Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Stone: Take Two

by MysticSong1978

Disclaimer: I own nothing but the plot switch and any original characters I may add in as I deem necessary. Everything else belongs to J.K. Rowling. Should any other literary references be used, they will be so noted at that point.

This was my first ever fan fiction. I started it in 2004 and finished it in 2005. Despite the original similarity to the books, many, many people enjoyed it. Several people told me they liked it better than the original. I wrote a sequel, also well liked. Unfortunately, I was stymied by writer's block on the sequel - for years now. I haven't updated it since 2008, which I feel terrible about. Especially since people are still reading it! I recently re-read a favorite HP story by fan fic friend, and noticed that they had redone all their chapters and labeled them as such.

I've decided to the same with this story. I have two reasons for that. I've developed my writing (I'm published!), I know how fan fiction works much better now than I did when I shared this story in 2004, and I hope that by doing this, I will finally break that writer's block and be able to complete the sequel, and maybe even do some more stories as originally planned.

Thank you for sticking with me all of these years.

Dialogue is in double quotes (" ") and Thoughts are in single quotes (' ').

Harry groaned as he tried to find a more comfortable position in which to sleep. He wondered, as he often did, what it would be like to have a family . . . or even just one person . . . who truly loved and cared for him. Someone who cared when his birthday was coming. Someone who remembered he was there for Christmas. He used to wait excitedly for his birthday, hoping for presents from his Aunt and Uncle. Fun stuff like they gave their son, his pig of a cousin, Dudley. But it wasn't to be, and eventually, he stopped hoping. Besides, if Harry were to be completely honest, he wasn't sure he could really trust a person who said they loved him. That showed him kindness. He'd learned the folly of that at a very, very young age.

Instead of presents, he was taught a "domestic skill" by Uncle Vernon or Aunt Petunia. They told him it was for his own good so he would be able to fend for himself one day, for surely no one would want to marry a freak like him. Although to say they taught him anything was quite an exaggeration. Mostly, his aunt or uncle just yelled at him until he started to catch on. The only exceptions being if it were something he could harm their home with if they didn't teach him properly (like cooking), or something outside where the neighbors could see (like mowing the lawn). Outside chores were even worse, because of the horribly fake kindness they would smother him with in their attempt to look like loving relatives. Harry hated it. He hated the insincerity of it.

But some part of him still wanted a family to call his own.

Harry rubbed the peculiar lightning-shaped scar on his forehead. No one would tell him how he got it, except that it had happened the night his parents died. Harry simply couldn't figure out what sort of accident could cause a scar like his, but he'd learned early not to ask many questions. Or any questions. Actually, when you came right down to it, not talking at all was the closest he could come to pleasing his surly relatives.

Harry had vague memories of his parents. Not much to go on, but he instinctively knew that they were loving and kind. How his mother ever had had a sister like Petunia was beyond him. She wasn't sweet at all and she sure resented the bloody hell out of Harry. He often felt like she was observing him, waiting to see if she was missing something that would allow for further resentment.

Yet . . . there were those rare days when only Petunia was home with Harry, that she would show him a modicum of affection. He made the mistake only once of trying to get a hug when they weren't the only ones home, only to be smacked ruthlessly for it; to watch his Aunt wipe her hands on her pants as if the slightest touch of his hands had soiled her.

Harry learned affection came with a grain of salt. (Or, in Petunia's case, heaps of salt, not a grain. Maybe a lorry full.)

He wished he knew why they hated him. Maybe he could rectify things somehow and at the least get a real bedroom and some decent food. He knew he was small for his age, but he was still nearly too big to fit in "his" cupboard – even with all the times he was forced to go hungry.

Despite his Aunt's hot and cold treatment of him, Harry just knew it had to be something wrong with him, because she was never short tempered with Dudley. And Vernon just hated him all the time.

Dudley . . . Harry shrugged. Harry had faint memories of a nicer Dudley. He figured his parents had rubbed off on him. Maybe Dudley could like him again . . . someday.

Updated 27 January 2017

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