Disclaimer: I don't own anything. I just like to play a bit with these wonderful characters. I won't repeat this in every chapter; this counts for the whole fic.

Book one: Start in a new life

Written by: writing-phoenix


"Did you see the lists with the new students, Albus? Is it really already time for Harry to come here?" A stern-looking witch asked the headmaster of Hogwarts.

"Indeed, Minerva, time is passing quickly. Young Harry will turn eleven at the end of the month. We shall send his letter alongside all others for children of wizarding families."

"Do you think it wise to do that? Who knows what those dreadful relatives of his have told him."

"Now, now Minerva, you might not be too fond of them, but they are his family; I'm sure they told him something. But you might be right. We could send the letter together with a warning that someone will come to take Harry to Diagon Alley. They might appreciate that."

"Who shall take him shopping? I hope you don't even think about sending Severus there."

"Why would I do that?" Dumbledore asked, his eyes twinkling.

"It seemed to just go along with your line of unusual ideas to get unlikely people to work together. But I honestly don't think Severus would be a good choice. Even you must see that Harry should begin with a good impression of our world."

"Right, not Severus in this case. I will send Hagrid. He has asked to see Harry many times, but I had to turn him down because of security."

It was clear to see that McGonagall wasn't too pleased, but she nodded acceptance. She admitted to herself that she too had wanted to see Lily's child on more than one occasion but had known better than to ask. Albus had explained her about the wards protecting the boy-who-lived, which kept away all magical people until he was old enough to go to Hogwarts, meaning till now. So what were two more months compared to ten years? She was really curious to know how Harry was. She remembered well the nights she had babysat little Harry to give his parents some time with their friends. It hadn't been an easy time back then, but the little dark-haired bundle had brought joy to all of them. While not many people knew that she had been so close to the Potters, well, mainly to Lily, they had been good friends even when Lily was at school. Not that she had favoured her, of course. No one could ever claim that Minerva McGonnagall was anything other than a stern but just teacher. However, she was not only a teacher but also a human being with feelings, sorrows, hopes and dreams. It was that part of her that had taken care of Lily when the girl had lost her parents, victims in a Death Eater raid, in her sixth year. From then on, the two of them had formed a close friendship, which had only ended on that fateful Halloween night 10 years ago.

But now Harry was coming to Hogwarts. She really hoped he had more traits of his mother than of his father. Not that she had anything against James but she doubted she would survive a combination of marauders and Weasley twins. That would probably be too much, not only on her, but also on the rest of the faculty. Shaking her head to clean away the old memories, she continued her work for the upcoming school year.

The life of Harry Potter wasn't an easy one, not at all. He was living with his last remaining relatives at Nr. 4 privet drive and was told at an early age that he was only a burden, that his freak parents had left him to the goodness of his hardworking relatives after they had managed to get themselves killed in a car crash. Not that, according to the Dursley family, his parents' dying was a bad thing, per se. After all, they were only a burden to society, freaks, unemployed, drunks... The list was nearly endless. When he had been very young, Harry had once asked if they were really freaks, for he simply couldn't believe that his parents were as bad as his relatives said. The answer had been clear. His uncle had turned an interesting shade of purple and yelled at little Harry: "DON'T ASK QUESTIONS, FREAK! YOU'RE JUST AS WORTHLESS AS THOSE GOOD FOR NOTHING PARENTS OF YOURS" after raving on and on he finally picked up the young boy and proceeded to beat him. Yes, the Dursley's, "upstanding members of society", did in fact abuse their nephew.

At first, Harry hadn't known that what happened to him was not normal. True, Dudley wasn't treated anything like him, but he simply assumed that it was because of him being the son of his aunt and uncle. He often felt that it wasn't right that they hit him, made him do chores and everything else, but he was told that it was because of him being so abnormal. In fact, lots of strange things happened around Harry. Not that he could explain them, and he always swore that he hadn't anything to do with them, but that didn't help him. He was punished anyway.

It was only when he was a bit older that Harry realised that he might indeed have something to do with all these strange things. You see Harry was one very smart boy and figured out that somehow these things only happened when he was feeling strong emotions, or in his case, mostly fear. But with time he also found out that if he would concentrate really, really hard he could do things that shouldn't be possible. At first, he was very afraid; after all, this made him bad, didn't it? But then he learnt to hide it from his relatives, and to stop strange things happening when he didn't want them. But hat was probably the most important thing to happen for him to accept these "strange things" was what happened after an extremely bad punishment. He was nursing two broken ribs and a broken right wrist, but he had been warned that if he didn't manage all of his chores the next day he would be very sorry. Not being able to sleep for long, he put his left hand over the right and concentrated with all his might, wishing desperately for his hand to heal, and it did, although it left Harry very tired. From then on, Harry accepted his strange ability and used it to help him avoid punishments by fixing broken things when no one was looking or helping himself heal again after he had been hit. He couldn't do too much and it often made him really tired, but at least it made his life a little bit better. However, it wasn't enough. If Vernon was angry he always found an excuse to take his anger out on the little boy.

Not even school was safe for Harry. Unfortunately, he was the same age as his cousin Dudley, and whatever he did wrong was immediately reported home, and he was punished accordingly. Despite the bullying of his cousin and the laughs Harry got for his hand-me-down clothes, Harry still liked school more than anything else during the day. He actually enjoyed most of the lessons and would have been a very good student, if he hadn't deliberately made mistakes. It sometimes made him really sad that he had to seem stupid, but he knew the alternative was to be better than Dudley (who was really dumb) and therefore anger his "family".

The Dursleys were careful that no one would ever find out what really passed in their home. This wasn't even too difficult because they had many important contacts in the village. Even when Harry had managed to get away from his huge, spoilt cousin at school one day, and at the same time found enough courage to tell someone what he was going through, it didn't help him. Quite the contrary, in fact. What he didn't know was that his teacher was very friendly with his aunt, and instead of helping poor Harry, she told Petunia that she had been right, that indeed the Potter boy made up dangerous stories to gain more attention, because there wasn't anything remarkable about him. The result of this was the worst beating Harry had ever had and a very dire warning of what would happen if he so much as said a wrong word to anyone.

This had been more then a year ago. Since then, Harry hadn't seen a possibility to get out of his life of chores, beatings and ridicule, while the Dursleys were content to keep everything secret and to have a slave at home to make their life easier. However, this task soon seemed to become much more difficult.

It was the second week of summer holidays when a letter arrived that struck fear in the Dursley's hearts. Actually, there were two letters. One was to Harry and one to Mr. and Mrs. Dursley. Picking up the post was one of the few things Petunia did herself, not wanting the boy to touch the precious things. She nearly fainted when she saw a letter addressed to Mr and Mrs. Dursley, guardians of Harry Potter, Nr. 4 Privet drive, Little Whinging, Surrey.

"Vernon!" she shrieked, hurrying to the kitchen and pushing Harry, who was cooking breakfast, out of the way. "Vernon it's a letter from those, those people."

If Harry had looked at his uncle he would have seen a rare expression of fear cross his face, before Vernon spoke in a dangerous tone.

"Boy! In your cupboard now! If you get out before I allow it you'll regret it!"

Harry knew that this tone of his uncle's didn't mean anything good, and went to his cupboard under the stairs with a soft "Yes sir". His cupboard was a small space, usually designed to store things. For the Dursleys it seemed the ideal place to store a thing like "the boy", meaning it became Harry's room. Harry settled down on the makeshift bed made out of old clothes of Dudley's (older than the one he could still wear) and tried to listen. He was very surprised when a minute later, Dudley was sent to the stores to buy himself some of his favourite sweets. What could be so important that they wanted to have Dudley out of their house?

Unfortunately, they went to the living room so Harry didn't hear what they discussed.

"Vernon, I tell you I won't have one of them in my house!" Petunia said with slightly shaking voice.

"Petunia dear, we first have to make sure they don't find out about …." He trailed off. "We could go away, where they can't find us."

Petunia shook her head frightened. "They, those folks, they have means to find us from what that wretched sister of mine told me…." She shuddered. "If they find out…."

"They won't."

"But Vernon, one of those will take the boy somewhere, and in 2 days, at that!"

"We go with him, we make sure he won't say anything and then…" He began to explain the plan to Petunia.

Harry had halfway drifted off to sleep when his cupboard was opened.

"Out, in the living room with you, boy" Vernon said and grabbed Harry's arm roughly.

Harry stumbled to his feet and followed his uncle to the room. "We have to speak with you, boy. On the floor with you!" Harry obediently knelt on the floor before his uncle. He knew the rules; it was better to quickly do what his uncle wanted.

"There was a letter this morning concerning you, freak. To make it short they want you to go to a freak school, I mean a a a m.. m… magical school" he stuttered out. Harry hid his surprise and joy. "Listen here boy! You'll do exactly what I tell you or I will kill you!"

Harry didn't sleep well this night. He was thinking. Could he perhaps get away when they went to this Diagon Alley? Would that person who came help him? But then again, his uncle would be there all the time, and he had been warned what his uncle would do with him if he even breathed wrongly. Harry shuddered at the mere thought. But then again, would they really let him go to this school? They hadn't said anything about this yet, but Harry doubted it. No, the Dursleys were too afraid to let him go to a boarding school; after all it would probably come out one day, wouldn't it? He did have a lot of scares that weren't easy to explain and he was extremely small and thin for his age. Then again, at school no one had remarked on it, or if someone had, they hadn't helped him. And those witches or wizards, would they even want to have something to do with him after they found out? Since he was small he was told he was a freak and that no one would ever care for him, and even if someone would find out that he was hurt at home, they would turn him away. Nobody wants to have to deal with such problem kids, so was there really a chance?

The part of Harry's mind that had all these things hammered into it by his "family" was arguing with the part that had never given up hope. He had hoped for so long and so often that he could leave, or that he could find someone who wouldn't hate him. He didn't think about finding someone who loved him anymore. He had given up that hope long ago, because after all, who could love him? He was only a small kid, always causing trouble, not worthy of love. He took an old blanket that he kept hidden most of the time and hugged it to his chest. He didn't know why, but this blanket somehow seemed to be comforting to him. Not sure what the next days would bring, Harry drifted off to sleep.

Author's note:

I'm having some Trouble with Word at the moment, it isn't applying the changes my beta made as it should. I'm fixing that at the moment, but the next few chapters are still in bad shape. Don't let that discourage you, it will be fixed.

This is my first fanfic ever. So please be kind. If I'm violating any rules or so please tell me. My native language isn't English, so I appreciate if someone points out repeating grammar or spelling errors. I hope you enjoy it.

I like to write and read detailed scenes with a lot of talks because this gives me the possibility to really convey the feeling of the situation. Therefore the plot will at least in the first part only progress slowly.