Disclaimer. As usual I don't own Harry Potter, or any of the characters, things, or animals, that are mentioned in the Harry Potter books, I do how ever own the plot in this little venture into the Potter verse.
Harry James Potter was getting angry as the owls kept delivering messages and yet none said why there were Dementors in Little Whinging, or what was happening. Taking the letter from the latest owl to arrive he read Sirius's message 'Arthur has just told us what's happened. Don't leave the house again whatever you do.'
Harry stared at the letter in total disbelief; he found this such an inadequate response to everything that had happened to him, and now his temper was rising. Wasn't anybody going to say well done for fighting off two Dementors and saving Dudley?
Both Mr Weasley and Sirius were acting as though he had misbehaved and were saving their telling off until they could ascertain how much damage had been done. Vernon was still yelling something but Harry wasn't listening as thoughts about how he had been treated all summer raced through his mind. The thought that Ron was shacked up somewhere with his Hermione, probably snogging and …things, sent his anger into overdrive.
Privet Drive, three days after the Dementor attack.
That night of the attack Harry had sent Hedwig his owl off with three notes asking what was going on and when he could leave the Dursleys, but now it was three days later and Hedwig had not returned. He could only guess that someone probably Dumbledore was holding her prisoner or she would have returned just a few hours after leaving to deliver those notes. Staring up at the ceiling of his bedroom his anger grew to the point where he was having trouble controlling his magic. How could they be so cruel and hateful keeping his only friend from him, surely they should have at least set her free even if they kept him a prisoner never knowing what was going on and kept in the dark like some naughty five year old.
After storming down stairs and finding just his Aunt in the house he asked if she had heard any more after the howler that had been sent. Petunia had simply stuck her nose in the air and sneered at him as though he stunk like something she might have stepped in, and that was the last straw. Harry James Potter had had enough being treated as if he was a freak or a child, a nobody who did not matter to anyone. The girl he thought of as his girlfriend was with the one who had been his best friend until the Tri-Wizard tournament. His supposed mentor was keeping everything from him and apparently holding his familiar prisoner and his so called godfather and the others could not even be bothered to ask if he had been hurt in the attack by the Dementors, in fact no one had asked or been to see if he was ok.
Racing up stairs Harry quickly lifted the loose floorboard under his bed and pulled out his prized possessions and shoved them into his ancient knapsack. Grabbing a small piece of parchment he quickly scribbled a note.
To Dumbledore and his little group of sycophants
'Seeing as not one of you could be bothered to ask how I was after the dementor attack it seems you don't give a damn about me or my welfare, so you can all go get stuffed.
Tell my Hermione thanks for betraying me for that dumb red haired tosser who couldn't even apologise properly to her over that bloody rat or the shit he caused over my broom and the ruddy Yule ball or to apologise properly to me for calling me a liar for half the term, if she wants him she can bloody well have the dumb food disposal slob.
Oh be sure to thank her and the rest of your motley crew for the letters of support I never got, no never mind she was to busy being with that back stabbing bastard to write to me herself to find out how I was doing after witnessing Cedric killed in cold blood.
You can tell that so called godfather I think he is a waste of space, when I needed him as a baby he preferred chasing after the rat, and now he again seems uninterested in my welfare. Well you can all piss off. Enough is enough and this boy has had enough of being everyone's punch bag, and being treated like a ruddy mushroom.
Up yours and your little club Dumbledore you inbred cretin…
Mr H Potter. Formerly of the cupboard under the stairs in the prison on privet drive.
Harry pushed his aunt aside as she tried to stop him leaving as he opened the front door. He turned to her and with ice cold anger in his voice he said "You know Mrs Dursley, you are a real miserable freak of a bitch and one of these days I'll be paying you and your disgusting freak family back for all your kindness, and that I can guarantee, where ever you go I will find you and you will regret the day you decided to treat a wizard the way you did.
I no longer accept that you are the sister of my mother; I know my grandparents would never have had scum child abusers like you in the family. So you can tell Dumbledore and his little army you are no longer my aunt, I reject any family or blood connection to something disgusting and abnormal like you and that fat criminal whale you call Dudley, you are both no longer members of the Evans family, as chosen by default, I as head of the Evans family formally disown you both." He then stepped from the house and slammed the door closed.
Harry had no idea where he was going to go but he was certain he would live no where near the magical world. He was not as stupid as Dumbledore and the rest seemed to think, he knew that Voldemort would have far more problems trying to find him if he was living in the Muggle world. After getting past a drunken Mundungus Fletcher a bus ride and a short visit to Gringotts to almost empty his trust vault and convert his galleons into pounds Harry made his way to a bus station and caught a bus heading west.
4 Privet Drive, four days after the Dementor attack.
It was Harry's fifteenth birthday and Dumbledore had sent members of his Order of the Phoenix to collect Harry from his home as was usual. Remus Lupin picked up the note from Harry's bed and as he read the short note his shoulders sagged. He had half expected something like this, he had tried to tell Dumbledore and Sirius that Harry would not be happy if they tried to keep things from him. What he had not expected was for Harry to think that Hermione had betrayed him. He knew Harry had deep feelings for the girl, feelings that went far beyond friendship, but then as he thought about it he began to see Harry's point of view.
Ron and Hermione had only sent the one short joint note allowed by Dumbledore to Harry saying they could tell him nothing. That would make it seem they were together and gloating, unwilling to tell him what they were doing. And they had been together for at least a month since then without writing so it would seem to Harry that they had become far more than being together as just friends. Folding the note and placing it in his pocket he joined the crowd of witches and wizards who had been sent to collect the boy. "It's too late, Harry's gone. I tried to tell Albus but he just won't listen to anyone, he always thinks he knows best."
Remus and the others returned to their head quarters, a place called Black manor at number 12 Grimmauld place in London. Having conjured a copy of Harry's note and passed the original to Albus Dumbledore, leader of the order of the Phoenix. Remus Lupin made his way upstairs to talk to the teenagers who were staying at the house.
Entering the boy's room where he found both Ron and Hermione along with Ron's younger sister Ginny. The two girls were sitting on the bed that would be Harry's if they ever found him. Feeling a sadness and anger, that the three teens were having a good time being together while they had let Harry down so badly he couldn't bring himself to speak right away in case he lost his temper, taking a deep breath he silently passed the note to Hermione.
Hermione read the note out, not quite believing that Harry could think she was betraying him, Harry wasn't even her boyfriend and she loudly declared it as she jumped to her feet and almost demanded that they go and find the raven haired boy right then.
Remus was about to say something when Ron almost shouted "Bloody Potter, I bet he's just after more fame by being 'the-boy-who-ran-away…'" that was all he managed to say before Remus stood to his full height grabbed Ron by the front of his robes and yanked him to his feet then glared at the red haired boy having lost his temper he growled at the red head idiot
"Weasley, if all you can ever do is argue and say completely stupid things then keep your bloody mouth shut or I'll rip your treacherous back stabbing tongue out and shove it up your ruddy arse. Now sit and keep quiet you gormless waste of space!" Remus disgusted by Ron's reaction turned to Hermione "You, you chose that totally disgusting filthy food slobbering idiot over Harry; I suggest you go see the mind healers because you really need help. Was it fun sending Harry that joint note letting him know you were here having a good time with your single brain celled walking Weasel food stain collector. Was it a good feeling doing that to him when you knew he was being kept prisoner in an abusive environment, did it turn you on for you to keep Harry's oldest friend Hedwig away from him and locked in your room?"
Hermione dropped back onto the bed shocked that the warm caring and friendly ex-professor had spoken to her the way he had. She was trying to think things through when Ron started again.
"Hermione what the hell have you been doing with Harry…" that was as far as he got before he was silenced by a spell from his sister.
"You know Ron, Remus is right, all that you do is shove food in that hole in your face and regurgitate a load of rubbish, you should keep it shut until the day your brain finally wakes up. Now Hermione what are we going to do about your boyfriend thinking you are two timing him with mighty mouth here?" Ginny said as she turned from cursing her brother and facing the older girl.
Hermione still shocked about what was happening eventually stopped acting like a fish and finally managed to say "Harry and I are not together."
Ginny looked at her as if she was mad and had grown an extra head to help spread the madness. "Well it seems you are the only one apart from the disgusting gormo slob here who thinks that. What was all that last year, you were the only one who did not turn on Harry, you spent every waking moment with him, then you kissed him goodbye on the platform. Every one at school thinks you two are together, every member of the order does too, and according to that note seems that Harry thought that as well."
Hermione was going to argue but as she thought back over their past year when she had been the only one who believed and helped Harry through that stupid tournament. She remembered how she had been unable to resist going to see him in the tent before the dragon task started, and the tight hug she had given him. She thought of all the late nights she had had with him through the year as she tried to find spells and charms that would help to keep him alive. And that kiss at the station as they parted for the summer, as she thought it all over she began to realise that she and Harry had indeed become a couple, had been since they rode together on Buckbeak it was no wonder everyone knew it except Ron, who had not got the emotional capacity of a very immature two year old. She put her own lack of noticing down to her being far to worried about him to think of such things before.
She actually started to think that she had betrayed Harry by enjoying being here at Grimmauld with Ron while Harry was being mistreated by his relatives and fighting off Dementors. She then looked at the ceiling thinking about the beautiful owl locked in a cage in her bedroom on the floor above. They had even kept Hedwig from Harry even though they knew how much his owl meant to him. Tears began to fall as she stood up and headed for the door.
Ginny followed Hermione knowing that the older girl had come to her senses and would soon have a plan to find Harry. She knew that her best girl friend could not ignore the fact that Harry was on his own and probably needed her help.
Harry was feeling lonely and he was missing Hermione so much he spent most of his days dreaming about her and then trying to rid him self of the lump in his throat afterward. He had been in the small seaside town for the past week and had been unable to decide what to do next. Walking along the beach he looked enviously at other young men and women as they strolled hand in hand or boys as they played about in the surf with their girlfriends. Even watching the older couples with children made him feel a little jealous, and even a little lonelier than he was before.
He was angry at the ministry and it's stupid under age rules, and the threats of a trial. He was furious with Dumbledore for forcing him into the stupid predicament in the first place, if the daft old man had not interfered so much in his life he might have grown up happy, so what if there was a mad wizard trying to kill him, it did not mean he could not have a life. It might take Voldemort another ten years to find him again, even longer if he was to stay here in the muggle world. Looking up at the seagulls that flew about he made his mind up. It was time he started to change things, first thing was to go and buy himself some proper clothing to celebrate his birthday and his freedom.
Three hours later he was sitting in his room at the small hotel he was booked into and looking at the money he had collected from Gringotts. He had just over 150,000 pounds with which to somehow buy himself somewhere to live. He had just one small problem to solve, how was he a fifteen year old going to buy a house? The answer to his problem came to him the following day as he went about his day doing his shopping; a large advertisement in one of the arcade windows announced a face painting competition beginning at mid day at the local recreation centre.
Harry stood in the crowd as they watched two dozen competitors whittled down to just three. When the judges asked for some volunteers from the audience to have their faces painted he stepped forward.
He was sat in a chair facing the audience and a young woman finalist was partnered with him. Smiling at the pretty woman as she studied his face wondering what to do to him he bet her five pounds she could not turn him in to a believable looking old man. It was well worth the five pounds he handed over to the young woman after she received her prize for first place. Then chuckling Harry asked that he be allowed to keep his new face to show his family, chuckling at her surprised look he then imitated an ancient old man as he hobbled away, the make up still on his face.
Just four hours later Harry James Potter looking about seventy years old paid out 85,000 pounds in cash to a young couple who were emigrating and were in need of a quick sale for their house. Harry was happy having got him self a great bargain, the house had been on the market for a quite a while at 145,000 with no offers made and time had run out for the young married couple who were ready to start their new life in a new land.
The house, a small three bedroom detached one that sat at the base of a sixty foot cliff and overlooked the estuary of the Mawddach river and the small resort of Barmouth. It needed quite a lot of cosmetic work done having been unoccupied for some time but was basically in good condition. The small front and rather large tiered rear gardens were both neglected and overgrown, but to Harry it was simply another challenge, only this one he had picked for him self this time.
Harry smiled as he took a seat on one of the few pieces of furniture that he had been left. The house had belonged to the woman's parents who were now both dead, and she had decided it would be better and cheaper to let Harry have the furniture than to call someone in to have it removed to the local rubbish tip. It was a happier young man who fell asleep in the old but truly comfortable armchair in front of the fire place. Pleasant dreams of Hermione Granger filled his night.
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