Note: Let me start by saying no one will be actively bashed, it's a waste of time and effort in my opinion. Harry is not the Boy-Who-Lived, and most of the events that canon Harry goes through will happen to Gene while this Harry will have his own life and occasionally intertwine with him. Also this will probably have a slow update schedule.
All PM's and replies in a non-constructive negative light, will promptly be ignored or deleted.
In the tail end of November and a fit of childhood rage, Harry Potter left his home on a nightly walk. While he would normally go places during the day, he had to get out of there instead of listening to his parents praise his paternal twin that inherited his mother's hair. The three residents failed to take notice of his absence as usual, so he strolled through the streets at night unimpeded.
Gene Potter had been the one to live in the face of the Killing Curse, which struck down his attempted murderer. To everyone else he was a hero with no explanation as to how he survived. Living off that past glory, their focus drifted from being evenly split to nearly solely on Gene, for Dumbledore foretold the return of the Dark Lord.
Pettigrew, who played with them as infants and regaled them with tales of the Marauders and how he owed it to them he had friends at all, knew he had no choice but to tell the Dark Lord their whereabouts since his death would endow the role of secret-keeper to others and eventually lead to his friends being hunted down.
So Pettigrew decided to kill the Dark Lord himself and using his ingrained cowardice to his advantage, told him where to find the children. For that reason Voldemort didn't bother reading his mind, such an act would be beneath a man of his stature for dealing with a coward. Who would suspect a coward like him to be capable of planning such a thing?
Pettigrew had stunned the two parents to feign his further loyalty so they wouldn't be killed—slipping them a note in the process—and to get the Dark Lord to lower his guard. When he tried to kill Voldemort before he took the honor of casting the Killing Curse on Gene from behind…well, let's just say his death wasn't pleasant after he refused to stand down.
And so a brave man died. Then, his murderer turned his attention back to Gene first, being the older twin, and became ashes as his spell licked and endowed the older twin with the lightning bolt scar.
By the time the Sirius arrived with Dumbledore, unstunned the pair, read the note, found the corpse, and noticed the scar on Gene's head, everything was done and Nagini was gone with the wand. Add in the prophesy (at least the first part) and they had the Boy-Who-Lived. Peter received a fairly nice send off focused on both his Gryffindor bravery and Gene's feat…
Leaving one Potter to feel negligence's cold sting.
"A pretty little number like you should know better than to come out at night, never know how you'll run into…" A hoarse came from around the corner Harry was about to pass by. "Hand over every Sickle, Knut, and Galleon you've got and maybe I'll just go away…"
Peeking over the edge, he saw a man holding a woman, who was dressed rather peculiarly, at wand point. She had a baseball cap and, rather than robes, she had a purple shirt with small sleeves, tight pants with rather exotic shoes, a sports jacket and sneakers. She had to have been a foreigner.
The woman sighed and shook her head, her blonde ponytail following behind her head by a split-second. "My first day in Magical Britain and I get jacked. Here I was thinking things weren't as bad as they were in the U.S."
"Shame about that my pretty," the mugger said, licking his lips as he looked her up and down. "Reach for your wand and I cast to kill. Be a good girl, and maybe I'll show you a good time…"
"Fair enough." The woman simply shrugged. She took her purse off her shoulder, fingering it gently, and then tossed it underhanded towards his head.
His vision was obscured for a moment, but he cast the Severing Curse. The target was her neck. The intent was to separate it from her head, resulting in death by beheading.
Had she had still been in place, her head would have been severed based on the caster's estimation. However, she got offline as soon as his vision was obstructed. Closing the gap, her first step was securing his wand arm before he could cast again. Second, she kneed him in the groin hard enough to rupture the testes, resulting in overwhelming pain.
Harry winced at the phantom pain and thought of such a fate.
The foreigner finished with delivering a blow into his stomach, forcing him to release his hold on the wand—which she promptly snapped—and then pulled out her own to stun him…then she turned to face the young wizard.
Harry shielded his groin out of instinctive fear.
She crossed her arms. "Why's a kid like you out at this time?"
"I-I was taking a walk to clear my head!" He answered, trying to decide between fight or flight, with a firm grip on flight.
"Sorry, I scared you, but guys like that one tend to put me on edge." She picked up her purse and held out her hand. "My name is Sherry. I was transferred to here from overseas to do some work. Do you live around here?"
Harry slowly reached up and shook her hand. "My name's Harry…and yes."
"A child wandering around with no parental supervision…" she shook her head. "C'mon, I'll take you back home."
The pair walked in silence part of the way. That silence was abruptly ended when Harry asked a question. "Um, why didn't you just give him your purse so he would leave you alone? You could have reported it to the Aurors later."
She turned and faced the young wizard. "Harry, do you really think he was going to just leave after he got whatever he wanted? You heard all the things he said, and his tone. He was going to do far worse. One stunner or body bind and…well, bad things could have happened to a witch. If I was lucky, he would have modified the memory so I wouldn't remember it."
Harry tilted his head. He could think of some curses James mentioned in a tirade after work…and he wasn't aware of him. "What sort of bad things?"
She tapped her wand to her cheek. "Before I answer that, how old are you?"
"I'm 8," he answered.
"Talk to me when you hit 14," she replied immediately. "There are some things you shouldn't hear at your age."
"Alright, but why didn't you just use your wand in the beginning?"
"He said he'd kill me if I did, so I showed him what he wanted before acting." Sherry gave Harry a pat on the head. "A wand is no different than a gun in the matter than they normally fire straight ahead, and the user has to direct it themselves. Blinding him, getting off line, and then stopping him from using it…I could have tried something else, but it was all I had at the moment. I would've probably plugged him if necessary—pay evil onto evil and all."
The green-eyed boy scratched his head in confusion. "What's a gun?"
Sherry blinked at the statement for a few moments and shook her head. "Harry…exactly how much about the mundane world do you know?"
"You mean the muggle world?" Harry corrected her. "Not much, why?"
"I really don't like that term to be honest, so I stick with mundane," she twirled her wand between her fingers like a baton. "But, to put it simply a gun is a simple weapon. You point, adjust for the recoil, and pull the trigger. A projectile made of metal is released faster than you can act on base reaction times. Depending on where it hits, it can kill you."
"Aren't there spells to defend against that?"
"The problem with most spells, is that you have to see it coming to cast. That takes at least a second, which is more than enough time to pull a trigger. Unless a spell is cast before the altercation or before the trigger is pulled, you will get hit. That's why you get off the axis before the shot is fired. Same strategy works against most offensive spells really."
The youngster stepped out of the way of a cat before continuing. "How do you know this?"
"Simple, I lived in an area with a lot of non-magicals, being born to a family of non-magicals. Since the area we lived in was for those without wealth, I picked up street-smarts before I ever became a witch. I did what I had to in order to survive as I was growing up, before I attended a small magical academy, and studied with some help from old friends in normal school topics. Once I reached eighteen I went to community college on mundane subjects in order to get a degree and better education.
"In college, a few years ago, I decided to become a life consultant." She winked at the eight year old. "Do you know what you want to do when you become an adult?"
Harry shook his head. "I haven't even gotten my wand yet."
"Never hurts to start thinking about these things early on. You want to move out on your own and get you own life, maybe even a cute girlfriend?"
"Umm, I—Oh look, my home is there…" Harry pointed towards the building not too far away, dodging the question. "Thanks for the escort."
"Sure," she told him, before reaching into her pockets and pulled out a card with a location. "Since you're a native, can ask you some things as soon as you have the time?"
"I guess," he pocketed the card. "I won't be busy tomorrow."
"Thanks, I'll look forward to you. Have a good night Harry."
She watched him until he entered his home and then left. Her mind slowly turning at how much different Magical Britain was compared to her home. Perhaps answers would come tomorrow.
Harry had gotten back into his home with only a small look from his parents, who said nothing more after he said he went on a walk to clear his mind. The foreigner was interesting, to say the least.
The Next Day
Sherry was sitting at a wooden desk when Harry arrived at her office. It was a small building, fit for a few people with a waiting room. Her desk had several books on various wizarding topics and some mundane.
"Good morning Harry," she greeted him. Her eyes had glasses on them, unlike the night before, and her cap was missing. "Did you have any trouble getting here?"
Harry sat in the chair in front of her. "Not really."
"Did you have an escort or parent?"
"I came on my own. I normally leave out on walks every day, so it's nothing really unusual." His hands tensed, as if they were ready to ball into fists. "They don't really care to be honest, so I left out when they were with my brother."
Sherry arched an eyebrow at the comment. "So your parents allow an 8 year old to go out unattended…all the time? Without you telling them where you're going? After getting in late last night?"
"Pretty much," he answered coldly. "They didn't really care that I got home late."
Okay, I'll just file away that tidbit under negligence, Sherry thought to herself, before getting to the questions. "Alright, let's start with your family history."
The life consultant pulled out a notepad and a strange writing tool, rather than a quill. When she saw him confused she chuckled. "You've never seen a pen before?"
"No…" He admitted.
"To put a long story short, a pen is like a quill, but the ink is already inside." To demonstrate, she wrote her name in cursive on the paper. "Now, can you tell me about your parents and heritage?"
"My father is James Potter and my mother is Lily Potter by marriage, both attended Hogwarts. Our home is the Potter Manor, with relations to the Black family—which we found out on a dare by a friend of my father and current Lord Black, Sirius Black."
Sherry bit on the end of the pen in thought. "Potter. Potter…where have I heard that name before?"
"My brother is the Boy-Who-Lived," Harry confessed somberly. He hated to admit it, since people would try to use him to get closer to Gene. He solemnly resigned to the shift in their newly formed relationship.
Her answer was not what he was expecting. "Huh, so that's why. Nice for him I guess. Moving on—"
"Wait!" Those words came out of his lips faster than he could think them. "I mean, you don't care?"
"Umm…" She scratched her head in confusion, and then spoke brutal honesty. "Am I supposed to? I mean, I heard about this Voldemort guy, but he's just another terrorist who's dead to me since I wasn't around here during that time. I'm glad he's gone, because a guy that targets infants is really not right in the head."
"But it was said that nothing magical could defeat him—not even Dumbledore."
"I do recognize they have stricter gun laws here—I'm not complaining about it—but no one thought to shoot him, snipe him, use some explosives…nothing? Even if this guy is supposedly invincible, I'm pretty sure his minions weren't to head shots."
"Only a magical being, a wizard, or a witch can defeat another," Harry ignorantly spoke the creed of most magicals in this nation.
Sherry only sighed. "Harry, didn't I just put a beat down on the guy who's probably still lying in that alley before I stunned him? Magic only disables electronics, while a gun is mechanical and easily concealed. That type of thinking is exactly what wound up getting many unprepared magicals shot by mundanes and magicals who actually carried them alike—as long as they are human, and not under a protective spell, bullets hurt."
Pinching the bridge of her nose, she asked the next question. "Alright, moving on, what level of education does the average magical family receive?"
"We learn about most basic things, such as how to instruct the house elves, using brooms, the normality of magic, politics, and in general how things work around here. Once we enter school, we learn about spells, theories, and such."
"Does politics on include the magical side, or mundane as well? What about things like advanced writing, mathematics like trigonometry, chemistry, biology…" She stopped the moment he looked confused. "Okay, new subject. I believe you call those who are born without magical talents due to a birth defect Squibs…what jobs do they normally have in Magical Britain?"
"Umm…" Harry scratched his head. "They normally don't. Well, they can't use magic so on average, families would disown or give them enough British currency to live in the mug—I mean mundane side. The British Ministry of Magic doesn't keep their birth records. I heard mother mention a support group for them though."
Sherry undid her ponytail by removing the scrunchie and ran her finger through her hair. "And they don't contact them afterwards, maintain a relationship…anything?"
"Well, most parents say that a squib can't use magic, so it's more merciful that they be sent to live in the mundane world with no communication after a certain point."
No wonder their wizarding population is dying here. Sherry rubbed her forehead. They're so closed off and behind in the times that they've grown stagnant in some parts. When I asked some of these questions at the ministry they dodged them like hell for the most.
"Let's take a break for now…" Rising out of her chair and reaching into her purse, she pulled out a shrunken, square, red bag. Once she unzipped it, it revealed several cans on ice. "Do you want something to drink? I have fruit punch, coke, sprite, and root beer."
"What's a fruit punch?"
"Try it and see," she told him, before popping the tab and handing it to him.
He took one sip from the can and nodded his head. "It's good. Where—"
Just then, an albino, bat flew in, and then around the room, before landing on an upside down 'L' pole. It had a sort of collar around its neck that had a pouch. It spanned half the length of the bat itself, which was nearly as long as the woman's hand.
Harry nearly fell out of his chair. "Merlin's Hat! Where did that come from!?"
"Relax Harry," Sherry chuckled. "He's a fruit bat. A bit like the owls you use here, but more unique."
Calming down, he looked at the bat, which was eyeing him upside down in curiosity as well. It gave a quick flap of its wings, and then dropped to take ephemeral flight over to the surface of the desk. Crawling, it looked up at him, wrinkled its nose, and gave him a quick squeak.
"You're scaring him, Albert," she handed the bat a small pineapple slice from her bag. It promptly took the fruit slice, and the life consultant placed it in a cage with dark drapes that she closed. "Sorry about that Harry. How about we get back to the questions?"
The talk continued with questions dealing with the relationship between magical creatures and non-humans, banking, the few schools for British students, and other subjects. When over an hour passed, Sherry called it quits. She removed her glasses and set them on the book stack.
"Okay Harry, I've asked enough to get a general idea of how things work over here, but to be safe I'll cross-reference other sources and books. Is there anything you want to ask me?"
"Can you tell me why you needed to know them?" The questions seemed almost basic, but she was surprisingly…disappointed from a glance.
"I told you I was a life consultant, and I came in order reach out and help young wizards and witches with their choices in life as part of an outreach program. To do that, I need to integrate myself with the British side of things, which is easier when I can accurately compare them to my own upbringing and culture…I didn't expect such a culture shock."
Harry blinked in thought before asking, "Are they really that different?"
"Yes…they are." She sighed. "Harry, don't take this the wrong way, but this place is falling apart when you look at it from an outside perspective. Maybe it was self-serving, but I came to see if I could help the young and undecided plan their goals, so that they can shape their own futures and that of this country. It's far worse than I originally thought."
Harry was offended to be honest. As a half-blooded wizard raised here, he felt some pride in his heritage and culture. He tried to maintain a passive face…
Sherry noticed anyway. "I'm sorry, but you wanted the truth, and the truth is not always pleasant. My nation boasts of some of the highest crime rates in the world—both mundane and magical—I'll admit, but forget where we came from. Try looking at it with an unbiased view before you go off the handle."
Harry thought about. She hadn't judged him for being the brother of someone famous, and gave him her full attention. He should at least hear her out. "Can you tell me some of the differences though?"
"Let's start with Squibs then." Sherry leaned back in her chair and stretched her arms. "Your ministry doesn't even keep records of them, despite them merely missing the active magical gene, yet more research has shown that the trait can be passed on even if they skip a generation or more. They can serve in integrating the mundane side of Britain with the magical side and keeping up with advancements. They could be professors of mundane studies, liaisons, or other positions, since they are essentially more familiar with the world than the average witch or wizard raised on this side—and they are passed over for not being able to use a simple spell and replaced by people without the proper knowledge."
She held up a book on non-magical history used for the Muggle Studies courses and then one called Moronic Muggles. "This history book is outdated by roughly 55 years at least when I compared it to a secondary school level history book from Barnes and Nobles, and I was told by the shop owner it was a mandatory in most magic schools. The other is blatantly insulting and considers mundanes to be lower class and less intelligent, despite the fact that they outnumber them, and have made far more advances than listed here. The mundane-borns easily outweigh the number of pure-blooded, and are next to half-blooded magicals in totals."
Shaking her head, she continued. "I met a man named Arthur Weasley when I was at his department by chance, and he told me the requirements for a job in the relations department was only an O.W.L."
Harry spoke up. "He's a distant relative, since our families are connected by our ties with the Black family."
"He's a very sweet man, although I will admit he's a bit excitable. However, he didn't know some of the things he was dealing, or what they were for, until I pointed them out. Then he told me that the very people who deal with mundane relations or liaisons didn't even know when he asked them. I can see old families not knowing, but these are things you would expect from people in those positions…they are severely behind in some things—which brings me to my next point."
She picked out a book that read Advanced Chemistry on it. "Next is the educational level. Your mother was born to two non-magicals, and started her schooling at…Hogwarts, you said? So she skipped anything beyond an elementary school level, possibly meaning that outside magic she knows very little about the mundane education in things like human biology, trigonometry and calculus, chemistry, or current technology, especially considering she no longer lives on the mundane side. While magic is great and all, by failing to keep up with the times and education, you'll be completely ignorant of new developments that could be beneficial to both sides."
"Trigonometry and calculus are essential for jobs like engineering and architecture, since you have to deal with advanced mathematics. Biology works to help you understand living things better, and technology advances rapidly enough that not keeping up can cost you. The world is changing Harry and being dragged to the future. If you don't adapt for the ride then you'll be crushed beneath its foot."
Okay, she seems to have thought this through. Harry thought. All three were fairly decent reasons. She wasn't being insulting, merely pointing out the truth in her opinion. "I get it now."
"Harry, I'm not saying that there aren't some things that are better through magic—I mean there are some things that magicals can do that make the laws of physics cry themselves to sleep like pansies—and these are my opinions alone. Just the same, form your own opinions after learning all the facts."
She handed him three books. "Here's a mundane middle-schooler's history book, the magical world's version on mundane history, and a book on how airplanes work. Compare them if you want to see for yourself."
"I'll do the first two in my free time…" Harry picked up the books. "But what's the last one for?"
"Mr. Weasley said his greatest wish was to know how planes flew," she put on her glasses again. "I'm repaying him for the earlier information, and going to his workplace solely to hand it to him could cause problems, consider how much grounding rumors can have here."
Harry acknowledged the possibility. "I'll make sure he gets it and tell him it was from you."
"Well, I won't keep you from your home any longer," she gave him a warm smile. "You really were a big help. Feel free to drop by if you ever need a life consultant or just someone to talk to."
Harry gave her a nod. "I think I will…"
Back at home, Harry entered silently and took the books into his room. Sherry's points lingered in the back of his mind. Were the mundane and magical sides really so separated that things that seemed common knowledge escaped even the people who were supposed to be experts in it?
In a flash of inspiration, Harry did something he never thought he would on his own, given how cold things were between him and his family: Talk to his mother.
"Mom," he called to her while she was in the kitchen. Her wand was being used to transfigure an object to have a more desired appearance.
"Oh, Harry," she put down her wand. "I thought you were still sleeping."
Harry arched an eyebrow. "I've been gone for the last two hours."
She merely giggled in misplaced amusement. "Well, you're normally so quiet I didn't notice."
That's because I'm usually not here. Harry thought. Note to self: Never try to get their concern by running away. It won't work.
"So, what did you want?" Lily asked.
Harry asked her about several things dealing with her time in the mundane world. He learned she had a sister that she never really talked to anymore, and how distant she had become with her heritage. She was content with her life as a magical though.
"What bought this up?" Lily asked at the end of their session.
Harry merely nodded. "Nothing, just curious. Thanks for your time."
"No problem sweetie." With that, they parted.
Once in his room, he sat down and picked up the book on mundane history and started taking notes to compare the magical one later on…if he didn't fall asleep first. After only the first chapter, he found out that history was boring.
Months passed, and it was nearing the holiday season.
"Hey Harry," Sherry told him. "I was finishing up early today. Right now most people are busy shopping for Christmas, so there isn't much need for a life consultant."
"Oh…" He muttered in a depressed tone. He wanted to ask her more about a topic he found interesting.
"I was planning on catching a movie later. The theater isn't that far from here," she smiled. "I live not too far from there either. Do you wanna catch a quick flick with me?"
He heard her praising a film before but never had seen a mundane one. "Yes."
"Okay, but you'll need the permission of an adult to go. It's one thing for you to visit my office so much, but leaving in private with me on your own won't look good for either of us. I'd rather not get labeled a predator."
That would be a problem. He didn't want his parents to know, and Sirius or Remus would feel obligated to tell them. It'd be easier if he knew someone who already met her…already?
Harry snapped his fingers and went to make contact with Arthur Weasley. He must have been dying to meet with her again since he gave him that book. Minutes later the elder Weasley appeared and they left the alley for London, entering a brightly lit movie theater.
Sherry exchanged some money for tickets, which caught the older wizard's attention."So that's how you exchange muggle money?"
"Yeah," Sherry nodded. "Although where I come from we use dollars. I'm sure Harry can name a few others."
The boy tilted his glasses. "Euros for the rest of Europe, Yen for Japan, and Pesos for Mexico."
"Right in one Harry," she ruffled his hair playfully. "I see you been reading that geography book I lent you."
"I see, I see…" Arthur looked around at the various posters on display for the movies. "So, what are we watching?"
Sherry shrugged. "Romantics aren't my thing. You two want to catch an action movie?"
They both nodded, and the trio caught a quick flick. Several hours later, they emerged with a satisfied look on their faces.
"Now that was entertaining!" Arthur said with glee as they walked out the theater. "I mean, the drinks, popcorn, the delectable candies, the explosions, and everything—and you tell me they did that without using a blasting charm or curse? Can you imagine what it would be like if we could add to the effects with spells, oh how I wished I had gone to the Wizarding Academy for the Dramatic Arts…"
Arthur's demeanor turned somber. "But the Stature of Secrecy won't allow for that."
Sherry sighed in agreement, before looking at her watch. "Okay, since we've still got a few hours before the sun sets. Is there somewhere you guys want to go?"
Harry rubbed his chin. "What about a bookstore?"
"The nearest one is some distance away in a mall, but if we use a bedazzling hex and then apparate, we could get there without being spotted by the number of people."
With a wave of her wand, a feeling of air forming a blanket and draping them made Harry feel sheltered. That feeling promptly disappeared and was replaced by the uncomfortable feeling of side-along apparition. He didn't think he'd ever get use to it.
After reversing the hex in the back of the building, they journeyed into the huge building filled with lights, people, and stores, brimming with life thanks to the holidays. Holding onto Harry's hand, she guided him to a Barnes & Noble's branch.
"It's like Diagon Alley, but inside a building…" Harry noted as they walked into the bookstore.
Arthur looked around at the countless books. "Do they have anything on cars?"
Sherry nodded. "They have books here for that. Just ask an employee."
"Oh goodie!" The excitable man took off.
Harry himself settled on a book on Bat Biology after getting used to Albert. The albino fruit bat was cool once you got past the original appearance and surprise. Smart too.
After picking up a book each, Sherry paid for them—with both men promising to pay her back later—and they ventured to explore the mall once more. There, they learned the various types of foods offered by the Food Court, and settled down to glance over their new books with zeal.
On the way out, they noticed loud sounds and flashing lights coming from a room with glass doors and windows that allowed them to peek in. There were mostly children there, playing and laughing—some looked shifty though. Sherry tapped her finger against her chin when she noticed the prepubescent wizard enraptured by the appeal.
"Harry, you've never been to an arcade before, have you?" He shook his head. She gave him some money and told him to go ask the nice arcade employee how to exchange it for tokens and play one of the games.
As soon as he was inside, she turned her gaze to Arthur. "Mr. Weasley, can you tell me how much Harry has been neglected?"
His look turned a bit upset. "Neglected?"
"It had been bugging me since I met him," she scratched her head. "Harry met me late one night in an alley, while I was being mugged at wandpoint."
That changed his look to one of surprise. "He was out at night alone? You were mugged?"
"At nearly 10 PM, without an adult, or any way of defending himself," Sherry confirmed. "Imagine my surprise when I put the guy down and turned to find an 8 year old staring at me from behind a corner. I escorted him home after giving him my card, and the next day he came to my office without an escort again and told me it was common. I'd expect that from maybe a latch-key kid from my old neighborhood."
Arthur pouted a bit at that. They had a long discussion with each other, and how she knew Harry was purposely keeping his parents from knowing about her. While Arthur mentioned it was a bit more common for parents to pay more attention to grooming the head of a house over time, it was unnerving the extent to which Harry had started becoming separate from his family and how they didn't seem to notice.
"Right, I have a chat with his parents on the subject." Arthur nodded as they finished and looked at Harry looking cheerful as some of the kids were teaching him how to play the game.
They spent another few hours exploring the mall and taking in the sights. Their joy only ended when Arthur asked a simple question. "Will you be willing to visit my home for our annual Christmas dinner? A friend of Harry's would be more than welcomed, and it would be perfect to repay you for your kindness."
"Sorry," she declined. "I'll be heading back to the States for Christmas and New Years to spend some time with my friends, and family."
"Oh well…" Arthur sighed, before turning his attention back to his book and chuckling. "Molly would probably loathe meeting the woman who just introduced me to a new source of endless and time consuming mirth."
Sherry herself remembered him mentioning that name before and recalled the topic. "Didn't you say you only had a few hours before you wife was expecting when we left the movie? We've been gone for five hours now."
The man paled. "Alright, we'd better get going, Harry. Molly's going to kill me for being late."
"Bye Sherry," Harry said sadly, hugging the woman.
She patted him on the head softly. "See you later, Harry."
The pair apparated back, while Sherry left for her apartment.
In front of the Potter Residence, Harry looked to Arthur with a pleading expression. "Mister Weasley, can we keep everything that happened today between us? I don't want my parents to know about her."
Arthur shook his head. "In all good consciousness, that would seem…negligent."
"They won't care." Harry countered. "I've disappeared for hours on end, and they rarely notice. They're negligent already toward me. The irony is looking delightful here."
So she was right…Arthur thought, before telling him, "They have a right to know."
"I disagree sincerely," Harry politely shot back. "Gene is who they are concerned for and, after so long being neglected, I don't believe they deserve to know anything about my private life in the least bit. I want my life separated from theirs as much as possible."
Arthur's eyebrows arched. "It can't be have been that bad Harry…could it?"
Harry gave him a flat look. "Today has been the best day of my life. Better than my birthday or Christmas with them. I got to play with kids who don't try to kiss up to me because of my brother—do you know how many of those I had to deal with to the point of threats? I ate food from around the world, I got to watch a movie and, best of all, I got attention from two people who actually cared about me without having to practically scream for them to notice me.
"The thought of them knowing about her and somehow, someway making things worse is enough to keep me up at night sometimes." Harry shook his head. "I won't have it."
Arthur sighed. "Alright Harry, I'll say you were with me alone if it comes up. Molly will buy that I got caught up in exploring London and dragged you along. But I'm not comfortable with it, and come Christmas I will be speaking to your parents on the subject of your wanderings without mentioning names."
"Thank you," Harry said, knowing it won't change a thing, before opening the door to his home. "See you on Christmas."
"See you then Harry." The elder wizard said before leaving with a minor pop.
Harry smiled contently and made his way up to his room to read his new book. Today was possibly one of the best days he ever had. How his mother never mentioned what a mall or arcade was and how fun they could be only made him appalled by the lack of knowledge beforehand.
While the history ones were still boring, he found them somewhat interesting as time passed. He slowly became more studious, more knowledgeable about the mundane side of things. The times were changing, so should he.