Posted: 22 November, 2008

Disclaimer: I do not own anything in this story that is recognisable from the Harry Potter books, movies, etc. Everything else however (eg. story plot, original characters, etc.) stems from my own imagination and belongs to me. No copyright infringement is intended and I am not profiting financially from this story in any way.

Author's Note: Finally, life has settled enough for me to have time to write. Unfortunately with the huge gap of time off, I've gotten a bit distant from my other two stories. Writer's block - argh! So I said to myself: "Self; what you need is something short and simple to get you back in the writing groove". So I brainstormed for a decent idea and finally decided to do a one-shot about a sort of 'not all there' version of Harry. Fate seemed to have other ideas though, because from that little prompt a whole slew of disjointed possibilities came to me.
And this is the result:
- an absentminded Ravenclaw Harry fic, where
- though part of one whole story, each chapter could conceivable be read as a semi-separate one-shot, and
- posts will not be in chronological story order but rather in whatever order my whim chooses to write them.
Also, the relevance of the title will become apparent in future chapters.
Hope you enjoy.

Title: Accidental Hero (aka, The Absentminded Ravenclaw)

Author: Nia River

Fandom: Harry Potter

Rating: K

Genre: General/Humour

Pairings: Harry/Luna

Summary: Freaky connections aside, does anyone else think it strange that Harry survived a Killing Curse with little more damage than a scar? Well, what if he hadn't come through so unscathed? And what if the other damage was more mental than physical? This story is a look at a world where Harry is a little... kooky, odd, quirky, fey, daft... a few Knuts short of a Sickle. In other words: he's not all there.

Also, please note:
- Whilst all part of the same story, most chapters may also be read individually as one-shots.
- Chapters may not be posted in chronological order.
- Nothing from the books HBP or DH (including the Horcruxes) will be included in my writing as I've only read up to OoTP.

Chapter 1 - The Sorting

Sun, 1/9/1991

"Potter, Harry."

As the deputy headmistress announced the next student to be sorted a tide of whispers swept across the room. Necks across the hall craned, searching for a glimpse of their returning hero.

After a several seconds wait nobody stepped forward, and so Professor McGonagall, pursing her lips sternly, spoke again.

"Potter, Harry," she called, louder this time, "Would Harry Potter please step up to be sorted."

A sudden conversation started up near the middle of the line as a bushy haired girl could be seen rounding in a disturbingly McGonagall-like manner on a fellow first year, though he could not yet be seen from the audience.

"Your name is being called, now hurry up and get out there," she harangued before pushing the boy out of line and into the spotlight.

The messy haired waif blinked slowly around the room for a moment before seemingly becoming distracted by the enchanted ceiling, stuffing his hands into the pockets of his trousers – which, it was noticed, were inside out – and staring upward with a vacant expression.

Deciding this delay had gone on long enough, the Transfiguration teacher pasted on her sternest glare and strode over to the inattentive boy. The clacking of her boots echoed rather loudly through the quieting hall till she came to a stop before him.

"Mr Potter, that is quite enough lollygagging," she berated loudly to his face, "Take your place on the stool at once."

The boy in question seemed to blink rapidly as his gaze transferred from the ceiling to the severe witch before him and – showing not one ounce of good sense or self preservation – smiled dopily at the sight.

"Oh, hello there. Your ceiling is very pretty," he commented with oblivious happiness before asking, "Did you say something?"

Many a decade had Minerva McGonagall devoted to teaching children at Hogwarts and in that time she felt she had gained a strong ability to ferret out lies or deceptions of all kinds. And, looking down at her old favourite student's only child, she found no sign of either. Instead what she saw – and which caused her to lapse into rather worried and unbecoming gaping – was something quite unexpected.

The rest of the hall held its breath. From their point of view a new student had just dared to ignore the imposing Professor McGonagall's summons and then recklessly cheeked her to her very face. And so, all watched in breathless anticipation – in much the way as one helplessly, morbidly, watches a broom collision about to happen – as the deputy headmistress began to gape. They were all certain that she was simply angered beyond coherency and braced for the moment she regained her senses. Harry Potter or no, wizarding hero or no, there was no way the boy was getting out of this without a thorough lambasting and several detentions.

And so, naturally, they were all quite shocked when – upon ceasing her gawking – the Gryffindor head paused, softened her expression, politely repeated the sorting directions to the first year, and led him gently over to the stool with one hand on his shoulder.

After lowering the Sorting Hat over ebony hair and hazy, emerald green eyes – so like and yet unlike his mother's alert, piercing, emerald green – Minerva took a step back. Despite her lack of acknowledgment she was fully aware of the confused state of the remainder of the school. She ignored it because she had discovered something very significant. Though she was not the first to do so and certainly would not be the last, McGonagall had realised – staring at that expression of blithe, dazed confusion – that this child had not escaped Voldemort as unscathed as many had thought. It was painfully obvious to her that Harry Potter was no longer entirely sane.

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