Harry was in deep trouble.
When he’d come home from his second year at Hogwarts it had been with triumph as he had bested a basilisk, defeated the ghost of Voldemort for a second time and saved Ginny’s life.
Except that he didn’t remember any of it.
The last thing he remembered was putting on the strange bracer he’d spotted at the bottom of the pool in the Chamber of Secrets. The next thing after that was escorting Ginny from the Chamber, sorting hat in one hand, Gryffindor’s sword in the other and a very dead basilisk behind him and he had no idea how it had happened.
Which had made explaining to everyone what had happened in the Chamber rather difficult. He’d tried to come up with something convincing but Dumbledore had known and when he’d questioned Harry on his own, the boy had shown the Headmaster the golden bracer he’d found.
Which was when Dumbledore had gained a rather odd look and told him in an enigmatic tone to take care of the bracer and told him not to worry.
Harry would have been more than happy to comply with that request, after all the bracer wasn’t exactly heavy, was obviously magical since the snake that wrapped itself around the protective piece of equipment had tightened its coils specifically to fit his arm and loosened again when he wanted to take it off at night, and the Headmaster had mentioned that it came with gifts and told him that he would give him more information when he found it.
However the blackout in the Chamber hadn’t been the only one. From the moment he’d gotten off the train and met up with his Uncle, he’d gone through the rigmarole of typical daily life with the Dursleys. Until things had started happening. Things that couldn’t possibly be classed as ‘good’.
Dudley’s friend Piers had been bullying him, Harry had had a blackout and Piers had been found the next day babbling like a lunatic.
Petunia had been starving him like she normally had, favouring her whale of a son over the nephew that she had been forced to take in when his parents had been killed and after one particularly bad morning where she’d forced him to cook breakfast but not let him prepare enough for himself, he’d had a blackout and woken up in the cupboard under the stairs with enough food to feed him for a week.
But this one had to be the worst. Uncle Vernon had started on him, about how worthless he was and how he was another mouth to feed and it wasn’t even like he was doing anything useful, and he’d clipped Harry around the head. Now this hadn’t been anything new. It had happened before. Never hard enough to do damage but it had been enough to trigger an episode and Harry had had a blackout.
Now he was on the run, kicked out of the Dursley home for having been caught at the scene of the crime, having somehow used magic to turn Vernon comatose, and he had no idea where he should go. It wouldn’t be long, he was certain, before someone reported it to the Aurors and he had a horrible feeling that ‘I don’t remember’ wouldn’t be a viable excuse. Nor would it stand up if it was taken to trial.
The problem was he had no options. He had no Muggle money and all of his wealth was tied up as wizarding galleons, sickles and knuts, which meant that before he could do anything he needed to get to Diagon Alley.
This was perfect. Except that he had absolutely no clue how to get there, short of flying on his broom, which, he supposed, he could do if he put on his invisibility cloak and it wasn’t like he could get into much more trouble than he was already in. Still it was a last bar one resort, having learnt his lesson about flying objects and how much trouble they could get you in when he and Ron had driven his dad’s flying car to school after Dobby had barricaded the gateway to platform 9 and 3/4.
“Great, just great.” Harry grouched, as he kicked the kerb, trying to think. “No train fare, no flying cars and no...” Harry trailed off as he realised that he was being watched out of the windows of number 4, Privet Drive. They’d probably already called the Muggle police to come and arrest him already and were just watching to see when it would happen.
That thought made his mind up for him. He started walking. Not to Diagon Alley of course, just away from the Dursley home, half worried about explaining himself to the police, who most definitely wouldn’t take ‘magic’ as an excuse and half worried because he still couldn’t remember what had happened to leave Vernon like he was.
“Oi! Freak!” Harry winced as his cousin caught up to him, his tone furious. Understandably so.
Dudley seized Harry by the jacket and spun him around to face him. Rage was obvious on his features and Harry had a horrible feeling he wasn’t getting out of this one without a lot of bruising.
“You better fix whatever you did to Dad or I’ll punch your face in.” Dudley threatened, meaty fist raised, prepared to strike.
“I can’t.” Harry admitted, though he knew it wouldn’t aid his situation any.
He was right, Dudley’s fist struck his stomach hard, winding the almost thirteen year old and causing him to crumple up in a ball on the ground, coughing hard.
“Fix. It. Now.” His cousin punctuated each of his growled words with a boot to Harry’s stomach, “And whatever you did to Piers.”
Harry felt it, felt the Bracer on his arm grow warm as Dudley backed off slightly, and then darkness overtook him as he fell into a warm sleep.