A/N: Okay, so first off, allow me to apologize to all my readers (all three or four of 'em) and let me explain my mysterious absence. I'd had enough of the so-called 'civilized life' and decided to rough it for a few months. I went out, got a tent, sleeping bag, all that bullshit, and four pounds of what I fondly refer to as 'my bright green muse,' then my buddy dropped me off in some forest in Oregon.
Now, I'll tell you something right now. If you ever feel the need to do anything like this, take off the marijuana from your checklist of survival items and add paper. I write for a living, you need to realize this. And a writer without any sort of writing materials is just some bum in the woods with a shit-load of weed.
But being among all those trees and shrubs and little forest animals allowed my mind to open up and just think for long periods of time (the kush helped, too). Being without paper, and with no feasible means of writing, short of using a porcupine quill and various berries and wild plants to write on tree bark, I just kept them in my head.
And so, after three months out in the wild (whereas I thought it was almost a year), I hitched a ride into the nearest town (lovely little place called Thatchland), hit the homie up, and before I knew it, I was lying in front of a Target, one of the many places I wake up after a night on the town. But that's not for now. Now, I'm here to share with you some of the many vague ideas and thoughts learned in the dappled forests of the semi-Northwest.
If anyone's still reading this retardedly long author's note, well, that's more than I can say I'd do. But now you, the faithful or bored reader, get to see the full summary of the fic, even though the others who jumped this note are already reading it. Y'know, what? I think I'll just do the summary now.
So, what if the dear old Dursleys took a hop across the Pond and 'accidentally' left an eight-year-old Harry in the Big Bad Apple? And what'll happen when Dumbledore's crew finally tracks him down after six years? How will a Harry who was raised in America react to the Triwizard Tournament? Find out in The Adventures of Harry J. Potter!
Disclaimer: I don't own anything that has already been copyrighted by someone else. Then again, that's pretty much the point of a copyright, so technically, I shouldn't really have to do this stupid thing.
Chapter 1-Tossed in New York City
3 July, 1998
Somewhere above the North Atlantic Ocean
"I still don't see why we couldn't just dump the boy off on one of your friends, Petunia," Vernon Dursley complained petulantly. "This damnable trip is costing me a fortune with the boy coming along with us!"
"Shh!" hissed his wife. Her dark eyes darted about as she craned her long neck to see if one of their fellow passengers had the nerve to eavesdrop. "All of my friends are coming to the wedding as well, Vernon. Not to mention," she leaned in closer as she dropped her voice, "one of his lot came to the house before we left and told me that we needed to take him with us, something about blood wards and traveling protection or some such nonsense." Her face soured, as if she'd tasted some badly-aged wine.
They, along with their son, Dudley, and their nephew (the boy in question), Harry, were on a trans-Atlantic flight from Heathrow to the John F. Kennedy Airport for one of Petunia's friends' wedding, which was to be held in a fancy hotel in Soho. And since Vernon hadn't wanted to spend more than absolutely necessary, the four of them were crammed into a row on the left-hand aisle, almost dead-center of the plane. Both Harry and Dudley were asleep, having closed their eyes after the in-flight movie had gotten boring.
Vernon glared at his nephew's sleeping form, seething silently to himself. That damned boy had been nothing but trouble since the day Petunia had found him on their doorstep. Why, just a few weeks ago, the little wanker had been caught on the roof of his school's cafeteria, of all the places in the world.
How the bloody hell did he even get up there in the first place? he wonderd idly. All he knew was that something had to be done about this menace to his mental well-being. But what?
As he strained his mind for the solution, Vernon went through each and every possibility his brain tossed his way as throroughly as possible. If he just gave the boy up for adoption, his lot would find him and there was a quite feasible chance that they would punish Vernon himself. He could try contacting one of those...wizards (he shuddered at the mere thought)...to see if they would take Harry. That might work. Another idea that Vernon thought had some merit was to frame the boy for a serious crime like drug possession and have him tossed in whatever local boy's home would have him, but that seemed too much of a bother.
Ugh! If only there was someplace we could just ditch the boy and be done with it all, once and for- He paused mid-thought, mouth agape and mind whirling, the cogs in his mind spinning into overdrive.
A slow, menacing smile crept across his ruddy visage as a plan started piecing itself together. The evil smirk was not unlike the one seen on Saturday-morning cartoon villains, only slightly more dramatic.
Petunia took note of her husband's peculiar expression. "Vernon," she said, "what's the matter?" He told her. In seconds, her face matched his.
"Get up, boy! The plane's emptying out and you're holding us up!" Harry opened his eyes and blinked, rubbing the sleep away as he sat up from his previous position of leaning against the window pane.
As soon as he stretched and got into the aisle, his uncle thrust the carry-on baggage into his arms. Harry staggered under the weight for a moment before he got his feet under him, and he looked around briefly. Most of the seats around theirs were empty, and many of the remaining passengers were heading out of the door that led out to the terminal.
Harry took not two steps before he felt a pudgy leg hook around his own, and the next moment, he found himself face-down on the scratchy carpet with a mild pain in his chest, where some very solid piece of luggage was digging into his torso. In the background, he could hear his cousin tittering madly.
Then a pair of strong hands picked him up from under his arms and set him on his feet. Harry looked up to thank his aide and felt the vaguest hints of déjà vu. The man was in his mid- to late-thirties, and his handsome face was framed by a dark goatee and a shock of matching hair, which fell elegantly into his gray eyes.
He wasn't particularly tall, but to Harry, he was a giant. "You alright, then?" asked the man with a kind smile and a British accent. Harry nodded blankly. The man started picking up the luggage that Harry dropped.
"Th-thank you, sir," Harry said as he grabbed up one of the bags.
"How old are you, pup?"
"I'll be eight in a few weeks, sir," Harry replied. The man looked at him, surprised, then turned to Vernon.
"I know it's not my place to give parenting advice," he started, "but I don't think you should be making such a small eight-year-old boy carry all of your luggage. He might have gotten seriously hurt during that fall."
Vernon flared up immediately. "You're right," he growled. "It's not your place to give me any kind of advice, friend."
"I'm not your friend, pal," the man told him coldly.
"Well, I'm not your pal, buddy," Vernon informed him, vein pulsing in his temple.
"Don't call me your buddy, friend," replied the mysterious fellow, and Harry suddenly realized that he was purposely angering Vernon with his mindless arguments, and he stifled a grin that was bubbling up to the surface.
After several seconds of this back and forth cycle, Vernon harumphed, grabbed the bags and barreled past the man, who slipped into the seats to avoid the larger man's girth. As Harry passed him, the man flashed him a smile and handed him a card.
"In case you ever need anything, kid," he said, and then he started grabbing his own carry-ons from the overhead compartments.
Harry ran to catch up to his relatives, then glanced at the card curiously. It seemed to be made of shiny paper, but it was as smooth as silk.
Sirius Orion Black, Esq.
Black Steel Mill
He turned the card over, and a picture of the man smiled back at him. Harry looked back, but the man, Sirius Black, was gone. Harry whirled around to find Black, but the man was nowhere to be seen. But where could he have got to?
Before Harry could do anything else, he heard Uncle Vernon bellow, "Boy! If I have to go back into that plane and get you, you'll be sorry!" Not wanting to bring the wrath of Dursley upon himself, Harry grabbed up the remaining bags and scurried out of the aircraft, all the while wondering who Sirius Black was.
Inside the airport, however, his curiosity vanished in the multicolored whirl of people. JFK was much larger than Heathrow, and much more interesting. Everywhere he looked, Harry found something more strange and wonderful than the next.
But the most interesting thing there was the people: they ranged from the scruffiest, mangiest-looking old man with dirty, threadbare clothing and dreadlocked hair to the smartest, prettiest business woman wearing a crisp, fresh-pressed suit, hair glossy and smooth.
As Harry and the Dursleys passed a group of men chattering excitedly in what Harry believed was some Asian language, he suddenly felt strangely miniscule. In Little Whinging, there were plenty of people, sure, but he'd never seen so many at once, at the same place. It made him realized that this massive crush of humans was only a diminutive fraction of what lay outside, in one of the largest cities in the United States, which made London look like a steamboat compared to a battleship.
Once they retrieved their baggage from the luggage carousel and stepped outside, Harry found that he was right. The sheer numbers made him dizzy, and the noise, sights, smells, all assaulted him at the same time.
"Wow," he said, completely awestruck.
"Shut up and get a move on," barked Vernon. They caught a cab to the hotel they had booked and got ready for the wedding, which was in roughly four hours. Dudley and Vernon were dressed smartly in tuxedos, Vernon's vest and tie a deep violet color, while Dudley's looked rather like old mustard. Harry was wearing a three-piece that Vernon had found in a thrift store that was near their shelter for their stay. It was rather tattered, but the suit and pants were still jet-black, and fit him somewhat well. The tie was a brilliant green, and his shirt was a crisp white.
Harry glared at himself in the mirror. As of late, he'd found himself with a streak of vanity, and he wondered if the tie was too much, and if it distracted from his eyes, rather than enhance them. He scrunched his face as he felt a small hole at the seam that connected his left sleeve to the shoulder of the jacket. Then he grinned and ripped it slightly, and did the same to the other. The rips, he decided, made him look that much cooler. He ruffled his hair up so that his bangs covered his lightning-bolt scar, and a bit of his brilliant eyes.
"Stop looking at yourself in the mirror, boy," shouted Vernon as he straightened his bow-tie and neatly tucked the matching handkerchief into his breast pocket and cuffed Harry upside his head. "And do something with your damned hair. All that staring into the mirror, you'd think you were doing drugs."
"Maybe I will," muttered Harry under his breath.
"What was that!"
"Nothing," Harry replied quickly. He expertly slipped his tie into a Double Windsor knot, having watched Aunt Petunia do it for Dudley hundreds of times, and then followed Uncle Vernon and Dudley out of their room and down the stairs.
The wedding lasted for about three hours because the groom had gotten cold feet, and his best man found him in a bar. For the duration of the entire ceremony, the soon-to-be-husband kept swaying where he stood, and there was a definitive reek of booze about him. The bride seemed to notice nothing at all.
The reception was a much more pleasant affair than the actual wedding, and a lot more fun. There was an open bar, and Vernon and Petunia headed straight for it.
By eleven o'clock that night, both were nicely buzzed, and they decided to set their plan into motion, and be gone by tomorrow afternoon.
"Boy!" Vernon grunted, stumping over to where Dudley and Harry had been sitting. Harry looked up to see his uncle holding a large, brown-tinted bottle with the words Jack Daniels on the label.
"I didn't do anything!" Harry said before his uncle could punish him. What surprised him was when Vernon started chuckling in a way that Harry had previously only seen him use when in Dudley's company.
"I know you didn't, boy," Vernon said, sinking into a chair near Harry's. "That's why you get a special treat. He poured a measure of whatever was in the bottle into the cup that Harry had been drinking out of. Harry took a whiff and jerked his head away swiftly. Vernon laughed. "That's strong stuff, boy. Have at it."
Harry took a sip and coughed, sputtering. "I remember my first taste of liquor," Vernon said reminiscently. He got up and disappeared into the crowd.
"Let me get some," Dudley said immediately, elbowing Harry and snatching his cup. There was more than enough for the both of them.
Harry swirled the harsh-scented liquor around in his cup, then raised his eyes to his cousin, who was doing the same thing with the liquor he'd taken out of Harry's. "Bottoms up, cousin," he said, raising his glass and putting it to his lips.
Hours later, Harry was staggering along, supported by his uncle, while Aunt Petunia was showcasing a mother's strength by half-carrying her son through the streets to their hotel.
"You weren't supposed to get Dudley smashed as well, Vernon," Petunia hissed. She looked around. The street was devoid of any form of life. Tendrils of steam hissed out of the manholes in the street. There were no streetlights on this particular block, and the moon and stars provided little help. "This will do."
Vernon suddenly pushed Harry into a side-alley, slipping a twenty-dollar bill into the pocket of his suit jacket. "There," he said gruffly. "I'm not completely devoid of any emotions. Have a nice life, boy. And good riddance."
He went to help his wife, and the two took off at a jog while supporting Dudley.
Harry had landed on a large pile of cardboard and lay staring up at the dark sky as it spun lazily over his head. There was no room in his cobwebby mind for any thought whatsoever. His brain was waterlogged with the wonderful beverage that was Jack Daniels. Even though he knew that he'd drunk extremely too much for his first time, Harry was still in a state of complete bliss.
And so, it was in this mentality that Harry fell asleep in a side-alley in New York City, completely unaware that in a few short hours, his only blood relatives would be on a flight back to England, leaving him with little money, only the clothes on his back, and no clue whatsoever as to what to do when he woke up.
A/N: So that little deformed brainchild you've just read was one of the billions of miniscule thoughts that passed through my mind during my 'mind trip' in the woods, and it was one of the few that I managed to get hold of before I forgot about it in my stoned mentality. There will be others, on a few other fanfiction(dot)net links like Naruto, Bleach, and Pokémon, and maybe even some others. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you come back for more. FMW