Chapter 1 : Ministry Mayhem
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A/N: Thank you to the extremly talented Rosai Gryffindor, for the fantastic banner! I hope you enjoy the first chapter of this tale full of friendship, loyalty and magic. Chapter 2 will follow soon!
Chapter One: Ministery Mayhem
It was a dark and blustery evening, and Privet Drive was so quiet you could hear a pin drop in the sleepy silence if one was awake to do so. As it were, the residents in Little Winging were all tucked up in bed fast asleep… All that is, except for one.
Harry Potter was sitting at his desk in his darkened bedroom, and the only light visible came from his wand tip. He was studying the latest Daily Prophet with great interest indeed, reading an article entitled ‘Ministry awash with Death Eaters’.
‘Mr. Rufus Scrimgeour, – Minister for Magic, refused to comment when we asked him what happened. Nevertheless, we have information from an insider that the Death Eaters entered the Ministry of Magic unknown to ministry employees last night at around 12 o’clock. Apparently they took Polyjuice Potion and were impersonating five valuable ministry workers who are now missing. Naturally, as the death eaters were portraying employees of the ministry, the defense system did not recognize them to be Death Eaters. But the intruders left one piece of evidence that gave them away – the dark mark.
This morning when Ministry workers arrived at the Ministry, a devastating site met them. The foyer and rooms beyond were all in pieces, destroyed completely, and a wizard was slumped against the wall unconscious. Upon closer inspection from a St. Mungos official, the unconscious wizard was identified as Eric, the night watchman; sadly he was dead. The St. Mungos official commented, “Eric suffered minor cuts and bruises but it looks like he was hit with the Avada Kadavra curse – he was dead before he hit the wall”.
Harry finished reading the article and sighed, muttering, “Nox.”
The wand tip was extinguished, and the room plunged into total darkness. He got up from his desk chair, yawned, and climbed into bed.
“Harry Potter, get up this instant!” Aunt Petunia yelled shrilly the following morning. “I have a lot of chores for you to do today.”
Harry woke with a start, and jumped up quickly as if electrocuted. He dressed hurriedly and dashed downstairs. As he entered the sparkling looking kitchen he saw Aunt Petunia, Uncle Vernon and his Cousin Dudley sitting around the breakfast table. Harry made himself some toast and sat down with the Dursleys to eat, and Aunt Petunia immediately gave Harry his instructions for the day.
“Wash the car, plant the roses, paint the garden gate...” she began reciting.
Harry was not paying attention to Aunt Petunia, as his thoughts were elsewhere. He was thinking about Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, his two best friends. He had not received any letters from them since they had last seen each other at Hogwarts last year.
“Right Aunt Petunia, I’ll start my chores after breakfast,” Harry said dully, still thinking of his friends.
All of a sudden there came a swooping sound, and then a crash outside the kitchen window. Harry stared at the window (the Dursleys following suit) to the sight of the Weasley’s owl, Errol, perched precariously on the ledge. Harry got up and crossed to the window to let the elderly bird in, much to uncle Vernon’s displeasure.
“Owls! I will not have them in my house!” he screeched.
Harry brought Errol to the breakfast table, and Aunt Petunia looked like she had seen a ghost, she despised owls.
Harry ignored her, and removed the scroll that was attached to Errol’s leg. As he unfurled the scroll he got a surprise; the letter was to Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon!
“Dear Mr. & Mrs. Dursley,
We would like to invite Harry to spend the remainder of the summer holidays with us. He will be perfectly happy staying here, as we have his best interests at heart.
As Harry is not of age and cannot apperate yet, my Husband Arthur has arranged for your fireplace to be connected to the floo-network just for this afternoon, so that Harry can travel to us. Your fireplace will be connected at 10 o’clock, and will remain connected till 12 o’clock. If you agree to this, please send a reply back with Errol ASAP. Thank you, Yours Sincerely Molly Weasley.”
“It’s for you!” Harry said, holding the letter out to Uncle Vernon, knowing full well that he would flip at the thought of being sent a letter by wizards.
“Me?” spluttered Uncle Vernon in a horse voice.
“Yes, it’s for you!” Harry repeated, and his Uncle took the letter with a shaking hand. He read it quickly - Harry could see his eyes racing along the page – and once he had finished reading the letter, he proceeded to discuss it with Aunt Petunia in whispered tones.
“If we let him go to these people, we won’t have to put up with him for the next 5 weeks,” Aunt Petunia muttered. Uncle Vernon nodded curtly at his wife, then turned to his nephew.
“Right, it seems that these Weasley’s have invited you to spend the summer with them, and we’ve decided you can go.”
“But this floo-network, how…” aunt Petunia exclaimed.
Harry picked up the small pouch at his feet and said, “easy.” He quickly grabbed a pen and a piece of paper and replied to Mrs. Weasley’s letter in excitement, writing, “OK, see you later. Harry.”
Then he turned on his heel, and dashed up to his bedroom to pack. He dragged his trunk out from his wardrobe, lifted it on to the bed and opened it. Then he then gathered all his schoolbooks, uniform and other essentials onto his bed; there were a lot of items there! He distinctly remembered Tonks teaching him a spell, and heard her voice in his head saying, “Pack!” enthusiastically.
Harry knew that the Ministry of Magic would strongly disapprove of his action if he were to perform magic. On the other hand there really was a lot of things there… should he risk it? He decided to perform it non-verbal, so he said in a confident voice inside his head, “Pack!”
It worked. His clothing, and various other items soared into his trunk, and Harry smiled; that was the first time he had been able to pull off a non-verbal spell successfully!
Then there came a claw like tap at the bedroom window, and he spun round at once.
There sat a handsome tawny owl, amber eyes glowing. Harry wondered with slight worry if the ministry had found out about his non-verbal spell, but as he stepped towards the window he saw with relief that it was just the owl that had come to deliver the daily prophet as usual.
Harry took the paper from the owl, and paid him 5 Knuts. The owl then flew gracefully off of the window ledge and away from Privet Drive. Harry unfolded the newspaper and quickly read the main headline.
“Ministry Employees still missing.”
As regular Daily Prophet readers will know, on the 29th of July, the Ministry of Magic was invaded by You-Know-Who’s followers, who are commonly known as Death Eaters. These intruders took Polyjuice Potion, changing their appearance instantly into those five valuable ministry employees, who have now been named as Kingsley Shacklebolt, Ludo Bagman, Amelia Bones, Amos Diggory and Dolores Umbrige – Senior Undersecretary to the minister.
Harry got a shock when he saw Dolores Umbridge’s name in the paper. ‘So she was still around then?’ he wondered, with a twinge of hatred.
Dolores Umbridge had been their Defense against the Dark Arts Teacher when they were fifth years, and she had shook Hogwarts up when she became Hogwarts High Inquisitor, and then finally Headmistress, when the governors decided it was time for Professor Dumbledore’s removal from the school. She didn’t last long as headmistress though, and Harry well remembered Fred and George’s plans, chuckling to himself as he threw the newspaper into his already half-full trunk. Then he shut Hedwig in her cage and dragged his heavy trunk off of the bed, down the stairs and into the kitchen. After dumping it on the floor, he ran back upstairs quickly to grab Hedwig and his broomstick.
At 11.55am, Harry assembled in the kitchen with his luggage, broomstick and Hedwig. Standing in front of him were the stern figures of Aunt Petunia, Uncle Vernon, and Dudley.
“Bye then, see you next summer” Harry said cheerfully to the Dursleys.
“See if you can stay for next summer too,” Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon Replied in dulcet tones.
As Hedwig would be unable to travel with Harry, he took her to the window and released her.
“Get there safe Hedwig,” he whispered softly.
Without final ado, Hedwig spread her wings wide and took off. After watching her disappear into a speck in the sky, Harry walked over to the large stone fireplace, took the pouch of floo powder out of his pocket and tipped it into the fire. At once there was a roaring green fire in the grate, and the Dursleys looked gobsmacked as Harry stepped into the flames with his trunk, broom and Hedwig’s cage.
“The Burrow!” he said confidently.
Then he had a last fleeting look at the Dursleys’ outlines, before everything went black.