Title: Harry Potter: To Love Is To Live
Summary: What if Ginny really got over Harry during his fourth year, and then he fell for her and found love while she was with someone else? Can he get her attention and convince her to be his girlfriend? What happens if he can't and she is the secret to helping him defeat Voldemort?
Time: post-GoF & Alt-OotP
Disclaimer: The HP Universe and characters belong to JKR, and the major events from chapter one follow her fifth book and are hers. Basically, if it's recognizable from JKR's books, it's hers; the rest of the mess is mine. No copyright violations are intended. This story is only for fun, no profits will ever be made from it.
A/N: I need to have the main events from most of the OotP, with some twists, up front to set up the main part of the story correctly. So because I need to cover a lot of ground very quickly, the first chapter will be mostly narrative in style. Please bear with me and read through chapter two before you decided you hate the story. :-) Fortunately for you gentle reader, chapter one is also the shortest chapter in the whole story. I'll post the second chapter very soon because of this. But hey, you'll get to read the equivalent of an entire book in one chapter, and no useless parts. :-)
I'm also taking a small liberty with the GoF cannon in the Prologue. I know that Ginny was not there in the scene, and it's also possible I gave her a boyfriend a wee bit earlier than in JKR's mind too. But I need it to be this way to set up the story. Trust me, I have a good reason. :-
I also want to give a great big thanks to my pre-beta GinnyMarie and my beta editor cwarbeck without whom this story would not be nearly as good as it is. Thanks to both of you for keeping me straight and pointing out my errors!
Harry Potter: To Love Is To Live
Harry lay on the bed in the hospital wing after the Tri-Wizard Tournament and its aftermath. The Minister for Magic and the other adults had already left after their shouting match that had awakened Harry. Mrs. Weasley had just sent Ron and Hermione to their dorm room and then had given him the last part of his sleeping potion. While it was taking effect, she told Ginny to sit with Harry and help him be comfortable until she got back from conferring with Madam Pomfrey, before Ginny also had to go to her dorm room.
Albus Dumbledore stood across the room, surveying the Infirmary. He sighed to himself and wished not for the first time that Harry had not had to experience what he had gone through tonight, and that he did not have to face what he must eventually go through in the future. Molly was still whispering with Poppy, so he looked once more at the young hero of the day. He was just in time to see Ginny wipe Harry's forehead with a cool cloth. Harry turned his head slightly to look at her, and Ginny smiled down at him.
A look of happiness came over the boy's face as he dropped back off to sleep.
Dumbledore could not know that the lad was dreaming of that smile, nor could the Headmaster know that the smiling girl felt sorry for the boy for what he had had to endure that evening, as she wondered if she would get to sit with her new boyfriend on the train ride back to King's Cross.Chapter 1: Year of Hell
Harry was back at the Dursleys. It was not nearly as pleasant as last year, when he had found out he had a godfather, someone who was a friend of his parents, and most importantly, someone who cared for him. No, this summer, he was having to deal with the guilt of being the cause of the return of the most evil wizard in recent memory. A small part of him knew it was not totally his fault. He had not wanted Voldemort to return, and had not willingly participated in the ritual, but if he had not been there, Voldemort would not have had his blood.
Unfortunately, that was not his only problem in relation to Dark wizards. His scar was starting to prickle more often, or sometimes it would just throb. He assumed that it was because of Voldemort's return. Harry also wondered if part of the reason for his headaches was due to sheer frustration of not knowing what was going on. No matter what he had tried, he was not getting any news. Recently, he had even sent Hedwig to his friends instructing her to peck at them for a reply. Maybe a walk would help.
As he started his walk towards and through the nearby park, he pondered another recurring thought: his sudden discovery of an angel, or at least the face of an angel. When he had fallen to sleep in the Hospital Wing after his latest run-in with Voldemort, there had been that caring smile and lovely red hair looking down upon him. Sure he had seen Ginny plenty of times before, but somehow that experience was different. What did that mean?
Unfortunately, that was when he had run into Dudley, and without warning, that horrible cold feeling came. Dementors! As he was trying to figure out what to do, Dudley had hit him and he lost his wand. Then he had found it and cast his Patronus, saving them both, only to be shocked again at finding out Mrs. Figg knew about the magical world. What more could happen?
He was soon sorry he had asked that question. Harry had received a number of owls in short order about his use of magic, which led to a flaming fight with his relatives. Of course, the big surprise of the night had been seeing his aunt get a Howler.
In some ways the next week was not a whole lot better. Sure he had finally left the Dursleys, flying to what was called "Headquarters", and he was with his godfather; but those were the only bright spots in a dim world called his life.
One of the first things he did there was to let his two "best friends" have it for not telling him what was going on. Fortunately for him, Fred, George, and Ginny came in, and he had settled down when they got to talking. He was finally finding out a few things at least. There was also the opportunity to see that long, red hair and smile again. Like an enigma, he wondered what it meant; so he covertly tried to watch her to figure it out.
He actually had a number of opportunities to watch Ginny. They had all been drafted into a cleaning army, or that was how Harry thought of it. All the students slaved under Mrs. Weasley's watchful eye, and Harry continued to watch Ginny. There was something about her that piqued his interest. Fortunately, she seemed oblivious of his observations of her.
At night time, he had a different preoccupation; this was a dream of a long, dark corridor with locked doors. It came most nights and he could not understand why it kept coming or why his scar continued to prickle. The dream took backstage though, in the light of morning, as he had something else more important to worry about: his trial.
To his great relief, he had been acquitted. But his happiness at his acquittal was dampened by the seeming indifference of Professor Dumbledore. Even though the Headmaster had helped him with his trial, he seemed to be deliberately ignoring Harry.
Harry was hurt, but when he got home and spread the good news, he got to see Fred, George, and Ginny dance and shout, "Harry got off!" This fun side of her was a bit different from the sharp-witted and sometimes sharp-tongued Ginny he had seen while they had been cleaning Grimmauld Place.
The owls bringing their Hogwarts letters came soon after, bringing with them prefect badges for Hermione and Ron. Harry realised that he had completely forgotten prefect badges were to be awarded this summer for his year, and when it hit him that Ron had been made prefect instead of him, he felt angry and jealous. But when he thought about his friend, the one that had mostly lived in the shadows of others for most of his life, Harry managed to pull his head out of his arse and with that shame to power him, he congratulated his friend and was mostly happy for him.
The prefect party, as he thought of it, was actually kind of fun, at least for awhile. He had another opportunity to observe Ginny, this time while she was talking to Tonks. There was something about her that captured his attention when she walked into the room.
All too soon, summer was over and they were heading for King's Cross and the Hogwarts Express. Harry, Neville, Ginny, and Luna all shared a compartment on the train. While they were waiting for Ron and Hermione to come back from their prefect meeting, Neville showed off his new Mimbulus plant, which squirted on everyone. Fortunately Ginny was able to clean them up. Unfortunately, the cleaning did not happen until after Cho Chang stuck her head in the compartment. It could have been worse he supposed, but he was not sure how. Still, he had gotten to observe Ginny some more, this time as she interacted with someone in her own year: Luna. Ginny also disappeared for awhile on the train. She did not say where she went and he did not feel it was his place to ask, but he did wonder.
When Harry finally arrived at school, he found a number of very unusual things. First, Hagrid was missing and they could not find out where he was. Then at the welcoming feast, they found out their new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher was Dolores Umbridge, whom he had met at his trial. To top it all off, he kept running into Cho Chang.
Cho was pretty and captured his attention, at least when she was in front of him. It was this last observation that gave Harry much pause. He had tried to ask her to the Yule Ball last year, but that had not worked out. Now, it almost seemed like she was looking for him, but he was not sure he believed that to be possible. Interestingly, Harry reflected as he was drifting off to sleep that night, he thought about Cho only when she was nearby, but found himself thinking more and more about Ginny, even if she was nowhere to be found. He was sure that meant something. He fell asleep and the corridor dream returned.
If all those girl puzzles had been the worst that had happened to him, he would have been a happy boy. But alas, as Dumbledore would have said, it got worse -- much worse. In his first DADA class, he and Professor Umbridge got into a heated discussion over whether Voldemort had really returned. Before he could censor his thoughts, anger, and speech, he had ended up with a week of detention. Worse still, it was writing lines with a Blood Quill. His hand would never be the same.
On a more positive note, Ron tried out for and actually made the Quidditch team as Keeper. Harry was really happy for his best mate, as he knew how much Ron loved the game.
Life quickly became worse during the following week when Harry again let his temper get out of control and received another week of detention with Umbridge and her Blood Quill. He hated this for three reasons: his hand hurt like hell, this mental battle with Umbridge and his determination not to let her win was very difficult, and finally it robbed him of time in the common room. Time he needed not only to do homework and get sleep instead of having to stay up into the wee hours of the morning, but time he could have spent looking across the room and observing Ginny.
When he did get to watch her, he found yet more interesting things about her. She tended to have trouble with small locks of hair falling into her face that she continually had to put back up behind her ear; but that only happened for her left side and never her right. When she did something she needed to hide with a straight face, she would suck her upper lip in ever so slightly, as if she was having to bite it to distract herself. He also noticed that when she was deep in thought, she tended to bounce the end of her quill on her chin, as if trying to knock the knowledge into, or maybe out of, herself. It took a while to figure out, but he also observed that when she was frustrated, she tended to fold her right leg up under her and swing her left leg. The greater the frustration, the greater and higher the swing he found. Ginny Weasley was an interesting person to watch.
Not so interesting was Dolores J. Umbridge, who became Hogwarts "High Inquisitor" courtesy of Educational Decree number Twenty-two. That plus the lack of hands-on spell work in their DADA class led Hermione to suggest a "study group" to learn the spells; and who better to teach and lead them than Harry she told him. The amazing part was she did not want this just for the three of them, but suggested it be for anyone who needed to.
Once he had finally agreed to it, because who else would want to do this with him, Harry was surprised when over twenty people showed up at the Hog's Head Pub during their first Hogsmeade weekend, which happened in early October. Not only were they willing to discuss the group, they all joined it.
To make it even more interesting, Cho praised his spell work and efforts in the Tri-Wizard Tournament. At the same time, Harry also saw Ginny there, and she was holding hands with Michael Corner. That certainly explained why she would occasionally disappear at times. For some reason, this made him want to punch out Corner, though he was not certain why he felt that way. Fortunately, he restrained himself; as did Ron when he found out his little sister was dating.
Equally interesting was a comment Hermione made when he casually questioned her on it. She told him that Ginny used to fancy him, but she gave up on him months ago. Almost as an afterthought, she added that doesn't mean that she doesn't like him as a friend, of course. Harry knew he was going to have to think very hard about all this very soon.
Two days later, life was again unfair to Harry, or so he thought, when Educational Decree number Twenty-four came out and banned all student organizations. While he knew that was aimed at their defense study group, it also affected their Quidditch team. All the Gryffindors were furious.
While Harry debated as to where to have this study group meet, as having the group seemed like such a great way to tweak Umbridge, Dobby came to his rescue by telling him about the "Come and Go Room" or the "Room of Requirement". Not only did it work out, but it was the perfect place for the "DA", or "Dumbledore's Army". That Ginny had suggested the winning name did not go unnoticed by him.
Having the DA was a real boon for Harry. This was not turning out to be a good year, so any positive spots were welcome, such as flying and his love for Quidditch.
As the first Quidditch game of the season came upon them, Harry was really looking forward to it; he wanted to beat Slytherin badly. But as much as Harry was looking forward to it, Ron was not as he was developing a monumental case of nerves. Despite Hermione's and Ginny's attempts to try to cheer up Ron before the game, the pressure got to him and he did not play well. Still, Gryffindor won anyway as Harry caught the Golden Snitch while the score was still close.
All did not end well however, because as the game ended Crabbe hit Harry with a Bludger. While Madam Hooch was taking care of Crabbe, Malfoy started taunting them. After a particularly nasty remark about Mrs. Weasley, Harry and George slugged Malfoy. It would not have been so bad except that Umbridge got herself involved and banned them, plus Fred for good measure, from Quidditch. Educational Decree number Twenty-five (the High Inquisitor will henceforth have supreme authority over all punishments, sanctions and removal of privileges, etc.) gave her that power. To say that Harry was livid would have been an understatement. This also helped to cement the idea that what was between him and Dolores Jane Umbridge was not merely dislike or even hate -- as he had earlier thought. No, what was between them was war.
The House reaction was completely expected and driven home when Harry, Ron, Hermione, Fred, George, and Ginny all congregated in their common room to discuss it. Everyone was depressed. Only two things kept Harry from getting completely down: Hagrid had returned from visiting the giants they found out, and thoughts of Ginny.
Harry finally slowed down long enough that evening to give his observations and thoughts on Ginny his full attention. The Ginny who had been polite and friendly all term, but who was only Ron's little sister. As he lay on his bed in the dark, all the various little things he had seen about her came to him. That included the feelings he had felt in the Hog's Head Pub, which were the most mystifying of all. In the end, the only answer he could come up with was that he had wished it had been him holding her hand and that he was jealous of Corner. When that thought hit him, he had been forced to consider the question whether he really and truly fancied Ginny Weasley. He avoided answering that question by falling asleep, yet a small part of him already knew the answer and liked it.
As the term came to a close, Harry found himself down about everything, except for the DA. When he mentioned that to Ron, his best mate suddenly remembered to tell him that Mrs. Weasley had invited him home for Christmas. Other than the fact that he wanted to smack Ron for forgetting to tell him, Harry was again happy, up until the last DA meeting of the term. That was when Angelina told him Ginny was the new Seeker, which brought up the bad memory of his Quidditch ban. Then the truly bizarre happened. After the meeting Cho cornered him and started talking about Cedric, which started her crying, and yet, she also kissed him. He was so confused.
Not only did he not understand Cho's actions, he did not understand his reactions. He felt like he should have liked being kissed by Cho, especially since he had thought about that for a good portion of last year, not to mention the generally good thought of being kissed by a pretty girl. Yet he had not really cared that she had kissed him. It was wet, and well, if he was honest with himself, it really was not the kiss he wanted. What he really wanted was a kiss from the one girl he could not have right now. That thought shocked him as soon as it went through his brain, but he also knew it was true.
Fortunately, the term was almost over and they could all relax for awhile. Or so Harry thought until he had the dream of being a snake and seeing Arthur Weasley being attacked, which scared him greatly. The result was all four of the Weasley children were summoned, and all of them, including Harry, took a portkey to Grimmauld Place to await news of Mr. Weasley. It was a tough wait for everyone as no news was immediately forthcoming.
The next morning, they not only found out Mr. Weasley was going to live, but they were able to visit him. He was doing well, except that his snake bite did not want to heal. Harry felt bad when they overheard Mad-Eye Moody guess that Harry had been possessed during his vision. The more he thought about it, the more frightened he became.
When they got back to the house, Harry hid, at least until Hermione came to join them from her aborted skiing trip with her parents. She managed to drag him out of his self-imposed exile so that they could talk to him about what Moody had said. The pinnacle of the discussion had been when Ginny had angrily told him he was being stupid because if he really wanted to know what it was like to be possessed, she could tell him firsthand. The stare she gave him normally caused her brothers to quickly wilt, but Harry did not look away as he contemplated her answer and his situation. Being the prat that he was, or maybe just because he was in the same room with her, which sometimes caused him to do stupid things, he told he had forgotten about her episode. Her answer of "Lucky you" was very cool. Still, it did lighten his heart as he considered that he had not really been possessed and he started feeling better. It also gave him a whole new set of thoughts to consider about Ginny. He lay in bed for quite some time that evening thinking it all through before he finally gave in to sleep.
While Christmas and the presents had been good, he had also been informed over the holidays that Dumbledore wanted him to study Occlumency with Snape, and that Sirius and Lupin had agreed. He was having trouble imagining whether he had rather do that or spend time with Umbridge.
Another person he was going to be spending time with was Cho. He had just come back from the holiday break when he ran into her, literally. She told him there was a Hogsmeade weekend coming up and the look on her face was such that even Harry, as uninformed as he was about girls, understood what he should do. So not knowing how to get out of it, or what else to do, he asked her to go with him to Hogsmeade on Valentine's Day. He considered that since he could not go with Ginny, it should be okay to enjoy the time with someone else, as friends at any rate. Still, something in the back of his mind was not so sure this was a good idea, but he was committed now.
As classes started up again, he had his first Occlumency lesson with Snape. The best thing he could say about it was that it had not gone too well. Any other comments were completely negative, as expected. As the lessons and classes continued, Harry thought that about the only things keeping him sane were his DA lessons and watching Ginny. That seemed especially true as his scar was prickling more than ever before, and his dream of walking down the corridor to the Department of Mysteries was coming almost every night.
Before Harry realized it, Valentine's Day was upon him and he was walking Cho to Hogsmeade. They talked of Quidditch and Umbridge on the way there, and by the time they reached the village, Harry felt they had exhausted all the topics he could think of. Cho proposed going to Madam Puddifoot's; not knowing what else to do, Harry agreed.
In the tea room, Harry got the surprise of his life. Between the lace and other frills, and the stupid cupids that kept throwing confetti, he regretted ever coming into the shop. He regretted it even more when Cho started crying when he would not talk about Cedric, and he mentioned that he needed to go meet Hermione at noon. He would never forget the scene Cho made which culminated in her leaving Madam Puddifoot's in tears..
Not knowing what else to do, Harry went to meet Hermione at the Three Broomsticks an hour early. He was surprised yet again that day when he found her with Rita Skeeter, his least favourite reporter in the world. In the end, he was not sure whether he or Rita was more amazed when Hermione had Rita interview him on the real story of Voldemort's return.
By the time Harry had made his slow walk back to the castle that Valentine's Day, he had decided that as soon as Ginny Weasley and Michael Corner broke up, he was going to be there waiting for her. While he did not want to admit it, he knew the kiss he saw Ginny give Michael in the pub was the reason for his sudden decision. No matter how innocent the kiss had looked, he wanted her kisses to be only for him.
Classes continued, Occlumency lessons continued, watching Ginny continued. Of those, only watching Ginny was going well. His corridor dreams continued to get worse after every lesson with Snape. He was also now getting very behind in his classes. He did not know why, but he just did not have the motivation to do much anymore. The only good thing was that Hermione had not found out yet, so she had not been continually nagging him, more than she usually did.
As March rolled around, so did the Quidditch game against Hufflepuff. Unfortunately, Gryffindor lost 240-230. It was only that close because Ginny caught the Snitch to end the game. Harry used that excuse to congratulate Ginny and to spend some time talking to her and standing around her. He was more and more amazed at what a wonderful person she was, not to mention cute. If only she was available, he thought.
March also brought a new edition of The Quibbler, the edition which featured his interview. According to Luna, it was a best seller. Umbridge was incensed when she saw it and gave Harry another week's worth of detentions. The words "I will not tell lies" were now permanently etched into the back of his right hand.
The evening after Harry finished his detentions with Umbridge, Harry was in the common room trying to get his homework done, which he was woefully behind on. Not only had his detentions slowed him down, but he was starting to care less and less about his classes for some reason he could not fathom. It was only he and Hermione left at their table, and only a few seventh years were also still in the room.
Feeling like he needed a study break for a few minutes, he decided to talk to Hermione as she finished her work for the evening and packed her things. "Hey Hermione, anything special been happening while I've been gone? New Fred and George treats, good gossip, other news?"
His friend let out a breath that almost sounded like a snort. "Those twins, I swear they're still trying to get the first years to do testing for them. I'm not sure how, but when I catch them I'm taking them to Professor McGonagall this time."
Harry smiled. "That's nothing special, business as usual for them."
"Really Harry, they shouldn't be doing that." She finished packing and stood.
"Anything else special in the last week?" he asked.
"No. Wait, yes." Harry raised an eyebrow at her. "Ginny broke up with Michael."
"Oh, when?" Harry did not realise how excited he sounded but Hermione had noticed, though she said nothing.
"A few days ago," she answered. "It was for a stupid reason over some Quidditch game they disagreed over, but that just tells me they should have broken up sooner."
Harry contemplated that for a moment before he smiled and told her, "Very interesting. Well, good-night, Hermione."
"'Night Harry," replied Hermione, and she went up to her dorm room. There was something about Harry's reaction that prompted a thought about Ginny, but she was too tired at the moment. She would try to follow up on that tomorrow.
Harry almost fell asleep in the common room, thinking of Ginny and what he needed to do. When he came to his senses and realised he needed to go to bed, he did not know he had been tapping the end of his quill on his chin while he thought.
The next day did not go well for Harry. He could not find Ginny during breakfast, and when he did, she was always surrounded by a crowd of people. To make matters worse, he had got even further behind in Transfiguration and McGonagall had told him to come spend tonight and the next several evenings with her to help force him to catch up.
He had barely gotten free of detentions when the next DA meeting came, which he thought to be a perfect time to get a free minute with Ginny to ask her out. But that was the meeting Dobby showed up for and told everyone that Umbridge was coming. By the time he finished with her, the meeting in Dumbledore's office, and the Headmaster's interesting exit, he was beat. When he got back to the common room, everyone besieged him with questions, so he had no chance of talking to Ginny privately.
The next day was Saturday, and Harry was sure he would be successful, but Ginny was nowhere to be found that morning or afternoon. He finally saw her come to dinner that evening, but he could not believe what he saw. She came in holding hands with Dean Thomas, and they sat together at the Gryffindor table. Harry left his dinner half eaten and mumbled, "I don't feel good," to Ron and left for his dorm. Hermione saw him take one last look at Ginny before he left the Great Hall. Once he got to his room, he threw himself on his bed and thought dark thoughts about his roommate before falling asleep.
The next day, Hermione sought Harry out. Most unusually, she found him in the library. Books were spread out around him, but he did not seem to be working. She sat down and waited patiently until he finally looked up at her.
"Harry, what's wrong with you? I've noticed your class work is not up to your usual standards, and you're spending much more time in detention than you should. I've also noticed lately that even your spell work in Charms and Transfiguration isn't working as well as it has in the past, like you're having trouble making the spells work."
"I don't know Hermione. I'm mostly OK, maybe I've got a small cold or something that's affecting me; I'm sure it's nothing to be concerned about." He knew his normal "I'm fine" answer was not going to work, so he hoped this would. The hope was in vain.
"No Harry, there's more than that. In addition to your class work, you're having other problems. You're sleeping more than usual, avoiding everyone, and I've hardly seen you eat the last few days. You mostly just push your food around on your plate after you've taken maybe three bites."
"I told you, I'm mostly fine, just a cold or something."
Hermione was not convinced. She almost did not want to bring this up, but decided she needed to cover all the possibilities. "Or is it someone, Harry?"
Harry did not move his head, but his eyes jumped to hers. "I have no idea what you're talking about."
That was Harry's guilty look, she had seen it before. "Who is it Harry? Is it Ginny?" She saw him close his eyes and something about his expression made her think he was swearing in his mind.
"What about her? She's a friend." There was a touch of bitterness there.
She thought his tone was very interesting. "I've seen you watching her, Harry. What is it about her?"
He looked almost panic stricken for a fleeting moment before an angry expression appeared on his face. "It doesn't matter," he hissed.
"But Harry ..."
"I said it doesn't matter, she has a boyfriend and is apparently happy, so drop it." Hermione took a breath to speak but he cut her off. "I said drop it Hermione, and you have to promise me as my friend you won't share this conversation with anyone, no exceptions."
"But Harry ..."
"Promise me!" Harry said angrily, his voice rising a little.
She knew they were starting to draw attention and this had to stop. "I promise," she told him quietly. He nodded and grabbed his stuff and quickly left. She sighed and slowly picked up the books he had left on the table and reshelved them before she left. There was not much else she could do.
It was not until the next day that Hermione was able to get a few minutes with Ginny for some girl talk. "Hey Ginny," she whispered when they where alone at a table at the side of the room. "Why are you going out with Dean?"
"Because he's a nice guy and he asked me out," the redhead told her.
"I'm curious why you didn't try to go out with Harry because I know you used to really like him."
Ginny shrugged. "I know I used to have a crush on Harry and I still think he's a nice guy, but I'm over all that now." She paused for moment as if contemplating something. "You know, I might have dated him if he had asked. Of course, he could make the decision a lot easier if he'd get over all the moodiness he's displayed this year."
"Interesting," the brown-haired girl told her. "Still friends?"
"Of course," Ginny told her. "He'll grow out of it some day and that will make the friendship easier, though I don't see it going beyond that."
Hermione nodded in understanding. Being Harry's friend was hard sometimes. This year was a perfect example of that. Fortunately, it was Easter break and there were only six weeks until exams started; the year was almost over. Hopefully, Harry would return to more of his normal self over the summer she thought.
Over the next couple of weeks, Harry's life seemed to become even worse. Umbridge took over running the school in Dumbledore's absence. Harry was doing even more poorly in class, and spending much more time in detention since he was so far behind. He barely managed get an "A" in most of his classes, and in some his average was moving down to "P" for poor. Even his narrowly escaping Umbridge's questioning with Veritaserum in his drink did not cheer him up, though Fred and George's spectacular fireworks display in the hallway did help a little.
The straw that seemed to break the camel's back came during his next Occlumency lesson. Just as he and Snape were about to start, Malfoy came in and said that Umbridge needed Snape's help, so Snape left. Then for reasons unknown to him, he stupidly put his head in Snape's Pensieve. He saw a scene of his dad being an arrogant git, just like Snape had accused his father for years. Even Snape's anger over catching Harry did not hurt as much as seeing the wonderful image he had built of his dad, and his mum to some extent, shattered. His world destroyed, he went back to his room and fell into bed. He did not even care about the corridor dream that he had been so anxious to find the end to.
A/N: I hope you enjoyed "Stalker Harry" as my pre-beta called him. :-)