A/N- Okay, so here's the next chapter. I'm sorry it took so long to get out, but I went on vacation, and this summer went by so fast, I really didn't realize so much time had passed by since my last update. But anyway onto the chapter. This next chapter was really really fun to write (and it's probably one of my favorites), and I hope you all enjoy it to see where Harry ends up next. I don't want to give anything away, but I will say that Harry is not going to have an easy time in this chapter (Yes...for the hundreth time, lol), and that being said, it's not because of Death Eaters this time. It's for a completely different reason, and let's just say that Harry can't escape who is he for very long. So go see what happens for yourself and I really hope you enjoy the chapter!
To my reviewers- Thanks to all my reviewers! I am the type of writer who loves to get feedback so keep it coming, because you have NO idea how much I appreciate it! I work hard on this story, so your feedback means so much to me. So thanks!
And yes, SoBla, you guessed it right; I am the biggest Buffy fan. It's my favorite all time show, and was a truly amazing show at that.
Next Update: Since I learned I can't make a promise for my updates (It usually is really soon, or really long) I will just say that I will really really try to get the next chapter up in the next couple weeks. This time it might be sooner because I already started writing the next chapter.
Ch. 23- The "Infamous" Harry Potter
Harry stopped as he once again regained his breath for about the hundredth time. He hadn't run that hard and that fast----probably in his whole life. He didn't even have time to process what had really happened. Harry then leaned up against the wall, and wiped the sweat off his brow. After letting his heart calm down, he began to take it all in; the Death Eaters, attacking him. About to kill him. But they didn't. He was okay. He was standing right here. He had managed to escape (but not poor Billy, Harry sadly reminded himself), with the help of------Gemma. Something he could of never saw coming in a million years; that obnoxiously rude, mysterious girl, who he had practically attacked and accused of following him. And after all that--she had saved him. As grateful as Harry was for coming to his rescue, the significant question was, who was she?
Harry was still having a hard time accepting it. She wasn't just a normal girl in London. She had obviously lied about who she was. She was magical, yes. But she was good. For whatever reason, she was obviously just protecting herself. He didn't know anything for sure, like most things of late. Harry shook his head at yet another mystery to marvel at. He just wished he could at least of said thank you, but she had disappeared so fast, he didn't have the chance, and might never have the opportunity to. Well whoever she was, or wherever she was, was something Harry had to put out of his mind for the time being. He had some decisions to make. Harry looked ahead of him, and walked straight into Hogsmeade. How he had ended up here, was something Harry wasn't ready to deal with yet. He didn't even realize he was going in this direction, practically until he arrived. He knew his heart had led him here; back toward Hogwarts. However, his head had told him to run far away, and never look back. But that wasn't what he wanted either. He wished he could be with his back with his friends. He wanted to be there for Ginny. He wanted to go home. He truly did. But one thing was whirling around in his soul, and that one thing was fear. He could feel it inside of him, and it wasn't going to go away anytime soon. The way he had left–the things he had said. He knew for sure that nothing would never be the same between him, Ron and Hermione. And then there was Ginny—who he didn't even want to think about it. He wanted to be there to protect them, especially after what happened with the death eaters. But selfishly Harry didn't know if he had what it took to go back again––and face everything...that he ran away from. The truth was, Harry didn't know what the hell he wanted, and he wasn't going figure this out, by standing out here in the freezing cold. He had enough. He felt his feet moving towards the Three Broomsticks. He just hoped nobody would recognize him, because he didn't want anybody to know he was back at Hogwarts yet. He would find a table in the back, and just leave his hood up. Maybe sitting down inside, he could finally think clearly for once. Hopefully, Harry told himself. He had to decide if he was staying or going back–and soon. Harry was a few feet from the door, and before he went in, he slowed down to readjust his bag on his shoulder.
"Watch where you're going!" He heard a voice cry out.
"Oh, er...sorry", Harry quickly blurted under his breath, before looking up.
Harry finally looked up, and he his eyes almost popped out of his head. "Gemma?"
"Of course, silly. I didn't think I'd see you again", Gemma said boldly.
Harry was almost at a loss for words. He was thinking the same thing. "Er— Me either! I mean–I didn't think I would see you either. You just ran off so quickly after-
"I saved you", Gemma said, a smirk lingering on her face.
"Yeah", Harry told her. "About that– I thought you weren't–"
"Magical?" Gemma cut in.
Harry shook his head. "But it doesn't matter. I mean--- you saved me. I didn't think I was going to get out of there alive. How did you find me?"
Gemma was quiet for a moment. Her expression turned dead serious. "I followed you".
Harry's eyes widened. "Er–why?"
Gemma got closer to his face. "Why? Because I knew something was wrong after your little freak out. So I decided to play it safe, and follow you back. It's a good thing I did, huh?"
Harry smiled a little. "Well----thanks. If it wasn't for you, I probably wouldn't be standing here right now. I just don't get why they attacked me there, so exposed and out in the open", Harry admitted, but then realizing maybe she wouldn't know what death eaters are. She knew magic, yes, but how much she knew was unclear.
"The things that attacked me", Harry started.
"Death Eaters, I know. Voldermort's cronies. They do his evil bidding. Yada Yada".
"Er----that's one way of putting it", Harry mumbled. "But that was the first time they had ever came for me outside the magical world. I guess I was pretty foolish to think that they wouldn't find me there".
"Trust me. They can find you anytime, anywhere------especially if they want you dead", Gemma said outright, her tone more serious than ever.
Harry wasn't sure what to say. He didn't know anything about this girl. He knew she was magical, but had she gone to Hogwarts? And if she was magical why was she living as a muggle in Downtown London? Harry had a sneaking suspicion why; for the same reason he was trying to live as a muggle. He was hiding from the magical world. Just as might be. "Did–---they come after you as well?" Harry asked, curiously.
Gemma shook her head. Her eyes started to glisten over. "My parents".
Twenty minutes later, Harry and Gemma were sitting in the back of Three Broomsticks. There was an uncomfortable silence hanging in the air. Gemma had just told Harry about what had happened to her parents five years ago.
"So you had never known you were magical before your parents were killed?" Harry said to Gemma, who was staring down at the table.
Gemma quickly looked up. "No----I couldn't say that I knew a thing. It never in a million years would have occurred to me. Let's put it this way----I never even thought about magic before".
A puzzled look appeared on Harry's face.
"What?" Gemma asked.
"Er—it's just that, I dunno...Nevermind".
"No...spit it out. What? You don't believe me?" Gemma demanded.
Harry gulped. It wasn't that he didn't believe her. He just knew that every magical child receives a letter to attend Hogwarts...and they will keep coming until you answer it no matter how many times you destroy it, or throw it away. And Harry should now, since Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia tried every method of destruction on those letters. He knew that her parents wanted to shield her from the magical world, but how was it possible for her parents able to hide those letters? Harry had a flash of the letters pouring through the Dursley's whole house. It seemed impossible to be able to escape them. He didn't know what he was going to say to her. He couldn't shake this suspicion. Truthfully, he didn't really know this girl, so why should he believe anything she said?
"I don't know how my parents hid the letters", Gemma blurted, shaking Harry right out of his thoughts.
Harry looked at her, surprised. How had she known what he was thinking?
"Don't look so shell shocked Ron. I have literally have no idea how they managed to keep it from me. But I found a lot out after they were murdered. Everything...I knew there was more to my parents death than-----some random act of violence. When I was sixteen I was opened up to that world and I hated it. I still do...because that world is responsible for the death of my parents. But I promised to never stop learning everything about the magical world that I could so I would be prepared for the day----if they ever come back for me", Gemma uttered, a hardened look on her face.
"Er----can I ask...do you know why death eaters killed your parents?" Harry questioned.
Gemma looked right at his eyes and sighed. "I...found some old journals of my parents buried deep inside of some old boxes in our attic. That was a bust. I thought for sure I would find something there, but no such luck. It kills me to say that I don't know the reason why death eaters killed my parents...but surely enough left me alive. You know there are only a couple explanations of why they went after my parents. One... it was just collateral damage...one of their random evil acts...or they had motive for going after them. You know like maybe they had betrayed Voldermort or something of that nature...I'm going to go for the latter."
Harry couldn't think of one word to say. It was horrible. He could understand more than anyone what Gemma went through, but he really didn't want to get involved. He truly couldn't afford to. Still he had to say something. Anything.
"Er-----can I ask...why do you come here then if you hate the magical world so much?" Harry blurted the first thing popping in his head.
Gemma glared at him for a moment. She got uncomfortably close to his face. "You ever hear of the saying, "keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer?"
Harry nodded. "Sure".
"So, the more I come...the more I learn", Gemma added roughly, glancing around the room.
A few moments passed with nothing but pure silence.
"Enough about my tragic life", Gemma's voice sliced into the stillness. "So why are you on the run, Ron?"
Before Harry could answer, he could see a small trace of a smirk on Gemma's face. The way she had said Ron just then, it was like she knew his name wasn't really Ron. Well, of course she probably didn't believe that. She had spent the whole last five years of her life researching everything she could about the magical world. She had to know who Harry Potter was, and his ever famous lightening bolt scar.
"Er----you know who I really am don't you?" Harry asked frankly.
A half-smile appeared on Gemma's lips. "The lightening bolt on your forehead kind of gave it away", she whispered.
"Why didn't you say anything before now?" Harry demanded, slightly embarrassed.
"I-----guess I didn't want to press you. Obviously you're on the run for some reason. So, are you going to fess up? Why did you leave Hogwarts Harry?"
Harry's immediate response was just to get up and leave. He didn't want to get into to this; especially with someone who he didn't know and couldn't truly trust. And these days he couldn't even count the people he trusted on one hand, which left him with a bitter feeling in his mouth. He could feel his feet itching to get up off the ground. "Er...I'm not on the run" he babbled irritably. It didn't make much sense, but Harry wasn't exactly thinking clearly right now.
Gemma raised her eyebrows, clearly not believing him. "Oh, so you ditch Hogwarts every now and then, to what? Live as a muggle named Ron?"
Harry gulped and slunk down in his seat. What could he say at this point?
It was clear to anyone that he was on the run. Still, he didn't want to tell her anything about his life. He couldn't trust her. "I wasn't there for the reason you think. Er-----I was visiting a friend", Harry lied through his teeth. And it was not a very good lie at that. In truth, it was horrible, and he couldn't believe it had slipped out of his mouth.
Gemma made a snort and looked around the room. What in bloody hell was she doing?
"Er–what are you doing?" Harry asked lifting his hands in question.
Gemma then stood up and about half a minute later she returned holding a Daily Prophet in her hands.
"What are you going to do with that?" Harry shot at her.
Gemma frowned. "Don't be so naive Harry. You the "infamous Harry Potter", leaving Hogwarts?"
Gemma slapped down the Daily Prophet in front of him. "Surprise your front page news!" she shouted sarcastically.
"What?" Harry shouted, his eyes right on the Daily Prophet front page. There was a huge picture of Harry face's floating around. Below it was an article. There were a few picture's below; one of Ron, Hermione, and Hagrid. Hermione and Hagrid looking sad, and Ron looking angry, his arms folded. There was another picture of some
Slytherins, including Crabbe, Goyle, Pansy, and Harry could see Belle sitting in the background. They all were snickering in the picture, except he couldn't read Belle's expression. It was blank. There was an article beneath it, and Harry almost choked at the headline.
"HARRY POTTER HAS MENTAL BREAKDOWN AND LEAVES HOGWARTS!" BY RITA SKEETER
"What!" Harry shouted out in disbelief. But why was he so surprised? Did he think that he could actually leave school without everyone in the magical world not knowing or caring out it? OF COURSE HE COULDN'T.
"Keep reading", Gemma told him sympathetically.
Harry really didn't want to keep reading, but he did anyway; for what reason he didn't know.
the most shocking turn of recent events, Harry Potter, 16, has left
Hogwarts maybe for good, now, over a week ago, on December 28th.
While expulsion hasn't been totally cleared for the reason of
Potter's sudden departure, it has been confirmed that he has left
Hogwarts due to suffering from a very serious mental condition, that
according to a source, Potter has been suffering with secretly for
"He was screaming and yelling. It was so loud. I could hear his voice echoing. He just seemed so out of control almost to the point where he could get violent. Harry seemed to be really losing it. He said things of wanting to die, and not knowing if he even was alive anymore, and that he had to leave before he did something drastic. I never saw anything like it before in my life. It was truly disturbing", admitted the anonymous source.
So, what do Potter's closest friend's think of Potters abrupt exit? Hermione Granger, 17, one of Harry's closest friend who he may or may not have been involved with in the past, is beyond angry.
"When Harry left I was rather------shocked. I could not believe that he left, especially like that. I mean, I didn't understand. He was acting like a totally different person, one that I did not recognize in the least. I wanted him to come back. And then when he didn't I wished he would be safe wherever he was. But now...I just think that if that's where he wants to be, then that's his decision to make I suppose. I can't force him to come back, I know that much now. And you know what? I am not going to try to anymore", Granger admitted, her voice seething with anger.
Ron Weasley, 16, Potter's other closest friend, only had one statement to make.
"Right now, I don't care if Harry ever comes back. Not only did he desert us all, but that was right after he landed my sister in the bloody hospital. She's in a bloody coma for God's sake! Doesn't the prat have a heart?"
While it is still unclear if Potter will ever return to Hogwarts or not in the near future or at all, sources indicate that all signs point to Potter's absence most likely being permanent. As for his mysterious mental illness that Potter's been struggling with for years, it is not certain what that illness is, but all leads are being followed, as well as Potter's whereabouts, which are suspected to be in a mental hospital. If Potter does decide to return to Hogwarts, he may have to look for new friends and possibly his sanity. "
Harry slammed down the paper and it fell onto the floor. His body was simmering with anger, and it didn't know if he could control it. Gemma picked up the paper off the floor and laid it back on the table. Harry felt like smashing his fist down on the table, but he decided not to because he didn't need any extra attention. Gemma was still staring at him, and it was incredibly annoying, and he was two seconds away from bolting.
"What? You don't actually think I believe that garbage do you?" Gemma said, trying to keep her voice down.
"I don't really care. I just want to get out of here", Harry said bluntly getting up to leave the table. Harry knew one thing, his question was surely answered on whether he was going back to Hogwarts, and after reading that article, he knew know he couldn't' go back. Yes, it was Rita Skeeter, and half of it was most likely exaggerated or bald faced lies, but the words stung too much at even the slightest possibly of his best friends saying them. That was exactly how Ron acted when he had left----and it was obvious he still hated him. He had to get out of here before anyone saw him. If word got back he was in town–----Harry was about to get up, but Gemma grabbed onto his coat.
"Where are you going?" Gemma demanded.
Harry pushed her hand away. "I'm getting out of here. If you hadn't noticed I want to get out of here before anyone catches on I'm back", he whispered impatiently.
Gemma simpered. "Oh so is that why you had us sit in the back, with your hood up over your head?"
"Er----Yeah...It doesn't matter. I'm sorry, but I have to go", Harry said, trying desperately to keep a low tone. He glanced around the room. Thankfully, there was hardly anyone in here, and he didn't think anyone had spotted him yet.
"Wait...don't run away again. Tell me why you really ran", Gemma pleaded with him
"What do you care?" Harry snapped, obviously losing all of his patience.
Gemma sighed. "I don't know, Harry. I just do, alright. Maybe, I guess I could be of some help. Tell me, why did you really leave?"
Harry scanned Gemma's face. Why did she really want to know? Was she really just being genuine or did she have another motive for asking? He didn't know, and he didn't really care to stick it out either.
"You're a reporter, aren't you?" Harry blurted, the thought suddenly popping into his head. What if she was Rita Skeeter or one of her people just under polyjuice potion as an innocent girl, all as some part of some elaborate scheme to get the real story on him? Harry was more than ever beginning to believe that to be true.
"What?" Gemma asked a stunned look on her face.
Harry scowled at her. "You almost had me fooled", he said, almost laughing a little, even though it nothing but funny.
"Harry? What are you talking about?"
"Oh, like you don't know. First you find me on the street on the night I left Hogwarts. Then your some waitress at a restaurant I chose at random to go to. Then—er----let's see---you're not magical. Then suddenly you have powers and you somehow conveniently save my life? What a way to gain my trust, wasn't it? You thought I would tell you everything, didn't you? You thought you found a way in?" Harry found himself evilly smiling at Gemma.
"Your crazy, you really are. Maybe the Daily Prophet has a shred of truth to it after all huh? I'm not a bloody reporter Harry", Gemma said bitterly as if though seriously offended.
Harry looked at her eyes, to see if he could tell if she was telling the truth or not. Her face look sincere, but he wasn't exactly the best judge of character was he now? For all he knew she could be anyone; a hungry reporter possibly under the guise of Gemma? Or maybe Gemma was a reporter herself. Whoever this person was, he couldn't take any chances.
"Er-------I don't have time to figure out if your telling the truth or not. Thanks for saving my life by the way", Harry spat at her, rising out of seat.
"Harry...wait", He heard Gemma's voice and her wrist grabbed onto his coat and then onto his shoulder bag which jerked off his shoulder causing everything to spill out.
Harry let out a curse, and bent down to start picking up his things. He saw a few people in the front peeking their heads over at him curiously. Harry pulled his hood tighter over his head, and began to throw things in his bag.
"Let me help", Harry heard Gemma say faintly, and then suddenly appearing over by the ground next to him.
"Don't bother", Harry muttered under his breath.
"Just trying to help", she added, while putting some of his books into his bag.
Harry didn't see anything else on the ground, so he rose up and was ready to make a run for it. Panic rose up in his throat, as Harry could see from the side of him that everybody in Three Broomsticks were now staring directly right over at them. Gemma was still on the floor, holding something in her hand, staring at it intently.
"What's that?" Harry asked swiftly.
Gemma slowly got up, but her attention was still raised to the picture.
"Here. It's yours", she said subdued handing a picture over to him.
Harry glanced it over, and realized it was that picture that he had found in Harmone's room that one time. The night that put Ginny into a coma, Harry sadly reminded himself as he threw the picture back in his bag.
"Is that a picture of your relatives or something?" Gemma asked curiously.
"No. Why you so interested in it?"
"I'm...not. I'm just trying to get on your good side Harry----you know making small talk... since you think I'm some undercover reporter or something trying to pump information out of you", Gemma said in barely more than a whisper, quickly looking over his shoulder.
Before Harry could respond or turn around to see what she was looking at, he heard Gemma say WATCH OUT! He turned around almost automatically, and a man with a camera popped out from the front.
"IT'S HARRY POTTER!" The man shouted, a smile dripping off his face, running straight towards him, snapping multiple pictures, and nearly blinding Harry in the process.
"LOOK, HARRY'S BACK!" A young boy cried out, pointing his finger right at Harry. His mother sitting next to him, her eyes wide with shock.
"BLOODY MERLIN... IT'S POTTER!" A middle aged wizard wearing emerald robes called out with disbelief.
"TELL ME HARRY, ARE YOU BACK FOR GOOD!" the man with the camera blurted out.
Harry turned back around, and sure enough Gemma was gone...again.
Harry didn't have time to stick around and think about if he had just been set up, or if Gemma was really innocent in all this. All he knew was he had to make a break for it, and get out of the Three Broomsticks as fast as humanly possible. Harry covered his face and made a mad dash toward the exit. He could hear several shouts behind him, "HARRY POTTER'S BACK!"