Harry Potter and the Surprise Adoption
Summary: The Masons discover that Harry is abused during the summer before his second year. Refusing to leave him there, they adopt him as their son. This changes things in more ways than Harry ever imagined.
Pairings: He's too young for that yet
Legal Disclaimer: Harry Potter belongs to J.K. Rowling not me; I am not making any money from this
Notes: Assume first year happened according to cannon unless stated otherwise. Also I am American and have never been to England and what little I know about it comes from watching BBC America so I apologize in advance for any mistakes.
Jennifer and David Mason had been driving away from the Dursley's house after that horrid dinner…both Masons dearly wished to forget the entirety of it, the idiot boy who had asked to take coats they didn't have (really who wore coats on a warm, dry summer night)the fake small talk, the cake all of it. Anyway, about a little more than five minutes after they left Jen realized that she had left her purse behind
"My Purse!" she exclaimed. Practically her whole LIFE was in that purse, her wallet, her checkbook, her driver's license and credit cards; she NEEDED to get that purse back.
That was all David needed to hear, he drove the car into the nearest driveway, did a K-turn and sped back toward the Dursley's house.
Once there Jen told her husband to keep the car running and dashed into the house, in her haste she neglected to ring the doorbell…the Dursleys had also not bothered to lock the front door yet.
She headed straight for the living room where she last remembered having her purse.
When she arrived she saw the horrifying sight of Vernon Dursley holding his nephew by the hair and bashing him into the wall repeatedly…said wall was smeared red with the poor boy's blood. Now Jen would admit that the boy deserved to be punished for dropping the cake on her but this was outrageous and she wouldn't stand for it!
"What do you think you're doing?!" She yelled
"Mrs. Mason, what are you doing here?" Vernon demanded in turn
"Never mind that, why are you abusing that poor boy?!" She demanded back
"Poor boy? This freak ruined my dinner, just like he ruins everything, it's HIS ruddy fault his worthless parents are dead to begin with, I'm giving him a lot less than he deserves." Vernon declared
"How can you say such horrible things about your own flesh and blood?!" Jen responded "Never mind, I don't care! I am getting him to the hospital right now. By the way my brother's a highly decorated police officer and if you try and stop me I WILL have you arrested on assault charges! Now MOVE!"
Vernon did so reluctantly
"Can you walk?" she asked the boy gently
The boy didn't respond verbally but he slowly pushed himself up and for the first time Jen got a good look at him. His face was covered in blood, Jen was no medical expert but she suspected his nose was broken. His chest was red with blood and one of his knees seemed to be injured as well. She could also tell that every movement caused him considerable pain
"Here lean on me" Jen and shifted herself so she was next to the boy
The boy muttered something along the lines of "I don't want to bleed on you."
"Nonsense" Jen scolded, "I can wash my clothes, now come on."
Slowly the boy…abruptly Jen realized she had no idea what his name was leaned against her and they made their way slowly (so as not to further exacerbate his injuries) toward the front door. On the way, Jen managed to grab her purse from the couch where she'd left it when she had sat down to wait for dessert.
Finally they reached the car and Jen helped the boy into the front seat, despite his attempts to get to the back.
David tried to ask what was going on multiple times but Jen ignored him and the boy only muttered unintelligibly.
"What is going on?!" David demanded loudly as his wife slid into the back seat
"Never mind just drive to the hospital." Jen ordered
"But-"David tried but Jen cut him off
"Explanations later, DRIVE NOW!" Jen insisted
David glanced at the boy bleeding out on the front seat and admitted that he did look like he urgently needed medical attention. So he drove to the hospital as quick as he could without risking killing them all in a car crash.
Once they got to the Hospital, they thankfully didn't have to wait long for before the boy was taken back to be treated, his injuries were the most severe of any patient in the waiting area so he got priority.
Unfortunately Jen and David were not allowed to go with him since they were not his legal guardians…a situation Jen wanted to rectify as soon as possible but first she had to talk David into it.
"David…I think we should adopt him." Jen stated
"Adopt him?" David exclaimed
"Yes, I can't let him go back there; who KNOWS what they will do to him next time…they might have killed him if I hadn't gone back for my purse!" Jen responded "besides, I thought we had agreed to adopt a child anyway…since I can't have any of my own"
Jen had been born with a rare genetic birth defect that made her infertile and unable to conceive.
"Well yes" David admitted "but I was thinking of a adopting a younger child, like one around five or six, that one is like nine or ten."
"…well, I kind of wanted to adopt two." Jen confessed "I'd like to have a boy and a girl, we can afford it." It was true, David was the owner and head of a successful construction company (that was why they had been at the Dursleys in the first place, his company ran through drills rather quickly) and Jen was a skilled lawyer specializing in family and inheritance law between the two of them they pulled a six figure income every year…the fact they had several stock investments helped too. "Think of it this way, we can adopt him now and then a couple of years later when we adopt a girl, he can babysit when we aren't able to be there."
David said nothing, he was thinking.
"David, I know it's sudden but I don't think this is a coincidence, we just made the decision to adopt and now we find an abused little boy who NEEDS us, its fate."
David scoffed inwardly, he knew his wife believed in fate and destiny but he didn't, people's lives were not planned out in advance, they made their own path through effort, determination, and luck…not necessarily in that order.
"What makes you so certain he WANTS us to adopt him?" David asked
Jen blinked, the idea that he might not want to be adopted had never occurred to her. "Do you really thing he WANTS to stay there, with people who did this to him?"
"Well no" David admitted "but that doesn't necessarily mean he wants to come and live with us, we are strangers to him after all."
Jen hated to admit it but he had a point
"Tell you what, why don't ask him if he's willing to be adopted and then go from there?" David offered
Jen perked up a bit, she was confident that the boy's answer would be yes…if she was going to adopt him, she really needed to learn his name."
After a couple of hours one of the nurses came out "I'm looking for the couple who brought Harry Potter." She announced
Jen and David looked around and saw that no one else was responding to the request so Jen said
"I guess that's us." They went over to the nurse
"How is he?" Jen asked
"Legally, I can't get into too many details since you are not his legal guardians but I can tell you that his injuries are very extensive…he's suffered a lot for a long time. He'll have to stay with us for a few days at least."
"I suspected that" Jen muttered softly to herself and then she focused her attention back on the nurse "Can we see him?"
"Normally, I'd have to say no since you are not family and these are not visiting hours, however he has asked to see you…he was very insistent about thanking you personally, so we've decided to make an exemption this time, as long as you agree to keep your visit brief, by which I mean no more than ten minutes, he's been through a lot and needs to rest and recover his strength." The nurse answered
Both Jen and David nodded their agreement and so the nurse led them through the hospital to Harry's room
Jen thought the sight that greeted them inside was both one of the cutest and saddest, she had ever seen. Cute because Harry was an adorable child when he wasn't covered in blood and sad because he looked so hurt, it was wrong no child should look like that.
David took one look at his wife's face and knew fatherhood was inevitable. Jen wanted to adopt Harry and when his beloved wife wanted something 9.9 times out of ten she got it.
Jen and David seated themselves on chairs positioned on either side of Harry's bed
"Mr. and Mrs. Mason." Harry said and tried to rise and greet them properly but Jen urged him to stay down and not strain himself
"How are you feeling?' she asked once Harry had settled himself back down on the bed
"Numb, mostly" Harry responded
"Good, that means the pain killers are working" David stated
"Harry…are you happy living with your aunt and uncle?" Jen asked after a moment
Harry hesitated, he knew he wasn't supposed to answer questions like that, he was NEVER supposed to do or say anything that would paint the Dursleys as anything other than the perfect normal family…not to muggles like the Masons anyway; the Dursleys didn't care what he told wizards because they hated the freaks anyway. However, the Masons had rescued him from Vernon…Vernon had NEVER before hit him THAT hard…they probably wouldn't believe him if he lied and said he was happy and maybe, just maybe they would believe him…no one else had but no one else had such strong firsthand evidence of it either.
"No….they hate me." Harry said softly
"We've been thinking about adopting you…would you like that?" Jen asked
Harry blinked several times in surprise "Really, you want a freak like me?" he questioned
"Harry" Jen began gently "you are not a freak, you are a sweet child, and the Dursleys are the real freaks for treating you like this."
"I'd like to be your son…but there are things about me that you don't know, you might not want me if you knew everything." Harry said
"Hush" Jen ordered "I don't care if you're 'disturbed' like that fat walrus" she REFUSED to acknowledge the man as Harry's uncle, family didn't put family members in the hospital…well not deliberately anyway, accidents could happen, a person could have a car crash and family members wind up in the hospital as a result but that was different. "Claimed you are…you deserve a good home. Harry, I work as a family lawyer, I've seen abused kids before and I've always wished I could do something more for them…now I have a chance, don't take it from me, okay?"
Admittedly the majority of when Jen did was divorce cases and drawing up wills but she did occasionally come up with child abuse cases…there was NOTHING in this world she hated more than child abusers and nothing gave her more satisfaction than seeing child abusers pay for their crimes.
"Okay" harry conceded
"Great" Jen said "I'll get the process started right away…with any luck it'll be done by the time the doctors say you're ready to leave."
David opened his mouth to ask Jen why she told Harry that but the nurse arrived and declared their ten minutes were up and that they had to leave.
"Jen…I thought the adoption process takes months, what makes you think we can get it done before he leaves the hospital?" Dave asked
"That's when the child doesn't HAVE a legal guardian" Jen explained "in this case all we have to do is get the Dursleys to sign some paperwork transferring guardianship to us. I can have one of my colleagues draw them up, have them signed and submitted tomorrow, simple."
"What if the Dursleys don't sign the papers?" David asked
"Oh, they will" Jen declared darkly"one way or another, I'll get their signatures on the papers don't you worry."
Once they got to their large house, Jen called up her brother Samuel.
Samuel hated the name Samuel and insisted that everyone call him Sam, those who to be told twice… always regretted it, big time.
"Hi Sam, its Jen." Jen began
"Jen!" Sam protested sleepily "it's 2 in the morning, why are you calling me now?!"
"Because I need your help-"Jen started to say but Sam cut her off
"And this couldn't wait until daylight?"
"Well…I hadn't realized what time it was" Jen admitted sheepishly "Do you want me to call you back later?"
"No," Sam said "I'm awake now so you might as well tell me."
So Jen explained everything to him
"So you want me to call my private eye friend Jeff and have him investigate the Dursleys for child abuse while you have one of your coworkers…wait a minute you're a lawyer why can't you draw it up yourself?" Sam said
"Three words Sam" Jen responded "Conflict of interest
"Huh?" Sam asked not getting it
Jen sighed "Are you SURE you're awake because it doesn't seem like it, I can't draw up legal documents for situations in which I have a vested interest, duh"
"Oh, right, right" Sam said "anyway, then when that's done, you want me to come over to your office, pick you up and drive you over to these Dursley people and act as a witness to them signing the papers.. that's NOT how I planned to spend my day off."
"Come on, Sam…if you won't do it for me, do it for Harry, do it so that a poor abused kid doesn't have to suffer anymore." Jen urged
"Okay, okay" Sam caved "I'll do it, now stop it with the guilt trip."
"Good, see you tomorrow" Jen said and hung up
Then she finally went to bed.
The next morning Jen persuaded Melinda, the newest lawyer at their firm, to draw up the documents she wanted…well technically Melinda just typed what Jen told her to and then put her name on it but details, details. Anyway, once the documents were made, Jen called David and instructed him to come by the office over lunch so they could sign them with Melinda acting as a notary…at the point Jen remembered that they would need to bring a notary to the Dursleys as well because the documents wouldn't be official unless each signature was notarized so she drafted poor Melinda into coming along…Melinda made a mental note to never ever make a bet with Jen again, the price for losing was too high.
It was at that point that Sam arrived; Jen had called him right after she called David because she knew it would take him awhile to get over to the law office.
"Who is she?" Sam asked when he saw a girl he didn't recognize getting into his car along with his sister.
"Right, you've haven't been introduced" Jen realized "Sam, this is Melinda, one of my co-workers, Melinda this is my brother Samuel
"Don't call me that!" Sam yelled
"Right, don't call him Samuel, he prefers Sam. Melinda is going to notarize the Dursleys signatures to make them legal." Jen added
"How do you know that these people will even be home?" Sam asked
"Because we were supposed to finalize the arrangements for the drill deal today and we had agreed to meet them this afternoon though obviously the deal is off at this point." Jen explained
Sam didn't respond to that and they spent the rest of the ride in silence.
When they arrived, Jen wasted no time…she didn't want to be here a minute longer than was strictly necessary, she walked briskly up the walkway and rang the doorbell.
Petunia answered the door "Oh, Mrs. Mason, nice to see you, please come in" she said…apparently she thought the drill deal was still on. "Vernon's in the living room."
Jen stepped through the door followed by her companions.
"Vernon, Mrs. Mason is here" Petunia called
Jen decided not to wait for Vernon to waddle his way to them, she walked over to the living room where he was in the process of rising out his chair.
"Don't bother getting up Mr. Dursley" she said "this won't take long."
"I thought your husband ran the construction company." Vernon said
"He does" Jen replied "I'm not here for drills; I'm here for your nephew."
"The freak, what do you want with the freakish brat?" Vernon asked "He's not here, you know that."
"Yes, I do know that." Jen said darkly her eyes narrowed with increasing disgust for this repulsive excuse for a man "My husband and I have decided that we want to be his guardians instead of you."
"Really?" Petunia asked with a hint of eagerness
Vernon however narrowed his eyes, attempting but failing to look shrewd "How much is the freak worth to you?"
Jen was outraged that the man would be willing to sell his nephew "You expect me to BUY him? He's a child not a slave! You people are living proof of WHY people should have licenses to become parents…let me put it to you this way, you either sign guardianship of your nephew to me and my husband or I sue you into bankruptcy."
"Sue, on what grounds?" Vernon demanded
"All kinds, assault on a minor, slander, sexual harassment, there's a lot to choose from." Jen said
"You can't prove those." Vernon declared
Jen merely smirked "Are you sure of that, AND are you sure you can for all the legal fees required…I rather doubt your bank account is large enough for that."
"Now see here" Vernon yelled as he stood angrily "You think you can come into my home and threaten me! Well, let me tell you-"
"Dear" Petunia put a restraining hand on her husband's arm. She was the neighborhood gossip and as such she knew that Jennifer Mason had a reputation as a ruthless attorney, one of the best, she wasn't someone they could afford to get into a legal battle with. She turned to Jen "Look, we never wanted to the boy in the first place, he was dumped on my doorstep after his parents died. We don't want him now…why don't we just sign the paperwork and forget all this unpleasantness?"
"I am willing to do that…I don't want to resort to suing you." well she didn't want to resort to suing them in CIVIL court, she wanted them hauled before a criminal court, completely different. "But I will, if you don't sign the papers."
"And if we do, you won't?" Vernon asked
"If you do sign, I will not file any civil charges against you." Jen said levelly, confidant that they would either not notice or not care about the loophole in that sentence.
"All right, we'll sign." Vernon said
"Good, Melinda give them the papers, please."
Once all the paperwork was taken care of Vernon told Jen "You make sure to tell that freak that he better not show his face around here ever again. He and his abnormalities are YOUR problem now."
Jen decided not to dignify that remark with a response instead she ignored Vernon completely and addressed Petunia "Where are his things? I will take them with me now."
"In the cupboard under the stairs." Petunia answered
"This is it? Just this trunk?" Jen questioned when she opened said cupboard
"Yes, everything is there…well except for his bird, he keeps her in his room upstairs." Petunia responded
"Bird?" Jen asked, thinking that was an unusual pet for a boy to have
"Yes" Vernon said smirking evilly "A ruddy pigeon howls its head off all night every night."
"Where is his room?" Jen asked
"Go up the stairs and make a left, its' the last door on the right." Petunia directed
Jen nodded and turned to her companions "Can you two take this" tapping the trunk while she spoke "out to the car while I go and get the bird?"
Sam nodded and popped open the trunk. Then he grabbed one of the trunk's handles while Melinda grabbed the other and they began making their way toward the front door.
Jen then headed up the stairs. Vernon not so subtly followed her; he remembered Mr. Mason telling them about his wife's fear of birds and wanted to witness the woman shriek when she saw the pigeon.
"Oh my" Jen exclaimed when she saw the owl in the cage. She walked over to the cage "Aren't you a beauty…we don't see many of your kind here in Britain."
Vernon was shocked; this was not at all what he'd expected. He stood sputtering the doorway, Jen heard him, and she turned and smirked at him "My husband lied when he told you that I am afraid of birds, I'm actually a bird watcher. He just said that because we couldn't stand you and your horrible family for one more second."
She then grabbed the owl's cage and added "Now move aside, so I can leave and hopefully never set foot in this bland and boring house again."
Vernon moved just enough that Jen and the owl could squeeze by…barely.
Jen walked by him as quickly as she could without running. She dived into the car and since Sam and Melinda were already in, Sam pulled out of the driveway and speed off.
"I can't BELIEVE you promised not to press charges against them." Sam said once they were off Privet Drive "I thought you hated child abuse, and yet you are going to let them get away with it?!"
"Wrong Sam" Jen responded "They are NOT going to get away with anything; I only promised not to file CIVIL charges against them. Child abuse is a CRIMINAL offense and I NEVER promised not to file criminal charges…they carry far more severe sentences anyway. I don't want them to get away with just a fine; I want them behind bars for the rest of their lives."
"…you've got a sneaky little brain, you know that sis?" Sam asked
"Of course I do…that's what makes me a good lawyer." Jen replied with a smile.
That night, Jen and David went back to the hospital to visit Harry and to inform the hospital of his change in guardianship
They were greeted by the same nurse who had spoken to them the night prior
"Since you are his guardians now I can tell you everything. To start with he has several broken ribs, a broken nose and his right knee was green-sticked. Also when we asked who his family doctor was so we could get a copy of his medical records, to check if he's allergic to any medications, see his medical history etc. he told us that he had never been to a doctor before. We tested his system and found that he has gotten none of his vaccines; we will take care of that before he leaves. His glasses are not prescription…frankly; I don't know how he managed to see anything with those. He is severely mal-nourished and we found evidence of old breaks that did not heal properly."
"I suspected that his former caretakers were abusing him and what you just told us strongly suggests that I am right." Jen said "I intend to press criminal charges against them for child abuse, would be willing to testify to his medical history in court?"
"Yes, I will" the nurse said. She then gave Jen her name and contact information, she also said that she would ask the overseeing physician to see if he would be willing to testify and let them know.
About a week later, the hospital gave Harry a clean bill of health and allowed the Masons to take their new son home with them. Harry spent the whole trip trying and failing to figure out how he was going to tell his adoptive parents that their new son was a wizard. He knew he had to tell them, but he was terrified that they would freak out and send him back to the Dursleys.