A/N: Yes, I KNOW I should be working on my other stories, and I am. I'm having a bit of trouble with them, though, but I am working. You can expect a new chapter of "When Things Start to Change" by the end of the week. This little booger just got in my head, though, and it wouldn't get out. Please read and reply!

Disclaimer: No one in this story belongs to me...

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Summer is always strange. You try spending nine months out of the year living one life and then being expected to live the exact opposite for the other three. Not only the exact opposite but a lie. Yes, a lie. It's awful pretending like the first world doesn't even exist; it's awful not being able to do a single thing that reminds you of it.

It's basically just plain awful.

Now, don't get me wrong. I do love my parents very much, and I do enjoy the time that I get to spend with them. But they do know about the "other world," so I can at least mention it from time to time without too much of a big deal. However, my father still has trouble believing it now and then, and I half-expect that he does his best to pretend that I'm not talking; that way he won't have to fully believe it. And my poor mother... I gave up a long time even trying to tell her about any of the actual interesting things that I do. She gets far too squeamish any time I bring up anything with the word danger in it, and, unfortunately, danger is a very prominent thing in my life these days.

And, unfortunately, I'm not the only one.

Well, there's my parents for one (or two). It's nothing they've done; it's really nothing that I've done. You know, except for the whole being born thing... But then again, that's not really my fault. But it's not their fault, either, that they were blessed, or rather cursed, with a daughter who happened to be a (very powerful, if I do say so myself) witch. And they can't help it if that alone put them in worlds of danger.

And then there's the others.

Everyone basically. Everyone who lives in that other world and fights for the good and the right. They're all in danger now that You-Know-Who is back. Everyone is.

And Harry and Ron, too.

They're my best friends, and they have been for the better part of four, going on five years. Well, we're about to start our fifth year at school, so I suppose that's actually only four. However long, it seems like much longer. It seems like I've known them my entire life.

Poor Harry.

I still don't know the exact details of what went on in that maze back in June. He wouldn't talk about it except to say that he was okay. Well, just because he's got terrible eyes doesn't mean that I have; I'm not blind.

He wasn't okay.

And I expect he's still not. His letters are casual enough. "Great weather here. Too bad I have to spend most of it weeding the garden for my aunt. How're your parents?" Too casual if you ask me. He's hiding something, but I haven't yet figured it out. It's nothing scandalous or anything like that, of course; it's deeply hidden feelings that he's too timid to share. Okay, I could handle that; he doesn't want to tell me because I do tend to worry too much. No, that doesn't really upset me that much.

What upsets me is that he isn't telling Ron, either.

He tells Ron everything, or at least I think he does. I'm pretty sure they tell each other way more than they tell me. But that's to be expected, right? They're boys, and boys do... boy things. It doesn't bother me.

Too much.

Okay, so sometimes it does bother me. They tend to leave me out quite a bit, and sometimes I feel like I'm nothing but a third wheel. I try not to let it get to me because they do have far more in common with each other than either of them has in common with me. And that's including stuff besides the obvious biological differences that we have.

Truth be told, I don't have too much in common with either of them.

Well, Harry was raised in a similar backdrop as me. At least in the same world. So, we do have that in common, but that's about it. And Ron? I don't believe it's possible to think of a single thing that Ron and I have in common.

But I don't mind.

Ron is one of those take 'em or leave 'em kind of people. You either hate him or love him, and, unfortunately, I've spent the better part of four years trying to decide which one of those emotions I feel for him.

God, he drives me crazy.

He's so incredibly annoying at times that I sometimes wonder how I've gone this long without slapping him. Oh, I've wanted to plenty of times, but that's just not me. I don't go around slapping people. (Okay, so there was that one time, but Malfoy is not human enough to be considered people). But Ron is just... Ron. Red hair, dimples, freckles, tall, annoying, hilarious, rude, sweet... It's just Ron.

I don't know why I've found myself pondering my feelings for him so much lately. I don't know if it's because of the way he acted last year. I don't know if it's because I'm just growing up and starting to realize things that have been there but invisible the whole time.

Me. Know-it-all extraordinaire.

And I don't know anything.

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Hermione said Harry's being vague in his letters to her. She said he's talking about things he never would have before- unimportant, trivial things that are nothing but a waste of parchment and ink.

Well, at least he's writing to her.

It's been two and a half weeks since I last heard from him. Before that, I'd only gotten two letters the entire summer. I've been so worried, I've read those letters over and over again until I've got them memorized. Not like there was much to memorize anyway...

"Ron, Sorry that I didn't respond right away, but the Dursleys are really watching me this summer. And they don't like me sending mail. They don't like me receiving it, either, so maybe you shouldn't write anymore. Tell everyone hi. -Harry."

And the other one was even shorter. "Ron, Tell your mum thanks for the sweets. Dudley's still on his diet, so I really need the nourishment. -Harry."

I don't understand it. He's not mad at me; at least I don't think he is. We did have that fight, but we got over it ages ago, and I can't think of any other reason he'd be upset with me. I don't think I've done anything.

Mum's been a basket case over him the whole summer. At the start of summer, she kept asking me every single day how he was. I kept telling her that I didn't know. When she demanded to know what was going on, I finally (and reluctantly) admitted that I really hadn't heard from him all summer. She asked if anything was going on between us, and Ginny opened her overly large mouth and told her that we'd spent the first quarter of term not speaking.

Mum really lost it then.

She went on and on about how he was in such a horrible position. And how could I be so selfish? And didn't I know that he was in terrible danger? And did I really want some stupid little bout of jealousy to ruin what was the best friendship I'd ever had? And basically how the whole thing was all my fault.

I didn't even bother trying to explain.

She doesn't understand, and she probably doesn't even want to try. It's really sweet how she automatically jumped to the conclusion that everything was all my fault, right? Great motherly love there.

But who could blame her?

Harry is like the son she never had. Not like she had enough as it was or anything... And what am I? Just the youngest of six that she's had to look at and put up with for years and years. And not only the youngest, but the most ordinary, too.

No wonder she likes Harry better.

He's famous and popular and, oh, such a tragic little hero. He's perfect. Or at least that's what everyone seems to think. I know better, though.

He's not perfect; in fact, he's a very long shot from perfect. He's not particularly handsome, and he's not overly smart. His grades are decent just like mine, but I'm the first to admit that that's due in large part to Hermione. If she wasn't constantly hoarding over us and demanding that we study, Harry and I would probably have failed out of school a long time ago.

I wonder what the world would say then. What if Famous Harry Potter really turned out to be just as ordinary as the rest of us? Shocking, that.

Don't get me wrong, though. Harry is brave; he doesn't hesitate to jump into dangerous situations if the need arises. And there's obviously something special about him, or he wouldn't be the only known person to ever survive Avada Kedavra. I'm not saying that he's completely ordinary; I'm just saying that he's not as spectacular as everyone seems to think.

Hermione is more spectacular.

Okay, so I would never, ever, under any circumstances (death bed included) admit that to her face. But she knows it; I don't have to admit it. I really, really admire her, and I have since the moment I met her. Okay, so maybe that's going overboard. I couldn't exactly admire her when practically the first thing she ever said to me was, "Are you sure that's a real spell? Well, it's not very good, is it?"

She hasn't changed a bit.

She'd still say exactly the same thing today if she saw me trying to turn a rat yellow. In fact, she'd probably be even ruder. She'd probably say something along the lines of, "Oh, will you grow up already? How stupid could you possibly be? You can't turn a rat yellow without saying 'Cerinus!' Not that I understand why, exactly, you want to turn that ragged thing a different color anyway. It's certainly not going to improve its appearance."

Yep, that's Hermione.

You either hate her of you love her. I reckon I do a little of both, but I'm allowed because she's one of my best friends.

And no.

Before you even start with all the, "Awe! Ickle Ronniekins has an ickle girlfriend!" crap, don't. She's not my girlfriend, and I've spent the better part of four years trying to explain this to the twins. I hate her because she drives me insane more often than not. And I love her because she's my friend.

The same way I love Harry, you know.

I can't help it if she's just really pretty sometimes. And I can't help it if she always smells like strawberries. And I can't help it if her eyes are the exact same color as a brand new box of chocolate frogs- you know, before they start getting the grayish-white stuff on them that means they've been sitting out for too long. And I certainly can't help it if her mind confuses me and shocks me and entrances me and infuriates me all at the same time.

Now, if there's anyone to be jealous of, it should be Hermione. She's the one who actually is extraordinary, but no one even notices. Well, maybe some people notice; McGonagall certainly does, and she never fails to point this out to the rest of the class. How many times have we heard, "Miss Granger still remains the only one who can transfigure a pocket watch into a baby goat"? Okay, so we've never actually done watch into goat (unless I slept through that class, which is a definite possibility), but you know what I mean. And Snape notices, too. He might hate to admit it, but he can't deny the fact that Hermione is smarter than his whole bloody Slytherin lot put together. Of course, he phrases his acknowledgement differently than McGonagall; he's more likely to say, "I don't remember asking you to be a know-it-all, Miss Granger." And, once again, I say, why ask the question if you don't want to know the answer?

Bloody Snape.

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Summer is going just fine. The Dursleys aren't being half-bad this year, and I'm actually starting to realize that Dudley and I have a lot in common. Aunt Petunia is letting me have more freedom, and Uncle Vernon isn't spending half of the day yelling at me anymore.

Things are fine.

I once heard that pathological liars tell lies so often that they eventually start to believe them. Supposedly, if you say something often enough, you will undoubtedly start to believe it, no matter how far from the truth it actually is.

Maybe I'm turning into a pathological liar?

Or maybe not. I don't believe those things; I think I'm just hoping that I will start to think they're true eventually. Perhaps I'm a prospering pathological liar? Okay, so maybe not. And anyway, those things aren't even lies; they're just stretched versions of the truth.

The Dursleys aren't being half-bad this year. Actually, they're not. They're being completely bad. As awful as ever, and, trust me, that's saying something. And Dudley and I do have some things in common, maybe not a lot, but there are some commodities there. For example, we're both males. We're the same age- both on the brink of fifteen. And our mothers shared the same parents, which, in turn, gives Dudley and me a common blood line. See? We do have some things in common. Aunt Petunia is giving me more freedom. Okay, so perhaps I should have phrased that a little differently; perhaps, "Aunt Petunia leaves me outside for hours at a time doing yard work in the hot sun with no offer of anything at all to eat or drink for hours on end" might have been more accurate. But still, if I'm alone, I'm at least a little free, right? And the next part is completely true. Uncle Vernon no longer spends half the day screaming at me. He spends the entire day doing so...

Not that I blame him, of course. I mean, look at what I've brought upon his family. If I were the Dursleys, I would have kicked me out years ago; I often wonder why they haven't. It's no secret that they want to, but I reckon they're probably scared. I've heard the story of how they got me, of course. Now, I know that they found me on the doorstep with a letter from Dumbledore; I'd like to see that letter some day, just to see what frightened them into taking me in the first place. Of course, I'm sure it's long since been burned to ashes just in case, on the off-chance, someone might go snooping through their personal papers and find it. Oh, the shame.

I'm pretty sure they know what happened in June. I didn't tell them, of course, but I'm pretty sure they know. Dumbledore probably told them somehow, and he probably threatened them with ends they'd not like to meet if they mentioned it to me. Of course, the Dursleys would never mention it to me, with or without a threat. Mentioning it might mean acknowledging it.

And they would certainly have nothing of the such.

I haven't been really keeping up with what's going on in the wizarding world; I don't have any real way, and I'm not even sure I want to know anyway. Well, I suppose I do have ways. I could ask Ron or even Hermione (if she's still getting her subscription to the Daily Prophet). But I won't. I won't ask them because that would just mean conversing with them, and I don't want to.

I don't want to be rude, of course, and that's why I haven't completely ignored them. I don't want them to think that I'm mad or angry or anything like that; I just don't want them to have to be burdened by me. Too much stuff is involved now, and I care about them too much to put them through that.

I've written to Hermione more, but that's just because she's not as sensible as Ron. Yes, I'm aware that that statement might sound odd, but it's the truth. To be as smart as she is, Hermione can sometimes be incredibly slow on the uptake. She wouldn't understand if I didn't write to her; she'd just worry and write to McGonagall or Dumbledore or somebody until I started writing back. She worries far too much for my liking.

Now Ron is different.

Ron is sensible enough to know that if I don't write, it simply means I don't want to put him in danger. At least I hope he's that sensible. He's far too proud to go pressuring me for answers or anything like that. I'm sure he knows that I'm only doing it for his own good.

Because if he isn't friends with me then he isn't in quite as much danger.

Of course, there's the obvious danger of him being from a known Muggle- sympathizing family, and with Voldemort back, that's definitely not a good thing. But without me, he's at least in less danger.

That's all I am.

Danger.

Danger to everyone I care about. And it kills me. I don't want it to be this way, but I can't change it. That's just how it is. I can't have any close relationships with anyone from now on because that's not fair to the person.

I don't think I'm going back to Hogwarts.

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Well, I'd love to continue it from time to time if you guys want to read more. Please leave feedback!!!