Return to the Dursleys
The train station had passed out of sight behind the Dursley's car as Harry sat in the back seat in a stupor. He had barely registered that the car was new, and that the three Dursley's seemed to constantly be casting anxious glances at him before quickly averting their gaze lest he look up. The journey from King's Cross to Number Four Privet drive was made in complete silence except for the hum of the car engine and the sound of wind whipping past the windows. The car finally stopped in front of the Dursleys home, and the three Dursleys got out of the car and walked into the house without a word to Harry.
Harry sat in the car for at least an hour before he finally realized that he was alone, and decided to get out of the car. He flipped the release and got his trunk and Hedwig's cage out of the boot. He had let Hewig free at the station, so that she could fly back to the house. Harry slowly trudged into the house and deposited his trunk and Hedwig's cage in the floor. Then, he lay down on the lump that the Dursleys called his bed, and fell quickly into a deep sleep.
The next day, Harry awoke to find several owls waiting for him to wake up. He removed the post to see that it was from all his friends. He assumed that they were all intended to be letters telling him to feel better, and not to lose hope. However, at this point, Harry wasn't in the mood for such letters. So, he threw them directly into the waste bin without opening them. All except for one. This letter was from none other than the Headmaster of Hogwarts, Albus Dumbledore.
A hint of anger flared inside of Harry at the sight of Dumbledore's name, but was snuffed away just as quickly as it was born, and was replaced by a sigh of resignation. The owl that had brought this letter seemed to be awaiting a reply, so Harry quickly opened the letter.
I have sent this letter to inform you that the Order will be keeping a much closer watch on you than before. There will be guards around Little Whinging for the duration of your stay at Privet Drive, and we will also be expecting updates on your relatives treatment of you in the coming days. I look forward to having you out of that house by your birthday, but until then I must ask you to remain inside the house. The owl that you see before you will appear every third day for a progress report from you. Send one back with her now to signify that you understand and agree with the instructions that I have given you.
Headmaster of Hogwarts
Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore
Harry gave a snort as he quickly grabbed a piece of parchment and a quill to quickly scribble a return message.
A short time later the owl returned to Hogwarts bearing Harry's answer. Dumbledore took the parchment from the owl's leg to find a very cryptic message.
I received your letter and understand your instructions. However, agreement and understanding are very different things.
Dumbledore gave a sigh and said aloud, "This could be very bad."
Harry's time at Privet Drive was anything but fun. However, the days had settled themselves into a nice routine that Harry could function within, if not necessarily live. He awoke in them mornings and walked downstairs to breakfast. Then, he would eat whatever food that his aunt sat before him. Next, he would trudge up the stairs to the smallest bedroom of the house where he would return to his bed and lay back down on his bed. He would spend the day in apathetic half slumber until it was time to go downstairs for dinner. Here, he would yet again, eat whatever portion of food that was placed in front of him, and then, once more drag himself up the stairs to drop unceremoniously onto his bed. This routine was only punctuated by the owls that arrived almost every morning from Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Neville, or Luna, and the owl from Dumbledore.
Harry made sure to respond to Dumbledore in an effort to keep wizards from invading Privet Drive, but Harry had yet to answer or even read a letter from his friends. He simply couldn't bring himself to even open them. They continued to arrive with monotonous regularity through the course of the next three weeks however.
Finally it was the night before he was to go to Grimmauld Place. The last letter from Dumbledore had informed him that that would be his destination. Harry, however, would have preferred to remain at Privet Drive over returning to Sirius' house. He prepared himself for the inevitable pain that returning to that house would bring. He also prepared himself for the inevitable fit that his friends were likely to have with him for not deigning to answer their letters. Hermione and Ginny especially would have several choice words for him.
Harry sighed to himself as these thoughts flashed through his mind while he packed the few things that he had removed from his trunk in an effort to provide some sort of distraction for his mind. These things had proven to be very unhelpful and had been left strewn around his room. His book Flying With the Cannons, several textbooks, and his list of school assignments.
Harry had even attempted to break himself out of his funk by staring at his O.W.L. scores, but even these had done little to assuage the overwhelming guilt and depression that seemed likely to envelop his very being. He glanced at them one last time before dropping the parchment into his trunk.
O.W.L. results for Harry James Potter
Care of Magical Creatures O
Defense Against the Dark Arts O
History of Magic P
Harry assumed that Hermione would be ecstatic about his scores, but that couldn't even lighten his dismal attitude. As Harry was completing his packing and locking his trunk, an explosion rocked Privet Drive. Harry quickly looked out his window to see Death Eaters surrounding the house in battle with several members of the Order. However, it was very obvious that the Order was badly outnumbered by at least twenty Death Eaters. Harry drew his wand and immediately went out into the hall. His aunt and uncle stood in the doorway of their room while Dudley cowered at the other end of the hall.
Uncle Vernon demanded in a loud harsh voice, "What is going on, boy?"
Harry put a finger to his lips and said, "Shhh. There are Death Eaters around the house. I don't know if they have gotten inside yet."
Aunt Petunia asked fearfully, "What are Death Eaters?"
Harry snorted, "Servants of Lord Voldemort."
Vernon hissed, "What are they doing here, boy?"
Harry shrugged but answered, "I'm sure they are here to capture me, but they will kill Muggles like you without hesitation. Now, stay upstairs."
Harry proceeded to walk down the hallway and crept down the stairs to see several masked figures entering through the front door. A rage that Harry had never known came over him. Without thinking at all, Harry leaped into sight of the Death Eaters and began hurling curses as fast as he could. He took them completely by surprise and dropped them all with well placed Stunning Spells, and Full Body Binds, but unfortunately for the young hero, he did not notice that there were a couple of Death Eaters already well inside the house, and these two dropped him with a Stunning Spell apiece. Then, the Death Eaters performed the counter curses on their comrades, and they Portkeyed away from the house. The outside attackers Apparated away as reinforcements from the Order and the Ministry appeared in Little Whinging.
Dumbledore met up with Tonks, who had been on duty outside Harry's home, and asked, "What happened?"
Tonks shrugged, "Death Eaters popped in all over the street. Kingsley, Dung, Moody and I did the best that we could but there were just too many of them. They got inside the house, Dumbledore. I don't know if they got to Harry or not."
Remus and Mr. Weasley walked up to hear this, and both of them exchanged a panicked look with Dumbledore before all four of them hurried into Number Four Privet Drive. Remus yelled out as he ran in the door, "Harry? Harry?" He looked around wildly as Tonks, Dumbledore, and Mr. Weasley echoed his calls. Remus shouted again, "Oh god, don't do this to us, Harry!"
At the sounds of the voiced screaming Harry's name, Vernon and Petunia appeared at the top of the stairs. Vernon demanded, "What is the meaning of all this noise?"
Dumbledore spoke quickly, "Where is Harry?"
Petunia shrugged, "He came downstairs and we heard shouting, and then it was quiet. A few moments later, the four of you came in and began shouting again. That's all we know."
It took little time to organize a search of the house and surrounding area. It was quite obvious that Harry was gone.
A few hours later, the Order was assembled at Grimmauld Place in the kitchen. Mrs. Weasley had been demanding to know what had happened since her husband and the others had returned, but they had all refused to answer her. Finally, Dumbledore stood at the head of the long rectangular table and said, "Now, that we are all here, we can begin. I am afraid that I have terrible news. Voldemort succeeded in breaking down the wards that have long kept Harry safe at Privet Drive. The Death Eaters launched an attack that the guards around Harry's home were unable to stop in time."
Mrs Weasley screamed out, "What do you mean in time, Albus?! Is Harry still alive?"
Dumbledore's shoulders sagged, "I'm afraid that we have no idea what shape Harry is in. He has been taken by the Death Eaters."
A pall of defeat and dismay settled around the table, until Severus Snape snorted and said, "The way all of you are acting, you would think that our only hope just died. This is war and there will be casualties. I, for one, think we have wasted far too much time attempting to protect that one boy. He wasn't worth the lives of everyone."
The minute the words had left his mouth, Snape knew that he should have never spoke them to this crowd. By the time he had barely finished speaking, four Weasley boys had tackled him to the ground, and began beating the living hell out of him. After several minutes, Albus finally said, "That is enough, boys."
Bill, Charlie, Fred, and George got up from the floor where they had been pummeling the Potions professor, each of them pausing as they stood for one last well placed kick. Then, they each returned to their seat. Snape struggled back to his feet, only to be knocked right back on his ass by a furious Molly Weasley. She leaned in very low over Snape and said menacingly, "If I ever hear of you speaking that way about Harry again, I will kill you myself." Then, she turned around and walked back over to the other side of the table and returned to her seat, where she promptly burst into tears as Arthur draped an arm around her.
Kingsley cleared his throat and then asked, "What are we going to do about this, Albus? I hate to be the one to bring this up, but You-Know-Who will kill Harry quickly if we don't get to him."
Albus shook his head, "No, Voldemort will not kill Harry quickly. He won't take the chance of it blowing up in his face again. He will take his time and torture him, because Harry has information he needs."
Bill asked, "What information is that?"
Albus sighed, "The contents of the Prophecy."
Remus whipped his head around, "You mean that Harry knows what it says?"
Dumbledore nodded, "Yes, I felt that it was finally necessary for him to know. Now, with the current situation, I think that you all should hear the Prophecy. Severus, you inadvertently hit the proverbial nail on the head as the Muggle saying goes. Harry Potter is our only hope of defeating Voldemort."
Albus pulled his Pensieve out of a cabinet and swirled it around to make the memory of Sybyll Trelawney rise out of the mist.
THE ONE WITH THE POWER TO VANQUISH THE DARK LORD APPROACHES … BORN TO THOSE WHO HAVE THRICE DEFIED HIM, BORN AS THE SEVENTH MONTH DIES … AND THE DARK LORD WILL MARK HIM AS HIS EQUAL, BUT HE WILL HAVE POWER THE DARK LORD KNOWS NOT … AND EITHER MUST DIE AT THE HAND OF THE OTHER FOR NEITHER CAN LIVE WHILE THE OTHER SURVIVES … THE ONE WITH THE POWER TO VANQUISH THE DARK LORD WILL BE BORN AS THE SEVENTH MONTH DIES…
The room fell silent in shock as they absorbed the impact of the words. Fred gulped and asked, "So, that Prophecy is talking about Harry?"
Dumbledore nodded, "Yes, Mr. Weasley, there can be no doubt that Harry is the only one that can destroy Voldemort. As Voldemort is the only one that can destroy Harry, but neither of them will die easily, so Voldemort will bide his time about attempting to kill Harry until he knows the Prophecy. Which means that we have a little time to find and rescue Harry, but not much. We can only hope that we get to him in time. Severus, you must locate where Voldemort is keeping Harry." Dumbledore turned to the other end of the table as Snape quickly departed, "Alastor, you and Kingsley will have to coordinate things from the Minstry end of things. Try to put surveillance on all of the suspected Inner Circle Death Eaters. If Severus is unable to locate Harry, perhaps one of them will lead us to him."
Once the meeting was finished, everyone departed to go about their duties. Dumbledore turned to Molly, "Molly, if you will, go and get Ron, Hermione, and Ginny. They will need to be told of this."
Mrs. Weasley walked upstairs and woke each of the three sleeping youngsters. They each protested about being awakened at such an early hour, but each of them trudged down to the kitchen to see Dumbledore.
Hermione asked, "Professor, does this have something to do with Harry not answering our letters this summer. I know you told us that we should expect something like this, but that doesn't mean that we're going to let him off the hook when he gets here later today."
Dumbledore gulped as tears sprang to his eyes, "No, child, I wish that was why I was here, but I have much graver news. Harry will not be coming here today. He was captured last night by Death Eaters in Little Whinging."
The three teenagers stopped stunned as they took in this information. Ginny asked in a trembling voice, "Is he alive?"
Dumbledore could only shrug, "We don't know, yet, but we believe him to be at this time. We can only hope we find him before anything too terrible happens. I ask each of you to hold onto that hope for Harry's sake. When he returns, he will need you to be optimistic for him at all costs."
Dumbledore turned his head to hide his own grief as the three teenagers broke down into sobs at this news. Molly drew the three into a hug, as Dumbledore beat a hasty retreat from the room. He muttered to himself as he left Grimmauld Place to return to Hogwarts, "Forgive us, Harry, and hang on."
A/N: This is a little brainchild I have had bouncing around inside my head for some time. Anything else will be put on hold for this story, because I can't seem to get it out of my head. Expect some stronger language and more sexual themes and overtones, not to mention violence than my other fics. This will be a pretty long story, but shouldn't approach novel length. I would estimate fifty thousand words at most, but we'll see how much it takes to tell the story. I'm going to try to keep up one posting a week until its done, and it should be about ten or twelve chapters. Hope you all enjoy. Till next time.