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Harry Potter and the Deathly Dursleys contest The incessant ticking of the grandfather clock surrounded Harry‟s ears as he crept down the pitch-black hallway towards his room. Never had time crept so slowly as it did now, for on this night Harry could finally leave this place and forever be rid of the Dursley‟s. Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia had raised him since he was a baby, and it was their negative treatment of him in the subsequent years that had made a lasting effect on him growing up. Well, he would not have it anymore. He was a new person, and he was stronger and more confident. His future may be unknown, but he was going to face it head on, rebelling against the Dursley‟s ideal of decorum. The man who had murdered his parents and countless others was still out there, and for seven long years Harry had been the focus of his hunt. Little did Voldemort know that he was soon to become the prey. Harry was turning seventeen in just under an hour, and he knew that the protection his mother had shielded him with would run out. He had absolutely no idea how the protection would wear off, how it worked, or the consequences once it did; he was not going to take any chances. He was leaving – he would head to Grimmauld Place – the late home of his godfather, Sirius Black. Still the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix, for it had been determined that it remained a secure location. Harry would be the safest there, until he could continue on his journey. First Harry had to grab his belongings though, and leave Privet Drive. He felt sure the time was at hand for the others to arrive; and once they did, they would have to be quick. Who knew where Voldemort‟s spies lurked, and how much information they had gathered? Harry was not going to risk his life, or, he grudgingly admitted to himself, would he put the Dursley‟s to risk as well. They deserved comeuppance for their actions towards him in the past, but even Harry did not wish them harm. As he neared his bedroom door, the stillness in the house became cold. Harry‟s senses were immediately alerted, and he knew he was not alone. Turning sharply, he spotted a dark shape at the other end of the hallway, facing him. His heart thumped in his chest, and his hand whipped around to his back pocket to locate his wand. Before he could pull it out the figure stepped forward and was revealed to be Remus Lupin. “Hello Harry,” he said in a quiet whisper. When Harry opened his mouth to respond, Lupin put a finger to his lips in a gesture of silence. Creeping forward so as not to wake the Dursley‟s, he came closer to Harry. “The time has come for us to leave,” he whispered, and gesturing again, motioned towards Harry‟s door. “Let us get your things.” Harry wordlessly turned towards his room. Something was wrong, he was sure of it. Yet as Harry stepped into his room, he realized with a start that Lupin was not acting himself. The man who stood before him was watching him closely, and Harry tried to keep up the pretense that he had not noticed anything as he again reached for his wand. “I wouldn‟t, if I were you,” Lupin stated. Although this time the voice that came out was definitely not that of the Lupin he knew. “But I would,” A second voice spoke as both Harry and the stranger whirled to face the newcomer. Here, Harry was certain, was his real friend and mentor. Without a word, the false Lupin was stupefied before he could act. Harry saw a flash of ropes made of light wrap around the man, before becoming transparent, and then finally invincible. “Are you okay, Harry?” Nodding his head, Harry walked towards the figure lying on the floor. At this time, it became apparent that the commotion had indeed awoken all three of the Dursley‟s. From Uncle Vernon‟s bellowing, Harry knew they had only seconds for him to realize that it came from his room. There was nothing to be done for it now, and he realized with a sinking heart that he would have to deal with them one final time after all. Lupin seemed unperturbed that his relatives had awoken, and was inspecting the wizard at his feet. “Is it polyjuice?” he asked. “Yes, but who knows when it will wear off.” He got to his feet. “Listen, Harry – the others are coming. We only had a few minutes warning, so I left instantly. We thought it safer that I arrive alone so as not to attract attention to anyone who may be watching.” By this time, both his aunt and uncle had arrived. Blustering, Uncle Vernon‟s face turned a shade of scarlet before he began to speak. “You sir, I demand to know what you are doing here and with that infernal boy!” Lupin seemed disinclined to answer, and instead turned back to Harry. “Have you your things? We must hurry.” As Harry moved to finish packing, whilst ignoring his uncle‟s demands for answers, Lupin knelt beside the figure. It was not until his uncle turned on the light that Aunt Petunia gasped, noticing the still figure on the floor. “Turn that off!” Lupin spoke in a quiet voice, but it was commanding enough that for once Uncle Vernon obeyed. Aunt Petunia, however, had found her voice. “What is going on here?” Harry could not help but notice a tremor in her voice, yet Harry was hard pressed to believe it had anything to do with concern for him. Without turning, Lupin responded. “The short of it is that your nephew is about to become seventeen – at which point the protection he has by staying here will be lifted making it unsafe. Originally the order – those witches and wizards that are on the good side,” he hastened when her face blanched, “were to come and escort Harry back to Grimmauld Place, that‟s Harry‟s-” “We know what that place is!” Uncle Vernon spat. “Very well,” Lupin stated with a shrug. “We received intelligence a few minutes ago that Harry was in danger. I came before the others, and by the looks of it I arrived just in time.” “Now, if you don‟t mind, I must interrogate our attacker,” Lupin fished in his robes, then pulled out a small vial full of a clear liquid. Several drops slid into the death eater‟s slightly agape mouth. “Enervate.” The man on the floor opened his eyes, narrowed on Lupin, and then Harry, and began to struggle against the invisible ropes binding him. “What is wrong with that... man?” Uncle Vernon demanded. Harry noticed his mustache twitched at the thought of saying the word „wizard‟. “I have just given you veritaserum.” Lupin stated calmly, once again ignoring Harry‟s uncle. Struggling anew, the death eater tried to scoot away, but to no avail. “You will die!” he shouted. Aunt Petunia‟s hand shot out to cover her mouth with a horrified expression. “Who are you?” Lupin asked quietly. “Gervasius MacAuley” he spat. “Are you alone?” Gervasius glared at him, “Aye.” “How many more are coming, and when?” “All of-” he coughed sharply. “All of them, every last one. I was to try and get the boy on my own first.” Suddenly, the man‟s face began to bubble and then shrink, his features changing into that of an older man with a pudgy nose. Uncle Vernon gasped as a short scream erupted from Aunt Petunia. “I know you,” Lupin finally stated. “You‟re part of Fenrir‟s pack.” “Aye, that is how I was able to get a few of your hairs. That last ki-” “How long do we have until your companions arrive?” Lupin cut him off. “If I don‟t report by midnight they will come. They are not so far now as it is. You…” his gaze swept between Harry and Remus, focusing on the three Dursley‟s, his smile widening, showing sharpened teeth at the sight of Dudley. Gasping, Aunt Petunia moved to stand before her son. Gervasius licked his lips. “He looks tasty.” With a strangled cry, Dudley pulled free of his mother‟s grasp and ran out of the room. “All of you will die!” He stated for a third time. “Die! Die! Die!” “Stupefy!” Lupin watched as the wizard slipped back into unconsciousness. “They will have to come,” he stated with a pointed look at Harry. “What?” Harry knew his life was in danger, but surely once he had left… “WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THIS?” Uncle Vernon roared, catching on. “We are not going anywhere with you… you lot!” “If you stay, you will die.” “We will give them the boy! We will give them Harry, if that‟s what they want!” Lupin laughed derisively. “Sure, and they will be grateful. Nevertheless, let me explain something to you. This man is a werewolf, and is part of a pack that runs whose leader enjoys biting children. Do you really think your son would be safe, do you really think an evil person would be satisfied with no less than torture on your behalf?” “No one is that evil!” Uncle Vernon stammered, but stopped when Aunt Petunia put her hand on his arm. “He‟s right, Vernon. We have to go with them!” “But we would be associating with… with their lot! What would the neighbors think if they saw us?” “I don‟t give a fig what they think! My boy is in danger!” Aunt Petunia shrieked. Stunned silence filled the air. “I suggest you pack some things,” Lupin stated. Harry watched as his aunt and uncle left the room in a rush. Farther down the hallway, they could hear Dudley complaining. Several pops later, and Harry‟s room was crowded with various members of the order. “Remus,” Kingsley inclined his head. “Hello Harry.” “Harry can apparate now, however we have to bring his family.” As Lupin discussed the new plans to include the Dursley‟s, Harry found himself alone in a crowd of familiar faces; all who were friendly, but seemingly distanced with the task placed before them. He wished Ron and Hermione had come, but before he finished this thought, a bright orange head entered the room, followed by very bushy hair. “Harry!” They said in unison, and rushed forward. Lupin stepped forward. “We must hurry, Harry, we have set three of the Order aside to assist with your family.” “What?” Ron asked incredulously. “They are coming with us; it‟s not safe for them here.” Harry answered. “We will have to do side along apparition. It will not be the first time this has been done with a muggle, and it is not an easy task. We will only be able to do short-distances, so we will have to „hop‟. You, Ron, and Hermione can apparate directly back with your things. Kingsley and I will handle MacAuley. Tonks, Diggle, and Filch will take your relatives.” “Filch!” Harry, Ron, and Hermione sputtered. “Argus Filch?” Harry repeated. “Yes, over the summer he suddenly gained magical skills. He‟s become exceptionally good.” “He‟s in the order?” Ron asked incredulously. “Yes, he‟s chosen sides, for once.” Kingsley answered. “Turns out the old codger really did have a fondness for Albus. I personally think that he has gained magic because he has fallen in love. They say love brings out powerful magic.” Kingsley winked. “Are we all ready then?” Lupin asked the crowd, including the Dursley‟s, who were dressed in travel outfits. “Do we have to take them to Grimmauld Place?” Harry asked, afraid he already knew the answer. Somehow, even though the situation was as grim and dire as possible, Harry shared a small grin with Ron and Hermione at the image of Dudley meeting the portrait of Mrs. Black, and the other odd inhabitants of Grimmauld Place. The house was deserted as the grandfather clock chimed on the midnight hour.
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