Harry Potter sat squeezed into a ball, his hands around his knees, in the cupboard under the stairs. Yes, the Dursley's had removed Harry of Dudley's old toy room, and restored it's original purpose. His emerald eyes were focused on a spider, descending down from the low ceiling. He adverted his gaze, and glanced at a golden watch he had nicked from Dudley. Well, it was midnight, on July thirty-first. "Happy Birthday to me," he muttered in a singsong voice, adding a long, slow sigh. He continued the song.
He was now seventeen. This though had made no difference to his day. The ministry of magic had seen enough of the irresponsibility of wizards who had finally been able to use their powers outside the school, and had abused their privilege. Some had ended up with years in azkaban, and heavy fines. And so, the ministry had moved the official 'coming of age' to when the wizard or witch was 18. Apparently this was the Ministry's good idea of punishment. This meant he was not to do magic until another year had passed.
"Well, that was yet another uneventful birthday. I wonder what the Dursley's have in store for me. Possibly an old towel? That would do apart from the wonderful old pairs of socks from uncle Vernon." He said, laughing a bit to cheer himself up. Harry lay back down on the small cot, dreaming of snitches, quaffles, and bludgers. And possibly a Happy Birthday.
Harry awoke to find his cupboard door ajar, so he pushed it further and stepped out into the room. Instantly he was surrounded by china dishes and framed pictures of a fat blond boy with blue eyes. Dudley Dursley.
He walked into the den, where he tripped over Dudley's toy car, making a sudden burst of noise. He emitted a large moan, and rubbed his elbow, getting off the cold wood floor of which he had landed on. Not one of the Dursley's glanced over or paid any attention to this.
Harry looked over to the television set, where a thin man with a long gray beard was announcing some dull stock market reports. 'Not nearly as long as Dumbledore's'. Harry thought.
Dumbledore. Harry's emerald eyes watered at the thought. He was the man, who had never fathered Harry, but had continuously watched over him the last seventeen years. He was the last person Harry could even consider an adult figure like Sirius had been to him. He did of course have Remus Lupin, but he had not known him as long, and he had not the knowledge of Dumbledore's. He had not, or could not understand or inform Harry of his past, connection, and problems with Lord Voldemort.
He stepped out of the den and made his way to the kitchen, passing broken fragments of Dudley's toys. He stopped at the counter and pulled out a stale piece of bread the Dursley's had supplied for him. He walked over to his cupboard, eating his bread sparingly. Harry left his door slightly open to let a soothing breeze slide through the musty cupboard. The wind shook the spider webs hanging from above.
He began to drift into a small sleep, watching the spiders sway from side to side. He noticed one running down the edge of the wall. He heard the front door open.
"Pierce." He muttered thinking of Dudley's friend. And then there was a swish of cloaks. "Okay, that's not Pierce." He thought. He peered to the side of the door, to see a tall man with a pointed face and long blond hair. His silver eyes darted around the room. 'Malfoy' He thought. Harry looked around for his wand, ready to hex the deatheater and he grimaced. The Dursley's had locked all of Harry's stuff in the attic. 'I could try and sneak away and race up to the attic' He thought. Yes, that's what he'd do he'd jump out and attack Lucious over the head. But, with what? He pushed the door open slightly, which made a soft creak, to get a better view. He suddenly remembered the china dish over the on the table with red and white decorations. 'Okay, grab the dish, knock out the greasy git, and run to the attic to get my wand. Got it.' He was about to push open the door, when he saw two green strands of light, and two fearful yelps. 'Two? Then there's more?'
But how could the Deatheaters get in, the enchantments and spells Dumbledore had on this place were almost unbreakable. Had being the keyword. The spells were lifted off when Harry became seventeen. Deatheaters were free to come and go as they pleased.
Harry heard a scream, and some laughter. They must have killed aunt Petunia last' He thought, as he heard another voice, and the swishing of robes getting nearer and nearer. He recognized this as Macnair, "Where's the boy?" He said roughly. "Well," came Lucious Malfoy, "He's in there." Harry's eyes widened fearfully, as with the flick of a wand, the door slowly opened. He quickly narrowed his eyes, glaring sharp daggers at the oldest Malfoy, holding a malicious smirk.
"Well, that was easy enough. Bound and gag him." Said Malfoy still with-holding the smirk. "What?" Harry said as the cloaked men advanced forward, holding out their wands. Harry pushed himself back with his sweating hands, his back against the wall.
"He won't come willingly," called the closest man. This was Dolohov.
"Then do what you wish with him." Said Malfoy, noticing the sudden fear on Harry's face.
"Oh let me," came the nagging voice of Bellatrix Lestrange. "Please Lucious, let me," She prodded again.
"Fine," came his agitated reply. And Bellatrix advanced towards him and called crucio!
Harry let a yelp of pain escape his mouth, and waited another thirty-seven seconds in counting as the curse lasted. 'She obviously put a lot of 'meaning' into it.' He thought, rubbing his side.
"Okay go on," a masked deatheater said impatiently. "Come on hurry."
Three Deatheaters stepped forward to him, holding thick ropes, a black rag, and a long thin rag. They advanced forward and a man grabbed Harry's wrist but he pulled away. Another pair of hands reached for his waists as he shoved himself to the farthest corner of the cupboard. Harry pushed his foot forward, giving a man a rather painful bloody nose.
"After that, he's still not cooperating," whined Bellatrix.
"This is stupid just use the spell," complained Dolohov. Three other Deatheaters nodded as one muttered an incantation that made Harry feels as though thick ropes had rapped around Harry's body.
"Gag him," muttered Lucious as he turned away towards the front door. "And blindfold him too."
"Yes sir," came an excited Dolohov, as he quickly tried to stuff the rag into Harry's mouth. Harry clamped his mouth shut, and tried to turn his head.
"There's no use Potter, we've already gotten you into a full body bind spell. Why are you still struggling?" Dolohov said as he grabbed the back of Harry's neck and squeezed it hard. Harry let out a gasp of pain, which Dolohov took advantage of, and forced the rag inside Harry's mouth.
"Atta boy Harry," Said Bellatrix Lestrange, adding a high-pitched giggle. She lunged forwards with the long cloth, and tied it around Harry's eyes. "We need something to store him in," she muttered as several around her nodded. Lucious conjured up a small box, to their advantage the boy looked the age of ten, and they attempted to squeeze Harry in, as though he was a contortionist.
Harry tried his best to spit out the saliva soaked rag, and he managed to push it out using his tongue. "No!" He muttered, struggling. He was weakened by the Deatheaters abuse. "No, don't," Harry tried to say loudly.
Lucious nodded to Macnair, and he strode forward and picked Harry up, and forced him into a small ball to fit inside. Macnair picked up the box, and hustled out the door quickly followed by six other Deatheaters. Harry struggled inside the box, trying to poke his head through and pop the lid off. Dolohov noticed this, and pointed his wand at Harry and said attonitus. 'Great' He thought 'I'm trapped in a box. Completely incapable of lifting a finger. And I'm in the hands of the second most feared people of the wizarding world. This is just fantastic. Another Happy Birthday I can tell.'
The Deatheaters scrambled on to their broomsticks, and placed a disillusionment charm onto the box Harry was inside. Mobiliarbus muttered a man, he felt himself being lifted high into the air. The seven Deatheaters glided high into the air, but one turned. MORSEMORDE! He shouted with glee. And he raced off to join the others, drifting high into the night's sky.
Why hadn't Harry thought of this before? He knew specifically that the spells were lifted from the house at exactly the age of seventeen. And now, he was in the clutches of Lord Voldemort's minions. But maybe he could escape, but how? He had no wand, he couldn't move, and he was hundreds or so feet in the air. The only thing he was capable of doing at the moment was breathing and thinking.
'THINKING' Harry thought with a jolt of excitement. 'THAT"S IT, wandless magic.' He could do it. He's done it before. Plenty of times. Harry suddenly remembered the many past events that had happened to him before he had found an explanation why.
He had jumped atop his school's roof when Dudley's gang had tried to catch him. He had only wanted to jump over a garbage can, and went a much greater height instead. When he had awoken with a full head of hair, after his aunt had only previously shaven it clean that night. He had also, once before, freed a snake from its cage at the zoo. He had gotten punished badly for that.
'Okay. So all I have to is think of a spell that will get me out of this box… Maybe if I use…. No.' Harry tried to think of a spell, to get him out of the Damned box. 'Wait, what about Incendio? Could that actually work? That would burst the box to flames. Hmm. IMPEDIMENTIA! IMPEDIMENTIA!' Harry thought repeatedly as he tried to break the box.
It wouldn't work. Every time he had used wandless magic was when he was feeling a very strong emotion. Sure this was rough, but it needed to be plenty powerful. Besides, how would it be for Harry to fall miles from above.
Harry sat curled in the box for what felt like hours, thinking of a way to release himself from the box. He lifted his hand and scratched his nose. 'Wait?' Harry thought, as grin spread across his face. 'The stunning charm has lifted. I can move, speak even. Maybe I can do wandless magic…when I have my voice.'
Harry tried his best to focus on the box, and cried IMPEDIMENIA, but was careful not to say it too loudly, for fear the Deatheaters would hear. It didn't work. And what good would it do if he were to open the lid. They would simply place another stunning spell on him. If he could make the Deatheaters disappear then…
'Apparate' thought Harry 'I can apparate. I may not have my license, but I think the ministry would let this one slide. So if I shift in the right position, or maybe turn correctly. Well. I can try at least. Ok if I could go anywhere it'd be…. The burrow! Okay, Destininat-' And Harry was off.
He was right outside the comforting house with many stories. As though it were a skyscraper. He smiled and knocked on the door. He knew it was a bit awkward he came uninvited, but he believed the Weasley's would take this as an exception.
He opened the door to see a small girl with almond eyes, and fiery-red hair. Her eyes widened to the sight of Harry and she pulled him into a tight hug.
"Oh Harry," she said, releasing Harry from the hug. "I wasn't expecting you! Hold on. MUM! Harry's here! Ron! Dad!" Footsteps sounded from the stairs, and he saw Ron racing towards him.
"Harry," he said excitedly, "What are you here for?"
"Harry," said Mrs. Weasley pulling Harry into a bone-crushing hug. "What on heavens earth are you doing here. I mean not that we wouldn't invite you. Well we should have. We were going to but"-
"Mrs. Weasley," Harry said grinning. It's all right. Let me explain.
Harry began to explain that nights events, getting occasional gasps from the two red headed girls.
"But Harry," interrupted Mrs. Weasley. What about the wards? And the spells and every"-
"Wore off," Harry said. "Once I turned seventeen. Dumbledore didn't expect to die, so of course, he didn't update or do anything to them."
"Well," said Mr. Weasley, "I suppose we are to get some aurors here. It shouldn't take to long."
"Not at all," said Harry, "They don't know I'm here. I told you, remember? I apparated. They have no idea I'm here. They eventually will, so I understand if you don't want me to put you into any danger by staying here."
"Oh no!" Came a chorus of several Weasley's.
"We'd love for you to stay Harry! Ron, Harry, you don't mind sharing a room again, right?" Mrs. Weasley said as the two boys shook their heads. They began to pound up the stairs talking excitedly about tonight's stay. Ron had bought a new chess set with some money from his dad, after he had gotten a special bonus at his at the ministry.
Harry pushed Ron's door open and ran inside and pounced on the bed. He noticed Ron didn't follow.
"Harry," called Ron from outside. "Why did you lock the door?"
"I didn't." He called back, "Here, I'll try and unlock it." He stood up and walked over to the door. He reached for the doorknob and-
"RON! What did you do to this doorknob? I tried to touch it and it blasted me halfway across your room!"
"I didn't do anything! Let me go get Dad!"
Harry stood up and pushed dust from his shirt. He looked around at the orange walls. Ron had posters of Quidditch players all over his walls. He glanced over to the bed when he heard a high, cold, familiar voice.
"Harry, I know you all to well." Harry turned face to face with Voldemort, glaring into his red eyes. Harry didn't have a wand. He had nothing. So he ran for the door out of instinct.
Impedimenta! He heard and he slammed into the door, which threw him back at the same force.
"Now, Harry, we really must be going." Voldemort said, as Harry struggled to push himself off the floor. He heard a cold snicker, as Voldemort said attonitus. And Harry was unable to move or speak. It was like being in the box again, without the horribly uncomfortable position.
"Well Harry off we go," Harry heard, as he was picked up by his elbows, and felt his hand forced to be clasped around a small tin can. And he felt as though a hook just behind his navel had been suddenly jerked irresistibly forward.