Chapter 1

Warnings: Slight grammar issues (no beta and no time to really majorly edit so I go back later to do that. Plus, my computer autocorrects things without me noticing), dark themes, lowkey depressing but not overly so, just sad. Mentions of child abuse will occur throughout this fanfic. Nothing graphic. Mentioning of a sort of eating disorder (really though it's a lack of appetite brought on by depression) and self harm of a minor character (very briefly) will occur later on, a warning will most likely be posted then. These will not be graphic whatsoever.

You've been warned guys. I don't want to hear anything about it.

Also, if anyone would like to be my Beta, I would appreciate it as I don't have the time to go back and edit, I barely have the time to write haha. PM me if you're interested. Not really sure how all that works to be honest.

Another warning for the story: At times I will use the name Louis and other times, Harry. His appearance matches the typical form of the name associated with it and thus the company he is around. Keep this in mind.

Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter nor am I making any money.

Please enjoy.

February, 1989

The ninth year.

Rain fell from the sky in large droplets, hitting the ground with the heavy echo of a forgotten word. He ran quickly, feet crashing against the cement of the sidewalk, splashing into puddles of water, making the liquid rise up his pant legs. The fabric clung tightly to his skin but he ignored it, pushing forward, around sharp corners and pass trash cans and light poles. Behind him, Jeremy Stevens was chasing him.

He had been scouring the streets for almost two years now, having started only two months after he was left here in France, and had met Jeremy five months in. Jeremy was one of the local boys who lived in a run down apartment in Paris. He wasn't the richest of children but he wasn't the poorest. They had been almost acquaintances at first, with Louis watching the way the boy fought with other street kids and how easily he picked pockets of the men walking. Jeremy had noticed his wandering eyes and instead of snapping at him and cursing at him in French, the boy had merely smirked and let him continue, only making Louis pay a sort of exchange rate in the form of fresh apples.

But then Jeremy Stevens had met Henry Davidson and he became Stevens, no longer the somewhat friendly Jeremy of the past. Henry was also a local boy, local, to Louis, being anyone he had seen in Paris enough to recognize, but unlike Stevens, he wasn't living in an apartment. No, Henry lived in a nice, elegant home of pure white. It wasn't large, as one didn't need such a large house here, but it was significantly larger than St. Joseph's, the orphanage Louis resided in, and considering that shack housed over twenty people in it, that was enough for Louis to mark the boy as a rich kid.

Indeed, Henry fit the part with his shiny shoes and neatly brushed hair and tailored coats. He was a figure of elegance, possessing a grace that even Louis envied. Henry had a bike and many toys and even a dog with scruffy, black ears but he was not content. He was, what Louis would call, the typical troublemaker. He was not okay with being a simple child, he wanted more. He wanted action and so Henry came to the streets and befriended who he saw as the biggest threat: Jeremy Stevens.

Jeremy was, in fact, the biggest underage threat on the streets. He knew how to fight well, having taken classes his mother signed up for him and had honed out here on the block. He was crafty and resourceful and knew the tricks of the trade and Henry wanted him and together the two of them were sharp and unstoppable. Davidson and Stevens. Davidson was what one would call the brains of the operation. He knew business, his father owning a large, successful company that was steadily growing all across Europe, and thus the boy had a sharp tongue and a quick drawl. He could outtalk anyone and handled negotiations like the best of them. The boy had surely been watching his father's business deals, listening in on phone conversations and pressing his ear against closed doors. It was he that picked who to steal from, what venues to target next, and who to trade with and for what. The boy could lie just as well, staring into old ladies faces with a sad pout and staring wide eyed at officers because "no, sir. I haven't seen any boy like that. I'll be sure to find you if I do." On the other side of the coin, you had Stevens, who was most definitely the brawn. He was who got his hands dirty, picking pockets and snatching up food favors. Stevens was the one to punch the kid that thought they could steal from their corner without paying up. Stevens was the one to run from the police should he be caught. It was Stevens that did all the heavy lifting, getting the merchandise and handling any sorts of conflicts. If Louis were being honest, Henry Davidson had been a genius with his planning. Stevens would never rat him out and so he would go down alone should they ever be caught.

As Louis was running from Stevens now though, he wasn't admitting to Davidson's genius. Not at all. He was cursing his ruthlessness and heavy hand of control. Louis had been stupid, having decided, earlier that day, that he wanted to get bread for dinner that night. Unfortunately, this week, the only venue selling bread nearby was on the street Davidson had claimed as his own. This doesn't necessarily stop him from stealing there though, as Davidson wasn't a fool. No, should one want to venture there for products, they had to pay a fee. Either in the form of money into Henry's open hands or by giving up half of their loot to the boy. Louis, however, had no money and half a loaf of bread wouldn't be enough to bring home anyway, making the trip useless, and so he had gone anyway, narrowly avoiding the two boys. He had been caught by them leaving with his bread though and so here he was, running.

He ran hard, turning down an alley filled with boxes. Before he could start cursing though he saw an escape and crossed his fingers though. Jumping onto a box crate, he ran across a closed lid of a dumpster and heaved himself over the metal gate at the back of the alley, landing hard onto the ground, feet stinging from the impact. He tossed a grin back at Stevens, who was cursing, not being lithe enough to do what LOuis had, and turned another corner-

Only to run into Jesse Marks.

Jesse had moved to Paris with his older brother six months ago and had quickly befriended Jeremy and Henry. In a sense, the boy was just another form of muscles, though not as skilled as Stevens, he was faster and knew how to handle a knife. A knife, which he had in his hand now. Behind the ratty looking boy was Davidson, who was smirking, leaned up against a building, had concealing his eyes in its shadow.

Hearing a thump behind him, Louis's head snapped around to see Stevens, who was brushing his knees and grumbling. He may not have been lithe, but that hadn't apparently stopped the boy from trying and, eventually, succeeding.

"Well, well, well," drawled Davidson, stepping forward into the light from the streetlight on the nearest corner. "If it isn't our little friend Thompson."

"Henry." He uttered back simply, shifting his back so that he could face all three of them at once. Stevens was to his left, blocking that exit, and Jesse was to his right, blocking the other. Henry was roughly in the middle, edging towards the right a little so that he couldn't slip through. Not that Henry's placement mattered. Now, ahead was the metal gate with no way of jumping over. He eyed the small knife in Jesse's hand, with the boy's fingers wrapped over it firmly.

"Thought you could get away?" Smirked Davidson, edging just a little closer to him. "Without saying goodbye? How rude."

Louis tossed him a friendly smile that was out of place, given the circumstances. "Oh you know me, Henry dear. They don't teach us street rats and orphans manners. Shame, really."

"Yes, quite." Henry cut in. "How about a quick lesson now? Pay up or I'll show you what happens to thieves."
Louis pursed his lips and tilted his head as if he were considering it. "You'll cut off my hand? Isn't that a little too French Revolution for you, Henry, dear? Not proper taste, at all!"
"Such a smartass. Very well then. Stevens. Marks."

The first punch came to his abdomen. The next to his face.

He went home that night without any bread and a face full of bruises and cuts.

He went back to the same street the very next day, pockets empty.

Harry pressed his head back into his pillow, shifting his body more into the warmth of his bed. He didn't want to get up yet, even though he knew he had too. Odds are, it was already lunch time.

He was at Potter Manor, the main family home for his ancestors, and had been so for almost two weeks now. It had been three weeks since his first year of Hogwarts had ended, three weeks since he had first officially met Lord Voldemort and saved the Stone with his friends, and during those three weeks, he had done much.

When he had bid his friends goodbye, sending off well wished and "see you soon"'s, he had first taken the next train to Paris, France that Flitwick had set up for him. When he had arrived in Paris, much later and much more tired, he had paid for a cab to take him to the orphanage, to St. Joseph's, and went right inside. He had talked to the Matron and informed her that one of his friends from school was hoping he could spend the summer with them and that, in a weeks time, would be sending someone to fetch him, should she agree. She had, almost immediately, flashing a soft, tired smile. For that first week, he stayed mostly at the orphanage, listening to the younger boys prattle on about the previous Yule and how he missed some random donation and how happy the Matron was. Little Timmy had excitedly showed him his new bear, proudly presenting the soft, golden fur thing that had not a single tear or smudge. When the week was over, he had all of his bags packed and ready to go and had held back a laugh when the Matron questioned the nervous Gringotts employee. When she had released the poor boy, who later confided to him that he was just a trainee and was just told to "go along with whatever story was given", the pair of wizards had taken a portkey that immediately brought them to the front steps of the bank in England.

It was after that trip that he came to Potter Manor, not just with his bags and Sanguini and Natasha but with a pouch full of money and papers explaining his banking statements and properties and such and a copy of his Ministry file, which had recently been updated to include him emancipation documents, signed and approved by the goblins themselves because, apparently, only they had to agree when it concerned the last heirs of a major family line.
When he first saw the Manor, Harry could honestly say that it wasn't what he was expecting, not at all.

Potter Manor was a three story home, the three levels being a basement, ground floor, and one upper floor. The ground level opened up to an entrance foyer with attached rooms on the side and a set of staircases framing the doors that revealed the back of the home. Upon entering the home, to your immediate left was a music room that Harry loved to spend his evenings in, running his fingers over the keys of the grand piano inside and playing the violin, caressing the bow between his fingers. Next to the music room, in a small hall tucked neatly by the stairs, was an office that held a great oak desk and a portrait above a fireplace mantle.

On the opposite side of the foyer was an entryway that lead to the formal dining hall, which Harry had barely spent a minute in, and a coat closet.

Nestled between the staircases were two doors filled with marbled glass at their centers, closed. Behind them was, mainly, the sitting area and wide windows. Attached to the sitting area by hall was a small, private dining area and the kitchen, as well as the door that lead to the back gardens. Behind a door that rested in a sort of hall between the sitting room and the kitchen, behind the smaller dining area, there was another hall that lead to the pantry and the quarters for the house elves, which apparently also housed the laundry room.

Downstairs, in the basement, which could be entered from a door near the office, was a well stocked and equipped potions lab, a sectioned off dueling pad and weapons room, and another sectioned off room, which he later learned was a sort of holding cell that could only be entered by the Head House Elf.

Upstairs, on the highest floor, were the bedrooms and the library. In the area between the staircases was the library, hidden behind some more marbled glass filled doors. The rooms were in halls by the library, beyond the stairs.

To the left there were two guest bedrooms and a bathroom. To the right, there was the Master's bedroom, called the Lord's room here, and another bedroom.

There wasn't much outside the Manor, the front yard being composed of an average sized garden and a white marble fountain. The back yard was almost entirely a garden with a water fountain, made entirely of rocks it seemed, at its center. There was a walking path that lead from the Manor, past the fountain, to a small secluded area that consisted of a little pool full of some kind of fish, a greenhouse, and a wooden bench. The entire property was, as far as he could tell, surrounded by trees and wards, the ward stone being in a hidden room beneath the basement that Harry hadn't seen.

The tour of the whole Manor was given by an older House Elf by the name of Genevieve. According to her, she had been in service of the Potter's since the birth of Harry's father, James. She had been his Nurse, his Nanny, so to speak, and as James grew older, her job shifted to working for his home. When Master Charlus and Lady Dorea passed, the Head House Elf at the time died too and thus, she, as the new Master's sole elf, was given the title of Head House Elf. She hadn't been at the Manor much after Master Charlus's death, Master James putting the caretaker elf in charge of the estate as he and Lady Lily wished to reside in Godric's Hollow, the very cottage Master James's parents had gifted him as a wedding present. When Young Master Harry was born, Genevieve took care of the cottage more and assisted his mother when able, or rather asked as his mother hated asking for help, according to a chuckling Genevieve. The night his parents died, Genevieve, having not been assigned to Harry, was forced to return to the Manor. She tended to it, keeping it cleaned so that it would be ready should he ever return to it. Genevieve was the last Potter elf, the old caretaker elf having had passed a couple of years ago. One of the first things Harry did was ask Genevieve where they could find a House Elf willing to care to the lawn, as she had no idea, and Genevieve had informed him of a shop off of Knockturn Alley that rehoused freed and abandoned elves. While he didn't necessarily like the idea of buying an elf as if it were cattle, as if it were property, he went, with Genevieve, and had her find a friend. She had returned, twenty minutes later, with Ahmed.

Ahmed was perhaps the kindest beings Harry had ever encountered. He was older than Genevieve by a few years and spoke French and German only. Thankfully, both Harry and Genevieve knew French. Nonetheless, Harry had bought books on how to learn German that very same day so that Ahmed could have someone to converse with in that language too.

When they had returned from that outing, which had taken place the same day he had first arrived to the Manor, Harry using the Portkey that was weaved into the magic surrounding the Potter heir ring he had received from Gringotts earlier (he had to be fifteen to take the Lordship) they had all taken a late dinner and gone to bed. The next day, Genevieve woke him up for breakfast and he spent the rest of the day scouring the library with her and working in the greenhouse with Ahmed. Genevieve, it seemed, loved literature and he had immediately told her she could borrow a book at any time, unless he was, of course, reading it himself. Ahmed, on the other hand, just enjoyed the sun and for about two hours, the two of them, Ahmed and Harry that is, had sat on the bench, trading stories.

His days had been pretty similar to that one since, though he had recently started to go through the bank statements and personal family files, sitting in the study, trying to ignore the watchful eyes of the portrait to his right. A portrait that Genevieve had said was of his grandparents, Charlus and Dorea. So far, neither party had tried to talk to each other.

It was in the study that Harry sat now, looking over business contracts that the Potter family had with various companies and other pureblood families. Reading over a paper that concerned the shares of some hair gel or spray or whatever company, he idly twisted a quill around.

"Young Master Harry?" A high pitched squeak said from behind him and he jumped, jerking his hand as he was caught in surprise. Sighing a laugh, he set the quill and paper down and turned in his chair to face Genevieve, who clutched a couple of letters in her hands.

"Gen. What did I say about calling me that?" He smiled kindly, holding out his hand for the letters. Genevieve smiled back in a maternal sort of way as she passed them over.

"My apologies, young Harry." He shook his head. He may never get her to completely drop the extra terms but at least she had dropped Master. One point for Potter.

"When did these arrive?" He asked her as he turned them around to read the return addresses, placing them in front of him onto the desk.

"Not even ten minutes ago, young Harry. One came from a rather old owl and the other by the tawny owl, sir."

Harry opened the first letter on the top, which seemed to be from the twins. Straightening out the parchment, he quickly read over the alternating set of handwritings and colors before his face split into a grin. Fred and George had talked to their mom, who said their friends could come whenever they wanted starting Friday, and so, on Saturday, which was exactly one week and a day away, they would fetch him from Kings Cross so his ass better board the train to London that day. Laughing, Harry shook his head. The nerve of those two.

Tossing their letter to the side to look over again later, Harry, still smiling, quietly and slowly opened the other letter. This one, it seemed, was just another statement from Gringotts. Sighing, he set that one on top of his stack for the day, shoving it under all the rest. Looking over at his tall stack of things to read and review, he exchanged a wary glance with Genevieve, who looked like she was about to start laughing at him much to his frustration, and sighed.

He had work to do.

He scratched away at the parchment, approving the purchase of a stick in an upcoming broom company, lifting the quill to gain some more ink from his pot.

"Young Master Harry." Genevieve called by his elbow. He continued to write, ignoring her.

A weak sigh. "Young Harry."

He set the quill down and smiled at her, clasping his hands. "Yes, Gen?"
The house elf shook her head, amused, and handed him two more letters and set a plate of food and a fork onto his desk, right by his ink pot and stack of papers. She snapped her fingers and a cup of something found its way onto his desk too, seconds later.

He raised an eyebrow and held onto the letters, tilting them away from him as he looked at her. "And when did these get here?"

"As I was making dinner, sir. One came by a tawny owl, another with Hedwig, sir."

"Hedwig?" He repeated, bringing the letters around to his chest.

Hedwig was the snowy owl that Harry had purchased himself two days ago and had sent off to pay a little visit to Azkaban in hopes of Sirius Black sending back a letter, something he had been doing with the school owls when term had still been in session. Hedwig, in the short time they had to socialize, had immediately struck Harry as a stubborn, prideful owl that he assumed would practically force Black to write back. It seemed that he had been right.

"Yes, sir. She flew back out the window when I took the letter from her. I think she's in your room now, sir. On her perch." Though he wasn't the Lord yet, Harry, as the sole heir and Potter left, was able to go ahead and take the Master bedroom, much to his pleasure. Right by the window, which he kept open with a weather repelling charm cloaking the area around it (bless the wards for blocking the Trace), was a silver owl perch he had bought for the snowy owl. It was, by far, her second favorite place. Like Sanguini, she preferred his shoulders first.

Thinking of the snake, he turned his head to look at the creature, which had draped itself on the back of the sofa that was placed in front of the roaring fire, which he insisted on being lit, despite the fact it was summer. Natasha agreed with him apparently as she too was stretched out on the floor in front of the fireplace, sleeping soundly. He sighed. She was huge. Flitwick would not be amused.

Turning back to Gen he nodded. "Alright then. Thank you, Gen. You don't have to worry about me for the rest of the night. I'm going to bed after I eat dinner. Go enjoy a book." Smiling, Genevieve bid him goodbye and was gone.

Looking down at his plate at the healthy, small portions, he sighed heavily. God he hated Madam Pomfrey's meal plan but at least he could say he was doing. Mostly because Genevieve was making him after she found the list in his bags while unpacking.

He hated house elfs.

A/N: I just want to start this by saying I am soooooo sorry for the wait. There isn't much of an excuse other than I got distracted by a lot of things and just didn't have the will to write but I really am back now. Or at least I'm hoping to be. You may have noticed this was the original chapter and I want to warn you that the first few are basically the original as well with minor changes but you'll see my adjustments pretty quickly so bare with me. I still have a projected 25 chapters for the sequel and let me just tell you guys that things are about to get really crazy. This story is my block setter. It'll be fun. Again, thanks for everyone that's stuck with me and I really hope you guys enjoy this.