Disclaimer: Don't own it! If I did, I would be making money. /opens wallet and moths fly out/ No money. No ownie.
Chapter 1: Discovery
In Number Four Privet Drive, a ten-year-old boy lay on a cot in the cupboard underneath the stairs. He had a crop of wild, dark hair and a pair of brilliant emerald green eyes that sparkled behind his round glasses.
He was lying awake, hands behind his head, waiting for the sound of the clock in the hallway. When the last of the twelve chimes sounded, he would be eleven. Somehow the age was important to him. Why he didn't know, it just – was.
Minutes ticked by like centuries and then his heart leapt as the first chime sounded.
"Twelve," whispered the boy as the last chime sounded and he was officially eleven-years-old. He still didn't know the significance of the age but an odd feeling was rising up in him. Like soon – very soon – he would know why.
He just had to wait for it.
The boy sighed and flicked a wandering spider off his pillow. It hit the wall with a dull thwack and flopped down to the floor. He followed its fall with his eyes and jumped when he saw a cold, blue light shining under the door of the cupboard. Scrambling into a sitting position, he ducked his head and clutched his ragged blanket like a shield, waiting for the door to open…
He blinked open one eye and looked at the bottom of the door. The light was gone but something white winked up at him from the floorboards. With the curiosity that all children have, he climbed off the cot and picked it up.
The blue light from earlier flashed underneath the door and he leapt back up onto his cot, grabbing a torch from a makeshift table. He flicked it on and turned its beam of light on the door, whereupon the blue light vanished from sight in the bright beam. When he turned the torch off, the light was gone again.
Nervously eying the door, he flicked the torch on again and turned it to the letters in his hands. The topmost one read:
Mr. H. Potter
The Cupboard under the Stairs
4 Privet Drive
He blinked at the address, wondering how someone knew about his cupboard. As far as he knew, no one knew about it, which was the reason he was still stuck in this hellhole. He was certain that locking a child in a cupboard wasn't something that would make the police like you very much.
Turning the envelope over, he peered at the seal, which were four animals entwined about a huge 'H'. If he was seeing correctly, it was a lion, a snake, a badger, and an eagle – each done in such detail that they almost seemed alive. He swore the snake was flicking its tongue at him.
Shrugging it off, he ripped open the envelope and pulled out the letter inside. He mouthed the words on it to himself, barely believing what it read.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Headmaster: Albus Dumbledore
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)
Dear Mr. Potter,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on September 1st. We await your owl by no later than July 31.
"'We await your owl?'" repeated eleven-year-old Harry Potter to himself. He blinked a few times at the letter then laid it down beside him as he turned his attention to the second letter.
The second letter was much different than the first. It had been pale gold parchment with green ink while the second was blacker than night with ink as red as blood (which was the reason he hadn't seen it). The address read as such:Mister Harold Jamison Potter
The Cupboard underneath the Stairs
4 Privet Drive
The second mentioning of the cupboard was strange. But the mention of his full name was just plain weird. He hadn't thought anyone knew his full name but him. Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon probably didn't even know it. Even if they did, they'd still call him by his surname.
Flipping the envelope over, he found another seal. This one was a black wyvern entwined about a large, Gothic 'S'. Like the creatures of the previous seal, the wyvern seemed to have a life of its own. Harry swore it had winked at him just before he'd ripped the black envelope open.
The sheet of parchment he pulled from the envelope was black as well with the same blood red ink.
It is my duty to inform you of something of grave importance to you. Your mother gave me this duty many years ago…
My mother! thought Harry in alarm. He pulled the letter close and read the whole of it hurriedly, as though it might disappear if he didn't.
It is my duty to inform you of something of grave importance to you. Your mother gave me this duty many years ago.
I know that you probably don't remember her and might be wondering why I would honor such an old promise. But I am an honorable man – despite what some might say – and I swore I would honor this promise if your mother were killed.
Firstly, I must tell you now that whatever your aunt and uncle have told you of your parent's death is likely false. Judging from what your mother told me of her sister, they probably told you some lie about them dying in a car crash or some other disaster. Drunk perhaps.
That is not the truth. Your parents were killed – murdered – by a Dark Wizard called Voldemort. His true name is Tom Marvolo Riddle. Guard that secret with your life and if you ever face him (which I hope you do not), do not call him by that name. He despises it.
Voldemort was dispelled ten years ago on Halloween night in a town called Godric's Hollow. That was where your parents lived and that is where they died. You alone survived, with only the lightning bolt scar on your forehead to prove anything had happened. Voldemort was nowhere to be found and you were given the title 'The Boy-Who-Lived'. You were the boy who had defeated Voldemort.
But he was not defeated. I tell you this now because I know. I know he still lurks somewhere out there. I was one of his followers. They – the wizarding world – called us Death Eater's. Voldemort never named any but the inner circle, called the Fatale. I was of that circle for many years before an incident happened that forced me to see what a monster I – and my compatriots – had become. I turned away from Voldemort and became a spy among his ranks. This is another secret you must keep, Harry. Only a few know of my spying. Be careful with whom you entrust this information.
As to the promise…you have power, Harry. True power. The sort of power that most wizards can only dream of. Your mother cast a charm upon you to dampen it until your eleventh birthday – which is today. At that moment, the spell began to disintegrate. By the time you reach Hogwarts, it will have hopefully not gone enough to draw attention. If it does, I shall have to do my best to get you away. I tell you now, Harry, that you are not like other wizards. How I shall not reveal in this letter. I wish to tell you face to face, where I can judge your reaction to it. It will be a burden. But one I am certain you will be able to bear. I always sensed your mother's courage in you. I hope I was correct.
I shall see you on September 1st. Hide behind the main staircase in the entrance hall. You will understand when you reach Hogwarts.
Dutifully yours,Severus Snape
"I'm a wizard," breathed Harry, staring at the letter in his hands. "I'm a wizard…"
He then shook his head and said, "This is nuts…but…I don't know. It seems…right."
He looked at the letter again then folded it up and put both letters back into their envelopes. Getting down off his cot, he pried up a loose floorboard underneath it and sat the letters down on top of an rusty coffee tin. He looked at them for a moment before he replaced the board and climbed back up onto his cot, pulling his blanket over himself.
His mind was whirling through the contents of both letters, deciding that neither were jokes. Especially not the second one. He didn't know why but he believed Severus Snape's words.
The difficulty now was how to get to Hogwarts. His aunt and uncle despised even the suggestion of magic and would never allow him to go to a place where he'd be able to learn the gift.
Harry swore to himself then and there that he would find a way to get to Hogwarts, no matter what. He'd felt like something in his life was missing for so long and now, with this acknowledgment, it felt like whatever that something was had returned.
It was a good feeling.
Harry smiled to himself and curled up on the cot, slowly drifting off into sleep with his dreams filled with owls delivering letters and broomsticks that flew.