Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
Chapter 1 – Accidental Magic
Seven-year-old Harry Potter looked around the playground in awe. It was very rare that he got to come here. Usually he'd be locked in his cupboard while his aunt took his cousin out, but today he got lucky. Today there were roofers working on the house and they had seen him earlier that morning so Aunt Petunia couldn't pretend to only have one child in the house. Dudley had thrown a fit in the car on the way over, not wanting Harry to ruin his fun, so the moment they'd arrived Aunt Petunia had sat him down in the sandbox and told him to play there. Harry didn't care. He was outside and around children that didn't know him as Dudley Dursley's freak of a cousin. Not that anyone was playing with him. They still found him odd, if for no other reason than he was in the sandbox with the three and four year olds, but at least they weren't running away like anyone who knew who Harry was; Dudley had a way of ensuring Harry never made any friends. Enjoying his day out, Harry didn't notice when the sandbox emptied out and a shadow fell over him.
"Hello Dudley." He said hesitantly, knowing his cousin wasn't here to play with him. In response Dudley stomped on the sandcastle Harry had made. "Now that wasn't very nice, Dudley." Harry's voice took on a sarcastic tone, which Dudley decided he didn't like.
"You're such a freak, Potter." He said, shoving Harry forward and into the sand.
"So you say everyday. Now why don't you skip along and go coerce another adolescent into being your companion." Dudley's eyes narrowed as he thought on what Harry had said. He wasn't the brightest boy around, in fact it was because of his parents complaining to the principal that Dudley had hadn't been held back a grade, so it took him a moment whenever bigger words were used. This made it Harry's favourite pastime to use words that confused his cousin.
"So…so I should…"
"Go persecute another." Harry began to re-make his sandcastle as he waited for Dudley to catch up. Unluckily for him, Dudley chose to stomp on his castle again as he thought and Harry grew frustrated. It was then that things began to go wrong, as they always did whenever Harry got frustrated or scared. The next thing he knew Dudley was pushed to the side as the sand began to re-arrange itself into the biggest sandcastle Harry had ever seen. Harry stared in awe, though others thought differently.
"Mum, did you see that?!"
"The sandcastle made itself!"
"No, that boy did it!"
"It was like magic!"
"Mum!" Dudley cried. "Mum, Harry pushed me!" Harry swallowed hard and backed away as his aunt stormed over.
"What did you do?" She hissed, grabbing his arm, not caring that she was hurting him, and dragging him away. "What did you do, you little freak?!"
"Nothing! The sandcastle made itself, I swear!"
"Sandcastles don't just make themselves." She hissed again as they neared the car.
"Excuse me, ma'am." Petunia turned towards the voice that spoke and immediately became a simpering fool as she did whenever she had to explain something odd that the Potter boy had done. Her persona disappeared though when she saw the stick he was carrying.
"You!" She growled. "Was it you who did that? How dare you use that…unnaturalness around normal folks!"
"I beg your pardon?" The man was confused.
"We have no use for your kind here," She nodded to the stick. "Leave us alone!"
"Ah, so you are aware." The man became all business. "In that case, my name is Kingsley Shacklebolt and I am an Obliviator for the Ministry of Magic."
"I said go away!" He seemed unperturbed by Petunia's growing anger.
"We detected underage magic at this location exactly four and a half minutes ago, and in accordance with the International Statute of Secrecy I was dispatched here to ensure the Statute remains in tact. Are you, a muggle, aware of magic under Clause 73, Sub-section 3? In other words do you have a witch or wizard in your immediate family?"
"Witch or wizard? Mum what's he walking about?"
"Quiet, Dudley!" Petunia hissed and it was the shock that he was actually told to shut up that had Dudley doing as he was told. Petunia then turned back to the man and seemed to think on what he'd said, eventually deciding that cooperating with him would get them out of there the fastest. "Yes. My sister." Harry's head shot up; he knew of only one sister of his aunt's.
"You mean my mum was a witch?!" He cried loudly, forgetting the golden rule of staying quiet given the situation. Kingsley turned his attention towards Harry then and he seemed a bit surprised.
"Your mother was a witch?" Harry looked confused.
"I dunno. Aunt Petunia never talks about my mum and dad. They died in a car crash you see when I was a baby. But she's only got the one sister that I know of so mum must be a witch, mustn't she?" Harry so clearly wanted to believe it, to believe that there was something special about his mum, about him. Kingsley looked even more surprised.
"A car crash kill a witch and wizard?" He grew suspicious and looked to Petunia. "Just what is going on here, ma'am?" Petunia stayed quiet a little too long for Kingsley's taste and so he raised his stick and pointed it at Harry, muttering under his breath. A bright light shot out and hit Harry in the chest though it didn't hurt him. A second later, Kingsley's eyes turned furious as he again looked to Petunia.
"This young man's magical core is severely underdeveloped!" He growled. With another muttered word and wave of the stick a liver lynx appeared, stared at Kingsley for a moment and took off into the air. "My boss is on his way and will handle this. Until then you must remain here-"
"Absolutely not!" Petunia said, doing her best to keep her voice low. "I am not going to stand here and waste my time answering your stupid questions. You want him, take him! We never wanted him to begin with!" Releasing Harry, she stormed off taking Dudley with her. Harry was at a loss for words, torn between running after her and knowing that whatever was to happen now couldn't be any worse than living with his aunt and uncle. Wanting to learn more about his parents, Harry made to decision to stay with the man who suddenly seemed at a loss of what to do. With an unconformable cough, Kingsley bent down to Harry's level.
"What's your name, son?"
"Harry, sir. Harry Potter." The look on Kingsley's face would have been comical were the situation clearly not so serious. It took several moments of staring and stuttering for Kingsley to form a coherent word.
"Harry Potter you said?" He all but whispered. Harry nodded. "May I?" He reached forward, towards Harry's forehead and it was all Harry needed to pull his bangs back and reveal the only interesting thing about himself: the lightning shaped scar on his forehead. "Dear Merlin." It was at that moment that a pop sounded next to them and a man who hadn't been there a second ago appeared. "Director Fudge!" Kingsley cried, jumping up at the sight of him.
"Shacklebolt." The man greeted. "What seems to be the problem?"
"I didn't know it would be you who came, sir, my apologies." He waved him off.
"The entire department is out dealing with an airborne potion gone wrong, it's seen sixty-three muggles grow extra limbs, I was the only one left. Now, it's not like you to call unless necessary, so what is the matter, Shacklebolt?"
"Accidental underage magic, sir." He reported. "Routine obliviation until I discovered that the young lad's magical core is severely underdeveloped. He also had no idea that he was a wizard, sir." Fudge looked angry, but didn't even spare Harry a glance.
"How muggles can abuse their own I'll never know." He muttered. "Take the boy to St. Mungo's and I'll have the Department of Magical Law Enforcement come by to speak with his parents." He looked about ready to leave but Kingsley stopped him.
"Sir, I'm not sure that wise given who this young man is." Fudge looked intrigued and now turned his attention to Harry.
"And who is this young man?"
"My name is Harry Potter, sir." For the second time that day Harry watched as a near comical expression grew on a grown man's face.
"Harry Potter you say?" Harry nodded. It look a few moments longer for Fudge to regain his composure than it had for Kingsley, but when he did the man bent down to his level and smiled. "Well, Harry, we're going to get you taken care of, all right, my boy?" Harry nodded, unsure what to say, and allowed the man to take his hand. "Shacklebolt, contact the DMLE and have Madam Bones meet me at St. Mungo's. I take it you have never apparated, have you, Harry?"
"Well it can be quite disorienting at first, but I promise it is safe. Hold on tight now." Harry did as instructed and the next thing he knew he felt as if he was being squeezed through a tiny tube. The sensation was the most uncomfortable he had ever felt and when it stopped he thought he would be sick, though thankfully he held on to his meagre breakfast. Looking around Harry saw that they were no longer at the park but in a building with people running every which way, most of them holding sticks like Kingsley's. Fudge led him passed a line and towards a desk, cutting in front of everyone and ignoring their grumbles as she spoke to the woman behind the counter. He heard his name mentioned and the woman's reaction was the same at Fudge and Kingsley's. The next moment another man appeared and led him and Fudge through the hallways to a private room where they were told the healer would be by shortly. Fudge took a seat next to the bed Harry found himself in and looked to the young boy with pity.
"You must be quite confused, Harry." If what Kingsley had said about him not even knowing he was a wizard was true then this would all be more than just confusing to him.
"Yes, sir." Harry nodded.
"Well, let me see if I can help a little bit. My name is Cornelius Fudge, Harry, and I am the Director of the Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes. At the Ministry of Magic." Harry looked even more confused but Fudge ploughed on. "There is magic in the world, Harry. Magic that can do just about anything and there are certain people, such as myself, and yourself, who can use this magic." Fudge took out a stick similar to Kingsley's. "This is a wand and it helps me to do magic. When you are eleven, you'll get your own wand, Harry, and will then be able to do magic as well."
"So my mum is a witch then?" He confirmed the thing that was most important to him. "Aunt Petunia lied, she and my dad didn't die in a car crash. They were a witch and wizard." Fudge's lips thinned at the mention of the Potters dying in a car crash.
"No, Harry, your parents didn't die in a car crash, but I'm not sure I am the one to tell you this." He forestalled any further questions and thankfully so as the healer arrived at that moment. Healer Travers took one look at Harry and handed him a vial that she said was filled with a restorative draught, whatever that was. Harry drank it as instructed and within minutes he could feel himself growing stronger than he ever had been before.
"He'll need several more potions before he catches up to a boy his age." Said Healer Travers as she waved her own wand around, casting what Harry assumed to be magic. "Luckily though it appears that no damage was done to his magical core. He'll be fine once he's caught up."
"I'm glad to hear it." A voice spoke, and Harry turned to see a very imposing woman standing in the doorway.
"Ah, Madam Bones! " Cried Fudge. "Thank you for joining me here."
"Of course. And who is this young man?" The woman didn't appear to be one to be trifled with, nor did she appear to mince words.
"This is Harry Potter." The shock that Harry was beginning to associate with his name returned, though this time it didn't last very long.
"Well…can't say I expected this when I woke up this morning."
"Neither did I." Fudge and Madam Bones began talking in quiet tones that Harry had trouble hearing. Whatever it was about his name that made people react this way, Harry wasn't sure if it was good or bad. Clearly these people knew him, or at least knew of him, though why he had no idea. It was a few minutes before they turned back to him.
"Well, Mr. Potter," Said Madam Bones. "How would you like to spend the night with Director Fudge here, until we get things sorted? Or you can remain here in hospital if you prefer." The choice was easy.
"I'd rather stay with Director Fudge, ma'am."
"Splendid!" Said Fudge. "Aldora, my wife, and I will be thrilled to have you." Harry didn't know much of what was going on, but he had no doubt that that was absolutely true.
Aldora Fudge was indeed thrilled to welcome the Harry Potter into her home and it was she who informed Harry why people knew his name: he was The-Boy-Who-Lived. That merely confused him more but Aldora happily explained what that meant, though Harry noted that she looked appropriately saddened when speaking about the deaths of Harry's parents. Throughout the night Harry observed the Fudges' and quickly came to the conclusion that they were what his Aunt Petunia would call social climbers, while his Uncle Vernon would call them 'bloody dirty politicians.' They were the kind of people who were being nice to him, not so much out of a genuine like of him, but because he was famous and what that fame could do for them. Not that he thought them to be bad people, per se, but they certainly wanted to use him. And Harry saw no reason why he couldn't use them back.
"Mr. Fudge?" He asked in what he hoped to be his most innocent voice.
"What's going to happen to me now?" The Fudges looked to him and he plastered a scared look on his face. He knew well how to manipulate adults, he'd seen his cousin do it too often not to, but he'd never tried it before himself.
"Well…I assume that we will find a good family to take care of you." He said. "You won't be going back to those muggles." Harry didn't have to pretend to look relieved.
"Thank you. Both of you, for everything, this is the best meal I've ever had." That also wasn't a lie, it was better than any of the scraps that his aunt and uncle gave him. "I wish I could stay here with you." Harry bent his head and continued eating as the two looked to each other. The seeds were there, and he had a feeling he'd get what he wanted. Today had opened Harry's eyes to the fact that the best person to take care of him was himself. His aunt and uncle were never among those who were good to care for him, nor were any of the adults in his school, none of them having believed him when he told them of the abuse he endured at the Dursleys. Learning he was a wizard and that there was a whole other world he belonged to was an eye opener all on its own, but it appeared that no matter which world he lived in no one would put him first, as he had heard parents and caregivers were supposed to do. So it was up to Harry to put himself first now and if staying with these people would let him do so, then that is what he would do.
A/N - New HP fic! Really not sure where I'm going with this one, it's very early stages, but hope you like it!