The green light from the muggle alarm clock illuminated the small bedroom of the only-slightly larger flat. Although the blocky numbers of the digital display blared that it was currently 1:31 in the morning, the sole inhabitant was not asleep, as he was suddenly woken by the intense and urgent need to go to the bathroom.
It should be noted that Harry had long since learned that strange, and often life-altering, events just loved to occur on his birthday. From his very first to his past eighteenth, July 31st never failed to be an odd day for this slightly odd man.
Upon returning to his full sized bed, which took up most of the floor space, and surveyed the room intensely. Besides the double bed with his Hogwarts trunk residing at the foot of it, a built in closet with sliding mirrored doors, and an empty laundry basket, not much took up what little floor space there was but piles of dirty laundry. Harry's girlfriend of a year now, Ginny Weasley, was due to return from her Quidditch training camp tomorrow, and Harry was convinced only she could make their temperamental washing machine work. Or, at least, that was his excuse. He could have used magic, but for now, his clothes from the last couple of days were clumped in neat little piles. All over the floor. Slightly odd, remember?
Harry flopped back onto the pillows, sighing in defeat. There was no way he could fall back asleep now, after wakening in such a panicked state. 3 guesses why, right? As luck would have it, it was the (very early) morning of his birthday. Surprisingly, he'd been sleeping quite contentedly, until he'd been shocked awake and kind of stumble-ran to the bathroom. The clock, and its little date in the corner of the display, reminded him that he was already an hour and a half into his nineteenth year, beginning a day that would surely be nothing less than eventful, to say the least.
Causing him to have a panic attack.
Would someone die? Would someone blow up? Would this be the day Ron would come and whisk him away to the Burrow in a flying- oh, wait, that already happened.
Truth be told, he was also a tad bit excited for his nineteenth birthday. Throughout his early life, he had been told that the Dursleys would kick him out the day he turned eighteen. Had he never become a wizard, this would have been exactly one year of his life without the so-called "family members" he abhorred, which was something to celebrate, indeed. There was a residual feeling of happiness from those days when he would sit quietly in his cupboard, thinking about that glorious day when he would be his own keeper, and never have to see the Dursleys again. Yes, for Harry Potter, birthdays had never been normal. However, he would never guess just how extra-ordinary his nineteenth would be. For this year, he would be receiving the gift of a lifetime. Two lifetimes, in fact. That is, if he didn't die in the process of getting them.
After a sleepless night, Harry gave up trying to sleep around 4 a.m. and began making breakfast. He had successfully loaded up the tiny kitchen table with eggs, muffins, fruit, toast, bacon, sausages, omelets, more toast, pancakes, and one more piece of toast when he was interrupted by the sound of a key in the lock. He froze, expecting the worst, only to be greeted by the sight of Ginny, laden with bags of her clothes, toiletries, and Quidditch whatnot.
"Ginny!" Harry breathed a sigh of relief, and greeted her with a quick hug and a kiss.
"Harry?" Ginny looked around suspiciously at the piles of breakfast foods, "What…are you doing?"
"Oh, just whipped up a little bite to eat. Have a seat, and I'll fix you a plate," he said breathlessly, shooing her into a rickety chair at the overflowing table. Ginny eyed her boyfriend suspiciously.
"Harry, if I wanted to be married to my mother, I would have just stayed home. What's got you so worked up? I've never seen you so…nervous. And I have certainly never seen you use breakfast foods as an outlet for your nerves." Seeing her worried face, Harry turned away from the hollandaise sauce he was working on and slowly let out a breath.
"It's my birthday," he said hesitantly, and continued with her encouraging hand on his, "and weird things always happen on my birthday. I can't help but think…" he gestured in a slightly helpless way, "…that some weird shit will go down today."
"Oh Harry," Ginny said carefully, "I'm sure you'll be fine. Besides, I have a little present for you."
"Oh?" said Harry, seeming to perk up.
"Mmm," Ginny replied seductively, "but unfortunately it's hidden under my clothes until later tonight." Giggling, she slipped away from his grasp, picked up her things, and headed to the bedroom to put them away.
"HARRY POTTER, WHAT THE HELL IS THIS MESS?"
Before Harry could respond, however, a tawny owl swished through the window and dropped a letter on a cold plate of English muffins.
"HARRY, DID YOU HEAR ME?"
He had, indeed heard her, but could not take his eyes off of the envelope. On the front was his name in a curly, loopy writing he had not seen in years.
"HARRY!" Ginny flew back into the kitchen, face red with anger, "WHAT-" But she never got to finish her sentence. Harry looked up at her in confusion. "What is it?" He paused a second before answering.
"It's from Dumbledore." She slowly slipped into a chair, and they both sat mutely for a full minute before she broke the silence.
"Are you…gonna open it?" He sat in silence, just staring at the small envelope.
"You know what this means, right?" he whispered, paling considerably. "The weird shit? It's happening. Right now. This letter will contain news of Life Changing Weird Shit."
She finally smiled coyly, eyes glinting with mischief. "Five sickles says it doesn't."
He chuckled, and muttered, "You're on," whilst ripping open the letter.
November 2nd, 1981
Dear Mr. Harry James Potter,
If you are receiving this letter, it is your nineteenth birthday. Huzzah! Let me be the first of many who will surely wish you a happy birthday. You, of all people, have earned it.
However, before you begin your revelries, I would like to relay to you a piece of information that will, undoubtedly, intrigue you. I do hate to be the bearer of bad news, but in this case, I have not been completely honest with you, and I wish to repair this breach of trust with the truth. Hard as it may be to comprehend, my dear boy, your parents are still alive.
The night of their supposed death, Lily and James Potter were not hit with the killing curse, but another sort of curse all together. They were hit with a spell called Imortium Confrelgo. The spell, when cast, usually freezes the occupants in what can only be described as a time bubble. Depending on the strength of the spell, the victims can be stuck for an indeterminable amount of time in such a time bubble. I have reason to believe that your parents have been stuck in the year 1981 for the past eighteen years.
The bad news of this, however, is that in order to keep the Order from reclaiming them (I assume you are familiar with the Order of the Phoenix), Voldemort put strong guards on them after it was cast, which only a blood relative is able to surpass. Apparently, he had faith in his ability to eliminate your entire bloodline.
Hopefully, for your sake, and the wizarding world's, you have defeated him. If not, it is with the deepest sympathy that I kindly ask you to please ignore this letter until the wizarding world is safe. I would hope with all my heart that you know nothing of this terrible man, but my heart tells me you will surely become quite familiar with him in the future.
Please know that I am very sorry indeed, and I know that this is much to ask of you; perhaps, it is too much to ask of you, but I beg you to understand that they are safe even from Voldemort himself in this 'time bubble.' However, once you begin the journey to bring them into the present, you cannot abandon it until either you succeed, or lose your own life, as well as those of your parents. And, not to seem selfish, but, my dear boy, you must understand that the wizarding world needs you desperately right now. Your parents will be protected. They can wait. We cannot.
However, if you have indeed vanquished him, (and many congratulations if that is the case!) and you would like to go about retrieving your parents, please come visit me in my office at Hogwarts.
Wishing you the best of luck as well as a very happy birthday,
Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore
Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, etc.
"Holy mother of God," said Ginny when he finished reading it aloud. Then, "Let me go get my purse."