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Chapter 7

Birthday Wake Up Call


“Huh?” Harry mumbled as someone shook him awake. “Go away!”

“Harry, come on!!! Get up… get up!” Ron said as he shook him some more.

Harry looked at his alarm clock. “Ron, it is midnight, and I have to go to work this morning,” he groaned and rolled into the covers.

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” There was a loud chorus that made Harry jump from his bed.

Harry sat up, rubbed his eyes, and put on his glasses that he had on his bedside table. That’s right! Today he was turning 16 years old! He had forgotten about it. He turned to look at the large group of people crammed into his small room.

“How did you get here?!” Harry asked, and nervously looked towards the door.

“Don’t worry, Silencing Charm on the room. They can’t hear a thing,” Remus said with a smile.

“Plus Moody put a good Sleeping Hex on them,” Tonks chuckled as she stood by the bed, her hair a vivid shade of pink. Mrs. Weasley came over next to Harry and engulfed him in a hug.

“Happy Birthday dear,” she said as she let go of him.

Harry looked about the room and he was surprised to see it completely decorated with balloons and banners, and he grinned at the Weasley twins who were putting up some more decorations. Everyone began to wish him a happy birthday. In addition to Remus, Tonks was there, as well as Moody, the whole Weasley group (minus Percy, and Charlie), Professor McGonagall, and Hermione. There was a pop sound and Dumbledore appeared. He was still wearing his nightcap, although he was dressed in his daily robes.

“Am I too late?” He asked.

“No, we just awoke Harry,” Professor McGonagall informed him.

“Excellent,” Dumbledore nodded and he noticed the crammed room and he flicked his wand and Harry’s room increased to about triple the size, which everyone was grateful.

Harry felt a stab of embarrassment at seeing Dumbledore. He remembered the last time he was in his presence he had smashed half of his office. Dumbledore, however, seemed to be completely ignorant of Harry’s embarrassment as he shook his hand eagerly and wished him many more birthdays. Dumbledore then turned to Remus.

Harry grinned wildly at the group who were now piling gifts onto his bed. Molly was clearing his desk to place a huge cake that read Happy 16 Harry. The cake was decorated in red with gold frosting. Professor Dumbledore was conjuring chairs for the people to sit, while Remus was preparing tea for the lot since he had brought his tea kettle.

“Thanks for this,” Harry said overcome with emotion.

“We figured that since you can’t come to be with us because of your job, then we’d come and give you a birthday party while the Dursley’s are asleep,” Hermione said as she neared the bed and sat down. The adults began to chat as they waited for tea, while the twins debated on how to sneak out of the room to Dudley’s. Ginny was helping Mrs. Weasley with the cake.

“Here, I wanted to be the first to give you your gift,” Ron said as he rubbed his palms together and reached for a small wrapped package and handed it to Harry.

Harry grinned sleepily at Ron and tore the package open. It was a nice looking wristwatch. Harry’s had been damaged a few weeks ago and he hadn’t bought a new one yet.

“Ron! This is great. Thanks. I needed one badly,” Harry exclaimed and put it on.

“That’s not just a simple watch. Check this out,” Ron said and showed that he had one on his wrist as well. He then reached for Harry’s and pushed on the button on the side three times. To Harry’s surprise the watch’s face gleamed and changed so Harry was looking at his reflection into a mirror.

“Now, say my name to it,” Ron exclaimed excited.

“Ron Weasley,” Harry spoke to his watch.

Ron’s watch on his wrist began to vibrate. He pushed the button on his, and Harry saw that on his wristwatch he was now seeing Ron’s face.

“We can talk to each other using these! Hermione bought one too. And we linked all three of them. You can talk to both of us at the same time. Push the button three times again and say Hermione’s name,” Ron encouraged.
Harry did as told and grinned as Hermione’s face appeared, replacing Ron.

“Happy Birthday Harry!” Hermione said from his watch.

“This is so cool! Thanks Ron. Where did you get these?” Harry asked.

“Fred and George of course! They said that these are the first to be finalized, but they won’t be sold to the public. They made them thinking they would be great for the DA but they agreed to sell us these now. Aren’t they awesome?” Ron said and Harry noticed that his watch now had Ron’s face on it.

“And that’s not all…” Hermione’s voice came over the wristwatches as the image switched to her. She had moved away to a corner to demonstrate the watches. Harry could see Fred making faces at him behind Hermione, “…they are charmed so no one else can hear what I am saying on the receiving end, only you two since you have a watch linked to mine.”

“How do you sign off?” Harry asked.

“Just push the button once,” Hermione replied and disappeared from the screen and Ron’s face was now on it. “You can change what you want your watch to do when you have an incoming link. I have mine to vibrate, but you can have it get warm, like our DA galleons. You can also have it beep, but only you will hear the beep. This is how you change it…” Ron began to explain, but they couldn’t actually do it right now since they could not use magic during the summer when they were out of school.

Just then Hermione came back and sat next to them on the bed. She was wearing a pair of pajama pants and a soft cotton tank top. She grinned at them.

“This is great Hermione!” Harry said pointing to his watch.

“I’ll say. And I am very impressed with Fred and George. I keep expecting them to blow up any minute. I never thought the twins were cut out for serious or useful stuff other than jokes,” she replied. “Here. Happy Birthday,” Hermione added as he handed a heavy package.

“Hey, I thought the skiving snack boxes were useful!” Ron exclaimed.

Hermione just rolled her eyes, while Harry began to tear the wrapping paper of the package. He smiled knowingly when he saw the spine of several books.

“Lord of the Rings?” Harry said pulling out the first four books.

“Have you ever read them?” She asked enthusiastically.

“Ehm, no… I haven’t,” Harry replied.

“I know you are going to love them. They are considered muggle fantasy fiction, but Tolkien, the author, calls this world the history of our world. I have read that Tolkien was in fact a wizard, that he is a historian. He tried to have his books published for magical history, but no one believed him. So he turned to a muggle publisher and they became a legend with muggles. I am actually considering doing some research on his theories and…” Hermione noticed that she was beginning to bore them with her rambling, “…Oh, well, at any rate, they are a good read. I thought they might be nice to help you get your mind off things sometimes,” She finished.

“I will give them a try,” Harry replied and set the books aside and pulled three more books from the wrapped gift. The Art of Dueling, The Complete Reference Resource for Magic Level LIX and Secrets of the Animagi

“Thanks Hermione, they really sound interesting,” he said and gave her a genuine smile.

“Open the Reference Book,” Hermione said.

Harry did so and noticed that the pages were blank.

“This book is connected to the Network of Magical Libraries,” Hermione explained

“What is that?” Ron asked her.

“Basically, let’s say you know of a book that Hogwarts Library doesn’t have, you can place a request through the Library Network to borrow a copy from another location. This book,” she said pointing to it, “will search the reference for any book ever published on any topic that you want to look into. I’ll show you
She tapped her wand onto it and said “top ten tittles for Defense Against the Dark Arts.” The words ‘Accessing database… Please wait…’ appeared on the first page. After a brief moment a list appeared with the name of the top ten books on the subject.

Hermione tapped one of them with her wand, and the book morphed and Harry now had in his hands the book Hermione had picked.

“Wow, this is cool,” Harry replied.

“And, there is very little restriction on the books you can see with this book. Basically anything in the restricted section at Hogwarts and even some beyond that we can now look at without having to ask permission,” Hermione added with a gleam in her eye.

“How did you manage to buy a book with such high security clearance?” Harry asked curious.

Hermione grinned, “It helps to have certain retired Auror friends who have such clearance,” she answered enigmatically.

“Who bought it for you?” Ron asked curious.

“It was Mad-Eye actually,” she replied

“Are you serious?” Harry asked with disbelief and turned to look at the old Auror who was accepting a cup of tea from Remus.

“Yes!”

“How did you ever approach him about such a thing and get him to agree?” Harry asked incredulous.

“Well, let’s just say the way I said it made it sound that this will be instrumental for us to be in ‘CONSTANT VIGILANCE!’” She answered mimicking the old Auror in a hushed tone. Harry and Ron laughed at this.

Hermione continued, “what’s even better? You won’t need to buy any new books for the year, all you have to do is tap the book, search the database for the name or the author and you can then tap the edition with your wand and this book will morph into that book for each class. I got myself one too, but mine is a student level clearance. It doesn’t have the security clearance that Harry’s does. It is a lot cheaper too. I showed mine to your mom Ron. She thought it was a good idea and I think Fred and George bought one for you too. She said you can use it for this and 7th year too, and Ginny will get one next year when she passes her OWLs, since she’s got a lot of your books from last year.”

Harry really appreciated the thoughtfulness of Hermione and he already liked the idea of not having to carry so many books around! He only needed this one.

“Thanks Hermione, this is going to save my back. What about this one?” He asked picking up the one about Animagi.

“Ever since we learned about Animagi I have been curious about it. This book talks about it a lot, but doesn’t really say how it is done. I thought you might be interested in becoming an Animagus… I know I’d like to… and I think we could talk to Professor Lupin about it, after all… S… the marauders learned how to do it,” Hermione said and watched Harry’s reaction. She could see the flash of pain in his face as they all thought of Sirius, but he recovered and grinned.

“I think that sounds fantastic!” He exclaimed. “What about this one?” He said pointing to the dueling book.

“Well, I was thinking that perhaps it would be a good idea to re-instate the DA when we get back to school,” she began then continued quickly before Harry had any chance to object, “now that V-Voldemort is officially back.” Ron shuddered at the name. “I think it will be really important for us to learn as much as we can to defend ourselves. I mean, we are not going to be in Hogwarts forever, and the better prepared we are the best chances we have of winning this war. I already have a price on my head, just for being muggleborn and I would like to be better prepared in case we get into any situations like last year. I mean, anyone of us might be faced with Voldemort sometime and if we are to defeat him we better be prepared,” she said with a serious tone.

Harry paled at Hermione’s words. He remembered just then that had not told them about the prophecy yet, and he was not prepared to say it to them, but they had seen it in him. He was hiding something.

“What is it Harry?” Ron asked worried

“Nothing,” Harry stammered.

“Harry, we know you have been hiding something from us,” Hermione said without releasing her piercing gaze. “You shouldn’t keep so much to yourself. And don’t give me any of that about not wanting to worry us! We worry more when you don’t tell us what is wrong,” Hermione pleaded.

“It’s just … I am not ready… not yet… I promise I’ll tell you, but not tonight.” Hermione nodded in understanding. “But that’s not all. I… I also remember what happened at the Department of Mysteries, and I… you could have all been killed, because of my stupidity, and Sirius…” He couldn’t continue and had to pause for a moment… “I don’t know if I can handle all of this.” Harry was glad that they wouldn’t pressure him to say what really was on his mind, but he was not willing to deal with their reactions just yet. Hermione would shrill about it, and then pester him about it, while Ron would act as if it was the end of the world. Besides, the room was full of other people.

“Oh, Harry. Everything in the end will be al lright. And we’re here for you, always!” Hermione said sitting next to him, and giving him a one armed hug.

“Yeah mate,” Ron piped in.

“Thanks guys. It means a lot to me,” Harry said and sighed inwardly. He was glad they hadn’t pressured him for more.

“Harry, Ron, Hermione. Tea is ready,” Mrs. Weasley called and the trio joined the group and sat on a couple of chairs.

“I think is time for Harry to open the rest of his presents,” Fred chimed as he sat next to Ginny.

“I reckon he is right,” George seconded the motion.

Ron began to pass Harry the packages on the bed. Harry received a package of baked goods and other things from Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, and a small gift certificate to Honeydukes from Ginny. Harry got a huge supply of the Weasley twins’ products and a note detailing which ones were specifically for use on Dudley. Harry laughed while Mrs. Weasley scolded the pair. Moody had given him a portable pocket foe glass and a real miniature sneakoscope that could be worn on a chain, hidden underneath his shirt, and Professor McGonagall had given him a Quidditch game set, complete with tiny people on brooms, several teams to pick, for 1 to four players. Tonks gave Harry a new set of exploding snap cards, and Professor Dumbledore gave him a small Penseive that could contain two large or several small memories. Remus’ present to Harry was a collection of parchment notes from his days at school that he had found. He had mostly compiled a collection of those that had notes scribbled on by James, and a few of the love letters that Sirius had stolen that had been from Lily to James. There were also a few of the notes passed between the marauders in class, and a picture of Sirius, James, and Lupin on their last day at Hogwarts.

Harry fought hard the emotions he felt as he saw a picture of Sirius, but thanked Lupin for the glimpse into his parents’ life. There was one present left, it was wrapped all in black and it didn’t have a tag on it.

“Doesn’t say who it is from,” Ginny remarked as she handed the package to Harry.

“Oh, yes… I forgot Harry. This is from Professor Snape. He said he lamented not being able to join your party this morning, so he sent along his present with me,” Dumbledore said in a casual tone of voice as if it was perfectly normal to receive a present from Snape.

“I bet he was heartbroken,” George murmured to Harry.

Harry opened the package and saw a small black stone cube. There was a note attached as well as a small book: Idiot’s Guide to Occlumency
The note was handwritten in Professor Snape’s writing.

Do read this book Potter, and if you manage to work this child’s toy correctly, you may resume your Occlumency Lessons. I assure you, this comes as a suggestion from the Headmaster.

Harry had hoped that the topic of Occlumency was to be eliminated completely from his schedule after the disastrous attempts of last year. Harry had been practicing clearing his mind at night in hopes to prevent Voldemort from attacking him again. Either his efforts were working, or something else was doing something, because so far Harry hadn’t had a single nightmare, or weird dreams. Well, except those dreams that were so silly, it would be ludicrous to think that Voldemort had anything to do with them.

After the presents, they sang happy birthday to Harry, and distributed the cake. Around two in the morning, Mrs. Weasley suggested they let Harry back to bed, since he had to get up and go to work in a few hours. In a quick flash, everyone who could apparate had gone after wishing their farewells (after Moody lifted the Anti-Apparition spell on the house). Only Ron, Hermione, and Ginny remained with Remus who would take them back by portkey. Dumbledore too remained as he flicked his wand and the room returned to normal, all decorations gone with any evidence of their presence as well, and the room was actually cleaner than how it had started. He bid Harry and the others goodnight and left.

“Good night Harry. We’ll see you in a few weeks,” Hermione said and she hugged him.

“Night mate,” Ron added and Ginny said goodnight.

“Ready?” Remus asked and the four of them took the Portkey back to Grimmauld place.

Harry took a few moments to put away his gifts in his trunk, and smiled. It had been such a wonderful surprise to get his own birthday party, and he crawled into bed to sleep for a few hours. He slept better in those few hours than he had in a long time.

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