AN: I do not do chapter titles very often. It is possible that I will sometimes, but not very likely.
Disclaimer: I don't know why people bother with these things. What's the point? It's fanfiction, the very name says that we are taking someone else's story, because we like it, and creating a new story from it. This is the one and only one that I am going to do for this story. I do not own Harry Potter in any sense. I do own the plot. If you have a plot like mine, and you think that I stole it from you, I didn't, this is just an annoying little idea that has been playing at the back of my mind for a while. Thank you. Please read and review – or flame is you want to.
Harry stood in the window of his bedroom in number four Privet Drive, his home during the summer holidays – though he could not ever really thinking of it as 'home' since he had been to Hogwarts. Hogwarts was his home.
At the moment there were silent tears in his eyes, wet trails glistening in the light of the full moon that shone brilliant orange as it rose over the horizon.
He didn't make any move to brush the wetness from his face – what was the point? There wasn't one, they would only be replaced again, so why bother getting rid of them.
Most might view the fact that an almost fifteen year old boy was crying as out of the ordinary, after all, so many people seemed to think that men should not cry, and neither should teenage boys.
If those people knew what Harry had been through just four days before, they would not hold his tears against him. The Dark Lord was back – that would be enough to scare most adults freeze, or cry out in despair, but not Harry.
That the Dark Lord was back, he scarcely cared, the man had been trying to come back for three years, and so it barely seemed important that he had managed it this time. What mattered in Harry's mind was that this time the Dark Lord had killed in his attempt to come back.
What was worse than that, was that it had been an innocent who should not have been caught up in the whole thing who had been killed. Harry would not have minded if the Dark Lord had killed him – he'd be dead, wouldn't he? – but he had defied Lord Voldemort so many times that there would be something wrong with the man if he didn't try to kill the one who had first defeated him near fourteen years before, and had thwarted his attempts to come back to power, or ruined his plans, twice since then.
Yes, Lord Voldemort trying – whether he succeeded or failed – to kill him would have been completely normal and expected, but he had killed Cedric Diggory – a boy who by rights should not have been there, in any way involved with the plan to bring the Dark Lord back.
Well, now Cedric was dead and it was Harry's fault. If he hadn't insisted on Cedric taking the Triwizard Cup with him, the other boy would have still been alive today, enjoying the summer holidays, happily ignorant of the fact that the most feared Dark Lord of the last century at least had come back to power.
The Ministry would have kept that knowledge from everyone in any case, but the fact that someone had died by the hand of one of the Dark Lords servants should have meant that they at least believed that Lord Voldemort was back.
But no. They had to be stubborn and pretend that nothing was wrong – that is, if Fudge, the Minister of Magic, had even told the rest of the Ministry what had happened.
But he must have – he would have told them that it was all some story that he – Harry – had cooked up to get more attention and publicity, but he would have told them, if only to warn them that Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore were in a plot to frighten the wizarding world and sow havoc for reasons that Fudge himself was not aware of.
Yes. He would have told them something like that. And they would have believed him, the fools. If Fudge's word was not enough, that would be the story that Lucius Malfoy would be spreading, and so no one would have the courage to put forward the idea that this was a fake story – they all feared the wrath of the Malfoy family far to much to risk that!
Harry shook his head angrily. Fools, the lot of them. But who could blame a person for being afraid? He certainly couldn't, he was afraid most of the time these days, after all, with Voldemort back, fear was a good thing. What he could – and did – blame them for was not doing anything about being afraid, or finding out what was the truth.
Emerald eyes flashed suddenly in anger, the sorrow was momentarily forgotten in a rush of anger at the Ministry of Magic – the people who were supposed to be the foundation poles of the magical world in England. How could cowards have come to places of such power? It was absolutely foolish, in Harry's mind, that people put so much store in the fact that purebloods – people who's families had always been wizards and witches – were given the top jobs simply because of that, whereas people with talent and bravery were shoved to the side simply because they had Muggle – non magical – blood in them.
His mother had been a Muggle born, a witch who's family had never known that magic existed outside of the fairytales that were read to little children. But she had been a great person, brave to the point that she was ready to give up her life for that of her son, simply so that he would have the chance to live, even if it was without her.
His father had been a pureblood, and he had heard from several people that at the time, most of the old pureblood families had been horrified at the thought of the partnership.
Suddenly his sharp eyes, hidden behind their glasses, picked out the shape of an owl framed against the light of the rising moon.
He smiled faintly, wondering if it was coming to him, and if it was, who it was from and what news it brought. He had received four owls in as many days from his friends Ron and Hermione telling him to blame himself for what had happened with Cedric and Voldemort – as if they would have done any differently had they been in his position.
Was this another one of those letters? If it was he didn't really want to receive it, because he wasn't interested in them telling him that he had to put the incident behind him and live his life to the best of his ability, like he had before. Useless, in Harry's opinion. What was the point of it? He could never live as he had before, things had changed too much for that to ever happen, and it was no use to hope for that – it could never go back to what was.
The owl was coming closer now, and Harry was sure that it was for him now, he'd never seen one come as close as that and then go in another direction.
Sure enough, the creature swooped through the open window five minutes later, Harry was waiting at Hedwig's cage, watching it patiently. Was it something harmful, from Voldemort or the like?
He peered at the letter that the owl held out to him from it's perch without touching it. The seal said that it was from Hogwarts, but how far could he trust appearances? Especially one so well known.
He sighed softly. If it was from Voldemort, he wasn't so sure that he wanted to live anyway, so it wouldn't matter if the Dark Lord killed him, and if that did happen, maybe it would make the Ministry get off their backsides and actually do something about the threat of Voldemort remaking his empire of terror, the like of which had been known just fourteen years before.
On the other hand, if it actually was from Hogwarts, he wouldn't have any problems. Reaching out, he took the letter, half expecting a jerk behind his naval that would take him into Voldemort's clutches, but it didn't come. He couldn't tell whether he was thankful or disappointed, and that made him feel somewhat scared.
He carefully lifted the seal up, not breaking it, he liked the Hogwarts seal and maybe he would keep this one. Once he had opened the envelope he lifted out the letter with the same careful moves, and finally opening it.
As he did open it, he sat down at his desk, smoothing the creases gently, scarcely noticing as the owl that had delivered it took off and swooped out of the window and away into the night.
The words on the letter chilled him – and made him angrier than ever at the foolishness of the Ministry of Magic in general, and the Minister in particular.
Dear Mr. Potter,
It grieves me to inform you that, against my wishes and councils, the Minister of Magic has come to the decision, with the full support of the Heads of the Departments, that you're claim of the fact that Lord Voldemort had returned four days ago was simply a farce to hide the fact that you murdered Cedric Diggory so as to clear your way to the Triwizard Cup, and that Barty Crouch Jr., they have at least decided that he is indeed the supposedly dead son of the late Barty Crouch, was an aide because you had promised him half of the winnings when you got them.
I am terribly sorry for this, and I am sure that it must come as quite a shock to you, but then, Cornelius has a habit of disbelieving things that he feels might be a threat to his success and office, simply because that is what they are.
He refuses to act on the information that you, Severus and I gave to him, along with the advice of both myself and Severus, and instead judges that we, too, were in on this plot, despite the fact that just a year gone he had been offering the Order of Merlin, possibly first class, to Severus for capturing Sirius Black and the fact that my Potions Master obviously hated you.
You are to be arrested tomorrow afternoon, no one should know of this, but a friend of mine was able to get the information to me, believing your story to be the correct you. I will not give their name here, in case this should fall into the wrong hands.
I acted immediately on the information and contacted Padfoot, as he insists on being called in letters, and he is more than happy to give you any help that you might need.
He will meet you in front of the Surrey Mall tomorrow morning at eleven o'clock. Bring with you everything that you believe you might need, or want. What you leave behind will no doubt be confiscated, and destroyed if it holds no clue to what has happened to you.
I warn you to leave anything that might link you to Padfoot here, as this will probably do nothing but give the Ministry the proof that what Fudge claims is the right of the matter.
Destroy this letter before you leave, if not immediately after you have read it, and be as careful as you can in the upcoming months, though I'm sure that Padfoot will give you all of the tips and help that you could need or want. He won't let anything happen to you.
Harry was in shock as he finished reading the letter. How could Fudge do that? How could the Ministry support him? They should all know that he was a hero, that he stood for almost everything good. Certainly he had a disregard for the rules, but who could blame a few broken rules? Sirius and James had both broken thousands every year, with no better excuse than that they liked doing it, or at least, they liked pranks, and if they got in trouble for it, it didn't matter, because they'd do it again in a second anyway.
He only broke the rules when he had to, and that was only when he was trying to prevent something disastrous from happening … well, it usually was. He certainly didn't brake as many as some that he knew of.
But protesting the fact that this had happened wasn't going to get him anywhere. The fact was that it had happened, and there was nothing left to but act on the information that he had been given, in the time that he had to act in. Which wasn't much.
Thankfully he hadn't really been bothered to unpack his trunk in the last four days, he had been too depressed or too busy doing the chores that the Dursley's had given him.
Now that he thought about it, he hadn't even spoken once to a human since leaving Platform Nine and Three Quarters. He had not bothered with saying hello to his uncle, simply nodded, and a nod of his head was all the response that he had given his relatives over the last few days, or a shake of it.
He had spoken to Hedwig, to reassure both her and himself in the late hours of the night, or the early hours of the morning.
Shaking himself slightly, Harry walked over to the loose floorboard beneath his bed, laying flat on his stomach to reach it, and lifted it open, feeling inside until he found what he was reaching for: a large sack of gold that he had left over from the last summer. He'd forgotten it when he went to the Weasley's, he had plenty in his bank if he needed it.
Could he get to that? If he was about to be accused of being a murderer, he doubted that he would be able to go into a bank and get out money. In fact, he knew completely well that he wouldn't be able to.
How long would it take to get to Diagon Alley by broom, he wondered. Could he be there and back by the time that he had to meet Sirius? For that was of course who Dumbledore had meant by 'Padfoot' that had been Harry's godfathers nickname from his friends at school.
Sirius Black was a convicted murderer who had been sent to jail for crimes that he had not committed, and had escaped the wizard prison, Azkaban, the first escapee since the place had been built.
He had met up with Harry a little over a year ago – it seemed odd in a way, not two years ago, Harry had not known his name, just under a year ago he had wanted the man dead more than anything in the world, and now he was looking forward to spending time with the man he now knew as his godfather, even if it was because those he had thought he could trust had turned against him.
He was just debating whether or not he could try to fly to Diagon Alley when another owl flew in through the window.
Again deciding that the possible risk was worth the possible gain, Harry took the offered letter, and was glad that he had when he realized that it was from his godfather.
It's me, Padfoot. I trust that you got Dumbledore's letter. Don't worry about anything, I got Dumbledore to give Remus a spare key to your account in Gringotts and get out some money.
Well, a lot of money. If you were worried about that, don't be, I have five sacks full of galleons, and another three of sickles and knuts, so we won't go without money, rest assured.
If all goes well, I'll meet you tomorrow morning at ten at the mall. I'll be Padfoot, so don't look for anyone else, ok? Have as good a night as is possible when you know that the world will soon be out for your head,
He smiled. Trust Sirius to end a letter with something like that. He suddenly found himself greatly looking forward to the next morning, what ever the reason that he would be joining his godfather was.
And Sirius had thought of money too, that was a relief, now the problem of whether or not he could reach Diagon Alley in time was solved – he didn't have to get there in the first place.
With a sigh he checked on the last things that he had taken out of his trunk and replaced them carefully, feeling thankful that he had already eaten dinner – he didn't want to see the faces of the people he knew would tell the Ministry every bad thing he ever did – real or imagined – the moment they were asked.
Harry fell into bed, though it was still in the early hours of night compared to his usual sleeping times, which were from about three or four in the morning till sometime in the mid afternoon, thus avoiding the Dursley's as much as possible.
It was just after nine at night now, but Harry knew that he would sleep easily, he could sleep when he wanted to, he'd found, no matter what hours he had slept the night before.
Falling into bed, he did indeed find himself asleep a few moments later, though not in the manner that he thought he would.
'Master, I have convinced Fudge that his idle speculation about the Potter boy being a murderer could be true, and the rest of the Ministry fell in step almost instantly. Master, I hope that I have been able to aid your plans in some way, however small it might be.'
It was Lucius Malfoy, the father of Harry's greatest enemy in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, kneeling at the feet of Lord Voldemort, a tall pale-skinned man with a lipless mouth and snake like nostrils, his eyes, demon red, glowed eerily in the darkness, and Harry shivered.
'Who are you to think that you aid me? Who are you to even suggest that I might need the aid of anyone else? But since you have managed to lessen the things that I would have done myself, I will not punish you. This time. If it happens again, you will regret it, Lucius,' Voldemort hissed at the man on the floor in front of him.
Harry shivered again slightly. He remembered back in his third year when Dumbledore had said, 'Lord Voldemort shows as much mercy to his followers as he does his enemies. None.'
Wormtail entered the room, and Harry snarled softly, silently as far as those in the room were concerned, though he could hear himself.
'My lord, there is no words on the giants,' he spoke out, before realizing that there was another in the room. He didn't have the time to apologize for the Cruciatus curse hit him in the chest and he fell screaming.
Harry jerked from the dream into the waking world with a cry of pain.
For a moment he lay on his bed, panting softly, before he turned his head and slept again, trying to ignore the pain in his scar that burned so viciously.
He must have succeeded, because the next thing he knew was waking up in the early hours of the morning, six, his alarm said when he looked at it after shoving his glasses on his nose.
He dragged himself to his feet and stumbled downstairs making as little noise as possible, and got things ready for his relatives breakfast to be cooked in two hours or so when they were about to wake up. He knew the routine well by now, and went back upstairs to read a book for an hour or so.
He had a good one that Hermione had sent him, apparently with the hope of taking his mind off the events of the last day of school. He'd heard of the book before, of course, but he had never been given the chance to read it – not when it included things to do with 'magic' and 'make-believe', but the Lord of the Rings was a good read, and just the thought of thing he felt like at the moment.
He'd read the Hobbit already, it had not taken him long, but he had enjoyed it immensely, and he was already five hundred pages into the actual trilogy, Helms Deep was the name of the chapter, it was in the Two Towers, the second book.
An hour and a little over fifty pages later, Harry got up and headed downstairs again to begin the breakfast. Just as he finished cooking it, the Dursley's appeared sitting around the table and ignoring him as usual. He wondered if they'd even realize that he had gone, or if they did, how long it would take them.
He ate his own breakfast quickly and headed upstairs to read some more of the book before he went to meet Sirius. At half past ten, Harry got up and took out his wand.
He felt a little nervous, he'd never deliberately done magic out of school, as it was against the law, but he shook his head to rid himself of such thoughts and shrunk his trunk swiftly before heading downstairs with it in his pocket.
He said nothing as he opened the door and went outside, but none of the Dursley's noticed, he went out every day when he woke up, and it didn't seem at all unusual that he would do it now.
He smiled to himself. This is the last time I'll ever be in this house again, probably, he thought. Well, goodbye and good riddance! With that thought he headed away quickly, knowing that it probably wouldn't be long before an owl arrived in the Dursley's house, but they wouldn't notice anything besides that he wasn't there to yell at. They wouldn't think of wondering why he had needed a shrinking charm, not until the Aurors or whoever appeared in the afternoon asking after him.
That would give them a surprise, Harry thought. The relatives of the famous boy who lived not even caring for their nephew enough to wonder where he was or if he was alright.
He shrugged slightly. That wasn't his problem anymore, his problem was finding Sirius. He thought that his godfather would probably be early, in case the Aurors were also early, and upon reaching the mall, found that he had been correct.
It was Sunday morning and not many people were about now, most of them were still at church, so it was an easy enough feat getting close to him without startling him.
Sirius saw him and moved slightly, showing a lead that was attached to the pole beside him, a studded leather collar encircled his neck and he gave Harry a disgusted look, as if saying, Look at what I have to do!
Harry walked closer and took the lead from the pole. "Good boy, Padfoot! You stayed! Well done!" he said in an enthusiastic praising the dog sort of voice. Sirius gave him a cold glance and bounded to his feet, all but pulling Harry along behind him as he headed the path, and then turned… they moved through so many streets that Harry felt somewhat lost just thinking about it, although he still recognized the areas that they were in.
They kept moving until they reached an abandoned building a short way out of town, it had been on the outskirts of a forest once, but now the forest had grown around it, and the run down place was forgotten by most.
The moment they were inside, Sirius transformed back to a human and removed the collar from his human neck. "I hate that thing, but I'd have hated being taken to a pound more I suppose. At least, that's what I tell myself," he remarked.
Harry laughed and threw himself at his godfather, who engulfed him in a huge hug. "I missed you kid, I hope you've been alright," Sirius said.
"I've been fine, and it's only been four days since I saw you last. What happened to what Dumbledore wanted to do? Where is Professor Lupin? Why did …" Harry said, trying to ask all of his questions at once, which didn't work very well.
Sirius smiled slightly. "Whoa there kid," he said. "Dumbledore and I both agreed that your safety and welfare was more important than what he had wanted me to do originally, and Remus can continue doing that without my help, which is what he is doing now, to answer those two questions, and instead of asking me a whole heap of questions, let's get your things out and deshrunk so we can get started with the things that you'll be needing now."
"Ok," Harry dug out the trunk in question and took out his wand.
Before he could say anything, however, Sirius took the wand gently out his hand. "First thing: the Ministry can trace the use of underaged wizardry, so they'd be able to find us if you did that. I'll do it for you and take off the spell on the wand – James and I worked out how to do it in time for the summer before our sixth year,' he said.
Harry smiled slightly and nodded at his own mistake, placing his trunk on a table that was still in position even after the owners had long since given up on the old place.
Sirius performed the charm that brought his things back to normal size, and then tapped the wand with his finger three times sharply, muttering something under his breath.
There was a flash of gold streaked white light and Sirius handed the wand back to Harry. "There, it won't pick up on underaged wizardry from now on," he stated, and looked about to say more when his head jerked up, listening for something.
Harry opened his mouth to speak, but Sirius held a finger to his lips to indicate silence, transformed into the form of a giant black dog and slipped swiftly away, towards the front of the house.
Harry sighed and settled down to wait for his godfathers return. It came a few moments later, Sirius human as he entered the room. "There's a group of fat boys out there, throwing stuff at the house, I think they might be trying to work up the courage to come inside," he told Harry.
"I think that might be my cousin," Harry said, he remembered Dudley saying something about a game of dares or something once, Petunia had tried to talk him out of it, but no way was Dudley going to stay behind – they'd think he was a coward!
"If you just go and bark at them when the come into the house, they'd be running for home as fast as their legs can carry them. Not fast, I'll admit, but they'll still be gone," Harry said.
Sirius grinned, "want to come and hide so you can watch?" he asked, a wicked light in his eyes.
"Yes!" Harry said instantly.
"Come on then, I know where we can go, so you won't be heard by them if you make a noise or anything," Sirius headed towards the back of the house, and then up some steps and into a room that looked down on the front veranda.
Sure enough, it was Dudley and his gang, throwing rocks at the moment and loudly daring each other to go inside. Sirius disappeared downstairs, changing form to a dog.
Harry watching with mounting expectation as Dudley and his gang crept inside. Suddenly there was a snarling growl followed by a loud bark. Screams of terror rent the air and the group came tumbling out of the house, literally fighting with one another to get away from the place as quickly as possible.
Harry was laughing softly to himself as he headed downstairs, grinning at Sirius, who was laughing hard.
"You know, they'll all tell how you nearly bit their legs off, or jumped on them and how bravely they'd fought you," Harry remarked. "They did that once when I let a boa constrictor loose in a zoo by accident. It just bit at their heels playfully, and they were saying how it nearly strangled them, or nearly bit their legs off."
Sirius chuckled a little at that. "Well, they won't be coming back here, but if they say that, perhaps their parents will call the police to investigate in a case of 'savage beasts', and that wouldn't be good for us," he said, growing serious.
Harry nodded. "Does that mean we're moving?" he asked with calm acceptance. Sirius looked at him as if in surprise, shook his head slightly as if to clear it of something and then nodded.
"Yeah, we'll have to go further into the forest, I know that there is a very small run-down shepherds hut on the other side, we can stay there for a while, before I decide what to do next," he said.
Harry nodded and re-shrunk his things, putting them into a pocket. Sirius, with a look of incredible distaste, told him to put the collar and lead on him again so that it just looked like a boy walking his dog, and no one would be suspicious if they saw.
Back at Privet Drive, earlier that morning:
Petunia screamed as an owl flew in through the window, and Vernon came at a run, he saw the owl and snarled a curse, grapping the letter it offered, not really noticing that it hooted in soft pain at his roughness.
He flipped it open. "That boy has been doing you know what again," he growled. '"Well, he's out now, but the moment he comes back, he'll be in trouble, that's for sure!"
Petunia nodded weakly, looking slightly faint.
But Harry didn't come back, not that they really noticed, at least, not until a knock came at the door about three hours later.
Vernon opened the door to find a crowd of people on his doorstep. He was about to tell them that he didn't support charities, when the leader of the group spoke.
"We are here to arrest your nephew. We believe he may have murdered a boy, I know this may come as something of a shock –"
"No, no, it sounds exactly something that he would do. He'll be upstairs I expect, his bedroom is just to the left of the stairs," Vernon replied, glee in his piggy little eyes. He didn't even care that these people must be wizards.
When it was discovered that his trunk and everything for school was missing, they searched the entire house, founding some things of his in the cupboard under the stairs – the leader of the group looked disgusted when he learned that this had been where Harry had lived for the greater part of his life – and they called in a few more squads to search the town and see if they could find him.
The original group left with orders that they were to be contacted should Harry come home, and if that did happen, the boy was to be held until they could get there.
Back at the Ministry the man who had led the team, Captain Gregory Stifle, paced around his office angrily. "How could they let a hero like him grow up in such a dismal place? I can't believe it, I'm surprised that he never killed them for mistreating him! Reports say that he was friends with the Diggory boy, to an extent," he snarled.
Alastor – Mad-Eye – Moody, nodded his head in agreement. "The boys no murderer, Stifle," he said. "I believe what Dumbledore told us was the truth, Voldemort is back-" he ignored Stifle's flinch, "and he killed Diggory at the end of the third task.
"I know perfectly well that I was contained for the entire year, stunned and under Imperious, at the hands of Barty Crouch Jr. and nothing that Fudge claims can convince me otherwise, although I'll be hard pressed to make anyone else believe me, since I've been 'jumping at shadows' for so long now."
Stifle sighed and nodded. "I'm prepared to believe you, I never knew Dumbledore to be wrong once he claimed something was the truth, but you know that I can't support the two of you openly, or I'll lose my job here, Fudge won't let people who doubt his cause remain here for long," he said.
"That's fine, boy, as long as your prepared to help out with Dumbledore if he needs it," Moody growled. "I'd best be going, they'll get suspicious if I'm seen around you too often, but remember what I've told you, and don't forget-"
Stifle, who knew the line off by heart, spoke along with Moody, "constant vigilance." Moody stepped into the fire and disappeared instantly.
Ok, I told you I'd start a new story soon. How was it? I hope you like it as much as the other ones. Please review, because there is no way I'm going to update this if I don't get some support from you! At least 10, hopefull 16 reviews before I update!