Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. The Entire Harry Potter Universe, with the exception of my additions to it, belongs to J.K. Rowling, and I would never presume to take credit for it.
Chapter 01: You're a Wizard, Harry!
"Harry! It's time to wake up!" the cheerfully shrill voice of his Aunt Petunia came from downstairs. Harry Potter rolled over and mumbled incoherently. It was his cousin's birthday, and they were headed to the zoo.
Harry Potter had lived with his Aunt and Uncle as long as he could remember. When he asked why, he was told that his parents had died in a magical accident, and he was left with the Dursleys so they could look after him. His Uncle Vernon didn't care for magic, saying he didn't hold with such unnatural things. His Aunt Petunia, however, was a squib, and seemed to accept him. There were times, though, when she seemed scared of him. Whenever he inquired about that, she just shook him off, dismissing it as nothing.
Harry Potter was magical. He learned that he could do things with his will power at a very early age. The first time he could ever remember doing something strange was in his Kindergarten class. He was coloring with the crayons, and he made a mistake with the colors. Rather than rip the paper up and start over, he put his hand on the color, and wished really hard for it to change. It did, and he was happy.
"Harry, hurry up!" came the whiny voice of his cousin, the spoiled brat. Dudley Dursley was a large boy, who was turning eleven today. Harry wasn't fond of Dudley, and the feeling was mutual. Harry was slightly jealous of his cousin, because he always got whatever he wanted, and always got an enormous amount of presents on his birthday and for Christmas. Harry was not terribly jealous, however, because his taste in presents ran a different course. Harry loved books, ink pens, and paper. His three favorite things not involving magic were reading, writing, and drawing. Harry didn't always get his way. In fact, he rarely got his way. He wasn't bitter, however, and chalked it up to being a relative, rather than real family.
The best present he ever got from the Dursleys was not for any special occasion. In truth, it was meant to be a punishment. After turning his teacher's hair blue, his Aunt Petunia enrolled him in a Karate class, saying that he needed to learn discipline. After a few lessons, Harry began to enjoy his punishment, and took the advice to heart. He now rarely ever lost control.
After a quick breakfast, quick because of the rate which Dudley shoveled food into his mouth, Piers Polkiss showed up for the trip to the zoo. Everyone piled into the car, and they headed for the zoo.
Harry loved the zoo. Each animal in the zoo was interesting in its own way. Harry noticed with some surprise that several of the animals were glowing slightly. One of the larger lions had a reddish glow to it, which pulsated slightly, as the lion looked around at the people. Harry thought it was odd that only some of the animals would glow slightly, but most had no glow to them at all. It was the same with people, he mused. Sometimes, he would see a person, that had a glowing aura around them, but most people had no aura. He couldn't see his own aura, though he knew that it was there. His Aunt had a very slight aura, which only ever grew larger when she was upset about something, and even then wasn't very big. Harry assumed that the aura had something to do with magic, but he didn't know what.
In the Reptile House, Harry noticed that many of the venomous snakes had a glow to them, but most of the non-poisonous ones did not. He wandered around the Reptile house, looking at each snake, paying special attention to the glowing ones.
While Harry was examining the snakes, Dudley and Piers had run straight for the biggest snakes in the building. Their faces were pressed up to the glass, eagerly watching the snake, willing it to do something interesting for them. The snake, which appeared to be sleeping, took no notice of them. Both of them started banging on the glass, trying to make the snake move. No response from the snake. Dudley finally got bored with trying to agitate the snake, and moved on. Harry walked over to the large snake.
"Sorry about that. My cousin is a bit rude." Harry said. The snake picked its head up, and regarded Harry carefully. He slithered up close to the glass, and raised his head to study Harry more carefully. Harry stood still, trying not to draw attention to the snake. Naturally, it didn't work, and Piers noticed right away. Piers yelled to Dudley, and Dudley cam waddling over.
"Move over, you!" Dudley said, elbowing Harry hard. Harry ended up sprawled out on the floor. Then something happened that had not happened for a long time. Harry lost control of his emotions. Anger blazed in his eyes, and the glass separating the two animals disappeared. Dudley, who was pressed against the glass once again, ended up inside the snake enclosure, and the snake slithered out of the enclosure.
Half an hour later, Harry was sitting in the car, heading home from the zoo. He knew he was in trouble. He broke the rules that had been agreed upon by him and his guardians, and used his magic where ordinary people could see it. He wasn't sure what his punishment would be, but he knew he deserved it. He felt awful about it.
As it turned out, Dudley got punished as well, for bullying Harry, and causing the problem that made Harry use his magic. However, the punishments were quite different. Dudley was not allowed to play his video games for one week, a punishment that made Dudley throw a tantrum. Harry, however, was given the task of cleaning the basement. Harry really didn't mind his punishment, because he felt he deserved it after losing control. Harry was always given some type of manual labor as punishment, which he always threw himself into, turning it into endurance training, or the practice of doing things he didn't like.
Cleaning the basement to his Aunt's satisfaction took a long time, and Harry didn't finish until after school let out for the summer. Harry loved summer, because it was the only time he was allowed to ride the wind. (A/N: I'll explain later.) That was one thing that his Aunt would never take away. Vernon had tried once, and woke up the next day on the roof, unable to get down. After six hours on the roof, Vernon had decided that perhaps he'd been too harsh on his nephew.
Summer went by very quickly, and before Harry knew it, it was his birthday. He was eleven, starting that day. He woke up fairly early, and rode the winds for a while, before the rest of his street woke up, then got ready for breakfast. After practicing his meditation for a few moments, he headed downstairs. As was usual, there was a single present waiting for him on the table. As was traditional, Harry set the package on the small side table by the door. He would open it later, in private.
"Get the mail, Harry." Said his Uncle, as they heard the mail slot click, indicating that letters had been dropped through it. Rather than argue, Harry got up and got the mail. In the mail were the usual bills and advertisements, along with a postcard from Marjory Dursley, Vernon's sister, and Dudley's Aunt. There was also…a letter for Harry?Mr. Harry Potter
The Smallest Bedroom
Number 4 Privet Drive
Little Whinging, Surrey
Harry couldn't believe his eyes. A letter had arrived for him. Nobody had ever sent him a letter before, except the Library when he had an overdue book. Harry looked at the letter, and became somewhat suspicious of it. For one thing, there was no stamp on the letter, which meant it hadn't come from the Post Office. Second, the fact that he slept in the smallest bedroom was written on the letter suggested that whoever wrote to him, knew where he was sleeping. That thought creeped him out just a little. And last, but certainly not least, the letter was glowing slightly, which meant that some part of the letter was not normal. Harry wasn't sure he wanted to open it, so he did what he always did when something he didn't understand came along. He took it to his Aunt Petunia.
"Aunt Petunia? I got a letter in the mail, but I'm not sure I want to open it." Harry said to his Aunt after dropping the rest of the mail in front of his Uncle. Harry handed her the letter, and she looked at it carefully. Her eyes narrowed slightly when she saw the address, which Harry took to mean that she was suspicious as well. However, when she turned the letter over, and found the purple wax seal with an elaborate crest pressed into it, her eyes widened in understanding.
"You can open it, Harry. It's a letter from a boarding school in Scotland, called Hogwarts." Vernon's eyes narrowed in what Harry thought was anger, but he said nothing. "Your parents went to school there."
Relieved that the glow wasn't anything harmful, Harry tore open the letter, shuddering at a memory of pain from the last object he'd handled with an unidentified glow to it. He'd once found a bracelet that glowed brightly, and put it on without thinking. As soon as the clasp closed, he could feel the glow change, to become cold, dark, and menacing. The bracelet started compacting, almost taking his hand off. Harry managed to remove it before it did any permanent harm, but it did break his wrist, and leave a very small scar on the index finger of his opposite hand. He wasn't sure how that had happened. Shaking himself out of his memories, Harry read the letter.Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Headmaster: Albus Dumbledore )Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)
Dear Mr. Potter
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment. Term begins on September 1. We await your owl by no later than July 31.
Harry wasn't sure what to think about this letter. He hadn't applied to any school, so how could they just accept him? He knew it was a school of magic, but didn't he have to have some kind of qualifications apart from just being magical? It was confusing. As if sensing Harry confusion, Petunia spoke up.
"Hogwarts sends those letters to every child that is born magical. Being able to do magic is the only requirement to attend that school." Harry thought that was a bit silly, and said so.
"If that's the only qualification, then I have my doubts about the education system at this school. Do they teach anything other than magic? If not, I'd hardly call it a well rounded education." Harry said. "And look at this. They await my owl by no later than July 31st? That's today! They're not even giving me a chance to think about it!"
Harry was interrupted from his tirade by the doorbell ringing. He was already standing, so he went to the door to greet whoever was calling. Opening the door, he came face to face with an old man, older than anyone Harry had ever seen.
"Hello. Are you Harry Potter?" The man asked, although his brightly glowing aura seemed to indicate that he already knew the answer to that question. It was confident and unwavering. "I am Albus Dumbledore. I am the Headmaster of Hogwarts. I do apologize for the lateness of the letter, but it seems that our owls had a hard time finding you." At this statement, the man's aura dimmed slightly, and shrank. He was lying. Harry's eyes narrowed slightly, but he stayed quiet. The man continued. "I am here to answer any questions you might have about the school, and confirm your enrollment. May I come in?"
Harry considered the man for a moment, and then told him to wait a moment. He walked into the kitchen and told his Aunt and Uncle about the visitor. They told Harry to show him into the sitting room, and they would be in shortly. Harry did as they asked, and then took a seat near the door. He could hear his Guardians conversing in low tones behind the door.
"I don't want one in my house, Petunia. We agreed that this rubbish was too dangerous for our family to be exposed to," said his Uncle's voice.
"Vernon," replied the voice of his Aunt, "the boy is growing more powerful every day. You saw what happened at the zoo. It's getting harder for him to control himself."
Harry was a bit outraged to hear this, but upon reflection, actually agreed with her. Dudley had bullied him several times over the last few years, but Harry had never lost control like that before. "He needs to go to a place where he can release his magic safely. Riding the wind doesn't tire him out anymore. He uses it as a warm up for his day, like the neighbors go jogging.
While listening to his relatives with his sensitive ears, which were far more sensitive than normal ears, Harry kept his eyes firmly on the Headmaster, watching for any changes in his aura. A few times, the aura started pushing out towards him, but then retreated slightly, as if nervous about approaching. Harry was slightly suspicious of the man, because he'd never seen an aura shift like that before.
"What are you doing?" He asked the Headmaster. "Is it some kind of magic?"
Dumbledore was rather taken aback by the question. He had been trying to cast a small Trust-Me charm without moving his hands or going for his wand. Something in the boy's eyes revealed that he didn't trust the Headmaster just yet. The firm eye contact also revealed that he was not put off in the slightest by the power that Dumbledore was displaying. The Headmaster made it a habit to display a certain amount of power at the first meeting, so children would regard him as a figure with authority, despite his old age. "What do you mean Harry?"
"Don't play dumb, Sir. I can feel your power shifting slightly, and trying to reach towards me." Harry said, maintaining his eye contact. Dumbledore's gaze was steady, but then he abruptly dropped it.
"It was a small bit of wandless magic, Harry. I was using a spell to try and get a feel for how strong you were." The aura once again shifted and shrank. He was lying again. Harry didn't like liars. "However, I've never done the spell without the movements before, and it wasn't working. I am surprised that you could feel the magic at work."
Before Harry could form a response, his Aunt and Uncle entered the room. Dumbledore straightened up, and his aura flared again. Harry guessed that he was trying to awe the family, and from the look on his Aunt's face, it was working. Harry was unperturbed, however. He didn't feel this man was a threat to his safety, so he brought his next question to bear. "Why didn't you do the movements?"
He watched as, though the man remained composed, his aura shifted uncomfortably. "I didn't want to alarm you." Harry took the meaning of the aura shift coupled with the evasive answer to mean that he didn't want Harry to know he was casting anything. Deciding that it was futile to analyze this incident further, considering he didn't know anything about his quarry other than his bright green aura, Harry decided to get down to business.
"So, about this school... I'd like to know more about it. What is the curriculum like?" Harry asked. He put a lot of value into his education. He was planted firmly in his belief that knowledge was power.
The question caught Dumbledore off guard, though the topic of school was what he said he came to talk about. He had rather hoped that Harry would agree to the school immediately, and he could work more on the boy's trust. It seemed that this would not be the case. "Well Harry, as you know by the fact that you're holding that letter, you are a wizard." Harry frowned slightly at this. He knew that human magic users were called wizards, but the word felt wrong when used to describe him. Dumbledore caught the frown, and misinterpreted it as disbelief. "Think about it, Harry. Did you ever make anything happen when you were angry or scared? Things you couldn't explain?" Harry's frown deepened slightly, but then he dropped the frown. Sure, he'd done things when he was angry, but not when he was scared. And he never done anything he couldn't explain. He'd used magic to do them. Dumbledore then continued.
"At Hogwarts, we endeavor to teach young witches and wizards the magical arts. We have classes in Transfiguration, Charms, Potions, and Defensive magic. We also have a History of Magic class, and Herbology. That is the first year curriculum. You add new classes at the beginning of your third year." Dumbledore leaned back in his chair, waiting for Harry's forthcoming agreement. He was going to be disappointed.
Harry was rather shocked. "No math? No English classes? How are we supposed to survive in the real world without any of those skills?" Sure, Harry was just eleven years old, but hearing his Uncle Vernon grumble about things being tough in the real world had influenced his thinking a little.
"Harry, we wizards keep world separate from muggles, our word for people who cannot use magic. Not very many of our kind associate with them." Dumbledore said, as if this explained everything. "Sometimes we mix, but more often than not, we keep ourselves hidden."
"Well, that's silly." Harry stated. "You can't work through any differences by hiding from them."
Dumbledore was rather shocked to be admonished by a child, but tried to hide it. "Harry, if muggles knew about us, they would come to us for magical solutions for everything, from love potions to cures for diseases."
"If they want a cure for diseases, then you should give it to them, sir." Harry said, unmoved by the argument. "Having a cure, but withholding it, is murder by complacency."
Dumbledore decided not to get into this debate right now. He agreed with Harry, but was not in position to change the world. "Harry, your parents went to my school. I was their Headmaster, and before they died, they set up a trust fund, that will pay for your school."
That piqued Harry's interest. This man had known his parents. Perhaps he could find out some things about them. "Sir, if you knew my parents, could you tell me a little about them? I know my mother was a witch, and my father a wizard, and that their deaths were magic related, but I don't really know anything else about them."
The eager look on Harry's face was what Albus Dumbledore had been trying to get since he had opened the door, so he took the chance. "Harry there are a few things that we need to talk about while on the subject of your parents. The first, and most important, thing is that what killed them was no accident, as you were told. In truth, your parents were murdered." Dumbledore paused for a moment here, for dramatic effect. He was a rather accomplished storyteller. "When your parents were in school, a Dark Wizard came to power, using the assumed name of Lord Voldemort. He was looking for followers, and anyone who refused him was either eliminated, or tortured. When your parents left school, they joined me in fighting the growing darkness. Voldemort perceived them as a threat to his power, and sought to eliminate them. Soon after, your mother became pregnant with you, and we set up certain defenses to keep her safe. They worked for a while, but just over a year after your birth, Voldemort finally found them, and tried to eliminate all three of you. He killed your father and mother, but for some reason, when he tried to kill you, something was different, and the curse rebounded on him. That's how you got your scar."
"May I ask you a question, Headmaster Dumbledore?" Dumbledore nodded. "What color was the magic? I have a suspicion, but I would like to know."
"It was green, Harry. A sickly, pale green." Dumbledore responded.
"That matches my perceptions, then." Harry said. When Dumbledore looked at him oddly, Harry elaborated. "Whenever I try to remember my parents, I always come to one specific memory. A scream, some high pitched evil laughter, a flash of green light, and then a pain in my forehead coupled with a nauseating twisting sensation. I've never been able to figure out what it was, but if the light from the curse is green, then it seems that I just solved that little mystery."
"Ah, I see what you mean, Harry." Said the Headmaster, though the aura shift told Harry that he actually had no idea what he meant. "Well, after we found out that your parents were dead, we sent you here, to your Aunt's house. Three years ago," at the time mention, Harry paled ever so slightly, "we got word that Voldemort was not completely dead, and was seeking a way of returning to his body. Of course, since you were the one to defeat him in the first place, we took measures to protect you. We were quite worried about you when the bracelet ceased to function just after you put it on. Harry?" At the mention of the bracelet, Harry became angry. His Aunt was fuming as well, but Harry's anger was radiating off of him, so intense that it was almost visible.
"You sent me the Bracelet?" He hissed. At Dumbledore's confused nod, a ball of light appeared in Harry's hand. He was preparing to defend himself. "That Bracelet tried to remove my hand! It shattered my wrist, and cut off my circulation! I had to wear a cast for two months because of that thing!" His wrist rotated in remembered pain.
Dumbledore was shocked. He'd made the bracelet himself, and was certain that no mistakes had been made. He was also shocked that Harry had conjured some kind of magic into a ball in his hand, without a wand. He was beginning to become suspicious of Harry's magic. It seemed different, somehow.
"Harry, allow me to apologize. When I created the bracelet, I didn't know how big you were, or how quickly you were growing. I placed a fitting charm on it, so it would shrink to fit you perfectly. Apparently, I made a mistake, and it became a constricting charm instead. I am very sorry." His aura was bright and clear, so Harry knew that he meant it. Without the prospect of an enemy, Harry's anger died quickly. He dissolved his spell, and sat back down.
"If my parents wanted me to attend this school so badly that they set it up when I was born, then who am I to argue?" Harry said. "I accept the invitation to attend." Dumbledore clapped his hands.
"Very well, Harry. I look forward to seeing you on the first of September." He said. "I will send someone to you tomorrow to help you purchase your school supplies." With that statement, the Headmaster did something that Harry had never seen before. His aura flared, and clouded, and then he disappeared with a 'pop.'
A/N: Next time, shopping in Diagon Alley, and meeting a new friend Now that you've read it, please review it, so I know how you like it!