Disclaimer: Harry Potter and all associated rights and merchandising labels are property of JK Rowling, her associated publishing houses, and their affiliates. If you enjoy this, buy the Harry Potters books and movies. This is a non-profit work distributed for fan enjoyment. If anyone official wishes this gone, I will remove it. This disclaimer is valid for all chapters of this work and will not be repeated.
Obligatory warnings: spoilers for HP books one through six. Background knowledge of novels essential, author doesn't provide extraneous setting details. Mild language but nothing beyond T rating. Female OCs dating (humor) sideplot, nothing explicit, and note author hates yaoi.
"An owl?" Petunia was shocked as she waited for her breakfast. She knew Lily's child had no magic power. She'd insisted on the tests before she took him in. Her nephew's uncelebrated eleventh birthday was around this time. No good could come of the owl at the window.
"Hey trash! Hurry with the food." In this world Dudders was still the cruel elephant boy, but his mean streak had been tempered. Harry did most of the chores, but Dudley had a few too. Petunia wasn't above shifting the workload onto her son if Harry was hurt. Dudley wasn't allowed to bully Harry in the house, and didn't have a second bedroom. Petunia often lamented her real son's grades were worse than her sister's child, and told him 'don't be third class, study like Harry.'
"It'll be done in two minutes cousin, try not to eat your lips in the meanwhile."
Harry Potter was frailer than normal, but better fed. His adoptive parents were extra strict on him for being an unwanted burden, but nowhere near the abuse they'd heap on a freak. They even drove him to libraries on weekends, and instilled a sense of morality in him. Last year he'd made Vernon pull over and call the paramedics for some poor girl on a crashed Vespa motor scooter. The Dursleys were proud of him for that, and had won a mention as upstanding members of the community. The framed newspaper page hung on the hallway outside Harry's room.
Vernon smiled at the insult to Dudley. He accepted more cheek from a non-magical nephew, whom he recognized didn't get on with his son. In fact, he'd tried to teach Harry to stand up for himself, through his hands-off 'let the boys thrash it out themselves' parenting policy. This hadn't worked out too well, as it resulted in Harry being too stupid to run away sometimes.
Harry had a slight limp in his right leg, which healed badly after being broken, and his twice-busted nose was crooked. Dudley and gang periodically succeeded in Harry-hunting outside school, and he had no accidental magic to escape with. Because of this, Harry Potter rarely left the house, and became a schoolteacher's pet. In short, Harry was a green-eyed, lightning-bolt scarred, out of shape nerd. At least he wasn't fat too.
Like other Harry Potters, his life changed that day. Not even Dursleys who cared for Harry could stop Dumbledore's plans for their ward. Dudley still got tail of pig. His adoptive parents, who stood up for him, only got a sleep spell from a tearful Hagrid's pink umbrella. Before Hagrid left, though, he had an additional task.
"Now 'arry, stop hiding under the table, I'll just be lifting it off of you again. It wouldn't be roight if I ad to stun the Boy-Who-Lived."
"Kidnapper! Freak drug addict! Stay away from me."
A merry chase ensued, resulting in the furniture at the cabin away from home where the Dursleys had hidden becoming completely trashed. Finally, Hagrid caught Harry with a meaty hand.
"I'm roight sorry about this 'arry, but I can't let you bite me again and you gotta drink this." It took a great deal of skill to force the potion down the throat of the struggling child, but Hagrid dealt with more feral and dangerous magical creatures. It was done.
"That tasted worse than shite, you evil giant. Are you gonna take me to the clouds and bake pies from my bones now?" It tasted that bad. Dudley had forced him to eat dog shite, cat shite, and horse apples over their formative years.
The last thing Harry expected was the evil kidnapper to break into tears. He found himself stuffed under a rancid cloak, and extremely dizzy as weird sensations hammered into his brain. The large man walked through what looked like a seedy bar, from limited glimpse the boy got through a tear in the clothing.
Soon Harry was imprisoned, and the door locked behind him.
After fifteen minutes, he gave up banging on the door of the room above the Leaky Cauldron and had screamed himself hoarse. Hagrid said something about losing his nerve before he tossed Harry gently onto the bed and left. Now he worked on picking the lock with a random paper clip he'd found in his pocket. Harry didn't know silencing and locking charms made his efforts futile.
Four hours later one of the most evil villains Harry had ever seen opened the door. The greasy man unerringly located Harry's presence in the cupboard below the bathroom sink. With mere words, he paralyzed the frightened boy, opened his mouth, and forced another worse-than-shite substance down his throat.
"My name is Severus Snape. If you don't behave, I really will dine on your bones. You will do exactly as I say, or you will regret it for the rest of your miserable short squibby life. Blink once and live to see another day."
"I already have purchased your school books and materials, but you need a wand and robes." The evil man said something in latin, and nodded. "I'll send your measurements over to Madam Malkins while Ollivander babysits your wand hunting. Please, try to run."
Harry shivered, that sadistic bastard wanted to kill him. He could tell. Right now he was hoping for a clean death free of pedophilia. This guy seemed the type. He didn't say anything as a black woolen cap was thrust over his head, hiding his scarred forehead.
He followed his captor into a strange place that he might have found wondrous if he wasn't afraid. They walked into a huge building with scary creatures. They were goblins, and the evil man smiled as he took a drop of blood to assure his reimbursement. Whatever that meant.
Next they went to Ollivander's, and Harry received no help there. The old dangerous man in charge of the store looked at him like he was scum. He'd seen the look in Dudder's face enough to know it.
"Severus, the boy needs a third power potion if he's to have a hope of activating even a pixie pile."
Five minutes and twenty dire threats later, Harry drank another vile potion of his own will. Both men laughed at the expression on his face as it went down.
The gothic man who Harry had no doubt enjoyed slitting people's throats left. Why else would he be nicknamed Severus? The other scary man looked at him with great distaste.
"Mr. Potter I do not approve of trying to artificially build a magic core out of dead wizarding powers. However, I have been convinced this is for the greater good. Now I want you wave each of these wands in the air and see if we can get a reaction."
The scared boy nodded. He didn't want to die.
"Try this, five inches, Devil Fruit branch with House-Elf spine." Harry waved it and nothing happened. The man snatched it back, and gave him another.
"Six inches, Rowan with ground Narwhal whiskers?" Nothing.
"Seven inches, Ebony infused with Boggart ashes." Nothing.
This continued for some time until Ollivander glared at something behind Harry. Startled, the boy turned around to see the evil throat slitter had returned.
"Dumbledore knew it would come to this." The wand maker sounded furious. "That prototype shouldn't be in the world. It can make a muggle into a wizard-king! If it fell into the wrong hands, the consequences would be devastating."
"Even so, you are not allowed to let a magical customer leave without a wand. It's your geas." Severus sneered at his upset colleague.
Ollivander disappeared into his back room, coming out with a glittering metal box. He spoke latin words over it, and it opened. Harry looked inside, but nothing was there. The wand-maker unwrapped an invisible cloth from another, small box, and it unlocked as well. A green-red plaid bean spilled out.
"No other way." The shopkeeper sounded like he was convincing himself. He held up the magic bean and intoned "Portus Tyrannicus." Another locked box appeared in his hand with a loud popping sound. This strange object appeared to warp space around it. Harry knew it was a squared box, but it had no corners.
Ollivander opened the box by tapping it ten random spots that Harry saw no order to. Before reaching inside, he put not one, but three pairs of gloves on his right hand. Still he flinched when taking out the object.
"Three inches, living heartwood from the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden, a mere sheath for the malfeasance of Pandora. Unbreakable by man or demon, living or dead." Then he passed the innocent brown twig over to Harry, who couldn't tell it apart from any other stick in Little-Whinging's kiddie park.
Harry waved it. A small, sad yellow spark came out of the tip and floated out. The ember faded into ash before it hit the floor.
"That will be five hundred thousand galleons, an unbreakable waver signed in blood to never give it away, and the word of Dumbledore that it will be returned when Potter dies. Oh, and you'll be partially obliviated Severus; this wand will be placed in a longer false wand to disguise its nature. Holly, thirteen inches should do fine. We can pretend it's the brother to You-Know-Who's."
"Potter can pay." Severus held up a Gringott's bank card. "I agree to the terms."
As they left, Ollivander spoke one last warning to Harry. "I expect nothing but ruin from this, boy. Prove me wrong."
AN: Changed 7/4. Estimated length now approx 65K words. Estimated chapters 12, though postings will be between 2k-3k words and chapters may be broken up. May make slight grammar edits when uploading new chapters. Looking forward to feedback, I'm especially interested in improving my writing. Posting speed depends in part on received FB.
If you see a grammar mistake in the story anywhere, please leave it in a review. I'll fix it. Every bit helps.