Author's note: I own nothing. Just having a bit of fun here while I explore what could have happened had Harry gone to live with Dumbledore instead of staying with the Dursley's. This story is rated T for some language, and the fact that there will be corporal punishment in some chapters.
Hagrid had to take a deep breath to calm himself as he said the password to the gargoyle. He respected the man above anyone else, but seeing Harry treated like that absolutely infuriated him. Honestly, what had Dumbledore been thinking? Leaving poor Harry with people like that? Hagrid didn't care if they were the boy's last living relatives. Keeping the boy safe and not growing up with an oversized ego was one thing, but this was absolutely absurd.
It had taken all of Hagrid's will power to not tear the Dursley's limb from limb in that tiny little shack. Instead he had had to settle with giving the boy a pigs tail. Then Hagrid had taken Harry to Diagon Alley for the day, and his fury had increased even more. Keeping the boy from growing up in a world where he was famous before he could walk and talk had been one thing, but Harry had no idea he was even a wizad. Let alone that he was a famous wizard, his parents had died as martyrs saving him, or that he himself was a bleeding hero. Hagrid had seriously debated just taking the boy with him, but decided he had best just talk with Dumbledore first. That was, if he got much talking done through his anger. Hagrid realized he would just have to remind himself all that Dumbledore had done for him in the past. That was the only way he was going to approach this in any calm manner.
Hagrid took a few more deep breaths before knocking on the oak door, but before he even touched the door he distinctly heard "Come in Hagrid."
"Good evening Professor Dumbledore sir." Hagrid mumbled as he shuffled into the office.
"Everything went well I trust Hagrid?" Dumbledore spoke calmly never taking his eyes off the half giant before him.
"Uh… Oh yeh mean the stone. Yeah, I got it righ' 'ere." Hagrid had almost forgotten about his mission to get the sorcerer's stone out of Gringotts and bring it back to the Headmaster, but he quickly found it in one of the pockets of his moleskin coat and handed it over without another word.
"Thank you Hagrid. I knew I could trust you." There was the familiar twinkle in Albus Dumbledore's eye, but his voice was quite serious as he took the wrapped parcel and placed it on top of his desk. "We will definitely make sure to give that a safe home. That reminds me. Hagrid, would you be willing to lend me Fluffy?"
"Sure Headmaster, but yer gonna wanna be careful. Can be quite a handful he can. Course, yeh jus' 'ave tah know how tah ca'm 'im." Hagrid's mind was so thrown by the current conversation his anger ebbed away temporarily.
"And just how would you go about calming him Hagrid?" Albus Dumbledore knew very well that Rubeus Hagrid had a complete fascination for dangerous creatures. One would not hesitate to call that fascination unhealthy, but Albus did not worry about it too much since Hagrid always seemed to be able to calm, tame, and control these otherwise wild creatures. Therefore he had complete confidence in the man.
"Jus' play 'im a bit o' music and he falls straight tah sleep Headmaster." Hagrid shrugged as if this was common knowledge. Then again, it wasn't every day that you came across a three-headed dog and he guessed that it would be hard to imagine a vicious creature simply falling asleep to the sound of a lullaby. Of course, this was him just guessing since he personally didn't think Fluffy vicious.
"Very good Hagrid, thank you." Albus nodded as he pondered this information, but his gaze continued to watch the half giant. "Now, something is bothering you Hagrid. Would you care to enlighten me as to what It is?"
"Well sir…" Now that he was in front of the man, Hagrid just couldn't bring himself to be angry. After all, maybe Dumbledore didn't know the whole situation. Then again, there was very little that Dumbledore didn't know. "Yeh see, it's 'arry." Hagrid was now struggling to find the words, and he wondered just how to explain how he felt. Especially since Hagrid had no idea how to fix the problem. "'im and those sodding Dursley's." As Hagrid began to think about the Dursley's his anger started to return. "They're jus' awful tah 'im Professor Dumbledore sir. "Don' treat 'im righ' at all. I don' reckon they even feed 'im proper, an' 'e don' know a thing about' our world."
Albus listened to Hagrid explain and steepled his fingers in thought. He knew that Harry's situation was not ideal, but he didn't know just how horrible it truly was. "How much do you truly know of what's been going on Hagrid?"
"Only wha' 'arry told me in the few 'ours I was with 'im sir." Hagrid sighed. At least the Headmaster was listening to him. "Didn' know a thing about' our world. Though' 'is parents died in a bleeding car crash!" He was back to yelling again, but this time his anger wasn't toward Dumbledore. Was sleepin' on the floor of the hut with a the oldes' blanket I ever saw when I found him and it was his birthday. Walks around in clothes 5 sizes too big 'e does, and looks like 'e never gets anything tah eat. Tha' cousin o' 'is is fattened up nice, but no' 'arry."
Albus' concern for the boy grew as Hagrid rambled on about Harry's situation under his aunt and uncles care. When he had left the boy on the doorstep 10 years ago he knew that Harry wouldn't be in an ideal situation, but he had hoped his relatives would care for him at least a little bit. It sounded like the only thing they hadn't done to the boy was physically abuse him. Still, what they had done could be just as scaring. If not more since this damage was done on the inside. "I want to thank you for filling me in on this Hagrid. I can assure you, I was not fully aware of Harry's situation. I will definitely look into it."
Albus had spent the past two weeks watching the Dursley's, and he wasn't completely sure what to make of the entire situation. The Dursley's didn't treat the boy as Hagrid had described. Instead, they just completely ignored him. Pretended he didn't even exist. Nobody so much as looked at the boy, let alone spoke to him. In fact, Harry spent most of his time lounged in the smallest bedroom in the house, reading his school books. Or at the very least, glancing through them. One thing Albus did notice however, was that along with ignoring the boy, his aunt and uncle weren't feeding him. No, instead they expected the 11 year old to just fend for himself. They didn't stop him, but they definitely didn't help him out like true guardians should.
Although the situation was definitely deplorable at best, it was not as bad as Hagrid had led him to believe. At the same time however, a lot had happened since Hagrid had seen the boy, and Hagrid had actually talked to Harry. Was it possible that the situation was what Hagrid had described and the Dursley's had only started ignoring Harry because their son was sporting a curly pigs tail, Hagrid's doing no doubt, and Harry now had a wand and spell books at his disposal? Albus knew he would have to find out more before making his final decision.
Knocking on the door across the street Albus waited patiently. He smiled when an elderly lady opened the door, but frowned when he saw she was leaning on some crutches. "Good morning Arabella." Dumbledore stated politely bowing slightly and kissing the woman's hand. "I'm sorry to disturb you my dear friend, I was not aware that you had been hurt."
Arabella Figg had been quite annoyed at having to get up to answer the door, but once she saw Albus Dumbledore standing on the door step her annoyance vanished. "Not at all a bother Albus. It's always a pleasure to see you. Please, come in." With that Arabella hobbled aside to let her longtime friend enter before shutting the door and following him into the living room. "Don't worry about me Albus." She continued as she sat on her couch and levitated her leg. "I'm an old woman and break easily. Though, I will say that I'll be more careful while around my cats. Of course, first I have to get better and that blasted Dursley boy doesn't help matters by running me over."
Albus shook his head at this last comment. "Would you care for some tea Arabella?" With that Albus waved his wand at the empty tea set on the side table and it filled with steaming liquid. Arabella smiled and carefully took one of the cups before Albus levitated one over to himself. "I am sorry to hear of your misfortunes, but could you tell me what you mean by the Dursley boy running you over? I was unaware that children his age were allowed to drive."
Arabella sipped her tea a moment before responding. "As far as I am concerned Albus, a boy like Dudley Dursley should never be allowed to drive period. It was not an automobile that the boy ran me over with however, it was some kind of racing bike. I imagine he got it for his birthday. Not that he ever appreciates any of his gifts. I'm quite sure he would be bored with it by now, so I will be able to recover easier."
"Ah, I see." Albus sipped at his tea thoughtfully, not at all sure how to approach the situation at hand. "Does young Harry seem appreciative of his gifts at all?"
"Harry doesn't truly have anything to be appreciative of Albus." Arabella looked at him sadly as she sat her tea cup down. "As such, I can assure you that he is very appreciative of any small thing he may receive."
"I see." Albus had to ponder this information for a bit. Did this mean that Arabella thought that Harry's situation was as bad as Hagrid had explained? "What do you think of young Harry's staying with his aunt and uncle Arabella?" Dumbledore decided it would be best to just come right out and ask her. After all, Arabella was a very opinionated woman, and was never afraid to hold anything back.
"I think that it is utter rubbish Albus!" There was no mistaking the disgust and slight anger in Arabella Figg's voice. "I don't care if they are the only relatives the boy has. No child should have to put up with a cousin twice his size picking on him while he is expected to do all of the chores. Up until Hogwarts started sending those letter's to him he was forced to live in the tiny cupboard under the stairs, and was barely given enough to eat to keep him alive. If he misbehaved he was locked in that cupboard for weeks on end, not allowed to come out even to eat or use the restroom." Arabella was working on not screaming now, and she had to stop to catch her breath. "If you ask me Albus, anywhere would be better for the boy than where he is right now."
"Thank you for that information Arabella." Dumbledore spoke calmly as he placed his own tea cup down. "I once again wish to thank you for watching over Harry, for letting me come in, and for speaking your mind. I do wish you a speedy recovery, and I hope to see you again soon." With that Albus stood up. Yes, his mind was definitely made up. He was going to get Harry out of the Dursley's home once and for all. The only question, was where to place the boy.