Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Escape1 Reviews
Harry comes back from his fifth year to a changed household. What happened to Dudley, and why is he so desperate to make Harry go away? Post-OotP, mild changes to ending of OotP, AU, rating just to...
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or anything related.
Many thanks to Ham and LunaMoon224 for looking over this before it was posted.
Had a bit of problem uploading this one, damned HTML code kept popping out. Meh, it just took longer :D I hope you like it, and reviews are appreciated, even if you think it's predictable. I did start out with s story that I knew was going to be full of cliches and the like. Anyway, thanks for reading. :)
Harry bowed his head, letting his bangs obscure his scar, as he left the huge, white bulk of Gringotts behind him. He stifled a grin as he thought of Triphook and the goblin's advice. He had proved to be very helpful, showing a side of goblins Harry never thought he'd see.
His mood turned more serious as he thought of the subjects he and Triphook had discussed. His inheritance from Sirius had been one of them, as well as his parents' will.
Harry wondered what had driven Dumbledore to do all the things he'd done. Entering Flourish & Blotts, he thought about the things Triphook had revealed to him.
Apparently, his parents' will declared that in case of their death, Sirius Black would be his guardian. Harry chuckled at one particular phrase, almost hearing his father's voice saying it. "No matter the legal status of Mr. Black", the will said. It had been the only thing preventing Dumbledore from assuming the guardianship himself. Since Sirius was in no position to act as a guardian, Dumbledore had acted and Harry had been sent to the Dursleys.
But now Sirius was dead, and his will had become valid. Triphook had outlined the terms of Sirius' will to Harry, sparing him of the task of fighting his way through the legalese. The terms were simple. Most of the Order members received a sum of money, usually in the thousands of Galleons. Remus received a much larger sum of money, as well as a trunk filled with keepsakes from Sirius' Hogwarts days. The rest went to Harry, to do with it what he felt like. It was a staggering amount, and it was only the ready available cash. Triphook had said that included in the Black inheritance were a number of investments in major wizarding companies.
But the best part, Harry felt, about Sirius' will, was the two parchments rolled up in his pocket. One was a letter from Sirius himself, which he hadn't read yet. The other parchment was a perfectly legal decree of emancipation, on the name of Harry James Potter, son of James Potter and Lily Potter. He had no idea how Sirius had managed to do it, but now, as far as the law and any authorities were concerned, he was an adult, with all responsibilities and freedoms that entailed. The best side of the emancipation was the fact that he was allowed to perform magic out of school. Triphook had advised him to wait twenty-four hours before attempting any magic, to give time to the Ministry clerks to process the paperwork. For him, a day didn't matter much. He'd lasted through several summers; he'd manage another day.
He knew that he still had to escape any plans Dumbledore had for him, but he didn't want to think about that for a few hours. It was time he enjoyed himself, for a change. With a small smile, he approached the counter.
"Hello sir, how may I help you?" the witch tending the counter asked. In front of her, on the counter, were a few pamphlets that, from the look of them, described basic home protection and first aid methods. Harry took one of each, noticing that the pile didn't seem to diminish. Enchanted, of course.
"Besides, these," he said, lifting the pamphlets, "do you have any books that focus on protection spells, such as wards and containment spells?"
The witch - Claire, if her nametag was right - touched her wand to a blank parchment, whispering several words. Harry didn't understand the words that appeared, but figured it was in code, so that only employees could read it.
"We only have a book on general wards in stock, sir, but our mail order catalogue has a large selection of books, including several more obscure texts. The catalogue is available at the price of two galleons. If you buy one today, you receive a free copy of 'Dementors and You: Think Happy Thoughts!'," she finished in a practiced tone.
Harry grinned at her and nodded. "I'll take the catalogue, and the book you have in stock."
After paying for his purchase, he ducked into the Magical Menagerie for some owl treats for Hedwig. He also bought a sack enchanted with a permanent lightweight charm from one of the street merchants, and stuffed his old bag in that. Swinging the sack over his shoulder, he headed for the Leaky Cauldron, and the exit from Diagon Alley. He would have to buy himself a lunch, and a few full sets of clothing, for him and Dudley.
He looked longingly at Florean Fortesque's as he passed by, but he couldn't afford to spend more time in the Alley; he didn't want to be recognized. It would mess with his plans. Dumbledore must not find out that he'd been out of the Dursley household.
When he arrived at the exit from Diagon Alley, he glanced back and marveled at the normalness of it all. Sure, the people were tense and wary, and mothers kept their children close; but aside from that, it looked as if it was business as usual.
Shaking his head, he rushed through the Cauldron, exiting in Muggle London. Once there, he took out a napkin from his pocket, and peered at the slightly smudged directions Mrs. Jones had given him.
Stopping every now and then to double-check his hand-made map, he made his way to a clothes shop that, according to Mrs. Jones, had reasonable prices and quality merchandise.
The shop wasn't very hard to find, thanks to the directions he'd received. A bored looking clerk was lounging in a folding chair behind the counter, and didn't give any sign of having noticed Harry entering.
Shrugging, Harry made his way through the racks of clothing, selecting clothing that looked about right in size, for both him and Dudley. A few short minutes later, he was dropping a handful of clothes on the counter, bravely ignoring two giggling girls that were checking out the lingerie side of the store. He'd avoided that part, save for grabbing a few pairs of boxers.
The now-grumpy clerk sorted the clothing into two large bags and named a price that Harry was sure had been inflated by quite a bit. He didn't mind; he had more than enough money on him.
Laden with the two bags, one of which now contained the charmed sack, he made his way back to the train station. Halfway there, he cursed himself and hailed one of the taxis that seemed to be ever-present.
The driver, an old, bearded man chuckled at the relieved sigh Harry let out while sitting in the front seat.
"Nothing better than a car to get you where you want to go," he said.
Harry nodded, grinning at him. "At the moment, I want to go to King's Cross Station, and stuff myself."
The man eyed him carefully, before driving off. "I know a great place where a young man can sit down and eat at his leisure," he said. "It's a two minute walk from the station. If ye want, I can take you there."
Harry accepted his suggestion gratefully, and left him a large tip. The man had been right. The small diner was great. The menu didn't have many products on it, but the quality made up for it. He devoured the food set in front of him, completely unnoticed in the small place. The tables were almost always full, with two waitresses constantly moving between the kitchen and the tables. There were lively, cheerful conversations going on everywhere, and Harry savored the large sundae he'd ordered for dessert, taking his time to enjoy himself.
He left the small shop with a sigh, resolving to get back if he had the chance.
He wandered around London for two hours, drinking in the sights. He was chewing on a Mars bar when he arrived at the bus station from where he was to leave for Surrey. The return trip was far less enjoyable than the trip to London had been. In the front rows a couple had decided they couldn't wait until getting home to resolve domestic conflicts, and their words rang throughout the bus.
Several people attempted to calm the fighting man and woman down, but nothing seemed to work. Sighing, Harry leaned his forehead against the cool window, and tried to count the trees that flew past.
After losing track of his count several times, and saying the same number three times in a row, Harry gave up on tree counting. He flexed his numb legs, and rubbed his eyes. It was evening already, and he was tired.
Finally, with a screech of un-oiled brakes, the buss stopped at the station in Little Whinging, Surrey, and Harry gratefully hopped down.
Under the cover of the night and his Invisibility cloak, he sneaked back to number four and crept upstairs to his room. He'd talk to Dudley in the morning.
He didn't bother to change; he just dropped on the bed and let the welcomed sleep wash over him.