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The Day After by Nessa Elendil
Chapter 5 : Chapter 4 - Back Again
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 7


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A/N: Okay, so I reread the last chapter and realized that I must have gone temporarily insane (moreso than usual, that is). So I have revised it. I just hope that it's not as... well, that it's better than before. Here's chapter four; enjoy!








Chapter 4

Harry would be lying to himself if he said he wasn't expecting this, waking up back at Privet Drive. Of course, if he only had to survive the day before returning to his home, like he also expected would happen, then it wasn't too bad of a situation that he was in.

He decided it would just be best for everyone if he stayed in his room, keeping the door locked, then tomorrow he would wake up and enjoy the day with Sirius, Ron, and Hermione.

Ron and Hermione were only staying for a couple of days (then Hermione would be going on vacation with her parents somewhere in Spain, and, since summer vacation had only just started, Mrs. Weasley wanted Ron home for a few weeks, but she had offered to let Harry come over any time he wanted) and then Harry was looking forward to spending some time with the godfather he'd almost lost. Harry had never realized how much he wanted to ask Sirius, and tell him; he had simply taken advantage of the fact that Sirius was right there, thinking he always would be there. Harry would never make that mistake again.

Harry turned his head so fast he heard his neck crack when a harsh rapping repeatedly sounded at his door.

"Boy! Your uncle wants you in the kitchen! Now!" he heard his aunt screech.

Figuring he might as well go see what Uncle Vernon wanted, Harry sighed and heaved himself off his bed. Maybe he could grab a few of his school supplies unnoticed and get some of his summer work done. Even if he was going to get his homework does - eventually - in his other "life", Harry still wasn't looking forward to a month's worth of detentions from Snape in this one for not getting his essay done.

Harry got to the kitchen, and the sight surprised him. His uncle was standing next to a chair, facing Harry. On the table in front of the chair was a piece of paper and a pen. Hedwig was in her cage close by. She gave a hoot upon seeing Harry, but Harry wasn't sure if the hoot meant she was happy to see him or if she was angry he'd left her alone with the Dursleys for so long. Probably somewhere in between. But regardless to Hedwig's feelings towards him at the moment, Harry was eager to make sure she was okay. However, he tried to hide his concern for his owl from his uncle the best that he could.

"Sit," Vernon ordered.

Harry had realized that he was going to write a letter to the Order so no one would show up on the Dursley's doorstep, but he still didn't want to piss his uncle off. He only wanted to take Hedwig and go back up into his room with her. But he couldn't, he sat.

"Write a letter to those freaks of yours. I won't have them showing up at my house."

Harry picked up the pen, but couldn't decide whom to address the letter to. "I'll need to write three, if you want it to be believable," Harry said tonelessly, hoping his uncle wouldn't become angered by that fact. He kept his emerald eyes on his owl, looking to see if his aunt or uncle, or cousin even, had done anything to hurt her. Hedwig looked all right though, more annoyed than anything else. Her cage wasn't any dirtier than it would have been, and it looked like she had been eating more than Harry. The wizard guessed his relatives knew that there would be consequences they didn't want to face if Harry's owl showed up looked half-dead.

Uncle Vernon, in response to his nephew's comment, went to a desk in the hallway, pulled out a notebook, and dropped it in front of Harry. "Then write three," he snarled.

Harry opened the cover and addressed the first page "Dear Ron", then racked his brain and continued writing. The final product Harry was satisfied with read:

        Dear Ron,
    
    How's your summer going so far? Mine's been better than some. Hope to see you all soon.

        
        Harry

He ripped off the page and set it aside. Expectedly and immediately, Uncle Vernon snatched it up and his beady eyes went back and forth, reading it enough times to make sure it wouldn't cause anyone unwanted and unexpected to show up. Harry waited to write the second one until his uncle gave a grunt of approval.

        Dear Hermione, (the second letter read)

    Hope your summer's going well. I can't complain about mine. Hope to hear from you soon.
        
        Harry

Harry repeated the same procedure with this letter as the last. True, the letters didn't hold what they usually would when Harry wrote to his friends, but, not only were they being screened by his uncle, but he really didn't feel like talking about his summer. At least not the one he was currently in.

The last letter Harry found rather difficult to write. He figured he'd have to write to somebody actually in the Order, more specifically, someone in the group who'd been there to greet him when he left the platform for the Muggle World, so he decided on Lupin. That was partially because he knew Lupin from somewhere outside of the Order (he'd known Moody outside of it too, but that Moody turned out to be a Death Eater who had supposedly died in Azkaban) and partially because he remembered that Lupin was the one he had gone to in the other... reality, life, whatever it was, when inquiring about his godfather. True, that was probably only because Sirius and Lupin were best friends and he was most likely to have news on the hospitalized wizard, but that was beside the point.

        Dear Remus, (Lupin had asked Harry to call him "Remus" after all)

    Summer's been going fine so far. Just three days in so not much has really been going on, either.

(Just that part had been difficult to write. How was he supposed to talk casually to an old professor who was trying to keep tabs on him?)

    Hope all is well.

        Harry

That, Harry thought, should get the job done. Lupin would think Harry was fine, and no one would show up until it was time to collect him. Which probably wouldn't be until August 31, Harry's mind added bitterly. But what was he really so upset about? He was going back to Sirius's tomorrow. At least he thought he was, or rather, had convinced himself he was.

Once his uncle had looked over all the letters, Harry was allowed to let Hedwig out of her cage to send them. Though thoroughly annoyed, she let Harry attach the letters and flew off to deliver them. Harry was then ordered to clean his owl's cage, and then the rest of the house.

Since he hadn't cleaned up the "mess" he had made two days ago (according to Dursleys it was two days ago) he was going to clean more now.


Like I wouldn't have ended up doing this anyways, Harry thought savagely as he polished the coffee table one-handed. He hadn't been too big on the idea of allowing chemicals to get on a bandage covering open wounds - which they were sure to be since his injured hand had "accidentally" bent almost backward when he passed Dudley on the stairs.

At the rate he was going, Harry knew he'd be lucky if he finished in time to go to bed. He hadn't, but he had almost fallen asleep washing... something (his memory wasn't too fond of him at the moment) when he knocked over a bottle of some cleaning supply. Aunt Petunia had screeched how he was trying to ruin her home and rapped him upside the head, then ordered him to his room for the rest of the night - after he'd cleaned up what he spilt, of course. Harry went all too willingly, pausing only to see that the lock on the cupboard under the stairs (where his school supplies were) had been changed to one Harry knew he'd never be able to open without a key or magic.

Harry hurried back up to his room before anyone could figure out why he had paused. Even though the Dursleys favored having him do manual labor, physical punishment wasn't an experience Harry was at all unfamiliar with, and it was one he was never keen on repeating.

Placing his old glasses on the bedside table, Harry slid in between his sheets and closed his eyes, hoping the excitement bubbling in his stomach would calm enough to let him sleep until whatever it was that brought him home happened.




A/N: Sorry, I know it's short. But, just for clarification, Harry is living in two alternate realities that alternate every day. Harry has, for the most part, figured this out.


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