Summary: Yep, it's another 'Harry gets reincarnated' fic...Basically, Harry dies during his battle with Voldemort in the Triwizard Tournament and wakes up as...a four-year-old! (oh, the horror of it all!) So, after a little timeskip, Harry ends up at Hogwarts and...well...hillarity ensues... (not the best summary in the world, but...well...just read it!)
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of the characters, themes, etc. from Harry Potter...
Author's Note: Alrighty, I'll admit it, this first chapter isn't the most...entertaining...but it gets better, I swear!
Chapter 1: Okay, I'm four...now what?
Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.
- Mark Twain
Ow. Why does my head hurt? Merlin, did someone hit me in the head with a hammer? Boulder? Er...something large and heavy? Well, whatever it was, it hurt. Wait, where am I? What was I doing just now?
I realized after a moment or two that, wherever I was, I was lying down and my head was throbbing. I opened my eyes slightly, but closed them immediately as light poured in through the slits. I let out a groan as I felt my head pang again. Apparently, that roused some attention as a moment later someone bustled over to my side.
"Are you alright, dear? You gave us quite a fright," said a voice I had no recollection of. My first thought was that I was in the Infirmary and that I was, once again, in a bed with Madam Pomfrey fixing me up. However, that didn't sound like Poppy. No, it sounded a bit younger and not nearly as...nagging? Exasperated? At any rate, it just didn't sound like her.
"Y-yeah," I stuttered as I sat up and forced my eyes to open slowly. I squinted around the room I was in until someone next to me handed me what I assumed to be my glasses. "Thanks," I muttered as I slid the black frames onto my face.
Okay, this is weird. I have no idea where I am. Definitely not the Infirmary, that's for sure. Is this even Hogwarts? I have a feeling it isn't. Hm, wonder why that is? The lack of magic in the air, probably. I always noticed how different the feel is at the Dursley's than at Hogwarts. Always added more to the depressing fact that I was back with my family, though I use that term lightly. But that's not the point at the moment. So, I'm not at Hogwarts, I'm certainly not at the Dursley's, so...where am I? Hey, maybe this is St. Mungos! That could be it. Oh, wait, if I'm there then that means something seriously bad must have happened. And wouldn't I feel magic there too? Hm... Wait, what was I doing before....oh Merlin, how could I forget? The Triwizard Tournament! Cedric and I grabbed the cup and were portkeyed to some graveyard and then...oh no, that ritual. Voldemort's back! But, wait, no, there was an explosion...Yes, that's it! He shot a spell at me and then my wand...what did my wand do? Wow, I can't really remember. There was a bright light and then...I was here.
And I have yet to discover where here is.
"Dear?" The voice brought me out of my thoughts. I turned my head to the left where, standing over me, was a woman dressed in white with short blonde curly hair that just barely curled over her shoulders. She was slightly pudgy and a bit on the short side, but had a warm smile pressed on her face. "Honey, are you feeling dizzy? You look a little too pale."
Oh, no, I'm just peachy. Definitely after almost being killed by some insane homicidal freak. "No, I'm fine." Woah, just noticed something. Is that my voice? Merlin, it sounded too high pitched, if you ask me. Oh well, I have different things to worry about, right?
"Well, okay," she said uncertainly. "Now, tell me your name."
"Well, you fell pretty hard and might have had a concussion. I just wanted to make sure you don't have any memory loss, that's all," the woman said as she began to go through some medicines in the cabinet next to my bed.
"Oh. Well, I know I'm Harry, so it's okay." Again, creepy voice. Ugh.
At that, she stopped and turned to look at me. "What?"
"Harry." Wasn't it obvious? I mean, I'm not one to play the 'hello, I'm the famous Boy-Who-Lived' card, but still...who on earth wouldn't know here? Definitely if they were treating me?
"Um....sweetie, your name's Charles, not...Harry."
Okay, didn't expect that. "Excuse me?"
She gave me a rather worried looked before sitting down next to me. "Dear, your name's Charles. You were outside and a kickball hit you and you banged your head on the concrete. That was about an hour ago."
Kickball? What kickball? And who does she think she's calling Charles? Oh well, let's just play along. "Um...what about Voldemort?"
Her eyebrows furrowed together, "Who?"
Okay, this is not good. Anyone who knew that name would cringe at the sound of it. And I'm also pretty sure the wizarding world doesn't have kickballs...oh no, this means I'm stuck somewhere in the muggle world! What happened? Did they find me unconscious and just assume...no, wait, they saw what happened, or what they think happened...oh Merlin, what's going on?
"Dear, it's okay, it'll come back to you, just give it some time. Now," she moved over to the table next to my bed and grabbed a tray with what appeared to be some kind of soup, bread, and water. Next to the water was a little white pill. "Swallow that with the water, and then eat something. I'm sure everything will come back to you soon. This isn't the first time this has happened to a kid here and I'm sure it won't be the last," she sighed with exasperation. "I swear, the trouble kids get into these days," she mumbled as she walked out of the room.
I couldn't help but chuckle. She may not look like Madam Pomfrey, but she sure acted like her. I looked down at the tray she had rested on the side table and grabbed for the water. Only, I stopped first to stare at my hand.
My hand is...small...too small....kid small...and so is my arm...
Then, with a sudden panic, I look down at myself and I just about fainted.
I'm a kid. Oh Merlin, I'm a kid! I can't be more than, what three? Four? Ugh! What's going on? First, Voldemort's back, then I wake up here only to discover I'm being taken care of by a muggle who thinks my name is Charles, and now I discover that I'm a bloody kid! Oh no no no no...this is bad! What am I going to do? Voldemort's out to get me and I'm a kid! I'm as good as dead! No, wait, calm down Harry, you don't know that. You don't know where Voldemort is or if he's even still alive. For all you know, that flash could have killed him or...maybe he's a kid too! Ha! That's rich! A little kid running around and trying to kill muggles with a little toy wand! Ha! Well, that's lightened my mood a little. Now then, what should I do? I should probably find some way to contact Dumbledore or Sirius and tell them what's up. Or maybe ask them if they know what's going on considering I don't know much on that subject at the moment. Hm, yeah, I should probably do that.
I jumped out of the bed and began to walk towards the door. However, before I could reach it, the lady from before came in and saw me. With her hands on her hips and a quirky smile planted on her lips, she asked, "Now where do you think you're going?"
"Um..." Actually, that IS something to think about. I wonder if there's an Owlery near here. Doubt it.
"Oh no you don't, back to bed!" She pushed me back over to where I had awoken and picked me up. Once I was settled in again, she began to walk to the other side of the room and said, "Take that medicine or I'll be forced to make you take it."
I gulped and hurriedly grabbed the glass of water and the little pill next to it. After popping it into my mouth and gulping it down with the water, I saw that she was coming back over with a clipboard in her hand.
"Okay, sweetie, can you remember anything?"
Uh, yeah, my whole life, but something tells me that's not what you want to know about. "No, not really," I said in, what I now realize as my rather childish voice.
She sighed. "I see," she said and began writing stuff on her clipboard.
She looked up and smiled. "Call me Betsy, honey."
"Okay," I said shyly before asking my question. "Um...could you tell me where I am? And...um...who I am?"
She looked at me wide-eyed and then proceeded to sit down next to me and pull me into a rather unexpected hug. "Oh, of course sweetie, I'm sorry." She released me, but continued to sit there as she explained. "Now, this place," she gestured around the room, "is the infirmary of St. George's House for Orphans. You've been living here ever since...well, ever since your mother begged us to."
"What?" I have a mother, or rather, had?
The lady, no, Betsy looked down at me sadly. "Your mother, I barely remember her, but I do remember she was such a pretty girl. Yes, she was on our door step, begging us to take you. I don't know why on earth she was so urgent, but she begged and pleaded for us to keep you safe. I'm guessing she was rather poor and knew that she just couldn't take care of you and that you'd be better off with someone else. So, we gladly took you in."
"What was her name?" I asked curiously.
Betsy sighed. "I don't know, dear, she never told us. All she said to us was that your name was Charles. Not her name nor your last name. And then, we turned around and she was gone. Vanished. We've...never seen her since." She looked down at me again as if trying to make sure I could take this all in. Apparently, my expression was fair enough for her to continue. "So, we've been raising you here for about three years now. You're four years old, like chocolate, and...." she sort of stopped after that. She glanced at me and said with a smile, "Oh dear, I doubt you're following this at all, are you? Look at me rambling on to just a mere child."
"What? No! I understand perfectly well, ma'am!" I said with a hint of annoyance in my voice. "Though, I'll admit, it's a lot to take in, I assure you that I'm more than capable of understanding the situation at hand."
At first, I thought I'd have to slap her after a minute of her just staring at me, clearly flabbergasted. Then, she shook her head slightly and said, "Dear Lord, I've never...only four and...such vocabulary..."
Oh. Right, I'm four. A four-year-old, that should be easily distracted by shiny objects and have the thought capability of a monkey, that just spoke as if they were...well, much older than four. No wonder the woman's stunned.
"I mean," she continued, "now that I think about it, ever since you woke up, I had been talking to you as if you would understand, I wasn't even thinking, but..."
"Um...ma'am?" She continued rambling. "Ms. Betsy?" She looked up and over at me. "You know, kids understand more than grown-ups think they do. Though, I suppose I'm a bit more knowledgeable than others, but...well, that's understandable."
As Betsy continued to stare, her eyes suddenly lit up as if something had just occurred to her. "Before, you called yourself Harry...Why was that?"
I smiled. Maybe I should tell her. She could help me. She seems to be much more understanding than most would and also seems to already be coming around to the idea that there's something changed within 'Charles' that no longer makes me him.
"Because," I began, "I am Harry. Or, I was. I'm honestly not sure which it is. You see...all I can remember from my past is that I'm....well..." Geez, this was harder than I thought. What if she doesn't understand? Not that I do, but...what if she sends me off to an asylum or something? Oh well, worth a shot anyways. So, I continued. "Before waking up now, I was actually a lot older."
I looked up to see how she was taking it so far. Rather than confused, she actually looked kind of...thoughtful. This encouraged me.
"You see, I was actually fourteen when...well, I'm not really sure what happened. There was a big flash and then...I woke up here." Not the best explanation in the world, but I can't explain more than that without going on about the wizarding world. Now that would get me sent to an asylum. Actually, I'm only four, right? So she'd probably just blame it on an overactive imagination or something like that. Honestly, not all kids have an...
"Oh!" I turned to Betsy. It looked as if she'd just had an epiphany. "I know! Reincarnation!"
I blinked. "What?"
She turned to me, bulbing with excitement, "Reincarnation! You see, you must have died and then your soul was reborn into another body! Oh, and then when you received the concussion, somehow it jogged your memories of your past life! Oh, but somehow it erased the memories of your current life..." Apparently, realization kicked in as she hugged me once again. "Oh, dear, I'm so sorry, I shouldn't have said it like that. Oh, how insensitive can I be? You must think I'm a crazy old thing..."
I chuckled softly and pat her on the back. "Actually, I would have thought I'd be the crazy one here. But, actually, I hadn't thought of reincarnation..."
She pulled back and looked me in the eyes. "Well, what else could it be? Wait, when did you...um..."
"Ah, well, that answers it!"
"Dear, it's 1997."
"What?" I squawked. Wow. I've managed to miss three years. How could three years have gone by? And what about Voldemort? "Um...Ms. Betsy, can you tell me if....deathrates have risen? Or if anything... weird has occurred?"
Odd. "Just wondering."
"Now Charles," she began sternly, but stopped. "Oh, wait, Harry? Oh, whatever! Anyways, don't you keep things from me. Out with it! If this concerns whoever killed you, as I assume no one just falls dead at the age of fourteen, then you tell me at once!"
I looked down at the hands in my lap. Well, what if I did tell her? Maybe she'd understand? Hm, I wonder if I could do some magic to prove things to her. No, wait, that might scare her. She could turn out like the Dursleys...or she just won't believe me at all. Probably the latter.
"Now...Harry, please, I'll understand, I promise."
"No, it...it's not that easy. Its like...an entirely different world I'd have to describe to you...and I'm pretty sure there's nothing you can do about Voldemort."
"Wait, you mentioned them before, right?" I nodded.
"Yeah, Voldemort. Or also known as Tom Marvolo Riddle, the Dark Lord, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, You-Know-Who..." She gasped. I turned to her. Her eyes were staring at me, so wide I thought they'd fall out. "W-what?"
"You mean...how do you know of You-Know-Who?"
"Well...wait, how do you? Aren't you a muggle?"
She chuckled. "Oh yes, I'm a muggle all right, but don't take me lightly. And yes, I do know a thing or two about the wizarding world, if that's what you're wondering. But how do you know about it? You weren't a wizard, were you?"
"Um...yeah, I was," I admitted, "but how do you know about it?"
She chuckled. "Oh, my little sister married a wizard and they decided to tell the family about him around...four years ago, I guess? Anyways, real cute couple. Married fresh out of school, those two. We thought they were too young, but no, they went along with it anyways." She chuckled a bit more. "Well, now they're both twenty-two and are happy and rich. Apparently he plays on some sports team. You probably know it. Involves brooms and flying, bunch of balls flying around too, hoops.."
She clapped her hands together. "Yes! That's it! Anyways, I went to a game a year ago and, I swear, I don't see how anyone can follow one of those games. It's all going too fast! And then someone caught...well...something, and everyone started cheering and then, boom, it was over! I swear, it was one of the most confusing days of my life."
At hearing this, I couldn't help but burst out laughing. I don't think I had ever heard someone describe Quidditch with such exasperation before!
"Oh, you think that's funny, do you Mr. Harry?" she said with slight annoyance, but mostly amusement. She reached over and began tickling me ruthlessly which, of course, made me laugh even harder.
After a few moments, we were silenced when a woman came storming into the room. "What on earth is going on in here?" she demanded. The woman was tall, skinny, and old. Her clothes covered every inch of her, her hair was in a tight bun on her head, and her rectangular glasses were stooped at the tip of her nose.
"Oh, Ms. Truax," Betsy said, standing up abruptly, "we were just, I was just making sure he.."
"Silence. Now, he seems to be perfectly fine, so please excuse Mr. Charles from your care and go back to work," and with that, she turned sharply and left, slamming the door as she went.
"...Okay, what's her problem?"
Betsy laughed softly, "That was Ms. Truax. She runs the place with an iron fist, so do not get in her way," she said, wagging a finger in my face. "Now, let's get you back to your room before we anger her any further."
"Don't worry, we'll continue our conversation later." She ushered me up and urged me toward the door. "Let's see, it's around noon right now, so...how about I come and get you at 3:30? We could have some afternoon tea and...discuss some more."
"Okay." I grinned up at her and she grinned back. You know, I can't believe how well this is all going. I mean, okay, I've just found out that I'm currently a four-year-old in a muggle orphanage, but...well, at least someone here understands. And she knows about the wizarding world! Man, am I lucky or what? Actually, that's kind of what has me a little concerned. I'm hardly ever this lucky. I'm starting to wonder if this is just a dream or something. No, it seems a bit too real for a dream, but still...
"Alright, here we are."
Wow, this place is a...mess. In the room were five beds, two on either side and one in the back, and there were toys, clothes, and only Merlin knows what else lying around. I tried to step into the room, maneuvering through the random objects scattering the wood floor until I stood in the middle. I looked up at Betsy with a disgruntled expression. She chuckled.
"I'm not sure if you're used to sharing, but you'll have to start. I believe you've got the bed at the end of the room and as for what's yours and what's theirs...well, you'll have to ask them."
"And 'them' would be?"
"Ah. Well, there's Alec, he's got bright red hair; Calvin, kind of tall and lanky with blonde hair; Ethan, who's just a bit taller than you with black hair; and then there's Glen with sandy colored hair, kind of curly. Don't worry about keeping up with those four, though. They..." She didn't seem to want to continue. Great, more problems.
"Well...you all aren't really the...best of friends...actually, for the most part, they don't even...well...notice you that much. You usually keep to yourself, you see, and never really made any close friends. Most of the time, you'd help out the grown-ups. Oh, you really were such a sweetie."
"Oh, well, that's not all that surprising, I guess." Thinking back to my own childhood, filled with chores and certainly no friends (Dudley made sure of that), it wasn't surprising in the least.
"...really? Well, you'll have to explain that to me later. As for now...well, is this okay?"
I looked around the room and nodded. "Yeah, of course. I mean, I lived in a cupboard for two thirds of my life before, so this is hardly going to bother me," I said with a rather grim laugh.
"That's terrible!" she just about shouted. She looked like she wanted to hug me again, but composed herself and said, "Well, we'll be discussing that as well, now won't we? Now, go to sleep. I'll wake you up in a few hours, okay?"
I nodded and she left, mumbling under her breath about child neglect and such. I chuckled again and went to what I suppose must have been my bed.
I'll admit, it was a lot more tidy than the others.
As I moved towards it, I had to watch my feet to make sure I didn't give myself another concussion and risk forgetting anything about my past life.
Wait, I wonder if I'd actually remember my life as Charles? Hm. That would be interesting. Oh well, let's not think about that now. Let's think of sleep...wow, this bed is actually rather comfy. Mmm....soft fluffy pillows...you know, I think I'm sleepier than I thought...hmm....
Wow...that's an amazing ending to a first chapter, no? -laughs- So, yeah, like I said, not the best chapter, but it gets better! And funnier...just wait 'till the kid gets to Hogwarts...oh, the irony of it all...