The Boy Who Wasn't
by Healer Pomfrey
All recognizable characters belong to J. K. Rowling, and I am not earning anything by writing this story.
I am not a native speaker of English. Please excuse my mistakes.
1. Dear Professor
"Where's my baby?" the young witch asked, hysterically looking around. Just a little while ago, he had been fast asleep on her lap cuddling with his stuffed dragon. 'Where is he?' she wondered, trying not to panic.
"Mum," a young boy, who was standing next to her mother-in-law, spoke up. "It's me. I'm here."
Alice shook her head, giving the old witch a pleading look. "Augusta, please, where's my baby?"
"Alice," her mother-in-law spoke up in a slow voice. "Eight years have passed already. Neville is going to be nine tomorrow."
"No, I don't believe you," Alice replied, stubbornly, just when her husband Frank stepped around her bed.
"Alice, I didn't believe it either, but I just had a conversation with the Head Healer of St. Mungo's. Apparently Bellatrix Lestrange cursed both of us, and it took them almost eight years to invent a potion that countered the effects. We've been at St. Mungo's for nearly eight years. This young man here must indeed be Neville."
Alice stared at her husband in disbelief, noticing that he suddenly looked much older than she remembered him from what seemed just a few minutes ago. She reached out for the child. "Neville? You're my baby? My big baby?"
"Yes Mum," Neville replied, smiling a genuine smile. "I'm so happy to have you back, Mum and Dad."
"Shall we go home?" Neville's grandmother suggested.
"Of course," the young couple replied, simultaneously, not wanting to spend any more time at the hospital than necessary.
Back at Longbottom Manor, Augusta once again told Alice and Frank everything that had happened since that fateful Halloween night seven years and nine months ago, when Voldemort had gone after the Potters.
"Little Harry apparently managed to get rid of Voldemort, do you remember that?" Augusta queried, giving the young couple a concerned look.
"Yes of course, after Voldemort killed Lily and James," Alice said, gravely. "Where's Harry now? Is he with Sirius?"
"With Sirius Black?" Augusta asked, incredulously. "Sirius is in Azkaban for giving out the Potters to Voldemort. He was their Secret Keeper."
"No, he wasn't," Alice contradicted in a firm voice. "Just a few weeks ago, they changed the Secret Keeper to Peter. He must have been a traitor then."
"Oh Merlin," Augusta replied, sighing. "Then I'm afraid that you'll have to inform the Ministry of Magic, or maybe just Dumbledore in the first place in order to get Sirius Black out of Azkaban."
"Where's Harry then?" Alice suddenly remembered to enquire with a strange feeling of foreboding.
Augusta sighed again. "Dumbledore took him to the Dursleys. There were so many who wanted to take him in; however, he refused and insisted that the boy had to stay with his relatives. He even forbade everyone to go and check on him."
Alice rose from her seat. "If you please excuse me for an hour. I have an errand to run. Neville, will you accompany me?"
Neville smiled, happily. "Of course Mum, where are we going?"
"We're going to fetch my godson Harry," Alice replied in determination. "Maybe you don't even remember him, but you'll soon become best friends again like you were when you were babies."
"Alice, you're going to be in much trouble with Albus Dumbledore," Augusta warned her daughter-in-law.
However, the young witch replied, "I don't care, and I'm sure I'd win a trial over him, considering that the child is my godson."
Frank, who so far had been quietly followed the conversation between his wife and his mother, spoke up, pensively. "Alice dear, go and see if the boy wants to come at all. If so, I know what we're going to do. Don't worry about it now."
"Ah, Frank, you're the best," Alice replied, smiling. She leaned over and kissed her husband, before she took Neville by the hand and left.
Harry Potter was sitting in his cupboard, reading an old garden magazine, which he had unobtrusively rescued out of the waste basket. 'The day after tomorrow is my birthday,' he mused. 'I'm going to be nine, but everyone will ignore it anyway. I wished I had someone to be happy for me on that day.'
All of a sudden, the door bell rang. However, Harry knew that it was not for him. No one ever came for him. Oh well, yes, Mrs. Figg, the cat lady as he used to call her, sometimes she came to ask if he could help her with her garden, but that was all. He did not have any friends, and if any of his schoolmates wanted to friend him, Dudley taught them quickly that they better had to keep away from him.
Harry almost jumped in surprise when the door to his cupboard opened and an unknown woman looked inside.
"Harry?" she asked in a soft voice that automatically made Harry reply.
"Yes," he said, hesitantly.
"Come out here boy," he heard Aunt Petunia's voice, sounding impatient.
Harry stumbled out of his cupboard and came to stand in front of the unknown lady and a boy that was just a bit taller than himself.
"Hello Harry," the friendly lady spoke up again. "You probably won't remember me, but I'm Aunt Alice, your godmother, and this is Neville. We came to ask if you want to come and live with us."
Harry stared at the woman, stunned. 'What's a dogmother?' he wondered. 'She wants me to live with them? Does she not know that I'm a freak and a burden to all the good people?'
"Reply boy," Petunia hissed. "Tell them that you want to live with them."
"Yes please," Harry said in a barely audible voice, shyly averting his eyes to the floor.
"Petunia," the lady suddenly turned to his aunt. "How did you treat your nephew?"
"Like the freak he is," Petunia hissed. "Now go and take the boy with you. We don't want any more freaks in our house."
"I fully understand," Alice replied, seemingly furiously, before she turned to Harry in a much friendlier voice. "Harry, fetch your belongings. Neville can go with you and help you pack."
Harry hurried back into his cupboard and came back a mere instant later, carrying a worn-out baby blanket, which Alice recognised as the one that she and Frank had given Lily and James when Harry was born.
"Is that all?" she queried, incredulously.
"Yes Madame," Harry replied, shyly.
"All right then, Harry and Neville, let's go home." She firmly took the boys' hands and apparated from the spot.