The Consequences of Our Choices.
SUMMARY: The choices we make shape our destiny. What if Harry had never said 'no' to the sorting hat? How would his life be different? How would the world? Harry finds himself straddling two very different realities. H/D. M to be safe.
WARNINGS: Extreme spoilers. So, if you've only watched the movies and are waiting for the last one or have been vacationing on the moon and only recently got back, this is your warning!
An: This story is Harry/ Draco. And I ask now that you forgive me for my shakey beginnings.
Chapter one: Every Action Bares a Consequence (You just can't see it yet)
"Choices are the hinges of destiny."
- Edwin Markham
Harry was late again. Ron was expecting him twenty minutes ago, but he got trapped…er distracted by an over enthusiastic fan.
After the war, he was hoping the reality of everything, all the mayhem, destruction and loss would be enough to snap people out of their star glazed daze. Make them realize he wasn't famous for something as simple as singing or making a movie, but something real and difficult.
He overestimated his fellow witches and wizards.
Harry appreciate their gratefulness as much as he could, but at times it got to be too much.
This particular woman, Harry deemed her yellow duck lady, was one of the weirdest he'd ever met. He didn't go out much so maybe that's why he didn't run into the more eccentric admirers, but this woman gave him a strong reminder that they were still out there.
If her outfit of bright yellow scarves, pink leggings and sandals littered with tiny pictures of ducks on them didn't mean she was looney then Harry could give you some more reasons.
He first noticed her when she walked into the shop he was waiting in. He arrived at Diagon alley early and was hoping to find some trinket for Mrs. Weasley. She'd been in a bad mood for a while now. No one could blame her really. After all, her son did just die a few months ago.
All Harry knew was she liked the color red and that he wanted to get a present that would help make her feel better. Immediately he rejected the idea of something she could use around the house. She'd been using all her time doing chores from the moment she returned home. Harry wanted to take her mind off that.
He didn't get very far before the yellow duck lady made her presence more known. Everything Harry put down, she picked up. She even took a picture of a pot he replaced after discovering it talked. Harry was content with ignoring the blonde, middle aged, yellow duck lady and going about his business.
Until she worked up the nerve to talk to him. Her daughter died in the battle. She'd always had a tiny crush on him.
Harry stayed and listened to the woman talk. She reminded him of Mrs. Weasley and he didn't have the heart to turn her away, no matter how odd she was. Her daughter paid the price for their freedom, the least Harry could do was lend an ear for moment or two.
Luckily she didn't dwell on the war. She launched into a long story informing Harry all about the time she almost met one of the members of the Weird Sisters. She showed him a cloth which she claimed was from the lead singer. He stayed out of guilt and after thirty minutes Harry managed to excuse himself.
The young wizard jumped at the loud noise, waking him from his half dream, half memory.
"What, Hermione?" His voice was thick and he wiped some drool off his chin.
" You need to get ready. We're almost there."
Harry peered out the window. The scene outside was changing rapidly, letting him know they were almost at the castle where he spent the happier part of his childhood and the worst. He looked around for the third member of their group.
" He's already changed. He's looking for Ginny."
Harry pulled his clothes out from his green bag, shoving his cloak aside as he did.
" Why?" He still wasn't fully awake or he wouldn't have asked such a stupid question.
" Harry, you know she's been…off since …"
Hermione didn't need to finish the sentence. Harry knew.
Ginny didn't handle the after math of the war so well. The loss of her older brother combined with Harry's rejection made her do some very strange things during the summer.
It all started when she began writing to a boy from school, who she refused to name. Then she started talking back to her parents, getting in fights for no reason, and finally she started sneaking out late at night. One time she didn't even come back until the next morning.
The whole family was concerned for her. Of course, they shared her pain, but didn't know how to help. Harry recalled how desperate he felt after Sirius' death. He just hopes Ginny figures out what she's looking for before she gets hurt or does something irreversible.
Hermione left him to his thoughts and change of clothes. Harry wondered if any of them would ever really heal from the wounds they had.
He thought about Hogwarts. What it used to be for him, what happened the last time he was here. How would he feel walking back into the only place he'd ever considered his home?
What was it now? A battlefield filled with echos of broken bones, bodies and hearts. A memory of death and loss. Could it be the place he used to know again?
Harry took a breath and tried to remember what Doctor Rose had said. She was the healer he'd developed a friendship with after spending much time in and out of the hospital. They ran test after test on him, curious about how he survived and careful to make sure he didn't do permanent damage. She was the only one of the lot he could stand.
They spent the least amount of time in the hospital as they could manage. Dr. Rose hated them. Instead they went for walks or at least tried to sneak a sandwich outside on a bench.
He once asked how she could work there if she hated it so much and she told him it was to help get people out. It didn't make sense at the time, but Harry thought he got it now. He wasn't sure if he would have made it without her.
Applying her technique, he imagined how this could be seen as a positive instead of something that caused him to want to throw up. He needed some outside perspective. How did Dr. Rose do it?
Start with something you know.
Hogwarts was on fire last he saw it.
Then work it until it fits what you want. Until it becomes something else.
Okay, fire leads to smoke and then ashes. So, out of the ashes comes…smudges.
He never did have her eloquence. She'd be able to string together a beautiful saying that applied to the situation and more importantly made him feel better.
He remembered when he first met the young Doctor. She was different right from the start. All the others treated him like the fine china, still shaken from the war and not sure what to do with the boy that saved them all. Dr. Rose told it like it was. Harry cried more than half their talks, but she never made him feel weak. In fact, after they discussed things Harry always felt better, stronger somehow.
He's going to miss her while he's back at school.
" That girl needs to be tied up."
Harry was putting on his shoe when an angry Ron burst into the compartment.
" No, better yet. A leash, so she won't be able to leave our sight."
The red faced red head threw himself in the seat next to his friend. Harry was glad Ron didn't blame him for what was going on with his sister. He knew it wouldn't have been hard to.
" Ron, she's just upset. Let her…"
" Be a trollop?"
" Ronald!" Hermione entered the compartment.
" What? Who knows what she's doing with that Slytherin."
Harry turned to his friend. He didn't know the boy Ginny was seeing was a Slytherin.
" Exactly. Who knows? Not you, so shut-it. It's bad enough when other people talk that way behind her back, but you're supposed to be her family."
With that Hermione stormed into the hall, leaving Harry alone with Ron. Harry blinked for a second.
"Did Hermione just say shut-it?"
" Who cares. Do you think she's right? It's not her sister though, is it."
"I don't think she was trying to…"
"I don't know how she can defend her. Can't Hermione see Ginny's acting completely mad? It must be a girl thing."
Clearly Ron wasn't looking for any real answers. Harry settled back and let his friend vent. It wouldn't be much longer until they arrived at the castle.
Harry's stomach lurched when the train slowed. He stood-up gathering his belongings and blocking out Ron's mumbled words. They made their way to the carriages and instead of getting more agitated, and after a brief rush of sorrow for how many students could now see the thestrals, Harry felt himself relaxing as the castle came into view.
Hermione joined them once their carriage stopped and the three made their way towards the Hogwarts doors for the last time.
It was more crowded than usual on account of the extra 'eighth years'. Most people from their class returned for their final year. Harry bumped into someone trying to pull his bag strap up his shoulder. Before he could apologize the other person spoke first.
Harry was shocked to see a head of blonde hair accompany those words. He froze staring at the boy before him.
He had returned Malfoy's wand shortly before he left Hogwarts the night of the battle, and hadn't given the Slytherin a thought since then.
He didn't know the full involvement of the Malfoy's part in the war. But he knew what he saw. Malfoy keeping quite when he was certain the boy recognized him, Malfoy lowering his wand as he stood before Dumbledore and Narcissa's fear for her son.
Harry made a vow to start over and not let the war have any more victims. He guessed it included be civil to former enemies.
He studied the other boy for a moment. Ron and Hermione stood at his side. Malfoy was guarded as ever and just as silent. Each person was lost to their own sea of memories.
All four tense and starting to cause a traffic jam, were relieved when Malfoy turned and walked away.
Harry went back to eyeing the castle. He put the blonde out of his mind.
He thought of all the good that happened there. Surely it must out way the evil.
" Oi, watch were you going!"
Harry immediately recognized the Irish voice. Seamus and Neville appeared moments later.
"Harry, Ron, Hermione. Great to see you. How was your summer? I heard the best joke…."
Harry's worry melted away. This was familiar and safe. This was home. Despite all the tragedy it had seen. The castle was healing too. From the ashes sprang new life. Like Fawkes.
Fawkes died, engulfed in flames and reduced to ashes only to be reborn into new life. Not exactly poetry, but it would do.
Harry was smiling by the time he stepped into the warm castle.
Harry quickly settled into a routine and any weary thoughts about being back at Hogwarts melted away. It was the same as always. Harry felt pride at discovering not even war could change what Hogwarts was for so many people. There were only a few minor differences.
The eighth years had been given dorms in their respective houses separate from the seventh years, but still shared with fellow class mates.
Harry was happy to discover he was bunking with the same boys he'd shared a room with for years. In addition to separate dorms the returning students had been granted more freedom.
No curfew, they were free to leave the castle when they pleased and they didn't have to listen to prefects. However, the new freedom came with a warning.
They weren't allowed to miss classes and disturbing other students would not be tolerated. The forbidden forest was still off limits. It was also strongly suggested that ' they show respect for authority as they are all guests in the castle. Any one not following the rules will be asked to leave.'
Harry thought those rules were more than fair. He was excited to be back in the castle, among his friends and finally able to relax. He enjoyed the lack of confinement, often visiting the gardens or walking around the castle.
Ron and Hermione went with him at first, but soon it was just him and Hermione. Ron was becoming obsessed with Ginny. He asked to borrow Harry's cloak so often Harry kept it in Ron's dresser now. It was one of the many things he and Hermione would talk about on their walks.
As school started to pick up he lost Hermione too. She said she needed to focus. Harry thought she was panicking because she realized this was the last time she'd be in a classroom environment. Which meant people wouldn't have to put up with her questions and she wouldn't have an excuse to study regularly. She needed to dedicate as much time to that as she could, while she could.
Harry didn't mind being alone so much. The day was packed with people and expectations and noise. He liked the peacefulness of the gardens. The soft scent of flowers, the exotic animals that scampered past, but his favorite were the fountains. They were magnificent. The water never failed to calm him as he watched it run over the smooth marble.
This night he decided to sit on a bench by his favorite fountain. It was of a little boy. The water ran down from an invisible source, pouring over his head and running off the umbrella he was holding. The water never touched him, except at his feet, which stood in a pool of water. The whole thing was lit up by a simple white light.
It made Harry sad.
It would be depressing if he had to live in constant rain. He felt pity for the boy. Soggy and cold, destined to spend eternity in a puddle. He understood how that could feel.
A sound from behind the fountain brought Harry out of his reverie.
He stood swiftly and had his wand ready before he headed towards the noise. It was dark on the other side of the bushes, but he didn't cast a luminous spell. Something was moving a few feet away. Harry cursed Ron for having his cloak.
Who would be sneaking around this late?
He crept up to the figure, just as the other person pulled out a wand. Harry struck first. The person standing across from Harry yelped as his wand flew from his hand. Harry tackled him to the ground.
" Get off me, you idiot! What are you doing?"
Harry realized he didn't have an answer to that. What was he doing? He had no reason to jump this boy. He quickly stood up. The figure retrieved his wand and straightened his clothing. Harry was glad for the lack of light because his cheeks were bright red.
"What the bloody hell, Potter?"
" Sorry. I… Malfoy?" Harry squinted in the darkness.
"You didn't even know it was me? What? Do you just go around attacking anyone now?"
The blonde didn't give him a chance to respond.
" I thought you at least had a reason. Pent up anger or something, but you're just crazy."
Harry ran a hand through his hair and looked over his shoulder. Maybe he was overly suspicious.
" Look, Malfoy…I'm..."
But the other boy was already walking away.
Harry was still frowning as he went back into the castle ten minutes later. He needed a hobby.
Ever since first year he always had something else besides school to worry about. Now he was just bored, making up imaginary foes in the dark. Well, it was Malfoy so not entirely imaginary, but still.
He needed to find something to occupy his time.
Harry watched the girl freeze in her tracks. Her entire body tensed.
Then she turned almost violently.
"Have you come to yell at me too? Or stalk me maybe?"
"Well, you're not very good at it. At least Ron's quieter."
Harry took a step towards the girl he thought he'd spend the rest of his life with.
" I just want to know how you are."
She laughed at him. Then walked away.
" Have you seen Ginny lately?"
Hermione was sitting on the sofa reading a book. Ron was out.
" Not really. Why?"
" I'm just worried. I tried to talk to her the other day. She's so angry."
Hermione set her book down, and pulled her legs up to her chest.
" Ron said she isn't dealing with her pain. She hasn't cried yet. It's been months."
" I think we should help her."
" How? She won't listen to anyone."
Harry thought about what he was feeling when his godfather died. It didn't help to hear other people's opinions and advice. He wanted to be near people for their comfort, but not be suffocated.
" Maybe she's not the one who needs to listen."
Hermione looked at him.
" I have an idea."
Neville lured her into the common room. Ron and Hermione made sure everyone not necessary was gone and Harry was the mediator.
It was a classic intervention.
Ginny was furious when she came in and saw everyone. Neville quickly fled.
" Smart man," Ron muttered.
" Ginny. Please just….sit"
" No." She turned to walk away.
" We just care about you. We're trying to help."
" By lying to me, by tricking me? By following me?" She practically spit at Ron.
" I'm worried about you. You're making a mi…."
Harry kicked him as a reminder they weren't supposed to be making judgements.
" Gin, we're here for you. We're not mad or judging you. We just want to know what's bothering you."
Hermione walked toward the girl. Ginny didn't move away, but she eyed the door.
" What's bothering me? My….."
The younger girl bit her lip and turned to leave.
" You can't run from it. You can't hide. It won't just go away."
" What do you know!" She screamed at her brother. Harry noticed she seemed more upset with him then the rest of them.
" I lost him too, Gin."
" Fred's gone. He's gone and it's awful. Mom won't talk about it, but maybe that's wrong. We should talk about it. He was our brother and now he's dead."
Ginny was shaking now. She was fighting to get by Hermione, but the older girl wouldn't let her pass. Harry was afraid someone was going to get hurt. He wasn't expecting such anger. Ron only seemed to be making it worse.
" I'm mad too, Gin. I'm sad and hurt and angry. I still can't believe he's gone."
With each word Ron took a step closer to his sister. She stopped pushing at Hermione, but wasn't looking at Ron. She was making an odd choking sound.
" I want to do something desperate. He's gone forever and the world just keeps going like nothing happened. I want to scream. I want to make everyone see he's gone. I want to show them what it did to me."
Harry didn't realize just how much pain his best friend was carrying around. A pang of guilt and sadness sliced through him.
" But you didn't. You didn't d...do what I did. You don't know the things I did. I can't just go back…..I'm..."
" I love you, Ginny. You're my sister and nothing you could do would ever change that."
He was right behind her now.
" But I….."
" I don't care." And then he hugged his sister.
Ginny collapsed into his arms and sobbed.
Ron cried too.
Harry felt relief flood through him. A look from Hermione told him she felt the same. They got through to her. That's all that mattered. The rest they could deal with.
Ron brought Ginny to the couch and Hermione left to get some tea for them. Harry sat in a chair across from the siblings. It was strange, but Harry couldn't help the feeling of envy that washed over him. He briefly wondered if anyone had ever cared that much for him.
He knew his parents did, but he couldn't remember that. Ron and Hermione were his best friends but even they had left him at some point or another, at least for a brief period of time. He wondered what it would have been like to have a sibling. Someone you always could count on. Someone who would always be there to bring you in from the dark. Who understood you and accepted you without question.
Harry pushed the feelings aside. This was about Ginny, not him.
They sat in silence until Hermione came back with the tea.
" Thank you. I'm so sorry."
She began crying again. Ron patted her back.
" It's okay."
" No, it's not. I really messed up. I was so mad and I did something stupid. Really stupid."
" I got in with a bad crowd."
" The Slytherins, we know. It's alright."
" No. Worse. They….well they were into some dark stuff…magic."
It was Hermione's voice, soft and calm.
" I was so angry and it hurt so much. I didn't know how to... They want to get revenge. On the Deatheaters. They sent me a letter, talking about justice and how the people who did this should pay. I ignored it, at first."
"Then, some one from school started writing to me. He was just a boy. His parents were killed. It was nice. Having someone to talk to. I tried talking with mom a few times, but she just got mad. We started yelling and I felt even worse. And George is so quiet now. I didn't want to upset him any more."
" He understood, the boy in the letter. I thought it would make me feel better. I thought it would help, and it did. For a while."
" But he kept talking about the people who got off with no punishment. The people who murdered his parents and F-Fred were just walking around some where. No consequences."
" It made me mad. He took me to met other people like us: who lost some one. They were all angry. It was good to get angry. I thought if we did something about it, it would be better some how."
" Did you? Do anything?"
She shook her head vehemently.
" No! It never got beyond talking, planning. But I think it could. I think it will, real soon."
" Who are they?"
" I only met a few, but they're just students. They all go here. Most are okay. I mean, they're just hurt. Talking seemed to make it easier on us. But some, enough of them, want something more."
"We have to tell a some one. A teacher or something."
"Ginny, we have to. This is serious. People could get hurt."
" Look, the boy, who wrote me. He wasn't so bad, and like I said most others are just students. But the leader or what-ever. He scared me. Something's not right with him. And there were more like him. I can't..."
" Ginny, it's important."
" But they're just students! So really, it's not that bad. I mean, I think they only want to... they wouldn't do anything. Not really."
Ginny's fear contradicted her words. If they were only students grieving together, then she wouldn't be frightened about them directing their anger at her.
" It doesn't sound like that. This could get out of hand. We need to tell some one. What were their names?"
" No! I won't do it! I don't want to get anyone in trouble. And he...they would know it was me. Please, I can't."
She curled up onto Ron's shoulder and refused to talk any more. Ron was concerned about the group his sister was hanging out with, but she was more important. This was the most upset he'd ever seen her. His first instinct was to protect his baby sister.
Even if it was from Hermione. He quelled her protests with a look.
The girl didn't look happy, but she shut her mouth. They could talk about it later.
" Hey, Ron."
Ginny's voice startled everyone.
"You remember when Fred convinced me I was allergic to the sun?"
"You screamed when we tried to take you out outside. Mom thought you were bit by a vampire."
" I wouldn't tell her the truth."
"We ate garlic for a month."
Everyone laughed, the previous discussion forgotten for the moment. The rest of the night was spent honoring the memory of Fred, but Harry knew the topic of the mysterious gang wasn't going to stay dormant for long.
Harry fell asleep outside. It wasn't something he did often, but the whole thing with Ginny had everyone on edge and he felt at peace in the garden.
Harry was upset about the new threat, but secretly happy to have something to do. He and Ron began drawing up a list of people who'd want the Deatheaters dead. It was short, because Ron was convinced whoever was in charge was in Slytherin.
Working on that theory, they thought of anyone who would either be angry that the Slytherin name was even more soiled than before or not care about it at all. The first was more likely. Slytherins were prideful creatures. Also it had to be someone who had a family member die in the war.
It may have been their investigating or Ginny's disappearance from their meetings, but soon more real threats started popping up. Ginny came in crying one day, but wouldn't say why.
Ron nearly blew-up the common room. It only made them more determined to find the group of vigilantes.
Ginny refused to tell a teacher and without names there wasn't much any one could do.
Harry was uneasy about the whole thing. Ginny had seen these people, she knew them and she was scared.
With all the drama going on, it would probably have been wise of him to stop visiting the garden alone late at night.
Well, he wasn't entirely alone. He'd seen Malfoy again. They never spoke and gave each other plenty of space, but Harry doubted Malfoy would come to his rescue if he were being attacked.
Harry was determined not to let any more hate filled people interrupt his life. He wasn't going to hide from these students. Either they were afraid to attack him or they hadn't discovered he often fell asleep alone at night in the garden. Or maybe they didn't even know Ron and him were on to them yet.
He was debating whether to shower and change or to go to the great hall and find something to eat. He only had time for one. He rushed into the castle entrance.
" Harry. There you are. I've been looking everywhere for you. Goyle broke my brush with his clumsy oaf feet. You need to punish him."
Harry thought the girl must be talking to some one behind him, but after a quick look around he saw they were the only ones in the hall. He gave her a second look. She was a petite blonde with tight jeans and an even tighter shirt. Her robes hung open to revel the green top beneath it. Not a school uniform, but Harry thought she might look familiar.
"Eloquent. What's up? You look like garbage. Where are you coming from?"
She looked him up and down.
"Did you get laid?"
Harry stared at the small girl before him. She seemed to think they knew each other.
" I knew it! I knew you were seeing someone. So tell me."
" I…what? Who are you?"
" Haha. Come on. You're not getting out of this. Spill."
Harry wondered how he didn't notice that she was American until now.
" Harry. You better tell me now or I'll go in and tell the whole great hall you were the one who let fairies loose on the second corridor." She stomped her foot as if it made her threat more real.
" Not that it'll do much." She muttered under her breath.
Just as Harry was wishing he knew what was going on, a large group of students emerged from breakfast. Hermione among them. Harry was glad to see a friendly face in the mist of this crazy. Perhaps this girl was under a spell and needed to go to the infirmary. Either way Hermione would know what to do.
He didn't make it to his bushy haired friend.
Someone ran into him.
" Watch it Potter."
Some boy in front of the group stopped him.
" What? Sorry." He couldn't shake the feeling of weirdness. Something was wrong.
Harry needed to find Hermione, but he lost sight of her.
The boy bumped him again. Harry stopped to look at him. He knew the boy. He was in Hufflepuff and a year younger than him. Harry had never spoken two words to the boy, but he seemed upset all the same.
" Where are you going?"
" To find my friend."
The boy prevented Harry from moving past him.
"You won't find any snakes in there. Move along."
The shorter boy took his wand out and three other students stopped their conversation and watched. One was Seamus.
"What's your problem?"
Harry tried one more time to get around the annoying boy. He shoved Harry into a wall. The shocked Gryffindor looked around, glad to see his Irish friend had his wand out as well.
The boy frowned when Harry said his name. He put a hand on the Hufflepuff's shoulder.
" Come on, Shane. Let's go."
Harry watched his friend turn and walk away with the boy who had shoved him.
He tried not to feel hurt.
Hermione was no where in sight and the blonde girl started talking to him again.
"Well, she had better be worth it, because that was pathetic. I've never seen you so off your game."
Harry was getting a head ache. What the hell was going on?
"I mean you had two losers right in front of you and you let them push you around. Are you hung over?"
" Shut-up! I don't know you."
He ran from the confusing girl. He dived into a bathroom and splashed some water over his flushed cheeks. He looked in the mirror to make sure he wasn't wearing some one else's face.
Nope, still Harry.
Then what was going on? Both people out there knew his name. The girl called him Harry and the boy Potter. So he was still himself. But why did the girl think she knew him? And why did Seamus ignore him?
Harry straightened up best he could. He had just enough time to run upstairs and grab his books. No breakfast and no change of clothes. Professor McRibons didn't like tardiness. If any more strange things happened he would go to the infirmary.
No sooner did he step out of the bathroom then he ran into Ron. The red-head was holding his book bag.
" Harry. Where have you been?"
" Fell asleep in the garden."
" Thanks." He grabbed his bag from his friend.
" Come on, Hermione's in the great hall. Maybe there are pancakes left. We have two minutes."
" She's not there. I saw her leave already."
" Still, pancakes."
Harry followed him, reassured he wasn't turning invisible or something. The blond girl was no longer in the hall. He hoped she got help. Maybe he should search for her.
" Harry? Did you fall asleep outside again?"
Harry was shocked to see his bushy haired friend at the table.
" Mione, I thought you left already. I saw you in the hall way."
Hermione gave him a look.
" I've been here since six, Harry."
The Gryffindor sighed and gave up. He grabbed a piece of toast and waited for Ron to shove some pancakes into his bag, before he followed his friends to class.
" Are you alright?"
" Yeah, just had a weird dream."
Maybe he was sleep walking. It wouldn't be the first time. And it would explain it everything. He was sleeping in the hall and walked to the bathroom. It was all a dream. No more sleeping outside.
If it got worse he would see about a sleeping potion or something. There was no need to worry his friends over nothing.
" That's what you get for sleeping on a bench."
" Right." Harry agreed.
Harry didn't know what time it was but he was tired. And it was still dark.
" Are you awake?"
" Bloody-hell. I am now."
" I'm worried about Ginny."
" Me too, Ron. But can't this wait until morning?"
" I had a bad dream."
Harry smashed his face into his pillow. He couldn't turn Ron away now and the bastard knew it. Ron had sat up and talked after Harry had countless nightmares. He had no choice but to return the favor or be a rotten friend.
" She needs stability. Something constant."
" It's not good for her to be running around the castle all free."
" Can't let her be free."
" Have you heard about that volunteer group McGonagall's setting up? To clean part of the castle?"
"No. Wait... yeah."
"I'm gonna sign us up for it. That should keep her busy."
" Thanks, Harry."
Something was tickling Harry's shoulder. His bare shoulder. Didn't he have a shirt on last night?
And why was there a girl in his room?
" Harry Potter."
Defiantly a girl and not Hermione.
" Bloody-hell, Harry. Answer her. She won't leave. You know it."
" Thank you, Chris."
Who is Chris? And why is he in Harry's room?
When he slid his glasses onto his face he was only mildly surprised to find the blonde from yesterday sitting at the foot of his bed.
" Great. So I'm dreaming."
" Ohhhh, dream about me often do you?"
" Well, sorry luv, but my heart belongs to another."
Harry looked around for a clean shirt. He pushed the blankets aside, grabbed his glasses and reached over the end of his bed. All the while trying to push down the unsettling feeling in his stomach.
Something was nagging him. He'd had all kinds of dreams before. Good dreams, nightmares, visions, but this was different. It was more real then any of them.
So maybe it wasn't a dream. Maybe it was the girl. She was delusional and put a spell on Seamus. That would explain all that's happened.
He wondered how this mad girl got into his room. Or where Ron was.
" Doesn't mean I can't look, though."
She pouted at him as he pulled a shirt over his head. Harry thought she might be a stalker. Maybe she was dangerous.
" Look, sorry to wake you, but I need a date. Besides we need to talk."
" ummm, I thought you said your heart belonged to another? Can't he take you?"
She scowled at him and Harry slid back on the bed. He looked down. It wasn't his bed. The sheets were green and the comforter was a heavy black material. He looked around the room. Green, silver and black material draped the interior.
" Don't get smart with me. I need you to escort me down stairs. It's almost time to get up anyway."
Did she bring him here? He noticed there were other beds, each with a lump and head of hair.
One even had a pair of feet. Her other victims perhaps. Harry figured it would be best to play along with her game, in case she was the violent crazy type.
"Okay. Let's go."
She eyed him funny but didn't say more. He pulled on a jumper and some shoes and they left.
Harry's mouth nearly fell open when he walked into the Slytherin common room. His hand went for his wand automatically.
" Relax. No one's up yet."
Harry calmed just enough to see she was right. There were three people in front of the fire place.
Still he didn't think any Slytherin would be happy to find Harry Potter in their common room.
Except the crazy girl to his left.
Harry needed to get out before some one saw him. He didn't think anyone would stop to listen that he was kidnaped.
" Let's go."
He grabbed the girl's arm. To his relief she followed.
" What's the hurry all the sudden?"
" I'm hungry."
She smiled at him and took his hand.
" There's the impatient little bugger I know."
" Charles and Chris should met us down stairs. Once their lazy asses wake up. But I wanted to talk to you first."
Harry needed to escape. He wasn't sure what this girl was willing to do. She thinks she knows him or that they have a relationship. If he contradicted her it might not end well.
Harry thought about taking her to Madam Pomfrey, but he couldn't think of an excuse to tell her why. He could say he was ill, but she might see through his lie or worse offer to fix something for him. He walked with her, avoiding her questions. Once he was surrounded by sane people he would figure something out.
He wasn't going to leave her this time. This might be a side effect of a spell.
" Harry, I know you're seeing someone. Just tell me who."
" I'm not. I promise."
" You're such a jerk. I told you about Wood."
Harry couldn't help himself.
" On a first name basis? Well that's more than we had."
Harry stayed silent.
" Fine. Be stubborn. But I have gossip and I'm not sharing until you do."
When they walked through the doors and into the great hall Harry nearly sagged in relief at the sight of Hermione. She looked up from her book as he approached.
He glanced over his shoulder to see the blonde watching with only a curious expression.
" You have to help. This girl's... crazy or something."
Hermione scoffed at him.
" Well I could have told you that, Potter."
Harry's stomach turned to slush. Hermione's eyes were cold. She didn't recognize him either. At least not as Harry. Not as her friend. The blonde girl must have cast a spell on his friends.
" Look I know you don't remember me or what-ever, but it's because she put a spell on you. I'm your friend."
" Potter! What are you doing?"
Harry looked up to see a livid Ron pointing a wand at him. He took a step back out of surprise.
" What, Potter? No insult? Not gonna call Hermione a mudblood to her face?"
" I would never call anyone that. Look, Ron. You're just confused."
" Right. Just like you'd never call me a…what was it… A freckly little waste of clothes my parents couldn't afford in the first place?"
Harry didn't respond. The blonde girl tried to pulled him away, but he shook her off.
" Stop! I don't know you! Fix them, now."
His yelling attracted attention. The hall was suddenly silent, but Harry didn't care. He wanted everyone to see. Maybe someone would see the truth.
" Mr. Potter."
Harry's blood ran cold. He knew that voice. But it couldn't be. He was dead.
" I believe you should come with me."
Harry turned around to see professor Dumbledore smiling down at him.
AN: K, that's the beginning. Interested? In case you are wondering this will be a Harry /Draco fic.