Harry and the Founding of Happiness
1 – A Wish to Santa
A small child of nearly two and a half years was lying awake in a dark cupboard in a very normal house in a boringly normal neighbourhood of Privet Drive. The child had no family. He merely existed in said cupboard and was only let out to get his nappy changed twice a week, provided that the woman, who was his aunt but was from a different world, remembered to change it.
At the moment, the boy was dressed in clothes that were easily two sizes too big and wearing a full nappy. He was cold, thirsty, and his stomach was growling from hunger while he was taking in the exciting sounds outside the small door of his cupboard, where the Dursleys were happily preparing their house for Christmas with their son, Dudley.
The little boy had heard enough to know that on Christmas – whatever that was – someone called Santa would visit good boys and girls and bring them the presents they asked for. He knew that he wouldn't get a present since his aunt and uncle always reminded him of what a freak and a nuisance he was, and a child who nobody wanted to claim. The Dursleys had taught him as much, and the child, eager to learn everything he was taught, remembered that lesson very well. No wonder he remembered it as well as he had; it was the only thing his supposed family had seen fit to teach him.
'I know that I won't get a present 'cause I'm not a good boy,' he thought sadly while his eyes slowly drooped and he fell into a much needed nap.
A few minutes after falling asleep, he had a strange dream, but not unfamiliar to the small boy. He often dreamed, and it was always the same dream that upset him very much. There was a woman in the dream that had beautiful green eyes and red hair, and the boy didn't know why but he just knew for sure that that woman loved him. In this dream, he could hear a lot of screaming, and then an unfriendly man with red eyes entered the room to drown the room in bright flashes of green light. When the scary man was finally gone, the nice lady lay on the ground and wasn't moving any longer, and he was all on his own with a sharp pain in his forehead. The little boy couldn't help screaming from the terror of the scene he witnessed in his dream and cried out, unfortunately causing the man, who lived in the house as well, to fling the cupboard door open, grab him roughly, shake him and shout at him before he shoved him back onto the dirty blankets that were supposed to be his bed.
"You will go without dinner for making such a racket and maybe you will learn not to do it again. It's enough of a nuisance having a freak like you around without being forced to listen to it. Now shut up, you unworthy little brat."
The boy unconsciously backed up into the corner as far away from the scary man as he could, glad when the door of the cupboard was slammed shut once again. Feeling very sorry for himself even if he had learned from the large man that he earned everything he received, the small boy silently began to make a wish to Santa. 'Santa, I know that you won't bring me a present, because I'm not a good boy and I don't earn one, but I so much wish I had someone who liked me. Someone, who gave me something to eat and drink to make my belly not hurt so much, someone to make my achy nappy go away. Santa, please can you make me happy?' he thought urgently.
Unnoticed to the other inhabitants of the fairly normal house, the interior of the small cupboard under the stairs suddenly flared in light rainbow colours, and when the whirling air had cleared up again, the cupboard was void any living beings except for a spider that had been a little boy's best friend for several months.
The little boy cowered on his small mattress when suddenly the whole room lit up with many colours. He anxiously squeezed his eyes shut and rolled himself up into a ball as best he could. However, suddenly everything started to spin and turn around endlessly. 'Why am I turning around? I feel so sick, and it won't stop! Am I going to die?' he thought panicking, when suddenly the motion stopped and he fell down onto a really soft mattress. However, not only the air around him but also the mattress felt very cold to the touch, and the little boy shivered even more. 'What happened? Is it because I wished to Santa that I was put out in the cold to die?' he mused terrified, longing to be back in his familiar cupboard.
Unfortunately, the small boy wasn't able to walk or crawl yet since in his cupboard it had been sufficient to rob him of the ability to move around freely. So, he tried to turn onto his still achy stomach in order to get a glance at his surroundings; however, the fluffy mattress blocked his movements, so that he wasn't able to turn around. After exerting a great deal of effort he could only give up and lie down in his cold new bed tiredly, quietly sobbing himself into an uncomfortable and restless sleep, not aware of the fact that it wasn't only his tears making him wet and cold.
At the same time, four friends were sitting around a huge fireplace in a very comfortable circular stone room that was not only lit and warmed by the fire but also by hundreds of flickering torches. The walls throughout the room were decorated with beautiful life-sized paintings situated around the room.
"It has snowed so much that we should allow the students to have a snowman building contest right after breakfast tomorrow," one of the men spoke up.
"That's a brilliant idea, Godric," one of the women replied. "We should think of three prizes that we can award the winners."
Suddenly, a strange sound echoed through the room. "What was that?" the other woman enquired.
"That, Helga, was the sound alerting me to the fact that someone just breeched the wards at the Hogsmeade side of the castle," the man named Godric replied firmly. "We should go out and have a look. Salazar, will you accompany me?"
The other man returned a short nod and quickly got to his feet, following Godric out of the castle. Just down the steps in front of the huge entrance doors they found "A lytling!" Godric shouted unbelievingly.
"But look! It's half naked here in the snow; that'll kill the poor lytling. Let me see if it's still alive." Salazar quickly cowered down next to the child, noticing that the child flinched back badly at the touch and anxiously opened his eyelids, revealing brilliant green eyes. "Oh, what's wrong with you, lytling?" he asked in a slightly brisk voice that was normal for the tall man.
'Oh, such a nice person; I don't know him but his voice sounds so nice and soft,' the small boy thought, biting his lower lip with the few teeth he had as he noticed that it suppressed his body's shivering just a little.
"Now, Salazar, pick the lytling up and let's take it inside," Godric told his friend and colleague impatiently before he followed the man with the baby, who strode back into the Headmaster's office of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, barking at all of the students they met to get out of the way.
"What are you carrying there?" one of the women enquired, incredulously.
"That's a lytling, Rowena," her friend Helga answered briskly. "Moreover, it's a half naked lytling. Salazar, please give him to me."
Salazar quickly gave the obviously frightened child to Helga, who was the active healer in the castle and was probably predestined to look after a baby. "Hey, little one," she called out to the child in a soothing voice, trying to help the child stand on her lap. "What's wrong with you? Can't you stand yet?" she asked softly, frowning when the boy slightly shook his head and sat him down on her lap so that she could look in his face.
'That lady sounds very nice, I like her very much. Oh, I hope so much that I can stay with kind people like her,' the child frantically thought, and a small smile played on his lips when he gave the nice lady a hesitant glance. 'She also looks nice, a bit like the woman in my dream with the red hair, but a bit bigger,' he suddenly realized.
"Now, who are you, Leofost?" the kind lady asked again. "Can you tell me your name?"
The small boy anxiously shook his head. 'It's either boy or freak, but I'm really not sure. The woman always called me 'boy' and the man said 'freak',' he thought, unsure how to react.
"What do people call you normally?" the other lady, Rowena, asked in an equally friendly voice.
"Fweak," the child answered in a very small voice that even Helga could only guess.
"I am sorry, Leofost, I did not catch that exactly, can you please repeat it?" Helga requested gently.
"Fweak ow Boy," the child replied softly, slightly flinching at the quadruple gasp to his answer.
"Where are your parents, Lufu?" Rowena asked this time.
The boy sadly shook his head. 'What is parents?' he thought anxiously, giving the nice lady a frightened glance before he let out a series of sneezes.
"Now, the Leofost is apparently frightened, half naked and cold. Godric, can you conjure clothes for him, please?" Helga asked her colleague, while she magically exchanged the boy's nappy and observed, flabbergasted, that tears started to well in the boy's eyes when his nappy was removed and the air hit his skin. "Wait, Leofost, what's wrong? Does it hurt when I open your nappy?" she asked softly, receiving a hesitant nod from the child. "All right, then may I touch you and have a look under your nappy?" she asked firmly, waiting for the confirming nod before she opened the nappy, seeing that the child had a bad rush on his bottom. "Oh, you poor Leofost," she cooed, horrified at the neglect that the child had obviously endured. She quickly waved her wand over him to check on him.
"The lytling is two years, four months and twenty-three days old; however he is a bit too small for his age and only weights about half of what a lytling the same age should be," Helga told her colleagues, only to add, "He has bruises and welts all over his body and is running a fever, probably from being out in the snow half naked. He will at least get a bad cold if not worse." She carefully wrapped the child into a warm blanket that Godric had conjured and ordered Salazar to go and brew a few potions that could be used for a two-year-old.
Finally, Rowena pointed her wand at the child, casting a personality charm, which made a small parchment emerge from the tip of her wand. Looking at the parchment she let out a huge gasp. "The little Lufu's name is Harry James Potter, and his birthday is…" She incredulously threw another glance at the parchment, and recast the spell again, before she continued, "July 31st, 1980."
"His birthday is when?" Godric gasped. "He was born exactly a thousand years in the future? No offense, Rowena, but are you sure?"
Rowena showed him the parchment. "Yes, I am sure, and before you ask, Godric, the charm is fool proof and accurate as I invented it myself."
"Maybe he is an heir of mine," Godric mused aloud, forcing Rowena to roll her eyes at the man in obvious annoyance. "Who knows, but perhaps we could…" he started to suggest a method to find out but was interrupted strictly.
"No, you will do no such thing. The Leofost, sorry, Harry is his name, right? He is malnourished and sick, and I won't allow you to take even one drop of blood from him tonight."
"What if he's a Muggle?" Godric insisted but was immediately overruled by the two women.
"He has a golden Aura," Helga replied firmly.
"So he must be a very powerful wizard," Rowena concluded. "Moreover, how could he have breeched our wards if he was a Muggle?"
"All right, you're right as usual," Godric admitted. "Oh well, I'm going to bed. What are we going to do with the little lytling?"
Rowena gave Helga an expectant look, and the Healer replied pensively, "I should put him into the hospital room, but the fact is I don't want him to spend the night on his own. He is too small, so I shall take him with me and enlarge our bed a little."
Harry couldn't believe his luck. 'The nice lady is taking me with her,' he thought delighted, giving Helga a huge smile.
"I believe that would be the best; he looks as if he was in dire need of love and attention. But won't Salazar mind?" Rowena commented thoughtfully.
"If he minds, he can choose if he wants to sleep in the hospital room or in the dungeons," Helga replied firmly. "He'll be occupied making a healing salve for the little lytling for the next few hours anyway. Good night, Rowena, Godric," she concluded the discussion and headed for her and her husband Salazar's quarters that were on the castle's second floor next to the hospital room.
When Harry woke up in the morning, he felt much better than he could ever remember feeling. Unnoticed by the child, Helga had spent a great deal of time during the night spelling healing potions and nutrient potions straight into his stomach and smearing a salve on his bruised skin as well as on the rash on his bottom. He carefully pushed himself into a sitting position, finding himself in a huge bed between the nice lady Helga and the tall man Salazar. A thick silver-gold curtain was drawn around the bed.
His movement caused the nice lady to wake up. She immediately turned to him and questioned, "How are you feeling Leofost? Did you have a good sleep?"
Harry gave her a shy look and replied in a small voice, "Ye, fanku."
"I'm going to touch you, Leofost, I won't hurt you, all right?" Helga asked in a soft voice.
Harry slightly nodded his head, quietly trying to calm himself. 'It's all right, she won't hurt me; she let me sleep in her bed and made me feel so much better. I must let her touch me.'
Helga put a cold hand on his forehead, and Harry sighed contentedly, unconsciously leaning into the touch. 'Oh, that feels good,' he thought gratefully until he was pulled out of his thoughts by the nice lady.
"You're ill because of being out in the snow half naked yesterday. But apart from that I assume that you're feeling better than before, is that so, Leofost?"
Harry gave her a thankful nod and hesitantly replied, "Ye, fanku. Much bettew."
Helga smiled seeing how the small child tried to overcome his anxiousness and spoke to her, even if he was speaking in a manner a child at least half a year younger spoke. She sighed and took a potion from her night table, which she held to Harry's lips. "It won't taste nice but drink it up, Leofost; it'll make you better," she told him firmly.
'It has a strange green colour. What is it?' Harry thought anxiously and carefully took a small sip. 'Oh yuckie!' he thought, a disgusted expression spreading over his little face until he heard Helga chuckle.
"You cannot expect potions to taste better but you're a big lytling already, aren't thou?"
The phial wouldn't dodge from his lips, so Harry didn't have a choice and quickly gulped down the 'yucky green liquid', noticing that he suddenly his body didn't hurt anymore. 'Strange – nothing hurts,' he mused, amazed.
"Are you feeling well enough to accompany me to the Great Hall for breakfast?" Helga once more pulled him out of his thoughts.
Harry gave her an uncertain glance. 'Maybe she doesn't know that I'm not allowed to have breakfast. Only good boys do, and I'm not a good boy,' he thought frightened.
"What's wrong? If you feel too sick, you may stay in bed of course," Helga assured him in a soft voice, giving him a sharp look.
Harry shook his head. "No, am fine. But not 'loud bwekas, onwy good boys. I fweak, no goo."
Helga let out a huge gasp, while suddenly Salazar growled from Harry's other side, "Whoever told you that is an evil person and should be hexed into my personal lab so that I can their limbs as potion ingredients. You're a fine lytling, Harry. You're not a freak."
"Exactly, you're a cute little lytling, Leofost. So do you want to come?" Helga repeated, smiling.
Harry gave the lady an excited glance. 'Of course I want to go with them,' he thought, delighted, and held up both arms to be carried.
"As soon as you're recovered, I'll teach you to walk, Leofost," Helga told him while she scooped him up into her arms, heading for the door.
'She's going to teach me to walk.' Harry couldn't believe his luck. 'I'd love to walk around; this place is huge, and there are pictures all over the walls with real people in them,' he thought amazed, looking over Helga's shoulder. He was even more amazed when they entered the Great Hall, where Helga put him into a child's seat between her and the other lady, Rowena, who explained to him that the ceiling was charmed to look like the sky. Harry listened intensely, and his eyes followed the lady's finger up to the ceiling, which the child admired in awe.
"Oyez, are we going to do the snowman contest on this fine morning?" Godric asked, suddenly standing behind Helga and Salazar.
"Let us do it tomorrow," Helga replied firmly. "Harry has a respiratory infection and I cannot let him go out in the snow today, but I hope he'll be better tomorrow, and instead we can do a bit of research to find out who he is."
"All right," Godric agreed immediately and turned to Harry, "Hello little Leo. Everything all right there?"
"Yes," Harry whispered, totally in awe at the friendly man's long and curly red hair. He hesitantly extended a hand, giggling happily when the man bowed down a little so that the child could reach his locks.
"Now, shall I take you up to my office? Do you want to see my birdie, Fawkes? He was on an errand yesterday so that you missed him, but I can tell you he's funny."
Harry gave Helga a short glance and, receiving a comforting nod from the nice lady, he lifted his arms up so that Godric could scoop him up onto his arms. The man carried him up the marble staircase, carefully bouncing him playfully on the way up the stairs gaining happy laughter from Harry, to the gargoyle that warded the Headmaster's office. The gargoyle dodged immediately when the Headmaster came into sight. Godric handed the child to his wife, who had been on his heels together along with Helga and Salazar. Rowena sat down on the sofa and put Harry next to her with his head on her lap.
Harry suddenly heard a trilling voice. #Oh, a nestling from far away I can see. What is he doing here? I thought only bigger chicks from the age of eleven were allowed to stay here in the castle.#
Harry urgently tried to sit up. 'What's that? Am I not allowed to be here because I'm too small?' he thought terrified, and his eyes filled with tears, that threatened to spill out of his eyes at any second.
"Now, Lufu, it's all right. What is upsetting you so much?" Rowena asked softly, pushing Harry back into his lying position on her lap.
"Bawdy say Hawwy no 'loud tay hewe," Harry told her in a very small voice, tear stricken green eyes looking up into the woman's brown eyes.
"Wait, little Leo, can you understand what Fawkes said?" Godric asked astonished and – receiving a small nod from Harry – continued, "That's strange. Normally only I can understand him because he's my familiar, but Fawkes has a very bad mouth and you better not listen to him, little Leo."
#The nestling can understand me because I will be his familiar many egg turns into the future.# Fawkes explained, causing Harry to turn to the side in order to catch a look on the bad-mouthed bird.
However, to his astonishment Harry saw a beautiful phoenix sitting on a perch next to the Headmaster's desk. In the meantime, Godric had prepared a huge parchment on his desk that was void any writings. "Now, can we proceed? Salazar, do you have the potion?" he queried and, receiving a phial from his tall friend, he handed it to Helga. "We need three drops of his blood please."
While Helga magically took three drops of blood of Harry's arm, Rowena talked to Harry, softly stroking his flushed cheeks and forehead so that the child didn't notice anything. Suddenly, she let out a gasp. "Helga, have you seen that scar? What's wrong with it?"
Helga looked up to her friend and sighed. She had spent hours smearing Salazar's healing salve onto the many scars and bruises the child had, especially on the scar on his forehead, but it had been resistant to all kinds of treatment. "I don't know what it is, Rowena, but it won't go away with anything," she explained sadly.
"Ah, I remember something," Rowena said thoughtfully. "A few weeks ago, I had a strange vision about a very special child, the sole heir of all four of us fighting against an heir of Helga and Salazar, and that child had a scar exactly like that one. I shall put the vision into my Pensieve, so you may watch it later on."
"We shall definitely do that afterwards," Godric stated and took back the phial, effectively turning back everyone's attention back to the task ahead. After carefully shaking it a few times, he cautiously dropped three drops of the now dark blue liquid in each corner of the huge parchment. While Harry had been lured to sleep by Rowena's cuddling, the four founders of Hogwarts watched interestedly at the many thin lines that appeared on the parchment, each leading to small spots with names underneath.
Suddenly, Rowena was the first to let out a huge gasp. "He is indeed the heir, and the first heir of all of us. Look, the line from Godric and me goes straight to his father James, while the line from Helga and Salazar goes to his mother Lily, even though the line is interrupted by a huge number of Squibs."
"You're right, Rowena," Godric agreed immediately. "Harry is a very special child."
"And look here," Salazar pointed out. "That must be the other heir of us against whom he is destined to fight, 'Tom Riddle.' Riddle? That sounds like a Muggle name, not like a worthy heir of mine," he added, shaking his head.
Rowena quickly called Spotty, one of the House elves, and asked the elf kindly to retrieve her Pensieve, which popped up on the table only seconds later. After making sure that Harry was still peacefully asleep, the four founders watched Rowena's visions concerning Harry, a prophecy, completely unnecessary deaths, and a young man cleansing the world of all evil.
"All right," Godric spoke up in determination when they emerged from the Pensieve. "We shall train the lytling and send him back to the future when he's eleven and ready to attend Hogwarts. In the meantime we can think of a way to help him win his fight." He then smirked, glancing at Rowena. "I believe, my beautiful lady, you and I have another task to finish so that this sweet lytling will be born in nine hundred and ninety-seven years. Come with me; I'm sure Helga, Salazar, and Harry will excuse us for a moment."
Old English words used in this chapter:
All recognizable characters belong to J. K. Rowling, and I am not earning anything by writing this story.
Thanks to Mushcorn for her invaluable help, advice and editing. I am not a native speaker of English. Please excuse my mistakes.