Disclaimer: J. owns Harry Potter.


Stir three times clockwise

His anger was like a bubbling cauldron but not a controlled one that was being attended to carefully, being stirred exactly the right amount of turns every few minutes. No, he was Nevilles cauldron after Malfoy and his cronies had just thrown an unknown ingredient in. Hissing, spitting, bubbling over the top.

Rage that once again his hopes and dreams had been thrown in to the dirt, dashed and splintered, ground into nothing but dust.

He smashes the branch into the tree until he collapses in exhaustion, salty tears rolling down his cheeks. Once he calms down he immediately regrets ripping off his glasses and throwing them into the lake. A whispered accio brings the them flying back to him but running his fingers over the wet lenses he knows they're damaged more than magic can fix.

He sighs, pushing himself to his feet and makes his way back to the castle.

He tells Mcgonagall that he tripped and fell on them, crushing them in the process. She tuts and tells him to be more careful. He needs new ones but nobody has the time to take him. He's told to get his friends to help him for the next couple of weeks until the term ends and he can buy some new ones.

He grumbles under his breath because he knows how much his aunt will like that. He sneaks out of Hogwarts a few nights later and takes the floo from Hogsmeade and from there to Diagon alley to withdraw some muggle money from the bank and while he's there, he discovers he's a fair bit richer than he originally thought. It had never occurred to him before that the trust vault might not be the only vault he was entitled to.

Three days in to the holidays his aunt drives him to the opticians, complaining all the way how ungrateful he is, how much like his waste of a father he is. She's even more annoyed when she has to go in with him, they won't treat him on his own. She leaves as soon as he goes to have his eyes tested and says she'll be back to sign the forms at the end.

When he goes to get his money out to pay for them the woman laughs and tells him he's sweet but that they're free because he's a child. He won't be able to pick them up until late next week but he thinks that they're worth the wait, he's never seen things so clearly before.

It starts with the glasses but it doesn't end there. Next are the taekwondo lessons. The summer heatwave and the sporadic letters from his friends do little to help his already fraying hold on his temper and an incident with some older boys from the neighbouring street gets him escorted home with a split lip and aching ribs.

He's sent straight to his room and when he gets there he slams the door but that doesn't stop him from hearing the conversation downstairs where Mrs wood suggests that his aunt put him into some sort of fighting classes, suggesting that it may help calm and stabilise him like it did her boys.

Petunia is quick to agree to get her out of the house with no intention of spending a penny more on her nephew than she has to, especially when he's causing even more trouble than usual. When uncle Vernon gets home he's fuming and Harry is locked in his room with no food for that night or the next morning.

Two weeks later though, after narrowly escaping coming to blows with uncle Vernon a couple of times, aunt Petunia sees the fire burning in his eyes and enrols him in the next available fighting class.

He likes the lessons so much that he asks to go to more but they only have one beginner class available during the summer so he joins a local boxing club aswell. This he funds out of his own pocket, he doesn't tell his aunt though. She's more than happy to be rid of him for a few hours (or years if she had her way) but she wouldn't be if she found he had money to spare.

The fighting like promised gives him a chance to vent and he finds himself calming somewhat. The Dursley house goes back to normal but for Harry things continue to change.

He makes a few friends with the boys in classes and they invite him to play a few games of football or to go to the park or to play video games at their homes. He's rarely at number 4 but nobody minds. When he's not in the house or with newfound friends he's roaming the streets or sneaking food into the house and under the floorboards beneath his bed. He doesn't go hungry even for a single meal.

On the days that it rains he reads. He has mixed feelings about the local library. When he was younger it was his sanctuary, a place to go to hide from Dudley and his gang. But he isn't that boy anymore and he never wants to be again. Eventually boredom wins and he goes in to collect books but unlike last time he takes them home to read. He has a room now where there's a light he can read with.

He isn't happy, not by a long shot but the summer is better than every summer before it. He even gets rid of Dudleys hand me downs when one of petunias gossip club women notices his jeans hanging above his ankles. He hadn't thought about it before but he hadn't received and new clothes since he bought his school uniform in first year and he hadn't had any muggle clothes since before then. They had been huge at the time but three years later they were getting too short in the leg if not in the waist. His aunt gives him fifty pounds the next day and tells him to get himself some clothes that fit. On the way out the door she screams that she wants receipts.

The money doesn't buy a lot but he still manages to get a couple of new t-shirts and a pair of jeans. The other things he wants he buys with the money he'd exchanged before the summer. He keeps the extra bags outside and when his aunt isn't looking shoves them in his trunk to wear when he's at school.

Of course the holidays wouldn't be complete without a nightmare of Voldemort killing someone. He wakes shivering and sweating in an empty room and he considers writing straight to Dumbledore but then rethinks. The headmaster wouldn't want to know about every little thing that bothers him and by the time the rest of the house wakes up, he's decided it was just a bad dream. His regrets of letting Pettigrew escape prey on his mind.

Occasionally a tropical bird will appear with a letter from his absent godfather. He's glad Sirius is safe but he can't help the slither of resentment that worms its way into his heart at the fact that his godfather has already obviously forgotten about his offer of a new home. He thinks once again that the only person he can rely on is himself.

With the end of august brings the Weasleys and his yearly two week stay at the burrow in Devon. It's the usual chaos with the exception of trip to the quidditch World Cup, but even that ends in disaster with death eaters crashing the party and Barry Crouch's elf being accused of casting the dark mark.

As he gazes up at the train that will take him to the only home he's ever known, because the Dursleys don't count, he lets out a happy sigh. This is going to be a good year, he can just feel it.