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The Journal Started Everything

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Ch 1

 

Twelve year old Harry Potter was staring at an old yellowing picture. He traced the smiling faces captured by the old time camera. The older man and woman in the picture were unfamiliar to him, but the two young girls they held were definitely his aunt and his mother. His aunt was hard to miss with her pointy features and long neck. His mother, no older than he was now, red hair framing a round face with sparkling green eyes. She was smiling at the camera with a smile as bright as the sun. His attention returned to the adults in the photo. This was the first time he’s seen his grandparents, aunt Petunia never had any pictures of them around the house. Tears filled the eyes everyone said were like his mothers, but were actually exactly like his grandfather’s. His grandmother’s hair was just as fiery as her daughter’s. He traced their faces as an emotion he could not name squeezed his heart.

“Boy! How long does it take to find a simple box!” Vernon yelled up at him from the bottom of the small ladder that lead into the cramped attic space of Number Four Privet Drive.

Harry quickly set the picture down so his uncle wouldn’t see it or notice him looking at anything. Poking his head in the opening to the attic he spoke “Most of these boxes aren’t labeled, sir.”

“Work faster, or we’ll never get the house set up in-time for my clients!” Vernon grumbled angrily.

Harry move the box he found the picture in over just a bit, so he could reach the ones behind it. He was sent up here in search of all the awards and trophies uncle Vernon won when he was younger. He rolled his eyes at the pettiness of his relitives. After opening three other boxes he finally found them, covered in dust and in need of a good polishing. Harry didn’t think they had been out of the box in years. Shaking his head to focus, he had some more time now that he found what he was looking for.

He turned back to the original box that had caught his attention. Rifling through the box it was clear that it was his mother’s. There where random knickknacks and important looking documents, along with more photos. Picking up one, it was a muggle photo of her and his father, with three other boys. There was beautiful writing on the back that read: Me, James, Remus, Sirius and Peter. He place that with the first picture and begin to go through the box again finding any photos and placing them in a pile with the rest without looking much at them. He didn’t have much more time up here, Vernon would be yelling at him soon. In the box was also what looked like a journal with his mom‘s name on the front. He gathered the pictures on the floor and shove them inside of the front cover of the journal. He looked longingly at the rest of the items in the box,knowing he could not take the rest without his relatives finding out. And they would just destroy the contents if they knew it was up here. He stuffed the book in the band of his underwear, his too big pants and baggy shirt would make it easy to smuggle it past his uncle.

He grabbed Vernon’s box and made his way down the narrow steps of the ladder. Vernon was there immediately at his side hovering as he motioned to put it down next to the cabinet in the living room. “To your room boy! Not one sound from you for the rest of the night!” He said loudly as he began to set up the display of his achievements to showcase to his clients. Harry didn’t need to be told twice. He quickly and quietly went to his room. Shutting the door quietly, he went to his pathetic excuse for a bed. It creaked loudly as he sat down and pull the journal from his pants.

One would think after this past year he would try and avoid anyone’s diary, but this was something that was mothers and he was sure nothing of hers would harm him. He open the front cover and pulled the photos out. The one with his grandparents was on top he found his physique was more like his grandfather’s in his opinion. With his strong jawline and the width of his shoulders. He looked at the next photo with his parents and the three boys. All decked out in Gryffindor school uniforms. This photo was the youngest version of his father he had ever seen. While he had his father‘s hair, maybe his nose, that was all he could see likeness wise.Turning it over here at his mothers hand writing again. He traced the slope of her J’s and the curves of her m’s. This was her writing. Something he had never seen before. Shaking his head he continued looking through the muggle photographs. His mother in various stages of growth, some with Petunia or his grandmother. One photo stood out. It was of his mother sitting at a patio table about nine or ten, with a big smile on her face. She was sitting next to a dark-haired boy, about the same age, who was also grinning at the camera. he looked familiar, but he couldn’t quite place it. He flip the photo over, and in what he now knows was his grandmother’s writing, was lovingly scrawled: Lily and Severus summer 1969.

Harrys breath caught, as he read the name of the boy. ‘No way.’ He thought, he looked at the boy in the photo again to see if he could see any similarities between this Severus and his cold heartless potions professor. The hooked nose and dark eyes were a dead giveaway. The surprise he felt was almost enough for him to forget the sadness he felt from never knowing his parents or grandparents, almost. He looked at other photos, one with Snape, Lily and his grandmother. And unhappy Petunia with, Lily and Snape. Lily and Snape in their school uniforms one Gryffindor and one Slytherin.
This Snape looked different from the one that he knew now. Happy, alive and full of life. And properly washed hair, a voice in the back of his mind supplied. Harry set the pictures down and made his way to the hidden loose floorboard. He grabbed the album Hagrid gave him. He carefully placed all the photos in the empty pages of the album, not wanting them to get more damaged than they already were. Once they were safely in the book he stashed it back into its hiding spot.

The sounds of Vernon and Petunia entertaining their guests flowed from downstairs. He had plenty of time to read at least some of the journal his mother left before there was no more light left in the day and he would be left in the dark. He cursed his stupidity, he should have taken a flashlight or something from Dudley so he could read at night. Harry sat down again near his window and opened the journal. It was quite thick, he was eager to read about his mother’s life. Maybe some questions he had would be answered with this.

On the first page the date read:

September 1st, 1971

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Harry’s eyes widened as he read his mother’s most personal item. The first few pages were of excitement and amazement. Going to a Wizarding school was definitely exciting. Harry could relate. She written about Snape and how disappointing it was that they were not in the same house. They were childhood friends! Though he had deduced that from the photographs. But the deep friendship she described reminded Harry of his friendship with Hermione and Ron.
When she first spoke about his father it was not in a pleasant light. Apparently James was quite the bully to Snape. Feelings of disappointment bubbled up inside him. He couldn’t help the smirk he had when she threatened bodily harm of James and a guy named Sirius. Seems like his anger issues stemmed from his mother’s side of the family.
Harry flipped and skimmed the pages, mesmerized by his mother’s words. Charms was her favorite subject! She studied with Snape by the lake! The passages skipped from days to weeks between entries. He found similarities between Lily and him that brought tears to his eyes. She hated history of magic, like him! Loved to explore the castle, like him! Enjoyed reading her texts and learning new spells, like him! Well the learning new spells bit at least. He read until the room was too dark to read. He marked his place, not wanting to lose it, and quietly as he could secured it under the floorboards.

~*~

The next morning he was jolted awake by aunt Petunia. Ordered to make breakfast. He did as he was told, not wanting to provoke his uncle in any way. The last time he did he sported a sore arm, where he had punched him, for a week. He served his overweight uncle and cousin who zoned in front of the telly. Petunia shooed him away. Harry slipped out of the dining room into the kitchen and managed to grab a few slices of toast before heading back up to his room. Hedwig chirped at him unhappily from her cage. Harry stuffed the toast in his mouth. Unlocking the cage and opening the window seemed to please the owl as she quickly flew out. Harry stared after her. How he wished he could leave just as easily.
“Get down here, you lazy little bum!” Vernon’s voice yelled from the bottom of the stairs. Harry quickly and quietly went down stairs bracing for the worst. His uncle didn’t seem too upset over anything. “You are to weed and prune the garden and mow the lawn front and back! I want the yard pristine for when my sister comes to visit!” Harry kept his face blank as he nodded. He screamed internally. Making his way into the back yard he got to work. Uncle Vernon’s sister Marge was the worst kind of person. The two were alike in many ways. None good. Marge always seemed to enjoy tormenting him be it with words or letting her dog chase him down.
Harry began pulling the weeds out of the flower beds and put down more mulch. The day was sunny and hot, with no wind to relieve him. By the time he was done with the flower beds he was parched. Not daring to go in. He brought the hose around to water the flowers and stole a quick drink from there. He contemplated ways of getting out of seeing his hated aunt Marge as he started the mower. Making clean lines with the machine he made sure not to miss one spot. Less he wouldn’t get dinner. Going back and forth gave him time to think. Unable to come up with anything plausible he finished up the front yard and put away all of the yard tools. Making his way inside only to have Petunia scream at him. “Don’t track in dirt, I just cleaned!”
Harry resisted rolling his eyes as he took off his too big shoes making sure not to leave one smudge where he walked. He made his way to the bathroom where he quickly showered and dressed. His clothes were absolutely horrendous. If Harry didn’t know any better, he would swear Dudley was making sure his hand me downs were even worse for wear.
Harry opened the bathroom door and made his way down the hall. He checked behind him down the stairs and heard his uncle and Dudley downstairs. Harry quickly made his way to the small closet at the end of the hall. Opening it he searched for a flashlight. Locating it and grabbed and hurriedly shoved it into his waistband. He turned and made his way to his room.
Closing the door quietly he worked the floorboard free and grabbed the worn journal. The overwhelming need to learn more about the woman who was his mother overtaking all thought. He sat on his bed stowing the flashlight under his mattress. It was still light enough out he could read. No need to risk getting in trouble for having it. Flipping to his kept place, he continued.
The passage was from halfway through his mother’s third year. She spoke of one of the boys in James’ group. How he was quiet and sickly all the time, Remus Lupin. She finally spoke to him in the library while waiting for Severus and they became fast friends that year much to Severus’s displeasure. Through Lily, Harry seemed to sympathize with Snape just a little. He certainly wouldn’t like it if Ron or Hermione started hanging out with someone who had bullied him. Shaking his head he continued. Remus was apparently much more friendly and mellow compared to his friends.
Harry skimmed a couple more passages as they said much the same. It seemed Snape grudgingly accepted Remus into the small group. A couple years and dozens of pages later and everything was different. Snape was avoiding Lily and being down right nasty. While Lily was in love with his father, James. She had written about a nasty fight her and Severus had. She expressed deep regret from the words she had spoken. But her anger had kept her from speaking to him to mend their broken bond. Harry blinked a few stray tears out of his eyes. A long friendship like his mom and Severus’s breaking because they were to upset to talk it out to each other was just heartbreaking to him. From someone who hadn’t had a single friend until he was ten, he couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t want to try and save their friendship.
He glanced out the window and saw the sky getting darker he slipped the book under the mattress next to the flashlight. He didn’t want to risk Vernon or Petunia walking in on while he was reading it. They would surely burn it just to spite him. He waited until he heard the other occupants of the house make their way to bed. Laying there he realized he had forgotten to eat all day. His stomach growled in protest.

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Once he could hear the loud snores of his uncle, Harry slowly got out of bed. Making his way to his food stash under the floor and picked out a small bag of crisps and a granola bar. There wasn’t much he could smuggle up here that wouldn’t go bad. Eating quickly he stashed the trash back under the floor. He sat down on his bed and grabbed the flashlight and the journal again. He wanted to finish this, there were only a few pages left.

He flipped page after page reading how she and his father had married and moved in together, had him, and were apart of some order to put a stop to Voldemort. In the back of his mind he wished he could stop her and his father from doing that. If they hadn’t, they might still be alive and he would have parents. He wouldn’t have to learn about them from other people and books. Harry shook his head. He held the flashlight steady as he started the last page. Blinking he took in that this was not like the rest of the entries in the book. It was a letter. To him.

~*~
Harry,

My sweet boy. I hope you never have to read this. I’m writing to you because I’m scared that you’ll grow up no knowing me. The real me. Not the person people will tell you about. I’ve charmed my journal to where only you can read it. It’ll look blank to anyone but you. I have this really bad feeling that me and James will not make it out of this war alive. We are in hiding because you-know-who is apparently after us. While Dumbeldore assures us that we are perfectly safe I’m still skeptical. I don’t think we made the right choice with Peter being the secretkeeper. Guess I’ve picked up something from Severus after all. I do hope you get to know him well. I swear if I survive this war I’m going straight to him and try to speak with him. I had forgiven him a long time ago for what was said as I’m sure you’ve read. But I still haven’t had the chance to talk to him.

Harry, please learn from my mistakes. Don’t wait or push something off because it is uncomfortable to you at the moment. Because you never know what will happen and what you’ll come to regret.

I hope you’ve started Hogwarts! Were you sorted into Gryffindor? It doesn’t really matter to me which house you’re in as long as you study. Please make sure you study well and get a decent job doing what you want to do and not what others want you to do. That’s your fathers weakness. He always does what’s expected of him. You are our baby boy. We want you to be happy and we’ve made arrangements for you to have the best life you can have without us. James and I made a will and hade three copies made. We’ve given one to Sirius and the other to Dumbledore. The goblins have the third copy in Gringotts, the goblin in charge of our vaults is named Griphook. I’ve attached a key to the back cover of this book it is to the main potter vault. The key will release from the cover at your touch. I’m sure you’ve been taught how to go to the vaults in Gringotts so I won’t go over that with you. I just hope and wish you won’t have need for it too soon.

Before I say my goodbyes, I want you to know that no matter what you do in life or what you achieve or fail at, me and your father will always be proud of you and looking after you. My most beloved child. I wish you happiness and hope you never have to carry the burden of this war we are in.

Forever your mother,

Lily

~*~

The light was shaking in his hand and he fought back a sob. He felt the hopelessness and heartbreak bubble up because he would never truly know his parents. Tears flowed down his cheeks as he flipped the last page to see the key sticking innocently to the back cover. Touching it gently with his index finger it slid off the cover and into his lap where he grabbed it. He studied the key. It looked older than his own by far. Why had he never heard anything about this? Was there something in the will that could get him out of this horrid house? He needed to get to Gringotts, and soon.