I don’t own any of the characters and I don’t earn any money in writing this. AUTHOR’S NOTE:
Thanks to Storyseeker for his help in reviewing this. Ethan Rayne opened his costume shop somewhere besides Sunnydale. The task here is to guess the costume. As usual, if you have any comments or preferences, please don’t be shy. RandR. SILLY COSTUME?
Harry repressed a sigh of exasperation as his uncle dragged him into the shop. Neither was happy about it, but after the last ‘unnatural incident’ he had been blamed for, there was no way uncle Vernon was going to leave him alone in the car.
The costume shop, Ethan’s, had opened two weeks before Halloween, and Dudley’s friends had all had good things to say about the selection there. The most wicked monster costumes around could be had at great prices. That had sold both Dudley and Vernon on shopping there.
Aunt Petunia was the only problem, at least in Dudley’s opinion, as she had insisted on coming along to help her ‘Duddeykins’ pick something good, which to her mind meant something cute and fluffy.
Harry decided that he really didn’t mind being dragged along if it meant that he could see Dudley try to squirm his way out of being stuffed into a pink bunny outfit. He looked around the shop, curious about the fuss. He’d never participated in Halloween festivities before, no sense spending money on him Vernon had grumbled the one time the possibility had actually been raised.
There were monster costumes, super-hero costumes, full sets of cardboard armor and quite a few things he couldn’t identify. They were probably, he guessed, fictional characters from TV or movies that he had never seen. Some of them were pretty strange looking. There were several black outfits with large yellow Xs on them, a white outfit with a British flag covering most of the torso and the mask, and what looked like girls’ school uniforms, but which were embarrassingly short and tight.
His attention was drawn back to his relatives by Dudley’s predictable whine.
“But mum, it’s a baby’s costume!”
Harry wandered over to look, and saw a cat costume complete with paws and a tail. It was completely adorable and the horrified look on Dudley’s face made the whole trip worthwhile.
“It’ll be perfect for you, and it comes in your size, see? Not a baby costume!”
“I mean it’s a costume only a baby would wear!” Dudley clarified.
“Might work out then,” his father interrupted. “Weren’t you telling me that you and your friends had a bet? To see who could go the whole evening at that party without being recognized?”
Dudley’s face scrunched up in the way it did when he was thinking hard. Harry looked away from the disturbing sight, grateful that it didn’t happen often. There was a full-face mask on the costume, so it might have worked if Dudley’s shape didn’t immediately give him away.
“Could work,” his cousin allowed. “No one would think I’d wear something like that
.” Harry noticed his aunt shoot Vernon a grateful look. The monster costume her son had been contemplating would have given her nightmares, she was certain.
Harry carefully hid his disappointment that Dudley hadn’t made more of a scene. Vernon’s use of psychology had been an unwelcome surprise, but it would still be funny to see his cousin in the cat suit. He glanced about at the other costumes. There was nothing there he would particularly want to wear even if his uncle was willing to spring for a costume. Dudley’s next words drew his attention back to his relatives.
“We should get something for Harry.”
“Why?” his uncle sounded honestly baffled at the idea.
“Well, if I have to wear something humiliating…” Dudley trailed off with a shrug as he looked around. “How about that?” Harry moved back to the aisle where his relatives were standing, with a sinking feeling in his gut. With his luck, Dudley was looking at a fairy princess costume.
It was nearly that bad.
Vernon had thought his son’s idea and the costume were pretty funny. The proprietor had given them a good deal on it since he honestly wasn’t sure what it was. Apparently, the information sheet had been mislaid and no one else had shown any interest in it.
So it was that 10-year-old Harry Potter stood glumly at the front-door dressed in a black dress with a pretty pattern on it, waiting for his cousin to get ready. They were going trick-or-treating, and then Dudley was going to a party while Harry returned home. Trick-or-treating wasn’t exactly a British tradition, more of an American favorite, but there was still the odd few kids who would do it every year, and Dudley never passed up a chance at free candy.
“Why don’t you go wait outside, cousin?” Dudley suggested. “Let the neighbors admire your pretty dress.” With a sigh, Harry went to wait outside while his cousin finished getting into the cat costume. It was an odd looking affair, all white, with a strange tuft of hair at the end that reminded Harry of a lion’s tail. He kept that too himself as he thought Dudley was already too pleased with the outfit.
He waited outside on the walk-path, ignoring the various groups of trick-or-treaters who passed by, giving him odd looks, when a group of Dudley’s friends happened by. They had their costumes in bags, as they intended to change at the party and try to fool each other. Piers, Malcolm and Denis saw Harry and sniggered, but Gordon looked surprised and thoughtful.
“Nice dress, Potter,” Denis mocked. “Make it out of a shower curtain?”
Gordon shook his head. “That’s not a dress.” He gave Harry a more critical look as he walked around him, noting the high collared black robe and stylized clouds. “Nice choice, but there’s a piece missing. Where’s the headband?”
“Headband?” Harry frowned and then reached into the pockets and found a scrap of cloth. “Oh, here it is.” He pulled out a length of dark blue cloth with an odd design stitched into it. It looked like a metal plate with an odd swirling pattern on it. There also seemed to be a scratch through it, as if the symbol had been deliberately marred.
At Gordon’s insistence, he tied it around his head so that the symbol was on his forehead. “Okay. So who am I?”
Dudley looked at himself in the mirror. He hated the cute costume, but he had to admit that, with the head on, no one would recognize him. He only wished that the foam padding in the mask, which was supposed to make it more comfortable didn’t itch so much.
Getting an idea, he took it off. All he needed was a bit of cl...
The thought went unfinished as a wave of dizziness suddenly overcame him. That was followed by pain as his body seemed to shift and grow in ways that nature had never intended it to. His last coherent thought, as he looked to his horrified parents for help, was that he was suddenly very hungry.
Before any of the other boys could answer, Harry felt a wave of dizziness. Shouts of alarm and screams of pain sounded from up and down the street.
He tried to hold onto consciousness and succeeded long enough to hear an inhuman roar from inside his house, followed by the screams of his aunt and uncle.
It had been an odd few years for Harry. In the wake of the Halloween disaster, which remained a mystery in spite of the best efforts of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, Harry had been relocated. His aunt and uncle had been eaten by what witnesses had tentatively identified as a manticore. Dudley was confined to a mental institution, having been traumatized by the event to an extent that not even obliviating his memory could help him.
Harry himself had gone to Hogwarts on schedule, leaving his godfather behind in the Order safe house. Sirius had, even in Azkaban, heard about the Halloween disaster and broken out to find his godson. A dose of Veritiserum administered by Dumbledore had cleared Sirius, at least to the satisfaction of the Order of the Phoenix. The Ministry was still searching for him.
The memories and abilities gained that night, Harry had kept to himself. Even Dumbledore couldn’t detect any lingering effects and had sighed with relief over that. Harry wondered how he would feel if he actually knew who the boy-who-lived had dressed as.
It didn’t matter. The name was meaningless in the Wizarding World and not that widely known in the Muggle world. Still, it had made for an interesting three years. Quirrel and the Voldemort remnant had been easily dealt with, Harry having seen through the charade. It only took so long because everyone’s desire to protect him by withholding information kept him from understanding what
he was seeing.
The diary in second year had given him more trouble, but the Basilisk hadn’t proven to be nearly the challenge that the ghostly Tom Riddle had hoped for.
Sirius had gone off his nut third year, showing up at the school looking for someone he wouldn’t discuss with Harry. The capture of the rat, easily accomplished once the truth had been pried out of his stubborn and understandably murderous godfather, had cleared Sirius Black of any wrongdoing. The use of his Halloween spell granted abilities in dealing with Pettigrew and the Dementors had raised a few eyebrows, but he managed to explain it away.
The Dementors had proven a real problem. The affect on his “Harry memories” had been bad enough, but it also affected the other, incapacitating him as readily as his own special technique laid out others. He had kicked himself after the fact for using that technique on Pettigrew, as it had nearly exposed his secret.
It had been a real challenge at points, keeping the truth from his friends and teachers, but he had managed it, and now he stood face to face with one of his main reasons for doing so.
“Oh, come now, Harry, your teachers have certainly taught you better than that. When you duel you must observe the formalities. First, we bow.”
He did so, and Harry humored him, though he could have easily ignored the Imperius curse, as it had never affected him.
Voldemort took his stance, and was confused and angered to see the boy putting away his wand.
“It’s over, Voldemort.” He made an odd gesture with his hands and his suddenly strange eyes swept over the assembled Death Eaters and their master, making contact with each. “Tsukuyomi.”