DISCLAIMER: I do not own anything except the idea I got in order to make this story.
I got this idea after I saw the scarlet letter and after the string of homosexual suicides happened. This story is dedicated to all of the lives lost and written in support of those who are having trouble with coming to terms with who they are.
"The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers,—stern and wild ones,—and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss." - Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter
LESBIAN GIRL FOUND HANGING FROM NOOSE IN DORM ROOM
May 3, 2011
Muggle student Stefanie Miller from London University was found by roommate Tabitha Rooke hanging from the pipes on their ceiling Monday morning. "She was gay. And no one liked that. She had little support, lost all her friends when she came out about being a lesbian, she was miserable. She was hated, made fun of – horrible things, rumors, went around the school about her. I hope they're all happy about what they did to her. She was my best friend and I don't have to make them pay for what they did because of the list I made. They'll get what they deserve." – Tabitha Rooke. Rooke gave us a list of the names of students from London University who will be interrogated.
Eliza Rookwood, reporter, Daily Prophet
GAY SEVENTEEN-YEAR-OLD BOY FOUND DEAD IN HOME
July 29, 2011
Seventh year muggleborn Elija Peterson from Durmstrang killed himself yesterday by swallowing a bottle of aspirin. He had had stones thrown at him, he had been punched in the face, had numerous broken bones – all because he liked men. It seems that not even summer break provides an escape from this horror.
Eliza Rookwood, reporter, Daily Prophet
BOY SLIT WRISTS BECAUSE OF NUMEROUS GAY BASHINGS
September 5, 2011
Fifth year Beauxbatons student Benjamin Rangèr was found dead this morning by his roommates. He died from blood loss in the bathroom after he cut his wrists. Rangèr had been beaten up by school mates because of his sexual orientation on many occasions. Whether there are or are not homosexual students at the school, they have not said anything. Because Rangèr was the only one with courage, the only one who stood up for what he felt, he was persecuted.
Fleur Delacour-Weasley, reporter and translator, Daily Prophet
September 10, 2011
So far, there have been ten suicides due to homosexuality in the past year. Ten. That is ten too many. This is becoming a trend, and it needs to be stopped. These students, muggle and magical, are being targeted because they are "different." But how exactly are they so different? They feel. They live. They love. The only difference is that they are attracted to people of the same gender as themselves. How is that so horrible? Why is that a reason to drive someone over the edge, so far, to make someone so miserable and depressed that they can see no way out other than death? And how is that justifiable? The kids that killed themselves were strong, but weak at the same time. It takes a great amount of courage to stand up for something that isn't the norm, but it takes even greater strength to not succumb to the harshness that is bound to come from it. They stood alone, or maybe with one or two other people. If there was a support group, or support from the Ministry, even, then maybe there would not be so many kids killing themselves. Maybe these kids will see that there is an option that does not end with death.
Eliza Rookwood, reporter, Daily Prophet and Fleur Delacour-Weasley, reporter and translator, Daily Prophet
GAY SEVENTH YEAR GIRL FROM SYDNEY WITCH'S ACADEMY KILLS HERSELF
FOURTH YEAR DURMSTRANG STUDENT COMMITS SUICIDE BECAUSE OF HOMOSEXUALITY
MUGGLE KILLS HIMSELF AFTER SEVERE GAY BASHING
THIRD DURMSTRANG STUDENT TO COMMIT SUICIDE OVER NEGATIVE CONNOTATIONS
SURROUNDING HOMOSEXUALITY AND THREATS
BOY KILLS HIMSELF…
GIRL COMMITS SUICIDE…
"I've had enough of this shite!"
Ginny glanced at the paper that had been thrown to the table in Seamus's fit of rage. "Seamus, abusing the Prophet won't help anything."
"Aren't you disgusted? That all these kids are being driven by abuse to killing themselves simply because they're GAY?"
"You know I am, but there's nothing we can do about it. Fleur is fighting it with everything she's got, and clearly she's not alone; this Eliza woman is going at it just as strong."
"There are even people in other countries fighting it," said Ron, "and Fleur's translating everything. I can't believe that this is happening. After everything we all went through in the war… you'd think everyone would have grown up and would care more about the people that were lost instead of killing off the survivors."
The Irish boy made an irritated noise and folded his arms across his chest. Hermione shot him a sympathetic look. "I know it's awful, but Ginny's right. And, at least they're not being made to wear badges to tell everyone around them that they're gay, like the Jews had to during Hitler's reign."
Then his eyes widened. "Gotta go, see you guys later."
"What do you think that was about?" Harry asked them when Seamus sped out of the Great Hall.
Dean shrugged. "When he gets one of his crazy ideas, you never know what could result. Best thing to do is just wait it out. It's probably nothing. Anyway, on a slightly better topic – how were your summers?"
"Very good, actually," Hermione answered. "I was able to release the memory spell I put on my parents and I told them everything. They were awfully angry, and upset, but they understood. After that was over, we went away for a much needed vacation."
"Then Mione came to us," said Ron, "and Harry had been staying with us already. We had a blast. George's ear couldn't be fully saved, but a lot of it grew back. It's just really scarred now. Fred came home from the hospital a few weeks after the war 'cause he was hurt pretty bad, and Percy re-joined our family."
"How was yours?" Harry asked Dean.
"Spent it with Seamus mostly. A lot of it was put towards calming him down about the suicides. It's a very touchy subject for him, as you all know. And with me."
Seamus and Dean were together. The trio, Ginny, Neville, and Luna were the only ones who knew about it. They supported the couple, and kept the relationship quiet. But no matter how supportive his friends were of Dean and Seamus, Harry couldn't bring himself to tell them about his secret.
He snuck a glance across the room at the Slytherin table, searching for the head of platinum hair he had come to be so fond of. Why, he had no idea, and he hated it. Draco Malfoy and his mother had helped in the war. Sure, Narcissa saved Harry's life, but Malfoy was still Malfoy. Harry wasn't supposed to have the world's biggest crush on him. He tore his eyes away from the beautiful face of the boy who had been his enemy for years.
Harry stood and stretched. "I'm gonna head back to the common room. I'm done eating. You coming with me?"
Hermione, Ron, and Dean nodded. Ginny shrugged. "Maybe tomorrow. I'm gonna go back to Gryffindor. Man, it sucks that you guys aren't there anymore… later."
As Ginny left to go to her dorm, the quad of friends made their way to their new living quarters. Because of the war, Dumbledore invited all of last year's students to repeat their year since they got almost nothing out of it, and some students hadn't shown up at all. The houses couldn't fit that many students, so a new one was constructed over the summer. It would house students for the next seven years until last year's first years graduate. It was very comfortable, and was decorated with neutral tones. There was no separation of Houses except when it came to who would room with who. This, Harry thought, was why he had come to develop a crush on Draco. He got to see a side of him that was previously only known to Slytherins. The side of him that studied quietly in a chair in a corner of the common room, brushing his hair behind his ear every now and then. The side of him that smiled at his friends when they sat and chatted in front of the fire. It was a softer side, and Harry thought it really suited the harsh-tongued snake. It balanced him. But it also made Harry's life that much harder.
Because he now saw this softer side of Draco, he could no longer come up with reasons to hate him. And because of that, he was in turmoil. He knew he could never be with Draco, even if the blonde wasn't an ass to him or his friends anymore, even though he helped in the war, because that's just how things were. Draco Malfoy was Draco Malfoy. And he wasn't gay.
"Are you okay, mate?"
Harry looked up at Ron. "Huh? Oh, yeah. Yeah."
Ron stared at him in doubt. "Are you sure?"
"Yes, Ron. Chess?"
Ron and Hermione shared a look of concern, but Ron agreed. Ron and Harry's favorite place to play chess in the common room was at a table with a sofa next to it, where their friends would sit and watch, and two comfortable chairs on either side where the players would sit. The back of Harry's chair faced the portrait hole, so he didn't notice when Malfoy came in.
Harry had been stuck on what move he should make until a voice from behind him said, "Knight to A5." The knight promptly destroyed Ron's queen. He looked up as Malfoy was walking away to his corner to read a book. Harry's body filled with butterflies and his face flushed. His heart was hammering in his chest as he tried to calm himself down. If Ron didn't notice, Hermione surely would.
Then he thought of Ginny… she understood when he told her he didn't feel it anymore after the war. She had smiled and they remained friends because she, too, felt nothing but friendship. However, she did not know why Harry "lost" his feelings for her, or even that he never actually had them in the first place. Harry never liked girls, but he didn't want to admit to himself that he was gay so he jumped at the chance to date Cho.
And that was a disaster.
"Hey! You're not even playing! And why help him and not me?" Ron called after the blonde.
Draco, already seated, didn't even look up. "Because he's not whiney and annoying like you."
Ron huffed and turned back to the game. Draco defended him… he actually did something in Harry's favor – and complimented him, in Malfoy's twisted sort of way. "Thanks, Malfoy."
"Don't get used to it, Golden Boy. I saw something you didn't, that's all."
Even though Draco's response was a bit callous, it didn't bring down Harry's butterflies. That night, he went to sleep with nervous wrinkles on his face. 'This has to stop.'
The next morning, he awoke to the sun shining, energy flowing through him, and a warm room. Yet something seemed wrong. When Dumbledore's voice echoed throughout the castle telling everyone to meet in the Great Hall in half an hour, his stomach filled with dread. He didn't know why. He and Ron glanced at each other and quickly dressed. When they got to breakfast and took a seat next to Hermione and Ginny, Seamus and Dean sat down with them not a minute later.
"What do you think this is about?" Ron asked, but Hermione shushed him.
Dumbledore held out his hands to silence the students. "Something terrrible happened last night, and I want you all to hear it from me before you see the Prophet. I have delayed the mail, which is why you have not gotten it yet. A student was killed last night!" his voice boomed. He hesitated for the news to sink in, and then continued. "Helena Morgana hung herself from the showers because she was being tortured for being homosexual. A person who will remain anonymous informed me that she had been tortured by her dorm mates when they found out. I will not let this occur in my school!" his voice boomed. He let a moment of silence pass over the students. "These people will be forced to submit their memories if they do not willingly take veritaserum, and those found guilty will anonymously be sent to mandatory counseling once a week set up by the Ministry of Magic. If anyone needs to speak to me about this, do not hesitate to do so."
A loud bang erupted and echoed off the walls as Seamus slammed his fists on the Gryffindor table and stood.
"Mr. Finnigan!" professor McGonagall proclaimed in surprise.
"I HAVE HAD IT!" he shouted.
"NO, Hermione! Are you happy?!" he screamed at the entire student body. "Are you fucking happy about what you did to that girl? Are you happy about the other kids who committed suicide just because they were GAY?!" McGonagall looked to Dumbledore for help but he did nothing except let Seamus continue. Seamus stepped away from the table. "What the HELL is WRONG with you?! They have the SAME romantic feelings all of you have! What is the bloody difference? Do you just need something to do to release your frustrations? Or do you really think being gay is disgusting? WELL?!"
"Mr. Finnigan," Dumbledore warned.
"I don't fucking care if I get in trouble for saying this, I'm PISSED! And if that girl's friends and this so-called inside source couldn't tell a professor before this happened, then they're JUST as guilty of her death as her bullies are! Well you know what? I'M gay! Yeah, I'm bloody gay! And you know what? There isn't a THING in the WORLD any of you can say or do to me because I know I'm strong and can withstand whatever you throw at me, so TRY YOUR BLOODY BEST!"
And then he stormed out of the Great Hall.
"Oh dear…" Hermione sighed.
Dean got up and went after him. Harry saw a glint at the corner of his eye and turned to see tears running down Ginny's pretty face. "Gin? What's wrong?" He put an arm around her, and Hermione put a hand on the redhead's.
"She… I knew her. I… knew her. Not well but we've laughed together… and played quidditch together… oh my god… how could I not see it?"
"Ginny, Seamus was talking about Dumbledore's inside source. He didn't mean you. You aren't responsible for her death," Hermione said soothingly.
"I know, but still. How could I not notice… she's looked so sad, recently. We weren't good friends but she was so kind…"
Harry took her into his arms and let her cry. It's what she needed; to get the shock and guilt out of her system, as a couple of other people were doing. It was then that the mail came. An inflow of tons of owls that were waiting impatiently to get their loads to their respective targets. When Hermione got her paper, she put it out in front of her. The title read:
GAY SUICIDES REACH HOGWARTS
Thank you all for giving this story a chance. I know it's a bit jarring, but I want to get my message across. That this is a really serious thing, and that we can prevent it. I hope you enjoyed it. If you aren't sure of where this is going, please at least read the second chapter because that will explain things a bit better. I felt that stopping this chapter here was more powerful than continuing. Please review and tell me what you think! And where you think this might be going ;)