Yeah...I know...It has been a really long time...

But hey...I didn't stop writing...

Oh...And I am reeeeeeeeaaaaaally looking for a beta...please?!


Chapter 7

A darker world


Dear Professor Dumbledore,

at first I hope you are doing well and you're facing no problems so far. -

No...No... She wanted to make her point clear. For formalities this was the wrong letter. Linda crumbled the parchment and threw it into the paper bin. She took another piece.

Dear Professeor Dumbledore,

for your information, I will keep Harry by my side and I so do not care about your view on this. Harry will stay with me and this will be my last word.

Maybe too informal... She crumbled the parchment infront of her again and reached for the next piece.

Dear Professeor Dumbledore,

I'm sorry to inform you like this, but I will be ignoring your opinion on Harry leaving and going back to his aunt and uncle.

(That sounded quite good...)

It would be an act against my conscience to let him stay in this opposing enviroment his relatives have created. He does not – and no child should ever – deserve this inhuman and emotional threatening treatment Harry had received these past five years.

I hope you understand that I won't abonden him in any kind of way and from now on will care for him as if he was my own flesh and blood.

Sincerely

Linda Hawthorn

"This should be enough...", mutterted Linda and folded the parchment neatly to slip it into the envelope. She had never been good with words, Cassie was the one who could twist and turn them for her own benefit, counter and refute them. It still puzzled Linda, that her best friend didn't join the Magical Law Department and started a lawyer carrier.

Linda's gaze shifted to the clock under the kitchen window. It was already way past ten o'clock and tomorrow would be a long day fo her. Getting up at half past five to prepare her notes and translations for Mr MacDonald, getting breakfast ready, then wake up Harry and walk him to school, apparate from the public convenience two streets further to the wizard part of Aberdeen and work the next eight hours straight through. After that she would pick up Harry from school, take him home, help him with (or rather force him to do) his homework, make supper, play a little with him, tuck him in, chase him from time to time back to bed, when he was pretending to not be tired, then she would overlook her translations, drink a nice, strong cup of tea and head to bed not soon after. Three days a week the same routine. Also Linda worked at a bookshop in Muggle Aberdeen on Tuesday and Thursday; the weekends were reserved for Harry. She had underestimated the burden she had brought on herself and feeled even more humble for her mother, who handled five children and a troubling husband at once.

She yawned. Maybe she should got to bed. Working now would be pointless, she couldn't even keep her eyes open without rubbing them constantly.

Stiffling another yaw, Linda rose from her chair and staggered over to her bedroom door. Just then the doorbell rang. Linda squeaked, instantly clapping her hands over her mouth.

"In the name of Helga!" Brushing her hair aside, she walked to the door to peek through the spyhole. "What the hell..." Quickly she unlocked the door and opened it. "Cassie? Dana?"

Right there in front of her doorstep stood Cassie, a small handbag in her hand, with Dana, whose small suitcase stood in front of her feet.

Dana had been in the same year as Linda, but shared the same house as Cassie. As far as Linda knew, she worked now as an Unspeakable at the Ministry of Magic. The last time they had seen each other had been last summer, before Linda and Cassie had met Harry.

"What on earth are you doing here?"

"What a nice welcome you offer...", pouted Cassie playfully. "After not seeing each other for almost half a year...!" Theatrical she layed her hand over her heart. Dana beside her giggled.

"No...No!...I-I am glad to see you two...but...in the middle of the night?! A-And shouldn't you be in Ireland?!" She pointed at Cassie. "A-And you?! Dana, I thought you started your apprenticeship at the Ministry?!"

"We both took a day off to visit you!", stated Dana as she rubbed her hands. "And can we come in? - It's really cold..."

"O-O-Ofcourse!" Linda stepped aside. But as she closed the door behind them, Linda froze. "Y-You are staying over the weekend?"

Cassie gave her the ofcourse-you-dim-Hufflepuff-what-took-you-so-long-to-notice gaze. Nervous, Linda swallowed. "But..."

"You have a spare room, don't ya? - Dana and I brought both our futons with us." Linda swallowed again. It was no use. She had to tell them. "Cassie...The second bedroom isn't vacate..."

"You gotta roommate?" Cassie's eyebrows rose.

"Kind of..." Linda took a very deep breath. "You remember Harry?"

"You didn't...", breathed Cassie outraged. "Are ya' completely out of ya' mind?! Ya' kidnapped Harry - bloody – Potter!" Her face became red of anger."

Dana gasped. "You met Harry Potter!? - The Harry Potter?"

"SHHHH!...The Harry Potter is sleeping next door!", hissed Linda.

Cassie buried her face in the palms of her hands. "Linda...this is unbelievable..."

"Why is Harry Potter with you?" Dana gazed in awe to the flats doors, imagining how it would be to meet the famous Harry Potter.

"This is actually a long story..."

"Long story short:", spat Cassie. "She thinks that Harry Potter is better cared for in this god forsaken place, than with his relatives at a fine house in a quite neighbourhood!"

"They treated him poorly..."

"Linda! You are nineteen!" Actually twenty in May. "Your wage is even poorer than a barmaids!"

"I got second job! I can pay for the bills and for his tuition!"

"You will waste your life because of that boy. This will make you miserable-"

"Cassie, I think Linda did the right thing...", said Dana as she stepped between her friends. "Linda wouldn't have done this, if she wasn't hundred percent sure, that he was mistreated."

"Thank you, Dana. I really-"

"But we still can stay, can't we?!" Linda had never been good at resisting the puppy-eyes. "I mean, we still could hang out and everything, you know? We just get Harry a babysitter-"

"A...babysitter? You want to go...out?!"

"Ofcourse!" Cassie laughed. "We will go out, drink and flirt until dawn. - That's what witches our age do!"

A babysitter. Leaving Harry all alone with a stranger? "I don't know guys...I'm kind off...still on probation. Professeor Dumbledore-"

"You pulled Dumbledore into this mess?!", shrieked Cassie.

"SHHHHHH! - Harry-"

"-is sleeping, I know..." Cassie whispered. "Merlin, I don't know how you always manage getting into the most stupid trouble...but fine: Keep him!" She threw her hands in the air. "But don't complain later that you wasted your life on him!"

Silence. Cassies words hung heavy in the air.

"You..." Linda coughed slightly. "You could sleep in the living room..."

"Or kitchen...", muttered Dana as she shifted her head from the kitchen unit to the sofa.

"Yes...But I have to work tomorrow. Why don't you take a tour around Aberdeen?"


It had been an awkward breakfast. Harry had woken up not to the usual kitchen noises, but to a strange woman's scream. Ofcourse he had jumped straight out of bed and sprinted out of his bedroom only to find Linda entangled with two other women, who still were in their pyjamas, on the floor.

"Who are you?", he asked flabbergasted as he narrowed his eyes to slits to identify who was who. He had even forgot his glasses on the nightstand.

"Name's Cassie..." The one with short, red hair said and raised her arm. The other woman beside her had to duck to avoid her elbow. Her honey brown hair sticked to all sides – Harry concluded she had definitely stuck her fingers into the point next to the bookshelf.

"Hello...", she said and crawled out of the tangled limps. "My name's Dana..."

"We're old friends of Linda..." Cassie yawned and hit Linda with her other elbow against the head. Linda stifled a yelp.

"Linda..." Harry scuffled with his feet.

"Yes..." Linda entangled her Arm from Cassie's leg and tried to get back on her bare feet.

"The eggs are burning..."


So after Linda had saved his breakfast and her strange friends had dis- and appeared out of the bathroom, they all sat at the unbelievable crowed kitchen table and munched the slightly burned scrambled eggs and bacon.

"So..." Dana, the browned haired tall one, coughed slightly. "How are you Harry?"

Confused, Harry looked up from his plate. "Good?" He gazed over to Linda. "I am, right?"

"Yes, Harry..." Linda ruffled his already unroughly hair. "You are extremely good."

"Yeah, yeah, don' say anything against it.", chuckled Cassie with full mouth. "She might cut down your telly times." She twinkled.

Somehow Harry got the slight feeling that he should actually feel threatened by that, but, well, he just couldn't take her serious about that. Carefully, he nodded to statisfy her glance and scooped another fork of eggs into his mouth.

"I know this is quite off topic...but there is something strange in your bathroom, you know?!" Dana shifted uncomfortable in her seat. "Like, I don't know...Did one of your housekeeping charms fail? No offence...but well the shower curtains ruffled even before I opened the tap..."

"That's just Minnie!", exclaimed Harry. "She always does it."

"Minnie?!" Cassie crooked her eyebrow. "You got 'nother freeloader?", she asked and ignored whole heartedly Linda's indignant gasp.

"Minnie's not a freeloader. She's a ghost cat." Well, at least Harry thought that Minnie wasn't a freeloader, after all she most certainly didn't pay any rent and he was quite sure, she intended to continue to do so.

"A ghost...bloody brilliant...You're raising a kid in a haunted flat..." Sighing, Cassie massaged her nose. "There isn't a werewolf living in one of your wardrobes I hope?!"

Suddenly silence overtook them. Dana had started to look into her tea cup and pretended to study it's colour, while Linda glanced slightly angry at Cassie, who sat right across from her and Harry.

He was actually the only one who wasn't affected at all; even giggled. "Werewolfs?", he chirped amused. Once he had listened to other children on the playground talking about them. Like they were humans at day and wolfs at night. How they would hunt everyone near them, trying to bite helpless people to turn them into werewolfs too. That sounded ridiculous in his ears. So unreal...

As he looked over to Linda's frozen face, he had to gulp. "They...They are really real?! Like...goblins?"

"Unfortunately yes...", answered Dana instead. "But don't worry, the Ministry registers them." She crossed her arms infront of her chest. "Also most of them live wide into the countryside, so no one would run into them. Sometimes hikers do, but, well, that are mostly muggles. Tracing that back takes a lot of time...But don't worry, the Ministry wouldn't allow them They would never-"

"As is that would help...", muttered Cassie darkly, not caring the slightest that she had interrupted her friend. "And if I remember correctly, the actual list of registered werewolves is that long?!" She raised her hand to show her first finger and thumb with maybe an inch space between each other.

"Are they really dangerous..?" Now Harry was the one feeling uncomfortable. The thought of an actual werewolf roaming through the night scared him actually.

Before Cassie could open her mouth again, Linda jumped to her feet. "Harry. Don't worry. There aren't a lot of Werewolfs out there, right Dana?"

For a moment, Dana didn't seem to understand what Linda wanted to hear now, but decided to simply nod. "There! And Werewolf is just a human being like you and I, just on full moon they are forced to change into wolfs." Quickly Linda grabbed for two plates to put them down into the sink. Maybe a bit to quickly. Harry was sure one of them would now have a crack. "But..eh..there is a potion they take. It is sort of a medicine for them to keep a clear mind." Then she patted reassuringly his head. "So don't worry. Werewolfs won't be a danger to you..."


After that, Linda sent him to the bathroom and as soon as he had disappeared behind the door, she looked angrily over to her friends. "Are you out of your mind?!" Even her hands started shaking. "He's not even seven years old and you already start bragging about werewolves! - What next? That an Aracmantula is living under his bed? Dementors in the dark?-"

"Oh stop it, Linda!", spat Cassie. "That were just werewolves."

"Just werewolves? - Cassie, he's a child! Now he will start asking questions! The wonderful world he got into will be tainted!"

"Dammit Linda! Wake up! The world isn't filled with butterflies and unicorns only. - Harry Potter is the perfect example himself." Cassie huffed and leaned back. "You can't hide this boy from anything at all. He has to know these things. Otherwise he will be complete and utterly unprepared for the outside of your soap bubble! It will do him no good to hear it from a stranger on the street! - And besides: Don't you think he has the right to know, how his parents were murdered by-"

"Don't you dare!" Linda shot up from her seat over to Cassie. "Don't you dare!", she growled silently. "This name won't be mentioned around here. So either you shut your god damn mouth or I will personally hex you out of this flat!"

The three were entirely unaware, that Harry had pressed his ear against the bathroom door and had listened.


Dadadadammm...

Well, what do you expect to happen next?!

And don't worry. Some familiar face will show up soon (Oh,I know you're just waiting for Ronnykins^^)