The Sugar Quill
Author: Beyondfreedom3  Story: Harry Potter and the Dark Lord  Chapter: Chapter 2: Farewell to Safety
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Chapter 2

Harry Potter and the Wizarding World are the idea and intellectual property of JK Rowling.  I have manipulated them a bit, but that’s about the extent of my involvement.

Chapter 2

 

Farewell to Safety

 

Harry’s alarm clock began to sound at 11:59 that night.  He had set it in the event that he might actually fall asleep.  It only rang because he had forgotten that he set it, and being lost in thought, he had neglected to turn it off.  It startled him, and he almost blew it up trying to turn it off.  Wand in hand, he started whacking at it.  It shut off, and he could only hear his heart as he listened for any sound, including that of the Dursleys’ stirring.  He glued his eyes to the window as he searched for any signs of someone approaching.  Then again, he thought, not many people would be stupid enough to just walk up the path, would they?  Nope, no popping, indicating someone was Apparating, no flashes of light or brooms in the air.  All in all, it was a very peaceful, beautiful night. 

 

He looked around the room to make sure that he had everything.  He had packed it all earlier, thinking he might not have time to do so after midnight.  His first inclination was to wait until daylight to travel, but the daylight did not seem to be deterring any of the Death Eaters from their usual activities, so he settled on leaving after saying goodbye to the Dursleys forever. 

 

12:00 midnight came along.  He listened and waited.  After a minute or two, he had an odd thought.  “I can do magic anywhere and anytime I want to now!”  He tried a bit, saying “Accio cage.”  Hedwig was out hunting, and her empty cage flew into Harry’s hands.  A mischievous smile grew across his face as he began to move out of his bedroom.  Locomotor trunk.” His trunk rose a few feet into the air and went slowly ahead of him out of his room. 

 

He had been waiting for this moment for most of his life:  the moment he would say goodbye to the Dursleys forever.  He was not going to let a little thing like them being asleep stop him from this pleasure, so, he walked downstairs and  rested his trunk and Hedwig’s cage next to the front door before going into the living room. He turned around to face the rest of the house, placed his wand against his throat, and said, “Sonorus.” 

 

“Everyone get out of bed, right now.  I want to speak to you, Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia, and Dudley.” 

 

All this was amplified so loud that he was sure the neighbors would hear.  He heard stirring in the direction of his Aunt and Uncle’s bedroom.  Harry was sure he heard Uncle Vernon groaning and grumbling about him as he got closer, but there was still no sign of his pig of a cousin. 

 

“Dudley, you great fat lump, get yourself out of bed and get down here this instant.  Don’t make me come up there.” 

 

As he said these last few words, Uncle Vernon rounded the corner running, waddling as fast as a man of his girth could move.  He saw Harry in the living room and skidded to a halt, red faced and angry in front of him.  Aunt Petunia skidded to a halt at the window in the living room, opening the curtains to check that the neighbor’s lights were not on. 

 

“What in the world do you think you’re doing, disturbing my sleep?  If you don’t get yourself back to bed, right now, I’ll...” Uncle Vernon stopped there.  For, at that moment, Harry’s wand moved from his throat to his uncle and he said “Silencio.”  Uncle Vernon moved his mouth but no words came out.  He resembled a great fish out of water.

 

Dudley entered just in time to see Harry aim his wand at his father.   He suddenly became frozen to the spot, but only after clamping his jaw shut and covering the vast expanse that was his rear end. 

 

“You’ll what?  In the past year or so, I’ve lost two men that I considered as close as a father to me.  My ‘kind,’ as you say, are being terrorized by the wizard who killed my parents.  Any second now, Death Eaters could be here to destroy us and this house.  What you really need to do is clear out.”  Harry could feel the heat in his face as his blood rose, while he shouted at the silent Uncle Vernon.  “Voldemort knows that it’s my seventeenth birthday; he knows that this birthday makes me an adult in the Wizard World.  The point is that, as an adult, the protections of my mother are no longer in place.  At least that’s what Dumbledore thought.” Harry could hear his own voice shaking as he said this.  The tip of his wand began to glow, but he hardly noticed.  He was furious for all the years that the Dursleys had treated him like an animal. 

 

Harry turned his gaze to Aunt Petunia.  She was standing beside the window, leaning with one hand holding the curtains open; her head was turned toward Harry and her mouth was wide open in shock.  There was something that Harry had always wanted to say to his aunt and uncle, but never had the chance to express it.  The look on Aunt Petunia’s face brought it to Harry’s mind, and reminded him to say it before he left, forever.

 

“I’d lost my parents before I was even old enough to know them.  I was placed here by people I hadn’t met, with people I hadn’t met, either.  I’ve never asked you for anything.  Never did I presume myself to be an equal member of this family.  I’ve never got real Christmas or birthday presents, and I’ve never asked for any.  I’ve never felt love or respect or sympathy or acceptance from any of you.  I’ve lived like a stranger in the house that was supposed to be my home.  I’ve been your servant, your rude joke, and your whipping boy for as long as I can remember. All you had to do was treat me like you would’ve treated a guest, with a little respect and compassion.”  What Harry had decided must be a tear on Aunt Petunia’s cheek caused him to pause for a moment.  She looked away from him and he went on.  “I’ve got to go and eventually I’ll face the wizard who killed my parents.  You can go on with your lives as if I’d never been here at all.  I just want you to know one thing, before I go-I will not hold a grudge.  From this day on, as far as I’m concerned, you are forgiven.  I only ask that you listen to my advice.  Leave this place and don’t look back.  As soon as Voldemort and his Death Eaters find me, they’ll be here.  They will not hesitate to kill you.  You’re defenseless against them, without me, so please go.”  At this, Harry gave Uncle Vernon his speech back and backed away from him.

 

He turned to leave, took one step, and remembered something.  He reached inside his cloak and pulled out something which he handed to Aunt Petunia. 

 

“In case you’ve forgotten, this is what my mother looked like.  She was your sister.  I don’t care if you forget me when I’m gone.  I don’t care if you decide to turn my room into a sewing room.  I just want you to remember my mother, and who she really was.  All this time you were mean to me, because you thought she was some horrible witch.  Remember that she was your sister, your parents’ daughter,” he said with a somber note to his voice.  With that, he left the room and placed his hand on the doorknob of the front door, where he froze for a moment.

 

A popping noise, just beyond the door, had him cemented to the knob.  Several more popping noises followed.  He could not distinguish where exactly they came from, but he knew one thing with certainty:  somebody was in the house.  Harry took a step backwards and turned to the Dursleys, saying “Hide, now!”  He then ducked into the cupboard under the stairs, wand at the ready.  He thought he could hide here, and sneak out the door after whoever it was had passed. 

 

Harry heard the door open, oddly enough, by the turning of the knob.  Someone stepped into the house and began a frantic search.  “Harry,” came an indistinguishable whisper from beyond the door.  He could also hear footsteps upstairs as well.  Harry was pointing his wand at the door to the cupboard, ready to curse the first person he saw, when he heard someone speak:  “He’s in there.”  It turned out to be Uncle Vernon.  Harry would have to remember to thank him for that. 

 

Harry gritted his teeth and hoped that the door would never open.  The door slowly opened, revealing someone’s cloak; he yelled “Stupefy,” and the person fell to the floor.  He couldn’t see the others, but he knew they were out there.

 

“Oh my god,” exclaimed Harry as he stuck his head out of the cupboard door for a closer look at his target.  Professor Remus Lupin was lying, unconscious, in a heap in front of him.  With his wand still at the ready, Harry peeked out of the cupboard, checking each direction.  There was nobody to his right, towards the kitchen, but there was a group of three people to his left, next to the front door. 

 

Ennervate,” came the unmistakable voice of Mad-Eye Moody, as Remus Lupin woke up.

 

Without discussion, Lupin forced something into Harry’s hand.  He had just about a second before the pull in his navel told him he was about to take a trip.  The last thing he saw before he left the hall was the front door being blown to bits in a flash of light.  His feet swung behind him and the light of the moon was blurred by the speed at which he must be traveling.  He had just enough time to wonder where he was going when he landed on his back in the middle of a dark wood.

 

-ђ-

 

Harry thought he must be dead when he looked up to see Ginny Weasley standing over him, there in the woods.  She was bent over, checking to see if he was okay.  Her hair was pulled up into a pony tail, and her bright brown eyes were shining in the light of her wand.  Harry reached up, pulled her face close to his and kissed her, thinking he might be dreaming. 

 

Harry pulled himself away and began firing questions, rapidly.  Ginny would have stopped him, but she was trying to catch her breath from the kiss.

 

“What are you doing here?”  He didn’t wait for a reply before asking, “Where are we, anyway?  Is this a dream?  Are you dreaming or am I?  Does this mean I’m dead?  Who killed me?  The last person I saw was Remus Lupin.”

 

Before he could ask another question, Ginny bent down and kissed him again.  It was quick and seemed to be more to stop him from asking anything else.

 

When she had him quiet she said, “This is not a dream and we are in the woods near the Burrow.  The Order sent a group, headed by Professor Lupin, to come and make sure you got out of that house alive.”  She paused and the expression on her face showed that she was making a mental note that he had made it out alive.  “Why didn’t you answer the owl that was sent to you about three days ago?”

 

Harry’s brow furrowed in confusion.  “What owl?” he asked.  “When everyone showed up at the Dursleys’ house, it was a bit of a shock to me.  I actually Stunned Lupin when he came in.”

 

“Where are the others, anyway?” asked Ginny.  “We’d better get up to the Burrow.  Everyone will be wondering where we are.”

 

“I have to go back.  They’re all in danger,” replied Harry, feeling desperate to do something.  The thought sunk in quickly; he had just left Remus Lupin, Mad-Eye Moody and whoever was with them, to defend the Dursleys’ house.  He could only assume that some of the people he heard Apparating into the house must have been Death Eaters.  Suddenly, his trunk and Hedwig’s empty cage landed next to him, which caused a panic to rise in him.  He had no idea whether the others were still alive or not.

 

“What are we waiting for, then?” asked Ginny with a determined look on her face.  She seemed to have made up her mind already that she would follow him. 

 

Harry considered, for the briefest of moments, telling Ginny to stay.  The fact that she latched onto his arm with a strong grip made him think better of it.  He concentrated, thinking of the Dursleys’ house, and he and Ginny Apparated to it.

 

Back in the hallway, Harry and Ginny could see nothing but hear everything.  Just outside the front door he could hear two people dueling.  One of them was definitely Kingsley Shacklebolt, by the sound of his voice, and the other man’s voice Harry didn’t recognize.  Remus Lupin was screaming upstairs somewhere, obviously in excruciating pain.  There was a great commotion out back, but they couldn’t tell what might be going on back there. 

 

The two climbed the stairs in just a few steps, rounded the corner, and stopped at the sight that was before them in Harry’s room.  Tonks lay on the floor, unmoving, while Severus Snape stood over Lupin with his wand out.  Snape was apparently torturing Lupin with the Cruciatus Curse, because Lupin’s body was convulsing and he was screaming as one who cannot escape pain.  Harry was struck by the look of sheer glee and delight on the face of Snape, a man he had hardly seen crack a smile in all the time they knew each other. 

 

Expelliarmus,” Harry yelled, as he attempted to move closer to his former professor.  Snape’s wand flew out of his hand, but not for long.  The wand, curiously, shot right back into his hand after just a second or two.  Harry eyes went wide at the sight of this amazing magic.  The two spoke simultaneously.

 

Protego,” Harry said, instinctively.

 

“Crucio,” Snape cast, malice unmistakable on his face.

 

Snape’s curse rebounded and knocked him off his feet.  Harry closed the distance between the two without thinking.  Snape began to sit up when Harry kicked him in the nose, breaking it completely.  The second kick knocked the wand from his hand.  Ginny picked it up and snapped it in two. 

 

Harry jumped on top of Snape, cursing and hitting him with years of fury and loathing to strengthen him.  Harry could feel the rage from all the baiting and hate he had endured coming out in every punch he landed on Snape.  After all, this man hated his father, betrayed his parents to their death, and killed Dumbledore; that was enough to drive Harry.

 

Lupin finally got up and grabbed Harry’s arms.  Harry struggled to the point that Lupin could not hold him.  He and Remus were about the same height, now, and Harry had the advantage of full strength and youth to wrench his arm free. 

 

Harry could not hear anything except the pounding of his heart in his ears, until Ginny spoke up and said, “Stop, Harry.”  He stared at her as his mind adjusted back into reality, her facial expression was a mixture of love, sympathy, horror, and pity all rolled into one.  Harry realized that Ginny’s voice was the only one he could have heard at that moment.  He looked at her as his mind adjusted back into reality.  Her facial expression seemed a mixture of love, sympathy, horror, and pity all rolled into one. 

 

He got off Snape and took a few steps back.  Harry now saw the damage he had inflicted on his former Potions professor:  Snape’s face was bloody and barely recognizable.  Despite all this, his former Potions Professor began to stand.  Harry could tell he was having trouble seeing due to the blood and tears in his eyes from wounds on his brow and the broken nose.  Despite the condition of his face, Snape still managed to look down at Harry, smug and hateful.  The reminder of years of loathing and mistreatment by this man caused the rage to begin to rise again in Harry.

 

“By yourself, Snape?” Harry asked, glancing around to indicate that Snape had nobody to back him up. 

 

Snape glared at Harry and said, “Once again, Potter, your feeble mind has failed you.  I would not have been so naïve as to believe that you would be alone.  Had it been only you, Potter, I would not have bothered to come.  The most simple of wizards could have brought you back to us.”

 

“Well, I guess that’s why you’re here, then,” Harry said as he forced a smile.  Ginny moved a little closer to Harry, in order to grab his left hand.

As Snape straightened to full height, Harry had a disturbing thought work its way into his head:  “I could kill him.”  His next thought brought a little more comfort.  Instead of killing him, he would take this worm to Hagrid and let Grawp “play” with him.  The slimy voice that broke the silence brought him out of his daydream.

 

“Potter, you’ve never been able to finish anything with any satisfaction.  You couldn’t even kill me, could you?  You astonishing coward.  You incredibly arrogant fool.  You thought you’d just waltz in here and take me on?  My powers are eclipsed only by the Dark Lord himself.  Even Albus Dumbledore was no match for the Half-Blood Prince.” Snape spat these words out, as if talking to Harry was far beneath him.  It reminded him of the way Draco Malfoy used to spit his name out as one spits out something horrible to the taste.

 

To his left and his right, Harry saw that Ginny and Remus had both raised their wands and aimed them at Snape. 

 

“You don’t deserve to die,” Remus said.  The pain of talking and standing were obvious.  He would not be able to do so much longer.  Harry noticed something about Remus he had never seen before.  Through the pain and struggle, Harry noticed the set jaw and wrinkled forehead that comes with being in the presence of someone you really hate.  He could only guess that Remus was thinking the same thing as he was about Snape’s record with their close friends and relatives.  “Death would be rest, and I’ll not give you that pleasure.  I’ve been carrying a phial of Polyjuice Potion, in case I ever found you.”  Remus pulled the phial out of his trouser pocket and uncorked it, which took a good bit of his strength.  He was yet determined to say something to Snape.  “I never bothered you in school.  I know that I never stopped James and Sirius from making your life a living hell, but I never contributed to it.”  Remus must have seen that Snape was inching toward them, because he snapped, “Petrificus Totalus.”  As Snape fell to the ground, frozen, Remus went on. “While we were teaching together at Hogwarts, I did nothing to you.  I appreciated you making the Wolfsbane Potion for me.  I grew to respect you as a potions master and a member of the Order of the Phoenix.  However, you’ve not missed any opportunity to cause me pain.  You were the cause of my best friends’ deaths.”  A tear escaped out of the corner of his eye as he spoke.  Harry himself was trying to fight back both tears and the urge to kill Snape.  “If you hadn’t relayed to Voldemort what you heard through the door at the Hog’s Head, James and Lily would not be dead.  You took every chance to make my life uncomfortable at Hogwarts.  You’ve spent the better part of six years making Harry’s life hell.  You made Sirius’s life hell, and you killed Albus Dumbledore.”  Harry got the impression that Lupin was building a case for something, as a judge would consider the evidence before rendering a sentence. 

 

“So, Snivellus, I’ve devised a punishment befitting your crimes, your abilities, and your proclivity toward the dark things in this world.  I’ve been in contact with the werewolves, and I know where Fenrir Greyback is at this very moment.  So...”  Lupin reached over and pulled a hair out of Harry’s head, pulled the cork out of the phial, and dropped the hair into it.  After a minute or so, Remus unfroze only Snape’s face.  He removed a few long, greasy strands of Snape’s hair and placed them in his pocket. 

 

“What…” began Harry.

 

Lupin interrupted, “Insurance.  You never know when this could come in handy.”

 

Lupin grabbed Snape’s jaw and forced the potion into his mouth.  He muttered something, and Snape swallowed hard.  Snape began to change into Harry after a few moments, and once the transformation was complete, Lupin grabbed the lamp from Harry’s desk.  He muttered something once again, and turned back to Snape.  “You’ll be sorry you ever crossed my family.  Tell Greyback I said hello, ‘Harry!’”  Remus forced the lamp into Snape’s hand and let go just in time to see Harry’s clone vanish from the spot. 

 

Lupin collapsed.

 

Stunned, Harry looked around the room.  Ginny grabbed and held him for a few minutes.  In the silence, Harry could hear Ginny breathing deeply as one does when they are contemplating something.  He wanted to take time to comfort her, but he knew that they needed to find the others.  Harry pulled himself from Ginny’s grip, kissed her, and gave her some instructions:  “Ginny, you’ve got to try and revive Tonks and Lupin.  If you’re successful, take them back to the Burrow.  If you can’t get them to come around, come find me and we will figure something out.  I’m going to try to find the rest.”  Harry turned to go, as Ginny spoke softly. 

 

“Harry?” she said.  Harry turned back around.  “I’m not afraid of anything except losing you, and I will not let that happen again.  You be safe.”  She looked a little like Molly Weasley as she spoke.  There was something else in her face, though.  Something that screamed for Harry to stay and take care of her, but he had to fight the urge to do so. 

 

Harry knew exactly what she meant and had no intention of ever letting her go again.  Being face to face with the man he loathed as much as Voldemort had been cathartic.  He couldn’t let her go because she made life worth living.  Without her, he had no reason to defeat Voldemort.  With Voldemort gone, Harry would have nothing to cause him to want to go on living; Ginny kept him going.  Ron and Hermione were his best friends in the whole world, but if he died, they would still have each other.  Harry and Ginny were life itself, hanging in the balance.   

 

“I know.  I will.”  He kissed her and left the room. 

 

Downstairs, Harry came across something that made him pause.  All three Dursleys were lying on the living room floor.  All three were dead, apparently hit with the same curse.  Harry was conflicted between being sorry that his only surviving relatives were now all dead, and disappointment that he never really got a chance to tell them what he really thought.  There was something about losing the last few blood relatives he had in the world that really affected him.  The thought of leaving the Dursleys’ house forever had never concerned him, until now.  It never really felt final, until now- standing in the living room, with no hope of ever coming “home” again.  Then again, he could actually feel the cupboard under the stairs, directly behind him.  The cupboard was a sobering remider against the fantasy that the mind plays after the death of someone.  Most people might try to think and remember the best about others when they die, but Harry could not.  As long as he could remember that cupboard, and the spiders inside it, he could not bring himself to feel homesick or much sorrow.     

 

“How ironic,” he thought.  “They died from the one thing they had spent their lives denying ever existed.  Still, this was the only home I knew for 10 years or so and they were the only family I had.  I can’t help but wonder if we could’ve ever been close.”  These thoughts could have consumed him, but he knew that he couldn’t let them.  He had to get on with searching for the others.  He continued searching the house through kitchen and then out the back door.  “Lumos.” 

 

On the lawn were two more bodies:  Bellatrix Lestrange and Mad-Eye Moody.  It appeared that Moody was still alive, because his eye was still whizzing around in his head.  Harry moved cautiously toward Bellatrix and he kicked her wand as far away from her as he could.  Then he knelt down and checked her. 

 

She was dead.  If he had to guess, Moody and she cast at the same moment, and Moody’s got through.  Bellatrix can’t have been aiming a killing curse at Moody, because they would both be dead.  She would have wanted to torture him before he died.  After all, he was the one who put her in Azkaban in the first place.  Once again, Harry was disappointed that he had nothing to do with her death.  Just then, about 20 or so yards away, Ron and Hermione appeared with a pop. 

 

“Harry,” Hermione called.

 

“What are you doing here?” asked Harry.

 

“Kingsley Apparated to the woods near the house.  We went looking for Ginny when nobody returned with you.  When he appeared, he was in pretty bad shape, so we decided to help.  Then, we thought we’d come to see if we could help you.  Is she dead?”  Ron said all this in one breath, glancing at Lestrange’s body .

 

“Yeah, she’s dead.  I think Moody did it.  I think he’s still alive, but he’s not stirring.  I need the two of you to get him out of here, while I go upstairs and check on Ginny.”  As if following orders, Ron and Hermione walked toward Moody.  Harry saw Hermione conjure a stretcher for Moody before he went back inside the house. 

 

Harry walked quickly back into the house.  He had to get to Ginny, to make sure she was okay.  He went through the kitchen, down the hall, and rounded the corner to go upstairs. The sound of footsteps made him stop and look up the stairs to see who was coming down them.  He raised his wand before he was sure of who was coming towards him and yelled, “Stupefy!” He heard a familiar scream and looked up.  He had almost hit Ginny with his curse, and in the process, fell backwards in his effort to cast so quickly.  Thankfully, the fall had affected his aim, and he just missed her head. 

 

“Lupin was able to get back up.  He grabbed a nearby pillow and made it into a Portkey, placed it under Tonks’ head and grabbed it himself to go with her.  There is nobody else upstairs, so can we please get out of here?”  Ginny’s eyes were pleading with Harry as she said this.

 

Harry jumped up and scooped Ginny up in his arms.  He hugged her, and then put her at his side and Apparated back to the woods near the Burrow.  Harry wanted to get as far away from the Dursleys’ house as possible.       

 

 

 

A/N  Whew…that took a while.  Sorry it took so long to post.  The next few chapters shouldn’t take that long.  Anyway, I really appreciate my beta-reader Whimsy.  He has been invaluable in shaping this story.  Again, to Irishham97, thanks for all your help and input.  Enjoy!

//
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