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Magically Muggle

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No one is there to witness the harsh, hoarse voice of a prophecy that spews from within a Seer’s mouth. No one knows who she is, but she goes by the name J.K. Rowling.

“When an unseen child is found,

As time brings a new year,

P rophecies collide and interfere,

Then shall the Dark Lord be sound.”

She heaves a shuddering gasp as multiple images flow through her mind. The one thing that stands out is a boy with a lightning bolt scar on his forehead. And another whose eyes are a striking blue and goes by the name Thomas.

 


 

My parents are weird. Not oh-my-god-you’re-so-embarrassing weird, but weird as in unable-to-function-in-this-world weird. Seriously, it’s like they’re secretly aliens and are trying to figure out how to use a toaster, and that their mission is to find out as much as possible about their bratty teenage son (me).

Do you know how annoying that is? Oh, I’m not really a teenager. I’m actually 10 years old, for your information.
My birthday’s coming up in about two weeks too, but I’ve already bought books I like, being the impatient bookworm that I am. My name’s Thomas Hitchens, by the way, and I live in a two bedroom house. I’m an only child and nobody likes me.

Not kidding; not one person likes me. The whole neighborhood hates me.

I wonder if it’s part of my maybe-alien parents’ plot to take over my life. Maybe I shouldn’t be complaining because I’m sure I’m as weird as them. I don’t know how, but strange things seem to happen when the neighborhood kids mess around with me. I remember one time when I was running from a familiar gang of troublemakers and I somehow ended up on a roof. My mum had somehow noticed at the nick of time and called the fire department to rescue me with their gigantic ladders.
How embarrassing!

I’m in my room, reading a good fantasy book, when there’s a knock on my door, but before I could respond, it was opened.

“Tom?” It’s my mum.

“Hi, Mum…” I see the look on her face. “Is something wrong?”

She shook her head a bit too roughly, jangling her glasses. “No, sweetie. Everything’s fine.”

Well, that’s weird. Mum never says ‘everything’s fine’. What’s got her all freaked out now? Did I do something inadvertently to those bullies again? (But how would I be able to? I’m always being chased when something happens to them! I’m always near them.)
But I let it drop. “Okay…”

Mum looked at me strangely. “I was just checking up on you.”

“Okay,” I repeat.

She nods awkwardly, and then closes the door. Her footsteps recede downstairs. I blink a couple of times, sort of freaked out. Mum is hardly ever worried. The only time she’s worried is when she’s trying to figure out a piece of household equipment.

I go back to reading.

 

Meanwhile, downstairs, the family fireplace glows green.

A face with blue, twinkling eyes stays within the logs, a worried expression plastered across it.
Thomas’s mum, Mary, and his dad, Daniel both kneel in front of the fireplace, grim expressions on their own faces.

“Why are you telling us now, Albus?” Daniel asked, slightly infuriated.

“Mr Hitchens--Daniel--I’m telling you now because your son is almost of age. It is very important he doesn’t know until his birthday.” Albus Dumbledore answers.

“But,” Mary interrupts, “he’ll have his letter before his birthday!” She paused. “We can just intercept it, right?”

“What else do you know of this Rowling person?” Daniel asked, trying to change the subject.

Albus sighs. “I have been made aware that there are books published under her name. I’m worried that your son might have them in his possession.”

Mary pales slightly at this bit of information, but trudges on. “He won’t make any connections, will he?”

“I’m sorry, but Thomas had already suspected that his family--and himself--is very different from the other kids he’s met. But, no I don’t think he’ll compare this to the books in his possession.”

Daniel sighed in relief. “Thank God.”

 

“But we make no promises.” The old wizard added.

Chapter Text

J.K. Rowling closed her eyes and pressed her mind into the boy’s. The prophecy was said, the books published, but now it was time for the final straw. Reaching Thomas’s mind. She imagined the magic as pipes in the matrix, and poured her own magic through one of those pipes. Rowling stretched it until it was as far as it could go: the very barriers of Thomas’s mind.

Then, she sent the dream.

 


 

I awoke feeling invaded. It felt like something was watching me, and I didn’t like it one bit. Climbing out of my bed, I pulled the curtains to my window back, watching the street lights flicker in the distance.

Not reassuring at all.

I tug the curtains back together, shielding my room from creepers, and head out my room. The lighting is odd, so it throws off eerie shadows and sends chills down my spine. Something doesn’t feel right, but I can’t pinpoint it. I don’t know what it is, but there’s an instability within the atmosphere and I didn’t like it. At all.
I somehow end up in the bathroom and I’m suddenly being stared at by my reflection in the mirror.

The eeriness and the creepiness climb up my back and settle in my mind. I’m sure there’s something like a parasite inside me. I turn around without moving my feet, and call out, “Mum? Dad?”

Nothing.

I turn back and I notice that something with my reflection that’s changed. I rove my eyes all over and eventually stop at my eyes.

They’re not blue.

 

They’re green.

 

I frowned, leaning closer and noticing that they looked like a green that could kill someone with a simple flick of the wrist.

Then my reflection’s mouth opens.

And speaks.

 

Daniel and Mary are startled awake by shouting. There’s someone yelling nonsense upstairs and they’re terrified, because it’s their son’s voice that’s screaming. They hurl themselves out of their twin-sized bed and clamber up the stairs in a panicked hurry. Thomas is in the bathroom, yelling something eerily familiar. They open the door and their son is there, his head thrown back, and is shouting at the top of his lungs.

“When an unseen child is found,

As time brings a new year,

Prophecies collide and interfere,

Then shall the Dark Lord be sound!”

Mary is the one to make the first move.

She grabs Thomas’s shaking arms and rattles him harshly, cutting him off at the final word of the prophecy.

He sucks in a shuddering gasp, and his glazed-over eyes regain focus.

 

I’m grabbed at the arms and my vision is torn from the green eyes in my reflection. It goes all funny and then I see my mum and dad standing at the doorway, eyes wide. I realize that my throat is throbbing from the inside, and I’m breathing heavily.

“Are you okay?” Mum asks frantically.

I blink a couple of times. “I think so.”

Dad steps forward. “You were shouting.”

I smack my lips and turn back to the mirror. My reflection copies me and my eyes are no longer green, but the same icy blue. I’m suddenly hit with a wave of fatigue. I sway on my feet and my mum catches me.

“You need to go back to bed.” Dad says firmly.
As they escort me to my room, I feel like something’s not right, like the time Mum checked up on me. The question leaves my mouth before I understood what I was going to ask in the first place.

“What did I say?” I ask.

My parents exchange a look. A look that spells secrecy.

Immediately, a cold chill drops down my spine. “You’re hiding something,” I deadpan.

Mum looks startled and so does Dad, so I push. “Tell me. What is it?”

Dad shakes his head. “It’s nothing. Go to bed.”

We’ve reached my bedroom doorway and I’m refusing to enter until they tell me. Seriosuly, what is it that they’re hiding? A divorce? Suddenly, that idea seems to take hold. “Are you getting divorced?” I ask, abruptly feeling stupid. It’s not the kind of question a kid asks their parents in the middle of the night!

Mum looks scandalized. “What? No!” I reach out behind me, grab the knob to my door and close it.

“Tell me.”

“Son, go… to… bed.” Dad snarls. That’s two things he’s never done before. Snarling at me and calling me son. I stare into their relentless eyes and finally give in. I heave a sigh and open the door.

“Fine!” I snap, “don’t tell me.”

I then slam the door into their faces. I turn away and face my bed, waiting for them to do something. After a few minutes, I heard their whispers and their footsteps shuffling away. I know that pondering whether aliens have actually taken over my parents’ minds isn’t something to sort out in the middle of the night when you’re dog tired. So, I do the easier option. I flop onto my bed and within seconds, I’m asleep.

 

Meanwhile, Albus Dumbledore is in his office, surrounded by his whizzing and steaming silver little objects perched upon his desk when the fireplace glows green. Again, he turns and looks into the face of Daniel Hitchens.

“Something’s happened.” Daniel says.

A curious twinkle in his eyes, Dumbledore asks, “What will have happened now, Hitchens?”

Daniel sighs. “My son sleepwalked and spewed out the prophecy you shared with us earlier. I think he had some sort of vision.”

“Ah.”

“What will we do?” The father asks worriedly.

“We will let time run it course.” Albus answers simply.

“Why?” The man sputters. “My son could be in danger!”

“You have the Fidelius Charm upon your home. The blood wards keep him safe from the danger, Hitchens.” Albus kindly retorts.

Daniel lets out a huff of impatience. “What about Harry Potter?”

 

 

Chapter Text

Off somewhere else in Britain, in a little house on Privet Drive, a 10-year-old boy named Harry Potter is startled awake.
His scar throbs in the time of his heartbeat. The dream quickly slips away, but somehow the words and the blue eyes seem to cling to him.

Prophecies collide and interfere…

What did that mean?

The cupboard is pitch black, so Harry sits up, quietly reaches up and pulls at the little chain of metal and turns the dim lightbulb on. He scans his surroundings, but sees that nothing’s changed. All still the same. Action figures, the spiders, and the dingy mattress he currently lays upon. He rubs at his eyes and groans. His scar didn’t lessen its throbbing; he’d noticed that it’d started doing that for a couple of days now.

Suddenly, there was a rat-tat-tat on his door.

“Boy!” Aunt Petunia screeched, “you better be asleep!”

Harry quickly turned the light and and scrambled under the scrawny body-sized rag that was called his blanket. The locks to his cupboard clicked and the door slammed open.

“What are you doing, boy!” Aunt Petunia wailed again.

“I was asleep, Aunt Petunia.” Harry answered.

Aunt Petunia watched him through the darkness, contemplating. Harry dared not ask why she was up so early. Or up at all. “Don’t make any more ruckus, boy, or you’ll be punished!” His aunt threatened as she slammed the door closed and put the locks back in place.

Huh, Harry thought, she must be in a good mood to not punish me. And that’s a record for using ‘boy’ as a name as many times as that! Harry chuckled quietly to himself and lay back onto his mattress.

 

 


 

 

One Week Later

I was awoken by a soft knock on my door. I sat up slowly, trying to rub the sleep out of my eyes.

I mumbled a quiet “Come in,” as the door opened.

Mum was there and she looked worried. Why was she worried so much lately? It was starting to worry me even!

“Hi?”

“It’s breakfast time.” She said.

I look at my nightstand and see that my battery-powered alarm clock shows 9:30 A.M in big red numbers.

I nod and she nods and closes the door.

It’s been a week since the dream and the feeling that something was off was getting stronger every day, and I didn’t like it one bit. I quickly dressed into some baggy jeans that were tight at the waist and an army green t-shirt. I put on some white ankle socks and shrugged on a navy blue zip-up sweater. I clambered downstairs and was greeted by the sight of my mum cooking breakfast, which is something she doesn’t do often on the weekends.

 

It’d been a week since the snake incident and it was Saturday. Post day, meaning the mail would arrive. Harry quickly set out the frying pan and put the bacon on it, not wanting to lag the Dursleys’ breakfast and didn’t want Uncle Vernon shouting at him again.

 

I sat down at the table as Mum set down a plate full of hash browns and scrambled eggs.

Dad walked in and yawned tiredly. “What day is it today?” He asked.

“Saturday.” I answered. Dad stiffened slightly.

Would their antics never stop? Suddenly, there was a knock at the door.

 

Harry heard the mail slot as he served his relatives breakfast.

“Dudley, go get the mail.” Uncle Vernon ordered.

“Make Harry do it!” Dudley whined.

“Fine,” Vernon snapped, “Get the mail, boy!”

 

I stood, trying to ignore the worried and pale faces of my parents.

I was just about to wrap my hand around the doorknob when Dad finally spoke. “Wait, son. Let me.” He insisted.

I backed off as Dad made his way to the door. I turned to Mum and she gently took ahold of my arm and tried to steer me away from the entrance. I pulled my arm out her grasp, glaring.

“Mum, what’s going on?”

Whispers emitted from the front doorway. I couldn’t tell what Dad and the other was saying and I also couldn’t see who the person looked like.

“Mum.”

Just then, Dad walked into the kitchen, looking grim.

 

Harry picked up the stack of letters and shifted through them. At the very bottom of the pile sat an odd one that was addressed to… him? His eyes widened.

 

I craned my neck to see who was behind him, but there was something off and I couldn’t tell who they were.

“Thomas.” Dad sighed. “We need to talk.”

It felt like a dam burst from nowhere. “Oh, we can talk now? After an entire week of you guys acting so weird and leaving me to my own devices? Great!” I snapped. “Let’s sit down and have a nice cup of tea!”

Suddenly a voice spoke. “Perhaps a lemon drop will do.”

I watched as the person approached from behind Dad and I gawked. It was an elderly man who looked like he’d been alive for too long and sported a beard that reached his waist. He wore a faded cap that matched his faded robes. The only thing that came out of my mouth was a digusted, “Who are you?”

“My name is Albus Dumbledore and I am the Headmaster of Witchcraft and Wizardry.” He answered politely.

My brain went into overdrive and the pieces started fitting. I sat down and put my head in my hands.

“So. That’s it, then?” I ask. “I’ve finally found all the answers.”

I heard my parents gulp.

I looked up at the Headmaster standing before me.

 

 

Harry walked distractedly down into the dining room and handed the Dursleys their bills, but kept the letter addressed to him in his hands. 

“Mum! Look! Harry’s got a letter!” Dudley cried suddenly. He reached out and plucked it out of the boy’s hands as he gave a shout of disdian. 

“That’s mine!” 

Vernon, in turn, plucked it out of his son’s hands and chuckled merilessly. “Now, who would want to write a letter to you?” He asked deviously.

But one look at it and he paled significantly. Aunt Petunia was hovering over his shoulder and also paled significantly. 

 

 

“I am a bloody wizard. And you didn’t even tell me?”

Chapter Text

“You don’t seem surprised.” Albus said.

“Of course I’m not! You two have been keeping things from me! And don’t tell me I didn’t notice!” I cried. I stood and started pacing around the kitchen, wringing my hands. And then I remember.

I stop pacing. “Wait. Wait a minute.”

In my peripheral vision, I see Mum and Dad share a look. Again.

“There are these books. About a boy named Harry.” I look at Albus Dumbledore. “This is a dream, isn’t it?”

Albus shook his head. “I’m afraid not.”

I pause. This is too much. I have books about a boy named Harry Potter and I thought it was all fake! Now that I think about it, I realize how similar my life is with his. I excuse myself and head up stairs to my bedroom. Gasping, I slam the door shut and sit on my bed, head in my hands. I sit there for a moment, but eventually turn to the bookshelves near my window and stare at the eight volumes of Harry Potter, a boy who’s real. Standing, I grab them all, and in my arms, I carry them downstairs.

In the kitchen, I hear my parents gasp.

I set the books down on the table and point at the first one: Philosopher's Stone.

“This is his first year. He’ll get the Stone and You-Know-Who will try to kill him, right?” I asked.

At that moment, Albus Dumbledore realized how dangerous this situation was. Nobody who owned these books were magical, except Thomas. He realized that Thomas absolutely needed to keep his big mouth shut or else he and Harry would be in great danger. If not more, since he is already very compromised.

“My boy,” Albus says, “it is very important that you do not speak of what you know to others.”

Albus didn’t even know what Thomas knew. He watched as Thomas gave him a calculating look.

“Oh, because they’ll see me as a prophecy-someone? Yeah, I get that.” He snarked.

Albus didn’t want to ruin his plans for Harry and this boy is making everything worse, even if he hates to admit that.

Thomas’s parents intercept. “Honey,” Mary chided, “it’s important that you don’t speak of what may happen in the future. It would cause chaos.”

Okay, fine. I guess I’ll have to pretend that I didn’t know about the Stone, that I didn’t know about the Chamber of Secrets, that I didn’t know about Sirius Black and the Dementors, the Triwizard Tournament, the Order of the Phoenix, the 16-year-old Death Eater, the Horcruxes, and Delphi Riddle. Got it.

It’ll be easy, right?

“Fine,” I say, “I’ll be your puppet.”

 

 


 

 

One Week Later

“Welcome, Harry, to Diagon Alley.” Hagrid announces cheerfully.

Harry stands in the entrance, gawking. He’s never seen so much… magic! The buildings are literally stacked upon each other and squeezed between each other and it makes it all the better. It was his birthday and this was the best present he’s ever gotten! He can’t stop smiling.

He and Hagrid are walking towards the massive bank called Gringotts, and that’s when Harry spots a boy watching him. He looks familiar, but he can’t place it. Harry and the boy maintain eye contact until Hagrid nudges him and tells him that they’ve arrived. The boy turns away and walks off.

At Gringotts, Harry finds out his parents’ fortune and is mystified when Hagrid takes a mysterious package from vault 713. After that roller coaster-like ride, they end up at Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions. In there, Harry sees a pale, blonde boy off to the side, standing on a stool and complaining loudly to his mother.

On the stool next to Harry’s is the boy he saw earlier.

“You’re Harry Potter, right?” The boy asked as Madam Malkin herself started measuring Harry and finishing the boy’s robes.

Harry watched as the boy’s eyes rove over his scar on his forehead. He’d only just found out that his parents never died in a crash, but by a psychopath wizard. All he remembers is a flash of bright green light and cold laughter.

“What’s your name?” Harry asks, trying to change the subject. He’s a bit new to this and recently discovered that he didn’t like people looking at his scar.

“Thomas.” The boy answers smoothly. Then he asks, “What House do you think you’re going in?”

“House?” Harry echoed, mystified.

“Yeah,” Thomas elaborates, “there’s Slytherin, Gryffindor, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw. Which do you think you’re going to be in?”

Harry isn’t sure. “Uh… maybe Gryffindor?”

“You seem the type for Gryffindor.” Thomas compliments. “I think I’ll do good in…” He paused. “All of them?”

Harry thought for a moment. “Do you know how we get in the Houses?” He noticed that Thomas had gone quiet.

“No,” the other said a little too quickly, “I don’t.” He looked uncomfortable. Harry decided not to elaborate. Madam Malkin stood and clapped her hands. She announced that their fittings were done and that they could buy more robes in the same sizes. They departed their stools and purchased their robes. Hagrid stood at the entrance and Harry smiled when he greeted them.

“An’ who’s this?” Hagrid asked.

“Thomas Hitchens.” The boy smiled.

“Nice to meet ya, Thomas.”

Thomas turned to Harry. “Are you going to get your wand next?”

Harry brightened. He nodded eagerly. Hagrid ushered them into Ollivander’s wand shop across the street and they entered excitedly.

Chapter Text

At Ollivander’s, Hagrid says he’s going to get Harry an animal as a birthday present and heads off as Harry and Thomas are standing, confused, at the front desk. Once it’s just them two, Harry calls out, “Hello?” There’s a sudden rattle and Ollivander himself appears from rows of boxed and sealed wands. He steps off his ladder and approaches the two boys.

Mysteriously, he mutters, “You are Harry Potter. I remember giving your parents’ their wands…” He shakes his head, snaps his fingers, and a tape measurer starts measuring Harry and then Thomas.

Ollivander turns to Thomas. “And you are Thomas. I sense greatness from both of you. You two will do great things in life…”

Harry shares a look with Thomas and noticed that Thomas looked both bored and terrified.

Strange.

Harry goes first with the wand choosing, and he is a “tricky customer”, but Ollivander retrieves a wand of phoenix feather core and holly wood. Harry is surprised and a little uncomfortable with the fact that he has the brother wand of the other that gave him his lightning bolt scar.

Then it’s Thomas’s turn.

He is also a tricky customer, and Harry notices that Thomas’s pile of wands is larger than his own. Finally, Thomas receives a wand of a unicorn hair core and elder wood. Ollivander mutters, “Curious, curious…” repeatedly, and it spikes Thomas’s and Harry’s attention.

“What is curious, sir?” Harry asks.

“What is curious,” Ollivander echoes, “is that elder is the rarest of wood and Thomas’s wand is made of that very wood. Interesting… it seems your wand, Mr. Hitchens, is a distant cousin of the famed Elder Wand.”

Thomas’s jaw drops. “The Elder Wand? One of the Deathly Hallows?”

Immediately, he claps a hand over his mouth and audibly gulps.

Harry frowns. Deathly Hallows? What is that?

But before anyone could speak again, there’s a rapping on Ollivander’s shop window. The two boys turn to find Hagrid carrying two different cages. One with a snowy owl inside it and another with a barn owl. They quickly thank Ollivander and leave the wand shop to greet Hagrid. Harry adores the snowy owl and names her Hedwig. Thomas takes a bit to name his, but eventually comes up with the name Lucy.

After shopping for trunks, a middle-aged couple approaches behind Thomas and introduces themselves as his parents. They already know who Harry is and Harry notices that they look just as nervous as Thomas does. Maybe it’s just Harry’s status as The Boy Who Lived, but Thomas has proved to be as mysterious as an 11-year-old can get, if not more. They bid farewells at the Leaky Cauldron and Thomas bids Harry a relatively calm and not-disastrous summer.

That confuses Harry even more. How does my first friend know I live with Muggles?

 


 

The Next Day

 

I stared at the brick wall between Platform 9 and 10. Harry hadn’t arrived yet and nor had the Weasleys and I was waiting for the both of them. Or maybe they’d already left. But it wasn’t 11 AM yet and I had a whole 20 minutes before the Express departed.

“...So many Muggles…”

I snap my head towards the voice and see a plump, redheaded woman with five redheaded children in her wake.

The Weasleys!

But before I could walk up to them, a timid voice asks, “How do you get in?”

I turn to find Harry Potter standing behind me, looking scared. Hedwig sits in her cage and his trunk sits on a trolley like mine does.

I smile. “Hi, Harry.”

He gives a small smile back. “Hi. Do you know how to get to Platform 9 ¾?”

I opened my mouth to speak but there’s a shout in my direction. I turned and saw that the Weasley mother had noticed us. She walked over to us as Fred and George (or was it George and Fred?) walked through the brick wall with a wave.

“Is this your first day, dears?” Mrs. Weasley asks gently.

We both nod.

“Don’t worry,” she said, “it’s Ron’s first day too!”

A young redheaded boy wearing a maroon sweater lifts his chin proudly and smiles. I notice a young Ginny Weasley hiding behind her mother’s robes, her eyes flickering between Harry and I.

“Who’s Harry Potter?” She asks suddenly.

Mrs. Weasley scolds her asking such a question, but in response, Harry messily flattens his fringe over his scar, eyes darting around.

A nervous tic.

Ginny protests and whines, “But I want to meet Harry Potter!”

“That’s enough, Ginvera! Now, we need to go to the train now or you’ll be late!” Mrs. Weasley chided sternly.

Ginny sulks and resumes hiding behind her mother’s robes. We enter Platform 9 ¾ and the Hogwarts Express sits there in all its steaming, Gryffindor red glory. I eagerly walk up to one of the doors, but realize that lifting my trunk is too difficult. But as I struggle, a pair of redhead twins approach and offer to help. We get my trunk in the aisle and there’s a moment where the twins are looking for an nonexistent scar on my forehead.

I laugh a little. “I’m not Harry Potter,” I say, feeling like I’m betraying my first friend, “I’m Thomas Hitchens.”

George looks surprised. “I have never…”

Fred interjects, “...heard of the Hitchens.”

“It’s not a common name.” I elaborate.

Just then, Mrs. Weasley’s calling for her son, Ron, about a rat. I turn from the twins and see Mrs. Weasley handing Ron an ugly, fat rat through an Express window. I realized with a horrible jolt that the rat is actually an Animagus named Peter Pettigrew. I grind my teeth in irritation. If only I could squash him without suspicion…

With another physical jolt that makes me stumble, the train lurches forward and picks up speed as it departs.

I’m going to Hogwarts.

Chapter Text

Harry sat in the compartment alone. He was sort-of waiting for Thomas to show up, but nothing so far. His last day with the Dursleys was filled with reluctant silence and no chores whatsoever. It was almost bizarre. He’d been moved to Dudley’s second bedroom and the cupboard became a cupboard. Dudley himself had stopped Harry Hunting and Aunt Petunia had stopped swinging frying pans at his head and Uncle Vernon didn’t utter a word.

He leaned his head against the window, his scar pressing onto the cool glass. It felt nice, like he was cooling down a hot part of himself.

Suddenly, he was jolted out of his stupor when the compartment door opened. It was Thomas.

“Can I come in?” Thomas asked.

Harry nodded and the boy entered and took the seat across from him. Harry resettled into his comfortable position and sighed. It felt as if a great weight had been lifted off his shoulders. There was another rat-tat-tat at the doorway again and the two boys looked to see Ron standing there, the rat Scabbers in his cupped hands.

Harry nudged his head, letting his new friend in. He took the seat next to Thomas and smiled timidly.

“Are you Harry Potter?” He asked quietly. Harry silently lifted the fringe of his hair, revealing his famous cursed scar.

Ron’s eyes widened.

He looked thoughtful for a moment before asking, “Do… Do you remember?” Thomas swatted him on the arm, earning an undignified grumble in return. Harry thought for a moment. He was surprised that he didn’t mind the question much, even if it made his stomach churn uncomfortably.

“I remember…” he started, “a flash of green light and… cold, high laughter.”

Ron’s eyes widened even more and he paled. “You heard You-Know-Who?”

Harry nodded after a quiet moment. He flickered his gaze from Ron to Thomas and wasn’t surprised by the looks on their faces. He’s had enough nightmares to have the laughter seared into his brain forever and he wasn’t sure what to make of it.

Another rat-tat-tat, but before they could respond, a bushy-haired girl opened the compartment door and asked rather bossily, “Has anyone seen a toad? Neville’s lost his again.” A boy stands behind the girl, looking very teary-eyed.

Ron screws up his nose. “No, there’s no toad in here.”

The girl’s expression hardens. “Well, if you’ve seen one, let me know.”

Then she roughly slams the door closed and Ron lets out a scoff. “She must be a bloody nightmare, that one.”

Thomas glares, saying, “Well, you shouldn’t judge people, Ron. Just because she seems bossy on the outside, doesn’t mean she’s rude on the inside.”

Ron’s glare softened just a bit as he contemplated that. There was a slightly tense silence as everyone moved to do their own things. Harry’s mind wanders until it lands on what happened at Ollivander’s wand shop. He looks up at Thomas and sees that Thomas is staring at him, as if he’d already known that questions were going to be asked.

“What are the Deathly Hallows?” Harry asks, curious.

He watches as Thomas’s throat bobs up and down, watches his eyes widen even more. He rubs at the back of his neck awkwardly. Ron looks deeply confused.

“Okay, um…” Thomas mutters, “do you have parchment and a quill?”

At that, Ron rustles through his trunk to find a small piece of parchment and a bent quill and hands them to Thomas. The boy then draws the symbol on the parchment with the help of the compartment window.

The triangle is drawn. “The Cloak of Invisibility.”

A circle. “The Resurrection Stone.”

And finally, a line right down the middle. “The Elder Wand.”

He leans back, looking frazzled. “There were three brothers, the Peverells, and they confronted Death. They wanted something to surpass him. The first brother asked for a powerful wand that was unbeatable and Death fashioned him a wand from a tree of elder. The second brother asked for something that rose the dead and Death gave him a stone that if flipped three times, the dearly departed would come back. The third brother asked for something that would hide him from Death, so Death gave him the Cloak of Invisibility.”

He took a breath.

“The first brother boasted about his powerful wand and beat anyone in duels. Someone snuck into his room, took his wand, and killed him for good measure. The second brother brought back his wife, who’d died before their wedding but she didn’t belong. So he killed himself to be with her forever.”

Harry was very intrigued.

“But,” Thomas continued, “the third brother used his Cloak and hid from Death. After long years of hiding, he passed down his Cloak to his son and greeted Death like an old friend. Since then, the Deathly Hallows have been passed down from generation to generation.”

Ron looked awed. “Wow. So is this like… a legend or something?”

Thomas looked at the redhead. “Most people think it’s a myth or something, but I believe in them.”

Harry noticed that Thomas looked like he wanted to share more, but something was preventing him from doing so.

“Where are they now?” Harry asked.

Thomas shrugged. “Nobody knows. Lost, I guess. Forever.”

He’s definitely hiding something, Harry thought.

Chapter Text

“First years!” Hagrid called, “First years!”

I turned to the sound of Hagrid’s voice and guided Ron and Harry to the boats. We trekked down a trail and came upon many boats settled upon the water.

“Only four in one boat! Alright,” Hagrid boomed, “get in!”

I quickly boarded one along with Ron, Harry and someone I didn’t recognize.

“Now… forward!”

At Hagrid’s order, the boats began to move and gently float down the lake towards the castle. My heart was beating hard with anticipation and I couldn’t wait.

“Duck!” Hagrid called, as we ducked our heads under the arch that hung over our heads. And then the castle came into view.

It was absolutely breathtaking. It even looked better than I imagined! Hogwarts sat on a great cliff, its massive towers and halls making me feel small. We reached shore and departed the boats to be escorted to a small chamber where a stern looking woman stood, patiently waiting. I knew she was someone not to cross.

“I trust everything went well?” Professor McGonagall asked curtly.

“Yes, Professor. Everythin’ went just fine.”

“Good. Dismissed.”

Hagrid nodded at that and left.

Professor McGonagall turned to us and spoke: “You will be Sorted into your Houses, and they will be family to you for the next several years. There is Slytherin, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Gryffindor. Let me inform the Headmaster and then you will follow me.” She nodded with finality and exited the chamber.

Ron turned to Harry and opened his mouth, but I stomped on his foot before he could tell Harry that all bad wizards came from Slytherin. He hopped on his good leg, exclaiming, “Ow! What was that for?”

“Harry doesn’t need more pressure on him, does he?” I snarled.

“I’m right here, guys…” Harry sighed.

Ron gladly shut his mouth with an audible clack, and I internally sighed with relief. I knew messing with the timeline of the books would be messy, but little things couldn’t hurt, right? Before anyone could say anything else, Professor McGonagall returned. She told us to follow her and so we exited the little room and entered the Great Hall. Even with my immense knowledge of everything I knew what was going to happen, I still couldn’t help but gawk at the amazingness of Hogwarts. The ceiling was enchanted to look like the night sky and I thought it was perfect. I eyed the candles floating several feet above our heads. I heard a familiar, busy-haired girl tell another student that the sky was enchanted and that she’d read it in Hogwarts: A History.

I smiled softly to myself; Hermione Granger.

Got to make sure she doesn’t encounter the troll… but then she wouldn’t have a proper friendship with Harry and Ron… Well, that’s great. Professor McGonagall turned to us, standing in front of a rickety stool that stood in front of the Headmaster’s gold podium, and told us how the Sorting will proceed and how it works. She then unrolled a scroll and stood to the side as the Sorting Hat opened its brim and sang.

After it sang, McGonagall called the first student up (“Abott, Hannah!”) and she was Sorted into Hufflepuff. I watched in interest as students were Sorted into their respective Houses and watched as McGonagall called names.

Soon enough… “Hitchens, Thomas!”

My turn.

I walked up to the stool and put the Sorting Hat onto my head. I was small enough to have its brim go over my eyes, obscuring the audience in front of me. A tiny voice in my ear suddenly spoke.

Ah, what have we got here? A boy suitable for all Houses and who knows much more than anyone else in Hogwarts? How intriguing…

You can Sort me anywhere, but I wouldn’t want Slytheirn.

Not Slytherin? You have it all in your head… but maybe not. You’re loyal to everyone around you, but don’t take well to secrecy… a good fit for Hufflepuff. What about Ravenclaw? You’ve got the smarts and wits for that place, too…

Am I brave? I know I’ll be doing a heck of a lot more than most these days.

Most definitely.

I smiled. Gryffindor it is.

The Hat’s voice seemed amused and ended it tangent with the call of “GRYFFINDOR!”

I removed the Hat from my head and walked to the Gryffindor table, earning handshakes and pats on my back. It was almost surreal to actually be a part of this world that I thought only existed in several thousand pages. The Sorting continued and I watched as familiar students were placed in their Houses and suddenly got nervous when Harry Potter was called. Whispers erupted and I fought the urge to shriek at them to stop. The remaining students craned their necks to see the Boy Who Lived. He wobbled to the stool and put on the Hat. I knew he was going to take a while, but there wasn’t much entertainment because his face was covered by the brim, so I couldn’t see his expression. I propped my hand on my chin and waited.

I didn’t really care which House Harry went into, but I didn’t want him in Slytherin.

“GRYFFINDOR!” The Hat bellowed.

The Gryffindor table was silent for a split second before it went up in flames. I heard the Weasley twins chanting, “We got Potter! We got Potter!” as Harry made his way to the table. He neared me and I scooted back to make room. I smiled at him as he sat down next to me and he smiled back. I watched as his eyes trailed the tables where the teachers sat and he nudged my shoulder.

“Who’s the professor next to Quirrell?”

“That’s Snape. He’s the Potions professor and he’s been trying to get Quirrell’s job for a while.” I answered.

I watched as he stared at the two before--

“OUCH!” Harry clapped a hand at his scar, wincing.

I feign concern (I feign it because I knew this was going to happen and this will happen for many years) and ask, “Are you okay? Was it your scar?” Harry gives me an odd look, while rubbing his scar.

“No, I’m fine. It’s nothing.”

I know he’s trying to hide it, but there’s not much you can hide from when you know everything that’s going to happen in the next several decades. Bonuses and curses of knowing everything.

Chapter Text

Harry sits at the sill of a large window beside his bed, staring into the moonlight. He has his pet owl, Hedwig, at his feet and is petting her gently. He needs time to absorb this and it’s a little overwhelming, but he likes it anyway. He’s distracted by the soft footsteps of another boy walking around in the dorm. Harry turns and sees Thomas approaching.

Harry smiles softly. “Can’t sleep?”

“No, I just enjoy watching the moon at night.” Harry notices that he looks a little uncomfortable, but surely not for the present reasons. Thomas walks over and sits across from Harry on the same windowsill.

“It’s so crazy, isn’t it? Living your whole life not knowing you’re a wizard?” Thomas asks quietly. Harry snaps to attention. Did he live with Muggles like I did? He asks himself. Thomas takes note of his expression, and laughs.

“My parents were wizards. But they disguised themselves as Muggles.” Thomas elaborates.

Harry frowns. “What, really? Why?”

“To protect me.” Thomas responds.

“From You-Know-Who?”

Thomas pauses at that. “I thought you were comfortable with saying his name.”

Harry laughs, feeling a little bewildered, “I thought you were uncomfortable with saying his name!”

Thomas laughs with him. And then he and Thomas are both laughing, trying to keep themselves quiet. Soon enough, a hissed “Shut up!” from Dean Thomas echoes around the dormitory and Harry can’t help but laugh even harder. Seamus Finnigan snaps, “Will you two stop? We’re trying to sleep!”

“I’m…” Thomas hiccups, “...sorry!”

Harry stumbles to his bed, as does Thomas to his own and their laughter had dissolved into fits of giggling. The grumbles around the dormitory faded to snores after a few minutes as Harry and Thomas muffled themselves with their pillows.

 


 

The Next Day

Everyone was handed their timetables for the day and Harry had Potions, Herbology, Charms, Transfiguration, and Defense Against the Dark Arts for many hours. Ron complained about having Potions with Professor Snape, but it seemed Thomas didn’t mind. But he did share that he wasn’t looking forward to Defense Against the Dark Arts because Professor Quirrell would be teaching and he’s just a stuttering mess.

Thomas expressed that he may not understand the curriculum because the Professor would be stuttering on one word for so long. Thomas seemed to already know his way around as Harry and Ron had nearly gotten lost before their friend had found them nearing a forbidden doorway that led to somewhere unknown. Thomas kept telling them to keep going and to not look back. Ron thought he was nutters, but Harry was just mystified. Thomas seemed to harbor several secrets and it made Harry uneasy.

They eventually reached McGonagall’s Transfiguration classroom, late of course, and found a tabby cat sitting at the desk.

Ron acted relieved and said, “Thank Merlin the Professor isn’t here! She’d have our heads!” Thomas scoffed.

“That’s Professor McGonagall right there,” he responded, pointing at the cat sitting at the desk.

Ron frowned. “How do you know?”

As an answer, the cat leapt off the desk and mid-leap turned into Professor McGonagall.

Ron gawked and complimented her skills by saying, “Wicked.”

“How did you know, Mr. Hitchens?” Professor McGonagall asked, looking surprised. Thomas shrugged.

She nodded in acceptance and said, “Well, then. Go take your seats! No dawdling!” The three students quickly took their seats, Ron sitting next to Hermione, and Thomas and Harry sitting together. Professor McGonagall turned to the class and pulled out her wand.

“Today,” she began, “we will do the art of Transfiguration.”

She then proceeded to turn her desk into a living pig and back again. The class oohed and ahhed.

“But,” she added, “you will be doing minimal things today. No furniture-turning for a long while. I will give you matchsticks and you will attempt to transfigure them into a needle.” She waved her wand and matchsticks appeared in front of every student.

“Begin.”

Not one student managed to turn the matchstick into a needle, and Harry noticed that several were struggling immensely, like the round-faced boy a few rows behind him. Neville or something like that. Everyone but one student struggled. Thomas Hitchens managed to transfigure his successfully, which left Ron whining about his. Professor McGonagall approached and complimented him on his skills. Harry was slightly jealous, but did make his matchstick significantly sharper.

In Potions, Harry didn’t know the questions Professor Snape bombarded him with, and it seemed to make the Professor’s hate for him burn even more. Thomas knew the answers and had his hand up like Hermione. Harry swore he saw Professor Snape’s mask slip just a little bit. In Charms, Flitwick fell off his stack of books that he stood on when he called Harry’s name and seemed intrigued with Thomas’s. He told the class that he’d never heard such a name, but at the same time felt familiar. He and Hermione were the few to manage the spell Wingardium Leviosa on their feathers, but Seamus’s feather exploded after he put too much power into it.

The highlight of the day was flying lessons with Madam Hooch, whose eyes were like a hawk’s; gold and unblinking. She instructed her students on how to summon their brooms and Harry and Thomas were the few to have it jump into their hands immediately.

Hermione’s “UP!” was uncertain, so her broom rolled on the ground once.

Ron’s “UP! UP!” was too forceful and he got a good smack on the nose from its handle, but didn’t bleed. Madam Hooch then proceeded to instruct her students on how to mount a broom, without kicking off the ground. When it was time to fly, Neville Longbottom kicked off the ground too early, went too high, got his cloak stuck on a steeple, and ended up breaking his wrist. Madam Hooch warned that if someone took off as she escorted Neville to the infirmary, they’d be expelled before they could say “Quidditch!”

Harry noticed that the whining boy from Madam Malkin’s shop named Draco Malfoy had taken Neville’s Rememberball and took off, taunting Harry and telling him to “come and get it!” Harry had taken off, but not before Thomas gave him an encouraging smile and urged him forward. Malfoy threw the Rememberball and Harry dived after it, catching it smoothly into his outstretched hand.

“HARRY POTTER!” Professor McGonagall roared.

His stomach sunk faster than his smile fell away as the Professor ushered him into the castle, still holding the school broom, and approached Oliver Wood, the Gryffindor Quidditch captain.

Suddenly, Professor McGonagall smiled.

“Wood, I have found you a Seeker.”