grimmauld Place' when you use the Floo. Once we're all there, we can get settled in."
"Harry, you'll go first," Remus said. "Ron, you, Ginny and the twins will go next. Then Molly, me, Sirius and Arthur."
"Right then," Arthur said. "Let's get cracking."
Harry grabbed a handful of Floo powder and threw it into the fire, turning the flames green. "Grimmauld Place!" he cried before vanishing in a whirl of flames.