A/N: Hello people! Here comes the second chapter, VERY short I know, but read & review nonetheless. To make up for it I'll update quickly, you won't know the difference. (And otherwise just click on the "large font" tag, lol).
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Previously on Harry Potter and the Forest of Shadows: After a boring, but not entirely horrible, summer, Harry is awakened in the night by Ron who tells him that Dean Thomas has left his sister for a Muggle. Shortly before sunrise, his sleep is interrupted again, this time by Uncle Vernon who demands to know where Aunt Petunia is. Harry puts him under a spell, and is warned of something suspicious by his Pocket Sneakoscope.
DEATH EATER AT PRIVET DRIVE
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It was as though time itself had stopped. Harry froze, not daring to look anywhere other than the object that had gone berserk. The night, previously quiet and calm, was suddenly filled with the sound that brought Harry entirely back to his senses.
Thoughts raced through his mind. Why was it making noise now, after having appeared broken for almost a year? Did it mean that his worst fears had come true, and someone would come for him in a matter of seconds? If Aunt Petunia was really dead, nothing could protect him anymore. This thought sent chills up his spine.
Where was Dumbledore? Anyone from the Order? Weren't they supposed to be looking after him? Harry was sure he could expect a letter, a warning, anything - any second now. But the air outside remained unmoving; no owls could be seen anywhere on the purplish horizon. If no one came, he would have to defend himself.
Suddenly jumping back to life, Harry quickly opened Hedwig's cage and gently coaxed out the soft white owl. She looked at him curiously, wondering why she'd be going out again after having returned from her usual midnight hunt. Harry opened the window.
"Find Dumbledore!" he whispered urgently, grateful for the understanding in her intelligent eyes. Hedwig solemnly spread her wings and flew out of Harry's hands into the night sky. He watched her soaring above the trees on a distant street corner, when something else caught his eye.
A shadow. The shadow of a hooded figure.
Panicking, Harry jumped back from the window and bent down over his uncle. He was sprawled in the doorway of Harry’s bedroom, dangerously close to the staircase. Harry calculated the situation. He needed to get out of Privet Drive alive - but he couldn't just leave uncle Vernon there to be killed. As much as he hated the man, Harry wasn't about to stoop to Voldemort's level.
"Uncle Vernon, do you hear me?" Harry muttered hurriedly, looking down on the stony faced man. His eyes were the only thing that moved, and they were fixed on Harry.
"When I remove the spell, you need to run down to Dudley's room, and take him outside through the back door. Without looking back - run as fast as you can until you reach some sort of place with plenty of people. I know this sounds strange, but you're in danger, and-"
Harry was interrupted by the Pocket Sneakoscope, that was now practically screaming for attention.
He pointed his wand down at his frozen uncle, praying that he wouldn't argue too much once he was back to his old self.
Gasping for breath, Uncle Vernon sat up, having recovered his usual bulky form. Harry took a step back, dreading what would come.
"You... How... Could you..." Uncle Vernon said, every word coming slowly and filled with the utmost hate.
He looked as though he was having a harder time than other people when they recovered from the spell, Harry had never seen anyone in this state before. Uncle Vernon's chest heaved, his eyes bulged and he was clasping his arm as though it was broken.
"Get up!" Harry cried, pulling on his uncle's hand to get him onto his feet. He opened the door, and started pushing him out of the room.
"Quickly! Get Dudley!"
He stared, horrified, as his uncle stood rooted to the ground, still clutching himself and turning the same shades as the sunrise.
"I need... Help... Petunia..."
Suddenly, Harry realized what was going on. It was too much for the old man. All the anger, bottled up over the entire summer - his wife, missing and possibly dead, and now, having been put under a spell and ordered around by the person he most hated. Uncle Vernon was having a heart attack.
Harry tried to remain calm, but on the inside he was screaming. What was he supposed to do? No one had ever trained him to deal with such a situation, and he had no time to figure it out. Suddenly, he did the only thing that occurred to him and that seemed to come from an entirely different side of himself.
Uncle Vernon straightened up, all of his pain gone and a dreamy look in his eyes. Without daring to believe it was true, Harry muttered his instructions.
Now do as I told you, quickly.
Uncle Vernon rapidly hobbled out of sight, and Harry whirled around to look out of the window. He felt his insides turn to ice when he saw what was standing right underneath him, on the Dursley's front yard. A Death Eater; her wand aimed up at Harry and her hood lowered to reveal a sunken face with the dark, insane eyes of Bellatrix Lestrange.
As her mouth opened to form words, Harry dropped to the ground. Focus on your centre... Beads of sweat formed on his forehead, as he realized that he couldn't Dissaparate. Whether it was because he couldn't concentrate, or for some other reason, he didn't know. But there was no time to ponder it.
"What are you-? Dad, it's five in the morning..." He heard Dudley's muffled voice say, as though from miles away.
Harry crawled over the floor, snatching the end of his Firebolt that rested against the wall. He mounted the broomstick quickly, feeling it spring to life under his touch.
"I know you're up there, Harry Potter... Why don't you come out and play?"
Bellatrix' mocking words jammed themselves into Harry's head. He gritted his teeth, remembering the last time he had heard them. After she murdered Sirius...
Suddenly feeling determined, Harry urged his Firebolt up over his desk, over the windowsill and out of the house. He heard the shrieking laughter of the Death Eater under him, but it was overpowered by the pounding of his heart. As though it knew what was happening, his Firebolt shot forewards with an incredible gust of speed, avoiding curses and flashes of light by inches.
In the houses that surrounded Privet Drive, number four, faces started appearing in the identical windows. They had all been awake, and stirred by the screaming of a lunatic they were coming out to watch. Although Harry didn't know it, that was the last time he would be seeing any of them, or the house that he had lived in for the past sixteen years.
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