Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by J.K. Rowling; various publishers including, but not limited to, Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books; and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
A/N: Here y'all go! The Spanish in this chapter (much like the last) is as accurate as I can make it, but it's been almost ten years since my last Spanish class, so if there are any errors, let me know. As to their translations... I think it's pretty obvious from the context of the story.
Chapter Three: The End of Summer
Upon returning to the Burrow, Molly Weasley instructed everyone to go unpack their purchases then return to the living room. Harry followed Ron up to his room to do so, and by the time that they returned to the living room, Harry realized that he was likely in for it. His mom was sitting in an armchair, looking positively livid. Mrs. Weasley had, no doubt, already informed his mom of the events at Flourish and Blots. She leveled her gaze at her son and merely said, "Explain."
Harry sighed and suddenly realized that he was really being rather silly about not telling his mom about the visit from Dobby… "Hay más ocurre que sólo me enfado, Mom. ¿Puede hablamos en privado, por favor?"
Aurilia, still extremely upset about the severe lack of judgment her son had displayed at the bookshop, was also curious at this point. She hoped that Harry had a good explanation for his – according to Molly – reprehensible behavior, and the fact that he seemed unwilling to discuss it in front of others, along with the strange events she'd been told about concerning the previous events at Hogwarts, convinced her to hold her temper for the moment. "¿Qué pasó, luz?"
Harry let out a breath he didn't know he was holding. His mom had called him 'luz,' something she didn't do if she was hell-bent on being angry with him. "Más que podo decir, y sin duda más que sé… Algo muy extraño. Mom ¿por favor, puede hablamos en privado?"
Aurilia nodded and turned to Molly. "Is there somewhere I could speak with Harry in private, Molly?"
Mrs. Weasley nodded, "Of course, Aurilia. Feel free to use the kitchen. It's right through there," she pointed towards the door, "though I dare say Harry could show you."
While his mom asked her question of Molly, Harry caught Percy's eye and motioned with his head for the older boy to follow him. Ron didn't seem to notice when Percy stealthily disappeared into the kitchen, but, then again, Ron wasn't the most observant of people… Harry was startled out of his musings mere seconds later by his mom's hand on his shoulder. "Come along, then, Harry."
Harry nodded and led his mom to the Weasley's kitchen. Percy had taken it on himself to heat some water for tea. "Mom, I trust you remember Percy?"
Percy nodded a greeting to Aurilia while Harry took it upon himself to set the strongest silencing charms he knew around the kitchen – since he was not only classified as an American citizen, but his mother was there, as well, he didn't have to bow to the underage magic laws which governed Britain. "Harry?" Percy asked.
"Don't worry 'bout it, Perce. I actually want you to know what's goin' on, too. Don't think it ain't escaped my attention that you've got the highest marks in your grade. Iffen Hermione were here, I'd have her sit in, too, but since she ain't, I guess I'll hafta talk to her when we get to school."
Harry shook his head, "Never mind. Just keep your ears open for right now." With that, Harry launched into telling them about his visit from Dobby on his birthday, and then told his mom about his fit of temper against the elder Malfoy.
When he finished, Aurilia sighed. "What can I do about any of this, though? I'm not… special… like you."
Harry quirked an eyebrow at his mom. "Mom? Yeah, you are. Don't you remember them wards around the home-place? An' the Book… Not to mention y'all c'n talk to Remus and Sirius, see what they come up with. I know we don't know all that much, but, I'm sure we can do something. Talk to Grandma, too. She might have somethin' that'll be helpful…"
Percy was thoughtful, not an unknown state for him to be in. "Harry?"
"Just why did you want me to know all this?"
"'Cause I trust you, an' Ginny's your sister. I can't trust Fred and George not to make a joke out of this, an' Ron's just… I guess I mean, Ron's only a second-year, like me. You know more magic than we do…"
"Why not just speak with the headmaster?" Percy asked. "This plot obviously is, as you said, intended to bring harm to Hogwarts and its students."
"I know, I probably should, but… I just don't know iffen I c'n trust him to make use of the information. 'Sides, Sirius and Remus did talk to him, but he ain't got back ta me 'bout any of it."
Percy looked shocked, "But, Harry, he's the headmaster of Hogwarts! Surely, he'd have to take any threat to the school seriously."
Harry shook his head, "Perce, you were there in June. You saw Voldemort stickin' out the back of Quirrell's head. If Dumbledore really were as all-knowing as he likes us ta think, wouldn't he've noticed that before hirin' him? I realize Dumbledore means well, but, for all that y'all – the wizarding world, I mean – wanna think he's infallible, he ain't. He's still human, an' makes mistakes. He's claimed that there ain't no place safer than Hogwarts, but Voldemort still found a way in."
"And you think you can do better?" Percy sounded skeptical.
Harry shrugged, "Mayhap so, mayhap not. An' I do plan on tellin' Dumbledore 'bout this when we get to school, but… I dunno… I've got this weird feelin' that, whatever's goin' on, it won't matter none what I tell the headmaster. It's gonna be like last year, me versus whatever that diary holds."
"I'll discuss this with Sirius and Remus, Harry." Aurilia said. She didn't have as high of an opinion of the headmaster as her son, and couldn't trust the man as far as she could throw him. "Little Bird, too, if you're not against it, and I'll also talk with A.J.'s Nana."
"I still don't quite know why you wanted me to know, though." Percy finished his cup of tea.
"Well… Like I said, you're smart. You know more practical magic than I do. I'll get that damn diary from Ginny's things, an' we'll both take a look at it. 'Sides, didn't you wanna do somethin' with those hairs I got from Malfoy?"
Percy grinned, "Yeah, I do. Mrs. Brewer?"
"All right, Aurilia. Could you perchance get me a piece of cedar wood?" he gave her the dimensions of the piece he needed. "I'd prefer it come from your land, what I've got in mind will work better that way."
"And just what do you have in mind, Percy?" Aurilia asked, noting the size of the wood he needed on a small notepad she kept in her purse.
"I figure I'll be able to make another clock, only this one might help us figure out what's going on. Since your land recognizes Harry as a rightful resident, so will any of the trees on the land. Using wood from your land will help facilitate what I've in mind…"
Aurilia, who was no slouch in deducing things herself, smiled a little. "I think I get it, Percy. I'll make sure you get the wood by the end of the week. I'm sure there's a tree or two that could stand some thinning… Hmm… I may as well have the rest of the wood from that tree go to a good use… I think my closet could use some new paneling…"
"Thank you, Aurilia."
"Yeah, thanks, Mom."
Aurilia merely shook her head. "Don't worry about it, either of you." She sighed and shot a meaningful look at her son, "And as to you, young man, I trust you're going to keep a tighter leash on that temper? You said nothing, I notice, about that Logharf fellow."
"Lockhart," Harry corrected.
"Whatever," Aurilia replied.
"He grabbed me, Mom, right out of line, like it was his right, or somethin'!"
"Don't let it happen again." In light of the rest of their conversation, Aurilia had decided to go easy on Harry – the kid really had too much else to be worrying about at that moment in time for her to want to add more.
"I promise, Mom, it won't."
"Good," she leaned down and hugged Harry. "I ought to be getting on home, luz. I'll keep you posted with what I find out."
"Me, too. See ya later." Aurilia gave her son a kiss on the top of his head before Harry opened the floo for her to go home.
When Percy and Harry returned to the living room, only Molly and Arthur were present. They both had expectant looks on their faces. Harry took a deep breath and began apologizing about losing his temper. When Molly asked him what sort of punishment Aurilia has imposed on Harry, he replied honestly, "Well… Mom made me promise it wouldn't happen again… Mrs. Weasley… He just up an' grabbed me! I didn't know who he was, other than some famous writer or somethin'!" Molly still looked skeptical. Harry sighed and took out his wand and held it tightly. "If I'm lyin' may my magic leave me," a light gold light left the tip of his wand, circled him three times, and sank into his chest. Putting his wand away, he asked, "Does that help?"
"Very well, Harry." Molly was looking less perturbed. "It won't happen again?"
"Go on up to Ron's room. We still need to talk to Percy."
Harry nodded and hurried up the stairs after casting an apologetic glance to Percy. Percy just shrugged as though to say, 'Don't worry. I won't let anything slip you don't want them to know.'
True to Aurilia's word, Percy received his piece of cedar wood a couple of days later. He, like Harry, had miraculously escaped any punishment by giving his word that he wouldn't act as rashly in the future. Percy packed the piece of wood into his trunk and told Harry that they'd best wait until they arrived at Hogwarts before working on it, as many of the spells involved would need to be adjusted before what he had in mind would work. Harry agreed, but only because he didn't want Ron or the twins to find out what they were working on. He didn't know if he could count on them to act maturely about the entire situation or not.
The end of summer vacation came too quickly for Harry's liking, but he was looking forward to getting back to Hogwarts – if only to see if he could put an end to whatever nefarious plot had been set in motion. Obtaining the diary from Ginny had been relatively simple. The night before they were to leave for the Hogwarts Express, Harry hurriedly stashed his things into his trunk and went down to Ginny's room. He knocked and heard a faint, "Come in."
"Ev'nin', Ginny. Want any help? I'm already packed."
"Oh, hallo, Harry. Yeah, I think I could use some help," she gestured around her at the stacks of clothes and books and other miscellaneous whatnot. "I don't see how my brothers can take everything they do with them… the trunks just aren't big enough!"
Harry snickered. "Ya know, ya learn shrinkin' charms right before the end of first year, so that's prob'ly how. Iffen ya know what ya won't be needin' durin' the summer, ya can shrink it down an' have more space for when ya pack to go back."
"Makes sense. But, I still don't know what to leave behind…"
Harry started looking through the piles of assorted things. "Well, to start with, ya wanna make sure you've got all the stuff ya need all packed. So, set your uniforms and the other stuff on your list to one side. I'll start puttin' things in your trunk for ya."
While Ginny started separating her clothes into a pile of uniforms and a pile of casual wear, Harry set to putting her schoolbooks in her trunk, making sure to pocket the diary when he came across it. Once Ginny had gotten all her clothes separated and her uniforms packed in the trunk, Harry took a look at the remaining piles of stuff. "Now, Ginny, ya don't really need all that much in the way of extra clothes. We're only allowed to wear casual stuff on the weekends, so you should only need a couple of shirts and jeans. It prob'ly wouldn't hurt to take a sweater or two, the dungeons are damn cold in the winter."
Ginny looked a little daunted, "How do I decide what to take?"
Harry shrugged, "Pick your favorites. That's what I did, but then again, I also have a magic trunk – it holds a lot more than yours. You'll also wanna take somethin' to do in your spare time, but you don't need ta take all those games. The common room has a whole cupboard full of games an' puzzles."
"You're assuming I get sorted into Gryffindor." Ginny looked more anxious at that than at packing her trunk.
Harry smiled a little, "Ya know, I've got it on good authority that you'll get sorted based on your personality. From what I know of you, I don't think you'll go into Hufflepuff – you ain't as clueless as they tend ta be. You won't go into Ravenclaw, neither. I haven't seen ya readin' any more than me or Ron, an' ya just don't seem the type to like learnin' just for learnin's sake. An you're just too nice for Slytherin, so, yeah. I'm pretty sure ya will go to Gryffindor."
Ginny still didn't look convinced. "But, what if…"
Harry snorted, "Don't worry 'bout it. If you really wanna go to a particular house, the hat'll listen to ya. You may hafta argue with it, but it'll see reason."
"How they sort ev'ryone."
"But… how do you know that arguing with it will do any good?"
Harry smirked a little. "'Cause I did. Damn thing wanted to put me in Slytherin."
Ginny looked alarmed. "Slytherin?"
Harry shrugged, "I prob'ly wouldn't've argued with it iffen I hadn't met Draco Malfoy already. He's an idiot of the highest order. Their head of house, Professor Snape, ain't too bad a guy, once ya get ta know him a li'l. He likes to put on a show of bein' this badass, but… I can sorta see why. He teaches Potions," Ginny looked more alarmed than she had thus far. "Don't worry 'bout him none. He has ta be a little… standoffish. Like I said, he teaches Potions, an' that particular class can get really nasty if people don't pay attention to what they're doin'. Addin' the wrong ingredient at the wrong time can make things literally explode, so, yeah. I can see how he wants folks to be a little scared of him. Makes them pay attention to what they're doin' in class."
Ginny seemed to realize at that moment that her brothers likely had done something – specifically Ron and the twins – during class that would have been detrimental to their relationship with that particular teacher. "What about the other teachers?" she asked, knowing that having another point of view would help.
"Well, there's Flitwick. He teaches Charms. He's pretty easy-goin', I don't think he assigned anyone a detention last year. He's head of Ravenclaw. Hmm… I just realized somethin'."
"Well, since he's head of Ravenclaw, he'd likely be the best to ask about homework trouble. He'd probably point you out to someone in Ravenclaw that can tutor you iffen you're really havin' trouble with somethin'. Sprout teaches Herbology, an' she's head of Hufflepuff. She's not too bad, either, just a little scatterbrained at times, or so I think. I never really had any trouble with her – I've done a lot of gardening with my mom, an' takin' care of magical plants ain't all that different from takin' care of normal ones. However, when you end up in Gryffindor, iffen y'all find ya having issues with her class, just talk to Neville Longbottom. He really likes the class, an' got the highest score outta all the first years last year."
"What about the head of Gryffindor?"
"McGonagall?" Harry shrugged, "She's kinda strict, but I've got the impression that she's really a big softie once ya get past her shell."
Ginny smiled, obviously more at-ease than she'd been previously. They quickly finished packing her trunk and headed down to dinner. Mrs. Weasley had outdone herself, and Harry realized about halfway through the meal that she and his mom were obviously trading recipes; the meatloaf was almost identical to his mom's. After dinner, the twins let off a bunch of wizarding fireworks that bounced around the kitchen for a good thirty minutes before everyone was treated to one last mug of hot chocolate and sent to bed.
The next morning was more than a little chaotic. Mrs. Weasley was dashing hither and yon looking for spare socks and quills; people kept colliding on the stairs, half-dressed with pieces of toast in their hands; and Mr. Weasley nearly broke his neck tripping over a chicken as he crossed the yard, carrying Ginny's trunk to the car. Harry, upon seeing the Ford Anglia that belonged to the Weasley family, was at a loss to understand how eight people, let alone their luggage, were going to be able to fit into the tiny car. He was helping Arthur pack their luggage into the trunk when he noticed that it seemed to be a lot bigger on the inside than it should.
"Not a word to Molly," he whispered to Harry.
"Of course, Mr. Weasley," Harry replied, grinning.
When at last they were all in the car, Mrs. Weasley glanced into the back seat where Harry, Ron, Fred, George, and Percy were all sitting comfortably. "Muggles do know more than we give them credit for, don't they?" She and Ginny got into the front seat, seat, which had been stretched so that it resembled a park bench. "I mean, you'd never know it was this roomy from the outside, would you?"
Mr. Weasley started up the engine and they trundled out of the yard, Harry turning back for one last look at the house. He barely had time to wonder when he'd get to visit again when they were back. George had forgotten his box of Filibuster Fireworks. Five minutes after that, they skidded to a halt in the yard so that Fred could run in for his broomstick. By the time they were well and truly ready to head out, they were running very late. Mr. Weasley glanced at his watch, then at his wife. "Molly, dear – "
"No one would see; this little button here is an Invisibility Booster I installed. That one will get us up in the air, then we could fly above the clouds. We'd be there in ten minutes and no one would be any the wiser –"
"I said no, Arthur, not in broad daylight."
Harry made a mental note of their conversation and resolved to look into the charms and spells Arthur had to have used on his car. An invisibility booster on his plane would be really cool… Not to mention that he wasn't at all sure that the Anglia ran on ordinary gas… He knew they drove for quite a while and the gas-gauge on the dash hadn't moved at all.
A/N2: Harry's band is mostly going to be doing covers of the old rock'n'roll songs, but they will also have a handful of original music - I think I've an alternative rock, a country, and a hard rock song written up - so, if that makes any difference on potential names, there ya go.