The sun rose over the horizon, painting the sky beautiful crimson, violet, and orange. The clouds drifted lazily across the morning sky and a rooster from the chicken coup started making the usual morning ruckus. The steeds in the stable were starting to wake up and leave their stalls; unicorns, hypogriffs, and thestrals were trotting around their portion of the enormous yard happily. Today was the big day for the youngest child of the Potter family, the day he turned eleven.
Preparations for the party’s entertainment were in full effect. The giant dance floor for the party was being charmed into place on the private quidditch field and a platform was raised above everything else with musical instruments neatly placed on it. His parents had booked the band Wicked Sisters, a very old music group that performed at the yule ball for the last triwizard tournament over fifty years ago. A giant marquee was stationed over the dancefloor and it shimmered with hundreds of bright colors morphing through it. Origami birds of every color and size flew around the marquee, waiting for the fun to begin.
The security detail was intense. Nobody could apparate, fly on a broom or carpet, use the floo network, or use a portkey to directly enter the property. A series of locking and detection charms covered the exterior of the mansion, and the inner sanctum of the mansion was hidden with the fidelius charm. Security robots patrolled the hallways of the house, cameras were hidden in mirrors and paintings, automatic turrets hung from the ceiling disguised as lamps, motion sensors were hidden in vases and pots, invisible laser grids moved randomly through the house, pressure plates were hidden in rugs and carpets, and a minefield surrounded the house. The Potters inexplicably found a way to incorporate both muggle technology and wizard magic into their security system.
The hedge maze that bordered the estate was filled with everything from trolls and blast-ended skrewts to red caps and bogarts. Some parts of the maze contain sinkholes that lead to an underground labyrinth submerged in water and filled with grindylows and mermaids. The front gate is the only entrance available for visitors to pass through, and it destroys any illusions that pass through it, similar to the waterfalls in Gringotts. Polyjuice potion, disillusionment charms, human transfiguration, confundus charms, and the imperius curse are all negated by the door. Aurors armed with wands, semi automatic machine guns, and secrecy sensors were stationed by the gate. Only insane dark wizards would dare attack the Potters today.
Harry was swimming laps in the indoor pool with his brother, James II, and his identical twin sisters, Madison and Megan. They weren’t really his siblings; he was the child of Teddy and Victoire Lupin. He didn’t even look anything like them; they all had jet black hair, freckles, and either green or hazel eyes. The others accepted him into the family immediately after his parents were killed by blood purist extremists. The extremists didn’t like the fact that his father was part werewolf and his mother was part veela. They tried to kill him after his parents lay dead on the floor, but Lord Potter arrived before anything worse could happen. The dark wizard killer easily dispatched the crazy people and adopted Harry into his family later that day.
Ever since, Harry was given a personal bodyguard and fierce tutelage in the art of defense, even more so than his adopted siblings/ cousins. Today was meant to be a happy day, but his mind kept returning to the deaths of his parents. For some reason dark thoughts were starting to enter his mind so much easier than normal, almost as if some dark entity or black magic were weakening his resolve. Everyone was staring at him in silence. His blue eyes stared around the pool at the other kids, meeting their green and hazel eyes in surprise. Finally he said, “Why are you all staring at me like that?” The three older kids exchanged a quick look before returning their gaze to him.
He didn’t know what that look meant, but they all seemed rather uncomfortable at the moment. Then James Junior stood up in the shallow end of the pool and said, “You’ve been spacing out a lot lately. You’re way too intense for an eleven year old, you need to relax more often. Start enjoying your life, rather than spending all your time honing yourself to perfection. Look, all I’m saying is that you might want to slow your studies down a bit.” Junior was the oldest and Harry knew he was supposed to respect his older brother’s advice, but something seemed wrong with his statement.
“Do you know why I constantly study and practice and push myself?” said Harry through gritted teeth. His body was starting to feel the too familiar sensation of frustration at not being understood expanding into anger. Lately his moods were descending into melancholy and fury at the tiniest provocation.
Junior’s face looked horrified as he realized the direction this conversation was going. Then in a small voice, he said, “Yes, I understand. You want to protect everyone around you from harm.”, then his voice rose as he mustered up his confidence, “But don’t you realize that we’re worried about you? Its not healthy-” But a glare from Harry silenced him, as if it’s coldness formed an icicle that stabbed Junior in the heart.
Harry’s voice turned menacing as he said, “Is that all?” The twins were watching their brothers argue with apprehension and sadness on their small freckled faces. Harry turned to them in anger and forcefully shouted, “WHAT ARE YOU STARING AT?” and they started to cry.
Junior’s face went from uneasy to angry very quickly. “Why are you being so rude to everybody? What’s your problem? Today was supposed to be a great day, but you’ve gone and ruined it for everybody before the sun has even completely risen over the horizon. What a selfish-” and then he cut himself off in shock. Standing in the doorway leading to and from the pool area was their grandfather.
In a quiet voice, Lord Potter looked at Harry, his bright green eyes drilling into Harry’s blue, and said, “Come with me Harry. Right now.” Feeling sick to his stomach, Harry obeyed and smoothly launched himself out of the pool and next to his elder. Lord Potter left his other grandchildren staring after him and moved swiftly towards his study without even checking to see if Harry was following him. Ashamed, Harry stared at his wet bare feet as he moved lithely behind the old man.