Disclaimer: You people know the works: I don't own them, I don't make money with it, only the plot's mine.
AN: This is my first try at fanfiction, I hope you people like it. Reviews are welcome, constructive criticism is necessary and flames will be used to light fireworks with flamers tied to it ;P.
Warning: English is not my mother language. There might be some spelling and grammar errors that I did not catch. Please point it out if something is seriously wrong. On another note: I'll try not to have major romance in this story.
"blah" - talking, 'blah' - thinking, italics - spells and writing, "blah" - parseltongue
On a perfectly good summer day a car with 4 people inside sped along the empty driveways towards Surrey from Kings Cross Station in London. The people inside were Mr. Vernon Dursley - a large, beefy man with no neck, his wife Petunia – a slim woman with a neck like a giraffe and blond hair, their son Dudley – a blond boy the age of 15 and the size of a small killerwhale and lastly Harry Potter, Mrs. Dursleys nephew. Harry was also 15 years old, but that was the only thing he had in common with the rest of this family. He was a small, black haired boy with a waif-like appearance and starling emerald green eyes that were hidden behind glasses with a thick, black plastic frame.
While the Dursleys were a perfectly normal family, Harry was by no means normal. He was a wizard and as such despised by his family, who were more than weary of anything they viewed as abnormal and freaky. But – to Harrys chagrin – he was not a normal wizard either… well if there was such a thing as a normal wizard. He was known to other wizards as the Boy-who-lived and marked with a scar on his forehead in the form of a lightningbolt. Said scar was the only reminder of the reason Harry did not live with his parents as other children do: it was simply because he had no parents. His parents – a witch and a wizard - died the same day he received his scar: on the night of Halloween after Harrys first birthday they were killed by an evil wizard by the name of Voldemort. And while his parents fell prey to the supposedly unstoppable killing curse Avada Kedavra, the same curse was reflected back onto the caster by infant-Harry and cost Voldemort his body. Mind, the reflected curse didn't kill him, but made him into a spirit-like thing because of all the rituals Voldemort had conducted upon himself in search for immortality.
Those events and a couple of others led to the fact that Harry was left on his relatives doorstep in the middle of the night by Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Head of the Order of the Phoenix and fighter for the light extraordinaire, with the intention for Harry to grow up normally and without being privy to his fame. To say that the Dursleys were not pleased upon learning that their freak of a nephew was dumped on them would be an understatement. So naturally they took their bad luck out on the only available freaky person – Harry. Which in turn led to him growing up as a personal servant for the Dursleys, sleeping in the cupboard under the stairs while his cousin had two rooms – as well as being generally unloved and unwanted.
Upon discovering the Wizarding World at age eleven however, Harry was sure that for the first time in his live that things were looking up. Being able to be away from his relatives for most of the year, maybe being able to make friends without them being bullied away by Dudley, learning more about his parents, learning about being a wizard and beginning a whole new life: that sounded like a fabulous fairytale to him. But Harry soon had to discover that fairytales aren't real. Each year he was shipped of to his relatives again in the summer holidays, people flocked to him because of his fame – not because they liked him as a person, his parents were only ever mentioned to say "You are a carbon copy of your father, but you have your mothers eyes." which didn't have much of a meaning at all, being magical wasn't what it was made out to be - especially if you couldn't practice in the holidays because of a stupid ministry law and being the Boy-who-lived forced an image onto him that just didn't match his personality and life so far.
Now, at nearly sixteen years of age he had had numerous attempts on his life by Voldemort while he was supposedly safe at school, had been ridiculed, slandered, ignored and praised whenever the wizarding populace felt like it. He had been abandoned by his friends, had been lied to and misled by his headmaster and had been put down repeatedly by Snape and just this year by that toad Umbridge. Then his godfather Sirius Black had fallen through the veil in the Department of Mysteries in the Ministry of Magic at the end of his last school-year. And to top it all of, the headmaster had decided, that now of all times was the right moment to tell him of the prophecy. As if he hadn't had enough on his shoulders already. Not to mention being sent back into isolation to his muggle-relatives, cut of from his friends and any hint of the magical world.
At the moment though, Harry was lost in feelings of guilt, depression and self-pity rather than the impressive anger he used to wreck Dumbledores office or the icy determination to finally live his own life instead of being other peoples puppet that had gripped him on his last days in Hogwarts. He didn't react to the beautiful weather, to the fact that they had already reached Privet Drive or the fact that his Uncles face darkened in color by the second at his inattentiveness.
"POTTER! Get your ass out of my car and into the house."
The bellow his Uncle let loose managed to shake Harry out of his stupor and he jumped out of the car, ran to the boot and began to heave his trunk out of it, to lug it into the house. Surprisingly enough his Uncle held the door open for him and shut it with a bang after him.
"Boy, leave your trunk here and come with me, we have something to discuss," his Uncle said in a low tone, another thing not exactly normal in Vernon Dursleys behavior when it concerned his nephew. Especially after the episode at the station where the Order had threatened the Dursleys. As Harry looked up and around he found the entirety of the house in his range of vision devoid of any furniture and décor. Wondering what happened he followed his Uncle into the livingroom were his Aunt waited for them, sitting on a large suitcase. Dudley had already disappeared upstairs.
"There are several things you should know, boy," began his Aunt with disdain. "A few days ago your headmaster send us a letter, concerning the happenings in your freaky world and things he said we should not let you do over the holidays. Like leaving the house to go shopping or to the park or even working in the yard among other things. Things that would have conflicted with your chores. And the little fact that he wanted you to stay here until September."
Seeing Harrys shocked expression his Uncle continued where his Aunt left off: "What alarmed us though, apart from you staying for more than two months, was the fact that he would send you here when you were in even more extreme danger than you were the last year with those dementi-things, because it meant we were also in danger of being visited by some deranged murderer or worse: killed. So we decided to write that insane man back despite our dislike for your kind and demand an answer as to why exactly we were endangered when his freak-stuff should keep you safe. Imagine our surprise when we got a letter back with several rolls of that outdated paper-like stuff your people use, which explained in detail that there were loads of m-ma-magical barriers around the house and that your Aunt living here kept you - and us – supposedly safe."
"After I read through all the material that was sent to us, I tried to make heads and tails of it and stumbled, while rereading it, upon a very interesting fact: those blood protection wards, as he called them, need my presence and your presence in the place you call home for exactly 1 month out of the year to remain intact. Not necessarily my home and not necessarily at the same time. The protection is also around my home and family as long as the wards around your home are intact. Mind you, I got the feeling that he didn't mean to send all the information along with that burning bird." Petunia Dursley sighed deeply. "We decided, of course, to leave on a 2 month vacation and you here with list of chores, asking Mrs. Figg to look after you occasionally. But before we could book said vacation, something happened. Vernon was approached by his boss at Grunnings and asked if he wanted to have a leading position in one of the branches they are opening up abroad."
"It was a miracle that it happened right at this time. So we decided, as we had long since wanted a holiday home in a warmer climate that we could just as well move into said climate year-round and I accepted a position on an island in the Caribbean. Sunny weather, agreeable temperature, good business and low prices, as well as a good education in private schools for Dudley. Moving away from a threat like this Volshie-guy was a good thing, too. That was however only possible because of our savings and a healthy amount of money from Grunnings." Vernon wandered into the kitchen to get something to drink for himself and his wife.
"Because we did not want you to come with us, making problems and endangering us and Diddydums, we decided to let you live here for the rest of the summer, leaving those obscure protections intact and us safe. Then we wanted to sell the house when you were back in school. Next year you would have either not needed to have those protections and so wouldn't we or you would have searched for a new home, where we could have re-established the protection under the guise of visiting Marge and staying there or something like that, so that we remained under it and out of danger as well."
Vernon started talking again as soon as he re-entered the livingroom, while handing his wife a glass of iced tea.
"But we received some… well… interesting news concerning this house. Petunia inherited the house from her parents or so we thought, but in the end when we found the deed for the property, it stated that her sister had been the one to purchase and own it, letting their parents and later us live in it. Therefore this house is yours, since your mother is dead. We also found out, that the only reason we never had to pay rent for it, was the fact that you were sent to live with us. The taxes were paid out of a trust fund designed solely for paying those - and other bills if you ever lived alone in this house without us. It was a great shock for us, because it meant in essence that you were the sole reason why we could afford the living style we had and buy a house in the Caribbean instead of renting an appartment."
To say that Harry was shocked would have been the understatement of the year. His mouth hung wide open and his eyes threatened to fall out of his head, all thoughts about Sirius and the veil forgotten.
"You mean to tell me," he asked after he had successfully closed his mouth, "that all this time I could have been living with somebody else, Aunt Petunia could have visited for 4 weeks every year and there was absolutely no reason for Dumbledore to force us together like this?"
His voice had gotten shriller and louder continuously while he spoke. Harry's Uncle continued to sip his tea as his Aunt simply nodded her head.
Harry felt all kinds of emotions and memories run through his mind. Being locked in his cupboard, being told that he was an ungrateful freak, getting hand-me-down clothes, being told he grew up with muggles because of his fame, Dumbledore telling him he had to stay at his Aunts because of the protection, Dumbledore forbidding him from leaving Privet Drive. An overwhelming anger grew larger and larger within him and he had to sit down. Trying to get himself under control again, he leant against the wall and looked up at his Aunt and Uncle.
"Is there more?"
"The fact that the protections would have been stronger all along, had it been done the way you described. Their strength seems to be based on the strength of love felt in and for the home, which includes the people. Our hatred for you diminished the wards to almost nothing. The result were those Dementi-things last summer. Had the wards been at their full strength, they couldn't even have come near the outer limits. Then there is the fact that the lawyer we contacted because of the deed, the one that told us of the trust fund, told us that he was a squid?"
She looked questioningly at Harry, who shook his head and said "Squib. A person born into a magical family but without magic. It's the opposite of what Mom was – a witch born into a non-magical family." His Aunt nodded and continued, not even mentioning his triple use of the m-word.
"He told us also of your parents will in which they stated that in case something happened to them you should be left either with your godfather or your godmother or if both were unavailable with a family named Longbottom, but under absolutely no circumstances with us, because of our negative opinion of magic."
"Then why did Dumbledore leave me here?" Harry fell silent again when his Aunt shot him a glare.
"Thirdly the fact that we and you should have received several things in case Dumbledore managed to circumvent their will, which we did – but the things were tampered with so that we never even looked at them and yours are in the attic together with some things your mother left here, because she didn't want them found. The lawyer had someone take a look at the wards and she said there was one made by the caster to put something called a Notice-me-not charm on everything even remotely of magical origin. That includes the information of the trust fund, everything they sent to us, the things your mother left and interestingly enough: you."
"What?" The screech left Harry mouth unbidden. "But that… I don't understand." He mumbled silently for a while and continued aloud: "In retrospect it makes a lot of sense. I suppose she broke that particular aspect of the wards?"
His Uncle looked shrewdly at him, but nodded slowly. "Yes, she did. The charm had been weakened over the passage of time, include to that the already weak wards and you can imagine just why magical things have been noticed more and more around here. But she couldn't tell us if it was done intentional or simply botched up and meant for outside person not to notice anything unusual. How did you know? Well you can tell us later, there are some things left and we need to get to London to catch our plane." Vernon took out a handkerchief and dried the sweat that had collected on his forehead.
"Now, the lawyer, when told of our plans, said that we couldn't simply leave a minor like you here in England without attendance when we moved. We would get fined and worse if we even tried that. Additionally they would put you in an orphanage for the time being and than our protection would be null and void because of you not being here and those freaks would know as well. As we couldn't have that, we had him draw up emancipation papers and bring them before a family court. With you being almost sixteen, owning the house and having it and your expenses paid for automatically by the trust fund, as well as going to boarding school as stated in your parents will – having your complete tuition already paid for and the assistance of the lawyer should you need it, your emancipation was passed without a single problem. You only have to sign them."
Harrys Uncle had to repress a shudder before he could continue speaking. "Mr. Stanton also told us that for someone like you or your mother with a legitimate ID in the normal world those papers are legitimate in your freaky world as well. As soon as you sign them your are a legal adult and can get a driving license and do your freak stuff without repercussions. They are confidential, nobody apart from the absolutely necessary people will be informed, as there is something called a secrecy charm on them. The papers are in the kitchen on the counter with our new address and Mr. Stantons address. When you sign them they will be transported to Mr. Stanton automatically. We sold most of the furniture because we needed money for new things and moving them would have cost a pretty penny, but we left you a percentage in cash to buy new things to your liking. There are some things in the attic and basement you might want and we left you everything Dudley broke or didn't want. Keep them, sell them or throw them away, we don't care. Is there anything else that can not be handled per e-mail, letter or telephone? We need to get going because else we might miss our flight."
Harry had to shake himself out of his stupor, he couldn't deal with everything as fast as his Uncle had thrown it at him. There was not much he could think about right then, but one thing niggled through to the forefront of his mind. Weird as it was, his relatives had done him a huge favor by moving away and getting him emancipated instead of leaving him with a babysitter for the whole summer.
"Only one thing, Uncle Vernon. There are some kind of wards that keep non-magical people from stumbling upon magical ones. I know for a fact that the opposite is possible as well. If I were to charm something to put up that kind of wards around your new home and send it to you, would you accept it?"
As his Uncle only threw him a stunned look, it was his Aunt who answered: "Yes, we would. But why would you want to do something like that for us, with the way we treated you ? I thought you would rather curse us than help us?"
Harry stared at ground while answered, not looking them in the eyes. "Well, it is just… all these years… as bad as you treated me… I didn't have to live on the streets. And just now you managed to cut the strings by which I was played since I was left with you, as well as your own. I want to repay you for that and as you don't like my kind…. There is the added bonus that with that kind of ward not even Albus Dumbledore will be able to find you and therefore can not try to control either of us again. Some of your behavior can also be traced back to that thrice damned charm, because I do not think, that you would normally treat a child like you did me – magical or not."
"You just might be right about that point. So, you get something out of that as well, heh? Be that as it may, we would appreciate it. Send it along, the normal way, please, will you? Good bye, Harry, I wish you a good summer. I will contact you about visiting here for the wards. Oh, and the information on those is also on the kitchen counter."
And with those last words his Aunt called for Dudley and his Uncle took the three suitcases and the whole Dursley family left their previous home behind for warmer climates and a hopefully much more normal life, leaving a still mystified Harry on the floor in the livingroom, slumped against the wall, emotions once again running amok.
Upload date: 4-11-05