The Moment Harry stepped out of the fireplace and into St. Murgo’s, he knew something was wrong. It wasn’t just the fact that it was brimming with people, or that He and Ginny Flue one after another, as everyone else Apperated. It was the fact that everyone seemed to have a Camera or note pad, and they all seemed extremely interested in the fact that Harry panicked as Ginny came Flying from the Flue, and grabbed her quickly before she crashed into every single one of them. He Managed to grab her in mid-air and helped her Stand up, but that only seemed to incite them more.
“HARRY!! HARRY POTTER! Witch Weekly, Allie Rose, Can you Tell us the Past of Nypmhadora and Lupin?”
“Harry! YW Magazine! Is Tonks really Blonde, and do you prefer Blondes or Red Heads, like this girl?”
“Mr. Potter! Maxus Grimly, Pureblood Weekly, Is it True that your Mother was Muggle-Born? Is your Lady friend a Pure-Blood?”
“HARRY! HARRY DEAR!! YOOHOOO!!” Harry winced now, More out of Annoyance then the Flashing of Cameras, as Rita Stepped Closer. “HARRY! A Word please!”
Harry Grabbed Ginny’s hand, and immediately Started walking towards the Desk, the trove of News people and Picture takers Fallowing him, Screaming Questions, Flashing lights, and Jabbering. Unbelievably Rita was Still in the lead, and was Ranting a mile a minute.
“Harry! Harry, Come on, Be a Good Sport, and say something!!” Rita said as she continued to chase him.
“Not Now, Please!” Harry Said, as nice as he could manage, as he Dragged Ginny up to Sibly, Mr. Weasley, Ron and Hermione who were at the Back of the line, everyone of them Grinning evilly at Harry. “Sorry, Mate! Line’s full!” was all that Ron said as Harry and Ginny stopped in front of them. the Photographers and reporters then stopped, and once again bombarding Harry with questions, this time adding Ginny, Ron, and Hermione into the Conversations as well. It was at this point that Ron, Hermione and Mr. Weasley pushed Harry in the middle of them, away from the reporters, and pictures, as Ginny and Sibly started trying to Shoo them away.
“I Can’t believe all of this…” Harry Said, looking to Ron and Hermione. “I can‘t believe that one story has Started all of these papers… not only that, but they’ve gone Mental as well.”
“Well it IS the first time they’ve been able to find you at one place that they could ACTUALLY photograph you.”
“I Can’t believe I’m about to say this, Mate, but I’m glad I’m not you for once!” Ron said with a Grin.
“Harry, They look a bit wild.. Maybe you should say something, as we get the Name tags…” Hermione said, getting aggravated by being pushed and bumped by the reporters. “Just get them off our backs for a Bit…”
“Like What?” Harry asked, Looking at Hermione with Interest.
“Like Hogwarts…” “Or the Muggle Protect act that Dad’s been working on…” “Or something of the like.” Hermione added, As they moved closer. Finally, Two red headed saviors Popped up in the form of Fred and George, with Name Tags in hand.
“Here you are!”
“Mum Sent us..”
“She saw this lot coming in…”
“Figured you’d need our help.”
“Thanks!!” Harry said as he they All grabbed there name tags (the old ones Melted off after they walked out of St. Murgo’s… Charmed, indeed.) and They all started towards the Stairs. Mr. Weasley lightly grabbed Harry’s arm and guided him quickly up the stairs. Harry didn’t like the feeling that he was being Body guarded, but it was better then Sibly leading him: His arm still hurt from her dragging him into “Rainbow.”
Sibly and Ginny fallowed, and each was holding five to seven business cards. After Putting on there names tags, they both Handed there Cards to Harry.
“Here, Harry. They Said they wanted to Arrange Interviews and maybe a Photo shoot with you…” Ginny said, Grinning.
“Since we won’t be… Hunting until After your 17th birthday.. it might be a good idea to pass come time, and to give and interview to them...." Sibly worded carefully.
“What? Witch ones?” Harry asked, looking over the Cards, as if expecting the answer to be written on them.
“All of them, Naturally, Dear…” Sibly Said, Grinning from Ear to ear. Harry then put the cards quietly in his pocket, and looked back to where he was walking as they got to the first floor, and started walking to the second. Harry gave Fred and George strange looks.
“They had to give them there own ward.”
“To many people trying to visit them…” They explained. Considering the mass downstairs, Harry believed it.
They all turned into the ward at the same time, but Fred and George went in first, then Hermione and Ron, Harry and Mr. Weasley, then Sibly and Ginny. As soon as he got in, Harry Walked to a chair in front of Lupin’s bed, and collapsed with a sigh. Everyone, even Lupin and Sibly, Grinned and laughed a little at this.
“I See the Paparazzi have gotten there hands on you…” Lupin said, Grinning widely. Harry looked back to him, and Grinned back, just as mischievously. Lupin was bandaged up over most of his body, from neck to waist, and looked paler and more worn then ever, but he was still alive. Harry’s Whole being was cheered with that one thought. Remus was alive.
“They Almost had me, too, But thanks to the Weasleys, I Don’t think It’ll have any lasting injuries…” Harry said, Grinning. Ron took a seat next to him, as Hermione and Ginny sat by the Bed Tonks was in last time he saw her. Harry then Started and nearly jumped out of his seat as he realized She Wasn’t there.
“Where’s Tonks?!” He Started, as Hermione and Ginny both looked to Mrs. Weasley as well, who was sitting in the last chair buy Tonk’s bed.
“Oh, Don’t worry, Harry, She’s fine, She’s just in the Bathroom.” Mrs. Weasley said As Harry said, “Oh” and Sat down, and Hermione and Ginny fell into a conversation with Mrs., Weasley, And Ron and the Twins fell into a conversation about Tricks and things for the Store, (Harry needed to tell them about some of the things he saw at the store with Ron as well.) And Fleur, Bill, and Charlie Started on about the wedding plans in the Corner… Apparently Fleur’s family was helping to plan it, and Her mother and Aunt where Making changes without telling Fleur.
Harry, Of Course, Turned to Lupin. “So, How have you Been doing?” Harry asked him, being one hundred Present Serious.
“Not to bad, Harry.. Healing up Better then Tonks and the Others, Sadly enough…” Lupin Said softly, as his face suddenly became graver. Harry knew what was coming; He was Blaming himself for Tonks being bitten, Blaming him for not beating Grayback, and Blaming himself for not protecting Tonks, Nora and Sara… If he didn’t stop him, Remus was going to tear a whole in himself.
“I’m Sure you are, Remus, but they will make it through just fine as well. Don’t you start beating yourself over it, or I’m have to Tell Molly and Tonks, and they’ll Really let you have it…” Harry Said with a Grin, as Lupin Smiled again.
“Do that, Harry, And I’ll have to tell Molly you haven’t had a home Cooked meal since you left Hogwarts…” Harry’s Eyes Widened as he said this, and looked to Hermione, Ginny, and Mrs., Weasley. and then he shot his old professor a old, Fake, airy voice. “And, Alas, Tables of Food shall be the Death of Chosen one…” Harry said, as Lupin’s eyes widened, then he threw his head back and laughed.
“Harry, Harry, I forgot how much you are like your father…Even if you have…”
“My Mother‘s eyes...” Harry interrupted, with a Grin on his face. “I know…” Harry Said, Messing up his Hair on Purpose like he had seen his father do. Lupin then took out a Paper on the side, and, grinning, tossed it to Harry. Harry looked at the cover and flushed. “Harry Potter Rushes to Friends bedside.” looked up at him, as he, Ron and Hermione ran past the Sign-in witch completely.
“I’ve been reading up on our exploits.. It seems we’ve have quite a Dramatic night.” Lupin Said, Grinning. Harry flushed even more,
“It wasn’t as Bad as they wrote it.. The time line was about right, though, except that Ron and Hermione went Straight to look for you…”
“So, you did Stay and Watch after Sara and Tonks?” Lupin asked, as Harry tossed back the paper.
“Yes, I did… I Figured I owed Dumbledore that much…” Harry added as he looked back to Lupin, hoping he wasn‘t upset or hurt that Harry didn‘t go to look for him. Lupin nodded back understandingly.
“That was a Smart and Noble thing you did, Harry. I know Tonks wants to thank you, and so do I and Sara’s grandfather.”
“Is Sara ok?” Harry Added in quickly. “I mean… Is she going to be safe?” Lupin nodded.
“Yes, She is… She’s spending the rest of the Summer with her Grandfather and father, then she’s going with her godmother over the School year.”
“Who’s her Godmother?” Harry asked Quickly.
“I Am…” Added Sibly. Harry, Ron, and Lupin, and the twins now turned to Sibly, and Harry’s mouth was Dropped. She was Sara’s Godmother?
“Wait… Does that Mean Sara’s Coming to Hogwarts?” Ron asked, Picking up on that fact a little faster then Harry.
“Yes… Me and her Grandfather Feel it would be Safer to keep her in Hogwarts, and close to HogsMeade, where he Lives…” She said, Explaining the Situation.
“So you were Close to Nora?” Harry asked, as Sibly frowned.
“Yes… you Could say we Grew up at school together, But…” Sibly said, Waving her hand away. “We Were friends long before that… She liked peace and quiet, and I liked Flashily and load, but we managed to put up with one another no matter what… Albus used to say we‘d make wonderful sisters..” She said, Ending on a sad note. Harry bit his tongue and decided not to add anything more to it, and everyone in the room now felt a little founder of Sibly.
“Specking of Sisters, Harry…” Bill Added in, trying to break the Silence. “Your Aunt was in a right state when we left your house Yesterday… Barely breathing for Yelling your uncle’s head off.” Bill said as he grinned. “Best check in with them tonight, so she doesn’t have a heart attack.” Harry Grinned back as well, as he and Ron grinned sideways at one another, both picturing Aunt Marge, Screaming And Booming through the house, Yelling at uncle Vernon. They were only jumped out of there humorous Vision after Hermione Yelped, and looked guilty.
“Don’t worry about it, Bill.. She was mostly likely Yelling at him for not Tell her I was a wizard, or complaining he didn’t kick me out soon enough…” Harry said, waving it off. Lupin, Sibly, and Mrs. Weasley didn’t take the joke so lightly thou, and Surprisingly, ether did Bill.
“What? You Mean your Aunt didn’t know you were a Wizard? I though Growing up with Lily would have taught her something…” It was now Harry’s turn not to take things lightly, as his face turned serious.
“Wait… What Aunt are you talking about?” Harry asked.
“The Skinny one or The fat one?” Ron added, clearing the Choices up.
“The Skinny one… When we got there, She was Screaming and Yelling at your uncle.. The other one was in the Kitchen, giving a Dog Gin from her Glass…”
“Aunt Petunia?!” George, Fred, Harry, and Ron said at the same time. They then all looked at one another, Totally shocked. Everyone else looked at them as if wondering what was going on. Fortunately, Ron, Harry, Fred and George were the only ones that knew how bad the Dursleys really were. Mr. Weasley had dealt with them, in Harry’s fourth year, but that was only after a Ton-Tongue toffee accident, and he had excused that off as excited reactions. And when Ron had said that the Dursleys were starving Harry and had put bars on his windows, witch was largely truth, Mrs. Weasley tossed it off as Ron making up stories.
It was Fred, George, and Ron that had Saved Harry, and his owl, Hedwig his Second year when the Dursleys had Shut and locked Harry in his room, and have given him only one cold can of soup a day through a Cat-door build into the locked room door. They were the only three in the whole wizarding world to know about Harry having to live in the Cupboard under the Stairs since the night of Halloween when he was one, and having to endure Emotional, Physical, and Mental abuse from all four Dursleys. Mostly Dudley, who’s Favorite Game was “Catch and Beat Harry”… But they never told anyone.
And Harry was Glad that they hadn’t. And the Fact that Petunia was Yelling at Vernon on Harry’s behalf was Earth Shattering.
“Well, that settles it…” George said.
“The world’s ending!” Fred added.
“Aunt Petunia? Isn’t she the one that…” Fred and George then jumped and covered Ron’s mouth, as Hermione yelped again.
“Yes, She was Ron, now SHH.” was all that Harry said, as the twins let Ron’s mouth go. Ron then winced and gave Harry a Apologetic look, but Harry waved it off as if to say it was no problem.
“Isn’t she the one that did What, Ronald?” a icy cold voice said from the side of the Room, all of the four eyes fell upon Sibly. Then to Mr. and Mrs. Weasley… Then to Ginny, and Lupin, and Bill and Fleur. The twins hissed and looked to Harry and Ron, and Harry and Ron looked at one another, both waiting to see if one or the other could get them out of this… Ron was the one that acted first.
“Bill, What Did Harry’s Aunt say?” Ron asked as they all looked at Bill.
“She was Yelling that Vernon pushed Harry away, and made him unhappy in the Normal world, so he was now rushing to get himself killed in the Abnormal one… and Said that I should drag you back home, where you’re safe….” Bill said, stating every word slowly, and with Narrowed eyes. “I think you should go back and see her, at least.”
Harry, Ron and the twins then looked at one another, blinking and taking in this information. Harry was the least happy about this. Now Petunia looked like a Weeping Maiden in distress. Harry, and Ron looked at one another, with long, stern, unbelievingly faces. Then the twins then both turned to Bill, as said at the same time; “You’re joking…”
Sibly and Lupin then Crossed there arms, and Mr. And Mrs. Weasley joined them.
“Well, that Settles it… Harry, I’ll take you to See your aunt and Uncle after Visiting Hours…” Mrs. Weasley Said. The Reactions where instant. Both of the Twins jumped up, and Yelled "NO!" at the Same time, Ron Winced, and Harry gapped, dumbstruck at Molly. Harry was barely aware that both Fleur and Ginny where watching him closely.
“Harry, you may have disagreements with your Aunt and Uncle, But that Doesn’t mean you Shouldn’t See them…” Lupin started, And Harry just looked at him, and thought, Not Lupin, too… Don’t make me go.
“I Know they’re Disagreeable, But really, Harry, but they are the only family you have…” Mrs. Weasley Started.
“They’re NOT his family!”
“WE’RE his Family!” Fred and George Yelled, and Harry was surprised by there attitude, and Even Mr. and Mrs. Weasley looked a bit abash at there words.
“I’m not Going…” Harry said, and the rest of the room looked at him. Harry Suddenly felt the weight of the room fall on his shoulders, as he realized they were all waiting for him to talk more.
“Look, I know It sounds mean, even Wrong, but I don’t want to go back, and no matter that you heard, Bill, I know they most likely don’t want me to go back, Ether.” The Weasleys and Lupin looked less then believing, But Sibly seemed to be listening. “Look, it’s not that we just don’t get along, it’s more then that. You’ll just have to believe me when I say that it’s best if I just stay away. I’ll write and send Hedwig to them when we get back to the Burrow, tell her I’m alright.. But I’m not going back to the house.”
“Harry, I can’t believe you’re saying that!” Mrs. Weasley Said as she got into full mothering mode.
“Really, Harry, you should at LEAST give them a proper goodbye!” Mr. Weasley added, joining his wife.
“Harry, things won’t get better by ignoring them, you have to give them a Chance… Maybe a few days back there…” Lupin Added.
“WAIT A SECOND! HOLD UP!”
“HOLD YOUR BLOODY HORSES!”
“You are REALLY thinking of Sending Him Back?”
“Have the whole lot of you gone MENTAL?”
“And YOU TWO better Butt out!” Mrs. Weasley snapped at the twins. “And watch who you’re talking to!! Now, we’re taking Harry to See his Aunt right after this visit, and that’s FINAL!”
“WHAT? No, I’m not going!” Harry, standing up, so he could look Mr. and Mrs. Weasley in the eyes. “Look, I thank you guys for trying to get me to go, and I understand WHY you want me to, But I’m not! For the first time since I can remember I’m free. I’m Free of the Bloody house, Free of the Dursleys, and free of Ever having to go back for the rest of my life! I want to keep it that way…”
“Actually, Harry…” Hermione said in a low voice, with a regretful look on her face. “You do have to go back..”
“WHAT? Why?!” Ron said, before Harry could even React.
“Because… We left some papers…. Some LISTS… in Harry’s Room…” Harry and Ron stared at one another, mouths dropped, and eyes wide.
“You Didn’t..” Ron said to Harry, his face just as pale.
“I thought they here in my chest..” Harry said, but remembering only the file, Chest, and Broom came down when Hermione summoned his things, he knew they were still pinned on his wall, in his empty room, in privet drive. He sat down back in his chair, took a deep, Defeated breath, and sighed.
“I’m so Sorry, Harry, I didn’t Remember!” Hermione said quickly, trying to calm matters down. It Didn’t work, because not everyone that DIDN’T know what was going on Wanted to know, and everyone that DID know wasn’t telling.
Harry sat back down on his chair for a few seconds and thought. He was at his wit’s end. He had just gotten free of the Dursleys.. We never wanted to go back… He remembered feeling for Sirius when he told him That he was stuck back in the house he hated as a child, and remembered thinking how he would HATE having to come back to Privet drive after thinking he was free of it. It would have driven him mad. Now he was very close to being rushed back there, to lord knows what, and have to face the Dursleys all over again.
But Harry had to get the lists back. They were important. They held every bit of information they’d need to bring down Voldemort… Harry Couldn’t believe he had left it… let alone in that Hands of his Aunt and Uncle.. And with his other aunt with them. He had to Get it quickly before something happened to it, and then get back here, WITHOUT a Hitch. Then Harry noticed that everyone was talking around him, asking what happened, voicing there views on if he should go to visit, go to stay, or even go at all. If he had to do it, he’d best to it now.
Harry Looked up and Nodded to Ron and Hermione. “Alright… We’ll go to my Aunts’ and uncle’s house and get the Lists right now, then come right back… Ready?” Hermione and Ron both Nodded, and Stood up, as everyone else in the room blinked.
“WHAT? No, Harry! The Minister is Coming!” Mrs. Weasley Yelled out, Nearly Blocking the entire Door with her Body. Mr. Weasley and Lupin were now looking at one another, Just as confused as they where earlier. Harry Just Sighed.
“Look: If nothing goes wrong, We’ll be back in a little less then Five minutes.. I promise.” Harry Said. Harry then tried avoiding Ginny’s hurt gaze as he left. as He, Ron and Hermione walked out after him, past a raging Mrs. Weasley. (As she had lost a good 30 pounds over the past few months, she was easy to pass.) Harry was Glad that he Hadn’t Blown up at Mrs. Weasley, Because he Couldn’t take any Guilt with his already hefty dose of burning emotions. Hermione tried to talk, But Harry stopped her before she said a word.
“Don’t worry Hermione it is not your fault the list was left behind.”
“We all forgot about them.” Ron Added.
As they walked to the stairs Harry noticed that they were being followed. He turned and looked at Professor La Fey. “Your are staying here as well… I don’t want you following us.”
“What makes you think that you are going to stop me?” Sibly asked in her superior tone.
“Because you have no idea where my Aunt and Uncle live and I am not about to tell you .” Said Harry “You need to know what the house looks like to be able to apperate there.” Sibly gave him a Hard look, But Harry just stopped her by a wave of his hand. “Just stay here..”
Harry, Ron and Hermione then walked down the Rest of the Stairs, and the Hoard of Newspaper Reporters Slowed there Attack on their Newest St. Murgo’s Victim; Rufus Scrimgeour. He was Just getting Done with being handed his Name tag, Flashing a Smile and a quick thank you to the Help Witch (and then Waving to the Cameras, Harry noticed with a wince) when The Aurors surrounding him moved to Block the Stairs, and Harry and His Friends were stopped Near the Bottom of the Stairs. Harry’s heart sank as he realized that he would have to talk to Rufus before he left, anyway. He was stuck.
Chapter 13; Return to Privet Drive
I’m going in for the last time, Harry told himself. One last time… Then it’s goodbye forever. I Can make it through Dumbledore’s Funeral, I can make it through this.
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