“And then Jack chopped down what was the world's last beanstalk, adding murder and ecological terrorism to the theft, enticement, and trespass charges already mentioned, and all the giant's children didn't have a daddy anymore. But he got away with it and lived happily ever after, without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done...which proves that you can be excused for just about anything if you are a hero, because no one asks inconvenient questions.” – Terry Pratchett, Hogfather
Harry was lying on his new bed in his new room and was staring at the ceiling. Hagrid had brought him back to his relatives' home. Harry had asked him to. The Dursleys had given him Dudley's second bedroom and had started to ignore him for the most time. A definite change for the better. Harry was just a little worried this would not last until he left for Hogwarts. He had begun to write Hagrid every five days. If his relatives changed their behaviour towards him he would mention that Hagrid wanted Harry to keep him informed. The amount of his chores had been cut down and he spent most of his increased free time reading his new books and mulling over what he found out. A lot had happened since Hagrid had turned up at Privet Drive. The shouting match between Hagrid and his relatives (mostly Uncle Vernon) had revealed a few interesting things.
Mundane people are called muggles.
My relatives have known about the magical world and my magic to some extent.
My mother and father were both magical.
My parents fought in a war and died as heroes.
After Hagrid had won the shouting match by giving Uncle Vernon a pig tail Hagrid and he had left for London. Hagrid had been reluctant to tell Harry the story about the war his parents had fought in but had relented in the end.
An evil wizard and his followers began attacking and killing Muggles, Muggle-borns and other wizards and witches which did not conform to their ideals.
Nobody says his name (You Know Who).
He killed my parents.
He tried to kill me but failed and vanished.
I am famous for surviving the Killing Curse with only a scar.
I am called the Boy Who Lived.
Most people would like to believe You Know Who is dead but some think he is still alive, just weakened.
Harry didn't like the story. Especially the open ending. He examined his wand. Brother wands. Same core. Yew and Holly. Harry had checked their meanings. Yew had always been a symbol of death and rebirth, commonly found in churchyards. Holly was protective, a symbol of hope and a remainder of rebirth and life. Death and Life. Opposites and yet similar. If You Know Who was still alive it would also be possible for him to return. If he returned he would come for Harry. No respectable Dark Lord would let the very reason for their downfall alive. Harry wondered if it was not more likely his parents had done something to protect him. Be that as it may he was famous. He was a symbol. He was stuck with it.
His first taste of fame had been getting crowded in the Leaky Cauldron after Tom the innkeeper recognized him. Harry had not only visited Flourish and Blotts but also a second-hand book shop. He had bought a few books about basic knowledge of the magical world, a few which had caught his fancy and three about the civil war in wizarding Britain.
The conflict with the Dark Lord Voldemort began in 1970. He started a revolution against the Ministry of Magic with the goal of creating a society run by pure-bloods. In the beginning he and his followers (Death eaters) mainly attacked Muggles to cause chaos but began to target Muggle-borns and Blood-traitors later on. They also saw goblins and other non-human magical beings as inferior creatures.
Harry wondered how many Death eater attacks were disguised as IRA bombings by the Ministry.The books diverged from that point. Two books mentioned that Death eaters had used the Imperius Curse to spy on the Ministry. However, one book mentioned Death eaters occupying strategic positions within the Ministry itself and using blackmail and the Imperius Curse to further destabilize it. It also mentioned the Death eater Augustus Rockwood who had run a particularly successful network of espionage within.
Lord Voldemort and his followers tightened their grip on wizarding Britain. People began to refer to him as He Who Must Not Be Named or You Know Who. The Dark Mark appeared over the scenes of their murders. Minister Jenkins was removed from office. Her successor Minister Munchum and Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement Crouch reported early successes. A group of vigilantes made their appearance and interfered with or supported the Ministry (Order of Phoenix led by Albus Dumbledore). Munchum was not able to stop the war and was replaced by Minister Bagnold. However, the war continued. The McKinnons, the Bones, the Prewetts and the Potters.
Harry had found a book about the Potter family. Ralston and Henry Potter had served both in the Wizengamot, wizarding Britain's high court of law and parliament, at different times in history and had proclaimed a rather pro-Muggle attitude. His father had been considered a blood traitor for marrying his mother, a Muggle-born, by You Know Who and his followers. His parents had been members of the Order of Phoenix. You Know Who had not needed further reasons for targeting the Potters.
There was a traitor within the Order of Phoenix. Several Order members were killed. My parents were warned and went into hiding. However, he found our home in Godric's Hollow, killed both of them and then turned to me. I am known as the only survivor of the Killing Curse. When he tried to kill me the curse rebounded leaving only a lightning bolt shaped scar on me. However, he seemingly lost body and power. Half of the top floor of our home was blown apart. Hagrid rescued me from the ruins which are now invisible to Muggles and serve as a memorial. There is also a statue depicting my family and my parents are buried in Godric's Hollow.
It had not ended there. Sirius Black, a close friend of his parents and his godfather, had played a role in their death and had killed Peter Pettigrew, another close friend, and twelve Muggles. It was not clear if Black was the traitor. There was not much information. The Longbottoms had been abducted and tortured by the Lestranges and Bartemius Crouch Jr, son of the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Crouch Sr's reputation had taken a major hit. One book hinted that some Death eaters had escaped punishment by claiming to be the victim of the Imperius Curse or by using their power, wealth or influence.
Hagrid brought me to the Dursleys after my parents had died. Albus Dumbledore told wizarding Britain I'm living hidden in the Muggle world. Albus Dumbledore told them I'm safe and happy.