Chapter 1 -
Eight year old Harry Potter was not a normal boy, that much was very, very clear to him and everyone around him. Harry didn't really know why he looked so different, he didn't even know why everyone treated him so different.
Harry's Uncle Vernon was a very large and rotund man with receding hair and a mustache that made him look like a walrus, though his stomach size made him look like he had actually eaten the walrus, either that or the Walrus was wearing him. Harry's Aunt Petunia was a thin woman, almost sickly with how thin she was, yet she was still the only one in the house who willingly kept to a diet plan to lose weight despite being the least in need of it. She was also not a very attractive woman either, despite what she might claim. She had a long neck like a giraffe, her face looked like a horse and she wore so much make up that make up artists would shout 'overkill' at her.
Last but not least was their son, Harry's cousin, Dudley Dursley. He and Harry were nearly the same age, give or take a few months, but Dudley took after his father in body type. To Harry he looked like a pig in a wig, though Harry would never voice that thought out loud because it was known in the Dursley house that Dudley could do no wrong while Harry was evil for simply existing.
Harry, on the other hand, was a much more interesting looking boy. His clothes were not expensive looking like the Dursley's, mostly because he was given the choice between staying stark naked or wearing Dudley's old clothes that he didn't want or could no longer fit into. Harry had originally worn round and horrible looking glasses that his Aunt Petunia had gotten from a charity shop, even though the Dursley family were rich and could have brought Harry new clothes and glasses. In case it wasn't obvious, they didn't like him much.
Harry also had very bright green eyes, his eyes were a shade of emerald green. They were undoubtedly his best feature, though they were not the part of him that drew the most attention either. It wasn't his raven colored, messy hair either. It was in fact his lightning bolt scar. Harry had had his lightning bolt scar on the right side of his forehead for as long as he could remember.
Though...it wasn't always so big.
Last year it was a small mark that he could hide under his hair, but now it was far more eye-catching. At first it was a single lightning bolt, but then one day it had changed. One day when he was five years old, his Uncle Vernon had locked him outside of the house. Harry had walked over to the nearby park when it had started raining, the next thing Harry knew he could hear thunder and lightning.
Then...there was the bird. Harry had found a small bird, lying helplessly on the floor next to a tree, it was trying to fly but had clearly damaged its wing. Harry, being the nice and innocent kid that he was, had picked it up and climbed up the tree to place the bird in its nest. He had placed the bird there and began trying to descend down when suddenly a lightning bolt had descended from the sky and hit him.
Harry didn't remember much after that, he did remember waking up around morning time, being freezing cold and walking back to the Dursley's. When he had entered his Aunt Petunia had screamed as if the devil himself was peeing on her and his Uncle Vernon became angrier than Harry had ever seen him and got his belt then beat Harry for being more freakish than before, not that Harry knew what he meant by that. Once he was done he had locked Harry up in the cupboard under the stairs, which happened to also have been Harry's bedroom, even though there was a spare bedroom upstairs just for Dudley's toys.
The next day Harry had woken up and been allowed to go to the toilet, his aunt was still upset that the new freakishness had not gone. Harry really didn't know what she had meant, at least not until he had got upstairs and seen himself in the mirror. His lightning bolt had appeared to have grown more lightning bolts. Before he had only had one lightning bolt, now more bolts descended from that one, one ending just over his right eye and the other ending just under his eye, even going over his eyelid. Luckily it hadn't damaged his eye or his eyesight, it had improved it if anything, because Harry didn't need glasses after that.
His Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia thought he had done it all on purpose for some reason, Harry couldn't help but wonder what about him made them think that he would want to have a giant lightning bolt on his face. Since that day his Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon had told people that he was an idiotic and unstable boy who had managed to get a knife and went crazy on himself, and sadly for Harry most people believed them.
"Wake up!" A voice screeched followed by some loud knocking. Eight year old Harry opened his eyes, looking up at the ceiling of his cupboard, not the most pleasant place to wake up in but Harry had honestly gotten used to it. Truthfully he was just glad that he was given a mattress, pillow and blanket. "Get up and make breakfast!" His Aunt Petunia's voice screamed from outside of the cupboard, followed by the sound of the cupboard being unlocked then the sound of his Aunt Petunia huffing and walking away.
Harry sighed as he sat up and rubbed the sleep out of his eyes. he shook his head before forcing himself to stand up. He would have liked to go to the toilet first but he knew that if he wanted to avoid getting punished then his priority would be in making breakfast. He stepped out of the cupboard and walked into the kitchen and quickly began making food, as soon as he started he heard Dudley stomping down the stairs. Harry wouldn't be surprised if his fat hippo of a cousin would one day fall through the stairs. Harry could only hope that he wouldn't be in the cupboard when that happens.
Today was a happy day in the Dudley family home, if you were anyone but Harry, today was Dudley's birthday. Harry knew that meant Dudley would spend the day getting presents and whatever he wanted while Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon would take the time to spoil him silly. For Harry it meant just a loud day full of complaining and tantrums when the slightest thing did not go Dudley's way, along with Harry being the one to do all the cleaning yet get the least amount of food and fun. So...business as usual.
As Harry listened to Dudley yelling about how he had one less present than last year, he couldn't help but wonder why his Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia treated him so differently. Dudley got two rooms and all the presents and food he wanted, Harry on the other hand got a cupboard, chores and the minimum amount required to stay in a working condition. When Dudley got in trouble at school then the teachers were wrong, but if Harry got in trouble then he was a trouble child.
Why did they keep treating him so differently?"
Later that day Harry was experiencing something he never thought he would experience, going to a zoo. The Dursley's had wanted to go to the zoo for Dudley's birthday, they had tried to leave Harry with a baby sitter but were unable to find one, even batty old Miss Figg was unavailable to look after him. Which meant that they had reluctantly taken Harry with them, Dudley was acting as if it had somehow ruined his entire birthday beyond repair while both of his parents were looking at Harry like it was his fault.
Harry had suggested them simply going on their own and leaving him at home but Uncle Vernon had quickly shut that idea down, it seemed that he thought if he left Harry alone in the house then he would return to it being on fire or upside down or something else.
During their time at the zoo Harry had simply silently followed the Dursley's around, he of course found the animals very interesting. His favorite so far was the tiger that had surprised Dudley, it was sat behind some glass and Dudley had tried to get it to move, only to end up irritating it enough to get it to roar at him. Dudley had been taken by surprise and stumbled back, knocking over his own mother. It took a considerable amount of effort to stop Harry from laughing at that but he had pulled it off, barely.
In a way Harry felt sad for these animals, locked away in cages, unable to be free. But then again, Harry had seen meerkats and red pandas that had more freedom, space to move, food and friends than he did. So in a way he was rather jealous of these animals.
Half an hour later they were in the reptile house, Dudley seemed very excited. Harry had heard that some snakes could eat entire cows, he wondered if he could get away with 'gently nudging' Dudley towards one of the bigger snakes. The reptile house had a distinct smell to it, far different from the rest of the zoo, all the reptiles were behind glass cases with the insides designed to look like their homes in the wild.
Harry found the turtles to be interesting, if a bit inactive. He saw a few lizards as well but for the most part he saw snake after snake after snake. Not that Harry had a problem with that, he rather liked looking at them. Some of them were even hard to spot because they blended in with their environment, which Harry often wished he could do.
Eventually the family stopped by a glass case with a particularly impressive looking snake on the other side. It was a black snake, about three to four meters long, with blue eyes, it was currently sleeping on a rock and not moving at all. Dudley seemed to find it interesting enough as he pushed his own face against the glass, Harry rather hoped that the snake didn't wake up, waking up to any of the Dursley's was not a pleasant experience. Harry was reading the sign next to the cage.
Apparently this snake was born in captivity, it also mentioned some interesting facts like how long it was and the fact that snakes had eyelids, but the eyelids are transparent and covers the eyeball so snakes never have to blink.
"Make it move." Dudley ordered.
"Move." Vernon tapped the glass repeatedly.
"Move!" Dudley copied his actions, but instead of using a single finger like Vernon had, he chose to use his entire fat fist. Harry, decided it was probably best to nip this in the bud as soon as possible before the idiot ended up disturbing everyone.
"He's asleep," Harry pointed out, he didn't know if that was true but he didn't really care at the moment. "snakes have thin eyelids so it looks like they don't have any." Harry couldn't help but add.
"He's boring." Dudley huffed before walking over to a different glass case while Vernon and Petunia left in a different direction to look at something else.
"I'm sorry about him," Harry apologized to the snake who had appeared to have woken up, or at the very least started paying attention to Harry. "he doesn't understand what it's like," Harry sighed. "staying in the same place day after day and watching people look at you and judge you." Harry said, not really expecting a reaction from this snake. Which is why he was very surprised when it suddenly nodded its head at him. "Whoa, can you hear me?" Breathed Harry, he was about to brush it off as an odd event when the snake nodded again. "Cool," Harry grinned. "I've never spoken to a snake before. W...what about you? Do you speak to people often?" The snake shook its head. "I don't really blame you." Harry replied.
"Mummy! Dad! Come here!" Harry heard Dudley say just before he felt himself get hit to the ground, he looked up and saw Dudley leaning against the glass, pressing his big hands and face against it. "You won't believe what this snake is doing!" Dudley added. Harry was far from amused by Dudley's actions, and he was even less amused by the fact that the fat idiot just hit him for no reason.
What happened next was something that Harry would always remember, the glass suddenly disappeared and Dudley fell headfirst into the cage, Harry heard the sound of splashing so assumed that Dudley had landed in the water section of the snake's home. Speaking of the snake, a few moments later Harry saw it climb out the cage before sliding until it was in front of him. Harry couldn't help but gulp when he looked at the snake. It was still just as impressive up close, only about ten times more scarier.
The snake slithered close to him, it brought its head closer to Harry's. Harry closed his eyes, believing it was about to bite him. A second later Harry felt something brush against his face, he just knew it was the snake's tongue. Harry tried desperately to stay still, to not move, hoping that the snake would just leave him alone.
"I will find you later, two legs." Harry heard a female voice just before he stopped feeling the snake, he heard some screams behind him and opened his eyes and saw that it had gone. He looked back only to see people running away, more than likely from the snake. Harry's head snapped back forward when he heard Dudley's voice.
"Mum! Mummy!" Dudley cried as he was pressed against the glass, this time from inside the cage. Apparently, the glass had come back when Harry wasn't paying attention. At that moment Harry's Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon arrived, his Aunt Petunia had taken one look at Dudley stuck in the snake cage before letting out a horrified and ear deafening scream.
"My darling boy!" She screamed as she rushed to the glass, she kept screaming while Dudley kept crying. It was a rather amusing sight and Harry was unable to stop himself from letting out a small laugh. Though he immediately regretted it because Uncle Vernon had locked eyes with him, at that moment Harry knew that his Uncle Vernon was going to blame him for this.
Later that night, Harry slept on his mattress in the cupboard under the stairs. He made sure to sleep on his front since his back was still hurting thanks to Uncle Vernon, his uncle had not been pleased with what happened at the zoo and once everyone got home he had expressed his feelings through some heavy slaps and twenty minutes of his belt, Harry was convinced that the only reason his uncle had stopped was because he was too tired to continue.
His uncle didn't worry too much about injuring Harry, for some reason or the other, Harry was always able to heal quickly. The belt whips, painful though they might be, would probably leave no marks that would last longer than a few days. His uncle and aunt had just called it another example of his 'freakishness'.
Half an hour after Harry had fallen asleep, the house was entered by an intruder, an intruder with fangs but no legs, and it was carrying something in its mouth.
The next morning Harry had woken up, only to find an egg in his room. It wasn't a normal egg, Harry could tell because the eggs that were used for eating were smaller, this one was like three times the size of a regular egg. If that wasn't enough then the fact that it was grey was probably a good enough reason to think that something odd was happening. Harry couldn't help but wonder if this was some prank by the Dursley's.
"Get up!" He heard Aunt Petunia scream, Harry resisted the urge to growl but knew he had better get up if he didn't want more marks added to his body. He placed the egg under his pillow and stepped out of his cupboard.
After a long day of hard work Harry had been allowed back into his cupboard, Harry allowed himself to fall face first onto his mattress. He was tired from all the cleaning and work he had done around the house and in the garden, his Aunt Petunia was more vicious than usual, Harry realized that she probably blamed him for what happened to Dudley at the zoo. Harry could not see why, how was it his fault if the glass suddenly goes away, only to come back a minute later?
When Harry's head hit the pillow he heard the sound of a crack, his eyes widened as he remembered the egg that he had placed under his pillow earlier.
"Oh no!" Harry said under his breath before he got onto his knees and removed the pillow, only to find bits and pieces of a broken egg shell. Harry couldn't see any of the stuff that was inside a normal egg, so he was probably right when he thought it wasn't an eating egg. But he couldn't find anything that could have fallen out of the egg, maybe the egg was empty, was it possible for an egg to be empty?
Harry was suddenly pulled out of his thought by a hissing sound, his eyes widened as he could feel something moving up his back and resting on his shoulder. Harry gulped before looking to his left, only to see a small snake head staring at him. Harry let out a surprised noise and moved back only to bang his head off of a shelf.
"Ow!" Harry blurted out as he rubbed the back of his head.
"Keep quiet boy!" Harry heard his uncle yell. But Harry wasn't paying attention, his eyes were on the snake that had crawled down to his arm and was now resting it's head on his hand. Its body was raven colored and its eyes were an emerald green, not unlike Harry's. It was also a small snake, it's body only reaching from Harry's wrist to half-way down his forearm.
"A...a...aren't you going to bite me?" Harry whispered to the snake, the snake lifted its head and looked at him before shaking his head as if to say 'no, I will not bite you'. "Oh." Was Harry's intelligent response, any further response was cut off by the loud sounds coming from the TV. Harry knew that the Dursley's sometimes liked to put the TV volume up so to taunt Harry with the fact that he could hear but not watch what was happening.
Harry saw that the snake was shaking it's head, Harry got the feeling that it didn't like all the noise. Harry didn't really know what possessed him at that moment but he placed the snake on his lap, slowly raised both of his hands and covered the parts of the snakes head where he thought the ears were. The snake didn't bite him, instead it actually calmed down.
"Thank you." Harry heard a voice speak, the voice was a young voice, it sounded like it belonged to a five year old.
"Huh, who was that?" Harry whispered to himself.
"It was me." The voice spoke again, Harry looked around, trying to see if there was anyone else in the cupboard with him. "Down here." The voice said, Harry blinked and looked down, only to find the snake looking back at him. "Hi." It said.
"Right...how hard did I hit my head?"
A.N: Hi guys, hope you liked the story. The 'Harry meets a snake before Hogwarts' trope is one I've always wanted to try and this will be my attempt at it. Tell me what you all think, I hope you liked it and feel free to leave a review.