I'll say again, this is an AU fic. Harry is very different in this. As well as that, he's 2 years older than in cannon. The basic plot will stay somewhat similar through GOF and OOtP; though I'll make some additions and alterations to both.
I hope you enjoy this story.
Needless to say, I don't own Harry Potter. That is true throughout this Fic.
(I've edited this slightly as of the 12th of June, 2015. Added 1000 words, somehow, but mostly I've edited the parts that are from Harry's perspective since it occurred to me that his change was too quick and extreme to make sense.)
I thought I already clarified this, but have been corrected in a few recent reviews!
Harry, Daphne and Tracy are all in third year when Ron and Hermione enter the school, and so are two years older. Astoria, likewise, is two years older and therefore is in Slytherin with Draco in the same year. Fleur is in Harry's year, which means she is a Sixth year in Goblet of Fire. I don't know if this is different or not, I don't know which she was in in Canon, but assume I have de-aged her by about a year.
Andrew Greengrass was disgusted with his family. With his name. His pathetic ancestors and their practise of bending to the wills of the bigoted families.
Because of a long standing tradition, he was expected to sign his daughter off to Malfoy and his brat of an heir?! Not acceptable! Andrew was intending to stay in the category of Grey permanently, and if he had to, he would sever the ties he had with those of the dark variety. They were valuable for the simple reason that his family was a no-go for attacks whenever a Dark Lord rose, but he would not betray his family. Never!
'He even had the nerve to try to have my daughter as a second wife to his spoilt brat of a son!' Lord Greengrass snarled to himself. 'If he hadn't had his cronies with him, he'd be going home without the ability to sneer.' Close to a dozen of the known, but un-prosecuted Death Eaters were surrounding Lucius as he tried to convert Andrew to the Dark Lord's side.
The 'Dark Lord's side'. Everyone knew he had been vanquished, yet Malfoy still tried to bank on his old master's power as much as possible; squeezing every last benefit from the name Voldemort and the fear that people still felt at the very implication of the brutal terrorist. Little Thomas Potter had defeated the 'strongest wizard in Britain', and Lucius still expected Andrew to quake in his boots at the mention of his master's order. Not likely.
Something told the livid Businessman that his daughters would not be a fan of Draco when the little sod began at Hogwarts in 4 years time. How could a 7 year old be that arrogant? He may have to teach Daphne a few borderline curses to ensure that nothing happened to her in Slytherin. Assuming that's where she went, anyway. But, since she was his little ice princess, he was near certain that his prediction would come to pass.
At least she'd have Tracy in the house with her; the two were constant companions. Well, the four were, but Caroline struck him as a Ravenclaw more so than his own house. And Jasmine may well join her. He remembered a few girls of her sort in that house from his own time in Hogwarts.
But Malfoy's power at Hogwarts would undoubtedly mean his son would be able to get away with murder. Daphne would be fine. She was extremely subtle. Caroline was intelligent enough to avoid trouble in the first place. Jasmine was too kind to consider violence. But Tracy? Tracy he was worried about. The girl was a little naïve, and would no doubt retaliate in the less-than Slytherin manner. She would, hard, and teach the others not to mess with her.
Draco would not learn from that, though. He would just run to his daddy and have him clean up the mess. Adelaide would have his hide if anything happened to one of the girls. He shivered in fear.
It was lucky he did.
That shudder that ran the length of the tall man's body meant that he felt the pickpocket before the child vanished back into the shadows. Diagon alley didn't often have thieves, and so Andrew had let his guard down. No doubt it was a successful hunting ground for the kid. Target the prosperous, and take a few galleons each time. Plenty to live on food wise, but people with the money that Andrew had would not pay the loss any mind on the off chance that they noticed it missing.
Unfortunately, Andrew was no ordinary noble. No, he was the husband of Adelaide Greengrass. And he'd be damned if he let a child live on the streets.
He took chase, pursuing the now fleeing boy down the street, and through a side alley. The kid was quick, scampering through the obstacles that Andrew Greengrass ploughed through, his large frame making this the easier option.
The child looked to be no older than 11. So to say that he was shocked when the red light of a stunner shone through the alley, and the bolt shot toward him, would be an understatement. Now, he was curious himself as to who this child was. He picked up the pace as the two ran out into another open area; leaving the narrow alleyway.
In the dead of night, the cobbled street they had arrived in was empty of everything and everyone. This gave Andrew a huge advantage with his longer legs, and his bounds allowed his to catch up to the small framed thief quickly, only for a tripping jinx to knock him off balance.
That one definitely originated from the child he was pursuing.
Lord Greengrass caught himself quickly and saw that the boy had only achieved a few yards distance between the chaser and the chasee. With ease, he closed this distance and seized the boy by his shoulders. He looked down at the child, his black hair and dark muggle clothing making it easy to see how he blended in so easily.
The glowing emerald orbs that stared at Andrew, on the other hand? They were not so subtle.
Adelaide Greengrass watched her 5 daughters, delighted as four giggled gleefully and the other one smiled happily. She would offer no prizes for guessing which witch that was.
She loved her family. She loved her daughters, loved her surrogate daughters, and loved her husband.
Her love for the charming Andrew Greengrass was furthered by his support in her endeavour. Tracy had always been a good friend to Daphne, and when her parents had perished in a Death Eater raid, Adelaide insisted that the couple take her in. They had officially adopted her soon enough. Now, the two had grown up as sisters since they were 5. They had always been inseparable, and this bond was only strengthened with the addition of two more best friends for their small group, and a younger sibling that looked up to them.
Of course, Astoria was very much the little sister, but she had always been welcome nonetheless. The two were surprisingly protective of the younger girl, and Caroline had inherited that trait.
Caroline had been in a muggle orphanage until half-way trough her 7th year. Then, Lady Greengrass had sensed the presence of a magical-child when the 5 were walking through London, and they had jumped at the opportunity to adopt yet another into their growing family. A strange trait it was that Adelaide possessed, that allowed her to sense the presence of magic in others no matter how small the spark was. She ignored it, normally, but her attention was dragged, forcefully, to the orphanage upon finding there was a child that needed her help.
Jasmine had been more recent; nearing 4 months now. The noble couple didn't know what happened to her family, as both parents had been unspeakables. They could have been doing an experiment that went wrong. They could have known something they shouldn't have and been killed by their fellows because of it. They could have been obliviated, and sent to live in Saudi-Arabia. They didn't question taking her in when she needed it, though. And now the family consisted of 6 females and one male.
Neither of the two said it, but they did long for a son. Whether a true son or surrogate, it mattered little. The family just didn't feel complete, and Adelaide knew that Andrew had never mentioned that he was missing an heir to carry on his family name because he was afraid she would think him to be blaming her, as many Pureblood males did their wives. She had heard of the women that vanished when they were deemed unable to produce and heir for their husbands.
Little did Adelaide know, her prayers were being answered at that very moment. In the form of an unbelievable 10 year old boy.
"Girls?" The man who referred to himself as Andrew called out as the two arrived inside a large house. Emerald eyes flicked over the wall with a fearful quality, as Harry's mind tried to process the unknown, but recognisable, tone. Eventually, he reached the conclusion that it was happiness, and his confusion only increased as he prepared to flee from the strange man; if he started a fire before fleeing, Harry would be given the chance to get away as the man panicked at his residence being aflame, and that was the plan that he settled on.
The plan faded away as the sound of light footsteps reached Harry's ears; he might not be able to get away if he had more than one of these people chasing him. As he decided to wait for a better opportunity to flee, Harry saw 6 females approach the male holding him, at a fast pace, through the doorway. One was around the Man's age, four were around the age Harry believed himself to be. One was younger than the others. They, too, looked happy and Harry's unease increased.
What reason did they have to be happy? Were they planning something?
"Daddy!" The youngest cried out, running forward. Running towards the intimidating man. The two embraced. Happy, yet again. Daddy... that meant the same as father, Harry believed, and his eyes narrowed at the two hugging. That was not the relationship between father and child that he knew, after all, and his unease began to turn towards suspicion. Were they trying to trap him? Make him feel comfortable before they attacked?
That must have been the purpose of the small one.
The other 4 approached the father, daughter and stranger in the entrance hall at a slightly more measured pace. Once the youngest stepped back, the oldest put her lips against his in greeting. An odd custom that Harry had seen human adults practice before. He could not understand the reason behind it, and his mind was focused on the imminent danger he believed himself to be in so he dismissed the confusion.
The other 4 greeted him in turn with a hug and a press of the lips on his cheek. Each smiling at the man as they did.
The eldest turned to face Harry with a smile. It was an expression Harry did not understand, as he saw a hint of her teeth. She did not appear particularly threatening, but the baring of one's teeth was a challenge, or hint of imminent danger, and so he assumed that the woman's not-intimidating appearance was simply a ploy. Wizards could be dangerous even if they looked soft, Harry knew.
"Who is this, Andy?" She sounded excited. Harry could not understand the emotion. Why would she be happy to have him in her home, if he was in fact the reason for her delight? Were they going to try to eat him? The promise of nourishment was enough to please most, but Harry would not let them butcher him without a fight. He believed that he could give them a challenge, fully intended to be victorious if it came to violence, and he began to make crude strategies; the smallest would probably be the one most valued, so the adults may be distracted if the ceiling was to break, and chunks of the sky were to fall towards the girl.
"This is Harry." Andrew patted Harry lightly on the shoulder and the boy only recoiled; his body tensing. This must have been the signal to attack. He waited, his fingers splayed, and was confused when no attack was forthcoming. The females smiled at the younger male, and Harry cursed his body as he unconsciously relaxed. The youngest stepped forwards, and held her hand out to him at the same time as baring her teeth in greeting. Harry looked at it, with trepidationn as he wondered at the meaning. Was it a greeting?
Harry racked his brain. What was the correct procedure? The men he observed would shake hands in greeting. Often when meeting those of the female gender, though, they did otherwise. These people seemed to be rich, and so he assumed that they did what was typical of their class.
The boy, eventually, took the young girl's hand slowly, still expecting an attack and wishing to draw it out while he was still prepared, and dipped his head slightly, brushing his lips against the youngest's knuckle as she giggled. The noise confused him, as he understood this to mean that one was amused. Did that mean that she was happy he had fallen for her trick? He found only happiness on the faces of the others; no sign that they were about to attack. Did that mean Harry had done something wrong? The raven haired boy looked, to check what reason she had to laugh. She appeared happy, although quite red. Was she over-heated? The room was rather cool, so his confusion rose even further. Andrew seemed to approve. Why did she giggle? Harry did not understand.
"Hello, Harry. I am Astoria Greengrass." She stated, with a curtsy, trying to act the part of a Lady. The others smiled at the attempt, and at the slight failure that came due to her happy grin.
"I am..." He struggled to find the words, and did not want to finish the sentence in his growl of a voice; changed after going so long unused. He forced himself to continue. "Harry... Potter."
The humans present gasped at his statement. They were shocked. And Harry knew why, for once, as unpleasant memories resurfaced.
They knew of him because of his brother.
Because of his family.
Because he left.
A little over a year later.
It would be a strange sight to behold, even in the wizarding world, Harry believed.
The family he lingered on the outside of was quite large. Not as large as the orange haired family to the left, of course, but large nonetheless. The mother kissed goodbye her daughters, while her husband followed her, repeating the farewells. Both were teary-eyed at the emotions coming with losing the majority of their family for an entire year.
The youngest, not wanting to miss the departure, was stood off to the side with him. She was upset, too. Harry's hand was being squeezed as an outlet. He looked down at the small pressure, and debated what he should do in return. The boy settled on squeezing back, softly. Astoria gave a sad smile to him. She wouldn't be joining the 5 for 2 years. Harry was sure that she would be lonely. She was unused to loneliness, and so it saddened her. Harry felt some sympathy for this sadness, though he could not understand the emotional reaction to being alone. He, for one, was used to the state of being.
Checking that the adults were still occupied, the younger male in the group handed the girl a tiny rectangle parcel, and blinked one eye; imitating the gesture of reassurance that he had seen from Andrew. She copied his actions, and winked in return; trusting him that whatever it was would help. Harry thought that the two-way mirror that he had created would help lessen the loneliness, and hoped that he was correct.
The mother of the family rounded on him, as her eyes filled with tears again. The bond between a mother and her son, even if it was a foster son, was special. Adelaide had gotten it into her head that a witch was going to steal him away before they saw each other again; Harry was unable to reassure her, since he was baffled by the notion of being stolen. When he voiced his confusion, the woman simply laughed. The Father had the opposite thoughts, being glad that Harry was going with the girls, and had entrusted the safety of his daughters to his 'son'. While he didn't quite feel like a son yet, since Harry had only lived with them for a little over a year and, more importantly, sturggled with affection, they had fostered the boy and so it was effectively the case.
Letting go of Astoria's hand, Harry responded in kind to the sudden hug; wrapping his arms around the woman in an effort to replicate the affectionate gesture.
"We'll write to you, I promise." He said, in a quiet tone, as she tightened her grip, in an attempt to soothe the woman's worries. He believed that was what she wanted to hear, and the kind woman's sadness saddened Harry, too.
"My little boy's growing up!" She wailed into his shoulder. Odd, she hadn't ever known him when he was "little". He supposed she was rattled and frazzled with her emotions at the sudden hole in her life. The house, no doubt, would be rather empty from now on, and Harry understood that they meant something more through the statement that they had a feeling of emptiness.
He arched an eyebrow at Daphne, questioning the sadness, and she smirked back at him, returning the look. Something about Harry's arrival, and the circumstances surrounding it, had made her mother very protective of him. Actually, that wasn't quite true. His arrival, and the damaged, but wonderful, person they had gotten to know subsequently, made all of the females in the 'family' fiercely protective of Harry. Andrew, too, in his own way. Though his protectiveness focused on teaching Harry to defend himself, building on the surprising skills the 10 year old had already learned to imitate when Lord Greengrass found him. Andrew was looking forward to the letters they would get home regarding Harry putting older students into their place, even if he worried somewhat about the reaction of teachers to Harry's inclination towards fighting.
After complaining some more about his leaving, Adelaide Greengrass let her 'son' go, and the company parted, 5 heading onto the train while 3 waved sadly after them.
"Potter?" One repeated.
"The runaway?" Another asked.
"The brother of the boy-who-lived?" A third made the connection.
"I wonder he can get me an autograph?" That was the one that annoyed him the most.
McGonagall had called out Harry's name to be sorted. Unsurprisingly, the revelation that the older Potter brother was still alive shocked everyone in the hall. Students whispered excitedly, teachers watched with surprised looks, while some had more meaningful reactions, and everyone wondered about the look of the boy.
He was tall, for an 11 year old, and had a rough look to him. Hair messy, as with every Potter, emerald eyes, and a furrowed brow drew their attention, and the Hogwarts cloak did nothing to hide the gait in his walk, and the slightly gaunt cheeks that implied he had not always been well-fed. He glared at everyone that he heard mention his old family, and wished the Transfiguration Professor hadn't use his name. Harry did not want any association with the family he had left years ago.
The hat fell to the boy's brow and he heard the knowledgeable voice of a hat in his head.
"Well, aren't you an interesting one? Hmm." The hat was silent for fifty-eight seconds. "I'm unsure of where to put you. You certainly are fascinating." The Hat sounded happy for the difficulty. The children were getting more and more simple these days. This year had been far better than usual for that. "You must be the first sortie in centuries that would likely prosper in all 4 houses. I suppose I will have to take your own opinion into consideration... Given your opinion of the Potters; Gryffindor would be less than ideal, would you agree?"
"Correct." Harry replied.
"Of course, of course; Thomas Potter will be attending Hogwarts soon, won't he?" The hat continued, when Harry showed no intention to elarorate on his reasoning; looking inside the boy's mind. "Hufflepuff... no, no, that would go against Helga's own principles. Those you are loyal to are not in her house, after all."
"True."Harry agreed, before continuing. "Hufflepuff lacks privacy."
"Agreed." The Hat had narrowed it down by half by now. "Do you have a preference as to which house you would prefer, Harry?" Ravenclaw and Slytherin were both apt choices. "Slytherin would allow you to get the privacy you desire, and would certainly help you on the road to greatness, but your keen mind would be very well suited to Ravenclaw, too. From what I see, both would be a perfect fit for you."
"I disagree. Ravenclaw would not be a fit. I am not... studious." The first year sighed wearily, before a small spark of amusement danced in his eyes. "I would rather Slytherin."
"And why is that?"
"I have heard it has private rooms." Harry said, simply.
"That's right." The hat sounded amused at this reason. Maybe not the best factor to take into account on his decision, but at least it helped to make the final choice. "I guess that's my choice made. You, Harry Potter, will be in... SLYTHERIN!"
I'll do my best to respond to any reviews. I hope you enjoyed the first chapter of Feral.