Flight from the Dursleys'
Flight from the Dursleys'
Almost a week later, Harry lay on his bed at two o'clock in the morning, staring up at a patch of peeling paint on the ceiling. He'd sent Hedwig to Hermione, Ron and Sirius immediately after the attack of the Dementors, demanding answers to questions such as "How come nobody told me I was being guarded?"
and "When the hell am I getting out of here?"
His pet owl had yet to return, though, and he had to assume that this was because she was pecking the three recipients for decent length replies as per his instructions. Without any letters to read, he was bored and getting steadily angrier over his friends' lack of information. What did they think? That he wasn't responsible enough to know anything? That he didn't deserve to have fun with them, wherever they were together, since he had gotten Cedric Diggory killed at the end of the Triwizard Tournament? Maybe that was it; they were afraid that one of them would be next. Harry snorted in disgust at that thought; Ron and Hermione wouldn't do that to him.
As he lay in the moonless darkness, the breeze from his open window playing with his messy black hair, a subtle shift in the air around him made him sit up ramrod straight, instantly alert; after years of living at Number 4, he knew how to tell when the back door was opened. Straining his ears, he just made out the sound of the lock clicking shut down stairs, and his eyes widened. Someone was downstairs, while all the Dursleys were asleep.
Grabbing his wand from under his pillow where he'd kept it since Voldemort's return, he crept silently from his bed to the door, and opened it just a crack. Behind him, he failed to notice a figure detach itself from the shadows and lean over him, peering out the crack in the doorway with him. "What're we looking for Harry?" she whispered, and stepped quickly backwards as he jumped nearly a foot in the air and whirled around, wand pointed at her heart. "Ah, so someone has taught you at least a little then. Good reactions by the way." She reached over his shoulder and flicked on the light, bathing them both in yellow electric light.
Blinking away the brightness, Harry stared at the 18-year-old girl before him. "Hey, I recognise you. You're that woman from the night the Dementors attacked."
The teenager, standing in her usual costume of black T-shirt, black leather trousers, jacket and boots with her array of weaponry hung around her body, smiled at the recognition and gently placed her hand on his wand, forcing it down away from her heart. "Yes, I am. The name's Mary, but unlike my brother I don't tell everyone I meet, or intimidate, my full set of titles. I just say I'm an Eternal and have done with it. Now put that wand away, since I'm a friend and you couldn't kill me anyway."
"Could too," Harry muttered sulkily, nonetheless complying with her instruction.
Mary, now standing across the room and examining the clutter of papers on his small, rickety wooden desk, looked over her shoulder with a look of pity. "Sometimes I forget that you are not as old as your experiences would lead one to believe, nor are you as knowledgeable of the world as a Wizarding child should be. I will explain later, but for now just trust me when I say you cannot kill me, no matter how good we both may be. It simply is not possible." When she saw that his anger at being underestimated had been replaced with curiosity for her supposed immortality, she turned back to the desk. "Now I suggest you pack quickly and quietly. Michael is doing one final sweep of the neighbourhood to make sure no-one, friend or foe, will see us depart, and the others will be here in ten minutes. Try not to wake your relatives while I go and set up a few surprises for them to find in the morning." And with that she reached under the bed, pulled up a floorboard and retrieved Harry's stash of prank materials.
Harry's jaw dropped to the floor. "How did you know that was there? You lot aren't spying on me, are you?"
As she left, Mary chuckled. "No, we're just guarding you. I know because of the minor telepathy I possess. When I told you to pack, your mind was practically screaming that you would be leaving without using these on the Dursleys. It's very hard for a telepath to ignore someone else's mind shouting like that. Not to mention I skimmed your thoughts briefly to ensure you were actually Harry Potter." She turned to leave the room, but stopped and looked back over her shoulder. "Oh, and a word to the wise; next time someone sneaks up on you and you're alone or on alert, curse first and ask questions later. Even if it's just you Stunning a friend, it's better than being cursed yourself." And with that she quietly shut the door, leaving Harry to pack up all his possessions in slightly less than ten minutes.
Needless to say, ten minutes later Harry was only halfway done. Looking at the remaining items, he sighed and was just about to continue when his door opened again. "So, Mary says you should be almost packed." Harry turned, and saw a woman with shockingly pink hair standing in his doorway, wearing a pair of worn jeans and a Weird Sisters T-shirt. "Mad-Eye said that you'd only gotten halfway though. Looks like he wins. Again. Damn him and his blasted eye." Harry blinked at her, staring at her hair and wondering how Aunt Petunia had not woken up yet with some kind of sixth sense warning of such an abomination in her house. Following his gaze, she smiled and ran a hand through her hair. "Like the colour? Or would you prefer blue?" And before his very eyes, she scrunched up her face and her hair changed to a startling electric blue.
"How did you do that?" he asked over his shoulder as he snapped out of his stupor and returned to packing.
"I'm a metamorphmagus. Means I can change appearance at will. My name's Tonks, by the way." She frowned at his half-packed trunk and waved her wand, making the rest of his possessions fly in from all over the room, landing in a heap in the trunk before the lid slammed shut. "There, much better. Shall we go?" And, levitating his trunk and Hedwig's empty cage, she escorted Harry down the stairs and into the kitchen, where four other people were waiting; the siblings Mary and Michael Gabriel, Mad-Eye Moody and Remus Lupin. Both wizards held broomsticks in their hands, and another one was leaning against the kitchen counter waiting for Tonks.
Harry smiled at Remus when he saw him, but was quickly distracted by Mad-Eye. The grizzled old ex-Auror was holding up a glass of water to his one good eye, and swirling a large blue magical eye in the water. Catching Harry's gaze as he put the eye back in, he smirked and threw the glass haphazardly over his shoulder, where it was caught by some invisible force and placed gently and soundlessly on the draining board by the sink. "Damn thing keeps sticking since that scum wore it last year. Well, ready to go, Potter? Got your broom? Got your wand?" He tapped the trunk and cage with his wand as Harry held up the items in question, shrinking the bulky objects to a size where Harry could easily place them both in a backpack Remus threw at him. Then the party of six walked out of the backdoor as quietly as possible and stood in a circle, Remus and Moody watching the sky while hovering just off the ground on their broomsticks, with Harry and Tonks copying them but looking around at ground level.
Harry's eyes fell on the two Eternals, who were merely standing at the back of the group with their eyes closed. "Where are your broomsticks?" he asked, puzzled as to how they would be coming with them if they couldn't fly.
Michael's eyes opened and he looked at him as Mary turned her back to everyone else and began taking off her jacket. "There are other ways to fly than with a broomstick." He motioned to Mary, who spread her arms out to the side. As she did so, a pair of glowing black leathery wings grew out of her back, poking through holes cut between the shoulder blades of her black T-shirt and spreading to a good 18 feet or so. "We use wings." He said, removing his leather duster to reveal a pair of white-feathered wings growing from holes in the back of his own T-shirt. Folding both his sister's and his own jacket up, he threw them to Harry, who sensibly tucked them into his backpack. Just as he pulled the zipper shut, red sparks flared in the sky where Remus and Moody were watching. "That's the signal. You best concentrate on your flying Harry. It's a long way to headquarters." And with those words, Michael, Mary and Harry leapt into the sky, quickly following the other three up into the darkness.