Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by J.K. Rowling; various publishers including, but not limited to, Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books; and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
A/N: And here's the first part for the second book. Happy reading!
Raising Harry, Part Two
Book Two: La Vida Hogwarts
Year One: Hogwarts is a Strange Place
Chapter One: Arriving
Sunday, September 1, 1991 came much earlier than Harry was used to. Because of the six-hour time difference between Marysville, Iowa and the British Isles, he had to get up at three-thirty in the morning. A.J. had spent the night and had her parents' permission to go with the Brewers to see Harry off on the train. In fact, it was A.J. who woke him. "G'way," Harry grumbled before rolling over.
A.J. giggled and pried Harry off of his loft, "C'm on, Harry! Time to get up!"
"You drank coffee, didn't you?" he blearily asked.
"'Course I did. Didn't bother sleepin' last night. Knew we had to be up really early. I also have the rest of today and tomorrow to recover. You, on the other hand, hafta go to class tomorrow. Brits don't have Labor Day," A.J. grinned at him before leaving the room. Harry reluctantly made his way to the bathroom to finish waking up properly. It's way too damn early in the day to be as awake as she is. He dressed in a t-shirt and jeans, his cowboy boots, and the smaller version of the same white Stetsons that Jim and Dave wore. When he was done with his chores, he would add the white button-up shirt.
Once the horses were tended to, his cow milked, the goat fed, the guinea pigs fed and watered, and breakfast was done, Harry slipped upstairs. He quickly twisted the knob on his trunk to grey and grabbed his .22, the box of shells, and his bear. He hurriedly stashed them in the trunk-room before popping back into his normal bedroom and twisting the knob back to blue. He had discovered since acquiring the trunk that he was the only one that could open it; when his dad and Dave had tried, it acted like it was locked. He gave everything a once-over to make sure he wasn't forgetting anything. His quidditch book was packed away, as well as the foreign-language dictionaries he'd asked his mom to pick up. Aurilia had also insisted that he take some muggle nonfiction books, too, so he also had some books on history, science, and math. He was under strict orders from his mom to read at least one chapter out of each book per week.
"Got ev'rythin'?" his dad asked from the doorway while Harry was pulling on his shirt.
Harry nodded, "Think so. If not, I'll write. I'm sure Dumbledore has some way set up for us to stay in touch."
Jim nodded, "He does, an' he said that you'd have permission to call us through the fireplace if you needed anythin'. You'll hafta ask him when you get there if there's a specific fireplace on your end."
Harry checked, for the dozenth time that morning, to make sure his wand was still in the carrier that Nana had made for him – a small leather holster that was strung on his belt, along with his buck-knife and the miniature Mag-light Dave had given him to match his own. "Yeah, I've got ev'rythin'. Let's get goin'." Jim shouldered the trunk, making the same observation that Dave had – it weighed far less than it should have – and followed Harry to where everyone else was waiting in the living room. Harry opened the small mason jar that held grey dust, took a handful and stepped into the floo, shouting "Diagon Alley."
A.J. followed him after making sure that all the other Brewers were familiar with their portkey, as none of them had used one before. Their earlier trip to Diagon Alley had been conducted solely through the floo network, with Harry acting as the lead since a muggle couldn't activate it. They appeared next to Harry and A.J. moments later. "That was… nauseating." Aurilia mentioned.
It took some careful maneuvering of the London public transit system to get to Kings Cross station – a feat Aurilia hadn't had to do for several years. When they finally did, it was rapidly approaching eleven o'clock. The family stopped at the divider between platforms nine and ten, seeing the last of a family of red-heads disappear through the bricks. Harry was suddenly grateful that they were running short on time, his mom was already rather teary, and A.J., for all her tomboy bravado, looked like she might cry at any moment. "Be good, luz, and write often, you hear?" his mom gave him a tight hug.
"Will do. Promise," Harry replied, ruffling Cyrus' hair.
He received similar wishes from Dave and his dad. A.J. just threw her arms around him and clung tightly, "Remember to teach me what you learn when you get back, Harry!" Her voice was threatening to crack on tears.
Harry pulled away, grinning, "Promise. You hafta remember to show me all that Nana teaches you, too, ya know."
A.J. returned the grin, albeit a little sadly, "Cross my heart," she said.
"Better hurry, kiddo, you've only got a couple of minutes before the train leaves," Dave pointed to a clock not far from where they were standing.
Harry took his trunk from Jim and paused just before going through the barrier. "Be good!" his mom called after him.
He gave the Scouts' salute, "Scouts' honor!" he shouted back before being swallowed by red bricks.
The platform was a mass of confusion. People, owls, and trunks were everywhere. Harry blinked at the sight. Only a few of the people were wearing normal clothes, and even most of those looked slightly… off. "You there!" someone shouted. Harry looked around and saw a gangly red-headed youth heading his way. He was already wearing the Hogwarts uniform and had a shiny badge pinned to his robes. "You a first year?" the boy asked after reaching Harry.
"Yeah, I am. Who're you?" Harry asked. The older boy had the pompous, brown-nosing attitude of a lifetime member of the 'teacher's pet' association; the very same group of which Harry had narrowly escaped becoming a member, and he owed his rescue entirely to A.J. Harry already didn't like the boy.
"My name is Percy Weasley, and I'm a prefect. Take your trunk with you onto the train, and someone will help you put it in a compartment. Hurry, though, we will be leaving in," he checked his wristwatch, "precisely two minutes."
"Just two questions," Harry said, readjusting the trunk on his shoulder. He was feeling more than a little mischievous, and he knew A.J. wouldn't have hesitated even this long in what he was going to say.
Percy whirled around, he had started to leave, "What? Best be quick about it, lest you be left behind."
"What's a prefect?"
"We help to enforce the rules among the student body."
Harry nodded, mentally noting to avoid prefects in the future. "And… does it hurt?"
"Does what hurt?" Percy had a confused expression. Harry noticed that it looked distinctly out of place on the freckled redhead.
"The stick up your ass," Harry said, grinning widely. He never much cared for brown-nosers, and that was what Percy acted like. He stepped around the sputtering boy and headed towards the train, feeling that A.J. and Dave both would have approved, albeit quietly and far from his mom's hearing-range. Just before he was about to board the train, someone tapped him on the shoulder while someone else relieved him of his trunk.
Harry turned to see a pair of identical red-headed twin boys grinning at him. "Who're y'all?" Harry asked.
"I'm Gred," the one with his trunk said.
"And I'm Forge," the other one replied.
"Rather, that's Fred."
"And Perfect Prefect Percy is our…"
"…older brother and we just saw…"
"…you do something we've been dreaming of…"
"…for the last couple years…"
"…ever since we came to Hogwarts." Harry realized that speaking with the twins was like watching a tennis match. The two of them then simultaneously asked, "And you are?"
"Harry," he replied, wondering if he'd get a similar reaction from the twins as he'd received from that Hermione girl in Diagon Alley.
"Well, Harry…" the one with his trunk started.
"We're Weasleys…" the other one continued.
Simultaneously they finished, "…And there's quite a few of us."
A dark haired girl hurried past the three of them, "Gred! Forge! There you two are! Lee Jordan's got a giant tarantula!" she shouted, "Want to come see?"
"Not just yet, Angelina," one of them, Harry thought it was Fred, said.
"We've got a firstie to take care of, just now," the other finished. The girl's gaze narrowed a little, and George held his hands up, "Now, Angelina, we're not going to prank him! He put Percy in his place!"
The girl blinked, then smiled at Harry, "You realize you just made friends for life in these two, right?"
Harry shrugged, "'At's good ta know, miss," he tipped his hat to her and followed the twins down the loud, packed isle. Eventually they reached a compartment near the end of the train.
Fred hoisted Harry's trunk into an overhead bin while George tapped a boy that was staring out the window. "Ickle Ronniekins!"
The shorter red-headed boy ducked out from under George, "What?" he said, scowling.
"We've brought you a fellow firstie," Fred said.
"Who has already proved himself to be worth knowing," George continued.
"Perfect Prefect Percy…"
"…succinctly into place." With that the twins left the compartment and Harry chuckled, sliding onto the bench across from the other boy.
"What did you do?" the other boy asked.
"Just asked 'im if the stick up his ass hurt any." Harry replied.
The other boy laughed and held out his hand, "I'm Ron Weasley."
"Harry Brewer," Harry replied, shaking the proffered hand.
The two started chatting and not long after the train started to move, Ron asked, "You sound odd. You're American?"
Harry nodded, "Yeah. I live in Iowa. My folks breed horses, an' Mom runs an herbalist store."
"Why didn't you go to a school in the US, then?"
"'Cause I was given the option to go ta Hogwarts, an' I ain't never seen a castle before. That an' if I wanted to go to school in the states, I'd hafta wait two more years, 'til I was in the ninth grade. An' this way, I get the best of ev'rythin'. The US don't have no laws against underage magic, so's I c'n practice all summer an' durin' vacations, an' I get ta start learnin' real magic two years earlier."
Ron shook his head, And people think I sound stupid! Out loud, though, he shrugged, "Makes sense. So, are your parents wizards?"
Harry shook his head, "No, my folks're muggles, an' I didn't learn I was a wizard 'til this summer. Was really weird learnin' 'bout it all."
During the course of the train ride, Ron and Harry got to know each other rather well. "I don't envy you havin' three brothers," Harry remarked at one point. "One's 'bout all I c'n handle, though I heard Mom an' Dad say that when Cyrus is another year or two older, they're gonna try for another."
"Five," Ron replied. "I have five older brothers and a little sister."
"Do they go to Hogwarts, too?"
Ron shook his head, "No, Ginny – she's my sister – isn't old enough. She'll start next year. My two oldest brothers did, but they're both done with school. Bill's the oldest, he's a curse-breaker for Gringotts, and Charlie works with dragons in Romania."
At one point in their conversation, an elderly witch appeared pushing a trolley of sweets. "Anything from the trolley, dears?" she asked.
Harry got to his feet – it had been a long time since breakfast. "Sure. Ya want anythin', Ron?"
Ron shook his head, "No, I'm all right. Mom made sandwiches."
Harry's interest perked, he wasn't really in the mood to pick through the jellybeans or catch a leaping frog. "What kind?"
"Cool. Tell ya what, I'll get ya somethin' from the trolley, an' we'll trade, yeah?"
Ron shrugged. Harry bought a couple of cauldron cakes, some licorice wands, and two bottles of butterbeer, figuring it was probably along the lines of root beer or birch beer – he wasn't disappointed. Just as the two of them were finishing up their meal, the door to their compartment opened. "Has anyone seen a toad?" the girl from Madam Malkin's asked. "A boy named Neville's lost one."
"Sorry," Ron said, shaking his head.
"Nope," Harry confirmed. "Ain't seen a toad. Saw a chocolate frog out the window a few minutes ago – musta got away from someone – but I don't think that's what ya meant."
The girl sighed, "If you see it, would you tell me?" she asked.
The boys nodded, "Sure."
"I'm Ron Weasley, by the way," Ron said.
"Hermione Granger," the girl said.
"Good ta see ya again, Hermione," Harry tipped his hat at her. "Finish your book?"
"Yes," she replied, wondering just how it was that such an ignorant boy could possibly be going to such a prestigious school as Hogwarts, and feeling slightly irritated at the strange nasally twang he gave to the middle part of her name. "You'd better get into your uniforms, I expect we'll be arriving soon." She closed the door and disappeared.
"Not all 'at friendly, is she?" Harry asked.
Ron shrugged and finished off his licorice wand, then fed the crusts of his sandwich to a rat in his pocket. "This is Scabbers," he said.
"A rat?" Harry asked.
"What's wrong with it?" Ron was defensive.
"Nothin', it's just the letter said a cat, owl, or toad. Had I known rodents were okay, I'd'a brought one of my guinea pigs."
Content that Harry wasn't making fun of his pet, Ron suggested, "Maybe you can bring one back with you after Christmas."
Harry grinned, "Mayhap so. 'Spect the girl's right, though. We should get our uniforms on."
While changing into their robes – Ron pointed out that since it was Sunday, they wouldn't be required to wear the full uniform – Harry knocked his hat back to hang from its cord around his neck. It was getting dark outside, anyway. He looked up from the window to see Ron's eyes were fixated on his forehead and they were open wide enough for Harry to see the whites all around the irises. "What?" he asked.
"Blimey, you're Harry Potter!"
Harry chuckled, "Sorta. I don't go by that name. Never really did. When Mom married Dad a few years back, I took the last name. So, I'm really Harry Brewer." He chewed on his lip for a moment. "Hmm… Think I ought ta make up cards or somethin'? Ev'ryone seems ta have trouble with my name for some reason."
Surprised out of his astonishment, Ron laughed. "You might at that, Harry."
The train began to slow, signaling their arrival. Harry tugged his trunk down out of the overhead bin, standing on the seat to do so, and then helped Ron with his. "How'd you get yours down by yourself?" Ron asked.
Harry shrugged, "It used ta be my real dad's, an' I think it's got some sort of charm on it. No matter what I put in it, it don't get no heavier."
Ron went to pick up the trunk and realized that even with charms to reduce its weight, it was still rather heavy. "Still feels plenty heavy to me," he said.
Harry snickered. "It wouldn't if you helped throw around hay-bales all day." Before exiting the compartment, Harry replaced his hat. He was already getting tired of people seeing his scar and assuming that he was that Potter kid. He was a Brewer, damnit, and proud of it.
Ceding the point, Ron and Harry made their way off the train, following the prefects' instructions to leave their luggage on the train. Once outside, there was a loud voice shouting, "Firs' years over here!" Following the shout, they soon located Rubeus Hagrid. Harry felt that othersense kick in again. He knew he was supposed to get to know this giant of a man, even if he didn't know why. Thankfully the book Snape had recommended on Empathy had worked wonders. The only emotions he'd felt during the entire ride had been his own.
Ron and Harry followed the large man and a mass of their fellow first-years to a dock where they were all instructed to get into boats. Everyone heeded the man's advice of no more than four people per boat; the boats were really small. A scared-looking girl with strawberry blonde braids and a smiling black boy shared the boat with Harry and Ron. The four of them chatted for a little while, while everyone else got into their own boats. "I'm Dean Thomas," the black boy introduced himself.
"Ron Weasley," Ron replied. "And this is Harry Po – oof!" Harry interrupted him with a well-placed elbow.
"Name's Brewer," Harry said, glaring at the red-headed boy beside him. "Harry Brewer."
"You're American?" Dean asked.
Harry laughed, "Yeah. It's that obvious?"
"Just a bit," the girl replied. "My name's Hannah Abbott."
Harry tipped his hat in her direction, "Pleased ta meet ya, Hannah."
Dean shook his head at the obvious difference between Harry's reply and his own, "Pleased to meet you, Miss Abbot." His mom had drilled him on manners until he was thoroughly sick of the subject – it wouldn't do to have all those lessons go to waste.
Before any of them could say anything further, the boats began to move, and all further conversation was halted by the students' first glimpse of Hogwarts. She's beautiful, Harry thought, an' I get to live there? Wonder which room is mine… Unknown to him, most of the other students were thinking similarly.
When they reached the school, after having to duck under some trailing ivy that hid the entrance to a cave-enclosed dock, the giant-man lead the first-years up a short flight of stairs, stopping at a large door and knocking three times. It opened at once, revealing a stern-faced older woman with her graying, black hair twisted into a bun and wearing severe green robes.
"The firs' years, Professor McGonagall," the man said.
"Thank you, Hagrid. I will take them from here." She pulled the door wide. Wow, Harry thought, this hall alone's big enough to plunk the cottage into… mayhap the house an' garage, too. The entrance hall was lit like everywhere else Harry had been in the wizarding world – with an assortment of either torches or candles. Iffen they've got magic, an' magic can make lights like in the trunk, then why all the torches? Harry wondered, then figured he would likely receive an answer to that question at some point during his time at Hogwarts.
Everyone followed Professor McGonagall across the stone floor. Harry could hear the drone of hundreds of voices from a doorway to the right. The rest of the students must already be here. Wonder how they got here so quick? The professor didn't open the doors to the room from which the muted voices of hundreds could be heard, instead McGonagall ushered them into a small room to the left. Everyone crowded in, and Harry was once again thankful to Snape for recommending the book on Empathy. He could tell everyone was nervous, even without using his talent, and didn't think he could have dealt with their anxiety along with his own.
The professor cleared her throat, "Welcome to Hogwarts." A couple of the more-nervous kids jumped a little at her voice. "The start-of-term banquet will begin shortly, but before you take your seats in the Great Hall, you will be sorted into your houses. The Sorting is a very important ceremony because, while you are here, your house will be something like your family within Hogwarts. You will have classes with the rest of your house, sleep in your house dormitory, and spend free time in your house common room." Harry nodded, most of this had already been told to him by either Dumbledore or Snape. He still listened attentively, though, as the teacher might divulge some previously-unknown tidbit of information.
"The four houses are called Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. Each house has its own noble history and each has produced outstanding witches and wizards. While you are at Hogwarts, your triumphs will earn your house points, while any rule-breaking will lose house points. At the end of the year, the house with the most points is awarded the house cup, a great honor. I hope each of you will be a credit to whichever house becomes yours." Though Harry had heard a bit about the house structure already, the information on points was new to him. Wonder why it's such a big deal? Does the winning house get a party or a trip somewhere?
"The Sorting Ceremony will take place in a few minutes in front of the rest of the school. I suggest you all smarten yourselves up as much as you can while you are waiting." The professor's gaze lingered on a few students who were looking less than their best. One of them – a slightly round blonde boy – had his cloak fastened incorrectly. "I shall return when we are ready for you, please wait quietly." With that, she turned and left through a door which Harry was pretty sure would lead them to the room where the rest of the student body was waiting.
Harry heard someone swallow loudly before whispering, "How do they sort us into houses?" He thought it might have been Dean, but he didn't bother looking up to confirm his assumption. He was busy making sure his flashlight, wand, and buck-knife were still securely in their respective holsters on his belt. He did notice that it was Ron who replied.
"Some sort of test, I think. Fred said it hurts a lot, but I think he was joking."
Harry snickered. The kid who'd asked the question was indeed Dean. "What's so funny?" Ron asked.
"Just that I think Fred was messin' with ya, Ron. I heard that the houses are separated by personality type, an' I haven't the foggiest how the sortin's done, but it can't be a test, 'less it's one of those personality tests, like with inkblots an' whatnot. I mean, we're first-years, an' iffen it was a test on magic, how would any of us pass?" Harry met Ron's and Dean's eyes.
"What makes you so certain?" Hermione piped up. Harry was both irritated that she'd jumped, uninvited, into their conversation, and pleased that she'd stopped muttering the names of various spells under her breath.
Before Harry could respond, several people behind him screamed. "What in blue blazes?" he turned to see what had caused the commotion.
About twenty pearly-white, translucent ghosts had come through the back wall and were gliding towards the opposite wall, talking amongst themselves. "Forgive and forget, I say, we ought to give him a second chance –"
"My dear Friar, haven't we given Peeves all the chances he deserves? He gives us all a bad name, and, you know, he's not really even a ghost – I say, what are you all doing here?" Harry grinned. So these are some of those ghosts the professors told me about.
"We're the new first-years," Harry said, tipping his hat to them, accidentally knocking it off to hang by its cord, and answering the question posed by the ghost of a man in a ruff and tights. "We're waitin' for the Sortin' Ceremony to start."
The Fat Friar smiled at Harry, "That's nice, dear boy!" To the group at large he waived and said, "Hope to see you in Hufflepuff! My old house, you know." The ghosts dispersed and the group returned to waiting. Harry was starting to get a little impatient. What the hell can be takin' so long?
Lost in his musings, Harry didn't notice when someone sighted his scar, followed by frantic whispering and pointing. He did notice, however, when a pale boy with silvery eyes and a pointy, rattish face stepped directly in front of him and said, "So the rumors are true then. Harry Potter has come to Hogwarts."
Harry scoffed and leveled a cold look at the boy. His other-sense was tripping warning bells all through his mind. "Name's Brewer, not Potter."
The blonde smirked, "That's right, you were raised by muggles, were you not?"
"Not that it's any of your business, but yeah. What's it to ya?" He eyed the two large boys that flanked the blonde. Harry thought they both looked rather like the drawing of Homo Sapiens Neanderthalensis on his poster in the trunk. He was familiar with their attitude, though; it just screamed 'bully.'
"Oh," the blonde glanced over his shoulder at the other two boys, as if just remembering that they were there. "This is Crabbe and Goyle." He pointed to first one, then the other. "And I'm Malfoy. Draco Malfoy."
Harry recognized the last name as being the same as one of the authors of the books Snape had recommended. He chuckled, though, because several of the movies he'd received for his birthday centered on James Bond. "'At's nice, but that means what ta me?" Ron, as well as everyone else in the room, was gaping at Harry in astonishment.
Draco's smirk grew wider, "You'll soon learn that some wizarding families are better than others, Potter. You don't want to go making friends with the wrong sort. I can help you there." He held out his hand for Harry to shake.
Harry looked from Malfoy's hand to his face and back to the hand. Just who does this prig think he is? "I ain't touchin' that. I dunno where it's been."
Malfoy's eyes narrowed and he lowered his hand. "I suppose, Potter, that after being raised by muggles, it is only natural that their… ignorance of culture and the niceties of polite interaction have rubbed off on you. Perhaps you ought to see about obtaining some manners."
"The only one without manners I see here is you, an' my name's not Potter, damnit! It's Brewer. What's wrong with you that you can't remember a simple name? You get dropped on your head as a baby?"
Draco's cheeks acquired a pink tinge and his eyes grew very cold, "I'd be careful if I were you, Potter," he purposefully stressed the name, "unless you're a bit more polite, you'll go the same way as your parents. They didn't know what was good for them, either."
"Excuse me, Krätze, but I got parents. I was adopted, hence the name Brewer," Harry's patience with the kid was rapidly wearing thin and his mom's tendency to swear in German was something Harry had picked up, right alongside Jim's and Dave's drawling, Oklahoma accent.
Draco ignored the word he didn't understand and scoffed, "No doubt by common, ignorant fools on which the true concept of family is completely lost."
Harry bristled. I really don't like this kid. "You know what, Malfoy, I got the best sort of family, 'cause they picked me. No doubt your own family regrets the day you were forced on 'em, du schleimige kleine wurmzerfressene Nachgeburt einer – "
"It is so very important to your continuance at this school, Mr. Brewer, for you not to finish that sentence," McGonagall stated from the doorway.
"Sorry, ma'am," Harry said, knowing, even without consulting his other-sense, that this witch was someone he didn't want to get on the bad side of. "It won't happen again."
"See that it doesn't," she pursed her lips before turning to the rest of the assembled first-years. "Come along now, we are ready for you. Please form a line and follow me."
Feeling slightly excited and more than a little ashamed that he'd nearly been caught swearing – even though he doubted any of the other kids understood what he had said, or even what he was going to say – by a teacher, Harry got into line behind a black boy that was taller than Dean and in front of Ron. McGonagall lead the line of first-years into the Great Hall.
A/N2: From here on through Harry's second year, you will, from time to time, find chapters that sound quite a lot like cannon. These are the parts I believe to be Fate. In each instance, though, there is always some slightly new spin on things. Thanks, as always, to the ever-so-efficient and speedy beta Aurilia!
A/N3: German cleaned up (August 25, 2007). Many thanks to Johannes for pointing me in the right direction!