Chapter 1: Intro: Heroes Never Die
Harry didn’t like his Aunt Petunia very much, but if there was one thing he could say about the long-necked harpy, it was that she could tell a mean bedtime story. As bad as his sight was, his hearing was equally impeccable. Harry used to curl up in his cupboard under the stairs sucking on his thumb and listening intently to the muffled tales his aunt used to spin for Dudley. Always the main character would bust through the barriers that kept him from his goal. Whether with sword or fists he’d push back the vile foe, and if that didn’t work, he’d wit his way out. Inevitably the hero would fall into trouble, danger surrounding him on every side, but never fear, he always made it out of those small challenges alive! You couldn’t kill off the man character before the story’s end.
Harry was embarrassed to admit that after what Hagrid told him about You-Know-Who-What-When-Where-Why, he had developed a bit of a fantasy about himself. He had brought down a dark lord? Him, the little freak from the cupboard under the stairs? It was the first sign that maybe, just maybe, his aunt and uncle were wrong about him. He was entering a world of magic. Anything was possible! If a friendly giant with a pink umbrella could leave the Dudley pigtailed and hiding in a corner, who knew what Harry could do with his sparking pheonix wand. Harry would never put the thought into words, but deep down he knew he could be a hero.
Needless to say, getting into Gryffindor, home of the courageously foolish, didn’t take any of the air out of his heroic bubble. Harry was a very adaptable boy. He did well but, after that first mistake, not too well at his muggle primary school so as to not overshadow Dudley. He amended his actions to keep well out of the Dursley’s way and only voiced his complaints under his breath and behind their backs.
The rules in the wizarding world may have been different, but he picked up on the basics well enough. Harry learned that his house was one dedicated to the golden heroes destined to defeat the evil gits that donned silver and green. The snakes were certainly pulling out all the stops to play their parts too. It was like a movie where Harry was lucky enough to pull a leading role and he had to stand up against all the baddies. Just look at what happened when he confronted Malfoy at flying practice. He won himself a place on the house team!
Everyone liked heroes, so Harry would be one.
That’s how one Harry Potter, eleven-year-old boy, first year in magical study, and child hero of the wizarding world, found himself here facing a mountain troll in the girls’ loo.
The bathroom was wrecked. Glass skittered in jagged shards across the floor after another hefty swing of the troll’s club. Various lamps kept lit by the school’s ambient magic sat shattered in their mounts, leaving the room with long stretches of shadow and half-light. It was just sufficient to see the scuffs and gouges that marred the once sterile, cream colored walls.
As Harry took this in a small part of his brain celebrated the fact that Dean now owed him a galleon. Girls’ bathrooms were painted differently from the boys’. A considerably larger portion fried itself trying to come up with a way to move the cowering Gryffindor girl with near sentient hair from under the sink. Who in their right mind hid under a sink?
The fine porcelain made sounds like gunshots through glass as the trolls club fell again and again, each time one sink closer his classmate.
Ron’s help would have come in handy right about now, but one look at the sheer bulk of the creature’s trailing arms and thick warty hide and his ginger friend decided that calling for a professor was a good idea after all. He’d booked it to the nearest flight of stairs, calling nervously for Harry to stall for time.
Harry had bigger things to worry about than the supposed Gryffindor’s rapid flight. He dug through his pockets, not taking his eye of the lumbering beast. His wand was of no use. It may have well been a twig. As excited as he was to attend a magic school, he really hadn’t put much effort into actually learning the spells for classwork. Homework really took the magic out of magic.
Pocket lint was similarly pushed aside. His left pocket held an ink stained tissue, a Bertie Bott’s bean of unknown flavor, and a rubber band. He would make it work.
Step 1: Distraction.
Not thirty seconds later, Harry was dodging an unexpectedly nimble swing from a frothing troll. It was apparently very fond if its mother and didn’t appreciate Harry’s baiting slight to her honor.
At least he had gotten its attention on him and away from the few remaining sinks. It seemed, though, that his efforts were not being appreciated in the way the deserved. Granger, much to Harry’s exasperation, still had her arms constricted around the exposed portion of the sink’s rusty pipe. She started at Harry with wide eyes and a dropped jaw seeming far too content cuddling the underside of the sink to bother with escaping the pissed off troll.
“What the bloody hell do you think you’re doing, Granger? Don’t just sit there, get out!”
Harry led the troll in a circular arch that curved away from both the sinks and the gaping door of the lavatory. It gave another heavy handed swing. Three more toilet stalls were taken out in the explosive display. Not needing to be told twice, Granger hastily made her move. She crawled and spared no delicacy for the glass that must have carved flesh from her knees. She scrambled up and dashing the last few paces beyond the boundary of the door.
Harry saw her there, shell-shocked wreck with buck teeth biting down on her lip just as a horrifying realization slammed into him. If she was by the door and he had maneuvered himself to the opposite side of the room, then, well, crap.
There Harry was, and there was the troll and on the other side of the troll, the far side, was the door. Stuck between a troll and a hard place. Even Granger’s previous hiding place under the sink provided more shelter than his current position.
Harry took a step back.
Harry felt his heart rate pick up and despite the fear he couldn’t help the small smile that curled at the corner of his lips. What a rush! Is this what it felt like to be the hero, to save the day? He was Bond bound in chains over a pit of snapping sharks. The girl was free and all he had to do now was make his daring escape.
With shaking legs he took another.
Only, Harry didn’t know how to make a daring escape. He had no plan or special gadget or even a witty line. Harry looked around and saw for the first time in a very long time the edges of his vision weren’t tinted with red and gold.
One Harry Potter, eleven-year-old boy, first year in magical study, and child hero of the wizarding world, found himself facing a mountain troll in the girls’ loo, and it only occurred to him now that he wasn’t prepared for this.
He stumbled this time, foot tripping over an unseen piece of debris. His back hit the wall.
The blood rushed in his ears and he didn’t hear the sound of urgently rustling robes from the hall. The troll groaned as it lifted its massive club up high.
Distantly Granger called for help. Harry couldn’t quite figure out why she was so worried. He just got to the magical world, and everybody knows the hero never dies in chapter one.
“Oh,” Harry said to himself pressed against the wall as the club descended, “I guess I’m not the hero.”
He swore the troll smirked at him right before the world went black.