AN: Pretty well fleshed out beginning to a Harry Potter becoming aware he's different in an irrevocable way, and trying to deal with that without any guidance, trying a few things he finds in 'muggle' books and finding some of them work, some don't, and a little of him seeing games/anime and trying to emulate things he sees. How long can he go on like this though?
A nine year old boy was running for his life. chased by his Aunt Marge's dog, Ripper, again. He really didn't understand why his relatives hated him so much. He'd always just wanted them to accept him, even if it was just as the kitchen boy who helped around the house or a maid that made their lives easier. But instead they were afraid of him.
He remembered the first time he figured out why his aunt was so rough with him. She was doing some laundry and an old sweater of Dudley's had just shrunk so much she couldn't even get it on Harry anymore, something he was immensely grateful for, the thing was falling apart and faded in to a sickly green color. She then slapped him and told him to never do that again. Do what? he thought. All I did was wish I could get rid of the thing. Does she somehow think my wishes can come true?
He looked into his Aunt's eyes for the first time since he could remember and suddenly an image flashed in his mind. It was scary. He saw a taller version of himself standing over his aunt threatening to do something to harm her. He was wearing an odd outfit with robes and holding a blurry object in his hand, pointing it at her threateningly. But what scared him was the look in his double's eyes. It was so cold and cruel. Is this what she thinks of me? He thought sadly.
Despite his best efforts, a tear rolled down his little face. He wanted desperately not to be that person he saw in her eyes.
"Aunt Petunia?" She suddenly seemed to realize he was still there.
"What do you want?" she asked harshly "I haven't got any more time for you today!"
"I just wanted to tell you..."
"Spit it out, boy!"
"I just wanted to tell you that you don't have to be afraid of me, Aunt Petunia. I'd never do anything to hurt you..."
His Aunt froze up for a moment, her face softened, and for a breif moment Harry thought perhaps she would hug him and tell him she wasn't afraid, and maybe even make up some silly name for him like she did with his cousin. And then her face hardened into anger.
"You little brat! How dare you say that to me, as if you're better than me!"
She slapped him soundly and dragged him off to his cupboard.
"You stay in there till your uncle gets home!"
Apparantly she never told Uncle Vernon about that incident though, or he was sure he would have been more thouroughly punished.
Now was not the time for reminiscing however, as there was a dangerous dog chasing him, courtesy of his Aunt Marge, a woman even more massive than his Uncle. He had nowhere to go to get out of the stupid dog's reach now that the dogwood tree in the backyard had been replaced by a new poplar sapling, also courtesy of Marge and her small farm in the countryside. He was running down the street when he noticed an allyway to duck into. Hoping he could trick Ripper, he ducked behind a trash can quickly and waited. He heard the dog sniffing his way around the alley. This was stupid, he thought, Ripper's a dog, he can smell me! He had nothing else though, so he stayed hidden, hoping beyond hope that the garbage would mask his smell well enough.
'Don't see me, Don't see me, Don't see me.' He repeated his mantra over and over again.
He ducked his head into his lap, covering himself with his arms, and so didn't see the dog standing right in front of him with a confused look on his face, he didn't notice the cold creeping feeling that enveloped him. The dog then sniffed at the garbage and knocked over the trash can, smelling some old chicken bones inside. Harry lifted his head at the noise, and saw with shock that the dog had apparantly forgotten him for some old garbage. He got up and quietly sneaked his way out of the alley and back to the house.
He came in through the backdoor, hoping to sneak up the stairs to his room unnoticed. He heard talking in the living room.
"That boy had better be back soon with my Ripper, I don't want him overexerting himself. If he hurts my Ripper, I don't know if I could restrain myself!"
"Marge, dear, I'm sure he'll be fine. More likely the boy will need patching up when he gets back."
"Hmph, you should have left that boy to the authorities when he first showed up here. A good orphanage would set him straight in a month. Worthless people, his parents. Dying in that wreck, likely drunk, as well."
"Yes, I agree", said his Uncle.
Harry had always gotten so angry when they talked of his parents like this, and this was going to far. He was so angry he stepped out of the hall and shouted "My parent's weren't worthless!"
Petunia turned to look down the hall...and looked right past him.
"Did either of you hear something just now?"
Marge and Vernon looked puzzled.
"No dear, perhaps it was the stove timer? I do hope those biscuits are ready soon, I think I'm wasting away."
Harry was confused now. did they really not see him? He waved his hand in front of his Aunt's face. She didn't react. He gasped. Suddenly images and memories came flooding back to him. He was five and his teacher's wig had just turned blue. He was eight and his hair had grown back overnight after his aunt shaved most of it off. A few months ago when he'd somehow appeared on the roof of his school, evading the group of bullies chasing him. The shrunken sweater and the image he had somehow known to be his Aunt's thoughts rather than his own. So it was true. He really was a freak. And now no one could see him or hear him. He suddenly knew without any doubt that he was different.
"Maybe its for the best, then, that I've gone and made myself invisible. They'll be glad I'm gone, after all."
He turned and walked up the stairs to his room, careful to skip the creaky stair. He sat down on his bed. What did all this mean? Could he really do all those things consiously? Or did they only happen by accident when he was afraid or angry? What was he? A mutant? He recalled that image he'd gotten from his aunt. She seemed to know that he was different, although she and Uncle Vernon had definitely kept the idea from his head as much as possible, aside from the occasional 'Freak!' sent his way or the repeated insistence that 'there's no such thing as magic!' So what did that mean? And what was he going to do now that no one could see him? Wait....no one?
Suddenly an exhilirating sense of freedom came over him. No one can see me! I can do whatever I damn well please!
Armed with this new knowledge, Harry Potter made the decision that would lead him to a lifelong career of maurading and adventure. If his family wanted to think of him as a vagabond, then he would become one, he thought angrily. They thought of him as a freak and didn't want him, so he'd give them what they wanted. He'd leave and learn to take care of himself. He packed up the few things that mattered to him, and left his home of eight years forever. He made sure to trip his Uncle on the way out, using the commotion that followed as a distraction to walk out the front door.
He later realized he felt a little sad to go, as much as he disliked his family. It was still as if something in him had died. He willed himself not to be sad and instead focused on his current situation as he walked away from the only home he could remember.
Harry felt great! It had been two days since he began his new life and he was experiencing new feelings he'd never encountered before as he walked beyond the areas he new well and into the unknown. So this was independence? It feels pretty good. I wonder what I should do now? Should I keep going to school or not? It's not like bullies or teachers will bother me anymore. I guess I can go there secretly and learn at my own pace. But where will I live? Then it hit him. He could live anywhere he wanted and no one would notice him thanks to his latest accident. He decided to look for a very spacious house so he could avoid running into the inhabitants.
In the end he got in a taxi cab with someone who was going to London. He figured he could make a decision on the way and then take a train to wherever he wanted to go. Looking through all the printouts he'd gotten from the local library he discovered a few small neighborhoods outside london where only rich people lived. He figured he'd have no trouble there and he could easily take all the resources he needed from them. It's not as if they'd miss any extra money. He figured if he had to he'd move from place to place to keep suspicion levels low. He had the taxi drop him off in a park nearby what was going to be his new home base for a while.
As he wated outside the gates for someone to come through and let him in, he wondered about many things he'd been thinking of for the last few days. If he'd ever be able to undo his condition of invisibility. He'd tried numerous times to simply will himself visible, but it hadn't worked. He assumed a high stress situation like the one that got him in this condition in the first place might make it work, but what situation could bring that on? He had an easier life as he was. Unnoticed, invisible. Free. He was becoming attached to it. Plus he found he enjoyed watching people when they thought no one could see them. People were so wierd.
He had wondered if he'd ever figure out how to repeat any of the other odd occurences he'd caused over the years. He decided he'd search for information on wierd stuff like what he was experiencing and see what he came up with. He'd tried doing what he'd done with his Aunt by looking into her eyes with other people he'd encountered but he rarely got anything, usually it was something someone was intently focused on, and often the images he got from guys thinking about disturbing or disgusting stuff involving genetalia, and frankly, he'd had a few nightmares on the subject since he'd left his family. But he was discouraged more by other things. He could do all the research in the world, but he still didn't know if he'd ever find anyone like himself. Someone who could tell him what he was, and what he was going through. Besides if they're anything like me they may be invisible too....with no way to change back.
He refocused his attention as he came up to a nearby house. There were some boys arguing from an upper window and he decided this was as good a place as any, plus he could prank the boys if he got too bored. He rang the doorbell.
"Just a minute!" a female voice said from inside.
The door swung open a few seconds later and a dark haired woman with grey eyes and a fairly large nose answered the door, looking around to see who was there for a moment as Harry slipped in, but giving up soon enough.
"Boys! You'd better stop ringing the doorbell! It's run its course already!"
"It wasn't us, mum, honest!"
"I don't believe you, now go back to you're studies and quit playing that game!"
Harry decided he didn't want to be around the woman who answered the door any longer than he had to, his nightmares coming back to him, making him nauceous. He decided to go upstairs and see what these boys were doing, and maybe find an empty bedroom for himself.
He passed by the boy's room as they were arguing over their game.
"No, you need to put meteor spells on strength, they're better, save the ultimas for magic."
"I'm putting triple's on magic."
"You can't, those are better on evasion or speed. And put Full-lifes on vitality and reflect for spirit."
"But what about HP?"
"You can just use Holy for that it'll give the same result as Full-life."
Harry was intrigued. What were they talking about, magic? The Dursley's would never have allowed Dudley to play such a game as it was 'unnatural.' It appeared the younger of the two was lecturing the other, which for some reason he found funny.
"Okay, you're ready, now step up to the dragon, slowly."
Harry watched as they battled a dragon that seemed able to spit small suns out of his mouth at their characters. But eventually the dragon gave in when the man wearing black did a combo attack with his wierd looking sword on the screen.
Harry sat and watched the story for a while, gathering that they were attempting to capture spirits called guardians in order to destroy a Sorceress that had gone mad with power. Somehow though, the sorceress that was on their side was stable. Harry wondered if one day he'd go mad with power, too. Somehow he doubted it. He felt pretty powerless to fix his situation after all. Still, he decided he liked the story, as he'd never gotten his hands on anything fantasy while with the Dursley's.
Though interested in the game, it was late and he fell asleep in a corner, dreaming about talking dragons and a sorceress telling him to find his own 'knight' before his power became unstable and he'd remain unseen and unheard forever...
Harry woke with a powerful ache in his neck and a dry mouth. Right, got to find my own room. He thought. Apparantly the boy's had already walked to school, which was just down the road, and Harry decided today he wasn't going to go, but rather he'd go to the library to look for information on incidents of people with strange abilities like his own.
Apparantly his condition still held, as no one had disturbed him or even bumped into him around the house yet. He stole some fruit from the table and got himself some cereal after everyone had gone.
A few hours later at the nearby University's library Harry was surrounded by a stack of books and being ignored by everybody. He was almost starting to like the feeling. It was many a young boy's dream to be able to do just about anything and get away with it, wasn't it? Harry had always been disliked and treated badly by his realatives, at school thanks to Dudley, and even his teachers thought he was a freak. 'Well, they were right, weren't they?' he thought forlornly. But it didn't matter now if he accidentally did anything freakish. No one would see him. Did he really want to turn things back to normal? He suddenly realized that no, he didn't. His life was so much easier this way, when no one could harm him, because no one knew he existed. Still, it wouldn't hurt to be able to turn it on and off at will, would it? It would certainly make buying things he needed easier. 'you could always steal things.' said a voice in his head. He shrugged that thought off and went back to his reading.
He had found an entire section in the library devoted to science fiction and fantasy and another to paranormal phenomena and had borrowed generously from each, thinking if he couldn't find any actual information on the subject he could at least find some thoughts on strange abilities like his own in the vast amounts of fiction written by people who dreamed of having them. Now though he was reading an interesting book on something called cryptozoology which was essentially a long list of creatures not fully accepted by regular science.
Harry didn't mind that, however as over the years of staying with his relatives he had learned there were many different beliefs people held. His relatives he felt served as one end of the spectrum, unwilling to accept that anything they thought of as 'abnormal' could be real. The other was found in these books and in the strange stories he had heard some of his odder classmates tell, from ghost stories to those of strange creatures and vampires.
Harry was in a position now that he had seen what he himself was capable of, to belive that the end opposite his relatives was much closer to the truth. But did that mean he wasn't human himself? Could he perhaps be a vampire or some strange demon out of a fantasy story? Harry very much doubted the vampire idea, but he couldn't deny that he was different from other people anymore and he wondered about some of the creatures he found in the book, although none of them were reported to have done what he had, and dissapeared. 'Although that would be pretty hard to document, wouldn't it?' He turned the page of the book he was now reading and found something interesting about aliens. Apparantly they were supposed to abduct people from time to time, which counted as dissapearing like he had but none of the other things mentioned matched up. He moved on and only found a few more references to situations like his, and one of them really intrigued him. It was something called being 'spirited away' where people disapeared for possibly years at a time and came back with strange stories of places populated by fairies and other strange creatures. Harry thought that this might possibly be someone like him, although he hadn't been taken to some strange land, he was still right here in the normal world, wasn't he?
Harry sighed, tired from flipping through books and was about to leave and find some food when he suddenly felt a pull from somewhere within him towards the back wall of the library. Curious, he got up and headed in that direction. He had to dodge several people looking up books in the engineering section and soon he found himself looking at the section on religion. There was a vast amount of books on this wall, and none of them looked all that interesting to Harry. Instead he was pulled downwards to look at the far right bottom corner of the shelves. There he saw something that did get his attention. Several books were there on the subject of magic. He saw several books on witchcraft and Gods and Goddesses and he heard his Uncle's voice in his head saying 'superstition and nonsense'. But then he reminded himself that his uncle could never explain the situation Harry now found himself in and he decided to pick out a few books. One in particular caught Harry's attention as the thing that had been pulling him this way. It was simply titled 'A Complete Guide to Alchemy', by Nicholas Flamel. Harry grabbed the extremely thick book and a few others that looked good. He also took 'Ancient Egyptian Magic' and 'Shaman Healer' As well as one book on witchcraft. He decided that he needed whatever information he could get at this point to get control of his ability or else he'd probably never interact with people again. Never was a long time and he somehow knew eventually he'd get tired of this.
Harry settled down in an upper room of the house he was staying in and after eating and watching the boys play their game some more, he started to read again. He decided to start with the witchcraft book just to spite his uncle and the thought of how disturbed he would be if he ever found out Harry was reading this.
The book told him that everyone had the potential to use magic and focused mostly on something called Divination which was supposedly a way to find truth about oneself and their surroundings through something called an Oracle. He decided later he would search the house for something he could use to try it out, hopefully a deck of cards, because most of the other ways of doing it seemed to take more time to prepare or things he didn't have with him. He supposed he could work on making a Moon Mirror but that would take time as well as carving runes, and he didn't have the necessary books to interpret runes. He read on to find other information on rituals for different situations, but none of them seemed to apply directly to the predicament he was in. One thing he did find interesting was a simple exercise of connecting oneself to nature through a tree. He was surprised to find a wealth of scientific information in the book showing that plants were sentient in some alien way and felt pain and emotions similar to animals. The rest of the book focused on nature spirits and how to see them as well as communicate in a rudimentary way with them. This whole process interested Harry and he wondered how much of it was real, and how much was one's own imagination at work. He resolved to try the exercise the next day. At that point Harry was so tired he fell asleep reading about nature spirits on the sofa.
Harry awoke to find that falling asleep while reading can cause one a lot of pain, particularly if the book somehow gets underneath you at some point. He had an aching back and neck which suggested to him that he should try to avoid doing too much reading, at least at night.
He pulled himself up from the sofa tossing the book on the floor, and went to get himself some food and some ice for his neck. He found that he'd slept in and everyone was gone from the house, so he decided he would stay home today and try out a few things he'd learned yesterday in his book. He felt kind of silly, but he wanted to try at least one thing anyway.
Harry headed around to the back of the house, in case something peculiar happened he didn't want to draw attention to the house. He looked around for a bit and found what he thought was the tallest oak tree on the property, and walked over to it.
Placing both hands on the trunk of the tree, Harry began to try and relax. He found it difficult though. His life had just changed irrevocably, and he now had no one to interact with. He tried to think of a future where he was normal again, and he had friends and a family. He felt a little better, and decided he would try to connect with the tree, to communicate with it. What's it like, being a tree? He thought more to himself than as a real question.
Suddenly, images came to him, feelings, thoughts that weren't his own. He was shocked. He saw the tree before him, but it didn't look like any tree he knew. It lacked the dull bark and green of the leaves, but was rather made entirely of light, ever moving, swirling, flowing throughout the tree as it grew. He felt roots growing from his feet, deep into the earth, and limbs and branches sprouting out from his body. He couldn't move. But he didn't need to. His mind and spirit felt free. He could do whatever he wanted. It was all just a dream. He saw the Sun, beaming down on him, and saw it's golden light mix and entertwine with the silvery-white of the tree's light. The result was a beautiful mixture of the white and gold, making it appear that they were in twilight and not late morning. Harry felt energy flow into him from the sun and the ground and the tree. He felt tougher, taller. and warmer. Slowly the presense of the tree left him, and he was back in his own body. He checked, but had no abnormal growths, and he could move his feet again.
"I suppose that answers my question," he said, still shocked.