On a Thin Leash
A/N: This is my first ever attempt at fan fiction, so be gentle (or not - I can't say I care overly much). Oh, and you know Fleur has a French accent. I'm sure I'd mangle it if I typed it, so you're going to have to imagine it.
Summary: Harry and his power. Both held back, held down, oppressed. And now, Harry decides to make sure both are free. Independent!Harry, Possible Dumbledore and Ron bashing, HarryMultiple
It was waiting. It knew, instinctively, that the block, the limiter, the thing that held it back, would be gone soon. Growing stronger by the second, It would ensure that the block was gone. It would have been happy, had it been sentient enough to have such emotions.
As it was, though, it merely bided its time, doing the little it could to strengthen The Host. The Host was not as he should be, he was a broken man, physically and emotionally. It could do nothing for the emotions; its understanding of them went no deeper than the fact that the current one's were detrimental to The Host, and by extension, It. And so it strengthened him physically; it increased his muscle mass, heightened his mental capacity, quickened his response time. It lessened his need for sleep, his need for nourishment, and heightened his senses, ever-so-slightly, just too little to be noticeable.
That would not be enough, but it would do, until the block, the thrice-damned limiter, could be broken. Until then, It waited, waited for its freedom, like a feral animal caged and shackled, yearning for freedom more than for air.Yes; It would bide its time… and eventually, help Th Host rid himself of his problems, to the best of It's ability. It was what It's kind had always done -tried to do- since first a Host was found.
"Stupefy." The word was said carelessly, lazily, but the reaction was anything but. The red light burst forth violently, sparkling with energy, only to be spent on a harmless pillow. The man who had said it could have been personified by the spell, seemingly lazy; sitting on the floor, shirtless, in lotus position, arms folded. Also like the spell, though, to anyone really watching, he seemed ready to fight; the muscles in his arms and back tense and hard, still lightly sweating from his workout, his hands twitching slightly, his hard, jade eyes burning in the night. And just like the spell, it was wasted, meaningless, not really doing anything.
It was a different Harry than anyone assumed it would be. The way the muscles played across his torso, the sweat that lightly coated his body making him glisten. He had a handful of scars, from the Basilisk and the Horntail, that gave him a more rugged look. His pale skin contrasted beautifully with his hair, making it look like a crown of dark fire, crafted for a lustful deity. His unintentionally deep, raspy voice rounded the image off.
Oh, and he was pissed off.
'Damn Order. I need to train, but they won't let me, won't even contact me, except to keep me here all bloody summer. Alone with the Dursleys. My tormentors. Even after Sirius…'
He cut off that train of thought. Sirius wouldn't want him to mourn. He would want him to live; problem was, he couldn't. He was good at staying alive, sure, but living? He snorted. He was incapable of that. As long as Dumbledore controlled him, anyways…
There was an idea. Cutting himself free from the Headmaster's fetters.
'I can try. He has the power, the people, and the experience… What do I have?'
Harry made a mental list of his possible resources; he had a sizable Gringott's account, a wand, and an invisibility cloak.
'Well shit. Moody nullifies the cloak and the Ministry nullifies the wand. That just leaves an account I can't access. If the wizarding world could see him now. The Boy-Who-Li… That was it!'
A feral grin spread across Harry's features. He had that; he was the Boy-Who-Lived. That was an unreliable, but undeniably potent, weapon.
But how to control it? Like his account, it didn't matter, he was stuck where he was. Harry scowled. Well, that left one option, then. He had to escape. They had him on an around the clock watch, but most shifts were given to Mad-Eye, Fletcher, Tonks, and Remus. Which, thinking about it, was good.
Mad-Eye might side with Harry, if the situation could be explained to him in whole. Same with Remus, especially if he guilted him into it. Fletcher would be easy to get past. The only truly problematic one was Tonks. She was a random factor - all he knew was that he definitely had a crush on her. He tossed the idea of seduction out almost immediately. If she had given any inclination that she looked at him as The-Boy-Who-Lived, or if she had seemed impressed with his exploits, he was fairly certain seduction would work. But he certainly wasn't suave enough to woo an older metamorphmagus Auror, under normal circumstances. He didn't think.
He began formulating a plan. Getting up, in an unconscious gracefully liquid movement, Harry took out a notebook, filled with writing, and jotted down some more. His disjointed notes looked something like:
- Magic - Wandless
- Physical Training
- Read Chapters 3-5 of Warden's Guide to Warding
- Read Chapters 7-10 of Changing Your World: A Guide to Transfiguration
- Escape - Remus/Moody
With side notes outlining which aspects to focus, or what to workout.
Harry had started this list before Dumbledore had shut him off completely from the outside world. He had owled for books on Wandless Magic, Occlumency, Transfiguration, Charms, and Defense, and basically anything he could get his hands on. There weren't many, but there were enough, maybe. Wandless magic was exhausting, at first anyways; his Stunner earlier proved he was getting better.
Harry sighed. He was trying to drown out his sorrows with work, but it was only partially working. With so much physical, mental, and magical exercise, he was certainly tired most of the time, but there was always something lurking, in the corner of his mind, casting a dark shadow over everything he did. The only time he didn't feel sad was when he was practicing Occlumency.
Occlumency had proved to be interesting. It wasn't even a magic, really. It was like throwing off the Imperius Curse - magical people were better at it only as a rule of thumb. It was why he had taken up meditation. Which reminded him of Snape's lessons, one more of the Headmaster's manipulations. The thought of two of the people he was most furious at, at once almost caused Harry to go into conniptions, but he quickly calmed himself, concentrating on his self-taught Occlumency. It calmed him down, but, as always when he did Occlumency, he felt a strange sensation run through his head.
When he had first felt it, he was certain he was just doing something wrong, even though it felt vaguely familiar. The more time went on, though, the more Harry knew he recognized it, that throbbing sensation. This time, it hit him; it was similar to the way his scar felt, after a vision - not exactly hurting, but definitely not pleasant.
Harry grimaced. Last year, he would have owled Professor Dumbledore immediately, or maybe Sirius, or Ron and Hermione. Now, Sirius was dead, Dumbledore was a bastard, and Ron and Hermione were ignoring him. Ron's single letter had been short and vague, saying something about "Dumbledore's orders". Of course, Harry had inquired, and Dumbledore had said that his friends and he were allowed to communicate, he just couldn't owl anyone else. He decided not to bother owling his "friends" - they weren't worth it, apparently.
So, he was alone. At first, he had mourned that, along with Sirius. But, surprisingly quickly, he had bounced back, from both. 'I'm loneliness incarnate; the Dursleys have made me that way. They've burned away my innocence, my hope, even my tears. I'll have to remember to thank them, later.' Harry grinned wryly. 'When the hell did I become so… poetic?'
Harry refocused on his Occlumency. He envisioned himself in a void, and found something he hadn't realized before; he was caged with bars of bright, white fire. He reached out with his senses, trying to break through, but he recoiled when he got there; the bars burned with a disguised malice, radiating a powerful, white hot hatred that made his head swim.
He got lost in himself. He pushed towards the bars again and again, the void rolled and twisting, surging forward and being stopped. Finally, with one last desperate push, he cracked the cage. It was a small crack, but it was there, and he could feel… something… trickling through it. And then the darkness took him.
Harry awoke the next day with a throbbing headache. He opened his eyes, to find everything blurry. He blinked the sleep out of his eyes, but he still couldn't see. Taking off his glasses, he rubbed them on his pant leg, only to find he could see clearly. Better than he ever could with them, really.
"What the…" Harry waved his hands in front of his face. "What the hell happened? Let's see… what did I do yesterday?" Then his Occlumency the previous day came back. He went back into the Occlumens trance, to find the crack had grown slightly, and the something was still trickling through. He was shaken from his thoughts by a bellow.
"BOY! YOU'RE GOING TO PULL YOUR WEIGHT AROUND HERE…" The rest was tuned out. He knew the speech. Some crap about ungrateful kids and lazy moochers. Sighing slightly, Harry changed into some of his new clothes. The Order had scared the Dursleys enough to get Harry a couple pairs of jeans, some t-shirts, and food on a regular basis. He still had to do chores, but he didn't mind. It was that or nothing, normally.
So he pulled on his skin-tight shirt and even tighter jeans - the over-sized crap he used to wear made anything remotely baggy distasteful to him - and made his way downstairs. Ignoring the glares sent his way, he ate the eggs and bacon placed in front of him. When he was finished, he looking inquiringly at Petunia, to see what he had to do today.
"Yard work." She snapped simply. Which meant mowing and weeding, as well as trimming and pruning. Harry nodded. Easy enough.
So Harry went out to the garden shed and got the mower. After filling it with gas, he turned it on, and mechanically started with his work for the day. The chugging of the mower was welcomed, it drowned out everything, including thought. So Harry's day went, mechanically.
Harry was sitting in his room. He had decided not to bother getting food. Oddly, he wasn't hungry, and he hadn't gotten tired all day, but he didn't feel like dealing with with the Dursleys' crap today. He shifted and winced. His hands were masses of scratched flesh. The roses seemed to be particularly thorny, just for him.
Flipping though 1003 Ways to Not Die, a book on Healing he decided to try a basic healing charm on himself. He had to do it wandlessly, of course, so he concentrated. As soon as he had tapped into his magical core, he knew something was different. Before, it had been like trying to grab onto a ledge made of melting ice. Right now, it was like channeling a thunderstorm.
Without even bothering to say the charm, he cast the spell. He could actually feel the air all throughout his room ripple with magic. Looking at his hands, he found they were in perfect condition. Even the almost-gone scars that had been there before were completely faded away. He tapped into his core again to find it normal, except the crack was bigger than before.
He was exhausted, but now his mind was racing. These symptoms seemed familiar. Before, he hadn't noticed really. When his "mind-cage" had cracked, he had been too relieved that Voldemort hadn't gotten in to notice it, but after that display, he knew he'd read about this before.
Hurriedly rummaging through his books, he found what he was looking for; Warden's Book of Warding. He skipped the place-specific chapters and went to the person-specific one.
"Let's see… Animagi Wards, Legilimency Wards? I'll check that later… Metamorph Wards… Here, Containing Wards." He skimmed the page until he got to the one he wanted. It read:
The Quixtor Containing Ward is one of the most powerful of documented spells. It is almost always a permanent thing, and as such, it is only administered to extremely dangerous criminals, or the mentally insane. The only known way to overcome a Quixtor Ward, other than the caster canceling the spell, is for a powerful Occlumens to Occlude his mind at the exact right moment - no one is sure exactly what moment it is, or even if it isn't just luck - and force the Ward to burst. If the wizard is powerful enough, the Ward and the Occluding will cancel each other out.
By the time Harry finished this passage he was livid. But at who?
"Now to get my priorities straight; One, destroy the Quixtor's Ward. Two, kick the bastard who cast it in the face."
Reaching back into his core, he roused his tired magic supply and ripped at the crack in the ward again. This time he was fueled by righteous fury, and the ward seemed to tremble under his onslaught. For how long he assaulted it, he had no idea, but when it was almost destroyed, he felt the sensation return. His whole being seemed to throb.
Searching his core, he found the source. A thin green line was running to the ward, feeding it. As Harry concentrated on it, to sever it, he found himself drawn into it.
He found himself in a world of terrors. Fire and darkness consumed him. He felt himself being drawn deeper into the abyss. Gathering up the very last of his reserves, he mentally wrenched himself away, pulling himself from this hell. The result was… unexpected.
Harry had returned. But it was different, yet again. It wasn't like a thunderstorm anymore. It was almost indescribable; like some cruel demon had poured it's essence into him, filling him with power; too much power. The void he'd come to realize as his core churned, writhing as if in agony. And then, it exploded.
He remembered spells he had never learned. It started with relatively easy ones - 6th and 7th year. Then they got more complex, more powerful, darker. He knew how to do the Unforgivables, knew how to set someone's insides on fire, how to make it so someone's breathing was agony. And as he remembered all these spells, they exploded from his body. They were so close together, so rapid, that distinguishing between them would be impossible to an outsider.
All that could be discerned in the smallest bedroom at #4 Privet Drive was a Technicolor lightshow, and a scream that pierced through the night.
Nymphadora Tonks was having a bad… well… month. Sirius' death had hit her harder than even she expected. It was like losing her favorite uncle, and then getting him back just long enough to miss him when he left again. She had been fired from the Ministry for incompetence caused by depression, and the Order didn't seem to think she was capable of doing much right now, either. So she couldn't do much but wallow in her grief with Lupin. Well, at least until she came along.
She looked over to her friend. The part-Veela was gorgeous, her silver-blonde hair cascading to her supple shoulders. Her lips full and seemingly always curved up in a vaguely inviting manner. What Tonks liked most about her, though, was how much she understood. Being a Metamorph was eerily similar to being a Veela; men always assumed you were made specifically for their pleasure, and you were good for little else. 'Yes, that's it. Not the looks at all.' Tonks said to herself. In fact, the only man that hadn't - even jokingly - commented on Tonks transforming was the same man
who hadn't been affected by the Veela charm. Harry Potter.
Tonks thought about that and decided she might visit him on his birthday to give him a… "present". She didn't care that he was only going to be 16. After the Department of Mysteries thing, he would never be a kid. From what she'd heard and seen, he never really was.
'I mean, he's funny when he wants to be, sweet, loyal, brave - he was willing to face You-Know-Who alone. It has nothing to do with the fact that he's become the most gorgeous wizard I've ever seen… nothing at all.' Tonks sighed. That was only half true. She knew he liked him for who he was, but she didn't know if it was coincidence or not that she developed a crush right around the time he "grew up". 'But, really, how dare he be such a wonderful person wrapped in such a delicious package? How can I resist?' glancing at her friend, she amended her thought; 'How can we resist?'
Fleur Delacour saw the way Tonks kept blushing and glancing over at her, and knew immediately what she was thinking about. Well, she had it narrowed down to a few things, anyways; Harry, Fleur herself, or both. She could understand that. She'd been dreaming of green eyes and dark, windswept hair herself, and if it was the other… well… the feeling was mutual.
Fleur had liked Harry since he saved Gabby from the lake. It didn't matter that she wasn't actually in any real danger, it wasn't even really about that. He had saved her sister without any thought of getting "points" with herself for it. And that meant more than he could possibly know.
And then he had saved Cedric's body, wasting time carrying him when every second could mean the difference between life and death. Her Veela blood had almost pressed her to mate him then, after she had found he had bested the Dark Lord in a battle of raw magic power. She had only been able to resist, because, at the time, he had been 14, and had looked maybe 12.
After "guarding" him this summer, she found herself having those same feelings again, only they were stronger, and he was now 15, and looked like an adult. When talking about their love life (non-existent in any real sense though it was) she had found that Tonks felt the same way about him. That wouldn't be a problem, though, of course. Fleur blushed a bit thinking of that day…
"What shall we do about us and Harry?" Fleur inquired Tonks tentatively.
"Well, Fleur… I guess we could share." Tonks wiggled her eyebrows suggestively "Ménage a Trois, and all that, right?"
"Bonne idée! Tu es un génie!" To leave no room to doubt what she meant, she leaned over and gently placed a kiss on Tonks' lips. She giggled as even Tonks' hair blushed. She was only allowed a moment of amusement, as she felt Tonks crushing her lips against hers roughly.
Fleur responded by nipping at her bottom lip, causing her to moan more. With a natural (literally) ease, Fleur slid her tongue out, into the Metamorph's mouth. She felt Tonks' hand drift down to her bum, rubbing.
Tonks drew back, looking at the French Veela intently before breaking into a lecherous grin. The question must have been present on her face, because Tonks answered it "A Nymph and a Veela… every guy's dream, right?"
Fleur had just giggled and kissed her again.
They hadn't done much more than kissing since that day, but what they did do was wonderful. Fleur still shivered with pleasure thinking of the time Tonks had morphed into Harry. She sincerely hoped the real Harry was as beautiful under his clothes as the Tonks-Harry was. She felt her hopes were not too high.
After she had heard about the Department of Mysteries, she had been worried about Harry. After watching him, though, she knew he was coping rather well. She had seen and shown Tonks as much, but Tonks was still ridiculously worried about him. She seemed to think he would be like Lupin - either sobbing hysterically or not making any noise at all.
So, they had made a deal. They were going to visit him on his birthday, whether he liked it or not, and make sure he enjoyed it at least a little, also whether he liked it or not.She was jolted out of her thoughts by Tonks' voice.
"It's about time to go, isn't it?" Casting a charm to tell time, she saw it was 11:59, July 30th.
"Oui." Fleur answered somewhat nervously. They still didn't know how to tell Harry about this whole situation. They didn't think he could resist both of them seducing him, but it felt so wrong to do that.
"Better late than never, love." Tonks said soothingly, planting a soft kiss on Fleur's lips. They shared one last look before simultaneously apparating to Privet Drive.
They weren't prepared for what met them there.