Here you go (REVIEW!), the prologue (REVIEW!) of the revised version! Just remember (REVIEW) to leave a REVIEW at the (REVIEW) door!
There is no such thing as magic. That was what Harry had been told for as long as he could remember. His aunt and uncle had made sure to drill it into his head that there is no such thing as magic. To further make him realize this, they did something they'd never done before. They gave him books when he turned five. Sherlock Holmes, to be precise...
"Elementry..." ten-year old Harry practiced in front of the mirror. He cleared his throat. "Elementary... It's elementary... Elementary."
He nodded to himself as he tried to adjust his face, attempting to maintain a pompous, yet normal look.
"Elementary, my dear Watson... Though, he never says that..."
The Dursley family had treated him somewhat like a family member, though more like a distant relative that nobody liked. He had Dudley's second room, but there was hardly anything in it, only a hard, uncomfortable bed, a desk, a bookshelf with the entire Holmes collection in it, a wardrobe, and a wall mirror.
Harry's nose dove into the 'A Study in Scarlet' book again, and he hummed to himself.
"BOY!" came the roar of Uncle Vernon from downstairs. "YOU INSISTED ON GETTING A VIOLIN! YOU INSISTED ON ME DRIVING YOU TO PRACTICE, SO YOU BETTER GET YOUR ARSE DOWN HERE THIS INSTANT!"
Was it four already? Harry hastily snapped the book shut and carefully placed it back in the bookshelf, before grabbing the beaten old violin case on his bed, rushing out of the room.
"Coming, Uncle Vernon, sorry!" he yelled, rushing down the stairs. "Hey, Uncle, can I get a pipe?"
Mr. H. Potter
The Smallest Bedroom
4 Privet Drive
10-year old Harry, soon to be 11, stared at the letter in his hand. A letter, for him? That had never happened before. And the cupboard... How did the sender know exactly where he lived? He was about to open it, when it was snatched out of his hand by Uncle Vernon, who glared down at him.
"Don't linger, and give me the mail, boy!" he ordered gruffly as he wobbled back into the kitchen, Harry following closely.
"That's mine," Harry said, trying to snatch it back.
"Who'd be writing to you?" Uncle Vernon sneered, opening the envelope, taking out the letter and shaking it open with one hand and glancing at it. His face went from red to green faster than a set of traffic lights. And it didn't stop there. Within seconds it was the grayish white of old porridge.
"P-P-Petunia!" he gasped.
Dudley tried to grab the letter to read it, but Uncle Vernon held it high out of his reach. Aunt Petunia took it curiously and read the first line. For a moment it looked as though she might faint. She clutched her throat and made a choking noise.
"Vernon! Oh my goodness... Vernon!"
They stared at each other, seeming to have forgotten that Harry and Dudley were still in the room. Dudley wasn't used to being ignored. He gave his father a sharp tap on the head with his Smelting stick.
"I want to read that letter," he said loudly.
"I believe I'm entitled to read it," Harry said, glaring at Dudley, "as it's mine."
"Get out, both of you," Uncle Vernon croaked, stuffing the letter back inside its envelope.
Harry didn't move.
"I want my letter."
"Let me see it!" Dudley demanded.
"OUT!" Uncle Vernon roared, and he took both Harry and Dudley by the scruffs of their necks and threw them into the hall, slamming the kitchen door behind them. Harry and Dudley promptly had a furious but silent fight over who would listen at the keyhole. Dudley won, so Harry, his glasses dangling from one ear, lay flat on his stomach to listen at the crack between door and floor.
"Vernon," Aunt Petunia was saying in a quivering voice, "look at the address... how could they possibly know where he sleeps? You don't think they're watching the house?"
"Watching... spying... might be following us," Uncle Vernon muttered wildly.
"But what should we do, Vernon? Should we write back? Tell them we don't want-"
Harry could see Uncle Vernon's shiny black shoes pacing up and down the kitchen.
"No," he said finally. "No, we'll ignore it. If they don't get an answer... Yes, that's best... we won't do anything..."
"I'm not having one in the house, Petunia! Didn't we swear when we took him in we'd stamp out that dangerous nonsense?"
That evening when he got back from work, Uncle Vernon did something he'd never done before; he visited Harry in his room.
"Where's my letter?" Harry asked politely, the moment Uncle Vernon had squeezed through the door. "Who's writing to me?"
"No one. It was addressed to you by mistake," Uncle Vernon said shortly. "I have burned it."
"It was not a mistake," Harry said angrily, "it had my room on it."
"SILENCE!" Uncle Vernon yelled. "Now, I want to hear no more about that letter, understand?"
"NO BUTS! NOW PRACTICE YOUR VIOLIN!"
Harry jumped at the yell and almost ran over to the bed, taking his battered old second-hand violin out of its case. He lay down on the bed, using his pillows as a backrest while Uncle Vernon slammed the door shut, and Harry started playing a sad tune to mimic his feelings.
This was a mystery... Who would write Harry Potter? No matter how hard he thought about it, Harry couldn't come up with a theory. Not until he got a glance at the letter. He had an incredible eye for detail.
Parchment, written with a reservoir pen or quill, right-handed, judging by the angle of the strokes... Old fashioned... he thought to himself as he got up, pacing up and down the room. Hypothesis: An old Lord, who has just discovered that I am a blood relative, and wishes to set me free from this family.
He stopped at that thought, shaking his head. No, no, too wild... I wanted that letter...
Next morning at breakfast, everyone was rather quiet. Dudley was in shock. He'd screamed, whacked his father with his Smelting stick, had been sick on purpose, kicked his mother, and thrown his tortoise through the greenhouse roof, and he still hadn't been allowed to read the letter. Harry was thinking about this time yesterday and bitterly wishing he'd opened the letter in the hall. Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia kept looking at each other darkly.
When the mail arrived, Uncle Vernon, who seemed to be trying to be extra nice to Harry, made Dudley go and get it. They heard him banging things with his Smelting stick all the way down the hall. Then, he shouted, "There's another one! 'Mr. H. Potter, The Smallest Bedroom, 4 Privet Drive-'"
With a strangled cry, Uncle Vernon leapt from his seat and ran down the hall, Harry right behind him. Uncle Vernon had to wrestle Dudley to the ground to get the letter from him, which was made difficult by the fact that Harry had grabbed Uncle Vernon around the neck from behind. After a minute of confused fighting, in which everyone got hit a lot by the Smelting stick, Uncle Vernon straightened up, gasping for breath, with Harry's letter clutched in his hand.
"Go to your bedroom, practice your violin," he wheezed at Harry. "Dudley, go... just go..."
Harry paced back and forth in his bedroom, angrily playing the violin, the instrument of the soul, as he had called it. Surely, whoever sent those letters would just try again and again? Why was Uncle Vernon trying so hard to keep them from him?
Aunt Petunia reacted the worst, recognition in her eyes... Revulsion and jealousy in her eyes... Therefore, it must be family related, but what?
The anger ebbed away, and the tunes became softer and softer, until he played the slow, calming tune he always played when he thought hard about something. I need data...
The whole shack, in which Uncle Vernon had decided they'd stay to escape the hundreds of letters sent to Harry, shivered and Harry sat bolt upright, staring at the door. Someone was outside, knocking to come in.
They knocked again. Dudley jerked awake.
"Where's the cannon?" he asked stupidly.
There was a crash behind them and Uncle Vernon came skidding into the room. He was holding a rifle in his hands. Now they knew what had been in the long, thin package he had brought with them. Though Harry had suspected it, judging by the shape of the package, and the faint smell of gunpowder from it, suggesting that it was a used rifle.
"Who's there?" he shouted. "I warn you, I'm armed!"
There was a pause. Then...
The door was hit with such force that it swung clean off its hinges and with a deafening crash landed flat on the floor.
A giant of a man was standing in the doorway. His face was almost completely hidden by a long, shaggy mane of hair and a wild, tangled beard, but you could make out his eyes, glinting like black beetles under all the hair.
The giant squeezed his way into the hut, stooping so that his head just brushed the ceiling. He bent down, picked up the door, and fitted it easily back into its frame. The noise of the storm outside dropped a little. He turned to look at them all.
"Couldn't make us a cup o' tea, could yeh? It's not been an easy journey..."
He strode over to the sofa where Dudley sat frozen with fear.
"Budge up, yeh great lump," the stranger said.
Dudley squeaked and ran to hide behind his mother, who was crouching, terrified, behind Uncle Vernon.
"An' here's Harry!" the giant said.
Harry looked up into the fierce, wild, shadowy face and saw that the beetle eyes were crinkled in a smile.
'Tone of voice, body language, and the expression on his face suggests that this man means me no harm. Threat: None.'
"Las' time I saw you, you was only a baby," said the giant. "Yeh look a lot like yer dad, but yeh've got yer mom's eyes." Uncle Vernon made a funny rasping noise.
"I demand that you leave at once, sir!" he said. "You are breaking and entering!"
"Ah, shut up, Dursley, yeh great prune," the giant said. He reached over the back of the sofa, jerked the gun out of Uncle Vernon's hands, bent it into a knot as easily as if it had been made of rubber, and threw it into a corner of the room.
Uncle Vernon made another funny noise, like a mouse being trodden on.
"Anyway, Harry," the giant said, turning his back on the Dursleys, "a very happy birthday to yeh. Got summat fer yeh here... I mighta sat on it at some point, but it'll taste all right."
From an inside pocket of his black overcoat he pulled a slightly squashed box. Harry opened it with trembling fingers. Inside was a large, sticky chocolate cake with Happy Birthday Harry written on it in green icing.
Harry looked up at the giant. He meant to say thank you, as it was only polite, but the words got lost on the way to his mouth, and what he said instead was, "Who are you?"
The giant chuckled.
"True, I haven't introduced meself. Rubeus Hagrid, Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts."
He held out an enormous hand and shook Harry's whole arm.
"What about that tea then, eh?" he asked, rubbing his hands together. "I'd not say no ter summat stronger if yeh've got it, mind."
His eyes fell on the empty grate with the shriveled chip bags in it and he snorted. He bent down over the fireplace, and they couldn't see what he was doing, but when he drew back a second later, there was a roaring fire there. It filled the whole damp hut with flickering light and Harry felt the warmth wash over him as though he'd sunk into a hot bath.
No noise... No stroke of matches, no click of a lighter. Nothing... Harry thought as he stared at the fire. Cause of the fire: Unknown...
The giant sat back down on the sofa, which sagged under his weight, and began taking all sorts of things out of the pockets of his coat: a copper kettle, a squashy package of sausages, a poker, a teapot, several chipped mugs, and a bottle of some amber liquid that he took a swig from before starting to make tea.
Alright, so there he was, on the Hogwarts Express, waiting to go off to Hogwarts. His mind was working furiously to get around all the things he'd seen lately. After all, there was no such thing as magic, right? Then again, he couldn't explain anything else. All the evidence pointed to the fact that magic did, in fact, exist...
He had to admit, though, he'd only been at the station for a few minutes, when a mystery appeared before him. The woman, who showed him how to get the platform nine and three-quarters... Middle-aged woman, who had several children, only one of whom started school, whereas the others had already started. She had been there more than once, probably even when she went to school as well.
Why would she need to be reminded of which platform it was?
Harry Potter was famous in the wizard world. The woman obviously knew who he was, since her eyes landed on his scar, but she didn't seem surprised, unlike everyone else he'd met... Harry sighed as he reached into his pocket, taking out a plastic stick, about the size of a pencil, and put it in his mouth, chewing on it with his brow furrowed in thought.
In the books, Sherlock Holmes smoked a pipe, and Harry had found that it relaxed him to chew on something, and since he was too young to chew on a pipe, he had to settle for a piece of plastic.
Only minutes after Harry had gotten on the train, and met those two ginger twins, the youngest son of the ginger woman had come into the compartment to ask if any of the seats were taken.
Greed was the first thing Harry saw in the boy's eyes, and as such, he had told him that he was expecting visitors. His warning bells went off when that boy was around.
Greed, the woman knew who I was, and the boy had no doubt been sent by her, no doubt to befriend me... I do own a rather large sum of gold... Harry thought as he hummed, absentmindedly staring at the opposite wall of the compartment.
There was a knock on the door of their compartment and the round-faced boy Harry had passed on platform nine and three-quarters came in. He looked tearful.
"Sorry," he said, "but have you seen a toad at all?" When Harry shook his head, he wailed, "I've lost him! He keeps getting away from me!"
"Come, sit," Harry said, gesturing for the seat opposite of him. "The best way of knowing if an animal is loyal is to let it come to you. If your toad doesn't return, it's fairly safe to say that it's not comfortable around you, and you should let it go."
The round-faced boy blinked slightly, and then stepped into the compartment, sitting down across from Harry.
"I'm Harry, Harry Potter," Harry said with a smile, holding out his hand in greeting.
The boy gasped in shock as his eyes immediately landed on the scar on Harry's forehead. "Y-You're... Harry Potter... THE Harry Potter..."
"Indeed," Harry said, nodding. "I believe it's polite to introduce yourself as well."
The boy jumped slightly, and rubbed his slightly sweaty hand on his pant leg, before shaking Harry's. "Sorry. I get sweaty hands when I'm nervous. I'm Neville Longbottom."
"It's quite alright," Harry said, smiling again.
"I heard you were raised by muggles," Neville said. "What were they like?"
"They were, in short, horrible," Harry replied, back to chewing on his plastic. "They hate magic more than anything, and as such drilled into my head that magic doesn't exist. It was a rather big surprise for me to find out that it is, in fact, real. I take it that you were not?"
"No, I was raised by my gran," Neville said. "She's a pureblood witch. No muggle contact for me. It's not that she hates muggles, or anything like that. She just likes magic more than muggles." Neville noticed that Harry was staring at him rather intently. "Uh... Something wrong?"
"Not at all," Harry said, shaking his head. "I am merely analyzing you."
"Yes. Growing up, I have generated a great eye for details, and as such, I find that it's excellent training for my brain, to analyze the people I meet."
Neville, intrigued, leaned forward. "So, what can you tell about me?"
Harry leaned forward as well, staring into Neville's eyes while chewing on his plastic. "You're insecure. Your constant attempts to avoid eye contact suggests that you lack confidence, and as such, deliberately fail anything you do, because you believe that you will fail anyway. Growing up with your grandmother suggests that your parents weren't there for you. Your reaction at the mention of your parents tells me that they didn't leave you. Instead, they weren't able to raise you. Death is ruled out due to the great distress you show at the mention of them. The usual reaction in case of death would be sorrow. No, I'd say that they're not dead, but instead... incapacitated, either from disease, or mental illness."
Neville gaped at him. "You got all that from me in this short time?"
"A man's actions and reactions can tell a person a lot of things about himself. Not everything has to be spoken to be understood," Harry replied as he leaned back, chewing on his plastic thoughtfully. "Furthermore, your sweaty hands indicate nervousness, a nervousness that suggests that you are afraid of failure, or perhaps disappointment. This tells me that you have had a hard time growing up, and that your grandmother expects great things from you, due to the successes of your parents."
"That's amazing!" Neville exclaimed, and Harry felt a smirk appearing on his face. He was finally going to get to say it!
Neville was just about to speak, when the compartment door slid open again. This time a girl was there. She was already wearing her new Hogwarts robes.
"Has anyone seen a toad? Neville's lost one," she said. She had a bossy sort of voice, lots of bushy brown hair, and rather large front teeth. She noticed Neville in the compartment, and looked at him strangely. "Neville? Shouldn't you be looking for your toad?"
"I was, but Harry made me realize that, uh..." Apparently, he had trouble with big words, due to his insecurity, and fear of failure.
"That it is futile to try to keep the toad with him, if it clearly doesn't want to be there," Harry finished kindly, and Neville sent him a look of thanks.
"Oh, alright, then," the girl said as she sat down. "Then I won't have to look anymore. I'm so excited to go to Hogwarts, aren't you? I've tried a few simple spells just for practice and it's all worked for me. Nobody in my family's magic at all, it was ever such a surprise when I got my letter, but I was ever so pleased, of course, I mean, it's the very best school of witchcraft there is, I've heard. I've learned all our course books by heart, of course, I just hope it will be enough. I'm Hermione Granger, by the way, who are you?"
She said all this very fast.
Harry smiled at the girl. She, like him, had already read through the course books, and prepared herself properly, an achiever.
"I'm Neville Longbottom, as you know," Neville said.
"Harry Potter," Harry said.
"Are you really?" Hermione asked. "I know all about you, of course. I got a few extra books, for background reading, and you're in Modern Magical History and The Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts and Great Wizarding Events of the Twentieth Century."
"Am I now?" Harry asked curiously, raising an eyebrow.
"Goodness, didn't you know, I'd have found out everything I could if it was me," Hermione said. "Do either of you know what house you'll be in? I've been asking around, and I hope I'm in Gryffindor, it sounds by far the best. I hear Dumbledore himself was in it, but I suppose Ravenclaw wouldn't be too bad..."
"I suppose Gryffindor would be the prime choice, though Ravenclaw is home to the primarily intellectual," Harry said, mostly to himself.
"Ooh, Harry," Neville said, suddenly getting excited. "Analyze Hermione!"
"Analyze?" Hermione asked, raising an eyebrow, seeing Harry stare at her.
"No, I shouldn't. You will get offended," Harry said quickly.
"No, no, I insist. Analyze me."
"Very well, if you insist," Harry said as he hummed, chewing on his plastic. "You're intelligent. Dangerously so. You constantly thirst for knowledge, and strive to be the best at whatever it is you do. However, this has had consequences in your life. Due to your smarts, you were bullied in school growing up, not making any friends because, according to them, you were a bossy know-it-all. However, that is just a mask, which slipped the second I said know-it-all, because you hate that word. Underneath that mask lies an insecure girl, who only wants to make friends, but you're hindered by your thirst for knowledge, and therefore hide your desire to make friends, and instead focus all your attention on your studies."
Hermione, just like Neville, gaped stupidly. Then, however, her expression turned into one of excitement. "That's very good! What else can you tell about me?"
Harry hummed and leaned closer. "Your neat teeth suggests that you come from parents who deem this to be very important, and seeing as you said that they were non-magic, I would say that at least one of them is a dentist. You've been wanting to do something about your front teeth for ages, out of fear of being bullied even more by your cruel classmates, but your parents think that you shouldn't tamper with teeth, anymore than necessary." He glanced down quickly, and then looked up at Hermione again.
"Your fingering your clothes suggests that you are used to picking fur out of your clothes, but don't have to worry about it anymore. You're a cat person, not a dog person, so you had a cat not too long ago, but... it died, judging by the look in your eyes."
Hermione took several deep breaths as she stared at Harry, taking in his posture, and staring at the plastic, which he held as if it was a pipe.
"Sherlock Holmes fan?" she asked, smiling slyly, a smile that was returned by Harry.
"Been reading about him ever since I was five."
"Sherlock Holmes?" Neville asked curiously.
"Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character of the late 19th and early 20th centuries who first appeared in publication in 1887. He was the creation of Scottish author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. A brilliant London-based 'consulting detective,' Holmes is famous for his astute logical reasoning, his ability to take almost any disguise, and his forensic science skills to solve difficult cases. Sir Conan Doyle wrote four novels and 56 short stories featuring Holmes. I've read them all."
"Pretty nice, for an 11-year old," Hermione said with a smile, getting a nod from Harry.
"Thank you. Now, you say you read all the course books?"
"Well, I bought up nearly all of Flourish & Blotts' stock when I was there," Harry said with a smirk at the jealous look on Hermione's face. "Pity I couldn't bring them all. Hagrid, the groundskeeper at Hogwarts, told me that there are special trunks with enlargement charms in them. I should probably invest in one of those next year."
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