AN: This story continues after Harry's fourth year. I have made some minor changes regarding the dialogue between Harry and the echoes of his parents. You'll find out as the story goes on. Warning: I do love reading a good romance, but this story isn't gonna be very fluffy or romantic. It's eventually a Harry/Fleur ship, which is my favourite and admittedly, hard to portray convincingly. This is my first fanfic on this side, so plz do review. Visit my profile for a more detailed summary. Oh, before i forget, I don't own the Harry Potter universe, though i wish i did. :P
Chapter 1: Home Bitter Home
It's the start of the summer vacation. A time teenagers look forward to; a time of opportunities, be it for finding work or finding love. A time most people look forward to as a chunk of the year not dictated by the whims of Professors. A precious time that is free of the pressure of exams and most of all, a time to re-connect with family.
Not for Harry Potter. For him, summer was always associated with feelings of helplessness and resignation. He was not looking forward to the Dursleys' looks of disgust, the glee that'd surely be on Dudley's face when he saw the return of the family punching bag. "At least he isn't that eager to come close to me these days, thank Merlin for small favours" mused Harry later, while idly staring out the window of the brand new car Vernon Dursley had bought just last month, courtesy of his promotion to Vice President of Productions at Grunnings. Harry had been in the company of his dear family for a mere hour and already, he was feeling sick of his uncle's boasting. He was feeling a savage pleasure that he had no need of remembering anything about cars, considering the wonders of Portkeys and Floo Travel.
"Do you know, Dudley, that this beauty costs a thousand pounds more than our previous car? Be sure to tell your friends about that. I'll even let you take her out for a drive with your friends once I've made sure all our neighbours got a good look at her. And boy," He growled, noticing the lack of anything resembling astonishment or envy on Harry's pensive face, "you'll make sure she's gleaming like she's brand new every weekend, it's about time you put more effort into your chores, I'll not have you becoming lazy from all the freaks' coddling."
Harry turned from the window to look right into his uncle's piggish face and feeling daring, he ignored Dudley's sniggering and said "You know, uncle, I can go two hundred miles per hour on my broomstick, that's almost twice as fast as your new car can go."
Predictably, Petunia gasped at the mention of something remotely magical. Dudley, surprisingly, looked impressed for a second before he changed his look to one of guilty pleasure, no doubt envisioning Harry's imminent comeuppance.
Vernon gave a nasty jerk, and almost crashed into the car in front. Hurriedly rolling up the tinted windows to block out the driver's angry recriminations, Vernon turned to Harry and said, in what he presumably thought was a scary whisper (though it sounded to Harry more like fear that his voice would carry to the surrounding traffic) "Boy, I've told you umpteen times not to mention your unnaturalness near me and my family. Not another word out of your ungrateful mouth. You can start asking our forgiveness by waxing the car as soon as you've put your freakish stuff away and helped your aunt Petunia and Dudley unload their things."
Harry sighed and said "Uncle, I'm too old, and more importantly, I've seen too many terrible things to be intimidated by you any longer. Besides, you can't force me to do anything as you'll find when a few of my kind visit later this week to make sure you're treating me properly."
At this, Dudley looked positively terrified and his hand, Harry noticed with satisfaction, instinctively moved a few inches closer to his bulging bottom. Petunia looked mightily offended and a little bit scared at the thought of wizards invading her prim and proper home. Vernon's reaction, however, was most comical. His face grew purple at being talked back to by Harry, before hastily turning a shade of delicate yellow as he processed what was actually said.
Gathering up his meager courage, he bellowed "How dare you invite your freaks into my house! I ought to give you a good thrashing to remind you who's in charge here!"
Harry remained unaffected and responded "Look, uncle Vernon, this may surprise you, but this time, I don't want them to come here after me almost as much as you do." Seeing his uncle shocked out of his rage, he continued "There are a few things that have happened in my world recently that you need to be aware of." Petunia's look changed to one of complete fear, and Harry thought she may have some idea what's coming. "I don't care if you don't think it's important, your lives are in danger from Voldemort. He's returned and he's already killed one of my friends". Here, Harry's breath hitched with pain as images of Cedric's dead, haunted eyes rose unbidden in his mind. Forcibly, Harry deflected his thoughts to the words he heard from his parents, and from them he found the strength to go on; "and he'll try his best to find and kill me too, so it's in your best interest to learn how to protect yourselves and make sure he doesn't find where I live."
"What is this nonsense boy? You must be even more delinquent than I thought if you think you can get away from honest work by making up fairy tales!" barked Vernon, with a touch of satisfaction in his voice.
Harry kept quiet for a minute as No. 4 Privet Drive loomed up from amongst the identical boxed, plain white houses that were the feature of middle class neighbourhoods like Little Whinging. Even after living there all his life, Harry could only recognise it from the writing on the post box and the row of daisies he'd grown under the hall windows in an effort to personalize his so-called home. As soon as his uncle parked the car, Harry continued, his voice rising a bit to make sure his relatives took him seriously this time "I'm not making up tales! Do you know who Hitler was? Well, Voldemort is the wizarding equivalent of Hitler and he was brought back, from the state he was in after trying to kill me when I was a year old, with the help of his followers. I'm sure aunt Petunia at least, knows what I'm talking about."
Petunia nodded, but Vernon, refusing to acknowledge the imminent broadening of his perspective, shook his head and said "What do I care what that madman Voldy-whatever and his pet freaks get up to? You can all go kill each other, good riddance, I'd say!"
At this, Harry laughed out loud, though it was a sarcastic laugh, and said, while still being amazed that his muggle relatives can say what they remember of Voldemort's name without the slightest fear, "Listen closely uncle, this Voldemort is a madman, just like you said. However, in his twisted mind, he hates all muggles, in other words, people like you and Aunt Petunia and Dudley, and if he or his followers ever get their hands on you, they'll TORTURE you to death! Do you understand that? Please, for once in your life listen to me, I'm trying to tell you how to protect yourselves!"
All three of his relatives looked scared for a second, and then they grew quiet with regret and determination. "All right, boy. Keep quiet and we'll talk after we get inside. And don't think this gets you out of all your work, you'll still help us unload and put our things away." Vernon muttered regretfully, before getting out of the car and helping Petunia out.
Nothing like the threat of death to make people see reason, thought Harry cheerfully, before getting out and opening the trunk. Thank you mom and dad for helping me look at things in a proper light. I hope I can soon become the man you wanted me to be. If you're thinking of me, Voldy, better watch out, because Harry Potter is going to become like nothing you've seen before!
Far, far away, in Riddle manor, a figure was sleeping quietly on dark green silk sheets, resting from the fiasco that was his rebirth. The figure, better known to the wizarding world as You-Know-Who, also known as He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, and better known by his closest enemies as Lord Voldemort, twitched once in his sleep. This was going to be an interesting summer.
AN: A relatively short chapter, but there's lots to come, so stay with me. :P