Disclaimer: Harry Potter and other canon characters belong to JKR I'm only having some funChapter 1: The New Room
The journey back from Kings Cross Station to Little Whinging had never been so quiet. Harry was aware of his uncle muttering below his breath but could only make out a few words which included freaks, master of own home, who do think they are, and several others that were equally uncomplimentary to the Magical world.
As soon as the car stopped in the driveway of No. 4 Privet Drive, his aunt and cousin were out the car and into the house. The only time Harry had seen Dudley move so fast was if food was involved, and it left him wondering what was going on. As much as Moody and the other's threats had amused him at the time, he was still wary of how his uncle would react. Harry got out of the car and collected his trunk and Hedwig's cage and made his way up to his room. As he was about to open the door his uncle stopped him and pointed to a ladder leading up to the roof space of the house.
"Potter, up there, Dudley needs space to train for his boxing so we remodelled, we've made you a room in the loft. Now, house rules: you will be let out every morning to wash and pick up your rations for the day and empty your slops pail. Every third day you will write to the freaks and will weed the garden and mow the lawn. The remainder of the time you stay in your room. Now get your stuff up there."
Harry struggled to get his trunk and Hedwig's cage up the thin aluminium ladder and as soon as his foot moved off the last rung he felt the ladder being pushed up behind him and the hatch locking in place. After a few moments his eyes adjusted to the dim lighting and he looked around his 'new room'. It consisted of an eight-foot by eight-foot platform of rough wooden boards, and a skylight built into the roof. A camp-bed with a thin nylon sleeping bag on it were the sum total of the furnishings. A single naked bulb with no method of switching it on hung from the roof. In one corner sat a plastic pail.
Harry found a nail sticking out from one of the roof beams and hung Hedwig's cage on it. He took out some parchment and a quill and wrote a quick note to the Order.
I have arrived safe and well and have been given a new room. Will write again in three days.
Harry opened Hedwig's cage and sent her off with his first letter and then decided to explore his new surroundings. The detritus of Dursley life lay abandoned in the loft. He found boxes of old photos of Dudley, bags of old clothes, most of them torn where Dudley had burst through them. Hidden against the gable wall of the house, covered with old dust sheets, he found two trunks. He recognised them as the type used by wizards.
Being the curious person he was, he decided to investigate them. Other than the space below the skylight there wasn't enough light to read by so one at a time he hauled the trunks over. One had the name James Potter stencilled on it and on the other had Lily Potter, with the name Evans scored out.
A mixture of emotions overcame him, joy at finding something belonging to his parents, anger that his relatives had withheld them from him, and apprehension about what they might contain. As Harry was about to open the trunks to explore them, he heard the hatch being unlocked and the loft ladder being pulled down into position. He hurriedly moved the trunks out of sight and sat on his bed. His uncle's head appeared through the hatch.
"Today's rations, boy" he said and handed a box to Harry. "The light will be on for the next half hour and at this time every day for half an hour" and at that the bulb glowed.
One of Harry's suspicions was confirmed, they were even going to control how much light he had. Just as well there was no homework this summer, but he had planned to re-read all his textbooks, especially those on Charms, Transfiguration and D.A.D.A. to see if he could find anything that would help him in his next battle. Tentatively, he opened the box Vernon had delivered and found two slices of the cheapest, thinnest bread he had ever seen, some thinly cut cheese, cut so thin as to be almost transparent, a tin of soup and a half litre bottle of water. There was no tin-opener or any method of heating the soup and no spoon to eat it with. Resignedly he ate the bread and cheese, poured some of the water into Hedwig's dish and took a sip himself, the water was tepid, he spat it back out in disgust.
Harry lay down on his bed and contemplated what he was going to do. As he decided to inspect his parent's trunks the light was switched off and the fading daylight was too dim for him to do anything by. He looked at the skylight and realised it faced east.
'Great,' he thought, 'the sun's going to shine in here from about 04:30 every morning, I guess that's when I'm going to read, well if I'm getting up early I may as well try and sleep now.' and with that he closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep.
His dreams were strangely calm, he felt as if someone or ones were watching over him, keeping him safe through the night.
Just as Harry had expected, the sun came streaming through the skylight early in the morning. Rubbing the sleep from his eyes he sat up and reached over to his bottle of water, he rinsed his mouth and started planning his day. His first priority was to inspect the two trunks he had found the previous evening. He pulled his father's trunk over and opened it, inside the lid was a label reading Gower's Fine Wizarding Luggage, 3 Compartment Model. On top of a lift-out tray were two envelopes one had his name on it and the other was titled 'The Last Will and Testament of James Potter' Harry opened the letter with his name on it and began to read.
This is a letter I hope you never read because if you do it means that I am dead and never got to see you grow up into the fine young man I hope you will become.
If you are reading this letter you should be eleven years old and hopefully reading it with your mother, or failing that with Sirius Black, your Godfather, or Alice Longbottom, your Godmother. They will help explain the contents of this letter and of the Will accompanying it. If your mother isn't there please look in her trunk before you read my Will as there will be a letter from her in it.
I am writing this letter during a time of war, I work for the Ministry of Magic as an Investigative Auror in the Magical Law Enforcement Squad. I am also a member of an underground group known as The Order of the Phoenix. The Order helps collate information on the group known as Death Eaters, followers of the current self-styled 'Dark Lord' who calls himself Voldemort. The Order can collect information from sources that the Ministry won't accept. This is the only reason I work with them, they watch but do nothing.
For some unknown reason you have been designated a target by Voldemort, the Leader of the Death Eaters, who is trying to take over the Wizarding World. The Headmaster of Hogwarts, Albus Dumbledore, who is the Leader of the Order won't tell us why, but he has ordered us to go into hiding with you. Currently we are staying in one of our family's many properties. We are hiding under a Fidelius Charm cast by Dumbledore with my friend Peter Pettigrew as the Secret-Keeper. I am still working at the moment, but Dumbledore is putting pressure on me to resign my post and stay hidden with you and Lily. But I am a Potter and a Gryffindor, and hiding isn't in my nature.
I am writing this letter to explain your inheritance to you. You should have received your Hogwarts letter by now and be ready to take a trip to buy what you need for your first year at school. When you arrive at Gringotts, you should be given a key to a vault. The money that this vault contains is a Trust Fund which was set up by your Grandfather Potter on the day you were born. This money is to pay for your education and school supplies. If you have any brothers or sisters they will have similar Trust Funds, it's a Potter tradition. The money should last you through school and any subsequent training you decide on and help set up your first home afterwards.
Spend it wisely, take advice from the Goblins, ask for Chief Teller Holdfast, he is the Potter Family Account Manager he will help you.
You will inherit the Potter Family Estate when you come of age at seventeen. The principal, that is the base of the family money, and the properties owned by the family are held in trust and can only be used for investment. At seventeen you will join the Board and at twenty-one you will become the Head of the Board, this will take up most of your time as the holdings you will oversee are extensive.
Look to those on the Board for advice, they have experience in investments in both the Muggle and Wizarding Worlds.
I hope you have lived in peaceful times. Please understand this, I willingly fight to ensure that your generation doesn't have to. If I have to die to achieve this I will, but even more I hope I live to be there for you.
Well I'd like to write more but your mother is asking me to bathe you and put you to bed. No doubt we will both be in trouble with her again. She says I wind you up too much, but in this dark time I treasure every moment of fun I can have with you.
Your loving father
30th Oct 1981
P.S. if you have the misfortune to meet anyone called Snape, prank them mercilessly, it is your duty as a Potter.
Wiping tears from his eyes Harry put the letter from his father down and opened his mother's trunk. This trunk was similar to his own, in that it only had one compartment. On top of the contents was a letter addressed to him, he noticed that the writing was neater, he opened it and began to read.
If you are reading this letter my worst fears have come to pass and I have not survived the war. My only hope is that your father is there to read it with you, or failing that your Godfather Sirius, or Godmother Alice, who have promised to take care of you if anything happens to your father and I.
You should be eleven years old when you get this letter and preparing to go to Hogwarts. No doubt Sirius, Remus, Peter and your father have filled your head with pranks and tricks, but remember you are going there to learn. Have fun but make sure you keep it in the right place.
In this trunk you will find my journal. I started it the day I discovered I was pregnant with you. My greatest wish is that it will be a record of your life up to your wedding day and I can present it to you and your wife. Please read it, it will explain how things were in this dark time of war.
I've got to stop now, your father is supposed to be giving you a bath and putting you to bed, but from the laughter I can hear he's failing miserably as usual. The only time he smiles now is when he's having fun with you, even the rest of the Marauders can't raise his spirits.
Your Loving Mother,
30th Oct. 1981
P.S. a witch with the initials HJG will be very important to you. I'm not sure why but you need to find her and befriend her.
Before he could stop them the tears started to flow. Here at last were links back to his parents, he wept silent tears. Years of conditioning at the hands of the Dursleys had taught him to do this. If Dudley heard him crying, he would tease him mercilessly, or if his aunt or uncle heard him it only earned him a slap, kick or punch. Drying his tears he picked up the envelope containing his father's Will. He opened the seal and began to read:
This is the last Will and Testament of James Potter. I James Potter being of sound mind do hereby make the following bequests.
If my wife Lily Potter, should survive me, I bequeath fifty percent of the money in my personal vault to her, and grant her permission to live in whichever Potter Residence she so desires for the remainder of her life.
To my Son, Harry James Potter, I bequeath the remainder of my money and all other goods in my personal vault. The Potter Family vault and all the holdings of the Potter Family are bequeathed to Harry James Potter, for him to hold in trust for future generations. I ask one other thing of Harry, wherever you choose to live from the Potter Residences, please have a room available for any of the Marauders who still live, and always be welcoming to strangers.
It is the wish of Lily and myself that if Harry is orphaned by this war that Sirius Black is to have custody of him. or failing that Alice Longbottom. If neither can fulfil this task then we ask that Harry is placed with a Wizarding Family. A stipend of 5,000 Galleons, this amount to be raised by 500 Galleons a year or by the rate of inflation, whichever is the highest, should be paid to whoever raises Harry to ensure they are not financially burdened. Petunia and Vernon Dursley are to have no part in the upbringing of Harry as they despise all things magical.
Harry James Potter is to be made aware of this Will on his eleventh birthday. He is to be made aware of all decisions made by the Board of Trustees when he reaches fourteen. He will take his rightful place on the Board of Trustees when he comes of age at seventeen.Signed
James Potter 31st July 1981
Witnesses: Albus Dumbledore
Copies of this will are to be held at Gringotts Bank Family Trust Division and by Albus Dumbledore.
Harry was furious, Dumbledore had gone against his parents' wishes. He realised that with Sirius being in Azkaban he couldn't have stayed with him, and due to Alice and Frank's torture at the hands of Bellatrix he couldn't have stayed with them. But he should have been placed with Wizards and not with his Aunt and Uncle. Harry wondered how much more Dumbledore had interfered with his life.
Harry decided to search through his parents' trunks while he waited for Vernon to free him for the day. In the first compartment of his father's trunk he found both Muggle and Wizard clothes. Some of them looked a bit outdated, but also looked as if they would fit him better than Dudley's cast-offs. Harry was now about six foot tall, taller than Vernon and Dudley but he had a lean frame. His ban from Quidditch had led him to find other forms of exercise and he had kept himself honed and toned, something that few wizards bothered with.
In the next compartment was a treasure trove of books. All his father's textbooks from Hogwarts, his Auror Training Manuals and his notes from lectures. The title of one of the Auror books caught his eye: Tracking Charms; How to Detect, Cast and Remove Them. He quickly glanced through the index and found a chapter entitled Wand Tracking and the Underage Wizard.
Harry flicked through the pages until he reached the appropriate chapter. After reading it he decided that he would try to remove the Tracking Charm from his wand. This would allow him to practise spells throughout the summer. His reading had informed him that all wands sold to underage Wizards had a Tracking Charm placed on them by Ollivander. Any student turning up at Hogwarts with a second-hand wand had the charm discretely applied to their wand.
The Charm was partially sentient and automatically finished on it's owners seventeenth birthday. Harry's eyes were drawn to the tray he had lifted off the top of the trunk. There was his father's wand, he lifted it out and practiced the movements he was required to do and then quickly cast the spell on his wand, 'Tracus Finite'. He watched as his wand flashed gold then red as described in the book. Very quickly he changed wands and cast a 'Lumos' spell lighting his wand-tip. He stopped the spell and sat back to wait. After thirty minutes when no Ministry owls had arrived he knew his wand was untraceable.
In the chapter of the book he had read there had been a cross-reference to Personal Tracking Charms. With his curiosity aroused he read the chapter. The book explained that the tracking charms were normally used to track wizards or witches who were being investigated by the M.L.E.S. (Ministry Law Enforcement Squad). They had to be approved by one of the senior members of the Wizengamot to ensure that Wizarding Law was not being breached. There were instructions on how to cast, remove and detect the charms. All Aurors were expected to check themselves daily before going on shift to ensure they weren't being tracked by criminals.
Out of curiosity Harry cast a Charm Detection Spell on himself and found two. One of them was a Ministry spell, but the other one had been applied by Dumbledore. The Detection Spell had caused the name of each Charm and the caster's name to be shown. The Ministry spell had been placed on him by Umbridge, probably during one of his many detentions the previous year. Dumbledore's had been there most of his life.
In his search the previous day Harry had found an old dressmakers dummy. It was roughly his size, with some further reading in his father's book, he was able to transfer the Tracking Charms from himself onto the dummy. He decided that it was time for him to have some freedom for a change.
Below him he heard the Dursley household coming to life, so he hid the trunks from view and sat on his bed contemplating what he would do first. His uncle put his head through the hatch and spoke.
"Potter, you have fifteen minutes to get washed and down to the kitchen and collect today's rations. If you're late you don't eat, give me your box so we can fill it for you."
Harry handed over the box and made his way to the bathroom, quickly using the facilities and having a shower. He had decided that he would only use his pail in dire circumstances. He made it to the kitchen with two minutes to spare, the box was thrust into his hand and he was told to go back to his room.
When Harry got back to his room he opened the box to see what his rations for the day would be and there they were. Six slices of bread, already going hard round the edges, more of the same cheese as the previous evening, half a litre of water and the tin of soup, again no method of heating or eating it was available. Harry knew he had to get out of 4 Privet Drive quickly or he would end up starving to death.
Just then a barn owl he didn't recognise flew in through the open skylight and landed near him. The owl stuck out it's leg to allow him to remove the letter it was carrying. He opened it and read.
Thank you for your note. I am glad you arrived safely. Unfortunately I can't allow you to use Hedwig for your correspondence as she is too recognisable, Hagrid has promised to care for her until you return to school. Please send your next letter with this owl and we will reply using random owls from Hogwarts. I have to ask you not to write to anyone except the Order to ensure your safety, also due to increased Death Eater activity, you will have to remain at Privet Drive until it is time to return to school. I will arrange for your school supplies to be picked up by someone and delivered to you at Platform 9¾ on September 1st. Please address all further correspondence to The Manager, Phoenix Light Company, London.
Harry felt the rage grow within him, the old git was doing it again. Isolating him from his friends and keeping him prisoner in the same way he had kept Sirius prisoner at Grimmauld Place.
As he felt the rage grow he heard a voice in his brain, 'don't get mad, get even, Dumbledore isn't here, save your anger for when you can confront him, you need a plan of action use that brain for once.'
He grinned as he realised the voice sounded very like his best female friend, 'Not even at school and she's still helping me.' He thought to himself.