Harry had just boarded the train; he felt depressed over the loss of Sirius; he wanted nothing more than to clear his mind. A train ride seemed to be the most mind-clearing thing he could think of at a time like this. Many thoughts ran through his mind, however were stopped as he saw a pretty girl with black, curly hair and rather tanned skin. Harry thought this night he could get lucky. He took some breath mints as she approached; she thought she had recognised him from one of the papers but after much convincing, Harry felt he had finally deceived her he wasn't Harry Potter. Perhaps he would tell her after their first kiss if it didn't go any further. The girl walked away after telling him she got off the train at eleven. He had plenty of time to ready himself. Just as he stood to his feet to get himself come coffee, the train suddenly stopped. He looked out the window. It really was no surprise to him to see Albus Dumbledore waiting outside.
Harry knew Dumbledore wanted him for something; he wouldn't be there if he wasn't needed. Harry rushed out to him and looked at him; Dumbledore gazed at him as though looking into his heart. "You've been reckless this summer, Harry." he warned.
Harry looked down, he felt somewhat guilty, "I like riding around on trains... takes my mind off..." his mind flashed back to Sirius, "... things."
Dumbledore nodded as though he knew what Harry was thinking; it had been a year since Sirius's death; Sirius being Harry's only family and all, well Dumbledore could only feel sorry for the boy. Harry and Dumbledore gazed at the train and watched as it gave one last toot and rolled away. He looked at Harry, "take my arm." he saw Harry hesitate slightly, "do as I say."
Harry took his arm and before he knew it, he staggered to the ground. Once his stomach eased up and he gained balance, he looked around. The scenery was unfamiliar; he had never been here before. He looked for some signs nearby but couldn't see any as this was one very dark night. Harry caught glimpse of Dumbledore gazing ahead of where he stood, apparently waiting for Harry to stand next to him. He slowly walked by Dumbledore's side and looked at the old house in front of them.
"Muggle houses are rather interesting." Dumbledore muttered more to himself. He gazed down at Harry and smiled, "I feel I have taken a meaningful night from you, Harry. The girl... she was very pretty."
Harry looked rather amused about this and grinned, "it's alright sir. I will come back tomorrow... make some excuse."
"You won't be coming back tomorrow, Harry. Hedwig and your trunk are all waiting for you at the Burrow."
Harry gave Dumbledore a knowing yet amused gaze, and grinned, "So where are we?" he asked.
"Budleigh Babberton; be warned. It's a muggle village."
The two made their way towards the house door, without knocking, Dumbledore opened the door and stepped right in, gesturing for Harry to follow. As Harry stepped through the doorway, he felt as though he had known the place, yet at the same time, there was something mysterious, almost creepy about it; it was a complete mess as though death eaters had been there looking for something.
"Horace!" Dumbledore called, and walked over to an armchair, the amusement on his face was very much obvious.
A head popped out of the top of the armchair, "Albus!" the armchair unfolded to reveal a short, stocky man wearing blue and white striped pyjamas, the same colour the armchair had been.
It wasn't until Dumbledore had said, "you make a very convincing armchair." in almost a laugh that Harry realized Horace was an armchair in disguise.
"I know why you're here Albus... you can't fool me with your brilliance but the answer is still no."
Dumbledore looked at Horace and smiled, "well Horace. There was actually something else I also wanted to see you about, but first. I need your loo." Dumbledore whipped his wand out, waved it once and watched as the messy house cleaned and reordered itself. "That was fun." he smiled and walked off to the toilet.
"... Well..." Horace begun, "you know what the other reason Dumbledore is here for I suppose, Harry?" he looked at Harry and grinned, "Yes I know who you are."
"Who doesn't?" said Harry flatly.
It seemed to Harry that Horace felt awkward, "well of course, my dear boy." Horace chuckled, "you don't know the other reason do you...?" he whispered as Dumbledore returned carrying a rather curious magazine.
"Mind if I take this? I do like knitting patterns." Dumbledore beamed. "Harry and I best be off; we have a fair bit to sort out before school starts up again, as you know Horace but one who is unwilling can be of no real help now can they?" he said.
Harry swore Dumbledore winked at him but couldn't be too sure, it may have just been the twinkle in his eye. None the less the two, side by side walked through the door.
"Alright... I'll do it." Horace muttered.