Harry sat on his bed carefully organizing his possessions into his knapsack and mentally marking each item off his list. His wand, his invisibility cloak, the fragment of mirror from Sirius, the photo album Hagrid had given him his first year at Hogwarts, on and on he went until his knapsack was fit to burst. Then Harry went through what he'd be leaving behind; his potions kit, most of his school books, many oversized clothes, and most importantly, Hedwig. Traveling with an owl under normal circumstances would attract unwanted attention; traveling with his easily recognizable snowy white owl would definitely get him caught. When Harry had made up his mind, he'd let Hedwig out of her cage and told her to hunt… then return to Hogwarts in a couple weeks… and most importantly, not to come back to find him. Harry knew she'd understood when she affectionately nipped his finger and hooted woefully before she took flight. Harry watched her intently until she was only a tiny fleck of white against the vast expanse of black, she was swallowed by the darkness and he could see her no more. It was his first goodbye of the summer.
Harry had only made the decision to leave Privet Drive for good the night before, but there was no time to waste. Where he was headed and what he did once he got there was entirely beyond him; he just knew that it was of utmost importance to leave, immediately, and get as far away as he could before they came looking for him. They, obviously being the Order, as the Dursley's probably wouldn't notice, or care, that he'd gone. It wasn't living with the Dursleys that was unbearable, and it definitely wasn't they who drove Harry to his decision, it was living with the fact that everywhere he went someone was put in danger, or ended up dead. In truth Harry had know this for quite some time, he knew this before Sirius had died and suspected it long before that. Voldemort had his sights set on him constantly, every year since he'd joined the magical world he'd come in one form or another, and now Voldemort was out in the open he'd be coming for Harry in earnest. Even without knowing the full prophecy Voldemort was determined to kill Harry, and whoever stood in his way. Determination it seemed, among other things, was something Harry and Voldemort had in common.
"…Neither can live while the other survives…" Trelawney's distorted voice echoed through Harry's head for the millionth time that summer sealing his fate. In the end it would be Harry or Voldemort, hopefully that's all it would come down to and his friends would be safe.
Everything was ready to go, Harry was ready to go; he only waited on the letter that should soon be arriving. As promised the Order had written to Harry every three days, and every three days Harry would write them back. It was a dull, forced correspondence that did not provide Harry with much solace or comfort. Sometimes it made him angry, angry at the Order for letting Sirius die, angry at himself for leading Sirius to his death; other times it just made him numb knowing they were gathered in Sirius' house, plotting and planning as if Sirius hadn't died, as if he was still there somewhere sulking upstairs with Buckbeak. But Harry needed to put all that behind him now, he was moving on without them and brining only their memories.
Right on schedule an owl started tapping on his window with a scroll of parchment tied to its leg. Harry took the letter and gave the owl some of Hedwig's old treats; Harry could tell immediately that this letter was slightly thicker than usual and he slowly opened it.
I haven't been hearing good things about you lately and I want you to know that you are only safe at your relative's house or here at Headquarters. Please don't do anything foolish to get yourself into trouble! You're one of the family and I'd like to keep it that way!
Stay at the Dursleys, please!
Harry quickly re-read what Mrs. Weasley wrote, what had she been hearing? Why would she write to stay at the Dursleys when only it was yesterday that he'd decided to leave? Reading a little faster Harry continued and instantly he spotted McGonagall's hand writing further down the scroll.
You will absolutely not be leaving the protection of the Dursleys. I cannot make myself any clearer, do not leave the Dursleys. I don't know what brought on this on, but I know that in light of the events last year you need to listen to my instructions and stay there! We will be coming to get you shortly. Do not leave or we will be forced to take action.
Please Harry for your own safety stay where you are.
Professor M. McGonagall.'
Harry felt like he was having flash backs to last summer. Right after Dementor's had attacked him and Dudley, he received several letters telling him in no uncertain terms, to stay put. But, how could they know he was leaving? Quickly Harry swung his knapsack over his shoulder, grabbed his Firebolt and ran to his bedroom door. If they were coming shortly Harry had no time to waste, they could be here in seconds, minutes or hours, but Harry had no way of knowing which it was; Harry definitely didn't want to be there when they arrived. Harry's hand was on the doorknob and a 'pop' sounded behind him.
"Mr. Potter." Harry heard his Head of House say, "we are leaving now." Pulling out a portkey from her pocket she moved toward Harry with her hand out stretched.
"Yes," Harry said nodding his head, "but I'm not leaving with you." Harry opened his door and ran down the stairs. He didn't hear McGonagall coming after him, but soon figured out why. In the kitchen all of the Dursleys sat with Remus; Harry rushed pass them and opened the front door only to find Mad-Eye Moody standing behind it. Harry searched for another way out, but knew there wasn't one, "I'm not going back there." Harry said in a commanding voice to Moody.
McGonagall's footsteps were coming down the stairs, "Mr. Potter this will be easier if you just take hold of the portkey."
Remus came out from the kitchen, "Harry –"
"No, I'm not going back there. How can you stand to stay there, in—in-" Harry said firmly turning to look at no one in particular. "—no, I won't, will not ever, for the rest of my life, go back to Grimmauld Place!"
McGonagall reached out what seemed to be a comforting hand and much to Harry's displeasure, found that her ring was the portkey and as soon as it touched Harry's shoulder they were transported to the Headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix.
They landed in the kitchen of Grimmauld Place; Tonks, Snape, Dumbledore, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, and McGonagall were now surrounding him. Each had steely expressions on their faces, waiting—anticipating—Harry's next move. McGonagall's hand was still on his shoulder, when something strange happened. Something that hadn't happened since his History of Magic O.W.L., not once all summer had Harry felt it…his scar. Harry's lightning bolt scar started to burn and then the pain intensified sending Harry to his knees in a matter of seconds. Faintly he heard Moody and Lupin ask what was going on as they entered the kitchen, the pain in Harry's head seemed to triple.
McGonagall was next to Harry on the ground. "Harry?" She asked softly. The pain was so bad that Harry couldn't see, could hear, couldn't think; McGonagall was a hazy mass and her voice was a warped record. Harry clutched his head in both hands, digging his fingernails into the soft flesh as if he could fight pain with pain and was grinding his teeth together to keep from screaming. Somebody else was crouching down next to him and for a brief moment he felt something cool brush his forehead; without warning the pain burst forth from his scar and he screamed. His back arched in an outlandish position, McGonagall tried to sooth the screaming boy, while Molly went to get Poppy. Snape poured some unknown potion down Harry's throat, but all it seemed to do was make it worse.
Harry was detached from his body, he no longer felt the pain, but he could hear himself screaming. Images flashed through his mind. Muggles being tortured, Death Eaters laughing while killing whole families, many white masks raced before his eyes, blood, gore, torture, death. Then he saw Voldemort; he was forced into his mind seeing things as Voldemort saw them and feeling his emotions.
Harry stood front of three kneeling Death Eaters; one-by-one he spoke to each of them, hatred and triumph filling his chest, green light and those two fatal words. Each Death Eater slumped to the ground where he knelt and remained motionless. Almost as if in slow motion, Harry walked to each person and took off their mask to reveal the faces of the corpses before him. And although all of Harry's other senses were perfectly clear, he couldn't make out Voldemort's voice. It sounded warped, slowing and speeding up in a jumble of sounds but he, as Voldemort, was definitely speaking to the dead men. The first two people he didn't recognize, just two other nameless men from Voldemort's army and he felt nothing but indifference to them now. It was the third man that held Harry's attention and a feeling, something akin to pride, swelled in Harry's chest as he knelt down and brushed long, black hair away from a sallow face.
Gasping for air Harry was forced out of Voldemort's mind; the room was spinning around him blurring together in a mass of colors. The face burned against the back of Harry's eyelids as he squeezed them tight; it was a face that he loathed for the last five years, one that had sneered and mocked and belittled, and it was very dead. Slowly, very slowly Harry opened his eyes to find many people kneeling around him, extremely worried expressions on their faces. Harry's vision blurred then focused, he locked eyes with Severus Snape. "Voldemort..." Harry breathed out. "…killed you." Snape narrowed his eyes. Harry tired again. "Inside his mind…He killed you, I killed you." This seemed to convey his meaning, but suddenly Harry's face turned green and he retched. He retched all over his Head of House who was still kneeling next to his head. Harry was just as shocked as McGonagall, and dizzily tired to speak, "Sorry Profe-" but he never finished his sentence as he passed out narrowly missing his own mess.
A/N The first few chapters of this story are being re-written, so far I've only done Chapter 1, so please excuse the writing/random style of the next few chapters. They will be updated shortly.