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Chap 3.

Harry lowered the weights with a slight clank and sighed. His arms felt remarkably like jelly and that was slightly disturbing. Maybe he had worked them a bit too hard? He wasn’t sure as he was going off guesses here. All he was doing was trying to lift what he could as many times as he could. That was exhausting and didn’t really last long. Maybe this called for a different book, something that could help him figure out the right way to do this. Surely there were books on exercise he could reference. Everything he had learned in quidditch and done for years was of no help here. It was an entirely different type of exercise. The phone rang and he sighed.

He headed downstairs, glad for the distraction. Resting his arms sounded like a lovely plan, given all he had done as well as his chores. He reached the phone and responded as politely as he could manage, “Dursley residence.”

“Harry?”

“Tonks?” Harry was rather confused. Why was she calling him?

“Wotcher. Yeah, the reading is this afternoon, remember? Do you think you can make it to that library near the house right after lunch?”

“Sure, that also lets me get my chores done. I can even do some studying before then.” Harry was mentally running through his list of chores, trying to work everything out.

“Right, then I will see you there at one o’clock.”

After he hung the phone up his aunt asked from the living room, “Was that one of your… friends?”

“Yes Aunt Petunia.”

“And this one knew how to use the phone?” There was a degree of disbelief in her question, because surely a freak wouldn’t know how to use a phone.

Harry rolled his eyes, glad that he couldn’t be seen. “Yes. Her father is muggleborn and works as a lawyer so apparently their house has phones and magic.”

His aunt sniffed derisively and Harry took that as his cue to escape so he could knock out a number of his chores. Weeding the garden was actually quick work, seeing as that was a usual task and weeds really didn’t have that much of a chance to make a strong presence in the garden. Every day he did something out there and it showed. He tidied the house, which was thankfully not very dirty and then headed upstairs, happy to get away from his Aunt. He went to the beat up desk and sat down to go through his books. Looking through the Special Forces book he saw the mention of After Action Reports, which was summarized as basically going over what did and didn’t work in an engagement so you could learn from your mistakes and successes. That sounded useful and a great way to learn from the various encounters he had had.

Moving the book to the side, Harry got out a new sheet of parchment and started writing down what had occurred at the Ministry as best as he could remember. He was surprised by just how much he did remember now that he thought about it. That was rather surprising. A great deal of it seemed etched into his thoughts. Then he wrote down the mistakes, things where he knew they had screwed up. It was a depressing list but also shorter than he had expected which made him frown. Was he forgetting something? He then wrote up what they had done right and that was a larger list and was sort of grouped by name as each person had done different things well. For all that had gone wrong and poorly during that fight, they really had done rather well overall and kept their heads. Thinking about this he really wanted to see what the others could come up with if they did this as well. He sort of doubted that Ron would do this, as anything outside of schoolwork was certainly not going to fly.

Writing out short notes to each of those at the ministry covering what he wanted along with some other information such as how he had been and the like, Harry then thought about the fact that he hadn’t gotten any communication from any others. It was irritating as he really could use his friends as he tried to deal with his grief over losing Sirius and his grief over leading his friends into a trap. It was like he was being ignored for no good reason. No, he didn’t need to think about that right now. If he focused on that too much, either Sirius’s death or the lack of contact, he would get quite depressed again and he was trying to avoid that. There were things he had to get done and he honestly didn’t have the time.

If there was something keeping the messages from getting to him then maybe there was something that could stop Hedwig. He frowned at that. Given everything he just couldn’t risk his owl. No he needed another way to get these out. “Dobby?”

The House Elf appeared with a soft pop, looking excited to be there. “Yes Harry Potter sir?”

“Could you take these to Neville, Luna and Hermione? I’m probably going to see Ron later so I can deliver his I guess. If not then you can deliver these to Ron and Ginny.” He handed over three of the letters.

“Certainly Harry Potter. Dobby can do this.”

When the house elf disappeared before he could thank the excitable elf, Harry turned to Hedwig who was glaring at him. He blushed and said defensively, “Look, I know you are amazing at this but someone has been screwing with my mail and I didn’t want to put you at risk over it. I would rather keep you safe than let you get hurt over something this unimportant.”

Hedwig continued to stare at him for a moment and then bobbed her head. Harry let out the breath he had been holding. A reprieve from a grumpy owl was a good thing. “Thank you Hedwig.”

He went back to his books, noting the time and saw there was a whole section on how important communication was. These military units had the best communication gear money could buy and they also used hand signals when they needed to do things silently. It was certainly something to think about. There were diagrams in the books with some of the hand signals and he could see where it would be useful. Maybe something like that would be nice to have? He wondered if he would be able to get actual military training manuals as they certainly would have better and more focused information on this. He would have to talk to Hermione about that. Out of everyone he knew she was the one who actually knew the most about finding and buying books in either world. Maybe he should actually make a list of the sorts of things he would want to look for?

His guilt rose up, reminding him what his folly had caused. Hermione, his most consistent friend, had been almost killed because he hadn’t bothered to listen to her. She was almost always right but oh no he knew better. His temper seemed to control him more often than not and he just didn’t need that, not anymore. Things were so dangerous that losing his temper could cause more people he cared about to almost die. Everything he had read about the SAS showed that they were generally level headed, especially in combat. His life was in danger thanks to Voldemort so he needed to think before he jumped into things, because it wasn’t just his life on the line. The Ministry had shown that clearly, painfully. He knew that Hermione would not let him go off and face danger without her and Ron was the same. There was no way he could take off without them. And the other three just happened to be there when it all went down but Harry was sure a number of the DA members would have been there for him and fought just as bravely. If he acted rashly, like he usually did, all these people would be put on the line as well. He had to do better.

A glance at his clock let him know what time it was. If he was going to meet Tonks then he had to get going. Grabbing his wand, the few books he wanted to return, and then stuffing his invisibility cloak into his empty book bag, he hefted it and headed downstairs. He didn’t bring the knife because he had forgotten it had melted at the Ministry. He had stared at it sadly for a while last night, realizing that yet another thing that had connected him to Sirius was gone. In his folly he had lost something that was now a precious reminder of better times. He sighed, to clear his thoughts and said, “Aunt Petunia, I’m heading over to the library.”

His Aunt glared at him and then nodded, not saying anything.

With a sigh, Harry exited the house and headed towards the Library. He disliked his relatives considering how they treated him and had his whole life but they were also all he had left. Maybe if Sirius had lived and had managed to prove his innocence then he would have been able to go live with his godfather, but that avenue was fully closed. And he was certain Dumbledore wouldn’t really give him any other options for places to stay. He was rather insistent that Harry come back here. Basically, Harry would have to make do until he managed to leave the house which wouldn’t be until his birthday next summer.

As he walked towards his old sanctuary, he realized that he basically ensured that he had to stay at Durzkaban until then because he had acted rashly. He really did need to get a handle on his emotions before they got him killed. Maybe there were some books on that at the library? Sure, he was reading and studying far more like Hermione than he usually did but it was so boring at the Dursleys and it wasn’t like he got the Prophet or the Quibbler to keep him occupied. Harry frowned, he needed to know more if he was going to keep others safe and the only way to do that was to learn, something he really hadn’t taken all that seriously until now. No more slacking, he just didn’t have the option anymore. It wasn’t about NEWTs but rather about his friends and desperately hoping that they would survive till the end of this, that he would survive the end of this.

He stopped and rubbed his face with one hand. He was trying but it wasn’t like it was an overnight process. Unfortunately magic couldn’t just give him this knowledge he would have to work for it. Maybe he needed to really get Hermione in on this, as she knew far more about studying than Harry did. Maybe he should talk to Luna as well, because she had a different way of looking at things that could make a difference? Then again, Harry realized that he should also send something to Susan, to see if there was anything her Aunt could do to help him in this insanity. She was most definitely an untapped resource, what with being the head of the DMLE. With a sigh, he realized that he had been so focused on doing this all on his own that he had actually been neglecting all sorts of resources. The SAS books were clear that such units used any and every advantage they could get to accomplish their missions. Perhaps what he needed to was let others in, no matter how much it scared him?

Not seeing Tonks anywhere about, he headed into the building. Once he disposed of the books he didn’t need anymore, he asked the Librarian where there could be books on Anger Management and the like. He followed her directions quickly, moving through the stacks to the right place and stood in the aisle staring at all the titles. He had no clue what might or might not be good so maybe he should go with something that sounded decent? He grabbed a few books on the subject, one on grieving for a loved one, as he knew he needed help with that, and then spotted a few titles that had him freeze, stunned to see anything of the sort.

His eyes seemed glued to the titles and they spoke of healing from childhood abuse. He swallowed dryly, his hands sweating some in nervous reaction. Would going through something like that help? He knew that the Dursleys had treated him poorly his whole life but would it qualify as abuse? There was no doubt what Hermione’s answer would be if asked, so maybe he should look into this? When he reached out and took hold of one of the books his hands were shaking so maybe there could be something to this? It wouldn’t hurt to read… right?

Once he checked out the new books, he went outside to wait. Why had he done that? Why had he picked up those books? It had been an impulse like the one that had lead him to the SAS books and his impulses rarely led him wrong. He shook his head to clear it. He really had no intention of dealing with that now as delving that deeply into his emotions just seemed primed for failure. Sitting on a bench he let his mind drift, trying to forget everything.

“Wotcher Harry.” Tonks came from around the side of the building and called out her greeting.

Pushing away the depressive turn his thoughts had taken, he replied with false cheer. “Hi Tonks.”

“So, are you ready to go?”

He shook his head, “No, but let’s do this.”
Harry Potter and Grief’s Wisdom

Poetheather

This is a work of fiction using the characters created by J.K. Rowling. They are not used with her permission. All actions follow the events of book five of the series. Any similarity between any person living or dead is purely coincidental and unintentional.  If you happen to find your life reflected in this piece I’ll be impressed and perhaps a little scared.

Chap 2.

Harry was struggling to keep the pace he had set as his body was all but screaming at him to slow down. The stitch in his side made breathing difficult but he kept on, knowing that he had to push himself if he was going to get better. This sucked so much but it was better than being in the house. He kept struggling to push faster, as he was slowing without planning on it. When he could finally see number 4 he started walking, taking in huge gulps of air. One hand rubbed the tight spot on his side and he was soaked in sweat. Merlin, he hurt.

The air shimmered off to his side as a voice came out, “Wotcher Harry.”

He just nodded as there was still not enough air in him to respond with anything else. Moody would be upset with him for not reacting correctly.

“Any reason you are out here turning yourself into a wet smelly thing?” she asked curiously.

With a nod he kept his trudge towards number 4. He vaguely remembered something about it being bad if he didn’t stretch out a little after running. Given how he felt now, there was no way he wanted anything worse.

“Technically, we are supposed to keep you safe in your house, you know, just saying.”

Harry stopped at that. That just irritated him and turned to face where the sound was coming from, frowning. Were they serious?

“I’m just saying that’s the orders Harry. We have to keep you safe, especially since You-know-who is getting more active.”

“Bloody hell! No… just no.” Harry was a bit surprised at the anger but at that point was too wrung out to do anything about it. Besides the anger really did help make his point on this issue.

There was a pause and then, “What do you mean Harry?”

Harry was glad it was Tonks, if it had been anyone else he probably would have had to hex them or something in order to get him to listen. In fact, maybe the other day when he went to the Library it could have been her on guard or that waste of space Fletcher. He hadn’t heard any faint snoring so he wasn’t sure. “I will not be a prisoner even if it’s for my safety. That’s just insane. Dumbledore did that to Sirius and I know it was making him stir crazy. Is that why I haven’t heard anything from my friends because someone decided to keep me bloody safe?”

Tonks took a step back, surprised at Harry’s anger. He was a bit surprised by it as well, but his emotions had been all over the place since the Ministry. She cautiously answered, “I wouldn’t know about that Harry.”

“If you want to keep me safe then keep me safe, don’t keep me locked away and unable to contact my friends. And you can tell everyone else I said that so they won’t be surprised when I do my own thing. And keep my mail safe don’t lock me away from my mail. Merlin, whose bloody plan was this, Dumbledore?” Harry really was getting more and more upset with how it seemed like his life was being played with. He was tired of being jerked around by his enemies and by the people who were supposed to be his allies. If they really wanted to help him then they should help him, not be obstacles themselves. He was beyond tired of this.

With a blush, Tonks nodded to what he said and replied, “Will do. Look I’m not sure how much can be done with some people but I will do what I can to get this through to them.”

Harry tried to calm himself. He could tell that Tonks was trying and his anger wasn’t really helping anything. This was definitely something he needed to work on. Lately, his emotions controlled him and not the other way around. “Thanks. Look I’m gonna go get cleaned up. I may or may not be leaving later, I’m not sure. If you’re still here I guess that means you’ll be following me. If not then let the others know that I am not playing prison boy any longer. Living here is difficult enough without having to be trapped inside.”

“Sure Harry.”

He headed inside and then immediately upstairs. Thankfully his uncle was off at work so he wouldn’t have to put up with him and his bellowing. His aunt didn’t even glance his way as he walked in so that was a bit of a blessing. While she wasn’t as mean as the other two her words cut the most. Dudley was probably still asleep in all honesty, given that it was summer hols and he tended to stay out late. Given that all he did was sleep and hang out with Piers and his usual gang of losers all hours of the night it really wasn’t a surprise that Dudders was crashed out. This meant that he was able to take his shower in peace, for which he was thankful. The occasional pounding on the door while he tried to clean up was rather disconcerting.

Walking into his room, towel wrapped round his waist, Harry realized something annoying. All his clothes sucked for what he was trying to do. They were all too big for one, excessively worn out, and in the case of what passed for shoes, barely holding together except for the liberal use of tape. How could he be expected to get fit or even more to the point, move right if part of the time he was fighting his clothes? There had been several moments during the last few years where his clothes had become problematic, hampering his ability to dodge. No, this was a thing he needed to fix before things got too much farther. He didn’t want to drag Tonks with him to go shopping, as that would be odd, and the Weasleys were right out because the last thing that would happen would be for Mrs. Weasley to go against Dumbledore, but what about Hermione or Luna? Sure he hadn’t heard from them just like everyone else but if that was Dumbledore’s stupid plan who was he to follow along? He wanted to make his own choices, his own decisions. Merlin, he was going to be 16 this year, so he wasn’t a little kid any longer. He was well aware that he wasn’t a full adult yet but things were just ridiculous. Anyway, just how was he going to get a hold of Hermione or Luna anyway?

As he pulled on the handmedowns, it hit him like a bludger. God he was a total idiot. It was so very obvious and of course had never occurred to him because he thought too much like a wizard. He could call Hermione, like with the telephone. Actual technology was sure to be something that ad slipped past Dumbledore’s plans for keeping him isolated. He knew the city she lived in and her last name, despite not knowing her actual number. Surely directory assistance would be able to help out here, since that was what they did. He headed downstairs, shaking his head at being so, well, dumb. Of course the obvious would be missed. Making the call he waited for the phone to be answered once directory assistance connected him. “Hello Granger residence.”

“Hermione?” asked Harry. The person on the other end sounded a bit tired and wrung out so he wasn’t sure if it was Hermione or not. It could be her mother for all he knew, so he wasn’t going to rule that out either.

“Harry?” The surprise was quite evident.

Apparently it was Hermione who had answered which made him smile. This was going better than he had hoped. “Hey there Mione. How are you?”

“Uhm… fine but I thought… I… how are you?” Hermione sounded a touch confused and hesitant as she spoke, which was an indication that he was clearly doing something unexpected. He liked that. It was rare that he was able to truly surprise her.

“Bored out of my mind honestly. I haven’t gotten to my homework yet but I have some ideas running around my head. I have been reading a few books and they have got me thinking. I know Crawley isn’t too far away from here. Would it be okay if I came by to visit?” He asked.

“Aren’t you supposed to stay somewhere safe?” She sounded conflicted like she wanted to say yes but her responsible part was arguing back.

“For the most part but I’m getting stir crazy here. That’s okay; I have a guard and my invisibility cloak and if worse comes to worse I will fight back. But I will not sit here and be a prisoner any longer.” He said definitively.

“How are you going to get over here? You don’t know how to apparate or make portkeys? Surely you’re not going to fly are you?”

Harry started chuckling. Magic really did infect the way you looked at the world, taking away the obvious answers sometimes. Granted it had been the same sort of mistake he had made earlier so it was fun to see her make the same mistake in thinking. “No, of course not. I’m not that crazy Hermione. I was planning on taking the bus if that was okay with you. Not a lot of purebloods frequent muggle busses so I should be nice and safe.”

“Oh.” He could almost hear the blush and that made him smile. Hermione was so smart that when she overlooked simple things like that it was a rare and wonderful thing. If only he could be there to see the blush in person.

“So is it okay if I came over?” He really hoped she said yes, despite her responsible self telling her not to allow it.

There was a pause before she replied, “Sure.”

“Great.” He really felt excited by that idea. This would be a lot of fun and far better than just hanging around Privet Drive. “See you in a little bit.”

That did leave Harry in a bit of a quandary. Should he get some money from his vault and then go shopping with Hermione or should he just go and talk to her about his plan this trip? Both were tempting and he had no idea how often he could pull this off before Dumbledore intervened. Maybe he should just go over and see how she was doing and talk with her, at least to start. He had no idea how she was health wise and she had been seriously hurt in the battle. Maybe he could arrange a shopping trip later, given how she was feeling? Now if only he could get a hold of Luna, Neville, or the Weasleys without any hassle everything would be excellent.

He grabbed his new books and put them in his empty school bag, as he was sure she would want to see them. Those went in along with his cloak. There were a few other things that might be useful, like the knife that Sirius got him and the communication mirror. He didn’t know if it connected to Remus or not but it was at least a potential communication tool that he had been stupid enough to forget about. He needed to be better, to think tactical and not like a kid. He snorted. Honestly, when had he been a kid? Thanks to the oh so tender mercies of the Dursleys he really hadn’t had a good childhood, being more servant than anything else. That was one of the reasons he really connected with Dobby, that shared history of suffering while he worked. No, he needed to stop trying to live the illusion and just accept the crap that life kept throwing at him. Dumbledore might keep harping about him needing a childhood but he had already been kept from one and there was really little chance that he would get to be a child so long as Voldemort was after him.

He called out to his aunt just before walking outside, he figured that he would be back in time to handle the evening meal and if not what were they going to do to him? Hit him? Yell at him? Honestly he barely cared anymore. They were barely his relatives all things considered. He actually felt closer to Malfoy than he did the Dursleys, despite how horrible that thought was. Tonks would keep up with him or just stand there and watch him disappear for all he cared. Getting out of the house was something he could do to get out and forget about this life he was forced to live. It didn’t take long for the Auror and Order member to make her appearance after he had left the house, “Where to now Harry?”

“Crawley.” He kept walking as he talked, heading towards the bus stop.

“Why there?”

“Hermione.”

“Okay.” He could hear the traces of confusion in her voice as she spoke. “So how are you planning on getting there?”

Harry rolled his eyes. Honestly, what was it with some people? Tonks had a muggleborn father, surely she had a better grasp of things than this. “There is a bus stop ahead and I can transfer to Crawley without too much problem several stops ahead. It is safe and not connected to the magical world so there is nothing for anyone to trace.”

She nodded and grinned at him. “Alright. That works. Shall we?”

“You’re coming with me?” Despite his earlier comments he was still surprised by how ready she was to follow along.

“Well I’m certainly not going to sit here and let Moody show up and chew me out for losing you. I got that enough as an Auror trainee to last a life time.”

“Fair enough.”

Once they caught the bus, the trip wasn’t long and Harry took the time to get to know Tonks better, asking her about her family, what her father did, things like that. Since Sirius had explained a bit about his history and how his grandmother Dorea had been a black, that mean that Tonks was family. It helped pass the time and helped a little with the ache in his heart, because they were related and that meant he still had family in the world. Sure she wasn’t a Potter but they were family nonetheless. They had both lost Sirius thanks to this stupid war and were both grieving, though Tonks not nearly as acute as Harry. However, they were also both happy to see the stop that they needed so they could stop wallowing around in their feelings. That loss was still too fresh.

As the bus pulled away, they both looked around to get a better lay of the land. Tonks smiled at him knowingly, well aware that he had no clue where he was headed. “So Harry, where do we go from here?”

He looked at her in some disbelief and shook his head. As if he had a clue as to where Hermione lived, despite having her street address. He glanced at the stores around the stop and noticed a Chinese place that delivered. Thinking about it a minute he found his answer. With a grin, he walked over there and entered. Not wanting to simply bug them for information, he bought sodas for himself and Tonks before asking for directions. They headed off, drinking from their cans, looking at the set of written directions. Tonks chuckled some and said, “Okay, that was clever.”

“Thanks. I figured if anyone would know directions around Crawley it would be a delivery place,” commented Harry. He was rather proud of having sussed that out.

“I’ll have to remember that if I ever need that sort of information.”

It was a bit of a hike from the bus stop but soon they walked up to a multistory brick house that was at the end of their directions. Harry was impressed. For all that his Uncle Vernon had pride of place, #4 was nothing at all compared to this. This was a rather nice home, with lovely gardens and was certainly not the track housing so common in Little Whinging. No… this was good. Looking at it he really could place Hermione here. It felt like her. “Come on.”

He knocked on the door and waited, grinning to himself and utterly pleased that he had made it to Hermione’s house with no misadventure. It had to be a first in his life. Shortly Hermione opened it and she looked fairly wan and tired. Harry frowned at the sight and began to feel bad. He and his stupidity had done this to her. He had gotten her into this mess and now look at her. How could he have been so dumb?

Hermione smiled at seeing him and said, “Hi Harry. Hi Tonks.”

“Hi Hermione.” Tonks was quite chipper.

Harry’s response was a good bit more subdued. Just looking at her brought his guilt to the fore. It was like having his face rubbed into his mistake painfully. “Hey Hermione.”

Hermione frowned and she narrowed her eyes, “What’s wrong?”

“I just…” He took a deep breath, trying to make himself understood as so much on him just wanted to beg for her forgiveness. “I’m sorry I got you hurt.”

Hermione rolled her eyes and sighed before answering. “Honestly Harry, you are not Dolohov and thus aren’t the one who did this to me, so you have nothing to feel sorry about. Your actions saved us all.”

“But…” Harry was at a complete loss how to respond. She wasn’t even just a little bit upset with him leading them into an ambush?

“Harry James Potter don’t be a prat. Now come inside so I can sit down and we can talk. Clearly you need it.”

Harry meekly followed. The last thing he wanted to do was upset Hermione when she was injured thanks to him being an idiot. When she got like this it was far easier to just do whatever she said. He needed to do better by her. Since she usually was the one to save him because of what she knew. Maybe his ideas would help redeem him and she would feel like he was upholding his part of things.

Once seated, she sighed and then looked over at him. One eyebrow cocked as she noted his squirming and so she asked, “So you said you had some ideas running round your head? What kind of ideas?”

“Yeah. Since I realized that we were very, very lucky at the Ministry and I…” He had to swallow down his nerves. “Well I don’t want to just rely on luck ever again when it comes to you, or Luna, or Ron, or Neville, or Ginny, or… well anyone else really. I keep rushing into things and fighting wildly which has a tendency to get myself and others hurt. I… I can’t afford that anymore. I lost Sirius because I was rash and I almost lost you. I have to be better. So I thought that it might be smart to look at some books about people who really know what they are doing in terms of fighting terrorists and these kinds of battles.”

Tonks was giving him an appraising look while Hermione’s was far more pointed, as if she were following his logic and trying to jump ahead. “Go on.”

“Well… as you know, the SAS and the US Special Forces are both trained to fight this kind of fight, what with the Troubles and such. I mean, from what I read, these guys have a far more appropriate approach the this than police officers so I was thinking, maybe some of their ideas and tactics would work for us?” He looked at her as he shrugged, spreading his hands wide.

Whatever Tonks had expected Harry to say, this was certainly not it given her surprised look. However, Hermione was following along, nodding slowly. “So what you are saying is that we pull out what we can from their doctrine and see how it can apply to magical warfare, especially since their tactics and doctrine are a lot more advanced and developed than what seems to be the norm for the wizarding world. I mean, everything we’ve seen and experienced reminds me more of Napoleonic battles, where it dissolves into a melee at the end, rather than the more tactically driven modern battlefield.”

Harry nodded. He wouldn’t have put it exactly that way but yes. Did Hermione just know a little about everything? “So this all makes sense?”

Hermione’s grin lightened his heart. Maybe this was helping his position out. “Absolutely Harry. That idea is absolutely brilliant and is a great way to cross something over from one world to the other. If we can make this work it will certainly not be something they will be expecting. I assume you are also thinking about the physical training aspect of it?”

“Oh yeah, we got too winded as the fight went along and that’s dangerous. I’ve already started running.” Harry felt buoyed by the fact that she was helping him run with this idea. “I brought along some of the books I have on this if you wanted to take a look.”

Hermione took the books and flipped through them, her eyes scanning the pages quickly. “This really is brilliant Harry, it really is. With these we can shake up the DA and give ourselves a better chance to succeed. Oh… Tonks, is there any way you can get Harry some books on how Auror’s fight, their tactics and such? That would let him make comparisons and get a better appraisal of things. Without that knowledge we won’t be able to make the most of this.”

Tonks nodded slowly, clearly thinking through the proposal as well and trying to see if she would get in trouble for sharing information. “I can do that. I can pick up some of the training texts right after the will reading.”

“Wait… what will reading?” asked Harry, a bit lost after this change in topics.

Hermione and Tonks both stared at him a bit incredulously. They shared a look and then Hermione said gently, “The reading of Sirius’s will.”

He blinked a few times, his heart aching at this further acknowledgement of his loss. “Wait, what? When is that supposed to happen?”

“Tomorrow. Surely you got your Gringots letter about it?” Hermione cast her eyes over to Tonks, to see if the Auror could provide any additional information.

Shaking his head, Harry’s thoughts raced, trying to figure out why that could be the case, why he might not be aware of something the others were. Could this be more of Dumbledore’s protections? Frowning, he called out, “Dobby!”

There was a loud pop and the nervous house elf was standing there in front of him, wringing his hands, “What can Dobby do for Harry Potter?”

He picked up a notebook from the coffee table and scrawled out a quick note. He needed information and maybe a way to fix things. “Could you please take this to Gringotts and give it to the goblin in charge of the Black account for me please?”

Dobby nodded excitedly, took the note, and vanished. Harry looked at the other two intently and asked, “Now exactly when is this taking place?”
Harry Potter and Grief’s Wisdom

Poetheather

This is a work of fiction using the characters created by J.K. Rowling. They are not used with her permission. All actions follow the events of book five of the series. Any similarity between any person living or dead is purely coincidental and unintentional.  If you happen to find your life reflected in this piece I’ll be impressed and perhaps a little scared.

Chap. One

Harry Potter was feeling a number of things at the moment and none of them were pleasant or good. He was royally pissed off at himself and a few others, rather depressed, frustrated, mourning the loss of the only father figure he had ever known, and it all cycled round and round in his head getting no resolution. How could he have been so bloody stupid?! Hermione had told him it was a trap, had made her point clear, but oh no… he knew better than she did. They had flown down to London on Thestrals, something that took hours and he had somehow expected the situation to be exactly like his vision? God how could he have been so stupid? She was always bloody right, every single time and yet he always argued with her. It was all his fault that Sirius had died. He was the one that had failed. He was the one that had dragged him to the Department of Mysteries. He had even gotten his friends hurt over this whole mess and hurt bad. His injuries were inconsequential compared to that. Hermione was the one hurt worst of all and it was all because he had been too stubborn to listen to the one person who had never failed him, not in all his years at Hogwarts. He was a complete fuck up and he knew it.

All he could do was run the images and experiences at the Department of Mysteries over and over in almost painful detail, rubbing his failure in his face, rubbing his friend’s injuries in his face, rubbing Sirius’s death in his face. How was he supposed to fight Voldemort when he had no bloody clue what the hell he was doing? Sure they had been lucky but was that really good enough? In five years at Hogwarts he’d only had two decent teachers of Defense and one had been a Death Eater who had placed them under the Imperious curse as a teaching experience. The whole mess was ridiculous. How the hell was he supposed to do this? If he was the bloody Chosen One from what Dumbledore had told him, then how in Merlin’s Name was he supposed to kill Voldemort if he had this sad excuse for training? From the way it was going so far it seemed like his best bet would be to simply walk up to Voldemort and let himself be killed. That at least might be something he was competent with.

His lack of understanding about what to do in combat basically condemned everyone around him. Sure he knew some of the spells and stuff but how to fight, how to really fight, and more to the point, how to fight a war… he wasn’t stupid or arrogant enough to think that he did. At this point he had to admit that he had rather impressive personal defense skills but that was about it. God, if he kept this up he was going to get everybody killed. Dying might be the best he could do for the others.

The room felt tight, like it was closing in on him. He felt constrained, trapped in a shrinking cage. He paced back and forth, hands twitching, wanting something to do but there was nothing. Air. He needed air. Heading downstairs, he ignored the Dursleys. He would no doubt be asked to cook dinner for them but for right now he really couldn’t stand being in there, in that house, around those people. Once out the door he broke into a run, losing himself in the feel of his body moving, letting his feet carry him where they will. This wasn’t the first time he had run through the neighborhood nor the hundredth. With Dudley and his friends chasing him all the time he had really crossed a lot Little Whinging time and again and he knew this neighborhood better than he knew Hogwarts. His lungs started burning and his legs ached and as he slowed and nearly stumbled to a stop he paid attention to where he was, standing hunched over, gulping air in front of one of his few refuges, the library.

Panting, he ran a hand through his hair, feeling the slick wetness of sweat hold his hair back some. Might as well go in, he thought. It wasn’t like he had any better ideas. Besides, having some water sounded good right now. He wasn’t as big a reader as Hermione was but he had read a great deal growing up, both fiction and nonfiction. Walking through the door he breathed in that smell which only collections of books had and sighed. The quiet was nice, giving him a slight sense of peace, as was the fact that here wasn’t at number 4. That was a good thing. He began moving aimlessly through the stacks, his eyes trailing over the titles on both sides, not really reading them but mostly taking them in. It was peaceful and helped calm him some. This library did that so much more than the one at school. He just let his gaze drift over the titles until his eyes caught on something that made him stop, SAS.

Harry turned and faced the bookcase, looking at the shelf, eyes narrowing a little in focus. There was a whole section of books on the military here, specifically the Special Air Services, the American Special Forces, SEALS and the like. He remembered browsing through this section when he was younger with dreams of leaving the Dursley’s and joining the Army. He just stood there and stared at the titles wondering why they had caught his attention, his mind running over things over and over, taking in the newer titles he didn’t remember from before. Thinking back to his earlier thoughts back in his room, he realized that this might actually be a good idea. Here was information on the subject of war, mostly focused on small units of highly trained people fighting smarter not harder. He grabbed several of them, especially a few of the newer titles and headed towards one of the reading tables. He might as well see if it gave him any ideas that could help him get better and maybe, just maybe fail less. Sure spells were vastly different than guns but skill in warfare and the tactics of warfare might just translate. He might know enough about the wizarding world to see if it would.

Reading the motto of the SAS made him chuckle, “Qui audet adipiscitur” or “Who dares wins”. That was practically the unofficial motto of Gryffindor house and given his approach to dealing with issues, it surely was his own approach to life. That was certainly a motto and a point of view that he could get behind. The motto for the US special forces was “De oppresso liber” or “To liberate the oppressed” or at least that was what they said it meant. Certainly the SAS one fit and the SF one made sense as well with how he saw things. In a way that made him sad as he realized that his life really wasn’t like most kids’ lives.

The reading was interesting, covering the training, tactics, and tools of the SAS. Some of the things he saw in there gave him a few ideas he could use to make his DADA training more effective, especially based on the real experiences of actual combat he had. The fight in the graveyard and in the Department of Mysteries ad certainly made an indelible impression on him and taught him a great deal. This gave him ideas that he could hive off of in order to get even better and more effective. There actually might be some value in this. He started when he heard someone go, “Hem hem.”

Turning, wishing his heart would slow down; there was no way the evil toad could be here. He spotted the librarian looking at him. “Yes?”

“We’re closing up.” The woman was polite about it which was another clue that this wasn’t Umbridge.

“Uh… yeah right… can I get these?” asked Harry, gesturing to the pile of books he had been looking through.

The librarian just gave him this look that he had seen numerous times on Hermione’s face, a look that spoke of annoyance, before she rolled her eyes and headed back towards her desk, waving him on.

Harry felt like a bit of an idiot. He was in a library, of course he could check out books. More than anything that showed how poorly he was thinking. While his library card was old and hadn’t been used since he had started Hogwarts, it was still good. At least he thought it was still good. He smiled at the woman and hefted his stack of books onto the counter. Maybe, just maybe this would get him somewhere. What he needed to do was fight a whole lot smarter than he had been and maybe these books could help him figure out how exactly how to do that. It was certainly more than he was getting from anywhere else.

When he walked into the house, clutching the stack of books in his arms, Vernon started right in, growling out, “Boy, where have you been?!”

Harry frowned and felt his anger rise. It was right at the surface these days and he seemed ready to explode over the least little thing. He really did not need this right now. He swallowed his first retort and exhaled, trying to calm some before answering, “I was at the library.”

Vernon was clearly grappling for something freakish there to chide him about but failed miserably. There was clearly nothing abnormal about going to the library to get books. It was a perfectly normal thing that perfectly normal people did. He had to content himself with, “Well, dinner is late. Get to work.”

Groaning in annoyance, Harry set his stack of books down on the stairs and headed into the kitchen. If he got to work right then maybe he might be able to head up to his room and ignore the Dursley’s for the rest of the night. That was more common now that he was older. He got out the ingredients and got to work, dicing vegetables and bits of meat for the dish Aunt Petunia had told him to make earlier quite swiftly thanks to his years of practice. He paused, his knife partway through a cut of beef when a thought occurred to him… why didn’t he have a knife? He was good with them and they were handy so why didn’t he have one? Was there some reason that he didn’t have this most obvious of tools?

He continued with his cooking as he thought. Knives could be thrown, could be used up close, could be used for a number of different things, so why didn’t he have one, or more than one? Maybe he should get some. If he picked up some throwing knives he could practice in the Room of Requirement since he was sure that it would give him the targets he would need. That might be a nice surprise the next time he had to face a Death Eater. It would certainly not be something they would be expecting from him. This made him feel a little better. He was trying to do better, plan ahead.

Once the food was served and he got his portion he headed upstairs. Amazingly the Dursley’s didn’t complain one bit, which made him feel better about the evening. There would be dishes afterwards, but that could be done after they had finished eating as he had all the pans he had used already cleaned. He balanced his plate on his books and went to his room. Hedwig opened an eye and looked at him curiously as he walked in. With a smile at her he said, “Evening girl.”

She gave him a soft hoot and closed her eyes again.

He ate quietly, handing Hedwig little bites of the meat. His thoughts drifted back to the Department of Mysteries and his stomach churned a little. His breathing caught some and he set his plate aside. With some deep breaths he tried to get his emotions under control as they had surged back up. He just kept having images of Sirius, of Hermione; of Neville… he sighed and bowed his head. Losing Sirius because he had been a fool was not easy to deal with. But then again his godfather had been joking around, almost playing with Bellatrix when they were fighting. But then again Sirius wouldn’t have been there without him, he would have been safe at Grimmauld Place. Reaching for his glass of water he swallowed down his guilt and promised himself he would do better, for Sirius, for his friends, for himself.

So what should he do to get better? What were the odds that they would have a decent DADA teacher this year, one who might actually know something about the subject and how to teach it? Maybe it would be safer if he tried to figure out what he could do on his own and see what happened from there. Well he had these books so he should read and see if there were any ideas in them? One that came to mind right away was exercising. That running battle in the Ministry had been exhausting and being tired had made them all make mistakes in spell choice and what they did. If he had been in better shape, if they had all been in better shape they just might have done better. Of course, a better understanding of tactics would have helped as well. They had a few things in mind but by and large they had gone in blind and flown by the seat of Harry’s pants. The only one who made it out with minimal damage had been Luna and he had no idea how that had happened. It had to have been pure luck. No, training would certainly be high on his list of things to fix.

This of course meant he had to eat, because quite fundamentally, without food he would never build any muscle or anything. He choked down the rest of his meal with some effort even though it held no appeal. His stomach flopped a few times but he managed to keep his food down with some effort. It was a start. Once he set his plate aside again he lay back on his bed and started to read, interested in what the knowledge of the best soldiers could do for him. Honestly, what was the worst that could happen with this? That he got a bit of a clue and became less of a danger for his friends to be around?
Harry Potter and Grief's Wisdom
Harry Potter has been feeling terrible since his Godfather had died and he had almost killed his friends. He needed to change his life. He needed to get better because he couldn't handle losing anyone else.

Chapter Two: Harry Potter and Grief's Wisdom 2
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I need to get busy uploading a new Harry Potter story. It's pretty fun and messed up. I am sure that you guys will enjoy it. At least I hope you do.

This is also a to let you all know that I am raising money for surgical costs. My surgery is in February and so time moves pretty fast. And fyi... any money will help. $5 or more would be awesome because that builds up. So if you are interested here's the link.

Youcaring Fund Site

Thanks. I am sorry to throw this out here but I need the money. Mea Culpa.
  • Mood: Pain
  • Listening to: Queen - Another One Bites the Dust
  • Reading: the Dark Tower
  • Watching: nothing
  • Playing: Mass Effect or Bioshock or Skyrim or Bejeweled
  • Eating: chicken fajitas
  • Drinking: water
Wow... it's been a while. Apparently I don't often have things to say, which would stun my friends. I usually have a few comments readily at hand for most any occasion, but I digress. Anyway... I submitted to 5 agencies on my birthday, because why not? I heard back from one already, which is mighty impressive. 2 days. Wow! I have waited up to 8+weeks before so 2 days is insane. So... we will see how this round turns out.

I need to finish my transfer of text from the newest edit to the master manuscript file. That will take a bit but its part of the job. Sigh... sometimes specialized formatting sucks. I understand the why of it but that doesn't help any when I spend hours making sure the spacing is correct for everything. But, I am the one who wanted to be a professional writer and every job has its annoyances. Formatting and submitting seem to currently be mine. 
  • Mood: Pain
  • Listening to: car alarm
  • Reading: fanfic
  • Watching: nothing
  • Playing: Mass Effect or Bioshock or Skyrim
  • Eating: eggs and toast
  • Drinking: coffee
I need to get busy uploading a new Harry Potter story. It's pretty fun and messed up. I am sure that you guys will enjoy it. At least I hope you do.

This is also a to let you all know that I am raising money for surgical costs. My surgery is in February and so time moves pretty fast. And fyi... any money will help. $5 or more would be awesome because that builds up. So if you are interested here's the link.

Youcaring Fund Site

Thanks. I am sorry to throw this out here but I need the money. Mea Culpa.
  • Mood: Pain
  • Listening to: Queen - Another One Bites the Dust
  • Reading: the Dark Tower
  • Watching: nothing
  • Playing: Mass Effect or Bioshock or Skyrim or Bejeweled
  • Eating: chicken fajitas
  • Drinking: water

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