Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Escape2 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: Never owned it, never will.
A/N: Many thanks to Ham and LunaMoon224 for looking over this for me. :)
This will be my last update for the next two weeks. I'm leaving on a trip tomorrow, and won't be back until the 30th. Have fun, and don't do anything I wouldn't until I'm back :D
Harry climbed over the fence to number three with ease. Dudley had a bit more difficulty, but with Harry's help, he managed. From there, they tip-toed their way out of Privet Drive. Harry motioned Dudley to go first, and the boy nodded. He was still looking back at Harry, and his foot hit a rock, which clinked its way on the pavement.
Harry swore, and prepared to cover them both with his Invisibility Cloak. Unfortunately, he didn't have the time.
"/Lumos,/" a familiar voice said, bathing them in yellow light. "Harry?" Nymphadora Tonks, Order member and Auror asked.
"Shit!" Harry cursed, taking out his wand and sending a stunner towards Tonks. "Dudley, run!"
He cast another stunner, and ran after Dudley. They both knew where they had to go. As he skidded around a corner, a blue hex hit the pavement where he'd been a second before. "Harry, wait!" the Auror called, only to curse as she was hit with an Impediment jinx.
Harry caught up to Dudley, and the two of them ran to the bus station. By the time they got there, Dudley was barely able to breathe, and Harry was gasping for breath. They hid there, knowing that there wasn't anything else they could do. They had to wait until the first bus and leave with that one.
The two of them spent two hours flinching at every sound, and constantly looking around. Harry berated himself for thinking that they would be able to leave without getting seen.
Still, they were still free, and hopefully the Order wouldn't let the news that he'd disappeared reach the public. Harry planned to leave to Griffin Island through the Floo at the Leaky Cauldron. It wasn't the best solution, but he didn't know any other places where he could have access to Floo without being seen or questioned.
The bus ride was uneventful, although both boys were twitchy. Once in London, Harry relaxed a bit. It was more familiar ground here. They walked most of the way to the Leaky Cauldron, seeing no need to wait for a bus if they knew the way, which Harry did.
They ducked in an Alley before reaching the Cauldron, and Harry covered them both with the Cloak. It wasn't an easy fit, and they had to bend their knees, but it covered them.
Dodging the Muggle walkers, Harry guided Dudley inside the small pub. It was still very early morning, and the tables were empty. Tom was at the bar, and he didn't even glance up as the door opened and closed on its own.
Trying to make as little noise as possible, the two teens walked to the fireplace. Looking around, Harry decided to risk, and took off the cloak. Tom nodded at him, but kept silent.
Dudley had been instructed briefly in the use of Floo powder, and he took a pinch from the bowl on the mantelpiece. Hesitantly, he stepped into the green flames, and called out "Griffin Island!"
Harry was about to do the same when the door leading from Diagon alley into the Cauldron burst open and a frantic Tonks ran in. "Harry! Wait, where are you going?" she yelled, jumping towards him.
Harry hurried into the flames, and called out the destination. As the last syllable left his mouth, a body smashed into his and they were both spinning. The trip was Harry's worst Floo trip he'd ever had. He his hit elbows as they were spinning, and by the way Tonks was clinging to him, she was hurt too.
Finally, it was over. Harry did his best to keep his balance as the fireplace spit him out, but failed, and was thrown on the floor, hurting his already bleeding elbows. Tonks fell next to him with a thump.
Dudley was standing with his back to them, looking in front of him. Harry followed his gaze, and forgot all about his anger towards Tonks and the pain in his arms.
They were standing in a large room, half the size of the Hogwarts Great Hall. It had arched windows with stained glass panels. The walls were made of ancient stone. Tapestries hung from above, depicting plants and creatures. There was a long table in the middle of the hall, with a dozen chairs arrayed around it. The table was the only thing on the smooth, polished stone floor. There were no doors that he could see, but the tapestries could have easily hidden any number of doors.
The wall with the fireplace they had entered through was opposite the entrance. There was a pair of large, dark wood doors, and they were open, letting in a faint breeze that smelled of the sea. From where they were, they could see a stone path leading away from the doors, turning left after a few yards. Small bushes dotted the edges of the stone path. Straight ahead, the land stopped abruptly, and all they could see was the dark sea, meeting with the sky in the distance.
Harry stared for a long minute before a noise from Tonks attracted his attention. She was trying to get on her hands and knees, but had trouble moving one arm. A quick look showed that it was broken, and Harry mentally cursed himself for not taking more precautions.
She shouldn't have been able to follow them here.
With Dudley's reluctant help, he got Tonks to her feet and towards the table. She collapsed in a chair, holding her broken arm to her chest. By the way she moved, Harry guessed that she was more hurt than that.
"H-Harry?" she asked. "Where are we?"
"A place where you weren't supposed to be able to enter," he snapped. His temper was running short. He was hurting, he was angry, and Tonks was hurt.
Tonks flinched at his tone, then winced as the movement jolted her arm. She tried to keep as still as possible, but it was obvious that the pain was going up, rather than down. She bowed her head, taking a few deep breaths before addressing Harry again.
"Harry, I need to know where I am so I can call -" she stopped speaking.
Harry turned a chair so it was facing her, while Dudley walked towards the exit from the hall. "Don't go very far, Dud," he called, before turning his attention to Tonks, who was still silent. Her hair had turned to a deep black, and was long enough to hide her face.
"Tonks?" he called in a gentle, but determined tone.
She didn't answer for a few moments; her shoulders stiffened and she raised her head. He could see the tears in her eyes, and it abated his anger.
"Tonks, who else knows that I'm gone?" he asked, deciding to get the important stuff out of the way, before trying to see what he could do to help her. She was an Auror, and while in obvious pain, nothing major seemed to be wrong.
"Nobody," she answered in a resigned tone. "And most likely nobody will, until the first of September."
"We were told to stand guard outside the house. I've been on day guard for a full week now, and unless we enter the house or you exit, there is no sign that you live there," she explained. "Unless something changes in our orders, nobody will realize that you are missing."
Harry nodded a thoughtful expression on his face. "Why didn't you tell anybody that I ran away?"
The young woman looked down. "I got put on guard duty because I messed up a mission for Dumbledore. I - I don't want to be kicked out of the Order!"
Harry rocked back. /Kicked out? /"Kicked out? Dumbledore would kick you out of the Order because of a mistake?"
Tonks nodded, a sad expression on her face. "We can't afford to make mistakes, Harry. We're in the middle of a war, and mistakes cost lives..." she trailed off at the expression on Harry's face.
"Like my mistake cost Sirius his life," Harry whispered.
Hesitantly, Tonks began to talk. "Harry, you must not blame yourself for Sirius' death. He knew what he was getting into, and should have known better than to play with one of Voldemort's best Death Eaters.
"He was a grown man, capable of making his own decisions, Harry. He wouldn't want you blaming yourself. I know that he wouldn't blame you if he were here. He would probably thwack you, though," she said with a small grin; her face sobered and acquired a pensive expression. "He would tell you that yes, you made a mistake. You have to learn from it, and never do it again. But focusing on our mistakes is bad, Harry. I'm an Auror; I know what I'm talking about. Like my Auror supervisor used to say, 'Life is a lesson, learn from it'."
Harry surprised her by saying. "Yeah, I know, and I'm not blaming myself for Sirius' death. Yes, it was my mistake, but it's not my fault. Not entirely, anyway. Sirius' letter drove that point home," he said ruefully.
Tonks' head snapped up, and she winced at the pain in her arm. It was a dull pain, but she knew she'd have to get some treatment as soon as possible. "He left you a letter?" she asked.
Harry nodded. "Along with many other things," he said. Slowly, he took the well-read parchment from his pocket and gave it to Tonks. She shot him a grateful look before starting to read
This letter should be delivered to you in case of my death. Since you're reading it, I'm dead. /I can't say how sorry I am for that. I hoped that we could win this war, and that you and me would live happy lives, where I would tell you of my adventures and you would show me flying tricks. /
Unfortunately, it was not to be. Again, I can't say how sorry I am for that. As you probably know already, I left almost everything to you. You're a good boy... no, you're a good man. I'm proud I got to know you, Harry. Your parents would be proud.
And now that all that is out of the way let me tell you about war. I realize that a letter isn't the best place for this, but I'm afraid I won't have time to do this while I'm alive.
War is evil, Harry. Plain evil. Nothing can destroy a man like war can. Nothing can destroy a nation like war. This is the second war I'm fighting in, and I'm afraid I will not see it end. I feel as though we're fighting somebody else's war, that we're just a distraction until the one who is fated to win this comes into play.
Something deep inside me tells me that it's you, but I'm afraid to say those words, I'm afraid to even think them. You're young, Harry... when I look at you, I see a small bundle of blankets that I was afraid I'd drop. I see bright, innocent eyes, gazing at me with happiness.
I'm so, so sorry that I couldn't be there for you as you grew up, Harry.
You have turned out to be a great man, Harry, and I feel privileged to have known you.
I planned to keep this letter short, but here I am, nearing the one-foot mark and I'm still writing... I guess I had more to say than I first thought.
Fight for what you believe, Harry. No other goal is better than that. Use whatever means at your disposal, and win. War isn't about honor. There is nothing honorable in cutting your opponent in two. There is nothing honorable about going down from a Cruciatus.
Remember that, Harry. In war, people will make mistakes, and people will die. They chose to be in the war, knowing that they might die. When you see a friend going down, fight harder. They won't be happy if you join them in death because you decided to stop and gape.
Enough about that, Harry. Know that I love you, and that I will be watching over you.
P.S.: The Order is charged with guarding you. I suggest you take advantage of that, if you want to go on an adventure. If it's something the more official members would frown on, ask Remus or Tonks. They will help you if you explain your reasons to them, even if others wouldn't understand.
Tonks handed the letter back to Harry, who took it with a sad smile.
"He really loved you," she said.
Harry nodded. They stood in a comfortable silence for a few minutes, until Dudley came running inside, yelling as if all the demons in hell were chasing him.