Disclaimer: I do not own anything you will recognize
A/N: This was a story that has been bugging me for a while now. So I finished it to get it out of my mind and be done with it. The whole thing is written and four chapters long. His story was not beta-readed so please forgive the mistakes that you'll find. Should anyone be interesting in editing this story, mail me.
Anyway I hope you will enjoy reading it.
Chapter One: Growing up a Squib
McGonagall opened the Listing book and taped the page where all the names of Hogwarts' future students where written.
Muttering a few words, flicking her wand in an eight pattern followed by a slash, she tapped it again and two stacks appeared, one of letters and one envelops
One by one, she signed the standard accepting letters before placing them in envelops with the student's name on it.
She enjoyed this task as it allowed her to reminisce about past students as their children where now starting Hogwarts.
"Bones… Amelia was such a good child, so hardworking…"
"Granger… a Muggleborn, I need to send someone to clear the situation with the family."
"Longbottom… such a tragedy, his parents were such dears…"
"Malfoy, I can just hope he will not follow his father's example, such a dreadful man… Narcissa was such a lively little girl… quite the pity, she turned into such…"
"Patil… twins, I just hope they won't be as troublesome as the Weasley duo. Their father was quite bright, always handing twice the length I asked for essays…"
"Weasley… Merlin, one more! How much children did Molly get?! Let's just hope this one will be more like his older brother than the twins… I think Molly also has a younger girl… What a brood!"
As she sealed the last envelop destined to Zabini Blaise, she let out a sigh… It looks like this year group would be quite the lively one, in particular since the young Potter…
She paused, mentally going all the names she had seen for the past hour.
Frowning, she leafed through the stack of letters… Parkinson Pansy, Patil Padma, Patil Parvati, Randall Ian… Thinking she might have made a mistake while conjuring the letters, the Deputy Headmistress, looked in the book.
Her eyes widened as nobody named Potter was registered.
She tied the letters to the legs of the owls waiting by the window as they did every year before shooing them away. Once all the birds had left, she took the book and strode to the Headmaster's office.
"Albus?" she asked, knocking at the same time.
"Enter, Minerva, enter."
She did so and went to sit in one of the chairs in front of the Headmaster.
"Is something the matter, Minerva?"
She dropped the book on his desk and opened it to the offending page, motioning him to read it.
The old wizard did so, frowning as he reached the end of the list.
"Well Minerva, it seems that we will have a fine group of first year, what has you so ruffled?"
Minerva looked at him with disbelief.
"Albus! Don't you notice a name missing?!"
Frown deepening, Albus Dumbledore went over the list once more, his finger stopping at the P letter.
"Where is young Harry's name? He should be eleven this year?..."
"Exactly," exclaimed McGonagall, I checked the book, his name is nowhere in its pages!"
Dumbledore stood up and went to take his cloak.
"The book must be malfunctioning, or the wards on his aunt's house might be interfering with its magic," he said, trying to find a viable explanation to this situation.
"Where are you going, Albus?"
"I think it is time to pay a visit to young Mr Potter. His re-entrance in our world should be as smooth as possible."
"Do you mean that you never checked on the boy, Albus. You know what sort of Muggles his family is."
Albus smiled benignly at his Deputy.
"It was for the best that young Harry had no contact with our world. Yearly visit to the same Muggle family would have raised suspicion. Not all Death Eaters were arrested and sent to Azkaban."
"I'm sure you did what was best, Albus. I'll come with you."
Ten minutes later, they reached the Apparition point and apparated to a small alley close to Privet Drive.
Walking calmly to number four, they rang the door, waiting for someone to open.
The door was opened slowly and they looked down to see a small skinny black-haired boy looking up at them, his eyes widening as he took in their strange clothes.
He was dressed in over-sized washed clothes that only accentuated his thinness. His angular face made his eyes stand out by their colour, despite the thick black bangs obscuring his face.
Albus smiled at him.
"Hello, my boy."
The young boy bowed his head.
"Hello sir, what do you want?"
"I would like to talk to your family, are they home?"
The child only opened the door wider, inviting them inside. He walked them to an immaculate living room where everything seemed to have its place.
"Aunt Petunia, Uncle Vernon, there are two people who wish to talk with you."
A thin, blonde woman stepped in the room, paling as she saw who was standing in her living room.
"Go to your room boy and do not come out before I tell you to or I'll have Vernon punish you."
"Yes Aunt Petunia."
The black-haired boy hurried to the hall and opened the door of the cupboard, shutting it behind him.
Petunia ignored the appalled look on the strict looking woman.
"What do you want?!" she snapped, not caring about politeness, not with those freaks.
Albus chose to ignore her tone.
"Could we sit down, Mrs Dursley?"
Petunia, waved at them dismissively, seating herself primly in one of the armchairs.
"We came here to day to try to solve a small mystery concerning your nephew," started Albus. Waiting for questions that did not come as Petunia looked at him, distaste and annoyance clear on her face. He decided to continue. "As you are aware, young Harry will turn eleven in a week and should receive an admittance letter to our school. However there seemed to have been a problem since his name did not come up on our admittance list."
At those words, Petunia's eyes lit up, hope entering them.
"And what does that mean, old man?" she asked snidely.
"I'm sure it is just a problem with the protection that were placed on your house the day you took little Harry, but I would like to make sure by testing the boy."
Petunia looked at him, narrowing her eyes before shouting a high-pitched "Boy!"
The same thing black-haired young boy hurried in the room.
"Yes Aunt Petunia?"
"These people came to do a little test on you. Stand still and let them do their work."
Young Harry nodded and turned to face the two weird people that were looking at him surprised.
Albus Dumbledore was the first one to react.
"Come here, child," he said, motioning to the boy to approach.
Looking to his Aunt for permission, Harry then stepped closer to the couch.
He nearly took a step back as the man took out a small crystal from his pocket and placed it over his heart and started muttering some gibberish.
A pale dying light lit the crystal, before fading.
A look of stunned surprise crossed the man's face as he muttered his gibberish again, getting the same results. Taking out a thin carved stick, he waved it in front of Harry.
The young boy gasped and nearly jumped out of his skin as a thin pale green light surrounded him. It disappeared as the man uttered two more words.
"Finite Incantatem." He then turned towards Petunia Dursley who had watched the whole display with a sneer firmly fixed on her face.
"Could you send young Harry back to his room, Mrs Dursley?"
"You heard the man, back to your room, boy!" she barked.
The boy left the room quickly, his eyes stuck to the ground.
"So, does the brat fit your freak school?" she asked.
"Unfortunately, I'm very sad to tell you that young Harry won't be able to join Hogwarts."
That silenced the woman who looked at him with a stunned look.
"I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, Mrs Dursley, but it seems that young Harry's magic was stripped from him, probably the night his parents died. He is what we call a squib, quite like you. You both possess very small quantity of magic, not enough to be able to use them."
There was a small silence as the women digested the information.
Minerva McGonagall was ashen. It couldn't be! Harry Potter had defeated Voldemort! He couldn't be a Squib!
Petunia on the other hand seemed to relax slightly, a pleased light entering her eyes.
"You mean that the boy is completely normal? That he is not one of you?"
Albus nodded eyes dim. How was he going to explain this to their world! Harry Potter was supposed to be their saviour, an icon for the Light! He was not supposed to be a Squib.
"He is as normal as any Muggle. I'm sad to say that he will never be able to enter the wizarding world. To know of magic and to not be able to use it when he had been able to at an early age would be cruel to him. It is best that he never knows of his parents' world."
Petunia smiled gleefully.
Dumbledore didn't notice this as he kept looking at his hands, trying to make something of this new element.
"So what are you going to do about it, wizard?"
"I will lift the wards from your house since the boy does not risk being spotted through magical means, having too little magic to be tracked by spells. You will have no longer any contact with our world and young Harry will make a life of himself in the Muggle World, I'm sure. I will allow you access to the money his parents put aside for his education. You will however have to justify any withdrawals made from it and give justification it was made in little Harry's interest."
He stood up, followed by Minerva.
"We will no longer impose on your hospitality, Mrs Dursley. I wish you a good life."
The two wizards headed for the door and vanished from view, leaving the quaint little Muggle neighbourhood behind them.
Petunia sat down once she was sure the two freaks had left, feeling quite dizzy at all that had been said.
The boy, her nephew was normal!
Her sister had to be rolling in her tomb! Her perfect baby boy had no more power than her, Petunia!
However if the boy wasn't one of those freaks, it meant that there would be some changes in the house. While it was perfectly normal to treat a freak like one, it wouldn't do to do it to a non-freak.
She steeled herself for what was coming.
The skinny waif-like child hurried in the living room.
"Yes aunt Petunia?"
She eyed him appraisingly. He would need some fattening up, and new clothes. Her little Dudders' old clothes might have been good enough for a freak but not for a perfectly normal nephew.
"Sit down, boy."
He eyed her warily and went to sit on his stool.
"No, boy, on the couch."
This time he looked at her as she had gone mad but obeyed nonetheless.
"Do you know who those people were, boy?"
He shook his head meekly.
"No Aunt Petunia."
"They were two freaks," she stated coldly. "I know your Uncle and I told you your parents died in a car crash, however the truth is that they were also two freaks that were killed by a more powerful freak who wanted to get control of the freak world."
The young boy's eyes widened at that before he timidly asked a question.
"What are freaks, Aunt Petunia?"
"Freaks are called wizards and witches, they can use magic to get things done for them, lazy bums, the whole lot!"
The boy was gaping at her.
She waved him dismissively.
"Go to the attic and bring me the large black box I forbade you to touch."
A few minutes later, the young boy was back with the box.
Petunia opened it and took out a stack of moving pictures.
"Those are photos your mother took while she went to her freakish school. This box contains what she left behind when she left us to stay in that World."
Harry was staring mesmerized at a moving picture of a young woman dancing in the arm of black-haired man.
Petunia continued her explanations.
"There was an even bigger freak in that world and he killed your parents and tried but failed to kill you apparently. You were then dumped on our doorstep."
Harry looked up from the picture.
"Why did you tell me they died in a car crash?"
"My wonderful sister turned her back on me after a year or two at that school. Suddenly I wasn't good enough for her. They took her from me. Vernon and I had decided long ago that we wanted nothing to do with this world. We just used the first explanation that seemed plausible."
"So I-I'm not like my parents?"
"Thank god no! You are perfectly normal and that mean we can treat you like a normal boy. You will move to Dudley's second room and we will go shop for some clothes as soon as we can. Dudley will also share your chores from now on. You will be allowed to watch the television with us and eat at the table during all the meals."
She paused, trying to think of other things that needed to be changed.
"I will explain everything to Dudley and there will be no more hunting. Hunting is only for freaks. I also expect you to do your best in school as Vernon and I will not support you all your life, you'll need to make a name for yourself."
Young Harry could only nod as his world was turned upside down. Being normal looked like it was way better than magic. After all normal people were allowed to be in a real bedroom and to have three meals a day!
"Go clean Dudley's second room. Put all the broken things in a plastic bag and the rest in his room. Once you are done, we will go shop for some clothes and furniture." Looking at him she also decided something else needed to go. "We will also go see an optometrist for new glasses."
The day the two strange people visited the Dursley residence marked a turn in young Harry Potter life.
He was dressed in clothes that fitted him, owned his own room, and wore glasses that did not make him look like an owl.
His Uncle and aunt bought him the necessary furniture: a bed, a desk a chair, a nightstand, a small lamp, an alarm-clock, a rug and a large wardrobe with four big drawers.
He also received decent school furniture: a school bag, books, notebooks, pencils and pen, erasers… and was allowed to get better grades than Dudley.
Being able to perform at his best soon made him part of the top five best student, all the time spent hiding from Dudley in the Library finally paying off.
His cousin took to ignore him unless he needed help with his work. This relationship worked best for the two boys.
Came Halloween and Harry had started to integrate himself to the children of Privet Drive, though he still remained quite shy.
Far away from Privet Drive, in Scotland, a young girl screamed in terror as a huge troll barged in the bathroom where she had been hiding, crying over the harsh words of one Ronald Weasley.
But there was no one to come to her aid, the teachers arrived to find her lying on the ground, unconscious, blood pooling around her, the projections on the wall showing how the beast had thrown her around. They managed to subdue him as it was about to smash her with its bat.
She spent two weeks in St Mungo's intensive care then two months recovering from her ordeal and getting herself back to health.
Ronald Weasley got a detention and twenty points off his house for his behaviour and the house as a whole got a hundred points off for having not signalled Miss Granger absence from the Hall when the alert had been given.
When asked if she wished to go back to Hogwarts, young Hermione Granger refused, deciding to go back to the Muggle world, turning her back on a world that had only ridiculed her for her thirst of knowledge or scorned her due to her heritage. She was allowed to keep her magical belongings though notice-me-not and muggle repelling charms were placed on it.
Meanwhile, young Harry Potter had been transferred to a prestigious boarding school. His aunt and uncle had decided it would be better for all of them. It had taken quite a lot of money and private meetings with the Head Teacher to manage to enrol the boy but they had managed.
They would not have to try as hard to making their awkward relationship with their nephew work as he would only be there during the holidays and he would be able to escape the rumours that ran rampant about him.
At the end of December, he sat the entrance exams to the school and was admitted. Came January, he was shipped to his new school.
As the summer holidays approached, the Grangers decided that a change of scenery would be good for their little girl and looked over the brochures for boarding schools, discussing it with their daughter.
They filled application forms to three of them and drove her to sit the admission exams to the three schools. Once positive results had come back for the three of them, they finally settled on one and got ready for the new school year, buying her the required uniform and necessities…
Harry Potter got ready to leave for King Cross station, checking his bags to make sure he had not forgotten anything.
His summer had been enjoyable, his relatives having come to a decision as to how to treat him. They treated him like a distant relative that was only staying for the holidays which suited both parties well.
After bidding his aunt and uncle goodbye, he walked to the train and headed to the wagon that school reserved for those that couldn't be driven up to the school's estate.
A girl was already seating there. He didn't recall her from before and assumed she was new. Deciding to do what others had done for him on his admission to the school, he saluted her.
"Hello, I'm Harry Potter."
He heard a small gasp as the brown-haired girl looked up sharply.
He frowned a little.
"My name is Harry Potter, what's yours?"
He watched her eyes look up at his scar before she snapped from whatever daze she had been in.
"Sorry, your name just sounds familiar. My name's Hermione Granger," she said, shaking his hand.
He smiled at her.
"So you're a new student, I don't recall you being at school last year?"
"I am. I went to a Boarding school last year but was attacked and decided to transfer."
Harry fell silent at those words.
"I'm sorry, what was the name of the school?"
"Don't be, I wasn't well liked anyway." She paused for a minute, debating whether to tell him her former school's name. "It was Hogwarts."
Harry's eyes widened.
"So you were a witch!"
"You are The Harry Potter! They said you disappeared!"
"What do you mean?!"
"You mean that you don't know?"
"Don't know about what?"
"You're right, I was a witch, but there was an attack and I got caught in it because no one saw fit to warn me of it or the teachers that I didn't know… I was stuck in the hospital for three months to recover. After that I decided I was better in the Muggle World. But what about you, why didn't you go to Hogwarts?"
Harry rolled his eyes.
"Apparently I can't do magic… From what my aunt told me last time I asked her, I lost it the day my parents died."
"So you're a Squib then…"
"If you say so. However from what you tell me, it seems I got lucky, the wizarding world doesn't sound all that great."
Hermione looked out of the window.
"There were some good things…"
"But not enough to outweigh the bad ones apparently."
"Not in my case."
She shook her head, dismissing those memories.
"So what can you tell me about the school?"
Harry immediately launched into a description on the facilities, eventually joined by some of his friends and acquaintances from school to whom he introduced Hermione.
That was a new start for Hermione as she was accepted without reserves for the first time.
"Come on Harry, just open the blasted letter! I'm sure you got in!"
Harry kept staring at his Oxford letter.
Hermione rolled her eyes and snatched it from his hands.
"Here, you big lazy lump! How difficult it is to open a letter?"
"Hermione! Give it here! It's my letter!"
"And if I let you do it, we'll still be here when hell freezes! You know you'll get in!" she snapped back.
"Easy for you to say, not everyone has the IQ of a genius," grumbled Harry.
Hermione ignored him and neatly opened the letter. She skimmed over the contents of the first page, watched by an anxious Harry.
There was a moment of silence when Harry felt his inside turned into ice before she squealed and hugged him tightly.
"You got in!"
He hugged her back and twirled her around the room laughing in relief.
"I'm going to kill that pig-headed bastard!"
The young women flushed a little but didn't relent.
"That- that waste of human flesh had the audacity to steal my research subject and then asked me to dinner!" she spat, throwing her bag on the couch before slumping in an armchair.
Harry stood up and went behind her, lightly massaging her shoulders.
"Relax, Hermione, you'll find another subject."
She sighed as her friend worked out the knots in her shoulders.
"He just gets on my nerve. Because his Dad is on the board he thinks he owns the Department… Where are the others by the way?"
"Kelly is getting ready for her date, Dave is out with some friends and Will is studying in his rooms."
As he said that, a brunette stepped out one of the rooms.
"Good to see you out of your labs, Hermione. I was starting to think that your corpses had kidnapped you."
Hermione rolled her eyes.
"No risks. However, there might be one more corpse in the morgue tomorrow."
"Harrington strikes again I see. I'll leave you in Harry's hands then, I've got my own boy to catch. Don't wait for me, I might stay at his flat," she said, laughing at the exasperated face both of them made but left before they could say anything.
Hermione shifted a little as Harry kept massaging her shoulder.
"What's for dinner?"
"It was Kelly's turn to cook."
Hermione shot up in her seat.
"Tell me you didn't let her in the kitchen!"
"I was back too late. She had already finished what she says is mashed potatoes and carrots with steaks."
Harry leaned and whispered at her ear.
"However should you agree to come eat with me tonight at Pierre's you might be spared the steaks of doom."
Hermione turned to him.
"Anything but that! If you do this I'll be forever in your debt."
"You got yourself a date then, Miss Granger."
Hermione was hunched over thick books, trying to cram one last bit of knowledge in her brain.
The click of her door opening had her looking up.
"Hey you," she said, smiling at her friend.
"Still working, I see," said Harry, placing a mug of coffee next to her while sipping on his own. "Be careful it's hot"
"I can see that."
"You should take a break. You know all of this by heart anyway."
"A bit more studying will not hurt."
"But a break might make your mind sharper, in particular if you enjoy this coffee prepared by your humble servant."
"True and it would be a shame to let such a good coffee go to waste."
Harry shot her a smile as she took a sip of the steaming mug.
"I see what you meant when you said it was hot."
Harry wriggled his eyebrows.
"Want me to kiss it better?"
Hermione flushed a little. She knew she shouldn't think like this of her childhood friend, but he had been flirting with her for the past week, unless she had misinterpreted his actions through wishful thinking. He was attractive but he was also her best friend.
She looked at him, catching him staring at her.
Sighing, she put her mug back on her desk.
"Do you really mean it, Harry?"
He frowned a little.
"Kissing it better?"
He raked a hand through his hair.
"I know we are great friends, Hermione, but I would like to be more. But since I know you don't want to jeopardize our friendship, I'll settle for some light flirting…"
"Light? Your light flirting would make a hippo look thin!"
"Well, at least you noticed it."
There was a small silence broken by Hermione.
"What would you say if I told you I wouldn't mind giving it a try?" she said quietly.
Harry put his mug down, face serious.
"I would ask you if you would mind me doing this."
He gently cupped her face and kissed her lightly on the lips, deepening the kiss as she opened her mouth to let him in.
He soon pulled away; looking in Hermione's smiling eyes.
"I think I like it," she said in a whisper.
Harry smiled kissing her once more before standing up.
"I'm glad you'll give us a try, Hermione. I'll leave you to your work now."
He kissed her on her forehead before leaving her room.
Hermione knew she must have a silly grin etched on her face but couldn't bring herself to care.
Harry opened the door to his flat, trying to find the Light switch while balancing his bag and the bags of food he had bought on his way back.
He heard a muffled groan and shushing noise and had to repressed a smile
All of the sudden, the flat was lit.
He stared at his friends with a smile. A large banderol was going from one side of his flat to the other, sporting a big emerald green "HAPPY BIRTHDAY HARRY!"
All his friends, some of his co-workers and of course Hermione were gathered tonight at their flat, A big cake was being lighted as he watched them surround him, congratulating on reaching his 24th birthday. The night was one of happiness, laughter and shared jokes pertaining to Harry's youth and mishaps. Presents were opened and commented on and the cake was eaten.
As the guests started leaving, Hermione went to sit next to Harry, snuggling up to him.
"Happy Birthday, Harry," she whispered, kissing him chastely.
Harry embraced her.
"Thanks for organizing this."
"My pleasure, as long as you enjoyed it."
"I did," he said, taking her hand in his, a hand that was wearing his ring. He waved at the last guests that were leaving. "How are your parents? Did they enjoy their time in New York?"
"They did, they even had time for some sight-seeing after their congress. You're invited tomorrow for dinner by the way."
Harry smiled, kissing her forehead.
"I'll be a fool to pass up your mother's cooking.
"I told them we would there around noon."
"Alright, did you tell your mother about our plans?"
Hermione shook her head.
"No, I thought we would tell them together."
"Very well. How was your work today?"
"Fine, there wasn't too much work fortunately… though there was one strange case today, the man and his family seemed to have died of fright. All three of them were perfectly fine, no wounds, no malformations of any sort, and no signs of poisoning, though the laboratories will confirm it… It's quite strange."
"There were other cases of such deaths. One of my colleagues had to oversee one of them but it's quite the mystery."
"A serial killer?"
Harry kept carding his hand through her hair.
"Maybe, the police are still investigating all those deaths and I heard from Darren that a special unit might be detached to help."
Hermione snuggled up to him as Harry put his arms around her.
"Are you working tomorrow?"
Harry shook his head.
"No, Judge Hordane gave me my day off from the court."
"Salute him for me next time you see him."
"I will, he told me his wife was expecting us for lunch next Sunday."
Hermione smiled, then kissed him gently and soon both were otherwise occupied.