Hey, I know its been a while since I updated or even started this story but I have decided to try and keep it going, so here is the next chapter, enjoy
Disclaimer: I don't own anything, sad times I know :(
CHAPTER ONE - THE BOY WHO LIVED
So, the Hermione girl took the book from the McGonagall woman and began to read aloud.
"Chapter 1 – The Boy Who Lived." Hermione started before being interrupted by Dumbledore.
"Ahhh, I think your question on why Mr Weasley knows your name is about to be answered, young Harry." He said with a gleam in his eye. Harry looked at the book curious on how such a thing could be real. But surely things like wizards can't be real. Hermione began to read once more.
"Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much."
Here Harry let out a quiet snort.
"They were the last people you'd expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they just didn't hold with such nonsense. Mr Dursley was the director of a firm called Grunnings, which made drills."
"What's a drill?" Ron asked, interrupting Hermione. Hermione looked astounded to say the least.
"How do you not know what a drill is?! They make holes in walls, usually very loud… Nothing?!" She asked while Ron just sat there looking like he was bored. Hermione started spluttering out nonsense about what a drill was and how they worked, before finishing with, "What world have you been living in?!" But she didn't realise that the answer she would get would make her blush brighter than Ron's hair.
"The wizarding world." Ron stated as if it was the most obvious and normal thing to say. Harry sat there, stifling my laughter while Hermione blushed and the two professors looked mildly amused. Hermione began reading again with a huff.
"He was a big, beefy man with hardly any neck, although he did have a very large moustache."
"Sounds like a blubber whale." Ron guffawed. Harry laughed with him and nodded his head.
"That is no way to talk about the people who were kind enough to take you into their home!" Dumbledore roared, making Harry silence himself immediately. Hermione started up again.
"Mrs Dursley was thin and blonde and had nearly twice the usual amount of neck, which came in very useful as she spent so much of her time craning over garden fences, spying on the neighbours. The Dursleys had a small son called Dudley and"
Ron snorted at the name and Hermione began to get slightly agitated.
"-in their opinion there was no finer boy anywhere. The Dursleys had everything they wanted, but they also had a secret, and their greatest fear was that somebody would discover it. They didn't think they could bear it if anyone found out about the Potters."
Harry perked up a bit at the mention of his family.
"Mrs Potter was Mrs Dursley's sister, but they hadn't met for several years; in fact, Mrs Dursley pretended she didn't have a sister, because her sister and her good-for-nothing husband were as unDursleyish as it was possible to be."
"That's an awful thing to say about you own family!" Hermione said in slight horror. Harry just hung his head.
"The Dursleys shuddered to think what the neighbours would say if the Potters arrived in the street. The Dursleys knew that the Potters had a small son, too, but they had never even seen him. This boy was another good reason for keeping the Potters away; they didn't want Dudley mixing with a child like that."
"How dare they! Do they even know how important you are to this world?!" Ron said aghast that someone would think badly of his future best friend. Harry shook his head in shock, never had someone outright complained about the way his relatives thought of him. He snook a glance towards Dumbledore and saw that he was mildly upset with this bit of information.
"When Mr and Mrs Dursley woke up on the dull, grey Tuesday our story starts, there was nothing about the cloudy sky outside to suggest that strange and mysterious things would soon be happening all over the country. Mr. Dursley hummed as he picked out his most boring tie for work, and Mrs Dursley gossiped away happily as she wrestled a screaming Dudley into his high chair."
"Sounds like a spoilt child, to me." Hermione huffed and Harry sent a small smile in her general direction.
"Couldn't think of a better word to describe him if I had a thesaurus on me, Mione." Harry grinned and Hermione smiled back at him.
"Nobody has ever called me that before, I like it." She grinned and Ron blushed when she turned her smile to him. She cleared her throat and began reading once more.
"None of them noticed a large, tawny owl flutter past the window. At half past eight, Mr. Dursley picked up his briefcase, pecked Mrs Dursley on the cheek, and tried to kiss Dudley good-bye but missed, because Dudley was now having a tantrum and throwing his cereal at the walls. "Little tyke," chortled Mr. Dursley as he left the house."
"Oh but of course! Duddy-kins can do no wrong!" Harry said in mock surprise, making Hermione and Ron giggle. Dumbledore and McGonagall were smiling at the bond that was already forming between the three.
"He got into his car and backed out of number four's drive. It was on the corner of the street that he noticed the first sign of something peculiar - a cat reading a map."
Nobody failed to notice the slight blush that appeared on Professor McGonagall's face. Harry and Hermione just looked mildly curious.
"For a second, Mr. Dursley didn't realize what he had seen - then he jerked his head around to look again. There was a tabby cat standing on the corner of Privet Drive, but there wasn't a map in sight. What could he have been thinking of? It must have been a trick of the light. Mr. Dursley blinked and stared at the cat. It stared back."
"Must be going barmy! Cats can't read, and you can't out-stare a cat! I've tried. It was a little tabby cat, I was three or four, it was cute and fluffy." Ron said grinning and McGonagall allowed a small snicker to come through her lips and she drank a cup of tea to hide her laughter.
"As Mr. Dursley drove around the corner and up the road, he watched the cat in his mirror. It was now reading the sign that said Privet Drive - no, looking at the sign; cats couldn't read maps or signs. Mr. Dursley gave himself a little shake and put the cat out of his mind. As he drove toward town he thought of nothing except a large order of drills he was hoping to get that day. But on the edge of town, drills were driven out of his mind by something else. As he sat in the usual morning traffic jam, he couldn't help noticing that there seemed to be a lot of strangely dressed people about. People in cloaks. Mr. Dursley couldn't bear people who dressed in funny clothes - the getups you saw on young people! He supposed this was some stupid new fashion."
"People were really careless that day and the weeks after the event." McGonagall huffed and Dumbledore nodded his agreement.
"He drummed his fingers on the steering wheel and his eyes fell on a huddle of these weirdoes standing quite close by. They were whispering excitedly together. Mr. Dursley was enraged to see that a couple of them weren't young at all; why, that man had to be older than he was, and wearing an emerald-green cloak! The nerve of him! But then its truck Mr. Dursley that this was probably some silly stunt - these people were obviously collecting for something... Yes, that would be it. The traffic moved on and a few minutes later, Mr Dursley arrived in the Grunnings parking lot, his mind back on drills. Mr. Dursley always sat with his back to the window in his office on the ninth floor. If he hadn't, he might have found it harder to concentrate on drills that morning. He didn't see the owls swoop in past in broad daylight, though people down in the street did; they pointed and gazed open-mouthed as owl after owl sped overhead. Most of them had never seen an owl even at night-time."
"I think I remember mum telling dad about the day where there had been a huge number of owl sightings. Maybe that's where their obsession started…" Hermione mumbled as an afterthought.
"Mr. Dursley, however, had a perfectly normal, owl-free morning. He yelled at five different people. He made several important telephone calls and shouted a bit more."
"He seems to like shouting." Hermione mused. Harry winced.
"You don't know the half of it." He mumbled, earning him a few curious glances.
"He was in a very good mood until lunchtime, when he thought he'd stretch his legs and walk across the road to buy him a bun from the bakery. He'd forgotten all about the people in cloaks until he passed a group of them next to the baker's. He eyed them angrily as he passed. He didn't know why, but they made him uneasy. This bunch was whispering excitedly, too, and he couldn't see a single collecting tin. It was on his way back past them, clutching a large doughnut in a bag, that he caught a few words of what they were saying.
"The Potters, that's right, that's what I heard yes, their son, Harry""
Ron nudged Harry's side and winked at him while Harry looked thoroughly confused.
"Mr. Dursley stopped dead. Fear flooded him. He looked back at the whisperers as if he wanted to say something to them, but thought better of it. He dashed back across the road, hurried up to his office, snapped at his secretary not to disturb him, seized his telephone, and had almost finished dialling his home number when he changed his mind. He put the receiver back down and stroked his moustache, thinking... No, he was being stupid. Potter wasn't such an unusual name."
"Its not exactly common is it, you overgrown baboon." Harry muttered under his breath. Hermione and McGonagall stifled a giggle while Ron and Dumbledore merely looked amused.
"He was sure there were lots of people called Potter who had a son called Harry. Come to think of it, he wasn't even sure his nephew was called Harry. He'd never even seen the boy. It might have been Harvey. Or Harold."
"That's really sad, to not even know the name of your nephew." Hermione stated scowling at the book. Harry shifted uncomfortably.
"To be honest, Mione, I'm surprised every time they say my name - which isn't very often - that they even know what it is." He mumbled.
"There was no point in worrying Mrs Dursley; she always got so upset at any mention of her sister. He didn't blame her - if he'd had a sister like that..."
"What is wrong with my mother?!" Harry nearly yelled at the book. Everybody looked at him shocked. "I mean seriously! If you're going to complain about her all the time, I may as well know why!" Harry yelled before hugging the cushion to his chest.
"Miss Granger, keep reading." McGonagall said as Ron patted his new friend on the back.
"But all the same, those people in cloaks... He found it a lot harder to concentrate on drills that afternoon and when he left the building at five o'clock, he was still so worried that he walked straight into someone just outside the door.
"Sorry," he grunted, as the tiny old man stumbled and almost fell. It was a few seconds before Mr. Dursley realized that the man was wearing a violet cloak. He didn't seem at all upset at being almost knocked to the ground. On the contrary, his face split into a wide smile and he said in a squeaky voice that made passers-by stare,
"Don't be sorry, my dear sir, for nothing could upset me today! Rejoice, for You-Know-Who has gone at last! Even Muggles like you should be celebrating, this happy, happy day!" And the old man hugged Mr. Dursley around the middle and walked off."
McGonagall looked as though she was about to spew her tea out. The three children looked at her in shock.
"I think that sounds like something Amos would do." She giggled. Dumbledore chuckled along with her.
"Mr. Dursley stood rooted to the spot. He had been hugged by a complete stranger. He also thought he had been called a Muggle, whatever that was."
"That's a good point actually, what is a muggle?" Hermione asked the old professor. Ron's hand shot up.
"Oh oh! Can I tell her, Professor Dumbledore sir?!" He asked looking like a five year old locked in a sweet shop. Dumbledore chuckled but nodded. Hermione turned to him looking expectant. "A muggle, is is is, a muggle is ummm, a person… They are a people who don't have magic… They are like squibs, but not squibs because squibs come from magical families and you're a muggle if your not magical and have no magic in your blood at all… like ever… Right?" He asked after a bit of mumbling. Dumbledore was nodding. Hermione was giggling into her hand.
"You could have just said – giggle – that a muggle was – giggle – a person with no magic – giggle – instead of that 'explanation." Hermione giggled. Harry looked to be having a bit of a chortle to himself too.
"He was rattled. He hurried to his car and set off for home, hoping he was imagining things, which he had never hoped before, because he didn't approve of imagination. As he pulled into the driveway of number four, the first thing he saw - and it didn't improve his mood -was the tabby cat he'd spotted that morning. It was now sitting on his garden wall. He was sure it was the same one; it had the same markings around its eyes."
"Someone's being perceptive." Hermione remarked.
""Shoo!" said Mr. Dursley loudly. The cat didn't move. It just gave him a stern look. Was this normal cat behavior? Mr. Dursley wondered. Trying to pull himself together, he let himself into the house. He was still determined not to mention anything to his wife. Mrs Dursley had had a nice, normal day. She told him over dinner all about Mrs Next Door's problems with her daughter and how Dudley had learned a new word ("Won't!"). Mr. Dursley tried to act normally. When Dudley had been put to bed, he went into the living room in time to catch the last report on the evening news:
"And finally, bird-watchers everywhere have reported that the nation's owls have been behaving very unusually today. Although owls normally hunt at night and are hardly ever seen in daylight, there have been hundreds of sightings of these birds flying in every direction since sunrise. Experts are unable to explain why the owls have suddenly changed their sleeping pattern." The newscaster allowed himself a grin. "Most mysterious. And now, over to Jim McGuffin with the weather. Going to be any more showers of owls tonight, Jim?"
"Well, Ted," said the weatherman, "I don't know about that, but it's not only the owls that have been acting oddly today. Viewers as far apart as Kent, Yorkshire, and Dundee have been phoning in to tell me that instead of the rain I promised yesterday, they've had a downpour of shooting stars!"
"Now I know that that was Amos!" McGonagall said disgruntled. "Always too over excited." She stated tutting into her tea.
"Perhaps people have been celebrating Bonfire Night early - it's not until next week, folks! But I can promise a wet night tonight." Mr. Dursley sat frozen in his armchair. Shooting stars all over Britain? Owls flying by daylight? Mysterious people in cloaks all over the place? And a whisper, a whisper about the Potters... Mrs Dursley came into the living room carrying two cups of tea. It was no good. He'd have to say something to her. He cleared his throat nervously.
"Err - Petunia, dear - you haven't heard from your sister lately, have you?""
"Gasp! Uncle Vernon swore!" Harry mocked as Ron and Hermione giggled.
"As he had expected, Mrs Dursley looked shocked and angry. After all, they normally pretended she didn't have a sister.
"No," she said sharply. "Why?"
"Funny stuff on the news," Mr. Dursley mumbled. "Owls... Shooting stars... And there were a lot of funny-looking people in town today..."
"So?" snapped Mrs Dursley.
"Well, I just thought... Maybe... It was something to do with... You know... Her crowd.""
"Her crowd? What does he mean her crowd?" harry asked feeling very confused.
"He means, witches and wizards, Harry. You parents were a witch and a wizard." Dumbledore explained and as Harry's mid processed all of this new information, he had a small confrontation with his mind…
'But, if they were magical that means they could have saved themselves from that car crash! Surely a witch and wizard could stop a car crash from happening? Right?' Dumbledore could see the internal conflict in the young wizard's eyes.
"Harry, my boy, is there anything you wish to ask me?" He said, smiling kindly at the ten – nearly eleven – year old boy sat in front of him. Harry's eyes flashed up to the wizened old blue eyes.
"I was just wondering, if my parents were magical, couldn't they have saved themselves from that car crash?" Harry asked feeling dumb when Ron looked confused. Dumbledore sighed, realising that his relatives had told Harry nothing of the magical world, or how his parents died.
"Harry, did your relatives tell you that your parents died in a car crash?" Ron asked in shock. Harry nodded.
"That's what happened, isn't it? How I got my scar, right?" He asked feeling utterly confused. 'Why are they all acting as if I don't even know how my own parents died?!', He thought.
"Harry, your parents didn't die in a car crash, and you didn't get that scar from a car crash. Your parents died protecting you from a man called Tom Riddle, or as he was known, Lord Voldemort –" And cue Ron and McGonagall's shiver and winces. " – Lily and James Potter were very gifted Harry, but Tom was exceptional and he killed them without a second thought, just to get to you. There is a curse in our world called the killing curse. It's a painless way to die but if used, you earn a one way ticket to a wizard prison. There is only one person known to have ever survived this curse, and that person, my boy, is you. That is what the scar is from. You are called The-Boy-Who-Lived because you survived the killing curse as well as destroyed Lord Voldemort. The rest can wait for now. But I do not believe he is gone for good." Albus said gravely, while taking in the complete and utterly shocked expression that lingered on both harry and Hermione's faces. They couldn't believe it! Harry especially! "Miss Granger, please continue." Albus said with a twinkle in his eye. Hermione nodded.
"Mrs Dursley sipped her tea through pursed lips. Mr. Dursley wondered whether he dared tell her he'd heard the name "Potter." He decided he didn't dare. Instead he said, as casually as he could, "Their son -he'd be about Dudley's age now, wouldn't he?"
"I suppose so," said Mrs Dursley stiffly.
"What's his name again? Howard, isn't it?"
"Harry. Nasty, common name, if you ask me."
"Oh my god, she knows my name!" Harry said in mock surprise, still getting over the fact that he nearly died… Ron chuckled and Hermione giggled.
""Oh, yes," said Mr. Dursley, his heart sinking horribly. "Yes, I quite agree." He didn't say another word on the subject as they went upstairs to bed. While Mrs Dursley was in the bathroom, Mr. Dursley crept to the bedroom window and peered down into the front garden. The cat was still there. It was staring down Privet Drive as though it were waiting for something. Was he imagining things?"
"Nope." Ron grinned.
"Could all this have anything to do with the Potters?"
"Yup." Ron grinned again.
"If it did... If it got out that they were related to a pair of - well, he didn't think he could bear it. The Dursleys got into bed. Mrs Dursley fell asleep quickly but Mr. Dursley lay awake, turning it all over in his mind. His last, comforting thought before he fell asleep was that even if the Potters were involved, there was no reason for them to come near him and Mrs Dursley. The Potters knew very well what he and Petunia thought about them and their kind... He couldn't see how he and Petunia could get mixed up in anything that might be going on - he yawned and turned over - it couldn't affect them... How very wrong he was."
"How very wrong indeed." McGonagall said tightly.
"Mr. Dursley might have been drifting into an uneasy sleep, but the cat on the wall outside was showing no sign of sleepiness. It was sitting as still as a statue, its eyes fixed unblinkingly on the far corner of Privet Drive. It didn't so much as quiver when a car door slammed on the next street, nor when two owls swooped overhead. In fact, it was nearly midnight before the cat moved at all. A man appeared on the corner the cat had been watching, appeared so suddenly and silently you'd have thought he'd just popped out of the ground."
"Is that even possible Professor?" Hermione asked curiosity sinking in. Dumbledore chuckled before nodding.
"The cat's tail twitched and its eyes narrowed. Nothing like this man had ever been seen on Privet Drive. He was tall, thin, and very old, judging by the silver of his hair and beard, which were both long enough to tuck into his belt. He was wearing long robes, a purple cloak that swept the ground, and high-heeled, buckled boots. His blue eyes were light, bright, and sparkling behind half-moon spectacles and his nose was very long and crooked, as though it had been broken at least twice. This man's name was Albus Dumbledore.
"That's you!" Ron gasped loudly causing everyone to burst into fits of giggles and for him to turn as red as his hair.
"Albus Dumbledore didn't seem to realize that he had just arrived in a street where everything from his name to his boots was unwelcome. He was busy rummaging in his cloak, looking for something. But he did seem to realize he was being watched, because he looked up suddenly at the cat, which was still staring at him from the other end of the street. For some reason, the sight of the cat seemed to amuse him. He chuckled and muttered,
"I should have known." He found what he was looking for in his inside pocket. It seemed to be a silver cigarette lighter. He flicked it open, held it up in the air, and clicked it. The nearest street lamp went out with a little pop."
"Woah! I want one!" Ron exclaimed and Dumbledore chuckled before pulling a replica out of his robes and handed it to Ron. "Are you sure sir?" He asked in wonder and Dumbledore grinned and nodded.
" He clicked it again - the next lamp flickered into darkness. Twelve times he clicked the Put-Outer, until the only lights left on the whole street were two tiny pinpricks in the distance, which were the eyes of the cat watching him. If anyone looked out of their window now, even beady-eyed Mrs Dursley, they wouldn't be able to see anything that was happening down on the pavement. Dumbledore slipped the Put-Outer back inside his cloak and set off down the street toward number four, where he sat down on the wall next to the cat. He didn't look at it, but after a moment he spoke to it. "Fancy seeing you here, Professor McGonagall." "
"Professor?! You were the cat sat on the wall?" Harry asked in awe. McGonagall smiled and nodded. "Wicked." He mumbled.
"He turned to smile at the tabby, but it had gone. Instead he was smiling at a rather severe-looking woman who was wearing square glasses exactly the shape of the markings the cat had had around its eyes. She, too, was wearing a cloak, an emerald one. Her black hair was drawn into a tight bun. She looked distinctly ruffled."
"Professor, how do you turn into a cat? I mean, surely it can't even be physically possible!" Hermione asked.
"Of course its possible, my child! Anything is possible, Harry showed us all that!" McGonagall stated with a tight smile.
"Can you show us?" Ron blurted out. The professor chuckled before nodding and setting her tea on the table. She then shrunk down into a small tabby cat that fit the description in the book, perfectly. Right down to the markings around the eyes. Ron gasped, while Harry and Hermione looked amazed. "You were that tabby cat from when I was younger?!" He exclaimed only to have the cat meow a laugh.
"I have got to learn how to do that!" Harry and Hermione said together making them blush and smile.
""How did you know it was me?" she asked.
"My dear Professor, I've never seen a cat sit so stiffly."
"You'd be stiff if you'd been sitting on a brick wall all day, " said Professor McGonagall.
"All day? When you could have been celebrating? I must have passed a dozen feasts and parties on my way here." Professor McGonagall sniffed angrily.
"Oh yes, everyone's celebrating, all right," She said impatiently. "You'd think they'd be a bit more careful, but no - even the Muggles have noticed something's going on. It was on their news." She jerked her head back at the Dursleys' dark living-room window. "I heard it. Flocks of owls... Shooting stars... Well, they're not completely stupid. They were bound to notice something. Shooting stars down in Kent - I'll bet that was Dedalus Diggle. He never had much sense." "
"Huh, maybe it wasn't Amos…" McGonagall muttered.
""You can't blame them," said Dumbledore gently. "We've had precious little to celebrate for eleven years."
"I know that," said Professor McGonagall irritably. "But that's no reason to lose our heads. People are being downright careless, out on the streets in broad daylight, not even dressed in Muggle clothes, swapping rumours." She threw a sharp, sideways glance at Dumbledore here, as though hoping he was going to tell her something, but he didn't, so she went on. "A fine thing it would be if, on the very day You-Know-Who – "
"Who?" Harry and Hermione asked.
"You-Know-Who is what people call Voldemort, if they are too frightened to say the name. But, as I've said time and time again, fear of a name only increases fear of the thing itself." Dumbledore smiled at Hermione to continue.
" - seems to have disappeared at last, the Muggles found out about us all. I suppose he really has gone, Dumbledore?"
"It certainly seems so,""
"But you just said you didn't think he was gone!" Ron said scared. Dumbledore sighed.
"That was on the same night, when I had only just heard about him being gone. I didn't have time for research." He replied rubbing his eyes.
"said Dumbledore. "We have much to be thankful for. Would you care for a lemon drop?"
"A lemon drop. They're a kind of Muggle sweet I'm rather fond of"
"No, thank you," said Professor McGonagall coldly, as though she didn't think this was the moment for lemon drops. "As I say, even if You-Know-Who has gone -"
"My dear Professor, surely a sensible person like yourself can call him by his name? All this 'You-Know-Who' nonsense - for eleven years I have been trying to persuade people to call him by his proper name: Voldemort." Professor McGonagall flinched, but Dumbledore, who was unsticking two lemon drops, seemed not to notice. "It all gets so confusing if we keep saying 'You-Know-Who.' I have never seen any reason to be frightened of saying Voldemort's name."
"I don't see the point in being scared of a name. That is all that Voldemort is, Just a name." Harry said, ignoring the flinches when he said the name. Dumbledore smiled encouragingly at him.
""I know you haven't," said Professor McGonagall, sounding half exasperated, half admiring. "But you're different. Everyone knows you're the only one You-Know-oh, all right, Voldemort, was frightened of."
"You flatter me," said Dumbledore calmly. "Voldemort had powers I will never have."
"Only because you're too - well - noble to use them."
"It's lucky it's dark. I haven't blushed so much since Madam Pomfrey told me she liked my new earmuffs." Professor McGonagall shot a sharp look at Dumbledore and said,
"The owls are nothing next to the rumours that are flying around. You know what everyone's saying? About why he's disappeared? About what finally stopped him?" It seemed that Professor McGonagall had reached the point she was most anxious to discuss, the real reason she had been waiting on a cold, hard wall all day, for neither as a cat nor as a woman had she fixed Dumbledore with such a piercing stare as she did now. It was plain that whatever "everyone" was saying, she was not going to believe it until Dumbledore told her it was true. Dumbledore, however, was choosing another lemon drop and did not answer. "What they're saying," she pressed on, "is that last night Voldemort turned up in Godric's Hollow. He went to find the Potters. The rumour is that Lily and James Potter are - are - that they're - dead." Dumbledore bowed his head. Professor McGonagall gasped. "Lily and James... I can't believe it... I didn't want to believe it... Oh, Albus..." Dumbledore reached out and patted her on the shoulder.
Harry bowed his head and let a tear slip from his eye. The room was silent and looking towards him as Ron patted his back.
"You know Harry, they aren't really ever gone. They are always with you, in your heart. As long as you believe they are there, they will be." Hermione said, getting up to hug her new friend. Harry smiled and returned her hug, whispering thanks. Dumbledore shared a smile with Minerva as they watched the three.
"I know... I know..." he said heavily. Professor McGonagall's voice trembled as she went on.
"That's not all. They're saying he tried to kill the Potter's son, Harry. But - he couldn't. He couldn't kill that little boy. No one knows why, or how, but they're saying that when he couldn't kill Harry Potter, Voldemort's power somehow broke - and that's why he's gone." Dumbledore nodded glumly. "It's - it's true?" faltered Professor McGonagall. "After all he's done... All the people he's killed... He couldn't kill a little boy?"
"Gee, thanks Professor, you sounded like you wanted me to die." Harry said jokingly, wiping away his few last tears. McGonagall scolded him with a small smile.
"It's just astounding... Of all the things to stop him... But how in the name of heaven did Harry survive?"
"We can only guess," said Dumbledore. "We may never know.""
"I survived because I had the best parents in the world, and I didn't even know it." Harry smiled.
"Professor McGonagall pulled out a lace handkerchief and dabbed at her eyes beneath her spectacles. Dumbledore gave a great sniff as he took a golden watch from his pocket and examined it. It was a very odd watch. It had twelve hands but no numbers; instead, little planets were moving around the edge. It must have made sense to Dumbledore, though, because he put it back in his pocket and said, "Hagrid's late. I suppose it was he who told you I'd be here, by the way?"
"Yes," said Professor McGonagall. "And I don't suppose you're going to tell me why you're here, of all places?"
"I've come to bring Harry to his aunt and uncle. They're the only family he has left now."
"You don't mean - you can't mean the people who live here?" cried Professor McGonagall, jumping to her feet and pointing at number four. "Dumbledore - you can't. I've been watching them all day. You couldn't find two people who are less like us. And they've got this son - I saw him kicking his mother all the way up the street, screaming for sweets. Harry Potter come and live here!"
"Thanks for that Professor." Harry grinned at her and she nodded.
"It's the best place for him," said Dumbledore firmly. "His aunt and uncle will be able to explain everything to him when he's older. I've written them a letter."
"What letter? I haven't heard or seen a letter." Harry said outraged. Dumbledore looked angry.
"Yes, so I see. They never told you a thing about your life, did they?" he asked, annoyed at Harry's relatives.
"A letter?" repeated Professor McGonagall faintly, sitting back down on the wall. "Really, Dumbledore, you think you can explain all this in a letter? These people will never understand him! He'll be famous – a legend - I wouldn't be surprised if today was known as Harry Potter day in the future - there will be books written about Harry - every child in our world will know his name!"
"Like Ronald, for example." Hermione said looking at the ginger sat next to Harry.
"Exactly," said Dumbledore, looking very seriously over the top of his half-moon glasses. "It would be enough to turn any boy's head. Famous before he can walk and talk! Famous for something he won't even remember! So you see how much better off he'll be, growing up away from all that until he's ready to take it?"
"Would have been even better if my parents survived with me." Harry mumbled under his breath.
Professor McGonagall opened her mouth, changed her mind, swallowed, and then said,
"Yes - yes, you're right, of course. But how is the boy getting here, Dumbledore?" She eyed his cloak suddenly as though she thought he might be hiding Harry underneath it.
"Hagrid's bringing him."
"You think it - wise - to trust Hagrid with something as important as this?"
"I would trust Hagrid with my life," said Dumbledore.
"I'm not saying his heart isn't in the right place," said Professor McGonagall grudgingly, "but you can't pretend he's not careless. He does tend to - what was that?" A low rumbling sound had broken the silence around them. It grew steadily louder as they looked up and down the street for some sign of a headlight; it swelled to a roar as they both looked up at the sky - and a huge motorcycle fell out of the air and landed on the road in front of them. If the motorcycle was huge, it was nothing to the man sitting astride it. He was almost twice as tall as a normal man and at least five times as wide. He looked simply too big to be allowed, and so wild – long tangles of bushy black hair and beard hid most of his face, he had hands the size of trash can lids, and his feet in their leather boots were like baby dolphins. In his vast, muscular arms he was holding a bundle of blankets.
"Hagrid," said Dumbledore, sounding relieved. "At last. And where did you get that motorcycle?"
"Borrowed it, Professor Dumbledore, sir," said the giant, climbing carefully off the motorcycle as he spoke. "Young Sirius Black lent it to me.
Professor McGonagall stiffened at the name. Unfortunately for her, Harry noticed. However to distract Harry from the stiffness of his future professor, a rather loud squeak was heard and Hermione let out a shrill scream as a rat darted out from Ron's pocket. Ron sighed dramatically.
"Scabbers! Get back here! Its not like you can go anywhere!" Ron called and Scabbers scuttled back to him. As Ron picked him up and was telling the rat off for running away, he got a good glimpse of his foot. "Huh, didn't notice that before. When did you lose a toe?" Ron muttered and Dumbledore's head snapped up.
"Who is Sirius Black? Is he a relative of mine?! Why didn't you send me to him, where I could have grown up around magic?" Harry whined. Ron turned to Harry.
"Harry, Sirius Black murdered one of your dad's best friends and turned them over to You-Know-Who!" He exclaimed. Harry looked shocked before turning to Dumbledore for confirmation.
"I would have said that you were right, Mr Weasley, if you did not just say that your rat has lost a toe. Tell me, how long has Scabbers been in your family?" Dumbledore enquired. Ron looked shocked, but answered.
"Umm, for about seven years. Charlie brought him home one day and he's been in the family since." Ron said, looking scared for his rat. Dumbledore looked pleased.
"Continue with the story Miss Granger." Dumbledore said with a smile.
I've got him, sir."
"No problems, were there?"
"No, sir - house was almost destroyed, but I got him out all right before the Muggles started swarmin' around. He fell asleep as we was flyin' over Bristol." Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall bent forward over the bundle of blankets. Inside, just visible, was a baby boy, fast asleep. Under a tuft of jet-black hair over his forehead they could see a curiously shaped cut, like a bolt of lightning.
"Is that where -?" whispered Professor McGonagall.
"Yes," said Dumbledore. "He'll have that scar forever."
"Couldn't you do something about it, Dumbledore?"
"Even if I could, I wouldn't. Scars can come in handy. I have one myself above my left knee that is a perfect map of the London Underground.
"Is that true?" Hermione asked sceptically. Dumbledore nodded.
Well - give him here, Hagrid - we'd better get this over with." Dumbledore took Harry in his arms and turned toward the Dursleys' house.
"Could I - could I say good-bye to him, sir?" asked Hagrid. He bent his great, shaggy head over Harry and gave him what must have been a very scratchy, whiskery kiss. Then, suddenly, Hagrid let out a howl like a wounded dog.
"Shhh!" hissed Professor McGonagall, "you'll wake the Muggles!"
"S-s-sorry," sobbed Hagrid, taking out a large, spotted handkerchief and burying his face in it. "But I c-c-can't stand it - Lily an' James dead - an' poor little Harry off ter live with Muggles -"
"Yes, yes, it's all very sad, but get a grip on yourself, Hagrid, or we'll be found," Professor McGonagall whispered, patting Hagrid gingerly on the arm as Dumbledore stepped over the low garden wall and walked to the front door. He laid Harry gently on the doorstep, took a letter out of his cloak, tucked it inside Harry's blankets, and then came back to the other two. For a full minute the three of them stood and looked at the little bundle; Hagrid's shoulders shook, Professor McGonagall blinked furiously, and the twinkling light that usually shone from Dumbledore's eyes seemed to have gone out.
"Well," said Dumbledore finally, "that's that. We've no business staying here. We may as well go and join the celebrations."
"Yeah," said Hagrid in a very muffled voice, "I'll be takin' Sirius his bike back. G'night, Professor McGonagall - Professor Dumbledore, sir." Wiping his streaming eyes on his jacket sleeve, Hagrid swung himself onto the motorcycle and kicked the engine into life; with a roar it rose into the air and off into the night.
Once again McGonagall stiffened at the name and Harry looked at her curiously.
"I shall see you soon, I expect, Professor McGonagall," said Dumbledore, nodding to her. Professor McGonagall blew her nose in reply. Dumbledore turned and walked back down the street. On the corner he stopped and took out the silver Put-Outer. He clicked it once, and twelve balls of light sped back to their street lamps so that Privet Drive glowed suddenly orange and he could make out a tabby cat slinking around the corner at the other end of the street. He could just see the bundle of blankets on the step of number four. "Good luck, Harry," he murmured. He turned on his heel and with a swish of his cloak, he was gone.
"Hold up, you just left him on the doorstep in the middle of the night?!" Hermione asked furiously. Dumbledore nodded and looked down in shame.
A breeze ruffled the neat hedges of Privet Drive, which lay silent and tidy under the inky sky, the very last place you would expect astonishing things to happen. Harry Potter rolled over inside his blankets without waking up. One small hand closed on the letter beside him and he slept on, not knowing he was special, not knowing he was famous, not knowing he would be woken in a few hours' time by Mrs Dursley's scream as she opened the front door to put out the milk bottles, nor that he would spend the next few weeks being prodded and pinched by his cousin Dudley... He couldn't know that at this very moment, people meeting in secret all over the country were holding up their glasses and saying in hushed voices: "To Harry Potter - the boy who lived!"
"Well, that's the end of the chapter. But Professor, what was with your sudden interest in Ron's pet rat?" Hermione asked curiously. Harry and Ron nodding in agreement, also wanting the know the story behind the small interrogation.
[A/N: Was going to stop it here but then I would forget what I would have been on about. This next part is going to be my little story that I made up :P]
"Well, some witches and wizards have special abilities; some can talk to snakes –" He was cut off by Ron.
"That's called Parsletongue!" He said grinning and Dumbledore nodded.
"Correct. Some wizards can feel auras. I am one of those wizards to feel auras, and right now I should only be able to feel five auras, however I detect that of 6 auras. Pets don't count as an aura." Dumbledore said, turning his stare to the rat that was now cowering in fear. "Now, I like to believe that I knew Sirius Black exceptionally well, and I feel – and still do feel to this day – that he would not have sold Lily and James to Voldemort, however I had no proof and so he was put in Azkaban without so much as a trial. However, I also knew that the Marauders, as they liked to be called, were very much accomplished animagi, like Professor McGonagall here. I, however, did not know of their forms. Mr Weasley, could you please place Scabbers on the floor for me? Thank you. Finte Incantartem!" Dumbledore yelled, pointing his wand towards the rat as it tried to escape.
Suddenly, there was no rat anymore, but a rather large, dirty man. McGonagall held in a scream of fright as Peter Pettigrew stood before her. However her instincts got the better of her. "Petrificus totalus!" She said pointing her wand towards Peter, putting him in a full body bind. The three soon-to-be students looked on in awe. Just then there was a pop, as a seventh figure landed on a chair that randomly appeared. The figure was dressed in all black, and had shiny greasy hair.
"What the devil is going on here?!"
[A/N: Annnnnnnnnnnd that is it! Soooooooo how was it?! Do tell do tell