Harry's summer was going wonderfully. His friends wrote him and he wrote them back. Until a week before his birthday. That was when he stopped getting letters back from them. His father was gone on business and Harry didn't know who to turn to to ask for advice. Until one morning Harry went to his room after breakfast and found a strange House Elf sitting on his bed. He found out his name was Dobby and that he had been sent to warn him that Hogwarts was not going to be safe in the coming weeks and that Harry Potter should not go back to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Dobby was one of the weirdest house elves he had every met. He seemed to be working for a very dark wizard. He wasn't sure though if Dobby was sent by that wizard to try and stop Harry from going to school or if Dobby was coming on his own and just feared for Harry's life.
What he found out of course was that Dobby was stopping all of the mail from his friends. The letters from his father didn't come by Owl. They just appeared on the kitchen table. Harry sent his back by Owl because while he was not being watched for magic outside of school, it was best to attract too much attention to the house.
Before Harry could make Dobby, leave, a letter from his father appeared on the kitchen table. Harry grabbed it and ripped it open to read.
I need you to go to the Weasley's. I am going to be gone longer than I though and I do not trust you to be alone. Molly is expecting you. I will not be back before you start school. You have the money for your school items and I am sure that the Headmaster will send your letter to them. Use the Floo. I am sure that you can remember how to do that. Be safe, Son.
Harry looked at Dobby. The House Elf was staring at Harry.
"Dobby, thank you for the warning but I have to go back to school. As unsafe as it would be, me here by myself while my father is away working in another country it would be worse. Go back to who ever sent you and tell them you failed. I would suggest that you get out of here and never come back. My father wouldn't like that you are here."
Dobby acted like he was going to make a comment but he instead disappeared. Harry had a feeling that it would not be the last time that Harry would see him.
It took a few hours but finally Harry was read to head to the Burrow. He dragged his school trunk behind him, which held everything he needed. Hedwig's cage was shrunk and stuck in his trunk. She was flying there on her own. He didn't know how well she would like traveling by Floo.
"The Burrow," Harry said as he stepped into the green flames. The trip was quick and uneventful. He stepped out into the living room of Ron's house. There standing was a woman. He assumed it was Molly Weasley. "Mrs. Weasley."
"Harry, no one else is expecting you. I figured you would want to get settled before getting mobbed. Arthur is not awake yet. You will be staying with Ron in his room. I will take care of your things later, just go sit down to breakfast."
"Yes, Ma'am. I have already ate. I fix my breakfast when I wake up at five thirty. I may eat some toast."
"Aren't you just a little grown up."
"No, Ma'am. I can get into trouble if I want to. My Owl, Hedwig is on her way here. I hope it is fine that she come?"
"Yes, of course. Oh, I hear Arthur. Go sit Harry. I need to finish breakfast."
Harry sat down at the large table. Minutes later, an older man sat down beside him. He turned to Harry and then looked away. His head snapped back and he stared at Harry.
"Who are you?"
"Harry Potter, Sir."
"Good God really. Well, it is a pleasure to meet you. How did you get here? Did your father bring you?"
Harry narrowed his eyes at Arthur. So even the Ministry was trying to find out who was raising him. Of course, by now they would know that Ron and he were friends and would be trying to pressure Arthur into finding out.
"I arrived by Floo. Father wrote ahead and asked your wife if it was alright. I packed my bags and then came here. You can tell your bosses that if my father trusted them to protect me, he wouldn't have to hide me."
"Of course, my boy. I will pass that along to them."
"Thank you. And if Dumbledore asks you as well, you can tell him the same thing."
"Lets talk of other things," Molly said as she set down a plate of toast on the table. Seconds later, giant thumps could be heard from all over the house. "The boys are awake."
"Just the twins, Percy, Ron, and Ginny."
"Bill and Charlie are not here?"
"Charlie's in Romania and Bill is in Egypt for Gringotts."
"I was hoping to meet them. I guess it will have to wait."
"Harry?" Ron asked as he practically jumped to the middle landing. "What are you doing here?"
"Dad's job is keeping him away a lot longer than he felt safe with leaving me alone. He trusts your family the most."
"That's great. We have the rest of the summer together. I have so much that I want to show you. We can play Quidditch!"
"Ronald, leave him alone. You have the rest of the summer...Oh!" A thump from behind scared Molly. She turned to see Errol, their family Owl, sliding down the glass of the window. He jumped back up and dropped his group of letters into the basket for them. Molly walked over and grabbed them as the rest of the family finally came down the steps. "Oh, Harry! Yours is in here as well. Dumbledore is a smart man."
Harry said nothing he just accepted his school list. He opened the letter and looked at the books listed. It was quite a haul this year. All of Gilderoy Lockhart's books were listed. He heard the twins making comments about the prices of the books and sighed. He didn't have that much money on him. He knew that the Weasley's didn't have much money, he wondered how they were going to get them all.
"We best be getting on to Diagon Alley. Everyone finish up and get dressed."
Harry bought all of his school items but not his books with no problems. He met back up with the Weasley's outside of Flourish and Blotts. There it seemed that Gilderoy Lockhart was signing copies of one of his books. Harry was not looking forward to going into the store. There had to be reporters in there and he was going to be a magnet to them. Molly went to the line to have her book signed and to get the other books signed. Before Harry could slip to the front of the store, Lockhart saw him.
"It can't be, Harry Potter!" Lockhart grabbed him and pulled him close to have his picture taken with the Boy Who Lived. Harry felt the weight of some books being shoved into his arms and hearing something about Lockhart teaching at the school that year. Harry finally pulled himself away from Lockhart. He handed Ginny his books, muttering about buying his own.
"Well, well look what we have here, the Weasley's," drawled a voice. Harry looked around and saw Draco with someone, Harry assumed it was his father. Draco looked up at his father and then at Harry. Harry looked at Arthur.
"I have to go get the rest of my books." Harry walked away from the group and went to the back of the store. He didn't care if anyone followed him. He heard a noise and spun around. It was Draco. Harry looked around and saw that no one was around them. Harry hugged Draco. Draco laughed.
"How have you been?"
"I've been good, Draco. Missed you. Dad was away most of the summer. Doing things for work. I have just gone to the Weasley's for the last month of summer. There is so much that I need to tell you. I can't send Hedwig to you though. She is too recognizable."
"I have an Owl that I can send that no one would know. Of course, once we get to school it won't be so hard. I'll send him to you."
Harry turned away from Draco and walked away like they didn't know each other. He gathered all of his books and moved to where he was to pay for the books. Before he even reached the register the owner meet him in the middle of the store.
"We have already received word to take the cost of the books out of your account at Gringotts. Did you get any extra books?"
"No, Sir. Thank you for helping me. I do not think that my father expect all these books for this year." The owner charmed the books to shrink and Harry put them inside his robes. When Harry found Arthur, who looked scuffed up.
It was obvious that he and Lucius had been in fight. Hagrid was standing beside him talking. Molly was ushering the kids out of the store all the while chastising Arthur for fighting.