As a special Halloween treat to the fans, this is getting posted as a full story! HAPPY ALL HALLOW'S EVE EVERYONE!
The day he gained superpowers, he was seven and his "aunt's" precious bulldog Ripper had just chased him up a tree to the amusement of everyone else in the house. None of the Dursleys or Marge seemed to care about the thunderstorm rolling in, or the fact that unless Marge removed the bulldog, he was likely to get hit by lightning, or at the very least catch pneumonia.
As he stayed on the thick branch, shivering already from the temperature drop afraid of going down in case Ripper chose to attack him a second time, he wondered what he had done in any lifetime to deserve this.
He heard a crackle of thunder, and the rain began pouring in thick sheets. He was soaked in seconds.
And then it happened.
A loud crack of thunder directly overhead, and then he knew nothing. Just pain and heat and light everywhere.
He woke up in the hospital seven weeks after the incident. Ripper was dead, and it was a miracle he was even alive after being hit with such a thick bolt of lightning.
After being hit, there was a massive investigation launched into his home life. Petunia, Vernon, and Marge were all arrested after the neighbors woke up and saw something child-sized fall from the tree in the Dursley's back yard. Marge was more of an afterthought after she made multiple threats to murder him upon learning her dog had been caught in the blast that almost killed him.
Petunia and Vernon were arrested after someone looked into his home life...mostly because they vocally refused to pay for his treatment. The public outcry from that sparked an inquiry as to how callous they were.
It almost turned into a mob when the public found out that they actually made him sleep in a boot cupboard under the stairs. The fact that the cops found a child's hand writing that said "Harry's Room" in crayon. There was enough biological evidence to prove that a child had been living under the stairs for a number of years.
The rest was pretty self-explanatory. One of the few things they didn't tell him was that an old woman who was paying too much attention to the police and the investigation was also arrested... for a different charge.
Mrs. Arabella Figg was arrested for tax evasion, animal cruelty and neglect, and falsifying a government form. She wouldn't do nearly as much time as the Dursleys, but because of the arrest several important people were never alerted to what was going on.
After all, the name of the victim was never released. With how much evidence the police found simply by looking, there was no real need to drag the boy through the trial for his testimony. Not that they could, considering he was still in a coma barely alive, while the Dursleys were thrown into prison for a very long time.
Dudley was put into a home for children that needed a more… firm...hand. He had to undergo years of therapy before he could even remotely become a decent figure in society.
One year later...
It still hurt to move, but thanks to numerous donations and sheer dumb luck, he was more or less able to live a normal life.
But that wasn't the real reason he was able to move after the incident. After the accident, something changed about him. Something down to the molecular level. He was faster, stronger. His healing had accelerated past human limits.
More than that, he could run. He had always been the fastest kid in Surrey (he got a lot of practice thanks to Dudley and his gang), but now he was the fastest child alive. Literally.
If he wanted to, he could create sonic booms in less than a minute, and that wasn't even his fastest speed.
He could read entire libraries in the span of a day, and remember everything. He could hit so fast that he could knock a small punching bag off the chain. And that wasn't getting into the fact that now he was away from his "loving family", he was able to eat large quantities of food.
He had learned how to pickpocket early on to avoid starving to death. Now he put it to use in order to keep his increased metabolism from being discovered.
Sure, he couldn't practice as much as he liked without getting busted, but even small steps were good enough for him.
After all, at eight years old, he had nothing but time to hone his skills.
When he first got the letters, he thought someone was having him on. For about two seconds.
The fact was that he had run all over England, Scotland and Ireland at least twice in the past three years, and he had found several "enclaves" as he called them full of strange and wonderful things.
Places full of the taboo word in that house.
Christopher had been through a lot in the short time alive, far more than most children ever had to. But if there was one thing he had realized since the lightning hit him, magic was real.
There was simply no other logical explanation for the fact that he could change his appearance or turn into any animal he put his mind to...never mind his speed.
After the lightning strike, and learning he was now a speedster that could literally run on water and up buildings, he had thought that was it.
Then while he was experimenting with changing his vocal cords to make it harder to identify him by voice, he learned by accident that he could do more than make his pitch higher or lower.
He could change his appearance, from his hair and eye color, to even the pigmentation of his skin.
It went downhill from there. From changing the length and color of his hair, to slowly learning how to create feathers and scales, he found the only limits were his imagination...and the power requirements.
Anything that the regular world perceived as 'magical', from salamanders to unicorns...well, he generally had to store up energy for weeks and he could never maintain them very long. Normal animals, he could do easily. Magical ones were simply out of his range for now.
So no, he wasn't entirely surprised at being invited to a magical school.
The problem was that after the incident, he had gained something of a wanderlust. He had never found "the place", where he would feel comfortable enough to stay and act as a superhero...or an anti-hero really, since he usually made a living pick pocketing to support his experiments with his powers.
Somehow, he didn't think this Hogwarts was "the place" where he would feel comfortable. Too far away from civilization.
Besides, internet searches revealed they didn't even have internet, which was as close to blasphemy in his opinion.
Sure, according to the rumors they had something called "house elves" who would be more than happy to fill him up with plenty of fatty foods and sugary drinks on request, there were a lot of downsides from past graduates.
Half the classes were a joke, the teachers were biased, and there was this whole 'house rivalry' thing that made school life unnecessary difficult. This was also before one got into the fact that they lacked any normal education available, they were too far from normal civilization to access modern amenities like electricity or computers.
In fact they were right next to an 'enclave' called "Hogsmeade". And considering that area had a picturesque theme of "quaint medieval village" with a generous lack of his preferred stores...
Yeah, he wasn't that interested in formal education. But he wasn't stupid enough to say that to their face.
Easier to get the supplies, make it look like he was interested, and find a better option. They were less likely to suspect he was planning to jump ship that way.
He went into "Diagon Alley" and went straight to the bank.
At least this time he could actually access whatever account he had. The goblins had refused to let him access his "vaults" until he was at least eleven. They did, however let him store his 'earnings' in a new vault. He had managed to accumulate quite a bit of gold and silver over the years since discovering the magical enclaves.
Not even magic could compensate for a pick pocket that was faster than the anti-thief spells on the pouches of coins held by the older families.
At least finding out about the enclaves had given him access to something he would have had to wait years to correct.
Potions that allowed him to get rid of the issues of malnutrition, anemia, and the general weakness in his bone structure from lack of the proper minerals.
He found one thing was universal, whether you were dealing with the normal or the magical world.
As long as you had the gold, you could always find someone willing to work for a price and not ask questions like why a minor was using back-alley healers rather than go to a 'real' doctor.
In the Underworld, you could find anything for a price.
"Welcome back, Mr. Astra."
'Astra' was short for astraphobia, or the fear of thunder and lightning. Christopher (renamed after the patron saint of travelers) felt it appropriate considering it was a lightning strike that gave him the boost to his natural magical powers.
"So...if I were to go looking for alternative schools, where would I go for information?" asked Chris.
"Third desk close to the back. Twenty galleons," said the goblin.
Chris cheerfully handed the goblin a galleon. It wasn't like it was from his vault after all, and that blond wizard looked like a dick.
Half an hour later he had found at least three schools that suited his criteria...all of them requiring a passport to get out of the country.
He was really leaning towards America. They had so many superheroes that it was unlikely anyone would question what he could do if found out.
Many were looking forward to the return of the Boy-Who-Lived. Especially a certain old wizard, who had lost contact with the woman watching the poor boy almost three years ago. Arabella had been arrested and it had taken too long for him to arrange for her release.
The worst part was there was not even a hint of what had happened to little Harry. Every file was sealed and the cops were surprisingly close-mouthed about what his new name was, since Petunia outright refused to give it. Without birth certificates (and the desire to give the victim a clean break) the court had given the child a new identity and sent him to an assisted living facility for children.
While many felt sympathetic for his plight, no one was that eager to care for a critically ill child who would need several years of therapy and was systematically abused. It was simply too much to ask of the average Englishman.
And the few that might be willing to do so often had children of their own who needed help.
It was simply easier to leave him in a home with the best nurses and pay for his care until he was eighteen, by which time the masses would have forgotten he existed.
Except when Dumbledore went to said home, he found out that the boy had made a miraculous recovery several months after the accident, and hadn't been seen since. The nurses were all too jaded to care, and after realizing he was able to leave on his own ability, were more than happy to keep their mouths shut about it.
The less media coverage, the less likely people were to ask uncomfortable questions about the care of the more rowdy patients.
He was welcome back at any time, and often used the place as a home base, but his visits were rare and infrequent at best.
So it came as a total shock when no one fitting even the barest description of Harry was seen on the train. Not even the post-injury description.
And they had lost one of their muggleborn students to the Americans. A Christopher Astraphobos.
It wouldn't be until later that he was kicking himself for missing the fact that the lad's last name was something he had made himself.
Chris was grinning like a madman as he was running across the water.
Most people would fly or take a boat to get to America.
He ran. He had long since figured out how to run fast and for long periods. He had literally traveled to France and back in ten hours, to and from. Nonstop, going at super speed.
Of course he spent an inordinate amount of time eating a McDonald's out of all the food it had after, but it was a small price to pay to see what his limits were.
Which meant he could make it to America purely on his speed...but he would have to hit a pizza joint with his stolen credit card after. Thanks to his ability, he could look like a college guy out to buy a mass quantity of food for his fraternity.
No one would question it.
Seeing land, he felt relief. He went a little faster, managing to reach the port. Once he was safely on ground, the first thing he did was go through a massive quantity of junk food that was heavy on the calories and sugar...before making it look like he had arrived in America on a cruise ship. Thanks to his stolen passport, no one looked twice at him.
From there, he hit a small town, stole a doctor's identity and forged a birth certificate. The town was so small that they didn't really have the resources to digitize all their files.
With a properly forged identity, no one would ask about a passport. Especially if he could drop his accent.
Well, at least he fooled the muggles anyway.
In a cell...
"Christopher Astraphobos. Eleven years old, magically powerful...and you didn't exist until three years ago. Care to explain what an English orphan is doing in the States?"
After the incident with Scamander, the Americans had been more on the spot when it came to finding and retrieving foreign wizards who were attempting to enter their fair country.
Unlike Scamander, this one had known far more about No-Majs to know that he would need an actual background in order to go along with his magical one. And that credit cards were an excellent way to pay for things without suspicion.
There were multiple problems though.
First off, as a minor he should have been flagged immediately because he came on a cruise ship without an adult.
Second, the passport he had on him was for an adult, one who looked nothing like him.
Third, there was a credit receipt on a flagged card for, yet again, another adult that looked nothing like him, and the one who used it looked like a college aged man from a fraternity that didn't exist.
So yes, there were quite a few things that didn't add up, especially how he was able to forge a fake birth certificate so quickly and make it look authentic.
"So tell me, Mr. Astraphobos... who are you really?" asked the woman's partner.
"How much information do you have on England? Specifically Surrey."
"What does that have to..." started the woman.
"Oh god. You're the lightning kid aren't you?" said the man, looking at him horrified and amazed.
"Oh good, you have heard of me."
"About three, maybe four years ago this kid was hit by a massive bolt of lighting while being treed by this bulldog owned by his aunt. He was rushed to the hospital, barely alive and with third degree burns. Last the news reported of him, he was sent to an assisted living facility for special needs kids, with multiple burn scars on his body. It was a miracle he survived," he explained.
"If he's that kid, then how..."
"Do I look so normal, let alone have the ability to shift form and even age?" said Chris.
Seeing he had their attention, Chris grinned. He lifted one hand, and it vibrated so fast all you could see was a blur.
"Let's just say magic is the least of my abilities."