Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of the other wonderful creations from J.K.R.'s brilliant mind.
A/N: This takes place during Harry's sixth year. This story is rated M due to non-con, language, torture scenes, and slash(in later chapters) This story will start a little slow on the first chapter or two and then really picks up. This is a Severitus type story and the slash will not occur until somewhere past the middle of it. As of lately, I've been posting every few days, so expect a new chapter at least once a week. Enjoy!
This New Life
Chap. 1 Missing!
The chatter of a great many young voices sounded through the Great Hall in exited talk of the upcoming Christmas holidays, but Harry Potter sat in silent contemplation at the recent turn of events. Mere hours ago, he was informed by Dumbledore himself that for the first time ever, he would have to return home for the holidays. With Voldemort rising in power, the school governors had decided that the wards around Hogwarts must be strengthened and it was decided that all students would be sent home due to the school's vulnerability during the re-warding process.
"Are you o.k. Harry?" Hermione softly asked, sliding her hand across the table and lightly touching her fingertips to the back of Harry's hand which had been resting on the tabletop gripping a fork for the last 10 minutes without the slightest movement.
Startled out of his silence, Harry quickly made eye contact with his bushy-haired friend and gave a weak smile.
"I'm fine , Hermione. It's just…," Harry paused, trying to think of a way to put how he felt into words. "I'm not exactly sure what to expect from Uncle Vernon. He's not going to be happy about this."
"I still don't see why you can't just come home with me, mate" Ron shook his head in disappointment. "I still think you'd be safer with us than with those muggle relatives of yours."
"Don't worry about it too much, Ron. It'll only be for a few weeks. Uncle Vernon may be mad about the situation, but really, there's not much that could happen in the short amount of time I'll be there." Harry missed the pointed look that passed between his two friends upon hearing that. Harry suddenly got a determined look on his face and rose from his seat. " I'm going to go pack my things for the trip home tomorrow. I'll catch up to you both later." And with that, Harry quickly left the Great Hall on his way to Gryffindor tower.
The following morning, the trio found themselves sitting aboard the Hogwarts Express on their way back home. Harry was in a contemplative mood and he occupied his time quietly staring out of the window at the passing scenery, while Ron and Hermione discussed their holiday plans, only occasionally glancing in Harry's direction with looks of concern. It seemed that ever since Sirius had died at the end of last school year, Harry easily slipped into small bouts of withdrawn solitude. After several failed attempts to draw him into their conversation, Ron and Hermione had finally decided to let him be.
Several hours later, the train began to slow as it pulled into the station at platform 9 ¾. Harry had fallen asleep about an hour ago, his head resting against the window, his breath fogging the glass close to his mouth. Ron laid his hand on Harry's shoulder and shook it gently, "Wake up, Harry. We're here." Harry jerked his head up with a start, looked around in sleepy confusion for a moment and, remembering where he was, hurried to his feet. The three friends lugged their trunks behind them as they exited the train and walked through the barrier separating their world from the muggles. After finding an empty bench to wait on, they talked quietly amongst themselves while waiting for their families to pick them up. It was only a few minutes later when Mrs. Weasley showed up to get Ron.
"Harry, dear, are you sure you don't want to come with us for the holidays?"
"Trust me, Mrs. Weasley, its not because I don't want to go, its because Professor Dumbledore decided it would be safer for me to stay at my relatives' house. I practically begged to get to stay with Ron, but there is no changing Professor Dumbledore's mind when it comes to these sort of things."
"Yes, I guess you're right. Well, do send an owl every few days to let us all know how you're doing. Oh, and don't forget to look for Errol come Christmas morning, we'll be sending a few things your way."
Harry smiled up at her, " Thanks Mrs. Weasley."
"Think nothing of it dear," She threw her arms around him in a fierce hug, "Have a good holiday, we'll be thinking about you."
She released him from her arms and turned around to hug Ginny who had just walked over from a small group of forth year students that were standing around a large pillar talking. Ron and Harry exchanged goodbyes and the Weasleys soon parted, leaving him and Hermione alone. They talked quietly for a few minutes until Hermione's parents showed up. Hermione turned to Harry, "You did tell your Uncle that you needed to be picked up, right?"
"Of course," Harry replied with a resigned look on his face, "But it's just like him to make me wait a long time for him to show up. It's just another way for him to show me he's the boss. He never does anything till he's good and ready to do it." Harry glanced up and caught Hermione's concerned look. "Really Hermione, it'll be fine, he'll come sooner or later. Don't wait on my account, I'll be o.k. until he arrives."
Hermione bit her bottom lip in a look of pure indecision, but moments later, she reluctantly said her goodbye to Harry and walked with her parents out of the station, throwing a look at Harry over her shoulder every few paces.
Harry sat quietly, looking around, observing the bustle of activity that always occurs around busy train stations like this one. He was unaware of how much time had passed in this manner until he suddenly realized that it had started to get dark. He now began to worry. Uncle Vernon had never made him wait this long before. Had something happened?
Harry got up and walked towards the main entrance to the station, dragging his heavy trunk behind him, and clutching the handle of Hedwig's cage in his other hand. He had a few muggle coins in his pocket and had decided to look for a phone booth to call his Uncle from. He looked out into the inky blackness of night and saw a phone booth on the far corner of the station, not that far from the parking lot.
As he walked towards it, he suddenly felt the strange sensation of being watched. He cautiously looked around before setting his trunk and Hedwig up against the side of the booth and walking in. He grabbed the phone up and put it to his ear, but before his finger dialed a single number, he felt something hard shoved up against the nape of his neck and a few words were breathed into his ear, "Come quietly Potter, or you won't live to see morning."
He dropped the phone and tried to turn to look at his attacker, but the assailant was clutching the back of Harry's shirt in a deadly tight grip. Before he could think about what was happening, he was literally dragged out of the booth. His senses suddenly returned to him and he began to thrash around trying to escape his captor's hold. His right foot made contact with Hedwig's cage and the its door was flung open as the cage crashed noisily to the ground. Hedwig immediately took flight, disappearing into the darkness of night.
Harry threw his head to each side trying to find something to aid him in his plight. What he saw made him gasp out loud. Several cloaked figures were swiftly approaching, closing in around him as he struggled. Before he knew what was coming, the death eaters had surrounded and then stunned him. Harry felt blackness close in on him and the last thing he heard before he lost consciousness was the sound of harsh laughter.
Several hours later, at Hogwarts, as Dumbledore sat at his desk enjoying a cup of tea and a handful of lemon drops, he was suddenly brought out of his thoughts by a light tapping noise at his office window. He slowly rose from his seat and made his way over to the window, thinking it to be some more of the regular correspondence he typically received as headmaster of the school. As he allowed the owl into the room, he immediately became alarmed as he recognized it to be Hedwig. Dumbledore than began a series of urgent fire-calls and within the following hour, it was learned that Harry Potter never made it home. He was missing!