To Have Another Life
Chapter 1: How it all begun
Harry opened his eyes. It was pitch black in his room. He looked to his left and saw his—well, it used to be Dudleys'—clock, it had bumps on the metal casing which made less circular and it didn't have any glass. The only reason that he had this clock was because Dudley had tripped and it had fallen down the stairs. Harry remembered that day clearly; Dudley had screamed at his uncle that it had been his fault and his uncle had stormed out of his room and had stood in front of Harry, making him stand right in front of the stairs. His uncle had backhanded him and either because his uncle was fatter and stronger than him or because he had no strength and was so skinny, that you could see his ribs, or maybe because of both, he had fallen down the stairs. His fall wouldn't have been so bad if pieces of the glass from the clock weren't spread throughout the entire staircase, but alas they were, but he was also healing from his uncles' 'punishment' from the day before and the fall caused not only new injuries, but it also opened up the older ones that he had since the start and throughout his summer. His uncle had stomped on his prone body, which only aggravated his injuries more, and forced him to do twice as many chores that day. What made matters worse was that he hadn't been able to clean or heal himself whilst doing all the chores so he had to wait until he finished them all at 2 a.m. When he went up to his room, he had seen the smashed albeit still working clock, and grabbed it so that he could put it in his room. He knew, from that day onwards, that his uncle would only get worse. And, like Harry thought, he became crueller more and more every day.
Harry read the time; 2:17. He sighed and sat up. He knew that he wasn't going to fall asleep anytime soon so he made his way to his desk. He couldn't do any of his homework or read any of his books because his uncle had taken his trunk, pad-locked it, and locked it in his cupboard. His cupboard. Thad been his room until he was eleven and even now, 5 years later, he couldn't stop thinking of the cupboard as anything but his. He was also aware that his relatives had only given him Dudleys' second bedroom because they thought they were being watched. Wrong, they had been and so had he; Harry was wrong about a lot of things but they weren't his fault. It had been after Sirius died that he discovered how wrong about everything he was.
*Flashback* (quite a long one that will last until chapter 2)
After Dumbledore told him what the prophecy was, he had gone to the Room of Requirement for some silence to ponder about what had happened in the Ministry when he had extracted the Marauders Map. He didn't know why he took it out, maybe he thought that if he kept an eye on his friends he could make sure they remained safe or that he could help them if need arose. What he hadn't expected was to see Rons' and Hermiones' names make their way to Dumbledores' office. He held his wand over Dumbledores' office for 5 seconds and he began to hear what they were saying.
He had discovered this trick earlier in the year by mistake. He had put the open map on the floor and carelessly left his wand on top of it. The tip of the wand had been over the Hufflepuff Common Room and he had begun to hear people talking around him even though he was by himself. When he had made his way to the map, the 'Puffs' Common Room was lit up with a white light and when he touched it he could see inside the Common Room. He hadn't told Ron or Hermione, he wanted to keep something to himself. Ron and Hermione had been harassing him constantly for the entire year about what he was doing, where he was going, who he was going with, that he resorted to saying he'd go and sit by the Black Lake or go to Hagrids' Hut when, actually, he would go to the RoR. He seemed to be able to 'communicate' with Hogwarts. He could feel the castles' magic and the wards around it and if he wished to have something like an empty room or a nice, hot meal, whatever he wished for would appear before him. Hogwarts was what he imagined a mother to be like: caring, passionate, helpful and so much more. When Harry was upset or restless, Hogwarts would lull him and caress him with her magic and he could sleep soundly. And for all that, he was grateful and in turn he let Hogwarts use his magic or borrow some of hi magic so that her essence could become corporeal—which had both surprised him and made him happier because now he could finally talk to her and not just through his head in a one-way conversation. Hogwarts' corporeal form could be changed and Hogwarts herself could choose what she looked like and at one point she had turned into his mother and he couldn't stop crying for at least half an hour. Hogwarts had told him that if he ever needed to see his mother or anyone else that she could make herself look like him. He was overjoyed at that prospected, Hagrid had given him the album with photos of his parents but it was mostly only James and Sirius and Remus and hardly any of the photos were of his mother.
After he held his wand there for 5 seconds, he touched the highlighted room and was finally affronted with the one of the truths that was hidden from him. He saw Ron and Hermione in front of Dumbledore and saw their faces turn into looks of disgust and anger.
"Does he know that you're here?" Dumbledore asked. His face was grave, the wrinkles in his face made him look the age he was.
"No, we told him we were going to the Library to look for some History of Magic textbooks for our homework. The little shit believed us." Answered Hermione with a vicious grin. "The brat doesn't suspect a thing, he's too upset over Sirius' death that he doesn't even notice anything around him"
"Good. He can't know that you're watching him, if he does then you'll pay for it and you won't get any more money from him" Dumbledore said, his gaze was hard and his twinkle was lost. 'What did he mean by that? Harry thought 'he's had them watch me and paid them with my money?! They're not even my friends, are they? The old coot probably paid them before they even met me! Which made sense to Harry, once he thought about it. He recalled their meeting, and how manipulated it looked. It was way too fake for them to have met like that; first, Ron, who had seemed to know him before having met him. 'Just because my name was Harry didn't mean that I was Harry Potter! Harry is a very common name' Second, the way he treated Malf-Draco when they met on the train and had made fun of his name. Harry knew what it was like to be made fun off and knew that Draco had every right to retaliate, which he did. What also made him suspicious was the fact that he had been visited by Hagrid of all the staff, when all the other students had probably been visited by teachers and unbiased teachers at that. He remembered how anti-Slytherin Hagrid and, later, Ron had been which made Harry think about his Sorting. The Sorting Hat had been about to say Slytherin, when it ended up saying Gryffindor which greatly confused Harry. Harry didn't know who it had been in his head whispering "Not Slytherin, not Slytherin…" over and over, because it hadn't been him. Come to think of it, Harry hadn't intended to not shake hands with Draco, but something had forced him to sound cruel to the boy instead of accepting his hand, and therefore, his friendship. When he had met Draco in Madam Malkin's, he had felt a sort of connection with him and he knew that Draco had felt it too by the way he looked at Harry when they parted. He didn't know what the connection was, at first, but he had known that it wasn't a bad thing. In his 3rd year, he had finally discovered that he felt 'tingles' in his body whenever Draco was upset or angry or in danger. He found out after the Hippogriff accident and had taken to watch over him whenever he could afterwards and his assumptions had been correct. He couldn't bring himself to hate Draco, he didn't think he could ever hate him, dislike yes but never hate. He knew that the connection or bond was more of a friendship bond than a relashionship-y type of bond. The again, having only really 2 friends he couldn't possibly come up with a sound conclusion as he didn't have many experiences with friendship; Dudley had made sure of that when he was growing up, going even as far as beating up anyone that so much as talked to him, never mind what he did when they tried to befriend him.
His mind went back to his entire 5th year. Dumbledore had avoided him ever since the Dementors had attack him and his cousin. It wasn't just that, it was also the fact that when he tried to tell the teachers about Umbridges' Blood Quill they just told him to keep his head down and that they couldn't do anything to help him. One of the worst betrayals was McGonagalls', he looked up to her as a Head of House and mentor but she had just sat on her chair marking essays when he went to her for help and pain-riddled. She made him feel like a small child being scolded for eating one too many cookies or in his case, taking food from the fridge at night because he hadn't eaten in 4 days and hadn't drunk anything in 2. He didn't think that he would ever trust the teachers at Hogwarts like he did before his 5th year. Mind you, he'd known from a small age that he should never rely on anybody else or do anything for them because they certainly wouldn't do anything for him, just like how he had stopped hoping for someone to save him from his cupboard when he was a child. He had had enough disappointments in his life to ever think that anybody would help him or do anything for him because they genuinely wanted to and wouldn't get something back for doing it.
He snapped out of his head and continued to overhear the conversation.
"Don't worry, the brat doesn't suspect a thing, he thinks that we're his best friends and that he can tell us everything. I'm just glad that I get his money for pretending to care about him…Is he staying at the Dursleys, because I don't want to pet up with him for an entire summer?" Ron asked, his voice strained and high-pitch at the end, as if he thought that that would help Dumbledore make up his mind.
"He won't go to the Burrow, I need him to stay at Privet Drive. Maybe his uncle will help set him straight. That boy" he said the word 'boy' maliciously, as if the very thought of him set the Headmaster on edge, "needs to learn discipline and obedience and the best place for that is with his uncle. I've made sure that he won't be able to leave, even if he wants to. The wards will prevent him from leaving Privet Drive." Dumbledore finished. His face held a dark and cold look throughout his entire 'speech'. Harry was shocked, he didn't know what to think. He ever thought that the 3 closest people to him would ever betray him. From the sound of things, it seemed that he truly had nobody apart from Neville to trust, since his list of friends only really held the Weasleys, Hermione, Neville and Lupin. However, Remus hadn't spoken to him since Sirius had gone through the veil and Harry knew that Remus blamed him.
Harry had stopped listening after that and had run to the Common Room. He packed up all his belongings so quickly that it would have made athletes jealous at how fast he was. 'There's one good thing about how Dudley treated me, he made sure I could run very fast with all his Harry-Hunting over the years.' He had thought as he put up a privacy charm and a silencing charm on the bed, and with his trunk he crawled inside his bed and just the curtains, locking them with his magic.
"Hogwarts? Could you please take me to Gringotts without anyone knowing that I'm gone? He asked out loud, with the silencing and privacy charms he didn't have to worry about being overheard.
"Of course, Harry" A soft, gentle and almost song-like voice answered back. Harry knew that he could always rely on Hogwarts and that she was the exception to all the rules. Everyone thought that Dumbledore had complete control of Hogwarts and that nobody could apparate from the castle but that wasn't true. Those who meant well and deserved it were allowed to apparate and communicate with Hogwarts and it didn't matter if the people that Hogwarts allowed to apparate were followers of Dumbledore because she disliked him and didn't trust him, and so she would never reveal her secrets to him.
"Thank you" Harry said as he felt his insides turn with the feeling of apparition. This method of apparition didn't make him sick or hurt him, unlike side-along apparition or forced-apparition. Harry opened his eyes, not recalling when or if he closed them, but saw his surroundings and acknowledged that he was outside of the entrance to Gringotts. He walked inside in a straight line towards the goblin at the desk. To his surprise it was Griphook, the goblin that he was served by when he came here for the first time.
"Hey Griphook, is there a place we could speak you in private. I have a serious matter I need your help with and it wouldn't do for anyone to overhear it?" he asked quietly. He saw the goblins' eyebrows rise.
"Follow me, Mr. Potter" he said evenly, neither too friendly nor too angrily. Harry followed he familiar goblin in a straight path behind his counter until they reached a room. Griphook held the door open for Harry and when Harry walked through he mumbled a 'thanks' to the goblin. The goblin closed the door and sat in a chair that was opposite another empty chair. The goblin nodded towards the empty chair and Harry knew that he was telling him to 'sit down and start talking' and so he did. He talked about what he overheard and that Dumbledore was the one that had his vault key.
"There is another way you can open your vault and that is by putting 3 drops of your blood on a piece of parchment that will allow us to verify your identity." Griphook explained. Harry then asked if after he took a look at his vaults if he could change the locks and get any of his money back and Griphook just calmly said 'yes, that is possible'. So Harry did as Griphook explained and just after the 3rd drop of blood fell from his cut palm words started appearing on the parchment, not unlike the Marauders Map.
I'm planning quite a big story with this, but this is my first story and I'd like some feedback if you wouldn't mind (it can be on anything…) so please review and tell me what you think and if I should continue with this… [There are going to be a lot of twists in this story, if I continue it, and they will be 'different' than most.
Thanks, Bella x