Beyond the Horizon

By Spork and Foon

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Disclaimer: Harry Potter, and all its characters, is the lawful property of J. K. Rowling, and may she have mercy on my soul for my utterly distasteful use of them. In no way whatsoever do I profit financially from this.

Summary: A vengeful Death Eater breaching the security of Privet Drive causes an eight year old Harry Potter to be taken to Hogwarts and to be adopted by Albus Dumbledore; hence, forming the most dysfunctional family the Magical World has seen in years…

Author's Note: After reading HandMeDown Clothes by Quillitch, I felt the need to write my own story where Harry is taken away from the Dursleys' care as a young child. Because I didn't want to copy Quillitch's story completely, mine will be slightly more dramatic.  I demand that everyone reads the above story, or else they will have the almighty power of the Spork and Foon to answer to. It is in my favourites.

Thank you to pingpong5 and Skyshifter for beta-ing this chapter.

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Chapter One: Of Cloaked Figures

Albus Dumbledore frowned, slightly disconcerted by the contents of the piece of parchment that lay in front of him. There had been murmurs of dark activity throughout Great Britain recently, and the rumours were that Death Eaters who had avoided incarceration were to blame. Even though the Death Eaters were without their leader or an army of formidable force, the amount of hysteria they could create would be enough to damage the tentative shroud of peace that covered the Wizarding World at this present moment.

There was no way Albus could deny that he was regretting not following the cases against many alleged Death Eaters, but after the fall of Lord Voldemort, when turmoil had reigned, he had been occupied with more pressing matters, and by the time they had been arranged, many had already bribed themselves out of the situation or declared that they had been under the influence of the Imperius curse. Complete codswallop, if you asked Albus Dumbledore, but unfortunately, no one had in time, or at least, no one who had any authority over the matter.

The illustrious Headmaster of the prestigious Hogwarts Academy of Witchcraft and Wizardry calmly chose a quill from his extensive collection, and penned a short letter to the Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge, stating that their was no need for panic, and that he, Albus Dumbledore, would like to meet with him to discuss the problem. He was just about to rise, and take a brisk walk to the Owlery, when a deafening ping! sounded.

It was a well known fact that Albus Dumbledore was not prone to panicking, but there is always an exception to the rule.

His face contorted into a mixture between panic, surprise, concern and anger. With agility that not many of the same age could match, Dumbledore grabbed a pinch of powder, and threw it into his dying fire. The fire became a brilliant shade of green, and roared with ferocity. He stepped into the fire, and with a concise voice, announced, "Thirteen Wisteria Walk, Little Whinging, Surrey".

And he was gone…

He only hoped he was not too late.

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Arabella Figg slowly stirred the teaspoon through the milky tea, and tapped it gently against the china. The sun had disappeared what seemed to be an eternity ago, but the relief of sleep would still not come. She was cursed to stay awake, with her extremely unwanted, undeniably depressing thoughts. She felt rather pathetic, not being able to control her sleeping patterns. Her eyelids were drooping, but when it came to slipping into unconsciousness, nothing would prevail. Warm milk and honey, and the long and undoubtedly tedious edition of The History of the Magical World, and the tried, and supposedly true, counting sheep method had all been attempted, and Arabella felt even more lethargic than before, but the idea of sleep seemed even more and more impossible. She assumed insomnia could be the answer to all her failed attempts. It could be that she was destined to never sleep again, to be stuck in eternal restlessness, until her last breath left her body and she joined her dearly departed husband whatever came after life.

Now that was slightly hysterical.

Arabella took a deep intake of breath, and slowly sipped her white tea. It wouldn't do to become hysterical. She was a wizened woman, for Merlin's sake. Old women don't become hysterical. Arabella had some dignity, and even though she felt her life had no purpose, she might as well obediently follow the stereotype of an aged woman. These thoughts, the oxygen entering her body, and the tea all had a calming effect on her body.

"Now, now, Arabella," she reprimanded herself faintly, "act your age. What would Leonard say if he saw you in such a sorry state?"

Leonard was – had been her husband. Her dearly beloved husband, whose meals she had made for nearly fifty years, whose clothes she had ironed for the same amount of time, and whose hand she had held with all her might on his death bed. Leonard had been her purpose, her light in the dark, her oasis in the desert. Without him she no longer lived, she merely existed. She waited, almost impatiently for the time when she would follow him to the afterlife, when she would see him again. She had thought about taking the easy way out numerous times, but she had been brought up believing that suicide was the coward's way out, and even though Arabella Figg no longer had her Leonard, she had her pride.

No, suicide was definitely not the answer.

She did have one thing to live for though. Seven years ago, Arabella had been recruited to help protect the Boy Who Lived, also known as Harry Potter. He was a sweet-natured boy; she had deducted after the first meeting, and wholly did not deserve his fate. His adoptive family were terror on legs, but the positives of him living with the Dursleys outnumbered the negatives. His mother's blood flowed through the veins of Petunia, and Dudley Dursley, and this invoked the ancient magic to shield him from anyone or anything wishing him harm. Arabella was meant to be the last line of defence.

She wasn't sure how she was expected to save Harry from anyone or anything though, as she was a squib.

Theoretically speaking, if Harry Potter ever did come under attack, which she utterly doubted would ever come to be, she had been told to use any means possible to save the boy. What was she meant to do? Order her cats to molest the assailant? Ask the enemy over for a cup of tea and a biscuit, and bung on about what life was like when she was a girl? Dress in a cape and underpants, and threaten the attacker with the power of Squib Woman? Even hypothetically speaking, this idea seemed stupid.

A loud, definitely unwanted ping! echoed through the air and Arabella's eyes widened with disbelief. Number four Privet Drive was under assault. The ancient magic had failed. It was up to the last line of defence. Hypothetically speaking had just become reality.

It appeared that she would have to rustle up Squib Woman.

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Harry Potter woke to the most unusual sound.

It was a loud cracking noise, rather like a whip, and it echoed defiantly through the air, as if it shouldn't be there. He hadn't heard such a noise before in his eight, short years of life. It didn't belong at such a time, in such an environment. It was undeniably out of place in the prim and proper suburb of Little Whinging. He sat up, concerned, and cautiously pulled a spider off a pair of threadbare, black socks. It would be unnerving to the eye of anyone who knew nothing of Harry's circumstances to see him pull the spider off with nonchalance. But Harry was used to the arachnids occupying the cupboard under the stairs where he slept, and he almost found it normal.

He crept out of the cupboard and into the kitchen. The air was still and silent and nothing appeared out of place. Until he heard someone breathing menacingly, and producing light by what looked like impossible means. Something was out of place.

Harry skilfully pressed himself in between the couch and the armchair, and watched fearfully as the figure slowly wandered nearer and nearer to his hiding spot. The figure suddenly grunted, and moved towards the stairs, and the cupboard under it. As soon as it disappeared up the stairs, Harry took the opportunity to lever himself out of the hiding spot, and into the entrance hall. His eyes darted frantically, searching for somewhere to hide, and finally landed on the front door. Harry scrambled towards the door, threw it open, and ran out into the street.

The twelve street lights shined brightly, illuminating the street and the neat, colour coordinated gardens of the houses of Privet Drive. Harry scanned around frenetically, trying to find somewhere safe. Nothing stood out. Running down the street, nothing came to sight that was of any importance. That was, until he noticed another figure scurrying towards him. Harry attempted to focus on the figure, but found his vision was blurred. Sometime, when he had obviously been more than occupied, his glasses had been shattered.

"Harry?" The tone was filled with distressing desperation.

"Yes?" Harry said reluctantly, his pulse quickening as he answered.

"Thank Merlin," exclaimed the figure. It shuffled nearer, and Harry recognised who was so pleased to see him.

"Mrs. Figg?"

"Yes, yes Harry, it is me," she replied quickly. "Follow me. It's not safe out here in the open."

"What do you mean?"

She grabbed his by the arm, and he winced at the pain. "There's no time to explain. Come now, quickly. We must hurry."

They didn't receive the chance to hurry though, because as soon as Harry took his first step, a voice with an indisputably harsh edge to it screamed "Avada Kedavra." A blinding green light filled the street, and Harry felt Mrs. Figg go limp beside him. He watched with horror and morbid fascination as the old woman fell to the asphalt of the street, and listened to the thump. There was no questioning it.

Arabella Figg was dead.

Harry watched with wise caution and apprehension as the figure, cloaked in black, sauntered over to him. "Ah, Mister Potter. I am sure you have no idea how I have yearned for this day. I have been searching for you, Potter, ever since you caused the demise of my lord, my master. I have wanted revenge; I have felt hatred boil up in my stomach; and I have dreamt of this very day for longer than I care to remember. Finally, I have found you, little rabbit."

"Why?" whispered Harry, his tone giving away of how very scared he truly was.

"Why? Why? You do not know?" It cackled at his blank reaction. "How very ironic, that Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, does not know about the very thing he is famous for." The wind stirred, and slightly rustled the black cloak.

"Famous," repeated Harry faintly, feeling light-headed, "how could I be – famous? I'm a – freak. I'm nothing special – nothing at all."

"Whether or not you are a freak, Mister Potter, I care not. All I care about is you being able to rectify the damage you caused seven years ago. You, Mister Potter, are going to bring back the Dark Lord."

Harry shuddered involuntarily. The mention of a 'Dark Lord' sent his body trembling and for some reason the warm, midsummer air suddenly become chilly. Harry knew, even though he was only eight and definitely not qualified with such things, that he wanted nothing to do with this 'Dark Lord.'

"No," his childish voice declared defiantly, "No, I will not help you."

The silence that followed was damning. What Harry had just said was stupid, yet courageous at the same time. It would probably be the last thing he would say before he suffered the same fate as Arabella Figg.

"No?" it hissed in a dangerously low voice.

"No," repeated Harry, with more conviction the second time round.

"If you were to live to enter Hogwarts, Potter, you would have been a Gryffindor. Supposedly brave, undeniably stupid. But you shall not live to then. I had thought about gaining the blood I need from you the hard way, keeping you alive, but after this little fiasco, the easier way is looking a lot more appealing. Goodbye, Mister Potter. Give your parents my greetings when you see them. Avada Ked–"

"Stupefy," cried an unknown voice. Harry watched with the same morbid fascination as he had with Arabella's death. The cloaked figure suddenly became lifeless, and fell to the ground gracelessly.

"Harry," whispered a hoarse voice, and he felt a hard pinch on his shoulder, "thank Merlin you're alright."

"Why?"

"What? Why do you ask 'Why?'?"

"Why do you care? I don't know you. You don't know me. Why do you care?"

The man heaved a great sigh, filled with regret, anxiety, relief, and a number of other emotions Harry could not identify. "Harry, my name is Albus Dumbledore. I was friends with your parents. They placed your safety in my hands, and I have failed miserably. Of course I care. How could I not care?"

Harry did not answer the question, guessing correctly that it was meant to be left unanswered. "Mrs. Figg…" Harry mumbled clumsily, and Dumbledore followed his gaze to the fallen woman.

"Oh – Merlin – Arabella – what have I done?"

The man released Harry's arm, and walked quickly over to Arabella Figg. He studied her for what seemed to take an eternity, and then beckoned Harry over. Harry obliged obediently. Albus took Harry's small, clammy hand in his, and brushed his own other hand over Arabella's eyes, closing her dull brown eyes. "Rest in peace … with Leonard," he murmured.

A series of loud cracks echoed throughout the immediate area, and Harry watched with fascination as a number of figures in cloaks appeared. He wasn't feeling all that sad about Mrs. Figg's death. He felt sorry that she had died, but it someone had asked him if he was feeling grief, he would have answered in the negative.

"Where are your family Harry?" asked Albus Dumbledore, peering through his half-moon spectacles at the boy.

"In the house, I guess. Why do you want to see them?"

Dumbledore frowned at what Harry's tone implied, and then said, "It is essential that I see them now."

Harry scowled, and gestured for Dumbledore to follow him. They found the three members of the Dursley family squatting behind the bed in the main bedroom. All three paled when Harry entered the room. His Uncle Vernon stepped forward menacingly. "Boy! This is your entire fault. You, and your – kind placed Petunia, Dudley and I in mortal danger. Never again will you live under our roof. Too long has our charity been taken for granted! It's off to the orphanage with you -"

"Ah, Mr. Dursley," interrupted Albus Dumbledore, "I understand the – ah – importance of your remarks towards Harry, but I must speak with you and your wife."

Vernon Dursley's gaze turned to the strange man in his house. He looked rather like … one of them … freaks.

"Who," he sneered, "pray tell, are you?"

"Albus Dumbledore, at your service," Dumbledore said with a small bow, "I am the Headmaster of Hogwarts' School of Witchcraft and Wizardry."

Harry looked at Dumbledore with wide eyes. Witchcraft and Wizardry? What was he on about?

"Get out of my house now!" growled Vernon. He took another menacing step towards Harry and Dumbledore.

"No," said Dumbledore simply. "I believe that you understand why it was so necessary for Harry to live with you after his parents' deaths. Lily's blood, which runs through both Petunia's, and Dudley's veins, invoked the ancient magic, which caused Harry to be protected from all those who would want to harm him. But tonight's breech – of this security, has forced me to look deeper into the circumstances." Dumbledore glanced at Harry, and then turned his gaze to Vernon. "Mrs. Dursley, do you love your nephew?"

Petunia laughed hollowly. "Me – love that – freak! You must be joking."

Dumbledore frowned. "Harry, do you love your family?"

Harry grimaced. "No," he muttered.

Albus' frowned deepened. "It is so obvious, and I missed it!" he said softly to himself. Louder, he declared "For the ancient magic to work, the one needing protecting, and the blood relative must, at least, have a friendly relationship. It is all too obvious that both of you, Mrs. Dursley, and Harry – have a – number of differences which keep you from loving each other. It is no longer safe for Harry to stay here."

Harry's white face paled even further than was thought possible. "Where will I go?"

Albus turned to Harry. "Well, only if you wanted of course – you could live with me – at Hogwarts? It would give me a chance to rectify all the problems I have caused." His face betrayed nothing, but his eyes were almost hopeful.

Harry thought about the choices he had. Hogwarts, a school of Witchcraft and Wizardry, with a man who obviously cared for him a lot more than the Dursleys did, or he could live out his own personal version of Oliver Twist. It wasn't a difficult decision to make.

"Yes, I will live with you," Harry said fervently, his emerald eyes shining.

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Last Updated – 1st of March, 2004