Harry was tossing and turning. He couldn't sleep. He was still in pain, his stomach was rumbling with hunger and he just wasn't used to sleeping alone. Even if he'd been well cared for and fed he wouldn't be able to sleep well. A look at his clock said it was about one o'clock in the morning
He climbed out of bed and began to pace his room. He stopped in front of his window and stared out through the bars at the inky black sky. It was dotted with stars.
"They'll come for me..they'll come for me.." he muttered to himself. This had been his mantra all day. The star of hope in the dark night of his life. He ran his hand through his hair. Two of the stars seemed to be getting brighter and brighter. They were coming closer..Harry realized they weren't stars at all but headlights. A light blue car was flying straight through the air towards him. His eyes widened, he thought he may have finally gone mad. Soon the car had parked outside his window and with a leap of joy he saw Ron and Hermione in the back seat. Fred and George were in the front and both of them were wide-eyed as they took in the barred up window and Harry's thin form. Harry quickly opened the window as the car's windows were rolled down.
"Ron, Hermione, Fred, George!" Harry whispered, hardly daring to believe it "What are you doing here? Never mind it doesn't matter, look, can you tell everyone at Hogwarts that the Dursleys locked me up and won't let me come back to school. I can't get myself out because the ministry would think that's the second spell I've done with a few days so.."
"Shut up." Fred said, he still looked rather pale and his usual joking smile was absent.
"We're here to take you home with us." Ron added
"You can't magic me out either." Harry pointed out
"Oh we don't need magic." Said George. He tossed Harry a rope "Tie that around the bars."
"If the Dursleys wake up I'm dead.." Harry muttered as he tied the rope around one of the bars. His words hit all of his friends like a brick.
"Don't worry..." said Fred "And stand back."
Harry backed up to stand beside Hedwig who was keeping still and quiet as if realizing the importance of the situation. Fred drove the car straight into the air and with a nasty crunch the bars were ripped away and dangling a foot from the ground. Harry watched as the rope was untied and the bars fell to the front yard. He listened anxiously but there was no sound from the Dursleys.
The car was back in front of the window now "Let's go, Harry, quick." said Hermione
"My stuff..all my books, my wand my broom.."
"Where is it?" George asked
"Locked in the cupboard under the stairs." Harry answered
"Okay no problem." Fred said and he and George climbed through the window into Harry's room
"We can't get out of this room." Harry told them
"Oh yes we can." George said, and pulled a hairpin out of his pocket and started to pick the lock on the bedroom door. It clicked open in a few minutes.
"We'll get your trunk and stuff, you hand out everything you need from in here to Ron and Hermione." Fred said
"Watch out for the stairs..they creak." Harry answered as the twins vanished into the dark hallway. He darted around his room and began gathering things, including the picture of his parents under the floor board.
He handed them out to his friends. Fred and George reappeared on the landing just as Harry handed Hedwig's cage to Ron
"Let her out if you can..she hasn't been able to fly in ages." Harry whispered. Ron nodded and took out a hairpin of his own. Hedwig had soon soared out of her cage to hover beside the car, Fred clambered back into the driver's seat and moved the car so that Harry could put his things in the trunk Harry and George struggled with Harry's school trunk. It slipped into the the car with a final shove and Fred pulled up alongside the window once more George scrambled into the car, Harry went to follow him but they had finally made a bit too much noise. The lights clicked on in the hall and uncle Vernon burst into the room he stared at the scene before him, confused for a moment but a second later he was over it
"NO!" He screamed and rushed toward them like an angry bull. Harry dived for the open car door but his uncle managed to grab him by the ankle
"Let me go!" Harry shouted
"Oh no..you aren't going anywhere boy."
Ron and Hermione both took a hold of Harry and tugged him towards the car. Uncle Vernon tried his hardest but a final tug from Ron and Hermione freed Harry from his grip and he toppled into the back seat. Hermione slammed the door shut
"Floor it, Fred!" George shouted. Fred didn't need telling twice and the car barreled away from Privet Drive up into the inky sky with Hedwig gliding alongside them like a ghost.
Harry was elated. He was free. He had landed sprawled across his friends' laps after they'd pulled him into the car, Ron grinned down at him.
Harry chuckled nervously and tried to sit up but Ron shook his head.
"It's fine..stay there if you'd like."
Harry decided he would like to stay put so he kept his head in Ron's lap, Hermione took his hand and Ron began stroking his hair. Harry felt truly safe for the first time since summer had started. Fred and George, who would usually laugh at a scene like this, were uncharacteristically quiet and just grinned at the trio when they spotted them in the rear view mirror.
You guys have no idea how glad I am to see you. Harry thought
Well, I had a promise to keep. Ron answered
Harry then relayed his story to the other four in the car, leaving some things out of course, as far as Fred and George were concerned the worst that had happened to Harry was being locked up but he told them all about Dobby and the warning he'd been given and the whole incident with the hover charm.
"That's suspicious." Fred said
"Definitely." George agreed.
They talked about how house elves usually couldn't use their magic without permission and asked if anyone had a grudge against Harry at school as the whole thing had probably been a big joke. Harry, Ron and Hermione told them about Draco Malfoy, The twins said that they'd heard Mr. Weasley talking about Malfoy's dad and how he'd been a supporter of Voldemort's. Harry had heard these stories before and wasn't really shocked by them. He was wondering if he'd been foolish to take Dobby seriously. I didn't matter now though. All that mattered was that he was safe. For the first time in days he felt like he could sleep. His eyes began to flutter shut.
Sleep, Harry.. Hermione thought, squeezing his hand
Harry let out a deep contented sigh and dozed off, warm, happy and surrounded by the familiar scent of safety..cinnamon and vanilla. Home at last.