Disclaimer: See chapter 1.
A/N: See chapter 1.
Beta: Lady of the Shards.
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Harry was kneeling in the dirt, frozen, looking up at the man, who was about to end his very short, young life when he heard something – growling.
Harry, who looking back on this moment at a later time decided it was both a stupid and smart thing, looked away from the gunman and over at the growling dog who was no longer laying lazily under the bush but was quickly running towards where he and the gunman were at. The dog also wasn't a dog for much longer. He was rather quickly transforming himself into a man mid-run.
If Harry had been anyone else, he would have started to laugh, rather hysterically, because only his life could end up like this. Only he could be about to be shot, still could, only to be attempted to be saved by a dog turning into a man. Only him.
The dog who had just turned into a man tackled the gun-wielding man who had finished pulling the trigger; the shot, which was silenced by a silencer, just barely missing Harry's head as the man's aim had been thrown off by the unexpectedness of the tackle. Harry looked behind him at his aunt's bench which now had a chip in it. He was going to have to fix that if he survived this. His aunt and uncle would expect and accept nothing less than perfection in their garden.
Harry turned back to watch the two men fight. Harry didn't think the man who was once a dog was going to win because he looked as thin as the dog did and they were fighting like they belonged to an underground fight club.
Harry also felt as though he should be doing something other than standing there watching them fight. Perhaps running away, screaming for help sounded like a sensible idea when your life is threatened like this – he was sure if/when Hermione found out about this she would tell him that as well – but Harry found that for some reason he couldn't bring himself to move. That also meant, however, that he couldn't help the man that was a dog subdue the man who had the gun.
It was in this moment, that Harry lamented that no one ever accused Gryffindors of having self-preservation or being someone who ran away in the face of danger, which many would have, though right now Harry wasn't sure if he would classify himself as a Gryffindor as he stood there, like the dunderhead Snape always said he was, as he watched the man who pointed a gun at him to kill him and the other man who turned into a man from a dog fight, doing absolutely nothing. Though he would go as far as saying he was dumbstruck right now and thanking anyone who was listening that only one person seemed to be trying to kill him right now while it seemed like the other man was trying to save his life, which was definitely a first from his perspective – usually he had to do the saving.
Harry focused back in on the fight and watched as the man who was a dog get a lucky shot in on the gun-welding man's head, knocking him out.
The dog who was a man, and Harry was getting tired of thinking of him like that, stood up cautiously, holding his ribs and the gun while panting heavily. He turned to look at Harry after making sure the man he was fighting was really out for the moment.
They stared at each other unsure what to do before the man came to his senses and said, "We can't stay here."
"What do you mean?" asked Harry quickly, "And who are you?"
"I'll explain later but right now you need to get your Hogwarts stuff, wand and anything else you want and you need to do it quickly. We don't know how many others there might be and I did magic in a Muggle neighborhood. We're lucky there isn't a letter here," explained the man, hurriedly.
"But – what?" said Harry confused and nonplussed. How was he was supposed to trust this strange wizard - because who else could turn into an animal at will? He didn't even know him.
The man walked quickly over to him, as fast as his injuries would allow, and grabbed his shoulders, looked into his eyes and said, "You need to trust me, Harry. I only want what's best for you. I would never willingly hurt you."
Harry stared at him in the eye for a moment and something deep inside him told him he could trust this man, that he wouldn't hurt him. It was a similar feeling as to when he used his magic for the first time at Hogwarts.
"Okay," said Harry nodding his head.
The man nodded back at him, relieved. "That's good. Is all of your stuff in one place inside?"
"No," said Harry shaking his head and moving to go inside the house, "some is in my bedroom. The rest in the cupboard under the stairs."
He got to the backdoor and tried it. It was locked. He looked up at the man who now had a knife in his hand and Harry, understandably, was hesitant and weary of it and took a cautious step back.
The man, however, just used it to unlock the door. Harry was slightly impressed.
"You'll need that for the cupboard. It's kept locked," Harry informed him.
The man nodded his head, though his jaw tightened slightly at that information.
"Where is your bedroom?" asked the man in a whisper seeing as how Aunt Petunia was sleeping in the sitting room on a couch.
"Upstairs," whispered back Harry.
"Go get your things upstairs and I'll get your stuff from the cupboard," said the man, still in a whisper.
Harry looked worried.
"I won't do anything to your aunt nor will I forget any of your stuff. Now go and be careful. Stay away from the windows," said the man.
Harry looked at the man for a moment, wondering how he knew he was slightly worried about his aunt, before he nodded his head in agreement and carefully went to go get his things from his bedroom.
It wasn't hard staying out of sight of his windows since all of his things were underneath his bed. He just entered his room on his stomach – an undignified position for anyone – but Harry would rather be safe than sorry after what happened outside. He crawled to his bed as Hedwig slept soundly, sleeping in her cage for once, luckily she was on his desk but out of site of the window.
He reached under his bed and pulled up the loose floorboards, getting the things he kept under the there in the pillowcase. He then crawled over to Hedwig and cautiously stood up and hurriedly picked her up, waking her and causing her to let out an indignant noise but she must have sensed something was wrong because in the next second she went quiet again. He carefully set her cage on the ground before getting back down himself. He then slowly made his way back across his room, on his stomach, until he was several feet down the hall.
He then stood up, picked Hedwig's cage up and went back down the stairs quickly and quietly meeting the man in front of the cupboard with his trunk.
"All right? Is this everything?" asked the man, still whispering.
Harry nodded. He was shaking slightly from the adrenal pumping through his veins and nerves.
He then looked at Hedwig and said, "When we're further away from here, I'll let you out."
Hedwig looked at the man for a moment before she let out a soft hoot, sensing this was an important moment to be quiet.
The man nodded and turned back to Harry and whispered, "Do you want to carry those or put them in your trunk?"
"Put them in my trunk," whispered Harry back after a few seconds of thinking about it.
The man nodded his head again and said, still whispering, "Okay but take out your wand. Just in case."
"But I can't –" Harry started to argue.
"Just in case," the man punctuated. "And you can in life or death situations."
Harry nodded reluctantly though he couldn't help but feel slightly better with a wand in his hand, even if he didn't know too many defensive spells or offensive spells. He put his other things in his trunk after he took out his wand.
The man stared at him for a moment, considering, before he asked, "Do you have your dad's invisibility cloak?"
"How do you know about–" Harry started to ask, shocked. Who was this man?
"Do you have it?" asked the man interrupting him.
Harry nodded his head.
"Take it out too and if I tell you to use it, use it," said the man.
"Harry," said the man as he made a gesture towards his trunk to get the cloak.
Harry got the cloak and put it in his pocket as the man shut and locked his trunk. Then the man picked up one end of it and started to drag it back out towards the backdoor.
"Let's go," the man said, not even looking back so Harry had no choice but to follow him, holding Hedwig, if he didn't want to lose the rest of his stuff.
"Where are we going?" asked Harry.
"Not here," said the man. He stopped in the doorway and, Harry following his gaze, noticed that the man sent to kill him was still laying where he was knocked out. The man narrowed his eyes at something.
He looked back at Hedwig and said, "You can find him anywhere, right?"
Hedwig hooted again in the affirmative, if slightly indignant as if the man should know better, bobbing her head.
The man nodded his head again with a slight grin on his face. He took Harry's wand out of his slacked grip, much to Harry's surprise, opened Hedwig's cage and told her to fly away. He then turned to the man supposedly lying unconscious on the ground just as he started to sit up with something else in his hand and shouted out, "Stupefy!"
The man fell back down on the ground in a slump.
"Get ready to run," said the man as he tapped Harry's trunk and Hedwig's cage with Harry's wand and they started to shrink and he stuck them in his own pocket.
"Why?" asked Harry looking at the man laying on the ground in confusion. What had the man standing beside him done to him?
"This is a Muggle neighborhood and I just did magic with a wand. There is at least a letter headed this way if not an official since I'm did a lot and this neighborhood is closely monitored with you being who you are," said the man. "Now let's go!"
With Harry's wand still in his hand, the man grabbed Harry's arm and started to pull him away.
And they left Privet Drive at a run.