What if everybody thought Harry died that night with his parents? Harry/ Hermione Rated M sex, Language, Violence maybe moreChapter One: Harry's Life before Hogwarts
A ten-year-old boy huddles in his room. 'His room' he thought. 'I wonder if this is the way every child without parents lives.' You see Harry's room is a cupboard under the stairs. His parents died when he was a baby and someone left him here with his aunt and uncle.
Life was not easy for Harry. His relatives didn't want him there. He was a freak according to them. He didn't understand that. He was no different from his cousin Dudley. Of course, Dudley was stupid and lazy. Harry thought about this a lot. Dudley was fat (so was his uncle) Harry was skinny. Dudley got plenty to eat; Harry barely got anything to eat. Dudley was stupid; Harry was smart but had to hide his intelligence. Dudley was lazy; Harry had to do all the work around the house. They had him start as soon as he was old enough to know what to do.
Harry didn't even know his own name until he started school. He thought it was either 'Boy' or 'Freak'. He didn't dare talk back or fail to do his work. Neither was healthy for him. Some times, he wondered how he survived. Doctor and hospital were not words in his vocabulary. When he started school, the nurse asked him why he was so skinny; his aunt said he was sickly. She thought this strange as Harry seldom missed a day of school. She could see pain in his eyes when he returned, but he always said he was fine. Never shed a tear. If he wouldn't complain, there wasn't much she could do.
Mean while in a castle in Scotland, an older woman was looking at the list of students to enroll in the next couple of years. One name stood out. Harry Potter. 'How can this be?' she thought. 'He died nine years ago.' She looked at the address. Harry Potter Cupboard under the Stairs, #4 Privet Dr., Surrey, England. She studied the address for a long time. 'What a strange address.' She made up her mind that she would not wait until next year to see if this was indeed the Harry she thought it was or just someone with the same name. She would have to dress the part, after all. This was not official school business and they may not be magical.
Before her trip, she checked out the area to find out if there were any safe places to apparate to safely. She found a park two blocks from the house that was safe enough and made plans to visit the next evening.
As Minerva walked down the street, she noticed that all the houses looked a like. 'Do these people have no imagination?' She just shook her head in disgust. When she reached #4, she had to admire the flowerbed out front. There was a young boy that was maybe eight or nine working in the flowers. "The flowers are very pretty. Your mother does very nice work." She said.
"I'm sorry ma'am, but my mother is dead." The boy replied.
"I'm sorry to hear that. Who does the garden work than, your father?"
"Oh no, ma'am. He's dead too. I do all the work in the garden."
"Who do you live with then? Who takes care of you?"
"I live with my aunt and uncle."
"Are they at home?"
"Yes ma'am, they are. Excuse me but I have to finish before I can eat." "Maybe." He whispered. He didn't think it was loud enough for the woman to hear, but Minerva had very good hearing.
Minerva approached the door and knocked. A horse-faced woman answered the door. "May I help you?" she asked in a nasally voice.
"Maybe, I am Minerva McGonagall. May I come in?"
They went into the living room and the lady-of-the-house offered her tea.
"I'm Petunia Dursley."
"I'm looking for a young boy that goes by the name Harry Potter."
"Why would you be looking for Him?" she asked with disdain.
"He maybe the son of some friends of mine. They died a long time ago. I thought he was dead too. I just want to be sure." She explained.
"What makes you think he lives here?"
"I work for a school and came across his name and gave this address. Doesn't a Harry Potter live here?" Minerva asked.
Petunia studied her for a long time.
"You're one of them aren't you? Get out of my house. I won't have your kind in my house. It's bad enough we have to house that 'freak'. We don't have to let in others. Now get out" she screamed.
A whale of a man came waddling in the living room with a plate of cake in his hand. "What's all the yelling about?"
"She's one of them, Vernon. She's asking about 'him'."
Vernon looked at her puzzled. "The freak" he asked.
"Why? After all this time, why now?" He asked, his face turning purple with rage.
Minerva was having trouble controlling her anger, the nerve of them considering her a freak. "I thought he was dead. I was told he died with his parents. Evidently, I was lied to. May I speak to Harry?"
"Will others come?" he asked.
"No. I think it will be safer for him, and you, if no one else knows he is here, if it is him."
"Oh, it's him alright. Dumbledore dropped him off here in the middle of the night. Said he had to stay. I'd rather he was anywhere but here." Vernon was grumbling by the time he was done.
"May I speak to him?" Petunia went to the front door.
"Boy! Get in here now." She screamed.
When Petunia returned, she was followed by the boy she had seen working in the flower garden.
"That can't be Harry, He's only eight maybe nine years old. Harry's ten." Minerva exclaimed.
"I just turned ten, ma'am." Harry said.
She couldn't believe her eyes. She thought 'They don't want him here. Could I take him away? Where could I take him and keep him safe? I need time to plan.
"Harry, are you happy here?"
He looked at his aunt and uncle, but refused to answer. His fear was evident. She had her answer. She had to find away to get him away from here.
"I found out what I came for. I will be in touch." She said as she got up to leave.
When she returned to the castle, Minerva pored over the list of future students. There had to be someone out there that might be able to help. She knew she couldn't bring him into the magical world yet. She needed a non-magical family. Then, she found them, a family named Granger. They lived just outside London. She needed to find out more about them. Minerva had many friends in the Muggle world and she called in some favors. One such friend was a solicitor she knew would be discreet.
John Gulliver owed Minerva big time and after she told him what she wanted but not why, he told her he would not consider this as a payment on an old debt. Child abuse was one of his biggest hatreds.
John Gulliver had some of his associates do background checks and went to the Granger residence three days later.
"Hello, my name is John Gulliver. I'm a solicitor and would like to talk to you if you have the time."
Dan Granger held out his hand and invited John into his home.
"This is my wife Emma and my daughter Hermione. What can we do for you Mr. Gulliver?" Dan said as they entered the living room of their two story Victorian home.
"A friend of mine is looking for a family that might accept another child in their home."
"And what makes you think that we would be interested?" Dan asked.
"I've been checking you and your family out for the last couple of days, talked to friends and associates. You and I have one thing in common. We hate child abuse."
Dan and Emma shared a look and nodded.
"I assume you're looking to place an abused child. Why us? Why not family services?" Emma asked.
"I don't know all the details, but from what I can gather, this is a rather special child and we don't want to lose him in the system."
"You said 'him' so I can assume we're talking abut a boy." John nodded his head. "How old?"
"My friend says he just turned ten."
"What else can you tell us about him?"
"That's all I really know except he is in bad shape and really needs a home."
"Daddy?" his daughter asked.
"You need to do this."
"And why is that Hermione?"
"You always talk about how you hate child abuse and you help out at the local center. Wouldn't it be better to go all the way just once?" She asked.
Emma looked at her daughter. The sincerity in her eyes said she had deep feelings about this and she was proud of her. "Dan, perhaps she's right, maybe we should see first hand what it's like to deal with it first hand. See what it's really like for these kids."
Dan knew that if both the women in his life ganged up on him, he didn't stand a chance.
"When can we meet the boy and how difficult will it be to bring him to us? What are the legal complications? What will it cost us in legal fees?"
"This is Wednesday; I think we can have him here to meet you this weekend. Is that soon enough? I will wave my fees on this one, as a favor to my friend."
"That will be fine. I'll be sure and clear our calendar so that we are free this weekend."
"Good, I'll contact my friend and set things up and see you Saturday morning, say around ten."
"That sounds good. We'll see you Saturday." Dan stood and shook John's hand and showed him to the door.
When he returned to the living room, his daughter gave him a big hug.
"Thank you Daddy. I don't know why, but I think you may have just changed my life."
"Why do you say that, Hermione?"
"I don't know really. It's just a feeling that I have."
That evening John wrote a letter.
I met with the people we talked about and they are willing to meet. They check out and they all agree in principle with what little I could tell them. Nice home, clean, well to do, but not rich. Perfect from what I could see. Will meet 18 at 10.
He tied the note to his owl's leg. "Make sure Minerva is alone." He said to his owl and released it out his window.
The following evening his owl returned with a message.
Will meet you on 18 at 9. Will use your transport.
The wheels were set in motion; now all he could do is wait, and wonder who is this boy that his old friend has taken such an interest in.
Saturday morning at half eight found Minerva McGonagall knocking at the door at #4 Privet Dr. once more.
"Who is it?" a weak voice called out.
"Minerva McGonagall. I wish to speak with your aunt and uncle."
"Answer the door 'Boy'." Vernon bellowed.
Harry opened the door. "Follow me please." She was shocked to see a new bruise on Harry's left cheek.
She followed him down the hallway to the kitchen, were she found the Dursleys eating breakfast. From what she could see, the males of the house ate more than two normal people each. Harry was still cooking.
When Vernon saw who it was, he nearly chocked. "What are you doing back here? I thought we were rid of you and your kind?"
"I've come to make you a deal." She said. 'Even if it doesn't work out with the Grangers, there is no way Harry is coming back here.'
"What sort of deal?" Vernon asked between bites.
"Harry will come with me, never to return and when the solicitor shows up with the papers you will sign them. In return, we will not prosecute you for child abuse."
Harry nearly dropped the platter of fresh biscuits at hearing this.
"Idle threats. They won't prosecute us anyway."
"How do you know they won't?"
"Dumbledore said he would take of it. Family services come, they look, they leave, and we don't hear any more until the next time they visit."
"I see." She paused to think this over. "Alright, Harry still leaves with me, you say nothing to anyone, and you get to live." She said flatly.
All three Dursleys chocked on that statement.
"You wouldn't dare." Petunia said.
"Try me." She said with a feral grin that had them all backing up.
"Harry, pack your things. We're leaving, now."
Harry looked at his relatives. The fear on their faces put a small smile on his face. He walked down the hall a short ways and opened the cupboard under the stairs.
"Harry, what are you doing?" Minerva asked.
"Getting my stuff like you told me."
She looked into the cupboard as Harry retrieved his blanket and a few colors. As he backed out, she asked, "Is that all you have?"
"Was this your room?"
Minerva fought hard to keep her temper. 'When the papers are signed, they will be getting some visitors. What's left of the Marauders will want them to pay dearly for this.'
"Come Harry, we have people to see." Harry walked along side Minerva to the park where she could apparate safely to John's house.
"Harry, do you know anything about magic?"
"Huh? Are you a magician? I always wanted to see a magic show."
"No, Harry. I'm not a magician." Harry's face fell. "Harry, I'm a witch. And you young man, are a wizard."
"Witches and wizards only exist in stories." Harry looked at her in disbelief.
"Harry, I can assure you, we are quite real."
"Can you show me some magic?" he asked hopefully.
"Yes Harry, as a matter of fact we will use magic to reach our next destination."
"Hold on to my arm. You will feel a little strange, but it's nothing to be afraid of, just hold on."
At exactly 9:00, there was a pop in John Gulliver's living room.
"Minerva is that you?" a voice called out.
"Yes, John, it's me." She replied turning in the direction of the voice, her wand in hand.
John came out of the hallway, a gun in his hand. "What is the debt I owe you?"
"Your daughter's life."
"Sorry, Minerva, can't be too cautious you know."
"That's quite alright John. This is Harry Potter, the young man I need your help with."
"Potter. Why does that name ring a bell?"
"You worked with his Parents once."
"But…they all died." He said as he looked at Harry.
"No John, we were told that, but it's not true. Unfortunately, I can't tell you more than that now. We need to meet this family we talked about. There are things that I must tell them. If they can accept what I tell them and still want Harry, then things can continue the way we talked about. If not, I need to make other arrangements."
They got into John's car and made the forty-five minute drive to the Granger residence. Harry could only look on in awe. The homes in Surrey all looked a like, but here, though they were similar in design, but every house was unique. Some had balconies on the second floor. Others had verandas all the way around the ground floor. The gardens were as different as the houses. As they approached the house in front of them, Harry could feel a difference. He didn't know what it was, but it was a nice feeling.
When they got to the front door, John knocked and a middle-aged man answered. Harry looked closely at the man. He was well built and Harry was just a little bit frightened of him. Vernon was big and fat, but he could still put a lot of power in a punch or swing of a belt. This man could do some serious damage if he hit Harry, so he shrunk behind Minerva.
Seeing this, Minerva turned and said, "You don't need to be afraid, Harry. No one will hurt you. You have my word."
"Mr. Granger, this is the friend I was telling you about, Minerva McGonagall. May we come in?" John said as they waited.
"Please, do come in. I'll let my wife and daughter know you're here." Dan said as he led the group into the living room.
A few minutes later, he returned with his wife and daughter. "This is my wife Emma and my daughter Hermione."
"My name is Minerva McGonagall and this young man is Harry Potter. Now before we go much further, there are things I need to find out from Harry, and there are things that you should know before you accept Harry into your home."
Hermione walked over, stood in front of Harry, and held out her hand. "My name is Hermione. Nice to meet you Harry."
Harry looked between her hand and her face, unsure what to do. No one ever offered their hand to Harry before.
"Harry the polite thing to do when someone offers their hand in friendship is to shake it." Minerva said.
He looked at the woman. "Are you sure? No one has ever done that before because it's not safe for them."
"What do you mean, Harry?" she asked.
"At school, if someone wanted to be my friend, Dudley would beat them up."
The adults in the room looked mortified.
"Who is Dudley?" asked Hermione.
"He's my cousin."
"Does he live close by?"
Harry looked at Minerva and John.
"No Harry, he is not close by and he has no idea where you are."
He reached out and clasped her hand. It felt soft, warm, and comforting.
"May I sit next to you?"
Harry just nodded, not knowing why it pleased him that this girl wanted to be close to him. She sat down next to him and took his hand in hers.
"Harry, what do you know about your parents?"
"I have always been told that they were freaks. Lazy lay abouts that died because my father got drunk and had a car accident, killing my mother and leaving me with this scar." Harry lifted his bangs to expose the lightning bolt scar above his right eye. "I don't know why, but I never believed them."
"Is that all you know?"
"Harry, what I am about to tell you and the rest present, may be hard for you."
He just looked at her. "Why?"
"You and everybody else were lied to." She paused. "Harry, your parents were murdered nine years ago and we were told that you died too. I don't know why, but we were. If I had known you where still alive, as well as some others, you would not have grown up as you did."
"Why would someone want to murder my parents?"
"Do you remember when I told you, you were a wizard when I brought you here?"
Dan interrupted. "What do you mean he's a wizard? They don't exist."
"I'm afraid they do and that's another reason your family was picked to take Harry. You see, I am the Deputy Headmistress of a school for witches and wizards. It is my duty to inform first generation witches and wizards. Harry's name is on that list. If we had known Harry was alive, I wouldn't have paid it any attention."
"Why not?" asked Emma.
"Harry is not a first generation wizard."
"What is a 'first generation wizard'?" asked Emma.
"Are you magical?"
Dan and Emma looked at each other. "No."
"Are your parents?"
"Do you know anybody in your family that is?"
"No. Why all the questions about us?"
"Because your daughter is a first generation witch."
"Our daughter is not a witch." Dan shouted.
"Tell me, has anything happened around here you can't explain, especially if Hermione was upset or very emotional?"
Dan, Emma, and Hermione looked at each other. "Like what?"
"Things being out of place, broken or changing from what they were before?"
"Mom, do you remember that pink dress you bought me and I told you I didn't like pink and the next day it was a light blue?"
Harry just looked at her. "You mean those things happen to you too?"
She looked at him and nodded.
"If this hadn't come up, I would have paid you a visit next summer after Hermione turned eleven and invited her to attend our school."
"Can you show us something?"
She pulled out her wand and with a few flicks of her wand had several objects around the room floating. Another flick and there was another chair in the room.
"Impressive, and you can teach Hermione how to do this?"
"Yes, we can."
"You said Harry wasn't like Hermione, a first generation witch. What did you mean?"
"Harry's father is from a long line of witches and wizards. His mother was like Hermione, a first generation witch."
"Okay, so why were his folks murdered?"
"Harry's parents were the equivalent to a constable. When they died, we were in the midst of a civil war. They were very good at what they did, unfortunately, that made them a target. When the leader of our enemy went after someone personally, they don't usually survive. How Harry did, I don't know. Their house was destroyed. It was quite easy to believe that Harry was dead as well."
"Why do you need our help? Why not take Harry with you?"
"As you heard from Harry, he knows nothing of our world. He was hid away for some reason, but the home he was put in was not a nice home." "How old would you saw Harry is?"
The Grangers looked at Harry, then each other. "Eight, maybe nine."
"I just turned ten the end of July." Which was two days ago interjected Harry.
The Grangers were shocked.
"Years of abuse and neglect have stunted Harry's growth. That is why I brought him here. With luck and some help from trusted friends, we may be able to help Harry overcome most of it. I will have to be careful whom I trust. One of the men that I thought I could trust with my life is the one that lied to us all. Helping Harry will require some binding oaths."
"What do you mean?"
"Any witch or wizard I ask for help will have to swear on their magic not to betray us. If they do and they betray us, they will die. Their magic will kill them."
"Isn't that a little extreme?" Emma asked.
"Since you are non-magicals, you can not make such an oath, but let me ask you this; if you decide to help us, how far would you go to protect your daughter?"
"I would kill who ever threatened my daughter." Dan said forcefully.
"And a defenseless child?"
Dan looked at Harry. "The same."
"I knew and taught Harry's parents. They were remarkable people. As a teacher, we aren't supposed to have favorites, but sometimes you come across a student you just can't help but admire. James and Lilly were two such students."
"You knew my parents?" he asked in awe.
"Yes, Harry I did. James, when he started school was arrogant like many old family wizards, and a bit of a bully. Sometime during his third year, he and his friends turned their talents toward protecting those that couldn't protect themselves. Your mother still didn't approve of their methods, but did understand why they did it. It wasn't until their sixth year that they got together as a couple. They married two years after they left school. You were born a year later. You look like you father except for your eyes. Those are Lilies."
Harry fought to hold back the tears that threatened to spill from his eyes. Hermione wrapped him in a firm hug. At first, he tensed at the unfamiliar embrace. As he looked into her eyes, he slowly relaxed and turned into the embrace, still fighting to hold back the tears as he had for so many years.