Title: Harry Potter: Air Elemental
Rating: PG-15, for violence and a few non-explicit adult situations
Pairing: Harry/SusanB (if pairing matters)
Summary: After his adventure in the Department of Mysteries, Harry finds a new power over air which gives him confidence. He's "live and let live" until you come after him, then watch out. This starts just after the revelation of the prophecy at the end of book5.
(A/N: I'm back after over a year off. It's been a busy one for me, but I've been slowly working on this and kicking a few other stories around. In the process, I've met the infamous Kokopelli (from fanficauthors-dot-net) and he has agreed to beta this story for me, so let's give him a big warm welcome!
A few facts about the story… If the pairing matters to you, please note this is a Harry/SusanBones story and if you don't like that, please stop reading now. From what I can tell from the books, Susan may (and probably does) have more family than just her Aunt Amelia and that is so in this story. I don't like wimpy!Harry, so he's going to get some "help" in this story, but that help isn't always going to be useful. You can consider everything in the books up to the start of this story as true; beyond that, don't assume anything is the same as the book unless I state it. I've finished the first draft of this story and you're looking at 19 chapters and about 200K-words. Lastly, this story starts immediately after "the big reveal" in the Headmaster's office at the end of book5.
As long as life doesn't become too crazy for me and for Kokopelli, I'll post a new chapter every weekend. Enjoy! Kevin)
(Disclaimer: Harry Potter belongs to someone commonly known as JKR and probably several corporations. I am not her nor am I them. This is done for fun and no money will be made from it. If it looks like JKR's, she can have it. The remaining original stuff is mine.)
Harry Potter: Air Elemental
Chapter 1 – Discoveries
Harry stumbled down the stairs from the Headmaster's office, almost tripping and falling twice. He was glad it was still very early in the morning; most students wouldn't even be getting up for an hour or more. He also felt fortunate that a bathroom was nearby, as his stomach was cramping.
Forcing his feet to keep moving, he stumbled into the bathroom not far from the Headmaster's office and fell back against the door, breathing heavily. He had enough presence of mind to pull his wand out and mumble a locking spell on the door so he wouldn't be disturbed, at least not easily. With lurching steps, he arrived at the first sink just as his stomach finally rebelled. Not much came up as he had nothing in his stomach to begin with.
Splashing some water on his face when he was able helped, as did consciously trying to slow his breathing down and take few sips of water from the faucet. Unfortunately, he had nothing for his pounding headache and he wasn't sure if he could make it to Madam Pomfrey's domain at the moment.
Looking in the mirror showed him a face he barely recognized. His hair was far messier than usual, he looked very pale, and the scar on his forehead looked angry red. He realized that his headache was probably caused by the scar. Not sure what else to do, he fished around in his pocket and found a handkerchief he rarely used but usually carried because he'd always been told to carry it. After wetting it he leaned against the nearby wall and slid down so he could sit on the floor. Holding the cool damp cloth to his forehead helped him some; it wasn't as much as he would have liked, but the relief it gave him was very welcome.
However, the slight respite allowed the memories of what caused his distress to return full force, making him want to lash out, much as he'd done all year, but more so at the moment. The anguish of losing his godfather was almost unbearable. He'd spent so little time with the man, and what little time he'd had available had been reduced further by a few adults who had seemed determined to keep him away from Sirius last summer. He was not feeling charitable towards adults in general and Molly Weasley in particular.
The other big problem he had at the moment was the Headmaster - Albus Too-Many-Names Dumbledore. The old man had the audacity to choose tonight (or really early morning) just after his godfather's death to tell him that there was a prophecy that little Harry Potter had to fight Voldemort to the death one day … kill or be killed … and Voldemort had fifty years more experience. If that wasn't enough, the old man had admitted that he knew Harry would have ten dark and difficult years at the Dursleys, but had placed Harry there anyway. And to make it worse, the old man kept sending him back there every summer and insisted on him returning there again this summer.
Harry used his wand to put a cooling charm on the damp cloth and put it back on his forehead again, covering his eyes this time and hoping he'd feel better soon.
It had taken all of his control to not completely destroy the man's office earlier. He felt a little guilty for what destruction he had caused, but not enough to apologize, especially considering the old man had essentially given him permission. Even now, he really wanted to break more things.
He felt a breeze hit his face, making him blink. A little whirlwind had stirred up next to him, lifting motes of dust into the air. He watched the air swirl for several minutes; it was oddly soothing.
Not sure why he even tried it, Harry reached out tentatively with one hand and tried to direct the wind and make it go a little faster. He was shocked when it obeyed his unspoken desire. Continuing to reach out, Harry thought about it slowing down, but it didn't. With furrowed brow, he pushed his hand out further and thought very hard, `STOP!`. The wind stopped completely, allowing the little bits of paper to flutter to the floor.
"I guess I have to really mean it," he mumbled.
Harry started to try something else when he realized that he was beyond tired and into exhaustion. Closing his eyes and thinking, he realized he'd been awake for nearly twenty-four hours, which suddenly seemed like a great reason to be tired. As he considered trying to get back to his dorm room, he realized his head didn't hurt as much now, for which he was thankful, so he decided to skip going to see the school nurse.
Forcing himself up, he walked to the door and then frowned when it wouldn't open. After a moment, he snorted as he finally remembered locking it. With a spell, he unlocked the door and went on his way, one hand on the wall to steady himself and his wand in the other hand - just because.
No one had passed him until he made it to the entrance to Gryffindor Tower. A few of the younger students looked at him strangely as they passed and then continued on their way, obviously off to breakfast. He was sure he was quite the sight after his battles earlier today. Stepping through the already open portrait, he received a few more looks, but he ignored them and continued on to his dorm room.
"Harry, what happened to you?" Dean asked. "There's been rumors about you and Umbridge."
"And where's Ron and Neville?" Seamus added.
"Long story and I'm too tired to tell it," he replied as he kicked his shoes off. "I think Hermione, Ron, Neville, Ginny, and Luna are in the hospital wing. They'll be back soon, I hope." He grabbed a clean pair of boxers before peeling off his shirt as he passed them and headed to the showers. He really wanted to fall into bed, but felt so dirty.
After a very quick shower, he returned to his bed wearing only his boxers and found the dorm room empty, which was just as well. Pulling the curtains closed over the windows and the ones around his bed, he climbed in and promptly went to sleep; his new found affinity for dust blowing completely forgotten.
When Harry awoke, it was completely dark and he could hear loud breathing sounds … but not snores, just loud breathing. That let him know it was night and that Ron wasn't back.
Quietly, he found his dressing gown and slippers, putting them on as he left his dorm room. Downstairs in the empty common room, the clock showed it to be a little after one. That meant he'd slept for about sixteen hours. Tossing a few small logs into the fireplace to help ward off the night chill of the cold stone of the castle, he sat in a chair in front of the fireplace and stared, finding comfort in the mesmerizing flames.
Harry did his best to think back over the last day or so, analyzing what happened. It was somewhat surprising how easy it was to see where he'd made mistakes, as well as other's mistakes, and information that he'd learned far too late. Some of his conclusions surprised him, but he attributed his clearer thinking to not being "in the heat of battle" as well as it being afterward with all the facts now in hand.
After considering last night, skipping the part about losing Sirius, he considered what had happened in the bathroom. Had he been dreaming? Looking around, all he could see that was small was a pillow on the sofa - the elves had already cleaned it seemed.
Grabbing the pillow, he held it in both of his hands, palms up. Thinking intently about making the pillow float, he felt a small gust of breeze flow around his hands and the pillow went up unsteadily a few inches and hung in mid-air. Slowly, Harry moved his hands away and the pillow stayed suspended, causing him to grin at the possibilities this presented. Just as quickly, the thought that this was "the power He knows not" sprung into his head, causing him to forget about the pillow floating, which caused said pillow to fall into his lap. He harrumphed to himself that the power didn't do much and wasn't controlled easily.
While not tired, Harry didn't feel as rested as before with that last thought, so he rose and returned to bed. Sleep took some time to come again as memories of his lost godfather floated through his mind.
The day before the train was to take them home, Harry sat against a tree and looked out over the lake. He was using his new-found power to whip up little waves, playing with the squid. Apparently the large animal liked playing in the waves Harry was creating. He found his control was becoming a little better, at least as long as he concentrated on what he wanted. Unfortunately, making little waves was about the best he could do at the moment .
He also had his wand out, just in case Malfoy came by to bother him or to cover himself so it looked like he was using his wand to make the waves. He was glad he had thought of that earlier when Hermione walked up to him.
"May I join you?" she asked tentatively.
"You're back!" he told her enthusiastically as he jumped up and gave her a hug, which made her flinch. Her hug was different, almost fragile. "Are you all right? When did you return?" he asked as he wondered about her behavior; that was unlike her normal reaction.
She sat on the ground with him and looked at the lake. "I'm fine now. St Mungo's let me go about an hour ago and it took me a while to find you."
"Neville, Ginny, and Luna are fine now. Since I don't see Ron with you, is he still at St Mungo's?" he asked with concern since their fight had been almost a week ago.
Hermione looked down at the ground for a moment before nodding. "He won't be going home until a few days from now, or so they hope." With even more concern, she looked up at him. "Those brain things really hurt him, Harry. They do think he'll get better though."
Harry blew out his breath and looked at the lake for a long moment as he thought about that and about what to say. "I'm really sorry you were hurt. I'm glad all of you came with me because I wouldn't have made it out otherwise, but I also did try to make you stay."
"I know," she agreed, "but it's not your fault. It's never been this bad before either, but I'd do it again to save you and I think the others would too. You're our friend, Harry."
"Thanks," he told her quietly, grateful for her accepting his apology, as other three had too. "I guess I'll have to tell Ron that in a letter."
"I think he'd like that, to hear from you I mean," she told him.
Slowly and hesitantly, she moved over the short distance between them and leaned her shoulder on his. Harry put his arm around her shoulders as she asked quietly, "If this year was this bad, what's next year going to be like? I'm scared, Harry."
"I don't know," he told her honestly, "but I'll find a way to protect you and keep you safe, all of you."
"Where's safe, Harry?" she asked in a little voice, one that tore at Harry.
"I don't know, but I'm going to try very hard," he promised solemnly.
"Are you all right?" Harry asked Hermione again as the train started slowing for Kings Cross Station. He'd noticed that she'd been staying near him since she'd returned yesterday. She was sitting next to him now.
She gave him one of her patented "get real" looks before she told him, "Of course. In fact, I'm glad to be returning home."
"I wasn't referring to going home, but if you're fine…" he let it hang, noticing that Neville looked a little worried about her too. Luna was, well, she was Luna. It was strange not to have Ron on the train.
"I'm fine," she insisted, adding a little huff at the end and looked like she was having to resist rolling her eyes.
When the train stopped and they disembarked, Harry noticed that despite her statement Hermione made an effort to stay next to him as he led and she insisted that Luna follow her. He really wanted to say something again, but knew it'd be futile.
"Come say hello to my parents," she told him, making it obvious she expected him to do that.
"Fine, my arse," he muttered very quietly after he turned away from her as he scanned the crowd so she couldn't hear him.
A few minutes later, Harry said good-bye to Neville and Luna, and then Harry accompanied Hermione as she made her way to her parents. She let go of her trunk the last few steps and rushed into her mother's arms. Harry grabbed her trunk and parked it next to the Grangers, thankful they had both lightened their trunks before leaving the train.
"Mr Granger," Harry intoned as he shook the man's hand.
"You're Harry, right?"
"Right," the teen confirmed as Hermione moved to her father and gave him a crushing hug.
"Mrs Granger," Harry said with a nod.
"It's lovely to see you," she replied with a smile.
Her smile set Harry a little on edge. He really, really hoped she wasn't like Mrs Weasley in regards to seeing relationships that weren't there, or so he thought Molly Weasley was probably that way.
"I've delivered you safe and sound as requested, Hermione," he told her with a little flourish of his hand, which caused Mrs Granger's smile to increase. "Have a good summer holiday and I'll see you in September or maybe a few days before. Who knows what'll happen with me."
"You better write me," she told him in her usual bossy way as she stepped forward and gave him a tight hug.
He chuckled as he wondered about her different behavior. "I'll try, but you know how that goes."
She sighed as she let him go and stepped back. "I know." She paused for a moment as she looked over his shoulder. "What's going on over there?"
Harry turned around and stared, hardly believing what he was seeing. Hoping he was wrong, he walked over and stood behind the group only to discover they were doing exactly what he really didn't want them to do.
After the small group from the Order finished threatening his relatives, because that's what it really was, his uncle looked at him and said quietly enough Harry almost didn't hear him, "Let's go."
As his relatives walked away without really waiting for him, Harry said to Remus, who was the nearest, "I appreciate your support, I really do, but you're about fifteen years too late and you've probably just made my summer more difficult unless you plan to also move into the house." Gripping the handle of his trunk tightly, he hurried after his relatives, leaving a shocked looking Remus behind.
The car ride home was quiet, which Harry was thankful for because of no insults, but he wondered if that "threat" would make tonight worse or not. He'd have to be on best behavior and always stay aware of his surroundings for at least the next week. It was all he could do, now that the damage had been done.
That evening, he was allowed to eat, not a lot, but enough that he wouldn't starve. He also spent as much time alone as possible and they ignored him. His hope for some form of Dursley normalcy grew when he went to bed without incident.
The next morning, Harry came down and grabbed some toast and tea before everyone else was up, since it was a Sunday. After that little bit of food, he headed outside as one of the few things he enjoyed doing here was mowing the lawn and he'd noticed that the lawn did look a little shaggy.
He was in no hurry and took his time doing the work. After mowing, he edged it before putting away all the things he'd pulled out. Standing back and looking over it with a critical eye, he thought it looked pretty good. The shrubs and flowers needed some help, but that was a project for another day. He was hot and hungry so he went inside.
Dudley and his aunt were eating lunch; his uncle wasn't there so he must have left earlier. He sat down and joined them for a sandwich, getting a glare from his aunt even though she didn't say anything. Dudley grabbed the rest of the food after Harry had his first helping. Harry merely rolled his eyes as he thought about Dudley's diet from last summer apparently being over.
Still without saying a word to them, he finished his lunch and left the table. After a shower, he went to his room and made himself comfortable as he wrote Ron a letter. Besides an apology and what he'd told Hermione and his other friends, he also wrote a little of what Dumbledore had told him, especially the part about Dumbledore admitting that the mess being Dumbledore's fault for not telling him things. He'd added that because he was sure that Mrs Weasley would read the note if Ron was still in the hospital.
The rest of the afternoon was spent cleaning out his trunk and doing laundry. He heard his uncle return home, but the man left him alone so Harry didn't worry about him.
Shortly before dinner should have been ready, Harry put the last of his clothes away and gave Ron's letter to Hedwig. It wouldn't be dusk yet for a couple more hours, but his owl left anyway. Thirsty, he went downstairs for some water. Walking into the kitchen, he saw his aunt starting dinner and standing right in front of the cabinet with the glasses. "Err, excuse me, but can I get-"
"No, you can not," she cut him off harshly. "You've done very little around here since you've returned."
Harry thought that was bit much for a drink. "But I only wanted-"
"I said no!" she cut him off.
Before he realized what was happening and could step away, she had grabbed an empty pan off the stove next to her and swung it at him. Having dealt with this before, he ducked and moved behind her, except this time he also pushed her arm away. However, she was off balance and fell on the counter next to a few open cans while the pan went flying and hit her glass pitcher, making a loud glass shattering sound only a fraction of a second before she screamed bloody murder.
Harry saw the open can of tomato sauce now lying on its side on the counter with a handprint in it. His uncle came into the room at that moment and all the man saw was red blood-like liquid on his wife's hand as she screamed with Harry standing right next to her.
Vernon roared and rushed at Harry, swinging a big meaty fist. Surprised at his uncle's lack of questioning or at least a bellow, Harry was forced to duck this swing too and he pushed the bigger man hard as he went by. Because of his excitement and slight panic, Harry was only a little surprised to feel a bit of wind rush by him and help Vernon on his way across the room, where he crashed into the breakfast table, tripping and landing on a chair, which broke under his weight. Harry hoped his new ability didn't trigger any magical sensors.
"I'll kill you this time, you freak!" the big man grunted angrily as he struggled to get off the floor.
That declaration spurred Harry into motion and he made to run from the room as his aunt hurried over to her husband. Spying the cordless phone on the counter near the doorway, he grabbed it and thumbed it on as he ran into the living room and dialed the three digit emergency number. Based on past experiences, he knew without a doubt that the Order wouldn't come help him, if they were even still watching.
His call was answered immediately allowing him to hurriedly and quietly say, "Help, my relatives are trying to kill me. Number 4 Privet Drive Little Whining in Surrey." He heard a roar and footsteps from the direction of the kitchen as someone on the other end tried to say something. Harry just put the phone down on top of the coffee table without turning it off, speaker up, as he considered his options and determined the front door was his best bet.
"Come here you little freak! I swear I'll beat it all out of you this time!" Vernon rushed into the room heading for the front door, cutting Harry off from escape. "You can't run away now, freak!"
Turning for the kitchen and the backdoor, he saw his aunt there with her pan again. The way to the stairs was clear, Harry saw, but he didn't want to get trapped with no way out of the house. At least here, if he got one of them away from a door, he could get out of this insanity.
The three of them danced around the living room with Harry doing his best to keep the coffee table between him and them. Vernon rushed him and Harry just jumped over the low table and ran for the front door.
"Stand still you freak so you can get the beating you deserve!"
Harry managed to get the front door unlocked, but he didn't have time to open the door before he had to run around the room, ducking blows his aunt and uncle were aiming at him. The small room meant that his uncle got closer than expected and eventually a blow landed when his fist clipped Harry's cheek. While he had avoided most of the blow, it sent him towards the TV, crashing into the wall next to the appliance. The same wall that held all of the family photos.
He couldn't help the "Ah!" as he hit the plaster, nor when he was "attacked" by the framed photos that fell on him. One frame hit him on the top of his forehead causing another yelp; thankfully it hadn't knocked his glasses off.
"I've got you now!" the man yelled as he rushed at Harry. "I even know where to bury your body."
Having to choose the lesser of evils, Harry waited until the last moment and ducked his uncle's swing and ran towards his aunt, letting the man crash into the wall - loudly.
His aunt was ready for him and swung again. He ducked and the pan missed him, but he felt something on her hand hit his cheek which caused him to yelp again. He assumed it was the ring on her hand.
Vernon recovered and ran back to cover the front door as Harry turned for it again. "If you thought your punishments were bad before, boy, you'll be surprised at what I do to you this time. I'm so going to enjoy this, then I'll let Dudley use you for a punching bag, and your freaky friends won't do a thing about it because this is my house."
Harry would have loved to have had something witty to say, but he was too busy calculating his way out. Searching for some other answer than going upstairs, he came up empty. Maybe he could barricade the door to his room if he went up; neither of them could run as fast as he could.
Just as Harry was about to run for the stairs, he heard a siren in the distance. Apparently his relatives did too, because they both looked at him with suspicion and loathing.
"Get under the stairs, now!" his aunt yelled at him. "Get in there and be quiet if you know what's good for you!"
"No!" Harry yelled back, emboldened by the thought of real help coming. "No more! I'm tired of you starving me and hitting me and treating me like a slave just because you didn't like my parents." At his aunt's gasp, he smirked evilly at her. "What, you thought I'd never figured out that you hate me because you first hated my mother - your own sister?"
He wished he could just use the wind to defend himself, but he didn't trust that yet as he didn't have enough control. He thought that with his luck, he was likely to bring the house down on himself.
The siren suddenly stopped and it was obvious they weren't in front of the house; that caused Vernon to give his own evil smirk. "See Freak, they aren't coming to save you, so I'm going to beat the crap out of you, again, if you're lucky." He rushed Harry, who had to jump over the coffee table again, but Vernon was ready for him this time and swung a fist, which hit Harry in the stomach, knocking the breath out of him, as well as causing him to fall in all the glass and wreckage of the broken pictures on the floor. He let out a loud cry as he felt stabbing paining in his forearms which took the brunt of his fall.
As Vernon got up off from where he'd fallen to his knees, the front door was kicked open with a loud crash and a big burly police officer yelled, "Nobody move!" as he strode in with his baton out. His partner also came in with baton out.
Harry laid his head gently back down on the floor, resting it on a picture frame, thankful for the help. The look of surprise on his aunt's face as she was caught with the frying pan in her hand was priceless, as was his uncle's look at being caught.
"Drop the pan, lady!" the smaller of the two officers yelled at his aunt, who dropped the cookware with a whimper.
"Now see here," Vernon blustered, "you can't come crashing in here!"
"You don't realize what you've done?" the second officer said as he stood protectively by Harry, who just laid there to catch his breath.
"What? He's had worse and still worked the day," Vernon answered with indignation.
However, that answer infuriated the first officer. "Turn around and get down on your knees. I'm taking you in."
"You can't do that!" Vernon yelled.
"Stay where you are!" the second officer yelled at his aunt and pointed his baton at her, as she'd started trying to slink back into the kitchen.
"I refuse to let you or anyone else intimidate me in my own home," Vernon growled.
"I said turn around and get down on your knees," the big officer yelled and looked furious at being ignored.
Vernon took one step towards the officer and raised his hand. Harry wasn't sure what Vernon was trying to do, but the officer took that as a threatening gesture and grabbed the arm, then pulled and twisted it. He was big and strong enough to move Vernon, who stumbled and fell. The officer deftly moved and pushed, helping Vernon to fall harder and all the way down. The officer ended up with a knee on Vernon's back causing the man to yell in anger. The officer whipped out a pair of cuffs and after a moment had them on Vernon.
With Vernon secure, the officer stood and looked around, his gaze ending on his partner. "Where's the phone?"
As they looked, Harry said, "I think it's on the floor by the end of the couch."
The second officer found it and picked it up and handed his cuffs to the taller officer. Speaking into the phone he said, "This is Officer Malone and we've got the situation under control." He gave a disparaging look at Vernon, who was grunting insults at them. "Send an ambulance, one of the large wagons, a female officer, and alert Social Services … right, that will work … thanks." He ended the call and put the phone down.
While he had been talking on the phone, the bigger officer had used his partner's cuffs on Petunia and set her in a chair. He then knelt down by Harry. "You're safe now. Where are you hurt?"
"Arms, head," Harry answered as he took stock.
"Right. Since you're moving on your own, I'm going to help you up then you can sit in that other chair. Ready?" At Harry's nod, the man picked him up as easily as Hagrid would have and set him on his feet. "Still all right?" he asked while still holding on to Harry's upper arms where he'd picked him up.
He looked down at his forearms and saw a few cuts and a piece of glass sticking out of his left arm. He reached for it but the officer stopped him.
"If you can, let's leave that there and let a paramedic pull that out, all right? In fact, try to move that arm as little as possible." He steered Harry to the nearest chair, which happened to be Vernon's favorite.
"The freak can't sit there!"
"Shut up, tubby," the officer commanded. "You're in enough trouble as it is."
"I'll go get the camera," Malone told his partner; the larger man nodded.
"You just sit right there and I promise you'll be safe. My name is Patrick, Sargent Michael Patrick. What's your name, lad?"
"Harry, Harry Potter."
"Harry, I need to be honest with me for a moment. Have they ever done this before?"
Calling in help had seemed like such a good idea in the heat of the moment, but now, now he'd have to tell people what had been happening for years, something he'd never done if he could help it. Yet, maybe this was the way to be rid of the Dursleys once and for all. He knew Dumbledore would probably pitch a fit at this, but another siren was heard and Officer Malone came back in and started taking pictures of the place, including Harry, he thought that just maybe this would be too much for Dumbledore to cover up.
In fact, he wondered where the Order was, but decided that it didn't matter.
Looking at Officer Patrick who was waiting patiently, Harry nodded. "It's never been quite this bad before, but yeah; they swing at me all the time and usually stop after one or two hits. It hurts, but it's usually better when they get it out of their system than when they lock me in my room and don't feed me for a few days. You get used to it." He watched the two officers look at each other and then each of them took a deep breath.
"I don't think that'll be a problem anymore, Harry," the big man told him.
The siren cut off as it pulled in front of the house. Harry thought this would be giving the neighbors a good show. A look at his aunt showed her to be hanging her head as she was probably thinking something similar.
Two men came into the house with what looked like a toolbox in each hand. "What do we have?" the first one asked.
"I think mostly cuts and bruises, but you'll want to look at his arm first. I had him leave the glass in in case it cut a major artery," Patrick told him. "His name's Harry."
"Good thinking," he said as he knelt down by Harry. "Well, Harry, if you'll let me see your arm, I'll look at it while my partner looks at your head."
— — —
It took at least fifteen minutes for them to remove the glass, which did start heavy bleeding from his arm. They wrapped the arm, and cleaned the rest of the scrapes. Harry was sure he looked a mess.
"Harry," Officer Patrick called as he squatted down next to Harry's chair. "We're going to take you to a hospital so they can make sure you're not hurt anywhere else and then we'll find a safe place for you to stay, all right?"
"Sure," Harry answered.
"Can you make it to your bedroom? You should probably take your things with you; you won't be coming back, ever, if I have anything to say about it." The man looked angry. "This sort of thing isn't supposed to happen, Harry, not to you, not to anyone."
Harry stood and slowly walked to his room past his relatives. It made him wonder why he hadn't ever called for help before. Then he remembered not wanting to talk about the abuse.
"Why didn't you call someone sooner?" the officer asked as they went up the stairs. He stopped suddenly and looked angrily at Harry's door as he walked in. After a moment, he looked at the inside of the door. "These locks can only be opened only from the outside. How long have they been here?" he asked tightly.
Harry stopped putting his things on his bed for a moment and thought. "They were there when I came home from school four years ago." He went to the closet and pulled his trunk out.
"Do you have a cat or other small pet?"
Harry couldn't help his smile and looked at the cage on his desk. "A bird - she's out hunting at the moment I would assume. She'll find me when she wants to."
"What's the little flap in the door for?" the officer persisted.
"When they didn't want to see me, they'd lock me in here and give me one meal a day through there." Harry opened is trunk away from the officer and hurriedly threw his few clean clothes in there to cover his broom and other magical things. He'd already wrapped his wand that had been on his desk in a shirt. He didn't think the officer had seen it, or if he had, he didn't say anything. He closed the trunk and pushed the latch closed.
Thanks to a little help from Fred and George, the latch would not open for anyone but him, something he had done at the beginning of last year to prevent Umbridge from getting anything important of his.
"That's all I've got," Harry told them man, who nodded and grabbed the trunk for him. "Is there anything else we need to know lad, anything at all, especially evidence that shows what they did to you?"
Harry thought for a moment as they walked down the stairs with him only carrying Hedwig's cage. "Look under the stairs. It was where I slept for ten years. I don't think that's really normal."
"Indeed, it is not," the officer agreed with another scowl and a dirty look towards his aunt.
"The paramedics are going to take you to the hospital to get looked at and then a person from Social Services will meet you there, Harry." He walked Harry out to the ambulance, still carrying the trunk.
Harry looked at all the people in the street. There must have been nearly thirty. He didn't see any Order members there, or at least none that he recognized.
As he reached the back door of the ambulance, where the paramedics were waiting to help him in, Dudley came jogging up huffing and puffing.
"Hey, what's going on? What's the little freak done now?"
Officer Patrick set the trunk down hurriedly and stepped in front of Harry, his hand on the end of his baton, which Dudley didn't notice.
"Who are you?"
"What are you on about? I live here." Dudley protested.
"He is my cousin, or so I've always been told," Harry said quietly.
Sargent Patrick looked back at him. "Get in the ambulance and let them help you. I'll take care of this."
"Thank you, and tell the other one … Malone?" Getting a nod, Harry finished, "Tell him thanks too."
Harry stepped into the ambulance with a little help from a paramedic, his trunk and bird cage joining him. He saw the officer walk Dudley into the house, with his hand never far from his baton.
— — —
Harry had been waiting for bit in a room when an older woman came in.
"Are you Harry Potter?"
"I'm Marsha Rodgers, a counselor with Social Services." She looked him over for a moment and frowned. "I always hope this will stop happening…" She took a deep breath and then smiled at him. "I'm going to find you a safe place to stay after we leave here. I understand you were staying with your aunt and uncle. Do you have any other relatives?"
Harry shook his head. "Not that I'm aware of. Aunt Petunia was my mother's sister. Uncle Vernon has a sister, but I won't claim her since she's as bad as he is."
The woman froze. "One of my co-workers has called her to take care of Dudley. Are you saying that was a mistake?"
He shrugged. "It would be bad for me, but probably not for Dudley; she thinks Dudley is a real person. I'm … well, she said I'm someone who should have been drowned at birth."
"I see." Her frown was back.
A soft knock was given before the door opened. A light brunette woman who looked to be in her late twenties stepped in. While her hair was well controlled in a loose ponytail, Harry thought she could have been a distant cousin of Hermione based on her looks.
"I'm Doctor Alicia Dumont. I understand I need to do a physical exam and treat a few injuries?"
— — —
Doctor Dumont left with a report and Harry got dressed again, having had to strip down to his boxers. Counselor Rodgers was talking on the phone that hung on the wall. Despite her talking softly, Harry heard her talking about Dudley and his Aunt and whether that was a good place for him to go based on what Harry had said.
When Rodgers hung up, Harry cleared his throat lightly. "Err, would it be possible to get something to eat? I never had dinner."
Rodgers looked surprised but nodded. "Sure, Harry. We need to talk and we can do that while you eat."
She led him to the cafeteria in the hospital where he was allowed to get as much as he wanted. With a full tray of food for him and a tea for her, she led him to a corner that was relatively private.
While he started eating, she explained what was going on. "Harry, I need you to tell me what happened tonight, and then what else they've done to you." She placed a handheld device on the table and pushed a button. "This is a recorder and will be considered evidence in the trial against your relatives and to help us help you. Do you understand and consent to this?"
"All right, please state your full name and tell me about tonight and what living with your relatives was like."
Harry took a drink and cleared his throat. "My name is Harry James Potter…"
— — —
She didn't do it every week, but even Arabella Figg needed to do extra shopping sometimes. Despite the recent revelation of You-Know-Who being back - officially - she wasn't very worried. Albus assured her that the wards on Harry's house made him quite safe, so she felt comfortable leaving him there for an hour or so, especially when he should be inside having dinner. Having watched him over the years, she had some doubt about whether the house was complete safe for him and the only conclusion she could come to was that she and Dumbledore had different definitions of "safe". Still, she wasn't the only watcher.
As she walked down the street towards her house, her small cart behind her carrying groceries, a few clothes, and some cat litter, she noticed a small crowd congregating down the street where that didn't usually happen. She would go investigate too, but first she need a few minutes had to put her frozen groceries in the freezer, which caused her to miss seeing the ambulance drive away.
By the time she joined the other neighbors; she found the excitement originated from #4 Privet Drive, causing some alarm in her.
Her next door neighbor was there, so she went over. "Holly, what's going on?"
The gray-haired lady turned and her eyes lit. "Arabella, you'll never believe what happened. It seems there was a fight in the house and they just took that Potter boy away."
Arabella's insides froze. What a horrible time for this, and where was that Fletcher. Drat the man, it had to be his turn here again. "Do tell … what else happened?"
"I'm not sure, but it seems as if the police came and broke the door down to get in." The woman's voice turned to disappointment. "It was all over before anyone could get here."
A wagon with flashing red lights came down the street, slowing and then stopping in front of #4. "I wonder what that's for," Holly said, voicing everyone's question.
"Do you know where the Potter boy was taken?" Arabella asked, hoping she could get some useful info.
"No idea," her friend said as two more policemen went in, although one was a really a policewoman.
A moment later, a large police officer and the male officer that had just walked in came out pulling Vernon Dursley with his hands cuffed behind his back. The resident struggled a little when led to the back of the police wagon, but the two officers easily forced him in.
"Now there's something you don't see every day," Arabella murmured and her friend Holly nodded. As she was about to walk back to her house to report this, Petunia was brought out with her head down as if trying to hide, she was also in handcuffs, as was Dudley. The boy was shouting about this being unfair, but the officers ignored the shouts and led the last two to the wagon as well.
As a few of the officers were standing around and watching, yet another police car pulled up. Arabella figured this was her best chance and pushed her way through the small crowd to the front. "Excuse me, Officer?"
One turned around and came over as she waved at him. "Yes?" he asked.
She noticed his nametag said "Malone". "Excuse me, but could you tell me what happened? I watch one of the boys occasionally and I wanted to make sure he's all right," she told him, hoping for a sympathetic ear.
His eyes narrowed and he stood a little straighter. "Which one?"
"The smaller one, Harry," she replied.
He looked thoughtfully at her for a moment. "Please come with me." He looked at the other onlookers. "Everyone else stay where you are." He walked her a little ways over to stand next to a police car. "What can you tell me about him and about what goes on in this house?"
"Is he all right?" she asked with concern.
"My questions first, ma'am," he said with a hint of steel.
She was at a loss as to what he was looking for. "Well, there are two boys who live there, Harry and Dudley; they're cousins. Harry lost his parents some years back, I understand. I sometimes watch him when the Dursleys have to go somewhere; I have since he was little."
"Have you ever noticed anything unusual with them?"
Arabella felt a little trapped and must have shown it because he looked a little harder at her. "Well, he a…" What was the man fishing for?
"He what?" the officer grilled her.
She went for the safe answer. "He always seems a little hungry. I'm not a good cook, but he always ate whatever I put in front of him." Because of his intense expression, she hurriedly tacked on, "Also, no matter what anyone else tells you, Harry isn't a bad boy. Those were rumors Vernon spread about him. The bad one is his cousin Dudley. He and his little gang are the ones that tear up the playground and hurt the other kids; Harry would never do that."
"I see." He pulled out a pen and a notebook. "I need your name and address please. I think someone will want to come and talk to you."
"A-Arabella Figg, #2 Wisteria," she said a little nervously, while wondering if she had anything in her house that was obviously not normal should they come visit her. She'd have to send the Kneazles to the back garden.
"Thank you, Miss Figg."
"What happened, officer?"
"The Dursleys abused Potter and he called for help. I don't think he's hurt too bad, but he looked a right mess and it was definitely enough abuse that I think it'll be an open and shut case. They'll probably get at least five years, although if it was up to me I'd send them to prison for as long as I could," the officer said coldly as the wagon with the Dursleys drove away.
"Where is Harry?"
"He's been taken to get some medical help," he answered. "After that, he'll be placed with a foster family."
She was disappointed not to get more information, but didn't feel like she could ask more now without arousing suspicion. "What about Dudley?" She really didn't care all that much, but felt she needed to know for a full report.
The officer snorted. "He came in and started yelling about how we couldn't arrest his parents and then took a swing at an officer to try to get his mother away. I suppose I can't fault his sentiment, but it was a stupid move. It'll also make us look at him a little closer to see what he's been doing."
He nodded at her. "Thank you, Miss Figg, you've been most helpful. I'd suggest you return to your home."
"I believe I shall; thank you, Officer." She turned and walked around everyone, not stopping when others asked her what was going on. There was time for talking later.
Inside her house, she grabbed the pot for Floo powder and threw some in. "Hogwarts, Headmaster's office." Nothing happened. "Hogwarts, McGonagall's office." Nothing happened for it either. Their Floo connection was dead and they were gone. Damn!
In an inspiration, she tried another, "The Burrow." The fireplace flared and she called out. "Arthur! Molly! It's Arabella!" The connection was working, but no one answered.
She would have tried headquarters, but Dumbledore had told her a few days ago that they had had to abandon it at this time. What was she to do?
Looking at the clock, she saw it was after seven. She'd go to the corner and watch. Maybe Fletcher would come back and she could get him to find someone else. Worst case, there was the next shift. She consulted the schedule left with her and saw that the next shift started at midnight … at least it was young Nymphadora. She had a sensible head on her shoulders.
— — —
It was approaching eleven at night when Marsha Rodgers pulled up to what looked like a church in London. That was about all Harry knew, they were somewhere in London.
Harry pulled his trunk behind him and she carried Hedwig's cage, the one he'd removed the door from when he'd returned for his second year of school, after Vernon had locked her in it the summer before. He kept it so she'd have a place to perch, but she'd never be locked in it again.
A buzzer on the door was pushed and Harry finally saw a sign: St Margaret's Orphanage. There were times in the past when Vernon had threatened to take him to an orphanage. Of course, the man had done his best to make them sound horrible. Harry supposed he was about to find out.
An older woman, who looked to be about McGonagall's age, answered the door. She was in a simple black and white dress and had a kind though tired look. "Miss Rodgers, I was beginning to wonder if you were going to make it tonight." She directed them in and closed the door behind them.
"It has been a long evening. Sister Claire, I'd like you to meet Harry Potter." Rodgers looked at him. "This is Sister Claire and she runs the orphanage. They help us out from time to time on short notice until we can find a foster family."
"Sister," Harry intoned with a respectful half-bow. He wasn't sure that was the right thing to do, but it had felt like it and the woman smiled and nodded her head.
"I hope you don't mind him staying here for a month or so instead of the usual few days; we're very behind in placing children at the moment," Rogers said apologetically. "We'll give you the usual remuneration for as long as he's here."
"That will be appreciated," the Sister said calmly.
Harry cleared his throat quietly, feeling he might as well exert a little influence to his benefit. When both women looked at him, he said, "Perhaps it would be easier, Miss Rodgers, if I just stayed here for the rest of the summer … assuming that's all right with Sister Claire. I'll have to return to school on the first of September, so I won't need a long term place to stay."
Each woman gave him a strange look, but it was Rodgers who responded first. "Why do you say that, Harry? We'll need to enroll you in the school near the foster family you'll be staying with."
"Actually," Harry hoped this explained things without giving too much away, "my deceased parents enrolled me in a small very private boarding school and paid for it. It's where all of my family has gone to school, so there's really nothing for you to do in regards to school."
"Oh? You didn't mention it before," Rodger said, looking as if she thought he might have just made that up.
"You didn't ask," Harry replied with a small shrug.
Before more could be made of the topic, Sister Claire spoke up. "Considering the time, why don't we get Mr Potter settled? This is not something we need a decision on this evening."
The counselor paused and then gave a short firm nod. "Quite right."
"If you'll follow me." The Sister led them to some stairs. "Normally, we'd put you in a room to share with another boy, but it's late and we'd disturb someone. We do have a smaller than normal room, but you'd have it to yourself. Would that work for you, Mr Potter?"
"Thank you, Sister Claire, that would be ideal. That way Hedwig won't disturb anyone when she returns."
The Sister stopped and looked at him. "Who's Hedwig?"
"My, err, friend," he said lamely, "although you might call her a pet." He wasn't ashamed of Hedwig, but he wasn't sure if they'd accept her either.
"I assume she's a bird?" the sister said with an indication towards the cage Rogers was carrying.
"He says she'll return on her own when she's ready," Rogers told her.
"She's out hunting for food now," he explained, with no intention of discussing her ability to deliver letters. "I know it sounds strange, but she'll find me wherever I am; she's very smart."
"I see," although it was very clear that Sister Claire didn't understand. "Like a homing pigeon?"
"I don't know what those are. However, if I could have one sheet of newspaper a week for her cage, that would be all I need for her, other than a window so she can find me," he finished.
After a long moment, the older woman asked, "Do you have any other unusual requests, Mr Potter?"
"No, Sister. Please understand that Hedwig is an important part of my life. In many ways, she's my most faithful friend, especially when I was with my relatives." He wasn't sure what he'd do if he was told 'no' about his owl.
"Very well, we'll see how she works out, but please keep her under control," she finally said as they reached the top of the stairs and turned left on the first floor.
"Thank you very much, Sister Claire," the gratefulness very obvious in his voice. "She's very well behaved, you'll see."
The Sister nodded and directed them into the last room. "It's a little small, but it should do."
Harry looked around. "It's bigger than my old room." He shrugged. "I'll be fine. Thank you for your help."
Rogers set his cage down on the small desk there. "Harry, I'll be back tomorrow to take care of a few things with you, mostly paperwork. Don't worry, very few people know you're here and we won't tell anyone. Your relatives will never find you here. You're very safe."
Harry wondered if the Order could find him here, but there was really no way to know. In many ways, he sort of hoped not. "Thank you for your help too, Miss Rogers."
"Breakfast is between half seven and half eight," the nun told him. "If you come after then, you'll have to wait until lunch to eat. The bathroom is across from the stairs. I hope it's obvious, but the girls' rooms are off limit to all boys, as your rooms are off limits to the girls. I'll fill you in on the rest of the rules tomorrow. I bid you a pleasant evening and hope you sleep well, Mr Potter. As Miss Rogers said, you're safe here." Sister Claire closed the door as she left.
There really wasn't much in the room, Harry noted as he looked around again, but it had all the necessities and while they were a little old none of them were broken. Pleased to have his own room, he opened his window and turned the cage so it faced the window. Pulling sleep clothes out of his trunk, he went to the bathroom to take care of his needs there, including brushing his teeth.
At the other end of the corridor was a closed door; he assumed that was to the wing for the girls' rooms.
Back in his room, he turned out the light and lay down. This wasn't as good as his bed at Hogwarts, but almost. Yeah, he could get used to this as a place to stay in the summer.
— — —
The crowd was long gone and it was near midnight when Arabella heard the tell-tale pop of Apparation. Almost praying it was a friendly, she called quietly, "Tonks?"
The young woman shimmered into view, made harder to see because she was in the shadows. "Mrs Figg?" she returned just as quietly. "Is something wrong?"
"Very much so! Come to my house."
"But I have to watch Harry's house," the off-duty Auror protested.
"There's no one there to watch." Arabella turned and walked away, forcing Tonks to follow.
Safe inside her house, she told the young woman what she knew and how she'd tried to contact others and failed. "Where are Dumbledore and McGonagall?"
"What a bloody awful situation," Tonks murmured. "Dumbledore is out of the country, probably on ICW business. McGonagall took a few days off to return to her home for personal business. I don't know where the Weasleys were, but I suspect they had just stepped out. Where's Fletcher? He should have been here before me."
"I have no idea, but I'm ready to take my umbrella to him," she said angrily, "starting with the pointy end. He may not be a Death Eater and working against us, but he's of no help either. I don't know why Albus thinks he can trust the man with something this important."
"I have no idea either," Tonks said as she considered what to do. "I'll contact Moody, that'll start some fires under people. You really don't know where they took Harry?"
"No," Arabella shook her head. "It took me a while to find out that he'd been hurt in the fight and that he'd been taken to see a doctor or a Muggle Healer if you will."
"What a bloody mess," Tonks swore. "You might as well put on some tea. Moody will want to hear the story from you directly and I don't think it will take him long to get here." She Apparated away wondering what they were going to do.
Harry awoke and felt mostly refreshed. Looking at the old clock on his bedside table, he saw it was a little before eight. That gave him a little extra time before breakfast.
Opening his trunk, he pulled out his best normal clothes and got dressed. He then put the rest of his non-school clothes in the dresser. He made sure all of his Hogwarts stuff was left in his trunk; sadly, he thought that included his wand too. He'd just have to chance it that he wouldn't need it, or that he'd have time to get it if required. Of course, he did have his extra power; hopefully, that'd do in an emergency - at least if he was outside.
Looking around one more time, he decided this was a nearly perfect setup for the summer, if he couldn't spend it at The Burrow, which he was sure Dumbledore would deny. Yes, he decided with an air of finality, he'd stay here completely out of sight of the Wizarding world. He really hoped they didn't track him down.
He stopped by the toilet then went downstairs. It wasn't hard to find the place to eat. His entering the room caused the conversation there to stop. He stood in the doorway, unsure what to do. Sister Claire rose smoothly and walked over to him.
"Everyone, I'd like to introduce Harry Potter. He joined us late last night. He'll be staying with us for most if not all of the summer. As you can see from his bandages, he had a difficult day yesterday, so I ask you not to ask too many questions of him. The usual rule applies," she looked at Harry to make sure he understood, "no one has to answer any questions about their past."
Harry nodded, thankful for that mercy.
"I hope you all will find a moment to introduce yourself to him sometime today." Sister Claire touched his shoulder and directed him towards a window in the wall, one that had the kitchen on the other side, with a counter that held bowls of food. "Help yourself to breakfast, Harry. When you're done, please see me and I'll introduce you to the other sisters."
"Thank you," he told her and helped himself to a breakfast that wasn't too different from normal.
With his food on a tray, he looked around. There looked to be about thirty kids, most were younger, probably less than ten years old. He saw a small group of the older ones and took a seat with them.
"Err, hi, I guess you know I'm Harry." He looked at the four there; all looked younger than him.
"I'm Catrin," the dark brunette said with little hesitation. She looked at him with interest. "How old are you?"
Harry nodded to the girl who was cute, almost pretty; he thought she might be a looker in another year or two. "Sixteen in a month. You?"
"Fourteen, almost fifteen," she said brightly and with interest.
Before she could say more, the skinny boy with hair about as light as Draco Malfoy's said, "I'm Phillip; I'm also fourteen."
"William, but you can call me Will; fifteen for me," the brunette with a complexion problem and wire-rimmed glasses said.
"Fifteen," the last boy said before the question could be asked. "My name's Mike and you can call me Mike," he said quietly with a grin, which disappeared when the others rolled their eyes at him.
Harry smiled at him with helped Mike's smile return a little, although the boy didn't try any more jokes.
"Someone really did a number on you. Is that why you're here?" Catrin asked.
"It looks worse than it is, but yeah, my relatives don't much care for me," Harry said as he remembered his slight shock when he'd looked in the mirror that morning and seen the bruise on his left cheek where Vernon had clipped him. Then there were still the bandages on his arms from the glass and the bandage on his forehead from his aunt.
"Who won?" Will asked as he finished his breakfast.
"Not sure," Harry said before he grinned. "But I walked out of the house and they went out in handcuffs." That caused chuckles and a giggle. "What's it like here?"
They all looked at each other, but it was Mike who finally answered. "Not bad as far as orphanages go; this is my third. It's pretty boring here in the summer; the Sisters are kinda strict, but they're generally good." He shrugged. "I haven't had much to complain about."
"Beats living in the street," Phillip said quietly.
The other two didn't offer an opinion, but Catrin gave Phillip a single emphatic nod of agreement.
"Sounds better than where I came from and I could use a boring summer," Harry told them.
"Bet you don't say that in a week. It's really boring," Catrin said as she stood and took her tray back to the kitchen. The others followed her.
Maybe not the friendliest group, but they didn't seem too bad, Harry thought. He finished his breakfast before taking his tray back and saw Mike and Phillip taking care of the dirty dishes. Not knowing what else to do, he turned and sought out Sister Claire.
The head of the orphanage smiled at him. "Mr Potter, I'd like to introduce you to Sister Mary, Sister Theresa, and Sister Margo. From time to time, Curate Riley also comes over to help a little."
Harry gave a half-bow to each of the ladies.
"Miss Rodgers told me that you were living with your aunt and uncle because your parents died when you were younger."
She had half-stated half-asked, so Harry answered, "Yes, Sister. My parents were killed shortly after my first birthday. They were," he paused to consider how to say it, "unlucky and in the wrong place at the wrong time. I'm told I was lucky to have survived."
The women all nodded in understanding that sometimes tragedy strikes without reason before Claire continued. "I hope you don't think this rude, but why are you wearing your old work clothes? We don't have a work project scheduled for today."
Harry looked down at his hand-me-down clothes from Dudley, including his old sneakers that were barely holding together. "These are, umm, these are the best I have."
All of the women looked at Sister Mary. "I don't know that we have anything his size, but I'll look. Perhaps Miss Rodgers could help? You said she was returning today?"
"Yes, she possibly might help," Claire agreed before turning back to Harry. "I mentioned the most important rules last evening Mr Potter. In addition, no fighting, no inappropriate behavior with the girls, there will be a few chores and we'll add you to the rotation for the older children, and Saturdays are project day and we'll expect you to help us care for and maintain the facility like you would any home you lived in.
"Otherwise, you're free to play games, read or study, and we do have a small library of school books and a few fiction books, or just visit with the other children. We also have a playground. I know there's not much to do here in the summer, so if you have an idea of something you'd like to do that is free or doesn't cost much, let us know and we'll consider it. We do have movie night on Saturday evenings, a reward for helping to keep the home looking nice.
"If there is anything you need, please let us know and we'll see what we can do."
"You forgot about Sundays, Sister," Sister Theresa said and then explained herself. "Since we are sponsored by the church, you are required to attend a church service for at least the first three months and we would prefer you continue after that."
"My relatives never took me to church, so I don't mind seeing what it's like," Harry told them, which made Sister Theresa frown.
"There is one other thing," Sister Mary said and looked at Claire, who gave a nod. "I know we only know a little about what happened to you, but if you need anyone to talk to about it, please come see us. If you'd prefer to talk to a man, I'll make arrangements with Curate Riley to come see you. Some boys prefer that," she said with a knowing smile. "Anything you tell us will be confidential."
"I'll consider it," he said slowly. Honestly, he wasn't sure he wanted to talk to anyone and he certainly couldn't talk about his magic and what he did ten months of the year at school.
"I'm not sure if it will happen for you, but Miss Rodgers usually schedules some time for one of their counselors to come talk to those they place here," Sister Mary told him. "You have options for help. I hope you take advantage of it because difficult situations can become worse if not worked out."
Harry nodded. "I'll consider it," he said again, not really wanting to discuss it now.
"If you'll follow me, Mr Potter," Claire told him as she rose, "I'll give you a tour of our little place."
— — —
Just before lunch, Harry returned to the orphanage with several bags in hand. Miss Rodgers had been appalled at Harry's clothes, thinking that what she'd seen him in the day before wasn't normal, and had taken him shopping at a nearby store to pick up a few changes of clothes. He had also had to help her fill out some paperwork about himself.
"Please come back down after you put those away, Harry," Miss Rodgers told him.
When he returned from his room, she was talking to Sister Claire, who led them both to her little office.
"Harry," the woman from Social Services looked at him with a frown, "you didn't fill out the part about your school."
He sighed, a little frustrated because he could tell she really wanted to know and he also knew he couldn't tell her the truth. "I'm sorry, Miss Rodgers, but like I tried to explain last night, I go to a private school that my parents paid for when I was born. It's not a problem for anyone, not even my relatives could prevent me from going. Please accept that and don't worry about it."
She looked frustrated too. "Can you at least tell me the name of it?"
"You're not going to find it on any lists; it's very exclusive and they don't advertise. Either your family knows about it and sends you there or it's not talked about." He really didn't want to name it in case any Squibs saw the paperwork. As for his name, he had to hope 'Potter' was common enough that a Squib would think he was a Muggle … assuming a Squib worked for Social Services.
Rodgers sat back in more frustration.
Sister Claire intervened to keep the peace. "On a more practical topic, do you have any allergies or medical conditions we should be aware of?"
"Mr Potter," Sister Claire paused before she continued more gently, "is there anything that you prefer not to do here, chores that might make you suddenly upset?"
Harry pondered that for a moment before he realized what she was asking. Hanging his head, he nodded slightly. "I'd prefer if I didn't have to cook. I can clean up if needed, but I'd really like to not have to cook."
"That didn't work out well for you with your relatives?" Claire asked, still very gently.
"Usually not; I believe that was why the last fight started; I wasn't cooking like they thought I was supposed to be. They didn't bother me too much when I was cleaning up and I could sneak any food away that they didn't eat," he admitted. Of course, given how Dudley normally ate, there usually wasn't much left over.
"I don't think that will be a problem here," the nun told him with a confirming smile and comforting hand on his shoulder.
He wondered if this conversation was over just before Rodgers spoke up once more.
"One last thing, Harry, one of our social workers will be by tomorrow to talk to you. It will be very confidential, she won't even tell me what you say unless she thinks you will hurt yourself. I hope you will talk to her. Almost every young person that I've talked to in a situation like yours finds this helpful." Rodgers looked at him expectantly.
Realizing she was waiting for an answer, he finally nodded. "I guess it can't hurt." As he looked down again, he saw his new trainers and smiled. "Thank you for the clothes. It's the first time I've ever had new clothes that weren't a school uniform."
Marsha Rodgers put her hand on Harry's shoulder and patted it. "My agency is here to help you, Harry, or at least where we can given that we're always short-handed and short of budget. I'll drop by and check on you next week."
She left and Sister Claire let him go do what he wanted. Going to the bookcase of library books, he found a book on preparing for the O-Level tests. He picked it up to see what he had missed because he'd left for Hogwarts and what he could learn now. He couldn't pull out his magical books except when he was alone in his room at night.
Since it was a nice day, he went to the playground in the back and made himself comfortable in the shade. He also took a few minutes to try out his new power. He was able to make a few limbs of the big tree move with the wind; it was hard work to use it in a controlled fashion, but he would practice.
(A/N: I wanted Harry to have an X-men like power but didn't want to do a crossover, so this is how I'm doing that. BTW, when I envision the scene where the police break through the door, I think of Dwayne Johnson in the role of the large cop who takes Vernon down. :)
For those who don't remember from the books, Petunia Dursley does try to hit Harry with a frying pan. From book 2 and I quote:
Harry paid dearly for his moment of fun. As neither Dudley nor the hedge was in any way hurt, Aunt Petunia knew he hadn't really done magic, but he still had to duck as she aimed a heavy blow at his head with the soapy frying pan. Then she gave him work to do, with the promise he wouldn't eat again until he'd finished.
Ah, such a lovely woman … not!
If you want a true "Harry is an magical Elemental" story, you should check out "Elemental Harry" by Hermyd. Despite the fact that we both let Harry play with air, there is nothing borrowed from that story. Anything that is found in both stories should be "common sense" sort of things, like Harry can move air and move things with air.
Don't forget, I can edit the story after Kokopelli sees it, so any remaining errors should be attributed to me and not him; he does great work.)