The early hours of the morning were completely silent on the street of Privet Drive. It was nearly impossible to tell that only a little more than an hour before, three wizards had occupied the driveway of the house labeled number four, Privet Drive. The only thing that told of the time they had spent there was the bundle of blankets placed upon the doorstep, where bottles of milk would usually be set out.
It was that bundle of blankets that the man was after. He walked silently down the street of Privet Drive, moving as only a man accustomed to deception and stealth would be. His black robes billowed behind him, making his fast pace seem even faster. He could not reach number four fast enough.
However, once he was there, he regretted coming to Privet Drive in the first place. It was all he could do to not break down right there and let out a cry that would awake, and frighten, the entire neighborhood. In that bundle of blankets was the symbol of everything he had once had and now was lost due to the mistake he had made. In that bundle of blankets was the one thing he wanted to have the most in his life but due to a technicality, was impossible to obtain. In that bundle of blankets was the one person he would die to protect, would spend his life protecting, for a very simple reason. The baby within that bundle of blankets, a one Harry Potter, was family, the only family he had left now. He would protect his family with every ounce of his strength and with every ounce of his spirit. That was what family did.
With trembling hands, the man crouched down and pulled a piece of parchment out of the inside of his robes. He folded it and tucked it behind the letter that was already there. He knew the boy would never see the letter that had been left there by Albus Dumbledore, but he had to ensure that the boy would read his letter. That was why he had written it on a piece of parchment that was inflammable, unable to be torn, unable to be shredded, and unable to get wet. He would send one every year, on the boy's birthday in the hopes that sometime within the next decade, Harry Potter would be able to read his letter. It didn't even touch on what had truly happened but it would give the boy some sense of connection to him, and that was enough.
After the letter had been placed, the man stood up and glanced down at the slumbering baby one last time. It was a heartbreaking sight. It would be so easy, to take the child and to hide him away from the world. It would be just the two of them. They could become a real family, or at least as close to one as possible.
It wouldn't be able to last though. Albus Dumbledore and the rest of the Wizarding World would not rest until they were able to find Harry, the Boy-Who-Lived. If he took Harry with him and they were found, everything that he and his family had worked so hard to keep secret would come to light. If that happened, then Harry would be taken from him—forever. And that was unacceptable.
No. He had to leave Harry on the doorstep, had to leave Harry with his aunt and uncle. There was no other way.
Turning and walking away was the most painful thing he had to do. It took everything he had not to turn back and look just one more time at the baby on the doorstep.
Harry Potter did not receive the original letter, nor did he receive any of the letters that were sent the following six years. But, on his seventh birthday, yet another letter came while his Uncle Vernon was away at work. Upon realizing that the letter would not be destroyed and that it was the same as those that had arrived in previous years, Aunt Petunia had a brief moment of frustration and sympathy. She shoved the letter under the cupboard door, writing on the outside of the letter that no one was to know about this letter and who gave it to Harry.
For Harry Potter, his birthday had been like any other day. He had to get up, help Aunt Petunia with breakfast, and then deal with his cousin, who was insistent on tormenting him all throughout the day. While Dudley was being his usual self, Harry helped his Aunt Petunia with the cleaning before it was time for him to make dinner, with his aunt supervising him. It wasn't until after dinner that he had any free time. The only change in the day so far was the presentation of Harry's present from the Dursleys. It was a pair of Dudley's old socks. Upon receiving the present, Harry had only nodded in feigned gratitude and that was it. Nothing else was done to acknowledge Harry's birthday.
That was why the letter was a surprise. Never before had someone written to Harry and never before had Harry received two presents on his birthday, if the letter could be considered a present. With great eagerness, Harry unfolded the piece of parchment, reading it greedily. It was short, but at least it was something. Something that Harry had never dreamed of.
There are a lot of things that you have not been told. There will be things you will never be told. There are things you will have to keep secret, to tell absolutely no one, not even your best friend. What is written next falls into the last category. It is a secret that only four people were privy to, two of which are now dead.
You have family other than the Dursleys that are still living. Family that you will meet when you turn eleven. There can be no contact until your eleventh birthday and even then, contact will be limited.