Hello! First off, to those that read Prongs Rides Again 2, please be advised that that story is on indefinite hiatus. I realize it has been a year since anything meaningful was posted and it may take another year to get the swing back into it, else I would be updating with lousy chapters and I know y'all don't want that.
Okay, that's done with, so I feel a little better. This is my main project for 2009. I'm still trying to decide whether or not to split this into separate years or keep it all together under one story. Let me know which you would prefer. Until then, please read this little chapter. The next will take place ten years later, similar to, but different than canon.
Summary: AU The night Harry was left on the Dursleys' doorstop, he was taken away by a strange woman. Ten years later, he shows up at Hogwarts under a different name and appearance. But who is the woman who rescued him from his fate? And why? Manipulative!Dumbledore.
Disclaimer for Entire Story: This story, though it uses JK's characters, is not the property of said author. She creates the characters, then lets us fanfiction writers play with them. Also, should this story in any way resemble another author's work, it is entirely coincidental.
Note: The timeline has been shifted forward ten years. Mostly because I want to have all the technical advances inherent with the 21st century. I will state this again in the next chapter; afterwards, I will assume that you know this and will not repeat it over and over again.
"The best place to hide something is in plain sight."
Chapter I: Tractus Abeo
A breeze ruffled the neat hedges of Privet Drive, which lay silent and tidy under the inky sky, the very last place you would expect astonishing things to happen.
Yet, something astonishing did happen there that no one saw.
In the shadow of a nearby tree, a piece of it suddenly ballooned up and out, forming a roughly human shape. It melted away like slick oil, leaving behind a woman dressed in black flowing robes. She looked at her surroundings, shook her head and, with undisguised disgust, threw away a mask that had been in her hands.
"I was too late," she murmured. But she could not afford to waste time, especially now. She had a job to do and a limited window in which to do it.
Her waist-length hair (blonde with dark red-and-black highlights that somehow didn't clash) gently bounced as she made her way to the front door of Number 4, Privet Drive, where a baby lay in his blankets, sound asleep. Her dark blue eyes flickered back and forth from the child to the door. It wouldn't do for them to catch her outside their home.
Gently, she scooped up the child and the letter Dumbledore had left, tucking that inside her robes, whilst pulling out another letter. As quietly as she could, she put it through the mail slot, wincing as it clicked a little.
From another pocket, she pulled five golf-ball-shaped, clear crystal rocks that pulsed a different color every few seconds. With her wand, she carved a space under the front porch just a little bigger than the rock. She put the rock in and with another wave of the wand, the hole sealed up. She put another in a carved spot above the doorframe, which she sealed up as well. One apiece went on either side of the doorframe, in the same way as their counterparts. With a slight hiss, the four sealed areas glowed and formed a solid shimmering rectangle. She tested it by touching it and was rewarded when her hand could not pass the border. A complex wave of her wand and the rectangle bloomed until it covered the whole house and vanished. She pocketed the fifth, which was now glowing a steady sapphire blue.
Her work done, she briskly walked to the end of the walkway, where she grimly smiled at the picture-perfect house that belonged to the Dursleys' before turning on her heel and disappearing into thin air.
Early the next morning, when Petunia retrieved the mail, she was surprised to see a letter addressed to her. She silently gave the rest of the letters to her husband, who was stuffing his face with eggs and bacon and, ignoring her screaming son, fled to her room.
She ripped open the letter, barely noticing it was made of parchment. Her eyes darted back and forth as she read, then re-read the letter. Perhaps it was a good thing she had decided to sit on her bed while she read it, because she fainted dead away, the letter slipping from her fingers and onto the bed. Its contents read:
Mrs. Petunia Dursley,
You do not know me, neither do you wish to, believe me. But I implore you to read this letter regardless.
Late Halloween night, your sister and brother-in-law, Lily and James Potter, were killed. Their son, Harry, survived due to his mother's sacrifice. Originally, Harry would have been sent to live with you and your family, as you are his last living blood relative, but because of the hatred you harbor (perhaps now harbored?) toward your sister, the protection her death would have given your family would not have worked. The protection would require that you love Harry as if he were your own son. Obviously, you would not, he being Lily's child and inheriting her abilities.
I have taken Harry with me, to be raised in a truly loving environment. If a certain meddling headmaster decides to "check up" on Harry when you are out of your house (I will explain in a moment), tell him this:
"Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. Suffering leads to death."
Love cannot blossom from this circle. It is crushed before it has a chance to be seeded.
I have placed special crystals that will prevent anybody with magical blood from crossing your threshold so long as either you call it home or it still stands, whichever is broken first. Only then will it be vulnerable to attack. The crystals will take any magic directed at them and return them thrice-fold at the attacker. This includes the famed Killing Curse. But be advised: the crystals' magic only applies to your home. If you are attacked in a public location by magical beings, you can be hurt or killed, just the same as in a Muggle attack. The protection on your house will continue so long as one of your blood calls it home. But if the worse should happen, you may summon me by tapping the corners of your door in a counterclockwise motion thrice each, order not important.
I therefore leave your family alone, ignorant of Harry, and ignorant of the magical world. This letter will turn to ashes sixty seconds from reading the last word.
Goodbye, Petunia Dursley. I hope our paths never cross again.
No name was signed, but that was understandable. As the letter softly turned to ashes on the pristinely made sheets, all over the country, glasses were being raised and toasts being made "To Harry Potter – the boy who lived!"
The sun was just beginning to peek over the mountains when Albus Dumbledore arrived back in his office at Hogwarts. He hummed happily, popping a lemon drop in his mouth. All was going to plan. It had been a shame for Lily and James to die, but being raised with the Dursleys' would bring Harry down enough so that he would become dependent on Dumbledore. Plus, with Sirius safely tucked away in Azkaban, there was no chance he could interfere. Oh, he knew he was innocent, having read Sirius's memory of Peter becoming the Secret-Keeper, but the joy when Peter did what Dumbledore could not have dreamed of was making him giddy.
From his perch, Fawkes stared at him disapprovingly, but could do nothing. A curse had been put on him long ago that bound him and Dumbledore to each other, to fool the Order of the Phoenix into thinking Dumbledore was a Light wizard. The curse worked both ways, however; Dumbledore couldn't get rid of him either unless he lifted the curse.
Dumbledore watched the silver devices in front of him, which were still and silent. In a few minutes, Petunia Dursley would open her door and find Harry on the doorstop, read the letter, and begrudgingly allow him room. Then the devices would start working as the Blood Wards activated. Yes, they existed, but only because of Dumbledore's interference. Without the silver devices, the wards would run on love alone. Now, they ran on Dumbledore's magical devices as well, drawing any needed energy into the wards to sustain them.
Dumbledore waited patiently. And waited. And waited.
He popped another lemon drop in his mouth.
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.
After an hour had passed, the devices still hadn't activated. He frowned and, with a few well-chosen curses, both magical and Muggle, disappeared from his office.
He reappeared in the same spot he had last night. The houses looked exactly the same in the daytime, except busier as people left the houses for work. He made his way up to Number 4 Privet Drive and knocked.
At least, he tried to.
The result was that he drew back a stinging hand. He frowned and tried again, with the same results.
Finally, he had enough and discreetly drew out his wand. With a murmured, but forceful, "Alohomora," he smugly watched the spell head toward the doorknob, but suddenly, it ricocheted back at the last second. It plowed into him, sending him head over heels backward.
Stunned, he could do nothing, but pick himself up and leave in a hurry, as he was attracting far too much attention from the occupants of Numbers 6 and 7. They watched curiously as the old man darted into the park just on the other side of Privet Drive and disappeared into the shadows.
Back in his office, Fawkes smiled as best as a phoenix could.
Okay, first chapter done. Now, I need y'all to tell me what you thought, if you want more, stuff like that. But that requires reviewing. So please press that green writing just below this paragraph and tell me what you thought.