For those of you who are coming to view this story sometime after January 12, 2017, originally this story was like the other Reading The Books fanfictions. The story was in bold and they'd have comments every few lines. But because of the rules of this site, I've changed the story a lot. There will be no actual reciting of the original Harry Potter. Hopefully you still enjoy this story.
Disclaimer, I do not own Harry Potter or any of the characters and this is not a way for me to criticize the books. It's just how I believe the characters would react if they read JK Rowling's brilliant work.
In this chapter: Vernon Dursley experiences the after effects of the wizarding world learning of Voldemort's disappearance, Dumbledore brings Harry to his new family, and Hagrid was the one to deliver him using Sirius Black's motorbike.
Nineteen year old Harry, Hermione, and Ron sat in front of the stack of books. It was incredible to think they'd accomplished it. Harry had put each of his memories of the most important years of his life into the books. Professor McGonagall, the current headmistress of Hogwarts, had contributed by giving her own memories of the day Harry had been taken to the Dursleys, the day where she had watched all of the Dursleys carefully- particularly his uncle.
Originally they were going to put it all in one story, but Hermione thought it'd be better to split it by year as the book would have been much too large. It was incredible how much bigger of a story his later years were compared to his first three. Ron picked up the smallest book and flipped through it briefly.
"They're in third person." Ron commented.
"So are memories." Hermione said simply. "These books are written with memories, it's expected that they be told similarly."
Harry had watched the process of using his memories and turning them into pages of a book. They were copies of his memories, of course, as all of his mind was intact. That was the easier part. The harder part would be sending the books back.
"As they disappear into the past we will disappear as well." Hermione had explained. "It's a scary thought, isn't it? This version of us won't be around anymore. Us sending the books back will affect so much that a future in which we didn't have to books will no longer exist. As soon as the books are sent back, the future we know now will be replaced with a future in which our past selves read the books."
"It will be for the best." Harry said.
"Things didn't turn out so bad." Ron said. "It could have been worse. But... it could have been better."
"We could save so many..." Hermione whispered. "We have to do this don't we?"
And they did. The books were made, they just had to be sent to the past.
"I hope you don't mind, Harry," Hermione said. "I put them in a sort of story book fashion. I thought it'd all be easier to get the information that way."
"It's brilliant." Harry said staring at the books as Ron put the top one back.
"I'm glad you feel that way." Hermione said tiredly. "Considering how long it took to make these."
"Are they ready to be sent?" Harry asked. Hermione raised an eyebrow.
"Right now? At this hour?" Hermione asked.
"Well they're likely to show up wherever I am at this time four years ago, right?" Harry asked. He had wanted to send them further, maybe stop Cedric's death, but Hermione said to send it just four years back was going to be difficult, and they shouldn't try to send it further back. The fact that objects were going back and not people gave them more leniency, although Harry suspected the only reason Hermione was risking sending them back so far was because of Sirius.
The books would be sent back four years to the day and time, so if she sent the books at two in the morning, they would show up wherever Harry was on this day four years ago at two in the morning. "I'll likely be in bed. Better they show up while I'm there than in the common room or class. And I don't want to delay this anymore, they have to have enough time to read the books to be able to stop Sirius' death."
Hermione nodded. "Okay then. We'll do this now."
"I don't know why we needed to send the first four years anyway." Ron muttered. Hermione sighed, as she had explained this to both of them countless times.
"Harry may have been too young to understand the situation when he first experienced it. It's helpful to review, why do you think people extract and view memories anyway?"
Ron rolled his eyes but said nothing more. Hermione got in position to attempt to send the book back but paused and glanced at Harry.
"Are you sure you want to do this?" she asked, her wand raised. "It's like I said, once I send these books back these versions of ourselves won't exist anymore. It's not like the time turner."
"I'm sure." Harry said forcefully. "Do it."
Hermione bit her lip, and put her wand down for a second. She wrote something down and put it on top of the carefully crafted books. Ron peaked over her shoulder.
"What did you put?"
Hermione moved out of the way so they could read the note and both boys scoffed.
"Why so cryptic?" Ron asked as she started muttering something. "Couldn't you have just put here are books of your future read them for information?"
Hermione ignored him and Harry watched as the books began to fade, and with them, the world around him was fading. He hoped the information would do him well. He hoped he could save a lot of lives. He wished his past self good luck before the world fade to white.
Fifteen year old Harry was walking in the comfort of his father's invisibility cloak. It was well after curfew and he had been avoiding sleep. Ever since the dream he'd had about Voldemort and Rookwood he'd been falling asleep later and later. He wasn't having a good week. His dream had put him on edge, and he had to keep reminding himself to put it in the back of his mind. An Occlumency lesson with Snape would be coming soon, within the next week. Umbridge had begun to take points from Gryffindor more often than Snape. She was still bitter about The Quibbler article that the entire school had read. Harry had more allies now, and she was gripping at any hold she could get to convince them that there was no danger out there and Voldemort had not returned.
Feeling he had been walking around long enough, Harry made to go back to his room only to trip over something and fall. His father's cloak flew off of him and he landed with a thud. His glasses dangling off of his face, he sat up drowsily. It was in the middle of the night, Harry had no idea what could be on the floor. Then he heard footsteps and he quickly snapped to his sense and pushed his glasses up. Not fast enough, he saw Umbridge come up in front of him, her wand light giving her a weird shadow from her eyelashes hanging over her fat cheeks. Her squash face gleamed, likely happy for another reason to make him miserable.
"What do we have here?" Came her annoying voice. Harry quickly blocked the view of the cloak, but her eyes were on something else. Books. Seven books. They were likely in a pile before Harry had fallen over them, as the bottom two were still on top of each other. When Harry looked closer, he saw they did not have a title on them. Umbridge bent down (not very far down as Harry thought all of the books stacked could rival the stumpy woman's hight) and scooped them up. That's when Harry saw a note fall out in front of him. Squinting to read in Umbridge's light, Harry saw:
To see what you may have overlooked, to know what is to come. One book is one year, This is your truth.
Umbridge saw Harry squinting at the note, and snatched that up too, nearly dropping the top two books in the process. "I think I'll have to keep this for myself."
Harry did nothing. He didn't care, they weren't his books. He just hoped she didn't spot and try to grab his cloak.
"Off to bed, Potter. Ten points from Gryffindor for being out of bed." She said and scampered away. Harry waited for her light to turn the corner before grabbing his cloak and throwing it around himself, thanking his luck she was either too tired or too distracted to give him detention.
Harry dragged himself into Defense Against the Dark Arts, which he had with the Hufflepuffs, feeling weighted. Last night's escapades, if it could even be called that, was catching up with him. He was annoyed that at lunch earlier a few people were giving him strange looks, but no one he asked knew why anymore than he did. He noticed in front of all of the seats were identical sets of familiar looking piles of books. When he got closer, it was indisputable that these were the same books he'd fallen over the night before.
He instantly disliked them. Harry had known of these books for less than 24 hours and already they were guilty of three offences in Harry's opinion. They had been left in the middle of the hallway, first offence. They had tripped Harry when he was minding his own business, second offence. They had caused Harry to lose ten more points for his house, third offence. The fact that Harry had no idea what to call them bothered him, and Umbridge looked far too happy at the moment. Nothing that made Umbridge happy could be good.
Harry sat down and they blocked his view from Umbridge's smiling face, so they couldn't be too bad. Harry knew published books could not be copied, there was a charm on them for that so no one tried to cheat their way out of buying them if they wanted/needed the book. Umbridge had dozens of copies, however, so the books weren't mainstream or anything. Harry noticed they were all red hardback books. The top three were smaller, the first one being the smallest. But the fourth one was much larger, the fifth one looked to be the largest book. The sixth and seventh books were smaller in size to the fourth and fifth, but still twice as large as the first three.
"Good afternoon, class!" She said cheerily.
"Good afternoon, Professor Umbridge." Most of the class said in the exact way they were told to address the toad-like woman. Harry had not been one of the ones to say this. Harry was not having a good afternoon and he certainly didn't wish for Umbridge to have one. He could not, therefore, greet the woman like this because, according to his hand, he must not tell lies.
"Now, we're going to do something a little different today. I have assigned you all seven books to read. I believe you will find them quite informative. I have skimmed through the first one and I thought it would be good for us to read."
Harry swallowed a groan. Most of the books were large and heavy looking, and there were seven of them. Harry looked at Ron, who looked how Harry felt. Hermione looked at the books curiously but apprehensively. Harry suspected she was fighting a battle within herself. She was excited for new material to read, but anything that spiked Umbridge's interest shouldn't be good.
"Not only will this class be reading it, but all of my classes will be reading it." Umbridge said, her girly voice laced with vindictive excitement. "And I've delivered copies to each of the professors and the headmaster. I believe these books will clear things up very soon."
Harry, still unable to see Umbridge, stared at the books with unease. These books, whatever was inside of them, was likely a game changer. Harry wished he'd grabbed them before Umbridge, he'd have felt safer with them in his hands than hers.
"Take the first book and set it down in front of you. You can put the other six inside of your bags. We will be reading the first chapter together."
Harry pushed the books into his bag, which almost looked like it was crying with the heavy set of books added to his already heavy collection of books.
"There will be no interruptions when we read." She continued. "I had two classes before today, and we hardly got halfway through the chapter with every comment they made. No, instead you will take notes and write down any questions while we read and we will discuss the chapter as a class when we've finished.
Harry let out a sigh, glancing at Ron who looked just as excited about this as he did. At least when they were told to read the other books silently in earlier classes, he could pretend to be reading and spend the time figuring out his plans for the next DA meeting. Or Umbridge's early 'retirement'.
"Hmm. Now, yes." Umbridge looked around, eyes landing on Harry. "Mr. Potter why don't you read for us?"
Harry stared silently at her. No was on the tip of his tongue and he could practically see I Must Be Obedient under his current scar but Ron elbowed him with pleading eyes. Harry's own eyes rolled.
"Yes, professor." He said and opened the book. On the first book it simply said Book 1 and on the next page the chapter started. Harry cleared his throat and began to read the first line. "Mr. and Mrs. Dursley-" Harry froze, cutting himself off mid sentence, the words leaving a bitter taste on his mouth. Harry looked at the books again, turned to the blank cover and back at the pages. What... what were these books? Why were they talking about his aunt and uncle?
"Is something wrong, Mr. Potter?" Umbridge said, a similar sweetness and look when he had his first detention. The rest of the class looked curious. None of them would know who Mr. and Mrs. Dursley were. Even Ron and Hermione hadn't figured it out yet. Hermione referred to them as Harry's aunt and uncle, and Ron simply called them The Muggles.
"I'm not reading this." He said forcefully.
Umbridge's smile widened a bit. "Something to hide, Mr. Potter?"
Harry thought about the idea of telling someone- Dumbledore and McGonagall came to mind- but he realized there was nothing they could do.
"No, professor." He bit out, his anger rising as he gripped the book and looked at the page again, starting from the beginning.
"That's... it." Harry said hoarsely, closing his book. "That's the first chapter."
"I can't believe Dumbledore really left you out there all night for a real cat to piss on you." Ron muttered.
That was really hard for Harry to read. When Hermione and Ron had realized what the books were about, they'd tried to get Umbridge to stop reading. "It's an invasion of privacy!" Hermione had said, but Umbridge said she could assign any book she wanted, as it was her class.
Hermione, though visibly angry about this whole situation, had a plethora of notes from just the one chapter. Some were about the main points of the chapter, like hearing of the day Voldemort disappeared from a muggle's perspective, and some were about things she just thought were interesting. Like the device Dumbledore used to make the muggle street dark.
She wrote, Most magical items didn't work around electricity, hence the medieval way wizards lived, but this little thing worked with electricity it seemed. And then mentally decided to ask Professor Dumbledore about it sometime.
"Very good, now, who has questions?" Umbridge asked. Many hands went up and the first person to be called on was Seamus.
"Er- okay well I don't really know how you're going to know this, but at one point in the chapter the Dursley bloke said something about 'our crowd'. I realized he meant us and that he must know about us, but it doesn't really make sense." He was glancing at his paper. "If his wife is so ashamed of magic, why would she bother telling him about it?"
Harry frowned. Yes, why had his aunt told his uncle about his mother and her 'crowd'.
"I have no way of knowing that." Umbridge said testily. "Any other questions?"
Harry had nothing to say. He was bitter, he was angry, and he was simply waiting for the class to end. His stomach sank when he realized that they were going to find out. All of them. The entire school was about to find out how he used to live. How he still lived when with the Dursleys. He never told anyone, not even Ron or Hermione. They knew a little bit but they didn't know the worse of it. He never even told Sirius.
"When Dumbledore appears on the street, the narrative describes it as if it was apparition, but it also says his appearance was silent. Apparition comes with a crack." Susan was saying after being called on. "So I guess what I'm asking is, well, how'd he apparate without the sound?"
"It's possible he apparated somewhere else and walked under a disillusionment charm." Umbridge answered. "Anyone else?"
The class continued answering different people's questions, Harry paid little attention. A lot of the questions were stupid to him, like why isn't there a Harry Potter holiday? Or noting that his scar had been so fresh at the time in the chapter and that Baby Harry didn't even know it's significance. To which Harry bitterly thought ten year old Harry didn't know it's significance either. Mostly, he was still thinking about what he read. He still felt appreciation that McGonagall saw the travesty in this night through all of the celebratory chaos. It had been about time that someone did.
"Well... something's been bothering me for a while." Dean was saying as Harry half tuned back into the conversation. "Hagrid saw Sirius Black right before he killed all of those people, but... where did they meet? Was it at the Potter House? Because if it was... why wouldn't he try to kill Harry then? And why would he lend Hagrid his bike to deliver Harry safely?"
Harry, now fully paying attention, tried to hide his grin. Umbridge, however, looked quite upset. "I don't know." She said shortly. "Before class ends, what are the most important things we have gathered from this chapter?"
Hermione raised her hand and didn't wait to be called on. Harry didn't blame her, she'd had her hand up the entire time and Umbridge simply ignored her. "Mostly nothing, mam."
Umbridge glared at Hermione, but Hermione kept going.
"What we didn't know was that Sirius Black must have stopped to see Harry that night, and met up with Hagrid. And despite Harry's vulnerability, he did not attempt to murder him, but instead helped Hagrid deliver him safely by giving Hagrid his bike. Which makes you wonder what his motives really were." Umbridge was looking very pink at this point. Harry saw that a lot of his classmates were thinking about this. "Other than that, everything that has come up in this chapter is already known. Harry Potter defeated Voldemort mysteriously when he was a baby, Lily and James Potter died, may they rest in peace, and Dumbledore is the only wizard Voldemort ever feared."
"Sirius Black, though mad, was an intelligent wizard. He would not have attempted to kill Harry if the very actions brought down his master!" Umbridge said sternly. "He was likely there because he wondered why his master hadn't come back from his task of killing The Potters yet."
"And the bike, professor?" Ron prodded.
"I cannot see inside the mind of a killing maniac!" Umbridge screeched. She breathed out and brought her voice down the next time she spoke. "It likely would have done him well later on, giving Rubeus Hagrid his bike, as it would give him an alibi, but the next day the Ministry did their job and captured him."
"Hermione also mentioned that Dumbledore's the only wizard Voldemort ever feared." Harry called out, his fist in the air.
Hermione nodded. "Because he is a respectable and admirable wizard. Surely he wouldn't be spreading word that Voldemort was back if it weren't true."
Umbridge narrowed her eyes. "As admirable as he may be, he was also distractible. Speaking of muggle sweets when there were more pressing issues. I'm sure even you were alarmed to find that he thought it a good idea to leave an infant on a doorstep all night."
"Albus Dumbledore is older, he isn't as sharp as he once was. It's evident here, and this was over ten years ago." Umbridge said. Ron raised his hand but Umbridge turned away. "I want you to read the next four chapters before your next class, where we will discuss them. Do not try to read ahead, I have placed a charm so that you can not read past the fifth chapter. Class dismissed!"
"We've got to do something about this!" Hermione yelled as they walked away from the classroom.
"Do what, Hermione?" Harry asked exasperatedly.
"I don't know! Something!" Hermione cried.
"She's right, mate." Ron said. "She can't get away with reading your business to the entire school. We can tell Dumbledore or-"
"Dumbledore can't do anything. If he had any say over how and what Umbridge was teaching he would have done something in the beginning when she decided we didn't need to actually practice defense spells this year of all years." Harry explained, hatred seeping over his words. "While she's got Fudge behind her, she's untouchable. I'm just going to have to deal with the entire school knowing everything about me."
A quick shout out to CynthiaW for giving me the idea for using this style so that I'm not breaking any rules, to melkun for giving me the idea of summarizing the important parts of the chapter in the beginning, and of course to Bookhater95 for motivating me to put this up in the first place. This story would not exist without her.
And of course to everyone who stuck with this story while it was going through major changes, and everyone who motivated me, and those who gave this story a chance AND to any future readers. Thank you!
Oh, and there's a twitter & tumblr for my fanfics, links on my profile, blah, blah, blah.