Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or its character, those belong to J.K. Rowling.
Everything's An Illusion
With a tied score entering the final couple of minutes, the last few possessions will decide whether this game will go into extra time or end with a win. A boy dressed in orange and white sport shorts shirt tucked in and knee high socks similar to his other team mates received a pass from the goal keeper to his position in the midfield.
It wasn't the greatest of passes, as they were only barely eleven years old, but the boy seemed to effortlessly move with grace to make a wide pass seem like a clean find. Stopping the ball with his left foot he scanned the field for any defenders willing to leave their position to oppose him. Like a king in a chessboard he moved with the sole intention to get his knights within striking position.
A few dribbles forward did the trick as a defender hesitated between defending him and his man. Not giving him a chance to make the decision for himself the boy kicked the ball a little farther to bait the defender into thinking he lost control of his dribble. As the defender moved closer, the boy moved to turn left, drawing the defender even closer, but at the last moment stepped over the ball to turn right allowing him to shake the defender off.
With an opponent beat and his forward successfully open for a clear shot, the boy passed the ball with clean precision and accuracy between two outstretched legs to find his knight. With the goalie left and only a few meters between them it was inevitable that with one crisp kick, the ball flew past the goal defender, hitting nothing but the back of the net.
The moment of stunned silence ceased as parents, siblings and players of Highbury United alike, erupted into loud cheers. The game was practically over now! That had to have been the last play! The tin ceiling of the underground arena rumbled as the cheering, stamping and screaming of the onlookers shook the very foundations of the small shed like arena they were all crowded into shield themselves from the cold. Finally, allowing a small smile to appear on his face, Harry ran down the field to play his position while the rest of his team mates celebrated their inevitable win.
Sitting on his bed with closed eyes, exhausted from the game, Harry sat in silence until he was needed to make dinner. These few moments he had to himself for relaxation were precious as they were usually short lived.
After a few more minutes Harry sat up on his bed knowing he needed to start dinner soon or else the Dursleys would be home before he finished. Walking out from the cupboard under the stairs Harry made his way to the kitchen to get out the ham that he was planning to cook. Having cooked for the Dursleys for the past couple of years Harry had grown accustom to these measly tasks. Within the hour Harry was able to make a suitable dinner of honey baked ham with mashed potato's and corn.
Taking a slice, and a good chunk of ham, mashed potato and corn, Harry took his plate filled with food to his room. Eating his food in silence, Harry heard the opening of the front door signaling that the Dursleys have returned from the zoo. It was one of many presents that Dudley, his cousin, received this year.
"But mum! I want another present!" Harry heard his cousin complain. "The zoo was just dumb! The stupid snake didn't even move."
Harry couldn't help but glare at his half eaten plate of food. It was so irritating to hear his cousin complain about the things that he received each year.
"Oh hush now pumpkin, lets go eat dinner and we'll talk about what you want later." Petunia Dursley ushered her son into the dining room where the food was already set up.
Closing his eyes to relax Harry went back to eating his dinner. It's not like his life with the Dursleys were that bad now. If he stood out of their way and did chores every now and then they would stay out of his way. It wasn't the ideal way to live but it sufficed and there really wasn't anything he could do. To them he was nothing but a freak.
Finishing up his dinner, he went back to bed and got a book out. Ever since he was little Harry had always enjoyed reading books, it was his escape from reality. For a few precious hours he could become anyone but Harry James Potter and escape to a world unseen.
Harry learned early in his life that hiding his intellect from others did nothing but hinder his growth. There are very few things that Harry had in his life and he wasn't about to give it up for anyone. There was one saying that Harry always considered to be true above else, and that was that knowledge was power. With power Harry could eventually break away from the chains that were the Dursleys.
Reading for a few hours had Harry feeling very sleepy, considering he played a whole game today as well, it wasn't very unusual that he'd be tired. Closing his book and taking off his glasses to go to bed he got under the covers hoping that he would wake up earlier that the Dursleys so he could do the dishes.
"Boy, get out here now." The ever angry voice of Vernon bellowed from outside his door as it woke him up. Harry stayed where he was. He had forgotten to do the dishes. Of course, Vernon wouldn't be pleased, and it would probably lead to some more chores later on in the day.
"Boy, get out here now before I break your legs!"
Harry decided that Uncle Vernon had waited long enough and opened his door.
"It's about bloody time you opened that door boy." Giving his uncle a half glance Harry walked by nonchalantly, heading to the kitchen to wash the dishes that he never got to do the night before. "I want you to mow the lawn today, the grass is starting to get long. I will not have those bloody pricks next door talking about how our lawn is an embarrassment to the neighborhood."
"Yes sir, I'll have that done." Harry figured he'd have to mow the lawn sooner or later. The Dursleys really prided themselves with the fact they had one of the greener and nicer lawns in all of Privet Drive. Of course they would never dirty themselves with such trivial labor unfit for 'normal people' so he was left with the task of keeping it green.
Harry made his way into the kitchen. He grabbed several bowls and two pans from a cupboard, some eggs, milk, cheese and a butter stick from the fridge, and flour and sugar from the pantry. He turned on the stove, put the two pans on different burners, and cut a piece of the butter before placing a nice chunk on each pan. He started placing the ingredients in the bowl, cracking the eggs and mixing in the flour and milk, adding the sugar and some butter.
He'd learned in these past years that cooking was one of the chores that he least hated. He didn't really mind it that much, and it was probably the only reasons he still made breakfast and dinner for the Dursleys when ever he was home.
Once he was positive there were no clumps in the batter he moved over to the pans, the butter had melted and he made sure to spread it out evenly over the surface. With that done, Harry got out another bowl, cracked a few eggs, added some salt and pepper, and whisked them enthusiastically.
Once the butter had melted and started to brown Harry poured the eggs into the frying pan and stirred it with the flat side of a fork. When the sides started to set, he lifted the side and pulled it into the center, repeating this until half of the eggs were set.
"Try not to burn them." A voice from behind him said. Turning around Harry saw that it was his Aunt.
"I wont." Harry said in a formal voice. He never really knew how to feel about his Aunt. At times it seems like she positively hated him but there were also times when she'd look at him with pity. She'd never really been terrible towards him but then again she never did try to help him either. At best she was indifferent about him, but even then she was nothing to him.
Giving him a stiff nod she sat down as Harry made her coffee. By the time his cousin and uncle arrived Harry was almost done making breakfast. Aunt Petunia was a thin blond woman with a long neck, who at times looked strangely like a horse. By comparison, her son Dudley, was a complete opposite. Dudley had the same blonde hair as his mother, but he had a large pink face. Not much neck, and small, watery blue eyes. Vernon Dursley was essentially a spitting image of his son, only older and bigger with a thick, walrus like mustache.
Finished cooking breakfast, Harry put the plates of pancakes and eggs on the table and was about to sit down and eat when they all heard the click of the mail slot and flop of letters on the doormat. Aunt Petunia was about to open her mouth to say something but Harry was already on his way to towards the mail knowing she wanted him to get it.
Seeing that there were four things laying on the doormat. One of them was a magazine that his aunt had subscribed to, a thick brown envelope that appeared to be a bill, a free coupon for the deli that just opened up a few streets down, and a letter.
A letter for Harry Potter.
His eyes widened a little in surprise, he'd never received mail before. Looking it over it was thick and a little heavy, turning it around he saw a wax seal bearing the coat of arms of a lion, an eagle, a badger, and a snake surrounding a large letter H and above the seal was the same coat of arms with the word Hogwarts written just above it.
Harry quickly stuffed the letter down his pants knowing his Uncle would want to read it first and took the remaining letters to the kitchen and handed them over to his Uncle quietly.
Taking a seat on the table Harry noticed that Dudley had already finished a plate full of food and was in the process of filling it with a second helping. Seriously, the amount of food he ate was quite unhealthy. Recently he'd been learning how to box, it was a suggestion by one of the school councilors. They said it might be a good way for him to learn discipline and take out some aggression that he had built up. In Harry's opinion it was like throwing fuel on fire, kind of like giving an addict crack and saying 'now don't you go shooting this up, okay?'. It was just stupid and, truthfully, painful. He wasn't going to lie though, even if Dudley's only been boxing for a couple of weeks you could see he was a natural at it. Then again he'd been training all his life with Harry himself as the punching bag
Quickly scarfing down his plate of pancakes Harry excused himself and went into the garage to pick up the tools he needed and started to do his work.
It was a little past noon when Harry finished mowing the lawn. After he'd put everything away, he decided to take a rest on the freshly mown grass. Squinting up at the sun straight above him Harry couldn't help but notice that there was an owl standing on top of number 6 Privet Drive. This seemed quite unusual, as he read once that owls were more adapted to night time hunting. It was more than a little uncommon to see such a creature out in the daylight, specifically in a suburban neighborhood like Privet Drive. He had a strange foreboding, as he stared at the owl almost like something big was going to happen. He heard once that seeing an owl in the daytime was bad luck, so maybe something bad was going to happen.
Shifting, so he could wipe the sweat that was building up on his forehead, he felt something crinkle under him. The letter! Of course how could he have forgotten! Wide eyed he pulled out the letter from his back pocket to see the mysterious letter than was addressed to him.
Mr. H. Potter
The Cupboard under the Stairs
4 Privet Drive
He broke the seal and pulled out two thick pieces of parchments and began to read the contents of the letter.
HOGWARTS SCHOOL OF WITCHCRAFT AND WIZARDRY
Headmaster: ALBUS PERCIVAL WULFRIC BRIAN DUMBLEDORE (Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorcerer, Chief Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International Confederation of wizards.)
Dear Mr. Potter,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment. Term begins on September 1st. We await your owl by no later than July 31st.
HOGWARTS SCHOOL of WITCHCRAFT and WIZARDRY
First-year students will require:
1. Three sets of plain work robes (black)
2. One plain pointed hat (black) for day wear
3. One pair of protective gloves (dragon hide or similar)
4. One winter cloak (black, silver fastenings)
Please note that all pupils' clothes should carry name tags
All students should have a copy of each of the following:
The standard book of spells (Grade 1) by Miranda Goshawk
A history of magic by Bathilda Bagshot
Magical Theory by Adalbert Waffling
A Beginners guide to Transfiguration by Emetic Switch
One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi by Phyllida Spore
Magical Drafts and Potions by Aresnius Jigger
Fantastic beasts and where to find then by Newt Scamander
The Dark Forces: A guide to self-protection by Quentin Trimble
Cauldron (pewter, standard size 2)
Set glass or crystal phials
Students may also bring an owl or a cat or a toad.
PARENTS ARE REMINDED THAT FIRST YEARS ARE NOT ALLOWED THEIR OWN BROOMSTICKS.
Chief Attendant of Witchcraft Provision.
'What a stupid joke' Harry thought.
This was obviously just a dumb prank that Dudley and his friends came up with to make fun of the freak. Crumbling up the piece of junk he stood up from the grass and went to throw away the letter but was stopped by a woo-ing. Looking up he saw that the same owl on top of number 6was flying towards him and landed on his shoulder.
In shock, Harry stood still with the crumpled up letter still in his hand. Then he remembered that the letter said to owl them back with his response. "This isn't actually true, is it?" Harry thought out loud. The owl on his shoulder hooted and bowed its head slightly as if to answer yes to his question.
"D-do you want me to write back?" Harry asked hesitantly feeling foolish that he was talking to a bird. The owl just bowed its head once again acting more intelligent than any bird should be capable of.
Numbly walking back into the house with the bird still upon his shoulder, Harry entered the kitchen to see that his Aunt Petunia was currently making some sandwiches for lunch.
"A-aunt Petunia" Harry said softly. She looked up from what she was doing only to see a scene that she never expected. Jaw dropped into a silent 'o' like shape with eyes wide she was rendered speechless.
"I got a letter today"
"W-what do you think you're doing bringing that thing inside here boy" Was her first response. It was very comical seeing her gape like a fish for a few seconds until she got herself composed enough to say something.
"I got a letter today, Aunt Petunia" I repeated, "I got a letter of acceptance from Hogwarts school of magic"
All the color in her face faded "Wh-what" she asked. "What are you talking about boy."
Hands fidgeting playing with her wedding ring on her left hand. She was nervous, he knew her enough to know that she was nervous about something.
"Aunt Petunia, I'm going to write back to them and get this all sorted out"
Walking away from his petrified Aunt, Harry entered his room and took out a piece of paper and a pen and wrote:
Dear Professor McGonagall,
I received your letter, and although I am reluctant to believe magic to be more than just misdirection and slide of hand, I would be very happy to attend Hogwarts on the 1st of September, should magic be proven real to me. I would be glad if you could send someone over sometime in the near future so that we can discuss this further.
Harry James Potter
Rolling up the letter Harry tied it to the owl still on his shoulder which flew out his door, out the front door, and into the sky. He took a deep breath and counted to ten, feeling foolish but excited at the same time.
Well this is my first fic and I plan on it to be a pretty long one. The next few chapters will probably be coming out fast in the next few days due to the combination of me still on break and the fact that it will probably just be an introductory to characters and the actual presentation of the wizarding world. So don't get too comfortable with a new chapter everyday. And thank you to munkeymaniac for Beta-ing this chapter! Very much appreciated for the work done!
Other than that I hope you guys enjoy!
Review and let me know what you think!