Disclaimer: The characters depicted herein belong to J.K. Rowling not me
A/N: To all my fans that have been following The Power To Change do not worry. I am still working on that I'm just experiencing a little writers block with it at the moment so I decided to start in on this. I will be continuing TPTC so don't fret. Well enjoy the story and lemme know what you think guys! I hope you like it.
CHAPTER ONE: NO WAY!
"Yes Aunt Petunia." The too skinny ten year old Harry Potter said as clearly as possible with swollen lip. He knew that mumbling would only cause the woman to slap him on the back of his head… or hand him off to Uncle Vernon for punishment.
Thankfully she was too distracted by her cleaning frenzy to notice the little mumbling he did do because of his lip. His Aunt was currently too absorbed in her cleaning frenzy for Dudley's birthday tomorrow and she had just charged Harry with scrubbing the tiles in the kitchen. He quickly made his way into the kitchen and grabbed the cleaning supplies from beneath the kitchen sink. While he scrubbed he quietly wondered why his Aunt was cleaning at all given the fact that the house was always in pristine condition. The furniture even had plastic covers on them. Quietly sighing in resignation he went about his work.
"Petunia!" Came a thundering voice as the door opened. Harry turned his head slightly and saw Uncle Vernon fumbling in through the door with at least a dozen bags in his arms. "Help me with these before Dudley gets home."
"Coming Vernon." Petunia said as she bustled towards the front door to help Uncle Vernon take the bags upstairs so they could hide them until tomorrow. Neither of them so much as glanced at Harry as he continued to scrub the kitchen tiles.
It wasn't long though before they came back down. Petunia went back to cleaning the living room while Vernon thundered into the kitchen. Harry tensed as the man walked by but he kept working, knowing that if he stopped the man would notice him and punish him for not doing as he was told. Vernon seemed pretty intent on his goal though since he didn't even so much as glance at Harry. He went straight to the refrigerator and made himself a sandwich. Unfortunately for Harry Vernon didn't use a plate and when the man walked back across the kitchen his sandwich dripped all over the floor.
"Can't you do anything right!" Petunia screeched just as Harry went to clean up the new mess. She walked across the kitchen and smacked Harry on the back of the head. "Go to your cupboard boy I'll do it myself!"
"Yes Aunt Petunia." Harry said as he got up to go to his cupboard.
He was once again thankful that his Aunt was too enamored with her cleaning in order to notice his speech. Harry quickly made his way to his cupboard under the stairs and got inside before she could changer he mind and have Vernon punish him.
Harry spent the remainder of the day in his cupboard. He didn't even go out to get something to eat since he knew he wouldn't be given anything anyway. The next day he was even locked in the cupboard so he didn't infect his cousin's birthday with his supposed freakishness. He honestly didn't know what made him such a freak. He did everything they asked and tried to be good but for some reason it just wasn't good enough. Harry sighed as he amused himself with the few broken toys he had managed to keep hidden. He had a feeling they wouldn't be letting him out any time soon so he might as well entertain himself.
He was right too. They didn't let him out of the cupboard for the rest of the day and half way through the next morning. Harry was forced to relieve himself in the empty jars that were in the cupboard with him. He didn't like doing that but he had no choice. When his Aunt finally let him out of his cupboard she set him about cooking breakfast and then cleaning up the dishes when he was done. It wasn't until that afternoon when something strange happened.
"Go and get the mail boy!" Uncle Vernon barked after hearing the mail slot flap open and shut.
"Yes Uncle Vernon." Harry said almost mechanically as he got up from once again scrubbing the kitchen tiles and went to the front door.
Harry picked up the mail and froze. There sitting on the top of the pile was an envelope addressed to him. He was utterly stunned. He knew of absolutely no one that would be sending him any mail. Suddenly his brain kicked into gear and he knew he had to hide the letter before anyone else saw it. Thankfully his cupboard door was open just a crack. Heading back into the living room he quickly slipped the letter into the cupboard without anyone noticing.
"Bout time boy!" Vernon growled when Harry handed him the mail.
"Sorry Uncle Vernon." Harry said before he went back to scrubbing the tiles. Though he went about his chores as they were assigned to him Harry's mind was forever on that mysterious letter hidden away in his cupboard.
Later that night after everyone had gone to bed Harry opened his letter. Given that he had never before received anything in the mail before Harry was quite nervous. However his nervousness was overshadowed by his desire to see what the letter held and he quickly ripped open the envelope.
Ten minutes later he was staring dumbfounded at the underside of the stairs. The letter had just told him that he was not a freak but, in fact, a wizard. It stated that he had been accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He couldn't believe it but it actually explained quite a lot actually. Strange things always happened around him for some reason. Things shattered or disappeared when he was angry. One time he had even ended up on top of his school when he was running away from bullies at school.
Suddenly a small note slipped out from the envelope that hung loosely in his limp hand. It drew his attention as it fluttered quietly to the floor. Still rather dumbfounded Harry spent several minutes just staring down at the innocent looking piece of paper on the floor in front of his crossed legs. Somehow he knew that, despite the seemingly benign contents of the letter he had just read, he knew this little note held nothing good. Eventually though he picked it up and read it.
Bring Harry to the corner of Charing Cross Road and Shaftesbury Ave tomorrow at three.
The note was unsigned but Harry hardly noticed. His thoughts were centering on one single notion. They knew. THEY KNEW! He couldn't believe it. Harry was furious. It may have explained why they called him a freak but it was definitely NO excuse for the way they treated him. Harry began breathing heavily as his heart rate and fury increased and it took every ounce of his self control to calm down so he didn't wake his relatives by making something explode. Looking down at the note once again Harry looked at the meeting place. He knew Charing Cross Road. It had been one of the very few times the Dursley's had taken him out of the house. It was roughly a few hours' drive from the house.
Making up his mind Harry grabbed the worn and torn bag he used for school and left his cupboard. He snuck his way into the kitchen as quietly as humanly possible and made his way to the cupboards containing non-perishables. After packing enough snacks to last a little while he crept his way to the front door and quietly left the house. Once he had shut the door behind him he swiftly got as far away as possible before he settled down to a comfortable walk. He knew that the Dursley's would never take him to meet whoever put that note in the letter. Hell they'd probably whip him simply for getting the letter in the first place let alone actually letting him go to this Hogwarts. Thus he was running away. A few hours' drive would mean he'd have to walk most of the day in order to get where he was going but he would manage.
It was just before three the next day when a very weary and tired Harry Potter got to corner Charing Cross where the note had said to be. He found a bench and sat down heavily. His feet were killing him and he hoped that whoever was picking him up didn't have any more walking planned. While he sat there waiting he couldn't help but wonder if he had done the right thing. After all the letter had said that the school term wouldn't start until September first and it was only July 24th. He had no idea how he was going to survive for over a month.
"'Arry?" Came a big booming voice from over the din of the city traffic. He looked up to see the largest man he'd ever seen lumbering down the sidewalk towards him with a smile that was mostly hidden by the man's big bushy black beard that went half way down his torso. The man could've easily towered over Uncle Vernon several times over. "Blimey is that you? I haven't seen you since you was a baby."
"Uh…" Harry said elegantly as he stared up at the man that was now towering over him.
"Oh where are my manners?" The man boomed. "My name is Rubeus Hagrid, Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts. You can call me Hagrid, everyone does."
"Hi." Harry said as he started to get over his shock. The mention of Hogwarts actually got through his foggy brain and he smiled slightly. "I'd introduce myself but you apparently already know who I am."
Hagrid laughed at that. "That I do 'Arry. What'd ya say we go get something to eat? We'll do our shopping tomorrow."
Harry smiled bigger at that, he really didn't want to do much more walking. He got up and followed the man as he walked down the sidewalk. He stoically ignored his sore feet and did his best not to wince as he walked. The man, Hagrid, may have seemed nice but he wasn't ready for anyone to know that he had run away just yet.
Hagrid led Harry to a pub tucked away near the entrance to an alley. No one seemed to even notice the place as they walked by. There weren't any windows and the door was black so Harry wasn't entirely surprised at the lack of attention. The sign above the door shifted to reveal a cauldron with the name Leaky Cauldron written on it. Inside the pub was rather empty and there were only a few people scattered throughout enjoying meals and drinks alike. A few people looked up when they entered but they obviously didn't think Hagrid was unusual given that they went back to their meals and conversations.
"Afternoon Hagrid!" The bartender said as he went about cleaning a mug with a rag. "Your usual?"
"Along with a couple of rooms, Tom." Hagrid elaborated with a nod. "Young 'Arry and I will be staying until the start of term."
When he heard that Harry nearly collapsed with relief but he managed to stay on his face and maintain a straight face. He wouldn't have to worry about surviving for a month on his own.
Unfortunately at the mention of his name the entire room went silent. Harry felt a chill run down his spine as everyone in the room turned to look at him. Before he could do more than blink he was enraptured by handshakes, hugs, pats on the back, and various other praises. He had no idea why this was happening but from the scattered phrases that he managed to catch he figured that somehow he had managed to do something that everyone was grateful about but for the life of him he had no idea what.
"Alright, alright!" Hagrid boomed over the crowed after a few minutes. "That's enough! Leave him be!" Almost immediately the crowd started to disperse and Hagrid led him to an empty table where they began to eat the meal that was soon brought over to them.
"Uh… Hagrid?" Harry said after a few minutes of silent eating. "What exactly was that all about?"
"Well you're famous Harry." Hagrid said actually managing to pronounce the 'H' in Harry's name.
"But why?" Harry said biting back a snide remark about how it was rather obvious that he was famous.
Over the rest of dinner Hagrid explained the reasoning behind Harry's fame. By the time Harry had retired to the room Hagrid had gotten him he was silent and thoughtful. He now knew, partly, why he lived with people who frankly wanted nothing to do with him. However he couldn't get past the question that if he was so popular then why wasn't he left with someone who would at least care properly for him? Especially if the Dursley's obviously didn't want or even like him.
Sighing in confusion Harry climbed into his bed and went to sleep. He couldn't figure out the answers to his questions now without more information. Slowly Harry managed to drift off to sleep, however it was far from restful.
Harry woke with a start the next morning from probably the strangest dream he had ever had. All he could remember of it was a lot of fighting, a war he presumed, and then a massive castle rising out of the chaos. That was when he woke up. Not able to make heads or tails of the strange dream Harry put it out of his head for now and got up to get ready for the day.
"G' morning Harry." Hagrid boomed when he saw Harry coming down the stairs
"Morning Hagrid." Harry said with a sleepy smile. He was actually beginning to like the large man. He may come off as a bit unorthodox and strange but he was kind and friendly. He tried to be gentle but his size and the overall boisterous demeanor he had tended to undermine that.
"I was beginning to wonder if ye were going to come down this morning." Hagrid said as Harry settled down next to him. "It's almost ten."
"Yeah," Harry smiled sheepishly. "Had a rather busy day yesterday before I was dropped off and I was really tired." Harry said after he ordered some breakfast.
"That's alright Harry." Hagrid said with a smile peaking through his bushy black beard. "I'd have woken ye up around noon to go shopping though. Best to get that done and out of the way as soon as possible before the stores get too crowded."
Harry nodded in understanding since his mouth was full. He continued to eat his breakfast as Hagrid read a newspaper he'd never heard of before. He just managed to catch the title on the front as Hagrid turned the page; The Daily Prophet. Harry saw the pictures on the front page moving and he nearly chocked. Even with the idea of magic being real Harry had never suspected that pictures would move. Though once he thought about it he realized he should've expected such a thing, especially if this new world was different from the one he was used to, which he figured it would be. Marveling at the wonders of magic Harry went back to his breakfast.
When he was finished Hagrid led Harry out the back door of the pub and proceeded to tap a series of bricks, which Harry dutifully memorized, on a brick wall. He was then thoroughly amazed when the brick wall started moving and shifting. It was one thing to be told magic was real, it was another to see moving pictures (which, though fascinating, weren't that impressive when it came to proof of magic) however seeing an entire brick wall move of its own accord, seemingly without any other help, was far more convincing.
"Welcome to Diagon Alley Harry." Hagrid said when the bricks stopped moving and revealed a doorway. Looking through Harry saw a wide crooked path leading away from them. A giant marble building stood the tallest among the other buildings at the far end of the alley.
"Um… Hagrid?" Harry said a little nervously as they began walking down the street. "I don't have any money. How am I supposed to pay for all of my supplies?"
"What've those muggles been filling your head with?" Hagrid said with some slight surprise as he looked down at Harry, though he missed the way Harry had stiffened slightly at his words. "Your money's there." Hagrid pointed to the large white marble building they seemed to be heading for. "Gringotts, the Wizarding Bank. Not one safer place, 'cept at Hogwarts."
Harry made an understanding sound accompanied with a head nod. Then, to distract the man further from talk of his relatives, he asked, "Muggles?"
"Non magic folk," Hagrid explained. "We'll get ya your money and then we'll get to the shopping."
Fifteen minutes later Harry was standing rather dazedly on a stool in a clothing shop as a friendly and petite witch that appeared to be in her late twenties took his measurements. Her name was Madam Malkin and was apparently the owner of the robe shop. However Harry's dazedness wasn't due to the witch and her rather amusing antics. No, his mind was currently dwelling on the fact that he was apparently rich. He had been rendered speechless and had almost fainted when he saw the vault full of golden coins, Galleons Hagrid had told him. Hagrid had also informed him that the bronze and silver coins that were there as well were called Knut's and Sickles respectively. Once again Harry couldn't help but wonder why he had been left with people who didn't want him. Monetary support was obviously not an issue, surely someone better suiting could've been found. Even Hagrid would've done. The man obviously cared for Harry and was friends of his parents as well given the stories he told when Harry had subtly prompted him.
"Are you going to Hogwarts this year as well?" A smooth and friendly voice interrupted Harry's thoughts. Harry looked over to see a blond boy standing on the stool next to him. The boy had aristocratic features and silvery grey eyes that held a curious spark to them and very small friendly smile on his face.
"Yes I am." Harry responded with a slight smile of his own. Hagrid was currently off running another errand since he couldn't comfortably fit in the shop so Harry decided to take this chance to get a feel for whom he would be attending school with. Besides Draco may have an air of haughtiness about him but he actually seemed like a good person and may make a good friend. "I take it you are as well?"
Harry spent the next hour, while getting fitted for robes, listening to the boy, whom he learned was named Draco Malfoy, prattle on about Hogwarts and its houses. Draco seemed especially enthralled with the house called Slytherin. Apparently his entire family had been in the house for generations. He even went on about how the house was the best house at Hogwarts and he seemed very impassioned about it and though Harry had no doubt that the other boy believed what he was saying Harry detected a slight hint of practice to the speech. It made Harry wonder if Draco truly adored the house or was simply keeping up a public façade. The boy's family was obviously rich and held power, if the way Madam Malkin doted upon him was any indication, so it would make sense that they had to keep up some sort of appearance. Harry idly made a note to find a Daily Prophet so he could learn a little more about the politics and other aspects of the Wizarding World.
After getting his school supplies the rest of Harry's summer was actually rather dull and boring. He had learned his birthday was on July 31st when Hagrid had surprised him with a small and private little party in the pub after it had closed. Hagrid had even gotten Harry a birthday cake and a present in the form of a snowy owl, which Harry promptly named Hedwig. The depth of intelligence in the owl's eyes astounded Harry and her general attitude clearly said she'd claw the eyes out of anyone that approached her wrong. She had taken an instant liking to Harry and had proceeded to nibble at Harry's ear and running his hair through her beak when Harry had opened the cage to let her out to try and get to know her.
August was spent in varying states of boredom or exploration as Harry either explored Diagon Alley with Hagrid or stayed in the Leaky Cauldron to get a jump start on his studies or to read a few of the non required texts he had gotten. When Hagrid wasn't looking Harry had snuck a copy of The Daily Prophet to read in his room. After sending out a few galleons for a subscription Harry read the paper he had and was rather shocked to find that he was on the front page. There was nothing more than speculation and gossip, most of which was outrageous and fantastical at best. He had snorted at the idea of him set up in a glorious mansion and was waited upon hand and foot by servants and house elves (whatever those were) alike. It was obvious to Harry that the Wizarding World had no idea what his life was really like and he had a feeling that they would all be hounding him about something or another.
When September first rolled around Harry was anxious and practically vibrating with nervous energy. Hagrid had just dropped him off at Kings Cross Station with his ticket and left, claiming that he needed to take care of something for Dumbledore, Hogwarts Headmaster. Harry figured it was something to do with the small stone looking package that Hagrid took from Gringotts when he thought Harry wasn't paying attention. Now Harry was currently wandering the station with Hedwig snoozing in her cage that was on top of his trunk on the trolley and looking for the platform he needed though he doubted he'd find it without any help. The ticket said he needed Platform 9 ¾ but there wasn't any such platform in the station. He would've asked the conductor that was walking about helping people but knew that the man would just think him crazy.
Harry figured that there must be some sort of portal that was hidden from muggle eyes but he honestly didn't know where it was. That is until he heard someone speaking about muggles. He turned and saw a bunch of red hair walking towards one of the pillars that separated platforms nine and ten. Harry stood at a distance and quietly watched as the family disappeared one by one into the stone pillar between the two platforms. Harry grinned slightly. It was quite ingenious really. It was in plain sight and obviously had spells on it to prevent any non magical being from noticing.
Once the red headed family was all the way through the gateway Harry stepped up and walked through confidently, though he was still rather nervous about everything. Pushing aside his fears and the rationality that said he'd crash and continued walking until he was on the other side of the pillar. Hedwig didn't even seem to notice anything and continued her dozing. Harry handed her to the conductor that was taking all the pets of the children that were on the platform and took his trunk and boarded the train. He wandered farther and farther down the train until he managed to find an empty compartment.
Closing the compartment door behind him Harry drew the blinds down and set his trunk on the seat. He quickly dug out his new school robes and the boots he had gotten. Unbeknownst to Hagrid, Harry had snuck into Diagon Alley a few days after they had finished his school shopping and had gone back to Madam Malkin's to get some regular every day robes along with a complete set of undergarments. He had then gone to a cobbler he had seen down the street and got a couple pairs of boots to wear instead of the worn and holey sneakers that the Dursleys had given him several years prior.
After changing into his robes and boots Harry stowed his trunk in the rack above the seats and retracted the blinds on the compartments windows and opened the door. He didn't want anyone to think that he was antisocial or anything. On the contrary he was rather looking forward to making a few friends without Dudley around to bully everyone into avoiding him. Several people passed his door, obviously in search of their friends, but none of them stopped. Eventually he got bored and amused himself by watching the people mill about on the platform outside his window. He laughed slightly when he saw children smothered in hugs by their mothers and then boarded the train with beet red faces.
"Something amusing?" A smooth and sarcastic voice Harry was very familiar with said. After all he had spent at least an hour listening to Draco ramble on about Slytherin House.
"Indeed." Harry said with a smirk as he turned from the window to see Draco, already dressed in his school robes like Harry, leaning against the doorway with an amused smirk on his face. "It is quite entertaining to watch people turn red in embarrassment."
Draco laughed at that and Harry found that he rather liked the sound. "Something we can agree upon." Draco said as he straightened and walked to the seat across from Harry and sat down. "You know, I never did get your name the other day when we were in Madam Malkin's."
"My apologies." Harry said with a teasing smirk. "But it was quite educational listening to you talk about Hogwarts."
"I see," Draco said with a calculating look in his eyes but the smirk on his face told Harry that he was enjoying the banter. "Well am I going to get your name or do I just have to call you 'robe store boy'?"
Harry chuckled and his smirk turned into a fully fledged smile. "Well I could tell you I suppose but I wouldn't be surprised if you already know my name." Harry toyed. He didn't really want to tell Draco his name for fear of the boy worshiping him like a god because of his fame.
"I think I'll call you evasive boy instead." Draco jested but had an eyebrow risen in annoyance.
"Alright," Harry said raising his hands in defeat though the amused smile on his face never went away. "My name is Harry Potter."
"Yeah," Draco said sarcastically all amusement draining from his voice. He clearly didn't believe Harry. "And I'm Merlin. Come on be serious. If you're not going to tell me just say so."
Harry raised a hand and brushed aside his untamable black hair that was hiding his scar. One thing the Prophet had gotten accurate about his description in the many gossip articles about him was his scar. Harry knew that the entire world would now be able to recognize just by looking at his forehead so he did his best to keep it hidden and covered by his hair. He watched as shock spread across Draco's face when he saw the scar.
"I'm sure you can guess my reasoning behind not telling you out right who I am." Harry said as he recovered his scar, all amusement draining from his demeanor. "Then again you grew up with wealth, power, and fame whereas I… didn't." Harry turned to look back out the window and saw that the train had left the station and was moving out of the city and into the country side. He didn't mean to be rude towards Draco but he hadn't realized just how much he resented living with the Dursleys.
"Rumor is that you spent the past ten years being pampered." Draco said somewhat calmly but there was still shock lining his voice, along with something Harry couldn't place but sounded like… gratitude?
Harry sneered but kept looking out the window in an attempt to remain calm. "If I was being pampered the last ten years I'd hate to see what hell looks like."
Hearing the honest contempt and pain in Harry's voice made Draco's heart clench and he realized that not only were the papers and rumors dead wrong about the savior before him but that he cared for the other boy as if he were a lifelong friend.
"Well we have an entire train ride a head of us; do you want to talk about it?" Draco said and Harry heard actual concern in his voice but not a single trace of starry eyed amazement. Harry had always been a little more sensitive towards what other people were feeling. Growing up in a house with volatile relatives that would beat you at a drop of a hat made it necessary for him to always be aware of the emotions in the room so he knew when to stay as unobtrusive as possible.
"I don't know." Harry said turning to look at Draco with a serious but accepting look on his face. "Can I trust you not to go blabbing to the press the second you get a chance?"
"I'm offended you would suggest such a thing." Draco said with mock offense in his voice. His antics were rewarded when Harry smiled slightly. "However I suppose I could forgive you considering that others have done such things. I'll have you know that the Malfoy family has many secrets so I can most certainly handle yours."
Harry looked long and hard into Draco's eyes. For his part Draco sat there passively and allowed the assessment. After several minutes Harry decided that he could trust Draco. He saw nothing but honest sincerity in Draco's eyes so he told. Harry told Draco everything about his home life from the time he could remember. The two of them got lost in Harry's tale and the more Harry told the more outraged Draco became though he did his best to control it. The tale took up most of the train ride and they were interrupted as the sun was setting and just as Harry had ended his tale with him running away to meet Hagrid.
"Have either of you seen a toad?" A bushy haired, bucktoothed, girl said opening up the compartment door and startling them both. "A boy named Neville seems to have lost one."
"Sorry." Harry said with a polite and apologetic smile.
"Alright then, thanks." The girl said before leaving Harry and Draco alone once again.
"Well that was random." Harry said after a few minutes of staring dumbfounded at the suddenness of what just happened.
"I'll say." Draco said also staring. He turned back to Harry and held out his hand. "Chocolate frog?"
Harry couldn't help it. He busted out laughing. The utter and complete oddity of the random question was just too much. Once he had control of himself he took the proffered treat and the two spent the remainder of the train ride talking about inconsequential things. Draco even took it upon himself to inform Harry as much as he could about the Wizarding World. During the last two hours of the train ride Harry learned quite a bit about the Wizarding World as well as Draco. Most of what he learned about Draco was done mostly through observing and listening but Draco told him some of his own childhood at home.
Finally, when it was close to seven in the evening and the sun had long sunk below the horizon, the Hogwarts Express pulled into what Harry knew, thanks to Draco, to be the Hogsmeade Station. Draco left to go tend to his trunk and his other friends. He had explained that his family had a public mask to maintain and that he had to do some damage control with his friends since he had spent the entire train ride with Harry, who understood completely. Harry dealt with his own trunk and then disembarked the train. He followed the tell tale booming of Hagrid's voice calling for first years.
"Hiya Harry," Hagrid said with a smile when he saw Harry walking towards.
"Hi Hagrid," Harry said back. He was about to say something else but someone interrupted.
"Whoa!" A voice next to him exclaimed. Harry turned to see one of the redheads he had seen at Kings Cross standing next to him. Obviously the boy was amazed by Hagrid's size though Harry didn't think it was that impressive. Amazing and worthy of note yes, but nothing to get excited about.
"Alright! First years follow me to the boats!" Hagrid boomed once all the first years had gathered around him.
Harry followed dutifully behind Hagrid as he led them down a simple path that ended in a shoreline that had twenty or so boats lined up along the beach. At Hagrid's instruction Harry and the other first years climbed into the boats with no more than four to a boat. Unfortunately Harry got stuck with the redhead that he found rather obnoxious. He had no idea who the boy was but he was loud and came off extremely rude, though Harry had no doubt the child thought he was being cleaver.
Harry spent the next twenty minutes attempting to block out the imbecile. His efforts were finally rewarded when he was stunned by the sight that rose up before him.