Summer seemed to fly by after that, with the only notable happening being the Quidditch World Cup and the attack that had taken place there.
Harry, while having been invited to go to the cup with the Weasley’s and Hermione, had turned down the opportunity. It was a full moon that night and he wasn’t willing to leave Sirius alone with Remus. He didn’t think that anything would happen, not really, but he had been there for the last full moon and he planned on being here for this one as well.
The Weasley family had understood, each one of them was well aware of how ragged Remus usually looked after a full moon. Molly, who wasn’t the least bit interested in going, decided to stay behind as well and help the next morning. Of course, that meant that Harry would have to spend part of the night with the motherly woman but he knew that he could easily sneak out when she fell asleep. And really, that’s what he ended up doing.
So while he had spent the night keeping a dog and a werewolf company with Molly sound asleep in the guest room, the rest of the Weasley family had gone to the World Cup. Out of the two groups, it was the group that went to the World Cup that had the most excitement. Molly had woken everyone with a large shriek of worry when the morning paper arrived and they had spent a good two hours waiting for any news.
Harry spent that two hours hating himself for not going along and he could only be thankful that Hermione had declined the chance to go as well, having planned a father-daughter outing with her father that day. Thankfully, no one was hurt, though they did look a bit disturbed. Apparently, the ruckus was caused by a group of partying Death Eaters that had quickly disbanded when a house-elf (Harry somehow really doubted that) had cast a Dark Mark in the sky (or more likely, had been found with the wand used to cast the mark).
The story was all over the papers by noon and Harry forgot all about Charlie’s up-coming visit in the excitement.
Well, that is until Charlie showed up on their doorstep at eight in the morning, one week before September 1st.
“Charlie!” Harry greeted from his seat by the fire. Since it was getting close to the school year, Harry had decided to go over his homework and make sure that he had everything done. It was also a precaution to make sure that he hadn’t put anything down that he shouldn’t have, as a fourth year student, known. That was the problem of having lived multiple lives in the same world; Harry probably knew more on some subjects than some of his professors.
“Nice to see you, squirt!” Charlie grinned. “Any of my less handsome redheaded siblings around? Or are you it?”
Harry stuck his tongue out at the man before setting down his books. “They’re all at the Burrow. I was going to head over there in after I was done checking over my school work.”
Charlie gave him a knowing look. “Making sure you didn’t miss an assignment, then? Or making sure you didn’t cock up an essay?”
“Both.” Harry made a face. “I’m all set when it comes to Runes, Transfiguration, Charms, and Care. It’s potions that I’m mostly worried about. Snape might have backed off a little last year but I don’t want to take any chances. Better to make sure he doesn’t have any ammo.”
“Ammo?” Charlie asked, raising his eyebrows before shaking his head. “Nah, I get what you mean. Snape’s a tough bugger. Best to keep on your toes and avoid any ear-bashings.”
“Exactly!” Harry pointed his quill at the older boy before sighing. “I’m going to give it a rest though. I’ve been sitting here for hours doing this and I still have another week…”
Charlie laughed. “Well, since you’re procrastinating, why not give me the full tour before we head over to the Burrow? This is my first time here and I’ve been curious about this place ever since Sirius tried to recruit me.”
‘For what? Stray Dragons?’ Gabriel snorted in disbelief. Harry’s face must have looked just as disbelieving, judging by Charlie’s laughter.
“That’s exactly how my boss looked after their conversation,” Charlie grinned roguishly. “I didn’t have the heart to tell him that with you, it’s a valid worry.”
“Oh hah hah.” Harry huffed. “It was one time and it was Hagrid’s fault in the first place.”
‘Technically it was Voldemort’s fault.’
Charlie shook his head with a fond smile. “That doesn’t surprise me, honestly. So, shall we get this tour going?”
Harry shrugged and motioned for the second eldest Weasley son to follow him. Really, the farm house wasn’t all that special and during their time living in the house, it was no longer in the pristine condition it had been once they were originally done with it. Sirius had easily made sure of that.
Despite the clutter that had appeared out of nowhere over time, Charlie seemed very impressed by the house. Harry supposed it had something to do with the fact that the redhead couldn’t see magic like Harry could. Whereas the Weasley household was covered in different kinds of magic and was practically sentient, the farmhouse had very little magic aura around it. It was quite obvious that this place had belonged to a squib before them and one that was very sparse with their magical items.
That didn’t mean that Harry didn’t love their house, though. The fourteen year old was rather fond of the place and was particularly fond of his bedroom. Charlie seemed just as fascinated with his bedroom, though that might just be because of the sentient book, two pixies, and one owl that were taking a nap in the place.
“Geeze,” Charlie commented when they got to his room. “Ron said that you were collecting a new pet per year but I thought he was just over exaggerating.”
Harry, being the mature being with centuries and centuries of memories, stuck his tongue out in response.
Charlie laughed at him.
The rest of the tour went rather quickly. They didn’t have enough time to get to the barn but Charlie didn’t seem all that concerned about that. Charlie assured him that they could come back later to see the rest of the property but his luggage was starting to get heavy and he’d like to get to the Burrow to set it down.
‘More like he wants to be on time for dinner,’ Gabriel snickered.
‘Molly does have some awesome cooking,’ Harry conceded as he stepped into the floo and called out the right name.
The Floo System hated him, Harry examined with a groan. Not as much as Apparition or Portkeys but it still had it out for the teen. ‘What did I do to deserve this?’ he bemoaned silently from his spot on the floor as the fireplace lit up once again to let Charlie through.
Harry’s plight was quickly forgotten by the concerned Weasley’s in favor of Charlie’s appearance. They were far too used to Harry arriving in such a way that it was almost normal for the black haired teen to been laying on the carpet, face up at the ceiling. ‘At least this method doesn’t burn our wings or rip out feathers.’
‘True,’ he groaned. Harry couldn’t wait for the day that he could just use his wings to get anywhere instantaneously. That was sure to be a wonderful day that he wished would come sooner. He was getting really tired of being spat out of the Floo System every time he needed to get somewhere in the magical world.
“You alright?” Ginny asked, standing above him in concern. Harry gave a small nod before hefting his body off the floor with another groan.
“Just a little sore, that’s all.” Harry stretched out his back and sighed with the ache started to faze. “I’m starting to get used to being thrown like that.”
Ginny snickered before shrugging. “I bet you can’t wait until you’re of age and can get your Apparition license. No more Floo or Portkeys for you!”
Harry gave her a small grin, not bothering to tell her that Apparition reacted to him the worst of all of the different methods of travel that the Wizarding World had come up with. He would need an excuse for how he was traveling when he finally got dimensional flight down, after all. Instead, he just gave her a tired smile and made his way over to the couch to plop down and watch Molly fuss over Charlie.
The rest of the day was spent mostly lounging around and chatting. Charlie was being annoyingly tight lipped about the project he had been hired on for by the Ministry, just smirking at them infuriatingly and telling them that they would find out during the return feast on September 1st. What made this even more annoying was that Arthur and Molly clearly already knew what it was that he was talking about, if Molly’s clear disapproval at her sheepish husband and second eldest was any indication. Whatever this was, the motherly woman clearing didn’t like it.
Harry left not long after dinner; making an excuse that he had plans with Sirius. While he loved the Weasley’s, the fourteen year old did have to finish up that homework. It wouldn’t be long before the school letters were sent out and the mad rush for school supplies began. ‘Ugh, shopping,’ Gabriel groaned.
Harry had to agree. Shopping had never been his favorite thing to do and he would need a lot of things this year. His trunk was on its last legs and he had grown out of his robes and his ‘muggle’ winter clothes were tattered beyond repair.
With a sigh, Harry moved over to his abandoned school work and picked up his Potion’s essay. ‘Let’s get this done with,’ he grunted and picked began scanning the essay for mistakes.
Sure enough, the next day during breakfast, a Hogwarts letter flew in through the opened kitchen window bearing the shopping list for the new school year. Sirius relieved the bird of the letter, feeding the owl a small piece of bacon as he handed it over to Harry.
Harry accepted the letter with a sigh.
Remus raised his eyebrows at the sound. “There something wrong? I know the end of summer holidays can be disappointing but from what I hear you love going back to the castle.”
Harry grinned at the werewolf. “I do miss Hogwarts,” he assured the man. “Seeing Hagrid, Hope and her foals, and everyone else is nice and classes can be interesting. I’m just not looking forward to the shopping or the new life threatening event that going back will bring. Not to mention that we need to make some headway on the Voldemort Horcrux issue.”
The werewolf nodded in understanding. No doubt the ex-professor had heard of all the misadventures Harry had found himself in during his time working there the year before. Sirius, however, seemed a tad alarmed.
“I’m going to ignore that first bit and focus on the last bit,” the man decided after a moment. “Look, we know that Bella placed her item in her personal vault. As her next of kin, it’s possible I can convince the goblins to let me in to look for it. Especially if we tell them what we’re looking for. Soul magic like that being hidden in their vaults will be like an insult to their culture. Likely one of the reason Bella hid it there. She never did get on with the goblins.”
Harry hummed, nodding. “Remember not to touch it,” he warned. “The dairy had a lot of defense mechanisms on it that were activated when you touched it. Since the point of the diary was to open the Chamber and go unnoticed by the staff, the magic was rather benign but that doesn’t mean that the magic on the others will be.”
‘Better to be safe than dead.’ Gabriel agreed.
“I’ll keep an eye on him,” Remus promised. “We’ll need to pick up a ward box in Diagon Alley to store it in until we have a safe way to destroy them. There’s bound to be better ways than Fiendfyre and Basilisk venom.”
‘We could probably work out a ritual to remove the tainted soul from the objects,’ Gabriel mused silently. ‘It would likely have to be primarily in Enochian but I’m sure that we could get the job done. As for the curse on it, we’ll likely have to delve into curse-breaking or bring in Bill to get rid of them.’
Harry paused. ‘We’ll work on the ritual first before worrying about that. Ideally, we’ll keep Bill out of it altogether.’ He wanted to keep as many people as he could out of this. Horcruxes were vile things and if he could do it completely alone, he would. Sirius and Remus were already two too many involved, even if they were capable adult wizards. “We might be able to make a ritual to do that. We’ll work on it over the school year.”
Remus nodded before standing up. “We should likely get ready to go. Unless you’d like to double check with the Weasley’s?”
Harry shook his head. “Charlie only just arrived yesterday, they’ll likely wait a couple days before going out and we need to go food shopping as well.”
The two adults winced and glanced down at their half-eaten toast. They’d been putting off food shopping for a week and found out the night before that the only thing edible in the house was bread and butter. “I vote that Remus does that part,” Sirius voiced.
Remus rolled his eyes. “Seeing as I’m the one doing the cooking, I might as well.” A fact that drove their new house-elf housemates to tears but Remus was unwilling to give it up. Finally, they had all come to an agreement that Remus was in charge of the kitchen leaving Dobby and Pinky with the rest of the house to divide between each other as they pleased. Unfortunately, that also meant that food shopping was left up to the humans of the house. Harry suspected that Dobby had taken pity on them when it came to the bread as he couldn’t remember buying it when they went shopping last. “I’m going to head out now and hopefully beat the back to school rush. Sirius, don’t forget that you have Occlumency lessons after breakfast.”
Sirius, likely having forgotten completely, groaned. The werewolf laughed at the man before heading up to his room to retrieve his money pouch.
“How are they doing?” Harry asked, curious.
“Hermione is definitely going to be a force to be reckoned with.” Sirius informed him with a wicked grin, taking a bite out of his toast. “She had a rough patch in the beginning and I almost gave up on her. I don’t know what happened after that, honestly. The next lesson we had, she managed to partially block me and she’s getting better with every lesson. I’ll have to right up a practice regimen later for during the school year so she doesn’t fall behind; other than that, this was definitely the way to go with her. Ron, on the other hand…”
Harry grimaced, knowing that tone of voice. Sirius just shook his head. “I don’t know what’s wrong with him. Half the time he just barely manages to keep me out and the other half, he can’t block me if his life depended on it. I think I might have to try a different form for him or just scrap this altogether and start making him an amulet instead.”
“You’ve started them with the Absolute Defense method, right?” Harry asked, frowning. That didn’t sound like Occlumency wasn’t clicking with the other teen at all, just that he wasn’t clicking with the current method. “Maybe you should start him on the Decoy method instead.”
Sirius raised his eyebrows in surprise. “You sure he can handle that? That’s one of the harder methods to learn.”
Harry just smiled at the man, “Try it. You’ll see.”
“I’ll give it a go.” Sirius still didn’t look convinced. Standing he stretched. “You okay going to the Alley by yourself?”
The teen gave the man a disbelieving stare. “Ignoring the fact that I spent nearly the entire summer there last year, I am capable of protecting myself if someone tries anything. I’ll even take my knives if it makes you feel better.”
Sirius ignored the sarcasm entirely. “See that you do,” his godfather smirked at him. Harry picked up a wadded ball of parchment and chucked it at the man, who only laughed and dodged, sprinting out of the room. “Don’t forget to pick up some new clothes!” he heard the man shout.
Harry rolled his eyes at the man’s antics before finishing off his own meal and getting ready to leave, letter in hand. “Let’s get this over with.”
Harry, unfortunately, hadn’t managed to avoid the school shopping hustle completely. He’d gone to Madame Malkin’s first and had spent a good two hours getting a full wardrobe as the woman had insisted on it. Harry hadn’t seen the point in arguing, considering his summer clothing was in just as bad shape as his winter clothing. Either way, he’d walked out of the shop into a crowded street. Harry was just glad that he’d thought to call Dobby to take his purchases home.
‘We should get a new trunk next,’ Gabriel commented absently.
Harry nodded in agreement, pushing his way through the crowd towards the trunk shop that he knew was just down the alley a ways. It was a struggle but he managed to get into the shop without falling over, a definitely plus. Once inside, he started browsing through the different items that the shop carried before he located a trunk that would suit his purposes. It was a four compartment trunk with a key charm on it. One compartment was a library with infinite space, one was a potions compartment, one was a wardrobe, and one was for knickknacks and other such objects. Each one was magically expanded and could probably hold everything in his room if he so desired. To top it all off, there was a feather-light charm laid into the leather of the trunk itself so it wouldn’t feel like he was trying to life a house once it was full.
Harry bought the trunk and paid for it to be engraved with his name. He set it up so that Dobby would come pick it up once he was done. As an afterthought, he tossed feather-light magically expanded book bag as well. He old one had a hole in the bottom.
Harry stopped at the Florish and Blotts next, picking up all his new school books. Thankfully, they were still using Ruth for Care of Magical Creatures, so Harry didn’t have to pick up a new book for that class. History was still the safe as the year before as well, along with Astrology. The rest other than Runes asked for year 6th books from the same series, which were all packaged together by the store beforehand.
Runes actually required two books this year: one on Rune Linking and Activation and another on rare runic alphabets. Harry picked out both books before grabbing another on Runes in rituals and ritual writing. It never hurt to be prepared, Harry thought as he carried the purchases to the counter and paid.
Asking for the purchases to be shrunk, Harry stuffed them into his robe pockets. He could ask Remus to resize them later. Next he stocked up on parchment, ink, and quills for the school year and replenished his potions kit for the year and then some. He also purchased a few owl order packets from each shop, just in case. He wasn’t sure what he was going to need for the ritual to destroy the Horcruxes, after all.
After a good hour of shopping, Harry reached his final destination at the Second Hand shop. He’d learned from the Weasley’s that there was usually something good in there and he made sure to always check and see what things popped up.
Inside was a clutter of everything from books to charmed teacups. Wandering through each isle, Harry picked up a charmed fountain pen that refilled itself, a book on Magical Governments (for Hermione), a completely unopened leather journal (for Ginny), and a book on ‘Mythical’ Creatures.
The book was one that gave Harry pause when he leafed through it. From what he could tell, the book was on creatures that were, as of 1990, thought to entirely fictional by the magical world. While Harry thought this would be a great present for Luna, he was hesitant to give it to her as Angels were listed in the book as well. He wasn’t sure if he wanted the odd girl to know what he was, especially since he was sure she didn’t know Occlumency.
‘We could make her an amulet,’ Gabriel suggested. ‘And give them both to her for Christmas. I’m sure that if we explained the danger to her, she’d never take it off.’
‘We’d need to find something durable enough to make it out of and make sure that it doesn’t stand out too much from what she already wears.’ Harry added, still not all that sure of this plan. It would be nice, he reflected, to have someone at Hogwarts that knew what he was. He’d become accustomed to having someone who knew around and he didn’t look forward to having to watch himself around everyone all year. At least this way Luna would find out from him instead of figuring it out for herself.
Grabbing the book, Harry made his way to the counter, glad to be done and ready to go home.