Harry James Potter swayed back and forth, the rusty chains of the swing set creaking ominously with every movement, offset only by the rumbling of distant thunder.
If one were to look at the face of young Harry, they would likely relate his expression to the approaching storm – dark and moody. And if one thought that, then they'd likely find themselves correct in their comparison, as Harry's mind indeed felt like a wild and chaotic storm to him. That was probably to be expected though, as the focus of his thoughts – the eye of the storm as it were – was a topic so dark and morbid that it was little wonder that he failed to comprehend it entirely.
Even with the way his life seemed like a constant battle, Harry Potter still couldn't understand the full concept of war.
Because despite the way that the Ministry of Magic was denying it, there was no other word for this than war. The Dark Lord – Voldemort – had returned at the end of last year, and even though he was laying low, it didn't mean he was going to suddenly decide that instead of waging war he was going to open up a bakery instead. The mental image of Voldemort's scarlet eyes glaring hatefully from above a matching frilly apron shocked Harry through his thoughts, the raven-haired wizard shuddering as he struggled to keep his meagre dinner in his stomach where it belonged.
Flinching as thunder crashed overhead, Harry blinked up at the dark clouds in shock, having not even noticed that there was a storm forming let alone having seen its approach. Shaking it off, he eyed the storm for a moment longer before pushing off the swing and stretching, starting his feet on the familiar path back to Privet Drive. If he didn't make it back before his obese cousin did, then Uncle Vernon was likely to 'accidentally' lock him outside in the rain again, leaving him out there for hours before his Aunt let him in so the neighbours didn't talk.
As he walked, Harry found his mind fading into the background again as he tugged his jacket off and tied it around his waist, the residual heat from the boiling summer's day still lingering despite the storm above.
It was kind of sad, actually.
The Ministry had refused to take a side in the war, stubbornly denying that there were even sides to take as they insisted that Harry was an 'attention-seeking brat'.
Voldemort on the other hand, had made his side rather clear, what with his murder of Cedric Diggory and his constant attempts to kill Harry himself while taking over the world.
And where was the Good to balance out Voldemort's Evil?
No seriously… Where was Dumbledore? He certainly wasn't answering any of Harry's letters. Whatever the Headmaster was doing to fight Voldemort, he wasn't including Harry in it. Wherever Ron and Hermione were, they were involved, that much Harry had managed to glean from their quick letters before they'd stopped coming weeks ago. But despite Harry being more experienced when it came to fighting Voldemort, he was still trapped with his 'loving' family while his friends pretended he didn't exist.
And kidnapped his owl… he couldn't forget that Hedwig hadn't returned from her latest attempt to get information from his friends. He didn't think he could ever forgive them for that.
Well screw them then… and screw Dumbledore in particular. If they were going to treat him like this, then the least he could do would be to return the favour.
His vision blurring suddenly, Harry paused to lean against the wall, waiting for the dizzy spell to pass. And of course, just because this summer hadn't been the absolutely best one he'd ever had, it felt like Harry was coming down with something. He kept breaking out into sweats, his hands had been itchy and red, and to make it all better there was this strange fatigue that made him want to say 'Go to Hell' to the Dursley's overwhelming list of chores and stay in bed all day.
As his vision returned, Harry pushed off the wall and started down the alleyway between Magnolia and Wisteria, flexing his stiff fingers and slowly cracking the joints. Pausing only when sharp pain lanced through his hand, Harry let out a dark hiss as he gently massaged the back of his hand, cautiously wiggling his fingers in fear that the pain would return again. It was only when he managed to stretch both hands without feeling another stabbing pain that Harry relaxed, part of him wondering if he should find a way to contact Madam Pomfrey just in case. Still wiggling his fingers tenderly, Harry rolled his shoulders before turning his hand palm up, pausing for a moment before snapping his fingers.
A sharp jolt – like electricity – shot down his arm into his hand.
And the damp newspaper he could see on the ground beyond his fingers burst into flames.
Mouth open in shock, Harry looked between his fingers and the burning newspaper in horror, wishing he could deny the connection between that spark and the igniting newspaper. Carefully raising his hand, he sent it a nervous look, wiggling his fingers hesitantly as if any movement could set something else on fire – which as far as he knew, it could. When nothing happened, Harry breathed out a sigh of relief, before steeling himself and pointing his hand at a random piece of rubbish littering the alleyway.
A nervous laugh fell from Harry's lips as the foam cup shuddered before bursting into flames as well, the fifteen year old taking aim at some more rubbish before snapping again, a faint grin tugging at his lips as it too ignited. "This is wicked," he exhaled slowly, watching as a plastic bag burst into flames upon a snap of his finger. "Absolutely mad," he admitted with a small shrug as he set something else alight, "But wicked".
How in Merlin's name was he doing that? It was like no type of magic he'd ever heard of before. And to be perfectly honest, even though Harry wasn't able to feel his own magic within him as strongly as some of the others in his year, he just knew that the little jolt of electricity he felt wasn't magic. But if it wasn't magic what was it? It most certainly wasn't a muggle thing, to be able to start fires with a snap of one's fingers. And if it wasn't magic, and it wasn't muggle, then what was it?
It was natural… Harry didn't know how he knew, but he knew it felt natural, like he was supposed to be able to do it. For a moment, he wondered if Ron or Hermione had ever heard of it, before remembering that it wasn't exactly like they'd answer him even if he did ask.
Feeling his good mood going down the drain rapidly as he thought of his traitorous friends, Harry didn't hesitate to snap his fingers, a wide grin splitting his face as he watched a ruined flier ignite. "Awesome," he murmured to himself, "Totally awesome".
The sound of footsteps made him stiffen, quickly shoving his hands into the pockets of his jeans as he stomped on the smoking paper. Turning to face the source of the footsteps, Harry felt his mood plummeting again as the hulking silhouette of his cousin shambled into the mouth of the alleyway, making him fight the urge to gag at the sight of Dudley gnawing on the king-sized bar of chocolate clutched in his fatty fist.
Resisting the desire to twitch as he felt a bead of cold sweat running down the back of his neck, Harry instead straightened his back and shoulders, knowing he couldn't show any weakness in front of his prison-bound cousin. "What's up Big D?" Harry asked innocently, watching as his cousin froze and stared at him in a mix of fear and disgust, "Beat up another ten year old for that?"
"This one deserved it," Dudley spat, coming to a stop just outside of arm's reach from Harry. "He cheeked me, he did".
"Really?" Harry drawled slowly, faking surprise. "Did he say you look like a pig that's been taught to walk? Cause that's not cheek, Diddykins, that's an understatement," he taunted smugly.
As his cousin's fleshy jaw twitched and his face flushed in anger, Harry just grinned. While he couldn't draw his wand on Dudley, he could always relieve stress by insulting his cousin, since the fat boy was too slow to catch the youngest Seeker in a century.
"Think you're a big man carrying that thing do you?" Dudley sneered angrily. "Don't have the guts to take me on without it do you?"
"As opposed to you," Harry countered, nodding at Dudley's stomach, "You're pretty much all gut, aren't you? And to be fair," he added as a thought struck him, making him pull his hands from his pocket and open them, showing his cousin they were empty. "I don't need my wand to be twice the man you are… whereas you're just the size of two men".
Not bothering to hide his grin as Dudley glared at him, Harry just tilted his head slowly, "In fact… I bet I could do whatever I wanted to you, and uh 'my kind', they wouldn't do a thing to stop me," he lied casually. He hadn't seen a single feather, let alone an entire owl since he first started setting things on fire, something that only cemented the fact that it wasn't magic he was using. And if it wasn't magic, that meant that Harry could use it as much as he wanted without getting expelled for it, all the while he would claim that it was magic to his 'family' who wouldn't know better.
"N- No you couldn't," Dudley stuttered, "You wouldn't dare".
"Wouldn't I?" Harry asked innocently, raising his hand and preparing to snap it, "Why not? It would only be fair, it'd be kind, in fact. I could help you burn off that extra weight you've been carrying around". As Dudley paled, Harry pulled his hand back and clucked his tongue, barking out a laugh as the lights went out at that precise moment, a loud thud echoing through the alleyway as Dudley hit the ground in a dead faint.
Shaking his head as he laughed, Harry sighed and lowered his hand, watching his cousin for a moment before sighing once more. "It feels like I'm torturing a puppy or something," he said to himself as he eyed Dudley's unconscious form, "A really stupid puppy". A flicker of guilt rose up in his chest before he ruthlessly pushed it back down. Just because he had known he'd never actually set his cousin on fire, didn't mean Dudley had known that, and now he felt like an utter jerk for scaring his cousin so badly that he fainted.
Looking around at the street-lamps at either end of the alleyway, Harry couldn't help but chuckle again. He couldn't deny that it was perfect timing though, even if he wasn't so sure about why the lights had gone off, it definitely hadn't been him. He couldn't feel his magic within him, nor had he felt the spark of his fire-power thing. Rubbing his chest as a feeling of sudden cold stabbed into it, Harry quickly pulled his jacket back on, groaning as the cold reached deeper than he'd ever imagined it could after such a hot day.
Shaking his head again as something whispered at the back of his mind, like a voice at the edge of his hearing, Harry used his foot to kick some rubbish into a pile closer to Dudley. He couldn't leave his cousin here, and he already knew that trying to wake the sleeping whale was an impossible task, so the best he could do was make sure they both didn't freeze.
Frowning for a moment, looking between his hand and the pile of rubbish, Harry snapped his fingers again – and again… and again… and again. Annoyance flaring through him at the sixth snap, Harry breathed out a sigh of relief as the spark – sparked – again and the rubbish finally caught fire.
Anger then? Anger was the trigger? He could do that, he'd been so angry lately that it was no wonder this power of his had manifested now.
Reaching numbing hands out to the weakly crackling fire, Harry shivered and rubbed them together. Something was wrong, he could feel it in his gut. Even with the storm brewing above his head there was no way that this level of cold was nat- ice.
Watching as his breath crystallized in front of him, the faint light shimmering across the surface of ice crawling across the wall towards him, Harry slowly stood and backed away from his cousin. Surrendering to the urge to draw his wand, he shifted it across to his left hand as he looked up and down the alleyway, raising his right hand to aim it in the direction of one of the dark figures at either end.
Suddenly glad that Dudley was still unconscious as the two dementors started forward, boxing them both in the alleyway, Harry quickly changed tracks mentally and instead thought about the years of abuse he'd suffered at his cousin's hands. He thought of Peter Pettigrew, about how the rat betrayed his parents and then got to live the pampered life as a family pet afterwards. He thought of Cedric's death, about how unfair it was for the seventeen year old, about how he had died so young. He thought of the betrayal of his friends, of how they had turned on him so easily like they had done. He thought of the Ministry, of their constant claims of insanity, despite the fact he was willing to prove it once and for all.
And then he thought of home – of Hogwarts – of the castle he'd never see again if the dementors kissed him.
Hello everyone and welcome to Ignition; my response to my own 'Fire Solves Everything' challenge which can be found below. This story follows a new angle I've never attempted before so I'm really looking forward to seeing how this unfolds. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Oh, and I don't own Harry Potter.
Harry Potter's temper has always been rather dangerous, but it's not until things start bursting into flames that people realise exactly how fiery it is. And now that the fire's been lit, Harry isn't all that willing to let it be smothered again, in fact he's all for letting it burn.
Fire Elemental Harry.
Begins any time after Harry discovers magic.
Harry's powers are unlocked during/after one of his canon adventures.
Either Ron or Hermione must initially react badly to Harry's power.
Elementals are rare, and thus it causes a stir when it is revealed.
Harry cannot have a 'true' mentor, he is self-trained in his powers.
Harry surrendering his control over fire.
Other elementals in HP verse.
Harry controlling more elements than just fire.