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Chapter 3: More Suprises
Harry woke up feeling refreshed. He didn't know why but he felt oddly happy. Then he remembered his conversation with his Aunt Petunia the night before.
He was stunned to say the least. He didn't know where in the hell that came from.
He didn't know that his Aunt Petunia could be even remotely caring or compassionate given that she'd spent his whole life treating him like shit.
He didn't know what to think about it. Maybe she was just being nice to him because she thought he'd curse the family now that he was coming of age.
But she had actually seemed like she cared, Harry argued with himself, she wouldnt have to pretend like she cared about him or what he thought.
Of all the things on his mind, he didn't need another thing to cloud it.
He decided to write Ron and Hermione, his best friends, and tell them about it.
Maybe they'll know what to think for me Harry said to himself with a laugh.
He got a quill and some parchment and began to write Hermione:
How are you doing? I’m doing all right mostly. I just felt like writing you and telling you that things here are fine. I have to tell you something really weird. I had another nightmare again. What’s weird though is that my Aunt Petunia came in when I woke up and asked me what was in my nightmares. I end up telling her all about the people I have lost. She even knew about the prophecy. We talked about a lot of things. I don’t know where it came from but after I told her that Dumbledore died, she hugged me. I think hell just froze over. HaHAHA. She apologized for being so mean to me all those years. I think she finally understands why i am the way that I am. I don’t know what to think though and I would like your opinion. Please write me back. I shall talk to you later.
p.s. Sorry it's so early.
He put Hermione's letter to the side and began on Ron's:
Hey mate. Just wanted to write and see what’s been happening since I’ve been with the Dursleys. Well I think that the Dursleys are a bit more bearable towards me now that I’m going to be gone from them pretty soon. I guess I’m going back to school, if they open it back up. I have already told Hermione this. I’ll tell you more when I see you. Tell me when Bill and Fleur’s wedding is and I’ll be there. Say hi to Ginny for me.
He didn't tell Ron about his Aunt Petunia because Ron would't really know what to say. Ron wasn't a thinker.
He was thinking about writing a letter to Ginny but then thought otherwise. He called Hedwig down and gave the letters to her.
“One is for Hermione, the other Ron. Get going girl,” he said.
He watched as she flew out the window into darkness.
He laid back down. He thought about everything that had happened so far today. Before he knew it he fell asleep without even taking his glasses off.
Harry found himself in a small ante chamber. With him were Ron, Hermione, Ginny, and Draco.
The room was circular, kind of like Dumbledore’s office, with a dimly lit chandelier hanging from the ceiling.
It seemed oddly familiar to Harry. It felt like home to him.
“This is it,” Harry said, “Neville and the others should meet us in their. Now before we go I just want you all to know that I can not be more proud of you. You are each strong in your own right, and I would rather have you fighting alongside me than any amount of aurors any day.”
“That's what I'm talking about Potter,” Draco said, “It’s time to get back at these bastards.”
“There’s no turning back now,” Hermione said, “We will follow you and we will follow you to death Harry. We all love you.”
The others nodded their heads in agreement, except Draco.
Ginny glared daggers at Malfoy and he shrunk back a little bit, "What I would rather survive this thank you."
Ginny looked at Hermione and she gave her a knowing look.
Harry saw Ginny look at Hermione and Hermione nodded and he could tell that words had been exchanged between them.
“Ron, Draco,” Hermione said, “pull back to the entranceway. Ginny wants to talk to Harry alone for a minute.”
Harry tried to act as though Hermione had said nothing as they began to walk back out. Draco gave him a wink as he walked out and pretty soon him and Ginny were completely alone.
Ginny walked up to him until she was right in front of him. Harry tried to speak but Ginny beat him to it.
“I have watched you struggle this year. You didn’t know that I had been struggling with myself as well. I kept on telling myself that I didn’t like you and that I needed to move on. I thought you had moved on too. All those little thing you did for me Those songs at the talent show and the picnic. They were nothing. They were to lead me on, and I fell for it. I thought that you didn’t feel that way about me. I’ve kept trying to convince myself but in reality I fell even more for you. I love you Harry and I just now realized that because I have been trying to convince myself that I don’t for a long time.”
Harry stood there as she began talking again, “I mean do you have any idea how bad it hurts inside to love someone who doesn’t love you back?”
She looked at him as he replied, “Your wrong.”
“What do you mean I’m wrong,” she asked, confused.
“I like you..” he said.
"But I don’t understand. You broke up with me. When did you notice this. When did you start liking me again?" Ginny asked in a rush”
“I never stopped liking you,” he said quietly.
No I didn’t. I’ve had a struggle to. Everyone told me I was being stupid and that it was a stupid reason to deprive myself of the love and joy that we could share. It’s been killing me knowing that I put you through so much pain. I thought by distancing myself from you, Voldemort wouldn’t go after you. I regret the day that I forced you out of my life. I don’t want you to get hurt. I couldn’t live if you got hurt or even worse.”
Ginny started to cry. He watched as silent tears went down her face. He pulled her to him and hugged her as he held her. This was what he had been missing the whole time. It felt so good just to stand here and hold her against him. He felt like he could do it forever, only if it wasn’t for Voldemort.
She finally looked up, and made eye contact with him. Slowly he inched his head closer to hers as he grabbed her chin and tilted it upwards. He could feel each of her short breaths on his face. He could feel his heart beating at an irregular pace.
All of a sudden he found himself in his bed sitting up.
“What the hell was that all about,” he said quietly, "Why am I dreaming about her now?"
That wasn’t like any dream he had had before. Was it a dream, it felt so real. What did this mean? Now he was even more confused. He felt like he couldn’t fall asleep without waking up from a dream.
He got up and dressed. He didn’t even try to go back to sleep. He would just wake up from another dream.
He looked at the clock and it read 6:30. The first rays of light were coming in through his window.
He went down to the kitchen and started to cook breakfast.
A while later his aunt and uncle came in followed by Dudley. His aunt gave him a nod, his uncle a scowl, while Dudley ignored him completely.
Breakfast was a quiet affair. His uncle left for work and he went back up to his room.
He began working on his Charms homework, a follow up of Vanishing Spells.
He was about halfway done when he heard a knock on his door.
“Come in,” he said. somewhat confused. Usually if someone wanted to talk to him they just yelled at him to come here.
A nervous looking Dudley walked in and closed the door behind him.
“What do you want Dudley,” Harry said, “I’ve got homework. Don’t bother me unless it’s important.”
Dudley looked even more nervous, as if Harry might run at him and attack.
Dudley looked as if what he was trying to say was causing him extreme pain.
"Well come on spit it out," Harry said.
“I just wanted to thank you for saving me in the alley,” Dudley said, “Mum told me what those things could have done to me.”
Whatever Harry had been expecting, it wasn't this. First his aunt and now Dudley?
“Dudley answer me this and answer me honestly, “Harry said, “why do you think I’m a freak and a weirdo? Why do you hate me like you do?”
Dudley looked surprised at this question. “Well Dad always told me to stay away from you. He told me all people like you are bad. He never told me why, he just told me not to mix with people like you.”
"And do you know why that is Dudley?" Harry asked, "I'll tell you. People are afraid of things that they're not use to. Uncle Vernon had a nice little family and a perfect job. He was content with his life and then I showed up. I changed that life that he had and he is afraid of that."
"Well, he's also afraid you'll curse us and turn us into toads," Dudley said
Harry laughed, "There's that too I guess."
“Let me tell you Dudley,” Harry said, “you don’t always have to listen to him about everything. If people would take the time to get to know me they would see that I’m just like everybody else. My story is just a little bit different.”
“How so?” he asked.
“It’s a long story starting with when I was born.”
If anything was to shock him that day it's what Dudley said next, "Mine telling me about it?"
Harry just stared at his cousing gobsmacked.
“Why should I tell you?” Harry recovered.
“Well," Dudley replied, “Now would be a good time to show me the real you and not the one my dad has been telling me about.”
Harry looked at him a second then said, “Sit down. This may take a while.”
Dudley sat on the foot of the bed, and Harry began.
Harry was surprised that Dudley was actually asking questions, as he had never asked him anything before. Harry described everything to Dudley. He described attaining the Sorcerer’s Stone and evading Voldemort, fighting the basilisk and defeating the sixteen year old Voldemort, helping Sirius escape execution, the Triwizard tournament, getting to the Department of Mysteries, watching his godfather fall through the veil, the prophecy, Umbridge, the DA, watching Dumbledore get hit with the killing curse and fall off the tower. Harry told him everything and tried explaining it with the least amount of magical terms possible and by the time he was done Dudley’s mouth was open in amazement, as if he couldn’t believe it.
“You actually have to kill this Voldemort guy?” Dudley said, “Holy Shit. The world’s on your shoulders isn’t it.”
“So I’ve been told,” Harry snorted
“I think you can do it,” Dudley said.
“What make you think that,” Harry asked.
“By what you have told me. You have bravery, you love, and you are very powerful. Voldemort has only one of the three right? I really think you can defeat him.
“Well thanks Dudley,” Harry said, “do you finally understand me now?”
“That and a little more,” Dudley laughed, “I’m sorry I’ve been mean to you all these years. You were like everyone else in the world all along. If I wouldn’t have been so scared of what Dad thought I wouldn’t have been so mean. We could have been friends.”
“Well, we could start now, being friends I mean,” Harry said.
Harry stuck his hand out, “Friends?”
Dudley took it and said. “Definitely.”
They walked down to the kitchen and took a seat at the table. His Aunt Petunia made a tray of sandwiches and sat them on the table.
His Aunt Petunia looked at him and said, “Vernon is going to be gone for a week on a business trip. I thought since he’s going to be gone you could invite your friends over for your birthday.”
That's it. He was dead. He was dead and dreaming. This wasn't real. Any minute he was going to wake up and his aunt would be screeching at him to do the 500 chores around the house.
“Really, you’d let me do that,” Harry asked.
“It’s the least I could do for all those years.”
“Thanks, this is gonna be great,” Harry said with a grin.
“Well maybe we should go get everything at the store and get everything ready,” Dudley suggested.
“We’ll do that,” his Aunt Petunia said, “Harry you stay here and invite anyone you want.”
“Ok, thanks a lot,” Harry said
Dudley got up and followed his mum out the door. Harry could hear the car doors slam and the engine starting.
He walked back up to his room to find Hedwig perched on his headboard.
“What do you have for me girl,” he asked as he pulled the two scrolls of parchment from her leg.
He decided to read Ron’s first.
Things are fine here unless you count the one time that Fred and George blew up the broom shed for and experiment. Mum salvaged one of the brooms and ran around the house after them hitting them with it. I hope the muggles are treating you right. They better be. Just think you turn seventeen in a day. Then you could use magic on them. I’d like to see that. Good to know your returning to school. Mum didn’t think much of me skipping my seventh year to help you search for pieces of Voldmort’s soul althought I didn't tell her why I needed the time off. Just told her it was important in helping you. Bill and Fleur’s wedding is the 23rd of August. Wear something nice. I have to talk to you about something. What did you do to my sister? Every time we mention your name she either drops whatever she is holding or she starts to cry. She never cries! Now I know you wouldn’t hurt her intentionally but tell me what you did to her or your arse is toast. I’ve made this long enough. Talk to you when I see you.
His heart fell. Ginny must not have told anyone that he had broken up with her the day of Dumbledore’s funeral.
“Well that’s just bloody great,” he said to himself, “Was he supposed to tell everybody?”
He reached towards Hermione’s letter which was surprisingly shorter than Ron’s.
That is wonderful news, it really is. I never expected this from your aunt. I guess people do change. I’ve been fine here. Ron has written me a couple of times. Can you believe Fred and George blew up the broom shed. Some people never learn. Well I hope you are doing fine. I have to go now, Mum’s calling me for supper. Bye
He pulled out parchment and wrote Ron a short reply.
I don’t want you to be mad at me so please don’t. I have a reason for what I did. If you want to know ask Ginny but do it nicely. Tell her I’m sorry for all the trouble and pain I caused her and ask her if she can ever forgive me.
Harry than began writing invitations to his party.
He ticked the people off on his fingers: the Weasleys, Hermione, Neville, Dean, Seamus, the Order, and Luna. He tied all the invitations along with Ron’s letter to Hedwig’s leg and watched her fly out the window.
He then began cleaning his room. He supposed that the party would be in the backyard but he still might need to use his room for something.
He walked downstairs to deposit the rag he'd been cleaning with but a note caught his eye on the kitchen island table. He picked it up knowing it wasn't his business but his curiosity got the better of him.
I know just what to make him.
Harry turned the paper over expecting more but there was nothing. No signature or anything. The handwriting looked oddly familiar but he blew it off. Probably something for Dudley he thought.
He made his way back up to his room and threw himself on his bed.
He still couldn’t believe that this was happening. He kept on thinking that he would wake up any minute now from a dream. It just seemed so unreal.
He close his eyes thinking that midnight wouldn’t come soon enough.