The boy who lived
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Disclaimer – JK Rowling and various publishers own the world of Harry Potter.
Book 1 – The Elixir of Life
The boy who lived
Thant, the Blackshire Lord, was the next in line to succeed the Necromancer’s Guild leadership. The current leader, Lord Cornelius, was lethally injured in the last battle with the vampires of Dakula, kinsmen of the legendary Lord Dracula, progenitor of the Vampire race.
Lord Cornelius had few days of life at most. In the very battle he was injured the vampires took away the most precious relic of the Necromancers – the Skeleton Transformer. Cornelius ordered Thant to retrieve it at all costs.
So Thant set out on a journey and soon tracked down the vampires. After an exhausting battle, Thant retrieved the artifact but on his way back he was ambushed. He was forced to apparate without direction and ended up, unconscious, in a forest near a human village, Godric’s Hollow.
When Lord Thant regained consciousness that rainy early Monday evening our story starts; there was nothing to suggest that something horrid would soon happen.
“Where am I?” – Thant pondered while looking around.
He saw the dim lights of the village straight ahead. His eyes pierced through the growing darkness and recognized the silhouettes of the living humans. Usually the necromancers tried to avoid contact with the living and Thant was supposed to be no different but he did enjoy meeting them. However, tonight was not the best time for such an encounter. He had to return to the Necromancer’s High Tower and put the Skeleton Transformer back.
Thant was about to depart when he sensed dark force within the village. The thread of the force occurrence was unusually strong. His first thought was of a dark wizard, a powerful dark wizard. And although dark wizards were not something unusual within the ranks of the wizards Thant wouldn’t have been normally impressed. But this thread was different because the force emanating from it was darkly strong almost inhuman, which intrigued Thant.
He headed straight to the village. He had to see this wizard whoever he was. Even as a child he was always fascinated by strong forces – dark and light. He regarded them both with respect but his inclination was towards the light. Unfortunately his parents soon understood that they did not have a sibling welcoming and embracing only the necromancer’s teachings but a sibling that had more compassion, honesty, kindness, pity and all other range of feelings natural for living humans, which was the reason for serious concerns. But Thant managed to grow beyond anyone’s expectations and no matter of his rebellious at times behavior he was now due to succeed in the leadership of all Necromancers.
Thant entered Godric’s Hollow. It was then when another force caught Thant’s senses unprepared, a positive force of unseen degree. One no one of his kind has sensed for centuries.
Thant became extremely intrigued. He advanced toward the source of both forces dark and light. They were emanating from a neatly house with rain bushes in the middle of a dark street with the strange name – Godric Alley.
It was then when Thant sensed deaths, someone has just died. And then it all happened so quickly. A massive green light engulfed the house before it fell down in ruins. Thant was thrown on the ground so strong the blast was.
He stood up shortly after, dusting himself up and hurried towards the ruins. His spiritual duty was commanding him to find out what happened. He reached the ruins. He searched for anything that would tell him who lived here. And his eyes fell on a sign – Potter Manor.
Then as he was just about to leave he heard a voice. Actually it was a cry – a baby’s cry. He turned around instantly, hastily searching through the ruins. And soon he saw a little thumb. Thant removed all the rubbish of what was left of the walls surrounding the source of the cry. And then he saw it, a baby – a human baby of the living. There was nothing so abnormal about it except for a lightning shaped scar on his forehead.
The green light could have been caused by one and only one incantation, the worst of all. And to see that a baby of the living humans has survived seemed to say the least impossible. No one has ever survived it, no one except this baby.
Thant came out of his thoughts when his senses warned him of movement in the area – muggles, as wizards call them – the non-magic folk. He sensed as well in the distance dark forces. So he had to act quickly. He wrapped the baby in a blanket he found nearby and vacated the ruins.
Once in the darkness of the night, Thant pondered for a second what to do with the baby. Did he have any relatives or anyone that could take care of him? This Thant did not know. He only knew that he could not leave the boy alone waiting for someone to show up given that all dark wizards had followers. So it was risky leaving the boy alone. But to take a living human with him seemed equally unacceptable. Although this boy was most unusual! He was the boy who lived, the only human known now to survive. The other necromancers would certainly welcome the boy. So Thant made his decision to the take the baby with him. Not only of the possibility of finding a way to stop the wretched curse that crippled the Necromancers but also a chance of bridging the distance between his kind and the wizards that was also crippled in the past twelve centuries.
But then another thought occurred in Thant’s mind and it was to leave a note for those who might come looking for the boy, to let them known he is fine. But how to be sure that the one that had come was with good intentions? Well, Thant knew of a spell that would solve the problem. Although he was almost certain that those would not like the way it was done but there was no other choice. Thant could not risk the life of the baby.
Soon after Thant’s departure, a giant figure appeared at the ruins of the house. It searched them thoroughly and found what it was looking for – a baby. This seemed to relieve the giant. Then another figure appeared riding a motorcycle. The two spoke briefly then both disappeared.
The next day night, far from Godric’s hollow in the Surrey Shire, a tabby cat was sitting still as a statue on a garden wall on four, Privet Drive. Its eyes were fixed on the far corner of the street as though waiting for something. The cat did not even move when a car door slammed nearby, or when several owls swooped over. In fact it was nearly two o’clock in the morning before the cat moved at all.
A man appeared on the corner of the street the cat had been watching so suddenly and silently you could have said he sprang out of the ground. The cat’s eyes narrowed.
The man was tall, thin, and very old, judging by the silver of his hair and beard, which were both long enough to tuck into his belt. He was wearing long robes, a purple cloak that swept the ground, and high-heeled, buckled boots. His blue eyes were light, bright, and sparkling behind half-moon spectacles and his nose was very long and crooked. This man's name was Albus Dumbledore.
Albus Dumbledore seemed busy rummaging in his clock, looking for something. But he did realize he was been watched, because he turned around and noticed the cat that was still staring at him from the other end of the street. However, for some reason, the sight of the cat seemed to amuse him. He chuckled and muttered, “I should have known!”
At last, he found what he was looking for in his inside pocket. It looked like a silver cigarette lighter. He flicked it open, held it up in the air, and clicked it. The nearest street lamp went out with a little pop. He clicked it again -- the next lamp flickered into darkness. Twelve times he clicked the Put-Outer, until the only lights left on the whole street were two tiny pinpricks in the distance, which were the eyes of the cat watching him. If anyone looked out of their window now, they wouldn't be able to see anything happening down on the pavement. Dumbledore slipped the Put-Outer back inside his cloak and set off down the street toward number four, where he sat down on the wall next to the cat. He didn't look at it, but after a moment he spoke to it.
"Fancy seeing you here, Professor McGonagall."
He turned to smile at the cat, but it had gone. Instead he was smiling at a rather severe-looking woman who was wearing square glasses. She, too, was wearing a cloak, an emerald one. Her black hair was drawn into a tight bun. She looked distinctly ruffled.
"How did you know it was me?" – She asked promptly.
"My dear Professor, I’ve never seen a cat sit so stiffly."
"You'd be stiff if you'd been sitting on a brick wall all day." - Professor McGonagall replied.
"All day? When you could have been celebrating? I must have passed a dozen feasts and parties on my way here."
Professor McGonagall sniffed angrily.
"Oh yes, everyone's celebrating, all right!" – She said impatiently. "You'd think they’d to be a bit more careful, but no -- even the Muggles have noticed something's going on. It was on their news. I heard it. Flocks of owls... shooting stars.... Well, they're not completely stupid. Shooting stars down in Kent -- I'll bet that was Daedalus Diggle. He never had much sense."
"You can't blame them." – Dumbledore said gently. "We've had precious little to celebrate for eleven years."
"I know that!" – Professor McGonagall said irritably. "But that's no reason to lose our heads. People are being downright careless, out on the streets in broad daylight, not even dressed in Muggle clothes, swapping rumors."
She threw a sharp, sideways glance at Dumbledore here, as though hoping he was going to tell her something, but he didn't, so she went on. "A fine thing it would be if, on the very day You Know-Who seems to have disappeared at last, the Muggles found out about us all. I suppose he really has gone, Dumbledore?"
"It certainly seems so!" – Dumbledore replied. "We have much to be thankful for. Would you care for a lemon drop?"
"A lemon drop. They're a kind of Muggle sweet I'm rather fond of."
"No, thank you!" – Professor McGonagall declined coldly, as though she didn't think this was the moment for lemon drops. "As I say, even if You-Know-Who has gone -"
"My dear Professor, surely a sensible person like you can call him by his name? All this 'You- Know-Who' nonsense -- for eleven years I have been trying to persuade people to call him by his proper name: Voldemort."
Professor McGonagall flinched, but Dumbledore, who was unsticking two lemon drops, seemed not to notice. "It all gets so confusing if we keep saying 'You-Know-Who.' I have never seen any reason to be frightened of saying Voldemort's name.”
"I know you haven’t!” – Professor McGonagall remarked, sounding half exasperated, half admiring.”But you're different. Everyone knows you're the only one You-Know- oh, all right, Voldemort, was frightened of."
"You flatter me." – Dumbledore responded calmly. "Voldemort had powers I will never have."
"Only because you're too -- well -- noble to use them."
"It's lucky it's dark. I haven't blushed so much since Madam Pomfrey told me she liked my new earmuffs."
Professor McGonagall shot a sharp look at Dumbledore and said, "The owls are nothing next to the rumors that are flying around. You know what everyone's saying? About why he's disappeared? About what finally stopped him?"
Professor McGonagall had finally reached the point she was most anxious to discuss, the real reason she had been waiting on the wall all day, for as a cat nor as a woman had she fixed Dumbledore with such a piercing stare as she did now. It was plain that whatever "everyone" was saying, she was not going to believe it until Dumbledore told her it was true. Dumbledore, however, was choosing another lemon drop and did not answer.
"What they're saying…" – She pressed on.”…is that last night Voldemort turned up in Godric's Hollow. He went to find the Potters. The rumor is that Lily and James Potter are -- are -- that they're -- dead."
Dumbledore nodded. Professor McGonagall gasped. "Lily and James... I can't believe it... I didn't want to believe it... Oh, Albus..."
Dumbledore reached out and patted her on the shoulder. "I know... I know..." – He said heavily.
Professor McGonagall's voice trembled as she went on. "That's not all. They're saying he tried to kill the Potter's son, Harry. But – he couldn't. He couldn't kill that little boy. No one knows why, or how, but they're saying that when he couldn't kill Harry Potter, Voldemort's power somehow broke -- and that's why he's gone.
Dumbledore nodded glumly.
"It's -- it's true?" - Professor McGonagall faltered. "After all he's done... all the people he's killed... he couldn't kill a little boy? It's just astounding... of all the things to stop him... but how in the name of heaven did Harry survive?"
"We can only guess."- Dumbledore said. "We may never know."
Professor McGonagall pulled out a lace handkerchief and dabbed at her eyes beneath her spectacles. Dumbledore gave a great sniff as he took a golden watch from his pocket and examined it. It was a very odd watch. It had twelve hands but no numbers; instead, little planets were moving around the edge. It must have made sense to Dumbledore, though, because he put it back in his pocket and said, "Hagrid's late. I suppose it was he who told you I'd be here, by the way?"
"Yes!" – Professor McGonagall confirmed. "And I don't suppose you're going to tell me why you're here, of all places?"
"I've come to bring Harry to his aunt and uncle. They're the only family he has left now."
"You don't mean -- you can't mean the people who live here?" – Professor McGonagall cried, jumping to her feet and pointing at number four. "Dumbledore -- you can't. I've been watching them all day. You couldn't find two people who are less like us. And they've got this son -- I saw him kicking his mother all the way up the street, screaming for sweets. Harry Potter can’t come and live here!"
"It's the best place for him!" – Dumbledore said firmly. "His aunt and uncle will be able to explain everything to him when he's older. I've written them a letter."
"A letter?" – Professor McGonagall repeated faintly, sitting back down on the wall. "Really, Dumbledore, you think you can explain all this in a letter? These people will never understand him! He'll be famous – a legend -- I wouldn't be surprised if today was known as Harry Potter day in the future -- there will be books written about Harry -- every child in our world will know his name!"
"Exactly!" – Dumbledore said, looking very seriously over the top of his half-moon glasses. "It would be enough to turn any boy's head. Famous before he can walk and talk! Famous for something he won't even remember! You see how much better off he'll be, growing up away from all that until he's ready to take it?"
Professor McGonagall opened her mouth, changed her mind, swallowed, and then said, "Yes -- yes, you're right, of course. But how is the boy getting here, Dumbledore?" She eyed his cloak suddenly as though she thought he might be hiding Harry underneath it.
"Hagrid's bringing him."
"You think it -- wise -- to trust Hagrid with something as important as this?"
“I would trust Hagrid with my life." – Dumbledore said simply.
"I'm not saying he is not trust worthy," – Professor McGonagall said. "But you can't pretend he's not careless. He does tend to -- what was that?"
A low rumbling sound had broken the silence around them. It grew steadily louder as they looked up and down the street for some sign of a headlight; it swelled to a roar as they both looked up at the sky – and a huge motorcycle fell out of the air and landed on the road in front of them.
If the motorcycle was huge, it was nothing compared to the man sitting astride it. He was almost twice as tall as a normal man and at least five times as wide. He looked simply too big to be allowed, and so wild – long tangles of bushy black hair and beard hid most of his face. He had hands the size of trash can lids, and his feet in their leather boots were like baby dolphins. In his vast, muscular arms he was holding a bundle of blankets.
"Hagrid," – Dumbledore sounded relieved. "At last. And where did you get that motorcycle?"
"Borrowed it, Professor Dumbledore, sit,” - The giant mumbled, climbing carefully off the motorcycle as he spoke. "Young Sirius Black lent it to me."
"No problems, were there?"
"No, sir -- house was almost destroyed, but I’ve got him out before the Muggles started swarmin' around."
Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall bent forward over the bundle of blankets. Inside, just visible, was a baby boy, fast asleep. Under a tuft of jet-black hair over his forehead they could see a curiously shaped cut, like a bolt of lightning.
"Is that where..?" – Professor McGonagall whispered.
"Yes!" – Dumbledore. "He'll have that scar forever."
"Couldn't you do something about it, Dumbledore?"
"Even if I could, I wouldn't. And…” – Dumbledore stopped in the middle of the sentence as he had spotted something strange. The boy had opened his eyes – green like his mother’s but the white part of his eyes were now glowing in scarlet red.
“What’s this Albus?” –Professor McGonagall asked terrified.
“I’m not sure, Minerva.” – Dumbledore replied cautiously.
And then all of sudden there was a bright blinding light. Hagrid cried out loudly, protecting his eyes, dropping the bundle of blankets. But the body of the boy remained in mid air. Dumbledore and McGonagall were watching speechless, as the body soon transformed into pale liquid light unveiling a letter that dropped gently on the ground.
Dumbledore picked up the letter and unfold it. The more he was reading the more he was frowning but then sighed with unwilling relief.
“What does it say, Albus?” – McGonagall asked getting out of the shock.
“It says…“– Dumbledore began. “…that Harry is in good hands.”
That night the wizard community celebrated as it was the day of the fall of the greatest of all dark wizards. And they all raised their glasses in whisper: “For the boy who lived – Harry Potter”.
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