Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or anything else that might belong to anyone else which I might accidentally mention. I wish I did. But if wishes were fishes, my cats would be happy. Since they're biting my feet, I'll assume they're not. Draw your own conclusions. You'll also note that I draw some of the material directly from the first book. I don't own that either, which pretty much follows the first sentence... Ah, well, on with the story...
Privet Drive was quiet at 6:00am. Ten year old Harry Potter was just waking up from a nice dream involving tap-dancing cabbages when he found himself snuggled up against a warm body. Wondering which of his guardians it was this time, he opened his eyes.
"Morning, Ate," he mumbled. The goddess smiled at him gently, her pale eyes shining in the darkness of the cupboard. For someone supposedly evil, she was astonishingly gentle and thoughtful with him. "Thanks." Ever since his guardians had taken to sleeping beside him, he had stopped having nightmares regardless of what happened during the day. She vanished abruptly as Aunt Petunia's footsteps struck overhead.
"Potter!" Petunia's shrill voice could make a whistle green with envy. "Get up, and fix breakfast. Now!"
Harry made his way into the kitchen, and began fixing the normal absurdly large meal that the Dursley's preferred. Three plates of toast, two pans of eggs, and one rack of bacon later, Harry finally got to eat his single piece of toast and glass of water that was all he was allowed until dinner. Somewhere in all of that cooking, two killer whales had come to sit at the table. The younger, but somehow fatter one was known as Dudley Dursley. The older was Vernon.
"Potter!" Vernon barked. "Go get the mail."
"Yes, Uncle Vernon," Harry nimbly dodged around the rest of the table just in case any of his relatives felt the need to back up the command with something more forceful. The usual pile of letters sat beneath the mail slot, with one exception: a cream colored, square envelope addressed to
Mr. Harry Potter
The Cupboard under the Stairs
4 Privet Drive
An impulse made him tuck the letter into his waistband under his shirt to read later, for he was certain that anyone who would write to him was someone the Dursleys wouldn't approve of.
Late that night, Harry clicked on the tiny flashlight he had snuck into his cupboard and pulled out the letter. He studied the red wax seal for a few moments before opening it.
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 that July 31.
P. S. Due to extenuating circumstances, a representative of the school will be arriving on August 20th to take you to London for your school supplies. The headmaster has requested that you stay there until the term starts.
A brief internal debate ensued over whether to tell the Dursleys about the letter or let them be surprised by the arrival of the representative. The debate was abruptly settled when he shifted position and his newly acquired bruises reminded him that he hadn't attended to them yet. Dudley was always saying how much he liked surprises...
Now he needed two things: healing and answers. Pachamama, a seemingly old woman with a fierce will, appeared in front of him. He could feel the warmth and caring within her while she healed him although she left the thinnest layer of outer bruises to avoid raising the Dursleys' suspicions. A leathered hand brushed his cheek. "One of these days child," she rasped, dried leaves against silk. "One of these days, I'm going to open up the earth beneath those brutes' feet and swallow them whole for this. Mark my words."
Harry managed a little grin. Pacha had always been like a grandmother to him. "Just don't do it in the garden. I worked too hard on it for it to get ruined now."
Pacha chuckled. "On my honor, child. Your garden is perfectly safe." She
hugged him gently before she faded away.
Harry furrowed his brow in concentration. Odin was always a little harder to summon than the others...he smiled to himself as small black tattoos began appearing down the length of his arms, wrapping around his middle finger. They were intricately woven runes totaling 990. With the six larger tattoos that also appeared when he concentrated, it made for a grand total of 996 markings covering everything but his face, neck, palms, and the bottoms of his feet. He liked the large tattoos the best. On his back, there was phoenix with its wings stretched out and a jeweled sword in its talons. There was a lion on his chest with its claws outstretched. He had two dark green serpents with silver eyes wrapped around either arm with each head ending on his shoulders, and two dragons with dual tails twining about either leg. The runes filled in the spaces between the larger tattoos. Fortunately, the markings always disappeared when he stopped concentrating.
The All-Father appeared before him with a small knowing smile. "You've received your Hogwarts letter."
"Yes." Odin rarely asked questions. Harry supposed that giving up one eye to know everything made questions fairly pointless. "What do they mean by 'await my owl'?"
"Owl post is the commonly preferred means of communication amongst wizards. It is done by writing out a letter and tying it to the leg of an owl. The owl then carries the letter to the proper person by means of magical identification."
"And a wizard is a person who can use magic?"
"Generally speaking, yes. A wizard is also the term for a male magic user. A female magic user is commonly referred to as a witch."
"My parents weren't killed in a car crash, were they?" Harry asked suddenly.
Odin gave him a piercing look. "No. Lily and James Potter were not killed in a car crash. Lily was a witch. James was a wizard. Both Lily and James went to Hogwarts. That is all that I can tell you about them at the moment."
"Can you tell me why the Dursleys lied?"
"You're a smart boy, Harry. Put everything you know about your parents and the Dursleys together and tell me."
Harry pushed his anger down for a moment, long enough to register a few things. 1. The cabinet was shaking slightly. 2. If it kept shaking, there was a good chance he was in for the beating of a lifetime, and 3. Odin had called him smart. The compliment in itself, from the guardian he admired as a father, was enough to take the edge off of his anger. The cabinet stopped shaking, and Harry began putting the pieces together.
"The Dursleys hate anything abnormal, so it stands to reason that they hate everything to do with magic. That's also why I've never mentioned any of you to them. So in order to keep me from getting any ideas, they invented the story of the car crash to make my Mum and Dad seem normal." Harry paused for a second. "But if they didn't die in a car crash, then where did I get my scar?"
Odin reached over and gently traced the lightning shaped cut on his forehead. "Another question I am not allowed to answer yet," he said with an apologetic and almost tender smile. "I can tell you that you will find the answers when your escort arrives."
Harry nodded his acceptance. He was used to things he couldn't change by now, the Dursleys being the primary proof of this. "Final question, then. How do I get my hands on an owl to reply to this?"
Odin produced a raven, a piece of paper, and a pencil. "I'm sure Hugin will be an acceptable substitute for the time being," he said as Harry scribbled out a quick reply. The raven vanished through the cupboard wall with the paper clutched in his talons.
"If that is all, I will send Siren to you for tonight. You need your rest after all of this excitement." At Harry's tired nod, Odin vanished and a beautiful blond took his place. Harry lay back, listening to Siren lightly humming a lullaby and watching his tattoos fade until she turned the flashlight off.
Just a little reminder: I like reviews. I don't mind flames, but if you feel the need to do so, I'd appreciate it if you'd make them helpful flames.
As a bit of a clarification, Harry has the ability to summon the spirits of gods and goddesses from any religion in the world, as well as mythological beings. He looks on these spirits as his family, which isn't surprising considering how the Dursleys treat him. So if anyone has a suggestion of any god or goddess they would like to see summoned, mention it in your review and I'll see what I can do with it. I personally plan on having a great deal of fun with the Weasley twins and Loki-the Norse god of mischief- and one of my personal favorites ;). By the by, this story will definitely be AU. You'll see what I mean in full later.
Also, if any of you were wondering, Pachamama is the Incan goddess of healing. She's something of a Mother Earth figure, and I see her as a sort of sweet-but-fierce grandmotherly type. You know, the kind that makes great sweet potatoes, but whaps you with the spoon if you touch them before she says grace. Ate (pronounced ah-tay, I think) is the Greek goddess of evil (mild evil, anyway), mischief, and infatuation. Hugin is one of Odin's ravens in Norse mythology. His name means thought. Odin's other raven is Munin, memory.