Disclaimer: It is my most desperate wish that I could own even the smallest part of the Harry Potter world. Alas, it all belongs to J.K. Rowling.
When Harry Potter was five, he decided that normality was entirely overrated.
After years and years of being persecuted by the Dursleys for his apparent "freakishness", he decided that they were right. But then, he thought, so what? So he was weird. So weird things kept happening when his emotions went particularly haywire. So what?
In a way, Harry noticed, the "freakishness" kept him safe and relatively sane, so instead of shunning it, he welcomed it with wide open arms. Sure, it still hurt that his only family only acknowledged his existence only when his presence was needed to do chores or cook, which was the latest form of "payment" that the Dursleys came up with to make him reward them for taking him in when he was only just a baby. He knew it was not normal, but he also was highly aware that things could've been worse. He'd seen the children living on the street and was glad that he, at least, had a roof above his head and a rugged blanket to keep him warm. Dudley's hand-me-downs weren't really that bad and the chores they made him do would make him a great gardener and cook later on in life.
So really, what was there to complain about? Lack of affection? Some people had relatives that actually threw them on the streets (Harry had actually witnessed that only a few days ago). Hard work? Well … all he had to do was look at Dudley and he would stop complaining (Harry actually wondered how long it would take his cousin to end up being wider than tall – his latest bet was nine years). The blatant favoritism his cousin received compared to his meager possessions? Again, no comment.
All in all, Harry decided, at the age of exactly five years, his life was nothing to complain about. Nor was his "freakishness".
* * *
It took him a while, – and when he would look back on his childhood years, Harry would always wonder why it took him so long, because it was so damn obvious – maybe even a few weeks of consciously observing his "freakishness", but he noticed a trend in the weird happenings. They always seemed to happen when he felt in a particular way, be it happy or sad or maybe just wanting something, but, and this without fail, they always happened when he felt something powerful or when he focused on something.
Thinking about it for about an hour while trimming the small bushes Aunt Petunia had take a fancy to, Harry had concluded that, maybe, if he tried hard enough, he may be able to control his powers – as he called them, because calling them "freakishness" was rude – and harness them.
And as such, one Harry James Potter started his magical education earlier than most children in the Wizarding world did.
* * *
It took him quite a few months, almost a year, to even be able to control a pebble he lifted from the ground. It took dedication, determination and more focus than a normal five-going-on-six year could manage, but, seeing as Harry had chosen to be decidedly abnormal, effective immediately, he succeeded in the end.
He spent every free moment he had trying to find a way to control his powers, either by focusing hard on what he wanted to happen or by letting his anger, humiliation and even hunger lead him. He stood every night in his cupboard underneath the stairs and tried everything he could think of. He tried to conjure a ball of light, to chase off the darkness, he tried to summon heat, because, during the cold season, his patched up blanket wasn't enough to keep him warm, he tried to change the color of his meager possessions, and he even tried to repair Dudley's broken toys, which he had successfully rescued from being thrown away. All of his attempts led nowhere.
After trying everything he could think of (and some things he saw on TV, when Aunt Petunia thought he wasn't looking), he succeeded in using his powers intentionally for the first time.
It had happened one day after returning from primary school, when Aunt Petunia told him to repaint the fence, because the old color was out of fashion. He had nodded calmly, went inside the house to change into his "work" clothes, took the paint and brush out of the shed in the backyard and went on to finish his chores, knowing he wouldn't be fed otherwise.
It took him about two hours to finish, but he didn't mind that much. It was a mindless job, so he let his thoughts roam free, back to what he had learned at school that day.
He had, from his observations of the Dursleys so far, that it was safer to play dumb and get low grades. He knew Uncle Vernon was very fond of showing Harry just how superior his son Dudley was when compared to him. Provoking him by getting better grades was something Harry didn't want to do. After all, it was simple survival instinct. But getting low grades didn't mean Harry had to actually earn them. If there was one thing Uncle Vernon had taught Harry, besides knowing when to shut up and act all meekly, was that knowledge was important, either in business or day-to-day life. He could still remember the day his Uncle boasted over the fact that he got a promotion because he had known something his rival didn't (thought Harry wondered what "something" was, since his Uncle never saw fit to mention).
As such, he always took care to review is lessons mentally, going as far as doing his homework in his mind and coming up with ways that he could convincingly slack off or simply fail. It took him a while to get the hang of it, considering the teachers were on to him after the disastrous first semester, but he had, after painstakingly long hours of sneaking a look at his grades and recalling what he did wrong, figured out the system their performance was graded. He knew Miss Jeoffrey had been suspicious for a while, because he hadn't been spectacularly sneaky when he looked at his report card, but he knew she eventually chalked it up to him being lazy or stupid.
Or so he thought.
What actually happened was that Miss Jeoffrey noticed the erratic ups and downs his grades took in the first semester. If he got a high grade, the next one would be terribly low. After she had caught him looking at his report card a few times with unusually focused eyes, his grades evened out, just below those of his cousin.
At first she thought it a fluke. He had high grades before, it was true, but he also managed to earn some that were far below the level he had arrived. So she thought that he had finally settled down in a constant learning regime. But something didn't add up. She had watched him when she gave the children written tests. He always studied a problem carefully before answering. He didn't get nervous, or fidget, as children who didn't know usually did. He stood calmly in his seat and wrote his answers. He also never used his eraser to correct something. Never.
What also puzzled her was the fact that he always accepted his grades without fuss. The few times she saw him get nervous was when he got a higher grade than his cousin. Without fail, his next grade would be a bit lower than his usual standard.
Confused, and a bit suspicious (after all, when she had first talked to Mrs. Dursley, she had noticed the woman wasn't too fond of her nephew), she talked about him with her friend, Ryan McKelleh, who was a college teacher. He listened to her suspicions and told her to give Harry's class a surprise quiz, which she would grade in a different fashion than the one she usually used. Also, he told her not to tell the children what grade they got. He had a suspicion that the young Potter would panic if he got a higher grade than usually.
He also told her to try and give them all different problems, so that she could give Harry and a few other more gifted students harder problems than she gave the rest.
That evening they parted cordially, both curious to see what would come of their little plot.
But Harry was blissfully unaware of the plotting teachers and continued his painting in peace. When he finished, he stored the left-over paint in the shed and went back in the house to eat lunch.
After that, Aunt Petunia told him to go and trim the small bushes near the fence. She also told him to be mindful of the fresh paint, because he wouldn't get dinner if he spoiled her cream fence. Harry just grumbled under his breath.
It was by pure accident (meaning Dudley) that Harry lost his balance while tending to the small square-ish bushes. As he started leaning towards the freshly painted fence, he started panicking, thinking he wouldn't get dinner again if only there was a way to stop before hitting the fence when he felt a rush of something going through him before he stopped inches away from the fence, frozen mid-fall.
He stood like that for a few seconds, blinking stupidly at the not-ruined fence, at the not -smudged fresh paint, before recovering from his shock and leaning back.
As he finished trimming the bushes, he couldn't stop but feel a tad smug about the fact that he finally managed using his powers.
* * *
After that, it only took his another week to figure out how to make the rush happen again. What followed, as they say, was history.
His nightly routine changed, Harry using his time to think of things to do. He started slow, with balls of light and warmth, with color changes and small repairs done to small toys.
He then expanded. He tried to make his blanket nicer, to change its texture and color, to make it fluffier and warmer. When Aunt Petunia washed his blanket, she concluded it wasn't his anymore and replaced it with another one, which was in a even worse condition than the first. That made Harry think. What if he could make his Aunt believe it was just as bad as she thought? He could've just changed the blanket back to its original state every morning, but it was tedious, since it took him a full minute to make it better. Why not make it unnoticeable to others but him?
He also started changing things, like stones to water, or wood to plastic. When he noticed that his plastic wasn't really plastic, but just a different type of wood, he went to the library and looked up a book about substances.
Slowly, he progressed, mostly through trial and error, until he could change his whole cupboard in a matter of seconds, with just a small frown to betray his concentration.
He got more and more ideas by catching glimpses of things on the TV, or listening to people talk about things. He got the craziest ideas from listening to his Aunt Petunia gossip with the next-door neighbor about the not-so-normal lady who lived at Number 12.
He also did his best on the test Miss Jeoffrey gave, thinking that if he got a high grade, he could pass it off as having received an easier test than Dudley.
What he didn't know was that he received the hardest test in the whole classroom and that he got the maximum grade. He also didn't know the consequences this would have on his life from that point onward.
* * *
A/N: So I've finally posted something. Hopefully, hopefully, I get to finish it too.