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CHAPTER 1: Summer
Harry Potter and the Enemy Within
Dedicated to all my friends at the HPGalleries,
who have provided many of the ideas and all of the inspiration for this story.
With special thanks to my dear friend, Myf, without whose help this story would
never have made it to the Sugar Quill.
And of course, my deepest gratitude to J.K. Rowling, who has made this all
Midsummer found Hogwarts School of Witchcraft
and Wizardry nearly deserted.
Minerva McGonagall walked quickly through the
empty halls as she made her way to the dungeons, which managed to be as chill
and damp in the heat of summer as they were in the dead of winter.McGonagall shivered slightly and pulled her
robes closer around her.Her footsteps
echoed in the oppressive silence.The
rest of the castle might be uninhabited, but the dungeons felt abandoned.Even the ghosts seemed to shun them during
the summer.But McGonagall knew there
was one person, still here, who seemed oblivious to the loneliness of the
place.She stopped in front of a wooden
door and knocked briskly.
“Come in,” came the muffled reply.
McGonagall pushed open the door and found
Severus Snape frowning intently at a potion simmering on his workbench.
“Severus, I was just going
over the class registers for next term.I don’t see Mr. Potter’s name on the list of your sixth year students.”
“That’s right, you don’t,”
Snape said, making an entry in the notebook beside him and not bothering to
look at his colleague.
“May I ask why not?”
McGonagall inquired stiffly.
Snape lowered the heat
under his cauldron then turned to face her.
“I only take the most
capable students in my NEWT class,” he said smoothly.“Mr. Potter is not one of them.”
“He received an
‘Outstanding’ on his Potions OWL.”
“Be that as it may, he will
not be in my class.”
The two professors stared
at one another in a silent test of wills.At last McGonagall spoke in a tightly controlled voice.
“Severus, I allow you to
browbeat my students, but if you think I will stand by and allow you to ruin
Mr. Potter’s future out of spite, you will find that you are very much
“So, the famous Potter
charm has finally worked its magic on you, I see,” Snape said derisively.
“Don’t be insulting,”
McGonagall snapped.“The boy has earned
the right to be in your class.You have
no grounds to exclude him.”
“I’m astonished he would
even wish to continue in my class given his usually abysmal performance,” Snape
“He wants to be an Auror
and you know very well that NEWT-level Potions is required.”
“An Auror,” Snape
sneered.“Naturally.One would have thought he’d have had enough
of fighting dark wizards by now, but I suppose the allure of fame and glory is
too much.Why don’t you do us all a
favor, Minerva, and advise the boy to go out for professional Quidditch
instead.Surely that would provide him
with the adoring fans his ego craves?”
“Is that what you really
think it is, Severus?Ego?Hasn’t it occurred to you that Potter may
have decided, quite reasonably, that the only way he’s likely to survive is by
becoming an Auror?”
“It didn’t help his
McGonagall’s eyes flashed
and she pressed her lips into a thin line. “I gave Mr. Potter my word that I
would do everything in my power to help him become an Auror and I intend to
keep that promise.”
whom I admit to my class is not within your power,” Snape said.
slightly. “No, but as Deputy Headmistress, I can make your life quite
miserable, you know.It’s only two more
years, Severus and then he’ll be gone.I
will not be.Do you really want to make
an enemy of me?”
Snape’s eyes narrowed as
he considered the woman in front of him.“Very well,” he said.“I will
accept Mr. Potter into my NEWT class.But if he fails to live up to my standards, I will dismiss him.”
McGonagall sighed, knowing
that was the best she would get from Snape.“Fair enough,” she said.McGonagall turned to go, but paused at the door.
“You know, Severus,” she said, glancing back
at Snape, “I would have thought you’d know the boy better by now.”
She swept out of the room leaving the Potions
Master to scowl after her.
pointed his wand at the pale young man cowering at his feet.
young man screamed and writhed on the ground.Harry felt his lip curl in a cruel smile, then he reluctantly released
now you will be forthcoming with the information I require,” he said in a low menacing
the young man sobbed.“I don’t know
where he is!I swear it!I’d tell you if I did.Please!I’m telling the truth!”
looked into the young man’s eyes and knew it was true.The fool knew nothing.
well,” Harry said.“I believe you.” He
pointed his wand at the trembling man once more.
light shot out of the end of Harry’s wand and hit the young man in the
chest.He fell back and was still, his
vacant eyes filled with terror and shock.
Harry bolted up in bed gasping for
breath.He had no idea who the young man
was he’d just seen being tortured, but he knew that somewhere Voldemort had
just killed him. Harry turned on his bedside light and got up to pace his
It had only been three weeks since the end of
term, but already this was shaping up to be the worst summer of Harry’s
life.He had been frustrated last summer
by the total absence of information about Voldemort.Only now did he realize how lucky he’d been.Be
careful what you wish for.You may get
it!Harry thought sourly.
Since Voldemort’s return had become public,
Death Eater activity had exploded.The Daily Prophet contained almost daily
accounts of torture, murder and disappearances.Hardly a night went by where the Dark Mark didn’t appear in sky.But Harry didn’t need the Daily Prophet.His mental connection to Voldemort gave him a
front row seat for the horror.
More than ever Harry was sorry that he hadn’t
worked harder at his Occlumency lessons the previous term.He had been so starved for information that
he hadn’t wanted to block out the only source he had.After witnessing the resurgence of the Death
Eaters, however, he understood why Dumbledore had thought it a bad idea to
allow these visions to continue.Harry was
quite certain that he was losing his mind.
keep on like this.I have to do
something, Harry thought desperately.He could write to Dumbledore, but what use
would that be?The headmaster couldn’t
do anything for him here at Privet
Drive.Neither could Ron, Hermione or Lupin who were
the only other people he could think to turn to for help.He thought of Sirius and felt the familiar
ache in his chest.His godfather
couldn’t have helped him either, Harry knew, but just having Sirius around would
have been a comfort.
Sirius’ death had left a huge hole in Harry’s
life that he didn’t know how to fill.Sirius had been the only real family Harry had ever had, certainly the
only family that cared about him.Of
course, Harry had many close friends, but somehow it wasn’t quite the same,
though he couldn’t have really explained why.The simple fact was that no other adult gave him the undivided attention
and unconditional support that Sirius had.No one else acted like a father to him.At almost sixteen Harry was annoyed to realize how much he still needed
Harry shook his head to banish his
thoughts.There was no point in
moping.His parents and Sirius were all
dead, so he’d just have to manage on his own.At the moment he had to find a way to control these visions.He’d spent three months studying Occlumency with
Snape.Surely he had learnt something
useful in all that time.He thought back
to what his professor had told him.Empty your mind.Control your emotions.During those classes with Snape he had
discovered that was easier said than done, but he had to try.
Harry sat down on the edge of his bed, closed
his eyes and tried to relax.He took
slow deep breaths and tried to think of nothing.Concentrate
on breathing.In.Out.In. Out.After several
minutes Harry opened his eyes.He
definitely felt calmer, but he wasn’t sure this would help to block his
visions.Unfortunately, at the moment it
was all he had.He climbed back in bed,
turned off the light and once more focused on his breathing.He drifted off to sleep, mercifully
undisturbed by visions or nightmares.
The following morning Harry was up at
as usual, and set about doing the odd jobs his aunt had given him. By he had finished weeding the
flowerbeds and washing the windows.He
made himself a quick sandwich and retreated to his room to work on his
homework, or rather the extracurricular homework he’d given himself.
After Harry had got over the initial shock of
learning of the prophecy that he must kill Voldemort or be killed by him, he’d
become nearly obsessed with honing his defensive skills.He was still quite proud of all that he and
his schoolmates had accomplished in the DA meetings last term, but he realized
that what he’d taught them would never suffice against Voldemort.Harry knew he’d only escaped death by chance
in all of his previous encounters with the evil wizard.If he was going to have to stand and fight
he’d need more than luck to win.
Consequently, he’d written to Lupin during the
first week of the summer holidays and asked his former Defense teacher to send
him some books on advanced defensive techniques.Lupin had responded almost immediately by
sending him a huge tome entitled The Complete Book of Curses and
Counter-Curses by Beatrice Arronby.
Harry had been dismayed to discover how many
different curses there were, particularly the advanced ones. Many he wished he
had known a month ago when he’d been fighting the Death Eaters at the Ministry
of Magic.Others were so obviously Dark
Magic that they made his skin crawl. Fighting his revulsion over some of the
illustrations in the hefty book, he had set about memorizing as many of the
curses and counter curses as he thought might be useful.He also practiced.
Harry knew that just reading about the spells
wouldn’t be enough and was determined to perfect his reflexes so that he could
cast a wide range of curses and counter-curses without thinking.He didn’t actually cast the spells, of
course.After nearly being expelled the previous
summer, he was very careful not to perform any magic.With this in mind, he had saved a likely
branch from his work in the Dursleys’s garden and had fashioned it into a rough
wand, which he used in hours of imaginary duels against Voldemort and his Death
Eaters.He might have spent too much
time dwelling on Voldemort, however, because that night, despite repeating the
Occlumency exercises, his visions were back.
slithered silently along the ground as embers floated up into the night sky
from a house that was engulfed by fire.Figures in dark robes and masks hovered around an old man and woman who
looked defiant even though they had clearly been tortured.As he moved towards them he flicked his
tongue and could taste blood in the air.
won’t be going back to the Aurors,” one of the black robed figures said.“By the time we’re done, there won’t be an
Auror left alive.”
couple glared back at the Death Eater, but Harry could smell their fear and it
was intoxicating.He made straight for
them and could sense their fear spike as they caught sight of him.Then he reared back and struck.
Harry awoke after too little sleep with the
night’s horrors fresh in his mind.His
mood wasn’t improved by the arrival of the Daily
Prophet.The headline read “Death Eaters Escape Azkaban!” and the
article went on to detail the escape of the Death Eaters that had been captured
barely a month before at the Ministry of Magic.
Harry cursed.It wasn’t as though he hadn’t been expecting it, of course, but it still
galled, especially the thought of Lucius Malfoy going free.He had rather relished the idea of Malfoy
being locked up in Azkaban.Worst of
all, this escape would undoubtedly mean a fresh round of attacks, which he’d be
forced to witness in his sleep while being helpless to prevent.Harry shuddered and opened the paper hoping
to find something to take his mind off his visions.
He skimmed the pages until he came to the editorial page.This was nearly as depressing as the news of
the Death Eaters’ escape.Most of the
columns were hand-wringing affairs that either directly or obliquely looked to
him for salvation.
Boy-Who-Lived, who has escaped You-Know-Who not once, but four times…”“The young man who alone inspires hope…”“He defeated You-Know-Who once.He can do it again!”
The sole dissenting voice belonged to Averill
Pembroke.He was the senior editor at
the Daily Prophet and seemed to have
nothing but contempt for Harry.
wizard who believes that a mere boy could defeat He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named needs
a stay at St. Mungos!”
Harry wasn’t sure which of these opposing
views he found most disturbing as he tossed the paper aside.Suddenly, he felt closed in by his room.He pulled on a t-shirt and jeans and went
downstairs.Aunt Petunia tried to stop
him with a list of odd jobs, but he brushed by her without a glance and left
the house.It was a beautiful morning,
but Harry didn’t notice.He had no
particular destination in mind, so he just walked, as if putting distance between
himself and Number Four Privet Drive would somehow diminish the visions that
gnawed at his mind.
It was late afternoon by the time Harry
returned home and he didn’t even open his book on curses.Instead he devoted his time to practicing
Occlumency.He was getting better at
calming his mind, though he was skeptical as to whether it might actually help
keep his visions at bay.He really
didn’t trust Snape to teach him anything useful.Still, the exercises couldn’t hurt and he had
no other ideas for blocking his mental connection to Voldemort.He stayed up late and finally crawled into
bed with a kind of fatalism.He was
asleep almost at once and the night produced no visions, though he did have a
terrible nightmare of Sirius falling through the veil at the Department of
Mysteries, which, all things considered, wasn’t much better.
It was three weeks later that the neat, blue
envelope arrived.Uncle Vernon was
sorting the post and opened it as Harry sank into a chair at the breakfast
“Look Petunia,” he said handing the note to
his wife.“We’ve won a sweepstakes you
Aunt Petunia frowned slightly.“I don’t remember entering a sweepstakes.”
“Well, you must have,” Uncle Vernon said
around a mouthful of sausage.“We’ve won
dinner for three this evening at Chez Vous.That’s that French place over on Romney Circus, isn’t it?”
“Yes,” Aunt Petunia’s eyes lit up at the
prospect of fine dining.“It’s very nice
from what I’ve heard.”
They both turned to glare at Harry who had
been following the exchange without interest.
“Now listen, boy,” Uncle Vernon warned, brandishing
his fork at Harry.“We’ll only be gone a
few hours and I don’t want any funny business while we’re away.You understand me?”
“I won’t destroy the house while you’re gone,”
Harry said biting into a piece of toast.
“I don’t want any of your sort hanging about,”
Uncle Vernon growled, his jowls wobbling.
“Don’t worry.No one I know would want to come here.”Harry didn’t bother to hide his disdain.
“You ought to be grateful you’re here!” Uncle Vernon said, turning crimson. “You’ve got nerve
turning your nose up at respectable people!”
“Sorry,” Harry said without sincerity.He swallowed the last of his toast, stood up
and left, leaving Uncle Vernon to fume noiselessly behind him.
Back in his room, Harry brooded, unable to
make up his mind whether to study curses or Occlumency.He sighed; he wasn’t sure if either were
doing him any good.Hedwig hooted softly
as she came to perch next to him.He
stroked her gently, but it gave him little relief from his melancholy.
He was lying on his bed staring dejectedly at
the ceiling when a small owl flew in through the open window and began circling
the room.Harry couldn’t help but grin
at Ron’s owl, Pigwidgeon, though Hedwig was clearly put out by his arrival.She flew back up to her perch as Harry stood
up eagerly and scooped the tiny bird and its overly large parcel out of the
air.Harry opened the letter first which
turned out to be a birthday card.It
Muggles aren’t being total gits!It’s
quiet here at the Burrow with Fred and George gone most of the time.But they’re doing so well with their shop in
Diagon Alley that even Mum has come round and says it was the best thing for
them.They’ve sent along their latest
invention as a birthday present.Maybe
you can use it on Dudley.Ginny sent you a gift too,
though she won’t tell me what it is.Girls!
you’ve been following the papers, so I don’t need to tell you how tense things
are.It’s all been blown out of
proportion though.You-Know – Voldemort has got everyone spooked.It’s stupid really!We’re all fine of course, so don’t
worry.Just take care of yourself.
Harry let out a slow breath.Ron might want to brush it off as no more
than an annoyance, but Harry knew all too well how bad the Death Eater attacks
were.He was isolated from Voldemort’s
rampages here in the Muggle world, particularly at Privet Drive
where Voldemort couldn’t touch him.It
had to be awful for Ron and his family being in the middle of it, especially
since the Weasleys were known for their sympathies towards Muggles and
Muggle-borns.Harry felt his stomach
twist in fear and he clutched Ron’s letter tightly knowing that, for once, his
best friend was probably in more danger than he was.
Pig hooted and nipped at Harry’s ear.Harry got the excitable little owl a treat
then turned his attention to the parcel.Ron’s present to him was, predictably, a book about Quidditch.The twins had sent him a bag of Weasleys’
Colorful Candies, multicolored jellybeans guaranteed to turn whoever ate one
the same shade as the sweet for an unspecified
duration.Harry grinned at the thought
of slipping Dudley a green one.
Ginny’s gift was a small box wrapped in simple
brown paper.Harry opened it to find a
pewter charm on a chain.The charm was
the head of a dog that looked uncannily familiar.A short note in Ginny’s handwriting said,
always be with you.
Harry stared at the words, then looked back at
the charm.He took it out of the box and
held it gently in the palm of his hand, tracing the finely etched design with
his index finger.After a moment, Harry took
a deep breath and ran a sleeve across his eyes. He slipped the chain around his neck and
tucked the charm inside his shirt.
Harry stashed the rest of his gifts under his
floorboard with the book on ancient magic Hermione had sent him several days
earlier.Next he scribbled out separate
thank you notes to Ron, Ginny and the twins that he sent off with Pig.Finally, he sat down to compose a letter to
Hermione.It wasn’t easy; he didn’t want
to let on how worried he was about Ron, but he did want to know if she had
heard anything more than he had.
again for the birthday present.Pig was
just here from the Burrow.Ron says things
are pretty quiet there, but I was wondering if you’d heard anything from them
about Voldemort.Ron didn’t say much and
I feel a bit in the dark.
That should be all right, he thought.Make her think he was just feeling left
out.He gave the letter to Hedwig who
disappeared out the window.
The Dursleys left for dinner at , warning Harry darkly not to ‘do anything’ while they were
gone.Harry briefly considered sticking
chewing-gum in all the door locks as he’d once seen Peeves do, but decided it
wouldn’t be worth it.He settled for
studying his curses on the sofa in the living room, then running through his
Occlumency exercises before bed.
No horrors assaulted him, not even nightmares
of Sirius’ death.Instead he dreamt of
his neighborhood, the streets of which had become a familiar landscape during
dark and cold.Streetlights illuminated
the empty streets and blank facades of the houses.He walked up Magnolia Crescent, past the playground and
paused at the corner of Privet Drive.He looked up the street to number four, but a
movement to his left caught his attention.A figure stepped out of the shadows.It was shrouded in dark robes and silently approached him.As forbidding as this apparition was, Harry
felt no fear and when the man spoke, Harry felt a thrill of recognition.
ready, my Lord,” said Lucius Malfoy quietly.“The house is surrounded.The boy
will not escape this time.”
felt himself smile.“Good, Lucius,” he
said in a cold, soft hiss.“Very
good.It is time to be rid of Harry
Harry opened his eyes, too terrified to
scream.He knew with certainty that what
he’d just seen had been no dream.Voldemort was coming for him.Harry rolled out of bed and grabbed his glasses and his wand.His scar was already throbbing
painfully.He ran from his room and down
“Wake up!” he called frantically pounding on Dudley’s door.He continued to his aunt and uncle’s room and
repeated the pounding.
“Wake up!You’ve got to get out of the house!”
There was no answer, so Harry threw open the
door.The room was empty, the bed
obviously not having been slept in that night.Harry frowned and ran back to Dudley’s room, which was empty as well.Where were they?They had gone to
dinner, but surely they should have been home by now.
Wherever they were, they clearly weren’t in
the house, Harry realized as he made his way downstairs, checking every room as
he went.He leaned against the wall in
the hallway, relieved that the Dursleys at least wouldn’t have to face
A shadow passed across the living room window
and Harry gripped his wand tightly, his mouth dry.He tiptoed quietly to the window and peeked
through the crack in the curtains.He
could just make out two cloaked figures hiding in the shadows on either side of
the garden.He backed away from the
window, hardly breathing and made his way to the kitchen.As stealthily as possible, he peered out the
window and spotted three more figures.Harry let out a shuddering breath and retreated to the hallway where he
leaned against the wall once more.So it
was true.They were here and he was
But how could this be happening?Voldemort wasn’t supposed to be able to touch
him at his relatives.Obviously he’s found a way around that, Harry
thought bitterly.Still, Harry knew the
house was being watched by the Order of the Phoenix.Surely someone must have seen Voldemort and
his Death Eaters arrive and would have sent for help.Unless
Voldemort killed them before they could raise the alarm, a pessimistic
voice in Harry’s mind reminded him.Lucius Malfoy certainly hadn’t seemed concerned about being caught and
neither had Voldemort.
either must die at the hand of the other…”Harry recalled the words of the
prophecy.If it was his fate to kill
Voldemort or be killed by him, Harry knew which way he’d bet at the
moment.Voldemort and the Death Eaters
had him surrounded and he was standing here alone and barefoot in his
Well, he wouldn’t die without a fight.Harry moved down the hallway so that he had a
clear view of the front door, but could still hear anyone attempting to enter
through the kitchen.He strained his senses
to their limits trying to pick out the smallest sound or movement outside the
house.Then he heard it, the sound of
slow measured footsteps coming up the path, up the steps, onto the front porch.Harry’s heart was pounding wildly.There was a pause.Then, without
warning and to Harry’s shock, the front door was blasted off its hinges.Harry, fighting down panic, fled back towards
the kitchen as an unnaturally tall and thin man stepped over the threshold and
into number four Privet Drive.Harry stumbled into the
table in the dark and knocked over a chair.
“Harry.”Voldemort’s voice sent a chill down Harry’s spine.“There’s no point in running.Better to face me and die like a man.”
Harry could hear Voldemort coming down the
hall.He kicked open the door to the
back garden then quickly and quietly ducked back through the dining room and
into the living room.He peeked back
into the hallway and heard Voldemort in the kitchen calling to his Death Eaters
through the back door.Harry slipped
soundlessly past the remains of the front door and up the stairs.He had reached his room when he heard
Voldemort come back into the hall.
“I know you’re up there, Harry.You’ve nowhere to run.”
There was no more point in stealth.Harry wrenched open his window and climbed up
onto the sill.He heard footsteps
rapidly ascending the stairs.Harry
looked left and right desperately.The
roofline sloped steeply up above him and there was no ledge, only a gutter and
he had no idea if it would support his weight.He was looking for handholds on the roof when he sensed rather than
heard the presence behind him.He
glanced over his shoulder and saw Voldemort standing in his bedroom doorway
with a wand leveled at him.
Instinct took over.Harry swung out his window to the left and
flattened himself against the roof just as a jet of green light shot past
him.He scrambled up onto the gable
above his window and waited.A moment
later the misshapen head poked out of the window beneath him.
Harry yelled, but Voldemort seemed to anticipate him and jumped back into the
room.The spell had missed and Harry
could hear Voldemort’s cold brittle laughter.
“Well done Harry!Very well done indeed!But you cannot win.”
Suddenly, the roof next to where Harry was
perched exploded.Harry lost his balance
and fell, sliding down the roof.He
tumbled over the edge and without thinking, caught the gutter to break his
fall.His feet dangled in midair as the
sharp edge of the gutter cut into his palms.His wand was somewhere below him in the hydrangea bushes.He could hear running figures converging on
him from below.Death Eaters.Harry closed
his eyes momentarily in resignation then looked up to face the monster smiling
down at him.Voldemort raised his wand,
but just then, two gray streaks came racing across the roof and launched
themselves, hissing and scratching, at his face.Voldemort cursed and swatted at the cats.
“Harry!” a voice called from below.
Harry looked down and was astonished to see
Remus Lupin standing below him.
“Harry, get down from there!Let go!”
Harry dropped from the roof and landed in a
heap in the bushes.Lupin tried to pull
him to his feet, but Harry resisted, feeling around frantically on the
“I’ve got to find my wand!I dropped it!”
Voldemort had succeeded in throwing off the
feline attack, but now there were other figures in the yard and they began
hurling curses up at him.Red and green
sparks arced over Harry’s head as he and Lupin searched for his wand in the
“This is ridiculous,” Lupin said.“Accio
wand!”Harry’s wand immediately came
flying out of a nearby bush and Harry grabbed it thankfully.
“Come on,” Lupin said, pushing Harry in front
of him.They ran in a crouch, keeping
close to the front of the house.They
slipped around the corner, out sight of the battle raging in the front
yard.Lupin stopped and picked up a
rusted paint can.
“This is a Portkey,” Lupin said.“Hold on!”
Harry numbly took hold of the handle, as Lupin
gripped the bottom of the can firmly.
Lupin said and Harry felt the unpleasant jerk just behind his navel that told
him the Portkey had been activated.A
moment later he was standing in the unkempt square outside Number Twelve Grimmauld Place.
“Come on Harry, let’s get you inside,” Lupin
Harry hesitated.He hadn’t been to Grimmauld Place
since before Sirius had died and he wasn’t sure he could handle those memories
just now.Lupin seemed to understand and
put a hand on Harry’s shoulder.
“Come on Harry,” he said gently.“Sirius would have wanted to know that you
were safe here. Besides, I think it’s
clear you can’t return to Little Whinging.”
Harry nodded and followed Lupin into the
house.It looked the same as he
remembered it.The portrait of Mrs.
Black still hung in the hall by the front door and Harry was careful not to
wake her as he followed Lupin to the kitchen.The memories of the last time he’d been in the house brought a lump to
his throat and he pushed them away.
“So the Order is still using this as its
base?” he asked.
“Yes,” Lupin answered.“Sirius left the house to me, so we’ve
continued to use it.It’s still
unplottable and about the safest place we could find.”Lupin hesitated uncertainly.“He would have left it to you, but he didn’t
think you’d want it what with all the Black family history.”
Harry nodded numbly.“I’m glad he gave it to you.He was right.I wouldn’t have known what to do with it.”
Harry lapsed into silence and Lupin frowned in concern.
“Can I get you anything Harry?Tea?”
“No thanks, Professor.”
“I’m not your professor anymore, Harry.Please, just call me Remus.”
“All right, Remus,” Harry said, smiling slightly.“Listen, I need to find my aunt and
uncle.They went to dinner, but they
should have been home hours ago and I don’t know where they are.”
“Don’t worry, Harry, they’re safe,” Remus said.
“How do you know that?” Harry asked, frowning.
“We, er, arranged for them to take a bit of a
scenic drive,” Remus answered looking slightly guilty.
“We’re the one’s who arranged for them to go
to dinner this evening, Harry,” Remus said.“Then we put a Confundus spell
on their car so they wouldn’t be able to find their way back home.”Remus couldn’t contain his grin.“They’ll be driving around all night, looking
for the house.”
Harry stared at his former teacher and felt
the hairs rise on the back of his neck. “Then you were expecting this?”
“Yes,” Remus nodded.“We received word that Voldemort was going to
go after you tonight.”
“AND YOU DIDN’T WARN ME!” Harry exploded.
“We couldn’t, Harry.”
“Why not?You had enough time to get my aunt, uncle and Dudley out of the way!”
“It would have looked too suspicious!Voldemort had to think he was taking you
unawares, otherwise it would have compromised the source of our information.”
“I almost died,” Harry said furiously.
Remus grimaced. “That was my fault.We expected you to be asleep when Voldemort
arrived, not standing in the front hall.I Apparated into your bedroom just before Voldemort blasted open the
front door.My heart nearly stopped when
I realized you were already downstairs.When I heard you throw open the back door, I thought you had made a run
for it, so I Apparated to the backyard.”Remus shook his head in self- disgust.“I should have stayed put and let the rest of the team who were already
outside handle it.By the time I realized
what had happened and got back around to the front of the house, you were
hanging from the roof.Thank God Minerva
“You mean Professor McGonagall?”
Remus smiled.“Yes, she and Arabella Figg’s cat, Mr. Tibbles, kept Voldemort busy long
enough for us to get you out of there.I
bet she left some deep claw marks too.”
Harry was stunned to think that the furious
spitting ball of fur that had attacked Voldemort was actually his aloof Head of
House.He pushed that thought aside.
“How did you know they were coming tonight?”
Harry asked, suspecting that he already knew.
“I’m sure you know where we get our
information on Voldemort and the Death Eaters, Harry,” Remus said shrewdly.
Harry said in contempt.“Well, then I’m
not surprised I almost got killed.I’m
amazed he bothered to warn you at all!”
“Harry!”Remus was clearly shocked, but Harry didn’t care.
“He hates me, Remus and he never misses an
opportunity to show it!It’s his fault
that Sirius died and I’m sure he wasn’t broken up over that!Believe me, given a choice, he’d rather see
me dead, too!”
Remus had gone white, but before he could
speak a familiar languid drawl interrupted.
“Your gratitude is overwhelming, Potter,”
Snape said from the doorway, his voice dripping with sarcasm.“Given that I risked my life to save yours, I
can’t tell you how much that means.”
Harry turned slowly to face the Potions
Master.“Whatever risk you took, it
wasn’t for me, so don’t pretend you’re doing me any favors,” he said.“I know better.”
“You know nothing!You’re just too arrogant to realize it.”
“I was nearly killed tonight in a house where
your Dark Lord wasn’t supposed to be able to touch me.If you know so much, tell me how he managed
“Your blood, Potter,” Snape said.“It was the basis of the magic that protected
you at your mother’s sister’s home.No
one who did not share that blood could enter there to harm you.But the Dark Lord does share your blood, as surely you must remember.”
Harry flashed back to the memory of the graveyard
where he’d been bound to a gravestone to be used in Voldemort’s
resurrection.Wormtail had taken a
dagger and cut his arm.
“That happened over a year ago,” Harry
said.“Why did it take him this long to
come after me?”
“You left your aunt and uncle’s last August,
barely two months after he had returned.He was still weak, still building his power and he knew you were being
watched by the Order.He needed to wait
until he thought that victory would be assured.”
“And you didn’t bother to tell me this?” Harry
said through clenched teeth.
Snape hesitated briefly then said.“It did not become apparent until very
recently that he had determined how to circumvent the protection at your home.”
“Really?Are you sure you just didn’t want me to know?”
“If I wanted you dead, Potter, you wouldn’t be
standing here now.”
“That’s enough, both of you,” Remus
interrupted, stepping between them.“Harry, it’s late.Get upstairs
to bed.You’re obviously not thinking
clearly after what you’ve been through tonight.”
Harry started to object, but the look in
Remus’ eyes stopped him.
“I said go,” Remus said in a low voice, and
Harry realized it would be a mistake to argue with him.
“Fine,” Harry said and stalked out of the
kitchen and up the stairs.He found the
room he’d stayed in the previous year and threw himself on the bed.It wasn’t long before he heard soft voices in
the downstairs hall and the front door open and close.A few moments later there was a knock at his
Harry momentarily considered pretending he was
asleep, but decided that would be cowardly.“Come in,” he called.
Remus entered the room looking for all the
world like a father getting ready to reprimand a wayward child.But it wasn’t the anger in his eyes that made
Harry’s throat tighten.It was the
“Well,” Remus asked.“Would you like to explain yourself?”
“What is there to explain?”
Remus sighed and sat down on the other
“Harry, I know Severus Snape isn’t your
favorite person.He isn’t mine,
either.But do you have to provoke
him?Would it have killed you to be
polite?He really did risk a great deal
to save your life tonight.”
“He did that for Dumbledore and the Order, not
“What difference does that make?You’re still alive and he doesn’t deserve to
be insulted by you.”
“He never worries about insulting anyone.He enjoys it.”
“So you’re going to lower yourself to his
“It’s his fault Sirius died.”
“We’re at war, Harry.People die.It’s no one’s fault.”
“Maybe you can forgive him, but I won’t!”
There was a long pause as Remus regarded Harry
“I know I can’t change your mind, Harry,”
Remus said.“I never managed to change
Sirius’ and God knows I tried.But I had
hoped that his death might have taught you something.You need to think long and hard about how
many more lives you’re willing to sacrifice to this hatred.”
Remus got up and left, closing the door softly
Harry tossed and turned and finally fell into
a fitful sleep filled with dreams of masked figures and a cruel high-pitched
was high in a clear sky by the time Harry awoke the next day.He lay in bed thinking about everything that
had happened the previous night.He
wondered if Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon had made it home and whether or not
he’d ever see them again.He’d be
perfectly content not to and in any case he couldn’t see how he’d ever be able
to stay at Privet Drive again.
Harry’s reverie was interrupted by a loud
growl from his stomach, so he got up and went downstairs in search of breakfast.The house was very quiet.No one else seemed to be awake.Harry realized that he didn’t even know if
anyone else was in the house besides himself and Remus.
When he got to the kitchen, Harry discovered
Remus hovering over a pot of something on the stove.The aroma made Harry’s stomach growl even
“Ah, Harry, I was wondering if you were going
to sleep through lunch too.”
“What time is it?”
“Nearly .Did you sleep all right?”
“Fine,” Harry answered honestly.He suspected Remus hadn’t, though.The man looked haggard, but at least Harry’s
row with Snape the night before seemed to have been forgiven.
“Sit down, you must be famished,” Remus
He brought Harry a big bowl of what was
obviously homemade soup along with a plate of sandwiches.
“This is delicious!” Harry said, tucking into
the food.“I didn’t know you could
“It’s amazing what years of living alone will
teach you,” Remus said joining him at the table.“Sirius said it was my greatest contribution
to the Order.”He grinned then froze and
shot Harry a worried glance.
“It’s all right,” Harry said.“I don’t mind you talking about him.It helps, actually.”
“Anything at all I can do to help, Harry, you
know you only have to ask.”
“I know,” Harry said.He swallowed the lump in his throat and
changed the subject.“Is anyone else
“Not at the moment.Dung was by earlier and brought all of your
things.The Department of Magical
Catastrophes did a great job, by the way, fixed up the house, replaced the
front door and obliviated the memories of all the neighbors.Your aunt and uncle will never know anything
was amiss.We left them a note saying
you were gone for the year, but would be in touch.”
“They’d just as soon I wasn’t,” Harry
said.“Are Ron and Hermione going to be
coming to stay?
“Later, as we get closer to the start of
school.Everyone will be in and out
though, so don’t worry; you won’t be stuck with just my company.”
“Your company’s a lot better than the
Dursleys’,” Harry said.“Though I
suppose that’s not saying much.”
Remus laughed.“Tonks will be here for dinner, by the way.She’s going to be spending the night, so if
you need anything just ask her.She
isn’t as good a cook as I am, but between you I’m sure you’ll manage all
“You’re not going to be here?” Harry asked.
Remus hesitated fractionally, then smiled.
“It’s a full moon tonight, Harry.”
Harry blushed in embarrassment.“I’m sorry Remus.I didn’t realize.”
“There’s no reason you should,” Remus replied
smiling slightly.“Most people don’t
follow the phases of the moon quite as closely as I do.I’ll be in my study over night.”
“You’re taking the Wolfsbane Potion then?”
“Yes.With all the increased Death Eater activity in the last couple of
months, Dumbledore thought it would be too inconvenient for me to be
incapacitated for days at a time.”
“Who’s making it?”
“Your favorite Potions Master, of course,”
Remus said, grinning wickedly.
“You needn’t sound quite so horrified,
Harry.He is one of the best
potion-makers around.Besides, he’s a
member of the Order which avoids a great many awkward questions.”
“You trust him?”
“Of course I do.Why shouldn’t I?”Remus said dismissively.He rose from the table.“Now listen.Don’t worry about doing anything today, just relax and get settled
in.I’ve got some work to do for a few
hours, but if you need anything just call me.”
Harry wasn’t happy about Remus having to rely
on Snape for the Wolfsbane Potion, but it was clear that Remus wasn’t going to
discuss it further.He watched his
former teacher head for the library then went to retrieve his belongings from
the front hall.
Harry was happy to discover that Mundungus
Fletcher had brought everything, including his birthday presents that had been
hidden under the floorboards in his room at the Dursleys’.He dragged everything up to his room and
spent the next hour unpacking.He spent
the rest of the afternoon studying until Remus came knocking at his door.
“Harry, I’ll be in my study the rest of the
“Is there anything you need?” Harry asked.
“No, I’ll be fine.I’ll see you in the morning.”
Harry studied a while longer until he heard
noises from downstairs.He followed the
sounds of banging pots and pans to find Tonks on her hands and knees with her
head buried in a kitchen cupboard.
“Hi Tonks,” Harry said.
“Hi Harry!Do you have any idea where Remus keeps the big pots?”
“Er, not really.”
“I was going to make spaghetti but all I can
find are saucepans.”
There was a knock at the door. “Are we expecting someone else?” Harry asked.
Tonks shrugged.“Maybe.You never know who’s going to turn up around here.”She went back to rummaging through the
cupboard while Harry went to answer the door.To his surprise and delight it was Mrs. Weasley.
“Harry dear, how are you?” she said giving him
a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
“I’m okay,” said Harry.“We weren’t expecting you, though.Is everything all right?”
“Oh yes, everything’s fine.I won’t be staying long.What with the full moon and the horrible fright
you had last night, I just wanted to stop by and make sure there wasn’t anything
“Do you happen to know where Remus keeps the
Harry explained that Tonks was trying to make
dinner as Mrs. Weasley followed him back to the kitchen.She took one look at the disarray and
promptly volunteered to cook.Harry and
Tonks set the table and chatted while Mrs. Weasley prepared dinner.The Wizarding Wireless Network was on and
Harry’s attention was suddenly caught by the mention of his own name.
“So, Mr. Pembroke,” the WWN announcer was
saying, “you don’t believe that Harry Potter is the answer to the return of
“Of course not,” said Pembroke, sounding as
arrogant as Harry had always imagined him to be.“The greatest wizards of our age have been
unable to defeat He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.It’s ridiculous to think that a boy could do so.”
“But Harry Potter isn’t just any boy.He’s the Boy-Who-Lived and he’s escaped
You-Know-Who several times over the last few years.”
“He’s been lucky and he’s no doubt had
help.But now that
He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named has returned to power, it will only be a matter of
time before –”
Mrs. Weasley turned off the wireless.“What rubbish!They have nothing better to do than sit
around debating something they know nothing about!Pay no attention to them, Harry.”
Harry nodded, but managed only a weak smile
and the mood in the kitchen was much more subdued.Soon, however, dinner was ready.Harry and Tonks sat down to eat, but Mrs.
Weasley didn’t join them.
“I’ve baked some biscuits for later,” she told
them, gathering up her things.“They’re
just next to the stove,”
“You’re not leaving already?” Harry asked.
“I’m afraid I’ve got to get home to Arthur and
the children.We’ll all be seeing you
very soon, I’m sure.For now, get some
rest, Harry.You’re safe here.”With one last smile and a hug, Mrs. Weasley
was gone and Harry felt unaccountably lonely.
He shrugged off the feeling and joined Tonks
for dinner.While they ate, Tonks filled
him in on the latest exploits of the Order, or at least those that weren’t
confidential.They weren’t nearly as
impressive as Harry would have hoped.Most involved identifying Death Eaters and their sympathizers.It was necessary work, but not the sort that
was going to save lives anytime soon.
Harry listened politely, but whereas last
summer he would have soaked up every detail and wanted to be involved in any
way he could, now he found that he really didn’t care.He went to bed early, not so much physically
tired as emotionally exhausted.
Harry awoke to another beautiful day with
sunshine streaming in through his window.It did nothing to cheer him up.Lying in bed he could hear Averill Pembroke’s voice in his head.“The
greatest wizards of our age have been unable to defeat
ridiculous to think that a boy could do so.”
Pembroke was obnoxious, but he was also
right.It was ridiculous.If the likes
of Dumbledore couldn’t defeat Voldemort, what chance did he, Harry, have?Unbidden, memories of the attack on Privet Drive
came vividly to mind along with the hopeless certainty that he was going to die
at Voldemort’s hands and there was nothing he could do to stop it.
Harry rolled out of bed and went downstairs,
hoping that movement would keep his thoughts at bay.He found Remus in the kitchen nursing a cup
of tea.The man looked pale and tired,
but otherwise unharmed.
“Good morning, Harry.Happy birthday.”
Harry started.He’d forgotten it was his birthday.
“Thanks, Remus.How are you feeling?”
“Better than I look.Sit down; I’ll get you some breakfast.”
“I can do it.”
“Nonsense!It’s your birthday.”
Remus set about making breakfast while Harry
set the table.Although he was obviously
stiff, Remus did seem well enough, Harry noted.
“Eat up and then get dressed, Harry,” Remus
said as they sat down to eat.“We’re
going to Diagon Alley, today.Your
booklist for this year arrived with the post this morning.”Remus handed Harry a sheet of paper.There were only two new textbooks: Sixth year
charms, of course and an advanced Transfigurations text.
“Something else arrived for you as well,”
Remus said holding out an official looking letter from the Ministry of
Harry’s heart skipped a beat.It had to be his OWL results.He reached for the letter, took a deep breath
and opened it.
pleased to inform you that you have received passing marks on the following
Care of Magical CreaturesAcceptable
Defense Against the Dark ArtsOutstanding
History of MagicAcceptable
Department of Education
Harry sighed in relief.The last two were the only ones he had really
been worried about.He needed to take
Transfigurations and Potions if he was to have any hope of becoming an Auror,
and both McGonagall and Snape required high marks on the OWLs.He’d been particularly worried about Potions,
but without Snape around to distract him, he’d obviously managed quite well.
“Good news?” Remus asked.
Harry grinned and showed him the letter.
“Wonderful, Harry!Well done!I’d say this calls for a double celebration.After we pick up your school supplies, what
do you say we stop by Florean Fortescue's for the biggest ice cream they have?”
“That’d be great,” Harry said
enthusiastically.Getting out of the
house was exactly what he needed.He
wolfed down the last of his breakfast, dressed, then accompanied Remus to a
nearby teashop where they took the Floo to Diagon Alley.
It didn’t take long for Harry to purchase all
of his supplies.He’d been doing this
for years and knew just what he wanted and where it could be found.He smiled at the younger children, first
years no doubt, who were obviously on their first shopping trip to Diagon
Alley.They stopped at every shop
window, gazing wide-eyed at the wonders within while their parents tried vainly
to hurry them on their way.
Of course, Harry thought wryly, Remus was
almost as bad.He had wondered at first
whether his former teacher would be up to the trip so soon after the full
moon.He also worried that Remus might
get bored shopping for such mundane supplies as quills and parchment, but Remus
seemed delighted to follow Harry from shop to shop examining every curiosity
and chatting about Quidditch and the upcoming school year.
be lonely too, Harry realized.He
probably misses Sirius even more than I do.
“I think that’s everything,” Harry told Remus
as they exited Flourish and Blotts.
“What about your Potions ingredients?”
“I didn’t get a list for any.”
Remus frowned momentarily.“Well, I suppose you can pick up whatever you
need in Hogsmeade.Right now I think
it’s time to go see the newest proprietors in Diagon Alley.”
Harry grinned.He knew exactly whom Remus meant.
Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes at Number Ninety-Three Diagon Alley was a sight
to behold. The building itself kept
changing colors, from orange to purple to a truly hideous shade of green to
virtually every other color Harry could name and some that he couldn’t.There was a giant tongue lolling out of an
upstairs window that occasionally drooled on passers-by.And there were clangs, bangs and random
explosions coming from within.Harry and
Remus exchanged grins and went in.
Fred and George Weasley were standing in the
midst of half a dozen enraptured children whom Harry vaguely recognized as
Hogwarts students, though they were younger than himself and not in Gryffindor.
“Now, this here is what you want for
unauthorized meanderings about the castle,” Fred was saying as he gestured to
what looked like a chocolate bar that George was holding.“The ‘Chameleon Crunch’, one of our latest
inventions.George, if you’d be so good
as to demonstrate?”
George grinned and took a small bite out of
the bar.He immediately seemed to fade
out of sight, blending into the shelves behind him.
“As you can see, this works like a
Disillusionment Charm.One bar guarantees
you twenty minutes of near-invisibility.Of course you don’t have to eat it all at once.A mere nibble will be enough for you to give
someone the slip in the halls.”
“Two boys at the back of the group exchanged a
quick glance.“We’ll take a dozen of
them,” one boy said as they both began rummaging through their pockets for
“And a box of those ‘Absent Teas’,” added his
obvious partner in crime.
“Excellent choices, gentlemen!Step this way,” said George who was once
again visible.“Anyone who would like to
make a purchase, please come up to the front counter.And, don’t forget that we also have
catalogues available for your convenience.”
The entire group of students followed George
up to the counter.
“Harry!” Fred called, spotting Harry and
Remus.“Welcome to Weasley’s Wizarding
Wheezes!We were wondering when you were
going to grace us with your presence.Remus, how are you?”
“I’m fine,” Remus said shaking Fred’s
hand.“Harry’s just come to stay for the
rest of the summer, so I thought I’d bring him by.”
“Fred, this is brilliant!”Harry said.
“Well, we owe it all to you, mate.”
“No you don’t!”
“We couldn’t have done it without you.You were our financier.”
“That’s right,” Remus said with a glint of
amusement in his eyes.“I do recall
hearing something about that.I must say
you know a good investment when you see one, Harry.
“I just provided the money,” Harry said feeling slightly
embarrassed.“Fred and George here are
the geniuses who come up with all the good ideas!”
“Geniuses?” asked George joining them after
having ushered all the students and their considerable purchases out of the
shop.“Did I just hear someone refer to
us as geniuses, Fred?”
“You did indeed, George!Of course, Harry here always was
exceptionally perceptive, unlike our professors at Hogwarts.No offense, Remus!”
“None taken,” their former professor replied
with a chuckle.
The shop door opened and a man about Remus’
age entered wiping a large patch of drool off the shoulder of his expensive
“May I help you, sir?” George asked.
“No, no thank you,” the man said hardly
glancing at George.Instead, he
approached Harry and Remus.
“Mr. Potter isn’t it?Harry Potter?Averill Pembroke from the Daily
Harry frowned.The last thing he wanted to do was to talk to a reporter, particularly
“Since your participation in the dramatic
events that heralded the return of You-Know-Who, everyone’s been talking about
you, Mr. Potter,” Pembroke continued.“Yet you’ve been utterly incognito.I was hoping to get your reaction to the fact that the whole wizarding
world seems to be looking to you for guidance.”
“I think everyone’s just frightened, that’s
all.If anyone wants guidance, they
should look to Professor Dumbledore at Hogwarts.I don’t have any to offer.”
“Then the rumors that you are personally
opposing You-Know-Who are unfounded?”
“Almost everyone is opposed to Voldemort,”
Harry said.He felt a glow of
satisfaction as he saw Pembroke pale at the sound of Voldemort’s name.Still the reporter wouldn’t be deterred.
“So you’re not afraid of him?”
“No, I’m not afraid of him.”
“That makes you either very brave or very
foolish, Mr. Potter, particularly after recent events.”
Pembroke’s polite smile didn’t reach his eyes
and looking into them, Harry felt a chill.He couldn’t have said how he knew, but he was certain of it.Pembroke was a Death Eater.
“I’m still alive,” Harry said carefully.“And, you can tell those…” Harry hesitated
fractionally as he glanced at Pembroke’s left arm.“…you report to, that I intend to stay that
Pembroke’s expression didn’t change, but he
stiffened just enough for Harry to know his message had been understood.
Remus stepped forward, “That’s enough
questions for now, I think.”
“And you are?” Pembroke asked, not bothering
to hide his disdain.
“A friend,” Harry said before Remus could
“So are we,” George added, slinging an arm
over Pembroke’s shoulder amiably.
“And this happens to be our shop,” Fred said
copying his brother’s move on the opposite side.
“And, as much as we believe that the customer
is always right…” George said as they ushered the reporter away from Harry and
towards the door.
“…You haven’t bought anything, and we really
think it’s time for you to be moving along.” Fred finished.They reached the door and gave Pembroke a
huge shove so that he only barely managed not to go sprawling onto the street
“And don’t come back,” George said pleasantly,
shutting the door on the furious man.
“What a git!” Fred said.
“Dad told us what happened at your aunt and
uncle’s place, Harry,” George said with uncharacteristic seriousness.“We know you’ll be all right with
“But if you need anything -” Fred said in the
“- anything at all -” George said.
“- you let us know. We mean that.” Fred finished.
Harry smiled at the twins.“Just take care of yourselves.”
Fred and George grinned.“Don’t worry about us, Harry,” Fred
“Yeah.We’re experts at looking after ourselves,” George agreed.
Harry and Remus returned to Grimmauld Place
in the early afternoon.True to his
word, after leaving Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes, Remus had bought them the
biggest ice cream sundaes at Florean Fortescue's and Harry was feeling vaguely
nauseous even though he’d only managed to eat half of his. He went upstairs and
had just finished depositing his school supplies in his trunk when Remus called
“Harry, will you give me a hand in the library
for a minute?”
“Coming!” Harry called back.He went downstairs and pushed open the library
door.“What can I do, Remus?”
Harry nearly jumped out of his skin.The room was full of people, all applauding
and smiling at him.Mr. and Mrs. Weasley
were there along with Ron and Ginny.He
saw Fred and George standing next to Hermione.Then there were Moody and Tonks as well as a number of Order members,
some of whom he barely knew.Hermione
and Ron detached themselves from the crowd and came over to him.
“Happy birthday, Harry!” Hermione said,
hugging him fiercely.
“What’s all this?” Harry asked, at last
managing to find his voice.
“It’s a surprise party, you prat!What do you think?” Ron said clapping him on
the shoulder.“Come on, we’ve got
presents and cake and all sorts of food.”
Harry let himself be dragged into the
room.Ron was right.There was a mountain of food and a lovely
cake, made by Mrs. Weasley.And there
were more presents than Harry had ever received at one time in his life.But best of all, he was surrounded by his
friends.It was without a doubt, the
best birthday Harry had ever had.
The Sugar Quill was created by Zsenya and Arabella. For
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