Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
Somewhere in England in a small town called 'Little Whinging' which housed Privet Drive number 4. Inside the nearly obsessively-cleaned house resided a certain, black haired boy with startling emerald eyes. His name was Harry Potter and from his too-thin body and the bruises on his back one could easily see the years of abuse and neglect he had suffered from his relative's hands had anyone actually cared. Because ten year-old Harry Potter was alone. And he sure as hell knew that.
It started at his fifth birthday you see, he might have accidentally bribed a non-poisonous snake to bite his cousin Dudley which definitely freaked his aunt and uncle out. It wasn't the fact that they knew it was him (or just blamed him anyway) that surprised him, the fact that he, the unimportant freak, could talk to snakes. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship with the creatures.
When he was seven he was talking to a tiny green snake hidden in the bushes aunt Petunia made him trim when it hissed something about a king.
"What king?" Harry hissed softly as he tried to appear as if he was still trimming the bushes when aunt Petunia looked out of the kitchen window.
"The king, he sssleepsss eternally but wakesss when a sssspeaker appearsss in the room-under-ground," the snake hissed back with her characteristic drawn-out s's as her eyes shined with unspoken adoration for this king that she said to live in a basement.
"The king livesss in a basssement?" Harry asked dumbfounded as his seven year-old mind tried to come up with names of snakes that could be a king and live in a basement.
Their conversation was cut short with a high-pitched scream of "Snake!" and a broom killing the tiny green reptilian, Harry didn't get any food for two days and was locked in his cupboard for two weeks. Apparently, aunt Petunia wasn't as dense as her whale-like husband and son, or she just had a sixth-sense, Harry never found out.
This little incident made up little Harry's mind, one day he would get revenge on the horse-like woman who called herself his aunt and treated him like a slave or something, Harry read something about that in the library he was hiding in when running from his cousin and his gang, they didn't like books so they never searched for him there. And they had free cookies, those mattered too.
By the time Harry was nine he actually had some of the tinier and smarter snakes residing in the shadows of his humble abode, the cupboard under the stairs, and finally found out about the 'King'. According to an old darker-green snake who called himself 'Shhhtrss ' that the king lived under the Casssstle-Of-Magic where Thosse-With-Magic lived and that he was the biggest snake ever to live, when asking for an explanation about those people-with-magic the snakes just stared at him before hissing "Are you not one of them? You sssshould know." Before dismissing the conversation.
Snakes didn't take too kindly to asking questions they deemed stupid or dumb.
When Harry was ten he had crudely drawn plans in his head, all of them revolving revenge, Dursleys and snakes, and he wanted nothing more than achieve the means to use said plans. The snakes seemed to like this, they constantly hissed encouragement when Harry started his plotting and occasionally piped up with helpful, and rather gory, ideas. It was a good thing Harry wasn't into beheading or the Dursleys might have had a problem.
In the year between the first time he heard of the Casssstle-Of-Magic and 'Harry's revenge' Harry had learnt a lot, the snakes told him about said castle and about what happened inside. From the room-under-ground where the King resided to a whole biography about some guy named Salazar Slytherin. Apparently there were some sort of clubs at that school where you either belonged to the loyal, the reckless, the smart or the cunning and ambitious. One snake in particular spoke bad of all houses except one named after Salazar Slytherin, which was 'If you wisssh to sssucceed you ssshal have to get in that one, comrade.'
He even found out he was a wizard before ever receiving a letterfrom the castle-of-magic which he smuggled into his cupboard the moment he saw it, the fact that he never ever received mail made him suspicious and Harry knew that uncle Vernon would immediately confiscate it. That, and no one ever noticed the twenty odd snakes living in his cupboard, just because they didn't dare to look there. Too afraid of catching his 'freakiness'.
It basically said:
HOGWARTS SCHOOL of WITCHCRAFT and WIZARDRY
Headmaster: ALBUS DUMBLEDORE
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock,
Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)
Dear Harry Potter,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on September 1. We await your owl by no later than July 31. Yours sincerely,
HOGWARTS SCHOOL of WITCHCRAFT and WIZARDRY
First-year students will require:
1. Three sets of plain work robes (black)
plain pointed hat (black) for day wear
3. One pair of protective gloves (dragon hide or similar)
4. One winter cloak (black, with silver fastenings)
Please note that all pupil's clothes should carry name tags.
All students should have a copy of each of the following:
The Standard Book of Spells (Grade 1)
by Miranda Goshawk
A History of Magic
by Bathilda Bagshot
by Adalbert Waffling
A Beginner's Guide to Transfiguration
by Emeric Switch
One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi
by Phyllida Spore
Magical Drafts and Potions
by Arsenius Jigger
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
by Newt Scamander
The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection
by Quentin Trimble
1 cauldron (pewter, standard size 2)
1 set glass or crystal phials
1 set brass scales
Students may also bring an owl OR a cat OR a toad.
PARENTS ARE REMINDED THAT FIRST YEARS
ARE NOT ALLOWED THEIR OWN BROOMSTICK
Harry was ecstatic, as were the snakes, as their suspicion was proven to be true. They kept hissing about opportunities, Slytherin and the king. Harry, of course, just dreamt about his revenge and finally added 'humiliation by magic' to his long list of things he wanted to do to the Dursleys.
It was exactly one week after Harry received the letter, meaning it was his birthday, that he decided he had enough. The snakes provided him with valuable information and he had been stealing some money from his relatives for quite some time now, it should be enough to get him to where he wanted to be. From there on he'd just see what happened, the snakes didn't care, if it came down to it the streets would be a far better place for the boy anyway.
He packed a rucksack he grabbed from Dudley's room when he was gone and searched the telephone book for a taxi service as he counted the amount of pounds in his hand. Harry sighed with relief as the woman assured him the taxi would be there within ten minutes, the Dursleys would be home in twenty.
He then grabbed one of uncle Vernon's expensive leather suitcases as he emptied it of its content, mainly boring papers about Grunnings, the company he worked for, and some pencils and paper, which he kept. He then proceeded to fill the now nearly-empty suitcase with the snakes that wanted to travel directly with him. Some others had left already to where Harry expected to stay, somewhere called Diagon Alley, to get settled into various tiny places they'd fit in.
Harry merely smiled as he thought of what he could learn at that one alley, the very thing the Dursleys had always hoped to beat out of him, magic! The snakes weren't exactly too knowledgeable on the subject and tended to avoid most wizards, but they always came to a speaker. He, or in some rare cases a she, who spoke what Harry came to call snakespeak because they gained something from a snakespeaker's presence. Harry still didn't understand just what they got from being with him, it certainly wasn't food or anything. But he honestly didn't care, they talked to him and in a way cared for him more than anyone else. And they would be a vital piece in his plan for revenge, that too mattered.
The taxi driver turned to face Harry and asked in a rather high-pitched voice "Well lad, where do you want to go?"
Harry recited the name of the street from where the snakes said he'd be able to enter Diagon alley as he beamed at the driver with genuine happiness, he really wanted to go there.
Harry and the taxi driver made some small talk, Harry telling some lies about his family and the driver rattling on and on about his friends and his horse whom he just adored. All by all the nearly two-hour trip to a run-down café (or a restaurant, Harry honestly couldn't tell the difference because obviously the Dursleys never took him to one) where Harry paid the driver the money and waved when he drove off.
What? Harry just happens to like attention from other people.
Harry then carried his suitcase into the building, reading the words 'The leaky cauldron' hanging from a sign next to the door. A bell chimed when he opened the door and his eyes widened as he took in the completely unfamiliar scene unfolding in front of his very own eyes.
A fireplace had green flames burning and he saw drinks floating from the bar towards several tables where various people sat, candles hung from the walls and bathed the room in a dim light while shadows grew and shrunk on the stone floor beneath them. Dark wooden tables and chairs were scattered throughout the area and behind the bar stood the ugliest person Harry had ever seen, and coming from someone living with Dudley and Vernon Dursley that says something.
The man was old, lines covering his bald face, and his eyes were bloodshot and slightly misty. His nose was .. well .. ugly, it resembled a potato more than it did a nose. He even had a hunchback and he was currently staring at one Harry Potter.
Harry nervously fidgeted with the handle of his suitcase as he shuffled towards where the ugly man stood, cleaning glasses with a dirty rag.
"Excuse me sir, err .. is this the way to Diagon Alley?" Harry asked as politely as he could, trying to make at least a decent impression.
"Yer's right on that lad," the ugly barman said with a smile, showing a gap between his two yellowing front teeth and several other teeth missing "This's the way to the ole alley, m'name's Tom ."
"I am Harry, nice to meet you," Harry said, smiling uncertainly at the man as he inwardly shuddered, why should someone look like this if they had magic? Couldn't magic do anything?
"Yer's Harry Potter arnt'ya lad? Dunworry, I ain't saying anything, but ye might wanna cover up that scar yer have there," the man said whilst grinning as he pointed one finger at Harry's forehead, right where his lightning-shaped scar was, currently hidden under his mob of unruly black hair.
"Why?" Harry asked, curiosity coating his voice, and not about how the barman knew his name.
"'Cause otherwise ye won't be getting any of yer shopping done, yer famous here, didn't yer relatives or sumthing tell ya that?"
"No sir, they didn't. Do you have a hat then? So I can cover up my scar .." Harry asked, shifting his eyes downward as he mentally hit himself, grown-ups didn't like being asked questions. Uncle Vernon and aunt Petunia never did.
"Of course, a minute lad and I'll get yer a hat, watch," Tom said as he fumbled around in his pockets before finding what he searched for, a stick. The man casually waved the stick over the dishrag he'd been holding and mumbled something and faster than Harry's eyes could see the rag was gone, in its place a chequered hat.
"How did you do that?" Harry demanded as he frowned at the hat, his polite mask gone as he desired the answer.
"Magic," the old man grinned as his eyes glowed before placing the hat on Harry's head.
"Teach me!" Harry demanded as he lifted the hat from his head and held it in front of him before bringing it closer to his glasses to inspect it closely.
"Are ye stayin' here for the reminder 'f the summer?" Tom asked as he regarded the boy with a certain fondness, that the saviour of the wizarding world had such interest in magic was a good thing in his old eyes.
"If that means you'll teach me magic, then yes I will."
"Good, I ain't charging ya nothing 's long as ye help me 'roung every now 'n then, ye can have one of the attic rooms, bit 'n the dusty side they are but nothing too bad," Tom said as he handed Harry a tiny key before he picked up another rag to clean the nearly-forgotten glasses in front of him.
"Deal, I will unpack first and then you will teach me, yes?" Harry said, his voice forceful in his hope to finally learn magic as he pocketed the key.
The bald man just nodded as he watched the boy pick up his suitcase before walking to the stairs at the far end of his bar. The boy was even more enthusiastic than the many muggleborns Tom saw every year. And they were all nearly bouncing, but this peculiar boy with his bright green eyes that shone with eagerness when he saw Tom do that simple bit of magic had trumped the reactions of all the muggleborns he'd ever seen.
Harry was climbing the whirling staircase until it went no further, leaving him standing in a faintly-lit hallway with three doors on its side. Dust coated the wooden floor that creaked at every step as Harry shuffled across it, not knowing which door to choose.
In the end he tried the key on every door before it opened the one on the far left. It opened with a creak as the hinges protested against being used after such a long time of being left alone.
The room was as dark as the hallway, only a few candles on the wall burning softly the moment he opened the door. A single bed was in the far corner, it's cushion and blanket a faded green colour with dust on them. A lonely armchair stood next to a tiny dark-wooden desk and an equally dark chair with a thick layer of dust on both of them. A singly portrait hung on the walls, dark green curtains hung on the background of the canvas yet no person or object was visible as it was empty except for the curtains.
All by all it was at least five times the size of his cupboard, something that pleased Harry to no end.
Harry hesitantly walked into the room and dumped his suitcase on the bed, causing some of the dust to hump up and making Harry's nose twitch as he held back a sneeze. He quickly opened the locks, eager for his friends to get out of their temporary prison as they eagerly slithered out of the suitcase, their eyes taking in their surroundings.
"Thisss iss much better than your previousss den," a female named Ssshennss hissed in a content voice as her tongue flickered in and out of her mouth.
"Yessss, and I will be taught magic here," Harry answered as he sat down on the armchair, happily noting that it was pleasantly comfortable and soft instead of the uncomfortable stiffness he expected.
"Good, you will grow, yess? You will learn and become great, like the great Sssalazar Ssslytherin, yess?"another hissed as he curled around Harry's leg.
"Yess, I will," Harry promised as he looked at the snakes exploring his new room, newplans unravelling in his mind.
My version of Harry Potter and what would happen if he found out he could talk to snakes at a much earlier age.
Characters will be portrayed as I see them (*Cough* Dumbledore *Cough*) because I dislike the way he basically uses Harry.
Also, story will not be my main concern, I will update when I see fit to do so and have other priorities. This is just for fun.
Anyway, thank you for reading and please review.