Common Sense: The Odd Ideas File

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The Décor Could Really Use Some Improvement

A/N: I enjoy Harry in Azkaban stories, but I've not yet come up with a reason to write a full story. Here's a little morsel of an idea.

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The quartet trooped up from the rickety dock to the imposing steel gates of Azkaban prison.

"I still don't see why I'm here," Severus Snape grumbled.

"The boy might need potions," Dumbledore shot back.

The aged warlock was severely angry at having been deceived for nine months. Harry Potter was innocent. The Wizengamot had sent an innocent to Azkaban (and not for the first time). He needed the boy, as the boy would have to stand against a rapidly strengthening Voldemort, but who was to say what they would find inside the prison walls.

Dumbledore knocked on the thick steel door and an Auror came a few minutes later to open it.

"I have a writ for the release of Harry Potter."

"Potter, eh? Let me see the writ then." The suspicious Auror cast a few detection spells and found the document genuine.

"Well, sorry to hear that he wasn't guilty. The damage has already been done, I suspect. Mr. Potter isn't exactly all together any longer…."

Remus Lupin almost collapsed against the door in anger and sadness. He'd been one of the few who argued that Harry was innocent. But no one listened to a werewolf.

Minerva McGonagall, the final member of the quartet, had demanded to come along to help release one of her former Gryffindors. Of course, with his 'conviction,' his wand had been snapped and he'd been expelled from Hogwarts. But, that didn't change things in her mind. She had a steely frown on her face.

"Take us to his cell," she said.

The walk was long and horror inducing. Potter was apparently kept in the deepest dungeon of the prison, right next to the chamber where the Dementors congregated between duty rounds. Harry Potter had twenty four hour a day exposure to the foul creatures.

"Who configured this?"

"Scrimgeour, when he became Minister," the Auror said. Remus began plotting. Rufus was a dead man, he just didn't know it.

The guard performed a magical charm to reveal a door in what was seemingly a solid stone wall.

"High security got tighter after Sirius Black escaped and the Death Eaters broke out a year ago."

Even Snape looked a bit queasy at all this.

The Auror guard opened the door and the quartet was shocked to listen to a raspy voice singing. "Ashes, ashes, we all fall down."

He began the little ditty again before Dumbledore could summon up the nerve to step inside the small, fetid space. "Pocket full of posies…."

Suddenly the grating voice stopped and an emaciated Harry Potter. "Mr. Spattergoit, you look awful."

Dumbledore pointed to himself, questioning the statement. He didn't like the name Harry had just given him, but the boy was obviously disturbed. Harry, in truth, was the one who looked awful.

"Harry, it's Professor Dumbledore."

"Mr. Spattergoit, what a pleasure you came. No one told me otherwise I'd offer you some tea." Harry gestured toward the battered metal bucket he used as a toilet.

Dumbledore frowned. He certainly wasn't a disgusting, virulent wizarding disease, even if Harry kept addressing him that way. He would never accept any of Harry's 'tea,' either.

"We found evidence that you were innocent, Harry. You didn't kill the Dursleys, Harry."

The disturbed young man looked up and frowned. "Well of course I never beat any dustbins, Spattergoit. Going soft in the head, are you?"

"Dursleys," Dumbledore began to say.

"Dear Professor Gonorrhea, don't lurk in the doorway. Mr. Snorkack and Mr. Tinkerbell need to come inside…"

Minerva McGonagall moved unconsciously, as she knew she was now 'Professor Gonorrhea,' a vile muggle disease, but she couldn't open her mind to protest.

Tinkerbell and Snorkack, neither one knowing exactly which was which, came into the cramped, vile cell.

"Open your mouth, Potter," Snape said. "I have some healing and strengthening potions for you."

"I believe Tinkerbell just farted. Someone rap the old beast on the nose with a rolled up newspaper. Bad Tinkerbell."

Snape snarled in response, readying his arm to throw the potions to the floor and destroy their value. Minerva stayed his hand. She pulled them from him and then whispered, "Bad Tinkerbell."

Harry had continued on with his mad muttering. Remus helped the underage wizard to his feet. "It's very kind of you, Mr. Snorkack. I was led to believe your kind only existed in Sweden, but that's clearly wrong. I do wonder as to where you keep your Crumpled Horn, but I shan't ask in front of mixed company…."

Remus gasped and almost dropped Harry. Minerva tamped down any reaction and started opening the potions bottles that Severus had brought along. Harry swallowed them – not without complaint – and tried to sing a song about blackbirds.

Snape opened his mouth and began spewing invective before Harry's head turned toward the bitter man. "Tinkerbell, I believe you've been infected with nargles."

"Don't call me, Tinkerbell, you useless little shite…."

Remus tapped Snape on the shoulder and the dark man stopped his ranting.

"I wonder who in the world called all of you here. Mr. Spattergoit, could you elucidate?"

Dumbledore looked surprised for a few minutes. "Well, err, the Muggle please-men found the murder weapon – a knife apparently – over at someone else's house a few hours after your trial, Harry. We only just got word from some of our contacts, you see."

"Tinkerbell and Spattergoit humping in a tree. Ashes, ashes, all the grease blows up…"

Snape lurches across the room as if to attack Harry.

"What a vicious dog, Mr. Spattergoit. He really should have been put down years ago. In fact, there's only one treatment for him now."

He pushed Remus toward the door. Remus bumped Minerva out of the room and then Remus fell on the floor outside the cell. Harry quickly snatched Dumbledore's wand from the aged warlock's hand. He waved the wand and said, "Flibberty Gibbet Muggledy Doo."

Harry stepped out of the tiny cell just as the door rapidly slammed shut, propelled by magic. Harry stuck the wand just in front of the door frame so that it shattered into two pieces when the door sealed.

The Auror shouted upon witnessing this. "The wand's ruined. We won't be able to reverse the locking charm…. Damned thing's the strongest the Unspeakables have ever crafted."

Harry leaned against the wall and slumped to the floor. He'd stopped muttering and singing by now. "The decor has definitely improved in there, what with Spattergoit's robes." Harry smiled an evil little grin. "I don't care if either of them gets out. The real murderer is in that room now, along with his enabler. Let them both starve to death."

Remus, Minerva, and the Auror all looked at the suddenly very aware Harry Potter with shock and surprise.

"Someone help me up. I'll answer your questions as we leave this hell hole."

The Auror looked like he wanted to disagree, but Remus silenced the man with a glare.

Minerva looked back toward the disappeared cell door, but then remembered what Harry had just said.

"You said that the murderer is in that cell now…."

Remus held Harry as they began to walk from Azkaban.

The Auror trailed behind trying to figure out what to do. In truth he could do nothing until he summoned other people, cursebreakers and Unspeakables, to help unseal the door. Those nonsense words could only be reversed by the same wand that cast the locking charm; an important security precaution in a place like this…which Harry had just turned again them. The provision was so new there weren't even any laws or regulations to prohibit what Harry had just done. It wasn't yet a crime.

Harry turned his head a bit toward Minerva (or Professor Gonorrhea). "Snape accepted the mission from Voldemort. He convinced Dumbledore I was guilty…and the old fool went along with his pet murderer. I never did figure out why Dumbledore trusted Snape…but I saw the things Severus Snape can do in my visions. He was also the one who overheard the prophecy that links Voldemort and me…the one who condemned my parents to their deaths. I hope Dumbledore dies first in that small, disgusting cell. Not even a house elf can pop inside, you know…."

Remus sobbed even as he held Harry up. Harry's raspy voice was weakening as he hadn't used it much in the last few months, but he had a little more to say.

"After I was convicted, Snape went back and hid the bloody knife in Piers Polkiss' house and then cast an Imperio at a Muggle constable to investigate the boy. It was all part of an involved plan, one you believed without question…." Harry glared at his former Head of House.

"How did you know?" Remus asked.

"I found out after I was here. I still have the visions, of course it's worse because of the Dementors being so close. Voldemort's plan was to weaken me with the Dementors, the lack of food, the knowledge of those close to me betraying me, and the physical coldness of sleeping on stones forever. Then he'd produce the evidence to free me, from another Imperius'd muggle handing a packet to Kingsley in the Muggle Prime Minister's office, so I'd be easy pickings. Snape was to have portkeyed me away later tonight from out of the Hogwarts infirmary. He seemed particularly gleeful when given that part of the assignment."

Minerva McGonagall had never been speechless before, but she was now. Remus just groaned in frustration.

"You're in awfully bad shape. What will you do now, Mr. Potter? I'm sure I can get you a bed in the Hogwarts Infirmary…." she said.

"I'm leaving." Harry had listened to the offer and rejected it before all the words were out of Minerva's mouth.

"I don't understand."

"Voldemort can kill everyone here. There's nothing left here of value, Professor."

"Surely you don't mean that."

He pivoted his head a few degrees. "I mean everything I say."

Minerva thought back to the earnest young man in front of her. He'd warned her years ago about the Philosopher's Stone being in danger; she'd ignored it. He'd proclaimed his innocence about his name coming out of the Goblet of Fire and she'd half doubted him. He'd proclaimed his innocence from the three murders he was convicted of perpetrating. She'd followed Albus' lead then, too. Apparently she was, like Albus, an unwitting tool of Voldemort's plans. Could she have been so stupid for so long?

"I will collect my possessions; take the contents out of my Gringotts vault; and leave. Remus is welcome to join me if he wishes, but you'll have to find your own way, Professor. You doubt me even now."

She tried to shake off the chills flickering over her body. "Do you wish to see your friends?"

"I wish to collect my belongings. If they still have my things, then I want them back. Them, as friends, no. I have no need for useless people who crumble like they did. They'll perish like every other witch and wizard on this godforsaken rock."

McGonagall couldn't formulate any more questions.

"Is that it, Professor? I knew you would be coming for a few days now, so I've made a lot of plans in my head. I can see the door just ahead. Time for one more question."

"You would really abandon us?"

"Dumbledore told me the prophecy. I have to kill the old wacko or else no one can. Dumbledore knew this and still didn't bother to see if I had committed the crimes I was accused of. He's utterly useless. I figure I'll let Tom Riddle execute the plans he has in the works before I come back in five or ten years to finish him off. He knows that the body he got from a ritual is already beginning to fail; he'll be an easy target in a few years, especially after I heal up and get some serious training. You, Professor Gonorrhea, will be a corpse in a ditch; so will all the other traitors. Goodbye, Professor."

Remus and Harry vanished in the twirl of a portkey.

Minerva later discovered that Harry left Britain eight hours later with several multi-compartment trunks. His Gringotts vaults were empty and Remus was the only person Harry allowed to accompany him on his plane ride to…wherever.

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A/N: I think numerous long speeches after getting released from Azkaban wouldn't be Harry's style. Thus a simple little explication of the plot; no simpering Ron or Hermione trying to get back into Harry's good graces. My little twist on the old cliché makes me smile, though. A bit of vengeance; a bit of a kick in the pants; a bit of a f--- you.

I might do more with this idea in future chapters…maybe.