Er, Yo! It's been ages since I actually posted anything on this site.
...Over two years. Wow.
I'll put more extensive author's notes at the end, but for now, two things.
First, thanks to Silverly on Serenes Forest for proofreading. It was an insanely random request when I made it, so I am very grateful.
Second, I own nothing, obviously. Neither Harry Potter nor Fate.
EDIT UPDATE: DO NOT LEAVE ANONYMOUS REVIEWS. I will delete them. I want to know who is reviewing, name, profile, the like. Guest reviews are faceless. They feel impersonal. And if someone is going to give advice or constructive criticism, being impersonal is the last thing I want. So don't do it.
Also don't feel bad if I don't PM you in reply, as I personally prefer to answer reviews publicly in the next chapter AN. Because I often read reviews of others' stories, and go "yeah I thought that too" but find it awkward to re-bring up something already brought up just to see the response since the author PM's review replies. So this way, if someone else has the same idea you do, you both see the reply.
Prologue - 6 years ago
July 15, 1986
Minerva McGonagall didn't mind the odd looks she received as she strode down the dingy street somewhere in the English countryside. Her clothing was, to most eyes, oddly out of place for the area, looking vastly more elaborate in comparison to the typical working class residents of the place. It was late in the evening, so streets were practically bare and residents had returned to their homes, further causing the woman to stand out.
McGonagall rounded on the tiny one-story house the letter in her hands was addressed to, wondering how she would explain to the clueless residents of one of the place the cause of the strange occurrences they had likely been witness to in the past eleven years. Truthfully, McGonagall disagreed with the practice of waiting until this point to explain reality to these families, like the one whose door she was currently standing outside. It was a lot to take in; many of her students in the past who were in similar situations admitted to being overwhelmed.
McGonagall reached over to ring the doorbell, standing back after it was pressed. A woman with straight dark hair slowly opened the door, looking over McGonagall's out of place appearance with skepticism.
"Who are you?" the woman asked. "And what do you want?"
"Good day, Miss Velvet, I am Professor Minerva McGonagall." McGonagall answered. "May I come in, please? I have a large amount of material to explain to you and your son."
"To Waver? What on earth would you have to explain to him?" the woman responded incredulously.
"If you could please relax, Miss Velvet, I will explain when all of us are in the room." The woman continued to regard McGonagall with skepticism, but allowed her into the living room of the house.
The woman indicated one of the sofas. "Sit down, I'll go and fetch Waver." McGonagall sat while the woman headed down the hall to retrieve her son. The room was as unremarkable as the street outside. There were some decorations, but the walls were largely bare. The sofas creaked a little, but they were surprisingly new.
Down the hall, the woman who had answered the door could be heard arguing with her son. McGonagall heard the whole conversation on the boy's dislike of having his reading interrupted, and the tones of the two's voices indicated this wasn't an uncommon argument. It didn't take long before the woman had successfully gotten her son out of the room he had been studying in and trailing behind her as they returned to the living room.
McGonagall had truthfully expected more resistance than this. In the past, there was resistance, no small amount of suspicion, and confusion. She was a complete stranger to these people, like the ones she'd visited in the past, had walked up to their door and claimed she had something important to tell them. McGonagall supposed the woman hadn't resisted due to McGonagall's apparently larger amount of wealth causing her to assume they didn't have anything else McGonagall would want.
The boy looked a bit like his mother: straight, black hair, pale as a ghost, green-grey eyes, small stature and angular features. His face was set in an annoyed-looking scowl as he sat on the sofa across from McGonagall alongside his mother. He sat straight, carrying himself with an air of haughty superiority that rarely matched in other boys or girls his age that McGonagall saw, especially in areas like this one.
He spoke very quickly after taking a seat. "We're here now. Since you evidently already know exactly who we are, somehow, I believe we deserve an explanation to exactly who you are." The way he spoke was slightly different than how he spoke when arguing with his mother previously, currently making more of an effort to hide the lower class accent of his English. For someone who seemed to lock himself in a room to study more than anything, he did a surprisingly decent job of it, though that wasn't saying very much. McGonagall noted his hostile tone and rude lack of proper self-introduction. His thoughts on his current situation were clear to her: Why did you show up out of nowhere to interrupt me?
Regardless of his lack of politeness, McGonagall had to keep hers. "Good day, Mr. Velvet. I am Professor Minerva McGonagall. I apologize for interrupting your reading. However, I firmly believe you would like to hear what I have to say." She pulled an old-looking letter from her robe and handed it to the boy. He glanced at the address, before turning it over and peeling off the seal to read it. His eyes steadily grew wider as he glanced over the contents, repeatedly looking up at McGonagall in apparent amazement.
Once he was finished, he turned to his mother and handed her the letter. "See, mother? I was right! There was absolutely no other explanation for that stuff." His voice was incredibly smug. "'You just didn't look hard enough,' you said. Well, now we have proof that the laws of physics definitely weren't in order!"
Well, if he accepted it so quickly, that certainly made things easier. McGonagall suspected his mother wasn't quite as open to the ridiculous idea the letter had proposed: magic was real, and her son was capable of it. Her suspicions were quickly confirmed when the woman looked up at her with a glare.
"What is the meaning of this?" She demanded. "You honestly expect me to believe this? It's absurd. And even if it was real, how could Waver possibly be a source of any of it?"
"If what he said to you a moment ago is any indication, Mr. Velvet himself was already somewhat aware of his own ability." McGonagall was admittedly somewhat impressed by this. It wasn't often that muggle-born children realized they were the direct source of the odd occurrences around them. Often, when they did, it was because they had managed to control it to some degree. "My presence here is merely corroborating what he attempted to tell you previously. However, if you require more proof, I can provide a demonstration."
Waver, not his mother, was the one to respond. "Please do," he said, the smug satisfaction of being proven correct still evident in his voice while his eyes showed nothing less than complete curiosity. McGonagall noted the sudden lack of rudeness in what he actually said before she complied.
"Very well," she stated. A moment later, Minerva McGonagall as she had initially appeared before Waver Velvet and his mother no longer sat before them. In her place sat a silver tabby cat, with distinct marks around its eyes. It blinked a few times, before quickly returning to its former form of the Professor. She turned to Waver's mother. "I assume that was satisfactory?"
The woman was silent. McGonagall could only imagine the failing alternative explanations for what she had just seen running through her head. She turned back to Waver. "I assume your enthusiastic reaction is an indication that you will accept the school's offer?"
"We wouldn't be able to afford it." The response was Waver's mother's.
"That is not a problem. The school has assistance available for such families." McGonagall replied. "Mr. Velvet, please answer."
"Yes, I will accept." It was obvious he was trying to hide his enthusiasm. The haughtiness that had lapsed after reading his letter was starting to creep back into his voice.
McGonagall nodded. "Very well. I will be back tomorrow to help you buy your schoolbooks. Do not tell anyone of this encounter, or about magic either, in case I do not see you," she pointed at Waver's mother, "again at the time." Before Waver or his mother could say anything else, McGonagall had disappeared from their living room with a pop.
So yeah, time for those extensive AN's I mentioned. I'll try not to be so wordy with them in the future.
The whole idea that spawned this was essentially "What if Waver was in a world where the magic system makes him competent?" combined with rereading Harry Potter. So that became "What if, offscreen, there was a person in the Harry Potter universe with similar background and personality to Waver?" After all, there's a lot of people hanging out outside Harry's life while the books focus solely on him. So we get this... sidestory? Of an individual who, despite not personally knowing Harry at all, still had his life altered by the events of the series.
This story doesn't really require knowledge of Fate to understand and read. I'd recommend watching or reading Fate/Zero if you haven't, obviously. It's a great story. But this is ultimately going to be more about the Harry Potter side of things, lorewise. Actually, I intend to keep this as canon compliant to the Harry Potter side as I can. Everything that happens in the Harry Potter books still happens, just offscreen. Harry is still the Boy-Who-Lived. Etc.
Regarding the date, I actually went and derived Waver's school year from his age in Fate/Zero. TL;DR: Waver's DoB is October 3, 1974. Do what you will with that information.
Other thing: I am not British, hence, I do not know a lot about different kinds of UK accents or how to write them into text. Translations of Fate itself are spectacularly unhelpful in showing how Waver's accent sounds (probably because you can't really write an English accent of a person speaking in English all story into Japanese text), he's voiced by an American actor (Lucien Dodge) and the only way one would realize he's supposed to have an accent at all is a throwaway line of dialogue from Keyneth in the Zero event in Fate/Grand Order. So uh, sorry about that. If anyone has any advice on that, you're welcome to share, because I definitely know I need it.
One last thing: update schedule. I am incredibly bad at finishing long stories. And the way the planning for this story currently looks, this is going to be a long story. I'll try to update often (hopefully, every Saturday). Really. I have a few chapters after this already complete, and will likely upload them fairly soon.