Prologue: The Beginning
Chapter 1: Prologue
Prologue: The Beginning
At Number 4 Privet Drive in Little Whinging there was a quaint little house with an unusual family. Therein lived a young boy by the name of Harry James Potter. He lived with his Aunt Petunia and his cousin Dudley. While his Aunt and his cousin used the rooms on the second floor as their own, his room was the little cupboard under the stairs that had been specially magicked to be just as large as the smallest bedroom of the house, which was currently being used for storage. The young boy was a very special boy. You see, Harry James Potter was a Wizard.
Young Harry knew quite a few things that had happened in the ten, almost eleven, years he's lived thus far.
He knew his parents were killed by a very evil wizard. A Dark Wizard who drew people in with his charms concerning pure blood family's strength versus non-magical humans and their magical children, and was comparable to the non-magical tyrant, Hitler. This evil wizard had killed many non-magical's as well as witches and wizards who tried to oppose his foul visions of conquest. Harry knew about the horrible war that had claimed his parents.
He knew as well that his Aunt Petunia and cousin were his only living blood relatives because of the war and that there were very powerful wards wrapped around his Aunt's house that were built upon the bonds of blood relation. These bonds would make it where he could not be tracked by magical means and allowed him to hide safely with his muggle relatives
Another thing he knew was that when he'd originally come to live with his Aunt's family he'd been prone to horrible dreams. Because of these dreams he would escape from his bed with its child-safe bars to hide and sleep inside the broom closest below the stairs, for who would look for a little boy in a broom closet filled with supplies?
He knew that his Aunt, while she did not quite love him as much as she loved her Dudley, still cared for him in her own way and did her best to instill him with good manners and a healthy respect for his elders, she kept his prescriptions for his glasses up to date and gave him a good scolding when he was bad.
He knew as well that she often hoped that he would prove to be non-magical. He'd often heard her muttering to herself over the years that she wished any signs of magical ability would 'just go away'. She often tried to teach him how to do 'normal' things in the hopes that he would thrive at it. Because of those well meant attempts at trying to teach him, they found that he was good at and even enjoyed cooking of all things!
His Aunt was a hard taskmistress when he first started learning how to cook. The wooden spoon she used doubled as a paddle to his hands if he tried to add salt instead of sugar for example or when he tried to touch the burner when it was hot or cook without her present in the room. To his Aunt, cooking was a delicate and dangerous art that required precise measurements and attention to detail. They both found some enjoyment in a 'Normal' activity that they could share and though Dudley had no skill at the art of cooking, he did enjoy sampling the food they cooked.
One might ask at this point what part his Aunt Petunia's husband, Vernon played in all of this?
When Harry had first arrived his Uncle had been very against him staying and was adamant that he would not shelter a 'Freak' in his house. You see, when Petunia had first explained the magical world to him so he would know about her sister, he had reacted... well to say he reacted badly would have been putting it mildly, very mildly. While Petunia had eventually been able to convince him to let Harry stay, he was a blood relation after all, Vernon in turn managed to convince Petunia that they would be able to 'punish any magically ability out of him' if he did indeed show himself to have said 'Freakish Tendencies'.
Aunt Petunia was able to prevent his Uncle from his more harsh reactions of wanting to 'beat' the magic out of him when he'd had his first case of accidental magic and turned the focus more on chore punishments and food punishments such as doing yard work or going without dinner. Vernon also favored his own son and tended to yell at Petunia if she tried to show Harry the least bit of attention instead of focusing on spoiling her own son. Petunia did try to ensure in the early days that the boys got along, but Vernon was quick to counter any punishment awarded Dudley and instead blamed 'the freak' for anything that went wrong.
This had continued until he was eight years old and he had used magic while home to escape from Dudley and his cruel taunting. Dudley had ended up on the roof of number 4 Privet Drive and his Uncle was forced to get him down. Vernon had been panting and red-faced by the time he got Harry down, Vernon was very much overweight and having to climb the ladder to get the boy down took quite a bit out of the beast of a man.
Vernon had then sent Dudley to a friends house. His aunt had been out of town with her friends for the day. He didn't remember quite what had happened after Vernon sent his cousin away but he knew it had been bad and ever since he had forgotten quite a few memories from before he was eight.
How, you ask, did he know all this, when he didn't actually remember any of it? Simple, he had a magical Imaginary Friend.
His friend was named Beth, and looked how one might imagine J.R.R Tolkien's elves would look. Tall, graceful, with hair the color of living fire and eyes as bright a green as Harry's own. The only oddity was that she had scales the same color as her eyes trailing down along her spine and wrapping around her wrists which led up to a point along the top of her hands. She always wore a soft silvery gown which had a belt with a number of different small blades sheathed to it.
Beth had told him that Imaginary Friends lived on a plane of existence that could just barely interact with his own. Imaginary Friends could show themselves to any human, magical or not, but could only be with a non-magical for as long as they were needed, however they could not affect anything around their Normal Humans. Because of the lack of a strong magical core in the Non-magicals, eventually they would no longer have a strong enough Bond for the human to see their friend.
For Magical Humans however, the Imaginary would remain at that witch or wizards side until their dying day, unless particular extreme situations occurred. This was because they had a strong enough magical core for the Bond to last.
There were also many different shapes that an Imaginary might end up taking for their Bonded. Harry had laughed when she told him that a Imaginary friend could be anything from a Talking Slug to a mighty Jeweled Dragon, although she had warned him to never confuse a Jeweled Dragon with the dragons of his own world, 'for Humans are crunchy and taste good with ketchup'. He never did ask her to clarify how she knew that last bit
While Beth normally did not leave his side, for two weeks out of a year she would return to her own world. This time was used both to report to her superiors as well as enjoy what amounted to a vacation. Being an Imaginary Friend, she explained, was sort of like a muggle job, and and as such sort of like a required mission for those who wanted to have a higher position among their own people. The 'Event' had sadly occurred during one such report/vacation. She had just arrived through the 'Barrier Between' that led to her own world when she had felt his peril through their Bond and had rushed to cross back through the Barrier. It took several hours to traverse the worlds however, and by the time she arrived back in his world, the damage had already been done.
She'd arrived to find him bloody and beaten, locked within his cupboard. Vernon had apparently left the house after hurting Harry in order to go drink with some of his friends and Dudley was still out as well.
Thankfully, Aunt Petunia arrived back home within minutes of Beth's arrival, and Beth had managed to wake Harry enough to beg him to let her use as much of his magic as she could to get his Aunt's attention, at the risk of loosing all of his magic. His Core was too weak at that age for her to cast any major magics without causing him potential harm and per her own peoples rules she needed his permission if the spell she cast would potentially drain his core to nothing. With the damage that had been done to him by his Uncle, even a minor spell casting would put his Core at risk.
He hadn't wanted to agree at first. He wanted to just go back to sleep, wanted to keep forgetting, to just disappear, but he had finally caved. If it meant the loss of his magic and in turn what had happened would never, ever happen again, he would be fine with that trade off.
He really didn't recall much of what happened after that. He'd felt so very tired after Beth used his magic to get his Aunts attention, and he only really remembered that his Aunt had opened the cupboard to find him hurt and, screaming in panic, she had rushed him to the hospital for treatment.
What had followed in the weeks after was also a blur to him. There was a long period of time spent talking to the police, a drawn out divorce case and trial and his Uncle going to prison for a very, very long time at the end of it all.
Aunt Petunia had even managed to get in touch with a nice old man with a fondness for Lemon Drop candies to change Harry's cupboard to a small room as he'd refused to leave it for almost a week after all the court cases were done, and she wanted him to have some more space. The old man had even modified something called 'wards' to prevent Vernon from ever getting onto the property again and helped Harry recover from what the old man called 'Core Sickness'.
He didn't blame his Aunt or Beth for what happened though. Both were obviously angry with themselves for not being there to prevent the 'Event' but he always told them that he didn't blame them, that THEY didn't hurt him.
Things had gotten better as well now that Vernon was gone. Dudley didn't always get his way any more as he had previously, due to a lack of his fathers insistence and instead was punished when he did something bad as opposed to receiving praise for it. Furthermore, he'd been put on a diet that Petunia had long since desired to put the boy on. Harry wasn't sent to bed without food any more (Vernon had often insured that happened though Petunia always made sure he got a good helping of breakfast and lunch) and if he misbehaved he still had to do chores. Harry felt that his life was looking up, despite the fact that his Aunt still seemed to hope he wouldn't 'get that blasted letter'.