Author's Note: This is my first fan fiction but hopefully it turns out well. Parts of this Chapter might be verbatim out of Philosopher's Stone for accuracy's sake I don't mean to plagiarize just give credit to cannon. On further note I don't have a beta. I am trying to go through this several times to make sure I catch things but I might not get everything.
Addendum 2/5/10: I have re-edited everything I have written up until chapter 12 and am reposting it before starting on the new chapter tomorrow. Mainly just fixed some grammatical errors and a few word choices that bugged me as I reread it to reference things.
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.
Chapter 1: The First Step Towards the Future
July 24, 1991: Number 4 Privet Drive
Harry James Potter was nervous to tell the truth. Last month when he and his relatives had gone to the zoo for Dudley's birthday, while they were in though reptile house though something weird happened while they were looking at a display of a boa constrictor, the snake had talked to Harry, and Harry talked right back. This of course freaked his relatives out to say the least. Harry hadn't even realized he wasn't speaking English until his uncle had yelled at him to stop the hissing. The drive home had been remarkably tense. Harry was used to strange things happening to him, like the time his aunt had forcibly shaved his head when she heard the neighbors complaining about how unruly his messy hair made him look. He complained and pleaded to try and stop his aunt from doing it but she shaved his head anyway and he went to bed without any hair. When he woke up in the morning though his hair was back to the way it used to be. Aunt Petunia was furious but she never tried to shave his head again. Or there was the time when he was eight and he sneezed and his teacher's hair turned blue. His teacher never suspected him by when Aunt Petunia heard about it she just stared at Harry for awhile then turned away with a look in her eye that told him he had caused it for sure.
This though was a different story, this had happened in a crowded zoo, and more than anything his family hated to appear anything but normal. Harry wondered how bad his punishment was going to be. Granted ever since his Uncle's boss had yelled at him about his treatment of Harry, his relatives had grudgingly treated him better. He had moved from the cupboard under the stairs to the spare bedroom and no longer had to dress in Dudley's hand-me downs but in clothes that fit and got plenty of food to eat. His uncle even stopped punishing him unless he directly disobeyed the rules that Dudley had to follow as well, which Harry avoided doing at all cost. Mr. Cronos, true to his word had sent a man from his company around to check up on Harry, which had insured his better treatment. Even after Mr. Cronos and his wife died in a car accident a year later someone still came around a few times a year to check up on how Harry was being treated. It usually wasn't the same person twice but it seem enough to keep Mr. Cronos's threat hanging over Uncle Vernon's head Thinking back on when the Cronos family visited the Dursley's, Harry thought about their son Jack. He had been the first kid to ever be nice to Harry and he had also given him an idea of why strange things happened to Harry. It was magic. Jack had told Harry it existed even though his uncle had always said it didn't and showed him by making a coin disappear and changing its color. Harry had read every book he could find on stage magic after that. Even the explanations for sleight of hand hadn't explained what Jack had done, so Harry came to believe magic existed, and better yet he could do it, though not consciously yet. He had also come to believe the low pulsing hum he had felt ever since he met Jack was his own magic. One weird thing that happened occasionally though, was that he would see flows of different colors merging and separating around him in the world. They appeared in people, plants, and buildings, almost anything really. These flashes were rare but every time they happened Harry felt like he was looking into a different world maybe even a world of magic. He didn't mention this to his aunt and uncle though.
Even though his relatives had stopped outright denying that magic existed after the Cronos family had visited, they always clammed up and looked rather put out when Harry asked about it. Harry understood though, magic wasn't normal for them and the Dursley's were a normal family thank you very much. That led Harry back to talking to the snake. Even though he didn't think anyone had heard him other than his relatives he had known he would be punished for not acting normal in public. The only punishment though had been a stern lecture from his uncle about not doing that in front of anyone again. He still expected to be punished though. Especially with how his aunt and uncle were acting as it got closer to his birthday. They seemed more tense than usual, which was saying something. Plus they had been gushing over Dudley going Uncle Vernon's old private school Smeltings, but not saying where Harry was going to go. In fact every time Harry had asked where he was going to go to school next year they refused to answer and changed the topic of conversation. It all made Harry very nervous. So when Uncle Vernon sent him to get the mail that morning he was glad to get out of the tense atmosphere.
As he picked up the mail and sorted through it he froze. There was an envelope with his name on it. It was addressed to him at the smallest bedroom of number 4 in emerald ink, weird. The envelope was older heavy parchment, and it had no stamp or return address. Harry turned it over and saw a purple wax seal bearing a coat of arms; a lion, an eagle, a badger, and a snake surrounding a large letter H. That was really strange. Harry walked into the kitchen and handed the rest of the mail to Uncle Vernon while still staring at the weird letter almost afraid to open it. Aunt Petunia looked up and saw the letter in Harry's hand.
"Harry please sit down. We need to talk to you before you open that letter." Harry looked at his aunt questioningly and sat down at the table. Both his aunt and uncle looked very strained, and Dudley just looked confused. He set the envelope down in front of him and waited for his aunt to continue.
"There is something we haven't told you about your parents, well a few things really. Most importantly the reason that strange things keep happening to you is magic. See my sister, your mother, was a witch and your father was a wizard." Aunt Petunia talked as if she really hadn't wanted to talk to Harry about this, but that didn't matter. Magic was real, Jack really had been right! Harry was right to think that he was causing things to happen by magic, and his parents had been wizards! This was amazing and Harry was speechless, luckily Aunt Petunia kept talking.
"That letter is an invitation to go to the school for magic that your parents attended. We have been expecting it for a few weeks now. Now Vernon and I are going to allow you to go but understand this, we do not approve of magic. I don't want you discussing it in front of us or Dudley. When you are not at that school you will keep everything dealing with magic locked up in your room, and you will especially not discuss it in front of the neighbors you understand?"
"Yes Aunt Petunia." Well that explained the weird behavior. A school for magic! Harry couldn't put his excitement into words. He was going to learn to do magic! He didn't care about the restrictions. Honestly with his relatives he wasn't surprised. One question came to mind though.
"If my parents could do magic, why did they die in a car crash? " Harry asked.
"They didn't. They were murdered. I really don't know that much about what happened really and …..um….we didn't think that you were old enough to know before now. " Aunt Petunia answered hesitantly. Uncle Vernon shifted in his seat uncomfortably but didn't say anything. Murdered, why would his parents be murdered? If his aunt didn't know it was something to ask when he got to this school of magic.
"Can I open the letter now?"
"Go ahead Harry." Harry turned over the envelope that he had lain down in front of him and broke the seal. Pulling the letter out Harry began to read:
of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Headmaster: Albus Dumbledore
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chief Warlock,
Supreme Mugwump, International Confederation of Wizards)
Dear Mr. Potter,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on September 1. We await your owl by no later than July 31.
July 31, 1991: Number 4 Privet Drive
Harry was waiting anxiously in the parlor for the professor who was going to come and escort him to get his supplies for Hogwarts. While Harry was reading his letter Aunt Petunia had gone outside and brought in an owl of all things that had been sitting on the fence outside. She wrote a quick letter asking for someone to come help Harry get his supplies as his relatives had no idea where to get them. The next day they got another letter saying that a professor from the school would pick him up on his birthday to go shopping. So Harry was stuck in the parlor waiting. Finally a knock came at the door and Aunt Petunia went to answer it.
"Hello my name is Minerva McGonagall. I am a professor at Hogwarts and the deputy headmistress. You requested me come by to escort Mr. Potter to get his school supplies." Came a stern voice at the door.
"Of course please come inside. I am Harry's aunt, Petunia Dursley. Harry is waiting in the parlor."
Harry sat up in anticipation as Aunt Petunia and his professor walked through the door into the parlor. The professor was a very stern looking woman whose black hair was pulled back into a tight bun; she wore a pair of square spectacles and a tartan dress.
"Hello Mr. Potter, I am Professor McGonagall. I will be your transfiguration teacher at Hogwarts. Before we go shopping is there anything you wish to ask about Hogwarts?"
"Not about Hogwarts Professor but if you know can you tell me about why my parents were murdered?" Harry asked softly. Professor McGonagall looked at Harry sadly and sighed.
"How much do you know?"
"Just that my parents were wizards and that someone murdered them. My aunt didn't know any more."
Aunt Petunia cut in, "Your Headmaster Dumbledore left me a letter that said that my sister and her husband had been killed by an evil wizard and that I needed to take in my nephew for his safety. There wasn't any other information that I could make sense of, just that Harry was only safe in my care."
"Hmm, well it would be best to start at the beginning then. For a long time there has been a rift between pureblood wizards, those whose entire family have always been wizards and those such as your mother Harry who were the first in their family to have magic who are called muggleborn. Some of the older pureblood families, but not all of course feel that those that have any muggle blood in their veins to be inferior and not worthy of being able to learn magic. Muggle is the wizarding term for those without magic. Twenty years ago a wizard arose as a champion of the anti-muggle cause and gathered a group of followers. He became a Dark Lord and tortured and killed anyone who stood against him. Your mother and father fought against him and his followers. On Halloween when you where one year old the Dark Lord attacked your parents home and killed them while they were trying to protect you. When he attempted to kill you though, his curse backfired and destroyed him. You are the only living person to have survived that curse, the Killing Curse, and are quite famous because of it. That is also why you have that scar on your forehead. " McGonagall stopped explaining and sat back waiting for Harry to respond. Harry sat there frozen as a green light flashed across his vision and a cold laugh rang in his ears. It scared him and after the story the professor had told he didn't want to think about what it could mean.
"What happened to this Dark Lord?" Harry finally asked.
"He disappeared, vanished. Most people think he is dead, others think he is only temporarily defeated. No one knows for sure as he was capable of unimaginable magic and the killing curse has never been rebounded so no one knows if that could have cause something unexpected to happen. Most of the wizarding world treats the Dark Lord as defeated and gone. No one speak his name because of the fear his reign still hangs over the world even if it is ten years over."
"What was his name then Professor and what do people call him then if they don't say his name?"
"People call him You-Know-Who, but his real name was Voldemort."
Harry sat back for a minute so this Voldemort killed his parents but got killed when he tried to kill Harry and apparently Harry was famous for it, go figure. Well not much he could do about it right now. It would be worth looking into more when he got to Hogwarts though, but he had to get there first.
"Thank you for telling me Professor. I think that's all the questions I have for now can we go get my stuff for school?"
"Of course Mr. Potter. Now Mrs. Dursley, this should only take a few hours then I will return with your nephew. The train to Hogwarts leaves at 11:00 AM on the morning of September 1 from Kings Cross Station in London. Did you ever accompany your sister to the train?" Asked McGonagall.
"Yes I remember. You walk through the wall between platforms nine and ten. I will makes sure he gets there in time." Aunt Petunia responded. She then nodded to Professor McGonagall then left the room.
"Good then Mr. Potter lets be off. We will be taking a portkey to a pub at the entrance to Diagon Alley where will be doing your shopping."
"Ah professor what money will I be using to get my supplies? My aunt and uncle didn't give me anything." Harry asked
"Don't worry Mr. Potter, your parents left money in trust for you at Gringotts, the wizarding bank. Your family was rather well off so you will have no trouble getting your supplies. The bank will be our first stop when we get to the Alley. Now if you will kindly grab on to this portkey and hold tightly we will be on our way." After she finished talking the professor held out a silver ring about 4 inches in diameter for Harry to grab. When he did she pulled a stick of wood from her pocket which Harry assumed was her wand based on the supply list that had come with his acceptance letter. She then proceeded to tap the ring with the wand and said "Portus." Instantly Harry felt like a giant hook attached to his navel and pulled him into a world of swirling color. As Harry was pulled along he gaped, this was sort of like the flows of color he saw sometimes. Before he could think of it further they stopped abruptly and Harry's feet hit the ground. His hold on the ring that Professor McGonagall still held was the only thing that kept him standing. Regaining his balance he looked around and saw they were on a street in London standing directly in front of a door to a pub. People passing by on the street didn't seem to realize they had just appeared from nowhere.
"Now Mr. Potter this is the Leaky Cauldron, a pub that serves as the main entrance from muggle London to Diagon Alley. As you might notice the area in front of the pub as well as the building itself is hidden from the view of muggles. Now please look around and try to familiarize yourself with the area so that if you ever need to get here you know where to go."
Harry looked around and was pretty sure he knew where they were from when his relatives had brought him to London a few times. He was pretty sure he even seen the pub before but hadn't realized that no one else could. It was a small place and looked a lot grubbier than all the buildings around it. Harry was pretty sure it would be hard to pick out if you weren't looking right out it even if you could see it.
"Ok Professor I'm ready."
"Good Mr. Potter now let's head through the pub."
Harry followed Professor McGonagall in to the dark of the small pub. There didn't seem to be many people there. One notable person though was the tallest man Harry had ever seen. He was a giant, towering over everyone in the room and had a wild shaggy beard that covered his face. As they walked towards him he turned around.
"Professor McGonagall what are you doing here?" The giant asked.
"Oh hello Hagrid. I am escorting Mr. Potter here to get his supplies." McGonagall replied. "Harry this is Rubeus Hagrid the Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts. You will be seeing him again when you get to school."
"Harry Potter, my word I haven't seen you since you were a baby! It's great to meet you after so long. I would stay and chat but I have an errand to run for Dumbledore. You know the one Professor. I need to stop off and get to slug repellant for Professor Sprout first so I need to get moving. See you at Hogwarts Harry!" He then shook Harry's hand rather forcefully and left the pub through the back. McGonagall shook her head and made to follow but apparently hearing Harry's name had caused everyone in the pub to rush over and attempt to shake his hand. Even McGonagall's stern protest didn't deter them too much and it took twenty minutes to get out of the pub. Harry did get to meet another one of his professors though, a Professor Quirrell. He was a very nervous man who stuttered and wore a purple turban. Harry didn't think he was going to be that good of teacher, but McGonagall only shook her head and said he had a bad scare on sabbatical and hadn't got over it yet. Dismissing it for now Harry followed the professor into the back alley of the pub. There she tapped a certain brick with her wand three times and a hole appeared forming an archway which they proceeded to step through.
"Welcome Mr. Potter to Diagon Alley."
Before Harry was one of the most amazing things he had ever seen. Shops of all kinds filled with things he had never seen before lined the alley. Broomsticks, cauldrons, owls, and many other things completely new to him fill the store fronts they walked past making their way towards the back of the Alley. Before them rose a great building made of white marble which stood imposingly at the end of the alley where lanes split off and disappeared in different directions.
"This is Gringotts Bank, Mr. Potter, it is run by the goblins. Please try to be polite. Now let's go inside." Said McGonagall as walked up to the large bronze doors flanked by goblins.
July 31, 1991: Diagon Alley, Ollivander's Fine Wands
"Master Ollivander, it's good to see you again."
"Ahh, Master Cronos. How good to see you, though I have been expecting you. It has been too long, my condolences on the death of your parents." Said a rather old looking man with unblinking silver eyes.
"Thank you. You can drop the Master Cronos though, its' just Jack. You have been a friend of the family for far too long to be standing on ceremony. " Jack said strolling farther in to the shop.
"Very true, it has been as awfully long time. I still remember your ancestor helping me set up my first wand shop. It has served as a very entertaining hobby over the years. I assume you are here for your false focus?"
"Yes, if you have it done. It can't really be called a false focus with the level of your craftsmanship though. I'm sure it's a masterwork in its own right; it will just never be the focus I truly rely on. I am not quite ready to create that yet."
"Hmm, a focus such as a wand, no matter the craftsmanship, has never truly worked well for your family, though I thank you for the complement. I do have yours completed though as your father requested and it was quite a tricky one at that. Sylph wood and a wind dragon heartstring with lacing of mythril and raw crystal to channel power. Truly a beautiful work if I do say so myself, and it should work with your 'talents' with no problem." Ollivander said taking a wand of light brown wood whose grain almost seemed to shift as it moved through the air and had veins of silver metal running through it out of its case and showing o Jack.
"Truthfully one of my best works, even better than your father's come to that." Ollivander stated proudly.
"Thank you very much. I had the goblins move the payment into your account as usual. Speaking of my particular 'talents' though, someone quite interesting has shown ability for that particular 'talent.' It rather surprised me to be honest but it's going to make the years to come very interesting." Jack said while taking the wand from Ollivander and waving it, causing a sliver wind to form in the shop creating intricate patterns in the air.
"And who could possibly have manifested as that 'talent', Jack?" questioned Ollivander barely giving the wind a second glance.
"Oh look out the window and see. He's right in front of the shop now."
As Ollivander stared out the front of his shop, he watched Professor McGonagall walk by with a boy with messy black hair. As the boy turned to look towards the side of the Alley that Ollivander's shop was on he caught sight of deep emerald green eyes behind a pair of glasses and a lightning bolt scar. They continued on down the Alley towards Gringotts.
"Oh my, Harry Potter of all people! How can you be so sure? You wouldn't mention this to me if you weren't sure."
"I met him with my parents when we went to visit the manager of a company my father bought of all things five years ago. I felt it the second I grabbed his hand and my mother confirmed it. My parents did their best to protect him before they died, and now it's up to me." Jack looked out following Harry as he walked out of sight then shook his head. "Can you contact me about which wand he picks it might be important."
"Of course. As always I won't get involved past this, but you're right. The next few years will be very interesting. You will have your hands full."
"I know. Thank you again Master Ollivander. I wish you well." With that Jack turned and walked out of the store and turned to head in the opposite direction of Gringotts.
"Well, well. Mr. Potter I am now looking forward to your visit to my shop even more." Ollivander's eyes glistened as he turned around headed to the back of his shop.
AN: Ok a few things here. A lot of the descriptions were as close to cannon as possible, some even verbatim, I had my copy of the first book open as I wrote this. As to McGonagall coming to escort Harry, Petunia addressed the return letter requesting assistance to McGonagall since she was the one who sent the letter. So she took charge of the situation and went herself. Dumbledore sent Hagrid because Harry never sent a response and he was headed out to get the stone anyway. Plus I am of the group of people that are at least wary of all Dumbledore's motives in sending Hagrid and how that choice affected Harry's view of the wizarding world. McGonagall on the other hand is precise and to the point,
and unbiased on everything but Quidditch and Umbridge. Thus she will leave Harry with a pretty open view point heading to Hogwarts, with no prejudice against any house. As to her saying Voldemort without flinching, I have two things to say. First I can't remember what she does in the books. Secondly I personally view her as a strong willed women who would agree with Dumbledore that you should not fear saying a name.
As for Petunia there are several things to say. One is as far as I can remember we never find out what exactly Dumbledore wrote her so I took liberty with what she could tell Harry. As to her knowledge of owl post and Platform 9 ¾, remember from Deathly Hallows she didn't become bitter and hateful until a few years after Lily started Hogwarts, so I am going to assume that Lily wrote her once or twice at least so she would know about owl post and that she saw Lily to the train at least once or at least to the portal and saw Lily go through. I can't remember exactly what Deathly Hallows to say about that and I don't know where my copy is right now. This story is going to be AU enough, a lot, that it doesn't matter to me all that much anyway. As to the reason why the Dursleys where willing to tell Harry about magic and Hogwarts take your guess but it will come up in chapter two or early chapter three depending on how long Diagon Alley takes to write.
Alright I hope that answers some questions and comments I am sure people would have made. Feel free to review with any other questions or things you want me to clarify. I will try to reply either directly or in the next chapter. Speaking of which
TimeAndRhythmDoesIndeedSleep: First Review thanks. So to answer your questions:
Jack's fathers threats will be discussed in more depth real soon. Basically at the same time as I cover why the Dursleys told Harry about magic.
Well I think this chapter covered if the threats worked or not so I hope it satisfied you.
As to your last two questions, who was involved in the death of Jack's parents and why is very important to the story, but probably won't be touched on for awhile. Keep it in mind but it's a more long term plan of mine. I needed to cover it in the prologue to introduce them, alter Harry's situation, and then get them out of the way and for the characterization of Lucius Malfoy it allowed which help to provide background for Jack, Draco, and Lucius.
I'm glad you're looking forward to this chapter. Hope you liked it!