No, I do not own the Harry Potter franchise, though I do own copies of all the books and films. The people who do own the Harry Potter franchise are JK Rowling, Bloomsbury, Warner Bros. and a few other publishers. Thank you to JKR for letting us play about in the sandbox of the Wizarding World.
Well, here it is, my second Harry Potter story. It's a "Harry is the unloved brother of the BWL", though unusually for this kind of story, it takes place after the characters finish Hogwarts.
Harry: The Forgotten Brother.
Chapter 1: Dumbledore's Puzzle
Arnold Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived, the Chosen one, aged thirty-two, Hogwarts graduate; Gryffindor, class of '98, the one the wizarding world placed its hopes in to defeat the Dark Lord Voldemort, was dead. Port-keys had brought his severed limbs to several locations throughout Britain; his head to his parents, Lily and James, an arm to the Weasley ancestral home; the Burrow, another arm to the Headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix; Number 12, Grimmauld Place. The torso, with a gaping hole in it, was delivered to the Great Hall of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry during dinner. One leg arrived in the main atrium of the Ministry of Magic. The other leg arrived at the flat of Arnold's long-time best friend Ronald.
The hole in the torso was where his heart had been ripped out. It, along with his testicles, arrived in Arnold's own flat, to torment his fiancée, Ginny.
Panic was widespread throughout the wizarding community. This war had been going on for around seventeen years, with neither the light side nor the darkness giving an inch.
Voldemort was powerful, but with Albus Dumbledore, Alastor Moody, Amelia Bones, Rufus Scrimgeour, Cornelius Fudge and Arnold presenting a united front, the self-styled greatest dark lord of all time had been unable to make any serious bid for control.
That did not stop the attacks, however. In fact they were quite regular. But the leaders of light were always there to provide backup.
Now, though, one of them, supposedly the only one who could kill Voldemort, was dead himself, and by Voldemort's hand, no less.
And the fickle wizarding public wanted someone to blame. And the remaining leaders had promptly turned on each other, each insisting that it was all the others' fault, but not their own.
Now the light side was dividing.
The Order of the Phoenix had split into two groups; the larger group were the ones who had, for a long time now, become slowly more disillusioned with the way Dumbledore ran the organisation. This group contained Lily and James Potter, Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, Nymphadora Tonks, Hestia Jones, Kingsley Shacklebolt and most (but not all) of the remaining Weasley clan, amongst others. And it was this group that now sided with Alastor Moody.
The smaller group consisted of the Dumbledore loyalists; including Minerva McGonagall, Molly Weasley, Ron Weasley, Severus Snape, Elphias Doge and Dedalus Diggle, amongst others. Their numbers were topped up, at least in the political circuit, by a couple of Wizengamot members, and one or two Ministry personnel, with the majority of the teachers at Hogwarts on their side too.
Cornelius Fudge and Amelia Bones seemed to have split the rest of the Wizengamot members between them; with Fudge taking those of big name, yet mostly incompetent, such as Dolores Umbridge. Amelia, on the other hand had the likes of Augusta Longbottom, Griselda Marchbanks and Tiberius Ogden in her camp.
Amelia also had the loyalty of the majority of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, of which she was in charge. Certainly the run-of-the-mill Magical Law Enforcement officers were behind her one hundred percent. The Hit Wizards too, for the most part, were loyal to her, or at least the sub-section of the department was; you never could tell with those blokes where their loyalties truly lay, though with the highest bidder, would not be a bad guess.
The Aurors, however, seemed to have chosen to ignore Amelia and instead sided with Head Auror Scrimgeour, who had little backing elsewhere.
And that was how the problems began. Those loyal to the Dark Lord began to worm their way into the now separate ranks of the light side, particularly the Wizengamot, and the sub-departments of the DMLE.
And it was this that led to Albus Dumbledore sitting down in his office, going over every scrap of information about Arnold Potter that he could find.
Granted, he knew most of what there was to know, being the grand manipulator that he was.
But there had to be something that would help him to achieve his 'Greater Good'.
Rumours were that Ginny Weasley, Arnold's now pre-marital widow, had been pregnant at the time of Arnold's death. Was there a child now on the cards? A child who could take Arnold's place?
Dumbledore spent a good hour pondering that line of thought, before realising that even if there were a child, he did not have access to it. Molly Weasley, Ginny's mother, may have been on Dumbledore's side, but her husband, Arthur, was firmly in Moody's camp, as were James and Lily, Arnold's parents.
There would be little Dumbledore could do on that front. Of course, as Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, it would only take him to pull a few strings here and there, and he could get the child into its maternal grandmother's custody, where he could access it. However, such an action would cause untold amounts of public outcry against him; something he could afford little of.
It would also upset the older families. Many of them may not like Arthur Weasley, or James Potter, but both had more right over the upbringing of the child than Molly Weasley would; it was just the way of things in the wizarding world.
And it was pretty obvious that the others, particularly Fudge and Scrimgeour, would use that to turn more people against him.
No, trying to take the child, if there was one, would not be a smart move.
Nor would attempting to get Arnold's younger sisters, Charlotte and Isabella on his side work.
He had no idea what to do.
Then, after three weeks of searching though old notes and books, and wracking his brains, Albus Dumbledore remembered something; something that many had long ago forgotten.
Of course; Arnold Potter had had a brother.
The boy had even attended Hogwarts; a Hufflepuff, if Dumbledore remembered correctly.
What was the name, again? It began with the letter 'H'. Was it Herbert? Or Henry? Maybe Harold? Hugo, perhaps? Horace? No, surely not. Harley, then? Or maybe it was Harrison? Hector? Heath? Howard? Perhaps Hudson or Harvey?
Yes that was it; Harvey Potter.
Getting up from his desk, Dumbledore made his way over to the one of the filing cupboards and opened it.
A quick swish of his wand brought up the files of those who graduated in 1998 and he began leafing through.
…Katherine MacDougal, Morag MacDougal, Ernie Macmillan, Draco Malfoy, Jennifer Malone, Rebecca Malone, Kellah Mitchell, Libby Moon, Theodore Nott, Pansy Parkinson, Padma Patil, Parvati Patil, Sally-Anne Perks, Arnold Potter, Sienna Rivers, Seren Roper, Bradley Runcorn, Zacharias Smith, Ryan Spinks…
Nope, definitely not. There was no file between Arnold Potter and Sienna Rivers, as there should have been.
Dumbledore could think of only one reason why the file of Arnold's brother was not amongst those of his year mates.
As these folders were all updated until the time the student graduated, the absence of a name meant that the student in question had not completed their education with the rest of the year group.
Dumbledore could not recall the lad getting expelled, in fact, he could not recall ever hearing of any incidences of the lad getting in trouble.
Had he died? No, surely not. Dumbledore would have known. The whole world would have known; he was Arnold Potter's brother.
Perhaps he had been held back a year? Yes that had to be it.
Another wave of his wand, and Dumbledore called up the files of those who had graduated in 1999.
…Elizabeth Manning, Patricia Marks, Eric Midgen, Russell Newton, Debora O'Flaherty, Joanne Pittman, Malcolm Preece, David Preston... damn!
The lad could not have possibly been held back two years, surely? Perhaps he got moved up a year? But then how often did that happen with a Hufflepuff? Ravenclaws, occasionally; Gryffindors and Slytherins, rarely. But a Hufflepuff?
Well, there was an easier way to sort this.
Another wave of his wand, and Dumbledore had the files arranged as those sorted in 1991.
…Draco Malfoy, Jennifer Malone, Rebecca Malone, Kellah Mitchell, Liberty Moon, Theodore Nott, Pansy Parkinson, Padma Patil, Parvati Patil, Sally-Anne Perks, Arnold Potter... Bingo.
Here it was.
Odd, though, the boy's name was written as H. Potter? How strange.
What was more, rather than the usual, elegant calligraphy style used on the other files, the name was just scribbled in, as though done by someone in a rush.
Was the boy an unexpected arrival?
Dumbledore himself certainly could not remember a second Potter son ever being mentioned before he turned up at Hogwarts.
Finally taking the file out of the mass of others, Dumbledore noticed something else strange; the file was very thin. Arnold Potter's file in front of it was very bulky, filled with appraisals, merits, and a few detention forms, as well as countless extras.
H. Potter's file, meanwhile, contained merely the basics. The first page was the same as all the others; a small fact sheet about the student the file represented. The usual, except in the way it was filled out;
Surname: Potter (?)
First name(s): H.
Father: James Potter (?)
Mother: Lily Potter (nee Evans) (?)
Date of Birth: -
Place of Birth: -
Nationality: White English (?)
Blood Status: Half Blood (?)
Well that was not too informative, and what was there seemed speculative. At least it corrected Dumbledore: the lad had been in Ravenclaw, not Hufflepuff.
He turned over to the medical history sheet. It was blank.
No recorded trips to the Hospital Wing whilst at Hogwarts, and apparently no visits to St Mungo's Hospital either before his time Hogwarts, or during it.
There seemed to be nothing else in the file other than the again standard end-of-term reports.
According to the sheets for then end of the autumn, winter and spring terms of first year, the boy was mediocre at best. Why then was he in Ravenclaw?
His end-of-year scores, however, told a much different tale. In fact, those scores pointed to someone who ought to be moved up a year ahead of his brother. But he had not been so.
Second year was much the same; the teachers reported him as mediocre, whilst the end-of-term exams showed him to be something of a genius.
And third year, well, whilst the teachers' reports said the same (almost word for word), the third year exam results pointed, not only to a student who desperately needed to advance, but also to a potential prodigy in charms, transfiguration, potions and defence against the dark arts. His ancient runes, herbology and arithmancy results were none-too-shabby, either.
A note slipped in by Madam Hooch said that the lad had tried out for the Quidditch team in this year. He had failed to get a spot.
Then there was fourth year.
Dumbledore remembered that year well; Arnold Potter had been illegally entered into the tri-wizard tournament, events had quickly spiralled beyond anyone's control, and eventually resulted in the return of the Dark Lord Voldemort.
And looking through this file now, the school year in question held something else that had remained unnoticed and insignificant until now.
The teacher's end of term reports all read pretty much the same as they had over the previous years. This time, however, their comments were backed up by the end of term exams.
Oh, he had passed them all, but only barely.
Gone were the signs of a brilliant mind. Gone were the signs of a gifted student. Gone were the signs of a child prodigy in four subjects.
Was there an incident, perhaps, that damaged this brilliant mind? No, the medical information sheet was blank. What then? It was almost like the lad had given up. But why?
Perhaps a more important question was why there was nothing more in the boy's school record after the end-of-year results for fourth year. It seemed like the boy had left, but there was no form, or anything else to state that he had withdrawn from the school. There were no transfer notes to say that he had switched schools, as six other students had done following the Tri-Wizard Tournament. There was no expulsion form, so he had not been expelled. And there was no death certificate, which would have been put in the file if he had died.
What happened to him, then?
And why did Dumbledore struggle to remember him? He had no problems remembering each and every face that had passed through Hogwarts' doors in all the time he had worked at the school, so why did he struggle so to remember this one student?
Especially when this one student was a fairly important person; he was the brother of the prophesised Chosen One, after all. The Potter family had been featured thousands of times in wizarding publications over the past three decades, why could Dumbledore not remember one of them?
Perhaps a trip to the library was in order. Madame Pince kept copies of the Daily Prophet, The Evening Prophet, Witch Weekly, The Quibbler, Challenges in Charming, Seeker Weekly, The Practical Potioneer, Transfiguration Today and countless other wizarding periodicals for research purposes, and her collection ran right back to when each periodical was first published.
If Dumbledore could find any information on the mysterious second-son of the Potters, it would be there.
So there you go. What do you think? I'm not sure as to the pairing of this story yet. I know Hermione will play an important role alongside Harry, but whether they become a couple or not is still up in the air. I know that I am posting this with the two characters listed being Harry and Hermione, but, as so many of us, including myself, often forget, those little 'character selection' buttons we use to search for stories relate to who the story mainly focuses on, not the pairing, sorry.