Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. This story belongs to JK Rowling. Only the changed plot is mine.
Summary: What if Harry was more realistic considering how he was raised? In some ways it would be subtle while others it would be more dramatic. What would Harry be like?
A/N: The story starts when Hagrid retrieves Harry. For the most part, things that are different from the books up to this point will be mentioned.
BOOM! The person knocked again. Dudley jerked awake.
"Where's the canon?" he said stupidly.
Harry had rolled his eyes. His cousin was even more moronic than he looked which is saying something. He had shuddered at the memory of his relatives trying to encourage Harry to do worse than Dudley in school. He had defied them since they punished him whether he had done anything wrong or not.
There was another loud crash at the door. It had appeared that someone was desperately trying to break in.
If that was not bad enough, then Vernon had come running into the room making the situation even worse. He was actually holding a rifle in his hands. What crazy shop keeper had actually sold a riffle to Vernon? It was not exactly a secret that the man had an anger management problem.
"Who's there?" he shouted. "I warn you - I'm armed!"
What was left of the door was blown off of its hinges, with the force that was swung leveling it, and with one last crash the door fell flat on the dingy floor.
A giant of a man was standing in the doorway as if he was pleased to be here. His face was almost completely hidden by a long, shaggy mane of hair and a wild tangled beard, but you could make out his eyes, glinting like black beetles under all the hair.
The giant squeezed his way into the hut, stooping so that his head just brushed the ceiling. He bent down, picked up the door and fitted it easily back into its frame. The noise of the storm outside dropped a little. He turned to look at them all.
"Couldn't make a cup o' tea could yeh? It's not been an easy journey."
The man had sat on the sofa where Dudley had been sitting freezing in fear. Harry had thought that this was hilarious. It had seemed that it was true that bullies were really cowards after all. Of course he had not laughed out loud, he was not stupid. Vernon was not above beating him after all. Unless he could find a way to never return.
"Budge up, yeh great lump," said the stranger.
Again, Harry hid his laughter by clutching his sides. Who would have thought that someone breaking and entering provided such great entertainment?
Dudley squeaked and ran to hide behind his mother, who was crouching, terrified behind Uncle Vernon.
Harry should have lost it right then and there. Who would not laugh at the sight of a baby whale hiding behind a giraffe?
"An' here's Harry!" said the giant.
Harry looked up into the fierce man that is actually smiling at him. No one ever smiled at him except for his teachers at primary and the workers at the library.
"Las' time I saw you, you was only a baby," said the giant. "Yeh look a lot like yeh parents, but yeh've got your mum's eyes and apparently yer eyesight."
Uncle Vernon made a funny rasping noise.
"I demand that you leave at once, sir!" he said. "You are breaking and entering!"
"Ah, shut up, Dursley, yeh great prune," said the giant. He reached over the back of the sofa, jerked the gun out of Uncle Vernon's hands, bent it into a knot as easily as if it had been made of rubber, and threw it into a corner of the room.
Uncle Vernon made another funny noise, like a mouse being trodden on.
Harry was most impressed. He had wished that he could do that. His revolting relatives would not be able to abuse him any longer if he could defend himself.
"Anyway Harry," said the giant, turning his back on the Dursleys, "a very happy birthday to yeh. Got summat fer yeh here. From somewhere in his pocket in his dirty looking overcoat, he pulled a somewhat mashed box.
Harry was curious enough to open it despite the fact that he was a stranger. The man had known his parents after all. Inside was a large, slightly crushed chocolate cake with Happy Birthday Harry written on it in green icing.
Harry smiled at the giant. "Thank you for the cake. What is your name sir?" Since this is not his first birthday cake, the friendly librarian gave him his first one a few years ago; Harry managed to keep his wits about him.
"You are more than welcome Harry. True, I haven't introduced meself. Rubeus Hagrid, Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts."
He held out an enormous hand and shook Harry's whole arm which caused him to cry out in pain. Vernon dislocated his shoulder the other day.
"Did I hurt ye?" Hagrid asked worriedly.
Ignoring Vernon, Harry quickly told him that it was already hurt. Before he was to ask how it had happened, Harry remembered Hagrid asking for tea earlier. "We do not have any tea Hagrid."
"That is a shame. I'd not say no ter summat stronger if yeh've got it, mind ya."
His eyes fell on the empty grate with the shrivelled crisp packets in it and he snorted. He bent down over the fireplace; they couldn't see what he was doing but when he drew back a second later, there was a roaring fire.
It filled the whole damp hut with flickering light and Harry felt the warm rush over him. He imagined that is how a warm bath felt like.
Hagrid sat back down on the sofa, which sagged under his weight, and began taking all sorts of things out of the pockets of his overcoat: a copper kettle, a squashy packet of sausages, a poker, a teapot, several chipped mugs and a bottle of some amber liquid which he took a swig from before starting to make tea. Soon the hut was full of the sound and smell of sizzling sausage.
Harry was in awe. Was he dreaming? Forget lighting the fire, the giant's coat was straight out of Mary Poppins. This was the coolest thing ever.
It was silent while Hagrid cooked his meal, but when he removed the first of six large, juicy, lightly overcooked sausages from the poker, Dudley eyed the food hungrily. "Don't touch anything he gives you, Dudley." Vernon said nastily.
Hagrid chuckled darkly. "Yer great puddin' of a son don' need fattenin' any more, Dursley, don' worry."
Harry was starting to like Hagrid more and more. Only a few people thought that the Dursley's were the problem rather than him. They had the neighbors all fooled.
He politely passed the sausage to Harry, who was quite peckish after dealing with Vernon's rations. Harry had tasted better since he had put his foot down years ago when he demanded that his relatives allow him to eat his cooking as well or he would not cook at all, but it was still nice of him to share. It was not bad either.
While he lived in the cupboard under the stairs until the letter arrived, he did bargain for clothes from thrift shops. He found many things that he liked that fit him well thanks to the helpful salesgirl that seemed to feel sorry for him. Harry told his relatives that they could do their own laundry until he received proper clothes.
Such victories were not without price since those were the worst two beating he had ever received. However, food and clothes were necessities and it was worth fighting for. If he had allowed that to continue, he would be a meek, runty boy who would think that he had deserved what he got. Harry had shuddered at the thought.
Finally, as nobody seemed about to explain why Hagrid was here, he decided to speak up. "I'm sorry, but as nice as it is to meet you Mr. Hagrid, I do not know why you are here."
Hagrid took a gulp of tea and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.
Like I told yeh, I'm Keeper of Keys at Hogwarts - yeh'll know all about Hogwarts, o' course.
"Er no," said Harry. While that was not exactly true, it was close enough. Harry had snuck one of his letters. It was not very informative.
Hagrid looked shocked.
"What!" barked Hagrid, turning to stare at the Dursleys, who shrank back into the shadows. "I knew yeh weren't gettin' yer letters but I never thought yeh wouldn't even know abou' Hogwarts, fer cryin' out loud! Did yeh never wonder where yer parents learnt it all?"
Considering that this man thought well of his parents, he decided to give Hagrid a taste of what the Dursley's are like.
"Is it a school for drunks and whores? If it is, I would rather not go Hagrid since I do not want to make the same mistakes that cost my parents their lives."
"WHAT! DRUNKS AND WHORES!" Hagrid thundered. "Now wait jus' one second!"
He had leapt to his feet. In his anger he seemed to fill the whole hut. The Dursleys were cowering against the wall terrified.
"Do you mean ter tell me," he growled at the Dursleys, "that this boy does not only know nothing about anything, but he thinks that his parents were drunks and whores?!"
Harry thought this was going a bit far regarding his education. He had the best grades in his year. However, he was more interested to see how his relatives handled an angry giant who was clearly not pleased with them.
Uncle Vernon, who had gone very pale, whispered something that he did not hear.
Hagrid stared sympathetically at Harry no longer caring about the Dursley's after he yelled at them for a long time without him hearing a word of it. He must have cast some spells for privacy. If only he knew how to do those spells years ago.
"But yeh must be told about yer mum and dad," he said. "I mean, they're famous. You're famous!" Hagrid exclaimed.
"What? Why would we be famous?"
Hagrid was clearly distressed. "First, Harry yer a wizard."
Even though he already knew that, he did not know anything about it. "So you are saying that I am a wizard. Surely you do not expect me to believe this without proof Hagrid?"
"o' course," agreed Hagrid, he then raised his umbrella and a stream of water quickly put out the fire.
'So that was magic before, he was not imagining things.' Harry thought excitingly.
"an' yer be a thumpin good'un I'd say, once yeh've been trained up a bit. With a mum an' dad like yours, what else would yeh be? An' I reckon its abou' time yeh read yer letter."
Harry accepted the very letter that his relatives tried to keep from him.
Mr. H. Potter, The Floor, Hut-on-the-Rock, The Sea.
He pulled out the letter and read it again. It is not like he kept it long since the consequences of being caught with it would have been unpleasant to say the least.
HOGWARTS SCHOOL OF WITCHCRAFT AND WIZARDRY
Headmaster: Albus Dumbledore
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc Chr. Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)
Dear Mr. Potter,
We are pleased to inform you that you have a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and begins on 1 September. We await your owl by no later than 31 July.
McGonagall, Deputy Headmistress
"Hagrid, the deadline is today. What if I do not reply in time? What is this about an owl?"
"Hoppin' hippogriffs, that reminds me," said Hagrid, slapping a large hand against his forehead hard. From his Mary Poppins overcoat, he actually pulled an owl that looked frazzled.
With quill and parchment, he scribbled a note which Harry could read upside down:
Dear Mr. Dumbledore
Given Harry his letter. Taking him to buy his things tomorrow. Weather's horrible. Hope you're well.
Hagrid quickly gave the owl the note and the bird seemed happy enough to leave as it flew off into the storm.
Harry raised his eyebrow at this mode of communication. He has read about carrier pigeons, but seeing animals used for postal purposes is strange in this day in age.
"Where was I?" asked Hagrid?
"You said that my parents are famous. Somehow I am famous as well. How can that be?" Harry asked clearly confused.
"I never expected this," he said in a low, worried voice. "I had no idea, when Dumbledore told me there might be trouble gettin' hold of yeh, how much yeh didn't know. Ah, Harry, I don' know if I'm the right person ter tell yeh - but someone's gotta yeh can't go off ter Hogwarts not knowin." Hagrid sighed.
"Well, its best yeh know as much as I can tell yeh mind, I can't tell yeh everythin', it's a great myst'ry, parts of it."
He sat down, stared into the fire for a few seconds and then said, "It begins, I suppose, with a person called but its incredible yeh don't know his name, everyone in our world knows. Well I don' like sayin' the name if I can help it. No one does."
"Gulpin' gargoyles, Harry, people are still scared. Blimey, this is difficult. See, there was this wizard who went ... bad. As bad as you could go. Worse. Worse than worse. His name was..." Hagrid gulped, but no words came out.
"Could you write it down?" Harry suggested.
"All right Voldemort."
Hagrid shuddered. "Don' make me say it again. Anyway, this - this wizard, about twenty years ago now, started lookin' fer followers. Got 'em, too some were afraid, some just wanted a bit o' his power, 'cause he was gettin' himself power, all right. Dark days, Harry. Didn't know who ter trust, didn't dare get friendly with strange wizards or witches ... Terrible things happened. He was takin' over. 'Course, some stood up to him, an' he killed 'em. Horribly. One o' the only safe places left was Hogwarts. Reckon Dumbledore's the only one You-Know-Who was afraid of. Didn't dare try takin' the school, not jus' then, anyway.
"Now, yer mum an' dad were as good a witch an' wizard as I ever knew. Head Boy an' Girl at Hogwarts in their day! Suppose the myst'ry is why You-Know-Who never tried to get 'em on his side before probably knew they were too close ter Dumbledore ter want anythin' ter do with the Dark Side. Maybe he thought he could nay persuade 'em, maybe he just wanted 'em outta the way. All anyone knows is, he turned up in the village where you was all living, on Halloween ten years ago. You was just a year came ter yer house an' an."
Hagrid suddenly pulled out a very dirty, spotted handkerchief and blew his nose with the sound of a foghorn. "Sorry," he said. "But it's that sad, knew yer mum an' dad, an' nicer people yeh couldn't find anywhere. You-Know-Who killed 'em. An' then, an' this is the real myst'ry of the thing, he tried to kill you, too. Wanted ter make a clean job of it, I suppose, or maybe he just liked killin' by then. But he couldn't do it. Never wondered how you got that mark on yer forehead? That was no ordinary cut. That's what yeh get when a powerful, evil curse touches yeh, take care of yer mum an' dad an' yer house, even but it didn't work on you, an' that's why yer famous, Harry.
No one ever lived after he decided to kill 'em, no one except you, an' he'd killed some o' the best witches an' wizards of the age - the McKinnons, the Bones, the Prewetts an' you was only a baby an' you lived."
Something very painful was going on inside Harry's mind. It seems that the people in the wizarding world would expect a lot out of him. They would expect him to save the day and rescue the damsel in distress. Perhaps he was being paranoid. Either way, he was going to stay out of such business until he was old enough to decide such things.
"Took yer from the ruined House myself, on Dumbledore's orders. Brought yeh ter this lot." The man grunted.
Harry had frozen at that revelation. The man who is in charge of his education had placed him in that hellhole. He was now wondering if going to Hogwarts would be a good idea.
Harry, meanwhile, still had questions to ask. "But what happened to the man who killed my parents?" Harry wanted to respect Hagrid's fear, yet he could not bring himself to say something as ridiculous as you know who.
"Good question, Harry. Disappeared. Vanished. Same night he tried ter kill you. Makes yeh even more famous. That's the biggest myst'ry, see ... he was gettin' more an' more powerful. Why'd he go?"
"Some say he died. Codswallop, in my opinion. Dunno if he had enough human left in him to die. Some say he's still out there, bidin' his time, like, but I don' believe it. People who were on his side came back ter ours. Some of 'em came outta kinda trances. Don' reckon they could've done if he was comin' back."
"Some of us reckon he's still out there somewhere but lost his powers too weak to carry on. Cause somethin' about you finished him, Harry. There was somethin' goin' on that night he hadn't counted on. I dunno what it was, no one does, but somethin' about you stumped him, all right."
Hagrid looked at Harry with warmth and respect blazing in his eyes, but Harry, instead of feeling pleased and proud, felt horrified.
A hero? Him? How could he possibly be? He had spent his life being beaten up by Dudley with his parents knowledge and blessing. Then being belittled by Aunt Petunia and abused by Vernon; if he was really a beloved hero, why hadn't some witch or wizard turned his relatives into warty toads every time they belittled and abused him? If he'd once defeated the greatest sorcerer in the world, why did they abandon him?
"Hagrid, is there somewhere else we can stay? I am cold sir." Harry put his previous thoughts away for the moment.
Hagrid waved his umbrella at Harry which caused him to feel delightfully warm. "Thank you Hagrid."
"ter tell yeh the truth. In me third year. They snapped me wand in half an' everything. But Dumbledore let me stay on as gamekeeper. Great man, Dumbledore."
Harry had too much tact to ask why he had been expelled. However, he had caught onto the fact that Hagrid, while a good person, was loyal to the man that placed him with the Dursleys. If Dumbledore wanted him with his relatives, it would not be wise mentioning it to Hagrid about his desire to live elsewhere.
"It's gettin' late and we've got lots ter do tomorrow," said Hagrid loudly. "Gotta get up ter town, get all yer books an' that."
He took off his thick black coat and threw it to Harry."You can kip under that", he said. "Don't' mind if it wriggles a bit, I think I still got a couple o' dormice in one o' the pockets."
Harry was too grateful to have a warm coat to worry about what was in his pockets. When he was rested, Hagrid had better be ready for all of his questions. Now, he had fallen sound asleep since he was warm and comfortable.
A/N: Most of this was in my own words, but something's could not be helped. Let me know if you want this to be more than a one shot. If enough readers like it and review, I will continue this.