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Chapter Seven

“I’ll be seeing you soon, Harry.” Remus said to Harry.

“Yeah, see you later.” Harry said. He wasn’t pleased about having to go back to the Dursleys but at least he knew why he had to go back now. “See you.”

“Bye.” Tonks said, “Take care Harry.”

“Constant vigilance!” Moody barked at him. Everyone behind him rolled their eyes and grinned.

“Goodbye Mr. Potter.” Professor McGonagall said to him and Snape shot him a look of utter contempt.

“Look after yourself Harry and I’ll be seeing you in a week or two myself.” Dumbledore said to him before he handed him the portkey back to his home. It was his own wand. Tonks stepped forward and took hold of it as well and he felt the tug around his stomach before he landed on the floor with Tonks next to him.

“Never got the hang of landing on my feet.” She said brightly as she got to her feet and helped Harry up after her. It was only half past ten in the morning but it felt a lot later.

Harry glanced at the windowsill where a pen and a pad of paper were kept. On it Tom had scrawled a quick message before he had gone to school this morning.

Oi! Where are you? I take it you forgot about school then. No matter, it’s not like you have to go. I’ll see you tomorrow; Steph’s dragging all of us shopping. Sounds fun, huh? See you then.

Tom


Harry smiled slightly; he didn’t mind shopping with Steph, even though she dragged them round tonnes of shops just looking for exactly the right pair of jeans. A little distraction from everything was just what he would be wanting since he knew that Seamus’ death would be preying on his mind for the next few hours.

“Boy!” Vernon barked at the top of his voice as he came marching through the door. “Where the hell have you been?”

“Out.” Harry replied coolly, watching Tonks raise her wand in the corner of his eye. This summer his uncle had become all too eager with his fists, despite the warning from the Order and Harry had been beaten black and blue quite a few times already. Most of the Order knew about this and it was taking them a large amount of self control not to go marching into Harry’s and give Vernon exactly what he deserved.

“Out?!” He shouted. “All night?!”

“That’s right.” Harry said, hiding the amusement he felt when Vernon got so angry. His face had turned a bright red, like a tomato, his moustache twitched and his eyes were narrowed. Vernon reached out and grabbed Harry by the back of his robes which he realised he was wearing too late. “How many times have I told you about Wizarding shenanigans in this house boy?!” He almost screamed as he shook him violently, Harry made a choking sound as the neck of his robes tightened from his uncle’s grip. He dropped him to the floor where he lay, gasping for breath.

“Get off him you great fat oaf!” Tonks was screaming at him in the background and making furious gestures at him but because of the charm she had on her she was neither seen nor heard.

“Lunch will be ready in half an hour or else, boy.” Vernon barked at him as he marched out of the room. Harry scowled darkly at the door and reached out for his wand. He pointed it at his robes and they removed themselves from his body and went into his wardrobe, leaving him with his muggle clothes on.

“Go drink some lard Dursley!” She screeched at him as the door closed and dropped to her knees next to Harry. “Are you okay?” She looked at him and saw a purple mark around his neck where the robes had dug into him, underneath that she saw other purple marks which were fading now but were the shape of large fat hands. Her anger mounted and she helped Harry up more roughly than she had meant to.

“That ugly, fat, buffoon!” She was shouting at the floor. Her fists were clenched and sparks were coming off her.

“Calm down Tonks, please!” Harry begged, hoping that none of the sparks would set the room alight. The last thing that he needed right now would be for his uncle to call the police and say that he was an arsonist. She span round, fury in her eyes and looked at Harry who didn’t seem to care that he had almost been strangled and that half of him was covered in bruises. Now that she looked closer she could see that there were bruises on his face and everywhere on his arms. There was barely any flesh on him that she could see that was not bruised in some way. All the fury went, leaving her feeling empty and miserable. Harry just looked tired of it all, as if this happened every day and it was just part of a routine. It probably is part of a routine. Tonks told herself. She reached out to the boy and hugged him tightly. Harry feeling rather confused by her mood swings tried not to wince in pain as her tight embrace pressed against his back, which Dudley had taken delight in kicking only a couple of days before. He was angry with himself for being foolish enough to forget the concealment charms he had been hiding all his wounds with. He suddenly realised that if Tonks saw his wrist now then she would see all the cuts which covered his arm. He carefully pulled his wand from his pocket and waved it swiftly over his arm. He knew he couldn’t risk putting the charm over his entire body so soon after Tonk’s had seen it all, he would wait until later on, but before it was Bill’s turn to watch him.

“Anyway.” Tonks said, pulling back from him, “How about teaching me to skateboard, you started teaching Bill...”

“Sure.” Harry smiled and she followed him from the room, down out into the street.

***


“You’re useless Bill!” Tonks laughed at Bill who had just dropped the ball for the fifth consecutive time. There was an audible groan from Bill’s team and cheers from Harry and Tonk’s.

“That’s 20-13.” Jamie said, smiling broadly since he was on the winning team. Harry and Tonks had spent much of the afternoon skateboarding outside, then Bill came to join them and they spent an extra hour helping Bill off the floor when he repeatedly fell off his skateboard. Later on Steph, Tom and Jamie had shown up and after introducing Tonks and Bill to them they started a rather large game of rounders which had just about everyone who lived in the street (and some who didn’t) under the age of twenty playing as well.

Bill was proving rather useless at the game, although everyone thought he was amazingly cool so that was okay with them and Tonks was pretty good but occasionally she fell over her own feet trying to beat Tom to the ball. Tom, himself, wasn’t pleased that he was being beaten by Harry’s team, especially since he had the first pick of players.

Tonk’s leant back on a garden wall, waiting for the next person to bat and wondered whether the Order were missing her at tea. She had said to Molly that she would be there and she hoped that she hadn’t made her worry in her absence.

“Where could she have got to?” Molly asked the rest of the company, which was Arthur, Ron, Hermione, Charlie, Ginny, Fred, George, Remus, Professor McGonagall, Moody and unusually, Dumbledore.

“I’m sure she’s fine, wherever she is.” Arthur reassured his wife.

“I don’t want to eat before we know where she is!” Molly said and the rest of the group assembled for dinner silently cursed Tonks for not showing up.

“I can show you where she is.” Dumbledore said, with a twinkle in his eyes. “This is something I have been working on for quite some time now and it work’s wonderfully.” He put a large rectangular piece of wood onto the centre of the table and everyone stared at it.

“It’s a piece of wood, Albus.” Minerva stated.

“You are correct.” Dumbledore said, “However it is a piece of wood with a large number of charms on it.”

He waved his wand over the wood and muttered an incantation which was no loud enough for anyone to hear before stating clearly ‘Nymphadora Tonks’. Everyone around the table gasped as from the surface of the wood houses began to grow until it showed a street. Privet Drive to be precise. It was incredibly detailed as well, every brick could be seen in the houses and every single blade of grass was there that should be on the pristine garden lawns.

“It’s not done yet.” Dumbledore said quietly before adding “Ennervate” Another gasp went round the table as many people began to appear in the street. They seemed to be playing a game of some sort.

“They’re playing rounders!” Hermione said in disbelief as she watched the three inches tall Harry leap up into the air and catch the ball.

“Out!” Cried Tonks from the third base and the fielding team cheered.

“Damn you Harry!” Tom shouted as he threw the ball back to him, since Harry was playing as the bowler. “We’ll beat you yet!”

“I doubt it, we’re winning 22-15!” Jamie shouted back at him.

“Oh stop sulking Bill!” Tonks shouted at the redhead who looked rather moody, standing in the line of people who were waiting to bat.

“So what exactly is rounders?” Ron asked Hermione, not taking his eyes from the street infront of him.

“It’s a game.” She said, before going on to explain. “You have two teams, the fielders and the batters.” She pointed at each of the two sides as she said this before carrying on, “the bowler (that’s Harry) throws the ball to the batter, who hits it and has to run round the four bases. The fielders have to catch the person out by touching the ball to the base which the batter is running to. If the batter gets to the fourth base then they get a rounder, if the fielders catch the ball after the batter hit it before it hits the floor then the batter is out and the fielders get the rounder.” She said all this very quickly and everyone else there sat silently for a moment, taking in all that she’d said.

“I get it.” Ron said finally and started to eat the plate of pasta which his mum had placed infront of him, without taking his eyes from the game. The next batter was Bill. Harry threw the ball and Bill hit it as hard as he could. There was a tinkling of glass and everyone at the table laughed. Everyone in the street stood frozen to the spot as they stared at Dudley’s bedroom window which now had a large hole in it.

“Run!” Steph shouted and in seconds the street was deserted and Harry, Tom, Jamie, Tonks and Bill were hiding in Mrs Figg’s garden. An angry looking fat man came marching out of the Dursley’s house.

“You’re for it this time boy!” He shouted loudly into the street, “I know it was you! You’re going to rue the day you broke that window!” He then marched down the garden path and down the street towards the town in the same angry manner.

“Sorry!” Bill said to Harry, “I didn’t mean to!”

“Forget it, Bill.” Harry smiled, “It doesn’t matter.”

“Doesn’t matter!” Tonks said incredulously, “He almost strangled you for nothing earlier! God knows what he’ll do now he has a reason!”

“You wanna stay at mine ‘till it blows over?” Jamie asked him.

“It won’t blow over.” Harry said miserably.

“Yeah, remember that time when we ‘accidentally’ painted Dudley’s face green in the night?” Tom said to him.

“How immature is that?” Tonks said to him.

“We were eight at the time.” Harry informed her. “And I spent a whole week at Tom’s, hoping that Vernon would forget by the time I got home.”

“And did he?” Bill asked.

“Nope.” Harry replied.

“What did he do?” Tonks asked him.

“Dunno but I woke up a week later in the hospital with two broken legs.” Harry said.

“What?!” Cried everyone round the table, along with Bill.

“It’s true.” Jamie clarified. “Anyways if you’re sure you don’t want to stay with me then I’m gonna have to go for my tea.” He said apologetically.

“I’m sure, I’ll see you tomorrow.” Harry replied, before adding “hopefully.”

“Wait and I’ll come with you.” Tom said, running after Jamie who had already started down Mrs Figg’s garden path.

“I can’t believe they treat you like that!” Tonks said, “It’s not fair!”

“Life’s not fair.” Harry said. The door of number four, Privet Drive, opened once more and Petunia stepped out onto the porch.

“Get in here now, boy!” She screeched, “I want tea ready in half an hour!” She turned and slammed the door shut as she went back into the house.

Tonks gasped loudly, “I completely forgot! I’m meant to be having tea at Grimmauld Place!”

“Mum was making it for half five, you’re already more than half an hour late.” Bill informed her.

“Come on!” Tonks said and cast the disillusionment charm against muggles over herself and Bill and the three of them went into the house. “See you later Harry.” Tonks said and hugged him tightly before running silently up the stairs and into Harry’s room. The walls of the Dursley’s house becoming transparent as she did so.

“12 Grimmauld Place.” She muttered quietly before stepping into the fireplace and falling out of it next to the table of people watching Harry in the kitchen.

“I’ve never understood those muggle ovens.” Arthur said.

“Sorry I’m late…” Tonks said, pulling herself up from the floor. She glanced at the table and saw herself in a small model of the kitchen in Grimmauld Place. “Wow, what’s this?!”

“It’s a being locator.” Dumbledore explained, “I recently perfected the charm on it myself, it shows where any certain individual is and right now it shows you.” It sounded odd to hear Dumbledore say this at the same time as his three inch high counterpart in the miniature kitchen on the table.

“How do you use it?!” Tonks asked him.

“You simply tap it and say clearly the name of the person you wish to see. Unfortunately I’m afraid I must be off now.” He said, rising from his chair and stepping towards the fireplace, “Thank you for tea, Molly. Goodbye everyone.” A chorus of ‘goodbye’s met him as he walked into the fire.

“I must also be going.” McGonagall said, “I can’t spend all my time watching Mr Potter on a piece of wood.”

“Likewise.” Moody muttered and they both left via the fireplace.

“Weird.” Ron said at the same time as his miniature self.

“Harry Potter.” Ginny said, tapping the wood sharply with her wand. The scene on the wood began to change and no one moved from their position as Harry’s home appeared infront of them.

The three Dursleys were sat at the table, awaiting their tea whilst Harry busied himself around the kitchen, making it as quickly as he could. Bill sat on the worktop next to him, watching him cook. Soon there were four visible plates of chicken and rice on the worktop and a disillusioned one complete with disillusioned knives and forks for Bill. Harry set all the food down on the table, leaving Bills there since it would have looked odd for him to be carrying nothing to the table. He had eaten barely a mouthful when the phone rang and it was Harry who was ordered to answer it.

“It’s Mr Mason.” Harry said, handing the phone to his uncle. He remembered only too well the summer before his second year where he spent an evening pretending not to exist whilst talking to Dobby the house elf in his room. He went back to his seat and glanced down at his plate which was now empty. He glanced at Dudley’s and saw it now had twice the amount of food on it than it had had before he went to answer the phone. Harry sighed quietly and took his plate to the sink where he ran the water for the washing up.

“I can’t believe they don’t stop their son from stealing someone else’s food.” Hermione said as she watched Bill offer him some of his tea but Harry declined and muttered that he’d have tea later on.

Ten minutes later the room had cleared and Harry dried his hands from the washing up which he had just finished. From nowhere his uncle appeared infront of him.

“So what are you going to do about that window, boy?” Vernon asked him.

“What do you want me to do about it?” Harry asked wearily. This had happened too many times, not with windows but in general. He knew how things went: Vernon asked him questions, Harry was reasonably polite with his answers and Vernon knocked him down and left him lying on the kitchen floor. Today was no exception.

Remus got up from his seat at the table and walked out of the room without a word to anyone. He had seen enough. The last thing that had happened before he left was that Harry had been knocked down and knocked out by his uncle with one swift blow to the head which not even Harry had been fast enough to dodge. He was even at that moment lying on the floor, with blood pouring from the side of his face onto the clean lino flooring of the kitchen. He couldn’t believe the way they treated him and he couldn’t believe that they got away with it. Harry was just like a house elf to them, their slave who cooked and cleaned for them, he did the washing and he did the ironing and then he was periodically beaten up because of it. He entered his room and lay down on the bed, his mind lost in thought. It was his shift next at Privet Drive and he should have spent some time sleeping during the afternoon or he was sure to sleep during the night when he was meant to be watching Harry. He closed his eyes and hoped to get some sleep for a couple of hours until he had to go but it was no use, the house was silent and his room was just above the kitchen and he could hear indistinct mutterings from the room below. He sighed and cast a quick spell on the floor and suddenly he could hear as perfectly as if he were in the room with them.

Back downstairs everyone else was watching Harry carefully clean his cut in the mirror whilst Bill marched round the room insulting the Dursleys at the top of his voice.

“Forget it Bill, you can’t change anything.” Harry said quietly, “This is the way it’s always been.”

“But it doesn’t always have to be this way!” Bill argued with him, much louder than Harry had done, but then he wasn’t in danger of being overheard by the muggles and Harry was.

“As long as I live here then I live like this.” Harry said before he cast a quick concealment charm over his wound and he looked back to normal. Bill raised an eyebrow.

“How many of those charms do you have on you?” He asked Harry.

“Just two, I put a complete one over myself every morning and then there was that one then.” Harry said.

“Tonks saw you without it earlier.” Bill said, “That was why she was upset when I came, wasn’t it?”

“She saw it when it was fading, it’s worse than what she saw.” Harry replied quietly, keeping his eyes on the floor as he walked out of the kitchen and up to his room.

“Merlin.” Tonks murmured, “It was worse?!”

“Worse than what?” Charlie asked her.

“When I saw him earlier he had bruises all over him, on his face, on his neck and arms—” She replied miserably.

“On his neck?!” Ron said disbelievingly.

“Vernon had been throttling him.” She said quietly. The room was silent as they watched Harry playing chess with Bill.


***


It was half past eleven by the time everyone had gone to bed. They had stopped watching Harry soon after he and Bill started to play chess since it wasn’t particularly interesting. Tonks went to bed just as Remus was coming down the stairs and as they bid each other a good evening Tonks thought his eyes looked a little red, almost as if he had been crying but she shrugged it off as she went into her room.

Remus walked silently through the house and into the kitchen where he saw the replica of Privet Drive where Harry was in his room chatting to Bill. He smiled slightly as he stepped through the fireplace.

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