Harry Potter looked around at everyone that had attended Dumbledore's funeral. Narcissa was sitting in the back, sobbing with the suspicious lack of tears. Harry wanted to walk up to her, and tell her what he was planning on doing to her son the second he found him. She dabbed at the crocodile tears falling from her eyes, and it was all Harry could do, so as not to call her every demeaning insult known to wizardkind. Disgusted, he turned away. Ron and Hermione were huddled together, her crying and Ron comforting her. Ginny was a bit away from them, alone, crying, and trying hard to hide it.
Thunder sounded, along with a melodious chirp. Harry looked up, as rain started to fall, and Fawkes landed on his shoulder. The beautiful bird hung his head, and let out a heart breaking song. Harry petted the bird and removed the letter attached to his foot. As he unfolded the letter, Harry couldn't help but grin. Dumbledore's final instructions.
"Harry, my boy, if you are reading this I am either dead, or Fawkes believes I am in dire need of assistance. If it is the latter, then before you come find me, please let Professor McGonagall know where it is you're going. If it is the first, then I'm sorry to have left you with more questions than answers. I trust that by now I've shared with you the news of Tom's split soul. I have also shared with you the fact that the journal, and the ring were destroyed, and therefore you need to find the other four horcruxes, before you can kill Voldemort. If I know you, and I take great pride in knowing my students, then you are on your merry way to find the horcruxes, and are planning to slip away while your friends are unawares. I have one more job for you, Harry, then you can do what you see fit. Minerva has special instructions, to employ a very special auror by the name of Jaci Leza. She will fight Minerva, insist she'll not return to Hogwarts. You must accompany Professor McGonagall. Only you can convince Jaci to become the new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor.
Goodbye Harry, and good luck."
Crunching leaves, and snapping twigs had him looking up. Ron and Hermione were making their way up to him, both looking up at the spot were Fawkes had taken flight a second ago. Hermione put a hand up to shield the rain, as she looked at the speck that was the bird. Then she looked down at him again, and sniffled once before clearing her throat.
"Was that Fawkes?"
"Yes, it was."
"Who is the letter from?" Ron asked, eyeing the letter in Harry's hand.
"Dumbledore," Harry answered, folding the letter, and putting it away. "Come August, we're going to have to help Professor McGonagall hire a new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor." He sighed. "In the meantime, I suggeset you enjoy the summer. We have a very tough year coming."
"Will you be going back to the Dursely's?" Hermione asked, looking at Harry. "You don't have to, you know. You could always stay with me and my parents."
"Or, you could stay with me at the Burrow," Ron suggested. Ginny looked up at the suggestion. Harry almost flinched at the disapproval on her face. He shook his head.
"I promised Dumbledore I would go to the Dursley's. Besides, Ginny wouldn't want me at the Burrow."
"Why not? Did you two have a fight?" Hermione asked, sympathetically.
"More than that. I broke up with her."
"Why?" Ron asked, his tone very near a growl. Harry almost took a step back.
"For the same damn reason that I don't want you or Hermione going with me to find the horcruxes," he answered, taking a step towards Ron instead. "If Voldemort finds out that I care about your sister, can you imagine what he'd do to her if he got his hands on her? I can't let that happen, not to her, or either of you." He shrugged. "I might not be able to keep either of you from joining me, but I can make sure Ginny's safe."
"Students," Professor McGonagall called, and everyone turned to look at her. "Gather your things. It's time to leave."
Everyone went single file into the castle. Harry and Ron walked up to their dormitory, and gathered their things. Once they were done, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley met them at the entrance to the Gryffindor common room. They smiled at Harry, as Mrs. Weasley hugged him tightly.
"Why don't you come with us?" she asked, trying to smooth his hair. "You don't have to go back to those awful muggles. You can come and stay with us."
Harry smiled. "I would love nothing more, Mrs. Weasley, but I can't. I have to go back to them. I will go by the Burrow, before the summre is over though," Harry said, so that Mrs. Weasley wouldn't worry. "Everything will be ok. I promise."
In the train, it was only Harry and Hermione in the compartment. Everyone else who would have sat with them, had been picked up by thier parents, with the exception of Dean Thomas, and Colin and Dennis Creevey, as they were muggle-born, and their parents couldn't pick them up at Hogwarts. However, Harry and Hermione were sitting in the compartment alone, and it was a good thing too, because Harry just had to talk to her.
"You know the letter that Fawkes brought?" She nodded. "Well, in it Dumbledore said that Professor McGonagall is going to employ a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, and that she's gonna fight against coming here. She won't want to come to Hogwarts, and that I'm the only one she'll listen to."
"Did he say why?" Harry shook his head. "Curious, and she's an auror?" Harry nodded. "What's her name?"
"Sounds Spanish. You're sure she's from here?" Harry shrugged.
Count on Hermione to give him something to think about, the whole ride back to Platfrom 9 3/4. Where was she from?
Once he was through the barrier, he was surprised to find his entire family waiting for him, with smiles on their faces. Harry was sure something had gone wrong for him, and they were happy.
"Good to have you back, Harry," Uncle Vernon said, with a quick embrace. Harry looked at him funny.
"Can't wait for you to come home," Aunt Petunia added, with a smooch on his forehead. "What do you want for supper?"
"I dunno. Whatever Dudley wants I guess."
Dudley put an arm around him, and nodded. "See, I told you he was the best. He's always letting me have my way."
Harry took a step back, and looked at each member of his family, a little curiously. Without another word, he turned and walked out of the train station. In the car, Dudley left him enough room to sit down comfortably, and Uncle Vernon asked if there was some station in particular that he wanted to listen to. This was getting weird.
When they got to the house, and stepped into the living room, he was shocked to see that there was a banner hung up. It read:
"Welcome Home Harry! Congratulations on passing another year!"
He turned to look at his family, and shook his head. "Ok, what's going on? Is this a big joke?"
"What are you talking about Harry?" Dudley asked, smiling.
"Since when do you give a hoot what happens to me?"
Uncle Vernon's eyes widened, then he growled. "Oh, I told you to listen to that brat of yours!" he shouted at Dudley.
Then the most unnatural thing in the world happened. Uncle Vernon took out a wand from his trousers, and pointed it at Harry. The red spraks registered in Harry's mind in time for him to flinch as they rushed to him. To his astonishment, nothing happened. He looked at Uncle Vernon, and saw that he was knocked out. As he turned to Aunt Petunia, he was shocked to find Bellatrix there, sneering at him.
"What did you do?" she asked, making her way to him. "The spell just bounced off you."
"It's the house," Harry answered, as he suddenly understood why it was that Dumbledore wanted him back here, every year. "You can't touch me here. But I can, you!" Harry pulled out his wand, and pointed it at Bellatrix, "Stupefy!" already halfway out of his mouth by the time the wand was in the air.
Dudley, who turned out to be Goyle's father, glared at him, as Bellatrix went down. "Your aunt and uncle begged us not to kill that fat lump of a boy," he sneered. "They said that you would avenge his death. Vincent told me, though, that they don't treat you good. When I brought that up, they looked genuinely worried that you wouldn't help them."
"Where are they?"
"In a much better place," Goyle said, sneering once again.
"Harry run!" Ginny said, suddenly. Harry turned to look at her, and his heart tripped over itlself. What the hell was she doing here!
"Ginny get out of here!" Harry yelled, as he started to run towards her.
The jet of green light rushed passed Harry, and missed Ginny's head by inches. He took hold of her waist, and concentrated on the Burrow. With a crack, they appeared in the house, and Mrs. Weasley wrapped her arms around both of them.
"Merlin's beard, where were you two?" she asked, sobbing.
Harry looked at her curiously, and turned to look at the wall directly opposite them. That clock that the Weasley's had was there. Two of the hands, one with Ginny's picture, and the other with Harry's were moving from Mortal Peril, to Home.
"A Death Eater was at Harry's house," Ginny said
"What?" they heard from the table. Harry turned to find Tonks and Remus sitting there. "Are you all right?" Remus asked.
"Fine, but I think my aunt and uncle and cousin are dead." He shook his head. He should be relieved that they weren't going to be around anymore, but he was sad. Three more people had died, because of him. Damn it all. "I'm going up to bed," he said, looking at everyone in the room. "Suddenly, I can't stand on my own two feet anymore."
He moved to the stairs, and faintly heard Mrs. Weasley cry out, before everything went black.
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