Chapter 1 : A Touch of Laughter
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Blackness. Spinning. Colors and voices floated all around him. As Harry spun around his gaze focused on the veil. Wake up! He tried to rouse himself from the regular nightmare but he knew it would be no use. But still, he tried. Wake up!
Running. His footsteps pounding down the stairs, he knew he had to reach him. Maybe, just maybe this time he could save him. Maybe this time-
Sirius Black fell through the veil.
"NO! No! Come back, please!"
Screaming and shaking, Harry bolted into a sitting position. He had been reliving that one fatal moment since his godfather had died. Murdered by Bellatrix Lestrange. Harry knew that he had yelled out in his sleep, but he lived with the Dursleys who wouldn't lift a finger to help him, much less consoling him that his only caring family member was dead. Not that Harry wanted their pity, he just wanted to be cared about again. Sirius had been so much to him, a connection to his parents, he was like an uncle to Harry. Sighing, Harry rubbed his eyes and looked at the battered clock on his dresser.
Harry forced himself out of bed and down the stairs to the kitchen where more misery surely awaited him. He was walking quietly down the stairs when he saw Dudley playing his favorite video game. The chair he was sitting in groaned against the excessive weight. The chair was its back legs, groaning and creaking, about to tip over. Waiting to see if it would break or not, Harry leaned against the door frame wanting the unstable chair legs to give out.
“You! Boy! Get me my bacon!”
Sighing again, (the chair had not yet broken) Harry moved on from the scene in the living room and went straight to the stove. He then dumped a full package of bacon onto his uncle’s plate, which was already full of eggs, three pieces of toast, and four large pancakes covered in syrup.
“Happy?” Harry asked sarcastically
“Don’t you take that tone with me boy! Go to your room. NOW! And don’t come out ‘till your Aunt says you can. You ungrateful little…"
Just then, a giant crash came from the other room, followed by Dudley’s yelling and cursing. He was going on about how everything in this house was too old, and wouldn’t support a flea’s weight.
Not hearing the rest of Dudley’s complaints about the house, he slowly made his way back up to his room locked the door. Where he immediately slid down until he hit the wooden floor. He then knew no more.
Harry awoke, still on the floor. Uncurling out of his uncomfortable position on the floor, he made his way over to Hedwigs cage and pressed an owl nut through the bars.
“I couldn’t have even made it to my bed? God, I must be tired,” grumbled Harry as he paced around his small room. He went over to his small window and looked out. The sun was now starting to set, sending an eerie glow onto the rooftops of Privet Drive. Aunt Petunia was out doing her regular mid-afternoon/early evening pruning of the already perfectly sculpted garden, and Harry could hear Dudley playing his favourite video game on his brand new television.
Harry then went and sat on his bed. He held his head in his hands, and started shaking. He knew without a doubt that Sirius wouldn’t have wanted Harry to go through this after he died. Even though Harry felt as if his world was ending, he had to try and move on.
He decided to use a few choice words after this silent statement.
Harry had never felt more lost in the world. The one last family member who truly cared was gone and Harry had no idea what to do with himself. The edges of his vision blurred when he thought about how Sirius had come to rescue him. Sirius who had been wanting to do more for the Order, who had been locked up for months, and when he finally got his chance to do something once again, he was killed! It wasn’t fair! That thought made Harry pause.
When had life ever been fair? It never was and it never would be. Harry kicked his dresser in frustration and had to nurse his stubbed toe while he thought. His parents had died when he was only one, so he had been sent to live with his abusive Aunt and Uncle who wished him a tragic death. Hogwarts truly was his home, but even there he had faced many dangers. Cedric’s death still haunted him. But he had always had Ron and Hermione to lighten up the mood and who were always there to support him. Especially when there was an evil dark lord bent on killing him…
Yes. Life had never been fair, but that was just the way the world turned he supposed. Not that it made anything any easier.
Later that evening Hedwig started hooting from inside her cage, as a strange owl Harry had never seen before flew into his room. Rubbing his tired eyes he went to grab the owl who was hooting happily as he flew all around the room
“SHUT THAT STUPID OWL UP BOY! SOME OF US ARE TRYING TO WATCH THE NEWS!” Came the angry call from downstairs.
“Sorry Uncle Vernon. I’ll get right on that!” Harry replied, rather annoyed by all the yelling. Didn’t they realize that all he wanted this summer was to be left alone, shut up in his room? All Harry had done this summer was sit up in his room with the door locked and try to reconcile himself with the fact that Sirius would never write to him again. Harry then pushed a few more owl nuts through Hedwigs cage. Hedwig just stared at him with his round eyes brimming with disapproval. She hadn't been getting out very much lately and was restless. But she sat still, her eyes following the hyper bird, her wings rustling at the new noise.
Finally catching the overly happy owl which was still hooting happily, Harry grabbed the letter and the owl flew back out the window the way it had come in. Tearing open the letter Harry started to read.
Dear Harry Potter;
As you are our little brother’s best friend, and a fellow trouble-maker (The breaking into the ministry, giving us the gold to start a joke shop, rebelling against Umbridge), we have decided that you can be called a fairly good trouble-maker-causer-person (Not as good as we are though!). We have also decided after this revelation, that it is our duty, and somewhat of a privilege to cheer you up as this summer you seem somewhat sad. (Ron told us, so no we did not read his mail. Well not the mail he got from you anyway…) To get back to the topic at hand, we, ourselves, and us will be coming to visit you on July 12th at 11pm. NO, you do not have a choice in this, Mr. I-am-so-sad-because-my-godfather-died. That is the very reason we are coming! We know why you are so sad so we will give you good cheer! But really, you do need to be happier before you come to visit us! We don’t want to deal with a depressed person again! It was bad enough when Percy the moron left and Mom was crying. No offence Harry. You are nowhere near as bad as Percy….
Oh by the way Mom’s clearing it with Dumbledore and you’re coming to stay with us later. Has Ronnikins not let you know yet? See you soon! Also you may want to mention the fact to the muggle’s that you will be coming to stay with us later, but if they say no, don't worry! We Weasleys are endlessly inventive of ways to break people out. You may remember how we got you out in your second year.....
ANYWAYS, to get back on the main topic, we decided to make you have some fun before you come and stay with us! You should be honoured, the majestic Weasley twins do not visit students younger than them often but you are not below our standards! So be honored and grateful and excited (yes all three emotions, at once if you can!) that you shall be graced with our presence soon!
From the delightful twins,
Fred and George Weasely.
P.S. Leave your window open. We don’t want you to get into trouble with your relatives…again
PPS: Shop is going great! Thanks for the start up money.
Half laughing and half about worried what Ron’s twin older brothers might be up to, Harry looked at his watch. It read ten-fifty He supposed that the twins had planned to send the letter as close as they possibly could to the time that they would arrive so that Harry had no chance to write back saying that they couldn’t just show up at his house. And what did “leave the window open” mean? He couldn’t fathom them coming in through the window, again! Unless they were taking that bewitched car out again, but wouldn’t they have to park it?
Just as he went to unlatch his window, there was a knock from the other side of the glass. As Harry opened it there was an annoyed whisper from outside.
“I thought we told you to open your window! We wanted to do a grand entrance!”
Laughing for the first time in months, Harry looked into the faces of Fred and George Weasley, two of the greatest chaos makers that Hogwarts had ever seen (well, they might come in second next to the infamous Marauders, thought Harry, secretly smiling to himself).
The redheaded twins had come on broomsticks and were trying not to fall out of the air as they slowly climbed into Harry’s room. Once they were in they broke into identical grins.
“Do not fear!” started George.
“We are here!” continued Fred.
“To bring you great cheer!” They finished in unison, bowing and twirling their wands as red and gold sparks flew out the tips. Staring dazedly at them as they finished their performance, Harry felt as though a great weight had left him for a few moments.
“How’ve you been?” Asked Fred as he surveyed Harry’s rather small bedroom.
“Eh, I’ve been better.” answered Harry.
“Whoa! Where’d you get this,” exclaimed George “ It’s so cool! Hey Fred, I wonder if we could sell something like this!”
George was busy examining Harry’s live miniature model of the dragon he had fought during the Triwizard Tournament. It was stretching all the while keeping its eyes open to survey the twins. Grinning as he watched the excited twins, he suddenly remembered who was sleeping down the hall.
“Fred, George, remember we can’t be too loud! They might wake up, and I really don’t want to deal with them right now.”
“Oh Harry. Harry, Harry, Harry. You have so much to learn. We will teach you to master the basics of trouble making while going down to the kitchen. Just follow our wonderful lead!
George then proceeded to take two bobby pins from his pocket and unlock Harry’s door. As the trio silently made their way down to the kitchen, Harry wondered why the twins were helping him or if their family even knew that they were gone.
When asked this, they simply replied:
“Of course they do! We just, uh, told them it was okay with the muggles that we came over. They also thought we left early this morning, but we needed to pick up a few supplies from our store along the way. Trust us, it will be worth it. Just don’t tell mum!”
Fred then found a large tub of ice cream (Dudley’s), and a case of pop (Uncle Vernon's) and strolled out into the Dursley’s backyard. Then taking several things out of his pockets (Harry couldn’t make out what they were) he lined them up all in a row. When Harry and George reached him, Fred pulled out a lighter and lit eight ends of what which Harry realized were fireworks.
“It’s a new product that we are working on, Fred explained, "they aren’t wet start fireworks, but when they explode, they create images that any other regular or magical fireworks can create. To make a long story short, they can create chaos.”
“Uh, chaos? What happened to me not getting in trouble with the muggles? Again? Guys, I don’t know…”
“Oh Harry, don’t worry! We will only get you in trouble for two reasons! First one is that it is going to be fun! You need some cheering up. Second: we will take the blame if it comes to that. Well, most of the blame. Come on, let loose a little! It’s going to be fantastic! Really, you are turning into Hermione! What’s life without a little excitement?”
Put at ease, and curious to see what the fireworks would do, Harry leaned against a tree and waited for the show to start. He grinned as he imagined his Aunt's and Uncles faces if they knew there were three wizards in their backyard, two of who had previously made Dudley’s tongue grew to an impossible length.
Then one by one, the magical fireworks shot into the star filled sky. As one exploded, a dragon appeared with a roar and flapped its great wings right outside of Dudley’s window. Harry doubled over with laughter as he heard his cousin’s yells inside. Another firework turned into a giant owl which then flew all over the yard, hooting rather loudly. Harry could hear footsteps and yelling from the Dursley’s as they ran all over the house. High-fiving Fred and George as yet another firework turned into a lion which roared, Harry was laughing so hard he could barely breathe as more chaos erupted as each firework turned into some kind creature. Hearing more banging as the Dursley’s found out where the noise was coming from, the laughing trio went and hid in some perfectly trimmed bushes. Uncle Vernon stormed out of the house just as the last firework exploded into a giant golden eagle and cawed right in his face.
“BOY! YOU ARE GOING TO FIX THIS RIGHT NOW!” He roared at the top of his lungs.
Still doubled over with laughter Harry, Fred, and George emerged from the bush, marveling at the full effect of the chaos as Dudley and Aunt Petunia ran out to meet Vernon. All three of them were in full out panic mode, running around and screaming their heads off at the trio to make the "blasted things stop." When Harry's Uncle Vernon realized who the two people standing on either side of Harry, he burst into a rage of unintelligible, but obviously angry words. He was no doubt remembering what had happened to his son when the twin's had last showed up. This just made Fred and George's grins even wider. Dudley on the other hand tried to make himself as small as possible, fearful of the twins. Just then, a red dragon, spewing golden sparks from its snout flew straight over Dudley and exploded directly over his head. Dudley was whimpering and looking around for a chance to escape.
“How could you do this? Make them stop!” Screeched Aunt Petunia.
The twins then spotted Dudley. Grinning identical evil grins the walked towards him.
“Hey! Want some candy? We’ve got loads!” Fred asked, as George pulled out different candies, all different shape and sizes. Dudley, furiously shaking his head, ran as fast as he could (which wasn’t very fast) into the house. Harry burst out laughing once again.
He knew then, for at least one night, his grief no longer had complete control over him. As the stars danced in the sky, Harry laughed into the night.
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