Disclaimer: I do not own anything other than the story line . All rights belong to J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Shared Destiny
Chapter One: Encounter at the Zoo
After lunch they went to the reptile house. It was cool and dark in there, whit lit windows all along the walls. Behind the glass, all sorts of lizards and snakes were crawling and slithering over bits of wood and stone. Dudley and Piers wanted to see huge, poisonous cobras and thick, man-crushing pythons. Dudley quickly found the largest snake in the place. It could have wrapped its body twice around Uncle Vernon's car and crushed it into a trash can – but at the moment it didn't look in the mood. In fact, it was fast asleep.
Dudley stood with his nose pressed against the glass, staring at the glistening brown coils.
"Make it move," he whined at his father. Uncle Vernon tapped on the glass, but the snake didn't budge.
"Do it again," Dudley ordered. Uncle Vernon rapped the glass smartly with his knuckles, but the snake just snoozed on.
"This is boring," Dudley moaned. He shuffled away.
Harry moved in front of the tank and looked intently at the snake. He wouldn't have been surprised if it had died of boredom itself – no company except stupid people drumming their fingers on the glass trying to disturb it all day long. It was worse than having a cupboard for a bedroom, where the only visitor was Aunt Petunia hammering on the door to wake you up; at least he got to visit the rest of the house.
A young girl came up and stood next to him as he watched the snake. She was about his size, rather small actually, with a great head of bushy brown hair. Harry glanced over at her and smiled. She seemed nice enough. She returned the smile and her chocolate brown eyes seemed to twinkle with delight.
"That's a Brazilian boa constrictor," the girl said in a knowing tone. "I've studied all about them of course." She turned to face him. "I'm Hermione Granger," she stuck out her hand to him.
"Harry, Harry Potter," he replied as he shook her hand. Her eyes got extra large at this, and her gaze fell upon his forehead.
"Oh my God, you are!" she exclaimed. Harry thought that this was a rather strange thing to say, considering he had just proclaimed it himself.
"Excuse me, but what are you talking about?" he asked. Before he could answer, however, the snake suddenly opened it's beady eyes. Slowly, very slowly, it raised its head until its eyes were on a level with Harry's.
"Did that snake just wink at you?" Hermione asked, incredulously.
"Yeah, I think that it did," he answered. He looked back at the snake and winked, too.
The snake jerked its head towards Uncle Vernon and Dudley, then raised its eyes to the ceiling. It gave Harry a look that said quite plainly:
"I get that all the time."
"I know," Harry murmured through the glass, though he wasn't sure the snake could hear him. "It must be really annoying."
The snake nodded vigorously.
"Harry, what are you saying?" Hermione asked.
"What do you mean Hermione? I was just telling him that it must be very annoying," he replied.
"Harry, you were hissing at the snake. I, I think that it might have understood you."
"What do you mean, hissing? I wasn't hissing, was I?"
"Yes Harry, you were. You must be able to talk to snakes." She smiled at him. "It's very rare you know, even for us."
"What do you mean Hermione?" he asked, feeling even more confused now.
She was about to reply when Piers and Dudley appeared and roughly shoved the two of them out of the way. Harry managed to catch Hermione on the way down; he twisted so that she fell on top of him rather than the floor. As he looked up he could see an adult couple moving towards them. What came next happened so fast that no one saw how it happened – one second, Piers and Dudley were leaning up close to the glass, the next, they had leapt back in terror.
Harry sat up and gasped; the glass front of the boa constrictor's tank had vanished. The great snake was uncoiling itself rapidly, slithering out onto the floor. People throughout the reptile house screamed and started to run for the exit. Harry dragged Hermione over him so that he was between her and the snake. He could feel her trembling beside him.
As the snake slid swiftly past him, Harry could have sworn a low hissing voice said, "Brazil, here I come… Thanksss amigo."
Uncle Vernon who had appeared next to Dudley wheeled on Harry. "What did you do, Boy?" he hissed between clenched teeth.
"I didn't do anything," he replied.
"He was talking to the snake," Piers interjected.
"Oh he was, was he? You've gone too far this time, Freak!" Vernon roared. He lashed out with his foot into Harry's ribcage. There was a sickening crack and Harry cried out in pain. He doubled up as Vernon's next strike took him in the kidneys.
"Leave him alone!" Hermione shrieked. She jumped in front of Harry and Vernon made to shove her aside. He never made it. Hermione's dad had arrived and his upper cut took Vernon clean off his feet.
It was only a moment later when the Bobbies arrived. Seeing as Harry was on the ground and coughing up blood, with a protective Hermione draped over him, while her father stood in front of them, Uncle Vernon was quickly arrested.
"An ambulance is coming Harry," Hermione whispered to him. You hang on, I'm not going to leave you." She looked up at her father. "Daddy, we have to help him."
"We will Kitten, don't you worry," he replied.
"No, you don't understand Daddy," she said. "He's famous in the other world," she hissed. His eyes got wide.
As they were waiting a man arrived. That in itself would not have been remarkable except that the mode of this new arrival's dress was spectacular. He had long flowing robes in a light fuchsia color, as well as matching pointed hat, and a long flowing beard with ties strategically placed in its length.
He walked straight up to Mr. Granger with a twinkle in his eyes. "Ah, Mr. Granger I presume," he said as he glanced at the two youths on the floor.
"Yes, I'm Robert Granger," he answered. "I'm afraid that you have me at a disadvantage sir."
"Yes, I do rather seem to, don't I? I am Albus Dumbledore, the current Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry," he responded. "I see that you have come to the rescue of this rather remarkable young man. I commend you sir. Can I interest you in a lemon drop?"
At the confused looks on all of the assembled peoples' faces the Headmaster chuckled. "It appears that you Master Potter is injured. Could one of you please inform me as to just how this happened?"
Mr. Granger had soon explained all that he had witnessed. He didn't know why, but he simply trusted this man.
"Mr. Granger, I thank you for your honesty. It appears that I have made a grave mistake concerning young Harry here. Let me explain briefly if I might.
"Ten years ago, our world was at war with a dark wizard who went by the name of Voldemort. This self proclaimed dark lord killed many good people, and the last two that he murdered were young Harry's parents."
"Wait a tick," Harry muttered, his voice laced with pain. "My parents weren't killed in a car accident?" He coughed again, spitting up more blood.
"My goodness no!" exclaimed Dumbledore. "Let me help you with the pain my dear boy." He pulled out his wand and waved it at Harry. Harry immediately relaxed and let out a sigh as the pain faded. Hermione had to catch him as he almost tumbled over backwards. His eyes rolled up into his head and he got a dreamy expression on his face.
"Now, where was I? Oh yes, well, Harry's mother's sacrifice of her own life incorporated an ancient magic into her son, which caused Voldemort's spell to rebound on himself. He was defeated and left without form, a state that I believe he has been in for the last ten years."
He twirled his wand and conjured a glass of water. After taking a sip and smacking his lips he continued. "Story telling is such thirsty work. Because there are followers of Voldemort still out there, and Harry was in serious danger, I placed him with his aunt and uncle in the hopes that the blood magic that was invoked would protect him. It appears that while it did protect him from the evils of our world, it could not protect him from his own family."
He twirled his wand in Harry's direction, a look of great concern on his face. As he did so, first a look of surprise, and then one of delight appeared, replacing the concern. He turned to Mr. Granger. "My good sir, if I might prevail upon you, I need to take Mr. Potter to Hogwarts so our school nurse can take care of his injuries. However, I have divined that his leaving the proximity of your talented young daughter would cause both of them intense emotional distress at this time."
He pulled out a couple of jeweled bracelets. "If you and your wife would place these on your wrists I would greatly appreciate it. They will allow you past the wards at Hogwarts." The Grangers hastily donned the bracelets. "Mr. and Mrs. Granger," he started, addressing Hermione's mother for the first time, "I cannot allow Harry to return to his relatives again. The danger is too great given what has happened today. I cannot keep him at the castle however, and I refuse to have him become a ward of the Ministry. Might I prevail upon you to take Harry in? It would solve many problems, and if I am correct in my assumptions, it will solve many issues that would otherwise crop up for the two of you as well. I know that this sounds rather strange, but in our world it happens upon occasion."
The two Grangers shared a look, and then Mr. Granger replied. "Of course we shan't allow him to go back to those horrid people. Besides, our Hermione seems to have taken a liking to him, and well, she doesn't have many friends. What happens in the fall though, when she goes off for your school?"
"Why, Mr. Potter shall go with her of course. They are to be in the same year. Harry will soon be receiving his letter. While Hermione is almost a year older, she will still be entering as a first year. Indeed, I think that they shall definitely be the best of friends." He smiled at them, his eyes twinkling. He turned his gaze at Mrs. Granger. "Madam, I believe the fates have thrown these two together. I do believe you might just be looking at your future son-in-law." He chuckled softly at the stunned looks on the pair's faces.
"If you would be so kind as to grab onto Fawke's tail," he said as a great orange bird appeared in a swirl of flame. Nodding, they did so. Dumbledore conjured a stretcher for Harry to lie on. He levitated it over to himself and motioned for Hermione to grab on as well.
In a burst of flame they were transported away. Moments later a very confused set of paramedics arrived to find no one to treat.