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, sixt-year story, mild changes to ending of OotP, A...
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter. It should be clear by now, you know?
A/N: Thanks to Ham and LunaMoon224 for betaing for me.
With a yawn, Harry rolled out of bed and entered the small bathroom for a quick shower. The warm water helped wake him up, and he walked out of the bathroom feeling considerably more refreshed and awake.
He dressed in a pair of jeans and a dark gray shirt then walked out of his room to meet Tonks and Dudley for breakfast.
After he'd fallen apart on her the previous night, Tonks had gently coaxed him to his room and out him to bed. He vaguely remembered her stroking his hair as he fell asleep.
"Wotcher, Harry," Tonks called from her place at the table, next to Dudley. Dudley grunted a greeting of his own; he quickly turned to vanishing his meal.
"Morning guys," Harry said, sitting down across from them and filling his plate with some fried eggs and a few pieces of ham.
There was a comfortable silence between them as they ate. When they were done, Dudley excused himself and went outside to do more exploring. Tonks was confused for a bit, but then Harry explained that Dudley had been locked in his room for almost a year, and she nodded in understanding. Of course he would want to be in the open air as much as possible.
The dirty dishes had vanished once they had concluded with their breakfast, and the table was clear. Tonks was leaning back in her chair, looking at the ceiling, seemingly unaware of him.
She blinked and turned to look at him. "Yes, Harry?"
He fidgeted for a few seconds in his chair. "Look, about last night, I -"
"Don't worry about it, Harry. I'm glad I was there to help you. When I get back to England, Dumbledore will get yelled at. He had no right to do everything he's done. How could he do that to an innocent child..." she trailed off. She shook the dark thoughts off and smiled weakly at him.
"What are you going to do now, Harry?" she asked in an effort to change the subject.
Harry put his elbows on the table and leaned forward, his forehead creased as he thought. "I'm going to train, especially in Occlumency, if I can find out how. I need to work on my spells, too. At the Department of Mysteries I only used a few spells, and I need to know more spells than those."
She nodded and motioned for him to continue, interested in his plans.
"I suppose I'll have to do some physical training too," he said thoughtfully. "Dudley might help with that, he used to take boxing lessons, and I'm sure he learned something there."
"Sounds like a good plan," the young Auror said. "I will help you as much as I can, but I'm afraid there isn't much I can do without my wand."
"Much can be done with, and more can be done without."
Harry and Tonks both jumped as the Keeper walked into the room and sat at the table.
"Good morning, Young Master," he said, nodding to Harry. "Changeling," he said, addressing Tonks, "why do you have such great need of a stick?"
Tonks looked angry for a moment, then relaxed. "I cannot cast spells without it," she explained and the old man nodded.
Rising to his feet, he walked to the fireplace. The small flame in it turned green and he stuck his hand in. After a few moments he withdrew it, holding a familiar wand.
Tonks ran to him and took it gently, with an expression of joy and gratitude on her face. She raised it and Harry shot to his feet, his own wand out. Before he could say anything Tonks lowered her wand and looked at him in apology. "Sorry, I was just going to shoot off some sparks."
He dropped back in his chair but kept his wand in hand, even if it was pointed at the floor now. Tonks walked and sat in the chair next to his while the Keeper moved another chair so they could sit in a triangle.
"I meant what I said yesterday, Harry. I won't send any message to anybody," she said seriously.
Harry looked in her eyes and after a moment she turned them into a light grey, holding his gaze. A minute later, he nodded and smiled at her.
"Sorry," he said simply.
She just grinned at him. "Don't be sorry. If I were in your place I would have sent several curses just in case."
They both chuckled and the Keeper smiled at the interaction, before his face turned serious and he addressed them.
"Young Master, I promised yesterday I shall teach you," he said slowly. Harry nodded. "I know that you will want to do other training too, so I shall come back before sunset, and begin our tale then."
With that, the Story Keeper walked out, leaving Harry and Tonks behind. They spent a few minutes going over their training plans before going outside to find Dudley. The boy was near the forest, and came running when he saw them.
"This place is brilliant!" he panted, throwing himself on the soft grass, eliciting grins from Harry and Tonks.
They were sitting on the grass a few yards from the stream. After Dudley regained his breath they outlined their training plans to him and he agreed to help, even if he seemed wary to be around so much magic.
They spent the time before lunch exploring the island, and found little unusual. They didn't hear many animals, except for the occasional rabbit and fox, and they didn't enter the forest.
After a very filling lunch the three moved to a clear part of the large hall. Harry and Tonks spent two hours trying to hex each other senseless. Most times Tonks won, although Harry managed to stun her once. While they were dueling, Dudley watched, dodging the occasional spell that went his way.
When they were done, Harry took out the defense books he'd ordered and Tonks helped him cast the ones she was familiar with. She taught him an Auror specific shield spell, considerably more powerful than the standard Protego spell.
Tonks left the two teens to work on physical exercises while she looked through Harry's books for something new to teach him the following few days.
Two hours later, Harry was prepared to swear on anything that Dudley was more evil than Voldemort. His entire body was telling him that he was in pain. And Dudley kept pushing him.
"C'mon Harry, you /have /to stretch, or you will regret this in the morning," Dudley said in exasperation.
With a grumble, Harry stood and stretched for a few minutes, until Dudley said he could rest for the day. Harry looked around him, contemplated walking to the chairs, and dropped like a stone to the floor. It was comfortable enough, as far as he was concerned.
When Dudley laughed at him, Harry grinned evilly and said, "Dudley, don't be so happy. Starting tomorrow, you are joining me in all classes. I know that you can't do magic, but you have to know about it, because I have lots of enemies and they will find you. When they do, I want you to be able to protect yourself, even if all you do is run away from them."
Dudley gaped at him for a few moments before nodding in acceptance. What Harry had said was true; on top of that, it never hurt to keep in shape.
The two of them spent some time talking about different strategies in case of attacks by magic. As they talked, it was apparent that Harry needed to make another trip to the continent, to get more books, and some Muggle equipment.
When the Story Keeper joined them, the sun was just above the horizon, its light red and comforting. The old man shooed Tonks and Dudley away and motioned Harry to the fireplace.
Once they were both seated in chairs facing each other, the lights in the hall went out. Only the dying sunlight from outside and the small flame in the fireplace lit their faces, and Harry found that he was holding his breath. He released it slowly when the Keeper began talking.
"Today we begin our tale, Young Master," the old man said. "I shall teach you how to build your tale. It shall be a never-ending task, and it will not be easy. But I have the utmost confidence that you can do it."
Harry's heart swelled at the words and the tone in which they had been said. It was the tone Dumbledore has used after he had rescued the Philosopher's Stone. Caring, grandfatherly, wise. He felt safe then, in the almost darkness with only a small flame and an old man as his companions.
"What do I have to do?" he whispered, afraid to break the silence, but determined to learn.
"First, look within you. Look at your power. Search for it, and when you have found it, embrace it. Study it. When you have managed to do that, we shall progress to the next step."
Harry nodded, even though he hadn't completely understood what the Keeper was referring to. He had a suspicion, however, and closed his eyes, calming his breath.
Slowly, he turned all his awareness inside, ignoring the outside world. It was a meditative technique that he'd learned in the book about Occlumency, and he hoped it would help him.
He looked deeper and deeper within himself, deeper than he'd ever looked, until he saw the bright strands of his magic. He approached one of them and started moving towards its source. It was slow going, because something resisted him, but he managed to do it, and finally breached the barrier.
What he saw almost brought him out of his trance.