Harry Potter was holding his new godson, absently petting the now thick and very purple hair. The child had woken the Boy Savior wailing, and smelly. Changed and being slowly lulled back to sleep Harry felt he could almost get used to this new life of his.
Sure that the child was asleep again he put him back in his crib and, shutting the door as quietly as possible, made for his own, now surely cold, bed.
On entering his room Harry turned the lights out and shuffled to the bed where he fell unceremoniously on to it, bouncing up once before settling down flat, his dead weight making the bed sink slightly. Harry, exhausted from the days work, was halfway to dreamland when the paper roughness of his pillow was too annoying to ignore. Lifting his head slightly to fluff the damn thing Harry noticed a... something sticking to his face. And under his hand there was no paper roughness to his pillow.
Dumbly looking around his room, Harry reached for the note still stuck to his face.
Happy Birthday, Mate!
-Ron and Mione
Again looking around dumbly Harry moved the note to the bedside table. Harry fell face first back onto his pillow, hand still outstretched in placing the note away. Suddenly Harry jerked up and looked to the nightstand. His birthday?! Under the note Harry saw the bright glowing numbers of his Muggle alarm clock flashing 11:58 pm.
Torpidly Harry traced the glowing numbers and under his fingers they changed to 11:59. Harry smiled remembering the last time he had sat up, this very night 7 years ago, counting down till he turned a year older.
Suddenly very cold Harry pulled up the covers. He didn't want to remember that day. It was the introduction to the hell his life had been for 7 years.
Breathing in and out slowly Harry closed his eyes and burrowed further into the blankets. The cold still found him there. Unbidden sounds of crashing water on rocks came to ear. There was a salty tang in the air. And even more oddly Harry almost felt like he was hungry, as if he'd not eaten all day.
Gradually Harry's senses became all engrossed in this memory. The cold, the hunger, the smell, and sounds from that day accosted him. Absently Harry noted that his blanket was gone, his bed was hard as the floor and the red glow, previously piercing through his eyelids, was absent.
Numbly (from the cold and fear) Harry opened his eyes and jerked upright from shock of his surroundings at the same time a large dark figure burst through the creaky old cabin door. Frigid air swept the small living space and Harry felt half salty, half fresh water sprinkle his hair and person.
"Hagrid...?" Harry mumbled, but no one heard as Vernon Dursley screamed at the half giant to get out.
Dumbstruck Harry repeated what he had said to the best of his memory, adlibbing when things were fuzzy. Thankfully Hagrid didn't seem to notice his shock wasn't from being told everything about his parents and being a wizard.
Harry looked up at Hagrid whose eyes were crinkled into a beaming smile and Harry knew this was the part where Uncle Vernon would try and keep Harry from the school. Bored with rehearing everything and wanting this nightmare to end Harry interupted Vernon mid rant.
"Haven't I told you, he's not going! He's going to-"
Loudly as to be heard over the howling wind outside and the wailing windbag inside Harry spoke, "I'm going to go with Hagrid, Uncle Vernon."
Sputtering Vernon tried to speak again, but Harry again cut him off, squaring his shoulders with the confidence that came of actually defeating a dark lord, "I will be out of your hair all school year, I'll find my own way to get supplies and unless you want to have Dudley changed into a pig then let me be."
Vernon was very purple.
Hagrid turned to look first at Harry with another beatific smile then to the aforementioned cousin. It was then, though prematurely, that Hagrid noticed Dudley eating the cake. Puffing up, the half giant turned fully and pointed his pink umbrella at the fat boy. Just like before only a pink curly cue pigs tail appeared. And just like before the Dursley family went screaming in fear into the other room.
Hagrid made the joke about Dudley already being to pig like and Harry forced a laugh. When the subject came up about Hagrid's magic suspension Harry did not press the question. He merely nodded his head in affirmative to keeping the secret and followed the games keeper he'd known for 7 years out of the cabin.
Absently Harry noted that it was the insult from Vernon to Dumbledore that had caused the attack from Hagrid in the real event, but the thought was quickly trumped by how much taller Hagrid looked this young. Harry had seen the big oaf just days ago and he remembered the height different. While still being a half giant, Harry had grown taller over his 7 years and mourned the loss of height privately as he took the proffered coat from Hagrid and went to go and sleep.
Harry woke early the next day and although the daylight streaming into the room was making it hard to go back to sleep, Harry tried. He'd been robed of a good dream the night before and remembering simpler times had left this morning bitter tasting. So, he rolled over and squeezed his eyes shut tight.
The baby will wake me soon enough anyway... Harry thought somberly. But the more he lay there the more his surroundings became clearer, with the only sound being a tapping noise.
Harry hadn't been living at Tonks and Remus's house very long. Prof. McGonagall had suggested for the child's sake to keep him in familiar territory since he'd lost his parents. Wanting to have the kid be as comfortable and happy as possible Harry had readily agreed. Ron and Hermione had stayed there with him while things settled, so the three lived together caring for Teddy.
When the final drags of sleep left Harry's mind he noticed that the tapping was oddly like that of an owl tapping on a window. Sighing heavily Harry resigned himself to get up and answer the damn bird, though on his inhalation of breath Harry almost choked. Salt? Harry's eyes flew open and through round-rim glasses he surveyed the room of the island cabin.
On unsteady legs Harry got up and opened the window for the bird. Just like before it flew into the room and dropped the paper. Then went for Hagrids coat. After 7 years Harry couldn't remember what pocket the money had been in so he, just like before, riffled until he pulled out the correct amount of bronze coins and with that the bird was out the window again.
A squeak from the closing window woke Hagrid and he rolled off the couch and peered sleepily at Harry.
"Wah?" He spoke gruffly from sleep.
"The owl, with the paper..." Harry said.
"Did ya pay'em?" Hagrid spoke more clearly and rubbed his face a few times with his large hands.
Hagrid arrested his movement and pulled his hands from his face to look at Harry again, "How'd ya pay'em?"
"There was some money in your coat." Harry fudged looking away to the paper. "A Wizards paper..." Harry trailed off, trying to sound in awe, but inwardly wincing at his horrid acting skills.
Thankfully Hagrid, lovable guy that he was and none too bright, didn't notice, gave the paper a once over before turning to Harry again, smile upon his face, suspicion gone.
"Hungry'Arry?" Hagrid said without missing a beat.
Harry gave a nod and Hagrid handed one of the sausages over.
"Wouldn't mind a bit'o your birthday cake either." He continued with a wink.
Harry couldn't help the smile that bloomed on his face.
After they finished eating Hagrid stood and asked, "Got everythin then? Good." And lead Harry out of the cabin and onto the boat.
Magicaled to go faster the boat ride was still a long one. And to Harry's surprise Hagrid started in on his Gringot's Bank explanation without prompting.
"So I bet yer wondering what we're going to do today." Hagrid started, "First stops the Bank, Gringots. I've important business of my own there." He stated with an air of great pride. "Dumbledore trusts me with important stuff'n the like." Without Harry prompting Hagrid to explain things further with questions someone new to the wizarding world would have, Hagrid soon unfolded his paper and was lost in what was written.
After a few more comments from Hagrid he turned to his paper and began to read. With a great sense of déjà vu Harry felt fidgety. He never had had so many questions in his life. What was going on? How was he reliving this all? A small peek at his small child hands affirmed he was not his 18-year-old self anymore.
Hagrid at some point mumbled about the Ministry, but Harry did not prompt the Ministry conversation. Within moments of this though the boat bumped into the shore and Hagrid folded up his paper to help Harry out of the boat.
Up on the street Hagrid was a constant interruption to Harry's thoughts as he pointed out the, 'odd things Muggles come up with.' And Harry again couldn't keep his thoughts on track as he had to hand out the money to get Hagrid and himself on the train. Finally settle, with Hagrid taking up two seats and knitting away happily Harry had time to get a thought finished.
How long was he here for? Where was here? Is this a second chance?
"A quiet boy, you're" Hagrid mumbled at one point and moments later followed up with, "Still got your Hogwarts Letter'Arry?"
Shakeing his head, yes, Harry pulled out the letter from the night before and flipped over the other piece of paper to reread the all to familiar first year supply list.
Out of the train they went. Harry could have piloted the way but Hagrid's large steps kept the half giant a leap ahead. Finally Harry saw the Leaky Cauldron. Hagrid gave it a grand explanation that Harry ignored. Each step the boy body took Harry was thinking of the one ahead. The one he knew he'd be taking. And even some steps other people would be taking. This thought made Harry feel omnipotent and he grinned foolishly, which Hagrid mistook as mock disbelief to, 'The leaky Cauldron is famous.'
"It is." Hagrid exclaimed.
Harry toned his grin down to a friendlier one and gave a nod of the head.
"Good." Hagrid said appeased, "let's be gettin in then."
Inside, the same dance played out. First Hagrid was noticed then Harry. He shock hands dutifully and smiled a friendly enough smile until Quirrell stood before him. Harry watched the man stutter out his hello and stiffly shook hands. Hagrid noticed Harry's sudden coldness and with a painful pat on the shoulder tried to hit home the point that this was Harry's soon to be professor.
Finally away from the bar and crowding people Harry stood at the familiar stone archway. Hagrid made a grand gesture of opening up the door to Diagon Ally, which irked the young man slightly. Harry had to bite back the, 'hurry up.' that was on the tip of his tongue. For all he knew this was Hagrid's first time doing this, unlike...
"Diagon Ally, Harry." The half giant said again with another grand wave of the hands.
Down the path a ways Harry's eye caught a sign, the same sign as before, advertising cauldrons.
"You'll be need'in one o'those, but first we got to get some money from yer vault." Hagrid said, seeing Harry's eyes wandering.
Again Harry merely nodded. Until a very obvious thought came to him, one that caused him to stop dead in his tracks.
"Harry?" Hagrid asked with a smile. "You'll have yer chance to see it all once we've yer money, okay?"
"Oh, yeah, right." Mumbled Harry as he ran to catch up to his guide.
Once beside Hagrid again Harry went in search of people he may know, or will know... Harry stopped his mind there before he gave himself a headache. He thought he had seen the sandy hair of his dorm mate or perhaps the frizzy curls trademarked to one of his –future- best friends, but nothing definite.
"Gringots." The loud voice of his companion brought his focus back and in a quieter tone he pointed out a goblin to Harry.
Walking through the first set of doors Hagrid mumbled to Harry, "You'd be mad to try and steal from here, that warning is true. I've heard they keep dragons to guard the more high security vaults. I've always wanted a dragon" He finished as an afterthought in a wistful tone.
Harry choked and quickly looked away from the goblins and Hagrid. Mad indeed. He thought with a smirk, and then remembering that there was a Horcruxe here as well as Dragons and the boy sobered.
Could I destroy it now? He thought in wonder... I could have them all destroyed and done with, stay for my seventh year and take my N.E.W.T's. I could save Dumbledore from putting that ring on, stop Malfoy's plan before he forced Dumbledore to force Snape's hand...
Harry was shaken from his time and space altering thoughts when he walked into someone. Looking up, way up, Hagrid was smiling down at him. The half giant had stopped at a counter.
Finally with things in order the goblin at the counter called another to help Hagrid and his charge.
"Griphook." The goblin at the counter called and Harry's stomach dropped. It was the Goblin from, but months ago. Unbidden the screams of his friends as the cursed gold burnt them filled his ears.
"Harry? You al'right lad?" Hagrid was kneeling in front of Harry still looking down at him, but not so much as when standing.
"Just a lot to take in..." Harry mumbled.
With a pat on the back Hagrid led Harry onto the tram with Griphook. As much as Harry wanted to kick the beetle-eyed goblin in the shin he refrained and to the goblins surprise Harry thanked him for holding the door open for both Hagrid and himself. Griphook grunted and once everyone was on the tram they sped off.
At Harry's vault he got out with only slightly shaking legs and again thanked the Goblin for taking him here. Harry might have been imagining things, but the second grunt he received was just the slightest bit warmer.
Harry made no comment about the size of his vault and the amount that was in it and soon with a full purse they went on to Hagrid's stop. Harry stayed in the tram as Hagrid and Griphook got out the philosophers stone. He did not even try and sneak a peak when Hagrid placed the stone in his coat pocket.
"Important top secret stuff this is." Hagrid said before the roar of the tram and Hagrid's nausea stopped any further conversation.
Just before Griphook could walk away Harry put on a very friendly smile and thanked him again and tried to convey as much sincerity as possible. Griphook may have smiled, but if he had, Goblins, in Harry's opinion, never should.
Outside Hagrid steered Harry towards Madam Malkins Robes For All Occasions.
"Listen Harry, mind if I slip off for a pick me up at the Leaky Cauldron?"
Harry nodded absently and walked into the store. This is where he met Draco. Harry didn't know what to do. The boy was a prat, is a prat he corrected. This could be my chance to become friends and bring him over to the light side though. Maybe even unpratify him. He sort of was close there to becoming good, near the end... Harry was glad to stop that line of thinking as Madam Malkin spoke.
"Yes." Harry winced a little when his voice came out a little more strained than he'd liked.
Madam Malkin merely waved him over ignoring or blessedly not noticing his nerves.
"I've got another one of you in the back." She said.
And there he was. Pointy face, but still childish, pale as ever. Draco Malfoy.
Placed on a stand of his own Harry was still undecided as want card to play. The Hero and romantic in Harry swooned at the idea of bringing Draco to the side of good, but so young as he is now he is just a brainwashed parrot repeating his fathers words...
"Hello." Came a very familiar drawl from beside him. "Hogwarts too?"
It was not up to par with his future self, but abjectly Harry could see its origins as hilarious. An eleven year old with a drawl... Harry smiled and mentally shook himself. The pale boy wanted an answer.
"Yes." Was his simple reply, friendly enough smile on his face.
Harry's smile only grew as Malfoy continued. The kid is eleven, where does he come off... Harry's thoughts trailed off as Malfoy poised another question.
"Do you have your own broom?" Focus back on Malfoy's voice Harry discovered what was different.
In the future this kid was always infusing more passion into his words because Harry and him were rivals. This conversational dead drawl was lacking the fire and life and that made Harry's mind up. Malfoy was as cold and dead like this to friends where as alive and passionate with enemies and Harry would miss that.
Harry replied with another monosyllable answer, "No." but even with his decision made he kept a nice enough smile on his face.
"Do you play Quidditch at all?" Malfoy asked.
Harry was just about to say yes when he remembered he had no idea what Quidditch was at this point in the game. So, again the monosyllable reply was, "No."
"I do." Malfoy bragged and suddenly Madam Malkins ministrations to the fabric around him became more interesting to Harry than the prat next to him.
"Know what house you'll be in yet?" Harry was asked somewhere between, 'I'm so great.' And, 'daddy can get me this.'
"Gryffindor." He replied distractedly still watching Madam Malkin.
Harry had seen the witch almost prick her finger twice and it had reminded Harry of the rest of this conversation. First Malfoy would insult Hagrid, then Muggle born students and Harry had just finished a very trying year fighting against ideals like those so thought to veer the conversation away from vexing subjects.
"Gryffindor?" Was his sneered reply. "I'm sure I'll be in Slytherin, all our family have been." The boys voice dripped with grease.
And with that Malfoy turned his head slightly to the side, nose raised and conversation arrested.
Some minutes later Madam Malkin rose and spoke, "Thanks, you're done my dear."
Harry stepped from the stand and paid for his robes. Leaving the store and Malfoy for the now renewed Hagrid. Quills and ink purchased they were on the way to buy books when Hagrid started explaining things about Hogwarts. The houses and such, explaining Quidditch and other wizarding things Harry already knew.
Explanations stopped once inside the bookstore. Harry renewed his search for friends and fellow Hogwarts students of his year, but no one was there. While in search of his needed books Harry couldn't help, but look at the other books.
The final battle had been a disaster. Maybe if I was stronger, knew more I could save more people. Harry suddenly itched to get to school and start learning. He didn't know how long he was here for, why he was here or if this was real, but he was damn well going to do things right this time round.
Loaded up with books for first year and (although contested as to weither Harry should have them) a few advanced charms, beginners' arithmancy and (purely to show up Snape) a potions book they left the shop.
They were in the apothecary shop when it hit Harry. He'd been staring at a jar of boomslang skin for almost a good 5 minutes when, maybe I should be thinking way ahead in the future. As fun as stealing from Snape was this would be easier...
"How long does this last?" Harry asked the storeowner.
"A year at best." The storeowner said suspiciously.
"Come along'Arry." Hargid said with potions ingredients in tow.
Somewhat crest fallen Harry walked out of the store with Hagrid. Harry was still a little sulky as they walked towards Ollivander's to get Harry his wand, but remembering they had to question Malfoy because they didn't know who had opened the Chamber put a smile to his face. I already know who opened the Chamber, why and how to stop it all before it starts. The prospect of many quiet years at Hogwarts had Harry beaming as he walked through the doors or Ollivander's.
"Good afternoon." Said Ollivander startling Hagrid and Harry.
"Hello." Harry said brightly if not a little sheepishly.
"Yes, Yes. I thought I'd be seeing you soon, Harry Potter." Ollivander said in his own manner. "You have your mothers eyes..." Ollivander continued, but Harry wasn't listening.
A very dreadfully funny thought had come to mind. Could he? Would he?
A tap on his forehead made him jump a little.
"I'm sorry to say I sold the wand that did it..." The old man said mournfully. "13 and a half inches, yew, powerful wand, very powerful and in the wrong hands. Well if I'd known what that wand was going out into the world to do..." Harry remembered this speech. He remembered that shake of the head and the loud, "Rubeus!"
Mr. Ollivander turn suddenly after Hagrid's scolding, "Mr. Potter, let me see." But as he went to pull out a measuring tape Harry spoke up.
"I'd like to guess, please."
Both adults looked at Harry in bewilderment.
"'Arry?" Hagrid asked at the same time Ollivander voiced his confusion.
"What was that Mr. Potter?"
"I'd like to guess. Humor me?"
Mr. Ollivander gave him an odd smile that turned into an inviting one, encouraging him to speak.
"Try holly-phoenix feather-11 inches. Nice and supple." Harry had to bite back a laugh at Mr. Ollivander's face.
Without a word the old man went and found the one Harry had described. The wand did its buzzing warmth thing and Harry left the shop with his old wand.
"'Arry that back'in there was somein." Harry just smiled up at his friend. "Oh, how'bout a birthday present? What haven't you got? An owl, toads are out of fashion, you'd be laughed at if ya had one'n I hate cats. Yes, an owl'll do."
Harry found Hedwig right away and shopping was done. Harry was eating the hamburger Hagrid had bought for him with vigor and when he got back to the Dursley's he went to bed happy as can be.
School soon and a chance to make things right, save those that'll die without me knowing the stuff I know now.