I'm bothered by a severe lack of muse-love right now, so I'm stuck doing one of three things: reading fanfics, playing Age of Empires II, and editing/modifying/rewording portions of older chapters.
Now, this isn't all bad, as this has given me the opportunity to go back and correct a few of the more minor mistakes that I have seen in each chapter. For example, in the original, there was this shtick about 'cannon/canon' and I was attempting a joke about a twelve-pounder which fell through. That's been gotten rid of.
Oh, and no, still no beta'r, if you're wondering. Not really looking for one either. They're so...reliable and dutiful and unlazy. Unlike me.
There isn't much if any new material, so you don't have to reread it if you don't wish to.
As for a disclaimer. Yeah... This is fanfic. 'Nuff said.
Potter-Adkins, Southern Bred Hospitality
by: Trey Miller
To have an idea of where our story starts, the best place is always the beginning, even though our story technically begins almost ten years later.
After Albus Percival Wulvric Brian Dumbledore (Head Mugwump, etc, etc) placed the infant Harry James Potter on the front stairs of the Dursley's, he did not look back. Not even to inform Petunia Dursley of her sisters' death at the hands of a homicidal killer. The way things happen in the original world, the Dursley's immediately, and with great hostility, agree to Dumbledore's demands that they take him in, and grow to hate the child for the sins of Dumbledore.
But this is not that world. The morning of November 1st dawned bright, and Petunia Dursley was in quite a good mood for a change. When she discovered the infant Harry and read the letter, rather than acting violent and spiteful, she calmly spoke with her husband, and informed him that, unless Vernon wanted to adopt Harry, she would take him to a local orphanage and allow them to put him up for adoption, as they simply did not have the money to care for another child.
One week later and Vernon would have agreed that his son, Dudley, might want a brother. But this would only be after a good ten percent boost to his salary, and by then, the events of November 1st were already set in stone.
Vernon told Petunia that he would take their nephew to the orphanage, as she still had to take care of Dudley. So as he went to get ready to take young Harry to the orphanage, Petunia took the time to make her peace with her sister and her nephew, whose emerald green eyes reminded her so much of her dead sister. And then he was gone from her life, not forever, but most certainly for now.
At this same time, a young American family was in England due to the husband's job. Andrew 'Andy' Adkins, age 26, was a mechanic in the US Army who had been loaned to the British SAS for a one-year tour. Rather than leave his wife, Jessica, and their four-year-old son Jason, for the year, he brought the whole family over.
For almost two years prior, Andy and Jessica had attempted to have another child, but found that there was a problem with Jessica that would not allow her to ever have children again. It was agreed that they would simply adopt a child. Thus it was the Fate's planning that had Vernon with the year old Harry and the Adkins family run into each other at the same orphanage at the same time. It was evident to Andy and Jessica that Vernon was regretful for having to give up his nephew and they spoke to him about the little green-eyed boy.
Vernon explained as much as he knew, without mentioning magic of course, to the young couple. He spoke about how Lily and James Potter had been a rather decent bunch, a trifle eccentric in his opinion, but good people nonetheless. He explained that they had been killed by a drunkard lunatic with delusions of grandeur who was killed also—which wasn't far from the truth, actually. Vernon told them that he had it under good authority that young Harry was in no further danger, and even if he was, America would be the last place anyone looked for him.
Less than two hours later, Vernon Dursley left with the contact information of the family who adopted his nephew, a smile on his face at having provided the young family such a unique opportunity, and the feeling of triumph over the wizard named Dumbledore. The Adkins family formally adopted Harry, changing his family name from Potter to Adkins.
And as they say, the rest is history... Well, from the Muggles point of view.
From Albus Dumbledore, the story goes just slightly deeper...
He had not checked on the Dursley's since he dropped little Harry off, leaving that job to his squib friend Arabella Figg. This worked out nicely for the six months that the Dursley's stayed at Number 4 Privet, until Vernon's job at Grunnings shipped him off to work at one of their other sites. Rather than attempt placing another watcher on the Dursley's, he had merely watched them leave.
The next time a discussion about Harry Potter came up in great detail was early 1991. It was, after all, the year that Harry Potter re-entered the wizarding world. So when the quill that addressed all yearly student letters wrote Harry's name, it wrote:
To: Harry James Potter-(Unknown)
And placed it aside for one of the professors to look at.
This, of course, brought panic to Minerva McGonagall who immediately spoke to Albus. Thankfully, the event was kept under wraps far better than most other secrets around Hogwarts, and so no one was the wiser. After learning of the quills odd behavior, Albus went and spoke to the Dursley's (who were relatively polite about the fact that Harry had been adopted by the Adkins family, from America. His admonishment of their behavior was shot full of holes when it was explained that they had neither the money, nor the experience to have raised a second child at the time; however, while they appreciated that Petunia was chosen, (by him, not Lilly and James' wills) the least he could have done was approach them in person and speak with them.
Albus had left the Dursley's home feeling as if he'd just been told off by a favorite aunt. And so, with the thoughts that he had severely messed up being on the forefront of his mind, he sought out to find the Adkins family and introduce them and Harry to the joys of magic. The Dursley's had given him their address with the explicit order that he not simply appear unannounced in their living room.
Which is why he was standing outside a very nice one story brick house that showed signs of two young boys living there happily (the two brand new bikes, one slightly larger than the other, was proof that there were two boys there). Albus smiled. Perhaps Harry had grown up having a childhood, after all. He knocked on the door.
August 4, 1991- Dothan, Al, USA
Jason Adkins opened the door and stared at the sight before him. There stood an old man whose attire could only be called eclectic. His extremely long white beard and long hair was braided, he wore black rattlesnake boots, a day-glow orange and white suit, and a black tie decorated with yellow dots (which he later noticed were lemons).
He blinked, "If you're looking for the Vanilla Ice concert, you're about a hundred miles off." He went to close the door when the old man held up a hand to stop him.
"Actually, young man, I'm looking for Harry Adkins."
Jason's arm that was holding the inside door knob went toward the gun nearby. "Why are you looking for my brother, Mister-?"
"Oh, pardon my manners. My name is Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster at an elite school for gifted youth in Scotland. I am here as a favor to Harry's biological parents to personally spread an invitation for him to come to the school where they attended."
Jason nodded and opened the door wider, "Well, c'mon in, then. Our parents are on their way home, but you can wait until they get here and discuss everything with them. Though lemme say, I doubt we've got the money to cover the cost of any fancy schooling over there, much less here."
Albus stepped inside and smiled, his eyes twinkling, "My boy," Jason told him his name, "Jason, Harry's birth parents left him a large amount of money that was supposed to be used to support him. Not only that, but his schooling has been paid in full for the entire seven years that he would attend if he and your family agreed."
Jason blinked and shrugged, "Well, whatever. Lemme see if he's around." He turned and walked out, leaving Albus to take a seat.
Albus chuckled in amusement. American Muggles! Simply amazing, really. His thoughts turned from the overall musing to the matter at hand. There were pictures on the walls that showed Harry and Jason growing up, and Harry was always smiling, always having fun. Not one boy was more loved than the other.
His eyes roamed over to the main wall of the living room. On both sides of the television stood two shelves crammed with awards and the likes that belonged to each boy. Where Jason had helped his team win the state championship in American soccer, Harry had blown the competition out of the water during swimming competitions. Both boys were extremely bright, honor roll students (though neither could actually claim to be straight A students). But on the other side of the same coin, both were insanely gifted at getting into trouble. On each of the boys' shelves, there sat an open folder that held reports from principals of the schools the boys attended stating that there were being suspended for fighting- though never for starting the fight.
Albus snorted at one particular note in Harry's file: "While Harry is above his peers when it comes to book knowledge, he seems to lack the basic social skills needed to get around in life. Specifically, how to turn a blind eye to students who are reprimanding other students." There was something stapled to the back of this and Albus flipped to that. He chuckled gaily at the newspaper clipping, "Principal of Local Elementary School Fired."
"Whoa, you weren't joking, Jase. He does look like a Vanilla Ice fan!" Albus turned around to see a boy in black, loose fitting jeans and a polo shirt grinning at him with emerald green eyes behind a pair of wire rimmed glasses and a toothy smile. The black haired youth stepped forward and stuck his hand out, "Hi, I'm Harry. Well, Harry Potter, even though it's Harry Adkins now. What can I do for you, sir?"
"I'm Albus Dumbledore, headmaster at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in Scotland, Mr. Adkins. I have come to offer you a place at my school," he said, while shaking the young mans hand.
Harry arched an eyebrow. "Magic, Mr. Dumbledore? Why would I need training in magic?" He motioned toward the chair behind the headmaster as he and Jason sat down on the sofa nearby.
Dumbledore hummed as he sat. "Ah, you see Harry, you are a wizard, the son of two powerful magic users who attended Hogwarts. They set it up so that you could attend Hogwarts if you so wished." Albus pulled out the letter and handed it to Harry. "This is the normal Hogwarts acceptance letter."
Harry browsed through the letter quickly before handing it to Jason who looked it over and then handed it back. Jason said, "I've already said it, but since Harry wasn't in here when I did before, I'll say it now, we're going to wait for our parents to get home before agreeing to anything."
Harry nodded, "Actually, there is one question I've got, and I know Jase and our parents will be curious too. When you say 'Witchcraft'..."
Albus scowled and sighed, "That is one of the largest reasons why we don't have every invited child attend. There really is no short answer, but the most accurate and abridged version, would be that the wizarding world is separated from the non-magique, the non-magical. And sadly, the wizard world is full of bigots and racists in the form of some of the older houses, the purebloods. As for these purebloods, most of them are in political offices. They would rather the magic world die out than for Muggleborns, their term for magic users without a direct four-generational tie to the wizarding world."
Jason snorted and muttered something rude under his breath. "Sounds like the people that Harry and me normally beat the fear of God into."
"Based on the little bit I saw in your respective folders," Albus chuckled, and pointed toward the fireplace, "I would agree with your deduction, Jason.
"But as to your question, Hogwarts is not a place where you can learn how to summon demons or work with demons. It is a place where magic, pure, untainted magic is learned. That is not to say that there are not spells that deal in the darker aspects of the world and the likes, but we attempt to make certain that no students are taught those darker magics while on Hogwarts grounds."
Harry chuckled darkly, "So I could still run into fools who have been taught at home. Gotcha. Anything else I should be aware of before I go over there?" He picked up Jason's surprised look and shrugged, grinning. "Do you blame me? A chance to kick butt, take names, and right wrongs like we always do, what's not to like?" The brothers laughed.
"As a matter of fact, there is much more that I should tell you than I would be able to cover in a single day. But I will touch on those that bear that most import to you in your decision making and planning." Albus gathered himself and absently conjured a bottle of butterbeer for each. "It's a non-alcoholic drink similar to soda called butterbeer. Getting back on topic, the biggest thing you should know is that in the British wizarding community, you are famous."
Jason spat the butterbeer in his mouth all over his parents who had chose that very moment to walk in. Harry burst out laughing and Albus chuckled. Andrew and Jessica Adkins stared at the scene for a moment in confusion before looking at Albus.
"Seeing as you're the only one who isn't about to die of something, would you mind explaining what's going on?" asked Andrew.
Albus stood, "My name is Albus Dumbledore, headmaster of an elite school of magic in Scotland called Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry." He muttered to himself, "Maybe I should call in a few favors this time for that name change."
Andrew and Jessica looked at each other and then at Harry and Jason who had calmed down enough to stand. "Okay, so what does that have to do with anything?" asked Jessica.
For the next hour, Albus explained the history of the wizarding world, where it stood on matters such as religion and Muggleborns and the full and unabridged version of why Harry was famous. This was of course interspersed with Jessica making Harry promise he wouldn't kill any of them (pounding their faces into the ground in defense of others was just shrugged off- he'd do it either way).
Finally, the question came up by Albus, "I've been to many of these introductions and you're the first ones to not even bat an eye at the idea of magic. Why is that?"
Jessica chuckled, "That's because Harry's been doing magic for a long while."
Albus choked, "I'm sorry, what?"
Harry waved his hand and summoned a clay disc that was near the other side of the room. He waved his other hand and it stopped, staying in mid air as he focused on it, closing his eyes tight, he waved both hands and it slowly began to ripple and change. Two minutes later, a small fluffy yellow pillow in the shape of a lemon dropped onto Albus' waiting hand. Harry sagged back in his seat, breathing deep as his father grabbed a chocolate bar for Harry to eat on.
His mother hugged him and looked at Albus, "He normally doesn't go for something quite so extravagant when he's just showing off. And we will be having a discussion about you straining yourself, young man!"
Albus was still staring at the pillow in his hands, turning it over and over as he checked it out. He looked up at the family in front of him and whispered, "This is simply amazing."
"Why do you say that, Mr. Dumbledore?" asked Andrew.
"Let me list the years that students at Hogwarts learn the spells that your son showed just now. The summoning charm is taught in fourth year. The transfiguration that he did is taught in parts during the first two years, but something of this quality is done in third year. Also, he did this without a magical focus, a wand, in the case of wizards in Britain."
Jason whistled appreciatively, "My little bro, the next Merlin."
Andrew looked between Harry and Albus, "Where would we go to get him a magical focus here in America?"
"Hmm, well, there's probably a store in every major town where he could get some supplies, and possibly a foci of sorts. While I do not remember every place around here, he could most assuredly get a focus in Atlanta, Georgia. Oh, and Harry would still need to purchase a British ministry approved wand, but that can be done in London."
"Well, that's an eight hour round trip, to Atlanta, at least," said Jessica.
Albus' eyes twinkled in mirth, "Eight hours by car, about a minute by portkey."
This led to a fifteen minute discussion of British ministry approved transportation forms and the American Bureau's own approved list. Suffice to say, Harry wouldn't have to worry about getting in trouble practicing magic during the summer, so long as it was on his property, or within the American Bureau of Magic's designated areas.
Andrew looked at his watch, "It's right now 4:11. You say we could be there and back before five?"
"That is plenty of time to find a magical focus and get back here." Albus was pulling a sock from his pocket (The ultimate transfiguration substance: it makes clothes, portkeys, and anything and everything else. Plus you never know when you'll need a dry pair!).
"Now, magic is something like ninety percent focus, thirty percent power. So if you focus on your intention, and then mentally shape what it is to be what you want it to be, you can do it. You already know that with your focus-less magic, so I'll show you how it's done with a wand." He tapped his wand to the sock and spoke clearly so that Harry could hear him, "Engorgo!" the sock grew to be the length of a scarf, "And now, we're going to the Magus Central in Atlanta. I've been there, so I know where to send us. Portus!" The sock-scarf glowed for a second and then Albus held it out to the family.
"Take a hold of this and just relax, while the ride may seem wild, what you are actually going to be feeling is the surrounding magic, not wind. You're perfectly safe so long as you don't tense up, don't panic, and don't let go. Alright?" He received nods from all around.
"Okay, and we're off!" There was a dull flash of light as the magic was triggered, and then the house was empty.
--Minor Editing Done: 27 Dec, 2007--