Yes, I realize that it has been forever since I've last updated...well anything, but I told you guys I wasn't giving up! There are too many reasons why this took so long that it would be a waste of time to go into it.
I hope you guys enjoy this chapter and I really appreciate the feedback that I've gotten for all my stories. I'm still working on my current stories and am also in the process of writing up some new ones that I think you HP Slash readers will really enjoy. Now remember My New Neighbor is one of my less serious stories so somethings may not be accurate...like Voldy's OCC-ness.
Here we go!
Chapter 9: Dudley, just try it, see what happens!
The next day, the trouble started when Harry heard the front door open while he was in the kitchen washing the dishes from breakfast. The only good thing that came out of Vernon launching his foot into his gut was that it curbed his hunger for the time being; even though it would be back with a vengeance later. His Aunt squealed with joy from her seat in the living room. "My little Dudder Dums, it's so good to see you home!" The horse-like women put aside her poorly crafted knitting project and scurried over to her bored looking son. Harry curled his lip in disgust as he could hear the wet kisses that Petunia was peppering on him.
Harry rolled his eyes, 'Always the loving son.' Then his mind registered what the Dursley son had just demanded, 'Oh no.'
"Potter! Fix Dudley something to eat! Need to keep my baby boy big and strong."
The raven-haired teen groaned. Figures she would say that just as he cleaned the last dish. At this rate he'll never get the rest chores done. He wandered over to the cabinet and grabbed the pancake mix.
Harry was half way done with making the pancakes when the phone rang. His aunt promptly answered it after the second ring.
"Hello?...Oh hello Marge dear" The teen tensed. "...what?...oh how dreadful!...how long will it take?...That long?! That's the rest of the summer!...where will you stay?" Oh Harry really didn't like where this was going. "No no no, that will not due! Vernon and I will come get you and you can stay for as long as you need to...no trouble at all for my wonderful sister-in-law...why wait? Vernon and I will come get you right now!...of course Ripper can tag along." After a few added pleasantries his aunt hung up the phone and went to speak with her husband back in the living room.
Harry groaned once more and thumped his head against the nearest flat surface. Then he lurched back with a hiss when he realized the surface he just knocked his noggin on was the hot stove. A low growl escaped him as he rubbed his tender forehead.
It wasn't long before his aunt and uncle were ready to leave to collect Hell's Dog Breeder and her favorite miniature hell hound. His Aunt paused in her scurry and wondered, "Where do you think Marge should sleep, Vernon?" The man grunted, "She can have the freak's room; he could use some time back in his old 'room' to remind him of his place. He's been toeing the line from the moment he got back from that schoolhouse of nonsense."
Harry swung around to face the direction in which he could hear their voices to glare and silently scream, 'HOW SO?! The teen threw his arms up with exasperation, much to his stomach's displeasure.
The two adults left the house. Harry could hear the start of a car engine followed by the sound of it pulling out of the driveway. He started thinking of ways he could avoid Marge and Ripper as much as possible before the Order came to get him. He glanced out the window towards Riddle's house. 'His offer is sounding better and better with every word that leaves my "family's" mouths.' In one of the neighboring windows he saw a very large snake pop it's head up and...wave at him with it's tail? He blinked, '...I guess that's Riddle's familiar, Nagini.'
His thoughts were interrupted when he heard heavy steps enter the kitchen. He looked behind him and nearly flinched. He had forgotten Dudley was still here; but he had certainly not forgotten what that look in his eyes meant. His cousin glanced ahead of Harry for a second, "Tsk, tsk Harry, look at what you did."
Said teen looked back at the now blackened pancakes. Ah hell.
"Mum and Dad are not going to be very happy when they find out that you've wasted food like that...but I guess they don't really need to find out." The larger boy's hands grabbed his hips and slowly started wandering towards a place they were very much not welcome!
Harry eye's narrowed; he slammed the spatula he had been using on the counter and shoved his cousin away. "Leave me alone, Dudley! What the hell is wrong with you?! I'm not gonna stand by as a whimpering mess and get raped by my own cousin. For crying out loud, if your that lonely then go and find a girlfriend!-or boyfriend- or whatever! Just stay the hell away from me!"
His cousin was silent. He tried to push past Dudley and escape the room, but he was grabbed at the waist and hurled back toward the stove, knocking the pan over. Dudley sighed, "That's quite a mouth on you, Harry. It's bound to get you into some serious trouble; I think maybe I should keep it busy for you." The smaller teen found himself being forced to his knees with a beefy hand holding a tight grip on his hair. The moment he heard a zipper something in the back of his mind snapped.
Pulling a foot forward, Harry forced himself up using all of what little weight he had. His fist slammed straight into Dudley's nose, forcing him to slump to the floor with a pained yell. Harry saw his chance to escape the room. "You're gonna pay for this Potter!"
Harry ran outside to the backyard. The teen glanced behind him, ready to take "evasive action" when his cousin came after him; but there was no one behind him. He sighed, that would bite him in the arse later for sure. There was a scree, and he looked up to see a gray owl with a letter in it's beak sitting on the fence.
He glanced around awkwardly to see if any muggles were around to spot the owl; deciding the coast was clear he reached out and plucked the letter from the owl's sharp beak. The sender must have have not been expecting a reply, because the bird immediately took off disappearing into the distance. The teen reached into his pocket and grabbed what appeared to be a glass shard. It was actually a piece from his glasses lens that he saved. Holding it up in front of one eye like a make-shift monocle, he read the front of the letter; it was from Dumbledore! Without further prompting he opened the letter:
My dear boy, I'm afraid I must be the bearer of bad news. It has come the Order's attention that Voldemort has doubled his efforts to find and capture you. It has, unfortunately become too dangerous to transport you anywhere away from the protective wards before the start of the new semester. So you will have to remain with the Dursleys for the rest of the summer. Unfortunately, this also means that mail will also have to be restricted so as not to risk interception from unfriendly hands. I am confident that you can understand the gravity of the situation.
Harry gaped at the letter. Liar. Dumbledore was lying to him! Voldemort already knew where he was. He had opportunity to kidnap Harry almost everyday, there was no need to "double his efforts" to find him! He was Harry's damn neighbor! The teen felt like he was going to start hyperventilating; he didn't know who to trust anymore! One thing for sure, it definitely wasn't Dumbledore, not with this weak arse excuse that wasn't even valid!
Crumpling up the letter and shoving it into his pocket, Harry stormed back inside to pack his trunk, it was time to make his own decisions.
The adult Dursleys didn't return until after dark. Dudley had spent the time nursing his definitely broken nose and cursing under his breath every few minutes. Harry had wondered why the large boy didn't come after him after that morning's incident. He realized quickly that there was nothing worse that his cousin could do then squeal to Uncle Vernon about what happened.
So when they both heard the car pull into the driveway, Harry swore he never saw a more evil grin as Dudley ran outside to his parents, no doubt to inform them of that morning's events. He soon heard the front door angrily slam open. Having had made a final decision hours before, with Hedwig released outside and his trunk hidden in a bush in the back yard for him to collect later, he dashed for the back door. His uncle's enraged shouting sounded behind him as he fled.
By the time Dursley reached the back door Harry was hopping the fence into Riddle's yard, However that did not deter the whale of a man as he charged (surprisingly quick) after the teen. Harry reached Riddle's backdoor, slamming his hand on the door with panic. "Please open the door!"
After a moment the door swung open and a reddish brown and black blur rushed past the teen and halted between him and his furious uncle. A loud growl sounded that stopped the large muggle in his tracks. Harry's eyes flashed with joy at the sound, "Dakota!" The German Sheppard dog glanced at him, and Harry could just barely make out the white bandage wrapped around his head. Dakota gave him a friendly bark, wagging his tail cheerfully. Vernon Dursley took a step closer to them and then the canine turned back to him and snarled at him, baring an impressively intimidating set of teeth that effectively cowed the eldest Dursley.
A hand firmly took hold of Harry's forearm and pulled him against the side of a menacing looking Tom Riddle. "Can I help you Mr. Dursley?" The man asked mockingly.
Vernon apparently didn't notice the hostile tone in Riddle's voice as he tried to play the sensible neighbor, "My apologies for the disturbance Mr...Erm-"
"-yes, Mr. Riddle. My nephew, there, has been making a nuisance of himself all day, and after confronting him he dashed off; He's always over-dramatizing things. So if you don't mind I'll take him off your hands and-" The man was coming closer, and Dakota growled louder. "If you could call of your mu-handsome dog."
"I think not Dursley; you should know that the walls of our homes are quite thin, and it isn't very difficult to hear the happenings of your household." Riddle drawled, pulling Harry behind him protectively.
Vernon's face started swelling with that familiar purple color very quickly, "Do you dare have the audacity to insinuate that-" Tom interrupted him snidely, "Yes, yes I do dare actually."
The large swell of a man began thunderously approaching them, the threatening dog forgotten in his rage. However before Dakota could attack, Riddle acted before him, stepping foreword and pulling his wand on the Dursley man's throat. The purple fury deflated from Vernon to be replaced by sheet white terror. Riddle grinned sadistically, "I suggest you rethink your next move."
"Y-y-you're a freak too! I-I-I should have known!"
The dark lord's eyes dropped their glamour flashing blood red proudly, "Bad move."
However before Riddle could utter what was sure to be a gruesomely punishing curse, a smaller hand was placed atop of his. He glanced next to him where Harry stood, "Riddle don't." The sight of dark purple surrounding one of those pleading emerald eyes caused a harsh pang in the dark lord's chest. He shot the Dursley man one more basilisk worthy glare.
Slowly, Riddle lowered his wand, "You should be grateful to your nephew, for he just saved you from a very painful demise." With that, he turned away from Dursley and pulled Harry with him inside the house, as he held the door open for the dog he said one last thing to the petrified man, "Harry will be staying with me from now on."
Closing the door behind him Riddle looked over at Harry who stood awkwardly in the middle of the kitchen, not sure what to do with himself. "...It's not too late to take you up on that offer, is it?"
Tom smirked, "No, not at all."
Dakota, not liking being ignored, barked and stood on his hind legs. He rested his front paws on Harry's shoulders in a mock hug. The teen laughed as this made the canine at eye level with him and therefore in close range for sloppy dog kisses. "Ah haha, Dakota! Stop it!" He was eventually able to push the overexcited dog of him. Riddle shortly whistled at the Shepard dog to gain his attention, holding up a newly conjured dog bowl full of kibble. He placed it down and let Dakota have at it while he guided Harry into the living room with a hand on the small of his back.
"Please have a seat Harry." said Riddle gesturing to the couch. As he sat down he expected Riddle would take a seat in the armchair across from him, but instead the man placed himself next to the teen. The cushion sank enough to knock Harry off balance and fall against the older man. Blushing, he made to pull away when a hand on his hip held him in place. "Hold still." Riddle told him as pulled out his wand.
Harry couldn't hold back a small flinch as he did so; he briefly wondered if he had fallen into a trap after all. However, there was no fatal green light. Instead, the wand touched his cheekbone and a soothing sensation encompassed him, the soreness around his eye disappearing almost instantly. The older man tilted Harry's chin up to examine his handiwork, "Are you hurt anywhere else?"
Riddle watched as the teen shyly lifted his oversized shirt to reveal a purple bruise on his stomach. The dark wizard growled at the sight, somehow he would convince the young man to let him deal with his relatives. The cool wood of the yew wand touched the bruise and the soothing sensation swept over Harry once more. With a sigh, the boy placed his hand on the newly healed area. "Thank you."
The man opened his mouth to reply when Nagini fell from above onto the duo's laps. Harry yelped in shock, whilst Riddle was looking at the ceiling wondering where his familiar fell from. :Nagini, what were you doing on the ceiling fan?: The magical viper-python mix gave her equivalent of a shrug, :It looked comfortable.:
Harry's pulse slowed down enough for him to speak, :How did you even get up there?:
The she-viper pointed her tail towards a bookshelf, :Climb and reach:
Riddle rolled his eyes, "Harry I don't believe you have officially met Nagini." The serpent wound around the raven-haired teen, She stared down the teen impassively :Ah yes, you're the one who always getting in the way of Tom's plans: Harry gulped nervously as the dangerous snake was nose to nose with him :...I. love. that.:
Nagini gave a hissy snicker, :My Tom always get so grumpy when you do that, it's adorable and so funny!:
The older man groaned, :Traitor.:
At that moment Dakota trotted trough the doorway, happy and full. He spotted the older male's hand on his boy's hip and felt annoyed. The dog hopped on the couch in between them, pushing Tom Riddle onto the other cushion. He ignored the man's glare and snuggled into his boy's lap, while keeping an eye on the large snake around his boy's shoulders. Harry laughed at his antics.
Riddle found himself adoring the sound. "Right, well, down to business. I believe I promised you an oath." Harry perked up at that. Riddle reached out and took his hand into his own. "I, Tom Marvolo Riddle, do swear on my magic that, for the duration of this summer, I will neither kill nor intentionally harm one Harry James Potter...nor will I order my followers to kill or harm Harry James Potter." A green stream of magic intertwined with their hands. Harry took his turn to promise, "I, Harry James Potter, swear on my magic not to intentionally share the happenings of the household of one Tom Marvolo Riddle with Albus Dumbledore or the Oder of the Phoenix...or the Ministry of Magic". A red stream of magic joined the green; Riddle finished, "So mote it be." and both streams vanished completely in a flash.
Riddle flashed a charming grin, "Good, now that that's out of the way, how about dinner?" Harry blinked at the man's overly pleased attitude. "S-sure." He was suddenly reminded that this was the same guy who had been trying to grab his arse for the past week. He grabbed a throw pillow and groaned into it. Nagini perked at the concept of dinner and slid off Harry to go hunt the neighborhood cats.
About ten minutes later Riddle came back with a plate of ham sandwiches. "I take it the muggles didn't feed you very often so it's best to start with something light." The wizard explained as he set the plate on the coffee table. Taking a sandwich for himself he gestured for Harry to dig in.
Harry squirmed a little uncomfortably, Riddle had not stopped staring at him while he ate. Even when he was finished the man had not said anything for twelve minutes. Harry placed his hand in his pockets out of nervous habit. He tensed when he felt parchment brush his fingers, and Riddle of course noticed due to his endless staring. "What's wrong?" He asked sounding genuinely concerned; Harry didn't think he would ever get used to the idea of Voldemort giving a damn.
Not seeing the point in being evasive, Harry pulled out the letter. "I got this from Dumbledore earlier today...it's what made me decide to accept your offer." He handed over the letter. The teen scratched Dakota's head, careful to avoid the bandage, as Riddle read and reread the letter. "You realized he was lying to you." It wasn't a question. Harry leaned back into the couch and released a frustrated sigh. "He knows I hate it at that house. Now, I wouldn't be surprised if he knows exactly why I hate that house. I just figured he thought I was overreacting... Hey, is that house really the only place where you can't get to me?"
Tom's first urge was to say yes to reinforce the idea of him being an unstoppable force, but the beautiful teen's posture screamed defeat and exhaustion. He just couldn't lie to Harry right now, "Most of the homes of Order members are warded too heavily to waste time on. If you had been housed in one of them I would've simply waited for you to come out on your own, saves me the trouble... I expect you to keep that to yourself; I have a terrifying, unstoppable reputation to uphold, it wouldn't do to have the Order thinking they're actually safe in their homes because I don't feel like putting the effort into tearing their wards down." He felt very accomplished when he heard the teen laugh. He laughed himself when the next noise that came from Harry was a yawn.
Riddle stood up and offered a hand to Harry who accepted it; Dakota lazily moved off the teen's lap and out of the way. As he pulled the teen up he told him, "Come, I'll show you to your room." He lead the young wizard up the stairway, but Riddle had to think fast when Harry tripped. He caught the teen before he could fall, nearly forcing the man down the stairs as well. Dakota whined with worry. The younger male began sputtering apologies, "I'm sorry, I can hardly see anything without my glasses. Everything is just so blurry!"
Riddle frowned and assisted him up the rest of the stairs, "Yes, I noticed that you weren't wearing them. Where are they? Did you leave them in that place? I could accio them for you." Harry shook his head, "No, My uncle smashed them last night. This morning I found that they were already tossed out, though I managed to find a lens shard on the floor big enough piece to help me read things like Dumbledore's letter." Harry showed him the shard as if to prove the story.
The dark lord nodded in understanding, but then smirked as he opened the second door to the end of the hall, revealing a room of similar size to his own at the Dursleys, but with nicer furniture and uncluttered by broken things. "Well, you might find something in here that can fix your little problem." Harry looked at him confused, but the man merely shook his head, "You'll see what I mean soon enough. Now, this will be your room. The bathroom is just across the hall, and if you need anything my room is just next door. You'll find sleepwear in the top drawer of that bureau there, as well as clothes you may find more...comfortable than those rags your 'caretakers' gave you." Harry stared at his greatest enemy in shock. Riddle gave him a playfully arrogant grin "Let's just say I knew you'd take me up on my truce offer eventually; and let it never be said that I'm not a good host. Any respectable dark lord takes care of their guests. Anyway, Good night Harry." The teen returned the pleasantry before Riddle left him and the dog alone in the room to settle in. The man grinned to himself like the cat that ate the canary as he retired to his own room. 'Dumbledore is making this too easy. Soon enough Harry will be all mine.'
Harry changed into some dark blue pajamas, pleasantly surprised by how comfy they were. 'So that's what silk clothing feels like.' It was finally dawning on him that he was out; he had escaped the Dursley household once and for all. Even if he was under the roof of his supposed enemy, who has so far been kinder to him in one evening then his relatives had been in a whole fourteen years. He smiled and turned to face Dakota, who wagged his tail sensing his boy's satisfaction. "Looks like I've finally caught a break." Riddle didn't seem anything like he thought he'd be. The man didn't even make any inappropriate comments the whole evening; though he suspected that was only out of respect of the troubling events of that day. He had a sneaking suspicion they would pick up again soon enough.
It made him wonder what the man really wanted with him. There had to be some kind of ulterior motive. Although, he was starting to feel like what ever it was couldn't be worse than what the old headmaster was planning. What good could have come from keeping someone abused year after year? Submission? Absolute loyalty? If so, that was a funny way of getting it. He shudder at the possibilities. He shook his head, 'I'm sure I'll be confronting him soon enough, so perhaps I should stop worrying for now. A good thing happened today, I should be enjoying it.'
His thoughts were interrupted by a tapping sound, he looked towards the window and spotted Hedwig waiting patiently to be let in. He quickly opened the window and stroked the snowy bird affectionately, "Hey girl, enjoy your flight?" She hooted happily at him, nipping his fingers lovingly. Harry took a moment to appreciate the bar-less window, "Looks like you won't be locked up anymore." Hedwig flapped in place happily before flying behind him to rest upon a tall bird stand he hadn't noticed was there before. His smile grew even larger, "Wow, I guess dark lords really are good hosts."
His body then reminded him just how tired he was when a cloud of drowsiness swept over him. The green-eyed teen walked over to the bed and sat down. He went to curl under the sheets when he noticed one more surprise waiting for him on the end-table by the bed. A small green box tied with a gold bow rested there. Harry stared at it for a few moments before carefully untying the bow and opening the box. Inside was a note and a familiar looking silvery liquid in a crystal vile. Walking to his discarded jeans, he pulled out the lens shard and held it over the note; it read:
Drinking forcibly taken unicorn blood was not such a bright idea on my part; however, I later discovered that willingly given unicorn blood has a completely different effect. Think of this a some kind of peace offering...Oh, and happy Birthday.
Harry was at first wary of drinking the silver blood, remembering what it did to Quirrell. Then he remembered the oath Riddle made. The dark wizard wouldn't risk losing his magic over a dirty trick. Letting the reckless Gryffindor in him take a chance, he downed the small vile in one go. As the thick, but surprisingly sweet substance slid down his throat, a incredibly warm, rejuvenating feeling filled him. His eyes lightly burned and he closed them in discomfort. When he opened them again everything was amazingly clear, and colors even seemed more vibrant. The mild burn continued throughout his body and he began lifting his sleeves and shirt to see old scars disappearing. Some of his bones even felt less brittle from past breaks. His skin adapted a healthier tone. He felt his hair grow slightly longer and out of the corner of his eyes it looked even blacker.
Harry was amazed by how relaxed and refreshed he felt, and he no longer needed glasses to see! If it weren't so late already he'd give Riddle a huge hug. He shook his head, perhaps he'll give him one tomorrow. This was probably the greatest gift anyone had ever given him! How ironic that a man who had been adamantly trying to bring about his demise would give him something that did the opposite of destroying him. Perhaps he'll never understand Riddle.
Harry happily got comfortable in the bed, allowing Dakota to curl up next to him. Pulling the sheets over them both he rolled into the canine like a body pillow and drifted to sleep, never having felt so safe; not even in Hogwarts's dorm.
Please Review! It inspires me!...and makes me happy!
In the Next Chapter: ...Hey where's Harry's wand? Uh oh, Rescue Missi-Oh Sh*t is that Ripper?! The dog of Harry's nightmares!...oh, and some Riddle-Harry bonding I guess.