Harry Potter and the Enchanting Boy
A/N: I don't own Harry Potter and wish I did.
A Harry/Hermione story.
Rating is M for later chapters.
Thanks to my beta Herman Tumbleweed for tweaking the story where it needed it.
Chapter 1: Defiance
Dursley residence: July 31st 1991
As the sun rose on Harry's eleventh birthday, it seemed that today would be no different than any other day or birthday. How very wrong he was.
The morning mail had just been dropped through the mail slot, and Harry had been sent to retrieve it.
Picking up the mail, Harry noticed a strange letter with no stamp, but addressed to him:
Mr. Harry Potter
Cupboard Under The Stairs
4 Privet Drive
Wondering over the odd letter, he opened it on the way back to the kitchen.
"What's keeping that boy?" Vernon Dursley mused aloud. "Boy, get back here, where's the mail? Surely a simple thing like that isn't beyond your dim mind!"
Dudley chuckled at that. Dudley was the Dursley's very overweight son and took every opportunity to bully his cousin Harry.
Petunia, Vernon's wife, sniffed and piled more food on her husband and son's plate. One would expect young Harry to be fat, like his cousin, but the Dursley's made sure he got only the bare minimum to sustain him.
"Uncle Vernon," Harry queried, "what kind of a joke is someone trying to pull on me? This letter, addressed to me, invites me to attend a magic school. There's no such thing as magic, is there?"
Vernon grew very red in the face and grabbed the letter. "Don't be stupid, of course there's no such thing as magic!"
But Harry could see a nervous twitch to his uncle's face when he said that and his aunt had gone very white, her hand flying to her mouth, barely covering the gasp she made.
Vernon made to rip the letter up, but it refused to rip, no matter how hard he tried. Frustrated, he ran to the fireplace, throwing the letter into the flames. It refused to burn and instead floated out of the fireplace, landing in a startled Harry's hand. It seemed the letter didn't wish to be destroyed.
"Give me that letter!" Vernon bellowed.
In Harry's first ever act of defiance, he stated firmly, "No! It's addressed to me and it seems to want to stay with me."
Uncle Vernon's face took on a definite puce shade now. "What did you say, boy?" he intoned dangerously.
Harry gulped, but stood his ground. "It's mine, as it's addressed to me," he reiterated. "Why do you care, if it's a joke? It is a joke isn't it?"
Petunia squeaked at this act of defiance. "V-Vernon…" she stuttered meekly. "L-look, it has that crest on the envelope.
Harry glanced at the seemingly indestructible parchment and noticed the crest, a complicated coat of arms with animals rampant in the shield with an 'H' as the central piece.
Vernon suddenly changed tactics. "You will NOT be going," he stated firmly. "It's a freak school and we won't be paying good money to some loony person to teach you magic tricks!"
A knock was heard at the door then, interrupting Vernon's rant.
"Get the door, boy. On second thought, out of my way, I'll get it!" his uncle blustered. Harry followed at a distance, curious if this had anything to do with the odd letter.
At the door, Vernon was met with the sight of a very severe looking woman, dressed quite oddly. She wore what seemed to be a black robe and her hair was done in a tight bun. She looked to be well past middle age.
"Mr. Dursley?" she inquired. "My name is Minerva McGonagall. I am here to see Mr. Harry Potter. May I come in?"
"Wh-what do you want with him?" Vernon asked nervously. He had seen people like this before, years ago. Unnatural people, freaks. This wouldn't go well, plus, she had that look of command that brooked no nonsense.
"Mr. Potter should have received his letter by now; I am here to escort him to purchase his school materials." Her look made Vernon shiver. Petunia had told him about this woman. She was not to be messed with.
"Ah, er… well, you see, um, we can't afford to send him to your school," he extemporised.
"Are you going to invite me in?" she asked, with steel in her words.
"Y-yes, certainly, but it won't do you any good, he won't be going to your school."
"I seriously doubt that is the case," McGonagall said. "That boy has had his name down for Hogwarts since his birth. His parents have provided for his schooling."
"W-what? He has money?" A greedy look came over Vernon's face at the prospect of gaining access to this previously unknown source of funds.
As Minerva settled in the Dursley's lounge room, Harry peeked in, curious about the new visitor.
"Ah, Mr. Potter, won't you join us?" she asked politely. "Yes, Mr. Dursley, Mr. Potter has sufficient funds to attend, and no, you do not have access to them."
Vernon blustered. "We're his guardians, of course we would have access to his funds." He rubbed his hands greedily at the thought.
"I'm afraid not, Mr. Dursley, the goblins will not allow you to touch the funds. In fact, if you try, you will be cursed.
Vernon shuddered at that, Petunia had told him stories about these unnatural beings. She had accompanied her sister Lily and their parents on their first trip to Diagon Alley. They had visited the wizard bank and seen the goblins for herself. Petunia never forgot the look that one of them gave her as they made their way into the creepy establishment. Even now, Vernon could almost see the evil looking freaks. Petunia had been so traumatised that she refused to have anything to do with magic and in time, came to hate her sister.
"Mr. Potter, my name is Professor McGonagall, I am the Assistant Headmistress of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I have come to assist you in the purchase of your school supplies, and to introduce you to the wizarding world."
Harry's jaw dropped open at this and his mind refused to believe what he had just heard.
"M-magic is real? Um, are you a-a… witch?"
"Correct on both counts Mr. Potter."
Dudley just stared at the professor, not really believing a word of it. Petunia knew better and sat, nervously wringing her hands.
A huge grin broke out on Harry's face as he thought about the possibilities. "Can you… you know… show me some magic?"
McGonagall smiled for the first time, brought her wand out, and transformed the small table in front of her into a brightly coloured bird. As the bird flew to Harry's shoulder, he let out a gasp of delight. The professor summoned the bird back to her and restored it back to its original state as a table.
"Wow," was all Harry could say.
Dudley was slowly backing out of the room, finally turning and making a run for it. Petunia looked fearfully at her table, as if the table might revert again to a bird and fly away.
Vernon had finally gained his nerve back and spoke. "We'll not allow it! The boy needs our permission to attend your freak school, and I won't have it!" he bellowed.
"Mr. Dursley, I'd advise you to rethink what you just said," McGonagall stated. "The wizarding government has very little patience with Muggles, especially ones like you. This boy is famous in our world. His magical education is a high priority with the government. You might not like the results if you attempt to interfere," she said frostily.
Harry had a thousand questions, but as he opened his mouth to ask one the professor waved him quiet. "I'll explain in due course, Mr. Potter. Come, we have quite a lot to do." And with that, she rose and beckoned Harry to follow, leaving a stunned Vernon Dursley wondering how he had lost control of the conversation.
As soon as they left the house, Professor McGonagall told Harry that they would be travelling to another house to pick up a Muggle-born witch.
"What's a 'Muggle', Professor?"
"That's a non magical person, Mr. Potter. A Muggle-born is simply someone magical born to a non-magical family. The person we are to meet is a young girl just a bit older than you. Her name is Hermione Granger, and from all accounts is quite smart.
"Now hold on to my hand tightly and I'll transport us there by magical means. It's called Apparation and you'll feel a bit of discomfort."
A bit of discomfort was an understatement. Harry felt as if he was being squeezed through a hosepipe. Harry stumbled a bit as they arrived and Minerva caught him.
Suddenly, they were there, looking at a neat two-story house in an unfamiliar town. This house was a much nicer looking house than his relatives'. Instead of a cookie cutter type house where all the houses in the neighbourhood looked identical, the Granger house stood out as a quietly elegant home, set apart from its neighbours with tall trees in the yard. It was noticeably cooler here and Harry thought they must have travelled a considerable distance.
"Uh, Professor, just where are we?"
"We are in Broom, near Biggleswade, Bedfordshire. This is northeast of London."
Harry had never been outside Little Whinging, so he really only had a vague idea where they were. "Northeast of London, well I can sort of picture that from what I was taught in school."
"It's a nice quiet town. Ah, I see Miss Granger is just coming outside now," the Professor replied.
Harry saw a bushy haired girl with nice soft brown eyes, about the same age as him but somewhat shorter. She was dressed in a pair of blue-jeans and a thin, short sleeved black shirt. 'How does she stay warm in that?' he wondered. Her figure was somewhat straight with just a hint of curves starting to show. The face was what drew his eyes: a pleasant well formed face with a pixie nose and nice smile.
Hermione started when she noticed two people walking up to her door. "Hello. May I help you?"
"Good morning Miss Granger, My name is Professor McGonagall, and this is Mr. Harry Potter. I have come to introduce you two to the wizarding world before you attend school. You did receive your letter, I assume."
Hermione squealed in delight and rushed up to shake hands with the pair.
'Oh great, a squealing girl,' Harry thought.
"Professor McGonagall, I'm ever so pleased you came. I have a million questions to ask!" And she was off. "What books do we need? Why am I a witch and not my mother? How do we get to Hogwarts? When does the school year start?" At this point, she stopped for breath before launching into more rapid-fire questions.
Harry could barely keep up with the questions she rattled off, some of which echoed his own. 'Well, Professor McGonagall was right. She seems very smart with the type of questions she's asking. I never would have thought to ask some of those,'
"Miss Granger, I'll answer all your questions in time, but for now, can you hold them? Shall we go inside so that I might speak to your parents?"
"Oh! How silly of me, of course, come in."
"Mum, Dad! We have visitors," she called, as she led the Professor and Harry inside.
Introducing her parents, she said, "Professor McGonagall, Harry Potter, I'd like you to meet my parents. This is my Mum, Mrs. Jane Granger, and my Dad, Mr. Dan Granger, they are dentists."
After the introductions, the Professor proceeded to tell the Grangers and Harry more about Hogwarts and what to expect, finishing up with: "This is a seven year program and the children will be boarded at the school. They will be transported to and from school by train. The school year starts September 1st and runs until after exams in early June. Students will return home on June 20th and may return home for Christmas holidays if they wish. They will be taught by the finest teachers in Britain."
"But what will they learn?" Jane asked.
"Magic, Mrs. Granger, magic! When they graduate, they will be able to do things that you could only dream of doing. Oh, it's so much more than parlour tricks. Things that you need machines and time consuming drudgery for, they will be able to do with a simple wave of a wand. Think of repairing broken things." Minerva dropped a vase that had been lying on the coffee table onto the floor, causing it to shatter. "Reparo," she waved her wand over the shards and they re-assembled themselves back into the vase, apparently as good as new.
Both Jane and Dan gasped, first in horror when she dropped the expensive antique, and then in amazement when it was again whole and apparently unblemished. Harry and Hermione blinked in amazement.
"We can mend broken bones almost as easily, as well as cure most common ailments. Surgery is virtually unknown in the wizard world."
She transformed into a cat and back again. Jane squeaked in alarm, and Dan could only stare.
"That was brilliant!" Harry and Hermione chorused as one.
Harry looked at Hermione and blushed. Hermione's face had likewise turned a faint pink as she realised they both spoke together.
"Well, you've only seen a tiny sample of what is possible. These two are expected to be among the best students we will see at Hogwarts; Hermione, because she is a hard worker and brilliant at such a young age, and Harry, because the Potter line has traditionally been smart and powerful.
"With your permission Mr. and Mrs. Granger, I'd like to escort them to shop for their school supplies. You may accompany us if you wish."
"Yes, of course, but what about Mr. Potter, where are his parents?" Dan inquired
"Unfortunately, Mr. Potter's parents were killed when he was very young and his relatives have not seen fit to, erm, accompany him."
"My uncle said they died in a car crash," Harry supplied.
"Mr. Potter, your parents were murdered. I'm surprised your relatives did not tell you that!" Minerva corrected. "I'll tell you more in private, but for now, we should be going."
Harry's mind was in a whirl. His Uncle Vernon lied to him! Why would he do that? He knew they despised him, but to deny the truth to him was too much. He felt the hatred of his uncle reach new heights.
Dan offered to drive them into London and Minerva accepted. The five of them piled into the Granger's late model Mercedes town car and drove the almost 64 kilometres to The Leaky Cauldron in London.
Minerva showed them into the dingy looking pub, nodding to Tom the bartender.
Harry wondered just what sort of place this wizarding world was. The pub looked like something out of the nineteenth century and had certainly seen better days. There were an odd assortment of people (wizards and witches he imagined), in the pub; most dressed rather oddly and shabbily. 'I would fit right in,' Harry thought. 'Most of these people look as poor as I am.'
Hermione thought the folks in the pub looked rather poor, but dismissed the thought when she correctly figured, that they weren't representative of wizards and witches in general. After all, she had imagined that most folk would be at work or home at this time of day. Indeed, there were a few that looked well to do, even if they dressed differently than she expected.
Dan and Jane were not pub goers, so they too had no basis to judge the people here, although they would admit that most inhabitants were not what they expected.
"Come along," McGonagall prodded. "We'll exit through the back to Diagon Alley, our shopping area."
When they exited through the back door, they were facing a blank brick wall. The professor tapped several bricks on the wall and an archway magically formed, opening on to a wondrous sight.
"Welcome to Diagon Alley," she proclaimed proudly.
Harry, Hermione and her parents gawked at the sight. As they stepped through the archway, Harry and Hermione knew a thrill of discovery. Here was magic openly displayed. The street was crowded with shoppers in all sorts of attire. Although most wore robes, some wore the most outlandish combination of clothes. Purple pants with orange sweaters were some of the less odd attire. One wizard wore a silk top hat, a violently green suit, and gumboots.
Harry and Hermione had to snicker at that. As they looked at the shops, they noted the variety of items for sale. There was a magical menagerie shop, a broom shop 'Quality Quidditch Supplies' stated the sign.
"What's Quidditch?" Harry wondered aloud.
"That's our sport, Mr. Potter. It's played on broomsticks and has a great following. We have four teams at Hogwarts, although I doubt you'll be playing this year. Your father was an excellent player, so maybe it's in your blood too.
"We need to exchange some money, so we'll visit Gringotts, the wizarding bank," McGonagall announced.
"But I have no money to exchange," Harry said plaintively.
"Nonsense, Mr. Potter. Your parents left you sufficient funds in your trust vault. I have the key with me. When you reach the age of seventeen, you will be able to access your parent's main vault. The Potters were very well off and their will leaves everything to you."
Harry was finding it hard to come to grips with all the changes in his life that had occurred today. He was a wizard, he had money and he was going to boarding school. The best part was learning that his parents had loved him enough to provide him the means to learn magic.
McGonagall led them into the bank, carefully keeping her guests close. There was no reason to have people staring at them, especially Harry. Walking up to the nearest teller, she requested a private meeting. The Goblin, seeing who was there, asked them to follow him to an office off the main hall.
After they had been seated, the professor introduced everyone. "This is Mr. Harry Potter, Miss Hermione Granger and her parents Jane and Dan Granger."
"Mr. Potter, so nice to see you. My name is Griphook and we've been waiting for you to arrive."
"You have? Why on earth would you be waiting for me?"
"Ah, Mr. Potter, I have served the Potter clan for many years. Since you are the last of the line, I have been requested by my manager to extend every courtesy towards you. Now, how may I help you?"
McGonagall intervened at this point. "Griphook, we are merely here to access Mr. Potter's vault for funds to purchase his school supplies. Miss Granger would also like to exchange some money."
"Actually," Mr. Granger corrected her, "we would like to set up a vault for my daughter as well."
"You are Muggles?" replied Griphook.
"Erm, yes, why do you ask?"
"I'm afraid our banking laws don't permit muggles to open accounts at Gringotts, I'm so sorry, but the Ministry of Magic passed that law some years ago."
"Well," McGonagall said smoothly, before tempers could flare, "then I'll open the account for Miss Granger, who, by the way, is a witch."
Hermione smiled at this apparent loophole, joined by her parents when they realised what had just happened. They had circumvented a bigoted law, probably passed by some ministry nitwit. They couldn't know that the Wizengamot itself had drafted this law to restrict access to muggleborns. Minerva had run across this bigotry before and simply found the way around it.
Griphook smiled, showing his sharp teeth. It was a very disconcerting smile, full of shrewdness and grudging admiration for someone to outwit the Wizengamot. After all, business is business and to a Goblin, money talks.
Griphook entered Hermione's name in a ledger, requested a drop of blood and issued her a vault key. McGonagall signed in the appropriate place and after Dan handed over a considerable amount of British Pounds, they all trouped down the hall to a large door. The door was very solid looking, quite thick and bound with iron. On the other side of the door, a massive cavern was visible with tracks leading down.
Griphook summoned a cart and they all piled in. It was a bit crowded, but the cart seemed to expand to accommodate the extra people. When they were all seated, the cart started moving. Faster and faster the cart accelerated taking an apparently pre-determined route. The lighting was dim from the torches set in the walls of the cavern and every so often they would pass a returning cart. They passed underground rivers and deep canyons, veering around huge stalagmites rising like silent giants from the floor. The steady drip, drip of water could be heard and lent an eerie feeling to the cavern.
Harry and Hermione hung on for dear life, fearing the cart would spill them all out as they raced through the underground. Dan was enjoying the ride, but Jane was terrified and clung to him desperately until the cart finally rolled to a stop.
"Vault 687," Griphook announced. "Key please."
Harry handed him the key and after the vault was unlocked, Harry looked inside. He gaped, not quite believing his eyes. Inside the vault was more gold than he'd ever thought possible. There were heaps of gold Galleons, silver Sickles and bronze Knuts.
"Only Mr. Potter may enter his Trust Vault," Griphook warned. "Anyone else would be cursed. Of course bank employees may enter," he added as an afterthought.
Harry quickly gathered up several handfuls of coins and placed them in a leather bag that was sitting nearby. After exiting the vault, the door swung shut with a clang and sealed itself.
"I've taken the liberty to secure the adjacent vault for Miss Granger. Number 688 happened to be vacant. Now since you haven't been here before, Miss Granger, I'll need to key your blood to the vault. Mr. Potter's parents keyed him in when he was a baby.
After that was taken care of, Griphook deposited the GBP notes that Dan had handed him into a special box inside the vault. Instantly, the equivalent Galleons, Sickles and Knuts appeared in neat stacks on the floor of the vault. Hermione withdrew an equal amount that Harry had taken from his vault and exited the vault. Griphook presented her with the key and her vault swung shut sealing itself.
A quick ride back and they exited the bank. Jane was looking a little green after the ride and Dan had to hold onto her. Hermione was bouncing on her feet. "That was just like riding a roller-coaster," she gushed.
Harry smiled at the enthusiasm Hermione showed. In truth, he enjoyed the ride as well. Maybe girls weren't a bunch of sissies after all. His cousin Dudley had assured him that all girls were stupid and sissies. Harry had just found out for himself that Hermione didn't belong in either category.