Disclaimer and A/N: You know the drill; I don't own any of the characters here, they belong to the wonderful Ms. Rowling, Bloomsbury Publishing, Scholastic Inc., Warner Bros., etc. The plot is mine, although no plagiarism or copyright infringement is intended.
This is just an idea I had. I know several people have had similar ideas, but this is my take on the whole let's-abuse-Harry thing. Hermione and Ron are in this, but this will NOT, repeat NOT involve romance or slashiness of any kind so people looking for a romance fic can bugger off; they won't find that here. While this is my first fic, this is a repost of an earlier version, which has been newly edited for your reading pleasure. Please r/r! Constructive criticism is helpful.
Harry Potter and the Escape from the Dursleys
MegofallltradesPart 1: Remus and Sirius get a Letter
Remus Lupin sat in a battered wing chair in his living room and watched Sirius Black pace the length of the room. "Sirius, pacing isn't going to solve anything. I'm sure there's a perfectly good reason that Harry hasn't written, and I'm sure it has nothing to do with Voldemort. If- " He was cut off by a frantic tapping on the window. He looked up to see a large snowy owl perched on the windowsill. Sirius opened the window and Hedwig soared in, landing on the back of the sofa.
"That's Harry's owl." Sirius said, taking the letter she held on an outstretched leg. "That's not Harry's handwriting, though."
"No, I believe that's Hermione's. I don't know why she'd be writing me, though." With that, Remus opened the letter that Sirius handed him.
Dear Professor Lupin,
I'm sure you're wondering why I'm writing to you. I was wondering if you'd heard from Harry recently? I stayed with the Weasley's last week for Ginny's birthday and Ron says that he hasn't heard from him in awhile. Hedwig showed up at my house and when I tried to send a letter she came back with it! Ron and I are quite worried; so is Mrs. Weasley. We were wondering if it would be possible for you to check on Harry? The Dursleys couldn't care less about him; in the summer before our second year they actually locked him in his room and practically starved him. Please reply soon, and say hello to Snuffles for us, if he's there.
"That's it! I'm going over there right now!" exclaimed Sirius.
"Sirius, think for a moment, would you?" said an exasperated Remus. "You have no wand, no way of getting back even if I did get you there, and no way of getting Harry. In addition, I somehow doubt that Dumbledore would be very pleased with us if we went over there and took Harry."
"Well, that's why you should call him and explain that we're going."
"Fine. I will call him and explain why I would like to go and check on Harry and possibly bring him back here."
Remus strode over to the fireplace and grabbed a small jar of sparkly purple powder off of the mantelpiece, he tossed a small pinch into the fire and said, "Albus Dumbledore!" After about half a minute Dumbledore's head appeared in the flames. "Remus! What a pleasant surprise. May I ask what you've called about?"
"Yes, well Albus, I just received a letter from Miss Hermione Granger concerning Harry Potter. She and Ron Weasley are quite worried that Harry hasn't written them in awhile and would like me to check on him. I'd like your permission to do so, and to possibly bring him back here for the remainder of the summer. I know he's protected at his relatives' house, but he's very unhappy there and he hasn't written Sirius or me for a couple of weeks now. To be frank, I'm getting somewhat worried myself, and Sirius is currently in the process of wearing a track into my carpet from all of the pacing he's been doing."
Dumbledore frowned slightly, thought for a minute and said, "Well, I don't see why he can't stay at your house. It is out of the way and in an isolated area. As long as you are careful to avoid detection when you collect him, I see no reason why you shouldn't. Oh, and Sirius should not go with you. As much as he would like to, it isn't safe for him to go with. Do let me know how Harry is tomorrow, Remus. Goodbye." With that, his head disappeared from the fire with a slight pop.
Remus went into his small bedroom, collected his traveling cloak and then came back into the living room. He announced, "Right, I'm off. I'll take the Floo Network to Arabella's house, go collect Harry, and bring him back here. And no Sirius, you can't come with me."
Sirius pouted, and asked "How are you getting his things back here? Planning on hauling a heavy school trunk down Privet Drive, are you?"
Remus smirked and said "Of course not. I'll simply cast a dampening spell and shrink it. I should get going now, if we want to be back in any reasonable amount of time." With that said, he walked over to the fireplace, took a pinch of Floo powder and stepped into the fire, saying "Cat's Cove!"Part 2: Harry
While all of this was transpiring, the boy in question lay on his bed, trying to sleep. He was a fairly thin, tall fourteen year old boy with messy black hair, almost luminous green eyes behind round glasses, and a lightning-shaped scar on his forehead. He hadn't been sleeping too well of late, plagued by nightmares of the Third Task. His relatives couldn't care less though, and had been running him ragged with chores. He didn't want to complain; his uncle's company hadn't been doing so well as of late, and Vernon had taken to drinking. Vernon also tended to become violent when he was drunk, so Harry figured it was best to just do what he was told and try and stay out of his uncle's way when he wasn't doing chores. He wasn't entirely successful though, and was sporting some rather large and painful bruises on his back and chest where Vernon had hit him.
He hadn't written to his friends in a while, either. He had wanted to, certainly, but his uncle had threatened to shoot Hedwig if he saw her with a letter. The insane-murderer-for-a-godfather trick wasn't working too well, as the Dursleys now believed he was making the whole thing up. Harry sighed. He missed Hedwig and his friends; if only he could have written to them! But his uncle had locked his window, effectively cutting off any owl post.
He wondered if he should maybe try to start his Charms homework, as it wasn't looking like he'd be going to sleep anytime soon. He wished he could at least flip through Flying With the Cannons again, but he had only managed to hide a couple of his schoolbooks when he got wind of the fact that Uncle Vernon was going to padlock his trunk shut. At least the Dursleys were all safely asleep he thought, listening to his piggish cousin Dudley snoring in the next room. All of a sudden, he heard a tapping on his window. He looked up to see Remus Lupin levitating outside his window! His jaw dropped. Harry padded over to his desk and scribbled a note on a piece of paper which he held up so Remus could see: The window is locked.
Even through the window Remus noticed how thin Harry had gotten, the circles under his eyes, and how pale he looked. Harry held up the note. He pulled out his wand, cast a dampening spell, and whispered "Alohomora!" The window unlocked, and he pulled it open.
"Professor, what are you doing here? If the Dursleys wake up, I'm dead! Plus, you just used magic, so the Ministry will think I've done magic over the holidays!" whispered Harry.
"No time for that, Harry. I'm getting you out of here. Dumbledore's letting you stay at my house for the rest of the summer. I cast a dampening spell; the Ministry won't notice if I cast magic. Is everything in your trunk?"
"No, some of my books and a little bit of food is under a loose floorboard under the bed." whispered Harry.
Remus proceeded to unlock Harry's trunk while Harry quickly and quietly grabbed the few things from under his bed. Tossing them in the trunk, he closed it. Remus then shrunk Harry's trunk to about the size of a matchbox and pocketed it. He listened to see if the Dursley's were all safely asleep, which they were.
"Professor, how did you get up here? How are we getting back down?" Harry whispered anxiously.
"I levitated myself up, and I'll levitate you down, then myself. Grab Hedwig's cage, and let's go. We'll go to Arabella Figg's house; we can use her fireplace to get to my house."
"Wait, Mrs. Figg is a witch?"
"Yes, she is, now let's go." With that, Remus hastily left a note for Harry's relatives, levitated Harry out the window and down to the ground, and then levitated himself down.
Remus landed, and noticed Harry leaning against the side of the house looking pale. "Harry, are you all right?" he asked, concerned.
"I'm okay, just a little dizzy is all." Harry replied. Remus was still a little worried, but they set off to Mrs. Figg's house, where she was waiting for them.
"Remus, I'll contact you later, all right?" she said.
"Of course, Arabella." He replied. Remus threw some Floo powder into the waiting fire and said "Lupin's den!" Harry followed suit, and eventually fell out of a fireplace into a rather small but clean kitchen. He felt very nauseous; he hated traveling by Floo powder. Sirius helped him up, Remus having gone to put Harry's trunk in the guest bedroom.
"Harry, are you okay?" Sirius asked, noticing that Harry looked fairly green.
"I think I'm gonna be sick." Harry moaned. Sirius rushed Harry out into the hall and into the bathroom just in time. Sirius held him while he lost what little he'd had to eat that day into the toilet. When he was done, Sirius flushed the toilet and wet a washcloth at the sink, which he wiped Harry's face with.
"Feeling any better, kid?" he asked.
"Not especially." Harry mumbled. "What a way to arrive, huh?" He grinned weakly. Sirius simply helped him down the hall and into the small but cozy bedroom Remus had set up for Harry. Harry sat on one of the twin beds, took off his shoes and curled up into a small ball as Remus looked up, concerned, as they came in.
"What happened?" he asked.
"Oh, I just puked my guts out, is all." muttered Harry as Sirius sat down on the end of the bed.
"Have you been feeling ill for long?" asked Remus.
"Since about yesterday."
Remus pulled a chair next to the bed and felt Harry's forehead. "Yes, you're running a fever. Accio!" A small and battered brown leather bag zoomed into the room. Remus started rummaging through it.
"Professor Lupin, why do you have a doctor's bag?" Harry asked, curious.
"Well, there's a basic first-aid kit in there, among other things. I usually have at least a couple of injuries after a full moon that I have to take care of, and I do happen to be a C.M.W. you know."
"What's a C.M.W.?"
"It stands for Certified Medi-Wizard. I have a little more expertise than a nurse, but not quite as much as a doctor. I can perform first aid as well as diagnose and treat most mild to moderate illnesses. Madam Pomfrey, for example, holds the same degree as I do; she is a certified medi-witch. Ah, here we are." Remus said, finally locating the thermometer he'd been looking for. "All right Harry, open up."
Harry spent the next several minutes with the thermometer sticking out of his mouth until it emitted a soft ping and Remus took it out. "102 degrees- oh, my." Remus then proceeded to gently feel Harry's throat and jaw, looked at his eyes, and used a tongue depressor to look at the back of his throat. "Hmm, purple circles around the iris, purple spots at the back of the throat." he muttered to himself. He then handed Harry his wand, which emitted bright green sparks and almost shot out of his hand. He quickly retrieved it and sat back in his chair.
"Well, that just confirmed it. Harry, you have Hawthorne's Flu. It's very similar to muggle flu in most respects. Has many of the same symptoms: fever, chills, coughing, nausea, etc. It also has several very distinctive symptoms: Purple circles around the iris of the eye, purple spots at the back of the throat, and the most distinctive, magical instability. And much like the regular kind of flu, it can turn into pneumonia if not properly treated. It's a good thing I picked you up when I did; any later and this could have been much more serious. First things first; we need to bring your temperature down, and then you need to get some sleep. I can tell you haven't been sleeping too well of late, and that can weaken your immune system, which certainly won't help matters. I'll be right back with a fever reducer." With that, Remus stood up and left.
"While we're waiting, why don't I find you a pair of pajamas?" said Sirius, who got up and opened Harry's trunk. He quickly located an overlarge nightshirt that used to be Dudley's, which he tossed over to Harry. Harry quickly removed his shirt and jeans and slipped the nightshirt on, but not before Sirius noticed the bruises on Harry's back and chest. "Harry, where did you get those?" Sirius asked.
"Um, I fell down the stairs?" Harry offered.
Sirius gave him a stern, yet concerned, look. "All right, I'll ask you again: where did you get those bruises?"
Harry ducked his head and mumbled "Uncle Vernon."
Sirius restrained himself from shoving a fist through a wall at this point. "Damn muggle! I'll-"
Remus came back into the room carrying a cup of potion. "What in the name of Merlin has got you so upset Sirius? You look about ready to kill something."
"The bruises Harry has courtesy of his damned uncle should explain that." Sirius snarled. "
Remus set the cup down on the table and lifted up Harry's nightshirt. He lightly prodded two or three of the largest bruises to see if they were more serious than they looked, and then put the shirt back down. "Well, I can't imagine that these feel very good, but there's no major damage here. Sirius and I will be speaking to Dumbledore tomorrow about this, but for right now you need sleep." He handed the cup of potion to Harry, which he drained. "It'll bring your temperature down and will also make you fairly drowsy, so you'll hopefully get a good night's sleep."
Sirius removed Harry's glasses and tucked the blankets around him. "Good night, Harry. I'll see you in the morning, okay." The potion was already working, and Harry managed to murmur "G'night Sirius" before he fell asleep.
Remus said, "We should get some sleep also, Sirius. We'll talk to Dumbledore in the morning." Sirius stayed in his chair by Harry's bedside.
"I'll stay here tonight. I can't leave him." He all but whispered.
Remus sighed and said, "All right, but at least promise me you'll get some sleep.". Sirius stayed by Harry's side for another hour, simply watching him sleep. He dozed off in his chair, and half an hour later Remus tiptoed back into the room and gently lifted him off the chair and onto the other bed.
Part 3: Visits
The next morning Harry awoke to find Sirius in a tangle of sheets on the other bed across the room. He sniggered softly at the sight, which was fairly amusing. It was rather early in the morning, so he had some time to take in his surroundings, which he hadn't really noticed the night before. He was obviously in a guest bedroom; it contained two twin beds with metal frames and two white-painted nightstands, and there were cheerful yellow and green curtains at the window. Looking around, the walls were papered with slightly old-fashioned wallpaper with a predominantly yellow pattern, and there was a light green rug on the wood floor.
Remus soon came into the room and noticed that Harry was awake. "Good morning Harry, although I can't imagine that you'd feel it's such a good morning." he said good-naturedly.
"Are you kidding? I don't have to go back to the Dursleys for the rest of the summer? I don't care if I am sick; this is a great morning."
Remus smiled. "Nice to know you feel that way." He felt Harry's forehead and said "Good, you're fever is mostly gone. Do you think you're up to eating anything?"
Harry blanched at the thought of food. "Um, I don't think so; my stomach's still pretty twitchy."
"All right then, do you at least want something to drink?"
Harry considered this and said "Some juice would be okay."
"Juice it is. Now, what do you say we wake Sirius?" Harry grinned as Remus bent over the rumpled figure on the cot and poked him until he flung a pillow at Remus. "Good, you're awake. Go get dressed; I'm making breakfast and then we're giving Dumbledore a call." Sirius grumbled, rolled off the cot and stumbled into the bathroom. Remus went into the kitchen and got Harry a glass of apple juice, which he brought into Harry's room along with another potion. "Here you go, although you might want to take the potion first. It should settle your stomach so that you can at least eat something by lunchtime." Harry downed the potion and then started to sip his juice. Remus smiled at him and ruffled his hair before retrieving the vial that had held the potion and leaving to make breakfast.
After Sirius vacated the bathroom, he came into Harry's room. "Good morning Harry. How're you feeling?" he asked.
"A little better." Harry replied. "Um, Sirius, is it okay if I go use the bathroom?" Sirius helped him out of bed, much to Harry's embarrassment, and directed him down the hall to the cottage's single bathroom. Remus came back down the hall and shooed Sirius into his room to get dressed, then once Harry was done helped him back to bed.
"Now, once Sirius gets dressed, we're going to give Professor Dumbledore a call to discuss what to do about your relatives. Then I'm going to see if I can't head over to the Burrow to reassure the Weasleys as to your safety; they're very worried you know." Harry grinned and then yawned; he was still fairly tired. Remus went to find Sirius and Harry slept for most of the morning, even through Remus and Sirius' chat with Professor Dumbledore (in which there was quite a bit of yelling from Sirius and in which Remus had to restrain Sirius from Apparating to the Dursleys and turning Vernon into a horned slug.) Dumbledore contacted the muggle authorities and Vernon was quickly put under arrest for child abuse.
Sirius settled down enough to sit on the couch and read the Daily Prophet while Remus paid a visit to the Burrow. The door was opened for him by Ron, who had been in the middle of a heated discussion about Quidditch with Charlie, who was visiting. "Professor Lupin! How is Harry? Did you get him? What happened? Can I see him?" exclaimed an anxious Ron.
Remus raised his hands. "Slow down Ron. Yes, I did get him, he's ill and his uncle was beating him."
"Oh my God!" gasped Ron.
"Yes, well, he's staying with me and Snuffles for the rest of the summer." said Remus.
Ron then remembered Charlie hadn't met Remus before and introduced him. "Charlie, this is Professor Lupin. You remember I told you about him; he taught Defense against the Dark Arts our third year."
Charlie grinned and extended his hand, which Remus shook. "Charlie Weasley; second oldest. I work with dragons in Romania."
Remus smiled. "Pleased to meet you, Charlie. Is Molly around?"
Charlie thought a minute and replied "I think she's in the kitchen."
All of a sudden a large explosion sounded from the twins' room as a bit of plaster fell from the ceiling. Mrs. Weasley could be heard shrieking a second later: "FRED! GEORGE! HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU, NO PRANKS IN THE HOUSE!" Mrs. Weasley then came storming into the living room muttering to herself. "Honestly, don't know what to do with those two, be lucky if they graduate Hogwarts in one piece…" She brightened when she noticed Remus. "Remus! What a pleasant surprise! How is Harry? Have you heard from him? Oh, where are my manners today; sit down, please. Would you like something to drink?"
"No, thank you Molly." Remus replied. "As I was saying to Ron before that…interesting diversion, Harry is ill, on top of being beaten by his uncle." Mrs. Weasley gasped. "We contacted the muggle law enforcement, and Vernon Dursley was arrested and is in jail. Harry is staying at my house. He isn't seriously ill thankfully; he has Hawthorne's flu, which I'm treating him for."
Mrs. Weasley nodded. "Yes, that's been going around. Half of us have had it already; I wish the vaccine wasn't so scarce though."
At this point, the twins ran into the kitchen. They were easily more noticeable than usual: Fred was bright purple while George was a violent shade of green. Remus took one look at them and burst out laughing. Charlie was laughing so hard he was crying, Ron was chuckling and even Mrs. Weasley was giggling a little. Fred and George cracked identical grins and said, "Sorry Mum, we were testing a new product, and the charm sort of backfired- we're not quite sure how long it'll last. We hope it's not permanent." Remus paused laughing long enough to cast the counter-charm at the twins, who returned to their normal appearance.
Ron interjected at this point, "Mum? Can I go see Harry? I haven't seen him in awhile, and I know I would hate it if I was sick and couldn't see my friends."
Mrs. Weasley frowned slightly and said, "I don't mind if you go see Harry, but Remus might."
Ron turned to Remus and said "So can I see Harry then, please?"
Remus smiled and said "I don't see why not. Perhaps we might want to visit Hermione first, though, and let her know how Harry's doing. She's welcome to come along as well, if her parents say it's alright."
Ron grinned. "Let's go, then!"
Remus turned back to Molly. "I'll return young Ronald here by 9pm, so I'll see you later."
One portkey later, Ron and Remus arrived in front of the Granger residence. Remus walked up and rang the doorbell, and the door was answered by Mr. Granger.
"Hello, how can I help you?" he asked.
Remus introduced himself and Ron. "Hello, my name is Remus Lupin and this is Ron Weasley; I was one of Hermione's professors and Ron is of course one of her friends. Another of her friends, Harry Potter, is staying at my house and Hermione was worried about is welfare. I stopped by to tell her how he's doing."
Mr. Granger smiled and said, "Oh yes, she's been worried sick. Do come in; I'll tell her you're here." Ushering the two into the house, Mr. Granger shouted up the stairs "Hermione! You have visitors!"
A shout of "Coming, Dad!" came down the stairs, followed closely by Hermione, who was dressed casually in a blouse and jeans. Mr. Granger left the three in the hall as Hermione stopped short when she saw Remus and Ron. "Professor Lupin! Did you get my letter? Is Harry all right? What happened? Why wasn't he writing? Where-"
Remus smiled and interrupted her. "Hermione, I went and retrieved Harry from his relatives' house last night. He's ill and was being abused by his uncle. Mr. Dursley is now in jail for child abuse and Harry is staying at my house for the rest of the summer. If you'd like, and your parents agree, you are more than welcome to come visit."
Hermione was aghast at the news of Harry's predicament, but when told she could go see him was delighted. She immediately went and got her parents who, when the situation was explained to them, readily agreed that Hermione could visit Harry. Another portkey later, the three of them arrived back at the Lupin's Den.
A/N: Thanks for reading! I hope this doesn't suck too badly. Let me know what you think; suggestions are always welcome.Thanks to ravenclawmeg for the little tidbit about flu turning into pneumonia. And a special thanks going out to the always wonderful Andrew, my one and only.