"I am your great Grandfather." a mature voice said.
"I don't understand. What is a great grandfather?" a youthful voice asked.
"I am the father of your father's father. Well that's not the whole truth really but I'll explain more once you understand better." the first voice explained.
"You are the Alpha's father?" the younger voice asked.
"No your human father. You know you are different from the other wolves." he stated.
"Tell me about it. I'm smaller, weaker and slower than all the others, even the younger ones." the voice sounded upset.
"You take longer to grow to full size." the voice tried to sound comforting, "Eventually you will be larger than they are. You will also live longer."
"How did I get here? What happened to my human family? Why did they send me here? Didn't they want me?" The voice was filled with desperation, "I knew it I'm too weak for even them to care for."
"No son; you are wrong. They did want you. Very much wanted you." the voice was soothing to the boy like his mum licking his head when he was very small, "More than their own lives they wanted you to live. Let me tell you their story. It all started when…"
*** the story begins ***
"Us? Are you sure? Could you be mistaken?" James Potter asked worriedly, hoping that he was misunderstanding what the old man was saying.
"Yes I am sure. No I am not mistaken." Albus didn't want to scare the young couple before him but it was imperative that they understood the enormity of the situation.
"Merlin why us?" Lily asked, "Haven't we been through enough already. We've barely managed to escaped from him three times. How many more times can we do this?"
"A prophecy was made. A boy born at the end of July will have the power to defeat him." Albus stated evasively.
"Surely he's not the only one. Did it say this year?" James wished with all his might that it was not his child.
"Of course he's not the only one. I'm requesting all who are having boys in July and August to hide." Albus stated, "The prophecy was given back in June. It just says a boy born near the end of July. We hope it means this year. If not we will protect any future boys born at that time."
The couple clung to each other. Both hoping fervently that their child would be spared. James was terrified. He had almost lost his family once already when Lily was hit with a curse before they even found out she was pregnant. She and the baby had pulled through, barely and now they were in danger yet again. As he sat there he had one thought going through his head, "Sirius will help me keep them safe."
"James I've got a brilliant idea." Sirius said when they were talking about it later in the day, "We'll switch secret keepers to Peter. Everyone will think it's me and come after me but even if I'm tortured I won't be able to tell them."
"Sirius…" James was not sure this was a good idea.
"It's brilliant. Old Volde will be after the wrong guy the whole time." Sirius laughed, "We'll prank him so good he won't know which way is up."
"I don't think it's a good idea." Lily said, "Peter isn't very strong. Why not use Remus?"
"We can't it's a full moon tonight." James sighed. He trusted Sirius, Remus and Peter with his life, he really did. He just wasn't so sure he trusted Peter with Harry and Lily's lives. He wanted to be the secret keeper but Albus had explained he couldn't leave to tell anyone and no one would be able to find them or even know if they were in trouble, "It is a good plan, no one would suspect Peter to be our keeper."
"I wouldn't even suspect it." Lily mumbled to herself. She looked at the two men and finally nodded her head, "If you think it's best."
*** Questions ***
"So the bad man came after them?" the young voice was filled with regret.
"He did. The man and woman died but in such a way that the baby was protected." the older voice also was filled with regret, "The baby lived and here you are."
"So Peter gave them up?" the young boy asked, "How could he do that to his friends?"
"What is worse is that he also framed Sirius." the man shook his head in sadness, "The man has been in the prison called Azkaban for the last years."
"Why didn't you stop them?" the boy asked.
"I was dead long before this happened." the old voice sighed, "I could see it happen but had no power to affect it."
"So I didn't die but how did I get here?" the boy asked, "How did I end up in this forest? Could no one find me under the secret?"
"No you were found and here is where the story gets… well let me just tell it." the old man's voice was tinged with such sorrow.
***Continuing the story***
"Vernon could you grab the paper as you come by the door." Petunia called when she heard her husband coming down the stairs, "Dudley's a bit fussy. I think he's coming down with something he cries whenever I leave his side."
Vernon Dursley open the door and bent down to grab his daily paper. But instead of the paper he found a baby in a basket. The baby was asleep and there was a note on top. He picked up the note and read it quickly. He was so shocked he didn't move for a full minute. Only the cries of the toddler in the kitchen broke through his mind. Thinking quickly Vernon shut the door and went to the kitchen.
"I haven't even been able to start your breakfast." Petunia sighed, "Sorry."
"Don't worry. You have you hands full. I'll just leave early and grab a quick breakfast at a fast food place on the way." Vernon kissed his wife's cheek and bid them a quick goodbye before he left. On his way out the door he picked up the basked and tossed it into the back seat of his car. This freak wouldn't mess up his perfect family.
On his way to work Vernon contemplated many ways to get rid of the baby. He could just drop it on someone else's door step or an orphanage. But he was afraid the freaks would come after him the first time he did some magic. His mind briefly crossed the idea of dropping the boy off in one of the forested places on his way past but again the freaks might be able to find him. He reached his office and still had no idea what to do. He grabbed the basket and stomped to his office. No one was around at that time of the morning so he sat the basket on his desk and sank into his chair to think. He was leaning back and looking around aimlessly as he thought. His eye's ran across a box by his door. It was the next order to be shipped to his special client. He would get quite a handsome sum for that box. The thought of more money always made Vernon smile. Suddenly an idea came to him. He found an empty box and went to his secretary's desk. He found several mailing labels on her desk ready for letters or shipments going out. He grabbed one of the international shipping labels and went back to his office. He carefully placed the basket into a box that was just its size and started to tape it shut. He really just wanted to throw the basket in the box but he couldn't afford for the freak to wake up for a long time. He wrote fragile in big block letters all over the box. He decided the more the box was roughed up the sooner they would discover the boy. Unknown to Vernon the boy was spelled to sleep until he was removed from the basket.
Vernon added the shipping label and left the box on his secretary's desk, after making some holes for air; then he walked to the bakery across the street to get breakfast. He nearly had a heart attack when he saw a group of oddly dressed people that were talking about someone named Potter, which was Petunia's sisters married name. He thought the freaks had already found him out, but none of them approached him. He got his breakfast and sat at a table wearily watching the odd people in the street. He hoped they would disperse before he had to return to his office. By the time he returned to his desk the package was gone.
"This box is really light and says fragile." a burly man said to his partner, "Better put it on top.
"Whatever." the man replied as they were loading a plane, "I can't believe they want to get to China by way of Canada. Isn't it shorter to go the other way?"
"Haven't you been watching the news?" the first man asked, "There's unrest in the Middle East again."
"There is always unrest in the Middle East." the other man muttered as the two continued to load the plane.
Take off was routine. The Atlantic flight was routine. The stopover in Quebec was routine. Of course routine in Quebec meant that it was going to be late. The office there was ran by a fat lazy man who didn't hurry for anyone. He'd bark at his people until they finished loading the cargo but then he would sit and wait before signing off on the paperwork. He was always just starting break as the loading was finished. Said it was because they were so slow they ran over time, but everyone knew he just liked being a pain in the backside whenever he could. This set back meant that instead of being near the west coast when the storm swept through the middle of Canada they were right in the thick of it. When it all came down not even the black box could give them a reason. The engines were still going, the altimeter said they were still at a good altitude but they crashed. The pilot and co-pilot were both killed on impact. Only one person survived the crash because he was packed in a box marked fragile and he was at the top of the plane.
"So he put me in a box?" the boy asked, "How do I understand what mail is? And International. What's happening?"
"I am transferring knowledge." the old man said, "The more I talk the more of my knowledge seeps through to you. It's a spirit thing. I couldn't tell your parents Peter was the spy because they aren't open to the idea of talking to spirits in this manner. They talk to ghosts all the time but I am not a ghost."
"Ok." the boy didn't question the older man any further on that, "This is the point in the story where mum found me right?'
"She did. You had been tipped out of your basket when the plane crashed and that was when you woke up. She was going to eat you but one look in your eyes told her that you were special." the man said, "You have been able to speak to all animals from birth. It was a trait you inherited from me."
"And now you are teaching me." the boy commented.
"And now I am teaching you." the old man agreed.
"Do I call you Grandfather then?" he asked.
"That is fine." he replied.
The boy learned many things through the years that he spent getting an education from his grandfather. He learned his name, how to read, write, do math and all the other things that children his age knew. He also learned how to speak to many humans and the rest of the animals he had met. He had a gift for language his grandfather told him. His magic worked in a way that would instantly teach him any language he heard. It helped greatly when dealing with the local peoples near his home. He also learned magic. Grandfather showed him how to use magic to do all kinds of things. He could hunt and never miss. He could fight and never lose. He also learned how to look like an animal. He could take the form of any animal he had seen. It took years and lots of hard practice but he was becoming a powerful and skilled wizard. One day in midsummer Harry's grandfather approached him with a problem.
"Happy birthday son." the old man said.
"Thank you Grandfather." Harry replied, "I am now eleven right?"
"That is correct. Now people in England are going to realize you are not there. They will begin to look for you." he said.
"Should I hide?" Harry asked.
"No it's going to take them years to find you. They'll start in England and look there until someone gets the bright idea to look at your Uncle's memories. Then they'll go to China. Only after several years of that will someone think to check and see what happened to the flight you were on. They'll find out it crashed and then start looking for you here in Canada." The man snickered, "They are a bit slow to understand things."
"What should I do?" Harry asked.
"You will need to decide for yourself. The evil man is still out there and he is going to try to find you and kill you. You will need to decide to stay hidden and safe here or go back and fight him to the death." the man said.
"But you said killing humans was a bad thing." Harry pointed out.
"True it is bad, but just like with a rabid animal sometimes they must be killed for the safety of the rest." he said.
"If I go back and kill him then can I come back?" Harry asked.
"You may come back to visit but you won't be back to live here." he smiled, "England is your home too. You will become comfortable there and find friends more like you."
"But I can't leave the pack. They need me." Harry said.
"The pack will become soft and rely on you more and more. That is not the way for them it would eventually kill them. Either way you will have to leave the pack soon." he said, "You will remain here for a while but not with the pack. Later you may choose to live some other place. You get to make your own decisions. But once they find you, I'd suggest either the tribes or the English school until you become an adult."
"Will you still be with me in England?" Harry asked.
"I will always be in your heart." he said, "But I don't know if I can still come to you and teach you."
"Then I'm glad I have several years left." Harry smiled at the person, well the spirit he loved most in the world.
"In England you would be getting your school letter today." he smiled, "You would travel to the shopping district and buy your books and a wand. I know you are used to doing your magic without one but when you get there you'll need to begin to use one. So you need to find a stick around twelve inches long."
Harry found such a stick. His grandfather told him how to shape it into the form he wanted. As Harry was holding his wand he looked at the spirit and asked, "I have a question for you if I'm allowed."
"Ask and I'll decide whether or not to answer." the man said.
"When I'm with the humans I tell them my Grandfather taught me everything." Harry paused not sure if he should continue. Deciding to get on with it he stated, "They ask for your name and I know nothing but Grandfather."
"For the local tribes just tell them it's the spirit Grandfather." he said, "In England I went by another name but if you tell anyone there they'll think you're crazy. Not many can speak to the spirits like you do."
"I won't tell them your name." Harry promised.
"When you research your family you will find me listed as Merlin." he stated. The two then began the task of learning wand movements and incantations. Harry used his wandless magic but learned how to push it through the wand. Merlin explained that if he went to England it would be easier when the wand actually had a magical core. He would have to be careful not to show his true power. Evil had many spies in the world including the ones at the small school in Scotland he where would be allowed to attend if he chose that path. Merlin smiled as he watched his grandson grow.
***Back in England***
Albus was in shock. Never did he think anyone would act this way. Rarely had the man been rendered speechless but he was there now. He sat at the table at Number Four Privet Drive across from Lily's sister. The woman was a monster. He was actually glad at this point, that Harry had not lived in this house with these people. When he had reached the house the woman had tried to slam the door in his face. He thought she was upset and blamed him for her sister's death so he forced his way in hoping to comfort the woman. But he was mistaken, she told him she didn't want any freaks like her sister in her house and that he should leave. She didn't know about Lily's death and she didn't care. She said that she had warned Lily that magic would be the death of her and it was her own fault. She insisted she knew nothing about Harry and Albus finally had to probe her mind to see if she was being truthful. But she was being honest about never having seen Harry. She didn't care in the least that her nephew was missing.
She even went so far to say, "With any luck at all he's dead too and won't pose a threat to normal people."
Albus was able to move to leave the house even in his shocked state. But he was in no shape to apparate. He wandered through the streets until he was able to concentrate. He arrived at Hogsmeade and made his way to the school. As he walked he kept thinking that this must be a dream. It can't be real. It's like he'd been dropped into an alternate reality that so many of those wizarding novels loved. Nothing was making sense. But the real world came crashing back onto him the moment Minerva asked about Harry. The order meeting that followed was nothing short of chaos.