Prologue: Lily's Chest of Awesome
10 year old Harry Potter was actually glad to be cleaning the attic. It was his last chore of the day and his Uncle Vernon and cousin Dudley were always home by the time he got to the last chore. In the attic though they would leave him alone - Vernon could barely fit up the ladder and Dudley was just way too lazy to climb it. Without worrying about them Harry didn't have to watch his back or bite his tongue like usual. Plus it was quiet up here.
Harry had just finished clearing the last corner of cobwebs and dust when he noticed one trunk that almost seemed to have a glow about it. It had been shoved way into the darkest corner of the space on the bottom of a large pile of junk. Curious, Harry moved the items off and leaned in to examine the mystery trunk.
Lily's Chest of Awesome
"Was this my mother's?" Harry whispered, reading the inscription on the nameplate. "Aunt Petunia had said she got rid of everything of Mum's…" Reaching out Harry reverently opened the trunk never noticing the small flash of light as his thumb popped the latches.
Inside the trunk was surprisingly empty, consisting of only three small notebooks and a tiny necklace with an embellished "L", "J" and "H" all entwined around each other. Harry smiled at the necklace assuming it was the initials of his parents and himself. He looped it over his head before opening the first notebook.
Improvements in Basic Charms. Note to self; show my ideas to Flitwick, he'll love it. Maybe I can even skip the Mastery program with these.
"I wonder who Flitwick was. That's a really strange name for someone." None of the first few pages in that book made much sense. There were tiny diagrams of moving sticks with instructions underneath, phrases in another language crossed out and replaced by shorter ones and tables listing common interactions. Harry shrugged and put the notebook to the side before opening the next one.
Improvements on Potions Preparations and Brewing. Too bad for Sev, he'd have gone green with envy if he knew I figured this stuff out.
Again, the book might as well have been written in a different language for all the sense it made. There were some utterly hilarious doodles though with a stick figure pouring two cups into a pot and the next figure had the pot exploding with the stick figure's hat blowing off! Chuckling, Harry picked up the final notebook.
Runes, Rune Stones and Warding. A Comprehensive Compendium of My Extremely Useful Hobby Which I Suck At. I swear for how complicated these things are I don't get why they are so relaxing to puzzle over.
Turning the page, Harry snorted. "These are complicated? Compared to those other things this is first grader stuff!" Harry ran his finger over some of the odd symbols. The meaning of the symbols made perfect sense to him; even if he may not have been able to pronounce them. Like 'eihwaz', it looked like his scar and meant something like 'protection' but, there were way too many consonants to try saying aloud. He flipped forward a few more pages.
While some of the more complex schemes of intertwining runes towards the back of the notebook made his head hurt a bit, Harry could still mostly follow what the notebook was describing. Unfortunately some of his mother's notes seemed just straight up wrong and a few of the others looked like they were far more complex than they needed to be, but overall the book was a nice primer for…whatever she had been studying.
"Boy!" Harry jerked upright as Uncle Vernon's voice resounded from the ladder-well. "Get down here and get dinner ready! If it's not on the table in fifteen minutes it's the belt again boy!" There was a brief pause before, "And that attic had been be cleaned as well!"
"It's finished, Uncle Vernon! I'm coming!" Harry yelled back. He dropped the two incomprehensible books back into his mother's chest before slamming it closed and making sure his new necklace was well hidden down his shirt. Standing up he clutched the Runes notebook, smiling faintly at one of the few connections with his dead mother. He'd come back for the other books and the chest later when his relatives were gone. No need to risk them burning the last bit of his mother he had left. For now, he'd be content just to read the one book that he could understand. Slipping the book into his pocket, Harry started down the ladder a smile on his face for the first time in years.
Harry had been able to sneak the rest of his mother's things down into his cupboard a few days ago and had finally finished reading through the notebooks she'd left. He still couldn't make heads or tails of the Potions or Charms things but he had managed to figure out several facts that completely turned his world inside out.
1) His mother was apparently very smart and enjoyed experimenting. Unfortunately her talents were geared more towards things he couldn't understand. At least so far.
2) His mother had been ecstatic to be starting a family.
3) He apparently was never supposed to come here. Underlined several times near the back of the Runes notebook was:
Make sure James updates the wills. Yesterday was the last straw and Harry is never, ever under ANY circumstances to go to Petunia. Tuni finally managed to burn that bridge. She will NEVER touch my child if I have any say in the matter!
That by itself was strange enough and cast into doubt quite a bit about what Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon had said concerning his parents since before Harry could remember. It did beg the question though of how exactly he had ended up at Number 4 Privet Drive…
And of course, most importantly of all…Magic was real. Actual magic! Words and spells that could make the impossible happen! Things that flew in the face of physics and natural laws! Potions that could mend bones or cure disease!
Runes that could do practically anything in the right combinations.
'I wonder if I can figure out a rune cluster that would make Dudley lose his appetite. It'd certainly be easier than a charm or something. Or…I could make a cluster to get them all to leave me completely alone.' Harry's grin widened as he picked up the rune notes again. He had some studying to get to.