Title: Isolationist Theory
Fandom: Harry Potter
Rating: T, eventual M
Pairing: [undecided – please see author's note below]
Disclaimer: There are many things that I have claim to—like, for example, delusions of grandeur. However, Harry Potter is unfortunately one of the few that I can't have for myself. :( *shakes fist*
Summary: The boy who cried wolf: You know, there's only so much that a boy hero can take. After becoming the wizarding world's scapegoat during the summer after the Triwizard Tournament, Harry decides that enough is enough—and flips Britain the bird. So he transfers. No, not to Durmstrang. To Beauxbatons.
Author's Note: I've been reading a lot of Harry-goes-to-Durmstrang stories lately—really; a lot—and I've noticed the trend that those stories tend to lean more heavily on Dark!Harry. Which I do love. But then I started wondering… well. What would happen if Harry ended up attending Beauxbatons? –to which followed thoughts on how the students conducted themselves and what the French academy might have emphasized: politics, etiquette, grace, and degrees of sophistication, as well as magic. After considering this, a little plot bunny then popped into existence, looked at me, smirked, and promptly greeted me with a, "Yo." And then tried to bro-fist me. I attempted to shoot it dead, but—as you can see—I failed. Epically. Really epically. Anyway, before I launch into the prologue: I'm undecided on pairings, but I have one of three in mind. So I figured that I might as well ask to see if anyone would prefer one over the other two: Harry with Voldemort, Lucius, or Draco. Let me know what would pique your interest in reading? :) No promises, but I will take feedback into consideration.
- Prologue -
It was infuriating, the boy with verdigris eyes thought as he crumpled the Daily Prophet into his hand, smashing it vindictively into as small a ball as possible, after which he tossed it at the rubbish bin in the corner of his small room. It was infuriating, the things that they got away with saying: that Dumbledore had gone senile in his old age, that he wanted to relive his glory days after the defeat of Grindelwald by spouting the fact that You-Know-Who was back. And that he, Harry, was nothing more than a disturbed, attention-seeking child who happened to have psychological, pathological lying problems: at heart, nothing more than Dumbledore's pawn and a perfect representation of the boy who cried wolf.
The articles by Rita Skeeter had finally gotten to the point where Harry was considering suing for libel. Unfortunately, with the current political climate and public opinion, Harry knew that there was no chance that that particular case would ever by won by him—and, thus, there was little point in even trying. What was the point?
It wasn't even, in the end, that Harry was angriest at the articles that Skeeter wrote.
No, what hurt the most were the Letters to the Editor. He had known, for years, that wizards and witches were a fickle, capricious bunch—the incident during second year after the disastrous duel with Malfoy had managed to prove that without a doubt. But despite the intellectual knowledge, no matter the fact that Harry had known that he would have to steel himself for the words that would come from the majority of the wizarding population—had already come from many during the Good-bye Feast and the speech that Dumbledore had said—despite it all…
These were letters from men and women that he had never met, had never had the chance to speak to, and it didn't matter how thoroughly he tried to distance himself from their words: there still remained the fact that they were malicious words, words meant to harm and to rend and to dishearten. They were doing an excellent job.
…couldn't get enough of the fame that came with his parents' death…
…so desperate to have people give him the smallest amount of regard…
…deceitful, obviously with every word coming from his mouth a lie…
…craves attention to the point that he's willing to terrorize the good wizarding folk…
All snippets, nothing more, from hundreds of letters already printed in the newspaper. And as each day passed and more and more people began to feel heatedly about Dumbledore's speeches, the claims that Voldemort was back… the section for readers' responses became thicker and thicker. Already, it took up nearly half of the Daily Prophet, and every letter oozed vitriol and spite.
Harry knew that he shouldn't read the letters; they served no purpose and only discouraged him further. And yet… and yet… still depressed over the loss of Cedric's life, Harry couldn't help but be aghast at the wizarding world's reaction. Their malice and deliberate obtuseness: their obliviousness and the way that they willingly, wholeheartedly pulled the blindfold over their eyes.
These were the people that he was supposed to save?
These were the people whose Saviour he was supposed to be?
These were the people who supposedly lauded him as their Golden Boy, their scion of Light and Happiness and Hope? These petty, shallow people who lashed out with razor-sharp malice when things apparently weren't going their way?
These were the people that Harry was supposed to feel grateful towards?
Was supposed to desire to be among, to join?
As the days passed and slowly, lazily melted into the idle weeks of summer, Harry spent more and more time in the smallest bedroom of Number 4 Privet Drive, sitting on the floor with his back against the bed as he considered the growing pile of balled-up Daily Prophets.
The days passed, the weeks passed, a solid month—month and a half—passed, and the burning cauldron of discontent and quiet fury continued to build as each issue of the Daily Prophet grew thicker and thicker.
In the end, however, it was the silence that placed the last nail in the coffin.
Ron and Hermione had both promised to write to him often, Sirius had looked at him with sympathy and understanding and mentioned that he would come by once or twice as Snuffles, and Dumbledore had been unable to look at him since the night of the Third Task: the silence that he had been given was damning, especially since his letters went unanswered—though not unread because Hedwig always returned to him without them. He waited and waited, expecting and hoping and watching the skies for letters that never came. There was nothing.
And it was one day, five days before his fifteenth birthday, that Harry sat down upon his bed, hands clasped between his knees, and considered what it was that he truly wanted to do. He had become a pariah within the wizarding world and the people that he had considered closest to him had cut him completely out of their lives, effective through their lack of communication.
Harry idly rocked back and forth on his haunches, mulling over the choices that he had, few though they were. He could stick things out and put up with the pernicious opinion of the public at large and continue supporting the Headmaster, returning to Hogwarts. He could see if it was possible to drop out completely and instead attend a Muggle school, going through the rest of his life pretending that the wizarding world didn't exist as he lived out his days as a non-magical. That choice left a sour taste in his mouth, but Harry knew that he shouldn't completely disregard it. Every option had merit, was viable at this point. Or, perhaps, he could transfer... and Harry froze in his movements.
It was that last thought that gave the wizard teen pause.
He could leave Britain behind—and it was finally getting to the point where Harry would have happily flipped the whole lot of them the bird as he did so—and go to Durmstrang or Beauxbatons. The thought had merit, though Harry didn't think that he could bring himself to attend Durmstrang, not with the knowledge that an ex-Death Eater had been its last Headmaster.
Beauxbatons had potential.
Pushing himself upwards, Harry whistled for Hedwig and began to pen an anonymous request for a packet on the school with details as to how one would go about applying for a transfer so late in a student's academic career. Perhaps this would end up working out. Perhaps not. But if Harry didn't at least try to find out more, he could only blame himself for being miserable amongst a population who said his name with a sneer.
The morning of July 31st arrived with a smiling green-eyed Slytherin-in-Gryffindor-colors making his way down the stairway half an hour before lunch. "Good morning, Aunt Petunia," the fifteen year-old greeted as he sat across from the horse-faced woman.
Petunia Dursley looked Harry up and down, lip curling in disgust as she nonchalantly went back to her lady's magazine and the latest gossip tabloid that was hidden within it. "Finished up cleaning the upstairs' rooms, have you? Then go and weed the back and front yards, freak."
Harry reigned in his temper, but it was a near thing. "I'll go and do that right away, but… first, I'd like to ask you for a favor." Ignoring the way that the woman laughed in derision, the teenager continued: "I'm thinking about transferring schools, but I need you to sign the release forms since you're my guardian, Aunt Petunia."
"And why would I do that?" Petunia asked in clipped tones.
The smile that her nephew gave to her was practically cherubic. "Because the school that I want to go to has summer classes for students who are interested in taking them. I was looking them over and they seem rather interesting, so I'll probably elect to take them…"
Never before, the wizard thought later on whilst in the safety of his bedroom as he watched Hedwig fly away with the important transfer documents, had Harry seen his aunt move as fast as she did at that moment when she lunged forward for the papers and the pen that he had held in his hands.