The idea for this story came to me. It was "Harry starts a revolution" but then I thought, "How do I make Harry get to the point he starts a revolution?" The answer came to me, his friends. This will include major character loss, Harry will not be becoming the next dark lord but neither will he be the next lord of the light.
I guess you could also say the story is about the science of magic too.
As this story is still being written you may come across mistakes, I would greatly appreciate these mistakes being pointed out so that I may fix them and improve the overall quality of the story.
There was no definitive point when young Harry Potter woke up and realised he was different to the other children. Instead it settled upon him, akin to the slow creep of dread. It started with small things at first, such as the increasing number of chores he had been required to do with his cousin Dudley had been allowed to laze about.
When it came to Dudley, there was quite a lot to compare against. His cousin got whatever he asked for, whether it be new clothes or an expensive toy. It didn't matter to his aunt or uncle if the boy broke his things mere days after receiving them, to them the fact he had asked for them was all that mattered.
They had not deemed to extend that mindset to include Harry. To them, all he was worthy of was the cupboard under the stairs and the few clothes that Dudley had grown bored of, which had survived his particular brand of destruction.
The first time he had gone to school Harry had seen it as a new start, here was the chance he had craved to find another like himself. Someone who he could relate to and would in turn be able to relate to him. Those hopes were swiftly torn to shreds, the other students had treated him like he was insane and seemed shocked at the idea he lived under the stairs.
After school had ended he got to watch enviously as parents lovingly greeted their children, to those parents nothing mattered to them but their children's happiness. His classmates would excitedly tell their parents about their day and the achievements they had gained, all while Harry walked home alone and unloved; knowing that when he returned he would need to complete a list of chores before even thinking about homework and rest.
Vernon Dursley was proud to think that no matter how angry he got, he had never struck his wife or nephew, he had never even thought of hitting his son. Whenever someone came up on the news who had been abusive he would turn to his nephew and say "Good thing you aren't with them, frankly we must be saints to have put up with you for so long."
For her part, Petunia had just enough love left for her sister that she wouldn't intentionally harm him either, she ensured he got enough food to live, but lack of physical abuse was not the same as a healthy childhood. Instead of beating him they simply acted like he just didn't exist, whenever they needed something done they would just yell for the "Boy".
By his seventh birthday Harry had given up hoping that the Dursleys would never care about him or his achievements. It didn't matter how many perfect tests or golden stars he brought home, at best he would simply be ignored as usual, while at worst he'd be punished for beating Dudley. But, despite the immense pressure Harry carried with him every day he was determined to remain the top student in his class, making his teachers often note his thirst for knowledge and his unyielding drive.
Harry had dedicated himself to learning so that a time would come when he could leave the Dursleys forever and forge his own path, one where he would never be under another's control again. The seed for this dedication had been the gradual discovery that as long as he stayed inside his cupboard and out of sight, ensuring his chores were all done on time and to the expected standard, then the Dursleys would leave him alone to his own devices.
He had tested this slight freedom tentatively at first. Before he would try to join his relatives, such as sitting with them in the lounge, or helping his aunt as she pottered around her garden. No matter what he did, he'd always be left out of any conversation and glared at if he dared to try and contribute.
Then, one day he had been so ill he hadn't the strength to leave his cupboard. For the first few hours, he had dreaded the moment when his relatives would open his cupboard and demand to know why he hadn't left his bed yet. A few hours after that he wondered if he had gotten the time wrong and his relatives were still asleep. By the time lunch had arrived and left, he began to suspect his relatives simply didn't care.
While he had found his illness unpleasant in the moment, the peace it had brought him had made it worth the discomfort. After that day he had started to spend as much time as possible within his cupboard, where at least he could avoid having to get out of the way or enduring silent glares, even if he was numbingly bored.
It was at school where he learned the answer to his boredom. It had not been a special day at school, but the summer holidays were approaching and his classmates were getting excited. Dudley and his gang had decided to deal with their own excitement by chasing Harry around the school. In a rash decision, he had turned the corner and dived into the Library, before going to hide amongst the shelves.
He had planned on waiting until Dudley and his gang had left before making his retreat, but the previously unseen librarian had put a stop to his plan. "Excuse me." She had said, "I don't mind you being in here, but I must insist you find something to read. This is a library after all, not the playground."
Panicking and thinking the woman would unknowingly throw him out into Dudley's clutches, he had grabbed a book at random and opened it. At first he didn't pay it much mind, instead he stared intently at the door, expecting his cousin to come barging in. When his cousin did not appear, Harry relaxed and finally began reading the book before him.
To his surprise, he actually found it interesting, getting immersed within the story only to be roused by the bell signalling the end of breaktime. After that day, he spent the final week of term within the solace of the library; seeing as the librarian didn't ask him difficult questions, or make fun of his clothes. She would even help him if he needed to find a book, or had a question he wanted answered. Her mere presence also helped with keeping the other students from bothering him, making the library the most peaceful area he had ever managed to find.
As such, when the Summer Holidays rolled around, while the other students were thrilled to be out of school, Harry had been disappointed to lose access to that sanctuary of peace. After only a week at home, he was bored out of his mind and desperately wishing he had just one book to read. It was that desperation which led to him walking up to Petunia one day, once Vernon had gone off to work and Dudley had gone out with his gang.
Summoning up all his courage, he very cautiously asked, "Could I get a library card, Aunt Petunia?"
"Why would you want a library card?" she retorted distractedly, focusing primarily on peering out the window to see what the young couple at number 9 were doing.
"So I could get books to read in my cupboard. You see, I find it very relaxing and if I was allowed to read I wouldn't need to leave it so much. I could just go down to the library and pick out a few books every so often and then just read quietly." Harry replied innocently
"Hmm, well I suppose it wouldn't hurt. But, you're to ensure your chores are completed before you will be allowed to read… Fine, I'll drop you off at the library tomorrow, when I go to the shops so you can get this card."
After getting that little library card Harry Potter's life had changed for the better, the Dursleys almost forgot about him entirely and he went through great effort to make sure they had no reason to remember he existed. He focused on teaching himself skills that looked interesting or he found important, such as how to sew and fix the hand-me-down clothes the Dursleys had given him, he used his new found knowledge to make his clothes fit him better.
Books became a vital lifeline for him, they were his escape from reality and saviour from the Dursley's contempt. Through them, he discovered great and expansive universes, learned more about the world he lived in and the skills needed to survive within this new world. They taught him about science and maths, they taught him how to talk like an adult and how to keep going no matter what stood in his way.
If Petunia had not forgotten one major fact she would never have let Harry have that little card, it was a simple yet undeniable fact that would result in the destruction of all she held dear. Children's books were often about magic, and nobody had bothered to tell Harry that there was a difference between fictional and non-fictional books.
Some time after his seventh birthday he was reading one of his favourite books, it was about a boy who grew up on a farm with his only living relative, a strict aunt and the boy's wise but aged mentor, Mister Wolf.
The boy, Garion, was capable of performing magic, something which Harry was desperate to learn. The boy's first act of magic was the accidental incineration of an enemy, and while Harry had no interest in incinerating anyone he couldn't deny the idea of being able to summon fire at will was tantalising.
'Okay, the book said the first step in doing magic is to focus my will into what I want to do… I want a small flame to sit in my palm. I don't want it to be too hot otherwise it would hurt me… then I need a word that fits, I suppose just saying flame should be good enough' Harry thought
Focusing intently on his palm, Harry willed the fire to form. To his great excitement, he felt something stir within him and he let it build. When he felt like he was about to burst he simply said "Flame" and for a brief moment a small flame burst into life, before instantly disappearing. Letting out a grunt of frustration he smacked his hand down, only for a much bigger fireball to materialise.
Thrilled by his success, he tried to summon the fire again, only for his stomach to groan painfully when he tried to focus. Despite that, he tried to force through the hunger, focusing on whatever had let him create the flame. For a brief moment, he felt the energy stir, before a deep pain rocketed through him.
When the pain subsided, Harry took a guess and assumed the pain was a result of pushing past a certain point. Eager to never feel that pain again, he crawled out of his cupboard and prepared himself an early lunch.
The next several weeks were spent experimenting with this new found power, with each consecutive day netting better results, making the fire easier to summon and even control. Eventually, he was able to summon a small flame and sustain it for several minutes, even make it move from one palm to another.
Then, as he was gardening a few days after his discovery of fire, he figured he should be capable of more than just fire. Seeing a convenient pebble, he summoned his focus again and imagined the pebble moving upwards. He felt his magic well up within him as normal, except now it felt like there was no outlet.
Thinking through the issue, Harry reached out and pressed a finger against the pebble while maintaining his focus. As he had excepted, the stone rose almost immediately, the magic rushing through his finger and into the rock. What he didn't expect was for the pebble to rocket upwards, far quicker than he could possibly keep up with.
For several minutes he anxiously waited for the pebble to land, until he had to conclude the pebble would not be returning. With that troublesome thought, Harry figured he put a tad too much energy into the stone. With that in mind, he found a pebble that was at least twice as big and focused barely a fraction of his power.
Extremely tentatively, he tapped the stone, making it hop at least 15 feet in the air before falling. Dodging quickly to avoid the falling stone, he set about trying to work out why he was having such an overpowered effect.
'First thought, fire is exceptionally hard and in comparison everything else is incredibly easy; Second, fire is average but movement is exceptionally easy, I will need to experiment with different magic before I can come to a conclusion. Regardless, it is obvious I need to do something to limit my magic.'
After some experimentation, three lost stones and a bruised head, Harry found some success. All he needed to do was to specify he wanted the rock to float 2 inches above his palm. To start with, most of the magic was kept preventing the stone from flying away, instead of propelling it away. Alongside that, it seemed like the more instructions he gave his magic, the more magic was consumed.
His new found power bore fruit almost immediately, since he only needed to touch a weed for the plant to rip itself out of the ground, roots and all. He could then move his hand over to the sack and release his magic, dropping the weed. While he needed to touch an object to work his magic, for some unexplained reason he could keep the levitation going without physical contact.
Boosted by his results with a practical use of levitation, Harry tried to use his fire summoning to an equally useful effect. Unfortunately all he learned was that while his summoned fire didn't burn him, if he heated a metal saucepan the metal itself still hurt. What confused Harry was that he was fairly sure the air around his fire was also being heated, except he remained immune to that heat.
He quickly forgot his books and focused on teaching himself as much magic as he could. Every time he used his magic he felt satisfied and complete, it felt right. It fulfilled a desire he hadn't even known he had, like the first drink of water when dehydrated, or the first bite when starved. It didn't take long for Harry to wonder how he ever lived without magic before.
Despite his new-found joy in magic, he soon returned to his books for any reference they had to magic, hoping to take inspiration from their pages. As the years passed, he would spend as much time as possible reading from his books, jotting down any interesting powers or abilities into a notebook he had stolen from school.
Then during his numerous moments alone, he would try to replicate them. If he hadn't been neglected and ignored his whole life he might have gone and proudly shown the Dursleys his magical abilities, who in turn would've taken away his books in an instant and attempted to stamp out his freakishness.
But having learned the Dursleys would never care about him, Harry never even thought to tell them of his magical study, afterall they didn't show any interest in his school work or his books so why would they want to see his magic work.
Due to him regularly exercising and controlling his magic, he had eventually progressed to a level that he only needed to wave his hand near an object to transfer magic, instead of requiring a physical touch. As a consequence, the accidental, uncontrolled magic that might have angered the Dursley's never appeared.
When a teacher upset him he felt his magic instinctively rise to get revenge, but he held it down with his patiently earned self control. The wise mentors in his books always told their students to not misuse their magic, he didn't want to know what the Dursley's might do if they knew he had misused his magic at school.
Between Dudley threatening anyone that spoke to Harry and the boy preferring the solitude of the library, nobody at the school tried being friendly to Harry so he never asked about their own magical studies, if he had he would have known he was unique in his school. He was happier reading than trying to awkwardly talk to the students anyway, he told himself.
It came as no surprise then that Harry Potter, saviour of the wizarding world and the boy-who-lived, grew up alone with nothing but books and magic for four long years. Overtime he had realised nobody else seemed to believe magic was real, with some like the Dursleys vehemently denying the possibility of such a thing could exist.
That had sparked an instant fear that he was alone in the world, making him one of a kind in his ability to harness magic. This fear had been exacerbated as his vision had gradually improved such that he could see magic. It was that gradual change, which happened slow enough you didn't realise it was even happening.
He only realised it had happened when he had levitated a table out of his way, only to see it shrouded by a strange vibrant green glow, a glow he soon realised was the colour of his magic. With time, he was able to see his magic move within himself, giving him a faint green outline.
At school, he was the only person to have developed such a glow, with everyone else remaining the blandness of an unenchanted object. Every so often he would spot people in the street with a similar glow to himself, more often than not they looked like they didn't quite fit in with those around them. Unfortunately, Petunia always made sure to steer Dudley and Harry clear of them so he never got the chance to speak to them, however he had noted that their glow was often brighter than his and were always a different colour or shade.
During that time, Harry had learnt that when he was obviously upset or angry Vernon would lock him in his cupboard without his books. Once, when he had stood up to Dudley and his gang, they had taken great delight in kicking him to the ground and after returning to number 4 Petunia had taken away his books for a whole week.
After that Harry kept his emotions under heavy lock and key, spending most of his school life in an emotionally neutral state. Harry just assumed that it was part of growing older to hide your emotions and only show others what you wanted them to see, after all every adult he had met did the same.
His patience was truly put to the test one day when Dudley had taken one of his library books and tore it in half. Harry's immediate impulse was to jump up and use his magic on Dudley, to hurt him enough to ensure he never hurt his books again. His magic was quite literally at his fingertips and ready to be unleashed, when he forced himself to stop and relax. He knew that if he retaliated against Dudley he'd be punished.
Instead, he sufficed with sending a dark look at his cousin and repairing the book with his magic. Later, he admitted he probably should've repaired the book in private, seeing as Dudley could've revealed Harry's use of magic. Yet, for some reason Dudley had never told his parents about the incident, he had also never tried to ruin his book, which counted as a win in Harry's book.
By the time his eleventh birthday was around the corner Harry had mastered the art of masking his emotions and his control over his magic had come along leaps and bounds as a result. It was through that control he had finally figured out how to use his magic, without requiring a physical connection.
He had quickly realised that his emotions made his magic have unpredictable results, but when he held back his emotions his magic became easier to control and direct, although at first it was harder for him to bring his magic to the surface and control it without his emotions doing the work for him.
It felt like he had nothing left to learn while he lived under the Dursleys, a lot of the magic he wanted to try would require more time and space, neither of which was available to him under the roof and demands of the Dursleys. That is until one day, a week before his eleventh birthday when a letter had arrived.
That was not to say that receiving a letter was an unusual occurrence, Harry was used to receiving letters by now, most often from the library. But this letter was not one of his normal letters, his library letters were inside thin white envelopes, this was a thick tea brown envelope, sealed with wax.
Similarly, none of his normal letters had mentioned where he slept and this letter was clearly addressed to 'Mr H Potter, the cupboard under the stairs, 4. Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey.' Despite this abnormality, he slipped the letters that were addressed to him into his cupboard and handed Vernon the rest, he then set about cooking breakfast for the Dursleys as well as his own much smaller breakfast.
After they had finished eating he washed the dishes and was allowed to return to his cupboard, once inside he opened the letter from the library first. As he had expected it informed him that he had one week left to return his current stack of books 'Great, I now have an excuse to go to the library on my birthday' Harry thought excitedly.
Putting aside that letter he then turned to the other, mysterious letter marked with 'Hogwarts' and upon breaking the seal two pages of parchment fell out. If he had any doubt left this proved it wasn't from the library, seeing as they would never have been able to afford this quality of paper. Frowning, he set about reading the letter… and paused… and read it again.
After reading both pages back to front several times he let out a happy sigh, unable to stop the grin that split his face. T, He was not alone in the world, there was a school for magic and he was going to it!
But, his hopes came crashing down when Harry realised he was going to need the Dursleys permission to go to this Hogwarts, something he doubted they would agree to. He quickly began planning what he was going to say, before quietly leaving his cupboard and passing the letter over to Petunia.
At first she only glanced at it, dismissing it as some school trip, but then after a double take she went white with shock "Vernon… Vernon, he got the 'you know what'."
"HE WHAT?! I thought we had stamped it out! They must have made a mistake, he stopped that freakishness years ago!" Vernon roared, his face bright red.
Harry was deciding between staying and trying to convince them to let him go to the school and running to safety, but before he could make a decision Vernon turned towards Harry while muttering to Petunia
"You said this Hogwarts keeps the freaks away for most of the year right?" at Petunia's hesitant nod he continued "Maybe… Just maybe this isn't all bad then, we wouldn't have to deal with him for almost nine months. No need to feed him or have him underfoot… That must be why it was built I guess, to get his lot out of the way of us normal people."
His uncle looked like he was deep in thought, to Harry it looked like a gorilla having to choose which banana to eat. Vernon had started muttering to himself, so quietly that no one in the room could hear his words, after what seemed like an age he nodded to himself.
Turning to Petunia he told her "You will take him to get whatever they want him to have tomorrow, we can't have them sending him back after all. Then we will decide how he will be getting to this 'Hogwarts.'"
Petunia had taken him to London the very next morning, giving him a chance to eagerly look through the window of every shop they passed, in the hope of spotting magical supplies. But no matter how hard he looked he couldn't see any shop selling wizarding supplies, so he turned to his aunt and asked her "Can you get all of my things in London then?"
"There is a street near here that caters expressly to your people." she replied with an ugly sneer on her face, as if it pained her to tell him. "You're looking for a sign that says 'the leaky cauldron'."
"Oh… have you been there before then?" Harry wondered
"Once." She murmured, looking lost in thought. At the terse reply Harry thought it best to leave her alone.
After a few more minutes of awkward silence, he finally noticed the sign she had mentioned. Following her instructions, he led her to the door and held her hand as he opened the door that had appeared. Instead of entering a shop like he had expected, he found himself inside a busy, but unassuming pub, although he thought the word tavern might be a more appropriate term.
Even though he had never actually seen a tavern in real life, the descriptions in his books matched this building perfectly, even the old fashioned clothes everybody was wearing. During his observation, Petunia had walked up to the counter and was speaking to the old man behind it "I'm looking for… digon alley?" she asked, sounding unsure of herself.
"Ah, Muggle are ya? Diagon Alley, it's just through here if you'll follow me." he said kindly as he led them into the back and tapped a strange pattern of bricks with what was surely a magic wand. It was clear that whatever he had entered must've been some sort of code, as the bricks parted and formed an archway big enough for Vernon and Dudley to enter side by side.
Petunia wasted no time in marching down the street, while all Harry wanted to do was stop and stare, just like the other children were doing; however, due to his aunt's pace he was forced to follow her closely. What little he did manage to see amazed him, there were stores that sold everything from animals to broomsticks. Each shop was unique and fascinating and Harry knew if he had the choice he would never leave this magical place.
Part of this decision was because he had never seen so many magical colours before, every person glowed with their own inner light and even the shops glowed brightly. To his great excitement, he noticed that sometimes that glow even spread out onto the street itself, resulting in a kaleidoscope of colours. That many colours together should've made a mess but somehow it worked.
But when he turned back to Petunia she had already started up the steps in front of a towering marble building, which to Harry looked like it might topple over at any moment. This building was entirely coated in a harsh copper colour but this light rippled and flowed like water rather than just a stationary light, making Harry wonder if the fact the light was nearly opaque meant it was stronger than the other shops.
The creatures he saw standing guard in front of the doors reminded him of goblins from some of his books, although they looked cleaner and more humanlike. Almost every book he had read agreed that goblins were greedy, mean spirited creatures, so he felt it would be a good idea to be polite but on guard around them. His wariness was rewarded when he saw that the entire building seemed to be staffed by goblins; Even if they weren't as evil as his book suggested, upsetting them would surely see him thrown out.
The goblins that were working behind the counters were almost identical to the goblins that were standing guard outside, the only obvious difference was that these goblins were dressed in smart suits instead of glistening armour and were counting piles of gold coins.
Despite the threat they might have been, Petunia didn't hesitate as she marched up to the closest counter and snapped at the goblin "I wish to convert some money into your wizarding currency for my nephew."
The goblin paused his counting and leaned forward so that he was looking down onto Harry and about eye level with Petunia, to say the goblin looked like he was annoyed would've been an understatement, which was understandable given his aunt had interrupted his work. Harry knew that if somebody had interrupted his work to order him around he wouldn't be in the best mood either.
"You should know that the conversion rate is… eight of your pound sterling for a galleon." the goblin told her carefully, as if judging how she would respond
"When I was last here it was five pounds to every galleon, that seems a remarkable difference!" she said stiffly
"Times have changed my dear. I'm sorry, there is nothing I can do about it." Despite his words Harry didn't think the goblin looked like he was sorry, but then a full toothed grin might have just been what goblins considered apologetic "Either tell me how much you want to convert or go waste someone else's time." the goblin replied, sitting back in his stool and smiling smugly.
From my calculations, this is the 4th time I have needed to update this particular chapter. For the first time, I'm pleased to say I am pleased with the result. Undoubtedly it could be improved further, but as of now it is at a level I strive for in my later chapters.
To those of you that are new to this story, I regret to say a good quantity of the preceding chapters are currently far below my current writing level. The good news is that I'm working on improving them! I am updating them in numerical order, with the latest chapter having this '~#~' sign at the top.