Prologue: War Ends, Life Begins
Green Park, England, November 2001
A man appeared out of nowhere at the entrance of Green Park. This man was tall with silver hair and beard, who looked like a kindly old grandfather just out for a stroll. He had sparkly blue eyes behind square-lensed glasses added to this semblance, though the long robes with a purple cloak clashed with that. If anyone was there to see him, they might suspect he was some sort of cosplayer or had a touch of senility.
The man rummaged in his cloak for a moment, trying to find something. When he stopped, he pulled out a silver cigarette lighter. Before he did anything with it, he noticed that he was being watched by a cat hiding by some bushes.
Normal people would pay this no mind, seeing just another stray and ignore it like any other. But this was no ordinary man.
"I should have known you'd come this way Minerva." He said with an amused chuckle, flicking open the cigarette lighter. At that moment the nearest street light went out, with the light appearing to be pulled into the lighter as if vacuumed. He clicked the lighter several more times and this same phenomenon happened with all other street lights in the vicinity, covering the place in significant darkness.
"So what's on your mind my dear?" He asked, closing the lighter and sitting on a bench, looking at the cat as if expecting it to answer.
The cat stepped towards him and started to grow, morphing into a full grown and fully clothed woman dressed in an emerald cloak and black hair tied in a bun. She looked a bit ruffled, as if she had just gotten out of an uncomfortable position and needed to stretch. "How did you know it was me Sir?"
"I've never seen a normal cat sit so stiffly." He replied. "And we're not on duty here, you can address me by name Professor"
"You'd be stiff too if you sat on the pavement all day Headmaster." McGonagall commented.
"All day? When you could have been celebrating? I must have passed a dozen feasts and parties on my way here."
McGonagall sniffed impatiently. "Oh yes everyone's celebrating alright, you think they'd be a bit more careful about it. But they're not, they're getting careless in their excitement. Even the muggles are noticing the festivities, it was on their news. Flocks of owls, shooting stars, despite what those overzealous types think the muggles are not stupid. Shooting stars down at Kent, now that was stupid. I'll bet that was Daedalus Diggle, he never had much sense."
"You can't blame them, we've had precious little to celebrate for eleven years." Dumbledore told her.
"I know that!" McGonagall said, irritated. "But it's only been two days since the Dark Lord was killed. People are being careless, and it is only a matter of time till the Dragon Council and Ministry will do something about it."
"Don't worry mate, the Dragon Council is willing to let it slide for the time being since he's gone and we're in the mood to celebrate too." A new voice interjected. "He is gone right?"
Appearing into view was a man of about thirty wearing a blue blazer over a red shirt. He had short but spiked pepper-blonde hair, some freckles, a face that looked like it was always ready to smile, and around his neck a set of headphones, the cord leading into a pocket.
"Ah David I didn't expect you to be here. And yes it certainly seems so. We have much to be thankful for." Dumbledore answered. "Would you both care for a lemon drop?"
"No thanks, I prefer Jelly Bellies and Mars Bars."
"Well, even if You-Know-Who is gone-" McGonagall started.
"My dear professor, surely a sensible person like yourself can call him by his real name." Dumbledore interrupted. "All this 'you know who' nonsense, it just made people more afraid of him. Voldemort is not going to pop out of thin air just because you say his name. He's not Beetlejuice."
McGonagall flinched, but also looked confused. "Beetle juice? Is that some new flavor for Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans?"
"No, it's a movie from America about a wisecracking ghost. But now that you mention it, I wouldn't be surprised if those beans did have such a flavor." Dumbledore clarified.
"I got to agree with Dumbledore here. It got really annoying to keep saying You-Know-Who over the years. And by constantly addressing him by title rather than name, it does kind of make people forget that in the end he was still a normal wizard. A very powerful and very twisted wizard, but a wizard nonetheless." David commented.
"But it's different, everyone knows that Dumbledore is the only person You-Know..." McGonagall paused when she saw Dumbledore look a little annoyed at her force of habit. "Oh alright, the only person Voldemort was frightened of. And you David are the British Dragon, guardian of the magical creatures in this country. You had to act like you weren't afraid of him or else it would have demoralized most of our forces."
"You flatter me Minerva, but don't forget Voldemort did have powers I will never have. My victory was never guaranteed." Dumbledore pointed out.
"Only because you are too… well, noble to use them."
"It's lucky it is dark, I haven't blushed so much since Madam Pomfrey said she liked my new earmuffs."
That made David chuckle and McGonagall sent a sharp look at Dumbledore. "The owls are nothing compared to the rumors flying around, about why he has disappeared and what finally stopped him."
"Oh, and what are they saying?" David asked, wanting to get an idea on how crazy and disproportionate the rumors already were.
McGonagall cleared her throat first. "What they are saying is that... Voldemort, still a bit uncomfortable saying that."
"Again, he's not apparating here." Dumbledore claimed, waving one hand around the area to prove his point.
"Anyway, on Halloween night he turned up in Godric's Hollow to find the Potters, and the rumor is that Lily and James Potter are… are… that they are dead?" McGonagall continued.
Dumbledore slowly bowed his head and David clenched his fist at the news at which McGonagall gasped.
"I can't believe it. I didn't want to believe it. Oh Albus..."
Dumbledore patted her on the shoulder. "I know, I know."
Wiping her eyes, McGonagall continued. "He then tried to kill the Potter's son Harry but he couldn't kill that little boy. No one knows why or how." Dumbledore nodded glumly and let her continue. "After all he has done? All the people he has killed? He couldn't kill a little boy? It's astounding, of all the things to stop him, but how in the name of heaven did Harry survive?"
"We can only guess so far." Dumbledore then looked at his watch which had only planets for hands. "Hagrid's late, I suppose it was he who told you two?"
"Yes." McGonagall nodded.
David shook his head. "No, I was on patrol. But that raises a few questions. What are you two gonna do with Harry?"
"It's hard to say. James and Lily have no living relatives, not even within the muggle community. But it wouldn't be right to put Harry in an orphanage. With the kind of attention he'd get at a wizarding one we'd risk him turning into a second Voldemort, and the risks of him accidentally casting magic in a muggle orphanage is even worse." Dumbledore theorized.
"Didn't the parents name legal guardians in case this happened?" David asked.
"That's something I'm having Hagrid check out while he watches over the child. We've had to keep him hidden in case any Death Eaters decided to make their leader a martyr. Just because the leader died didn't mean the followers died with him."
There was a low but growing sound of a motor heading towards them, but this sound was coming from all places above them instead of on the street. After a while, a motorbike with a passenger side-car descended from the air and came to a park.
"Must you be so loud Hagrid?" McGonagall criticized, hoping no one had heard the bike coming.
The big and burly driver of the vehicle stood up and smiled. "Well ma'am, I was gonna use a broom ter get here, but silly me I musta fergotten ter grab it. After all, they make brooms in me size by the dozens don' they?"
"Who's this with you Hagrid?" Dumbledore asked, noting that the half-giant didn't come here alone like anticipated. Seated in the side-car was a man who gave off an almost feral but at the same time refined aura. And in his arms at the moment was a bundle of cloth, which the old wizard had a very good idea regarding.
"Well when I got ter the Potter's You-Know-Who was gone, but this bloke was there." Hagrid answered. "Had ter make sure he ain't no Death Eater. And wouldn' bring him 'ere if I weren' convinced he was one o' the good guys."
"Yes but who is he?" David asked as the man stepped out.
"My name is Bigby, and I'm going to be looking after this child." He responded in a gruff but clearly American accent.
"Hold on, I thought Sirius was the boy's godfather." Dumbledore countered.
McGonagall looked to her superior. "Albus that man is locked away in Azkaban! He just killed twelve muggles the other day!"
"I know but that's not the point. James and Lily already had a godparent selected for their son."
"Well since you claim that man is unfit for the job who else will it go to?" Bigby grunted, almost like he was challenging them to refuse him.
"Did the parents have any relatives that can look over the boy?" David asked.
Dumbledore cleared his throat. "Sadly we have not found any yet. The Potter clan appears to be extinct, and Lily's family is completely unknown to us."
"Of course they are. You people in this country don't consider her kind worth keeping track of." Bigby said in an accusing way.
"You've sure got nerve." McGonagall reprimanded.
"What do you mean? Are you saying the mother's family was muggle?" David asked.
"Nope. They were Fable."
"Fable?" McGonagall repeated, looking like the word didn't mean anything to her. However that was not the case with Dumbledore and David.
"That would explain the lack of history of Lily's family. Tell me, are you related to her?" The old wizard asked.
"Biologically no, but I am the one who raised her. She was like a daughter to me, and when she asked me to watch over her child if anything happened to her you couldn't make me say no." Bigby answered.
"Do you have proof of a connection to her?" David asked.
Bigby handed a book, which David took. He opened it and saw it was a photo album, showing several pictures of this man with a girl who got older over various photos. These were clearly muggle photos since they didn't move, but they showed the faces clear enough.
Dumbledore looked over David's shoulders. "I recognize her, that's Lily Potter, maiden name Wolf." A few photos showed Lily at her wedding with Bigby attending, and same with Harry's birth.
"Not exactly what I would call conclusive proof, but enough to make me take you seriously for now." David said, handing Bigby the book back.
"You mean all this time Lily was actually a Fable?" Dumbledore asked.
"What is a Fable?" McGonagall asked, since like most people when she heard the word something else came to mind.
"Let's call it someone who's not quite a wizard but definitely not a muggle." Dumbledore answered cryptically then looked back to Bigby. "From what I understand, the majority of the world's Fable population lives in America."
"That a problem?" Bigby challenged.
"It would be better for the child to remain here in England."
Bigby lightly narrowed his eyes. "Give me a good reason why."
"I have reason to believe that the young boy in your arms will be what finishes the war against the Dark Lord once and for all." Dumbledore explained.
Bigby frowned. "From what I heard this Voldemort guy is already dead."
"Surely as a Fable you know not everyone stays dead." The old wizard claimed. "Voldemort may be dead for the time being, but surely he has prepared a means to come back. Young Harry there when he's older and trained may very well be the one to end the Evil One for good."
"And where did you hear this?"
Dumbledore pursed his lips. "I have my sources."
Bigby held his stern look. "So that's it huh? You have no intention of telling me? You think I can't read between the lines Merlin? I'm a sheriff, separating the truth from bullshit is what I'm paid to do."
"Language sir!" McGonagall chewed out.
"So what's it going to be old man? Either give me an actual legitimate reason to believe Lily's boy is better off here, or I'm taking him back home." Bigby threatened.
Dumbledore didn't answer right away. He didn't want to reveal the prophecy just yet. He knew prophecies had a tendency to cause more trouble than prevent, especially when multiple people tried to control them. And he couldn't exactly take the baby away when he admitted that it currently had no living relatives other than the man holding said baby. What was he going to say? 'Instead of letting you raise him I'm going to stick him in some orphanage so complete strangers can take him instead if at all?' Yeah, that would really help his case.
"Tell you what," He said when an idea came to him. "You raised Lily when she was a child, yet you let her come to Hogwarts to learn magic right? Can you allow the same for Harry?"
"That was because of certain circumstances for her at the time. If similar circumstances exist for Harry when he's older, then I'll consider it. If not, then no."
"I suppose that's the best I can ask for. Would you like for us to convert a small portion of his inheritance into American money to help get you started on providing for him?" Dumbledore asked.
"That would be appreciated." Bigby admitted.
"Tell me sir, how will you care for this child?" David asked curiously. "Can you do it alone or do you have support back home?"
"Trust me, this child will have plenty of support."
"I just hope you don't make him a rude American." David replied.
Bigby smiled. "I'm a New Yorker."
David rolled his eyes. "He's doomed."
'I just hope this doesn't affect Harry too much. The Fables have much to offer him, but not all of them get to live happily ever after.' Dumbledore thought with much concern.
After a long legal process to gain official custody, followed by an equally long plane back, Bigby finally arrived in New York with baby in tow. Wading through the mundane people, or mundy as his people liked to call them, he soon found his ride waiting for him.
"So you actually did it." A beautiful woman with soft pale skin and shiny black hair asked, wearing a casual outfit consisting of a dark blue t-shirt and black pants. Her name was Snow, and her eyes went immediately to the sleeping baby in a seat carrier.
"I just wish I had gotten there sooner. Maybe then Lily would still be alive." Bigby lightly moaned.
"Both his parents are dead." Snow said sadly, rubbing the young boy's head in an attempt to soothe him. "You know in our world, that usually means something major is going to happen in his life down the line."
The two started walking out of the airport, completely ignored by the others inside. Bigby didn't bring any luggage with him so there was none to pick up here.
"I had some old wizard basically say the same. And he asked if I'd let the little guy stay in England, but he refused to say exactly why. Best I could get out of him was some crap about Harry here growing up to be their weapon someday."
"A weapon?" Snow repeated, in a tone that was a mixture of surprise and skepticism, as they got to her car.
Bigby put the baby inside safely then got in himself while Snow did the same and drove off. "Yeah, it seems that back in England there's some war of the witches going on that's currently at a standstill and their grand leader believes Lily's boy is going to be the one to end it once and for all. You don't have to be a genius to know what that means."
Snow frowned a bit but kept her eyes on the traffic. "No you don't. So how did you convince them to let him go into your custody if they wanted to use him like that?"
"Well I was fully prepared for a fight if it came to that, though good thing it didn't. One of the guys there had the scent of dragon on him."
"Dragon?" Snow asked. "They glamorized a dragon?"
"My nose says yes. Anyway, what really helped me was mostly calling them out on it. There I was, the closest thing to a legal guardian the kid could have, and they had nothing except some secret they wanted to keep secret. If we brought it to court, it's pretty clear who would have won."
"Well now that you have, what are you going to do? It's not going to be like when you found Lily." Snow asked, turning closer to their community.
"Tell me about it. I had a hard time with Lily but at least she was old enough to understand me and do a few things herself. With Harry, he's completely dependent on me." Bigby replied, glancing to the blissfully asleep infant in the back.
Snow sighed. "Tell you what, until you can find a nanny or something to help out I'll pitch in once in awhile."
Bigby smiled. "Didn't even have to ask, just like with Lily."
Snow frowned. "With Lily it was one thing. We so rarely ever have children Fables in town anymore. Everyone was glad to pitch in. Except the thirteenth floor but you know what I mean. With this boy, it's because you clearly need the help more."
"Speaking of which I need to get the thirteenth floor willing to do something this time. Given what's going on in England, I'd prefer not sending this kid back when he's older."
The car came to a stop outside a gated building located on Bulfinch Street. It was called the Woodland and it was the heart of the hidden community known as Fabletown.
"You think this boy will learn magic someday?" Snow asked as they got out of the car.
"Both his parents could, so it's very likely. At least as a half-Fable he gets the same legal status we get with MACUSA."
The two went inside the Woodland, passing the sleeping security guard and proceeded to the residential section. No one else was in the halls at the time, so they reached Bigby's apartment and went inside.
An unwelcome scent hit the sheriff's nose. "Colin!" He growled. "What are you doing here?"
On the couch watching tv was a pig with a cigarette in its mouth. "House-sitting while you were gone. What does it look like?"
"Put out that cigarette. There's a baby here." Bigby ordered.
"Buzzkill." Colin the pig groaned but did as told.
Snow looked to Bigby. "You know this means you can't smoke around him either."
"I know, and it's going to be hell on my nose."
AN: Few things to point out here to avoid confusion down the line. First, Harry's mother Lily has a different background and origin that will be further explained later on, so in this universe the Dursleys do not exist. *rolls eyes* Like any of us are actually going to miss them.
Second, Harry's love life is not going to be a priority until he gets older, but I will warn you now that I intend to make it HarryxGinny when it is time. Don't even think of asking for otherwise, you will be ignored. However, at beta request, I am at least keeping open the possibility of a harem, though Hermione will not be included in it. She will be Harry's friend but not his lover.
Third and final, the timing of the events will not be the same as it was in the HP canon. Most of this will happen in the 21st century instead of the canon timeline.