Hi, this is my newest story. As for all my other stories I will give a permanent disclaimer for the story: I don't own Harry Potter, that honour goes to J.K. Rowling.
Summary: Harry grew up abused by the Dursleys, but at one point he snaps and decides that they and their opinion of him don't matter. Stopping to hold back at school and striving to become the very best he rises to the top of his primary school. Now at nearly eleven he is confronted with a choice. should he continue his path in the muggle world or accept his place at Hogwarts? No matter which he chooses, Harry Potter won't vanish in the masses, he will stand out and become the champion he is meant to be.
Happy reading and please tell me what you think of the idea.
Number four Privet Drive in Little Whinging, Surrey. A perfectly normal house in a perfectly normal neighbourhood. Living there was a perfectly normal family, a mother, a father and their just turned eleven year old son. That's what it looked like on the outside. On the inside things were very different. Because, like every local knew, there was another boy living at the house. A supposed delinquent. The boy's name was Harry Potter. The boy ran around in old, shabby clothes, his messy hair never looking proper and his green eyes always up to no good. At least in the eyes of the locals, which was supported by the horrible stories Petunia Dursley, the woman who lived at number four, always told her gossiping friends over tea.
Harry Potter was an orphan after his parents had died in a car crash, which they had caused due to drunken driving. That was what they told the neighbours. As the boy's only living relatives, they had been burdened with the child. They were seen as good people for taking in their orphaned nephew and trying to raise him to become a good member of society.
Now if somebody would risk a closer look, things were very different. Instead of a stupid troublemaker, Harry Potter was a highly intelligent and calculating child. He had to be to not be subject to too much abuse from his so called family. Early on he had noticed that strange things happened around him. When he was six, he had turned the wig of his teacher that had shouted at him blue. The things he had been accused of had been done by Dudley, but of course nobody would shout at Vernon Dursley's son. With Vernon's high position at Grunnings many of Dudley's flaws were overlooked and the easiest target next to Dudley was Harry.
When he was seven he had ended on the school roof while running away from his cousin and his gang of bullies. His aunt and uncle had punished him terribly for that, even if Harry said over and over again that he had no idea how he had got there and only had tried to jump behind a trashcan. Then a horrible looking jumper, orange with maroon baubles, had shrunk while his aunt had tried to force him into it.
And that wasn't enough. Many people seemed to know him, strange people in cloaks. He had been greeted by them; one man had even bowed to him once. Whenever these strange things happened Harry was punished. Most of the time he was locked in the cupboard under the stairs, which doubled as his bedroom, or sometimes, if Vernon was in an extremely bad mood, he would be beaten with a belt. That had stopped though when Harry was nine and in a bout of fury about an unjust punishment had somehow made Vernon unable to move. From then on, the Dursleys had been even more unpleasant, but the punishments never again got corporeal. They were afraid something more severe would happen.
Harry had analysed these incidents. They always had happened when he was angry or afraid. So there had to be an emotional trigger for his strange power. Whenever he felt very strong emotions, it happened. He had no doubt that it was his power, otherwise the Dursleys wouldn't have always shouted at him for being a freak and to not do what he did. He had researched what he could find about it in the local library, but hadn't found something that sounded like his strange power. The Dursleys knew something, but they wouldn't tell him. They hated him and he hated them. How he wished he could just leave there and live somewhere else. But with him being only ten years old, eleven in two weeks, there was no chance to do it.
He couldn't work yet to earn the money he would need to leave them. The only thing he would be able to do were chores for neighbours, but with the Dursleys always telling lies about him, nobody would let him do them. They were all stupid sheep in his mind. Adults always tended to believe other adults, never the child that had to say something else. If he did, they called him a liar. No, he couldn't trust adults. All his anonymous letters to the police had been ignored or if they came to investigate, Vernon always talked them out of the suspicion, presenting the perfectly honourable family father. He would show them. They would regret how they had treated him one day. But he needed capital to achieve this.
So Harry had investigated just what kind of jobs paid highest and gave most power in society. Thankfully the librarian didn't think him to be a delinquent. Perhaps because the library was on the other side of Little Whinging and the people there hadn't heard about the stories the Dursleys made up. All jobs he had found interesting had one thing in common, he would need extremely high grades, would have to study at university after taking his A-Levels and build up a social network to have contacts with others that would also hold high positions later in life.
That plan had been hatched when Harry was eight. From that day on he turned his school performance around, excelling in every class. He stopped playing the idiot, the Dursleys be damned. Oh, he had got punished, but they would do that anyway, it didn't matter if he did something wrong after all, but if they overdid it, the teachers would notice and a sudden drop in his performance would be suspect. So Harry rose to the top of class. As he didn't have anything to do in his free time, Dudley had made sure that nobody wanted to be his friend, they feared his retribution too much, Harry had become a steady occupant of the school's library. All books there became his passion. He would learn all he could. He would show Dudley up the only way he could, showing how much smarter he was than his stupid cousin.
Harry learned stuff that was covered in higher years. He quickly became bored with the curriculum of his age group. So he turned to other books. Books on anything he found interesting and what would be useful for him to know. Science, history, politics, languages, social science, psychology, finances, fictional novels, classic literature and sports. When he wasn't in the library he was on the athletic field of the school, training playing football. He had read that many secondary schools gave out scholarships for gifted children that excelled at sports. As he didn't have the means for going swimming, he decided to play football. It would also be good as it was the more popular sport. Soon he was discovered for the football team, despite being the youngest player with eight and a half years – his team-mates were all ten or eleven – he soon became an integral part of the team.
His school participated in matches with other primary schools and he knew it was a great chance for him to be seen by the scouts from the secondary schools. He played in the midfield on the left side. He was fast, all the running away from Dudley and his gang finally had done something good for him, and he worked on his precision with passes to the forwards. When he was nine, the other schools knew he was a dangerous player and he was guarded closely during matches, but there his cunning came in. He had only needed one game of being totally taken out of the game by guards that outnumbered him to work on tricks to get away from them. He was smaller than them due to them being older, so he needed to trick them and outspeed them.
The next game was three weeks away, three weeks where Harry trained sprints, sharp turns and controlling the ball in certain movements. The next game even three players couldn't hold him. At the end of the school year the football club had won the primary school championships of the southeast of England and Harry, thanks to his excelling at his studies was offered to be moved up one year. He thought it was great. He knew the stuff of the year he had skipped without problem and this way he would be able to get to secondary school earlier. Sadly this needed the approval of his guardians and the Dursleys flat out refused to let Harry be in a higher class than Dudley.
The teachers didn't understand their refusal, but had to deal with it. They instead just gave Harry harder material to learn to support his educational progress. The deputy headmistress even took him under her wing and taught him to speak German fluently. Her father was a German refugee. He had fled the Nazi regime in World War II to Great Britain and had married her mother, an English nurse. So she had grown up learning both languages. Harry was very happy learning the language. For his plans in the future speaking foreign languages would be a big advantage.
Now Harry was at an age where he soon would go to secondary school. He had offers from five prestigious institutes that had offered him scholarships. Many had seen him playing football and with his excellent grades, he was a much sought out boy for the schools. He knew the schools always competed for the best students and he was the best. He had read many pamphlets of schools, trying to decide where he would gain the most benefits from attending school. He had until the end of July to decide and send his application to the school he chose. The Dursleys had been forced by his deputy headmistress to not interfere with Harry's choice of school or she would make sure the authorities looked more closely into Harry's home life. Grudgingly they had agreed that they would sign for any of the schools that offered him scholarships as they wouldn't have to pay for him there.
This morning Harry was told again to get the mail. He quickly looked over the letters. There sometimes was one for him from schools or football teams. That had been a huge argument with Vernon; he refused to think of him as his uncle, when he found out that football clubs were interested in having him playing in their junior teams. In his opinion he had cheated his way into the school football team and didn't deserve any of the praise he was given. Harry didn't intend to play for one of those teams anyway. Football was a means to his goal for him. He wanted to go to a renowned school with a strong football team where he could get the best possible education to reach his goals. He saw that there was one letter for him; one that was a bit strange. Who the hell used parchment today? He put it away to read it later. He knew the shouting from Vernon was not worth it if he saw that Harry had another letter.
After breakfast Harry set out, not even bothering with Petunia demanding that he had chores to do, he knew she couldn't enforce them with them fearing to touch him after the incident with Vernon two years ago. He was clothed in his training suit, planning on jogging around the village to keep in shape after reading that strange letter. He went to the playground and sat down on one of the swings, taking out the letter. He opened it, breaking the seal with four animals in four quarters surrounding the letter H. When he started reading his eyes grew bigger.
Magic? After getting over his first shock, he now had the answer to his strange power. He was a wizard. Hm, that offered chances. Obviously the Dursleys feared magic, as they had to have known about him being magical, their behaviour made no sense otherwise after all, one or both of his parents had to have been magical as well. Probably his mother for sure. Petunia was his mother's sister. He needed more information on this. He had two weeks until he had to decide if he would attend this school, Hogwarts, or not. He also had worked really hard for his education and the chance to get a scholarship to a renowned school. Would he just give that up? Otherwise, this power offered so many chances. Wouldn't his goals be easier to reach with magic? Where could he get that kind of information? And what did they mean they awaited his owl? Did they really use owls?
He put the letter away and started his training. No matter what he decided, he still needed to keep fit. One hour later he returned to Privet Drive and went showering. In the beginning of his training Petunia had tried to refuse letting him shower so often, but after a few days of not showering and training, she couldn't take the smell and allowed him to shower after training. Once he was done, he put on his second training suit, the two training suits he had were the only clothes his size he had, put the used one into the laundry and pondered over the letter. Best would be to get somebody to inform him about the wizarding school. He wrote a response.
Dear Professor McGonagall,
I was really surprised by your letter, which informed me of having been accepted to a magical school. Still, I am a bit sceptical as I have always been told magic doesn't exist by my relatives. I can somewhat believe that I have magic, there were some strange incidents in my past, but before I accept the offer, I would like more information. Please send me information on Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and magic in general so that I can make an informed decision. I have been offered several scholarships to renowned schools all over England and want to make sure this will be my best option.
He was satisfied with his letter and went outside again to see if there really was an owl waiting for him. Soon he spotted a grey owl sitting in a beech tree. He walked up to it, thinking himself a bit silly, but this was not normal. Owls were normally nocturnal and slept during the day.
"Are you going to take my letter to Hogwarts?" He asked the owl, getting a nod and the owl took his letter in her beak. "Thanks." Harry said and the owl took off.
Many miles north, hidden in a secluded part of Scotland, Minerva McGonagall, Deputy Headmistress of Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry was planning her schedule for the next few days. The new muggleborn students needed to be introduced to the wizarding world. There were about ten in the new year. This needed to be done the right way to make sure most of them came to Hogwarts and learned how to properly control their talents. Another owl just swooped inside, landed on the stand next to the desk and let a letter drop at her desk. Then the owl flew away again to the owlery. She took the letter that had just arrived and looked at the sender. Harry Potter. She quickly opened the letter and started reading. What she read made her frown. Why didn't Harry know about magic?
She thought back to the day he was left on the doorstep of his relatives' house. She knew she should have protested more. Harry Potter not knowing anything about magic was unthinkable. And he was pondering if he should attend Hogwarts? That should have been no question at all. She decided she needed to take care of this issue herself immediately. She stood up from her chair and walked out of her office. Once she was outside the protective wards around the school she disapparated to Little Whinging.
Harry sat in the backyard of the house, taking care of his and Petunia's plants. This was one chore Harry gladly did. He liked gardening and he grew his own vegetables for his meals here. Vernon and Dudley mocked him constantly for eating rabbit food, but he liked it. And it was something Dudley would never steal from him. Dudley detested vegetables. So Harry made sure to always have enough vegetables for him to eat. As he was mostly the one to shop, another chore he accepted to do, Dudley couldn't be bothered to do it after all and he would only buy sweets and chips when he was going once, completely forgetting what he should buy, he could get the vegetables he liked when he couldn't get them from his small vegetable patch. Mostly during winter time. He also knew which ones Petunia preferred so getting a good diet wasn't that hard.
He was just finished watering all the plants when he heard a loud crack like noise from the front of the house. He carefully went around the house and saw a woman clothed in a very old fashioned costume standing there, looking at the front door.
"May I help you?" Harry asked cautiously.
The woman looked at him and he thought he saw some sign of recognition in her eyes. But he had never seen her before. He was sure of it. Well, okay, no time he could remember. It could be he had seen her when he was a small child.
"Yes, I think so; you are Harry Potter, right?" She asked.
"Yes, I am, Madam?" He asked.
"Oh sorry, my name is Professor McGonagall. I am from Hogwarts to respond to your letter." She said.
"Ah, I see. I didn't expect for someone to come here to give me some information. I was expecting something like a pamphlet about the school and the culture in general being sent to me." Harry admitted.
Professor McGonagall looked at the boy. He looked healthy but very guarded. This shouldn't be the case. James and Lily's son shouldn't look like this. When he was a baby he was such a lovable and trusting child. What had happened to make him so guarded? She knew it had been a bad idea to let him grow up with those muggles.
"Well, we normally introduce children that grew up in the muggle world, the non-magical world that means, in person to answer upcoming questions immediately. I am the one who shows the muggleborns, children with non-magical parents, their way around when they first enter the wizarding world." She explained.
"Okay, that makes sense. I would offer you to come inside, Professor, but Petunia is there and I am pretty sure she will throw a fit if a witch would come into her house. Witch is the correct term, is it? Or are female magicals called sorceresses?" Harry asked.
"No, witch is the correct term and males are called wizards. Sorcerers and Sorceresses are a classification of how powerful a witch or wizard is." She explained wondering why he called his aunt only by her first name.
"I have an idea how to give you a better impression of the wizarding world so you can make your decision easier, Mr Potter. There is a shopping district in London; it's called Diagon Alley. We could go there now, I will explain the things you are wondering about and get you some material to read." She suggested.
"How would I pay for that? You can be sure the Dursleys will never pay for anything like that. And how would we get there, Professor?" He asked suspicious.
"Well, there is a travelling method called apparition that is taught to witches and wizards shortly before they become of age, which means seventeen years old. For younger witches and wizards there are two methods. One is travelling by floo network, a system of connected fireplaces where you state your destination and use floo powder to activate the transport. The other is the Knight Bus. It can be called to every place as long as it is on land in England or Scotland. To call it you just have to hold out your wand hand. For long distance travel, like when you wanted to go to another country, you would have to get a portkey. They are charmed objects that are set on a specific destination and when they activate they will take you there instantly.
"Regarding your question of how to pay for this, well, you inherited the Potter estate from your parents. It will be held in trust until you come of age. For your school needs there is a trust fund in your name at Gringotts, the wizarding bank." Professor McGonagall explained.
"Wait a moment, Professor McGonagall. The Potter estate? My parents were well to do? How come the Dursleys always complained then about me costing too much of their hard earned money?" Harry interrupted her.
"Of course they were. The Potters are one of the oldest wizarding families in England. And you would have to ask your account manager at Gringotts if there had been transitions to your relatives for your care." Professor McGonagall answered.
Harry contemplated the information he got so far. It seemed like his family had some influence in the wizarding society. He needed to find out more and especially how much money he exactly had at his disposal. He would also have to look into how his estate had been managed over the past ten years since his parents had died. And he wanted to know how they had died. A drunken car crash seemed more improbable than ever.
"Okay, just let me clean my hands, then I will come." Harry said.
"Allow me, Mr Potter." Professor McGonagall said and pointed at his hands.
"Scourgify." She said and the dirt disappeared.
"That's a neat trick, Professor." Harry said.
"Thank you, Mr Potter. Now, we will take the Knight Bus, as it is the method of travelling you will most likely use more often than the others as your home is not connected to the floo network." She explained.
"That place is not my home. My seat of residence perhaps, but it has never been my home." Harry declared icily.
Professor McGonagall looked at him wondering, then she raised her wand and another loud crack sounded. A purple triple-decker was stopping in front of them.
"Hello, welcome to the Knight Bus, emergency …" A young man with pimples started saying.
"Stop it, Mr Shunpike, we don't have much time." Professor McGonagall said.
"Ah, hello Pr'fessor McGonagall. Escorting another muggleborn to Diagon again?" The young man asked.
"Yes. Twice to Diagon Alley please." Professor McGonagall said.
"One galleon and five sickles Pr'fessor." He said.
Professor McGonagall handed over one gold coin and five silver coins.
'So the gold one is a galleon and the silver ones are called sickles. This means the wizarding world has its own currency and probably economy system. I need to find out as much as possible about this. The power of each society always lies where the money is.' Harry thought.
Professor McGonagall led Harry upstairs and warned him that the ride wouldn't be very pleasant. Then the bus lurched forward and Harry understood the warning. The chair he had sat down on was thrown back by the rapid acceleration.
"Professor, I have a question. You said the Potters were an old wizarding family. Why was I raised by the Dursleys? Weren't there wizarding relatives that could have taken me in?" Harry asked.
"No, sadly not. Your father James was a single child, born late into the marriage of your grandparents Charlus and Dorea Potter. Your mother Lily was a muggleborn witch, your aunt Petunia's sister. Additionally, there was … a really bad civil war going on during the time you were born. Many people died in the war. Your parents fought against the leader of the dark faction that wanted to rule over magical Britain and thought that people without magical heritage, like your mother, were not worthy to learn magic. He was very powerful and even today people fear saying his name. Things were really bad until he was defeated on Halloween 1981. He and his followers killed so many good people." She said sadly. "All relatives on your father's side that could have got guardianship over you were already dead by that time.
"Your grandparents were killed early in 1979 and your granduncle Mistius Potter also died in 1979 from an illness. So you were given to your mother's sister, thinking she would be able to tell you about everything when you got old enough. From what you told me, she never did that." Professor McGonagall said.
"Yes, that's true. Professor, I wondered. Did my parents really die in a drunken car crash?" Harry asked.
"No, who told you that horrible story? No, I know, those muggles. I knew they were the worst kind of muggles, but to tell such lies about Lily and James." Professor McGonagall exclaimed enraged. "Listen, Mr Potter. Nothing they told you about your parents will probably be true. Your parents didn't die in an accident. They were murdered. Murdered by the dark wizard I told you led the dark side in the civil war. James and Lily are heroes. Never believe anything else." She firmly stated.
Harry was shocked. He had suspected it hadn't been a car crash, but to find out they had been murdered. That was huge.
"What exactly happened?" He asked in a low voice. He needed to know.
"Ah, I had hoped to not tell you that yet, it's not a nice story, but perhaps it's best if you find out sooner rather than later." She said.
The bus came to a stop.
"This is our stop, Mr Potter. Let's postpone the story for after we did our business in Diagon Alley. There is a nice restaurant in a side alley where we can get dinner after we're done. I will tell you everything then. It's too much to squeeze into a few minutes." She said.
"Okay. That's sounds like a plan, Professor." Harry agreed.
Harry and Professor McGonagall departed the bus and Harry looked around. They seemed to be in central London, considering the traffic all around. But where exactly?
"Professor, where in London are we?" He asked.
"This is Charing Cross Road. You have to know the magical world is hidden from the muggle world. Here at Charing Cross Road is the entrance to our main shopping district, Diagon Alley. The gate is a pub, called the Leaky Cauldron, but only magical people can see it, muggles just ignore it, it's the enchantment on the entrance." Professor McGonagall explained.
Harry nodded. Now that he thought about it, he had never before heard or seen anything that would have given him any clues that magic existed. Other than his outbursts that was. He followed Professor McGonagall towards a small pub between a book store and a record shop. He saw that she had been right telling him that muggles ignored the sign for the Leaky Cauldron. She opened the door and led him inside. Harry looked around in the slightly dark room. It was obvious that this pub had been around for a long time. Still it had its own charm. There were a few patrons, drinking and talking with each other.
"Hello, Professor McGonagall. Is it that time of the year already again?" The barman asked.
"Yes, Tom. I will be here a few more times in the coming weeks before school starts again." She answered.
"Well, then, good luck for your start into the wizarding world, my boy." He said friendly, addressing Harry.
"Thank you." Harry answered politely.
Professor McGonagall led him through the pub to a small backyard.
"Now pay attention, Mr Potter. In the future you will have to remember how to open the entrance to Diagon Alley yourself." Professor McGonagall instructed him.
Harry nodded. Professor McGonagall counted a pattern on the wall with her wand and then tapped a certain stone in the wall three times with her wand. To Harry's surprise the bricks in the wall shuffled away and created a stone arch. On the other side there was a big alley, brimming with people, housing shops of every kind. Harry wished he had a few more eyes to take it all in. He followed Professor McGonagall again and looked left and right. There were shops for all kind of things. Cauldrons, an apothecary, a shop that sold owls, a book store, some clothes stores, he was sure he overlooked some others on the way. Well, he would have time to inspect everything later. In the distance he saw a big, white marble building. Seemingly they were headed there. Professor McGonagall stopped a short distance away from it.
"We are now going to Gringotts. It's the wizarding bank as I told you and is run by goblins. Never insult a goblin. They are smart, cunning and utterly resentful. Treat them with respect, but don't give an inch. Goblins are different than humans. They are a race whose culture is based on making profit, honour and strength." She explained.
Harry nodded. He would observe and collect information before he would start business transactions. They entered through the big doors on top of a set of marble stairs. Harry was interested in the poem that was engraved on top of the doors.
Enter stranger, but take heed
Of what awaits the sin of greed,
For those who take, but do not earn,
Must pay most dearly in their turn,
If you seek beneath our floors
A treasure that was never yours,
Thief, you have been warned, beware
Of finding more than treasure there.
'So the goblins are going to be vicious if anybody would try to rob them. I will need more information on their culture. Probably it would be best to get more than one opinion.' Harry thought.
Professor McGonagall went to one of the tellers that was free and waited until he looked up.
"Yes?" He asked with a sneer.
"I am escorting Harry Potter to see his trust vault. Here is his key." She said and handed the goblin a small golden key.
The goblin inspected the key.
"This seems to be in order. Somebody will take you down there." He said and handed the key back to Professor McGonagall. "Griphook." He called out.
Another goblin appeared behind the teller.
"Griphook will take you down to Mr Potter's vault." The goblin said.
"Thanks." Professor McGonagall said.
She and Harry followed the goblin called Griphook to a side door, which led to a narrow stone corridor, which was lit with torches. They reached a room with little railway tracks and Griphook whistled. Immediately a small cart came hurtling down the tracks towards them. They climbed in and were off. The hurtled through a maze with incredible speed. Harry lost track of the route after a few changes of direction. He could make out some stalactites and stalagmites and once he thought he had seen fire. He pondered what kinds of protections would be there to protect the treasure the goblins kept for the wizards. Finally they stopped besides a small door in the passage wall.
"Vault six hundred and eighty seven, Potter trust vault." Griphook announced and climbed out of the cart, followed by Professor McGonagall and Harry. Griphook unlocked the door. A lot of green smoke came billowing out, and as it cleared, Harry couldn't help but gasp. Inside were mounds of gold coins, columns of silver, heaps of little bronze coins.
"Griphook, I would like to know how much money is in this vault?" Harry asked.
"Wait a moment, Mr Potter." The goblin said. "Currently the balance in this vault is three thousand galleons in total, which is divided in two thousand five hundred galleons, six thousand eight hundred sickles and forty nine thousand three hundred knuts." Griphook said.
Harry quickly did the maths.
"So seventeen sickles make a galleon and twenty nine knuts make a sickle. What is the current exchange rate between galleons and Pound Sterling so I get an idea how much this is in a currency I am used to?" Harry asked.
Obviously Griphook was impressed with the quick mind of the young wizard.
"The current exchange rate is set by the Ministry of Magic at five pounds to a galleon." Griphook said.
Harry got the underlying message that the goblins were not that fond of the exchange rate. But for him that meant he had the equivalent of fifteen thousand pounds at his disposal for now. He didn't know yet what was in the main family vault.
"As this is my trust vault, which type is it? I know of three types. Type one is a fix amount of money that will have to last me until I get access to the main vault, type two is a refilling type that returns the balance of the vault back to the starting amount on a fixed date and type three would add a certain amount either monthly or yearly." Harry asked Griphook.
Professor McGonagall was very impressed. Obviously Harry knew a lot about money and finances.
"It's a type two. The maximal amount in this vault is three thousand galleons. The date of return to that amount is the thirty first of July, your birthday." Griphook answered.
"Is there a way to keep informed about my finances on a regular basis and if it is, how much would it cost?" Harry asked. He had learned to always ask for the cost of things.
Griphook gave Harry an eerie grin. This was not your normal stupid wizard. This one obviously knew something about Financial Management.
"You can sign up for a ledger that is self-updating. It's a fee of fifteen galleons a year. The other possibility are quarterly statements by owl post for one galleon a year." Griphook said.
"What are the advantages of the ledger? I assume that there is a reason for the massive difference in the fee." Harry wanted to know.
"Yes, there is a difference. It would probably be best if you made an appointment with Corpnik, the account manager for the Potter family. He will be able to answer you all the questions you have and inform you about investments and other services Gringotts offers." Griphook informed him.
"I will do that. What kinds of methods for safe transport of money are there? It would hardly do to run around with a big bag of coins. The possibilities to be robbed are too big." Harry asked.
"Yes, Gringotts offers several methods to protect your gold. There are bottomless bags that look smaller on the outside than they are on the inside. They are standardly included in the contracts for opening a vault at Gringotts. Then there is a wallet for high profile customers. You only have to state the amount and the currency you wish to have and the wallet will supply you with it. It comes at fifteen galleons a year." Griphook said.
"Do you have something like a credit card? It is a means of payment in the muggle world which will transfer the amount you have to pay directly from your account to the account of the shop you bought something." Harry explained after interpreting the look on Professor McGonagall's and Griphook's faces.
"No, we don't, but it sounds interesting. Would you be willing to explain the principle to Corpnik when you have your appointment with him? If it is a common form of payment in the muggle world, there could be a chance to make more profit for Gringotts if we offered it to muggleborns." Griphook said.
"I will do so. I can talk about a share of profits with him if the idea is profitable then as well." Harry answered.
Griphook nodded. A wizard who knew how to see profit. Very interesting. He would inform Corpnik before the appointment.
"For now I will go with the bottomless bag. I will talk with Corpnik about other methods when I have my appointment." Harry said and took one of the bags Griphook pointed out hanging on the side wall of the vault.
"Professor, how much will I need to get a basic kit to get a good overview of the magical world?" Harry asked.
"You should take out about fifteen galleons if you only want to buy the books. For anything more, like school uniforms and a wand and so on, you would need about thirty five galleons if you keep to the bare basics that are on the list you got with your acceptance letter. If you want to have some spending money and get some more things you might like I would recommend fifty galleons. Ten of them you should take in sickles and knuts." Professor McGonagall advised.
Harry nodded and scooped up some coins into the bag. He kept it to twenty five galleons. He would get the information he wanted and then decide. For now he was inclined to accept the offer to learn magic at Hogwarts.
"How will the matter of school tuition be settled?" Harry asked, remembering how much a good school normally cost.
"The school tuition will be paid from the Potter family vault for you. It is about seven hundred fifty galleons a year."
Harry nodded, calculating the equivalent in pounds. It was about the same amount the better private schools cost. Harry left the vault and Griphook closed it. They took back the cart and Griphook led them to the counter to arrange the appointment for Harry with his account manager.
"Very well, Mr Potter, Corpnik will await you on the thirty first at ten in the morning." Harry was informed.
"Thank you." He answered. "Good bye."
He and Professor McGonagall left the bank and returned to the alley. Professor McGonagall wondered how Harry had turned out like he was. He was nothing like either James or Lily. He looked a lot like his father with his mother's eyes, but his personality was completely different. So calculating. It wasn't right in her opinion that a nearly eleven year old boy was like this.
Harry's stomach grumbled.
"Oh, I forgot I didn't eat lunch yet because Petunia was in a bad mood." Harry said embarrassed.
He had planned on eating something once she would be at one of her gossip friends for tea at three.
"Wait, you don't get to eat regularly if your relatives are in a bad mood?" Professor McGonagall asked scandalized.
"I did tell you I don't get along with them and would rather move out there today if it was possible." Harry said. "Withholding meals is harmless for them and I can get around that pretty well by now. I only need to wait until Petunia is out for tea or I just eat raw vegetables from my patch in the garden. During the school year it wasn't much of a problem as my primary school had a canteen where we were given lunch. And they didn't dare to not pack me something for breakfast as that would have got the teachers to suspect something being wrong with them. They're obsessed with being normal."
"That was harmless? What in the world did they do to you that you can think that that would be harmless?" Professor McGonagall asked.
Harry contemplated telling her. Until now none of the adults had been able to do anything against the Dursleys, but perhaps magicals could. After all, the Dursleys feared magic and if he did this right, perhaps he could even get away from there.
"Can we not talk about this here in the open?" Harry asked showing resign.
"Of course, let's go to get a little snack. I can also tell you the story you wanted to hear and some things you need to be aware of then." She offered.
Harry nodded. Professor McGonagall chose a small bistro at the end of Diagon Alley. She ordered pumpkin juice for her and Harry and a fruit salad for herself. Harry decided to get a chicken steak with fries and carrots. While they waited for their orders Professor McGonagall asked Harry if she should start or if he wanted to. Harry decided he wanted to know how his parents died first.
"Okay, Mr Potter. I told you that James and Lily were part of the resistance against the dark wizard that tried to take over Great Britain. He and his followers believed in pureblood supremacy. It's based on the classifications of magical heritage. There are purebloods, those who have only magical ancestors until their great-grandparents. The ones in the next category are halfbloods. They come in different ways. They can have one magical parent and a non-magical parent, a pureblood parent and a not pureblood parent or both magical parents which are both not pureblooded. Then there are muggleborns, those with two non-magical parents. You would be classified as a halfblood. Your father was a pureblood while your mother was muggleborn.
"Now this dark wizard assembled followers around him. They were called Death Eaters. They spread terror all over the County. They killed people without remorse. All those that opposed them were in danger. One of the only remaining safe places was Hogwarts. There were rumours that the dark wizard, who is mostly called You-Know-Who or He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, as people still fear to use his name, feared Professor Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts and therefore never dared to attack.
"It were really dark times. Nobody knew whom they could trust anymore. The Ministry of Magic and Professor Dumbledore, who led a group of people that fought against You-Know-Who, tried to stop him, but he and his followers were winning the civil war. Your parents were some of his main targets as they refused to work for him. Professor Dumbledore got a warning that You-Know-Who would come after you, so they went into hiding with you. On Halloween 1981 he found your hiding place and went there. It was in Godric's Hollow, the birthplace of Godric Gryffindor, one of the four witches and wizards that founded Hogwarts centuries ago, where he went to kill you all. He somehow got through the protective wards around your home and attacked. He killed your father and mother and then he tried … he tried to kill you. I don't know why, perhaps he just wanted to end your family. The Potters had always been a light family and never supported any dark Lords.
"But here the mystery starts. When he shot the killing curse, one of three curses that are called unforgivable curses, at you, somehow the curse backfired at him. That's how you got the scar on your forehead. It's the mark of a dark curse hitting you. He vanished that evening. Nobody has seen or heard of him for ten years. Some say he is dead, but they never found a body. Some say he is biding his time, but why would he do that if he was strong enough to cause terror again? The most probable theory is that he was weakened so much that he can't do anything at the moment and waits until he can get back his strength. Nobody definitely knows, but one thing everybody in the wizarding world does know. And that is that he vanished because of you. You are very famous in the wizarding world all around the world. But especially here in Britain.
"You are known as The-Boy-Who-Lived, because nobody but you ever survived a killing curse." She said.
Harry was shocked. He didn't expect this. He was famous? He had never felt anything of that. The Dursleys definitely didn't treat him like a celebrity. This needed to be researched more intensely. Professor McGonagall let him get his head around the news she had given him for a moment.
"Professor, you said, he was called You-Know-Who, what was his real name?" Harry finally asked.
She sighed, but he needed to know that as well.
"His name was Voldemort. But most people don't like to say or even hear the name. Even after ten years the fear is rooted very deeply in the people." She answered.
"I see." Harry said.
Then their food and drinks came and they ate in silence for a while. For a boy who was obviously neglected by his family, Harry had impeccable manners she noticed. So somebody had taken the time to teach him something. When they finished, she turned to Harry, trying to ease him into telling about his home life.
"You wrote in your letter that you had offers for scholarships to several muggle schools, Mr Potter. How did you get them, if you don't mind me asking." She started.
"No, I don't mind. I got them for my skills in playing football, a popular muggle sport and my high grades. If my relatives had agreed, I would already attend secondary school. I was offered to skip a year when I was nine. But they refused and as my guardians they had to give permission for me to be advanced to a higher class. I was the top student of my year at my old primary school." He said with a hint of pride.
'He inherited his parents' intelligence then.' Professor McGonagall thought smiling.
"As football is so popular, the most popular sport in the world in fact, and I soon found out that I was good at playing it, I trained when I wasn't studying at my school's library or the town library. Those were some of the few places where my cousin wouldn't get me. He is a fat brute if you wonder. Until I had this one outburst where I paralysed Vernon for four hours one evening when he tried to beat me with his belt, Dudley regularly beat me up with his gang of bullies. After that the Dursleys were too afraid what I could also do and stopped the physical punishments. Dudley is stupid and would never voluntarily enter a library. He also hates exercise. So me training at the field behind the school, where teachers could see me from the teachers' lounge, or being in the library gave me some security."
Professor McGonagall was enraged. That horrible muggle had beaten a child with a belt? She would make sure that Harry was taken away from there immediately. This would not continue. And if Dumbledore tried to interfere he would be introduced to her fury again.
"When I finally realized that the Dursleys would never change their opinion of me, I tried for years to get them to like me, but it didn't work, I decided that they didn't matter to me. I couldn't care less what they wanted. I stopped holding back at school to not make Dudley look worse than me. I stopped doing the chores they demanded I did except a few that were okay for a child my age to do. What could they do? Punishing me? They already did that. If they overdid it, others would notice and they would be arrested for child abuse and be seen as the freaks they are. As I said, they are obsessed with normalcy. I got punished for outdoing Dudley, but nothing more than being locked up in my cupboard for a week. And as it was during the school year that only meant the early evenings till the mornings. And going without dinner for a week was nothing new to me. I made sure to eat more at the canteen though." Harry reported distantly.
Harry saw that she had taken the bait. While it was the complete truth, he would use this to his advantage. The most pressing matter at hand was the Dursleys screwing him up. Once they realized that he would get magical training, they would perhaps try something more radical. He didn't put murder beyond them if they could make it look like an accident.
"Mr Potter, I will make sure that you will be relocated. This won't continue. No child should grow up in an environment like that. By the way, what did you mean with your cupboard?" She asked.
"That's my so called bedroom. I know that they are guilty of child abuse, but none of the anonymous letters I sent to the police worked. Either Vernon talked them out of their suspicions or they didn't even investigate." He said.
Professor McGonagall pondered about the reason for that. Why wouldn't the muggle aurors even investigate a case of child abuse? That didn't sound right. Could it be that somebody had interfered? She would find out. But if what she thought was true, Poppy or a healer at St. Mungo's needed to examine the boy as soon as possible if there were lasting problems from the abuse.
"Didn't any of the muggle healers get suspicious of your injuries?" She asked disbelievingly.
"You don't really think I ever was taken to one? No, that would have been a waste of money on a freak like me." He answered.
"You aren't a freak, never say that." She protested.
"That is what I was called my whole life there. I only found out my name a day before Dudley and I were to start at school. After all, they couldn't risk me not reacting to my name, could they?" He asked sarcastically.
Professor McGonagall wanted to curse Dumbledore into next week. She had warned him that Harry's relatives were the worst sort of muggles, but he had told her it would be for the best that Harry grew up away from all the fame he would be showered with. While that argument may have been right, letting the boy be abused was not. And why did he never check up on Harry? He should have known about this. She was really relieved that she had responded to the letter like she had now. If Harry had not known the things she told him and would have been overwhelmed with all the publicity he would have got … she didn't want to think about it. And if the pureblood faction got word about how he had been treated at the hands of muggles it would fuel their anti muggle campaigns. But now she needed to find a solution. She could have Harry take a room at the Leaky Cauldron until they could find a save residence for him. But then again, the lad would be completely on his own there. And he was just eleven.
"Mr Potter, I swear I will take care that you don't have to return to the Dursleys. For now, let's get the books you wanted to get you a better base of information." She said.
Harry nodded, not yet believing that she would be able to keep her promise. Some other social workers had given him similar promises and then they just vanished. They were transferred to other towns or simply seemed to forget what he told them. Was there a magical interference? It wouldn't be that far-fetched to believe that magic could alter memories.
Professor McGonagall took Harry to the bookstore, Flourish and Blott's. There he went through all the sections and got a lot of books. He took some on magical history, especially the civil war against Voldemort, one on the government, a book about traditions and culture, Hogwarts a History, a general guide to potions, an overview about all subjects taught at Hogwarts, a book about all magical schools in Europe, a guide to professions in the magical world, a book about magical creatures, a guide for muggleborns into the magical world, a report on goblins, the current magical commercial register, guides to all first year subjects and what the classes entailed in summarized form and a book on the most popular sports in the wizarding world.
When he brought his purchases to the counter to pay for them, the cashier's eyes went wide. He obviously didn't get that kind of purchase very often. Harry paid for his books, thirteen galleons and ten sickles, and then got a bag courtesy of the shop to transport them more easily. The bag automatically shrunk the books for easier transport. He had to admit, he really liked the possibilities magic had. Professor McGonagall showed him around the alley, but he didn't buy anything else besides an ice cream. He first wanted to know more, then he could start buying things for school and otherwise. While Professor McGonagall said she would get him away from the Dursleys, even if she managed to do it, it would take time. Official institutions didn't work fast from his experience.
"Mr Potter if you decide to come to Hogwarts, you should get an examination by a healer. There are also vaccinations against common magical illnesses you would need to get before you attend school." She said.
"I don't mind. By the way, does the magical world have contact lenses?" He asked.
"Yes, that option exists, why?" She asked.
"Because at the moment I am wearing muggle contact lenses. Wearing glasses while playing football is not very safe, so my trainer got me contact lenses. The Dursleys raised a stink, but I ignored them. By working in the school library twice a week I earned the money I needed for them." Harry explained.
He had suggested to the trainer of the school team that he would work for his supply of contact lenses. He had then cleared with Mrs Jannison, the old librarian, that Harry would help her clean up and put books back into the bookcase twice a week and the payment he would normally get would be used to buy him the contact lenses directly. His trainer had feared that if he got the money and had to buy them himself his relatives would take the money. Harry had whole heartedly agreed.
So that's the first chapter. The single chapters will probably be longer than in my other stories, but I will also not update as fast as with them. Till next time.