Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or any other character found in Rowling's books.
A/N: This is in response to the challenge issued by EmySabath, the author of the wonderful fiction Me, Myself, and I. If you haven't read it, please go and do so.
A/N2: This story will have a dark theme, but will have its lighter points too. In later chapters, Severus Snape will take on the trusted mentor role (I don't care what happened in the 6th book!). Remus will be a protector and beloved by Harry by the middle of third year. Dumbledore will not be a snow white character (that's all I'll say on that point at this early date). And Harry will have a psychological condition called MPD.
A/N3: Everyone give a big thank you to EmySabath for being this story's beta! It's Emy's first time in this role and I have to say she is marvelous at it!
Broken Mind, Fractured Soul
There is more to Harry Potter than what meets the eye. For most of the Wizarding World, he is the Savior; the one who defeated the Dark Lord. Others see him as a celebrity, a star to follow to fame. A few hate him as their enemy, their downfall. A couple of people see a growing teen when they look at Harry Potter. A few others see a friend. Everyone sees something different when they looked on the one who bears the lightening shaped scar. Is it any wonder that Harry is divided on the inside as well as on the outside?
Let me start at the beginning and lift away the illusions to expose the truth of the story you all have heard. Listen and I will reveal what was really happening behind those emerald eyes and tell the real story behind the young orphaned wizard destined to save us all.
Godric's Hollow was a beautiful home full of warm woods and soft red and golden furniture. It reminded most people of gentle fires and autumn leaves; happy things. It was Halloween. Smiling, James looked at the wizarding photos they had taken during the afternoon. He and Lily had dressed up as pirates and Harry wore a costume of a kitten. They had played games, laughed, and had a wonderful time.
"I like this one." James grinned, brown eyes warm with delight as he looked over at his wife.
Lily took the picture and laughed. In it, she was cradling Harry. The baby was lying on his back with both arms up to bat at a Halloween streamer she had decorated the dining room with. She could almost hear her son's beautiful laugh as the boy in the picture smiled and tried to grab the wiggling streamer.
"I still think this one is the best." Lily flashed the one where James was sitting a the table, a bite of what looked like pudding halfway to his mouth when all of a sudden a handful of mashed potatoes came flying into the picture and landed right above James' right eye.
"He has good aim, doesn't he?" James smiled fondly.
"Just goes to show, you can't deny a child sweets on Halloween." She kissed him warmly and his large hand tangled in her long red hair. "I'm going to put him in his crib. I'll be right back down."
"Better be quick." James answered huskily, watching his young wife leave the room.
She blew him a kiss over her shoulder and carried their baby upstairs to the nursery. Harry didn't stir as his mother placed him softly into his crib or when she pulled his soft cotton blankets around him. Lily watched her son sleep peacefully for a few moments before bending and placing a warm kiss to his black satin hair.
Stiffening, she stood upright and tense. Something was wrong. Lily crept over to the nursery door. She could hear curses being thrown, laughter, and then silence. Her green eyes widened. Somehow they had been found out and their wards taken down without them even knowing it! Panicked, she slammed the door shut and locked it before rushing over to the crib. Harry was jostled awake by her quick movements and began to cry.
Lily shushed him, swirling her wand around him as she muttered under her breath. One minute, two. She was almost done. The nursery door was kicked open and screams from downstairs ripped into the room causing Harry to cry louder. The Dark Lord laughed, red eyes bright with pleasure. Lily clutched Harry to her and glared past her tears as she listened to James being tortured.
"I thought your highly esteemed husband would put up a better fight. My loyal followers had him down in a short ten minutes."
"How many are down there?" She spat. "Fifty?"
He laughed, "No. More like twenty-two. Maybe I overdid it? I hope there is enough of him to go around. They all want to have some fun."
"Bastard. You won't win. You will be brought low." Lily promised. Her husband's shrieks cut off ominously as soon as she finished speaking.
"Crucio." Voldemort hissed.
He watched, smiling sweetly as the woman convulsed in screaming agony, but still refused to release her child. The boy's cries became more frantic, green eyes wild with fear as his mother squeezed and shook him. He flicked his wand and the pain stopped; leaving her gasping, huddled over her baby.
"I'm feeling generous. I'll let you live so you can spread word of my power. Go. Run to your master. I'm sure Albus will comfort you. Be gone."
"No." Lily rasped, still shaking with the pain. "I won't let you kill Harry."
"The boy will die tonight. You don't have to die with him. Leave, foolish woman. You can always have more." He purred, stepping closer to them.
"No! Please!" Lily was sobbing now, the pain in her body eating at the shock in her mind. "Not Harry!"
"Avada Kadava." Voldemort said almost lazily and the woman fell dead onto her side, the child lying beside her still wrapped in her slack arms.
The Dark Lord sneered and raised his wand. Harry had grown silent, his eyes wide and terrified. The Dark Lord repeated the words of death and green poisoned light shot through the air. At the same time, the death spell Lily had finished casting mere seconds before the Dark Lord entered the room activated. The white of the sacrificial magic was joined by the blue magic thrown reflexively by the powerful wizarding child. Green slammed into the two other spells with a huge concussion as the rejected chaotic magic was flung back at the caster, ripping him violently from his body.
But a sliver of green had gotten through the white and blue shield and licked at the child's head, cutting it. The innocent boy screamed in pain worse than the body could know as that insidious darkness settled within him, binding to his soul. Repulsed, Harry rejected that part of him and cut it away from his conscious mind, fracturing off a piece of his own soul to distance it.
As Godric's Hollow crumbled from the explosion of power within its walls, Harry lay unconscious in his dead mother's arms. Deep inside, vile darkness melded with the shard of rejected soul and became something new, something Other. It was small compared to the rest of Harry's mind and so was locked away in a deep slumber buried in his subconscious mind.
Petunia Dursley was dismayed when she found the sleeping orphan on her doorstep. But she was a mother and couldn't turn away the child, even if he had come from the sister she hated. Vernon accepted her decision and they both reasoned that the child may not be tainted with the freakishness of his parents. Petunia, after all, had remained pure despite her tainted family. Harry could turn out to be the same.
So for over two years, Petunia treated Harry tolerantly. She always gave her son attention first, but Harry was fed and a second crib was placed in Dudley's room. She bathed both boys and gave them toys. Most often she would leave Harry to his own devices while she played with her son, but she didn't actively try to hurt Harry.
The green eyed child was cheerful and happy. He didn't seem to mind the lack of attention and played happily by himself. There were some days where he'd cry for his mother and father, but Petunia would patiently explain that his parents were dead. As time passed, those days of tears became less and less as Harry began to understand that his parents would never come back.
This grudging acceptance by the Dursley's was destroyed, however, when Harry was four years old. The day was bad to begin with. Dudley was throwing tantrums over every little thing all morning. Petunia was at her wits end. By nap time, she was exhausted. Dudley screamed, not wanting to take a nap, but for the first time Petunia ignored him. Harry watched from his crib across the room as Dudley threw his favorite teddy out of his crib in a rage. The boy then screamed and cried louder than ever.
No matter how tired she was, Petunia couldn't ignore Dudley when he was so very upset and miserable. She sighed deeply before making her way back to the children's room. She opened the door just as Dudley's screams turned into laughter. His teddy was floating in the air and slowly dropped into the blonde toddler's arms. Petunia's eyes flashed to Harry and saw the boy frowning with deep concentration. Relief flooded through her. Thank god it wasn't her Dudley doing that. But her relief was quickly swallowed by fear and anger.
She swooped over and slapped Harry hard across the face; "You little freak! Don't you dare taint Dudley with that vile freakishness!"
Harry began crying in pain from her slap and her screeching voice that hurt his ears. Petunia was further enraged by the child's fear and yanked him from the crib. Harry's screams sharpened as his shoulder dislocated. Yelling hysterically about Harry's vileness and freakishness, she searched the house frantically for a place to put him. Then she saw the cupboard under the stairs. Petunia threw it open and tossed the boy inside, locking it firmly.
When Vernon got home that night, he found all of the things they got for Harry burning in the back yard. He was shocked and then angry as his sobbing wife told him what happened earlier that day. Harry lay sleeping in the cupboard, exhausted by the magic he had expended when, in desperation to make the pain stop, he used it to heal himself. He didn't wake when the cupboard was yanked open, but blinked his green eyes groggily open when Vernon grabbed him by his hair and yanked him out.
"Boy! I'll teach you not to be a freak in this house, if it's the last thing I do!" And he lashed out with his belt.
The toddler screamed as it struck him, leaving an angry red welt behind. The belt fell more than a dozen times, lashing his back, his sides, his legs, and once his face. The pain and fear became too much and he flung his consciousness away, leaving behind all his pain, fear, and remorse.
"I'm sorry, Uncle!" The newly created fracture sobbed. "Sorry! Be good! I'll be good!"
"Damn right you will, Boy! Or I'll kick you out of this house and let you die in the gutter!" Vernon raged and flung him back into the dark cupboard.
When Harry woke up in the cupboard the next day, he did not remember Vernon coming home. Thos memories were held by the new Boy. Throughout the following months he wasn't fed very much and was often taken out to be punished for being a freak. Boy would come Out to grovel and submit. He cried and begged for mercy and forgiveness he would never receive.
Harry never remembered anything that happened to Boy. He didn't remember being beaten with the belt every night for two weeks. He didn't remember Petunia dragging him outside every couple days to viciously hose off the stench of his fearful sweat and urine. Sometimes Harry couldn't hold his bladder until the time when they'd let him out to use the bathroom.
What Harry was conscious of during that time was being told to clean out his cupboard. It took him all day, without once stopping to eat and drink, to drag all the luggage and junk that had been stored in there. But he also found old toys and he happily hid them away so he could play while he was locked away.
Things didn't change until Christmas of his fifth year. Petunia decided that he might as well be good for something. She marched over to the cupboard and threw it open. Harry had heard her coming, so he had already hidden away the children's book he had seen Dudley putting in the trash.
"Boy, get out here and help me." She glared.
"Yes, Aunt Petunia." Harry answered as he scrambled to do as she told him.
"You can't help like that, idiot! Go get cleaned up and quickly!"
Harry rushed to the bathroom. Twenty minutes later all the grime and dust was scrubbed from his skin. There was no sign of the abuse. Before Boy went back to sleep, he always used magic to heal himself so Harry wouldn't hurt. Petunia glared at this evidence the boy was still using that vile power, but chose not to say anything about it. Really, it was a good thing for them that the child was never marked to horribly.
"Go over there and stir the cake batter."
"Okay." Harry smiled happily and rushed to do as she said.
But his happiness was soon killed. Petunia would always say something hurtful before giving him a new job. She told him that his parents were bad and that was why he was worthless too. She'd tell him he was a freak and no one would love him because of it. When he began to cry, she slapped him hard.
"Don't you dare cry! It's your own fault, you filthy little brat!" She screeched at him.
Again, faced with something he couldn't handle, Harry did what he had learned to do. This newly isolated piece of his mind was left behind and was taught by Petunia how to cook and clean. Later, she would also teach it how to garden. Influenced solely by Harry's Aunt, the personality decided she was a girl too. When the new personality realized that Petunia was the name of a flower, she smiled and took the name Rose for herself so she could be like the woman she looked up to, craved to please, and loved.
Rose came Out whenever Petunia needed help in the kitchen or garden. She read all the etiquette books that Petunia shoved into her hands. When Petunia had the neighborhood housewives over, Rose served them with a polite, sweet smile. She rarely spoke, and the only things she ever said were 'May I?', 'Thank you', and 'Hello'.
Even when one of the women would try and draw her into conversation, Rose would only nod or shake her head. But this wasn't because she wanted to be rude. Rose wasn't like the other personalities. She had a handicap. She was deaf. The only thing that guided her was her uncanny ability to know how the people around her were feeling, allowing her to correctly guess at their needs. And the only way she had been able to learn and obey Petunia was because she could read lips.
But her handicap was a blessing more than it was a disability for it allowed her protection against her Aunt's hurtful words and kept her able to smile and serve with politeness, which was essential. Had she behaved in any other way, she would have been punished and forced to retreat and Boy to come Out to deal with it.
So Harry grew up believing his family neglected and ignored him, locking him away and feeding him rarely. In truth, Rose ate every day at breakfast and with Petunia during tea. But their shared body remained skinny because most of that energy was used by Boy when Vernon came home needing to let off steam. Harry had very few memories at home of ever being outside the dark cupboard, but he was always aware during school.
Harry loved school. He loved being in the light and around people who would give him attention. Dudley was a class ahead of him and he could be happy and playful and smart without fear of being punished for it. The playground was a different matter and so Harry often found a reason to stay inside with the teachers to avoid being hurt by his bigger, older cousin.
He was the smartest boy in the class; having mostly taught himself to read before primary school and absorbing everything else like a hungry sponge. When he heard talk of pushing him up a grade, Harry quickly began to hide his progress and give wrong answers. The teachers asked him what was wrong, but he would only say that he hadn't learned the new stuff while he had been taught the old stuff by his Aunt and Uncle. They accepted that and there was no more talk of skipping a grade. Harry relaxed; very glad he wasn't going to be forced into the same class as Dudley.
And so Harry grew and Rose along with him. But Boy didn't seem to age or grow more mature. He remained a helpless child of five, caught in a world of never ending punishments and pain. Ignorant of this, Harry was fairly happy. But that slowly changed as Harry neared his eighth birthday.
Harry watched as Dudley got detentions and parent conferences with his teachers because of his spoiled behavior and violent temper. He shouldn't have known what Dudley was being punished for, but had spied on the conferences and teachers to hear what they had to say about his cousin. This made him thoughtful.
He knew that Dudley was bad. Petunia and Vernon were quick to tell him the proper way to behave, and Harry tried really hard to obey them. But Dudley broke all those rules and was rewarded for it. At home, the boy screamed and hit his parents, and they would just scold him mildly while giving him what he demanded. Petunia and Vernon fought with the teachers, saying they were wrong about their precious Dudley.
For the first time in his life, he began to get angry. He began to realize that being locked in the cupboard wasn't fair or right, and began hating Dudley for escaping punishments for bad behavior, for being cared for and doted on even though he didn't deserve it. He hated his cousin for being loved when he was neglected. Vernon saw the new look in Harry's emerald eyes and lashed out.
"Don't you dare look at us that way, Boy! You freak!" He bellowed while pounding Harry into the ground with fist and feet. Ribs shattered, both of Harry's forearms snapped, his cheek bone fractured, his eyes took damage, his shins splintered. Boy howled in agony, too much in pain to scream that he was sorry, that he wouldn't do it again. Eventually even Boy couldn't handle it and was thrown violently into unconsciousness.
Harry didn't wake for three days. When he did, he was healed, but not even Boy's healing magic could fix the delicate tissues in his eyes and he would forever need glasses afterward. He never remembered being angry with Dudley. And he never again felt hate or deep anger over how he was treated. Instead those dark emotions were siphoned off. The darkness sleeping deep within Harry, deeper than Boy or Rose, fed on it and began to slowly grow stronger.
Years later, Harry sat in his cupboard. Tired of the darkness, he cocked his head to listen carefully. Petunia was in the kitchen doing who knew what and Dudley was in the living room playing video games. Vernon was still at work. Feeling safe, Harry carefully cracked open the cupboard door to allow light in. Then he turned back around and uncovered the stash of broken toys and books he had hidden under the floorboards of his cot.
Decided, he grabbed a few mangled army men and sat so that he could spread them out on the cot. He carefully set seven on one side and five on the other. He maneuvered them carefully, imagining himself as the leader of the smaller squadron:
He looked over the hilly terrain and back down at the report one of his scouts had given him. The enemy's number was seven and they were spread out in a semicircle facing his troops. It would be difficult, but he knew he could get his men to the other side. Ordering two off to play as decoy, Harry led his squad through the gap and then stood and had his team shoot them in the back. Harry grinned and threw up his arms triumphantly. Victory!
Mail hit the floor in the living room and, quick as thought, Harry had his toys back under the cot and the door shut before his Aunt walked passed to retrieve the mail. "Dudley! Your report card from school is here!" She called excitedly.
Dudley always went to summer school. The fat blonde boy always did well on his homework, but his tests were abysmal. Some classes passed him anyway, other didn't. His parents and the school had come to believe the boy had test anxiety and that was the cause for the discrepancy in the grades. Dudley played this for all he was worth. Harry remembered what his cousin had said to the principle and his parents:
"I know all the answers, really! I study really hard and always get perfects on my homework. But when I sit in front of the test, it just all goes away. I'm really sorry!"
Harry snorted with a sneer. His cousin was always blank. The reason his homework was perfect was because he made Harry do it for him. Shaking his head, Harry sighed. It's not like he really minded. Petunia let him stay out of his cupboard after school to let him do homework, so he didn't mind the extra work. Plus he was bored with what he was learning in his class and Dudley's work was harder. Not by much, but it was enough.
"Dudley-kins! Look! You got a C!" Petunia's high-pitched voice yelled proudly. "Oh, I'm so proud of you, Dudley! Why don't we go shopping tomorrow to celebrate?"
"Good. I want a new jacket. And there's this new game Piers and I want to play."
Harry sighed and went back to daydreaming. His head snapped up though when the door opened and his Aunt ordered him to get started on dinner. Rose crawled out and gave her Aunt a sweet smile before heading to the kitchen. She pulled on her apron and tied it competently behind her back before heading to the fridge.
Petunia watched the small boy brush his wild black hair from his eyes and set to making dinner. His slender hands delicately cut the vegetables and began making the meat sauces while it baked in the oven. She frowned. There was just something different about the boy when he was cooking. The way he moved, his smile; they weren't the same as when he was getting ready for school or working on his homework. Shaking her head, she went about straightening the living room. It's not like she really cared.
The next day Rose was folding laundry while her family ate the breakfast she cooked. She sensed their satisfaction and smiled happily. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a thick letter slip through the mail slot. She knew it was Sunday. Mail didn't come on Sunday. That must mean it was important.
"May I?" She asked. She couldn't hear herself, but her voice came out softer and higher than Harry's. Petunia frowned and, sensing her confusion, the girl gestured to the front door.
What is it? Rose read from her Aunt's pursed lips.
Rose was only confident that she could say 'May I?', 'Thank you', and 'Hello' correctly. But tried to say mail. She concentrated on her lips and moved them the way she knew they should move, but her voice formed 'mayol'. Vernon's anger suddenly spiked thinking Harry was mocking his wife. He slammed his fork on the table. Rose couldn't hear it, but she turned her head to look at him with wide eyes having felt the rising emotion.
"Go get it." Petunia snapped. Rose didn't hear and didn't see that her Aunt was talking, her attention on her violent Uncle.
Vernon turned purple, Are you deaf! Listen to your Aunt before I beat that arrogance out of you, Boy!
Rose quickly turned her head to look at her Aunt. Frowning, Petunia repeated the order and watched as Harry ran from the room daintily. Vernon sat muttering under his breath and Dudley was chuckling into his grits. He loved when his parents picked on Harry. It was just so much fun to watch.
Rose lifted the envelope and was shocked by what she saw on it. It said: Harry Potter, the cupboard under the stairs. She knew who Harry and Boy were, but didn't think much about them. It's not like she had met either of them. But she wasn't sure what to do, so she retreated. Harry looked down at the envelope curiously. He read the address and gasped. It was for him! He had never gotten a letter before and it was Sunday so it must be really important.
Grinning, he moved to open it when his Uncle's bellow startled him into dropping it, "What's taking so long, Boy!"
Harry could only assume his Uncle had woken him to get whatever had come in through the mail slot and he had sleepily obeyed, only now waking up. But he didn't want to give the letter to his Uncle. He knew if he did he'd never get to see what it was about and it was his. So he threw the envelope into the cupboard as he past and walked into the kitchen with his head submissively bowed.
"I'm sorry, Uncle. There wasn't anything there."
Vernon went purple and flew from his chair. Harry's head snapped up in horror and Boy came rushing Out. He cowered, hands covering his head as he hunched over his knees. Already keening that he was sorry and that he wouldn't do it ever again. Vernon cussed and yelled as he beat the terrorized child.
"Vernon, you're going to be late. You have that meeting the manager scheduled for this morning, remember?" Petunia said indifferently after a few minutes.
"I'll be back, Boy!" He growled and stomped over to kiss Petunia's cheek before grabbing his suit jacket and storming from the house.
"Go to your cupboard." Petunia turned her nose up, not wanting to look at the disgusting bleeding boy.
"Yes, Aunt. I'm sorry. So sorry." Boy whimpered and crawled to the cupboard and collapsed inside. Crying helplessly, his magic gently thrummed through him easing the sharp pain and allowing him to drift back.
Harry opened his eyes. He was in the cupboard. With a wide smile, he patted around and looked for the envelope. His fingers brushed it and he listened hard. He couldn't hear Petunia or Dudley. Carefully, he cracked the cupboard door and opened the letter. He had just read the first line when the door was yanked all the way open. Dudley stood there with a wicked grin. He had wanted to make Harry come play Harry Hunting, but was even more delighted to find Harry doing something he shouldn't.
"Mum!" He yelled on the top of his lungs. "The freak has a letter! He lied to Dad!"
Petunia came in from the garden and stormed up to the cupboard. Her son was blocking the small doorway and looked to be struggling. He was fighting Harry over the letter, but Harry wasn't going to give it up this time. His rage was being bled away as it formed; leaving him only mildly angry, desperate, and frustrated.
"Dudley, let go!" He cried, trying to yank his baggy sleeve from his cousin's sweaty grasp. "It's mine. Let me read it, please!"
"Move, Dudley!" Petunia ordered and Dudley reluctantly moved away. She reached in and dragged a squirming Harry from the cupboard. "What are you doing, Boy? You think its funny reading other people's mail?"
"No!" Harry denied, still clutching the open letter. "It was addressed to me, see?"
She read the envelope and froze. She knew that handwriting. It had been on the letter that was left with Harry's basket. Paling, she literally tore the letter from the boy's hand and backhanded him hard. Boy whimpered and cowered at her feet, crying as he begged for forgiveness. Screaming, she hit him with all her might, drawing blood with her long nails.
"Get in your cupboard!" She yelled. "I'll have Vernon deal with you!"
Harry pouted and plotted in the dark cupboard. Why did she take the letter and lock him in here again? It was his! He should be able to read it. Maybe she had thrown the pieces away. At night, he could sneak out and find them. It wouldn't take long to piece them together and read the message. Smiling in anticipation, he waited for night to fall, wondering who could have written him.
Harry did sneak out that night, but there were no pieces of the letter in the trash. Petunia had burned them. Disappointed, he crept back to his cupboard, but in the morning more letters arrived. Each day he would remember seeing more and trying to sneak one into his cupboard, but his Uncle always stopped him and threw him in the cupboard, leaving him there for the rest of the day.
What really happened was Vernon would beat Boy unconscious before throwing him limp and broken into the dark storage space. He destroyed all the letters and even took off from work so he could be there to stop any that came. Petunia was in hysterics and Dudley was no longer laughing and was growing more afraid as his father grew more and more angry. Finally, Vernon snapped and told them they were leaving to a vacation cabin by the ocean.
"No bloody letters or bird will find us there!" He swore.
Harry was mostly ignored during the trip and was glad for it. He was tired and figured the worry over the letters was making him sleep poorly at night. Really, his fatigue was due to the massive amounts of energy Boy was using that week keeping them alive.
It took almost ten hours to get where they were going and Vernon didn't stop once. Not even when Petunia said she had to go to the bathroom. Harry was shocked. Usually Vernon did all he could to make his 'Pet' happy. He darkly wondered what exactly they were so desperate to hide from him. What could be in those letters?
These thoughts plagued Harry and he couldn't sleep that night. The storm raging outside didn't help matters and he stared moodily up at the ceiling of the falling apart cabin Vernon had drug them all too. He was the first to feel the ground tremble and he rolled onto his stomach, excitement racing through his veins as he watched the front door. Something was coming. But how? The cabin was sitting on an island right off the coast. The landlord said there were no other boats beside the one they had used to get here.
Despite what was or wasn't possible, the door shook under the force of whatever was trying to get in. Dudley leapt off the couch he had been forced to sleep on, screaming. Vernon and Petunia ran into the room, both in their night clothes. Harry stared stupidly at the huge hunting rifle his Uncle held in his meaty fists. The person knocking ignored Vernon's threats of being armed and just knocked the door clean off its hinges.
Everyone fell silent as Hagrid placed the door back in the doorway and introduced himself. Harry stared in wonder at the huge man who had just insulted Dudley and tossed a twisted rifle into the corner of the room. The battered square package handed to him with a big grin was enough to jerk him out of his shock. Trembling, his pale hands reached up to take it.
"This is for me?" He whispered, overcome with too many emotions to identify. "Today's really my birthday?"
"Of course 'tis." Hagrid said gruffly. "Didn'tcha know yer own birthday?"
Harry mutely shook his head. He was too busy opening the present to notice the giant turning a murderous glare on his family. Inside was a chocolate cake with the letters 'Happy Birthday Harry'. He looked up into the giants face and smiled.
"Thank you, umm… Hagrid. But… can I ask… who are you?"
"That's right. I haven't told ya naught but my name." Hagrid beamed down at the small boy. "I'm Keeper of the Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry."
What followed was the truth of Harry's past. That his parents, Lily and James Potter, were murdered by Voldemort and Harry was the only one to survive. The Dark Lord was never seen again after that night. Harry stood silently, absorbing all the information, realizing why his Aunt and Uncle hid him away all the time in the cupboard and treated him so poorly. Only Hagrid threatening Vernon and giving Dudley a pig's tail got him to smile faintly.
Harry was still in a haze as he was taken to London and then Diagon Alley the next day with Hagrid. He had never even dreamed that something so wonderful could happen to him. But his happy mood vanished when they entered the Leaky Cauldron and everyone began staring and murmuring over him. He didn't like all that focused attention. Didn't like the expectant, almost hungry looks the people in the room and throughout the Diagon Alley were shooting at him.
It was then he snapped out of the shocked daze he had been in since Hagrid knocked down the door. He realized that the wizarding world was going to be far from perfect and he better watch out or he could get in serious trouble, especially since he didn't know what to expect. So Harry set out to learn as fast as he could. This included trying to figure out just what Hagrid was up to at Gringotts.
At Madam Malkin's, he met a blonde boy also going to Hogwarts. Harry spoke little, but tried to gather as much information as he could by keeping the boy talking. It was hard to hide how much he didn't know, but by the time he was done with the fitting Harry came to understand that wizards were not united, that there were different factions just like in the real world, and a sport the boy called Quidditch was very popular. He was rather pleased with how much he had learned in just a few minutes. He learned even more interesting things while getting his wand.
He spent the next month back at the Dursley's thinking of all he had read in his school text books. Petunia and Vernon left him alone for the most part, actually moving him up to Dudley's second bedroom and locking him in there until the start of school. They didn't even mention Hedwig who flew in and out the bedroom window whenever she wanted. Dudley was so scared of Harry now that he didn't even complain when he was forced to give up his second room. But that changed the day before school. Vernon stomped up the stairs and unlocked the door. Harry sat passively on the bed as his Uncle stepped in.
"I'm warning you, Boy." He said slowly with deliberate malice. Harry stared wide-eyed. Boy trembled deep inside and prepared to take over. Vernon put his face right into Harry's, grabbing Harry by his loose collar. "You talk about us to any of the freaks and you'll regret it. Do I make myself clear? Not one damn word, Boy. Not one."
"Yes, Uncle Vernon." Harry whispered fearfully. In his memory, he hadn't ever seen his uncle so frightening. Vernon grunted and backed off, reaching for his belt. Boy forced Harry back and took his place.
A/N: Next chapter will cover his first year at Hogwarts.