(A/N: I know, this is not what you were expecting. However, I've recently been trying to get this story on Mugglenet Fanfiction, which is a bit pickier than FanFiction dot net. Since I've been reworking it, some of the elements of the plot have been smoothed over, grammar issues have been fixed, and I think it has generally improved a lot. I started this story years ago, and I would really appreciate any suggestions you have for the new version. I will be reposting chapters occasionally, but there is a new one in the works. It will end up with less chapters overall, but hopefully the quality will go up. Thanks for reading!) (A/N2: Another fix to do with the timeline. So sorry. No need to reread, just know that the story now takes place a year later than it did before.)
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 is was currently 1:31 in the morning, the sole inhabitant was not asleep, as he usually would be.
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 seventeenth, July 31st never failed to be an odd day for this slightly odd man.
Harry sat straight up on 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, not much else took up floor space 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?
Anyway, Harry just couldn't sleep tonight. 3 guesses why, right? As luck would have it, it was the (very early) morning of his birthday. Actually, he'd been sleeping quite contentedly, until he'd been shocked awake and kind of stumble-ran to the bathroom. Seeing the clock, and its little date in the corner of the display reminded him that in half on hour, he would be nineteen years old.
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, right, 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 one year of his life exactly without the family 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. That is, if he didn't die in the process of getting it.
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 clothes 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. Ginny stared at her fiancée suspiciously.
"Harry, if I wanted to marry my mother I would have stayed home. What's got you so worked up? I've never seen you so…nervous." Seeing her worried face, Harry turned away from the sliders he was working on (starting early on lunch, you know) 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.
Dear Mr. Harry James Potter,
If you are receiving this letter, it is your nineteenth birthday. Huzzah! Let me be one of the many who 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 saving them, 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. 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.' 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.
As always, I wish you the best of luck, and a very happy birthday,
Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore
Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry