Harry Walker rubbed the sleep out of his eyes as he sat on his bed. He felt the bed empty beside himself, which was weird. Then he heard sounds from the bathroom, and he relaxed.
"When did you wake up?" he called out as he pulled on his pants and shirt.
"Half an hour or so. I didn't want to disturb you, and I had this assignment to finish." said his girlfriend from the shower.
"When did you start doing assignments?"
"Since today. I made you coffee. It's on the table."
He crawled over to the table beside their bed, and sure enough, there was a cup of coffee. An instant coffee by the bedside meant his girlfriend was in a generous mood. No need to plummet that with any complaints of a lack of sugar, he thought as he drank greedily from the cup.
It was then that a purple envelope caught his eye on the table near his phone. He picked it up, and curiously enough, it had his name on it. He didn't remember getting any mail on the last day or week. Nonetheless, he opened the envelope, and a fancy silvery card fell out of it into his hand.
On one side, there was a smiling face of a black bat. He flipped the card over, and to his surprise, a short sentence was printed in elegant black letters.
Congratulations! You have been selected for the glorious purpose of entertaining me.
-Your friendly neighbourhood ROB.
"Which sick fuck thought this would be a good joke?"
Harry suddenly had to shield his eyes as the card flared up in a silver light, and then he knew no more.
When he regained his vision, he was in an unfamiliar bed in a room with an unfamiliar ceiling. Everything was red and gold. The bright colours continued to distract from some of the strange feelings he was getting but not for long. He felt different, and he realised that he was feeling extremely weak.
He felt his body with his palms and realised with growing horror that he was touching something unfamiliar. He looked at his body with an open mouth. He was tiny and frail. It looked like the body of a skinny teen. He has always been a little bit stocky, and his body did have some muscle mass.
But none of that could be seen in his new body right now. It looked like the body of an underfed teenage kid. Then out of nowhere, he felt a pain in his head. It felt as if he was hit by a baseball bat. A rush of memories and emotions was shooting through his head. He bit into the pillow to stop himself from screaming. A minute later, the pain in his head subsided, and he just lay back in his bed with a stunning revelation.
Somehow by some cosmic fluke, his memories or soul was transported into the Harry Potter Universe. He was not exactly sure about the mechanics of how that happened or why. But what he knew was that he was now occupying the body of Harry Potter, the protagonist of the story written by J K Rowling.
He knew just how absurd that sounds, but this was happening. As if this was not enough, he could also recall some weird memories of another fellow in his head. With growing horror, he realised this was Voldemort's memories, but thankfully it was bits and pieces.
It was some of the violent events he was witnessing within his own head. This whole mess was troubling, and he couldn't sit still with his head filled with alien memories. He just felt so lost and scared, and he was on the verge of a mental breakdown. Thankfully, it was a Sunday, and hence there were no classes. He threw some clothes on and, at the last moment, pocketed his wand on the way out.
His dorm mates were fast asleep, and he was careful not to wake them up. When he stepped into the common room, it was deserted, and he thanked his lucky stars they were. He stepped out of the Gryffindor tower altogether and just roamed the castle. He took in the different sights of Hogwarts. The moving portraits and stairs enforced the present scenario he found himself in, which was both soothing and troubling.
As he continuously saw the many stairs and hallways, it became increasingly normal for him to accept his predicament. The memories of Harry Potter were syncing into his consciousness, and he was finding it increasingly hard to think that this was all a dream.
As he was about to turn a corner, he heard footsteps approaching from the other end. For a moment, he panicked as his mind supplied that he was out of bounds. He was not supposed to wander the hallways this early.
The sun was barely up, and there were a few hours to sunrise. His heart thundered in his chest, and his hand moved as if in a trance. The next thing he knew, he was waving the Holly wand around himself in a wide circle. He felt a slight tingle on his skin, and he stayed perfectly still. He was even holding his breath, and the footsteps came closer and closer. He had the urge to close his eyes, but by sheer will, he stamped down that urge. The figure turned the corner, and he saw that it was Professor Sprout. The Head of Hufflepuff House paid him no mind and moved along as if he was not there.
He blinked in surprise at this apparent luck. It was then that he noticed that his body was invisible. He found himself flicking his wand, and the invisibility collapsed. Somehow he had turned himself invisible without involving his consciousness.
"I need help. I need serious help." He whispered in fear.
He didn't know how long he wandered the grounds of Hogwarts. It must have been an hour since he escaped the castle and came into the grounds. He was now walking by the Black Lake aimlessly, and he found that therapeutic. The cold damp air was uncomfortable, but it helped calm his raging thoughts.
In his hour of self-reflection, he had found some peace of mind. He accepted that he was either in a grand delusion or he was precisely where he thought he was right now. While logic dictates that he was making this all up, he decided it was better to act under the assumption that this was all real.
Frankly, he found he had no other choice. He couldn't just stay somewhere and hope this whole thing would go away. Whatever this was, it was happening around him. At the very least, he knew he bled red when he poked his arm with a piece of stick. That experiment let him confirm that he could get hurt. Now, his priority was not to get hurt mentally or physically, which was an excellent first goal, in his opinion.
The second goal was never to reveal what he was going through with anyone else. He doubted anyone would believe him anyway. Even if by some unseen stroke of luck someone did, they could hardly do anything. He would not depend on some stranger for help when there was a serious chance that he could be put in a mental asylum. In the worst-case scenario, he may get his memory wiped, which would be a significant blow to his identity. His identity revolved around his memories, and he would not sacrifice that in a fit of stupidity.
The third goal was to survive at any cost. He didn't want to die, and he certainly thought of killing himself a few minutes back, but he didn't have the strength to off himself. While he didn't have the strength to finish his own life, he would certainly not let someone else take him down.
The fourth goal was to get back to his own world somehow. At the moment, that was an impossible goal. He knew that, but this was something that he would refuse to abandon. At least, that was what he told himself. The pain in his heart at the cruel separation from his family, friends, girlfriend and all his buddies was real. He doubted it would go away, and he didn't intend to give up on them. He would seek his old life and then the final goal.
The final goal was to find the son of bitch that dared to send him into this spiralling madness and kill him/her in the most horrible way humanity had ever envisioned. He would kill this ROB or whatever shmuck that was behind this bullshit.
A flash of fire up above his head made him rear back. A piece of paper fell out of the fire, and he caught it with a frown. There was neat writing on the paper that made his rage set off.
For future reference, call me Nobu. Now have a good day, Mr Potter, and enjoy the little something I put in your head.
"Oh, you sick bastard. I swear I will kill you. You hear me, you filthy cosmic trash. I will kill you." Harry screamed into the open sky.
It took Harry quite a while to find his mental balance, but he was more than fired up to kill the guy right then and there. The anger and rage that was coursing through his veins proved to be of use. It allowed his mind to sharpen his intellect, and he sought the best place in that situation.
Harry found himself on the seventh floor of the castle. He walked through the left corridor and finally found himself before a brick wall. He walked back and forth, concentrating his mind on what he needed. A door materialised on his third pass, and he walked in slowly. The door disappeared behind him, and he found himself in a room with a vast swimming pool. Swimming was his way to relax, which had not changed because of his body switch. Shedding his clothes, he jumped in and let the fabulous pool relax him.
As he took laps across the pool, he thought of his present predicament. He was now in his fourth academic year at Hogwarts. A week ago, the Champions for the Tri-Wizard tournament were selected. He was bound by his magic to compete, and while he had doubts, he was not particularly interested in trying his luck by not participating. The best way to move forward was to compete. Let his enemies think they have their trap set, and he could gain a whole year to plan his own counter.
But that was some months away. The present goal was to somehow survive an encounter with a dragon if the timeline remains stable. The memories in his head aligned with what he knew from the books, so that was a relief. Although, he was not keen on planning everything out based on his knowledge of the books. He would have to keep his eye on what was happening around him for any changes in the timeline.
Either way, he had to survive the first task. Whether it remained a dragon or some other creature he had to face remained to be seen. What he knew for sure was that he needed the training to survive all the tasks. He couldn't just depend on his instincts to get lucky. He would have to train himself in using magic, which was a better place than any for his training. Everything that he would need could be provided by the room.
With that settled, the only remaining problem was his friends. At the moment, he knew the relationship between his friends remained frosty. It was a good thing, in his opinion, as he preferred some time to ease into the social order of Hogwarts. It was bound to be problematic, but there was nothing he could do to help that. His body might be of Harry Potter, but his identity was of Harry Walker, and there was no compromise on that front.