Harry Potter and the Juggernaut's Resolve
Disclaimer: I do not own anything regarding Harry Potter
It was the summer after Harry's 3rd year. Harry Potter, thin but healthy awoke with a death defying gasp typical of those awakening from a nightmare. Bright emerald eyes flew open as he sat up in single sized worn mattress that had seen better days. Sweat matted his dark, permanently messy hair as he struggled to come to terms with what happened during his last year at Hogwarts, the supposedly perfectly safe school that was boasted to be the one the premier schools in the European continent. He swung his legs off the bed and considered pacing but thought better of it as he didn't want to disturb his so called family.
Uncle Vernon was not a pleasant person at all with his fear filled rage at what he could not understand and the rest of his family was not far off. Aunt Petunia, who was the opposite of Vernon and his spawn Dudley, in a perfectly understanding world was supposed to be comforting and understanding of what he could do but alas it was not a perfect world. Tall and thin with a longer than normal neck from craning to discover the more juicer gossip in Privet Drive, she was just as fear-filled and violent towards him as Vernon and Dursley but just not in a physical sense. This completed the package of abuse that plagued him for the first 10 years of his life in the repetitive lifestyle that surrounded Privet Drive and the summers of the next 3 summers when he returned from the world where he felt he belonged. The Wizarding World.
Deep down Harry knew that he only belonged on some level as Harry himself and not as the Boy-Who-Lived. If he truly belonged as Harry then the other students at Hogwarts wouldn't have stigmatized him during his second year when he found that he could talk to snakes at the same time as everyone else, rare skill be damned. He sighed as he got up to press his forehead against the cool window that came with the night. He shuddered as he remembered the chilling presence that he felt when he confronted the Dementors during his last week at Hogwarts. Presence colder than winter blizzards without proper clothing, the feeling of fear that was radiated and multiplied as dozens of Dementors swarmed him, his godfather Sirius and close friend Hermione.
It should be expected that the effects would still linger even if he stayed in the tender care of the school medi-witch Madam Pomfrey after the events that should not have happened in a proper world. Time-travel, soul sucking demons and shape-shifters were assuredly not part of the regular year school curriculum. He laughed quietly under his breath as he thought back to his previous years at Hogwarts. Possessed and incompetent professors, magical creatures that wanted to tear his body and soul apart and plots upon plots to resurrect one Dark Lord who decided that he wanted to spread fear with an anagram.
As he sat down in his rickety chair that looked like it wouldn't last another year he contemplated on his determination to continue with his magical training focus that was very vague and did not seem to help him at all with the death defying adventures that he had no interest but still engaged in every year. Unknown to him his magic heard his thoughts and started to echo inside of him and gently shifted as it followed his contemplation, like a prowling beast in a cage that was patiently biding its time as it considered the best way to unleash its fury upon those who wished it harm.
Unaware of this change inside of him his thoughts turned back one of his two closest friends that he had in his life. All 13 soon to be 14 years of it. Hermione Granger, resident Ravenclaw in Gryffindor. Shorter than he was by 2-3 inches, petite but still possessing womanly charms that she was assuredly growing into, not that he consciously acknowledged it but he subconsciously noticed if his more pleasant dreams were anything to be talked about. Not that he would of course. No definitely not. No thinking about her impish smile that seemed to brighten up the room whenever he saw it. Definitely not about how her brown curly locks of hair tumbled down her back whenever she stretched or shifted when she was reading and talking animatedly about something she particularly enjoyed.
She was one of the anchors in his life for when the going got tough her she was there. When he was nervous before a Quidditch game or an exam she was there, with her brown eyes shining a bright amber as she gazed upon him with all the love and trust that he would pull through and come out on top of whatever was plaguing him at the time. He would do anything for her, even if it was protecting her from hell if it came to it.
His internal contemplation completed he fortified his resolve and vowed to do anything and everything that he could to protect her who brightened up his life with her mere presence. His magic followed his train of thought and landed on his latest decision. To Protect. As it landed on this burning resolve it too decided to protect its master and any who he deemed worthy of his protection it began to change. Imbuing the idea of protection with all of its might it set out to meet its master's will halfway and started to lean towards a defensive orientation. Scratch that. Rather than lean it spiked towards the idea of defense and started to burn through Harry's midnight energy.
As he yawned his breathing got heavier, as if he had just ran a marathon with no warning or time to stretch. He staggered to bed and as he collapsed face first onto his pillow, turning his head so that he could still breathe when he awoke in the morning he could have sworn he heard a whisper, as if carried by the wind. 'We will protect those we deem worthy. No matter the cost'. He contemplated these words as he felt Morpheus' pull and decided wholeheartedly that these ideals were those that he could definitely get behind. He smiled as sleep finally claimed him. To protect others as his parents once protected him was absolutely something that he could get behind.
Harry woke up the next morning feeling refreshed and energetic. The sun was rising steadily and the early morning rays were starting to peek through the flimsy, moth eaten curtains spraying his wall with beads of gold. As he looked at the small clock on his table and saw that it was six-thirty he shrugged to himself and decided to start cooking breakfast early so that the Dursleys wouldn't have a reason to yell at him so early in the day. With that decided he set off quietly down the stairs into the kitchen and got out everything he needed to make a typical breakfast for Number 4, Privet Drive.
As the smell of bacon and sausages wafted through the open door, rousing the other inhabitants, Harry thought back to the decision that he had made last night as he unconsciously went about making the huge spread of food that he knew he would get little of. What he wasn't expecting though was that as he turned after serving up the last of the dishes, Dudley, with his polished wooden stick that Smeltings idiotically decided to hand out to each student for who knows why decided that he wasn't moving out of the way and decided to strike him in the back of his head. Why he was carrying it at 7 in the morning was a mystery that Harry decided wasn't worth his effort to figure out.
As he moved to put the pans he used into the sink to wash them he was surprised to hear a thunk, as if something wooden had hit a wall. Whirling around he stopped and stared at Dudley, faces mirrored in surprise at the translucent green wall that sprung up between Harry and the potential threat. They stood there for who knows how long both staring open-mouthed in surprise until both of Dudley's parents walked into the room and all conversation died out as they became just as shocked as the two preteens in front of them.
"BOY, what is the meaning of this!" Roared Vernon as his face turned a nasty puce that Harry knew signified rage and would probably result in a beating at worst and days locked in his room at best.
"I, I don't know." Stammered Harry as he was just as shocked as his uncle that he had done magic. His eyes flickered to the window eyes wide in fear at the thought of receiving another owl after the warning in his second year that stated that he would be expelled if he cast magic again in front of muggles. Vernon bellowed in anger as he charged at Harry, intent on showing his displeasure in the usual violent way that has been the norm for years. Petunia and Dudley moved to the side, watching in sadistic pleasure at the thought of watching said husband and father beat the boy even though he had done nothing wrong.
Harry's eyes flickered around the room, instinctively casing it and casting away plans that wouldn't work and categorizing those that would into an order of success. Plans made, he ducked under Vernon's outstretched arms and made to escape through the door and back to the relative safety of his room where he could wait out his uncle's anger until he was needed to do chores outside.
He wasn't counting on Dudley wanting to see him get beaten and thus didn't notice his Smelting stick aiming to trip him by smacking him on his ankle. As Harry landed on the floor and immediately realized what the end result would be he felt a pain strike him in the chest, like a hammer but larger and thicker. Harry slid across the floor and landed against the wall with a painful oomph as the breath left his body from the impact. Knowing what was coming next he curled himself up into a ball with his hands protecting his neck and face tucked against his legs with his knees and elbows providing protection from his uncle's rage.
As Harry prepared himself for the beating of a potentially life-threatening beating from the imminent approach of his uncle his magic answered his call of desperation. The original wall that had disappeared when Harry moved to escape sprung up again this time surrounding his entire curled up body just as his uncle was placing his foot down, literally, with the intent to break all of his nephew's ribs and maybe ending the source of apparent evil that plagued his house, family and life for over a decade.
The translucent lime green wall made a noise like the sound of a punching bag as it held itself protectively around the one that unknowingly summoned it. Vernon, furious at the turn of events, bellowed in anger as his face turned an even darker puce and began slamming his foot against the wall again and again in rage fueled desperation to wipe clean the smear of freakishness that lay before him.
Harry, curious as to why there was no pain slowly looked up to make sure that his uncle wasn't just waiting for him to lower his guard paused as he warily gazed around him. His eyes first flickered to Dudley who had an arrogant smirk as if he was watching a small dirty animal being beaten by one of his cronies to his aunt who looked slightly upset at the thought of Vernon attempting to squash the life out of him like a bug.
Harry contemplated that thought and decided to think about it in his room later, slightly warmed by the thought that while his aunt may not like him, she didn't want him dead. He watched the foot slam down again and again although the pace started to slow as his uncle, overweight as he is started to get tired from wasting so much energy on an act that clearly wasn't working, he heard a gentle voice almost like a whisper blowing over him, saying that he would be protected no matter what. The voice brought a slight smile to his face which was agreed by everyone that it wasn't the smartest thing Harry could have done at the moment.
Vernon gasped for breath as he managed to choke out "Go to...your room... no food..." as he sank deeply into one of the chairs that groaned under his weight. Harry, not believing his luck, raced up the stairs and back into his room slamming the door shut and breathing heavily from both magical exhaustion and adrenaline. He leant against the door and tried to catch his breath wondering what just happened. Soft footsteps could be heard down the hallway that stopped just outside his door.
"Do you know what just happened?" whispered Aunt Petunia as she spoke through the catflap that was installed to pass food whenever Harry was locked in.
"I have no idea... Honest... I didn't even have my wand..." Harry started to babble, his current mood not helping him comprehend what just happened and the andrenaline and increased heart rate making it worse.
"I know. You were just as surprised as we were to see the wall. I'll try to calm Vernon down and make sure that you only stay locked in here as punishment." Replied Petunia, voice low as if to calm the same small animal that recently took a beating by Dudley's friends. Harry just sat there stunned as he heard what Petunia said.
"Don't expect this to happen every time you use your freakishness. I still hate the fact that you can do it but even i know there is a difference between heavy handed discipline and attempted murder." Petunia's voice rang out, tone sharp and cutting as it was the day before.
Harry stayed silent for a few moments longer still processing what just happened when he finally had the common sence and courtesy to reply. "Thank you." Whispered Harry, unsure of what else to reply. His aunt just scoffed but made no other noise as she rose and walked away. Harry decided then and there that while it wouldn't make up for years of abuse if he had the chance to protect one of the only living links to his parents then he would do it however he could. No matter the cost.