Chapter One: Coming home

Harry stared out the window of Uncle Vernon's car as they drove from Kings Cross Station to Little Whinging. No one said a word through the whole of the trip until they began to make their way up Privet Drive to number four.

"Straight to your room when we get in, boy, and no funny business. Write to your friends first thing." Uncle Vernon hissed as they approached the house.

But Harry's attention had been caught by something else.

"Aunt Petunia," he began, "don't you usually leave the light on in the entry way?"

"Yes, why do you ask?" she wondered.

"Because it's not on and my scar is burning something fierce right now." Harry stated more to himself than anyone. The Dursleys were just beginning to open their car doors.

"We don't bloody care about that accursed scar of yours…"Uncle Vernon began, but Harry cut him off.

"I don't think we should go in there!" Harry exclaimed emphatically. The alarm in his voice seemed to catch Aunt Petunia's attention. They all stopped where they were and looked at Harry as Aunt Petunia spoke.

"What is it, Harry?" Harry was briefly shocked that Aunt Petunia had called him by name, not to mention she was actually asking him what was wrong as though she cared about the answer. But his thoughts were cut off as a streak of red light flew over the lawn causing Harry to shout, "EVERYONE GET DOWN!" The amazing thing is that they all did as they were told, even Dudley.

"What…who…wh…," Uncle Vernon sputtered.

"GET BACK IN THE CAR AND MAKE A RUN FOR IT!" Harry ordered them. They got in and backed out of the drive leaving Harry standing on the lawn. Harry drew his wand and cast several spells into the house, but they all bounced back at him and he was forced to duck his own spells. Just then, Harry heard a crunching noise behind him and turned to see that Uncle Vernon was driving the car up onto the lawn.

"Get in boy!" he spat. Harry didn't need telling twice. He hopped into the backseat where his owl, Hedwig, still sat in her cage. Vernon sped off down the street at break-neck speed, but Harry knew no muggle car would be able to go fast enough to escape the Death Eaters that he was sure would follow them. Harry turned to look out the back window, and sure enough, there they were, mounted on brooms in broad daylight and catching up with them rather quickly.

"Um, we have someone tailing us," Harry did his best to keep the panic out of his voice.

"What'll we do Vernon?!" Aunt Petunia sounded thoroughly panicked.

Harry reached into his schoolbag and brought out his invisibility cloak, suddenly grateful he had not tucked it into his trunk as he would usually have done. He spoke the word, "engorgio" and the cloak increased in size. Then he said to Uncle Vernon, "I need my broom from the trunk. The only way to get it is through magic." And without waiting for a response, Harry spoke the words, "Alohamora, Accio Firebolt," and the trunk suddenly opened and out came the broom. It hovered next to the car as they drove along, following them. Harry rolled down his window, grabbed the broom with one hand and held the cloak with the other. He climbed out the car window to the shouts and cries of his relatives, threw himself onto the broom and the enlarged cloak over both himself and the car. As Uncle Vernon could undoubtedly no longer see where he was going, Harry cast one more spell on each of the car's four wheels, "Wingardium Leviosa!" and the car began to rise into the air. All three Dursleys were screaming and clinging to whatever they could inside the vehicle.

"Be as quiet as you can, they can't see us now. I'll take us all to a safe place," Harry called through his still open car window. The Dursleys stared at him and Aunt Petunia nodded nervously, but they all said nothing. Harry knew of only one place they could go that was anywhere near here, and it was the last place in the world he wanted to go, but it was safe. He only hoped the Dursleys would be able to enter there. He quietly guided the invisible car and its occupants to London and then toward Grimmauld Place. They seemed to have lost the Death Eaters for now, but Harry knew what Moody would say. The words "Constant Vigilance!" echoed through his mind and Harry thought it might be wise to take a look around before leading a pack of Death Eaters straight to the door of the Headquarters to the Order of the Phoenix. He scanned the skies behind him and then noted the lessening of pain in his scar. 'They must have lost us,' he thought. But he circled the neighborhood a few more times before setting the Dursleys down in front of a vacant lot between numbers 11 and 13. Harry wondered again how he was going to get them inside if they couldn't even see the place. He tried to remember what Moody had done last year to let Harry get in. There had been a slip of paper written in Dumbledore's loopy scrawl stating the address of the Headquarters. 'Hmm,' he thought, 'If Dumbledore is secret keeper I won't be able to divulge the address to them. Perhaps Hedwig can get a message in to whoever is in the house asking them to let us in.' He quickly scribbled a note on a torn piece of parchment he found in his schoolbag and handed it to Hedwig. The Dursleys watched him, bewildered, but said nothing.

"Right," Harry spoke, unnerved at the Dursleys' silence after all the magic he'd done. He expected them to be angry, livid in fact, but they all just stood there, staring at him dumfounded. "Hedwig will take a note in for us asking them to let us in. You can't see the house right now. The Death Eaters, they're the ones who were following us, can't get in here." Harry finished, eyeing them all nervously, waiting for them to explode at him. But, still, they just stood there.

A few moments later Remus Lupin seemed to emerge out of nowhere and came up to where they all stood. "Are you sure you were not followed?" He asked first.

"Did the best I could. Threw the cloak over the car and levitated us all. I'm sure they saw us disappear, but they haven't been around since the freeway out of Surry, and I circled the neighborhood a few times just to be sure." Harry responded.

"All right, just one more precaution then," Lupin said, and he got out his wand. "Obliviate," he muttered and pointed the wand at each of the Dursleys in turn as they cowered in front of him. "I only removed the memory of where they landed." Lupin explained, "They would freak out to find themselves inside and not know how they got there."

"Good thinking," Harry commented, "Can we go in now? I'm getting nervous that someone will catch us out here or something."

"Of course," Lupin responded, and he took out a piece of tattered parchment and instructed the Dursleys to read it and think about what they had read. As they did so, the house suddenly materialized in front of them and Aunt Petunia jumped back with a slight "Oh…."