Chapter 4 : David's Story

"What the hell have I gotten myself into?" I ask myself. Tenth time this morning, and it's still an hour until noon. I must be having a good day.

I'm beginning to forget what a normal life is supposed to feel like. I'm not sure whether I should be happy or not about it. I mean, wasn't I just saying how bored I was going to be going to Stonewall High for my gap year? Well this isn't boring, is it? It's fucking dangerous is what it is. No magic at all and here I am strolling through wizard central like I own the damn place. But that's the trick, ain't it? No one bothers you if you look like you're supposed to be there. And the wizards, shit, they make it almost a cakewalk. Nick a wallet here or there out in the real world, change it to galleons, visit a second hand robe shop and voila! You look just like them, so long as you don't gawk at all the mad shit that passes for normal around here. You do that, keep your head down, fade into the background, and you learn how the people work. And when you've figured that how people work, you learn how to work the people.

I've spent most of my life learning how to do what I do. When I was younger, I idolized Sherlock Holmes, wanted to be the next great detective. Learning his skills on my own entertained me for a while, but like many things in my life, it soon bored me. What good was a ten year old wannabe Holmes in the stuffy, nauseating conformity and regularity of Little Whinging? There were no crimes to foil and mysteries to solve. Suburban life is an IQ destroying, soul-crushing existence. I wanted out.

I wanted to learn things that were darker, more visceral, more exciting. I wanted to get down and dirty and learn about what goes on outside of polite society. So I did what Sherlock Holmes did, in my own way. I applied myself to studying and understanding the methods of crime and the people that dedicated their lives to it. The more I learned, the more that being Moriarty, not Holmes, appealed to me.

Little Whinging was my laboratory and my proving ground, at least at first. Street gangs didn't exist in Little Whinging until I started them. There was no vandalism or theft, no homes being broken into, no confidence schemes. The constables had it easy before I made my turn, but they, too, were just part of my learning process. Even getting sent to St. Brutes was a calculated move on my part. Sure, I could've copped to a smaller sentence by selling out Harry, like the other blokes I ran with did, but I wanted to go to the place where the worst of the worst were. After all, everyone knows you go to prison to become a better criminal.

By the time I'd been sent to St. Brute's, I could've taken my A-Levels, and a year of slumming and gang fighting had toughened me up a bit. I started at that hellhole just before I turned twelve. Two years later, only a few true nutters were stupid enough to get in my way. Four years later, I basically ran the school from the shadows while an idiot Scot strutted around like some toothless old lion, thinking he was in charge and taking all the heat for me.

For most of that time, I never gave Harry, who showed up a couple years after I did, much thought. Sure, we went at it a few times when he'd crossed me. I was even a little impressed; for such a young kid, he could be a real savage when threatened, and he didn't back down from anyone. One of the nutters I mentioned? Yeah, he was one of them. At St. Brutes, they either got crippled or they hurt people so badly that they made you think twice about fucking around with them. Harry was one of the ones that lasted, who got a reputation that eventually kept people from marking him as an easy target. You put enough people in the infirmary and have no apparent care for your own safety, and no one will give you much shit.

That said, it didn't stop me from having a go at Harry for disrespecting me in front of our dorm mates. Respect is everything when you're in a pack of wolves, and disrespect is a challenge. I started wailing on him when I caught him in the loo. And then he screamed like a mad man, and next thing I know I'm laying in a pool of my own blood, my chest feeling like it was on fire. I distinctly remember feeling my heart slow down, the blood stopping in my veins. I think I died there on those dirty tiles, looking up into the blazing green eyes of a stone cold killer whose face was contorted in a mask of pure rage and hate. I think for a few moments I even felt at peace, before I just let go...

And then I felt fire in my chest again, and my heart was beating furiously, my head becoming clearer with every stroke. I opened my eyes and saw Harry leaning over me, his eyes closed, and he was chanting something. His hands hovered over me, and they were glowing. It must've been the situation and the last of the fuzziness in my head, but it became clear to me, right then, that Harry had just brought me back to life

I'm not religious, and I don't believe in God, but that day I learned the fear of God. I wasn't afraid of Harry; he'd already killed me, after all. No, I was in awe of this power and its unlimited possibilities. I honestly felt excited, even a bit greedy. But at the same time, I felt an unfamiliar emotion: concern. Harry wasn't totally in control of his power, this much I could see. Worse, I knew there would be only problems for him in the future. Here was a power that could kill and bring me back to life at the hands of a boy with unnatural reservoirs of anger and hate and rage. He would destroy himself.

I made a vow, right then, to help Harry get a hold on himself and his power. Yes, for selfish reasons, I won't deny that, but also because something told me that he needed help, my help specifically. Like I was put there in that place and time to guide him. I said as much to him, and even though I knew he was skeptical (as he should've been), Harry seemed surprised and even pleased. he'd never had a friend, and like almost everyone else at St. Brute's, never had someone that cared about him.

We became as close as brothers, almost overnight. It's not as unlikely as you'd think. Harry came from a shit family that didn't give a damn about him, just like ninety-nine percent of the people at St. Brute's. It made them angry and prone to lashing out. But it also made it possible for strong bonds to form, once you got past the hardened front everyone put up. For as many fights went on at the school, just as many bonds of brotherhood were formed, bonds that were forged through mutual hardship and understanding and entailed almost fanatical loyalty.

Things changed after that, I made sure of it. I helped Harry get what he wanted. Our dorm formed up a gang, and with my support he suddenly had friends and acceptance and not a small amount of clout. I helped him focus and learn to make things happen with his power. I taught him many of the things that I'd learned about dealing with people and getting what you want out of them. I shared my goals in life with him and got him thinking about what he wanted out of life. What he wanted seemed to be revenge. I was cool with that. Revenge, you see, is my specialty.

It went off without a hitch, our plan, at first. Harry's fat uncle went to jail, his cousin went into a wheelchair, and his aunt went into submission. But we didn't count on outside interference, or that fat fuck getting out of jail. Harry almost died of torture and starvation. That was my fault, letting it get to that point. I almost died again trying to save him, but now I know that Harry saved me again. And then he turned his attention to his captors, and for the first time in almost a year, I saw glimpses of Death again on Harry's face. I felt that fear again, even as I stopped him from completely annihilating them, and I knew then that Harry was just as, if not more dangerous as he had been the night he'd killed me.

I covered things up pretty well before the fuzz came, but not well enough. A few days afterwards, an old wizard came to the hospital, waving his wand around and obliviating people left and right. I had the presence of mind to get the hell out of there and take Harry with me. And for almost three weeks now, we've been in London, on the run from The Man With The Wand and his goons. The last week, though, things have been calm, even with us finding out that Harry, himself, is a wizard. In fact, until a few days ago, I hadn't seen hide nor hair of a wizard, despite seeing glimpses of them regularly the weeks before. The reason for that was pretty simple.

Our shitty little hotel room was across the street from the largest concentration of wizards and magic in London.

Getting into Diagon Alley took a little effort. Most wizards don't have to walk to the Leaky Cauldron to get into Diagon Alley, so the fact that I spotted one, all the way at the end of the row of buildings that made up the muggle front of the Alley, was pure luck. The fact that I was so concentrated on this man in loud orange robes is probably what made it possible for me to see the Leaky Cauldron and enter without any problems. From there...well, like I said, act like you're supposed to be there, even if you look like you shouldn't.

These last three days, I've barely seen Harry. I've kept myself busy learning everything I can about the wizarding world. I've been using that knowledge to exploit it and the muggle world. A plan had quickly formed in my mind the moment I'd stepped foot in Diagon Alley, one that will get us away and secure from the Man With The Wand. I've wanted to bring Harry into the plan as well, but it's too dangerous. He's a famous person here, too famous to pass anonymously like I do. To make things worse, the Man With The Wand is a famous and influential wizard named Albus Dumbledore. Bringing Harry into this world would be essentially handing him over. No, when I've gathered all my resources and we can get the hell away from Britain, then I can tell him what's been going on, and we can see about getting him trained up.

The hours always fly by on these trips into the Alley. Hours tick by as I pore through as many books as possible at Flourish and Blotts, adding to my grow store of magical knowledge. After that, on to Gringott's, the wizard bank. The goblins have gotten used to changing pounds to galleons for me, and they whisk me in and out quickly. Now, I barely blink at the little creatures. I think I can even admire the cunning and deviousness they direct towards their greed.

After the bank, I leave the bright light of the high street and enter the wizarding world's underbelly, Knockturn Alley. I said before that I'd been preparing for this all my life, and here's the proof. This is my element, where I can work best. Wand or none, no one will fuck with you if you imply violence in your very movement. My walk here promises it, and the pair of black Glocks under my robes guarantee it. Despite menacing and speculative glances at me, no one tries anything. I make my way to the first of many shops to purchase items that will come in very, very useful back in the muggle world.

It's dark, even in Diagon Alley, when I finally go back to the real world. Most of my money is gone, but a magically expanded pouch holds many interesting items which are going to help me relieve some drug dealers and gun runners of their hard earned cash and product. I'd considered robbing banks at first, but a cursory glance at a magical law book told me that aurors, the magical police, are always watching for signs of magical crime in the muggle world. No, I hit people who aren't going to report their losses. It's much less dangerous.

Halfway to the hotel, I spot a witch tailing me. They're stupidly inept at blending in, especially when they step out of their fairytale world and into the real one. I haven't been in their world more than a few days and I can see that. This bird probably thinks she's good at it, and she is, for a wizard. At least she's not wearing anything stupid like flippers or a petticoat. She's been waiting for me a bit, which means she must've seen me go into the Leaky Cauldron earlier.

A couple streets down, I turn into a narrow alley and duck behind a large bin, then stomp on the pavement like I'm running. Like an idiot, she comes flying into the alley to give chase, only seeing me raise up at the last minute. I swing a broken metal chair and it dents as it slams into her chest and face, She almost does a back flip from the force, her wand clattering to the ground next to her crumpled body. She's bleeding from the head, but I'm not too worried. She's a witch, she should be able to handle it. If not, sucks to be her. I'm not in the habit of showing mercy for the weak.

I strip her, literally, of everything she's got. Wand, money bag, jewelry, boots, robes. She's completely naked and resting uncomfortably in the dumpster in a couple minutes, a new best time that I'm proud of. I've had a lot of practice at this sort of thing, especially lately. She'll be out of action for hours. If I'm lucky, she'll wake up in the back of a lorry full of rubbish on the way to the countryside. Taking one last good look (I am human, after all), I exit the alley at the opposite end, making sure no one else is following me.

My feeling of security, what little of it I had, doesn't last long. Something feels wrong as I get closer to the hotel, like my eyes are going unfocused for split seconds as I glance around, and a snippet of a book I'd read days ago comes to mind: The astute observer can, without a wand, detect notice-me-not and concealment charms by odd variations in the senses which are the result of the mind wrongly interpreting what the body perceives. It takes only a moment for the realization to click into place, and I stop abruptly.

One, two...three blurs in my eyes. Three wizards laying in wait, and the way they're situated indicates that they don't know where exactly we're living. The fact that they're here, though, tells me that I've been a fucking idiot these last few days. The witch had been waiting for me, and suddenly there are three wizards under concealment charms staking out the street near our hotel? I don't believe in coincidences. The witch must've known to look for me, and so do these three. I've been leading them almost to our doorstep every time, and if I hadn't been out robbing people before going back to the hotel, we'd have been caught days ago.

No time for subtlety or stealth. I turn down the nearest alley and make a mad dash to the end. I've got to get in the back entrance, got to get Harry out of there. Luck isn't on my side tonight, otherwise there wouldn't be three more blurs covering the back street. The fire escapes are a bust too, since there are at least a couple of blurs at the roof level. I'm feeling the beginning of panic, and I'm forced to sit next to a rubbish bin and breath deeply to get myself together. The aborted panic attack saves me, though, as footsteps pound down the alley after me. I take a quick glance and see two wizards, their concealment charms breaking down as they move. By now, I'm calm and I've got my game face on. These guys are no amateurs, but I've got surprise on my side.

My two Glocks silently slip from the pouch. These aren't standard issue firearms, and that much is apparent when, as I pull back the slides to chamber the first rounds, not a sound is made. The permanent silencing charms had cost a quarter of my galleons, but they were about to prove their worth. Taking aim at the half hidden wizards, I begin emptying the clips, and quickly see a flaw in my plan as the bullets ricochet off shield charms that are probably built into their robes. The crack of the bullets on the clear blue shields gives me away, but I don't let up, and eventually the shields fail. One of the wizards eats a bullet just as a spell leaves his wand, and I'm forced to press myself against the wall to avoid it. The remaining wizard curses and follows the spell with one of his own. The bin is yanked to the side and slammed into the opposite building, but I ignore it in favor of dumping the rest of the clips in his direction. Not that it does any good, since he's cast another shield charm. This is taking too long, and the loud bang from the bin probably has the rest of the spooks running right towards us. I need to get closer and take his wand out of the equation.

Fate is smiling on me, because this guy idiotically summons the Glocks, which I've got in a death grip. I'm suddenly flying through the air straight for him, guns still blazing, and one bullet seems to punch through and tag his right shoulder. It's enough to shatter the shield and ruin his aim, sending a yellow curse just right of me. I win the momentum battle as we collide. He's beneath me and I make sure he stays there, crushing three of his ribs with a knee and cracking the wrist on his right hand with one of the pistol. He screams in pain and flails at me, but I shut him up with a pistol whip to the temple. I can't even take the time to rob or question him, not if I want to get away. I have a good idea about who sent him anyway. I grab his wand as I get up and barely bother to look as I put two bullets in his face. That should keep them a while.

Ducking into the narrow space between two buildings, I melt into the shadows just in time. I've made my escape, but Harry's lost to me now, there's no doubt about that. I really should just leave him to his fate, especially now that I've got access to the power he's got. It's the logical thing to do. I know in my heart, though, that I can't abandon him. Against all odds, I've got to save him. My mind is racing, trying to figure out just how the hell I'm going to do that.

The next few days pass in a blur. I get barely three hours of sleep, trying to stay moving while I come up with a plan to rescue Harry. I'm shut out of the wizarding world during this time, which probably saves my sanity. Insomnia mixes very badly with extreme paranoia. It doesn't help that I get to witness the Man himself take Harry away. It's a little difficult, but with proper disguise I manage to slip into the building undetected and break into the room next door. I can't do anything to help, not if I want to stay in the clear, but Dumbledore's spiel, before and after he knocks Harry out, gives me some information to work with. I know what he's done and where he's taking Harry, and that he's not given up on looking for me. Neither, for that matter, have his mercs, who aren't too happy that I killed their friends. If they're lucky, they'll never see me again. Killing, I found out, isn't as hard as I thought it'd be.

I know I'll need money and lots of it if I'm going to do this, though, because I can't run up against Dumbledore's lackeys again by myself. I triple my robberies, getting more and more daring and desperate with each one. The cash influx helps, but wizards don't take pounds. I've got to find a way back into wizarding world that doesn't go through Diagon Alley. I need to find a wizard fireplace.

It's absurdly easy to find and doesn't require a wizard's help at all, you just have to know where to look. I take the Underground to King's Cross and head straight for Platform Nine and Three-Quarters. Of course, it's too early for the barrier to be working, at least according to a book I read, but I'm pretty confident in my deduction. King's Cross has had a blocked off platform at the end of the station for as long as anyone can remember, and my suspicions are confirmed when I get the sudden urge to go to another platform. I figured out how to get past notice-me-not and muggle-repelling charms in my first trips to Diagon Alley, so getting onto the platform is simple.

Just before the wrought iron arch, I find what I knew had to be there: a working, Floo connected fireplace, complete with a barrel of Floo powder. A fire ignites in it automatically when I approach, which is a huge relief. I didn't fancy starting a fire in the damn thing. A handful of powder later and I'm spinning out of a fire in Knockturn Alley. Now that I'm back, I've got a lot of work to do.

The Alley becomes my new home, and I only venture out to stage my robberies. I'm in the least likely place anyone would look for a muggle, and since I don't act like a muggle, no one can rat me out either. By now, though, I know that I need to hire a freelancer or two, and soon. Fleecing drug and gun runners is profitable, but it's getting more and more dangerous, even with my magical toys. Besides, I've already got my eye towards other ventures in both worlds, and I'll need someone to help me set them up. Not to mention breaking out Harry and undoing the damage Dumbledore's done. It's time to start recruiting.

Finding a wizard with questionable morals and looking to earn a little gold isn't exactly hard to do in Knockturn Alley. Finding one with some real skill or power, while keeping shady wizards from hexing you for your money, is the trick. As the week passes, I leave a few bodies in the Alley, a warning to any other low lifes thinking I'm a walking cash machine. It's also a message to the serious hired wands that I mean business. Sometimes, that kind of respect is just as effective as the promise of a pile of money.

Maurice King and I find each other almost by accident, and by accident I mean that the only thing that keeps us from killing each other is the fact that other people are trying to kill us first. The meeting between us was set up by a connected info broker by the name of Haight. I don't have any reason to trust the man, but I'm getting desperate. We meet in a smoky little corner pub near the end of the Alley. I don't like the feel of the place.

Maurice is a Jamaican warlock with a thick West Indian accent. He has "special skills" and comes highly recommended, with the understanding that he'd recently been released from prison. In other words, he's a risk magnet, but worth hiring. According to the man himself, he's the best mind mage in Kingston. This is what I'm looking for, but I pretend like I don't care, instead asking about his skills with curses and hexes in a way that sounds like I'm not impressed. He gets angry when I low ball him during our haggling, especially when I mention that we'd be robbing muggles. I realize why he's so angry after he pulls his wand on me. He recognizes my Glocks immediately, and no wizard I've ever met has thus far. Apparently robbing muggles isn't just an insult to his integrity, and I'd put a hundred galleons on his prison sentence being related to muggle larceny.

Seconds away from mutually assured destruction, five dangerous looking wizards crash our meeting, all flinging spells that neither of us want any part of. We scramble for cover, as does everyone else in the room. A table flips itself over and covers me, and I barely think about it as I slide behind a wall. The Glocks send silent killers across the room, but these blokes are ready with full shield spells. I duck back as a rainbow of spells rain down on me. I'm trapped, but not for long. Across the way, Maurice is shooting spells as well, but they don't seem to do anything, at least not until two of the wizards start cursing their friends. The man casts a mean Unforgivable, apparently.

The distraction gives me the time I need. I come out blazing, unloading both clips into their backs. Adrenaline's got my aim off, but it's enough to put them out of action. The other two under the Imperius curse finish them off for me before turning on each other with cutting curses. I have to give the man credit for brutality and effectiveness. He asks, in his hard to understand accent, if I'm satisfied with his wand skills, and I can't find anything to disagree with. If his mind magics are on par with his Imperius curse, he's the man I'm looking for. I hire him on the spot, and when he asks what the job is, I tell him that the first thing we're going to do is take care of the man who set us up. Knockturn Alley is going to be less one very connected information broker tonight.

I take Maurice into confidence afterwards, at least with the main points. He knows that I'm putting together something big to rescue a friend, but I don't mention who that friend is or whom I'm rescuing him from. What keeps Maurice around, though, are my plans for the future, after Harry is rescued.

The robberies become easier with a partner. The money comes fast enough that we hire on more freelancers to pick up the slack. Besides the money, we have lots of guns and drugs to get rid of, but I even have plans for them. I'm making plans to get the guns to muggle dealers around the world, after a little magical processing that renders them untraceable, and without all the trouble that smuggling would pose. The drugs are a bigger deal; with a little magic, they'll become super drugs. With the right distribution, they'll throw the doors wide open on the drug trade in Britain.

Not that it's without trouble, of course. Organized crime in the muggle and wizarding worlds are sniffing the wind, trying to ferret us out, and the aurors are about a step behind them. I don't worry. We're building the foundation under the radar, and when we're finally ready to come out into the open, it'll be too late to stop us. First, though, Maurice and I have other business to attend to.

Two weeks after hiring on Maurice, I finally feel confident enough to go back to Little Whinging. It's not to see my parents, who should've written me off by now, but to see what's become of Harry. For some odd reason, the Man brought him back to live with the Dursleys. We aren't even sure that there's anything of the old Harry to save. Maurice explained to me that a powerful enough wizard could permanently alter memories, and with it the personality. I'm not sure how to take this news, which is horrible but also enticing. I know the old Harry almost better than he did himself. I know that there's a monster lurking in his heart and a monstrous power to match it. Letting him go will ensure that neither are ever brought to bare again. I'm establishing myself in the wizard and muggle worlds. I don't need him.

This weighs heavily on my mind as I canvass my old neighborhood. I go alone and am extra careful, especially after I spot several wizards surrounding the house. They're clearly on a stake out, and it doesn't take a genius to know they're following Harry, probably at Dumbledore's orders. The plan suddenly becomes a bit more tricky. I spend the next few days walking the streets in dozens of disguises, and I take special care to follow the one time that Harry actually leaves the house for more than just working in the garden.

He's nothing like he used to be. His hair's no longer shaved on the sides and his piercings are gone. Even his accent is gone, which I guess is a good thing. But the worst thing of all is that he carries himself like a timid door mouse. His cousin Dudley and some of the local boys make sport of chasing him down the street. For a moment, I think I see a flash of his old self, but he clutches his head as if someone had split it open. Something's wrong, I'm not sure what, but seeing this makes up my mind. Dumbledore isn't helping, he's just making Harry fester by turning him into the same toe-rag that he always hated. It's time to get him away from this suburban hell.

The plan is actually fairly simple. The watch wizards work in two twelve hour shifts of five men apiece. They've been watching Harry since immediately after he'd been taken, and with the lack of action, they're complacent. The shift changes often leave a gap, since most of the wizards are never on time. Staging the operation around a shift change is a given, but for insurance we're going to stun, obliviate, and add memories to the day shift. This means that we must find the wizards.

It turns out to be a very simple matter. We didn't leave empty-handed when we offed Haight, after all. As an information broker, he was unusually strong with mind magics, but Maurice tore through his mind like it was wet tissue paper, and his memories (along with bits of brain) were flowing out of his nose like water. Turns out Haight knew a bloke who knew a bloke who was a pimp, and whose ladies had been getting an earful from a couple of shifty wands about some cushy spying job on a muggle-born kid just outside of London. Capturing them is dead easy, and they lead us straight to the other three, who put up a considerably more difficult fight. Against two of their own, plus five of us, they fold before there are permanent injuries. Maurice outdoes himself, reshaping their memories and putting them under the Imperius. After that, we dose each with a befuddling beverage to give them the hazy aftereffects of a night of drinking and drop them at their respective homes or rooms.

The next morning, things proceed exactly as planned. Noon rolls around, but the night shift is nowhere to be seen. The morning shift is pissed off and distracted, leaving an opening for a message to Harry. I said before that I've been training my entire life for moments just like this. If he were real, Holmes would be proud, maybe even a bit jealous. I don't look like David Foster, I look like a fucking curry munching bank manager. I've been making the rounds in this same disguise over several days, so they pay me no mind. Harry answers the door, and the moment I see him, I feel better than I have in weeks. I feel relief, and a bit of disappointment to see that while he's still physically the same, mentally he's lost his edge. He's unsure, but I don't have time for unsure. I force my way into the house, holding him at gunpoint and hoping that Maurice's worries about implanted commands are baseless. I don't want to shoot Harry if I don't have to.

He reads my letter and signals that he buys my story. So far so good, though I can't believe he's so naive and trusting. We were just guessing about some of the things in the letter based on Maurice's knowledge of large scale memory manipulation, but he seems to accept all of them. I'm not sure what it means, except that I'm not going to have to chloroform him. Harry accepts the second note eagerly and I make my exit. I'm now on a tight schedule.

When I'm out of sight, I hop into a nearby car and zoom off towards the Little Whinging Library. There, it's a simple matter of reserving a media room, setting up the note, videotape, and headphones-turned-portkey, and leaving instructions at the front desk for a Mr. H. Potter. I speed all the way to the A24, ignoring the police who give chase just as I get to the road, and activate my own illegal portkey just as I dump the car off a bridge. A moment later, I'm in my Knockturn Alley flat, where Maurice is waiting. With a nod, he commences phase two of the plan.

The five mercenaries are assembled down on the street at a muggle corner cafe outside the Alley. The flat extends to both sides for just this type of occasion. Maurice waves his wand at them and commands them to go into a nearby alley. In my hand is a telephone, and on the other end is one of my muggle associates who has been waiting for Harry to arrive. He informs me when Harry begins watching the videotape, and I give a signal to Maurice. Outside, the five wizards apparate to the library on the Jamaican's command, and if our timing is right the portkey activation will be lost in the wake of five wizards popping into the same area at almost the same time. Thirty seconds later, Harry appears in a flash of light and lands in a heap on the floor, where he is promptly stunned by Maurice. Harry is back. Now comes the hard part.

Harry has always been full of surprises, not all of them good. The one we discover, though, is amazing even for the jaded Jamaican. He's powerful, more than I even imagined. He nearly breaks Maurice in half on a simple legilimency scan. Maurice almost bails right then, but I can't seriously let him go, not when he's this involved. I tell him everything after he gives a magical vow. And then we learn just how powerful Harry is. We learn that he is impossible to obliviate and that he unconsciously forced the most powerful wizard in the world to resort to crude memory tricks. Maurice sees potential, enough to offer to teach Harry. Things are beginning to come together.

Later that night, Harry, Maurice, and I leave the flat for good, all traces of us being there wiped clean. Using my memories, Maurice creates a portkey to the hospital in Surrey, which deposits us in the very same parking lot where we'd narrowly escaped Dumbledore weeks prior. For hours, Maurice had slowly rerouted most of Harry's memories, but even as we stalk into the hospital I see him shed the last vestiges of "Harry the toe-rag" and emerge as a newer, stronger Harry. Power radiates from him like heat from a furnace, fueled by his intense hatred and anger. Seeing him like this puts that same fear in my heart that I've always struggled to ignore. This isn't hooligan Harry, this is the Harry who'd nearly killed me, who'd nearly destroyed his relatives. This is Harry the Monster, and he's come to finish what he started.

It's ten minutes before the screaming finally dies down. Fat lot of good it did the old bitch, crying for help. No one heard a peep, thanks to the very strong notice-me-not charm emanating from a necklace I'm wearing. It cost a pretty penny and has to be recharged with magic every so often, but it's a damn sight better than the shitty charmed robes on those wizards in London. Maurice gives me an indecipherable look but says nothing. I'm pretty sure that I look green about the gills to him and feel embarrassed for showing weakness.

Harry exits the room looking a bloody mess, wearing an almost frightening look of satisfaction on his blood-speckled face. I ignore the instinctive clench of fear in my gut and give him slightly bored, questioning look. "Done then?" I ask. He nods, his face relaxing into a neutral expression. And like a candle being blown out, the Monster disappears

I glance up and down his body, noting the splashes of blood all over his clothes. "Did you have to be so messy?" I say, turning and walking towards the lift.

"No, I didn't have to." he admits, but he doesn't seem sorry in the least. "Don't worry, I set up everything like you said."

I nod and lead the way down the hall, trying not to think of what just happened. Just as the lift door closes, a nurse screams bloody murder. It's several years before we return to Surrey, bringing death with us.

To Be Continued...

Author's Notes:
Another chapter down, and faster than the previous one. I'll try to keep this pace up. On a related note, if you've been waiting for an update on my other stories, I'll reiterate that I will return to them as my interest in the stories return. Currently, Hooligan is highest on my radar (followed closely by Brothers Strange). I devote a small amount of time to writing fan fiction as it is, so juggling three or four stories at once just isn't possible. I'd be willing to let another writer take over a Heart of A Warrior or Long Dark Night, so PM me if you're interested.

This chapter brings to a close the first part of this story, which I call "A History of Violence", and I'd like to think that the four installments live up to that title. Chapter five begins the second part of Hooligan, "Criminal Enterprise", which should run three chapters.

Shout out to the DarkLordPotter forums for reviewing the story. Those guys are some of the harshest critics you'll find for HP fan fiction, and their recommendations tend to be good. Hopefully I can get this story up to the quality they expect.

Finally, thanks to everyone that left a review. Even if you didn't, thanks for reading, hopefully it was worth your time. Until next time...