The letter’s voice had reminded him of a stern, yet kind old woman with a slight Scottish accent. When it finished, Harry was in shock, a school of magic? His first thought was that it was a joke, a cruel prank by Dudley and his friends. But the more he thought about it, the more he realized the things he could do were ‘magic’. Perhaps the Dursleys knew about him being a wizard, and that was why they did not even let him say the word ‘magic’. It sounded logical now, and explained that apparently, arbitrary and crazy prohibition.
After a while, He remembered the other letter. This one was from Fulton Secondary School for the Blind. It was in Braille, they were sorry to reject his request for a scholarship, but they had several students already on their funds and no position had opened that year. He would, of course, be considered next year when three positions opened if he was still interested.
Harry was disappointed. He had so wanted to attend Fulton Secondary School; it was the best school for blind children in the whole British Isles. From what he investigated getting admitted into University was almost a given for the top students, and he had planned to be among the best. He could wait a year for a position to open, but he wasn’t sure neither he could survive a year with his relatives nor that Vernon would allow him the chance to attend school next year.
He had this Hogwarts place and they had accepted him, and he wanted to learn more about magic. They even sent a list of school things and directions on how to reach the place where he could buy them. His problem was that his relatives would not pay for anything. Professor McGonagall –the deputy Headmistress- requested a reply, so Harry typed one where he explained that he had no means to pay for his studies and materials, because his relatives did not want to pay for his education.
Harry wanted to know if it would be possible to grant him a scholarship, as that would be the only way to attend the school. The boy also wanted to know if there was some kind of work for extra funds program. They had this at Fulton’s and it not only allowed the students some money to buy necessities ‘they had some change to spend on the weekends. The students also gained work experience that could be added to their resumes’. When he finished the letter Harry realized he had no way to send it. It was then that he heard a flutter of wings and a bird hooted; an owl.
“You’ll deliver this letter?” He asked the bird incredulous. The owl hooted again and pecked the letter to confirm that he understood what the boy wanted. Harry gave it to the owl petted it gratefully, and he heard it leave.
All that day he was restless, worrying about the response to his letter. Would the bird deliver it? Would they grant his request? He had mentioned his excellent grades, although he had omitted the ‘small’ fact that he was blind. They must know, right? He had been doing magic without seeing, in fact, magic made his life bearable. When no answer came that day, Harry went to bed with a heavy heart. The next morning the hooting of an owl woke him up. The bird deposited the letter on his bed within easy reach and left with a flutter of wings. With trembling hands the boy opened it and willed it to read aloud. The voice of this letter was not the same woman, this sounded like a kind old man. At first, but Harry could detect nuances in his voice that told him this man was powerful and a force to reckon with. The small boy decided to be weary of him.
Dear Mr. Potter,
Do not worry about paying for your studies. Before their deaths, your parents took care of securing your education and future. The Potters were a well-respected and influential family in the Wizarding world, as I’m sure Mr. and Mrs. Dursley have informed you.
Your mother –Lily- was a powerful witch, as well as extremely intelligent. She became Headgirl here at Hogwarts. Your father was a resourceful wizard, Headboy along with your mother. You were placed in our registry book since you were three months old, when you first performed magic. You were hungry and summoned your mother to feed you; this is something even fully grown and trained wizards have difficulty to perform without a wand. I can tell you, that your parents were incredibly proud.
After their deaths, certain items came into my possession for safekeeping, until the day you came to Hogwarts or were old enough to receive them. One of those items I am enclosing in the letter. It is the key to your personal vault at Gringotts Bank in Diagon Alley.
This vault was specially set up by your parents to pay for your magical education as well as to provide you with expending money during the seven years you will attend Hogwarts. There is more than enough to pay for your supplies and a treat or two to celebrate your birthday. I expect to see you at the sorting feast on September 1st.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
(blah, blah, blah)
Reading about his parents had made a few tears roll down his cheeks. The Dursleys –it seemed- had only fed him lies about his Mum and Dad. He was not surprised that they had, but it still hurt. At least he now knew they were magical, loved him and were not the drunken hooligans he had been led to believe by his aunt and uncle. Still, there was something this Dumbledore mentioned that puzzled him. That part about his parents deaths. The boy got the feeling there was more to it, that it might not have been an accident at all. Accidents just happened, and few people prepared for them, but it seemed his parents knew something might happen to them, and that was why they prepared the vault. Harry determined to ask this Dumbledore fellow when he got to school.
Harry decided not to dwell on his parents’ death too much, and instead rejoiced at the opportunity of not having to spend nine months of the year in his hateful relatives’ presence. He had a huge smile on his face, and managed to keep it despite how obnoxious the Dursleys were to him that day. They hated seeing him happy, and the fact that the authorities now kept them under a tighter watch since their last court summons three months ago.
Dudley had pushed ‘the freak’ down the stairs, nothing new, and normally it would not have been a problem. But the small boy did not want to risk doing his ‘tricks’ before his relatives lest he spent longer in the cupboard than the usual three days. After the fall, Harry had complained about his wrist being broken, it was hurting badly. It was obvious that it really was; it hung at an odd angle. But his aunt Petunia dismissed it, saying that he only wanted attention. Two days later the social worker –Mrs. Brown- visited. She only checked on Harry once a month, and it was her job to make sure the family behaved. As soon as she saw the poorly bandaged wrist, she called the police and Mr. Pritchard. Mrs. Brown then took the boy to the hospital.
The wrist was broken, and Harry needed surgery to repair it. The Dursleys were required to cover the expenses much to their chagrin. Needless to say, Pritchard pressed charges against them… again. This time, the authorities resorted to drastic measures. They could not understand why they could not remove the child from that family’s ‘care’, even when the judge dictated the child’s removal all documents specified that he was to remain. So, if they could not take Harry away, they would take Dudley the next time something happened to Harry. It was clear the adult Dursleys were not suitable guardians and were a bad example for their son.
Both Vernon and Petunia Dursley were incensed by this decision and they tried to appeal it, but their solicitor told them they would loose and probably make things worse. They were guilty of abuse and criminal neglect to a child several times already, and they were lucky their son had not been removed before. This only made the aunt and uncle hate Harry even more. Still, the abuse and neglect had continued. After they returned from court Vernon had switched the boy viscously, careful not to hit any area where the injuries could be seen, and threatened to kill Harry if he told and the authorities took Dudley away. The small boy knew his uncle was serious, he would do it.