This is a new story I've been working on and decided to put up so you all have something to read until I get started on the sequel to Heir of Blood.

This story is set back in the timeline of The Mummy Returns, so here's a basic rundown of the Harry Potter timeline in relation to this chapter.

1922: Harry Potter is born to Lily and James Potter.
1923: Harry is a year old and his parents are murdered by Voldemort.
1927: Harry is five and goes to Egypt with his distasteful relatives.


Disclaimer: Not even in my dreams do I own Harry Potter…believe me, I've tried, but the thought of lawsuits deters all such dreams.

Chapter 1: Child of the Desert

"She can't take him" Petunia fumed, pointing a rude finger at the small child crouched in the corner "and he'll probably destroy the house if we leave him here."

"Marge won't take him either" Vernon's voice rumbled through the house "but I don't see why we can't just lock him outside."

"No" Petunia's face was fearful "the freaks might find out. We'll have to take him with us."

Vernon Dursley looked decidedly unhappy "fine, but only because this trip is important for the future of Grunnings Weapons or we would wait until Mrs. Figg could take him. The freak can keep our Dudley amused and help carry the bags."

Harry continued to crouch in his corner, knowing that his aunt and uncle liked him to stay out of the way and the corner was better than the cupboard under the stairs any day. Harry cringed as his uncle glared at him one last time before leaving the room, how he wished his parents had never died in a car crash. Or perhaps he should have done like his aunt and uncle said and died with them.

… … … … …

Five year old Harry Potter looked around himself, amazed that he was actually on a trip to Egypt with his relatives. Sure they were being even crueler to him than usual, but the new sights around him more than made up for that. At least during the boat ride to Alexandria and the train ride to Cairo afterwards he hadn't had to deal with his relatives much as they had bought him the cheapest tickets available for both, Vernon grumbling all the while about the waste of good company money. Harry shuddered as he briefly remembered his uncle dragging him off to the loo before they boarded the boat, smacking him a few times to make sure he remembered to behave. Now Harry was struggling under the weight of Dudley's suitcase, trying not to loose his own ratty bag as he strained to keep up with his aunt and uncle as he followed them to the waiting car outside the train depot.

"Let me take that little one" the kind voice of the driver came right before Harry was relieved of his burden "you should not be carrying the bags."

Harry stammered a polite thank you, quailing under the dark looks of his relatives as his uncle jabbed a meaty finer towards the open car door. Harry could tell that his uncle would prefer to have him walk or be shoved into the trunk with the luggage rather than sitting in the car with them. The resulting car ride was very uncomfortable for Harry, his uncle's gaze promising punishment when there were no witnesses, so he was both relieved and filled with trepidation as they arrived at the hostel they would be rooming at.

Over the next few days the Dursley's mainly ignored Harry except to command him to do something or to absentmindedly punish him for some imagined wrong. They also left him behind when they went out, giving Harry time to sneak around Cairo while his uncle dealt with business and his aunt and cousin shopped. It awed Harry to see all the different people around him and he was currently sitting in the corner of their room where he slept, planning what he wanted to do the next day. Perhaps he would go to the market place and watch the dancers or—

"Dad" Dudley's young and shrill voice echoed through the room "my sweets are gone! I think the freak ate them!"

"Boy" Vernon was livid "how dare you eat Dudley's precious sweets! Do you know how much it costs to get them?"

"B-b-but" Harry stammered as his uncle advanced upon him, trying to say that he hadn't done it.

A crack sounded through the room as meaty flesh met the tender flesh of a child and the lights began to flicker and leap wildly in the room until a second crack echoing the first was heard, a gas lamp had exploded. Vernon's face purpled in anger as he glanced between Harry and the broken lamp, but there was also fear in the portly man's beady eyes. Before Harry knew it he was being crammed into one of the small cabinets along the wall that were used for storage. The last thing he heard before the sounds of his relatives going out for the evening was something heavy being shoved against the wooden cabinet door with a harsh scraping noise, it was meant to make sure he stayed in there and couldn't get out. Tears stung Harry's bright green eyes, but Harry knew better than to let them fall as he sought the sweet release of sleep.

"Get out of there boy, we're going on a trip."

Harry was abruptly jerked out of sleep as he was roughly hauled from the cabinet to tumble into the weak sunlight filtering into the main room. No one said anything else and so Harry remained silent as his aunt shoved his ratty rucksack into his arms, giving him an unidentifiable look as she did. After that Harry obediently followed his relatives as they walked until they came to the train depot where they boarded a train, Vernon shoving Harry under the seat while muttering gleefully on not having to pay for a ticket for the freak. Harry didn't know how long the train ride went before they began to stop, but throughout the ride Dudley took great delight in jostling him and kicking him constantly.

"Off the train boy" Vernon hissed to Harry at the third or fourth stop when everyone else had exited the car "and bring your bag."

Stiffly Harry followed his uncle, clutching his rucksack to him as they walked away from the direction everyone else had gone.

"Start walking!"

With fearful eyes Harry noticed his uncle motioning towards the desert and he tried to back away, but Vernon shoved him forward so that he stumbled and nearly fell.

"Go on" Vernon growled, letting Harry see the gun in his hand and the wild look in his eyes "start walking and don't come back or I'll kill you. They'll never find your body in the desert. I've had enough of your freakishness and won't allow you to contaminate my son anymore."

Fearfully Harry decided to walk into the desert as he had been told, it would probably be better than getting shot at and he could always double back later. Unfortunately for Harry he didn't anticipate how quickly the sun would get to him and how the shifting sands would erase his path behind him. So Harry had no other recourse than to continue to stumble tiredly through the hazy, boiling air of the desert. He had somehow made it through the night before and had discovered a hard piece of bread and canteen of water in his bag as he had pulled on his only other pair of clothes for added warmth as the temperature had dropped.

Slowly Harry raised an aching arm to put the nearly empty canteen to his parched lips, not realizing that he was falling until sand filled his mouth instead of water. The precious water spilled from the canteen and evaporated into nothing. For the longest time Harry lay still before heeding the insistent command in his mind to keep walking. He managed a few more stumbling steps before falling again. Laboriously Harry turned his head to gaze up at the burning sky, his voice cracking as it whispered painfully through his parched lips.

"Help me."

Harry's eyes closed and it seemed as if the very air itself wrapped around him before he disappeared.

… … … … …

Ardeth Bey reined in his stallion in a flurry of sand, an object foreign to the rolling lines of the desert having caught his eye. Keeping a hand to the blade at his side, the Medjai urged his horse on slowly until the shape resolved itself enough to be identified. It was a child. Moving faster now Ardeth slid off his mount and knelt in the unforgiving sand to look over the limp form.

"You still breathe young one" Ardeth's low voice held surprise as he spoke aloud "we best get you to the encampment then."

Easily Ardeth lifted the child up with him onto his horse and with a quick phrase in the desert language they were off, racing across the shifting dunes towards shelter. They were heading towards the Medjai training encampment that was hidden from sight, its stones of sand blending in perfectly with the desert around it. It was a fortress few knew of and that was the way the Medjai preferred things. They themselves were like the desert, deadly and always moving. They were the warriors of God and it seemed that God wished for the life of this child to be protected for the boy to have made his way so deep into the desert and still be alive.

For days Ardeth watched carefully over the child the desert had attempted to claim, rubbing salve onto the blistering skin and coaxing the child to drink. At last the efforts paid off and the child, who said his name was Harry, began to have longer and longer periods of lucidness. It angered Ardeth greatly to discover that Harry had been driven out to die by the hands of his own family, in the desert it was all too easy to lose a child and their life was considered extremely precious.

When Harry was well enough, Ardeth began to teach the child how to survive in the desert; Harry took these lessons to heart even more so than most desert children after having nearly lost his life to the shifting sand and burning sun. Harry also took fiercely to learning how to defend himself and fight back; he was clearly not going to allow himself to be pushed around any longer. The months continued to pass and Harry was still at the Medjai training encampment with Ardeth, neither seemingly having the urge to leave though Ardeth realized that it was time he said something to Harry.

"Harry" Ardeth called out.

Immediately Harry looked up from where he had been drilling with a hooked staff, fiercely attacking the makeshift wooden opponents they used for practice. Harry was the youngest boy in the encampment as Medjai training didn't usually begin until a child was eleven or twelve years old; even then most stayed to train with their tribe instead of at the encampment.

"Yes Ardeth" Harry was standing next to him now, having leapt up from the training yard to the walkway.

Ardeth took a breath "you have learned enough to survive a trip through the desert and back to the towns. If you wish I would escort you to the Egyptian officials in Cairo so that justice can be brought down upon your family."

Harry bit his lip, a nervous gesture Ardeth had not seen the child use since he had begun training, before blurting out "I don't want to go. I want to stay here with you."

Ardeth gave a nearly unnoticeable smile "then if you would prefer I would adopt you into the tribes and mark you as my apprentice and child, as a Medjai and a warrior of God."

Before he could blink, Ardeth found himself with an armful of child and he tentatively hugged Harry back. He had no family of his own and was glad that Harry had decided to stay.

"Come then" Ardeth said to Harry "let us begin."

Proudly Harry sat in a meditative pose next to the small fire Ardeth had kindled within the room that served as a shrine for the Medjai. Next to Ardeth was a small bowl of ink that would be used to mark Harry as the son of a chieftain of the twelve Medjai tribes, more specifically the son of Ardeth Bey; the marks would be permanent once made. As well there was a new tunic and robe set that bore tribal marks identical to those that Ardeth wore to replace the plain ones Harry currently had. Expertly Ardeth tattooed the marks upon Harry's flesh before helping him with his new robes and renaming the child to show that his old life was left behind and he belonged to the Medjai now.

"Welcome to the tribes of the Medjai Kedar."

Let me know if you think this is worth continuing.

Posted On: August 24, 2005