Seven year old Harry Potter sat in the corner of his classroom. His back ached from the welts his uncle's 'punishment' last night had left and he could feel the blood trickling over the myriad of scars his abused young body held. On his face, a patch hid his left eye from view, as well as the three scars that ran through it and the unnaturally white whites of his eye, as well as his amethyst iris and the white pentagram that cut across his iris, made up of strange runes he could only see with his exceptional eyesight that the only eye he could see out of normally, his right, wielded.
His left, however, was strange. Normally he could see nothing at all out of it, but when he concentrated, he could see many different things.
The first one he discovered was a strange vision that turned everything into shades of grey, with most people coloured in that manner. Some, however, became bright red, gold, blue or even white, and all of a sudden every drop of blood ever spilt, wiped away or years old, was visible in the same red his 'family' glowed.
The second showed utter blackness, the only colour the 'auras', as he liked to call them, that surrounded people, making them discernible even in a crowd.
The third and final was the most interesting, in his personal opinion, it allowed him to see everything about someone. Their past, present, future, lies, truths, hatreds, loves and so on.
In an attempt to destroy the most visible proof of his 'freakishness', his uncle had dragged a knife through his left eye three times, from the eyebrow to the bottom of his eye socket.
It had earnt him the beating of lifetime, dragged over days and days, when the eye had remained the same way in appearance, though he had lost his sight in that eye until he discovered his 'abilities'.
He really was a freak.
"Okay, everyone! Now we're going to do finger painting. You know the drill." The 20-something teacher chirped cheerfully from the front of the classroom, and Harry rolled his eyes as he picked up the paintbrush and began his work.
"Finger painting. How plebeian." He snarled softly at the dirty children laughing and, ugh, giggling to each other.
Miss Jane Taylor stood at the front of the classroom, scanning the children carefully.
At 26, she had been working there for 4 years and loved every minute of it.
Her gaze narrowed on the ethereally beautiful boy at the back of the classroom, a Harry Potter, if she wasn't mistaken. His expression was very closed off. Perhaps he didn't feel well?
Her mind made up, she began to walk towards the boy, which ended up taking about five minutes due to other children calling her over to view their 'masterpieces' or give advice.
"Hello there. Are you feeling oka-" she choked in awe.
On the canvas before her was one of the most amazing paintings she had ever seen.
A rose, so dark a purple it was almost black, with a few highlights of electric purple and cobalt blue where the artificial expertly painted golden sunlight hit it. The stem was a rich green that was a few shades darker than the boy's own sparkling emerald eye. From a few of the perfectly pointed thorns dripped blood, and an opalescent butterfly with a small tear in its wing that looked to be falling took up the rest of the canvas. A shadow, which when focused upon looked like a hawk of some variety, hung over the center of the painting's contents, leaving the outer thirds free and sunlight, the half of the rose and butterfly that sat in these parts free of any and all flaws.
"My word." She breathed in awe as she reached out to touch the canvas almost reverently. She was shocked out of her reverie when a small, luminescent, pale hand slapped hers away softly.
"It is still drying. Don't touch it." Harry ordered in a small voice.
"I-I'm sorry." She stammered. "Have you ever done anything else like this?"
Harry didn't comment, but simply pulled a sketchbook out of his bag and handed it to her.
Jane flipped through it in awe of the perfect recreations of fantasy and reality the book contained. Heck, there was even a picture of herself in there!
"Why, this is amazing Mr Potter! Why wasn't this discovered?" she enquired after handing him the book back.
"I was very sick last year, and didn't attend school." The lie his uncle had taught him to tell all who asked fell from his lips naturally.
"Yes, well, could you follow me please, Mr Potter?" she asked.
Jane led him to the counsellor's office where she explained the situation to the kindly man.
"Hello Mr Potter, my name is John East, but how about you call me John and I call you Harry, hmm?" he asked, tilting his head softly as he took in the unnerving gaze of the boy before him.
"That would be acceptable." Harry stated simply.
"Brilliant. If you could just do these tests for me-"
A few weeks later, and numerous severe beatings for "being better than Diddydums", a knock came at the door of Number 4 Privet Drive.
"Hello, Mr Dursley? We are from the Tower Prep Institute and would like to speak to Harry Potter, please?" A professional looking man spoke on their doorstep, with two rather intimidating men on either side of him, all three wearing black suits.
"No one by the name of Harry Potter lives here." Vernon replied quickly as he attempted to slam the door in their faces, but one of the men stuck his foot in the gap to stop his attempts and leaned in, sneering dangerously.
"I think you'll find, Mr Dursley, that you're under arrest for child abuse. And the rest of your family, too." He snarled, the scar on the right side of his face twisting what could have been a warm, kindly face into a terrifying one. "Take him away."
"Harry, are you here?" The man who had knocked on the door called, stepping into the house and walking up the steps.
"Hey, wait! Did you hear that?" the third man spoke up, standing in the hallway. There it was, a small whimper. "Oh, god, he's in there!" he yelled, yanking on the cupboard door so hard he broke it.
The sight before him broke his heart.
A small, malnourished and naked boy that was seven years old but looked to be no older than four lay curled in the foetal position on the tiny cot and bloodstained sheet.
His eyes were feverish from the pain and blood dripped onto the floor, creating a dangerously large puddle.
"Come here, son. We've got you. You'll be okay now." The first man spoke softly, scooping Harry up in his arms with the blanket wrapped around his to preserve modesty.
"Wait." A soft, feminine voice spoke up from behind them, and they turned swiftly to see Petunia Dursley standing behind them with a large trunk. "These are his things." Was all she said, before walking out to join her husband in the police car. He snarled something angrily at her under his breath, and she snapped "Shut up, Vernon!" to silence him.
"Do you think we should go through that to make sure there ain't anything, untoward or something?" the second man asked.
"No. We should respect what little dignity the poor boy has left. Now, let's get him to a hospital."
Four years later…
Harry sat in his room at the Institute. He loved it here, quite sincerely.
They were judged, sorted and treated according to skill level and he was a special star, the highest one could achieve. This allowed him huge benefits. It worked like this;
No star: Tiny room, two pieces of toast, one sandwhich, two minute noodles, £300 a week allowance.
One star: Small room, two pieces of toast and beans, one sandwhich and one snack, chicken and vegetables and lower, £500 allowance.
Two star: Medium room, two pieces of toast and beans with bacon, one sandwhich, one piece of fruit and one snack, burgers and chips and lower, £800 allowance.
Three star: Moderate room, two pieces of toast and beans with bacon and a bread roll, one sandwhich, three snacks/fruit, spaghetti bolognaise and lower, £1000 allowance.
Four star: Large room, full English breakfast, two sandwiches, three snacks/fruit, all meals and one desert, £1500 allowance.
Five star: Large room + bathroom, full English breakfast, two sandwiches, four snacks/fruit, all meals and two deserts, £2000 allowance.
Special Star: Apartment, Buffet meals, £3000 allowance.
So, yes, he was quite proud of himself. He loved his rooms. He dedicated the smaller of the two room "apartment" to books, so the main room was an open plan bedroom/living room, but he didn't mind. He had a lot of books.
He was a genius, by genius standards, and was currently working on a thesis for Oxford.
That was how Tower Prep worked, you see. They trained child genius' to the best of their abilities and in return they gave them jobs like writing thesis' and experimenting on things like particle physics that the "experts" were having trouble with as soon as their education was over.
It hadn't taken them long to realise that whatever severe head trauma that had caused Harry to become so smart had outdone even their educational abilities. There was truly nothing they could teach him, their youngest student.
As for his rescue, four years earlier, Harry could barely remember the first week after that due to fever, but he could remember the injuries he sustained.
He would be forever scarred, but then, he had been for years prior. The worst was the fact that his left ankle had completely shattered and he would never walk unaided again without a noticeable and painful limp.
So he had a cane. Made of Gabboon ebony and rosewood with a yew handle, inlaid with mother-of-pearl and carved into a beautiful serpent. It was truly a work of art, in his personal opinion.
His gaze turned to the chest in the corner of his library. He had not wanted to open it, but now he found himself, eleven as of tomorrow, with a niggling sense that he had to find out what was in there. So it was, with great trepidation, that he opened the chest that contained his truth.
Now, he had always known he was different. He could will things into happening, whether it was changing his appearance, slightly or drastically, like how he made his hair grow to hip length faster and gave himself a few extra inches of height, or making things levitate, making them appear out of nowhere (although after the case of the disappearing items from the local corner shop that he saw on the news he changed the definition of that description), making them something else, transporting himself to anywhere (he had greatly enjoyed Japan, China, Russia, France, Italy, Scotland, Ireland, America and the numerous other places he had visited, if only to become fluent in the dialects they used) and so many other things he could not even put a name to.
His favourite, thought, was his ability to talk to snakes that had given him his best friend, his Black Mamba whom he named Christian. A full meter long and albino, his snake was the most precious thing he had ever owned.
And so he opened the trunk, and pulled out a leather diary labelled Lily Evans, the last name crossed out and replaced with Potter. "This is my mother's diary." He realised aloud, Christian hissing his agreement from Harry's shoulder. "Well, should we read it?" he hissed to his friend, who replied in the affirmative.
A few hours later…
The final book dropped from his hands with a dull thud. He couldn't believe it! There were other people like him, that taught people like him to control his abilities like him! And they weren't just abilities, it was… magic.
It was magical.
"I'm a wizard." He said, as though that would help it sink in. "I'm a wizard!" he exclaimed happily, and would have done a happy dance to the best of his ability had Christian not hissed at him to focus.
He dug deeper into the chest, below folds of fabric and other books he swore to read cover to cover, to grab a small file of papers. Adoption papers? What?
"I don't believe it…" he whispered softly. His "parents" weren't even his parents. They had adopted… no, stolen him from his real parents, Tom Riddle, Lucius Malfoy, Rabastan Lestrange and Severus Snape.
His "name" wasn't even his name. His real name was beautiful, Prince Altair Aeviternus Malfoy-Snape-Lestrange-Riddle.
He had been stolen from his crib at a year old, it seemed, when Lily and James Potter's son had died and a man named Dumbledore, Olde English for Bumblebee, he noted absently, had learnt of his father's, namely Tom's, child and heir. Who, apparently, couldn't be allowed to live. And this man was supposed to be the lord of the light, god help them all!
"Although…" he mused, "how Lucius, Severus and Rabastan managed to get this Tom pregnant with all of their-" he cut himself off. There were some things in this world one just did not need to know.
And that one didn't just take the cake, it took the whole. Bloody. Christmas tin.
"Moving on!" he said hurriedly, grabbing the first book from the chest he could and opening it, much to Christian's amusement. "Hmm… occlumency? Sounds interesting, and worth a try."
He closed his eyes and imagined delving, deep into his mind where only he could be. No one else.
When he opened his eyes, he was in a black space. Silvery mist drifted around him and he shivered slightly from the cold. It was so cold…
"Dancing bears, painted wings, things I almost remember…"
Ghostly figures passed him, replaying his memories like a movie.
"And a song someone sings, once upon a December. Someone holds me safe and warm,"
Himself as a baby, crying. A man came in, he was elegant and beautiful and he just knew it was his mummy. He had hair down to his waist, black as night with rubies for eyes and pale skin. He watched as his mummy crooned softly.
"horses prance through a silver storm."
He was riding a beautiful silver winged horse, in front of a man with platinum blond hair that flowed just past his shoulders. The man had a strong jaw and molten silver eyes. That was his daddy, he realised as he watched the man expertly steer the mount into a soft landing with one hand, the other wrapped around his own 1 year old body that rested against the man.
"Figures dancing gracefully across my memory."
A ball, his first birthday. Men and women danced, even children as people smiled and laughed, offering congratulations and gifts and women cooed over his sleeping form in the arms of his mummy.
"Far away, long ago,"
A beautiful manor, seemingly so isolated and far from the world, ten years older now…
"glowing dim as an ember."
A beautiful fireplace in his room, offering light and warmth as a man with black hair and eyes gently rocked him to sleep, face emotionless as his eyes shone with love, adoration and reverence, as though he could not believe in the existence of the child.
"Things my heart used to know,"
A woman, whom his platinum-blond daddy called Narcissa Malfoy, and a baby boy in her arms, the product of herself and the man she couldn't marry that stood to her other side. The three of them smiled almost sadly.
"Once upon a December."
Snow. Such beautiful snow that distracted him from the homely scene within the house and drew him to the window instead. Such beautiful snow.
"Someone holds me safe and warm,"
His last daddy, a brown-blond man with chocolate eyes and a rugged look pulled funny faces and laughed when he giggled.
"horses prance through a silver storm."
A beautiful stuffed toy, that matched the magnificent horse he had seen himself riding earlier.
"Figures dancing gracefully across my memory."
More ghostly figures moved across the room, blurring together like smoke until he couldn't make them out.
"Far away, long ago,"
Another scene, a woman and man sneak into his room. He has shaggy black hair and horrid hazel eyes, and she had horrid almost carrot coloured red hair and green eyes that clashed horribly, freckles smattering her unattractively.
"glowing dim as an ember."
"Your name is Harry James Potter. I'm your mummy and this is your daddy. Say it, now, baby!" she cooed horribly in his face, her own creasing into a snarl as he smacked him and called to her husband that he wasn't behaving himself.
"Things my heart used to know,"
He wanted his mummy and daddies. Where were they?
"things it yearns to remember."
The door broke down as the red haired woman pointed her wand. "Give me back my baby!" his mummy screamed from the door. "Never!" red snapped. "Avade Kedavra!" his mummy yelled, and a flash of green ended red for good. "My baby, what have they done to you?" his mummy whimpered as he took in the bruises littering Harry's 15 month old body. "Well, well, well, Tom." The Bumblebee snarled from the doorway. His mummy clutched him to his chest and glared defiantly. "Get away from us!" he growled. The Bumblebee became a wasp. "Avada Kedavra!" it screamed, and his mummy threw himself between Harry and the curse.
"And a song someone sings,"
"Oh, Albus. I have a bad feeling about this. Are you sure we did the right thing?" an elderly woman worried, pacing in front of an all-too-familiar house. "Yes, Minerva. We have saved this child from a life of pain with the Dark Lord. This was most assuredly the right thing." He replied sombrely. Lies!
"once upon a December…"
"No!" Harry screamed as he shot upright.
'What is wrong? Master?' Christian hissed, hovering worriedly over Harry's face.
'I want my mummy.' He sobbed, clinging to his best friend with everything he had, and as the snake hissed comfortingly to him he rocked back and forth, wailing for his mummy and daddies to save him.
Where were they?
A/N: I don't own Once Upon a December, the beautiful and kinda perfect for this story song comes from Anastasia, and all rights go to them etc.
Basically; Roses are red, violets are blue. I no own, so you no sue!