was: The Hunt (for a Missing Child)
by Louis IX
Summary: Dumbledore and his associates never checked on Harry during his childhood. They should have. Now, the Dursleys are missing, and Harry can't be found either. If he can't be found, how could he enter Hogwarts? Does he even know about his legacy? And what are those muggles doing in the picture? Some prophecies are underway, too, and praise the gods that their outcome won't be lethal.
Main genre: Action/Adventure – but there will also be run-ins with real-world modern History, pinches of Humour, morsels of Science, hints of Romance, Spiritual concepts, Political issues, a few Tragedies, and my usual bits of bad Poetry. Know that most locations, events, sciences and technologies were researched and are sticking to the reality of that time
Disclaimer: I don't own anything you might recognize: the Harry Potter universe belongs to its owners, and this story is written only for enjoyment; as such, I may own the plot and some non-canon characters and locations, but that's all – and I certainly get no money from it.
Possible spoilers for all the Harry Potter canon books. Some facts and characters are taken from them, even if they appear later in the books. Also remember that this is a fanfiction, a subdomain of fiction. Finally, note that this story will cover all of Harry Potter's life, and therefore, it is quite large, but there will be no prequel and no sequel – although companion stories could pop up later.
Feel free to express yourself. If you like or dislike anything, you can use the reviews to point it out to me. If you do so on another website, please leave a review with its address. Thank you for your input.
PART 1 –
The Early Years
This part comprises chapters 1 to 9 and covers Harry growing up and discovering his powers.
1 – Adoption and Prophecies
posted June 8th, 2005
When Vernon Dursley met Petunia Evans, that night of October 1978, he was one of the most down-to-earth people on earth. His father Ernest had worked all his life for a company making brooms, and his mother had been a good housewife. He had just been recruited as undersecretary of the exportation manager of Grunnings, a large company making and selling drills. Vernon and Petunia hit quite easily and started to speak about each other, and he quickly noticed that Petunia was hiding something. More specifically, she was hiding something about her sister. He knew she had a sister because he had seen the pictures on the walls of his in-laws. It wasn't that she was dead, because he had seen her there too, once. From all he knew, Lily Evans was quite beautiful and quick-witted, as much as her boyfriend James. It sometimes unnerved him that he could be outsmarted by people, but he had made his life a long time ago, and his philosophy turned around the money you made. He was employed in a large company with a potential career there, so what others thought or said didn't bother him at all.
On one evening, when he had asked Petunia for the umpteenth time what she was hiding about her family, she cracked and told him everything. His first reaction was, of course, a denial. He had been raised strictly, perhaps too strictly, and wizardry wasn't a concept he could integrate easily. She couldn't even demonstrate anything, as only Lily had the talent. However, from his knowledge of her and of basic human feelings, he understood she was jealous.
Petunia was jealous that her sister was a witch and not her.
On a rainy day of May 1980, Vernon Dursley received a phone call from the hospital where his wife was expecting to give birth to their first son. He had always wanted to have two sons and a daughter, like his father before him, and like his grandfather prior than that. He would place his first son in the best schools and the second would be in the army. His daughter would be raised to be a good housewife. Petunia had agreed. Everything was planned perfectly.
However, as Murphy's Law states, everything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
He hung up the phone, white as a sheet, before going to Mr Lakeson, his boss, stuttering his case. As he had been hard-working, Mr Lakeson allowed him a week of sick leave.
Mr Lakeson had joined the ceremony too, his wife hanging at his arm, both clad in the customary black. Petunia wasn't even able to join, stranded in the hospital after the mess the drunken surgeon had made. She wouldn't be able to give birth ever again. Vernon had been in a right state, unable to discuss coherently with his boss, and his sick leave had been extended indefinitely.
It was only a month afterwards that the man was able to hide his grief enough to work efficiently again. His in-laws had relocated in his house in Surrey to take care of Petunia, and they got several visits of Lily and James Potter. Those visits always brought tears to Petunia, though, because of Lily's obviously swollen belly. On one of these visits, though, James made a remark about magical ways of healing, and she started to hope again. Sadly, having seen her distress when the topic of pregnancy and babies was raised, the Potters never came back. The Evans didn't know that they had to hide from a mad Dark Lord. They also didn't know anyone else related to the magical world, and Petunia fell into sorrow again.
Sixteen months later...
Albus Dumbledore was one of the most powerful wizards to have lived on earth. And, thanks to extenuating circumstances, he was now the most powerful wizard alive. Harry Potter just took away the Dark Lord Voldemort and entered the History Book of Hyphenated Names as the Boy-Who-Lived. While the wizarding world was still unsure of the good news, and while Death Eaters were either arranging their affairs or rampaging in blind revenge, the most powerful wizard alive used a magical item looking like a lighter to extinguish the lights of Privet Drive, Surrey.
His friend and former student Rubeus Hagrid arrived a bit later on a flying motorcycle, and silently gave him a squirming package. Nodding the overly large man away, Dumbledore went to number 4, sifting in his mind the reasons for leaving Harry Potter there.
He knocked at the door.
The door opened, and the young couple smiled happily, before letting the man in their house. The men went in the living room while the housewife went to fetch the pot of strong coffee she had prepared.
"So, Mr Vernon Dursley, and Mrs Petunia Dursley." the man said, when said Petunia came back with the fuming pot and three cups.
When they nodded, the man continued, rifling through a stack of papers. "I'm Roger Preston, from the Adoption Services. You already have full custody of your orphaned nephew, Harry James Potter, and you asked to adopt him legally, so that he may bear your family name. In regard of the law, said nephew, being less than 2 years old, can be given your name without anything else than a signature in these forms. However..."
He looked at them and, noticing their sudden questioning distress, amended himself immediately. "Don't worry! I just wanted to know your reasons for it."
They found their smiles again, and looked at each other. Vernon had lost a great deal of weight during his month of mourning, but found, to his surprise, that it gave him a better health in general, something Petunia now agreed with. Vernon put his hand on Petunia's swollen belly, and, while looking at her, spoke to the man.
"We want our little baby to consider him as a brother."
The man nodded, unaware of the family's history. Petunia, during the visit of the funny-looking old man six months before, had asked for a service in exchange for keeping the boy, and the subsequent visit to the magical hospital named St Mongoose – or something else, she had never remembered those funny names anyways – had brought her uterus and ovaries back in functional order. With Vernon's willing help, she had then made everything to get herself pregnant – that's when she had noticed and agreed with the more athletic body of her husband. After the positive pregnancy test, they had slowed down that particular activity, and taken more time to play with the little boy left in their care. If nothing else, they had thought, it would teach them to be proper parents for their own kids. When the old man had told them the story while giving them the squirming package containing Harry Potter, they had initially thought that the wizarding world would take him back after a year or two, but the old man with a funny name – Dumbanddoor? Dummydoor? Doubledose? – had told them that at least ten years would pass before they would establish contact again.
Surprisingly, for them, the little boy had been adorable, and, not having their own, they fell for him quite easily. They knew that he was magical, and the old man had explained that sometimes, strange happenstances would occur. He had explained and given them a booklet about accidental magic. However, despite the levitating toys, transfigured food, or change of cloth colour, they reported on the boy the love they hadn't been able to give to their firstborn. That's why, a mere semester after receiving the squirming bundle, they had asked the Adoption Services for the permission to give their name to the child.
And Harry James Dursley came into existence.
Four months later...
The drunkard had been expulsed from the hospital and sentenced to prison, and said hospital had paid for the damages, but Vernon was still scarred by what had happened the first time around. That's why he had asked for a full month of leave around the expected birth day. And it was a good thing, too, because their little son decided to show himself in advance. Dudley had been a name suggested by Vernon's sister Marge and he had blindly followed her advice the first time. Now Petunia decided to be in charge and named him James Ernest. The first was in honour of the dead biological father of Harry, and the second was Vernon's own father, of course – if the upcoming child had been a daughter, she would have had Lily in her name somewhere. Playing with Harry, and discovering the wonders he could do with magic, she finally understood her parents' reaction to Lily, and brought a closure on her jealousy.
Three years passed peacefully...
The man arrived home, and greeted his wife loudly.
"Darling, I'm home!"
"Shhhh!" Petunia interrupted him from the landing upstairs, before gesturing him to come discreetly.
Once there, he noticed the byplay in the kids' room, and could only look with wide eyes, his mouth agape. Their 5-year old son was sporting a look of intense concentration while his young brother looked in awe at the farandole of baby toys turning in the air around their twin baby sisters. Said sisters, 18 months old, were laughing heartily like babies do. Only then did James notice the watching parents, and he nudged Harry warningly. His concentration broken, the older boy let the fluffy toys fall haphazardly, but young Eva and Maureen laughed even more.
"Sorry, mummy." mumbled Harry.
"There's nothing to be sorry about, Harry." she said, entering the room and taking the twins for their bath.
"Yes, son." Vernon added. "Just remember that you can't do that outside, where others can see you. Alright?"
The Dursleys left it at that. Their son Harry had a talent for magic, real magic, and they supposed that the old man knew about it, as he seemed to know everything.
However, nobody told them that kids weren't usually able to do anything else than accidental magic. Harry Dursley hadn't been controlling those dozen toys by accident.
And it was the beginning of a legend.
Two years later...
"Mum! Muuuuum!" the twins' voice was strident.
"What is it?"
"I can't find my fluffy bear!"
"Neither can I, mum!"
"Now, now. Eva, Maureen, what did I tell you? We are moving, and your toys have been packed in the suitcase. You can't have them now; you'll wait when we'll arrive."
"Yes, mum, when?"
Petunia sighed. If her 3-year-old twin daughters wanted a specific toy, there was a chance that they wouldn't calm before obtaining it. The perspective of spending a 12-hour long trip with two wailing daughters didn't please her, and she sighed again while exiting the room. The house was empty, as they had removed all the boxes and last furniture the day before. She went through the empty rooms and outside toward the rented suburban van. Her lack of luck had the twins' suitcase at the bottom of the trunk and she started to remove bag after carefully packed bag, before a small voice interrupted her.
"What are you doing, mum?"
She huffed. "Your sisters decided that they didn't want to travel without their favourite teddy bears, and I packed them in the bottommost suitcase."
He looked at the trunk, frowning. Not understanding the frown, she started to remove another bag, when Harry's voice interrupted her again. "These?"
Turning to him again, she was surprised to see two bears in her son's hands. She reined her surprise and looked around in case neighbours might have seen something. Fortunately, they had decided to leave during the summer vacations, and the families were all gone. The remaining inhabitants of Privet Drive were old couples and the hot afternoon guaranteed that they would be lying in their favourite recliners, fans working overtime.
She flashed him a thanking smile and, putting the bags in the van's trunk again, told him to bring them to his sisters. While he left, she reflected about this year's events. Harry had been bullied several times in school, mainly by Piers Polkiss' gang. As he had told her, even if he could have blasted them away –language, Harry!–, he had respected his promise not to use his talent outside of the house. Vernon had reacted, though, and the school had been forced to assign more teachers to oversee the children during the recesses.
Unbeknownst to his parents, Harry knew that he and little Jamie wouldn't be able to fight back as soon as the teachers would leave, though, and he started to think about discreet ways to get revenge on the bullies' gang. Several inexplicable and disgraceful accidents had then happened to the gang's members. Said accidents were never harmful, and they always involved mechanical defects which could have occurred even without Harry's push. There had been the time when Gordon found himself nude in a toilet, his clothes strewn haphazardly around the school grounds. Other bullies were drenched by passing cars, soiled water being on the street even on a dry day. Soiled pants and other toilet mishaps finally brought an end to the bullies' reign of terror on the school. During the whole episode, Harry discovered two things: he loved to prank bullies, and as long as he wasn't discovered, he could do anything. That's when he started to use his talent to hide and move discreetly.
Then, in May, Vernon had received an offer from the American branch of the drill company. It was the opportunity of a lifetime, and, after discussing about it overnight, he moved there to take the control of a whole tool-making factory in Urbana, Illinois. Petunia had spent two months packing their belongings, organizing the house sale, and the kind of things you do when you move far away. Her parents had helped, but, being quite old and tired, they couldn't do much more than keeping an eye on the kids.
Speaking of which...
"Harry! Jamie! Eva! Maureen! Come down here, we're leaving!"
1325 A.D., in pre-Columbian America...
The tribe had been walking under the blazing sun for hours, when their leader stopped suddenly
"Look, my brethren! Look!"
Despite their tired state, they hurried around him, and witnessed in awe as the great desert eagle was eating a snake on top of a large cactus. Their priest unrolled a scroll and fell to his knees, chanting and praising their numerous gods, for they just gave them their new home. A few sceptic minds asked themselves how they could build their new town in the middle of a lake, but they followed nonetheless.
"The first prophecy has come to realization." the old priest was saying, climbing up to his feet with the help of his two aides. "After having left the arid lands of Aztlan, we will consider this island as ours and build our new realm starting here. We will call it... Tenochtitlan."
The Aztec tribe settled down, and the men started to scout the surroundings for natural enemies and food while the women built the tents and tended to the children. During the whole process, the priest and his acolytes were sitting in a circle, discussing less mundane matters.
"Your Highness, what is it about the other prophecies?" asked one of the acolytes, more daring than the others.
"What do you mean?"
"The Prophecy of Destruction and the Prophecy of the Final Battle for the Sun."
"Hmmm... why do you ask?"
"Because, of all the gods' recorded words, those two reference our new city."
"You are right." answered the priest after a moment of thoughts. "However, we do have some time to think about it, don't we?"
"Following the prophecy, it's a mere 2500 moons before the Destruction, your Highness. It will come swifter than we think. And the Prophecy of the Final Battle for the Sun says that it will take 666 summers after our city's foundation for the final battle between Tonatiuh, our Sun god, and the Tzitzimime, the demonic stars, to occur. How can we help our gods if we aren't around for it?"
During the acolyte's harangue, the priest had become more and more flushed, and the other aides recoiled, feeling that the old man would react quite violently. The bold one, taken by his speech, hadn't seen his comrades' movement.
"You are right." the priest unexpectedly said, with a silky voice. "Our gods won't have us beside them. But we can send them our support through time!"
"Err... what do you mean, your Highness?" the acolyte was quite frightened by the mad glint coming from the old man's eyes.
"Our gods need help, I'll send you to them."
"No! Your Highness!"
"Be quiet! Don't you agree to help our gods in their eternal fight? Didn't you vow to serve them, and me, to your last breath?"
"Very well, then. Acolytes! Prepare the ritual!"
The other young men jumped on the frightened one and, after binding him tightly, deposited him in the priest's tent and gagged him as well. When they exited said tent, intent on building the required altar, the old priest was mumbling to himself.
"Wretched prophecies! Can't have an upstart youngster challenge my authority! No, no... No one will know... It will be better that way."
A peek into the future...
Albus Dumbledore looked at the assembled people, but his usual twinkle wasn't there. The day was August 15th, 1991, and it has been a fortnight since he had received the letter unanswered and unopened. He had since taken a look at the boy's personal file, and said file was open in front of him while he looked at the members of the Order of the Phoenix. His voice resounded in his office again.
"Can anyone tell me why we don't have anything in his file since 1982?"
"Albus, he could be dead-" a grizzled Auror spoke up.
"If he had been, Alastor, there would be something in his file about it. There is nothing!"
"Have you tried his home?"
"Yes, I have. The people there don't know anything about the previous owners."
"The real estate agency?"
"Their records have burned last year. Accidental fire."
There was a long silence in the room, while everyone wondered about the situation. Looking outside his window, Albus Dumbledore muttered the question aloud.
"Where in the hell is Harry Potter?"
To be continued in next chapter: Schooling and Fighting...
I'm writing this little view,
To make you want to review,
This quite long story of old,
Now, if I may be so bold.