Kids are supposed to rely on their elders, correct? They are supposed to run to an adult they trust if an emergency should occur, right?
So what happens when you don't have an adult you trust? Who do you run to when you don't have an adult who actually cares?
That's the situation that Harry was in. No, there was no emergency however Harry didn't have an adult he could talk to or trust even if there was one. He had no one. Except maybe his Aunt Petunia, but they both knew that she would never be able to fully explain the odd things that happened to him and around him.
Harry had learned that he must rely on himself and himself alone, in order to live a happy life, or at least a halfway decent one. Harry had never dared hoped that he'd have a happy life, if he could even call what he did 'living.'
Harry understood the world around him better than some people thrice his age. He was perceptive and his instincts were always dead on and had saved his skin on more than one occasion.
The thing was that Harry sometimes thought in pictures and images instead of words. He could recall an image of something or someone before he could find the words to describe it. This didn't mean Harry was slow, no; in fact Harry was in third place in his class rankings. It just meant that Harry would rather sit in a quiet place and think rather than talk to someone.
That's what Harry was doing now actually. He was sitting in the warm and misty clearing in the woods that grew along the southern border of Surrey. It was midsummer and it was raining so lightly, that it was simply mist. It was a peaceful yet thick forest filled with animals, though not many were dangerous.
Harry was out there because for some strange reason, Harry had always felt in tune with himself and the wilderness. Out in the city, Harry felt small and self-conscious, but in the forest, Harry felt like he could truly be himself there, so he ventured there whenever he could get away from his Uncle and cousin.
Right now, Harry leaned against the huge trunk of a rather tall tree that towered over him, its canopy blocking the sun and shading him nicely. He was wearing khaki shorts, a black t-shirt, and black trainers. His dark red hair looked almost black in the shade yet Harry knew that if he shifted so his head was in the sunlight, it would show that his hair was really a deep blood red, just like his mum's had been.
Harry did nothing as a breeze blew around him, blowing his already wild hair in a wave around his face. He didn't shift as he heard the bushes rustle or the birds cawing, he simply laid there, frighteningly still. In fact, if you weren't actually checking him for a pulse, you would think that he was dead. His slightly tanned face was so very peaceful; he could also pass for sleeping.
Though Harry wasn't asleep, in fact, he was wide awake, yet he was in something of a meditative state. It was something that he seemed to slip into if he was extremely comfortable and still for a long time.
Though it did help him organize his every thought and memory, as well as clear his mind. As his skin made contact with the rough bark of the tree trunk, Harry could feel something akin to a web of life.
In his mind's eye, he could see a web connecting from his skin and spreading throughout the entire forest, almost like it was mapping every single living thing in the forest. The thing that frustrated Harry was that practically everything was a living thing in the forest so the web intersected and overlapped so many times, it was all just a big blob.
Harry took a deep breath as the breeze picked up and he tucked a blowing strand of dark red hair behind his ears, which oddly enough, pointed slightly at the tip, something that had always alarmed his relatives.
Harry's senses were as sharp as an animal's so he could clearly hear his aunt yelling for him at the edge of the forest, even though he was about a mile into the forest. His Aunt Petunia yelled for him to come back home every time he ventured into the forest right before his uncle came home, knowing that Uncle Vernon never condoned 'Nature Loving Freaks', which is one of the things he called Harry.
Harry sighed and gracefully stood up; he touched his fingertips to the bark one more time and then took off through the trees. Another thing that had developed in Harry over time was his wonderful (in his opinion) ability to run abnormally fast and not get tired. Because of making use of this talent, Harry was in excellent physical shape and had gained a slight tan over the summer.
Harry had covered that mile to the edge of the forest in two and a half minutes flat. He slowed and came to a brisk walk as he caught sight of his Aunt, wringing her hands into her bright white apron, something she did whenever Uncle Vernon was nearing home.
Harry walked up to her and let her take her soft hands in his, and they walked quickly back to the house. There house, Number Four of Privet Drive, was only a five minute walk to the edge of the forest so they made it back to the house in plenty of time.
As Petunia led Harry into the kitchen she attempted to talk to him.
"So Harry dear, did you have fun in the forest today? Was it peaceful?" She asked as she quickly made him two ham and cheese sandwiches that he could eat before Vernon tried to deny him a meal.
Harry simply nodded and accepted the sandwiches. This was a normal occurrence in their house. Harry hardly talked at all, except for when he had to. Aunt Petunia didn't mind but Uncle Vernon and Dudley just thought it made him more of a freak.
Also, things were more different than anyone outside the Dursley house suspected it would be once Harry had been left with them. Vernon had immediately and loudly protesting taking Harry in but Petunia had worn him down with her arguments.
Over the years, Vernon had tried to starve, belittle, even beat Harry, and even tried to make him live in the cupboard under the stairs and only wear Dudley's cast offs, yet Aunt Petunia had fiercely set him straight on how they were going to treat her nephew while he lived with them.
As a result, Harry was allowed to eat when Vernon wasn't home. He was to ignore every single thing his uncle and cousin said to him. He was to stay outside or avoid his Uncle when he was home. And he got to live in the spare bedroom upstairs. He even got new clothes that fit him, though his aunt only bought him clothes, never his uncle.
In an attempt to make Harry feel unwelcome, over the years Vernon had showered Dudley with anything and everything the boy wanted. Instead of feeling unwelcome, Harry felt bad for Dudley. Dudley was now extremely spoiled and obese, as well as a friendless bully.
Harry tensed unnoticeably as he heard his Uncles car coming around the corner and up the street, eventually pulling into the driveway. He quickly hugged his aunt before taking off up the stairs as his uncle walked up to the front door.
As Vernon unlocked and opened the door, Harry had already closed and locked his door and lied on his bed. He stared up at the, of course, forest green ceiling that matched the walls in his room.
In an attempt to be fair after Vernon had hired someone to paint Dudley's room, Harry and Aunt Petunia had painted Harry's room forest green to give it a slight resemblance to the forest that Harry loved so dearly.
Harry laid there for hours, listening to the sounds of the family interacting downstairs. He never once wished that his Uncle and Cousin would accept him, he never hoped that someday another relative would come to take him away. He did, however, send a prayer up to his parents that they were happy wherever they were up in heaven.
And as he fell asleep that night, Harry felt a breeze blow through the window and if he strained his sharp ears, he could almost hear the laughter of his parents that he vaguely remembered in the wind.
Three Years Later
Unsurprisingly, nothing had changed on Privet Drive except for Harry himself. He had grown taller and even more mature. He talked a whole lot more these days but only to his aunt; he never talked around his Uncle, cousin, or people he didn't really know.
His hair seemed to glow a darker red over the past three years and his eyes also seemed to glow greener. Harry felt some kind of energy grow stronger within him as well.
Harry still went into the forest as much as he could, he still ran fast and listened rather than talked, and he still sent a prayer up to his parents every night before he went to sleep.
Now though, as they grew older, Dudley seemed to resent Harry even more than he used to. He now chased after Harry, though he never even came close to catching him, even with his whole gang of friends chasing after him.
Harry had run from Dudley and his gang twice before giving up on that and simply confronting them. They all tried to hit him at once and Harry did something that surprised them all. He dodged every fist.
Even though it was six on one, Harry was never even scratched once. He ducked and dodged every single blow, never even raising a hand to strike back. Eventually, all of the boys had tired and lied on the grass panting while Harry strolled away, unharmed and smirking.
Yes, Harry had developed something of a sarcastic humor over the years as well as a new fashion sense. He still looked the same though now Harry favored dark colors such as dark red, green, black, grey, and sometimes silver.
Harry now preferred skinny jeans and a tight t-shirt when the weather allowed it, when it was a steaming hot day he wore shorts and a t-shirt though. Harry had gotten three piercings in his left ear and one in his tongue; that one had hurt the worst but it was well worth it in Harry's opinion. Aunt Petunia had taken him to get them, secretly of course. And unless Harry brushed back his hair, you would never see the ones in his ear.
Today, Harry was wearing black basketball shorts, a dark red t-shirt with the band name 'Sleeping with Sirens' on it. He was wearing black and red Nike trainers and he was walking towards the kitchen.
As he entered, he hid a smirk as Vernon's face grew red with barely suppressed anger. He knew that his Uncle hated the way he dressed; he said it was too wild and casual, which is why he dressed the way he did anyway, and also it was very comfortable.
Dudley envied him for being able to dress how he wanted and Aunt Petunia thought he looked cute and teased him mercilessly about finding a girlfriend, which, to his horror, made him blush brightly.
"Good morning Aunt Petunia, Dudley, Vernon." Harry said. He made himself a nice sized plate of pancakes, bacon, and eggs and dug in; dutifully ignoring the deeper shade of red Vernon's skin was turning.
'Wow, if it gets any darker it'll match my hair.' Harry thought to himself with a smirk. He was careful to hide his teeth though, it freaked out his Uncle because his canine teeth were slightly longer than they should be, and a bit pointier but not by much.
"Boy, get the mail!" Vernon finally barked. His face seemed to lose some of its redness as he let out those rudely spoken words. Harry, however, continued to ignore Vernon in favor of continuing his breakfast.
Years ago, Harry had agreed with his Aunt to never answer to anything other than his name when it came to his Uncle and Cousin, or anyone who tried to disrespect him. Whenever Vernon called Harry 'Boy' or 'Freak', Harry simply ignored him until Vernon said his real name.
It seemed that today his Uncle was trying to be stubborn and refused to say his name. For a full five minutes, the kitchen was silent except for the sounds of chewing and forks scraping against their plates.
Finally, Vernon broke and bit out, "Bo- Harry, get the mail, pl- pl- please?" Harry once again hid a smirk as he could tell that it was physically painful for his Uncle to say please to him.
Harry stood up from his chair and placed his plate in the sink, and walked down the hallway. At the front door, Harry picked up the pile of mail and shuffled through it before finding a letter bearing his name at the bottom of the pile.
He stuck that in his pocket and walked back into the kitchen. Harry handed Vernon the remaining pile of mail, he gave his aunt a swift peck on the cheek and gave her a meaningful look before walking out of the kitchen again.
This time, Harry left the house and looked to his left and right before taking off through the backyards of their neighbors. He expertly leaped over high fences and sprinted full out towards the forest.
Harry didn't break his pace as he raced through the forest and before he knew it, he was settling down in his well-worn spot in the clearing that he loved so dearly.
He steadily opened the envelope and pulled out the three sheets of paper within. The first piece of what was obviously parchment appeared to be a letter, the second was a list, and the third was simply a short note.
Harry looked at the first parchment and read:
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 J. 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.
Harry stared down at the letter with a smile. "So Aunt Petunia was telling the truth, about all of it, then that means…" Harry trailed off. He knew exactly what it meant. It meant that his parents had been murdered, not that car crash crap his Uncle had tried to feed him. It meant that he was really famous, people would look up to him, cherish him, people would try to use him, and people would try to manipulate him.
"Why can't I continue how I was? I'm a good student, I respect my elders except for Vernon, I do my homework and the few chores that I have, so what did I do to deserve this?" Harry asked to no one in particular.
Some people might think it'd be a rush and adventure to be famous and, according to Aunt Petunia, rich but to Harry it was just a burden he didn't want. He didn't want to have to wonder who his real friends were and who was trying to manipulate and use him for his fame and fortune. Suddenly Harry's new life as a wizard had just gotten more complicated.