Author's Note: Holy...I never thought I get that many reviews. Really, it was just an experiment. OK, so now I'm continuing it, because all you reviewers are scaring me...:hands out cookies as apology for not updating sooner:
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It had been hard and easy running away. The easy part was deciding that he would, the hard part was where he was going to go and what he would tell everyone else. It had been two weeks since he'd met his new friends, and he finally knew what it was like to just be himself. He didn't have to be afraid that if he did something wrong everyone would condemn him. He felt free and alive.
Ron and Hermione hadn't sent him any letters, which Harry sort of expected. Only Remus did, and they were short and filled with not much information. When Harry was writing a curt and sarcastic reply one day he stopped and decided, hey, fuck it. He wouldn't let anyone rule his life from now on. He would turn 16 on his birthday soon, and then he would be legally an adult. And himself.
He couldn't run away to the life he used to know, it would just be a burden on him and others, not that he cared, really. Voldemort was his and his alone to defeat, not theirs. Never theirs.
So Harry moved in with Jacoby, the boy who had at first reminded him of Malfoy, but who now was his anchor.
Harry sat at the worn table in Jacoby and his small apartment, crouched over a slightly crumpled bit of sketch paper and scribbling furiously. Once in a while, he stopped and squinted at it, sometimes studying the lines of black charcoal for several minute intervals. He finally finished late into the night and sat straight up, his silver phoenix medallion thudding heavily against his chest. He tilted his head questioningly and some of his shaggy shoulder-length hair escaped his hastily throw back ponytail into his eye's view. He ignored it and studied the picture. It was a basilisk, wrapped menacingly yet seductively around a bejeweled broad sword, much like Godric Gryffindor's yet differing in small ways.
Harry let out a heavy sigh and set down the small charcoal piece then wiped his blackened fingers on his, luckily, black tshirt. He tucked his drawing into the worn and doodled-on manila envelope sitting on the floor with a faint satisfied air. It was already crammed with other sketches, some with torn and bent edges.
Harry stood up witha groan and cracked his backed, afterards ambling toward the fridge, tired and hungry. It had to be at least four or five in the morning, because he couldn't see the blue glow from underneath the bedroom door. That would indicate that Jacoby was still up and playing with his computer. Jacoby was usually on his "baby" until three, but would get sick sometimes of waiting up for Harry to come to bed.
Harry grabbed a leftover box of chinese and scarfed it down, happy it had not acquired the down of mold that usually accompanied anything in the fridge. He threw away the empty and soggy box when he was done and slipped off his clothes in the bedroom and slid underneath the covers. They were warm from Jacoby and Harry drew in a deep breath of Jacoby's smell, somewhere between cedar and pine, and burrowed deep into the covers and against his lover's back.
Jacoby stirred and murmured. "Harry?"
"Shh, love. I'm just going to bed."
He groaned. "Oh. I thought something was wrong."
"No," Harry smiled faintly at Jacoby's worry. There was nothing more forthcoming from his lover, so Harry thought he had fallen back asleep and closed his eyes.
When Harry woke up, somehow he knew that something was different. Slowly, sounds reached him from outside the room and he made out the sounds of Jacoby yelling and the screeching of an owl. An owl?
Harry jumped out of bed, cursing. How had an owl found him? He had placed untraceable spells on himself, so it was almost impossible. (Wandless magic can be done, witness Harry before he knew he was a wizard. You just had to apply yourself more, and Harry had read up during the Summer. He isn't a complete wanker, you know.)
Harry raced out to the small room and saw Jacoby beating away a rather large owl he recognized as being an official Hogwarts owl, which flew start-of-term letters to all students. Harry slightly relaxed because he knew the owl hadn't tracked him. Now to try to get the letter the owl was gripping possessively and distract Jacoby.
"Jae!" (Jacoby's nickname. Come on, you expect someone to yell 'Jacoby' in the throes of passion? Hah! That'd be like the tongue twister from hell. It would probably end up like this: 'Chi! cka! be!' or something...hmmm...)
Jacoby turned around. "Harry, help me with this damn thing! It just started attacking me once I opened the front door," he yelled.
Harry went over carefully, in case the owl didn't recognize him in it's fury. But, the owl immediately calmed down once he was in sight and hooted in a welcoming tone.
Jacoby stood there with a shocked look on his face, panting heavily. He looked at Harry questioningly. Harry just shrugged sheepishly.
The owl glided over to Harry's arm as he held it out, and Harry snatched the letter quickly. The owl, obviously not going to suffer any more at the hands of any Muggles, even if for a treat, hooted once more and flew out the still open door.
Harry tucked the letter in his pocket and looked at Jacoby, who was staring at Harry as if he had two heads.
"What was that?" Jacoby asked.
Harry tried the innocent approach. "What was what?"
Jacoby gritted his teeth in sudden anger. "Fuck you, you wanker! You know what I'm talking about! That bloody letter you took from that scrazed owl that seemed to know who you were!"
Harry just stood there. He didn't know what to say. What do you say? Would you tell a Muggle who you were? And if you really valued their friendship, and company, would you risk that to tell them what they might not even believe?
Jacoby took the silence as incriminating. "I think we should start seeing other people."
Harry stood there a moment in shock as it sunk in. "What!"
Jacoby tried to calm him down. "Listen, it's not you. It's just that, well, I've been thinking. You seem to hide so much from me. I don't know where you were born, not really, or where you've been to school. And that owl and the letter, what the fuck was that? You don't trust me! Hell, I don't even know if you're really 20 or not!"
Harry blinked at the realization that all his lies for a new beginning had back-fired on him. Jacoby had been wonderful, great even, but Harry couldn't bring himself to tell Jacoby that he was 16, a wizard, and that the fate of the world rested in his hands. He had only lied about his age that day in the store, a lifetime ago, because he felt older than he really was, and didn't want to say he was 16, frankly.
Harry picked up his coat, a long black trenchcoat, and turned to leave. (Harry could summon his wand and clothes later, when it wouldn't ruin his dramatic exit.)
"Harry, Harry wait!" Jacoby yelled after him.
Harry turned around in anger. "What? What more, Jae? Do you want me to pour out my life's history? Do you want me to tell you how my parents were killed in front of my eyes, and my godfather, and a fellow schoolmate? And that the murderer is after me right now? Do you want me to tell you that - that -" Harry couldn't continue because tears were running down his face.
"Ri...Oh, gods, why didn't you tell me?" Jacoby gasped out as he enveloped Harry in his arms. Harry flinched away.
"Because, Jae, I DON'T TRUST YOU!" He yelled.
Jacoby let go. "What?" His eyes held a betrayed look.
"I don't..." Harry whispered. "I don't trust that you might tell someone, and...he'll kill you too."
DUN DUN DUN!
NEXT CHAPTER: Where will Harry go now? What will he do about that letter? Will he go back to Hogwarts?
Just take the spaces out:)
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