Two days after Albus Dumbledore’s death at Spinners End:
A blond haired young man with a pale face was staring at the hidden door in the shack. All of a sudden after letting out a frustrated sigh, he pointed out, “Well, what are we waiting for? Should we not be meeting the dark lord by now? Dumbledore is dead. The dark lord wanted him dead.” The greasy haired man with a mop of his hair covering his face placed the bottle of firewhiskey which he had been drinking on the table and stared pointedly into the eyes of Draco Malfoy. “When I look into your eyes I see nothing but fear. Fear of the punishment that the dark lord is going to inflict on you. So do not go around acting that you are a great wizard. That night you were the culprit.” Draco Malfoy tried to explain for what he remembered to be the umpteenth time. But the greasy haired man who started walking now, cut him short and said, “What you did that night was not only disobey the dark lord’s orders, but also it resulted in my position at Hogwarts being exposed. You will have some explaining to do if you are to survive your next meeting with the Dark Lord.”
A week later aboard the HOGWARTS EXPRESS RETURNING TO LONDON:
Ron and Hermione opened the door into the compartment where Harry was sitting along with Ginny, Neville and Luna. Harry gave a look at his two best friends and once again all 6 of them went silent. Harry did not want to discuss anything with his friends. He had realized and made some decisions over the course of the past week. For one he knew that he could no longer depend upon his friends for his protection. He knew that his magical abilities had to improve quite a bit if he were to stand a chance against Voldemort. At this he immediately clutched the fake horcrux in his wizard robe pockets. He had realized the fact that, if he had to start acting independently and on his own. Too many of his life’s decisions where not taken by him. He had let others fidel around with decisions that should have been made by him.
Thinking along these lines Harry decided that before anything else, the life of Sybill Trelawney was of utmost importance. He surmised that from what Professor Dumbledore told him, Trelawney would be under immense danger now that Snape turned out to be the traitor and also that Dumbledore was no more alive. So he decided that as soon as he would reach his Uncle’s home at Little Whinging, Surrey, he would try contacting one of the order’s members and try reasoning with them about his findings and guesses. Also he realized that if he had to be just as secretive as Professor Dumbledore in his search for the horcruxes then the apparition license would be of top most priority. And in his quest to fulfill the prophecy Harry knew that his first step would be to protect Cybill Trelawney. At the same time he realized with a jolt that Dumbledore was also the secret keeper of Grimmauld Place. Amidst all these he failed to notice the repeated attempts of Ron to get him into a conversation. Harry had always been under the assumption that when he did come of age, Dumbledore would be around. But now that his greatest savior was no more Harry also realized the need to know and learn more about magic. As he was not yet of age he realized that learning magic on his own would land him in more trouble with the ministry of magic. Suddenly Harry was stuck with a weird thought, if the ministry was willing to help him out, why not strike a deal with them? Lost in these thoughts Harry noticed that the train was slowing down. Finally he heard the distant voice of Hermione and turned towards her when she started speaking, “I have informed my parents that I would be coming to privet drive and staying there this summer.” Ron too nodded his head fervently in the affirmative. What Harry realized that Hermione and Ron did not was the fact that Ginny, Neville and Luna where looking weirdly at them…Life was changing…and it was changing too quickly to Harry’s liking.
When the train did come to a halt at platform nine-three fourths Harry hurried out of the compartment dragging his trunk along with him. As he had expected he saw some of the members of the order of the phoenix on the platform. He wondered on who the new leader would be, now that…He hurried towards Tonks and whispered, “I want to talk to you, alone, right now.” Tonks looked baffled at him but nevertheless she followed him through the invisible barrier separating the platform from the muggle world. Harry met Tonks’ eye and they walked of inconspicuously towards one of the corners of the muggle platform when Harry plunged directly asking Tonks, “I need to meet the Minister, Rufus Scrimgeour as soon as possible. Will you be able to help me?” Tonks whose eyes nearly popped out, cut him and asked, “May I ask why? Is it based on some new whim that you have?” Harry replied, “Ron and Hermione are going to be with me at Privet Drive. I want to meet the minister to discuss our plans.” If Tonks was surprised with Harry she definitely did not show it. Harry then said, “Tonks, do me this favor and I will explain to you what I have been upto.” Though Tonks did not look convinced she did nod her head in the affirmative. Harry went on and said, “Have one of these coins with you and set the time and date of our meeting. I will get to know about it.” Tonks was left shell shocked and speechless as Harry whispered to her quick thanks and hurried off to join the rest of the crowd. Hermione and Ron cornered him and asked, “what was that about?” Harry averted his eyes and said, “Arrangements for a comfortable stay at privet drive, that’s all.”
Harry side apparatted along with Tonks to Privet Drive. He felt awkward as Tonks seemed to have realized Harry’s intention of manipulating the stay of Ron and Hermione for his own use. But he knew that it was time for the wizarding world to unite as one in the fight against Voldemort. He knew that it was time for the ministry and Hogwarts to fight together. Harry immediately asked Tonks, “When can I meet him?” Tonks replied, “I need to talk to him first Harry. But when I am away I need someone else to be on watch here.” Harry replied, “Voldemort will not attack me for now. He has more pressing issues to deal with.” Tonks immediately replied, “How can be sure of that?” To which Harry retorted, “That is something between me and Professor Dumbledore.” Just as Harry was about to knock the door at Privet Drive, Petunia Dursley opened the door and looked at him mouth agape. “So finally they through you out of that freak school is it?” Harry did not say anything and told Tonks, “Just arrange for me to meet with the minister. I have got to take care of things here.”
Harry then spoke with Petunia Dursley, “Look Aunt Petunia, I really appreciate that you have provided me shelter over the past 17 years and thankful for it. I would just like to bear with me for the next two weeks and then I would be off.” Harry then added, “Two of my friends from the freak school are going to come here later today. The three of us will not cross yours or uncle Vernon’s paths.” For the first time, Harry saw something akin to pity in Petunia Dursley’s eyes. But it disappeared just as soon as it appeared. Not for the first time did Harry wish that he had some family of his own other than the Dursleys. There were just too many things going on in his head that he wished to disclose to someone but found none. He began making way to his room dragging the trunk along with him when Petunia Dursley spoke, “So is he dead really?” Harry stopped still instantly. He reminded himself as if he were in some dream. But when Petunia walked in front of him and asked, “Is Albus Dumbledore dead?” Harry just nodded his head. He was too shell shocked and kept thinking about how his aunt knew this.
Harry replied, “How do you know about the happenings at Hogwarts?” Petunia answered in one word, “Arabella Figg.” And then added, “I knew about her connections to your world right from the moment Dumbledore left that letter and you on that fateful night.” She continued rather hysterically, “Why do you think that I forced your Uncle Vernon to send you to her place when we went out on holidays?” Harry wondered now that he was fed with this information, it always used to be Arabella Figg’s place if his cousin, uncle and aunt went out somewhere on a holiday. Harry knew that he had been kept in the dark once again by Dumbledore. He once again realized the need to know more about his parents, their relatives and also more about Dumbledore. Thinking along Harry dragged his trunk to his room and sat down. Immediately he felt the coin in his pocket grow warm. Harry knew that the moment of truth began here. How he handled such delicate issues would have a major bearing on the fight against Voldemort.