Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, who'd've guessed....

Summary: To Harry the three months of muggle school are a refuge from everything, even the Gryffs. He is finally free to be a normal teenager and he flees from his horrific memories in his artwork, and his new Slyth roomies. DARK. R for abuse, rape, cutting and slash.

AN: Finally, this story has been bugging me to be let out for such a long time. So here it is, please tell me what you think, it'll mean a lot to me.

Thanks to Seta Kaede for giving me the final incentive to just upload this instead of mucking around trying to choose a fic to focus on and publish. She did so by just saying she wanted to read other, longer stories by my hand, so here you go.


Chapter 1: Worth

"Can you believe it? We're actually going to a muggle school. I heard they were planning on sending the sixth years every year, we're so lucky to be the first...."

Harry couldn't believe it actually.

He was going back to the muggleworld and after already spending almost two months there he had his doubts about going back. On the other hand, the Dursleys wouldn't be there and this muggle school thing could be fun. He could actually make some muggle friends this time, without his cousin there to scare them off.

After considering his options, he decided that maybe he should be looking forward to it. After all, it would be three months without Snape. But no matter how fun it could be, he was thanking Merlin that it was only for three months and after that they would be back to learning magic.

The other person having doubts about this arrangement, most purebloods not withstanding, was, surprisingly, Hermione. "Ron, you do realize that this means a lot more work, don't you?" She harshly interrupted his bantering.

"I thought you liked schoolwork?" He teased her.

"Normally I do, but we have our Newts next year and now we have three months less to prepare. At least they're giving us work to do while we're there and we don't have to follow the full curriculum for either school. What classes should I take, I've always liked math..." She strayed off, lost in thought.

Harry smiled softly at her wandering mind, but she was right, they would have a lot of work to do in those three months next to their Hogwarts homework, after all, they had to catch up with four years of whatever classes they chose. Luckily, well some students thought so anyway, they were going two weeks early to do just that, catch up, and to familiarize themselves with the muggleworld.

They could choose their own classes, with limits of course. They had to pick at least four classes next to the mandatory physical education and either English or maths was compulsory, just as they had to choose two from the list of physics, biology, chemistry, modern foreign languages (French), economy, geography or history and if then they had to choose one more from the entire list, which included art, music, drama, computing studies or religious education.

They could choose more, but seeing as they missed four years they needed the extra time to keep up. Only four years because they were put one year below where they would have been, that way the age difference wouldn't be too large and there was one year less to catch up on. Of course Hermione wanted to do as many classes as possible, but unluckily for her (and luckily for her stress levels) there was a limit of five.

Next to all of this they were given a load of theory work from Hogwarts on all their advanced classes. In other words, they had to do the work they would have done in those months and then catch up with the practical part when they got back. They were allowed to do magic, as long as they were discreet. No magic in front of muggles and fifty points for every memory charm that had to be cast on a muggle. Those were the rules and it had been made very clear that they should follow them to the letter.

"Harry? Hey mate wake up." Ron tried to poke him in the side to get his attention, but Harry avoided him with a graceful twist. Unfazed, the red head continued talking when he noticed Harry was finally listening "What classes are you taking? I think I'll take English and geography and maybe...."

"I don't know yet." Harry cut him off. "Look, Dumbledore told me to come see him after breakfast, so I'll see you two later."

Before either of his friends had a chance to say goodbye, he was already on his way to the headmasters' office. After using a shortcut behind a tapestry that was only there on Sundays and then only if you didn't eat breakfast, he reached the right hallway and made his way past the gargoyle (Fat Fast Fudge) and up the rotating staircase, to find the door already open. He knocked anyway and entered after the headmaster's 'come in'.

"You wanted to see me professor?"

"Yes, yes, sit down please, lemondrop?" The old wizard offered him a bowl of candy.

Now sitting down in one of the very comfortable chairs and biting through a sour-sweet treat, Harry waited for the headmaster to start talking and tell him the reason he was summoned to the office in the first place.

"Harry, I'm afraid I have some bad news. Since you don't have a permission slip from the Dursleys you will not be able to go on the excursion to the muggleworld today. And next to that, professor McGonagall and I decided it would be wiser for you to remain at Hogwarts for your own safety."

"WHAT, you can't do that to me, I was actually looking forward to this and...." Harry took a deep breath and looked at the headmaster. The old wizard had been expecting such a response, it was written all over his bearded face and now Dumbledore was waiting for him to calm down so all his arguments could be countered. He would be send back to his dorm and still not be allowed to go.

He wouldn't let that happen, he would have to play this game by the headmaster's rules.

Harry relaxed back into the chair, pulled his legs under him and leaned back into the pillows. "You're using the Dursleys as an excuse, just like you did in my third year, you know as well as I do they would never sign anything to do with Hogwarts, Why else don't you want me to go?" As he had said this, he had to hold back a smile. Dumbledore actually looked surprised, if only for second.

"I'll be perfectly honest with you. You know you are a target for Voldemort and it would be much saver for you to remain here at Hogwarts. We can't take any chances, you.... "

"But professor," Harry cut in, keeping his voice overly polite. "you made it perfectly clear that there would be no way for anyone to find us. Only the staff knows where we are, student's outgoing and incoming mail will be read and magically scanned, you have put up wards all around the school and dorms and we are allowed to do magic." If this was the best that Dumbledore could do....

"Harry, if you go you'll be putting the other students in danger." The headmaster gave him a sad smile and all that Harry could think was that Dumbledore was playing the guilt card. A familiar wrenching feeling made itself known in his gut, he had enough guilt of his own and he didn't need anyone adding to it.

"It would be just as safe for me as for the other students. After all, the muggleborns are a target too and what better way to discredit you than by killing off an entire class while they're away on an excursion. I don't even have to be there for them to be a target."

"Harry...." Dumbledore trailed off, expecting him to just give in.

Dammit, Harry cursed at himself, he was being patronised and he knew the headmaster didn't need to be rational or fair, he needed reasons why he actually should go. "As I said, the class is just as much a target as I am and I am not the leader of the DA for nothing, I rate the highest in the defence class and I have fought more battles than all the other students combined. If our position was found out, despite all the security, and there was an attack, me being there would actually make the students safer."

"Maybe, but not you and we need you alive."

That remark almost got him speechless, the headmaster had never openly admitted to his role in the war and he found he hated it, he just wanted to be normal. This was infuriating, it just didn't matter to Dumbledore what he was saying. "Professor, my life is not more important than those of the other students, no matter what any prophesy says, and I am not just your pawn in the war against Voldemort. I am also a student, a normal boy who wants to have some fun in his life before the war really takes off. I have refuted all your arguments and you have no reason to not let me go. Hell, I even gave you reasons why you should let me go."

The headmaster looked resigned and sighed. "Alright Harry, you can go with the other students, but...."

"Thank you sir." And he got up and left the office before there could be any warnings given about what he should or shouldn't do. He was sick of this, he had taken care of himself almost his entire life, what gave them the right to interfere now.

They hadn't helped him before.

He didn't need them, he didn't need anyone, not anymore.

End chapter 1.

I hope you'll take the time to tell me what you think, or what I should change.

Flames will be heartily laughed at and used to warm my cold feet and hands so I can be comfortable while I continue writing.