Servitude of a Peculiar Sort
Number Four Privet Drive
5:48 AM, July 30th, 1995
Remus's werewolf reflexes kicked in and he plowed into Harry and Tonks, knocking them to the ground behind Vernon's new car. The killing curse impacted harmlessly with the pavement right where Tonks had previously been. Remus and Tonks exchanged a look.
"Take him and run." Remus told Tonks.
"We'll all run, it's safer. We can't leave you." Tonks countered.
"They're on broom. They're much faster unless I hold them off." Remus retorted.
"But…" Tonks started.
"GO!" Remus commanded.
"Wait." Harry said.
"What?" Remus answered.
"This will help." Harry placed his hands on Remus's shoulders. His muscles grew instantaneously, giving him a more animalistic and deadly look.
Before Remus could respond, there was a volley of spells from the Death Eaters. Vernon's car shook with the first few impacts, the driver's door crumpled and the windshield shattered. A large gash appeared in the trunk and then the trunk was launched twenty feet in the air and set on fire. Remus let out a roar and shouted an incantation. A blast of air flew out of his wand and knocked the nearest death eater from the sky.
Harry and Tonks rounded the corner and set off towards Arabella Figg's house. Harry felt awkward running. Like his new body wasn't meant to do this and he was going to fall over if he didn't shift his weight backwards.
"Hurry it up!" Tonks commanded. There was a deafening explosion from behind them as a spell connected with the gas tank on Vernon's car. Harry toppled forward and caught himself with his hands. He now understood something he hadn't previously. His arms and hands had been warped in his transformation. Now he knew why. He was built like an animal now, not a human. He would run faster on four limbs than two.
He began to gain on Tonks and by the time they rounded the corner onto Wisteria walk he had passed her. And then he tried to stop. Blocking the way to Mrs. Figg's house was a line of death eaters. Seven of them. Waiting. Arabella Figg's mutilated corpse lay a short distance behind them. By the look of agony frozen on her face, they had tortured her first.
"Shit!" Tonks exclaimed. "Too damn many of them." She turned and started running in another direction.
A few spells shot past them and the Death Eaters ran after them. Voldemort and his initial strike force were visible in the distance and approaching from the direction of Privet Drive. Remus had bought them as much time as he could. Now they were on their own.
Tonks vaulted a chain link fence into someone's backyard, crossed the yard and climbed the fence into the next yard. Harry followed about ten feet behind her. About ten seconds later, he heard the sounds of the Death Eaters blasting the fences away. They continued to run despite the fact that the Death Eaters were gaining.
After the fifth fence he crossed, Harry was slowing. By the tenth, he felt like he was going to die.
Tonks was tiring too. Soon, Tonks' persistent clumsiness kicked in. She caught her ankle climbing down a particularly tall fence, and with a sickening CRACK she was down on the ground. She'd broken her ankle and was quite incapable of running any further.
"Keep running!" She commanded him.
Harry stopped running and went to investigate her ankle He wasn't sure if he did it out of compassion or because he was uncertain how much further he could run and didn't know where to go.
"I SAID KEEP RUNNING!" She yelled at him.
Harry felt something snap in his head. Like there was a little box that said "in case of emergency, break glass" and he smashed it.
"Shut…UP!" Harry snapped. He placed one hand on each of Tonks's shoulders and asked the wild magic pumping through his veins to cast one more spell to save them both. There was the sound of old trees creaking in the breeze and then they were gone. In their place stood a ten foot tall oak tree, barely tall enough to be seen over the fence. The sounds of explosions persisted as the Death Eaters tore down fence after fence with their spells. Ten seconds later, the Death Eaters blasted down the fence that had broken Tonks's ankle, and kept blasting down fences.
He could feel Tonks panicking. She wasn't used to being completely unable to move. Harry was vaguely afraid she would give away their position with some accidental magic. He mentally reassured her and she slowly calmed down.
"Damn it!" he heard a Death Eater swear. "This is the edge of the Apparation ward. They must have escaped."
A few seconds later, Voldemort and his mounted Death Eaters landed. He heard mumbled excuses and garbled pleading. This was followed by several screams, a flash of green light and the sound of a few dozen people apparating.
Harry waited an additional ten minutes to make sure there weren't any Death Eaters still lingering around before reversing the transformation.
"I…" Tonks started. Harry cut her off.
"Let's talk later. Once we're safe. Can you make it to the edge of the wards or do I need to carry you?" Harry asked.
"I'll be fine." Tonks cast a spell on her leg and hobbled the remaining 50 feet to the edge of the wards. With a small snap, they were both gone.
6:31 AM, July 30th, 1995
Harry and Tonks reappeared in the Weasley family kitchen. Tonks winced and hobbled to a chair. Harry went off to find Mrs. Weasley.
Within minutes, Mrs. Weasley had splinted Tonks's leg, and firecalled the Headmistress. Minerva, in turn called a meeting of the Order to discuss the day's events. Within an hour, Harry found himself once again before the entire Order, explaining everything. He knew he should have been feeling more emotion about Remus's death as he told his tale to the room. Yet, somehow he found no remorse. Remus sacrificed himself to buy them time for an escape. It worked. He was thankful, but not feeling guilty. If Remus hadn't acted it was likely that all three of them would have died.
Perhaps it was something the forest did that kept his emotions at bay, but he actually didn't mind it. For once he could fight with his mind without letting things like fear and grief get in the way.
Harry finished recounting the mornings events and sat back in his chair, waiting for some sort of response. The adults in the room met eyes, almost like they were speaking telepathically.
"You may go now, Mr. Potter." Professor McGonnagall dismissed him. Harry left wordlessly and found his way upstairs. Harry knocked lightly on the bathroom door. Nobody inside. He entered, shut the door and locked it. He turned the water to its coldest setting, threw off his clothes and stepped in.
'What the hell am I supposed to do now?' he thought.
4:20 AM, August 5th, 1995
With people up and busy at all hours of the day, Harry had taken to waking up early to continue his training sessions. While he felt tired and weak outside at night (the lack of sunlight hampered him more than he liked to believe) he still went and tried. The first night he'd tried training he hadn't been able to cast a single spell. The second night he got the idea to spend some time in the tanning bed beforehand. The energy he radiated did a fair job of counteracting the lack of sunlight. The longer he stayed in the bed before casting, the easier his casting was and the more powerful his spells were. In the interests of stealth, he'd been trying to reduce the time he needed in the bed to cast spells. He'd gotten to the point where he could spontaneously cast most of the basic spells he knew, and could cast some more complicated ones with only a small amount of concentration beforehand.
Harry was quite sure that his new magic had all but exterminated the last of his wizard magic. It was still shaping his body, honing it as if it was a weapon. It was like watching a thousand years of evolution happen every day. Every morning he would discover something new about himself. By spending every night for the last week outside, his body had started adapting itself to the new situation. He needed less rest than before because his body would conserve energy during the day, knowing he would need it during the night. His nightvision had improved considerably to the point where he could see almost as well at night as he could during the day when he was still human.
He also noticed that his body was generating dew, which it hadn't done before. Every morning his sheets would be soaked when he got up. The water in the sheets didn't feel good to him like all other water did. It was waste water. He felt the same way about sleeping in dew-soaked sheets as most humans did when sleeping in urine.
Harry had done away with sheets altogether and would generally sleep outside and come inside to his bed once he suspected people would be waking soon.
Thinking of spells to cast was still the hardest art of his training. He didn't have a guidebook to follow. He had to make up spells on the spot and then evaluate if he had the power to cast them. It was quite frustrating because he was rarely sure if a spell was beyond the scope of his abilities or if it was simply something he couldn't cast.
Without anyone to compare himself to he was quite unsure of how he was progressing. He knew he was getting stronger. He could feel his magical energy growing by the day. He suspected he was going to have one of those breakthroughs where he understood more about his powers any day now. But how long would that take? Was he progressing fast enough?
He didn't know. Harry finished the spell he'd been casting (something that made the grass grow and wrap around anything inside it, hindering the movement of anyone around.) and headed back towards the house. It was getting light and people would be awakening soon. He opened the front door and passed into the living room of the Burrow. As he walked towards the stairs something caught his eye, just peeking out from under the couch. Curious, he approached the couch and pulled the mystery item out.
It was a present, gift wrapped and left over from his birthday. It was the detergent shaped bottle from Fred and George. Harry smirked and opened the wrapping paper.
"New Zealand Organic Fish Fertilizer" the label read. This gave Harry an idea. Harry wasn't sure if it was one of the most brilliant ideas he'd ever had or one of the most stupid. Either way, he was determined to find out before the Weasleys woke up.
He was going to plant himself. Harry found his way back out into the yard. He sat about fifteen feet from the small stream that ran across the Weasley's property. With a wave of his hand, a hole about two feet across and eighteen inches deep appeared in the soil. Harry sat on the ground and removed his socks, shoes and pants. Harry shaped the soil again and diverted a small amount of stream water into the hole. Carefully, he poured some of the fish fertilizer into the hole. When there was enough water/fish mixture to cover his feet, he stopped diverting stream water into the hole and climbed in. He shaped the earth again, refilling the hole with dirt.
He stood, buried knee deep in dirt and fertilizer for a few moments before speaking. "Boy do I feel stup-" Sharp pains jolted up his legs, cutting off his speech. The pain intensified and Harry began to scream.
'Very stupid.' He thought as darkness claimed him.