Harry Potter was a name that all wizards and witches knew, the only child of Lily and James Potter, who both died to protect their son from the dark wizard, Lord Voldemort. At the age of one and a half, Harry witnessed the murder of his mother and father before he himself was turned on.
The killing spell, Avada Kedavra, was one that Lord Voldemort had previously used successfully several times. Yet this time something went wrong and it backfired, killing Voldemort instantly and leaving Harry Potter with a lightening bolt curse scar on his forehead and forever an orphan who was known throughout the wizarding realm as The-Boy-Who-Lived.
Within that very night, Harry was taken from the ruins of his home to live with his only living relatives; his mother’s sister, Petunia and her son and husband, Dudley and Vernon Dursley. All of whom hated the very thing that made Harry special, magic.
Harry’s aunt had grown up as a muggle, a non-magical human, wishing to have the same magic that her sister did. As time passed the sisters grew apart and Petunia’s resentment of her sister and magic grew into hatred. When she married she refused to tell her husband anything about her sister beyond that she was a freak.
Yet, as the only living relative of Harry, she was the only one able to care for him. So he was left with a letter of explanation on her doorstep to be found the next morning, and so for the next eleven years, he grew in the care of the muggle family.
Throughout the years strange things happened around Harry, things his aunt knew from experience was accidental magic. Each time something magical happened around Harry or if he said or did something the slightest bit strange, he was punished, the Dursleys had decided that they would stamp the unnaturalness out of the boy for as long as they were required to care for him. Harry quickly learned that questions and anything strange from him were the two things that the Dursley’s hated the most and did his very best to avoid both. He promptly became as independent as he could, finishing chores and projects as soon as possible before disappearing until the next meal he had to cook.
Time passed and Harry grew. He went to school with his cousin Dudley, who quickly made it known that any kids that tried to befriend his small cousin would meet the end of his fist. Harry became used to every student shying away from him as he walked past, knowing that nothing he did would put a stop to Dudley’s bullying. He grew silent and alone, eventually taking great sport in observing others and learning how to avoid being seen to much throughout the school days.
Then, a week before Harry’s eleventh birthday he was sent to retrieve the mail and he found a letter addressed to him. He stared in shock before a yell from his uncle caught his attention. As he walked back towards the kitchen Harry slipped his letter under the door of his cupboard door as quietly as he could before entering the kitchen with a sorry and handing the mail off to his aunt.
Later that day, after they had returned from Dudley’s birthday zoo trip and he was thrown into his cupboard as punishment for somehow making the glass to the boa constrictor disappear, Harry listened to make sure that all of his relatives were upstairs before reading the letter. His eyes widening as he read that he was a wizard and was to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and he began prepared for the day he left in great anticipation. Knowing that even if the letter wasn’t true and was simply a bad joke, he was going to leave the Dursley’s for good.
‘I’ll have to make sure that this isn’t a prank or if it is I’ll simply have to prepare to leave differently.’ Harry thought as he drifted to sleep.
Over the course of the next few weeks, he had managed to write Professor McGonagall, tricking her into telling him everything he needed to know and became convinced that it wasn’t some type of joke. He got the Professor to send him directions to Diagon Alley for his school supplies, saying that his Aunt had never been and didn’t know the way. When he professed concern about being able to afford it all he was sent his Gringotts vault key. Finally, he was told how to get to platform 9¾. He made sure to hide all of the correspondence letters lest the Dursley’s found them and kept him from leaving.
After his Birthday, which passed the same as it always did, the Dursleys seemed to become more relaxed, letting him escape with fewer words and giving him fewer chores. Harry once overheard a conversation between his Aunt and Uncle, where they sounded relieved that the boy wasn’t freakish enough and that they seemed to have beaten the freakishness out of him. This lead Harry to the conclusion that not only were his relatives aware of his status of being a wizard but that they had been expecting the letter that told him what he was.
That weekend Harry managed to slip out of the house after making breakfast and from there he made his way to Diagon Alley to collect his school supplies. He spent the first hour in Diagon Alley observing the other Wizards for the proper manners, not want to insult anyone if he could help it, realizing that as a different society they were bound to have different cultural backgrounds. The rest of the time he refused to look around in obvious awe, noticing that several witches and wizards gave those who did strange or disgusted looks.
The very first place he went was Gringotts, asking a passing witch where it was, saying it was his first time and he had gotten separated from his parents. She pointed with hardly a glance at him and he scurried away.
The bank was filled with strange creatures, but Harry refused to look scared or affected in any way. He politely requested to see his vault, handing over his key when asked. He gave his name in his best quiet and respectful tone and he was lead away by one of the creatures who was called Griphook.
After the fast ride down to his vault, Griphook was kind enough to explain the money system when he confessed he had no clue what the gold, silver and bronze coins were and how to use them. With sincere thanks, Harry pulled out a bag and filled it with some of each.
“Thank you, Griphook, I’m very grateful for your help.” Harry wanted to grin and hug Griphook, but he had a feeling that the way to make sure that he came across as sincere and genuine was to give a small smile and a bow of the head, as he had seen several other creatures do at the end of interactions between themselves.
Griphook blinked before his almost permanent sneer faded slightly, “Of course, it is my job to help you with all things money.” He returned the head bow before he turned on his heel and left. Harry chuckled as he made his way out of the bank, reading the riddle like warning above the doors again.
Enter, stranger, but take heed
Of what awaits the sin of greed,
For those who take, but do not earn,
Must pay most dearly in their turn,
So if you seek beneath our floors
A treasure that was never yours,
Thief, you have been warned, beware
Of finding more than treasure there.
The very first place he went was Madame Malkins for his robes, both for school and casual. He was made to stand on a stool while measuring tapes flew about him. There was another boy on the stool across from him, with bright red hair and a face covered with freckles.
“Hi there, I’m Ron Weasley, are you going to Hogwarts to?” Harry blinked in surprise when the other boy turned to him and questioned him without any warning.
“Yes, I am.” Harry tried to keep his voice calm and polite when he answered Ron, keeping his excitement from showing at the prospect at meeting a fellow student for the first time.
“What house do you think you’ll be in, I’m going to be in Gryffindor.” Ron announced as he looked down at his robes. Harry blinked in confusion before pretending that he knew what the other was talking about, making a mental note to buy as many books about Hogwarts as he could before he left for the day. “I think I’d rather die than get placed in Slytherin, I don’t even know why they still have that evil house.”
“Whatever house they believe is best, I haven’t thought too much of it,” was all Harry said before his robes were finished and he could leave.
Harry changed into one of his causal robes before paying for them and walking out the door to get the rest of his school supplies. He forewent getting a pet until the day he left, knowing that he wouldn’t be able to take care of it properly at the Dursley’s while he waited to leave for school. He made sure to buy a few extra books on each subject before he stopped for a late lunch.
At the end of his trip, Harry rented a room at the Leaky Cauldron for all of the things he bought. He changed back into his normal clothes and only brought one of the course books back to the Dursley’s with him, hiding it in one of the stairs above his cupboard. So during the next few weeks, Harry slipped away and returned to the Leaky Cauldron to exchanged books he had read with ones that he hadn’t.
Harry spent the next few weeks busy, hoping that he wouldn’t be found out before he left. He didn’t know what he would do after the school year, where he would go since he had decided that he was never going to come back to the Dursley’s again. He decided that he would check his options when he got to Hogwarts and if there were none then he would go from there though he highly doubted that there would be no option that he would prefer over the Dursley’s.
It was September 1st and Harry was finally on his way to Hogwarts. He had arrived at the Leaky Cauldron so early that it was still black outside and quickly put a change of his robes at the top of his trunk before locking it and dragging it down the stairs. Harry passed Tom the bartender with a short nod and a polite smile as he dragged his trunk out of the pub and quickly into Diagon Alley to buy his pet.
Harry looked through them all and quickly decided on a snowy owl he quickly named Hedwig, casting a few glances to the snakes before leaving with his new owl and care supplies. He managed to catch a cab to the train station, paying with the little muggle money that he’d had exchanged at Gringotts.
He made sure that there was no one looking his way before he walked through the barrier that led to Platform 9 ¾. The sun was peaking over the horizon and it shone on the train before him. Grinning, Harry made his way onto the train, struggling to lift his trunk first up the stairs and then to the overhead compartments. He gasped for air when he finally managed to get the trunk situated, collapsing on the seat he was standing on and promptly fell asleep.
Harry woke when his compartment door opened with a bang and the redhead boy from Madame Malkins burst in with two other boys, talking loudly about someone who was supposed to be on the train. He glared, causing the boys to quiet before shifting towards the window and falling back asleep.
The train pulled to a stop, waking Harry, who briefly glanced outside into the dark foggy night. Ignoring the obnoxiously loud boys around him as best as possible, Harry left his trunk at the instructions of the conductor and made his way off the train, joining the group of first years who were huddled against the cold.
The light of a lantern bounced through the fog before a giant man appeared and called for all of the first years to follow him. The giant introduced himself as Hagrid, Hogwarts gamekeeper, before leading them all to the lake were several boats waited. With some trepidation Harry and three other boys climbed into a boat under Hagrid’s watchful eyes.
“Hello, My name is Harry Potter,” Harry introduced himself to the boys and smiled shyly when they returned the favor after a confusing moment of silence. The boy with slicked back blonde hair was called Draco Malfoy, and his two friends were Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle. For some reason, they all paused at the sound of his name, but Harry brushed it off quickly as them simply waiting a moment in case he wanted to continue speaking.
When the boats jerked and set sail at Hagrid’s call, Harry tried not to panic. After a moment of grabbing the edge of the boat with a death grip, Harry watched in wonder as the boats moved smoothly across the lake. They floated through a wall of hanging vines, which parted to reveal a majestic Castle ahead. Harry let out a gasp and blushed slightly before he realized he wasn’t the only one in awe of the sight, but still composed himself before he embarrassed himself further.
The boats jerked to a stop and students began to get out of the boats. Harry rushed to follow, falling in beside Draco as they made their way to the castle entrance. Hagrid knocked once on the front door and handed them over to the stern looking woman who answered. She introduced herself as Professor McGonagall before leading them to a side hallway to wait to be sorted. She left, telling them all to stay until she returned.
“What house do you think you’ll get into?” Draco asked quietly the moment the Professor left. Harry simply shrugged, this time out of true apathy about his placement before asking where Draco thought he’d be placed. “Slytherin, of course. My whole family is Slytherin,” Draco replied confidently.
“Not a witch or wizard who went bad that wasn’t in Slytherin.” A voice called out from behind them. Turning, Harry and Draco saw the small red headed boy Harry had seen twice now and who was glaring daggers at Draco. “My name’s Ron and you’re Harry Potter,” The redhead introduced himself holding out his hand to Harry, his gaze wandering up to his forehead. “You don’t want to get mixed up with the wrong people. I can help you make the right sort of friends.”
“I think I can decide who the right sort are myself.” Harry declared, glaring at Ron, whose face began to turn as red as his hair. Turning back to Draco Harry ignored the other boy as he commented, “I wonder if I’ll be in Slytherin with you.” Out of the corner of his eye, Harry saw Ron open his mouth angrily to retort.
They were interrupted when Professor McGonagall entered the hall and ordered them to all follow her, cutting of Ron’s reply. She led them into the Great Hall, passing in between the tables up to the front of the hall where a stool and a hat sat. She announced that when she called their names, they were to come sit on the stool where she would place the hat on their heads and they would be sorted.
Harry tuned the sortings out, trying to go unnoticed as he waited anxiously for his and Draco’s names to be called. When Draco was called, he sauntered up to the stool. Harry made sure to study how Draco moved, determine to be as seemingly confident as well when his name was called. The hat hadn’t even touching Draco’s head when it called out Slytherin and as he sauntered towards the Slytherin table to the far right he made eye contact with Harry and smiled encouragingly.
“Harry Potter” Professor Mcgonagall called out, jerking Harry out of his thoughts. Paling slightly he slowly made his way up to the stool, trying to seem as confident as Draco had, and looked at the teachers before him. After a sharp glare from the pale black-haired teacher he rushed to sit on the stool, the hat lowered onto his head where it covered his eyes. He listened in shock as the hat debated on where to place him, only saying that he would like to remain friends with Draco, but that he would go wherever the hat thought would be best when his input was sought.
“SLYTHERIN!” The hat called out after a long moment of silence which led the great hall to erupt in whispers before his sorting settled in and they were all silenced. In shock, Harry lifted the hat and made his way towards the Slytherin table, keeping his head high and his face composed to keep from shouting in joy. He noticed that every Slytherin except Draco, who was smirking, watched his progress towards them before suddenly they started to shout and clap louder than any sorting had received before.