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comment_fic 1113: Harry Potter

Title: Friday’s Child (works hard for a living)
Fandom: Harry Potter
Disclaimer: most of them are my characters, actually, but the ones you recognize aren’t
Warnings: references to violence and WW2; AU way pre-canon
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 1070
Point of view: third
Prompt: Harry Potter, Tom Riddle, He never went to Hogwarts, he trained himself in magic

Note: pretend Tom Riddle is two years younger or else ignore that The Blitz happens at the wrong time

Another note: I started a second part to this, but it stalled.


After the wizard leaves, Tom runs. He has no idea where he's going, but it's better than staying where he is, where he's hated and feared, where even his own kind will look at him in apprehension and suspicion.

The world is hard for children, and harder still for orphans -- but Tom is clever. Tom has his talents, what he now knows is magic. It’s like a storybook, only he’s not the long-lost and long-sought-for prince. He’s in a storybook but he’s still a nobody.

He’s an eleven-year-old orphan living on the streets of London and he’ll make do whether the world wants him or not.

.

There’s no point in keeping a name that means nothing, a name given to him by a woman who didn’t love him enough to stay alive, a name for the father who didn’t want either of them.

When the bombing starts, he still hasn’t chosen a name. He hasn’t even been practicing much with his talent, except when he sees if it’ll give him an edge in pickpocketing – which it doesn’t. It takes too long, and it’s too noticeable. Maybe it’s that he’s too hungry to feel much; he noticed, in the orphanage, that it always came easier when he was angry, the few times he was scared.

He’s plenty scared when the bombing comes. Terrified out of his mind is more right, but he huddles up against a wall and pretends nothing can touch him, and for all the noise, nothing does.

Nothing touches him until the bombs stop falling and he’s utterly exhausted the entire time, scrounging for scraps, looking far more pitiful than he ever has, and he survives and he survives, and he settles on the name Arthur very early one morning, watching the sunlight spread through the fog and the smoke, because that is the destiny he will choose –

Arthur, Once and Future King. Yes. Let the judgmental old man choke on that.

.

Arthur is twelve when he leaves London. He’s had enough of people and he can forage in the countryside better than in the city. If worst comes to worst, he can ask the serpents for help; they like him better than any human he’s ever known. He chooses his surname for them: Arthur Adder, a dark-haired, dark-eyed boy who tans with the sun and talks to serpents and summons things to him with a thought, transforms things into different shapes, leaps off walls and floats to the ground.

He’s an odd boy, that Arthur Adder, but charming and polite.

The world is hard for children, and harder still for orphans. But Arthur Adder is determined to survive.

.

In the winter, Arthur holes up in different hamlets, making himself useful to people so they’ll offer him shelter and share their food. When he’s younger, it’s easier – he is a small boy, slight. He’s not sure if he’ll ever be big like some of the men he sees on his travels, but he tries to eat well in the spring and summer while he travels.

He practices his talent constantly, and the older he gets, the easier it comes to him, the less he needs strong emotion. The more time he spends on his own, with the serpents, the less angry he feels about… so many things.

.

The first time he transports himself from one side of a clearing to the other, he passes out and wakes to a frightened woman calling for help. He is seventeen and she’s a little older, and she’s panicking, and then there are more people, all wearing odd clothing –

He’s still so tired, so he slips back under.

.

The young woman is named Elizabeth but she goes by Lizzie. She’s also a witch. She’s engaged to a soldier she hasn’t seen in nearly a year and her father is a tired farmer, but her mother is a witch, too. The village is a fair mix of magical folk and non-magical (muggle, the old man had called them, but Lizzie says they don’t like that, some of the time, so she just calls them non-magical).

Lizzie’s father Fred doesn’t want to take him in but Lizzie and her mother Sally convince him without much hassle. Arthur spends the better part of a year with them, learning actual spells. Lizzie explains that she and her mother before her didn’t go to Hogwarts, either; there’s a small school for the local communities that all the magical children get sent to, and they let him have their old schoolbooks, so long as he leaves them when he goes, for the children Lizzie and her soldier (Ned, apparently, who is non-magical) will have once he comes home and they get married.

Arthur kisses Lizzie but once. She loves Ned fiercely, so she pulls away and tells him to not do that again if he wants to stay.

The village grows boring eventually, and Arthur memorizes all the books, so he thanks Lizzie and her parents, and he moves on.

.

Transporting himself through space is called apparition. He practices with it because it is highly useful, and like all the rest of his various talents, it gets easier. By the time Arthur is twenty, everything is so very easy.

He likes solitude, but he has no idea what’s going on in the rest of the world. According to the various villages he passes through (still avoiding large cities), the war is over. England and her allies won. Beyond that, though, he knows almost nothing.

.

When Arthur Adder is twenty years and six months old, he returns to London. It is time to explore the magical world. He is a tall, broad-shouldered man with dark hair and dark eyes, and he does not need a wand. He buys one for appearance’s sake from a hag selling them out of a basket.

In Ollivander’s shop, a yew wand with a phoenix feather core goes unsold.

In Hogwarts, the Transfiguration professor has forgotten that odd boy who never arrived for his Sorting.

In Flourish and Blotts, Arthur Adder purchases a dozen history texts with galleons pickpocketed from wizards too foolish to place protection charms on their money.

In the centaur colony within the Forbidden Forest, in the bounds of Hogwarts’ wards, the centaurs murmur to each other that the future has shifted – and no seer across the land can yet see what might come to pass instead.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
maldeluxx
Aug. 14th, 2015 12:20 pm (UTC)
Kind of leaves me wanting more, this is very interesting - I would so read a book like this :D <3
tigriswolf
Aug. 14th, 2015 05:36 pm (UTC)

I have a few hundred words of a second part but I really had no idea where to go. *shrugs*

Thanks for reading!
bugeyedmonster
Aug. 15th, 2015 03:56 am (UTC)
Very interesting 'what if' bit.
tigriswolf
Aug. 15th, 2015 08:48 pm (UTC)

Thanks!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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tigriswolf
questioning in order to create

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