A/N. I own nothing.
It was an ordinary morning in the Dursley Household. The sun shone brightly through the windows into the dining room and kitchen, reflecting off of the pearly white plates stacked neatly in the dish drainer. A neat and orderly garden stood outside the front door, swaying in the cool breeze. It was obviously tended daily.
Mr Vernon Dursley sat on one side of the circular, four-person table in the dining room, reading his weekly newspaper, jowls quivering as he laughed at an article. He was an enormous man with a large moustache and tiny eyes. His son Dudley, who sat next to him waiting impatiently for breakfast, was a mirror image of him, albeit with neat blond hair.
Mrs Petunia Dursley stood at one window, squinting outside as she tried to spy over the fences of her neighbours to see if they were awake yet. With her long neck and skinny frame, she was the exact reverse of her husband. Where he was loud and boisterous with incredible anger issues, she always knew the latest gossip and was naturally suspicious of anything told to her, unless it was by either her husband or her son.
The final person in the house was their small, scrawny nephew of eight years old who scampered around the kitchen, hurriedly cooking his relative's daily breakfast of bacon and eggs. He had a bruise covering his left eye and wore thick, circular glasses which were taped together after the numerous times they had been snapped.
He flinched as his aunt turned away from the window to glare at him forcefully, bright green eyes going wide behind the thick frames. He increased his pace, wincing as he burnt his hand on the stovetop but not stopping or complaining. He had learnt not to after so many years cooking.
"Hurry up, boy!" Vernon called, face turning red as he set down his newspaper, "We don't have all day!"
"Yes, Uncle Vernon," Harry replied softly, hoping that his hurriedly cooked bacon and eggs weren't undercooked or burnt. Even if he would end up getting punished anyway. It was just a matter of how badly he got punished.
Dudley actually growled at him in sync with his bulbous stomach. "I'm hungry!" he wailed, pounding his hands on the table.
"Almost ready," the small child told them, hurriedly serving the cooked meal onto three plates, silently glad he had slipped some bacon into his oversized pocket when he had gotten the chance. It wasn't like Vernon would have fed him anyway. As he quickly ran the plates over to the table, he almost tripped over the massive grey cast-off clothing he had received from Dudley. He had never gotten anything new in his life.
Vernon growled at him as his meal almost went flying into his face and aimed a hand at his nephew's face as soon as the plates were safely on the table. Harry dodged the hit, eyes wide and fearful that another would be thrown his way. His fears turned out to be true, however it was Petunia who slapped him over the head.
"Go do something useful and fetch the mail," she instructed him, sitting down beside her husband and looking lovingly at Dudley, who was wolfing down his food.
"Yes, Aunt Petunia," Harry said complacently, turning and stumbling down the hallway in his haste to obey his aunt's orders. He didn't want to get hit again for tardiness.
As per every other mail day, he quickly shuffled through the post, reading each of the senders. A postcard from Petunia's friend, a bill for Vernon, a party invitation for Dudley… the usual things. He paused as he came across an envelope with a strange red stamp sealing it. He frowned down at it, reading the sender quickly. Fritz Evans. He didn't recognise the name. Apparently the letter had come from somewhere in Germany.
"Hurry up, boy!" Vernon shouted down the hallway at him. Harry sighed. He had lost count of the number of times people had shouted those three words at him.
"Yes, Uncle Vernon." Yet another three words he had found repeated over and over in his life. He quickly palmed the mysterious letter to the back of the pile and quickly ran down the hallway to give his uncle the letters.
He obediently stood in a corner of the dining room, waiting patiently for his relatives to finish their meals so he could wash up. Vernon was already looking through the cards, talking about them to Petunia.
"Yvonne seems to be having fun in America," he said, squinting at the first card before swearing loudly at the bill directed to him. Dudley perked up at the mention of an invitation for him to a birthday party and quickly begged his parents to be allowed to go (which was rapidly accepted).
Vernon paused on the last card. He frowned down at it.
"Who is it from?" Petunia asked sharply, craning her neck to see over her husband's shoulder. She gasped.
"Your father," Vernon mumbled, still frowning at it, "He says that he is coming to visit for a week."
Harry froze. Her father? That meant that he was his mother's father, from what little Petunia had told him about her. Which was barely a sentence detailing that she and his father had died in a drunken car crash.
"Does he know about…" Vernon looked around shiftily, "them? You said he wasn't there for most of your childhood."
"He was a German doctor. He had a job in a different country. He couldn't come home very often."
Vernon nodded, the masses of chins lining his face quivering as he did so. "We'll have the Freak make up a room for him. He doesn't need to know that the boy is here, does he?"
"No," Petunia said sharply before turning to Harry. "Go get the spare bedroom upstairs ready for a visitor," she commanded.
Harry nodded, tears glistening in his eyes. He wanted to meet his grandfather. He knew that Petunia and Vernon wanted him to remain locked in the cupboard under the stairs for the entire week Fritz Evans would be in their home.
He quickly ran up the stairs, preparing a mental list of items he would need to hide away in his cupboard if he wanted to survive. He wondered vaguely when his grandfather would be arriving. He sighed, turning into the small guest bedroom. It only contained a simple king-sized bed and bedside tables, but few of their guests ever really wanted more.
"I hope you're happy, granddad," he whispered to the room, "It's not much… but it's more than what I have. I wish I could meet you."
It turned out that Fritz Evans arrived at their house on number 4 Privet Drive much earlier than expected – only a week from when they had received the letter. Harry was waiting for his relatives to finish their lunch, his own stomach growling softly, when the doorbell rang.
Harry looked to his uncle, expecting to be ordered to stay out of sight like he usually was, but instead found himself being swung off his feet and thrown into his cupboard with a thud. He gasped at the sudden pain in his arm from where it had hit the hard wall. He lay, sobbing quietly, in his small cot.
He still wasn't sure why Vernon had tossed him so callously into his cupboard, or why his aunt and uncle didn't want him to meet his grandfather. He was somewhat glad he had at least been able to store a couple of bottles of water and some tins of food underneath the loose floorboards. He had hidden many things there over the years, primarily food, water and whatever broken toy he could salvage from Dudley's second room – because, of course Dudley would get two bedrooms when he only got the cupboard under the stairs.
He quickly sobered and leaned his head on the locked door, pressing his ear up against it. He could hear his aunt talking in the distance to someone he could tell was a man, but couldn't hear him properly. He froze as he felt two people start climbing the stairs.
"Danke for zis, Petunia," the man's voice said, "I haff been vanting to see my children and grandchildren for some time. Sadly, I vasn't able to resurrect Lily and her husband from zee grave, so ve can't haff a true family reunion."
Harry could tell that his aunt had a fake smile plastered on her face as she replied, finally moving up the stairs and most likely turning into the guest bedroom to set the man's things inside. It was obvious to Harry that this man was his grandfather.
He didn't hear any of his relatives again until much later, when he could tell the family were sitting down to eat. His own stomach growled again, so he quickly reached for his supplies.
"I've been meaning to ask, Petunia, vere is young Harry? I thought he had been put vith you."
The boy perked up and pressed his ear closer to the door, trying to hear either his aunt or his uncle's response.
"Handed him to the orphanage," was Vernon's reply.
"Vhy? Also, zis dish is worse zan zee sings my co-vorkers used to make back ven you vere a child, Petunia. Haff you not been practicing your cooking skills?"
Harry held his breath, almost expecting to hear someone lash out at the man. He could imagine Vernon's face going purple with rage and Petunia's hands twitching.
"Yes, Father," was Petunia's eventual reply.
"Your son needs to learn etiquette. I can see pieces of meat in his hair. Vhy is he not eating vegetables? Does he not know zat zey are good for his health? Perhaps zat is vhy he is clearly so unhealthy… not as bad as his father, though."
Harry almost burst out laughing at the comments, though he did wonder what 'etiquette' was. Instead, he simply giggled quietly, a massive grin etched on his face. His grandfather clearly didn't show any remorse in pointing out the flaws in his family and wasn't afraid of the consequences.
There was a pause as Harry imagined Vernon tried his hardest to stop himself from strangling his grandfather and Petunia scowled viciously with the knowledge she couldn't do anything cruel to her own father.
"Archimedes!" the man called suddenly as footsteps approached the cupboard, "Vhy are you staring at zat cupboard?"
"Coo." It sounded like a bird. Harry frowned, wondering what type of bird it was and how it had gotten inside. He then realised that this must be the Archimedes his grandfather had been questioning.
"Vat do you mean, 'you smell blood'? Ve can look later. I need to finish my vork right now. I don't see any reason to stay up and vait for my daughter and son-in-law to explode of rage, as amusing as zat vould be. I ate everysing I vanted to eat."
"Coo," Archimedes the bird said in reply.
"Ve vill look inside after my vork is finished, Archimedes. You can stay here if you vant, but I vill be upstairs, talking to Plato and Pythagoras."
"Coo," the bird said with the air of someone who was ending a conversation.
"Fine. Haff a good night, Archimedes."
Harry looked skyward as he heard the light thumps of his grandfather walking up the stairs, muttering something about birds to himself. He sighed and collapsed into his cot, putting the half empty can he had eaten from back beneath the floorboards. There was nothing else interesting to listen to that night. He closed his eyes, holding his injured arm close to his chest as he slowly drifted off to a silent sleep.
Fritz Evans took off his glasses and pinched the bridge of his nose. His family were idiots. Seriously. Who thought that being the head of a drill company, of all things, was interesting? He was a doctor. He had more important things in his life.
He also held the personal belief that Petunia was a horrible parent. Not only had she married the dullest man on the planet, she had given birth to the dullest child on the planet, both of whom were also incredibly obese. She seemed to have none of her former expertise in cooking, as though she had relied on somebody else to do it for her all these years. Then, of course, she had given her nephew to an orphanage. Or so they said. He was doubtful, for some reason, that they had actually given young Harry Potter to an orphanage.
He looked back down at the documents he had been studying, reading over the results of an experiment he had performed only a few weeks before, which had, ironically, caused him to start running for his life from the German police. So he had thought, logically, where better to hide than with the family he hadn't seen for years, in a different country. He had initially told them he would remain in their house for a week, but he was planning on staying there longer if he could get away with it.
One thing was certain, he wasn't going back to Germany any time soon. Maybe he could travel to Russia to see his old friend Mikhail, or to the Australian Outback to see how Mundy, an old colleague, was going.
He shrugged off the feeling of homesickness. He missed his old team and still showed them pride, but didn't regret the war's ending. He had initially only really seen it as a time to experiment on people (which he had done), but ended up becoming friends with his own experiments.
He sighed, replacing his glasses. "No, Archimedes, I don't vant to look at a boring cupboard now. Go away und let me do my vork."
He shot the white dove a glare. It cocked its head at him before repeating the call.
"I do not care zat you sink zis is unimportant. To me, it is very important."
Fritz sneered, getting off the bed he had been sitting cross-legged on. The documents were all scattered around the surface of the blankets. He drew himself up to his full height, adjusting the grey tie he wore over a white collared shirt and a grey jacket.
"Fine," he spat, "I vill go look. But, if zere is nossing zere, you vill stay up here, ja?"
"Coo," Archimedes agreed, fluttering over and resting on his shoulder.
Fritz walked out of the small guest bedroom quietly, not wishing to disturb the people he called his relatives and walked swiftly down the stairs, taking care to step over the squeaky step he had instantly memorised the first time he had gone up them. In the war it had been good to know what things would give one away to the enemy.
The first sign he had that something was wrong was the closed latch that signified the cupboard was locked from the outside. He frowned, unlocking it, and carefully pulled the door open, wary for any squeak it might make. He looked around inside and didn't react at the sight of the blood-stained walls or the small boy shivering in his tiny cot. He had seen worse.
What was horrible, however, was the state the boy was in. He had an arm clutched over his chest, which looked horribly broken. Bruises covered one side of the boys' face, though most of them had faded and only one covering his eye had remained. A scar in the shape of a lightning bolt adorned his forehead, covered slightly by filthy, messy black hair.
"So zey were lying," Fritz growled, squatting in place to take a closer look at the boy, noting the oversized, ripped clothes he was wearing. He looked back up at the blood and the walls and almost smiled. Obviously the boy had spelt something out (in his own blood), to remind himself of something. "My name is Harry Potter," he read, "I am five, six, seven, eight years old." Each of the previous numbers before eight had been crossed out with more blood.
"Coo," Archimedes chirped triumphantly.
"Ve can take him up to our room," Fritz said quietly, bending down and picking the boy up gently. He was stone cold and uncharacteristically silent for a sleeping child. Only the slow rising and falling of his chest proved that he was still alive.
With the careful precision of someone who had carried injured persons many times, the doctor walked as fast as he could back up the stairs, silently moving into the bedroom he was occupying. He laid the child down on the bed, absently sweeping the documents into a haphazard pile on the bedside table.
He bent over, pulling his large suitcase out from underneath the bed. He opened it and quickly donned the long, white medic's cloak he always used when working practically and removed his medigun from a hidden compartment on the top of the suitcase. He strapped the power pack to his back and pressed forward on the handle, pointing the device at his small patient.
"One broken arm, several fractures in the skull, burns on the hand, myopia, severe malnourishment, somesing contained in zee scar…" he trailed off, a smirk cutting across his face as he read the list of ailments on a small screen attached to the top of the medigun.
"Good job, Archimedes," he said, a glint coming to his eye, "I sink you haff found us a new experiment. I shall call zis: Project Unabuse. Vat do you mean I vant to do two experiments? Vhy vould I vant to do zat… Oh. Good idea, Archimedes. Zee second experiment shall be called Project Scar."
His mouth broke the smirk and turned very quickly into a sadistic grin. He couldn't wait to start his new experiments.
Harry woke on a soft bed with a beam of red mist shimmering around in front of his eyes. He squinted, reaching up to push up his glasses before he realised he wasn't wearing any.
"Put your arm back down, Herr Potter," a cultured voice he didn't recognise told him sternly. He tried looking over in the direction of the voice, but froze as the voice told him to stop moving his head.
"I am currently repairing your vision, Herr Potter," the voice said. Harry noticed that it had a very definite German accent to it, "Ah. You must be vondering who I am, ja? My name is Doctor Fritz Evans. I am your grandfather."
Harry gasped quietly. His grandfather? He was actually allowed to meet his grandfather?
"Your… relatives," the word was spat with disgust, "Did not vish to tell me zat zey vere keeping you locked up in a cupboard, of all things… Luckily, Archimedes here noticed zee scent of blood and vent to have a look. Zerefore, ve found you. I have already repaired the fractures in your skull, zee burns und zee broken arm. I vould also repair zat malnourishment, but zee only solution for zat is lots of healthy food and water and patience."
"Coo," a bird chirped happily. Harry flinched as he felt clawed feet land on his stomach before they suddenly disappeared.
"Archimedes! No! You know zat messes vith zee Medibeam," his grandfather scolded.
"Vat?" There was a pause, before the red mist suddenly disappeared, leaving Harry looking down the barrel of a strange machine. He blinked, realising suddenly that he could see perfectly. He hadn't been able to see this good even with his glasses. It was somewhat disorienting.
"Hallo, Herr Potter," the man standing at the other end of the machine said, adjusting his own spectacles and looking over the top of them at him with steely grey eyes, "Tell me, can you see?"
"Perfectly, sir," Harry gasped.
The man smiled a smile that seemed almost smug and evil. "Anozzer successful procedure," he smirked, clapping his hands together, "And you do not haff to call me 'sir'. Zat is reserved for other patients. You may call me… Opa."
"Grandad in German," 'Opa' said absently, marking something down in a notepad he had pulled from the strange long white coat he wore, "So, how does your arm feel? Do you feel like it vill vork better zan before, or about zee same?"
Harry lifted his previously broken arm slightly, looking down at it with his newly repaired vision. He smiled sheepishly, looking back up at his 'Opa'. "About the same, si- Opa."
Fritz Evans made another note, his mouth twisting downwards for a second. "Zat is satisfactory, zen," he said a bit sadly, "but not vat I vas hoping for…"
"Sorry, sir," Harry apologised.
The doctor waved aside the apology. "Nein, it is not your fault, Harry," he said, "Now, stand up. You should still be able to unless I did somesing drastically wrong."
Swallowing his fear at the innocent maliciousness of the statement, the child swung his legs over one side of the incredibly comfortable bed and stood up. The world spun around him, and he abruptly sat back down again.
"Ah. It might take some time to get used to your new vision," Opa told him.
Harry nodded woozily before once again standing up. This time he was able to walk to the wall before he leant against it to get his bearing.
His grandfather was watching him the whole way, calculating every movement. As he righted himself, the doctor clapped his hands together and said, "Now, as it is morning, I vould like us to go downstairs for breakfast, ja? Don't give me zat look, you aren't making breakfast. Petunia already has. Nein, I sink it is past time zat I had a conversation about lying to your aunt and uncle. Und zen you are coming vith me. I haff already packed everything except my medigun avay, so ve can leave."
"Coo," three doves, two of whom were locked in cages, called out to the boy as the other landed on his shoulder, cocking its head at him and blinking. Harry blinked back.
Seemingly finding him satisfactory, the dove took off from his shoulder and landed on his grandfather's shoulder, who absently pet it as he carefully stored his medigun into his suitcase.
"Come, Harry, Archimedes," he said, addressing the boy and the dove on his shoulder, "Ve haff talking to do." He then swept out of the room, his white cloak billowing out behind him majestically.
Harry stumbled down the stairs after him, freezing along with the Dursleys as he entered the kitchen behind his grandfather, who was smiling evilly again.
"Ah, Petunia, Vernon, Dudley," he said charmingly, "You seem to have misplaced your nephew. He vas not in an orphanage after all. He vas actually in your cupboard. Quite suspicious, if I do say so myself. Tell me… vhy did you not tell me!" he almost shouted the last words, "You haff no right to lock up a child!"
"He's a freak," Petunia spat back, her mask slipping and showing her rage, "Like Lily and like you, along with that freakshow you called your friends!"
Fritz stood silently, and Harry could see his eyes flashing menacingly as Archimedes squawked angrily. He straightened, showing his full height. "Tochter," he said softly, "You do not haff a right to tell me who is a freak. After all… the abusers are more of a freak zan zee abused! Harry. You vill never live here again."
Suddenly Petunia and Vernon were very pale. "N-no!" Petunia spluttered, "You can't take him away! You don't have the right!"
"As a medical professional, I am legally allowed to take abused people away from zeir abusers," Fritz rebuked. Harry got a strange feeling that his grandfather was deliberately leaving something out. He decided that he would ask later.
"We were told that we would be protected from more of those freaks if he stayed with us," Vernon informed him stupidly, "We don't want to die!"
"Even more of a reason for me to take him away, zen. If you only vant him for your own protection, I am formally taking Harry Potter avay from zee Dursley Household."
Fritz turned to Archimedes, frowning. "Vat do you mean I've forgotten something?"
"Oh." He abruptly turned to Harry, looking down at him. "Harry, vould you like to leave zis family? Come vith me?"
Very quickly, the boy nodded. He didn't ever want to see the Dursleys again. He had known for a long time that what they were doing to him was wrong, but he had never spoken up about it because nobody ever believed him. He was going to take this chance with both hands.
Petunia and Vernon stared at him, aghast, as though they had expected a different answer from him. As though they believed he would actually want to stay with them. He smiled shyly back at his grandfather as the doctor smiled happily at him.
"I shall collect my things and ve'll be off. Harry, come vith me. I don't trust any of zese people not to hurt you. I don't vant to be in zeir vicinity any longer."
Harry hopped quickly up the steps behind him, braving a glance behind him at the purple Vernon and Petunia, who was shaking with rage. Dudley didn't seem to realise anything had happened and was still gulping down metric tons of bacon.
When he was handed the two bird cages and Archimedes, Harry stared in shock at his grandfather. He had expected to have been given the massive suitcase instead of two simple bird cages (plus Archimedes, who seemed happy enough riding on his shoulder).
He walked down the stairs first on the way back, pausing at the bottom to help his grandfather heft the heavy suitcase onto the ground, where its wheels could be put into use.
"Danke," Fritz said tiredly, "I'm not as strong as I used to be, sadly."
"Danke?" Harry asked curiously.
"Danke means thank you in German," his grandfather explained, "I vill teach you more of zee language later. Right now ve need to leave, ja?"
"Yes?" Harry guessed the translation of the last word. He beamed when Fritz nodded at him approvingly.
The duo (plus the three doves) made a strange group as they left Number 4 Privet Drive, drawing the attention of several neighbours, who all watched with the same curious, accusing eyes as the suitcase was loaded into the boot of the sleek white car with both Harry and the bird cages seated in the back seats, while Fritz took his own place at the steering wheel.
They very quickly drove away from the Dursley's home and all Harry had known in his short life. The boy smiled softly, leaning his head against the window as he watched the passing countryside, Archimedes cooing happily on his shoulder with its head under its wing.
The silence was broken as they finally left Surrey all together by Fritz. "Vere do you want to go, Harry?"
Harry looked up at the question, wondering why he wanted to know. "Don't you want to go anywhere, si- uh, Opa?"
The doctor chuckled softly. "I think I've seen a lot in my life," he said, "You, on zee other hand, haff gone novere of interest. Tell me… Vere in zee vorld vould you like to go?"
The boy thought back to the geography lessons he had taken at school earlier in the year. There were a lot of places he had heard about, then later read about when he had looked up an atlas in the school library. "I don't know," he said quietly.
"Cold or hot?"
Harry thought about it. He had always hated working in the hot weather, but it was nothing compared to how cold he always was at night, with nothing but Dudley's cast-offs to keep away the chill.
"Hot," he determined.
"America or Australia?"
Once again, Harry thought back to his geography class and the map of the world he had seen. Right now he really wanted to get as far away from the Dursleys as possible… "Australia," he decided finally.
Fritz nodded. "I have a friend down zere who vill be happy to accommodate us," he said, "But, before we go to Australia… you need new clothes."
Harry blinked before protesting. "You don't need to waste money on me," he exclaimed.
"Vhy?" his grandfather sounded honestly confused. As though he didn't know why Harry wouldn't want him to waste money on him.
He replied in a mumble. "I'm too much of a burden to be worth anything," he told his grandfather weakly.
Fritz looked over his shoulder at the boy, frowning disapprovingly. "I don't vant to hear you say zat again," he informed him, "No matter what those… freaks said, you are vorth so much to zis vorld, even if it doesn't seem like zat right now. Every person is. I became a doctor for a reason. To help keep people alive so zey could make zere own mark on zee vorld. Of course, zen I got a little too… overzealous vith my experiments…"
Harry didn't respond to the comment, instead looking out the window.
"Coo," Archimedes chirped from his shoulder, staring at him with beady black eyes. Harry frowned at the dove, somehow understanding the message his grandfather's pet was trying to get across.
"Okay," he relented, "I… I'll become a doctor like you! I'll help people like you!"
Fritz snorted. "You don't need to become a doctor to make a difference," he told his grandson. "Und I don't care vat you become. But I sure hope you don't become somesing like me."
Harry blinked confusedly at the German doctor, almost expecting an elaboration, but it never came. He once again took to staring out the window, watching the passing countryside with a childish glee. He never had a chance to do it before.
In the front seat, Fritz glanced back at his new charge through the mirror, smiling softly at the subtle features that reminded him of his daughter – and partly himself. The green eyes was all Lily, though the nose and chin was exactly like his own, passed down through the generations. Project Unabuse was proceeding as planned. He couldn't wait to get started on Project Scar.
After all, he was just a simple medic trying to help an injured child. No matter how malicious a medic he was. He had dealt with injured people for a long time. One of his favourite things to hear in battle was one of his friends calling out that they needed him, using a time-honoured cry millions had used in the past. He could hear it in his head now, as though Harry himself was silently crying that single word out with his very being. He closed his eyes for a brief moment, listening to the cry…
A/N. This is in no way advocating the excessive use of the 'E' key while playing Team Fortress 2. Nobody wants to hear 'Medic' shouted at them by a person already on full health.
A few notes:
1. Evans is a Welsh name. In this story, the Medic's paternal grandfather was Welsh, while his (also paternal) grandmother was German.
2. In this story, the Medic was born in 1930, making him 58 in 1988, the year this is set in. He was 38 in the Gravel War, since most people think he seems to be between the ages of early-thirties to late-forties. That makes him 30 when Lily Evans was born.
3. The Medic only mentioned America and Australia as hot places because those were the only places he knew people from. In America (specifically Texas) there is the Engineer, and in Australia there is the Sniper. Of course, the Soldier and the Scout were also from America, so there is that.
4. I don't actually know if a legal medical professional can take an abused child away from their abusers… but it doesn't really matter anyway because the Medic isn't a legal medical professional.
5. This story was made just for fun. There is no commercial value in it whatsoever and, as I stated earlier, I own nothing. Well, at the very least, I don't own the Harry Potter franchise and the Team Fortress franchise.