Harry in Weirdland
Rated: PG-13, mainly for language
Description: Harry finds himself in an "alternate reality" where the familiar is unfamiliar.
Harry heard the dull drone of Professor Binn's ghostly voice as Harry sat at his desk in history class. His head was bleary, his eyes burned. He hadn't slept much last night, or the night before, and he hadn't slept peacefully for quite some time. Nightmares, usually featuring Sirius. Harry couldn't make out what Binn's was saying. Before he knew it, the class had ended. Harry stood, robotically, and began walking out into the hall. He felt someone tap his shoulder. "Harry, are you alright?" asked Hermione, concerned. "Fine... " Harry mumbled. He rubbed his eyes. "You look ill, mate." said Ron. "Um... I'm going to the bathroom. Catch up with you in a bit." said Harry. He walked off, oblivious to Hermione and Ron's responses.
Harry found the boy's bathroom deserted. He walked to a sink, removed his glasses and began splashing cold water on his face. He looked in the mirror and found his skin ashen white and his eyes bloodshot. Harry wanted to sit down. He put back on his glasses and, since there were no chairs in the bathroom, he went into a stall and sat on a closed toilet. Harry leaned his head against the side of the stall. His eyelids were painfully heavy; he had to close them. He would just rest for a few minutes, only a few minutes...
Harry awoke with a start to the sound of someone pounding on the door of the stall he was in. He heard a familiar voice. It was Ron.
"OY! Get out of the stall, already, you wanker!" shouted Ron. Harry saw through the space under the door that there were other two other boys hanging around his stall. "Bloody hell, Ron! What crawled up your arse?" asked Harry. He stood up and opened the door.
Ron had a strange expression on his face. Something foriegn and distant, and somehow surprised. Next to him were Zacharias Smith and Colin Creevey, both wearing hostile expressions. Harry, baffled, was about to question Ron, when Ron spoke. "Calling me by my first name, now, Potter?" he asked. "What?" asked Harry, shaking his head in non-comprehension. Ron was obviously angry with him about something... very angry. And so were Smith and Colin.
"What makes you think a worthless, inept little half-blood like you has the right to speak to me like that? Hmm?" said Ron. If everything hadn't been so real, so clear and focused, Harry would have been sure he was dreaming. But this in no way looked or felt like a dream. This was like he'd been thrust into another reality. "Ron, what are you..." said Harry. Colin Creevey raised his wand, uttered a spell, and Harry found himself flung back into the stall, once again sitting on the toilet. "Colin, what the bloody hell are you doing!" said Harry, starting to get up. Colin's face held such an expression of dismissive contempt towards him that it struck Harry as even more bizzare than Ron's scorn. Harry realized then that these people couldn't really be Ron, Colin or Zacharias Smith. Polyjuice potion, or some sort of other trick was at work. Harry needed to get out of this bathroom. But Creevey sent him right flying back onto the toilet seat, Harry's head knocking against the wall behind hit. Ron laughed. Harry reached for his own wand, but Smith shouted "Expellariamus!" and it was stolen from him.
"Right, look! I don't know who you bloody are, but I know who you're not! Whatever you're playing at's not going to work out. Your little game is completely transparent, and whoever you scumbags are I assure you we'll all find out..." said Harry. Ron and Colin laughed, Smith frowned, looking confused. He looked at Ron. "What's he on about?" said Smith. "Who cares? Maybe his little toilet friends in there have been telling him stories. Right, Potsey, you like it so much in the toilet, I think you can keep that stall. It can be your home from now on. Your refuge from the world." said Ron. Ron raised his wand, and Harry found himself in a full body bind. With malicious glee, Ron raised his wand again...
15 minutes later, Harry heard the footsteps and simultaneous talking of several boys entering the bathroom. They stopped at once, some laughing. There was an "Oh, no!" by a familiar voice. The door of the stall opened. Harry was propped against a wall, still in a full body bind and wrapped in toilet paper like a mummy. The toilet seat was up, and water was spraying out of it like a fountain, some of it splashing onto Harry and by now having drenched his robes. On the wall behind him was a crude drawing of his face with the words "Home Sweet Home" next to it.
Draco Malfoy looked in at him, horror and sympathy apparent on his face. He turned towards the boys who were laughing. "Shut up, will you! Why don't you do what you came in here to do and stop gawking!" he yelled. Draco Malfoy was acting like his friend, Ron, Colin and Smith were attacking him. This was all some sort of prank. Some bizzare, alien, unbelievable prank played by everyone to make Harry think he'd gone mad. Maybe Voldemort was behind it. Maybe, for some reason, Dumbledore had thought it would be funny. All Harry knew was that whoever was responsible would pay.
Malfoy released Harry from his body bind and entered the stall. To avoid the stares of a few boys who were still watching, he closed the door behind him. Malfoy started to pull some of the toilet paper off of Harry. "Geez, Harry, those filthy bastards... it was Weasley and his goons, wasn't it? We'll get 'em back, Harry..." said Malfoy. Harry grabbed Malfoy and shoved him against the wall of the stall. "Harry! Merlin --" said Malfoy, his eyes wide. "Tell me what's going on, Malfoy! What the hell are you playing at! Tell me NOW!" yelled Harry. "Harry, calm down! What'd they do to you!" asked Malfoy. "Don't bloody play dumb with me, Malfoy, I'm not that gullible! This morning, and the last 5 years, we've hated eachother. Today we're chums? And my best friend is against me? Colin Creevey's throwing hexes my way? I'm not stupid!" said Harry. Malfoy gulped, looking unsettled. "Mate, I've never hated you. I think... maybe they hexed your brain, or something. Why don't you come on down to the infirmary and let Madam Pomfrey look you over, you're not making any sense." said Malfoy.
"Draco? What's going on?" it was another familiar voice outside the stall. Harry realized that several pairs of legs were surrounding the stall. People were listening in. A new pair of legs broke through. "Harry?" asked the voice. Neville. It was Neville. "Neville?" asked Harry, backing away from Malfoy. "Open the door, Harry." said Neville. Harry shot a suspicius, hatful glare at Malfoy, and then opened the door.
"What the hell is happening?" asked Neville. "That's what I'D like to know!" shouted Harry. "What happened to you?" asked Neville, slowly, with a glance towards Malfoy. "Why are you looking at him? Why are you calling him 'Draco'!" said Harry. "Well... Harry, that's his name..." said Neville, without sarcasm. And then Harry noticed the scar peeking out from underneath Neville's hair. Harry reached up a hand and pushed aside Neville's bangs. The lightening shape was clear. "No..." said Harry. "Oh, man, he's really lost it." he heard Malfoy's voice behind him. Neville was staring at Harry with a look that must have been almost as shocked and bewildered as Harry's own expression.
"That's MY scar. What the hell is happening!" shouted Harry. He ran to a mirror. His forehead was blank and smooth. Harry rubbed it. He spun around and looked at Neville again. "Harry, what are you talking about? What --" said Neville. "Dumbledore will know. Dumbledore will have to tell me what's going on." said Harry. He ran out of the bathroom, pushing through the crowd that had been watching the scene.
"Harry, wait a second!" shouted Neville behind him. Harry ran down the hallway as fast as he could. He had to get to Dumbledore. A sneaking, tiny fear in the back of his head asked him what he would do if Dumbledore was not himself either. Harry pushed it away. That was impossible.
On his way to the office, he came to a screeching halt as he spotted Hermione walking down the hall, an unfamiliar girl at her side. Hermione stopped when she saw him standing in front of her, panting. She stared at him, questioningly. "Hermione?" Harry asked. "Yes?" said Hermione.
"Harry! Wait up!" came Neville's voice behind him. He turned and saw Neville and Draco running towards him. "Do you, are you, I mean, how do you feel about me!" said Harry. Hermione blinked, looking startled. The girl next to her giggled. "Harry, I um, well... we don't really know eachother that well..." said Hermione. Harry let out a groan of frustration so loud that Hermione flinched. "Harry..." panted Neville, catching up behind him. Harry ran from them all, once again heading towards Dumbledore's office. Neville and Malfoy were at his heels. "Bugger off!" shouted Harry. To his surprise, they fell back. "Just let him go!" panted Malfoy. "But --" said Neville. Harry ran on, hearing no more.
He reached Dumbledore's office. Harry realized in frustration that he didn't know the password. Losing it more and more by the second, he began to scream "Dumbledore!" repeatedly at the entrance. "Wrong password." said the stone gargoyle.
Harry kicked the wall. He closed his eyes and remembered everything that had led up to this insanity. He'd been tired, very tired. He'd seperated from Ron and Hermione, the real Ron and Hermione, and headed into the bathroom. He'd gone to sleep, he knew it, but there was no way in hell this was a dream. Suddenly, the entrance to Dumbledore's office swung open. Harry swallowed and stepped back. He felt relief wash over him. This was it; he could go inside, talk to Dumbledore, and somehow everything would be sorted out. He just needed to talk to Dumbledore. Harry entered the office.
As Harry approached Dumbledore, who was sitting at his desk staring at him with a serious expression, a feeling of dread crept up from Harry's belly. There was something ominous here. Something unfamiliar and wrong. Each step Harry took closer to the Headmaster increased the feeling.
Harry opened his mouth, but Dumbledore spoke first. "Mr. Potter. It seems you were creating quite a scene outside of my office. You should also be in class right now. What is it that is so important that you feel free to behave in a disrespectful manner?" asked Dumbledore.
Harry started to speak, and to his surprise he choked on the words. Tears were welling up in his eyes. Harry fought them back and exclaimed, "Headmaster, something very, very wrong is happening! It started this morning when I went into the bathroom, I, I fell asleep and when I woke up the world had changed. This is NOT the same school I went to this morning. People who were my close friends are enemies and strangers, people who were my enemies are telling me I'm their friend, please, sir, I swear to God I'm not crazy and I'm not lying, just let me explain everything..." said Harry. Tears were falling down his face now. Harry grabbed a chair without thinking and sat down, prepared to explain everything in detail to whoever the hell this "Dumbledore" was, praying that the wizard before him was enough like the old Dumbledore that somehow things could be figured out, that something could be done.
"Mr. Potter, I don't believe I asked you to use my chair." said Dumbledore, coldly. "Headmaster, please. You've got to listen to me. Something's gone very --" said Harry. "Very wrong. Yes, I heard you the first time. Mr. Potter, I think you've said enough. Surely, if you consider it, you will realize how silly this rambling is. You are extremely confused and you've worked yourself into quite a state, but I assure you that this is the one and only Hogwarts, the one you've attended for five years, and all the people here are just the same as they've been every day of that time. Now I'm going to insist that you leave my office, go to the infirmary to be evaluated by Madam Pomfrey. Should she report that you are simply hysterical -- as I suspect -- and not mentally damaged, you will report for detention with Professor Flitwick each night for one month for your outrageous conduct. Winchet!" said Dumbledore. Suddenly, a hairy house elf appeared. "Winfret! See to it Mr. Potter gets to the infirmary. That will do." said Dumbledore, gesturing with a wave of his hand for Harry to leave his office. Harry closed his eyes and shook his head, frustrated and angry. "No, you're not listening to me!" he yelled. Dumbledore drew his wand and aimed it at Harry, startling Harry.
"Mr. Potter, I just ordered you to exit my office. Are you defying the Headmaster of this school?" asked Dumbledore. "No..." whispered Harry. He slowly stood up, still somehow clinging to the fantasy that this was all some elaborate, horrible joke. Harry walked towards the door. Just as he was about to leave, Harry turned back towards Dumbledore. "Headmaster Dumbledore, Voldemort IS still evil, isn't he?" asked Harry. Winchet shrieked. Dumbledore's eyes widened, and for a moment he seemed jolted. Then, he regained his cool, contemptous demeaner. "I think we'll make that detentions every night for 2 months." he said. "What for?" asked Harry, his heart racing. Was this psycho-Dumbledore in line with Voldemort? Had he taken offense? Dumbledore laughed coldly. It was a very strange sound. "Well, Mr. Potter, using the name of you-know-who is forbidden in this school now as it has been since we knew of you-know-who. As you and your friends well know. And we'll make that an extra two weeks of detentions of questioning your Headmaster's punishments." said Dumbledore.
"Right." Harry said, numbly. He could not bloody believe this. He opened the door, prepared to step out into the hall, but then turned once more. "Just one more thing, Headmaster... your other self is loads more bazzin' than you are." said Harry. Harry walked outside of Dumbledore's office, Winchet close by, and was surprised by the presence of Professor Flitwick, who apparently was about to enter Dumbledore's office. Flitwick sneered up at Harry, then looked at Winchester. A dark smile came to his face as he looked back at Harry. "In trouble, Potter? I see you've tried the Headmaster's patience as much as my own. I see being an incompetent imbecile isn't enough for you. You wish to be as much of a brash, pigheaded bafoon as your hero idol, Neville Longbottom. Well, perhaps you can get yourself expelled, and then your hero and his little group will no longer feel obliged to tolerate your presence out of pity." Flitwick commented. He coldly watched Harry, apparently waiting for a reaction. Harry was at first stunned, but then felt the bizzare compulsion to laugh at seeing kindly, meek little Flitwick acting like Professor Snape. Harry's face twitched. Apparently, Flitwick took this as a sign that Harry was about to cry, because he smiled cruelly. "I'd think that's what you'd want, for them not to be bothered by a useless, four-eyed hanger on such as yourself. Isn't selflessness what the Gryffindor spirit is all about? Really, if you were a true Gryffindor, you would not show your face in public again, knowing yourself to be nothing but a pointless irritation to all else whom you meet." said Flitwick. He pushed Winfret aside, and entered the office.
"Nice day to you too." said Harry, staring after him. After a moment, he felt Winfret tug his sleeve forcefully. He looked down. Winfret was frowning, sternly. "The infirmary." he said. "Uh, right. The infirmary." Harry started walking. "You know, I don't think the infirmary is such a bad idea. I think I need a nice, long, long nap." said Harry. He began to giggle manically, and eventually laughing hysterically. He couldn't stop untill he'd entered Pomfrey's office and the woman stood, a serious expression on her face.
To be continued!