Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Esse Quam Videri

Esse Quam Videri

by razz 4 Reviews

(AU) What if Harry Potter really was an Incurably Criminal Boy - a trouble maker, a rule breaker, a psychotic pyromaniac. Albus supposed he should have seen this coming. An Azkaban!Harry fic of sorts.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Humor, Parody - Characters: Bellatrix, Harry, Sirius - Warnings: [!] [?] - Published: 2006/06/14 - Updated: 2006/06/14 - 3932 words - Complete

Disclaimer: I own nothing. This was largely inspired by a hilarious drabble from Rorscharch Blot posted on his Yahoo!Group, a challenge and a few woozy comments at the DLP lyre. Justin Hawkins is the lead singer of 'The Darkness'.


......1996

The World of Magic was lost - doomed to an inevitable disaster.

And all Albus could think of, pacing his office late one evening as the days events thawed and melted in his mind, soaking his brain with naught else but dire repercussions that threatened to haunt, was that this predicament fell entirely to the fault of Harry-Bloody-Potter.

It had started with an odd letter here and there from Arabella Figg - a petty theft, a classmate's mysterious disappearance, his Aunt and Uncles' house burnt to the ground - but soon Harry's escalation of misdeeds had surpassed even Albus Dumbledore's eccentrically, portentously biased perspective on the unfolding events. Pretence of powerful, uncontrollable under aged magic would only take matters so far and 'childish innocence' was beyond ridiculously optimistic.

Harry Potter was an incurably criminal boy; a trouble maker, a rule breaker, a pyromaniac.

Albus supposed he should have seen it coming.

Harry had attended St Brutus's Secure Centre for Incurably Criminal Boys from the time of his seventh birthday to his Hogwarts acceptance four years later. The exuberant youth he had first met at the Start of Term Banquet was a far cry from the malnourished decrepit he had hoped and planned for. Harry Potter had lasted a meagre three years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Albus thought, if he were to be completely truthful with himself (for once) he should be thankful for so much. The Great Lord Voldemort had soon after resurfaced, reeking terror, pain and murder. Total devastation drowned the peaceful world they had lived in.

For the next three years following Harry's expulsion the teen had dedicated his life to pissing off as many people as he could manage. Harry had stepped close to the line repeatedly, side stepped the edge and danced the length.

But this time, Harry had gone too far.

A fickle destiny collapsed in shadow and fate was torn, forgotten, straying from the course that might have been irrevocably. Azkaban beckoned, teasing, taunting. It ridiculed and mocked, laughing at the Headmaster as tears of mirth poured down her cheeks.

It was a mess beyond Albus' means to clean, a problem he couldn't fix, a situation he couldn't hide.

A life sentence at sixteen had to be a record, a hallmark in history. But Harry had achieved it - the crater, tortured dragon and mass of decapitated goblins didn't help much, either.

Perhaps if Albus had only tried a little harder to keep the boy more firmly under his wing ... Perhaps if James had not dropped his son on the head at Harry's Christening ... Or perhaps if Bellatrix Lestrange (known and wanted Deatheater) hadn't been found at the scene of the crime, naked and tied to Harry's foot with a dog's leash, then the Wizengamot might have been a little more forgiving, a little more understanding, a little more forthcoming to Albus' pleas.

But alas, it was not to be.

Albus' efforts at securing a retrial had been futile and off to Azkaban Harry Potter had sailed.

The aged wizard couldn't help but wallow briefly in his own self pity and terrible misfortune. The fight against Voldemort was hopeless, a lost cause.

Without Harry Potter (incurably criminal or not) the Light was dead meat.

... ... ...

Dementors didn't particularly phase Harry. He couldn't understand why people made such a fuss over them, honestly.

It had taken three days for boredom to push him onto the brink of his limits. There was only so long graffitiing the walls of his cell could occupy his interest for, and after Harry had tried to pierce his own lip with a rusted nail (it hadn't gone so well) he wasn't all too keen to try his hand at other leisurely activities that had taken up his time before his forced containment.

Solace came to Harry at last in the form of the four grimy, sticky stone walls that encompassed him - and the crumbling matter they were constructed of. Making use again of the trusty nail, Harry began on the tedious task of picking away the crumbs of concrete segregating the stone blocks of wall together. After a good few hours of sweat-inducing work (or it could have been decades, for that's what it had felt like to Harry) a comfortable square inch had been chiselled from around the join of two stones, giving Harry a tiny view into the cell next to his own.

"Hello?" he cooed softly, blowing into the hole. "Anyone home?"

Eerie darkness met his squinting eye, an ominous black of nothingness. He couldn't see a damn thing.

But then, suddenly, a tight breath of air was drawn in and the unmistakable sounds of shuffling met his ears. The other prisoner crawled his way towards Harry's peep hole, fumbling and stumbling in the dim pitch of lacking light. A thud on the opposing side of wall to where Harry was pressed told him the other had sat, leaning on the chilled stone.

"Is someone there?" the voice asked him, deep and rasping.

"Yeah," Harry answered, sticking his index finger through the hole he had made joining their cells and wiggling it about.

"So, what's your name?"

"You can call me," Harry paused. It'd be stupid of him to let on his true identity - who knew whom it was that he spoke to, and what harbours they carried concerning the Boy Who Lived. "Pickles," Harry finished.

"Alright," the gruff voice answered, chuckling. "Then you can call me Padfoot."

Harry snickered - and he thought his alias had been lame.

"What are you in for, then?" Harry asked tentatively. It could only be he who'd get a psychopathic mass murderer for company, his new best life-long friend. Harry had never done well at the delicate social games of intricately acquiring friendship - he tended to scare people off a little too easily.

"Mass murder," replied the psychopath.

"Cool." Harry sighed. Just his bloody luck. "How long have you been here for?"

Harry thought the other must have shrugged. "Loose count, you know."

"Hmm." Harry rolled his eyes, his interest in the other fading fast.

The man calling himself Padfoot turned to peek through the hole, staring down at Harry. He could just barely make out contempt pale features, covered in a mass of dirty, floppy black hair. He shuddered as the teen began to suckle on his gouged lip, dried blood stained down his chin.

"How'd you land here then, kid?"

Harry contemplated lying, but thought better of it. What the fuck did he care, really? "Attempted burglary."

"Bugger me, you got a life sentence for that? Who were you robbing, Merlin?" the voice laughed bitterly, disbelieving. "Gringotts?"

Harry huffed. People just didn't understand him. They never did, never had. "And what's it to you if I were?"

"Bloody hell," Padfoot whistled.

"Anyway," Harry sniffed. "Life imprisonment my arse. I'll be out of here before you could wank."

"You wanna bet on that?"

Harry grumbled. "You got any grand master plans then, Poof?"

"That's Padfoot to you, Mr Pickles."

For the first time in his long, unjustly held fifteen years captivation at Azkaban, Sirius Black quite felt like he wanted (desperately) to leave - if only to escape his new odious company. Just his bloody luck.

... ... ...

Remus Lupin was at a loss. Firewhisky helped, a little.

He had never exactly been able to get along with Harry - hell, nobody did. The boy was impossible, a right pain in the rear. But still, Remus couldn't help but care for Harry ... after all, he was the only one the werewolf had left.

He wouldn't give up hope. Not while there was still life in Harry, not while he could retain even a flicker of faith that his surrogate nephew might turn a new leaf, might yet surprise them. He could still come good, Remus told himself time and time again, if only given the right incentive, the right opportunity. Remus could only pray now that he wouldn't be too late - Harry was crazy enough as it were.

A rescue mission was in order, pronto.

... ... ...

Lord Voldemort was a very happy man - that is, if you were able to categorise him under the biological reference belonging to the race of Homo Sapiens, which was indeed debatable.

Dumbledore had given up. The Ministry was a mess. Deatheater's frolicked about the streets of muggle London in broad daylight, picking off the filthy cretins at their pleasure. Why, he had as good as won already. Only the week before the Dark's enemies had thrown his arch nemesis, the only person with any hope of ever overthrowing him, away in Azkaban for life. Voldemort laughed - laughed and cried and rolled about his throne in a fit of euphoric bliss.

World domination was right around the corner, a mere breath away, wrapped securely around his long weedy fingers.

Life couldn't get any better.

But there was still a piece missing from his design, a last bug that had to be squashed.

For Lord Voldemort would never be able to quite sleep peacefully, to relax in his hard earned grandeur, until the child of prophecy had been completely eliminated from his picture. As long as he lived, there was always a chance ... there would always linger a slim possibility of defeat. Harry Potter must die.

A rescue mission was in order, pronto.

... ... ...

Sirius had thought his life couldn't get any worse.

That was before he had met Pickles.

The simple notion of having to endure the teens presence for the rest of his life brought tears of despair to his eyes. A newly found motivation heated Sirius' veins, pumped rejuvenating blood to his heart. He just had to get the fuck out of there.

"Why don't you give it a try for a bit, huh? I'm sick of this shit."

Sirius didn't deem such comment worthy of reply, not feeling it worth moving his jaw from where it lay resting, gaze locked to the cracking wooden panels of his cell door. From the other side of their stone wall (how Sirius cherished this impenetrable wall of separation now) he could hear Pickles thrashing about, slamming his fists onto a cold stone surface. The next thing he knew, Pickles' most prized possession - an old rusted nail - had been thrown through the peep hole into Sirius' cell.

My, the boy did have a temper.

"Give me back my nail!"

And he was fickle too.

"You're never going to be able to burrow out of here with that, trust me." Sirius snorted, rolling his eyes. "Not before you're a thousand years old - and even then you'd never make it swimming back to land."

"Just you wait and see!" the boy growled. "Give me back my fucking nail, thief!"

"You threw it to me," Sirius snapped back. "You can't have it now. Finders keepers." So, perhaps he was being just a little bit childish too. But Sirius had a better excuse - he could hardly remember the last time he'd spoken to another human, it had been that long. He wondered now why he had missed the interaction so much.

Pickles gave up, slumping onto the wall opposite to where Sirius perched.

For a while they were still in companionable silence, each absorbed in their own subdued level of torturous thoughts. It was as Sirius basked in a glorified vision of Pickles caught between hot stabbing flames that the first impressions of a plan reigned down on him.

"Have you got a lighter?" Sirius asked.

Pickles sniggered. "Of course I do - but stone doesn't burn. I've tried."

"No," Sirius agreed, his bark like laugh echoing across the cell, bouncing off the four walls. "But wood does."

... ... ...

The last thing Severus Snape ever wanted to do was retrieve Harry Potter from Azkaban. The boy could rot in hell, be stir fried by mudblood's and eaten for Ernie Macmillan's lunch for all he cared. Really, Severus did not give a shite about the Boy Who Lived (or, as he was just recently being referred to as in the Daily Prophet - The Boy Who's Insufferable). No, death by his Master's hand wouldn't be good enough, just wouldn't cut it. Severus wanted to watch Potter suffer.

But his Lord had other ideas and, rather unfortunately, Severus didn't have much choice in obeying.

Sabotage pulsed temptingly in his ear drums.

... ... ...

Remus had gone to all lengths to muster a rescuing force, not stopping to consider self preservation or dignity. He begged, he grovelled, he kissed shoes, wept piteously, bribed and badgered and blackmailed.

Dumbledore would hear none of it. Alastor Mad-Eye Mood only wanted his mad-eye back - and Remus, for the life of him, couldn't find where Harry had hidden it. The Weasley's refused to let him into their hovel-turned-home and Kingsley Shacklebolt (upon the first mentioning of Harry) went running.

No, Harry wasn't all too popular - in the end Nymphadora was all Remus could get.

... ... ...

Tonks would be lying if she said she didn't fancy Harry - he had that odd roughish form of appeal, the 'bad boy' attraction. That and her mother certainly wouldn't have approved, which was always enlightening. This bubble of fantasized reasoning was why she had agreed to accompany Remus on his suicidal-rescue fixation, but now, as thunder broke through the sky and lightening cracked its ominous threats, Tonks felt the first nagging ebbs of rash (too late) regret.

Herself and Lupin had flown in on broomsticks, over the murky waters of the English Channel and on to the small island that housed Britain's lone jail, Azkaban. It was raining, yes, and Tonks wasn't at all pleased - the wet mussed her spiked pink hair. Lupin had lead the way from there on in, often consulting a damp, ratty old map - Tonks had to question its reliability once or twice, as they trod by the same corridors and thrice narrowly avoided the Dementors' cafeteria. The duo climbed leagues of stairs, bypassed the prancing keepers and finally, after much time wasted, reached levels reserved and renowned for imprisoning only the most celebrated celebrities, captioned with the words 'Hic Intereo Thy Plurimus Praeclarus'.

Harry's cell wasn't hard to pick out at all - it shone to them like a beacon of burning flames.

Tonks blinked.

No, she hadn't been mistaken.

It was indeed a beacon of just that; heated, venomous fire.

... ... ...

Black coils of smoke were winding inside Harry's cell from the tiny peep hole, twisting in spirals of beautiful, baneful vapor.

Harry felt that (within great reason too) if he died of toxic smoke asphyxiation it would be entirely the Poof's fault. And he told him so, just for good measure. "Brilliant plan, Poof. That's one more to add to your list of murders. Quite an accomplishment if I do say so, with current circumstances in consideration."

"Shut it," Poof snapped back, and Harry could hear him flapping an ancient rag - they were supposedly sheets, but Harry disagreed with such terminology - vigorously blowing the fumes away from his own burning door and, yes, right through the little hole into Harry's cell.

"Oi!" Harry cried, rubbing his nose. "Watch where you flap that - "

"If I'm going down," Padfoot began, pure vehement loathing in his voice, "then I'm taking you with me."

... ... ...

"We were here first!" Remus cried, brandishing his wand furiously. "Piss off!"

Severus leered at him, snorting. "Tough luck."

The werewolf growled, barring his teeth - but taking a quick peep at the sheer amount of black attired, white-masked foes - and the army of joyful Dementor's, finally cottoning on to the intrusion, that were closing in around the two oblivious parties -

Remus felt there was only one thing for it, really.

"Run!"

... ... ...

Harry was feeling guilty.

Well, just a tad. Maybe. Slightly.

When the smoke had began to itch his nose Harry had taken his own rags (aka bed sheets) and stuffed a fraying edge into his peep hole, successfully blocking the trundles of smoke from entering into his cell. He had tried everything then - from spinning fast in circles to a poor imitation of Justin Hawkins - to block out the awful sounds of Poof's gagging and choking, but the nightmarish noises still managed to tug his ears, pull on his conscious.

Damn stupid morals.

"Are you alright, Poof?" Harry yelled though the wall. "Padfoot, can you hear me?"

Another bout of exaggeratedly dramatic coughing answered him.

Harry rolled his eyes, disdainful at such theatrics. "Well, I wont lie to you then. It wasn't particularly nice knowing you at all."

Padfoot began to pound desperate fists on his wall. "Help! Help me!" he cried, choking on his own words.

Harry had never (and he was quite relieved to be free of such a constraint, honestly) suffered from anything remotely tall of a 'hero complex'. But Padfoot's piteous wails really did irk him.

Harry sneered, relaxing in the comforting sounds of lapping flames, the crackle of burning, the heat of the fire. He leant back on his tattered mattress, not just a little aroused, and felt himself immerse in the wonders of such taunting, enticing brightness - Poof rather carefully forgotten.

... ... ...

Bellatrix had heard her Master give the order to that greasy bastard, had known that Snape would not follow through - and so she had done the only thing she could have, really. Honest.

Coming in on Nott's 'borrowed' flying carpet, the Deatheater - one of Voldemort's most worthy, most trusted, most highly acclaimed - had set about on her own mission to rescue her clingy lover-boy. Heavy lidded eyes flicked from the compass on her lap, and Bellatrix cast another specifically modified pointer spell. Drawing closer to the towering block, she realized she needn't have bothered - the whisks of noxious smoke was a dead giveaway.

... ... ...

Sirius had lost hope before then, many years past, when he had thought of death with longing, with subservient, negotiable clause. He didn't think he quite enjoyed the feeling, the queasy churn of his stomach, the dull thudding ache in his heart. Sprawled on the floor of his cell, Pickles' cigarette lighter cradled miserably in his trembling hand, Sirius eyed the flames that continuously consumed his door, unhindered - his only escape out - with piteous, grudging depression.

He considered offing himself right there and then.

He considered calling out to the guards, the Dementors', to come gliding to his rescue.

He couldn't work out which option sounded less appealing than the other.

That was when the wall behind him, just mere inches to the left of his shoulder, exploded inwards to mounds of dusty rubble, stone flown hither. Sirius jumped up, crying out at the terrible sight to befall him -

Bellatrix - whom appeared momentarily confused by Harry's rugged, disheveled appearance (he'd only been in Azkaban three days, after all) - shrugged, realizing her mistake. "I'm a nudist - what do you expect?"

"I like you naked!" Pickles called out from his own cell.

Bella winked. Sirius vomited.

... ... ...

"Well, are we getting out of this shithouse or what?" Harry asked, jumping onto Bella's flying carpet and wrapping his filthy hands around her waist. Before either could protest, Sirius leaped up behind them.

The trio flew away into the sunset, alongside chattering flocks of birds and right through the stormy grey clouds, on henceforth to victoriously encounter another of life's great adventures. Twice Pickles had to remind Padfoot that is was supposedly good luck to get shat on. Damn pigeons.

... ... ...

Albus Dumbledore popped another aphrodisiac centered lemon drop into his watery mouth, heaving a great sigh of relieved frustration, and yet again started to masterfully plot. It was what he did best, after all.

Where exactly Harry was, Albus hadn't the faintest clue, but that was not important -

The Light might just be alright yet.

Maybe. Perhaps.

... ... ...

Lord Voldemort was beyond livid.

Harry Potter would pay - preferably by way of luminous sickly emerald green.

But for now he'd have to contend with the sniveling Snape.

... ... ...

It was a lovely day for a picnic, Harry thought.

And they looked like a right old family then too, the three of them sitting cross-legged on the red tartan rug, looking off from the cracking, ancient pier and into the great oceans off Columbia, waves pounding to the rhythm of their newfound free heartbeats. Eternal, perpetual waves licked the shoreline. Harry bet he could gaze into the glorious waves forever - but a moment later he changed his mind, growing bored of the sight.

Harry passed Bella the whipped cream.

Bellatrix passed Sirius the marmalade.

Sirius passed Harry the tub of asparagus, grinning evilly.

When they left, Harry set the pier alight. He said it was to eliminate any evidence that they had been there. Sirius helped him. Bellatrix thought, secretly, they both just enjoyed it. And she thought she might too.

... ... ...

Remus Lupin was at a loss. Firewhisky helped, a little.

He married Tonks the following July - on Harry's birthday.

... ... ...

When Voldemort took the Ministry, no-one could stop him.

When Voldemort took Europe, no-one that cared was left.

When Voldemort succeeded in his quest for world domination, he celebrated with muggle champagne.

No-one dared slate the action rather hypocritical.

But Harry Potter still lurked somewhere unknown, out of his reach, out of his hold - and Tom Riddle never slept. Never. A year later and the chronic insomnia had taken its toll, the Great Dark Lord giving in to fatigue, to rest, to a solitary and sleepless death.

No-one mourned.

Harry Potter, previously prevailed under titles such as The Boy Who's Insufferable, was hailed again the savior, the hero, the Chosen One of the Wizarding World. All charges held against him were dropped.

Lapdog Lucius Malfoy held a 'welcoming home' party in his manor, but no-one showed up.

Minerva McGonagall put up a bounty for anyone to catch sight of the green eyed, black haired youth.

She got many letters in return, but none of them lead to any further findings.

The search went on to no avail.

In the year 2001, five years after he had disappeared, Harry Potter won the Most Charming Smile award, hosted by the /Daily Prophet/. But no-one really knew what he looked like anymore.

The year after he was crowned deceased by the Ministry.

... ... ...

Years went by unnoticed, stumbling on and on.

Eventually people began to forget.

And then one day late in August a new Astronomy Professor arrived at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

He spread graffiti over the walls of his office and threatened late homework with the penalty of certain death - by way of burning. He liked fire. He liked flying. He liked the sky, and the sea, and - for no reason in particular - hated redheads. Strangely, he also carried an odd appreciation for asparagus. He was not married, but he did have twelve children of his own. They were all named after the stars.

He confided to Minerva, one chilly evening between round goblets of warmed pumpkin juice, that he thought of Hogwarts as home, that he had always known he would return. Minerva didn't know how to reply.

... ... ...

Albus Dumbledore laughed, turning over in his grave.

Tome Riddle, watching the scene from below, glowered, grounding his molars together with a nasty crunch.

... ... ...

finis.


A/N: Whoola. Enjoy?

Oh, and a little translation: 'Hic Intereo Thy Plurimus Praeclarus', meaning Here Die The Most Famous; 'Esse Quam Videri' - To be, rather than to seem. Please don't quote me on that, either - my latin skills fall entirely to the all-powerful Google. Thanks for reading ;)
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