"He's yelling again." Boris commented.
"So it would seem." Harry said, opening the door to his bedroom and sliding his hands into his pockets. "Let's go see what he wants this time."
Harry had been back home for a little over a week and he was already sick of the place. It was odd, really. Vernon had grown more irritable and furious in the past year, whereas Petunia had mellowed out considerably. All over Dudley, who spent most of his time up in his room, staring at a TV that was never turned off. Petunia brought up his meals and helped him eat, helped him to the bathroom and to bathe, and in general took care of her soulless son.
It was because she knew. She knew of Dementors. She knew what they did. She knew what the results meant. But Vernon? He still thought that Harry had done something to his whale of a son. No amount of talk would persuade him otherwise. Even through all his training, Harry still couldn't quite drown out the sound of his uncle screaming.
Harry grew tired of the man's constant yelling. One spell - one little spell - and he could silence the man forever. He could stomp about and pound on things as much as he wanted, but he would never speak again. The Ministry was in chaos still, with the new Minister still being decided upon. Things needed to change, anyway. The underage magic ruling needed to be lifted, or at least changed so that people could defend themselves. Harry felt that his uncle had been abusive enough in the past that he could simply lie to anyone who tried to tell him he was in trouble. People could be manipulated rather easily if one knew how, after all.
Bringing a hand from his pocket, he pushed open the door to the kitchen. Petunia was cooking and Vernon was sitting at the table, newspaper hiding his purple face.
"Can I help you?" Harry asked, his voice dry and bored.
"Don't you take that tone with me, boy." Vernon said, slamming his paper down onto the table. "Not after what you've done."
Harry glanced at his aunt and asked, "Is he really that stupid? Does he still think I cursed Dudley?"
Petunia didn't respond.
"Do not speak about me as though I were an idiot, boy!" Vernon yelled.
"Then stop acting like I was the one who removed Dudley's soul, you bloody walrus." Harry growled. "If I remember correctly, it was you who told him to follow me any time I left the damned house. If he hadn't been following me, he would have been safe. It's your own fault he's a shell, so don't you dare try and put the blame on me. I've killed once this year, old man, don't make me kill again!"
"Threatening me, are you? We'll see about that!" Vernon said, getting to his feet and stomping towards the phone.
"Oh? And what will you tell them? That a crazed wizard said he'd kill you if you kept abusing him?" Harry asked, smirking.
"DON'T USE LANGUAGE LIKE THAT IN THIS HOUSE!" Screamed Vernon, his face turning an interesting shade of puce. "I WILL NOT HAVE IT! DO YOU HEAR ME?!"
Harry had his wands drawn in an instant, aiming them at Vernon's head. Harry was taller than his uncle now, though the older man still had considerable size on Harry. It didn't bother Harry anymore. His uncle didn't scare him like he once did. He could erase Vernon Dursley from existence with barely more effort than it took to blink if he so desired.
"Shut up." Harry murmured, amused as Vernon stared at the wands in terror. "Shut up and sit your fat ass back down. Sit down and let me tell you of what I've spent the year doing."
"I don't care what you've done!" Vernon spat, backing away from the phone despite his words.
"Oh, I'm sure you don't. But you're powerless, so we both know you'll listen." Harry said, sounding bored. "I've got a friend. A vampire. His powers were acting up this year. And most of the girls at school were following him around, unaware of what was causing them to do it. This extended to the girl I've proposed to."
Vernon snorted as he sat back down at the table. "YOU? Proposing to someone?"
"Combined with the nightmares Voldemort had been sending me," Harry continued, "I was left a nervous wreck. When I saw a vision of my godfather in danger, I didn't take the time to stop and think about it. I charged in. As a result, many good people, were killed."
"Good riddance!" Vernon barked.
"The woman who killed Sirius, my godfather, was called Bellatrix Lestrange." Harry said, advancing on Vernon, wands still aimed at the fat man. "I tore her soul apart. With every lash of my wands, I destroyed her soul more and more. What happened to Dudley? That was peaceful. What I did to this woman left her a sobbing heap. I impaled her with magical tethers. I slung her around the room like a rag doll. I pinned her to the wall and I caused her to disintegrate. Nothing but her blood remained."
"Your filth must not have good laws if you got away with that!" Vernon snapped.
"The Minister is missing and presumed dead." Harry said, smiling darkly. "We can hope, anyway. They're currently deciding who the new Minister will be. The way I see it, the Ministry of Magic is in enough disarray that I could get away with anything I jolly well want right now. See, there's a little problem. Azkaban, our prison, has gone missing. And if everything goes the way I think it will, that's bad news."
"So what? Why the hell are you telling me this?!" Vernon asked, glaring openly at Harry.
"So, it means bad news for horrible little piggies like you. Voldemort plans to make the island fly. Dementors, the creatures who took Dudley's soul, will be capable of striking anyone, anywhere, at any time. And no one would be able to stop them. Well... except me."
"The way I see it, only two men are stronger than me in the whole of wizarding Britain. One is Dumbledore. The other is Voldemort. And I've got a few ideas on how the latter is going to meet his end." Harry explained. "The point, my dear uncle, is this..."
Harry closed the distance between the two, one wand jamming into his uncle's forehead, the other in roughly the vicinity of the man's heart. It was hard to gauge where to aim when there was so much flab. "...I could kill you right now and get away with it because I'm the only man alive capable of killing Voldemort."
"You're bluffing." Vernon said, eyes glancing between the wands aimed at him. "You can't. You'll be expelled! You'll--"
"Go to jail? I told you, it's been commandeered. And there isn't a court on this planet that would convict me, Vernon." Harry hissed. "We, wizards I mean, have a method of extracting memories from people. I could show the courts every instance of you attacking me throughout the years. It would be justifiable homicide."
"Stop it. Both of you." Came Petunia's quiet voice from near the sink. "I don't care if you two go at it all day, just don't do it while I'm around."
"He started it!" Vernon growled.
"I believe you were the one who screamed for me to come down here." Harry said. Then, putting his wands away, he nodded to his aunt. "I'm sorry, Aunt Petunia. I'll try and restrain myself better around the walrus over here. What was I called for, anyway?"
"He seemed to think I needed or wanted assistance with breakfast." Petunia said, moving to tend to a pan of bacon. "I told him I was fine, but it seems my own husband believes you've done something to his wife as well as his son."
"Petunia, I--" Vernon began.
"Yes, you. You you you. Always you." Petunia said, turning to glare at Vernon. "It's always you, Vernon. Both Harry and I know more about what happened than you, yet I've had to listen to you rant and rave for a whole year about how it's Harry fault! You know nothing about what happened to my Dudley, yet the way you carry on, it's as though you think you're an expert on the matter! You don't know a thing, Vernon! Not a single thing."
Harry stared at his aunt, eyebrows up past his hairline. This was new. His aunt had never dressed his uncle down. Let alone in order to defend Harry. What the hell had brought this little outburst about?
"But... but Petunia, he... if HE HADN'T--!" Vernon began, his face turning colors again.
"If he hadn't contacted Albus Dumbledore, we might be like Dudley right now. That he even showed enough care to try and save anyone but himself says a lot, considering what he had to go through." Petunia said. "I've just about had enough of this, Vernon."
"What are you saying?" Vernon asked, the color now beginning to drain from his face.
"I'm saying that you'll be ranting to an empty house very soon!" Petunia cried, grabbing the pan of bacon and slinging it across the room. The pan bounced off of Vernon's head while the sizzling bacon within fell out en route and wound up on the floor and part of the table.
Vernon let out a howl of pain, clutching at his head.
"You miserable little bitch!" Vernon growled, getting up so fast his chair fell over. He began to advance on Petunia, who stood her ground. "I will not be spoken to in such an insolate manner by my own wife! You will shut your mouth and do what I TELL YOU TO!"
"No she won't." Harry said. "And if you don't want to wind up splattered across the kitchen, you'll stand down and get the HELL away from her."
Vernon immediately changed directions, charging at Harry, who had drawn his wands again the minute his uncle had got back up. There was a spark igniting in Harry's eyes and, as he mobilized, he hissed, "Hold on tight, Boris."
Harry dropped into a crouch as Vernon threw a wide, telegraphed right hook. Harry aimed both wands at the ground and, as his uncle's punch ended, he sprang back up, bringing his wands up in a straight line and shouting, "SECTUMSEMPRA!"
Vernon Dursley was lifted off his feet and thrown back by the power of the spell, blood spraying from his body as he flew backwards into the sink. Harry's arms were in motion even as his uncle slumped to the ground, howling in pain once more. One spell and Vernon's pained yelling was stopped. Another and the man's wounds stopped bleeding. A third and the man lay petrified in a curled-up position on the floor.
"The abuse ends tonight." Harry stated, wands twirling as he tucked them away. He looked to his aunt, who was gaping at what she had just witnessed. "Are you alright, Aunt Petunia?"
"I... yes, I'm fine..." Petunia said, blinking finally and turning to look at Harry. "What about you? Is this okay?"
"Dumbledore will get me out of any crap the Ministry tries to send me. Like I said, they can always extract the memory and see for themselves that I acted in self-defense. I'll show them all they could ever want to see." Harry said, his eyes still glowing faintly.
"You really have become strong, haven't you?" Petunia asked.
"I have to be. Voldemort's chosen me to be his main enemy. I have a lot of responsibility on my back. Dumbledore could be capable of beating Voldemort, but I'm not going to place this on him. He's my burden. I'll take him out." Harry said.
Petunia glanced back down at her husband before closing her eyes and letting the situation sink in. She began to shake and had to lean back against the counter. "What have I done?"
"What you felt you had to." Harry said, walking over. "You'll be better off without him."
"That wasn't what I meant." Petunia said. Harry blinked in surprise when he saw the tears spilling from his aunt's eyes. "All this time... and you still protected me? Why? What did I do to deserve that? I never stopped him. I was never able to..."
"You changed." Harry said, interrupting his aunt. "And that's good enough."
Harry sighed quietly as his aunt wrapped her arms around him and began sobbing apologies against his shoulder. His own eyes closed as he hugged his aunt for the first time since he was a little boy. Things changed, but they could always be fixed, huh? He wasn't so sure. Petunia was used to an easy life. She would have to find a place to live and get a job, to say nothing about Dudley.
Opening his eyes, Harry hug tightened. He couldn't change the past, but he could change the future. His Aunt wouldn't do this alone. He was going to have a very busy day ahead of him.
The letter from the Ministry came almost an hour later, quite slow for Ministry standards. It said all that Harry assumed it would - that he was in trouble for using magic when he shouldn't have, that he was to be expelled from Hogwarts, and that he was going to have a trial to determine his fate.
Yeah, that wasn't going to happen, Harry thought, tossing the letter aside and starting one of his own. It was addressed to Dumbledore and said, in fine detail, what had happened to him and how he planned to respond to it. This was the simple part. The hard part was how he was going to get the letter to the headmaster of Hogwarts. Hedwig was at the Tonks' house. He had determined Number Four simply wasn't safe for her, so her cage was to go back with Tonks at the end of the year. The plan went through despite all that had happened. She had sent him a letter the day after she returned how, with Hedwig, telling him she was fine. It was short and to the point. She was clearly still mad at him.
Harry had taken his Aunt upstairs, where she had cried herself to sleep on her bed. After checking up on Dudley, Harry had returned to his room and waited. Now, he had to leave the relative safety of the house and travel to Number Nine on his own. The thought didn't make him feel very good. The last thing he wanted was to do any traveling alone. But he had to. And anyway, he had already broken the rule for underage magic - using it further to protect himself if he was attacked wouldn't matter much.
After finishing the letter, he put it in an envelope and left his bedroom. He checked in on both his cousin and his aunt one more time before heading downstairs and checking on Vernon. He was exactly where Harry had left him. The area around where Harry had attacked him was still covered in blood. Harry would get that cleaned up when he returned.
Slipping the letter into the pocket of his jacket, he slipped out of Number Four. It was a cheery day out, with no clouds in the sky and plenty of birds chirping and singing. The day was like the polar opposite of how things were inside the house he had stepped out of. He blew out a sigh as he headed for the sidewalk and began his trip.
It had felt good to finally cause his uncle pain. After so many years of living in fear of the man, Harry had finally been able to show his uncle who the real boss of the house was. He had long since come to terms with the fact that he didn't mind hurting other people so long as his actions were justified. And, as his uncle had put many scars on his body over the years, a couple of giant scars of his own would be a constant reminder to the man that would never hold power over Harry again.
He was thinking too hard, but that was fine. It was summer and the only things he had to worry about were Voldemort and where the hell Azkaban was. Naturally, Harry hadn't been kept up to date on the Order's findings, if any had been made. Too dangerous. The letters could be intercepted.
Before he realized it, he was in front of Number Nine, staring at the closed door. Making sure his barriers were firmly in place, he rang the doorbell. A few minutes later and a familiar face greeted him, looking surprised.
"Harry? What are you doing here?" Tonks asked. "...Is that blood on you?"
"What? Shit, yes, it is... didn't even think to check that. Hope no one saw me..." Harry said, looking down at his shirt, which had a few large splotches of blood on it.
"What the hell did they do to you this time?"
"Uh-uh. Wrong way around. Uncle Vernon is laying in a silenced, petrified heap in the kitchen." Harry stated.
"I happened." Harry said. "Double Sectumsempra up the front of his filthy body. He was going to attack Aunt Petunia. Who, as it turns out, seems to have taken my side at some point. I got a letter from the Ministry. Need to send one to Dumbledore."
Tonks blinked, stepping aside as Harry entered. She was wearing a bright, yellow dress to match her equally bright, yellow hair. "Is that all you're here for?" She asked.
"Don't." Harry repeated, turning to face the girl as she closed the door. "Until you realize what's happened, we have nothing to discuss. The only reason I'm here is because this is where my owl is."
"Are you sure that's the only reason?" Tonks asked, looking down.
"I'm positive." Harry stated, turning and heading for the stairs.
Tonks looked up and watched him ascend the stairs, taking off after him when he neared the top. Before he could get to the guest bedroom that had been dubbed his over the years, she caught up. "Why won't you believe me?"
"Because I'm not affected by the magical charm powers." Harry stated, opening the bedroom door and saying hello to Hedwig, who hooted happily. "Fleur's didn't affect me. Leon's certainly don't. I can see clearly while you're probably still muddled. I've no doubts that the time away from him is helping to shake the cobwebs from your head, but it isn't enough. The blame lies mostly with him, but you aren't without fault."
"I don't love him, you know." Tonks said.
"I know you don't." Harry said, opening Hedwig's cage. "Okay, girl - take this to Dumbledore, got it? It's very important."
Hedwig nipped at Harry's finger as he took her to the window, opened it, and let her fly.
Harry watched the snowy owl fly off, his mind working overtime despite his attempts to slow his thinking down. The only thing that snapped him out of it was Tonks stepping up behind him and wrapping her arms around him from behind.
"Please. You don't have to go." She said, her voice very quiet.
"Do you admit you, along with half of the girls at Hogwarts, are under some form of uncontrolled, vampiric charm?" Harry asked.
"No." Tonks said. "Leon's the same as he ever was. A lot moodier, but..."
"Then I do have to go." Harry stated.
"I'm not going to let go of you." Tonks declared, her grip around Harry tightening. "I don't care what you and Parkinson have done. I want you back, damn it!"
"You know how to do that." Harry said, eyes closing. "It's very simple and yet you won't, or more likely can't, admit that you're being led on. Pansy and I haven't done anything more than you and I have. After Sirius was killed and I woke up, I made the decision that I needed sleep again. You refused to be there for me. I did what I had to."
"So what happens now?" Tonks asked.
"I wait." Harry said, shoulders slumping slightly. "Because it's all I know how to do. I can't find a way to get his powers under control. I can't convince you that you're being controlled by them. But I have to keep moving forward. I can't sit and fight with you two while he denies what's happening to him. I'll wait for you, Nymmy. But I won't wait forever. I can't wait forever. There's a limit to how much I'm willing to go through, even for someone as precious to me as you are. I'm sorry."
Tonks' grip tightened slightly. Harry could feel her shaking. He brought a hand up, putting it over Tonks' arms.
"What else would you have me do?" He asked. "What else can I do?"
"Take us back." Tonks said, her voice as shaky as her body.
Sighing, Harry tugged at Tonks' arms to loosen her grip enough to turn and face her. "This is a never-ending cycle. We're back to where we started. You know what you have to do. What do you want me to do, damn it? Hear you say you love me while you're tailing after him like a little lovesick puppy? I'm not willing to go through that! I'm the one that should be pleading to you two, if anything. To come to your senses. To grow up and realize what's happening to you. But I'm not. Because I'm not the one at fault. And I'm not going to beg and plead when I'm not the one in the wrong. If you were in my shoes, what would you do?"
Tonks had no response. Her arms moved from around Harry, one coming to wipe at her eyes. "I guess we'll both just have to wait and see what happens, then."
"Yeah. We will." Harry said. "...Nym?"
"I love you."
Tonks' head came up in time to see Harry brushing past her, hands in his pockets. She watched him leave the room and, a moment later, heard the front door open and close. She stared at the doorway for awhile after Harry left before turning and sitting down on the edge of the bed. Taking a deep breath, she let herself flop backwards on it, staring up at the ceiling.
"I love you, too."
While I do not approve of the methods you have used to subdue your uncle, I do not doubt that you acted in self defense. I will speak to the Ministry on your behalf. Perhaps you realized that, with Cornelius gone, I would have more pull with them than I normally would. You are becoming quite shrewd in your old age, if I may joke about at a time like this. I will come by to personally revive your uncle tomorrow, as I feel it would be the best course of action to take. I realize you may not approve of this, but we simply cannot leave him as a statue. I will tend to his wounds and, if I must, perform the appropriate mind charms on him to make him forget what has happened. This way, it will also ensure that he does not try to harm you or your aunt.
I realize you had to go to Miss Tonks' house to send this, and I ask that you not leave your house again. I fear the rift in your relatives' relationship may be causing a strain on the wards protecting you. No matter what you do, at least until I am able to stop by, please remain inside the house. I will be sending Order members over to help keep an eye on it, but we should not take any more chances than we need to."
Harry finished reading the letter, which ended with Dumbledore signing his ridiculously long name, as he petted Fawkes. Looking down at the phoenix, he asked, "I suppose he wants me to send a reply?"
Fawkes let out a melodic trill in reply.
"I'll take that as a 'yes,' then. Alright, give me a moment." Harry said. Getting up from his bed, he moved to his desk and quickly wrote up a reply to the headmaster. Sticking it in an envelope, he held it out to the phoenix. "There we go."
Fawkes took Harry's letter, flew up off the bed a few feet, and disappeared in a burst of flames. Harry groaned as he threw himself back onto the bed, glancing over at the nightstand where Boris was curled up. "What do you think about all this?"
"I wonder where he thought you MIGHT go after dark." Boris hissed.
"I'm more worried about what he said about the wards on the house. I didn't think about that." Harry murmured, looking up at the ceiling.
When it was time for dinner, Harry went downstairs and made enough for himself, his aunt, and Dudley. His aunt was still up in her bedroom, probably still asleep. That was fine. She had taken a huge step forward and it had probably taken all of her energy to do so. It also helped to ease Harry's mind in regards to the wards on the house. If anything were to happen, having his family upstairs would make them easier to protect. Harry's room was closer to the stairs than his aunt's, and he would probably be capable of detecting anyone closing in. After so many years of people trying to kill him, he had almost picked up a sort of sixth sense on the matter.
Grabbing two plates' worth of food, he left the kitchen and headed upstairs. A quick knock told him his aunt was still asleep. But she needed food, so he opened the door and entered. She was still on the bed, on her side, just as she had been when he had left for Tonks' house earlier.
"Aunt Petunia? Dinner's ready." Harry said, walking over.
Petunia stirred, eyes opening slightly. "Dinner?"
"Yeah. You've been sleeping awhile. Brought one plate for you and one for Dudley." Harry said, holding the food up.
"And yours?" Petunia asked, sitting up and rubbing the sleep from her eyes.
"In the kitchen." Harry said, handing the two plates to his aunt when she held her hands out. "Tell Dudley I said hi, yeah?"
Petunia nodded as Harry turned and walked out of the room. Dudley hadn't recognized anyone in months. But it never hurt to try. Harry headed back downstairs, took his plate over to the table, and sat down.
"Just you and me now." He said, glancing at the still-petrified body of his uncle. "Getting hungry? Furious at me? I know you can still hear. I know you can still think. You're probably wondering what you're going to do to me. I'm afraid to say, but you won't be doing a damn thing to me. Not when you get uncursed, not ever again. Because as soon as I leave here, I'm going to be visiting Gringott's. That would be a wizarding bank. I'm quite rich, see. And, as it's quite possible to convert wizarding money to Muggle money, I've got a few things I plan on doing.
"You see, Vernon, I hold a fair amount of sway in the wizarding world. I'm legendary, whether I want to be or not. And before long, that legend will probably get stronger. I do plan to kill Voldemort again, after all. Anyway, I hold sway. So I plan to help Aunt Petunia get a job once she leaves your worthless ass. Be it Muggle or wizarding, it all depends on what she wants to do. And you know what else I'm going to do? I'm going to get her a place to live. I have more money right now than you'll make in your entire, pathetic little life, see. She'll never have to worry about where she'll live.
"And I'm going to ensure that Dudley gets more proper treatment. Wizards haven't yet figured out a way to fix people whose souls have been taken, but St. Mungo's, our hospital, does a good job in trying. I don't yet know what kind of treatment he'll receive - whether they'll be able to send someone by regularly or whether he'll simply get a room there - but he'll get it, nonetheless. Because unlike you, I can forgive. It wasn't his fault he lost his soul. He was merely following your orders."
Harry smiled as he stabbed a bit of broccoli. "I could probably ensure that you never work anywhere ever again. In fact, if I do go on trial for using magic again you, I can guarantee you won't. You'll be homeless and alone, you fat bastard, while your wife and son are well looked after by the man you've spent over a decade torturing. How does that make you feel? I bet you're burning up, aren't you? I'll be there, you know. The day you die. And I won't offer you an ounce of help or comfort. I'll be there and I'll laugh as you draw your last breath."
Harry finished his dinner in silence, satisfied in the fact that Vernon Dursley was probably screaming incoherently in his own mind right now. It was one of the most entertaining things Harry had ever done in his life, taunting his uncle without the fear of retribution. His dinner had gotten cold during his little speech, but it didn't matter. He would ensure that his aunt and cousin were taken care of one way or another. She had proven herself worthy of saving that morning.
When he finished eating, he took his plate over to sink, moving so that he would have to step on his uncle as he went. Harry had no real plans for that evening, as the day's events had kept him from concentrating on almost anything else. Heading out of the kitchen, he decided that maybe, for the first time in years, he would sit around and just watch television like the normal people did.
Harry snorted at that thought. Normal people. People who didn't live with the constant worry of a Dark Lord coming to exact revenge. People whose families weren't dysfunctional wrecks. People whose love lives weren't needlessly complicated. Normal people.
Harry sat on the center of the couch and grabbed the remote control. The Dursleys watched a surprising amount of television, given that Vernon was strictly anti-everything. Imagination was something for lesser men.
There was very little on in the way of intelligent programming, so Harry flipped it over to a news channel and listened to the reporters prattle on about this and that for awhile. A part of him was hoping to hear some kind of strange story - one that the Muggles couldn't explain. One that might point out what Voldemort and his followers were up to.
But as the hours passed, nothing of the sort came up. Harry had heard his aunt moving about upstairs, but she never brought the plates back down. That was fine, he figured. She probably just wanted to get Dudley fed and then return to sleeping. It felt distinctly weird in the house, though Harry had been feeling that way most of the day.
Boris, who had been around Harry's neck most of the day, suddenly lifted his head. "Harry? Do you feel that?"
"Feel what?" Harry asked, staring at the TV.
"Something's happening." The snake said, slithering around to look behind Harry. "...I think you should check on your family."
"Are you getting paranoid in your old age?" Harry asked. "I don't feel anything. But okay, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. Let's go."
Boris coiled back up around Harry's neck, facing backwards just in case, as the Ravenclaw got up and headed for the stairs. Harry quietly drew his wands as he walked upstairs. He still didn't feel anything out of place, but he knew better than to get complacent. Starting from his room, he made a quick sweep of the upstairs rooms before knocking on the door to his aunt's bedroom.
"Aunt Petunia? Are you awake?" Harry asked, knocking at the door again.
He got no reply, so he cracked the door far enough to peek in. His aunt was once more asleep, though this time she was under the covers and looked to be in her night clothes. Harry closed the door quietly and pocketed his wands.
"Satisfied?" Harry hissed softly.
"No. Something doesn't feel right up here." Boris said. "I just-- HARRY, DUCK!"
Harry dropped down just in time to avoid a bright red burst of magical energy that had shot through the door to his aunt's bedroom. Harry spun around and got back up as quickly as he could, wands back out and aimed for the splintered door, which was slowly creaking open.
"Boris?" Harry asked.
"Be careful." Replied the snake.
Harry brought up a shield spell as he walked towards the now-open door. There were very few things in Harry's life that had truly caught him off-guard. This was one of them. He kicked the door open the rest of the way and stepped in, each wand aimed in a different direction. But there was no one there. His aunt was still in bed as though she hadn't heard anything.
Harry felt his heart skip a beat.
He rushed over the bed and brought a pair of fingers up to his aunt's neck. Immediately, he turned and ran from the room, bursting into Dudley's bedroom. His cousin was laying on his side, facing the door. His eyes were wide open and unblinking. Harry didn't need to check his pulse. He knew just from a glance. His aunt and his cousin were both dead. Someone had broken in and killed them. And whoever it was, they were still there. Harry wasn't alone. Someone had shot that curse through his aunt's door.
"They're like rats." Harry whispered.
"What?" Boris asked.
"Death Eaters. No matter what you do, there's always more. They always survive, while I lose everything." Harry said, stepping out into the hall.
"Come out." Harry said, looking around at the seemingly empty hall.
"Harry, we should leave." Boris said. "It isn't safe here anymore."
"COME OUT!" Harry screamed, the air around him becoming magically charged. "Stop being cowards and face me man to man!"
"Do you really want that?" Came a deep voice from the far end of the hall.
Harry spun towards his aunt's bedroom to see a large man in full Death Eater regalia. His wand was in his right hand, which was at his side. Clearly, the Death Eater didn't consider Harry a threat.
"I'll kill you." Harry said, eyes narrowing.
"You'll try." Corrected the Death Eater. "You're outnumbered."
"Harry!" Boris hissed quickly.
"How many?" Harry hissed back, not taking his eyes off of the Death Eater in front of him.
"Four." Boris said.
"You're going to die here with the rest of your family." Said the deep-voiced Death Eater.
"We'll see about that." Harry said, grinning maniacally. "You obviously haven't heard about what happens to people who piss me off."
"Do you really think you can beat all four of us before we kill you?" Asked the Death Eater. "I don't think you realize how powerful we really are."
"You killed a sleeping woman and a soulless boy. Well done. You're clearly big, tough men!" Harry growled.
"You insist on fighting?" Asked the Death Eater.
"This won't be a fight." Harry said, wands coming up. "This is going to be a slaughter."
Author's Notes: And she was just turning out to be a good person after all. What a shame she had to die.
Welcome, welcome, to book 6 of the R-Series! As you know, I was initially planning to not write OR release anything until the 1st of August, so we could all read book 7 and such first. But I have almost two chapters done right now and it's just eating away at me to NOT have the first uploaded. So you get an early sneak peak. But this time, I promise - no more until the 1st of August.
As you can see, book 6 is rated M instead of the usual T. There's a reason for that. And that reason (at least right now) is solely because of chapter 2. Gets a bit graphic there. Fair warning.
To those who read the fourth Gaiden, you've probably guessed that the deep-voiced Death Eater is, in fact, Dolohov. Originally, the entire Death Eater fight was scheduled for this chapter. But then I realized what I could do with it and decided to postpone it until chapter 2. I has a surprise for youse. Anyone who guesses what's going to happen wins a cookie.
As always, thanks to the fans of my long-running series whose reviews are always a good way to lift my spirits. I hope I make this book as interesting for you as the past five have been. To those wondering, my book 6 will have almost nothing to do with the real one, just as my book 7 will have almost nothing to do with the real one. So sit back and enjoy the ride, kids. I'll see you next time!