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Author: Gramarye (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Harry Potter and the Legacy of the Light  Chapter: Chapter One - Purely Coincidental
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The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

ll01

Before we begin, I must warn you that this story will become DARK.
Very, very dark. If you'd rather find something else to read, something
less emotionally draining, I completely understand. But never let
anyone say that I was less than honest about the direction that this
work of fanfiction will eventually take.

So, to set the timeline--'Town and Gown' took place during the
storyline of Goblet of Fire, early in the year. The events of this
story occur in the following year (Harry's fifth year), post-
TriWizard Tournament and Voldemort's return.

Standard disclaimers apply. Harry Potter, all related characters, and
various media incarnations are copyright of the very talented J. K.
Rowlings, Scholastic, and other international companies involved in
its creation and distribution. Will Stanton and "The Dark Is Rising"
series are both copyright of the wonderful Susan Cooper.

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Harry Potter and the Legacy of the Light
A Harry Potter/The Dark Is Rising Sequence Fusion
By: Gramarye

Chapter One - Purely Coincidental

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What we call the beginning is often the end.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from

-- T. S. Eliot, "Little Gidding", Four Quartets

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Platform Nine and Three-Quarters was noisy as usual with shouted
goodbyes and the rattle-bang of loaded trolleys. But the three
students who disembarked from a compartment near the front of
the train were unusually quiet.

Harry Potter didn't feel like talking. Hermione Granger and Ron
Weasley, his closest friends and confidants, respected his feelings
and let him be silent. They didn't like his silence, but they knew
better than to try and be overly cheerful. It would only remind
them that there was very little to be cheerful about.

He Who Must Not Be Named, or You-Know-Who, or Lord Voldemort
if you were brave or foolish enough to say his name aloud, had returned to
terrorize the wizarding world. Harry Potter, known to all wizards
and witches as the only person ever known to survive a meeting--or
to be completely accurate, two meetings--with Voldemort, had seen
Cedric Diggory, an innocent young man, die before his eyes. The
Triwizard Tournament fiasco had proved only one thing: Voldemort was
alive and ready to wreak havoc on wizards and Muggles alike.

All three of them knew that Harry was at the top of Voldemort's hit
list, and that at the moment he was living on borrowed time.

The three of them pulled their luggage off the train, and stood on
the platform, staring at one another uncomfortably. There wasn't
anything to say, really. Each knew what the others would be doing
over the summer holidays: Hermione would be working at her parents'
office if she wasn't too busy studying for the O.W.L.s, Ron would be
spending as much time on a broom as possible to practise Quidditch
moves, and Harry would be staring at his bedroom ceiling, crossing
off the days until school started again.

The Hogwarts Express whistle shrilled once, warning any remaining
passengers to clear the compartments.

Ron opened his mouth to speak, but before he could draw a breath,
a heavy hand slapped him on the back with such force that he
spluttered, starting to choke.

"Come on, Ronniekins," George Weasley said, pounding his younger
brother's back in an attempt to stop the coughing fit, and only
succeeding in making it worse. "Mum'll go spare if we're late.
Oi, Fred!"

"Yeah?" came a yell from three cars down.

"I've got Ron--where's Ginny?"

Before Fred could answer, there was a loud pop, and a large puff of
thick purple smoke erupted from an open carriage door at the rear of
the train. As nearby students fled from the clouds of choking smoke,
a horrified squeal shot through the air, and a girl's voice screamed:
"My robes! They're ruined! FRED!"

Hermione flew to Ginny's rescue.

George threw back his head and laughed. "I take it our Tye-Dye Time
Bomb is a success, O brother of mine?" he said as Fred sauntered up
to the group.

Fred's grin was so wide it nearly split his face in two. "All field
tests support the resulting data," he chuckled. Seeing the confused
looks on Ron and Harry's faces, he elaborated. "We had to get *some*
use out of George's research for his Muggle Studies term paper, since
it barely got a passing mark."

"What was it about?" Harry asked, half-dreading the answer.

"'When Muggle Fashions Attack!--Hideous Muggle Costumes Throughout
the Ages'," George proclaimed proudly.

The twins' chuckles turned into snickers when Ginny, her face almost
as splotchy as her now violently multi-coloured robes, stalked past
them without a backward glance. Hermione rejoined their group, and
glared at Fred and George.

"Dry up, Gin, it'll wash out in a week or two," George called after
her. She pretended to not have heard him, and vanished through the
barrier into the main terminus of King's Cross Station. Without
further incident, the rest of them followed suit, gathering up their
belongings and struggling through the barrier.

Mrs. Weasley was waiting for them on the other side. Her arms were
folded across her chest and there was a dangerous glint in her eye.
Ginny stood next to her, smirking at her older brothers.

"Hi, Mum," Fred said, a little too brightly.

Mrs. Weasley glowered at him, and pointed to Ginny's trunk. "You'll
be carrying this until we get home, Fred," she ordered. "Plus your
own. And George will take Ron's trunk and his own as well."

"Aww, Muuum," the twins started to moan, but the expression on Mrs.
Weasley's face quickly shut them up.

"Go. Now."

Fred and George ducked their heads and scuttled away, dragging the
four trunks.

"Be careful, Fred! Don't hurt yourself!" Ginny chirruped, smiling
nastily.

Her brother responded with a gesture that made their mother shout
"FRED WEASLEY!" and storm after him, Ginny in tow.

Ron rolled his eyes, more than used to his family's antics. "Bye,
Hermione," he said. "See you later, Harry. Don't forget to owl!"

Six red heads vanished into the bustling crowd. Harry shoved his
trunk underneath a nearby pillar and sat down on it, setting Hedwig's
cage on the ground between his feet. Hermione sat down next to him,
tugging at her unruly hair.

"Whew!" she breathed. "What a horrible thing to do, even for Fred
and George! Ginny looked like she was going to cry when I got there;
she thought her robes were completely ruined."

"Ah," Harry said, gazing off into space.

Hermione gave him a strange look. "I just hope it will wash out,
like George said it would."

"Yeah."

"Are you waiting for your aunt and uncle?"

"Yeah."

Hermione stared at the ground. "Do...do you mind if I wait with you?
My parents said that they might be a little late picking me up."

Harry shrugged. "Sure, if you want."

They sat together in silence, watching the people who passed by.
The furtive strains of a busker, nervously looking round for police
as he scraped on an out-of-tune violin, drifted across the crowd.
Hermione fidgeted, tapping her foot on the ground in time with the
unmusical music. Harry gnawed on his lower lip.

A half-hour passed, then an hour.

"They're not coming, are they." Hermione's voice was flat.

"I guess not." Harry's response was equally flat.

"Are you angry?"

"No. They probably forgot, that's all."

"Oh. Well, do you want to--"

"Hermione?" shouted a woman's voice, rising above the monotonous
rumble of the crowd.

"Ah, there's my parents," Hermione said, leaping up. She waved
happily at a neatly-dressed man and woman, who waved back. Harry
waved, too, but not until Hermione had jabbed him in the ribs with a
sharp elbow.

She pulled her trunk over to where they stood, and hugged and kissed
both of them in turn. She turned back to wave goodbye to Harry, but
paused and let her hand fall as she looked at him, sitting alone
beneath the pillar. Slowly, she walked back to where he sat.

"Harry...would you like a lift?"

"That's very kind of you, but I don't mind waiting." His voice was
cool with polite formality, as though the offer of a lift had come
from a complete stranger.

"If they aren't coming--"

He waved his hand airily, without looking at her. "I'm surprised it
hasn't happened sooner. Go on, your parents are waiting."

Hermione shifted her weight from foot to foot. "We could call for a
taxi, or--"

"Thanks all the same, Hermione. I'll be fine."

"But--"

"Trust me." He looked at her, and the corners of his mouth twitched
faintly in the ghost of a smile. "I'll be fine."

Hermione nodded feebly, echoing Harry's faint smile. Suddenly, her
eyes widened in alarm. "Oh!" she exclaimed, pressing a hand to her
face. "Stay right there...I won't be a moment."

Harry watched her run over to her parents and begin to speak to them.
The conversation was animated, agitated, and judging by the startled
expressions on her parents' faces, entirely one-sided. Hermione's
father bent down and helped her open her trunk. She rummaged through
it for a moment, then held up a small rectangular object and hurried
back through the crowd to Harry.

"I nearly forgot--I wanted to lend you this." She thrust the object
into Harry's hands. It was a book.

He read the title aloud. "'All Creatures Great and Small', by James
Herriot."

Hermione's face was flushed, her eyes alight with the bubbly joy that
only books and discussions of books seemed to create within her. "I
thought you might like it...it'll give you something to read if you
get bored with homework. But don't get it dirty or anything--it's
one of my favourites."

Harry had to suppress a half-laugh at Hermione's deliberate use of
'if' instead of 'when', even though he knew she wasn't trying to be
funny. "Hermione Granger doesn't even trust me to take care of a
book? Fine, then, have it your way. But I won't finish it in three
hours like you do, so don't start nagging me with endless letters
when I don't return it by tomorrow."

"Well!" Hermione huffed indignantly, the light gone from her face.
"Try to be pleasant, and look where it gets you! See if I ever lend
you anything of mine again!" She spun around on her heel, preparing
to storm off in disgust.

"Hey, Hermione?"

She paused in mid-turn, and looked back.

Harry was grinning widely, one of the first true, genuine smiles she
had seen from him in a long time.

"Thanks," he said simply.

She smiled back, rather shyly. "Not at all, Harry. Have a nice
summer." With that, she darted back through the throng to meet her
parents, and together they headed for the nearest exit.

He waved after them, and kept the grin on his face until the three of
them were out of sight.

Once he was certain they had gone, the cheerful smile faded.

"Nice..." he repeated bitterly, flopping down on the trunk again.
"Not bloody likely."

He knew that he should start figuring out some way to get home, but
he also knew that his options were limited. He had no Muggle money,
so a taxi or the Underground were both out of the question. He could
call for the Knight Bus, but that would mean using magic, and the
last thing he wanted to do at the moment was to think about anything
magical. But just in case, he checked his pockets--and realized that
with only five Sickles and twenty-odd Knuts on his person, even a
ride on the Knight Bus wasn't possible.

Unless the Dursleys came soon, he was stuck.

With nothing better to do, he studied the well-worn front cover of
the book that Hermione had given to him. He turned it over in his
hands, looking at its rubbed corners and the spine that was beginning
to crack in places, telltale signs of Hermione's favourite sections.

Sliding off the trunk, he knelt down next to it, and was about to
open it up to put the book away when he felt a lump underneath the
front cover. He opened it carefully, wondering if Hermione had
forgotten to remove a bookmark.

Carefully tucked inside the tattered dust jacket flap was a thick wad
of folded pound notes.

He felt his face grow very hot. Half of him wanted to be stubborn
and refuse to spend the money, but the other half was too tired to be
bothered with the prickling of his wounded pride. All he wanted was
to leave the train station behind and go somewhere to forget about
everything for a while--even if it meant going back to Privet Drive
and the Dursleys.

"Thanks, Hermione," he murmured to his absent friend as he slipped
the notes into his pocket.

"Mr. Potter?"

A deep voice from behind and somewhere over his head startled Harry.
He jumped, slipped forward, and managed to smack his head on the edge
of the trunk all at the same time. Tottering unsteadily to his feet,
he wheeled around, rubbing his aching head. But before he could open
his mouth to give the person who had startled him a piece of his
mind, he saw who it was, and the angry words stopped in his throat.

"P...Professor Stanton?" he gasped.

Harry had met Professor Will Stanton fairly early in the previous
school year--though it felt like an age had passed since then. He
was a Professor of Anthropology at Cambridge University, a famous
Muggle institution, but he had visited Hogwarts Academy to present
a guest lecture concerning Defence Against the Dark Arts and Muggle
Studies. With his round, placid face and slightly rumpled dark blue
suit, he looked scholarly, comforting, entirely normal. Yet in
spite of his appearance, Harry knew that the man standing in front
of him was anything but normal.

"Oh, dear...I didn't mean to startle you," Professor Stanton said
apologetically, setting down the briefcase he was carrying. "Are
you all right?"

"It's nothing, sir. I'll be fine." How many times had he said
that, or some variation on it, today? And to how many people?
A twinge of pain in his forehead brought him back to reality.
"How are you, sir. What are you doing in London?"

"I'm quite well, thank you. I have to meet with an old colleague
who lives just outside of London. And I assume you're off from
school for the summer."

"Yes." Harry knew he was being horribly rude, but his head still
throbbed angrily, and he had to get out of the station before rush
hour made finding transportation all but impossible. "I was just
about to leave...could you tell me where the taxi stand is?"

Professor Stanton's brow creased in thought. "I'm afraid I don't
know," he said. "I usually come through Liverpool Station when I'm
in town, so I'm just as lost as you are. But as luck would have it,
I need to find a taxi myself. Would you mind wandering with me?"

Harry hesitated, but his need for the presence of a reassuring adult
figure won out over his desire to be alone. "All right."

Navigating with the heavily-laden trolley by himself was difficult
work, and he was relieved to discover that the taxi stand wasn't
far away. He pushed his precious cargo to the nearest waiting black
cab. The driver, a brown-faced old man with white hair poking out
of his ears, hefted the trunk into the boot with surprising ease,
and Professor Stanton helped him put Hedwig's cage in the back.

"Now, where to, young man?" the driver asked Harry as he settled
down in the back seat.

"Little Whinging, Surrey. Number Four Privet Drive." he replied.

"Really?" Professor Stanton looked up, pausing in his final
adjustments to the owl cage to make it fit snugly behind the
passenger's seat. "How convenient. I'm headed to Little Whinging
as well. I'll split the cost of a taxi with you, Mr. Potter, if you
don't mind the company."

The driver turned to Harry. "Is that all right with you, young man?"
he asked, casting an uncertain glance at Professor Stanton.

For what felt like the billionth time that day, Harry sighed quietly
and said, "It's fine."

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Gramarye
gramarye@postmaster.co.uk
http://gramarye.freehosting.net/hp/harry2.htm
January 13th, 2002

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