Clarification: what fired the spark that ended up being this fiction was "Harry Potter and a gift of memories" by The Engulfing Silence. Some of you may recognize this chapter as "identical" to chapter 3 of said fiction. This is intentional, this chapter is indeed an adapted version of that fic, is my way to pay tribute to one of my favorite fics and the one that inspired me to start my own, this was done with The Engulfing Silence approval so no, I didn't "steal" anything.

Not the best first impressions


The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Franklin D. Roosevelt


Harry waked up late, and that was unusual, after starting his routine of exercises (that were more to train his powers of speed and strength enhancement than to stay in shape) he got used to being an early riser, Harry fought the disorientation that was caused by the fatigue, he had slept only a couple hours, after extorting explanations from aunt Petunia he was left with too much to think, and even though after discovering his abilities he started needing less and less sleeping time, he still needed around six hours of sleep.

He never questioned the Dursley about his parents, he knew that all that bullshit about his father being a drunk good for nothing and his mother being a whore were lies to spite him, lies that by the way didn't repeat themselves after the first beating, same ways he knew there had to be a reason they didn't leave him at an orphanage if they hated him so much, that's why he wasn't too worried about beating Dudley when he crossed the line. He figured he could extort the truth out of them when he was about to leave them for good when he was ready to take his road in life, so when a very reluctant Petunia told him that his mother was a witch and his father was a wizard, that they had a secret community with their a secret government, that Diagon Alley was a hidden commercial district for wizards, that he was left in their door saying that a terrorist killed his parents and that their house was somehow magically protected by the sacrifice of his mother, and so on, and so forth, well surprised didn't start to cut it for the state in which it left him.

That explained so much and left open so many more questions, because... well magic! of course, that was the source of his powers, but was there really not a safer place to put him on that his awful relatives? he seriously doubted that his mother would consent to have him moved here if the sisters hated each other so much, who were his parents? What did they do in this magical community? So many questions. Well, he was going to find out. If his parents were part of this magical community, it stood to reason that they worked, if they worked they had some money if they had money when they died it belonged to him now, Harry took the map of Diagon Alley and studied it "mmhm Leaky Cauldron, pet store, bookstore, wandstore, store store store, yada yada yada, there you are G-Gringotts Bank... well that's some naming sense there, probably have to contact this ministry of magic about the wills but better go to the bank first" decided Harry before washing himself up and making the breakfast with extra portions, after all, he didn't know how long it would take him to do whatever he would do after visiting the bank.

He left the portions for the Dursley in the table and went way to eat in the quiet of his room, not need to see piggy father and piggy son eating like... well pigs.

He decided he would take a cab, after all, it would take a while to get to this Leaky Cauldron and he got enough money doing some heavy work for an old lady a couple of neighborhoods apart, the poor woman was gobsmacked the first time he worked for her when she saw a not necessarily skinny but definitely small nine years old boy carrying around packages that were heavy to full-grown adults but got used quickly enough, it was with this money that Harry bought some clothes that were not hand downs, he didn't buy expensive stuff, but anything was better than Dudley second hands

The cab left him a square away from The Leaky Cauldron, Harry thought that it was prudent if these people wanted to be so secretive, of course after growing up with the Dursley he could see why wizards preferred keeping to themselves

He found the place specified in the map soon enough, and it surprised him that people didn't seem to notice it, even though the door was quite ancient and out of place and the sign had a witch and a cauldron which made it quite distinctive.

He wondered about this. Was there some kind of enchantment that made it invisible? A spell that made it so only those who could use magic could see it? It would make sense.

With his curiosity running at the forefront of his thoughts, Harry entered the pub known as the Leaky Cauldron. He was unsure of what to expect, but when he saw what the inside looked like, he was in a mixture of wonder and disappointment.

The pub was ancient and dark, he could deal with that, in fact, that was the source of the wonder but he was disgusted at how dank and dirty the place was kept. There was very little in the way of light, and only a few candles here and there could be seen in the room, casting shadows along the walls and floor in equal measure. The tables were all dusty; they looked like they hadn't been cleaned in months, and the few people he saw sitting around at the tables were equally unkempt. A few old women sat in a corner, drinking tiny glasses of sherry. Smoke blew from the mouth of one as she exhaled after smoking from a long pipe. A little man in a top hat talked to the old bartender, who reminded him of a toothless walnut. Harry couldn't help but wonder at these people and their mostly underwhelming looks. Did they get out of some kind of historical drama?

No one seemed to have noticed him yet. Given how low the lighting was Harry was not surprised; it would be hard to make out the features of those a few inches in front of them, much less someone several feet away. A part of him wished he could stay like this, anonymous. He wasn't quite sure he wanted to associate with these people, men, and women who looked like they had no pride in themselves. But he knew that to get into Diagon Alley, he would need someone to open the path for him, the instructions said as much. With this thought in mind, Harry walked over to the bartender and tapped on the bar table to get his attention.

"Excuse me, sir?" Harry started, his words grabbing the man's attention. He would have spoken further, but the moment the old man's eyes landed on him, they widened. The man nearly dropped the cup he was cleaning, his surprise was that great. Harry shifted uncomfortably. The man was looking at Harry like he had just seen a messiah. It was very disturbing.

"Good Lord," said the bartender, "is this—can it be—?"

The Leaky Cauldron had suddenly gone completely still and silent. The silence unnerved Harry. He could feel the eyes of those around him now on him and the bartender.

"Bless my soul," whispered the old bartender, "Harry Potter… what an honor."

To say that Harry was overwhelmed would be quite the understatement. This man knew him. He knew his name. How was that possible? Harry had never seen a wizard before, not that he could remember anyway, he had never been in this pub, never ventured into Diagon Alley, so beg the question. What the hell is going on?

His questions would, unfortunately, go unanswered. With a speed Harry had not expected the bartender to possess, the man moved from behind the counter to stand directly in front of him. The man who looked like a walnut grabbed his right hand in both of his, shaking it furiously, tears staining his eyes.

Harry could feel the eyes of those around him. The old woman with the pipe was puffing on it without realizing it had gone out, the ones drinking sherry had stopped with the glass half raised to their lips, their drinks spilling over the side. The man in the top hat that had been talking to the bartender was gawking at him like he was some kind of circus display, and everyone else in the room held similar looks. This entire situation had just gone from strange to highly disconcerting within seconds.

"Welcome back, Mr. Potter, welcome back."

This seemed to be the cue everyone was waiting for. There was a great scraping of chairs and the next moment he was being mobbed by everyone else in the room.

"Doris Crockford, Mr. Potter, can't believe I'm meeting you at last."

They crowded around Harry, jostling him and each other so they could get close to him.

"So proud, Mr. Potter, I'm just so proud."

Many began to shake his hand, grabbing and jerking said appendage in their grip, not even taking into consideration the fact that he might not want to.

"Always wanted to shake your hand—I'm all aflutter."

Those who could not shake his hand grabbed his clothes. Their hands clawed at him, clutching his shirt, his pants, his hair; greedy, grubby hands from people he didn't know touching him everywhere.

They were all talking to him as well. Harry could not even get a word in edgewise, though not for lack of trying. He did try to speak, many a time he opened his mouth, only to close it as the cloying scent of so many bodies filled him. The smell of alcohol on those who had consumed too much. The terrible, rancid stench of smoke from the witch that had been puffing on the pipe. The noxious fumes of sweat, combined with the scents of so many different people. Harry couldn't speak when each time he sucked in a breath, the disgusting scent of a dozen bodies pervaded his nostrils.

Even if he could speak it wouldn't have mattered. The many people around him weren't even paying attention to him. So caught up in their excitement were they that they hardly noticed the boy they clawed at so brazenly. Their voices were raised, each one trying to be heard over the others. It only caused the volume in the room to increase exponentially. Even if Harry was capable of speech right now, he would not have been heard.

Harry felt panic rise inside of him. There were few things in this world that he truly feared, at least that he knew of. Of those things the one, he feared the most was the unpredictable. The things he could never see coming no matter how hard he looked, no matter how much he knowledge he acquired. To see so much yet never notice when something is coming, never even think about it happening, or how it could happen. It was a terrifying thing for Harry.

There were several facets of Harry that he took great pride in. The first was his intelligence. Harry Potter was smart, he knew that, his peers knew that and his teachers knew that. He was the top student in his class, he had two subjects that he could pass with flying color at any pre-college level and knew he could take full marks in the other if he put the effort, but he didn't care enough to do it.

The second aspect he took great pride in was his powers. Harry knew that he could beat most adults just with his speed and his strength enhanced, and was pretty sure that with his telekinesis and electrokinesis there were few foes he could not face, at least in the non-magical side of the world.

Thirdly, Harry took great pride in his appearance. Harry had a body that no thirteen-year-old boy should possess. As a byproduct of him training his enhancing powers, his body was defined by hard, sinuous muscles while keeping his slender build.

Fourth, his knowledge, Harry had an immense amount of historical knowledge, it was a passion of him, along with his ability to analyze and read between lines, of being alert of what historian could have missed, his capability to see the two sides of a conflict and see the consequences that few saw, his smell to detect conspiracy, in other words, the skills a good historian can pride himself

Out of the aspects he prided himself on, it was the fifth that was being wounded at the moment. Thanks to his unpleasant upbringing, Harry's talent in observation went far beyond those of his peers. It only took him a few seconds to pick up every peculiars detail of whatever he was looking at. Harry prided himself as a survivor, he knew when to threaten, when to negotiate and when to back off, he knew when to escape (even though he hadn't done it in a while) and when to fight. Due to this, and the many subjects he studied, Harry's ability to predict the way people would react to stimuli both outside and inside was incredibly high. He only needed a few minutes speaking with someone to have most of their personality figured out. After that, it was a very simple matter for him to predict what they would do in most situations. It was this ability that failed him right now. These people that were mobbing him, he had never expected them to, could have never even hoped to anticipate this happening. Were he not in the beginning vestiges of panic he would have probably begun asking questions. Why were these people reacting like this? How did these people know him? Just what had he done to deserve such recognition? In most cases, it would have been clear to him that he was severely lacking in the necessary information that would allow him to come up with a logical conclusion. As things were, his mind was in such disarray from the many people mobbing and grasping at him that he couldn't even think, and it took every ounce of his disappearing auto control to not set the whole place on fire.

The people around him didn't seem to notice his discomfort, or that he was starting to shake with the beginnings of a panic attack. They did not see how his breathing was starting to get labored, or how black spots began forming at the edge of his vision. Due to him being the sole attention of damn near everyone in the room, they did not see or hear the tables, the chairs and all the glasses and table wear in the room begin to jitter and shake. Fortunately for Harry and the people currently harassing him, someone did.

Minerva McGonagall was sitting in the Leaky Cauldron that morning, lightly sipping at some black tea with a bit of cream while she looked over a list that sat upon her table. The list was of those students who she was to meet today. She had done this every year since becoming the Head of House Gryffindor. Each year she before the school year started, McGonagall would get an early start and head towards the Leaky Cauldron, where she would have a cup of tea before heading off to meet her potential students.

Currently, her eyes were scanning the list, the steaming cup of black liquid slightly tanned by cream beside it. At the top of the page was her first student, one Hermione Jean Granger. The girl was from a well-to-do family, as far as McGonagall could tell; her parents were dentists and made a nice living for themselves. There wasn't much more information than that, just the address she needed to take the Hogwarts acceptance letter to.

"Good Lord, is this—can it be—?"

As soon as the words had been spoken, McGonagall, like everyone else, had turned towards the source. Her eyes had widened at the sight before her: a young boy, thin, but not skinny, his muggle clothing framed his form nicely. Raven locks sprang from his head in a messy bird's nest. Emerald green eyes glowed the same color as those of the killing curse. She knew that hair and those eyes; they belonged to two of her most favorite students. And she knew this young man, even if she had not seen him since he was a baby.

She was then subject to watching as the young man was mobbed by a horde of well-wishers. For a moment she felt disgust build up within her. How could these people just invade a person's personal space like that? Was there no common decency in this world anymore?

Disgust soon turned to pity as she watched the people clawing at the boy, trying to shake his hand, trying to touch him. They were loud, impossibly so, as they offered platitudes and salutations, and McGonagall didn't even want to think about how the volume of the shouting horde of fans must be up close.

Pity soon gave way to alarm. Being the only person in the room who was not only not mobbing the boy, but also on the other side of the room, McGonagall saw the tableware begin to shake, candles started to flicker and the air grew heavy. Magic. She could almost feel the magic in the air, and it was all emanating from the boy. She looked back at the boy, his face looked panicked; McGonagall knew she had to act.

Casting away her surprise at seeing such a harsh display of accidental magic from one who should be too old to have such episodes, McGonagall stood up and marched headlong into the horde of excited witches and wizards. She pushed and shoved and glared her way to the center, where she found Harry Potter, his breathing labored and his body shaking. Her anger increased. She grabbed the boy by the arm, helping him keep his balance, and began making her way out of the mob. Those who tried touching the boy again became the subject of the sternest glare she could muster, which under the circumstances, was about ten times worse than what she usually gave when people around her were misbehaving. It was a look everyone in the pub had seen before, albeit, its terror-inducing abilities magnified by a factor of ten, and no one wanted to be on the receiving end of. They began to back off. McGonagall managed to get outside to the back of the pub. There, she let go of Harry, who dropped to his hands and knees, his body still shaking

"Are you alright, Mr. Potter?" she asked, her voice concerned as she looked him over. While he did not appear to have suffered any physical damage, his body was shaking and his brow was glossed over with a sheen of sweat. He looked to be on the verge of a heart attack. It was quite worrying.

"I..." Harry sucked in a deep breath, his teeth grit. "I'm fine." He pushed himself backward, landing on his butt, and McGonagall watched as the young man forced himself into a cross-legged position. His eyes closed, his breathing slowed, and ever so slowly, his shaking ceased. McGonagall found herself both worried and impressed. She had no clue what he was doing, but it seemed to be some kind of calming exercise. Perhaps a strange form of clearing your mind like those used by Occlumens.

Emerald green eyes snapped open once more, fixing McGonagall with their piercing stare. The Hogwarts Professor was surprised by how sharp his eyes were now compared to a few moments ago. Just how a boy so young could regain control of himself so quickly when only those who were talented in the mind arts should be capable of such feats was beyond her.

The boy stood up, dusting himself off, before straightening to his full height. He gave her a slight bow of his head in gratitude. "Thank you for that," he began, "I had not been expecting something like that to happen to me today and was caught by surprise. I appreciate your help in getting me out of there."

McGonagall frowned, not only due to his words but also due to how he had reacted to all those people. Granted, getting mobbed by several dozen people was bound to make anyone freak out a little bit, but the way Harry had nearly lost control of his magic had been startling. Then there were his words, there was just something about the way he spoke that seemed... off. It was too old, she would say. He sounded like someone twice his age, and it bothered her a good deal.

She didn't say anything about this, however, and merely inclined her head.

"It is quite alright, Mr. Potter," she said, before getting down to business. There was something else about his presence here that bothered her a great deal. "Now, perhaps you can tell me just what you are doing here without the witch or wizard who was sent to escort you through Diagon Alley?"

That was what she was most curious about. It was not just tradition that caused each Head of House to meet with and speak to the families of muggleborn's that would be going to Hogwarts each year. It was necessity. The magical world was a hidden one, kept from the prying eyes of those who did not have magic through the use of enchantments and spells. Those children born to non-magical parents would know nothing of the world they belonged to, and it was the duty of the teachers at Hogwarts to inform them and their parents of the world the child in question was a part of.

It was the same for Harry Potter, though the circumstances were different. Harry was what one would call Muggle-raised. Born to a wizarding family, yet raised in a non-magical household due to a series of complications. And while McGonagall knew that his aunt had a passing knowledge of the wizarding world, the woman did not know nearly enough to help Harry start his first year at Hogwarts. It was a wonder he'd even managed to find the Leaky Cauldron!

"I'm sorry," Harry started, his lips forming a frown. "But just how is it that you and everyone else seem to know my name?"

McGonagall blinked. Frowned. Then blinked again. Finally, her mind registered the words and she was almost tempted to rub her temples in order to stifle the coming headache. This was not good. Not good at all.

xxx

Minerva McGonagall was a stern-looking woman. Her face was lined with age, and her lips seemed to be in an almost constant line that denoted neither sadness nor anger, neither hate nor love, neither joy nor depression. It was almost like she was in teacher mode all the time, he mused.

Harry Potter listened with rapt attention as Professor McGonagall, Deputy Headmistress of Hogwarts and Head of the House of Gryffindor explained why he was so famous to him. It was a most unusual experience, he had to admit, especially for a history enthusiast. Being told by someone else that he was famed for defeating the darkest wizard of the century. He was not quite sure what to think about that. It was also disconcerting to discover that everyone in the wizarding world knew of who he was and how he lost his parents, now he knew thanks to Petunia's confessions that his house was attacked by a terrorist when he was a toddler but, apparently, he had underestimated the magnitude of the situation. It seemed that in the twelve years he had been left on the Dursley's doorstep, those living in the world of magic had been celebrating his victory over the man known as Voldemort. This man had apparently started a war within magical Britain, one that had nearly destroyed the wizarding world and almost leaked over into the non-magical one. With his Death Eaters by his side, Voldemort had carved a bloody path through the world of magic. Many witches and wizards had been killed. No. Not killed. Killed isn't a strong enough word. Neither was murdered. Most of the victims to Death Eater attacks had suffered horrendously before being allowed the sweet embrace of death.

Allegedly most of those who had been killed were muggleborns, those whose families were not magical. According to Professor McGonagall, this Lord Voldemort was an advocate of "Pureblood rights." He believed that those who were born into a family with magic were of a higher stock than those without it, and that those without it should either be killed, or enslaved. It reminded Harry of what he'd researched about Adolph Hitler, whose hatred of those of Jewish religion was well known.

Professor McGonagall stopped speaking. It had been nearly an hour since she had started as there had been a lot to tell. Throughout it all Harry had sat at the table, back straight, hands clasped on the hard grain surface, a look of interest on his face. When the stern-looking woman finally stopped speaking, Harry leaned forward slightly, his eyes boring into hers as he digested her words.

"So you're telling me that everyone in all of Britain knew what happened that night Voldemort had killed my parents and tried to do the same to me?"

McGonagall grimaced at his use of the man's name, but Harry had more important things to think about than the fear it invoked.

"Why is it that I never knew of this?" he asked, looking at the woman with a frown.

"That is because you were raised in the muggle world," McGonagall explained. She had already gone into a basic description of what a muggle was, a human with non-magical abilities, Harry already knew, having read the glossary of common terms in the wizarding world, which apparently was implemented just a few years ago for the sake of muggleborns.

"And why, pray tell, was I raised in the muggle world?" he asked, both genuine curiosity and slight irritation could just barely be discerned in his voice. Now that he was hearing about how famous he was, he had to wonder. Why was it that he was sent to the Dursley's? If he was so famous, then why was he not brought up in the wizarding world? If he had he would have not have been so humiliated when that mob had, well, mobbed him. Never after discovering his powers had he shown such weakness, never had he felt as ashamed as he did now.

"It was Professor Dumbledore's idea," McGonagall said, and Harry watched as her nostril's flared slightly. It was clear to him that she did not approve of his living with the Dursley's, which pleased him slightly, though he masked it well. Now onto the next question.

"And just why did Professor Dumbledore think it a good idea to leave me in the care of a muggle family?" Granted, those people were his relatives, but they knew nothing of magic. Hell, they hated magic! To them, magic was unnatural, something that shouldn't exist. To them, anything so unusual, so freakish, was to be hated, not embraced.

"Safety primarily, there are… certain elements in our society that were not very happy with the dark lord's demise, also he felt that it would not be a good idea for you to grow up knowing of your fame," McGonagall explained. "He did not want you to become egotistical, which is what would have happened if you grew up in the spotlight."

Ah, now that made sense, Harry thought. Yes, he could see why Dumbledore would want him to be raised away from his fame. People who grew up in the spotlight became ugly, pig-headed; they let their innate sense of superiority go to their heads and became nothing more than arrogant fools who believed themselves better than everyone else simply because they were famous, 'in other words Dudley in steroids' though Harry with a grimace. In that regard at least, Dumbledore had done right, and now that he remembered Petunia did say something about a magical protection in the house, but Harry smelled something, there was more to this story, more agendas, but he wasn't entirely sure that the professor in front of him knew anything else, she seemed sincere enough after all.

Harry felt anger, white-hot anger raging through him. Anger at Dumbledore for leaving him on the doorstep of those disgusting people. Anger at the Dursley's for not being able to see past their fickleness and hatred. But he knew that there was nothing to be gained of it after all "anger gives motivation without purpose".

Harry closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and when he exhaled, he allowed his anger to go with it. When he opened his eyes again it was to see Professor McGonagall giving him an inquisitive and worried look. He smiled at her. "Thank you, Professor, for enlightening me about that which I was ignorant of. I have heard the saying that ignorance is a bliss." His smile turned amused. "I was never a fan of it. After what has happened today, well, let's say anyone that gives it to me would be having a hard time calling me a friend."

The stern-looking Professor's lips twitched. It looked like she was trying to smile, but had at some point forgotten how. "Considering what happened today, Mr. Potter, I am not sure I can blame you for that." Her somewhat smile once again became a thin line. "And now that we have that out of the way, perhaps you can tell me why you are here without a teacher?"

At this Harry shrugged, he wasn't too sure about giving away information to her the first time she asked but after all the help he received, he supposed he owed her that much. "No teacher came to my house."

"No teacher came to your house?" McGonagall parroted the question, though her tone was surprised not deadpanned as Harry's had been. "Mr. Potter, what do you mean no teacher came to your house? Though you are not muggle-born, you are muggle-raised. A teacher should have come to your house with your acceptance letter so they could explain your heritage and help get your school supplies at Diagon Alley."

"I don't know what to tell you, Professor," Harry raised his hands in a helpless gesture. "No teacher came to me; I only got a letter that came in through the mail. Nothing more, nothing less. My best guess would be that I was expected to come with my aunt that knows of the magical world"

McGonagall's lips seemed to, impossibly enough, thin even more than they already had. Her hand twitched up in jerky movements, coming to rest upon her forehead, which she began to rub as if trying to stem the tide of a coming migraine. "Oh Albus... you…," she muttered under her breath. It was soft, obviously, Harry was not meant to hear it, but he heard nonetheless. There was a story there, he could tell, but decided to push onto more important things.

"Professor," he began again. McGonagall snapped out of her stress-filled musings to look at him. "Do you think it would be possible to allow me to enter Diagon Alley now?" When he saw her frown at him he quickly continued. "I still need to get my school supplies, after all."

"Mr. Potter, I am not sure that is a good idea." Her lips pursed as she looked at him, debating the merits of whatever thoughts were on her mind. "I have already told you the reason we have a teacher go into Diagon Alley with those who are raised in a muggle household. Perhaps it would be best if... I were to accompany you."

Harry tilted his head, considering her offer. It would prove to be most beneficial to have someone along who could show him where to get his supplies and answer his questions. He had many of those, after all. Questions, that is. At the same time, Harry was a very independent person. He did not like relying on others and liked less yet letting other delve into his business. If there was a question he had, he would find the answer himself. If there was something to be done, he would rather do it himself. He preferred it that way, less room for error.

"I do thank you for the offer," Harry's response was congenial if a bit halting. "However, I think I would prefer heading on alone." Professor McGonagall opened her mouth to respond, perhaps to refute his words and demand to go with him. Harry wouldn't give her the opportunity.

"And besides, you said it yourself; the reason you are here is to explain to muggleborn students that they can use magic and help them enter Diagon Alley." He gestured to the list sitting on the table. "That list, it contains the names of those you are supposed to meet with today, yes?"

McGonagall looked reluctant but gave him a nod. She looked like she was about to say something again, but Harry beat her to it.

"I wouldn't want to ruin your schedule just because of a mix up with my letter. And I assure you, unlike most children my age, I am quite capable of handling myself." He tilted his head, lips twitching as he fought to keep his smile from turning into a grimace. "That... little outburst you saw earlier was caused by a mild case of agoraphobia, it hasn't been a problem in years but then again, my resistance was never tested like that, as long as I'm aware of the possibility, that little outburst should be a one-time thing." The way he said 'little outburst' was almost like he was swallowing a poison. "It won't happen again."

McGonagall pursed her lips, and Harry could almost see what the woman was thinking. Here he was, a student, muggle-raised and without a teacher, and he was heading into Diagon Alley to pick up his school supplies. As a teacher, one who was quite obviously stern, but fair, she probably prided herself on following the rules, and while Harry was not sure leaving a muggle-raised student to find their way through Diagon Alley was against any rules, it probably spat in the face of tradition—and the clearly high moral standard she set for herself. Which was likely just as bad.

At the same time, it was also clear she was in a hurry. She had just spent an hour explaining his apparent fame in the wizarding world to him, an hour which she should have used to meet her first student and begin explaining magic to them and their parents. She was already off her carefully-crafted schedule, and that likely rankled her a bit. Time for a bit of positive reinforcement.

"I assure you, Professor, that I am quite capable." Harry gave her a confident smile. "While I admit that I was raised by muggles, my Aunt did know of my heritage, so I was not completely ignorant of what to expect. I simply had not known that I was so famous. That's all." Of course, he left out the fact that he was informed of said heritage the day before, but the professor didn't need to know that. McGonagall did not look convinced, but there was nothing she could do. She grimaced, then said, "Very well, Mr. Potter." There was a resignation in her voice. "In that case, I shall open the way to Diagon Alley."

Harry offered the woman another grateful nod and a more genuine smile. "Thank you."

Glad that his newest crises had been averted and more than a little overwhelmed by the new influx of information that seemed like a massive follow up for the one he received the day before, Harry stood up and followed Professor McGonagall to the wall that would grant him entrance to Diagon Alley.

A/N: Couldn't resist the gaming reference, haha