Part One
The New Neighbors

Author's Note:


Disclaimer: I own nothing. In fact, any people that you don't recognize are the property of themselves since they didn't seem to want my help in creating their characters.

Aside from this being my first story posted here, I figured I'd see how it went over. The entire idea was not supposed to be what it is, and as you read, you'll understand. The Characters in this story decided to shape themselves. I actually have quite a bit of this written, but I wanted to see how readers would react to this little venture of mine. Feedback is most appreciated, and please don't be afraid to rake it across the coals. I have other things, but this was so. . . intriguing, I felt I should see what the readers said about it.

I do hope you enjoy!

Harry Potter, almost thirteen, would be in under two weeks, stared out the window and sighed. It was a beautiful day but the Dursleys were angry with him and he thought it would be best to stay inside, out of the dirt or anything else he could track into the house, and so was currently people watching. They were getting new neighbors in Number Two Private Drive just across the street, and Harry would hear distinctly American accents drifting though the open window.

A small woman, just two or three inches over Harry's height came into view, her long fire-red hair pulled into a high pony-tail. She shouted to a boy that had to be at least fifteen to bring something to her and disappeared back into the house. Harry blinked at the boy's long hair, it fell to the small of his back with long bangs in the front that varied from nose length to past his chin, tied in a top knot, and grinned. Aunt Petunia would have a fit when she saw his hair. Two little girls that looked just alike appeared for a few moments, collecting a few more boxes, then disappeared inside. Harry sighed, wishing he could be outside, then wondering if the boy would be friends with Dudley and try to beat him up like Dudley was prone to. The boy turned for a moment, saw Harry, and offered a bright smile and wave. Harry felt himself blush and ducked quickly behind the curtains, wishing he hadn't been so stupid. Uncle Vernon would be angry.

"We have new neighbors!" Aunt Petunia's screech announced at the door. "I didn't know they were moving in! Good thing I have a jelly mold already made. Let's invite them over for supper, Vernon. I bet they're so tired from unpacking."

Harry huffed. His aunt probably thought they looked rich and that it was a good idea to get in their good graces. And it wasn't likely that Petunia didn't know they were moving in, she looked out that window like there was no tomorrow if there was no good gossip. Well, at least they'd take him, if only to warn the neighbors.

"Boy!" Vernon snapped. Harry sighed. Right again. The twelve year old made his way to the door lazily and looked over his family. Dudley still looked like a pig in a wig, Petunia was horse-faced as ever, and Vernon now reminded Harry of a purple whale. Nice to know. "Come on, boy."

Harry didn't say anything, just followed them across the street where Vernon knocked heavily on the door. One of the small black haired girls he had seen pulled the door open and raised an eyebrow. Her hip-length, curly hair was black enough to give it a blue sheen, and her eyes were bright blue-green, like jewels. A dusting of freckles crossed her nose and she was, undoubtedly, the most adorable child Harry had ever seen. "May I help you?" The girl inquired politely.

"Is your mummy here?" Petunia simpered, and the girl's eyes narrowed.

"I'm seven." The little girl announced, frowning. Harry blinked. She looked about five. "And yes, Mom is home. Do you want to speak to her?"

"Yes, please," Petunia simpered again, as though she hadn't heard the girl. The child huffed, but turned.

"MOM!" She shouted, making the group cover their ears. Her American accent was thick and heavy.

"What is it, River?" The small woman Harry had notice appeared, and he grinned at her dishevled appearence. She was dressed in a tank top and shorts, whisps of curly red hair escaping her pony tail. "Oh, hello! Where are your manners, you little cretin?" The woman demanded, inviting the Dursleys inside and apologizing for her daughter's behavior.

"Quite all right," Petunia smiled. "We just brought you a jelly mold and thought you might want to come over for supper."

The woman smiled. "That would be wonderful. I'm Chara Lugovalos. From the U.S.. It's nice to meet you."

Vernon introduced the family, and Chara nodded in reply, shaking Vernon's hand firmly. "Pleasure." She replied, then glanced at her daughter. "Go get Phyrrus and Rayne, please."

River nodded and dissappeared, her small, bare feet pattering through the house. "Do you like it here?" Chara asked, wiping sweat off her brow.

"Oh yes," Petunia smiled. "Nice and normal. No. . . funny things." She glanced at Harry while she said it. Chara frowned, looking the boy over. Her bight blue green eyes flicked up to his forehead, lazily glancing over his scar, then to his green eyes. Chara tilted her head, a look of recognition crossing her features, and Harry waited for an outburst that didn't come. Whatever connection she had made, it wasn't likely it was with his name.

"Mom?" The tall boy Harry had seen stepped into the room, grinning. "What'cha need?"

"New neighbors. Petinua, Vernon, this is my son, Phyrrus--though most of the world seems to know him as Flame. Phyrrus, these are the Durselys, and their nephew Harry Potter." Harry found himself looking into a pair of fiery golden eyes. They did the familier flick to his scar, but the boy seemed unimpressed, so Harry didn't bring it up.

The girl returned, dragging another with her, looking just alike except her eyes were a pale blue-green, more of a grey color. The two girls smiled and Harry noticed that River had a dimple in her right cheek while the new girl's was in her left. "I'm River," The first girl announced. "That's Rayne. We're mirror twins."

Chara slapped her forehead and sighed. "They just discovered that. They're a bit stuck on it. Give it a week, they'll quit." Phyrrus muttered something Harry missed, but Chara seemed to hear. She gave her son a brief glare.

"What are mirror twins?" Petunia asked, looking from one girl to the other.

"River is right dominate and Rayne is left," Chara grumbled. "Thus, mirror twins. They mirror each other. Don't mind them, they're seven and won't let anything drop. Phyrrus, believe it or not, is thirteen."

"So is Dudley!" Petunia simpered, and Chara's smile seemed to grow more strained.

"I know we haven't known you long, but could I ask a favor?" Chara pasted a smile on. "Could your boys show my children to the nearest park? They've been cooped up here with me all day and they're getting antsy, then we could have some adult talk. How's that?"

"Lovely. Dudley, Harry, why don't you do that?" Petunia obviously was giving Harry no choice, but when Dudley whined she allowed him to go home. Chara sent her children to put on shoes and Phyrrus grabbed a backpack with a soccer ball, football, and frisbee in it while he was in his room. That would give them something to do while at the park.

Harry raised an eyebrow at them. All three of them were dressed in cut-off shorts made from blue jeans, and Phyrrus had on a green tank top while the girls were in tee-shirts, River's was purple and Rayne's was pink. Phyrrus was also in bright green converse shoes. Phyrrus winked and pulled them all from the house, shouting a quick good-bye to his mother and was informed in no uncertain terms that if he wasn't home at six he'd be grounded. That left three hours for them to play. Great!

Phyrrus winked at Harry and turned to his sisters. "Okay, we're going to play pretend, all right?" He asked, making the two girls squeal. "You're part of Robin Hood's merry band of thieves and we've just stolen a bag of loot. The park is Sherwood forest and you two have to make sure Harry and I get it there without being attacked, got it? And no sparkles you two, understand?"

"Uh huh!" The twins choursed, immediately diving for cover and pretending to be on the look out for Prince John's men. Phyrrus smirked and glanced at Harry.

"That gets them out of our hair. So, you're the famous Harry Potter." Phyrrus looked Harry over, and Harry felt his cheeks turn pink. "Kind of small, aren't you? They always make you out to be larger than life. At least over here."

Harry tilted his head. "You're magic? And you aren't. . . I dunno. . . star struck?"

"The upside to being American is that we have a large ocean between us and Europe. Voldemort's attacks on us were small scale simply because of the distance. Besides, the American mindset is much different than the European. We didn't take well to his ideas, according to Mom." Phyrrus shrugged. "So we haven't put you on a pedistle, though we've heard of you, certainly."

"Wow. I have got to go there." Harry breathed. The thought of having an almost normal life made him grin. "So you are magic?"

"Of course!" Phyrrus sounded slightly offended. "Couldn't you tell?"

"I dunno. You do stuff very. . . muggle. And most magical people wouldn't move into a muggle neighborhood." Harry shrugged.

Phyrrus blinked. "Why not? I know Mom said that you hid yourselves more here, but she didn't say you were stayed away from everyone. Don't a lot of wizards live in mundane society?"

"What's mundane?"

"Oh, sorry. That's what we call non-magic people. You know, muggles."

"Oh. Then no, most of us don't live in muggle society.. The purebloods think it's the worst thing to ever happen, including muggleborn students, and wizards hide away from muggles. Don't they do that everywhere?" Harry was floored. What was America like?

Phyrrus frowned, looking dreadfully confused. "I guess I just don't understand," Phyrrus finally admitted, sighing. "See, in America most of the magical people live amongst the mundanes. They don't know much about magic, but we don't do anything to strange to get their attention. I mean, if they know, so what? Most people would think they were crazy for thinking such a thing. So we don't announce ourselves, but we hardly hide ourselves."

Harry shrugged. "So is Mrs. Lugovalos muggle?"

"Mom? Naw, she's as magical as the world gets. She's a healer, we moved here so she could work at St. Mungo's, ya know? Dad was a squib, a mostly non-magical person born to magical people, with the power to. . . he always called it shadow porting. Teleporting things--including people--through shadows. That was his squib power. We're not sure where the affinity came from, though. He liked the sunlight more than words."

"Squib power?" Talking to Phyrrus was like talking to Hermione.

"Er. . . every squib has a magical ability. Shadows were Dad's. He was. . . very good at." Phyrrus said quietly.

"What happened to him?" Harry didn't miss the use of past tense.

"He died. He was driving to see. . . my Martial Arts tournament one Saturday. He was on the highway to get there. Mom had taken me and the girls because he had to pick something up, but he left in pleanty of time to see my match. The guy that hit him was driving an eighteen wheeler, drunk. They said that. . . that Dad died immediately. His car exploded." Phyrrus paused to wipe away his tears, but looked determined. "I fought in the tournament anyway, to make him proud. Took first."

"Wow. That's sad." Harry blinked.

"I don't want your pity," Phyrrus snapped.

Harry grinned. "Okay. No problem. But you get it. I mean, loosing a parent. None of my friends do. They have loving families with both parents. But you get it, at least on some level."

Phyrrus shrugged. "I feel like a total retard, telling you about Dad like that. Makes me sound like some brooding kid with this uber tragic past that just can't get over it and has to have some swooning hero to save them."

"I think that was your mom's place," Harry muttered, rolling his eyes. "Except for the swooning part."

"Yeah, well, Mom doesn't take shit from anyone," Phyrrus laughed. "Okay, enough of this depressing shit. Dad died, but he'd be proud of me. So I'll deal. You want to play soccer?"

Harry rolled his eyes. "You Americans," He muttered, huffing. "It's bloody football."

"Like hell!" Phyrrus announced, and the two argued the rest of the way to the park like old friends.

River and Rayne were only too happy to join the boys in a game of football, excited to play with their big brother and his friend. Although they insisted on full tackle American football. River was on Harry's team. They got slaughtered. It was five thirty before they began the treck home, Harry making sure to warn them about his relatives.

"That's icky," River announced, wrinkling her nose. "Who could think magic was bad?" She looked at her wand--seven inches of willow and dragon heartstring--in contemplation, and Harry felt his jaw drop.

"You have a wand?"

"Course I do!" River told him, frowning. "I'm a witch, ain't I?"

"We don't get them until we're eleven here," Harry explained, and Rayne's small face creased in a frown.

"Well, how're you 'posed to do magic if you ain't got a wand?" She asked, tilting her head and glancing at her own, simliar to River's at seven inches of willow, but with Unicorn tail hair instead. "We start learnin' magic at five. Mom says me an' River're precotus."

"Precocious," Phyrrus corrected, shaking his head, poking Harry with his wand. It was ten and three quaters inches of Sycamore and pheonix feather. "They only learn the movements and start with the latin then. River and Rayne are only at basic spells--but they're moving far faster than they should be. We move slower at home than here because we start so early. I'm a seventh grader and a lot better than them."

"Seventh grader? Is that like year seven?" Harry tried to put together the school systems, but didn't understand what Phyrrus meant. "Are you ready to graduate, then?"

"Ch', not a chance. I still got five years left." Phyrrus laughed. "I'll be a third year at Hogwarts this year. Mom transferred us because of her job. The headmaster agreed to let the girls in as first years, but your ministry hasn't got trackers on our wands, so we'll still be able to magic over breaks. 'Ne ways, the girls aren't that good yet and Mom can fix whatever mischief they get into. No matter than they are smarter than the average seven year old."

"So you get to baby sit?" Harry laughed. "Since Hogwarts is a boarding school. I go there too! I'll be a third year. I'm in Gryffindor."

"Kick ass." Phyrrus smirked. "They'll go home through the floo on weekends, but the rest of the week they'll stay at the school. They'll start as first years this year, and go through the curiculum like usual, but then they'll stay at Hogwarts as aids until they're seventeen. You think I'll be in your classes?"

"Hopefully." Harry smiled. "It'll be nice to have someone I know from home there."

Phyrrus grinned back, "Yeah, well, it'll be nice to know someone there at all."

"You'll know us!" Rayne protested, slightly upset about being left out of the conversation. "We're your sisters! An' we'll be there!"

"I'll have help protecting you," Phyrrus corrected, and River scowled.

"We don't need no protection," River informed him. "Me and Rayne'll take care of ourselves!"

"I'm sure you will," Phyrrus said softly, smiling at her and taking River's hand. Rayne smiled shyly at Harry and slipped her hand into his, a blush tinting her cheeks. Harry squeezed her hand gently and the little girl smiled at him brightly. Aww, Harry could help but think. She is too cute!

"Go get cleaned up for supper," Chara called as soon as she heard the door open and four pairs of feet clatter inside. "And wear something decent!"

"Yes, Mom!" Three voices choursed, and Harry stood awkwardly in the doorway, unsure what to do. Chara beckoned him inside, then gestured for him to shut the door. Harry did so and walked to her, blinking when she held out her arms.

"No mark," She explained, smiling and placing her wand--juniper and unicorn tail hair, eight inches--on the counter where Harry could see it. "So, you're Harry Potter."

"Yes, ma'am," Harry muttered, blushing.

"Ma'am?" Chara wondered out loud. "Geeze. . . I'm not that old, runt!" She grinned, inviting him to share her joke, and shrugged. "Just call me Mom or Mom Chara, that's about all I answer to anymore."

Harry stared at her with wide green eyes, his hands clentching into fists as he tried to prevent his tears. He had never called anyone mum before, that he could remember at least. He shook his head, blinking.

"Harry?" Chara asked, touching his shoulder.

"I've never. . ." Harry whispered, breaking down.

"Oh, sweetie," Chara murmured, gathering him into her arms. "I never even thought about that. Your mom wouldn't mind, you know. I'm not out to take her place."

Harry shook his head. "It's not that. I've never called anyone Mum. Ever, I think."

Chara wiped away his tears, gently kissing his forehead, just next to his scar. "It's going to be okay, sweetie. Here, let's get you back to your Aunt's so you can clean up too, okay? I'll see you at supper, okay sweetie?"

Harry nodded, controling his tears. "We will speak of this tomorrow," Chara promised, kissing his forehead again.

"Thanks M--Mum Chara." Harry managed, and Chara smiled, patting his head.

"You get on home. Tell your aunt we'll be there in ten or fifteen minutes, okay?" She pressed a final kiss to his forehead and sent him out the door. Harry paused, turning back to offer one last smile, and then disappeared into the lingering dusk.

River and Rayne were the first to appear on the doorstep, knocking frantically on the front door of Number Four with glee written all over their pale faces. "Harry! Harry! Harryharryharryharry!" The two caterwauled until Petinua opened the door and let the two girls scurry inside. They smiled at the woman, requested if she wanted them to leave their shoes in the front hall, then scampered away, screaming for Harry again.

Petunia blinked and Chara smiled genily. "Now you see what I deal with daily," The small woman announced. Phyrrus rolled his eyes and shook his head, removing his shoes.

"I'm going to go save Harry. It's nice to see you again, Mrs. Dursley and thank you for inviting us to supper." Phyrrus smiled.

"It's nice to see you again too, Phyrrus," Petunia smiled in reply.

"Flame," Phyrrus told her, frowning slightly. Only close friends and family could call him Phyrrus.

"I'm sorry?" Petunia blinked.

"Call me Flame, please." Phyrrus told her a second time. Petunia shrugged, but complied, and Phyrrus raced off to find Harry and save him from his sisters.

"Why Flame?"

"Ah, well, besides the fact he's got a temper that's a cross between mine and his father's--my short fuse, his father's nasty temper--he's a total pyro." Chara grinned. "But, such is life. Now, you were going to tell me about an English roast?"

"Right. . ." Petunia began leading Chara into the kitchen and talking the whole time. Chara sighed. The brats so owed her one!

Phyrrus really needn't have worried about Harry, River and Rayne adored the boy. They were currently in the process of tackling him, failing, and getting tickled to death. Still, it was a double team and Harry was nowhere the size of Phyrrus. "Need some help?" Phyrrus asked, winking.

"Flame! Save me!" Harry cried, running away from the twins.

"Hey now!" Phyrrus shouted. "Don't sic them on me! Put'em on your uncle!"

"I wanna meet Harry's dad!" Rayne cried, grinning. "He's the big man, right? The one with the purple face?"

Harry blanched. Phyrrus sighed. "He's right behind us, isn't he."

"Yeah." Harry squeaked. River and Rayne, however, were delighted.

"You're Harry's Dad!" River shouted, jumping at the man. "I'm River Lugovalos! Do you like pink? I do! But Rayne likes it better. But we don't like peanut butter and jelly. We think that's gross! But we like Reeces! Mom thinks that's weird! Do you think that's weird? Because Rayne says that chocolate and peanut butter were meant for each other! I think that chocolate is great! Do you think chocolate is great? Phyrrus says that--"

"River!" Phyrrus shouted. "Shut up!"

River's mouth snapped closed, to the relief of Phyrrus, Vernon, and Harry, but Rayne sniffled. "You didn't have to yell at River," She scolded, eyes filling with tears. "River didn't mean to make you mad."

"I'm not mad," Phyrrus soothed. "But River can't just talk and talk and talk. She's got to let people answer her questions too."

"I'm sorry, Mr. Harry's Dad." River sniffed.

"I am not Harry's father!" Vernon shouted. "His father was a drunken freak!"

"Don't yell at my sisters, Mr. Dursley," Phyrrus' voice was cold. "They didn't mean to offend, but they are seven. They don't understand that Harry could live with people other than his parents. And they don't know about Harry's parents. Mom will tell them tonight."

River was sniffing at being yelled at, and Phyrrus picked her up, cuddling her gently. Rayne buried her face in Phyrrus' leg, crying a bit, and shaking at the yelling. Phyrrus patted her head and calmed them both, just in time for Petunia to call them down for supper. River looked at the woman, then back to Harry. "You're not Harry's mama, right?" River asked in a little voice.

"No," Petunia's voice was firm. "What makes you think I am?"

"I dunno," Rayne replied. "Cause Harry lives here?"

Chara held up a hand and petted her daughters' heads. "I'll explain later, okay sweeties?"

"Uh huh," Rayne replied, following them into the kitchen.

Dinner went well enough after the outburst from Vernon, River, and Rayne, although it was interesting that the two refused to speak to Vernon or Petunia, speaking to Harry most of the meal. Harry picked at his food, but cleared his plate not knowing when he would get a full meal again. "Petunia," Chara smiled at the other woman, eyes lighting up. "Could you loan me your son and Harry for tomorrow? I have a few boxes that Phyrrus and I just can't lift by ourselves. I'm not exactly a big person, and Dudley, at least, would be a great help with the larger boxes. And more hands move us in faster."

"I don't want to," Dudley protested. "I was going to go out with my friends!"

"Baby!" Rayne taunted, and Chara glared at her.

"I am not!" Dudley announced. Chara sighed. The fight was on.

"Are too!" River shouted, sticking out her tongue. "You're a whiney baby. Me an' Rayne didn't whine!"

"Yeah!" Rayne smirked. "Me and River helped lots. You're just a big baby! A big cry baby!"

"River! Rayne! Enough!" Chara snapped, frowning. "Apologize at once! I did not expect Dudley to drop everything to help us, I simply wanted help."

"Sorry," The twins choursed, scowling. Chara let it drop, but her look to the two girls promised punishment later. The twins sighed and pouted, obviously not happy. Fortunately for them supper was over and Chara could excuse herself and her children without further embarressment.

"Harry will be over in the morning," Petunia announced. "Bright and early, right boy?"

"Yes, Aunt Petunia," Harry murmured, looking at the table, then leaving as Vernon grabbed him by the scruff and drug him from the room.

"He's a handful," Petunia told them, scowling. "I hope you can actually make him do his work. It takes a heavy hand, sometimes. Feel free to do what you want."

Chara and Phyrrus both went white at the insinuation, but the twins didn't get it and bounced merrily out the door.