Your green-eyed boy
July 27, 2003
Disclaimers: So not mine.
Spoilers: Big ones for OotP.
Summary: Between the motion and the act falls the shadow.
Ratings Note: R. Content some readers may find disturbing.
Author's Note: Livia sent the bunny scooting my way. Deb encouraged it. cummings and Eliot set the tune.
Acknowledgments: To Deb for audiencing.
Feedback: Adored. firstname.lastname@example.org
It didn't occur to him right away. He's not... well, he isn't that sort of person.
Harry doesn't want to be the kind of person that such things occur to immediately, no matter how useful they might be. And no, he doesn't think he'll ever forget what the Sorting Hat had said to him, about him, and doesn't think that his life will ever let him forget that and...
Well. He doesn't spend much time thinking about how things would've been different. For one thing, there's the issue of Malfoy and all his sniggering, grating little minions. He doesn't want to think of himself as the kind of person who'd see them as anything but a bunch of useless prats.
(would his father have gotten on with them? Would he have...?)
But. Just as someone like, say, Hermione didn't define -- couldn't define -- the whole of Gryffindor, so do the Malfoys and Crabbes and gits of the world fail to define Slytherin.
There are good ideas in the world that have nothing to do with, well, good. There are things that can be -- need to be done that don't (or shouldn't) feel good.
For example, his 'home' life.
It was good to finally know why he had to keep going back to the Dursleys, the specifics on why, beyond just being safe.
And he knows that Dumbledore probably hadn't meant for him to take it this way, but... but.
He understands blood magic -- oh, probably not all the details of it, but some things didn't require perfect understanding. He's had five good, long years of flying by the seat of pants. He knows this is true.
He knows... a lot of things now. That his dad had more in common with the things Snape said about him than anything else, that Sirius hadn't so much grown up as grown old, that his friends love him far more than they need him.
That the world is, more often than not, a great, steaming pile of shit designed to be waded through and endured. Survived, as opposed to lived in.
And so it had been easy to make the decision. One of the easiest things he'd ever done, right up there with jumping on a broom and making it sing to his will.
After all, he understands the way it all works. The world needs him safe, just like it had needed Sirius and his parents dead, and everything bright and wonderful to pass right by him, touching him only to leave scars and -- no.
He isn't a whiner. He's never been a whiner. But the world had all these needs, and it had been so beautiful, so wonderful to figure out a way the world could get what it needed and so could Harry.
Petunia is... well, she's not very like herself anymore. The kitchen isn't as clean as it could be, and the food in the fridge is getting kind of old and fuzzy. She almost never yells, and the severe little bun on her head is loose, and often off-center.
But sometimes at night, when it's quiet save for the dogs left out in the neighbors' yards, and the dark seeps in through the open windows like something alive, he can almost feel it.
Blood, pulsing and humming its fragile, powerful way through Petunia's veins, calling out to his own and keeping him safe the way it has since he'd been child.
Rich, thick, not-quite-wizard blood, of the kind he couldn't have gotten from Vernon, of the kind he could have gotten from Dudley.
If he cared.
And on those nights, Harry smiles to himself and curls into his sheets, feeling himself at home like he never had other than at school, or in the arms of people who were dead and rotting.
Like his uncle and cousin.
It hadn't taken much. Not even magic, really.
Just one of those nights when he'd been trapped in the kitchen, forced to cook for them all and eating what few scraps he didn't have to throw into the pot. Just a moment, stretched into something like forever after he'd jostled his empty glass with his elbow and watched it shatter.
Listened to the pieces grind into something nowhere near as harmless as dust beneath his heels.
Listened to his Uncle and cousin laughing in the living room while Petunia slept.
And it had all fallen into place, as beautiful as the simple glitter of the fragments falling into the stew.
And Harry knows there'll be questions, and perhaps even the cold, dark facts will sit behind Dumbledore's eyes.
Dumbledore, after all, always seems to know everything of any importance. The question is, as always, whether or not he'll choose to share that information.
Harry doesn't think he will.
They need him, after all. His life, his dreadfully important and fated death, him.
Harry drinks his juice -- cold and fresh and sweet like nothing he'd ever gotten here before -- and watches Petunia stalk and stumble through the motions of cooking a meal.
Her eyes are the washed-out blue of advanced idiocy, her hands vibrating in a constant tremor.
"You should eat something, Aunt Petunia," he says. "You don't look so good."
He watches her freeze up all over, and thinks of the curses he won't be using until he gets back to Hogwarts. Of his wand, quiescent in the pocket of his jeans.
"Yes, Harry. I mean... you're right. Of course."
Harry smiles, satisfied. After all, the world needs her, too.
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