Disclaimer: Harry Potter belongs to Rowling and her publishers and/or associates. I make no claim on her intellectual property.
Child of Mercy
Not all children are innocent.
Not all children learn to laugh before they cry.
Not all children know trust.
Not all children can forgive.
Not all children can forget…
…and sometimes those children do more than remember.
Privet Drive was a lovely place to raise children. Or at least that's what the real estate agent told Vernon Dursley the first time they stepped into the driveway at Number Four Privet Drive.
Vernon could already imagine it. A nice strong boy-child that would look just like him and maybe have Petunia's eyes. Maybe they'd even have another boy. One child to take after him and another for the Queen's service.
Petunia Evans (soon to be Dursley) on the other hand peered out of various windows in the empty house looking for the best vantage point to spy on her neighbors. Immediately she knew Number Six had a little boy whose mother wore pearls to prepare lunch. On the other hand Number Two had a woman that rose from bed at noon and wore a nightgown made of silk. She could already see a life in which the woman from Number Six would come over and they would gossip about the woman in Number Two.
"We'll take it." Vernon announced imperiously even as he compared the neighbors car to his own. Behind him Petunia nodded enthusiastically, her sharp eyes immediately finding fault in the neighbor's rose bushes.
Vernon moved in first along with furniture from the house he shared with his sister Marge Dursley. Within weeks Privet Drive was treated with the sight of Mrs. Dursley being carried (huffily and puffily) over the threshold.
Eventually Vernon bought a car on par with his neighbors and would talk about drills to anyone that dutifully brought a fruitcake to greet the newest neighbors. Petunia made great friends with Mrs. Emmett in Number Six and as planned the two spent countless hours sipping tea as they looked in on the disgraceful life of Mrs. Whitby in Number Two.
In due time Vernon and Petunia welcomed the newest addition to the Dursley family, Little Dudley. The baby had soft pink cheeks and a full head of golden curls. Marge declared him the spitting image of Grandfather Dursley, God rest his soul.
Petunia dedicated herself to being the model housewife, let no one ever doubt her ability to take care of her family. When Duddikins was nearly a year old the family celebrated Vernon's promotion by buying a new car. Life was finally perfect for Petunia and she began to forget the…freakiness her sister had fallen into.
But not even Petunia could escape the reach of one madman and the world he nearly made his own. So it was with that marked misfortune that she opened the door on November First and the wicked world of witchcraft reached for her once more in the guise of an emerald-eyed infant left on her doorstep. Her shrieks brought Vernon thundering toward the door and the two quickly hid the child from the neighbors. Helplessly they stared at each other and the child at intervals, Vernon growing decidedly redder while Petunia turned a delicate shade of green.
"I'll not have…" sputtered Vernon.
"We must! We must!" Petunia wailed helplessly.
"That freakiness in our house! Living next to our son! Not normal…" huffed Vernon, his neck turning a shade of purple that was truly eye catching.
"That man! Who does he think he is? We've nothing to do with that freakiness and they expect us to take care of their mess?" She raged toward the heavens, God knows a good wife never shouts at her husband.
"Plain unnatural!" Grumbled Vernon, his fat sausage-arms making wild gestures.
"What will the neighbors say!…Vernon, dear…do you think they are watching?" asked a pasty faced Petunia.
Vernon quickly paled before flushing a violent shade of red. "They had better not. I've a good mind to call the Bobbies on those freaks."
"Oh we can't! We mustn't!" whimpered Petunia. "She told me they have people watching, they can make you forget if they want to. They can make sure you don't talk about what they don't want."
"They wouldn't dare!" puffed Vernon although there was a distinct uncertainty in his voice. "Really! Expecting good, honest, normal folk to deal with their messes."
Quietly staring up at them as normal as any child was Lily's son, Harry Potter. But both knew that is were the normalcy ended. The boy was part of that freakiness; no doubt he would have the same unnaturalness his parents did. Even his name, common and coarse, was distasteful to the Dursley's refined palate. Lily Evans didn't even have the mind to name the boy something as dignified as Dudley. And now they were stuck with the boy and had no choice but to house the unnaturalness, heaven forbid they ever willingly welcome it.
They would persevere and they would be good parents and make sure Little Dudley wasn't contaminated by it. Despite the awful position the freaks put them in they would to the right thing and house the waif till the system could swallow him up. Till then they would just have to make sure the boy never got the silly idea he was better than them simply because he could do…strange things.
Harry James Potter was a smart boy. He understood that the woman that held him and smelled nice and warm was gone. He understood that the man with the twinkling eyes that used to throw him in the air was gone. He understood that the other man with the barking laugh was gone. He understood that the quiet man that would read him unintelligible words (at least to an infant) was gone. He even understood that the squeaky man that whimpered when Harry wailed was gone.
He understood it but it didn't mean he had to like it.
He didn't have to like the woman with the cold fingers and sharp nails. He didn't have to like the man with the perpetual scowl. He especially didn't have to like the boy that waddled, fidgeted, fussed, and kicked.
Despite his apparent intelligence there were still some things he didn't understand. He didn't understand why he wasn't allowed to touch all the colorful toys. He didn't understand why he slept in a small cot at the foot of Dudley's crib. He didn't understand why Dudley would sometimes eat the portion of food meant for him and his stomach would growl pitifully. He didn't understand why the scarecrow-woman would smile at the other boy for the simplest act of destruction while he would be smacked for even thinking of damaging anything. He didn't understand why the Sausage-man didn't like touching him (which truth be told was something he didn't mind at all). He didn't understand why his nappies slipped off more times than naught. He especially didn't understand why Dudley couldn't 'make' the toys come to him when he woke restless in the night.
But if anything Harry was a smart boy. Setting childlike features into a serious expression a nearly two years old Harry promised himself that he would understand.
His perseverance had always been one of his greatest qualities.
When Harry was two he didn't understand why he was locked in the nursery the day all the bright packages from under the tree were opened. He didn't understand why he had to dab his scraped knee with toilet paper when not even a few feet away the scarecrow woman was piling Dudley with enough bandages to wrap a mummy.
When Harry was three he didn't understand why Dudley got thirty gifts and Petunia made him promise never to touch them, glaring all the mean while. Harry didn't understand why Harry had to clean the shared nursery all the mean while avoiding the flying toys courtesy of Dudley.
When Harry was four he didn't understand why he had to water the scarecrow-woman's prized flowers in the dead of a summer day while Dudley lounged under the fan. He didn't understand why the sausage-man would turn a funny color each time Harry wandered near him.
When Harry was five he didn't understand why his clothes were drabber and rougher than the bright clothes Dudley wore. He didn't understand many things and hadn't succeeded reversing that fact. But when Harry was five he started primary school and he had begun to understand.
He understood birthdays first. His was on July 31, 1980; Ms. Fanner said so. He learned about Christmas. Most importantly he learned about Mothers and Fathers. He even learned about Grandparents from the girl that sat two seats in front of Harry. He learned about naps and crayons and a whole slew of things.
He learned that he was different.
He'd noticed how the big-people had power over those his size. Petunia and Vernon had control over him based on that relationship. And honestly he didn't have the power to change that; it wasn't like he could do much. He still had trouble tying his shoes. But then came the power to make what he wanted. A power none of the grownups seemed to possess. A power that even as a child Harry knew frightened his guardians.
The first time Dudley beat Harry up he was more stunned than hurt. Sure Vernon and Petunia would sent smacks his way but they always gave him the feeling they didn't have the time to give him the trashing he 'deserved'.
Harry was a smart boy. School taught him many things. How other children were treated and loved. Most crucially he learned the power of fear. Dudley made all the other children too afraid to play with him. Fear was a powerful motivator.
Ironic then, that Dudley would teach him a lesson the Dursleys would rue for years.
"Boy! Sweep that mess you've tracked in!" was Petunia's shrill greeting the moment Harry entered the house. A push from behind slammed him into the doorframe as Dudley's thundering footsteps retreated toward the telly.
Divide and conquer.
Taking in a deep breath Harry prepared himself for the most nerve-racking experience he'd ever taken on. In the kitchen Petunia hovered over the sink as she cut roses to size.
"Have you done your chores yet?' She snapped more out of habit than any true annoyance.
Little Harry calmly ignored her. Dragging a stool he propped it against the counters. With hands guided by practice Harry pulled down a glass cup and filled it with water. Just as he was sitting down at the kitchen table Petunia craned her long neck toward him.
"And what to you think you're doing?" her mouth spat.
"Petunia." Harry said emotionlessly.
Displeased she turned to face him fully only to meet flat emerald eyes.
"Sit down Petunia."
Unnerved she clutched her rose cutter. "What…"
"Sit down Aunt Petunia." His voice was as flat as his eyes that disturbed Petunia more than she would like. Whatever was in front of her wasn't a child. Her legs folded beneath her and her body slit alongside the counter. She tried scrambling back but much to her horror her legs did not obey.
Panicked she turned to the un-child. "What have you done?"
Harry gave her an expressionless look. "Only what I will."
"You mustn't!" she wailed before she could stop herself. "It's unnatural!"
A growing smirk on the un-child scared her more than she wanted to admit. "Then you know what is happening?"
"Oh no! Not again! My sister and her tricks…" She trailed off under the intense look from the boy.
"Do go on dear Aunt. It was most informative."
Petunia shook her head wildly. A small child's hand fell on the table between them, the pale digits ghosting over the full cup of water.
"I have power." The cup rapidly chilled as the water was being miraculously frozen.
"You do not." The water unfroze, faint steam disappearing into the air. "You do not like me."
"For the time being I must tolerate you." The glass shattered, clear liquid soaking into the tablecloth. "But there is only so much I will allow."
Another small hand flew over the table; the water evaporating till only glass shards remained. "Keep your family in line Petunia. I've little love or mercy to give any of you."
Silently the un-child stood up and left through the outside door. Glacier eyes scanned her once before the boy disappeared into the yard.
Alone now, Petunia hugged trembling limbs. Not for the first time she cursed her abnormal sister but this time she included the devil of a boy.
Outside Harry bit his knuckle harshly to stifle a laugh or a cry, not knowing which would emerge. Abnormally slow he crept into his Secret Place, the tiny hole behind the shed and in front of the neighbors wall conveniently hidden by a towering bush. Folding his knees beneath him Harry promptly passed out.
Petunia honestly tried to shield her family from Harry. For a few weeks she even managed to frantically placate Harry and keep her family from going after him. The first sign she had failed came a month after their fateful meeting.
Her little Dudley and the boy arrived from school at the usual time. She'd been watering her prized roses when she saw Harry dutifully walking home, behind him Dudley and his charming friends followed. One of Dudley's friends moved to catch Harry but at the last moment Dudley caught the boy, Piers Polkins if she remembered correctly. It struck her odd at the time but what froze her very heart was the look her son gave Harry. It was a look full of wariness and fear. As if feeling her eyes on him Dudley turned his own to meet hers. They only looked at each other for a second but in that second she read his silent plea and helplessness. Much to her shame Petunia turned away from her son, knowing there was nothing she could do to protect him. She ignored Dudley's defeated countenance as he entered the house. She even managed to ignore the boy's knowing glance and growing smirk. She couldn't do anything but ignore it or she might very well scream at the un-child like a madwoman. The boy might have invaded their lives with his freakiness but at least she was normal.
Vernon would be the hardest to threaten into compliance. Petunia knew that. Harry knew that. She never asked what happened and truthfully she preferred it that way.
It was the weekend after Petunia and Dudley's trip to visit Marge. Petunia had ceremonially invited the boy along and was pathetically grateful when he declined. Catching the boy shooting Vernon contemplative looks drove her from the house almost as fast as if someone had shouted fire. Vernon himself wouldn't understand the helpless look Petunia gave him as they parted till later.
They returned to a changed household.
The boy had growing purple marks on his cheek and shoulders while Vernon sported burnt hands. He claimed it was an accident with the stove. She knew better. Not for the first time she silently cursed her husband's penchant for physical violence. His flushed face and nervous eyes would become the norm when dealing with the un-child.
And so the last of her family fell to his whims and heaven preserve them if they crossed the un-child. He had no mercy, having never been taught to love them She feared the day they would come for him. If he truly was a fledging what would he be like after they trained him in their ways? Lily had certainly never expressed her abnormality early on. She could only protect her family as best she could till then.
When Harry was six he moved from the cupboard under the stairs and into Dudley's second bedroom. He had been living in the cupboard since he was three and old enough to take care of himself. Discreetly he learned that most of his classmates didn't live in cupboards and either had their own room or shared with family. Harry didn't fancy sharing a room with Dudley so instead he announced to the Dursleys he would be taking the spare bedroom. It only took one flat glance he was becoming famous for to stifle any objection. He only had to 'make' several toys into pancakes to make Dudley abandon his last minute protest. Vernon and Petunia merely averted their eyes and pretended it never happened. It was fast becoming the way the elder Dursleys dealt with their nephew.
Harry wasn't interested in actively tormenting them no matter what they thought. He merely wasn't going to allow them liberties in abusing his mental and physical well being.
Without his guardians there to repress him Harry was finally free to develop and act like a normal child. But even then he wasn't normal. Without the constant pressure of never being smarter than Dudley he was able to explore the limits of his intelligence. The teachers called him a prodigy and would gush his success to nervous Dursleys. Harry merely accepted it all with his trademark practicality. He didn't particularly like teachers to begin with. They had obviously seen the neglect the Dursleys had inflicted upon him and in all likelihood they would never had interfered had he never taken an initiative.
It wasn't long before the school wanted to place him in advanced classes. The Dursleys were seemingly adamant it be Harry's choice. While others might have commented on their freethinking Harry knew it was because they didn't dare interfere with his choices. In the end he opted to move on to advanced classes more out of the desire to leave Dudley and his friends behind than any real wish to learn. While Harry was obviously smart his wits were above all dedicated to survival. Dudley might be too scared to go after him but he had no problem allowing his dolts of friends the privilege. Harry had the power to hurt them but even then he knew not to flaunt his talents. Perhaps the Dudley's early lectures about his abnormality had stuck and he knew better to make strange things happen in front of others.
Harry twirled his pencil as he tuned out Mr. Carrington's lecture on geometry. Thankfully Mr. Carrington was resigned to Harry's inattentiveness enough not call him on it. At nine years Harry was almost the youngest in the class (mousy Joan Reynolds beating him by six months). All the teachers were careful not to reprimand the students and unintentionly 'stifle' them. In Harry's opinion that was a load of shit; there were some truly bratty kids at Fairfax Park Academy.
The Academy really wasn't all that bad. Centered in London the school catered to the prodigies born and bred. Classes were designed so students could move on ahead at their own pace. The majority of students came from wealthy families and were chaffered to the school itself. Harry was a scholarship student having opted to attend mainly so he could get away from the Dursleys. He spent the week in the schools dorm and was shipped back to Surry for the weekend.
He'd been a student for nearly a year and in all that time he hadn't made any friends. Honestly Harry was personally unnerved by the prodigies. They belonged to one of three categories: the "know-it-alls", the bookworms, and the brats. The "know-it-alls" couldn't help but sprout every inane fact in some twisted urge to fit in. The bookworms had a strange intensity about them that was frankly otherworldly. Finally the brats were too hung up on being prodigies to leave anyone ignorant of the fact. Harry hoped he didn't fall into any of those categories.
Most of the days Harry burrowed in a library alcove, a computer terminal being incredibly helpful in passing the time. Who in their right minds wanted to spend it studying geometry?
"Excuse me? Would you happen to be Harry Potter?" a nervous sounding boy said from behind Harry. Terminating his connection Harry turned to face the boy. No one really needed to see his attempts at hacking.
The boy was stuffily dressed in the school uniform, a gray blazer buttoned down to last shinny black button and dress pants that still had the ironed creases. In comparison Harry's rolled up sleeves and abandoned tie didn't say very much toward school spirit.
The boy gave an embarrassingly relived smile. "Thank God; I've already asked three other people and one of them send me on a wild chase while the other two didn't have the faintest idea where you—"
"You were looking for me because…?" Harry interrupted. The boy obviously belonged to a wealthy family and so far Harry had seen few of them resist the urge to rib the scholarship students. It was always best to be on the defensive and keep interaction to a minimum.
"Sorry." The boy blushed. "It's my first day here and I'm a little excited. My brother came here you see and he only had brilliant things to say about the school. My father was also an alumni and I guess I've been waiting—"
Harry resisted the urge to sigh.
"…Ah sorry again. I guess I should introduce myself first, shouldn't I? I'm Edward Geoffrey Caldwell the Third. I've been tutored at home and I finally passed the entrance exams last June. My family is from Manchester but I live in our London home with my Aunt Cecile. The Headmistress told me we had the same schedule and you could show me around."
He really didn't want to scowl. The blasted Headmistress was on some mission to get Harry to socialize. He only prayed she got over that little stint before too long. What could she have possibly thought Caldwell and Harry had in common? He was an orphan of no real family lineage and on a scholarship combined with a distinct anti-social attitude.
"There really isn't much to see. If you managed to find me chances are you already saw half the school."
"Oh…well I hope we can become friends." The boy said cheerfully.
"Sure, whatever… Don't you know anyone here? From what I understand families with money flock together."
The boy blushed lightly. "I never got out much."
"Huh." Expert fingers fixed his tie while he did a strange dance trying to simultaneously get into his blazer. "We'd better be getting to class then."
"So where are you from?"
"I don't think I know where that is."
"Eh then…do you live in the dorms or in the city?"
"I bet you miss your family. I can hardly believe I won't see my mum and father till winter hols."
"Not really. My parents are dead and my aunt prefers a long-distance relationship."
"Eh…" The hapless boy stuttered. Harry rolled his eyes.
"Hey! Reynolds!" Harry called out. Mousy Joan Reynolds squeaked her surprise.
"Y-Yes?" The pig-tailed girl said.
"This is Edward Caldwell—"
"Whatever. He has the same classes we do. Do me a favor Reynolds and show him around."
The girl was simply too nice to refuse. "S-Sure Po-Potter."
Harry promptly abandoned the pair, rolling his eyes as he took his seat. Reynolds had a mouth like a steel-trap and Caldwell couldn't shut up. The beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Harry calmly turned to face his newest bother. Twice in one day, it certainly was a record. The Headmistress must be working overtime. It was one of the older boys in his class, ten-year old Malcolm Wallis, son of one of the 'Families'.
Warily he waited for Wallis to catch up to him. He'd little to fear from the boy himself but Harry was too accustomed to having his guard up to greet him any other way.
"I'm Malcolm Wallis." He introduced himself. Harry vaguely recalled he'd never actually talked to the boy face-to-face.
Harry gave him an uninterested glance. "I know."
Wallis merely shrugged at Harry's curtness. "It was brilliant how you played Caldwell and Reynolds. I don't think we've ever had a chance to get to know each other. You live at the dorms, right? My parents decided to get me a room there this year. I used to go to our house in London and spend my time with the maid. My mum finally decided it would be best I stay at the dorm. So what floor are you in?"
The dorm was a brick-faced four-story building, the top three floors were sectioned off into private rooms since the bottom floor was a recreational area and also held guest and staff quarters.
"Fourth floor, room 4E."
"Brilliant. I moved into 4B. I guess you haven't had a chance to get together with the other boys on the floor."
Harry shrugged. "I never really bothered."
Wallis combed fine blond hair of his eyes, hazel eyes peering at him from the corner of his eye. "I heard about you, you know. Scholarship students are generally smarter than all the blokes that stuff money down the School Board's throat. But you don't really care, do you? You just do enough so they can't kick you out."
"Any chance you're related to the Headmistress?"
"No." Wallis smirked. "Although my father has tea with her every once in a while."
"Figures." The black-haired boy muttered.
"Oi! I was just curious as to why you really are here. You don't seem at all interested in advancing."
"I've kept to myself since I got here, you know." Was Harry's response. Silently he turned into the dorm building and disappeared up the stairs.
Malcolm Wallis was left with a raised eyebrow at the retreating boy's back. He was certainly something else. Malcolm was a smart boy; he had to be to attend the Academy. He'd heard incredibly conflicting stories surrounding the Potter boy ever since he began asking about him.
So far he knew Potter had been attending for something over a year. He was from some small urban province called Sulry or Suery. Unlike other scholarship students his family never showed up at the school, wishing to rub elbows with the elite. Most weekends he went home; Ms. Riley from Administrations drove him there on her way to her mothers. Supposedly his family was sickly or something like that. Ms. Riley described them as being incredibly nervous and fidgety. Potter himself was a brilliant kid, he just didn't seem to care about his studies. Most students at the Academy knew enough about the boy to fill one sentence. Reportedly he spends his time either at the library or in his room. He had plenty of time to figure the boy out.
" 'lo Malcolm, we waited for you at the gate but you never showed up." Greeted William Graham, Malcolm's first friend at the Academy.
"I walked with Potter."
Will quirked an eyebrow. "That kid? Bloody strange is what he is. He doesn't even like talking to the other scholarship students, completely blew that Boots fellow off."
"I just think he's interesting." Malcolm defended.
"Might be interesting but it still doesn't stop him from being mighty odd."
"Like you're a standard of normalcy."
"Afternoon Potter." Malcolm greeted him as he sat in Harry's alcove. Harry's eyes flickered to the boy even as his fingers rapidly scrolled down a web page.
"How come you never have lunch at the Hall?" The boy asked as he paged through a biology book Harry had near him.
Malcolm gave him an incredulous look. "You can't convince me you're not hungry. We're growing boys, it's practically our job to eat."
"My relatives got me into the habit of not eating lunch." Was Harry's absentminded response.
"You know those fellows legally related to me." Drawled the black-haired boy.
"Why do you call them that?"
"You know, you're awful chatty. Why don't you go find that Caldwell boy."
"Him…" grimaced Malcolm. "Did you know Joan Reynolds is my cousin? She sits at my table and has Edward the Third there most of the time. Awful annoying bloke."
"I figured as much."
Harry shrugged. He didn't really have anything against Wallis but his knowledge of friendship wasn't that extensive. He'd just avoided the issue. He'd never really met anyone as persistent as Wallis. They had either been scared away by Dudley or put off by his standoffish attitude.
"Tell you what, why don't you come and join me and my mates in the Hall? If you don't I'll bother you for the rest of lunch."
Harry leveled an annoyed glace at the boy. He couldn't hack into records with a witness around. He gave his computer one last pensive look before closing the window. He'd been after his parent's death certificates for a while with no luck. They could have died on another world for all the records knew.
"Fine." Harry grumbled.
"No need to be so cheery about it mate."
Harry merely rolled his eyes.
The Dining Hall was a large room with scattered tables lined up in three rows. Lunch was light but hearty as was due the children of some of Britain's wealthiest families.
"This is William Graham better known as Will. You remember Edward Caldwell affectionly nicknamed Edward the Third. My cousin Joan Reynolds and last but not least Henry Rosethorn. Everybody this is Harry Potter who has graciously decided to join us for lunch."
"I don't remember anything gracious about my decision. You didn't give me much of a choice." Harry said plainly as he peered into various dishes. A childhood under Petunia's care hadn't exactly left him with a healthy appetite.
The table broke into laughter at his response. "What?" he questioned startled.
Malcolm merely shook his head. "You're a strange kid."
Harry glanced at him once before shrugging. Couldn't exactly argue with that. "One man's eccentricities are another man's genius."
"You're insane." Teased Malcolm.
"Sanity is a matte of opinion." Harry calmly intoned, his voice curiously flat.
"That voice…now that's strange." Piped Edward the Third.
"I know." Smirked the green-eyed boy. "Freaks out my relatives. Leaves them cationic for hours."
"It's a time warp to Children of the Corn."
"Is all you're going to eat?" Will asked.
Harry frowned at his plate, several pieces of fruit had been obliterated into mush and he'd barely eaten much of anything. "Wasn't all that hungry." He muttered uncomfortably, starring resolutely at his plate. He wasn't very used to someone else's concern. He'd been on his own since he could walk. Because his head was bowed he missed the worried looks his new friends shared.
Needless to say he would rarely ever be able to hole up in the library during lunch from now on.
There are certain things that must be taken as logical. Some leaps of faith can't just be taken.
If James Potter was a 'no good drunk that got himself killed in a car accident' the assumption that he owned a car was implied. So why wasn't there any car registered to the man in the year of his death or in the four years before that? Why was there no record of the man ever getting a license? If James Potter died in the autumn of 1981 why was there no death certificate anywhere? Better yet, why wasn't there any birth certificate? If Harry was born out of wedlock he seriously doubted the Dursleys would have kept the fact from him. They never would have gone into the trouble of creating a fictional character to take the place of his father.
At least his mother's background check yielded more tangible results. Hacking into a couple records and putting a few well-placed phone calls gave him what information the Queen had on her. Lily Camille Evans born March 13, 1958 to Howard Thomas Evans and Rosemary Sullivan Evans. She'd been a native of Surry as well but had lived in the opposite site of town near the more affluent families. Howard and Rosemary Evans were listed as both having died in July1979 in a gas explosion. Lily's school and medical records were all in order up until she was eleven. After that there was no mention of what secondary school she attended although Petunia's own files were consisted all through her schooling and marriage. Why would there be such a discrepancy for one daughter and not the other? By chance Harry stumbled on hospital records belonging to a London hospital that indicated Lily Potter went in for a pregnancy exam in early 1980.
It was more than suspicious at that point. What odd business could his parents have been involved in? And what idiot was in charge of fabricating records? No records were more alarming than shoddy records. Petunia had once said Harry took after his mother and her tricks. Could his talents have something to do with why his mother virtually disappeared after age eleven? Or why for all purposes James Potter didn't exist?
There was always the possibility that his parents weren't even British citizens but what fool would have ferried Harry from whatever country they'd died in only to abandon him on a doorstep. His scar was proof he'd been there the night they'd died and Petunia had never made it a secret of what state she found him in.
It was all bloody suspicious.
"I don't eat lunch."
"—My aunt's a scarecrow—"
"I've a cousin. We didn't get along but he can be taught to curb his aggression—"
"—They died when I was young—"
"—We don't like each other—"
"So you're going to Eton soon?"
"—I took the Entrance Exams last month—"
"—I might miss you when you leave."
"—Boots said he wasn't going to Eton. Got invited to some school up in Scotland. Real private. We always lose a couple up there."
"Some exclusive school, the don't-call-us-we'll-call-you kind of school—"
When Harry was ten-going-on-eleven William and Malcolm decided to have the wildest year yet. Both would be going to Eton College in the fall. Edward the Third and Joan would still stick around but without the two elder boys constant nagging Harry feared he might drift away from the other two. The youngest members of their little group were definitely more stuck on each other than they'd ever been to Harry and the other two boys.
Will and Malcolm spearheaded the largest barrage of pranks Fairfax Academy had ever seen and more often than not and despite not being much of a prankster Harry was dragged along.
The school term ended with most of the teachers' shoes glued to the floor and the crown of their heads secretly sprayed a brilliant orange. Scurrying through the school vents was definitely not Harry's finest moment and the fine layer of dust he accumulated was far from pleasant. Still it was a wonderful farewell for Malcolm and William and though he didn't know it at the time for him also.
Summer in Surry was lazy and listless. Both Vernon and Petunia avoided talking to him directly and Dudley watched him warily from the corner of his eye. Harry spent most days wandering around the town or at the local library.
"Err...boy…err Potter. We're going to the zoo for Dudley's birthday. Err…will you be going with us?" Vernon practically ground out. His face alternated between a sickly yellow and ripe plum. Vernon was a proud man, he worked hard for his family, loved his beautifully thin wife, and adored his son. He was a good neighbor and gave to charity every year. What had he ever done to deserve the boy? It only took one flat emerald stare for his thoughts to scurry into whatever corner they crawled out from.
"Err…good then. Dudley's friend will be coming along as well." Vernon bobbed his head nervously.
Harry waited till he was out of his sight before snickering softly. More than five years since the day Harry frightened them into submission and they still were scared stiff of Harry.
Piers Polkins had not changed since the day he used to chase Harry in the playground. He was still a few crumbs short of a cookie and had the bulk to prove where he stored the cookie. Polkins had a sunken face that made even Dudley look handsome. Much to their relief Harry promptly abandoned them at the zoo. Of course he wanted to see the animals, he just preferred to do it away from their domesticated look-alikes otherwise known as the Dursleys. The day was rather pleasant except for when he went through the reptile exhibit and some bratty kids thought it a good idea to whisper silly things from behind corners. He never did find where those kids were hiding at. He'd searched but found nothing but coiled serpents watching him with interest.
July 13th was marked by a wad of cash Vernon hastily shoved toward Harry at the breakfest table.
"…birthday…" mumbled Vernon as he quickly turned back to his breakfest. Harry might not rake the forty odd present but let it never be said Harry would let his relatives pass his birthday without a thought. It didn't even concern him that they couldn't remember the exact date.
"Mails here." Petunia said, her long neck craning near the window to show of her new necklace to any peering neighbors. "Be a dear and get it Dudley."
"Make Harry get it." Dudley said from around a piece of sausage.
Petunia cleared her throat nervously. "Go get it Harry."
"Go Dudley." Harry said only loudly enough for the boy in question to hear him. About to argue Harry directed his talents to freeze the remaining sausages on Dudley's plate. Nearly squeaking the boy ran off to do as he was told. Throughout all this the elder Dursleys' studiously ignored everything. Petunia promptly replaced Dudley's sausage and not a word was made about the event.
Thundering footsteps raced back to the kitchen. "Mum! Dad! Harry's got a letter!" He waved it around smugly.
"Give it here Dudley." Harry said quietly.
"Who'd write to you?" the boy continued to taunt, oblivious to Petunia's growing stiffness.
"Whoever it is does not concern you Dudley." Raising a hand Harry concentrated and summoned the letter. He peered at the letter only for a second before tucking it into his pocket. Of course he was curious, the letter was made of some strange thick parchment that was far from normal. But he wasn't about to let the Dursleys become part of more of his life than he had to allow. "I'm going out. I'll be back before dinner."
His words were mere formalities, neither of them was about to concern themselves overmuch about the other's worries.
Harry left the house before Dudley could even think about following him to steal Vernon's birthday money. Even after years of dealing with Harry the boy was still thick enough to think he could win against Harry. Contrary to all of his so-called abnormality Harry did a relatively normal teenage thing, he escaped toward the mall. Slinging his leather satchel over his shoulder he boarded the bus. Near the back of the vehicle, away from all the other people Harry finally pulled out the letter.Harry Potter
Four Privet Drive
Remarkably it was written in green ink of all things. Harry gave the letter a pensive look. Shrugging he opened it, he'd seen stranger things.
"Well…that explains things." Was Harry's nonplussed comment. His mind hovered somewhere in limbo as he tried to reconcile himself to the latest news.
Wizards and Witches.
A school to train talent like his, the same tricks Petunia had let slip also belonged to his mother. His parents had obviously been part of that school but how deep this wizardry run? Was that the reason Britain had no records about the Potters? Where they really citizens of another country?
What would it mean for him? He'd signed up as a King's Scholar at Eton. If he declined that in favor of Hogwarts not even the devil could re-enroll him. Startled he paused his train of thought; since when was he all that interested in academic achievement? It never really appealed to him and the only reason he'd opted to go to the Academy was to get away from the Dursleys. The second parchment indicated it was also a boarding school, why else would he need a trunk?
Where would he get an owl? These wizards were turning out to be more trouble than they were worth. Did they really rely on a simple letter to convey the disturbing news some parent's wholesome child was a magic-user? Surely not everyone was as eager as the Dursleys to get rid of their child?
Understandingly Harry wandered around the mall without any real interest. Anyone watching would have merely seen a well-dressed boy (his scholarship stipend paid for his personal expenses), with a pageboy haircut styled till it nearly fell into his eyes (he'd never been particularly fond of his scar and planned on having it removed as soon as he was old enough) with no real destination. Stylish glasses almost hid brilliant green eyes and he was a tall strong boy despite having lived in a cupboard for a few years. All in all no one that saw him could ever have called him anything but a sweet shy boy. But he knew what he was even if no one else did. He could be cold and hard when the mood hid him, vindictive when he was roused enough, and now he knew himself to be a wizard.
Harry opened the door and nearly ran into mad Mrs. Figg from across the street. The Dursleys had left to visit Marge (about their only sanctuary from Harry since he would never willingly stand the woman) and Harry had decided a trip in the library might pass the time.
"Good morning Mrs. Figg." Harry said politely, calling up all the manners the Academy had imparted on him.
The madwoman petted a small cat that been nearly lost in the conglomerate of bright colors that was her knit sweater.
"Hello dear." She smiled somewhat vacantly in his general direction. "I've been meaning to call on you and your Aunt Petunia. Might I come in?"
Harry didn't move from his position despite the woman's flowery presence invading his personal space. "She isn't here at this moment. Do you want to leave a message for her?"
"I suppose that will do, be a dear and tell Petunia there's a letter concerning you that I will be helpful in explaining."
Harry paled for a second before his emerald eyes frosted over. Like a Seeker after a Snitch (despite Harry not knowing what that meant Mrs. Figg immediately appreciated the analogy) one strong hand wrapped around a fluffy forearm. "That letter? Perhaps it would be best if you came in Mrs. Figg."
The woman hummed annoyingly, brown eyes frowning at him from behind thick bottle cap glasses. "It would really be better if I came back when Petunia is here. She is your guardian dear."
"Petunia has left it up to me. She will not be involved in this decision but without more information I won't be making a decision." Harry curtly informed the woman.
"Very well dear…perhaps it would be better if you came over to my house. We can have some tea."
Harry trailed behind the woman, suspicious eyes raking her figure. He'd never been lazy by nature and having developed a manner some might call paranoid Harry probably knew more about his neighbors that even Petunia could have gleaned had she had another decade of spying at her disposal. Besides being overly fond of cats Mrs. Figg had never shown any hint of his sort of talents. Entering her house he dearly hoped being a wizard wouldn't require for him to get a cat; Harry had never been fond of them.
She hummed some tuneless beat as she served them both tea and brought out a tray of pastries. Harry waited patiently for her to start talking. It was a tactic he'd often used against the teachers and Dursleys; by making them talk he was controlling the conversation.
"I suppose I should explain more about Hogwarts then…It is one of the most renowned magical schools in the world. They offer grounding in wizarding subjects, they include Transfiguration, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Potions, Astronomy, Charms, and History of Magic. Third years pick up two or more elective courses some of which are Arithmancy, Ancient Runes, Divinations, and Care of Magical Creatures."
"What sort of jobs would I be able to get with these skills?" Harry was determined to prove his Uncle wrong and stay off the dole. Mrs. Figg's lifestyle wasn't exactly reassuring.
"Obviously there exists a whole magical world kept sepreate from the Muggle—that's the non-magical—world. We've our own government, schools, laws, law-enforcement, and stores. Hogwart's curriculum should be sufficient in preparing you for entry positions there. Wizards are a bit more old fashioned you see so if you wish to continue your education an Apprenticeship would generally follow."
"What sort of future would I have if I left the magic world?"
Mrs. Figg blinked owlishly. "Heavens…I don't recall having known anyone that did. I'm not to certain about that. I suppose you would have to ask someone with a bit more knowledge in such matters."
Harry frowned discretely. "But you certainly don't live in this magic world."
Her smile was slightly sheepish. "I'm what you would call a squib—someone born to a magic family that doesn't have any active magic of their own. It was easier for me to fall into the Muggle world."
"Are there any other such titles?"
"Of course dear, there are Muggles, completely non-magical people; there are Muggleborns, the opposite of a squib; and Purebloods, those descended of completely magical people."
He fell silent as he considered that information. A hidden world would have kept James Potter's information…well hidden. Lily appeared to be a Muggle-born and like him had probably received an invitation when she was eleven.
"What category do I fall under?"
Ignoring her surprised look he waited for her answer. "Well…Lily was a Muggleborn and James came from a very long line of Purebloods. I suppose you would be a half-blood."
"Is blood all that important?"
Mrs. Figg looked distinctly uncomfortable. "Some people might consider it as such. A few years back there was a very…dark wizard who led a campaign against those he considered tainted blood purity. Those were dark times and thank Merlin he was defeated."
"Suppose I decide to attend…is there some sort of scholarship I could apply for? Dudley will be going of to boarding school and I doubt the Dursleys will appreciate having to pay for me as well."
"Heaven forbid you'd need a scholarship dear! The Potter's were an old family with old money and your parents gained some…fame that the Ministry rewarded them richly for."
"What sort of fame?" Harry asked suspiciously.
Mrs. Figg fluttered her hands uncomfortably. "I'm really not the best person to tell you. Don't worry about it my dear, you'll learn soon enough. For now you should just concentrate on going to Hogwarts. I've been there once or twice and it truly is a marvelous school. It's a castle out in Scotland right next to a lake guarded by a giant squid and merpeople and it has a forest next to it. Third years are allowed into the Hogsmeade, the only completely wizarding village in Europe."
Harry patiently listened to her more than aware she had deliberately thrown out all these other facts so he would stop asking about his parents' notoriety. He was a patient boy, he'd find out soon enough.
"So Merlin was real?"
Mrs. Figg laughed good-naturedly at Harry's first child-like question.
An: A story that's been hoveing in my head for a while. I got serious writer's block over myother story but this one just kept hovering in head.
It's basically this: What is Harry had been able to control accidental magic and instead of running away or skulking about (like fanfics always make him out to be) he intimitates the crap out of the Dursleys?
The books have shown Harry to have some truly wonderful moments of intelligence but more often than not he doesnt think and i think it's because he wasnt encouraged to think. (not if he was expected to keep lower grades than Dudley).
Think about it.
Emi (Fayr Warning)