The Dark Lord’s Heir
It was a very dilapidated house in Dumbledore’s opinion. The gate was taken over by vines and shrubbery, thick trees littered the front hall, allowing only little light to peak through their leaves to shine on the sad existent. The walls looked old, worn-down parts of it showing cracks or small holes. Thick tendrils of vines grew on these, looking as though the earth itself was trying to swallow the house back into the depths below where it belonged. Windows were, naturally, broken, and on the old rotten out door, Dumbledore could see a rusted knife buried in a long-dead snake.
This has been a house that has not been touched in years, laying hidden outside the town of Little Hangleton. And yet now, on a hot August night in Nineteen-Eighty, the house had found it to be home again of life, however brief and despair-ridden it was. There were voices just inside, Dumbledore immediately recognize one of them. It was high and cold, void of any emotion bar malice. Taking out his wand silently, he casted an Invisibility Spell and made his way slowly forward. An anonymous source had warned Dumbledore of this place, that something terrible would happen here, and he hoped that he was not too late.
The voices continued, the cold voice sneering while a woman’s voice was pleading. Dumbledore stopped at the window and listened, for he thought to hear the sound of a child crying. However, the two voices were too loud, he tried to listen in, to focus on the crying, only for the cold voice to yell out, “Avada Kedavra!” Green light filled the house for a moment, the woman was silent, and thud of a body woke Dumbledore up as he rushed to the door, pushing it open and revealing himself to the scene.
It was a horror inside. Just as dirty and beaten-down as it was outside, however Dumbledore’s attention was to the floor where a girl, not even pass twenty, laid lifeless. He could hear it clearly now in the deadly silence, the loud wailing of a child, now missing a mother. He saw the baby not even a few days old laying on a small gathering of blankets, naked and pale except for his face which was red with tears. Then he saw the killer, and his fears were realized.
Tall with pale white skin and serpentine features, looking more monster than man. His red eyes moved from the girl and the baby to Dumbledore. “Dumbledore,” he chuckled with an icy air in his throat, “you have rather poor timing old man. I am in the middle of a family affair…”
“You will not hurt the child, Tom,” Dumbledore said, his wand drawn and aimed immediately at Lord Voldemort.
The Dark Lord only laughed. He glanced at the baby before looking back at Dumbledore, “I will do whatever I please to my child… especially since his mother hid him from his own father.”
“Step away from him,” Dumbledore warned, taking a step closer to Voldemort. Voldemort gave Dumbledore an eerie look, his wand moving slowly from Dumbledore to the crying child, “And what if I don’t?” he asked, “I could simply kill both you and my child here in one go…After all, look at him… he is rather disgusting looking.” Lord Voldemort gave a dark chuckle, “Besides old man, I cannot have a sniveling brat weighing me down… I’ve no need of heirs, so it would be better to just kill him. Say goodbye, Dumbledore…”
Dumbledore reacted just as Lord Voldemort began to flick his wand. There was a huge flashing white light as his spell clashed with Voldemort’s killing curse. A great force knocked both men off their feet and Dumbledore flew against the wall, coughing as the wind was knocked out of him. He did his best to squint through the bright light. He was terrified, all he could hear was silence. What happened to the child?
Then, a cold laughter filled the room for a moment before silence returned. When the light finally dimmed, and Dumbledore blinked away the blurriness, he saw that he was alone.
“The child!” he gasped. Dumbledore scrambled to his feet and ran over to the bundle of blankets, his fears and adrenaline high. He couldn’t hear the child crying, only silence filled the dead house. Kneeling down, he quickly started throwing around the blankets in order to find the child. The baby was rolled up in an old washcloth on the bottom, and as soon as Dumbledore removed it from the child’s mouth, he started to cry loudly. Dumbledore gave a sigh of relief and quickly picked the baby up, using his wand to run a diagnosis. “You will live,” Dumbledore sighed as a soft blue light enveloped the crying child, “I’m sorry however… it seems your eyes won’t be the same. It’ll be glasses for you,” he chuckled softly, “but here’s a secret, all the impressive people in history have glasses, some just hide them.”
Holding the baby gently, Dumbledore stood up and examined him closely. He was a handsome baby. A few days old, the child already had some black hair growing on the top of his head. His nose was soft and small, his mouth opened slightly, and his body tiny. However, the one thing that struck Dumbledore the most was the baby’s eyes. They were two colors, only a few days old it seemed to Dumbledore, and the child’s eyes were already starting to form their colors. The right was still a baby-gray, but Dumbledore could see hints of brown in them, while the left was a mixture of gray and green. “You have the looks of your father,” Dumbledore said in a solemn tone, “however little one, I will make sure that that is the only similarity you have to him…”
Dumbledore turned and went to examine the woman, rocking the child softly to calm him down. He frowned, she looked like a pretty girl, young with black hair and pretty features. “A terrible lost,” he sighed. He looked at the child and held him close, “Not to worry, we will find a loving family for you. But first, we need to take care of your mother now.”
With his free hand, Dumbledore pulled out his wand and walked outside the decrepit home. He concentrated, and with a mutter of a spell, a bright silver phoenix, made of pure light and warmth shot out. It’s warmth bathed Dumbledore and the child for only a moment before it flew off with a message. Dumbledore turned back into the house and used his wand to levitate the girl’s body respectfully, guiding her out of the home and onto the overgrown lawn. In the brief sunlight that filtered through the trees, Dumbledore could see that the woman’s body was dirty with dust and dirt. Thinking it was disrespectful, he waved his wand around and her skin and clothes cleared, the rags she was wearing looking semi-decent.
By the time he was done, there was a loud snapping sound, and he turned to see Alastor Moody walking bristly towards him.
“Got your message Dumbledore,” he said, “What happened here?”
“Voldemort was here,” Dumbledore said, “Killed this girl and almost killed the boy. He mentioned that it was a family affair, that the boy is his son.”
Moody grunted and looked at the baby. “What do you want to do then, Professor Dumbledore?” he asked.
“Find the girl’s parents,” Dumbledore said. “And a loving home for this little one. … I will ask Lily and James first.”
“Right,” Moody grunted, “Do you have any ideas on who the girl is?”
“Sadly no,” Dumbledore sighed. “I do know recognize her, she must not have went to Hogwarts, however she is magical. Young too, twenty at the oldest I would guess.”
“I’ll see that it’s done,” Moody said.
“Thank you Alastor,” Dumbledore said. Moody just grunted and went towards the woman, bending down to begin his work. Dumbledore left the Auror to his work as he started to make his way out of the house’s yard. “Oh, yes… did you happen to bring a broom with you, Alastor?” he asked.
Moody turned and gave Dumbledore a look as he grunted. Getting up, he ruffled in his robes before pulling out a broomstick from what seemed to be an endless pocket. Dumbledore thanked him and got on the broom, making sure the child was secure in his arm before he sped off into the sky.
The Potters lived in a pleasant cottage on Godric’s Hollow. It was becoming night by the time Dumbledore arrived, unphased by the charms that protected the home. He rung the door bell and waited. Lily Potter answered, “Professor Dumbledore, we didn’t expect you, it’s a surprise,” she said, “Has something happened?” she looked worried.
“May I come in, Lily?” Professor Dumbledore asked. “This would take a while to explain.”
“Of course, come in, I just need to check on little Evan,” Lily said.
“How is your son?” Dumbledore asked as he followed Lily.
“Healthy as ever, James is with him now,” Lily chuckled. “Help yourself to some tea in the kitchen, we both will be there in a moment.”
“Thank you, however, may I also partake in some of your formula?” Dumbledore asked. Lily looked at him a little confused until finally she saw the baby. “Yes of course! Oh dear, what happened Professor?” she asked.
“That is the reason of why I wanted to speak to you,” Dumbledore said. Lily nodded and said, “We’ll be back quick, use anything you need to, Professor.”
Dumbledore went into the kitchen and made a cup of tea for himself, and a bottle for the child. He went into the cottage’s small living room and settled in an armchair, placing his tea on an end table while he fed the baby. Lily and James Potter came in a few minutes after, both silently watching Dumbledore and the baby. “This is the first time I’ve saw him at peace,” Dumbledore commented, looking up at the Potters.
“What happened, Professor?” James Potter asked.
“Sit down, please, and I will tell you,” Professor Dumbledore said, “As well as ask you for a task…” The Potters nodded and sat down across of Dumbledore. The Headmaster of Hogwarts told the couple of what happened in the old house, of an argument he could only hear but make no details, of finding the young girl dead and baby in rags, and Voldemort’s attempt at killing him.
“That’s horrible,” Lily gasped. When he was done, the child had finished eating and was now resting peacefully in Dumbledore’s arms. “Does he have a name? He looks like such a sweet baby.”
“No, as far as I know, he does not,” Dumbledore said. “He is only a couple weeks old, like your son Evan…”
“And he has no family to go to?” James asked. Dumbledore have him a somber look.
“No… which brings me to my favor,” Dumbledore said. “I know that it is a lot of pressure for both of you, already adjusting your lives to this cottage and Evan, however… I would hope that both of you would find it in your hearts to open your love and arms to this boy as well. Raise him as your own, give him the comfort and love that his father has never known… You may think about it, however your decision must be tonight. I want a safe place for the boy where his father would never find him.”
“Professor…” James said, “would you mind if we talk about it in private?”
“Take your time,” Dumbledore nodded.
Lily and James got up and left the living room. Dumbledore used his free hand to open his robe pocket and pulled out a magazine about knitting. The magazine floated in front of him, leaving him free to hold onto the sleeping child and drink his tea as he read. Hours passed by like this, Dumbledore was long done with his tea and the child, thankfully, was still sleeping peacefully. This must be his first peaceful rest since his birth, Dumbledore mused sadly.
James and Lily returned, with a determined look on their faces. James walked up to Dumbledore and looked at the sleeping child. “May I?” he asked. Dumbledore nodded and James gently lifted the child. “Hello you,” he cooed softly as the child started to whine fussily. “My… look Lily, his eyes.”
His wife took a step closer and smiled, “Hello there… your eyes are so pretty.”
“So you’ve decided?” Dumbledore asked.
“Yes… we’ll take him,” James said.
Dumbledore smiled and stood up. “Thank you both,” he said. “This is best for the child, I believe, than any orphanage that he might have otherwise ended up in.” Lily and James nodded, the two cooing at their new son. “Have you thought of a name?” Dumbledore asked.
“We have,” Lily nodded.
“Harry,” James said.
Dumbledore chuckled. He went up to them and held his finger out for the child, placing his pinky in the child’s little hand, who gripped it instinctually. “Welcome to the world then, Harry Potter.”
The baby now named Harry closed his eyes, exhausted and wanting to sleep in his parents’ embrace. Dumbledore felt relieved and hopeful for the child, thankful that he had found a peaceful home for young Harry.
A peaceful home that would be invaded only a year later by his father… leaving Harry’s adoptive parents and brother dead, and giving Dumbledore more grief as he made the ultimate decision to let Harry live as a muggle with the Dursleys until ten years later when a certain letter came…
Young Harry Potter was a small boy for his age. He could be considered handsome, his hair was raven-colored and fell like feathers on his head, never out of place, his nose was small and cutely shaped, and his eyes were two different colors due to his heterochromia. His left eye was green as green could be, almost as though it was an emerald, or an open field; his right eye, however, was a dark brown, like a jasper, and seemed to hold something dark and mysterious. His eyes were hidden by large round glasses that were held together by tape. And right above his eyes was a lightning-shaped scar that he hid behind his hair. The boy had a skinny body, however it never shown as he never wore clothes that properly fit him. The clothes Harry did own swam over him as they all used to belong to his cousin Dudley, who was a pig of a boy.
Young Harry lived with his Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia Dursley for all he could remember. Uncle Vernon was a large beefy man with sausage-like fingers and no neck while Aunt Petunia had a long horse-like face who liked to crane her neck over fences to spy and gossip about her neighbors. He slept in a cupboard under the stairs and did most of the chores himself. He never asked about his parents, all that would earn him is extra chores and reminder of how stupid his parents were for dying in a car crash.
However, on this day Harry felt that his entire world was about to change. It was early in the morning, about a couple weeks until his eleventh birthday. The day started as usual, Aunt Petunia made him help with making breakfast, and he was sent to get the mail. The letters were already piled on the floor, pushed through the mail slot, and Harry filtered through them as he always does as he made his way slowly to the kitchen, only to stop when he saw a strange sight. A letter with his name and address. He had never gotten a letter before. Glancing at the kitchen, Harry stopped by the door that opened to his small cot under the stairs and stuck the letter through under the door. He would read it later when he was sent to his bed.
The day went by normally after that. Harry was given a list of chores to do by Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon and did them silently as his mind was on the letter he’d received, the first letter he had ever gotten. He just needed time to read it.
“Boy, vacuum the living room,” Uncle Vernon grumbled from his armchair in the living room, he was watching a show about fishing on the television. “And be quick about it! I don’t want you interrupting my show!”
“Yes, Uncle Vernon,” Harry said. He got the vacuum and began cleaning the living room. The vacuum was obnoxiously loud, and quite heavy for the then ten year old, so it moved slowly across the carpet as Harry pushed and pulled it. Uncle Vernon grumbled about this, but did nothing as his show was on a commercial. Harry did his best to clean up the dull gray carpet in the living room, pushing the vacuum head under the couches and tables, however he wasn’t fast enough for Uncle Vernon’s liking as soon the commercials were over and Harry’s uncle started to grumble even louder. “Hurry up you stupid boy,” he said, turning the volume up on the television. Harry pushed and pulled the vacuum, moving close to clean the carpet by Uncle Vernon’s chair. The obnoxious sound was still overpowering the television and Harry saw that his Uncle’s face was going purple like a grape as his frustrations grew. “Turn that ruddy thing off!” Uncle Vernon yelled.
Harry immediately turned the vacuum off, and Uncle Vernon got off his armchair, grabbing the scruff of Harry’s neck. “Come here boy,” He said angrily. He dragged Harry out of the living room, “You are useless boy! Cannot even vacuum a room quick enough!” He yelled, “Stay in here for the rest of the day—I don’t want to hear a peep from you!” He opened the cupboard under the stairs and threw Harry into the very small room, closing and locking the door. Harry felt disorientated but couldn’t help but smile to himself. He now had time to read the letter addressed to him!
He picked up the letter from the floor and turned on the hanging lightbulb, illuminating his cupboard that only had room enough for a mattress, his clothes in piles underneath. Everything was covered with dust, and Harry could always see a spider or two wherever he looked. The letter was indeed addressed to him.
Mr. H Potter
The Cupboard under the Stairs
4 Privet Drive
The envelope was thick and heavy, made of yellowish parchment and the address was written in emerald-green ink. There was no stamp. Harry quickly opened it and pulled out the letter. It read:
HOGWARTS SCHOOL of WITCHCRAFT and WIZARDRY
Headmaster ALBUS DUMBLEDORE
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)
Dear Mr. Potter,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on September 1. We await your owl by no later than July 31.
Magic? He was magic? Harry frowned at the letter. Was it a joke? There was no way this could have been real, after all no real letter would be addressed to Harry! And certainly not addressed “The Cupboard under the Stairs!” But still… Harry stared at the letter with a soft smile, pretending that it was real. It would be brilliant to be magic, wouldn’t it? Visions of flying and disappearing and levitating filled Harry’s head. Unexplained events done in an instant with magic. Then he frowned. Hang on… Harry thought back on it and started to remember many unusual and unexplained events. Such as whenever Aunt Petunia sheared almost all of his hair off in a fury that it would not stay down one day leaving him almost bald, but by the next day all of his hair regrew to its original length. Or when a strange man in funny clothes bowed to him when he was in a shop with Aunt Petunia and she interrogated Harry on how he knew the stranger before leaving the shop promptly. And there were the numerous times Harry outran Dudley and his gang of friends when they were playing “Harry Hunt” where they chase him down and use him as a punching bag. He didn’t know how, but sometimes he found himself on top of trees or roofs without even climbing them!
And then there was that snake who so wanted to go to Brazil since he told Harry he never saw it… the next second Harry knew, the glass disappeared and the snake slithered out, thanking him very kindly.
Maybe magic did exist Harry thought to himself. And it was with that thought that he turned to the second piece of parchment that had several lists.
First-year students will require:
1. Three sets of plain work robes (black)
- One plain pointed hat (black) for day wear
- One pair of protective gloves (dragon hide or similar)
- One winter cloak (black, silver fastenings)
Please note that all pupils’ clothes should carry name tags.
All students should have a copy of each of the following:
The Standard Book of Spells (Grade 1) by Miranda Goshawk
A History of Magic by Bathilda Bagshot
Magical Theory by Adalbert Waffling
A Beginner’s Guide to Transfiguration by Emeric Switch
One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi by Phyllida Spore
Magical Drafts and Potions by Arsenius Jiggs
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander
The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection by Quentin Trimble
1 cauldron (pewter, standard size 2)
1 set glass or crystal phials
1 set brass scales
Students may also bring an owl OR a cat OR a toad
PARENTS ARE REMINDED THAT FIRST YEARS ARE NOT ALLOWED THEIR OWN BROOMSTICKS
“This seems too much to be a joke,” Harry muttered. It had to be real. But wait, if these letters were real then that would make Harry magical right? An excitement bubbled in Harry for the first time of his life. He was magical! He could do magic! Right? He could go to school, this special wizard’s school, he could be away from the Dursleys! At least, that is what he thought. He needed to send a reply, but how? The letter said by owl, however Harry didn’t know what that meant. He could try mailing his reply, but it was only a week until July 31st, he didn’t want to be late if the mail was slow and his reply came afterwards! And he had to find out where to buy all this stuff! Hopefully London had it.
But first, however, Harry stared at the cupboard door in front of him as he thought of how he was going to get out of the locked door and out to London in the first place. He knew that he wasn’t going to have dinner that night, so he spent the rest of the day pondering and thinking.
He could hear the Dursleys moving around just outside his door. They never interacted with him besides when Dudley would run up or down the stairs and jump on the staircase so sawdust and dust would shower onto the boy. It was getting late and the Dursleys went upstairs for the night one by one. Harry waited, fully awake, and continued to wait until he was sure they were all sleeping.
He spent the day planning a breakout. The first thing was getting out of the cupboard. He stood up as best he could and prepped himself to force the door open. He pressed his hands against the wood of the door, waited, his body stressed for a moment to make sure that he was being quiet, and pushed. The door opened! Harry gave a gasp of surprise and quickly ran out, his magic worked! Though, as he looked at his door, he figured out that Uncle Vernon forgot to lock the door, or he has and the lock must have slipped down from one of the Dursleys passing it. Either way, he was out! The first step complete!
Now onto the second one, which involved finding money. He knew that Uncle Vernon always kept money on his wallet. He knew this because he saw Uncle Vernon giving Dudley money on numerous occasions, and the money always came from Uncle Vernon’s wallet. So in order to find money for public transportation, Harry needed to find money. How much, he did not know, however he figured he’ll think on that when he reached that point.
Harry briefly wondered where the wallet could be. Was Uncle Vernon the type of person who would leave the wallet lying around, or was it in his pants or bedroom? Harry hoped for the former and began sneaking around the house, keeping the lights off as he searched for any and all money he could find while searching for the wallet. His first hit was the living room and began searching between the cushions for loose change. He found some small coins here and there, but nothing big, and no wallet. Pocketing the change, he moved to the hallway where his cupboard was and, as though he was very lucky, he saw both a pair of keys and Uncle Vernon’s wallet sitting at the end of the hallway towards the kitchen. Smiling, Harry made his way to the wallet, not a concern or care of if his was rule-breaking or not, this definitely was, and picked it up.
The wallet was made of brown cheap leather, and smelt of oily leftovers. Harry opened the wallet and pulled out a twenty pound note and a handful of coins. Pocketing it, he left the wallet as he found it and took the key. He ran back to his cupboard, got both the letter and list, made sure everything was in his pockets, and stole a coat before unlocking the door.
The night was cloudless. The moon was a dark new moon as few starlight was able to twinkle against the modern city lighting. Little Whinging, however, was silent and dark. The houses all blackened and their residents sleeping. Nobody was awake as Harry made his way down the street, with only a bare idea of where he needed to go. He walked for around twenty minutes before finding a bus stop. He read the map on it and smiled as it was the right one to go on. When the bus pulled over, the driver did not even give Harry a second look as he paid his fare and sat down. It took him to Woking Station, which Harry used to get to London proper.
The city was bigger than Harry had ever experienced. Tall buildings and narrow sidewalks greeted him as he roamed around, looking for anywhere that looked remotely like it would sell a wand. He was a small child wandering the streets, looking from storefront to storefront, ignoring the looks the adults around him were giving. He didn’t know how long he was wandering around, until he walked down a street and stopped. There in plain view was a storefront with a large cauldron spilling something over the words The Leaky Cauldron. Harry could have sworn that the cauldron was moving, and looked around at the people around him who simply ignored the place, or acted as though it wasn’t even there. Maybe this place will do, he thought to himself. It was an obvious pub. If he couldn’t find a wand, at least he could find something to eat.
He patted the money in his pocket and walked inside.
It was a somewhat clean place, lit by candles. The tables were mostly empty, people in funny clothes nursing drinks. The smell of food and a fireplace hung in the air and it made Harry’s stomach growl fiercely. He took one step in and gasped as he saw, on closer inspection, that some of the candles were floating! And that one guy was making a spoon make his tea all by himself! Magic! It did exist and Harry was part of this community because of his letter from Hogwarts!
Being a smart kid, in his own opinion, Harry went up to the bar and hopped onto a stool between two grown adults. “Excuse me,” he said to the barkeep, who was cleaning a glass.
“It’s rather late for a young wizard like you to be roaming about,” the man said, “Where are your parents? What’s your name son?”
He seemed friendly enough so Harry pulled out his Hogwarts Letter and said, “My name is Harry Potter, do you know where I can buy my things for Hogwarts?”
The result was immediate. The barkeep dropped his glass, shattering on the floor as the two wizards on either side of Harry turned to stare at him. “Bless my soul… it’s Harry Potter,” the barkeep said. He took Harry’s hand and shook it vigorously, smiling, “Tom, Mr. Potter, on what an honor, welcome back.”
The wizard to Harry’s left took his hand next, “Amos Diggory, Mr. Potter, I cannot believe I am shaking your hand—just wait until my son hears about this!”
“Doris Crocker, Mr. Potter, I cannot believe I am meeting you at last,” said the witch to Harry’s right. The patrons all came up to Harry, shaking his hand and introducing themselves, speaking of welcome backs and honors that left Harry feeling dizzy.
Harry frowned, confused, “I’m sorry,” he said, “but how do you know my name?”
The room grew silent, the adults all glancing at each other. “Surely you know,” Tom the barkeep said, “about your mother and father and brother—”
“My mum and dad died in a car crash,” Harry responded.
“A car crash killing Lily and James? Outrageous!” Mr. Diggory said. “Totally—”
“Amos, please,” a wizard to his left said, “If you do not mind… I’ll talk to him about it, thank you for the drink as well, Molly will definitely not be happy but I’m sure we can get through that.” The wizard stood up and approached Harry. He had bright orange hair and a large smile. “Hello Harry,” he said, “My name’s Arthur Weasley, I knew your parents from work… if you would like to get a little away?” He indicated to an empty table.
Harry nodded and slid off the stool just as his stomach gave a fearsome growl. He blushed and looked sheepishly at Mr. Weasley. “Tom! If you would get some food for Harry,” Mr. Weasley smiled, “I’ll pay.”
“No, no,” Harry said quickly, “I brought money!” And he pulled out his twenty pound note. Mr. Weasley eyed it funny.
“What’s this? Paper? Oh look! There is a twenty on here,” he chuckled. “Is this muggle money?” He asked excitedly.
“It is,” Tom the barkeep said, “Give it here Mr. Potter, I’ll convert it for ya while you and Arthur have a talk.” Harry didn’t know what was going on, but he gave the money to Tom and followed Mr. Weasley to the empty table.
“How do you know my parents?” Harry asked.
“Yes well… that is a difficult thing to explain,” Mr. Weasley said. “You see… back in the day, when you and your brother were just babies, and even before then—”
“What do you mean by brother?” Harry asked. “Sorry for interrupting.”
“What do you mean… Harry, have you never heard of Evan?”
Mr. Weasley gave Harry a sad look that made Harry feel miserable, as though he missed something very important. “Oh Harry,” he said softly, “oh Harry… I don’t know if I’m the one to tell it all to you… I am so sorry.”
“Mr. Weasley… what happened?” Harry asked. “I’m confused, I don’t understand.”
“War, Harry, our people, wizards and witches, were in a war against V—V—…can’t say it,” Mr. Weasley sighed.
“Maybe if you write it down?” Harry suggested.
“No, no, I feel more uncomfortable seeing his name… alright… Voldemort. Don’t say his name, Harry! He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and his followers. Molly, my wife, and I were part of a group to fight against him along with your parents. They were brave people Harry, very brave. And so helpful too… When you were only a few days old, they went into hiding. I haven’t heard anything from them during that time. Others did, however Molly and I were a bit too focused on our own children—I hope you understand”—Harry nodded—“thank you. Your parents had two children, you see… you, and one more. A boy named Evan. I haven’t personally seen him, but I have seen a picture or two. Looked just like your father he did. Very happy… until a year after your family went into hiding. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named found your cottage. Your parents tried to fight him, but nobody lived once he decided to kill him. Nobody… not one… except you Harry.
“Me?” Harry whispered. “Voldemort tried to kill me?”
“Yes Harry,” Mr. Weasley nodded. “That is not ordinary cut on your forehead. A mark like that comes from a curse—an evil curse.”
“What happened… to Voldemort?” Harry asked.
“That nobody knows,” Mr. Weasley sighed. “Some say he’s dead. I hope he did, but some like Dumbledore don’t believe that. Thinking he’s still around hanging on to life. But the important thing Harry, is that something about you stopped him from killing you that night. That is why you’re famous, that is why everybody knows your name. You’re the Boy-Who-Lived…”
Harry had a heavy feeling. He tried to wrap his brain around it. “My brother,” he said, “what was his name again?”
“Evan, Harry,” Mr. Weasley said. Tom came with Harry’s food, setting it down in front of the boy. Mr. Weasley stood up and said, “I’ll uh leave you to your meal then… good night Harry.”
“Thank you, Mr. Weasley,” Harry said. Mr. Weasley nodded and went to say goodbye to Mr. Diggory before leaving. Harry, however, was lost in his thoughts as he ate his meal by himself. Voldemort, his parents, a war, Evan… it was a lot for Harry to wrap his head around. He started to feel that heavy feeling return, weighing his heart down as he ate. He felt a young form of melancholy as he thought about Evan, sad not because he lost his brother, but because he never knew him.
When he was done eating, Harry asked Tom if he could have a room for the night and if he knew where to buy his school equipment. Tom nodded and gave Harry a handful of silver and bronze coins before showing him to his room. Harry thanked him and closed the door, fall asleep immediately as he fell on the bed.
The next morning, he ate in his room and went downstairs to see the pub fuller with wizards. He went up to Tom and asked if he could show Harry where he could go buy his stuff for Hogwarts.
“A firs’ year, I reckon?” a very tall and large man wearing a beaverskin coat said, smiling down at Harry through a forest of black hair and beard.
“Yes sir…” Harry said. “I’m Harry Potter…”
“My name is Rubeus Hagrid,” the man smiled, “Keeper of Keys and Grounds of Hogwarts. It is a pleasure to meet you, Harry Potter. Funny enough I’ve got business in Diagon Alley meself. Official Hogwarts Business from Professor Dumbledore. If you want some help—”
“That would be nice, thank you,” Harry smiled, “I just need to know where the stores are.”
“Well, ‘course you need money first,” Hagrid said, “So I will take you to Gringotts, eh? No safer place in the Wizarding World, except Hogwarts, naturally.”
“Money… but I just brought thirty pounds with me,” Harry frowned.
“Not to worry Harry,” Hagrid grinned. “Oh, that reminds me—” He opened his coat and a large hand rooted around in a very deep pocket, pulling out several things including an umbrella, flute, and large steak before producing a small golden key. “Here you are Harry, great man Dumbledore,” he smiled, “great man, had a feeling that we would meet up.”
“What is this key for?” Harry asked, pocketing it with the money he took from Uncle Vernon’s money. I should have left a note, he thought briefly before pushing the thought away. They wouldn’t notice or care.
“Gringotts of course,” Hagrid said. “After yer parents’ passing, Dumbledore took hold of it for safekeeping till yer of age for Hogwarts.”
Harry just nodded and went along with Hagrid. The giant led Harry through a door in the back into a small walled courtyard, where there was nothing but a trash can and a few weeds. Hagrid took out his umbrella again and tapped the wall three times above the trashcan. The brick he had touched quivered—it wiggled—in the middle, a small hole appeared—it grew wider and wider—a second later they were facing an archway large enough even for Hagrid, an archway onto a cobbled street that twisted and turned out of sight.
“Welcome to Diagon Alley,” Hagrid said.
He grinned at Harry’s amazement. They stepped through the archway. Harry looked quickly over his shoulder and saw the archway shrunk instantly back into solid wall. The sun shone brightly on a stack of cauldrons outside the nearest shot. Cauldrons—All Sizes—Copper, Brass, Pewter, Silver—Self-Stirring—Collapsible, said a sign hanging over them. Harry wished he had eight more eyes. He turned his head in every direction as they walked up the street, trying to look at everything at once: the shops, the things outside them, the people doing their shopping.
At the end, they reached a snowy white building that towered over the other little shops. Inside was a vast marble hall with about a hundred strange looking creatures sitting on high stools behind a long counter, scribbling in large ledgers, weighing coins in brass scales, examining precious gemstones through eyeglasses. “Hagrid… what are they?” Harry asked.
“Goblins, Harry,” Hagrid said, “Best not to mess with them.”
Harry nodded and they went up to a free goblin. “Morning,” Hagrid said. “We’ve come ter take some money outta Mr. Harry Potter’s safe.”
“You have his key, sir?”
“Show ‘im yer key, Harry,” Hagrid said.
“Oh,” Harry nodded, he pulled out the small key and showed it to the goblin who looked at it closely. “That seems to be in order.”
“An’ I’ve also got a letter here from Professor Dumbledore,” Hagrid said importantly, throwing out his chest. “It’s about You-Know-What in vault You-Know-Which.”
The goblin read the letter very carefully.
“Very well,” the goblin said. He called out for another goblin to lead Hagrid and Harry through one of the many doors.
Harry was expecting more marble but was surprised to see a narrow stone passageway lit with flaming torches. It sloped steeply downward and there were little railway tracks on the floor. A small cart was waiting for them. They climbed in and were off.
At first they just hurtled through a maze of twisting passages. Harry tried to remember but it was impossible. The rattling cart seemed to know its own way, because the goblin wasn’t steering. The cart gave a sudden halt at last beside a small door in the passage wall. Hagrid got out and had to lean against the wall to stop his knees from trembling. Harry noticed that his face looked green.
“Vault Six-Hundred and Eighty-Seven,” the goblin said. He unlocked the door. A lot of green smoke came billowing out, and as it cleared, Harry gasped. Inside were mounds of gold coins. Columns of silver. Heaps of little bronze coins.
“All yours,” Hagrid said. And Evan’s, Harry thought. Still, it was incredible. The Dursleys couldn’t have known about this or they’d have had it from his faster than blinking. How often had they complained how much Harry cost them to keep? And all the time there had been a small fortune belonging to him, buried deep under London.
Hagrid helped Harry pile some of it into a bag. “The gold ones are Galleons,” he explained. “Seventeen silver Sickles to a Galleon and twenty-nine Knuts to a Sickle, it’s easy enough. Right, that should be enough for a couple o’ terms, we’ll keep the rest safe for yeh.” They got back on the cart after that.
They went deeper and deeper now and gathering speed. The air became colder and colder as they hurtled round tight corners. They went rattling over an underground ravine, and Harry leaned over the side to try to see what was down at the bottom, but Hagrid groaned and pulled him back by the scruff of his neck.
“Vault Seven hundred and thirteen,” the goblin said when they’ve arrived. It had no keyhole. Instead, the goblin stroked the door gently with one long finger and it opened. Harry craned his neck to see what was inside, but all he saw was an empty room except for a small object wrapped in a dusty cloth. Hagrid picked it up and pocketed it, leaving Harry slightly disappointed as he expected more.
A cart ride back brought them to the main area of the bank where Hagrid led Harry out. “Yer first stop should be Ollivander’s, for yer wand. After that, you should head to Madam Malkin’s for your uniform… unless you’d like for me ter escort you around?” Hagrid asked politely.
Harry thought about it and smiled, “No thank you Harry,” he said in a polite voice, “I want to look around while I shop. Oh! I need an owl!” Harry said suddenly, “I need to give them a reply by my birthday by owl!”
“Not ter worry Harry,” Hagrid said, “I’ll tell Professor Dumbledore that I ran into you on me way to get you-know-what,” he chuckled and patted his pocket proudly.
“Thank you, Hagrid,” Harry smiled. He made sure that he had his bag of money and waved goodbye to Hagrid before setting off on his own down the street of Diagon Alley, excited for what he was going to buy and see.
The first shop that Harry decided to visit was the clothing shop. It was called Madame Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions. It was a quant shop ran by Madam Malkin, who was a squat, smiling witch dressed in mauve. “Here for Hogwarts dear? Not to worry we have another one in the back getting fitted now. We have the lot dear, here.”
In the back of the shop, a boy with a dark, handsome face was standing on a footstool while a second witch pinned up his long black robes. Madam Malkin stood Harry on a stool next to him, slipped a long robe over his head, and began to pin it to the right length.
“Hell,” the boy said, “Hogwarts too?”
“Yes,” Harry said.
“My mother thought it would be good idea to get this done early—more like she has another date with some poor man. I honestly lost count at this point,” the boy said. He had a bored sort of voice, however Harry found himself drawn instantly towards him for whatever reason. Maybe it was because this boy was the first wizard around his age that he met. “I told her that I was more than capable of shopping for myself. Your parents like that?”
“I uh… no, no, I’m here by myself,” Harry said.
“Lucky, my mother’s in another shop looking at dresses,” the boy said with his eyes rolled. He glanced over at Harry and said without really looking at him, “I’m Blaise, by the way, Blaise Zabini. I have an idea, since such a small child like you is alone, why don’t I show you to my mother? Then she can see that since it is fine for you, it should be fine by me. No offense by the way, but you look more nine then eleven.”
“I’m ten, thank you very much,” Harry said with a heated pout, “my birthday is next week.”
“Oh, well then, Happy Birthday I suppose,” Blaise said. “Uhh…”
“Harry,” Harry said. “Harry Potter.”
The three others flinched. The witches all shared a sort of excited looks while Blaise turned to stare at Harry fully. “Your eyes really are different colors!” he gasped.
“Y-Yeah,” Harry said.
“Do you also have the scar?” the boy demanded.
“Yeah,” Harry said, and he lifted his bangs to reveal his scar to Blaise. The taller boy stared at it for a moment while the two witches, having composed themselves, continued to work on their robes.
“Amazing… where were you? Do you play Quidditch?” Blaise asked, his brown eyes meeting Harry’s emerald and brown.
“Uhh… no?” Harry said, not knowing what Quidditch was.
“My friend Draco’s going to try and sneak a broom in—he never will, but trying to tell him that is just impossible,” Blaise said, rolling his eyes. You can ride broomsticks? Harry thought to himself. “Anyway, what House do you think you’ll be in, Harry? I’ll be in Slytherin obviously,” he said.
“Err… I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Harry said.
Blaise frowned, “What? Did you grow up with muggles or something?” He smiled, as though that was a joke.
“What’s a muggle?” Harry asked. He remembered Mr. Weasley using that word but he did not ask as he was too overwhelmed. Blaise stared at him. “You… you can’t be serious, right?” he asked.
“I am completely serious,” Harry said. “What is a muggle?”
“Geez—non-magic folks! You know, people who can’t use magic!” Blaise said as though it was the most obvious thing in the world.
Harry thought about it for a moment. “Like the Dursleys?” he guessed.
“The Dursleys,” Harry said. “Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia, I live with them and my cousin Dudley in Surrey.”
“You mean you… Harry Potter… lived with muggles?” Blaise asked, his face contorting as he said the word with disgust.
“Umm is that bad?” Harry asked.
“It’s awful!” Blaise exclaimed. “I mean you’re a wizard! You shouldn’t be living with muggles! How did you even find out about your magic?”
“Uhh I got my letter to Hogwarts yesterday,” Harry said, a small feeling of shame and frustration building up inside him.
“So you only knew you were a wizard for one day!” Blaise said, as though that was a terrible thing.
The two witches left momentarily, shooting looks at Blaise’s way. “Yeah, but what’s the problem with that?” Harry demanded. “It’s not like there’s a small wizard school for young ones right?”
“Uhh no… only Hogwarts but still—”
“Then we’re at the same level!” The small boy said. “So where do you get off being so high and mighty, Blaise, as to say these things? Yeah living with the Dursleys is awful—but also is being a huge jerk to a small boy!”
“I—I well…” Blaise stuttered. Harry gave him a hard look. “I’m sorry?” Blaise said questionably.
“Like you mean it please,” Harry said.
“I’m sorry Harry,” Blaise sighed.
“Good,” Harry smiled. “Now…. What are the houses you talking about? Like home-houses?” he asked curiously, the past offenses already forgiven and forgotten. He envisioned houses like Number 4 Privet Drive circling a school.
“No, no,” Blaise said. “Houses! The four Houses made by the Founders of Hogwarts! Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin. We’re going to get sorted into one of them when we begin the school year.”
“Oh…” was all Harry said. He turned to the mirrors that were facing them and stared at himself for a while. He looked silly. The robes were swimming over his short body, his hair stayed slightly ruffled and his emerald and brown eyes stared back at him behind a pair of broken glasses held together only by a bit of tape. He did not feel rather magical. He worried that he would spend all this money, go to Hogwarts, only to find that it had no place for him. Would I even be in a house? What would happen if I can’t?
“Anyway, how about it?” Blaise asked.
“Huh,” Harry turned, getting out of his thoughts.
“I show you to my mother and show that I should go out and get my Hogwarts supplies by myself! If you can do it, I can too,” Blaise smiled.
Harry frowned. “I’m not something for you to use, you know,” he said a bit shyly.
“Of course not,” Blaise smiled. “Just want to show that if you can do it so can I to my mother! I mean, these Dursleys aren’t here, are they?”
“No… they don’t even know I am here,” Harry said.
“Really?” Blaise asked, looking at Harry with interest. “What happened?”
Harry thought for a minute before deciding to tell Blaise about his life with the Durselys. He never had a chance to open up about it, so he wanted to say everything, however he did not want to scare this new potential friend away, so he decided, in the end, to skip to the story of his breakout and discovery of the letter. “Well I’ve never had mail before, nobody has ever written to me, so yesterday morning I was sent to get the mail when I saw my letter to Hogwarts. I was so excited that I didn’t want Dudley or anyone else to see it so I quickly hid it under the door of my bed—it was so specific the address, it was my name, ‘The cupboard under the stairs’ and then the rest of the regular address! So later on I was sent to the cupboard because I made Uncle Vernon angry by not cleaning the floor in the living room fast enough. I knew that I wouldn’t’ be let out until today, so I would have no lunch or dinner so that gave me enough time to read the letter, and I did and it shocked me ‘cause at first I thought it was a prank, but then the more I thought about it the more it made sense and the letter was far too detailed to be a prank so then I waited until everyone went to sleep… and then I snuck out stealing money from Uncle Vernon’s wallet to pay for the bus and train ride here. I stumbled somehow on the Leaky Cauldron and everyone acted as though I was gone for a very long time instead of first finding out about this magical world.” Harry had to take a breath as he forgotten to breathe during this rushed story.
Blaise stared at him for a moment. “Wow,” was all he could say. “To think that you’ve—wait what do you mean cupboard?”
“Yeah…” Harry said. “My bed is under the stairs.”
“And you’re okay with that?” Blaise gasped.
“No but it’s the Durselys!” Harry said. “You can’t spend a day with them without hating them.”
“But still… to treat you like that,” Blaise shook his head. Harry sighed and turned his face away. “Can we… talk about something else?” he asked.
“Fine,” Blaise said but before he could say anything else, Madam Malkin said, “That’s you done, my dear.” Harry hopped down and Blaise stopped him. “Wait for me?” he smiled.
“Uh, sure,” Harry nodded. He paid for his robes and waited outside the shop, spending the time by looking around, his eyes falling on an ice cream shop. His stomach growled hungrily when Blaise came out with his robes.
“Come on, my mother should be done by now,” Blaise said. Harry nodded and followed the taller boy down the crowded cobbled streets of Diagon Alley, making sure that he kept extra close to him. They passed the ice cream shop with Harry looking back longingly and stopped quarter mile down in front of a rather impressive store. A woman just came out of it, and she reminded Harry of a rather tall, and rather weirdly dressed, actress that he saw on the television. Her skin was dark and the robes she wore looked more like a silver sparkling dress than any robes Harry ever saw. She had similar facial features to Blaise and, by the way she went over to hug Blaise, he guessed that she was his mother.
“Blaise, you naughty boy,” she said when she saw Harry, “you have a follower…”
“Mother, this is my friend,” Blaise said. “His name is Harry and he’s here shopping by himself!”
“Oh?” Mrs. Zabini said. She took Harry’s hand and shook it, “I am Blaise’s mother,” she introduced herself, “I have to say Harry… you have lovely eyes.”
“Thank you?” Harry said questionably. He glanced towards Blaise for help.
“Indeed… give a few years and you’ll be a killer. What’s your surname?” Mrs. Zabini asked.
“Potter, I’m’ Harry Potter, ma’am,” Harry answered politely. The hand on his tightened and he felt Mrs. Zabini’s eyes turn fiercely on Harry as she gazed at him. “I see…” she said, her eyes glancing from his eyes to the scar that he covered by his bangs.
“And where did you find Potter, Blaise?” Mrs. Zabini asked.
“In the clothes shop—mother, can’t I shop with him please?” Blaise asked. “He is here by himself.”
“I see… so Harry Potter is shopping by himself, is he? Such a brave thing to do for a small child,” she said. Though she said it sweetly, Harry had a distinct feeling he was being insulted. Doing his best to ignore that, he just smiled.
“Yeah, so please mother?” Blaise asked. “I know you have an important date to prepare for tonight…”
Mrs. Zabini looked between the two of them. “Alright then,” she said, “goodbye then boys, I will see you at home, Blaise.” She released Harry’s hand and kissed Blaise’s cheek before walking away, leaving Harry to just stare at her.
“That was um…odd,” He commentated.
“Yeah, but I got used to it,” Blaise shrugged. “Come on Harry, I’m sure that you have a lot of shopping to do.” He took Harry’s arm in his and gave the Boy-Who-Lived a huge smile.
“I do,” Harry nodded, “but I’m also rather hungry. Can we stop for ice cream first?”
They did, and after a large heaping of ice cream for the both of them, Harry and Blaise stopped to buy parchment and quills. “So, what is Quidditch?” Harry asked. “You never told me.”
“It’s our sport Harry,” Blaise said, carrying all of their bags like a gentlemen. “It’s played in the air, seven players each time everyone chasing around a different kind of ball—it’s hard to explain but everyone loves it. Hogwarts has their own Quidditch tournament. The Houses all played together.”
“Sounds neat,” Harry said, “Are you interested in joining?”
“Me? Nah, not my thing, would rather spend the day talking with cute people,” Blaise winked. Harry felt his cheeks go red and Blaise laughed. “You should see your face how red it is!”
“Well excuse me,” Harry grumbled. “And you said that we’ll be sorted into these houses, right?”
“Yup, I’ll be in Slytherin naturally, whole family has,” Blaise smiled.
“How do you know?” Harry asked. “How can you be so confident?”
“Because it’s family tradition to be in Slytherin,” Blaise shrugged. “That’s usually how it goes with sorting and stuff. Don’t worry, you’re ambitious right?”
“I mean I guess…”
“Then you’ll be in Slytherin with me!” Blaise smiled. Harry smiled as well, hoping a little that he got into Slytherin with Blaise. They went into the nearby apothecary and brought their potions ingredients, as well as their cauldrons, Harry really wanted to buy a nice silver one but Blaise stopped him, and before Harry knew it, they were standing in front of a very decrepit and very old-looking shop with the letters pealed off that read, Ollivanders: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 B.C.
“I already have my wand,” Blaise said, eyeing the shop weirdly. “You can go in by yourself, yeah? The owner creeps me out… I’ll be right outside.”
“You sure?” Harry asked.
“Yeah… and afterwards I can show you to some of my favorite shops,” Blaise grinned.
A tinkling bell rang somewhere in the depths of the shop as Harry stepped inside. It was a tiny place, empty except for a single, spindly chair that Harry didn’t feel comfortable sitting in. He felt strangely as though he had entered a very strict library; he swallowed a lot of new questions that had just occurred to him and looked instead at the thousands of narrow boxes piled neatly right up to the ceiling. For some reason, the back of his neck prickled. The very dust and silence in here seemed to tingle with some secret magic.
“Good afternoon,” a soft voice said. Harry jumped. An old man was standing before him, his wide, pale eyes shining like moons through the gloom of the shop. “Yes, yes… I thought I would be seeing you soon, Harry Potter.” It wasn’t a question. “You have your mother’s eye… and your father’s I see. It seems only yesterday that they were here buying their first wand. Yes, Ten and a quarter inches long, swishy, made of willow was your mother’s. Nice wand for charm work. Your father, on the other hand, favored a mahogany wand. Eleven inches. Pliable. A little more power and excellent for transfiguration. Well, I say your father favored it—it’s really the wand that chooses the wizard, of course.”
Mr. Ollivander had come so close that he and Harry were almost nose to nose.
“And that’s where…”
Mr. Ollivander touched the lightning scar on Harry’s forehead and a long, white finger.
“I’m sorry to say I sold the wand that did that,” he said softly. “Thirteen-and-a-half inches. Yew. Powerful wand, very powerful, and in the wrong hands …well, if I’d known what that wand was going out into the world to do…”
He shook his head. “Such a disappointment, I am sure, that your brother would not ever know which wand would choose him,” he said. “Evan Potter, I cannot help but wonder which wand he would favor—you miss him, surely.”
“I…yes sir,” Harry found himself saying.
“Either way, we have needs to move on,” Mr. Ollivander said. “Stick out your hand.” Harry held his right hand out and Mr. Ollivander measured Harry from shoulder to finger, than wrist to elbow, shoulder to floor, knee to armpit and round the head. Harry soon realized that the measure was moving by itself as Mr. Ollivander was flitting around the shelves, taking down boxes.
“Ahh… here we are,” he said as the measuring stopped. “Maple and phoenix feather. Seven inches.” He gave it to Harry who stared at it for a moment. “Well give it a wave.”
Harry waved it around and a burst of force came out of it, knocking down the stack of wands. “Apparently not,” Mr. Ollivander said more to himself. He snatched the wand from Harry and gave him another. “Ebony and dragon heartstring, ten inches,” Mr. Ollivander said.
Harry took it and before he could wave it around, Mr. Ollivander took it. “No, no, definitely not!” he said. “No matter…”
The pile of used wands grew higher and higher until Mr. Ollivander picked up a very dusty box. “I wonder,” he muttered to himself. He opened the box and held out the wand. “Holly and phoenix feather, eleven inches. Nice and supple.”
Harry took the wand. He felt a sudden warmth in his fingers and a gust of wind blew gently from the wand all around him. Mr. Ollivander eyed Harry for a moment with an intellectual curiosity while he muttered to himself. “Curious… curious…”
“I’m sorry, but what’s curious?” Harry asked.
Mr. Ollivander fixed his glossy gaze on Harry. “I remember every single wand I’ve ever sold, Mr. Potter. Every. Single. One. It so happens that the phoenix whose tail feather resides in your wand gave another feather. Just one other. It is very curious indeed that you should be destined to have this wand when its brother—why, its brother gave you that scar.”
“You mean Volde—”
“Shh… we do not speak his name,” Mr. Ollivander said. “The wand chooses the wizard, Mr. Potter… I think we might expect great things from you. After all, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named did great things—terrible, yes, but great.”
Harry shivered. He wasn’t sure he liked Mr. Ollivander too much. He paid seven Galleons for his wand and Mr. Ollivander bowed him from his shop.
Outside, Harry told Blaise everything that happened. “Do people talk about him much?” he asked when he was done. “About my brother?”
“Evan Potter? A bit yeah,” Blaise nodded. “We grew up hearing stories of what happened to your family on that Halloween night. How You-Know-Who came in and killed your parents and brother… but was unable to kill you.”
“But why?” Harry asked. “Why wasn’t he able to?”
“Nobody knows,” Blaise said. “All we know was that when you were found, You-Know-Who was nowhere to be around, and all that was left was that scar on your forehead.” Harry frowned.
“It’s weird,” he said. “Like people expect me to be sad… and I am, that I don’t know my parents and brother… I don’t even know what they look like.”
Blaise frowned, “I can’t imagine how that would feel,” he said.
“Strange,” was Harry’s reply. “Strange and… and… sort of sad, except not really… I want to know them, I really do, they’re my parents and brother, yeah, but… I don’t know if I’m supposed to be sad, like really sad. It’s all still fresh and new… I never even knew I had a brother until yesterday! But I feel… angry.”
“Angry?” Blaise repeated.
“Yeah, angry,” Harry nodded. “Angry that I never knew Evan. Yet everyone else did… it’s like a huge secret about yourself that everyone knows but you don’t… and it makes me angry that people think I miss him all that much when I didn’t even know he existed—and I hate myself that I can’t be that sad because he is my brother and I don’t know him—and I want to, I really want to but all of this is just too overwhelming, just too much and—” Harry stopped short. He didn’t know when he started yelling, but he was. Some were staring while others did their best to ignore the raving ten year old. Embarrassed, Harry dropped his head and whispered, “Sorry” to Blaise.
“It’s alright,” Blaise said gently. “Come on, let’s go get our books.” He took Harry’s hand and guided him towards a bookstore called Flourish and Blotts. The books in the store were piled high to the ceiling, there were books flying in the air like birds, moving from shelf to shelf, as well as some books that disappeared and acted very mischievous, tripping over the unexpected-shopper. The two got their books rather quickly and afterwards Blaise decided to chaperone Harry around, pointing out shops that he rather liked.
“This was a shop that Draco brought me to a couple weeks ago,” Blaise said, “they showcase all sorts of brooms!” Harry gave a slight smile as Blaise led him to a storefront that was all about selling racing brooms. In the display window was a large broom that seemed to be expertly made. There was a crowd of kids around their age pressing their noses against the window to stare at the broom.
“It’s the Nimbus 2000,” one of the whispered, “the fastest broom yet!”
“That broom must cost thousands of Galleons,” Blaise said to Harry. “Can’t wait till you see a Quidditch match Harry, they’ll be blurs I tell you, blurs! The players will move so fast—professionally of course. Oh—you have to see a professional match too!” Blaise radiated such a large feeling of hope and happiness that Harry couldn’t help but be swept up by it. Squeezing Blaise’s hand, he nodded in agreement.
They spent the rest of the day idling about, looking at the storefronts and talking about nothing in general. The sun was setting low when Harry was forced to admit that it was time for him to go back home to the Dursleys. He and Blaise went towards the Leaky Cauldron where they said their goodbyes. Harry went into the pub while Blaise turned away. Inside, Harry saw a familiar sight.
“Hello Hagrid,” he said. The giant at the bar jumped and turned around to Harry.
“Harry! Blimey, almost scared me you did, still shopping for your school supplies?” Hagrid asked.
“I did,” Harry nodded. “I even met a friend who went shopping for me.”
“That’s nice Harry, already making friends, knew you would have no problem on yer own, told Dumbledore meself,” Hagrid said.
“Then, excuse me but why are you here?” Harry asked.
“Oh just having a quick drink with Tom here,” Hagrid said, indicating to the barkeep. “And uh, Dumbledore asked me to escort you back home—if you don’t mind of course. Streets are dangerous at night.”
Harry thought for a moment. His first thought was how the Dursleys would react to Harry just coming home with his stuff versus him coming home with his school supplies and Hagrid. It might be helpful to have someone to back him up and explain. “Sure,” he agreed.
Hagrid offered to take the heavier of Harry’s purchases and together the two left the Leaky Cauldron and magical London, to return to the drab world of the muggles.
As expected, as soon as Harry arrived at Number 4 Privet Drive, Uncle Vernon’s voice boomed, “Boy! Where were you, freak?”
A second later, Uncle Vernon stomped into the little front hallway, along with Aunt Petunia. “You have some nerve, boy stealing from me and coming back for more!” Uncle Vernon said. “You’ll—who the bloody hell are you?” he demanded, noticing Hagrid for the first time.
“I’m Rubeus Hagrid, keeper of keys and grounds of Hogwarts,” Hagrid said. “Young Harry here just finished his shopping for Hogwarts and I’m bringing him home… ‘course you two muggles know all about Hogwarts and magic.”
“Stop!” Uncle Vernon demanded. “You stop right there you—you giant oaf! We’ve put our foot down to that nonsense!”
“You mean you knew?” Harry gasped. “You knew and never told me?”
“Of course, we knew,” Aunt Petunia shrieked. “How can you not be, my dratted sister being what she was? Oh, she got a letter just like that and disappeared off to that—that school—and came home every vacation with her pockets full of frog spawn, turning teacups into rats. I was the only one who saw her for what she was—a freak! But for mother and father, oh no, it was Lily this and Lily that, they were so proud having a witch in the family! Then she met that Potter at school and left and got married and have you and that other brat, and of course I knew you’d be just as strange just as—abnormal—and then she went and got herself blown up. Isn’t that wonderful? And we got landed with you.”
“You always told me they died in a car crash!” Harry said.
“A car crash? A car crash killed Lily and James Potter? It’s outrageous! It’s a scandal!”
“Well we had to tell him something,” Aunt Petunia muttered.
“Hagrid,” Harry stopped him, “I know what happened to my Parents and Evan… Mr. Weasley told me about it along with Blaise.
“So you’ve met Weasley, eh?” Hagrid said. “Good lot, they are, good lot… unlike these great prunes.”
“He will not be going,” Uncle Vernon repeated. “We vowed to stomp out all that rubbish! September he’s going to Stonewall High and he will be grateful for that!”
“And you think a great big ol’ muggle like you is going to stop Harry Potter from going?” Hagrid growled. “Stop Lily an’ James Potter’s son goin’ ter Hogwarts! Yer mad. His name’s been down ever since he was born. He’s off ter the finest school of witchcraft and wizardry in the world!”
“I will not be paying!” Uncle Vernon yelled.
“You don’t have to,” Harry interjected. “You… you don’t have to, and I am going to Hogwarts!” He glared at Uncle Vernon, who glared back at him only to falter when he saw Hagrid stare back at him.
“Fine,” he spat. “Fine… Dudley—” it was at that point that Harry realized that his cousin was standing at the opening to the kitchen. “Take Harry’s things and bring them upstairs to his bedroom.”
“But Dad he doesn’t have a bedroom—”
“You heard what I said, do it!” Uncle Vernon said with a slight panic in his voice. Dudley jumped and ran, getting bags from Harry while giving him a dirty look. Hagrid beamed and lifted Harry’s trunk, “Lead the way,” he said merrily to Harry.
Harry, not knowing where to go as he sleeps under the stairs in the cupboard, walked up the stairs to see that Dudley has just dropped his stuff without caring in front of his second bedroom, which Dudley used for storing the toys he’d broken or didn’t care fore. I guess this is my room now, Harry thought to himself.
He opened the door and walked into his new room. “Blimey Harry, never took you for the dirty type,” Hagrid chuckled.
“Err the mess is my cousin’s,” Harry said. “This is my first time here… I uhh sleep under the stairs.” He pulled out his Hogwarts letter and shown Hagrid the address.
Hagrid made a face and muttered something under his breath, “Well,” he smiled, “I’m sure everything will just be looking up, eh? Now, did you look at your train ticket? Should be in the letter.”
Harry didn’t, he opened the letter and gasped when he saw a large ticket stuck against the side of the letter. “I must have missed it,” Harry said, pulling it out.
“First o’ September—King’s Cross—it’s all on yer ticket there,” Hagrid said. “It’s very important you stick to that ticket Harry.”
Harry nodded. “Thank you, Hagrid,” he said.
“Nothing to it,” Hagrid said. “These muggles will not bother with you, no more,” he chuckled. “I’ll see you soon at Hogwarts, Harry.”
“Goodbye Hagrid,” Harry said, “and thank you for all the help.” He followed Hagrid out of the room and saw him off. Feeling satisfied and a new surge of happiness that the Dursleys could never stomp out, Harry turned to his Aunt and Uncle and smiled, “I’ll be in my room tidying up a bit,” he said proudly and went up the stairs grinning to himself, excited and impatient for September to come.
September 1st came, and Harry convinced his uncle to drive him to King’s Cross. “Funny way of getting to your school,” Uncle Vernon commented. “Thought you would be flying around on carpets.”
The vulgar man left Harry at the entrance of the train station, driving off as soon as Harry finished unloading his luggage. Harry had to lift his things on a cart, thankfully a stranger ran to help him as he struggled with the heavier trunks and pushed it inside. Once in, he pulled out his Hogwarts letter from his pocket and pulled out his ticket that read, Hogwarts Express, Platform nine-and-three-quarters. He frowned and looked around. In big plastic signs, he could see the platform number, there was platform nine, and platform ten, however there was no platform nine-and-three-quarters. Harry looked at a nearby clock to see that it was ten-thirty, he had half an hour to find the Hogwarts Express before the train would leave without him!
He walked around the station a little desperately until he found a free guard, but he didn’t dare mention platform nine-and-three-quarters. The guard has never heard of Hogwarts and when harry couldn’t even tell him what part of the country it was in, he started to get annoyed, as though Harry was being stupid on purpose. Getting desperate, Harry asked for the train that left at eleven o’clock, but the guard said there wasn’t one. In the end the guard strode away, muttering about time wasters. Harry was now trying very hard not to panic. According to the large clock over the arrival board, he had ten minutes left to get on the train to Hogwarts and he had no idea how to do it; he was stranded with a trunk he could hardly lift and pockets full of wizard money.
“—does this every year, packed with Muggles of course—”
Harry stopped and whirled around to see a group of people. The speaker was a plump woman who was talking to four boys, all with flaming red hair. Each of them pushing a trunk like Harry’s in front of them—and one of them had an owl!
Heart hammering, Harry pushed the cart after them. “Come on, platform nine-and-three-quarters this way,” the woman said.
“Mum! Can’t I go?” a small girl who was holding the woman’s hand piped.
“You’re not old enough, Ginny, now be quiet. All right Percy, you first.”
What looked like the oldest boy marched toward platform nine and ten. Harry watched, careful not to blink in case he missed it. The boy reached the dividing barrio between the two platforms and—he was gone! Harry didn’t understand.
“Fred, you’re next,” the woman said.
“I’m not Fred, I’m George,” said the boy. “Honestly, woman, and you call yourself our mother?”
“Oh, sorry George, dear.”
“Only joking, I am Fred.” The boy said, and he went off. His twin called after him to hurry up, and he must have done so, because a second later, he had gone—but how did he do it? Now the third brother was walking briskly toward the barrier—he was almost there—and then, quite suddenly, he wasn’t anywhere.
“Excuse me,” Harry said to the plump woman.
“Hello dear,” she said. “First time at Hogwarts? Ron’s new, too.” She pointed to the last and youngest of her sons. He was tall, thin, and gangling, with freckles, big hands and feet, and a long noise.
“Yes,” Harry said, “Only thing umm… I don’t know how to get on the platform.”
“Not to worry,” she said kindly. “All you have to do is walk straight at the barrier between platforms nine and ten. Best do it at a bit of a run if you’re nervous.”
Harry nodded and pushed his trolley around and stared at the barrier. It looked pretty solid. He started walking towards it. People jostled him on the way to platforms nine and ten. Harry walked more quickly. He was going to smash right into the barrier and then he’d be in trouble—leaning forward on his cart, he broke into a run—the barrier was coming closer and closer—he wouldn’t be able to stop it now—the cart was out of control—he was a foot away—he closed his eyes ready for the impact—
It never came. He kept running. He opened his eyes.
A scarlet steam engine was waiting next to a platform packed with people. A sign overhead said Hogwarts Express, eleven o’clock. Harry looked behind him and saw a wrought-iron archway where the barrier had been, with the words Platform Nine and Three-Quarters on it. He had done it.
Smoke from the engine drifted over the heads of the chattering crowd, while cats of every color wound here and there between their legs. Owls hooted to one another in a disgruntled sort of way over the babble and the scraping of heavy trunks. Harry made his way to the end of the train through the crowds. He somehow gotten his trunk onto it when he heard a voice behind him, “Harry!”
He turned around to see Blaise smiling at him. “Blaise!” the small boy said happily and he ran to his first and only friend, hugging him.
“How did you get here? Do you have a compartment yet?” Blaise asked.
“I asked my Uncle Vernon,” Harry said. “He just left me here and left—I would never have found this station if it wasn’t for this nice woman and her sons—they all go to Hogwarts!”
“That’s good luck,” Blaise smiled. “I snatched an empty compartment, why don’t we sit together?”
“I’d like that,” Harry smiled. Blaise took his hand and the boy allowed himself to be led onto the train and into an empty compartment.
“Remember my friend? Draco? I told him that he could sit with me on the ride there,” Blaise smiled. “I just hope that we have some alone time before that.”
Harry found himself blushing at that. The two sat down on the same side and Harry looked out the window where he caught the family that helped him through the barrier. He watched them for a little while, feeling an odd feeling of loneliness as he did so.
He must have been staring out at them for a long time as Blaise called his name, “Harry?”
Harry jostled and turned to Blaise. “Sorry,” he blushed, “what did you say?”
“I was asking about where you grew up,” Blaise said, “you know, with the muggles…”
“You want to know what’s it’s like living with the Dursleys?” Harry asked. Blaise nodded. Harry gave a soft frown, “Well… what do you want to know?” he asked. “How they had me sleep under the stairs in a cupboard? How I had to do all the chores while Dudley did nothing? How they barely considered me as family… not that I wanted to be related to them,” Harry shrugged.
“I’m sorry,” Blaise said. Harry shrugged. “So… you’re not lying,” Blaise said hesitantly, “when you said you live in a cupboard?”
“Yeah, I did,” Harry nodded. “It was small and cramp, most of the space was taken by the mattress. My clothes was just in a large pile under it. It was full of dust and spiders and I could barely stand in it.”
“That’s horrible,” Blaise frowned. “No family should do that! They feed you at least, right?”
“Uhh… well…” Harry shuffled on his seat uncomfortably. He felt very little compared to Blaise, and thought that the boy was judging him. He looked up at Blaise and saw not a hint of snide nor judgement in his eyes. “I eat,” he said hesitantly, “scrapes… leftovers. They usually ignore me when I’m at the table, never talk to me. But… if I get sent to my room, I don’t eat at all.”
Blaise frowned. “That’s horrible!” He looked as though he had a thought, “Harry, I want you to lift up your shirt.”
“Seriously, please, I just want to see something,” Blaise said. “Just for a second!”
Harry gave him a long look before relenting. He did not even notice that the express buckled and started moving. He simply unbuttoned his shirt that was too big for his body and opened it up. Blaise stared at his body for a moment. “Harry! You’re too small!” he declared.
“I know that,” Harry said hotly. “I know that I’m small for my age!”
“Sorry, but that’s not just small Harry,” Blaise frowned. “You’re too skinny—”
They were interrupted by a knock. Harry looked just as he finished buttoning his shirt. It was the boy from before, whose mother helped Harry get through the barrier. “Sorry… do you mind if I sit here? Everywhere else is full,” he said.
“Sure, go ahead,” Harry said.
The redhead moved into the compartment and offered his hand. “I’m Ron by the way, Ron Weasley.”
“Blaise Zabini,” Blaise said.
“I’m Harry,” Harry said, “Harry Potter.”
Ron’s eyes widened. “Woah,” he said, “Does that mean you got the… the—”
“The what?” Harry asked.
“The scar,” Ron whispered.
“Oh… yeah,” Harry smiled, he lifted his bangs revealing the lightning-shaped scar on his forehead. Ron gapped at it for a second before saying, “Wicked… do you remember—”
“No, I don’t remember anything,” Harry said. “Just a green light, a lot of it.”
“Wow,” Ron said. He sat and stared at harry for a few moments then, as though he had suddenly realized what he was doing, he looked quickly out of the window again.
“Is your whole family wizards?” Harry asked, finding Ron just as interesting as he found Blaise and Ron found him.
“Er—yes, I think so,” Ron said. “I think Mum’s got a second cousin who’s an accountant, but we never talk about him.”
“So you know loads of magic already?” Harry asked, looking between Blaise and Ron.
“Nope,” Blaise shrugged. “Anyway Harry, what else was it like living with the muggles?”
“Horrible, I told you,” Harry frowned. “Well, not all of them, but my aunt and uncle and cousin are, though.” He turned to Ron, “I wish I had three wizard brothers like you.”
“Five,” Ron said. For some reason he looked gloomy. “I’m the sixth in our family to go to Hogwarts. You could say I’ve got a lot to live up to. Bill and Charlie have already left—Bill was head boy and Charlie was captain of Quidditch. Now Percy’s a prefect. Fred and George mess around a lot, but they still get really good marks and everyone thinks they’re really funny. Everyone expects me to do as well as the others, but if it do, it’s no big deal, because they did it first. You never get anything new, either, with five brothers. I’ve got Bill’s old robes, Charlie’s old wand, and Percy’s old rat.”
Ron reached inside his jacket and pulled out a fay gray rat, which was asleep. Blaise made a noise of disgust.
“His name is Scabbers and he’s useless, he hardly ever wakes up. Percy got an owl from my dad for being made a prefect, but they couldn’t aff—I mean, I got Scabbers instead.”
Ron’s ears went pink. He seemed to think he’d said too much, because he went back to staring out of the windows.
“Well,” Blaise said, “I’ve never had the pleasure of having brothers, or cousins. I’m an only child and my mother refuses to talk to me about her relatives.”
“Yeah,” Harry nodded, “I wish I had a brother to look up to…” his thoughts went to Evan for a moment, before he forced the topic to change. “Besides, I’ve never had any money in my life until a month ago. I’ve always had to wear Dudley’s old clothes once he grew out of them, which was quickly because he was so large.”
This cheered Ron up. “And when I did find out, I made my way to the Leaky Cauldron all by myself where this nice man… err… Mr. Weasley—”
“You mean my dad!” Ron gasped. “I thought he was pulling our legs when he told us that!”
Harry smiled, “Anyway, I didn’t know anything until him and Hagrid told me. I didn’t know anything about being a wizard, about my parents and Evan or Voldemort—”
Ron and Blaise gasped.
“You said his name! You said You-Know-Who’s name!” Ron said, sounding both shocked and impressed. “I’ve have thought you, of all people—”
“I’m not trying to be brave or anything, saying the name,” Harry said. “I just never knew you shouldn’t. See what I mean? I’ve got loads to learn! I bet,” he added, voicing for the first time something that had been worrying him a lot lately, “I bet I’m the worst in the class.”
“You will not,” Blaise said. “Far from it. There are loads of students that come from muggle families, and they learn quickly.” Harry smiled at Blaise’s words. The boy smiled back and glanced outside to see the fields speeding by at full speed.
He looked at Ron and stood up. “Ron! I need you to be my witness,” he said.
“What for?” Ron asked, looking slightly confused.
Blaise winked and moved to the compartment door so that he was standing in front of Harry. “I’ve made a decision Harry,” the elven-year-old boy said with enough muster and importance a child so young could gather. “You need a family, a proper family. You need someone to take care of you so, just like the people in my mother’s books, I’m saying this in front of Ron as my witness, Harry Potter, when we get older, we’re going to be husbands! I am going to marry you and then you’ll have a proper family and I’ll provide for you like a proper husband and I’ll—”
The compartment door slid open during Blaise’s declaration. A boy with a pale, pointed face and blonde hair walked in, talking, “I’ve just gotten away form that ridiculous Parkinson. Would you believe that there is this boy roaming around like an idiot looking for a toad, Zabini? To think that he of all people was accepted into Hogwarts—who are you?” the boy demanded, his eyes falling on Harry and Ron. Ron opened his mouth, but the boy interrupted him, “Don’t tell me,” he said with a snotty tone in his voice, “Red hair and hand-me-down robes… you must be a Weasley.”
“Draco!” Blaise said angrily. Ron looked hurt and hung his head down. Blaise closed the compartment door and glared at him. “First thing you do is have to be rude to my new friend?” he demanded.
“Friend? Weasley?” the boy scoffed. Harry immediately didn’t like him. He stood up and said, “Draco, was it? Who are you to judge him?” he asked.
Draco turned towards him, and Harry’s green and brown eyes met with the boy’s silver. “I’m Malfoy,” he said. “Draco Malfoy.” His eyes roamed Harry’s face, “And you’ll find that there are many people in the world who aren’t worth your time, Potter.”
Harry glanced at Blaise and reached up to his forehead, only to feel that he didn’t move his hair back over his scar. Blaise sighed, and pushed Draco down into a seat nearest to the compartment door. Ron shuffled away. “This, Harry,” Blaise introduced, “is my friend Draco Malfoy. I swear he isn’t always a daddy’s boy prat all the time.” Ron snickered at that, which caused Draco to glare at him. “Draco, this is Harry,” Blaise said. “And when we get older, I’m going to marry him.”
“You were serious?” Harry asked.
“Of course,” Blaise smiled, “You deserve a good family.” Harry’s heart fastened and his cheeks reddened. “And Ron was here as a witness, so it’s all binding and going to happen.”
“What are you prattling on about Zabini?” Draco demanded. “Don’t tell me you’re lowering yourself to associate with dirt like Weasley!”
“Hey! Don’t talk about my friend or husband like that!” Harry said, looking at Blaise quickly to give a quick smile before looking back at Draco. “I don’t like your attitude, and my friend is not leaving so you can either keep it to yourself or leave.”
The two glared at each other. Draco made a noise and crossed his arms, stubbornly staying in place.
“Well… in that case,” Blaise sighed, “guess this compartment will be the four of us. Me, my new husband, my new friend, and my prat-of-a-best friend.” Harry and Ron laughed along with Blaise, who sat next to Harry and wrapped an arm around his shoulders. Draco just gave the three of them a look and scowled silently. Though Harry could swore he saw the boy’s lips curled slightly upright.
At half to twelve, they heard a cart come by and an old woman knocked on the compartment door. “Anything from the trolley, dears?” she asked.
Harry, who hadn’t had any breakfast, jumped to his feet, but Ron’s ears went pink again and he muttered that he’d brought sandwiches. Harry went out into the corridor with Draco and Blaise. He brought every kind of candy and sweets he could reach, not recognizing any of the names or brands. His pockets stuffed to the brim with candy, he returned to the compartment and emptied it on the empty seat.
“Hungry, are you?” Ron asked, staring at Harry.
“Starving,” Harry said, taking a large bite out of a pumpkin pastry. Ron had taken out a lumpy package and unwrapped it. There were four sandwiches inside. He pulled one of them apart and said, “She always forgets I don’t like corned beef.”
“Swap you for one of these,” Harry said, holding up a pastry. “Go on—”
“You don’t want this, it’s all dry,” Ron said. “She hasn’t got much time,” he added quickly, “you know, with five of us—”
“Just take the pastry Ron,” Harry said, who never had anything to share before or, indeed, anyone to share it with. It was a nice feeling.
Blaise gave Draco a hard look, as though to silently keep him from acting out, and he traded with Ron for a sandwich too. The three ate their way through the pasties, cakes, and candies, the sandwiches laying forgotten.
“So, you were serious about earlier?” Ron asked. “About you and Harry?”
“Of course,” Blaise nodded.
“What’s this?” Harry asked, holding up a pack of Chocolate Frogs. “They’re not real frogs, are they?”
“No Potter, they are just enchanted to look like frogs,” Draco said, rolling his eyes. “Honestly where did you grow up, under a rock?”
“No, with horrible muggles,” Blaise answered. “And don’t talk to my husband in that tone!” Draco rolled his eyes but got up to get a pastry from the pile. “Might as well,” he muttered.
“Check the card you’ve got,” Ron said. “I’m missing Agrippa.”
“Chocolate Frogs has cards inside them, you know, to collect—famous witches and wizards. I’ve got about five hundred, but I haven’t got Agrippa or Ptolemy.”
Harry unwrapped his Chocolate Frog and picked up the card. It showed a man’s face. He wore half-moon glasses, had a long, crooked nose, and flowing silver hair, beard, and mustache. Underneath the picture was the name Albus Dumbledore.
“So this is Dumbledore,” Harry muttered. He turned over the card and read:
Currently Headmaster of Hogwarts
Considered by many the greatest wizard of modern times, Dumbledore is particularly famous for his defeat of the dark wizard Grindelwald in 1945, for the discovery of the twelve uses of dragon’s blood, and his work on alchemy with his partner, Nicolas Flamel. Professor Dumbledore enjoys chamber music, tenpin bowling, and knitting patterns.
Harry placed the card to the side.
“You honestly don’t know about Dumbledore?” Draco said in a slightly accusing voice.
“No, I do not Malfoy,” Harry said simply.
“My husband grew up with muggles,” Blaise said. “Bad muggles.”
“All muggles are bad,” Draco said.
“Wrong,” Harry shook his head. “Most muggles are nice, it’s just my aunt, uncle, and cousin that are horrible!”
Draco did not look convinced but a warning look from Blaise kept him quiet. The train ride continued to go on, the fields speeding past as the sun traveled across the sky slowly. The four in the compartment talked the day away, picking at Harry’s candy. Malfoy talked with the other three, looking reluctant, and ignoring Ron, but the redhead didn’t show any insult to this, instead telling Blaise and Harry about his brothers Charlie in Romania studying dragons and Bill, who was in Africa doing something for Gringotts. Both Harry and Blaise, who stayed sitting close to each other, seemed to hang onto Ron’s every word.
It was starting to get dark, and Harry decided to just sit back and listened as the three other boys talked rather animated about Quidditch teams. Outside Harry could see mountains and forests under the purple sky. The train seemed to be slowing down.
The four of them changed into their long black robes and they heard a voice echoed through the train, “We will be reaching Hogwarts in five minutes’ time. Please leave your luggage on the train, it will be taken to the school separately.”
The train slowed right down and finally stopped. People pushed their way toward the door and out on a tiny, dark platform. Harry shivered on the cold air and Blaise moved to make sure he was right next to him. Then a lamp came bobbing over the heads of the students, and Harry heard a familiar voice.
“Firs’ years! Firs’ years over here! All right, there, Harry?”
Hagrid’s big furry face beamed at him over the sea of heads.
“You know him?” Draco demanded.
“Yeah, he helped me into Hogwarts and Gringotts, and walked me home from Diagon Alley,” Harry nodded. “He’s nice.”
Both Draco and Blaise shared a disapproved face, but Harry did not notice it. Hagrid ordered all the first years to follow him. Slipping and stumbling, they followed him down what seemed to be a steep, narrow path. It was so dark on either side of them that Harry thought there must be thick threes there. Nobody spoke much. The narrow path opened suddenly around a corner onto the edge of a great black lake. Perched atop a high mountain on the other side, in windows sparkling in the starry sky, was a vast castle with many turrets and towers.
Along the shore was a fleet of little boats. They fitted four to a boat, and the four boys gotten into one boat, Ron and Draco giving the other harsh glares. “I’m sure they’ll get along,” Blaise whispered to Harry, “give or take a few years.”
Harry chuckled and looked back at Ron and Draco. “You sure?” he asked.
The boats moved by themselves, gliding effortlessly across the lake’s glass-like surface. Everyone was silent, staring up at the great castle overhead. It towered everyone as they sailed nearer and nearer to the cliff on which it stood.
The boats carried them into a tiny cave that turned into a dark tunnel that led them to a underground dock. Hagrid checked on everyone as they climbed out of the boats and the group clambered up a passageway in the rock after Hagrid’s lamp, coming out at last onto smooth, damp grass right in the shadow of the castle. They walked up a flight of stone steps and crowded around the huge, oak front door. Hagrid knocked three times on the door, and it opened at once.
A tall, black-haired witch in emerald-green robes stood there. She had a very stern face and Harry’s first thought was that this was not someone to cross.
“The firs’ years, Professor McGonagall,” Hagrid said.
“Thank you, Hagrid, I will take them from here.”
She led the group of first years into the castle’s entrance hall. They walked across the flagged stone floor, Harry could hear the drone of hundreds of voices from a doorway to the right, the rest of the school must already be here. Professor McGonagall stopped in front of the door and turned towards them. “Welcome to Hogwarts,” she said. “The start-of-term banquet will begin shortly, but before you take your seats in the Great Hall, you will be sorted into your houses. While you are here, your houses will be like your family.
“There are four houses, Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. Each house has its own noble history and each has produced outstanding witches and wizards. While you are here, your triumphs will earn your house points while any rule breaking will lose them. At the end of the year, the house with the most points is awarded the house cup, a great honor. I hope each of you will be a credit to whichever house becomes yours.”
She paused, and turned to the door, the talking decreased somewhat, and Professor McGonagall turned towards them. “We are ready for you now, follow me.”
In two lines, the first years followed Professor McGonagall as led them through the pair of double doors into the Great Hall. It was a strange and splendid place. It was lit by thousands of candles that were floating in midair over four long tables, where the rest of the students were sitting. These tables were laid with glittering golden plates and goblets. At the top of the hall was another long table where the teachers were sitting. Professor McGonagall led the first years up here, so that they came to a halt in a line facing the other students, with the teachers behind them. Professor McGonagall silently place a four-legged stool in front of the first years. On top of the stool she put a pointed wizard’s hat. The hat was patched and frayed and extremely dirty. Aunt Petunia wouldn’t have let it in the house.
Harry wondered what they were going to have to do with the hat when, a few seconds later, a tear at the brim of the hat appeared and opened wide like a mouth—and the hat began to sing.
When the hat finished its song about the Four Houses, it became still again as the Hall erupted in applause. It wasn’t that good of a singer, Harry thought to himself. Professor McGonagall now stepped forward with a scroll of parchment. “When I call your name, you will put on the Sorting Hat and sit on the stool to be sorted,” she said. “Abbot, Hannah!”
A pink-faced girl with blonde pigtails stumbled out of line, put on the hat, which fell right down over her eyes, and sat down a moment’s pause—
“HUFFLEPUFF!” the hat shouted.
And so it went on, the First years started to get sorted one by one. Susan Bones went to Hufflepuff; Terry Boot became the first Ravenclaw, joined by Mandy Brocklehurst while Lavender Brown became the first Gryffindor; Millicent Bulstrode, an ugly girl, became the first Slytherin. Harry listened carefully for his name, and paid attention only when it was Draco Malfoy’s turn. He swaggered forward and the hat had barely touched his head when it screamed, “SLYTHERIN!”
… “Potter, Harry!”
Harry stepped forward, his different-colored eyes sweeping across the Hall nervously as whispers reached his ears. “Potter? Did she say Potter?” “The Harry Potter?”
He sat on the stool and the last thing he saw before the hat dropped over his eyes was the hall full of people trying to get a good look at him. It was black inside, he could not see a thing. He waited.
“Hmm,” a voice whispered in his ear. “Difficult, very difficult. Plenty of courage, I see. Not a bad mind either. There’s talent, oh, yes, and a thirst to prove yourself… but where to put you?”
Harry stayed silent. He started to feel tense as the hat remained silent as well. Then, after seemingly making up its mind, Harry heard the hat shout—“SLYTHERIN!”
Strangely, there was no cheers for Harry’s placement. When he looked around, he saw the four tables shock in silence. Slipping off the stool, Harry didn’t know how to feel when he turned to Professor McGonagall to see if he’d done something wrong. As he turned around, he saw Professor Dumbledore, sitting in the middle of the teacher’s table, looking just as he did on his Wizard’s Card. He looked down at Harry and gave a reassuring smile, clapping his hands at Harry’s sorting.
This relieved Harry, and seemed to be a cue for Slytherin Table to cheer for him as Harry made his way to it, sitting next to Draco. Soon afterwards, Ron was sorted into Gryffindor immediately after the hat was placed on his head, and Blaise joined his husband-to-be and best friend in Slytherin.
“I’m so happy we’re in the same House, husband,” Blaise smiled.
“Indeed,” Draco drawled, “wouldn’t dare imagine being stuck in Gryffindor with that Weasley—”
“You will stop talking about Ron like that,” Blaise said, “He is our friend, right Harry?”
“Yes, of course,” Harry nodded. Slytherin Table and Gryffindor Table were on the opposite side of the Great Hall. Harry did his best to try and catch Ron’s eye, waving eagerly at him. Ron, who looked a little down, was nudged by another boy and looked up at Harry’s waving. He smiled and waved back.
“See?” Harry said. “Ron is still our friend, so that means you have to be nice to him, or else.”
“Who knows,” Blaise chuckled. “You two could be husbands like Harry and me!”
“As if I would dare to marry a Weasley,” Draco said, as though he was just insulted. “And stop with that husband talk, we’re eleven!”
“Well, that’s why I told Harry that once we’re old enough to do it properly I’m going to marry him,” Blaise said with a childish seriousness. “That way, Harry can have a proper family who’ll care for him, instead of neglecting him like those muggles.”
“Whatever,” Draco muttered, rolling his eyes. Blaise chuckled, and looked at Harry, “Don’t mind him, he’s just jealous.”
Harry nodded in agreement, smiling at both of them. Dumbledore stood up, and Harry expected him to give some great speech, only for him to say some nonsense words. The plates all magically filled with food, and the feast began.
“So, how’d you get in to be a Slytherin?” a boy across of them asked. Harry looked up at him curiously. “Theodore Nott,” the boy introduced himself.
Harry frowned. “I’ve gotten in here because I was sorted into here,” he said simply.
“But your family was in Gryffindor, all of the Potters have been in nothing but Gryffindor—”
“Well he’s in Slytherin with his husband,” Blaise interrupted. “So shush,” and he stuck his tongue out.
“I didn’t mean anything of it,” Nott said, “Just want to know why—”
“Does it matter?” Draco interrupted. “We got Potter and Weasley didn’t.” Harry and Blaise gave him a sharp look. “I mean Gryffindor hasn’t,” he corrected himself. Blaise nodded at the correction and winked at Harry.
Next to Nott, though not to Nott’s pleasure it seemed to Harry by the sharp looks the boy was giving them, were two large, oaf-looking boys. “These are Crabbe, and Goyle,” Draco said. “Ignore them.”
“Okay,” Harry shrugged. He looked up and down the Slytherin table. They looked to be an okay lot, some where very handsome and pretty, while others weren’t. He looked at Blaise and Draco and asked, “Why did nobody seem happy that I was sorted into here?”
“You mean you didn’t know?” Draco hummed.
“Know what?” Harry asked.
“Slytherin,” Blaise began, “has a bit of a reputation. Dark wizards and witches came from this House. The most recent… being You-Know-Who.”
Harry had a sinking feeling in his stomach. “Oh,” was all he said about it, not wanting to bring up unhappy talk or thoughts. Nott, unfortunately, did not seem to be able to read Harry’s mood as he shrugged, “Yeah, so now they’re all probably wondering if you’re going to be the next Dark Lord or something.” That made Harry feel worse.
“Not that you’re going to be,” Blaise said. “Just because you’re in Slytherin means nothing, Harry, absolutely nothing.”
“Absolutely! Good husbands never lie—that’s something my mother told me,” Blaise said. Harry relieved a little, but it wasn’t until the feast was fully over, and his stomach was stuffed with food, that the horrible feeling went away. Dumbledore stood up once more, and Harry had a feeling that now was the time for him to give his speech.
“Just a few more words now that we are all fed and watered. I have a few start-of-term notices to give you. First years should note that the forest on the grounds is forbidden to all pupils. I have also been asked by Mr. Filch, the caretaker, to remind you all that no magic should be used between classes in the corridors.
“Quidditch trials will be held in the second week of the term. Everyone interested in playing for their house teams should contact Madam Hooch.
“And finally, I must tell you that this year, the third-floor corridor on the right-hand side is out of bounds to everyone who does not wish to die a most painful death.”
Harry felt a shiver go down his spine and looked around, the entire school felt uncomfortable for a moment. “Now, it is time for all of us to enjoy the warm embrace of our beds. Off you trot!”
The Slytherin first years followed a large teenager whose name Harry didn’t catch out of the Great Hall and down a marble staircase into what appeared to be the school’s dungeons. It was a little colder in the corridors, but torches along the walls warmed them up a little as they went down a couple twisting passageways to reach a dead-end. “This is the common room,” the teenager grunted. “The password’s ‘Draught.’” The wall shuttered and moved, just as the stone wall did in Diagon Alley, except this time it revealed a small archway that led to what was obviously the Slytherin’s common room.
The common room was a long room with a chandelier hanging in the center. On one side was a large fireplace with a mantlepiece engraved with designs of snakes, chairs and couches surround it and were spaced out around the room. It was surprisingly warm.
Harry walked in with Blaise and Draco, feeling tired and, for the first time in since he could remember, very full of delicious food. The teenager pointed them towards a set of stairs in the back of the common room that led towards the dormitories when the common room’s door opened once more.
“Professor Dumbledore!” the prefect gasped.
“Ah, yes, good evening everyone,” Professor Dumbledore smiled. “Good evening Gemma, good evening Markus, Pansy… ah, Harry.” The Headmaster walked up to Harry.
“Umm, good evening, Professor Dumbledore,” Harry said.
“There is some important things I would like to discuss with you Harry,” Professor Dumbledore said. “Not now, of course, we are all too tired and full of food for serious conversations—I myself could not stop eating the Shepard’s pie tonight, they have out done themselves this year, I must say.”
“What is it you want to talk about, Professor?” Harry asked.
“Family matters, Harry,” Dumbledore said. “Your parents have entrusted me with some possessions, and I would like to quell any questions and anxieties you might have… as well as share some heavy news.” Dumbledore was silent for a moment. “However, that all can be done at a later date… Friday would be good, I believe. It would give you time to familiarize yourself with the castle, and an old man to gather his thoughts.” He chuckled and looked at the rest of Slytherin.
“Good night everyone,” he said cheerfully. “I am sure under Professor Snape’s watchful eye, you all will win the House Cup once more.” He chuckled along with several other Slytherins and walked out of the common room.
Both Blaise and Draco turned to Harry. “Harry…”
Harry shook his head, “Professor Dumbledore’s right,” he said, “we’re all too full and sleepy for serious talk. I want to go to bed.”
“Alright,” Blaise nodded, “I’m sure it’s not bad news, he looked merry enough.” Draco nodded in agreement.
“I wasn’t worried about that,” Harry said. He blocked his mouth with his wrist as he yawned, “but… I am worried about what he has that my parents want me to have.” He spoke no more, and with those final words went to the stairs that led upwards towards the boy’s dormitory. In the first year’s room, he found his trunk already sitting in front of a bed and changed.
That night he dreamed of the Sorting, only this time there was another boy that looked just like him but with brown eyes, and while Harry was still sorted into Slytherin, his brother Evan Potter was placed in Gryffindor, like all other Potters.
Apparently, there was a rivalry between Slytherin and Gryffindor, a rivalry that caused a great amount of tension between the two Houses. Did Harry know this? No. Did Harry care? No. However, everyone else did, which caused the young boy strange looks when, on the realization that he shared his first class with Ron, the boy walked across the Great Hall and smiled a hello, asking Ron to look at his schedule.
He looked over his shoulder, but didn’t feel like commenting on the strange looks until he was back with his husband and Draco. “Blaise?” he asked, “Why were people giving me weird looks? I was just saying morning to Ron.”
“That’s right, you wouldn’t know,” Blaise mused. “The Slytherin-Gryffindor rivalry is very famous, I think it might be because of who comes from the two houses.”
“What do you mean?” Harry asked.
“Well, Slytherin is for producing only Dark Wizards, which is totally false, while Gryffindor more or less produces the heroes who defeat them,” Blaise said. “However, it is still said that the Four Houses are still equal… even though society obviously favors one above the other.”
“Oh, I see,” Harry nodded. “It’s like if an author tries to make different parties but obviously favors one even if she or he says that they are all the same.”
“I guess so…” Blaise said.
“Either way, Harry, why are you even bothering with Weasley?” Draco sneered. “He’s not worth it, especially now that you’re in different houses.”
Harry frowned and looked at Draco, “Will you stop it?”
Draco gave him a sharp look but kept quiet as the three got up to leave for their first class. Classes in Hogwarts was not what Harry expected. He had thought of magic as just waving your wand around and saying some silly words, however it seemed to be much more complex than that. They had to study the night skies through their telescopes every Wednesday at midnight and learn the names of different stars and the movements of the planets. Three times a week they went out to the greenhouses behind the castle to study Herbology, with a dumpy little witch called Professor Sprout, where they learned how to take care of all the strange plants and fungi, and found out what they were used for.
The most boring class easily was History of Magic, which was the only one taught by a ghost. Professor Binns had been very old indeed when he had fallen asleep in front of the staff room fire and got up next morning to teach, leaving his body behind him. Binns droned on and on while they scribbled down names and dates, and got Emeric the Evil and Uric the Oddball mixed up. Blaise thought that it was the perfect place for nap time, which Harry agreed with.
Professor Flitwick, the Charms teacher, was a tiny little wizard who had to stand on a pile of books to see over his desk. At the start of their first class he took the roll call, and when he reached Harry’s name, he gave an excited squeak and toppled out of sight.
Professor McGonagall taught Transfiguration, and Harry was right to think she wasn’t a teacher to cross. Strict and clever, she gave them a talking to the moment they sat down in her first class. “Transfiguration is some of the most complex and dangerous magic you will learn at Hogwarts,” she said. “Anyone messing around in my class will leave and not come back. You have been warned.”
Then she changed her desk into a pig and back again. They were all very impressed and couldn’t wait to get started, but soon realized they weren’t going to be changing the furniture into animals for a long time. After taking a lot of complicated notes, they were each given a match and started trying to turn it into a needle. By the end of the lesson, only Hermione Granger of Gryffindor had made any difference to her match; Professor McGonagall showed the class how it had gone all silver and pointy and gave Hermione a rare smile.
This, for some unknown reason to Harry, gotten Draco very annoyed. “Stupid Granger,” he muttered, “think she’s all that just because her match turned silver.”
Confused, Harry looked at Blaise for an explanation. “It’s complicated,” was Blaise’s answer. “I’ll do my best to explain over the weekend, should have time then, okay husband?”
“Okay husband,” Harry nodded, trusting Blaise to explain to him later.
The class they were looking most forward to was Defense Against the Dark Arts, but Quirrell’s lessons turned out to be a joke. His classroom smelled strongly of garlic, which everyone said was to ward of vampires he ran into in Romania and was afraid would come back to him one day. His turban, he told everyone, was from an African Prince as a thank-you for getting rid of a zombie, but they weren’t sure if they believed it.
Harry was relieved to find out that he wasn’t miles behind everyone else; lots of people had come from Muggle families and, like him, hadn’t had any idea that they were witches and wizards. However, strangely, none of them were in Slytherin like him.
Before Harry knew it, it was Friday and he found himself nervous for his meeting with Professor Dumbledore. It was natural, after all he is the Headmaster of Hogwarts, and no matter how much he reminded himself that he wasn’t in trouble, Harry’s nerves never left.
“What do we have today?” Harry asked his future husband during breakfast.
“Double Potions with the Gryffindors,” Blaise said.
“That’ll be fun,” Draco said with a sadistic glee, “Professor Snape hates the Gryffindors, and he favors us over any House. Can’t wait to see Weasley get in trouble.”
“Will you honestly stop it?” Harry said, “What is your obsession with Ron? He’s our friend!”
“Your friend, not mine,” Draco said. “I would never befriend a filthy blood traitor.” Blaise and Harry both gave him a hard look.
“Then, why should you be my friend?” Harry asked simply. “If you really hate Ron that much.”
“Isn’t here,” Blaise said. “Honestly Draco, is the next seven years going to be you quoting your father over everything?”
Draco’s remark was interrupted as the mail arrived; hundreds of owls streamed into the Great Hall during breakfast, circling the tables until they saw their owners, and dropping letters and packages onto their laps. Harry, whose only correspondence would be the Dursleys, never gotten any mail. So it came to him as a shock when a beautiful snowy owl flew down towards the Slytherin table, dropping a neatly folded letter on Harry’s lap and flew up to join the other owls.
Harry frowned at the letter as he picked it up. “I got mail,” he said a bit obviously.
“Well… open it up!” Blaise said.
Harry did so and saw a very formal looking writing that read:
I hope that your first week at Hogwarts have found you well. Seeing as you have your Friday afternoons off from classes, I figured that then would be the perfect time for our meeting in my office (Do not worry, you are far from being in trouble). My office is located on the second floor right hand corridor behind a rather large gargoyle. Simply walk up to it, and tell it how much you enjoy Mars Bars.
See you soon,
“It’s from Dumbledore about our meeting,” Harry said. He handed it to Blaise, who read it with Draco.
“Well, like I said Harry, nothing to worry about,” Blaise smiled.
“Now come on, we got Potions with the Gryffindors,” Draco said with that same sadistic glee in his smile. Harry stared at him, ready to give him a glare for whatever he said next, but the boy stayed quiet. Blaise chuckled at this and leaned towards Harry, “He’s learning,” he whispered with a laugh.
Potions class took place down in the dungeons near the Slytherin’s common room. Snape, like Flitwick, started the class by taking roll call, and paused at Harry’s name.
“Ah yes,” he said softly. “Harry Potter. Our new… celebrity.” Crabbe and Goyle sniggered behind him, which caused Draco to turn and give the two a glare. Harry immediately didn’t like Potions or Professor Snape. He did not waste time picking on Harry, asking question after question that the boy did not know the answers too, and taking every opportunity to snide and sneer at him. Harry felt as though he wanted Potions to end just as much as the Gryffindors, and it was a breath of fresh air when, two periods later, he, Blaise, and Draco walked out. Draco had a look of satisfaction, his potion to cure boils received highest marks.
“Don’t think about it too much Harry, he’ll lessen up once you get better,” Draco said. Harry just rolled his eyes.
After lunch, Harry and Blaise set off for Dumbledore’s office. Harry told Blaise that he could go alone, but the taller boy did not want to leave his future husband alone. “What kind of husband would I be if I make you walk somewhere by yourself?” Blaise asked.
Harry laughed and, in the end, allowed him to come along. Together, they made their way to the second floor and wandered until they found a dead-end corridor, at the end was a very large and very ugly gargoyle. The two walked up to it and Harry said, “Err… I really like Mars Bars?”
At the word of ‘Mars Bars,’ the gargoyle sprang to life and jumped out of the way, revealing an opening with a staircase slowly spiraling upwards from the floor. Harry turned to Blaise and gave a breath. “Good luck Harry,” Blaise said, hugging the boy. “Tell me everything, okay husband?”
“Okay Blaise,” Harry nodded. They shared a smile and Harry hugged Blaise again, holding onto the boy tightly before finally stepping back. They waved goodbye and Harry walked up the stairs towards Dumbledore’s office.
The office was big and full of wonderful and strange instruments that got Harry’s wandering attention. Some had color smoke coming out while other rotated and twinkled softly next to strange objects that shimmered and wade like a sparkling wave. “Ahh, Harry, come in, have a seat,” Professor Dumbledore said. “I hope you have found my office easily.”
“We did,” Harry nodded, “Blaise walked with me.”
“That was nice of him,” Professor Dumbledore said, “I am happy to hear that you are making friends already.”
“I’m sorry to sound impatient sir, but what is it you wanted to talk with me about?” Harry asked.
“Yes, of course,” Dumbledore said with a slight smile. “I wanted to talk with you, Harry, about some family matters. First, however, I must ask, how much do you know about your parents and brother?”
“Nothing,” Harry said truthfully. “My Aunt and Uncle only talked mean things about my parents and never once mentioned Evan, I didn’t even knew I had a brother until recently.”
“That is very troublesome,” Dumbledore said with a frown, “I’ve thought they would have at least mentioned… ah, never mind, a problem for a different day,” he muttered to himself.
“Sir? Can I ask you something,” Harry asked.
“Of course Harry, what is it?” Dumbledore asked.
“How am I supposed to feel about my brother?” Harry asked. “I mean, everyone is acting like I’m supposed to be sad…”
“Are you sad, Harry?” Professor Dumbledore asked. He leaned forward slightly to gaze at Harry over his half-moon spectacles.
“Kind of? I’m sad that I didn’t know Evan… that I didn’t get to grow up with my brother… but I’m not the kind of sad you would feel if you’ve lost a brother or sister… does that make sense?” Harry said, feeling awkward about talking about his feelings in front of his headmaster.
“Of course, it does Harry,” Professor Dumbledore said. “It is natural to miss a family relative, even if you do not remember having met. Your brother and you have spent only one year together, however in that year, I am delighted to report that both were very happily, and quite fond of each other.”
“How do you know this?” Harry asked.
“Because during that year, I have made it a sort of duty to keep tabs on you, Harry, along with your family,” Professor Dumbledore said.
“Is it because of Voldemort—sorry, I mean You-Know-Who?” Harry asked.
“Do not apologize for saying his name, Harry,” Dumbledore said. “But yes, it was because of Lord Voldemort. Your family was in hiding, and I wanted to do whatever I could to keep you safe…. You especially Harry, for I have some heavy news to disclose to you.”
“What… what do you mean, sir?” Harry asked.
“Eleven years ago, around the time when you were born, I was given a bit of news on the current whereabouts of Lord Voldemort,” Professor Dumbledore began. “I’ve arrived at a ramshackle ruin, a house that nature long ago took over. There, I have spied upon a dreadful scene. A woman holding desperately onto life with a crying child swapped in blankets and rags… with Lord Voldemort standing over the woman. I intervened immediately, however I was unable to save the mother. The baby, however, I’ve saved. A beautiful baby boy, a little small for his age, but still just as healthy and just as innocent as any child born on earth, with a beautiful emerald eye right next to a dazzling brown,” Harry gasped, his own eyes blinking rapidly behind his glasses, Dumbledore nodded silently and continued his story, “I knew that Voldemort would be back to harm the child if I did not act quickly. So, I’ve ferried the child to the only place I knew would be safe and loved: a young couple, with a boy the child’s age. We’ve talked, and the couple agreed to adopt the child and have loved him as their own ever since. That child Harry, the one whom Lord Voldemort tried to kill, was you.”
Harry’s body felt immediately heavy. “I’m… I’m not a…”
“No, you are a Potter,” Professor Dumbledore said strictly. “Your adoption was legal and it was your parents who have given you your name. You are Harry Potter through and through.”
“Then… Professor why—”
“Because, I felt you needed to know,” Professor Dumbledore said. “I am sure you have heard of your friends talking about familial histories, correct? Especially Mr. Malfoy and his family’s commitment to Slytherin, or Mr. Weasley’s to Gryffindor.”
“I… yeah,” Harry nodded.
“That is not a usual thing,” Dumbledore said. “Your family history does not dictate who you are, however, I feel it is good to know where you are from, so that you can learn from your family’s mistake. You are a Potter Harry, it does not matter what House you are in. Do not let others sway you to think otherwise.”
Harry felt a little bit relieved, yet he still felt that heavy pressure as though he didn’t know who exactly he was now. He was a Potter, yes, his parents gave him his name… but he was also someone else. “Sir… I don’t feel good,” Harry said.
“To be expected with heavy and serious news,” Dumbledore said. “However with time, you will find it easier to digest, and easier to understand.”
Harry nodded. He felt as though his next question was inescapable, “Sir… who were they? My birth parents?”
Dumbledore frowned, “Sadly, as much as I tried, I could not identify your mother… she was harmed beyond recognition. Your father, however, I knew very much… he was a complicated man.”
“Was he a good one?” Harry asked. Dumbledore seemed to hesitate before nodding. “What was his name?”
“Riddle,” Dumbledore answered after a moment. “Tom Marvolo Riddle…”
“And… what happened to him?” Harry asked with a lump in his throat he couldn’t swallow away.
Dumbledore thought for a long moment. “I did not want to tell you this,” he said after a few moments. “I did not want to dangle the opportunity of having another family… only to take it away. Voldemort killed Tom Riddle.”
Harry felt a deathly shiver go through him, filling him with an incredible sadness. Voldemort, this monster that Harry has never met, a monster whom he heard nothing but the most dreadful of things, has killed his only chance at a family not once, but twice. It made him angry, irritated and dreadfully mad… yet, he also in a way respected Blaise more, wanted the boy more, have him be his true family and never ever let go.
Harry must have been silent for a long time as Dumbledore leaned back in his chair and called out his name softly.
“Sorry,” Harry said.
“What for? It is natural that you should feel lost,” Dumbledore said. “Learning that you’ve lost family member after family member…”
“That’s not true! I have Blaise,” Harry said before he could stop himself.
“Oh? How so?” Professor Dumbledore asked.
Harry’s face turned scarlet. “We’re husbands,” he said in a small voice, “at least we’re going to be when we’re older. That way, I’ll have a family.”
“How noble and chivalrous of him,” Professor Dumbledore commented. “However, you must remember that you also have your aunt and uncle. They are your family.”
Dumbledore raised a hand. “They are your family, Harry,” Dumbledore said. “Yes, they have neglected to inform you of your brother, and I will look into that, however they are still the safest place you can live… I had hoped for you to have a normal childhood without any anxieties or worries from our world and community.”
Harry didn’t know how to answer that. So instead, he chose to just stay quiet. Dumbledore seemed to take this a good cue to move on, “Your father has left this in my care, for the day you and Evan are old enough,” he said. He stood up and moved towards a nearby cabinet, opening it and pulling out a sealed slim box. He placed it on his desk as he sat down. “Ah, don’t open it just yet Harry,” Professor Dumbledore said. “Keep it hidden, keep it safe… open it only when you desperately need it.”
“What is it, Professor?” Harry asked, pulling the box gently towards him.
“A method, Harry, to move around without being noticed at all by normal eyes,” Professor Dumbledore said. “This is truly a useful, if dangerous, heirloom.” Harry nodded. He looked at the box and frowned.
“Are you sure I can have it?” Harry asked.
“Of course,” Professor Dumbledore said, “This belongs to you, Harry Potter.” He pushed the box gently further towards Harry and the boy placed it on his lap. Then, quite suddenly, a question popped into his mind, “Sir, what was my father like? Tom Riddle,” he asked.
“He was a complicated man,” Dumbledore said. “Very clever, very intelligent. You remind me of him at your age, Harry. Both of you were in Slytherin, for instance.”
“He was?” Harry asked, his mood deflating. “Does that mean he was a bad wizard?”
“And where did you get that idea?” Professor Dumbledore asked.
“I heard that all witches and wizards in Slytherin turn into bad witches and wizards,” Harry frowned.
“That, Harry, would be up to the individual,” Dumbledore said. “Just because you are in Slytherin does not mean that you are an evil wizard or show a liking towards evilness. Slytherin is the house of the ambitious, and if that quality ever becomes equated to evilness, then I shutter for the progress of our community.” Harry felt a little relieved by this, but he needed to ask the obvious.
“So… because I’m in Slytherin, that doesn’t mean I’m evil… just that I am ambitious?” Harry asked.
“Correct, Harry,” Professor Dumbledore nodded. “I hoped that I have eased you of any troubles on that matter.”
“I think so… but now I have more to think about,” Harry said. “Can I talk about this with Blaise?”
“That is up to your discretion,” Professor Dumbledore nodded. “Do you have any more questions, Harry?”
“How… how did Tom Riddle die?” Harry asked. “You told me that Voldemort killed him but… how?”
Dumbledore frowned. “I will not tell you that Harry, you are too young.” Harry looked disappointed but the headmaster wouldn’t change his mind.
“Okay,” Harry relented. He stood up, taking the sealed box with him.
“Goodbye, Harry,” Dumbledore said. Harry said his goodbye and left the office, making his way back to the Slytherin common room in silence.
Once there, he grabbed Blaise’s arm and pulled him away from Draco and their fellow first years into their dormitory. “Harry, what happened?” Blaise asked. Harry dropped the box and immediately hugged “Harry!”
“Blaise!” Harry said, his emotions in a chaotic storm inside. “I… we talked and… I’m adopted,” he said.
“I’m adopted… my parents aren’t my birth parents,” Harry said, tears were beginning to well and fall from his eyes. He didn’t know why he was crying, he wasn’t sad, he wasn’t feeling crushed, however crying only seemed like the right choice to let his feelings out. “I’m a Potter but I’m not also.”
“What do you mean—you’re not a Potter?” Blaise asked, confused, failing to keep up.
“No—yes—I don’t know, I think so,” Harry said. “It’s too much, I can’t understand it all right now.”
Blaise guided Harry to his bed and the two sat on its edge. Blaise held Harry close, rubbing his hand on Harry’s back. “Take your time,” Blaise suggested. “What happened? Do you know your birth parents’ names?”
“Only one,” Harry said. “Tom Marvolo Riddle… he was in Slytherin like us… Voldemort killed him.”
“What else do you know?” Blaise asked.
Harry frowned, “That’s all I know,” he said in a sorrowful tone. “Blaise… can I ask you something? You’re my husband, right?”
“Of course, yeah,” Blaise nodded. “As soon as we’re old enough, I’m marrying you!” Blaise declared again with the same tone of seriousness he had the last he said it. Harry smiled at that.
“Then… that makes us family, right?”
“In a way, yeah,” Blaise nodded.
“And you’ll never leave me, will you?” Harry asked.
“What do you mean?”
“You’ll won’t leave me… right?” Harry asked, “Please answer the question.”
“Of course, I won’t,” Blaise said.
“All my family have been taken away by Voldemort,” Harry said slowly, ignoring Blaise’s jump at the Dark Lord’s name, “I don’t want you being taken away the same way.”
“I promise you, I’ll never leave you Harry, and on your seventeenth birthday, we’ll have a grand marriage to make you my husband!” Blaise said. Harry smiled at that, he started to feel relieved.
“Blaise,” he said softly. “Can I ask you something else?”
“Of course, husband, what?” Blaise asked.
“Can you help me learn about Tom Riddle? I want to know more about him…” Harry said.
“Of course,” Blaise smiled. “But I think before that, we should go down. We got homework, and I’m sure Draco’s annoyed that we’re spending time without him.”
Harry giggled and nodded but didn’t move. “Can we stay here for a little longer? By ourselves?”
“Yeah,” Blaise breathed, “Take all the time you need.” They moved so that Harry was leaning against Blaise, the taller boy’s arm wrapped around his shoulders, both silent and both just enjoying each other’s presence, never wanting this moment to end.
“I’m adopted,” Harry sighed. He was with his friends in the Slytherin Common room. It was the afternoon and the three were huddled close. Harry felt weird, his chest was beating quickly as he looked between Draco and Blaise. He bit his lip as he watched Draco for his reaction.
“You mean… you’re not a Potter?” Draco asked slowly. “What are you then?”
Harry frowned. “I am a Potter!” he said a little hotly. “I am a Potter; my parents just didn’t give birth to me!”
“Then who did?” Draco asked.
“Who?” Draco said, frowning. “Never heard of him… he a mudblood?”
“Draco!” Blaise said harshly.
“It’s an honest question Blaise,” Draco said.
“Uhh what’s that?” Harry asked in earnest.
“Another way of saying a muggle-born,” Blaise said. “Don’t say it outside of here, however.”
“It’s what they are,” Draco muttered, “My father told me that.”
“Anyway, it doesn’t matter if this Riddle person was Muggleborn or not, Harry’s a Potter. Right, Harry?” Blaise asked.
“Right,” Harry nodded before hesitating. “However… I don’t know how to feel about either,” he added with a frown. “I mean, I’ve learned about my brother Evan but now I have to deal with a father I’ve never even thought of!? How can anyone deal with this?” he sighed.
“What about your mother?” Draco asked.
Harry shook his head, “Professor Dumbledore doesn’t know anything about her, not that it matters. I’m a Potter. And I don’t want either of you to think of me otherwise. I just… wanted you two to know that I’m adopted… because… because I need your help Draco, Blaise, to cope with it,” he said with a wisdom beyond his age. “I don’t know how to feel how to move on with this… I need my husband and friend.”
“You know we’re here for you,” Blaise said encouragingly. Harry smiled at that and looked at Draco. “All my friends,” the boy emphasized. “That includes Ron.”
“Weasley,” Draco muttered jealously.
“Yes Draco, Weasley,” Harry said. “I know that your dad told you a lot of things, but can you just ignore them when I’m around? I mean life would be so much better if you’re not walking around hating everyone this way and that.”
Draco gave Harry a sharp look, “Go against my father—”
“Yes,” Harry interrupted. “I’m not asking you to magically change your way of thinking overnight but at least keep quiet about it and keep an open mind.”
“He’s right, you know,” Blaise said. “Not to pick on you Draco but, if we do just go along with an open mind, we might learn some new things… and you might get yourself a husband.” He joked.
“Fine! Just stop with the husband talk,” Draco muttered, “I don’t even know if I like boys like you two yet, you know.” His cheeks blushed slightly but Blaise and Harry smiled.
“Alright, we’ll stop with the husband stuff in front of you Draco,” Blaise said, “Just lighten up a little, alright? We have seven years together, a lot can change.”
“He’s right,” Harry nodded. “For now, let’s just act normally?” he suggested. “I mean we’re eleven! We’re not supposed to worry about stuff like this! Are we?”
“No we’re not Harry,” Draco sighed. “And you’re right, I’ll drop it and promise to not use that word in front of you guys for now.”
“And?” Blaise pushed.
“And… I’ll be civil with Weasley, happy?” Draco scowled.
“Very much so,” Blaise smiled while Harry nodded.
“Good, never speak of this again,” Draco muttered, looked ashamed that he, a Malfoy, was talked down in such a matter. He stood up and said, “Let’s go… I don’t want McGonagall’s essay hanging over us all weekend.”
They moved to the library and any talk or thought of Harry’s parents were quickly forgotten as they lost themselves in the enormous amount of homework, they have somehow acquired during their first week.
Harry was starting to like Hogwarts, and his excitement grew when he saw that his first flying lesson would be on Thursday, and that they would be having it with the Gryffindors! He was excited that he was going to learn flying with his friend Ron, however he was a little anxious, worried that Draco would do something. He already got in trouble from Harry for being a bully this morning at the Gryffindor Table.
The lesson was doing well, Harry found that he had a knack for flying as the school broom next to him listened when he said, “Up!” However, when Madam Hooch, their teacher who had yellow eyes like a hawk, raised her whistle for the students to rise a few feet than come straight back down, something happened.
Harry forgot his name, but the boy was nervous looking a round-faced pushed off hard before the whistle had touched Madam Hooch’s lips. “Come back, boy!” she shouted, but the boy was rising up like a cork shot out of a bottle—twelve feet—twenty feet. Harry saw his scared white face look down at the ground before falling away, saw his gasp, slip sideways off the broom and—
WHAM—a thud and a nasty crack and the boy lay facedown on the grass in a heap. His broomstick was still rising higher and higher, and started to drift lazily toward the forbidden forest and out of sight.
Madam Hooch was bending over the boy, her face as white as his. “Broken wrist,” Harry heard her mutter. “Come on, boy—it’s al right, up you get.”
She turned to the rest of the class.
“None of you is to move while I take this boy to the hospital wing! You leave those brooms where they are or you’ll be out of Hogwarts before you can say ‘Quidditch.’ Come on, dear.”
The boy, his face tear-streaked, clutching his wrist, hobbled off with Madam Hooch, who had her arm around him.
No sooner were they out of earshot than Draco burst into laughter. “Did you see his face, the great lump?”
The other Slytherins joined in.
“Shut up, Malfoy,” Parvati Patil snapped.
“Ohh, sticking up for Longbottom?” Pansy Parkinson said. “Never thought you’d like fat little cry-babies, Parvati.”
“Look!” Draco said, darting forward and snatching something out of the grass. “It’s the stupid thing Longbottom’s gran sent him.” A glass ball glittered in the sun as he held it up.
“Shut up!” Harry barked. He stepped forward, looking extremely annoyed. Holding out his hand and speaking like a master to his dog, he said, “Give it here.”
Malfoy looked reluctant, glancing at the ball to Harry for a moment before shocking everyone. He silently gave the ball to Harry. “What is this?” he asked, holding it up to the sunlight to examine it.
“It’s Neville’s Remembrall, Harry Potter, and I would like it back,” Hermione Granger said, stepping out from the Gryffindors. She had a hard look upon her, as though she was surprised that she was standing up yet was determined to see it through.
“Okay,” Harry said easily. He tossed it to Hermione, who caught it easily, before turning on his heels to glare at his fellow Slytherins. “I do not like this,” he began. “Honestly what in the world is wrong with you all?”
“Parkinson, be quiet I am talking!” Harry said coldly, he did not care that people were watching, he did not care that most of them were taller than him, or that there was, most likely, Gryffindors snickering behind him. To him, his classmates was a lot made up of jerks, and he did not like that one bit. “I do not know when the definitions of ambitious and cunning changed to ‘being a bully,’ however I will not stand for it. From anyone, Pansy Parkinson.” He glared at the girl. “If I hear about any of you acting, in any way, like a bully to Neville Longbottom, or any of his friends, you will not like the consequences I can assure you.”
Some Slytherins exchanged looked while others snickered. “And what can you do, Potter?” Daphne Greengrass, a pretty-looking girl with a sharp nose, asked. She was a little taller than Harry, but the boy didn’t care. He took a step towards her until they were both staring at each other. “Why don’t you try acting out Daphne, and you will see exactly what I am willing to do,” Harry said in an eerie, icy voice that was both his own and someone else’s. Not that Harry noticed, but everyone else. Greengrass looked frightened and she stepped back. Harry gave a cold smirk before turning to Draco.
“Yes, Harry?” Draco said, sounding still like a said, disobedient puppy.
“You bullied Longbottom this morning, right?” Harry said, looking crossed and more stating than questioningly. Draco nodded. “Then I want you to apologize,” Harry said simply. “We made a promise Draco, four days ago and you’re already breaking it?”
Draco gave Harry a scowl before turning to stare directly at Ron. “Sorry, Weasley,” he said shortly before looking back at Harry with an embarrassed glare. Harry sighed and shook his head slightly. He looked towards his husband, who only looked around amused. Thankfully, the Slytherins didn’t know how to react to Harry, so they stayed quiet, almost scared to move as Harry moved towards his husband and Draco. “I’m not mad,” he muttered to his friend, “just very annoyed…”
“Yes at you, and at everyone here,” Harry grumbled. “I mean, is it so hard to just not?”
“Yes, it is,” Draco replied. Harry shook his head, “I really don’t want to make an example of you Dray,” he said.
“Dray?” Draco repeated questionably.
“You don’t like it?” Harry asked. Draco shrugged, “Just threw me off,” he muttered.
Harry smiled and looked around at their fellow Slytherins. “I’ll use Parkinson and Greengrass,” he muttered.
“What are you planning?” Blaise asked.
Harry smiled, “I don’t know,” he said. “Haven’t thought that far…” He looked back at Parkinson and Greengrass and frowned, he hated that he had to sleep with bullies and that they were so open about it. He heard stories of the kind of stuff the older years do, but he didn’t think that they would be so public about it. This all needs to change, he thought to himself. “Draco?” he said, turning to his friend. “Is there a sort of hierarchy with students? Other than the years, obviously.”
Draco thought for a moment. “Well,” he said slowly, as though he was thinking while he talked, “there are prefects, obviously, and above them are the Head Boy and Head Girl… that’s about how high a student can go officially.”
“Then we’ll simply go for that,” Harry said with a sudden seriousness. “Officially, of course. I don’t like how much bullying is going on in Slytherin, so I think I’ll change that.”
“Bullying? Harry this is one—”
“Draco, I heard the stories of what the other kids do,” Harry said. “And you can see how much there is just by how smug you and the others acted just now! So, here’s what is going to happen. I will become Head Boy of Hogwarts… as well as the most influential person in Slytherin. I will teach these pretentious people one way or another… and you two are going to help me.”
“How?” Draco asked.
“I don’t know,” Harry said, “I just came up with the idea!” He gave a soft frown. “Let me… let me just figure out how I’m going to deal with Parkinson and Greengrass first… I mean, we’ve only been here for a week!”
“Exactly Harry,” Draco said, “We’ve been here for a week! Way too soon for this talk of becoming Head Boy.”
“But it’s a nice goal,” Blaise said. He smiled at Harry, “and I want to help my boyfriend and future husband to reach it.”
Draco sighed and rolled his eyes muttering under his breath. “Fine,” he said aloud. “Might as well lay the ground work, I guess.” Harry smiled he hooked his arms around Blaise and Draco’s necks and grinned.
“I knew I could turn you around,” he said confidently. “I got to go tell Ron about this!” And without caring about what his fellow Slytherins would think, he ran off towards the opposite side of the brooms where the Gryffindors stood and chatted happily with Ron.
Draco and Blaise stood next to each other, watching him. “He’s strange,” Draco said.
“He is,” Blaise nodded. “However, I don’t think I would have him any other way. You?”
Draco scoffed and shook his head, “A little less grand with his ambitions, but no. He’s our friend.”
“Yup, and as friends we have to help him out,” Blaise nodded.
“He makes a terrible Slytherin, though,” Draco said.
Blaise laughed loudly, “You sure about that?” he asked.
“Yes! Look at him, talking with the Gryffindors!” Draco said. “A Slytherin would never do that!”
“You do,” Blaise hummed. “And I do too, we talk with Ron. Does that make us bad Slytherins?”
“It’s different,” Draco said stubbornly. Blaise shook his head, “Whatever you say Draco.”
Draco did not know how or why this happened, however he found himself in the company of Weasley along with Harry and Blaise. They were in the courtyard, it was a sunny day and their first flying lesson was done. Harry and Ron were chatting animatedly, and Draco felt that it would be wrong to ruin the mood, even though he was annoyed and a little jealous of Weasley’s presence. He decided to be civil.
“You’re really going to become head boy?” Ron asked. Harry smiled widely while Draco rolled his eyes.
“Yeah,” Harry nodded. “After the way Parkinson and the others laughed and bullied others, there’s no way I can allow that!”
“So what? You going to become Head Boy and punish them all?” Ron said with some mirth, his lips smiling loosely. “That’s a laugh!”
“I will!” Harry said seriously. “And Blaise and Draco are going to help me.”
“Really?” Ron asked. He looked at Blaise, who nodded, then at Draco, “You’re going to have Malfoy’s help?”
“Yes, he will,” Draco said a little stiffly. “Harry has no idea what he is up against. So, I’m stuck helping him with the more stubborn Slytherins.”
Ron’s grin grew, “I’ve never heard of a Malfoy going against Slytherin like this,” he said, “maybe you do have a heart, Draco.”
“I—I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Draco stuttered, crossing his arms. “I’m not going against Slytherin! I’m just helping a friend.”
“Helping your friend go against Slytherin and change it,” Ron grinned, earning him a glare from Draco. However instead of getting angry at it, the redhead just laughed.
“Well…I…” Draco flustered.
“There are some parts of Slytherin that needs changing,” Blaise said. “Particularly the bullying. We’re focusing on that, right Draco?”
“Yes!” Draco said, thankful for Blaise’s help.
Ron laughed at this and turned to Harry, “You know that the bullying is from their snobby attitudes, right?”
“I get that feeling,” Harry sighed.
“It is only because we are superior to all the other houses,” Draco said, holding his nose upright.
Harry gave the boy a sharp look before shaking his head. “Yeah right,” Ron said. “You guys all think you’re better than us just because of your slimy parents.”
“Stop—don’t start this,” Blaise commanded. Draco did, giving him a somewhat dirty look. The three ignored that and Harry turned to Ron.
“Anyway, I need to punish Parkinson and Greengrass now because of their bullying,” He said, “and the way they acted during the flying lesson.”
“Wicked, how are you going to do that?” Ron asked.
“I don’t know,” Harry blushed. “Do you have any ideas?”
Ron thought for a moment. “Well,” he said slowly, “How about pranking them?”
“Maybe have a pillow eat their hair—or, or have their books chase them while singing badly!” Ron suggested.
“Weasley, I’m impressed that you thought of that so quickly,” Draco said, “No matter how childish those are.”
“Draco, we’re all children,” Harry sighed.
“Yeah,” Ron said, “besides, you don’t grow up with Fred and George and don’t learn some tricks from their endless pranks.” Harry thought for a minute before shaking his head lightly.
“I don’t think we can do just pranks,” he said. “I think I need to do something else…” He continued to think, as did the other three. An idea started to form in his mind, and Harry gave a sly smile. Blaise noticed this and said, “And what are you thinking up, husband?”
“Hmm? Oh, you’ll see,” Harry hummed. His mind continued to turn, the plan in his mind becoming clearer and clearer as time went on.
After dinner, Harry found himself wandering through the castle. He was looking for something, but he didn’t know exactly what. He was alone in the corridors, looking idly to his left and right he watched through windows the moon slowly rising, it’s light illuminating the hallway and the many moving portraits found within them. Losing any and all track of time, Harry’s head was full of thoughts of being Head Boy and prefect. Getting bored of hallways and corridors, Harry looked around and entered a room at random.
It was a large room with shelves upon shelves of awards. Trophies, medals, ribbons, and cups all shining of a metallic gold or silver, with an eloquent description underneath each and every one, filled the shelves, all sparkling and all glittering in the lights of the moon and various torches. “I guess this is where they store all their trophies and awards,” Harry muttered to himself. He still had time, and he wanted to be alone, so he decided to wander around the room before returning back to the dungeons for the night.
The room was long, with the shelves and displays all made of an old dark wood. Some trophies were hidden behind a glass wall while others were exposed to the elements, yet all where perfectly clean. Harry went towards the nearest display and looked through it. On it were several large plaques, each with a different House Colors. Harry stepped up to read the names, and saw at the engraved bottom the etching, Head Boys and Girls of Hogwarts. Harry began reading the plaque for Gryffindor as it was the closest. It took him a full half hour until he stopped at two names he knew very well.
Lily Evans: 1977-78
“They were Head Boy and Girl,” Harry whispered. He stared at their names, feeling something odd stir deep inside him. It was akin to finding your parent’s favorite childhood toy or opening up a letter your parent wrote all those years ago. It was nostalgic, heartwarming, and terribly, terribly saddening for the young Potter. In that moment, Harry longed for his parents and brother. He wanted to turn around over his shoulder and say, “Look Evan! Mum and Dad were Head Boy and Girl!” However, when he looked over his shoulder, all he saw was nothing, just an empty space where a brother should be if the fates were kinder. The emptiness has hurt him more than anything, and with his heart lowered he turned back to gaze at his parents’ names, searching, hoping that within those letters might be any hint of his parents’ personality.
Finding none, he moved on to the next list, reading through Ravenclaw’s and Hufflepuff’s with a dejected mood and moved quickly through Slytherin’s until, again, he had to stop. This time his heart did a complete rotation as he stared at the words in front of him. “Him too,” Harry whispered. “How…” He continued to stare, the years did not make sense, however he couldn’t deny it.
Tom Riddle: 1944-45
“My birth father too,” Harry muttered. “But that was so long ago… he must have been ancient when he had me.” Harry stopped, and did the mental math in the part of his brain that functioned properly. “At least in his fifties?” Harry couldn’t believe it. Both his adoptive parents and birth father were Head Boy and Head Girl? Was this fate? Should Harry take this as a sign to pursue his want to become Prefect and later Head Boy? He wished the three of them were still alive. Harry had so many questions that only they could answer.
But Voldemort made sure they were dead.
He killed all three of them… along with Evan. Harry had to squeeze his eyes to hold back sudden tears. Wiping them away, he gave his birth father’s name one last glance before moving on, his mind becoming more determined on becoming Head Boy. He kept studying the trophies, looking at the names and accomplishments. Many of them were House Trophies won by the Four Houses throughout the years. These were easier for Harry as there were no specific names to read, no reason to even think of what his parents might have done during those years. As he looked, his thoughts and ambitions of becoming prefect floated back towards Tom Riddle.
Harry wondered what type of person he was. What type of Student. He knew that Riddle was a Slytherin, like him, the plaque for Head Boy and Girl proved it, as well as Dumbledore telling him. He knew that Riddle was at least a good student, and responsible enough to get the title that Harry coveted. However beside from that, Harry knew nothing. Nothing about his birth father, nothing personal or secretive. Only that he was a good person who died by Voldemort’s hand.
Minutes slowly ticked by unnoticed as Harry slowly strolled through the room, lost in thought and reading the trophies. There were trophies for outstanding achievements, the regular House Cups, plaques for services to the school, of which Tom Riddle received one, and trophies dedicating past Quidditch team member, where Harry stopped. There was James Potter’s name again. “He was a Quidditch player,” Harry said. He smiled, though it wasn’t much, he now knew something that his father loved to do, something that wasn’t academics related at all! He loved playing Quidditch, and from the looks of it was really good too. Harry wondered what life would be like if he had his brother and parents, would they have grown up on stories of his father playing Quidditch? Would they be practicing from a young age? The boy couldn’t fathom.
The moon was high, and shining brighter than ever when Harry decided to stop staring at the Quidditch Cup, lost in what ifs and maybes. He was tired yet feeling strange when the door to the trophy room suddenly opened. Harry felt a sudden burst of frozen fear when he heard footsteps, and Mr. Filch’s voice.
“Come out… I know you’re in here.”
It was after curfew! Harry’s lost of time got him out way beyond curfew. He had to get out and away from Mr. Filch before the man finds him. Harry quickly scurried away from his place, listening carefully for Mr. Filch’s voice and footsteps, trying to stay as far away from him. Slowly, very slowly, Harry made his way to the door and ran out of it. He ran into a long corridor with suits of armor. He began running at full speed down it, looking over his shoulder every now and again to make sure he wasn’t followed. Every now and again he was sure that the helmets turned to follow him, but he paid it no mind.
He heard a noise and, without thinking, turned on the spot and ran into a tapestry that revealed a hidden passageway. Harry did now wait to see what he heard, instead running down the passageway and coming out the other side in the Charms corridor.
He had to get to Slytherin Dungeons and fast. Which meant that he needed to find stairs. Running still, Harry bolted down the corridor. Behind him, he heard a door slam open. He only had time to look back to see that it was Peeves the Poltergeist. Please don’t see me, Please don’t see me, Harry chanted in his mind. He was at the end of the corridor when Peeves turned to him. Scared, Harry tried pulling the door closest only to find that it was locked!
“Please don’t say anything,” Harry whispered.
“Aww wandering around at midnight Ickle Firstie? Tut, tut, tut. Naughty, naughty, you’ll get caught!” Peeves said.
“Not if you shut up about it,” Harry said, struggling with the door.
“Should tell Filch, I should,” Peeves said in a saintly voice that betrayed his wickedly glittering eyes. “It’s for your own good you know.”
“STUDENT OUT OF BED!” Peeves bellowed. “STUDENT OUT OF BED DOWN THE CHARMS CORRIDOR!”
“Damn it,” Harry swore. He tried again with the locked door as Peeves laughed. He scrambled to get his wand out of his pocket and aimed it at the lock. “Uhh—uhh” He tried remembering. “Alohomora!”
There was a small click in the door and it opened—Harry ran in quickly and shut it, pressing his ear against the wood, listening.
“Which way did they go, Peeves?” Filch was saying. “Quick, tell me.”
“Don’t mess with me, Peeves, now where did they go?”
“Shan’t say nothing if you don’t say please,” Peeves said in his annoying singsong voice.
“NOTHING!” Ha haaa! Told you I wouldn’t say nothing if you didn’t say please! Ha ha! Haaaa!” And Harry heard the sound of Peeves whooshing away and Filch cursing in rage. He must think the door’s locked, Harry thought to himself.
He felt something hot press against him, like a hot wind blowing against his neck. It was humid. He turned around slowly, glancing over his shoulder before freezing in fear for the second time. He wasn’t in a room… he was in a corridor, the forbidden corridor Dumbledore warned about at the opening feast. And now he knew why it was forbidden.
He was looking straight into the eyes of a monstrous dog, a dog that filled the whole space between ceiling and floor. It had three heads. Three pairs of rolling, mad eyes; three noses, twitching and quivering in his direction; three drooling mouths, saliva hanging in slippery ropes from yellowish fangs. The only reason Harry wasn’t dead was that both he and the monstrous dog were still in shocked in staring at the other. Harry only got a brief look at it’s feet before the Cerberus snapped at him.
Harry didn’t give it a moment. He didn’t care of Filch was still there, he bust the door open and ran, slamming the door behind him. He ran and ran, never thinking of where he was going, never thinking of that monster in the corridor. He ran, always aiming downwards until, somehow, he managed to stand in front of blacken cold wall that guarded the Slytherin common room. He yelled the password at the top of his scared voice and ran inside.
The common room was mostly empty except for a couple seventh years. “Potter, there you are,” one of them said. “What are you doing out after curfew?”
“Just… just walking around,” Harry said, still breathing heavily.
“Ran into Filch, eh?” the older boy smirked.
“Huh? Oh yeah, I did—uhh excuse me, I’ m going to bed,” Harry rambled. The older teens laughed as Harry pushed pass them, his head still reeling.
The first year boys were all sleeping. Harry didn’t want to wake Blaise up, instead he just went straight to bed, his head feeling too cramped and his emotions flaring too much to make a comprehensive sentence that described his experience. As he fell asleep, however, a question somehow pushed through that mush of emotions and feelings, the boy breathing into the calm night air, “Why was the dog standing on a trapdoor?”
The first thing Harry did the next morning was to tell Blaise and Draco of his nightly experience. They were shocked that Harry was so lost in thought that he forgot about their curfew, before becoming terribly concerned about his brush with Filch and near death. “What in the blazes are they thinking?” Draco exclaimed. “Keeping a dog like that in here!”
“And what’s with that trapdoor under it?” Blaise asked. “Harry!”
“What were you thinking doing something so dangerous?” Blaise demanded.
“I wasn’t thinking at all! I was too busy trying to get away from Filch! I was lost,” Harry argued back. He sighed and shook his head, “We can think about this later if we have to,” he said. “For now there’s something more important we have to think of.”
“Which is what?” Draco demanded.
“What I’m going to do with Parkinson and her crew,” Harry said, “I still need to punish them.”
“Oh yeah,” Draco said softly, nodding. Blaise looked concern still, but Harry reassured him that he was fine.
“Fine then,” Blaise said, “let’s just deal with them quickly okay? I don’t want that dog chasing after you.”
They agreed and left the boys’ dormitory, their minds full of Parkinson and her gang. It took the three of them two months to fully plan the punishment. Homework and classwork kept getting in the way of Harry’s revenge as he never wanted to be swamped with the increasing amount of work. It was Halloween when Harry’s plan was able to be put into motion. The Slytherins and Gryffindors just finished a lesson in Charms, Harry had difficulty with the levitation spell they were learning, while both Blaise and Draco got the knack for it after forty minutes of practicing. It was supposed to be a simple swish and flick, but Harry just couldn’t get the hand motions correct.
The three were talking outside when they felt someone push past them crying. “Was that Granger?” Blaise asked.
“I think it was,” Harry said, he looked behind to see Ron walking along with Seamus and Dean, “I think they might have made her cry,” he said, noticing Ron’s uncomfortable face.
“Of course, he did,” Draco drawled, “Stupid Weasley.”
“Anyway,” Harry said, “I think I have all I need to teach Parkinson and Greengrass a lesson.”
“Finally?” Blaise asked. Harry nodded. “That’s my husband,” Blaise said, which Draco groaned at. “So what are you going to do?”
“Well, I tried going into the girls’ dormitory, but it didn’t let me for some reason,” Harry began. “So instead I’ll make it public in the common room. Earlier I went to Fred and George Weasley and… brought… some stuff that’ll certainly put on a good show.”
“Brought?” Draco asked.
Harry nodded. “I actually went to them about this because I remember Ron telling me that they’re pranksters. They told me that they want to open their own shop but so far haven’t even begun to start making their own stuff, they only have stuff they brought from joke shops. Anyway, I talked to them and they agreed to give me some things to ‘teach those nasty Slytherins a lesson’ after I agreed to help them with some stuff.”
“What kind of stuff?” Blaise asked concerned.
“Not allowed to say,” Harry said with an innocent smile. “Anyway I’m going to be in the common room after class so I might be late for the Halloween feast.”
“Need any help?” Draco offered.
“No thank you,” Harry said, shaking his head, and with the matter done, they continued their way to class.
Harry noticed that, for the rest of the afternoon, Granger never shown in class. When he asked Ron about it after the last one, the redhead told him that he heard from Parvati Patil and her friend Lavender Brown that Hermione was in the girl’s room crying. Harry felt bad, but he didn’t have time to really do so as he quickly made his way down to the Slytherin Common Room.
It was surprisingly empty, which made Harry’s work easier. His first step was to set up the jumpers, little pellet-looking devices that will spring upon the girls and explode in a harmless ooze. The twins had given Harry six, three of each, and he placed them by the entrance to the common room and stairway toward the dormitory, as well as by the fireplace in case they wanted to sit down. The twins instructed Harry to say their names as he set them down, so as the jumpers don’t activate on someone else.
Next, he decided to use what he’d just learn to help him levitate Dung Bombs into the air. Using the levitating charm, he balanced the dung bombs on the chandelier and in nooks and crannies in the room so that he could easily summon them when needed. For extra flair, he also hid loud crackers and a firework that’ll explode into a colorful array of sparks while also sending more goo to the unfortunate victim. This one was more difficult for Harry to hid before deciding to just throw it, with all his might, up the girl’s stairway. With his pranks all set, Harry relaxed in the armchair by the fireplace. However, he didn’t sit there long as his stomach rumbled fiercely.
Harry left the common room and began to make his way to the Great Hall when he encountered something strange. It was Professor Quirrell, and he was muttering to himself. Curious to why Quirrell wasn’t at the feast, Harry stayed behind a corner and listened in.
“Yes Master this will work… I do not know what’s beyond the dog, but I know the stone is here….. yes Master.”
Harry was utterly confused. He didn’t know who the man was talking to, and he was too afraid to go up and ask him directly. So Harry backed away slowly, hoping that the man did not hear him, before running off towards the Great Hall, more than eager to put that encounter behind him.
Any thought of Quirrell left Harry’s mind as he entered the Great Hall. A thousand live bats fluttered from the walls and ceiling while a thousand more swooped over the tables in low black clouds, making the candles in the pumpkins stutter. The feast looked just as grand and immense as ever, golden plates already full of food as Harry snuck off towards the Slytherin Table. He was just helping himself to a baked potato when Professor Quirrell came sprinting into the hall, his turban askew and terror on his face. “Troll! In the dungeon! Troll in the dungeon!” Everyone went quiet. “Thought you ought to know.” He then sank to the floor in a dead faint.
There was an uproar. It took several purple firecracker exploding from the end of Professor Dumbledore’s wand to bring silence. “Prefects,” he rumbled, “lead your Houses back to the dormitories immediately!”
Harry had a horrible feeling as the Slytherin table all stood up at once to get out. Blaise took his hand tightly as a slight chaos ensured as all four houses tried to leave at once. The two stuck together, too busy keeping to one another as they made their way quickly down into the dungeons themselves to seek quick haven in the dormitories before the troll found them.
It was only when they arrived safely that they looked around and noticed something was wrong. Draco wasn’t with them.
Instead, Draco was following Weasley at a distance. Not that he wanted to. In the chaos leaving, he was pushed out of the mob of terrified students and noticed that Weasley was by himself as well. “Weasley!” he called out once he was sure the boy would hear him.
He did and stopped. “Malfoy, what are you doing here?” He hissed.
“Seeing how you’re getting in trouble, you daft fool,” Draco said, “I do not know if you heard but there’s a troll in here! And now is not the time to play hero.”
“Yeah well—” Ron stopped and before Draco could move, the redhead grabbed him and pushed both of them against the corner.
“Weasley you—” Ron pressed his hand against Draco’s mouth, shushing him. He looked around the corner, expecting to see a prefect, but instead it was Snape! “Where is he going?” Ron whispered, “Why isn’t he with the other teachers in the dungeon?”
Draco muffled against Ron’s mouth. Still holding the Slytherin, Ron followed Snape as quietly as possible along the next corridor. “Think he’s going to the third floor,” Ron muttered.
“So?” Draco said. He stopped and scrunched his nose. “Did you even shower today Weasley?”
“Of course, I did! What do you mean—” He sniffed, and a foul stench reached his nostrils, a mixture of old socks and the kind of public toilet no one seems to clean. And then they heard it—a low grunting, and the shuffling footfalls of gigantic feet. Ron pointed—at the end of a passage to the left, something huge was moving toward them. They shrank into the shadows and watched it emerged into a patch of moonlight.
It was a horrible sight. Twelve feet tall, its skin was a dull, granite gray, its great lumpy body like a boulder with its small bald head perched on top like a coconut. It had short legs thick as a tree trunk. The smell coming from it was incredible. It was holding a huge wooden club, which dragged along the floor because its arms were too long.
The troll stopped next to a doorway and peered inside. It waggled its long ears, making up its tiny mind, then slouched slowly into the room.
“There, the key is in the lock,” Draco pointed it. “Hurry up and lock the bloody thing in!”
“Okay,” Ron said nervously. Draco gave him a shove and the two quickly ran towards the room and Ron shoved the door closed and locked it. “Good,” Draco sighed, “Now why don’t you tell me exactly why you decided to go troll hunting Weasley!”
“I’m not troll hunting I’m looking for Hermione,” Ron said quickly. “She spent the entire afternoon crying in the girl’s bathroom!”
There was a high, petrified scream that made both Draco and Ron freeze. It was coming from the door they’ve just locked.
“The girl’s bathroom that you just locked a troll into!” Draco yelled. “Unlock the damn door! I don’t want to be a muggleborn killer!” He swung his hand against Ron’s back, forcing the boy into action.
“Ow!” Ron cried out, giving Malfoy a glare as he quickly undid the lock with shaking hands. They ran inside.
Back in the Slytherin common room, Harry had no time to panic about Draco. “I’m sure he’s fine,” Blaise said, reassuring his future husband. Harry nodded and looked around. “For now,” he said, “we shouldn’t worry about him. I’m sure Professor McGonagall or Dumbledore will find him. I should focus on Parkinson and Greengrass for now.”
“That’s right,” Blaise nodded. The two looked around to find the first year girls all huddled together. Smiling, Harry stepped forward and yelled in a loud voice, “Parkinson! Greengrass!”
The room stopped, as those around them became silent. Harry stood as confidently as he could with his small frame as the first year girls turned to him. “What do you want, Potter?” Parkinson sneered.
“I want to punish you,” Harry said innocently, causing snickers and laughs from the older teens around them. Harry ignored it and pulled out his wand. He gave it a quick flick and all hell broke loose. The jumpers Harry planted sprung to life, flying high into the air before their shelling break, releasing a vile-green ooze that flew towards Daphne and Pansy. They landed in the girls’ hair and splattered around them as they screamed. The common room was suddenly filled with laughter as Harry waved his wand again and the Dung bombs he hid began to drop, all zeroing in on their targets. Some exploded while others stuck to their hair and clothes as the girls’ screaming became louder, the smell of dung drifting in the air.
“Gross! Get away!” an older girl laughed when Pansy Parkinson tried to step away. The crowd moved farther away as they laughed. Tears were running down both girls’ faces as they tried desperately to get the jumping ooze off of their hair, but that only worked to spread the ooze and dung around their bodies. “Why!” Greengrass cried out to Harry. “What’s wrong with you, you jerk!”
Harry didn’t answer, he just watched with a sadistic pleasure. “Perhaps,” he said after a moment, “you two would ought to take a shower?” Getting the idea, both girls ran out of the common room towards the dormitories only for the second set of ooze to jump on them with more dung. Harry waited until, through the laughter, he heard the firework going off and the girls’ scream. The screams outlasted the fireworks, both of which caused the entire common room to go silent. Slowly, eyes fell upon Harry, some with fear, some with respect, and many other with a creeped out expression.
“Potter…” an older teen named Marcus Flint said, “why’d you do that?”
“Because they needed to be punished,” Harry said simply with a smile. “They were bullies. And I won’t allow that to happen, Marcus.” He turned to Blaise with the same smile and grabbed his hand, the two moved towards the fireplace, the first through third years jumping out of the way, some getting out of the seats themselves. Sharing an armchair with Blaise, Harry looked into the fire. “I want to tell you all one simple thing,” he said, his eyes never leaving the burning fire. “Slytherin house will be mine. I will become prefect, and then Head Boy. What I’ve done to Pansy and Daphne will be the childish, most immature thing I will do. Imagine what I’ll be capable of once I learn more. As I get older. Imagine that, and remember tonight and think to yourself: Do I really want to mess with Harry Potter? … You have two choices in that matter: help me on my way to Head Boy willingly or become my steps by force. That is all.”
There was an unnerving silence in the room. The younger years cast scared looks from one another before looking at the smallest Slytherin. The older years, however, seemed almost impressed and immediately started cheering for the boy. In this moment of jubilation, food from the feast appeared in the common room. Everyone’s spirits were raised as they ate, however their conversations all centered on one point: What will Harry be like when he grows up?
Hermione Granger was shrinking against the wall opposite, looking as if she was about to faint. The troll was advancing on her, knocking the sinks off the walls as it went.
“Do something!” Draco commanded.
Desperate, Ron seized a nearby tap and threw it as hard as he could against the wall.
“Idiot,” Draco muttered. The troll stopped a few feet from Hermione. It lumbered around, blinking stupidly, to see what had made the noise. Its mean little eyes saw Ron. It hesitated, then made for him instead, lifting its club as it went. “Stupid idiot,” Draco cursed. Ron took a piece from a broken sink and threw it at the troll, but it did nothing but irritate him.
Seeing the club raised in the air, Draco jumped away from Ron in case his plan failed and pulled out his wand, “Wingardium Leviosa!” The club flew suddenly out of the troll’s hand, rose high, high up into the air, turned slowly over—and dropped, with a sickening crack, onto its owner’s head. The troll swayed on the spot and then fell flat on its face with a thud that made the whole room tremble. “Honestly Weasley,” Draco grumbled, “a sink tap? Do you have a death wish?”
“I…I… thank you, Draco,” Ron said uncertainly, “but I could have handled it!”
“As if,” Draco scoffed. He turned to look at Hermione Granger. “And what about you?” he demanded. “You’ve spent the entire afternoon crying and almost dying because this one”—he jabbed his wand towards Ron—” doesn’t know when to shut up? Honestly you Gryffindors, more like kittens than lions.”
“Is it… is it dead?” Hermione asked.
“Don’t think so, just knocked out,” Draco sighed. He pocketed his wand just as a sudden slamming and loud footsteps make the three look up. Professor McGonagall, along with Quirrell and Snape had come bursting into the room. Quirrell took one look at the troll, let out a faint whimper, and sat quickly down on a toilet, clutching his heart.
Snape bent over the troll. Professor McGonagall was looking at Ron and Draco. Neither boy never saw her look so angry. “What on earth were you thinking of?” Professor McGonagall said with cold fury in her voice. “You’re lucky you weren’t killed. Why aren’t you in your dormitory?”
Snape gave Draco a curious, piercing look. Then a small voice came out of the shadows. “Please, Professor McGonagall—they were looking for me.”
Hermione had managed to get to her feet at last.
“I went looking for the troll because I—I thought I could deal with it on my own—you know, because I’ve read all about them.” Ron’s jaw dropped; Hermione was lying to a teacher. “If they hadn’t found me, I’d be dead now. Ron distracted the troll while Malfoy knocked it out with its own club. They didn’t have time to come and fetch anyone. It was about to finish me off when they arrived.”
Draco kept a straight face while Ron tried to look as though this story wasn’t new to him.
“Well—in that case …” Professor McGonagall said, staring at the three of them, “Miss Granger, you foolish girl, how could you think of tackling a mountain troll on your own?” Hermione held her head in shame. “Ten points will be taken from Gryffindor for this,” Professor McGonagall said. “I’m very disappointed in you. As for you two…” she turned to Draco and Ron. “Well, I shall say that you are lucky. Not many first years can face a fully grown mountain troll and live to tell the tale. You each win twelve points for your houses. Professor Dumbledore will be informed of this. You may go.”
They hurried out of the chamber. They did not speak until they’ve reached the marble staircase. Draco turned to Ron and Hermione and said, “We are not friends just because of this, you know.”
“Figured,” Ron muttered.
“That said… I’m glad you’re safe… Granger, Ron.”
“You too… Draco,” Ron said a little stiffly.
“Malfoy,” Hermione said. “Thank you.”
“… Yes, well,” Draco said, his cheeks growing pink. “The next time you two decide to go off on a life-risking adventure I would very much like to stay out of it. Goodbye.”
As November came in with cold weather and frost, Harry could not help but notice that Professor Snape has been walking with a limp. He wondered what happened to Snape’s leg while both Draco and Blaise were excited about Quidditch season starting. However, for some odd reason Harry could not get into the jolly mood that the rest of the school was in over Quidditch. Immediately after the incident in the bathroom, Ron ran towards Harry with Hermione to tell him what happened. It has been almost a week since then, and Harry asked for Ron to tell the story again to him several times by now.
“I just don’t know where he was going,” Harry explained, “Why wasn’t he with the other professors?” On one occasion during Harry saw that Snape’s limp was caused by a large bloodied wound.
“I don’t know Harry,” Ron said, “Listen, why don’t you focus on the first Quidditch match, eh? It’s Slytherin versus Gryffindor! Bet you two packs of Chocolate Frogs that Gryffindor’s going to win.”
“Uh? Oh uhh sure,” Harry said somewhat distracted. “Though there’s no way Gryffindor will win.”
Ron smiled, convinced he distracted his friend. “As if!” he said. “You’ll see, the day of the Quidditch match, you’ll see Gryffindor stomping Slytherin to the ground!” he grinned. Harry nodded, looking totally unconvinced. Instead, Harry did his hardest to figure out what the dog was hiding, and why Snape tried to go through the trapdoor, because he must have been there at Halloween instead of with the other professors. He felt as though he was stuck, however, he couldn’t figure anything out. He could always try with the dog again, but that would only get him killed.
On the day of the Quidditch match, Harry brought his chocolate frogs cards, as well as a few Chocolate Frogs, and spent time reading them as he waited for the game to start. He found that he had several Dumbledore cards that all read the same thing:
Considered by many the greatest wizard of modern times, Dumbledore is particularly famous for his defeat of the dark wizard Grindelwald in 1945, for the discovery of the twelve uses of dragon’s blood, and his work on alchemy with his partner, Nicolas Flamel. Professor Dumbledore enjoys chamber music, tenpin bowling, and knitting patterns.
“Hey, Blaise, Draco,” Harry said, “do any of you know who Nicolas Flamel is?”
“I think so, why? Is he important or something?” Draco asked.
“It’s just that all of Dumbledore’s chocolate cards keep mentioning him,” Harry said. “I’m curious.”
“Well, uhh I don’t know exactly but he’s a very important alchemist,” Blaise said. “He made or researched something… uhh… do you remember?” he looked at Draco.
“Let’s see… no, I do not,” Draco said.
Harry frowned. “How long until the game starts do you think?” he asked.
“A few minutes I reckon,” Blaise said.
“How long do these last?” Harry asked.
“Hours really, or seconds,” Blaise said. “It all depends on who catches the snitch first, us or them.”
“I see,” Harry said. He thought for a moment before standing up quickly, “I’ll be right back,” he said.
“Where are you going?” Draco demanded.
“Library,” Harry said. “I’ll be quick, I swear—I’ll sneak the book here.”
“Harry what—Harry!” Draco called after the boy, but he was already halfway down the stands. “You freaky nerd! Get back here and relax for once!” Harry heard Draco give an annoyed growl before the stands burst into roars and applause as the quidditch players walked onto the field. Harry got to the stairway in the stadium when he ran into Professor Snape.
“Potter… where exactly do you think you are going?” Snape asked, his lip curled in disgust as he stared at the boy.
“Bathroom—excuse me, sir,” Harry lied and slipped past him. He did not care if people saw him, he needed to get to the library before the thought left his head. He was lucky, the castle was practically empty—even Madam Pince was not there in the library when Harry rushed in. Everyone must be watching the Quidditch game, Harry thought to himself. He scolded himself, I should be there instead of in here, what’s wrong with me? Seriously Potter, find the book then get out. With that in mind, Harry began looking through the bookshelves for anything about Alchemy or Flamel. He didn’t even know if he was on the right track with this, however that did not stop the boy as he moved quickly row through row, glancing through the titles on spines new and old, looking for any hint of Flamel.
He found a book by the back of the Library, before the restricted section. It was an old thick book titled Masters of Potions, a primer from Arsenius and Flamel to Toots and Zygmunt. Harry quickly pulled the book down and opened to the front, finding the chapter on Flamel and turned to it. Outside he could hear the roars and cheers from the stadium growing loud, somebody must have done something fantastic that he missed. “Evan what am I even doing?” he sighed. Shaking his head, Harry hugged the book close and began to run back only to stop when his eye caught a picture of Gringotts on the front page of an old edition of the Daily Prophet. It was dated just two days after Harry went to Diagon Alley himself. GRINGOTTS BREAK-IN LATEST the heading read. Harry heard another cheer and gave out a large groan.
“Fine! I’ll take you too,” he said and picked up the newspaper, stuffing it in his robes along with the book, before running out of the library. Would you do this Evan? Would you be this curious? Harry couldn’t help but wonder as he made his return to the Quidditch Stadium. By the looks of it, he was gone for nearly forty minutes. When he got back to the stands, he saw that the score was 60-30 Gryffindor. He looked around and saw that Blaise and Draco saved his seat. Smiling at that, he made his way back to them.
“Harry! What took you so long? You missed like all the game!” Draco complained.
“I’m sorry, I just couldn’t get a thought out of my head,” Harry said. “I couldn’t stop thinking about this Flamel guy so…” he opened his robe and pulled out the book. “I’m borrowing this.”
“Harry, I think you might be obsessed,” Blaise said. “How do you know that this guy is even important?”
“I don’t, it’s just a feeling,” Harry said. He gave a chuckle and smiled at the two, “Relax,” he said, “I’m not crazy enough that I’m going to read it now, I’m angry at myself that I missed this much! And besides, Ron and I have a bet and I don’t wanna lose! I want more chocolate frogs.” He gave a childish grin and Draco relaxed, thinking that everything was again normal with his friend.
Even though, in the end, Slytherin lost to Gryffindor after gaining a slight lead. Harry smiled through the lost, more excited and happier that he was able to watch Quidditch for the first time in his life. He met with Ron with Draco and Blaise at the entrance hall, Ron sporting a victorious smile. “Told you Harry! We won!”
“I know, and congratulations,” Harry smiled. “That keeper was really good! What’s his name again?”
“Wood, he’s also captain of the team,” Ron said, “and did you see my brothers!?”
“I did,” Harry nodded. “I kept asking Draco and Blaise what was going on—I think they’re more annoyed at me than Slytherin losing!” The two of them laughed while Draco and Blaise rolled their eyes.
“The game was fine, I guess Ron,” Draco said. “But we will win the Cup.”
“As if,” Ron laughed. “Anyway, a bet’s a bet Harry,” he grinned. Harry nodded and handed Ron the chocolate frogs. “Thanks,” Ron grinned. He gave one of them to Harry. The two opened their frogs and Harry swallowed his whole before looking at Ron, “Who did you get?” he asked curiously, he was more interested in the chocolate than the cards.
“Uric the Oddball, again,” Ron groaned, “you?”
Harry looked at his and frowned, “Another Dumbledore! This is like the fifth one now.”
“That happens sometimes,” Ron shrugged. “Anyway, I’ll see you later Harry!”
“Sure thing,” Harry nodded. Ron walked off and when he was gone, Draco stepped forward, “I uh… there was something I forgot to tell Weasley,” he said stiffly, “I’ll see you two in the common room.”
“Right,” Blaise nodded. As soon as Draco was gone, Blaise said, “Draco’s been acting very friendly towards Ron lately.”
“I noticed,” Harry nodded, “I like it, they would make good friends.”
“They would,” Blaise nodded, “Anyway my husband, come on, I wanna tell you all you missed!” He took Harry’s hand and the two made their way back to the Slytherin common room. Harry took out both the book and Daily Prophet, deciding to read the article first.
“What’s that?” Blaise asked.
“While I was running back this caught my eye,” Harry said, “About a break in that occurred a couple days after I went to Diagon Alley.”
“Hmm… wanna read it to me, husband?” Blaise asked.
“Okay,” Harry said. He cleared his throat and read, “’Investigations continue into the break-in at Gringots on 31 July, widely believed to be the work of Dark wizards or witches unknown. Gringotts goblins today insisted that nothing had been taken. The vault that was searched had in fact been emptied earlier a few days ago. “But we’re not telling you what was in there, so keep your noses out if you know what’s good for you,” said a Gringotts spokesgoblin this afternoon. The Vault in question is vault number seven-hundred-and-thirteen, and whatever was contained in there, it must be assumed to be priceless.’ Hang on,” Harry frowned. “That sounds familiar somehow…”
“Really?” Blaise asked.
“Yeah,” Harry nodded, “however I can’t exactly think of why…” He read the vault number again and thought. Blaise allowed him to think to himself until the boy gave a gasp, “I got it! That was the vault Hagrid went to when we went to Gringotts!”
“When I was at Diagon Alley, Hagrid helped me with Gringotts before I went shopping on my own and met you,” Harry said. “First we went to my family’s vault before going to this vault because Dumbledore asked him—but there wasn’t anything precious or good in there, just a small package wrapped in shoddy paper.”
“Well… that’s odd,” Blaise said, “It might connect with Flamel then? Do you think?”
“I don’t know,” Harry frowned, “but this is really giving me a headache thinking about it.” He placed the paper down and leaned in towards Blaise like he saw the older couples do. “So,” he said, “What did I miss?”
Blaise smiled and began to go in a long story of all the tricks and flying that Harry missed on his run to the library. Harry was engrossed the entire story, so much so that he did not notice that Draco returned and was also supplying commentary to the game. The two went over the whole game to Harry, even the parts he saw, breaking it down as best they could so the boy could understand. All thoughts of Flamel was gone by the time the two were done, and the three of them spent the rest of the day talking about Quidditch and how Draco would, of course, beaten Gryffindor to a pulp if he was allowed on the team.
Flamel did not enter Harry’s mind again until later that night when he was in bed, the book in his nightstand. He couldn’t read, he was feeling off and antsy for some reason. Rolling in bed constantly, he heard the others’ gentle snores and sighed. He reached for his glasses and opened the nightstand’s drawer, pulling out the book. Hoping that the boring text would lull him to sleep, he began to read. It took only twenty minutes before the words started to slur together, his head drooping constantly, and before he could take off his glasses, Harry was fast asleep, dreaming of boiling cauldrons and bubbling vials and all sparked and made funny noises.
Harry took to nightly reading, keeping the information and his worries to himself, Harry started on the long and boring book about famous Potioneers and their many accomplishments. Each section was long, very long, as it held a comprehensive biography of each wizard. Flamel’s was the longest, it seemed, and Harry tried to kept at it as much as he could every night, reading almost a page a night as it was too full of long and complicated words he could not understand. November died into December, and before Harry knew it Christmas was on its way.
He was the only Slytherin staying at Hogwarts for the Christmas break, but he promised to send lots of letters to Draco and Blaise about everything he did. Besides, the Weasleys were staying as well, so Harry knew that he was going to have a good holiday with them. It was the night before the break started. Harry was dreadfully tired however he pushed himself to read the page, he felt as though he was on the verge of something important.
Through droopy eyes, long yawns, and a muddled mind, Harry gazed dimly at the page, his eyes never focusing on one word. He groaned and slapped his cheeks a couple times, the pain jolting him just a little more awake, before going back to the text.
The ancient study of alchemy is concerned with making the Philosopher’s Stone, a legendary substance with astonishing powers. The stone will transform any metal into pure gold. It also produces the Elixir of Life, which will make the drinker immortal. This lofty stone has always been Flamel’s dream, and it was not until Thursday March 25th 1343, according to a letter of his, that Flamel reached his lifelong dream…
And before Harry could even comprehend what he has just read, he submitted to the temptations of his body, and fell asleep, the book slacking onto his body, his glasses askew on his face.
The holiday began with Harry’s mind far from Flamel. As he was the only Slytherin who stayed for the holidays, he had the whole common room to himself, which meant that he spent most of the time with the Weasleys, even sneaking into the Gryffindor Common Room at evenings. On these evenings, Harry and Ron had the good armchairs by the fire, eating anything they can spear on a toasting fork, as well as passing time playing Wizards Chess where the figures were alive and Harry had to command them like troops in a battle. The chess pieces Harry had did not trust him at all, being loaned from the Gryffindor Seamus Finnigan. He wasn’t a good chess player, and they kept shouting different bits of advice of him, which was confusing, “Don’t send me there, can’t you see his knight? Send him, we can afford to lose him.” A little fed up, Harry started to become cold with his commands, and, after losing most of his pieces, finally won a game.
When it was time to sleep, Harry returned alone to the Slytherin common room where he sat by the fire, the box Dumbledore gave him at the beginning of the year near him, still unopened. He didn’t know why he hasn’t opened it yet, it was from his dad… and yet, he could only think that it should belong to Evan instead of him. On Christmas Eve, Harry was restless and found himself again sitting alone with the box.
Outside the sky was dark, snow was falling gently, frosting was sticking to the window and all the kept the room warm was the large fire and torches. Still, Harry felt a small shiver throughout his body, and he curled his blanket tighter around him. He glanced towards the box and sighed. It belonged to him, it was his dad’s… yet it was also Evan’s, and Harry couldn’t help but push away the idea that Evan should have been the one to get it, the one to open it. “But he’s not here,” Harry sighed. It would be a waste, Harry thought, if I never opened it, if I never saw what was inside. He leaned back in his chair and looked up towards a clock on the fireplace’s mantle. It struck twelve. “Merry Christmas,” he muttered to himself. Exhausted, he allowed his eyes to close and he fell asleep.
Eight hours later, Harry woke up to a surprise. An extra blanket was laying on him, and, surrounding his chair, was a small pile of packages! He couldn’t believe it—it must have been a mistake! With the Dursleys, Harry never gotten a present—not even a gifted paperclip—but now a small pile of package that looked to Harry the size of a mountain was laying before him. The first package he picked up was a very small parcel that contained a note. We received your message and enclosed your Christmas present. From Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia. Taped to the note was a fifty-pence piece. Harry disregarded it and picked up the next package, which was a very lumpy parcel. Harry was confused to who could have sent him it and opened the present—only to find a thick, hand-knitted sweater in emerald green and a large box of chocolate fudge and a letter.
Mrs. Weasley here, Ron’s mother. Ron told me that you didn’t expect any presents and I just couldn’t have that! I hope that this sweater was big enough—and please enjoy the box of chocolate fudge, it’s my very own recipe.
Lots of love and Happy Christmas,
Harry smiled at the sweater, this is very nice of her, he thought to himself and he tried on the sweater—it was a little big, but still very warm. And the fudge was delicious. Draco has sent him a box of candy, and Blaise sent him a book all about Quidditch. Still snacking on the fudge, Harry turned his attention to the box Dumbledore gave him. He took a breath and sighed, “It’s Christmas…” he muttered, “Happy Christmas Evan,” he said and, after wiping his hands on his pants, he opened the box.
A shining silvery cloth was sitting in it. Harry picked it up and examined it, it was strange to the touch, like water woven into material. Not knowing what it was, but knowing that it was a cloak at least, Harry tried it on. It was light, as though he was wearing nothing. He looked down to see how it looked on him and gave a yell!
His feet—no his entire body was gone! He dashed to the nearest mirror and sure enough his reflection looked back at him, just a head suspended in midair, his body completely invisible. He pulled the cloak over his head and his reflection vanished completely.
“This was my dad’s?” Harry exclaimed, pulling the invisibility cloak off, because that’s had to be what it was! He smirked to himself, a whole plethora of ideas coming to him. But first, he had to show this off to Ron!
He met with the Weasleys in the Great Hall for breakfast where the twins pointed out Harry’s sweater. He has never in his life had such a wonderful Christmas, he and the Weasleys played the day away, and the Christmas dinner was astonishing. A hundred fat, roast turkeys, mountains of roast and boiled potatoes; platters of chipolatas; tureens of buttered peas; silver boats of thick, rich gravy and cranberry sauce—and stacks of wizard crackers every few feet along the table. By the end, Harry was stuffed and very sleepy. He made his way back to Slytherin’s common room, longing for his bed, when he stopped to see his book. He picked it up and read the page that it was opened to.
The ancient study of alchemy is concerned with making the Philosopher’s Stone, a legendary substance with astonishing powers. The stone will transform any metal into pure gold. It also produces the Elixir of Life, which will make the drinker immortal. This lofty stone has always been Flamel’s dream, and it was not until Thursday March 25th 1343, according to a letter of his, that Flamel reached his lifelong dream…
Harry let out a loud gasped, “That’s it!” He said. Suddenly fully aware he read more, his head spinning as he started to connect the facts. “Dumbledore has the Philosopher’s Stone—he helped Flamel make it or helped Flamel with something drastic and now Flamel gave Dumbledore the Philosopher’s Stone! Maybe to hold for some reason—either way, Harry was fully awake, and needed to know more. Smiling to himself, Harry took his father’s invisibility cloak and pulled it over to him. The cloak opened all of Hogwarts to him! He could go anywhere, and nobody would notice! Excitement flooded through him as the stood in the dark and silence, invisible. He walked out of the common room into the dungeons.
The castle was dark and difficult to maneuver in. Several times Harry was lost trying to get to the library. The corridors seemed longer, the doors all the same, and along the way Harry lost his way so bad that he needed to go into the nearest classroom to see where he was.
It must have been an unused classroom. The dark shapes of desks and chairs were piled against the walls, and there was an upturned wastepaper basket—but propped against the wall facing him was something that didn’t look though it belonged there, something that looked as if someone has just put it there to keep it out of the way.
It was a magnificent mirror, as high as the ceiling, with an ornate gold frame, standing on two clawed feet. There was an inscription carved around the top: Erised stra shru oyt ube canfrn oyt on wohsi.
Harry moved nearer to the mirror, wanting to look at himself but see no reflection again. He stepped in front of it.
He had to clap his hands to his mouth to stop himself from screaming. He whirled around. His heart was pounding far more furiously than ever—for he had seen not only himself in the mirror, but a whole crowd of people standing right behind him.
But the room was empty. Breathing very fast, he turned slowly back to the mirror. There he was, reflected in it, white and scared-looking, and there, reflected behind him, were at least ten others. Harry looked over his shoulder—but still, no one was there. Or were they all invisible, too? He looked again at the mirror. A woman standing right behind his reflection was smiling at him and waving. He reached out a hand and felt the air behind him. If she was really there, he’d touch her, their reflections were so close together, but he felt only air—she and the others existed only in the mirror.
She was a beautiful woman. She had dark red hair and her eyes a beautiful emerald, just like Harry’s left eye. He noticed that she was crying; she was smiling, but she was also crying. The tall, thin, black-haired man standing next to her put his arm around her. He wore glasses, and his hair was untidy. It stuck up at the back. Though they did not look exactly like Harry, they were still somehow familiar. “Mom… dad?” he whispered.
They just looked at him, smiling. And slowly, Harry noticed someone else. He was around Harry’s age, with raven black hair that stuck in the back and eyes as green as emeralds, the same shape as their mother’s. Harry’s eyes met his, and this time Harry’s eyes filled with tears. Both boys stared at each other crying silently. “Evan,” Harry whispered. The boy nodded. Harry was so close to the mirror now that his nose was nearly touching that of his reflection.
He stood there, staring at Evan. The Potters smiled and waved at Harry and he stared hungrily back at them, his hands pressed flat against the glass as though he was hoping to fall right through it and reach them. He had a powerful kind of ache inside him, half joy, half terrible sadness.
Then, one by one, the Potters started to vanish. Harry shook his head, pressing his hand harder against the mirror, willing that they stay. However each became a vague blur, spiraling deeper into the mirror until only Evan stood. And then he came, another figure, walking from the blurred swirls that the Potters made.
He was a handsome man, a very handsome man. He had dark brown hair that was neatly stylized and brown eyes shaped just like Harry’s. He was tall and pale, and stood directly behind Evan, putting a hand on his shoulder. Harry felt a connection instantaneously. He stared at the man and saw all the similarities between him and the Harry. “You’re… you’re my birth dad,” Harry said. The man simply nodded. Soon the Potters came back, Harry’s birth father taking a step to the side to allow Lily and James Potter to stand by their son Evan while the more distant relatives, even those that did not look remotely like Potters, stayed in the background.
How long he stood there, he didn’t know. The reflections did not fade, and he looked and looked until the distant morning rays distracted him. He couldn’t stay there—he had to find a way back to bed. He looked back at his brother, his family, and his birth brother. “I’ll be back,” he promised. He looked at his birth father, their eyes connecting. Harry stayed hypnotized by the man’s beautiful brown eyes as they slowly morphed, his face and body staying the same, until his eyes shone a brilliant red like two rubies. Too enticed by the mirror, Harry did not notice or care. With a final goodbye, he tore his eyes away from his family and ran out of the room.