Disclaimer: My name is not Joanne Rowling or Robert Graves. I am writing this story for my amusement, not for any profit.
Professor Phillips and her team of archaeological students were working three kilometers below the surface of the planet, and that was still dangerous even in the late thirtieth century. According to most geological experts, the pyramid-shaped chamber they were exploring and documenting should have collapsed a few months after it was cut into the granite bedrock, but the countless glowing runes on the walls had kept it stable. The five interior surfaces of the "pyramid" were covered with these runes—even the floor beneath her.
Looking around the large space, Phillips still couldn't believe what she was seeing. The pyramid was nearly a hundred meters wide at its base, and at the exact center was a simple stone table about a meter high. That is where they found the book waiting for them in perfect stasis. How had something of this importance stayed hidden for nearly a millennium?
While Phillips and her dedicated students didn't mind being this far underground, her colleague Professor Jacobi was a nervous wreck. The gifted historian hated working anywhere but in his comfortable office. However a chance to see an authentic book from the late twenty-first century brought him scurrying down the long excavation shaft they dug earlier in the week.
"Well, have you finished with your translation yet?" Phillips asked. The poor man had been sitting at that small and flimsy field desk for ten hours without a break.
"Yes, but I don't why you bothered calling me down here. The automatic translation provided by your glasses are just as accurate as anything I can do."
"Are you sure about that? I skimmed over the book before you arrived this morning, and it seemed rather... crude to me. I was hoping that with all your experience with primary sources and literature from that era you could provide me with a more nuance reading of the text."
"I'm afraid that my first impression matches yours. If this book is really authentic—"
"—trust me, according to all our tests it is—"
"—then it seemed that the standard historical view of the Great Seeker is a bit inaccurate."
"That's putting it mildly," Phillips muttered to herself.
Jacobi finally stood up and stretched his thick arms behind his back. "Now that you've found his autobiography, what are you going to do with it?"
"I'm going to download a copy of it, and release it to the public when I reach the surface."
"Do you honestly think that is a good idea?"
Phillips laughed. "What, are you suggesting that I burn it?"
"I am suggesting that you sit down and read this book again. Carefully this time. We can talk about it tomorrow when you're done, and after I've gotten a good night's sleep. Until then I am asking you to keep a lid on this. Please."
Professor Jacobi had been a close friend for over ten years, so Phillips could tell that he was genuinely frightened. Maybe he was right to be. This was no longer a simple archeological dig that might interest a few thousand people at most. This was a major historical discovery that would seize the imagination of billions. It also had the potential to annoy many important court officials. Officials who could crush Professor Sian Phillips and her young archaeological students like insects if they wanted to.
"Alright, reading the whole thing again does sounds like a good idea at this point."
So she sat down at the flimsy field desk, activated her glasses, and started to read. It was even worse than she remembered.
I, Harry James Potter, being of sound mind (not true) in a sound body (also not true) have finally decided to put my life story to parchment. Why the hell am I doing this at my advanced age, and why do I intend to hide the damn thing when I'm finished? Those are reasonable questions, and the only answer I can give you is that a Seer told me to.
I was at my one-hundredth birthday party. (How pathetic is it to have a birthday party at that age? Birthday parties are for children, not bloody adults.) The VIPs were out in force, and to be honest I didn't even know most of them. And the ones that I did know, I didn't like. The only thing that made the evening bearable was the presence of my charming wife. Her hair had recently gone white, and I was starting to fall in love with her again. Gray hair: not attractive. Pure white hair: attractive. I have no idea why, or if it's just me.
As I was saying, I was at my one-hundredth birthday party when a blind Hag seized my arm with a vice-like grip. (I'm not being cruel. She really was a Hag and rather good-looking compared to most of her sisters. She was also blind. Sybil Trelawney always wore those coke bottles glasses, so I think impaired vision part of the job description for a Seer.) From the unnatural tone of her voice I could tell the news wasn't going to be good.
"TO PRESERVE THE TRUTH, HIDE IT AWAY. SET YOUR DESCENDANTS FREE FROM THEIR CAPTIVITY."
At the time I just dismissed the Hag's words. (In fact I later had to use a pensieve to remember the exact words she spoke that night. A very useful tool, the pensieve. I never would have been able to write this autobiography without one.) I had heard several prophecies before, and this one didn't seem terribly important. Tell me that I have to kill another Dark Lord, and I'm right on it. But to "PRESERVE THE TRUTH"? What the hell is that suppose to mean? I figured I had enough on my plate already, and my descendents could take care of themselves.
However as the months and then years began to pass that harmless prophecy—and I was sure it was the real thing—began to gnaw at my brain. Everywhere I looked I saw the lies that were already being told about me even while I was still alive. After I was dead I knew the situation would get progressively worse. I bet that the only things you know about the "Great Seeker" in the future are those bloody lies.
Faced with this unpleasant epiphany, I decided to "PRESERVE THE TRUTH".
But it would be the "TRUTH" as I saw it.
It took a year's worth of my nonexistent spare time to write this autobiography, another year to dig this underground chamber in secret, and another year to carve all the runes. I'm quite proud of them. The runes are tied directly to my blood, and they act like a kind of magical hourglass. On my one-thousand birthday the magic hiding the chamber will disappear forever. (At least I think so. Theory was never my strong suit.) The autobiography you are now reading will be my birthday present to my descendants—if any of them are still alive.
Now that I've gotten the "why" out of the way, let's get started. There is no sense in being modest here. I'm the most famous person in the world. There have been over eight-hundred major biographies written about me so far, and I'm assuming that at least a few of them survived until your time. That means you already know the basic outline of my life, and I don't feel like going over all that painful history in detail. Instead I will just go over the highlights, and point out the obvious errors the so-called historians have made.
I suppose I should go all the way back to the beginning, but the problem is that I don't really know anything about the beginning of my life. And the people who did know didn't bother to share their memories with me before they died. My father was James Potter, who was a wizard from an ancient line of wizards. My mother Lily Potter nee Evans was a witch, but she came from good muggle stock. I'm pretty sure about those two really being my parents because everyone in the magical world told me I looked just like my father, but with my mother's green eyes. It got annoying after the first dozen times.
What were my parents James and Lily like? What were their hopes and dreams? They hated each other at first, so why did they fall in love? What did they think about me, their only child? Was I supposed to have a brother or sister or several brothers and sisters? Why were they fighting for Albus Dumbledore and against Tom Riddle? I don't know the real answers to any of these questions, and neither do the historians.
My first memory (and this is a big part of why I'm not of sound mind) is of my mother Lily being murdered by Tom Riddle. Some people called him Lord Voldemort or You-Know-Who or He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Those people are all idiots. The name on his muggle birth certificate was Tom Riddle, so that is what I've always called him.
Once the bastard Riddle (he really was one—a bastard, I mean) killed my parents he turned his wand on me. What happened in the next few seconds is a mystery even to even the greatest of magical scholars. Did my mum Lily set a magical trap of some kind for Riddle? Did Fate intervene to protect its chosen champion from harm? Was my magic strong enough to block the unblockable Killing Curse?
Let's get one thing straight right now: I am a very powerful wizard. It's pretty much the only thing I have going for me. I'm certainly not a genius, and I don't know any obscure spells or dueling techniques. I don't even have any cool runic tattoos. What I do have is a huge surplus of magic flowing through the veins of my short and skinny body. It has saved my life and the lives of my loved ones a hundred times over, so I'm grateful to my parents for their superior DNA.
Like I was saying, no one knows what happened that Halloween Night in Godric's Hollow. What I do know is that at dawn both of my parents were dead, I was still alive, and Tom Riddle's first body had been utterly destroyed. So how did the bastard manage to get a new body over a decade later? If you don't know how he pulled off his twisted resurrection, then don't expect me to tell you. Some secrets are so horrible that they are best left buried here in the past.
Since my parents were dead I had to spend the next ten years living with my Aunt Petunia and her family in Little Whinging, which was a dreary suburban town outside of London. No one besides Dumbledore was happy about my living arrangements.
About Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore: yes, he was a manipulative old hypocrite who liked diddling Dark Lords in his younger days, but he did keep me alive and he did win the war against his former student Tom Riddle. As I've gotten older I've found that the moral calculus of his life is beyond my limited ability to judge.
In a moment of weakness even I named one of my sons after Dumbledore, but I never called him Albus. It's was always just Al. What does that say about my relationship with my former Headmaster? I'm not sure, but I doubt it's a good sign.
After ten years in a cupboard under the stairs (that part of my life story is sadly true) I was off to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I hated living at Number Four, Privet Drive with my Aunt Petunia and my Uncle Vernon and my fat cousin Dudley, so I was happy to leave them all in the dust.
But to be honest my time living with them wasn't nearly as bad as others have made it out to be. It wasn't like I was cleaning toxic asbestos from rusty old ocean freighters like those poor kids in Bangladesh or anything. My relatives didn't love me, but them did shelter and feed me for sixteen years. They were forced into the situation by Dumbledore, so what more could you've asked of them?
Now on to my time at Hogwarts. It was a bloody mess, and that is the truth. You don't believe me? You think it was all fairy tale castles and grand adventures? It was not. Let's go through the highlights of my next seven years. Keep in mind that this stuff really happened to me and my friends.
Year One: I was eleven years-old, and I killed an adult wizard named Quirinus Quirrell. Did I really kill him with my magic? Or was it Tom Riddle's doing, since he was the one possessing Quirrell's body? Or was it my mum and the strange magical protection she gave me? Again, I don't know and neither do the scholars. (As an added bonus I was almost eaten by both a mountain troll and a Cerberus.)
Year Two: I killed a thousand year-old basilisk with a thousand year-old sword. (Plus I was almost got eaten by a whole colony of giant spiders. The fact that they spoke perfect English somehow made the experience even worse.)
Year Three: I repelled a massive horde of soul-sucking Dementors with my Patronus Charm. Like I said, I am a very powerful wizard. (Plus I was almost eaten by a werewolf who happened to be one of my father's closest friends.)
Year Four: I competed in the Triwizard Tournament against my will, I saw a fellow student named Cedric Diggory murdered right in front of me, and I fought a nasty duel against Tom Riddle. (Plus I was almost eaten by a dragon. Are you seeing a pattern here? I sorry to keep harping on this line of trivia, but almost being eaten by several huge monsters gave me vivid nightmares for decades.)
Year Five: I was shanghaied into teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts to students who were bloody older than me. And I was tortured by one of my professors. As a grand finale I walked into an ambush that cost me the life of my godfather Sirius Black. (Plus I was almost eaten by a giant who happened to be the brother one of my favorite professors.)
Year Six: Dumbledore was murdered—also right in front of me. Other than that nothing much happened, but I was almost eaten by a lake full of Inferi.
Year Seven: I won the Battle of Hogwarts. You may think that sounds conceited of me considering the fact that many others fought and died in the battle, but I stand by my statement. I will admit that Dumbledore is the one who set the trap for Riddle, but I'm the one who made the trap work. If the so-called Dark Lord hadn't died that day, he and his Death Eaters would have ultimately won the war. And that would have been a disaster, considering the events which occurred in the muggle world a few years later. (Plus I was almost eaten by another dragon, although that was at Gringotts in London.)
Yes, all of that stuff really did happen. As you can see, my years at Hogwarts were a nightmare.
Maybe I'm not being entirely fair. It wasn't all bad. Let's break out a Time Turner, and run through those seven years again.
Year One: I met Hedwig, the first and greatest friend I ever had. That wonderful owl sacrificed her life for me, and we weren't even the same species. I got my first wand and I cast my first spell. I also met Ron Weasley, who was the brother I never had, and Hermione Granger. My Hermione. After all these years I still can't put into words what she means to me. I also flew for the first time, and the there is only one thing better than flying on a broom—but I didn't learn that until the end of my seventh year.
Year Two: I saved Ginny Weasley's life. It was a rush. Not as good as sex or flying mind you, but a close third. If you ever get a chance, save someone's life. Trust me, I've saved a ton of lives, and it's worth the risk.
Year Three: I met my godfather Sirius Black and saved him from certain death. (Again, it was a rush.) He was actually a bit of a wanker when I got to know him, but I loved him anyway. I also produced my first Patronus Charm, which is a stag like my father's Animagus form. That magical and spiritual connection to James Potter meant a great deal to me, and it still does to this day.
Year Four: I danced with a beautiful witch for the first time. I saw Fleur Delacour in a wet swimsuit, which was an important milestone in my sexual development. I won the Triwizard Tournament (by default), a fact which I'm secretly proud of. Outflying a dragon, swimming to the bottom of a Scottish loch in the middle of February, and making my way through a dangerous magical maze—it was impressive showing for an inexperienced fourteen year-old wizard. But then Riddle and Wormtail had to go and ruin everything.
Year Five: I shouldn't have been teaching my fellow students how to defend themselves against Death Eaters, but it was a rich and rewarding experience. I had my first real kiss with Cho Chang. (Sweet Merlin, she was beautiful. Even when she was crying she was beautiful.) I became real friends with Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood. When you finally read this Ron will have been dead for several hundred years, so I can safely tell you that Neville later took his place as my best friend. And Luna... I can't even describe my relationship with Hermione, so how can I begin to describe my relationship with Luna, which is even more emotional confusing.
Year Six: I kissed Ginny. For hours at a time. The witch has her faults, but her skill at kissing isn't one of them. She is aggressive, but not too aggressive—if that makes any sense to you.
Year Seven: I accidentally killed Tom Riddle. I know it will make me sound like a horrible person and not at all like a proper hero, but I enjoyed it. And I won't hesitate to do it again.
There was another great milestone in my seventh year that the historians always neglect to mention. And it was important not just for me, but for the entire world—both magical and muggle. The Battle of Hogwarts was finally over, and the many dead were being gathered together to lie in state in the Great Hall. Among them were Remus Lupin, Nymphadora Tonks, Colin Creevey, and Severus Snape. Do those names mean anything to you? I hope they do, but I can't help but wonder.
For the sake of my story the most important casualty from the Battle of Hogwarts was Fred Weasley. It appeared to me that Ginny wasn't taking the loss of her brother well. Her eyes were so fierce, like she was looking for someone to kill or maybe just torture. When she saw me enter the Great Hall she came marching straight towards me. I admit that at first I was a little worried. Did she blame me for Fred's death? Was she going to end it between us?
I should have been so lucky.
Instead she dragged me out of the Great Hall without a word, and up the stairs to the empty Gryffindor Tower. As we passed through the common room I finally figured out what was going on, and the butterflies started attacking my stomach in earnest. Once the door to my old dorm room was locked with a spell, Ginny began to undress, again without a word. I was too nervous to actually do anything but stand there like an idiot, so she had to start undressing me as well. (Which wasn't easy, since I was already sporting a painful erection.) Once we were both naked we awkwardly laid down on my old bed.
For a minute I just rested on my elbow and looked at her. Ginny was short, but her legs were long in proportion to the rest of her body. Her waist-to-hip ratio was mathematically perfect. (At least that's what the muggle scientists claim, and I believe them.) Her red pubic hair fanned-out across the bottom of her flat stomach in the most pleasing way. Lying on her back made her small breasts almost disappear, but given my lack of experience I thought they were just the right size. I also had a rare weakness for the many freckles that dusted her cheeks and nose.
But it was her brown eyes that finally pushed me over the edge. I didn't mean to enter her mind with Legilimency, but I did. And what I found there was lust. Raw lust. She wanted me just as much as I wanted her, and thanks to my lousy childhood I couldn't believe that was possible. Like I said it pushed me over the edge. I entered her like a thoughtless beast, and it was all over in a matter of seconds. Afterwards I was racked by guilt, and when I saw the blood on the white bed sheets I was ready to die for a the second time that night.
Ginny could read the painful emotions playing across my face, and she spoke just the right words in just the right tone of voice: "Harry, I'm fine."
"I didn't want to hurt you."
"You could never hurt me."
She was lying, but I didn't know that then. Instead her simple words filled me with joy. So much joy that we had sex four more times that night after Ginny cast a minor healing charm on herself. My performance didn't improve much, but we were both too young to notice or care.
Ron and Hermione found us early the next morning. I was expecting an explosion from my friend, but for once Ron kept his temper. It turns out he had spent the night with Hermione, and he couldn't bring himself to be that much of a hypocrite. After a painful awkward conversation we headed down to the Hogwarts kitchen for breakfast with the house-elves. The four of us never talked about what happened after the Battle of Hogwarts again.
I, on the other hand, spent years pondering that fateful night in Gryffindor Tower, and how it changed the course of my life.
I knew Ginny wanted to be my wife, and that she was desperate. And she had good reason to be. After all, I was the one who had gone running off with Hermione and Ron for almost a year, and Ginny was terribly jealous of them both. (Which isn't as strange as it sounds. The idea that we were a trio in every sense of the word was a popular theory at the time. It still is in certain circles.) There was also Gabrielle Delacour and Cho Chang and even Luna waiting in the wings. Ginny knew she had to move fast, since my miraculous victory over Tom Riddle would only bring me more female admirers. She knew I was vulnerable thanks to the recent battle, so she made her move.
Maybe that sounds too cold-blooded to you. You could argue that we were just two teenagers in love, and that's what teenagers have done since time immemorial. That is true. You could also argue that the recent loss of our loved ones left us in a state of emotional turmoil, and that we were just two lost souls reaching out for a connection in the cold night. Again, that is true.
But only to a limited degree. At its heart that night in Gryffindor Tower was about Ginny staking a claim to me that no other witch would be able to challenge.
I'm sorry for going into all this tawdry detail, but the fact that two teenagers lost their virginities really is important in this case. Why exactly? Because Ginny's plan worked just like she hoped it would. After that night I belonged to her. (With a few notable exceptions I will tell you about later on.) That also meant I belonged to the Weasley family, and they belonged to me. I didn't know it at the time, but with that clan of insane gingers at my back I would soon begin my slow rise to global power.
But what the bloody historians could never understand is that was all an accident.
Well, at least it was an accident on my part.