They all arrived outside of a tall, broken down building with mildew and chipped brown paint streaking the walls and the house appeared to not have a door. Instead giant boards were nailed over where one should have been which someone had sprayed painted crude words all over. The windows were all covered in ivy that had grown up from the ground, and fallen parts of the roof littered the drying grass. They seemed to be in the middle of a deserted, overgrown field in the middle of no where. There weren't even trees or shrubs in the distance.
"Where are we?" Asked Harry.
"Later," said Mr. Weasley, pulling out a small piece of parchment. "Memorize this."
Starring down at the crumpled piece of parchment, Harry read 3728 Hornbull Home then looked up. Suddenly the broken down home did not look so, well, broken down. There were no longer chipped paint and a dark red door had appeared in place of the boards.
Following Mr. Weasley up to the door, they all entered silently and Harry was pleasantly surprise to see that the gloomy outward appearance did not reflect the interior at all. Bright lights lit the inside, showering everything and leaving a merry residue. They had entered a long hallway which was decorated with stationary pictures of a young couple with a child of around ten who always seemed to be smiling cheekily down on them. A small table with dark violate flower stood against the wall right next to a partway opened door. Voices could be heard from within.
"I don't care how dangerous it is," Harry heard the familiar voice of Professor Lupin ring out. "We need to try it. We have no idea what he's up to and maybe it will give us a lead on Harry."
"Remus," came Professor McGonagall's voice softly. "Even if we could find a way to get someone in, we don't even know where they are. It could be a suicide mission."
"Well since Snape revealed his true colors, we have no one who can give us information," Lupin replied loudly. "We can't just keep sitting here and accomplishing nothing. All we've done is react to what Voldemort does and arrive too late."
They came to the room and Mr. Weasley walked in clearing his throat loudly, breaking up the argument. Following in behind him, Harry stared back at the shocked faces of Professor Lupin, McGonagall, Flitwick, Hagrid, Tonks, Kingsley Shacklebolt, Mad Eye Moody, Fed and George Weasley, Elphias Doge, Dedalus Diggle, Sturgis Podmore, Hestia Jones and about six other people that Harry had never seen before. All were starring at him as if he were a ghost.
Lupin was the first to recover, striding up to him quickly and giving him a giant hug. "Merlin's Beard!" He exclaimed softly, "it is so good to see you." he released Harry, stepping back and letting his eye wander up and down him. Everyone else seemed to come out of their daze at Lupin's words and Harry was forced to stand there uncomfortably as each member of the Older came up and gave him a hug or shook his hand.
When Hagrid had finally reached him, Harry thought he had for sure broken a bone, he was gripped so hard. "Yeh all righ' Harry? Had me scared to death when I 'eard what had 'appened. I couldn' believe it," he said, grinding Harry's bones tighter against each other again before releasing him.
"I'm fine Hagrid," Harry said. "It's good to see you to."
"Well I for one would like to know what happened to Potter," growled Moody, hobbling back to his seat, a dull 'thunck' coming from his wooden leg.
"Give him a break," said Tonks, winking at Harry. "He's just got back." She had bright lime green hair today.
"Well in case you haven't noticed, we don't have the luxury of time," said Moody, glaring at her.
"Alastor, she was only joking," said Lupin solemnly. Turning to Harry he said, "but I do think it would be best if you told us what happened."
"He's been through enough today," sobbed Mrs. Weasley who had never stopped crying since he arrived. "He only just got back, he's probably exhausted."
Even though Harry couldn't have been more rested, he had only sat in the same room for a month, he deeply appreciated Mrs. Weasley's caring words.
"We thought you were dead Potter," said Moody bluntly, "Not many can survive a month with all those dark wizards, especially when that persons been a marked man since he was born, how on earth did you escape?"
Harry smiled inwardly, he had forgotten about the grumpy old ex-Auror and his quirky personality. However the amusement quickly vanished as he saw all of the faces starring at him expectantly. Now he would have to tread carefully if he didn't want to get Snape caught, he found it ironic that he now had to protect Snape from his friends when usually his friends had to stop him from attacking Snape. It was funny how a war could change things.
Taking a deep breath he started from the beginning and told them exactly how he had been captured, the only change he made from the truth was that he said the Death Eater had kept his hood up the whole time and that he couldn't identify him. He said that the man had brought him back to some broken down house and locked him in a room where he had been forced to wait.
Deciding that he would go off the theory that Voldemort had, he said that the Death Eater had taken him before the scheduled attack in some attempt to bring glory to his name or blackmail the Dark Lord, and had ended up locking him in the room the entire time. He finished it off lamely saying that he'd forgot to lock the door and that Harry had coincidentally found his wand while he was escaping. It wasn't his greatest story, but it would have to work and surprisingly they all seemed to accept it.
"So he locked you in a room for a month, that's harsh." Said Fred sympathetically, George nodding beside him in agreement.
"So he was using you against You Know Who then?" Asked Mr.Weasley.
Harry nodded, "Yeah, he was waiting for the Dark Lord to contact him or something I think. Maybe waiting for a reward or something, I'm not sure." For some reason about half of the Order was looking at him oddly and Harry wondered if they could see through his lie that easily.
There was an awkward silence then Moody asked slowly. "So did he force you to do or say anything?"
"No," said Harry. "He didn't do much of anything with me. I think he was afraid to damage the Dark Lord's goods." Again there were the uncomfortable stares which were beginning to annoy him, a couple were even out right frowning at him.
"What?" He asked irritably, he really didn't feel like have the Order question him on his story or gawk at him like everyone, he got that enough from people he didn't know, he didn't need it from those he did.
Looking around the room, no one answered. A few even adverted their eyes when he glared at them. "What is it?" He said, louder this time.
"Harry," said Hermione timidly. When he turned to look at her, he saw confusion and even a little fear in her eyes. "You've just called Voldemort the Dark Lord several times." A shiver went around the room at the name, but Harry was too busy gapping at Hermione as what she meant hit him harm.
"Oh," he said quietly. He glanced around the room and saw that all eyes were focused on him not to mention that a few of the wizards and witches that he didn't know had even drawn their wand.
Then the whole of the situation truly hit home and he couldn't help himself from laughing. He had been using the name out of habit with Snape so that he wouldn't blow up again and had just gotten used to it.
"You think I've sworn myself to Voldemort?" He asked in disbelief, mainly directing the remark towards those who had their wands out. A collective shiver circled the room again, but the Order members kept starring hard at him.
"No one's accusing you of that Potter," said McGonagall stiffly, but her lips were unusually thin. "Perhaps you should explain why you have taken up the new name though; it would clear up a lot of confusion. And Lamerek, Faihert, the rest of you, put your wands away." Under Professor McGonagall's stern eyes, the few who had their wands out quickly lowered them, but none fully pocketed them
"Well, I would imagine you might stop using the name to if it brought the Cruciatus Curse upon you when you did," Harry said flatly, hurt that they could even think such a thing. "But I mean you could be right in your guess too, I mean he either killed or was responsible for the deaths of both of my parents, my Godfather, Cedric and Dumbledore; that would make anyone want to join his ranks. Oh, and except for the little fact that he's tried to do me in about four times since I was a baby, we would probably work really well together, yeah actually I seriously think he could be my new best mate, sorry about that Ron," he said, rolling his eyes dramatically towards Ron who was starring at him with his mouth hanging open. "I guess you've been replaced by Voldemort, I hope you don't mind."
"Harry, I didn't mean it like that," said Hermione sounding very hurt.
"Then how did you mean it?" Snapped Harry angrily. His voice was rising to yell but he didn't care. "I would have thought that at least my closest friends would know me good enough to know that I didn't swear myself to that murderous bastard. Besides Dumbledore, who's now DEAD! I'm the only one who can even say I've stood up against him."
"Well it's not normal for a teen to use the title," said one of the men who Harry had never met and who had taken out his wand earlier. "And you've been gone for a month and come back without a scratch, hardly a plausible story, unless you made some kind of deal with Him."
Harry turned and gazed angrily around at the other order members, trying to discern if that was how they felt as well. The looks on several of their faces said that they fully agreed with the man. "I can't believe that you would dare accuse me of joining up with him while you sit around and do absolutely nothing to try and stop him. You are an insult to the Order that Dumbledore began."
"Potter…" Warned Professor McGonagall.
Glaring at her, Harry shook his head angrily. After all that he had been through and all that he had seen because of the raving lunatic of a dark wizard, he could not believe that anyone could possibly think he would join him. He knew that he was about to cross a serious line by exploding like this in front of the order but he couldn't of cared less.
"No," he shouted. "This is ridiculous! You accuse me of being a traitor when I'm the only one who's done anything to actually try and stop him. Unless I'm mistake it was me who stopped him my first year and oh wait, yep it was me again who faced a basilisk and stopped Voldemort from coming back once again in my second year," he rolled his eyes as many once again flinched at the name. "For Merlin's sake half of you are afraid of a name. You haven't even met the actual mad before but you cower when some one just says his name. You're all terrified of him and what he does but instead of doing something you sit around and do nothing as always. Last time I checked everyone was just going to sit around my first year and let him steal the stone which was horribly protected to start off with."
"Now see here Mr. Potter, you have a right to be upset but you are now out of line. You shall not speak in that tone of voice to us and it was Albus Dumbledore himself that set up that protection and which was nearly impossible to get through."
With a dry laugh, Harry turned towards her. Seeing the harden look in his eyes, Professor McGonagall actually took a step back. "Professor," he said with mock politeness, "surely if three first year students can make it through then one might think that Voldemort could as well. And not to mention the fact that the school has been housing a giant Basilisk for Slytherin only knows how many years. Except for me no one bothered to look for that either when Voldemort decided to send it on a killing rampage."
"Potter, only the heir of Slytherin could get down there and control the beast," Professor McGonagall snapped, beginning to get angry herself.
"Well lucky me then, I must be his bloody long lost heir since I got down there."
"Don't be absurd Potter of course your not his heir," growled Moody.
"Oh yeah, I forgot, everyone seems to know more about me than I do so of course your right." Moody made to stand up, but Tonks quickly grabbed his arm and pulled him back into his sat
"It doesn't matter anyways," he spat. "But even forgetting all of those things, none of you can say you've lost as much as I have to Him. None of you can say you were a marked man at the age of one, or that your parents were killed by Him just because of a stupid prophesy. Or that you had to witness your school mate kick it just because Voldemort only wanted to keep you alive so that he could use your blood, blood of an enemy I might add, so that he could return.
"And correct me if I'm wrong, but when's the last time one of you had Voldemort, or I guess I should call him master now, yeah that's right, had your master break into your mind and trick you into thinking that the one person who you love and who actually loved you back is being tortured to death because he wants to get you down to that bloody Department of Mysteries. And then after you realize that it was a trap, are then forced to watch that person you tried to save die. None of you have experienced that! And then to put the icing on the cake, which one of you can say that you watched the only man who could help you survive this blasted war be killed right before your eyes while helpless to do anything about it. Because Dumbledore was with me and trying to help me, he was killed."
He took in a deep shuttering breath, shutting his eyes quickly. He had never voiced Dumbledore's death being his fault out loud before. The admission rebounded hollowly in his ears as his throat tightened again at the though of Dumbledore's death. Opening his eyes, he was even more infuriated to see everyone in the room staring at him like he was from another universe.
"And I am so sick of people starring at me everywhere I go!" He shouted, all his anger over his life fully coming out. All the glass cups in the room shattered and the windows collapsed inwardly as his power fumed with his anger. Turning with clinched fists, he walked towards the door, those behind him quickly stepping back at the deadly look in his eye. Without looking he said softly but very clearly, "everyone either expects me to do something amazing and save the whole world or else, like you all and the ministry, seen to try and find something wrong with me. Well I've had enough; I"m done with this war. The Boy Who Bloody Lived has had enough so you can go out and find yourself a new chosen one." And with that Harry Potter walked through the door.
Author Note- well there you have it, I hope you enjoyed it and that you will please, pretty please, review. I truly will add more chapters sooner if I feel like people actually are enjoying this fic. Thanks!