Part One: Chapter One
-△⃒⃘- The Greengrass Contract -△⃒⃘-by ncronan
Chapter 1: Decision
In the summer of 1994, on July the 31st, Harry Potter decided to take shit no more. He had a fiery rage burning in his heart, but it was masked by a dull depression. The question is, who was he mad it? An important question; one that he was asking himself: Who was the enemy of Harry Potter?
The dying light of the evening cast dark shadows across the prone figure of said boy. Harry glared at the ceiling whilst flexing his fingers until soft hooting broke the silence subtly. Harry told himself that the answer to the previous question should be answered as soon as possible, and the only person capable of answering it was himself.
And so, Harry found himself thinking in a full circle, and figured that idle thoughts wouldn't solve his dilemma. Thus, he created a purely mental list of people on his suspect list. The highest on his list was, surprisingly, the Headmaster.
Harry gathered what information he could in his mind. Dumbledore had left him on the Dursley's doorstep, exposing him to a decade of abuse and summers of neglect and labour that followed. But his motives must also be counted into his equation, and that was to save the Wizarding World. Seeing it from a wide perspective, Harry realized that the old man was doing what was 'right', even if it wasn't appreciated on Harry's part.
No, Albus Dumbledore was not his enemy. Nor was he the grandfatherly figure he displayed himself as. Dumbledore was their leader, albeit a bit cruel in his authoritative ways.
As Harry's mind wandered to the next person on his list, Petunia Dursley's mind wandered towards the direction of food; and thus she summoned her nephew from his deep thought, with a loud voice: "Get down here!"
Getting up slowly and leaving his room at the same speed, Harry admitted grudgingly that the Dursley's were much better than previous years, mostly due to the fact that Harry had announced his godfather's identity. Upon the realization that Sirius Black the mass murderer was related to and concerned about Harry, Vernon had tried to give custody of the 'brat' to anyone willing to listen to his plea.
The thought of Sirius caused Harry to choke up slightly in his throat. After Harry had driven off the countless dementors days before he'd left Hogwarts in his third year, he and Hermione were able to save Sirius and the Azkaban escapee had flown off. But, to Harry's horror, the swarm of dementors he had just recently driven off came back with a vengeance, causing Harry's godfather to fall to his death in Black Lake. The Lake's name held a cruel irony, and Harry didn't feel that he'd ever be able to go near it again without seeing his godfather's demise in his mind.
Harry grinned ruefully, despite these depressing thoughts, stepping down the stairs that formed the roof of his old sleeping quarters. If Vernon was able to get rid of Harry, Harry would be more than happy to leave his abusive family forever.
Upon entering the kitchen, Petunia eyed him warily. Harry decided that the wariness was due to the fact that Petunia did not know how to address him. His recent contact with a mass murderer caused Petunia to be afraid and paranoid of calling her nephew a freak or a brat. So the calculating woman instead said, "Boy, when we've finished dinner, you can go to your room. Dudley is out with his friends, so it's just you and me."
Harry blinked at the woman, who by her posture seemed to be getting prepared to cook alongside someone. "Er . . . yes, Petunia."
And to his disbelief, Harry was cooking grilled cheese sandwiches with his aunt, who hadn't uttered a single scathing word the whole time. This no-speak streak carried on until the two had set the pile of four sandwiches onto the dining table; Harry had turned to leave when Petunia snapped, "What are you doing? Get a plate and sit down!"
Harry hurried to obey, and a minute later, to his utter amazement, the two relatives were having a subtle meal, at the same time, at the same table, without one yelling at the other.
Silence reigned for several more minutes until Petunia said tersely, "I know that your godfather died."
Harry said nothing in reply, but his eyes said it for him; they became a more dull forest green instead of their usual bright emerald hue. Watching her nephew breathe slowly through his nose, Petunia continued, "I just wanted to say that I won't tell Vernon."
Harry looked up sharply, and Petunia stared evenly back. "Is there any way that you can leave this house? Vernon is getting unbearable, and if you leave, it'll be better for both of us."
Harry blinked slowly, gears turning quickly. This was his only chance. To leave, and to have the freedom to do whatever he wished. With a start, Harry realized that if he was trying to find his enemy, he'd have to look at the people's traits, and just how much they were hindering his freedom. And in this moment, where he had his only chance, Harry blurted, "Tonight, I can go to the Wizarding bank and try to find out who my guardians could be."
Petunia immediately agreed that this would be a good idea, and asked what mode of transport he'd be using. Harry assured her that he'd be able to handle it by himself, and within five minutes, Petunia had taken out his locked possessions, and Harry had packed everything. In order to conserve space, Harry had also thrown out Hedwig's cage, and would instead have her perch on his shoulder, or flying alongside him. Harry slipped his wand into his pocket and turned to his aunt, and they both were silent. Harry had no expression on his handsome face, while Petunia had conflicting looks; a mix of confusing and sadness. Harry smirked slightly, and attempted to lighten the mood, saying, "It's okay, Auntie, no need to cry; I'm sure you can manage the chores all yourself."
Petunia, with the faintest ghost of a smile, ushered him out of the door, into the pleasantly cool summer air. "I'll send a letter if I find a guardian. Otherwise, if I don't, I'll just come back." Harry said, and Petunia nodded. After several more seconds of awkward standing around, Petunia softly closed the door, and Harry turned with his wand in his right hand.
Having left his things at the Leaky Cauldron, Harry practically skipped through the bustling Wizarding marketplace, already mentally recovered from his violent ride on the Knight Bus.
The night summer air was humid and warm, cushioning Harry's skin with a loving touch, and the torchlight shined on his beaming face. The winding street was swarming with adult wizards, bright torches on each side of the thin cobble path. The high signs on each side were illuminated by a massive moon, and Harry was as happy as could be.
First, he figured that he should get straight down to business and head to Gringotts. Looking back, Harry admitted that he wanted to go to Gringotts so that he could walk down the merry street and converse with random people, but who wouldn't?
Stepping inside the bank and watching the quiet and peaceful nature of the soft scratching of quills on parchment, Harry walked past the two rows of writing goblins, their wrinkly faces fairly menacing in their concentration.
Upon reaching the front desk, Harry looked up confidently at the goblin and said, "I'd like to access my vault, sir."
The goblin took his sweet time, putting down his parchment slowly and looking down upon the boy. "State your name."
The goblin nodded just as slowly, the name eliciting no obvious reaction. "Do you have a key, Mr. Potter?"
Harry shook his head. "Either Rubeus Hagrid or Albus Dumbledore has it. And please, call me Harry."
The goblin nodded in understanding. "In which case, we were already going to do a blood test on you. Please, follow me."
The goblin went down a small wooden stairwell to get off the desk, and Harry followed him around to the back, noticing that another goblin had immediately cycled into the previous one's position.
As they walked, Harry inquired, "What did you say about blood tests? I thought only Muggles used those."
"You are thinking of the wrong test, Mr. P - Harry. Sit down, please."
Harry found himself at a small table with several envelopes on it, and he obeyed the goblin. But when the short creature pulled out an intricate knife, Harry flinched.
"It's alright, Mr. - Harry. The dagger is charmed not to hurt, and your skin will heal itself. Just slit your hand a little bit and let the blood drip on this parchment." The goblin said, pushing forward a blank parchment and holding out the knife. Harry took the knife and slowly slit his hand, and asked, "What's your name?"
As his blood hit the parchment, it spread and covered almost the whole paper, causing Harry to almost tip over his chair. "Griphook." The goblin replied after a length, taking the parchment back. "Watch."
Harry watched, wide-eyed, as the now red-blotted parchment formed white words near the middle. It said,
Harry James Potter
Born July 31, 1980. Attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Gringotts meeting due:
The Wills of James Charles Potter and Lily Evans Potter, and Sirius Orion Black.
The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black
The Noble and Most Ancient House of Potter
Harry whistled, and the goblin nodded. "That's not all."
Even as he spoke, more words formed, and these words appeared:
When Harry starts his fourth year, Albus, you should reveal the contract to him.
Harry's jaw dropped, and Griphook chuckled. "Before you start asking questions about that, let's read the Wills."
Harry shook himself. He'd read about such contracts, of course, and knew what they were; they were binding magical contracts, which is a natural, magically-enforced agreement between two or more wizards or witches who partake in it. If you didn't you'd lose your magic, or you'd die. Pushing this out of his mind, he watched Griphook take out three envelopes. Using a letter-opener, he slit it open flawlessly and took out the parchment, and said,
"The final will and testament of James Charles Potter and Lily Evans Potter, as observed by Albus Dumbledore, Remus Lupin, and Sirius Black.
To Albus, we leave 5,000 galleons every year Harry attends Hogwarts; this is for any damage done by what I assume will be seven years full of pranking. (Ow, Lily! No, I'm not encouraging him!)
To Remus, we leave 10,000 galleons every year to pay for your living, and the Potter Manor. We know that it'll be hard for you to find a job due to your furry little problem, but we have faith in you.
To Sirius, we leave the same as I did Remus. You two can share the Manor, since we know that Sirius will be too lazy to get a job. Take care of Harry, both of you.
To Peter Pettigrew, we leave 2,500 galleons. Sorry, Peter, but we all know that we never really were very good friends, but we feel that we can trust you enough for you to be the Secret-Keeper.
To Minerva, we leave our cottage in Scotland, and it's quite close to Hogwarts. Take care of Harry, assuming he's in Gryffindor (which he bloody well will be. Ow! Lily!)
To Harry, we leave everything else, and the title of Head of House Potter. If you're reading this, then we're both dead, and we're terribly sorry, but stay strong, son. We love you."
There was silence as Griphook turned and called another goblin, saying, "Send this to the Ministry right away. Sirius Black is innocent, and his family should be compensated."
Harry sniffed heavily, and Griphook eyed him. "Are you ready to move on, Harry?"
Harry nodded mutely as Griphook read out,
"The final Will and Testament of Sirius Orion Black, as observed by Albus Dumbledore, Remus Lupin, and Sirius Black.
To Albus, I leave 50,000 galleons, to help with whatever projects you feel like doing in the future. Thanks for everything, old man.
To Remus, I leave 10,000 galleons yearly, since Prongs did it first. Stay awesome, Moony.
To James and Lily, I leave half of the Black fortune, which is somewhere in the ten million galleons range. Donate it to a charity or something. I love you guys.
To Peter, I leave 2,500 galleons, Sorry, Wormtail, but you were a bit of a follower.
To Andromeda and Nymphadora, I reinstate you into the Black family, leave you a quarter of the Black fortune, and the Black Manor in Northern Scotland. Have fun, Nymphy.
To Harry, I leave everything else. I love you, pup. Have fun with your life, and don't waste it on mourning the dead. Live it to the fullest, kid.
Harry's eyes brimmed with tears, and Griphook nodded gravely. After the silence stretched a fine amount, Harry breathed in and said, "I almost forgot. The reason I came here was to see if I could transfer my guardianship to anyone else."
Griphook nodded again. "The bank has discussed this, and first, you were supposed to go to Sirius, but he was in Azkaban. Then, to Remus, but Magical law states that he is not human, and so not able to become a guardian. Next to Minerva, but she lived at Hogwarts, and so couldn't take you in. And next, Dumbledore, but he had much to many things on his hands, and had no time to take care of you, and so on and so forth. The reason you ended with the Dursley's was because there was a loophole in the contract you mother and father instated: They said that their last choice was the Dursley's. During the Wizengamot meeting where they discussed where you could go, Lucius Malfoy came out and said that they literally meant the Dursely's as the 'last choice', and since the other guardians weren't fit, they were forced to send you there."
Harry glowered. "Well, they made a massive mistake." He hissed. "They treated me like a slave for my whole life."
Griphook said nothing, as he had no part in Harry's predicament, and wouldn't get involved in something that only humans endured. "Your guardianship will now be transferred to the next family in line, which is the Greengrasses. Would you like to arrange a meeting with them during the school year?" Harry nodded, not sure what he thought about the family, and then Griphook asked, "Mr. Potter-Black, would you like to withdraw from your vaults now?"
Harry nodded again, and Griphook stood and patted Harry on the shoulder, almost joyfully. "Come on, Harry. We've got sacks of money to transfer into the Potter family vault."
Meanwhile, a petite, 14 year old girl sat in a comfy chair by a large, roaring fire. To her right, her mother and father sat, and both were engaged in tense postures, causing the girl to be slightly scared. What was going on? Her parents had called her to the study, but not Astoria.
The father looked over at the girl after several minutes of anticipation. The girl was very beautiful, and took after her mother, with fluffy, curly brown hair, a sharp small nose and light red lips. Her skin was fair, and her eyes were a bright, piercing cyan. There was a reason they called her the Ice Queen of Slytherin, after all.
Damien Greengrass sighed. "Daph," He began, "What do you know about Harry Potter?"
Daphne blinked, her long lashes flashing. She had seen and heard Harry Potter frequently at Hogwarts. From what she heard from Snape, Draco and a few other Slytherins, he was a self-absorbed, obnoxious boy, who was always seeking attention. Of course, no one believed Draco whatsoever. The blonde-haired boy was a right prat, and all of Slytherin knew it. Casting up her memories, Daphne quickly realized that she did not know Harry Potter at all. He took his insults from Snape without complaint, something that Draco could never manage if from another teacher.
"Nothing, really. He's quiet in his classes, and I'm pretty sure he hit a growth spurt near the end of last year. He became taller than most of the girls in our year. Well, I haven't really heard nothing: I've heard the ridiculous stories going about, from first and second year. Something about killing a Basilisk and Professor Quirrell."
Damien nodded thoughtfully. "And what of Draco Malfoy?"
Daphne snorted, ice forming in her blue eyes. "A right prat. No one likes him, and if anyone talks back to him he threatens them with his daddy."
Damien nodded. Lucius had much of the same attitude. "And Daph . . . what do you know of Marriage Contracts?"
Daphne froze. "Did you - contract – with Malfoy?" She whispered in horror. Damien quickly backtracked.
"No, no, Daph, not at all. Trust me, we feel the same way about the Malfoy's."
Daphne sighed in relief. "Then why wouldd you bring up Marriage Contracts, if I'm not betrothed to anyone?"
Damien opened his mouth, but closed it quickly, having his wife finished for him. "You are, Daph." Apolline said quietly. "With the Potters."
Daphne froze once again. "With - with Potter? The Golden Boy of Gryffindor?"
Before her parents could respond, the fire in the fireplace glowed green, and a small, wrinkled head stuck out of it. The goblin head declared, "May I come in, Mr. and Mrs. Greengrass?"
The parents nodded quickly, and the goblin stepped through, brushing dust off of his Gringotts uniform. When he had finished grooming, he went over to the families and shook their hands. "Griphook, at your service. May I sit?"
The Greengrass' gestured a confirmation and he did so. His legs hanging off the chair, not reaching the ground. He then went down to business. "Mr. Greengrass, Harry Potter came to Gringotts today. He read the Wills of his parents and godfather, and he'll learn of the Marriage Contract before the school year starts. Have you told your daughter?"
Looking to his left, he found Daphne sitting there with an amazed expression. "Ah. I see you have."
At this remark, Daphne Greengrass didn't know what to think, and so she left without another word, to ponder on what life-changing events had occurred.
Several hours later, Harry Potter stepped out of Osiris's Optical with all the supplies he'd need for the next school year, and a few items extra. These items consisted of a wand holster, a fountain pen, a galleon sack from which Harry could withdraw money from his vault at any time, and (a last minute grab) magical contacts.
Why? Harry now pondered this as he left Diagon Alley and entered the musty Leaky Cauldron. When he had entered the optical shop, he'd only been there to have his eyes tested and maybe get some new glasses (his old ones were absolutely rubbish), but he found much more. Mortimer Osiris (owner of the shop) recognized Harry upon contact and refused to test him until he'd go with him to the back of the small building. When he'd done so, Osiris had introduced him to magical contacts. Magical contacts never had to be cleaned or taken out of the eye. In fact, there were charms so that they'd never fall out, and more charms to his eye so that his vision couldn't get any worse.
The wand holster he'd gotten was tied to his forearm, and when needed, all he'd have to do is think it, and his wand would slide into his hand. No explanation was needed for that one.
The pen was what Harry considered to be a massive improvement to the rudimentary quills that Hogwarts insisted they use. The pen was charmed so that whenever you ran out of ink, it would automatically tap into one of the large magical ink companies and buy from them. It was a meager galleon a month, and Harry figured that his penmanship and overall written essays would improve.
Harry then crossed the pub of the Leaky Cauldron and stepped up the stairs and into his designated room. Opening the creaky door, he threw off the new cloak he'd bought at the Alley, and reached into his pockets. Throwing the thing in his pocket onto his bed, he looked around at his room.
It was very small, but warm and homely. The wallpaper on the walls was a dark blue with hints of grey, and the floor was wood with a carpet on it. There was a large window on one side that overlooked the night-covered Diagon Alley, and a small desk in front of it, with a candle and parchment. To the right, in the corner, was his bed, with thick white sheets covering the mattress, and Hedwig perched in its frame, her food in a small bowl next to her. There were drawers on the left side of the room, and a large, Harry-sized mirror next to that. Finally, in the corner to the left of the door, was a small sink. The sink was small because the only thing that you needed it for was for washing your hands. There were many spells one could use to brush your teeth, and there was a public restroom down the hall. Over all, it was a much better room that what he'd had at the Dursley's, and Harry loved it.
Reaching into the pocket of his discarded cloak, Harry pulled out a small, palm-sized chest and placed it carefully next to the bed. It was plain, with a silver trim running around the lid. Following the instruction given to him in the Alley, Harry softly set his palm on top of the chest and said, "Finite incantatem."
The chest, having been hit by a shrinking charm, returned to its former size, which came up to the bed's side. The chest channeled your magic straight from you into itself, much like a wand does. Rather than actual spells, the words spoken were more like key-words, thus the Ministry didn't come down onto him and arrest him for underage magic.
Now that the chest was enlarged, you could see a handprint that is exactly Harry's size on top of the lid. To open it, Harry placed his hand on it and murmured quietly the password: "The Enemy." This password was obviously inspired by the thought process that he planned to finish in his free time.
The lid flashed a faint gold as it unlocked, and Harry popped open the top. Looking in, he found that the enlargement charm worked; on the inside, it looked like there was almost three feet of space vertically, with his fourth year books piled on top of one another in two piles. To the right of that, there was a pile of Hogwarts robes, some deep green dress robes, and a t-shirt, hoodie, jeans, and jogging pants for the days where he could lounge around, like on weekends.
Taking out one of the optional books, a Guide to Magical Theory, Harry began to read.
Meanwhile, at the Greengrass Manor, Daphne Greengrass was confused and angry. Storming off into her room, she slammed the door behind her and buried her face into her very comfortable bed.
The Greengrasses were somewhat new pure-blood family. They started out as barley farmers in France in the Renaissance, and they were very closely related to the Malfoys; in fact, the Malfoys were actually a branch of the Greengrasses, but they were driven from France for High Treason (hence the name mal foi, which means bad faith), while the Greengrasses earned their name from the multitude of lush green fields they owned. Not only were they driven from France and branded with their name, but the Malfoys were also cursed to forever have pale hair and bare faces, to mark them as French traitors. The Greengrasses continued to be a peaceful family, and then moved to Great Britain in the early 1800s. From there, they stayed a firmly neutral magical family. Damien Greengrass was a politician, and Apolline was a potion brewer, but never became a master, or pursued higher education. Instead, she fell in love with Damien, and their first child, Daphne, and then another, Astoria. In contrary to popular belief, the Greengrasses stayed neutral.
Having reviewed this knowledge over in her mind, Daphne wondered how she would go about this. Harry Potter was a mysterious figure to her, but her friend, Tracey Davis, had done research on all boys she deemed fit for her affections. Among these was Daphne and Tracey's best friend, Blaise Zabini, who unfortunately turned out to be gay. He had revealed this only to his two female friends, and the two swore never to tell anyone about it. Blaise was a good friend to her, but Daphne found him too quiet, and she would often forget he was there.
The good thing about Tracey was that she was from a long line of pure-bloods, but her grandfather had married a half-blood, and thus she herself was labeled a half-blood. The Greengrasses did not believe in the pure-blood elitist idea, and the Davis family was often away on trips, so Tracey was often left to stay with Daphne over the summer. Daphne then remembered that Tracey would be staying with her in several weeks until Hogwarts, and decided she would ask her about her Harry Potter enigma. But before then, she would review what she knew.
Harry Potter was (near the end of Third Year) becoming quite tall. He was what they call a late bloomer, and so both Granger and Weasley had been taller than him up until said year. The boy had messy black hair and bright green eyes (she was told that they were stunning), and was scrawny as anything. He wore his school robes whenever Daphne had seen him, but the one time she's seen him in casual clothes, he wore a shirt that was several sizes too large for him and pants that required an ugly brown belt to keep up on his bony hips. Was this the boy that she was betrothed to?
With a sudden drive, she went to her desk under the window, grabbed some parchment, and scribbled out a brief message, addressed to Harry Potter. Putting down her quill, she stood and petted her owl, Jesse. It was small and black with white marks, and was her favorite animal.
"Hey, girl." She murmured lovingly, petting her head, near her beak. Earning a small 'hoot' in return, she continued, "Can you take this to wherever Harry Potter is? I know you've never delivered to him before, but I suspect he's at the Leaky Cauldron, since the goblin said he was at Gringotts."
Snatching an envelope and opening it and preparing the Greengrass Seal, she looked over at the large, old grandfather clock in the corner of her room. It was almost 1 A.M in the morning, but she decided that it wouldn't matter. Daphne had heard that Potter had an owl, and Jesse could stay with the snowy-white bird until Potter sent a reply. Once she'd slid the letter into an envelope, she tied it to one of Jesse's feet, and the owl took off into the night.
Harry Potter was shocked, to say the least. It was well into the night (around 3 A.M), and not halfway into the thick tome that was the Guide to Magical Theory, he had hit a massive piece of information. Looking over it again, it said,
Magical power resides in the wizard/witch, first and foremost. Contrary to popular belief, the wand does not 'choose' the wizard/witch; the wand's core and the wizard/witch's magic in contact with it are compatible with each other, and so the wand's core sends a pulse of magic through itself and into the wizard/witch, provoking a reaction. Similar to this, a wizard/witch's emotion is the key thing that ties into his/her magic. Accidental magic is caused solely by high emotions, thus when the wizard/witch feels extreme anger/happiness/anxiety, their magic is enhanced. This enhancement only works with the stronger emotions, thus it would not work with any form of depression. Adrenaline also channels straight into the wizard/witch's magic, either enhancing it perfectly, or overpowering the spell.
One other large factor pertaining to a wizard/witch's magical performance is physical fitness. Although it may seem controversial, a wizard/witch's fitness level directly influences the power bursts from which you cast spells. If the wizard/witch is malnourished or obese, their magic will restrain itself as to protect the wizard/witch. Why? If the wizard/witch is not fit, their magic could essentially kill them. This is the reason old wizard/witches are killed by magical overload.
This was the biggest news Harry had ever heard. His life at the Durley's was far from perfect – in fact, it bordered on abuse. The malnourishment he's endured was interfering with his magic. This was a surprise; Lupin had said in Third Year that few teenagers had ever mastered the Patronus Charm. This thought made him extremely excited: if that was what his magic was like with his underweight stature, what would happen if he was fit? What could he accomplish then?
His excited thoughts were interrupted when Hedwig began hooting at him, and a series of taps resonated from his window frame. Staring out into the night, he saw the silhouette of an owl, framed the light of the bright white moon. He quickly unlatched the window and pulled it in, letting the owl fly in and settle on the bed frame next to Hedwig. Harry admired the pretty black and white owl at first before carefully untying the envelope attached to its leg.
The Seal on the front, sealing the card, depicted two wand crossing, with a single stalk of a plant that looked like wheat in the middle. Carefully opening the envelope and taking out the concealed parchment, Harry read,
I am not sure of how much you've heard, but we will have to meet on the Hogwarts Express in the third to last compartment, right when we get on. We have much to discuss. You may not know what I'm talking about, but send a reply as soon as possible.
The penmanship was flawless, the signature signed with a flourish, and Harry was slightly intimidated. He had only seen fleeting glimpses of who he assumed to be Daphne Greengrass. She was, if nothing else, very pretty. Harry had never seen her in contact with Malfoy, Parkinson, or Bulstrode, only another pretty girl with brown hair. Davis, her name was.
Reading over the letter again, Harry confirmed that it had something to do with the contract the Wills had referenced to. With both excitement and fear, Harry wrote a quick reply, and tied it to Hedwig.
"Here, girl." Harry murmured lovingly. "You haven't had much action lately, and the girl's owl seems tired. You think you can make it?"
Hedwig hooted once, haughtily, and lifted her head upwards in a condescending manner, as though saying, "Of course, silly boy. What do you think I am, a songbird?"
"Oh! Don't go yet, girl. I nearly forgot." Harry said quickly, snatching out his pen and scribbling another letter that said,
Dear Petunia Dursley,
My guardianship has been transferred. You won't be seeing me again, hopefully.
Harry stood up, slid this letter into another envelope, and tied it to smiled and pet her, before send her off into the darkness, her wings disturbing the smoke coming off the candle that had been put out by the cool night air. Closing the window behind his owl, Harry sat back down in the comfortable chair at his desk and once again let his mind wander into his thoughts. Daphne Greengrass, a beautiful Slytherin, was meeting with him on the Hogwarts Express. What did this mean?
With a start, Harry realized what it meant for him. There was barely a month left of summer, and there was a beautiful girl awaiting his arrival. Sure, it most likely isn't for romantic terms, but nevertheless, Harry thought about how he should present himself. And when he thought this, he put two and two together, and stood up and went to his mirror.
Peering in, he found that he did indeed look much better without his glasses; the glasses seemed to mute his eyes just a bit, and without them, his face looked skinnier, and more mature; less little boyish. Look down at his torso, he found that yes, he was scrawny, but not overly so. With Quidditch practice and the long staircases and walks between classrooms, he was skinny, but semi-fit. He decided to fix that with lots of exercise and more protein and vegetables in his diet. Right then, he would not earn the affections of the girls at school. But with the right push, Harry Potter would become better.
And he would push himself to the limit to do so.
Daphne woke up blearily, finding herself in the comfortable, yet hard chair in front of her desk. Moving her neck side to side, trying to get rid of the ache, she concluded that she must have fallen asleep thinking about the contract. What a depressing thing to think about, too.
Opening her eyes, she was hit by a ray of sunshine coming from her open window, and she immediately closed them again. She brought her hands to her face, and found that her face was freezing. She then found that the reason for this was that her window was wide open, and the cool night air had filled her room. She then found that her room was indeed very chilly, and she closed the window.
Daphne then called out, "Tape?", there was a *pop*, and a house-elf appeared behind her.
"What can Tape do for Mistress Daphne?" Tape asked, large ears flapping against her head.
"Cast a warming charm in this room, please." Daphne said, hugging her arms to herself.
The elf did so, and Daphne dismissed her. Warmth circulated into her limbs, and she sighed in relief. Before she could continue basking in the nice temperature, there was a series of taps at her window, and she found that a beautiful snowy-white owl was at the glass.
Unlatching the window and grabbing what she assumed to be Potter's returning letter, she read it over.
Dear Ms. Greengrass,
I apologize if I tired out your owl, but you did say to answer swiftly, and I have done so. I agree to meet you on the Express at the designated place, although I do not know of what you speak of. When I was read parents' Wills yesterday, however, they mentioned something about a contract. Does this have anything to do with what you wish to discuss? The Wills also mentioned that Dumbledore should inform me of what it is about by the time I get to school, but I'm hoping that you'll tell me what you know.
Reading it over, Daphne found that Potter's handwriting was decent, but could have much improvement. It seemed that this Harry Potter was far different from the way Draco and the other Slytherins portrayed him. This Harry seemed somewhat intelligent, which was, again, a giant leap from what Draco normally spoke of him as.
Despite herself, Daphne felt intrigued. Who was Harry Potter?
For the last month before school, Harry pushed himself to the limit. Everyday in the mornings, he would go on a jog around Diagon Alley, and then eat a wholesome breakfast. He would then study until lunch, where he would run again and eat again. For the rest of the day, he would alternate between studying and exercising his upper body. And for dinner, he would eat a balanced meal. Accompanying all the food he ate, he drank a glass of milk. And for the rest of the night, until he fell asleep, he studied. He was determined to do well on all of his assignments this year; the constant exercise and studying opened his eyes as to how lazy and idiotic Ron and he had been. And whenever he thought of this, the same thought would go through his head: "Sirius had died in the blink of an eye. Life is too short to laze around and eat all day." And whenever he thought this, he would push himself harder, and run a little farther each day.
Over the next four weeks, Harry noticed a definite but gradual improvement. He was slowly growing (an astounding half an inch a week), and he saw himself getting – well –thicker. His legs were getting defined, as well as his arms. His torso was showing massive improvement as well: there was a faint outline of a four-pack, and his pecs were decently defined. Over all, he was toned, and far from overly muscled. Harry found the pictures in the Muggle world of massive, bulking men pretty disgusting. Harry even got magical braces; he'd found that his two front teeth jutted forward a considerable amount, although it was barely noticeable. The magical braces worked within a week, and Harry (to his embarrassment) would flash himself smiles in his mirror, and spend several minutes a day flexing, shirtless, in the same place.
And all too soon, it was the night before the riding of the Hogwarts Express, and Harry was never more excited in his life.