When Harry Potter was 15 months old, Voldemort killed his parents, and imparted to him the most famous of scars. Everybody knew this, it was part of the history of the Wizarding world. What nobody knew was what happened after.
Little Harry was dropped rather like a newspaper on his maternal Aunt's doorstep, with the assumption that he would have found a new family filled with love and acceptance. This was not the case. When Harry was three while at the playpark with his Aunt and cousin (who knows what could happen if the little Freak was left home alone), his cousin fell off the monkey bars and began to scream bloody murder. Petunia was so worried about her perfect angel that she forgot all about her unwanted nephew. She was halfway to the car when one of the other mothers caught up to her holding Harry and her bag. So Petunia took them both home.
Later that year Petunia took both boys to the mall so Dudley could meet Santa and get started on his Christmas list. Harry of course wasn't allowed to talk to Santa, but he watched quietly while Dudley rattled off the longest list the mall Santa had ever heard. When he was finally done, and they turned to leave, Santa noticed Harry standing to one side and motioned him over. Petunia picked Dudley up and started to walk away while Harry told Santa that freaks didn't get toys, jumped off his lap and ran to catch up. So Petunia took them both home.
When Harry was four, the family went on a picnic, and at the end of the afternoon Vernon packed up the scraps from lunch, the blanket and basket, and drove off without Harry. They made a huge fuss over him when the police brought him home, and then a different kind of fuss after the police left. It seemed he was a child who just would not learn not to wander off, and because he couldn't see properly he was often seen staring into space. The neighbors romantically said that he was often "off with the fae", a description that Petunia found particularly offensive for reasons she chose not to explain.
As Dudley started preschool he dwarfed his cousin, looking at least a year older. Petunia used this as an excuse to keep Harry home. Although she knew she would have to send Harry to school eventually, she had started training him to do chores, and thought Dudley would enjoy having school time to himself with his friends. Life was going as well as it could for the Dursleys considering the "situation" they had to deal with, until one day Petunia got a call from Dudley's school. She practically flew down to the school office afraid that something had happened to her darling "Diddydums". Mrs. West, the school head showed her into the office where Dudley and his teacher were already waiting. Also in the office was a little girl Petunia didn't recognize, and her mother. "What happened", Petunia shrieked. She ran her hands over Dudley and cooed at him to make sure he was not hurt. The other mother rolled her eyes. Mrs. West Said, "Dudley is fine Mrs. Dursley. But I'm afraid there has been an incident. You may remember that a child was abducted from their school last year, and that all the schools got cameras to increase safety of the playgrounds. This was captured by ours today." She clicked on a screen that showed the playground and many children playing and eating snacks. There was a small group of girls including the one in the office giggling and sharing cookies, when suddenly Dudley appeared. He strutted up to the group, grabbed the cookies, shoved the little girl, and stomped on her lunch box. Petunia was momentarily frozen. Recovering, she sputtered that there must be a mistake. "Perhaps the girls had been ganging up on her Dudley. It was very convenient that this one incident was captured on video." All the while she was stroking Dudley's head as though he were a kitten. Miss Andrews, the teacher took a deep breath to calm her anger. She knew that Dudley was a garden variety bully, this was just the most recent incident. She also knew that Vernon Dursley's position as an executive of the largest employer in the area, Grunning's Drills, allowed the family a pass on some infractions others would not find excused. She quietly spoke. "I'm afraid, Mrs. Dursley, that this is not the only time Dudley has acted out. He and Piers Polkis have been denied recess on several occasions since the start of term for misbehavior. Notes were sent home to you." "Well", huffed Petunia. "I'm sure I don't know what you are talking about. Dudley darling, what happened?" "She wouldn't give up the cookies, Mummy! I wanted them!"
The other mother had been silent until this point, but now spoke up. "Cindy's lunchbox was broken, and she was pushed into the mud. Dudley should be removed from this preschool." Mrs. West tried to deescalate the situation. She didn't want problems from Vernon Dursley. "I think that if the Dursleys agree to pay for the lunchbox, then we can trust them to handle this problem at home. Boys who don't have sisters can be rough without thinking. Can we do that Mrs. Dursley?"
A thought occurred to Petunia as to how she could save face in this situation. "Yes, of course we will buy Cindy a new lunchbox. And Dudley will apologize, won't you sweetums?" "Sorry", Dudley ground out as his mother squeezed his shoulder. "There, that's that sorted. I must tell you that it has been very hard for Dudley since his cousin came to live with us. My sister and her husband were killed in a car accident caused by their impaired driving. The child was born with problems from the drug use, and he requires much more attention than a normal child. It isn't really surprising that Dudley feels neglected. I'm afraid we will have to send Harry to a care home soon. We just aren't equipped to handle his issues." At this she dabbed her eye with a tissue, and she could feel the mood in the room swing back more in her favor. The girl's mother was clearly not convinced, but if she wanted her husband to remain employed, she would be quiet.
When Petunia got Dudley home, she told him to stay away from that nasty little girl, and that she would make sure he always had cookies of his own. Settling down in front of the TV with a bowl of ice cream, he was quieted for the time being at least.
When Vernon had come home, finished his dinner, and asked Petunia about her day, she didn't hesitate. "We must get rid of that little creature. Dudley is suffering horribly, and I was humiliated today. I'm at the end of my rope, Vernon."
"Yes", he said. "I think we always knew it would come to this at some point. My own sister, one of the most sensible people I know, saw it right away." Vernon pondered the problem for a couple of days, and then the answer presented itself.
"Petunia, I know what we will do. You've told the school that we are going to settle the brat in an institution. I am going out on a sales trip to Wales, and some of the southern mining districts. I'm sure I can find a place for him."
"Vernon! We can't just drop him off somewhere. What happens when he is found? The police will be involved again!"
"Pet, don't you worry about a thing. I know just what to do. I'll find an orphanage or church to drop him with. He'll be so far from here, no one will connect us to him at all. This really is the best way. We'll have our normal family back, and all this nonsense will be behind us."
The next day, Vernon obtained some sleeping pills. When the day of the trip arrived, he picked up a deeply sleeping Harry, and tucked him into the back seat of the car wrapped in an old blanket. He had assured himself that the child would be too frightened to ever mention their names should he be found. Although he had no intention of him ever being found. There were many places along back roads where people dumped trash. A small pile of baggage wouldn't be noticed by anyone but stray dogs, rats, and vultures. He would tell Petunia that he found a nice place for him, and that would be that.
Ironhand, of the goblin nation crept slowly and silently around the human mining areas. The goblins knew how to extract ore from areas that the humans had abandoned, so the surveyor spent a lot of time assessing the land. As he passed a shallow ravine, he noticed a bundle of rags that looked to have been tossed carelessly aside. He thought of how craven the humans were to throw garbage out of their vehicles into the wild lands, when the bundle moved. And then a cry started low but increased in volume. It looked as though he had stumbled across a human child left for the animals. It was less common these days, but in times past it was well known for the muggle humans to kill wizard children, or push them out of their villages. At least this one was alive. A male child, looking about 2 or 3, terrified and crying. His appearance frightened the child more, but the boy did accept a little water. Ironhand took a loaf of crusty bread out of his pack and used his knife to slice off a bit. Then he used the pommel to mash a piece of fruit. The child at first ate warily, then greedily. He was starved. As he ate, Ironhand spoke gently and showed the boy a stream where he could wash his face. There was dried and fresh blood on the rags the child wore, so he needed a healer soon, but at least now he could get a good look at him. Ironhand took a soft cloth pouch out of his pack. From it, he withdrew a flat, polished silver object in to which he spoke. "Ragnok. This is Ironhand from the silver lands. You must send someone here to collect what I have found."
An older goblin's face appeared on the surface of the tool. "Ironhand. I have no time to collect some trinket you have found. Finish your survey and return with the results." "I have found a child. A wizard child. He's hungry, too thin, and too young to stay with me. And he needs medical attention for the wounds on his body and the scar on his forehead. Shaped like a lightning bolt it is."
"….#$&% (!. And the humans call us creatures! &*(((^%%&396$&*230472! I will inform the king and come myself. Stay where you are." Ragnok, the senior goblin in Gringotts' bank, had seen many things in his 100+ years of service to his King, but this topped them all. The-Boy-Who-Lived set out in the woods for an animal to find. After retrieving the boy, bringing him to one of their healers, and reporting to the King, Ragnok called for Griphook, the manager of the Potter accounts.
The child was found to have been beaten several times, small for his age and with malnutrition. And there was an anomaly in the forehead wound. It was decided that he could not be sent back to the wizards, for they obviously didn't take enough care with his placement the first time. While not common, it wasn't unheard of for the Goblin nation to raise an abandoned human child. Such children often remained friendly to the Nation, even marrying into one of the clans. The current Charms teacher at Hogwarts was the descendant of such a union.
Griphook spoke with his mate and she agreed to collect Harry from the healers after the traces of dark magic were removed from his scar. He was confused and terrified, but she had a mother's comforting ways, and she convinced him to go home with her. The 4-year-old recognized that he really had no choice anyway, and these strange-looking people were nicer to him than anyone had ever been.
Ragnok spoke seriously to Griphook, "We can settle the boy with one of the younger families. Your young are grown. Are you sure you want this responsibility?" Griphook nodded. "My family has been looking after the assets of the Potter dynasty for twelve of their generations. I will take care of this one as well. My oldest is here in training with his own mate and young ones. They will grow up together. When he comes into his inheritances and power, he will remember who threw him away, and who cared for him. This will be an advantage to both him and the Nation."
Miles away, in a cluttered office in Scotland, a silver monitor that had begun to spin erratically that morning calmed into a smooth rhythm. When the owner of said office noticed this, he just assumed that the project the monitor tracked had settled. Nothing for him to worry about.