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Gate Builders Book 1: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
The hall was almost deserted. Only one person, a middle aged but still beautiful woman, stood still as a stone, overlooking the empty hall. All around her on the floor were piles of clothing. It looked as if thousands of people had simply taken their clothes off and exited the room, leaving their clothes in a heap on the ground.
Footsteps sounded from outside the hall. Someone was running. The door retracted into the wall with a hiss. An older man with graying hair ran through the doorway and halted immediately upon seeing the state of the room. His gaze wandered across the room as if recognizing every pile of clothing for the person that wore them. He sank to his knees in shock.
"You missed them. They left." Said the woman standing in the center of the room.
The man choked back a sob. "All of them?" He asked. The woman turned to face him and nodded. "Everyone who was anyone. The scientists, the historians, the warriors, the entire high council-"
"Not the entire council. We're still here." He said interrupting her. She raised a dark eyebrow. "We are, but for how long?" She shot back.
He looked up at her. "Why didn't you go?" She sighed and walk over to him. She helped him get to his feet. "I was waiting for you. Why didn't you come when you were summoned?"
"I didn't want to." He said with a grin. "Just because I can does not mean I want to go on forever."
She brought a hand up to stroke his cheek. "You were never a good liar Moros. Criminally honest I say."
He snorted. "Fine. I have too much unfinished business. Too much keeping me tethered to this plane. I couldn't ascend if I wanted to."
The woman smiled and pecked him on the lips. "Will you join us when you finish?"
Moros clenched his teeth and stared into her eyes. "You're leaving me." He stated unhappily. She nodded. "There is nothing more for me to do here. I have done everything I could possibly do to ensure our kind go on. It's time for me to go."
Moros shook his head. "There is so much we can still do. We can teach them. Help them grow!" She silenced him with another kiss. "That is not for you or me to do. And when you realize that I will be waiting for you." Her skin started to glow a bright white. Moros stepped back. She rose up into the air surrounded by tendrils of energy lashing at the air around her.
"Goodbye my love." She said with a smile. Her clothes dropped to the floor in a pile and her features became indiscernible in a glowing mass of energy. The energy floated up through the ceiling and out of sight. Moros swallowed and another tear dripped from his face. "Goodbye Morgana"
A beep sounded from a console by the wall, breaking Moros out of his stupor. He walked over to it curiously. His breath caught in his throat at what he saw. A very large pyramid shaped spaceship had entered the system and was on a course for the planet. And there was no way he, or the handful of Alterans left scattered over the face of the planet, could stop them.
The Boy Who Lived
The roar of an engine thundered as a large silhouette flew through the sky. It was so large it seemed to eclipse the moon, and it looked very much like a bear on a toy motorcycle. The silhouette careened down towards the street. It landed with a squeak of tires as it came to a halt. The silhouette turned out to be not a bear on a toy motorcycle but in fact an enormous man with a thick black beard and mane of hair, sitting atop a perfectly normal sized motorcycle. Actually the motorcycle was quite big but was dwarfed by its rider. The rider wore a heavy brown coat. His hand were the size of tennis rackets with thick sausage like fingers. His equally large feet were covered in black leather boots.
The man stepped off the vehicle and marched to a gigantic black gate, large even in comparison to him. The gate opened and behind it stood a thin old man, tall but nowhere near the higher of this giant. He wore a purple robe and a tall purple pointy hat, both adorned with stars that actually twinkled. He had small half moon glasses that pinched the end of his oversized hook nose, and possessed a long white beard that descended to his abdomen. "How is he?" Asked the man in purple.
The large man opened his thick brown coat to reveal a bundle of blankets strapped to his chest. He removed it and handed it over to the purple wearing man. His gruff voice came out choked and scratchy. "Fell asleep as soon as we took off." He sniffled a bit and wiped his eyes on a bath towel sized handkerchief. "Poor boy."
The star spangled man nodded in agreement, accepting the bundle. "Yes. Such an unfortunately situation." He removed part of the blankets to reveal the small face of an infant. "Thank you Hagrid. No trouble was there?"
Hagrid stuff his handkerchief away. "No sir. House was almost destroyed. I got him out before the muggles could swarm it."
The old man nodded again. He looked up curiously. "Hagrid, wherever did you get that motorcycle?"
Hagrid looked back. "Oh, borrowed it. Young Sirius Black was at the house when I arrived. Wanted to take Harry but I told him I had orders. He lent me the bike so I could could reach you faster."
The other man nodded once more and covered the child again. "Thank you again Hagrid. I will make sure Harry gets where he needs to go. Good night."
"Good night sir."
Vernon and Petunia Dursley were normal. They had a normal son named Dudley, who was prone to normal tantrums. They lived in a normal house in a normal neighborhood on Privet Drive in Little Whinging, Surrey. Vernon sat down on his normal sofa, with his normal cup of tea and his normal Sunday newspaper. Though on any other day of the week Vernon would be off bamboozling someone into a contract or swindling a client out of money, today was his day off. November 1st 1981. Vernon was a normal salesman for a normal drill manufacturer Grunnings, and he took great pride in his work. He also took great pride in being normal.
Nothing was amiss. His routine had so far gotten on without a hitch. He woke up, ate breakfast, watched Petunia feed their little angel, and sat down to enjoy his day off.
After finishing the paper Vernon turned to the telly. Turning it on he was welcomes by a news anchor and a picture of an owl floating in the corner of the screen.
"Experts are at a loss to explain the peculiar change in owl sleeping patterns. The activity all over Britain is astounding. Whole flocks of owls traveling in broad daylight. Some eyewitnesses swear to have seen owls carrying letters in their beaks-"
Vernon frowned and tuned out the anchor. Owls? He thought. With letters? There was something dreadfully familiar about that concept. He turned to Petunia who was tickling little Dudley under the chin.
"Pet darling-" He paused, unsure how to formulate his question without upsetting his wife. "Your sister's people." He struggled over calling them people. Petunia stiffened. Petunia's sister Lily was a subject neither of them like to discuss. She had married a man named Potter, Jack or Jerry or something like that. Vernon recalled they had a son a few months younger than their own. From what he remembered they were part of a strange cult of some sort that waved wands and performed freaking parlor tricks. Too far off from Vernon's prized normality to be any sort of good. Vernon continued hesitantly. "How do they send letters again?"
Petunia rose and looked at him with narrowed eyes. "They use owls to carry their post. Why?"
Vernon shook his head, deciding not to upset his wife more by continuing on that topic of discussion. "Never mind dear. Just a thought is all" He turned back to the telly. The anchor had passed the show over to the weather report. "We will see lots of mist this evening, with a 70% chance of slight showers-" Vernon turned off the telly. He stretched and told Petunia he was heading out for a walk.
As he walked to the end of Privet Drive Vernon couldn't help but notice a certain cat. It was a grey tabby with peculiar markings around its eyes, and it was perched rather stiffly upon a fence, staring up at the street sign. Reading it? Of course Vernon dismissed the thought as soon as it passed through his mind. Cats couldn't read. How preposterous. The cat glanced his way, then turned back to the sign as if finding Vernon completely uninteresting.
Upon reach the town center, Vernon tried desperately to put the morning's eccentricities out of his mind, but the number of owls swooping around would not let him forget. He too swore he spotted a letter on some of those owls. So deep in thought he walk much farther than he normally would have and found himself out of breath. He decided to stop at a café. While sipping a cup of tea he looked around at the people running about minding their business as was the habit for normal ol' Little Whinging.
Then he saw them. More disturbing than the owls with letters were the people gathering in little pockets of excitement. People wearing robes in outrageous colors and absurd looking pointed hats. Vernon turned away to ignore them but his attention was dragged back to them upon catching bits of their conversations "-The Potters. I heard-" "-Yes, little Harry Potter-" "-Only a scar they say-" "-You-Know-Who gone at last-".
Vernon dropped his tab on the table left. It couldn't possibly be the same Potters could it? James. That was the name of his brother-in-law he remembered no. And Harry? Was that their son? He was so preoccupied he didn't notice the old man in the purple robe that he barreled into. The old man landed on his rear. "I'm sorry." Vernon mumbled. The old man bounced back to his feet. "Oh no need to be sorry. Nothing could possibly spoil my mood today. Why even a muggle like yourself should be celebrating!"
Vernon raged. He stomped all the way back to his home. How could they wander about in broad daylight? Was it no longer a cult's prerogative to be secretive? He dreaded what that could mean for the normality of the neighborhood.
Vernon paused at the door. He glanced toward the dining room window to check whether he had seen what he thought he had seen. Sure enough the grey tabby he had seen earlier sat on the window sill, peering into the house. How very odd.
He composed himself before heading into the kitchen where his wife was making lunch. He sat down at the head of the table and cleared his throat. "Darling I was wondering. Your sister-" Petunia stiffened again. "Why the sudden interest? She asked him. "No reason. I was just thinking. She has a son hasn't she? Harvey wasn't it?" Petunia returned to her cooking. "Harry. Horrid common name it is. Not like our Dudley." Vernon agreed.
The rest of the day passed without a hitch. None of the strange people encroached upon the normal atmosphere of Privet Drive. After putting a whining Dudley to bed Vernon decided it was no use to trouble himself over the oddities of the morning. Perhaps it was all coincidence? After all, today being November 1st, last night had been Halloween. Perhaps the strange people at the town center were simply left over partygoers from the previous night's holiday. And if there were in fact something having to do with the Potters going on, there would be no reason it should affect him or his family. In any case, Vernon doubted these disturbances would continue for too much longer. He only needed to wait it out. Nothing could shatter his beloved normal.
Vernon Dursley was wrong.
While Vernon was heading off to a comfortable bed, the cat outside sat on the much less comfortable concrete of the side walk, just off the property of #4 Privet Drive. Its eyes were fixed on the street corner as if waiting for something to happen. It didn't even blink at the sounds of backfiring cars, shouting neighbors, or squawking birds. It stayed still past midnight and only moved when a tall, old, bearded man appeared out of thin air on the corner it had been watching.
The cat flicked its tail and narrowed its eyes at the man. He was dressed in a purple robe and a pointy hat, both covered in stars. The man fished what appeared to be a lighter from his pocket and clicked it. The streetlamp nearest him went dark. He clicked it again and another lamp went out. Click after click all the lamps went out on Privet Drive and the man was left standing on a dark street corner, lit only by the stars on his clothing.
He slipped his put-outer back into his pocketed and ambled over to #4, a basket swinging lightly on his elbow. He stopped in front of the cat. Only it was no longer a cat but a middle aged woman with a stern expression. "Had I known you were going to wait until midnight I might have opted out entirely." She said in a scottish brogue. "Have you any idea how long I've been waiting, Albus Dumbledore?"
The old man's eyes twinkled like the stars on his robe. "My dear Professor McGonagall, I needed someone to watch this residence closely lest someone suspect we might bring the boy here."
McGonagall's eyes widened. She looked desperately between Dumbledore and #4 Privet Drive. "You can't possibly mean these people! Why I've never seen a worse bunch of muggles in my life! I swear their son was kicking his mother, screaming for sweets. Dreadful child that one." Dumbledore's expression darkened. "I'm afraid so. They are the last family he has."
McGonagall's shoulders slumped and her jaw slackened. "So it's true then?" Her voice broke. "What they've been saying? Lily and James Potter dead, and You-Know-Who-gone?" She looked hopefully into Dumbledore's eyes.
He nodded. "It would appear so." A sad smile stretched McGonagall's lips. "I dared not hope. After 11 years of torment, the Dark Lord finally vanquished. And by a child no less." She chuckled but lost her smile quickly as her eyes found the basket. "But the cost- Is there no other way Albus? Any family would love to raise the child who defeated the Dark Lord. He'll be famous-"
"Precisely." Dumbledore interjected. "And any of the Dark Lord's supporters would relish the chance to kill the one who destroyed their master. No, he must stay here. Away from the spot light. I've written a letter to his Aunt and Uncle with instructions to explain everything to him when he is older."
McGonagall shook her head and dabbed her teary eyes. "This is a mistake Albus."
Dumbledore stepped up to the door of #4 and placed the basket in front of it. "It's the only way." He muttered.
Dumbledore and McGonagall walked side by side to the end of Privet Drive. Dumbledore took one last glance back at the basket, barely visible on the step of #4. "Good luck Harry." And with a pop they both disappeared.
Harry snuggled into his blankets, his small hand clutching the letter. He could not have known that come morning his Aunt would wake him up with a shriek, nor that for the foreseeable future he would be his cousin's new favorite plaything. He also could not have known that for weeks to come, people all over Britain would be raising their glasses and saying "To Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived."
Thank you for reading and reviewing. I don't have a Beta so please tell me if there are too many typos. Flame is not appreciated but I will consider suggestions.