Not mine. Just toying…

Back "home"

Once Harry got in uncle Vernon's car he knew he was on his way to Privet Drive. Although Harry never called Privet Drive home, and never would, he was for all purposes and intents on his way home. Sighing Harry dropped all pretence and sagged into the seat. Too exhausted to hold the concealment charms, for the benefit of his friends, it expired at its own accord revealing the real Harry.

Yes indeed, just Harry, not The-Boy-Who-Lived, Not Harry Potter, not the youngest seeker in a hundred years, not the saviour of the philosophers stone, not the basilisk slayer, not the one to produce a patronus charm in third year, not the winner of some tri wizard contest (Rather quartet in its place of tri), not the five time facer of Tom Marvolo Riddle and most certainly not Atlas with the world on his paltry (That is how he feels.) shoulders. No just Harry.

Up to now uncle Vernon have not made any attempt to make conversation, which he never did in any way, but there was something that Harry did not realize. Next to Harry sat someone with a lot on his mind.

He has changed a lot in the last year. Look at the bags below his eyes, that haunted look, Eyes darting left and right. While swearing at another driver he thought to himself. What does it matter anyway? One more year and I will kick him out for what he is. But still in the back of his mind he knew a lot has happened to his nephew. The letter from the head master was still fresh in his mind and the warning he received moments ago had a weight on his mind he was not comfortable with.

The letter:

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Dursley's

I am writing you a letter in which I am pleading the case of Mr. Potter.

Because off events beyond my control, or anyone else's for that matter, I would like to inform you of some of the things Harry had to go through in his five years at Hogwarts and the week before he went to live with you.

I believe you have heard of a man by the name of Voldemort or better known as Lord Voldemort, the most powerful and evil wizard to walk the earth. He remembers his lovely wives gasp at the word, she did not know much but she remembers the evil that plagued the world and killed her sister. But that was not the problem he had with it, the problem was that it was this Voldemort fault that he had to take care of his nephew. The same night of the death of Lily and James, Voldemort tried to kill Harry but failed and destroyed himself and left Harry with the lightning scar on his forehead. It was then believed that Voldemort was dead but unfortunately proved to be wrong.

This was the first time that Harry had to face evil on his own at the tender age of one and the first time that Harry saved the world. After this Harry became known as the-boy-who-lived and apart of that he is one of only two people who can claim to live after an encounter with Voldemort and as you will see he has had quite enough for his age. Up to this point it was nothing significant and could just mean how pathetic all those freaks are. He then remembered some of the things his wife had told him that her sister did and that froze that train of thought to death. And swallowing down a sand paper throat is an uncomfortable experience for anyone

The letter went on

In the first year Harry faced what was left of the dark lord in the form of a professor by the name of Quirel. Killing Quirel, Harry saved the world for the interim as Voldemort was defeated but not dead. This bought us in effect three years of preparation time. Which I am sad to say we did not put to good use. How could this bag of bones have done this? He is only a boy and that time he was still a kid.

The second year Harry faced Voldemort again however as a memory with a lot of help in the form of a basilisk. I have inserted a drawing as well. He could still see the drawing of that monster and gave a shudder at the thought. in the castle there is a chamber by the name of the Chamber Of Secrets a remnant of one of the creators of the school. A fellow student happened on a diary enchanted by Voldemort, at the time known as Tom Marvolo Riddle. The function of this diary was to ultimately take over the body of anyone who dares to capture their memoirs therein. Unfortunately someone did capture their thoughts in this diary and was nearly possessed was it not once again for Harry. This was the third time Harry had to face Voldemort alone. Bloody hell

Harry's third year was plagued fortunately not by Voldemort himself but one of his followers. Harry survived once again. The death eater in question got away and is still unaccounted for.

In Harry's fourth year at Hogwarts Harry was faced with the difficult tasks laid out in the Triwizard Championship. Here he had to face a dragon single-handedly as well as other tasks. When he took the cup with a fellow student, the cup took them to the grave yard where Voldemort father is buried. Here the fellow student by the name of Cedric Diggory was killed by one of the followers of Voldemort. Harry had to once again face Voldemort in a one on one battle. He survived and brought the body of the fellow student back. This boy must be powerful to be able to do these things.

This year is sad to say no exception. Not only did he have to face the minions of this Voldemort but also Voldemort himself once again, until I showed up. As you will have concluded I am the only other person to survive a direct confrontation with Voldemort. And that was once; Harry on the other hand survived five encounters. Now once can be called luck, five, well five defies the logic behind luck.

In the year past Harry had to deal with a loss that I believe he will have a great deal of difficulty accepting. He believes that he is responsible for that death as well as all the other deaths caused by Voldemort. There is a prophecy which I can not discuss with you in which it is said that only Harry can rid the world of Voldemort.

My reason for writing you this letter is not to scare you. No, I guarantee you that it is not my intent to scare anyone but to warn you. As by now you must have deducted the weight of the world truly rests on the shoulders of your nephew. He may seem frail to you but do not mistake him for being just that. He is as tough as nails. There is more to Harry than just his magical ability but it is still beyond me.

With this said I believe I have given fair warning. The mental status Harry is currently experiencing is not to be tampered with. He is currently unstable to say the least and is dealing with regret, loss, denial and guilt that is enough to kill anyone else. Considering the amount of protection that Harry and your family experiences at Privet Drive he will have to go there this holiday as well .There is one difference though. HE WILL BE STAYING THE WHOLE SCHOOL HOLIDAY. On the day before the train departs to Hogwarts an arrangement shall be made to pick him up for his school requirements. On the day of his departure by train you will take Harry to the station.

My last warning for now is that because of the connection Harry has with the Voldemort he bears witness to the deeds of Voldemort. This is usually associated with a pain in his scar. If this happens in your presence please draw lines through the word HELP at the end of the page. This is as much for you as anyone else in the world for that matter. I will send Fawkes immediately as he is faster, and come myself as shortly.

What is this protection that he mentions? I have heard of it before. Why do I have to put up with this? A magnificent bird, Fawkes. That song, so beautiful.

Please keep him busy, as this will divert his mind to other things than his past and future.

Please do not share this letter with Harry.

Thanking you in advance

Yours truly,

Albus Dumbledore


Thinking back at the letter Vernon could still not believe that the boy sitting next to him could have faced the tasks mentioned in the letter alone at the tender age of fifteen going sixteen and he could not help but think of what was not mentioned. If it was not for the bird delivering the letter and waiting for them to read it he would have said a friend must have written it. Although it was hard to admit he could still remember the little things that happened around Harry that the boy did not even realize. That night he could still remember the conversation with his wife as clearly as the letter itself. They did not mention magic or anything related under their roof but that night was an exception. It was not easy but they acknowledged and accepted the boy's fate as well as their own. This was a big step. He still had the memory of his wife gasping at the name Voldemort. In the end he resorted to "That Thing". This seemed to put his wife at a little ease, so he left it there. Little did he know that in his pity for his wife he gave the Dark Lord a name that would be feared in his world – which he saw as the only real and natural world. He did not think that what he just did was exactly as it happened in the magical world. For him it was natural to protect his wife but he created a chimera that would haunt him.

If only he knew - who does?

Driving always relaxed Harry and in uncle Vernon's new luxury sedan this trip was no exception. His uncle had nothing to say and he was just staring out the window, or rather so he thought.

The best way to describe Harry was "innocence lost". While only fifteen years of age he had experienced more than most adults could lay claim to and would never be able to, and some things that others can only take credit for in death.

Thoughts of the-boy-who-lived started to rise and with that thought there was always a bitter taste in his mouth threatening to choke him. This was because of whom he was, the role he had to play. In many ways he saw this as a game of chess. Currently Dumbledore was the player on the one side as well as the king. He was making the plans and doing everything, Harry was the queen however not always moving according to the wishes of the player. He knew that the role he would have to play in the end would be difficult and most dangerous which was definitely nothing new. But he was not ready to accept that not even to mention accepting the responsibility.

"Boy I want no trouble with you this summer. You will work in the yard paint the fence and the roof. I am expecting you to weed the garden and solve the rat problem we are experiencing. I bought the poison. It is in the shed." This sudden talking brought Harry out of his reverie. It was the closest it descent his uncle have ever talked to him. Mouthing a "Yes uncle Vernon", Harry continued staring out the window. His uncle was not finished however. "When we get home I will allow you to take your trunk to your room as long as one your door remains closed, two there are no strange noises emanating from your room and three you perform your chores with not as much as a word back. The moment any one of these requirements is not met I will lock everything up where I see fit and that includes you. Do I make myself clear?"

Harry truly not expecting this would have fallen of his chair if he was not sitting on a seat with a safety belt securing him. Turning slowly to his less than favourite and only known uncle he simply said "Yes of course uncle Vernon and thank you." If it was not for the events of the past year Harry would have been much more than just ecstatic about the whole affair. To him right now it was a matter of whatever. His uncle was just thinking to himself So much maturity in less than a year, it must have been terrible. If he had only an idea of how terrible it still is.

They did not speak again until they were at home.

Turning into the driveway he was told to wash the car after unpacking. Uncle Vernon had an important meeting early in the morning and as he fetched Harry he did not have time to take the car for a wash. Harry merely replied "Yes sir" and that was basically settled.

Leaving Harry to unpack his trunk and stuff by himself uncle Vernon went into the house and almost shouted "Do not scratch the car and take your stuff through the back." This time his uncle did not receive a reply, not that it would make a difference, as he closed and locked the front door.

Harry unpacked all of his stuff with great care. After closing the doors he picked all his worldly positions, rather so it felt, and started for the door. He greeted his aunt as he entered the kitchen and was answered with an "humph" which was more that could hope for as he was never acknowledged. However he failed to register this grunt.

Walking into his room he noticed Fawkes perching on the back of his chair, softly murmuring his songbird. This would lift the spirit of a corpse but Harry merely started scratching the head of the magnificent bird and at first ignoring the unopened the letter.

Fawkes for his part just bowed his head and softly sang in harmony although he felt a pang of wretchedness as his song was not helping anywhat. After a few moments of this Fawkes lifted his leg clawing the letter.

Sighing Harry took the letter and grudgingly opened said letter.

The letter read:


I hope this reached you in good health. I have one thing to ask you and one thing to tell you. Please favour me with a reply, Fawkes will be waiting for it. Professor Dumbledore straight to the point, he must be really busy. Harry thought sarcastically.

As Sirius have left everything to you, including Grimmauld place .Will it be possible to keep using it as a HQ? I have already gone through the liberty of reinstating all the security and necessary precautions. Everything will only be official once Sirius is proven innocent but for all intents and purposes it is yours.

Next, you will have to stay the entire holiday at Privet Drive. The threat is worse than it was and you will need all the protection you can get. Whatever you do, do not leave the yard without a family member. "They are not my family"

Your headmaster, "What a very eloquent aide memoirs. Makes me sick." Harry said to himself.

Albus Dumbledore

Not wasting time to look for a piece of parchment he got a pen and simply wrote back below the original message:

Professor Dumbledore,

Of course and of course. Guess you know best. I humbly wish it does not explode in my, face again.

Your student and tool "Let me remind you as well."


Fawkes for his part sadly looked at Harry and thought to himself If only you knew? A pearly tear ran down the sad face of the bird. Rubbing the tear back into the plumage of the bird Harry sighed the words "Don't waste that, we are going to need it."

Giving the letter to Fawkes and giving him a last pat Fawkes was flying towards the window only to explode softly after 2 meters and disappear.

After dumping all his stuff on the floor of his room, Harry closed the door and went to wash the car.

This did not take as long as he originally anticipated and he decided to do something about the rats immediately as he saw the devastation they were causing. Where he found the rat poison is where he found the rats as well.

Going back into the house he ate, washed the dishes and was off to bed.

There was at least one good thing and that was that Dudley was having tea at one of his friends. That his guardians were so gullible was beyond him but he had darker things to think about than that.

That night Harry did not sleep either. Sirius, which was still a raw wound tearing him slowly from the inside, asking "Why Harry why?" The death of Cedric resurfaced, although it was never forgotten. This in turn brought the dooming thoughts of what could have happened at the ministry. He could have lost his friends.

But he did not remind himself that they were there by their own choice. It was not easy. All the memories always tried to remind him at the same time, his friends and the rest of the DA team that could have been killed. And being honest with himself he said to himself but out loud "They should have been dead, all of us. " He did not try to remind himself that he have taught them in the room of requirement and in effect given himself a willing tool to use against "Voldemort", Out loud again. no I was at fault, I should have known better, they could have died.

He have taught them well, if that thought could just resurface he would have seen that it was more than luck that they were alive, together they had more skill with limited knowledge than a couple of death eaters dumped together. His mind was a cacophony of emotions writhing his insides, guilt was the killer though. The assurance of Professor Dumbledore did not make it a bit easier. Neville's new grasp of situations he did not even realize or acknowledge. It was his entire fault but the good he failed to recognize. He did not see the self confidence that was installed in any of them, his doing, they wanted that but at the end of the day he taught them. He did not remember the lesson "A good teacher becomes progressively unnecessary". If he was a bad teacher the group would be half dead after they split up.

The death eaters did not expect what they got but they were still powerful wizards and for that alone they should not have faltered.

I don't want this; I did not ask for this, I want to be a normal boy coming home from school to find loving parents, enough food on the table to eat my fill, someone to hold when I want to cry or simply out of happiness. Happiness, nothing more than memory. The happy moments he experienced he treasures. The few he had and they are all short lived. Normal, The boy who lived would never be normal and he knew that but he did not want to accept that. Denial was the only thing that made sense to Harry and it was all happening sub consciously as well as actively. Sirius…

The following morning Harry was woken, not that he slept, with the chickens to prepare breakfast. He rarely slept so his aunt thought he was being troubled, which caused her to smile, but to Harry it was simply a matter of choosing your frustration and preparing breakfast was much easier than thinking of the death, responsibility and other things. At least he could ensure that he had a better portion for breakfast, so all in all he did not complain.

After everyone completed their breakfast he cleaned the dishes and started with the painting of the shed and the garden.

In the evenings he worked on his essays that he had for summer homework. He did not notice that he was writing the essays three and four times as long as was requested. And that was not scary as he became used to working very hard in the last couple of months at school. What was scary was that he was writing the essays eighty percent out of his memory and only had to look in a book to get the spelling of a strange word or spell correct. If Hermoine saw this even she would gasp and cover her mouth in an all too familiar way and she has seen a lot. Ron would just say out loud "Bloody Hell mate, Do you realize what you are doing?" Late in the night Harry would go to bed as a formality and nothing more.

This would go on for the next almost two weeks until Hedgewig became sick in the start of the second week. This puzzled Harry and he had to feed Hedgewig with bacon he scavenged while preparing breakfast. Saturday morning she was worse. He could do nothing until Hermoine or Ron sent him a letter. Hermoine never really wrote and he supposed that Ron was helping with something at Grimmauld place for not writing. He did not question this. Maybe it is professor Dumbledore doing again. the post owls basically dumped their charge and left faster than they came.

After making breakfast and washing the dishes the Dursley's left Harry to his own devices so he went to his room. Giving Hedgewig a once over and a pat on the head. He knew it was bad. He in turn only received a once over himself. "Old girl I should clean your cage you know. Then I will make a plan to get you to a vet." "I promise." His resolve set he helped her out onto his desk. As he placed her down she immediately lay flat.

He went back to the cage and separated the top from the bottom. Leaving the cage part on the floor he turned his attention, what was left of it in anyway, to the base. Quickly all his attention was directed at what he saw.

The next few things happened faster that Harry would remember and later he would be able to collect all the details to the letter, act, thought.

What Harry saw in the bottom of the cage was under normal circumstances strange but still normal considering Hedgewig. Something so trifle that it is normal even worse – expected.

"A Rat"