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SIYE Time:13:08 on 16th June 2021


Harry and the Trunk
By sapphire200182

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Category: Harry's Magical Trunk Challenge (2007-3)
Characters:All, All
Genres: Action/Adventure, Comedy
Warnings: None
Story is Complete
Rating: PG
Reviews: 12
Summary: Written for SIYE 3-2007 “Harry’s Magical Trunk” Challenge. Harry prepares for the great Horcrux Hunt, and realizes he needs…a TRUNK!
Hitcount: Story Total: 6137



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:
Thanks a lot to GINNY__POTTER258, for being a friend.




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Harry and the Trunk

Summary: Written for SIYE 3-2007 “Harry’s Magical Trunk” Challenge. Harry prepares for the great Horcrux Hunt, and realizes he needs…a TRUNK!

Disclaimer: I don’t own JK Rowling’s great work. I only own the plot of this story.

Author's note: Thanks a lot to GINNY__POTTER258, for being a friend.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


ACT 1: Making Plans

No. 4, Privet Drive,
Little Whinging,
Surrey.

3:30am.


Qui te frankly, at this hour, no one should be working. Everyone should be tucked up in bed, either with a favourite teddy bear, a loving spouse/partner or - at the very least - a dog or a cat.

That is, everyone normal.

The Muggle neighbours would tell you that Harry Potter was the offspring of wastrel, ne’er-do-well parents. As well as being the scourge of the neighbourhood, Harry Potter was the scruffiest, most repulsive punk who ever went to St. Brutus’s School for Incurably Criminal Boys…

The Magical neighbours - well, actually, neighbour, in singular form, i.e. batty old Mrs. Figg - would tell you Harry Potter was a legend.

The point being that, whether to the Muggle folk or to the Magical folk, Harry Potter wasn’t normal, and thus there was absolutely no reason why he shouldn’t be up at three in the morning, sprawled on his bed, with an archaic-looking quill poised over an archaic-looking sheet of parchment.

There also was absolutely no reason why Harry Potter shouldn’t be writing by the light of his wand, either, as he was the son of a very talented wizard and a very clever witch.

Harry gazed at his eagle-feather quill lovingly, the one given to him by Hermione. And then he glanced back down at the list, his astonishingly vivid emerald-green eyes zipping quickly through the list.

Things to Do:


1. Place all Gringotts money into single vault
2. Get passports for self, Hermione and Ron
3. Pack clothes for trip - Muggle and robes (Invisibility Cloak)
4. Buy medi-charm reference book, magical first-aid kit, spare cloaks
5. New brooms for Hermione and Ron, broom servicing kits, parchment, quills
6. Spare wands, spare brooms, cutlery and household furnishings (for tent)
7. Household charm reference book, tent, Dumbledore’s Pensieve and memories, Marauder’s Map (just in case)
8. Letters, wills


It was two days past his seventeenth birthday, and the Order hadn’t come for him yet, by some fantastic oversight. Harry had decided to take matters into his own hands, and was even now making a list of what they would need to hunt for the Horcruxes.

With a sinking feeling, Harry realised that the three of them - Hermione, Ron and himself - would need a huge trunk, or chest, to put all the equipment they needed for the Horcrux hunt. And how many such chests would they need to…

Never mind. Harry looked up from the parchment sheet, with a small smile on his face. The first thing to do was to sort out everything on the list.

It took Harry a moment to formulate his plans. He wrote swiftly, on two little strips of parchment. Then he crossed the room swiftly, over to where a bird-cage housed Hedwig, his snowy owl.

It was a simple task to fasten the parchment securely to the owl’s leg. With a nip of his ear and a soft hoot, Hedwig was gone.

Now Harry lay back on his bed, muttered “Nox,” and fell into a tired sleep as the wand-light extinguished.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


I t was seven in the morning when two loud gunshots went off in Harry’s bedroom; crack! crack! and Harry jumped out of bed. He hadn’t changed; he was expecting them.

“Hello, Ron, Hermione,” he said, with a smile.

Ron didn’t smile as he observed that Harry had his wand in hand, obviously ready to hex and curse if they didn’t turn out to be the people he expected. Harry shrugged.

“Have you been eating, Harry?” said Hermione, crossing over to the bed.

Harry shrugged again. “Yeah. Every night I sneak down to grab an armful of stuff, then I live on that the whole day…”

“You need to eat a balanced diet, Harry, you’re a growing boy,” said Hermione. “Show me what you …uh…obtained today.”

Harry shot a glance at Ron, who shrugged as if to say ‘She’s been like that for a while’. He knelt by Hermione’s feet, and prised up the loose floorboard.

Hermione peered in.

“Six apples, three sticky buns, a small donut, three big and hastily-made potted-meat sandwiches and a small apple tart…along with ten packets of your dratted cousin’s potato crisps,” listed Hermione.

Ron started sniggering, and Harry felt rather more than just a twinge of annoyance at his two friends.

“He never misses the potato crisps ‘cause he’s never sure how much he ate,” he offered. “That’s why I take a lot of those.”

“You need to eat properly, Harry,” said Hermione, shaking her head.

“Hey, yeah, uh, look…I called you guys over to talk about something,” he said, changing tack. Better to throw Hermione off the scent.

“Well, what is it? And you’re not going to escape me, Potter,” said Hermione.

Harry extracted a slip of parchment from underneath Ron (he had sat on it), and smoothened it out.

“This.”

He waited as they pored over the list of things to do. In just three weeks it would be Harry’s birthday, and it would be time for the Horcrux Hunt…time to leave this world behind him…time to leave family, friends…time to leave Ginny…

Harry blinked and focused on his two friends. “So, what do you think?”

“What letters do we have to write?” said Ron, pointing at the bottom of the list.

Harry turned away, and breathed deeply. “Letters to loved ones,” he said eventually. “Family, friends, esteemed teachers, and so on. Just in case…we don’t make it back.”

“But my loved one is…”

“Ron!” snapped Hermione.

Harry turned to Hermione. “That’s why I wanted you two here. We’re going shopping.”

“What? It’s only half past seven!” exclaimed Ron. “What about breakfast?”

“Better than two in the morning, don’t you think?” said Hermione. “Better not to have too many people knowing you’re buying twenty-four pairs of knickers…”

“Are you buying twenty-four pairs of knickers?” asked Ron interestedly.

That’s none of your business! When do we leave, Harry?”

Harry glanced at the clock mounted on the wall. “Now.”

“And as soon as we’re done, you’re taking a wholesome, healthy breakfast,” said Hermione tartly.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


Diag on Alley.

7:45am.


The Leaky Cauldron’s fireplace flashed green, and seconds later three figures tumbled through it, one of them stumbling on the fireplace’s iron grate and falling onto the wooden floor.

One of the figures pointed a wand at the fireplace, and charmed something before pocketing the wand.

“’Ere, wot’s all this then?” exclaimed Tom, the barkeep.

“It’s just me, Tom,” said Harry, who’d fallen on the floor. He coughed soot out of his lungs, and got up. “Harry Potter.”

“Ah, yes, Harry Potter…I received your owl this morning; you’re right on time,” said Tom, in a more genial tone.

“Thanks for letting me use your fireplace,” said Harry, as he headed to the Leaky Cauldron’s back door. He placed five Galleons on the counter as he walked past.

Touching the right brick, Harry watched as a part of the yard’s wall slid aside, revealing a whole new world he’d only met about seven years previously…

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


Gringotts Bank,
Diagon Alley.


A goblin nodded as Harry entered the bank, and he felt thankful for whichever goblin it was who had invented twenty-four hour banking.

“Sir?” said the goblin.

“Is Griphook on duty?” asked Harry.

“Yes, sir. I shall fetch him now. Kindly wait in the lounge, Mr. Potter.”

Harry glanced in the doorway of the waiting room, and spotted at least five Ministry employees there. With trepidation he took a step…

…and a goblin tugged at his arm.

“Griphook at your service, Mr. Potter,” came a voice at his side.

Harry had never been so happy before to see the goblin’s ugly grimace.

“That was fast…” he muttered. “Er, Mr. Griphook, if we could discuss something in your office? Privately?” he said hurriedly.

“Oh yes, definitely. Anything, Mr. Potter, anything. Gringotts would kill for you.”

“Don’t joke about such things, Mr. Griphook,” said Harry seriously.

As the goblin looked at him, his hairs prickled. Harry glanced at the goblin security guards lining the walls at attention, some of which carried traditional goblin scimitars (he recognised those at least from History of Magic classes).

“I’m not joking, Mr. Potter,” said Griphook softly.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


Diag on Alley.

8:25am.


Harry left the bank clutching a document file and feeling rather more reassured, if not downright satisfied.

Ron and Hermione were sitting on a bench outside Gringotts, chatting animatedly. Harry noticed that Hermione had laid her head on Ron’s shoulder, and that he was trying hard not to sneeze.

However, as Harry approached - with a wide grin - Hermione hastily sat up and smoothed her hair.

He tried not to smile.

“Well, Harry?” said Hermione. “Have you done it?”

“Yeah,” he nodded. “We’re reasonably well-insured now. At thousand Galleons will be paid to your families - in the currency of your choice - if we get knocked off.”

Ron’s jaw dropped. “A…a thousand…?”

“Harry,” said Hermione, “The insurance premiums on that…?”

“It’s well worth it,” he snapped. “Come on, we need to do some shopping.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


D iagon Alley.

10:35am.


Harry glanced down at the checklist in his hands.

Things to Do:


1. Place Gringotts money into single vault
2. Get passports for self, Hermione and Ron
3. Pack clothes for trip - Muggle and robes (Invisibility Cloak)
4. Buy medi-charm reference book, magical first-aid kit, spare cloaks
5. New brooms for Hermione and Ron, broom servicing kits, parchment, quills
6. Spare wands, spare brooms, cutlery and household furnishings (for tent)
7. Household charm reference book, tent, Dumbledore’s Pensieve and memories, Marauder’s Map (just in case)
8. Letters, wills


The Black and Potter estates had been stowed away safely, and Griphook had assembled a team of goblins to manage the wealth his parents and the Blacks had amassed. A monthly stipend would be deposited into the Potter personal vault, while everything else remained in a central vault which Griphook had assured him the Ministry could never freeze.

Not that the Potter vault was freezeable anyway. Griphook had made sure of that. But the magical protections and legal mumbo-jumbo which surrounded the Potter personal vault was doubled for the central vault.

While he was concealing all of his possessions through Griphook, Harry had also opened yet another account, the most exposed of all accounts, which Griphook would present to any Ministry officials coming into the bank with a warrant. It held a single Knut and a card in his distinctive handwriting that read “Suckers.”

Muggle passports had been applied for, and Harry, Ron and Hermione had already bought new clothes for the trip, both Muggle and wizarding. At Harry’s insistence, he had also bought two extra Invisibility Cloaks - the sum of which was enough to equal a Firebolt or two. Firebolts; ah. Harry had forced a Firebolt into Ron’s and Hermione’s reluctant hands, insisting they would need it.

Harry had spent more money in a few moments than he had ever spent in his life. Somewhere in the region of fifty thousand Galleons were now missing from the Potter estates, and it was enough to make a major dent in the wealth that lay in Harry’s vaults. But it was worth it.

At Hermione’s insistence, they had bought self-defence books, guides to Dark artifacts and Dark creatures, medi-charm reference books, magical first aid kits, winter cloaks with Warming Charms applied already, parchment, Self-Inking quills, and a magical pup-tent.

Frowning at the heap of stuff they’d bought, Harry had asked the shop owners to keep their bought items first, and Harry would come back later to collect them.

Now, as Harry calmly ticked off the various items written on the checklist, Hermione fidgeted and shot glares at him.

“We have to go collect our supplies, Harry!” she exclaimed. “We can’t leave them with the shopkeepers forever!”

“You’re right, Hermione,” said Harry. “But other than making several trips to and fro the Burrow, I don’t really see how we’re going to pack everything. I suppose for the trip we’ll just have to shrink everything and carry them in knapsacks or something.”

“Or we could get…” began Ron.

“You’re right,” said Hermione. “Shrinking and knapsacks it is, though shrinking the lot every single time we make a move will take forever. Where do you think we’ll find knapsacks on Diagon Alley?”

“See, guys, over there…” started Ron, but Harry didn’t hear him.

“They’ll have to be waterproof and shockproof. We need Shock-Absorbing Spells on them, Imperturbable Charms…”

“Hermione, look here…” said Ron, gesticulating frenziedly.

“Price is no object, naturally…” said Harry.

“You’re quite sure about this?” said Hermione.

“Yes,” nodded Harry.

“Um, Hermione…” said Ron timidly, tugging at her sleeve.

“What is it, Ron?!” Hermione snapped. “If you’re hungry we’ll…

“There’s a shop down there selling magical trunks,” said Ron.

Harry stood up and looked down the length of Diagon Alley. Sure enough, there was a new shopfront where Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour used to be. The big, glitzy sign at the front read “Smithson and West - Fine Purveyors of Fine Trunks” in big purple lettering.

“Magical trunks?” said Harry, puzzled. “What are…”

“Mad-Eye Moody has one!” said Hermione excitedly. “You know…the one where Barty Crouch kept him imprisoned for the best part of our fourth year…surely you remember, Harry!”

As the memories of that year came back into Harry’s head - the magical trunk and those magical tents at the World Cup - he snapped his fingers. “That’s it! That’s it!” he exclaimed. “We won’t even need a tent, we’ll live in the trunk!”

“That’s what I tried to say…” began Ron, but Hermione interrupted him.

“Oh, Ron, you’re absolutely a dear!” exclaimed Hermione, pulling him in for a peck on his cheek.

Ron blushed a deep red, grinning goofily.

“Come on, let’s get a move on,” said Harry. He didn’t want to see his two best friends making out. Quite apart from the fact that he himself was now single (don’t think about that Harry!), it was positively awkward for him to stand by waiting for them to finish necking.

Being third wheel was embarassing.

“Alright,” said Hermione, getting up off the bench. Ron followed a moment later.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


ACT 2: The Trunk

Smithson and West - Fine Purveyors of Fine Trunks,
Diagon Alley.


“Good morning, sir. Donald West, how may I be of assistance?”

Harry, Hermione and Ron paused to take in the eager, bouncing young man who had spoken. He wore an outrageously loud orange and red T-shirt with frayed cut-offs along with a pair of multi-coloured sneakers.

In the back of the shop, an old man whom Harry took to be Smithson was poring over account-books and ledgers. He ignored them.

The shop was almost-empty, except for a few displayed trunk-models and a counter area which ran the length of the back wall, save one small doorway which led to a dimly-lit corridor. Placards announced prices - anywhere from 1 to 200 Galleons - for different-sized trunks, from a standard Collapsible Briefcase to a bigger Wardrobe 3000 Deluxe to a full-sized Playwizard‘ Trunk-cum-Beach House.

Ron whistled at the Beach House. Hermione nudged him.

“Er, hi,” said Ron, as Hermione harrumphed and snorted. “We’re looking for a trunk…”

Donald West nodded happily, pulling out a quill and a piece of parchment. “Live in or out?”

Ron turned to Harry. Harry nodded.

“Live in, please,” said Harry.

“Very good, sir, this narrows it down considerably. What sort? Recreation? Leisure? Camping? Permanent? And will that be a trois?” said West, leering at Hermione.

Hermione ignored his gaze, even though he appeared to have started from her chest up. Observing a placard which proclaimed CUSTOM ORDERS, she said “Custom order please. Semi-permanent. Cottage-sized living space, three bedrooms…”

“Are you sure that’ll be three, love?” said Donald West, grinning.

Hermione and Ron shared the briefest of glances, but Donald caught it immediately.

“So, you two be having the same rooms then?” he chuckled. “Will he be in on it too? Could have one big master bedroom…”

Ron took a step forward, but Hermione got there first. Pulling out her wand, she poked it straight into his left nostril, never mind boogers or whatnot. Honour was at stake here.

As Harry watched on in amusement, she proceeded to lay down the law.

“Look here, jerk, you can sell us your trunks without a f-f-further insult or glance at my chest, buster, or else you’re going to find yourself h-h-halfway upside down buried in the earth with jellybeans f-f-for balls, you got me?” said Hermione in a rage, stuttering in her anger.

Ron nudged Harry and they leaned back on the countertop to enjoy the show. Harry shot a glance at old Smithson, who winked and turned back to his ledgers.

“Yes, miss,” said Donald, looking down cross-eyed at the wand-tip up his nostril. It was growing uncomfortably hot, and he didn’t wish to have a Stinging Hex up his nose.

“Good.”

Hermione wiped off her wand-tip on Donald’s robe (he winced as she did so), and proceeded to pocket the wand. “Where were we?”

“Ah…yes…er…three bedrooms, shared living room, kitchen…er…how many toilets?”

“One public, off the dining room, and three personals in each of our bedrooms, please,” said Hermione, who now seemed to have taken over the trunk-buying from Harry.

“Yes miss.”

“That’s it…” began Hermione.

“Just a moment!” said Harry. A thought had suddenly come to him. They would need work-rooms, in which to work and practise their dueling; a store-room of sorts, to store their books, brooms, ingredients and potions; a highly-warded area to store captured Horcruxes; a guest-room was also in order, plus a sort of warded prison-room for Death Eaters…

“We’ll also need a work-room, fifteen feet by fifteen, with connecting doors to a library ten feet by ten and a store of the same dimensions. Plus, I want another trunk-compartment five feet by five, warded with all the wards you can think of. Separate lock, to be labelled ‘H’.”

At Harry’s last statement, Donald West gaped at him. “That’ll not be easy, sir,” he said.

“I don’t care. And I also want another room just as highly-warded, ten feet by ten. This one in a separate trunk-compartment too. Separate lock again, labelled ‘DE’.”

“Yes sir.”

Donald West scribbled all the specifications on the parchment piece, then read it back to Harry.

“Very good. Deliver the trunk to the Burrow, Ottery St. Catchpole, in a week’s time.”

“Yes, sir. The bill will be…”

“THE BILL WILL BE NOTHING!” barked a strong voice from the back of the shop.

Old Man Smithson had come out from behind his wall of account-books, and strode forward masterfully. West shrank out of the way, and the old man made his way to the front of the shop.

He was tall and regal-looking, reminding Harry strikingly of Dumbledore. He regarded Hermione and Ron in turn, but paused when he gazed at Harry. Winking, he bellowed at his assistant.

“This young man, WEST, is FREE to purchase whatever TRUNK he WANTS, and we will NOT charge him a SINGLE Knut! You got that, WEST?”

“Yes, sir,” said Donald West respectfully.

“Now get to work on the trunk, and Merlin himself wouldn’t dream of helping you if this order is late.”

Winking at Harry, Smithson politely saw them to the door, and Harry departed the shop feeling light-headed.

“Thank you, sir,” said Harry, nodding respectfully at Smithson.

“Not at all, Mr. Potter,” smiled Smithson. “I wish you good luck on your journeys.”

And he went back into his shop.

Ron began to say something, but Harry wasn’t listening.

“Let’s head to the Leaky Cauldron for breakfast, then we’re off to get passports,” he said, rubbing his hands with glee.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~*~*~


The Burrow,
Ottery St. Catchpole.

5 Days Later.


Harry stared at the trunk that lay in the garden. Ron and Hermione glanced alternately at him, each other, and the trunk. The trunk was about two feet by one foot. It stood about a foot tall.

“Well?” said Ron finally. “Shall we?”

“Yeah,” said Harry, feeling a rush of anticipation. “Let’s.”

There were three locks set into the trunk’s side. One was labelled ‘Living’, the other ‘H’, the other ‘DE’, as per Harry’s instructions. Three sets of keys had come with the deliveryman, and the keys were labelled too.

Harry inserted the oddly-shaped ‘L’ key into the ‘L’ lock, and flung the trunk open. Steps led down to another door. Harry got in, with some difficulty, but found that as he descended the steps, the area around him seemed to get bigger and bigger, and a magical atmosphere seemed to envelope his body.

Although the trunk was quite small, when Harry glanced back he saw that the staircase area had expanded to a width of approximately six feet, and at least twenty steps separated him from the patch of sky that designated the trunk’s lid. And yet, from the outside, it probably still looked like an ordinary trunk.

Ron’s and Hermione’s faces peered down at him from above. Harry said, “Come on in!”

“Alright, Harry,” replied Hermione, though not without some trepidation. The two began to climb into the trunk.

Harry waited till they got in, then asked Ron to close the trunk lid and lock it from the inside (there was a lock on the inside for this purpose). A sign on the reverse side of the trunk lid pronounced the wards and defences that had been cast on the entrance, and as the three of them read it their grins got wider and wider.

Ron removed his key from the lock and was amazed to see it disappear, along with the thin line of light that ran around the sides of the trunk; it appeared that the trunk had sealed itself with a Colloportus charm.

“Wicked,” he muttered.

Harry took a deep breath, twisted the doorknob and entered the living area of his new trunk. As he did so, an automatic Lighting Charm activated, illuminating the area in front of him.

The room sported clean hardwood floors, a sleek coffee table and bright white walls. A long series of console-cupboards ran the length of one wall, and a shoe-rack, coat-stand and umbrella-stand (no troll’s leg; it was expensive goblin porcelain) stood by the door.

Harry smiled down at the brown WELCOME mat on the floor.

“Blimey!” exclaimed Ron. “This is some trunk!”

A fireplace took up most of one wall, with comfortable armchairs in front of it which reminded Harry painfully of Hogwarts. A brown rug covered the center of the living room area.

Ron chuckled as he moved off to one side. Harry turned, and saw him pointing at three Butterbeers standing neatly on the table. Harry crossed the room, and noticed a card leaning against one of the bottles.

He picked it up.

“For Mr. Harry Potter, Mr. Ron Weasley and Ms. Hermione Granger,” he read. “Signed, Mr. Elias Smithson.”

“How sweet of him,” commented Hermione, turning from her inspection of the cupboards that covered one wall. “We can keep all sorts of stuff in there,” she said, gesturing at the cupboards.

“Yeah. Let’s check out the kitchen,” said Ron.

The kitchen was furnished in the Muggle style, a glass dining table set in the middle, stove with limited gas supply, larder off to one side (no Muggle refrigeration), and plenty of storage space and work space in the form of formica counter tops and cupboards.

Hermione expressed her delight at the practical aspects of the design. Ron darted into the larder to ‘see the place’ (obviously wanting to check on capacity, thought Harry), and Harry decided to see the bedrooms.

There was a staircase leading upstairs to a series of bedrooms that furnished just like the Burrow (to Harry); the bed, writing-table, even the chair reminded him of the Burrow, as did the entire house.

As Hermione and Ron ran up the stairs and entered the bedroom, Harry turned to them, a rare smile on his face.

“Guess what,” said Ron excitedly, “in the larder there’s two weeks of food, a case of Butterbeer and this absolutely gigantic cherry pie!”

“Guys,” he said, interrupting Ron’s spiel. “We really need to test this baby out.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


They sat around the kitchen table. On the table was a manual that had come with the deliveryman. It was hand-written and was titled, “Your House - Its Functions and Functionalities”. And it was two inches thick.

“Merlin’s beard,” whispered Ron to Harry, rather awestruck, “I say, this house of yours…it must’ve cost old man Smithson a bomb.”

“I bet,” muttered Harry.

“Let’s get started,” said Hermione. “Let’s see…‘Features’, ‘Defense Mechanisms’, ‘Specific User-Requested Functionalities’, ‘List of Included Household Items’, ‘Warranty’…gosh, there’s got to be at least five hundred pages in here.”

“Let’s just read the important ones tonight,” said Harry. “We’ll leave this book here on the table for future reference, but for now just read ‘Features’, ‘User-Requested’ and ‘Defense’.”

Hermione nodded, and thumbed the pages to the ‘Features’ page. “Features in this house include fully-functional living spaces, an automatic laundry…”

“Automatic laundry?” pounced Ron. “Where do you do laundry? What’s ‘automatic laundry’ anyway? Mum always had to Scourgify our clothes by wand…”

“Shush, Ron,” said Hermione. “The laundry is that small room there,” she pointed. Then, “The Automatic Laundry Room features several compartments built into the walls, each with a Scourgify Charm that will activate for ten minutes at the tap of a wand. Limited Anti-Stain, Anti-Shrink and Anti-Stretch spells protect your clothes from damage, and Laundry Charms will meticulously iron and fold your clothes at a rate of one garment per second…”

“Merlin’s beard,” said Ron, his eyes shining. He jumped up and was about to go inspect the laundry-room himself immediately, but Hermione said something which immediately intrigued him far more than the laundry room.

“This one’s right up your alley, Ron,” said Hermione, rolling her eyes. “The Larder and its Contents.”

Ron sat right back down, his attention rapt.

“This house also features a medium-sized larder with a Dietary Parchment which recommends the right amount of foods to ensure good eating for you and your family. All you need to do is to write your particulars on the provided parchment sheet affixed to the door - age, weight, height, and choose either ‘Sedentary Daily Activity’ or ‘Non-Sedentary Daily Activity’ - and give the parchment a tap. The spell will handle the rest, printing out an itemized list of foods for the day’s breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

“That’ll be great for you,” nudged Ron with a grin.

“You’re undergoing that program too!” said Hermione sharply. “We don’t want anybody falling sick due to malnutrition - or overconsumption of food,” she said pointedly.

Ron subsided with a grumble.

“This is all good and fine,” said Harry, “but the Defense Mechanisms?”

Hermione flicked to the appropriate page. “Besides the various wards placed upon this trunk, it also has an Invisibility Function, activated by pressing the white button set into the middle of the Defense Control Panels located around the house…”

“Would it be this one?” said Ron, gesturing to a panel embedded in the kitchen wall with a series of coloured buttons.

“Yeah, press the white one,” said Hermione.

Harry felt a strange tingling as Ron punched the button, but that was it. Apparently, the trunk was now invisible.

“The Defense Control Panel also controls the Red Flower 2.0 Defense Mechanism, marked by the red button, and the Emergency Portkey Activation button marked in blue which will Portkey this trunk and its occupants to the desired location. To set it, the user need but hold down the blue button while speaking clearly the name of the location the user wishes to go to, and then release the button to immediately Portkey there.”

“So,” said Hermione, shutting the manual with a snap. “What do you think?”

“I think we need to arrange a test period for this trunk. Let’s say, two weeks in the Burrow, challenging your brothers to find us…?” said Harry.

“Blimey, mate!” said Ron, gazing at him with shining eyes. “Two weeks!? On our own? In our own cottage?”

“That’s a great idea, Harry,” said Hermione, chewing her lip. “But do you think Mrs. Weasley will really allow us to do that?”

“I’m of age,” said Harry at once. “We’ll hide the trunk in the attic, activate its Invisibility Function.”

“Well, yeah, but…”

“It’s for the best. Now come on,” said Harry, hurrying to the doorway, “our piles of stuff are still outside, and we need to stow it all away and draft a letter to the Order, explaining what we’re doing.”

“I don’t know about this, Harry,” said Hermione nervously. “I don’t think the Order is going to appreciate what…”

“Hang the Order, damnit!” swore Harry. “Don’t you understand? It’s not about the Order, or Mrs. Weasley any more! It’s about the Horcruxes, about Voldemort…and ultimately, about the fate of the world. If our Horcrux hunt is to succeed, we’ve got to test it in as real-life a scenario as possible…and that means we don’t ask permission for the Order to find us…we make them find us.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


August 8th.

Mrs. Weasley awoke at day-break. Stepping into her slippers, she suddenly felt the crinkle of parchment in her left slipper. Taking it off, she removed the parchment sheet, but espied familiar handwriting on it…

Dear Mrs. Weasley,

As part of the mission Dumbledore gave us, I have to live in secrecy for a while and travel to various countries. Ron and Hermione will be going with me on this round-the-world trip. I have arranged a nigh-undetectable means of hiding, but just in case - could you please inform the Order that I am hiding on the grounds of the Burrow, and they are to attempt to find me during the following two weeks?

I sincerely regret the tremendous inconvenience caused, but the fate of the world counts on me, and I’ll not take a single chance where that is concerned. Not when there is so much dear to me in it.

With all my love,
Harry

Also signed,
Ron
Hermione


“HARRY JAMES POTTER!”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


ACT 3: Test Drive

August 13th.
Hunt For Harry: Day Five.


Harry awoke to the sound of…silence. His alarm clock was not running, hadn’t for five days. Harry made a mental note to ask Mr. Weasley about wards to prevent magic from interfering with electricity. Mr. Weasley would probably use He rolled over and checked the clock - seven.

Shrugging out of his shorts and shirt, and quickly changing into his usual oversized Dudley-hand-me-down and nondescript jeans, he made for the bathroom. Ten minutes later, he was done, feeling a lot more refreshed and ready to tackle the fifth day of their…ordeal.

Ordeal? Ordeal.

At the table, Harry saw a very miserable Ron staring at his breakfast of poached eggs and toast, while a surly Hermione chewed on a stalk of celery from the pile of greens on her plate - with just a single hard-boiled egg on top.

“Hi.”

Hermione grunted. Ron eyed him balefully.

“Pretty cheerful this morning, aren’t we,” commented Harry, as he opened the larder door. “Let’s see…pancakes, fried eggs, maple syrup. Got it.”

He got the required ingredients, then turned to the hob and began preparing his breakfast.

“Pancakes. Lucky bloke,” said Hermione.

“You’re the one who said we’ve got to follow the Dietary Parchment,” reminded Harry.

“Who knew the stupid thing would classify me as borderline fat?” demanded Hermione. “I am not fat! I’m just rather - stout, that’s all!”

“Que sera sera…” sang Harry as he watched over the frying eggs. Hermione? Stout? Heaven forbid - maybe the diet thing was broken down or something. Well, no point in not winding Hermione up a bit.

Later, as he set about devouring his breakfast with gusto (and trying not to smirk when meeting Hermione’s glares), he asked, “So what are we going to do today?”

“Why don’t we practise some non-verbal spells?” said Ron immediately. “We need to learn how to cast Stunners at least before we go on our trip.”

Harry shared a knowing glance with Ron. Both he and Ron hated doing anything that involved reading Hogwarts, A History; Hermione had brought her copy of the book along and insisted they read it, in case there was a Horcrux clue in it - despite the long odds of that particular book containing a clue, and despite the fact that Hermione had already memorised the book and it was all fairly innocuous.

“That’s a good idea…” began Hermione.

“Then let’s be off!” said Harry, hastily finishing the last of his egg and Scourgifying his plate as he ran to place it in the dish rack. “Let’s go!”

But Ron was sitting at the table, his eyes wide with fear. “Merlin’s beard!” he whispered. “They’re trying it again!”

And Ron rose off his seat slowly.

Hermione leapt to grab onto his right leg, and Harry onto his left, while struggling to hold down the ever-rising boy. “Hermione, let go, you need to do the counter-curse…” grunted Harry. “I’ll delay him, just LET GO!”

Hermione acquiesced, releasing his leg - which promptly floated right up out of Harry’s reach - and whipped out her wand.

“Hurry! I can’t do the full splits!” cried Ron, watching his right leg move up at a 90-degree angle to his body.

“Finite Incantatem!” gasped Hermione.

Ron and Harry - whose feet were already leaving the floor as Ron continued his slow ascent up towards the ceiling of their trunk home - fell down heavily on the floor, gravity restored by Hermione’s spell.

“Phew,” said Harry. “That was close.”

“You’re telling me!” said Ron. “Come on, let’s go get the training sorted out for today. And Hermione, please make a note about this and we’ll ask old man Smithson about more protection for the trunk.”

Nodding, Hermione scribbled a few sentences on a notebook she carried with her, then left with the boys for the work-room upstairs.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


The Burrow.

“Drat it! They’ve blocked it again!” exclaimed Mr. Weasley.

Nymphadora Tonks, Remus Lupin, Fred and George Weasley, Ginny and Mr. Weasley were sitting at the kitchen table of the Burrow. Mr. Weasley pocketed his wand.

“So as you can see, Summoning Charms don’t work on that lot,” grumbled Mr. Weasley. “Where in blazes could that boy be hiding…?”

“I’m sure he’s quite safe, Arthur,” said Lupin. “After all, it’s been five days and you still haven’t found him.”

“There is such a thing as being too safe,” said Mr. Weasley. “So ‘safe’ until we can’t find him.”

“They’re adults, Arthur,” began Lupin.

“He may be of age, but he can’t just hide away somewhere from us all!” exclaimed Tonks. “We’re protecting him, we’ve a right to know…”

“We should get Fred and George to dig them out. We’re too old to go hunting after those three,” said Lupin suddenly.

“D’you really want us to dig them out from wherever they are?” exclaimed George, his eyes shining. “The shop can do without us, Verity’s got more hired help now. We’ll find them, Fred and I. There’s not much about the Burrow we don’t know about…”

“No. Fred, George, I don’t want you to go about tearing apart the house in search of them,” said Mr. Weasley. “Heaven knows your mother is already…”

“Is already WHAT, Arthur?” said a stern voice from the staircase.

Mr. Weasley whirled around to see his wife descending from the staircase. The red, watery, pouchy eyes that had defined the Weasley matriarch in the past few days were gone. In their place was a stern, iron will that everyone in the room felt emanating from her.

“I’m going to find those three, Arthur,” vowed Molly Weasley. “I’m going to find that Harry Potter, and when I do…”

But as Mrs. Weasley stomped off to determinedly to the living room to plan her conquest in front of the fire, no-one ever did hear what she intended to do to Harry Potter.

“I think it’s time we took a little leave, d’you think?” murmured Fred to George.

“I do think so, Gred.”

“I concur, Forge. Spend quality time with our younger brother, what?”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


The Trunk.

“Finite Incantatem!”

Harry dropped to the floor, eyes wide and shirt stained with sweat.

“They’re really trying aren’t they?” commented Ron wryly, as Harry picked himself up off the floor and ran a hand through his hair exasperatedly.

“They’ve been trying to Accio us all day, and it’s really annoying,” said Hermione from the corner of the room, where she pored over a book (as usual). “Not that it does much, we’ll probably just hit the ceiling and stay there, but it’s irritating, annoying, irksome, and just plain gets in our way.”

“Ah, well, I suppose…we’re prepared, aren’t we?” said Harry. “And besides, good thing we found out now than on the trip, when we might be having twenty different Death Eaters casting the Summoning Charm every now and then…”

“While he does have a point,” said Ron, “you got to admit, it’s rather uncomfortable to…bloody hell, here we go again!”

Quickly, both Hermione and Harry whipped out their wands.

“Finite Incantatem!” they said in unison, and grinned at each other as Ron fell back down.

“Isn’t there some way we can block any more Summoning Charms?” cried Ron plaintively.

“Not that I can think of,” said Hermione, settling back down to her book (but keeping her wand handy…just in case). “We’ve just got to bear with it.”

Harry sighed, and turned to Ron. “On guard!” he called out.

“Ready,” said Ron, pulling out his own wand.

“Stupefy!”

“Furnunculus!”


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


August 17th.
Hunt For Harry: Day Nine.


The sweet smell of frying bacon seeped into the trunk. Angrily, Harry jotted down on his piece of parchment: “Smell-proof trunk.”

Ron contemplated his cornflakes with less than enthusiasm.

Hermione was mumbling under her breath, as she gazed sourly at the bread and butter the Diet Parchment had assigned her this morning. “Stay cool, Hermione. Stay calm. It’s just bacon, you’ve eaten it dozens of times before. Stay cool, stay calm. They’re trying to winkle us out with their underhanded psychological tactics. Stay cool, stay calm. Cool and calm, Hermione. Cool and calm…”

“Who the hell thought they’d come up with this?” said Harry. “It must be Fred and George. Must be. When I get out of here, I’m going to wring their filthy necks…”

“No, we jinx their ruddy nuts off…” put in Ron.

“Wring their necks and jinx their nuts off!” cried Hermione vehemently.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


The Burrow.

“They ain’t coming out are they, George?” asked Fred. He had scented every single room - including the attic - in the Burrow with the savoury aroma of bacon, in the hopes it would lure his younger brother out (if not the other two) from their hiding place, wherever it was.

“Good grief, they must be well hidden,” commented George. “Maybe their in a tent or something. I bet our benefactor’s gone and gotten himself a tent.”

“Definitely, my dear brother…”

“They can’t survive long…”

“Without a tent…”

“Especially Ron…”

“Most especially Ron.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


August 20th.
Hunt For Harry: Day Twelve.


“That’s it!” snapped Hermione. “That is the utter limit!”

“Hermione, no!” exclaimed Ron. “We’re at Day Twelve! Two more days!”

“It’s just Dungbombs, Hermione!” said Harry. “We’ve smelled them before! We can endure it!”

“No, Harry! Not a second longer!” snarled Hermione. “I’ll show those two…those foul miscreants…those…abominable beasts…those…those…”

“Look, if you need to Hermione, let’s just Apparate the trunk away!” yelled Ron.

Time stopped.

“Apparate the trunk away, you crazy?!” said Hermione. “Apparate the trunk away…?”

“Yeah, that’s what I said,” said Ron in a defensive manner. “Read the manual.”

Both Harry and Hermione eagerly grabbed for the thick book that lay on the kitchen table, but Harry got it first. He quickly flipped the pages, ignoring Hermione’s scowl, and he stopped the flipping at Defensive Mechanisms.

“Side-Along Apparation is possible for this fantastic trunk, due to a super-secret Object Apparation system that is built into the walls of the trunk. To Apparate, simply stand on the WELCOME Mat, and Side-Along Apparate to the desired place while placing your hand on the palm-shaped depression on the wall…”

“Hey, hang on!” cried Ron, getting up and running to the entrance. “Yeah, there’s a little depression here!”

“Apparate us away, Ron!” yelled Hermione. “Do it, now!”

“What? Now?”

“But what about the test!” said Harry. “We mustn’t leave the Burrow!”

“I can hide us on the roof if you want, but I need instructions, ‘cause the air here nearer the keyhole is really foul!” yelled Ron.

“You said in your letter that you would hide in the Burrow, or its grounds, Harry,” said Hermione. “We can still Apparate to the broom-shed, Ron! Surely the can’t have Dungbombed that!”

“Hermione!” cried Harry. “They might detect the Apparation…”

Ron ignored the arguments, and concentrated hard, placing his feet on the welcome mat, placing his palm in the depression on the wall, and thinking of the familiar scents and sights of the Burrow’s broom-shed…

CRACK!

~*~*~*~ *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

The Burrow.

“You know, I swear I heard something pop!” said Fred, nudging George.

“Yeah!”

“This means that wherever they are, this here attic is out,” said Fred grimly.

“And so is the house, because they can’t survive twenty Dungbombs, surely…”

“Not our Improved Weasley Dungbomb Delights, to be sure…”

“Which means, my dear brother…” said George, shaking his twin’s hand.

“…they must be, old chap…” said Fred.

“…on the grounds!” they said in unison.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


Augu st 21st.
Hunt For Harry: Day Thirteen.


“Ron! Rooo-ooon…Ron!”

“Wha…!”

Ron glanced at the clock by his bed. “It’s bloody five in the morning, Harry!” he exclaimed indignantly. “What d’you want?”

“Shhh!” said Harry. “Listen…”

Ron grew aware of a poking, scuffling sound that seemed to emanate from the eaves of the trunk. “What’s that!” he cried.

“Shut up!” said Harry. “Ron, did you go out yesterday after Apparating us into the broom shed and put the trunk somewhere inconspicuous?”

Ron’s eyes bugged out in horror. “Merlin’s beard! I thought you…”

“Well, I didn’t, and from the poking around up there, I assume Hermione didn’t either,” said Harry. “That’s either Fred or George up there. What do we do now?”

“We wake Hermione.”

Harry glanced at Ron. “I woke you, right?”

“Yeah, well…”

“Now it’s your turn. You wake Hermione up.”

“Er…” Ron’s half-asleep head had difficulty processing what Harry was saying.

“I take that as a yes.”

“Yeah, okay. I’ll wake Hermione up,” said Ron blearily.

Suddenly, the import of his words hit him, and Ron put his head in his hands and groaned.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


The Burrow.

The door of the broom shed creaked open.

Two shadowy figures stepped over the threshold…

…and one promptly fell - with a swear-word on his lips - onto the floor.

“Whose trunk is that?” said Fred, pointing at the object on the ground.

“How the hell should I know?” grumbled George, nursing his bruises. “Damned careless of anyone to put it here.”

Fred glanced at George.

“What?” said George.

“D’you think…”

“No…” began George, slow realisation breaking upon him. “No, it can’t be…”

“I’ll bet it is,” said Fred grimly, taking out his wand. “Lumos!”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


“…and so,” finished Hermione scathingly, “you - the both of you - forgot all about hiding the trunk away, and basically left us out here in the open, in the broom shed, without an Invisibility Cloak to cover us and not even pushed aside to the deepest, darkest corner you can find?”

Ron and Harry didn’t say anything, staring sheepishly at their feet.

“Well, thank goodness I though of something,” said Hermione, “in case anyone stumbled on the trunk.”

“What did you do, Hermione?” said Ron quickly.

“It was just the simple matter of tying one of my keys to the front of the trunk…”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


“Check this out, George,” said Fred. “The idiots have left out a set of keys, the fools…”

George grabbed at the key. “It says ‘DE’, whatever that means,” he said. “There’s only one, anyway. Let’s open it.”

He fitted the key into the lock, and turned it. Throwing open the lid, both he and Fred leaned in.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


In the kitchen, Hermione leaned over to the Defense Mechanism Panel and hit the red button with a slight smile.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


“What in blazes…!”

The trunk suddenly spat bolts of red light everywhere, shooting the jets of sparks at the stone walls where the spells ricocheted around deafeningly. The trunk shot 360 artificial Stunning Spells in the space of two seconds, hitting Fred and George at point-blank range.

The twins tumbled head over heels into the trunk’s third compartment, the Death Eater holding cell, and the trunk’s lid clamped down automatically as soon as it detected the twins’ landing on the floor of the compartment. After a minute, Fred and George climbed to their feet gingerly, sore and bruised, looking around them with wonder.

“Blimey!” exclaimed Fred. “This is some trunk!”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


Epilogue


The Attic,
No. 3, Godric’s Hollow.


“Oh, the memories,” said Mr. Harry Potter.

“It’s an amazing trunk,” exclaimed Mrs. Ginny Potter, running her hand over the walls. They were in the room that had served as Harry’s bedroom when he had lived in the trunk. “Absolutely lovely. I did try to find you three, you know,” she said, beckoning to her husband with her extended arms.

He embraced her.

“And you didn’t find us?” Harry kissed her on the tip of her nose.

“No, I didn’t. What’s this button do, by the way?” asked Ginny, pressing a red heart-shaped button set into a stylized control panel on the wall.

A section of the wall slid back to reveal a moving photograph of her, smiling demurely at the camera, and then breaking into a laugh. The expressions were characteristically sixteen-year old Ginny. A shelf under the photograph revealed a lock of her red hair, the Snitch she had caught during the Quidditch match just before they’d first kissed each other…various mementos, love letters…

“An extra I added myself, before going off,” said Harry sheepishly.

“Blimey!” exclaimed Ginny. “This is some trunk!”

The End
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