Things you should probably know before reading this work of fan fiction.
Spoilers for the first four Harry Potter books. I have read OOTP, but this idea predated that, and although I might pull certain things from that book, this story deals with events that took place the summer before fifth year. So, basically, fifth year didn't happen.
This is not meant to be a prediction of canon. There is no way that this would ever really happen in JK's books. I know this, but my imagination got carried away.
This is not a romance fic. I don't really know if there will be any pairing with Harry right now, but I will say that if I do, the only one that I feel I could realistically write would be Harry/Ginny. I do not usually like Harry/Original Character fics, so I won't write one, and I can't really see Harry with any other canon characters. So, that one is up in the air, but romance is not the focus of this fic. There will be no slash relationships in this fic.
I am an American, and although I am trying very hard to keep this British, it's quite possible that I'll slip up. Feel free to let me know if anything real obvious shows up, and I'll probably change it. That being said, I'm sticking to the American spelling of words just for my own sanity and the sake of my Americanized spell checker.
Lastly, I am trying to spell magical words right, but as I am probably the only person under twenty that doesn't own the HP books, I'm having to go off of memory and other fan fics. So, once again, just let me know if you catch anything.
GENERAL DISCLAIMER: None of the people, places or things mentioned below are mine. This world and all of the inhabitants belong to JK Rowling, and I am writing this fic purely for enjoyment, not profit. If this idea has been used by another fan fiction author, I apologize, and assure you that I did not intend to copy your work.
Whew, sorry about that. So, on to the story. Please review and give me your opinion of the fic so far. Thanks, krtshadow.
Sirius Black grimaced as he walked as confidently as possible down the dark, narrow corridors of the infamous Azkaban. He had hoped that he would never be with in ten miles of this place again, and yet, here he was, entering this hellhole again, and by his own violation. Desperate for a reason to get his mind off of the memories of his past, and the even more hideous imaginations of what another innocent being had suffered here, he turned his attention to the people striding along with him in the direction of the high security cells.
Remus Lupin, Sirius's best friend and confidante, looked pale as he glanced at the dirty cells that lined the passageways. Never one to like enclosed spaces, Remus looked like he might be ill, and was probably thinking similar guilty thoughts regarding the boy that they were coming to retrieve. Thoughts that ran along the lines of, 'How could I have been such an idiot?' and 'Merlin, what have we done?' In contrast, the man that walked on the other side of Sirius merely looked calm and composed, as Albus Dumbledore almost always did. Noticeable to those who knew him, however, was the lack of the customary twinkle in his eyes, and the addition of yet another crease to his forehead.
These men could only hope that they were not too late. Yet, they feared the worst. Would six years in Azkaban break Harry Potter the way that five confrontations with the Dark Lord had not? Sirius had survived twice that long, but Harry had not had the shelter of an animagus form to hide from the dementors in. Harry had had no protection, and likely had worse memories than the average Azkaban convict. This mistake could cost the Light everything.
And what a mistake it had been. Three weeks after the end of his fourth year, it had been discovered that Harry had been missing for two days, and it had seemed that he had voluntarily left his relative's house. He had shown up at the first battle between light and dark forces, and nothing had been the same since. For the last meeting between The Boy Who Lived and The Dark Lord Who Killed had ended with a battlefield strewn with dead, magically drained light side witches and wizards. All of the evidence had shown that Harry's wand had unloosed the curse that had mowed down over one hundred and fifty people. The spell used was one of great darkness, and the fact that it had seemingly knocked Voldemort for a temporary loop did not excuse its use. Even Dumbledore himself had looked at Harry in horror as he had believed that Harry must have learned the spell from a book that Harry had gotten from the restricted section with the invisibility cloak the headmaster himself had given the boy. The incriminating book had been found in with Harry's school things, a marker at the page that the spell was on.
Harry had been placed in Azkaban not twenty four hours after he had been retrieved from the battlefield where he hadn't been recognized by anyone until after the battle was over. Any light side witnesses to the events of the fight were dead. Harry had collapsed into a brief coma which had probably been just fatigue, but could have also been the exhaustion that was customary after usage of such a blatantly evil spell. The ministry had been terrified that Harry would either join Voldemort or be his successor. The Order of the Phoenix, lead by Dumbledore, had concurred. Harry had woken up in a cell.
These three men would never forgive themselves.
The following five years had been relatively peaceful. There had been rumors that informed Dumbledore that Voldemort had been severely injured by the spell supposedly cast by Harry and was using his recuperation time to regroup and plan further destruction. The Order used this time to recruit and plan for the coming war. If any of Harry's former friends and family thought of him, it was privately and with great sorrow that such a promising young man could turn so evil so quickly.
Then, in the last eleven months, Voldemort had slowly been regaining his former status. Well-planned attacks were very successful and the light side was having difficulties adequately defending itself against the encroaching evil. Wormtail had been captured soon after Harry's incarceration, leading to the freedom of Sirius Black and the ministries late realization that the threat of Voldemort was real. However, it wasn't until the capture of one Adrian Silene, Wormtail's successor for the coveted position of Voldemort's right hand and most frequently tortured servant, that the truth about Harry had surfaced.
Not twenty-four hours ago, the Order had been interrogating Silene under veritaserum, and had, to their horror, learned the extent of their foolishness. Harry had been taken from his relatives' house, not by force, but by a sizable deposit into the account of Vernon Dursley. Dursley had simply handed the boy over, uncaring as to his fate. The book had been easily planted in Harry's room, and the unconscious, but unharmed boy had been taken to the battlefield. Because of the similarities between the brother wands, Voldemort was able to use Harry's wand to cast his evil spell. Leaving Harry unconscious and surrounded by the dead, he had left, trusting in the ministry and the Order to finish his work for him. They had done so with a vengeance, and Harry's side of the story was never heard.
Silene was unaware of the real reasons behind Voldemort's five year silence, but it hadn't been because he was recuperating from any spell. Voldemort seemed to have taken previous lessons in trust to heart, and no one, not even the few spies that the Order managed to keep active, knew much of what the Dark Lord had been up to. The Order was only able to guess at what secret evil he had been planning during this time.
With this testimony, pieces began to fall into place. Harry would not have been able to learn that complex of a spell in such a short amount of time. Not only that, but his guilt over Cedric's death should have pointed out to those who knew him that Harry Potter would never sacrifice human life to gain his goals. The fact that no one had even bothered to ask Harry his version of the events came to light and the puzzle was complete.
Horrified, Dumbledore had barely taken the time to make sure that Silene was placed in a cell before firecalling Sirius, Remus, Hermione, and the Weasleys. Sirius had merely sat in growing horror as the truth about his godson washed over him. Remus had shared similar feelings of guilt, feeling that once again, he had failed to put the evidence together the right way, and helped condemn another innocent young man to Azkaban. Hermione and Ron were stunned, and with the Weasleys, demanded that Harry be released at once.
So, this was why these men had entered this place of horror, one returning, one visiting again, and one for the first time. The dementors had joined Voldemort nearly a month ago, and aurors now stalked the halls of the fortress prison instead. A few pointed questions led to answers that none of the men wanted to hear. According to the head auror, no one in the high security block was sane. It didn't matter, though, Harry Potter was leaving this place tonight, sane or not.
They finally came to a halt before one cell, seemingly no different from its neighbors, although it had one major thing that set it apart from its fellows. The man inside was innocent. Ignoring the moans from the man in the cell to the left and the wide eyed, non blinking stare of the woman in the cell to the left, Dumbledore lifted his wand and spoke the words that unlocked the cell door. Then, unconsciously holding his breath, Sirius stepped into the cell. "Harry?" His voice cracked slightly as he took in the drab room that had held his godson prisoner for way too long. Remus and Dumbledore followed silently. Their eyes were immediately drawn to the rough bed, finding it empty. Then Sirius moved quickly to a corner, where a young man sat slumped against the wall. "Harry." If he was hoping for a response, he was disappointed, for the rather bedraggled Harry made no noise, no movement, nothing at all.
Sirius seemed frozen at the sight of the mess that was Harry, and Remus didn't look much better, so Dumbledore moved towards the young man and couched beside him. "Harry, can you hear me?" No response. "Harry, we know what really happened. We know you're innocent. Harry?" Nothing. The headmaster looked disappointed at Harry's lack of response, while the two other occupants of the room looked downright traumatized. Dumbledore gently touched Harry's arm and managed to pull him to his feet. He stood, swaying weakly, and then started to slide back down again. Remus moved forward, and slung an arm around Harry's waist, supporting his slight frame easily. Dumbledore placed one wrinkled finger under Harry's chin and pushed it up into the light.
All three men slumped slightly. Harry Potter's green eyes, once so full of light, held no spark of recognition or life. Sirius choked back a sob as he moved to support Harry's other side. "Come on, Harry, let's take you home."
As they carefully picked their way out of the prison, all three men desperately hoped that Harry's condition was not permanent. If it was, their own stupidity may have doomed not only Harry to a life of insanity, but the wizarding world to a dictatorship under Voldemort.
None of them saw the slight glint in Harry Potter's eyes as they passed the gate, nor the twitch of his lips as they boarded the boat that would return them to the mainland. They believed that his blank eyes equaled blank mind. He let them. It was better that way, in his opinion. They would find out in due time, but until then the state of Harry Potter's mind remained his own well kept secret.
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