Standard Disclaimer : I don't own anything you recognise. JK does along with the respective owners of anything else you might recognise that isn't from the Potterverse. I don't like writing one of these at the beginning of every chapter so this one covers the whole story ok lawyer people? Just a quick note this is all shifted forwards so that instead of being in 1993 this is happening now, with all modern technology etc available. Read and review but most importantly enjoy. Comments, suggestions, ideas, whatever most welcome. Enough of my babble, on to the story!
Harry Potter could feel the blood pounding in his ears. He didn't think he had ever been this angry before in his life. It was as if every little bit of frustration and torment that had been inflicted upon him had built up and was finally released. He watched as the already sizable frame of his Aunt Marge continued to inflate as it worked its way out of the house, bouncing off the ceiling, before it reached the open conservatory door. He felt no regrets. He knew he should, but he simply didn't. He tore through the house towards his pitiful excuse for a room, intent on grabbing his few possessions and getting the hell out of this bloody house. He grabbed the few clothes that vaguely fit him and stuffed them into his trunk. Then came his most important items, hidden under a loose floorboard; the invisibility cloak that was his father's and the photo album given to him by Hagrid. They were the only connections he had to his long since departed parents and therefore highly treasured by him. All that was left was his various magical equipment; luckily the majority of this was permanently in his trunk so that his paranoid and magic phobic uncle wouldn't confiscate it.
Once it was all packed away with the exception of his wand which he tucked in his pocket before thinking better of it and holding it out in front of him. He headed downstairs cautiously, expecting Vernon to have some sort of nasty surprise for him. He wasn't disappointed as when he turned the corner from the bottom step he spotted a meaty fist heading towards him from out the corner of his eye so he promptly ducked. The bellow of rage mixed with the crunching impact told him that while he had escaped, the wall had not been so lucky.
"You put her back; you put her back this instant." Vernon screamed at him through the pain, spittle hitting Harry in the face.
Bringing his wand up so that it was pointing in Vernon's face he let loose some more of his anger. "No she deserved it, she deserves that and more now if you don't want me to curse you, you are going to get the hell out of my way right now."
Vernon cringed at the sight of the wand and the mental dilemma was clear to see, he desperately wanted to hurt Harry but he didn't want to risk getting hit by any 'freakish spell'. Before any decision could be reached Harry stormed out of the house into the clear night sky and started walking, or rather marching, as far as he could from Number 4 Privet Drive.
It was only once he reached the play park that he started to cool off a bit and began to wonder what kind of situation he had got himself into this time. Looking at it objectively, he had little to no money on him, no place to stay and carrying a trunk and a bloody great birdcage with a Snowy Owl in wasn't exactly inconspicuous either. The lessons of the last two years had been learnt the hard way and Harry now knew that rushing in without a plan was the way to get yourself killed. In fact if hadn't been for Fawkes, the events in the Chamber of Secrets would have killed him. After his experiences with the Ministry last year where Dobby's hover charm caused him to get a letter about underage magic, he was sure that this time he was no going to be expelled even if he didn't use a wand.
Mentally shaking himself out of the dark thoughts that were threatening to engulf him at the prospect of being expelled from the only place he had ever been able to call home. First things first he needed a place to stay, for that he needed money. He had some; probably enough for one night somewhere giving him the chance to get to Gringott's to take out some more money from his vault. He did consider going to the Leaky Cauldron but dismissed that almost immediately as he would very quickly be recognised there and he turned into the Ministry. No he was much better off going into Muggle London, it would be cheaper and there was far less chance of him being recognised. Decision made however that did leave the slight problem of how he was going to get to London in the first place. A noise behind him made him turn sharply with his wand raised, just as he was about to scan the undergrowth for any threat there was a bang behind him that caused him to topple over his trunk.
"Welcome to the Knight Bus emergency transport for the stranded witch or wizard, I am your conductor, Stan Shunpike." Harry stood up and looked at the pimply and gangly youth in front of him.
"Can this go anywhere?" he asked.
"Sure can, sept for underwater, can't do nuffing underwater."
"Can you take me to the Strand in London please" Harry remembered one of the roads that led off of Charing Cross where the Leaky Cauldron was. He figured this was close enough to the entrance to Diagon Alley as to be easy but far enough away that he was still unlikely to be recognised.
"That'll be 12 sickles please, 14 if you want a toofbrush. What did you say your name was?"
"I didn't" said Harry as he handed over the 12 sickles and headed towards a seat.
The journey was quite possibly one of the most unpleasant of Harry's short life. The bus weaved and dodged through traffic at blinding speed with no seeming concern for the passengers. They were all thrown around so that when they finally reached Harry's stop he was covered in bruises. How on earth that woman had slept through the ordeal he would never know. Thanking his lucky stars that he had made it to his destination in pretty much one piece, he exited the death trap and gave an incredibly false farewell to Stan. However Stan didn't seem to understand that Harry would happily never see him or his dam bus again.
Stepping out into the clear night air, Harry breathed in deeply, the sense of freedom hitting him for the first time. He knew full well he still had a long way to go to properly attain that status but he had made a positive step towards it. Thinking about it made him feel good, he had always been self reliant, having had no choice in the matter thanks to the Dursley's, but this was a whole other level. Ah well first thing's first he thought, somewhere to stay for the night. To this end he started walking up The Strand, scanning each side of the road for any suspicious people that could be magical as well as somewhere cheap to stay.
After a five minute walk he spotted what he was after, a small and slightly dirty looking building with a flashing sign outside that read 'vacancies'. Several of the letters didn't work and the whole place looked thoroughly unappealing but Harry figured it was for one night only and he was only going to sleep so what the hell. He walked in purposefully, with far more confidence than he actually felt, and headed to the front desk that was currently occupied by a bored looking teenage girl with large headphones, blue hair and a nose ring. Harry had never seen anything like this, the magical world being conservative to say the least, and he was intrigued. So much so in fact that he realised he had been staring at the nose ring and not paying attention to the girl.
"Oi are you listening to me runt? Do you want a room or not?" her voice was sharp but not exactly harsh.
"Sorry, spaced out for a minute there. How much is a room?"
"£15 a night for a single. That don't include breakfast or any of that crap mind you."
Harry looked in his wallet and assessed the contents. "I'll take a room for two nights please." He figured this would give him more than enough time to consolidate his position and visit Gringott's to get some more money and move in somewhere slightly more appealing.
"Here you go squirt." She said handing him a key with a number three on it. "By the way nice owl." She smirked obviously hoping to embarrass him.
Harry simply smiled back, took the key and replied "nice nose ring."
Feeling he had done quite well out of the exchange he turned away without seeing the girls reaction and started walking in the direction of a sign directing him to room number three. It was only a short walk and on finding the room he opened the door and walked in.
A polite way of describing it would be basic. However Harry really wasn't expecting anything different and as far as he was concerned it was a pretty nice room, a darn sight bigger than his old cupboard. The day's exertion's catching up with him he dumped his trunk, let Hedwig out and collapsed on the bed, quickly falling asleep with all his clothes still on.