Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Harry Potter and the Tower of Pime


by Quillian 9 reviews

Moving onward...

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure, Fantasy - Characters: Harry - Warnings: [!] - Published: 2007-05-04 - Updated: 2007-05-04 - 10730 words

DISCLAIMER: See the Prologue.

SPECIAL DISCLAIMER: Some things have been taken from the canon book itself, but have reworded and rearranged whenever possible, especially to fit the AU circumstances of this fic.

WARNING: Some more domestic violence, and the death of an obscure, currently nameless character. You've been warned.

This chapter is analogous to Book 1 (/Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone/), Chapter Five, "Diagon Alley."



Harry looked around, dazed and confused from the fatigue of waiting up so late. He quickly stuffed the Recaller in his pocket and hid the time-telling stone disc just in time, as whoever was on the other side of the door finally managed to make his way in.


The hut's door finally yielded as it swung clean off its hinges, and on the threshold stood a giant of a man, at least twice as tall as any normal man, and at least five times as wide. He had a long, shaggy mane of hair and a wild, tangled beard, and beetle black eyes. His hands were the size of dustbin lids, and his boots were the size of baby dolphins. All in all, he simply had a very wild look about him, one which might have scared other people.

However, once he saw Harry and the two of them made contact, the giant man's face broke out into a cheerful smile.

"An' here's Harry!" the giant exclaimed.

Something told Harry that this man wasn't the kind who might hurt him. In fact, there was something about this newcomer which seemed familiar to him...

"Las' time I saw yeh, you was only a baby," he said, smiling. "Yeh look a lot like yer father, but yeh have yer mother's eyes."

"Well... thank you," Harry said appreciatively. That was the first time someone ever mentioned anything positive about his parents, or what they might have looked like. "I'm sorry, but I didn't catch your name."

The giant chuckled. "True, I haven't introduced meself. Rubeus Hagrid, Keeper o' Keys an' Grounds a' Hogwarts. But please, call me Hagrid, everyone does."

"Hello, Hagrid," Harry said, trying to formally introduce himself.

"Hey, Harry," Hagrid said, as a sudden thought occurred to him, "what are yeh doin' all the way ou' here? An' by yerself, from teh looks of it?"

"Oh, well," Harry began, as he focused his gaze elsewhere as he began to lie, "I was on vacation, wanted to get away from it all, and this hut on the rock all the way out at sea looked appealing... although I think maybe I should re-check the weather forecasts next time before I go."

As if to emphasize this last statement, there was another flash of lightning and accompanying clap of thunder outside. "Got tha' right," Hagrid muttered as he shut the door behind him. Turning back to Harry, he asked, "Got some room so I can make a cuppa? It ain't been an easy trip for me."

Harry craned his neck to look around as if having to check, and with a smile, he said, "Please, make yourself right at home."

"Thanks, will do," Hagrid said. "Now, for that tea..." he muttered as he rubbed his hands together. He then bent over and did something with the fireplace - Harry couldn't see exactly what - but a moment later, there was a roaring fire in the fireplace, the hut was much brighter, and Harry felt much warmer.

Suddenly, Hagrid sat upright as though he had just remembered something. "Oh, by the way, I got yeh somethin'... I hope yeh like it..."

Hagrid took out a box, which he handed to Harry. Curious as to what it might be, Harry opened it, and what he found inside truly surprised him: It was a large, sticky chocolate cake with the words Happy Birthday Harry written on it in green icing.

"Wow, thanks, Hagrid, I'm touched," Harry said with complete sincerity. It was his first-ever birthday cake, or at least as far as he knew or could even remember.

"Ah, don't mention it," Hagrid said. "Best not ter have it all tonight, o' course."

Harry laughed as he took off a small piece of the cake. "Of course not." As he sampled his piece, he savored it. "Mmm... delicious." Normally, Harry had something of a moratorium on things like candy and cake, especially after seeing Dudley consume his own and grow fat, but he decided to indulge himself this one time. He then closed the box and put it aside for later.

The giant sat back down on the sofa, which sagged under his weight, and began taking all sorts of things out of his coat's pockets. Harry watched, a little amused, as Hagrid pulled out things like a copper kettle, a squashy package of sausages, a poker, a teapot, a couple of chipped mugs, and a bottle of some amber liquid that he took a swig from before starting to make tea. Soon enough, the hut was full of the sound and smell of sizzling sausages.

"Sausage, Harry?" Hagrid offered him.

"Sure, thanks," Harry said as he accepted it graciously and took a bite out of it.

The giant took a gulp of tea and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.

"Think nothin' of it," Hagrid said. "Anyway, yeh know all about Hogwarts, o' course."

"Um - sort of," Harry said.

Hagrid looked fairly shocked.

"Sorry," Harry said quickly.

"Sorry?" barked Hagrid. "It's them Dursleys who should be sorry! Exactly what do yeh know abou' Hogwarts, anyway?"

Harry flinched at the mention of the Dursleys, but did his best to hide it. "Well, I know that it exists, and that I'm apparently accepted into it, because I've got the letter for it... but otherwise, I really know nothing about it," Harry said regretfully.

Hagrid made an exasperated sound as he ran his big fingers through his wild hair.

"Did yeh never wonder where yer parents learned it all?"

"All what?"

"ALL WHAT?" Hagrid thundered, as if unable to believe what he was hearing.

"Harry, do yeh know /anything/?" Hagrid asked him with a very serious air.

"What do you mean? About what, specifically?" Harry asked, unsure what Hagrid meant.

"I mean abou' our world, Harry. The one I come from, the one where yeh belong..."

"What world is this?" Harry asked.

Hagrid began to look a little frustrated now.

"Yeh do know about yer parents, right?" Hagrid tried again. "After all, they were rather famous..."

"My parents?" Harry repeated, incredulously. "Famous?"

There was a beat while Hagrid tried to figure out what to say next. "Do yeh even know what you /are/?" Hagrid finally asked him.

"What do you mean by that?" Harry responded.

Hagrid let out a long groan. "Harry," he said at last, "Yer a wizard."

There was a brief silence during which only the sea and whistling wind outside could be heard. Harry had a feeling that he should act along, as though he had just learned that magic existed. He hated having to lie to Hagrid, whom he just met and seemed like a nice man, but he for the sake of secrecy, he had to pretend as though it was all new to him.

"Wizard?" he repeated. "As in magic?"

"Yes, Harry," Hagrid said with a smile. "Magic."

Harry smiled. "Well... I had a feeling that there was something more to it, and that things weren't just random accidents. Somehow, something kept helping me to escape trouble. I could somehow protect myself. I could avoid other people if I had to, especially the kind who might want to do something bad to me."

"So yeh've always known, then?" Hagrid asked. "An' yeh were able to do a few different things?"

"Well, I knew there was something going on," Harry clarified. "However, I didn't know until recently that it was /magic/. But yeah, I could do a few different things."

"Yup, yeh are a wizard, Harry, withou' a doubt," Hagrid confirmed. "So... yer lookin' forward to goin' to Hogwarts?"

"Um... I guess," Harry said with a shrug. "Why, am I supposed to go there?"

"I don' see why not," Hagrid answered him. "By Merlin, yer name's bin down ever since yeh were born! How can yeh not be eligible to go?"

"Okay," Harry said slowly. "So... what do I do then? What do they mean by 'await my owl'?"

"Gallopin' Gargoyles, of course," Hagrid said as though something had just occurred to him. With that, he then pulled something else from inside his overcoat: First he pulled out a real, live owl which looked rather ruffled from being inside Hagrid's coat, as well as a long quill and a roll of parchment. He began to scribble out a message to someone, but Harry could see what he was writing, even upside-down:

Dear Professor Dumbledore,
Found Harry well, and he got his letter.
Taking him to buy his things tomorrow.
Weather's horrible. Hope you're well.

Hagrid rolled up the note and gave it to the owl, who promptly took it with its beak.

However, as the owl turned to look at the storm still going on outside, he expressed his concern in the Strigine language, however muffled it came out as he clamped the note in his beak.

"First it's boiling hot and stuffy in that coat, and now I have to fly through a freezing cold storm," groaned the owl. "How about that, huh?"

Even though Hagrid didn't know exactly what the owl was saying, he had a good idea of what. "Here, yeh know what," Hagrid said nicely, "I'll give yeh a boost to help fly through the storm, and there'll be lots o' nice Owl Treats when I return."

The owl seemed to consider it. "Eh... fair enough."

"Very well, then," Hagrid said as he picked up the owl and went to the door. As he opened it, he said, "Okay, ready? One, two... three!"

With that, he threw the owl out the door, and it flew out through the storm. With that done, Hagrid shut the door and returned to where he had been just previously. "Now... where were we?"

"Well..." Harry began, trying to remember what some of Hagrid was talking about. "You did mention something about my parents... but like I said, I don't know anything about them."

Hagrid suddenly looked very anxious. "Harry... I'm gonna be honest with yeh right now. I don' know if I'm the best person to tell you about what happened ter yeh and yer family, but yeh can't go withou' knowin' the truth. An' even then, some parts o' it are still a great myst'ry, there are some things which even I don' understand..."

"It's alright, Hagrid, I understand," Harry said reassuringly. "Please, just tell me what you do know."

"Right," Hagrid grunted, sitting down on the floor as he began. "I guess it all goes back to a person, years ago. However, he was evil... a monster. Everyone in our world knows his name, but... well..."

"But what?" Harry asked, confused.

"No one likes to say his name, and even I don' say it if I can help it. Some o' the things he did..." Hagrid trailed off and looked like he was trying to repress a shudder. "Take meh word for it, Harry, he was just /that bad/. No, worse than that. Worse than worse."

"Well... can you write his name?" Harry suggested.

Hagrid shook his head. "Actually, I'd rather not do that either. Fine, I'll say his name... /Voldemort/."

Here, the giant man shuddered, as though he had just gone for a deep swim in the freezing cold water outside.

"Please don' make me say it again. Anyway... this - /wizard/, if yeh could call him that - started lookin' fer followers, abou' twenty o' so years ago. He didn' like how things were run, so he tried ter take over. He got his followers, too - some of 'em wanted power an' whatever else he had ter offer, an' others were jus' scared and didn't want to fight back. An' those who stood up ter him and tried ter fight back... he an' his followers killed 'em. Horribly. These were very dark days, Harry, when yeh didn't know who ter trust, yerself an' family an' friends were all at risk, and yeh didn't dare get friendly with strange witches or wizards... terrible things happened, an' he was takin' over as time went by. Hogwarts was one o' the only safe places left, an' You-Know-Who never tried ter take over... probably because Dumbledore was the only one he ever feared."

Harry sat there, listening. Voldemort almost sounded like a terrorist in the Muggle world... and by definition, he probably was.

"As for yer mum an' dad, they were as good a witch an' wizard as I ever knew, an' I've known a lot of 'em. They were bright students, and were even Head Boy and Head Girl in their final year together. Dunno why You-Know-Who never tried to get 'em on his side before... maybe because they were too close ter Dumbledore ter want anything ter do with him."

With the mention of his parents, Harry began to have a very shrewd yet unpleasant idea of where this was going and how this Voldemort character was tied into it.

"An' so, fer whatever reason, You-Know-Who decided he wanted yer parents out of the way," Hagrid continued, although his voice now sounded more grave. "So one night, on Halloween ten years ago, when yeh was just a year old at the time, he turned up where you was all living, an' he..."

Hagrid trailed off as he sounded more and more choked up. He then suddenly took out a handkerchief which looked like it had seen better days, and blew his nose with the sound like that of a foghorn.

"Sorry," he sniffed. "But it's just that sad... I knew yer mum an' dad personally, and take it from me, yeh couldn't find nicer people... anyway..."

Hagrid's next words only confirmed Harry's suspicions... but it didn't end there with the fate of his parents, and it went even beyond that.

"You-Know-Who killed yer parents. But then - an' here's the real myst'ry of the thing - he tried to kill you too. I don't know why he tried, or why he'd even want to... maybe he just liked killin' for the sake of killin' by then, I honestly don't know. He tried ter kill you, but he failed. No one lived after he decided to kill 'em... no one except fer yeh... an' make no mistake, we're talkin' about probably the worst Dark wizard /ever/... this is the one who killed some o' the best witches an' wizards of the age, like the McKinnons, the Bones, the Prewetts... an' you was only a baby, and you lived."

Well, Harry decided, this was certainly nothing like what his lying aunt and uncle had told him for years. But this was not some random accident which claimed his parents' lives, but a deliberate act of murder by someone, who by all accounts, was a cold-blooded monster. And quite frankly, Harry wasn't sure which possibility he liked /less/.

"Yeh ever wonder about that mark on yer forehead, Harry?" Hagrid continued. "That's no ordinary mark, Harry. From what I've heard, that's what happens when a Dark curse touches yeh. That Dark curse which You-Know-Who used on yeh... he used it on yer mum an' yer dad, probably even yer house. Yer the only one ever to survive that particular curse, an' that's why yer famous."

As Hagrid was finishing up his explanation, something painful was unfolding within Harry's mind. So often, there was that green flash of light which he often wondered about... but now he remembered it more vividly this time, and along with that, he remembered something else, for the first time: A high, cold, cruel laugh.

Hagrid continued sadly, "I took yeh from the ruins of the house myself. It was decided that you had to live with yer relatives... though only Merlin knows why..."

"Did you know about my relatives?" Harry asked uneasily.

Hagrid looked uneasy himself. "I knew back then that they didn't like magic, and I didn't know that they would treat yeh the way they did... but it wasn't up to me, and believe me, Harry, I would have rather taken yeh in myself than leave yeh with /them/."

"Exactly what do people know about... me and the Dursleys?" Harry asked awkwardly.

"A few months ago, people in our world found out about a Harry Potter bein' mistreated by the Dursleys... yet strangely, people refused ter believe it was you. They said there was no way that Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, could have been left with horrid Muggles."

"Boy Who Lived?" Harry thought incredulously. Where do these people come up with these things?

"Anyway, as fer the rest o' the story," Hagrid continued, "Well, I think that about covers it all..."

But Harry was still thinking about something else, something which he had to ask. "But what happened to Vol-, I'm sorry, You-Know-Who?"

"That's the other thing. He just disappeared and vanished, right after he tried ter kill yeh. That's what makes yeh even more famous... an' that's also what makes it so big a myst'ry, because where did he go?"

Where, indeed? Harry wondered.

"Some say he died, but that's codswallop, in my opinion. Dunno if he had enough human left in him to die. Most people say he's dead, an' I don't blame 'em, because we all wanted him gone. However... there are a few of us, myself included, who believe that he's still out there, bidin' his time, but he also lost his powers, and he's too weak to carry on."

I hope it's the former, then, Harry thought to himself.

"Yeh see, Harry, somethin' about you finished him off. There was somethin' goin' on that night that he hadn't counted on - I dunno what, and neither does anyone else - but somethin' about you stumped him, all right.

"An' that's about it, Harry. That's what I know."

Harry was silent for a few moments as he sat there and thought it over. He had finally gotten the truth about his parents... along with some information about other things which he never could have even imagined.

Besides, there was also this thing about being famous which didn't particularly appeal to him...

After a few moments or so, he realized that Hagrid was still watching him.

"Well, thank you, Hagrid," he said at last. "It was about time I found out the truth about what happened to my parents."

"I imagine them Dursleys didn't tell yeh the truth," Hagrid said darkly.

"They told me that my mum and dad died in a car crash," Harry said bitterly.

If Harry had known how Hagrid would have reacted to that, he would have chosen his words differently or not have said anything at all, because the next moment, Hagrid angrily jumped up from his spot and began ranting. "A CAR CRASH?" he roared. "That's an outrage an' a scandal! No way James and Lily Potter would have died in somethin' like THAT! Oh, those Dursleys, ooh, I oughta..."

The next moment, he reached into his overcoat and pulled out a battered pink umbrella, and wielding it like a sort or a spear, he gave one final roar of anger and pointed it at the opposite wall. The next moment, a bright yellow light shot out from the end of it and hit the wall, blasting out a rather large hole which Harry could have walked through; the edges of the hole were still smoking from the blast, and a cold draft came through the newly-made hole.

"Er, sorry about that," Hagrid muttered as his scratched his head, embarrassed. Pointing his umbrella at the hole in the wall, the giant man shouted "Reparo!" and the splinters and chunks of wood which had been blown outwards suddenly flew back into the place, fixing the hut's wall to what it was like before Hagrid blasted it.

"Um, look, about that," Hagrid said as he turned to Harry and put the umbrella away, "I'd be really grateful ter yeh if yeh didn't mention that ter anyone. I'm - well - not supposed ter do magic, strictly speakin'."

Harry could see that it was a sensitive issue for Hagrid, so he didn't press the subject but just nodded instead, indicating that he understood.

"Anyway, it's gettin' late, and we've got lots of things ter do tomorrow. We need ter get into town and get yeh books an' supplies an' all that."

While Hagrid was making himself comfortable in the other room, Harry went into the main bedroom. "Pim?" he whispered quietly.

One of those small bright lights appeared in front of Harry. "Yes, Harry?" Pim's voice enquired through the light, softly but not in a whispering way.

"Someone's here, from the school which my parents went to," Harry said. "I guess Hogwarts does exist after all... anyway, this man who came to tell me about it, he's the groundskeeper, and apparently was a good friend of my parents, he said he'll take me somewhere tomorrow to get some stuff for this school."

"So, you were accepted into that school?" Pim said excitedly, and Harry could almost hear him grinning.

"Yeah, I did."

"Well done, Harry!" Pim congratulated him, almost like a proud parent.

"Thanks, Pim," Harry said as he could feel himself blush a little. "So, I just thought I would let you know what was going on..."

"And so you have, thank you. Anyway, it is currently very late, and it sounds as though you have a busy day tomorrow. So, I will bid you good night."

"Good night, Pim," Harry said happily, and with that, the small light disappeared.

Harry got into bed and put his glasses on the side. He felt somewhat better, as though a great weight or burden had been lifted from him.

But at the same time, something was bothering him, too...

He didn't know what to think about this whole new world which was revealed to him. It sounded like a place where he could finally belong and fit in... but it also sounded like one in which he would have to be very careful with what he did.

Somewhere deep in the Mediterranean Sea, near the ocean floor, a dark spirit - or some kind of darkness - moved through its pitch black depths, in search of something.

Further ahead, in a cave, a magical being was about to rest after staying up late, studying his records and doing research. He looked like a man, but he also looked like a fish as well. He was neither, yet nor was he one of the merfolk, like those which inhabited Hogwart's lake, although he was similar to them. He was one of the last of his kind, and had lived for millennia.

The private quarters of this Fish-Man were illuminated by small schools of fish which naturally glowed with bioluminescence, and could be commanded to give off light or to stop doing so with a simple command from him. He was just about to give that command when he sensed something.

He could just feel whatever it was, coming towards him. It was a unique darkness, one which had a mind of its own and knew what it was doing.

The Darkness, resembling a cloud of released octopus ink, paused in the circular stone portal which marked the entry and exit point to the Fish-Man's quarters. For a moment which felt more like an hour, he looked at it, and if it was at all possible, it just looked right back at him.

And then it lunged at him.

It did not lunge at the Fish-Man, but it instead lunged at something on the side, safely tucked away in a little niche of his "room." But he could see what it was aiming to do, and was not about to let that happen. Stored there, about a cubic meter in size, was a block of clay which was magically charmed to resist erosion, especially from water. It had carvings all over it in an obscure, spiky writing, but this block of clay was only a kind of "box" for what was concealed inside of it.

The Fish-Man snarled, and with a terrible screechy sound which sounded even worse underwater, he stretched out his hand and sent a distorted wave of paralyzing magic at the Darkness. It paused only for a moment, as it was only temporarily stunned, but that was all the time which the Fish-Man needed.

He grabbed the clay object from its niche, and with a wave of his hand, the bioluminescent fish ceased to give off their light. He then muttered a spell to himself, allowing himself to see in the murky darkness. The Fish-Man could now see the unnatural Darkness, floating around confused but still blocking the portal which led out of his quarters. Seeing no other choice, he decided to do the unexpected.

He actually swam right through the Darkness. There was pain only for an instant - but it was horrible pain. It was like nothing the Fish-Man had ever felt before, not like heat, or cold, or electricity... but pure evil.

Not letting that slow him down, he continued swimming, out through the underwater caverns which made his home. He had to get out, and to the surface.

Through the natural darkness, the Fish-Man could see the entrance and exit to his abode ahead. He was almost there...!

But then a huge rock came down on him. He was stuck, pinned at the waist.

The Fish-Man had to think fast... he had to get this special object out of the reach of that evil Darkness... but how?

Thinking fast and seeing that evil Darkness approaching him, he quickly did a few magic spells. Finally, he muttered one last incantation...

"Let this special object find the most worthy,
Who will hide it in the safest place around."

And with that, he used one last spell after that, and saw the special object speed away by itself.

The clay-encased special object would speed up through the water with a force like that of a rocket. Once it reached the surface, it would be propelled even further after escaping the water, and would fly high and out of sight, in an enormous arc through the atmosphere, and would land miles and miles away.

The evil Darkness was not pleased, and it made its furious feelings quite clear by summoning whatever magic it could to further wreck this Fish-Man's abode.

The last thing he saw were even more big chunks of stone being dislodged from the ceiling and falling down towards him...

...And then blackness consumed him.

On England's eastern coast, in the seaside town of Hastings in Essex, a middle-aged man was staying up late as he figuratively burned the midnight oil while he was doing important work and research. He might have considered breaking out the coffee to make the caffeine keep him awake, but he was so close to finishing his work that he felt it wasn't necessary. As a professor of certain ancient cultures, he was just glad that it was the middle of the summer and he therefore did not have to teach any classes any time soon.

Soon enough, the professor was done, and he was putting everything away so he could finally turn in for the night.

However, just as he was making his way to his bedroom, he thought he heard a strange rumbling sound outside. He paused, curious, trying to make sure that he wasn't just imagining things in his fatigue. He then turned around to see a small yet bright white light behind one of the few clouds outside... and it certainly wasn't the moon.

Whatever it was, it fell through the clouds and into the water along the shoreline, where the sound of its impact resonated with a heavy THUD sound. It certainly wasn't enough to shake the floor or anything, but he could feel it, however faintly, and it did kick up lots of water and sand some meters high.

The professor just stood there for a moment or so as he evaluated the situation. Well, he couldn't just go to bed now, not when something just landed outside his house on his seaside property. So, he grabbed his coat, hastily put on his shoes, and went outside to take a look.

Even in the summer, it was still rather chilly at night, and so he tried to warm himself as he walked down the small sloping ground from the house to the beach. Soon enough, he walked to the small crater which was left on the shoreline, which in itself was about a meter deep, maybe a little more than that. Already, water which was lapping against the shore was filling up the crater, and there was some steam; apparently, the object had been heated as it fell through the atmosphere.

This professor had been an archeologist in his younger days, and maybe it was just out of force of habit that he kept a pair of gloves with him most of the time. Either way, he put them on and used them to try and lift this object out of its newly-made crater.

It took some effort, and while this particular object was about the size of a small television set, it felt a lot heavier. As he pulled the object out of its crater, he realized that this was definitely not some meteorite from outer space.

Meteorites from outer space weren't typically made of clay, nor were they perfectly cube-shaped even after falling through the atmosphere or crashing into the ground, and they were certainly not covered with a form of writing which was definitely from Earth.

Given his profession and experience, this man could easily recognize the wedge-shaped symbols which covered this block of hardened clay.

Putting his strength into it, he hoisted the block of clay out of its crater and carried it back to his house, stopping every dozen steps or so put it down for a moment and catch his breath, because it was just that heavy.

Finally, he got it back to the house, and after clearing the table which he had been sitting at earlier as he worked on the other thing, he put down more than a few layers of paper towels on it before placing the clay block on it.

A few times, his wife called him from the living room, reminding him that it was late and that he ought to come to bed. He just kept replying "In a minute, dear," as he continued to work on it, using his sources to translate this text.

He would be up all night doing this.

The evil Darkness which had been seeking out the big block of clay in the Fish-Man's possession was speeding across continental Europe as it tried to follow the path of its target, which had just been sent far beyond its shadowy grasp, thanks to some last-minute spells by its fishy owner.

The Darkness remembered this land: It was the British Isles. It had been here before...

Pushing those particular memories aside, the Darkness continued its way to look around through the seaside town. It just knew that the desired object was in this town somewhere... however, whatever magic which the Fish-Man placed on the object must have also included some way to confuse the Darkness and its senses, somehow throwing it off. The Darkness could not use its magic to pinpoint its exact location, so the best it could do was to simply search each house, one by one.

If it could have done so, the Darkness would have sighed. The next moment, it began its search at the beginning of one street, and began to secretly explore each house from there.

However, a few houses down, a young girl, only about ten or eleven years old, was turning restlessly in her sleep.

She finally opened her bleary eyes and saw what time it was: Well past midnight, and too early for her.

She gave a casual glance out the window when she noticed something which made her do a double take.

She saw this unnatural dark cloud floating around, and something told her that it was magic, and not of the good variety.

She new about magic, and that she was a witch herself; her mother was a witch, who went to Hogwarts years and years ago, and had settled down with a Muggle man whom she loved. However, the father of this family didn't know that his wife or his daughter were witches or had magical powers, but both mother and daughter had agreed to let him know about it before she went to Hogwarts, because they were merely waiting for the right time to tell him.

Now, however, this girl and soon-to-be Hogwarts student was more worried about this thing which was going from house to house, and coming her way.

She ran to her parents' room and quickly woke up her mother. "Mummy, please, wake up!"

She awoke and groaned. "What time is it?"

"I know it's early, but please, there's something outside!"

"Are you sure it's not just a cat or something?" her mother said as he got out of bed.

"No, Mum," the girl whispered urgently to her, "I saw it, down the street, and it was something... evil. And I mean something /magical/."

The father was still asleep, but he was shifting in bed and grunting in his sleep. After pulling on a robe over her nightgown, the mother rummaged through a nearby cabinet for her wand, and upon retrieving it, she went to cast some spells to make sure that it was safe.

However, the dark cloud must have been able to move fast, for the next moment, both of them saw it farther down the hallway. And it was coming towards them...

Thinking it might have been a something like a dementor, the mother suddenly shouted, "Expecto Patronum!"

However, it must not have been a dementor, because the silvery creature which emerged from her wand had no effect on it, and it just vanished into silvery mist.

And yet, instead of continuing its advance, the dark cloud seemed to pause where it was, almost as if observing the two of them.

"Lumos," the mother whispered.

When the light was cast from her wand and showed what it was, they could not help but gasp at what they saw.

It almost shimmered and rippled like a cloud of ink underwater, but something told them both that it was something evil which could think for itself.

"What the bloody hell is that?" came a voice from behind them.

Just as both of them were turning around to see the father up and out of bed, squinting at the unnatural darkness in front of them, it lunged.

The father screamed in fright, and then in pain, as the dark cloud lunged at him. It hurt, beyond description, as it swept around him.

Horrified, but prepared to fight back, the mother pointed her wand and shouted, "Divinalux!"

The Divine Light spell was supposed to be effective against any kind of evil force, although some kinds were stronger than others, so sometimes the spell had to be used more than once.

There was a god-awful, unearthly, ear-splitting scream as the dark cloud simply flew around the room, trying to create as much chaos and havoc as it possibly could; the Divine Light spell must have rattled it and was hurting it.

With what sounded like an unnatural hiss, which was worse than anything any normal creature could make, the dark cloud screeched and fled out through the window, and out of sight.

There was a moment of silence while all three of them tried to figure out what to do next.

"Mum," the daughter said at last, "what was that thing?"

"I don't know, dear," her mother responded, sounding a little stupefied herself.

"I'm... not feeling... so good," the father wheezed, looking rather flushed from his encounter with that dark cloud. There were also quite a few beads of perspiration on his forehead and face.

The next moment, he slumped forward, and so the mother quickly rushed to him and helped him get back into bed. "Don't worry, dear," she said soothingly and reassuringly. "It's all just a bad dream."

The father lay back in bed and fell asleep from exhaustion. Off to the side, the young girl asked her mother, "What do we do now?"

"You remember how I first told you, years ago, that you and I were witches, but we would tell your father when the time is right?" her mother asked her. The girl nodded. "We'll tell him tomorrow morning. We'll still pretend that this was all a dream, of course... but hopefully, he'll be able to take it well."

Her daughter nodded. "Okay."

How very wrong they would both be.

Deep within the father's mind, something painful was unfolding. At first, he was dreaming about the memory where he was being told about how his parents were killed by some street thug - almost as though he was reliving it - but then the memory shifted, and instead he saw an ugly green thing hovering over his house, a mark which resembled a skull with a serpent protruding from its mouth... finding the bodies of his parents lying dead inside the wrecked house... his wife (a fiancée back then) being followed by people wearing strange cloaks and carrying small sticks of wood... one of them raising his stick, pointing it at him, and shouting /"Obliviate!"/...

Dumbledore was staying up late this particular night, so late that it was becoming early. He was just too nervous and preoccupied to go to sleep this particular night, instead of simply waiting until morning to read Hagrid's letter, which he had instructed the groundskeeper to write. He just had to know if young Harry Potter was alright...

Soon enough, a cold, ruffled, and somewhat wet owl flew through the open window. Best of all, it bore a note from Hagrid himself.

Dumbledore was so overcome with excitement that he nearly forgot to handle the situation well. First things first, he decided. "Thank you so very much," he said kindly and gratefully to the owl as he used a couple of simple spells to dry and warm it. "Here, have a few Owl Treats."

The owl gave Dumbledore a very grateful and profound look as it gave the note to Dumbledore and began eating the Owl Treats.

Dumbledore quickly and eagerly read the note from Hagrid, feeling an explosion of happiness within himself. Harry Potter was alive and well! Things might not be so bad after all...

The headmaster even reread the note several times after that, just to ensure that he was reading it correctly and everything was fine. Once he was done, he put the note away in his desk, saving it for later.

He would also be sure to tell Minerva the good news in the morning, as he was sure she would be happy and overjoyed that not only was the son of James and Lily Potter alive and well, but he would also be coming to Hogwarts as he was destined to.

However, the thoughts about "destiny" then echoed and reverberated through Dumbledore's mind. He remembered about Harry's destiny, about the /prophecy/...

No! Dumbledore thought firmly. He absolutely refused to dwell on that now. Soon enough, the time would come when he would have to tell Harry about this prophecy which was made before he was even born... but certainly not now, nor in the immediate future.

Sighing, Dumbledore allowed the owl to finish his meal and then fly to the Owlrey, and then walked over to bid Fawkes good night, and finally went to his private quarters so he could get some rest. He slept better that night than he had for the past year or so.

The professor had been up working all night. He didn't even notice that it was morning until the dawn's rays began reflecting off the water's surface and into the room where he was working.

"Dear?" came a tired voice from the other room, followed by its speaker; his wife, wearing her bathrobe over her nightdress. "You didn't come to bed last night."

Her husband took off his glasses for a moment to rub his tired eyes. After he yawned, he said, "I'm so sorry, love, but I just found this last night, and I just had to work on it..."

"You'd better not sleep through the day now," she said.

"Oh, I'm sure I'll be fine," he said easily in response.

"What is it, anyway?" she asked as she came closer. "And where did you find it?"

"This thing just crashed into the beach last night, along the shoreline!" he told her excitedly. "It's not that often that this sort of thing happens, but then again..."

He dropped his voice so only the two of them could hear it, and he said, "You do now how there is a little magic here and there, right?"

His wife smiled. She was a witch who had graduated from Hogwarts years before, while he was just a Muggle who was allowed to know about the Wizarding world considering that his wife was a witch herself. Shortly before they were married, she revealed to him what she was, and while he had been greatly surprised at first, he still loved her nonetheless and accepted her for what she was. If anything, this new knowledge only whetted his appetite, because Wizarding knowledge provided answers to so many things about Muggle myths.

"Still, this is a rather rare occurrence, even for someone like me," she answered, speaking in the same kind of vague double-talk which both of them had adopted. "So, what is it?"

"Well," he began, trying to find the right words, "it's what appears to be a cubic block of clay with a certain kind of ancient writing on it, which I'm sure you'll recognize."

Indeed, she recognized the wedge-shaped symbols on the sides of the block, although she certainly couldn't read them; after all, her husband was the professor and therefore the nearest available expert on ancient cultures.

"What does it say?" she asked him.

"Well, I'm almost done with the translations, and I'd rather wait until I'm done translating it entirely before I can safely say for sure what it says..."

"Great," she smiled. "I'll go make some coffee."

"Yes, I'd like some, please," he said absentmindedly.

As his wife went into the kitchen, he picked up one of his heavier books and held it open with one hand while holding up a magnifying glass to the block with his other hand. He was almost done decrypting the writing on it...

As she was making the coffee, she heard a heavy THUD from the other room, and well as the sound of a metallic-framed magnifying glass hitting the wooden table and falling to the floor as well.

"What's the matter?" she asked, rushing to him to see what the problem was. Her husband almost looked like he'd seen a ghost.

Slowly, he turned to face her. "I think I know what's inside of this thing, and if I'm right... then we need to do something about it. Quickly."

"Okay," she said slowly, "what do you think it is?"

After taking a deep breath, he told her what he thought the clay block was. Or rather, what it contained inside it.

She stared at him for a moment or so before finally saying, "Are you sure?"

He nodded vigorously. "I wouldn't make something like this up. It also came with the message that it needs to be protected as much as possible... and that it can't fall into the wrong hands."

She started to say something in return, but then made a frustrated gesture as if to say, What now? "Well, what do you suggest we do?"

He thought hard about it. Finally, he came up with something. "How about that old headmaster of yours from your school... what's his name, again?"

"Albus Dumbledore?"

"Yes, him... well, I remember you telling me that the castle - your school, that is - is very well-protected. Perhaps we could have him... you know, look after it?"

She seemed to consider it. "Well, I can't really think of any other safer place, so maybe we should ask him. I'll ask him if he could protect it... but in the meantime, we need to protect this thing, and make sure it doesn't fall into the wrong hands. Excuse me a moment."

With that, she quickly went to her room to retrieve her wand, and after she came back with it, she went over the mantle over the fireplace and took a small locked box. She tapped it twice with her wand, and it magically opened up. After taking a pinch of the green powder kept within it, she threw it in the fireplace and yelled, "Hogwarts, Headmaster's Office!"

A moment later, Dumbledore noticed her head in his fireplace. After greeting this former student of his, he asked what she could do for her. She explained about the object which her husband found, and what the inscriptions on the object said after he had deciphered them.

Albus Dumbledore was rather shocked, although he didn't let it show. First he was arranging to protect the Philosopher's Stone for his old friend Nicholas Flamel and his wife Perenelle, and now this...

"Very well, of course I shall help," he told her kindly. "Now, if you could send this object through the Floo Network, I will handle everything."

"Thanks again, Headmaster. Okay, I'm sending it through now..." With that, she withdrew her head from the fireplace and magically levitated the clay block, easing it through the fireplace and through the Floo Network into Dumbledore's office, where he safely received it on his end.

After ceasing contact, Dumbledore observed the unique writing on the block, and even ran his hand over the markings as he studied it.

However, after he ran his hand over one particular marking, the clay block suddenly split neatly down the middle and broke off into two symmetrical halves. Packed neatly in the center was what appeared to be a bell jar, with something within it.

It was that something within the bell jar itself which made Dumbledore gasp a little with amazement...

Elsewhere, back in their home, mother and daughter were having breakfast together, waiting for the father to come down and join them. However, they were also a little apprehensive. What if he remembered...?

When he came down the stairs, he looked a little... unhappy.

"Good morning, Dad," his daughter said happily. "How are you?"

"I had the strangest dream last night," he said slowly. "I dreamt that something attacked me..."

Both the girl and her mother glanced at each other nervously, unaware of the fact that the father was acutely watching both of them.

"But that wasn't all," he continued. "I also dreamed that I found my home attacked, years ago... that both my parents were dead, and there was this weird thing hovering in the sky over my house, which looked like a skull with a snake coming out of its mouth. Then some sort of strange person pointed this kind of stick at me and shouted something...

"But I know that can't be true, because my parents died in a car crash... and that there's no such thing as magic... Right?"

His wife had gone very pale, whereas his daughter looked confused, but as though she was hiding something.

"Dear," his wife said at last, "I honestly don't know what to tell you."

The expression on her husband's face then became stony hard, as though he was angry but trying to hide it. "Oh, you don't have to tell me anything, /dear/," he spat acidly, and she flinched at that, "because I know that magic exists... and that you've been hiding it from me."

With that, he pulled something out which neither of them expected him to have: His daughter's Hogwarts acceptance letter.

"I found this thing in the mail a few months ago, and I just thought it was some kind of joke or prank, so I tossed it aside," he said, his voice thick with anger. "But now, imagine my surprise when I find out that you witches or wizards or whatever you're called lied to me and tampered with my memory!"

"Dear, please," his wife said, getting up from the table to try and calm him down, "it wasn't up to me... in fact, I even argued that you shouldn't have been Obliviated - that is to say, had your memory of the event altered..."

"So that's what you call it, then?" he snarled. "I somehow began to remember it last night - after that thing attacked me - and now I can't even begin to explain how sickened and disgusted I felt after I realized that my wife, my fiancée at the time, stood back and let them do it so she could safely lie to me all these years!"

His wife tried again to assuage his anger, but to no avail.

"I think we'll have to discuss whether I really want to send my daughter to this place where she can learn all kinds of things to do to people..." he was ranting, when she quickly drew her own wand and tried to cast a simple spell to help him calm down.

But he was prepared for this, and so he was too quick for her; he grabbed her wand-holding hand by the wrist and slammed it aside against a cabinet. However, by doing so, he messed up what she was saying as an incantation for her spell, and so a small fire came out of her wand, which burned him on the arm.

He yelped and screamed in pain as he quickly went over to the sink and turned on the cold water, trying to do anything to quickly stop his arm from burning. He hissed as the icy cold water put out the small fire on his robe, and then inspected the small burn on his forearm.

Anger overcame whatever kind of reason he had in his mind at that moment, and with a scream of absolute fury, he lunged at his wife.


"No, please, listen," she pleaded tearfully as she tried to defend herself without hurting him at the same time. "Those were evil people who did that to your parents, as well as countless other innocent people..."


This man was so caught up with beating his wife in a fit of rage that he didn't even notice their daughter cowering in a corner, watching this happen, horrified. He just tuned out his wife begging him to stop, insisting that she loved him.

He then landed a hit on her temple, and the force from the punch actually caused severe trauma. She slumped to the floor, but did not get up again.

That image would be forever burned into the mind of their daughter.

If the father realized what he had done, then he didn't show it. He did, however, toss the Hogwarts letter onto the stove, turn on the flames, and watch it burn. He then picked up his wife's wand and snapped it in half, just to be sure; he would even burn both halves of it later on, when he had the chance.

As if coming out of a trance, he then noticed his daughter, still huddled the corner. "Come here," he said, not exactly menacing but definitely not comforting either.

She vigorously shook her head in protest, but he was getting exasperated, so he stalked over to her and grabbed her by the arm. She tried to resist, but he didn't show her any patience as he slapped her across her face. As she tried to recover from that, he dragged her down to the cellar and all but threw her down the stairs.

"You're not going anywhere for now," he declared. "Not until I figure out what to do with you. I will not allow you to try and do something to me like your mother and her ilk did."

And with that, he slammed the door, as well as propped up a chair under the knob on the other side to hold it in place.

The girl broke down, as she begged, pleaded and cried for her to be let out, saying that she didn't do anything wrong and it wasn't her fault...

But deep within her mind, she was already blaming that dark thing - whatever it was - for irreversibly destroying her life in a single day.

In the meantime, she tried to look for ways to get out of this mess... but it would be a long time until that happened.

Harry woke up the next morning from a blissfully blank sleep. He had had his doubts and things to dwell about the night before, but now, a good night's sleep made him feel somewhat better.

He changed into a fresh set of clothes and went into the next room to find Hagrid sleeping on the collapsed sofa and snoring quite loudly. Looking out the window, Harry could see that the storm had passed, although the hut and the rest of the rock were quite wet and soaked from the now-gone storm.

The next moment, something came up to the window, and Harry could see an owl with a newspaper in its beak, which began rapping at the window.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

Not quite sure what to do, Harry went over and opened the window, thus letting the owl in. It dropped off the newspaper near Hagrid, who was still sleeping, and then went for the giant man's coat.

"What are you doing?" Harry asked the owl, expecting some sort of intelligent response. However, it just continued to attack Hagrid's coat.

"Um, Hagrid?" he said loudly. "There's an owl with a newspaper who's attacking your coat."

"Pay him," Hagrid grunted from where he was.

Harry blinked. "Wait, you mean for the newspaper?"

"Yeah, exactly. Look in the coat, need ter pay him."

Harry was looking through the many pockets of Hagrid's coat, and yet he kept finding things other than money, such as bunches of keys, slug pellets, balls of string, peppermint humbugs, teabags, but he finally managed to find a bunch of coins like which he had never seen before.

"Give him five Knuts," Hagrid said sleepily.

"Knuts? Which ones are those?"

"The little bronze ones."

Harry counted out five of the little bronze coins, and when the owl held out his leg with the small leather pouch tied to it, Harry put the money in the bag. With that done, the owl flew out the open window.

After Hagrid yawned loudly, sat up, and stretched, he said to Harry, "Well, it's best be off, Harry, lots ter do today, we gotta get up ter London an' buy all yer stuff fer school."

As Harry was putting away the other wizarding coins, something else occurred to him, which made him frown.

"Um, Hagrid?"


"Exactly how am I going to pay for all those things?"

"Oh, you shouldn't worry about that," Hagrid said to him. "D'yeh think yer parents didn't leave yeh anything?"

That question caught Harry off guard. "Actually... to be honest, I never really thought about that."

"Well, don't worry, because they kept all their gold at Gringotts, the wizards' bank, and that'll be our first stop."

"Anyway, as fer Gringotts... just so happens that I have ter do some Hogwarts business fer Dumbledore anyway. I don't think the goblins would like waitin' too long."

Harry nearly did a double take before responding to that.

"Goblins?" he repeated incredulously.

"Yeah - you'd be mad ter try an' rob Gringotts, I'll tell yeh that. Never mess with goblins, Harry, and besides, Gringotts is probably the safest place in the world fer anything yeh want ter keep safe... well, 'cept maybe Hogwarts."

Harry nodded in understanding.

"So, yeh got everythin'? Don't forget yer Hogwarts letter."

"Right," Harry said. "Let me just get my things from my room."

Once Harry made sure he had everything he needed, he returned to go with Hagrid. However, as Harry looked around and saw no boats or anything, he thought about something.

"Hagrid... exactly how did you get here?" he asked.

"I Apparated," Hagrid said simply.

"Come again?"

"Right... well, Apparition... it's basically traveling instantly from one place to another," Hagrid explained. "I don't know how ter best describe it... it's basically like disappearin' from one place an' reappearin' at another on yer own."

Harry nodded. "Okay, I think I get it now."

"However," Hagrid continued, "I can't do that again ter take yeh with me... but fortunately, we do have a means of getting ter land."

With that, Hagrid took out of one of his coat's pockets what looked like a little toy boat. However, with a tap of his pink umbrella, the boat began to grow in size. As that was happening, Hagrid gently placed it in the water, and a few moments later, there was a wooden boat big enough to comfortably hold both of them.

"Nice... but where are the oars?" Harry wondered aloud.

Hagrid had noticed that too. "Well... I don't suppose you'd mind if I were ter... use magic ter speed things up a little?" he asked Harry, giving another sideways glance.

"No, not at all."

"Good. In which case, all aboard!"

After they were both in the boat, Hagrid tapped the side of the boat twice with his pink umbrella, and with that, they were away as they sped towards land.

"So, why would you have to be mad to rob Gringotts?" Harry said. "Not that I'd want to rob it, of course, but I'm just curious."

"Spells, enchantments, that sort of thing," Hagrid said as he unfolded the newspaper. "They say there're dragons guardin' the high security vaults, and then yeh gotta find yer way, because Gringotts is hundreds o' miles under London, yeh see. So, even if yeh did manage ter get yer hands on summat, it wouldn't be worth it, because yeh'd die tryin' ter get out."

"Sounds... secure," Harry said lamely as he tried to find the right word to express how amazing that sounded to him.

Hagrid nodded. "Got that right," he murmured as he began reading the newspaper.

As Hagrid turned the page, he muttered some comment about how the "Ministry o' Magic was messin' things up again."

Over the top of the paper, Hagrid could see Harry's blank and curious look. "Oh, well, o' course, there's a Ministry o' Magic... their main job is ter govern over the wizarding society in this country, keep it from the Muggles that there's still witches an' wizards up an' down the country."

Harry didn't need to be a genius to figure out that if Muggles knew that magic existed, everything would be thrown into chaos, at the very least.

"Anyway, this Minister, Cornelius Fudge... if yeh ask me, he's a bungler if there ever was one. Lots o' people wanted Dumbledore fer Minister, o' course, but he'd never leave Hogwarts, and so old Fudge got the job. He pelts Dumbledore with owls practically every morning, askin' fer advice."

Harry wasn't really interested in politics, Muggle or magical, and he figured he would still have some time left before he had to start taking an interest in that kind of thing.

So, he just went back to looking around as their boat continued to bring them closer to land.

Soon enough, they arrived as the boat bumped gently into the harbor wall. Hagrid folded up his newspaper, Harry made sure he had everything, and they climbed up the stone steps and onto the street.

Lots of people passing by stared at Hagrid as they walked through the little town to the station, which didn't surprise Harry, as they had most likely never seen someone so big before. However, at the moment, he was more concerned with just trying to keep up with Hagrid's big strides.

Hagrid was glancing and chuckling at an ordinary parking meter when Harry asked, "Hagrid, did you say there are dragons at Gringotts?"

"Well, so they say," responded Hagrid. "Crikey, I'd like a dragon."

"You'd like one?" Harry asked disbelievingly. He had a sudden silly mental image of a dragon being treated and cared for like a pet dog. Did wizards actually do that? Was that even possible?

"Yeah, I've wanted one ever since I was a kid. Anyway, here we are."

They had reached the train station, and fortunately, there was a train to London in five minutes' time. Hagrid, who didn't understand what he called "Muggle money," gave the bank notes to Harry so they could buy their tickets.

Predictably, people were staring at Hagrid again, but that may have also been because he took up two seats by himself and sat knitting what looked like a canary-yellow circus tent.

"Still got yer letter, Harry?" he asked as he counted stitches.

Harry took the parchment envelope out of his pocket to confirm that he did.

"Good. There's a list of everything yeh need."

Harry unfolded a second piece of paper he hadn't seen the previous day, which turned out to be his list of supplies. He went through it, amazed. All the different things he would need for his uniform... all the different course books he would need... all the other equipment he would need beyond that... he was also mildly amused at the notes for how he could "also bring an owl OR a cat OR a toad," as well as the one reminding parents that "FIRST YEARS ARE NOT ALLOWED THEIR OWN BROOMSTICKS."

"Can we really find all this in London?" Harry asked Hagrid, amazed.

"If yeh know where ter go," Hagrid said cryptically and with a wink.

A/N: So, what do the readers think?

Regarding the chapter title... it's a joke on my part about something being done "all in a night's work" as opposed to "all in a day's work." It applies not just to Hagrid alone, but to everyone featured here in this chapter. (It also shows the repercussions of the night's events.)

I'm basically getting my feet wet to test the water at this point. Fear not, things will NOT be the same as in the book verbatim, and things will be significantly different as things go along... and the more and more time goes on, the more and more things diverge from the canon path...

Just in case any of you were wondering now, no, Hagrid did not make that birthday cake for Harry. Let's just assume that someone else did the actual baking and making of the cake, instead of Hagrid. After all, we can't have Harry suffer or even die from food poisoning, can we?

Also, I'm sorry if I was not very descriptive about the "Fish-Man" and the "evil darkness," or the researcher and his wife, or the family with the witches in it. They will be all identified in time, and they will all be important to the story.

Furthermore... I hope I'm not bothering anyone with all this violence and occasional death. I honestly have no idea why this is coming to me and how it's getting into my story. I'm just trying to write this fanfic and already I'm stacking up a small body count with it.

On one final note: There will be kind of a "parallel plot" to the Philosopher's Stone, with this new object also mixed in.

Please don't forget to review!

/-Quillian, 5/4/07/
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