The previous chapters have been edited to fit this version. Ron for the most part is just a giant bully who tortures Harry and tells everyone his secrets. Hope you enjoy.
Someone Who Cares
Hermione didn't know what to do. She'd watched as Ron all but tortured Harry since school had resumed. And she had no idea why. Why she hadn't done anything. Why she hadn't stopped Ron. Why she just let it happen.
She rushed to the library every moment she had to spare, trying to find out anything that would help her with Ron and Harry and in her haste, she lost sight of Harry.
She hadn't meant to but Harry had always been strong.
She had first noticed that Harry was missing when he wasn't in transfiguration, her second class of the day, but her first with Harry.
She turned to ask Ron where Harry was but the teen was spouting off about how Harry kept trying to sneak into his bed so that he could have butt sex with Ron who was adamantly not a "gay freak" like some people.
'You're such a fucking moron, Weasley!' surprisingly it was Neville that had snapped at Ron, whose mouth, was moving but no sound was coming out.
'Shut. Up.' Neville demanded, even though Ron wasn't making a sound. 'You have no right to talk about Harry that way, he's done more for you then you know. I don't know why I let you bully me into silence and ignoring Harry but it ends now. If you do or say anything against Harry, I'll hex you're bullocks to your forehead.'
Ron and Neville were two of tallest boys in the school but at the moment Neville towered over Ron.
'If you so much as step one two out of line, I'll make sure everyone knows just who you jerk off to every night before bed, and I'll send an owl to your mum, I haven't spoken to her in a while,' Neville added the last part almost conversationally.
Even Snape was impressed with Neville's smirk, who knew the boy had it in him.
'Ten points from Gryffindor for language, Mr. Longbottom,' McGonagall stated sternly, though there was a mild twinkle in her eye.
'Twenty points for defending a student,' Sprout added with a smile.
No one noticed the dark haired, bespectacled boy standing in the doorway of the Great Hall, except for Neville, who grabbed Harry's arm and dragged him away.
Finding an empty classroom, Neville pulled the smaller boy into his arms, 'I am so sorry, Harry, I shouldn't have listened to Ron about anything but he threatened to tell everyone that I'm dating a Slytherin and we weren't ready for everyone to know but we talked and we are now and I won't ever leave you again Harry. I swear I will do whatever I have to, to get you to believe me and Ron is so going down!'
'Neville!' Harry practically shouted, having called the other boys name four times.
'Sorry, Harry,' Neville blushed as he pulled away from Harry.
'It's okay Neville,' he said softly.
'No, it's not Harry!' He blurted, angry on Harry's behalf.
'Neville...' he tried.
'No, Harry, you defeated that mad man, you saved us all, over and over again, even though you didn't want to. You taught us how to defend ourselves and made it through tasks that older wizards had trouble with, Merlin Harry, after everything you've done, I'd be proud to call you my friend, my brother.'
Harry could only stare at Neville in confusion.
'I don't know what Ron thinks you did to him, but you haven't done anything to me but help and I just...' Neville finally seem to run out of words, 'I'm sorry and thank you.'
Harry studied Neville, he had never known the other boy to lie and in the last year or so he had really come into his own.
'I thought you were dating Ginny?' he asked by way of accepting the apology.
Neville blinked at the question, he hadn't seen that one coming, 'Um, well,' he blushed, he knew that Harry considered the youngest Weasley a sister, 'we talked and we realised that we were better off as friends, we weren't holding each other's attention anymore.'
Harry looked expectantly at the other boy, 'she's dating some Hufflepuff in her year, Ethan something, and I'm dating...' he mumbled the name causing Harry to arch an eyebrow in amusement.
'What was that Nev, I didn't quite catch that,' Harry smirked.
Neville sighed and looked everywhere but at Harry, 'Pansy,' he said a little louder.
Harry's brow furrowed in confusion, 'I thought that she and Draco were practically married already,' he said.
Neville chuckled softly, 'the contract was dissolved when her father died and his father was freed,' he replied, 'besides, Draco's gayer than a pride parade,' he added.
Harry blinked once before bursting into laughter, a moment later Neville joined in.
As they calmed, still giggling every now and again a timid voice came from the doorway.
'Harry?' they found Hermione clutching a book to her chest, look very nervous.
'Hi,' he said uncertainly, she hadn't really said much to him since they had gotten back to school.
The book thumped to the ground and suddenly Harry had a mouthful of curly brown Harry and an earful of sobbed apologies.
'Merlin, I am so sorry I haven't seen you, I wasn't ignoring you, I was just so busy with studying and I was reviewing everything from last year and I just, I lost myself in the books, I know it's lame but it just... I'm so sorry Harry,' she begged him to forgive her.
'You've always found books far more interesting than people 'Mione,' he offered her.
'Don't worry, if it happens again, we'll save you,' Neville offered.
She pulled him into their hug and managed to get a choke hold on them both.
'Mione,' Harry managed to squeak out, as he fought to get her arm loose.
She flushed red even as she released the boys, 'I don't know what's wrong with Ron, but we can figure it out,' she blurted.
Neville sighed, 'I don't think there is anything wrong with him, he was boasting about how he was getting paid to be Harry's friend,' he said with an apologetic look to Harry. 'I don't know about the others though,' he added hastily.
Harry sighed, he felt sort of foolish now that he had Neville and Hermione in front him.
'Harry?' Hermione reached out to cup his face but he flinched back, causing Hermione to tear up and Neville to look confused. Harry gave Hermione a sad smile before she cupped his cheek and he closed his eyes, trying to keep his own tears at bay.
'Come on, let's go to the Room,' she offered before taking his hand and leading him from the room.
At the door the pair stopped and looked back at Neville, 'you coming?' Harry asked.
Neville started from his trance like state and nodded before rushing to join the pair.
The trio spent the rest of the day in the room, just talking.
Hermione told him of the fight that she'd had with Ron and why she'd broken up with him. He wanted to have sex and she wanted to wait. He had tried to force himself onto her but Ginny had appeared and the girls had spent the rest of the summer with Hermione's parents.
She had thought that Harry was mad at her, because she had been sending Harry several letters all summer and he never replied to them. He hadn't gotten anything; Vernon had burned everything that came to Harry, including his birthday presents.
Neville's summer had been spent with Pansy and her family. He had gotten to know several Slytherins and they weren't all bad.
Harry was reluctant but he managed to tell them of his summer, not that he did much, and because he was confessing so much, he also told them about Snape saving him and helping him the night before.
'I told you he wasn't evil,' Hermione said with a triumphant smirk as Harry finished his story.
Harry glared weakly at the witch, who simply asked how Neville had gotten together with Pansy.
Neville shrugged, 'she has a black thumb when it comes to plants and I needed help with potions,' he replied absently.
Hermione was about to ask about Draco when Harry held up his hand, 'contract dissolved and he's more flaming than a phoenix,' he replied.
Hermione gaped at Harry before bursting into peals of laughter.
'Really Harry?' she managed, 'oh that's rich, coming from you!'
'What?' he asked sort of defensive, and a little sworried.
'What?' Harry asked again, looking from Neville to Hermione with worry.
'You have nothing to worry about, we know you're gay,' Hermione said with a grin, causing Harry to splutter indignantly.
Neville and Hermione exchanged worried looks, and surprisingly it was Neville that pulled Harry into a hug, 'it is okay, Harry, we don't care one way or another, you're still our Harry.'
'No, it's not, it's wrong, it's freakish and wrong, and no, no, no,' Harry protested into Neville's chest.
Hermione looked like she wanted to hex someone into oblivion and back just so she could go it again.
She stood and snarled as she punched the bag that had suddenly appeared. She raged for a moment, and Neville was mildly impressed with her technique before she took a deep breath and visibly calmed, she kissed the top of Harry's head, 'I'll be right back little brother,' she said softly. With a glance at Neville who nodded, she headed out to find Professor Snape.
As Hermione stood outside Snape's office door, she suddenly realised that she had no idea what time it was. She sighed and knocked anyways. If what the man had done for Harry last night, then he would want to know about now.
She was surprised when she heard a smooth, 'enter,' from the other side.
'Professor,' she said by way of greeting.
Snape was bent over his desk, grading papers and didn't look up.
'Do you have any idea what time it is?' Snape asked, his attention still focused on his papers.
'No, sir,' Hermione replied, hoping she didn't look as embarrassed as she felt, knowing that her blush would give her away.
Snape set his quill on his desk and finally looked up, 'why have you missed all of your classes today?' he asked as neutrally as possible.
She sighed, 'I was with Neville and Harry in the room of requirement, I was neglecting my best friend and I didn't realize until today that I was doing it.'
'Why are you down here?'
'It's Harry sir. We told him that we knew that he was gay and that we didn't care and then he started saying that it was wrong and freakish, I thought that because of last night that you would be able to help,' she babbled.
Severus heaved a long suffering sigh, but Hermione could tell that he didn't really mean it.
'It's those muggles, isn't it?' she asked.
'Yes, they abhor anything that doesn't confirm to their definition of normal and of course, Harry is everything but normal,' he replied.
'Isn't there anything we can do to them?' Hermione asked, clearly trying to keep her anger at bay.
'Not legally and not without help from Harry,' Severus replied.
'But there is something,' Hermione replied with a glint that reminded Severus of the Weasley twins at their worst during the war.
'Yes, there is something,' Severus replied, 'but first we must look after Harry.'
Hermione nodded, 'he's in the room of requirement with Neville,' she offered before she left, knowing Professor Snape would follow.
Hermione and Snape found Neville and Harry on a couch, adamantly discussing Quidditch.
'Professor Snape,' Neville was the first to see them and he jumped to his feet.
'Hello, Professor,' Harry greeted as he stood.
'Mr. Longbottom, Harry,' Snape said, eyeing Harry.
'Ten points each for missing class today,' he began, 'twenty points to you both for taking care of a friend,' he added, 'now if you'll give us a moment, I'd like to speak with Harry alone,' he requested.
'Of course,' Hermione said, as she pulled Neville to his feet, 'We'll see you in the common room Harry,' she added, as the pair headed to the door.
They sat in a slightly awkward silence; Severus in a calm, contemplative silence as Harry worried the already frayed edge of his sleeve.
Harry broke first with a tired sigh, 'Hermione told you what happened,' he stated.
Severus watched Harry for another moment before he nodded, 'you are not a freak,' he said.
Harry gave a snort of derision, but didn't say anything.
'Not everything those abusive muggles told you was true,' Severus stated emphatically, if gently
'Yeah, then who else is gay?' Harry asked, unable or unwilling to believe Severus.
Severus gave Harry a looked that stated he thought Harry was being dense on purpose, 'do you want the list alphabetical or by age?'
Harry raised a sceptical eyebrow in a decent impression of Snape.
'Albus, Tonks, at least one of those infernal twins – if not both, their older brother, Charles, Black and Lupin – though whether they were ever together had been an ongoing debate for some time, but I believe the wolf prefers redheads,'
'You're not really helping your case,' Harry interrupted.
Severus nodded his acquiescence; it was true because most of Severus' examples were rather... eccentric in some way. Charles and his affinity for dragons and werewolves, Black and his glaring immaturity, the twins and their desire to prank everyone on the face of the earth, Tonks and Albus explained themselves. Lupin was the most normal one among them.
'Am I a freak?' Severus asked bluntly, with a hint of curiosity.
If Harry had been drinking or eating something he would have started choking on it, as it was he started to splutter and choked on his spit, 'no, sir,' he finally managed to get out.
Severus gently cupped Harry's face before moving his hand under Harry's chin to tilt his face to his, 'Not everything they told you was true,' he repeated.
'You mean the sun doesn't shine out of Dudley's arse?' he asked, suddenly devastated.
'No, Brat, it shines out of yours,' he replied with a sneer, knowing Harry wasn't serious.
'Git,' Harry taunted, sticking out his tongue.
'Mature,' Severus chuckled.
The pair then settled into a contemplative silence that was much less awkward than earlier.
'So, Mr Potter, are you a freak?' Severus finally asked.
Harry went back to worrying his sleeve, pulling at a loose thread, 'No?' though his reply was more of a question then a real answer.
Severus sighed, 'in time you will believe what you say to be true. Now off to bed with you,' he said, standing.
'But it's not that late,' Harry pouted.
'Well then do your homework so you know what you missed in your classes today.'
'Can't you tell me?' he asked, going from a pout to full blown puppy eyes.
'No,' he gave Harry a weak glare, 'but you may come to my classroom tomorrow night for your detention and do the potion you missed.' He smirked as Harry groaned.
'Thanks,' Harry groused as he headed for the door.
'Harry,' Severus called the boy back, and when Harry turned, he offered the student a small smile, 'if you ever need to talk, my office is always open,' he offered.
Harry bobbed his head, 'thank you, professor.'
Harry turned to leave before he rushed back to Severus to give him a quick hug and a barely there kiss to his cheek. With that Harry turned and practically ran from the room. He was gone by the time Severus had made it to the door.
'Longbottom?' Draco asked incredulously, for the sixth time.
Pansy sighed, 'yes, Draco, Neville Longbottom,' her expression softened as a small smile curved her lips. She looked sort of dreamy, 'he's sweet and caring and ever the gentleman, he's given me a beautiful pink and purple orchid and he's saved my mother's favourite hibiscus and he can debate sports with my father and he doesn't care that my father is on house arrest or that he was a death eater, no matter how reluctant, and if he does care then he doesn't let it show and he's super loyal and to Harry, he got caught up in the hype against Harry that Weasley started but he's seen the error of his ways and he apologized to Harry and told off that cad...'
'Okay!' Theo blurted, hitting a wrong cord on his guitar, 'we get it, he's the bestest boyfriend ever!'
'No,' Draco purred, 'you're the bestest boyfriend ever,' he stated, leaning over the guitar for a kiss.
Theo accepted the sweet kiss from the blonde, 'thank you, but I'm still not sucking you off in Snape's class,' Draco opened his mouth but Theo cut him off, 'or McGonagall's or Flitwick's or Binn's or any other class, and you are not sucking me off in any class or public setting,' he said as he strummed at his guitar, sounding like he'd had this conversation several times in the past with his boyfriend.
Draco pouted, but turned back to Pansy, who was trying not to laugh.
'Do you think what Weasel's been saying about Potter is true?' Draco asked, suddenly serious.
Pansy eyed Draco cautiously, 'Why do you care? I thought Potter was like the bane of your existence.' She'd had a talk with Neville, well several, about Harry and her boyfriend seemed to think that their saviour's home life wasn't as pampered as everyone had been led to believe, and she was inclined to agree with him. She'd even grown slightly protective of the younger teen, even though she hadn't properly met him yet.
'That was when I thought he was treating me like a noble Gryffindor would treat a slimey Slytherin, and not how a victim would treat a potential bully. I reminded him of his tormentors,' he replied, picking at his perfect nails, Theo covered them with his own.
'They didn't torment him Draco,' Pansy said softly, joining her hand with Draco and Theo's, 'they abused him, you tormented him.'
'Just apologize to him, Dray, you'd be surprised what an apology can do,' Theo said, gently squeezing his hand.
Draco nodded, it was almost curfew so there wasn't much he could do right now, but come morning he would find Harry first thing. Until then, however, he had homework to do.
'Did you hear, Potter apparently lied about being there when You Know Who was destroyed!' An eager fourth year blurted just as Neville and Hermione stepped into the common room.
'Yeah, and he's not even the real Harry Potter, he died in the attack too!' someone else added.
'If you believe that then you're all fools!' Neville growled out.
'Harry Potter is a stronger than any of you, and I'm not talking about magical talent,' Hermione stated, just as vehement as Neville, but without the growl.
'If it hadn't of been for Harry than we'd all be slaves and Snape would be dead, and who knows how many others too,' Neville added, a little less growly.
'After everything he's done for us, you still would rather believe lies that come cow made up than actually talk to the man himself then you're all worse than I thought,' Hermione looked around at all the other students, some of whom were looking down in shame.
'We're supposed to be brave, but when one of our own is in trouble, we immediately turn our backs on them, I'm ashamed to be a Gryffindor,' Neville added.
Just then Harry appeared and everyone stared at him in silence.
'Do I have something on me?' he asked with a nervous laugh.
Seamus pushed his way through the crowd, he had been one of Ron's biggest supporters, every one held their breath.
'I am so sorry, Harry, I don't know what came over me,' he said sheepishly, 'I know Skeeter's a lying hag and Weasley has always been jealous of you but I let them convince me of their lies. I'll try to be a better friend, I know I can, if you'll let me,' he pleaded.
'Why is everyone staring at me?' Harry asked, in a suspicious whisper.
'Who, them?' Seamus asked, waving a hand behind him, 'They have no manners and they always stare at you, you should know that by now, and no, you don't have anything on you.'
'We may have just told everyone off,' Hermione said, not looking at Harry.
'Oi! Shut you're gobs! Don't you all have homework to do or something?' Seamus snapped at the group, who immediately snapped to attention, most of them rushing about to get their homework.
'God damn it Ginny, what the hell is your problem?' Ron snarled, or rather tried to but it was hard to do as he sneezed violently several times as he tried to dodge the bats that were coming out of his nose.
'You are! You're the worst sort of person imaginable. You turned on your best friend at the drop of a hat and you've been lying about him too!' Ginny stormed in after her brother, her wand raised as she readied another attack.
Then she caught sight of Harry.
'Oh, Merlin Harry!' she flung herself at him, cursing herself for being so self absorbed. She'd spent the summer with Luna going all over the UK with Luna's father. When she'd returned she'd been more interested in reconnecting with her friends and unfortunately Harry hadn't been very high on her list. 'I had no idea what my idiot brother was doing, otherwise I would have hexed his balls off sooner,' she glared at her idiot brother.
'Did you have a good summer?' he asked, clearly forgiving the youngest Weasley.
Ginny pulled away from him, but only far enough away to leer, 'Luna can do this thing with her tongue mmmph,' she was cut off by Hermione's hand over her mouth, which was promptly taken away when Ginny licked it. Hermione glared weakly at Ginny who grinned innocently.
'How you can stand to be near that homo?' Ron blurted, as he watched his sister with Harry.
'Is it all homosexuals you hate or is it just Harry?' Ginny retorted, 'because I have to tell you, we're everywhere,' she stated as she waved her hand around.
'We?' Ron said, paling.
'Me, Charlie, George, Luna, Professor Dumbledore, Tonks, Remus, that flamboyant seventh year Hufflepuff,' she listed off.
'He's still a freak!' Ron blurted, pointing an accusatory finger at Harry.
Suddenly there was the sound of cartilage crunching.
'You are such a moron! I don't know why I ever wanted to go out with you!' Lavender Brown was suddenly in front of them, holding her sore hand.
'You broke my nose!' Ron stated obviously through the blood running down his face.
'You broke my hand!' she shot back.
Hermione sighed, 'Neville, can you take Sir Bleeds-a-Lot to Pomfrey, please?' she asked as she massaged the bridge of her nose.
'Let's go Bleedy McBleederson,' Neville grabbed Ron's arm and dragged him from the common room, Harry and Ginny waving them off.
'Come on, Lavender,' Hermione said, gently taking her arm, 'Pomfrey can fix you up. Nice right hook,' she added with a small smile.
Lavender returned her smile, 'yeah well, I've wanted to do that for a while,' she replied sheepishly, 'besides I had to defend my girlfriend.'
'Padma?' Hermione asked, with a knowing look.
Lavender blushed, 'how did you know?'
'I caught Parvati in an alcove with a seventh year Hufflepuff, Jacob, I think,' Hermione replied.
'Can someone please explain to me why you are here?' Pomfrey asked, eyeing the four of them with no small amount of suspicion.
'She bunched be!' Ron blurted, pointing a bloody hand at Lavender.
'Only because you were badmouthing Harry, you giant twat!' Lavender shot back.
A loud piercing whistle stopped anymore arguing.
McGonagall, Dumbledore and Snape were all watching the group. McGonagall lowered her hands, 'thank you,' she said, clearly exasperated with all of them, 'now will one of you explain to me what happened, Mr Longbottom.'
'Hermione and I got back to the common room and overheard some of the students badmouthing Harry, so we told them off,' both Hermione and Neville blushed, but he continued, 'and then Harry showed up and Seamus apologized and then yelled at everyone again, then Ron came in followed by Ginny who had hexed Ron with her Bat Bogey hex,' the four adults all winced, knowing all about that particular hex the youngest Weasley had perfected, 'and then she yelled at him some more and Ron said something stupid and then Lavender punched Ron because of what he was saying and then we came here,' he finished.
McGonagall looked like she was fighting a headache and Snape looked like he wanted to hit something, probably Ron, and Dumbledore simply twinkled.
'I'm sorry I didn't do anything sooner,' he stated, 'Mr. Weasley, you have a month's worth of detention with Filch, after you've gone home for two weeks. You are no longer a prefect and you cannot play on the Quidditch team,' Ron looked like he wanted to protest, 'this behaviour of yours has been unacceptable, and it is my fault it has gone on so long. You will no longer be getting payments for your services and in fact I believe you will lose some of it as well. This is your only warning Mr Weasley, if you do so much as sneeze on Mr Potter, then you will have to continue your education elsewhere.'
'You are only doing this because he's Harry FU-'
'Silence!' Dumbledore cut him off, 'he maybe Harry Potter, but he is also a student at this school, and no one deserves to be treated as you have been treating Harry these last few days. Fifty points from Gryffindor,' he stated, ignoring the gasps from everyone present. 'Can you clean him up while I contact his parents?' he asked Pomfrey, who simply nodded.
'Unfortunately, Miss Brown, I must take another ten points for fighting,' he continued on, then he smiled, 'though I feel I must award 50 points each, for defending a friend,' he stated, before he was suddenly leaving the infirmary in a swirl of baby blue robes.
'That man,' McGonagall sighed, as Snape simply glared at the retreating form.
'Longbottom, congratulations, you are the new Gryffindor prefect,' she announced suddenly, pulling a badge from one of her robe pockets, 'Miss Granger, I trust you can show him the ropes,' she stated, getting a nod from Hermione. 'Good, now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go corral that old man, let's go Mr. Weasley,' she practically hissed as she grabbed his ear.
Pomfrey healed Lavender's hand much more gently then she had Ron's nose, which continued to drip blood, and Neville escorted her back to the tower.
'May I have a word Miss Granger?' Snape requested when the other two students were out of earshot.
'Of course, Professor,' she replied, giving him a concerned look.
'How is Mr Potter?' he asked after a brief moment of hesitation.
Hermione studied her potions professor for a few moments before smiling softly, 'he seems to be okay, but don't be surprised if he wants to talk with you later,' she replied.
Severus nodded, 'you won't leave him alone like that again,' he stated.
'Not if I can help it,' Hermione replied, blinking back her tears. Harry had told her and Neville everything earlier in the room and she felt terrible about forgetting about Harry.
'See that you don't,' Severus warned, before the pair parted ways.
That's that, I hope you enjoyed it and there will be at least one more chapter of this coming. I have several fics in the work so keep an eye out for them!