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Hey guys!! Ch13!! - finally! lol don't forget to review!! :) ___________________________________ The next few days passed by somewhat uneventfully. Harry had, had another occlumency lesson with Snape, Harry thought that it had gone better than his first attempt since returning to lessons with the potions master, but he still lacked the concentration to enable him to successfully stop Snape’s attack. The Order had told Remus that they were still yet to find any new information on the mysterious link between himself and Harry; and Remus had refrained from telling them about his suspicions of being connected to Voldemort. He didn’t want to overly worry anyone if he had gotten it wrong, and Harry had gladly agreed to keep it between them until they received more information on the link between them, or until they were sure that it had been Voldemort inside Remus’ head that night – Something that neither of them were hoping for, as it would mean they would have to wait until Harry had his next nightmare, that was almost inevitable. Hagrid was still yet to return from his ‘mission’ for the Order and Harry found he couldn’t help but worry about what exactly his mission was. As the last had been an attempt to gather the giants for the war. That had failed miserably, and with him, Hagrid had returned with Grawp. Grawp… Harry had forgotten about Hagrid’s younger brother, and giant. He wondered who was looking after him whilst Hagrid was gone? And whether or not the Order and Dumbledore knew about him? Harry was pulled from his musings when he heard a soft knock at his door. ‘Harry? Time to get up,’ Remus called. ‘Ok, be out in a minute,’ Harry replied sleepily. Harry heard Remus’ footsteps as he walked away from the door. He gave a silent yawn before heading to the bathroom for a quick shower. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Remus watched Harry eating his breakfast and reading his old copy of ‘Which Broomstick’ at the table that had been laid out for the staff and Harry in the Great Hall. He felt excited for Harry, not that Harry knew of course, but the staff had planned a special gathering especially for Harry’s birthday tomorrow, and Remus couldn’t wait to give Harry his present. He had sneakily brought it whilst they were in Hogsmede; he just hoped he would like it as much as he hoped he would. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The rest of the day was spent with Harry flying around the Quidditch pitch on his Firebolt chasing after the snitch. Remus sat in the stands watching him, with a pile of papers that were to be his lesson plans for the first term. Every so often Harry would fly past him with puppy-dog eyes, pleading for him to come out and join him in his pursuit of the snitch. But the full moon was only two days away and Remus was already beginning to feel the effects of tiredness. So instead he waved to him, before turning back to his paperwork. It was another two hours before Harry grew bored of flying by himself and having caught the snitch successfully the last five times, he decided he’d head over to see Remus. Remus smiled as Harry landed next to him gracefully, the tiny snitch fluttering between his grasp. He really was a very talented Quidditch player, Remus wondered if he was better than James was? ‘So you’re ready to head back to the castle then?’ Remus asked whilst finishing off the last line on a piece of parchment. ‘Yeah, I’m pretty hungry too. When’s dinner again?’ Harry asked. Remus laughed. ‘You really are turning into Ron,’ he joked. ‘Come-on. I think that’s enough paperwork for today,’ he added, gesturing to the mountain of parchment that sat next to him. Harry’s eyes widened. ‘Yep. I’d say so,’ he replied smiling. They climbed down together before heading back to the castle, hoping to find that dinner would already be started. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The next morning was like any other. Remus woke Harry the same time he always did, at 8:30, and Harry got changed and headed toward the Great Hall for breakfast with Remus. However, unlike any other day, Harry was greeted by a tumultuous roar of, ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY HARRY!’ It was so loud and so unexpected that Harry stumbled slightly backwards into a grinning Remus. Harry couldn’t believe that he had forgotten his birthday again! But he didn’t have long to register this, as he was suddenly bombarded by a mound of bushy, brown hair. ‘Happy birthday Harry!’ Hermione squeaked as she released him. ‘Hermione? When did you get here? I thought you were staying at number 12?’ Harry questioned. Hermione smiled in reply, whilst handing him a rather heavy package that was neatly wrapped. Harry didn’t have to open it to realise it was a book. ‘Thanks Hermione!’ Harry gasped as he read the title: ‘For the Animagus in training: a complete guide.’ ‘Wow! Now this I’ve gotta read!’ Hermione’s smile broadened, before Ron handed Harry his present. Once everyone had congratulated Harry on his sixteenth and handed him their gifts, they all sat around a much larger table than usual, and ate breakfast. Soon Harry found himself taking part in a conversation with Fred, George, Ron, Hermione and Ginny. ‘…we’re almost ready to re-open you know. I can’t wait to get back to the shop and start selling again…’ George began. ‘…yeah, there’s something about selling pranks to Hogwarts’ students to use on Filch and the Slytherins that just makes it all worth while,’ Fred finished dreamily, making Harry snort into his pumpkin juice. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The rest of the morning was spent by the younger of the group playing a small game of Quidditch, whilst Remus and the other adults talked about recent events. Arthur was talking about Fudge, and how the ministry workers were starting to build against him from the inside, which would hopefully lead to a new minister of magic, once Fudge was ousted from his position. ‘I just hope we can find a decent minister as Fudge’s replacement. There’s already talks of Lucius Malfoy wanting to run for minister. However, that should be impossible now, especially when it comes to a public vote – no one will want a Deatheater for a minister of magic. Nor should it be allowed!’ Arthur announced. ‘Here, here’ Moody growled, his magical eye fixed on the Quidditch pitch, his normal eye set on Arthur Weasley. ‘So Remus, how has Harry been since-’ Molly began. ‘He’s better. I don’t think he’s over it in the slightest, but he’s doing well given the circumstances,’ Remus interrupted, not wanting to bring up when Harry had been captured. ‘Ah yes, the curious link between yourself and Potter,’ Snape sneered. ‘Tell me Lupin, how does it feel to have a teenager poking around in your thoughts throughout the day?’ Remus turned his attention to Snape about to answer him, when suddenly Snape winced in pain, clutching his left arm. Remus eyed him curiously before realisation dawned on him. ‘Tell me Severus, how does it feel to have Voldemort poking around in your thoughts throughout the day?’ Remus asked quietly, so that only Snape and himself could hear. Snape gave him an evil glare, before turning to find Dumbledore behind him. ‘Headmaster…’ Snape began, still clutching his burning arm. ‘Yes Severus. Do be careful, and return as soon as you can. Hopefully you will be given some information that will be valuable to us?’ Dumbledore answered, his eyes twinkling behind his half-moon spectacles. Snape nodded before sweeping out of the hall, his robes billowing behind him. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ After Snape had left, the conversation seemed to be stuck on one topic: Voldemort, and what he could be up to now? Remus let his thoughts drift to Harry. He could just see him flying on his broomstick over the Quidditch pitch in the distance, being chased by a gaggle of people all with bright red hair. It seemed the match had ended and they were all chasing Harry and the snitch instead. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ‘Come on Ron! You can do better than that!’ Harry yelled behind him as he chased after the snitch, the entire younger generation of Weasley’s chasing after him in hot pursuit. Ron grumbled something about his broom not being very fast, especially when compared to a Firebolt. To which the twins laughed as they surpassed him on their new Nimbus 2002’s, which they were able to afford due to their earnings from the shop. Harry returned his attention to the snitch, he was only a few inches away now… it was almost in his grasp…nearly there…YES! Harry had caught the snitch, and went into a whoop as he did so, soaring across the pitch at remarkable speed, only stopping in front of Ron, before landing with him. Harry beamed as the twins and Ron patted him on the back, and Ginny gave him a light peck on the cheek, that sent shivers down his spine as his stomach done a back flip. He blushed as she did, and the twins sent cat-calls at the two of them, before Hermione strolled over from where she had been sat reading a book in the stands, to stop the twins from further embarrassing the two. ‘Really! You two should really learn to grow-up!’ Hermione scolded as the twins rolled their eyes together. ‘Yes Mother!’ Fred replied as George and the others broke out into fits of laughter, and Hermione playfully slugged Ron in the arm for laughing. ‘Hey, what did I do?’ Ron laughed. ‘Nothing… just felt like it is all,’ Hermione replied playfully. Ron eyed her almost suspiciously, before announcing, ‘I think you’ve been spending too much time with Ginny, Hermione. She’s starting to have a bad affect on you.’ Earning himself another thump from Hermione and one from Ginny too. ‘Ouch Ginny! That actually hurt!’ Ron faked. The two girls laughed though as they caught him rubbing his arm, before heading back toward the castle, Hermione carrying a small stack of books. Harry shook his head at Ron, and laughed as he said, ‘What?’ before following the girls back to the castle too. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Hey guys! So that was ch13!! Hope you liked it, things in the plot should start to pick-up a bit now, (hopefully!) Sorry it took so long! I’ve been snowed under with work and it’s only just starting to shift… oh well :) Anyway, I’ll try to update sooner from now on! Don’t forget to review!! Thanks to everyone who has up to this point! I love receiving your comments about what you think etc, so keep them coming!! ~Sam. PS) If you wondering, Remus' present to Harry is in the next chappie! :)

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