A dark fog crept over Willow St. as two figures appeared out of thin air at the end of the road. Walking very smoothly over the ground, as to not be seen or heard, they made their way up the street. The two figures looked around cautiously in the darkness, with their wands at the ready. They continued until they reached the end of the street, which left them gazing up at a large, darkened home. They stood just behind the driveway, checking one more time for any sign of life on the street. The two figures looked at one another in silence, finally the taller of the two spoke,
"No one's home. Perfect. I'm your godfather, Harry. If I don't teach you this, who will?"
The boy who called himself Harry looked up. Harry Potter meant many things to the wizarding world. To many, he was a boy with piercing emerald green eyes that could practically hypnotize people. He was a boy with a pair of round glasses that never left his face. He was a boy with untidy black hair that covered his lightning bolt shaped scar. To some, he was the Boy who Lived. "The Chosen One", they called him. That is exactly what he was, too. The Dark Lord destroyed his parents and then marked him as his equal.
Harry attended Durmstrang, where he quickly learned of Grindelwald's sign, the Deathly Hallows and the Dark Lord's want for the Elder Wand. When Lord Voldemort returned to his body during his fourth year, Albus Dumbledore become the new headmaster of the school. The headmaster informed him of Voldemorts horcruxs' and helped him to destroy them. Dumbledore died during the final battle, which took place at the school. With all but one horcrux gone, Harry went to face Voldemort in the final battle. He sacrificed himself for the entire world, came back, and saved the day, all by age sixteen.
However, once he defeated the Dark Lord, things took a turn. Harry Potter was used by the wizarding world. Not one single soul thanked him for saving the fate of the world. He prevented millions of deaths, particularly muggle-borns, yet Harry did not even receive one thank you card. Harry literally killed himself for the greater good. Sure Harry did not want a full blown ceremony dedicated to him and an article by Rita Skeeter entitled "Harry the Hero", but it seemed as if he meant nothing to these people.
Harry met up with his godfather, Sirius Black, who had been in hiding at 12 Grimmauld Place during the entire war. Considering the fact that he was on the bad list for both sides of the war, he thought it was best to remain hidden. To the wizarding world, Harry Potter had vanished. Only some rare and slightly misguided Daily Prophet articles were all the wizarding world had of him now. The only thing that the article had correct was the fact that Harry Potter meant one thing now: trouble. He practically blew his entire fortune at a muggle casino and became engulfed by his dark past. He let his Godfather's old rule-breaking ways consume him and followed along on all of his Godfather's schemes. They broke both wizard and muggle laws and were doing so again tonight.
Harry looked from Sirius to the house. It was quite large. Rich people obviously dwelled inside the empty house. Harry despised the rich, but he was somewhat hesitant about robbing the house, deep down Harry Potter knew that this was wrong.
"Sirius, do muggles live here?" Harry asked hurriedly as he looked down the street once more.
"Of course not Harry," said Sirius, "there's nothing worth stealing from a muggle."
Sirius hurried up the driveway and quickly went around to the back of the house. Harry followed closely behind.
"Alohomora," whispered Sirius, pointing his wand at the door.
Surprisingly, the door sprung open. Harry thought a more powerful spell would have been required to enter the hose, but clearly these were rather trusting people. Since the downfall of Voldemort, Harry found people trusting others everywhere he turned. Harry knew better, though. Harry knew that there is always something to ruin our lives. We're always ripe and ready to be taken. Sirius had rushed into the house with a satisfied grin on his face, while Harry hesitated.
"I don't know, Sirius. Why are we doing this?" asked Harry.
"Quit being a ruddy coward! Start acting like your bloody father! Get in!" barked Sirius.
Harry entered, obeying his orders. They walked through what looked to be the kitchen. Sirius looked around like a little kid in the candy store and grabbed anything and everything he wanted. Harry went to the front window to keep watch. He sat himself down on a red couch and pulled the curtain to the window back. It had been maybe five minutes when Harry saw a flash of light coming from the street and heard a distinct "pop".
"Sirius!" yelled Harry fiercely. "They're coming! The Aurors!"
Sirius came running down the stairs with a jubilee of items in his hands.
"We have to apparate, Harry!" bellowed Sirius. "Back to Grimmauld Place, now!"
Closing his eyes and gripping Sirius' arm, because Harry still had not fully gotten the hang of the Apparation, he stepped forward into that feeling of horrible compression. However, when he opened his eyes, he was not in Grimmauld Place. He was not in Grimmauld Place at all. He opened his eyes to a dark cell. No windows were in the cell, only a thin mattress and a toilet.
"Sirius?" Harry called out into the darkness. There never came a response.
Harry was walking past the cells of Nurmengard, with Aurors on either side of him. Harry was looking at the floor as the prisoners in the cells he passed jeered and hissed at him. Harry reached the end of the hallway and was led into a room with long lunch tables. At the furthest table sat a thin man, going bald, but the little hair he has was a very bright shade of red. He was wearing a very nice pair of green robes, rather expensive looking, too.
Just great, thought Harry, a rich bloke is defending me.
The man looked up and saw Harry. He stood from his chair and started rummaging through some papers.
"Harry. Arthur Weasley. The ministry's appointed me your public defender," the man said with a rather odd giddy smile, looking at Harry expectantly. Harry looked at the man up and down with a stern and unwelcoming look upon his face. Arthur frowned as they both sat down.
"You could do worse. You okay? They treating you all right?" Arthur questioned.
"Where's my godfather?" Harry asked while keeping his eyes focused on something besides Mr. Weasley.
"Sirius is way over seventeen. Sirius broke into a house. Sirius had a muggle gun in his trousers, an ounce of pot in his jacket, a couple of priors," he stated not taking his eyes off the file he was reading. "I'm guessing right now Sirius is looking at three to five years. But Sirius's not my concern right now. This is your first time in lockup. I'm guessing you don't plan on coming back. Your marks are not great. You dropped out of Durmstrang. But your exam scores. Straight O's and one A on your O.W.L.S. Harry, if you get back into school? Are you thinking of having a career?"
Harry scoffed to himself while rolling his eyes as he leaned away from the table.
"Have you given any thought at all to your future?" Arthur asked. "I'm on your side. Help me out here. Give-"
"Healers are advancing to the point where the average life span will be one hundred years," Harry interrupted. "But I read this article which said that the ministry will no longer be able to fund those who retire, meaning the government will stop paying them by 2025, " Harry continued without averting his gaze, or blinking for that matter. "Which means wizards are gonna have to stay in their jobs until they're 80," Harry paused, finally making eye contact. "So I don't want to commit to anything too soon."
Arthur chuckled to himself. He knew this kid would be tough, but he hadn't suspected clever.
"Look I can plea this down to a misdemeanor. Petty fine, probation. But know that breaking into a house because your godfather told you too....it's stupid and it's weak. Those are two things you can't afford to be anymore-"
"Two more things?!" Harry spat back.
"Do you want to change that? Then get over the fact that life dealt you a bad hand. I get it. I lost loved ones too, Harry. We all do. That's no reason to behave the way you are. I lost my son, Fred, to Voldemort. I almost lost everything by being a "blood traitor", but we need to live for them. Not avenge them," Mr. Weasley finished.
"You honestly think I do these things because of my parents’ death? Because of Dumbledore's death? No one cared after I killed Voldemort," Harry said, his eyes flashing." I was marked as a pig to be slaughtered. I always was. I was used. I did what I was told, saved everyone's arse, and no one says, 'Hey, thanks.' My godfather was the only one who understood," Harry finished quietly, looking away from Arthur.
Mr. Weasley blinked and then sighed, "I grew up with no money, my father was gone, and my mother worked all the time. I raised my younger siblings. All by myself. I get it. I was pissed off. I was stupid-"
"Look at you now," Harry muttering with a smirk.
Mr. Weasley ignored the comment, then said, "A smart wizard like you, you gotta have a plan, some kind of a dream."
"Yeah right," Harry said as he lifted hiss head up again. "Let me tell you something, okay?" Harry said as he leaned in closer. "Where I'm from, having a dream doesn't make you smart, knowing it won't come true, that does. I moved to Albania, where there are no dreams. "
Mr. Weasley exhaled one large breath.”Harry, you're coming with me. Just until Monday, when Child Services opens."
Mr. Weasley told the guards the information while Harry went to put his regular clothes on. It felt good to get out of the worn down bright orange prison clothes he had on. He now wore a wife beater, black jeans, and a black necklace. His muscles were practically ripping though his beater. Harry was never much for Quidditch but developed his muscles from all the fist fights he's gotten into.
They stepped out of the jail and headed towards the parking lot. "Here follow me," Arthur said as he led him toward a muggle car. It was a black Lexus, a very expensive car.
"Aren't we just going to use a portkey or apparate, sir?" Harry puzzled.
"Oh no, Harry," replied Mr. Weasley, "We're going to Newport Beach in Orange County, the "O.C.", as most people call it. Have you ever heard of it?"
"Yes," answered Harry, as they pulled out of the lot, "It's where the snobby rich muggles live in their steroid houses with their fancy cars and designer clothes. It's on the shore of Britain. They live in a bubble."
"I guess you're right," Mr. Weasley said, "It is where the more fortunate live. Well, I live there. And so do many other wizarding families. It's almost entirely taken over with people from out world, though. But, since there are still some muggles we do not use any magic. No portkeys, no apparting, no brooms, and most importantly, no wands. I will not be giving you your wand back for that reason. We even go by and listen to the muggle police system. I know, shocking isn't it? The kids attend a private and highly selective wizarding school, Hogwarts, during the year."
Harry looked out the window while Mr. Weasley explained their world. He kept watching as the world passed him by. He saw the ocean coming closer. They began to pass some houses, which were bigger than Durmstrang. They passed a beach and Harry saw some teens running around with a football, kicking it. They pulled into the driveway of a large, white house and stopped. Harry went to get out of the car when Mr. Weasley stopped him and said, "Why don’t you wait here for a minute, I'll be back." Arthur left Harry in the car and braced himself for the gale force he was about to meet, his wife.
"You brought him home!' spat Molly Weasley, a skinny little witch with red hair like Arthur's.”This is not a stray puppy, Arthur"
" I know that Molly," said Arthur.
"You're endangering our home. Did you even think of Ron?" asked Molly.
"It's only for the weekend. Till Child Services opens on Monday."
"What if this is all a scam?"
"He's not a criminal mastermind. He's a kid who has no one, and nowhere to go. When did you become so cynical?" retorted Arthur.
Molly began to walk away from Arthur. She turned just before the door frame and said, "He sleeps in the pool house."
"Where are you going?" asked Arthur as he found himself looking at her back again.
"To put my jewelry in the vault." she replied, "where do you think I'm going? He's going to need sheets and a toothbrush and towels."
Molly left leaving Arthur standing alone in the kitchen.
Harry had gotten out of the car and walked to the end of the driveway. He carried with him a pack of muggle cigarettes, his newfound obsession. He stood at the end of the driveway, pulling a cigarette from the container and putting it in his mouth. He looked up, and then he saw her.
A girl, a fairly tall girl, but not as tall as Harry, with long brown ringlets that fell onto her back. Her long slender legs were hidden behind a pair of dark denim jeans. She wore flip flops and a white tank top, which fell just above her hips, revealing some of her tiny torso. She was standing at the end of her driveway, the driveway next door to the Weasley's. She hadn't seen Harry yet; she was doing something with what looked to be a muggle cell phone. Harry lit a cigarette. She heard it, and looked up. Her brown chocolate eyes poured into his emerald green ones, at a distance. They remained silent for a moment, and then she spoke.
"Who are you?" she asked with an air of confidence as she dropped her arms to her sides.
Harry paused, then said, with his cigarette in his mouth, "Whoever you want me to be."
The girl looked him up and down, taken aback by his comment.
"Okay" she said hesitantly, as she smiled and looked the other way. She knew him from somewhere. His eyes looked far too familiar. Turning her head back towards him, she watched him as he played with the flame his lighter was producing. Her eyes traveled from his eyes up to his forehead, resting on the lightning bolt scar half-hidden from his unruly black hair.
Harry Potter? Could this really be the Harry Potter? No, Hermione. Don't just scream his name, stay cool.
She looked back at her house and then said, "Hey, can I bum a cigarette?"
Harry put the flame away and walked over to her driveway. He pulled a cigarette from the box and handed it to her. She took it, placing it between her two fingers and smiled as he lit hers. She blew out the smoke and smiled, looking at Harry.
Harry put the cigarette back in his mouth and stepped backwards back into the Weasley driveway. He put the lighter and box into his jean pocket.
"So what are you doing here?" she asked, "Seriously?"
"Seriously?" he mimicked blowing out the smoke, taking a step towards her. "I broke into a house. Actually my godfather did. Since he had a gun and drugs on him, he's in jail."
The girl raised her eyebrows in interest and smirked a little.
"I got out," Harry continued, "so Mr. Weasley took me in."
The girl puffed an air of smoke from her lips, looked at him and smiled.
"So, Harry Potter, you're their cousin from Paris, right?" she said coolly.
"How did you-"
"I'm a witch. Muggle-born. My name's Hermione. Hermione Granger. Don't worry, I won't tell anyone that the infamous Harry Potter is here. So back to my question, you're their cousin from Paris right?" stated the girl.
"Right," said Harry as he smiled. He liked this girl's spunk.
"Hi Hermione,” said the voice of Mr. Weasley who had interrupted their conversation and was now eyeing the cigarette in her hand.
"Hey," Hermione started nervously as she chucked the cigarette as far as possible, "Mr. Weasley. I was just meeting your nephew."
Mr. Weasley looked between the two of them confused for a second, but the understood.
"Oh! Of course! My favorite, Harry!" e said as he passed Harry's back, "Harry all the way from Surrey!"
Hermione looked at Harry and smiled. "Surrey?" she asked.
"Dad lives there, mom lives in Paris," Harry quickly recovered/
"Mmmmm," she muttered with a knowing smile on her face. It didn't take a troll to know that Harry Potter never even had parents.
"So we're all really excited about your fashion show fundraiser tomorrow," Mr. Weasley said with a hint of sarcasm.
"Really? You are?" said Hermione not missing a beat.
Mr. Weasley pretended to do a hair flip with his balding head and said very confidently, "NO!"
Hermione laughed at Mr. Weasley, showing her pearly white teeth.
Just then a black pick up truck drive by them and stopped in front of them. In case you couldn't see the truck with its very bright lights, you could always go deaf from the music the car was blasting. A blonde with black beady eyes was the driver.
"Come one, let's go," he barked at Hermione.
Harry looked from him to Hermione,
"Hey, you should come by, check it out. If you don't have any other plans," aired Hermione, "see you."
She walked past them and up into the truck. Hermione kissed the boy and for some odd reason Harry felt annoyed.
"Who's that kid?" the boy asked Hermione as they drove off.
Mr. Weasley looked to Harry and said, "Let’s go inside."
Harry was still holding the cigarette in his mouth as Arthur said, "There's no smoking in this house."
Harry simply threw the cigarette on the driveway and kept walking towards the mansion. Mr. Weasley quickly went to put it out.
Harry and Mr. Weasley entered the pool house.
"So this is where you’ll be staying," Arthur said. “And this is the queen of the manor, my wife, Molly." He raised his hand to point to the red headed woman standing in the corner staring at him apprehensively.
"Hello, Harry," she said with a smile, "welcome to our home. If you need anything, just let us know."
"Thank you. Thanks very much," Harry said and smiled.
Molly looked to Arthur as he said, “We’ll see you in the morning, and make yourself comfortable." They left.
Harry dropped his backpack on the floor and looked around. In the center of the room, there was a large king sized bed with black pillows and blankets. There was a small kitchen, a bathroom, and a lovely sitting area. It was nicer than Harry's houses. Harry quickly got into bed and fell asleep.