Okay, time for a new story. This past weekend, I began listening to the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Audiobook (costly, but a great way to revisit the series as you can go on a walk at the same time to exercise and I highly recommend it, just don't download it from iTunes unless you're as rich as JKR herself because you won't be able to afford it) and I was once again shocked at the way Harry is treated throughout the book. I never forgot how he was treated, but it's just one thing after another, constantly, day after day, hour after hour, Harry's emotional and physical wellbeing taking just one hit after another over and over again whilst the people supposedly in charge of his wellbeing just tell him to grit his teeth and get on with it. To all those simpering Snape and Draco fan girls out there, I say put down Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows and give Prisoner of Azkaban and Order of the Phoenix a re-read because these two books prove what I have known all along: Snape and Draco deserve nothing more than a Reductor curse right between the eyes.
Anyway, I digress. Here is what I think Harry should have done, and yes that does mean that this is an AU. Don't like that sort of thing? Then click the back button.
Harry's Had Enough
Harry staggered through the portrait hole and made his way over to one of the comfy armchairs before slumping down into it. Blood flowed in scarlet trails across the surface of his left hand. The cuts had already reached the bones of his hand, and Harry wondered whether or not tomorrow's detention would result in the words etching themselves into the metacarpal bones themselves.
Harry shook the hand violently in anger; the pain was quite irritating. He let out a huff of air through clenched teeth and then slumped back in the chair. His hand stung violently, but his head was pounding on a scale that made it seem like the drummer from some crap wannabe band was using his brain for practice, beating seven bells of shit out of him in the process.
Since coming back from Christmas break, Harry had had to endure twice-weekly private tutoring lessons with Snape, during which time Snape was supposed to help Harry protect his mind from attack by outside forces. However, the visions and dreams that they were supposed to be blocking were increasing by the day, and the headaches were making it nearly impossible to focus on anything.
The greasy haired git was not helping. Harry had come to that conclusion after just the first of their lessons.
Suddenly something grabbed his hand and it was dumped into a bowl of liquid. The stinging sensation began to ease as the soothing properties of the Murtlap Essence did its job.
Harry blinked owlishly at his hand before turning his gaze to Hermione, who was now sitting on the arm of his chair and holding the bowl of Murtlap.
"Thanks, Mione." he managed to say, though it came out more as a groan than anything else. Even speaking caused his headache to worsen. Fan-bloody-tastic.
Hermione just smiled and wrapped a comforting arm around his shoulders, intent on holding him while the Murtlap did its job. She just wished she had something on hand to lessen his headaches. Every headache-curing potion they had tried failed to work, and neither did dreamless sleep potions; they failed to block the nightmares, and only succeeded in making it harder for him to wake up from them.
After a good twenty minutes of bathing his hand, during which neither of them said anything, Hermione removed his hand from the bowl, which she set down on the table, and then she conjured up a few bandages.
"I'm sorry." Harry muttered as Hermione began wrapping the bandages securely yet gently around his hand.
"Don't be, Harry." she replied "It's no bother. Someone's got to look after you." the smile on her face made sure that there was no sting in her words, but Harry still winced. She didn't get it.
"I don't know how much longer I can put up with this." he said.
Hermione's face took on a confused look "What do you mean Harry?"
Harry opened his mouth to answer her, closed it again, opened it once more, and then shut it again before giving a little shake of his head that did his headache no favours.
"Don't worry, Hermione. I'm just being silly."
She eyed him suspiciously.
Harry forced a smile onto his face "Honestly, Hermione, I'm fine. Go on, go to bed. It's nearly midnight."
"Are you sure?" she asked.
"Yes Hermione. Now go to bed. I'm just going to rest here for a minute, then I'll go up myself."
"Well, ok." she replied, sounding uncertain. She stood and made her way over to the staircase that led the way up to the girls' dormitories. She'd only gone up three steps when she turned back. Harry wasn't looking at her; instead he was staring into the fire. Hermione shook her head and continued up the staircase. She'd wheedle it out of him soon, she always did.
Harry knew she would too, that's part of what he liked about her; he could talk to her, unlike just about any other girl on the face of the Earth… unlike just about any other person on the face of the Earth, for that matter. Hermione was always prepared to listen to his concerns and discuss them, whereas everyone else either brushed off his concerns, unless it concerned them too, or simply brushed him off before he even got to voice those concerns.
But this… this was not something that he could talk to Hermione about. He didn't think she'd understand. In fact, he was certain that she wouldn't understand. Very few people would, if any at all.
The question was, though, would he do it? Could he do it? Should he?
Harry watched the dying embers in the fireplace as they fizzled out one by one, slowly extinguishing the light in the common room.
What had he gotten out of his time at Hogwarts School since coming back last September? Well pain was one thing, his pounding headache and sore hand were testament to that much. A lifetime ban from the sport he loved to play, and his broom confiscated so he couldn't relax with a nice, lazy fly around the grounds. Oh, and the scorn. Everywhere he went, around every corner, along every corridor and inside every classroom he was met with anger, hate and scorn. And there was no escaping it either.
He had done nothing to deserve this. Ever since he had first set foot into this school, he had striven to always do what was right over what was easy, and yet it was always he, Harry, who received the punishment, be it getting rid of Norbert, Hagrid's pet Dragon so that the man would not get into trouble for having it, or preventing Draco Malfoy's conjured snake from attacking Justin Finch-Fletchley, preventing Sirius and Remus from becoming murders, saving his cousin Dudley from two attacking Dementors, raising the alarm that Voldemort had returned to full physical form... it was always Harry who paid for it in the end. He didn't get so much as a "thank you" for saving Hagrid's behind when it came to that bloody dragon, instead he got an all-night detention in the Forbidden Forest, Draco Malfoy didn't even get one single house point docked for conjuring that bloody cobra in the middle of the crowded Great Hall whilst Harry was on the receiving and of several months' worth of hatred and suspicion. Wormtail escaped, leading to Voldemort's return, he got his arse hauled before the entire Wizengamot for saving his stupid cousin's whale-sized backside, and now he was being branded an attention seeking nut-job because he told the world that Voldemort had returned.
And what did he ever gain? Well that was easy: one special award for services to the school, and a few house points the numbers of which paled in comparison to the number taken from him by Snape for stupidly petty reasons like breathing too loudly or being half a second late in adding a dash of mandrake root to a pepper up potion (Harry had checked later and found that the mandrake could have been added up to two minutes later than stated in the textbook without any ill effects).
Not once was there a "Huh, sorry about that Harry, guess you were right after all" or a "Wow, you certainly saved our arses there Harry, sorry for doubting you." Instead it was either "Take these house points and shut up before you make someone look stupid" or "Honest, Harry, I always believed you, it was everyone else, honest."
Then he would be sent back to Little Whinging to suffer at the abusive hands of his relatives for a month, during which time everyone seemed to be hit with some kind of reset button and go back to waiting to blame him for anything and everything that went wrong and once again hate his guts at a moment's notice.
And to be honest, Harry had had enough of it.
If the Ministry, and the Wizarding public as a whole were prepared to bury their heads in the sand and let Voldemort take over, then why should Harry make the effort to put things right?
If the staff at Hogwarts couldn't be bothered to help him and instead leave him to Umbridge's mercy whilst they sat in their offices pretending that everything was fine, then why should he take the brunt of the bitch's wrath?
If the students could not be bothered to from their own opinions based on Harry the person instead of Harry the myth then why the fuck should he bother to teach them?
Because he was too bloody soft, that's why.
Well that would change. Harry vowed that much to himself. Shock the mouse too many times, and he stops going for the piece of cheese. Well in this case Harry was the mouse, saving everyone was the cheese, and the world turning on him over and over was the shock.
If everyone wanted to doubt him, if the Ministry wanted to torture him, if the Order wanted to leave him clueless about what was happening in the war, if Dumbledore couldn't even bring himself to look at him, far less show any confidence in him, then so be it. They could all just go rot in hell.
Head still throbbing, Harry pushed himself up out of his seat and left the Gryffindor common room and headed up to the fifth year boys dormitory. Inside he found Ron snoring loudly, Neville snoring less loudly, Dean mumbling some football-related chant as he slept, and Seamus sprawled across his mattress drooping copiously. Confident that no one would overhear him Harry changed out of his robes and into his pyjamas and crawled into his bed, drawing the hangings around him as he did so.
"Dobby?" he called quietly.
With a near-silent pop, Dobby the House Elf appeared out of thin air, standing on the bottom of the bed.
"Harry Potter sir is calling Dobby?" asked the Elf.
Harry nodded "It's tomorrow. Send out the letters."
Dobby looked sad as he bowed his head. With a mumbled "Yes, sir." he popped away.
Harry momentarily felt guilty for making Dobby look that sad, but then it passed. It had to be this way, for Harry's own sanity if nothing else.
Wearily he pulled the covers up around himself and lay down for one more sleep that was sure to be nightmare filled.
It was. Apparently it was Avery who had pissed Voldemort off this time, and then Harry nearly got to open that accursed door when he was awoken by a pillow landing on his face.
Sitting up and shoving his glasses on his face as the pillow was whisked away, Harry saw that Ron, Dean and Seamus were hurling their pillows at each other. A glace across showed that Neville's bed had already been vacated.
"Morning Harry." shouted Dean and Seamus as they began beating Ron into submission.
Harry muttered something along the lines of "Munin" before groggily making his way to the bathroom for a wash. At least Seamus had come around. Aside from the barmy brigade that made up The Quibbler's usual client list, he was about the only one. The interview might have made that particular edition to sell out (twice), but that was only because people wanted another chance to gawk at what "Potty Potter" (as so many had so intelligently chosen to dub him) had to say.
When he came back out of the bathroom, Dean and Seamus had left for breakfast but Ron was still there, looking none the worse for wear.
"You alright Harry?" asked the lanky red headed boy.
"M'fine." Harry replied, searching in his trunk for what to wear today.
"You should hurry up." said Ron "I think Hermione's waiting for us downstairs so we can all go to breakfast." At the mere mention of the world, Ron's stomach gave a loud growl in disapproval at the amount of food it currently lacked.
"You know what?" asked Harry, pulling a pair of balled up old socks out of his trunk "I'm going to be a few minutes yet. You and Hermione go on ahead."
"You sure, mate?" asked Ron.
"Yeah, you go on." said Harry, unfurling the socks "I'll see you down in the Great Hall in a bit."
"Alright." replied Ron before leaving the room to eagerly search for some food.
Hearing the door shut, Harry sank onto his bed and closed his eyes as a single tear escaped "For God's sake look after her, Ron." he said in a choked whisper.
Hermione had not had a very good night. She kept waking up having dreamt that Harry was about to do something foolish and she needed to stop him, or that he was in a dangerous situation and he needed her to help him. Six times these dreams had occurred, and each time she had thrown herself out of bed, wrapped herself in her dressing gown and been halfway down the stairs from the girls' dorms before managing to convince herself that it was just a dream and that she should go back to bed. She would talk to Harry in the morning.
Now she found herself growing slowly more and more frustrated as first Neville, then Dean and Seamus and now Ron came down the staircase with still no sign of Harry.
"Where is he?" she demanded of Ron, admittedly sounding a little more hysterical than she would have liked.
Ron was completely taken aback by her seemingly rather sudden outburst, but he didn't need to ask who she was talking about. There was only one person whose whereabouts Hermione ever got hysterical over.
"He's getting dressed and said he'd meet us down in the Great Hall." he explained as though that resolved everything.
Hermione decided that she was having none of that, and made to march right up that staircase and see Harry now.
Ron, however, had other ideas and grabbed her around her waist, lifted her off her feet, spun around so that they were facing the portrait hole and set her down again "He's getting dressed and won't appreciate you barging in on him."
To be honest, Hermione couldn't give a toss if Harry was bollock naked up there, she was going to see him and that was that!
Unfortunately Ron once again had other ideas and pushed the now rather indignant young witch across the common room and gave her an unceremonious shove out through the portrait hole and into the corridor beyond. "He said he'll see us in a minute, now come on."
Hermione gave a rather indignant, and not to mention thoroughly embarrassing squawk as she received another shove and then proceeded to bluster and mutter death threats to Ron all the way down to the Great Hall. Once there she sat at the Gryffindor table with great reluctance. She paid no attention to the food that surrounded her, and ignored the low drone of many early morning conversations that were happening around her. Instead she sat rigid and unmoving, eyes locked on the door to spot Harry the moment he arrived. She had no intentions of letting him out of her sights today. Something deep within her told her that to let him go off on his own today would be a mistake that would come with painful consequences.
She didn't know it yet, but the mistake had already been made.
Ten minutes later, Hermione was getting very impatient and was just about to get up to go in search of her missing friend when a screech owl landed before her, bearing a copy of The Daily Prophet.
Deciding to give the headlines a quick scan before setting off on her search, Hermione unfurled the rolled up newspaper and turned to the front page. Instantly her eyes widened in surprise at the headline.
Daily Prophet Exclusive!
Harry Potter Speaks Out!
Hermione's face turned chalk white as she read the first line.
To the readers of The Daily Prophet, I, Harry James Potter, should like to formally announce my withdrawal from the Wizarding World.
Hermione sprang up from her seat and raced from the hall, the newspaper lying forgotten. Ron and Neville, who had been sitting either side of her, leaned in to see what had caused her to leave, and balked.
This decision is not one I have taken lightly, but the past few months have really driven home the fact that I obviously do not belong in your world.
Ron and Neville shot out of their seats, Ginny already a step ahead of them.
Until the day that I turned eleven, I knew nothing about the Wizarding World. Until then, I had been raised by my Muggle relatives, who told me nothing of my heritage.
Luna was now on her feet, closely followed by Cho and a few other Ravenclaws. Dean and Seamus bolted for the doors also, followed by Parvati, Lavender and the Weasley twins.
I did not fit in within the Muggle World, my odd tendencies to turn a mean teacher's hair blue or jump so high that I landed on the school roof made sure of that.
Dumbledore, McGonagall and Flitwick had gotten up from the staff table and began making their way to the doors, following on the heels of the rest of the D.A.
When Rubeus Hagrid, the Hogwarts School Caretaker arrived to bring me into the Wizarding World, I thought that the magical community sounded like a wonderful place, where anything was possible. How wrong I was.
Hermione made it to the top of a fifth staircase and sprinted off down the corridor just as Ron, Neville and Ginny arrived at its base.
All too soon the darker, seedier side of the Wizarding World made itself known, in the forms of people like Draco Malfoy and his gang, who taunt and discriminate people based on something that no person in the world, Magical or Mundane, has any control over: their parentage.
Hermione scrambled down the corridor towards the entrance of Gryffindor Tower. The Fat Lady gave her a sad, sympathetic look, and her portrait swung open without Hermione giving the password.
From the first moment I stepped foot within the Wizarding World, I have been gawked at like some animal on display at a zoo, and have been subjected to many muttering and snide comments made behind my back.
Ron threw himself through the portrait hole just in time to see Hermione's ankles disappear up the staircase to the boys' dormitories.
In my time within the Wizarding community, I have been hailed as a hero, someone to be admired, and disparaged, said to be the next Dark Lord in training.
Students and staff alike poured into the Gryffindor common room, hoping that they were not too late.
In my time within the Wizarding World, I have prevented the man who calls himself Lord Voldemort from stealing a rare and valuable magical artefact that could have been used to return him to life, I have slain the monster lurking within the legendary Chamber of Secrets before it could be used to kill the innocent, I saved an innocent man from a fate worse than death, I have fought Trolls, Dragons, Dementors, Wraiths and Dark Wizards aplenty. I have confronted Sphinxes, Boggarts, Merpeople, Skrewts and Acromantula. I have even seen a friend murdered before my own eyes.
Hermione's stomach dropped when she saw Harry's bed empty. Her legs gave way and she slumped over, tears welling up in her eyes.
I have fought evils that most people could not dream of, I have saved the school from closure every year and I have literally bled for the protection of the Wizarding World more times than I care to count, but apparently that just isn't good enough is it?
Ron sank down onto his mattress, eyes wide. Ginny slumped over next to him. Neville leaned against one of the posts to Harry's bed and closed his eyes as if in pain.
I escaped from a battle that nearly brought about my death, and told the world that the Dark Lord had returned. I gave a list of his followers, in the hopes that action might be taken before it was too late.
Luna clutched at the stich in her side, and joined the others in staring at the bed. Around them, Cho, Dean, Seamus and their fellow Gryffindors gathered, cold realisation gripping them.
But rather than heed my warning, the Ministry of Magic decided that I was not to be believed. The Minister of Magic himself saw to it that the Death Eater captured at Hogwarts had his soul sucked out before the man could give evidence.
More and more students were piling into the room, Gryffindor, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw alike. There were no serpents amongst them.
Rather than announce to the world that the dark times were about to return, the Minister chose instead to turn on any who dared believe what I said.
Dumbledore and McGonagall pushed their way into the room, other staff members following in their wake.
Instead of taking a list of those who arrived at the Dark Lord's rebirth to the Aurors so that arrests could be made, the Minister chose instead to begin a smear campaign against me and any who dared to believe me.
Remus entered the kitchen of number twelve, Grimmauld Place to find Sirius crying into his hands and a grave looking Tonks, whose normally bubble gum pink spikey hair was now long, lank, dark and dreary.
Rather than admit that they were losing control of the Dementors of Azkaban, the Ministry saw fit to give me a trail before the entire Wizengamot because I defended myself against the foul soul sucking monsters.
Amelia Bones slumped down into the chair behind the desk, running a hand wearily over her face.
Instead of tightening security around Azkaban, the Ministry pretended that everything was fine, and when ten of Voldemort's followers managed to escape, they insisted that it wasn't their fault, instead choosing to blame their long-time scapegoat Sirius Black.
Cornelius Fudge chucked the paper aside and bit into his second butter-covered crumpet of the morning, a satisfied grin on his face.
The Daily Prophet has decided to get in on the act, making snide remarks about me whenever the opportunity presented itself. Why tell the truth, when lies and rumours sell so much better?
Percy Weasley stared blankly at the prophet, his mind racing with the question What if?
Since my return to Hogwarts, I have been subject to more ridicule and bad-mouthing than ever before, as well as attacks on my mind, my body and my soul. Privacy is no longer something I am entitled to, and it seems that as far as the Ministry is concerned torture is an acceptable practice, so long as it is me how is on the receiving end of it.
Dolores Umbridge had a wide smile on her face as she sipped her tea, alone at the staff table.
Just like everybody on this planet, I have a breaking point. Being tortured and branded a liar for trying to protect the world was mine. When you reach your breaking point, you can do one of two things; you can snap completely, and make sure everyone around you suffers as well, or you can walk away. I choose the second option; because walking away is the best way for me to make everyone else suffer.
Bill Weasley entered the kitchen of the Burrow looking sombre, and set the bad news down in front of his parents.
You see, it has become clear to me that some of you need a history lesson. Voldemort gained power once before, and the Ministry was all but powerless to stop him. For eleven years the almighty Ministry of Magic ran around in circles, in a blind panic with no clue as to what to do whilst Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters went around slaughtering any Wizard or Muggle they felt like killing. Be they Prewitt, Dearborn, Bones, Fenwick, McKinnon, Meadowes or Longbottom, no light-aligned pureblood family escaped losses, and if you were a Muggleborn, your only option was to head to a country outside of Europe. By 1981, the Ministry contained many Death Eaters, from Aurors to Unspeakables and every point in between, whilst many others were held under the imperious curse, the Ministry was just a few weeks from falling, perhaps even days, when something quite unexpected happened. Lord Voldemort himself personally murdered two of the light-side's best warriors, and then turned his wand on their son. But his curse failed, and he was thrown from his body, vanquished by a mere baby in a crib.
Now that baby has grown up, and after fourteen years of peace, he has tried to tell the world that Voldemort has come back, but the world won't listen.
And now the vanquisher of Voldemort has had enough. He is leaving you.
To the Death Eaters I say "Carry on, do as you wish, I'll not point you out to the masses again."
Sitting at a long dining table, Lucius Malfoy raised his morning cup of tea in a toast-making gesture. His wife mirrored him as they both smirked.
To Lord Voldemort I say "You can have the Wizarding World. From what I have experienced, you are quite welcome to it."
Voldemort's red eyes seemed to shine even brighter as he threw his head back and laughed.
To my friends, or at least those of you that actually are my friends, I say "Sorry, but I cannot deal with this pathetic world anymore."
At the Slytherin table, Draco and his cohorts were cheering loudly, and congratulating each other on a job well done.
And to the rest of you, the writers who discredit me, the Ministry who belittles me, the protectors who constantly fail me and most importantly of all, you the public who decry me, I say this; you better hope your Ministry is right, because the last person who saved you from Voldemort will not waste another drop of his magic on you, lose a drop of blood for you, or produce a single drop of sweat for you. He is done with you.
Deep beneath the entrance to Gringotts' bank, head Goblin Ragnok nodded to Griphook and two other Goblins who, together, sealed the Potter family vaults from access.
Who knows, maybe you'll get lucky again, and another baby will finish off Voldemort, but I doubt it.
In an overgrown garden, Dobby the House Elf raised his hands slowly, palms facing forward. To either side of him, at least twenty other House Elves were mirroring his actions. Magic left their hands and began stretching out to form a repelling barrier.
When you are all crying out against the fate of the world, and when you are all dying in a hostile and bloody war, remember this: I did warn you.
Dumbledore stepped forward and stared forlornly at the pillow of Harry Potter's four-poster bed. There Harry Potter's wand lay, snapped clean in half. His trunk and all of his possessions were gone.
Luna wrapped an arm around a sobbing Hermione's shoulders. Her own eyes stung with tears.
This is Harry Potter saying "Goodbye, and good riddance."
P.S. If any of you get it into your heads to try and find me, don't bother. It'll be a waste of your time and effort, and is likely to piss me off.
A/N: So, that's it. What do you think? I think there's at least one other chapter here but I'm not sure. It seems like someone should find him after a while, it seems unlikely that the Ministry, Dumbledore or Voldemort will just let Harry drop off the radar.
Anyway, this is one of a string of ideas whereby Harry does what he really should have, this one being what he should have done in OotP: "Don't believe or trust me? Well then f*** the lot of you!"