AND THE CURSE OF THE PROPHECY
Summary (updated 6/21-05): Voldemort has a new, 'waterproof' way to get Harry at Halloween. How will Harry and Hermione deal with this, and what is really going to happen?
Special thanks to AmberEyes, Annick and Danfan4ever. And Rolephant and Anna Rose.
I promise that I won't stop writing before I'm done.
Here you go; the first chapter! (Nothing belongs to me)
Chapter 1: HOME AT PRIVET DRIVE
The rain poured down on the window at number four Privet Drive with all forces, but the black-haired boy with a lightning bolt scar did not take any notice of it. He was sleeping, horrible visions blurred his mind, and just as thunder roared its way down from the sky, he sat bolt upright, panting, and wildly awake. It was too late to stop the scream from escaping his lips.
In an instant the boy named Harry Potter leapt to the door and placed a chair in front of it so nobody, like a viscious uncle, could get in. Only a minute later, Harry heard the unmistakable banging on the door from Vernon, telling him to keep quiet. Harry had made the mistake of not blocking the door in time. He would not do that again.
Harry shivered, and cowered himself under the blankets once again, but sleep would not come to him even if he wanted it to.
This, of course, wasn't all that uncommon. Every day since Harry had returned to his so-called-home, things had been like that. Every night visions and nightmares of Sirius falling through the veil haunted him.
Morning came around 6.30, and Harry forced himself up from bed, his head spinning slightly, and walked unsteadily to his snowy-white owl, who hooted friendly to him. After a half an hour, Harry removed the chair from the door and took a cold shower.
After that, Harry threw on some clothes and went downstairs to grab something to eat before he went downstairs further to where Dudley kept his training equipment. Harry used to do this. He liked to train; he liked getting all the energy out of his body. It calmed him down. It kept his anger at check.
Usually the Dursleys did not wake up until somewhere around nine, and then Harry would go outside and run. He didn't know exactly why he had suddenly started to do this, but that was the only thing that seemed to keep Harry from sitting on his bed and mourning over the loss of his godfather. Harry had actually been pretty good at boxing after a while, and he noticed some progress in running too.
Sure enough, at five past nine o'clock, Vernon Dursley came down the stairs followed by his wife Petunia and their son Dudley Dursley; Harry thanked himself for not forgetting the time and being stuck in the basement. However, as soon as Vernon spotted Harry he yelled out.
"COME HERE BOY AND EXPLAIN YOURSELF!"
Harry muttered a silent "No thanks," before he stormed outside and away from Privet Drive.
After running for forty-five minutes Harry sighed and sat down at a bench, while he carefully looked around, almost expecting to see a Dementor, a Death Eater or even Voldemort. However, there was no one to be seen, except for a group of boys and girls who looked vaguely familiar, though he could not place them right away. A pang of realization shot through Harry as one of the boys turned and spotted Harry with a glare. Harry returned it.
The teenager was a boy named Aidan, and the girl beside him Harry recognized as Patricia.
Aidan and Patricia stopped in shock of seeing Harry, and the rest of the group stopped too and watched the scene with interest. Harry felt his anger rise like an electric shock and he stood up off from the bench quickly. Aidan and Patricia took that as a sign of fear, and grinning wickedly to each other, they slowly approached Harry, clearly expecting him to run away.
"Look, who do we have here? It's the Potter boy!" Aidan said, grinning an evil smile and nodding to Patricia, who said, "Such a long time Potter… Pity, I have missed beating you up in the schoolyard."
"What do you want?" asked Harry, while clenching his jaw tightly; the anger did not fade. Control yourself… Harry was very well aware of the wand in his pocket, and he was also very well aware of how easy it would be to throw a curse at them, even an Unforgivable. Like the Cruciatus Curse. It would be so simple, He thought. And hey, it might even be worth it!
Harry slid his hand slowly down his pocket, gripping the wand. Just give me a reason, and I swear-
"What's your problem, Potter?" Aidan yelled out. "Do we scare you?"
"No." Harry almost laughed at the irony. They should be scared of him.
Aidan and Patricia got closer. Twenty feet. Fifteen feet. Harry gripped closer around the wand. What if he got expelled?
They stopped, ten feet from him. Harry sighed. He couldn't be afraid of them even if he wanted to anymore.
When Harry was a kid, before receiving the Hogwarts letter, they were some of his worst bullies apart from Dudley and his gang. However, now he had been through so much worse: He had faced the most evil wizard in the world and survived a number of times and stood up against his supporters. Harry had defended himself. He had defended his friends. And he had to defend the world. No pressure. Right.
Aidan and Patricia glared glared suspiciously at him. Harry showed no sign of fear like they had expected. On the other hand, he looked like he was in control. Like he had the upper hand, even if he was alone against a group of six people. That confused them.
Harry let a smile purse his lips as he slowly started to draw his wand.
But then, only a moment before Harry had gotten his wand out, a tall, female woman appeared from behind a bush. Harry promptly recognized her as Tonks, even though she had long, golden hair this time, and green eyes that matched Harry's own. Tonks was a new Auror and a friend of Harry's as well. Harry grinned at her and said, "Hi Tonks."
Tonks returned his greeting with a short smile before she asked a completely stunned Aidan, "What's going on here?"
Harry answered her question, "Oh, nothing, I was simply wondering how I could do as much damage as possible to these two," he said pointing at Aidan and Patricia's faces, their taunting faces had changed to shock and confusion. They had not been expecting this.
Harry almost laughed at what they must be thinking. What's happened to the boy who didn't have any defenses and the boy who would run simply by the sight of them? Well, Harry thought bitterly to himself, that boy disappeared a long time ago.
"Calm down, don't do anything to them, there are greater dangers you should prepare yourself for," Tonks said as if the group of muggle students weren't even there.
"You-Know-Who and his followers killed ten more people tonight. I know you have fought him before Harry, but there is no point playing with suspension like this."
Aidan and Patricia eyes were very round.
"I know," Harry sighed, his anger finally starting to ebb out of him. "But I still would like to get revenge on them. I would still like to hurt them so bad that they wish they were never born…!" The last bit Harry nodded with full force towards his formal classmates, who were simply staring at him and Tonks, a look of confusion and fear on their faces. Tonks just looked at him. She looked scared too.
"Harry, is this really you?"
Harry snorted. "Who else could I be?" Tonks gave him a look as to tell him he should knew very well what she meant. Harry returned his focus on the muggles in front of him, and simply said, "Go." And they went. Tonks disappeared with a pop and Harry was alone again.
As he made his way back to Privet Drive, it started to rain.
The days came and went slowly. Everyday Harry went through with his training; he didn't care if he had to run in the rain. In surprising reality, it was actually quite refreshing. Every night, he woke up to hear himself screaming after a nightmare of Sirius, or a vision of Voldemort killing someone. Every morning Harry wondered how much more he could take. Then he would remind himself of the Prophecy and the fact that he was the only one who could save the world. Screw the world! What was worth living for anyway? It wasn't like Harry could just face Voldemort straight away. He wouldn't have a chance against him. Harry rolled over in his bed, not really caring to get up straight away.
Suddenly something flew through his window and landed on his bed. Hedwig. He sat up and removed the two letters from Hedwig's leg. There was one letter from Hermione, one of his best friends, and one from Lupin. Without even opening the letter from Lupin, Harry wrote a reply.
I'm fine. The Dusleys are behaving. No problems. I don't need anything.
At first Harry used to open the letters from Lupin, but they were always the same:
Are you ok? Are the Dursleys treating you well? If you need anything, just tell me. I expect us to come and get to see you soon.
Harry returned his attention to the letter from Hermione, wondering if he should open it. After staring at it for ten minutes or so, Harry decided to open it. After all, if he didn't, Hermione would probably get worried and tell someone.
How are you? How are the Dursleys? I hope they are treating you well.
I have been staying at the Burrow for a couple of days now, and I have something important to tell you when we meet each other.
Are you coming to the headquarters? I heard something about picking you up in a week or two, when Lupin was on a visit here.
Ron is acting weird. I wonder why, he won't tell me about it. Ginny says hi.
Have you gotten your OWL results? I got mine yesterday, and they were pretty good actually, at least better than I thought. What did you get?
I will see you soon, maybe sooner than you think. Try to not break any rules or get yourself into trouble.
Harry snorted at the last sentence. Try not to break any rules. Right. Why did everyone always tell him what to do? Harry wrote her a short answer.
I'm fine. The Dursleys are behaving and so am I. I don't really feel like coming to the Headquarters. Say hi to the Weasleys for me.
I haven't gotten my OWL results yet. What do you mean with "sooner than you think?"
A shout from downstairs made Harry hurry and put the replies on Hedwig's foot and quickly sent her off. She gave him an ugly look before she disappeared into the darkness. She was probably offended by the way Harry had treated her.
Somebody was knocking on his door. Why were the Dursleys out of bed already?
"Boy, get up and open the door this instant!" Petunia said, clearly angry. Harry wondered for a brief second if it was better if he didn't, but in the end he decided to do as he was told.
The same moment as Harry opened the door, Petunia grabbed his arm and dragged him outside in the hallway, making Harry yelp in surprise.
"Quiet boy!" sneered Petunia, "Today we are going to get you a haircut! I can no longer tolerate the neighbours talking about it!" Harry stared at her, not really believing his ears.
"And you better keep it the way it gets this time!" warned Petunia, and started to grab him down the stairs.
"Wait!" said Harry, trying to get out of her grasp and succeeded. "I need to use the bathroom. Wait downstairs, I will come in a minute." Petunia eyed him suspiciously for a moment, but then she shrugged and let him go, making Harry slightly more surprised. He went back to his room and got his wand and changed to clean clothes before he went downstairs, a little uncertain of what he was going to do. He hadn't gotten a haircut since he was… well, ten. And then it was Petunia who had cut him and the day after his hair was just as long as before. Maybe it was time for a new haircut. He would even got the chance for it to be cut properly.
Five minutes later both Petunia and Harry sat in the car, driving down to the town centre. When Harry thought about it, he had never actually been in the town centre to get something for himself. He suddenly thought of something else.
"Aunt Petunia? Why are we doing this so early in the morning, without Uncle Vernon or Dudley?" Petunia looked up at Harry in surprise, as if she just realized he was there.
"Because…" she said after a while. "I didn't want to disturb them. Remember, I'm only doing this because I am getting tired of looking at you with that hair of yours."
How can I forget? thought Harry bitterly. Petunia turned on the radio and Harry listened lazily to it, missing his daily training.
The haircut didn't take a long time. Petunia actually pushed Harry in the hair salon and told the woman who was supposed to cut him to just shave it all off if she had to. It was over after twenty minutes, however, they had not cut it so much. Harry had told her that what he really wanted was to have it neater for once. The lady, named Ruth-Ann, had cut it so it indeed looked neater, but Harry could still hide his scar. Ruth had been very interested in his scar, but Harry, in lack for good excuses, had refused to tell her where he had got it.
When he was done Petunia had simply stared at him for a long time and only mumbled to herself something about why she hadn't done that sooner. Harry gaped at her in amusement.
This seemed to somewhat inspire Petunia. By the end of the morning Harry hadn't just gotten himself a new hairstyle; he had also gotten himself some new clothes, in his size, and in colours that made his eyes look more intense. Harry liked it, but couldn't help wonder of what Dudley and Vernon would say. Petunia seemed to think the same thoughts, she used over an hour of browsing and buying clothes to Dudley.
On their way home Petunia seemed to be lost in thoughts, with a weird expression on her face. Harry did not ask her about it, he doubted it would be anything good anyway. However, after a while she broke the silence.
"Where do you get money from…. to your- er- you know- your… school supplies?" Petunia shrugged, as if just saying the word 'school supplies' was a shame.
"Erm..." Harry started; he didn't really know what he should say to that question. He had promised himself not to tell, but it must be fairly obvious that he got money from somewhere. He gulped. "My mum and dad left me some." Petunia nodded sharply, clearly expecting that.
They did not say anything more on their way home, and when they got home Harry escaped up to his room. On his window he spotted a large owl by his window, with The Daily Prophet clutched in its claws. Over the Prophet Harry saw a letter from the minister: OWLs results. Harry paid the owl and watched as it went up in the sky before he returned his attention to the newspaper. He didn't want to open the letter. He nearly choked when he saw the headlines of the Prophet:
THIRTY DEATH EATER AND DEMENTOR ATTACKS – THE MINISTRY IS LOSING CONTROL
That meant that it must have been around fifty only this week. Damn. They were certainly not hiding anymore! Somehow, Harry should have expected that. He had dreamt it. He had been Voldemort. He had felt how it was to throw the deadliest curse of them all: the Avada Kedavra. He had felt it. And he had liked it. However, (as Harry kept telling himself over and over,) it was not him who had enjoyed it. It was Voldemort. Not him…
Harry sat down on his bed, his good mood completely gone.