CIRCLE OF LIFE

Disclaimer: I own nothing (looks around) except bed, TV, cat, clothes.....but not Harry Potter. It belongs to JK Rowling (sobs into keyboard hysterically for a few minutes before beginning the story).

It was the summer after Harry's fourth year at Hogwarts. This summer was pretty similar to the others in that Harry was treated like an embarrassing secret that just happened to wait on everyone else hand and foot.

Harry entered the kitchen and joined the Dursleys at the breakfast table. They continued their conversation, ignoring Harry. "Anyway, I've spoken to the school outfitters and they told me where I could go to get uniforms in that fit real men like Dudley, not those weedy kids they usually stock uniforms for." Said Uncle Vernon. Dudley had abandoned his diet, and so the Uncle Vernon had spent days shouting at uniform suppliers trying to find uniforms large enough for Dudley.

"Where is this shop, Vernon?" said Aunt Petunia snatching the piece of toast Harry was about to eat and putting it on Dudleys plate.

"London, which means we have to take him," said Uncle Vernon glaring at Harry "as we'll probably be there all day." It took over two hours to get to London from the Dursleys house, as the traffic was so awful.

"Can't I stay with Mrs Figg?" Harry moaned. He hated going out with the Dursleys as the trips never went well, although Mrs Figg's house was very, very boring.

"She's disappeared..probably dead, she's about a hundred" he chucked evilly to himself before continuing "so you have to come with us!"

Several hours later they arrived at the shop. Harry was told to sit on a bench outside and not attract attention. The Dursleys marched into the shop and Harry sat on the bench. Directly across the road from where he was sitting he saw the Leaky Cauldron.

'Maybe I could go in', Harry thought aimlessly 'the Dursleys will probably be ages.' Just as he was about to rise from the bench and go in he heard two people talking as they walked behind him, one of them was Lucius Malfoy

"The raid last night was excellent, I really missed the terrified screams that only muggles can manage."

"Does the Dark Lord know where Harry Potter's relatives live yet?" Harry looked at the ground and fiddled with his shoelace, desperate to keep his face hidden. The two men crossed the road and entered the pub, not knowing how close they had come to fulfilling their masters desire for revenge. 'no,' thought Harry, 'I'm definitely not going in there.'

Harry's summer may have been like any other except for one thing, nighttime. He had nightmares every night about what happened in that graveyard. How he had caused Cedric's death. The memories of seeing his parents come out of Voldemort's wand and the memories of the Cruciatus curse.

About an hour passed on that bench. Harry supposed that Dudley must pose a real challenge to the outfitters. Just as Harry was wondering if it was possible to die of boredom, he heard a shout behind him. "Harry, what do ya think yeh doin'!" Harry jumped up and spun finding himself facing none other than Rubeus Hagrid. "Did you have to do that? You nearly gave me a heart attack!"

"What are you of all people doin' sittin' outside of the Leaky Cauldron? Anyone could see yeh!"

"You think I don't know that! The Dursleys made me come. They're in there (he pointed to the outfitters) with Dudley getting his school uniform."

"So why are you out here when they're in there?"

"They told me to wait outside."

"What! Surely yeh told 'em what danger you're in."

"Well, no." Hagrid looked furious.

"Yeh didn't tell them! Are you mad!"

"Hagrid, they don't want to know. I'm not even allowed to say the word 'magic' in their house. Can you seriously picture them sitting through a 'last year at Hogwarts' talk?" At that moment the three Dursleys came out of the shop and began marching towards the multi - storey car park. Uncle Vernon yelled over his shoulder "Get a move on boy!" Hagrid grabbed Uncle Vernon by the back of the jacket and roared

"What the hell do yeh' think you're doin', leavin' him outside by himself?"

"You!" Roared uncle Vernon "You're that freak who came to take him when he was eleven! Leave us now or I will call the police!"

"Shut up Dursley! Do you have any idea what might've happened while he was out here? Harry has one of the most dangerous murderers ever after him!"

"What!" shouted Uncle Vernon, his face pale.

"I said, Harry's in danger, he's only safe with you three. Take him back to that house of yours. If anything happens to him I'm holding you personally responsible!" Uncle Vernon grabbed Harry by the arm and dragged him back towards the car park, sending a death glare at Hagrid.

When they all got back to the Dursleys' house Uncle Vernon shoved Harry into the living room and immediately began shouting at him. "Why didn't you tell us that someone was after you? Someone who would have to come through us to get to you! The murderer could be on his way here now! Get out. I don't care where you go, just get away from here!" With that Uncle Vernon left the room and began collecting everything of Harry's at the front door. Harry was in shock. He couldn't believe that the Dursleys were sending him out to die. He was quite happy about never seeing them again but what was he going to do? Uncle Vernon re-entered the room and ordered Harry up to his room to gather anything he had missed.

About 10 minutes later Harry was outside in the growing darkness pulling his things along behind him. He decided to pause for a rest and to decide what to do now. Staying outside would be suicide, he needed to talk to someone in the wizarding world that could help him (Hedwig was delivering a letter to Sirius). He could go to the Weasleys', but that would put them in danger.

Harry decided to hail the Knight bus and decide then. He stood near the kerb and stuck out his hand. The purple bus that he had taken two year before appeared with the deafening bang.

Stan Shunpike stepped down and caught sight of Harry "Neville! Pleasure to see you again. Where to this time?"

"Uh, I'm not sure yet. Can I come aboard and decide as you take everyone else to their places?"

"Course! We're pretty full tonight. You'll 'ave to go to the top deck." Harry gave Stan the money and walked up the stairs (His things were magicked up there by Stan.

The top deck had two other occupants; one was an old man who was snoring gently in his bed. The other was a woman whose face Harry couldn't see, as she was deeply immersed in a book about the history of London.

Harry fell onto his bed exhausted. He however could not fall asleep. He hated to admit it, but he was scared. He had nowhere that he could go without putting people in danger, and if Voldemort found out that he was away from the Dursleys, he could kill Harry in a heartbeat.

Harry began taking slow steady breaths with his eyes closed in order to gather his thoughts. He would go to Diagon Alley, collect some money and hide somewhere. He then just had to hope that Voldemort was so set on discovering the Dursley's house that he wouldn't think to look elsewhere for Harry.

Just then Stan came upstairs with a hot chocolate "Here ya go Neville. Do you know where ya going yet?" "Yeah. Diagon Alley please." "Ok. You'll be there in a few hours." With that Stan turned back towards the stairs, almost falling down them as the bus made a great leap into Manchester. As Harry lay back with his drink he heard a woman's voice behind him.

"Neville?!" Harry turned around and almost dropped the steaming mug when he saw that the woman who had been reading the book was none other than Professor McGonagall. "P-P-Professor?"

"Harry, what on earth are you doing here? Why aren't you at the house of those horrible mug - your relatives?" Harry looked at her, she looked very angry.

"Well, they threw me out."

"Why?"

"They found out that they where the only things stopping Voldemort from killing me and they were scared that he would hurt them to get to me, so they threw me out. The only thing is, they were right, Voldemort is probably even now plotting their - and my - death." The professor's eyes were oddly shiny as she spoke next.

"Harry! You mean to tell me that those people left you out to die! If they were worried they could have written to Dumbledore to see if he could provide additional protection, not-"

"They've been looking for an excuse to get rid of me for years, and they think wizards are freaks; so there's no way they'd even consider writing to one of us."

Harry put his head in his hands and stared through his fingers at the mug of hot chocolate that rested on the floor. Professor McGonagall sat next to him on the bed and said gently

"Where were you going to go?"

"Dunno. I was going to get money and then think of somewhere to hide."

"Oh Harry why didn't you owl one of us and we could've helped you"

"Ron has Hedwig, and besides there wasn't time they just told be to leave."

"OK we'll go to the Weasleys' their house is almost as protected as the Dursleys' and we'll use their fireplace to contact Dumbledore.

As Professor McGonagall moved towards the stairs to tell Stan the change of plan, Harry's scar began to burn fiercely. He had a brief vision of Voldemort Killing everyone in a muggle pub with a look of delight twisting his evil face. Harry cried out and looked at the hand that he had clasped to his scar as it had begun to burn, it was covered in blood. Although the vision had ended he still heard the screams and Voldemort shouting out "The blood is on your hand Potter, it is because of you that these people are dead! You bought me back!" Then Harry was again alone in his own mind.

Harry looked up and saw Professor McGonagall and Stan looking at him horrified. She ran up to Harry and grabbed his hand. "Where did that come from? Are you hurt? What happened?"

"Had a vision. Voldemort. He killed muggles and told me that the blood meant that it was my fault. It's on my hands!"

"You know that's not true! You were here. He was the one with the wand!" Harry suddenly felt everything that had happened since that night in June crash in around him. He grabbed onto the Profesor and burst into tears. She held him tightly as he cried. It went in for almost half an hour - Harry pouring out the horrors that had taken place in the graveyard, the horrible nightmares and the visions that he got whenever Voldemort killed someone.

Eventually they broke apart and Harry seemed to remember himself. He set his face into a mask-like neutrality and looked away, drying his tears with the back of his hand. It was only then that he noticed that Professor McGonagall was also crying. "I had no idea. I mean I knew from looking at you when the portkey brought you back that you had been through something terrible. Have you told anyone else about the way you have been feeling since? Your friends, relatives?"

"No. I shouldn't have told you either, you don't need my problems."

"Harry, there's nothing wrong with-"

"Ottery St Catchpole!" Stan shouted from downstairs. Harry and Minerva made their way outside to the Weasleys' house in silence and knocked on the door. A Ginny Weasley that looked as though she had been running opened it. She barely had time to acknowledge who it was when the Weasley twins came chasing after her with muggle water pistols and began squirting her. Ginny squealed and ran into another room. The twins looked into the doorway and both simultaneously went a deep red.

Harry and Professor McGonagall shared an amused glance before Harry asked, "Can we come in?" The twins, still looking heartily embarrassed at being caught playing with muggle toys that they could only nod in response.

When they entered the house, professor McGonagall instructed Harry to wait in the living room with the twins while she went into the Kitchen, where Mr and Mrs Weasley were talking. Harry walked over to the slightly worn sofa and slumped into it. Fred and George, now having regained their composure sat next to Harry and Fred said

"Harry, not that it's not great to see you and everything, but what are you doing here exactly?", before Harry had a chance to answer, George added

"Yeah and why did you bring Professor McGonagall?"

"Well, uh, the Dursleys threw me out and I met McGonagall on the Knight bus"

"They threw you out?" the twins shouted together

"Yeah. Where's everyone else?"

"They're upstairs. Hey, how about we use this moment to show you some of the products your money has helped us develop?"

"Okay!" The twins ran upstairs to get the 'products' and Harry leaned back into the sofa.

The next thing Harry knew, he was being poked awake by Mr Weasley. "Harry, come on, wake up." Harry blearily opened his eyes, surprised at how quickly he had dozed off.

"How long.."

"You've been asleep for about an hour. The twins tried to wake you but McGonagall told them not to."

"Oh."

At that moment the other Weasleys, McGonagall and Dumbledore entered the room.

Dumbledore waked up to Harry and took his hand, which still had some blood on it (Harry had tried to clean it on a tissue in his pocket), he then held his wand over it and muttered a few words. The blood changed to a strange blue colour before disappearing entirely.

"Muggle blood." Dumbledore muttered before looking up at Harry.

"Are you alright?"

"I'm fine"

"No Harry, Minerva told us what has been going on. Please answer truthfully"

"I'm just a bit tired. And.." Harry paused he had been about to admit that he was afraid. Voldemort had obviously played on his feeling of guilt by conjuring the blood onto his hand. What would happen if he admitted fear? Unfortunately Dumbledore guessed what he had been going to say.

"Scared? Harry, if I'd been seeing visions like the ones you're having when I was your age, I'd have been terrified."

"What's going to happen to me?"

"You are going to stay here with us. That is, if you want to"

"Won't I be putting you at risk?"

"Probably" said Molly "but you are like a member of the family - people take risks for family." Harry was dumbfounded - family. He'd never expected anyone to ever say that to him. Eventually he found his voice

"I'd love to stay." Molly ran over and enveloped Harry into a bone-breaking hug.

A/N Ok this idea came to me when writing an essay (a.k.a bored) but I hope you like it. The story gets more original later - keep on readin'