A/N: My thanks to Memory King for one idea in this – even if he suggested it years ago. The other things are things I added (I kind of got on a soapbox when I wrote the "What Harry Should Have Been Told" letter.) This is now a prologue to a new story.
Prologue: Visit by the Lone Traveler
"The Lone Traveler: Young man who tried to change the past and save those he loved… plan failed and became the Lone Traveler, wandering through time and reality, making a difference wherever he went… very powerful… defeated a powerful Dark Lord… swept along the path he walked by a spectacular aura of blue light."
'Legends & Myths of the Wizarding World' by Gertrude Yolanda
FF St ID 2673584 – Chap 9 – The Professional
It was very early in the morning, around 2:45 AM. The teller looked over the empty floor of the London branch of Gringotts Bank. Very few customers visited during this time of the day, but Gringotts never closed. As a result, the newest tellers, the most patient cart drivers, the most anti-social managers, and the meanest, most violent guards were stationed at the Branch at these times. The tellers were there to get experience. The cart drivers had to deal with the customers who took the most time. The managers weren't usually consulted. And thieves were deterred by the guards. The teller looked back down to the ledger he was perusing, once again reviewing the accounting methods used at various times in Gringotts history.
Suddenly, a bright light appeared in the middle of the floor. The goblins were all taken aback until the teller reached down and pressed one of his long nails into a very particular indentation at his desk. He knew that alarms would be ringing in the quarters of the alert-squad that was always on call. He then looked at the phenomenon again, ensuring his memory would be complete. The guards on duty all rushed to stand at the ready and the alert-squad began rushing onto the floor.
By the time that the lights coalesced into a human figure, Gringotts London was ready to respond. The figure looked around and said, "Okay. That's weird." The man then looked at the manager who was standing close by, observing, and said, "Greetings. I am called Maarek Ilumian. What's the date on the human calendar?"
Harry sat in the office of the Senior Manager sipping tea that he was provided by his current hosts. The goblins had recognized him immediately from descriptions in their own histories and had been most accommodating, for goblins. That he had a record of being fairly positive towards Gringotts and the goblin race and scrupulously honest meant that he was not escorted to a security facility (read dank, uncomfortable cell) for an interview, but rather was treated fairly neutrally. When the manager had answered his initial enquiry, he had thought about it and replied, "I need to see a senior official to prevent a successful incursion by a thief." That had angered the goblins in general, but had definitely opened doors. He was led to a waiting area until the Senior Manager was retrieved from his chambers and then was led into the office and offered refreshment.
Once he had voiced his thanks for the tea he began, "Are you familiar with my story?" The manager nodded. "Good. Later today a vault will be emptied by a customer of the one item it contains. Sometime after, this very same day, a thief will break into the vault in the attempt to achieve what will be removed. I would prevent that from happening if possible."
The manager asked, "Which vault will be broken in to?"
Harry replied, "High-security vault 713."
The manager nodded to the assistant he had on hand and the assistant scurried out to get the vault record.
"What is the name of the thief?"
Harry looked at the manager and asked, "Are you familiar with the concept of a wraith?"
The manager looked at Harry curiously. "I have heard tell of such."
Harry nodded. "It will be Quirinous Quirrell, possessed by a wraith of Tom Marvolo Riddle. That entity is also known as 'Lord Voldemort'."
"What does it seek to achieve?"
The goblin sat back in his chair. "And why would this thief believe that this is possible?"
"Because he, they, or it, however you might refer to this thief, believes that the vault contains the Philosopher's Stone made and owned by Nicholas Flamel."
The goblin looked incredulous. "Some wizard believes that we, miners and artists of true, pure gold would allow such a device to be kept within our vaults?"
Harry thought about that and chuckled. "Well, I believe that many do. What policies do you have about artifacts and storage?"
The goblin searched through the papers on his desk and retrieved a sheaf of parchment and then handed this over. Harry groaned. "I don't have time to read this immediately. How about I ask a few questions and you answer them? I will then take my time when I am not otherwise occupied to actually read this."
The goblin considered and then nodded. "Ask."
"What is your policy on the storage of cursed and stolen items?"
Harry Traveler sat in an early morning café sipping tea and thinking after reading the Gringotts rules on Vault usage. He felt no pull to go and meet with his younger self. He felt no pull to go and "fix the Ministry." He had already done what he felt he could or should at this time.
He started questioning if he was approaching these visits properly. There were many things that he could help with in each universe. There were also things that he had to deal with which helped him mature in his own life. Would trying to help his alternates avoid all problems really be the best way to approach things?
The only thing which he really considered vital in all universes was getting rid of the pieces of Tom Riddle. Getting rid of the piece which was found in most Harry Potters usually opened the door to so many improvements.
Saving Sirius and Cedric when possible was also a crusade of his. Those two deaths were pure torment and there was so little benefit. The position of "Lord Black" or whatever it was in that particular universe wasn't enough of a plus to counterbalance the bad.
Helping certain friends and others was something he also repeatedly did. Kreacher and Dobby were two that he often worked to save. Keeping the goblins on the side of his dimensional counterparts was another thing he tried to do.
But would he really have wanted to have someone fix all of his problems? Would that have made a better life?
What would he wish to avoid at all costs and what would be unpleasant but ultimately useful to experience? Who really should always be saved? Who should always be confronted?
How should he decide on what he should really do?
He continued to drink his tea and think about it.
Finally, he made a decision. He looked at the clock and noted that certain things should be happening just about now.
After several hours, the goblins had prepared for the day's events. The appearance of Harry Potter and Rubeus Hagrid had signaled the beginning of the day's adventures. The goblins had agreed that this universe's Harry would be given certain concessions and services in exchange for the visiting Harry having helped secure the reputation of the bank.
The goblins did not, themselves, have the magic to deal with human souls but they did employ curse breakers for a reason. Harry would be contacted and retrieved from his home before he went to Hogwarts to deal with issues that were raised by the Traveler. Several priceless artifacts would be retrieved and cleansed and then returned to their rightful owners – mostly Hogwarts. A discreet report would be made to the Director of the DMLE regards the location of two criminals and suggestions as to their capture. Certain deadly creatures would be dealt with and the profits would be distributed as suggested.
Hagrid would be quite upset when he found his former pet and all its children removed from the ForbiddenForest, even if they were relocated to a acromatula farm that Gringotts would manage until Harry came of age and chose otherwise. Moaning Myrtle would be happier about the creature that killed her being removed permanently.
Quirrell would be shocked and greatly disappointed to enter the high security vault that he had imperiused a goblin to open. He would not be prepared to walk into a ritual circle and have the parasitic wraith that had he had just accepted to be forcibly removed and stuck into a magically inert piece of amber.
Harry apparated to a particular location. Hagrid had just sent the boat back to the island using the charm that was used to control the boats at Hogwarts. Seeing this, Harry apparated to the island which Hagrid had retrieved him from. He found the Dursleys just coming out of the locked room at the cabin.
Vernon Dursley was not happy. "What the hell happened and where is the boy?"
Harry looked at the image of one of his own tormentors and said, "He has gone school shopping. The giant man from last night sent the boat back, but it will take a few minutes. I have come to resolve a few things."
He took his wand out and all of the Dursleys tensed. Harry quickly shot a spell at Dudley. He stopped trying to hide suddenly when he no longer felt the tail that he was covering with his hands. "It's gone!"
Harry nodded. Harry then magically repaired the door to the cabin and made sure that there was nothing that the Dursleys would have to explain. He then sat down and motioned the three to sit on the couch. They did so nervously.
"My name is Harry Potter. I am from another dimension. Knowing what you three had to endure after meeting Hagrid in my own world, I felt it would be advisable that you not be subjected to having to deal with attempting to explain so many odd things nor pay for handling things that were created by your nephew's people. You didn't ask for him, and he surely didn't ask to be raised by you."
Vernon, especially, looked to agree with that statement.
"Regardless, the protection from 'freaks' and 'wierdos' that you currently enjoy will come to an end the moment that Harry Potter no longer considers your house his home or when he turns 17 – whichever comes first. If you treat him politely, you make certain he is healthy and well fed, and most of all, do not add to his stress level at home, he will only be required to remain in your home three to four weeks out of each year. You can insist he keep everything in his room. You can tell people that his parents' family paid for his schooling at some obscure boarding school. And then you could suggest he stays with friends after those protections are covered each year."
Harry then employed a trick he had learned and suddenly he seemed much more threatening and dangerous to the three muggles facing him. A wizard would recognize it as a trick, but the Dursleys weren't wizards.
"You nearly had a very bad several summers. If you attempt to harm him or even keep him subdued and afraid, you might still have a very bad time. One thing you did not know is that your nephew is considered almost a messiah figure among his own people. He is called 'the boy-who-lived' and children are told his story from the time they are young. Adults consider him their saviour. Imagine if he died, or disappeared, or even appeared to be unhappy with his home life. What do you think several thousands of angry freaks would do to you – especially if those protections disappeared?"
Vernon and Petunia were looking rather pale. Dudley was just confused.
Harry had picked up on some of the memories of these versions of his relatives and they were not the vile versions he often found. As a result, he decided to be magnanimous.
He moved in to the room and sat down. "Realize that I am not your nephew from the future. I am from an alternate universe – due to a mistake I made. I haven't talked to him. I haven't told him what I was doing. In many universes alternate versions of you are the most despicable beings in the world. You viciously beat your nephew and make his life a living hell. In so many of these universes, he or some other person from his world makes your life a living hell in response. In the least unpleasant option in these worlds, you're immediately killed. In the less pleasant ones … do you know what people in prison do to child abusers or child killers?" At the pale looks on their faces, he decided they did.
"In many universes, Dudley here become a good man. In many others, he continues on in his current path and becomes a hopped-up criminal because his parents never taught him personal responsibility. They never taught him that real life wasn't about always getting his way. He never learns to read well or think critically. All because his parents tried to prove to him that they loved him more than his cousin. Consider whether you want your son to really be when he is an adult. Do you want him to be respected? Do you want grandchildren who love you or despise you?"
The Dursleys looked pained. Harry shook his head. "In almost every universe, my alternates become the most respected figures in their world. Wealthy, admired, listened to. Even in those worlds where actions by your alternates make him hate all people who don't have magic. Imagine what would happen to you if the most powerful person in the world decide your type should be killed or enslaved?"
The green looks on the faces of his alternate's aunt and uncle confirmed they had gotten the idea.
Harry stood. "The boat will return in about thirty minutes. I will go now. I have arranged for Harry's godfather to get out of prison. I know he was accused of killing thirteen people ten years ago and all – but, hey, a man's got to have a reputation. And I know how much he loves his godson."
The Dursleys all turned green at that. Even Dudley.
Harry looked at them and said, "You people don't just jump to conclusions – you throw yourselves at them wholeheartedly." Harry sighed. "At least you're consistent." He shook his head to clear it. "Yes, Sirius was a bully in school; yes, he comes from a family that scares the hell out of every person in your nephew's world – both good and bad; yes, he would kill to protect his godson. He is not, however, a psychopath. He would have to be provoked. His family is the equivalent of the magical mafia: Too powerful and well connected for law enforcement to actually do anything unless caught in the act or thrown in jail without a trial which is what happened to Sirius Black. It's almost too bad for you that he was actually innocent of what they locked him up for. Once he's freed, politicians will be kissing his arse. And he adores Harry. Make of that what you will."
Harry left and then apparated out. He arrived in the bedroom of his dimensional twin. He used a number of spells. It wouldn't' be a five-star room, but it at least now looked decent and comfortable. He then sat down to write a long letter to his dimensional twin.
This done, he made his way out of the house. He suddenly felt the pull and only a passing Arabella Figg saw the Lone Traveler disappear with the sound of cheerful phoenix song wafting around the area.
Harry made his way to the front door of Number 4 Privet Drive. It had taken an hour to make it back to Little Whinging and home, walking from the station. He noted that his relatives had made it home, the car being in the driveway. He steeled himself to dealing with the Dursleys. He walked into the house and noticed that the whole Dursley family was watching TV. He was a little surprised that they didn't comment on his presence. He knew they had noticed as his aunt and uncle had both looked at him when he walked in. Both had deliberately looked back to the TV. Dudley never stirred.
He shrugged his shoulders and as quietly as possible made his way upstairs. He had taken his purchases up the stairs and places them in front of his door. Luckily his owl had remained asleep and made no noise. Once he had everything up the stairs he opened his door and dragged the trunk in. When he looked up, he was amazed. The room looked entirely different than it had two days earlier.
The bed, desk, and chair all appeared to be in much better condition. The walls, ceiling, and floor were completely repaired and clean. Bookshelves were set up, waiting for him to place items on them. One of them had many of the books that had already been in the room. He noted the titles and saw that the books for young children were all missing. The closet was open and none of the items that he had shoved into it to clear room were there. The exceptions were items that he had wished were in good repair when he had found them when clearing out space. The alarm clock he had repaired as best he could now appeared to be in new condition. A globe that Dudley had punched a hole in was now on its stand in the corner.
The large birdcage that had been in the other corner was – changed. The cage was attached to the wall with stiff metal rods. The door was removed and the opening had been enlarged – enough for his new owl to easily make her way in and out. There was a curtain which could be slipped around it. It was as though it had been custom altered for the bird that Hagrid had bought for him. Below the cage was a hook which would allow the smaller carrying cage to be hung from it. The oddest thing was the additional perch that was attached to the wall next to the window, with water and food dishes also present. He noted that the small rubbish can was placed directly below this perch, a liner already in it.
All in all, it was an amazing transformation. Harry carefully unloaded his books and placed them on the shelves that were now available. He opened the cage which contained his snowy owl and carefully transferred her into the larger cage on the wall. He filled the water and food dishes. He put the trunk which held the other items that be bought earlier into the bottom of the closet. He kept his new school robes in the trunk, as well as the potion ingredients and telescope.
He then looked around, satisfied for the first time in his life in the area in which he lived. Be pulled the history text from the shelf and went to sit at the desk. When he sat down, he noticed the envelope sitting on the desk. He pulled out the parchment and began to read.
Congratulations on making it through your first day as a wizard, or at least knowing you're a wizard. Also, Happy Birthday.
For a birthday present, I have made several changes to your room and I hope you like them. I have placed a few spells on the room to make your life a bit easier.
I have left this note to tell you a few things you should know, what I have done, and to make a few suggestions.
First of all, the spells I have placed on your room are as follows:
1) A one-way silencing charm. Unless you actually have a desire or a need for someone outside of your room to hear you, no sound will escape to annoy your relatives. Your owl (I suggest a History of Magic for possible names for her) can make a ruckus and it will not cause Vernon, Dudley, or Petunia to be disturbed, thereby causing them to react negatively.
2) A weak muggle-repelling charm and notice-me-not charm. Unless there is an actual need for one of your relatives to come into your room, they will have no desire to actually cross the threshold. No muggle visitors (think Vernon's sister) will have any desire to enter the room. If they DO come in, they will not notice that your room is vastly improved. They will see what they expect to see only.
3) Intent-based repelling charm. If one of your relatives feels such a need to harm or harass you that it crosses the "need" threshold of the previous charm, the negative intent they have will cause their desire to approach to be changed to a desire to keep away from you at the same level. Your room should be a safe haven.
4) Owl-Entrance Charm. Your window is charmed to allow your owl or any other owl that would be visiting you to be able to come and go at need. Muggles will not notice the owls and it only works for post owls. This means that insects or other pests cannot use the "always open" function to enter the room. It also will not allow bad weather into your room. Fresh air can pass in and out, but the temperature of the air coming in and out will be consistent. The air coming in won't feel cold during the winter or overly hot during the summer.
5) Ever-filling Water Charm. The water bowls in the cage as well as the perch for visiting owls will always be full and clean. Unfortunately, Gamp's Fifth Law (you'll learn about that at Hogwarts) won't allow food to be created. However, any food you do put in the dishes will be kept fresh. I recommend getting both muggle and magical books on taking care of owls and finding out what the best diet is.
6) Temperature control charm. Your room will always be kept at approximately 75 degrees (23 Celsius). That might be a bit warm for winter and a bit cool for summer, but it's warm enough for comfortable sleeping and cool enough that you won't feel stifled in hot weather.
7) Notice-me-not charm on the cupboard below the stairs. This is so that Vernon will not get the idea of separating you from your things as punishment.
A number of these charms are actually classed as wards (semi-permanent magical protections). This ties into a few things you should know:
When you were placed with your relatives, a ward was placed on your home so that magicals intending harm to you could not find you. The Voldemort nutter was at least temporarily defeated when you lost your parents, but he did have followers. Many of these followers have money and influence and so arranged to be found innocent in the aftermath (read bribery). The person who placed you here felt that although it wouldn't' be pleasant growing up with these muggles, it would far better for you to be alive to do so.
Voldemort's followers, called Death Eaters, and those sympathetic to his goals, are (in a word) zealots (in addition to being murderous nutters). Like the Nazis during the last great war and the American Klu Klux Clan, they blame negative things on a group that are different. In the case of Voldemort's followers, it's muggleborn witches and wizards. They, like those groups named earlier, use politics, money, influence, and (when they can get away with it) violence and threats to keep the people they consider unworthy down.
As a result, Albus Dumbledore (who leads the resistance against Voldemort) used the power of your mother's loving sacrifice to put blood-based wards up where you would live. Unfortunately, this required living with a close blood relative of your mother. The only one that existed was your Aunt. As long as she permits you house space and you call this place home, these wards will protect you from these nutters.
Unpleasant, I know. Damned if you stay, damned if you leave. The new wards (which I tied into the blood-based wards and which will disappear with them when you turn 17 or no longer call this place home) should resolve the worst issues with the relatives.
Unfortunately, these blood wards do require you to live here for at least 2-4 weeks each year. The better your health, the stronger you are magically and physically, the less time will be required. As you get older, your magical strength will grow and the time will decrease. So, eat and sleep properly and exercise your magic well at Hogwarts to increase your magical levels. Cause as little strife as possible with the idiot relatives. The wards will recharge faster the better your relationship.
Now, these wards do have an unfortunate side effect. People will not notice odd things which happen here or negative things which might occur. People tend to believe what they are told by the residents, which means the lies that your relatives tell causes a small compulsion for people to believe them. The bad part is that your neighbours believe the lies. The good part is that your relatives have no desire to communicate with the magical world.
This means that you can tell magicals what you feel they need to know about your home life and they won't automatically be compulsed into your relatives' viewpoints. If you have actual problems with your home life, telling someone won't be dismissed.
It also means that you no longer have to keep your grades and ambitions to the level which won't show Dudley up. Getting an outstanding grade on your school work won't trigger your relatives' accusation that you are trying to make Dudley look bad. Do your best – there is no one stopping you now. All the things that you felt you shouldn't do at muggle primary you can do now: Ask teachers questions. Get additional tutoring. Ask for help. Make complaints when an adult acts badly toward you.
This brings up another point. Your teachers at Hogwarts will judge you, to a degree, on the relationship they had with your parents. This is, for the most part, good – with one glaring exception.
The teacher for your potions class is named Professor Severus Snape. He and your father LOATHED each other in school. Your father was, unfortunately, like Dudley in that he came from parents with influence and money and was stuck up to a degree. Your grandparents were good people, but they spoiled him a bit. Unfortunately, this means that he grew up with a small degree of the same attitude Dudley has: He thought he could get away with anything and, to a degree, he did. Your potions teacher did not have that influential family. He did have the friendship of a beautiful girl which your father really liked: Your mother. When that relationship blew up (fault lay on all sides of that mess), your father grew up a little and no longer annoyed your mother and eventually they became a couple. Your Potions teacher never got over that.
It didn't help that your father had several friends who backed him up and Professor Snape had no such backing. It was four against one. Think Dudley's gang against you. Your father grew up to be a good man, but he was a bully at one time.
Maybe there is hope for Dudley.
The upshot and the downside of all this is: Your potions teacher will hate you. It's going to be a fact of life. Don't let it get to you and don't hate him back. If he behaves too unprofessionally, make reports to the staff representative that is responsible for you. Make them as fact-based as possible. Provide reports from fellow students. Make certain those reports don't boil down to "He was mean." Details. Time. Place. Exact descriptions. In writing. The Magical world has a method of reviewing memories. Suggest this as a method for the staff representative to see for themselves. Just because your father was an arse in the past doesn't mean that a Professor has a right to be an arse. However, directly accusing him or making that accusation to other people in authority should be a LAST resort. Make certain there are witnesses.
First, make a report to your staff representative (called your head-of-House). Then, if nothing is done, report it to the headmaster. If this doesn't produce a result, complain to the Wizarding Examination Authority. I did not list the Hogwarts Board of Governors as a viable place to make a complaint because one of the chief nutters who followed the Dark Idiot wormed his way into some authority there. Make two copies of any complaint to the WEA and make certain that one gets sent to the Board and one gets sent to the Headmaster – AFTER the WEA gets it. Make certain that all know that copies went to each entity. That will make certain that pressure is brought to bear to actually handle the situation.
If you can live with what Snape's attitude, do so. Work hard and study ahead in potions. Get books from Diagon Alley that will help you understand them. Follow safety protocols. Make certain your cauldron is scrupulously clean and there is no prior residue before you brew another potion. Make certain you follow directions exactly. Get better glasses to see the instructions on the board better. Copy those instructions exactly. Snape's grade for you, in the end, doesn't even matter. The grades that will follow you will be given to you in years 5 and 7 by the WEA. As long as you're learning, Snape's attitude won't matter.
Unfortunately, the Headmaster is a bit of an idealist and so tries to see the best in everyone – even his enemies. He also trusts Snape. He tries to interfere with the Professors as little as possible, considering them as authorities in their own areas. Also, Snape did play a part in fighting Voldemort – no matter what anyone says. So many dislike Snape that the Headmaster will not take care of those complaints because he is overcompensating for how everyone else views him.
It's unfortunate that the Headmaster is also a politician. He has a lot of roles and he trusts Snape's ability to analyze things. Even if Professor Snape can be a vindictive, surly bastard, no one could call him stupid or unobservant. This means that the Headmaster will often have Snape present for discussions where he needs a second viewpoint. Should he ever attempt to talk to you and insist on Snape's presence, insist on the presence of your own Head of House. If he objects, object to Snape being present as he is only your Professor (as long as you don't become a Slytherin; this House is led by Professor Snape).
Snape and the Headmaster both have the magical ability to read memories from those that broadcast them. When talking to those you suspect of this ability, concentrate on the end of their nose when talking to them. This should prevent this "broadcasting" from taking place. If they insist you look into their eyes, keep concentrating on their nose or their eyebrows. If you do look in their eyes, concentrate on remembering a time that Dudley's gang beat you up. This will be unpleasant for them and will cause THIS memory to be thing they see. Who cares if someone sees that? Get into the habit of clearing your mind before you go to bed. Don't think about events or knowledge but to just observe your current senses. Don't compare this to past times. Just stay in the "now." This is also relaxing and should allow you to rest better. Visualize walls in your mind which will separate you from outside influence. Cuts down on nightmares and bad dreams too.
People will love you or hate you – without ever knowing you. They believe you're some kind of hero. And you know you're just Harry. You have the POTENTIAL to be a great hero, but right now, you're a new wizard and you are just starting school.
This means that people will listen to you or to anyone who talks about you as though they know things.
I recommend being polite to everyone – even if they annoy the hell out of you. Even if they are your enemy. Nothing pisses off a bully more than someone who won't rise to the bait. That idiot you met in Madam Malkins, for example, is the son of an arsehole that bribed his way out of trouble and back into an influential position. At a certain point, he's going to insult people around you, tell you that he is a better choice as friend, and recommend that you follow his lead. He's eleven, so he won't be very good at it. Rather than getting mad and defensive, shake his hand and say, "Thank you for your advice, but no thank you. I wish you success at Hogwarts." And then go back to whatever you were doing. This is likely to happen on the train to Hogwarts. Explain to whomever you make friends with on the train that you're going to piss off idiots by being polite.
Most eleven year olds don't understand that strict politeness to your enemies makes them angry – and will make them look like fools if they react badly. Afterwards, point out how upset or confused the idiot was and have a good laugh about it. If a friend tries to be insulting to other people, tell them that it's not right. Explain that you don't like bullies, even if you do like pissing bullies off. Sell it well enough and even those friends who might have a tendency to blow their top will come around to your viewpoint. It will also make school much less stressful.
Some people will want to be your friend because you're famous. Some people will be jealous of you (weird, I know). Point out that your fame is based on your parents being killed and that you don't like to be reminded. Tell them that you would have preferred to have parents or a father or a mother than unwarranted celebrity.
That should shut up most people who talk about your fame as the boy-who-lived or assume it is so great.
You will have to deal with the fact that you ARE famous. Many have written letters to you, but the wards which protect you from being targeted prevents these letters from getting to you.
I recommend a press release to the Daily Prophet. I suggest the following:
- For Release 2 September 1991 –
My name is Harry Potter. Recently, I arrived back into the magical world after living fully in the muggle world until I received my Hogwarts letter. Until my 11th birthday, I never even knew I was a wizard.
Imagine my surprise when a group of people in the Leaky Cauldron started shaking my hand and welcoming me back and complimenting me. I didn't grow up knowing I was famous or having grand adventures. Anyone who claims otherwise is, unfortunately, lying to you.
This brings up two points:
Because I grew up ignorant of the Wizarding World and warded against receiving mail, anyone who wrote to me or who writes to me without my knowing them personally will not actually reach me with their letters. For anyone who wrote a letter to me in the past: I humbly apologize for any upset that was caused by your not receiving a reply.
Also, remember that whatever fame I received cost me my parents. I do not like being reminded that my parents died. Every time you call me the Boy-Who-Lived, I only hear: The Boy Who Lost His Parents. And with a war having been waged, I wasn't the only one.
A third point ties into that: The story you have been told for the last ten years is highly suspect in my mind. Who do you believe is more likely to be actual hero when a dark wizard comes calling: A pureblood from a long line of powerful wizards, an absolutely brilliant and powerful witch, or a baby still messing up his nappies? And if I am really so powerful, is this because I'm special – or because THEY were special? Remember that I didn't even know I was a wizard until 31 July of this year.
If anyone tells you that they know exactly what happened that night, I suggest reminding them that no one asked me and no one else who was there is actually around. It's all guessing.
If you want to admire the true heroes which led to the fall of the Dark Idiot, remember James Potter. Remember Lily Potter nee Evans. Remember the Aurors that fell trying to protect us all. Remember the victims who tried their best to stay alive. Remember the ordinary people who contributed to fighting the threat of Idealogical bigotry. THOSE people are the heroes. Not a baby sitting in his crib being shielded by those heroes.
I think about myself being a baby at that point and I realize something: A baby surely is a miracle. But that means that each and every one of us was, at some point, a miracle. I hope that we all can continue being a miracle for those around us.
Sincerely, Harry Potter, First Year Hogwarts Student
As to how I can so accurately guess as to your responses and your attitudes, it will have to wait until the end of this.
Hagrid, for all of his good intentions, did not really explain things as well as he should of. He only sees "Harry, son of Lily and James" and not, "Harry, A Muggle-Raised Wizard." This means that he assumed, unconsciously, that you would know certain things. He never explained because he, in his own mind, could not conceive that the baby he knew so many years ago really DOESN'T know anything yet. Like quiddich. Remember how surprised he was when you had to ask what it was.
So, I recommend that after you name your owl, you send a message to the Deputy Headmistress explaining that you received no information on the cusoms and practices of the magical world that any other muggle-raised student should receive. You don't know magical travel, laws, places, people, government, or anything. You don't understand how there can be a platform 9 ¾. Explain that Hagrid was great but treated you as the son of his old friends and not the muggleborn you effectively are. It was an honest mistake. But that doesn't mean you can't fix it.
I recommend buying Hogwarts, A History. You can use your owl to order books and catalogs. You can also find out from Gringotts how to change Galleons to Pounds so that you can buy your own clothes instead of wearing Dudley's old things. You can owl the Director of Magical Law Enforcement and ask if the fiction books that people have written about you (a favorite for children in the Wizarding World) are even legal as you never gave permission to use your name and that they all are lying unless they actually SAY they are fiction. You can owl St. Mungos Hospital and find out if there magical inoculations you should have before going to Hogwarts. You can ask about getting a checkup (always a good idea). Ask the Deputy Headmistress about that too.
If you don't want to wait for the adults to get back to you on these things, you can always make your way yourself. You can use a magical transportation called the Knight Bus. It costs under a Galleon and it can take you wherever you like. Just stand out on the street and hold out your wand as though signaling a taxicab. Brace yourself because the Knight Bus will arrive with a blast of air which can knock you down. When you're on the Knight Bus, hold on tight because it jumps and moves very irregularly. It's safe – but not always comfortable.
Stay in populated areas in the Magical World. Don't assume everyone wishes you well. Stay alert. Protect yourself. If it feels wrong, get to someone who feels right.
Remember that most wizards and witches have no common sense unless it's forced on them. Magic defies the laws of logic so often magicals ignore logic. It gets very annoying at times. I suggest ignoring the idea "it is impossible" unless someone proves it to you and I suggest using common sense and logic unless you're actually performing a spell. You'll run rings around anyone who grew up magical. Even muggleborns start becoming gullible after a while.
That gullibility means that you will actually HAVE to talk to reporters and answer questions at times. Never let a false report in the newspaper go without making a rebuttal. Witches and Wizards will believe literally ANYTHING. If they are being libelous or slanderous, report it to the Director of Magical Law Enforcement (the current one actually has some sense; her name is Amelia Bones). Never let a reporter use an acid-green quill called a Quick Quotes Quill. It will lie and write things that are just wrong.
You are going to Hogwarts to learn to be the best wizard you can be. So are the rest of your classmates. These are the people you will live with for several years, so I recommend making friends. These are the people you will work with and live with the rest of your life.
Talk to your classmates. Be courteous. Compassionate. Act with empathy. They are just as nervous as you are. Even the pureblood idiots who act like they know everything are living under the crushing weight of their parents' expectations. Imagine being told that you must be the best and then failing. That's what they live with. Remember that they will be less likely to believe lies if they actually know you.
Don't accept stereotypes. Not all Slytherins are evil. Not all Hufflepuffs are duffers. Not all Ravenclaws are know-it-alls. Not all Gryffindors are reckless. Remember that ASSUME is to make an ASS out of U and ME. There are good and bad people in all houses, just like there are in the muggle world.
As you make friends, learn about their families. Find out when their birthdays are. Buy them Christmas and birthday gifts but don't try to buy their friendship. Buy a small gift for a poor friend so that they don't feel bad when they can't buy you something expensive. Write thank you notes for the gifts that you receive.
Get a muggle book on how to write a good essay. Hogwarts professors LOVE to assign essays. Read ahead and write out questions you want to ask. If you don't know, it's likely your classmates don't know either. Ask for books that can be used as references. Use the library. Practice wand movements, even if it's with a stick in your bedroom at home. Practice writing with a quill. Practice writing neatly. Get your work done before playing games with friends. Encourage your friends to do the same. It will mean less stress in the long run.
Learn about your family. Learn the customs of the world you are entering. Just because it's done differently in the muggle world doesn't mean that it's wrong. It also doesn't mean it's right because "it's always been done that way."
Consider the source when you are told something. Hagrid, for example, has personal reasons for hating Slytherins. One did him a great disservice. That does not mean that he is a good source for ALL things Slytherin. Writers write what they know, have been told, or what they assume. Some books are good sources. Some are not. Consider what has been told about you. Just because most wizards can't think critically, doesn't mean you have to be an idiot too.
You may be asking: Who wrote this letter and seems to know so much about you? The answer is: You. My name is Harry Potter. Through a rare magical accident caused by my own stupidity, I have become detached from any particular time stream. I visit many worlds and many realities and nudge things here and there. If you should come across a Legend in the wizarding world called The Lone Traveler - That's me.
I always try to make certain my alternate selves never have to suffer as I did. I'm not a god, but I try to do the right thing. This letter was the result of me asking myself: What do I wish I was told when I first found out I was a wizard?
Thus, a long letter with some advice I could have used. I have performed other actions which should prevent some tragedies from taking place in your life as well. I arrived at Gringotts and prevented a robbery. The goblins were grateful. I used that to achieve some small changes which should improve your lot in life. I help them, they help you. Go to Gringotts soon and say, "I was directed to meet Sharpclaw, my accounts manager, by the Lone Traveler." They may contact you first, but don't wait for it.
The following is based on MY world. Each world is different, so I can't predict if what I am telling you will be accurate, but I hope it helps:
Good friends to have:
Ron Weasley. A good guy to have fun with. A bit of a jealous git at times as he comes from a poor family. The Weasley family is often times (but not always) an excellent family to be friends with. He is the friend who blows up - but he always comes back eventually. Birthday March 1st. His sister Ginny will arrive next year and she's also a good friend. Actually, she's a love interest in many universes. August 12th or August 19 for her birthday.
Hermione Granger. A muggleborn who is scary smart. Saved my ass in many universes. She acts bossy and like a teacher's pet but it's to hide her crushing loneliness. She grew up without friends so she retreated to books. A bit too much respect for authority figures and the written word, but in most universes a truer friend you will not find. Also often a love interest in later life. Sometimes she winds up with Ron. Sometimes with you. You have to decide for yourself. Just remember that she IS a girl. Birthday Sept 19.
Neville Longbottom. His birthday is the day before yours. Your parents were friends. His parents were tortured into insanity and his grandmother pushes him to act like his father, so he has low self-esteem. Powerful wizard but thinks he's almost a squib (a non-magical from a magical family). It's not true. With a little self confidence, he's a most solid friend. In many universes, the Potter and Longbottom family are historical allies.
Luna Lovegood. She's Ginny's age and arrives next year. IN most universes, we don't become friends until my fifth year. She has strange beliefs. Her father does a wizarding equivalent of the Weekly World News and so many consider them nutters. Bah. Idiots. The Lovegoods just see things differently than almost everyone else. She is the friend who will always be brutally honest because she can't conceive of not saying what she believes. She gets bullied in Ravenclaw in most universes. Her mother's death kind of solidifies her quirky nature. Become her friend early. She's a friend of Ginny's. Her birthday is the most inconsistent of any of my friends. Sometimes it's as early as Sept 2, making her only a month and two days younger. Sometimes it's spring. Ask.
Fred and George Weasley. Almost always true friends that you can count on in your life. Notable pranksters. At a certain point, they will talk about their noble heroes, the Marauders. The Marauders were a group of pranksters that were active in the 70s. Your father was known as Prongs. When they talk to you about them, tell them you are the song of Prongs. Hopefully you will know Moony and Padfoot by then as well. Introduce them to these two and they will adore you for life.
A few suggestions for gifts if these do become your friends:
Hermione loves books. Any books. However, the favorite thing she ever got was a orange half kneazle cat with a smushed face and bandy legs. Ugly thing she named Crookshanks. She got him at the beginning of third year. But Crookshanks was at the Magical Menagerie for long time because no one else wanted him. She LOVES that cat.
Ron loves quiddich. A team called the Chudley Cannons. They are the loveable losers of quiddich. The quiddich shop will have things he will love. He also loves candy. Recommend an "Anonymous" gift at Christmas in addition to his small gift of a gift certificate to get his own wand. He's using an old family wand because his family is poor but really needs his own. A holster too. Get Ollivander's promise to keep it secret who it's from. Oh, get a holster for yourself. Make it "Anonymous" gift to you at Christmas too and Ron will never suspect it came from you because he will see you got an anonymous gift too. Maybe an inexpensive owl for Christmas his first year - the gift he knows came from you.
Neville loves plants. All plants. Herbology books. Or a muggle horticulture book. Also get him an Anonymous gift of a Wand and Holster certificate. One reason he's so poor at magic is because his gran makes him use his father's wand. In my world he went five years having troubles before getting his own wand. It's amazing he turned out to be so powerful. Probably from forcing his magic to work with a wand wholly unsuitable to him.
If you can work Ron into telling you about his family, you can become pen pals with Ginny. Send her chocolate for Christmas. Anonymous certificate for wand and holster for when she gets her supplies.
It's amazing, thinking about it, how many go to Hogwarts with poorly matched wands. Let me think about that for a moment.
Anyway, Luna Lovegood. A muggle book on odd animals of the world, like the duck-billed platypus. An American Indian made Dreamcatcher. Visit a muggle occult store for ideas for Luna. She would love the unusual. Crystals. Candles. She needs a custom wand from Ollivander as she is unique. You won't get by with an anonymous gift with her; just ask her to keep it to herself who gave her the gift. When you start writing to Ginny, write to Luna as well. Just tell her the Lone Traveler said she would make an excellent friend. Most would scoff at such a thing. Luna would not.
Gred and Forge. When appropriate, offer to invest 1000 galleons in their dream of opening a joke shop - as long as they do well on their 5th and 7th year tests. Just make sure they don't tell their mother where they got the money.
A charitable suggestion: Considering that I arranged for the goblins to accomplish a few things which will result in a decent amount of gold to come to you, find out from Gringotts if you have the resources to establish a Trust funded by you which will cost up to 5000 galleons this year and 500 to 1000 galleons every year hereafter to pay for the first wand for each Hogwarts student. The 5000 galleons this year would pay for Ollivander to check and replace as necessary the wands for every student who currently attends Hogwarts. Starting next year, students would be told that their first wand will be paid for by the Lily and James Potter Memorial Trust. Something to honor your parents for being the true heroes that they actually were. The goblins are excellent at making money so the initial deposit for the trust could be 10,000 galleons with the goblins being given free reign on to make money with it so that the trust will be funded indefinitely.
If you want a cause to work on which would be a good use of your fame and influence, work to convince other wealthy families to establish trusts to pay for the necessary school supplies for Hogwarts children. If you spend 500 galleons in seven years for potions supplies, books, equipment, uniforms, and other necessary supplies, that's 70 galleons a year per student on average. For five hundred students (this year it will be 40 in your year but you have to plan on population expansion) that's 35,000 a year. An initial deposit of about 200,000G (if twenty wealthy families contribute 10,000 each) managed by the goblins would allow all students to get new equipment each year. No hand me downs. No poor cauldrons. The families who contributed would get prestige and a common bullying point would be eradicated. Families would only have to pay for items that had to be replaced because of carelessness. Excess profit from the trust could replace worn items at Hogwarts such as the old school brooms or damaged cauldrons. Just a goal you can shoot for it you want to use your celebrity for some social betterment.
Anyway, I won't tell you everything. Some things you should learn on your own. This is just me telling you a number of things I wish I had been told. Good luck and may you find true happiness.
With Best Regards,
Harry Potter, The Lone Traveler
Harry decided he would be having a busy month.