Well, well, well. It's here at last. My wittle Harry Potter fanfic. Before I let you read, I am going to explain a few things. If you do not want to listen to me (Proposterous!) you can skip down to the dotted line below a bit.
First of all: This story will not be like most of the stories on here. It will (Hopefully) be true to Ms. Rowling's writing style. Harry Potter books start out slow. This book will start out slow, as well. It is necassary, believe me. If you don't like it, I suggest you leave.
Second: I am not--by any means--a professional author, but that doesn't mean I don't want you to be honest. By all means, tell me what's wrong, why it's wrong, and what I can do to fix it. It is the only way I will ever become a better writer, so do me a favor...
Thirdly: This story may or may not be updated on a daily--or weekly--basis. My apologies, but I write, revise, edit, proofread, revise again, edit again all on Word. It takes time to do this, plus to post, set up my paragraphs, and then edit in all the bolds and italics I used.
Fourthly: I accept any kind of feedback. Even flames. If you hate my story with all your life's essence and you wish to tell me without reason, go right ahead. There is no way I can stop you. However, you'll understand if I don't take you seriously, of course.
Fifthly: The disclaimer. Of course, I do not own the rights to Harry Potter. All rights reserved for J. K. Rowling and Warner Bros. Entertainment.
Sixthly (I can't even say that...) : If you have not read the SIXTH book, there WILL be MAJOR SPOILERS. If you have not seen the FOURTH movie, there MAY BE SPOILERS. Also, once I get further into the story, I will decide upon a title. Thereupon, I shall ask the mod to change the title of this thread. Until then, it will be Harry Potter: Book Seventh[/i] because I didn't want plain old "Harry Potter 7."
I think that's enough for one rant. Shall we begin?
Harry Potter sat on his bed, exhausted. He looked outside, searching the dark sky for any sign of life. Finding none, he turned to his bedside clock—11:59. In just one minute, he would turn seventeen. He would become an adult, ready to leave his aunt and uncle’s house behind forever.
A rolled-up scroll of parchment sat innocently on his desk. The letter had been rushed and scribbled quickly.
Happy birthday! We’ll pick you up tomorrow night—midnight. Hermione’s already here. See you then.
Harry’s snowy white owl picked lazily at a few bits of food.
“Here,” said Harry, throwing the bird a treat. “Ready to see Pig again?” The owl huffed indignantly before swallowing the mouse-shaped nugget.
The clock on the table next to Harry beeped loudly.
The sky remained empty as he peered out of the window. There was no breeze, and the hot, warm air that entered the room made Harry feel sweaty and warm. No dementors, at least…
A loud crack! broke Harry’s train of thought. He looked down to see Mr. Weasley standing in the middle of the street, covered by a large, black cloak.
“Up here,” called Harry. He couldn’t help but grin broadly.
Mr. Weasley nodded and waved, motioning him to come down. “Hurry.”
The way the red-headed, balding man spoke that single word was unnerving to Harry. He hurried. Picking up his trunk and Hedwig’s cage, he made his way out of his room and down the steps of the house. Just as he was about to leave out the front door, a dim light turned on behind him.
“And where do you think you’re going?” Uncle Vernon’s voice was gruff and irritated.
Harry turned to face the large man sitting at the kitchen table. “I’m leaving,” he answered simply.
“To hell you are. Dudley told me you’d be trying to run away.”
“I’m not running away. I’m leaving, most likely by apparition.” His uncle was silent. The letters… Dudley must have gotten into Harry’s letters.
“Listen, boy, I set the rules here. You’ll do as I say.” Uncle Vernon’s beady eyes glared at him. He seemed unusually determined tonight.
“No. There’s something going on here that’s much bigger than you.” Harry matched his uncle’s gaze. This was the man who had raised him... but he had always been mean, rude, and downright cruel.
Just as Uncle Vernon was about to reply, another voice called down from above. “Let him go.”
Harry looked up to the top of the steps. His bony aunt was walking down the steps towards Harry. When she got to the bottom, she passed him and walked into the kitchen. “He’s right.” She was talking to her husband. “Let him go.”
Harry’s uncle huffed loudly. He looked incredulously from his wife, and then to Harry. Harry waited.
“Harry is leaving.”
Uncle Vernon was silenced. Harry was surprised. Aunt Petunia never put her foot down like this. She turned towards her nephew, looked him straight in the eye, and said, “Good luck, Harry.”
Harry nodded knowingly. It was the closest his aunt had ever come to showing affection. He turned around, his uncle babbling incoherently, and walked out the door.
Harry Potter knew would never return to number 4, Privet Drive again.
“Come, Harry.” Mr. Weasley’s voice was hushed and strained.
“What’s wrong?” Harry felt a pang of nervousness in his stomach. Something was wrong.
“Dementors, Harry. They are coming here, now, to find you. We need to leave,” he explained. “Grab my hand.”
Before he complied, Harry looked back at the house he grew up in.
Mr. Weasley saw Harry and said, “They’ll be okay. The dementors won’t harm them. Let’s go.” He grabbed Harry’s arm. “Hold on.”
The world was sucked away. Something squeezed Harry’s body, choking him, strangling him. He fought for breath, thought he would pass out, and then…
He landed on the moist ground in a heap. Looking up, Harry saw that Mr. Weasley was already bustling off to his crooked house. The Burrow. Harry couldn’t help but smile at the familiar building. He set off, trailing behind his best friend’s father.
The house was warm and inviting. Harry recognized everything, taking it all in. Dishes washed themselves in the sink, preparing for breakfast. The stove spat small, blue flame. Pots boiled and pans simmered. It was so quaint in this house—so quiet—that Harry had a hard time believing that the world beyond this home’s boundaries was at war.
A deadly, dangerous, bloody war.
Harry pushed the thought of this peril to the farthest reaches of his mind. The war could wait. For all Harry cared, so could Voldemort.
“Tea?” asked Mr. Weasley. Harry noticed that since they had returned to the house, the man’s demeanor had completely changed. He seemed relaxed, content.
Harry nodded in response. With a flick of his wand, a dark kettle on the stove screamed in a high-pitched whistle and soared over to Harry. A moment later, a mug appeared out of thin air as the kettle poured his steaming contents in.
Harry blew at the liquid in an attempt to cool it off. “No need,” whispered Mr. Weasley. “Made them myself. Self-cooling kettles. The steam is just for effect; the liquid will be just the right temperature.”
Mr. Weasley beamed at Harry, which provoked Harry to take a sip. Mr. Weasley was right; although steam poured thick from the cup, the tea inside was warm, but not too hot. Harry took another sip.
“So… how’ve you been?” Mr. Weasley looked slightly uneasy now. Harry knew he was trying to make an attempt at a light conversation, but he also knew what the man really wanted to talk about.
Harry looked out of the small window in the kitchen, out past the rolling green hills and the meadows beyond. He had never truly realized how desolate the area was around the Burrow.
“Good, I s’pose,” replied Harry.
There was an awkward silence between the two of them.
“It’s been hard on all of us, Harry.”
Harry’s heart dropped sickeningly. Dumbledore.
“What am I going to do?” The question was more to himself than to Mr. Weasley, but he took it upon himself to answer anyway.
“Harry, I want you to know that you’re not alone in this—you never will be. The whole Order—let alone the rest of the magical world—is behind you in this.”
Harry didn’t want to look at Mr. Weasley, for he could feel even now his understanding-yet-uncomfortable stare. It took a moment, but Harry conjured up the courage to speak. If he was going to complete the lethal journey before him, he was going to have to act like an adult. “What has the Ministry been up to?” Harry turned and looked at the man before him in the eye. He realized that his journey had already begun.
“Oh, the usual. It’s been hard keeping up with…” Mr. Weasley trailed off, but then saw Harry’s determined gaze, “… the dementors.”
“It’s been… unusual, to say the least. They’ve been traveling in herds—packs of them go and will terrorize a town populated with witches and wizards.”
“How do they know which towns to go to?”
Mr. Weasley shrugged. “We don’t know. The Ministry is speculating the dementors’ ability to sense magic.”
Harry’s stomach dropped again. He remembered—only months before—what Dumbledore had told him on that faithful night. Magic always leaves traces… That’s what he had said.
“Magic always leaves traces…” It came out as a whisper, barely audible.
“Excuse me, Harry?”
Mr. Weasley paused, and then said, “Right. Like I said, these attacks have been coming more often. We know for sure that there were some going to Little Whinging, Harry. That’s why I was urgent to leave.”
“But… Little Whinging isn’t magically populated, is it? I thought I was the only one…”
There was another pause. Mr. Weasley looked at Harry, then began to study the table cloth, and then looked back up to Harry. “Yes, you’re the only wizard.” Harry waited. “That’s why we know they’re in league with Voldemort.”
Harry sat back. “Didn’t we always know that?”
“Yes… and no. We were pretty sure, but we didn’t really have solid evidence. Who knows? Last summer they could have simply been getting restless, but now that they’ve gone to Little Whinging, Harry—they’ve gone to you—we can be sure that isn’t a coincidence.”
Harry nodded. Mr. Weasley didn’t continue, and Harry didn’t provoke him. Suddenly, he felt very tired.
“Want anything to eat?” asked Mr. Weasley after a long silence.
Harry shook his head. “No, thanks. I am sort of tired, though.”
“Be my guest. Ron’s in his room; there’s an extra bed in there.”
Harry nodded, said thank-you, and made his way through the living room, up the old, creaking stairs, and onto the landing above. Turning, he made his way up the next set of stairs and onto the next floor. He passed Ginny’s room.
Without a further thought, Harry opened Ron’s bedroom door. As soon as he opened the door, he was blasted with the loud grumble of a snore. He grinned. “Nice to see you, too.”
Harry climbed into the bed on the other side of the room and lay down on the soft, warm sheets. He sighed deeply and drifted off to sleep.
Something was there. Harry reached out. It moved back. He couldn’t reach, couldn’t grab it. He saw himself. How? He was standing just yards away. He extended an arm. His other self reached out, also. What was going on? He couldn’t reach, couldn’t touch, couldn’t know…
Something soft smashed into Harry’s sleeping face. “Get up, you bum.”
He rolled over onto his side, groaning. Why did Uncle Vernon want him up so early? Usually, he didn’t pay any attention to him…
“Get up! Breakfast is downstairs.”
Uncle Vernon made breakfast for him? This wasn’t right…
In an instant, his mind clicked and he remembered where he was. Harry sat up, looking at his best friend staring in the doorway of the room. Ron shook his head, turning to walk down the stairs.
Harry dressed and followed.
When he reached the ground floor at the bottom of the steps, something short and plump attacked him. It grappled him by the chest, hugging him tightly. “Good morning, Harry! It’s so good to see you!” It was Mrs. Weasley.
“Good morning, Mrs. Weasley. It’s good to see you, too.” Harry smiled.
“Well, come on, then. Breakfast is waiting!” she sung, walking back over to the kitchen, Harry following.
Fred and George sat, happily gobbling down an entire plate of bacon while draining three cups each of pumpkin juice.
“Hiya, Harry!” The twins spoke in unison, small chunks of bacon flying from their mouths.
“Oh, don’t talk when you’re eating, boys!” reprimanded Mrs. Weasley.
George popped a fresh strip of bacon in his mouth. “Shrrre, mum,” he said through the food.
“Hey, Harry,” said Hermione, beaming and hugging him. She sat back down.
Bill Weasley held out a hand as Harry sat down next to him. “Good to see you again, Harry. I trust you know Fleur.” He gestured to the beautiful, platinum haired woman next to him.
“ ‘Ello, Harry.”
Harry looked around the table again. Mr. Weasley, Mrs. Weasley, Hermione, the twins, and Bill and Fleur were all sitting and eating at the elongated kitchen table. He wondered briefly why Charlie wasn’t there, and where was…?
Hearing footsteps on the stairs, Harry turned to see who was coming down. It was Ron, followed by…
She was as pretty as he remembered. Her hair was longer, straighter, her face less freckled, but she was still the Ginny Harry knew since he was only eleven years old. She turned and saw him, eyes lighting up immediately.
“Oh,” she said weakly.
Harry grinned at her.
“Hello, Harry.” Regaining her composure, she waved and took a seat across the table, followed by Ron. He chose a seat next to Hermione.
Harry tried not to feel disappointed, but he knew that what he had said those few months ago had been true. We can’t be together… He’ll try and get to me through you…
Ginny had understood.
Mrs. Weasley broke Harry out of his silent reverie. “Toast and eggs, Harry?”
As he began eating, Mrs. Weasley sat down, smiling broadly. She waited a moment, and then announced, “The wedding is this weekend! I’ve made all of the arrangements.”
Bill and Fleur smiled, sharing a glance at each other.
“Our guests will arrive by noon on Sunday, so I want you all up and ready early.”
Fred and George looked away, smirking and studying the wallpaper on the kitchen walls.
“That means you, too, Fred—George!” There was a dangerous tone to her voice.
The twins merely answered, “Yes, sir, mum!” and gave a facetious salute.
“I’m serious. There are some… important guests coming, and I want you all to give a good impression.”
Before Fred or George could answer, Mr. Weasley stood up. “Well, I’ve got to get to the office. I shouldn’t be home late.” He smiled, kissed Mrs. Weasley on the forehead, bade everybody good-bye, and disappeared with a crack, leaving Harry to wonder who the “important” guests were that would be at the wedding. The minister? That seemed the most likely bet, but yet…
“Catch in the hills?” asked Ron when everyone was finished eating and Bill, Fleur, and Fred and George had gotten up to leave for work. (Bill was taking Fleur to show her a particularly stubborn charmed lock in Gringotts that he had been attempting to open, unsuccessfully.)
By “catch,” Ron meant flying on magically enchanted broomsticks, throwing a round, crimson ball called a Quaffle to each other.
“Just a minute,” ordered Mrs. Weasley, standing up and walking into the living room. She re-appeared in a few moments and handed small, rolled-up scrolls to Ron, Hermione, Harry, and Ginny.
“What’s this?” asked Ron when he grabbed the letter.
Mrs. Weasley didn’t answer. Harry opened the scroll addressed to him.
Dear Mr. Potter,
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry will be re-opening to any student who wishes to come. The semester will begin for years 1-6 on September the 1st as usual, while 7th year students are requested to arrive on August 30th. More will be explained at the school.
Headmistress Minerva McGonagall
Just some set-up for what is to come.