This chapter was written on August 1, 2005 in the forum http://ragnaboards.levelupgames.co.in. There might be few modifications to the original post.
Anyway, here goes my fanfic..
The freak visit.
The Hogwarts castle looked derelict and scary for there was one new portrait added to the headmaster’s room! The day was bright and there were four people standing in front of Hogwarts’ entrance. Harry along with Tonks, Lupin, Kingsley went to Hagrid’s hut .There was something odd about this visit. His friends Hermione and Ron were not accompanying him. Harry wondered how he came leaving his closest friends behind. Harry was looking around the Dumbledore-less castle. For the first time he found his home, Hogwarts, deserted without students. Hogwarts had been his home since he was eleven. When he saw the castle in this tatty condition his urge for killing the most feared dark wizard increased. He was in a reverie in which he was slaying Voldemort. He didn’t notice Lupin knock the hut’s door.
Harry came out of the reverie when a loud but sad voice said,”Oh! Welcome! Happy to see yeh all”. Harry saw Hagrid looking desolate as he entered the shabby hut. As he entered, fang came running towards him and started to nip his cloak.
“How are yeh ‘arry “ Hagrid asked.
“I am good”, replied Harry in a sulky mood.
“How is life here” asked Lupin.
“Not bad” replied Hagrid.
“Okay Hagrid, shall we leave?”
“Oh sorry, I forgot about it..” Hagrid apologized to them.
“Then come on, this way” Hagrid said.
Hagrid and the other members of the order along with Harry left for the castle, leaving fang behind. Harry didn’t know where they were headed but didn’t mind to ask. The great hall was empty except for the four house tables and the teacher’s table. When Harry’s eyes fell on the Slytherin table, he hoped to see Malfoy so that he can rip him or even use an unforgivable curse! All the things Harry saw reminded him about his past life at Hogwarts where he had spent his most memorable days which will stay fresh in his memory till his end. Harry was not aware of where they were going. He just followed them and when he saw the way leading to the dungeons his scar hurt. He didn’t no why it did and wondered whether it was due to his increased loathing for Severus Snape. He was the potions master at Hogwarts except for previous year and it was then he found that it was not the subject he disliked but it was the master, whom Harry never felt that he needed to be called as a professor. Harry didn’t know why Dumbledore trusted him. Harry realized that they were in front of the stone gargoyle staring at them.
“Feline mistress”, shouted Kingsley and the stone gargoyle stepped aside giving way to the spiral staircase that lead to the head master’s office which once belonged to the one whom Harry regarded as the greatest sorcerer ever born, lived and died. Now it was the transfiguration teacher Minerva McGonagall’s office. As the spiral staircase took them to the office Harry wondered how it would look.
“Welcome everyone”, said professor McGonagall.” I have been waiting for you”
“What has the ministry decided about Hogwarts “, asked Tonks.
“Our minister for magic says the school will be open . He feels that every child of the magical community must be educated and armed and it is the duty of Hogwarts to do it.”
Hagrid and others except Tonks were not speaking. She was happier than the last year in which she lost her cousin and her proposal had been denied by Lupin.
”but, will the wizards allow their children to come here after all what has happened?” interrupted Tonks.
“Yeah, I myself feel the same”, agreed the new headmistress.
“But I feel at least some family might allow their children if the ministry satisfies them with their security systems. I think Scrimgoeur would be able to do it. He is efficient, isn’t he? However, I hope many like Harry would still want to study. You will study, wouldn’t you Potter?” asked McGonagall.
Harry didn’t know what to say. He was confused and he replied with a hesitation.
“Er.. Yeah”, lied Harry.
Harry imagined how they would feel if he said anything about his mission which is known to none except his friends.
“Potter”, called McGonagall. Harry turned towards her.
“Our minister told me that he wants a word with you“, said McGonagall.
“Er”, Harry hesitated.
“I know you don’t like it”, said McGonagall. ”but he asked me to inform you and said that it was about the reopening of Hogwarts and its nothing about the night our former headmaster was killed”
Harry’s thought flickered over the grim events that took place at the foot of the astronomy tower.
“Potter“, interrupted McGonagall. ” I feel you should meet him if it’s about reopening the school. Had Dumbledore been alive, he would have felt the same..”
“Okay.. no problem “, said Harry with a hesitation.
“Thank you. We have to talk to one of the ministry’s officer and I think you wouldn’t feel happy to be questioned. If you wish you can stay here”, said McGonagall. Harry felt the same. He thought he could be more comfortable there than being with the ministry officer.
“Yes”, replied Harry immediately. Harry watched them leave. He turned towards the office which was looking like the same office which Harry had seen on the night when he once again tasted the bitterness of betrayal .Snape betrayed Dumbledore that day. Had it not been for Snape he would have had his headmaster alive and his home Hogwarts as the safest place to live.
Suddenly Harry heard a familiar voice. There was no one except him in the office. He was sure of it. He thought it must be the hallucination caused by the sleepless nights. He had been dreaming more frequently for the past few months about a duel between him and a wizard. It was either Snape or Voldemort.
“Hello Harry”, said the familiar voice for the second time.
Harry turned to see the portrait of professor Dumbledore viewing him through his half-moon spectacles. Harry felt stupid. Being a wizard he didn’t realize that it was a portrait. Dumbledore was smiling. His hands were like the one that Harry had seen on his first year’s first day at Hogwarts. He was a little bit young, reminiscent of the Dumbledore that Harry had seen in the pensieve. Harry wondered whether the portrait would remember everything that has happened in its owner’s life. Then Harry thought that it must remember as he had seen Phineas recognizing the last black’s death.
“Hello sir”, replied Harry.
Harry wondered whether this Dumbledore would be as efficient as the real one and will he be able to help him. Harry didn’t understand. There were many mysteries in the wizard’s world yet to be discovered.
“How are you Harry?” asked Dumbledore.
“I am fine”, replied Harry.
“So, are you going to see the minister? I was listening”, said Dumbledore smiling.
“What do you think sir?” asked Harry.
“It will be better if you see him. But be careful not to speak anything unwise.”
Harry knew what it was and he knew his limits. Harry was in a dilemma whether to ask or not the question that he had in his mind all these dark days. His stomach gave a sudden lurch. Harry started to ask half heartedly, “Sir, why did you trust Snape? “ Harry’s heart sank for there was no one in the portrait now!
Hearing the question Dumbledore left. Harry had never seen such behaviour from Dumbledore. He didn’t understand. Harry knew that Dumbledore was a great wizard and there must be many other places where his picture would be depicted. He felt sad about what he had done. He turned towards the empty room. The other portraits in the room were sleeping what looked like a troubled one. Harry’s gaze fell on the cupboard which had many bottles containing silver coloured liquid. Harry recognized it as the memories of wizards. He had seen some of it with Dumbledore. There were many which Dumbledore didn’t bother to show him. Harry thought that he could see it. But something stopped him. Something in the room was missing. Harry’s heart leapt. He knew something was missing, something that Dumbledore regarded as priceless. Harry recognized what was missing. The one he used to slay the Basilisk.
THE GRYFFINDOR SWORD.
Harry screamed. Harry felt giddy. He began to faint. His scream was muffled by a snoring sound which was close to a pig’s grunt. Where was he?
He was lying in his bed, breathing hard at no: 4, Privet drive.
P.S. You can find the original post here