A/N My version of the fourth Harry Potter book. I will do all of the books excluding the first three (the story didn't seem to get started till the fourth book so I'm leaving out the others). It will have the general outline of the fourth novel but there will be enough additional features to dramatically change the story. Enjoy! (Hopefully) ;)
Disclaimer: I obviously don't own Harry Potter or any other aspects of the series written by none other than J.K. Rowling.
Chapter 1: A New Ally
A small, raven-haired boy strode upon the newly paved sidewalk of Privet Drive. His green eyes shone brightly against his sunken face. He wore baggy jeans with a slightly patched up tee shirt that hung limply to the side, too big to stay straight upon the skeletal figure of the boy. Beneath the shirt, his skin was stretched across his bulging ribcage. His glasses were cracked in several places and his hair was strewn messily across his pale face, untamable. Large bangs fell across his forehead, effectively covering the latent lightning bolt shaped scar that appeared as he ran his hand through his hair.
Eyes downcast, Harry continued on until he reached the familiar grass of the park. Moving steadily forward, he headed for the nearest swing, not caring to look up due to his great sense of familiarity with the region. Sitting on the swing, he began to sway gently back and forth, allowing the wind to penetrate his shirt. He looked at the ground, thinking of how strange the past three years of his life had been. He thought of meeting Ron and Hermione and the Sorcerer's Stone. He thought of Ginny and the Chamber of Secrets, but most of all, he thought of Sirius, his recently discovered godfather. He had written to Sirius often in the few days since his return from school for his summer "vacation," filling him in on what had happened in the past few years. Sirius had become much like a father, friend and mentor to Harry. Harry had often thought of living with Sirius, as they had discussed the previous year, attempting to come up with ideas on what they would do now that Sirius was in hiding.
His deep thinking caused him to miss the movement behind the slide in before him. He even missed the sound of snickering voices, but fortunately there are some things that even the most unobservant people can't miss, such as the trembling of the ground as an ape charges, or the hair prickling on your neck as an enemy approaches you unawares. The event taking place was neither of these, though the cause of it did fairly resemble said ape, for the bulky form of Harry's cousin was descending upon him.
Feeling the swing begin to tremble, Harry immediately became alert. Looking up, he saw Dudley heading for him in full waddle (too slow for it to be called a sprint). Stopping the swing, he kicked at the ground in front of him, propelling himself backwards out of the slide and away from Dudley. Rolling to his feet he turned and ran in a single fluid motion. Having done so many times in the past, it was no wonder his movement looked like a well-practiced routine.
Running as fast as he could, Harry took off down the street, not realizing that he'd taken the wrong route until it was too late. Instead of being able to take off through the various alleyways that he knew so well with to lose his pursuers, he avoided them at all cost, not knowing which ones were safe to enter. He simply had to outrun Dudley's gang or have his face pummeled in. That thought seemed to give him an extra boost of energy as he ran faster in his desperate attempt to escape Dudley and his goons.
Tearing through the streets as fast as his legs could go, he tried to block out the sound of their voices taunting him. He was beginning to tire and his legs felt as if they were gaining weight as he went, but he wasn't going to give up so easily, and he pressed his legs harder. Rounding a familiar pair of houses at the end of the street, he turned towards the Dursley's house, the closest to a safe haven he could think of despite the hatred felt towards him by each resident. Soon, the footsteps of his pursuers followed, pounding the earth in an attempt to catch him. Turning to see how close they were, Harry noticed that there were fewer of them than when they started. Deciding that they must have tired and dropped out of the chase, he continued without giving them much thought.
He soon found out what had really happened to the missing members of the gang. A shout came from his right along with a bustling of feet. Harry turned to see the cause of the commotion only to see two of Dudley's friends hopping a fence that would put them directly in front of his escape route.
Seeing that he had no choice but to stand and fight, he looked his attackers up and down to see whom he held the most chance in taking down. One was of a build much like Harry's though slightly more muscular. The other seemed to resemble Dudley in size and speed, as he was lagging far behind the other. Harry's decision was quick and he spun smoothly on his heel to face the smaller opponent, thrusting his fist into the boy's face and dropping him instantly. His victory was short-lived though, as the boy's partner reached him.
He clumsily swung out at Harry's head, nearly falling over as he did so. Harry, having picked up a few boxing techniques from dodging his cousin's attacks when they were younger, ducked below the punch and brought his fist up to hit the boy squarely in the jaw. The look of surprise on the boy's face had barely registered before Harry hit him in his stomach with a quick kick.
The boy slumped to the ground and Harry turned towards the rest of the group to ready himself against further attack. Panting slightly, he shifted his weight having learned that it was best to fight from this position after numerous brawls with Dudley. There were still three goons left, not including Dudley. Had Harry not been so tire, he would have realized that there had been four when he had last looked back.
Dudley and his two friends stopped a few yards in front of him as if waiting for something. As Harry caught his breath, he realized that the last man was missing and started to search for the sneak before catching himself. Pretending not to notice the lack of members in Dudley's gang, Harry began to plan his assault. Figuring that the boy would try to take him from behind, he readied himself for the attack.
Hearing a light footstep directly behind him, he spun on the spot and kicked towards the sound. He felt his foot connect and tried to bring it back down, only to feel his leg lifted higher as he hurtled through the air. The boy had seen the kick coming and had blocked it, effectively throwing Harry off balance. Harry lay there for a moment, dazed, before a shadow crossed over his path. Dudley's face loomed dangerously above him, breathing in quick gasps. Despite his hard breathing, Dudley was smiling as he raised his fist, waiting for moment before bringing it down.
"Stop!" called a girl's voice seconds before impact. Dudley replied by jerkily stopping his hand and turning to look at Harry's savior, causing him to stumble over Harry's body. Harry scrambled to his feet, shaken from the close call, and searched for the source of the voice. When he located her, he nearly fell again at the sight of her. She had chestnut brown hair that flowed like water down her back, along with light blue eyes that seemed to transform into lightning at her apparent anger with Dudley. Her face was smooth and her body pleasantly curved. She wore a miniature pair of shorts that left little to the imagination and a tight-fitting shirt at least two sizes too small. Harry stood there gawking at her for a moment before he regained his senses and straightened himself.
"Err…thanks," was about all that he could muster before he heard snickering behind him. Dudley had regained his footing and was standing among the ranks of his gang, smirking at Harry.
"Look at itty bitty Potter and his girlfriend, can't even fight for himself; has to have a girl come to his rescue." The boys roared with laughter.
"He's got to be better than you," the girl replied with disdain. "You need six people to take out a guy who probably weighs a fourth as much as you do. Now if you don't want me to call the police on your sorry arses then you'd best get out of my sight before the count of ten." Dudley laughed, unbelieving. "One..." She tapped her foot impatiently. "Two..." She crossed her arms. "Three..." She narrowed her eyes. "Four..." She pulled out her cell phone. "Five..." Dudley began to get nervous. "Six..." She opened her cell phone case. "Seven..." She dialed the number. "Eight..." and with that Dudley was off, tearing down the street as fast as he could, his gang close behind him. The girl rolled her eyes and angrily pushed a strand of hair behind her ear. Showing Harry her cell phone, he saw, to his great amusement, that it was completely dead.
He stood there for a few moments, not knowing what to say. "Well, you could thank me," the girl said, breaking the awkward silence. Harry shuffled about in embarrassment.
"Sorry, I've never been too good at thanking people, never really tried before, but...er...thanks, I guess." The girl laughed at his mediocre attempt.
"That's a start...I guess," she laughed. "But, there's no need to thank me anyway. I've seen that fat oaf chase you around countless times and now I'm just glad I did something about it, though you did get off to a good start. Those two boys never knew what hit 'em, and that last boy, even though he knocked you down, he still flew a good ways." When Harry still didn't speak, she looked at him strangely and began to turn, "Well...I guess I'll be going then."
"Wait!" Harry exclaimed as he grabbed her arm. She turned to look at him and he lost his words again, not being able to look straight into her eyes. "I mean...er, seeing as I suck at apologies, I thought I might walk you home instead." She looked at him uncertainly for a moment before consenting, warning him that she lived a good ways away as they set off.
"I'm Harry, by the way, Harry Potter." He stuck his hand out in greeting as he smiled at her. A strange look flashed in her eyes, but it was gone as quickly as it had come as she shook his hand.
"So why are you all the way down here anyway?"
"I dunno, just like walking around. I'm fairly new to this neighborhood and I like learning my way around I guess."
"Well it's your lucky day then," Harry said, smiling brightly. "I know this place like the back of my hand, unfortunately."
"Why unfortunately?" she asked curiously. "Do you not like it here?"
"Well…it's not necessarily the neighborhood or the neighbors, but I live with my Aunt and Uncle and they suck. And my cousin, well…you met him.
She stared at him in confusion for a second realization struck her. "That fat ape is you cousin? Wow, that does suck," she responded. "But what about your parents, where are they?"
Harry shuffled his feet nervously, looking at the ground. "They…um…they died in an accident when I was a child," he said, fighting with the look of grief etched on his face.
"Oh!" she said in surprise, throwing her hand over her mouth. "I'm sorry, but I know how you feel. My parents are gone too." Harry's eyes shot up at this, looking shocked.
"I'm sorry, I didn't know," he said, looking guilty.
"It's ok, I'd say I'm better off than you anyway." Harry looked at her in confusion at this. "Well what I mean is, at least I have my brother. We've taken care of each other." She said this with a smile, looking off as if remembering a happy thought.
"Yeah," Harry said dreamily, "must be nice." Maybe I can have something like that now that I know Sirius. They continued on in silence for a while after this. Harry tried looking at the ground but found that they kept wandering over to Estella's legs. The last time, she caught him, deciding to tease him.
"Yes those are my legs," she said, grinning at him knowingly, her eyes twinkling with a brightness to match Dumbledore. Harry jumped at this and his eyes shot up to her face, blushing furiously.
"Well th-they are very nice legs," he said when he managed to control himself. "Guess I just couldn't help it." Her smile faltered at this as she blushed but she played along.
"You know how it is with beautiful girls like me, have to keep myself up." Harry laughed at this while thinking she was definitely right about the beautiful girl part. "Well this is it," she said suddenly. "Home sweet home."
"Well, I guess I'll see you around then," Harry said somewhat disappointed. "Oh! I almost forgot. Are you up for that tour tomorrow? We can talk about your legs some more," he added with a smile.
"I'd like that. Meet you here tomorrow at around sixish then?" Harry nodded in agreement. "Cool. See you then!" With that she rushed inside, leaving an excited Harry to stare up at her doorway.
When Harry made his way back to the Dursley's it was already half past six. Knowing that he'd be in for an unpleasant night, Harry slowly inched his way towards the door, attempting to postpone his punishment. As he was reaching the door it flew open and his seeker reflexes shot in immediately jumping back out of the way as he felt the wind slice through the area he'd previously been standing in. The open entrance revealed a red-faced Uncle Vernon standing there panting as if he'd just run a kilometer, although it was probably just the 10 meters from the couch to the door.
Vernon's roaring voice interrupted this train of thought as Vernon let out his anger. "WHERE…HAVE…YOU…BEEN?" he bellowed angrily. Harry opened his mouth to reply but was cut off abruptly. "Petunia had to cook dinner on her own today because of your sorry arse now answer my bloody question. Where were you?"
Harry heard a dangerous edge in his voice as he squeaked out, "I-I was just taking a walk around the neighborhood. I didn't think I'd been out long."
You didn't think…you didn't think you'd been out long!" Vernon spluttered in his anger. "It's been three bloody hours. What were you doing all that time?" Vernon's eyes narrowed as he looked at him suspiciously. Harry simply stared back at him in surprise. He hadn't been out all that time had he? He supposed he had been walking extremely slowly with Estella to lengthen the walk and he had purposely wandered on his way back home but it hadn't seemed like nearly three hours. "Well?" Vernon asked again. "What have you been doing?" His eyes got that suspicious glint in them again. "You weren't doing…" he looked around as if to check if anyone was around before continuing quietly, "you weren't doing you-know-what where you? I hope you were so those freaky friends of yours will come and take you to that prison where you belong." Vernon began to get angry again although this time there was a hint of glee in his eyes.
"No! Of course not. I told you I was just taking a walk around; I didn't think I'd been out for very long until I saw the sun going down.
"Humph." Vernon seemed to let the subject go although he still didn't seem satisfied. This unnerved Harry as he had been expecting his Uncle to hit him or to resort to violence. "No matter. You're ungratefulness and disobedience has finally pushed me over the edge. It's about time that you started lifting you're weight and began earning you're stay here." Harry nearly snorted in disbelief at that, knowing full well that he did more work than the three Dursley's combined. "I have come to an agreement with your aunt's cousin, Helen Stowes. I believe that you remember her from the last visit?" Vernon said this with a sneer. Of course Harry remembered her, she had come by when he was nine and had forced him to work so hard that he'd fainted from exhaustion and then she'd locked him in the cupboard under the stairs, accusing him of being lazy.
"Helen has decided to allow you to work at her dance studio as a janitor because she's a little short-handed." Harry had a feeling that her lack of work force was a result of her cruelness. "You will be paid 20 pounds every day for five days a week, which you will give to us, of course. Your shift starts at 8:00 A.M. and if you are late there will be severe punishments. Now retire to your cell...er...I mean room. There will be no food for you today." As Harry set off up the stairs, he chuckled to himself at Vernon's last remark. He had received an extensive supply of food from Mrs. Weasley, Ron, Hermione, and even Ginny over the summer.
As his door creaked open, he noticed several feathers lying on his bed and smiled, realizing that Hedwig had returned from the Weasley's.
"Hey, girl, how are you?" he asked, not looking at her cage. He was not prepared, however, for the answer that he received.
"I'm fine, but last time I checked I was still male." Harry nearly shrieked in surprise as he jumped off his bed, searching for his wand. Turning towards the intruder, his eyes almost popped out in recognition.
"Sirius! W-what are you doing here I thought you were supposed to be in hiding? How did you get here and what if you get caught?" Sirius silenced Harry with a finger to his lips but a million questions still roamed through his head. Sirius was dressed in a black cloak and black gloves, all of which Harry could tell were too big for him. The good news was that he looked a lot less pale than before and had apparently been eating a lot more.
"Now you must be wondering how and why I'm here. Well, truthfully, I'm not supposed to be here. I snuck out of the hideout to check up on you and tell you a few bits of information that I don't want going through the mail." Harry seemed shocked, confused and concerned at this. "Seeing as I'm your godfather I have several responsibilities to take care of, but because of my incarceration, I cannot follow through with many of these, which is why I had to tell you myself to warn you. You must know that you possess a very large sum of money right now. Well, the money in your current vault is only the money that you parents left you for your childhood, in the case of their death. There is actually quite a bit more and you will be receiving it when you turn 14. Many people will try to manipulate you-"
"Manipulate me? Why would they do that?"
"Well, you see... when you receive the rest of your fortune, I have no doubt that, due to numerous large contributions throughout the years, you will be the wealthiest wizard or man alive." Sirius paused at this, allowing the news to sink in. Harry's countenance portrayed surprise and disbelief, but most of all anger and annoyance.
"Why wasn't I told this before? Why is it that I find that I'm, money-wise, the most powerful man in the world? I'm only 14 bloody years old for crying out loud." Sirius winced at the language, but looked on his godson in what seemed to be pride, of all things.
"Well I was wondering the same thing when I received this information from Dumbledore. He said that not even he knew, because of his lack of blood ties to you. He was only informed yesterday morning because he is your guardian, and he passed the news on to me." Harry pondered this for a moment, before eventually speaking his mind.
"So how much money are we speaking of here?" Harry asked, still slightly annoyed, yet curious all the same.
"About...umm," Sirius coughed slightly, "12 billion galleons, which, seeing as a galleon equals 5 pounds, would be around 60 billion pounds in muggle currency." The color drained from Harry's face and his eyes turned the size of saucers as his legs began to wobble. Harry had known his parents were rich and well known but to be the richest in the world was beyond him. How could he have not known this? As if sensing his question, Sirius answered him. "You're parents didn't want to have to deal with all of the press and the scandals from their fortune so they kept it under wraps. I figured that James was rich from the fact that he always got the newest and best brooms at least a week before they were released, claiming that they were only prototypes that he got to test because his father owned the majority of the broomstick stock."
"What stock?" Harry exclaimed surprise etched in his face. "I never knew my family owned any stock."
"Oh yeah. Your family probably has more stock than the government." Sirius said this with a bit of glee, apparently happy at the thought of annoying some rich government official. "There's a list in Dumbledore's office with all of the major stocks your family has, and just to warn you, it is 5 pages of parchment." Harry sighed in resignation, knowing this would only bring more unwanted fame but deciding not to fret about the uncontrollable.
"So what exactly does this all mean?" he asked cautiously, fearful of more surprises.
"Well you'll have to partake in a hearing to go over the particulars and to ensure that the money is being placed in good hands, but other than that there is not much left about the subject." Harry sighed in relief, thankful that there was nothing more to it.
Sirius suddenly began fidgeting and his face turned to a more serious outlook as if he were preparing for some task. "Unfortunately that is not the only reason that I came to see you today. As I said, I am your godfather and due to your parent's absence, several responsibilities fall upon my shoulders. I'm sure that soon enough, if you haven't already, you'll start thinking of dating." Harry could see why his godfather had become so nervous as he soon became embarrassed himself as he remembered his friends talk about the embarrassing situations in which their parents had given them the Talk. "Well, there are certain…activities, which you may wish to pursue which require both yourself and a female that you might not be ready for and I'm here to tell you that you should wait until you're married." Sirius looked exhausted at this short speech that Harry didn't think would help him at all if he was caught in the predicament that Sirius spoke of.
"But Sirius, you're not married and I know that you must have…you know…" Harry nearly choked as he held in his laughter from watching at his godfather's reaction to this. Sirius seemed caught between looking proud and accepting the fact and being the good role model and denying everything Harry had said.
"Oh all right. All say what I really want to say and get it over with. Use protection and don't get anyone pregnant, but don't start too early." Harry was shell-shocked. He clearly hadn't expected such an answer from Sirius and simply stared at him in silence for a minute.
"Umm…er…ok. Is that everything?" he asked, still uncomfortable from Sirius' sad attempt at parental advice and desperately attempting to change the subject.
"Well I just wanted to check up on you, you know, to see how things have been at the prison, I mean Dursley's. Seeing as, well, I haven't really been there for you for all this time, I guess I must have missed out on a lot and I need to catch up a little I guess." Sirius was looking him with a pleading look, praying that he would understand. He looked so much like a pouting dog that reminded Harry so much of his previous canine form that Harry couldn't help but let out a short laugh. Seeing Sirius's look of annoyance at this seemingly blatant show of disrespect made Harry regret his actions as he quickly apologized.
"Well, to put it shortly, life here sucks and when I learned that I was a wizard and was going to be leaving here every year to go to school I nearly shat my pants in excitement." Now it was Sirius's turn to chuckle at his godson's choice in language.
"I know what you mean. My parents were some of the darkest of wizards to set foot on our country, so when I got the chance to split, I jumped at the chance."
Harry was shocked at this new revelation, awed that a man who was born into a dark family and who spent nearly 14 years in Azkaban could have any heart left in him at all. "So they...er...they served Voldemort then, right?"
Sirius's face turned grim at this and his countenance darkened as he fisted his shirt tightly. "Yes, they were some of the worst, and they always brought back stories of their latest accomplishments. My family idolized them as if they were gods so I had to follow suit so not to attract any attention to my dislike of the dark arts."
Harry nodded unconsciously as he was thinking on his next subject for conversation. He knew that he was touching on a sensitive subject but couldn't refrain himself from speaking. "I want to know about my parents; you know...before the war. I want to know what they were like and what they did for a living, but not just that. I want to know the little things like their favorite colors, what they did for fun, what they did for a living. I mean, I never even knew them and sometimes I feel like other people know more about them than their own son." Unshed tears had formed in Harry's eyes and he furiously blinked them away, ashamed to be crying in front of Sirius like this.
"It's okay to cry sometimes Harry." Sirius said comfortingly. "I learned the hard way that trying to hold in the emotions I am feeling only serves to make them worse as time goes on." At this Harry dug his face into his godfather's shoulder crying softly as Sirius comforted him. When he stopped crying Sirius pulled out his wand and cleaned the dried tears from his face and clothes, smiling sadly at him. "I understand how you're feeling Harry, and I would be honored to tell you about your parents. However, that will have to wait until tomorrow, because I'm not sure that your parents would be happy that I kept you up so late." Harry nodded silently, still slightly ashamed at his outburst. Giving Harry a last fatherly hug and smile, he climbed through the window and entered an alleyway before disapparating with a crack that could be heard from Harry's window.
Sighing heavily, Harry leaned back onto his bed, thinking of how crazy a day he'd just had, not including his Hogwarts experiences of course. He frowned at the thought of his new job that started the next day, wondering what he would have to do. He smiled, however, when he thought of the pretty girl who'd be waiting for a tour when he got back. He had already decided he'd have to sneak out after dinner and rush back afterwards so as not to be late for his meeting with Sirius. Closing his eyes, he began to dream of a certain chestnut haired girl with light blue eyes and a smile crept on his face.