Without losing a piece of me,

How do I get to heaven?

- Troye Sivan, "Heaven (ft. Betty Who)"

"Thank you for believing in me until I had the strength to do it for myself." A smile. A flash in the darkness. "You're welcome."

Harry wakes up in his bedroom at 7:01 a.m. It's morning. The dorm room is quiet. Usually, Harry would be up by now, frying eggs and sausages for the Durleys' usual breakfast, but not today. Today, he is wrapped up in a Gryffindor red duvet and several sheets. He has nothing to do today. It's still the winter hols. Harry and the other boys will have a few more days of rest before school starts again.

Harry rubs some of the sleep out of his eyes. He is still groggy from his dream. A voice, and a smile ... ? The more he thinks about it, the less and less Harry remembers of his dream. Oh, well, Harry thinks to himself.

On his bedside table is the book that he found in the library last night. It's old and dusty and, by the looks of it, nobody had cared for this poor old book in quite some time, but the cover is adorned with metal leaves caught in the cusp of a meandering autumn, and in the light of day, they appear bronze. Unable to help himself, Harry takes the book off his bedside table and settles down to read.

Blood red ink. Page after page of alchemic diagrams dictating how to summon fire out of thin air. Some of the more gut-churning stuff makes Harry turn the page more quickly than he would've liked, for the book creaked ominously. It sounded like it was a breath away from falling apart. Harry was fascinated. It was like discovering the magical world all over again. He hardly even noticed when the other boys started to wake up and Ron came over to his side of the room to tell him it was time for breakfast. Hermione would be waiting for them in the Great Hall.