Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of the characters whose names are found in the Harry Potter books written by J.K. Rowling. This is merely for the fun and entertainment of Fanfiction readers.

Idea: What if Harry Potter had been raised by his Aunt and Uncle differently? What if they had shown Harry the affection of "raising one of their own" as Dumbledore had asked them too? Would he still be the Gryffindor Golden Boy? This takes us down the long hard path of what ifs as we ponder…

"Harry dear, it's time to wake up." A soft voiced crooned from the other side of Harry's door. It was the middle of summer and Harry was excited, his birthday was less than a week away. His Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon had promised to take him shopping for a birthday present or two. Harry rather liked his birthdays. They were never as fun as Dudley's, but then again, he wasn't their only son. Harry thought back on his birthday's over the last few years.

His ninth birthday had been a particularly memorable day. Uncle Vernon had given Harry a new bike, not as good as the bike Dudley had received for his birthday, but still a nice, new bike. Harry and Dudley had gone riding and happened upon a snake that was living in the woods. Harry was amazed that he understood the snake, and asked the snake if it would scare his cousin for him. Harry didn't do this to be cruel, just nine-year-old mischief. Dudley was absolutely terrified when the snake, though relatively small, struck at him. Even though it had fell a few inches short of biting him, Dudley rode home frightened out of his mind.

For his tenth birthday, Uncle Vernon had given Harry a set of soccer goals and a new soccer uniform. Harry liked this gift the best because he had loved soccer ever since he had started playing four years before. Uncle Vernon was quite proud of Harry for his natural ability and interest in the sport; leaving work early many afternoons to attend Harry's games. Harry's Aunt showed up for the games sometimes as well. At first she made comments about how dirty Harry's uniform would be after the games, but when she saw him play she learned that the dirtier his uniform was the more his team won by.

Harry also remembered his aunt and uncle telling him that he was special. There was something different about himthat seperated himfrom everyone else that he knew. They never explained that aspect very well, but they told him that it had something to do with the lightening shaped scar on his forehead. They also told Harry that the reasonthings often happened around him that couldn't be explained were because he was special. Such as the time he had ended up on the roof when Dudley and him had gotten into a fight. Similar odd occurrences had happened when Harry was feeling some sort of stress. They encouraged Harry to control his temper.

Harry was certainly well taken care of by his aunt and uncle. He didn't receive the same doting that his cousin, Dudley, was given but Harry was not nearly as spoiled as his cousin. Even at the age of ten Harry knew that he wasn't nearly as spoiled as his cousin, but he didn't mind because it had been explained to him several times that even though his relatives loved him very much, Dudley was their only son. Harry was very grateful to his aunt and uncle, and he even worked extra hard on his and Dudley's shared chores to try and impress them.

Harry particularly liked cooking and baking with his Aunt Petunia. He seemed very adept at learning how to make different dishes and what was required to make them properly. She often told Harry stories about his mother Lily. Aunt Petunia would tell Harry how much she was reminded of her sister when she was with Harry. Harry had his mother's eyes. They were a brilliant emerald color that seemed to reflect the beautiful world around him. Harry had asked what had happened to his parents once.

When he was younger his aunt and uncle would tell him that they would tell him when he was older. Eventually Harry was able to coax the story out of his aunt. She told Harry that his parents had been murdered by someone who was very evil. She didn't know why, but she showed Harry the letter that had been left with him when he had been left on the Dursley's doorstep. It didn't explain much, but at least Harry finally knew the truth. Aunt Petunia told Harry that the scar on his forehead was from when the evil man had tried to kill Harry but was somehow prevented by his mother. That evil man was believed to be dead, but no one was really sure. When Harry asked her what the evil man's name was, Aunt Petunia shrugged and said that no one had ever told her because they were afraid to say his name. Not fully understanding the last part Harry believed his aunt because he knew she wasn't lying, he did not know how he knew but he was certain that she spoke the truth.

Now as it was a week before his birthday, Harry's aunt and uncle were taking him into London to go window shopping for his eleventh birthday. Dudley was spending the day with his friends at the park, probably bullying smaller children, so they went into town, just the three of them. They went into clothing stores, getting Harry sized for uniforms that he would need for his new school that he and Dudley would be attending in the fall, although they didn't purchase any of them and Harry was unsure of why, but noticed that Aunt Petunia put the list of his sizes into her purse. Maybe she knew of a store that had cheaper uniforms Harry thought.

They looked through a few sports stores Harry knew of and a few toy stores. Harry didn't really play with many toys, but he did like building Lego models on rainy days. Most of his sunny days were spent playing soccer or cricket with other neighborhood children at the park. As the day went on Harry grew more excited about his upcoming birthday, wondering what his aunt and uncle would come back and buy him. When noon rolled around they took Harry to a nice restaurant for lunch and let Harry order anything that he wanted. Noticing the smile on his face his aunt and uncle were pleased. They didn't treat Harry to such pleasantries often and they were fully enjoyed and appreciated when they came around. Uncle Vernon often wondered if they had raised Harry better than his own son, who didn't have the same manners that Harry did.

That night when Harry went to sleep, he had dreams about soccer, legos and birthday cakes. What Harry didn't know is that his life was going to change a great deal the next day; he also didn't know that it was a day that his aunt and uncle had been waiting for ever since they had taken Harry into their care. For the two of them it was a much anticipated day and they had been raising Harry as one of their own for their own reasons.

Vernon and Petunia Dursley knew that Harry Potter was a wizard from the day that he was born, when Lily and James Potter had sent them an owl telling them of Harry's birth. Of course the Dursley's did not know where Godric's Hollow was so they couldn't visit. The Potter's were in hiding from an evil Lord which prevented them from seeing Harry until the untimely death of the Potter's left Harry on their doorstep. They had been raising Harry well because they knew that having a wizard in their home, though it seemed odd, might come in handy one day. Especially if Harry was as powerful as they had been led to believe, killing an evil Lord when he was just a baby. As they raised Harry they grew very fond of him and eventually it was like having a second son, which they often referred to him as. They didn't let this go to his head though, and Harry never seemed as though it would, Harry just seemed happy to live in a comfortable home.

They next morning when Harry awoke, he found himself preparing breakfast with his aunt as they did most days. Harry liked cooking the bacon and eggs the most. Harry seemed to be a natural at cooking and everything he made always tasted exquisite. Dudley liked Harry's cooking because Harry always made Dudley extra food. Dudley had an incredibly healthy appetite for someone his age, and even though Harry wasn't afraid of Dudley the Bully, Harry knew that having someone like Dudley on your side could be useful.

Dudley and Harry weren't best friends, but they did feel almost like brothers. While they were at school Harry would always help Dudley with his schoolwork and Dudley would beat up anyone that crossed either of them. It was almost as if they were brothers sometimes, but Harry and Dudley didn't exactly walk in the same circles. Harry was usually with his sports buddies who knew to fear the wrath of Dudley and Dudley was with the other school bullies who knew well enough to leave Harry alone.

That particular July morning was incredibly beautiful. The early morning sun was shining brilliantly, slowly rising in the cloudless sky. The sunlight reflecting off the morning dew added a brilliant green effect that can only be seen on sunny summer mornings. As the Dursley's and Harry settled into their breakfast, Harry was regaling Uncle Vernon with stories of one of his favorite soccer players. Harry had watched a soccer game on the television the previous night before going to bed and was very excited to tell his uncle about a new trick he'd seen his favorite player do. Harry was wanted to try it out later and was asking his uncle if he could go to the park with some of his friends later. Uncle Vernon was stilled amazed at the boy's modesty. Harry probably knew full well that he did not need to ask, as Dudley only told his parents that he was going to the park, but he always asked anyway.

The window in the kitchen was open and surprising everyone present at the table, a plain, brown owl flew through the window landing in front of Harry. The owl dropped a letter in front of Harry and flew off, gone as quickly as it had arrived. Harry was in complete shock. Had an owl just flew in the kitchen window, dropped a letter on his plate and then flew off? There certainly was a letter sitting on top of his eggs. Where did it come from?

Harry looked up at his aunt and uncle, hoping they would explain the situation to him. They urged him to open the letter and read it. The letter was addressed to Harry, but had no stamps on it and the address was a little odd. It was definitely for Harry though. At his aunt and uncle's urging, Harry cautiously opened the letter and read what was inside.

Harry re-read the letter, as he would find himself doing many times that summer and then looked up at his aunt and uncle in complete shock. The letter told Harry that he was a wizard and that he was being asked to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He also found a list of books and materials that he would need to attend the school. There was a separate note inside that told him that someone from the school would pay Harry a visit later that summer to take him to a place called Diagon Alley where he could get the things he needed. It also detailed that his aunt and uncle were invited to come as well as they might need to know about the place in years to come.

Harry looked incredulously from the letter to his aunt and Uncle. This was very odd indeed. Was this what they had meant when they had told Harry that he was special? Harry didn't fully understand what was happening. Aunt Petunia finally told Harry that his mother, her sister Lily, had been a witch born with magical powers. She had married a wizard and Harry had been born with magical powers as well. She said that the odd things that often happened around him were a result of his magic. Uncle Vernon then explained to Harry that while he was a Wizard, the Magic People had "their own world" that existed within the world Harry knew. It was all a bit much for Harry to take in all at once, but he eventually understood them.

As the summer went on, Harry grew more and more excited about his new school and the wonderful world of magic that awaited him. He often tried to focus his magic to make things happen around him. It never really worked the way he thought it might, but Harry was determined to try anyway. They only thing he noticed was that he could now make a soccer ball go further and faster when he wanted it to. Harry hoped that his new school would have a soccer team he could play on. What Harry didn't know was that Hogwarts did not have a soccer team, but Harry would indeed be playing a sport.

At the end of August, Harry was excited and anxious for the coming school year. Harry had looked over his schedule many times, wondering what his classes would be like. He had subjects including Charms, Defense against the Dark arts, Herbology, History of Magic, Potions and Transfiguration. Harry wondered what they would be like, but he mostly wondered what his Potions class would be like. Harry liked to cook immensely and thought that he would like Potions the best. On one particularly bright and sunny August day, Harry was in the Dursley's backyard practicing soccer when his Aunt Petunia called him into the house.

She led him into the sitting room, where Vernon Dursley was having a polite conversation with a well dressed man. He appeared to be very normal as far as Harry could see. He looked like one of Uncle Vernon's colleagues from work, wearing a neat and expensive looking black suit. His dark hair was cut short and he had a look of seriousness about him. He was nodding as Vernon spoke. When Harry walked into the room, guided by Aunt Petunia, the man smiled at Harry and made introductions.

"Ah, you must be Harry Potter, a pleasure to meet you m'boy, a pleasure indeed." The man smiled as he shook Harry's hand. "My name is Frederick Smith. I work for the Ministry of Magic. Albus Dumbledore requested that I come and take you and your family to Diagon Alley this afternoon." Mr. Smith said in a friendly voice. Harry was unsure of what to say. He was in awe of the person sitting in front of him. He worked for the Ministry of Magic; surely this must be an important person.

Harry had many questions for Mr. Smith as they made their way to Diagon Alley. They went in a car that Mr. Smith had said was provided by the Ministry. Aunt Petunia had come along, saying that she hadn't been to Diagon Alley since her sister had attended Hogwarts. Vernon Dursley stayed at home with Dudley. Harry asked about his classes and Mr. Smith told him a little, but warned Harry that it would be best if he waited until he got to school to worry about that. Mr. Smith told Harry that eventually the novelty of him being a wizard would wear off when he realized how much homework the Professor's were bound to pour on him. Harry and his aunt laughed at this. Aunt Petunia told Harry a story from when Lily had been at Hogwarts studying for her exams and how hard she had to work to get good marks.

Harry asked Mr. Smith who Albus Dumbledore was and was informed that he was a very powerful wizard and one of the best Headmasters that Hogwarts had ever had. Harry was surprised to find out that Mr. Smith had been one of Dumbledore's students many years previously. Harry wondered if Mr. Smith had known his parents. Mr. Smith told Harry that his parents were in their seventh year when he started, so Mr. Smith knew of the Potter's, he had never known them. They had been in a different house than him as well. At this Harry asked more questions, and Mr. Smith answered them as best as he could, not wanting to tell the boy too much about his new school.

When the trio came to the Leaky Cauldron, they entered and began to walk toward the back of the bar. Harry noticed that the bar had gone silent when he walked into it. The patrons of the Leaky Cauldron seemed to be staring at him. One scraggly looking man approached Harry and shaking Harry's hand enthusiastically said how pleased he was to meet "the Harry Potter." This happened several times as Harry walked to the back of the bar. When they finally were in the back room and Mr. Smith touched the appropriate bricks with a wand, Harry asked Mr. Smith why everyone was so enthused to meet him.

This took a great deal of explaining, but Mr. Smith told Harry the more complete version of the story his aunt had told him. Telling Harry that the Potters had been murdered by a Dark Lord because they had defied him and when the Dark Lord went to kill Harry, his curse was reflected back and killed the Dark Lord who had cast the curse. To the Wizarding World, Harry was known as the Boy-Who-Lived, slayer of the Dark Lord, whose name shall not me mentioned, and savior of wizards everywhere. When Harry asked his aunt why she had never told him this, she told him that she didn't know, as she was not a witch and that this specific aspect of the story had never been explained to her until now. Judging by the shocked look on her face, Harry knew that she wasn't lying.

Harry was slightly shocked to learn that the Wizarding world had a different currency than Muggles. He was even more surprised when he learned that he had inherited a small fortune from his parents. Mr. Smith had Harry withdraw an amount of money that would be necessary for him to use that day and during his stay at Hogwarts, and then led Harry and his aunt through Diagon Alley.

Receiving many more curious looks as the day progressed, Harry was led around Diagon Alley and showed the places where he cold purchase books, robes, quills, parchment and inkwells, familiars, cauldrons, trunk, a potion kit and finally a wand. Mr. Smith had saved getting a wand for last. When they entered Ollivander's wand shop Harry was filled with awe. Despite everything he had seen that day Harry was still awestruck as he learned something new about the wizarding world. It took some time before they found the right wand for Harry. Ollivander himself was surprised by the wand that chose Harry as well, telling Harry that the Phoenix who gave the feather for that particular wand had only given a feather for one other wand. Once Harry had his wand and everything he needed for school, Mr. Smith took Harry over to Eeylop's Owl Emporium and brought Harry a Snow Owl, telling him that it was a gift from the Ministry. Harry took an immediate liking to the owl and named it Hedwig.

When the left Diagon Alley, Harry noticed that his aunt was carrying a wrapped parcel. He never had a chance to ask her what it was, because Mr. Smith was telling Harry the rules of having a wand. Under no circumstances was Harry to use any magic at all until he was within the walls of Hogwarts. When Mr. Smith dropped them off at Number 4 Privet drive, he bade them goodbye and good luck to Harry.

The night before Harry was to be taken to King's Cross for his train ride to the school, Harry received a visit from his Aunt Petunia. She presented him with the package that he had noticed her carrying when they left Diagon Alley. When he opened it, Harry was surprised to find an advanced potion making kit. Aunt Petunia had heard him talking about Potions and how much it intrigued Harry while they were with Mr. Smith that she had decided to get Harry a better than basic set. She talked for awhile with Harry about Lily, telling Harry that she had been very handy with Potions. When she finally said goodnight to her nephew and tucked him in, she gave him a smile before he fell asleep.

The next day would be very exciting for Harry Potter as he as about to be immersed in the wonderful world of Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry.