Chapter 1 The Little Boy

The fifteen month old little boy woke up in a strange house, and he hurt all over, especially on his forehead. He didn't see his Mummy and Daddy. He couldn't FEEL his Mummy and Daddy, and he couldn't be calmed down by the strangers. He cried himself to sleep a dozen times, before he saw the open door. It looked safe. He crawled onto a pile of rags under the stair steps, and went to sleep. It gave the residents in the house a respite from the depressed, bawling baby.


"We can't let him stay in there, Petunia," said Vernon. "It's been a month since he came here, and it's not normal."

"Vernon, he cries at night if we don't let him stay there, and he wakes Dudley," she said. "Then I have two crying babies. It isn't hurting anything right now."

"Well, I suppose if the litte freak wants to stay in there, what should I care," said Vernon. "You haven't told me anything good about those people anyway. Maybe this is normal, for them."

"I don't know," said Petunia. "I just want some peace of mind."


Freak was a very lonely, withdrawn two year old boy. He didn't talk much. He didn't need to. He could hear the surface thoughts and sense the emotions of people around him. His relatives opinion of him was devastating, in a way he couldn't understand, after living with his parents. His Aunt and Uncle only got angry when he said something, not when he thought it. It was confusing at first, but it was just the way things were.

His Aunt and Uncle considered young Freak ... unnatural, and a bother. He learned VERY quickly to keep to himself. He never asked for anything, since it only meant trouble. They wanted Freak out of sight, and out of mind. Freak easily complied. It didn't occur to Freak to talk to them. He could sense their response, and he naturally took the path of least resistance. He rarely said more than yes, or no. His cousin Dudley was the plague best avoided.

He was sitting in the dark, when a little mouse entered his cupboard. It wasn't talking, exactly, but it was broadcasting thoughts. These thoughts could best be translated as, "Hunger. Hunger. Hide. Sneak. Hunger. Smell food. Food."

The mouse really caught his attention. He knew better than to try to communicate silently with his relatives, but he really had nothing to lose with the little mouse. The little mouse brought a rare smile to his young features. He had some bread crumbs from an earlier meal, and he broadcast a similar thought, "Food here." He dropped the crumbs in the dim light near the bottom of the cupboard door, and the mouse found them almost immediately. The urge to run fought with hunger in the little thing, and Freak tried to send calming thoughts. "No hurt here. Safe here."

He knew what his relatives thought of mice, after watching Her have a screaming fit when she saw one in the kitchen. He would protect the mouse. Maybe it would be a toy, if it would stay. Freak knew about toys. Dudley had toys, that Freak dare not touch. Freak couldn't conceptualize companion. He managed to catch the mouse in a jar, using a combination of bread crumbs and calming thoughts. Once the mouse was in the jar, there was no possibility of calming it. It was absolutely terrified, and it wanted out of the jar desperately. Freak had no intention of letting it go.

Freak was so intent on calming the little mouse, that he didn't notice the connection he made with it, he was so immersed in its thoughts. The mouse was a creature of instinct and emotion, and young Freak had great impact on its mind. The little creature's mind was essentially a computer program, not that Freak understood that. It had no concept of self, until Freak's mind overwhelmed it. For lack of a better analogy, Freak added a lot of programming to the little mouse. The little mouse's intelligence had an immediate five thousand percent improvement. Granted, it was five thousand percent of practically nothing, but this mouse was immediately the smartest mouse in the world.

The mouse was no longer afraid of Freak, and it knew enough not to leave the safety of the little cupboard under the stairs. The only sense of self it had was completely from Freak, but Freak had no way of knowing this. He was two years old. Freak had companionship. Freak was ... a split personality, in an odd way. Different, but not.


The next year was quite a learning experience for Freak. The little mouse was independent of Freak, but Freak also networked with it, to the extent that he could use the mouse's five senses. Freak WAS the mouse, and the mouse WAS Freak. They played with ... himself. The mouse still had its instincts, but they were pretty much buried way deep. Over time, Freak caught more mice, and impressed them as well.

By age four, the Dursleys thought Freak was beyond strange. He never spoke, unless spoken to. When he wasn't doing his few chores, he returned to his cupboard. They thought he liked the bloody thing, and actually, he did. It was a safe, warm nest. Freak kept his own company. He could have tried to spend time with the Dursleys, with the adversity it brought. He just didn't.


Freak's life changed completely, the year he turned five. Uncle Vernon's sister Marge came for an extended visit for the first time. Her husband had just died, and she was distraught. She brought a registered bulldog, Ripper, with her that Marge thought was a one person dog. Freak changed her mind.

Marge was ready to tear into the boy. She knew that Vernon despised apparantly retarded boy, and she had the right mood to give the lout a piece of her mind. Ripper chased Freak outside, and they all followed, ready to watch the young boy chased all over the yard.

Freak sent his mind into Ripper, even as he opened the back door. Ripper had every intention of putting the boy in his proper place in the pack. Suddenly, the boy was a pack mate, and Ripper calmed down. Freak sensed what he needed to do, and scratched Ripper behind the ears, as he wagged his tail. Marge was astounded, and instantly changed her mind about Freak. Any one that Ripper accepted was all right in her books, mentally off, or not.

Dogs have a LOT more brain capacity than mice. It still didn't take Freak very long to search through Ripper's meager memory. By the time Marge returned home two weeks later, Ripper and Freak had merged. Freak, mice, and Ripper were one.

The world's oldest mouse died that fall, and it probably would have been bad for Freak, if Ripper hadn't visited. The mouse just went to sleep, and Freak had no contact with it. Freak flushed the dead body down the loo. Ripper was excitingly new, and gave Freak freedom, in ways he would never have dreamed about. Marge let Ripper go about anywhere he cared to, all over her place in the country. Freak was expert at not drawing attention to himself. Freak learned about the world, because Ripper went nearly everywhere Marge did. He picked up most of his language skills as Ripper, not that he actually used the words. He went shopping, watched television, and explored, from time to time. Ripper could go a lot of places. People didn't bother the bulldog, except in a few places. Then, they only chased him away. Ripper learned rapidly, as his brain slowly rewired. Marge Dursley was very happy with Ripper, and Ripper lived the good life, and won many shows. The only disappointment Marge had with Ripper, was that after winning all of those shows, Ripper had no interest in stud service. None.

Ripper was quite fond of Marge Dursley. Ripper needed Marge, since he couldn't really live alone, and Marge needed Ripper. She LIKED Ripper. She talked to Ripper much of the time. Ripper wasn't connected to Freak all of the time, well he was, but not in a conscious way. Freak could always ... feel ... hear ... Ripper, but Freak didn't have to be right there. Freak was there watching telly, though, any time Ripper was in front of it.

Ripper was when Freak learned that other people couldn't hear thoughts. His Aunt and Uncle rarely thought one thing, and said another ... unless they were talking to each other, and even then, not often. Telly was Freak's greatest educator. Vernon and Dudley watched useless shows, like sports and cartoons. Petunia rarely watched telly, prefering raw neighborhood gossip and magazines, or books. Marge liked to watch news, documentaries, and other interesting programs about different places in the world.


The summer Freak turned six, he started regularly weeding Aunt Petunia's garden. He wasn't such a self-imposed prisoner of the house. He liked weeding the garden. Freak sent his mind out nearby, and found other animals. Rat became Freak, and Freak became Rat. Birds became Freak, and Freak became birds. Squirrels became Freak, and Freak became squirrels. All became one, sort of.

Squirrels were like mice ... easy to impress, but not much there, even after Freak rewired them, wiping out much of their instincts by the time he was finished. No one noticed the smarter squirrels, that didn't breed. Birds had even less brain to work with, but it was fun to fly. Freak went all over Surrey, as birds. Rat could go places most couldn't go. Squirrels could jump from tree to tree. Birds, squirrels, and rat were completely Freak. One Squirrel was snatched up by a hawk. That wasn't any fun. Freak never got ran over by a car.

Freak went to school that fall, with Dudley, his cousin. School was a new experience for Freak. Freak found out he had another name, for school time. His name was Harry Potter. He had never really been around kid's his own age. He rarely spoke, and it showed. It didn't take long for the other kids to pick up on Freak's strange behavior, and Dudley only cast their impressions in concrete. Freak still only spoke when directly addressed, and sometimes, not even then. Freak's teacher was consumed in doing her job, and kept busy. She couldn't spend much time, with just one odd child. Freak wasn't drawn to the other kids at all. They were just too ... giddy, and truth be known, stupid. Freak didn't trust people, just on general principles. Freak didn't need people, and he didn't dare reach out to them with his mind. He had himself. That was enough.

Freak quickly learned to keep his grades just above failure, to meet his relative's expectations. Freak was the class dunce, left alone with a blank look on his face, even though he never forgot anything. Grades meant nothing to Freak. He flew all over Surrey, and climbed trees. He went to dog shows as Ripper. He could do all of this simultaneously. He barely passed to the next grade. He did start to think of himself as Harry Potter. The word Freak wasn't a real name, and it didn't have a good meaning, as Harry discovered. He did become aware that he was the only one like himself. In all of his travels, no other animal acted like he could. He was an expert, in his animal world. The people he met while going to school were uninteresting. Children were silly, for the most part. Adults ran around doing stuff, that was important ... to them, anyway.


Summer of his seventh year, Harry met Mrs. Figg's kneazles. Vernon had a large bonus, and decided they would take a two week vacation outside of England, without Harry. Aunt Petunia knew that Mrs. Figg offered to baby sit for most of the neighborhood, and Harry spent the time with her. As hard as she tried, Harry didn't say more than ten words a day, to Mrs. Figg. She thought he just missed his family.

When Harry first sent out his mind, the kneazles looked like they were going to attack the young boy. After a few tense moments, the kneazles relaxed. Harry demonstrated he was not a threat, as he communicated with them. He became close to one young kneazle male, learning a lot from him as they networked, over the period of several months. The kneazle was nothing like Ripper, who was essentially a blank slate. The kneazle actually had intelligence, and its own mind. Sure, Ripper had emotions and a keen memory, when it came to what hurt him, or was pleasant, before Harry rewired him. Kneazle had so much more. The kneazle was Harry's first true friend ... one that wasn't just a reflection of himself, like Ripper, the mouse, and the others. He was connected to the cat, but not in possession of the cat. The kneazle felt the same way people did ... it had its own consciousness. Kneazle couldn't tell Harry's relatives what he was doing with his mind, even if the kneazle cared to. Harry rewired his companion's brain, to greater capacity, completely without detriment to Kneazle.

Harry spent a lot of mental time at Mrs. Figgs, over the next four years. Mrs. Figg was a boring old lady, and HarryKneazle didn't spend any time around her. HarryKneazle had fun. They hunted, and defended territory. They were inseparable, in every sense of the word. Nothing in the neighborhood bothered them. If one of them wasn't sleeping, they were together. The young kneazle was never able to tap into Ripper, or any of the other animals that were Harry, but the kneazle was aware that Harry was Squirrel and Bird. They dared not play together, in the open. Harry never bonded like that, with the other kneazles. There just wasn't any incentive.

Rats, squirrels, and birds averaged a year or two, before they blinked out of existence, sometimes painfully, but usually in their sleep. They stayed outside. Mice were his only indoor self-companions, so to speak. He never really tired of being mouse.


Harry was a voracious reader, at the school library, but he only used reading for entertainment. He never took books home. Reading put a different light on human behavior Harry. He turned the pages so fast, any one watching him thought the dunce was simply casually flipping the pages. He could have demonstrated himself to be the genius he was, but there simply was no good reason for it. It would only draw unwanted attention to himself. He just sort of cataloged what he read. Harry kept busy. Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer didn't have anything over Harry and Kneazle, except maybe chewing tobacco.

Harry just sort of drifted through to the fifth grade. He knew he was much too young to leave the Dursleys, but he was starting to get restless. He had watched too much life, not to get involved in it in some fashion. The Dursleys were a dead end, and had given up on him a long time ago. Maybe an orphanage would be better, like they threatened from time to time.


Minerva McGonagall didn't usually pay attention to Hogwart's invitations, but she was curious about Harry Potter. She just stared, unbelieving, at the address on Potter's invitation ... The cupboard under the stairs. An incensed witch stormed down the hallways to the Headmaster's office.

Albus Dumbledore looked up into the pinched features of his deputy administrator. In a quiet voice, that contrasted heavily with her body language, she spoke, "I told you they were the worst sort of muggles. I told you. I told you. Did you EVER check up on the wee lad?"

The mind of Albus Dumbledore was working furiously, even though his facial expression hadn't changed. "Is there a problem, Minerva?" he asked.

"A problem?" asked Minerva. "Harry Potter's invitation was addressed to the CUPBOARD UNDER THE STAIRS! Who keeps an eleven year old boy in a bloody cupboard!"

Dumbledore was stunned. Minerva never used language like that. What to do? "Let me know when Harry touches the enchanted parchment. The receipt acknowledgement charms in the school register will let you know."

"Oh, I will let you know," replied Minerva. "What do you plan to do?"

"Nothing, at this time," said Albus. "I want to see the reply."

"NOTHING!" yelled Minerva. "That is NOT acceptable."

"Please, Minerva," said Albus. "Wait until Harry touches the invitation."

McGonagall stormed out. It didn't take her long to get to Surrey, and start surveilance. She watched Harry work the garden for a while. Harry really wasn't paying attention to the surrounding area, and didn't notice the tabby cat. Harry's attention was elsewhere, and pulling weeds was effortless. She went to the local school, and looked for Harry's records. It didn't take long for the administrative witch to find them. McGonagall nearly had a fit, when she found Harry's grades, and the comments in his files. Learning disabled. Not socially adaptive. Withdrawn, shy child. Doesn't cause any trouble. Never initiates conversation. Just what had she let Dumbledore do?

There was no reply to the Hogwart's invitation. The Dursleys burnt the letters, unopened. One week later, Minerva told Albus three dozen letters had been sent ... all unopened.

"Keep sending letters," said Albus. "We NEED Harry to touch one."

"I keep sending invitations," said Minerva. "I am going to take one to him myself."

"I want to send Hagrid," said Albus. "I have another errand for him anyway, that will take him to London."

"I have some contacts to make among muggleborn," said Minerva. "I can do it."

"Hagrid has expressed a personal interest in Harry," said Albus. "I think it would do him some good to meet Harry."

"As you wish," said Minerva, with some doubts. She was very frustrated. Lily Potter had been one of her favorite students, and her son had been raised abysmally. If not for the war, Lily probably would have been her apprentice, married or not. Harry looked reasonably healthy, even if thin, but she watched him work the garden with an impassive face. It is said, she thought, that stress is the feeling that manifests when someone is observed that desperately needs the shite strangled out of them, and one can not actually do it. At this time, she thought that Albus Dumbledore fit the description. She really couldn't go back in time, and change anything, as much as she would like to. Why in the world did she let Albus leave Harry in Surrey with those people?


Harry had been on several trips with his relatives, but this was the first time they acted like this. Normally, Harry didn't pay much attention to his Aunt and Uncle, but they were afraid. Something about letters bothered them. Surface thoughts kept returning to, "Will they find us here?" and "What will they do to us?". Harry was a bit unsettled. The raw fear was oppressive. Then about midnight, it happened.

BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! The noise shook the door, then knocked it off of its hinges, with a thud. Harry wanted to hide, but there was no place to go, in the small building. He just pressed himself into his corner.

Standing in the doorway, was the largest man Harry had ever seen.

"Oops, sorry 'bout tha'," said the man. "Bit cold, out on the water. Guess I hit it a bit hard." The man reached down, and placed the door back in its frame, pressing the nails back in place. "Tha'll have to do, fer now," he said, walking over to the fire place. He waved an umbrella, and muttered something Harry didn't quite catch. Instantly, a much appreciated fire was blazing in the fireplace.

"I'll have you know you are breaking and entering," yelled Uncle Vernon. "I have a gun, and I want you to leave now."

"Shad up, Dursley," said the large man, snatching the gun from Vernon's hands, and twisting the barrel back on itself, like superman. "Missed me supper, in tha' row boat. Go' turned 'round out there couple o' times." He took out a package from a large pocket. Seconds later, the package was ripped open, to reveal a couple very large sausages. He put the sausages on a thin piece of metal, and started warming them on the fire. He brought out some sort of baked goods.

The man's surface thoughts mentioned finally finding Harry, and concern for Harry, so Harry uncharacteristically spoke up. "Who are you?" he asked.

"Oh, sorry," said the man. "Scuse me bad manners. Name's Hagrid. Rubeus Hagrid, Keeper o' the Keys, at Hogwarts. 'Course ye'd be knowin' about Hogwarts, wouldn't yer."

"You will not be telling him anything about that school," said Vernon. "We won't allow it."

"And how'd a great muggle like yer be a stoppin' me?" said Hagrid. "Dumbledore hisself sent me to deliver Harry's letter." He reached into another pocket, and pulled out several things at one time, including several papers, a small box, and ... a mouse.

A mouse! Someone else had mice, and seemed unconcerned about them. Harry's mind was spinning. He sat down on the floor by the huge man, that was radiating surprisingly warm emotions toward Harry.

"Here, Harry, this is yers." He put the other things back in his pocket, including the mouse. Harry walked forward, and took the paper.

"Don't open that boy!" yelled Vernon.

"Si' down, and shad it," said Hagrid, pulling one of the sausages off of the makeshift spit. "Dumbledore said Harry needs ta get 'is letter, and he'll get 'is letter. "'e's coming wit' me in the mornin'."

Harry broke the seal, and started reading. "What's this about Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry?" asked Harry.

"Don' yer know anythin' 'bout Hogwarts?" asked Hagrid. "Didn' they tell yer anythin' 'bout our world?"

"What do you mean?" asked Harry, having used more words than he had in a week.

"Where yer parents went ta school," said Hagrid. "Where wizards ge' trained up."

"Did you know my parents?" asked Harry. "All I have ever heard about my parents, is that they were killed in a car wreck."

"Lily and James Potter killed in a accident?" asked Hagrid. "They wouldn't likely ge' killed tha' way. Tha' shames ther memory. The're murdered by a ruddy dark wizard, they were. Brough' yer to the Dursleys meself."

"There is no such thing as magic," said Harry, his mind working furiously. "I'm not a wizard."

"Sure ye are," said Hagrid. "A powerful thumpin' good un, I figure. Haven' ye ever done anythin' unusual?"

Harry kept quiet, and looked over the letter again. Vernon, Petunia, and Dudley retreated into the only bedroom the little cottage had.

"Better ge' some sleep," said Hagrid. "Early start, in the mornin'. I'll just kip by the fireplace here. Used to leanin' up 'gainst trees ta sleep."

Harry curled up in the corner, on some rags, like he usually did, with a thin blanket.

Harry was awake instantly, when Hagrid started the fireplace again.

"Ge' yer stuff t'gether," said Hagrid. "I'm gonna spend some pennies, and we can go. We'll ge' somethin' ta eat later."

Harry put his things in a plastic bag, and went to the outdoor loo. He followed Hagrid to the boat, which Harry recognized as a whaling row boat, from the telly.

Hagrid started rowing out over the water. "Ye'd not tell anyone, if'n I used magic, would ya? I ain't really s'posed ta."

"No," replied Harry. "Why shouldn't you use magic, if you can?"

"Go' kicked out o' school," said Hagrid. "Weren't me fault, but ther' ya go. Go' ta ge' this boat back ta the guy wha' owns it." Hagrid pointed his umbrella toward the rear of the boat, and it started making good time across the water. "Jest haft ta start rowin', 'fore I gets back to shore. Caint le' no one see."

"Why not?" asked Harry.

"Rules," replied Hagrid, "plus I'd ge' in a pile o' mess. Don' ya have any questions?"

"No," said Harry. "I don't know what I would ask. What do you do?" Harry was skimming through Hagrid's surface thoughts, and learning quite a bit. Hagrid had an active mind, and started to tell Harry all about what he did at Hogwarts, with the grounds, and the animals. Harry listened with rapt attention, until they returned the boat. Hagrid just tied the boat up, and walked away.

"Dumbledore gimme a por'key, or three, fer our trip," said Hagrid. "Let's ge' 'round the corner outa sight."

Harry followed Hagrid behind a building, and Hagrid held out a short stick.

"Grab hold o' this," he said. Harry did, and Hagrid said, "Actervate."

Harry felt an unpleasant tug behind his navel, and a squeezing sensation. They were standing in an odd shopping plaza.

"Ne'er ha'e liked tha'," said Hagrid. "Looks like yer don' either." Harry just gave a slight nod. "Bank is firs' thing, after we eat. Gotta ge' yer money, and somethin' fer Dumbledore."

"I've got money?" asked Harry.

"Didn' yer think yer folks left ya nothin'?" asked Hagrid.

"I didn't know my parent's names, until you told me," replied Harry articulately, warming up a little to conversation. The gentle giant was growing on him, especially after the tales of the animals Hagrid had told him.

"Tha's na righ'," said Hagrid angrily. Harry automatically stepped backward, and Hagrid noticed.

"I'm not mad at yer," said Hagrid. "It jus' frosts me a bit, what yer relatives did ta yer. Come down ta me hut, when ya gets ta school, an' I'll tell yer w'at I know."

Hagrid walked Harry into the Leaky Cauldron, and bought them both breakfast. Hagrid ate enough to feed five.

"Time ta go agin," said Hagrid.

"OK," said Harry quietly, following Hagrid to a large building, with the oddest creature Harry had ever seen.

"Goblins take care o' wizard money," said Hagrid. "The're right fair in how they deal, but don' piss 'em off, and ne'er steal from 'em."

They walked up to the first available teller.

"We need money from Harry Potter's vault," said Hagrid slowly, as precise as he could.

"Key," said the teller. Hagrid dug around in his pockets, and produced a key.

"How much?" asked the teller.

"Hundred fifty galleons," said Hagrid. "Few sickles and knuts with it. Tha' should las' a year."

The teller gave Hagrid a bag, the key, and they left.

"Glad didn' need ta go ta the vault," said Hagrid. "I don' like those carts. I'm gonna take yer ta the shops, and let yer go in alone. I'm a might too big, fer most o' those places. Yell ifn ya need anythin', and I'll fin' ya, no matter wha'."

They went from shop to shop, with a trunk being the first. Hagrid carried the trunk, and Harry put his purchases in it when he returned. The clothing shop was typical.

"How can Malkins help you, young man?" asked the lady. "Hogwarts?"

"Yes Ma'am," said Harry, and gave her the list.

"I know what you need, deary," said the lady. "Let's get you measured. Stand here, please."

She measured him, and walked into the back. Another young man came out from a side room. He had white hair, new clothes, and appeared constipated. He noticed Harry, and walked over.

"Look what they are letting into Hogwarts now," said the boy. "What is your name?"

Harry looked at him, and said nothing. The boy was easy to read, and Harry had learned a long time ago, that saying nothing served him well. The boy was about to give Harry a piece of his mind, when another sales lady came out of the same room.

"Your order will be sent to Malfoy Manor," said the lady. "Will there be any thing else?"

"Not at this time," said the young boy, with a sneer. "Mother is waiting for me at Ollivander's." He looked disdainfully at Harry one more time, and left.

Harry's clerk came from the back, holding a package. "That will fourteen, two, and three," she said.

"What?" asked Harry.

"Muggleborn, dear?" asked the clerk, in a most friendly way. "Fourteen galleons, two sickles, and two knuts. I will be glad to help you sort it out."

Harry handed her his moneybag, and watched as she counted out the coins. It looked easy enough. He ran his hand through his hair.

"Blimey! You're Harry Potter," she said. "I'm sorry, you just surprised me. I'm sure you get that every place you go." She watched Harry go stiff, and look down.

Harry was reading her surface thoughts, with meticulous attention. He has the scar. Killed You Know Who as a babe. Famous Boy Who Lived. Missing for ten years. He saved us all.

The lady was blushing red, as she handed him his moneybag, and parcel. He fairly scurried from the shop, and stopped in front of Hagrid.

"Wha's the matter?" asked Hagrid, concerned.

"She recognized me," said Harry quietly.

"Oh, tha',' said Hagrid. "I should o' said somethin'. Yer famous, in our world. Dumbledore tol' me he wished he hadn' said nothin' 'bout tha' scar. Just shocked him so much, an' he tol' the Ministry. They put i' in the Prophet, and tha's tha', then. Tell ya more later. We better ge' to it."

Harry followed him from shop to shop, but he made sure to keep his hands out of his hair. After the list was completed, Hagrid took him to the ice cream shop.

"I got ta go back ta the bank," said Hagrid. "Ge' yerself a treat, and I'll be back. Wait fer me, an' we'll go to Surrey soon's I ge' back."

Harry bought the first ice cream he ever tasted, and waited with his thoughts. Not twenty-four hours had passed, and his existence had turned upside down. Witches and wizards ... he was a wizard. The scar his Aunt had told a neighbor he received during the crash that killed his drunk parents, was from an attack by an infamous wizard. He was going to learn magic. He just started watching people go by, giving them a surface scan. People going from one place to another. He didn't learn anything of importance.

He turned to the left, and saw Hagrid approaching. He had a cage in his hands, containing a white owl, and a wrapped package.

"I wanted ta ge' ya somethin'," said Hagrid. "Owls are dead useful, and this one's a pretty un. Looks ta be smart, too. Yer birthday was yesterday, but I betcha got a bunch o' gifts already."

"No one has ever given me a gift," said Harry, with surprise. Harry had never seen an owl this close before. He avoided them with a passion, in his other forms.

"Well, you gets ta name her," said Hagrid. "Take yer time, and make it a good un. I gotta ge' goin' agin. Le's go ta the por'key spo', and I'll getcha home." Hagrid picked up Harry's trunk, and Harry carried the owl cage.

"Grab a hol' agin, an' we're off," said Hagrid, holding out a short piece of rope. One tug later, and they were in Mrs. Figg's back yard.

"I'll walk yer home," said Hagrid. Harry followed him quietly. He wondered how the Dursleys were going to act now. Harry opened the back door, lifted the handle on his trunk, and rolled it into the kitchen on its wheels. The owl cage was on top of the trunk. The cage stayed where he put it, like it was magnetized.

"BOY!" yelled Vernon.

"Vernon," hissed Petunia. She continued, quietly, "We don't need any of their trouble. Ha ... Harry, we have put your things in the broken toy room. Please, take your things upstairs. Supper will be at six." Harry could tell she was extremely afraid.

"I'll see yer a' school," said Hagrid quickly. He looked around the back yard, with its fence and hedge. "Actervate." Hagrid was gone.

Vernon walked into the living room, and Petunia sat at the kitchen table to read a cookbook. Harry took his things up to the second floor, and into Dudley's second bedroom. He would really rather be in the cupboard, but now he didn't have room, with his new possessions.