Ten year old Harry Potter woke up to the sweet sound of silence. This was very confusing to him because by this time Aunt Petunia would usually be banging on the cupboard door, yelling for him to cook breakfast. Harry opened up the cupboard door and stepped outside. Nobody was there. Drowsily he walked over to the kitchen table where he found a note. It read:
Petunia, Dudley, and I have gone on vacation to Majorca. Unfortunately we were unable to find a sitter for you. If you try any funny business while we're away I will know. You have the house to yourself. I have included a list of rules for you to follow. We will be back on August 10. Behave yourself or the consequences will be severe. Here are the rules that you must follow:
No going into any of our rooms.
No watching T.V.
No stuffing yourself in the refrigerator. (Dudley needs his energy)
Clean the house 2 times a week.
No freaky business.
No reading our mail
Harry couldn't believe it. Over a month without having to worry about the Dursleys. It was only July 1st. He couldn't wait to go to some neat places around Little Winging.
Harry spent his time mostly at the library. Despite what his grades showed, Harry was very good in school and always enjoyed learning new things. Unfortunately Dudley wasn't very good in school and his aunt and uncle thought he was cheating if he got higher marks than Dudley. Harry always made sure not to draw attention to himself anymore than he had to.
Now though with the Dursleys away, he could indulge himself and read all he could find. Everyday he jogged the eight blocks to the library and lost himself in history and science and fiction story books that he had never had the chance to read while the Dursleys could catch him.
One evening as he about to start the jog back to his aunt and uncles house, he happened to see a group of boys that usually hung around with Dudley surrounding something that was blocked form his sight. Not wanting to get caught, Harry tried slipping around them without being seen. He heard the boys jeering at someone he couldn't see. Curiosity getting the better of him, he stood on tip toes and craned his neck over the shoulders of the boys to see a small brown haired girl about his age, crying. He had seen her before in the library, always with her nose in some huge book that looked like no-one had ever read before. Without thinking, he picked up a stick and hurled it at the head of one of the boys. The boy yelped and turned with a dumbfounded expression on his face. He saw Harry and instantly lost interest in the girl, a sneer appearing on his face.
"Get the freak!" He yelled and started to chase him, the girl forgotten. Harry raced away down the street, his small size and greater speed allowing him to easily out distance the red-faced and puffing boys behind him.
Harry avoided the library for the next couple of days until he was sure that the boys had lost interest. Sneaking back to the library early, before the boys would be up just in case he went straight to the reading section with the book he had been reading on the human body and became lost in it. It was around lunch time that he realised that there was another presence around him. Looking around out of corner of his eye he saw the brown haired girl from the other day. It looked like she was coming over to talk to him but would suddenly turn back before turning and coming toward him again. Confused by this behaviour he looked up.
"Are you alright?" He asked. The girl jumped and stuttered,
"Yes! I… I mean, yes thank you. I… er… wanted to thank you for the other day. You know… with those boys." She nodded her head decisively. "So yes. Thank you."
"You're welcome." He replied, a little surprised. No-one his own age had ever even talked to him before, let alone thanked him.
"That was very brave. Throwing that stick. Although you shouldn't throw things because someone could have gotten hurt." This time everything was said very fast as she sat down in the chair opposite him, hugging her book to her chest. Harry could only stare at her in fascination.
"I'm Hermione by the way. Hermione Granger. I go to a private school called Northwood Prep. Where do you go to school?"
"Er… Stonewall. It's just a local school…" Harry trailed off, not sure what else to say. But Hermione didn't seem to notice as she continued on without him.
"Public schools are just as good as private ones." She assured him. "I want my parents to send me to a public school but they decided that I would get a better education at Northwood. Both of my parents went there. They're dentists you know." Suddenly realising that Harry was staring at her, she blushed and stammered an apology. "Oh my gosh. You were reading and I'm bothering you. I'm so sorry. I hate it when people do that to me. I'll just go then."
"No! I mean… It's alright, I don't mind. I was just surprised, people don't usually talk to me. You can stay if you want to. I'm Harry. Harry Potter."
Hermione held out her hand. Harry reached out and shook. As his hand touched hers her felt a slight tingle go up his arm. He looked at his hand in surprise. Wrapped around his and Hermiones joined hands was what looked like the ghost of a silver cord. Before he could get a good look at it though Hermione gasped and dropped his hand.
"Did you see that?" Harry asked in a hushed tone.
"See what? No, I felt a tingle, like an electric shock only a nice one. Why, what did you see?" Hermione answered in and equally quiet voice.
"I don't know. It looked like a silver cord wrapped around our hands. But I only saw it for a moment."
"What could it have been?"
"Magic." Harry knew without a doubt that the cord had been some type of magic. He knew he could do magic. Sometimes he made things float or come to him from the other side of the room if he wished for it hard enough and he had been able to make a reading light since he was old enough to read. But he had never seen anything like this before.
"Magic?! You mean it really is real?" Hermione looked shocked and a little bit frightened.
"You know about magic?" Harry had never met anyone who believed in magic before. His relatives always said it didn't exist and looked him in his cupboard if he even mention it. Hermione pulled a letter out of her pocket and scooted closer to Harry.
"An owl delivered this, this morning. I haven't shown my parents yet because I thought it was just a joke." The letter was written on a strange type of paper in green ink and read,
of WITCHCRAFT and WIZARDRY
Headmaster: ALBUS DUMBLEDORE
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock,
Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)
Dear Miss Granger,
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. If you wish we will send a representative to visit to answer any questions you may have.
Term begins on September 1. We await your owl by no later than July 31st.
"Wow! Harry whispered. "I didn't know there were actual magic schools."
"Haven't you got one?" Hermione looked surprised. "If you already know about magic than you should get in for sure."
"I left this morning before the mail arrived. Maybe it'll be there when I get back." Harry was a bit doubtful though. No one really seemed to know he existed and he always tried really hard not to be noticed so he didn't think any one would notice if he could do magic.
"Come on then." Hermione stood up, clutching her letter and pulling him with her. "Lets go see. If you got a letter as well then we'll know that its real."
Hermione dragged Harry out of the library and had started off down the road before she realised that she didn't know where he lived. She gave him a sheepish look but Harry just laughed and set off in the other direction toward his relatives house keeping a look out as he always did for the bully's who enjoyed making his life more difficult.
Hermione seemed a little surprised when he used his key to get in but didn't say anything as he opened the door. Harry was turning to let Hermione in when she let out a loud squeal that made Harry just two feet in the air. Hermione ignored him and rushed inside to where she saw a large pile of letters.
"Look! You got some too!" She began sorting though them as Harry let them into the sitting room. "Hogwarts… Beauxbatons… Durmstrang, I didn't get one from them. Merlins Academy… Goodness Harry, there are some here from all over the world! America, China, South Africa, Egypt. You got way more letters than I did." She sounded a bit envious as she said this. "Wow, I can't believe magic is real. Wow." Hermione was starting to look a bit shell shocked, staring down at the letters in her hands.
Harry was shocked too. How did they know he could do magic? Why did so many people seem to want him to go to their school? He had so many questions bouncing around in his head, he didn't know where to start. Hermione snapped out of her shock and suddenly became very decisive.
"Right, well, we can't make an informed decision without knowing all the facts, so lets get started." She handed him half the pile of letters, "You take this half and see if there are any schools that look appealing. If you like the school put the letter in this pile, if you don't put it in this pile. Remember to take into account what they teach, the book list and supply list is helpful for this." She gave him a stern glare. "Don't just pick the one's that look nice. Odds are they're the ones that won't be any good. Right lets get started then." Harry started through his pile. He immediately put his Hogwarts letter in the 'yes' pile as Hermione seem to thing it was a good school. He tossed most in the 'no' pile especially the one that said "Harry Potter Please Come To Our School!" every time he opened it, scaring the life out of him and Hermione. By the time they were both done they had narrowed it down to three schools.
"In my information sheet, which you didn't seem to get, it said that Hogwarts is the best school for Witchcraft and Wizardry in Europe with Beauxbatons coming a close second. Funny though, it didn't mention this other school. Academy of Magicks. It sound good. The curriculum is certainly extensive. I wonder why it wasn't mentioned. That's strange your acceptance letter is different to mine. Here."
The Academy of Magicks
Forgotten and Remembered
Dear Mr. Potter,
It has come to our attention that you are unaware of your heritage as a prominent and powerful wizard. Knowing that you have a lot of questions, we have taken the liberty of including a charmed parchment in your letter. Simply write your question on the parchment, and an answer will appear. When your questions have been answered to your satisfaction if you wish to accept our offer of education then all you need to do is write 'Accept' on the bottom of this parchment.
Harry and Hermione looked at each other.
"Well that is a much better system than the pamphlet I got. Though I wonder what it means when it says you are a prominent and powerful wizard. Do you have a pen?"
Harry grabbed a pen, but hesitated, not sure of what to write. "Oh give it to me." Hermione snatched the pen from his hand and began to write her questions.
Can you prove that magic exists?
What you mean by 'prominent and powerful wizard'?
Why should I choose your school over the other letters I have received?
As she wrote, the ink from the pen faded in to the parchment and when she had finished, more writing began to appear.
Can I prove that magic exists? I am a self writing parchment that can answer questions. If that is not enough proof then maybe you had better stay a muggle. ("Muggle?"wondered Harry. "People without magic. It said so in my pamphlet." Hermione answered.)
As for prominent and powerful, well that is a bit harder to explain. The parchment then began to tell the story of one Tom Riddle, who later became Lord Voldemort. It told of Dumbledore and the Order of the Phoenix and their attempts to stop him. Then it told of his down fall.
On Halloween 1981 your parents were betrayed. Lord Voldemort came to Godric's Hollow, where your parents were in hiding. After killing your parents he then turned his wand on you. As yet, no one knows why you are the only one to have survived him, the only one in history to have survived the killing curse, but you did. The papers called you the Boy Who Lived. Witches and Wizards all over the world know your name. They see you as a hero and as the son of heroes.
Why should you choose our school? To forge your own identity. To be who you were meant to be, not as the whole world wants you to be. To learn your destiny and prepare. To live in both magical and muggle worlds. To find freedom and acceptance.