This is AU, just me looking at a paper and imagining what if... something I tend to do a lot. Harry Potter was sent to the Dursleys in OCT81, but on Dudley's birthday in 1985, Harry was with Mrs. Figg while the Dursleys celebrated Dudley's birthday. On their way home, they were struck by an out of control truck, and all three were killed instantly. Harry is sent to live with the only relatives the Muggle authorities are able to find, Mr. and Mrs. Morgan, research scientists with the British government. Let's pick up the story with a very strange letter, just before Harry's eleventh birthday.
Author's Warning: I am posting this Chapter because after it appeared in my profile, I have recieved several dozen inquiries in reviews and emails about where to find it. However, I am going to finish SoG and BoB before, I say again, BEFORE I start posting on this regularly. SO, if you want to wait to start this until after one of those is finished, I suggest you close the page now.
Harry Potter and the Science of Magic.
Magic Is Not Real.
Harry woke up and began his morning routine. He went to the small home gym in the basement. A healthy body was as important as a healthy mind, and Harry started the carefully planned exercises that he did three times a week. While he worked out, he turned on the CD player and listened to the invigorating strains of Beethoven's immortal 9th Symphony.
When he was finished, he went upstairs and showered before pausing in front of his closet. It was a Saturday which meant he did not need to put on the uniform of the Needlemore School for Gifted Children. He chose a simple outfit of slacks and a button up shirt since he was not scheduled to play any outdoor activities today.
He went downstairs and into the dining room. Mrs. Nesbitt, the housekeeper was there and she smiled at Harry. "Good morning, Harry."
Harry smiled and responded politely. "Good morning, Mrs. Nesbitt. Are my parents home?"
The housekeeper smiled again. "Yes, they came in late from the office, and left a note saying they would be sleeping until eight. They asked that you wait breakfast on them."
Harry looked at the clock. If they slept until eight, went through their morning routine and came downstairs it would be about ten to nine when they came down. "If you would be so kind as to start breakfast at eight thirty, please?" he requested. Receiving an affirmative reply, Harry went in to the library to wait the hour and forty minutes.
Harry was deep in his studies when he heard the discreet chime that meant someone had put something in the mail box. He marked his place in the anatomy text, using the thin sheet of notes he'd been writing on.
Entering the kitchen, he informed Mrs. Nesbitt that he would get the mail. Harry went out and looked around. It was promising to be a very hot July day, and he made a mental note to make sure and water the lawn.
The Morgan house stood on a small rise, and was on the last piece of what had once been known as the Morgan Estate. Only ten acres were left of the estate, and the Morgans were carefully considering an offer on the property. Two hundred years ago, this place had been a goodly distance from Cambridge.
Now, it was on the southern outskirts of the city, and developers were keen to buy it. The Morgans were considering the offers. Harry would prefer to keep the house, at it was the only home he'd ever known, despite it being his third home.
Harry had no memories of his parents, and wasn't even sure what their names had been. The Dursley's he vaguely recalled, with a sense of anger he didn't quite understand yet, although the Morgans had promised to explain it on his 12th birthday. The Dursleys had died in an accident when Harry was four, and he had come to live with the Morgans, the only relatives Petunia had left, as far as the authorities could tell.
While Harry thought, he had been walking down the nearly four hundred meter drive that led to the road in front of the house. He opened the small gate in the wall and stepped out, carefully looking around for strangers.
Mum and Dad were very important people in research, and they had occasionally had problems with governmental security needs. Harry didn't remember those times, but the Morgans had begun certain habits and Harry was taught them as well. He collected the mail and went back inside the wall before looking at it.
Bills, not Harry's problem, advertising, give to Mrs. Nesbitt in case something they needed was on sale, professional magazines, sorted by who they were for, and finally, Harry turned to the personal correspondence.
He was very surprised to see his name on a very strange letter.
The blue bedroom
The Morgan Estate
Harry considered the letter carefully. No postal mark, no stamps, and made of crisp clean parchment, it looked like. He turned it over and lifted one eye brow to see an actual wax seal. He'd read about them of course, but he'd never seen one on a letter before. It had an ornate seal imprint in the center and Harry decided to be very careful opening the letter, so he could save the seal for further examination.
He entered the house and set the mail on the Hall table, sorting it into the various piles and stacking each one in its place. He kept the strange letter and went into the small library where he'd been studying.
"Good morning, Harry."
Harry looked up briefly, and smiled. "Good morning father. I have an interesting puzzle here."
Mr. Morgan looked up from the papers he was studying. "Oh?" Albert Morgan was a older man, nearly fifty years old, with grey hair and a tall, thin height that was far stronger than he looked. Harry had learned the value of physical exercise from him. He had observant blue eyes and a young looking face with few wrinkles. "Tell me about the letter, son."
Harry nodded. "It appears to be made of either hand made paper or parchment, I don't know enough to be sure which. It carries no postal marks or stamps and has a hand imprinted wax seal on the back. It is addressed to me, in a rather strange way. The ink used is green and the printing is a bit different, like pictures in my history books." He passed the letter to his father who examined it in silence.
Albert Morgan was just as curious as Harry about this letter, and not only because Harry had gotten one. He'd recently had a conversation with the parent of another child that had received one of this things, and he was beginning to wonder just what it meant. The other man had dismissed it as some sort of prank, but this was a very far reaching prank, if it could come all the way to Cambridge.
He looked at Harry. "Are you ready to open it?"
Harry frowned. "I'm not sure. Do you think we should keep a photographic record?"
Albert smiled. Harry was treating this like any experiment. He considered the question. "I don't think that is needed in this case, son. We will have the letter to refer to at any time, and no others will be needing it for testing, so we don't need to worry about losing it."
Harry nodded. He was about to say something else when a third voice entered the conversation. "And what are my men doing, huddled in the library while breakfast gets cold?"
Harry stood up and crossed to Mrs. Wanda Morgan, the woman he'd called mother for most of his life. He hugged her and took her by the hand. "We have a most curious puzzle, mother. We're just about to open it. Come see."
Wanda allowed her son to pull her along and listened while he told her about the strange letter. She examined it in turn, and frowned as she held it. She sniffed the letter. It had an odour, one she knew, although it escaped her for a minute. She closed her eyes and thought while the men waited. Wanda's sense of smell was measurably better than both of theirs, and they waited for her comments.
Mrs. Nesbitt came to the door, about to announce breakfast and paused. She studied the family she had worked for going on twenty-five years now and sighed. She turned around and put the food in the warmer. She knew the look of people working on something, and she knew that they would not stop until they reached the end of the preliminary studies.
Wanda thought about the smell, reaching back in her memory for that smell. She blinked as she placed it and frowned at the letter. "It has a faint odour of a bird of some sort."
Harry frowned at the letter. This was getting more and more curious. He got a sheet of paper and began writing down what they knew about the letter. When he was done he passed it to his father. Albert looked it over. "Very well done, son."
Wanda handed the letter to Harry. "It is your letter, darling. You may open it." Harry smiled and moved over to the small table. He set the letter in the clamp that rose from one edge and reached for a letter opener. He slid the letter opener under the fold and cut the envelope across the fold, preserving the wax seal.
Harry slid the letter out and unfolded it. It was two sheets and he set the second sheet down as he started to read the first one.
Harry finished reading the letter and looked at his parents with a frown. "This makes no sense at all." He passed the letter to his mother, who read faster than his father. She finished the letter and passed it to her husband. She looked at her son in all but blood. "I agree. It makes no sense."
Albert looked up. "I have to agree, but I have an additional bit of data. This is not the first time I've heard of this Hogwarts. Another person I know told me that his daughter got one." He frowned, trying to recall the exact wording. "I believe, that with the exception of the name and addresses, the letters are identical."
The three of them considered the letter for a minute. Harry was the first to speak. "Could this be some sort of plot? A kidnapping scheme of some sort?"
Albert and Wanda smiled. Harry was a great kid, and they loved him dearly, but he also had a vivid imagination. That was not a bad thing, but it had very limited use in an investigation. "Honey, if it is, it would be very complex and dependent on many factors." Wanda waited while Harry thought that through.
"Meaning that I am stretching unknowns to fit a desired effect." Harry nodded. "I should apply Occam's Razor to this."
Albert tousled Harry's hair, not that you could tell after he was done. Harry's hair was the source of an ongoing experiment. No matter what you did to it, or what gels you applied, as soon as you released physical hold of it, it fell straight down, covering the oddly shaped scar on his forehead. It also never appeared to grow, as Harry had not needed a hair cut in three years. "Exactly. Now, we have two main branches of investigation here. Either the letter is real, or it is not."
Harry thought about that. "You haven't had to hide any energy manipulation experiments from me, have you? Anything that could be termed Magic by non scientist types?"
His parents shook their heads and Harry continued. "Are either of you aware of anything that could be used on the ignorant to simulate Magic?"
Albert hesitated, but shook his head, considering his words carefully. "There is nothing that currently could convince a person of the reality of magic for more than a few minutes."
Harry and Wanda stared at him, deciphering the doublespeak. "What you're saying, is that someone is working on something that could do that," said his wife and Albert smiled.
"I can neither confirm nor deny such a statement."
His wife and son grinned at him before returning to the letter. Harry finished with his chain of logic. "Given the absence of an energy manipulation technology that we do not know about, I must conclude that Magic, as anything but sleight of hand, does not exist, and therefore, this school cannot be real." Harry thought about it some more. "Given that theory, I have to conclude that this is either an advertising gimmick of some kind, or something I have not thought of."
Albert smiled. "Very good Harry. I had not thought of the advertising angle." He thought for a minute. "How would they be choosing the name to send the letters to?"
Harry frowned. "Mother just saved out the page in the paper that has the Dean's List on it, as she does every year. Might your acquaintance's daughter be on a simular list?"
Albert nodded. Robert was very proud of his daughter and her mind. He had indeed mentioned some of the scholastic awards she'd won. He sighed. "A good theory, son, but you're missing one small point." Harry and Wanda both looked at him, confused. "The way it is addressed. Only the people in this house call it the blue bedroom, since it was repainted when Harry decided to change it. How would the sender have learned the old name of the room?"
They thought about it and Wanda finally shrugged. "We have insufficient information to come to a conclusion at this time. I suggest we save the letter and wait on further data before creating any more theories about this Hogwarts letter."
Albert pulled his wife into his lap and kissed her soundly, an act that caused Harry to sigh loudly and roll his eyes. "Hormones," he muttered.
Albert broke off the kiss and waited for Wanda to stand. The three of them headed for the door while Albert made a prediction. "Just wait. One day, those hormones will get you, and I will remember every sigh and muttered comment when they do."
Harry smiled and winked at his mother. "Of course you will," he said cheekily, "You're just that petty." He laughed as his father mock growled at him, and the three of them went into breakfast laughing.
Late in the afternoon, Harry was finishing a run around the grounds when his cell phone sounded. "Hello?" The cellular phone was not common yet, but the Morgans were avid collectors of cutting edge technology. They had personal computers long before most people, and the advantages of Cellular phones were quite apparent.
"Harry," said his father, sounding quite strange. "There is a woman here at the house I want you to meet."
"OK," said Harry, wondering what was wrong. "I'll be there in a few minutes." He finished his run and did the cooling off exercises that kept him from cramping up after a run. He dried off as best he could and went inside the house. "Harry, we're in the sitting room."
Harry walked into the sitting room and stopped. There was a severe looking woman sitting in a chair. She had a cup of tea in her hand and the saucer was before her. It was not the normal things that caught Harry's eye just then. The woman was dressed in old-fashioned robes, like you would see ina movie about medieval times.
She saw Harry enter and rose, setting her cup down. "I am very pleased to meet you, Mr. Potter. I am Professor McGonagall, Deputy Headmistress at Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft."
Harry was so surprised at this that he blurted out the first thought in his head. "Your data just arrived, mother."
Wanda and Albert smiled while Professor McGonagall sighed. This was not going as planned at all. Something was very wrong here. "Mr. Potter, did you receive your Hogwarts letter?"
Harry nodded. "Just this morning. I have to say it was quite the interesting puzzle before breakfast." He looked at Professor McGonagall curiously. "What was the purpose of it? I thought it was an advertising gimmick of some type."
"Mr. Potter, it is not a Gimmick," Minerva said severely, frowning slightly at him. "Hogwarts is the finest school in Great Britain for young Wizards."
Harry frowned. "Are you trying to say that you believe in Magic?" he asked skeptically.
Professor McGonagall frowned again. Many Muggles didn't believe in magic, but she had not expected that attitude from this child, not when he glowed so brightly with magic.
"Mr. Potter, have you ever experienced anything you could not explain?"
Harry nodded. "Many things, but with enough experiments, almost everything can be explained and duplicated."
Minerva McGonagall sighed and rubbed the bridge of her nose. This was going to be a very long meeting. She looked at the three people in front of her again. All of them were examining her as if she was some new species of animal that they were trying to classify.
Professor McGonagall had dealt with enough Muggleborn students over the years to understand that some of them placed great faith in something called "the scientific approach", where everything could be explained using the "Laws of Science".
She sighed. "Mr. Potter, I am going to show you three things. Please hold your questions until the end."
Harry and his parents nodded, watching her. She pulled out her wand and cast a "Wingardium Leviosa" on the table, floating it about a metre off the floor for a few seconds. Harry stared at her wand and at the table and opened his mouth, but then shut it again. He watched her closely though.
She spared a glance at his parents and they were watching her with their mouths open. "This is called a Levitation Charm. I think you can see what it does. Please note that I am not doing anything but pointing a wand at it, and that it is highly unlikely that I have some hidden wires on it. It is, after all, your own table." She set the coffee table back down.
She pointed her wand at a magazine on the table and transfigured it into a hedgehog. "This is called Tranfiguration, the art of changing one thing into another, and it is what I teach at Hogwarts. It will not last for long, but there are ways to make it a permanent effect."
She changed the hedgehog back into a magazine and put her wand away. "The last thing I will show you is another form of transfiguration and is extraordinarily difficult to learn." With that, Professor McGonagall transformed into her cat shape. She jumped from the couch to the table and then to the floor where she walked over to the wall. She transformed again, and walked back to her seat. She sat down and picked up her teacup. "I will now answer your questions."
Harry picked up the magazine and leafed through it. He set it down and carefully took everything off of the table and turned it over, searching the underside. He set it back on its legs and put the things back. He looked at the strange woman that he had just seen do three impossible things.
"May I see your wand, please?" Harry was thinking very hard and asked in a distracted tone. Professor McGonagall had been expecting that question. It was one she was asked in almost every Muggleborn's house. She handed it over and watched as Harry looked it over carefully, even examining it under a magnifying glass from the table. "It seems to be a normal piece of wood," he said.
His parents were over their own shock and Albert cleared his throat. "I have to accept that you have some way of manipulating energy that I am unfamiliar with. Why are you here?"
Professor McGonagall looked at Harry. "Harry's parents were a Wizard and a Witch, Mr. Morgan. Harry is a Wizard and Hogwarts trains Wizards. It is as simple as that."
Harry had stopped his investigations. "My parents were what?"
"Magic users, Harry. James Potter was a Wizard and Lily Potter was a Witch."
Harry frowned. He filed the names of his parents away for later investigations and looked at the strange woman. "You are claiming that I can do these things you can do?"
"Not yet, Mr. Potter, but after training, you will be able to, yes."
Harry blinked. He didn't think he had this ability in him. He'd never seen any evidence of magic. Harry's thoughts trailed off. His hair did not grow, and it could not be straightened or combed.
He looked at the woman and tried to figure out what to do with this new information. There was an entire field of energy manipulation that he knew nothing about. From their conversation earlier, his parents knew nothing about it either.
This would be a fascinating chance for a field study, something he'd never been allowed to do. This Professor though, was not asking his parents to go to this school. He looked at the Professor again. "Ma'am, this school, what exactly do they teach there?"
"For your first two years, Mr. Potter, you will have a standard curriculum consisting of Potions, Herbology, Care of Magical Animals, Transfiguration, Defense Against the Dark Arts, History of Magic and Charms. From your third year on, you will have several other courses you can choose from, including Divination, Ancient Runes, Arithmancy and Enchantments."
Harry frowned. "What about the sciences, or languages? Your classes do not sound practical for any type of real career."
"Om the contrary, Mr. Potter, they are well suited to careers in the Wizard world. Granted, they are less suitable for Muggle careers, but then, they're not meant for Muggles." Professor McGonagall looked at the Morgans. "Nothing personal."
Albert frowned. "I have to assume that by 'Muggle', you mean people like us, that cannot do magic."
The conversation continued until nearly dinner, with Harry and his parents asking a good many questions. Each of them chose a different avenue to study, with Harry asking about the schooling itself. Albert chose to ask about the mechanics of magic and Wanda was interested in the social and cultural norms of a magical society.
Professor McGonagall finally stood. "I would stay and answer more questions, but I still need to meet with another student."
Albert looked up, thinking. "That wouldn't be Hermione Granger, would it?"
Professor McGonagall frowned. "Yes, how did you know?"
"Her father mentioned getting a Hogwarts letter, but like us, they thought it was a prank or gag of some kind."
Professor McGonagall sighed. "I have to ask you not to tell people about this. Wizards have hidden from the rest of the world since the Inquisitions, and there are rules about talking to people about us. The Ministry of Magic has special Aurors that Obliviate people, a spell that erases their memories."
The Morgans frowned. "So we might have seen something magical before, but we wouldn't know it," Wanda said.
Professor McGonagall nodded. "It's possible, although rare."
Harry and his parents discussed the data they had collected over dinner. They were all very interested in this new society that was living among them while remaining mostly separate.
Mr. and Mrs. Morgan thought it was very interesting, anyway. Harry was more concerned with the lack of training for a practical career. Harry was currently enamoured of the idea of being a geneticist, and the Hogwarts curriculum didn't seem aimed at the type of work Harry wanted to do.
His parents took that with a grain of salt though, as Harry had wanted to be a micro-biologist, a neurosurgeon, a physiologist and a geologist in the last two years. He had several years to decide of course, as he wouldn't turn eleven for another three weeks.
"You know, Harry, this could be a chance to find out about your parents," Wanda said quietly.
Harry looked up. "I have parents. You may not have given birth to me, but you are my parents just as much as the ones that are my genetic ancestors."
Wanda and Albert smiled at Harry.
After dinner they retired to the library where Harry looked at the letter again. "I was particularly interested in her assertion that technology doesn't work around magic," Albert said thoughtfully. "That implies that it is a form of energy, which means it has rules. Figuring out those rules may allow us to find a way to allow electricity and other forms of technology to work."
Wanda nodded. "Not to mention that the opportunity to study a primitive culture is fascinating. Owls to deliver mail, and flying Broomsticks." She shook her head. "I would assume that they are several centuries behind us in many ways, and it would be interesting to see just how different they are."
Harry raised an eyebrow at them. "Maybe I should stay here and let the two of you go." He smiled to show he was only teasing.
"I, for one, would love to have the chance," said Albert, "but it seems that we don't have magic."
Harry nodded. "You would have gotten a letter a long time ago if you did. It must be some type of recessive gene that allows one to use this type of energy."
By the time they went to bed, Harry was going to go to Hogwarts. They decided to take the next day and find this Diagon Alley, to get Harry the things he would need for school.
Harry frowned at the small key Professor McGonagall had given him. "The Professor said that the bank was run by Goblins, didn't she?"
Albert nodded. "I think we're going to see a good many things tomorrow that we'd never believe if we didn't see them for ourselves."
OoOoOoO The Author, Here and Now. OoOoOoO
We're going to learn a great many things tomorrow, not the least of which is that Wizards are not that different than Muggles, when it comes to celebrities. As I stated earlier, this will not be updated regularly until Shades of Grey or Bonds of Blood are finished.
It will be finished, but I make no promises as to when.