A skinny boy with unruly black hair shivered. A spider slowly descended from the sloped ceiling. Number 4 Private Drive was silent, besides the snoring from a large man and similarly large boy.
Harry Potter sighed in his sleep. He had been dreaming of a large motorbike, flying above Surrey. His eyelids fluttered, slowly revealing green eyes as the child awoke to incredible pain. Grasping his head, Harry groaned, reaching out with one small arm. Hitting the wall of the cupboard, the arm stilled. Harry tried to squint through the darkness. Where did the table with his glasses and wand go? Frowning, Harry sat up.
"Ginny?" Harry muttered, patting the mattress gently, searching for the sleeping form of his wife. "Ginny, I can't find my wand." With no response from Ginny, Harry tried to swing his legs off the bed, only to hit a wall, again.
With a grunt, he thought back to last night. He'd been at the office, having a great time at his own retirement party. Handing the reigns over to Simpson was difficult, but Harry had been in the position for far too long. His body just wasn't able to keep up with the work required by the Head Auror position. It was a lot more paperwork, granted, but the occasional high profile case or emergency was simply getting too much.
After the party though... Harry remembered walking through the Atrium alone after all the goodbyes, having felt like taking a walk down the street to The Emporium for a coffee to sober him up after so much firewhisky, and a few muggle concoctions from Carter. Apparating while drunk was never a good idea, even when he had been in his 60's.
The ache in his skull drowned out any attempt to remember where he was. There was only an impression of bright light and increasing noise. Then pain. More pain than that time he was blasted into a bridge from his broom by a suspect.
The vision of a road surged forward as the headache eased. Oh. He'd been crossing the road and hadn't looked until it was too late. But surely if he'd been hit by a car or truck, he'd be in much more pain than just having a headache. Though that had almost felt like his skull was too small for his brain!
"Lumos." Focusing, Harry tried to light his wand. Nothing. Grasping the air, trying to find a lamp, Harry found something unexpected. A cord. Hanging from above him. He shuddered, thinking of his old cupboard.
He pulled the cord and gasped. Then pinched his arm. Looking around at the shelf with broken toys, the small mattress he was sitting on, and the alarm clock that read 5am, Harry forgot about the pain in his arm.
By the time the clock read 7am, the child in the cupboard under the stairs had realised that he was indeed a child. Light filtered through the door as footsteps began to hurry down the stairs. Aunt Petunia. Harry would know her footsteps, even if it had been a hundred years since he'd been in his cupboard.
"Up! Get up! I want breakfast on the table in half an hour." The shrill tones of his Aunt pierced the morning, and Harry sneered. The lock clicked, and the door swung open. Harry muttered sarcastically to himself, "Yes, Aunt Petunia."
Hearing her in the lounge room, he took the chance to sneak out the front door before Vernon awoke. Harry had used those hours after he himself awoke to think about what he would do about this insane situation. Harry ran down the street. It had been difficult to focus, though, as thoughts of the life he had surely lost kept filtering in. Ginny. The boys, though they were men now. And Lily Luna. Her wedding was next week...
Next week in the past timeline, for that was what it surely was. Harry had enough knowledge of time travel to know that no wizard or witch had ever been known to have travelled into their own past body before. The paradox would surely cancel the idea out.
Gasping, Harry knocked on the door to Arabella Figg's house. He needed a way to contact Dumbledore. To find out the date, at the very least. One of many cats jumped onto the window sill inside the house as the door opened.
"Harry? What has happened? Is everything alright?" Mrs Figg looked down at Harry in confusion.
"Please Mrs Figg, can I come in? I need to talk to you about something very important. And, I may need to borrow an owl." Harry knew that he wasn't supposed to know about magic, so surely that innocuous reference would be enough to shock her into letting him in.
"What? An owl? I don't... Oh come on then, but you had better tell me why you're on my doorstep at this hour of the morning!" Mrs Figg shuffled into the adjoining living room, gesturing for Harry to sit on the couch. Sitting on a wing back chair, she frowned at the boy.
"Mrs Figg, something very strange has happened to me, and I very much need to find a way to contact Professor Dumbledore immediately. He's the only one who can help me, and since I know who he is when you know I shouldn't, I beg you to please help me!" Harry said quickly, giving her just enough information.
Her hand went to her heart as her eyes widened. "What is it that only Professor Dumbledore can help with, Harry?" Harry sighed.
"Look, this is something very dangerous, that only the Headmaster needs to know straight away." Harry looked around at the cozy cat-filled room, noticing a small earthen jar above the fireplace.
"Are you sure-"
"Please, I NEED to contact him. Do you have a floo connection?" Harry sat forward, knocking a cat from his lap in the process. Mrs Figg looked shocked at the mention of floo, but gestured to it while nodding.
The squib plucked the jar of floo powder from the mantel, asking, "do you... Do you know how to use the floo?"
Not bothering to reply, Harry demonstrated his knowledge by tossing a pinch of powder into the fireplace, and green flames burst into existence.
"Hogwarts, Headmaster's Office!"
Lucky that Arabella was connected to it, Harry mused, as he waited for the other side to respond to the connection. The flames dulled, signalling the opening. Harry jumped in, calling out his destination once more.
Harry spun out onto the office carpet in front of a very shocked Albus Dumbledore.