Escapologist Harry

Summary: Harry runs away at age four. After bringing him back, Dumbledore's attempts to keep him at Privet Drive gets progressively more ridiculously extreme with each of his escapes. Crack, Animagus!Harry


Harry was four when first he decided to try his luck elsewhere.

He was returned five days later by Dumbledore – who then proceeded to Obliviate everyone aware of the event, including Harry himself – dirty and disheveled but with his first instinctive breath of freedom.

The Dursleys of course locked him his cupboard for dirtying his clothes and dragging in mud on the floor – really Dumbledore's fault, the old man hadn't bother with cleaning his boots.

Two days without food later, and Harry finally figured out how to pick the lock.

Four days later, Dumbledore dropped him off on the Dursleys doorstep once more – a bit annoyed at how the boy wasn't remaining put – and hurriedly Obliviated everyone of the information that he'd ever been away, but also implanted Compulsions that would make Harry very insistent on remaining in the Dursley household.

It took him a week after his return and subsequent brain-washing for Harry to run away for the third time.

By the time Dumbledore managed to bring back the frustratingly elusive boy, nearly eight days after his escape, the Headmaster decided to make absolutely certain that it wouldn't be repeated, and other than replacing the Compulsion, also added a type of leashing-spell that would make it as if a wall surrounded Privet Drive, and making the boy completely incapable of leaving.

Through accidental magic, un-Obliviated instincts, and a by now nearly fanatical need for freedom, Harry broke out of his perfect prison within the month.

He got dragged back before the end of the second day, Dumbledore having nearly drowned him in a variety of tracking-spells that would've made most academics green with envy.

The prison was reapplied, as it was reasoned that the brat couldn't possibly pull that off a second time. Accidental magic was, after all, highly accidental.

It took him three days to replicate his escape, and this time he'd managed to remove or mask nearly every tracking-spell on him. Dumbledore finally found him nearly a month later, after his magic activated in an attempt to get him away from a rabid dog.

By now, Dumbledore decided that perhaps it was time to get serious.

Reapplying the prison that he'd originally created, he raised enough wards around the area to cause the electronics around Privet Drive to act oddly. He then used Harry's blood in order to bind a permanent tracking-charm to him, and layered enough Obliviations, Compulsion charms, and Legilimency probes to make the Imperio appear mild.

It took Harry thirteen days to twist the Compulsions into insignificance and find a loophole within the wards.

It took Dumbledore four days to finally catch him, but that was mostly because it'd taken him quite a bit of time to get to the point where he was actually convinced that the four year old had somehow managed to best his wards at all, let alone in less than half a month. He was rather upset about it, and decided to try to dumb the Boy-Who-Lived down a little bit. It wouldn't do for him to be quite this bright, after all.

Harry, now severely hampered in terms of brain-power, broke through the impassible wards in sixteen days.

Furious at having been bested, it took Dumbledore a single day to catch him again, and the damage he did in his rage to Harry's psyche would've turned most people catatonic.

Tossing the boy back into his cupboard, he used a few Compulsion spells to force the Dursleys into be nearly paranoid about making sure that he wouldn't leave the house. Then he reapplied his tracking-charms, and reset the wards.

Harry wasn't catatonic, but he did spent his next escape – which took place five days later, after he'd finally managed to distract the Dursleys – with a very insistent headache, all four days of it.

By now, Dumbledore's reputation as a kind grandfatherly figure was starting to fray a little around the edges, because he kept storming in and out of Hogwarts at odd times of the day, and wasn't above snapping at people in a way that was eerily reminiscent of Snape's teaching methods.

Harry didn't know anything about that, but he did notice that he'd seemingly developed some manner of phobia for people with long beards. And he'd gotten used to watching the owners of said beards suddenly get blasted off their feet whenever they reached into their clothes. He wasn't sure why that happened though, it was all very odd.

Harry stayed where he was for nearly two days, before he disappeared from his relatives' house once more. His relatives were barely aware that he'd disappeared, despite the Compulsions, as they were starting to forget that somebody sometimes lived in their cupboard.

This time, it took Dumbledore a whopping eighteen days to finally track him down, as the boy had somehow managed to reroute the blood-tracking-charm onto a very elusive pigeon.

The blood-tracking-spell was of course recreated, as was numerous other tracking spells – even more obscure than previously, as he'd been studying up on the subject lately – then there was the reversed-blood-wards which should make it impossible for him to leave as long as he was still of his own flesh and blood, and of course the mind-numbing Compulsion charms, Obliviations on anything he might've learned – walking on his legs was a skill that a proper Savior wouldn't need, honest – and finally the Compulsion spells on everyone on Privet Drive to tackle him to the ground and drag him back to his cupboard the moment he tried to leave the house.

All in all, it was insanely secure, easily better at imprisoning its prisoner than anything Azkaban could've even hoped to pull off.

Harry spent two whole months with not being able to leave his own personal hell, before he got so frustrated that he simply turned into a bird and flew away.

He spent six months living the good life, flying wherever the wind guided him, seeing whatever he wished, learning whatever was interesting, and crapping on old men with long beards. Being a bird was brilliant.

In the end, he was captured after Dumbledore had finally managed to figure out how the boy could've slipped out of his own flesh and blood, and had gone to great lengths to set up a monitoring system all around Britain that finally managed to catch the signal of a bird that hated old men with beards. It was a very complicated process to design the system and probably even harder to maintain the blasted thing, and even using it, it'd taken him over four months before he'd finally managed to locate the brat – that was quickly moving to the top of his list of hated people.

He, of course, Obliviated the child from all knowledge in regards to birds, and then blocked off the boy's access to magic. It shouldn't have been possible, but he had the Wand of Death, and he was intelligent beyond belief, and he'd had several months of rage-induced frustration to plan the whole thing out in the tiniest of details.

Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived, was now a squib. Needless to say, Dumbledore didn't let that stop him in his – by now, rather rabid – attempts at imprisoning him at Privet Drive.

Breathing a sigh of relief at the realization that there wouldn't be any more escapes from the slippery boy, Dumbledore retreated back to Hogwarts to get some much needed alcohol into his system.

It took Harry three months of endless attempts, before he finally managed it. Magical or not, he was Harry bloody Potter, escapologist extraordinaire, and something as pathetically hindering as 'impossible' wasn't much of an issue, even for his badly damaged brain.

In fact, Harry's brain-damage was perhaps absolutely essential for his plan to work. No sane person would ever attempt it, even less so any rational human being. But Harry wasn't rational, and he kept thinking of himself as a bird for some odd reason, so Harry wasn't really all that bothered with it.

He ate Dudley's hair, and convinced himself utterly that he could be none other than Dudley Dursley, and that therefore he should really get the hell out of Privet Drive whilst he still could.

The wards didn't even so much as 'ping' when he slipped through them.

It took Dumbledore three months to even realize that he'd left, because apparently his tracking-spells had come apart once Harry had convinced himself that he was 'Dudley Dursley', and then it took him another four months before he finally managed to locate a boy fitting Harry Potter's description.

Harry was hurriedly Obliviated and returned to Privet Drive, leaving Dumbledore alone to slowly drive himself mad as he tried to figure out how the boy could've possibly slipped his bonds this time.

Harry was by now nearly six years old, and had enough experience with escaping from impossible situations to make Houdini hopelessly jealous.

Two weeks was all he needed in order to repeat the attempt, and this time he actually managed to leave Britain. Turns out that he couldn't speak French however, so he was captured two months later, but not before Dumbledore had managed to cause a possible international incident when he'd tracked him down to take him back.

Harry wasn't sure where he'd gotten the peculiar need to teach himself French, but by now he had so many strange instinctive impulses mixed within his brain that he didn't even consider questioning it.

He spent two weeks going over the basics before simply up and leaving, the impassible wards barely even slowing him down. He was caught trying to cross the border three days later.

Dumbledore began to include Compulsions that would make it insane for him to even consider leaving Britain, on top of the ones that should be keeping him on Privet Drive.

Only to learn that Harry had slipped his bonds once more two days later, and finally locating the boy in Norway, nearly a month later.

By now furiously resigned to damaging his reputation internationally as the boy was clearly going to be crossing the border at first opportunity, Dumbledore wondered why his plans had started to go wrong.

Harry himself wondered where in the world he'd learned Norwegian, and why he wanted to spread his wings and crap on old people with long beards. It was all very odd. But Harry wasn't sane, and thus there was no need for him to be disturbed by this oddity within his brain, so he simply packed a bag and grabbed the bus away from Privet Drive within the first four days.

The impassible wards on his prison might as well never have existed for how much work he put into bypassing them, still without using a single shred of magic.

Five months later, Dumbledore found him in Romania this time, where he'd apparently joined a traveling circus.

When Dumbledore reapplied all of his many wards and tracking-spells and Obliviations and Compulsions, he made a tiny little... not quite mistake. He put enough magic within Harry that there was actually magic within the 'squib' who'd had his magic locked away by the Wand of Death.

The result was that Harry spent a two days writhing in agony, before turning into a bird and departing from Privet Drive.

It took Dumbledore two years and four months to finally track down the ruddy bird, which had apparently become something of a favored pet stray within the Delacour household.

Harry was by now nine years old, and had spent an insanely large portion of his young life traveling the world. He also had an odd appreciation of attractive blonde females, which contrary to most males had in Harry's case a lot more to do with positive reinforcement than any hormones.

Dumbledore's hastily erected barrier between Harry and his magic, proved itself insufficient, as Harry now realized that there was something that he needed to escape within him, which was really all the motivation he needed to do so within a week.

Dumbledore found the blasted bird in Switzerland this time, and it only took him seven months, thanks to Harry accidentally proving himself non-native to Switzerland, and being captured repeatedly on film by enthusiastic bird-watchers.

Harry was developing a vague dislike for photographers and whispering crowds, to go with his fanatical hatred towards old people with beards.

This time, Dumbledore decided that perhaps the muggles had been onto something with all those big clunky chains from way back in the day. He promptly covered the boy in so many chains that he should've rightly had difficulty breathing, and applied a little bit of magic in order to keep the boy fed.

It took Harry two hours to regain use of his magic after it'd been sealed away, but he was stuck inside of the chains for another two days, until he finally managed to pick the lock by doing nothing but wiggling his eyebrows. It was a very complicated eyebrow-wiggle.

Feeling oddly certain that he needed to become a bird and find others of his species so that he could hide within the mass in order to keep away from old men with beards, and that he should make sure to crap on any photographers that he happened to pass by on his way, Harry cheerfully set out towards the border.

When the alarm sounded that Harry Potter had once again slipped his bonds and wandered off, Dumbledore actually broke down crying. It was unfair, the boy hadn't had any education, he'd been brain-washed into nearly catatonic stupidity, he was trapped within the most thorough prison that had ever even been considered, let alone invented, and Harry James Potter still walked away free without even seeming to notice that it ought to be difficult.

All of his plans, all of his careful manipulations, all of his goals, all rendered to ash by a boy who just refused to stay where he was supposed to.

Three months later, Harry was found in Egypt, where he'd broken into an impenetrable ruin, picked up some souvenirs and told the awe-struck curse breakers that it helped to be able to wriggle your toes whenever you wanted to casually ignore some impassible wards.

When Dumbledore tried to retrieve him, he was fired at by a dozen Gringotts employees. Because child or not, the kid knew his stuff, and in their business of dealing with countless ancient traps, knowing how to get out alive was usually a very useful skill to have. But, in the end, he was Albus Dumbledore, and no two-bit adventurers would be able to bring him down without some serious preparation.

Harry didn't know exactly why he thought that Egypt was a good place to go after he'd broken out of his prison once more, five days later – he'd been catching up on sleep – but he decided that it wasn't a horrible idea.

He got distracted halfway through Greece, and was captured – two weeks after his escape – in the middle of humming happily whilst meandering through a certain deadly maze underneath king Minos' castle. The Greek Ministry of Magic were convinced that the boy wasn't actually real, merely a terrifyingly innocent-looking specter that had suddenly appeared in order to lure the unsuspecting into the dangerous wards surrounding the place.

Dumbledore was just relieved that nobody was trying to hex him for dragging him away, and didn't even bother trying to capitalize on removing the 'specter' from 'endangering' them any further.

Harry left three hours after Dumbledore dragged him back, and spent the next week in London, seeing the sights; before the Headmaster finally realized that he was hiding in plain sight and hurriedly imprisoned him once more.

A bit peeved for reasons he wasn't aware of, and with a distinct dislike for Britain, Harry – when next he escaped, two days later – snuck on board of a ship leaving for America.

Harry was actually located by the American Ministry of Magic very quickly, and was deported to Mexico through their standard procedures. It didn't really matter where you came from, as long as you weren't there legally, you got deported to Mexico. It was simple, it was efficient, and wizards were in general too lazy to consider everything on a case-by-case basis.

Harry spent the next four months accidentally befriending the crime syndicates of Mexico by breaking into buildings, getting captured, and then breaking out of jail, seemingly completely without trying. They offered him a lot of money to work for them, but Harry – who was by now rather paranoid about his freedom – declined all offers that might potentially tie him down at any point.

He still robbed that one guy blind though, an annoying old man whose greatest distinction from the masses was his gigantic beard. Needless to say, Harry was good at holding grudges, even if it was only subconsciously.

Dumbledore finally managed to drag him back home after getting into a fight with the Mexican mafia that was likely to become legendary. In no small part due to the boy they'd been fighting over having wandered off halfway through, making all the participants fight each other whilst they searched for him, all through the night, over the entire city.

By the time that Dumbledore had managed to firmly place him within Dursley custody once more, Harry had turned ten. This was good, because it meant that it was closing in on his eleventh birthday, and perhaps the boy might stop running away once he received his Hogwarts letter, finally falling in line and starting to act like he ought to. It was bad, because Dumbledore was fairly convinced that the boy was going to do no such thing, and might in fact completely miss receiving his letter by spending several months outside of the country, possibly on a different continent.

Deciding that it was this time only a matter of slowing the boy down, rather than actually keeping him trapped, Dumbledore went through the by now standard procedure of keeping him detained, before visiting every single muggle establishment where Harry might find a way to travel to other countries, and filling them with posters of himself – all of them with notice-me-not charms to keep them out of the sight of muggles.

In theory, this should make Harry reluctant to be in any of the places where he might be able to escape Britain.

In practice, it made Harry extremely efficient in dodging attention through those same establishments, as he would prove four days later when he broke out once more.

Dumbledore spent two months searching for him, before he accidentally stumbled on a brochure of Australia when retracing the brat's tracks, where it mentioned that – due to being on the other side of the equator – their seasons were inverted.

In the end though, Harry had actually been located – after another week of searching – on New Zealand, where he was teaching sheep how to escape from their enclosures and causing untold mayhem.

The various owners of the sheep were all happy to be rid of him.

Dumbledore wasn't sure how he was supposed to bring him back to the Dursleys just before his Hogwarts letter arrived, and since that was in about six months – a period of time that Harry had managed to dodge detection during previously – he was understandably nervous about it.

Once again going through all the steps of imprisonment, brain-washing, and magic-blocking, Dumbledore began to put up monitoring devices around Privet Drive in an attempt to catch on to Harry's escape attempts before he managed to actually escape.

It took five days for Harry to break his chains, un-brain-wash and un-magic-block himself, and then dodge through the new addition of the monitoring-system.

Of course, knowing better than to escape to the same country – or neighborhood – a second time, Harry decided to experience a proper winter.

It took three months for Dumbledore to find the boy in population-sparse Siberia, and he wasn't pleased to realize that the Warming Charms he'd been using weren't effective enough to keep him from shivering underneath his gaudy robes. Siberia was a lot colder – even during the early spring – than any conceited British person could really prepare themselves for.

Now immensely frustrated at the boy's ability to sneak as well as his ability to escape from bonds, Dumbledore briefly considered locking Harry inside of a Gringotts vault, before dismissing the idea as more trouble than it was worth. Instead, he decided to be sneaky and leave suggestions for where the boy ought to escape to next time that he broke out. That way, he could check in on him, and then drag him back the night before he got his Hogwarts letter.

Endlessly relieved at the idea of having a solution to his problem, Dumbledore decided to suggest Portugal, simply because it was close enough to check in on unobtrusively, without being so close as to make Harry suspicious.

When Harry broke out again two days later, he thought that Portugal was a good detour to visiting Brazil.

When Dumbledore smugly checked in on him five weeks later and he wasn't there, the old man understandably panicked.

It took him another six weeks to narrow down the search area to South America, at which point he realized that he didn't really have the experience to dealing with the dangers of the rain-forests of the Amazon, and was forced to hire a guide.

The guide was understandably awed at finding their target nine days later in some manner of ruin, where he'd befriended the snakes. The gigantic, must-be-ancient, man-eatingly-large snakes.

And so it was, that Dumbledore dragged the Boy-Who-Lived out of the Amazonian rain-forest on his eleventh birthday.

When Harry woke up the next day and found a letter addressed to him from a magical school, he decided not to go. Because who honestly gives a damn about magic when you can talk to giant snakes, live life as a bird, and just generally be free of school? No child worth their childhood actually enjoys going to school, regardless of the subject-matter. And it wasn't like Harry hadn't managed to figure out his magic well enough so far.

So he promptly returned the letter to the owl sitting outside of the house, with the cheerfully scrawled message of 'don't wanna' on the back of it. Then he broke out just like he always did, and went off to Mongolia. He'd heard some interesting things about Genghis Khan lately, and wanted to see what the country the man came from was like.

So when Dumbledore sent Hagrid to go fetch the boy from his relatives' house, the man found him long gone, just as McGonagall came in to screech at him about Harry declining his invitation to the school.

He was understandably displeased.

It took him about an hour to forge the documents that would be Harry's acceptance, allowing him to demand the tuition from his trust vault, and then he set off to catch the ruddy little blighter and drag him to Diagon Alley so that he could be properly awed by the magical world.

It took him a month to find him, in no small part due to the fact that nobody bothered with having contacts in the isolated Mongolia, and then he had to explain to Hagrid that he needed to keep Harry from running off – like young boys are wont to do – during his trip to Diagon Alley, and his first introduction to the Wizarding World. Which just so happened to be the day before the 1st of September, and the day that the Hogwarts Express would take off from Platform 9 ¾.

Harry wasn't especially enthusiastic about Hagrid, seeing as how the man was both clearly old and in possession of a beard, meaning that he spent most of the trip trying to run off and leave the country again. But, unfortunately for Harry, whilst Hagrid wasn't a good man for keeping secrets, he was surprisingly perceptive of escape-attempts, and very good at stopping them.

So it was, that Harry found himself dropped off outside of the barrier to the Platform of 9 ¾ on September the 1st, where Hagrid promptly left him to fend for himself.

Harry would've been out of the country within the hour, but once the giant of a man disappeared, there was suddenly a redheaded woman who was invading his personal-space and who dragged him off towards the Express. Hell, not even shouting 'rape' seemed to do the trick, as the woman proved remarkably adept at Confounding the 'muggles' around them.

Understandably, when a redheaded boy who'd clearly been the woman's son later asked if there was room for himself in the compartment, Harry shut the door in the boy's face. Then he began to ponder on how he was supposed to sneak off of a moving train. He'd never done that before, he'd only snuck onto them in order to travel properly, not off of them in order to escape. It was a new perspective on things.

An hour later, he was interrupted from his position halfway out of the window by the door to his compartment opening.

"Have you seen-...?" A round-faced boy began to ask, before trailing off in awe-struck horror at the sight of a boy climbing out of the window of a moving train.

"I've seen tons of stuff." Harry readily admitted, keeping an eye out for any tunnels that might suddenly appear and behead him. "It comes with the territory." Then he launched himself out of the window, turning into a bird in mid-fall, and cheerfully flew off towards the horizon.

Neville Longbottom stared after the boy that had looked his age for a very long time. Because he honestly wasn't sure what he was supposed to feel about the sudden dose of insanity he'd encountered.

But when the Hogwarts Express arrived at the Hogsmeade station, a boy with messy dark hair and startlingly green eyes could be found with the other First Years.

He wasn't wearing his robes however, and he seemed to be trying rather enthusiastically to escape from the chains he'd been bound in.

"Umm... Hi, I'm Neville." He introduced himself, because insane or not, the boy was... kind of really cool.

"Name's Free." The boy introduced himself. "Or well... I think it is... I kind of forgot it after a while, so now I'm named after what I want to be." The boy paused in his struggle against the chains in order to throw a grin at the nervous boy.

Neville decided then and there that he wanted to be the crazy person's friend. Not because he would be an amazing person when he grew up, or because he could do awesome magic, or because he was charismatic... no, Neville decided to be the boy's friend, because that was the moment that Neville realized what it would be like to escape.

To never have to worry about living up to his grandmother's harsh standards, to not have to be berated, to not have to listen to his relatives joking about him being a squib. To be free, just like Free wanted to be.

He suddenly felt a lot more sympathy for the eternally escaping Trevor, too.

Then they were taken to a bunch of boats, and halfway through the lake, Free did the impossible.

He dropped his chains and, with a friendly wave, dove head first into the chilly water with reckless abandon.

Neville forgot about most of the rest of the ride, as he spent it alternating between staring after his first friend's second escape-attempt and staring disbelieving at the solid-looking chains which he'd removed in order to get away.

He couldn't help but wonder where the boy could've learned to do that.

Free was back amongst the group by the time the Sorting Hat stopped singing. He was drenched from top to toe, and he was not only chained, but also gagged, and was showing minute signs of being Confounded – signs that were somehow managing to fade even as the Sorting commenced.

Neville was Sorted into Hufflepuff, because the Hat thought that the best way to escape another's unwanted grief was by surrounding himself with a lot of other people who would actually appreciate him for being whoever he was, rather than who his father had once been.

Everything continued in much the same way that Neville imagined that it always did during the Sorting Ceremony, until they reached some way into the letter 'p'.

"Potter, Harry." McGonagall read, and Free's chains suddenly jerked him towards the front, despite his attempts to fight it.

Then the Sorting Hat was lowered onto his head, and the sudden bout of whispering turned into an eerie silence.

Harry didn't know why people insisted on calling him 'Harry' when it was obvious that his name ought to be 'Free', if for nothing else then his sheer enthusiasm for the subject. But when the Sorting Hat was lowered before his eyes and the Great Hall of Hogwarts disappeared from sight, Harry began to plan his next escape. Like he always did.

"SLYTHERIN!" The Hat roared in the way that it usually did.

But this time, the table that ought to cheer for their new member sat in stunned silence as horrified gasps spread across the Hall.

So Neville started to applaud in their stead, because it was obvious why Harry needed to be in Slytherin. They were the House of Ambition, and if Harry's attempts to escape proved anything, it was that he would need an awful lot of just that in order to not give up whenever his plans failed.

This got the young Hufflepuff a lot of funny looks, and a scattered few hesitant claps from students and staff alike. In fact, several of the staff members seemed to be on the verge of fainting, with Snape's and Dumbledore's faces turning puce, and McGonagall's turning white.

Harry didn't arrive for breakfast the next day and the Slytherins who were asked would usually be very confused about the reason behind this, but Neville found him just before lunch when he was trying to sneak out through a window for his fourth escape-attempt from Hogwarts.

Their chat was unfortunately cut short by the appearance of an enraged Dumbledore however, and Harry once more launched himself to his death by gravity before transforming into a bird and hurriedly removing himself from the old man's wand-range.

Neville wouldn't remember this meeting until Harry later told him that he shouldn't allow his lack of memories to keep him trapped from remembering things freely. This advice would be given by him two days later, whilst the boy was in the middle of trying to dig through the floor in the dungeons with a spoon. He would make remarkable headway on the escape route in the four hours it took for Snape to find him and chase him back to class.

This also meant that Neville began to wonder why he'd forgotten it in the first place. It seemed a bit strange to him.

Though, again, there were few things about his friend Free that actually made any sense whatsoever.

He was a First Year, capable of the animagus transformation, and clearly not willing to be at Hogwarts. Yet, he was always brought back to the school, even if he had to be bound in chains in order to get him to attend his classes.

Also, everyone who observed one of his escape attempts had the memory of it removed by Dumbledore, or possibly another professor. Something that Neville was fairly convinced was both extremely illegal, and highly dangerous for the victim due to their brains not having finished growing yet.

Thus, he did the sensible thing and sent a letter to the DMLE about it.

When Amelia Bones charged in through the main entrance of Hogwarts, eyes burning in suppressed fury, her wand in a white-knuckle grip, and half the entirety of the auror force following in her wake, well... pretty much all of Hogwarts took a deep breath and got themselves ready for a show like none they would ever see for the rest of their lives.

Dumbledore was halfway through his denials when Harry was dragged into the Hall by Snape, dressed in chains.

Snape was arrested before he could even blink, with Dumbledore's attempted escape through a phoenix being merely classified as attempting to resist arrest. Because Fawkes had cornered Harry within the first day of his presence on school grounds and bribed the young escapologist into teaching him how to escape out of familiar-bonds.

Fawkes was currently having a grand time watching the entire procedure from a safe distance, singing merrily to himself at his former master's misfortune.

Harry obviously took the arrest as the distraction it was meant to be, and disappeared after ducking underneath a table.

The aurors would later find the entrance to one of Hogwarts' numerous secret passages underneath that same table.

Harry James Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived, would never be seen or heard from again, but the Quibbler's continued with sporadic updates on the adventures of a strange young boy called 'Free' well into the now-ten-year-old Luna Lovegood's second century of life.

The DMLE's investigation into the life of the youngest Potter would later reveal the injustice done to the boy's godfather, as well as numerous plots within the Ministry itself, causing the still-enraged Madam Bones to burn out the corruption in the system in one of the most vicious purgings of the century.

Long into his life, Neville Longbottom was always happy to welcome a certain stray bird who sometimes dropped by to explain to him the mysteries to life and magic, and they often laughed together over the Quibbler's eccentric spin on many of the bird's adventures.

Gabrielle Delacour would one day proclaim to her family that whilst she could never truly capture her favorite pet-bird's heart, she was satisfied in having the vital organ entrusted to her for safe-keeping. She never married, but she had three happy children, all with green eyes, and all with hopelessly messy hair.


A/n: I started writing this story due to "What If" by Rorschach's Blot, specifically, the chapter called "The Escapologist" where Naruto runs off and does insane things instead of playing by canon, as I figured that the idea suited Harry as well. I later found that it'd already been done by another Harry Potter author, but in a way that was different enough from what I'd started writing that I still felt like this ought to be published.

The greatest thing about writing this fic? – Judging the time that Harry was allowed to spend on escaping before Hogwarts. I actually started an Excel-sheet on it, counting every day, week, month and year that is mentioned in the story to keep from messing up the time-line.