To Plant a Seed
Ahem. Here we are! I blame this story on the HP bug that got me recently.
So, I like basic stories with a little…twist. In Naruto, it may be a different team, in Harry Potter, it may be a different House. This story is my take on a Ravenclaw Harry who isn't the Gryffindor Golden Boy ruled by his emotions. Not dark or necessarily Snape-like, just reserved – cool, calm, collected and wary. Heh, you can even probably call him a nerd if you'd like.
In truth, the story's base really stems from the Dursleys banning of anything abnormal whether that be him talking about outlandish dreams of motorcycles or actual magic. Harry is curious in canon (the stone, the Chamber, Sirius, DoM, etc.) but in this story it's broader (magic, society – stuff in canon it seemed like he wasn't supposed to know; stuff hinted at and left for us fans to "create"). Thus, the seed is planted and left to grow.
Now, the summary. Some may find it confusing because ambition and to crave/desire are somewhat similar, but it means Slytherin ambition – money, influence, fame, popularity, etc. Just thought I should point that little bit out. And the summary isn't that far off from Harry's canon personality, seeing as he is emotionally distant and puzzling – at the very least it may seem this way to others not in the know. Either way, I put AU for a reason, basically because I'm not about to change every memory Harry has as a child to show his transition from the pre-Gryffindor he is in canon, to what he is here. Fact is, the change has already happened and story is already diverging from canon. This first chapter is just a small example.
And finally, there will be some Harry and Daphne romance, but that won't come until later and I must say, this is not the usual take on Harry and Daphne , or rather Daphne's background (Ice Queen daughter of rich pureblood politicians who live in a castle and have more gold than they can handle). You'll see what I mean when the story gets around to it.
Summary: AU – Harry Potter; the aloof, enigmatic Hero of Hogwarts. Ambition, chivalry and loyalty were insignificant to him, growing up as he had, deprived of freedom, an imagination and his birthright, yet still did he manage to crave forbidden, taboo knowledge, above all else.
Disclaimer: Yeah, so me and Harry Potter go way back, but I don't necessarily own him.
An Ever-Growing Wonder
Petunia Dursley was having an admittedly terrible week. And when she had a bad anything these days, it always wound up being his fault.
Oh how she wished that madman Dumbledore – what a ridiculous name! she thought – had decided to keep the boy with his own kind, far away from the comfortable, normal world she and her family lived in – but no! The blasted fool just had to place him on her doorstep like an extra morning paper. Heaven forbid she hadn't been a wonderful mother and an early riser that fateful day and someone else had seen the brat on her doorstep, shivering in the cold!
She could practically taste the scandal it would have caused. And where would those freaks have been then? Back in their caves huddling around a fire, no doubt.
Petunia heaved a sigh and dragged the boy with her towards the discount bin of clothing. If she had to by the boy clothes, at least the sales were on her side. Of course she would have to buy her Dudley something as well if she didn't want him shivering in the cold!
Shivering in the cold…
The statement repeated itself over and over in her head, again and again like some freakishly broken record.
"Poor Harry was shivering in the cold with no jacket to warm his bones!"
If there was anyone she hated more than her nephew – and by extension any of those other abnormal freaks lurking in the shadows with their dresses and sticks – it was someone who didn't know how to keep their nose out of business that was not theirs to nose about in! She, of course, was an exception to the rule.
And the new trollop teaching mathematics to her Dudley and him fit that role to the last dot available. Not only did the little tart tell Petunia that her precious Dudley was falling behind, but she had the nerve to flaunt her bits right in front of her Vernon like they were there for an all you can eat buffet! And to make it worse, she actually praised the little freak for his good work in class! Of course, the praise directed at her and Vernon for taking the brat in and raising him was well received and deserved, but to slander her Dudley and actually suggest he remain behind a year?
Completely unacceptable. Petunia could see she was clearly on the drugs, of which she could not tell. Probably them all…
But Petunia knew – oh how did she know! – it was a difficult world she and Vernon lived in. Nobody to turn to – to mutually vent with about freaks and their freakish behaviors and habits. Nobody could know of the burden they carried, raising him, that is. They had to shoulder a problem few knew how to deal with and keep it all a secret, though Petunia knew how to keep a secret far better than most, thank you very much.
Did she and her wonderful husband not deserve some credit? Had they not raised the boy their absolute best – dealing with his kind, that is? Of course mistakes were made, but surely they weren't all to blame!
Not like the brat was any help or his kind had any suggestions to offer – just dropped him off and ran before the lights were back on. She and Vernon had to coach him up all by themselves, teach him like he was a normal. Helping him blend in plain sight. But it was a losing game, Petunia knew all too well. Some things were just born spoiled rotten – bad blood, Marge would say, and right she was – and no amount of training or lessons would change that.
On the other hand, how did she even know if the boy needed a jacket in the winter, or three full meals every single day of the week? What did his kind even eat – candy-corn and caramelized apples? After all, Lily had been rather fond of sweets…
For all she knew the little runt could turn feral at any moment and take a chunk out of her poor Dudley if they so much as looked at him the wrong way! Above all else, Petunia dreads the day when his natural-born instincts finally tell him brooms aren't just for cleaning.
Petunia stopped and placed a hand over her racing heat in an attempt to calm it. It was best not to think too much on the horrors the boy was capable of.
Turning, she flinched at the curious look in those dreadfully familiar eyes, watching her like a blood-thirsty vulture. It amazed her how Lily's beautiful green eyes – eyes she most certainly was not jealous of – could look so eerie and out of place on her son. A son who bore a mockery of the same eyes, yet did not shed tears like young Lily had – not even as a baby.
Monsters don't have emotions, she thought, a shiver crawling its way up her spine.
"Is this it?" he questioned, running his small, deadly fingers over the stretchy fabric. She had put the boy to work in the kitchen and seen firsthand just what he could do with a knife in his hand. It was unnatural, his skill with a knife – much too precise for a boy his age. Not even Dudley could cut up his own dinner without help, but the boy…
"Of course not!" she snapped, regaining her usual flair. Honestly, a purple and green jacket – did he want the neighborhood to laugh at them? If she was going to buy the boy clothes he sure as hell wasn't going to pick them out – probably try and get something expensive to outshine my Dudley! – and they definitely weren't going to be such ridiculous colors.
"Alright," he sighed but Petunia had already turned, making her way towards a bland, brown jacket – normal, good, acceptable. Just the kind she liked and the only thing she would allow him to wear out in public. Couldn't have him ruining the reputation they had worked so hard to build, now could she?
"Stay here while I get this jacket in your size," she said in her very best commanding voice, one that not even Vernon dared defy. Dudley, however, was another matter entirely, but he had inherited his mother's will and will did she have!
"Yes, aunt Petunia," he droned back.
"Good," she said, making her way towards a shopkeeper lazing about. "And don't you dare blow anything up!" she added as an afterthought.
Nobody said Petunia Dursley wasn't thorough.
Ted Tonks was not having the best day.
Women, he thought, shaking his head fondly.
Shopping with his wife was bad enough, but Dora too? Give him the torture curse any day over a teenage girl capable of changing her hair, face and body at a moments notice – without the use of a wand.
Ted had jokingly blamed his wife when the discovery was made – no magical history ran in his blood. Looking back, he isn't sure just how much of it was actually a joke.
Sitting back in the stiff, department store chair, he was sorely tempted to give his wand a few twirls and reward himself a nice, comfortable chair. Alas, he was in the muggle world shopping and using magic was a big no-no.
A soft, rustle of clothing drew his attention and he found that curious, unblinking eyes regarded him silently from behind a rack of dresses.
"Come on out, lad, I won't bite," he chuckled. The figure – a small boy with messy black hair and bright, green eyes – adjusted his glasses and did just that. "What's your name, son?"
"Harry," he said quietly, and after a moment added, "Harry Potter."
Taken aback, Ted stared at him. And then threw his head back and guffawed like never before.
"Oh Merlin that was a good one," he choked out between chuckles, "and I'm Albus Dumbledore," he said before breaking in to another fit of laughter. Magical kids these days and their jokes! Ted stopped and wiped his teary eyes, "Oh how I need that – shopping with women will do that to ya! I'm Ted, Ted Tonks." The boy nodded and began running his hand along the side of a velvet hat, "You here alone, lad?" he asked.
"No." He shook his head, "I'm here with my aunt – she's buying me a jacket."
"Must be a nice lady," he said, drawing a snort from the boy.
"She's only doing it because…" he searched his brain, "because the good for nothing slag teaching me math will only ask more questions if I don't come to school wearing something brand new."
"Sounds like a real charmer," said Ted dryly, thoughts of a loving aunt buying her nephew a Christmas present vanishing. "Don't you worry though; you'll heading off to Hogwarts soon, that right?"
But Ted was just humoring the boy. After all, he appeared no older than ten – and that was pushing it – and looked as though a strong wind would take him down.
Now Ted was the one genuinely confused, about just as confused as those green eyes were.
First the boy claims to be Harry Potter and then he doesn't know what Hogwarts is? Surely the Harry Potter would know of Hogwarts and surely a magical child making Harry Potter jokes would know about Hogwarts as well.
Now Ted was starting to get worried.
Had he just revealed knowledge of the magical world to a muggle boy named – of all things – Harry Potter? Confusion bubbled in the pit of his stomach. On the other hand, Harry was a rather common name.
What are the odds? he thought.
With a sigh, Ted discreetly drew his wand. He didn't want to memory charm the poor muggle – his parents were muggles – but laws were laws and he had accidentally broken them. It would be best for all parties involved if he handled his mistake personally – no reason for the Ministry or Andy to get involved in his mess. He was just about to apologize before performing the charm when a gasp caught his attention.
Turning, he saw several colorful tops at the feet of his wife Andromeda.
"James?" she whispered, face pale and clutching at her chest as though she had seen a ghost.
Then, belatedly, he realized just what she had said.
Now, Ted's head turned back to the boy. Merlin, he looks like a miniature James Potter – it is Harry Potter! How could I have missed it? He even has the lightning bolt, "Scar," Ted breathed aloud.
"Mom," a whiny voice called, "what are you – Merlin's saggy balls, it's Harry fucking Potter!" his daughter Nymphadora screamed, falling over and sending a mannequin's arm flying off into the distance. His wife's reprimand at Dora's choice words was lost in her worry of the fall.
Just then a horse-faced woman swooped in on the scene. "What have you done now, boy?" she demanded, shaking the boy and peering at the mess.
"Nothing – nothing at all, aunt Petunia!" he stammered, pointing wildly at Ted and his family.
The woman's head snapped towards them so quickly Ted feared whiplash. It took her a moment of searching, but her eyes zeroed in on his wand without much trouble before he could put it away, and confusion wasn't what he saw lurking in those pale eyes.
"Freaks!" she screeched, her bony hand clutching at the boy.
"Petunia," Andy repeated, gasping in surprise. "You're Lily's sister – the muggle Black spilled wine on at her and James' wedding!"
The color staining Petunia's cheeks was answer enough but Ted was stumped. The muggle standing before him looked absolutely nothing like the late Lily Potter – not the eyes, hair, or even the face.
"I'll not be embarrassed again by the likes of your kind!" she shrilled. "Come, boy, we're leaving at once!"
Ted took a step forward as she began dragging Harry away, "Now wait just a minute, ma'am, we just –"
"No!" she howled, looking quite deranged – she was starting to draw a scene and Ted prayed to a higher power the muggles didn't figure anything out. "I'll not have any of you freaks coming near me. I won't have it, no sir!"
Just then Nymphadora's head – purple hair which had earlier been pink, he wearily realized – emerged from a stack of underwear, "Blimey, what crawled up her ass," she muttered as the pair made a quick getaway.
"Language, Nymphadora!" his wife screeched, hastily placing spilled clothing back onto racks and shelves. Ted was just thankful she hadn't pulled out her wand, as she was just the witch – pureblood, too – needed to take care of a few household messes.
"Bloody hell, mom, don't call me Nymphadora!" she retorted, her hair shifting through several shades of red, much to the surprise of several watching muggles.
"I just told you to watch your damn mouth, young lady, and help me – Merlin's beard, your hair!"
As a shopkeeper fainted and Andromeda whipped out her wand to stun another babbling muggle before she could spread the tale of what she had witnessed, Ted could only shake his head. "What a mess," he muttered, staring at the sport where the boy-who-lived had once stood.
With a sigh, Ted discreetly drew his wand. The things we do for family…
From his seat beside Dudley, he watched his aunt and uncle peer outside through splayed curtains. They were nervous, he could tell – afraid, even. The intentions of the golf club leaning against the wall was obvious to all, side for maybe Dudley. They were also whispering, a quiet conversation meant for their ears only. Barely, he could pick up words here and there – freaks, Hogwarts, abnormal, Dumbledore, senile.
Harry felt his curiosity grow, like a slowly burning fire being steadily fed by their mysterious words. Who exactly was Dumbledore and what was a Hogwarts?
"What are you doing?" Dudley demanded after shoveling the rest of his cookies into his mouth. Thankfully he had already eaten his single cookie before Dudley laid his greedy eyes upon it, though now the cookie was a thing of the past. He would gladly trade the cookie for more knowledge on the subject at hand.
"Nothing at all, pumpkin," said Petunia, smoothing out Dudley's blond hair, even as Vernon continued to glance nervously from him to the window.
It must have something to do with those strangers who recognized us – me, the friendless Harry Potter – in the clothing store. And how is this Dumbledore connected to both the strangers and the Dursleys?
"Is it because of those people?" he asked politely, tracing a pattern on the table cloth.
Petunia's hawk-like gaze was on him before Vernon had a chance to close the curtains with his meaty fingers. Dudley's mouth, however, beat her to the punch.
"What people?" Dudley demanded once more, banging on the table for good measure and ruffling the pattern he had been tracing.
"Just some people in the clothing store that seemed to recognize me, Dud," said Harry before anyone could silence him, patiently smoothing out the fabric.
"Shut your mouth, boy!"
"Who's Dumbledore?" Harry demanded, his patience momentarily slipping.
Vernon growled, Petunia shrieked, Dudley screamed.
"No more bloody – just go to your room, Dudley!" Vernon snarled before advancing menacingly on Harry, "and you! To your cupboard at once!"
Vernon spluttered in indignation, his bushy mustache quivering as though it was a living entity in its own right. "W…what? But, Pet–"
But she cut him off, "No, Vernon, it's high time he left his old room behind." She looked at the fireplace nervously. "First that do-gooder from the school starts asking questions and now they show their disgusting faces?" Petunia shook her head and laughed a mad laugh, her eyes locking with Vernon's. "They're finally onto us after all these years, Vernon – they must have been watching!"
In an instant, Vernon's puce-colored face paled to the color of bone. "To right you are, darling! I can't believe we haven't seen it coming," he said in a lowered voice before screwing on a pained smile and turning to Harry, his eyes promising untold pain if he dared defy him. "Come on, lad, let's take you to your wonderful new room!"
Whatever was happening, Harry wanted – no, he needed – to know what exactly was going on, but he wasn't an idiot about to foolishly challenge his aunt or uncle to a fight. He had too much patience to rush headfirst, especially not something so obviously important – life-changing, even.
Nodding, he fell in line behind Vernon, pointedly ignoring Dudley's howls and wails of misery at the loss of his second bedroom. It really was high time he left that smelly old cupboard behind and Dudley's storage room was the next best choice – the guest bedroom that often housed Vernon's sister Marge was bigger, but it smelled worse than Mrs. Figg's house after the time Mr. Tibbles decided to use the couch as his new litter box.
No, he would gather more information and figure out just who those people were, what they had wanted and why – of all people – was he someone to be recognized when he had never even received a letter in the mail. He would learn just why his family feared the strangers from the store, so.
And most importantly of all, the one thing he would investigate above all else.
"Albus Dumbledore." He whispered the word, testing the sound of it. Sounds about right…
As he entered the room and the door was quickly snapped shut behind him, Harry was caught between a grimace and a smile at the state of the room – it would need some cleaning, yes, but what was not broken and left behind could be of use to him. The room also smelled like what Harry could only describe as leftover Dudley Dursley, and that would need to change, preferably as soon as possible.
Quickly stepping around the rubbish, he pulled back the off-white shades and cracked open the room's lone window, allowing brisk, November air into the stale-smelling room. Without so much as a warning, the overcast sky was momentarily illuminated with a blinding spark of lightning and the low, steadily-rising rumble of thunder caught his attention.
A storm is coming…
Harry perched himself upon the window's ledge and watched as the icy-rain slowly begin to fall. Idly, he traced the lightning-bolt scar on his forehead as the sky flashed brilliantly once more. It almost felt…alive.
Just a little teaser, I suppose. Test the waters, you could say. Not sure when the next update will come, so I'm not going to make any promises -_-
I also hope it was as fun for you as it was for me. I must say, I had quite the time writing Petunia's little piece and her 'observations' of Harry. No, Harry is most certainly not evil, Petunia just thinks he is.
So yeah, read, review and and all that other jazz – tell me what you think. Till next time, folks!