Warnings: Death, violence, torture, mentions of rape, sex scenes, swearing, graphic descriptions of dark spells, sex and torture scenes....I'm sure there are other things I should warn against that I might put into the story, but as the moment I can't think of anything. Basically, this story isn't for kiddies or those who are easily offended by sex, blood and gore. None of that stuff in CH1 though, just a heads up for future chapters.
Disclaimer: Aside from the plot and any original characters I might introduce, none of this belongs to me. No money is being made from the writing of this fan fiction. All rights go to JK Rowling, no matter how insane she is.
Harry Potter And The Fight For The Light
Chapter 1: Talking To No-one
"...will not have it! Threatening us normal people like that I...Are you listening to me boy?!"
Once again, a very unenthusiastic "Yes Uncle Vernon." was mumbled from the back seat of Mr Vernon Dursley's new company car. Had anyone been counting, they would have noted that it was the 19th time that the raven haired youth mumbled those same words since getting in the car thirty minutes ago.
"Damn right you are!" Mr Dursley grunted before, once again, launching himself back into his rant. "I will not stand fo..."
The skinny, scruffy looking, black haired, bespeckled boy sitting in the back of Mr Dursley's posh new car tuned his uncle out once again, his mind moving away from the rant that had started the moment they pulled away from Kings Cross train station. For thirty minutes Harry Potter, boy wizard, the Chosen One, Boy-Who-Lived, Boy-Who-Lied, Mentally unstable attention seeking brat, Scarhead, and whatever else the world might be calling him, had been thinking about things no fifteen year old boy should have to think about. For the past thirty-rant filled-minutes, his mind had been replaying scenes that no normal fifteen year old boy should ever have to see, even in their most fearsome nightmares.
But therein lies the problem.
Harry Potter was not a normal fifteen year old boy. Harry Potter was not even a normal fifteen year old wizard. For Harry Potter quite literally had the weight of the world upon his skinny, underfed, under-trained shoulders. He had a psychotic madman and his sycophantic followers out for his blood. He had the death of his parents and Godfather on his hands, at least in his own mind. His friends lives were in danger just for knowing him and had already been hurt because of him. All because of a prophecy, spoken by a fraud in the back room of a dingy pub sixteen years ago.
"Can it be true?" Harry thought to himself again. He had lost track of the amount of times he had asked himself that same question since hearing the prophecy in Dumbledore's office a week ago, "That silly old fraud can't even predict the weather if she had her head out of a window, can she really have predicted this?"
Harry mused over this question for the next five minutes, throwing out another "Yes Uncle Vernon" to appease his uncle. His thoughts were just starting to slide towards Sirius when his ears picked up something his uncle was saying.
"...just be laying about like you! No sir! My Dudley will be training hard for the boxing championships next month. Unlike you he'll be making something of..."
And Harry tuned him out again. But what he had been saying had stuck.
"Training hard..." he mused, "Training...I've never had any real training beyond normal school work. Dumbledore has known I'd have to face Riddle since before I was born, he should have been training me since I was old enough to hold a wand!" Harry's face was slowly shifting from blank and uncaring to a mask of anger. "That stupid old man knew all along and he's done nothing! Even after Tom returning last year I still didn't get any training...Unless you count the mind rape sessions with Snape...Which I don't!" Dudley, sitting next to Harry and listening to music on his walkman, pulled his headphones off and inspected his music player closely, wondering why his songs kept stuttering and jumping. "Well that changes now! Training I need so training I'll get. I can start by reading those books Mooney and...and Sirius got me for Christmas."
Twenty minutes later Harry pulled himself out of his musing when the car stopped in the driveway of Number 4 Privet Drive. He climbed out of the car, looked up at the house and noted that it hadn't changed in the slightest over the past ten months.
"Prison, sweet prison." he muttered to himself as he carried Hedwig up to his room and opened the window for her. He went back outside and hauled his school trunk from the car. Just as he had pulled it inside the house and closed the door, his uncle stepped out into the hallway.
"Living room, now." he barked, before heading into the room he indicated.
Harry sighed and lowered his trunk down to the floor. He knew that what ever was to come next wouldn't be good. Walking into the living room he saw that Dudley was already taking up one of the sofas by himself while staring at the TV in front of him.
Sighing inwardly and bracing himself, he looked towards where his uncle was standing, "You wanted to see me?"
Vernon turned around and glared at Harry, "I never want to see you, freak! But I do have some things to tell you."
Harry groaned inwardly.
"There are going to be some new rules around here boy. Rules that you are going to follow. Or else." he added, small piggy eyes narrowing, "You will not speak unless spoken to. You will not leave your room unless doing your chores. You will not be leaving the house unless it's to work in the garden. You will eat your meals in your room. You will write those freaks every three days and tell them that we are taking care of you. You will make no noise. You will keep that blasted owl quiet and in it's cage unless delivering one of those letters. Am I understood?"
"Well," drawled Harry, drawing the word out just to annoy Vernon even more, "I could tell my friends that, however they would know I was lying and would end up storming the house."
"What is that meant to mean?" Uncle Vernon demanded.
"It means they know full well that you don't take care of me and if I said you were they would think you had forced me to write that."
"WHY YOU UNGRATEFUL BASTARD! We have taken care of you since you were dumped on our doorstep! Taken care of you out of the kindness of our-"
"Shut up!" Harry snapped, cutting him off, "You haven't taken care of me since I was out of nappies, and barely before then!"
"HOW DARE YOU SPEAK TO ME LIKE THAT!" bellowed Vernon, his face a deep purple colour.
"HOW DARE YOU CLAIM TO HAVE TAKEN CARE OF ME!" Harry bellowed right back.
Dudley gave a yell when the TV screen flickered several times before going black. Neither his father or Harry paid him the slightest bit of notice.
"I SHOULD HAVE THROWN YOU IN AN FUCKING ORPHANAGE WHERE YOU BELONG!"
"I WISH YOU HAD!" Harry yelled, and at that moment, the window exploded outwards.
Aunt Petunia, who had been keeping quiet and watching the argument, gave a shrill scream. Dudley, who had been thumping the TV, fell backwards with a yell. Uncle Vernon gave a wordless bellow and started towards Harry with his fist raised. Harry was trying to force his magic back under his control before he blew the side of the house off.
The front door flew open with a crash and Kingsley Shacklebolt ran into the room, wand raised. Vernon's fist fell to his side and his skin couldn't have gone from purple to white faster if someone had dumped a bucket of paint over his head.
"What the hell is going on here?" Kingsley demanded, his wand still raised, "I could hear the shouting from outside and suddenly the window explodes! Harry, are you ok?"
"Fine." muttered Harry, who was still trying to force his magic back under his control.
Uncle Vernon found his voice then, "What the hell are you doing in my house?"
"Protecting the most important thing in it." Kingsley growled, walking over to Harry. He could feel the waves of magic pouring off him, it was quite unsettling. "Harry, you need to calm down. Deep breathing. Control yourself."
Harry took several deep breaths, blocking everything out. This was rather hard to do as Vernon was now shouting about his window. He focused in on himself, trying to stuff his magic back inside his body.
Kingsley breathed a sigh of relief as the magic in the room slowly reduced until he could no longer feel it. "That's good Harry. Now, how about telling me what got you mad enough to lose control? Something, if I might add, that shouldn't happen to a nearly 16 year old wizard."
"I don't know," Harry muttered, he'd like to know as well, "I wasn't that mad. He," he flicked his head towards his Uncle, "wasn't being any worse than normal. We've got into worse shouting matches than that." "And more painful ones" he added silently.
"Well you need to be careful. With...Everything that's happened lately it may be your emotions are just a little haywire and it's messing with your magic. Try and stay calm and in control."
"The Ministry wont have picked that up, will they?" Harry asked, fearing another court appearance.
"Yes, but I'll smooth it over. I'll reply to the warning letter with an explanation. We wou-" Kingsley was cut off as, rather stupidly, Vernon had decided it was a good idea to grab one of the 6''4 Auror's arms and spin him around to face him. No one could ever accuse Mr Vernon Dursley of being a smart man.
"ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME?! WHAT ABOUT MY WINDOW! I WANT THAT FREAK OUT OF MY DAMNED HOUSE NOW!" he bellowed, spraying the Auror in front of him with spittle.
Kingsley didn't move, he didn't aim his wand between Vernon's eyes, he didn't point it at his heart, he didn't jab it into the many rolls under his chin and he didn't say a word. He just stared Vernon Dursley straight in the eye. After about fifteen seconds of the men staring each other down Vernon suddenly remembered exactly who, or rather what, he was in a staring contest with and with a frightened squeak, fell backwards onto the sofa behind him.
"Never do that again Muggle." Kingsley rumbled. He turned to Harry and the diamond hard look slipped off his face. "Now Harry, what set all this off?"
Harry felt like a child being told off for throwing a silly tantrum. "Um..Well he was informing me of some of the..er..new house rules."
"Oh?" Kingsley prompted.
Harry sighed and started ticking them off on his fingers, "Don't speak, don't come out of room, not allowed outside of house, eat in my room, do a list of chores a day and keep writing to the Order telling them I'm fine and they," Harry thrust his hand towards his Uncle, who flinched, "are taking care of me, keep Hedwig locked up. The rules are not really much different from normal but I refuse to say they are taking care of me when they never have done so since I was dumped here a decade ago!" Harry was getting more and more worked up by the end of his explanation come rant and Aunt Petunia's little glass ornaments were rattling on their shelf.
"Ok Harry, ok." Kingsley soothed, made nervous from the magic once again pouring from Harry in tingling waves, "Lets just calm down, ok? I think I'll lay down some new rules to help keep the peace."
"Now just a min-eepl!" Uncle Vernon started before Kingsley pinned him with a glare and he trailed off with an incomprehensible squeak.
"I talk. You listen." Kingsley rumbled, "Harry can eat when he wants, where he wants. Harry can come and go freely around the house when he likes. Harry will not be hassled by you, your wife or your pet whale. He will write his letters every three days telling his friends exactly what is going on. Am I understood Dursley?"
"This is my house! I wont hav-"
"Am I understood Dursley?"
"You can't mak-"
"Am I understood Dursley?"
"I make the ru-"
Getting tired of repeating himself, Kingsley pointed his wand right at Vernon Dursley's face and used a spell he knew off by heart after taking care of his much younger sister. With a loud pop and a slightly squishy sound, Mr Vernon Dursley was wearing a bright red, floor length sequinned evening dress, a wig of long blond hair, high heels and more make-up than half the girls of Hogwarts put together. Unfortunately he was still grossly overweight and had a large bushy moustache. Harry was torn between laughing until he was sick, or just being sick, so he settled for the lightly uncomfortable middle ground and laughed until his sides hurt.
With a flick of his wand, Kingsley produced a camera from thin air and snapped off a picture of Mr 'Veronica' Dursley then slipped the camera into his robes. 'Veronica' was standing rigid as a board and spluttering at his reflection in the mirror.
"Now that I have your attention," Kingsley smiled, "If you do not follow my new rules or make life otherwise unpleasant for Harry while he is living here, that picture will be posted through every letterbox in this town as well as being circulated through your company as a highly important memo."
'Veronica' was working his mouth silently, trying to form a sentence, Petunia was standing against the wall, looking at her husband in horror and trembling at the thought of what the neighbours might say if they ever saw that picture, Dudley was cowering behind the sofa with his hands plastered over his bottom, and Harry was holding onto his sides, though he had stopped the hysterical laughter and had settled for the occasional chuckle.
"Would I regret asking how you know a spell to turn someone into a drag queen?" he asked the rather large Auror in front of him.
Kingsley grinned and turned to Harry, "It's a slightly modified spell parents can use on young witches when playing dress up, only lasts a few hours and a finite can undo it all. I know the original spell from spending hours playing with my sister when she was younger. I modified it before a Department Christmas party about seven years ago, lasts a lot longer and takes a lot more to undo it. If you thought this was funny, you have never seen Mr 'Cornelia' Fudge. Boy was he mad."
Harry tried desperately not to picture the portly Minister Of Magic dressed as a woman but sadly failed miserably, he shuddered and turned slightly green, "I had no idea you were such a prankster Kingsley."
"Oh yes," the normally serious Auror grinned, "Me and...um...Sirius talked many times about our school days. He said I would have fitted right in with the Marauders and it was a shame I didn't go to school with them. I graduated the in their second year. I still remember the prank they pulled with the three dozen Nifflers and a ten gallon vat of peanut butter." he smiled wistfully with a far away look on his face.
Harry sobered slightly but still somehow managed to keep a smile on his face, "You should go and talk to the Weasley twins. Tell them 'their better third sent them with a contribution to the product line'."
"Is that so?" Kingsley grinned, "I might just do that. Anyway Harry, I'm sure things here will be better from now on. I should get back outside, guard change is in ten minutes." He flicked his wand towards the window and repaired the damage, then flicked his wand towards Dudley, who had just poked his head out from behind the sofa. Though not casting anything at Dudley, the pig in a wig gave a girlish scream, the likes of which Draco Malfoy would be proud of, and took off out of the room faster than he had moved in years.
Harry snorted in laughter before walking Kingsley to the front door and bidding him good night. He walked back into the front room to get one last look at 'Veronica', who was still spluttering at his reflection in the mirror over the fireplace, before turning to his Aunt and asking when dinner was.
After several tries she eventually mumbled out, "You will come down and cook it in two hours." Before scuttling off after Dudley.
Harry, who actually missed cooking despite it being for his relatives, nodded and walked back out into the hallway to grab his discarded trunk.
After hefting his trunk up the stairs and dropping it loudly on his bedroom floor just to annoy his 'family', he flopped backwards onto his bed with a sigh. Harry thought the afternoon hadn't gone too badly, even if he did lose control of his magic for the first time in years. Seeing his Uncle in drag had been slightly frightening but extremely funny. He had an inkling that if Kingsley did go and visit the twins, the Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes product line would shortly be sporting 'Dragqueen Delights' or some such product. Maybe they could use a picture of 'Veronica' as some kind of marketing for them.
Thinking back further to the car ride home, Harry remembered his promise to start reading his books in the hopes of learning how to keep himself alive a little longer. He climbed off his bed and flicked his trunk open before digging through his clothes in search of his Christmas gift from Sirius and Lupin. Pulling a ratty old T-shirt off of the books, Harry vowed that he would buy a new wardrobe as soon as possible.
Laying back on his bed, Harry propped volume one of Practical Defensive Magic and its Use Against the Dark Arts up against his knees and began reading.
Outside Number 4, Kingsley had just handed off the ward monitoring crystal to Hester Jones and was wondering what he should do with the rest of his evening. He knew his sister wouldn't be finished with her shift at St Mungos for another few hours and he didn't feel like digging into the mountain of paperwork that was sitting in his cubicle at the Ministry.
As he walked along the road towards the apparition point he felt the weight of the camera in his pocket and grinned. Walking into the clump of bushes that obscured the Muggles view, he concentrated on Diagon Alley. A small crack later and he was strolling down the alley towards a garishly coloured building with a steady stream of people moving in and out.
Pushing his way past the display cases, over excited children and slightly scared looking parents, he arrived by the cash register and a young dark skinned boy with dreadlocks that he didn't recognise.
Kingsley, reminded of his school days and still inwardly grinning over the memory of 'Veronica' Dursley, decided to prank the pranksters. Pulling out his Auror badge and putting on his 'don't fuck with me' face, he looked down his nose at the cashier.
"I am here on official business and need to speak with Misters Fred and George Weasley."
The young man paled slightly, making Kingsley wonder if the boys had something to worry about if an Auror did come around on official business.
"Of course sir, one moment please."
The young man pushed a small button next to the cash register and spoke into it, "Um, Fred, George, you might want to come out here. There is an Auror here to speak with you."
A few moments later a door appeared out of what Kingsley thought was a normal piece of wall and Fred and George piled out, glancing around with nervous looks.
"Where are they Lee?" one of them asked.
"Right there." Lee replied, pointing at Kingsley.
"KING!" the twins cried with matching grins, "How you doing!"
"What brings you here?"
"Need to prank the boss?"
"Prank the sister?"
"Prank an unsuspecting criminal?"
"Prank our dear mother?"
"Merlin save your soul if she catches you."
Chuckling heartily at the twins antics he shook his head. "No pranks this time gentlemen. And I'm not brave enough to risk pranking Molly."
"You three know each other then?" Lee asked with a puzzled look on his face.
Kingsley grinned, "Yeah. Sorry about that, Lee was it? I was just having a little fun."
"Oh," Lee said, over exaggeratedly wiping non-existent sweat from his brow and giving a little chuckle, "Well I should get back to work."
"Come on through here King where we can talk." Twin A said.
"Just be careful where you sit, we lost a case of drawing pins somewhere." Twin B said, glaring at Twin A.
"Hey! It wasn't my fault that vial of Invisibility Potion spilt on them!"
"AH HA! I win. Wasn't my fault."
"Damn." said Twin A, walking over to a small chalk board on the wall and adding a mark to the left hand column of tallies.
Kingsley sat back, grinning at the twins. He'd always liked their company.
The twins both turned to look at Kingsley at the same time. "So are you here as friend or foe?" one of them asked, trying to subtly kick a box deeper under a desk.
"I am here because, and I quote 'Your better third sent me with a contribution to the product line'."
"Harry sent you?" the twins asked.
"I've just come from his place. Little trouble with his Uncle, my solution seemed to make him think I should talk to you two troublemakers. I take it he is the one who helped you get this fun factory up and running?"
"Maybe." the twins answered together.
"Right. Well maybe I should leave that one alone and just tell you why Harry sent me over here." Kingsley said, pulling out the camera. "Either of you know how to develop a photo?"
Harry had been reading for what felt like hours. He had finished the first book and moved right on to the second, thinking his Aunt had decided she would cook dinner and not include Harry. Not that he minded, he would just wander down when he felt hungry.
He was just reading about a spell that would produce a large metal shield, used to deflect solid objects, when his Aunt shouted up the stairs.
"Boy! Get down here and cook dinner!"
Looking up in shock, Harry automatically called out "Ok." and set his book down. He looked over at his alarm clock and was shocked to see he had only been reading for just under the two hours his aunt had told him he had until he was to cook dinner. He glanced down at the large book he had been reading, the second volume in the set of three, and then at the one before it.
"No way I read all that in two hours." he mumbled, "Must have pulled a Ron and just sat turning the pages without thinking."
He put the books on his desk and wandered downstairs, glancing into the bathroom as he passed and catching sight of his uncle vigorously wiping at his make-up covered face. He snickered all the way down the stairs and entered the kitchen. He saw a pile of vegetables and a pack of pork chops. Sighing at the limited cooking options he set about making dinner, wishing he could make something a little more interesting.
An hour and a half later Harry trudged back up to his room feeling rather underfed. There had been four pork chops in the pack, but his aunt had given his to Dudley so all he had to eat were a small pile of peas, carrots and potatoes.
Sighing and longing for the Hogwarts Great Hall, he picked up Volume One of his defence books and threw himself back down on the bed, determined to read and take in everything in there this time.
Turning a few pages Harry found something rather odd. He remembered everything, word for word, on each page he looked at. He turned to half way through the book, to a point he was sure he wouldn't have been able to get to in the amount of time he had spent reading and looked the page over.
"That's...Strange..." he mumbled to himself as he looked over the page, reading the words and calling the words out of his memory. He finished the page and flipped a hundred or so pages ahead and looked at the page again. This page had a set of three combat based water charms. As Harry looked over the page he knew every word, every spell name, every wand movement and every one of the hypothetical situations each spell could be used in as well as how to shield against the spells should they be used against the reader.
With a frown on his face Harry picked up the second volume in the set and flicked a hundred pages in and looked the page over. Again he remembered every word on the page, every spell and every wand movement as if he had just finished reading the page. He flicked through to near the end where he knew he hadn't yet read and looked over the page. He didn't remember anything about it. It was like he was reading it for the first time.
He shook his head and thumbed back to the bookmark he slipped in when his aunt called him to make dinner. He flicked his eyes over half of the page, remembering all the words until he reached a point he didn't remember. He quickly read to the end of the page, then glanced up at the ceiling, pondering what was going on.
He couldn't have read the first volume and over half of the second in under two hours. He doubted even Hermione could have read that fast. There were over six hundred pages of spells, duelling advice and ways to handle dark creatures in the first volume alone. Yet there was no other explanation for how he knew the contents of the books without reading them. He knew them word for word, up until the point he stopped reading to go and cook dinner. He was pretty sure that if he sat down with a piece of parchment he could probably write down an exact copy of page three hundred and ninety two without looking at the book for reference at all.
"Maybe the books have a special enchantment on them?" he pondered out loud, flipping to the back cover to check. Finding nothing he looked inside of the front cover, then the back, again finding no mention of any special enchantments beyond the full colour moving diagrams.
"Something Remus added?" he asked his empty bedroom.
Getting up and walking over to his trunk, he pulled out a different book, The Standard Book of Spells, Grade One, a book he hadn't used since he refreshed his memory at the start of his second year. Sitting down on his bed he took careful note of the time and then started reading the four hundred page book.
He finished reading some time later, putting the book down and yawning. First year spells were not very interesting and he knew how to do them all, and some more complex versions to them as well. He looked at his clock and noticed just under forty five minutes had passed. It had felt a lot longer, at least two or three hours.
Picking up the book again he flipped it open to somewhere around the middle. He didn't look at anything on the page except the page number, three hundred and sixty one, then began speaking aloud.
"'Alohomora (AL-o-ho-MOR-ah)is the most basic of the unlocking charms. It will unlock any non magically sealed doors, windows and locks. If an item has been sealed with magic (See page 372), sometimes a sufficiently powered Alohomora will be able to overcome the locking spell and open the window, door or lock. The wand movement for the Alohomora spell is...'" Harry trailed off and looked down at the page. Sure enough, page three hundred and sixty one covered the Alohomora charm and looking at the first paragraph, Harry noted he had quoted word for word.
"So it's not just a charm on the Defence books. A charm on me? No, if someone had cast a charm like this on me, they would have said. And I'm sure if a charm like this existed Hermione would have worked out how to use it within the first week of school and not left the library until she had read every book in there."
Harry continued his musing, throwing out ideas and dismissing them just as quickly. He finally decided he didn't care as it seemed like a good thing, then settled down to finish the second volume of his Defence books.
Many hundreds of miles away, in an ancient castle hidden from most peoples view behind a thousand years worth of wards and enchantments, a small, spindly silver contraption started to puff purple smoke just a little bit faster. However this went unnoticed by the owner of the strange device, as they had just knocked their lemon drop dish on the floor and he was in the process of picking it back up.
The next morning Harry woke up to the sound of breaking glass. He blearily looked around his room for the source of the noise when his bedroom door slammed open. Harry rolled out of bed and into a defensive crouch, wand already in his hand after pulling it from under his pillow, the tip glowing with the bright red light of a stunner, before realising it was his Uncle Vernon, or on closer inspection, his Uncle 'Veronica' and not Bellatrix Lestrange, whose face he had just woken up from.
"Put that freak stick down boy!" his Uncle snapped.
Harry complied, not because his Uncle asked him to do so, but because he didn't want to accidentally curse his Uncle and get another warning for underage magic.
"What do you want Uncle?" Harry growled while glancing at the clock, "It's six thirty in the bloody morning!"
"Get this shit off of my face! I have work in an hour!" 'Veronica' snarled.
"No can do Aunt Ver...Oh I'm sorry, I meant Uncle Vernon. I can't use magic outside of school, and I'm not sure I know how to get rid of it anyway." Harry said in a serious voice, laughing his head off inside. "Maybe no one will notice if-"
"OF COURSE THEY WILL!" his Uncle roared, slamming his fist into the wall and waking Hedwig up with a screech.
"Well then I guess you will just have to wait until the spell wears off. I doubt it will be more than twenty four hours. Now will you please leave, I would like to get some more sleep."
'Veronica' growled and stomped out of the room, shouting over his shoulder, "Downstairs and cooking breakfast in five minutes or I'll be back up here to roast that overgrown chicken!"
Harry sighed and stroked Hedwig's soft breast feathers, assuring her that he wouldn't let Vernon touch her and that she was too smart to let a oaf like him catch her anyway.
Rubbing his temples he smiled, the headache that had forced him to put his books down had eased off. It started shortly after he had finished reading his third year books, which he had started after finishing his second and first year books, and he only started on those after he finished the fifth and final volume of his Defence books. He thought back over all the books he had read last night, recalling single spells, entire paragraphs of information on them, pages of situations that each spell would be best suited for and entire lists noting which shields worked best on different spells, with hardly any effort at all. Whatever it was that was helping him read and remember things like this, it wasn't gone.
"Almost out of books." he muttered as he cracked a half dozen eggs into a frying pan. "Wonder if I could order more in." he added five rashers of bacon to another pan, "Or...I could go myself. No real reason I shouldn't go to Diagon Alley. If I were any other person I would be free to go to the book store any time I liked." he slid three slices of toast into the toaster and got out the jam and marmalade, "I could go in disguise. No one would spot me. And if they did, the alley is full of people and no doubt Aurors." he glanced at the eggs, bacon and toast, mulling things over, "Dumbledore would be pretty pissed if I just up and left to go shopping. But I should be allowed to if I want to. It's not like he'd try and stop any other student going shopping. He's only the headmaster, he has no right to stop me." he thought about letting his uncles eggs burn in payback for getting him up early, "Naw, he'd just make me cook them again anyway. Maybe Dumbledore wouldn't be so pissed if I had an Order member with me. The Order guards me, not the house. Where I am, they guard."
Dumping the bacon, eggs and two slices of toast onto a plate for his uncle, he snagged one rasher of bacon, folded it up into a slice of toast, wandered over to the back door and out into the garden while munching his breakfast.
He glanced around for signs of an order member, not really expecting to see any but willing to bet one was around anyway.
"Today I plan to go shopping in Diagon Alley. I will be getting on the Knight Bus at 8am." he clearly stated to the rose bushes. He then walked around to the front of the house and stated the same message.
Confident that the Order member got the message, he walked back into the house and up to his room, briefly stopping in the bathroom where his uncle was scrubbing at his face to tell him his breakfast was on the table. Harry noted that the bathroom mirror was on the floor in several hundred pieces. Obviously his uncle had got annoyed at seeing his made up face and smashed it.
He walked into his room and over to his trunk, pulling out his money bag and counting how much he had. Seeing that he had more than enough for the Knight Bus he glanced down past his hand and saw his clothes in the trunk at his feet.
"That's it. I'm getting better clothes today." he stated. Hedwig pulled her head out from under her wing and barked softly in what Harry took to be agreement.
Harry took a quick shower and threw on some clothes, followed by his thinnest school cloak. He'd turned it inside out so it didn't show the school crest. Unless someone looked closely, they would just take it for a normal black cloak.
He looked at himself in the mirror and frowned. He was still, most definitely, Harry Potter. Far too easy to spot. He looked around his room, wondering what he could do about that when he spotted the answer walking along the street outside. He grinned and slipped out of his bedroom and into his still sleeping cousins.
A short time later Harry was walking towards the park, Order guard following quietly along behind him. Harry figured the lack of protest meant that he was fine to go shopping.
"I think it might be best if I take the bus while you apparate. The way Ernie drives you're likely to go flying into someone and be spotted." Again, and maybe slightly stupidly, Harry took the silence to mean there was no problem with that.
Reaching a slightly secluded spot on the road Harry pulled the brim of the baseball cap he had 'borrowed' from his cousin, down over his face as far as he could, then stuck out his wand to call the Knight Bus. With a deafening BANG the bright purple, triple decker bus popped into existence in front of him.
Without waiting for Stan the conductor to exit the bus, Harry hopped on and called out, in a rougher voice than his own "Diagon Alley please Stan."
"Err...Stan quit two months back."
"Oh." Harry said, looked up in shock, before quickly looking down again, "Well, all the same, Diagon Alley please."
"Right you are. That'll be eleven sickles."
Harry quickly handed the money over and glanced at the chairs around him. Deciding to stand and hold on to one of the poles, he braced his knees when he heard the new conductor call out "Diagon Alley Ern, let 'er rip!"
With a huge bang the bus was now shooting down a busy London street, pushing the rush hour traffic out of the way. With another bang the bus came to a sudden stop, almost sending Harry flying forward onto his face. Luckily he stayed on his feet.
"Leakey Cauldron." the conductor said in a bored tone. "Thank you for choosing the Knight Bus, we hope you had a pleasant trip. Please mind the step as you exit the bus."
Harry hopped down and walked into the dingy pub, keeping his head down. He quickly walked out into the small courtyard and hissed "Are you there?"
He heard two taps on one of the bins and took them for an affirmative. "Moody must be cracking down on their stealth or something. Or it is Moody."
Harry quickly tapped the correct bricks and walked through the newly formed archway. If he had looked backwards he would have noticed a small cat peer out from behind one of the bins.
Harry quickly made his way through the alley, eyes flicking from side to side with his head down watching the shop keepers opening up their businesses. He headed straight for Gringotts to get his money out, swiftly moving up the steps.
"I'd stay out here if I were you, the Goblins wouldn't like an invisible person in the bank." he hissed out of the corner of his mouth. Without waiting for an answer he slipped inside, past the two goblin guards.
He walked over to a teller and pulled his key from his pocket. Still keeping his head down he mumbled up to the Goblin.
"I'd like to be taken to my vault please." handing the key over.
The Goblin behind the desk looked at the key, then at the person in front of him, he jiggled something on the counter and a panel slid down directly in front of Harry.
"Put a finger on there." the Goblin growled.
"Why?" asked Harry, looking up in surprise, "I've never had to do so before."
"Identity check." the Goblin hissed. "Get a move on."
Harry placed a finger on the pale blue square and watched as it flashed blue, then red before settling on green.
"All clear. Sorry about that Mr Po-"
"No names please!" Harry hissed quickly.
"Right you are sir. Bonesnap!" he yelled over his shoulder, "Take this client down to his vault."
"Yes sir." Bonesnap grunted.
Harry followed the bulky looking Bonesnap through the doors and into a cart.
"Vault number?" Bonesnap asked, glancing at Harry in the back of the cart.
Harry told him and they shot off at breakneck speed, bringing a huge smile to Harry's face. He hadn't moved this fast since his Firebolt was confiscated, he really needed to get that back sometime soon.
Far too shortly in his mind, Harry was scooping money into his money pouch. When it started bulging he looked around for another bag. A slight cough made Harry look towards the door. Bonesnap was pointing towards small alcove Harry hadn't noticed before. He walked over and saw several small bags, not unlike his own. He picked one up and started sliding some galleons into it, but saw it wasn't bulging half as badly as his own. He looked up at Bonesnap.
"Enchanted. Extra space." he said simply.
Harry nodded and stuffed more coins into the bag. He turned around to head out of the vault when he saw a piece of parchment in another alcove by the bags. Picking it up he saw it was the current balance. Harry gave a low whistle. He knew he had a lot in his vault, but seeing 98,382 galleons in the 'Total Vault Contents' box shocked him. As he was watching, that number dropped by nearly three thousand galleons.
Harry grinned all the way back up to the surface, idly wondering if the Goblins would let him ride the carts for no reason other than them being fun. Sadly he doubted it.
He thanked Bonesnap for his assistance and walked over to the 'Muggle Conversion' counter, missing Bonesnap's shocked expression. Harry didn't know how much the new clothes he wanted would cost him, so he changed enough galleons for two thousand pounds.
Heading out of the bank and assuming his guard picked him up again, Harry made his way over to Flourish & Blotts, keeping his cap pulled low over his face. Entering the small bookshop he let his eyes adjust to the lower light then pulled out a small list he had made that morning.
Books 2 get:
wards (useful maybe)
Occlumency (keep snape out, slimey git)
broomstick book (make my own would be cool)
potions (piss the dark lord greasy off by knowing what im doin)
Ok, so it wasn't a Hermione standard list, but for being done at seven in the morning after little sleep it wasn't bad. It worked and that was the important thing. Harry made a mental note to burn the list as a safe guard from Hermione ever seeing it. He could almost picture the horror on her face at him using a number instead of a word.
Smiling to himself he walked over to the duelling section, tilting his head sideways to read the titles as he passed.
"History...History...Rules...Famous Duels...History...Rules...Rules...History...Ooh, a good one." he muttered pulling Downright Dirty Duelling for Dastardly Duellers from the shelf, tucking it under his arm and resuming his search. After another few minutes he had another three books, Introduction to Duelling: A Beginners Guide, Amateur Duelling: Trips and Tricks to Enter the Big Ring and a small book he found tucked between two history books, Duels with No Rules. The first two looked to be about competition duelling, the last showed some promise though as it seemed to talk about life and death duels.
Carrying the four books over to the section on curses, jinxes and hexes Harry spotted a hand basket. Figuring it would make his life easier, he tipped his books into it. It immediately started floating along beside him.
"I love magic." he told the basket. The basket didn't reply, the scrawny human really wasn't it's type anyway.
He was disappointed with the lack of books he was able to find on curses. There seemed to be a distinct lack of offensive spell books around. He did manage to find two books though, Curses! Cursed again!, which seemed to be mostly about countering curses and mild enchantments on items, and another book called Jinxes and Hexes your Teachers Wish you Didn't Know! That one seemed to be filled with prank curses and hexes, such as hair removing or eyebrow lengthening. Harry thought it might be useful, as having your enemies eyebrows block their vision in the middle of a fight would give them a distinct disadvantage.
Walking through the Advance Defence Against the Dark Arts section Harry was even more disappointed than with the curse section. He found a single book that didn't seem to be Ministry written, Fighting Back the Darkness, which, after a quick skim through Harry realised he knew half of the material, but he chucked it in his basket anyway.
The warding section seemed surprisingly small and it looked like the Ministry was to blame. Every book seemed to start with 'Ministry Of Magic's Guide to...' Harry picked up Ministry Of Magic's Guide To Warding Your Home and chucked it in the floating basket with a disgruntled sigh.
The transfiguration section was much more promising. Harry immediately picked up a book after only seeing the author, Advanced Transfiguration: Beyond Your NEWTs by Minerva McGonagall. McGonagall was a great teacher, very strict, but knew what she was teaching. If she had written a book it would be well worth reading. After browsing around some more Harry also picked up a book on Conjuring.
Harry was totally unable to find any books on Occlumency, Legilimency or any other mind arts. After a few minutes he thought the Ministry must be to blame, and if not, might as well blame them anyway.
He was also unable to find any books on making your own broomstick, though after thinking about that one he couldn't really blame broom manufacturers for not wanting books like that out on the market.
Heading into the potion section Harry grabbed three books, NEWT Level Potions, Household Potions and Rare Potions and How to Brew Them.
"Even if I don't get into the greasy git's potion class, if I know my stuff I can sit the NEWT for it anyway." he reasoned.
Deciding he had enough books to start with, he made his way over to the counter, glancing around as he did so. Just before he reached his destination he spotted an interesting looking book and realised he had to buy it. With a grin he floated his basket onto the counter but kept back the last book.
"Do you do gift wrapping?" he asked the witch behind the counter as she totalled up his books.
"Mmhmm." she hummed, "You know, all these books are going to be costly, are you sure you can afford them?" glancing Harry up and down, noting the shabby looking clothing under his cloak.
"It wont be a problem. Could you gift wrap this one please?" he asked, handing the last book over. "And is there any way you can shrink these down for me?"
"Can't you?" she asked
"Underage." Harry mumbled
The clerks eyebrows raised at an underage wizard buying these kinds of books but said nothing about that, "Have you an of age person at home that can resize them for you?"
"Err, no. Can't you make it so I can give them a wand tap?" Harry asked.
"I don't know how." the witch said with a bit of a blush, "However this bag," she reached under the counter and pulled out a brown leather backpack, "has several enchantments on it including featherlight and space expanding."
"I'll take that as well then please." Harry said with a smile.
A few minutes and nearly one hundred and fifty galleons later, Harry entered Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions intent on buying a plain set of robes that didn't make him stand out or look like a school age boy.
A half hour later and an assurance from Madam Malkin that she wouldn't tell anyone he had been in, Harry was walking towards the Leaky Cauldron with a new set of robes shoved into his backpack.
He quickly moved through the pub until he was standing by the door to muggle London. He whipped his cloak off and crammed that into his now rather full backpack and slipped out the door and onto the street.
Less than thirty seconds later three Order members tumbled out of the Floo and started searching up and down the alley.
Back in Diagon Alley, in the back room of the brightest coloured store, two red haired drag queens were laughing manically while a printing press was churning out copy after copy of 'Veronica'.
"We really owe Harry for this one!" drag queen A chuckled.
"He's certainly earning his thirty three point three three three three three three three three three-"
"Enough three's brother mine."
"Right you are."
"But yes, he is earning his share of the profits."
"When are you going to tell him we made him a full partner?"
"I'm not telling him, you are."
"Can't fool me like that twice! Now go add another tally to my side!"
"I did fool you twice," said on as he marked another line on his twins side of the board, "I fooled you like that twenty three times in the last week alone."
"Silence! I'm having an idea!"
"Oh? What is it?"
An extremely loud ripping noise tore through the back room, making both twins jump.
"My bad, just gas." Fred muttered
"That's a great idea!" exclaimed George while covering his nose.
"Yes! Multi coloured fart clouds! Feed your friends one of the items and they not only have uncontrollable gas, but it turns said gas into different colour, highly visible clouds!
"Great idea Fred!"
"I thought I was George?"
"No it's my turn to be George today, you're Fred."
Several passing witches stared at the garishly coloured Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes in fear before hurrying away. The manic laughter really was quite unsettling.
Harry jumped off the bottom step of the Knight Bus and started walking towards Number Four. He was feeling very pleased with himself and his new clothes. He had several sets of tshirts, many pairs of jeans, several long sleeve tops and a very nice leather jacket that had caught his eye. He was grinning from ear to ear and feeling on top of the world.
Unfortunately he was about to be brought back down with a rather large bump.
Standing around in the front garden of the Dursley's house were what looked like most of the Order of the Phoenix, including Dumbledore.
"Er, hi guys." Harry said tentatively, "What's up?"
Most of the Order had been talking together with their backs to the road and as such hadn't seen Harry approaching. When he spoke up, they all spun around as one. Predictably, Tonks fell over.
"Harry!" called Dumbledore, "Where have you been young man?"
Harry scowled. "Shopping. What's it to you?"
"You are not to leave the house, especially unescorted!" the headmaster said, "We have been looking for you all day!"
"Well you obviously didn't look very hard." Harry spat, "And what do you mean 'unescorted'? I told whoever was on guard this morning that I wanted to go to Diagon Alley and they have been with me all day!"
"No one has been with you today Harry." Kingsley spoke up.
"Kingsley! But...I thought...I've been talking to you all day!" Harry spluttered. And indeed he had, asking opinions on different items of clothing and such. He had taken silences or slight movements of things close to him as answers. What he didn't realise was the slight movements of things around him were caused by other shoppers moving things on the other side of the clothing racks.
"The Order member guarding you this morning received no messages from you Harry." Dumbledore said, glaring at Mundungus Fletcher, who shuffled his feet nervously, "Your guard was asleep in your aunts rose bushes. And if he was awake he would have informed me of your intentions and I would have stopped you."
"It's none of your business, Headmaster!" Harry snapped, "If I want to go shopping you have no right to stop me."
"We are trying to protect you from Voldemort and his Death Eaters!"
"I can protect myself!"
"You are not trained enough to protect yourself!
"I am not trained at all, thanks to you!"
Dumbledore stood up straighter, not a twinkle in his eye.
"Mr Potter, you are to stay in your aunt's house where you are protected. You will not leave it again until I say so. Is that understood?"
"Go suck on your lemon drops, stay out of my life."
The Order gasped in shock. No one spoke to the headmaster of Hogwarts that way! Everyone thought Harry looked up to Dumbledore as something like a Grandfather.
"Mr Potter!" cried McGonagall, "You can't speak to the headmaster like that!"
Harry just scowled at them all. "I'll speak to him how I like. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some new books I'd like to read, including yours Professor McGonagall."
Dumbledore's gaze snapped to the bag on Harry's back. "I think I should check the books to make sure you are not reading anything...Unsuitable."
"Yes well I think you should piss off."
And with that he started making his way to the front door. Dumbledore pulled his wand out and started pointing it towards Harry's bag with the idea of summoning it to him and checking through the young man's purchases.
Harry, sensing...Well he wasn't sure exactly what...But sensing something behind him, dropped the bags of clothing, rolled forwards and to the side pulling out his wand in the process. He snapped up into a duelling crouch he read about the previous night with his wand pointed straight at Dumbledore, the wands tip glowing a concrete grey.
The Order were stunned, all except Mad-Eye Moody who was chuckling to himself and slowly applauding.
"Very nice Potter," the gnarled old Auror growled, "Quick reflexes there. Very nice."
"Thank you Professor Moody." Harry muttered, not taking his eyes, or wand, from Dumbledore.
"Albus," McGonagall called, "I think you should let Mr Potter go inside and read his books. The notice-me-not charm wont hold if you two start duelling. The Muggles might see. Mr Potter, put your wand away this instant!"
Dumbledore eyed Harry carefully before nodding and lowering his wand. Harry stayed still, his wand still glowing and pointed at his headmasters face.
"Don't try that again. It's none of your business what books I read." he snarled.
Once Dumbledore had slid his wand back out of sight, Harry lowered his wand and stood back up, picking up his bags and turning back to walk into the house.
As he was passing Tonks he stopped and grinned at her.
"Tonks!" he said with a grin, "I have a present for you!"
"Present?" her orange eyes lighting up in excitement and her hair flashing through her happy colours. Harry grinned at the over excitable metamorph and reached into the bag on his back, pulling out the gift wrapped book and handing it to her.
"Happy...err...Today!" he called, starting back into the house, "Feel free to drop by any time and put some of those things to the test!" he said with a cheeky grin.
And with that, he closed the front door on the Order members. The last thing he saw was Tonks ripping the wrapping off the book with her hair flashing between green and blue, and a very annoyed looking Headmaster.
Yes. Today had been a good day.
A/N: Well there we go. Chapter one. It's a little different from how I planned it, longer in some places, shorter in others. I'm not sure where the second scene with the Weasley Twins came from but it wouldn't stop bouncing around my head after I thought of it so I stuck it in there anyway.
As with any author posting their works here, I'm hoping for reviews. Helpful hints, pointing out mistakes or errors, telling me what bits you did and didn't like, everything is welcome. I'll even welcome flames if you have something constructive to say in them.
Thanks go to every fanfiction author who has written a story I liked. You have inspired to me write my own. I've read hundreds and hundreds of fics and can't possibly name them all, but my thanks go to you all just the same. More thanks go to the makers of Microsoft Solitaire, for some reason playing a round of that when I get writers block half way through a scene breaks the block and gets me back on track.
Until next time!!