Full Summary: Harry Potter's life is forever changed when Professor McGonagall tells him he is a wizard. Because Harry was never told Dark Wizards come from Slytherin, he allows himself to be sorted in to that house. Will this merely serve to strengthen his resolve as a hero, or will he end up more evil than even Lord Voldemort?
Harry Potter and the Darkest Vindications
Part I: The Dark Beginnings
Chapter 1: Professor McGonagall
It was storming outside, and the young boy lying upon the floor of the small, run-down house listened to the waves of the sea beat against the rock outside. Harry Potter was cold. Covered only in a dirty old sheet, he shivered where he was lying. He was positioned upon the floor in front of the couch his enormously fat cousin, Dudley, occupied. Dudley was asleep, and covered in two thick blankets. Harry might've fallen asleep hours ago if not for Dudley's incessant snoring and the hardness of the ground on which he was forced to use instead of a proper bed.
Harry Potter was a peculiar boy. He'd never known his parents because they'd died when he was barely a year old. That'd been about ten years ago in a car crash. He was quite skinny and quite shabby in appearance. His untidy jet black hair was just becoming long enough to fall over the broken broken glasses he wore. They were held together with tape in between their completely circular lenses. Upon his forehead, beneath the veil of hair, was a most curiously shaped scar. It looked quite like a lightning bolt. Harry'd been told that he got it in the car crash that killed his parents.
Today was Harry's birthday, but, like all his previous birthdays, it was not an event to be celebrated. Harry lived with his aunt and uncle, Petunia and Vernon Dursley. They were his legal guardians in his parent's absence.
Despite the fact that they were his de facto parents, they'd never treated Harry as their own son. They'd treated him as a nuisance in their lives, forcing him to sleep in a cupboard under the staircase of their home. They constantly humiliated him, and assigned him countless amounts of chores that Aunt Petunia found too disgusting and degrading to do herself-like scrubbing the grout in between the tiles, or cleaning up the septic when it backed up.
This was the only life Harry had ever known. It was a sad life, and a humiliating life. He had no friends at school because Dudley was constantly telling other children about how abnormal his cousin was. Sometimes, it made Harry angry, and when Harry was angry, strange things tended to happen-inexplicable things that he could not have been held accountable for. Yet, somehow, he was always blamed for them.
The letters were an example of such abnormalities. About a week ago, he had received a letter in the mail, but he'd never been able to open it. Uncle Vernon had promptly snatched it away, tossed it in the fire, and locked Harry in his cupboard for a day without any food. Then, three letters, identical to the first, had arrived on a Sunday morning tied to the leg of an owl. Uncle Vernon had flushed crimson at the sight of the owl and the letter and locked Harry up again.
Then, about a day ago, on another Sunday, letters had flooded in to the Dursley's neat and tidy home through every conceivable entrance, seemingly by magic. After experiencing that episode, the Dursleys made plans to escape the "persecution", plans that any psychiatrist would have deemed the product of schizophrenia. Uncle Vernon had brought them to this cottage on an island in the middle of the sea, muttering about how they 'wouldn't be found here'.
Harry didn't understand it, and it annoyed him. The letters were his, but his aunt and uncle were determined to keep them from him. He didn't know why. He supposed it was just another way for them to assert their superiority over him, but he knew there had to be more to it than that. The nature of the letters arrival was extraordinary. It was almost as if they had been produced by magic. Harry thought that the Dursleys must know something about the letters that he did not know-something that frightened them enough to flee from the comfort of their home and come here, to this cold, run-down, dirty cottage on a rock in the sea.
The floor Harry was laying upon was coated in about an inch of dirt. Harry's eyes had become accustomed to the dark many hours ago. He could see quite clearly as he drew a birthday cake in the dirt, and topped it off with eleven candles.
"Happy birthday, Harry," he said to himself.
In that instant, a clap of thunder sounded. It was abnormally loud and made Harry jump. Another explosion of thunder followed immediately after. Harry thought this odd, because he'd never heard thunder boom twice in a row. Then the rush of cold air caught his attention. He looked up toward the door of the cottage to see a cloaked woman enter; carrying what appeared to be a flashlight. She wore an odd hat, which reminded him of a witch's cap he'd once seen a woman wearing on Halloween. Harry was alarmed to see that the woman in the threshold of the cottage had somehow managed to blow the door off its hinges. It was lying on the floor before her feet.
Harry bolted up as Dudley awoke from his deep slumber. The woman sidestepped further in to the cottage and aimed her flashlight at the door. On its own accord, it rose up, and placed itself back in the threshold. There was a click as the hinges twisted themselves back in to place.
By this time, Dudley was nearly done rubbing the sleep from his eyes with his pudgy hands. When he was finished, he took one look at the woman and shrieked in terror.
Harry heard commotion from the bedroom upstairs as Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon both jumped out of bed. They were downstairs in the next moment. Uncle Vernon was carrying what appeared to be an old shotgun. He gasped when he saw the woman, and even in the darkness Harry could see his cheeks flush with anger.
He cocked the gun and aimed it right at the woman's chest.
"Now, see here!" cried Uncle Vernon. "I'll not have this! Don't think I don't know who you are! I demand you leave at once, madam! You are breaking and entering. I shall phone the police!"
"Please, Mr. Dursley, save your cowardly threats for someone who will be intimidated by them," replied the woman tartly. She aimed her flashlight at the fireplace next to Harry and gave it a flick. A roaring fire sprang to life, providing more light to the room in the cottage than the flashlight did, so the woman turned it off with another flick. When its light was extinguished, she disposed of it it somewhere in the pockets of her robes.
"Oi!" Uncle Vernon roared. "You've no business here! I demand-"
"Mr. Dursley, Professor Dumbledore would like me to remind you and your wife that you were instructed to treat Harry Potter as your own child. I've seen with my own eyes that you have failed to do so. Lower that primitive weapon or I shall take it from you."
Uncle Vernon blanched and lowered the gun reluctantly. Aunt Petunia looked as though she was about to faint.
"That bloody cat!" Uncle Vernon cried. There was no context to his outburst and it made him sound quite insane.
"Indeed," said the woman. Harry could make no sense of her reply either, though it appeared both she and Uncle Vernon understood one another.
She then turned her attention to Harry. He unconsciously back stepped.
Without warning, she started toward Harry. Dudley squealed in horror, leapt over the back of the couch he'd been sleeping on, and ran to join his parents at the foot of the stairs. Aunt Petunia wrapped her stick-like arms about her bulbous son, attempting to hug him close.
Harry turned his attention back to the woman. She smiled warmly as she came into the light of the fire. He could see her clearly for the first time. She was dressed in all black robes, and she wore what was clearly a witch's hat. Her face was lined with the wrinkles of old age, and, while kindly, it was also stern. Under her hat, her black and gray hair was pulled back in to a tight bun. She smiled at Harry and took a seat on the couch Dudley had just vacated.
From her robes, she produced an envelope and extended it toward Harry.
Reluctantly, Harry grabbed the envelope from the strange woman and looked at the writing upon it.
To Mr. Harry James Potter
Number 4, Privet Drive
Little Whinging, Surrey
"Go ahead, Mr. Potter, open it," said the woman.
Uncle Vernon made a kind of choking noise in his throat. The woman turned and fixed him with a look. He scowled as his face turned a sickly puce color.
Harry examined the seal on the envelope. It was exactly the same as the seal on first letter he'd been sent-the one Uncle Vernon had tossed in the fire. With a rush of giddy anticipation, Harry broke the seal and opened the envelope. Finally, he'd discover what it is all these letters were about.
Written in an elegant script was a message on a piece of parchment.
Dear Mr. Potter,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on the 1st of September.
Minerva M. McGonagall
Confused, Harry looked at the list of necessary supplies.
First year students will require:
1. Three sets of plain workrobes (black)
2. One plain pointed hat (black) for daywear
3. One pair of protective gloves (dragonhide or similar)
4. One winter cloak (black, silver fastenings)
All first year students should have a copy of each of the following:
The Standard Book of Spells (Grade One) by Miranda Goshawk
A History of Magic by Bathilda Bagshot
Magical Theory by Adalbert Waffling
A Beginner's Guide to Transfiguration by Emeric Switch
One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi by Phyllida Spore
Magical Drafts and Potions by Arsenius Jigger
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander
The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection by Quentin Trimble
1 cauldron (pewter, standard size 2)
1 set glass or crystal phials
1 set brass scales
Students may also bring an owl OR a cat OR a toad
PARENTS ARE REMINDED THAT FIRST YEARS ARE NOT ALLOWED THEIR OWN BROOMSTICKS.
Harry lowered the letter and looked toward the woman who was smiling at him.
"I-I don't understand, ma'am," said Harry.
Her smile vanished and she nodded. "I suppose you wouldn't," she said. "Obviously, your aunt and uncle have managed to keep these letters from you, so Professor Dumbledore sent me to deliver this personally. You are indeed a wizard, Mr. Potter, as you've no doubt been wondering. You have been accepted to Hogwarts. I've come to inform you of this, as is customary to all Muggle-born students, though you're not Muggle born. You've merely been raised by Muggles. My name is Professor McGonagall, deputy headmistress of Hogwarts School."
"I'm sorry, ma'am," said Harry. "But what is Hogwarts School? I've never heard of it."
Professor McGonagall's eyebrows constricted. Her lips tightened to form a very narrow line. She turned to look at the Dursleys.
"You mean to say you've not told this boy of his heritage?"
"Now, see here, woman!" snapped Uncle Vernon, starting forward.
McGonagall stood, and Uncle Vernon halted, halfway to her. He straightened up and scowled indignantly.
"We swore to protect the boy when this Dumbledore left him upon our doorstep! Well, I'll not have any of this magic mumbo jumbo! It's abnormal, I say! He won't be going to this school of yours, no sir!"
"Are you daft, Mr. Dursley? Not allow the son of Lily and James Potter to attend Hogwarts? And you haven't even told him about what he is? This is quite insulting. I can hardly believe it! After what happened to Lily and James I would've thought-"
"That is quite enough!" huffed Aunt Petunia. She tilted her chin upward, upturning her long, horse-like face irascibly. "My sister stuck her nose in to one too many things that she should've stayed away from. I knew it'd be the end of her someday. Oh, but my parents were so proud to have a witch in the family. I was the only one who saw her for what she was: a freak! She went and got herself blown up. Well, I'll not have-"
"Blown up?" Harry croed. "You said my parents died in a car crash!"
"A car crash?" Professor McGonagall said incredulously. "A car crash? A mere Muggle-grade lapse of control? You say that that killed Lily and James Potter? That's completely ridiculous. I can hardly believe the lies you've told this poor boy. When I first began watching you on my own, I knew…. You truly are the most wretched Muggles imaginable. The way you've treated this boy is despicable. I have half a mind to break the law and hex all three of you! Look at what you've done to your own son! Spoiled him rotten! Mal nutrition! He is quite overweight. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves."
"Excuse me," Harry interjected.
Professor McGonagall turned to face him with a considerably friendlier look, though her eyes still burned with her intense anger at the Dursleys. Harry thought her a bit imposing.
"Yes, Mr. Potter?" she asked.
"Well, you called them Muggles. Er… what are Muggles?"
"Oh, yes, of course you wouldn't know. Muggles are a term that we use for people that can not use magic."
"But, you must be mistaken, ma'am. I can't use magic. I'm just…."
"No, you can most certainly use magic, Mr. Potter. We do not make mistakes. You are a wizard."
"But I can't be a wizard. I'm… just Harry."
"Tell me, Mr. Potter, have you ever caused things to happen? Things you could not explain yourself when you were, perhaps, angry, sad, or scared?"
"Well…." Harry trailed off, thinking. Mysterious things had happened before when he was angry or humiliated. Once Aunt Petunia had insisted on cutting his untamable hair. She'd cut all of it to a centimeter, but left his bangs in order to hide the lightning bolt scar on his forehead. Harry had been so humiliated and so afraid of going to school the next day. He'd cried himself to sleep at the thought of the ridicule he'd face because of how he'd looked. Other children had made fun of him before because of the clothes he wore, and those snide remarks always made him angry and sad. He remembered being so afraid of what they'd say when they saw his hair. Miraculously, the next morning it'd all grown back. He'd earned a week confined to his cupboard as punishment.
"Yes," said Harry. "Strange things have happened before."
"Those are signs of magic, Mr. Potter. You see, a witch or wizard often displays signs of magic starting at a young age, though they have no control over such things. At the age of eleven, as wizard is ready to be properly schooled in magic. Since you are now eleven, you are invited to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Should you choose to accept-"
"I think we've made it very clear he will not be going!" Uncle Vernon interrupted.
"Under normal circumstances, Mr. Dursley, you would be able to deny permission to Mr. Potter here," said McGonagall, her voice straining to contain some resemblance to a tone of informative politeness. "However, should Mr. Potter choose to accept, I will see to it that it is known you gave him your permission. If you deny such things or fail to sign the necessary documents and the like, I shall personally see to it that you will never be able to sign anything again. In words you can probably more easily comprehend, you have no choice in this matter. Are we clear in this matter, Mr. Dursley?"
Uncle Vernon grumbled something unintelligible.
"Are we clear on this matter, Mr. Dursley?" Professor McGonagall repeated.
"Yes," muttered Uncle Vernon, working to control his wild irritation.
"Very well. Mr. Potter, do you wish to attend Hogwarts School? Term begins on September the 1st and commences in early June. You will board there for the entire school year, but you may return home on holidays such as Christmas."
Harry considered this for a moment. An entire school year at Hogwarts, away from the Dursleys, sounded like a tempting proposition to him. However, he wasn't quite sure he believed Professor McGonagall. It wasn't every day that one discovered they were a wizard.
"Professor, how does magic work?" he asked.
"Ah," said McGonagall knowingly. "Yes. I assumed you might ask for a bit of proof. Very well. Remember Harry, it is strictly illegal to use magic in the presence of Muggles. The Ministry of Magic grants very rare exceptions. In this sort of circumstance, for example, it is acceptable. I am using it as proof to you and your Muggle guardians. Observe."
Professor McGonagall produced what looked like a stick from a pocket in her robes. Harry realized that it was what he'd originally thought was a flashlight. She aimed the stick at Dudley's pillow, which sat on the opposite side of the couch upon which she was sitting, and gave it a causal flick.
The pillow burst in to flames.
Harry jumped at the sight. Aunt Petunia let out a little squeak. Uncle Vernon sounded as though he were choking on a piece of rubber and Dudley hid his face in his mother's nightgown. Professor McGonagall closed her eyes for a moment, looking as though she was desperately trying to remain patient with the Dursleys, and then flicked the piece of wood again.
The flames vanished, and the pillow appeared unharmed.
"Wow," said Harry before he could help himself.
"I trust that is proof enough for you, Mr. Potter?"
"Yes, ma'am," said Harry.
"Very good. Do you choose to accept your invitation to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry?"
Harry took one look at the Dursleys and made his decision.
"Yes, ma'am," he said. "I accept."
"Wonderful, Mr. Potter," said Professor McGonagall. "Well, we best be off then."
"Now?" asked Harry with surprise.
"Oh, yes. It is close to dawn. We shall go to get the necessary supplies. I'll be able to rest easier knowing you already have them. Then, all these Muggles will have to do is get you to where you need to go. Even with their obvious lack of intelligence, I trust they can do that."
Uncle Vernon muttered something angrily under his breath, but Professor McGonagall ignored him.
"Well, come now, Harry."
"But how are we going to get off the island?"
"I'll be taking you to Diagon Alley through the use of Side-Along Apparition."
"Come, Mr. Potter. It is more magic. I'll show you."
Professor McGonagall stood and started off toward the door. Harry stumbled to follow and gave the Dursleys a parting look. Aunt Petunia deliberately looked away and Uncle Vernon scowled. Harry smiled as he exited the cottage.