HARRY POTTER AND THE HEIR OF MERLIN
Chapter: 1 Prologue
The month of August was almost over as Harry sat on his bed in Dudley's second bedroom in No.4 Privet Drive, considering his options as to how to go to King's Cross station the next day. He had the book "Transportation for Wizards" open in front of him. After reading the book, he knew he had apparated to the school roof when Dudley's gang had chased him, as he had felt the same feeling as was described in the book. Unfortunately for him, he was only 11 years old and though he was fairly confident that he would be able to disapparate long distances if he practiced a few times without much difficulty now that he knew how it felt, he would be in deep trouble if he accidentally splinched himself or if anybody caught him. Though the Dursley's would not care, Harry did not want to be in trouble even before he went to school.
He did not want to ask his relatives for a ride as he was sure neither Uncle Vernon nor Aunt Petunia would agree to give him a ride from the Surrey to London. Even if they did give him a ride, they would never agree to take Miss Bethany along with them as they never knew about his friendship with his primary school teacher. So the only option was to take the Knight bus as there was no fireplace connected to the floo network that he knew. Though Hagrid did not allow him to get anything other than the required things for school, Harry had sent his owl whom he had named Hedwig, to Flourish & Blotts and Madam Malkins Robes for all occasions and asked them if there was any way he could purchase from their shops without going to Diagon Alley.
Both the shopkeepers had immediately responded by sending him the self-updating owl order catalogues and the instructions as to how to use it. That was how he was able to buy the extra books like "Hogwarts: A History", "Transportation for Wizards", "Wizarding Customs", "A Muggleborn's Guide to the Wizarding World", "Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts", "Hexes, Jinxes and Charms to Prank your Friends" and "Origin and the Basics of Magic". He occupied his time by reading these books and visiting Miss Bethany as the Dursleys were ignoring him. If Harry told anybody that he had finished reading all these books in one month and he could remember everything he read, nobody would believe him. But what the others did not know was that Harry had a photographic memory. It was one of his closely guarded secret. Only Miss Bethany and he knew. He remembered whatever he read. The only drawback of his was that, he could recall everything since he was 6 months old and so he could remember his parents' death too.
Miss Bethany Graham was his first teacher at the primary school and she was promoted along with their class every year. Harry had carefully hidden that he was intelligent so that he would not get into trouble with the Dursleys for being better than Dudley. Bethany had seen through his act within the first week and had confronted him about it. Harry had very good instincts and he knew he could trust his teacher and so he told her everything- about his photographic memory, his life with his parents, their deaths, how the Dursleys treated him and about what little he could remember about magic. She understood that if she went to the authorities about the Dursleys, she would be the one removed from the area and not Harry, so she always spent time with him under the pretense of detention. She had become like an Aunt to him. Harry had already told her about him going to Hogwarts as soon as he was dropped off at Privet Drive on his birthday by Hagrid.
As soon as Harry dropped the things he bought in his bedroom, he went to meet Aunt Beth, as she had told him to call, since she was no longer his teacher. Beth lived only a block away from the park, so under the pretense of going to the park, he would usually go to Beth's house. So with the same excuse as going to the park, though the Dursleys ignored him as usual, he went to meet Beth. When he rang the doorbell, he was greeted with a hug from a young blonde woman around 29 years old.
"Happy Birthday Harry… Come in. I have a gift for you." Beth told him.
"Thank you Aunt Beth. You didn't have to get anything."Harry replied.
"I know I didn't have to. And as I keep telling every year, I give you gifts because I want to. Anyway, I am sure those idiots you call relatives gave you anything special. So what did you do today that you could not come here till now? Not chores on your birthday?" She asked.
"No. Not chores. Though I think they would have given me exactly that if I was at home." Harry told grinning and showed her his Hogwarts letter.
Beth took the letter and read it and then looked at Harry again, her eyes suspiciously wet.
"So, you are going to Hogwarts in the fall?" she asked, her voice wavering. Harry just nodded uncertainly.
"Will you come back to Privet Drive?"
"I am not sure Aunt Beth. I will finally get to talk to Grandma Minnie and find out about my Uncle Paddy. But the one thing I am sure about is, if I am not coming back here, then I will come visit you and I can write many letters and owl it to you." He said.
Beth nodded and then cleared her throat. "Now tell me where you went today and what you did." She told.
Harry then told her about his uncle going mad and the cross country chase, Hagrid, going to Diagon Alley, getting his wand and other things and finally about his Fame.
"Aunt Beth, these people are calling me 'the-Boy-Who-Lived'. It is as though they are celebrating my parents' death." Harry told frustrated.
"They are not celebrating your parents' death, Harry; they are celebrating the death of a very evil man. What they do not remember is that event came at a very high cost to the people close to Lily and James Potter. The cost of death. Now, Hagrid told you that Voldemort is not as gone as the people think. So, if he is correct, then Voldemort is going to come back and since you seem to be some figurehead for most of these people, I think he would come after you as you are the symbol of his failure. I want you to be careful Harry. Many may use you for their personal gain because of your fame. Be careful as to who you trust. Speak to your Grandma Minnie. I am sure she will help you. Now, I want you to promise me that you will try your hardest in your studies as the Dursleys would not be there. Play pranks, make good friends and don't forget to write to me. Alright?" She asked smiling slightly.
Harry nodded and grinned at the thought of pranks. Oh, how he loved the pranks. He usually pranked many of them in the school and would usually include himself so that nobody would know that he was the one who did it. Beth always suspected him because of the mischievous twinkle in his eyes, but without proof, she could never punish him. When they came home, he would usually tell her how he set up the prank and then since she was not at school, and that she enjoyed the prank, she would never punish him.
After talking for some more time, Beth told him to owl the book shop and the robe shop in Diagon alley and ask if he could purchase without going to the alley. Beth then helped him choose what colour and model of the robes and the various books to owl order. For the rest of the month he went to her house and read all the books, including his school books so that he could be prepared and Beth could understand what he was talking about. It was like she was going to be like a muggleborn aunt with all the things she was learning about only without magic.
Now that he had decided to go by the Knight bus, he got ready and went to Beth's house to inform her about his decision.
"Aunt Beth, the only option for us is to go by the Knight bus. I don't think Uncle Vernon would agree to give me a ride." Harry told.
Beth just nodded having expected that.
"We will leave by 8.00A.m. The shops in London would be open by 8.30, so we can get you some new muggle clothes instead of those horrible hand-me-down rags." She told
Harry just groaned knowing that he did not have any other choice as his protests usually fell on deaf ears if her mind was made up, and he knew getting him better clothes that fit him was one thing that was on top of her list.
When he went back to No.4, his aunt, uncle and cousin were in the living room watching the T.V. He just thought he would inform his uncle about him leaving by 8.00 in the morning and went into the living room.
"Er… Uncle Vernon..?" Harry said nervously.
Vernon grunted, and Harry took as that as a sign to continue.
"Well, I just wanted to inform you that I will be leaving at 8.00 in the morning tomorrow to go to King's Cross." Harry said.
"Good Riddance" Vernon grunted. "How are you going anyway? You better not have stolen from us." Vernon said.
"No. I will be going by the Knight bus, a form of transportation for the wizards. I have the Wizarding money." Harry told and then went back to his room.