The Dursleys are excruciatingly normal. They were just plain ordinary people, trying to live their orderly lives. Why should they take what they consider an abnormal freak into their home? This is so not a crossover fic.
This story's first paragraph consists mainly of the wonderful words and work of Jo Rowling from the book that started it all. I claim only the mistakes as my own.
"Dumbledore you can't. I've been watching them all day. You couldn't find two people who are less like us. And they've got this son — I saw him kicking his mother all the way up the street, screaming for sweets. Harry Potter come and live here!"
"It's the best place for him," said Dumbledore firmly. "His aunt and uncle will be able to explain everything to him when he's older. I've written them a letter."
"A letter?" repeated Professor McGonagall faintly, sitting back down on the wall. "Really, Dumbledore, you think you can explain all this in a letter? These people will never understand him! He'll be famous — a legend — I wouldn't be surprised if today was known as Harry Potter Day in the future — there will be books written about Harry — every child in our world will know his name!"
"Exactly," said Dumbledore, looking very seriously over the top of his half-moon glasses. "It would be enough to turn any boy's head. Famous before he can walk and talk! Famous for something he won't even remember! Can't you see how much better off he'll be, growing up away from all that until he's ready to take it?"
Professor McGonagall opened her mouth, changed her mind, swallowed, and then said, "Yes — yes, you're right, of course."
After taking the child from Hagrid's massive arms, Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall bent forward over the bundle of blankets. Inside, just visible, was a baby boy, fast asleep. Under a tuft of jet-black hair over his forehead they could see a curiously shaped cut, like a bolt of lightning.
"Is that where — ?" whispered Professor McGonagall.
"Yes," said Dumbledore. "He'll have that scar forever."
"Couldn't you do something about it, Dumbledore?"
"Even if I could, I wouldn't. Scars can come in handy. I have one myself above my left knee that is a perfect map of the London Underground. "
And with that, a young child's fate was sealed - or was it?
Petunia enjoyed this time of day the most, early in the morning before her two strapping boys had risen from their beds. This was her chance to read the gossip columns in the daily paper while peacefully enjoying her first cup of tea. Only after this much loved ritual would she start making the large breakfast her men folk required. This was her normal way to start the day and Petunia hated anything that interfered with her oh so normal life.
Discovering a baby on your doorstep when you went to fetch the morning paper was certainly not something that could be considered normal. That the baby had his tiny fist clutching a letter addressed to Petunia Dursley immediately ruled out any chance of mistaken identity, the child had been deliberately left at number four Privet Drive's doorstep.
The chill that saw Petunia draw the quilted housecoat tighter around her thin body wasn't purely down to this year's first touch of frost on their front lawn. That a baby could survive out here, never mind be ignored by both the milkman and the paperboy, reeked of something she was desperately trying to forget even existed. The reports on the news of owls behaving strangely and weird light shows in the sky began to make some sense to the housewife, only something cataclysmic in the magical word would see this child end up here. Lily's eyes staring at her from this child left no room for doubt to his identity.
Petunia was reluctant to take the Potter child into her home but what choice did she have? if she left him there then the neighbours were bound to notice eventually, that couldn't be allowed to happen.
Vernon was awoken by his clearly upset wife, that he couldn't smell his bacon cooking provided a further clue to just how upset she was. Seeing the letter clutched in her hand had Vernon sitting up in bed and reaching for his reading glasses.
After reading the words on the strange paper, Vernon blew his top. "Who do these bastards think they are, that they can dump their unwanted rubbish on our doorstep and expect us to look after their mess? I'm sorry to hear about your sister Petunia but we will not be raising her son. We'll just give him back and explain we don't want the little freak."
It was a very nervous Petunia who answered her enraged husband. "The letter said that the boy living here would provide some kind of protection for our family, for Dudley, shouldn't we..."
Her husband cut right across her. "That's a load of tosh, designed to get us to take the boy in. If our family is in danger then we call the police, I would rather put my faith in them than some crackpot who leaves babies on doorsteps in November."
"But Vernon, where would we give him back to? An orphanage?"
"The boy will be better amongst his own kind, didn't you say once that they had their own government?"
"Yes, but I wouldn't have a clue where to find it. I visited a place called Diagon Alley once when Lily had just turned eleven, I never went back there again."
"That will have to do then. I'll go there and hand the sprog over to the first respectable person I see. Put this letter back in the envelope and they can have that as well. I'll want my breakfast first though."
Petunia recognised an order when she heard one and rushed downstairs to the kitchen. As she was cooking breakfast, it gave her time to reflect on the wider implications that the Potter child currently in her living room signified, Lily was dead. She attempted to rationalise why that news didn't hurt her more and could really only come up with one answer.
As far as Petunia was concerned, the girl she knew as Lily Evans started the process of being dead to her from the first year the redhead left on that train to Scotland. Lily finally completed that journey the day she angrily proclaimed Vernon Dursley wasn't good enough for Petunia Evans. Petunia drew no comfort from the thought that Lily's own marriage had apparently been a direct contributor to her death at the age of only twenty one.
Vernon was in a foul mood. He'd walked up and down Charring Cross Road at least a dozen times and all he had to show for it was sore feet. That wasn't exactly true, his left arm was numb from the weight of the child he had resting there. Vernon had seen plenty of what he would consider 'freakish' people walking up and down too, but they all seemed to disappear the instant he took his eyes of them. He had resorted to staring but something always seemed to catch his attention just before they disappeared.
The child was starting to girn again but Vernon had the Dursley patented answer for that, his mother swore by it and it had worked on his own son. One of Dudley's old dummy tits dipped into a tiny pot of honey soon quietened the child, the boy liked it so much his little hand closed over Vernon's meaty finger.
For Vernon, this was like the curtains being drawn back. Suddenly he could see the decrepit old pub sitting there exactly as his wife described it. He had never seen an establishment that was less inviting in his life but it held the means for him to dispose of the bundle currently clinging to his finger, he kept his head down while entering the Leaky Cauldron.
Petunia had told him he needed to go through to the back of the pub where a wall would grant him access, though he would need to wait on someone opening it before he could enter the alley. Their fears of Vernon standing out as being normal were proving totally groundless, he could have rode in there upon an elephant and no one would have batted an eyelid. The whole place appeared to be in the midst of some kind of celebration, a celebration that seemed to have been ongoing for at least a day or two.
He had no trouble following a young family through the back of the pub to reach his destination, Vernon then found himself standing in what he considered to be the capital city of freakish. This brought even more problems though, he'd promised Petunia he would leave the child with someone respectable. Try as he might, Vernon just couldn't see anyone who matched his description of that word. He had just about settled on an ice cream shop when Vernon spotted the large, white marble building. Discovering that this was a bank cemented his decision, he boldly walked up the wide stairs to an establishment that screamed respectability at him.
The shock that awaited him inside the marble building almost had the disgusted Vernon running back out, a closer look saw him change his mind. Yes these creatures were undoubtably not human, but this establishment was also undoubtably recognisable as a bank. There were tellers working with orderly queues waiting to be served, that the people in these queues were clearly freaks was only to be expected. What clinched it for Vernon was that these creatures at least knew how to dress properly. All wore three piece pinstripe suits, with bow ties or cravats, none of these robe things that their customers seemed so fond of. He could ignore the large teeth and pointed ears, anyone wearing a suit couldn't be all bad.
Vernon himself was of course dressed in a suit so girded his loins and joined what he considered the shortest queue. When it was finally his turn to be dealt with, the surly little creature didn't even look up while displaying a shocking lack of customer relations skills.
"What do you want?"
Vernon thought this would be easy, he was accustomed to using his imposing size to bully those smaller than himself - which was just about everybody. Deciding to get straight to the point, he also let loose with his razor sharp wit. This was a double whammy that should ensure he obtained the outcome he wanted here. "I want to make a deposit!" With that, he dumped the boy and letter on the teller's counter. A smiling Vernon didn't notice the two goblin guards with razor sharp axes take up position behind him, only the teller's raised hand stopping them taking further action.
The names of Potter and Dumbledore on the letter meant this needed to be passed up to a higher authority, this was way beyond what any goblin at a teller counter was cleared for.
The little creature flipped up a 'position closed' sign before jumping down from his high stool and waddling away with the letter clutched in its long fingers, leaving Vernon with no other choice but to grab the child and follow on behind.
Barchoke was busying himself with tying down the Potter accounts and properties. Since wizards had decreed his clients wills would not be read, he intended to ensure that any who tried would be denied access to all Potter property. He was currently debating with himself what to do about the trust fund James and Lily had set up for their son when a knock at the door had him calling enter.
He was reading the note held in his hands while studying the sorry human sitting across from him, Barchoke was impressed by neither of them. This obese human walrus had dumped the last scion of the House of Potter onto his desk as if it was a pile of dirty laundry. The goblin parted the blanket Harry was wrapped in to study the child. Its little hand shot out and immediately wrapped around his finger while golden eyes stared into the green eyes Harry had clearly inherited from his mother. The goblin also couldn't miss the scar on the child's forehead.
"Can I ask why you brought this child here?"
Vernon appreciated the opulence of the office he'd been led into, this was no mere teller. He also decided to be perfectly honest with this creature. "I didn't know where else to take him. It was this or an orphanage, but I felt it would be better if he was raised amongst his own kind. I have no idea how to arrange that, which is why I brought him into your bank."
The goblin couldn't mistake the emphasis this human had placed on the phrase 'his own kind', Barchoke had been hearing this phrase from wizards his entire life. Teller Griphook also told him the large pile of garbage was as conceited and arrogant as any pureblood he'd ever met, that information had not been passed on in English.
Goblins had been putting up with that rhetoric for generations because nothing was more important to them than treasure, and the so-called guardian of Harry Potter had just placed untold treasure on his desk. Barchoke needed more information though before making any decisions here. "The wizard who signed this letter is the most powerful figure in British magical society. If Gringotts were to attempt to place Harry Potter with a wizarding family, Dumbledore would remove him and once more take the child to your house."
Vernon appeared resigned now, though hardly upset about the matter. "Very well, I will just have to take him to an orphanage. I still think he should be raised by his own kind but I won't lose any sleep over the matter. I refuse to have my son exposed to his freakishness, staying at our house is simply not an option I'm prepared to accept."
The goblin knew what this statement meant for the 'protection' Dumbledore was attempting to establish at this residence, that the muggle knew nothing of the benefits of these wards was hardly Barchoke's fault. He really had only one more question to ask. "Does your wife agree with this decision?"
Vernon's answer left no room for any doubt. "Absolutely one hundred percent. Our main concern will always be our own son, and we won't let anything interfere with that."
Barchoke sat back with his long fingers steepled in front of him, he appeared the epitome of calm while his mind was racing a mile a minute. He well understood that the radical thoughts running through his head could see a blade part him from it but Barchoke was slowly talking himself into a crazy course of action. Even mentioning this action to the director would mean his life could never be the same again, he thought the possible benefits outweighed the very real risks. "Mr Dursley, there might be something I can do to help but I would need to speak with the director of the bank first. Can I offer you some refreshments while you wait?"
As the tea, milk and sugar appeared on a small table that moments ago wasn't there, Vernon was all set to politely refuse until a tray of fruit scones was suddenly next to it. This was a temptation too far for Vernon who quickly accepted his host's offer.
Barchoke was mentally rehearsing how he was going to pitch the biggest gamble Gringotts bank and his race had taken in centuries to the director, knowing Ragnok would already be in a bad mood since he didn't currently have an appointment. At the moment Barchoke thought the odds were at best a coin toss. Tails he would win or his head he would lose.
The Potter accounts manager had sweat running off his forehead by the time he finished the pitch, Ragnok was too quiet. The expected explosion soon came though.
"You want to throw the goblin nation into a war over a human child? I think you've lost your head and I am ready to give the order that will make that condition permanent. What do you think the ministry would do when they discovered we have the child they're calling the-boy-who-lived and hailing as their saviour?"
"With the greatest of respect sir, I don't believe the ministry will be involved in this at all. Dumbledore blocked the Potter will reading and told the Wizengamot the boy was safe, he certainly won't want to publicly admit to everyone he lied. If it were to become known the Chief Warlock left the Potter heir on a muggle doorstep, it might even be a large enough scandal to bring him down."
Barchoke took the director's silence as permission for him to continue talking. "After the happenings over the course of the other night, there can be no doubt the boy really is a child of prophecy. Having Harry Potter raised by goblins would be a coup of epic proportions, and provide us with a golden opportunity to install goblin values in a wizard destined for greatness. We have Dumbledore over a barrel, provided the lad attends Hogwarts at age eleven. I would also like our healers to have a look at the dark magic lurking at the site of his scar."
He could see this appealed to the director but his next question showed there was still a ways to go to convince Ragnok this could be good for the goblin nation. "Even without the backing of the ministry, Dumbledore could still make a lot of trouble for us. How do you propose to handle the old wizard?"
This was the crux of the matter, the next few minutes would determine if he left this room with his head still attached to his shoulders. "That letter passes responsibility for Harry Potter onto his muggle relatives," Ragnok nodded impatiently so Barchoke blurted out the next bit. "I plan to draw up an escrow agreement, that should take care of all the legal requirements."
Barchoke sweated as the silence drew out, it was broken by the deep belly-laughter rolling out of Ragnok. "Oh that's too cruel, legally cut Dumbledore off at the knees. I approve!" Barchoke almost sunk to the floor in relief but his training saw him stand proud, the director's next comment really surprised him though. "Go and arrange for our young crow - no, let the lad henceforth be known as old crow..."
Ragnok was laughing now at his own wit, it would be a stupid goblin that didn't laugh along with the director. "Go and arrange for old crow to spend the next ten years learning the ways of our people, you understand that I hold you personally responsible for the success of this project?"
Barchoke quickly agreed and thanked the director for this opportunity, before getting out of there as quickly as he could. Ragnok personally naming the child would add a level of protection Barchoke couldn't have considered when thinking through this idea, as a wizard being raised as a goblin - Harry would need all the help he could get.
Barchoke himself had been touched by tragedy when his lifemate had died during a complicated and difficult childbirth, that the son she'd died giving birth to barely survived her by twenty-four hours was a double tragedy. That this son was their first child compounded the misery, like young Harry - Barchoke was now the last of his line. Oh there were a few distant cousins still lurking about who hoped to inherit everything once he passed from this world, only if he didn't challenge the greedy cowards to a duel before the end. At least if they defeated him, they could then claim it had been earned.
Young Harry Potter had touched something more than just his finger in that office. Here was another much loved son destined for the scrapheap of life because his mother had died prematurely, well not if Barchoke could do something about it. His clan had looked after the House Potter finances for generations, he was just taking those close ties a step further. If things went the way he hoped, Harry Potter would be adopted as his son until the child was old enough to make his own decisions.
Vernon was trying to decide if having a fifth scone could be considered as being greedy when his host re-entered his office. He actually appreciated this creatures no-nonsense approach to business, there was no time wasted on mindless chit-chat about sports or the weather.
"Mr Dursley, have you ever heard of an escrow agreement?" As expected, this question was met with a negative response so the goblin banker explained the concept. "As you already know, Gringotts is fundamentally a bank. An escrow agreement is where a sum of money or property is held by a third party until specific conditions laid out in a contract can be met. I propose an agreement between the Dursleys and the House of Potter, with the goblins acting as bankers - looking after the property until the predetermined conditions are met. As the Potter account manager, my signature should be acceptable on a business agreement until young Harry comes of age."
Vernon wasn't sure what was being offered here and wanted to make certain he understood everything before making any decisions. "Can the brat be considered property, and what would these conditions be?"
Barchoke was really having to keep his temper in check at this muggle's disrespect to a child. How anyone could treat a toddler with such hate was beyond goblin understanding. "In magical law, children and wives are routinely considered property of the wizard, that will cause no problems. As to the conditions, I think we should keep them as simple as possible - less chance of other people being able to attach their own interpretations to the wording then."
Vernon was naturally all in favour of keeping things as simple as possible, just as long as he left here without the bundle in his arms.
"I think it's safe to assume that it's not the child himself you and your wife object to, rather the fact that he's probably a wizard." Vernon agreed with that assessment so Barchoke gave him the gist of the Dursleys' part of the agreement. "If fate decrees the child is not a wizard, he returns to your family to be raised as your nephew. If, on the other hand, Harry Potter is a wizard, the escrow agreement would see Gringotts responsible for him until the boy becomes of age to represent House Potter."
This sounded exactly what he wanted but Vernon was determined to double check everything. "So, unless he's normal, my family will never see him again?"
Barchoke gave him the confirmation he needed. "That describes exactly what the contract will state, though I must point out it is imperative that your wife also signs the escrow agreement."
Since both he and Petunia were certain the brat was a freak, this would work out perfectly for them. "That will not be a problem, how long will it take to draw up the papers?"
The words had no sooner left his mouth before the teller he had first dealt with entered the office with a scroll in his hands. Vernon left Gringotts thinking that normal banks placed far too much emphasis on being polite and caring to their customers, and not enough on taking care of business. As he retraced his steps through the pub he actually pitied the poor goblin bankers - imagine having to serve nothing but freaks all day.
The healers were extremely angry, Barchoke fully shared that anger after hearing their diagnoses and prognoses. They were raging that this child had been left untreated. Even worse, it would appear that treatment was deliberately withheld. The longer this condition went untreated, the more severe the trauma would be for removing this disgusting thing from the child. As the healers sent for a pig to act as a new host for this abomination, Barchoke knew it was his duty to report this news to the director. The Potter accounts manager could confidently predict there would be no laughter at this meeting.
That the dark one had stooped so low as to use this most foulest form of magic would not only disgust Ragnok, it was practically a foregone conclusion that all the vaults under Gringotts would need to be inspected in case any more of these affronts to nature existed there. It was also not inconceivable that a certain Albus Dumbledore could suddenly find himself suffering from 'banking difficulties'. What was inconceivable to the goblin was that the Chief Warlock could miss the dark magic radiating from the child's scar, to deliberately ignore this was criminal. For a goblin, committing a crime against a child was as low as you could get.
Albus could no longer ignore the readings - or lack of - coming from the instruments he'd tied to the wards around the Potter boy's residence. He'd been putting this confrontation off but, with the children now safely on the Hogwarts express to begin their Christmas Holidays, the headmaster's last excuse about being too busy had left with them. It was time to once more visit Privet Drive.
It was an invisible Dumbledore who took his second stroll along Privet Drive, he wanted to ensure his instruments weren't malfunctioning before disturbing the Dursleys. His wand soon confirmed the information his sensors at Hogwarts were telling him, there were no wards whatsoever around this property. Albus decided to do some snooping.
Watching through the window as Petunia played on the floor with her large son, all the while the husband sat in an enormous chair and never removed his head from the newspaper, Albus was puzzled why Harry wasn't part of this scene. It would appear the only way he would discover the information he required was by entering the house. He at least had the good manners to ring the doorbell and wait until it was answered.
Petunia was stunned when she opened the door, she was just reminding herself that it was nearly Christmas - and not Halloween - when the six and a half foot gaudy garden gnome spoke.
"Good evening Mrs Dursley. My name is Albus Dumbledore, could I have a few words with you regarding your nephew, Harry Potter?"
The instant she heard the name Dumbledore, Petunia tried to slam the door in his face. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the door refused to move from the open position. "Harry Potter doesn't live here, and we don't know where he is."
This led to a rather loud 'WHAT!' from the wizard. Vernon had started moving the second he heard the name Dumbledore mentioned, he was now thundering down the hall to confront this wizard who caused him so much work.
"My wife is correct, the freak doesn't live here. Did you honestly think you could just dump the brat on us, without as much as an explanation, and we would accept that? You must be used to dealing with the wrong kind of people, decent, hard-working folk like us would never accept that situation."
Albus was seriously struggling to accept the situation he was finding himself in. "...but, I left you a letter."
Vernon always had a quick and fiery temper but this idiot just poured petrol all over it. "Do you honestly think that including a letter makes amends for dumping a baby on someone's doorstep? You sir need to go and get yourself a job somewhere as Father Christmas, the kids might accept the crap you hand out but the Dursleys never will."
Albus had his half-moon glasses in one hand, while the fingers of his other massaged the bridge of his nose. "Where is the boy, what have you done with him?"
Vernon was quite proud of himself for the solution he'd devised, he didn't see the need to tell this freak though. "I negotiated a contract, Petunia signed it and then it turned golden before disappearing. I was told this would only happen if it was legal and above board, we'll thankfully never have to see the brat again."
As the muggle was reliving that particular morning in his mind, Albus was watching it unfold using a mind probe. he couldn't help but be shocked at what he saw. "The goblins have control of Harry Potter, do you realise what you've done?"
Vernon wasn't about to stand here and have his elegant solution questioned. "Hey, you were the one who left him on a doorstep in the middle of the night. I at least put some effort into making sure he was raised by his own kind."
Albus was now glad he had charmed the area around the door, the arguments were getting louder and there appeared to be no possibility of him being invited inside. "How could you possibly think the goblins were 'his own kind'? Didn't you read the part of the letter that told you Harry living here would offer this family protection?"
Vernon got even louder, screw the neighbours. "Tall or short, you're all just freaks to me! ...and no, we didn't buy that protection shit you were trying to shovel."
This infuriating muggle had just given Albus a massive headache, how to get Harry Potter back. He decided to leave them with something painful to mull over. "A young couple with a son, same age as yours, were recently tortured into insanity. They may be technically still alive but that young mother will never hold her child in her arms again. The protection gained by Harry living here would have prevented that ever happening to you." He heard the gasp of terror coming from Petunia and thought the bitch deserved it. How could anyone give away their only nephew?
"I shall leave now and wish you a Merry Christmas, we can only hope you and your family enjoy many more."
Dumbledore popped away, leaving Petunia clinging to her husband's arm. "Oh Vernon, perhaps we should have kept the freak? We could have stuck him in the cupboard under the stairs out of the way..."
"Petunia, the old man was deliberately trying to scare us. He's just pissed off because he didn't get his own way."
This was little comfort to the worried mother. "But Dudley..."
"Listen, let's enjoy Christmas and, if you still feel the same way in the New Year, we'll look at moving house. It wouldn't hurt for me to get a shotgun either, soon show these freaks we mean business."
Vernon could see the worry literally drop off his wife, Petunia was probably planning how she would decorate their new home. The new house should also have a bigger lounge, this would be the excuse for him to buy that new giant TV he had his eye on.
Albus walked up to the first available teller at Gringots and asked to see the Potter accounts manager. The goblin in front of him though just added to his already bad day.
"Do you have an appointment?"
"No I thought..."
"What do you want to see him for?"
"That's personal, needless to say..."
Albus was interrupted again. "Who shall I say wishes to see him?"
"I am Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, surely you must have heard..."
"Wulfric after Percival but before Brian?"
Albus could only sigh and nod his head in agreement, only to discover the goblin wasn't even looking at him so he was forced to say 'yes'.
"Okay, and last name Dumbledore? I'll go and see if there is anyone available to deal with your request at the moment. Please remain here."
It had been Dumbledore's experience that when the goblins were at their most obstructive, it meant you had upset them in some way. He was struggling to think what he'd done to merit this treatment but reckoned he would soon find out, he didn't have long to wait. Four security guards with drawn weapons surrounded him and demanded he follow their lead.
He was surprised but delighted to find himself in the directors office, now at least he was getting somewhere. Or so he thought. "Director Ragnok, delighted to see you again..."
The director cut across him as abruptly as the teller had. "Let's cut the dragonshit Dumbledore, I have better things to do than stand here and listen to you talk nonsense. The reason you are in here is to give you this." Albus found a scroll being slapped into his hand. "This is a notice of vault closure, you have twenty-four hours to take your belongings from the Dumbledore vault before we seal it. After that time, Gringotts will no longer do business with you."
This was totally unexpected and an extremely serious development, getting kicked out of Gringotts was a sanction used for only the very worst offenders. "Perhaps there has been a mistake here?"
"Oh yes, and it was you who made it. We now know that the dark one is not gone, and we also know how this was achieved. This was information that could have seriously compromised Gringotts, yet you deliberately withheld it from us."
Albus suddenly understood what was going on here. "Did you find any in the vaults? You must tell me!"
Ragnok's answer was scathing. "Oh, so now you want a spirit of cooperation between us? I must tell you nothing. Get him out of here."
Albus was being dragged out before he'd got what he came for. "Wait, What about Harry Potter?"
The director's sneer was predatory. "Send his Hogwarts letter to Gringotts, I'll make sure he gets it."
Albus was rather unceremoniously herded into the main lobby of Gringotts by the guards, the old wizard then headed back to Hogwarts. He would need to make some quick arrangements on where to store the items from his vault. Albus decided to tell no one about this, being barred from Gringotts was ammunition his enemies didn't need to have.
His plan for Harry Potter was to ensure the boy wouldn't be seen again in the British magical community until the child's arrival at Hogwarts. That plan was still viable, though it would be a different Harry Potter who now stepped onto the express. Just how different was something Albus was going to have to wait ten years to discover.
A/N thanks for reading
A/N 2 - When I came up with the escrow idea, I just couldn't resist a nod to my favourite author. How Harry Crow came to be will be explained in the next chapter, where our hero makes his way to Hogwarts.
A/N 3 Since the Queen was nice enough to give me an extra day's holiday to celebrate her diamond jubilee, I decided to use the time to post the first chapter of my new story.