Alright everyone, here you go. The first chapter of Adventures in Witchcraft and Wizardry. Hope you like it! I've been super nervous about this, so please leave me a review and let me know what you think.
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter nor his universe. I did take some dialogue here from the Philosopher's Stone.
Adventures in Witchcraft and Wizardry
There and Back Again
Harrietta Lilian Potter, of number four, Privet Drive, was proud to say that she was anything but normal, thank you very much. She was the last person you'd expect to be involved in anything ordinary. You see, Harrietta Potter was a witch. Not the sort with green skin and flying monkeys, but a real wand-waving, potion brewing witch.
She hadn't always known she was a witch. In fact, until she was eleven, she'd thought that magic only existed in fairy tales. She had been positively delighted to discover she was wrong. Growing up with Petunia "Young Ladies Musn't" Dursley, her goal in life was to do everything that a Proper Young Lady Ought Not To Do. She found that being a witch fit the bill quite nicely.
Harri's eleventh birthday began in the same manner as any other day. She ate breakfast with her family and then spent the morning reading quietly in her room.
Having always wanted a daughter of her own, Aunt Petunia had a tendency to treat Harri as her own personal life-size doll much to her utter dismay. It was for that reason that Harri was inside instead of out. She had wanted to spend the morning at the play park up the street with Dudley and his friends, but Aunt Petunia hadn't wanted her to dirty up the frilly frock she was currently wearing in anticipation of her birthday party that was to begin at noon.
The ten o'clock hour found Harri with her face pressed against the glass of her bedroom window. She watched as Mrs. Donnelly, from number six Privet Drive, peered out her door for a long moment before opening it fully and ushering a ruddy faced man that was most certainly not Mr. Donnelly from the house. Not even a full half hour later, Harri watched as Mr. Donnelly pulled into the drive with the Donnelly's twelve year old daughter, Margot, in tow. Harri suspected the only reason the Donnellys had merited an invitation to her birthday party was that Dudley fancied Margot a great deal.
By eleven o'clock, Harri could scarcely sit still. As such, her room was in a complete state of disarray. There was one stack of books on her bed and another stack on the floor. The stack on the floor was strewn from her bookshelf to her wardrobe. Littered on the rest of the floor was a thick pad of drawing paper, a varied assortment of colored pencils, and several finished drawings. Harri made quick work of straightening the mess into what appeared to be a slightly more organized mess before nearly skipping downstairs. Harri very much wanted to skip, but she didn't think she could stomach the reprimand that would earn her.
Aunt Petunia was fluffing her already perfectly fluffed pillows when she entered the drawing room.
"Look at you!" Aunt Petunia said, her thin, horse-like face turned up to a frown. "What have you done to your hair?"
"Nothing!" she protested at once. Her hair had been a point of contention within the Dursley household as long as she could remember. No matter what she did to it, it always managed to be an unruly mess. Despite that, Harri loved her hair because it was one thing she shared with her mother. Her green eyes were another. Her aunt never spoke of her mother, but she had given Harri several old photographs of the two sisters when they were children. The only difference between the two that she could find was that her hair was a mess of waves while her mother's had been stick straight.
Aunt Petunia opened her mouth to further admonish her but was interrupted by the doorbell ringing.
"Guests arriving at this hour? It's not even half past!" Her aunt looked scandalized at the very idea of someone not arriving at the prescribed time. "Get the door, then, Harrietta, and take them directly into the backyard. Dudders should be along soon with his friends..."
She continued talking, but Harri wasn't paying her any attention. She was too busy staring wide-eyed at the peculiar looking man in front of her. He was tall and far too thin with stringy looking black hair and an abnormally large nose. He was wearing what appeared to be a dress and -- was that a cloak?
"Don't stand there with the door ajar, girl," snapped Aunt Petunia. "Show your guest to the backyard!"
Harri finally found her voice. She tore her eyes away from the man, who was staring at her in return, and and back to where Aunt Petunia was standing. "It's not a guest. It's just a man."
Her aunt frowned as she made her way to the door. "Tell them we're not interested in whatever it is they're selling --- you! What are you doing here?"
The man smiled. It was not a pleasant smile either. His mouth was filled with very yellow, very uneven, teeth. "I'm surprised you even remember me, Tuney --"
Whatever else the man was going to say was cut off by Aunt Petunia slamming the door. She locked it for good measure before turning to Harri.
"Go to your room this instant!"
But Harri had no intention of going to her room. Especially not when there were peculiar men about! "Who was that man? Why was he dressed so strangely?" she asked.
"Go - to - your - room!" Harri had never seen her aunt look so unhinged before that she was almost startled into doing as she was told.
"I think not."
Harri jumped and Aunt Petunia shrieked loudly as the peculiar man was now inside pointing at them with a long, thin, twig.
"Now, then, where were we?" He murmured to himself, twirling the twig in his hand all the while. He turned away from her aunt and faced Harri fully. "Ah, yes, Miss Potter, no doubt you were worrying about the delay in receiving your Hogwarts acceptance letter. The headmaster felt it prudent to deliver it in person in case you had any questions." He held out a rather thick envelope for her to take.
Harri cast a sly glance at her aunt from the corner of her eye. Her face was an alarming shade of red not unlike Uncle Vernon's face whenever he was angry which happened to be quite often. "My Hogwarts acceptance letter?" she asked him, but she did take the letter. She only had a chance to read her address, however, before it was ripped from her hands. Its address was remarkably accurate. It was addressed to a Miss H. Potter, Smallest Bedroom, 4 Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey.
The man's black eyes narrowed. "Yes, your Hogwarts letter. Your letter is merely a formality as you've been down for attendance since your birth--"
"She'll not be going," Aunt Petunia's shrill voice cut in. "I swore when I took her in that I'd put a stop to it!"
The man seemed to swell in front of her, one of his lips curled into a sneer. "Of course she'll be going. I'd like to see you, muggle that you are, try and stop her!"
"Going where?" asked Harri, who had been following the exchange with a great deal of interest. "Hogwarts? Is that a secondary school, then? I've already been accepted to Kent College Pembury."
"Too right," Aunt Petunia said, seeming to recover a bit of her natural skin color, "and that's exactly where you'll be attending."
The peculiar man regarded Aunt Petunia coolly. "I think not," he said once more. He produced another envelope from within his cloak and handed it once more to Harri. "Lily's daughter attend a muggle secondary school? Absolutely not."
She wasn't quite certain what a muggle was, but it couldn't be anything good if the man's tone was anything to go by. She ignored her aunt's retort, choosing instead to hurriedly open the envelope before it could be ripped away again. She gasped when she read the letterhead. "Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry?" Now the man's odd appearance made sense. He dressed like some of the wizards in her storybooks! If she had been accepted to a school of witchcraft and wizardry, then that could only mean one thing... "Magic is real?"
"Yes, and you, Miss Potter, are a witch."
After that, Aunt Petunia had reluctantly led the man, who introduced himself to Harri as Professor Snape, the Potions Professor at Hogwarts, and Harri to the kitchen and allowed him to explain fully while she telephoned the party guests to inform them that the party was canceled because Harri had unexpectedly taken ill.
Discovering that she was a witch, just like her mother before her, was the best birthday present she'd ever received -- even if it caused Aunt Petunia to adopt a pinched expression whenever they were in the same room as one another and for Uncle Vernon to turn a shocking shade of purple when he'd learn of her acceptance to the wizarding school.
Professor Snape returned early the next morning to accompany Harri as she purchased her school supplies. Having read and reread her letter until she had it memorized, she wondered where they might be going. She doubted that Tesco would have the sort of things they required. She doubted even a big city like London -- where they were currently traveling to -- would have such exotic items such as dragon hide gloves and wands.
"Can we buy all of this in London?" she wondered aloud.
"If you know where to look," was the Professor's curt reply.
The trip through London was quite thrilling for Harri as she'd never been before. She'd never visited many places outside of Surrey before, and she was rather looking forward to visiting more. They passed by an extraordinary number of interesting buildings and shops before stopping in front of a dingy, rundown looking pub called the Leaky Cauldron.
"Here we go. Stick close to me and speak to no one," he warned her before entering the building.
He needn't have even bothered with a warning as the occupants of the pub were struck silent by the newcomer's appearances. It was the barkeeper who broke the silence,
"Good Lord, is this -- can this be--? Bless my soul...Harrietta Potter. What an honor!"
With that proclamation, the crowd converged on them, each one welcoming Harri back and attempting to greet her personally. Professor Snape had explained to her the circumstances surrounding her parents death -- they'd been murdered, not killed in a car crash as she'd been told -- as well as her fame, but she hadn't expected this.
Blushing hotly, she stuttered out replies and returned greetings as she and the Professor made their way through the crowd. She was relieved when they made it into the alleyway behind the dingy pub.
The previous scene was forgotten entirely when she got her first glimpse of the wizarding world -- Diagon Alley.
They went to the Wizarding bank, Gringotts, first to retrieve some money from her vault. The bank was run by goblins which Harri thought was just brilliant. These goblins looked nothing like the goblins she'd seen in any of her films, but she suspected that the filmmakers had never seen a real live goblin before. Or a real live witch for that matter.
Harri took in the various shops with wide-eyed amazement. To think that there was an entire world hidden in London! Professor Snape led her to a shop called Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions with the instructions not to step foot outside of the shop without him. While she was being fitted for her uniform, he would head to the Apothecary and retrieve what she needed from there.
Madam Malkin was a rather rotund woman wearing mauve from head to toe. Harri scrunched her nose in distaste -- she hated all shades of pink! She took Harri to the back of the shop where she saw a pale boy with blonde hair being fitted as well. When he saw her, he made a face as if he'd suddenly smelt something particularly foul.
"Hello," she said, "Hogwarts, too?"
"Yes," answered the boy.
"It's quite exciting, isn't it? In a months time, we'll be off to study magic!"
"Know what house you'll be in yet?" The boy asked a few minutes later. He had a haughty, drawling voice that Harri didn't much care for, but it would take more than one unpleasant boy to ruin her good mood,
"Gryffindor, I hope. Both of my parents were Gryffindors, but that doesn't always matter. Still, I rather hope I end up there."
"Gryffindor?" said the boy with a slight sneer. "Why would you ever want to be a Gryffindor? Everyone says Slytherin is the best house there is."
Harri narrowed her eyes. "Obviously not everyone says it --"
But the boy cut her off. "I say, look its Professor Snape," he said nodding towards the front window. "He's one of the professors at Hogwarts, you know. He's a good friend of my father's."
"I know who he is," she told him tartly. "He's the one who delivered my letter yesterday and told me all about the wizarding world."
The boy looked at her aghast but before he could comment further, Madam Malkin said, "That's you done, my dear."
Harri jumped off the stool, thankful that she didn't have to talk to the boy any longer. The rest of the day was spent shopping. Professor Snape led her into shop after shop. The only shop that they lingered for longer than was absolutely necessary in was the bookshop, Flourish and Blotts, were they purchased her required books plus a number of additional titles, including Hogwarts, a History.
Their last stop of the day was to retrieve her wand. This took the largest amount of time by far as Harri had to try out wand after wand before finally finding one that suited her. She tried not to think about the fact that her wand held the brother core to the wizard who'd murdered her parents. She was largely successful, though this was rather difficult as both Olivander and Professor Snape had been horrified by that.
It was late afternoon by the time Professor Snape returned her to Little Whinging with an envelope containing her ticket for the Hogwarts Express, the train that would take her from London to Hogwarts which was in Scotland.
The next month seemed to go on for an eternity. Her family largely ignored the fact that she was going to be attending a school of witchcraft and wizardry instead of what they called normal school. The only time Aunt Petunia discussed it at all, in fact, was to tell Harri she wasn't to discuss it. If anyone asked, she was to tell them she was attending an exclusive school for the gifted. That way, at least, the Dursleys wouldn't seem abnormal.
Being seen as anything other than normal was the Dursleys' greatest fear.
Finally, the morning of September First arrived.
Harri was up with the sun. Within minutes, she was fully dressed and ready to go. Unfortunately, she still had several hours to go. By the time her family woke up, she was full of restless energy.
At breakfast, both Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia kept sending her wary glances. Dim though Dudley might be -- and he was quite dim, at that -- he picked up on the tension at once.
"What's she done now?" he asked around a large mouthful of kippers.
"Nothing, Dudders," Aunt Petunia responded at once.
Uncle Vernon muttered to himself before giving Dudley a smile that resembled a grimace more than anything else. "If we have to drive all the way to London to drop her off, let's not waste the opportunity. We'll make a day of it, shall we? One last hurrah before Dudley heads off to Smeltings. What do you say, love?"
Aunt Petunia gave him a terse nod, her pinched expression never leaving her face.
There had been several rather interesting changes since Harri had discovered she was a witch. The first had been that she was no longer subjected to Aunt Petunia's lectures on what young ladies ought not to do. The second was that none of them referred to her by name. They avoided her completely when they could manage it. When they couldn't, they stuck to she or girl. Harri found she didn't truly mind. It wasn't as if she'd ever been particularly close to them, after all. Dudley had spent a lot of her childhood bullying her. She'd never had many friends at school because all of the boys were frightened of Dudley and Harri had never gotten along with the girls. She'd never had any interest in playing with dolls and the like. Once she'd gotten old enough to outsmart Dudley, she'd been able to make some friends in the neighborhood.
All in all, she didn't expect to miss them in the least.
"You haven't forgotten to pack any of your things, have you?" Aunt Petunia asked her when Uncle Vernon brought her trunk down from her room.
Harri shook her head. "No. I got everything." And she had. She'd repacked everything the night before -- all of her robes, her books, her parchment and quils, her things from the Apothecary, her telescope, and her regular clothes. She was also bringing along some of her normal books and her drawing things. She was leaving behind all of her videotapes and cassette tapes because a lot of Muggle things, like tellies and stereos, didn't work right around magic. Plus, she didn't think she would have much time for them anyway.
The trip to London was spent in silence. Once they were at Kings Cross Station, Uncle Vernon put her trunk on one of the trolley's before heading back to the car park. Only Aunt Petunia accompanied her inside the station.
"Where's Platform nine and three quarters?" Harri asked as she looked from Platform nine and Platform ten.
"Be quiet," Aunt Petunia hissed. She looked around nervously as if she might be caught at any moment before lowering her too-long neck until her mouth was hovering around Harri's ear. "I've only been there once, mind, but if I remember correctly, you have to run into that wall to get to your platform." She jerked her head towards the stone wall.
Harri glanced at the wall suspiciously. It looked like a normal wall, but then again so had the wall they used to get into Diagon Alley.
Just then a pack of red-headed people wearing an odd assortment of clothing, all pulling along trolleys of large trunks and other things such as owl cages, passed by them.
"-- packed with Muggles, of course --"
At that, Aunt Petunia stiffened beside her. Her face looked like she was sucking on a rather sour lemon as the plump woman turned to speak to them.
"Pardon me," the woman said kindly, "but I can't help noticing you look a bit lost. First time at Hogwarts, too, dearie?"
"Not to worry, dear, not to worry. It's Ron's first time, too." She pointed at a red-haired boy with long limbs and far too many freckles.
"I'll leave you to it, then," Aunt Petunia said uneasily. Under the woman's watchful eyes, she bid farewell to Harri and hurried back towards the entrance of the station.
The woman gave Harri another smile before gesturing to the oldest looking boy. "All right, you go first, Percy."
Harri watched as the boy, Percy, pushed his trolley straight into the wall! Instead of merely running into it, he vanished into thin air! She was still watching as two identical boys vanished through it as well. She jumped as a hand fell on her shoulder.
"Why don't you go on before Ron?"
Harri eyed the wall speculatively for a second before nodding. "Thanks," she said breathlessly.
It was a bit difficult to maneuver her large trunk by herself but she finally managed to get up a bit of speed. She closed her eyes as she neared the wall. If she was going to crash into it, she'd rather not see it!
But she never crashed. Instead, she found herself on the other side staring at a scarlet steam engine. A sign overhead said "Hogwarts' Express, eleven o'clock".
"Brilliant," she breathed as she took in the the crowded platform. Much like Diagon Alley, this place was crawling with witches and wizards.
She wasn't sure where to go now. She tried to find the plump woman from before but the crowd was much too thick for that. With a sigh, she pulled her trunk to an empty compartment at the back of the train and attempted to heave it inside by herself. After several attempts, she collapsed on the ground panting heavily. She made a loud noise of discontentment as she pushed her hair away from her face.
"Want a hand?" It was one of the red haired boys from before. Not the oldest, but one of the identical boys.
"Yes, please, if you don't mind."
"Oy Fred, c'mere and help!" he bellowed then.
The boys, Fred and George, they'd said, made easy work of her trunk. In no time at all, it was tucked away in the corner of the compartment.
"Thanks," Harri said. "I reckon I'd have been there all day trying to lift that." She swatted her hair away from her face once more.
Fred's eyes widened. "What's that?" he breathed, pointing at the lightning-bolt shaped scar on her forehead.
"Blimey," said the other as he met his brother's eyes. "You're her, aren't you?"
Harri narrowed her eyes. "Her who?" she asked coolly.
"Harrietta Potter, that's who!" the boys chorused.
She scrunched her nose at their use of her full name. Only her aunt and teachers ever called her Harrietta. "Harri," she corrected them primly. "But yes, I am. What's it to you?"
But before they could respond, a voice floated in through the open window calling their names.
"See you at Hogwarts!" They said. They flashed her identical grins before hopping off the train.
A few minutes after the train lurched to a start, her compartment door opened and the boy from before, Ron she thought he was called, poked his head inside.
"Anyone sitting here?" he asked pointing at the empty seat opposite Harri. "Everywhere else is full."
She shook her head and the boy sat down. She turned back to watch out the window as the countryside passed by.
The compartment slid open again. It was Fred and George. "Oh, good, you found her. Look, Ron, we'll be down in the middle. Lee Jordan's got himself a giant tarantula down there!"
"Has he really?" asked Harri. She stood up as they nodded excitedly. "Mind if I come along, then? I've only seen ever seen tarantula at the zoo."
The twins considered Harri for a long moment.
"Alright," they said together.
"Want to come with us?" she asked the boy.
"No way," the boy said with a horrified shudder.
"Suit yourself, then," she said with a shrug before following the twins out of the compartment.
It turned out that Lee Jordan was the boy from the platform with the dreadlocks. He, like the twins, was in his third year. The tarantula was covered with a thin coat of hair that Harri discovered was soft to the touch.
The boys had seemed a bit uncomfortable sharing a compartment with a girl, but seeing her touch a tarantula without even batting an eyelash eased their discomfort. The twins introduced her as simply Harri, but as Lee's eyes had flitted from her face to her forehead, she reckoned he knew who she was. The Girl-Who-Lived, they called her.
After everyone in the compartment had a turn touching the tarantula, the boys began to talk about Quidditch.
"What's that?" she asked curiously. Professor Snape hadn't mentioned it, and she'd only glanced through Hogwarts, A History.
The three boys all exchanged horrified looks before launching into a rather in-depth explanation on Quidditch complete with explanations of their favorite professional Quidditch teams.
"I've never ridden a broom, but it sounds like loads of fun. I wonder if I'll be any good at it."
The twins shared a look before nodding their heads in succession.
"Your dad was on the Gryffindor Quidditch team, didn't you know?" said George.
Fred picked up where he left off. "He's got a trophy for it and everything. We've polished it loads of times in detention."
Aunt Petunia had never spoken about her father, so this caught her attention. "Really? What position?"
"Chaser," they said in unison.
"We both play on the Gryffindor team," George told her.
Around half past noon there was a knock on their door. Harri opened it to find an elderly witch pushing a cart full of what appeared to be wizarding treats.
"Anything off the cart, dears?"
Lee pushed passed her and grabbed a couple of items. The witch gave Harri a bright smile when he'd left. "Anything for you?" she asked kindly.
Not knowing what was good and what wasn't, Harri just bought a bit of everything. She dumped the armful of treats on the seat between her and Fred.
"Not hungry, are you?" said George with a smile.
Harri shrugged. "I've never had wizarding sweets before. Help yourself, if you want. I daresay I'll be hard pressed to eat all of it.
She received two broad smiles in return. They ate their way through the treats in relative silence. The three boys took turns telling Harri about the sweets. She'd been horrified to eat a jelly bean that tasted uncannily of curry, but the horror had faded when she saw the chocolate frog jump she'd just opened spring to life.
"Brilliant," she breathed even as it jumped straight out the window.
"Bad luck, that," Fred said.
George nodded sagely. "They've only got one good jump in 'em."
Lee peered over her shoulder as she looked at the card that came with the frog. "Who'd ya get?" he asked her around a mouthful of Pumpkin Pasty.
"Albus Dumbledore," Harri said. There was a picture of a very old man with long silver hair and bright blue eyes. He wore half-moon glasses that were perched on top of his very long, crooked nose. She turned the card over and read it aloud. "Considered by many the greatest wizard of modern times, Dumbledore is particularly famous for his defeat of the dark wizard Grindelwald in 1945, for the discovery of the twelve uses of dragon's blood, and his work on alchemy with his partner, Nicolas Flamel. Professor Dumbledore enjoys chamber music and tenpin bowling." She turned it back over only to discover that the spot where he had been was now empty.
She gasped. "He's gone!"
"'Course he is," said Lee. "You don't expect him to hang about all day, do you?"
"Busy man, Dumbledore is," Fred said in confirmation.
George ruffled her hair. "Don't you worry, he'll be back."
Harri glared at him, but he didn't seem fazed a bit. "In the muggle world, people in photos don't just wander about, you know. They stay put."
"Blimey, I reckon that's dead boring," George told her. "Well, here they move, and not just trading cards either. All pictures." He snatched the magazine that Lee'd been reading away from him and pushed it towards Harri.
Harri opened it and watched with amazement as the figures in the various photographs flew around on their brooms. They twisted and turned in all sorts of spectacular looking moves. "That's ace!" she exclaimed.
The three boys nodded.
"Mind if I read this for a bit?" she asked Lee.
He shook his head, grinning as he pulled another out of his satchel. "I've got loads more. Keep it."
A few minutes later, the compartment door slid open to reveal a round-faced boy.
Harri looked up from the magazine. "Hello," she said, giving him a smile. He looked to be near tears.
"Sorry, but have you seen a toad? I seem to have lost mine, and I heard there's a tarantula on board."
When Harri and the boys shook their head, the boy wailed. "I'll never find him! Gran will be so angry that I've lost him before I even got to the castle."
"He'll turn up," Harri assured him.
Fred and George nodded."Don't worry about the tarantula," they said.
Lee nudged the box containing the spider. "Besides, Baby doesn't eat toads. He prefers flies."
"You named your tarantula Baby?" Harri asked, her voice incredulous. At Lee's nod, she turned back to the boy. "Want some help finding your toad?"
"That's alright," the boy said, miserably. "Someone's already helping me, but if you see him..."
"I'll be sure to grab him," Harri said.
The boy sighed and backed out of their compartment. The boys began to chortle loudly.
"That was brave of 'im," said George.
Fred grinned widely. "Must be an ickle firstie. I wouldn't bother looking for my toad, if I'd brought one."
Lee snorted. "Like your mum would trust you two with a living creature. Why else would she have given Scabbers to Ron instead of you."
The twins were the picture of innocence. "You wound us, Lee, and to think you're our closest friend!"
"Who's Scabbers?" asked Harri when they'd settled down again.
"Our pet rat. Nasty little bugger."
George agreed heartily. "He was Percy's but he got a new post owl so now Ron has him, the great useless lump."
Harri sighed wistfully. "Must have been fun having such a large family. All I've got is my cousin Dudley, and he's as dumb as a rock. Looks like one, too."
"We got two more brothers," Fred said.
"And a sister. You can have 'em all if you want," George offered easily with a grin.
Harri stayed with the twins and Lee until it was time for them to get changed into their robes.
"Good luck at the sorting," they told her. "We'll be waiting for you in Gryffindor."
A voice echoed through the train as she hurried back to her compartment. "We will be reaching Hogwarts in five minutes' time. Please leave your luggage on the train, it will be taken to the school separately."
She couldn't believe it. In just five minutes, she would finally arrive at Hogwarts.