A/N: I wont be updating Tide of war for a while because I cant get this idea out of my head. This will not be a super!Harry fic, but he wont be completely useless. Thanks to All-powerful-oz for the beta work and to Ragin' Cajun for plot help!
Chapter one; Small changes
Margaret Polkiss walked briskly down Privet Drive. All was well. No terrorists, no gangs, no floating rakes. Yes, all was well with Mrs. Polkiss' life. Privet Drive exuded normalcy, and that suited her down to the ground. She was queen of this neighbourhood, she owned it.
Nobody else here, made quite as good a cake as hers. Nobody else here, kept their garden in quite as good condition. Nobody else here, had a cousin that worked as a judge in the "Surrey house & garden" competition.
There was, however, one flaw in her perfect life. One constant thorn in her side. Number four.
Mr. and Mrs. Dursley were a nice couple really. They contributed to the funding for the local park, they showed up at every garden fete, but nobody could deny it. There was something abnormal in that house, something that didn't fit. The boy.
That Potter boy was a disgrace, after all, Vernon and Petunia had taken him in, but was he grateful? Not a chance. Instead, he ran around playing tag with Dudley and Piers, slowly infecting them with his…weirdness. Why, just this afternoon little Piers had come home telling a completely ridiculous tale about flying rakes. It had to stop.
Confidently, she strode up the driveway of number four and gave the door a sharp rap. The door opened to reveal the nervous face of Petunia Dursley.
"Hello Margaret, would you like to come in? I've just finished a batch of biscuits…" She trailed off invitingly.
"No thank you Pet, I've just come to have a little chat about the boys. Dudley is a charming young man, but I'm rather concerned about young Harry. To be frank Petunia, I think he's a bad influence on Piers, he came home today with some fanciful story about magic and murderous rakes. I would appreciate it if you could do something about the situation. I know how hard it must be for him without his parents, but he simply cannot go around spreading lies and nastiness."
Throughout the little rant, Petunia's face began to slowly lose colour. Dudley had returned home today in hysterics, he had said that Harry had used magic on him. The boy had been dealt with, but that was before she knew that there was another witness.
"Of course Margaret, I'll deal with him right away, kids can spread such vicious lies if they believe it's the truth. I'll nip this in the bud and Harry will stay away indoors for the summer as punishment. Is that agreeable to you?"
"Of course Pet. We only want what's best for the children, don't we? I hope to see you at the fete this fortnight?" She raised a questioning eyebrow.
"Looking forward to it", replied Petunia brightly.
"Excellent. Oh and Pet? Be a dear and have Vernon mow the lawn. It's looking rather…bedraggled" .
Petunia Dursley was left speechless as Mrs. Polkiss took one last disdainful look around her, smiled brightly, and made her way down the driveway.
He had stumbled across Piers and Dudley standing over a battered looking half lit cigarette, sharing drags. Unfortunately for Harry, they spotted him and decided to make sure he kept quiet.
They were chasing him through Mrs. Charlton's back garden when he tripped on a garden rake, and fell and cut his knee on the ornamental pond. He had looked up to see Piers helping Dudley over the fence and had closed his eyes, desperately thinking of a way to stop them.
The rake, that bloody rake, had shuddered and suddenly sprung from the ground, flying in the direction of Dudley's face. It hit him, and with a howl, Dudley fell backwards off the fence and landed on his arse. Piers took one look at the still hovering rake, before bursting into tears and running home.
Now, two hours and several interrogations later, nine year old Harry Potter lay in his cupboard, desperately trying to figure out what happened and how he was going to avoid spending the rest of his natural born life locked in a cupboard under the stairs.
If the thought wasn't so ridiculous, he would have said it was magic.
Harry was a fairly intelligent boy. As much as it interested him, he knew magic didn't exist. Two years of writing Dudley's book reviews, always so it was different and of a better quality than his own, had somewhat sharpened his mind. He didn't mind all that much. The book reviews were a chance for him to read without having to answer the inane questions posed by his Aunt.
The first day he had brought a book home from the school library, she had been a nightmare. It was as though she expected him to have hollowed it out and used it to smuggle drugs. On the other hand, she didn't mind the books as long as they were "helping" Dudders, so he used it to his advantage.
Harry sighed and ran a hand through his hair. The rake must have been caught up in a strong gust of air, it was plastic and didn't weigh that much anyway.
'Still,' he thought, 'that doesn't explain the time I ended up on the roof.'
Dispelling those thoughts, he reached under his cot for a book, lay back, and waited for the sounds of tyres in the driveway.
He would find an answer.
Two years later
Harry woke up slowly. He took in the inspiring view of the underside of number four's staircase and mentally counted the days since the 'zoo incident'. He realised that today was the day his punishment ended and he let a rare smile grace his face. Raising himself off his cot to get dressed, he winced as his stiff legs protested.
"Stupid glass", he muttered.
After all, what business did a pane of glass have disappearing? It was the latest in a long list of abnormal things that had happened to Harry during his life. The 'jumper incident', the 'roof incident', the 'rake incident', and now the vanishing glass.
In the face of all that, he could almost forget the fact that he could apparently talk to a large Boa constrictor.
Since his last little episode with the rake, Harry had been reading more and more, desperately searching for an answer. The closest he had come was a few months ago when Dudley had been watching a programme about psychic people. After much thought he had come to the conclusion that that was stupid. There were logical explanations for all the strange things that happened to him. There had to be.
He reached out to test the door handle. The lock was gone, which meant that he was expected to make breakfast.
'Oh well, back to normal.'
Harry sat at the breakfast table and watched in interest, as his Uncle and his cousin raced to see who could have the biggest heart attack. Admittedly Uncle Vernon had a much larger lead, but that wasn't deterring Dudley, who seemed intent on making up ground.
The letterbox clicked and they heard the sound of falling post. Vernon raised his head.
"Get the post Dudley."
"Make Harry get it."
"Get the post Harry."
"Make Dudley get it."
"Poke him with your Smeltings stick Dudley."
Harry suppressed a sigh as he avoided the blow from Dudley's stick, and walked dutifully to the door. He casually picked up the mail and flicked through it. One particularly heavy letter caught his attention.
Mr H. Potter
The cupboard under the stairs
4 Privet Drive
With a cautious glance towards the kitchen, Harry stowed away his letter in the waistband of his jeans and covered it with his shirt. He passed the post to his Uncle and quickly excused himself, before walking steadily towards his cupboard.
He cautiously broke open the wax seal and removed the parchment that lay inside. It had a slightly yellowish tint and smelled rather musty.
He stared at it for a few seconds before starting to read.
Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry
Headmaster: Albus Dumbledore
(order of Merlin first class. Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International confederation of Wizards)
Dear Mr. Potter,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been enrolled at Hogwarts school of witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on 1 September. We await your owl by no later than 31 July.
Harry's first reaction was to laugh at the rather obvious prank, but he paused. Was there a better explanation as to why he had those little episodes? Or why the one thing that Dudley had been forbidden in his whole life, was a magician for his party?
Harry had learned early on that saying the M wordaround his Aunt and Uncle was a mistake. Why would they be so afraid of something that didn't exist?
He looked at the second part of the letter, an Equipment list. Someone had really taken their time with this. Cauldron? Wand? Robes? And how was he supposed to catch an owl to send a reply?
No, he decided. However much he wished it was real, it had to be scam. After all, Uncle Vernon had been tricked into thinking that he had won a car by some telephone fraudster a few years back.
It had to be a fake.
Harry sat on the musty old couch trying not to touch anything, and to concentrate on the collection of photos in his hand. It was a swelteringly hot day and normally he wouldn't have minded being indoors in the shade. Normally, that is, but Harry Potter wasn't in an entirely normal situation. He was currently sat on a smelly old couch, choking on the stench of cat sweat.
Harry knew a fair amount for his age. His love of books had made sure of that. But what he hadn't known, was that on a hot day in July, amongst a large group of cats, the smell can reach almost unbearable levels.
The Dursley's had taken Dudley to London for the day to celebrate his going to Smeltings. After what happened the last time they took Harry with them, there wasn't a chance of him going this time. They had rang Mrs. Figg and asked her politely to look after him for the day. She of course had gladly accepted, saying that her leg was feeling much better.
That was why Harry was currently sitting on a couch surrounded by cats, flipping through a photo album.
The old lady limped into the room and gave him a bright smile. Leaning over to take a look, she jabbed a finger at one of the pictures, and sighed sentimentally.
"Boskins was one of my favourites, sadly he passed away last year," she said sadly. "So, Harry, how is little Dudley getting along?"
Harry forced a polite smile, "He's getting along fine Mrs. Figg."
The old lady looked confused for a second, "How's he coping though? He must be a little jealous."
Now Harry was confused. What in the world would Dudley have to be jealous about? His look of confusion must have shown on his face, because, suddenly hesitant she added, "you did get your letter didn't you?"
"Letter?" he responded. The letter was all he could think about for the last week. "What type of letter?"
She looked worried for a moment and said hesitantly "Your Hogwarts letter dear, you did get it didn't you?"
Now he was interested, "How do you know about it? It's just a scam, do you know who sent it?"
Mrs. Figg paled, "Oh dear, I don't think I'm the one to explain this Harry. How about you make a pot of tea and I'll make a quick call?"
"No, Mrs. Figg, what exactly is going on?"
"Just wait in the kitchen for a few moments Harry, you'll get an explanation soon."
Albus Dumbledore looked up as his floo roared to life, and Arabella Figg's head appeared amongst the flames.
"Ah, Arabella, what can I do for you? I trust that Harry's alright?"
"Fine Albus, I find myself with a bit of a problem on my hands though. It seems that while Harry has received his letter, he just doesn't believe it…Albus, I don't think the Dursley's have told him."
Albus frowned, he hadn't expected the Dursley's to pamper Harry, but to deny him his heritage? "Will he need to be escorted to the Alley for his school things?" he asked tactfully.
"His relatives have gone off to London today, I doubt they would be happy at the prospect of escorting him back to get supplies. Albus, we need someone to explain all this to him" she replied.
That was a problem, it would draw too much attention if he and the boy appeared to be close, so he himself could not go. Minerva was attending a transfiguration conference in France and something told him that Severus would not be a perfect choice.
Filius and Pomona were both in the castle preparing for the year ahead, and both owed him a favour or two. It seemed like time to call one in.
"Leave it with me Arabella, I'll have someone come through in a little while to explain the situation. Thank you for bringing this to my attention." He waved politely, and as she disappeared from his hearth, he took a pinch of floo powder, scattered it in the flames and in a steady voice called, "Professor Flitwick"