Harry sat in his bedroom at Number 4 Privet Drive only two days after Professor Dumbledore’s funeral. The weight of everything that had happened in the last month seemed to be weighing him down more than anything in his past. Less than seven years earlier, Professor Dumbledore had told him more about his life than anyone before. How Voldemort had murdered his parents, but was unable to kill him. Lily’s blood charm, cast when she refused to move aside for Voldemort to kill him, would expire soon, and he would be on his own. The Order of the Phoenix had already informed him of the plans to take him from his Aunt and Uncle’s house, but this information seemed only to make the wait worse, as he knew when he was leaving, but could do nothing but wait for the day to arrive.
Harry spent his days reading and studying everything Hermione had sent him about defensive magic, and while he was still angry he could not practice any of the spells and charms, the reading helped him pass the time. Over the last few days Harry had learned more about the dark arts than he would ever have wanted to, spells that allow the caster to not only kill and torture their victims, but spells so vastly more sinister that he was only strengthened in his resolve to finish Voldemort once and for all. As he looked up from his book he realised it was nearly 2:00 in the morning, and seeing the clock he felt just how tired he was, and finally fell into bed. This had become almost routine, as he would fall asleep only to be awoken by memories of Cedric being killed in the graveyard as Voldemort laughed.
“SO WEAK!” Voldemort hissed. “You will never defeat me, and you will beg for death, CRUCIO!”
Each night the dreams only worsened, as he began to see not only Cedric’s death, but Sirius falling through the veil, and Dumbledore’s body suspended, broken in mid-air. As the summer wore on, his dreams moved away from Siris, Dumbledore, and Cedric, but also to Ron, Hermione, and Ginny dying as well. As the dreams moved into visions of something that had not happened, Harry realised his scar was burning as he woke, but this only caused more anger at Snape for not doing more in their occlumency lessons. After yet another restless night he resolved to write Hermione for any books she might have on the subject of occlumency, as this seemed the only way to ever sleep, as he would not succumb to dreamless sleep potion use again.
One week before he was to leave the Dursleys, he received a letter from Mr. Weasley. Harry had written him a few days earlier asking him to take him to Diagon Alley so he could visit Gringott’s and a few other stores, and to his relief, Mr. Weasley had agreed to this. Harry went downstairs to wait for Mr. Weasley and found, as usual, his Aunt and Uncle in their sitting room. “What do you want boy?” was the only evidence that either had seen him, but he was used to such treatment by now.
“Someone is coming to take me to London for the day, and I will be back tomorrow.” Harry said.
“Some of your lot, here, not bloody likely!” Uncle Vernon snapped.
Harry couldn’t take it, and before he realised it, he was finally saying much of what he had kept in for nearly 17 years. “You stupid, arrogant, pig! You treat me worse than an enemy for 17 years, and when I am finally leaving, you can only tell me you won’t have some of my lot here? I pity you, Uncle Vernon, living a life ruled by hatred and bigotry.” Uncle Vernon was staring at him seemingly unable to comprehend what Harry was saying.
“Don’t you dare talk to your uncle that way, don’t” Aunt Petunia began, but Harry cut her off before she got any further.
“Your sister died to save my life, and you lied to me about that for 11 years, and you expect me to thank you for that? You think I appreciate being treated like scum and lied to? That’s what is not bloody likely. I am leaving this house forever in one week, to fight one of the most dangerous wizards in history. I will be facing almost certain death constantly, while you are free to go to work and pretend that I am off in some school for troubled teens.” Harry’s voice lowered to just above a whisper, but seemed to gain such power that it rooted his aunt and uncle to their seats, eyes wide. He did not know where the rage was coming from, but he did not seem to care at this point. “I don’t care what you tell anyone about me, because, when I leave on my birthday, I am never coming back! I will tell you this, unlike you, I can at least respect others so as not to put them in situations of discomfort. I would not bring Mr. Weasley in here for all the gold in Gringott’s! No, I will watch for him, and I have asked that he simply wait in the car, so that he does not have to see you. But, just so you know, I am more concerned with his comfort than I ever would be for yours!”
With that Harry turned and left the room to wait in the hall, leaving the two of them simply staring at where he had been. As he reached the hallway, something started to nag at him, however. Turning slightly, he looked back into the room. “I honestly could not tell you why I’m doing this, but I have one more thing to say.”
Uncle Vernon looked like he was ready to blow a gasket, and as he got to his feet and took a couple of steps, Harry just watched him, now facing him properly.
“Listen to me, boy, we have given you everything for the last 16 years, and you have been nothing but a burden to us,” Once again, Harry snapped, and cutting across his uncle, he could have sworn daggers were flying from his eyes.
“I don’t give a damn what you think of me, Voldemort wants me dead, and he will most likely hunt down anyone who has ever had anything to do with me. I have already told you that I will never see you again, but if you’re even one ounce smarter than your rug,” Harry took a deep breath, and drawing himself up to his full height, so that he was now looking slightly down his nose, he continued, “then you would be smart to get as far away from this house as you can. If you’re lucky they won’t know who you are, but they sure as hell will be able to find this place. I cannot say honestly that I would come to help you if he found you, so I’m telling you now to just run.”
Uncle Vernon looked ready to throttle Harry, but Harry just turned and left the room. He had not noticed how long he was in the sitting room, as he heard Mr. Weasley honking the Ministry car’s horn outside. Pausing only to make sure he had his wand, he left the house and went to the car.
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