Ok people, first fic, quite nervous.
This is a Post OotP fic, the usual Harry gets proactive thing, hopfully its original, not my fault if it isn't, i've not read all of them people, tis quite impossible i think. Anyway, this is the traditional Harry coming out of depresion chapter. Enjoy!!! oh and i own nothing except the plot, if any of you say i did i will hunt you down with a herring(A fish)
It Starts: Chapter One – The Wall & Breaking Out
The wall never changed. He liked it like that, unchanging, unmovable, the same always the same, unlike other things.
Harry Potter was a mess; he hadn't moved an inch since he came home from Hogwarts and his worst year yet. Not only did he lead his friends into a blatant trap and nearly got them killed, but he lost his Godfather, Sirius Black, and it hurt like the Cruciatus but worse, that pain didn't come close to what he was feeling now, anger, loss, fear, hopelessness, guilt and most of all pure self-loathing. Yeah, I'm a mess alright, but I deserve much worse. He'd been staring at the wall for almost thirty six hours. The pitiful voice in his head that sounded suspiciously like Hermione was telling him it was not his fault, he snorted. Of course it's my fault, I led them there because of my 'Saving people thing'.
The Dursleys would not dare disturb him; they saw the haunted soul begging for a chance to be let loose shining through his eyes. Never tickle a sleeping dragon they say. He didn't know what he would do if they came looking for him, maybe a similar reaction to Death Eaters he would suppose. It wouldn't be pretty.
He went over the events of the last few weeks in his mind. First, the History of Magic exam where he had the vision of Sirius being tortured by Voldemort in the Hall of Prophecy, then Umbrigde's office and speaking to Kreacher, he felt like tearing that elf to pieces, the forest and the Centaurs carrying the old toad off, the bright spot of the day if any. He skipped over the flight and trip down to Hall of Prophecy straight to the battle in the Death Chamber, the rest was a blur up until Sirius fell, so slowly towards the afterlife with his laugh dying on his face. He chased her; he wanted revenge for the only father he had known.
But he couldn't do it; he could not willingly take a life, even one as sadistic and psychotic as her. He was weak, couldn't even avenge on person, never mind his parents and Cedric, Harry Potter was nothing but a pathetic boy. Voldemort had him pegged even as a child, weak, pathetic and worthless. Not worth the air he was breathing. That was until he tried to get inside his head, here Harry had the advantage. While he could not perform that spell that would end it all, Harry could make him feel what it's like to love and then to lose. A grim sense of satisfaction set on him, Love, the all important weapon actually does work it seems. That led him to the prophecy, how he hated Dumbledore now, how dare he keep this from him all his life, letting him think that Voldemort was just a little pissed off that he ejected him from his body and wanted to return the favour. Well he wanted to do that, but for a different reason, though not much different. Either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives. He knew it would end like this really, because he wouldn't let another wand get the last shot at that evil bastard even if he had not heard the prophecy. Some would call it his right, but he was not that arrogant, he simply wanted a chance and if it presented itself he would take it. Others would think its vengeance, but no not anymore it was something else now, something he wasn't sure of.
After the 'meeting' with the Headmaster he was confused beyond all belief, he didn't know what to think. His world had not changed drastically from what it used to be, there was a black dog shaped hole and then another Sirius shaped one that was making itself obvious, but other than that he was still on the bottom of Voldemort's house party list, but now it was 'destined'. Vague images of his friends trying to comfort him pushed themselves forward in his mind, none more than Luna's, Harry knew he would see Sirius one day, but it doesn't mean he can miss him now. He managed to put up a mask Severus Snape would have been proud of; it fooled his friends into thinking he was healing. Once they were out of sight he was he was back to the haunted boy who had seen so much that it had nearly broken him.
Now he sat here sitting on his bead in Number Four Privet Drive Little Whinging staring at a wall. He wanted to move, to be alive again, but he didn't think he could take leaving the room to face The Dursleys, he just couldn't.
Hours later he suddenly leapt up. He didn't like the sound of that. Apparition it sounded like, a distinctive popping sound of someone appearing out of nothingness. Clutching his wand for dear life he shakily went toward his door, he could hear people talking outside in the garden, arguing by the sound of it. He wasn't ready to fight at all physically or mentally, he was still trying to find a way to heal. A knock at the door came, followed by the ring of the bell, if he thought about it he would have realised that the argument was about which one to use, so why not both. Vernon Dursley waddled his way angrily toward the offending door, opening it and politely listening to the people there, but his nerves were getting short. Definitely wizards then, Harry thought. The voice was familiar; it dragged him out of his protective little bubble and shook him to the core. He hadn't realised that there might be a person who feels even worse than he does. Remus! Harry felt shame come about him and he opened the door and looked down the stairs just as Vernon was about to bellow up at him.
"Ah, there you are Harry, we were getting worried, and we haven't heard from you for more than five days, I thought we agreed on an owl every three days." Remus said from the hall where he and Tonks were standing. He looked a wreck, but it was accentuated by his shabbiness and furry tendencies.
Harry now came into the light and heard Tonks gasp and Remus' wince as if pinched. Vernon even backed down from shouting at him. Harry knew they too had seen his eyes, so dead with loss and pain. Wait! Did he say five days? He asked himself, he must have been more out of it than he thought. "Yeah, three days, right. I must have lost track, haven't been sleeping much." He told them reluctantly, his voice cracking from lack of use. Automatically putting his mask up, surprised at how well he could hold it.
"Oh, well you should really try to sleep, can't be good for you staying up like this. We best be off then if you're okay. Remember, three days, send one tomorrow and we'll start from there." With that they rushed out the door. He could tell Remus felt a little uncomfortable being here. Maybe it's me, he mused as Vernon bustled into the living room, and maybe I'm just too much off a reminder to him. It didn't look like he was getting out of here this summer so he resigned himself to his fate – he almost smiled at that part – and returned to his room to think.
He realised it was early morning of his fifth day here now he paid attention, he lay down and almost immediately he fell into a dreamless sleep.
He woke up late the next day and his mind was clear, the crushing grief was still there but he could operate at least. He went about his business of unpacking and tidying, writ his letter to the Order. He got thinking about the prophecy and realised that he was in no shape to fighting Voldemort on a Hogwarts education, stellar as it was. He was going to need to train and hard. Dumbledore wouldn't do it, he would want to keep people sheltered from the war not train them to join it. Remus was probably the same, as well as every other adult. He could not blame them as he was doing the same thing really, fighting the war so others don't have to. He could not go into battle blind, which would be like jumping up and down with a glowing sign pointing to him.
The only option he could think of is to train on his own, it would be difficult and arduous but he knew he could do it. He'd need books, that means Diagon Alley, which would be very dangerous considering the Death Eaters were likely to come out into the open soon, plus he was being watched at every point, the invisibility cloak would get him past them until he got to The Alley. Then he would need a better disguise, his hooded cloak obviously, but he needed to change his face, Polyjuice was out of the question, magic as well. If he could get to Fred and Georges shop he could get some interesting sweets that would change him for bit. Gringotts first, then the Twins shop and I'm off.
It was too late to go to sleep so he contented himself by going over some of his already owned books, there wasn't much he didn't know about them, he'd mastered every charm, hex, curse and transfiguration in them, plus more. He didn't teach the DA as much he would have liked, but that would be rectified this year, for the people who are not content to sit on the sidelines like himself he would train them to the best of his ability.
He roused himself after a few hours of dozing in his chair, Hedwig glaring at him after returning from the Order HQ for not cleaning he cage, refilling her water dish and not giving her treats. He promised he'd do these things once he got back from The Alley. Right now he needed to get his head in right place; he couldn't go into Diagon Alley a blubbering mess. Harry knew he was in no state to be traipsing over London; he'd rest up for tomorrow and head out the day after. For know he would make a rough schedule of for his training.
He couldn't get far without knowing what braches of magic he was going to study; Defence definitely, with a lot of offence too, Occlumency and Legilimency would be needed to keep Voldemort, Snape and possible Dumbledore out and to get what information he needed if it wasn't given willingly, he hoped it wouldn't come to that, he'd also needed to get in shape and maybe a armed and unarmed combat. It was going to be a long few weeks. Grabbing a piece of parchment, ink and a quill he spent a few minutes furiously scratching away. When finished he looked back at his work.
6.00 Am – 7.00 Am Running/Weight training
7.00 Am – 9.00 Am Armed and Unarmed Combat
9.30 Am – 12.00 Pm Defence and Offence theory
12.30 Pm – 3.00 Pm Occlumency
3.00 Pm – 5.30 Pm Legilimency
He had to leave out practical magic to when he had free time at Hogwarts, it was pain, but what was the point in having his wand snapped when he had a job to do.
With that finished he thought he may as well start running early and got dressed in his oversized hand-me-downs, he'd get some new clothes when he went to London, and went out into the clear dew covered morning and jogged off down the street, taking it easy to warm up, he knew the Order were keeping tabs on him, the ragged panting from behind him told him that he was being followed by someone who was not even moderately in shape, even he found this as an average pace, Quidditch keeps you fit but not enough for him. Deciding to speed up just as he came to the park, muffled swear drifting from behind, he picked it up to a gentle run around the play area. The person behind him started to stagger after a few minutes, then eventually fall. Looking back he saw a disembodied foot a few metres behind him, he walked over and picked the invisibility cloak of them, and looked down on an exhausted Tonks, who looked up in surprise.
"You know, for Auror your really out of shape. You could have sat on the bench and waited till I went back. I wasn't going to run off." He told her. He was a little pissed off at the lack of trust but he let it pass knowing he deserved it.
"Oh...yeah…I suppose…your right. Why...are your out…running anyway?" She panted at him, staggering to her feet.
"Just getting into shape, there's a war going on you know, I won't get caught out if I have to run from something." Harry answered in a grave tone. He wouldn't tell anyone about his real training yet, they would try to shelter him and tell him it's unnecessary and that he didn't need to go to war. His friends would understand. Sirius understood. Sure Sirius wanted to protect him, but not leave him defenceless or ignorant. "Besides I don't have anything better to do, I'm not getting out of here anytime soon so why not do a little training? Can't do any harm."
"Well hello to Captain Sensible." She said. "But I suppose your right; it won't do any harm, except to me." She grabbed a cramp in her leg.
"I take it you're stuck on the morning shift this summer then. It'll do you good to get in shape. Honestly that was pathetic." Harry laughed for what felt like the first time in years.
"Hey, don't get smart with me!" Tonks cried angrily. This just made him laugh even more; she was not what most would call an imposing person, seeing her angry was hilarious.
"Did you just actually stamp you foot!" He was in complete hysterics now. "I didn't think people really did that!" Harry could see her lips twitching and her face flushing.
"Fine. Yes I am stuck with the morning shift so I will be joining you on your runs if you carry on with them. Its good see you too by the way. You seem to be a bit more yourself than from the other day." She said hesitantly.
Harry sobered up immediately. He wasn't sure he was ready to talk yet, the pain had eased, but it was still a little raw. "I guess you could say I realised that moping in my own self pity wasn't what he would have wanted. Do you miss him?" he asked her without preamble.
"I didn't really know him as well as I like, but yes I miss him, he was the only family outside parents that I had, it's good to see they're not all evil bastards. How are you holding up?"
"It was rough the first few days I got back, don't know how I managed to miss two days though, it's still pretty tough but I know I can't let it get to me, it'll tear me apart if I let it. No more than I deserve."
"What are you talking about? You don't deserve to lose your godfather." She told him firmly. She didn't get it, it was his entire fault.
"It's my fault, if I hadn't gone there, if I had only thought about it he wouldn't ha-"
"It is not your fault Harry! How could you think that? Did you fire the curse that hit him? Did you tell him to go there? NO! You didn't. Now you are to stop blaming yourself or I'll hex you myself!" she told him firmly. He could swear he saw tears beginning to fall.
"Wouldn't that go against the whole 'protect Harry' thing? Though it may not be entirely my fault, but it is partly. Hermione told me it was a trap but I didn't listen, she said I have a 'Saving people thing'. I think she might be onto something."
They sat in a comfortable silence for a few minutes, each lost in their own thoughts. Harry wondered how much he could tell her of the prophecy if anything it would be such a relief to talk to someone who didn't think him to a weapon to hone or a child to be sheltered, even though she was on guard duty at the moment. He didn't want reveal anything to someone who reported to Dumbledore so he left it for now.
"You aren't very good at the hiding thing are you; I could hear you behind me since we left privet drive. Speaking of which, I should get back, c'mon you can walk with me." With that they set off at a slow pace.
"How's Remus? I should have asked the other day but I was so out of it, I'd only thought two days had gone by. He seemed really uncomfortable." He asked after a while. He was worried about his father's friend, it had to be hard to lose your best friends once, but have one of them torn away again must be torture.
"He's not doing well; he thinks you don't want to know him because he would remind you of Sirius, James and Lily. I tried to tell him that you would want to get know him more, but he wouldn't budge, the only reason he came by that day was because I dragged him and made him talk. None of us know how to get him out of it; all he does is stay in his room at Headquarters when he's not on missions. We're worried about him."
"Could you tell him I'd like it if we could meet up from time to time, you know, to talk. I'd really like to get to know him; I made a mistake of not doing that with Sirius." He asked her slowly. He wasn't really sure if this would be allowed considering his mounting security.
"Sure thing." She assured him quietly. "I'm not really supposed to tell you this Harry, but the Order isn't letting you leave here till the last few days of August. Dumbledore says this is the safest place for you right now, Molly went berserk and demanded you be sent to The Burrow or Headquarters, he told us all about the Blood Wards and she backed down but she's still on the warpath." Harry didn't know whether to laugh or cry at this news, he wanted time to train, but he needed to see his friends before they went to Hogwarts to tell them about the prophecy and his training.
"Typical Dumbledore. Was he even going to tell me! I mean it's my life for fuck sake!" Harry stormed; he thought Dumbledore would have learnt his lesson by what happened in his office.
"I don't know if he was, but I thought you had a right to know. You should see it from his point of view though, he has a war to orchestrate, and he's under a lot of pressure to do something about some of the small attacks around the country. He has to keep some things to himself, though not this, he's sure there's a spy in the Order, You-Know-Who is always one step ahead. We all have our own things to do, but none bigger than his."
Though Harry was now slightly ashamed of his behaviour he could see where she was coming from, it would be hard to lead this war with limited resources; he could understand the pressure though. Harry was under the most though no matter what Dumbledore had to do, even if the pressure was just coming from him, it was still wrong to keep thing so trivial as this from him though and he would tell him when he saw him next, this time he would smash his office up, but maybe a little shouting, just to get the point across.
"Though if I hear language like that off you again I will tell Molly." Tonks threatened just as she disappeared under her cloak.
Harry blanched. "No, you wouldn't, please, I like being alive, your pure evil." He said as he heard her laughed from across the street. He turned and stomped into the house just in time to hear Vernon summoning him to cook breakfast. It seemed that they didn't fear to talk or even look at him anymore. The day passed in a flurry of chores and fearful looks from Dudley which amused Harry to no end, at one point he discreetly followed his piggy cousin until Vernon locked him in his room for being a nuisance or it may have been for breathing, he didn't quite know. He set his alarm for 5.30 in the morning and got his cloak out, both invisible and black ones and then decided to get an early night ready for his trip to Diagon Alley.
In the morning Harry was surprised to see Tonks visible and also wearing a muggle tracksuit and trainers, it was a thoroughly confusing experience seeing as wizards and witches cannot dress like muggles even if they have a manual.
"Well…I'm shocked; you actually look like a muggle except for the pink hair. Though if you looked you probably could find a muggle with similar hair, but I have an inkling they wouldn't be dressed like that." She poked he tongue out at that and Harry laughed. "Well c'mon, seeing as you have the right equipment we can skip the warm up and go straight to the proper run." She grimaced at that, but kept up until they reached the park, and decided that she would sit on the bench while Harry ran about ten laps of the park. It wasn't much but he knew he needed his energy today. They walked back chatting amiably about everything and nothing, they touched briefly on the war but didn't linger on the depressing subject, and they talked about Sirius and what stories they had heard about him and his Hogwarts years.
"Remus said he can't meet for few weeks yet, he's doing some work abroad for the Order for the next few weeks, he'll owl you when he can meet." She said as she pulled an invisibility cloak out of her pocket.
"Okay. You know I'm actually starting to like spending time here, even if it's only because of you and eventually Remus make it bearable you could say. See you tomorrow, Tonks." He called as he opened the door to Number Four. He would have preferred to have his friends, but they may have not known what he was going through, but Remus and Tonks do.
"See you, Harry." Tonks' disembodied voice answered.
Harry ran up the stairs and grabbed a shower before his trip; he needed to time his departure with Vernon's departure for work in and half an hour's time. Once he was dressed once again in Dudley's cast offs, but this time for the last time, he grabbed both cloaks, tucking the black one in his pocket next to his wand an Gringots key, he threw the invisibility cloak over his head and made his way down stairs as Vernon was saying goodbye to aunt Petunia. Harry stayed close behind him and denied the temptation scare crap out of him. Just before the door closed Harry slipped through successfully, which was no mean feat with the like on Vernon Dursley going through the door. A mile or so later there was a loud noise like a gunshot and a figure robbed in black climbed onto a purple triple decker bus.
"Diagon Alley, please Stan."
"Righ' you are, sir." The now less spotty Stan Shunpike said. "That'a be firteen Sickles, or if you want some tea an' a bit of toast that'a be Fifteen Sickles." Harry paid the man and took his piping hot cup of tea to one of the mismatched seats and observed his surroundings the bus was now heading along a motorway. People around him were eying him suspiciously, he suppose he did look like he was up to no good with this cloak, he'd buy a less malicious looking one later.
"What stop is The Alley, Stan?" he called up to the front where Stan was talking to and elderly wizard with an enormous hat on.
"Two more stops, 'ogsmeade and Weymouth." He called distractedly.
They rolled through Hogsmeade's main street and stopped outside the Three Broomsticks. Harry pulled his hood a little lower as he saw Madam Rosmerta throw someone out of her pub. If he got recognized here he would be locked in Privet Drive all summer. Stan walked with the elderly wizard as he got off the Knight Bus, Harry realise elderly was the wrong word once he saw his face, he was positively ancient.
Fifteen minutes later Harry got off the bus at Charing Cross road and entered The Leaky Cauldron. The place was almost empty there were two wizards is the corner that may have been Aurors, but Harry didn't stay to find out, he needed to get to Gringots as fast as possible so he didn't get noticed. Taping the bricks out the back of the pub Harry was revealed to the once lively Diagon Alley, gone were the bright faces and extravagant signs in the front of the shops, replaced with grim faces and 'safe' signs, it saddened him to see it like this, here you couldn't doubt the rumours of war, it was dreary, before people would stop and talk happily with friends or shopkeepers, now they rushed about in groups desperate to get home safely.
Harry stole himself from his thoughts and marched purposefully to the big white building at the end of the alley, inside it was exactly the same as the other times he had been here. This was a wizard's war so the Goblins just went about their business as usual; if they or their bank was threatened by Voldemort they could harm his war effort easily by cutting off the Death Eaters funds, which could damn his whole war.
"Potter Trust fund, please." He told the goblin sat on the high desk. The goblin looked extremely surprised at the word please, it's not often a wizard shows respect to a goblin.
"Do you have your key Mister Potter?" the goblin asked with the same respect.
"Yes, here you are." Harry placed the key in front of the goblin, he inspected it and gave it back, and then he called for another goblin to take him down.
Harry recognized the little goblin as Griphook, the same goblin who took him down his vault previously. He wondered whether this was a coincidence or if Griphook was his account manager.
"Good morning, Griphook." Harry said politely. The goblin looked even more surprised than the other who served him.
"A good morning to you too Mister Potter. I see you remember me from you're previous visits. It is not usual for humans to remember our names or even show us a modicum of the respect you show now, I thank you for it." He told Harry respectfully
"You're more than welcome. I do not understand why other wizards refuse to show respect to the managers of out money, you more than deserve it for the work you do." Harry had to admit that even though it was true he was laying it on thick here, if he could make them see that not all wizards are prats, they may be more partial to ally themselves with the light side.
"Here we are Mister Potter, vault 687, key please." Harry handed him the key and watched as the mounds of gold appeared in front of him, he didn't know how much he was going to need so he filled a sack provided by Griphook with almost Five Hundred Galleons. He was about to leave when the goblin stopped him.
"Mister Potter we could put an undetectable extension charm on that bag and a weightless charm, it would make it easier when you need to take a lot of money." He told Harry.
"Oh." Said Harry slightly bewildered as why they didn't just give all the account holders these bags. They must cost quite a bit then if they only offer them to people who need to take out a lot of money. "Okay, I'll have another bag then; I need a lot of muggle money as well." Griphook handed him another bag out of nowhere.
Twenty minutes later harry left with Thousand Galleons and One Thousand Pounds. He didn't think he'd need it all but he wanted to be sure, and have enough so he didn't need to go back when he came for his school supplies and school.
He entered Weasley Wizarding Wheezes, where pandemonium reigned supreme, and headed towards the counter without being noticed, no one would look at him when there was the colourful packages on the shelves. He spotted Fred or maybe George he wasn't sure and tapped him on the shoulder.
"Morning Gred or is it Forge?" Harry asked one of the twins. He relaxed at that as he knew only a few people knew that nickname and all of them were either friends or Weasleys.
"Morning, now who may be under that hood? And its Gred or Fred if you want." Fred greeted him.
"Well, we could say that I'm your business partner so to speak." A look of dawning recognition passed over his face quickly replaced by an impressed grin. "I would like to talk to you in private if possible."
"Of course, follow me to the back room." They walked through crowd, George gave him a questioning look as passed the counter, and Fred just tapped his forehead in the place where Harry's scar would be, and George just nodded.
The backroom was dark and dusty shelves filled with boxes nowhere near the exuberance of the front of the shop, they were all plain and normal cardboard.
"Well this is a pickle we have isn't it." Fred said in mock serious stone.
"A pickle indeed my good friend." Harry replied the same.
A grin broke onto the unusually serious face of Fred. "So, how did you esc- I mean come to be here?"
"I hope you are not insinuating that I ran away from my highly trained Auror guard, I'm hurt that you would think so." Harry replied in shocked voice and hand on his chest as if anticipating a massive coronary.
"Oh no, I wouldn't do such a thing, the great Harry Potter can do whatever he wants, even miraculously appearing in this fine establishment without the people protecting you being any the wiser. It simply wouldn't do for the great Harry Potter to be hounded by Aurors everywhere he goes as well as his adoring fans." Fred looked outraged at the idea of it.
"Well down to business then. I need a disguise, I've got a bit of shopping to do and as you said it would not do to be recognized. I was hoping I could find something in this fine establishment that would help me stay undercover for a few hours." He told the twin while looking through several boxes on the dusty shelves.
The smile on Fred's face was one pure mischief incarnate; he would not like to get on the wrong side of that. "I think you came to the right place, we have few items that could help, for example a repulsion spray, you simply spray it on whatever you don't want people to notice, in your case your face, they would see you but not notice anything out of the ordinary such as a great blaring lightning bolt scar on your forehead or your very distinctive eyes, or your face in general, because good sir it's just hideous compared to the likes of the God standing before you, you may bow if you wish." Fred put up a very lordly expression and spread his arms wide and to the amazement of Harry he started to float. Harry stared open mouthed at Fred floating there until he was unceremoniously thrown into the wall with a mighty racket. Harry could barely keep upright with the effort of laughing; he really thought he was going to pass out from the lack of air. George came in just as Harry fell to the floor laughing like a maniac and Fred distantly asking if there was any roast beef left.
He remained laughing on the floor for about ten minutes and was about to recover when Fred asked "Pass the pie, George, mm best pie I've ever had this, Mum." That sent both him and George crying fits of hysterics which they would not recover from for another twenty minutes. Fred suddenly bolted upright and shook the debris of him and staggered to his feet. "Um…George!" he yelled.
"I'm right here you dolt." George told him from beside him. Both Harry and George were desperately trying to keep a straight face, but were failing to eliminate the small sniggers that were released every few seconds, though Fred din not notice.
"What?!" he looked round at both Harry and George and turned completely white. "AAGGGHHHH!!! It's happening already! AAAGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!" with that he promptly ran from the room screaming and limbs flailing all over the place.
"Um…okay, that wasn't at all weird." Harry said, too stunned to even laugh at such a spectacle.
"Oh, no of course it wasn't." George replied now going red was trying not to laugh. Composing himself he turned to Harry. "How did it happen?" his composure was starting to crack so told the story quickly from the point Fred started to float. The tattered ruins of George's composure lay at his feet, along with a once again hysterical George. "That… Heheheh! That Idiot HAhahahahaha! He actually tried the levitating lollies! Hahahahahahaha! They were just the prototypes, hadn't got the – the stabilising charm done! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!" Harry decided it was time he got on with his business and picked George to his feet with some difficulty, he was by no means a light person.
"Listen I need a disguise for the day, can you help me? Harry asked him over his continual laughing.
"Ye-Yeah." He gasped in between laughs. "Try the Glamour Gum, g-g-gives you a-a- a light twelve hour Glamour Charm in the style of your choice." He gained his breath back a picked up a pack of gum and handed it to Harry. "Just tap you wand on them and specify the appearance then chew away and hey presto! You're unrecognizable to the naked eye." George finished with an impressive flourish.
"Right, well, off I go." He told George as he tapped the gum specifying a inconspicuous appearance, nothing flashy just enough for him to seem normal but not suspiciously so. Chewing the gum he felt a charm set up on him and walked out to the front to find Fred hidden under the shelves brandishing his wand at the customers trying to coax him out. The sight was so comical Harry and George burst into laughter again. Harry forced himself towards the door and went on with his shopping.
He'd start with a new trunk to put his new stuff in, a multi-compartment like Mad-Eye had. Down the way he saw Magical Emporium for Everyday Magic. That sounded a good place to start so he made his way there. Inside he found exactly what he would need. The sales assistant told him that the trunk he was looking at was top of the line with six compartments. Three of them devoted to storage space, and a lot at that. The other three were a kitchen/dining room set up and another and a bedroom/bathroom and the last as a lounge/entertainment area. It was all completely furnished, but he asked if they did Gryffindor colours, he got the sense that they would paint it shocking pink with the money he paying for it. Five Hundred Galleons, and well worth it too. He left that shop very much satisfied, with a shrunken trunk in his pocket. Books would be next best place to go, get the essential first then go for the luxury.
In Flourish and Blotts he picked out five defence books, much more advanced than anything in the Hogwarts DADA classes. About seven on offence, these would be the ones he would study most intently, he realised that they could not just defend against the Death Eaters when they were out to kill, fight fire with fire you could call it. Also battle transfiguration and charms could be useful so he bought a few books on those. He only picked one book on Occlumency and the same for Legilimencey, he knew at least that there were different techniques and he would have to focus on one now. The combat stuff he chose countless books on a range of different styles, he wanted to be unpredictable, and nothing scares like the unknown. The bill came to an impressive Seventy Five Galleons, which even Hermione would be proud of. With a touch of his hand he enlarged his trunk and stacked the books neatly in the second compartment, he'd need the first for clothes and the third would random things like swords and the like.
Clothes were the next thing he would get in The Alley; he'd be heading into muggle London to get some muggle clothes, which most of the teenagers at Hogwarts wore on their days off. Madam Malkins was his next stop, Harry didn't really wear robes but seeing as he would be spending the rest of his life in this world he would need them. Assuming he would survive this war, he was determined to. Inside he saw the last person he ever expected to see in here. There standing on the podium being measured by Madam Malkin, Severus Snape scowled at him even though he didn't know it was Harry; he nodded curtly and averted his eyes from the Legilimens. Snape continued to glare at him and eventually looked back to the mirror. Harry's self-control was almost at his limit, this was the man to blame for Sirius' death not Harry. Not all his fault but mostly. The assistant came out and asked Harry if he would like some help.
"Err…yeah." He said distantly, he hadn't realised he'd been standing in the middle of the shop staring at the floor. "I…err…need two pairs of dress robes, one formal and one more business-like, and a few casual robes for everyday use." The assistant told him to get up on the podium next to Snape and to take his cloak of, Harry defiantly kept his dignity given his misfit clothes. The measurements took about twenty minutes, by this time Snape had stormed out giving Harry one last glare.
He chose a black set of robes for meetings he may or may not be having in the future and pair of dark red for balls and the like. His casual robes were various colours like grey, black, dark green, dark blue, and a sandy brown colour. He didn't know what he was going to use these for but he got them anyway. This costly expedition set him back Two Hundred Galleons.
Wait! I need potions stuff. Damn it! He thought. He may not get into advanced potions but he would need to make healing potions and restorative draughts. Thirty Galleons later he had a master level potion kit, he was probably far from a master, but he supposed he had some skill without Snape breathing down his neck. He popped back into Flourish and Blotts and bought some potions and healing books.
Done with his magical shopping trip he went out into London and did some not so magical retail therapy. He needed some new work-out clothes, and some casual clothes and maybe a suit or two.
Heading off to the centre of London he stopped in a few obscure stores and picked up some practice weapons: daggers, knives and swords, threw them in his trunk in an alley on the way into the centre.
He got back to privet drive two hours later, Five Hundred Pounds, Seven Hundred and Fifty Galleons lighter. His mind also felt a little less jumbled after everything that had happened, he didn't feel as if he had to continually punish himself for Sirius' death. He felt generally lighter.
Asleep as soon as he hit the pillow Harry slept all the way to the alarm. Fitted out in his new tracksuit and trainers he went out to find Tonks dressed in a similar manner.
She wolf whistled. "Wow, you look good, where did you get them?"
"My aunt has some catalogues; I ordered them over the phone, special delivery. Got a load of others too, and I got in touch with Madam Malkin and she's going to send me some new robes, so no more hand-me-downs for Harry." Harry told her brightly. The story had to be convincing, with a little investigation it would fall apart. She seemed to accept it and they set off for the park, there wasn't much progress yet in the way of stamina but harry definitely started to feel fresher after the runs.
Once back at Privet Drive he settled into the sitting room of his trunk with his books on unarmed combat, he went through stretches and the breathing exercises and started the basic stances and techniques. It was difficult work for a beginner, but the end benefits would be well worth it. Taking one of his fencing books and a wooden sword he slowly went through the sword dances, he could see where some these moves could be applied to wand duelling.
After two hours of combat he took a break and go to get a snack. On his desk there were three letters, and an irate Hedwig.
"Sorry girl. Here you go." He relieved her of her burden and gave her a few owl treats. Picking up the letters he saw Hermione's meticulously neat handwriting, Ron's scratch that made Harry think the chickens taught him how write and an elegant script which he suspected to be Remus'. He opened Hermione's first while he at his snack of a ham salad sandwich.
How are you? How has your summer been so far? Are they treating you well? If they're not you should tell Professor Dumbledore. He told me to tell you that. Demanded is more the word, but I think he's got your best interests at heart.
Have you started your homework yet? I've nearly completed mine, the essay for history of magic was particularly fascinating, I mean I would have never guessed that werewolves an vampires have such a history, its completely riveting. The potions one is a little killer though, Snape really shouldn't have set it, its NEWT work, the Draught of Living Death is not even on the OWL curriculum, not even mentioned and he still set it! The NEWT class must be very challenging. Transfiguration though is by far the most interesting, I would love to become an animagus, imagine being an animal with just a thought, I think I might ask her how to become one since I turn seventeen so early in the term.
Professor Dumbledore said he's moving me as soon as I'm ready to leave. Are you going there soon? I kept asking if we were going to same place as last summer, but he said that I was being sent to a charming place in the country. When I asked about you he said he had a meeting and left, has he told you anything?
Has Ron sent you a letter yet? He's already sent me two, and most of them were worrying about you, you'd think he had a thing for you, Ginny might have some competition! Yes I did just make a joke, it's not unheard of you know.
I hope to see you soon, Diagon Alley or on the train are my safest bets I suppose.
Please be careful
P.S. Don't you go beating yourself up about Sirius, don't blame yourself! Or I'll hex you into next Christmas!
Harry had to laugh, she knew him better than anyone, even Ron, and she would always know what was bothering him, even when she wasn't here. He also had to admit that apart from Snape's work the homework set was a little interesting, especially the animagus work, he'd been toying with the idea for a while now, and realised he need one more book. That's Hermione though always making him think. The thing she said about Ron having a thing for him was just downright disgusting with kind of absurd humour, it made his skin crawl and want to laugh at the same time.
Ron's letter was likely to be pretty similar but without the studying. If Ron started asking him about how he was doing on his homework, it would mean a trip to St Mungo's.
How you doing, mate? You holding up? You better, Gryffindor needs you for the cup this year. So, what've you been up to so far? It's been a right bore here, we're barley left outside at all, Mums going ballistic on the smallest of things, to be expected though I suppose.
Hermione told me to tell you to stop blaming yourself, as much as I hate to admit it, she's right, I hate it when she's right, except this time obviously. Also she said something about homework. I like the idea of becoming an animagus but not writing an essay about them, I'm sure you can understand that, it would be so cool!
Dumbledore's been round a few times, don't really know what he wants, just talks with mum and dad and leaves, I think mum wants to get you away from the muggles as soon as possible. Are they treating you okay? I doubt they would be very happy after last summer anyway.
Well best rap it up here: Ginny's nagging me to use Pig. And it's not your fault! I may not hex you like Hermione but I will give you a good talking to! And shut up, I'll have you know that my talks are very inspirational when they want to be.
See you soon (Hopefully)
Inspirational my arse! Harry thought. It was nice to hear from his friends, but it still rankled a bit when they thought that he was going to break down just because they weren't here, even though it was mostly true, well was true, the pain was still there but now it was numbed by a new sense of determination, he needed to do something, something useful to help no matter what Dumbledore or his friends would say, he'd would include them, but they couldn't stop him.
The third letter was indeed from Remus, even though he'd been expecting it he still felt a little surprised his former professor had actually written, he'd thought Remus would resent him a little for making Sirius run to Harry's rescue, Harry himself resented himself.
I'm sending this before I leave, just encase Tonks didn't get the message to you. I'm not sure what has prompted you to want to talk with me, but I appreciate it greatly, I know Sirius' death was hard on you, to have someone so close to you ripped away after so little time is not something that anyone should go through least of all you, who has been through so much already.
I would very much like to meet with you, it would help us both, and I shall contact you when I can.
Harry didn't know if Remus always wrote like this but it seemed very formal and closed off, very much like his persona in person, a suffer in silence kind of thing. Harry felt guilty at not getting to know his father's friend sooner, Remus could probably tell him more even than Sirius did, seeing as he was always the quieter of the four, but by far the most responsible and observant, he would not let their memory die, and Remus was the only link left to them. The man would likely feel used if he just asked about his parents and Sirius, but Harry genuinely wanted to get to know him as a person and break through the barriers that hadn't really broken since his parents died.
Lifting one of his many defence books out of his half stocked miniature library Harry placed the letters down on his desk in the sitting room for later. This particular book, Native Defence: Celtic and Welsh Edition, had grabbed Harry's attention in the book store, he'd never known that the natives to Great Britain had created spells using their native tongue; he thought it was all Latin or variations of it. Most of the book was made up of different types of shields, each one with its own advantages and disadvantages against certain spells, one he found very intriguing was Skeito, a very powerful Celtic shield absorbed the spells coming at it and using the magical energy to power up the shield, he didn't know what range of spells this covered but he was sure it was most basic curses and hexes, anything like an unforgivables would get through by the description given. Another spell was a sort of diversion, it created a perfect illusion that could fire off harmless spells as a distraction, Lledrith corff was the incantation, and just the language may confuse the enemies he had to face.
An hour later he picked up the first book on offensive spells out of his trunk, this was the most anticipated subject he would be studying, he could see no other way to defeat the Death Eaters than to incapacitate them, if that meant that he had to kill them or just injure and capture them then so be it, he was not eager to kill so to speak, but he knew he would have to, so he may as well go into a situation like that with the weapons he had at his disposal.
The book he picked up, When you Need to Blow Something Up was a rather comical approach but it seemed to hit the nail on the head as far as Harry was concerned, not to serious that no-one will pay attention but not too funny that people will take it as a joke. The first spell that really made him laugh was the Mesko Charm, which made the target feel very drunk, sort of like a Confundus Charm but with the added humour of being completely trashed like you've been drinking Firewhiskey like water. There were others but he couldn't help but crack up when he thought of Voldemort getting hit by it, just imagining him staggering about trying to cast a spell straight was too funny.
He went downstairs for lunch and was immediately confronted by Vernon.
"Decided to show your face have you. Well it's about time; there are things for you to do in this house. You have to pull your weight; I won't have you freeloading of us." Vernon growled in his face. Vernon didn't seem as intimidating as before, it was strange seeing him like this, almost from a third person perspective, he was a bit pathetic in all honesty, Harry couldn't find it in himself to be scared.
"No." Harry told him calmly and decisively, it felt good. "I am not your slave, I am not here to 'do your bidding' as it were, I'm here because I have no choice, I don't like it, you don't like it, so how bout you leave me be and I'll leave you be like have been."
"How dare you speak to me like that? I put a roof over your head gave you clothes and fed you, and this is how you repay me." Vernon was going a very strange tone of blue by now and multiple veins were ready to rupture on his forehead. Petunia and Dudley were peering round the corner from the kitchen. Dudley looked like he wanted to object a little but did not act on the impulse. Petunia seemed torn between her hatred of Harry and wanting to keep things quiet so everything seemed normal.
"Actually I'm wearing my own clothes if you haven't noticed, I went out and bought them, and the food is made from the things I've bought when I go out." That was a lie, but Vernon didn't know that. "So don't lecture me about clothes and food when they have nothing to do with you." He stormed past them, leaving them slightly shocked in the hallway, making a quick sandwich and hastily retreating to his room for his mind training. He dint want to have to confront them this soon, it would make things strained for the summer. The food idea was not bad, he had quite a lot of muggle money left so he may as well make use of his kitchen in his trunk, and he wouldn't have to leave his room then, except for when he needed to shop for food.
The Occlumency book, It's All in Your Head, was the best seller in this type of book, the terminology was complicated but Harry couldn't help but feel as if this was the simpler version, a good place to start he supposed. Basically it said that your mind is like an ocean, powerful, confusing and unpredictable. Boats or ships represent the rational and intentional thoughts and sea creatures being the random thoughts that generally don't get aired to the world, inconsequential thoughts like 'Is Snape really afraid of shampoo?' intriguing thoughts, but not really major eloquent masterpieces. The swirl of the current of the ocean represents the memories, turbulent and calm at the same time. The book mentions that some minds already have a semblance of control once they reach seven, the normal age for magic to show itself, Harry was not one of these people. Obviously. To calm this ocean it says you have to sort each memory into a flow that fits like a flow for certain people, like his friends or the DA. It was a simple enough activity, but with the memories Harry had it would be painful and could take hours, none the less he ploughed on through till the late hours on the morning then promptly fell into a undisturbed sleep, so ended his first day of training.
It was going to be a long summer.
Taaaaadaaaaaa, yeah anyway, REVIEW if you know whats good for you. i'll update whenever i can.