Hello everybody, this is a little two-shot I wrote for Easter. It is completely independent from my other story 'Forging Destiny'.
I hope you like it.
Disclaimer: Even at Easter I own nothing of the Potter-Verse, JKR does and earns a lot of money because of that.
The Witches' Conspiracy
Every year at New Year 's Day they met. They were old friends. They had been through a war together that had split their world in two parts. Those who wanted to have only the purebloods in power under the banner of Lord Voldemort and those who wanted nothing to do with him under the banner of Albus Dumbledore. At least that was what most people thought.
Of course nothing in the world was only black and white. This held as true in the magical world as it did in the mundane world. There were many who wanted to promote their own interests and tried to gain advantages in the chaos the fight against Voldemort created. They were war profiteers who leeched on the sacrifices of those who fought against Voldemort. Not that anybody really dared speaking his name. They made up ridiculous substitutes. Like calling him You-Know-Who.
Very few people realized that if they let Voldemort do what he wanted, they would all lose in the end. But when the war began reaching its climax, it was too late for the magical community to react accordingly. Voldemort nearly won the war. But then a miracle happened.
On October 31st Voldemort vanished. He was beaten by a baby boy, one Harry James Potter. Nobody could understand it. But nobody really cared at that time. They were just glad that the war was over and that Voldemort didn't win. Nobody really asked what happened with the small boy who was their savior. They just trusted Albus Dumbledore, the leader of the light to ensure the boy was safe and raised well. After all, how could the man who always fought against Voldemort be wrong in what he did?
Well, back to the meeting. They were four women. Each one had seen a lot in her life. There was Minerva McGonagall. She was strict and equally feared and respected by her students. She was the teacher for Transfiguration at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. She also was one of the best transfiguration mistresses in the world.
Then there was Augusta Longbottom. She was a formidable witch, a member of the Wizengamot, the magical court and law instance. She had lost her son and daughter-in-law to followers of Voldemort. While they were still alive, they could as well not be alive. They were trapped in their minds after an overexposure to the cruciatus curse. Augusta was raising her grandson Neville, but the boy didn't show signs of accidental magic and the family feared he could be a squib.
The next one was Pomona Sprout, the teacher for Herbology at Hogwarts. She was a plumb witch with traces of twigs and leafs in her hair. She was well liked by her students for her caring attitude and helpful advice.
The last one was the only one who wasn't a witch, but she was used to the magical world. She was a squib and her name was Arabella Figg. She loved her cats and was, even if few people in the magical world knew it, on the level of a potions mistress. Her only problem was that squibs like her weren't accepted as masters. One of the many discriminations in the magical world.
These four women had come together to exchange stories and speak about problems they had spotted. This time Minerva and Arabella had a common problem. The stubbornness of Albus Dumbledore regarding Harry Potter.
Minerva had told Albus time and again that it was wrong to let little Harry grow up with his maternal aunt Petunia Dursley. The woman hated magic with a passion. And she spoiled her own son rotten. Even at the age of one, when Minerva had observed the Dursleys for one day before Harry was placed there in the night from November 1st to November 2nd in 1981, the boy had never known any discipline. And now it had gotten worse.
Little Harry was nothing more than a scapegoat for the Dursleys and their personal servant. Good heavens the boy was just seven years old. Arabella, who lived near the Dursleys at Albus request, had looked out for Harry for five years now. And she was appalled how he was treated there. She had reported that the Dursleys didn't treat Harry right to Albus hundreds of times but he always assured Arabella that while Harry might not be treated the best way possible, there was no better place for him than with his aunt. It was ridiculous.
The problems had increased now because Harry was due to bringing his first report card from school back home, where the children were really graded. The first two years at school they just got report cards about their behavior and how they got along with learning the basic skills children were taught at primary school. And that report card was the problem. Harry was really smart. He was top of his class and the teachers were really proud of him. But Dudley was bottom of his class because he was lazy and didn't do what the teachers told him.
So there would be problems at the Dursleys if Harry, the so called freak, was way better than their precious Dudley. So Arabella and Minerva wanted to find a way to protect Harry. They couldn't take him away from there without Albus interfering. Something else had to happen.
When the two were finished telling their story, Augusta and Pomona were shocked. They would never have thought that the child of Lily and James Potter was treated that bad. And by his own relatives nonetheless.
"So, if I understand you right there are four major problems.
First: Harry is used by the Dursleys to do the work Petunia and Vernon should be doing. While their son can laze around doing nothing and gets away with it.
Second: Harry will get in trouble if the Dursleys find out about his good marks at school.
Third: The useless lump of a cousin scares all children away from Harry that would want to befriend him.
Fourth: Albus refuses to see sense and insists on keeping the boy with people who abuse him.
Did I summarize this correctly?" Augusta asked.
"Yes you did" Minerva confirmed.
"The only good point is that they don't beat him. But this is only a small comfort. Mr. Tibbles, one of my half Kneazles, reported to me that the boy doesn't even have his own bedroom, they keep him in a cupboard under the stairs. I don't know what they tell him about Lily and James but I am sure they are horrible lies" Arabella reported.
While she was a squib, she had a special connection to cats and she could understand magical cats like Kneazles.
"That's horrible. Oh how I wished I could just hex them until they behaved like normal human beings" Pomona ranted.
"You are not alone there. But we need to do something that will help Harry and not make his life harder. Are there any adults around Harry who would want to help him?" Augusta asked.
"Not in the immediate neighborhood. The Dursley are telling evil lies about Harry being a delinquent. They went so far warning the director of the primary school about Harry, so even if Dudley is the one doing wrong, the director believing the Dursleys always blames Harry. I wouldn't wonder if he was paid for it" Arabella said.
"I don't know the individual teachers at the school though, perhaps one would be willing to help Harry."
"Well, I don't know if you will declare me crazy but I have an idea how we could trick Albus, solve Harry's problems and prepare him for his return to the magical world. If he truly is as smart as Arabella said, he would be able to keep magic a secret" Pomona said.
"Please tell Pomona. We need to find a solution, I refuse to leave Harry alone with the Dursleys until he is eleven" Minerva said.
"Well, we tell the Dursleys that Harry had been given a scholarship to a private school for talented children. We will make them accept by telling them, that Harry will be away from them for most of the time, like he will be when he goes to Hogwarts. He will go early in the morning and return late in the evening. We can let him have meals away from the Dursleys. Then we don't have to worry about him not getting enough to eat.
The scholarship is taking care of all costs for Harry, which will be an incentive for them. From what I understood they are always complaining how much Harry costs them. We will be the school for Harry. From what I remember of pureblood law Augusta as regent for the Longbottom family can make portkeys to her manor without getting problems with the Ministry. Well, you do have impressive greenhouses at your grounds where we could introduce Harry and Neville to Herbology. I am a Herbology mistress and Arabella is practically a Potions mistress. We can teach both boys a combination of Herbology and Potions.
That also solves the problem of both boys not having friends their age. Perhaps being around a boy his age would also stimulate Neville's magic. I still believe the trauma of losing his parents like he did left a block in Neville. When Alice visited me before the tragedy happened she told me she expected Neville to grow up into a splendid wizard. And Alice normally knew what she talked about" Pomona told her idea.
"The idea has merit Pomona. And we can make the Dursleys agree with a mild compelling charm. And as long nobody tells Albus anything, he won't find out before Harry goes to Hogwarts if ever. I could teach both boys about magical law and etiquette. Those are things I really know. Also how to manage an estate" Augusta suggested.
"A splendid idea Augusta. I can teach them about magical theory and a bit of history. They should know the most important things about the wizarding world" Minerva added.
"For normal things like writing and calculating I think we could use some muggle books Arabella could get us. What do you think about them learning a foreign language?" Pomona asked their opinion.
"A very good idea Pomona. Young heirs should be able to communicate in other countries" Augusta agreed.
"I think we should write the plan down. If the wizards don't take the fate of Harry Potter serious it is the witches' job to do right by the boy. I think we should call us the Witches' Conspiracy. Arabella you will be an honorary witch" Minerva said.
All four lifted their glasses to seal the Witches' Conspiracy.
Harry Potter was afraid. The reactions of the Dursleys to his report card wouldn't be nice. He knew when Dudley began wailing how Harry had cheated to beat him in class, he would be locked into his cupboard for days with only little food and water. But he had found learning at school so easy. He wanted the teachers to be proud of him. Everybody said they should do well at school. Why would it be wrong for the Dursleys?
When he passed Mrs. Figg's house, he looked at the cats in the garden that took a sunbath. They were so lucky. They didn't have to fear the reactions of Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia when he showed his report card.
Arabella saw Harry's look on his face and knew it was the day the children got their first report cards. She went to the floo immediately and called Minerva. It was time to start the conspiracy.
Harry sat at his chair at the dinner table of #4 Privet Drive and hoped beyond hope that he wouldn't be asked about his report card. But with Dudley grinning evilly at him this was not going to happen. Just when Aunt Petunia had ordered him to clean up the table and wash the dishes, the doorbell rang.
"Hurry up and open the door boy" Vernon barked at him.
Harry nodded and went to the door. When he opened it he was surprised to see an elegant lady standing there.
"Hello?" he asked unsure what the lady might want.
"Hello little one. I am here to speak to Mr. and Mrs. Dursley. Are they present?" she asked kindly.
"Um yes, please wait, I will call them" he said, closing the door, having been told uncountable times to never let anybody into the house. After all they might be dangerous to Dudley.
"Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia, there is an elegant Lady at the door, who wants to speak with you two" he told them.
"Well, we will greet her" Petunia said. "Finish the dishes boy" she told him, while Dudley sniggered before going to the living room to watch TV.
Petunia and Vernon went to the door and Vernon opened it. Harry had told the truth about the woman. She wore an elegant costume, which Petunia identified of being very expensive. This woman was someone important and should be treated respectfully.
"Good evening. How may we help you?" Petunia asked with her sweetest voice.
Augusta had to suppress her emotions. She could tell at first sight that those two were two-faced. Both would have been Slytherins if they had been magical.
"Good evening Mr. and Mrs. Dursley. I am Lady Augusta Longbottom, Regent for the Longbottom family until my grandson comes of age and takes over the family business. I am here to speak with you about some things the teachers at the primary school your son and nephew attend here in Little Whinging have brought to the attention of the Longbottom Foundation, one of the premier institutions for highly intelligent children in England. May I come in, it would be easier to talk about this while sitting down and not standing at the door" Augusta asked politely.
"Of course. Please come in, I will prepare some tea" Petunia said, thinking her precious Dudley was the one who was considered by the foundation.
After all, the good for nothing freak could never amount to anything. She went to the kitchen where Harry was just drying the last plate with a towel.
"Listen well freak, we have an important guest who could very well boost your cousin's future education and therefore his opportunities to go far in the world. You will be at your best behavior or you will regret it."
"Yes Aunt Petunia" Harry answered quietly.
"So, now you will go to the living room and greet Lady Longbottom properly. I will prepare tea and then come too. Don't you dare spoil this chance for my Diddydums."
Harry nodded and walked to the living room, where Uncle Vernon was entertaining Lady Longbottom. Or at least tried to do. Harry got the impression that the Lady was restraining herself at his obviously rude behavior. Harry went to Lady Longbottom and did what Aunt Petunia had told him to do.
"Good evening Lady Longbottom. It is nice to meet you, my name is Harry Potter" he said, offering his hand for her to shake.
While in the wizarding world it would be custom for the Lady to offer her hand for a hand kiss, she had been informed about muggle customs by Minerva and knew this was a very polite form of greeting.
"It is nice to meet you too Harry" she said smiling.
Dudley had until then ignored what happened around him. He just wanted to watch TV or tell his parents about Harry cheating in class to steal the top spot but he knew from his father's behavior that this woman was important somehow. He would get Harry in trouble later. This woman wouldn't stay very long after all. So he just said his name without standing up from his seat.
"Hi, I'm Dudley Dursley" he told her boasting about himself and then returned to watching his show.
Augusta frowned upon this display of a lack of manners. The boy could at least have stood up from his seat. After all, his cousin had just shown how to properly introduce oneself. How could his parents let him get away with this kind of behavior? Petunia came into the room with the tea.
"Here is the tea. Would you like milk or sugar with your tea Lady Longbottom?" she asked.
"Just a bit of lemon please Mrs. Dursley" she answered and took her cup from Petunia, who gave Vernon his cup and then filled one for herself.
"Well, what exactly did you want to discuss with us?" Petunia asked unable to keep her curiosity at bay.
"Well, as I already told you I am the regent for the Longbottom family until my grandson Neville comes of age. He is at the moment seven years old, so I will be handling the family affairs for some time. Our family has always considered it our duty to further the early education of young citizens in our country. The Longbottom Foundation was set up in 1746 and has supported many outstanding young men and women to thrive in their studies since that time.
We are connected to all the primary school all over Great Britain and if there are children who could be of interest for our foundation we are informed immediately as the forming years for a child are crucial for later success in life. So we get reports for all those children who get their first real marks at school to spot talents early on to help them make their way in life. We have supported policemen, politicians, scientists, explorers and many more from early on in their lives and are very proud to serve our country and queen."
"That is impressive Lady Longbottom" Petunia said exited that her precious son would be supported by such an important institution.
Neither of the two adults noticed when Augusta cast a compelling charm on them when she followed Vernon into the room and again when Petunia entered with the tea. Her wand was well hidden in her sleeve and she had experience with casting spells in the muggle world. The story about the foundation made the charm take root. They wanted to be able to benefit from the possibilities the foundation offered.
"Thank you Mrs. Dursley. Well, to make a long story short, the marks your nephew, Harry Potter, received for the past term were most impressive and we want to take him under the mentorship of the foundation. He is one of five children in all Great Britain to ever have achieved such high marks in his first truly marked term of school. It would be criminal to let such talent go to waste. With the right support he could become a famous scientist, perhaps you have raised a future Nobel laureate" she told them.
Both of the Dursleys were surprised. They hadn't thought that Harry of all children would be the one to gain the interest of a foundation like the Longbottoms'. He was a freak after all. Their Dudley should have been the one to shine over all others. Then they realized another thing. Normally they would have punished the freak for doing better than their son, but now, with this high-class foundation taking an interest in him, it would be suspicious if the boy suddenly appeared to be dumb. But surely Dudley would have done well in his tests. He was probably the next best in class.
"This surely is a surprise" Petunia said, trying to buy time to think.
"I can imagine. It is always an honor for the families of those we support in our foundation but they mostly didn't expect to be contacted. Most of our graduates tend to keep their benefactor a secret as we don't want to disappoint those who just don't have the abilities to meet the high requirement we hold out students to. I won't lie to you. Your nephew will have to work really hard to reach his full potential. That is a reason we contact the families as early as we can. He won't have much time for himself. If you agree to enroll him at our institution, he will be provided with a scholarship, first for his primary school years and if he then still meets our standards for his secondary school carrier as well, which will be in form of a boarding school.
The school will provide the uniform for him and he will attend from seven in the morning until eight in the evening, all meals will be provided by the school. This is necessary as we have all our students follow a scientifically developed diet to maximize the benefits of the children's education. Only with proper nutrition they can do their best. So the only thing you would have to provide for him would be a room to sleep in, as we don't want the young children to be completely separated from their families. But we have also noticed that the studies of the children bring best results if they have the whole day to concentrate on them. We have tutors who supervise their homework and teachers who give lessons in different kinds of sports in the afternoons."
Harry couldn't believe what he was hearing. He was offered a place at an exclusive school? He could get away from the Dursleys most of the days if they just agreed to let him go? It was like a dream come true. If there was anybody out there who could hear him and could grant him one wish, he wanted to be allowed to attend the school Lady Longbottom was speaking about. While he would be sleeping at Privet Drive, he would only be there for a fraction of the day.
"Well, this is a lot to consider Lady Longbottom, would you mind if my wife and I discussed it in the kitchen? Please feel free to talk to our son and nephew and have some more tea while we do so" Vernon said strained.
"Of course Mr. Dursley. I can understand the need to discuss this with your wife" Augusta said graciously.
Both adult Dursleys went into the kitchen to discuss if they should let the freak go.
"Petunia, I know that we have discussed what to do with the boy when we took him in. We wanted him to have nothing to do with the nonsense your sister was into. We know he has the same freakish powers. But if this foundation can show him how much better a normal education can be and on top get us rid of the boy most of the time, I am all for letting him go. We can also boast of having been the ones who raised him if he should become famous one day. After all the things Lady Longbottom told us, it would be very possible. And we could concentrate our time on Dudley like it should have been from the beginning" Vernon said.
"You are right, it would be perfect to have the freak away from us, but I fear Dudders could become jealous if his good for nothing cousin would be accepted to a prestigious school and he wasn't."
"Don't worry about it dear. Dudley's future is secured. He will attend Smeltings like I did when he is old enough. And think, we wouldn't have to waste any money on the boy anymore. He will eat at his school, he will also be able to shower there after physical education, so he won't waste our hot water anymore. All his clothes will be provided by the school. And he won't get any dangerous ideas if he is busy learning the whole day. It is perfect. While I would of course have been proud if it had been Dudley, I know you would have had a hard time separating from him."
"Oh, you are right Vernon. Dudders is way too young to work so hard. It will be better for him to enjoy his childhood with all his lovely friends. The freak has to learn how to work. We will tell Lady Longbottom that we agree sending the boy there. It is a win for us."
The Dursleys returned to the living room, where Augusta was asking Harry about his favorite subjects at school. Then she noticed the returning Dursleys.
"Lady Longbottom, we would be honored if our nephew would attend your institution. It would be wrong to deny him a good start in his life" Vernon said.
Then he turned to Harry.
"I hope you realize what a great chance you are given, I don't want to hear you are lazy and slacking off in your studies."
"Of course Uncle Vernon, thank you for allowing this" Harry said, not believing his luck.
"Well, one of the alumni of our institution will come over tomorrow morning to take Harry getting measured for his school uniforms. Coincidentally she is living in your neighborhood. I don't know if you know her, Arabella Figg? She was one of the leading experts in zoology and a very good veterinarian in her active days" Augusta asked.
"Oh yes we know her. I would never have thought she was such an expert on animals. As a fact she has been babysitting for us sometimes. But that is probably the reason she likes her cats so much" Petunia said startled.
"Ah yes, Arabella was always very fond of cats. While she loved all animals cats were always her favorites. She has even won prices for some of the cats she bred when she was in her thirties" Augusta told them as if fondly thinking of the past.
That evening Dudley experienced for the first time in his life that he didn't get what he wanted. His parents didn't believe him that Harry had cheated to be top of the class and that it was his fault that he was at the bottom. Of course his parents encouraged him and told him he would soon enough show them all his intelligence and that he just had to get used to getting real marks. That was all there was to it. Normally Petunia and Vernon would have punished Harry for doing better than Dudley but with the Longbottom Foundation now sponsoring the boy they couldn't afford the boy slipping up on his treatment with them.
Petunia gave Dudley a chocolate pudding, explaining that from now on, he would have her for himself again and that the boy wouldn't be there for more than the nights. The new school would take up all of his time and he would have little to no time for any free time activity. She also explained to him, that Harry had to sleep in his toy-room, so that the people from the foundation wouldn't think badly of them. The room would still be his during the days, his cousin would just have a niche for a bed and a drawer there which he used at night. It took her promising that she and his father would take him to the new adventure park for the weekend to get him stop complaining.
Vernon meanwhile ordered Harry to take his things up to Dudley's second room and told him the new rules.
"Listen well boy. You are to do exactly what the people at the foundation are telling you. You will only sleep in this room at night and have the wardrobe for your clothes and books. You will not touch anything of Dudley's things in here. You are merely a guest in his room. You will not tell any of the people at the foundation about the things here. We are a normal family and we don't want to have anything to do with your freakishness. I expect you to not bother us. We have taken you in and given you a roof over your head for six years now. You won't waste the chance that we don't have to pay for you anymore, am I understood boy?" he growled.
"Yes Uncle Vernon, I will do my best and excel at the foundation" Harry answered.
"Good, you won't like the consequences if you don't" he finished the talk and left the bedroom.
"How did it go Augusta?" Minerva asked her friend.
"Oh those muggles are disgusting. Even a non legilimens could easily see the rottenness they represent. Thank god for the compulsion charms. They have agreed to let Harry attend the primary school of the Longbottom Foundation" she told them, making the other three cheer for a plan succeeding.
"I think it was a good idea that we put the focus of the charm on them getting rid of Harry. They were very interested that he would be absent for most of the day and only returning for the nights. The fact that they don't have to pay for anything of Harry's anymore was also a boon. They are so despicable. Minerva, you should go to Gringotts and find out if the Dursleys are provided with a stipend for Harry. It would be normal that guardians for a minor of one of the old houses were provided with money for the upbringing of said minor. And while James wasn't that responsible most of the time, he knew the customs and would have made sure his son was provided for" Augusta stated.
"There is just the problem that I am not Harry's magical guardian. I don't know who has the position. Normally it would be his godparents but Sirius is in Azkaban and the other one was Alice" she stated sadly.
Augusta nodded. She had lost too much to the war and the follow up.
"Well, the problem can be solved if you take Harry with you. I will accompany you with Neville so he can also learn more about our economy. And the goblins at Gringotts are a crucial part of it. I told the Dursleys that Arabella was an alumnus of Longbottom Foundation and would take him to get the things he would need for school tomorrow morning. For your information I told them you were a very good veterinarian, some kind of animal healer from what I read, and an expert at zoology. It equals Care of Magical Creatures somewhat so I thought you would be able to play the part.
I didn't find anything correlating to Potions so I didn't tell them about that. This way they are wary to do anything to Harry knowing that somebody close to the foundation is living in their neighborhood. And Arabella can spread positive rumors about Harry attending a school for highly talented children instead of the crap you told us they spread around."
"That was a great idea Augusta. I am so glad you said you would play the part of the noble Lady. I wouldn't have been able to pull it off. And Petunia knows Minerva. The hoax would have been detected" Pomona said.
The next morning Harry Potter sat in the smallest old clothes of his cousin at the kitchen table, eating a small sandwich. He was told to wait for Mrs. Figg to get his supplies for the new school. Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon had both signed the transfer forms for him, which would be filed with his old primary school, letting them know he would go to the primary school of the Longbottom Foundation from now on. He was truly surprised that his Aunt and Uncle had allowed this. But from what he had figured they just wanted to get rid of him most of the time. While it hurt that he was unwanted by them, the joy of getting away from his relatives most of the time outweighed the negative feelings. And perhaps he could finally find friends at this new school. Friends that Dudley couldn't chase away.
The doorbell rang and Harry went to open the door. There stood Mrs. Figg waiting for him to come along.
"Hello Harry, I am sure you were waiting for me. I will take you to London today so that we can meet with Augusta Longbottom and her grandson. She needed to get him some supplies as well and thought it would be a good idea for both of you to meet. Then you will already know somebody before you begin your new lessons" Arabella said.
"Sure Mrs. Figg. I will just get my cloak and then we can go. Aunt Petunia said I should just do what you told me" he answered smiling.
Arabella nodded and waited for him putting on the cloak. When he was done, she led him towards the station. They would take the train to London and then meet with Augusta and Minerva. This would be the most unsuspicious way to get Harry to London. When he got explained the things he needed to know about the magical world, they would give him a portkey to Longbottom Manor for his daily use. Harry was obviously excited about the trip. The poor boy hadn't been outside Little Whinging the whole time he had lived with the Dursleys.
Harry stood at the banks of the Thames, very impressed with the mighty river in the middle of London. He would like to see more of the city but he knew they had things to do today and he really wanted to do everything to get away from his relatives. Perhaps the new school would do trips to London. His old school did for the older years.
"Come on Harry, they are waiting for us" Arabella told him gently.
"Coming Mrs. Figg" he answered and ran to her.
"Alright Harry, I can see them. They are the group of two women and one boy over there" Arabella pointed in the direction.
Harry looked to find Lady Longbottom. But he was too small and the people who were walking all around him were blocking his sight. But it was no problem as Arabella led him towards the other group.
"Hello Harry, hello Arabella. I'm glad you made it here on time. Harry I would like to introduce you to Minerva McGonagall, she will be one of your teachers in the future and my grandson Neville Longbottom who will join you in your lessons. Neville these are Arabella Figg and Harry Potter" Augusta introduced the two.
"It's nice to meet you Mrs. McGonagall, Neville" Harry greeted politely.
"Likewise Harry" Neville answered and shook the hand of the other boy.
Augusta had sat Neville down the previous evening and had explained to him what she and her friends were planning to do. They had found out that Harry Potter was mistreated by his relatives and they wanted to get him away from them as much as possible without tipping Albus Dumbledore off. She also explained the lessons they had planned to give and that he (Neville) would also take them together with Harry.
Neville had been happy to finally have a child his age around. While his family was nice enough, if you overlooked his uncle Algie's attempts to make him show magic, he didn't have a friend his age. He was slightly nervous though to meet Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived. He had promised his grandmother not to tell Harry about magic, he had been really surprised when she told him that Harry didn't know about magic, until they had gotten them to Longbottom Manor.
Now they planned on getting both boys some muggle clothes to make the right impression with the Dursleys and to finally get Harry clothes that fit him. Arabella knew her way around the muggle world and got both boys three sets of jumpers in a dark blue color and gray trousers. This was the uniform both boys would take their lessons in. They also got Harry some pairs of jeans, some dress pants in black, dark gray and dark blue, four button up shirts in white, one each in green, matching to Harry's eyes, dark red, blue and silver, several t-shirts, five jumpers in varying colors, two jackets, one warm winter cloak, one pair of black dress shoes, two pairs of trainers and one pair of house shoes.
They also bought him underwear, socks, a wrist watch, two scarfs, gloves and sportswear. Arabella insisted taking him to an optometrist and Harry finally got glasses that fit his prescription and weren't damaged. All the adults knew that when Harry was older he would be able to get magical contacts that permanently fixed his problem but with him still growing a lot, they were not an option right now. When he got fifteen or sixteen he would be able to use that possibility.
Harry didn't know what was going on. He had never gotten any new clothes and now these women were buying him a whole wardrobe. All the clothes were only for him. And they were new, not cast-offs. And these people were nice to him. They didn't treat him like a freak. He just didn't understand.
Neville was watching Harry with a pitying look on his face. Being dressed up by three women couldn't be fun. He already had problems if he was taken clothes shopping with his grandmother alone. Having two other women there had to be worse. But Harry seemed to be more confused than uncomfortable. Well, he would be really shocked when he was told he was a wizard. By now Neville knew that all those books about the great Harry Potter and his adventures were just stories somebody made up. Poor Harry. He sure as hell wouldn't want the fame for having survived while his parents died.
The women were finally satisfied with the things they had gotten Harry. Finally the boy had the things any boy his age should have. Damn muggles.
"Harry, we are now going to take all those things we bought for you to Longbottom Manor. There we will tell you more about the things you will study for the next four years until you will go to secondary school" Minerva explained.
"Okay. How are we going to get there?" Harry asked.
"Well, this will be a bit strange. We have a special way of travelling. Augusta will take Neville and I will take you. Arabella will follow later with all the things we bought. For travelling please take my hand and don't let go. It will feel a bit strange but it will be over in a few seconds."
Harry didn't know what to think of this. Did they have a highly technological way of travelling like in Dudley's movies? Well it wouldn't hurt him to take Mrs. McGonagall's hand. When he did, he made sure to hold onto her hand. Then something happened and he felt as if he was pressed together through a small tube. Then it was over. But Harry felt a bit sick.
"It's okay Harry. Breathe in deep and breathe out slowly. First time of side-along apparition is always a bit uncomfortable" he heard Mrs. McGonagall tell him.
It took Harry some breaths but he finally felt good enough to look up. What he saw was astonishing. They clearly weren't in London anymore. In front of him was an old manor house with white walls. The roof was black and all around the house were pompous gardens.
"Wow" Harry said. "Where are we?"
"Welcome to Longbottom Manor" Augusta told the overwhelmed boy.
"Let's go to the patio. I will have tea brought there. Then we can talk. There are a lot of things we have to tell you Harry. Things that your relatives should have told you, but we are aware that they would never do so."
Harry just nodded and followed the others around the manor and onto a patio. At this side of the manor there was a small pond. Harry didn't recognize a lot of the flowers and plants that grew here. But then again he only knew Aunt Petunia's small garden. Harry sat down on a bench next to Neville. The women took seat in garden chairs that were made from a highly polished dark brown wood with a tint of red in it.
"Good. Now I will call one of the servants at this manor. You will probably never have seen something like this, so I want to warn you Harry. I will call a house elf. They are magical beings that live with old families and look after them. They cook, clean, garden, look after children and keep the family's secrets. Well, Finny" Augusta called.
A pop sounded next to Augusta and Harry looked surprised at the strange being that had appeared out of nowhere. It had big eyes, floppy bat like ears and wore some kind of strange uniform. It looked a lot like a toga but Harry wasn't sure.
"Mistress Augusta has called Finny" the house elf as Augusta had called it asked.
"Yes Finny. Please bring us some tea and biscuits here. Also please tell the cook that he should prepare lunch for three adults and two children."
"Of course, Finny will do so."
Then the elf popped away.
"What? How? Why?" Harry stuttered.
"As I told you Harry" Augusta explained calmly "that was Finny, she is a house elf. Finny is bond to the Longbottom family. House elves get their power from the family they are bonded to. And they only bond to magical families."
"Magic? But Magic doesn't exist" Harry said repeating what he had been told over and over again by his relatives.
"Oh, magic does exist Harry. The magical world is just very well hidden from the non-magical world" Minerva continued explaining.
"Many hundred years ago witches and wizards decided to leave the world the non-magical people lived in and went into hiding from them. It was safer for them. During the middle ages many wizards and witches were hunted because the non-magical people, who we call muggles, were afraid of them. Mostly they were just prejudiced and followed superstitions. But we didn't want to be hunted down and especially wanted to protect our children. A normal muggle wasn't a problem for a fully grown wizard or witch, who had learned to control his or her magic.
But a child is vulnerable. So we decided to hide our world from the muggles. There are many wizards and witches living all over the world, sometimes mixed with the muggles sometimes in communities that isolate themselves from them. This manor lies in Cornwall, but muggles can't find it because old powerful wards protect it. You are a wizard Harry."
"But, you have to be wrong. I can't be a wizard, I am not special, I am just Harry. If I was special, then how could my cousin have been able to bully me all the time?" Harry argued.
"Magic doesn't work that way for you yet. You are too young to consciously control it. But when you are afraid, angry or have another powerful emotion, your magic will react and you will experience what we call accidental magic. Things you couldn't explain were accidental magic Harry" Arabella said.
"Like when my hair grew back over night when Aunt Petunia cut it nearly completely? Or when the jumper shrunk?" Harry asked realizing.
"Yes Harry. Those were accidental magic" Minerva confirmed.
"But how can I be a wizard if my Aunt and Uncle are not and say that magic doesn't exist?" Harry asked.
"Your parents were a witch and a wizard respectively. Your father James was from an old wizarding family. They had a manor like this in Wales. At the moment it is maintained by your house elves but you will get access as soon as you turn fifteen. Your mother Lily was what we call a muggleborn witch. That means her parents were muggles and she a witch. It happens sometimes. Those children are contacted on their eleventh birthdays and are told about their powers. They are invited to a magical school to learn how to control their magic.
Your Aunt knows about magic. But she has been very jealous of your mother for being able to do magic while she can't and it has turned into anger. Anger that she is projecting onto you. She has decided that as she can't do magic that magic is evil and only muggle things can be good. Your aunt wanted to prevent for you having magic and tried to make you miserable so perhaps your magic wouldn't come out. Of course this won't work. You were born with magic and it will always come out, in one form or another."
Harry needed some time to take all this in. He was a wizard. His parents were a wizard and a witch. His relatives had lied to him. They were mean on purpose. Just because his aunt was jealous of his mother.
"So all this talk about an elite school was a lie?" Harry asked.
"Well, there is no muggle school offering the kind of schooling we told your relatives about. But you will receive training in magical and non-magical subjects to prepare you for Hogwarts, where Minerva and Pomona, another witch of our group, are teachers. We will also teach you the things you will need to know to take over your family estate when you are old enough. The Potters were a really wealthy family. We will do all we can to ensure that you can have a happy childhood from now on" Augusta said.
Harry looked at Neville.
"And you are a wizard too?" he asked.
"We, well we are not sure yet. My parents were a witch and a wizard, but I didn't have accidental bouts of magic yet" Neville said sadly.
"Hm, you said magic can do practically anything, right?" Harry asked, not liking that the other boy was so sad.
"Yes, but what are you trying do say Harry?" Minerva asked.
"Well, what if Neville has magic but it shows in a different way? I mean, my magic did not only show in crazy things that others could see, if what I think is right, it also healed me from the bruises and other injuries I got from Dudley and his gang. They were always gone the next day after one night of sleep. Perhaps it is the same for Neville. I mean, he probably wouldn't have the same problems I had, when he lived with his nice grandmother."
Minerva had to hide a grin. This was so typically Lily. Always looking out for others and trying to help them. The smile and charm Harry displayed were pure James' on the other hand.
Neville perked up.
"You mean healing cuts and bruises overnight isn't normal? It could be magic?" Neville asked hopefully.
Augusta looked shocked at her grandson. Did they miss his bouts of magic only because they weren't that visible?
"Neville please tell if that you ever noticed something like that" she asked.
"Yes. When I cut my finger working in the greenhouses really deep one day and I didn't want to tell you because you don't like me working in there, I hid it and the next morning the cut was healed and you couldn't see anything anymore" Neville admitted.
Augusta embraced her grandson.
"Oh Neville this is wonderful. If I had only known. This type of magic is called introversive magic. It shows in healing the body, high abilities in mind magics or a thorough understanding of magical processes in animals and plants. No wonder you are such a natural in Herbology. I am so proud of you Neville" she said.
Neville had blushed terribly. He had never been praised like that before. And he was grateful to Harry. With a simple idea he had erased the doubts of his magical abilities. He just had a different kind of magic. He wasn't a squib.
Harry smiled. He was glad that Neville was a wizard too. It was not nice to not really belong somewhere. Harry knew the feeling.
For the next hour the two witches and one squib, as Harry found out Mrs. Figg was, told him what he would learn for the next years. Herbology in the Longbottom greenhouses with Pomona Sprout, which also included certain properties of the plants in Potions, Politics, Financial Management and Etiquette with Augusta Longbottom, Minerva McGonagall would teach Math, History and Magical Theory and Arabella Figg Potion, Care of Magical Creatures and Muggle Science.
All four women had agreed that both boys needed to be knowledgeable about both worlds. That included dancing lessons, which would be taken in a dancing school in Manchester which was owned by an old classmate of Arabella from her college days, fencing classes, Augusta was convinced that every young gentleman should know this sport, lessons in German from Pomona, who had relatives in Germany and therefore was fluent in the language and French taught by Arabella. Classes with Pomona and Minerva would be on Saturday mornings because of their duties at Hogwarts or would take place during holidays.
Due to Harry and Neville asking about others joining them in their lessons, they decided to make subtle enquiries with other magical families. They wouldn't risk Dumbledore finding out, but as long as they kept Harry's name out of their talks he would never find out anything.
While the adults continued their planning, Neville showed Harry around the Longbottom property. Both boys got along really well and became fast friends. Neville showed him his favorite greenhouse, which he told Harry had been started by his mother before the death eaters mentally damaged his parents. Neville hadn't told anybody this before but Harry was probably the one person who could understand him. After all he had also lost his parents to You-Know-Who. Harry promised Neville not to tell anybody about this.
They also visited a small colony of knarls that lived at the edge of a small forest. They really looked like hedgehogs. Neville told him about Quidditch, the most popular sport in the magical world and that his grandmother feared to let him near a broom because he was somewhat accident prone. Harry really wanted to give flying a try but he also didn't want to do it without Neville.
That evening Harry went to bed happily. He had a friend, he knew the truth about his parents and the Dursleys could rot for all he cared. He would only be here for the nights and the rest of the days he would spend at Longbottom Manor. He was really looking forward to learning about the wonders of the wizarding world.
First of two chapters is done. Please review and tell me what you think.
PS: Second part will be posted Easter Sunday.