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Under the Stars Tonight by American Ginny
Chapter 3 : Letters and Farewell
 
Rating: 15+Chapter Reviews: 2


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Dedicated to all the amazing staffers that made this site what it was. To LovelyRita who promoted our stories and entertained us with countless stories and podcasts. To WeasleyTwinMom who was actually our mom sometimes on here. To Snitchsister who wow-ed us every time we turned on a podcast with your amazing voices and pure talent. To the countless Validators who worked countless hours on approving our stories so we could read wonderful, time consuming stories, and to the countless Prefects and Staffers who ran the forums and made every summer an amazing time, competing for the House Cup, allowing us to learn about team work, friendship and our shared love for Harry Potter despite never meeting in person. I know no matter how old I get, how long its been or how much changes this place will always be here to welcome me home. Love you all and thanks for everything you do. We owe you all a lot for keeping Harry Potter alive even after the magic stopped being new. ~AmGinny

A/N: Parts of the letter directly pulled from Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone located on page 39. No infridgement is intend from the use of this, and no money is being made by myself or HPFF. Rights remain with JK Rowlling, bloomsbury publishing and scholastic books.

Chapter 3: Letters and Farewells

It had been two weeks since Hermione had told Harry she wouldn’t be attending Stone Wall with him. He was disappointed, but he didn’t let her see that. He continued to play the role of her best friend as best as he could until she left. However, that didn’t stop him from spending his time away from her moping in his closet.

For what it was worth, the broom closet which the Dursleys had converted into his room was not the hardest part of his life. The close quarters were almost comforting in time like this. He never had to worry about someone bothering him since it was so tight. Actually, if he was in his closet, the Dursleys hardly cared to bang on his door or disturb him at all. They mainly left him alone until they wanted him to cook dinner.

Today would be no different. Hermione had begun to pack since her family were going to visit Paris for a family trip before she headed off to school so Harry had spent his entire day with her yesterday to say good-bye until Christmas. 

Harry turned over and looked at the letter sitting on the edge of his bed leaned against the wall. His name was written across the front in smooth, cursive lines. Hermione had given him the letter as they had part ways, but he was honestly too nervous to open it. What if this was the last thing he ever got from her? What if this was the final pages of their friendship? 

He laid back on his back. He couldn’t do it. He wasn’t ready to really say good-bye. She was going to a different school, and he knew eventually she’d forget about him. He just didn’t want to speed up the process of it being over.

Harry was jolted from his thoughts as his aunt went about her daily routine of waking him up.

“Get up! Up!” Aunt Petunia screeched as she rapped on his door repeatedly.

“Now!” She bellowed one last time before Harry heard her stalk away.

Mornings at the Dursleys were the worst. They were full of yelling, banging and clanging while his brain was far from being alert. Today he at least got to by pass his brain trying to cope with the sounds while it was groggy since he had been up for an hour at this point.

Harry pushed himself up from the bed before dressing as best he could in the tight conditions. Once dressed, he headed for the front door and picked up the mail laying on the rug. He began to unconsciously shuffle through it.

He really never understood why he looked at it, but for shear curiosity, he couldn’t help but to snoop through it. However, today he was caught off guard by the surprise awaiting him at the bottom of the stack. An old worn envelop laid at the bottom with his name on it.

Harry stopped just before the door way of the kitchen, dropping the rest of the mail on the ground at his feet. Not only was it addressed to him, it was addressed to his cupboard:

MR Harry Potter
The Cupboard under the Stairs
4 Privet Drive
Little Whinging
Surrey

He couldn’t believe it. Whoever had sent him the letter, knew exactly who he was and where he slept. He didn’t think anyone even knew he lived at 4 Privet Drive. 

“Why the hell did you drop the mail, boy? Ruddy lazy kid. Must I do everything myself,” said Uncle Vernon as he plowed Harry out of his way.

“Sorry, Uncle Vernon.” Harry muttered, fearing what Uncle Vernon would do seeing the letter in Harry’s hand.

Uncle Vernon didn’t seem to notice the letter in Harry’s hands and picked up the discarded bills and junk mail before making his way into the kitchen. Harry looked quizzically at Vernon. He had never seen the Dursleys ignore Harry with something addressed to him in his hands. He hadn’t received much over the years, true, but the few times he had, the Dursleys had been instantly on top of him and taking it long before he could ever read it.

Harry was confused. He walked into the kitchen and laid the letter beside his plate at the table. “Go mind the bacon, Harry,” ordered Aunt Petunia as she placed the toast on the table. She also didn’t seem to notice the letter.

Harry picked it back up and walked over to the stove before setting it on the counter beside him. He flipped the bacon and cooked it until his Aunt walked over and took it. She brushed him out of the way and threw the hot pad onto his letter. He stood there, watching as she finished up the bacon.

“What are you staring at? Go sit down.” Aunt Petunia yelled.

Harry was about to attempt to walk around her and grab the letter, but she had already grabbed the pad and letter and walked to the table, throwing down the letter and then the pad before setting the pan on it. Harry just stared at the phenomenon.

Aunt Petunia acted like she didn’t even know there was a letter underneath the hot pad. She appeared completely unaware that she had picked up anything other than padded fabric. Harry walked over to the table before taking a seat and filling his plate.

He spent the rest of breakfast watching the letter which was protruding from beneath the pan full of bacon. No one said anything about it. Uncle Vernon talked about his business and a big contract he was about to land as Aunt Petunia updated him about the neighbors —spending a significant amount of time on how the Grangers appear to be packing for a trip and how the drive will look “more up class with that rubbish gone for a few weeks.”

Harry sat quietly and watched the letter.

Once breakfast ended, Uncle Vernon headed off to work, Dudley went up stairs to play with his new birthday presents that had managed to survive the week, and Aunt Petunia went to dye the rest of his clothes for Stone Wall which required gray uniforms, leaving Harry to clean up the kitchen. Harry couldn’t complain as he appeared mesmerized by the letter that had escaped the Dursleys attention. 

Harry hurried to clear off the table and clean the dishes so he could escape and investigate his letter further. Once finished, he wandered outside. He hid himself in the hedges separating number four from the street.

Harry looked at the letter turning it over and over in his hands. He flipped it over to see a red seal with a coat of arms holding it shut. On the seal was a lion’s head, a snake, a badge and an eagle with a large H in the center. Whoever had sent this to him must have been determined to let him know it was for him only. 

Harry heard a russling in the brush nearest to the street. He curled himself up, making himself as small as possible to prying eyes. Hermione appeared through the branches and crawled in next to him.

“Hi.” She said, “I saw you crawl in here. We are about to leave. I just kind of wanted to see you one last time before we headed out.”

Harry forced a smile. He didn’t want her to go, but he wasn’t going to tell her that. “I’m going to miss you,” was all Harry could manage to respond.

“I’m going to miss you too, Harry.” Hermione replied before hugging him and nestling herself against him.

Harry didn’t say anything. He just held her. 

Time passed but neither was willing to say what they knew they must say. Neither wanted the moment to end. Finally, Hermione sighed and broke the silence, “I have to go now. My parents are waiting.”

“I know,” Harry whispered, not pulling himself away from her.

Hermione finally made the move to pull away and smiled at him. “I’ll see you in a few months,” she said giving him a reassuring touch.

Harry forced another smile. Hermione began to crawl out of their hiding place, but Harry was burning to ask her. “Hermione?” He called.

She twisted in her crouch to look at him, waiting for him to speak. “Erm…I got a letter today in the mail.”

“Oh?” Hermione questioned, “Who from?”

“I don’t know.” He paused letting it soak in his mind for a moment. “I’m afraid to open it. What if it’s something bad? I mean I don’t know anyone besides you.”

“What if it’s something good,” Hermione countered. 

Harry dropped his eyes, knowing Hermione was right, but he was still scared. What if it was just a mistake? What if it wasn’t meant for him? What if it was just a cruel joke from Dudley or Piers?

Harry heard Hermione shift and crawl back toward him. She crouched in front of him before pushing his head up with her hand. “Read it, Harry. There is nothing in that letter that could make your life worse. It can only get better from here,” she comforted. 

For the first time, Harry smiled. That thing inside Hermione was beaconing to him again. It was harder to resist. Something was different inside of him. He wanted to be closer to her. He wanted to feel her next to him, but Hermione broke away from him, causing the emotions to vanish. 
 
“I have to go, Harry. I’ll see you soon,” she said apologetically. 

With that, she was gone. Harry sat there listening as she scurried across the road. He knew better than leaving right now. Aunt Petunia would surely be at the window watching the Grangers’ departure, and he did not want to deal with the Dursleys’ finding out about his friendship with the Grangers and their “horribly, ugly daughter.”

Harry watched as Hermione threw her back pack into the car. She leaned down beside the door, appearing to tie her shoe as she secretly waved goodbye too him. He smiled and slowly waved his hand back at her despite knowing she could not see it. 

The Grangers’ car backed out of the drive, and he watched as the turned the corner at the end of Privet Drive, feeling so very alone once more.

Harry picked up the letter, turning it over and over again in his hands. The fear was still there. This could be the worst thing he ever receives in the mail. It could however also be the best. Harry stared at the thin, slanted writing on the front of the envelop. 

Hermione’s words echoed in his ear. He had trusted her with everything since the moment he had met her. There was little he feared to tell her; there was even less she ended up wrong about. 

Read it. Hermione’s voice repeated.

With a deep sigh, Harry broke the seal and pulled out the thick paper.

Dear Mr. Potter,

We are pleased to inform you that you have been formally accepted into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Enclosed is a list of all necessary books and equipment as well as your ticket on the Hogwarts Express. The train leaves at 11 in the morning sharp so please don’t be late. Term begins September 1. We look forward to seeing you at Hogwarts.

Yours Sincerely,
Minerva McGonagall
Deputy Headmistress

A second letter sat behind it:

Mr. Potter,

Considering the circumstances, we are sending our gamekeeper Hagrid to escort you to get your supplies as well as see you to the Hogwarts Express. He will arrive the day prior to your departure at which time he will also inform your guardians of the situation.

Albus Dumbledore.

This was a cruel joke even from Dudley’s standards. How in the world had he even managed to come up with this whole idea? Dudley was thicker than an oak door; he would have never been able to even spell words like Dumbledore and Hogwarts.

Harry placed the second letter behind the first and stared at the list of supplies. He gapped at the list in front of him with disbelieving eyes, but there was something weird about this all. It almost felt right. It almost felt like there was truth to it. 

He dropped the papers into his lap with the papers, finding himself stunned.

What if it wasn’t a joke? That would make him….That would make him a wizard…

A/N:

I hope you all enjoyed the third chapter. It’s getting harder to write. Not in the way that I don’t know where it is going — though I’m not sure I know that, but I feel like its becoming more emotional to me, knowing this could be my last one. I hope I can do it the justice it deserves. Please let me know what you think in the reviews. I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas and feedback. Also, feel free to go venture and check out my old stuff. Thanks for reading.

Love Always,

AmGinny

 


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