Chapter 1: The Arrival
"I would like three feet on the origin of the Protean Charm," Loud groan, "Due next class," Another loud groan, "Class dismissed," Professor Lupin said with a smile.
Wearily, Harry packed up his books. It was only the first class of the day and he was already tired. He felt a hand on his shoulder and he looked up into Ron's face. He could see the concern in his friend's eyes. You always could with Ron; he wore his heart on his sleeve.
Ron's words startled Harry out of his newly rediscovered daze.
"Alright there, mate?" he asked.
Harry placed a small smile on his face for Ron's benefit as he answered, "Fine, Ron. Thanks." Ron nodded in acceptance, though the concern was still evident in his eyes. Harry rose from his seat and together met an annoyed Hermione in the corridor. Her expression softened slightly as she caught sight of Harry's exhaustion. As they headed down to Potions, Ron and Hermione fell into a protective formation around him. Normally this would annoy and embarrass him, but today it gave him a warm, happy feeling.
This feeling was short lived, however, as they reached the door to the classroom. Ernie waved to them from where he was having a discussion with the four Ravenclaws. Malfoy was in the corner with the other Slytherins, who were hanging on his every word. Harry felt, not for the first time that day, a feeling of foreboding. It was almost as if something bad was going to happen. Mentally, Harry scoffed. Of course something bad was going to happen, he had Potions with Snape. He didn't have much more time to dwell on it, however, as the door opened. Harry, Ron and Hermione took their normal seats near the back. The only change in seating came from Malfoy, who normally sat in the front, who gracefully sat in the seat directly behind Harry. Snape swept into the room in his usual intimidating fashion directly after.
"Turn to page three-hundred-ninety-four," Snape accentuated slowly as if he were talking to morons. The class, as one, obediently turned to the page and waited silently.
"Today you will be brewing a mild Aging Potion. Now can anyone tell me why this potion is considered dangerous to brew?" Hermione's hand shot up as usual, but Snape ignored it, as usual, "No one? Then again I shouldn't expect much, especially from some of you," he looked pointedly at Harry and Ron.
"Aging Potion is a dangerous potion to brew because of the volatile ingredients. If you were to add an ingredient at the wrong time it would not only throw you back, but also your neighbors as well. I would strongly advise you to be careful and precise when brewing, lest I give you a detention," he lectured, glaring at them, "Begin."
As one the whole class stood and headed to the storage room. They lined up orderly, all not wanting to incur Snape's famous wrath. Harry gathered the appropriate ingredients and hurried back to his work table. Soon the room was filled with the sounds of potions bubbling. Triple checking the directions, Harry added the last ingredient. He checked his work again and then sat back and let the potion simmer for fifteen minutes, as the book said to do. Harry pulled out his Transfiguration book and read the chapters Professor McGonagall had assigned the day before. Harry soon returned to his own world and therefore never saw the Filibuster Firework land in his cauldron. At the cry of his name Harry's head shot up, but it was too late. The next thing Harry knew was the feeling of the hard floor on his back. The pain didn't stop, though, it got worse. Harry rolled onto his side and curled up in pain. Something was wrong, Harry knew it. The feeling coursing through his body was like a combination of a weak Crucio and the Polyjuice Potion. His vision blackened as spots danced in front of his eyes. Finally, Harry gave into the blackness as he passed out
He was warm, and he realized it was because someone was holding him close. He knew it couldn't be Aunt Petunia because she didn't like to hold him, and it couldn't be Uncle Vernon because he wouldn't ever hold him. He gave up trying to figure out who it was; instead he listened to the chatter around him.
"Professor, what if he's like this for good? What if he can't be changed back?" an anxious sounding woman said.
"I assure you, Miss Granger, that I can and will find an antidote. I don't like this anymore than you do," a man answered, his voice smooth and cold.
"But for entirely different reasons," his pillow rumbled quietly. Well now he knew it was a man holding him, but he was getting kind of frightened because he didn't recognize the voices around him. He pulled his face away from the man's chest and looked up at him. He had red hair and kind, blue eyes. Harry instantly felt safe, despite the fact he didn't know the man.
"Hi," Harry said timidly.
"Hello," he answered, "Do you know who I am?"
Harry shook his head in answer.
"My name's Ron," he answered.
"I'm Hawwy," he whispered.
Ron smiled in response, "I know." Harry didn't think about that too much
"Harry, how old are you?" Ron asked him.
Harry held up three fingers and said, "Two." Ron chuckled and adjusted Harry's fingers so there were two fingers up. Harry studied his fingers before smiling up at Ron shyly. Harry started to look around the room silently. He realized that there were a lot of people, and they were all staring at him. He shrank back against Ron's chest in fear. Ron's hand rubbed his back soothingly as Harry buried his head into Ron's broad shoulder.
Suddenly they were moving. Harry didn't know where, but he hoped they wouldn't stare at him anymore. Harry sensed that someone was close behind him, so he turned to look at a woman with bushy, brown hair and intelligent brown eyes.
"Hello, Harry, I'm Hermione and I'm a friend of Ron's," she said kindly while placing a warm hand on his back. Harry tried to say her name but tripped over it every time. Embarrassed, Harry looked at her for help.
"You can call me 'Mione if you want."
"Or you can call her, Hermy, too" Ron snickered.
"Yes, you could call me Hermy," she said, but Harry knew she would rather be called 'Mione.
"Weasley, Granger bring Potter and follow me. We're going to the Headmaster," and older, greasy haired man said to them.
Not knowing how far they were going and, feeling guilty, Harry whispered, "I can wok, Rwon."
Ron chuckled, "I know you can, but I think you'd rather be carried. It's a pretty long way."
Harry nodded in acceptance, but still feeling guilty. Harry laid his head on Ron's chest, preparing to nap during the journey, until a portrait they were passing said 'Hi' to them. Harry looked at Ron wide-eyed then back over Ron's shoulder at the talking portrait. Ron chuckled quietly at Harry's expression; Hermione stifled her giggles and smiled at him warmly. He wondered if that was normal because he had never seen a talking portrait. Soon the novelty of a portrait that greeted you wore off and Harry's head returned to Ron's chest. The motion of their traveling was lulling Harry into a calm, sleepy state. The next thing Harry knew was voices nearby and the fact that he wasn't moving anymore. Harry leaned back to look Ron in the face.
"Whewre are we?" Harry asked sleepily.
"You are in my office, Harry."
Harry turned in Ron's lap to see an old man with wise blue eyes smiling at him.
"I am Professor Dumbledore, Harry," he said warmly.
"Hi," Harry murmured shyly.
"Do you know where you are, my boy?" Dumbledore asked him kindly. Harry shook his head. "You are in a school called Hogwarts, and within that you are in my office," Dumbledore explained, "for I am the Headmaster at Hogwarts. Do you understand?"
Harry nodded this time.
"I sense you have a question or two, am I correct?"
"Is I in twouble?" he asked timidly.
"No, you're not. What would make you believe that, child?" Dumbledore asked gently.
"Awnt Petuna and Uncle Vewrnon isn't hewre. I's tawt dat I's was bad and dey sent me 'way," Harry muttered, quietly.
There was silence for a moment as Harry's eyes slid to the floor.
"I's sowwy," Harry whispered.
"What for, Harry? You answered my question like I asked you to, and you did so honestly. What do you have to be sorry about?" Dumbledore inquired.
"I's said somping bad," Harry said, eyes still on the floor.
"I assure you, my boy, you said nothing wrong. Now, I must ask, would you like a lemon drop?"
Harry smiled shyly at the Headmaster and nodded. Dumbledore chuckled and handed the child the candy. Harry popped the candy into his mouth and grinned at him.
"Now, if no one has anymore questions, I must speak privately with Professor Snape."
Ron obviously decided that it was time to go. Harry felt Ron gently pick him up. Harry waved to the nice, old man with the candy as they headed out the door.
Yes, I deleted the other chapters. Yes, I'm restarting. But this time it will be better! Just look at this chapter! Its 1,500 words long! I realized that you guys deserved a better story, so here it is. I will also TRY to update sooner. I hope you all enjoy!
Your regretful and shameful author,
P.S. I wanna thank all of my faithful reviewers who stuck with me all this time. I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!