A/N: Standard disclaimers apply, please see Authors note at the bottom. Mild Dumbledore, Ron and Hermione bashing.
It was a balmy night; the leaves on the drooping water deprived trees rustled slightly trying valiantly to catch the breeze that whispered through Privet Drive. Only a smattering of stars lit up the moonless sky stretching out across the houses. Each house was dark because of the late hour, every house that is, except one.
A dim light showered the street below from the second story window of number four Privet Drive. But to anyone looking up, trying to catch sight of the person upsetting such a peaceful dark night, not a soul could be seen. The only thing that any on lookers could have seen was the back wall and the outline of a ragged looking wardrobe. They would assume of course that the light had simply been left on and forgotten about.
But what any ordinary Muggle would assume to be a forgotten light, the two wizards looking into that dim light in the smallest bedroom of number four Privet Drive knew different. They knew that the room in question belonged to the saviour of the Wizarding word. They had not seen hide or hair of Harry Potter since he had arrived home from his fifth year and the wizards were starting to get nervous, but Dumbledore had been unrelenting about his orders to stay away from Harry.
"I don't like it," Tonks whispered from her place by Aunt Petunia's rose bushes.
Mad Eye Moody shifted from his spot and took a deep breath contemplating what Tonks had said.
"You know Dumbledore's orders," he said slowly trying to make certain that he had been convincing in his declaration.
"But we haven't seen him Moody! Not in weeks! Those bloody Muggles could have killed him already, and we wouldn't have known!" Tonks screeched.
Moody put a hand on her arm to steady her. "Control yourself!" he snapped. "The boy sends the letters every three days as he was told." He reasoned, removing his hands when Tonks regained a modicum of control in her voice.
"Yes but not a word to his friends, except for a letter to Mrs. Weasley that he wishes to remain at his Aunt's all summer, declining his yearly visit to their home." Tonks whispered still exasperated.
Moody grunted. "And a right smart move that was," he said with a nod. "The boy knows enough to not want to put his friends in danger."
"It's just not like him," she said sadly. "He's changed so much after… after Sirius died."
"You mean," Moody said slowly, "he not a little boy anymore?"
Tonks' head shot up at the statement. She opened her mouth to protest, but the words died on her lips, knowing Moody was right. Harry Potter was not a little boy anymore
Harry Potter sat quietly in the darkened cramped space of his old bedroom, the cupboard under the stairs, he was a bit big for the small place that he used to call home, but nevertheless, with his knees drawn up tightly to his chest, he sat there. But this time it was because he chose to, and not because anybody was forcing him to. It was the only place in his relative's house where he could truly sit and think. He didn't even flinch as a spider crawled over his foot trying to find a good spot to make it web.
So much had changed over the last five years of his life. Finding out that he was a wizard, finding out that there was a dark wizard after him, finding out that he had family, and then losing him just a year later, Harry was tired. He held back the tears that wanted to escape as he thought of his Remus Lupin, now the last link that he had to his parents. After the fiasco at the Department of Mysteries Remus had refused to speak to him, and although he didn't say it, Harry knew that Remus blamed him for what had happened to Sirius, and for what it was worth, Harry didn't blame him.
Another thing that had given Harry that final "push" into changing the course of his life was a conversation between his two best friends, a conversation that wasn't meant for his ears.
Harry was wandering down the darkened hallways after curfew, trying to erase the visions of Sirius falling through the veil that were running through his head. He spotted his two best friends patrolling the hallways and quietly snuck up to surprise them, but it was he who got the surprise. The two prefects were quietly talking when Harry snuck up on them, and had not idea that he was behind them.
"How much longer do we have to keep this up Hermione?" Ron asked, in a voice that Harry had never heard before.
Hermione sighed and ran a hand through her thick locks. "You heard what Albus said, Ron. We need to keep an eye on Potter and keep pretending to be his friends. You know how important it is to keep up pretences. Just invite him to your house again this summer, and we'll just have to hope that the Dursley's continue to keep him in his place so he'll continue to see Dumbledore as his ticket away from them."
"It's not that I don't like the bloke, it's just I don't fancy getting myself and my girlfriend killed, following Potter all over damnation trying to get himself killed." Ron said shaking his head. "I suppose Albus did get lucky that Potter's Aunt hated magic so much that she decided to take it out on him. I mean imagine if he had lived with a decent Wizarding family and had let all of that fame go to his head. Albus was defiantly right when he said we need to keep him in his place."
Hermione nodded and took Ron's hand in hers.
Ron went on, "Well you remember what Albus said; we weren't to contact Harry this summer for security reasons, no doubt the wanker will write to me though and whine about how horrible his summer has been and beg to come stay with me." Ron said sighing.
Hermione sighed as well and leaned in to cuddle with her boyfriend. "I know but it will do him some good to stay in a secure place. Besides, it will give us more time to help out with our Order duties and continue our training. Won't Potter be jealous when he finds out that we've been training behind his back?" She said and laughed.
Harry stood their stunned at what he had heard. He stormed back to his dormitory and locked his curtains, ignoring the odd looks that he was getting from his dorm mates. But as he lay on his bed thinking about what Ron and Hermione had said, it had started to make sense. The way they had been acting ever since the year had started, the way that had talked to him. They had been working for Dumbledore the entire time to spy and keep tabs on him.
He wanted to get up, to hit something, or more specifically someone, but knew that he couldn't. He knew that he couldn't let anyone know what he had learned. He had to keep playing the clueless boy that they all knew. But he knew that things had changed.
From here on in, it was a whole knew ball game.
End of Flashback…
Harry rested his head softly against the wall and softly sighed. It had to change, he thought fiercely to himself, but as much as he hated to admit it, it all had to start with his relatives…
He had spoken with them the night he came home. After they finished dinner, he asked them to stay at the table so he could explain what happened at the train station that day. They had been so terrified of Moody warning that they quickly complied and listened as the last five years of his life poured out of him. He struggled as he spoke of his last few months of school and how his Godfather was killed.
When he finished, his hands clenched into fists at his sides his eyes blurred with tears, he struggled to breathe as he waited for their reaction. He thought they would laugh at him, belittle him or even toss him out on the street for his "freakish" ways. But what he didn't expect was for them to be compassionate, or for his aunt to reach out and take his hand.
"We're sorry," his uncle said simply. And Harry knew he wasn't just
apologizing for Harry's loss. It was then that Harry would make a deal that would change his entire summer. He told the Dursley's in a no nonsense voice, that he would stay out of their way, if the would stay out of his way. They quickly agreed and although nothing more was said, Harry knew that for the first time in Harry's almost sixteen years, things were starting to look up.
It was two days later that Harry saw the first real changes in his relatives. His aunt had taken him shopping for a new wardrobe, and things to fill his room with. She never questioned his choices of black baggy jeans and cargos or tee shirts with semi explicit messages. Only saying, "well if you expect to be treated like a normal person, you might as well dress like one." His uncle had taken him to get his hair cut, as his hair had started growing down past his neck. He allowed Harry to choose the style, and said nothing when Harry had chosen to spike his hair and colour the tips a dark green. Harry had bought a guitar with a red lightning bolt across the middle, and taught himself how to play, figuring it was time to start looking and acting like a teenager; at least while he could.
Rafe Connors a sixteen year old wizard scanned the neighbourhood of Privet Drive and sighed. Grabbing another box that sat on the lawn, he walked up the drive of Number two and helped the movers finish bringing the boxes inside. He had just moved to London from New York City and was already optimistic about the whole move. But as much as he complained about the whole thing, his mother had been unwavering about her decision.
Three hours later when the movers had finally had left, with his mother inside putting things away, Rafe sat outside and checked out the neighbourhood. He watched with interest as two wizards under the guise of invisibility cloaks stood guard over Number four Privet drive.
His mother stepped out onto the porch minutes later drying her hands on a small dish towel.
"Well?" She asked.
"Two guards in the front of the house." He said his gaze never wavering from the two wizards.
"Anyone around back?" She asked quietly, waving to some neighbours as they rode by on bikes.
"Negative," he said with the barest shake of his head.
Monica scoffed and sat down next to her son. "And this is how Dumbledore is protecting "The Boy Who Lived?" I always knew the man was off his rocker."
"Have you gotten a message from Dad?" Rafe asked.
His father had been away on a mission for the past three weeks now, and as a security measure, he had not been able to keep contact with his family.
"Nothing yet," she said. "But you know he may not get word to us until September."
Rafe nodded and shrugged not knowing what else to say.
Monica squeezed his shoulder and spoke quietly in his ear, knowing how nosey the neighbours were. "You know what you have to do Rafe," she said and squeezed his shoulder again.
He nodded, his eyes never leaving the guards on number four. "I know Mom, I know."
As he stood and took on last look at Number four he sighed knowing exactly what he had to do. He had to befriend Harry Potter, at whatever the cost.
A/N: I'm back!! Wow it's good to be back, we'll I hope you guys like this please review and tell me what you think. Also I'm looking for a much needed beta to help me with this, I think it's gonna be a long one, but I'm not to sure yet. I've got six chaps done and outlining the seventh, so updates with be once a week, maybe every other week if things get to busy. Much thanks to Lady Diggory for helping me work out some kinks and a very early happy birthday!!
The title of this story come from a song that Harry will be playing, sorry, I like punk Harry stories.
Please note that the rating on this story is subject to change
Thanks and please review.