Harry's eyes snapped open from the dream, only to find another pair staring down at him. He gasped and struggled to sit up.
"RON! What on EARTH are you doing, scaring me like that?" Harry said, groping for his glasses, "Honestly, you and Dobby should get together for tea sometime."
Ron grinned and replied, "It was the only way to get you awake. You were sleeping like a dead man. It's about time to go. I think Su got up early to get us some food...she mumbled something about not having a good night's sleep because her tent was suffocating her something or other..." With that, Ron strolled out of the tent.
Harry sat up and looked around him, his mind still caught in his dream. That had been his mother. Never before had Harry dreamt about his mother. In fact, the only time he had ever heard her speak after he'd grown up were the times in his third year that he'd been trying to learn the Patronus spell. Lily, James, and Sirius had seemed so...young. They couldn't have been much older than Harry was. And what had been happening in that dungeon? Was that Voldemort recruiting people for his mission to conquer the wizarding world? And who WAS that young lady in the corner? As much as Harry didn't wish to admit it, a grudging sickness was spreading over his stomach. There had been no mistake. The young woman had been Lily Evans.
Harry stood up in a dazed way, confused by the information he had just obtained. What had his mother been doing in a dungeon full of Death Eaters? Was she spying on them for Dumbledore?
A shout outside shook Harry from his thoughts.
"Ron! That was for all of us!" Harry heard Hermione call in outrage. He opened the flap to his tent and stepped outside.
It was an amazingly clear day. All was still except for Hermione, Ron, and Su who were standing as though in war. Su had, unsurprisingly, taken Hermione's side and glared at Ron. Harry looked on, amused. Hermione looked up as Harry entered the scene, her face still red with anger.
"Harry, I'm afraid there's to be no breakfast for US today...Ron's eaten it all!"
"How was I to know it was for us all? There were only a few berries!" Ron protested.
"C'mon, Hermione. It doesn't matter. I'm not all that hungry anyway," Harry said, his stomach grumbling, "Let's just get going. We can probably make it today."
Hermione sighed. "FINE, FINE, whatever. If you insist on going with an empty stomach, there's nothing I can do against it. Let's go then."
And thus they flew for four more days. They endured through four more days of thirst, hunger, and weariness. It had been turning surprisingly cold. On the fifth day, Harry awoke and walked out of their tent. The ground was covered with sparkles of frost mixed in with a thin layer of snow.
They climbed aboard their "Broomstick Express", and again soared into the air. The four friends knew they were ending their flight journey, and were surprisingly somber at the thought. They had gotten quite close over the past week, and were enjoying each other's company.
Suddenly after an hour of flight and chatter, during which Ron had told several jokes, Hermione took a hand off her Cleansweep Seven and, finger trembling a bit, pointed ahead. It was difficult to see through the flurries of snowflakes that gently touched their cheeks, but Harry could just make out ahead of them some hundred meters the tips of several daring towers that most certainly belonged to a castle.