Well Lazy!Harry is back, but not making any effort, and so don't expect this to go much more than one chapter...
Disclaimer: The Harry Potter universe and all related materials are the property of J.K. Rowling, Bloomsbury and Warner Brothers. I am in no way affiliated with JKR, Bloomsbury or Warner Brothers, and use their materials without their permission or knowledge.
Harry Potter was a highly unusual boy in a few significant ways.
The most obvious thing was that he wanted to be lazy- not just that he was lazy, which in itself isn't really that unusual for a teenage boy, but Harry actively wanted to be lazy, and he put an almost ridiculous amount of effort into it.
He was too lazy to go as far as saying that he hated do anything twice (and was not very happy about doing most things once in the first place), but he definitely did not enjoy doing the same things day in and day out, unless it was sleeping or slacking off. This often meant he spent an extraordinary amount of time and effort finding ways to not do something, and then even more effort figuring out how to avoid ever doing it again.
His motivation to excel at being lazy was due to years of been told time and again that he was a lazy, good-for-nothing lay-about by his closest family, his Aunty and Uncle who were too dim to realise the sort of activity (or lack of activity), they were encouraging.
This criticism happened despite any effort he made, so Harry rather sensibly decided that he would strive to be what he was called, and learned to thoroughly enjoy doing the very nothing the adults in his life constantly accused him of.
It was pretty much a win-win decision, as far as he could see.
Discovering, at the tender age of eleven, that he happened to be a wizard was another unusual thing about Harry, because while there are a lot of lazy teenagers, not many of them are wizards.
As a wizard, doing nothing should have been a lot easier. Wave a wand and make anything he wanted appear. Wave it again to remove anything he didn't want any more – a perfect fit for him. So he started going to a special boarding school for wizards, learning many wonderful ways to use magic to do things for him.
He learned how to make things float, and how to make them move around on their own, and even how to have them follow simple commands, like sweep this room, or butter that piece of bread (with just the right amount of butter, and maybe a dollop of honey, thank you very much).
He could clean small areas with just a flick and swish of his wand, and do many other really nifty things with an almost total lack of effort that 'normal' people, especially lazy teenagers, could only wish for.
Unfortunately, a bunch of hopeless bureaucrats suffered a particularly unfortunate bout of sustained idiocy and made, in Harry's opinion, the totally unreasonable decision that children should not be allowed to cast spells outside of school.
So, at the end of each year, Harry returned to his summer residence, the home of his hateful Aunt Petunia and spiteful Uncle Vernon, able to perform absolutely astounding feats of magic, but prohibited from casting even the simplest cleaning spell.
It was frustrating enough to drive a normal person insane, but Harry considered going mad a whole lot more effort than it was worth. He knew from prior personal experience at his old primary school that putting underpants on his head and sticking pencils up his nose while saying "Wibble" was only worth half a day off and a measly two-hour session with a disinterested counsellor (Harry's miserly guardians refused to pay for the pills that might have made it all worthwhile).
In the Wizarding world, Harry was pretty certain that kind of behaviour would not even be considered eccentric as, in his oppion, most wizards he had encountered so far were decidedly strange, if not completely off their tree.
Luckily, he discovered that like most rules, the laws had many loopholes, and using magical objects while away from school was allowed.
So before leaving the train after his second year finished, Harry collected as many magical devices and objects as he could manage to pack into his magically expanded pockets (and trunk, and book bag, and various other containers, vessels and jars, even sticking some under his hat) with the express intention of having access to some of the benefits of magic without actually casting any spells.
He had magical brushes and brooms for the mundane housework his spiteful Aunty always made him do while she took her precious (and unbearably obese) son, Dudley, out for 'excursions'.
He had enchanted hedge cutters, shovels, hand trowels, and other implements for the inevitable gardening chores his twit of an Uncle insisted were required for Harry to 'pay his way', when in fact just not murdering them all in their sleep should have been sufficient 'payment'.
He even had a larder full of house-elf prepared, ready-to-eat food stashed into an extra special section of his trunk that would stay fresh (and exactly the right temperature) so that he did not have to bother trying to get a decent meal from his relatives.
All in all, Harry was all set for a summer of dozing under the tree in the back yard and doing absolutely nothing constructive while still appearing to be working his fingers to the bone.
He had specific days allocated to watching TV when the house was due to be empty and an enchanted paintbrush took care of repainting the shed. He had a schedule for using dictating quills to write personalised form letters to annoying girls from school that would bother him too much if he just ignored them. Then there were days where he could instantly provide the full meals that his 'family' expected him to slave over, simply by pulling them, readymade, out of his trunk.
He didn't even feel the need to invent anything new for the coming school year, since he figured he had pretty much mastered everything he needed to keep his school workload under control, and there was no sense in putting even more effort into it.
Unfortunately, that all changed in a moment, and his well-planned summer fell apart like a, well, a really good plan that would no longer work because somebody muffed it up.
"Marge? Uncle Vernon's sister, Marge?" asked Harry, so dumbfounded by news of the impending visit that he felt compelled to speak in more than the monosyllables he had recently taken to using when communicating with the Dursleys (because they really were not worth the effort of full sentences or complex words).
"Yes," snapped Aunt Petunia.
"And I suppose she'll be bringing that vicious little mutant rat? The one that keeps trying to bite my leg off and rub its belly on everything?" asked Harry, just to be sure the situation was really as bad as he thought it was.
Not that it would have been much better even if Marge's dog had suffered a terminal accident involving a lorry, a chainsaw, or something equally as severe. Even Aunt Petunia turned up her nose in disgust at the mention of Ripper and his habits.
"Yes," she snapped irritably, beginning the process of working herself up into a rant on how Harry was to behave while the visitor was in the house.
"Right, that's it then," said Harry, before Petunia's tirade could get started. "I'm out."
Ten minutes later, Harry was sitting on the Magical Knight Bus heading to London and Diagon alley.
The majority of his worldly possessions were on the seat next to him, packed away in his trunk (his real trunk, not the mostly empty one Vernon had locked under the stairs to 'prevent Harry doing anything freaky'), and Hedwig, the plump owl, was snoozing in her cage on his other side - He had tried to send her on ahead but she refused to fly anywhere when there was a perfectly good bus all ready to take them there anyway.
Sure, it meant all his plans for the holidays were ruined, but there was simply no way he was subjecting himself to the presence of that woman and her beast.
While the thought of staying alone in the Leaky Cauldron until school started was frankly a bit terrifying, it was still a great deal more attractive than the alternative of either being attacked by a rabid mutt, or ending up in jail for accidental magic turning said mutt and its owner into cabbages (or something else just as disgusting).
Of course, a more 'normal' kid his age would be much more worried, and possibly even a bit panicked at running out on their own, but Harry decided long ago that unnecessarily raising his blood pressure by envisioning all manner of worst case scenarios was a total waste of effort and he was better off just going with it until the 'wheels came off'.
And when the wheels did come off, as they almost always did, he planned on trying to hitch a lift to somewhere else.
Arriving at the Leaky Cauldron with only a minor concussion from the bus trip, Harry had no problem getting a very affordable room until he was due to return to school. Tom even carried Harry's trunk up for him and showed him how to work the various magical facilities, which included an awesome whirlpool bath-thing big enough to drown a small horse in, and some rather silly 'mood' lighting options that Harry really didn't see a need for.
Plonking himself down onto the bed as soon as Tom left, Harry touched his wand twice to the headboard and smiled as the bed started vibrating soothingly - which Harry also found a bit weird for a bed to do, but strangely comforting.
For a moment he was puzzled by the image of a boy laying on the ceiling, and then even more confused when he realised it was actually a mirror directly over the bed.
Why would anybody need a mirror on the roof above their bed?
"Well," he thought. "I guess I can use it to put my tie on without getting out of bed."
And with that happy idea, he drifted off into a blissful sleep.
Ripper happily strode the street, his little doggy head held high as he surveyed his domain.
There were only a few other dogs in this neighbourhood, and none of them acted remotely as aggressive, so his tiny mind felt it had established his dominance over the locals. It helped immensely that every other dog he encountered was either on a leash or locked behind fences and gates.
This was Ripper's third night of freedom after digging under the fence of the yard where his owner was staying. He didn't usually escaped so soon into these infrequent visits, but his normal victim was absent this time, and it had only taken one day to completely destroy the garden, leaving the small minded dog quite bored.
Nearing his destination, his age-affected eyesight spotted another dog in the distance, hiding in some bushes with just its shaggy black face poking through to spy on Ripper's temporary home.
Ripper let out a rumbling growl and rushed towards the interloper, puffing himself up to be as menacing as possible as he started yapping loudly to scare away the other beast.
The shaggy dog lifted its head up, obviously caught by surprise.
Ripper charged in closer, yapping even more furiously as the other dog's messy face rose up, and up, and up. In fact, it did not seem to be stopping.
The barking died in Ripper's throat and he scrambled to a halt, even taking a step backwards as the size of his opponent became apparent.
Padfoot looked down at the now shaking Ripper and gave a very un-dog-like grin.
Several weeks later, Harry was surprised to receive birthday cards from his Hogwarts friends. He was surprised mainly because he hadn't noticed that his birthday had arrived.
It was hard enough keeping track of day and night, let alone what day of the week it was. The month was really just too much of a hassle to bother with.
The opportunity to sleep, eat, and do absolutely nothing whenever and wherever he wanted was a rare treat that Harry was determined not to ruin by doing silly, unnecessary things, like keeping track of the date.
There were a few occasional days (and nights) spent wandering around the alley, but shopping was not his thing. Nor was studying, despite the fact he had an absolute trunk load of homework to make up excuses for not doing, but he had so far managed to avoid anything even slightly work-like, aside from occasionally reading some of the daily newspapers people left on the tables at the Leaky Cauldron.
Well, reading the comics, not the 'real' newspaper stories; those were boring, although the news about a nutter called Sirius Black escaping was mildly interesting. There were certainly enough people talking about it to make Harry take note.
He sent a few pre-written form letters to his friends, in particular Hermione, but since he dictated those letters before he knew he would be spending his holidays in the alley, only a couple were still usable. Besides, he did not want to get into the habit of writing loads of letters, in case it encouraged people to expect more from him.
Buried amongst his birthday presents and cards was also his Hogwarts letter, with its attached list of things he needed to get around to buying before school started, and an extra bit of paper that turned out to be a permission slip for going to the local village on weekends.
It was a bit late to somehow convince his uncle to make his chop on it now, but all was not lost. After all, it wasn't like Harry hadn't needed Vernon's signature for various school related activities before, and getting the real thing was often far too difficult, or just not worth the effort.
Taking a ballpoint pen from one of his pockets, Harry quickly and easily scrawled a decent approximation of Vernon's signature in the appropriate place on the slip. He was tempted to sign it Vermin Dundersly, as he had on several other occasions, but he didn't want to push his luck.
Well, not too far anyway.
Hagrid the grounds keeper's gift of a living book that promptly tried to bite Harry's hand off was a bit of a surprise, but it wasn't the worst or even the strangest mail Harry received.
The strangest was a simple note, just one line, written on a Muggle birthday card that could have been bought from any corner store in London.
"Happy birthday, from your Godfather," the note said.
Since he didn't even know he had a Godfather, it was definitely weird, especially when it was signed with what looked like a paw print. Figuring it would likely be one of those things that sorted itself out without any intervention required on his part, Harry simply accepted the card for what it was and moved on without giving it another thought.
The worst letter was from the Ministry of Magic and contained a small booklet entitled: "Your Body and You – a Guide for new Adolescents."
With a horrifying feeling of dread, and an overwhelming morbid fascination, Harry opened the slim textbook and began to read, his eyes bulging and his face turning various shades of red as he progressed, horrid curiosity dragging his mind into areas he would not normally venture.
"Dear Merlin," he whispered to himself in horror at the information forcing itself into his mind.
"Hello, Mr Potter," crackled the ancient looking witch behind the counter of Curiosities and Collectibles. "Here to sell your old things again are we?"
"Yes," said Harry grinning widely, "but only if you give me a better price this time."
"Cheeky bugger you are," she laughed.
After spending a great deal of time with Lockhart the previous year, Harry had re-evaluated his worth in the merchandise crazy world. Hearing how much people were willing to pay for his old books and clothes made Harry realise that, while he was happy with the deal he made previously, he could do a lot better.
Harry liked money. Money meant, amongst other things, being able to pay somebody else to do the stuff he didn't want to. With enough money, he figured he could pay people to do even the most mundane task for him, like walking.
To somebody who knew how to fly a broom, or a magic carpet, walking was definitely over-rated.
"Most of my clothes still fit, so I've only got a couple of sets to sell I'm afraid," he said. "And I'll need to keep most of my books for revision and stuff."
It wasn't exactly a lie, but flooding the market with cheap, elf made socks had taught Harry to keep supply tight.
"Well, for a few galleons I'll swap all your old worn-out things for new ones," suggested the witch.
"Okay, you give me ten galleons and all new gear, item for item then," Harry said. "And I'll even throw in a couple of photos of me and Gilderoy Lockhart I have. Signed by both of us, no less."
Harry knew it wasn't usual for people to walk out of a shop with more money than they went in, and with all new purchases to boot, but the smile on the old sales-witch told him there were no losers in this transaction.
"Cheeky bugger," she repeated with another laugh.
"Hey, Nev," said Harry, spying one of his year-mates pacing outside a shop. "What's up, mate?"
"I've lost my book list," whispered Neville nervously as he frantically checked and rechecked his pockets. "Gran's going to kill me."
Harry caught a glimpse of an elderly, very stern looking woman approaching them as Neville's panic grew. She did not look like somebody Harry wanted to cross, and it was far too late to make a run for it as she had very clearly seen Harry talking to Neville.
"Here, take mine," he said quickly thrusting his list into Neville's hand as he put his arm around Neville in what he hoped looked like a friendly, casual manner.
Smiling, he watched Neville's gran close the last few feet between them. There followed an incredibly awkward moment where Neville did his best to formally introduce them, while Harry tried hard to ignore the almost savage corrections and comments elderly Mrs Longbottom made on Neville's earnest efforts.
He finally managed to excuse himself and get away after spotting a tanned Hermione carrying what looked like a small, ugly tiger.
"So Hermy, that's a lovely puss-"
"Don't even think about finishing that comment if you value your life," interrupted Hermione.
"I was just going to comment on how wonderful it is that we can all get to see your puss-" Harry tried again.
"I have been forced by my incredibly lame father to watch 'Are you being Served' at least a thousand times, Harry, and if you insist on using any of those jokes –"
"You mean the ones about Mrs Slowcu-"
"-I'll introduce you to some very nasty hexes I discovered in a very old book Ron brought back from Egypt for me."
"Ron? Bought you a book?" asked Harry incredulously. "A book not about Quidditch?"
"It was very nice thing he did to thank me for all the help I gave him last year," she explained a bit defensively. "Even if it wasn't totally his idea, and even if he didn't write to me often while he was on holidays, at least he made an effort and didn't just send me form letters!"
"Hey, I filled in the blanks!" said Harry.
"You sent Susan the same letter," said Hermione indignantly.
"No I didn't," said Harry. "It was completely different!"
"The only thing different was my name at the top," she snapped. "And an extra line insulting me about the number of subjects I am taking this year."
"See? Completely different!" said Harry, smiling innocently. "Personalised and all."
"You are, without a doubt, one of the most infuriating boys I have ever met," she said.
"And you are already stressing out before you even take a single class," laughed Harry. "Just like I said you would. Now, stop nagging and let me touch your puss-"
"That's it," she screamed dropping the huge fur ball and reaching for her wand, but Harry was already gone, moving much faster than somebody as lazy as he should have been able to.
Laughing, Hermione took off after him, leaving a gobsmacked Neville and his disapproving grandmother behind.
"And you associate with these children?" the older Longbottom asked.
"Not often, but it sure beats putting up with Malfoy," said Neville, distracted and not really thinking about who he was speaking too.
"Indeed," agreed the matron, surprising her grandson.
"Potter," drawled Malfoy.
"Hmmmff," mumbled Harry, squinting his eyes and twisting his jaw.
Draco paused for a moment, completely unsure what to do next.
"Is he having a seizure or something?" he finally asked the girls watching Harry.
"He scoffed his ice-cream and has brain freeze," Susan Bones answered, ignoring the rudeness of Draco not bothering to acknowledge her presence before asking his question.
She sedately took another small spoon of her own desert while Harry pounded his fist on his forehead.
"Just how big a bite did he take?" asked Draco, unable to take his eyes off the spectacle Harry was making.
"I don't think he could actually fit any more in his mouth," admitted Hannah as Harry began banging his head on the table, his fist apparently not doing the job.
"Well, when he recovers, tell him father says he shouldn't be too public about catching up with his godfather," said Draco, finally managing to take his eyes away from where Harry was convulsing on the floor to look at the two girls.
"Thank you," said Draco, then he turned and walked away.
"Well that was a lot politer than usual," said Susan as Harry dragged himself up off the floor.
"You know you could have just talked to him," suggested Hannah.
"Nah," said Harry, picking up the spoon he had dropped earlier. "Trust me, this way is much easier than trying to pretend I know whatever the hell he is talking about, and it's kind of fun."
Hannah laughed. Susan shook her head and took another dainty spoonful of her desert. She looked up just in time to see Harry shovel another massive lump of ice cream into his mouth, this time for no discernible reason.
"Boys," she sighed as Harry clutched his head between his hands and began to silently scream.