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SIYE Time:13:01 on 14th July 2024
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Focused
By witowsmp

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Category: Post-HBP
Characters:Harry/Ginny, Hermione Granger, Remus Lupin, Ron Weasley
Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama
Warnings: None
Rating: PG-13
Reviews: 3
Summary: An alternative to the seventh book, where Harry focused a lot more on his mission.
Hitcount: Story Total: 899



Disclaimer: Harry Potter Publishing Rights ? J.K.R. Note the opinions in this story are my own and in no way represent the owners of this site. This story subject to copyright law under transformative use. No compensation is made for this work.



Author's Notes:
Harry Potter and all characters, etc. belong to J.K. Rowling, not me.

Author’s Note: This takes place immediately after “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.” You may recall that Dumbledore’s funeral had just ended and Harry had not left Hogwarts yet.




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Harry Potter: Focused “ Chapter 1 “ Leaving Hogwarts

“We’d better hurry up if we’re going to make the Hogwarts Express,” instructed Hermione after assuring Harry that she and Ron would be with him all the way.

Sighing, Harry replied, “I suppose we’d better rush to Gryffindor Tower to get our trunks.” Harry had already instructed Hedwig to fly to the Dursleys, knowing how much she hated being locked up in a cage. Ron agreed, so they ran toward the castle.

They had just gone through the Entrance Hall and up the first flight of stairs when they heard a familiar voice calling out to them. “Potter, Weasley, Granger, could you please come to my office for a moment?”

Hoping that his head of house wasn’t trying to find out what he and Dumbledore had been up to the night the headmaster had been murdered, Harry reluctantly answered, “Of course, Professor McGonagall,” and they followed her down the hall and entered her office.

His eyes rested for a moment on the Quidditch Cup before the Transfiguration teacher picked up a large, plain black cube that had been on her bookshelf in between different texts on advanced transfiguration and placed it on her desk. With a somber expression and a sigh, she explained, “Professor Dumbledore must have had a feeling that something tragic would happen. He gave me this box with explicit instructions to give it to you in the event of…of his passing. He said to open it, place your hand on the top and say his idea of the perfect Christmas gift.” She then sobbed for a moment before continuing.

“He also instructed me to commit a bit of subterfuge before his burial, taking his true wand,” she then produced the object in question, pulling it out of her pocket, “to present this to you as well, while replacing it with what he claimed to be his original wand altered to look like this one, to be buried with him.” She handed Harry the wand, which he hesitantly accepted from her. “I assure you that I have not attempted to look into this closed box, no matter how curious I am about it.” She sighed. “I know that he always kept information on a ‘need to know’ basis and it seems you’re doing the same.”

She sighed once more. “I want you to know that if you need any help from me as you continue whatever you and Albus were up to,” she sniffed, “you need only ask.”

Harry replied, “Thank you, Professor,” while Hermione timidly walked up to the teacher and hugged her. The older woman accepted the hug from her favorite student before wishing them a pleasant ride on the Hogwarts Express, prompting them to hurry up to Gryffindor Tower, Harry carrying the box after he pocketed the wand.

“It looks like Dumbledore had thought of everything,” commented Ron as they hurried up the stairs.

“I guess so,” agreed Harry, before stopping suddenly. “Hold on.” He then cast a, “Muffliato,” spell so that no one passing them would overhear. “There’s one thing I need to do before we leave “ go to the Chamber of Secrets to get some basilisk fangs.”

“I thought we were agreed that we were doing everything together,” complained Hermione.

“We are, but right now, we don’t have time. Ron, you take the box upstairs, put it in my trunk and grab it as well as yours. I’m sure Hermione can make them lighter,” he added before Ron complained about the weight of carrying two trunks down seven flights of stairs. “I’ve got everything packed. I’ll go down to the Chamber and quickly pull all the fangs out that I can. That way, we’ll be able to destroy any Horcruxes we find. I’ll meet you on the Express. I’ve got to hurry.”

Without waiting for a reply, he ran off toward Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom, where he luckily didn’t find her. He went to the correct sink and hissed, “Open,” in Parseltongue, causing the sinks to come apart. He jumped down the opening they revealed and enjoyed the slide down, realizing he should scourgify himself before he left the Chamber. He quickly jogged the familiar path over rat skeletons past the basilisk skin but couldn’t quite manage to fit through the area Ron had cleared from the cave-in four years before. Fortunately, by now he’d learned how to vanish the rocks that were blocking his path. Deciding to try using Dumbledore’s old wand, he noticed that it seemed to vanish more than he believed his own wand would do.

Shrugging that thought away for the moment, he made his way to the other wall he’d have to speak to. After opening that up, he first grabbed the loose fang he’d stabbed into Tom Riddle’s diary, sticking it into his robe pocket, before approaching the skeleton of the monster he’d killed with the Sword of Gryffindor. He carefully grabbed fang after fang, pulling them off and sticking them into his over-stuffed pockets, eventually still needing to carry a handful as he made his way back to the bottom of the slide. It was then he realized that he didn’t know how to get out of the Chamber without a phoenix.

“Brilliant move, Potter,” he muttered to himself as he started pacing. “Ron and Hermione won’t realize I’m still down here until after the train leaves. Then, they can’t apparate off of it without risking serious injury, at least according to the instructor “ Twycross, so it won’t be for another eight hours before Hermione apparates right back to where she started, then she can’t speak Parseltongue anyway, but they can label the sink as my tombstone. Hold on.”

Harry stopped his rant as he realized something. “Salazar Slytherin wouldn’t have trapped himself in here! There has to be a way out!” He then continued pacing. “Come to think about it, I doubt the “great” Salazar Slytherin would just jump down a hole and slide down shouting ‘Weeeeeeee!’ He’d have a simple way up.”

Harry closed his eyes, picturing a snake in front of him and hissed, “Stairs,” in snake language, and a very long, tall spiral staircase with railings appeared in front of him. “Too bad there wasn’t a broom here,” he grumbled as he began running up the staircase as fast as he could.

----------HPF----------

“ Harry still hasn’t gotten here,” declared Hermione. She and Ron were sitting in a compartment on the Hogwarts Express with Neville and Luna waiting for him. Ginny had decided to sit in a different compartment. Sighing, the brightest witch of her age declared, “I’ll have to go looking for him. Ron, stay here and go to the Prefect’s meeting, making an excuse for my absence. I’ll apparate us to Platform Nine-and-Three-Quarters at the right time.” She got up and opened the door, screaming as she almost ran directly into their best friend, panting, covered in mud, slime and sweat. “Harry!” she said with a smile, but refrained from hugging him. Instead, she pointed her wand at him. “Scourgify!”

“Thanks,” replied Harry, looking down at his now clean robes. “I needed that.”

“Since you’re here, Ron and I are going to the Prefect’s meeting.” With that said, Ron and Hermione left Harry with the other occupants of the compartment.

“Did you find an arid-sheckan-blatpuff?” asked Luna. “Those look like its finger bones.” The unusual girl was indicating the fangs he had filled his pockets and hands with, and was now unloading into his trunk.

“A what?” asked Neville.

Before his unique friend could answer, Harry explained, “No. These are basilisk fangs, but don’t tell anyone I got them.”

Looking carefully at one of them, Luna commented. “They are a bit too small for blatpuff fingers.”

“Did you get them in the Chamber of Secrets?”

“Yes, Neville. I needed them. That’s why I barely made it onto the train.”

“What do you need them for?” asked Longbottom.

“Obviously for the war against You-Know-Who. That’s why he doesn’t want us to tell anyone about it.” Harry nodded as Luna’s answer.

“If you’re going after him, I want to go with you,” declared Neville.

“Me, too,” agreed Luna. “That way, if he’s recruited any leaf-colored harbcolts, I know how to fight them.”

“Guys,” replied Harry, “I really appreciate the offer from both of you.” He sighed. “I feel that I need to do this alone. Ron and Hermione have already insisted on coming along. Please, for your own sakes, don’t do the same. You’ll be much safer and I don’t want any more deaths on my conscience.”

“If that’s the way you feel.”

“I do, Nev, but thanks.” He then added. “Maybe you can try to keep an eye on Luna and Ginny next year.”

“Maybe we can keep an eye on each other,” said a voice from the doorway.

“Ginny,” Harry responded, looking at his now ex-girlfriend, who was grinning at him.

“I’ve been thinking, Harry, that breaking up privately after we’ve been dating publicly won’t convince anyone that you don’t care about me.”

“You’re breaking up?” asked Neville.

“Sort of,” answered Harry.

“We need to have a public fight, and here on the train might be our last chance.”

After a few moments of thinking it over, Harry agreed, “O-kay.”

“I’M SICK OF YOU TREATING ME LIKE I’M TOO STUPID TO UNDERSTAND ANYTHING!” shouted Ginny so that the whole train could hear. “YOU NEVER TELL ME ANYTHING ABOUT THE WAR, TREATING ME LIKE I’M JUST YOUR SNOG-BUDDY INSTEAD OF YOUR GIRLFRIEND!”

“I,” replied Harry, not entirely positive that she was lying.

“SHUT UP, HARRY! IF I NEVER SEE YOU AGAIN, IT’LL BE TOO SOON! BATES MOCUS!”

Caught completely off guard, the Chosen One got hit with the most dreaded curse in Hogwarts “ Ginny’s famous bat-bogey hex. The redhead winked for a split second before changing her expression back to hatred. “GOODBYE!” She left the compartment, slamming the door behind her while Harry tried in vain to protect his face from the disgusting bats.

“Finite,” Luna’s ever-calm voice declared, causing the bats to disappear. Harry saw her put her wand back behind her ear. “That probably even convinced the nargles,” she commented.

“What did you and Ginny row about?” asked Ron as he entered the compartment with Hermione. Apparently, the Prefect’s meeting was over.

“Close the door,” instructed Harry. Once Hermione had done that, he explained. “We had a fake fight to publicly break up, so she won’t be a Death Eater target.”

“That was fake?” clarified Ron. “So, she didn’t really curse you?”

With a regretful expression on his face, Harry answered, “No. That was definitely real.”

“But if she’s not mad, why is she…”

“She probably is a bit upset with Harry,” interrupted Hermione. “I’m sure it was your idea to break up to ‘keep her safe?’” Harry nodded. “She couldn’t have liked that. She may not want to break up with you, but she’s probably not that happy with you at the moment. That’s why she actually cursed you.”

Sighing, Harry commented, “I guess I’ll have to apologize for that when I’m ready to pick things back up with her.”

“Perhaps flowers and jewelry will be in order as well,” suggested Hermione with a smirk.

“I’m sure she’ll forgive you if you can present her with a pet crumple-horned snorkack. The trouble is that they’re so hard to capture.”

“Do you want any snacks, dears?” asked the Snack Trolley lady, who just opened the door.

The rest of the trip was pleasant. The fact that Malfoy wasn’t there to bother them contributed greatly to that. It gave the Boy-Who-Lived a chance to really think about how he’d spent the last year. In his third year, he’d worked hard to learn the Patronus Charm. In his fourth year, he’d trained for the tournament. In his fifth year, he’d trained others to fight. This year, he spent most of his time captaining Quidditch and pining over Ginny.

Everything he learned in Dumbledore’s lessons could’ve been explained in a few hours, rather than spread out over several months. He realized that people were dying every day while he let himself be distracted. He realized that he couldn’t allow that to happen anymore. Harry found himself wishing that the train ride wouldn’t stop. It would be his last break from his mission in a long time, because from today on, he would remain focused on his mission.

End chapter
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