Grazhir :: Harry Potter :: Prodigium :: 01 :: This

01 • This

He had been wandering for a very long time, ever since he had been chased out of his home country by the wizards there. Since then he had traveled west, sticking around and dealing with his curse (though he had to admit, it was not something he actually loathed) until chased out or he became bored (not all communities could even recognize what he was to force him to leave), until finally he came to exist in the United Kingdom. Much like in most other countries, magical denizens tended to cluster together, away from the normal humans, and he spent much time acquiring new knowledge as best he could under the constraints he suffered.

It so happened that on the night of Halloween in the year 1981 he was tailing a certain man who went by the name of Lord Voldemort, a ‘dark lord’ who amused and interested him. He trailed along behind as the man and one minion approached a normal enough looking house in a village, and inside, where the man of the house (he must assume, anyway) was brutally murdered as the female fled upstairs.

He did wonder why they had no other way to escape the invasion, but asking was out of the question. After a longing look at the corpse sprawled on the floor he proceeded upstairs and watched as the female pleaded with Voldemort and was then struck down. It was then that he could no longer contain his urges and moved toward the woman, ending up between Voldemort and a child (presumably the offspring of the two humans just killed), and it was then that Voldemort produced another killing green light.

It, amazingly, partly passed through him, and two things happened almost simultaneously. The child’s soul was ejected from its body as the majority of the curse was reflected back at Voldemort (not that he saw that at first, being too focused on the child). Even as it entered his mind that he would be eating well that night he was pushed forward by the spell, plowing into the child’s soul, with both it and him lodging back in the child’s body. Reoriented and now looking out through physical eyes he saw that Voldemort was disintegrating. Moments after Voldemort was gone, all but his clothing and magical focus, the minion stopped panicking long enough to grab the focus and flee, and he found that he was being drawn down into unconsciousness, a state he could barely even remember given how long he had existed.

*

Albus Dumbledore was a bit flustered on having been informed of an alarm regarding the Potter home, and had sent off one of his most loyal people, Rubeus Hagrid, to investigate. He hurried to Hogwarts after alerting Madam Pomfrey that her services were most likely needed, and waited, impatiently, in the infirmary, wondering if he had been correct in his actions. Still, Hagrid was generally reliable, and his status as a half-giant afforded him certain advantages in life. He would also follow orders, something many had difficulties with.

Hagrid arrived after what seemed like forever, carrying only one: Harry Potter. Albus listened in a somewhat distracted manner as Hagrid spoke of having met Sirius Black and being given the use of the man’s enchanted motorcycle, and how it was that James and Lily were dead, James in the ground floor living room and Lily upstairs in the nursery. A part of him grieved greatly that neither had been sensible enough to make use of an emergency portkey, but he supposed that if Voldemort had indeed attacked, such a thing was enough to make even the most stalwart panic. He would, naturally, go there himself just as soon as Poppy had checked little Harry over; Hagrid was dismissed for the time being.

Madam Pomfrey completed her scans and turned to him with an expression of grave concern. “Albus, he is healthy enough considering, but it looks as though he has no magic left. And I’m greatly surprised he has not awoken, not even with all this noise, even briefly.”

Albus glanced at the child curiously, then shook his head. “I would not doubt that whatever happened has caused him magical exhaustion. It will surely correct itself in the usual manner.” He ignored the worried shake of her head and continued, “I must go to the Potter home now that he is safely under your watchful eye. I must see for myself what has occurred and handle what I can.” With that he was away.

It was a simple enough matter (though profoundly saddening) to deal with the aftermath of the attack. He was known to certain inhabitants of Godric’s Hollow, and they easily deferred to his will. Aurors who had arrived were handling the muggle residents, so he entered the home, several aurors trying and failing to follow him. Albus was not the Secret Keeper, so he had no way of allowing them entrance. As such, it was up to him to begin the job of packing away the household so that he might deliver it to Gringotts to be stored in the Potter vault, and bringing the bodies of James and Lily outside.

The only peculiarity he found was in the nursery—the clothing of whom he presumed was Voldemort. Why it was there he could not accurately divine, but it was obvious he had been there; no other ever wore clothing of that style. Scans indicated that the killing curse had been used three times, though how Voldemort could have managed to miss Harry was a mystery. He came to the conclusion that not only was Harry truly the child of prophecy, but that Lily had somehow managed to save his life. Love could be a wondrous and mysterious force. That the child came through the experience relatively unscathed was good.

Back at Hogwarts Poppy was insistent that she keep the child for at least a day to ensure he would be all right, a demand Albus acceded to, and when it was plain that aside from the child still not waking he was well, Albus arranged to move the child to his new home, with the only living relatives he was aware of: the Dursleys.

*

Petunia Dursley woke and yawned, feeling entirely dragged out. Even though her precious Dudley was old enough to sleep through the night he was still a very demanding child, and she often felt worn out. She carefully made her way downstairs and opened the front door, intent on getting the paper and that morning’s milk, when she noticed a basket containing a bundle and letter. Petunia frowned and gathered everything up, having trouble juggling things, and went to the kitchen. The paper was placed near Vernon’s usual spot and the milk was placed in the refrigerator, at which time she picked up the strange letter and opened it, then began to read.

Her screams brought Vernon downstairs in a rush. Eventually the basket with her freak nephew was shoved into the cupboard under the stairs to get him out of sight and out of mind, though she did find it peculiar that the child had not awoken. Petunia passed that off as having something to do with his freakish nature. It was not until several days later, having given the child minimal care, that the boy awoke, and it was then that she felt fear more than anger.

*

When Harry finally awoke he was a very hungry little boy, and he was also a very changed little boy. His mind had been drastically altered and evolved as a result of that night and the forced unconsciousness, and was now a melding of human and something demonic. While not having two consciousnesses, he had become an adult in a child’s body thanks to the lifetimes of experience of the being who had invaded and merged with him; he still thought of himself as Harry, though. That did not change the fact that he was extremely hungry, so he was relieved when his wails brought about a change to the darkness he existed in and a person appeared, though upset that this was not his mother.

The woman looked at him distastefully before removing him from the container he laid in and marched off to another room, unceremoniously dumping him on the table in order to fetch food for him. For a normal child of his age he might not have had many options to protest this treatment, but he was hardly a normal child. “What are you doing?”

The woman let out a shriek and swiftly turned around, staring at him in horror.

“I am very hungry, whoever you are. You will remedy this quickly.”

The woman fainted, which greatly annoyed him, and he was forced to wait until she awoke and dragged herself back up, casting a fearful and puzzled look in his direction before fetching a jar of pureed fruit and a small spoon. Harry was not impressed, as he had been eating more like his parents, but did not then protest. Once he had been placed in a high chair he ripped the spoon from the woman’s grasp and proceeded to feed himself. The moment the jar was empty he said, “More.”

She scurried off and quickly returned with another open jar, shifting restlessly as he consumed that one as well. When he did finally feel full he asked, “Who are you and where are my parents?”

Loud wailing interrupted and she looked anxiously toward one of the doors, then swiftly left. A short time later she had returned with a still wailing large child. Harry realized almost at once that he was seated where the other child would normally be and promptly slipped down onto the floor and hauled himself up onto one of the normal chairs.

The woman looked almost grateful for a moment and placed the child in the vacated seat, then rushed to get food for it. Harry waited to speak again until she began feeding the child (something Harry viewed as mildly disgusting considering that the child looked as though he was old enough to feed himself, and was making an unholy mess to boot) to repeat his question. She eventually identified herself as Petunia Dursley (and the child as her son Dudley), and that she was the sister of Harry’s mother.

“Why am I here?”

He suffered through her attempts to explain while still managing to feed Dudley and recalled, after a moment of thought, that the green light had been the cause of his mother’s death, and most likely that of his father. Petunia explained that there were no other relatives, though she had no idea when it came to his father’s family. Someone by the name of Albus Dumbledore had left him on the doorstep sometime before her usual morning routine, and basically had terrified her with the letter he left, causing her to feel as though she had no choice but to keep him.

More questioning revealed why he had awoken in a small dark room instead of a place like the nursery, which angered him, and he resolved to explore the house thoroughly to find a better place to sleep. And, while his demon side was very knowledgeable about magical folk, he was not aware of any specific incantations, only that they usually used some kind of focus; Harry resolved to get around those issues.

His resolve was tested not long after when Petunia became complacent (or as much as she could be under the circumstances). Her fear ebbed and her anger returned, obvious when she said, “You’re nothing but a freak! I’d not have you at all if it wasn’t for the old man’s threats. You’ll take what little we give you and not complain, nor will you keep asking questions. Freaks don’t deserve kindness. Try anything funny and you’ll be severely punished.”

“Oh really?” he said, anger building up inside him. A moment later she screamed, though he could not discern why, and Harry thrust out his hand, a jet of red light streaking from it toward Petunia. She yelled in pain and snatched Dudley from his seat, then fled through one of the doors.

‘Guess I can do magic without those silly sticks,’ he thought, then slipped off the chair and set about exploring. ‘I wonder if the husband will have the same sort of reaction.’ The first floor held three bedrooms (one fitted as a nursery) and a spare room which appeared to be a playroom. ‘There’s no reason for this and I am certainly not staying in a cupboard, so all of this will have to be moved.’

Focus and experimentation on his part soon saw the majority of the toys out in the hall for Petunia to deal with and the room itself cleared for occupancy. He might have considered the unoccupied bedroom, but it was decorated in a manner he found nauseating. For the time being he moved the basket to the room; he would persuade Petunia to remedy the lack of a bed shortly. He was concerned, however, for his safety. He might be able to defend himself while awake, but what could happen to him while sleeping? That they had done nothing to harm him yet was probably only due to not needing to be cared for until just that day. Harry wasn’t even sure how many days had gone by, as his original human mind had not been capable of things like keeping track, just like his human memories of the attack were fuzzy, whereas his demon side was but had not cared, though its memories of the event were fairly sharp.

Giving consideration to exactly that part of himself Harry decided to experiment further, and succeeded in transforming himself into mist, a form which was capable of floating just about anywhere, even through walls. He had not been certain he could now that his body was physical, but it presented an interesting idea, based on the demon’s activities in the past. Harry promptly floated downstairs and located Petunia, then overlapped her, in the process copying relevant information from her mind, and felt little remorse when it disoriented her. A retreat upstairs and a shift of form back to one in the normal physical realm saw him sorting through his findings, then moving to retrieve the letter left by Albus Dumbledore.

Petunia was correct when saying Dumbledore had threatened them. He claimed that wards had been erected around their home as a result of their blood relationship, and would protect them against those who would seek to harm Harry and his only remaining relatives. Freaks, in other words. Should they choose not to heed his words he was confident that people would find out about their relationship and move to ensure that they would not live long. He then entreated them to regard Harry as a member of their family—Harry snorted at that—and raise him with love and care. The remainder was a mixture of threat and entreaty, and all of it was guaranteed to enrage persons who considered magical people as freaks and abominations.

Harry tucked the letter under the blanket in the basket and had a seat nearby. While he waited to see how Vernon took things he would take the time to go over the knowledge he held and think about ways to stave off any attempts against him by the Dursleys. He was jolted into full awareness hours later at Petunia’s shrill cry of “Vernon!” and shifted to mist so he could join them (no normal human being capable of seeing him in that form) and watch.

Petunia spilled out her tale of woe, including an answer to what caused her fright (“His eyes—his eyes were glowing blood red, Vernon! He’s possessed by the Devil! He can already do freaky stuff!”), and watched as Vernon blustered and shook a meaty fist, promising to “take care of the little freak” himself. Harry chose that time to exit the room, transform back, and reenter in physical form.

“You plan to do what?” he asked.

Vernon began blustering again, obviously confused that such a small child could speak so intelligently and intelligibly, then marched in his direction, fist cocked and ready to be used. Harry thrust out his hand again, this time with the conscious intent to harm, and flung more of that red light. Vernon bellowed as he stumbled back, landing heavily on his backside, and with the light of fear in his eyes.

“You will not attempt to harm me,” Harry stated flatly. “You will feed me properly, and you will purchase a bed for the room I have chosen.”

“You dare demand anything!” Vernon shouted.

“Do you wish to feel more pain?” he replied. “There is so much more I can do. Are you sure you really wish to feel the full extent of my power?”

Something caused Vernon to blanch—possibly his eyes had gone all funny again—and the man said nothing further.

“I am not particularly pleased to have to be here, either. Provide what I need promptly and otherwise stay out of my way. We’ll all be happier for it. Understood?” Once both Vernon and Petunia had nodded he slipped back out and up the stairs to his chosen room.

*

Things went well enough over the next few years. There had been attempts against him, such as when Vernon stealthily tried to attach numerous locks on the outside of his door. It was a failure, of course. But on the whole they gave him exactly what he demanded to have and tried to otherwise pretend he did not exist, nor did they ever actually speak to him. Petunia was often busy borrowing or returning books to the library, having been forced to acquire a library card, in order to keep up with Harry’s demands for them until he was old enough to do so personally.

His teachers at school quickly realized he was something of a genius, though he never outright admitted he had an eidetic memory, and alerted the Department for Education and Skills. They ensured that Harry was able to progress at his own rate rather than forcing him to be held to that of his age peers, thus enabling Harry to take his GCSEs at the tender age of ten, making perfect marks in twelve exams. He then began to study for his GCE A-levels.

During those years Harry came to learn that the alleged wards around № 4 Privet Drive were something of a joke. True, they did prevent anyone meaning harm from entering the actual property (though he felt they were excessively flawed due to the still held and unspoken attitudes of Vernon and Petunia—Dudley simply ignored him), but they did not prevent other people from hanging about.

Harry had been momentarily confused on seeing a figure dressed in a long black cloak or robe and wearing a white mask, but demonic memory provided an image of the person who had accompanied Voldemort on the night his parents had been killed. Therefore, he knew that whoever this person was they were not there for tea and cake. Rather, they were probably of a mind to murder him, and spying out an opportunity to do so. Having spent the past few years practicing a form of magic as much as other subjects, Harry was prepared to do something about it.

He managed to lure the person into the park as the sky was beginning to darken, and headed toward one of the areas with clusters of trees. Children playing were starting to head home or being retrieved by parents, so he felt confident that no one would witness what was shortly to happen. By the time the two of them were alone Harry was already under the canopy provided by the trees and the person was not far behind, having had to skulk in order to avoid being seen by ‘normal’ people, and he was able to ask a question before the person turned overtly threatening. “What are you?”

The person paused as he entered the shadow of the first tree. “I am one of my master’s most loyal Death Eaters!” the person said fervently, recognizable as male given the voice itself. “He shall elevate me to greatness once it is known I have succeeded in killing you!”

“Oh really?” Harry responded, heartbeats before he thrust out his hand. It was the perfect time to try out some things he could envision, but had been unable to thus far due to lack of targets. He avoided the spells the man was sending his way by the on-the-spot expedient measure of misting, and sent his own spells out, his focus on what effects he wished to accomplish. Thus it was simple enough, relatively speaking, to break the man’s bones and slice his flesh, until, after a strange dance of mist and light, his opponent was dead.

He laughed a little uneasily at having directly taken a life, but was broken from his thoughts at the sharp cracking sounds which were happening not all that far away. Fearful that magical folk had a way of sensing magic—at least that of the man he had just killed—Harry transformed to mist and engulfed the Death Eater, consuming him utterly. He remained in mist form—necessary to digest his meal—and waited to see what would happen from up in the canopy.

Four cloaked figures soon arrived, each of them very quiet, and each brought out a focus and began examining the area. Copious amounts of blood and blurred footprints abounded, but no other evidence aside from the residue of magic.

“There was definitely at least one killing curse cast here,” one of them said quietly.

“But why? Even if the perpetrator disapparated when he heard us arriving, what about the target? This blood had to have come from someone,” another said.

One stood up from where he had been examining the pattern of blood and said, “He could have taken the victim along, I suppose.”

“Jensen, Twilfs, check and secure the perimeter,” the first one said. “Markson, start photographing the area.”

Harry continued to watch as they went about their business, feeling amused and relieved that none of them even bothered to look up, and eventually floated home to his room. It wasn’t until the next morning that he returned to physical form, and by then he had rationalized the death as self-defense. The man certainly had not seemed willing to leave when it became clear that Harry was no easy target, and if Harry had not killed him he might have been able to report his findings to others, something Harry could not allow.

He learned not long after a second Death Eater wandered into his territory and was consumed (before the man even had the chance to cast any spells) that he held the ability to change his appearance to match that of anyone he had . . . taken in.   Having melded with a normal human he had not even considered trying it previously; it made him wonder if consuming animals would have any positive effect. Things continued as normally as they could, Harry occasionally catching and consuming Death Eaters, right up until late July.

*

Minerva McGonagall was nothing if not meticulous, Albus always said. She kept records of what dates letters were sent out, when they were replied to, and various other things. She was remiss, however, in not keeping track of who the letters actually went to, most specifically in the case of potential first years. But this was not an issue until after she had already visited the homes of invited muggle-borns, to show their families that magic was in fact real, the letter was not some kind of a hoax, and so on and so forth.

It was when she was glancing over her lists that she realized no reply had come from one Mr Harry Potter, and this concerned her greatly, especially when she thought back to when little Harry had been placed with those awful Dursley people. Why Albus had insisted was not something she could readily understand, especially when there were upstanding, kind people who had offered to adopt the poor orphan. She had told him so, repeatedly.

In consequence she directed the quill used to address envelopes for first years to prepare one for Potter and was subsequently astonished and alarmed when it refused to do anything. Moments later she was at the fireplace, placing a call to the headmaster. It wasn’t long before Albus was on his way to № 4 Privet Drive, carrying a hand-addressed letter in his pocket.

A ring of the doorbell brought a horse-faced woman to the door, who paled on seeing him. “What do you want?” she hissed quietly. “Is this about the freak?” Her eyes darted around nervously, looking beyond him and even over her shoulder.

“I have come,” Albus said, “to see Mr Potter.”

The woman pulled the door all the way open and sharply gestured him in, closing it quickly once he was inside. “In there,” she said, pointing at a door off the hall. “I’ll go fetch him.”

*

Harry was in his room when his senses went on high alert; someone was coming, someone who radiated more power than those Death Eaters had, enough to warn him well in advance. He spied out his bedroom window to see an oddly-dressed old man approaching, and as much as would have liked to mist down there, he was concerned in this case that he would be noticed in that form. Soon enough Petunia was knocking at his door, so he went to open it, arching a brow at her questioningly.

“Someone to see you in the living room,” she said quickly, then fled.

‘Great.’ Harry left his room and proceeded downstairs, entering the living room with narrowed eyes.

“Harry, it’s wonderful to see you again,” said the old man, blue eyes twinkling and a smile gracing his face.

“Who are you, sir, and why are you addressing me so familiarly?”

The man looked vaguely taken aback, but answered readily enough. “I am Professor Albus Dumbledore, and I knew your parents well. I’ve known you since you were a baby.”

‘So this is the man who dumped me here to be abused. How nice.’ “All right, but I don’t know you at all. I would be more comfortable if you did not address me in the familiar, please.”

Dumbledore nodded, his brow crinkling slightly, and said, “It came to my attention that an error was made when it came to the letters being sent out this year for the school I am headmaster of; you did not receive one. I have come to remedy that.” He paused, inviting questions, but when Harry said nothing continued on. “I represent Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.”

Harry snorted openly.

“Did your aunt not tell you of your past, who and what your parents were?”

“Oh, I know about that, but I have trouble believing it,” he lied.

Dumbledore smiled again, indulgently. “I shall demonstrate for you.” Movement saw a focus appear in the old man’s hand, and a quick, tight pattern turned the coffee table into a pig, which was just as quickly reverted. Dumbledore appeared mildly confused when Harry failed to react with awe.

“Looks like a silly thing to do. Can you even do anything useful with this magic?” Had he been able to read minds he would have known that Dumbledore was blaming Petunia for his blasé and suspicious attitude. As it was, all he saw was the old man crinkling his brow again briefly.

“Ha—Mr Potter, has anything odd ever happened around you? Strange occurrences that you can’t explain?”

“Like what?”

“Such as if you were angry about something, and an item exploded? An object moving toward you, something you wanted very badly but could not reach?”

Harry shook his head.

“Hrm.” Dumbledore stroked his beard thoughtfully, then looked at him with piercing eyes. “May I try a test? I wish to determine if you really are magical.”

Harry narrowed his eyes again. “Will it hurt?”

“Oh, no, not at all. Just a spell to check the level of your magic, to determine if you are qualified to attend Hogwarts.”

He considered that, unable to prevent a sense of unease wending down his spine, but decided that he must allow it. Killing the man might not be so easy as killing Death Eaters, and if Dumbledore went missing on a day he visited Harry. . . . “Okay.”

Dumbledore cast another spell, this time aimed at him, and he was surprised to see a glow surround him, so faint it was barely there. The old man dropped his hand and sighed heavily. “It appears that you were damaged that night.”

Harry knew damn well he was magical, so it must have something to do with his demonic melding; there was no other explanation as to why whatever spell it was showed otherwise. Was it possible he was instinctively cloaking himself, sort of like how those Klingon ships could do? “What night? You mean when my parents died? My aunt told me they got themselves blown up.”

Dumbledore sighed again and shook his head, then stared at him intently, his focus hand twitching slightly.

Harry felt extreme shock when he realized there was . . . something . . . applying a kind of pressure inside his head. Without thought he turned to mist and overlapped the old man, intent of stripping anything of interest from his mind, especially anything having to do with the spell the old man must have cast.

Petunia timidly poked her head in at one point, but quickly went away, as Harry copied memory after memory after memory. When he was finished he maintained the overlap to keep Dumbledore unaware and unmoving. Diligent searching gave him his answer. The old man had tried to read his mind, looking both for the ghost of a memory of the night the Potters were killed, and for any evidence of abuse the Dursleys might have practiced on Harry.

As importantly, among the wealth of information he now had and the concepts of Occlumency and Legilimency, he knew how to modify memories, and that is exactly what he did. He released Dumbledore after and shifted back, then waited until the old man recovered.

On doing so Dumbledore said, “I’m terribly sorry, Mr Potter. There’s been a great misunderstanding. I shan’t take up any more of your time. Please have a good day and I shall see myself out.” And then he left, shaking his head sadly.

Harry smiled and made plans to head to Diagon Alley, and Gringotts.