Author's Note: I hope everyone enjoys chapter one. Please Review!
Chapter One: Back to Hogwarts
The sun had risen several hours ago. Harry and his two companions watched Privet Drive carefully. Harry's emerald eyes scrutinized the front door of the house he had once lived in. He knew the Dursleys no longer resided there, in fact, Harry knew that the Dursleys were dead. Even knowing all this hadn't prepared Harry for someone else occupying the house. With a sigh Harry moved out of the shadows and approached number four.
When he reached the front door he removed his hood, not wanting to scare the current residents. His companions copied his actions as though unsure of the proper educate for the situation.
Harry knocked soundly on the door.
"Hello?" said a pleasant looking woman as she answered the door. She was pregnant, 8 months along at least. Her hair and eyes were brown and she wore a white apron over her light blue dress.
Harry smiled politely at her. As he spoke he stuttered, unsure of what to say, "Hello, you don't know me but, er, I used to live here. You see I had this secret space under the floorboards of my old room where I used to hide things, and, well… er… I was wondering if I could get what I left there?"
The women's brow furrowed. "When did you last live here?"
Harry rubbed the scar on his forehead in a nervous sort of fashion. "A little over seven years ago, I just got back from a long trip."
The woman seemed satisfied with the answer and smiled brightly at him. "Come on in!" she said excitedly.
Harry was startled at how easily she had let him into her home. He nodded his thanks and headed for the stairs, wanting to be in and out as quickly as possible. He heard the woman offer his companions tea, but they declined... they didn't know what tea was anyway.
They all followed Harry upstairs, the woman, who introduced herself as Mary, talked animatedly about the house the whole way. When Harry entered his old room he was surprised at how clean it looked. It had been set up as a guest bedroom.
Harry quickly removed the loose floorboards beside the bed and began to remove the contents. The tall figure in the green cape distracted Mary from his friend's actions, hoping she wouldn't notice the strange items Harry was removing from the floor.
Harry suddenly stopped, startled, when he found his old wand sitting benignly on top of an old school book. His wand had been in the Death Eater's hand… how it got in the floor in his room was beyond him. After a moments hesitation he slipped the thin piece of wood into his belt beside the long black wand he kept there. Then he removed a few more books, an old looking piece of blank parchment that Harry knew as the Marauder's Map, his invisibility cloak, and finally what he had missed the most of all his possessions, the photo album Hagrid had given him in his first year, filled with pictures of his parents and friends.
Harry reached back to his side and fingered the long black wand for a moment, he hesitated, before moving to the other wand that sat at his side. He pulled it back out and, muttering softly, shrunk the items with a wave of it. He was unafraid of discovery, he knew his friend was keeping Mary well distracted. The teenage boy had seen him however, and stared at him in awe, unaware that such magic was possible.
Harry replaced the floorboards and stood in one graceful movement, causing the teenager to stagger back in alarm a moment. "We should be going now. Thank you Mary for your hospitality."
As Mary silently closed the door behind them she smiled. Stretching, she walked to the fireplace at the other end of the room. On the table beside the hearth were a few ceramic nick knacks and she picked one up. Opening it, she took from inside a pinch of white powder, which she threw into the empty hearth. Green flames burst forth from nothing and she cleared her throat and called out "Albus Dumbledore!"
An old man in dark blue robes walked out of her fireplace a beat later. He wiped his half moon shaped spectacles with one of his sleeves while his light blue eyes twinkled at Mary. He raised an eyebrow in curiosity at her expression.
"He's just been here Albus. It was Harry Potter alright, he had the scar and everything." Mary said excitedly.
Albus Dumbledore couldn't help the broad smile that swept over his features. "How long has he been gone?"
In answer Mary led Dumbledore to the nearest window and pointed out to the street where three hooded figures walked down the center of the road, seemingly without a care in the world. Albus laughed lightly at the sight of them. He thanked Mary with a nod and headed outside to pursue the retreating figures.
"Lovely day, isn't it Mr. Potter." Albus Dumbledore asked in a pleasant voice from a few feet behind the three.
Harry's companions turned, startled, and stiffened. Harry didn't move, but he let out a low chuckle that rumbled pleasantly in the light breeze.
"So she was a witch… I was wondering about that." Harry finally turned, dropping his hood. The 22-year-old Harry Potter was very different from the boy Albus had seen over seven years ago. Harry was tall and muscular, though not oppressively so, more like a swimmer, or a football (soccer) player. His hair was the same, and his eyes were still that vibrant shade of emerald green but without the glasses, they also no longer held the despair and anger they had immediately after his godfather's death. He wore a single earring in his right ear, it was a sword, dangling delicately from his lobe, completely silver. Harry smiled affectionately at his former headmaster. Albus stepped forward and embraced him in a friendly hug.
When they separated Harry's companions removed their hoods. The man in the dark green cape had dark chocolate brown hair that reached a few inches below his shoulders and bright blue eyes, his smile was wide and welcoming. His frame was like Harry's, that same muscular, but not too muscular, appearance. He also wore a single silver sword earring in his right ear. The boy in the muted maroon cape looked no older than thirteen or fourteen. He had golden-blonde hair cropped short and neat above his ears and hazel eyes.
Harry stepped to an angle and gestured to his long-haired companion, "This is Sage and his apprentice" he gestured to the young blonde "Kip."
Dumbledore raised an eyebrow as he examined Sage, the man wore an amused expression, but Dumbledore felt something different about him, he felt it in Harry too. He turned his gaze toward Kip. Kip smiled sheepishly and his eyes were downcast under the scrutiny of Dumbledore's wizened eyes.
After a few moments of polite introduction the small party decided to move back to Number Four for safety reasons. Mary fed them coffee cake and tea, which neither Sage nor his apprentice tried anything until watching Harry casually eat/drink the food products. Dumbledore watched them with curiosity.
After finishing a particularly large piece of coffee cake Harry turned to his former headmaster again. "We were actually headed for Hogwarts when you intercepted us, I thought you might be willing to fill me in on what I've missed." Harry said quite casually.
Dumbledore looked at him, his expression hard to read. "I thought it would be more difficult than that to begin this conversation, I thought you were going to give me a hard time." He smiled in a sort of sad way and didn't make eye contact with Harry. "However, this is not the place to be having this conversation. Shall we move to my office?"
Harry nodded once, his expression sobered. Sage looked up at the two, eyes panicked and face covered in coffee cake crumbs. "But we just started getting comfortable here!" he whined, glancing sadly at the rest of the cake on his plate.
Dumbledore and Harry both smiled and Kip rolled his eyes. "I'll rap some up for you and you can eat it later, okay?" said Mary looking down at Sage with eyes dancing. He smiled widely and Mary packed him a hearty portion of the remaining cake.
Dumbledore led them to the living room and removed a handful of white powder from his pocket. Sage and Kip looked at it curiously as Harry backed away from Dumbledore's hand as if the harmless looking powder would mean his death.
"I think I'll apparate to the Shrieking Shack and walk from there, sir." Harry said as he backed away, bumping into the sofa.
Dumbledore laughed. "You can apparate? Well that's fine with me, I'll wait for you in my office the password is Jelly Belly." With that he turned toward the fireplace and threw in the powder. Kip jumped clean off the ground when green flames leapt into the hearth and Dumbledore stepped in and disappeared.
Harry held the knot at the base of the Whomping Willow down with his toe as Sage and Kip exited the tunnel. All three had replaced their hoods for Harry didn't want to have too much trouble getting to the headmaster's office. Kip looked questioningly at Harry as he exited the tunnel and stepped back a few paces from the tree. Harry looked over his shoulder at him.
"You might want to be a little further away from this tree when I unfreeze it Kip."
Kip's brow furrowed and he looked as though he were about to ask Harry a question when Sage placed his hand on the boys shoulder and pulled him away from the tree.
Harry let his foot slip off the knot as he dove away. He felt the limbs come to life and strike at him and felt the wind whip by as one passed just over his back. He rolled out of its reach and after a moment the tree settled again. Kip looked down at Harry, horrified. He glanced at the vast forest to his left.
"Do all the trees here attack people?" he asked.
"No Kip," said Harry following his gaze, "there are much worse things in the Dark Forest then Whomping Willows."
Harry moved passed Kip and headed for the huge castle that loomed above them. With a chuckle Sage followed and shortly after a nervous Kip joined them.
Halfway to the entrance Harry saw three people he hadn't expected to see at all, at least not for a few days. Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger and Remus Lupin were walking together toward the entrance at that very moment. They seemed to have been coming from Hagrid's. Harry took a deep breath and proceeded forward, trying not to pay much attention to them.
Hermione spotted them and whispered something to her companions who turned and looked for a moment as well. Harry nearly laughed when he saw Ron shrug and turn back as though they weren't important. Harry looked at the three from the corner of his eye, he had missed them, he knew it, but none more than Hermione. It had shocked him at first, to discover that he had feelings for one of his best friends, but over time he had come to accept his feeling and he was now fairly comfortable with them. She had certainly grown up, he mused as he watched her. She had filled out and her hair had tamed.
Harry and his friends reached the entrance just behind the others. After taking a few steps Harry heard a very familiar snide voice speak from his right.
"If it isn't the Weasel, the Mud-blood and the Werewolf." Said Draco Malfoy as he rounded on the three. Harry felt the heat of his anger boil into his face as he looked at the greasy blonde he had disliked so long ago.
"Sod off Malfoy!" Ron yelled. Remus put a hand on Ron's shoulder as Draco took a step forward.
Malfoy looked about ready to speak again when he caught sight of the three hooded figures watching him. He looked at them casually. "I don't know who you are but this doesn't concern you."
Sage took an aggressive step forward but Harry held up his hand for him to stop. Malfoy sneered momentarily, but it turned into fear and surprise when he found the black caped figure in front of him with a long, sharp sword held firmly parallel to his throat. Harry controlled his breathing as he tightened his already tight muscles and held the sword firmly in place.
"It's a warning." Sage said calmly from behind Harry, his voice soft but firm. "He's telling you to watch your mouth."
Malfoy blinked a few times as he tried to back away. Harry moved with him, pressing the blade just a little more firmly against his throat. Malfoy got the hint and moved no more.
It was at that moment when Snape rounded the corner. Instantly he had his wand raised and pointed at Harry. Before he could even mutter a curse however there was a sword at his throat as well. Sage held his sword tightly against the man's throat in his own warning.
"Stay out of it." Sage snapped at the greasy potions master.
Snape looked ready to protest but seemed to think better of it. Harry leaned in closer to Malfoy and spoke to him very quietly. No one but Malfoy heard what he said but the blonde man nodded stiffly. Harry moved the blade from his throat and sheathed it. Sage followed his actions after a moment and the two started walking away, Kip at their heels. For a moment no one pursued, but then several sets of footfalls followed them and Snape's angry voice spoke as he hastened his walk to catch them.
"Where do you think you're going?" He had his wand raised again.
"To speak to your headmaster." Sage answered when Harry didn't.
"Snape don't!" Remus cried suddenly, but it was too late. Snape was now blocking their path.
"Stupify!" he yelled pointing his wand at Harry's chest.
Harry raised his empty hands and held them out in front of him with his elbows locked. A silver mist swirled around his arms, solidifying, then striking out. It met Snape curse in the space that separated them with a loud snap. Snape's curse disappeared and Harry's spell hung there for a moment before dissolving. Snape snarled and readied himself for another attack when a similar purple energy lifted him from the ground, it clapped and snapped like electricity as it held him several inches in the air. Harry looked over his should at Sage who was attacking Snape. He held up his hand and Sage put his hands down, the energy disappeared. Snape sank to the ground and sat there looking up at the two men with a mixture of hate and awe.
The stone gargoyle beside him jumped aside and the headmaster's head peaked out from the entrance to his office. He looked from Snape to Harry to the others then back to Harry again.
"Professor Snape," Dumbledore began pleasantly. "You remember Mr. Potter." Snape's eyes widened as he looked at the figures before him. Hermione gasped but no one else made a sound.
Harry lowered his hood, smiled at Snape and moved past him to Dumbledore. Sage and Kip followed silently. Harry walked past the headmaster and headed for his office.
After the three had ascended the stairs and disappeared from sight Dumbledore looked questioningly at the four still in the hallway.
(A/N: Thank you to everyone who reviewed!
A. 247 - All will be explained, no need to worry. Thank you!
Kira6 - Here's more! Thanks!
Amy Potter 14 - I'll write as fast as I can. Thank you!
Nyoko - Thank you for the review and the compliment.
BloodRedSword - (interesting name) I hope this was soon enough. Thanks!
Kyra2 - Definitely planning to continue. No worries. Thank you.
Nitte iz - Thank you! Your compliments mean a lot because of how well you write. I can't wait for your Gh/V stories. THANKS!
CatatonicReaction - Thank you for the compliment. I hope you still like it. Thanks!
Julie jewelrannah - Thanks, I will try!)