May 24th, 2006, 8:33 pm
This is my little fanfic, or Meggle calls it a fabfic, whichever you prefer! :p
Lily's Last Wish
There was a drowsy silence over the unkempt gardens of Privet Drive. The once proud owners too afraid to leave their homes, and the mist that had hung resolutely over the mass network of cities that was the birthplace of the two biggest enemies that ever lived.
There was one person that still dared to leave the safety of the net curtains. He was stood on the street corner; a long wooden rod aloft over his head with light beaming out as far as it could in the blackened smog. It was hot, he was dressed in simple jeans and shirt that seemed new, and he was waiting. His messy dark hair blended in perfectly with the backdrop, but his eyes gleamed like beacons, telling them they could go.
The lampposts penetrated the smog with a bleak perspective, and hoping that some of the everlasting night could be lifted. There were a few thin lines of dim orange light on his narrow face, and he was alert in respect to his surroundings. He spun on his heel as a twig cracked behind him, lowering his wand.
“Nox,” he whispered and the beacon was extinguished, but seconds later was left in the dark as the lamp above him was extinguished. He turned back uncertainly.
“Hello?” he questioned to the silent air, but he heard the barely audible phut of a muggle lighter, and another lamppost went out nearby. Harry spun around again, trying to work out where the person was, but it was impossible.
Eventually a light appeared a little way away, it wasn’t a wand light, but that of an old muggle oil lantern, similar to one that decorated the patio in the back garden of Number Four. He took a step backwards, he had been waiting for this for days, ever since he had received the odd letter by owl post a week or so back. But now the time had come, he felt afraid.
Dear Mr Potter
I would like to arrange a meeting with you on the eve of July 31st at 11pm, on the corner of Privet Drive and Magnolia Crescent. Come alone.
He had been too excited to be suspicious at first, but now that the moment had come, he suddenly felt considerably different. He had recognised the neat pearl writing from somewhere, but it was a long distant memory, fogged up by waves of recent happenings.
There had been an almost numbness shielding his heart from further torment, those that cared about his were slowly leaving him. All he had left now were Ron and Hermione, and Ginny (his heart gave a small twist) and those Dursley’s…
He wasn’t aware that he had spoken the though aloud until a shrill voice spoke just behind him. Harry quickly spun round and raised his wand instinctively in defence.
“I’m glad you’re grateful,” it said, bringing with it a strong scent of the home he had been brought up in. He lowered his wand and spoke uncertainly.
“Aunt Petunia?” he said.
“Yes, and there’s no need to look so surprised about it boy. I don’t want to be here, but I was sent to speak on the behalf of Dumbledore.” Aunt Petunia said snappily, lifting the oil lamp to get a good look at Harry’s face. “Well you’re still as runty as ever, but I’m not here to discuss your health-”
“I wasn’t asking you to!” Harry cut across her furiously.
“Shut up boy. The times may be gone where I could shut you in your cupboard for misbehaving, but you will still listen to me. Some old Scottish witch told me that the time has come to tell you what really happened on the night your parents died. I have painstakingly found the letter, and I’ll give it to you once I’ve delivered this warning blah blah blah. Well you aren’t allowed to leave Little Whinging until you are personally escorted by the Minister for Magic to the Burrow.” Aunt Petunia broke off from her speech and craned her long neck over to get a better look at Harry. She shook her head as though she couldn’t believe what she was doing, stuffed an envelope of yellowing parchment into his sweating hands and walked away, leaving Harry in the dark.
"Wait-" Harry called after her, but she was already out of hearing, and he knew it was not the done thing to raise your voice in dangerous times. One by one, spots of orange light returned in the haze, but his eyes were on the envelope in his hands, which shook, even though the air was thick and warm.
Fingers trembling, Harry unfolded the single sheet of parchment inside. His heart was thudding as he read the address.
To be Continued...
May 25th, 2006, 6:48 pm
The Living Room
4 Privet Drive
Mrs Petunia Dursley,
It is with great condolences that I write this short letter to you on this cold night. Your sister, Lily Potter was brutally murdered earlier this very day, by no one other than Lord Voldemort himself. This is the reason that I write this letter solely to you, and not your husband, so that you can retain the pretence that you are as oblivious to the magical world as you may wish. I now feel honour bound to give you the details that you will one day have to tell Harry, that as you know I have left in your care. However, the notation I addressed to you and your spouse told only half the story. It was not left in Lily’s will that you should care for this unfortunate child, but if he has a chance of ever restoring peace, this must be the place he calls home for the next eleven years.
I fear that it is possible that you are now as confused as it is possible to be, so I shall elaborate, as it will be your duty to tell Harry this before he comes of age. At this time, the details as known are hazy, but I will tell you all that I know presently. It is known that Lord Voldemort entered Godrics Hollow during the evening of yesterday, 30th August. With him was a servant, of whom you have heard about in your letters from your sister, their protector, Peter Pettigrew. He was also Secret Keeper of the Potter’s, and a servant of Lord Voldemort. The servant was having second thoughts, but after much persuasion, James, Lily and Harry were as good as dead.
I’m sure that even though you never bonded with James, the knowledge of these facts will be shocking. I believe that Harry is the key to understanding exactly what has happened at Godrics Hollow; until he can relive those moments we shall not know for sure. But there is evidence of the bond of love, so the safest place for him is where his mother’s blood runs. His mother died to save him, this is key, for one of the things that Lord Voldemort never had was the bond of love of a mother.
I must therefore ask you to care for Harry as though he was your own son. Teach your own to treat Harry as a brother, for he shall be experiencing his mother’s love through you. In the wizarding world, there is little more important than blood, to some like Voldemort, it is your parents, and ties with muggles that remain important. But the evil often forget that it is not about magic, it is about blood, and I think that is something that you ought to remember too Petunia.
My last word is that of warning. You are now in grave danger, for though Harry is protected by his mother’s blood, you shall have to remain a low profile among wizards. It shall not be of great hardship to you to severe all ties with wizardkind, but it is essential so that you, and therefore Harry remain safe. You already know of the prophecy, this boy will be hunted until he dies; it is therefore a great burden for you.
It is unlikely that I shall ever need to contact you again, as long as you remember all I have told you in this letter. I once again offer my greatest condolences, but I request that you remember your greatly important job in the raising of what I believe to be one of the most powerful and important wizards that shall ever exist.
Harry stared at the letter, his heart thudding. It didn’t open up any doors for him, but it was the first thing he had ever heard about the night he was brought to the Dursleys. There was a lot to mull over, and he barely registered the journey back to his room. He gazed at the calendar that was posted to the wall, but for the first time in years there wasn’t a countdown until he left for Hogwarts. There was just one date pencilled in on August 19th. Bill + Fleur Wedding. He sat on his bed numbly; he was travelling to the Burrow tomorrow but was strangely unexcited about it. He still held the letter clutched in his left hand, the ink was starting to run. He folded it up carefully and slipped it back inside the envelope, furiously blinking back the hot tears that were beginning to slide down his cheeks.
He shook his head; trying to clear it, before flopping on to his bed, and without even taking the time to remove his glasses, fell asleep. His dreams were punctuated with flashbacks of that fateful night, and each dream was forgotten as soon as it was over.
May 27th, 2006, 11:34 pm
Morning dawned, and the air lightened a little. Harry entered the kitchen of number Four Privet Drive, to be greeted in the usual way by Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon, ignoring him completely. He sat down in front of the table, the first smile on his face since he had come back for the holidays. Even though he had met Aunt Petunia last night, she still seemed to have forgotten…
“It’s my birthday today!” he said brightly, helping himself to a slice of toast from the rack and spreading it thickly with jam. He watched his Aunt and Uncles expressions change suddenly, and when Uncle Vernon spoke, it was in a carefully measured voice that couldn’t quite hide the shaking.
“Well?” he stammered. “What were you expecting, a present?” His thick, sausage-like fingers were drumming nervously on the table.
“Oh no; I wasn’t expecting that, its just we come of age at 17 in my world…” Harry said. “Which means I’m not underage any more…” He pointed his wand at the toast rack, and it started to levitate a centimetre or two from the ground, causing the Dursley’s to scream, and Uncle Vernon pushed it back down onto the table.
“Get out!” he said, his voice rasping and his face turning a familiar purplish colour. Harry took the hint, and went back to his bedroom. He knew it had been childish and frivolous, but it had been one of the few things he had left to look forward to. When he arrived in his room, Hedwig was sitting on his bed, her large amber eyes staring. She stuck out her leg as Harry approached, and when he had taken the letter she swooped over to her cage and began gulping water. Harry ripped open the Ministry of Magic seal and hastily unfolded the single sheet of parchment.
Dear Mr Potter,
I would first like to wish you a very Happy Birthday, and hope that you will use your powers responsibly, now that you may do so out of school.
Secondly, I believe that you were under the impression that I would be escorting you to The Burrow; however something has arisen, and so will be sending my predecessor to accompany you, In these dark times, arrangements are difficult, I'm sure you accept this. Fudge will be arriving on Thursday July 31st at 11am sharp.
Harry glanced over that the clock that sat on top of the note from Aunt Petunia he had received days ago. He tried to work out why he had moved it in the first place, when he registered what time it actually read.
“Ah…” he said, charging back downstairs. He had approximately ten seconds to warn his Aunt and Uncle to avoid what had happened before. He skidded into the kitchen just as the doorbell rang.
“Minister for Magic coming to t—” he gasped, before Uncle Vernon pushed him aside, and opened the front door. He ushered Fudge into the kitchen, and with a furtive look around, cut them off again.
“So!” said Aunt Petunia, bustling in with a cup of coffee that had originally been brewed for Vernon and pressing it into Fudge’s hands. “You’re the Minister for Magic…”
“Er, no… I was until last summer actually, but not any more…” Fudge said with a touch of nervousness.
He noticed Harry stood in the doorway.
“Ah Harry!” he said jovially, with more than a little relief. He stood up and patted Harry hard on the back. “Good to see you alive and well! Splendid, splendid… 17 now eh?” Fudge said to a slightly stony faced Harry, who replied shortly.
“Fine thanks. I’ll get my stuff and we’ll go shall I?” he said, turning to head back up the stairs again. Fudge opened his mouth as though to speak, then closed it once more, and nodded.
In his room Harry leaned against the wall, resting his forehead with its scar on the cool surface. He turned around and started pacing furiously. He couldn’t believe that Fudge would come back, and expect Harry to forgive him for the year of hell he was put through, just like that. He turned and waved his wand in a circle around his head, watching schoolbooks and bottles of potion ingredients fly into the open trunk in the middle of the floor. He slammed it shut, causing Hedwig to hoot at him reproachfully, and sat heavily on top of the closed lid.
Harry watched the window for any sign of another letter, maybe Fudge would be taken away. He felt a small amount of mirth imagining the Dursleys with an ex-Minister in their living room, and bumping his trunk down the stairs, he was not disappointed. Fudge was sat on one of the overstuffed armchairs, Aunt Petunia was sat primly on the sofa, and Uncle Vernon stood up by the door. Dudley was still no where to be seen, it seemed that at least someone had remembered what happened on July 31st…
Fudge looked up again as Harry entered.
“How are we getting there?” said Harry before Fudge could say anything. “Floo Powder?”
“No, no…” replied Fudge. “The fireplaces are being watched, it’s far too dangerous. We’ll be apparating, well side-along apparition; obviously you don’t have a licence yet…” Harry frowned, what did the ministry care that he couldn’t apparate yet?
May 29th, 2006, 10:36 pm
Fudge held out his right arm to Harry.
“This is side along appa—” he started to say, but Harry cut across him furiously.
“I know! I last did it with…” he trailed off, and looked at the floor; it had been something he had been trying not to think about. He had been pushing it to the back of his mind, and looked up at Fudge, who was looking a little too understanding. “Let’s go.” Harry said firmly, focusing on what greeted him at the Burrow. He turned to the Dursleys.
“I might not be seeing you next summer.” He said after a pause. “I don’t have to any more you know… Bye.” He gripped Fudge’s arm and gave a nod, before being sucked into the feeling of being squeezed through a tight mass. Suddenly, he could breathe again, and looked up at the familiar sight of the Burrow stood in all of its lop-sided glory. He walked grimly up to the door with Fudge, and rapped on it. A voice could be heard on the other side.
“Who’s there?” it said.
“This is Cornelius Fudge escorting Harry Potter to your place of residence.” Fudge said pompously from beside Harry. There was a small gasp and the door opened a little way to reveal the flustered face of Molly Weasley; however it was slammed shut again by another, deeper voice.
“Molly…” it said warningly. “We have to ask them the question, remember?”
“Oh, yes…” Molly said half heartedly, giving a sigh and the handle turned back again. "Harry, what is your patronus?"
"A stag?” said Harry nervously, wishing that Mrs Weasley would open the door so that he could escape the presence of one of the men he hated most in the world. He tried to turn the handle, but it was held tight on the other side. Harry racked his brains for a question he could ask Molly in return. “Er…” he said.
“Just think of something that an impostor wouldn’t know Harry,” Mr Weasley said in his deeper voice.
“What did I see your boggart as last summer?” Harry said quietly after a moment’s thought. There was a shuffle behind the door, then, breaking slightly, there came the reply.
“I saw you dead. I saw you all dead.” She said, and then the handle was released.
The door was opened quickly, to reveal Molly Weasley looking slightly flustered, and her husband Arthur stood just behind her beaming at Harry, who felt slightly awkward all of a sudden. Fudge nodded at them, tipped his hat to Harry and walked out, disapparating at the gate.
“Would you like some soup dear?” Molly said, breaking the silence. Harry nodded numbly, he had eaten less than ten minutes, but since they had broken up for the holidays, he had felt permanently empty. He glanced up from his soup a few seconds later, to see that both of the Weasley’s were watching him, and felt himself grow warm around the collar. They seemed to have noticed, as they immediately began talking in low voices about work, when they were interrupted by loud voices from outside, and the freckled face of Ron Weasley appeared at the window. Harry’s best friend shouted something when he saw him, and he was joined seconds later by Hermione Granger, Harry’s other best friend.
END OF CHAPTER ONE
May 30th, 2006, 11:19 pm
The door was opened mere seconds later, and Harry was engulfed in a hug. When he was finally released, he was purple in the face.
“Oh, sorry Harry!” Hermione said, and she was followed by Ron, who seemed to have finally stopped growing. There was an awkward silence in which Harry finished off the last of his soup and clattered the spoon down against the bowl.
“So, how are you?” Ron said, still stood in the doorway.
“I’m okay, the Dursleys forgot that I came of age so I levitated some toast for them,” Harry said, grinning suddenly and the ice was broken. It was just after eleven when four owls swooped towards the Burrow, holding identical brown envelopes that were stamped with the Hogwarts crest. Harry, Ron and Hermione exchanged glances and the owls landed on the table just as Ginny stormed in.
“Where did you go?” she exclaimed, her eyes blazing. “You said you went to check and I’ve been waiting all this t—” Ginny faltered, noticing Harry for the first time. Their eyes met for a moment, and then they both looked away. Harry stood up and walked over to the window, the silence in the kitchen was unbearable. The sound of ripping distracted him and he turned around, he had completely forgotten about the letters. He sat down and joined the others, noticing that his envelope was considerably thicker than the others’, and these were all considerably thicker than last year.
They were interrupted by Mrs Weasley rushing in, and snatching the envelopes out of their hands. There were cries of protest but she briskly slipped them into her bag and fastened the catch.
“Now listen here,” she said briskly. “There’s no time, we’re going up to Hogsmeade first thing to have you all kitted out for the wedding, and I don’t want you thinking about what those letters say all day and ruining it! Now go up, clean your teeth. Chip chop!”
Dully, Harry took out his wand.
“Locomotor Trunk,” he muttered, and the trunk rose up before him. On the third floor he dumped it outside the bathroom and the four of them barged in.
“So, what do you think is in those letters?” Ron said excitedly. “They’re thick, so Hogwarts must be open! Not that that applies to you really, Harry.” Ginny turned to look at Harry.
“What! You’re not going back to Hogwarts?” she said, her eyes blazing again, an element of hurt present. Harry shook his head and went over to look out of the window, Ron looked guilty. Hermione put a hand on Harry’s shoulder, which he shrugged off furiously.
“Stop being so understanding,” Harry muttered, his teeth clenched. “None of you realise what I’m going to have to go through this year while I’m not at Hogwarts. I’d much rather sit my N.E.W.T.S and do homework. I’m not protected any more, Voldemort could walk up to the Burrow right now and kill me, and you lot too. Why am I here? I’m basically just murdering you all.” There was a silence.
“We’re not going anywhere,” Ginny said finally. “We were with you in the Ministry, we’ve stuck by you. We aren’t afraid.” Harry turned to look at her, and she fell into his arms, which he put protectively round her. Hermione tugged on Ron’s sleeve and they both left the bathroom, Harry could hear their voices fade into the background.
For a minute they stood still, as though they were the only thing in the world, and nothing else mattered. They could hear Mrs Weasley ushering them out of the house, her footsteps on the stairs. They sprang apart as the handle turned, and Mrs Weasley’s head peered round.
“Come on now, everyone else is all set to go!” she said distractedly, disappearing again. Ginny looked at Harry for a moment, before following her mother out of the bathroom.
Throughout the entire journey he sat in silence, while the others chattered noisily about Quidditch and what the letters might contain, it seemed a far cry from his new life, he doubted he would ever return to a broomstick, and he wasn’t going back to Hogwarts. As the ministry cars pulled up near The Leaky Cauldron and they all tumbled up, amid stupendous looks from the muggles that milled around in the street. Outside the Leaky Cauldron there were two stony faced looking Aurors that Harry recognised from Kings Cross last year. He fell back to walk with Ron and Hermione.
“Looks like I’m still being guarded then,” he said in a low voice. Hermione nodded, Ron looked incredulous.
“Of course you are! What with Dumbledore gone—” he said, before realising the silence that followed, his ears turning red. “Well, you get what I mean.” Hermione rolled her eyes in exasperation, and suddenly aware that Mr Weasley had opened the gateway, she rushed off to the potions shop as she usually did, before falling back and joining the group. Mrs Weasley raised her eyebrows and consulted her list.
“Right, well we’ll be having a proper trip to Diagon Alley later in the holidays, this trip is just for getting the wedding outfits, and we’ve run out of Floo powder.”