Chapter 1: The Truth of Privet Drive
Harry Potter was sitting at desk looking out his window of number 4 Privet Drive into nothingness. He was attempting to understand everything that had happened to him this year. First was the fact the Voldemort was back and no one believed him or Dumbledore. Dumbledore…there was a serious situation. He had left Harry alone this year, refused to meet his eyes and caused Sirius' death. Yes Dumbledore wasn't very high on Harry's list of people he would invite to Christmas he thought. Thinking of Christmas led to Sirius. Sirius Orion Black, Harry's godfather was dead. There was a huge hole in his heart where Sirius once had been. If was strange that in a couple of years, Sirius had become very important to him.
Then there was the prophecy and Voldemort. …Either must die at the hand of the other… "How in the hell am I supposed to kill him. I'm nothing special!!"
At that moment there was a very distinctive pop in the room. Harry spun around and had his wand pointed point blank between the eyes of the man himself, Albus Dumbledore.
"I mean you no harm Harry." Dumbledore said with his hands in the air.
Harry thought for a moment, and then decided to question this person, to make sure he was really Dumbledore. I need something that only we would know "What did you tell me you wanted for Christmas in my first year?"
Dumbledore's eyes twinkled more then had in a long time. "I told you I wanted a nice pair of wool socks. Every Christmas since then, I have received 6 pairs of muggle men's wool hiking socks." Harry smiled and lowered his wand. It was true, Harry always gave his headmaster the socks, and it was a small private joke between them that meant quite a bit to both of them.
"Sorry sir, but I had to be sure. I know you said I was safe here, but I don't trust my aunt and uncle to do something that might endanger me again." Harry finished his thought thinking about the abuse that he had put with over the years.
"I'm sorry sir; I'm being rude; would you care to sit down somewhere?" Harry moved to straighten his chair for the headmaster.
"Thank you Harry, but please, allow me." With a wave of his hand 2 large over stuffed chair appeared along with an end table a full tea service. Dumbledore sat in his chair and motioned for Harry to do the same.
After pouring tea for the 2 of them, Dumbledore looked at Harry deeply and began. "Harry, as I told you the night Sirius died, I am sorry for what I have placed you through. It was negligence on my part for not checking up on you and for not believing what Mrs. Figg told me. After our chat, I spent a great deal of time going over everything that has happened since your parents' death. In my old age, I have realized that I have placed you into a position that you could have been gravely injured. While I had the best intentions at heart, the reality is that you were not killed because of the wards I placed."
"Sir, there is a muggle saying; the road to hell is paved with good intentions. While I am not happy with what has happened, I accept it and I accept that are you trying to balance multiple things at once. So, I guess…I accept your apology for your actions. Now I know you have many better things to do, so I'll let you—"
Dumbledore cut him off "You are wrong Harry; you are the most important thing to me right now. When James and Lily went into hiding, I was asked that if anything should ever happen to them and the other Marauders that I take care of you. I failed them and you. So I must now make amends for my actions……There are things that I have discovered while shifting through my memories that I need answers too. First, did Vernon and Petunia abuse you?"
Harry nodded and answered in a monotone voice. "I lived in the cupboard under the stairs for my first 10 years here at the house. I was forced to cook and clean every meal and never given anything more then bread and water. I did not even know my name wasn't 'boy' until I was 5 years old. I was beaten if I asked questions or did to better then Dudley in school.
"I was forced to do all the weeding and gardening, along all the chores. When guests came over, I was locked up in my cupboard where I dreamed of dying and being with my dead parents. I was told that they were drunks and killed in a car crash. Dudley's favorite game was and still is 'Harry Hunting' which includes chasing me down and beating the hell out of me. The entire neighborhood thinks I go to St. Brutus' School for Criminally Ill Boys and I am a delinquent who causes trouble. Then to top it all off, Vernon has broken multiple ribs, my arm twice, right leg three times and enough bruising to make it look like I just played in the Quidditch World Cup as a bludger. So Headmaster, they answer to your unasked question is yes, they have abused me many, many times."
For the first time in his life, Harry Potter saw Dumbledore angry. This wasn't the rage of an old man, but rather the rage of a Lion defending his own cub. Harry knew he should be scared, but also he knew that he safe because this was Albus Dumbledore, greatest wizard of the age, and Harry's protector; unfortunately for the Dursleys, Dumbledore wasn't their protector and was very, very pissed off.
The magic flowing off Dumbledore was intense, but it was also mesmerizing to young Harry. After a few moments, Dumbledore calmed himself down enough to speak again.
"Harry, thank you for your brutal honesty; I did not know it was this bad. I would assume that your magic healed you almost every night then?" Harry only nodded
"Very well, they have forced me to take action. Harry you will no longer be staying here with these muggles—"
At that moment Vernon Dursley burst through the door with a baseball bat in hand. "Boy I said I would beat the unnaturalness out of you and I meant it."
Before Vernon could raise his bat, Dumbledore hit him square in the jaw with his fist. He then turned back to Harry as if he wasn't disturbed. "Harry, I want you to pack all your belongings except your broom, wand, and a warm jacket and be in the living room in 30 minutes I am going to have a……chat with Vernon and Petunia. Also, I have modified the wards so that you may do magic without being detected." With a swish of his cloak, Dumbledore walked out Harry's room with the unconscious form of Vernon Dursley floating behind him.
Twenty minutes later, Harry was standing in the entry hall looking at Vernon, Petunia, and Dudley Dursley all in various states of panic. Both Vernon and Dudley had wet spots on their pants where they had peed themselves. Petunia was in tears and babbling like a baby. Dumbledore stood over them with an extremely stern look on his face and waves of magic flowing off of him. Harry had never seen the Headmaster this angry before.
"Now, I have already contacted the authorities, and you will be arrested for child abuse, neglect, and attempted murder. You will pay for your crimes, all of you." Dumbledore then turned and walked towards Harry.
"Ah Harry, you're ready early I see. Good, if I could see your owl Hedwig for a moment please?" Harry opened her cage and gently brought Hedwig out. She flew over to the Professor's out stretched arm.
"A magnificent Snowy Owl, Hedwig you are a very rare animal indeed." Hedwig hooted softly straightened up, evidently she loved this kind of praise.
"And you are humble too, just like your master. Hedwig, you may either fly to Hogwarts, or you may travel with Dobby, who will take Harry's trunk." Hedwig hooted softly and flew over to perch on top of her cage.
A moment later, Dobby the House Elf appeared, bowed to Harry and Dumbledore. "Hello Harry Potter sir, Headmaster sir, I is here to take Harry Potter sir's things back to his home for him. Dobby would like to help Headmaster Dumbledore sir teach Harry Potter's relatives many lessons."
Albus smiled at the little Elf, "That is alright Dobby, I have already discussed a few things with them, please take Harry's trunk and owl back to the castle please."
Dobby nodded his head and moved to touch Harry's trunk and Hedwig's cage. Hedwig landed on Dobby's hat and hooted softly, then they disappeared with all of Harry's possessions.
"That is the first time Dobby hasn't tried to tackle me in greeting. Is he alright?" Harry asked after the elf was gone.
"Dobby is fine, just worried about Winky is all. I also instructed Dobby to leave you be tonight, but I am sure come tomorrow, he will be glued to you.
"Now, I want to recharge the Wards here before we leave. Just pull out your wand and point it straight down. Good, now I want you to relax and think about any good feelings you have. I would suggest the Weasleys and the World Cup."
Harry relaxed and thought about watching the games with the Weasleys; how he was treated like a brother and then an image of Ginny popped into his head. But his feelings were not brotherly. He wasn't sure what this feeling was, but he liked it. A moment later, Dumbledore brought him out of his stupor.
"Very well done Harry, whatever that image was, it was very strong, that image alone had enough emotion to recharge the Wards all by itself. Tell me Harry, was it about a certain young woman with red hair that you were thinking of?" Harry blushed 'Weasley Red' and mumbled something Dumbledore could not understand.
Albus Dumbledore laughed and patted Harry's shoulder. "Its ok Harry, the Potter Family curse is to fall in love with red heads. Now, come, let us leave here.