A/N: I'd just like to say, thanks to everyone who reviewed and read
my first chapter! I'd also like to give a big thank you to my
pre-betas, you're great and without your encouragement, I'd never have
even been able to submit this! And finally I'd like to thank my beta,
Lisa. Thanks so much, for everything you're doing for me and I
defiantly wouldn't have been able to do this if it weren't for you.
Happy reading – enjoy!
Mrs Dursley" mumbled Ron, as he turned away and smirked along with
Harry. Hermione was trying not to laugh at Vernon's reddening face as
he sat at the table glaring at the bits of shattered glass all over the
floor that Petunia was now sweeping up.
"Mum, where's my – " Dudley froze in his tracks at the sight of Harry, Ron and Hermione.
"Boy! Go and find something to do! Go on! Shoo!" Vernon gestured frantically towards Harry and the kitchen door.
"Come on," Harry muttered and pushed them through the hallway and towards the front door.
"He's quite rude, isn't he, Harry?"
"Which one are you talking about?" he grinned.
"Well, they could at least try and make an effort. They don't seem to care."
because they don't. Listen, Hermione. They don't care about me. So I
don't care about them. It's simple. Nothing will ever change. That's
just the way it is."
"But maybe you should try. And Ron and I should
try and be nice to them too. That was the third cup you'd smashed!" Ron
tried to look ashamed of himself, but failed miserably.
"And …Petunia must at least like you…"
"Not this again, Hermione…"
since Ron and Hermione had arrived at Number 4, Hermione had taken on
the task of making Harry enjoy staying with his relatives. Ignoring
Harry's attempt at telling her that it was impossible to like the
Dursleys and that they hated him, she still wouldn't give up. Ever
since she walked in on his and Petunia's hug she had been badgering him
about it until one night he finally gave in. In was just after dinner
and they were all up in Harry's room.
"You don't usually get hugs from her, do you?" she had asked.
"Hermione! Listen, it wasn't a big deal, okay?" he groaned. She looked at him as if trying to work out what he was hiding.
"You've never been hugged by her or your uncle, have you?"
"Okay. It was the first hug that I ever remember receiving from a relative."
Her eyes filled with tears.
"Hermione! Stop crying!"
"It's just so sad."
nothing! Look, it was the first hug I remember getting from a blood
relative, but they're not my family. You two are and I've got more than
enough hugs to be going on with."
"Oh, Harry!" she cried and threw her arms around him and burst into tears.
"Hermione!" he looked desperately at Ron, who just shook his head and shrugged, looking completely bewildered.
Soon it was the evening of July 30th and Harry sat in his bedroom blindfolded.
are you doing?" he kept asking, but all the reply he got was a "You'll
see." It was very annoying. At around 11:50 at night, Ron removed his
blindfold. Harry looked around, stunned. There were streamers covering
all the walls in red, gold, yellow, orange, blue, purple… every colour
he could think of. There were paper stars stuck to the ceiling, the
wardrobe and the desk, which had been enchanted to twinkle. But best of
all was the floor. It was littered with presents and cards, and in the
middle sat a massive birthday cake. It had white icing but there was
barely any white left. It was covered in hundreds of multi-coloured
sprinkles and in the middle, written in Ron's messy handwriting, it
Happy 17th Birthday
Harry was at a loss for words.
"Harry? Harry? Do you like it?"
answer, he turned and grinned at Ron and Hermione. "It hasn't even
started yet but I know that this is going to be the best birthday I've
ever had." Ron pulled something out from behind Harry's desk.
"Butterbeer? Fred and George sent them."
open some presents?" Sitting down, Harry was overwhelmed by the number
of presents he received. There were presents from Charlie, Fleur and
Bill, Fred and George, Mr and Mrs Weasley, Remus, Ron, Hermione and
Ginny. He got many presents, including a watch similar to the one that
Ron got from Mr and Mrs Weasley, and a brand new, very
expensive-looking chess set from Ron and Hermione together… but the
best was from Ginny. When he picked it up it was small, but
surprisingly heavy. He unwrapped it and found a small box. He opened
the lid and found a long chain with a plain gold, oval-shaped pendant.
Bringing it up to his eyes, he saw that the oval had a catch at the
side. He slowly undid it and it creaked open, letting out a blindingly
bright light that lit up the whole room.
"Ahhhh!" he yelled and slammed it shut. He stared at it for a moment and then said, "Wow."
"I think I'm blind..." said Ron, rubbing his eyes furiously.
"What was that?" Hermione asked. Harry's eyes were still stinging from the brightness of the light.
"I dunno. Oh, hang on…" there was a scribbled note from Ginny.
This is a Chaîne de Lumière. It gives light to the wearer and only to those he trusts.
He read the note aloud to Ron and Hermione.
"How much did this cost?" said Ron, astounded.
"Where did she get it?" asked Hermione.
don't know." It was times like now that Harry wanted to be with Ginny
more than ever but he knew that it couldn't be until the war was over.
He closed his eyes trying to block all thoughts of Ginny from his mind.
on Harry, its 11:59, want to blow out your candles?" Hermione quickly
lit the cake. Harry bent over the candles. He didn't usually make
birthday wishes because he didn't usually have a cake to make them on.
However, he felt that this was special. So he closed his eyes and
wished the hardest he ever had for his wish to come true. Right now, it
was what he wanted most in the world. The clock struck twelve and he
blew out all his candles in one puff.
Hermione had just
handed him a knife, when Harry felt a floating sensation fill his body.
Although he was still sitting, he felt lighter than air, as if he could
float up to the ceiling if he wanted to. Then suddenly, he realised
that his feet were glowing with a deep red light. Unfortunately, it
didn't stop there. The light travelled up his body until it reached his
head, where it burst into little sparks and landed on the carpet in
front of him.
In a room a few doors down from Harry, Petunia
turned in her sleep. All of a sudden, her dream changed; now she was
now floating upwards and was flying through the clouds. If you were
standing on Privet Drive and looked up at her bedroom window, you would
have seen deep red light through the followed by sparks. Petunia turned
in her sleep again. Her dream had changed once again; this time she was
reliving a moment that she had experienced almost sixteen years ago…
once again, she shrieked and dropped the milk bottles, as she found
something unwelcome on her doorstep.
"Candles from Fred and George?" asked Harry, as he brushed his hair, checking for stray sparks.
"No…" said Hermione slowly, turning to look at Ron. "I don't know what that was."
"Maybe it was a coming of age thing," said Ron, shrugging his shoulders.
"Did that happen to you, Ron?" said Hermione pointedly.
"Well, no, but – "
tuned them out. He had just had a thought. He thought he had a pretty
good idea of what had just happened to him…or what had just been lifted
He wondered if the same thing had happened to Petunia.
After Harry's birthday, the days went by quickly. In no time at all it was Monday night and time to leave.
"So…I guess I'll see you, sometime," he mumbled while
standing in the living room with his trunk and broomstick. Clearing out
his room had been stranger than usual because although he didn't leave
anything, when he packed for Hogwarts, he still felt nervous in case he
left anything because he would never get it back. Growing up, he'd
always imagined this day as the best day of his life. Finally being
free of the Dursleys. No more of Dudley's teasing and taunting, no more
of Vernon treating him like dirt, no more of living in the house that
was full of bad memories, no more of Petunia's-. That was it. After
everything about the charm that Dumbledore had placed upon them, her
wanting him to be okay and win the battle, he had felt closer to her,
closer to her than he'd ever been before. And now, just as they were
starting to realise that they have something in common and to talk to
each other like other was family, he had to leave. He made a silent vow
that he would come back and visit Petunia again sometime.
"Won't you be back next summer?" barked Uncle Vernon.
no. As of last week, I am seventeen which – in the wizarding
world, means that I am basically an adult, so I've gotta get a job,
move out, you know that kinda thing." Even Uncle Vernon was shocked at
"Well then…I guess, yes, see you, then."
"Erm…Harry? We're going to see you at the Burrow, come on Ron." And they Disapparated.
"Bye," grumbled Dudley, avoiding Harry's eyes.
care, Harry!" Petunia burst out, then covered her mouth as if she
didn't know what she'd said as Uncle Vernon and Dudley glared at her.
"Wait, boy! But what about that Voldletort… person?"
"He was after you last year, what about now?"
Voldemort is still searching for me, so I've got to kill him before I
get a job. That's just part of my plan. See you!" and he dissaparated
leaving the stunned Dursley family behind.
Ron and Hermione were to spend two weeks at the Burrow and then they
would start their journey a week before everyone went back to school.
After arriving at the Burrow on Monday night and sitting down to a
magnificent dinner they had trooped off to bed. It was Thursday night.
They had just finished their meal and were about to enter the living
room when Ginny announced that she was going to get some fresh
air. Harry didn't think that anyone had noticed but she
purposefully dropped her bracelet by Harry's chair and said when
picking it up, "Meet me outside round the back of the shed." A few
minutes later when they were all in the living room Harry tried to get
"Mr Weasley, should I collect more firewood?"
"Er…Harry? We don't use firewood, we use our wands."
"Erm…how about I teach you how to make a Muggle fire?"
"Really? Brilliant! Take Ron with you."
no I'll be fine. Back soon." Once outside Harry sighed. He did not
think that one through. Harry spotted the shed and poked his head round
the back. Ginny was quite comfortably standing there looking right back
at him. It was roomier than he'd imagined, so he slid round to join her
"Took your time."
"Yeah. Sorry needed to
think of an excuse. I'm supposed to be collecting firewood – I'm
gonna teach your dad how to make a Muggle fire."
She laughed and said, "Nice one." There was a short silence.
"Ginny, listen." She looked up into his eyes.
"I wanted to talk to you about the break-up."
"So did I. That's why I wanted to meet you here. It's the only place where you can get some privacy in this house."
"You go first," he said.
when we broke-up…I know that you think that Voldemort would use me as
bait, but I know you too well, Harry. I know that wasn't the only
reason, so answer me truthfully, Harry. Are you coming back to
Hogwarts?" Harry closed his eyes and sighed. It was the hardest thing
that he had to do, admitting to Ginny that he wasn't coming back to
Hogwarts. But when he looked down at her, she was still gazing
hopefully up at him even though the teardrops sparkling at the corner
of her eyes waiting to fall already knew the answer.
Ginny. I am not coming back to Hogwarts. I was going to tell
you…announce it to everyone tomorrow. Ron and Hermione refused to let
me go alone so they're not coming back either."
her mouth and was about to insist that she was coming too when Harry
said, "No. I'm sorry Ginny but you've still got two years left at
school and you're not of age yet so you're not even allowed to leave
yet. You've still got to do at least another year before you can
leave." She closed her protesting mouth and swallowed.
Yeah. I get it. There's no point persuading Mmum and Ddad to let me go,
when law won't let me leave. But when has that ever stopped you? When
have rules ever held you back from doing something? I wouldn't be alive
if you hadn't broken the rules! You and Ron weren't allowed to leave
the dormitory but you did and you saved my life!"
that's different! They were school rules – this is law! And while
I'm trying to defeat Voldemort, it won't make it any easier if you're
on the run from the law! Besides, it's different for us. Hermione
doesn't need another year of school, she already knows everything! And
anything she doesn't know she can teach herself! Ron's only interested
in Qquidditch, he doesn't know what he wants to do! And me… well, I
have to leave. I can't go to that school while Dumbledore's not
headmaster and…and well I'm the only one who can do this. I have to
find and do certain things before this war can end. Things that only
Dumbledore and I knew about." Harry watched a tear trickle down her
cheek and Harry wiped it away.
"Well I suppose that I should," she gestured towards the house,"Go."
she was sliding past Harry and leaving him and the back of the shed
behind, he didn't know what made him do it but he grabbed her arm and
whispered, "Don't go."
And as she looked up into his eyes
she saw that they were not full of apologies and excuses for going but
of heartbreak and hatred of himself for doing the right thing and
hatred of the law that made her stay behind. And then without thinking,
he pulled her in closer and kissed her like he never had before.
Harry was in his shared room with Ron.
"What?" grumbled a sleepy Ron.
"Going to the bathroom."
"'Kay," Ron half snored. Harry crept downstairs and softly knocked on Ginny's door.
"Who is it?" she whispered.
"It's me," he whispered and poked his head around the door. Ginny was sitting up in bed reading.
"Hey," she whispered and put down her book.
"Hey. Why are we whispering?"
asleep." She pointed to the lump in the other bed with bushy brown
hair. Damn, Harry thought. He had forgotten about Hermione being there.
"I wanted to say that I…well…I mean today was good, it was great! But…erm…"
"You think that we shouldn't see each other," she finished for him.
"Erm…yes but I think that we should get used to not being a…a couple when we're around each other…I guess," he finished lamely.
"So you're dumping me again?" Ginny's voice was suddenly cold.
"Well, when I came to see you I didn't want anything to happen."
"What – by the shed?"
"Yeah. I didn't know that anything would happen."
"Well, I wanted to talk to you about everything and I didn't know that anything would happen either!" she replied.
"Yeah! I wanted to be with you for a while…to talk and stuff–"
if you remember correctly, Harry, you shouldn't have kissed me!" her
voice was hurt but still cold. She looked as if she was about to cry or
maybe about to yell? He couldn't tell. Harry was surprised that
Hermione hadn't woken up yet. Maybe she was a deep sleeper. If she was
awake, she would have known what to do in a situation like this…
me? We're having an argument about how you didn't want anything to
happen, but you kiss me, you lead me on, then the same day you dump me
again, then when I'm upset about this argument all you can do is stare
"NO! I… I…Just thought that she had woken up
maybe…or I don't like her…well I do like her…a lot…but not like how I
like you, she a good friend and all but not in the same way!" Ginny
looked furious. Harry knew he was just babbling and making it worse. He
just couldn't stop it.
"Get out." She spat. And he left.
Ginny leant back on her pillows and let the tears roll down her face.
Once outside, Harry leant against the wall and he closed his eyes. He
felt horrible. He felt as if his heart had been ripped out and trod on.
He hadn't felt like this for Cho, he'd never felt like this for anyone,
he felt as if he couldn't go on without her, he wanted to run back in
there and kiss her breathless, make it all better. But he knew that if
he did that, he would never let her go and he couldn't see her, not
until the war was over anyway. He felt his eyes watering and from
inside the room he thought he heard a sob, too.
This can't go on,
So I should just regret it, regret it, regret it,
And even though
I led you on – forget it, forget it, forget it
I'm going missing for a while
I've got nothing left to lose