I have been reading Harry Potter fanfictions for many years and have finally decided to give one a crack. Constructive criticism is welcome, flames are not and to keep this simple if you don't like it don't read it there is plenty of other things on here to read. The M rating is for future violence, swearing, adult themes and suggestive content. If such things bother you this isn't a fic for you. Other than that, please enjoy and should you feel so inclined leave a review. My sincerest thanks to Len for agreeing to Beta this for me, her note can be found at the bottom of the page.
Any copy righted material within this story belong to their original owners. I am not making any money from this but rather this is an exercises for my own enjoyment. It's Rowling's world I'm just playing in it.
It was a dark moonless night and heavy clouds hung low in the sky blocking the light of the stars from reaching the pavement of Privet Drive. The denizens of Privet Drive had, for some weeks, been suffering through the worst heat wave in recent memory. The normally perfectly manicured lawns and immaculate gardens were brown and dying. The paint had been cracked and peeled from the perfect fences and the gutters overflowed, because none of the residents would brave the heat to complete their regular household maintenance.
The only house on the street that seemed to be untouched by the heat was number four. The grass was green and the flowers were blooming. The fences had been freshly painted and it appeared as though someone had washed the entire outside of the house, for the layer of dust that clung to the other houses seemed to have missed number four altogether. When the other residents asked Vernon and Petunia Dursley how they managed to maintain such a wonderful home, they would just turn up their noses and, in haughty voices, would explain in great detail how hard they worked to have their house in such a state because they would simply die of shame if their house ever looked like the rest of the street.
For now though, the night was quiet aside from the quite buzz coming from the street lights and the residents of Privet Drive had long since retired for the night. Cars lined the street and everything seemed to hold its breath, waiting for the clouds to open up. Then, with a flash of lightening that lit up the night sky, and a crash of thunder that rattled the windows, the skies opened and the prayers of Privet Drive were answered. The sounds of the storm as it raged were enough to mask the screams that came from number four and had been coming from number four for the last few nights, ever since the summer holidays had begun.
In the smallest bedroom of Number Four lay a young man with jet black and a vivid lightning bolt scar. His torso was bare and it was clear that the young man was athletic, his body was toned and sculpted not in a way suggesting he lifted weights with any real regularity, but in a way meaning that he was no stranger to hard work. That was what immediately stood out about the boy but a closer inspection would reveal that his torso was riddled with scars.
His back looked as though it had been whipped, as scars of various lengths and depths crossed his back. And it seemed that the young man would soon have a few more, as barely healed scabs crossed his back as well and threatened to break open with his thrashing. A long, deep scar worked its way up his left arm and appearing to have a serrated edge. The clearest injuries were saved for his right arm; his lower forearm had clearly been sliced open by a knife, but what immediately stood out was the wound on the boy's upper arm and shoulder. It was almost as if the skin had been melted away and had never healed over properly, as yellow and red skin made a patchwork across his shoulder and upper arm while black veins began to encroach upon his chest.
The boy in question was currently drenched in sweat, sticking his normally unruly hair to his head. The occasional moan or whimper would escape him and his eyes fluttered under his eyelids as images only he could see played before him. His bedding was drenched in sweat and would need to be laundered in the morning, no doubt; but for now the boy's thrashing increased and soon his sheets were wrapped so tightly around him, they seemed to be almost tying him to the bed.
"No dad, don't," he moaned.
A few moments later, the boy let out a deep moan that spoke of a tragic loss. His thrashing only grew more and more desperate.
"No mum please don't. No not her, take me instead, I will give you anything. Just please not her,"
The boy let out a scream and tears began to mingle with the sweat.
"Cedric no run, get out of here, CEDRIC,"
With the final scream the boy shot up in his bed, trembling and his shockingly green eyes scanned the small room before him, without really seeing it. His hand shot out and gripped an immaculately carved wand. Almost like it was responding to the boy's distress, it began glowing softly. The boy's frantic eyes began to slow as he seemed to realize where he was. As he did, deep shuddering gasps began to rock through him and soon, sobbing followed. He pulled himself into a ball and gently began to rock back and forward, continuing to sob. He stayed like that for quite some time before unwrapping himself and falling to the floor only to vomited into a nearby trash can.
Once his stomach had been purged, the boy lay there until a loud tapping at the window caused him to look up. Illuminated in a flash of lightening, was a very bedraggled-looking snowy owl. Pulling himself to his feet, the boy crossed over to the window and opened it. The owl flew into the room before settling on top of a cage, which was sitting on the desk occupying an entire wall in the small room. The boy crossed to the owl and began drying her off as best as he could with a towel as the owl started nuzzling into him and he, in return, stroked her feathers as he toweled her off.
Many residents of Privet Drive would consider this boy to be a violent and dangerous delinquent, but this boy was so much more than that. For one thing, he was a wizard, and not any old wizard either, but as he had recently been informed, he was the prophesized defeater of the darkest wizard of the last 300 years. A Dark Wizard called Voldemort. This was, but the tip of the iceberg when it came to this young man. He had killed a basilisk, out flown a dragon, swam with mermen, fought for his life against the aforementioned dark wizard no less than 4 times; and he had done all this by the tender age of 15. This boy was none other than the Boy Who Lived, this boy was Harry Potter.
Once Hedwig was dried, she gave him a soft hoot and nibbled his ear softly to show her thanks, bringing a small smile to his face. Harry, then, crossed to the window and once again opened it. He cupped his hands together, catching as much of the rainwater as he could in his hands. He brought it to his mouth and rinsed the taste of vomit and the metallic taste of blood from his tongue, before spitting it out into the yard. He took another mouthful and this time relished the cool crisp taste of the water. He splashed what he could on his face, chest and back, feeling refreshed as the water cleaned his overheated skin. While it would have made him feel far better to take a long shower, Harry wasn't willing to risk his Uncle's wrath if he caught Harry out of his room after his curfew, still he would take was he could get.
As he closed the window, he thought he saw a shimmer in the yard but wrote it off. It was no doubt just the water playing off the lights. Still, he shut the window tight and took up his wand from the bedside table, placing it on his desk as he shimmered under his bed. He wrenched open a couple of loose floorboards and took out a package wrapped in plastic shopping bags. Opening the package, he began to remove books and scrolls. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them, Extreme Incantations, The Standard Book of Spells, Practical Defensive Magic and it's Uses against the Dark Arts, A Guide to Advanced Transfiguration, Magical Draughts and Potions were just a few of the titles that were removed from the hiding hole in the floor. The last thing to come out was a small leather bound journal that appeared to contain notes in an untidy scrawl.
Once the books and parchments were organized on the desk before him, Harry began to work over the materials contained in the books, pausing occasionally to scrawl in the journal. The only sounds in the room were the sounds of the storm and the steady scratching of the quill on the parchment. Over the following hours, nothing broke Harry's concentration as he continued to read chapter after chapter breaking only to jot notes down.
Eventually he placed the quill down and glanced at the clock that illuminating his room in a dull red light. Seeing that it was a little after 5:30 in the morning, he rose from the desk and began to change. As he did so, he looked out the window and seemed to let out a long suffering sigh when seeing that it was still pouring down with rain. He looked over to his only companion and raised an eyebrow at her.
"I don't suppose you would let me go back to bed would you girl?" he asked, with a smile playing across his lips.
The hoot that he got was disapproving to say the least.
"I will take that as a no, not even for an extra owl treat?"
She just gazed at him, reproachfully.
"Okay, okay, I'm going." he said, placing his wand up his jacket sleeve, into a wand holster and making his way out of the door.
Harry made his way through the dark house, careful to avoid making any noise and thanking his lucky stars that he had always been light on his feet. He opened the front door and, with a bracing breath, made his way out into the deluge.
He made his way through the yard and, once out onto the street, he began a light jog. He steadily built pace and was soon running in long strides. He fell into a steady pace and into a runner's rhythm.
As he ran, Harry's mind began to drift back to the nightmares that he'd had with such a vivid clarity, every night since Voldemort's return. He saw the man blasting in the door to his family home, the wood splintering and flying across the room. He watched helpless as his mother and father shielded him as the fragments cut them. He witnessed his father turning to his mother and both sharing a final look as he uttered the last words Harry would ever hear. Harry had come to realize that his father knew he was going to die, James had made a mistake and left his wand out of arms reach, assuming that he and his family were safe. He had been a brilliant man, but a man none the less.
Harry pushed himself faster, as he continued to relive that night; his screaming muscles forgotten in the nightmares that played through his head.
He saw the flash of green as James Potter sacrificed himself, buying his wife time to sweep up the infant Harry and try to make their escape. His mother had tried to apparate away and when that had failed, tried activating the emergency portkey she kept on her person, but that too failed. With nothing else working, she activated a failsafe to summon the Order and ran to Harry's bedroom, placing him in his crib. Her finals words to him were something that Harry would never forget.
"Mama loves you Harry,"
Tears once again began to flow down Harry's face as he continued to run, because in the end she had died loving him. She had died trying to buy him time, she had died so that he might have a chance to live and he would be damned if she died for nothing.
He ran a complete circuit of the suburb until on the final 100 yard; he broke into a dead sprint. He passed the letter box of number four and doubled over, breathing as evenly as he could but somehow not quite managing it. Looking at a battered stop watch that was on his wrist, he realized that his rough three mile course had taken him 24 minutes to complete; it was a new personal best.
He made his way back to his room and stripped off, drying himself before pulling on a dry clothes. He smiled as he saw that Hedwig had her head under her wing, asleep in her cage. He paused once again on his way out of the room and placed a few owl treats in her cage. He made his way down into the kitchen and began busing himself making breakfast for the Dursleys. That was how his Aunt found him some time later.
"Are you still not done yet?" his Aunt snapped.
"Not yet," he responded tersely, "It's almost done,"
"Just make sure it's ready before Vernon and Dudley get up. And I want you outside today weeding the garden, I don't want my roses dying,"
"Yes Aunt Petunia."
As Vernon and Dudley descended, Harry managed to sneak some bacon, a couple of pieces of toast and a kipper into some paper towel and into his pocket, before going back up to room. Once there, he fed Hedwig some the bacon and made a sandwich with what was left over, polishing off the kipper. Once that was done, he stripped his bed of the soiled bedding. The blood and sweat had mixed together and it had begun stink up the room. As the sun was now poking through gloomy grey clouds, Harry crossed to the window and opened it, letting the room air.
He heard the car start and saw the Dursleys driving away. With a relieved sigh, he made his way downstairs and retrieved what he would need for a day's work in the garden. He worked in the garden all morning. Around midmorning, the sun returned with a vengeance and began to suck all the moisture out of the air and ground. Once again, Harry was drenched in sweat and flushed in the face, working away in the garden. Until he heard a voice come from behind him.
Note from Len (a.k.a. one and only bestest beta everer):
Don't mind the awesome, just click fav+ and review. Constructive criticism welcomed, flames will be written on paper and burnt in a ritual sacrifice to JKR. 3