(A/N All Harry Potter characters belong to JKR I'm just having fun with them)
Albus Percival Wolfrick Brian Dumbledore stood at the door to his office looking back to the instruments on the shelf. They were small, silver, and very informative despite their whimsical appearance. He knew he would not be able to see them for quite some time and worried slightly as they monitored the well being of one Harry James Potter. Knowing there were no other acceptable choices and that, he'd left them before and nothing happened, a wave of his wand locked his door, not to be reopened for quite some time. The hallways always seemed quietest at the very beginning of summer he noted while making his way to the Transfiguration Professor's office.
"Minerva, I'll be going now." Albus stood in the doorway to her office. Although she was aware of his arrival due to animagus enhanced senses she pretended surprise from habit.
"Very well, we'll be fine, I expect, the IWC is ready to begin the Conference."
He responded with a sigh.
"Yes, I believe they are." It happened every ten years, the representatives of each of the wizarding nations were sealed in, and not allowed contact with the outside, until all laws motions and treaties on the agenda, were agreed upon. It could take months for the International Confederation of Wizards to agree.
"Thank you, I'll return as soon as I can."
"Your welcome Albus, everything will be fine, go take care of the country, I'll take care of the Hogwarts." She reassured him.
A small smile graced his face as he nodded, and with the aid of Fawkes vanished in a flash of flame. Minerva went back to clearing out files to make room for the next year's incoming students, grateful for the summer break. In the distance the Hogwarts Express whistle, blew farewell as it cleared Hogsmeade bound for London.
Dust blew in the breeze, making a candy wrapper cross the street and land at the feet of a young boy. He was small; with dark black hair, baggy clothes, and glittering green eyes. Harry Potter stood on the curb outside Kings Cross Station, waiting for his Uncle to pick him up. Hoping it would be soon as the sky was a dark grey, and that light breeze was quickly gaining in strength.
It had been a year of ups and downs for young Harry. Not being able to go to Hogsmeade with his friends, at least with permission. Also finding out Sirius was his godfather, not a Death Eater, or traitor, but actually innocent. Then the sheer joy at the thought of a Dursley free summer, only to have that feeling snatched away as Peter Pettigrew escaped.
Harry looked up at the sound of a horn, noticing his Uncle across the way. Frowning, he noticed his Aunt and Cousin were not there as usual.
"Must be something going on," he thought as he struggled to drag the heavy trunk across the road.
Vernon never got up to help at all, it was starting to rain at last, and he did not wish to get wet.
"Bugger," Harry exclaimed as he painfully scraped his hand between the trunk and car.
"Mind the paint boy, or I won't get a prime price." Vernon bellowed the first but only mumbled the rest.
"Sorry, it's just that the trunk's heavy sir."
"Get in the back boy, we need to hurry, I've got a schedule to keep."
"OK," Harry did as asked bringing Hedwig with him.
"Ruddy Bird too huh?"
"She's my pet sir."
"Fine," Vernon pulled out into traffic heading in a different direction than the last year.
Harry watched the unfamiliar scenery go by for nearly half an hour. It seemed to him they were going the complete wrong way, but he hesitated to ask, knowing his Uncle would tell him to mind his own business.
City turned to town and town to countryside as they drove. Harry noticed Vernon was shooting him looks in the mirror before he finally got his courage up enough to ask:
"Did we move?"
"Then where are we going?"
"Almost there, just wait."
Harry was nervous, he sensed his Uncle was up to no good, but hoped it wasn't a visit to Aunt Marge. He sat back and watched the darkness that was growing outside the window eye lids growing heavy.
Vernon watched the freak with caution; he knew that the element of surprise was the key. Ruddy freak blew up his sister! This he remembered, but Petunia and Dudley didn't, that freak with the green hat made them forget. It didn't work on him, no sir; he knew he had a strong mind. The house was sold, his job transferred, the car all set to be purchased, and a cab scheduled to take him to the airport. He would be free and clear, no more freaks and their unnaturalness. Only the boy left to deal with.
Petunia wanted to just leave, not pick him up and just be gone. They didn't remember like he did though, freaks had used IT on them but he would have his revenge. This was it; he saw a small turn out on the side of the road, tucked back in a thicket, and no one to see.
Harry was startled awake by the slam of a car door as his Uncle lunged to his door, opening it and ripping him out. His trainers hit the gravel first, followed quickly by knees and hands then face as he slid to a stop.
"Hey!" was all that he could say before his uncle's dress shoe came crashing down on his ribs, rolling him sideways.
Harry had been in worse situations though, his reactions kicked in despite his muddled brain, and he jumped to his feet to run away. Dodging another kick as he rushed forward he bent down to grab his wand that had gone flying out of his sleeve. A meaty fist met him on the way up, with a loud smack and burst of light, his world blinked out. His body was flung backwards, landing arms stretched out over head, the wand flying away and, rain spattering his unmoving face.
Vernon smiled in triumph as the boy lay still in the muddy gravel. He did it, and no magic would stop him now. Turning to the car, he quickly grabbed the trunk and threw it to the ground. Then the owl in cage crashed right beside it. Spinning around in a rush, he grabbed the latch to open the trunk, with the intent of destroying the boy's things. As his fat fingers fumbled at the latch, Vernon growled as a quick shock went through him, the basic locking charms doing their job if any but a wizard tried to open it.
Shoving it to the side in anger, he advanced on the bird. Hedwig hooted and clicked her beak in warning. Not that Vernon slowed, grabbing the cage he slammed it to the ground, watching as the stunned owl rolled around and flapped her wings, trying to flee the cage in fright. With a cold grin, he pinned the dazed bird to the ground, and stepped with all his considerable weight on it. With a sickening crunch and wheeze, Hedwig was no more.
Turning at the sound of a groan from Harry, he stepped forward quickly and with as much force as he could manage, kicked the side of his nephew's head.
"Good riddance," he growled, as he shut the boot and got into his perfectly normal car and drove away toward what was sure to be, a now perfectly normal life. The rain continued to fall, as warmth left the corpse of the owl, and the boy lay as if dead, blood from his face disappearing into the mud.
Harry awoke with a groan to a cold and blurry world. It was barely light; everything was grey, almost colorless. Pushing himself up, he tried to sit; his side hurt, his face sore, and his head pounding.
His teeth chattering, he took stock of himself, and began looking around for his glasses. He remembered what happened as his hand found the crushed remains of his glasses.
"Damn," Harry mumbled, and then winced at the pain in his lips.
"Hedwig?" he then saw a lump of white and crawled to it.
Reaching out and touching her, she was not soft and warm like usual, but cold and wet. With a great sob Harry realized his fateful companion and first friend was dead. How long he sat there holding the dead owl he would never know, but eventually he stood up and carried her to the thicket. At the base of the largest tree, with a flat rock and stick he dug. It was slow and painful both in body and heart, but after a long time the hole was big enough. Walking back to his trunk he got his best school robes and his silver potions knife.
Wrapping Hedwig in the robe, he gently lowered her down and handful by handful, tear by tear, the hole was filled and then covered with rocks. With the knife, Harry carved her name as best as he could in the base of the tree that he couldn't see well enough to know it was an Oak. Sitting by the grave, and leaning against the rough bark of the tree, exhausted from cold and hunger with his task done, Harry passed out.
Arthur Weasley watched as the boys ran around frantic, they had all night to pack for the trip to visit Charlie and unpack their school supplies. It seemed that they had neglected to do so, but after so many years, he knew this would happen, and so told everyone that the portkey left at 10 o'clock, when actually it was an hour later.
"Ron, are sure you won't help me out? I really need a Helper or I can't go."
"I'm sorry Bill, but…. dragons!"
"Fine, how about you guys? Fred, George, please?"
"No can do."
"We're off to relax."
"Not cook and clean for you."
"And your mates," replied the twins in their annoying manner of speaking.
Just as well, Bill thought. Ron's too lazy and the twins would no doubt cause trouble. It was frustrating, as this was a golden opportunity for a newly turned Journeyman Curse Breaker. An expedition led by Ian McDougal to Central America was a reputation builder. Not that he knew any details they were all top secret. They didn't want to have rival Breakers taking the site. Still, he needed to find someone willing to work for the promise of loot by a novice. Maybe a Werewolf or squib would volunteer but it's not an easy task to find someone by any means.
Molly looked around as everyone stood waiting for the portkey to activate. She knew Arthur always hedged on the time, but it worked well. The twins and Ron were excited; and Ginny eager to see her favorite brother. Bill looked on as they all formed a circle holding an old belt.
"Remember, I got the tickets for the world cup, so try to make it back son."
Bill looked at his Dad and gave a nod as the portkey activated. The last thing he heard was Ron.
"Blimey, this summers going to be the best."
He walked back inside slightly sad, knowing that without a Breaker's Helper he would not be allowed to join. Ron was his best chance, he always wanted money and this was the chance to get some. However, with his Dad announcing a trip to Romania all that went out the window. He sat down on the couch letting his head fall back and stretching his tall lanky body out slowly nodding off for a nice nap. Just then, there was a slight knock at the door. He rolled forward to his feet in a single smooth motion and made his way to the door wondering who would come by the front lane. As he opened it the first thought was:
"Who are you and, what the bloody hell happened to your face?"