Disclaimer: Yes, it is I, J.K. Rowling, the fabulous and talented creator of the Harry Potter series… just kidding.
A/N: This is a reposted version of the original story. Not much is different, but it was driving me crazy every time I found a typing error, and I added in a sentence or two.
P.S. - I still need title ideas. Any suggestions?
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry:
Albus Dumbledore sat in his office, lost in thought, as he stroked a flaming red bird that trilled contentedly. There was but a week left until the new school year began. He always looked forward to the arrival of a new batch of first years, happy little things, anxious to learn. This year he had something more to ponder though. This was the year that Harry Potter would come to Hogwarts. Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, defeater of Voldemort, and savior of the wizarding world…
Of course, the boy wouldn't know much about that. Albus himself had left him with his only surviving relatives ten years ago. They were muggles, and not the most friendly at that. If he'd had any other choice… but no, there was the matter of the blood protection. It wasn't certain that all of Voldemort's supporters were locked up in Azkaban. Quite a few got off claiming the imperious curse. Therefore, the only way to ensure young Harry's safety was to keep him hidden within the wards Dumbledore had constructed around Privet Drive.
The headmaster was interrupted from his musings by a knock on the door. He must be getting old, he mused, not many people could surprise Albus Dumbledore. They claimed it was annoying the way he seemed to know everything that happened at Hogwarts. He would only twinkle knowingly, and offer them a lemon drop. He found the resulting exasperated refusals quite amusing.
"Come in, Minerva."
The door opened revealing his very irritated colleague, "How do you always know it's me?"
He just smiled in response, "Tell me, professor, what brings you to my office at this time. Is something wrong?"
"Oh, no, everything's fine, Albus. I've just finished the list of first years that will be present on the Hogwarts Express," she paused for a moment, looking uncertain, "There is just one little thing…"
Dumbledore stopped petting his phoenix, and Fawkes flew to his perch, noticing the sudden tension. Dumbledore leaned forward in concern. It was unusual to see the normally stern Deputy Headmistress so anxious looking.
"You see," she continued, "we haven't received any confirmation from Mr. Potter. I don't believe he received his letter. You know I've always had my doubts about those muggles-"
"Now, Minerva, I know you don't approve of them,"
Professor McGonagall gave an uncharacteristic snort. If Dumbledore heard, he showed no sign.
"But do you really believe they would harm their own flesh and blood? Certainly Petunia and Lily didn't always get along, but Harry is their nephew," he stated firmly.
He'd had this discussion many times with his old friend. After observing the Dursley family for a single day, he recalled her referring to them as 'the worst bunch of muggles she'd ever seen.' He knew she'd have continued to rant at him that night if hadn't told her about the wards. She'd finally relented, but only just.
"I'll tell you what, Minerva. Why don't you go deliver Mr. Potter's letter personally. After all, it's not that unlikely for a witch of wizard to visit the home of a muggleborn student in order to help them adjust to the wizarding world."
When she moved to protest, he continued, "Take Hagrid with you. I can't count the number of times he's asked to go see James and Lily's son. Besides, I'm sure the Dursleys could always use a little persuasion," his eyes sparkled mischievously as he said the last part. He didn't normally approve of violence, but something told him Vernon Dursley could use a scare.
McGonagall looked quite ready to be on her way now.
"I'll see you in a few hours, Albus," she announced briskly, checking that her wand was safely stowed in her robes.
"Farewell, Minerva. But please, don't do anything permanent," he called after her retreating form.
She waved her hand casually in acknowledgement as the winding staircase descended. Back in his office, Dumbledore released a small chuckle at his old friend's antics but sobered up quickly. He worried over what could have happened to the boy. Why hadn't he received his letter? The phoenix let out an encouraging note, as though sensing his master's worry. Maybe the owl just got lost in all the protection charms surround Little Whinging? Somehow, the headmaster doubted that…
4 Privet Drive, Surrey:
Vernon Dursley was just sitting down to breakfast with his family. He smiled contentedly as he rifled through the paper. He and his family lived in a nice house, in a nice normal neighborhood. He had a wonderful job selling drills. If he wasn't mistaken, Grunnings would be filling quite a large order for that new hardware store today.
He looked up when a plate of eggs was set in front of him, "Why, Petunia, this looks wonderful."
"Thank you, Vernon," she gave her husband a peck on the cheek. "So Duddykins, what are you and your friends going to do today?" she looked fondly at her eleven-year-old son as he dug into another stack of pancakes.
"Piers and I are gonna go to the movies," he said around a mouthful of food. What Dudley neglected to mention, was that they were going to sneak into the movies. Unfortunately, his parents were oblivious to that. In their eyes, Dudley was a wonderful, sweet boy. In the eyes of the kids Dudley's gang beat up on a regular basis, he was a pig in a wig, whose size would be hilarious if he didn't use it to sit on small children.
"That sounds great, son. Here, make sure you get plenty of popcorn," Vernon said, handing over several pounds. Dudley snatched it in his pudgy hand, and was contemplating how much more he would need to steal to afford some Mars Bars as well. That shrimp, Mark Evans, was always good for some loose change…
Just then, the doorbell rang.
"Bloody mailman, I thought I told him to stop delivering those letters," Vernon grumbled as he got up.
For the past month, strange letters addressed in emerald ink kept turning up. He was quick to dispose of the first couple and nailed shut the mail slot. Petunia even called the post office to complain. But still, the envelopes found their way to Vernon's job. Then the very suspicious looking milkman dropped a dozen off when he picked up the bottles. And those bloody owls! They were always perched over the garage when Vernon came home, and were starting to attract the attention of the whole street! Petunia nearly had a heart attack when one came flying into her kitchen before he managed to chase it out with a broom. The way Vernon saw it, as soon as Dudley went off to Smeltings, he and Petunia were off to stay with Marge. Hopefully, by the time they came back, those freaks would have given up.
He stopped at the front door, and yanked it open angrily, "I told you before, we don't-" Vernon broke off as he took in the people on his doorstep. There was a strict looking woman in an odd black dress and pointed hat. Behind her stood a man with a tangled black beard, dressed in what looked like animal skins. He was so tall Vernon had to crane his neck back painfully. That, combined with Vernon's bulging eyes and slightly open jaw made a very comical sight. McGonagall's commanding demeanor almost slipped with the urge to laugh at the man.
"Hello," she stepped forward, reasserting herself, "I am Professor McGonagall, and this is Rubeus Hagrid. We are here for Mr. Harry Potter."
Vernon, in an attempt to regain his dignity, straightened up and barked, "I have no idea who you're talking about, now get off my property before I call the police!"
McGonagall replied coldly, "We are not leaving until we see your nephew, Mr. Dursley."
She strode forward, beckoning to Hagrid. They pushed aside a sputtering Vernon Dursley and entered the house.
"Vernon? What's going on?" Petunia Dursley came out of the kitchen still drying a frying pan. As soon as she caught sight of the intruders, she gasped and held up the dripping pan threateningly, "What are you… people doing here? I demand you leave at once!" she screeched.
"Where's 'Arry?" Hagrid rumbled.
Petunia paled drastically, "I-I don't know w-who you're t-talking about!"
McGonagall's eyes narrowed dangerously, "We've come to collect Mr. Potter."
"There is no Potter here!"
"Tha's a lie!" Hagrid roared, taking a threatening step forward and causing Petunia to drop the pan in fright, "I was here when we left 'im!"
"He's correct Mrs. Dursley. Against my better judgment, Harry Potter was left to your care ten years ago, after the death of his parents. Now I will ask one more time, where is he?"
By now, Dudley had heard the yelling. Curiosity got the better of him, and he waddled out of the kitchen, "Mum, what's going on? Who are they?"
McGonagall heard Dudley and turned to question him, "Hello, we're just looking for your cousin. Can you tell me where he is?" she asked calmly.
"Who? That freak? My parents got rid of him ages ago."
Now, Dudley Dursley was never the smartest boy. If he was, he'd have known that was a very stupid thing to say.
"You what?" McGonagall hissed turning on the quivering Dursleys.
"What did ye do with 'Arry?"
Hagrid was known to be a very gentle person, despite his imposing figure, but sometimes he could be very scary, especially when he was angry. That certainly came in handy right now, as Petunia and Vernon backed up.
"We, er…" Vernon trailed off.
"Spit it out already!" McGonagall snapped, ready to hex the Dursleys into oblivion if it weren't for those darn muggle protection laws.
"The boy was nothing but trouble!" Petunia spat. Her temper rose, giving her a burst of confidence, and she continued, "We never wanted the brat! He was just as freaky as my sister and her good-for-nothing husband! It's not my fault she went and got herself blown up! So we left him at an orphanage years ago, just like we should have in the first place!"
By now, both Hagrid and McGonagall were red-faced and shaking with rage. Hagrid growled and charged the muggles, but McGonagall was quicker. She whipped out her wand and pointed it at Dudley.
There was flash a violet light, and Petunia screamed.
She ran over to Dudley, who, by all outward appearances, seemed perfectly fine. Suddenly, he reached behind his back, groping in confusion. Whatever he found caused his eyes to widen in shock. Dudley squealed and ran into the kitchen, his mother following. The last glimpse anyone had of him was a curly pig's tail poking through his trousers.
McGonagall smirked in a satisfied way and slipped her wand back up her sleeve.
"How dare you! Fix my son this instant!" Vernon advanced on her, fist raised. He didn't get far before Hagrid lifted him in one massive hand, and slammed him into the wall, his feet kicking uselessly.
McGonagall sauntered over and fixed him with a glare that could rival Severus Snape's.
"One last thing before we go, Mr. Dursley. What was the name of that orphanage?"
Verus Figura (true form)
Okay, you know the drill…REVIEW!
Did anyone of my old readers notice the differences? Just keep reading, and tell me what you think!
For any new readers… Oooh, I wonder where Harry is?