Author name: Ruskbyte
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Author's Note: Let the mayhem begin! People with weak stomachs should avoid what follows.
~ A Family Affair ~
Not all that different from what I remember.
Some part of me had been hoping this place had been razed to the ground.
Like the Burrow.
Another part is delighted; it means I can finally take my revenge on them.
I've been waiting a long time...
It really hasn't changed all that much.
Different car standing in the driveway.
Different flowers around the garden.
Personally I preferred the Begonias.
I wonder if they're still here, or if they moved away. Only one way to find out, I suppose. It's a Sunday, so they should be home. They never used to go out on Sundays. Wonderful preservers of habit and routine. They wouldn't change their customs if their lives depended on it. Which in a way they do, since I'm stopping by for a visit.
I walk up the path to the front door. The garden lawn is as immaculate as ever. They must have found someone else to do all their dirty work after I was imprisoned. Heh, they were probably angrier with me for that, for making them spend some of their money, than they were with the fact of why I was being condemned. Or maybe they got smart and took in another orphan to use as slave labour. Someone else to hide in the cupboard under the stairs. Someone else to neglect and abuse.
If I find anyone in that cupboard I'll do worse than kill them.
I knock on the door.
Who am I kidding? I'm going to do worse than kill them anyway.
I knock on the door again.
A bellowed response. "I'm coming, dammit!"
I knock on the door one last time.
Just to get his goat.
"Dammit, I'm right here!" he practically spits as he swings the door open. Glaring at me like some malevolent gargoyle. Gargoyles are better looking, actually. Goyle. Malfoy's lackey. I'd say he and Uncle Vernon here have about the same brain capacity. Who knows, maybe they share that lone, itty-bitty, grey cell between them. No, probably not. That would be giving them too much credit. Neither of them would willingly share anything with anyone. Vernon especially.
His face is almost puce coloured as he glares at me and bellows in my face. "Who are you and what d'you want here?!?!" A spray of spit in my face. Not too different from a garden hose during a hot summer day. Maybe a bit wetter though. Doesn't matter. My power takes care of it. Not a drop touches me.
I purr the name.
"As charmingly ebullient as ever. Why am I not surprised?"
He blinks in surprise.
Tries to recognise me.
Not surprised he can't.
the name curdles darkly in the corners of my mind
--scarcely bothered to pay any attention to me.
Except when things went wrong.
They'll be paying a great deal of attention to me soon.
Things are about to go very wrong.
"Do I know you, boy?"
He doesn't recognise me.
But he addresses me as he always did.
I'm going to enjoy this.
"Actually, Vernon, you do know me. Much to your regret."
A puckered frown.
Anyone with two brain cells would have recognised me by now.
He only has the one, and half of that is on permanent loan to the Gargoyle.
Time to remind him.
"It's been a while, hasn't it, Vernon?"
Nearly four years now.
"Nearly four years now. More actually."
He tries to slam the door shut in my face. I stop him with a hand. He's a big man, Vernon is. Stocky, with lots of meat on his bones. Unlike Dudley, his weight isn't entirely made up of blubber. Even with my newfound height and build he's bigger than me. Should be stronger. Definitely has more weight to throw behind him that I do. My hand is pressed flat against the door, holding it half open. I can see his consternation. He's straining himself. Shifting to push against the door with all his not inconsiderable weight. I hold the door open with just my one hand and with such ease as if I were pushing against a newborn baby rather than an adult sumo wrestler. Puffing and panting in his exertions as he struggles against my opposing force.
I'm stronger than he is. Stronger than anyone alive. Or dead.
Azkaban may have driven me to the brink of sanity--
--but I'm as intelligent as ever. More so even.
There's a fine line between insanity and genius.
I frequently cross from one side to the other.
What would happen if the power I gained in my freedom were to leave as suddenly as it came? I cannot risk being left without something to defend myself. I was always a better than average magic user. Powerful. Focused. I could perform the Patronus Charm, which even adult witches and wizards find difficult, when I was only thirteen. But I haven't used my magic since my betrayal and incarceration in Azkaban.
I don't know if I even remember how.
I certainly don't think I'll ever be able to produce a Patronus.
You need a happy memory for that.
I think it's time that I make myself a happy memory.
The memory of when I was finally able to take revenge on my "family".
Years of subservience. Years of degradation. Years of neglect.
Ten years in a cupboard... alone in the dark, under the stairs.
Yes, my vengeance will be a sweet memory.
My regenerated body is a masterpiece. Three years of wasting away in Azkaban. Undone in a moment. I made myself better than I was before. Better. Stronger. Faster. I have that tall, lean, sleek and toned look of an athlete. But I am stronger than I seem to be. Stronger than anyone would believe possible. I can crush stone blocks into powder with out straining. Dobby was very alarmed by that accident. I'd been thinking about those red haired traitors at the time. My hands clenched on the stone railing I was holding and it crumbled like so much dust. My tower, the Needle, is a mile high. Taller than any building in the world. I can climb the stairs, from ground to roof, in less than five minutes. I don't even breathe hard afterwards. I could rip a man three times my size apart with my bare hands. Haven't tried it yet, but I haven't been in the same room as Vernon Dursley until now. Speaking of which...
A slight flexing of my arm and the door Vernon has been straining against it knocked wide open. It actually comes of its hinges as the old fool tumbles to the floor and lands on his fat arse.
"Vernon? Who is-- VERNON!!!"
Ah, my beloved Aunt Petunia. As horse faced as ever I see.
Horse faced. Soon I'll be saying that literally. Soon...
"Who are you? What do you want?"
She's shrieking at me.
Irritating, harsh, voice.
Kneeling down, next to Vernon.
"What do I want?"
The question is dripping with scorn. With contempt. Aunt Petunia is helping that tub of lard husband of hers to his feet, both of them staring up at me. Eyes wide with worry, with alarm, with fright, with terror. I will relish this moment for years to come. Finally, I have them cowering before me. Like the animals they are. For they are animals. Nobody, nothing human, would have done what they did to me. And now, now that I am no longer human myself, now that I am so much more, now that I am all but a god... now I will return the favour.
We're missing one last character in this little play.
Ah, so he is here.
I had wondered.
Probably not. I'll wager he's still living here.
Big D would never be able to survive on his own.
I did. I still do.
His face goes white when he sticks his head through the living room door.
"Who are you?" Just as belligerent as his father. As his mother. "What are you doing to my folks?"
I smile that vampire smile I've perfected.
They cringe at the sight.
Aunt Petunia whimpers against Vernon.
Dudley pales another shade of white.
Vernon, to my surprise, demonstrates a modicum of bravery.
He shields his wife behind him and tries to match my eyes.
I ignore them for a moment. The front door is lying at my feet. I step through the empty doorway and into the house, the place where I grew up. Ah, there's my cupboard. So close. So far. So long ago. A lifetime. More. I step further into the house and off the fallen door. I glance down at it and with a nod of my head it rises into the air. Slides snugly back into its proper place. Can't have the neighbours watching, after all. This is a private matter. Family only.
"You - you're one of them, aren't you?" Vernon accuses, going red in the face. He snarls, not unlike that horrible bulldog his sister had. What was its name again? Ripper. "Get out! I will not tolerate any abnormal freaks such as you in my house! D'you hear me? Get out! OUT!!"
"I am not one of them," I counter.
Anger rises, bubbles and boils within me at the thought of being compared to those traitors. I would have willing abandoned them entirely after my escape from Azkaban, would have never returned to their forsaken world of magic, were it not for Voldemort. I came back with the sole purpose of killing that bastard. And to take my revenge on those that betrayed me. Abandoned me. After that, when I am done, Harry Potter will disappear. I enjoyed those three months in the Muggle world. When my task is finally complete, that is where I shall return to.
"You can't trick us, you -- gurkle!"
I've clamped my hand on his throat, choking him off. It's not easy. The man has a neck as thick as a bull. If I weren't as strong as I am now, I'd never be able to do this. I raise my arm, lifting his feet clear of the floor. There's only the slightest tremor in my muscles, the strain is barely noticeable. I could hold him here all morning.
"Never compare me to those miserable creatures," I snap. I pull my arm in so that I'm looking right into his eyes, my own aflame with burning anger. "I am nothing like them. Nothing!"
I toss him back, so that he crashes against Aunt Petunia, knocking them both to the floor in a heap.
"Mum! Dad!" Dudley runs to join them.
Aunt Petunia looks up at me.
I can see when the realization hits her.
The widening of her eyes.
The catch in her breath.
"Oh my God."
"Now that" I agree, smiling that smile, "is a far better description of what I am."
"Petunia? What is it? What's wrong?" Vernon is clamouring to his feet, helping Aunt Petunia up. She doesn't look away from me, her gaze frozen on me. I wonder what triggered it. The hair? She was always complaining about my hair. The eyes? Was it her sister's eyes that she finally recognised? I doubt it could have been my face. After three years in hell, I bear only the vaguest resemblance to the sixteen year old boy she last saw me as. It couldn't have been the scar, that damned scar. I made sure my hair was hiding it from view before I left the Needle.
"It's him," she whispers, unable to break my gaze. "It's him."
"Who? Dammit, Petunia, what are you talking about?"
"Really, Uncle Vernon," I doubt even he could fail to realize who I am now. After all, who else would call him Uncle Vernon, save his only nephew. Me. "I would have thought it was obvious."
He turns white as a sheet.
That makes me angry again.
He doesn't even have the decency to call me by name!
"Yes," I confirm darkly, "the boy."
He turns red as a Muggle fire hydrant.
"You miserable little ingrate! How dare you show your face here!"
He charges at me, just like the bull that he is.
I watch as he storms towards me, his jowls bouncing up and down with every step. Moustache bristling under his nose. Piggy eyes glistening with hatred. Hatred that doesn't hold a candle to my own. He's moving so slowly. So slowly. It will take him a minute to cross the room and reach me. It's that different perception of time I've been experiencing ever since leaving Azkaban. A moment lasting an eternity. An age passing by in an eye blink.
He's starting to move his arms. Spreading them out wide to grab me. Crush me. I watch him as he comes. He's taking so long I'd have time for a cuppa before I need worry about him. Still, I have to wonder. What should I do? With my power I could tear him into bloody ribbons with scarcely a thought. Or simply will him out of existence. But I won't. He's a simple minded man. He wouldn't appreciate what I can do to him using my power. He wouldn't understand it. He'd certainly be scared of it, but he wouldn't understand it.
That he will understand.
Most men do.
A leftover from when we used to beat on our chests and hit the women over the head with our clubs before dragging them off to the nearest cave for a night of shagging. Heh. I wonder if I should be thinking that literally. If anyone had to knock a woman unconscious so that he could get her in bed, Vernon would. Dudders as well. After all, what woman in her right mind would willingly fuck an oaf of a neanderthal like Vernon? I certainly can't imagine my prissy Aunt...
"Oh yes, Vernon! Yes! Harder! Harder, Vernon! Harder! Faster! Oh, yes!"
Then again, maybe I can imagine it. Gods, I wish I hadn't. That was certainly not an image I'd ever want to see. Vernon's fat arse pumping away between Aunt Petunia's skinny legs. Rates up there with that bitch of a whore Umbridge in a string bikini. Or worse even, Snape in a bikini. Snape and Umbridge together, taking those same bikinis off... I have to swallow against the bile rising up from that thought.
Children are always supposed to have difficulty imagining their parents having sex. It's one of those things they'd rather not think about I suppose. Not me. I fantasize about it. Watching them. James and Lily. Hearing their voices crying out with pleasure as their bodies slam together in the height of passion. I considered it to be the ultimate expression of their love. Their love for each other. The love that resulted in my birth.
I can certainly deal with that more easily than I can the concept of Vernon and Aunt Petunia going at it.
Hmm, he's getting closer. Almost half way at me.
To his jaw.
To his gut.
His eyes bulge and his cheeks puff out as his breath is expelled in a rush. Like a puppet that's strings have been cut he goes limp. I take a short step back, getting my distancing right. He's beginning to collapse, falling down, but it will be minutes before he reaches the floor. I still have time. I twist and plant my foot against his chest.
Time catches up.
Vernon has suddenly changed direction, thanks to my punches and the kick. I'm sure he's going to have whiplash from the abruptness of it. He literally flies backwards, sailing through the air. Ten, fifteen feet straight back and into the wall between where Aunt Petunia and Dudley are standing. He impacts with a resounding crash, leaving a cartoon-like Vernon shaped dent in the plaster. Hangs suspended for a second before dropping to the floor with an equally resounding crash. The entire house seems to be shaking. Picture frames, photos of this happy family (minus myself of course) tumble from their places on the wall. The sound of glass breaking as they spill to the floor all round.
Dudley and Aunt Petunia are screaming. Aunt Petunia drops to her knees and tries to help Vernon, but his eyes are still crossed. Doubt he even knows where he is right now. Dudley bellows, rather like a bull chasing a cow in heat I suppose, and follows in his father's footsteps. Apparently he's not quite the coward I remember him being. Hiding in the corner from Hagrid. Squealing at the mere sight of the Weasleys, especially Fred and George. Mewling pathetically as the Dementors approached. Perhaps he's forgotten. Or he's just stupid. There's a fine line --I know-- between courage and stupidity. Knowing Dudley, and his parents, I'll wager on this being a display of his stupidity.
He swings at me. He had developed a fondness for boxing before I left. I wouldn't have expected him to just come in with arms flaying about like this. Such a lack of control. Lack of finesse. This will just make it easier. I duck under his first punch. Under his second as well. Rise up and block his third with my arm. Clamp my hand on his wrist, latching on to him and holding him in an iron grip. I squeeze. The sound of bones cracking like dry twigs fills the house. He barely has time to register what I've done when I swing him around --like a rag doll, not that I ever had a chance to see one, let alone play with one-- and slam him into the wall. Like Vernon, he leaves a dent. Picture frames fall like an avalanche again.
"My, how the mighty have fallen."
I sneer at them. Snape would be impressed.
I reach down, pick Dudley up by the front of his shirt. It clearly strains not to tear under his weight as I carry him to the other side of the entrance hall and deposit him in a heap by his parents. Vernon seems to have shaken off his daze and is glaring up at me. A mixture of hate and fear. Mostly fear. Aunt Petunia looks utterly terrified and is trying to pull Dudley's bulk closer to her. Whether for his comfort or hers I don't know. She isn't having much success.
I squat down on my haunches, more or less eye-level with the three of them.
"I tortured one of my professors until she was insane."
"I raped and butchered two of my classmates."
"I murdered the very first friend I ever had."
Of course, I didn't really do any of that.
Of course, they don't know that.
I grin. The smile Death makes when he comes for you.
"Now it's your turn."
Dudley's blubbering like he always does. Clutching his wrist to his chest with his good hand. Looking at me with unrestrained terror in his dull eyes. Terror that I created within him. Vernon's still glaring at me, but I think it's more out of habit than anything else. The fear he's feeling is literally reeking off of him. It smells wonderful. Tastes even better. A nectar and ambrosia that I willingly feast upon. Delicious. Even better than Dobby's breakfast earlier this morning. Must remember to find out how he makes those eggs so perfect. Aunt Petunia looks at me, dread in her eyes. She's not sneering disdainfully at me any more. I think, perhaps more than the other two, that she can sense the inevitability of this meeting.
Harry? This is the first time I can remember her ever calling me by name.
"--why are you doing this to us?"
Is it because she's scared of me now? Terrified? Trying to placate me?
Might as well try to stave of Death itself by holding out a bouquet of roses.
Or maybe a box of little chocolates, all shaped like little scythes...
Is that what she asked?
Would she really dare?
Could they honestly be that stupid?
Could they honestly not understand?
"You want to know why? Why I am here? Why I am doing this? Why I have come for you?"
My voice is a deadly whisper.
"Did you really think I would forget? Forget all those years? All those years in the cupboard? All those years of being given hand-me-down clothes? All those years having my birthday ignored? All those years when I got toothpicks and paperclips for Christmas? All those years I did chores while Dudley sat on his fat arse and watched the telly? All those years of being punished for things I did not do or could not control? Did you really think I would forget everything you did to me? That I wouldn't, one day, come back?"
I rise to my feet. Towering over them. I manipulate the world around us. Making it darker. Shadows deepen and lengthen as if the day were suddenly winding down and settling into night, rather than midmorning. My voice is still a whisper, rasping in the utter silence filling this miserable house. Not a sound from outside intrudes. A silencing charm perhaps? I don't know and don't particularly care either. If it helps scare these creatures cowering at my feet, then it's fine by me.
"Did you really think I wouldn't want to repay your generosity?"
Aunt Petunia winces at the harshness of this question. The sarcasm I ladened that last word with. Generosity indeed. As if they ever went out of their way to accommodate me during my time with them.
"Did you really think I wouldn't want revenge?"
A foul stench reaches my nose. A bitter, acrid smell. I know it. After years in Azkaban, even if I was completely out of my mind during that time, I couldn't help but know the smell of someone fouling himself. It happened to me often enough I imagine, though I can't remember it. Being mentally brutalized by the Dementors tends to cause one to lose control of one's body for a time. A long time. Until I escaped. Until I killed those foul creatures and erased their blight from my mind and soul.
I wonder which one it is. Ah, Dudley. Ever the coward. I can see the dark stain of his piss soaking through the front of his trousers. He's shivering uncontrollably, almost as if he's in the throes of a fit. Rather like how he was after that brief encounter with the Dementors before my fifth year. I wonder if perhaps I took a part of the Dementors with me when I wiped them out and levelled their island. If I could duplicate their effect...
I shift around until I'm standing right in front of my cousin. The boy who tormented me. Harry Hunting. He's still a boy. I'm a man. I kick him once, twice. Not hard, just enough to focus his attention on me. "Tell me, Dudley... Dudley, are you listening? Are you?" I wait until he nods. Doesn't meet my eyes though. No surprise. "Good. Now, tell me... d'you remember Hagrid?"
He shakes his head dumbly. Again, not a surprise. From what I remember and what I know of Dudley, if it's not served to him on a plate then he's not likely to pay much attention to it. I prod him again with my foot. "Of course you do, Dudley. Big man. Had a little pink umbrella. Gave you a present."
Still, he shakes his head. More emphatically now. Perhaps he does remember, but is in denial.
"Oink oink, Dudders."
Another smell --even fouler than the last-- as he loses control of his bowels. Yes, he remembers Hagrid. And, if the horror dawning in his eyes, dawning in Vernon's eyes, dawning in Aunt Petunia's eyes, is any indication... he remembers what Hagrid did to him all those years ago. In the shack on the rock in the sea on my birthday. Quite a tale. Quite a tail. What was it my friend said? Tried to change him into a pig, but he was so much like one already that a tail was the best he could manage. Something like that. Thanks for the inspiration, Hagrid. I'll make you proud.
"No." Vernon whispers the denial, even as Dudley changes. I make it a slow transformation. Not like an Animagus. Not like transfiguration. This is more like the change of a man into a werewolf. Slow and painful. As painful I hope as what Lupin feels each full moon. For some reason, as the change comes to completion, I'm amused to note that Hagrid was right, as he so often was. There really wasn't that much of a difference. Vernon struggles to his feet. "No! Turn him back!"
"I have a better idea," I counter, rounding on him. Grinning with a demented glee that has been threatening to escape me since my arrival here. Vernon steps back, realizing that he would have been wise not to turn my attention to him. He stumbles over Aunt Petunia and crashes to the floor. I give him just long enough to hear my words and comprehend them before I repeat the process I just subjected Dudley to. "Why don't I let you keep him company?"
He opens his mouth, either to protest or beg, but all that comes out is a squeal. He has only a moment to register surprise before the change accelerates. By the time he has recovered enough to try again it's too late. As with Dudley, he doesn't look all that different as a pig to what he did as a human. If he was ever human to begin with. A bleating noise as he tries to charge at me. Blind panic. Blind stupidity, if he thinks that will help.
I drop to one knee and smash my fist into his forehead just before he reaches me. His skull's thicker as a pig than as a human, so the blow doesn't kill him. Unlucky for him, considering what I have planned. He staggers backwards unsteadily, only able to remain upright for a few steps before his legs collapse under him. Aunt Petunia is screaming and wailing and howling in terror and desperation and horror. Bargaining. Cajoling. Pleading. Begging.
I look at her now. Aunt Petunia. Aunt. Hardly. She was never my aunt. Just another one of the trials I had to suffer through during my youth. My youth, not my childhood. I never had a childhood.
Because of them.
Because of her.
Just Petunia then.
"Don't worry, Petunia, I'm not going to turn you into a pig," I tell her, rising once again. She looks up at me, a hint of hope in her eyes. I shatter that hope with a cruel delight that I've never known before, but cannot help enjoy. "No, there's a far more fitting animal I can turn you into. Something much more appropriate."
I had planned to turn her into a horse.
She's certainly got the face for one.
But I rather like horses.
Rather like unicorns.
Graceful and elegant creatures.
If you discount the Thestrals.
Petunia is hardly graceful.
It would be wrong.
So... I think a mule will do instead.
A beast of burden.
Something she considered me to be.
All those chores.
I have to step back to make room. A mule, even a skinny one like Petunia, takes up a lot more space than Dudley and Vernon. Of course, that's not saying much. Those pigs are definitely large enough to win tournaments. It's getting rather crowded in here with the three of them. Petunia screams, but it trails off as she changes to my will. Stomping around in a panic, causing more damage to the room than I did with her frantic motions. As if that will help. Dumbledore himself, even with Voldemort's help (should the impossible come to pass), would not be able to reverse what I've done to the three of them.
They're too busy having a right panic to realize I'm leaving them in the entrance hall and going into the sitting room. It only takes a moment to find Vernon's scotch. The bottle drifts across the room and into my hand. Well well, look at this. Vernon actually has --had-- some discerning taste. Twenty year old scotch. The same age as I am. Same age as Dudley, which probably explains it. I call a tumbler and it comes to me. I break the neck of the bottle, I don't really need to, but it feels satisfying to damage something Vernon has obviously been saving for a long, long time. Pour myself a shot.
Oh, that's good.
Pity to waste it like this.
But some things can't be avoided.
I finish the scotch with a gulp.
Then I throw the bottle across the room.
It shatters against the wall.
Liquor sprays over everything.
I focus on Dudley's clothes, out in the entrance hall with the animals. Yes, he still smokes. I don't have any interest in his cigarettes though. No. I want the matches. Ah, no matches. A lighter. Cheap one too. Cheap fags for that matter. I call the lighter to me, just as I called the tumbler. A brief pause in the bleating noises coming from the animals. They must have noticed the lighter drifting up into the air and out of the room. I take it in hand.
I look at the wall where I threw the bottle of scotch.
I look at the lighter in my hand, now unable to go out.
I throw it.
I go outside. I don't use the front door. I just disappear and reappear. So similar to Apparation in appearance. So dissimilar in execution. No need to say goodbye to the mule and two pigs. They never bothered to say goodbye to me, why should I give them that now that I'm done with them. I'm outside now, on the opposite side of the street, standing in front of number five Privet Drive. I can see the glow of the fire through the living room window. I settle back and watch.
I feel them arriving. Wizards. Witches. Aurors or possibly members of the Order. Apparently Dumbledore finally worked out the clue I gave him. The note I had Dobby deliver this morning during breakfast. Pitifully slow response. Clearly the old fart is succumbing to his advanced years. I had expected better from him. Strange that I should do that. I can see them from where I'm standing. They don't see me. I won't let them. I want to enjoy this moment, this spectacle, without interruption. Without disturbance. Without interference.
They don't know what to do. Looking about blankly as the flames grow and grow. I think it's me; making them grow so quickly, so wildly, so enthusiastically. Engulfing the house. Beautiful. All those wonderful colours. Yellows and oranges. A bit of red. I don't like red. Reminds me too much of my time in Gryffindor. But there's not a lot of it. Mostly flickering yellow and orange, dancing inside this place that I've hated for so long. I feel like crying. In fact, I think I already am. I lift up a hand to touch my cheek. Yes... it's wet. I'm crying. I've been wanting this for so long, so horribly long, that I am actually crying now that it has come. I'm not ashamed. A grown man crying. No, never ashamed. Such beauty as what I can see opposite me should move anyone, even my betrayers, to tears if they could appreciate the significance of this moment.
For the first time in my life I'm finally free of this place.
The place that was more of a prison to me than Azkaban ever was.
It feels... nice.
Sounds reach my ears over the crackling of the ever growing flames. Those idiots Dumbledore sent aren't even trying to stop the fire from spreading. Wait. They are, but only from spreading to the other houses along Privet Drive. They either think they are too late to save those animals, or they don't realizes that my once erstwhile family are still trapped within the house. The sounds are clearer now. Strange. Inhuman noises. My family. The fire must be consuming them alive.
Wait. A shadow by one of the front windows. It's growing, it's... Petunia. She's taken a running jump, a leap for freedom through the window. The glass shatters easily, spraying outwards and showering those nearby with shards. I can see how the fire has burnt her as she staggers into the street. Burns and blisters all over her body, her mane and tail have been burnt almost completely away and some parts of her coat are still burning, smoking. She stumbles, weak from her wounds or in pain I can't tell. Maybe both. It's a bad fall. I can hear one of her legs snapping from where I stand. I smile. I know what happens to lame horses. With luck the same applies to mules.
More noises. Inside the house. And a smell. A familiar smell. Screams of pain. No. Squeals. Porcine squeals of two animals that are being burnt alive, consumed by fire. The smell is growing thicker in the air as the bleating wails of my two male relatives fade away. Yes, I recognise that smell. I smelt it just this morning at the breakfast table. The memory makes my mouth water, though some of the Aurors seem to be reacting in an opposite fashion. Pathetic. I would've thought that those who fight Voldemort and his minions, on an almost daily basis, would be made of sterner stuff. Certainly they should have stronger stomachs. I breathe deeply, luxuriating in the smell of my triumph. My revenge.
Ah, Hagrid, my old friend.
We should've done this years ago.
dementorchic - If you're lucky, you'll spot this update before you log off.
Drizzt of the 203-SAW - Keeps things interesting.
Harmoni - After seeing what Harry does to anyone that crosses him, nobody would possibly be crazy enough to try and ally themselves with him.
ffnetjoel - I think the source of Harry's power will remain a mystery to all involved.
theef - Thank you.
Mikito - Ah, cliffhangers... it's been too long.
Cataclysmic - Thanks.
The Keymaker - Harry's not really evil... well, maybe he is, but that depends on your point of view.
FroBoy - Working on it.
koosei - Why? Why? Why? Better not let Harry hear you ask that.
ChennaiChica - Male. ~Checks his pants just to be sure~ Yes, definitely male.
PyRoDeViL - We don't start weapons training until we reach black belt.
Sally-Jo - Maybe. Maybe not. We'll have to see how I feel.
illiamwa - Oh, Harry's going to meet a lot of people.
Sailor Sol - Hope you enjoyed it.
taruial - I'm not entirely sure how I'm doing it either.
Dawniky - No, but he is going to be trying his hand at interior decorating in the next chapter. Should prove... entertaining.
Lindiel Eryn - I hope to make each of Harry's encounters unique in their own way.
Draco664 - Each punishment will be tailor fitted.
Rogue1615 - Harry will be having his first encounter with Voldemort's minions come chapter seven or so. Only way to describe it... ouch.
coolpadfoot - Not just yet, but there will be an encounter between Harry and a large force of Aurors before the end of the fic. Expect a high body count.
Cr1Ms0n^D3v1L - They certainly did.
Senri - At this point Harry's out for blood on anyone that ever so much as looked at him funny. It's quite a long list.
silverleaf - Yep, you read right. Harry's friends did indeed know of his innocence, though the circumstances are very convoluted.
Mage of Shadows - He might rape one of them early on, but after that his encounters with his old friend are going to become more... creative than anything so crude.
Geor-sama - Harry and Petunia? Ew... that's just... ew!
Ravel - There's no such thing as too much sugar.
X a r a l i n d - With luck this was even scarier.
SmacksKiller - Harry's kindness to Dobby is part of the duality I'm trying to express in him. One moment almost like the boy we knew, the next... bam!
Queen of Vegetasei - Actually I was thinking more along the lines of staking someone out over a patch of bamboo shoots.
OrionTheHunter - Hopefully your heart's still beating and you're still with us.
harryandbrennan-luver200317 - Working on it.
mashimaromadness - There will, sadly, a few other slow chapters later on, but they're important to the plot (I think) so please bear with me.
MidnightKat - I hope that I shall continue to do so.
Annison Crane - Explanations will come much later on.
BlackDiva - Just keep repeating; evil is good!
Calimora - Definitely.
Taya - I'm pleased to know the story comes across as uniquely as I had hoped.
CelticKnight - If you're into Dursley torture, wait for Shattering of Souls. Those poor fools aren't going to know what hit them.
RaistlinofMetallica - Well, he might hook up with someone and spend the rest of his days shagging her instead, but it's still up in the air.
Anon - Tall, dark and brooding.
Black Rose9 - Done and done.
Sharker11 - I would if I could.
vsd2oc - Gabrielle will be making an appearance around chapter nine, maybe eight.
miles militis ab perditio - I dunno if I'll be having Harry cackling insanely, though some maniacal laughter can never be a bad thing.
Darth Kottaram - I hope everyone noticed how I had Harry refering to her as Aunt Petunia right up until he decides she's not worth it.
azntgr01 - He wanted a barbeque.
i hate those damn cliffies - What's wrong with a good cliffy?
keebler-elmo - You've gotta love that house-elf. He's just so... so... Dobby!
Virusgod - No kidding.