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Chapter 1: Prologue
Harry's first clue that something was seriously amiss was the fact that he couldn’t see anything, or rather that all he could see was a uniform, misty whiteness. As he took stock of himself, he realized that he was lying on his back. He sat up and discovered that he could, in fact, see his arms and legs. Instinctively, his hand swept down the front of his robes, searching for his wand, but it seemed to have gone missing. He rose to his feet and turned in a circle, trying to find anything distinctive in the mist. There was something familiar about it all.
Maybe if he started walking, he thought, he would come upon some clue as to where he was. Since every direction looked exactly the same, he simply started walking the way that he was facing. He had no idea how far he had gone or whether he had been walking in circles, but eventually he saw a large shape through the mist, like a building. He started to walk towards it, hoping there would be somebody there who could tell him where he was. The outlines of the structure gradually became more clear. He could make out the walls and some windows and one particular outline that just might be a door. He stopped when he was about ten paces away, peering at the sign next to the entrance. He took a couple of steps before he could finally make out the writing. Then he knew why this place seemed so familiar.
King’s Cross Station.
“Great,” he mumbled to himself, “you’re dead again.”
The last time he visited this place was after Tom Riddle struck him with the killing curse during the Battle of Hogwarts. He thought that perhaps he would get to see Professor Dumbledore again and it brought a smile to his face. Harry thought hard for a moment, but try as he might, he could not recall the circumstances that led to his most recent demise. It didn’t trouble him very much, as he felt reasonably sure that everything would become apparent soon enough.
He entered the station and made his way down the empty platform. His surroundings were much clearer now. He noticed a clock on the wall that unfortunately seemed to be missing its hands. Ahead, he could make out platforms nine and ten. As he approached, he broke into a trot and flung himself at the barrier between the two platforms. As expected, he passed cleanly through and found himself standing on platform nine and three quarters.
The platform was as empty as the rest of the station, so he walked over to the nearest bench and sat down. Whatever was awaiting him in this place would happen in its own time, he reasoned, so he might as well make himself comfortable.
After what might have been hours or perhaps only a few moments, he heard a voice behind him.
He turned to find Ginny smiling at him from across the platform. He leapt from his seat and flung himself towards her as she rushed to embrace him.