The characters, places, and situations do not belong to me; they are the
property of the wonderful Ms. Rowling. Some of the dialogue is from the
American version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone and is used to supplement
the story; no copy write infringement or plagiarism is intended.
“Hurry up, boy!” shouted Uncle
Vernon from the kitchen. “What are you doing, checking for letter bombs?” Harry
could hear him chuckling at his own joke.
Harry turned to
the take the mail to the kitchen and stopped. He wanted to read his letter, but
didn’t think he should take it into the kitchen. After all, why would someone
write to him? As he passed his cupboard he slid the letter in to read later.
He handed Uncle
Vernon the postcard and bill then sat down to finish his breakfast.
“Marge is ill,”
Uncle Vernon said turning over the postcard. “Ate a funny whelk while on
vacation. But says the weather is good.” He finished his breakfast and stood up
to leave, taking the bill with him. “Have a good day Dudley. And you, boy, do
what your Aunt tells you.”
After everyone was done
with breakfast and Dudley had gone off to Piers’ house Harry was left to do the
dishes and clean up the kitchen. When he got done he couldn’t find Aunt Petunia
so he went back to his cupboard and the mysterious letter. He closed the door
quietly behind him, then picked up the thick yellow envelope and turned it over
to break the seal. Inside were two pieces of paper. One of them looked like a
letter, so Harry read that first.
of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Headmaster: Albus Dumbledore
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock,
Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. Of Wizards)
“I wonder what
all that means? Makes him sound important anyway.”
Dear Mr. Potter,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts
School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary
books and equipment.
Term begins September 1. We await your owl by no later then July 31.
Witchcraft and Wizardry? Await my owl? This has to be some sort of joke. After
all, there’s no such thing as magic, is there?”
interrupted from his thoughts by a rap on the door. “Get outside and weed the
flower bed. And after you’re done you can mow the lawn.”
morning Harry was back at Mrs. Figg's. Aunt Petunia took Dudley shopping for
new shoes after he complained that his old ones didn’t look good with his new
he was able to sneak off to the library. He wanted to see if he could find
anything on Hogwarts or general wizardry books. Though he liked Ms. Garwood,
the librarian, he didn’t need her thinking he was crazy so he headed straight
to the card catalogue.
yielded nothing for Hogwarts but he found a lot for witchcraft and wizardry.
Selecting the entries that looked most useful, Harry went in search of the
books. Most of what he found talked about the history and mythology. The most
interesting was a children’s story that talked about witches and wizards living
in a hidden world among mortals. Though it sounded impossible, Harry read it
It told about a
group of wizards who were being hunted so they discarded their robes and split
up to blend in with mortals. But they would meet in segregated locations to
practice their art away from mortals. Eventually they developed spells to keep
the mortals from their hideaway. This enabled more wizards and witches to give
up the ways of mortals and practice magic freely.
meeting place was said to still exist, but that no one knew where it was. By
the time Harry was done reading he couldn’t help but wonder if this secret
place wasn’t Hogwarts. Before he got a chance to look for more books, Ms.
Garwood rang the bell to announce that she was getting ready to close the
Harry put the
rest of the books on the reshelving cart and took the story to the desk to
check out. “Going to try to locate the magic place, Harry?” asked Ms. Garwood
as she stamped the book.
“No, ma’am. The story just
sounds interesting. Thank you.” Harry left with the book and got back to his
Aunt and Uncle’s house just in time to store it in his cupboard before having
to make supper.
able to study the book further until the next afternoon when he took his letter
and the book to the park on Magnolia Crescent. He reread the letter to see if
it had any hints he might have missed. He wasn’t finding anything and was
getting ready to leave when something caught his eye. Sitting on the swings was
“‘We await your
owl.’ I wonder if that’s for me?” He put the book and letter on the ground and
went to see about procuring the owl. When he reached the swings he climbed on
one and was so focused on getting the owl that he didn’t see or hear the other
“Look who we have here.”
At the sounds
of cousin’s voice Harry turned to look over his shoulder. He thought briefly
about getting off the swing, but decided he was safer where he was.
for the birds, he must think that he can fly. Why don’t we give him a hand?”
could react they had surrounded the swing and were pushing him in all
directions. When Dudley, who was at his back, got him again he gave a
particularly sharp push to Harry’s back. Harry lost his hold on the chains and
went flying off the swing.
“He really can
fly. Too bad his landing is so rough.”
Dudley and his
gang left Harry laying face down in the gravel. He waited until he knew they
had left the park before getting up. From the pain in his hands and face he
knew they would be bruised. He looked up, but the owl was no longer sitting on
top of the swings.
It was almost
dark by the time Harry got back to Privet Drive. His Uncle, Aunt and cousin
were sitting in the lounge watching television so Harry snuck in the back door
into the kitchen and to get some supper for himself. Just as he was opening the
refrigerator Uncle Vernon walked in.
steal more food are you? Since you voluntarily missed supper you can go
without. And you can stay in your cupboard all day tomorrow for trying to take
what’s not yours.”
With that Uncle
Vernon closed the door to the refrigerator and dragged Harry down the hall to
his cupboard. Harry heard the lock click as he was straightening his glasses.
He wasn’t so pleased with being punished for something he didn’t think was
wrong, but there wasn’t any possibility about contradicting Uncle Vernon.
asleep much later that night trying not to think about how hungry he was. He
had a restless sleep punctuated by strange dreams. The one about the flying
motorbike was back. This time it was joined by others about broomsticks and
All of his
dreams had a feeling of contented happiness to them. But then something
changed. Harry woke with a start, covered in a cold sweat and short of breath.
He couldn’t remember much of the last dream, only that it ended with a bright
flash of green light. He lay there in the dark, afraid to go back to sleep, yet
unwilling to turn on the light to chase away the shadows.
He wasn’t sure
how long he had been staring at the ceiling when the lock clicked open. Harry
scrambled to get up thinking perhaps his uncle had changed his mind. But as he
reached for his glasses, Harry saw a plate of toast being pushed through the
door and then heard the click of the lock again.
experiences Harry knew that toast was all he’d get to eat all day. But he also
knew that his aunt would be back to take the plate away before too long. He
grabbed the two pieces of toast and put them on the shelf that he always kept
clean for times like these.
Harry spent the
day nibbling on the toast and rereading his letter. He had read it so many
times it was almost memorized but he took it out to read again anyway.
“I need to send
an owl back by the thirty-first. I’ve only seen one owl since I got the letter,
so I don’t know if they mean by bird or if that’s code for something else.
Well, I’m going to write out my reply just in case.”
some paper left from school, got out a pen, and wrote his reply.
I have never heard of Hogwarts, and
thought this was a joke. But after careful consideration I accept the
invitation to attend. I await further instructions.
He knew there was not going
to be an opportunity to send the letter that day, so he put it where he’d
remember to grab it in the morning.
Because he was
locked in his cupboard, Harry couldn’t hear the conversation at dinner. But as
his uncle, aunt and cousin moved into the lounge to watch the news, he could
hear them talking. Something his uncle said caught his ear; he moved closer to
the door to listen.“…three of them, just sitting there. Owls out in broad
daylight, like they were expecting something. And I’ve no idea why they’d be on
trying to get an owl at the park yesterday. Maybe these ones are its friends
come to exact revenge.”
There was an
awkward pause in which Harry tried desperately to see though the cracks around
“Yes, well. I’m
sure it’s nothing.” Uncle Vernon’s voice didn’t sound so sure to Harry. “Let’s
see what’s on the news, shall we?”
there wouldn’t be anything else to hear with the television on, so he moved
away from the door. The conversation may have seemed normal and unimportant to
most people, but it left Harry with a feeling of unease.
Uncle Vernon sound worried? I bet they do mean using the birds as a means of
correspondence. Perhaps I’ll see another one tomorrow, Harry thought as he
settled in for the evening.
The next day Harry found
himself over at Mrs. Figg’s while his aunt, uncle, and cousin went to a social
function for Uncle Vernon’s company. He wasn’t thrilled at the idea of spending
another day that week with the mad old lady and her cats. But he thought
perhaps she would at least let him sit outside for a bit and maybe he could
catch an owl.
Mrs. Figg was
still in her cast and still upset with her cats. She did let Harry watch the
television again and still had some of the chocolate cake. After scanning
through the channels Harry determined that there wasn’t anything interesting to
watch. He thought about asking Mrs. Figg about Hogwarts and see if she’d ever
heard of it, but changed his mind.
Harry was looking out the window wishing he could go outside, an owl flew by.
He was so startled he gave a slight involuntary jump.
“What is it?
Did you see a ghost or something?” Mrs. Figg had come back into the room at
“N-no. It was
just an owl. Strange though, an owl being out in the middle of the day. Have
you ever heard of owls delivering mail?” The question was out before he even
had a chance to stop it.
a rather strange look from the old lady before she answered. “Mail from owls?
What kind of silly idea is that?”
I heard somewhere.” They sat in silence for a little while before Harry worked
up the courage to ask his next question. “Have you ever heard of a place called
know they are a flower: quite lovely, too. But a place? I don’t think so.”
Harry spent the
rest of Saturday evening and all of Sunday doing his best to avoid the rest of
his family. He tried to sneak out Monday morning to see about catching an owl,
but Aunt Petunia snagged him to do chores as soon as breakfast was over.
the lawn in the afternoon, Harry noticed not one or two but four owls sitting
on the roof. He hadn’t realized he was staring until Aunt Petunia shrieked at
him from the kitchen window.
stand there. The lawn won’t mow itself, you know.”
At the sound of
her voice, the owls flew off. Harry was startled out of his trance and
after supper while the others were watching “The Great Humberto” on television,
Harry went to his cupboard. He could hear the program over the patter of rain
and wondered if anyone would notice if he were to sneak out. But he decided
against it as he didn’t need to be tracking water and mud back into the house.
He pulled his
letter back out to read again. As he was reading a thought suddenly struck him.
“Reply by July
31? That’s tomorrow. That’s also my birthday. I wonder if this really is
someone’s idea of a joke?”
lost in thought until he heard the stairs creak above him as the others went up
to bed. Harry could still hear the rain outside, but didn’t sound like it was
going to escalate into a storm. He lay there listening it to it for a while and
started to drift off to sleep just as the clock struck midnight.
Harry was about to head out to the garden to find something to do when Aunt
Petunia stopped him. “Boy, you’re going over to Mrs. Figg’s for the day. Don’t
ask questions, just go.”
have to be told twice to leave, though he would rather not be going to Mrs. Figg’s
again. He slowly made his way to Wisteria Walk and was met by Mr. Tibbles as he
got closer to her house. The cat watched him walk by and then followed him to
the front door.
“Ah, there you
are. I wondered where you had wandered off to,” Mrs. Figg was standing in the
doorway waiting for Harry and the cat. “He seems to like you for some odd
reason, which is a first, I think. Come on in, no need to stand out in the
been there very long when there was a knock at the back door. Thinking that
there was probably a few neighbors that came over to visit Harry didn’t pay any
attention to the visitor until they were standing in the doorway.
Looking up Harry
saw a giant man standing in the doorway. He was wearing a coat that appeared to
be made mostly of pockets while shaggy hair and a wild beard nearly covered his
face. Noticeable though were his eyes; they were black and small, but crinkled
at the corners as if he was smiling.
Harry gave the visitor a startled look, not being sure why he was there. After
all, no one ever remembered it was his birthday anymore.
“It’s not every
day you turn eleven, yeh know.”
“But why are you
here? And how did you know it was my birthday?”
“I’m here to
take you to buy your school supplies. You are coming to school, aren’t you?
Dumbledore said you hadn’t written back, but hoped it was jus’ your relatives
asked Harry looking confused. “Who are you? Who’s Dumbledore?”
know?” Harry shook his head and the giant sat in the chair opposite before
continuing. “Rubeus Hagrid, Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts. But
everyone calls me Hagrid. Dumbledore is the Headmaster, and the best one
they’ve had for some time if you ask me.”
“But what is Hogwarts?
I received a letter and tried to find something on it at the library, but there
“Of course you
wouldn’t’a come up with an’thin’. It’s hidden from the Muggles and you wouldn’t
find any books on i’ in your library anyway. You didn’t know that already? What
did that aunt an’ uncle o’ yours tell yeh abou’ it?”
tell me anything. In fact I didn’t show them my letter: should I have?”
told yeh anything? Not at all? Not even about your parents?”
“Just that they
were killed in the car crash that gave me this scar,” Harry pulled back the
fringe that covered the jagged scar on his forehead.
roared Hagrid jumping up. “How could a car crash kill Lily and James Potter?
It’s an outrage! A scandal! Harry Potter not knowing his own story when every
kid in our world knows his name!”
“But why would
everyone know my name? I didn’t do anything, did I?”
“Do you mean to
tell me,” he growled, “that you – You! – know nothing abou’ – about ANYTHING?
About our world. Your world. My world. Yer parents
“Please do keep
it down in there,” Mrs. Figg called from the other room. “You are startling the
looked ashamed for raising his voice Harry was just confused about why Mrs.
Figg had let this stranger in the house. What does she know about all of
this, thought Harry before realizing what Hagrid had just said.
“Yer a wizard,
“Me? I can’t be
“Not a wizard,
eh? Never make anything happen when you was scared or angry?”
back over all the times that strange stuff seemed to happen. He had either been
scared or angry and had wished that he could do something. Harry smiled at the
thought of the various results.
“See? You’d be a
thumpin’ good ’un, I’d say, once yeh’ve been trained up a bit. With a mum and
dad like yours what else would yeh be?”
“You knew my
parents? What were they like? How did they die if it wasn’t a crash?”
“ I don’ think
I’m the one who should tell yeh.” Hagrid looked away so as not to have to answer
Harry’s questions and caught sight of the clock. “Would you look at the time,
we need to go get your supplies.”
“But I don’t
know what I will need. Nor do I have any money to purchase anything and I don’t
think my Aunt and Uncle will help any.” Though worried about how he would be
able to attend the school Harry was elated about the thought of leaving his
aunt and uncles house.
should’ve been with the letter. As for money, d’yeh think yeh parents didn’t
leave yeh anything? First stop will be to Gringotts, the wizard’s bank.”
By this point
Hagrid was ushering Harry out the door, Mrs. Figg and her cats having been
forgotten. Harry had to take three steps for every one Hagrid took.
Gringotts. Run by goblins and said to be guarded by dragons. Sure would like a
dragon. Nice creatures, dragons.”
could comment further they had reached Number Four, Privet Drive, and Hagrid
was knocking on the door.
surprised to see his uncle open the door since he should have been at work.
Hagrid didn’t seem to be taken aback by this at all.
Dursley. We’re here to collect young Harry’s school list an’ then off to git
him his supplies.”
nonsense are you trying to fill the boy with?” Uncle Vernon tried to pull Harry
into the house, but Hagrid wouldn’t let him. “I don’t know who you are or what
you think your doing, but you may leave at once.”
“Ah, shut up,
Dursley, yeh great prune. We won’ be here but a minute if you let us in. Or we
can stand here and discuss it.”
seemed to realize that they were in plain view of anyone who might be out and
reluctantly let them in so as to keep people from looking at them.
here?” Aunt Petunia came into the hallway from the kitchen and stopped when she
saw who was there. “He’s one of them. What are you doing here?” she hissed
through her teeth.
One of them?
Harry thought to himself. They must have known all along. “You knew I
was a wizard and never told me? That my parents were wizards and not killed in
a car crash?”
“Of course we
knew. My sister being what she was and meeting that Potter at school. And then
we got saddled with you after they got themselves blown up.”
“You should be
grateful we took you in boy, even with your abnormalities. We gave you a roof
over your head, clothes for your back, and food for your plate. Better than you
would have gotten anyplace else.”
injected Hagrid before things could get out of hand. “Harry, get yer list so we
can be on our way. We’ve lots to do still. Professor Dumbledore would be upset
if we didn’t get it all done.”
“I AM NOT PAYING
FOR SOME CRACKPOT OLD FOOL TO TEACH HIM MAGIC TRICKS!” yelled Uncle Vernon
finally losing control.
Hagrid spun from
starting to open the door and drew a pink umbrella from inside his coat to
point threateningly at Uncle Vernon. “NEVER –” he thundered, “– INSULT – ALBUS
– DUMBLEDORE – IN – FRONT – OF – ME!”
He swung the
umbrella to his left and came to rest on Dudley, who had come to the dining
room doorway eating a piece of cake. With a flash of violet light and a sharp
crack Dudley dropped the plate and grabbed his bottom. As he fled back into the
dining room Harry saw that he had a curly pig’s tail poking through a hole in
Uncle Vernon and
Aunt Petunia hurried after him, leaving Harry and Hagrid alone in the hall.
Harry hurried to his cupboard, trying to hide his smile at seeing his cousin
with the tale, to get the list and when he emerged Hagrid had a thunderous
expression on his face.
“Go wait outside
Harry, I want to have a word with your Aunt and Uncle before we leave.”
Harry went out
and sat on the step while he waited for Hagrid. It wasn’t very long before he
came out and they headed for the station to take the train into London.
When Harry got
back to Privet Drive that evening he could hear screaming coming from inside
the house. He hoped they weren’t going to try to blame whatever it was on him.
When he opened
the door, Uncle Vernon met him in the hall with a look of annoyance mixed with
terror. “Get your things, boy. You’ll be moving into Dudley’s second room.”
Harry, not being sure he heard correctly nor trusting his uncle.
“Don’t go asking
questions!” snapped his Uncle. “Just do as you’re told.”
Harry left his
trunk and owl in the hall while he went into the cupboard to gather up his few
things. While he was doing this he overheard the conversation in the lounge and
found out that Dudley was throwing a tantrum because he didn’t want Harry in
the room. Aunt Petunia calmly replied, “That bad man threatened to come back if
we didn’t give him a proper room.”
Harry lay on his
new bed that evening and thought about the day. Over lunch he had gotten Hagrid
to tell him more about his parents and what happened to them. Then Hagrid had
started talking about how he’d always wanted a dragon and the laws not allowing
you to keep one as a pet.
There had been so much to see and do that day Harry
wasn’t sure if he’d ever understand it all, but that didn’t bother him. He fell
asleep that night with a smile on his face knowing that his life was going to
Author’s note: Thanks to
Lady Narcissa for being
an excellent beta reader. Without your help I would be floundering. And to
Sammy Weasley for helping me work out ideas and reading all the variations. And
to all my readers, you keep me writing.