Home / Fan Fiction / Harry Potter Slash / What Started That Summer, Chapters 1 & 2
DISCLAIMER: the following is a non-profit, amateur effort not intended to infringe on the rights of JK Rowling, Scholastic books, Warner Brothers or any other copyright holders that I might not be aware of. This is also a slash story not meant for kids in spite of the Harry Potter subject matter. Do not read if you are underage.
What Started That Summer
by The Brat Queen
Spoilers: Goblet of Fire
Warning: This is a slashfic that takes place when the boys are underage but I promise there's nothing in here that's any racier than what JK Rowling has already put in the books. The only real difference is that Harry does kiss someone of the male persuasion. I'm just not going to tell you who.
In the months that followed the events of the Triwizard Tournament Harry found that for once he didn't mind being locked up in the Dursley's home. Uncle Vernon, still twitching from his last encounter with the Weasleys, had dumped him unceremoniously into his bedroom after bringing him home from the train station and made it clear that Harry was not to leave.
"You can let that beast out to keep it quiet," Uncle Vernon had said about Hedwig before locking the door. "Otherwise you stay here and don't move. And none of your magic tricks either. I know you're not allowed!"
With that the door had slammed shut, the brand-new bolts on it slid into place and Harry was stuck right where he was save for the few times he was allowed out to shower or otherwise use the bathroom. His food was simply slipped under the door.
But Harry didn't mind.
Being left all by himself meant that he did not have to listen to his aunt and uncle's usual speeches about how horrible he was and how wicked his parents had been besides. It meant that he didn't have to encounter whatever new relative was visiting this week and pretend to be a student at St. Brutus's Secure Center for Incurably Criminal Boys. And, most importantly, it meant that he didn't have to talk to anyone about what had happened.
Harry knew how Dumbledore felt about it. He knew that trying to remember was the best thing for him. But it wasn't that remembering was a problem. The problem was trying to forget.
For nights now Harry had woken up to feel his scar hurting him. Sometimes his wrists burned in memory of the bonds that had held him captive while Wormtail took his blood. The blood dreams in particular bothered Harry. He often awoke feeling as though it was happening again, sometimes even seeing blood covering his bed as though the vein Wormtail had pierced had never quite healed.
Harry hoped that as the nights went on those dreams would go away.
In the meantime Harry's friends made certain that he was not entirely without company. Hermione sent packages to him which kept him well-stocked in food and reading matter. Mrs. Weasley sent him socks and sweaters to help keep him warm when the warm summer weather was interrupted by an unusual amount of thunderstorms.
Fred and George sent him frequent messages by owl post, letting him know how their joke business was getting on and reassuring him that they had bought new dress robes for Ron but would not tell their brother where the gift had come from.
We'll just stash it in his bags before school starts, Fred had written in one letter. We'll be sneaking a few Wrinkling Wraps and Itch Snappers in there anyway so he won't even know what happened. If he asks we'll just tell him we got a good deal second-hand.
Hagrid sent word from time to time as well, but not as frequently as he normally would given his current assignment from Dumbledore.
And after going through all the letters and packages from those friends, Harry then had the near-constant messages from Sirius and Ron.
Not that he minded.
It was a few weeks before school began when Harry heard the now-familiar fluttering of a postal owl delivering the latest of Sirius's letters. It was early morning which meant Harry was still mostly asleep but he stumbled out of bed, groped around to find his glasses, and offered the postal owl a chance to eat and drink from Hedwig's bowls by way of a thank you.
"Memoria," Harry whispered as he sat down at his desk. The image of a small white bird appeared above a wooden pedestal bearing Cedric's name. It was a minor bit of magic, allowed by the Ministry as a way of giving the Hogwarts' students a way to honor Cedric's passing. Harry found comfort in the soft glow that came from the image and often turned it on for company.
Harry, Sirius's letter began, I am glad to hear that you're taking care of yourself. I know it's been hard for you but really the best thing for everyone is for you to not do anything foolish. I don't want to hear that you've gone off wandering by yourself at any time. I'm making arrangements with Dumbledore so that the Weasley's will come get you when you need to get ready for school. In the meanwhile please just suffer the Dursley's a little bit longer for the sake of my piece of mind. You are safest where you are and your safety is my top priority.
There's no news about You-Know-Who but we are still looking. I will alert you if anything comes up.
I am sorry about your scar hurting you. When you get back to school have Dumbledore get Professor Tentius to tutor you in protection spells. That might lessen the pain for you.
As always I will be waiting for you to write back to me to tell me you're all right. Don't disappoint me, Harry. - Sirius (PS: How's Hedwig doing?)
Harry smiled. He picked up his quill and began to write.
Sirius - The dreams have not gone but I am doing better. I don't remember much so the dreams are mostly made up of emotions but I suppose that's something. Don't worry about me going anywhere. Uncle Vernon hasn't unlocked my door yet and since the Ministry hasn't allowed us the use of any other spells this summer I don't see myself unlocking it anytime soon. That's OK though because the last thing I want is to have to listen to Dudley whining about a raise in his allowance again. Plus I think Aunt Silvia and Uncle Sean are visiting next week so either Uncle Vernon locks me in my room or I lock all of them out of it. Good thing I'll be leaving for school soon.
Glad to hear about the Weasley's coming to get me but how will I meet them? I don't think Uncle Vernon will stand for another trip through the fireplace.
Hedwig is doing well. It took her a while to recover from her last trip out to you but now that we've set up this relay system through Dumbledore I think she's speaking to me again. She doesn't mind flying over to Hogswarts nearly as much as she did those trips out to where ever you were last summer.
Harry paused, holding the quill an inch away from the parchment. He debated scratching out that last paragraph on the chance that someone intercepted the message and found out how Sirius had been getting his mail lately, but then realized that if anyone intercepted the letter and found out he'd been writing to Sirius in the first place there would be far bigger problems than that to worry about.
I hope you're doing well and being careful. I don't want you getting caught by the Dementors again. If anything would make my nightmares worse it's that.
And make my life even more miserable, Harry added silently, trying to picture what it would be like for him to find out that Sirius had been discovered. He shuddered, closing his eyes to shut out the image of Sirius being given the Dementors' fatal kiss. He couldn't even begin to imagine how bad that would be. Harry would have gladly faced Voldemort a thousand times over rather than put Sirius in danger of that.
He wrapped the letter up for the postal owl to take, slipped in another piece of parchment with a note of thanks to Dumbledore on it, and then set the owl free to make its delivery. On its way out it nearly collided with Pidwidgeon on the way in.
"Sit still!" Harry said, chasing the small owl around his room as it fluttered about in the excitement of once again getting its job done. Not for the first time Harry wished he could calm the bird down with an Impediment Curse. Finally Pidwidgeon settled down next to Hedwig, offering his parcel to Harry with much ceremony. Hedwig, for her part, moved slightly away as though embarrassed on behalf of her species.
What do you know? Ron's letter began, Pig actually got this to you. Do you know that the last letter I sent you ended up in our next-door neighbor's laundry? Stupid bird. Anyway, Mum says we're going to get you before school starts. Not sure how we'll do it yet but I wanted to tell you so you'd know you wouldn't have to be with the Muggles all summer. How's Dudley by the way? Have you set his shorts on fire or are you still waiting to find a way to make his head explode?
Hermione has been bugging me nonstop about learning new spells to help defend against You-Know-Who. I swear one of these days I'm going to find a book that says 'SHUT UP'. You know she only does things if she can find a way to read about them. Don't suppose you know any books that would tell her to do my homework for me too do you? Percy's been nattering on about how hard next year will be on us. 'It is imperative that you work especially hard to increase your standing' and all that rot. Like increasing your class rank doesn't make you any less of a git.
Anyway, Mum's calling me. She's still giving me a hard time about Fred and George, like I had anything to do with it. Today it's cleaning off the Pixie Paper. Ever since the rain started they've just been swarming. Yesterday I caught one swimming in my tea. Spit right in my eye too, little bugger.
Write back as soon as you can. - Ron.
Writing a response to all of this was easy. Unlike most of the other letters he got, Ron's never demanded that he talk about anything too serious.
Snuffles told me about meeting you. I don't know how we'll do it either but if he tells me I'll let you know.
Things here are OK. The Muggles haven't been bothering me so I guess I'm not bothering them. Good thing too with all the owls that have been coming. I think I got at least 3 from Hermione alone this week. She's been making copies of spells she's found. A few are for our classes next year. Trust her to read ahead.
I'm doing fine but lately I can't wait for school to start. Given the O.W.L.s that's saying a lot.
Your mom will calm down when you and Ginny are back at school, I think.
What's Pixie Paper? -Harry
It wasn't long before Harry got his responses.
Good news, Harry! Things are calm enough that I was able to arrange a small surprise for you. Can't give you any of the details but you'll know it when it comes.
And I sent a message to the Dursley's saying that if they didn't have you at King's Cross station by noon on Thursday that I was going to come by personally to pay your Aunt Petunia my respects. I don't think they'll give you any trouble.
Take care of yourself and let me know you're all right. - Sirius.
Harry! Can't give you any of the details but you've got to get to King's Cross by noon on Thursday. Pack up all your stuff! -Ron. (PS: It's sticky paper that you catch Pixies with. The worst part is plucking their wings off of it once you've got 'em.)
Harry looked up just in time to see a red-headed blur emerge from the crowd. He hadn't expected Platform nine and three-quarters to be this busy but he realized that there must be other trains that used it during the year besides the Hogwarts Express.
"Harry!" Ron said again. He stopped in front of Harry with a large gasp of breath and then wrapped his arms around him in a quick hug. "Isn't this great?"
Harry smiled awkwardly, returning the hug but looking around in confusion. "What?"
"We've been able to make some special arrangements," Mrs. Weasley said as she came over to join them. "We all know how hard it's been for you at the Dursleys so we've found another place for you to stay until school starts."
"With you?" Harry asked. Much as he'd been enjoying his time alone, he knew that he would always enjoy a trip to the Burrow.
Mrs. Weasley pursed her lips and shook her head. Looking around to see if anyone was listening she pulled Ron and Harry into and out of the way corner. "Solus," she said, gesturing with her wand to make a sound barrier between them and the rest of the platform. Once she was certain it was working she began to explain. "You can't stay with anyone magical yet, Harry, because it would be too easy for You-Know-Who to find you. As long as you're surrounded by Muggles you'll be somewhat protected."
"Kinda like a needle in a haystack," Ron said.
"But we've managed to find somewhere else for you to go," Mrs. Weasley said. "Arthur's got a few friends who have a few friends and - well to make a long story short we've found a Muggle inn nearby where you and Ron can stay until it's time to go back to school. Not that Ron deserves it," she added, shooting a scolding, maternal look at her son
Ron ignored her, grinning wildly. Harry was still confused.
"But how?" he asked.
"We'll have some special friends checking in on you," Mrs. Weasley said. "And you'll be keeping in touch with Arthur and me by post, of course. If trouble should happen there will be someone nearby to help, don't you worry. I wouldn't have agreed to this otherwise."
Although the idea of getting away from the Dursleys sounded wonderful, Harry didn't think he could take advantage of the prospect. "That's very kind of everyone but I don't want to make everyone go through all that trouble just for me."
"They're doing it anyway, Harry," Ron said, giving him a look to make him stop protesting. "So it doesn't matter if you're here or with the Dursley's. Only difference is we finally found a safe place besides theirs to put you."
Harry felt awful. He supposed he should have guessed that others had been keeping an eye on him but in truth he'd never suspected. He hated to think of all the work they must be doing just to keep him safe.
"It's all right," Mrs. Weasley said kindly, as though she had read Harry's thoughts. She gave him a reassuring smile. "I can promise you that the people in question are more than happy to do it." She stood up straighter, looking around. "But all that will be for no good if we stay here much longer. Harry, do you think you can help us get a taxi? I've got the address Arthur gave me right here," she handed Harry a piece of paper. He didn't recognize the location but hoped the taxi driver would. He nodded his agreement to her question then fell in step beside Ron as the two of them walked behind her, pulling their luggage and owl cages along the way.
"Took forever to convince her," Ron said, speaking softly so his mother wouldn't hear them. "Fred and George got her so worked up she only agreed when I told her it would help my Muggle education." Ron grinned again, happy in spite of the heavy load he was carting. "This'll be great, won't it? You can tell me all about how Muggles live."
"Are you sure this is OK?" Harry asked. He found he was feeling overexposed now that he was outside of the privacy of his bedroom.
Ron nodded. "Mum and Dad have it all worked out. I'm not sure how but if Mum agreed to it you know it's got to be good. Anyway, it's not like we're going to have too much fun. We're supposed to stay in our rooms for the most part and only travel in a certain area when we go outside. But still, it's better than listening to Dudley snore, right?"
"Right," Harry said. He tried to muster some enthusiasm for Ron's sake, but wasn't entirely successful. Fortunately if Ron noticed he didn't say anything.
The trip to the inn was remarkably uneventful given all of their bags combined with the two owl cages. The cab driver let them off at a four-story building that was tucked away in a maze of twisting side streets. Harry helped Mrs. Weasley count out change and a tip for the cab driver and then helped her once again when the hotel registration forms proved to be too confusing. The clerk behind the desk was surprisingly nonchalant about Hedwig and Pidwidgeon. Harry figured that it was due to something Mr. Weasley had arranged. Finally the boys were all checked in and taken to their room.
"Perfect," Mrs. Weasley said once she saw it. She strode around the room purposefully, checking each corner as though looking for flaws. It was a room on the top floor of the building with two large beds, a writing desk, a television set, two windows which led out to a very small and narrow balcony that was useful only for the owls to sit on, and a bathroom complete with shower, sink, toilet and a towel warming rack. Mrs. Weasley studied all of this before returning to the boys and looking at them critically. "Are you sure you'll be alright here? Perhaps those windows are a bit too drafty?"
"Mum," Ron said, rolling his eyes a little and blushing in embarrassment.
"I worry about these things," Mrs. Weasley said. She turned her attention to Harry again. "All right, Harry, this is where you'll be staying. Unfortunately you'll need to stay in the room most of the time but if you need to go outside here's a map of the safe areas. Don't go outside any of the red lines. Also here's some Muggle money for you and Ron both. That's to cover food and any other expenses you come across." Mrs. Weasley frowned, looking at the money uncertainly, then back at Harry again. "Will it be enough until school starts?"
Harry looked down at the fistful of bills Mrs. Weasley had given him. It was more Muggle money than he'd ever owned in his life. A cold, sick feeling settled in the pit of his stomach. "It's more than enough," he said, his voice rasping softly.
Mrs. Weasley nodded, but still looked uncertain. "All right then, if you're sure. Now if you need anything, anything at all you just send me or Arthur a note by post. And if anything bad should happen just use your wand to send up a signal just like you did in the Tournament."
"Isn't that against Ministry rules?" Harry asked.
Mrs. Weasley gave a weak smile. "We all decided that if such an occasion came up that you would need to do itů"
Harry was able to fill in the rest as Mrs. Weasley's voice trailed off: if Harry had a reason to use such a signal it would be because Voldemort was after him, something far more important than a minor use of magic while Muggles were around.
"Don't worry, Harry," Mrs. Weasley said, giving him a comforting squeeze on the shoulder. "I'm sure that won't happen."
"Mrs. Weasley," Harry asked, he quickly looked from her to Ron, trying to make sure his friend didn't hear him. Fortunately Ron was busily trying to figure out how to work the television set. "Mrs. Weasley," Harry said again, keeping his voice soft. "Who - how is this being paid for?"
"Don't worry about it dear," Mrs. Weasley said. "The Ministry is taking care of it."
Considering Cornelius Fudge's reaction to Harry's claim that Voldemort was back, Harry somehow doubted that the Ministry was entirely responsible for all of this.
"Look," Harry said, moving so that he and Mrs. Weasley would have even more privacy. "As my way of saying thanks to-to everyone, let me take care of Ron and Ginny's school supplies? I'll tell the bank to give you what you need."
"Harry, we couldn't," Mrs. Weasley said, looking aghast.
Harry let all of his pretenses drop, looking Mrs. Weasley in the eyes and letting her see how desperate he felt. "Please," he asked.
Mrs. Weasley looked at him for a good, long while, then nodded. "All right, Harry," she said. "But just this once."
Harry felt a surge of relief go through him. "Thank you," he said, finding himself suddenly blinking away tears.
Mrs. Weasley gave him a gentle hug. "It'll be all right, Harry," she said.
Harry hugged her back, letting himself enjoy this tiny bit of comfort before he had to pull away. "Just - please buy the supplies for us?" he asked. "So - " he was about to say "So Ron won't know." but stopped himself just in time.
Once again, though, Mrs. Weasley seemed to read his mind. She gave him another nod, as though she'd understood what he had meant, and whispered "Don't worry." She then stepped away and attracted Ron's attention.
"Now you behave," she told her son. "No tricks like -"
"I know," Ron said, rolling his eyes, "Nothing like Fred and George would do."
"This is a very serious matter, Ron Weasley!" Mrs. Weasley said, looking at her son sternly.
Ron actually seemed hurt by this. His eyes quickly flickered over to Harry before he responded with an unusually calm "I know." Harry felt worse than ever.
Mrs. Weasley relented. "All right. I have to go then. I promised your father I would meet him at three and tell him how it went. Is there anything else I can do before I leave?"
Both Ron and Harry answered in the negative. Then, in a small flurry of hugs, kisses, and verbal reassurances Mrs. Weasley swept out of the room and left Ron and Harry to themselves.
"Finally!" Ron proclaimed after his mother had gone. He threw open the windows to let some fresh air in and let the owls out of the cages so that they could enjoy it as well. "Which bed to you want?"
"That one," Harry said at once, pointing to the one that was pressed up against their bathroom wall and far away from their door.
"Suit yourself," Ron said. He threw himself onto his bed, stretching out and clearly enjoying the breezes that came in, wafting the curtains far enough that their edges tickled his hand. "So what do you want to do first? Unpack? Eat? Go for a walk? I'm not sure but I think there's a few places on that map where we can get some good Muggle food. How about pizza? Dad's always talking about that one. Or we could stay here. I think Mum was saying there was a way we could have them get food for us."
"Room Service," Harry said. He sat down on his bed and looked at his shoes. Much as he wanted to join in on Ron's excitement, he just wasn't able to. He again felt his skin tingle with the same feeling he'd had at the train station. A feeling like he was exposed, like a Dementor was standing just out of his line of sight, waiting to strike at him.
Ron sat up, looking at him. He stared at him in silence for a few moments then began trying to read through the pamphlets that the clerk had given them when they'd checked in. "Yeah, that's what it was called, Room Service. Wanna show me how it works? I suppose they don't have house elves hanging around just waiting for us to ask, huh? Good thing Hermione's not here. She'd be on us to create the Room Service Salvation Organization and we'd never get a chance to eat for all the buttons she'd be shoving in our faces."
It was a weak joke, but Harry managed a smile anyway. Ron and his family had sacrificed so much for him already. It was the least he could do.
"We're going to have to use the phone," Harry said, gesturing toward it on their shared nightstand. "Do you want to try or shall I?"
"Oh let me," Ron said. "I've been waiting to try using one of those again." Ron continued to search through their pamphlets. "So what do we have to eat? What does a Room Service serve anyway?"
"I don't know," Harry admitted. He got up to sit beside Ron and help him look for a menu. "The Dursleys never took me anywhere so I've never had Room Service before either."
"Really?" Ron asked. For some reason this seemed to make him happy. "Well we'll figure it out together then. Help me pick something out. I don't know anything about Muggle food."
The two of them finally located a menu and Harry guided Ron through the process of ordering them hamburgers, French fries, ice cream and two sodas. Ron made a few mistakes in trying to dial the phone but after that was able to handle it without any more prompts. When he was done he hung up with almost as much flair as Pigwidgeon delivering a letter and told Harry to show him how to work the TV.
"I want to learn everything about your Muggle life," Ron said.
Harry couldn't help but think that the majority of his Muggle life had been spent being locked inside a cupboard but decided it was best not to remind Ron of that. Instead he told him everything he knew about television and promised that if it was in the safe area he would show Ron what it was like when Muggles went to see a movie as well.
Ron was thrilled by it all. "This is going to be great!" he said, turning the dials on the television faster than he needed to, but enjoying it all the same.
Harry just wished he could share Ron's feelings.