Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. J Ro. Does. I am merely playing in her sand box.
A/N: There won't be any spoilers per se, but any and all background info before 1980's is taken from J Ro.'s universe. My story may also contain Slash, so beware.
Pairings: Not yet decided.
Summary: How Harry's life changes when his family abandons him, but it is also his Family that takes in him as well. Looked over in favor of his famous BWL twin Edmund, this is the story of how powerful; smart Harry takes Wizarding Britain by storm. No Voldemort.
Metamorphosis: the Chrysalis
Growing up is never easy. And over the years as they grow up, people change. Some kids change minimally and are always recognizable. Some change to a certain extent, but you can attribute that to growing up and being mature. But a fair few change so dramatically-they were the ones who usually had a life-changing event or trauma-that you won't be able to recognize them from one year to other.
Now Vee had never met Harry before the day his parents left him at her house, so she has no idea if that day had any impact on him. She never knew how baby Harry was before he ended up with her. She didn't know who the baby favored, if he had a good relation with his twin, if he was a fussy eater or slept without any interruption. When he talked first or walked for the first time, what was his first word-all these are mystery to her. And these things she's sure she'll never know because she hardly thinks Lily will sit down with her to discuss the baby she abandoned and never looked back. And she has her suspicions on how much she even noticed.
But who she did know was the Harry who lived with her for the last year. The quiet intelligent child, who is a delight to have around. That Harry is quite a bit ahead of his peers on the learning curve. That Harry seems to walk and run and talk a bit sooner and better than others. That Harry doesn't run around the house making a general nuisance like other two year olds, rather he spends all day with his books and toys if he can. That Harry loves PB&J sandwich and her homemade cakes. She has never seen him throw a temper tantrum or disobey any rules she set forth and he always listen to her when she tells him to do or not do something. That while he does play with others at the local park, with them he is merely friendly, they're not his friends. These are the things she learned about Harry in the year he was with her.
In the back of her mind, she had thought the silent aloof prodigy will grow up to be a brooding teenager and then later a lone genius who doesn't socialize much, either by choice or inability. And it made her heart cry for him.
And then came the day when Harry met Marius Evans-his maternal great grandfather-for the first time. That day was a catalyst, which made the quiet boy start to change. Meeting with Marius started to crack that hard shell the boy had learned to build around himself so early in his life. As a sensible adult and someone who was once in similar shoes, Marius knew some of what he was going through and what more needs to be done for the child to open up, to truly leave his past behind and to come in his own. To become a true Evans as Vee had sworn she will make him be. And because he was family Marius thoroughly invested himself to make Harry so.
It was the day that the caterpillar started to become a Chrysalis.
When she thinks back to that day, the first and foremost thought running through her mind that afternoon was calming the child in her arms. She kept hugging the child and cooing nonsensical sweet-nothings( to remind him that she was there with him) for a long time before the tremors subsided and it took even more time before he calmed down enough to let his exhaustion take over and slept.
Vee hadn't wanted to leave him alone after that but she knew she needed to have a talk with her Uncle Marius. Before Harry wakes up. So as a compromise she kept his doors open so that she could keep an eye on the child from her living room and sat on the chair nearest to the door. One sound from the room and she will be there instantly. With that assurance in her mind she took a deep breath and faced her uncle who was eyeing her from the opposite seat.
"So that is the 'Harry' whose birthday invitation I got?" Marius started with a somewhat lighter and uncomplicated topic. He could clearly see that Vee needed a few minute to compose herself.
"Yes, this Saturday. It's his 3rd." Vee answered with a small smile at this happy topic. But when she looked up Marius in the eyes, she saw the numerous questions burning in them and decided to start telling from the beginning.
"He is Lily's son, Uncle Marius and she left him here with me." She started in a choked whisper and continued to tell him all that she was told and all that she herself realized.
"They were attacked by the dark lord nearly two years ago and their boy Edmund became famous for defeating him. But in the aftermath of that day, they learned that Harry is a squib. They think he burnt his own core on the night of the attack. They thought it unwise for Harry to remain with them and came to me with the proposal if I want to take him in. Lily's husband was all for putting him in an orphanage and from what I got they were only here for Lily's insistence of family. If I had refused Potters would have left him in an orphanage. Alone. Without anyone."
Vee herself was surprised to find the intensity of contempt in her words when talking about the Potters. Evans's were always temperamental but she herself was one of the mild ones. But then again she had no one to talk about it for over a year and a lot had piled up inside her till today.
Even Marius understood how severe the matter is when he heard the utter contempt in his mild-mannered niece's voice. For her to be this much pissed it has to be much more than what he learned just now, not to say it wasn't harsh already. He didn't cloud his own judgment or fuel Vee's anger, so with trepidation and as calmly as he could he asked, "And how are you two faring?"
Marius was relieved to know that both Vee and Harry were adjusting fine and were happy and content living together. To him being happy and staying with family are essential. He said as much to Vee in reply.
"But he is so quite. It's like he has crafted a shell, a barrier out side of him. He dosen't relate to people-the kids at the playground, neighbors or even strangers who are nice to him. Granted, I know he loves me and I am the closest to him, I am still out side of his barrier-just outside-but still out of it." For the first time in months Vee voiced her doubts and misgivings-things she noticed that alarms her in the back of her head, things she thinks she ought to address to Harry but dosen't in fear of rocking their peaceful life. And she told them to Marius because as far as she remembers he and Jasmine were always there for her when she needed a listening ear or sound advice.
That was also the day they discovered that Harry wasn't a squib; rather he is a very powerful young wizard. It made both Vee and Marius happy for him. But it also meant many more questions arose and they have to soon tackle some difficult subjects with Harry.
Harry didn't wake up that night, which Marius theorized was exhaustion from performing magic on that big-scale suddenly. But next morning he was up early and Vee found him in the kitchen arranging his breakfast when she herself woke up. Upon seeing his grandma, Harry made her some breakfast cereal too. They took their bowls and took seat.
Vee didn't quite know what to do, how to start discussing the last afternoon. But she was spared when Harry himself spoke up.
"I did Magic yesterday."
"Yes, you did. It was impressive." Vee wanted to praise him.
"I am a wizard. I'm not a squib. I can do magic." It seemed Harry was in a shock. So when it looked like he couldn't hear her calling his name, Vee raised her own voice to break him out of stupor.
After he was focused again, Vee simply blurted out what was going in her mind, "Why is it a big thing that you aren't a squib and that you can do magic? It's good thing you have magic. But you already knew about magic, so why are you shocked?"
"But they gave me up because I didn't have magic. But I do. Does that mean I have to go back? Will they even want me back?" Harry seemed almost hysterical.
Vee didn't know what to do. It was then she saw Uncle Marius standing beside the doorframe looking as much alarmed as she was. When their eyes met he said, "He is having a break down; it's too much for him. He probably compartmentalized that they gave up because he was a squib. Knowing he isn't is making him question everything."
Uncle Marius's voice momentarily made him focus and in-between hiccups he asked, "Last time a strange man came they said I lost my magic and send me to you. This time I found out that I do have magic. Will you then send me back too?"
Hearing how sad and small, how childish his voiced sounded for the first time in the year he has been living with her, Vee simply got forward and collected the sobbing boy in her arms and repeatedly told him that she isn't sending him anywhere. That he will forever stay with her. That assurance seemed to be what he needed as his hysteria slowed down gradually.
Marius could feel his heart cry seeing the small boy sob in Vee's arm. What he gathered from Vee and the child's questions and behavior is that, he had in his mind arranged the strange man coming to his home with losing his magic and being sent here to Vee. When yesterday again he found a strange man in his home, he panicked, probably had a flash back too, and it resulted in his accidental magic. And waking up this morning he realized that he did magic and in his child's mind he made the connection that now Vee will send back him back. Which he didn't want (and they have to know why he doesn't want to go back to his own parents) and panicked once more which resulted in his hysteria.
When the child became still in Vee's arms and she stood up facing him, Marius told her what he realized thinking the child is asleep.
He was proved wrong a small voice answered his unasked question, "They didn't liked me even before then. They always loved and cared for Edmund more. That day when we were attacked and later he became the Boy-who-lived and me a squib, it only gave them a convenient excuse to push me aside and then send me away."
Both were staring at what the boy said and as such missed when Harry himself turned around and stared right back at him.
Before Marius could say or ask anything else, Harry blandly asked, "Who are you?"
Marius was floored when he heard that as he had no one call him anything like grandfather in so long time. It took him some minutes to get his bearings straight after his heart did a happy dance hearing harry call him so. But Vee was there, "Yes this is your great-grandfather Marius. He came back here for your birthday party."
The week that followed was a busy event in Evans Household. There were preparations for Harry's birthday-writing invitations to neighbors and friends at park, cleaning up the backyard for the event, deciding the menu, buying gifts for the birthday boy. Marius was also moving in with them-he wanted to be a part of Harry's life and both Vee and Harry wanted him there-so they were arranging a room for him with furniture and other necessities.
And amidst all that hub-bub Vee and Marius pried as many things as they can from Harry. They ranged from serious things like-how the Potters were with him, what he feels about them to how he feels about staying with Vee to happy topics of how it feels to have magic and would he like to attend school come fall. And probably because Harry was overjoyed to have magic and Vee's (and Marius's) steadfast promise to never abandon him, that he answered almost all of their questions.
They had then learned that not only was Harry an advanced child, he also has photographic memory. In his own words he hadn't forgotten anything from the day Voldemort attacked him and Edmund. Along with Marius, he theorized that the magical backlash of the events of that night ha probably resulted in his improved memory and incidents before then has been cemented due to his own habit of replaying them constantly to find out why had his parents' behavior changed so much in one night.
According to what Harry said to them, Harry didn't quite look or behave like how Potters should or what James Potter thought they should. But Edmund did and that was why James always favored him. Lily followed her husband's lead on how to conduct herself around their children and from one very early foggy memory Harry remembered that she avoided Harry because he showed her Muggle roots, her Evans roots.
So Harry thought both of them as stupid and childish and as such will always try to stay as far as he can, lest he be infested with their stupidity too. On the other hand He loved Vee and was very much amiable with Marius in the week he had known him (more so because he learned he was always happy to answer his questions), so he wants to always stay with them. No matter that now he is magical, Vee and Marius were his family and he will always stay by them. They were over the moon to here that from Harry.
Lastly it was decided that a local prestigious school will be contacted to see if it can be arranged for him to start elementary school early this fall based on his advanced intellect. Harry wanted to learn more and neither of his guardians saw any reason to forbid him if the school agrees.
It was a very Harry Potter that celebrated his 3rd birthday that Friday surrounded by what he thought as his family.
His grandmother Violet 'Vee' Evans, on the other hand was happy to know that Harry was finally changing from the skittish caterpillar that he was. He started forming a cocoon around himself with his family and their love, with the happiness at having care and attention and the promise of forever being family together.