AU post OotP, possible HBP elements but not HBP compliant. Independant Harry summer after 5th year. No Pairing
Disclaimer: Harry Potter his friends, relatives, enemies and assorted bystander are not mine and I make to claims to them.
Battle on Privet Drive
Snapping to full alert, Harry reached for his glasses and wand and stepped silently to the window to peer out into the darkness. The Order members had never triggered the alarm nor had any of Dudley's friends. Harry suspected but didn't know for sure that the ward trigger was the dark mark. Just out of the corner of his eye he caught a flash of green spell light. Yes Death Eaters were here.
Silently Harry slid out of his room and into Dudley's. Dudley had promised to protect his parents and to do that he had to be awake.
Harry touched Dudley's shoulder and then covered his mouth.
"Dudley wake up!" Harry whispered fiercely. "Death Eaters are coming you have to try to get your parents to hide. Take them to the attic and stick them behind the wardrobe up there and stay there. If they get me maybe they'll leave you all alone if they can't find you right away."
Dudley nodded his understanding. They had spent one afternoon rearranging the attic into a hiding place just in case.
Harry left Dudley and made his way down stairs avoiding the creaking ones. He reached out. They hadn't yet breeched the inner ward but Harry could tell it was starting to waver. They were going to come in the front door. Harry moved behind the couch to give him some cover. He could hear noises from over head and Uncle Vernon beginning to protest. Well hell, he thought I guess there will be another hearing and cast a shield on the door and then a silencing charm at the ceiling. He could no longer hear Uncle Vernon's voice when wards collapsed and the front door caved dispelling his shield. As several black shadows filled the doorway Harry could only hope that Dudley had succeeded in getting his parents to the attic.
"Check the back" came low voiced orders, "you in there, the rest of you follow me up the stairs they should all be sleeping."
Harry was ready to cast stunners when that plan went to hell.
Vernon Dursley appeared at the top of the stairs waving a pistol and flipped on the light switch.
"Get out, I've had enough of you freaks..." Vernon's yell was cut off by a sickly green light and he collapsed half way down the stairs.
Harry was shocked into action. He began to fire off spells as fast a possible.
"Reducto, stupefy, Incarcerous, Reducto" he screamed from behind the couch. The death eaters who were more or less bunched at the base of the stairs began to fall. Then seemed to pull themselves together. Two moved into the hall along the stair case out of sight of Harry, one on the staircase began to retreat as Vernon's body was blocking the way up. Three moved into the living room toward Harry with shields up. The last Death Eater moved back into the entryway behind the advancing men.
The sound of a gunshot drew all eyes back to the staircase where Petunia was crouched over the body of her husband with his pistol in her hand. As if in slow motion one of the advancing Death Eaters fell back into the wall blood pouring from his chest.
Harry saw Dudley cricket bat in hand vault the staircase rail from just behind his mother and the sickening sound of bones breaking told Harry that another Death Eater was down. He saw Petunia hit with the same purple flame curse that had taken down Hermione in the Ministry and fired a Reducto at that man.
The Death Eater in the entryway had joined the fight now attacking the remaining ones from behind. The wall shook in the hall way and somehow over the noise of the fight Harry heard the distinctive sound of a wand being snapped.
Harry giggled as he dueled the last death eater. His shield fell to a cutting hex scoring a stinging line across his left cheek. The Death eater raise his wand and shouted "Avada" and was cut off by a Reducto to the back from the entry way death eater who was on the floor bleeding but still able to cast.
Harry's wand came up to curse the last Death Eater when he dropped his wand and dragged the mask from his face.
Harry stood ready to curse Severus Snape his most hated teacher. A man who had apparently just saved Harry's live again. As Harry just looked at him Snape sneered in his most hateful voice.
"Well Potter here's your chance, are you going to just stand there like the idiot you are or are you going to kill me?"
As Dudley emerged from the hallway bat raised Harry lowered his wand slightly and replied, "Good to see you too Professor. Don't hit him Dud he's on our side mostly, you ok?"
Dudley nodded and then caught sight of his parents on the stairs.
"They wouldn't go Harry, I tried but you know Dad."
Harry nodded but kept his eyes on Snape.
"Are there more Professor, outside or coming. Do you know how soon the Order might be here?" He asked.
Snape shook his head, "No more death eaters, Potter, I wasn't able to inform Dumbledore of the mission. I tripped the alarm when we entered the property they should be here any time." Snape's voice shook slightly with pain.
Harry cast bindings on the two death eaters that were still alive. Dudley was gleefully getting ready to snap another wand when Harry stopped him.
"Since the owner is dead it can be used as evidence Dud, I have may have to prove we were attacked so better leave it."
At that moment a strange man entered the house. Harry's wand snapped up and Dudley raised his bat. The man held up his hand in a gesture of surrender.
"I'm Auror Anthony Blackthorne, what in the name of Merlin is going on here." He demanded.
"Harry Potter, sir, as you can see my family was attacked by death eaters. You're a little late don't you think?" snarled Harry offended by the man's attitude.
"Sorry Mr. Potter I," he was interrupted by Amelia Bones entering the house wand drawn.
"Blackthorne what did you think you were doing? You stepped over a conscious combatant and never even looked." She shook her head and knelt cautiously to look into the face of Severus Snape. Snape glared at her.
"Madam Bones, Professor Snape is a spy for Dumbledore, he saved my life tonight. He shouldn't be taken into custody but I think he needs a healer as soon as possible." Snape's glare transferred to Harry. Amelia Bones nodded.
"Is the scene contained Mr. Potter?"
"Yes ma'am all the death eaters are down and either dead or bound. You'll want to check outside though I should have had a guard and they may be dead as well.
Bones flicked her wand and sent sparks out the doorway. She stepped over Snape and continued into the house where Blackthorne was using his wand to make a recording of the scene. Another Auror, one Harry didn't know followed her and then a Healer entered and immediately began to work on the still glaring Snape.
Bones spoke to Blackthorne in a low tone Harry only heard part of his reply 'but he killed them all'. Bones scowled at Blackthorne and shook her head then came over to Harry.
"Mr. Potter can you tell me what happened here tonight?
"Yes if you will tell me why it took you so long to get here?" Harry answered back with out really thinking about it. He heard Snape hiss and notice he was being glared at again.
"Um sorry that didn't come out quite right ma'am." Said Harry in a politer tone.
"Quite alright Mr. Potter I too am annoyed at the response time. Your file was flagged for an immediate response to defensive magic use. The Auror on duty apparently is either an unmarked death eater or a sympathizer. We will be questioning him closely for sometime." Madam Bone told Harry eyes flashing. "Which is partly why I am here. Now please tell me exactly what happened."
"Yes Ma'am I was just going to sleep when the alarm ward was tripped."
"You're a night owl then Mr. Potter it is after all 4 o'clock in the morning."
"I have a tradition of staying up late the night before my birthday. I'm sixteen today and received a flock of owls just after midnight." Harry grinned slightly, and then hissed as the wound on his cheek pulled. "Any way I learned how to sense the wards this summer and have been 'feeling' them every evening. So when the alarm ward at the edge of the property went off. I got up and woke Dud. Err, my cousin Dudley Dursley," Harry gesture toward Dudley who was sitting staring at his parent's bodies and being treated by the healer.
"Dud and I had discussed the possibility that we might be at risk for an attack and he was supposed to get them and go hide in the attic. I came down here to distract the Death Eaters, as it was me they wanted. I thought if I could hold them off long enough for help to come then maybe my relatives wouldn't be killed. I shielded the door and cast a silencing charm on the ceiling. They blew the door and came in and started to spilt up to search the house. Uncle Vernon turned on the lights at the top of the stairs and was killed with an AK, I fired curses into the group of them downing three. Aunt Petunia must have followed Uncle Vernon down 'cause the next thing I know she shot that one." Harry pointed to the dead guy against the far wall from the stairs. "Then that one shot a purple cutting curse at her and I used a Reducto on him. Dud took out a couple and Professor Snape ambushed the ones getting back up from the back. I dueled that one" pointing once more, "and he broke my shield and cut me an just as he was about to Avada me Professor Snape got him from the floor." Harry was beginning to shake by this time and Madam Bones reached out to hug him.
"You did an excellent job Mr. Potter. You defended yourself and then were able to give me a very concise report."
Madam Bones was interrupted at this point by Dumbledore who Harry had not seen come in.
"I am disappointed in you Harry." Said Dumbledore, "You should not have revealed Professor Snape's position as a spy. I could have arrange for him to escape ministry custody at a later time."
Amelia Bones gaped at Dumbledore and Harry leapt to his feet enraged.
"Where the hell were you. You should have been here. You can't possibly think Voldemort would have let him live after a failure like this. The only survivor and then he just happens to escape, you're barmy." Snarled Harry.
"Now Harry there is no need for you to concern yourself over this. Severus will just have to return to Voldemort and explain that he has you fooled." Said Dumbledore. Harry glanced at Snape who now looked rather pale and nauseous.
Bones interrupted at this, "Are you trying to tell this boy he should have lied to me Albus Dumbledore?" she hissed.
"No Amelia, I..."
"It sure sounded like to me." Said Harry, "I certainly wasn't going to lie. You have no right coming in here where my relatives are dead and telling me you're disappointed in me."
"You relatives are dead Harry? I'm afraid you can't stay here any longer then, get your things, I'll take you somewhere safe." Said Dumbledore.
Harry stared at him incredulously.
"That's all you have to say? You said I'd be safe here, that my relatives were safe because the blood charm. You lied to me, and now you want me to trust you to take me somewhere /safe/! Your letter today said there was nowhere else safe and I had to stay here the whole summer cut off completely from my friends and now I'm suppose to just blindly go with you to some place /safe/?" The last word was screamed into Dumbledore's face. Harry took a deep breath and tried clear his mind and rein in his anger.
"I'm not going to headquarters, I'm not going anywhere with you. You are not my guardian you are only the headmaster of a school I may or may not be attending in the fall. Get out of my house." Harry's tone had become icy and Dudley had come over to stand just behind Harry.
"You are not welcome here, leave my cousin alone." Stated Dudley hefting his bat.
"Albus I think you had better do as Mr. Potter asks. As you can see he doesn't react well to uninvited guests." Said Amelia Bones gesturing to the bodies the other Aurors were bagging for transportation to the ministry.
"This isn't over Harry, we will speak again when you have calmed down." He glanced at Snape who had been moved to the couch to recover before being questioned. "I'll expect a full report Severus." Then he turned on his heel and left the house.
Harry slumped into a chair with his head in his hands. Madam Bones patted Harry on the shoulder and then asked to speak with Dudley and they moved to the other side of the room. Harry could barely hear Madam Bones' questions to Dudley but he heard Dudley's answer clearly.
"Of course I meant to kill them. I knew my dad was dead when I jumped off the stairs. I'm a big guy and I landed on that first guys shoulders and broke his neck as we hit the floor. Surprised me it was that easy. The second guy was stupid he just stared. I hit him up side of the head with my bat and grabbed his stick thing, uh I mean his wand with the other, he hit the floor and I broke his wand." There was another murmured question.
"Oh Harry said most frea err wizards need their wands to do magic and that if they don't have 'em they're pretty helpless. I can't do magic so I thought I level the field some. That guy tried to get back up, I'd dropped the bat to break the wand so I bashed him about the face a few times then kicked his head in when he went down. Then I picked up the other guys wand and broke it grabbed my bat and came out of the hall just as that Professor guy shot a spell at the one Harry was fighting. I thought he had bad aim when he pulled off his mask and Harry said he was on our side. It was all over by then."
Snape made a strangled noise from the couch and attracted Harry's attention. He was still pale but looked to be regaining his strength.
"All right there, Professor?" asked Harry politely.
"What do you care Potter you've sealed my death warrant with your Gryffindor tendencies." Snarled the Professor.
"No sir, you do what Dumbledore wants it will lead to your death, it's not my fault that he wants to send you back to that sadistic bastard. You can't tell me that he doesn't have any other spies. He can't be so stupid as to rely on just one." Harry retorted.
"Potter even if I don't return to the Dark Lord I am a dead man. I wish you had given in to your vindictive streak and just killed me." Said Snape in a defeated tone of voice.
"I'm not vindictive, sir, I certainly don't want to see you dead." Harry said rather confused.
"Of course you do, Potter. You blame me for Black's death and I've been nothing but cruel to you for the last five years." Retorted Snape shaking his head.
Harry eyed him speculatively for a moment.
"Sir what do you know of the spells contained in the dark mark? Has Dumbledore shared his research with you? How it can be removed?"
Snape looked shocked for a moment and then became furious. In a low tone he said,
"You have no idea what you are talking about boy, the mark can't be removed, it's a soul bond, and it's permanent!"
"No it's not sir, I have a copy of the headmasters research, he doesn't know I have it. He has the incantation he thinks Volde used and the reason everyone thinks it's unbreakable is because it's in Parseltongue and only some one who can speak it can affect the mark. I can prove what I'm saying sir. If you will trust me."
Snape just stared at Harry shaking his head in disbelief. Madam Bones who wanted to question Snape interupped their discussion. She suggested that Harry and Dudley pack a few things, as they wouldn't be able to stay in the house for a while. Harry went up to gather his things and dress, when he was done he checked on Dudley who was just sitting on the edge of his bed.
"What's going to happen now Harry? I'll have to go to Aunt Marge won't I? I hate it there." Dudley shook his head. "I just can't believe they're gone. I " and Dudley cried.
"I don't know Dud. I'll see what I can do. Maybe there is a way we can stick together the rest of summer. Till school you know." Said Harry. "Pack for a couple of days and I'll go see what's next 'k?"
I was just after six am when Harry returned downstairs to find an owl waiting on him.
"That looks like a ministry owl Mr. Potter. I dare say the Improper Use of Magic office has sent you a notice. Don't worry your use of magic was justified and I will take care of it for you." Said madam Bones in a kindly voice.
Harry opened the envelope surprised to find not a notice but his wand rights permit signed by Mafalda Hopkirk. He showed the document to Madam Bones who smiled and added a copy to her notes.
"Madam Bones, what happens to Dudley and me now? I don't really want to be under Dumbledore's control. I have money in my vault at Gringotts there may be enough there for Dudley and me to live on for the summer." Asked Harry.
Amelia Bones looked surprised for a moment then glanced at Snape who also looked rather surprised.
"Mr. Potter I'd think that you have quite enough in your vault. The Potters were one of the wealthiest pureblood families in Britain. I know for a fact that you own several properties where you could take up residence. They are in the trust that I'm sure your father left for you and under the circumstance I'm sure the goblins will allow you access to one." Amelia Bones said.
"Trust, properties I don't know anything about what my parent's might have left Madam Bones. I only know about my vault, it had a lot of gold in it when I saw it last, in the summer after my second year. I don't know how much I might have left since then because I haven't been allowed to go shopping for my own supplies since then." Said Harry confused.
Amelia Bones looked shocked and Snape sat up straight.
"Mr. Potter is that why you don't wear your family ring, because you never bothered to retrieve it from your family vault?" asked Snape with his customary sneer.
"I have a family ring?" Ask Harry, "No one's ever mentioned it. How was I supposed to know I had a family vault? Who was supposed to tell me? My muggle relatives would have stolen everything if they'd know I had money. I didn't even know I was a wizard until Hagrid came to get me. People get mad or think I know all this stuff about my family or the Wizarding world but no one tells my anything. When I do ask questions I'm told I don't need to know or I'm to young to worry about it." Harry blew out a his breath and a sat down with his face in his hands, his voice muffled he continued, "I'm sorry it's not your fault I'm stupid, please just tell me what I need to know."
Amelia Bones sighed, "You are not stupid but something is very strange here Mr. Potter. I believe that you need to go to Gringotts as soon as possible, today. I will have Auror Blackthorne escort you for your own safety. Your cousin has an aunt doesn't he? I believe we will have the muggle authorities notify her and she can"
"Dudley doesn't want to go to Aunt Marge. He wants to stay with me. Have her make arrangements for everything and tell her Dudley will contact her later this afternoon. We can do that after Gringotts." Harry said firmly. Amelia nodded that would work.
Harry looked at Snape. "Have you thought about what I said earlier sir? If you want to try it we should do it before you have to see Dumbledore and he makes you tell him everything that went on here."
Snape nodded, "I suppose you can't make it any worse Potter, if you kill me at least I won't have to deal with you any longer." The venom dripping from his words didn't match the expression on his face. Amelia was concerned.
"Mr. Potter given Professor Snape's seeming rancor perhaps it would be better for you and he not to interact."
Snape took on a look of panic and gritted his teeth.
"Sorry ma'am he can't help it. I'm sorry Professor I think she should know." Harry opened his trunk and pulled a blue leather bound book out and opened it to check the first page. He nodded and then closed the trunk, retaining the book. "This is a copy of a research journal that Headmaster Dumbledore doesn't know I have. It's his research on the dark mark and notations he made when he tinkered with the Professor's mark." Harry opened the book to show Amelia, while Snape sat gritting his teeth and glaring holes into Harry.
"You can see that the Professor has very little in the way of free will. He must behave in certain set ways, I believe I can break the dark mark and because Dumbledore's spells overlay the mark they will break as well." Harry shivered at the grin that spread over Snape's face, seeing Snape smile was just wrong.
"Mr. Potter I," Amelia hesitated, "I truly do not know what to say. The spells that have been used here are quite illegal. I..." she eyed Snape warily unsure if there might be a hidden trigger somewhere in the man's psyche.
"If it works ma'am the Professor may have something to tell you." Said Harry seemingly reading Amelia's mind. "Professor, I think Dumbledore would want you to accompany me to Gringotts so you can tell him what's going on. He wouldn't want you to rush to see him in that case would he?" ask Harry.
"For once in you're pathetic life you may be correct Potter, I had best go with you to Gringotts if for nothing more than to keep you out of the trouble you perpetually seek out." Sneered Snape.
Amelia led Harry a short way from Snape and suggest that if he thought they should do it soon that it might be wise to ask the goblins to use one of their shielded ritual rooms. It would be the safest most secure place and if something went wrong the goblin's privacy policies would be beneficial to Harry.
Dudley came down the stairs at that point and Amelia created a portkey to take Harry, Dudley, Snape and Auror Blackthorne to Gringotts. Harry took the time to explain to Dudley where they were going and why so he wouldn't freak out.
Shortly before 7 am Harry left Privet Drive for the last time.