Disclaimer: The setting and characters all belong to JK Rowling, of course. I'm just having fun with them.
Potter, hunched up on his bed, still fully dressed, jerked awake as the
same memory started to pass through his exhausted brain.
he whispered savagely and climbed off the bed, scrubbing at the
lightning-bolt scar on his forehead. He sat down at the little desk in
the corner and ran his hands through his hair, making it stand up more
than ever. He grabbed parchment, quill, and ink from the top drawer,
and began to write shakily in the light of the streetlamp outside and
the full moon shining above it.
Dear Professor Dumbledore,
not slept a wink in three days for fear of what I keep starting to
dream—what you showed me in your Pensieve after Sirius—well, after we
got back to your office that night. I try to clear my mind like
Professor Snape told me to, but as soon as I close my eyes, that figure
starts to rise from your thoughts and say, "The one with the power to
vanquish…" And I wake up with my scar burning. I think he's
trying to pry into my memories, but how could he know? And if he's not,
Professor, but I dream it and he happens to be 'tuned into' me at the
Professor, because I'm not ready to face him yet, but if he manages to
spy on this memory, what will ever stop him from just wiping me off the
face of the planet or having someone else do it for him? I mean, if he
learns the whole prophecy, not even the Order will be able to keep me
What can I do?
opened Hedwig's cage as quietly as he could and reached in for his pet.
She hooted softly in an almost concerned way and climbed onto his
outstretched hand. Harry tied the letter to her leg and caressed her
beautiful plumage before whispering his instructions, "Take this to
Mrs. Figg around the corner, okay? It's urgent."
Hedwig immediately launched herself out the open window and soared off into the night.
took out a fresh piece of parchment to start another letter—this time
to Ron Weasley. However, no sooner had he dipped his quill into his ink
bottle but Hedwig came flying back through the window and perched on
his shoulder, nipping his left ear affectionately. She stuck out her
leg so Harry could untie Mrs. Figg's reply and then flew out the window
once more, presumably for a night of hunting.
Harry opened the tiny scroll and laughed as he read the short note:
owl was most insistent that I pass your letter on directly. It has been
done. I do hope you're alright. Please come to tea with me this
afternoon, and try and get some sleep before you do.
scoffed at the last sentence and started working on his note to Ron.
Over such a long distance, owl post was no longer safe, so he'd have to
stick to mundane matters:
weeks into the holidays and I'm bored stiff. I kind of wish the O.W.L.
results would come, just to give me something else to think about.
The Muggles haven't been too bad so far, probably thanks to the (in)famous Welcoming Committee at King's Cross Station.
I hope everyone at the Burrow is doing well. Write soon.
would probably kill him for sending such a boring note—especially
because it was almost identical to the ones he'd been sending out every
three days to each member of what he liked to call the Welcoming
Committee. He supposed he'd better come up with something better for
the next round or people would start wondering if things weren't really
okay, which was something only Dumbledore himself could be allowed to
know at this point.
He sealed the note and sat staring at the moon's progress across the sky as he waited for Hedwig to return.
* * *
Hedwig finished devouring a vole, Harry sent her off to the Burrow in
the pre-dawn half-light, then watched as morning slowly arrived at
When he heard his Aunt Petunia head down the
stairs to start breakfast, he decided he'd been sitting in one place
for long enough and went into the bathroom for a quick shower before
going down to help her set the table.
When Harry reached the kitchen, his aunt took one look at his face and said, "Sit."
"What's going on, Harry?" she asked, peering suspiciously at his bloodshot eyes.
"Nothing," Harry muttered.
"Don't 'nothing' me, boy!" she snapped. "You look like you haven't slept in days. What's happened?"
"You don't want to know, Aunt Petunia. Trust me on this one."
"Is it…is he…is it him?" she asked, fear in her eyes.
Harry nodded glumly.
Aunt Petunia sat down heavily in the chair Harry was facing. "Tell me."
"I-I'm working on a solution, Aunt Petunia. I wrote to Professor Dumbledore early this morning…" Harry faltered.
She raised her eyebrows at him. "Okay," he corrected, "so it was really early this morning—like three-ish."
"Oh, Harry," she shook her head. "But what's happened? Why are you acting like a - a walking dead person?"
just shook his head. How could he ever start to explain what he was
going through? And since when did she care anyhow? He started picking
at his grapefruit quarter to avoid replying.
"Harry, I'm waiting." It looked like she'd not be letting him off the hook quite so easily.
sighed deeply. "My godfather is dead. Killed by a Death Eater—by his
own cousin, in fact. And it's all my stupid fault! If I'd learned
Occlumency like I was supposed to…if I'd opened that stupid mirror
sooner…if-" he broke off, looking at his plate.
enough, young man," she said. "Since when are you responsible for the
actions of two adults who have probably hated one another their entire
Harry's head snapped up at that. "But how did…?"
had another letter from that headmaster of yours explaining only that
you might be in a delicate state after an unfortunate series of events
that took place on the last day of your exams. So I've been reading
your newspaper after you throw it away each day."
"You mean you've actually been reading the Daily Prophet? But…"
"Yes, I have, and I must say I had no idea just how famous you really were, Harry."
of good it does me," he muttered. "Keeps getting me into more and more
trouble. I just wish it were all over with already so I could be at
"What do you mean, 'at peace'?" she looked sharply at him.
that, Aunt Petunia. I'm just so tired of it all. I didn't ask to be
this Chosen One, and I don't want to be me anymore. I just wish I dared
fall asleep so he could read the prophecy and have me put out of my
misery already. But if I do, then that's the end of it all, isn't it? I
mean, it's either him or me, right? But if I'm gone, he'll just take
over completely and no one will ever be safe again…"
Petunia sat quietly looking at her hands. She finally looked up and
opened her mouth to speak to him when Uncle Vernon and Dudley barged
through the door and sat down to breakfast like any other day. Her
mouth snapped shut again.
"Oh, by the way, I forgot to tell you that Mrs. Figg invited me to tea with her today. Can I go?" Harry ventured quietly.
Vernon opened his mouth to say no, but Aunt Petunia beat him to the
punch. "Of course you can. She's probably feeling quite lonely with
only cats for company. You go visit her. Maybe that will help things a
Harry looked closely at his aunt's face at that and she
winked slightly at him before getting up to serve Uncle Vernon his
Harry's jaw dropped. Could Dumbledore have finally blown Mrs. Figg's cover to Aunt Petunia? It certainly looked that way.