Disclaimer: Anything you recognize does not belong to
me, however much I wish that it did. Instead, it all belongs to J. K. Rowling.
However, anything you do not recognize does belong to me.
Summary: Harry Potter is at the Dursleys’ awaiting the
arrival of his friends. Seeing the chaos that the Wizarding World has been
plunged into at Dumbledore’s death, Harry is ready to go in search of the
Author’s Note: A big “Thank You” goes out to
PirateQueen for being my beta on this. Now, for your enjoyment, I present
“Friends and Nightmares,” the third chapter of Harry Potter and the End of All Things.
of All Things
Chapter Three: Friends and
The weather all over Britain had been the same for the past several
days. It seemed like a great and utter depression had fallen over all the
citizens of the nation, both Muggle and Magical alike. Last summer had felt the
same way, and every witch and wizard in the country knew the reason why. Unfortunately,
the Dementors were not the only cause of the feelings of defeat that permeated
Daily Prophet headlines and pictures glared out in bold, black ink, while the
articles below them detailed the terror that had gripped the Wizarding World, either
crying out in anger, desperation, or sadness, and sometimes even a great
mixture of all of the human emotions. The largest amounts of blame fell upon
the Ministry of Magic and Minister Rufus Scrimgeour, but reporters had an
amazing habit of and talent for finding fault with just about anybody.
While most of the
Wizarding World stumbled around in the darkness of doubt and fear, there was
one wizard who knew exactly what he needed to do. He was not precisely sure how
he was going to accomplish his task, just knew that it had to be accomplished.
This single wizard had been awake for several hours and was barely visible on
this ominous morning through an upper window in a house on Privet Drive, Number
Four to be exact.
Harry Potter sat on
the edge of his bed, his emerald green eyes focussed on the latest issue of the
Daily Prophet that had just arrived a few hours ago. The headline did
not offer any great surprises to the almost seventeen-year-old wizard, for even
though his scar had not caused him any pain in over a year, Harry knew
Voldemort had done something the night before. These days it had become
predictable. News of another attack came daily, but this time, the headline
that jumped out from the page made the boy’s insides twist. He hid his fear and
anticipation well, but there was no denying it. Voldemort was gaining power.
HE-WHO-MUST-NOT-BE-NAMED CLAIMS AZKABAN PRISON
By Erin Dumose, Special Correspondent
The summer season
has always been a time welcomed by many. Its warmer weather and school-free
days have, in the past, been looked forward to with anticipation and excitement
by families wishing to spend more time with one another, and in these dark
times, being with one’s family has become even more important.
However, the joy and
happiness of summers past was sapped from the season this year. This holiday
has been tainted by massive death and sorrow in the Magical world.
Last night, darkness
claimed another victory.
that at around 2:00 a.m., on the morning of 1 July 1997, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named,
along with a group of loyal followers, known as Death Eaters, as well as an
army of Dementors, approached Azkaban prison. The impenetrable prison had been
thought inescapable until the breakout of Sirius Black. (Black spent twelve years
in the prison’s high-security block before escaping in the early summer of
1993, and spawning one of the biggest manhunts in recent history. Now confirmed
dead, Black has been found innocent of the crimes for which he had been
official reports already released by the Department of Magical Law Enforcement,
Azkaban apparently came under massive wand fire from these Dark wizards,
including You-Know-Who. Reports also indicate the Dementors surrounded the
island fortress and acted in the same manner as an anaconda — squeezing their
ring formation tighter around the prison to prevent any escapes.
gave their statements to both Daily Prophet reporters and Ministry
“It was . . . was
like nothing I had ever seen before,” said Charles Taylor, 45.
“The sky was alight
with many colours, resembling those Muggle firework light shows,” stated
Elizabeth Ramose, 37. “That’s why I didn’t dare try to get any closer.”
Aurors have been
stationed as guards at the prison since the Dementors’ departure over a year
ago. According to reliable sources from within the Ministry, Dana Walsh, 26;
Roger Folan, 34; Michelle Branch, 25; and Juan Rodriguez, 31; were those
assigned to the prison on July 1st. Details concerning their present
state are unclear, but Ministry officials are fearing the worst.
“At this point in
the investigation, Branch, Folan, Rodriguez, and Walsh are presumed dead,”
stated an unidentified Ministry employee. “But their fate may be that they are
still alive inside the prison, and enduring who-knows-what at the hands of
Statements made by
witnesses report screams coming continuously from within the island fortress
for several hours after the Dark army was first spotted. Though the need for
help was apparently clear, there have been no reports of anyone coming to the
After a night filled
with piercing screams and flashing lights, people awoke around midmorning to a
blood-red sun, and the Dark Mark — a giant green skull with a snake protruding
from its mouth — lighting up the midmorning sky above Azkaban. (Readers of the Daily
Prophet know this symbol to be that of the Dark Lord.)
Both Minister of
Magic Rufus Scrimgeour and Gawain Robards, the Head of the Auror office, were
unavailable for comment.
threw the paper across his room, causing a loud thump to sound as the
paper hit a lamp, toppling it off his desk and sending it crashing to the dusty
floor. He had barely been back from Hogwarts for two weeks, and the Wizarding
World was already in a worse state than when he had left.
The chaos did not
shock him, to be honest. Harry knew Voldemort would be far more willing to
attack openly and without reservation now that Dumbledore was gone. He just did
not think Voldemort would work as fast as he seemed to be doing. It had been
little more than two weeks since Dumbledore had been murdered.
Harry rose from his
bed, striding over to his trunk, which was still pretty much packed with all
his clothes. He had yet to unpack for the summer, instead remaining perfectly
content to live out of his trunk. Only a few more days, Harry thought to
himself. I’ll be out of here in only a few days.
In fact, had
Dumbledore not wanted him to go back to his aunt and uncle at the end of the
school year, Harry would not have bothered even returning in the first place.
He knew he had to find the Horcruxes, and, with the state of the Wizarding
World like it was, he had to destroy them quickly, before the Magical community
fell into a state where there would be nothing left to save.
A tapping sound tore
Harry’s attention from his thoughts. He turned towards the window, where a
small owl was fluttering around on the other side of the glass. Normally, he
left the window open, but since Hedwig had returned from her hunting earlier
than she usually did, he had decided to shut it last night before he drifted
off to sleep. When the Daily Prophet owl had delivered the morning’s
edition, Harry had opened the window to let it in but, though he could not remember
doing so, he had obviously shut it after the owl had left. Grabbing a pair of
faded blue jeans and a simple red T-shirt from his pile of clothes, Harry
walked over to the window, lifting the latch to let Pigwidgeon in.
Ron’s small owl
zoomed into Harry’s room, landing with a thump that was very much like
the sound of the morning’s paper hitting the floor, on his unmade bed. Harry
picked up the tiny and hyperactive owl, slowly untying the scroll from the
“Calm down, Pig,” he
said. The owl did not listen.
struggling, Harry managed to untie the scroll from the owl and, as Pig began to
hover excitedly above the bedcovers, Harry unrolled Ron’s letter and began to
You are cordially
invited to celebrate the marriage of William Weasley and Fleur Delacour on the
eighth day of July in the year of 1997, at eleven o’clock in the morning. The
wedding will take place at the childhood home of William Weasley. Lunch and
refreshments will be served after the wedding.
~ * * ~
Hope this invitation makes you feel better because it allows you to leave
the Dursleys’ earlier. Bill and Fleur decided to move the wedding up; it wasn’t
supposed to take place until the middle of August. Mum’s going crazy with
trying to get the house ready.
Anyway, Hermione’s coming to The Burrow in a couple of days, and then
we’re coming to get you. We told you we would. I wish we could have just gone
with you at the end of the school term, but Hermione wanted to spend some time
with her parents, and The Burrow’s too crazy to bring anyone into now, anyway.
Before we go there, however, Hermione has insisted that we go and pass
our Apparition tests. This shouldn’t be news to you; she told me she’d already
written to you about it, sending you that article in the Evening Prophet.
After that is done, Mum wants us back home ASAP, and not wandering around London and Diagon Alley. (The latest news has her a little freaked out, mind you.) Speaking
of which, have you seen this morning’s Daily Prophet article about
Back to the wedding. Everyone is here. Charlie came in from Romania, and both Fleur’s mum and sister are here. A lot of the Order is coming to the
wedding as well, including Remus, Tonks, Kingsley, and Moody.
Dad’s been working really hard at the Ministry, and Percy’s still being a
git. Both Fred and George are doing great in their joke shop; it’s even
expanded since last summer. Everyone’s looking forward to seeing you again,
So, both Hermione and I will see you in a few days.
Harry grinned when he
had finished reading Ron’s letter. Any reason to say goodbye sooner to the
Dursleys for the final time was a good reason. He was also pretty sure the
protection would still work; after all, he had left Privet Drive more than a month
“Well,” he said,
turning to face his snowy white owl Hedwig, “at least I’m already packed.”
Before he left his room, Harry bent to pick up the lamp and paper from the
floor. As he sat the objects back on his desk, his eyes fell upon the article
Hermione had sent around ten days ago.
APPARITION TESTING AGES ALTERED
By Marie Breeding, Special Correspondent
In a startling
announcement earlier this afternoon, Wilma Reeds, the Head Apparition
Instructor, issued a statement to reporters of a recent change in Ministry of
As of this day, 21
June 1997, any witch or wizard who will be of age on or before 3 September
1997, is eligible to take the test for their Apparition license. They do not
have to wait until they turn seventeen. Another date will be set for those
still not of age by 3 September.
The new law has
encountered both support and criticism from citizens.
“I, for one, am
pleased with the Ministry lowering the age,” Christopher Littell, 47, told Daily
Prophet reporters. “Side-Along Apparition is too much of a hassle, and my
son, Robert, is seventeen in four weeks.”
“Well, I think the
law change is irresponsible,” Margaret Taylor, 62, said. “Seventeen is too
young for these kids to be able to perform magic, but now we’re going to let
them Apparate at sixteen? It’s not logical.”
approached Wilma Reeds with questions, the Head Instructor’s response was
short, yet vague.
“It is the
Ministry’s belief that sixteen is an acceptable age for Apparition,” Reeds
said. “During these times, it is especially easier on families if there are
more members who can Apparate legally. Also, the Ministry is cutting back on
the number of days they will offer Apparition testing, and so this change in
the law will hopefully help to accommodate those who are prepared to take the
For those interested
in the Apparition testing, 2 July will be the next testing date.
Below the article,
Hermione had scribbled a quick note.
Ron and I will be coming to get you so that the two of you can
pass your tests.
A grin crossed
Harry’s face as he thought of his two best friends’ differing personalities. It
was just like Hermione to find information about taking tests, even when she
was not the one being tested, and complaining about having to take the tests
was Ron in perfection. Placing the lamp and articles back on his single, small
desk, Harry left his room.
for breakfast, Harry heard the television broadcasting the morning’s news,
signalling that at least his aunt and uncle were already up.
“. . . around 2:00 a.m. this morning,” said the newscaster, a short, dark-skinned man with an obviously
fake smile. “Although no one can say what type of celebration was taking place,
many different colours were seen lighting up the sky. The largest concentration
of these lights appeared to be coming from a distant island on the North Sea, however no one can say for sure.
“In other news, a
triple homicide was discovered in the city of London yesterday. Mark Davis, a
local restaurant owner, was found in his home with his wife Sasha and
thirteen-year-old son Sean, by his brother Ryan. Police forces have revealed
that there appeared to be no sign of a forced entry, nor did any harm appear to
have been done to the Davis family. The cause of the deaths were not evident
upon either Ryan Davis or the police’s arrival at the residence, however,
investigators are awaiting the post mortem reports. Numbers of these odd deaths
have risen extensively in the past few years, completely stumping local law
enforcement as to the causes. Medical experts even theorize about a previously
undiscovered virus being the cause.
“And now, over to
Lane Warner for the weather.”
Harry tuned out the
week’s weather report, his mind still on the news about the homicide. Sean
Davis was a third-year Ravenclaw at Hogwarts, and, though his father had been a
wizard, his mother was a Muggle. Though Harry had never really talked to the
shy, blond-haired boy, he had seen Sean around the school for the past two
years, and with the boy’s death, the number of people hurt by the Second War
just continued to grow.
clicked off after Lane Warner had finished her weather report, and Harry’s
Uncle Vernon rose from the sofa and headed towards the table in the dining room,
where Aunt Petunia had bacon, eggs, and sausages already on the table for
breakfast. Just as Vernon Dursley sat down at the table, Harry entered the
kitchen, followed closely by his cousin, Dudley, who had come pounding down the
stairs and through the door.
Both Harry and Dudley
sat down at their seats, with Dudley immediately reaching for a strip of bacon.
Aunt Petunia came from the kitchen, and after she had taken her seat, the
Dursleys began their Saturday breakfast, which every one of them looked forward
to all week long.
“Eat up, Dudley,” said Aunt Petunia as she piled the eggs and sausages high on her son’s plate. “You
can’t compete well on an empty stomach.”
“Yes,” replied Uncle
Vernon, “your mother and I want to see you win today, Dudley.”
Harry had almost
forgotten about Dudley’s wrestling match that day. It was something like the
“Youngest or Oldest, Finalist, Champion or Something”. He could not remember
what exactly the title was that Dudley was competing for this time. Besides,
the specifics were not important to him. What was important was that his aunt,
uncle, and cousin would be gone for the entire day, and he would have the whole
house to himself.
“While we’re gone,
boy,” said Uncle Vernon, glaring his eyes at Harry, “you’re to stay in your
room and not mess with anything. Understand?”
muttered Harry, returning his uncle’s stare with a dead look of his own.
“And no leaving the
house or communicating with your kind.”
“And you’re not to
demonstrate anything of your abnormality.”
Uncle Vernon finally
gave up, as he continued to get no further response out of his nephew. After
the family had finished their breakfasts, Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia, and
Dudley left the kitchen and headed out towards the car. Once he had heard the
engine start and was sure that his relatives had left, Harry rose from the
table, clearing the plates as he did so. He simply laid the pile of dishes in
the sink, not bothering to clean them, and went back upstairs to his room.
The intense quiet of
the Dursleys’ house was unnerving to Harry. Usually, he could stand being alone
in his room, even enjoying it many times before. But ever since Sirius’s death
over a year ago, the silence had become nearly unbearable. The feelings had
only grown in strength after Dumbledore’s death. Harry needed noise because
without it, his mind had time to think, and when that happened, thoughts he would
rather not dwell on invaded his mind.
It almost felt like he
was constantly surrounded by a Dementor, only without the freezing cold feeling
in the blood. When he was left alone in the silence, his thoughts would drift
between being in the graveyard with Voldemort, battling Death Eaters and seeing
Sirius die at the Department of Mysteries, and watching helplessly as Snape
murdered Dumbledore. Those were thoughts he would rather avoid and so, as the
silence grew thicker in the empty house and a cool breeze blew through his open
window, Harry removed his glasses and collapsed on his bed. Having slept quite
restlessly the previous night, he shut his eyes and quickly drifted off to
opened his eyes, only to find himself sitting in an almost entirely dark room,
the only light coming from a fire burning in a grate across the room. There was
no sound in the chamber; not even a crackling noise came from the flames as
they licked the logs. It did not feel right, and Harry could tell that things
were far from okay.
stood up and, removing his wand from the back pocket of his jeans, slowly took
a couple of steps forward, moving hesitantly in the direction of the fire. It
was not until he got halfway between the fire and where he had started that
Harry noticed that he was not alone and that there was another figure in the
A single body lay
in front of the fireplace, long, flaming-red hair spread around the pale face
like a fan. The face glowed eerily as the bright orange flames flickered and
distorted the shadows. Harry momentarily froze and stared at the small body as
several thoughts entered his mind, none of them good. The body was not moving.
No, thought Harry
as his mind flashed back to a similar scene four years ago. Please, no. Dropping
his wand, he heard it clatter when it hit the stone floor as he ran the rest of
the way and collapsed beside the limp body of Ginny Weasley. No, Harry’s
mind screamed. This can’t be true! She looked like she was simply
sleeping at first, but there was no use denying the truth. Once one got close
enough to see her, the extensive damage, illuminated greatly by the burning
fire, was clear.
face was hardly recognizable as the youthful witch that Harry remembered her
by. Numerous cuts and bruises, all varying in their intensity, disfigured and
discoloured her once-gorgeous face. There were several burns on her arms and
hands, and a long, deep gash, from which was still flowing a great amount of
blood, ran along her left shoulder, the dark liquid seeping out of the wound
and staining the cold stone floor.
Harry was shaking,
and his sight began to blur as his green eyes filled with tears. He lifted his
right hand, which was shaking so badly that he felt he would not have been able
to hold anything it in, and hesitantly reached for Ginny’s wrist, the slight
hope that she was still alive burning in his heart. But before his fingers had
scraped Ginny’s skin, he knew the answer already. There was no pulse.
This wasn’t supposed
to happen, Harry thought, letting the tears finally fall from his eyes and
stream down his cheeks. You were supposed to be safe.
whispered slowly, bending down and, wrapping his arms around her, lifted
Ginny’s head from the cold stone. “Don’t be dead, Ginny. Please wake up,”
muttered Harry as he held the youngest Weasley child close to him. He knew the
plea was pointless, but he could not bear to accept the truth. Too many had
died already, but Ginny was supposed to have lived.
“She won’t wake,”
hissed another voice from the doorway. Immediately recognizing the cold, harsh
voice and familiar words, Harry jerked his head around. His emerald eyes glared
at the pale face across the room, the previous sadness immediately replaced by
the intense hatred that burned in him as he met the pair of scarlet eyes.
“She will never
wake,” said Voldemort, a grin appearing across his face. And as Harry let out
an animalistic howl of rage and intense grief, which reverberated around the
large, dark chamber, Voldemort laughed a high, cold laugh, and slowly drew his
wand from his robe, pointing its tip at the black-haired boy by the fire.
Harry jerked his eyes
open and sat up suddenly in his bed, breathing harshly as the images of Ginny’s
tortured and dead body, as well as the sounds of Voldemort’s cold laugh, slowly
receded from the forefront of his mind, thankful that it was only a dream. As
if the actual memories of what happened with Cedric, Sirius, and Dumbledore
were not bad enough, he had to keep dreaming about the deaths of those he loved
who were still alive. In just the past two weeks, this was the fifth time that
Harry had dreamed of Ginny being killed, and her appearance continued getting
more and more tragic with every dream.
Finally, his heart
beat and breathing rate slowly managed to return to normal. Knowing it was
pointless to try to get any more sleep, Harry sighed and reached for his
glasses on the bedside table. As he placed them on his face and climbed from
the bed, Harry heard the front doorbell ring, its sound echoing throughout the
empty house. He glanced at the clock on his bedside table to see that only a
couple of hours had passed since the Dursleys had left and he had fallen asleep
in his room. It was far too early for his relatives to be home, and no one else
should have been calling. All of the Dursleys’ acquaintances knew that the
family would be gone for the entire day.
The doorbell sounded
once again, and Harry, the image and thought of Voldemort and Death Eaters
still fresh in his mind, grabbed his wand from the small table next to his bed,
and cautiously approached the window and peered down at the brick walkway
below. As he caught the brief sight of a tall, redheaded boy and a brown-haired
girl, the thought of Dark wizards vanished and Harry exhaled a deep sigh of
relief. He grinned as he ran from his room and leapt down the staircase three
steps at a time. Harry swung the Dursleys’ front door wide open to let his two
best friends into the house.
“Ron, Hermione,” he
said as the two Gryffindors entered. “What are you doing here?”
“We’re here to get
you, Harry,” answered Hermione, smiling. Her brown hair was pulled back into a
simple ponytail, and she was wearing a pair of dark jeans and a light blue top.
“Ron was supposed to tell you we were coming,” she said, wrapping her arms
around Harry and pulling her friend into a hug, which Harry returned.
“I did,” said Ron,
and at the same time, Harry responded with, “He did, but his letter said in a
few days. I wasn’t expecting you both today.”
Ron responded to
Harry’s statement this time. “Well, Hermione had told me she wasn’t coming
until the fourth,” he said, shaking Harry’s hand in greeting, “but she arrived
at The Burrow today, so we decided to come early and surprise you.”
Harry grinned. “It’s
a great surprise, and you two have really excellent timing. The Dursleys are
out for the day, and they aren’t supposed to back until much later tonight.”
Harry shut the front door as the trio left the doorway.
said Ron, “we don’t need to stay here very long.” The trio of friends began
climbing the staircase to Harry’s room. “Like I said in the letter, Mum’s
really been freaked out with the latest news, and if we stay out too long,
she’ll probably go completely crazy.”
The friends reached
the top of the staircase, and Harry replied, “That’s fine. My stuff is still
pretty much packed from the end of last year; it won’t take long to throw the
rest in the trunk, and I honestly don’t want to stay in this house any longer
than is absolutely necessary.”
Harry, Ron, and
Hermione entered the bedroom, and together, they finished throwing the rest of
Harry’s clothes and books that lined the floor back into his trunk. Once they
were done packing, which only took a few minutes because Hermione decided to
use magic to speed the process up, Harry slammed the top of his trunk down.
Hermione gave her wand one final wave, and sent Harry’s trunk and Hedwig’s cage
to The Burrow in the same way that Dumbledore had done when he had come to
fetch Harry last year.
“Okay,” she said,
pocketing her wand once more, and turning to face both Harry and Ron, “I guess
we’re ready to go.” Harry, Ron, and Hermione left the small bedroom and climbed
back down the staircase. Together, the trio of friends exited Number Four,
Privet Drive, and Harry, turning his head around, took one final look back on
the house in which he had lived for over ten years of his life.
It was now around
three o’clock in the afternoon, the sun burning brightly in the summer sky, and
a cool breeze was blowing in the trees, sending the green-leaved branches
swaying. The three teenagers headed towards the end of the street, walking in
silence for a few moments. But the silence was eventually broken when Harry
turned to Hermione and asked,
“How did you two get
here if Ron doesn’t have his Apparating license yet?”
“We Flooed into
Arabella Figg’s house,” answered Ron. “Hermione didn’t want to do things the simple
way by breaking the rules and having us just Apparate to your house.” Ron
turned to stare at the seventeen-year-old witch, a grin on his face.
stopped walking and turned to glare at the tall, redheaded Weasley. “One, it’s
rude to simply Apparate into someone else’s home,” she said, placing her hands
on her hips as she spoke. “Two, I didn’t want Harry thinking we were Death
Eaters or something. And three,” she said, her voice growing in volume,
“if something had gone wrong, Ronald, you would be in a lot of trouble, and
Harry would have had to wait even longer for us to come and get him. By doing
it this way, nothing went wrong. And besides, your mother liked the idea of us
using Floo powder rather than Apparition anyway.”
When Hermione finally
finished her tirade, Ron had his hands raised in mock surrender, the grin still
on his face. It was not long before Hermione could no longer hold her own scowl
and had a smile stretching her lips as well. The grins soon turned into
laughter, and the trio of Gryffindors continued down the street towards
Arabella Figg’s house.
sound of Hermione and Ron bickering, and later laughing about it, made Harry
grin. If his friends could still argue over just about anything, it showed that
things could still be normal, and that the world had not yet slipped so far
into the heavy darkness that it was beyond saving. A simple thing like his
friends playfully fighting with each other offered the Boy Who Lived hope.
There was still a chance, and there were still reasons to fight.
Author’s Note 2: All right, the story finally
made it to Harry, and it will continue following Harry for the next couple of
chapters, at least. Thanks for reading, and I hoped you enjoyed it. Please take
the time to review and tell me what you think about this chapter, as this story
is my first on-going fan fiction piece, and I’d really like to know your
opinion. Also, stay tuned for Chapter Four: Apparition, in which Harry, Ron,
and Hermione head to the Ministry of Magic in London, where the boys will take
(and hopefully pass) their Apparition tests.