I am going to be uploading better formated versions of the first four chapters over the next several days. I still own nothing so don't sue.

Chapter 1—Home Sweet Dursleys

Most children would be excited about summer vacation. They would glad to be home after spending nine months in a boarding school.

Harry Potter was not like most students.

He watched the countryside fly by his window, landmarks flowing together into an unrecognized blur. His Uncle, Vernon Dursely, sped home as if he could outrun his nephew's magical nature. Harry's eyes, which everyone remarked bore an uncanny resemblance to his mother, were dull and lifeless. The vitality and energy which had made him one of the most well liked students at Hogwarts had been leeched out by the events of the past year.

This year, at the Triwizard tournament, which Harry had competed in, a friend of his and a fellow competitor was killed. And not an accidental death that was an outgrowth of the dangerous nature of the tasks that had been set before them. No, Cedric Diggory was murdered. Murdered by the same man that killed Harry's own parents and left a lightning bolt shaped scar on his forehead.

Voldemort. Thomas Riddle. The greatest dark wizard to show himself in the British Wizarding World. The wizard, who for some reason unknown to Harry, decided to kill Harry's parents and attempted to do the same to him. His mother's love forged a ward to shield him from death and allowed an unblockable curse to rebound upon the darkest of dark lords.

"What's wrong boy?"

Harry's uncle, the walrus-like Vernon Dursley, gazed at Harry in the rearview mirror. The boy, as Vernon liked to refer to Harry, was unusually subdued. Never excited to come home under the best of circumstances, he seemed defeated and deflated. It disturbed Vernon more than he liked to admit. Never, in all his years, had Vernon Dursley seen Harry look so bleak.

"Nothing, Uncle Vernon," Harry replied flatly. "Just glad to be home," he continued robotically.

With a snort and a shake of his head, Vernon returned his attention to the road, his brief lapse into concern thankfully quashed.

Harry carried his trunk and owl cage into his room. It wasn't his room really. Nope, it was Dudley's second room. Here where he'd grown up (he'd never call it a home) and he didn't even have his own room. The small bed was shoved in one corner and a single battered desk was pushed near the window so he'd have enough light to work on his summer studies. The walls were bare except for some old posters of Dudley's. The closet was filled with poor fitting hand me downs.

Hedwig hooted at him and he mechanically gave her some food before throwing himself on his hand-me-down bed. He stared at his wall for a long moment before realizing a faded poster of Keith Richards didn't have any answers.

Here he was again.

A survivor, when others, who actually deserve to survive, didn't.

Kill the spare, echoed in his mind.

Lets take it together, came another thought.

Cedric lying still and quiet, his life stolen by a wizard's breath and flash of green. The lost look of his parents when they finally realized their prized son was killed. Cedric Diggory was a good man, a person anyone would have been proud to call son. Harry remembered the earnestness of the youth, when he shared what he knew about the second task. The jut of his chin and that infernal hedgehog like stubbornness and sense of fairness of his house when he insisted they take the trophy together.

Harry was tired. Tired of being the boy who lived. Tired of the stares, the whispers about him being fame mad or a glory hog. Tired of well meaning students and Wizarding adults looking at him like he was the next coming of Merlin.

Just tired of it all.

Petunia Dursley, controller of all that was good and normal in the house of Dursley straightened a crooked photograph of her family that was precariously tipped in the hall. after she adjusted the portrait, she paused to admire it. Her dudders and hubby were so handsome in the picture. They wore iden-

A keening wail cut through her quiet home. Rushing down the hall, she made her way to Harry's room to tell the boy to shut up and keep the house cloaked in the blessed silence she craved.

All of that was forgotten when she saw what Harry was doing.

He was wailing into his pillow. Screaming with all his might, his body shook with the force of his emotions. Grabbing the pillow tightly, Harry wept into comforter. All his rage, all his fear and guilt were poured out. A part of petunia knew that were she a better person, a better woman, she would take the boy in her arms and hold him till he was cried out. Petunia, however, was not a good woman and she chose to do nothing.

Petunia was still motionless when he looked up. His pale face was blotchy and those damnable green eyes of his were ringed in red. His face curled in a grimace and he snapped, "What do you want?"

Petunia Dursley blinked and gapped like a starving fish. Her mouth worked and nothing came out of it. Finally she spoke.

"N-Nothing. I was just surprised by the sound. I'll leave you alone." Petunia rushed out of the room, pausing for only a minute by the door. "I'll make breakfast in the morning. Just this once, mind you," she added sternly.

Harry blinked in surprise before squeaking out, "okay."

Petunia walked stiffly of the room, and Harry moved to his owl cage. Opening the door, Harry held out his hand, and his beautiful owl jumped onto it. He absently stroked the feathers of his most selfless of friends.

"Do you think that Aunt Petunia has gone mad, Hedwig? Is she going to be tolerable this summer?" The owl reached forward and nipped at his ear. "Yeah, I don't think it'll last either."

It didn't.

Harry's funk lasted for several more days. After the first day, where he got a reprieve from his aunt, he started to do the chores his relatives expected of him. He cooked, he cleaned, and he mowed the lawn and sheared the hedges with robot-like efficiency. But astonishingly enough, the routine and standard treatment by his aunt and uncle brought him out of his depression.

A few days after he got home from Hogwarts, he came inside the house to grab some lemonade his aunt had made. He was hot and sweating from raking the leaves all morning and some ice-cold lemonade was sounding really good. He discovered that there was only a little bit left and after he poured it into a glass, Dudley walked in.

The son of Vernon and Petunia Dursley had grown even larger since last summer, but a regime of exercise and boxing lessons had started to turn the bulk into muscle.

Muscle that Dudley love to throw around the neighborhood.

"Give me that. I'm hot."

Harry jerked the glass away. "I'm the one actually doing work Dudley."

Dudley pushed Harry and stretched up to his full height, which was at least four inches taller, that Harry's five foot six inch frame. "What are you going to do," he taunted. "Magic me into a frog?" With surprisingly fast hands he grabbed Harry and twisted his arm until the smaller boy let go of the glass. grabbing the lemonade, Dudley pushed Harry away and downed the drink.

"Awww, is ickle Harry upset?" Dudley teased as he wiped his hand across his mouth and many chins.

Harry clenched his fists but did nothing. His emerald eyes burned in his head as he stared at his fat cousin. Harry shook with helplessness. He hated the feeling, but really, what was he going to do. His cousin was stronger, and much, much, larger. And did he really want to fight Dudley over lemonade?

His lemonade.

Harry's scar began to hurt. A dark, throbbing pain that seemed to give birth to something black inside of Harry. He hated his cousin at that moment. He despised the fat, worthless, pig. He was so angry he didn't even register the ugly turn his thoughts just took.. His scar burned and on instinct, Harry pushed toward Dudley with his mind.

Fatty Fat Fatty a girl's voice giggled in his mind

Nobody but his mommy likes fat Dudley, a different girl's mocked

Fatty, Fatty, Fatty, Fatty...A chorus of voices echoed in Dudley's mind

The voices swiftly became a cacophony of condemnation of Dudley.

"No," Dudley whispered, "No, no, NO!" he shrieked. The larger boy rubbed his head. "I'm not fat, I'm not, I'm not," he kept muttering as he stumbled out of the kitchen.

As soon as he left the voices in Harry's head quieted. The young wizard blinked as he contemplated what had just happened. Had he just read Dudley's mind? That was impossible. Nothing he had read in any of his books of magic had showed him how to do that. He wouldn't have learned it even if he could. The last thing he wanted to do was to peer into someone elses thoughts. He grew sick when he remembered the terrible things that had gone through his mind about Dudley.

Harry sat down at the table bonelessly as the magnitude of just what he had done sunk in. He didn't know how he did it, or really even the reason why. It was just some stupid lemonade. Dudley had been taking stuff from him for years. Why did lemonade send him over the edge? Harry shuddered. It would have been so easy to go deeper into his cousin's thoughts, sift through them and make Dudley experience every hateful thing that had ever happened to him. Harry knew that if a few moments could reduce him to tears, it would be child's play to ruin his mind forever. All he needed to do was to reach out and...

Harry shook his head and went back outside, shaken at the darkness of his thoughts. He knew that his cousin would leave him alone for the rest of the summer for fear of what Harry would do to him

And there was a small part of Harry that was laughing about it.

Dudley never told his parents what had happened between he and Harry.
"GET UP BOY," Uncle Vernon bellowed from downstairs. "You bloody well should have up an hour ago. I need to get to the plant."

Harry Potter groaned at sat up slowly. He spent another long night hoping Hedwig was going to come in. He'd sent the snowy owl out more than a week before with some letters for the Weasley family and Hermione but she'd failed yet again to make an appearance. Although she'd taken a long time to deliver messages before, something was tickling Harry's intuition this time. Something was wrong, but without his owl, he possessed no methods of getting any information.

He had been home more than two weeks now and he had not gotten a single owl from one of his friends, Dumbledore, or Sirus. He had seen Voldemort come to life and call upon his Death Eaters and he wanted to know what was going on. No way were they just going to be quiet and act covertly. Not when they've been waiting almost fifteen years for their leader to come back. He watched the muggle news but there was nothing about an increase in killings or mysterious happenings but that didn't mean anything. Aurors could be oblivating people and keeping Death Eater activity quiet.

It was driving him insane.

Harry slowly plodded down stairs and made his way into the Dursley's kitchen. Vernon was already sitting down and eating his breakfast, stuffing down milk, eggs, and sausage in his traditionally huge quantities.

"Listen boy," Vernon began as he talked around his breakfast. "Petunia and Dudley will be gone for several days to visit my sister Marge. I'm going to leave to join them after work today. Poor girl broke her foot and is distraught about her lack of visitors." At that Harry snorted. Marge Dursley was as thoroughly unlikable person as had ever existed. Who would really want to visit her? Vernon shot his nephew a look but continued, "You're too old for sitters and more importantly I don't want to spend the money so we're going to leave you alone."

Harry perked up. Home without the Dursleys. His summer vacation might not be so bad. For four days at least.

"Mind you, no unnaturalness or strange people coming over boy. Mrs Figg from next door is going to be keeping an eye on you. so behave." Vernon Dursley punctuated his threat by jabbing at his nephew with a grease- covered fork.

"Yes Uncle Vernon."

Harry stretched out on the grass in his backyard and plopped down several of his old textbooks on transfiguration. One of the idea's that had been bouncing around in his head for the past couple of years was becoming an Animagus. His father had been one and his godfather too. So was Peter Pettigrew, the fourth marauder and the one who betrayed his parents.

Harry had decided, privately, that he was going to follow in his father's footsteps and become one himself. He had planned to talk to Hermione about it during their fourth year but the triwizard tournament had distracted him.

It was a warm summer day. The perfect reason to get some outside studying done in the peaceful Dursley-less house. Cracking open his fourth year transfiguration book, he started to read.

Animagi (Animagus-Sing.)

One of the more common types of powers unique to wizards, nonetheless animagi are uncommon because the talent, while possessing an inborn component, also requires a number of magical effects to be utilized in order for the natural abilities to fully come out. Unlike similar abilities (see metamorphmagi Pg 357 and blood shifters Pg 428), which manifest around magical puberty, most people with the animagi talent never actually become animagi. The rituals required bringing out the talent required extensive knowledge of transfiguration magics, but also charms and the use of the proteus potion in order to allow the prospective animagi to assume their animal form. Most potential animagi do not possess the necessary ability in one or more of the arts necessary to become an Animagi.

A second deterrent is that many people do not possess the necessary discipline to tame the transforming power. In order to become your form, it is necessary for the wizard to embrace the change, to want to allow the creature into their heart, mind, and soul. A wizard who makes his first change is never the same. Many of the animals traits carry over into human form. Sometimes those traits can be simple, like a craving for certain kinds of foods. Other times it can be far more significant. One ancient sorceress who had been a noted scarlet woman before she discovered her animagus form of a Unicorn. After her initial transformation she swore off all carnal activity until her death more than 2 and a half centuries later.

Another deterrent is that the prospective animagi cannot choose their form. A simple spell revelo protean cast over primal clay will twist the clay into the form of the casters animal. The spell can also serve as a test for students to see if they have any animagus talent at all because if they don't possess the inborn talent the clay will simply turn into a statue of their human form.

No one is sure how the animal form for any person is chosen. Some specialists have theorized that an individual's personality is a primary factor, although it must be stressed, no one truly knows. Virtually every animal across the globe has been documented as animagus form in someone, from cats and dogs to earthworms and crickets. Some magical animals have been known to appear as potential forms, including hellhounds, unicorns, and in one extraordinary case from Shanghai-a Chinese Fireball dragon. Such forms are exceedingly rare and no student who wishes to be an animagus should get their hopes up about their form...

The rest of the section on animagus was a short history of the spells required to release the potential within the wizard as well as several cautionary tales about unsupervised young wizards who meddled with the transformation spells and had horrible mishaps including one wizard who grew a horn out of his...

"Wow," Harry muttered as he stared at the book, open-mouthed. "That sounds painful." Leaning back on the grass, he soaked up the sunshine and took a breather from his reading. His mind drifted to his parents. He wondered how his father had discovered how to become an Animagus and what his mother had thought about it. Did she even know? Was she one too?

For the first time in a long time, Harry was truly alone with his thoughts, away from all distractions of school and life; he realized he knew next to nothing about his parents. What were they like when they were his age? When did they start dating? What did they do to fill Harry's gringots vault with gold and silver?

Harry knew one thing. His parents loved each other very much. He could hear the ache of their love every time he got near a dementor. The love between his parents seemed an almost palpable thing. Harry wondered if he would ever find love like that. He knew there were girls that liked him. They giggled enough around him, but it wasn't real--it wasn't love. It was just some silly kids who fell for a legend and who wanted the hero of the stories for their very own.

As his thought twisted down the path of women, Harry could not help thinking about Cho Chang. The stunning Chinese ravenclaw was not out of his thoughts much during his fourth year. He still cursed his fear at asking her to the dance so late. If he had actually shown some gryffindor courage earlier she would've gone with him...but she didn't. She went with Cedric, the other Hogwarts champion and a powerful seventh year wizard in his own right.

Then Cedric died

Harry can still see the crystalline tears that wound down her porcelain features at the ending feast and the long look she sent him when she left. He still liked Cho but the thought of still pursuing her; left him...well it wasn't a pleasant thought.

Harry closed his eyes and let the warm sun drift over him. There were still lots of very attractive girls at Hogwarts. Cho was one of the most beautiful, but she was hardly to only one. All of the houses, even slytherin, had their beauties. In his own year, Hannah Abbot was probably the most beautiful, although Lavender Brown, the Patil twins, and even Blaise Zabini of Slytherin were close behind. There were other girls from various houses outside of his year he'd noticed but since you rarely associated with people outside your year except for Clubs and Quiddich, he didn't know their names.

Harry snorted. Listen to him, carrying on about girl's looks. Like any of them were going to pay attention to him at all. Fame or not, Harry was hardly an impressive looking young man, aside from his startling eyes and pain-inducing scar. Five foot six and barely one hundred and fifteen pounds, with wild hair and thick glasses; Harry was no ones version of a stud. Maybe Hermione could give him some girl pointers this year.

He shook his head at the thought of Hermione. Everyone was so eager to believe that there was a romance between the two of them. The thought of snogging his best female friend still was enough to make him laugh. There would never be anything between them besides friendship. Besides Ron would kill him. The poor kid had been nursing a crush on her for ages. Maybe this year he would actually do something about it.

Letting his mind drift away from chaos inducing women, Harry just sat in silence for what seemed like eternity with his eyes closed. He could feel the sun on his face and the soft wind rustle the trees. He let the stress and pain of the past year leech from his body and for the first time in a long time, felt at peace.

His peace was disturbed by a sharp bird's cry. Frowning, Harry opened his eyes and saw a large horned owl clutching a letter, slowly spiraling towards him.