Harry's life after he is adopted, culminating with his last day as a "normal" person
November 3rd, 1991
Albus Dumbledore's office opened with the familiar face of Minerva McGonagall.
“Ah, you're back. I trust everything went well?”
For some reason, there was a gap in events between shortly after Dumbledore left and when Minerva decided to call it a night for Number 4, Privet Drive on November 1st. Was she abducted by aliens? She recalled reading a muggle periodical one time about the concept of “missing time” among UFO abductees. Of course, to Minerva, every flying machine invented by muggles counted as a UFO.
“I...can't recall really. I think the blood wards are somehow preventing me from going near the house. I can't remember anything about twenty minutes after we left young Mr. Potter on the doorstep of the Dursley's. Before the missing twenty minutes, nothing out of the ordinary. Not a soul was awake.”
“Hmm, well, I guess I should go there myself. But first, I should write to someone. Arabella Figg still lives in Little Whinging, Minerva?”
“Yes Albus, I chatted with her yesterday after I visited the homes of some ex students.”
“Well, I'm going to write a letter myself. Now where is my quill?”
“It grew legs and walked off by itself. Darla Newton transfigured it on the night-”, Minerva struggled to say it, “-Voldemort fell. The portraits told me that she cracked the password to your office. She's now serving a week's detention.”
Dumbledore chuckled at the antics of Darla, who in his mind was the best prankster since the Marauder's. No matter. He'll just transfigure a piece of parchment into a new quill. And he did. Gathering his ink, he wrote:
This is Albus Dumbledore. I know that it's been a long while since I last wrote to you, and this might be out of the blue, but I am going to pull the passive aggressive card on you. Why didn't YOU write to ME? Little joke, Bella, don't take it personally, please. I want to ask a favor of you. Surely you must know by now that Tom Riddle, AKA “Lord Voldemort”, please don't fret or faint at me saying that, it's only a title, nothing more. Surely you must know that he is gone. Not dead, I presume, but gone for now, and what I estimate will be an absence of many years. He died as a result of Harry Potter, AKA “The Boy Who Lived”. I want you to keep an eye on him. Your eye, in particular. He lives on Number 4, just across the street a little ways from your residence. The Dursley's I suspect will not be very welcoming of young Harry, who I have entrusted into their care to protect Harry via the wards of blood on the mother's side(Petunia Dursley is the sister of Lily Evans-Potter, in case you haven't been keeping score like I have). Harry's mother and father sacrificed themselves to protect Harry, and I need you to do the same. I am pulling in that old favor you owe me, Bella.”
The phoenix swam the waves of air to his master's desk. The master put the letter into Fawkes' mouth, and off the phoenix swam outside the window of the high turret where Albus called his office.
Since Harry Potter was not of our world, that of the muggles(or more adroitly and accurately, the mundane humans), he had no official “way in” to the adoption process. No problem. The Parker's would have their child. He never even left their home. He didn't have to since Ben's much younger brother took care of it all.
For the first few weeks, the sense of awkwardness permeated the daily giest at the Parker home. The paperwork and monetary dealings were all dealt with, and Harry would officially be a Parker in six months, but it just felt weird.
“Why do you think Richard was so adamant about us protecting this baby?” asked May to her husband.
“Well, you heard Richie Rich. He needs a home. Nowhere does it say that being a Good Samaritan can't last more than a day.”
Peter had taken to his adopted brother with curiosity. He had gotten the old room, where Peter had once tried putting his toys, but ended up missing them and putting back in his room. Little Harry had a little lightning shaped scar on his forehead. Where did it come from? He asked his uncle, and he said from gang violence. But there was something about it...
July 26th, 1993
“This is Albus Dumbledore. How are things with you Arabella? I hope you are enjoying the summer as much as I am. How is Harry? You should be getting this letter close to Harry's birthday. Now don't you worry about the boy, for it is quite common that family's don't show off their new offspring to the neighbors. My late sister Ariana was also sheltered from the neighbors, and for good reasons. You say that you suspect mistreatment of the boy? On what grounds?”
October 31st, 1993: In the dark of night, Harry has his first encounter with the Boogeyman. He doesn't dare tell Aunt May or Uncle Ben or Peter out of fear of being thought as a wimp.
July 1st, 1994: The Parker's decide to take a trip to the park. Ben was off from work today, so why not? Harry is introduced to Frisbee.
July 4th, 1994: Fireworks. Lots and lots of fireworks.
Harry “oohs” and “awes” a lot.
May 26th,1997: Peter sits transfixed at the television, watching footage of the Jurassic Park incident in San Diego on CNN. Cloned dinosaurs, included a fraking T-Rex, destroyed tons of property including the seaport there. Several people involved with the incident, including the founder of the genetics company InGen which created the dinosaurs, John Hammond, provide fascinating talking head material. Damage tolls apparently will be somewhere in the range of the 1994 Los Angeles earthquake.
September 3rd, 1997:
“Yes, Aunt May?” Harry had just gotten out of the shower, and his Aunt was drying him off.
“Do you think you're old enough to start bathing yourself? I don't want to push it, but I thought you might be more comfortable...”
Seven year old Harry Parker hadn't given the matter any thought until now.
“Could you do it for a few more days, please? Please?”
December 2nd, 1997:
Harry waits for the school-bus to arrive. He's all bundled up, and had just gone to the dentist. His tongue was licking his teeth, feeling for anything in the back that might be loose. Who knows? Maybe he might lose one of his teeth and get a visit from the tooth fairy!
Harry and his Aunt May make small talk about one thing and another. She relates to him a story about a talking turkey named Herbert that she had told Harry and Peter over Thanksgiving dinner to entertain them, and Harry has wanted it repeated about a dozen times by now.
“Bus is here” says May. She gives Harry a hug and a kiss, and off he goes on the bus.
Harry looks for a seat. Someone tries to trip him, a jerk he barely knew, but Harry steps over it and sits next to another kid that sees his silver filling from the dentist. Said kid mistakes it for actual silver, as if Harry were a pirate or something, and tries to pull it out of his mouth.
Harry evades and says, “Wait. How about a thumb war? If I win, I keep my tooth. If you win, you get my tooth.”
The two opponents fists and knuckles push against each other, while the kid's right thumb and Harry's left thumb dance to the tune of the oncoming war.
“One. Two. Three. Four. I. De. Clare. A. Thumb. War” they sing in tandem.
And they're off.
The first round lasts a good forty-five seconds, with Harry's tactile strength overcoming the other kid's bigger thumb.
“I win!” beamed Harry
“Best two out of three?” asked the other kid.
“Sure, why not?”
The school bus passed by a pharmacy, a fish market and a newspaper stand, but only Harry was looking outside the window.
This time, the kid(who Harry think's was named Tommy or something) beat Harry in thirty seconds.
For the last and final round, Harry won, and rather quickly I might add, within six seconds.
Harry's seatmate had to stew for the rest of the ride, while they made small talk about what they would do if they were pirates in real life.
August 15th, 1998:
“Today, Peter is turning the big 1-3, so take it easy on him if he has any mood swings” said Aunt May.
Both her, Ben, and Harry were in the dining room, hiding themselves from Peter, who was having Captain Crunch for breakfast.
December 14th, 1998:
“Harry, come here!”
Harry, who had been playing with his model train set, comes running into Pete's room, who was reading some printouts that he got at the library(his family couldn't afford a home computer at the time) . The printouts showed a guy dressed up like the comic book character “Captain America”.
“Cool” said Harry. “But what's the big deal? You already have a dozen issues of Captain America.”
“No Harry, this is man that Cap was based off of.”
“Whoh!” said Harry in his high pitched voice, impressed. He crouched down next to Peter's chair, and began reading the papers, a few of which showcased a few other “real life” superheroes. Most of them were people neither Harry nor Pete had ever heard of, like Isaiah Bradley, Lemar Hoskins, and an unidentified man nicknamed “Union Jack”. Captain America was a legend, however. If the website was accurate, Steve Rogers was a real person(not just a fabrication by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. In fact they reportedly were inspired from a newspaper headline), and his “origin story” was totally legit. Maybe what happened in the comics took artistic license, but the site claimed that there really was a blonde guy who took some Charles Atlas-esque superformula just after the war started(even before the attack on Pearl Harbor had occurred), was part of something called “Project: Rebirth”, had a real indestructible shield, and he really went missing after WWII. If he really was frozen in a block of ice after trying to rescue a guy named “Bucky” Barnes, the sense of synchronicity would be palpable and kind of freaky.
“Do you think it's real?”
“Hard to say” said Pete. “There's tons and tons of garbage online, like fake UFO abduction stories, but the documentation on this guy is like really solid. Take a look...”
For the next few school days, all the way up until Christmas break, Harry's mind wanders during class. He wonders if superheroes and other creatures of fantasy and science fiction really exist. How he would love that.
December 17th, 1999:
“Hey Pete, remember when you were showing me those documents about there being a real Captain America?”
“Well...what if other characters were real too?”
“Well, it depends Harry. Conceivably, certain members of the X-Men could exist in real life. A lot of them couldn't. Cyclops couldn't. Wolverine probably couldn't. Psylocke and any of the people that take advantage of the made up psionic field couldn't. It's possible that Electro from the “Ant-Man” stories could.
“What about Batman?”
“Maybe in thirty or fifty years, possibly. But he'd have to cover his chin to protect himself from facial recognition technologoy and maybe get something to change his eye color while he's out on patrol. Plus, wouldn't everyone naturally suspect a really rich guy as being the likely candidate for the real life Batman?”
“A lot of people want to be Batman” said Harry. “He's like the most inspirational superhero there is. He has no powers, and does everything with his smarts and his training. Couldn't someone middle class do that in the future?”
“I don't know, Harry. Has it ever worked to date?”
“No” said Harry, putting down his head.
“I thought you liked the magic characters, though” asked Peter, still busy doing his calculus and not even looking over his paper.
“I do. But they're just fantasy. Maybe magic is real, I don't know. There's no way to prove that magic really exists until someone goes on television and proves it.”
“That's true. Harry, could you leave me be for a few minutes? We can play Lego's or whatever when I'm finished.”
“OK”, and Harry walked out of the room.
Harry and Peter were both into comics. They both pretty much liked the same stuff, but their natural tendencies showed off in their preferences. Peter loved the more scientific and brainy heroes, such as “The Fantastic Four”, “Batman”, “Steel-Man” and especially “Ant-Man”(not to be confused with the real comic book character Ant-Man/Giant Man/Hank Pym). Ant-Man, who's alter ego was Vinnie Vallejo(named by creator Stan Lee after the famous painter Boris Vallejo), was a teenaged geek just like Peter Parker. Vinnie's origin story was that he was bitten by a radioactive ant at a scientific demonstration, and thankfully didn't die of leukemia. Instead, Vinnie got superhuman strength(he could lift over twenty tons), telepathy, and enhanced durability. He used his genius to create “Hermes Heels”, which were jetpack shoes running on a fictional, almost infinite and always convenient energy source.
Meanwhile, Harry was more into the magical side of things. He loved Thor, Etrigan The Demon, Dr Strange, and the “Sandman” stories by the incomparable Neil Gaiman. Harry found solace in fantasy, but wouldn't let anyone know it. When Uncle Ben or Aunt May read him fairy tales at night, he would feign disapproval, but when one of them was tired of reading, he would strategically nag them into finishing that nights story. Both Ben and May saw right through Harry's ploys, and loved every minute of them.
April 16th, 1999: Peter wins a freshman writing award at his school, Midtown High, for doing both a written and an oral dissertation on how the teleportation pods of the late physicist Seth Brundle failed to work on sentient animals, and a few vague generalities on how he might have improved the technology with the benefit of foresight and humbleness. The good thing about the report is that Peter was able to take a complicated and some say futuristic subject, and make it easy for everyone to understand(without dumbing it down, either). The following Monday, he is still slammed against a locker by his “friendly neighborhood bully”, Flash Thompson.
September 6th, 1999: Harry plays and enjoys his first game of soccer. For years he had avoided it, thinking it wasn't appropriate to play for Americans, or some other stupid line of reasoning. He plays in the school courtyard both during recess and after school, and finds a new friend named Chris Powell. He lived three blocks away from the Parker's.
January 1st, 2000:
“Three! Two! One! Happy New Year!”
It was the new millennium, and Harry giggled. It was the first time he had been allowed to, and the first time he wanted to stay up past midnight.
“Now we can use my 'Cracked 1000 Year Calendar!'” he yelled.
“Yep, we sure can” said Ben.
“What an empty scare Y2K turned out to be” complained Aunt May. She was glad that nothing happened, but frankly was getting sick and tired of being told to stock up on batteries, something she had confided with Ben earlier in the week. None of the Parker's had really expected doomsday to begin with.
“Now, off you go to bed Harry. Peter, you can stay up.”
“Aw, no fair” whined Harry.
But he went into his room anyway, and climbed into bed with his Dennis The Menace bedsheets.
Quoth Uncle Ben:
“Sweet dreams, Harry.”
“Oh yeah, well I think Dragon Ball Z sucks ass. Don't try to convince me otherwise.”
“Fuck. This nigga is crazy, am I right?” laughed a very immature and very Caucasian schoolmate of Harry's. It was his first encounter with a pack of wild bullies.
“Yeah right. Wipe your ass next time you decide to sit on the monkey bars”, and Harry untangles him and falls a foot to the ground.
“What the fuck did you say?” said the bully, too lazy to leave his lofty perch. The others, his posse, followed suit by not doing anything. Or is that not following suit? Whatever.
“If Orlando wants to play King Kong, let him.” thought Harry as he walked back into the school. Recess was ending in three minutes.
“Giant apes all end up getting shot at, anyway.”
Later that day, Harry walked to the designated point where he would meet Uncle Ben to pick him up from school. He encountered Orlando again, but he wasn't worried. For one, Orlando was only eleven, and two, Uncle Ben had already kicked the ass of Peter's school bully, Flash Thompson, when said bully tried to get to one of Peter's friends hiding out in his room a few weeks ago. Harry remembers that day fondly.
June 3rd, 2000: Harry out of sheer curiosity knocks on the door of the house to his right. It's the home of Mary Jane Watson and her parents. She was in Peter's grade and were both the age of fifteen, and they both lived next door to each other since Peter was six, and they've never spoken once. “Peter has had a crush on her since forever, but he'll never admit it” thought Harry to himself with a smirk. Harry was not as much of a dork as Peter was, as he had no problem with girls either his age or older, and he was also braver then Peter, if he did say so himself. The door answers...
It was Mary Jane's father.
“Yeah, what do you want?” said the man in a drunken slur.
“I, uh, was wondering if Mary Jane was home?”
“Yo, Mary Jane! You have a date or something? The kid's only ten for Christ's sake.”
“What the heck are you talking about?” said MJ in an exasperated tone to her father as Harry heard her stamp her feet down the stairs. She was clearly very annoyed with him. She enters the doorway, and sees Harry. She was wearing a blue tank top with a silvery five pointed star design on it. A friendly smile pops up on her lovely face.
“Oh, hey Harry. How are ya doin'?”
Her voice was both coy and warm, and everything else about her screamed gorgeous. Harry would remember this exact scene years later as the moment that he started to notice and like girls, particularly redheads.
In the background, MJ's dad was drinking in the kitchen while eating a hero sandwich, burping loudly and talking to himself nonsensically.
“Hey Mary Jane. I just realized that I don't really know you. At all. Mind if I come in and hang out?”
MJ giggles and says “Sure! Don't mind my dad though.”
Mary Jane's room was not unlike any typical teenage girls room. She was listening to some nondescript pop song, and looked dressed like she was about to go out.
“I'm not bothering you, am I? Looks like you were...”
“I was, but no where in particular. So what's up?”
“Nothing. Bored. Bored. Bored. Hey what's that, a beta fish?”
The beta fish, red and gold, just looked at Harry. It had big eyes.
“Yeah, his name is Aleister Crowley, after, ya know, that historical guy. Sorry, I don't really know who he is, I just liked the name” said Mary Jane, who then blushed.
“What are you listening to?”
“Oh, it's just Vitamin C.I don't really like her, but I got bored too and just had to dance to something. What do you listen to, Harry?”
“Not a big music fan, to be honest”, Harry shrugged. “But Aunt and Uncle always have Dean Martin on, so I guess his influence hasn't escaped me. And the Stones. Aunt May really digs The Stones.”
“Not the Beatles?”
“No. Aunt May likes them too, but she loves Mick Jagger. She's never been to a concert of his, but has always wanted to. She says that wage slavery prevents her from going.”
Mary Jane then gave the sad “oh” sound.
Harry has a good time with her and then returns home, that was right next door, several hours later. He made it just in time for dinner, which was a meatloaf served with tomato sauce.
“Where were you?” asked Peter after dinner when Harry was brushing his teeth.
“Next door” said Harry between brushes.
“Next door? You don't even know them.”
“Yeah? Isn't that weird? To live next door to someone for years and never know anything about them? Did you know MJ is a big theater geek?”
Harry was now gargling.
“Yeah, she performs in all the school plays.”
“She has all of Shakespeare's and a little of Marlowe's work in her bedroom too. She says The Jew Of Malta is one of her favorites, and wants to play Abigail if there's ever a revival.”
December 3rd, 2000: Harry enjoys one of his favorite episodes of The Simpsons, titled “The Computer Wore Menace Shoes”.
After that episode, whenever Harry sat down on the couch in the living room, he would pick up the remote and start channel surfing, complaining in a badly done faux German accent: “Aren't there any evil movies on? Maybe something about an evil island?”
One time when he did this, he came across both Schindler's List and Cannibal Holocaust.
January 1st. 2001:
The Parker family goes ice skating to celebrate New Years Day, and both Harry and Aunt May suffer nasty falls shortly afterward.
“Aunt May?!” yelled Peter, skating over to her.
She gets up just fine, saying, “I'm fine!”
“Do you need to go to a hospital?” asked Harry, who wasn't really hurt at all.
“For Sam Hill's sake, you three treat me like an old woman!”
“Sorry May. Sometimes I tell the kids to be a little protective of you. It's my fault. But hey, this is fun, isn't it guys?” asked Ben.
“Very, Uncle Ben” said Peter honestly. He hadn't had this much fun since he watched Mary Jane take out her family's trash the other day.
April 20th, 2001:
In his afternoon gym class, Harry runs a four minute mile. He has always been the best athlete in his grade ever since he started attending school. Though Peter was five years older than him, and a junior in high school, Harry suspects that he might be jealous. That's OK though, thought Harry, since he was jealous that he wasn't as smart as his older brother(Harry long ago stopped thinking of himself as an adopted brother as if “adopted” were a dirty word). Harry does another run, a fun mile, immediately afterward just for the heck of it, beating his own record by a few seconds. The slowest person in his class, an overweight kid named Silas that Harry didn't particularly get along with, jokingly complains that he never signed up to go on Survivor. Silas' time was a little over thirteen minutes.
July 17th, 2001:
“Harry! You've got some letters! They look like they're from various schools” yelled a slighted jarred Uncle Ben.
“What?” answered Harry lazily from the living room, half not listening.
“Schools I said. Funny, we never sent away for these. And they have your old surname on it-”
Harry walked into the hallway, still in his boxer shorts, and cut his uncle off by taking the letters from his hand.
“Holy crap, one of these is from the U.K” said Harry as he walked casually back into the living room, his uncle following him.
The first letter was made of heavy, yellowish parchment. The lettering was in emerald green:
Mr H. Potter
The Living Room
Forest Hills, New York ***
“The living room?” Curious, Harry opened the letter, somehow overlooking that the front side of the envelope had read POTTER and not PARKER. He broke the cool looking wax seal containing the letter, which was a likeness of a shield with four animals on it. Unsure about what was inside, Harry took out another piece of heavy parchment and read the following:
HOGWARTS SCHOOL of WITCHCRAFT and WIZARDRY
Headmaster: ALBUS DUMBLEDORE
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)
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 on September 1. We await your owl by no later than July 31.
“What is this?” asked Harry.
Harry took out the other letter, the list of tomes and knickknacks, and saw the list of the required books he had never heard of by authors with made up sounding names. There were also requests to purchase things like cauldrons and magic wands. Harry thought that only witches used cauldrons, and that only Mickey Mouse and fairy godmothers used wands. What did these jokers take him for? He looked up to his uncle for support.
“Read the rest, go on. I'm sure you'll find out on your own” answered Ben.
The next letter was a little closer to home, and it wasn't on heavy, old parchment. Not that parchment was a bad thing, thought Harry, just...odd.
Harry opened the standard paper envelope, with no seal, and read the following:
THE NEW YORK SCHOOL OF UNDERAGE SORCERY TRAINING
Your records indicate that you have genetically inherited the ability to harness the hitherto unnamed earthly magic known only to exist within the wide reaching but secretive “Wizarding World”. While this is not the only type of magic we can train you for, your type of magic is covered under our full scholarship which is funded through private donations. If you are interested in pursuing additional magical training, please call, fax, or e-mail me at the numbers listed below. Term begins September 1st, and ends December 22nd, restarting on January 2nd. . Final exams conclude on June 25th. In addition to your magical training, you will receive a liberal arts education, and a general exploration of the sciences. I am reasonably certain you will be confused as to the exact nature of this letter, so feel free to read the brochure, and check out our website at NYUST.com.
Ben Neuman, Principal
The brochure looked normal enough until you noticed that one of the teachers had horns coming out of his forehead and that most of the models posing as students carried little pointy sticks.
“Sorcery?” asked Harry.
Harry reads the other letters, which were all from magical academies crisscrossing North America, and two more from Europe. Besides Hogwarts and the school in New York City, he also got invitations to Durmstrang(located in Scandanavia), Beauxbatons(located in France), The Sorcerer's Academy in Chicago, which technically was located in a pocket dimension under Lower Wacker Drive(and from the looks of the clothing and hairstyles in the magic brochure, all of it's staff members and students were stuck in the 1950's), a freaky Voodoo training program in Baton Rouge, a mainly Jesuit school in Santa Clara, California that taught wizard magic as an elective, and a few other schools in Canada also replied.
“I don't get any of this.”
“Of course you don't. But, um, you're a wizard Harry. You can practice magic!”
“Magic isn't real” said Harry.
“You don't like magic Harry? Is that why you have all of those Dr. Strange comics up stairs? Is that why your seventh birthday party had a magician?”
“No, Uncle Ben. I love magic. I just don't believe in these letters. You're not the type to pull a prank like this. If these letters and stuff are real...I, I just can't believe it. That's all.”
“Believe it like Ripley's Believe It Or Not. Magic is real. In fact, your parents were a practicing wizard and witch.”
“My parents? Wait, this is getting too weird for me. Next you're going to tell me I have some secret destiny to leave home and save the world. Are you a wizard too?”
“No and no. I don't know anything about your folks other then the fact that they practiced some weird kind of mojo, and I am in no way, shape, or form a practicing wizard myself. Nor would I want to be. I'm happy just being an electrician. I might become one if I'm ever fired, however.”
“Where do you get all this?”
“From the adoption papers I kept secret from your Aunt May all these years.”
“What the hell?! Tell me about them!” said Harry, excited.
“Don't use that language in front of me, you're not old enough to start swearing in front of your folks. You can't tell anyone about this. Not Aunt May, not Peter, not Chris, not anyone.”
“Gotcha?” Harry was still confused about the letters.
“See... I told you that you don't. Only I'm supposed to know, but I'll let you call the school in New York for yourself. OK?”
“OK” pouted Harry.
“Beepbopboopboopbeepbeepbeep” sung Harry as he waited for the dial tone to connect.
“This is Ben Neuman.”
“Um, hi, I'm Harry Parker. I'm calling about your magic school letter?”
“Ah, excellent. You've been accepted at the recommendation of the United States Department of Magic ever since you've been legally living in the U.S.”
“Wh-why?” Harry felt like he was being manipulated into something.
“Oh, it's nothing. Based on Wizarding Protocol, all genetically inclined magic users get automatic invites to publicly or privately funded magical training programs. They aren't mandatory. Are you calling to accept or reject?”
“Im, I'm not sure yet.”
“That's a perfectly normal and logical response. Can I speak to a parent of yours?”
Ben, who had been standing right next to Harry, takes the latter's cue when he gives his uncle the phone.
“Yes? Well, I'll be. Yes. Yes. No, that wouldn't be a problem. Yes, we will be ready. What about the dress code? No robes or any of that crap, huh? Oh, it's optional, I see. Thanks.”
After Ben hangs up the phone, he sits down Harry and explains the situation. He will be going to this “magic” school, as it is required by law that all genetic wizards get at least two years of a standard magical education. Harry wouldn't need to respond to the other schools if he did not want to.
“Also, if we need a ride there, we can get one from the principal himself” said Uncle Ben. “For once, I won't have to use my car to get places. Plus, it will help getting a physical idea or where you are going to school, since it's so far away.”
Aunt May and Peter came home slightly later, the former came home from the bank, and the latter came home from the library, and neither were none the wiser. Harry felt like he should tell them, but apparently there is some bullshit law that discriminates against non magicals. Uncle Ben would be allowed to know, but only him. For some reason, Ben felt like May would get upset at the news. Perhaps her Catholic upbringing was the reason, and thus the suggestion of magic in her household might be thought of as “wicked” by her. Or some sort of unknown sense of fear.
“But she takes care of me” thought Harry.
“I know son. Just, come here”, and they embraced in a hug.
The Hogwarts letter lay dormat on the table, and Harry later tucks it as well as the other recommendation letters in one of the empty corners of his dresser drawer.
July 31st, 2001:
“Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear Harry, happy birthday to you!”
“You belong in a zoo! Closer to death are you too! You smell-”
“Sorry Aunt May” giggled Peter.
Harry blew out the candles of his birthday cake. It was the first cake without the ceremonial number of candles representing how old he was that day, which made Harry feel a little old. The cake only had eight candles on it, and he had just turned eleven.
“Don't tell us what you wished for, or you won't get it!” said Uncle Ben with the cake knife in his hand.
Harry looked down on the chocolate cake with the little flaming skull on it, and blew out the candles. He wished for an exciting life filled with adventure.
“Okay, good job!” said Uncle Ben after the candles were blown out, and everyone clapped.
“Now, presents time!” said Harry Parker.
Aunt May and Uncle Ben had bought Harry a PS2, which made Harry both happy and pensive. Aunt and Uncle wouldn't have to get a single present for Harry for the rest of his life, and he would still feel their unconditional love for him, and the love he feels for them. Their love made double time in Harry's mind since he wasn't even a blood relative. They just took him in, just like that.
It was a somewhat strange birthday since Peter brought a friend over. His name was Harry Osborn, a polite but withdrawn rich kid who was the son of some scientist. Harry thinks the father had done research into nanotechnology, or something along those lines, and Peter had wrote a paper on it. The fathers name escaped Harry at the moment. Harry Osborn was nice enough to bring a gift though, which had been a Diagono Retrograde Moonphase watch. It had been wrapped in nice silver paper.
“They're over $24,000” said the sullen kid, trying to cheer up. Peter said he became friends with him after helping the other Harry with his chemistry schoolwork in class one day. The latter appreciated the friendship enough to reciprocate.
“Wow!” beamed Harry.
Aunt May also looked clearly impressed.
“Please, it's nothing” said the elder Harry. “It's just something I felt you deserved, from the way Peter talks about you at school” he said.
Everyone stood aside as Ben cut out the pieces of cake for everyone to eat. Harry got his piece of cake first and ran inside the living room to eat it, and immediately afterward he started playing Onimusha:Warlords for the PS2. It was a birthday gift from Pete.
Peter and his new friend, as well as Chris Powell took turns playing in story mode, but Harry got impatient and took it from them when they played for more than ten minutes.
“It doesn't even take that long to play!” he complained.
Later that night, Harry lay asleep in his bed with a sense of Lovecraftian dread. He felt that something otherworldly was about to occur. It wouldn't be the first time.
At exactly 2:39 A.M, Harry's door opened by itself, with fog which originated from the beyond drifting on the floor in thick clouds. Even worse was the wailing of inhuman sounds that the Boogeyman always made. It is an almost indescribable synthesized stew of sounds representing the conscious embodiment of fear. It sounds nothing like what an animal would make, but more like what a radio presenter with a sadistic sense of imagination would create from his box of tools. Images of a man and woman screaming for help against the scary laughter of another man just out of frame float around Harry's mind as he shivers in his bed, one eye barely open, pretending that he is still asleep in a hope that the monster will not notice him. The monster is a black shapeless being, and when Harry came clean and told Peter about it the next morning, the best comparison he could up with to describe the monster would be the Grim Reaper, or one of the Nazgul from Lord Of The Rings.
“Sounds like a wraith, which is a type of ghost from European folklore” said Peter.
“So what is a piece of antiquity doing in my bedroom?”
“I have no idea. Are you sure you weren't dreaming? Ghosts by and large aren't supposed to exist.”
“Oh yeah? What about the Ghostbusters? They're for real.”
“These things you're encountering aren't necessarily ghosts, Harry. The things, the specters, the whatever the Ghostbusters bust could be anything. That's why they fall into the category of “parapsychologists” and not “scientists”, although Egon Spengler has written interesting papers in physics journals to be fair to the guy. We don't understand what things people see when they see ghosts or where to begin, and therefore any hypothesis is going to be muddled.”
“All I know Pete, is that I saw a mother-loving ghost of some kind. It was freaky as all get out, and I had these really bad visions. I think I remember my birth parents too. There's this one guy who looks just like me, all grown up. He could be my dad. And he was getting murdered by some weird green light and there's some crazy guy laughing like an asshole in the background. My mom was killed too by the same guy, if the parent theory rings true. And you know what? This isn't the first time I've seen the Boogeyman or had these visions either. They always happen together.”
“Your parents? Maybe some kind of repressed memory you're having? Uncle Ben did say your parents were killed...but I'm not sure if the brain if capable of forming memories at that age. Hold on.”
Peter checked the internet, and a quick glance revealed...
“Yeah, thought so. At about three years old is the average person able to start forming memories.”
Harry felt angst at not being able to tell Peter about his supposed “magical” abilities, in order to keep his promise to Uncle Ben.
I will now briefly stop the pace of the main narrative, and update you on some of our more periphery characters...
Back in England, Petunia Dursley had reluctantly moved on with her life since the untimely death of her husband. She had loved him dearly, and the pangs of grief never fully went away, but managed, as mostly everyone does, with that old cliché of “one day at a time”. The police report had said it was a car accident. Mr. Dursley was enjoying a smoke on All Saints Day morning, when a man who's Halloween juice was spiked accidentally swerved onto the property, killing Vernon instantly. It was a bloody mess. Eventually, Petunia remarried, and found a nice man with the unfortunate name of Eddie Baldrick(and ironic too, since Eddie was quite intelligent). Dudley, who in another reality was a fat, uncouth bully, turned out to have more healthy interests in this one. He, later in life, became a professional boxer. Today, Petunia recalled(she had no idea why), was her nephew's birthday. She wondered what her sister and good for nothing husband was raising him to be like. Probably something abnormal. And that's the end of the story of the Dursley's, at least as far as this author is concerned. For those wondering how the incident with Bzaorth was handed, the M.I.B work in mysterious ways.
Back on Number 4, Privet Drive, a large half giant slammed down the door on the early morning of July 31st, terrifying the new residents inside.
“Harry! Harry! I brought you your cake! Happy birthday, son! Sorry I'm late! I've got your Hogwarts letter right here too!” shouted Hagrid.
“Uh, my name is Harry” said a small(to Hagrid) blonde teenager.
August 25th, 2001:
Harry and his friend Chris and Chris' dad Mike, who is a police officer, go to see Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back. Good times were had by all, especially Harry, who had never seen a Kevin Smith flick before.
August 26th, 2001:
“Is this a Seinfeld joke?”
“Harry, quit fooling around” teased Uncle Ben as he opened the door.
Ben Neuman was a bespectacled, Jewish man who looked like he was in his late fifties, but was actually two hundred and forty seven. He wore a suit of unidentifiable brand.
“It's always neat to meet another 'Ben'” claimed Harry's uncle as he shook the other man's hand in a firm grip.
“Yeah, aren't we great?” says the Principal. “Benjamin Franklin, me, Ben Vereen-”
“Ben Kenobi” adds Harry.
“-Ben Kingsley, Ben R Mottelson...”
“He won the 1975 Nobel Prize In Physics” said the three of them simultaneously.
“Peter makes me memorize all these random facts. I know nothing about him other than that. Sorry.”
Mock sheepishly, Uncle Ben said, “Me too.”
“You'll be doing a lot of memorizing where you're going” said Mr Neuman to Harry. “Memorizing spells, that is. If you choose to go there, which I hope you will. Now come on, it's better for us not to be seen or heard.”
“I never actually understood why all of this has to be a secret” said Uncle Ben, as they all went outside and into the front of the house.
“It's just the law” said Mr. Neuman. “I don't like it either. If it were up to me, we would all just come our of the closet.”
“In a manner of speaking, of course.”
Ben Neuman drove a Lamborghini. A freaking lambo. He could have just teleported there, but he chose to travel in style.
As they drove, Uncle Ben asked: “So what is this International Confederation Of Wizards?”
“Nothing. Just the shadow government. Not quite the Illuminati. They're like the Illuminati-lite. Tons of power, thank God they hardly use it. Like the Eldritch Abominations from Lovecraft.”
Harry felt a chill go through his spine. The Boogeyman, or whatever it was that periodically invaded his bedroom, felt an awful lot like an eldritch creature.
“So, wizards basically.”
“Yes, but most of them don't know anything about real magic. Most wizards and witches in the magic government utilize an earthly form of magic, but there are other kinds. The kinds you're used to hearing about. Making contracts with demons, summoning monsters, summoning gods, which I suppose are just wizards on a more advanced level. Looking at all that, turning someone into a cat isn't all that impressive.”
“Truth be told, magic is just magic to me” claimed Uncle Ben.
In Manhattan, the building where Harry might be going to school looked indistinct. It didn't stand out, apart from the fact that it looked like any other school. Several other pairs of eleven year olds were standing at the front door with their parents. One was a cute brunette girl with a red bow in her hair standing next to her blonde mother. Another was a Chinese boy playing with the now defunct Neogeo pocket console with his mom. A somewhat overweight girl with long brown hair stood next to her father, who wore a green cap and a mean grimace. The rest Harry couldn't make out before Mr. Neuman started speaking...
“Hello. Is everyone ready for the tour?”
“Yes!” said a few students, only some excited(how many kids like school anyway, even magical ones?).
“Feel free to ask questions during the tour. Whatever pops in your mind. It helps all of you to learn about us, and helps us learn a little bit about you. Now come on in...”
The school tour went on like all school tours. Most of the students were mundanes, and had never experienced magic. The man with horns that Harry saw in the brochure suddenly walked out of a classroom to head towards the vending machine. He was a humanoid demon with an affinity for Earth. He was a good guy and taught geography.
“Are you like Hellboy?” asked a fat kid.
“No, I'm more like Lorne from Angel. Do any of you kids watch that show?”
“I do!” said Harry, raising his hand. Harry was a big time Buffy The Vampire Slayer/Angel fan, with Dawn being his favorite character. For some reason, he felt a personal connection with her. Peter claimed that the actress who played her was better as Harriet The Spy, but Peter barely watched the show since he was so busy studying every day, and Harry figured that he wasn't paying close enough attention to really appreciate her performance.
“Good. Hope to see you around” said the teacher/demon, and he walked off down the hall.
The tour went lasted a little while longer, and then it was over.
Harry excused himself from Uncle Ben for a moment after he noticed that the girl with the bow in her hair was reading T.H Whites “The Once And Future King”. Being one of Pete's favorite books, Harry walked over there, maybe hoping to meet a new friend.
“Hey, that's my brothers favorite book.”
“Oh, it's not yours too?” asked the girl.
“It, I never read it. Are you a witch?”
“Um, no. I think I'm a mutant actually.”
“A mutant? Like from the X-Men?”
This got Harry excited. First he found out magic was real, and now mutants?
“Actually, kind of. I'm a telekinetic. I'm not the first of my kind, but am exceptionally rare.”
“Wow, holy crap. I think I might be a mutant too, but instead of being a psionic, I can channel magic. I got a letter, and a doctor who told me so.”
The girl's face looked over the pages of her book for the first time, and said, “Cool. I've heard all about you people. You have your own little society and everything.”
“I've never been a part of it, though” said Harry. “I just learned about it a month ago. What's it like, do you think?”
“No idea, mate. That's why it's a secret.”
“ My name's Harry by the way. What's yours?”
August 30th, 2001:
“The Dark Lord summons all of thee forth”, and the man touched his right forearm.
From all around Great Britain, people are dragged from their homes, their family, their lives, and appear in an abandoned field in the dark of night to re-consummate an old allegiance.
August 31th, 2001:
A gathering of evil souls joined around a thick, ornate marble dinner table in an ancient wizarding home. Candles were everywhere. They were on the tables, in brackets on the walls, on other tables. The home was that of the Malfoy's, one of the richest and most influential families in wizarding Great Britain. It was dinner time, but tonight the family would not dine alone.
The guest of honor was a young man wearing a purple turban. In fact, he was the one who summoned everyone here. They all carried the Dark Mark.
“It's been ten years, but I'm back. Some of you I know, some of you I am meeting for the first time. I see that the Wizarding World has fallen under tides and tides of filth since I have left. This is Nagini that I am holding. She is my familiar. When I get upset, Nagini gets upset, and when Nagini gets upset, people die!”
The man in the turban suddenly offed a dozen death eaters with the Avada Kedavra curse. He had the efficiency of a master opera conductor. Bodies sat in their chairs, lifeless ornaments. Soon enough, they would be snake excrement. Magic discharge was still in the air. The man in the turban lets her down, and Nagini crawls on the table...
“To the people I've spared, congratulations. On my right is Lucius Malfoy, our most gracious host. On my left is Severus Snape, Man Of Potions at Hogwarts. Directly facing me is Wormtail, my lovely dogsbody.”
Wormtail said, “While you were away in Albania my lord, we collected several things from all around the world that may assist you in your rise to power.”
The man in the turban, Quirinus Quirrell , his body suddenly morphed into that of Lord Voldemort. Long passed were the handsome looks of his youth, sadly replaced by chalk white skin, a lack of nose, snake like red eyes, and male pattern baldness.
“What in the name of Merlin is that?” asked Voldemort, pointing his long, skeletal index finger at a notebook that Wormtail just put on the table.
“It's called a Death Note, my lord. You write in it, and it kills people in any manner you wish so long as you have seen their face.” said Severus Snape, drawling.
“Any manner I wish? I like that. How come I've never heard of it?”
“It's Japanese, my lord.”
“So, a shaman of some kind made this?”
“No. Carruthers told me that it is demonic in nature, my lord.”
“Fascinating. I've never dealt with that kind of magic before. Did you find anything else that might assist in my final solution?”
“We found this puzzle box in Louisiana”, which was the next item to be put on the table. “It's called the Carrboro Configuration. It came from a muggle antique dealer. No idea how he found it. We we're told explicitly not to solve it unless we really, really enjoyed pain.”
“It's a magical object then?”
“Well, I've never heard of it. Send someone to do some research on it. What else you got?”
“Something called the Dreamstone.”
“And what does it do?”
“It gives the owner the ability to travel in the Dreamscape, my lord.”
“Ah, could be most useful. Anything else? Perhaps the Philosopher's Stone?”
“Lord, we have muggle support” said the soft and frightened voice of Wormtail from across the table.
“Yes, um, an ambassador to the Wizarding World, representing Stark Industries. A Mr. Obadiah Stane.”
From one of the side entrances came a powerfully built bald man, perhaps in his fifties, with a cool beard. He was wheeling in a power point projector.
“Mr. Stane” said the cool, cold voice of Voldemort. “Surely you don't know who you are dealing with?”
“Wizards, I know all about them, believe me. A client is a client. I heard you have a little eensy weensy problem involving a prophecy?”
Voldemort reluctantly nodded.
“Well, Stark Industries has just the thing to find anyone on the planet for you.”
“What makes you think I won't kill you, torture you, or control your mind the second you are done showing off your little toys?”
“Ahem” coughed Snape.
“The muggle is quite well protected. Muggles, I should say. He was brought over by the magical ambassador from America. He has both magical protection and muggle backup with big metal wands everywhere in the house.”
“My house?!” shouted Lucius, suddenly paranoid, looking all over the room.
“And those 'metal wands' can fire twenty thousand muggle equivalents of the Avada Kedavra curse per second. Per second” smiled the bald man. Obi smiled like one of the richest and most influential men on the planet would do when they verbally owned a pretender to the throne.
The operatives were inside potted plants, camouflaged to blend in with the walls, some were behind the walls watching through their scopes with their barrels in strategically placed holes, and others were moles within the Death Eater organization itself.
Knowing that he was too weak to resist, Voldemort relented.
“Fine” said the Dark Lord rather petulantly. “Let the muggle talk.”
“Now that Mr. Riddle's drama queen antics are sated, let's get to steppin'!” clapped Obadiah.
Stane showed a slide show presentation on all of SI's exciting new projects, including The Little Sister Satellite. Right in the middle of his explanation of HI's facial recognition software...
“Wait,wait, wait, wait a minute here” said Voldemort. “Why is it called the Little Sister?”
Stane coughed quite impolitely and said, “It's an allusion to 1984. We certainly don't want to be Big Brother to anyone, but being a little sister can't hurt?”
“I'm still not getting it. Quirrell, what is this muggle going on about?”
Quirrell's face then morphed back into his own.
“He's referring to a book, I think, my lord.”
“Yeah, by George Orwell. Don't tell me none of you have heard of him?” asked Stane who was incredulous,
A number of shaking heads soon followed.
“Why? Why is it that most of the terrorists I've met are illiterate? Where the hell is the classiness of a Blofeld for James Bond's sake?”
“Who?” asked Voldmort's voice again, supremely impatient.
(“Perhaps you mean supremely ignorant?” thought Obi, talking to the little muse in his head.)
“Forget it Moving on...”
After the presentation, the ghost of Tom Riddle, inhabiting the body of a very scared, very cowardly young man, put his hand on his forehead as if he had a headache.”
“Yes, my lord?” trying to hide his disgust at his “masters” weakened condition.
“Where is the Potter boy?”
“Intelligence indicates that he is probably in New York City.”
“We have operatives there, correct?”
“Indeed. The ambassador I mentioned earlier, Ted Dowd, has said that there are a great deal of wizards in the United States loyal to the pureblood movement.”
“And what about this Stark Industries fellow?”
“He's only in it for the monetary gain.”
“What about the ambassador?”
“We're looking into it.”