Freak of Nature

Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, JK does… Blah Blah Bladddity Blah!

AN1: I received a lot of questions in the reviews, and your questions will be answered in the story. I don't like giving away the plot before it is written. Suffice it to say, I don't really see Harry joining old moldi-shorts or bumblebee, as they are both part of the problem; where as Harry is trying to become the solution. I think this chapter starts to relay to the reader some of my feelings on Dumblmort, the next chapter will start to address dealings with Voldidore's followers. Also, without giving anything away, Harry is growing and developing. I'm sticking to the nature and nurture motif, so he is going to change as he both gains new abilities as well as when he goes through new experiences. Oh, and please note that when I said in a prior author's note that Harry will go through canon, I just meant that he isn't going to go all AU and not deal with the situations that come about in the books. I did not mean that Harry will react exactly the same as the Harry did in the books. That's all of the spoilers you're going to get, and it's already more than I feel comfortable giving! (*insert evil laughter here*)

AN2: I would really like to thank all of the people who wrote reviews to my story. It's because of those reviews that I am starting to write this chapter earlier than I had expected to, because you got my creative juices flowing. I'm of the mindset that more reviews equal more, and longer, chapters; so thanks for taking the time to tell me your thoughts on the story. I make it a point to try and reply to every review that you leave (if you have private messages turned on*). Best wishes, and on with the show!


[parsel]

/critter/

{beast}

Chapter 3: The Lion Sleeps tonight...

"Kids. You gotta love them. I adore children. A little salt, a squeeze of lemon-perfect."
— Jim Butcher (Storm Front)

Nobody liked Stan Arbuckle, period. The man was smelly, lacking a natural sense of hygiene, and he didn't care enough that he repulsed people. Among the other zoo keepers it was widely known that Stan had cheated his way through his zoology and animal biology classes at University and the only reason he received, and kept, his job at the zoo was because his father was on the board of donors for the Zoological Society of London. Even still, Stan's supervisors kept him stuck to shifts and chores that kept him away from the public, and even more so, away from the other zoo keepers. But ultimately, the reason why people Hated Stan Arbuckle, was because he was FREAKING ANNOYING!

Especially to one Harry James Potter who was attempting to sleep…

"WeeeEEEEEeeee EEEEEeeeeeEEEE The Lion Sleep's tonight! WEEEEeeeeeEEEEEeeee EEEEEEeeeee EEEEE The Lion Sleep's tonight, He He heH…!" Stan sang to himself at the top of his lungs, his falsetto voice sounding like a cross between nails on a chalkboard and rabbit's death scream. In short, really freaking annoying, as usual for Stan's morning walks to the monkey enclosure…

Walking along the path from the Feeding and Nutritional building, Stan's job was to feed the chimpanzee's their early morning breakfast; so he had two buckets full of a mix of vegetables and protein sources, all mixed in with a vitamin mash. As he headed towards the chimpanzee enclosure, he enjoyed how his voice was able to echo throughout the zoo. The wolves and hyena's cried out in howls as he and his song went by their enclosures, his song wafting through the displays, even drowning out the sounds of the crying peacocks that he had rudely awakened.

Traversing one of the paths, he walked beside the brick wall of donors, each donor to the London Zoo had a brick with his or her name engraved in it; His father's name was a brick of especially large size, denoting the size of his father's donations to the zoo.

"WeeeeeEEEEE EEEEEEeeeeeEEEEe Um um boway!... WeeeeeeEEEE EEEeeeEEEE um um Boway!" (Was it mentioned that Stan didn't even know all of the words to the song, so all he kept singing were the really annoying parts of the song that Stan did know?... Yep, Stan was freaking annoying!)

"Weeeee EEEE eeeee eeeEEEEKKKKKKKKKK! AAAAGGHHH!" Stan's song cut off in a gurgle of pain! A sharp stinging pain shot up his left forearm and caused his body to lock up in agony and start to spasm!

Dropping both of his buckets of food, he was dumbstruck by the pain; not that Stan wasn't already pretty dumb... The pain was absolutely blinding, it seemed to start at his arm and quickly creep up his shoulder and spread into his torso, he looked down at his arm and was shocked!

There appeared to be a kid, painted up like the donor wall of bricks, latched onto his arm with his teeth!

"Bloody Hell! Get off me you little Freak!" Stan cried out in pain, attempting to jerk his arm out of the kid's mouth and pry off the two hands that were holding on to Stan's forearm.

The kid looked up at Stan with pure green eyes, and smiled, teeth embedded in Stan's arm. The kid had an eerie smile that seemed to start at both of his ears and continued across his face like a large slice of watermelon; showing way more white teeth and gums than was physically possible on a normal human being. The kid let up on his bite and took a quick step back, it seemed to Stan that the kid more glided than walked back against the wall. Looking down at his forearm, Stan saw that he had two deep puncture wounds that seemed to foam with some kind of greenish-yellow and black liquid.

Stumbling back, weaving from side to side, Stan realized that he didn't feel so well… no, check that, he felt pretty horrible… His world seemed to spin, first horizontally, and then vertically, his legs were like jelly and he couldn't keep his feet. The pain was now spread from the top of his head all the way to his toes; Stan didn't realize that it was possible to hurt in so many places at once!

Falling to his knees, and then to his back, his blurry vision focusing and unfocusing, he fell facing the kid who, Stan noticed, had somehow removed all of his brick colored paint and was looking down at him with a big smile.

"Go to sleep annoying human, I'm here to help…" The kid said with that same huge smile.

"What are you taaaallllkkkking abooouuuuut… bubble bubble, droooooolllll…." Stan mumbled out, his sentence, ending in nothing but an incomprehensible gurgle with drool now coming out of his limp mouth. His body now paralyzed and his head muscles rigidly focusing his head to look at the kid.

"Well, help myself that is." Said the child with a shrug and a smile as he moved forward and started to lean over Stan.

Stan Arbuckle would no longer be a problem for the other zoo keepers. His last view of the world was the kid gliding towards him, the kid's mouth opening and getting larger than should ever be possible on a human-being…


Dumbledore loved lemon-drops. "Lemon-drops lemon-drops Lemon-drops… Mmmmmm… Nothing is better than lemon-drops!" Dumbledore thought as he "blissed-out" on the sweet and sour muggle confection; eyes rolling up into the back of his head with pleasure.

Dumbledore was playing hooky from the world, "Let the sheep run themselves for the day" He thought. "What harm can one day of lemon-filled bliss do to the world?" He postulated through the haze of calming potion infused lemon-drops and phoenix song, His familiar also enjoying the experience of drinking a 30 year old bottle of fire whiskey that Albus had given him. "After all, it's not like I can't fix any problems that could arise in one day…" His brain waxed poetically as he drifted with the sounds of Fawkes's warbles.

"He He HEEEE, drunk phoenix song is great!" Albus twittered to himself, reminiscing about the good-old days, days spent in the lemon groves behind the Dumbledore Ancestral Mansion, frolicking through the groves with his good friend Grindelwald… "Ah to be back in happier times." He thought, kicking his fuzzy sock covered feet up onto his desk and reclining in his headmaster's chair.

Now if Dumbledore had been paying attention, he would have noticed that several of the devices that monitored Harry Potter and the Dursleys were spinning like mad. If Dumbledore hadn't been so enraptured by the phoenix song, he might have heard the tracking device that monitored the Dursleys' wards shriek and die, he might have even noticed that the tracking charm that was precisely tuned to the harmonic's of Harry Potter's magical core stopped moving at all. The loss of that one device was dreadful, especially because said device had been attuned to Harry shortly after his removal from the wreckage of Godric's Hallow and should be impossible to change due to the fact that a Wizard's core harmonics "never" changed; stopping of said device usually denoted the death of the tracked. If that device had continued to spin, then it could have told Albus Dumbledore exactly where Harry Potter was, anywhere in the world.

However, to top things off, Dumbledore was ignoring his work.

He hadn't read any of the school reports. Ignored was the report by Pomona that Minerva McGonagall had "fallen off the wagon" again and was, again, found rolling nude in Professor Sprout's catnip patch.

Ignored were the reports from the ministry of magic detailing an obliviator detail that had been sent to the muggle zoo to deal with a case of a muggle father and mother and their child who had somehow done accidental magic and ended up in the python display. If he hadn't "taken the day off" he would have seen that the lead obliviator on the case was one Gilderoy Lockhart; who also happened to be publishing a new book on his escapades in freeing endangered snakes from muggle "prisons" and then harvesting said snakes for potions ingredients and snake skin shoes that brought out the color of his eyes.

If he hadn't been "taking the day off," Dumbledore may have even seen a mention in the muggle newspaper he received (purely for the section on new knitting patterns and the crossword puzzle) that stated that a chimpanzee at the same muggle zoo was shot and killed when it was found in the possession of the bones and partially regurgitated clothing of one Stan Arbuckle, former zoo keeper.

But nope, not today. To many if's, and's, or but's were being ignored, because Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore was taking the day off.

"He he, drunk phoenix." Albus twittered as he closed his eyes for a nice lemon infused afternoon nap; sung to sleep by his pissed as a fart phoenix familiar.


"Heh heh, throw poo at me will you… well that won't be happening again, will it now?" Harry chuckled to himself with glee while watching the zoo keepers remove the body of the recently shot chimpanzee.

"See how you like it now 'chuckles'" Harry thought, slowly pushing his way through the pack of children on a field trip from a local school; picking his teeth with a toothpick that some would say looked strangely like a shard of a human sternum. "Two proverbial bird's with one stone. I got rid of the annoying zoo keeper who woke me up every morning with his incessant singing, and I got rid of that monkey who dared to hit me with poo…" Harry though, he really really hated monkeys for some reason. Maybe it was the poo throwing? It reminded him too much of the Dursleys' and their hygiene habits.

Weaving in and out of the school children scattered throughout the path, he thought back to his week at the zoo since the Dursley's had been taken away in handcuffs… now there was a happy memory worth keeping!

His first task after leaving his relatives had been to follow through on his promise to his new reptilian friends. Strangely, this was easily accomplished by moving into the staff area of the reptile house where crates were labeled "Approved Wildlife Re-Introduction Program, Royal Zoological Society of the United Kingdom." Looking through the forms that were attached to the crates, he saw that the destination and species of the crate's "guests" hadn't been filled out yet. So with a little doctoring of paperwork here, a little swiping of a strutting peacock or rare-songbird there, and his friends were packed and ready to be on their way to Borneo, Egypt, and Brazil; Harry had even packed them with snacks! Harry then picked an out of the way corner of the room to blend in with, and waited for the hubbub to die down surrounding his relatives.

"Ah, Happy memories," Harry thought. "I especially liked the point where the bobby used his nightstick to hamstring uncle Vernon and then choke him into submission." He had thought with a large smile. After seeing the volunteer zoo workers ship his friends back to their homes, he waited until the zoo reopened the next day and then joined the crowds.

Being "alone" at the zoo was a bit of a learning experience. He had to avoid the "helpful" zoo keepers and volunteers who were apt to try and "help" him back to his "family," but other than that things went pretty well. It was easy to blend into the background to steal a meat pasty from one booth, and he got to try ice-cream swiped from another vendor's booth, both firsts considering his life with the Dursleys, but then he became bored. He decided that if he wanted to become a predator, then he needed to learn how to hunt.

Harry's first hunting experience had been performed by entering the open bird habitats, those exhibits that let people walk through large cages where the birds fly free. Quick as a snake, his hands had shot out and grabbed two birds that were stupid enough to get within pouncing distance of Harry. After that meager snack, he realized that he still didn't know how to hunt. Perhaps he needed to look into stalking?

So he had gone to the penguin exhibit. Being able to blend into the wall in the zoo keeper's changing room had presented Harry with a set of keys to the zoo, including the penguins' frigid room. He was pleasantly surprised to find out that his gifts from his siblings had enabled him to speed up his metabolism so that he didn't get cold in the refrigerated room that the penguins swam and frolicked in.

"It's a good thing I take after my cockroach brothers when it comes to body temperature," Harry thought, "It would have bloody sucked to be cold blooded like my extended kin the snakes." It was also a good thing that Harry wasn't cold blooded, because temperatures at night in London during the spring could be a might chilly; and sleeping outside would not have been fun. It would have put a serious damper on his hunting ability if he slowed down every night.

Being able to blend in with the white painted background in the icy playground of the penguins was child's play; which was pretty great for Harry considering he was a child who hadn't been able to experience "play" while living with the Dursleys. He had had to learn to move slowly along the wall of the enclosure so that his chameleon ability could keep up with the changes to the background. Then all it had taken was a quick strike as the penguins crossed by him, and he had dinner… Well… he had dinner and a very cold bath…

Harry's sliding on the ice with his forward moment from his pounce, right off of the penguins' icy ledge and into the frigid waters, taught him an important lesson on picking his hunting locations wisely. After spewing out the fish flavored water and shaking himself off, Harry had learned that he had to take the entire environment into account when he went on a hunt. He was learning, and doing so at a prodigious rate for a young cub that had no elder to teach him. Some lessons were just learned the hard way. However, by the end of his penguin hunting escapades he had a meal and was able to answer the age old question with a yes; yes, penguin did in fact taste like chicken.

"Hey! Watch where you're going you little pipsqueak!" said a voice to Harry's left, followed by a shove that made Harry take a step to the right and break out of his reminiscing. Looking up, Harry looked into the eyes of a kid of about the age of 13 or 14, bulky but with what appeared to be a bit of muscle to him. The kid's beady eyes glared down at Harry. "I was walking here, and unless you want a beating, you better scram!" The kid grunted at Harry, raising a fist menacingly.

A bit amused, Harry thought to himself, "Human's are so stupid. If he had any sense of smell, then this kid should have known that you don't go about poking a predator." Musing to himself, "Hmmm, I am a bit peckish, that Stan just didn't stick to the ribs like he should have… though his ribs were mighty tasty. Perhaps I should see if younger humans taste better… perhaps with a bit of lemon?"

Harry's introspection was again violated by a shove from the larger kid. "Hey stupid! Yeah, I'm talking to you freak! Scram before I beat you into a pulp." The kid menaced, attempting to puff out his chest and "loom" over Harry. "Well that decides it." Harry thought to himself, "I am prey for no human!"

Harry looked up at the bully for a second, and then a gleam could be seen in his eye. Quick as a wink, Harry stuck his tongue out at the bully and then stomped on the kid's foot hard, probably bruising or breaking some of the bones in it.

"Nanny Nanny Boo Boo, You can't catch me!" Harry said, acting like a little kid. Harry had always been a fast little boy, always having to avoid his cousin and his cousin's "gang" when they went on their "Harry Hunting" expeditions. With Harry's new "Upgrades," there was no way the bully was going to catch Harry… unless Harry let him…

Taking off at a sprint, but not fast enough to leave the hobbling bully in the dust, Harry broke away from the pack of kids, the bully right on his tale.

Harry wove down paths that were little used. Under "Do Not Enter" ropes, and around "Danger, Stay Out, Employee's Only" signs, further and further away from the crowds of visitors and workers. Always taunting, staying just one step ahead of the large bully. Harry had perfected the art of enraging "behemoths" for years, and all of his practice in running from his cousin and gang had helped him to gage exactly what the bully's abilities were when it came to a dogged chase scene.

Finally, rounding a corner, Harry entered a back alley way between two of the Zoo's perimeter grounds-keeping buildings, a "U" shaped dead end was formed by the two buildings, with only a dumpster and no door out of the dead end other than the opening of the U. The bully followed right behind Harry, blocking off Harry's ability to escape with a evil grin.

"Ah hah! Now I have you, you little pipsqueak! I'm going to make you wish you were never born!" The bully growled with glee, slowly limping into the dead end formed by the buildings.

"I'm sorry, but I already regret that I was born a human…" Harry said in a monotone voice, slowly turning around to face the bully. "However, you are mistaken." Harry now informed the bully, slowly walking towards the bully, his face totally devoid of any emotion.

The bully's face showed he was a bit of a startled, incredulity washed over his features; this isn't how the prey was supposed to act… "Something wasn't right about this kid," the bully thought, some long forgotten instinct in his head screaming at him to run, and run fast! The bully's thoughts and instinct wavered and battled inside of him, whether to pound the smaller boy or to run away; ultimately causing the bully to stop his forward momentum towards Harry.

Continuing from his last statement, Harry waxed "I am afraid that it is I who has YOU… not the other way around." And with a sudden leap Harry pounced on the bully, jumping a good 5 feet through the air to wrap his hands around the bully's throat and to latch his now exposed fangs into the bully's collar area.

Blood flew through the air as Harry tore his head back from the bully's neck, Harry pushing himself off of the taller bully so that he landed back on his feet. Looking back at the Bully, black foam bubbling up from the side of the older boy's neck, collarbone poking out of the skin, the bully only had the chance to say, "What?" before he collapsed; dead on the ground.

"Hmmm," Harry thought, "Not a bad hunt… Different strategy, yes, but overall effectiveness is the same. Next time I will have to try out a chase myself." Harry mused, giving himself a step by step playback of the hunt.

"I think my venom is getting more powerful also. Mental note, compare different human and animal body weights and the time it takes till death from exposure to venom… oh yeah, and also how long of a bite I need to administer to get the best results; don't want to run out of venom if I need to make a couple bites on a couple prey all at the same time…" He thought to himself, then his attention was brought back to focus on the dead, former, bully that lay at his feet.

"That blood pool probably should be dealt with; I don't want to spoil the hunting grounds by giving away my presence too soon. There is still so much to learn here!" He thought. Looking down at the corpse, it didn't look that appetizing at the moment, the kid really was made of more fat than juicy muscle.

"Oh well, I'm not that hungry, but I really shouldn't let a prepared meal go to waste. Mother taught me not to waste… well then again, my mother didn't teach me that, but my Aunt sure did beat that into me." Harry said out loud to himself. Perhaps he was getting kind of lonely being a one of a kind animal?

With that, Harry unhinged his jaw and began the task of "cleaning up" the scene of his latest hunt.


If there was one thing that Harry had learned while living at the zoo it was that the natural order of the world was kill or be killed. Rodents and other animals ate insects, insects ate other insects, birds ate rodents, and other animals ate birds or smaller animals. Heck, some animals even ganged up together to eat larger animals. The problem with humans was just that, they had ganged up together to eat, capture, or control the other animals. Sure, a python could kill an individual human, a lion pack could even maul several humans at a time… but eventually, the human's came en mass and killed off the animal that had "dared" to follow the rules of nature.

Harry knew that at the age of just ten, he had a long way to go before he could ever be a serious threat to the large population of the humans. Sure he could hunt them individually, but it would take ingenuity and powerful abilities to bring the entire population of humans back in line with their proper place on the food chain. Sure it could be done, for hundreds of years Human's had been subject to being part of the food chain, but then civilization came. Their electric power, combustion engines, and construction tools and materials protected them and removed them from the way the world was supposed to be. Harry would have to do something about that eventually, but first he needed to get a handle on his own abilities.

He wasn't too sure about this "magic" thing. In speaking with the roaches and other insects who frequented the park, whether the insects were scavenging the trash or stored as food for some of the animals, Harry learned that he was in fact a wizard; or at least had been a wizard before his upgrades. However, that meant one very important thing to Harry, that if the animals could recognize a wizard, it was because there were other wizards out there.

Harry couldn't remember ever meeting a wizard. Sure, there were the weird people in old-fashioned dresses that bowed to him on the street once in a while, and he had a partial memory of a large man and a flying motorcycle, but he didn't know where in the food chain the wizards were. But surely he would remember other people doing magic, right? If he didn't see them, where they just as egotistical and separate from nature as the normal humans, or were they a group that Harry could join with? Ultimately, Harry didn't know if the wizards would be pack… or prey.

A week had gone by since he had eaten the former bully, and Harry had found the chance to chase some "prey" rather than just let it come to him. Apparently penguins where just not filling enough, nor were they much of a challenge once you learned not to slide into the ice cold water. So he had gone and taken down a few gazelle, they couldn't dodge very much when trapped in an enclosure, and he had even learned to fight a Kudu the size of a bull elk (Mental note to Harry: even with chitinous armor, the blunt force of horns hitting you in the chest hurt!) So it was that after 4 days of snacking on the game in the zoo, Harry had again gone looking for Human Prey.

Harry didn't have many offensive abilities beside his bite and his abnormal strength. Though his venom seemed to have grown stronger with time, Harry's strength was no more abnormal than any other 10 year old who had the strength of a 250 pound muscle-builder. Sure he was strong in human terms, exceptionally strong when it came to a 10 year old, but he wasn't at superhero or supervillain levels of strength. Nor was Harry some master of a lost martial art called "Roach-fu" or "Serpent-do", so his primary methods for initiating a hunt were still to lay in wait and then to spring out and catch the prey unaware.

His method had worked pretty well. He had caught another bully; this time a gum snapping girl, with bleach blonde hair and more pounds of make-up than brain cells, that had been along on another school field trip to the zoo. After watching the girl and her "goons" tease a mousey haired brunette with buck teeth, a rat's nest of hair and a backpack full of books, he had laid in wait for the blonde near the lady's water closet. Prey that didn't know there place irked Harry; and picking on another being because they were smarter and knew more facts about the animals around them reminded Harry of how the Dursleys had used to treat him. If anything, that certainly deserved death…

From his perch above the water fountain next to the lady's room, he watched as the brunette ran towards the ladies room, tears streaming from her eyes; the blonde leaving her friends behind to tail the brunette and yell more insults at her. Just as the door closed after the brunette's entrance into the lady's room, and after the blonde's friends had turned around the corner, Harry "uncloaked" himself and sprang onto the back of the blonde.

The blonde let out an ear shattering "SCREAAAAAAAAMMMMM!" Causing Harry to quickly latch his hand over the girls mouth and pull her back against the wall. One of his arms trapped her against his body while the other one covered her mouth and stifled any attempt to make a sound. Her thrashing and kicking were completely ineffective against his greater strength and chitin covered armor. He had her!

The door to the lady's room suddenly sprang back open! The brunette, with tear tracks running down her face from the tears that had just stopped, looked out into the hall… but didn't see anything.

Shrugging, Hermione Granger reentered the lady's room to clean up her face and grab her books that she had left behind when she had reacted to the scream…

Fading back into view, Harry and his prey decloaked from the wall, his hand not covering her mouth wrapped around her neck, forcing her to hold still and cutting off any ability to scream… "Hmmm," Harry thought, still holding onto the blonde, "I guess my ability to blend in is growing and evolving to cover that which is on my person or control…"

"Oh well," He said with a shrug, "something to look in on later when I'm not playing with my food…" He said with an evil smile. With that, Harry dragged the wide-eyed girl through the janitor's exit, stationed next to the water closets, and out into the back of the building.

Behind the building, a dirt and cinder path trailed back into the undeveloped parts of the zoo, the trail seeming to start at the back of the building and head off into no-where, trees and heavy foliage lined the path. Aiming the girl towards the trail, hand still wrapped around the blonde's throat, Harry leaned forward and whispered in her ear, "Run little mouse, run, or I'll catch you[SSSS]" He finished with a hiss in her ear. With that, he took his hands off of her and gave her a push in the direction of the path…

The blonde was too scared to breath, too scared to scream; all she could do was run! She bounded down the path in front of her, hoping to escape the deranged boy, thing, whatever, that was behind her…

"1, 2, 3… 5… oh heck, ready or not, here I come little mouse!" Harry yelled out, a gleam in his eye as he sprinted down the path; the chase was on!

The blonde ran and ran, tears now coming from her eyes… Tears so similar to that which the brunette had just been shedding not a moment before… She could hear the pounding feet behind her… Gaining on her!

Slowly, her legs started to give out, she wasn't used to exercise like this… She ran, until an exposed root caught her foot… and she fell!

Expecting the worst, she cringed down into a tight ball, protecting herself… waiting for the finish!...

But nothing happened…

First opening one eye… and then the other… The blonde looked up at the path she had just ran down… Dust from the path drifting up and to get caught in the trails of tears that had been running down her cheeks, smearing her caked on makeup… Makeup for which without she would have been a very ugly girl… just as ugly as she was inside. The path behind her was totally empty, and the area around her was absolutely silent.

Gasping, she stood up, trying to catch her breath. She looked down the trail in the direction she had been running, bent to catch her breath, and then turned around to go back towards the building and her friends…

SHE WAS HIT! Just as she had turned to face the return path, she was struck in the side of the chest by the full weight of the boy who had flown at her in a gravity defying pounce from out of the foliage!…

Her last sight was of pure green eyes, and a large mouth, with very large fangs…


"Hmmm, girls are sugar and spice and everything nice…" Harry mused to himself as he thought back to his conquest of the last bully. "I still think it could use a bit of lemon, or salt..." Harry mused. He despised bully's, for they were the epitome of the weak, the epitome of prey who didn't know their place in the natural order, Freaks of nature!…

The problem that Harry was facing at that moment was that the bobbies were starting to suspect something; noting the increased foot and bike patrols of police throughout the zoo. He was sure that the bones of the girl would eventually be found.

"I guess you can only pin so many killings on the chimpanzees before the police start to look elsewhere…" Harry mused to himself "God do I hate those poo throwers! I even refuse to eat them, never know where they had been or what they had … touched… "Harry said with a shiver. Gliding down a path with a food court on it, Harry snagged an ice cream cone from a vendor who wasn't paying attention and went to sit at a table. He sat, back against the wall of the shaded gazebo, facing the crowds of happy humans pointing at the animals, and he started to think.

"It's only a matter of time before these human authorities come after me again. Not to think that they would ever help me when I needed them, but too many bodies and animals have disappeared from the zoo… It's only a matter of time before they start hunting me or close the zoo and try and trap me inside…" Harry mused to himself while watching the masses go by, totally oblivious to the predator that was outside of any enclosure. "What I need to do," He said out loud, "Is get far far away from here." "I need to gain some new abilities, and I need to have the time and freedom to gain control of my magic, figure out what it can really do!" Finishing the last part of his sentence at a whisper.

Looking down at his ice cream cone, he swallowed the cone and the last scoop in one gulp, dusted off his hands from the bits of cone that had flaked off onto him, and then got up to look down into one of the local displays.

"But where the bloody hell could I go to get away from all these bloody people!" Turning around towards the display behind him, his words died in his throat as he looked out over the London Zoo's pack of lions. "Brilliant!" Harry yelled out, startling the zoo patron's around him.

Quickly running through the zoo, Harry made a pit-stop at the Seal Exhibit, and then headed towards the back door of the Reptile House.

His belly full for the trip, Harry grabbed the paper work from the table just inside the door, dragged a crate out to the loading bay and then posted warning labels all over the box so that nobody would check on the contents of the crate. Attaching his paperwork to the top of the crate, Harry crawled into the crate and sealed the door closed, pulling so hard that the nails embedded in the crate's wooden door sealed the box shut just as securely as if it had been done from the outside. Closing his eyes, Harry fell into a deep peaceful sleep.

An hour later, a truck for the "Approved Wildlife Re-Introduction Program, Royal Zoological Society of the United Kingdom" rolled up and took the crate away, sending Harry and his crate onto the first leg of his long journey…

End destination: Kruger National Park, South Africa.


AN: Thanks to all those who reviewed. It is because of you that I published this long chapter so quickly after the last one. I wrote this today, so enjoy. I'm of the mindset that more reviews equates to more, and longer, chapters. Best wishes!