Chapter 3 : Of Partys, Pets, and Peril
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I was stunned. All my friends where there, the Weasleys, Sirius, Lupin, Professor Dumbledore, Hermione, Oliver, Lee, and almost every other Gryffindor in my year. My mouth was still hanging open in shock when Ron clapped me on the back, and Herm came up and hugged me.
“Which first Harry, presents or food?
I looked around the kitchen. It was completely transformed. Banners and streamers decorated the ceiling and the walls, Fred and George had sparklers (magical sparklers they never burn out until you put them in water) in every corner, presents were piled up against the wall, and there was a huge cake bearing the words 'Happy Birthday Harry' on the table along with enough food to feed an army.
They all smiled as Ron lead me to an arm chair and as each of them gathered their gifts. Ron and Hermione had went in together to get me a snitch. I grinned wildly as I showed it off to everyone. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, Ginny, Charlie and Bill had gotten me a Tutamen, a pendent with protective powers. They can be in almost any form; this particular one had been fashioned in the shape of a lightning bolt. A Tutamen can warn the wearer of danger, and depending on the wearer’s power, block curses and even heal to some degree. It was a very powerful and thoughtful gift. I thanked them profusely for it and fastened it around my neck. It was warm and tingly against my skin. The twins had given me some “samples of their work”. I looked forward to testing the treats on Malfoy and Snape. Professor Dumbledore gave me an egg. At my puzzled expression he just smiled at me and said,
“Keep it safe and warm Harry. You will find out what it is soon.” He winked at me and his eyes twinkled in secret delight. I told him I would and gently wrapped it up in a quilt and put it near the fire.
All those presents were nothing next to what Sirius and Remus got me.
It was a pensive. I had been wanting one for a while now. But as great as just a pensive would have been there was an extra surprise in it.
“We took the liberty of already putting some memories in it. Go on take a look.” Sirius grinned at me as I reached out and touched the silvery liquid. I felt myself falling into my guardian and professor’s memories.
As my vision cleared, I realized that I was aboard the Hogwarts Express.
“I-is anyone sitting here?”
“Nope go right ahead. I’m Sirius. You are?”
“Lilly, Lilly Evans. Nice to meet you.”
I felt as if lightning had struck me. It was my mum! I whirled around in surprise as the compartment door opened and a miniature me with bright brown eyes, and a slightly smaller, shy looking brown hairdo kid entered.
“He won’t look for us in here! Go on in Lupin. Hullo by the way, I’m James.” Sirius raised his eyebrows.
“Who are you running from?”
My father made a face. “Snape. I turned his hair green at the station. He was picking on Remus here... again.”
Both Sirius and my mum stifled laughter.
“You know... I think we are going to be great friends.”
I felt myself rushing upwards and blinked when I realized I was back in the Burrow. I rushed forwards and grabbed both Sirius and Lupin in a huge hug.
“Thank-you Thank-you Thank-you!” They both laughed and told me I was quite welcome. They told me they had recorded almost every memory they had of my parents and had programmed the pensive to play them all in order of occurrence. They would have told me more, but Fred and George took them off to discuss the fine art of pranking. They had been quite impressed when they found out that Sirius and Remus were the Padfoot, and Moony of the Marauders Map.
The meal and the cake was wonderful. I couldn’t remember feeling so happy, loved, and content. I truly wished the night would never end. It was perfect.
Eventually everyone said their good-byes, and I went upstairs to look in my pensive and write the promised letter to Dudley. Most importantly, for the first time in a month, I did not need the Dreamless potion. That night was filled with dreams of the Marauders and my mother and father’s laughter. Finally, I had some memory of them besides the screams and the begging.
The very next day, Sirius and I went house hunting. After looking at about 20 houses, we finally settled on a four bedroom, two bathroom log cabin within easy flying distance of the Burrow. Then we sat down and decided what we would put in the house. Gryffindor colors won out. We kept the wall color as it was and added a crimson rug to every room and the furniture was to be red and gold. We nicknamed it the Lion’s Den. I couldn’t wait to move in.
As soon as everything was ready almost the entire Hogwarts staff came over to place protection spells on our cabin. They made it unplotable, and only certain people could get into the house. Anyone, except for professor Snape, who had a Dark Mark could not enter the Den.
The day the both of us moved in was one of the best in my life. We had a small house warming party and Herm, Ron, and Ginny all stayed over afterwards for a sleep over of sorts afterwards. We were toasting marshmallows and talking about next year when I heard a very faint crack.
It was the egg. I walked over to where I had laid it and picked it up. It had chipped a bit and I could see a tiny nose sniffing it’s first breath of air. I helped the little creature hatch by chipping away at the egg until a tiny, white, blue eyed, creature was staring up at me. It looked a bit like a Siamese cat in the face, it’s nose was black and it’s ears were cat like. It’s body reminded me of a monkey. When it grew old enough it would be able to hold on to things quite easily. The tail was the most interesting, it was three times longer than it’s owner and at the end it divided into three parts each ending in a golden feather. The creature was very tiny, small enough to fit in the palm of my hand.
“Um Harry? You have an owl.”
Indeed I did. I walked over with it still in my hand and opened the window. The owl came in and dropped a book that had a picture of a larger version of my new pet except that it had silver feathers on it’s tail. I read the title. 'Caring for Merkels'. On opening the book I found a note written by Professor Dumbledore.
Merkel’s hatching time can be predicted to the minute. This book should help you understand what a merkel is and how to care for one. In it’s first few weeks it will bond to one person, so don’t let anyone else hold it or care for it. Merkels are highly rare and quite precious for reasons you will soon understand. After the merkel has bonded to you it will be able to speak to you and only you. It’s not just a pet, it’s a friend.
PS. Yes you are allowed to take it to school in the fall.
“Wow merkels sound pretty cool!”
I smiled at Ron and tried to flip through the book looking for how to feed it. The pages wouldn’t turn until I had read them. First thing I found out was that my Merkels was a girl. Girl Merkels have gold tail feathers, boys have silver. Then I got to the chapter on feeding.
“Good she just eats what a human would mostly. I’m going to get a dropper and a bowl of milk.”
“What are you gonna name her?”
“I’m sure in the back of the book there is a list of suggested names for Merkels.”
I thought for a minute.
“That’s what you’re naming her?” I nodded.
“Well I think it’s pretty, and sweet.”
“Thanks Ginny.” She blushed.
“Yeah I like it too. It fits her somehow.”
I came back from the kitchen and fed her like the book said. Both the girls cooed at how cute Lil was. I had admit, she was sweet. I was already getting attached to her. After she finished her milk, she gave me a squeak of thanks then snuggled down for a nap. I decided to follow her example and settled down for some sleep myself. She slept curled on my pillow.
The next few weeks passed quickly in a blur of Quidditch, homework, and taking care of Lillith. Before I knew it my letter from Hogwarts had come and it was time to go to Diagon Alley. Sirius dropped me off at the Burrow and apparated to his new job working for Professor Dumbledore. He wouldn’t tell me exactly what it was he did, but he told me I would find out “when the time was right.” I for my part had enough of adventures to last me a life time and really wanted a peaceful school year. Like that would happen. Mrs. Weasley told us to go outside and do our homework till Bill arrived. Potions was the only assignment I hadn’t finished so I got to work on that one. My head was swimming and my hand was aching by the time Bill came.
“Ready to go?”
After working on the essay that Snape had assigned me, Dragons, what can and cannot be used and what does each part does, I was quite ready for a break. We portkeyed to the Leaky Cauldron and had a butter beer before entering Diagon Alley. We then went to Gringotts to get some money. I noted with some pleasure that the Weasley’s vault had many more coins than when I had come a few years ago. Then we all got out our Book lists.
Fifth year students will need the following items,
How to prepare for the OWLS (say goodbye to having a life),
Fifth year potions,
Unfogging the Future 5
Aaricorns through Zutez (The A-Z of magical creatures),
The ultimate defense for magic folk,
Charms vol 5,
A wizard’s garden,
Transfiguration for the fifth year student,
Beginning to apparate
A dress robe will also be required this year.
I winced, “Another ball...” I was in the middle of a growth spurt and doubted that my old dress robes would work. “I think I need to get some new robes, dress and otherwise. It would also be great if I could get some muggle clothes. I am sick of wearing Dudley’s old things. They keep trying to slip off.”
“Well then, it’s off to Madam Malkin’s robes for all occasions then.”
“You need new dress robes don’t you Ronnikens?”
Ron winced but answered Fred anyway. “Yes.”
“Oh great! I believe I saw a nice pair of bright neon pink lacy dress robes in there! I’ll go buy them for you.” He and his twin walked off together laughing.
I smiled to myself and went to pick out my own pair of robes. As much as I usually hate going shopping, I found myself enjoying choosing a robe. The feel, and texture of the robes was wonderful. I finally settled on a royal blue robe, I also got myself a heavy winter cloak. Last winter I had almost frozen my nose off.
I was on my way back to the Weasleys when I saw Draco Malfoy picking through the really expensive robe section. I would have just glared at him and went on with my day if the elder Malfoy hadn’t almost ruined it.
“Well well, and what do we have here? Why I believe it’s a dead duck.”
I was suddenly gripped by the memory of him and the other death eaters laughing as I held my wand in shaking fingers preparing to duel with the newly risen Voldemort.
“Come one more step toward me and I will scream Death eater at the top of my lungs.”
“You don’t really believe that Dumbledore can save you do you? He is a weak old man and his sight is growing dimmer. There will be a moment when you least expect it. Then you shall become The Boy Who Died. But before that he will take all that is dear to you.”
I felt something moving in my pocket.
Harry? My eyes widened. Was that Lil?
Oh I’m so glad I can finally talk to you! Is that man bothering you?
'Well yes he is as a matter of fact. Does this mean we have bonded?'
Yes it does. Can I get rid of him for you?
'Yes please. He isn’t a nice man.'
With that Lil scampered onto my shoulder and I saw her eyes flash golden.
“When he finally takes you... And what is that thing Potter? A new... What in the world...”
I saw his eyes widen and patted Lil on the head. A very interesting plus for a Merkel is that they can make people see what they most fear when they or their master is threatened. Mr. Malfoy didn’t know that I had a Merkel and it couldn’t have worked better. He ran off yelling about bats.
“What did you just do to my dad?”
Ah the younger Malfoy. Be still my beating heart.
“Nothing, I think he is going mental. Is Voldemort casting too many Cruciatus curses on him?” I faked a concerned look.
“You will get yours Potty. You just wait.”
“Well I wouldn’t wait if I were you. You will need to run pretty fast if you want to catch up to your dad. I believe he should be halfway to The Leaky Cauldron by now.”
I grinned at Ron who had just walked over. Hermione was on her way.
“Three against one Malfoy, wanna risk it?”
Malfoy smirked that annoying little smirk. I just wanna smack it off his face sometimes. “You think your safe Potter? You think your friends are safe? You are gonna regret the day you were born.”
“I don’t think you’re very safe either Malfoy. The death eaters got it even worse than I did. Are you sure you have chosen a safe profession?”
With one final glare in my direction he stalked off. I had my fist clenched to my sides gripping my wand tightly. Later I realized that I had been shaking, though in fear or rage I didn’t know. I was jerked back into reality by a hand on my shoulder.
I found myself looking into a pair of concerned bright blue eyes. I blinked.
“You just zoned out there for a second. We were a bit afraid you would hex one of the store clerks! You all right there?”
“Yeah... just fine. Those Malfoys” I spit out the word. “Just make me so angry!”
“I know Harry, I know they do.” His face brightened. “Look what Fred and George are buying me!” He held up the velvety forest green robes he had been clutching. “And no lace! Those two must be making a killing with their joke business!”
I gave him a pensive half smile. He would never know... “Yeah they’re nice Ron. Sure you don’t want just a little lace, you know for old memories.”
“Oh you!” He hit me upside the head with his brand new dress robes. I forced a laugh and went to pay for my new robes trying my best not to think back or look back.
No problem Harry. Try not to think about it too much.
'Guess I can’t hide anything from you can I?'
At that moment I was almost sure that was part of the reason Professor Dumbledore gave her to me in the first place.
You just might be right Harry. I mentally groaned.
'You aren’t going to stop that are you?'
I rolled my eyes and smiled. My life just seems to get weirder and weirder.
I was jolted back to reality when a black crow landed on my shoulder. It held a note in it’s beak.
Um... Lil, can you tell if that is a Portkey?
No it’s not Harry but it does have magic in it. Be careful.
I nodded and took the note sighing in relief when the crow nodded and flew off. It had been digging it’s talons into my shoulder. As for the note... it looked like a howler. I turned it over and saw the dark mark grinning at me. I made a decision quickly. I grabbed Ron and Hermione’s hands and dashed out the back.
I showed them the dark mark seal. I gulped and broke the seal, somehow knowing that if I didn’t it would either explode and hurt people, or he would retaliate in some way.
We were all thrown back as a mini dark mark raced into the air finally settling high above Diagon alley. I could vaguely hear the screams of people when they saw it. There was also a letter inside.
Don’t think for one minute that you are safe in that little cabin of yours. I am always watching you Harry... and waiting.
I was very sorely tempted to send an incendio charm at the letter and just burn the darn thing. I was not a bit surprised when I heard the faint popping sound signaling the arrival of ministry hit wizards and a “Mom’s gonna KILL me!” from Bill. I let Ron and Herm explain things to them and answered a few questions myself.
To my relief they let us go when Mr. Weasley arrived an hour later and did not suggest my having a body guard. I suspect I already had one at that time but he or she was so good I hadn’t noticed. Mr. Weasley quickly took us through the almost empty streets and to the shops that we still needed to go to. Then with barely a word he followed us to the Leaky Cauldron where we each grabbed some Floo Powder and stepped into the fire place yelling out “The Burrow!”
As soon as we stepped out of the fireplace we were all swept up in a bone crushing hug, courtesy of Mrs. Weasley. She scolded us, especially Bill and I, then sent the whole lot of us to de-gnome the garden. I must admit I took out my frustration on a few of them. In the end we all made a sort of game out of it. Whoever launched them the farthest won.
Bill won, I came in at a close second.
After supper Herm flooed back to her house and we all settled down for some sleep.
I felt a prickling in my scar and heard a door open and close. Two chairs scraped on the floor and my vision focused on two men sitting at what looked like a council table.
“Do we have everything ready?”
“Yes my lord, we are only waiting for your command.”
“Well you simpering fool, I am giving the command. Leave no one in that house alive. I want that Mudblood and her family dead! Potter will soon realize what a mistake it was to cross me.”
At that point I realized they were after Herm and started trying to wake myself up.
“Yes master. I will gladly carry out the task you have given me.”
“See that you do Lucius...”
I heard the sound of a door opening and hurried footsteps.
“Wormtail... I thought I left instructions NOT to be disturbed!”
“Yes master you did but...”
“Then why did you disobey me? CRUCIO!”
His cries of pain filled the room for a few seconds then Voldemort lifted the curse.
“Now Wormtail, what did you deem so important as to interrupt my meeting and risk my wrath?”
“Mmm Master, if it pleases you, Igor Karkaroff has been captured! He awaits you in the dungeon... under a silencing charm and a mild Cruciatus curse, as you instructed master.”
“Excellent. I believe the Grangers can wait for a few hours. Come Lucius. We will have some entertainment before the main event.”
I was screaming at myself to wake up but nothing was working. Voldemort looked back into the room.
‘You’re mine Harry Potter. Harry. Harry...”
“Harry! Harry come one wake up!”
My eyes snapped open and I gazed into the concerned eyes of my godfather. In a rush the entire dream came back to me and I clamped my hand over my scar fighting not to cry out against the throbbing pain. Sirius put a hand on my shoulder.
“Harry? What’s wrong?”
“Hermonie... the Grangers... danger. Oh Sirius we have to get them out of there!”
I leapt out of bed and grabbed my wand and invisibility cloak.
“Harry? What are you...”
“Voldemort is about to attack and kill the Grangers! Come ON!”
“My thoughts exactly!”
“Ok now, before we go anywhere I am owling Arthur Weasley and fire talking Dumbledore. Harry you write a letter to the Weasleys I will fire talk. Now hurry!”
Both of us ran around the house frantically completing our jobs. I hastily wrote the letter and practically threw Hedwig out the window. We were at the fire place when Sirius pressed a blue marble in my hand.
“If you get into trouble grab who you can and shout Transportom. I do not want you running about trying to save everyone. Got it?”
“Good put on the cloak and let’s go.”
It had been decided Sirius would go first and I would follow. I watched him walk through the flames then stepped through myself shouting “The Grangers!” I kept a tight hold on my glasses and my wand as I whizzed through the tunnel then, as soon as it began it was over. Sirius helped me steady myself then we separated and went in search of Hermione and her family.
Suddenly I was looking down the barrel of a gun.
“How did you get here and how do you know my daughter?”
I took a deep breath and kept hold of my wand.
“Mr. Granger you have to get out of this house! Dark wizards are coming!”
His eyes widened slightly.
“Who are you?”
“I’m Harry, Harry Potter, you know her friend from school? We met once. Now PLEASE wake up everyone and help us get everyone out!”
No more words were said between us as he nodded once and set off in another direction. I didn’t care who I walked in on and kicked the first door I saw open.
“EVERYBODY OUT DARK WIZARDS! OUT NOW!”
“Herm no time to explain grab your wand and go to the fire place. There is some floo powder there go to the burrow if anyone else is there show them how to use the floo.”
“Harry? What’s going on?”
“Are you daft?! Get going! Otherwise you are gonna have VOLDEMORT FOR A HOUSE GUEST!!!”
Her face turned white and her eyes grew wide in horror. She grabbed her wand and followed me out of the room. I felt a small stab in my scar and I noticed a red glow at my chest.
“He’s coming hurry.”
“What’s that glow?”
“The Tutamen. It warns of danger remember?”
By the time we managed to get down the stairs she was practically supporting all my weight and the tutamen was lighting the entire room it was so bright. We made it to the fire place where Sirius was already helping the Grangers get to safety. He looked at me firmly.
“Harry you’re next.”
I looked up and shook my head.
“No way. I’m the one with the Portkey. If anything I should be last.”
He had opened him mouth to argue when the front doors were blown off the hinges. I shoved Hermione through the floo just as she was yelling out the burrow. Only Sirius and I were left. He grabbed my arm and nodded. I dug in my robe pockets looking for the Portkey. I yanked it out.
It was just like last time. My blood was on fire, every nerve ending I had was screaming. I lost hold of the Portkey and crumpled to the floor letting out a pain filled scream. Thank goodness Sirius kept his head. He caught the marble before it hit the ground, kept a firm hold on my arm and almost screamed out the activation word.
In addition to the pain I felt the familiar pulling in my gut as we were yanked away from certain doom. When we landed my screams lowered to quiet whimpers. I didn’t even care where we were just as long as Voldemort was far far away. Sirius gathered me in has arms and held on to my shaking body. He gently, albeit awkwardly, patted my back telling me I was safe. I was also vaguely aware of the tutamen emitting a strange blue glow. It was comforting in a way and I felt myself recovering much more quickly than last time. I had just quieted down when running footsteps approached.
“Harry! Thank everything magical that you are safe!”
It was Professor Dumbledore.
AN: Okey! Hopefully there will be no more spacing difficulties. Four more chapters to go! Yay!
and LizPsky: Thanks for reveiwing. As I said before I wrote these parts quite a while ago and my grammer has VASTLY improved since then. If you would be kind enough to beta this fic I would be more than happy to email you the rest of it. ^_^ I'm glad you are enjoying the fic, and the sequal to this... well, I am working on the fourth chapter now. ^_^ The third chapter is evvvviiilll. Just thought I would warn ya.
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