Chapter 1 : Did you say...Petrificus Totalus?
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It had been six weeks since the tragic happenings at the Ministry of Magic. Harry was, for the most part, coping as well as could be expected considering the loss of his Godfather, and one of the last remaining links to who his parents really were, Sirius Black. Harry’s last year had been a painful one. Slander from the Daily Prophet against himself and Dumbledore, and a dementor attack ordered by Dolores Umbridge, who would be his Defence against the dark arts teacher for that year and also the undersecretary to Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic. Harry experienced tormenting nightmares, and an extremely short temper, particularly with his two best friends Ron and Hermione that contributed to a massive eruption of raw emotion in the office of Albus Dumbledore, who incidentally, took the destruction of many of his personal possessions extremely well. But it was that night in Dumbledore’s office that changed Harry. It was not just the news of the Prophesy, which upon first glance suggested Harry must kill or be killed in the war with Voldemort. No, it was that grand release of energy that had made Harry realised the true nature of his power, the build up of raw emotion combined with its climatic release had somehow cleared his mind of doubt. He has the power to vanish the dark lord. It was that night when Harry realised his full potential as a wizard. Potential that surpasses Voldemort. The only problem was that he needed to reach this potential before the final battle began.
Harry was sitting at his desk spinning his wand around his fingers patiently awaiting a letter or something from Hermione or Ron, Ginny or even Neville, to wish him a happy 16th birthday. Its not everyday the boy who lived turns 16. With that thought a plain brown barn owl landed elegantly on his window frame. Tied to its talon was a copy of the Daily prophet and a brief note from Dumbledore.
Happy Birthday Harry,
I am not going to ask for forgiveness here, for I understand it is up to you if and when such a thing will happen. No, I have attached the Daily Prophet which has some interesting front page news that I thought you may like to hear.
Harry, if you need to talk about anything and feel that you cannot relate the details of our discussion last term to your friends, I am always available.
Harry smiled. Deep down he could not begrudge Dumbledore for his actions. Perhaps he would have told Harry at the beginning of the year if he wasn’t afraid of looking into his eyes. Harry took up the Daily Prophet and read the front page.
Last night, Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge was disposed of as Minister of Magic. The decision came in the late hours of the night when the Wizgamot met to decide his fate. It is believed that his blind refusal to see that You Know Who had returned and his campaigns to destroy the reputation of Albus Dumbledore and The Boy Who Lived had led the Wizgamot to relieve him of his duties for ‘Gross negligence’ and ‘ Severe incompetence’. It is also suspected that he was receiving bribes from known deatheaters, some of who’s names were reviled by us 6 weeks ago. In an interview Mr. Fudge claimed ‘Dumbledore’s been out to get me and my job from the start, if this is the injustice that is going on in our world then I am glad I am not accountable for it as Minister of Magic.’ The Daily Prophet would also like to remind its readers, that in spite of Mr. Fudge’s words, Albus Dumbledore has refused to run for Minister as he has done many times before. Elections will not take place until the New Year, so Amelia Bones has been elected stand in Minister whilst campaigns are drawn up. The leading contenders are thought to be: Dolores Umbridge, Percival Weasley, Arthur Weasley and of course Amelia Bones.
Of course, we wish all candidates the best of luck in with their campaigns.
Harry smiled. What a fantastic birthday present. No more of the idiot Fudge. Harry felt a sense of pride in Dumbledore for not taking the job, perhaps because it made Fudge look like even more of a fool. Harry thought that since he had nothing better to do, he would write his Headmaster a letter.
Dear Professor Dumbledore
Thank you for that copy of the Prophet, it made my day. But the reason behind this letter is not so much a thank you, but an apology. You say that you cannot ask my forgiveness and that you should accept it if and when it comes along. Well, as right as you maybe, I don’t feel I can sit here and be angry at you, without feeling a rather large pain of guilt myself for my behaviour in your office last term. I destroyed your personal items, some of which were no doubt sentimental. It is not you who should be awaiting forgiveness but myself. I have thought long and hard about what you said that night and reasons for doing what you did, and I must admit that I fully understand you and I would hope that given the same situation, I would have handled it much like you did. I therefore would like to apologise for being such a…. teenager in your room last year when in light of the actions I took earlier in the night I should have acted more maturely.
Apologies one again,
Harry J. Potter
Harry folded the letter and sealed before clipping it to Hedwig and sending her off the Hogwarts.
“POTTER” he heard his uncle cry in that usual master to servant kind of voice.
Harry stood up calmly and smiled “Coming uncle” and left the room.
Harry wandered downstairs walked into the kitchen and gave a mock bow. “How can I help you uncle?” Harry asked innocently.
Vernon had his head hidden behind The Daily Mail and muttered a few words. “Breakfast, usual, coffee today as well. Then wake Dudley up, he has a boxing match later”
Harry turned the kettle on, started frying the eggs and bacon and promptly served his uncle. The task took Harry about 7 minutes and he wondered why Vernon could not have cooked his own breakfast.
“And Dudley” his uncle muttered, his mouth full of food.
“Yes, Uncle” Harry snapped enthusiastically.
“DUDLEY, BREAKFAST” shouted Harry
“Do it properly boy” Vernon encouraged
Harry rolled his eyes and headed upstairs. This kid is 16 (like me but everyone has forgotten) and he cant even get himself up, no he has be got up the special Dudley way.
Harry knocked gently on his cousin’s door. “Come on Dudley its time to get up, you have a boxing match today”.
“Ok, Come in” was the reply Harry got.
Harry walked in, and over to Dudley’s wardrobe, picked out the clothes he usually wears for his boxing day and lay them neatly on Dudley’s bed.
“Tea or coffee?” Harry asked tediously, as though this routine of waking Dudley was finally below him. The saviour of the wizarding world waiting on an overweight muggle.
Harry went downstairs and walked into the kitchen “Mission accomplished, sir” Harry saluted with mock enthusiasm.
“Enough of that boy, get the mail, I just heard it arrive”
Harry trudged off to the front door to collect the days post. He sifted through them. Mr. Vernon Dursley and another, Mrs. Petunia Dursley and Harry Potter.
Harry popped his letter in his mouth, forgetting the problems that mail has caused him before and strolled into the kitchen. He gave his uncle his two letters and the one to his aunt, before turning to his.
“Potter, what’s that?” his uncle demanded as if disappointed in Harry’s behaviour.
“Uncle, it is what we wizards and believe it or not, you non-wizards call a letter” Harry replied, trying to be as patronising as possible.
“Yes, Yes I am well aware of that boy, who is it from, and why?”
“If you would be so kind as to let me open it, I could answer you questions” Harry seethed.
“Go on then” his uncle hurried
Hello Mister. Sorry I haven’t sent you anything for a while, I’ve been on holiday in Barbados. It’s lovely. I’ll show you the photos on the train. Listen, I just wanted to say Happy Birthday and congratulations for surviving to reach 16. Quiet an achievement with some nutcase on you back.
Harry flicked he eyes towards Vernon. Before realising she in fact mean Voldemort.
Any how, there are four weeks left of the summer and we get our OWL results in the next few days. Do you want to meet up sometime? No doubt the order will be getting you out of there pretty soon; I mean you’ve stayed over for your birthday. Anyway, I have your present waiting for you when I see you. I do hope you will like it.
Lots of Love
Harry smiled inwardly. She hadn’t forgotten. Hope lifted through his body that perhaps Ron and his other friends had not forgotten either.
“Oh its from Hermione, school friend!” Harry replied absent minded
“What’s one of you kind using our mail for, how absurd, I mean you use those blasted owls, who does she think she is wasting our taxes on petty letters? Those sorts are the dregs of society, scrounging off good hardworking people like ourselves….” Vernon continued to ramble on as Harry’s temper soared.
Harry thought that he had learnt to control his temper since last year when he offended his friends on several occasions. But this uncalled for and rather offensive slur on one of Hermione had got Harry fuming and without really realising what he was doing Harry had his wand pointed at Vernon, who was still rambling on despite the vibrating cutlery and the cowering words from Dudley. It was only when Vernon stopped to draw breath and look up that he noticed Harry’s wand trained on his face.
Vernon was startled and stood up, the smile on his face of insulting the wizard kind was wiped off and the typical redness had swelled up. However, before Vernon could so much as speak, or even thump the table in disgust he had fallen flat on his back, in a rather powerful bodybind.
Harry ducked under the table out of instinct. There was someone here, someone had hexed his uncle. Harry signalled for his cousin to get down. Too scared, Dudley followed. Harry was breathing deeply ready for battle, he was by now, used to such situations.
The kitchen door opened slowly, Aunt Petunia walked in the door carrying laundry. She noticed Dudley’s foot sticking out from under the tablecloth.
“Dudley dear, what are you doing under there? Where’s Harry? And why is you uncle lying like tha…..AAAAARRRGHHHHHH.”
“Potter, Potter what have you done, come down here at once.” With that Harry climbed out from under the table when an owl swooped in and dropped a letter into Harry’ right hand.
It was addressed:
Under the kitchen table
No. 4 Private Drive
Then it dawned on him that there was no attack or other wizard, it was he who had petrified his uncle. I didn’t say it, I only thought ‘oh how much would I like to petrify him for a month’. He knew exactly what was in the letter, it was a definite expulsion a letter condemning him for the use of underage magic. Come on Harry, you’re a Gryffindor, open it. With that, Harry tore the letter open
Dear Harry Potter
It has come to our attention that you have once again contravened the decree for the reasonable restriction of underage magic by performing the Petrificus Totalus at 08:14 July 31st. Two officials will arrive shortly make sure everything is in order. Since this is your third official offence, it is my duty as Minister of Magic to personally tell you to remain where you are.
Well that was… weird…’everything is in order?’ With that to loud cracks could be heard and a witch and wizard strolled into the kitchen.
Petunia look horrified “What is this, what has the boy done this time?”
“Mrs. Dursley, I implore you to remain calm, this is a simple case of underage magic, which is, I must say, something Mr. Potter cannot seem to grasp to be illegal. I am of course Sarah Knots, with the department of the reasonable restriction of underage magic. And I am here to ensure Mr. Potter’s actions are accounted for.”
Petunia looked perplexed “Fine, do what ever you need, just make Vernon better” she shrieked.
The second wizard, for some reason was not present. Knots gave a glance towards Harry before making and odd twitching motion with her nose.
“AHH, what did you just do?” Dudley screamed
“Sorry dear I don’t know what you mean” Knots replied calmly.
“Y-your nose, it just changed size” Dudley stammered
“Don’t be so stupid, that isn’t possible without a complicated transfiguration spell” Knots said
It was then at that point that Harry realised he might not be in as much trouble as he thought. Amelia Bones’ letter was weird, but this was weirder. Harry knew what was going on, but kept it quiet.
“So, erm… Knots, Do you snap my wand, or shall I do it?” Harry offered
Knots look horrified as Harry held his wand tight ready to snap it “You shall do no such thing…
Harry smiled inwardly.
“No, our instructions are to bring you into HQ for further questioning”. Harry understood completely what this meant.
“This way Mr. Potter” Knots demanded. “Mr. Potter, would you mind unbinding your uncle, that’s some pretty powerful stuff you have done there”
Harry looked up quizzically knowing full well that Knots had been dropping him hints since her arrival but played along.
Harry lifted the spell and Knots rushed him out the kitchen door. The second wizard remained silent and looked sternly at Harry.
Both inspectors bound Harry’s hands with magical ropes and led him out the front door.
“Knots, whats his name” Harry asked tilting his head towards the other wizard.
“We call him Romulus” Knots replied
“He’s… quiet” Harry observed
“Hey Romulus” Harry dared
“What Potter” he growled
“I know this witch, Nymphadora Tonks, met her last year, absolute nutter that one, she can do all this meta…” Harry continued…
“ Shut it Potter, you’re in enough trouble as it is, and we’re not here to talk about your friends.” Growled Knots, clearly annoyed
Harry talked quietly to himself but loud enough to make sure both his inspectors could hear him “Nymphadora, Nymphadora, I think I really fancy Nymphadora”
Knots was tripped just as they left no.4, Romulus could only try and suppress a smile at Harry.
“Remus, pick her up, then you two can start by getting these ropes off. Tonks how you passed you concealment test I don’t know, you were useless, but at least we have the minister of magic in the order now, eh?” Questioned Harry, as though he was in complete control of the situation
Tonks could only grin, “We wanted to give you clues, so… you know, you would know it was us and wouldn’t overreact” said daringly.
“Remus, did you get the map, It was….”
“Under the 3rd floor board, I know, Hermione told me about it” Lupin finished
“Hermione? She at HQ?”
“Yep” replied Tonks.
“Oh by the way Harry, happy birthday, catch” Tonks threw a parcel at Harry
Upon catching Harry felt that usual tugging sensation behind his navel and found himself in Grimmauld place upside down on a plush new sofa
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