AU, Post OotP, No HBP, Harry knows he must take on Voldemort and finds unexpected allies.
Disclaimer: Not mine
To the Rescue
Harry Potter lay stretched out on his bed in Hart Home with a book wearing only black silk sleep pants and his goblin armband when his phone rang.
"Hello," he said into the phone.
"Happy Birthday Harry how was your day?" asked Hermione.
"I spent a good part of the day flying and I had cake for afters," said Harry with a smile.
"Did you get my present? Hedwig was here," she said.
"Yes I did. Thank you for the book," he replied. Then he heard a loud noise from her end of the phone. "What's that noise?"
"Harry we are being attacked!" she said panic in her voice.
Harry stood up from the bed, dropping the phone and reaching toward his wand, never noticing as it jumped from the table to his hand as he focused on Hermione.
Person to person apparition could be dangerous but Harry didn't give it a second thought as he popped in view next to Hermione at the top of a staircase, just in time to send a banisher at the Death Eater halfway up the stair, tumbling him down onto the one following him.
He pushed Hermione to the side ad the sickly green spell flashed up at them and shouted 'Accio wands!' at the group at the bottom of the stair. He could hear Hermione casting 'Protego' at him from her position on the floor.
The Death Eater on the stair rose to his feet to rush Harry as one on the floor below again cast the killing curse. Harry summoned the Death Eater into the path of the green curse then banished him at the caster knocking both through the large picture window.
Harry could hear Hermione's father shouting something and more shouts from outside the house and he cast 'Reducto' and Incarcerous at the four remaining Death Eaters. Two collapsed and the other two retreated through the broken front door into the spotlights thrown from a muggle police car.
Harry heard a shout of 'Freeze police' and a shouted 'Avada' then the sounds of gunshots.
He stood there a moment more regarding the bodies on the floor before he turned to Hermione and extended a hand.
"Are you alright?" he asked.
"Oh, Harry," she cried and threw herself into his arms. Harry suddenly realized that he wasn't wearing a shirt and that Hermione was wearing only a thin pink tee shirt and very small shorts and her father was glaring at the both of them, holding a cricket bat.
Coming of Age
Neville's Gran had always been obsessive about the wards and the security of Longbottom Hall and this night Neville both blessed and cursed the double wards of the estate. They had both felt the outer wards drop and knew that would alert the Aurors. Neville and Augusta stood at the window next to the front door and watched as the Death Eaters attempted to over load the inner wards. Two four man Auror teams Apparated in and spells began flashing between the six Death Eaters and the eight Aurors. Augusta Longbottom watched in horror as the spells of the Aurors missed their Death Eater targets and finished the job of bringing down the inner wards. Before she knew what was happening one Death Eater broke from the others that were engaged with the Aurors and ran toward the house.
Neville, wand in hand opened the door and stepped out into the path of the Death Eater.
"Oh it's wittle baby Long-" she never finished the sentence.
Neville's wand bucked in his hand sending a barrage of Reductos, at the evil witch as fast as he could spit them. She dodged but wasn't fast enough. The third Reducto hit her left shoulder spinning her into the fourth, which hit her right hip knocking her to the ground. Neville summoned her wand just as she managed to portkey away. Leaving him to roar his frustration and storm toward the three still standing Aurors.
Why it's never a good idea to piss off a Weasley
Bill Weasley had had spent the better part of one afternoon laying down a warning ward on the property line and upgrading the wards on the house where his parents and younger siblings lived. When Peter Pettigrew and five Death Eaters crossed the line the alarm woke the family. Molly Weasley used the floo to call the Aurors and Arthur took position near the back door where they expected the Death Eaters to enter. Those six Death Eaters never even made it into the house. Fred and George had raced to the upper windows overlooking the garden with Ron and Ginny. While Ginny and Ron had rained down stunners and bat boogey hexes on the surprised Death Eaters the twins emptied a bag of experimental glass balls on the floor then all four levitated and banished the balls at the Death Eaters.
The balls contained stored spells, of course the fact that they were to be pranks meant that individually they were not of themselves lethal, however when combined with over thirty other spells and arriving at the target at a high rate of speed they immediately rendered said targets unable to cast spells or defend themselves. One Death Eater manage to activate the port key and get away, the arriving Aurors captured the others. It took healers several hours to return the unhappy Death Eaters to normal.
Voldemort sat waiting for his triumphant Death Eaters to return. Knowing that if his servants met with any resistance that there might be injuries. He signaled the one follower who had remained behind and summoned Severus Snape.
Snape arrived just a portkey deposited a purple, scaled, pustule ridden, Death Eater in a heap before Voldemort's throne.
Voldemort sighed and hissed, "Report,"
"Master," the man whimpered, "They were ready for us," he couldn't stand as his feet were on backwards and all of his joints seemed to bend in the wrong direction.
Voldemort motioned Snape forward.
"My Lord," said Snape as he knelt before the Dark Lord.
"Severus I-" he broke off as another portkey deposited two men onto the floor, one was unmoving the other bleeding from many wounds.
Voldemort sighed again and looked at Snape, "Do you have a headache potion, Severus?"
"Of course My Lord," said Snape from his knees, digging into his cloak to produce the potion.
"See if you can help these fools, Severus, if not put them out of my misery," snarled Voldemort.
As Snape started to move toward the bleeding man the third portkey deposited Bellatrix Lestrange onto the floor.
Voldemort snarled in anger and kicked her as he stalked from the room.
"Bella, who?" murmured Snape leaning over Lestrange and casting a cauterizing charm.
Her eyes were already beginning to glaze over as she breathed out, "Longbottom," she never drew another breath.
Snape stepped over to the bleeding man. "Flint, what happened," he asked as he cast a diagnostic charm.
"That gods damned Potter banished Pucey into me and through a window and some muggle Auror shot me. Am I going to die?" asked Marcus Flint.
"No you aren't going to die at least not from this, what were you supposed to be doing?" asked Snape summoning the bullet from Flint's right shoulder.
"We were to attack the Mudblood Granger, we didn't know Potter was there. Is Pucey all right he hasn't moved?" said Flint squinting at the other man.
Snape cast an enervate that did nothing and then took a closer look.
"Pucey's dead Marcus, did Potter use the killing curse?" asked Snape surprised.
"Oh, I don't think so," said Flint shaking his head unwilling to admit that he'd done it himself.
"Drink this while I try to sort out Bole," said Snape turning to the purple Death Eater.
"You attacked the Weasley's didn't you?" asked Snape sarcastically. He would recognize the twin's work anywhere.
"Yes sir," said Boles.
"Did you manage to kill any of them?"
"No sir, we didn't even make it into the house," said Boles dejectedly.
"Um, Hermione, your Dad looks kind of upset," said Harry nervously.
Hermione gave a watery giggle and looked over her shoulder at her father.
"It's all right Daddy, all the Death Eaters have been taken care of," she said.
Harry noticed that didn't seem to calm the man down at all.
"Sorry about barging in sir, but I was speaking to Hermione on the phone when the attack started and I just Apparated over without a second thought," apologized Harry trying to pry Hermione's arms from around his neck before her dad decided to beat him to death.
Hermione let go and Harry retreated down the stairs to check the bindings on the two crumpled bodies at the bottom while Hermione spoke with her parents.
There were several pops from outside and Harry raised his wand glancing out the broken picture window.
"Hello the house," called a voice Harry recognized as Kingsley Shacklebolt.
"It's clear," Harry shouted back.
Kingsley entered the front door, wand at the ready and scanned the room.
"Hello Mr. Potter I didn't expect to find you here, can you tell me what happened?" asked Kingsley shooting a glance at Harry's attire and then up the stairs to where Hermione and her Dad were coming down.
"I was talking on the phone to Hermione when the attack began, so I Apparated here and helped defend the house against the Death Eaters. There were six all together, these two, two who exited through the window and two who went out the door. I thought I heard gunshots after that," said Harry.
"Yes the muggle police shot two, one who came out the window and then vanished with a second and one who came out the door, the fourth surrendered, he didn't seem to have a wand," said Kingsley.
Hermione held up two wands and said, "Harry summoned these."
Kingsley nodded and said, "I have a team outside, we'll do the clean up and repair your window, Harry you'll have to come with me however."
"Why?" asked Harry suspiciously.
Kingsley looked surprised for a moment and said with a chuckle, "Dumbledore's been frantic to find you and I can hold you for underage apparition. We'll have to sort out the charges for underage magic for you as well."
"I'm emancipated Auror Shacklebolt and I have my apparition license. You have no reason to hold me nor do I wish to see Dumbledore," said Harry coldly.
Shacklebolt's grin grew wider as he eyed Harry's sleep pants and he said, "I don't suppose you have any proof of that do you? You are coming with me, Mr. Potter."
"Just a moment, I don't know who you think you are but this boy just save us I won't allow you to just take him away," shouted Mr. Granger raising the cricket bat he was still holding and taking Shacklebolt's attention off Harry for the moment.
Harry turned slightly toward Hermione and mouthed 'sorry' and Apparated away.
Harry appeared briefly into the back courtyard of the Leaky Cauldron and then used his portkey to Hart Home, unsure if Shacklebolt could track his apparition. Once back in his home he snarled in annoyance. He would have to let Safelock know in the morning that everyone would know soon enough that he was in England. He couldn't believe that Shacklebolt would try to arrest him. He decided a letter to the Minister might be a good idea. He'd received one from her asking to meet and he didn't want to go and have her guards try to arrest him. He had too much to do to have to play these games.
William Bosworth the new Director of Magical Law Enforcement looked up in surprise when the Minister of Magic Amelia Bones swept into his office clutching a folder with a frown on her face.
"Amelia I don't have any new information on the attacks yet," he said.
"Look at these, Wils, I just received both of them," she said dumping the file on his desk and dropping into a chair.
Bosworth pulled the parchment out of the folder and read the first one.
Dear Minister Bones
My name is Dan Granger and Death Eaters attacked my home last night. My daughter believes this letter is a waste of time as I am what your kind calls a muggle and that you will disregard whatever I say. I haven't wanted to believe this but the conduct of one of the Auror's that came to our house last night did seem to prove it however I will try.
Harry Potter a friend of my daughter came to our aid last evening when we were attacked and saved our lives. Your man Auror Shacklebolt then tried to arrest Mr. Potter for underage magic and apparition with out a license or some such thing apparently on the orders of Headmaster Dumbledore. I would like to know why the Headmaster of Hogwarts is in charge of your police force and why with magic at your disposal our police were still the first to arrive.
Your man was condescending and rude and I wish to lodge a complaint against him.
Dan Granger, DDS
"There isn't anything about this in Shacklebolt's report," said Bosworth but Amelia just made a motion to continue reading.
I received your letter and was considering meeting with you but I now find I must have some assurances that I won't be arrested and put on trial again. I'm sure by now that Auror Shacklebolt has filed charges against me for my actions at Hermione Granger's house last night.
I have enclosed copies of my emancipation and apparition license. I am not a 'run away' as Dumbledore is claiming as you can see by the signatures on the emancipation form. I didn't have them on my person last evening and Auror Shacklebolt didn't seem willing to believe me.
Thank you for you time
Bosworth rose from his desk and stuck his head out the door and asked his aide to find Shacklebolt and send him in.
Kingsley Shacklebolt entered the office with a tired grin on his face. They had finally finished questioning the Death Eaters arrested last night only to find not only Wils Bosworth waiting on him but Amelia Bones as well and neither of them was smiling.
"Sit down Auror," said Bosworth with a cold tone. The smile faded from Shacklebolt's face.
"What's wrong sir?" he asked.
Bosworth frowned and asked, "Tell me Auror is there anything you need to add to your report of last nights incident at the Granger house?"
Shacklebolt frowned and shook his head, "No sir," he said.
"Well then can you explain why I have two complaints of you trying to arrest Harry Potter?" Bosworth asked.
Shacklebolt shifted in his seat with a feeling of foreboding.
"I-Headmaster Dumbledore asked me confidentially to keep an eye out for the boy, he ran away from his relatives and the Headmaster was concerned he might be in danger. I wasn't really going to arrest the boy only return him to his relatives and let the Headmaster know that he was safe," said Shacklebolt.
"Did Mr. Potter tell you he is emancipated? That he holds a license to apparate?" asked Bosworth.
"He did say that but-" Shacklebolt shook his with a look of disbelief.
Bosworth push two pieces of parchment across the table for him to look at.
"Kingsley," said Bosworth softly, "The Aurors in this Department don't work for Albus Dumbledore. You need to decide just where your loyalties lie and then write a letter of apology to both the Grangers and Harry Potter. Then we will discuss your position here."
Kingsley Shacklebolt nodded and rose from his seat, he had a lot to think about.
With the loss of most of his Death Eaters Voldemort sent Snape back to Hogwarts to spy, and Narcissa to negotiate with the goblins and took the remaining ones to the continent to recruit among the pure blood groups there.
Harry Potter threw himself into his training and Albus Dumbledore's Order continued to fracture.
Kingsley Shacklebolt sat in the pub thinking.
"What's so important?" questioned Moody as he sat down across from Kingsley and Tonks slid into the seat beside him.
"Potter was at the Grangers last night when they were attacked, I've just had my arse chewed for trying to arrest him and return him to his relatives," said Kingsley.
"Oh, for Circe's sake, boy, tell me you didn't piss off Potter?" said Moody.
"He wrote a letter to the Minister to complain," said Kingsley into his ale. He shook his head and looked up at Moody, "He told me last night that he was emancipated, I chose not to believe him assuming he'd have to do what I told him, he Apparated away, has a license for that too. Sent proof to the Minister."
"If you hadn't missed the meeting yesterday you wouldn't have screwed up lad," sighed Moody.
"What do you mean?"
"Potter sent a goblin ward analysis to both Lupin and McGonagall, she had a copy of his emancipation too. The so called Blood wards Albus has gone on about don't exist," said Moody with a snort.
"Gods, I've ruined my career for Dumbledore," moaned Kingsley.
"Suck it up lad, what did Bosworth say?" grumbled Moody, with Tonks looking concerned.
"Said I needed to decide where my loyalties lay and apologize to Potter and the Grangers. I thought Dumbledore was a good guy, that he deserved my loyalty," said Kingsley.
"Aye lad and how many people say the same thing about You Know Who, blind followers. I've been thinking it's time to stop following Albus blindly, he plays his cards to close to the vest," said Moody. Kingsley nodded but Tonks's face was scrunched up in thought.
"Wait a mo'," she said, "Harry was at Hermione's in the middle of the night? What was he doing there? How'd he know about the attack?"
Kingsley's face lit up in glee and he replied, "Well he claimed he was on the telephone with her when the attack started but they were both in sleepwear, he had on black silk pajama pants and the angle of hex marks show that they were upstairs where the bedrooms are."
Tonks squealed in glee and Moody real eye rolled.
"I wouldn't share that tidbit with Albus or he'll be harassing the poor girl day and night," muttered Moody.
Kingsley sobered, "I think I'll just send him a letter resigning from the Order, I don't think I can have divided loyalties any longer." Tonks nodded in agreement.
Four weeks later
Harry Potter lounged in the chair on the patio outside Fortescue's Ice Cream shop and chatted with Hermione and Luna. Neville, Ron and Ginny should be joining them soon for their school shopping.
Harry didn't really need anything as he'd already completed his shopping but he wanted to spend time with his friends.
Luna was showing her vacation photos to Hermione when Neville came striding up the street toward them. Harry stood to shake his hand but was caught off guard when Neville drew him in to a hard hug.
"Harry, I wanted to thank you for teaching me defense and for the excellent birthday gift," said Neville when he released him.
"Is it true then, I had heard the rumor," said Luna dreamily.
"Is what true?" asked Hermione.
Neville sat down and leaned toward the middle of the table. Harry flicked his wand and cast an obscuring ward around the table.
"We're private, no one can listen," said Harry.
Neville smiled, "You know the attacks the end of July? Well Bellatrix Lestrange attacked us and I hit her, Harry with two Reducto spells but she portkeyed away before I could finish her. Well believe it or not but Snape came to my Gran and told her that she was dead. He said he thought Gran deserved to know that she couldn't hurt anyone every again. Of course he also thought that Gran was the one to kill her. Gran set him straight and I thought I'd faint, you know how he is, his eyebrows went up and he sneered and then he congratulated me. I'm not supposed to tell anyone but you deserved to know Harry."
Harry returned the vicious grin and then sobered and asked, "Are you ok with that?"
Neville's grin faded as well and he said, "I'm not sorry I killed her, she deserved it. I don't want to kill anyone else but I know I can if I have to."
Harry nodded and clapped Neville on the shoulder and Hermione leaned over to hug Neville who blushed fiercely.
"That doesn't look good, Harry," said Luna looking over his shoulder. Harry turned and saw Ron running toward him waving his hand. He dropped the field and stood to find Albus Dumbledore standing next to him.
Harry stepped away from Dumbledore as the Headmaster spoke.
"How nice to see you Harry, don't try to run I would hate to have to stun you."
Harry could see the wand in Dumbledore's hand hidden in the sleeve of his robe.
"Headmaster won't you have a seat?" said Harry sitting back down just as Ron ran up to the table followed by Ginny with Molly Weasley trailing behind.
"I tried to warn you, mate," said Ron glaring first at Dumbledore and then his mother.
"It's alright Ron, I knew I'd have to speak with the Headmaster sooner or later.
"Now Harry, my boy, this game of yours is over, it is too dangerous for you and for your friends for you to be out in public. You will turn over your key to Molly and she can do your shopping for you and you will come with me. It's to late to return you to the Dursleys this year so you will come to Hogwarts where I can keep my eye on you. I've changed the classes you'll be taking and Molly has your new book list. Now come along," said Dumbledore.
"Albus you said you only wanted to speak with Harry not take him anywhere, he can come to the Burrow," objected Molly.
"I don't think I'll be going anywhere, actually. You don't have any authority over me Headmaster, so I wont' be changing my classes either," said Harry coldly glaring at Dumbledore.
"You don't have choice, I afraid Harry, it's time for you to start training and I will be seeing to it personally. You no longer have time for childish tantrums. Get up we must go," said Dumbledore sternly.
"So does that mean I won't be allowed to play quidditch and go to Hogsmeade, Headmaster?" asked Harry wanting to get it all out now.
"Yes, you will be to busy with training to-"
"Then I'm sorry to say I won't be returning to Hogwarts this term Headmaster Dumbledore. If you'll excuse me my friends and I have some shopping to do," said Harry calmly as he rose to his feet.
"Harry you do not want a public scene," Dumbledore raised his wand and Harry gave him a cold glare.
"Sorry guys maybe next time," he said to his friends and as Dumbledore smiled in triumph, Harry activated his portkey and disappeared.
Harry grumbled his way through his work out the next morning. Unknown to him or Dumbledore there had been a reporter stalking him, she had pictures, had quoted Dumbledore's threats and questioned his friends after Dumbledore's hasty exit when Molly Weasley rounded on him for driving Harry away.
Harry had written to McGonagall to officially withdraw for the first term of the year. Stating that if things could be resolved with the Headmaster he would return for the winter term but she need to be aware that he would take the classes he wanted, would not take extra tuition from the Headmaster and would not be confined to Hogwarts.
Hopefully he thought as he sent off his missive, he could defeat Voldemort before Christmas and get on with a normal life.
Harry sat down with Safelock and Ragnok to discuss his training, now that he would not be going back to Hogwarts, no matter how annoying that was, he could escalate his training. He threw himself into it working fourteen-hour days, with his tutors to master his magic and the weapons he need to best the monster.
Albus Dumbledore sat in his office glaring at the article in the Daily Prophet. He glanced out the window and laid out his wand, he knew he didn't have much time before the hail storm of howlers would arrive, perhaps even accompanied by Minerva and various staff and the remaining Order members. He shook his head, he just couldn't understand where things had gone so wrong, why couldn't Harry understand that he loved him and only want for him to be safe.
Harry Potter withdraws from Hogwarts after threats from Headmaster
By Ima Gossip
This reporter was shocked yesterday to witness a confrontation between Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, and Hogwarts Headmaster Albus Dumbledore.
Albus Dumbledore threatened to stun Mr. Potter if he didn't leave Diagon Alley with the Headmaster. Dumbledore insisted that Mr. Potter was in danger and told him he would not be allowed out of Hogwarts for the traditional Hogsmeade visits or be able to play quidditch. Mr. Potter was also informed that the Headmaster had selected his classes and would be personally training him.
At that point Mr. Potter declined to return to Hogwarts and portkeyed from the Alley as Dumbledore attempted to stun him.
This reporter wonders just what Mr. Potter needs the personal training of Headmaster Dumbledore for. Is he in fact the chosen one prophesied to defeat You Know Who again? If so why is special training only now being made available?
Harry Potter age sixteen is newly emancipated and has claimed the vast Potter Estates; he was involved in the battle of the Ministry three months ago and credited with exposing the rebirth of You Know You. Eleven marked Death Eaters were captured at that time.
I spoke with friends of Mr. Potter after Headmaster Dumbledore's hasty retreat when Mr. Potter vanished. All three of the attacks last month that the Ministry has been using to show that they are winnowing down You Know Who's forces were on friends of Harry Potter. Mr. Potter was in fact present at one of the attacks, one that resulted in the death of two Death Eaters and capture of two more.
With this kind of record Mr. Potter's friends seem to think that Harry Potter is more than capable of taking care of himself and wonder at the motives of Headmaster Dumbledore.
This reporter wonders if we want a man who would threaten one of his students in public to be in charge of our children, who knows what he might do in private.
Gapetooth, Ragnok's second had the honor and joy to be the one negotiating with Narcissa Malfoy. She paid dearly for Draco's insults during the reading in those negotiations. She was stunned and furious when she found the Black house was an empty, decaying hulk and the Black vault was empty save for a few portraits and a set of biting teacups. Then they received a decades worth of property tax bills for the house and the bill for the vault audit and the bill for the rush job of removing the wards and setting new ones and she couldn't even scream at the goblins. Draco made matters worse by spending money he didn't have yet and she'd had to cover the debts from the Malfoy vault. The Dark Lord had instructed her to send him gold for his recruitment activities and she just knew the goblins were stalling.