Friday, November 15, 2013

Chapter 1: Magic at Privet Drive

I am a huge Harry Potter Fan. Besides reading each book over and over again, I have read a lot of fanfictions from all over the places. So, I decided to try and write one myself. I know that its going to be nothing compared to the original series, yet I would love it if you read and review it for me.
Note: Anything that you recognize in this story belongs to J.K.Rowling. 

It was past midnight and everything seemed to be calm, quiet and peaceful at Little Whinging. Well, almost everything. There was a boy lying restless, calling out for someone and fighting his nightmares in the smallest room of Number 4, Privet Drive. He woke up with a cry and sat on his bed, sweating profusely. After sitting in the dark for few moments, he switched on the light to check the time on his old, battered table clock.

The light reflected a green-eyed boy with messy black hair and a lightning bolt shaped scar on his forehead. Harry Potter was no stranger to nightmares. After loosing both his parents as an infant, he had landed up with his only living relatives. He grew up with his aunt, uncle and cousin, knowing nothing but neglect and criticism. As a result, he had learnt to face his own ghosts at a very young age. Then at the age of 11, he was introduced to a whole new world – the world of wizards and magic. There he found true friends, well-wishers and a ‘home’ at Hogwarts, his school. But at the same time, he also found out about Voldemort – the most evil wizard of all times. Voldemort was responsible for his parents’ deaths and was now after his blood because of a prophecy. The prophecy stated that he had the ‘power to vanquish the Dark Lord’ and ‘a power that the Dark Lord knows not’. Harry has already faced him four times and has had numerous encounters with his ‘death eaters’ in the last six years. He had barely managed to escape alive from all those encounters. Each encounter was a nightmare in itself. However, those encounters were not the subject of Harry’s worst nightmares. In his fourth year, Harry had witnessed the death of Cedric Diggory, a fellow student of Hogwarts. The next year Harry had lost Sirius, his godfather and last term Harry’s mentor, Albus Dumbledore, was murdered while Harry was forced to watch on. Each time he was unable to do anything to help the victims. It was these deaths that plagued Harry in his dreams each night. The scenes kept replaying themselves in his dreams as if they were happening over and over again and each time Harry tried to change things but failed miserably. So really, nightmares were nothing new to him.

Harry checked the time. It was just quarter past twelve. ‘I should try to go back to sleep. Maybe there won’t be anymore nightmares tonight’- Harry thought. But just as he was about to switch of the light, he heard footsteps outside his door. He clutched his wand tightly under his pillow. Seconds later, uncle Vernon burst into the room followed by a very sleepy Dudley at his heels. He was clearly furious. “What is the meaning of this? Can’t a person get a decent night’s sleep around here without having you wake up half the neighborhood with your screams? This is the third time this week and I am not going to take any more of this nonsense from you boy. So don’t you dare make any more noise. I do not care if you have to give up sleep for that. But I don’t want to hear a single sound from this room from now on.” So Harry had cried out loud in his dreams again. “I am sorry uncle Vernon. I’ll try not to disturb you again,” said Harry. “See that you don’t. Otherwise even that white bearded, old freak will not be able to save you this time.” With that uncle Vernon shoved Dudley out of the room and closed the door behind him with a ‘bang’. Harry sat staring at the door for sometime. ‘No, Dumbledore can not save him anymore because he is dead… because Snape has murdered him cold bloodedly.’ With a deep sigh and a heavy heart, Harry got up and moved to the window.

Hogwarts had closed early this year due to the unfortunate death of its headmaster. Students were sent back home on Hogwarts express after his funeral and service. Since Harry had only remembered on the very last day to inform the Dursleys about his early arrival, he was not surprised when none of the Dursleys had turned up at Kings Cross to receive him. Being Harry’s well-wishers (and also the members of the Order of the Phoenix) Remus Lupin, Nymphadora Tonks and Alastor Moody had decided to drop him off at Privet Drive rather than leave him alone in ‘muggle’ London. With final parting words to Ronald Weasley and Hermoine Granger, his best friends, Harry had arrived at his uncle’s house with his escorts. When aunt Petunia had opened the door to them, her reaction was worth watching. She had hurriedly ushered them all inside. Then checking if any of the neighbors had seen the ‘new arrivals’ at her doorstep, she had closed the door and had turned to face the group. It was needless to say that she was worried what the neighbors would say if they saw the ‘abnormal people’. She found Tonks’ violet hair and Lupin’s shabby clothes equally revolting and was scared of Moody’s intimidating appearance. Lupin had explained to her that the school had closed down early this year due to ‘certain circumstances’ and that she would be answerable to him if Harry was mistreated. With Moody’s presence, aunt Petunia had kept quiet. Lupin had left saying, “take care of yourself. Write to us regularly and Harry… try not to think too much about anything.” Tonks told him to inform her if he was mistreated and the Order would take care of it. Moody’s parting words were of no surprise, “Constant vigilance, Potter.” Uncle Vernon had not been happy about Harry’s early return. He had shouted at him first evening and has been working him like a slave ever since. He came up with an amazing number of chores for Harry each day. But Harry did not complain as it helped him keep his mind off Dumbledore.

It has been about a fortnight since his return and Harry had received about a dozen of letters from each of his friends and Lupin. Ron’s letters always left him feeling restless as they contained menacing hints about the order and Voldemort, which were always followed by “can’t say much here in case the letter is intercepted.” Hermoine’s letters contained her worried expressions and instructions like “don’t do anything stupid” or “don’t you dare go anywhere alone” or “let it all out, Harry. You can not bottle up your emotions for forever.” On the other hand, Lupin’s letters were quite comforting. It took Harry a few days to realize that Lupin really knew how Harry was feeling. Lupin too was going through the same phase as Harry. Though he had not witnessed Dumbledore’s death, but he too had lost his best friend in Sirius and a mentor in Dumbledore. Harry felt better knowing there was someone who could understand him. But, it was Ginny’s letters that always managed to put a smile on Harry’s face. Harry had dreaded opening her first letter. He had thought that Ginny might be having second thoughts about their break-up. But he had worried for no reason at all. Her letters never contained anything about his decision or any menacing hints or worried instructions or even words of comfort. She usually wrote about her life at Burrow. She wrote about the twins’ latest pranks, Hermoine’s visits, Ron’s distracted behavior when Hermoine was not around, Bill and Fleur’s wedding preparations and Charlie’s odd behavior around Fleur. She just wrote about the things that were normal for a life at the Burrow. There! There was another smile on Harry’s face at the thought of the Burrow. As always, Ginny knew exactly what Harry needed.

But soon the smile disappeared from his face as his thoughts drifted towards the fateful night at the North Tower. He remembered Dumbledore pleading, “Severusplease…” and the look of pure hatred and revulsion on Snape’s face. Harry had begun to tremble with anger. How could Snape do that to Dumbledore after all that Dumbledore had done for him? Dumbledore had taken in him when no one else would have. He had given Snape a second chance and had constantly defended him… Dumbledore had trusted him and given him a new life. In return, Snape had betrayed him in the worst possible way. Anger and hatred pulsed through his veins as Harry clenched his fists upon the windowsill. His knuckles turned white as thoughts continued in his mind. Snape was also responsible for Sirius’s death. Sure, Snape did not fire the curse but he was the man behind it all. He was the reason why Sirius was at the ministry that day and he was the reason why Harry could not learn Occlumency and block out Voldemort. It all came down to Snape. He wanted to wring the life out of Snape with his bare hands. He wanted to make sure that Snape paid for all his betrayals and treachery, that… Harry’s train of thoughts were broken by a concerned Hedwig, nipping at his ear. Harry realized what he was doing and he took a deep breath to calm himself. Hedwig had returned from her hunting. Harry patted her and said, “Sorry girl. Don’t worry, I am fine. I just need time,” ‘and that’s what I do not have’ he added his mind. He could not risk going back to sleep. He may wake up uncle Vernonagain. So he took out a book on DefenceAgainst Dark Arts book that Lupin& Sirius had given him in his fifth year at Hogwarts.

Next morning uncle Vernonwas still in a very foul mood. He was, if possible, grumpier than usual. He surpassed himself and came up with an amazing list of chores for the day. He ordered Harry to have them done before he returned from office and left. Harry skipped his breakfast and started on his list. It was quite a hot day and Harry had to sweat it out. He cleaned the garage, painted the fence, mowed the lawn and watered the plants. By the time Harry was done, it was way past teatime. Harry realized that he had missed his lunch and was famished. Exhausted with all the work, he went inside and took a shower first. By the time he got back to the kitchen, aunt Petunia was already there. She pushed a plate of last night’s leftovers towards him. “Eat. I don’t want those freaks turning up here and accusing us of starving you” and she left. Both Aunt petunia and Dudley had been ignoring him so far and it suited him well. Harry had even followed every order that his uncle had barked at him without passing a single comment. He did not want to get into an argument now. After all, he will be seventeen in a few weeks time and then he would not have to come back here again. Never ever again. Harry finished his food and cleaned the dishes. Then instead of going back to his room, he decided to go out for a walk.

Harry had remained in the house since his return and though he had enough exercise for the day, an hour of fresh air was what he needed. He stayed alert of his surroundings. He kept his eyes and ears open for anything out of the ordinary. He held onto his wand in one pocket and the fake locket in the other. He had been carrying the locket with himself continuously. It worked like a reminder to him. It reminded him of the last term’s events and of what he was yet to face. ‘The cup, the locket, the snake and something of Griffindor or Ravenclaw’… he counted. Hermoine had promised to research on the relics of the two founders while he was away. Did she have any luck? She hadn’t mentioned anything in her letters. After his visit to Godric’s Hollow, Harry planned on going for the search of the remaining Horcruxes. He did not want to waste any time. He wanted to get over with it… either kill or get killed! ‘Get killed more likely’ said a voice in his head. ‘Dumbledore thought I can do it, I can win’ said another little voice. ‘But this is Lord Voldemort and you are nothing compared to him’, ‘But I have the power he knows not’, ‘Sure, and its Christmas tomorrow’… Harry shook his head. He had so many doubts but he had to try anyway. The fate of the entire wizarding world was depending upon him. Harry had reached Magnolia Road. He headed towards the park. ‘The cup, the locket, the snake and something of Gryffindor or Ravenclaw.’ According to Dumbledore, the sword was the only known relic of Gryffindor. So chances are that the other horcrux was Ravenclaw’s relic. Harry tried to think of any relic that he knew belonged to Ravenclaw… As he neared his favouritebench, he saw Dudley sitting alone on a nearby bench. Harry headed towards him. “Hey Big D, what are you doing here all by yourself? I thought you were at Gordon’s.”
“That’s none of your business.” Dudley snapped.
“I wonder what aunt Petunia would say if she knew that her ‘Ickle Diddykins’ is sitting here alone and not having tea with his friends.’
“Don’t tell mom about this.”
“Then tell me, what are you doing here alone instead of bullying some kid with your gang?” asked Harry, sitting down beside Dudley.
“Told you. That’s none of your business.”
“Well, it is my business if you expect me to do what you want. Specially, if you want me to lie for you.” Dudley sat quietly, looking anywhere but at him. “Few days back something happened and my friends stopped talking to me after that. I haven’t told mom-dad about it. I have been pretending to be at my friends place since then.”
“So what happened? Why did they stop talking to their ‘Big D’?”
“Nothing. Actually I can’t remember it properly.”
“Have you tried talking to them again? Tell them that you’re sorry for whatever it was,” said Harry. He was actually feeling bad for Dudley. Everybody deserved to have friends and he knew how it felt to have no friends. After all, he grew up without any. Dudley did not reply. Instead, he sat staring at the ground. Harry wondered how he must be feeling.
“Sirius was your godfather, right? How did he die?” Harry was taken by surprise by this question. He looked at Dudley but he was still staring at the ground.
“How do you know about Sirius?”
“You say things in your dreams. Besides, last year that white bearded man said he is dead.”
After a moment of silence, Harry said “Voldemort’s supporters killed him when he tried to save me.”
“Isn’t that the man who killed your parents? He sent those horrible things last time. He is still after you?”
“Do your friends know that this man wants to kill you?”
“They are still friends with you? Aren’t they scared that this man may hurt them too?”
“They know what the chances are and yes, they are still my friends. That’s what friends are for. They stand by you, no matter what.” Dudleylooked at him with an odd expression on his face. He finally said, “You are very lucky to have them. But then why don’t you tell those people how you are treated here? They would take care of you. Wouldn’t they?”
“Yes, they would. But I do not want to cause any trouble. Besides, I’ll be gone in a few days and this time when I go, I won’t have to come back here anymore.” Both the boys fell silent again. Harry was trying to figure this Dudleyout. Why was he so inquisitive? Was this some sort of prank? He finally asked “What is it Dudley? How come you are being so nice to me now?”
“It’s just that…” But before Dudley could continue any further, there was a faint ‘pop’. Both of them looked in the direction of the noise. It seemed to have come from the cluster of trees few feet away from where they were sitting. The first sound was soon followed by two more. Harry got up in an instant and pulled Dudley behind the nearest tree. “Something is not right. Dudleyrun back home.” But Dudley stood rooted at the spot. “What’s wrong?”
“This is no time to explain. Just run and no matter what you hear, don’t look back or stop. Now go.” Harry felt a bit nervous. He was sure that those ‘popping’ sounds meant that three people had apparated here. The order people would have come up to talk to him. But since he could not see anyone, these had to be death eaters. But even the eaters wouldn’t hide. They would have attacked or tried to capture Harry. He scanned the area where the noise had come from but he could not spot anyone. Just as Harry was about to move behind another tree to try and get a better view he heard a voice. ‘Stupefy’. Harry froze on the spot because the curse was not directed at him. Slowly, he turned to look over his shoulder and saw Dudley lying flat on the ground on his stomach. Harry heard movements in the cluster of trees and turned back to see three hooded figures out in the open. He was right. There were death eaters in Little Whinging. “Come on out Harry. There are no order members here to save your skin today.” Harry recognized the Voice. It was Lucius Malfoy. He fired three curses in quick succession, ‘Impedimenta’, ’Stupefy’, ’Levicorpus’. Two of Harry’s curses missed their targets, but the one in the middle fell to the ground, stunned. The two he missed, did not even look back at the third. More cautious now, they kept coming towards where Harry was hiding. “So, you want to play, Harry? Come on out Harry and then we’ll play.” Harry tried to think of a way to get to Dudley. There was another tree there. Maybe he could run and hide behind it and then revive Dudleywhen he got a chance. Holding onto his wand, Harry slowly moved from behind the tree. “Voldemort wants me for himself. So I know that you can not kill me.”
“Do not over estimate your worth to the Dark Lord, Potter. Now tell me, where is my son,” asked Malfoy still walking towards him. Harry was taken by surprise for the second time that evening. He, however, started stepping back to where Dudley lay. “How do I know where that sick, murdering fool is?”
“Don’t lie to me. I know you lot have him. So tell me where he is.”
“I do not know where he is and you should be happy about that because if I knew, then I would have killed him by now for what he did to Dumbledore.”
“Shut your nonsense, Potter. Dumbledore had it coming for a long time. Now, you can make this easy or tough for yourself. Tell me where he is.” Harry had almost reached Dudley. Few more steps… Keep him busy talking, he told himself. “I always wondered why Draco was so dull in understanding things. Now I know. He got it from you. How many times more do I have to tell you before you understand that I do not know where Draco is?”
“You filthy… Crucio.” Unbearable pain burst through Harry. He fell to his knees. He had felt this once before in the graveyard. But the experience did not make the pain any less. It could have been for a second or a year that Malfoy kept him under the curse but Harry couldn’t say how long it was. It felt like eternity to him before the curse was lifted off him. “Did you enjoy that, Potter? Now do you feel like telling me the truth? Where has the order kept Draco?” Harry could barely move. His whole body was still aching with the effects of the Cruciatus. He did not answer Malfoy. Instead, he tried to move towards his cousin. But a death eater came and grabbed Dudley and pulled him away from him. He revived Dudley only to put him under a full body-bind. Harry turned to face Lucius and noticed that the third death eater was back on his feet too. “So you won’t say? I have my ways Harry. You are only making it hard for yourself. Crucio!” Harry closed his eyes and braced himself for the pain. But it never came. Instead, he heard Dudley’s screams.
“Stop it. I told you, I do not know where Draco is.”
“Harry, now don’t make me use the killing curse. How will you face your aunt and uncle then? Have you thou…” Lucius stopped in mid-sentence. The air around them had gone still and eerie. Harry could feel it in his guts. Then suddenly there was a huge explosion sending the death eaters flying. They hit the nearby bench and collapsed to the ground. Harry got to his feet and went to Dudley who was now moaning and struggling to get to his feet. Seeing that he was in no immediate danger Harry turned to the Death eaters. He stunned two of them and as he turned his wand on the third, the sound of wizards apparating filled the air. At first, Harry thought that more death eaters had arrived but was relieved to see aurors. He too collapsed on the grass beside his cousin, letting the aurors take care of the death eaters. An auror, whom Harry recognized as Dawlish, approached him. “Mr. Potter, can you tell us what exactly happened here?” Harry recounted the evening for him and while he was at it, they were joined by Lupin and Tonks. Harry intentionally left out that Lucius thought that the order had Draco. “So, you were here with your cousin when they attacked you? Did they say anything about their mission?”
“I think they were here to capture me for Voldemort,” lied Harry.
“Okay. As far as I know, your cousin is a muggle. So we need to erase his memory and then we will be gone. But we need you to see if you can identify the ones we have arrested.”
“Yeah. One of them was Lucius Malfoy. I recognized his voice. The other two kept quiet. So I am not sure who they are. But by their built, I guess they are Crabbe and Goyle. You need not perform the memory charm on Dudley. He knows all about the wizarding world.”
“Three? But we caught two of them. The third must have escaped.” Dawlish unmasked the still stunned death eaters and Harry identified them as Crabbe and Goyle Sr. “Are you sure, Mr. Potter, that Lucius Malfoy was here?”
“Yeah. I am sure. He did all the cursing and talking. I’d recognize his voice anywhere.”
“Thank you, Mr. Potter. You will be informed when we capture Lucius Malfoy.”
When Dawlish and the others left, Lupin and Tonks helped Harry and Dudley to get on their feet. “Wow Harry! You sure do know how to stir up things” said Tonks with an impish smile. Harry noticed she was donning long black hair and so he said “But not like you Tonks.” They did not talk anymore on their way back. Harry could not help wondering why Lucius thought that the Order had Draco.

Aunt Petunia must have been peeking outside for more gossips about her neighbors because she came running out when they had barely reached the driveway. “What happened Popkin? What did these freaks do to you?”
“If we could just get him inside, to his room, we will explain everything to you, Petunia.” Harry barely noticed that Lupin had used his aunt’s first name as his limbs too were starting to feel numb from all the excitement and the aftermath of the cruciatus. Once they had put Dudley in his bed, Tonks performed some healing charms on him. Harry joined Lupin, Tonks and aunt Petunia in the drawing room. “Now Harry, tell us everything from the beginning,” said Lupin as he sat down beside Tonks. Harry began telling them everything - from the moment he had heard the first ‘pop’ till the aurors had arrived. “So these death eaters were after you? Last time he sent those demented things and now these death eaters? I wonder, if they are really after you then how come Dudley ends up hurt every time and you get out without a scratch?” Hearing Mr. Dursley’s voice, everyone turned sharply towards the door. “You are bringing trouble to our home, boy. Since the first day, you have been nothing but trouble to us,” Vernon Dursley said. Harry could see the veins pulsing on his forehead and knew he was beyond just furious. “I want you out of my house this instant. I am not going to put my family into danger because of the likes of you. So, go pack your bags and leave with the rest of the freaks right now.” Before Harry could say anything, Lupin ordered him to check on Dudley while he talked to his uncle. Reluctantly, Harry left the room.

It was quite some time before Tonks came for Harry. When Harry got back, he found Lupin alone in the drawing room. “Now Harry, I know that you are tired and need rest but there are few things that we need to talk about before we leave.” Harry sat down in order to rest his aching muscles and before Lupin could ask him anything, he asked the question that was bothering him from the moment Lucius had asked it. “Where is Draco? I cannot understand why Lucius thinks that the order has him. I mean, even if you caught him, you would have to hand him over to the ministry right?” Lupin and Tonks exchanged a look before Tonks replied. “That is something we have to look into. So, tell us Harry, how did you manage to blast off three death eaters at the same time?”
“I do not know how that happened. Even I was surprised. It was so creepy and I could feel it in my guts… All I know is that it was not me. The death eaters had remained in the shadows for quite some time. I think they were making sure that there was no one from the order. So there couldn’t have been anyone else.”
“Surely they did not do that to themselves and if you did not do it either, there must have been someone else. Otherwise it does not make any sense. We really have to look into that too.”
“If there were no Order members there at Magnolia Road, then how come you were there so soon? How did the aurors know?”
“Well, unlike Fudge, Scrimegeour realizes that you are Voldemort’s number one target. He had this whole area monitored for any kind of magic… specially dark magic. When they realized that there was an attack here, they took some time in gathering all the aurors. After all, the only knew that there was an attack but they did not know what to expect here. While they organized, Tonks informed me at the headquarters. I was the only one present there, so I came with her. But it seems that you no longer need our help.” Pride was clearly evident in Lupin’s eyes. “You had them all under control. Now there’s one more thing. Pack your things tonight as tomorrow you’ll be leaving for the Burrow. Some order members will be here tomorrow, around lunch.” Harry forgot all his exhaustion and sat up straight. “Really? I can leave tomorrow?” Lupin had to smile at Harry’s genuine delight. “Yes Harry, you can leave tomorrow. A fortnight’s stay is enough to keep the protection of the magic that Dumbledore had placed. Besides, Molly had been at us for letting you come here even for a day. She will go berserk when she hears about today. In order to keep some of the order members alive, we need to get you to her… else she will simply murder us all to get to you. You know the famous Weasley temper.” Harry’s heart warmed at the thought of Mrs. Weasley and the Burrow. He’ll be seeing Ron and Ginny again. “And let me warn you, she is not the only red-headed witch who is concerned about you.” Lupin added with a gleam in his eyes. Harry could not help smiling. With a final hug, Lupin and Tonks bade Harry goodbye.

After Lupin and Tonks left, Harry went straight up to his room. He was in no mood for dinner. He’ll be leaving tomorrow! Harry emptied his trunk and packed it properly. He checked under the loose footboard for anything that he might have left behind. Then he went to Hedwig’s cage. She had already gone out for the night. Harry cleaned her cage. Finally, satisfied that he was ready to leave Privet Drive the next day, for good, Harry lay down on his bed. He still could not understand why Lucius thought that the order had Draco and what really happened to throw the death eaters off there feet. There was no one else. They did not do it to themselves and Harry hadn’t cursed either. Dudleywas lying on the ground beside him in full body bind. Harry was also sure that he had not performed accidental magic. He had learned to control it ever since his third year, when he had blew up his aunt. He recounted the incident. He thought of the death eaters flying backwards, hitting the bench, collapsing on the ground, Dudley moaning and struggling to get to his feet… Harry sat up on the bed. ‘No, that’s not possible! But then how come…? That explains everything. But its impossible!! Maybe there was another explanation.’ Harry shook his head. ‘Yes… everything fits. But it’s just impossible!’

No comments:

Post a Comment