"Freak" Harry heard as he fell into the pavement "You're nothing but a freak."
Harry groaned and attempted to rise again but was stopped by Dudley smashing him down. He and his gang then walked away laughing.
Sighing, Harry began to get up before eventually deciding to rest against the wall, his breaths coming spurts. Harry never saw comfort in school. When he first found out he would get to go, he jumped in excitement. To him, school was an escape. He would get to leave the care of Dursleys and be himself. They couldn't hurt him there was first thought. However, he was mistaken.
Harry, was an intelligent child, easily smarter than all his classmates. That changed though when the Vernon got a call, asking if Harry could skip a grade. They found out about Harry beating their precious Dudley in school. They did not stand for it. They beat him until he swore to never do as good as Dudley again. From then on, he hid his intelligence, never showing it on tests. The teachers were puzzled by this. But, they accepted it and didn't question it. Mostly because Vernon made it a little more profitable for them.
The kids never stepped near Harry unless they had to. When a kid would try, Dudley would convince them never to do it again. Eventually, everyone stopped trying. And Harry was alone.
He attempted to rise once again but he succumbed to the pain in his legs once again and fell back down. As he groaned in pain, he heard footsteps approaching. He cowered in fear, but instead of feeling pain, he heard a voice.
"Need any help" he heard the voice say.
"W-what" he responded.
Harry looked and saw a boy his age standing before him. The boy was tall and lanky, with his black hair in the shape of a buzz cut.
"Are you okay" the boy asked "I saw that oaf pushing you around."
"Y-you should go" Harry said.
The boy laughed "I'm not scared of that idiot. Now, come on. I'll get you cleaned up."
Harry's eyes widened in shock "Really?"
The boy smiled "Really."
He looped his arm around Harry and helped him rise. They then set off with Harry wincing with every step.
Harry's mind was flooded with questions and eventually, he couldn't hold them in anymore "Who are you?"
The boy nodded "I figured that you'd ask that. I'm Rishi. Rishi Gopal. And you're Harry Potter."
Harry looked shocked "How do you know me?"
Rishi's smiling demeanor morphed into one of confusion "Wait, you don't know?"
"Know what" Harry replied.
Rishi sighed "We got a lot to talk about. Come with me."
"Where are we going" Harry asked.
"My house" Rishi answered "We need to get you cleaned up and I can't do it out here."
Harry nodded and they set off.
After much walking (and groaning from Harry), the boys arrived. As they walked inside, Rishi yelled "Marky!"
"Does Master Rishi need something" a small creature suddenly appeared, startling Harry.
Harry took a step back, wincing "What is that?"
Rishi smiled "This a Marky, a house elf. Anyway, Marky, can you tell Amma* that I'm home?"
Marky nodded and with a POP, he vanished.
Rishi gestured to a couch "Lie down."
Harry nodded and followed his command. Rishi got down beside him and said "Episkey."
Harry looked at his body and saw his cuts and bruises healing "What did you do?"
"So, I'm a wizard" Harry questioned "Why didn't anyone tell me?"
Rishi shrugged "Well, I didn't know that you were Harry Potter until today. When I found out, I was confused. I mean, Dumbledore always said that you went to a nice, caring family. But, I saw you getting picked on by your cousin so I know that's not true."
"And" Harry continued "I apparently defeated this dark wizard. That's why people know my name."
Rishi nodded so Harry asked another question "Why are you helping me? And why did you just choose to help me?"
"You're a good person" Rishi said "You get picked on and ignored but you don't hold it against people. Also, until now, I didn't see the bullying. When I did, I wanted to help."
Harry nodded "Thanks. Were my parents wizards?"
"Of course" a new voice said.
Rishi grinned "Harry, this is my dad. Nanna*, this is Harry."
Jai Gopal looked over Harry and smiled "We've heard a lot about you Mr. Potter. My condolences for your parents' murder."
Harry's eyes widened "Murder?"
Mr. Gopal nodded "You didn't know? They were murdered by He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named."
Harry looked shocked "So, the wizard I defeated, killed my parents? My Aunt and Uncle told me they died in a car crash. Then, when I asked more about them, they'd..." He stopped, unable to continue.
Rishi looked at his father "Nanna, if they lied to him about that, is it possible that they could've lied about more?"
Mr. Gopal nodded and put his hand on Harry's shoulder "Harry, I promise you, we're going to help you."
He then turned to Rishi "Tell Amma that we will miss dinner with the Patils. We are going to Gringotts."
*Amma and Nanna are Telugu words for Mom and Dad. Rishi will use them and other Telugu words on occasion.
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