Chapter 1 – A New Home
Prodigy - n. pl. prod·i·gy. A person with exceptional talents or powers: a math prodigy.
Harry Potter was running. It was a situation he found himself in quite often, for when being chased by a group of people somewhat larger than oneself, it is a good idea to run. Unfortunately for the seven year old boy, there was a specific group of larger boys that took a special interest in chasing him. On the occasions that he was caught, the beating afterwards would only encourage him to run faster next time. When 'next time' came around (and it always did), sometimes he was able to run just a little faster and gain a few precious seconds needed to escape.
This was not one of those times. Harry could nearly feel the goons breathing down his back as he ran. His eyes dashed frantically to his different surroundings in an attempt to discover some safe haven. None was located.
Harry turned a corner and found himself in an alcove at the school he was currently attending. He cursed to himself for his stupidity in not looking at where exactly he was running to, but it was too late to change anything. The dumpster caught his eye and he found that it looked to be a somewhat safe hiding place. He could find nothing better in his current situation. He made to jump into it while wishing he was someplace, anyplace safe.
He wished very hard.
Suddenly, Harry found himself in a strange place. One moment he had been in midair about to collide with an empty dumpster, and the next he was falling down in the middle of a strange living room. Harry pulled himself up and took stock of his surroundings.
There was a fireplace off to one side with a leather love seat in front of it. Off to another side, there was another group of furniture surrounding a coffee table covered with a thick layer of dust. When Harry noticed the dust, it was like he couldn't focus on anything else. All of the sudden he realized that everything in the room was coated in the fine gray matter, even himself; it was obvious that no one had been in the room for several years.
Harry saw something out of the corner of his eyes and felt them drawn back to the fireplace. Specifically, the mantle over it. There was a banner displaying a coat of arms in deep red and gold. The coat of arms was a silver shield with a fierce looking animal on it. The animal was something Harry had never seen before. It looked to be the cross between a horse and a bird of some sort, perhaps an eagle.
The animal was not the most important thing on the banner, however. Underneath the shield was a single word printed in bold silver lettering. It was a name: Potter.
Harry frowned at the sight. Why was there a banner with his name on it in the middle of the room?
When Harry had first arrived, his first instinct was to leave, afraid of what might happen should the owners of the house discover his presence. Now, however, his curiosity was piqued, and all worries dissipated. Perhaps this was the home of some other family he had, but didn't know about. Perhaps that other family would save him from the hell he knew as 'home.'
The fact that the room obviously hadn't been lived in for several years was momentarily forgotten with the arrival of this new idea. With a burst of courage, Harry moved towards the door and opened it.
The other side of the door revealed another room. This room had a major difference from the one he had just parted. It was a real wreck. There was a spot for a door leading to the outside that Harry supposed would be the front door. The physical door itself, however, had literally been blown across the room where it lay shattered and splintered. It looked as if an explosion of sorts had driven the door from its spot. Shattered glass and other pieces of unidentifiable material littered the floor. Harry decided it was time to leave. Wherever he was, it was not someplace he was supposed to be. Moving towards the front opening, Harry looked out.
Harry discovered the front lawn of the house to be in total disarray from obvious neglect. The edge of the lawn turned into a dark forest. All ideas of departure were once again squashed. There was no way he would be able to find his way back to his school. If the silence he heard was any indication, it was obvious that he was some distance from anyone else living.
Harry turned back to the house. To the side of the room was a stairway leading up to a second floor. There was another door beside the stairwell, and Harry moved towards that. The door opened into a kitchen that was in the same state as the room Harry had just been in. There were a few dishes shattered and some metallic pots thrown around the floor. One pot even looked to be melted, but Harry couldn't figure out how that had happened. He was starting to get quite worried. This strange house was not someplace he wanted to be.
Suddenly, Harry felt a strong need to go upstairs. He carefully made his way up the staircase, testing each wooden step to make sure it would hold his weight. All the steps were sturdy and he found himself a few minutes later at the top of the staircase. When he broke his attention away from his feet, his eyes widened in recognition.
He had been here before. Sounds and images flashed through his mind quickly, making it impossible to focus on a single one of them. Harry pushed open the door to his right.
This room was obviously a nursery of some sort, from what Harry could tell. It was in even worse shape that the front room. There was scorch marks on one wall, and spots of dried blood on the floor. The blood sent chills up his back and he turned to leave, determined once again to leave this place. But as he broke his attention, the images flashed through his mind once again. This time, however, one memory stuck.
There was a scream and a woman was yelling. She held a stick in her hand that was pointed to a dark looking man. The woman spoke a short sentence in a strange language before a green light hit her and she collapsed. The dark man crackled a hideous sound that must have been laughter for him and turned towards a baby in the cradle. A deep voice pronounced two words and another green light appeared. It struck the baby in the forehead, but the baby didn't collapse like the woman did. The green light somehow reversed itself at the baby's forehead and struck the dark looking man in the chest. There was an explosion, and then everything was black.
The memory ended as Harry felt a nearly unbearable burning sensation in his scar. He collapsed to the floor in hard pain as his body jerked uncontrollably. Suddenly, it was over, and Harry's body relaxed.
Harry moved his hand up to rub his forehead, brushing against the lightning bolt scar that had been there all his short life. He gasped as he made the connection that would turn out to be the most important realization in his entire life.
The baby from the memory had been him.
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Harry Potter sat on the floor, unable to move his body. The revelation that had leaped at him only a moment ago had struck him unable to temporarily think. Finally, his thoughts began to pierce the grey fog that had crept over his mind and he began to focus.
Unconsciously, Harry pressed his hand back to his forehead. The scar that he had been told was the product of an auto accident took on a whole new meaning. He had been lied to. Exactly how the scar had come into being was still a mystery to him, but he knew it had to have something to do with the scene he had just witnessed: the woman, the dark man, the green lights...
Who was the woman in the scene? Was it his mother? Harry didn't want to think that he had witnessed the murder of his own mother when he was a baby. How had the woman died anyway? As far as he knew, light was not known to do that, but Harry was not an expert. There wasn't any doubt in his mind that the woman had died; it was one of the few things he was absolutely sure of. Then there was a question of how he could see himself in the vision. There wasn't any doubt in his mind that the baby had been him, but shouldn't he have witnessed the scene from his own perspective? It was almost like he was seeing through the eyes of someone else.
Harry was very close to the truth with respect to that, though he didn't know it at the time.
Harry drew himself up off of the floor. It was time for answers, and Harry knew that they would be found somewhere in this house. Harry exited the room and headed towards the next door. Opening it, a huge library was revealed. It seemed thousands of books were stacked on the shelves around the room, with more being scattered around the central table. Harry spotted some notes on the table and went over to look.
One good aspect of not having many friends was that one found other ways to entertain themselves. Harry had taken to reading, and while he wasn't all that great still, it had given him some minor comfort over the last few years. Harry hadn't really thought of it as a 'good' thing, however, until this moment. The answers to the mysteries that were plaguing him had to be found in those notes. Harry could almost feel the truth tugging on his mind to read. Without hesitation, he picked up the first one he saw and began looking over it.
Have put together the last piece of enchantment that I needed. The book on ancient magic Albus loaned me has helped tremendously. I just hope it will be enough to help my son. James has no doubt on the matter, but he doesn't understand the risk.
Tomorrow night will be when I cast the charm. According to the book, the charm can only be cast on Hallow's Eve. It was only luck that I was able to discover it ahead of time, otherwise we would have to wait another year to put the proper protections on Harry. Albus assured us that with Sirius as Secret Keeper for the Fidelius, we should not have anything to worry about, but he doesn't know we changed Keepers. I'm not so sure about our safety. Peter has been a good friend, but if Voldemort were to get to him... I don't know if he would be able to hold out.
I just don't understand why would Remus betray us? And what could make him do it? At first, I'll admit, I thought Sirius was the one Dumbledore was talking about, but he made James switch with Peter, so he couldn't be the spy. Peter's nice, though. I just hope he can keep it under his hat. Perhaps I should talk to James tomorrow about switching back to Sirius.
The note ended abruptly at that point, leaving Harry even more confused. He quickly pieced together a few things, however. James was his father's name, and the woman had a son named Harry. These were obviously the notes of his mother. Harry felt like hugging the paper close to his chest like a precious artefact, but settled for holding it lightly in his hands, afraid it was going to break or tear. The letter brought more questions, though, as well. Who were these people? Albus, Remus, Sirius, Dumbledore, Peter? Harry had never heard those names before. Albus and Dumbledore were certainly strange names, but the others seemed normal, if not a bit exotic. What was this talk about enchantments, ancient magic, and charms? What was the Fidelius, and why did it need a secret keeper? Harry carefully placed the paper back on the table and moved onto the book it was laying next too. Perhaps it was the book mentioned in his mothers writing.
Ancient Magic by Morgana la Fey he read the title on the front of the book while scrunching his eyebrows deep into a frown. There was a strange feeling beginning to creep in the bottom of his stomach that he couldn't quite place. It made his skin tingle with the feeling of a slight electric shock. Harry opened the cover and found some handwriting inside.
For Lily Potter,
I hope you find the means to protect Harry until the time comes for him to fulfil his destiny. Good luck!
He was right. It had been his mother's writing, but what did the note mean? Harry's destiny? What could he possibly be destined to do? Well, at least another mystery was solved. Albus and Dumbledore were the same person. Perhaps there was a way he could contact the man and get some real answers. The name conjured a silly picture of an old man with a long beard staring at his socks. Harry shook the thought from his head while giggling slightly and reminding himself that now was not the time to be silly.
Harry flipped a couple pages and began to read from the first chapter.
Magic has a long history, dating back thousands of years.
'Magic?' Harry asked himself. That stuff he had been able to glance on TV a couple times when his family hadn't been looking? Harry didn't feel there was anything too impressive about making a white tiger appear out of a seemingly empty box. For some reason that he couldn't place, he felt that deep inside was the ability to conjure up a white tiger out of thin air! But that was a silly idea, wasn't it? Harry continued reading.
When the first ancients began to discover the possibilities that magic held, the world prospered under amazing progress. The mysteries they uncovered about the universe we live in rival the knowledge of even today. But just as magic can be used for good, magic can be used for evil. Evil corrupted the hearts of men who sought power above all else, and that knowledge was lost. It is said that in those days, men did not need wands or staffs to practice the magical arts; their will and their hands were all that was needed.
Today, a very different situation is upon us. There exists only one that can manipulate the magic without a wand: my dear husband Merlin. What has caused this to come to pass? This is the question this book will attempt to unravel. I will begin with what little we know about the ancients views on willpower and projection, then move on to the importance of blood and the protections and possibilities it can empower.
Harry had to stop reading. What it true? Obviously this woman was saying that magic was real. There were a few words that Harry didn't understand, and he tried to guess their meaning, but it definitely seemed that the over-all gist of it was the magic was real. And his mother had been reading the book! If she believed in it, then Harry could also believe in it. If he had been a couple years older, perhaps the story would be different, but there was nothing more that he wanted that to be close to his parents in some minor way at least.
Harry turned the page to see... a moving picture! He knew beyond any doubt at that point that magic was real. How else could he see a hand holding a long stick making a circular motion? Harry looked underneath the picture to read the caption.
The levitation spell is a common first spell taught to all children. The needed movements are simple as well as the incantation of "Wingardium Leviosa." Children have no problem pointing their wand at something finally and making it float a few feet in the air, making it the perfect charm for building confidence.
Harry's eyes grew wide. The book was telling him how to do it – Magic! Harry looked around the room, hoping to find a stick he could use to test it out right away, but he didn't see any. Harry left the room and quickly looked through the other places he had been. No sticks / wands were to be found anywhere. As Harry crossed the front door opening, though, a small sapling caught his eye just off the porch.
'Of course!' he thought. 'There would be plenty of sticks out there. Probably fresher, too.'
Harry stepped out onto the front porch, and immediately saw several sticks laying on the wooden floor of it. Harry looked around and found one that looked to have fallen recently, and picked it up. It was about one and a half feet long, which was too long to Harry. Harry studied the physical characteristics carefully, looking for a place to break the branch into a more manageable size. It was light gray with the bark still attached. The stick in the moving picture had a polished finish on it, but Harry didn't think that would matter at all. He may do that in the future. The stick was pretty straight, and felt very comfortable in his hand. He ran his fingers along the outside until he found the perfect spot for the break. Quickly bending it, the stick broke in half. Harry held the end that he wanted to keep in his right hand. It felt really comfortable and just... perfect.
Harry ran back upstairs to review the picture. After studying it intensely for a few moments, he felt himself ready. Harry located another book and placed it right in front of him on the table. After taking one last glance at the moving picture, Harry concentrated and preformed the movements, while speaking the incantation clearly.
The book began to rise! Harry's eyes widened; he hadn't expected such quick results! As his excitement grew, his concentration wavered and the book fell back to the table. Harry couldn't do anything but grin. Then he concentrated again and did the same charm again.
There was one thing Harry didn't know at that point: it was the fact that a wand was supposed to be created by a craftsman and hold a magical core used for focusing his will. Harry had literally just performed wandless magic for no other reason except the fact that he had no knowledge of the magical world.
So his 'wand' would stay with him for the next several years.
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The Department of Accidental Magic Reversal was in a panic. There were papers flying through the air, and people shouting everywhere; no one was in control of the situation. Finally, a tall man with dark red hair stood up on a chair and whistled loudly, and silence settled along with the flying papers.
"OK! Now, will someone please explain what is going on?" the man said.
"Mr. Weasley, the sensors have been picking up repeated use of large outbursts of magic for the last hour, but we haven't been able to locate the source of those outbursts yet."
"I see," Mr. Weasley said simply. "Do our sensors tell us anything about the source?"
"No, sir. As soon as they tell us one thing, they reverse themselves completely and say the exact opposite. For example, the age sensor originally guessed the age of the source to be seven years old. The next moment, the same sensor said fifty-two years old, and after that it said that he was eighty. The only thing the sensors have been consistent about is that the source is a male person," an unnamed voice spoke from the crowd. There were mutterings among some of those who had been in the department for a while.
"Sir, I've been in this department for fifteen years now. Something of this magnitude has only happened once before," another voice spoke up.
"When was that?" Mr. Weasley asked. He had been steadily working his way up through the ranks, only achieving this department four years ago.
"The night the Potters were killed and Y-Y-You-know-who was defeated." There was a collective gasp from the crowd as the words sunk in. Had the Dark Lord returned?
"I see. Ok, Stevens, Shelly, Brooks, and Lidge, I want you to try to get a physical location of this outburst as precise as you can manage. You have my permission to create as many Portkeys as necessary to achieve this task, along with any other resources you might need. Everyone, this is now our top priority. I want someone to go to the archives of the last time this happened and compare the readings, and another person to stay on alert and call the DMLE just in case. I'm going to take this to Minister Fudge right," Mr. Weasley finished giving out his orders. He himself was surprised at his ability to think clearly in such a chaos. He stepped down off the chair he had been standing on and left the office quickly, headed for Fudge's office.
Upon arriving, he informed the secretary that he had critical information that the Minister needed to know about immediately. The secretary eyed him curiously, but then motioned for him to enter the minister's office. Mr. Weasley did so to find the Cornelius Fudge – the current minister of magic- sitting behind his desk.
"Minister, I have grave news to tell you," Mr. Weasley began. Fudge looked up at him, finally acknowledging the red head's presence. Personally, Fudge had never liked the man, but politically, the Weasley family was well known and well connected.
"What news could possibly be so grave from the Accidental Magic department, Arthur?" Fudge asked, more than a little condescendingly. Mr. Weasley didn't seem to notice, or chose not to show it.
"This morning, we have been getting repeated readings of large outbursts of magic. Our sensors have been unable to ascertain much information, though we have been able to discover that the source is a male from age seven to eighty," Mr. Weasley explained crisply.
Fudge just eyed him for a moment before saying anything. "And why, exactly, is this so important?"
"I'm sure you are aware, Minister, of the accuracy of the instruments we use to detect this sort of thing. They are usually highly accurate, so an anomaly like this should give us enough reason for concern. This should be coupled with the fact that the last time this happened was Halloween, 1981," Arthur explained.
"The night You-Know-Who was defeated?" Fudge asked, receiving a nod as an answer. "Preposterous! Are you suggesting that You-Know-Who has returned?"
"No sir, not at all. You have to admit, however, that this is a highly suspicious matter. I am dedicating the resources of my department to discover the reasons behind this as quickly as possible," Arthur said.
"You will do no such thing! Imagine the public reaction when they hear about this! Are you trying to start a panic? You shall pull your people back at once. This is obviously the result of equipment failure," Fudge ordered. Arthur stared back, wide-eyed. This was not the reaction he had been expecting. In fact, this was exactly the opposite of what needed to happen. He would need to look for help elsewhere – and he knew just the place to find it.
"Very well," Mr. Weasley said curtly before turning towards the door.
"Not so fast, Arthur. We will need to cover this up in some way. From this point on, you are to move to the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office where you will be working with Perkins. Is that understood?" Fudge asked menacingly, as if daring the man to argue with him. To his surprise, there was what looked to be glee in Mr. Weasley's eyes as the man gave a quick nod and left.
Arthur thought about going back to his office to begin the move and pull everyone back, but when he ran into Lidge, decided against it. Arthur quickly explained to Lidge what had happened, and then said he was going for a walk. Lidge could take care of everything at the office for him, and was very glad to at that. After all, Lidge had been gunning for the department head position for quite some time, but still Lidge wished him luck with his new position.
With a 'pop' Arthur appeared several miles away at the magical town known as Hogsmeade. The town, however, was quickly left behind as Arthur headed towards his final destination: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
A/N (November 7 2012): This story is a rewriting of Prodigy by jmcqk6, who gave me permission to do so, even if he did not exactly like the fact that I'd do it with a Harry/Ginny couple in mind.