Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Escape3 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 any related stuff.
A/N: Many Thanks to Ham and LunaMoon224 for betaing this for me.
A hand was shaking him awake. Harry rolled over and mumbled something unintelligible.
"Harry! Wake up, Harry," the voice continued. With a grunt, Harry raised his head and blinked blearily. Dudley was standing on the edge of his bed with a hand on his shoulder, and was still shaking it slightly, even though Harry was clearly awake.
"'m awake, Dud," Harry mumbled, shaking his head to clear it. He ignored Dudley's expression and moved higher on the bed, leaning his back against the wall.
"So, what's so urgent that you had to wake me up at," he glanced at the clock on the desk, "six in the morning?"
Dudley shrugged, his expression blank, but Harry saw that every few seconds he would glance at the two bags he had left on the floor, next to his bed. He grinned at Dudley.
"Okay, let's see what I bought. Pass me one of the bags."
They spent the next half-hour separating the clothing in more or less equal parts. Harry just threw most of it bag in the bag; he planned to leave as soon as possible, there was no point in spreading it around. He'd just have to pack it anyway.
He heard a soft sound, almost a whimper, and he looked at Dudley in alarm. The boy was clutching his share of the clothes to his chest, and looked about to cry. Harry gaped for a second, then made as if to move towards Dudley, but hesitated. He had no idea what the boy was thinking, or what could have brought such a reaction. And he had never been good at comforting crying people, something Dudley was very close to becoming.
"Um... Dud?" he asked slowly.
Dudley sniffed loudly, clutching the clothes tighter to him. After almost a minute filled with an uncomfortable silence, he got to his feet and hurried out of the room. He did throw back a strangled "Thank you" as he closed the door behind him, and Harry shook his head, bemused. Dudley was behaving weirder and weirder.
He got out of bed, changed his clothing and ducked in the bathroom for a quick wash. When he was done washing up, he went to the kitchen and started breakfast. He made more than enough for all four of them, and took enough food for him and Dudley to his room.
He hurried down the stairs when he heard his uncle move to the bathroom and set the table for the two adults. He waited impatiently for the two of them to come to breakfast. He had a book to study.
That thought gave him pause. He was actually impatient to start studying. In the summer holiday, which was even worse. ‘Hermione would be proud,' he thought, then frowned. He hadn't really thought about his friends after leaving school. Were they all fine? He knew that Hermione still had several potions that she had to take regularly, and that the brains had done Ron quite a lot of damage.
He wasn't particularly worried about the lack of letters from them. After all, the owls were likely to be intercepted. Still, he'd sent Hedwig on two trips already, with his "Everything is fine" letter, and she had been fine on both trips.
Vernon's heavy descent down the stairs shook him out of his thoughts. He'd think about it later.
"Good morning, Uncle Vernon," Harry said politely, his voice devoid of any emotion. His Uncle grunted in response and started shoveling food down his mouth.
Petunia came down a while later, and started eating without appearing to notice Harry's presence. He waited until they were done and washed the dishes, after which he quietly retreated to his room. A silent knock on Dudley's room prompted the boy to open the door enough for Harry to slip a plate of food inside. From what he could see of the room, Dudley had started trying on the new clothes. The piece of floor Harry could see was more or less hidden under Dudley's old clothing, which didn't fit either of them anymore.
"Thanks, Harry," Dudley whispered with a tremor in his voice, as he took the plate of eggs and bacon from Harry's hand.
"You're welcome, Dudley," he replied, smiling. Once Dudley closed the door, Harry went back in his room and threw himself on the bed with the two books and the catalogue.
He skimmed over the index of the book about Dementors, and saw that it was little more than what they had learned in their third year. There were a few notes on the Patronus Charm, as well as the incantation and wand movement. He found it funny that the last few pages were filled with descriptions of different chocolates, from various companies.
The book on wards - Keeping It Out - was a much more interesting read. It wasn't a thick book, but it was early afternoon by the time he finished it, including the one hour break he had taken to make and eat lunch. There wasn't anything on blood wards or imprisonment charms in the book, but the Fidelius was outlined, as well as other specific secrecy wards.
While not helping him in his plans for escape, the book gave him some ideas on what to do once he was away from the Dursleys.
He put both books in his trunk, next to the few textbooks he still had in one piece. Somehow, his textbooks ended up all ripped and torn by the end of the school year, and he'd thrown a large part of them away because he didn't felt he needed them anymore. At times he was really, really glad Hermione didn't know about that
The books taken care of, he started browsing through the catalogue. The ordering instructions were on the first page, and seemed simple enough. All he had to do was fill the magical form at the end of the catalogue with the desired book codes and sign his name.
He stopped reading there and looked at the form. It was indeed, very simple-looking. He saw a square with the Gringotts logo on it near the bottom of the form, and he thought it must be for payment. Looking back at the instructions, he discovered he'd been right. After signing his name and filling all necessary fields on the form, he had to place his Gringotts key on the square, and the money would be deducted from his vault.
Once secure that he would be able to order and pay for the books, he looked at the index. The books were separated into categories, several of which caught his eyes. Defense against the Dark Arts was one, as well as Dangerous spells/. He glanced briefly at the /Transfiguration and Various Transforming spells section, and sighed sadly at the number of animagus-centered books. He didn't have time for that now. He would buy one later and see if he had the ability. The General defensive techniques and spellwork section had several books that he noted down, planning to order them. He flipped several pages at once, wanting to get to the form, and froze when he saw where it had opened.
The words Various Sexuality Books screamed at him from the page. Apparently, whoever had designed the catalogue had deemed it proper to have an illustrated section. And had chosen the one on sex to be it.
He closed it as quickly as he could, and looked around guiltily. He glared at Hedwig, daring her to say anything. She just blinked at him, and he blushed harder.
Sure, he'd seen naked women before. After all, he was the one who had to clean the house, and that included cleaning in the bathroom. Dudley was not good at hiding his magazines, and Harry had seen enough of them to know what men and women found pleasurable.
He had even seen one magical magazine of the sort. He still blushed at the memory, of what the two witches in the picture were doing.
He filled the form quickly, and pressed his key to the Gringotts marked spot. A few sparks flew off the page, and then it was clear again. According to the clerk, it would take a few hours for his order to be processed and delivered. He put the catalogue in his trunk, hiding it deep under a stack of robes and his potions cauldron. He did not want anybody to see that catalogue, especially the last few pages.
Out of activities, and not feeling like spending time with Dudley, Harry stretched on the bed and thought about the changes his life was going through. He was planning to leave the Dursleys, and take Dudley with him. He'd run away from them once, in his third year, but that had been a hasty decision, made more out of fear than anything else. This time it was planned deliberately.
Strangely, he didn't feel fear at the though of leaving. He was a bit apprehensive of Dumbledore's reaction, but he'd decided that Dumbledore had a lot of explaining to do before Harry could even begin to trust him again. He grinned a bit evilly at the thought of interrogating Dumbledore. He had a long list of questions.
Why had Dumbledore hidden the prophecy from him in his first year? Harry had asked him, and it was the perfect opportunity for Dumbledore to come clean.
If his reason was true - that he cared too much for Harry - what about the curse on Dudley, and his words to the Dursleys? Had everything been a lie? Or was it a recent change? It had been his fifth year in which Dumbledore had been cold and distant.
He shook his head in frustration. It was no point building wild theories on the few facts he had. Solving the mystery that Dumbledore had become could wait for a few weeks.
Determined not to think about Dumbledore anymore, he jumped out of bed and walked over to Hedwig, stroking her feathers for a while, focusing on the softness he could feel. His mind cleared of his frustration and all thoughts of Dumbledore vanished.
Almost an hour later, he felt more relaxed than ever, in his entire life. Stroking Hedwig's feathers, while making the owl blink at him and make a sound that he took as pleasure, was also calming him down, and clearing his mind.
Calming his mind.
He practically dived to his trunk and the catalog, and quickly opened it to the /Defensive techniques and spellwork/. To his disappointment, there were no books on Occlumency, and he threw it on the floor, muttering a curse.
He needed to learn Occlumency, if only to avoid a repeat of the Department of Mysteries. He doubted Voldemort would try such a thing again, but maybe Occlumency would help with the pain in his scar. It hurt constantly now, and Harry had learned to ignore the pain, but it was annoying.
He began pacing, muttering about stupid Snape and stupid Dumbledore and stupid Occlumency and worked his way from there.
Lost in his ranting, he missed the very brief sparkle of mischievous intelligence that appeared in Hedwig's eyes. He also missed her rather forced take-off from her perch. But he did see her drop to the catalogue and snatch at the paper with her claws. Hedwig circled the room and landed back on her perch, and stared with a rather put-out expression at the world in general.
Harry picked up the catalogue and went to close it, when he noticed at what page it was open. In bold lettering, it proclaimed: Rare and Unique books.
He quickly scanned the few books in the list, and froze as he saw: Do You Mind? A Complete Guide to Protecting One's Thoughts.
Shaking himself, he quickly ordered the book. He hoped they still had it in stock. With the catalogue back at the bottom of the trunk, and after a quick dinner - he even managed to smuggle something up for Dudley - he was ready for bed, despite the early hour. Lying in bed, he focused on feeling again like he had felt while running his hand over Hedwig's soft feathers. Slowly, the feeling of emptiness, of clearness returned to him, and he fell asleep with a smile on his face.