"BOY! You will regret letting your freak friends threaten me." With that statement, Vernon Dursley turned and stomped towards his car, his stick-figure wife, Petunia, and beached-whale son, Dudley, scurrying behind. He unlocked the boot, and then got into the car to wait. Harry Potter sighed deeply as he followed them to the car. After all that had happened in the last month, he was not surprised that his summer was starting out so badly. He hoped that Professor Dumbledore would get him to the Burrow sooner than usual. He swore that he would never set foot in Grimmuald Place again. His thoughts turned to the events that had occurred in the Veil Room, and he slammed the boot closed in an attempt to keep his emotions in check. As soon as he got into the car and shut the door, Uncle Vernon slammed on the gas and sped down the road. The entire drive back to Surrey was filled with the sounds of Dudley snoring and Vernon and Petunia haranguing Harry about his 'freak friends' and how abnormal they were, and how-dare-they-threaten-us. The more the Dursley's went on, the angrier Harry got. By the time they reached the house, Harry was clenching his teeth so hard he was afraid they would break. Harry got out of the car with Hedwig in tow and went around to the boot. It popped open and Harry grabbed his trunk and hauled it into the house once Aunt Petunia unlocked the door. He hauled everything into his room before Uncle Vernon could decide to lock it up. He was still so mad he was shaking over everything his uncle and aunt had said in the car. After he shoved his trunk into the too small closet, he stood facing the door, waiting. He knew his uncle was going to come up and give him a hard time and he would be ready this time. As his anger grew, his hair started to move, even though the window was closed. Unknown to Harry, his eyes were starting to glow. He heard Vernon's heavy footsteps as he came up the stairs and his anger grew. When his uncle pounded on the door and started yelling, Harry got even madder, and sparks started flying off his hair. When Vernon kicked the door open, slamming it into the wall, Harry clenched his fists. As Vernon screamed unintelligibly in Harry's face, he started to sputter as he noticed the odd appearance of his hated nephew. When Harry started to rise up off the ground, Vernon got even madder. When Vernon started belittling Harry's dead parents, Harry started floating forward very slowly. But the situation did not spiral out of control until Vernon went too far.
"...And I had better not see that no-good godfather of yours around here!" At once, Vernon knew he had messed up. The light in Harry's eyes flared and Harry screamed,
"ENOUGH! YOU WILL NOT MENTION SIRIUS AGAIN!" In an attempt to salvage control, Vernon said something stupider.
"What are you going to do about it, you abnormality?!" Harry screamed at the top of his lungs and Vernon Dursley, who stood almost two meters and weighed in at almost 21 stone, was tossed into the hallway and against the wall as if he were a rag doll. There was a sickening crunch and a crash as Vernon's bones broke, and the front door was blasted open almost simultaneously. Nymphadora Tonks ran up the stairs and into Harry's room, not even glancing at the crumpled form on the hallway floor. Harry was starting to notice himself, and now he no longer looked angry, he looked scared. His eyes started drooping as his feet touched back down and he looked up to see his friend standing there.
"Tonks...help," he said in a small voice just before he was swallowed by darkness.
Harry awoke to the sound of a siren getting farther away and wondered what was going on. The last thing he remembered was getting out of the car at Privet Drive. He abruptly realized that he was lying with his head in someone's lap and that someone was singing softly and running their fingers thru his hair. It felt so good that he decided not to open his eyes just yet. The voice was singing a Welsh lullaby he had heard before, but he couldn't remember where or when. The voice was familiar, but he couldn't place who it was. Finally the song came to an end and a chuckle was heard.
"You may as well open your eyes," said the silky voice of Nymphadora Tonks. "I know you are awake. You don't smile that big when you sleep." Harry's eyes flew open and he started sputtering.
"Y-y-you watch me sleep?" Tonks shrugged as if it were no big deal.
"Someone's got to keep an eye on you." Harry turned bright red as he smiled.
"So what are you doing here, and how did I get in your lap?" Harry tried to get up and immediately fell back, groaning. "And why do I feel like a dragon just stepped on me and scraped me off on a tree?" With that image, Tonks laughed out loud. Harry blushed, and added, "And why c-can't I remember anything since I got here?" At this, Tonks got a very grave expression.
"Harry, you hurt your uncle very badly. I am not sure what exactly happened, but you got out of the car looking like you were ready to kill something, and you stormed into the house after your aunt. About a minute after your uncle went into the house, I felt a magical backlash stronger than I have ever felt. I Reducto'd the front door and came running in just as your uncle hit the hallway wall at full speed. I ran upstairs just in time to see you floating, eyes glowing and hair sparking. Then you stopped floating, and you said, 'Tonks...help,' and then passed out. I barely caught you before you hit the floor. Your aunt came running up the stairs to see what happened and screamed like a banshee when she saw your uncle. I got you into bed and managed to get her to call 999. The ambulance leaving with Vernon is probably what woke you. He is going to be in the hospital for months. You almost broke his back, Harry. You have been passed out for almost an hour. After the healers came in, I decided to sit with you."
She looked a bit uncomfortable for a moment. "Albus is on his way." Harry sat bolt up in his bed.
"What?! Why? I really don't want to see him for any reason right now." Harry flopped back onto the bed and turned onto his side, momentarily forgetting who he was using as a pillow.
"I'm sorry Harry," Tonks said softly. "Your aunt and cousin are going to be staying in London near the hospital that is taking your uncle. They won't be coming back until after you leave for Hogwarts, and your aunt won't hear of you staying with them." Harry mumbled something into Tonks' lap. She chuckled softly. "As much as I like a warm breath on my thigh, you will need to turn over if you want me to understand you." Harry rolled over slowly, blushing very brightly.
"I said, I am not going back to London. And I know you know where I mean." Tonks looked very sad at this.
"I haven't been back there either. I loved him too. And you will have to talk to Albus about that. I am just your shadow. I have no actual say about your safety." Tonks managed to look very upset about that. Harry finally managed to sit up.
"You never told me why I hurt so much."
Tonks just looked at Harry for a moment, seeming to size him up. Harry started to fidget under her gaze, but found himself unable to look away from her eyes, which were currently pale lavender.
"Harry, there are some things that you should have heard from a father figure, but since that is not really possible, I guess I am elected. I am sure you are familiar with puberty and its effects on the body." Harry blushed furiously at this, but managed to nod. "Things are a little different with magical adolescents. When you hit puberty, your magic grows, and builds up, preparing for when you have enough control and discipline to fully use it. Sometimes it builds up too much and needs a release. With most teens, it comes in the form of random accidental magic, such as setting homework on fire, or exploding drinking glasses. The outburst is a little stronger when emotions are running high." Harry practically choked at this.
"A little?" Tonks gave him that piercing look again.
"As I said, Mr. Potter, with MOST teens. You, however, seem to be a law unto yourself. The magical outburst is why you hurt. You pushed all that magic right thru your skin. With most kids, after an outburst half that strong, they would be magically exhausted and unable to perform even a simple levitating spell for several days or even weeks. In your case, your magical reserves are as full as if you had never had the outburst." Harry seemed confused.
"What do you mean?" Tonks' expression softened as she took pity on the poor boy.
"It means that you have more magic in your body than most people three times your age. Realistically, your body shouldn't be able to handle that much magic without causing serious problems, but your body seems to be uniquely suited for it, maybe due to the fact that you absorbed a killing curse so young. No one is really sure what effect that killing curse had on you since no one has ever survived one. It is entirely possible that absorbing that much magic so young expanded your magical reservoir to previously unknown limits. Hermione could probably tell you more about that kind of magical theory than I could."
At the mention on his bushy-haired genius friend, Harry's face fell. Tonks looked at him with a question in her eyes.
"What is it?" she asked softly. Harry's response was so soft, it was almost a whisper.
"I almost got her killed. All of them. I didn't listen to her and I got Si…Si…him killed. I killed my godfather because I wouldn't listen to my best friend. I killed him because I was a fool. I let myself be tricked and now he's dead." Tears were now pouring down his face as he stared at the bed. Tonks didn't respond and when Harry finally looked up, her face was bright red with anger, and her hair was changing colors rapidly. Harry blanched and scooted back on the bed. "Tonks?" She looked at him with a frightening stare and took a deep breath.
"HARRY JAMES POTTER I NEVER WANT TO HEAR THAT LOAD OF BOLLOCKS FROM YOU EVER AGAIN! YOU WENT AFTER SIRIUS OUT OF LOVE! YOUR FRIENDS FOLLOWED YOU OUT OF LOVE! SIRIUS DIED SAVING YOU BECAUSE OF LOVE! I HAVE TALKED TO ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS THAT WERE THERE AND NONE OF THEM BLAME YOU AND NEITHER DO I! IF I HEAR OF YOU BLAMING YOURSELF FOR HIS DEATH AGAIN YOU WILL ANSWER TO ME!" Harry sat back on the bed in total shock. After a moment he realized that she was right.
"Thank you, Tonks. I think I needed that very much." Harry shakily started to get to his feet, only to find that he was still not very steady on them. Tonks was beside him instantly, providing a stable support. It was only after he was standing fully upright that he received his next shock. He was taller than Tonks. When he had last seen her, she was still a few centimeters taller than him. Now he was several centimeters taller than her. He looked down into her eyes and noticed for the first time that she was not all that much older than him, and very pretty. Then he thought about Ginny and blushed. Tonks decided not to rib him about it, for once.
"Let's wait for Professor Dumbledore in the living room. Help me get down the stairs," Harry said softly. He winced when he saw the crater in the hallway wall, but said nothing as Tonks helped him down the stairs.