The Sugar Quill
Author: KEDme (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Home Alone  Chapter: Dursleys Deluded
Next Chapter
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

Disclaimer:

Disclaimer:
The characters and situations of Harry Potter depicted in this story are the legal property of J.K. Rowling,
Bloomsbury, and AOL Time Warner, and have been used without permission. No copyright infringement is intended.

No profit is being made off this story.  It is for entertainment purposes only.

                                          

Warning:  This story may contain content that is not suitable for children. 

 

Chapter One

Dursleys Deluded

 

Harry Potter awoke from a restless night’s sleep with a sense of foreboding and a pounding heart, sitting straight up in bed.  Thankfully, he had not dreamed of Voldemort the previous night, but of something almost as terrible.  With a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach, Harry gasped and threw himself violently on his side, raking a hand through his already dishevelled hair, one image burned in his mind…Sirius.

Had it been only three weeks since the end of term and that fateful night at the Department of Mysteries?  Sometimes it felt like yesterday, and sometimes it felt as if it had happened in another lifetime to another person.  So many thoughts jumbled through Harry’s head that he wished he had a Pensieve like Dumbledore’s, in order to siphon some of the more troubling thoughts and memories out and relieve the tension that never seemed to ease. 

Unable to stop them, the thoughts began to stream through his consciousness against his will.

Sirius’  once handsome, now haggard face, smiling at him across the kitchen table at Grimmauld Place

Voldemort’s cold, red eyes…

His parents…

Cedric Diggory falling in a heap, dead…

Umbridge and his entire fifth year, the worst he had ever spent at Hogwarts…

Snape and his Occlumency lessons...

Bellatrix Lestrange…

Kreacher’s betrayal…

Dumbledore’s silence over the last several weeks, despite his confessed remorse about keeping things from Harry...

The Order of the Phoenix

His friends lying hurt in the hospital…

The veil that Sirius had fallen through…

Lupin holding him back as he screamed…

Chasing Bellatrix through the Ministry of Magic…

Voldemort possessing him, trying to take control of him…

The pain… that feeling of wanting to die, of wanting Dumbledore to put him out of his misery…

That damned prophesy… Neither can live while the other survives...

“Boy!  Wake up and get down here!” a voice screeched from the bottom of the stairs.  Aunt Petunia sounded as if she were in a horrid mood this morning.  Briefly, Harry wondered what he had done (or rather what he had not done) this time, to cause his aunt to sound as if she had swallowed a rather nasty dose of medicine.

“Yes, Aunt Petunia,” Harry yelled back, pulling on an old shirt and a pair of trousers that had once belonged to Dudley out of the pile of dirty clothes on his floor.  Rubbing his eyes, he reached for his glasses and then surveyed himself in the tall mirror on the side of his wardrobe.  What he saw neither surprised him nor caused him great satisfaction. 

He had grown over the past year and many of his old clothes were beginning to show the result of the strain a 15-soon-to-be-16-year-old boy could put on his garments.  Since they had once belonged to his whale of a cousin, Dudley, it was not surprising that Harry’s appearance was, well… scruffy.  Through they were several years old, at least the growth spurt had helped the fit somewhat.  No longer baggy, they were, however, very well used.  That was one thing he and his friend Ron Weasley had in common--used clothes.

Pulling the shoes out of his wardrobe, he was pleased to note that the trainers were now in better shape, thanks to the charm that Hermione had put on them before the last Hogsmeade trip.  She had been appalled at the condition that they had been in, and shocked to see Harry trying to squeeze his now size ten feet into the size eight shoes. His toes were even beginning to stick out of the front, where the sole was coming loose.

Thanks to several clever little charms, his shoes now fit him perfectly and looked almost brand new.  He smiled at the memory, one of the few from last year that he considered worthy of recalling, as he pulled them on.  As she muttered the incantations, he was sure he could hear Hermione mutter something along the line of “bloody relatives”, and some other very uncharacteristically unladylike things related to the treatment he received from his so-called family.

Speaking of family… Harry winced as he heard his beefy Uncle Vernon bellow from below. “What’s taking you so long, boy?  Your Aunt told you to get down here now!”

Sighing, Harry ran a hand through his mop of messy black hair.  Knowing that a brush would make little improvement to the perpetual mess that seemed to have a mind of its own, he shrugged his shoulders for his own benefit and bounded noisily down the steps of number 4 Privet Drive.  He’d worry about the rest later.

“Sorry, Uncle Vernon.  I was just getting dressed,” he said, trying to keep his voice even and neutral.

“And another thing,” his Uncle said through clenched teeth.  “Kindly treat my house with a little more respect.  Coming down those steps like that is unacceptable.”

Harry knew very well that Dudley usually came stomping down the steps every day around noon, but he did not think it prudent to point this fact out.  Instead he replied dully, “Yes, Uncle Vernon.”

Not knowing what to make of Harry’s lack of fight, Vernon stared hard at his nephew.  Knowing the circumstances surrounding how the boy had left last year caused him pause, momentarily making him re-think his plans.  Just as soon as he had these thoughts, however, they were immediately wiped away with the anticipation of his upcoming promotion.  Vernon had slaved for his company, Grunnings, for close to 20 years now.  Finally the hard work was paying off.  He and Petunia had been invited to a retreat this weekend for company members to hobnob, socialise, and “network.”  He’d be damned if the ungrateful little runt would spoil it for him, even if that Voldemorsey-whosey person was back!

“Now listen, boy,” Vernon said with a twisted grimace, staring at Harry hard and pointing a stubby finger at his chest.  “Your aunt and I are going away for a few days.” 

Harry looked up sharply at his aunt and uncle, and noticed for the first time their neat and pristine travelling clothes and the packed suitcases stacked near the door.  A warm feeling began to spread through his chest and the hint of a smile played on his lips.  A weekend free of Dursleys!  What could be better? 

Before he could wrap his mind around the possibilities, his hopes were shattered by the smirk on his uncle and aunt’s faces.  Briefly, Harry wondered if crazy old Mrs. Figg had been enlisted to watch over him.  That wouldn’t be too bad, Harry mused.  He had recently found out that the batty old lady was actually a Squib that had been keeping tabs on him most of his life.  However, he did not relish spending the weekend with Mr. Tibbles and the other thirty cats that shared Mrs. Figg’s musty, cabbage-smelling house.  He needn’t have worried however, because Vernon had other plans.

“I have my doubts about leaving you here to have free run of the house, but taking you with us is out of the question so I’m doing the next best thing.”  Here, he paused to smirk, a self-satisfied, almost gleeful look on his beefy face.  “Dudley will be around to keep an eye on you and make sure there’s no funny business going on.”

Harry’s heart sank.  Dudley in charge was worse than 100 of Mrs. Figg’s cats.  Dudley took great pleasure in making Harry’s life as miserable as possible.  As a child, Dudley and his friends had tormented Harry, using him as a punching bag and the butt of all their jokes.  Frequently he was taunted with names such as “freak” and “weirdo” because strange things always seemed to happen around him.  Harry had no idea at the time that he was a wizard.  It wasn’t until age eleven, when Hagrid came to give him his Hogwarts letter, that he learned the truth about his heritage.

Uncle Vernon went on, seeming to take great pleasure in the miserable look plastered on Harry’s face.  “We’ll be back late on Sunday.  While we are gone, I expect you to remain in the house, preferably in your room.  No need for the neighbours to be subjected to your unnaturalness.  If I hear even a hint of anything out of the ordinary while we’re away, I promise you will regret it.  Do I make myself clear?”

“Yes, Uncle Vernon,” Harry said benignly.  What did he care if the Dursleys were around or not?  He pretty much stuck to himself and his own demons, holed up in his room or wandering the neighbourhood trying not to think about… things... and staying out of Dudley’s way.

Suspicious with his nephew’s compliant behaviour, Harry’s uncle narrowed his eyes and cocked an eyebrow.  It was his aunt, however, that spoke next.  “You are not to make a mess of the house while we are away.  You may have your normal amount of food, but no more.  Also, there’s a list of jobs posted in the kitchen, and I expect each and every one to be completed by the time I return.  Do I make myself clear?”

“Yes, Aunt Petunia,” Harry repeated in the same benign voice.

“And one more thing…”  Harry’s aunt continued, almost as an afterthought.  “Duddikins is having a few of his little friends to tea this afternoon.  Try to stay out of his way, will you?  He doesn’t need the likes of you ruining his little tea party.”  Harry tried desperately not to snort at the idea of Dudley having a little tea party as if he was five, and almost missed his aunt’s instructions to leave the food she had prepared for the occasion alone.  As it was, he only nodded in a weak affirmation that he had heard and understood.

“Come, Petunia,” Vernon bellowed, bustling her out the door.  “We mustn’t dawdle any longer.  Dudley is a responsible young man and I’m sure he can handle this ruffian.  We mustn’t be late.  Want to make a good impression, eh?”  Vernon shot one last glare back at Harry as he made to shut the door.  “Remember, boy.  No funny business!”  With that last warning, they were gone.

[A/N:  A big thanks goes out to Jamie, my checkmated beta reader, and Jonathan (who took the time to help me correct my Americanisms out of the goodness of his heart).  Also, as always, thanks to everyone who is reading--especially those who have left such awesome reviews.  You keep me motivated!]

 

//
Write a review! PLEASE NOTE: The purpose of reviewing a story or piece of art at the Sugar Quill is to provide comments that will be useful to the author/artist. We encourage you to put a bit of thought into your review before posting. Please be thoughtful and considerate, even if you have legitimate criticism of a story or artwork. (You may click here to read other reviews of this work).
* = Required fields
*Sugar Quill Forums username:
*Sugar Quill Forums password:
If you do not have a Sugar Quill Forums username, please register. Bear in mind that it may take up to 72 hours for your account to be approved. Thank you for your patience!
*Comment:
The Sugar Quill was created by Zsenya and Arabella. For questions, please send us an Owl!

-- Powered by SQ3 : Coded by David : Design by James --