When they arrived at Order headquarters, much to Harry's surprise the
place was deserted. It seemed rather strange to him being that they had
talked about how "busy" the Order was and that Ron couldn't come to get
him because he was helping his mum with "things" at headquarters.
Harry turned to Moody and asked, "What's going on? I guess I expected a bit more activity around here. Why did you come for me now anyway?"
looked at the twins and then back at Harry. "Dumbledore got word from
an informant that that "blimp" of a woman was coming today. He felt it
better to take you away rather than let you get into trouble again by
hexing her and her slobbering mutt to smithereens. We were coming for
you next week anyway, it just seemed prudent."
at them a little irritated at the implication that he couldn't control
his temper, but he knew deep down they were probably right on this
occasion. Besides, anything that got him away from Privet Drive was
okay with him.
"So where is everyone? Where's Ron? I thought he would be here." Harry asked as he began to calm his temper.
was the twins' turn to respond now. "Well, he and Mum were here. They
were getting things ready for you. You know…cleaning, preparing food,
so you'd have what you need. When Dumbledore moved your 'extraction
from Dursley Doom' up a week unexpectedly, it put Mum into a bit of a
tizzy. She was worried she wouldn't have enough time to prepare things
properly for you, so she put Ron and us to work straight away. She was
in a right state wasn't she?" George said turning to Fred.
she kept asking if headquarters felt 'homey' enough and bustling around
like the Queen was coming or something." Fred responded shrugging his
shoulders. "She finally calmed down in the end though after we slipped
her some special tea, our own unique blend." Fred said with a wink. "She was more than alright after that."
"Down right blissful, I'd say." George added with a nod and a proud grin. "She just wanted you to feel at home here, Harry."
Harry looked curiously at the three of them. "So, they're all gone? You mean, I'll be staying… alone?"
did not like the idea of being left alone in the home of his dead
godfather. On the surface, it was evident that Mrs. Weasley and the
others had worked hard at eliminating the remaining 'darkness' from the
house. Many of the Black family heirlooms had finally been
removed, including the wailing portrait of Mrs. Black. The menacing
objects had been replaced with brighter, cheerier ones and it had taken
on the overall feel of a normal muggle home rather than a den of dark
wizards. Regardless of the physical changes in the room, as Harry
looked around the empty lounge, he could almost feel an echo of Sirius
in the space. It wasn't that he was frightened; it just made him feel
Fred and George seemed to know what he was thinking and jumped to answer. "No of course not, we'll be taking it in turns to…"
"To what, mind me?" Harry finished indignantly. "Why can't I just come to the Burrow?"
Moody practically growled, "Its not safe boy! You know that!"
"Then why can't Ron come to stay here with me?" Harry shot back as his voice rose to where he was practically yelling.
twins looked quickly at each other and then began trying to calm him
down again, "Take it easy Harry. He will, but not until tomorrow. He
was going to pick up Hermione tonight and then they are both going to be joining you tomorrow. Ginny will be along any minute now. We're going to keep you company tonight."
Suddenly Harry felt like a prat as he paused and then answered, "Oh." somewhat lamely.
rather uncomfortable silence filled the room. Moody disappeared into
the kitchen and the twins kept stealing glances at each other and then
at Harry with uncertainty. They seemed to be unsure of how to proceed
from there. To escape the awkwardness, Harry decided to excuse himself
from the group and go upstairs to unpack.
When he entered
his room it certainly looked like it had been given what Harry could
only describe as a mother's touch. It was spotless and everything
looked fresh and bright. The curtains were drawn back and sunshine
gleamed through the window. His spirits began to rise as he opened the
wardrobe and began to unpack.
He was done with his Dursley 'sentence' for another year and spending
the last five weeks of the summer holiday with his best friends. If he
could just figure out his dreams, he thought his life would be just
about perfect. Well, maybe not perfect, there was still the matter of Voldemort, but he felt that it would be pretty good, all things considered.
decided to let Hedwig share in his freedom. He walked to her cage and
released the clasp. Normally she'd be asleep at this time of day if she
wasn't off delivering a letter, but apparently the commotion of the day
had her a bit off her routine.
"Go on girl. Have a bit of a
stretch." Harry said as he stroked her snow white feathers with a
smile. She didn't seem too keen on moving at first, but when Harry
crossed the room and opened the window in encouragement, Hedwig hopped
out of her cage and lighted on his arm momentarily. In appreciation,
she affectionately nipped his ear before gliding out into the open air.
He watched as she took flight into the late morning sky, hooting
happily. Harry followed her with his eyes as she soared off over the
rooftops and out of sight.
Wistfully, he imagined how it
would feel to grab his Firebolt and join her. It had been weeks since
he'd flown. No matter how many times he'd done it, it always felt
exhilarating when he first pushed off from the ground. He reluctantly
tabled the thought after a few minutes. He seriously doubted that Moody
or anyone else would appreciate him taking an excursion into Muggle air
space. No, definitely not. Flying would have to wait.
sigh he turned from the window and finished unpacking. After placing
Hedwig's empty cage on the wardrobe, he stretched out on the bed to
relax. In the silence of the room, his mind drifted once again to the
unmistakable presence of his godfather that could be felt all around
him. Harry swallowed hard and wondered if he was really ready to spend
the summer closed off at Grimmauld Place.
Part of the reason
Sirius was gone was because he had been going stir crazy cooped up at
headquarters. Harry tried to push the thoughts from his mind and
concentrate on the fact that Fred and George were staying the night,
Ginny was on her way, and Ron and Hermione would be arriving to
tomorrow. He'd soon be surrounded by the people he loved most. Sirius
wouldn't want him to dwell on the tragedies of the past. He'd want him
to live for the future and find peace and solace in his memory, not
Slowly Harry's mind cleared and his eyes began to slide out of focus. He was feeling more tired than he realized. Obviously
the lack of sleep and the excitement of the morning had taken its toll.
Before Harry knew it, he had drifted off to sleep.
he was walking down a torch lit, stone corridor. The flames dancing off
the walls were little comfort along the dark and dank pathway of his
dreams, but Harry didn't care. He moved deliberately through the
catacombs turning several times without even thinking. The route was so
engrained in his mind at that point; he didn't need to think about it.
As the doorway to the chamber came into view, he felt a familiar jolt
of excitement and nerves sweep over him. He moved forward to open the
door, hoping that this time the elusive figure from his dreams
would somehow reveal themselves to him. When the heavy wooden barrier
swung open on its large metal hinges, initially things looked the same
as they had every other night, but they weren't. It took only seconds
for Harry to sense that something was different. It was quiet, too quiet. A surge of panic washed over him.
"I'm too late!" he thought.
hoped that he was wrong and that the person he had heard night after
night hadn't lost their fight. Proceeding cautiously into the room he
saw a glow coming from the far corner. As he approached it, he began to
realize it was the form of a girl. She was lying silently on what
looked like a giant stone slab covered in carved serpents. The light he
had seen was radiating from the fire crackling behind her giving the
figure a rather eerie, ethereal glow.
he approached her, watchful of his surroundings. When he was sure they
were alone, he began to close the distance between him and her
alarmingly still body. The room seemed to grow and elongate as he
walked. He kept moving forward but he didn't feel like he was gaining
much ground. When he finally reached her side, he looked down and
It can't be! …Ginny! What happened to you? Wake up Ginny!" Harry's
throat constricted as his mind shot back years to the image of her on
the floor of the Chamber of Secrets. He reached out to touch her cheek
and found it icy cold. She looked dead, but after noticing the rise and
fall of her slow breathing he knew she was alive. She was bound and in
some sort of deep sleep. She was bruised and scratched and her eyes
were puffy and dark underneath, like she had been crying. Harry had to
remind himself this was only a dream. This can't really be
happening. She's coming to see me. Fred and George said so themselves.
Ginny is fine. Ginny is fine! He could almost hear her calling to him
even as he repeated the words in his mind.
voice was off in the distance "Harry! Harry, wake up!" The words
finally sunk in as Harry sat bolt upright in the bed and came face to
face with the real live version of the girl in his dreams. Ginny was
sitting next to him on the bed. She had been trying to wake him. She
looked frightened and exhausted, very much like her counterpart in his
dream, except the scratches and bruises were absent. "Harry, are you
froze in silence. He was stunned at what he had just seen in his dream.
It was even more of a shock to wake up and find Ginny sitting right
before him. He wanted to grab her and hug her in relief that she was
safe, but she'd surely think he'd lost his mind. He didn't want to
scare her with the truth. Not knowing quite what he should say he lied
and said, "Er…Yeah…I'm fine." Then trying to sound casual he added,
"How long have I been asleep?"
looked at him questioningly as if searching his eyes for answers. After
a small pause she quietly asked, "You found me…didn't you?"
A/N: Thanks again to my wonderful betas, Tante and Sonicdale. You guys are the best!