Disclaimer: It all belongs to J.K.R. All I own is the laptop I typed this on.
To Confide (working title-it may change.)
Written by: Dreamerswaking
"He was still holding Ginny's old transfiguration book. He thrust it at her, his eyes flittering with malice.
'Here, girl – take your book – it's the best your father can give you –'
Excerpt taken from J. K. Rowling's – The Chamber of Secrets: Chapter 4
Chapter One – The Belated Birthday Present
Harry could honestly say that as of yet, floo traveling was the absolute worst way of getting from point a to point b he had ever had the regrettable privilege of using. His stomach still was doing somersaults and he rubbed it absently as he looked around the room he had appeared in.
It was, in a word, creepy. Vials of things Harry would rather not think about decorated shelves, evil looking books and furniture littered the store all priced and ready to be bought by the next psycho who walked in the door. As Harry spotted said door and made his way towards it he wondered how such a dangerous looking shop could stay in business.
Unfortunately as he reached the door he had to turn right around and hide. Draco, and what Harry assumed to be Draco's father had entered the shop. Hidden in a cabinet he watched as the Malfoy heir complained about Harry. It was difficult to stifle a chortle. The little prat was jealous! Of him! Harry! If the blond only knew what Harry's life really entailed he would not be so jealous.
As Mr. Malfoy began to bargain with the shop owner Draco continued to wander the store growing ever closer to his hiding place. Draco was all wide eyed curiousness as he looked at various ghastly things and Harry grew ever more nervous as Draco now stood a few scant feet from his hiding place. Then the worst happened, Draco spotted the cabinet. Just as Draco was about to expose Harry in his hiding place the blond's father concluded his business and the two aristocrats left the shop. Harry heaved a sigh of relief and quickly fled the shop once the unpleasant shop owner had retreated from whence he came.
Scurrying out into the alley he found that he was not much more impressed with the outside of the shop than the inside. All manner of shady witches and wizards roamed what he soon discovered was Knockturn Alley. It was a dark and grimy scene and he shivered in disgust as a sewer rat scampered into an overturned barrel.
He had never been happier to see Hagrid then when the giant man had turned the corner. Shocked his large friend he had seized him up and guided him back to Diagon Alley. The friendly giant brushed Harry off with overwhelmingly large hands as he tried to remain on his feet. 'Yer a mess! Jus' look attcha! Knockturn Alley is no place fer yeh. Just wha do yeh think you were doin' down there anyways?'
As Harry tried to explain that he was lost Hagrid continued to lead him further into Diagon Alley. Soon the incident was forgotten and the older man was enthusiastically explaining how the school cabbages were being ruined. Harry nodded in remote interest though silently cheering the slugs on… he wasn't much fond of cabbage.
It wasn't long until he was swarmed by the red-headed family. Mrs. Weasley was practically sobbing in relief as she pulled him in a tight hug. Of course that only lasted until Hagrid told the fiery woman where he'd been. Then it was all glares and 'don't you ever do that again'. Like it was his fault.
After much apologizing and promises to not go to that horrid place again, they finally set off to collect their school things. Everything seemed to be going rather well, at least until the group reached Flourish and Blotts.
The morning after visiting Diagon Alley found Harry waking to the sound of Ron snoring, he smiled fondly at the noise as he rolled out of bed. Pulling on his clothes and trainers he left the room as quietly as he could making his way down the stairs to the kitchen from which he could detect the scent of bacon and eggs emanating.
At the table sat Mr. Weasley with the morning paper who greeted Harry as jovially as he always did before returning to his paper. To Mr. Weasley's left Percy gave him a half nod while glancing at him with tired eyes. Taking a seat to the right of the Weasley patriarch Mrs. Weasley set a breakfast plate before him loaded to the brim with eggs bacon and toast as well as a large glass of orange juice.
'Be sure to eat all of it dear. You're far too skinny as it is and you could do with a few good meals.' She smiled kindly at him as she bustled around the kitchen.
Harry smiled back though a bit disconcerted over how concerned Mrs. Weasley always seemed to over the state of his health. It wasn't like he didn't eat, though when compared to the voracious appetites of the other Weasley boys he could understand how it might look that way. Besides he'd always been small for his age, was that such a crime? Still though he couldn't help but feel gratitude for the concern, misplaced though he believed it to be.
Voicing none of these thoughts Harry dug into his eggs with his usual fervor, eating quickly and efficiently, one hand guarding the left side of his plate as the fork in his right moved continuously to and from his mouth. Focused on his eggs he missed the sad looks full of concern and sympathy that passed between the Weasley couple and by the time he looked up - eggs all gone – Mr. Weasley was folding his paper and standing to leave for work.
Also finished with his meal Percy brought his and his father's dishes to the sink and with a 'thanks mum' ascended the stairs to dress and make ready for the day.
Harry was surprised when suddenly there was a pan in front of him and Mrs. Weasley was loading his plate up with yet more eggs and a few sausages. He continued to eat, slower now as he was beginning to feel the heaviness in his stomach. He heard Mr. Weasley bid his wife goodbye and then the man was gone.
The Weasley matriarch continued her preparations, bustling about the kitchen, as Harry ate in comfortable silence. He really was beginning to feel quite full. The sound of footsteps on the stairs brought his attention away from his food and he watched as Ginny entered the room. Immediately her face went aglow as she caught sight of him. For some reason this always seemed to happen whenever she saw him. He shifted uncomfortably before looking back at his now mostly empty plate. 'Ginny dear, have a seat. The next batch off eggs is almost finished. Harry, would you like some more to eat?'
Shaking his head he murmured a low, 'No thank you Mrs. Weasley.' -Barely holding back a grimace at the idea of eating more. His stomach already felt cramped; unused to such large portions at once, but he always finished everything he was given even if it went on for more helpings then he cared to have. After all the Weasleys had done for him he didn't want to appear ungrateful.
'Would it be alright if I went for a walk?' Seeing Mrs. Weasley's look become hesitant he rushed on. 'Just up the hill? I won't be gone long, I promise.'
Seeing his hopeful eyes Mrs. Weasley sighed and gave her ascent. 'Alright, but be careful dear and don't wander too far.'
Excited to be getting out of the house and to have some time to himself, Harry bolted for the door throwing a 'Thank you Mrs. Weasley' over his shoulder as the door banged shut behind him.
Harry trotted up the hill relishing in the quiet solitude. Not that he disliked being around the others, but it seemed every time he turned around there was someone else there wanting to talk, or play a game.
At the Dursley's he had almost too much time too himself. No one cared what he did as long as the chores were done, and they certainly never wanted to talk to him. He was mostly left to himself. Gardening, cleaning, cooking all these things left a lot of time for thinking with nothing and no one there to deter him from his thoughts. There he had found himself despising the quiet but now that it was a rare thing he surprisingly found he missed it. Not the chores of course, though if the Weasleys would let him he'd help in a heart beat.
Now as he walked across the grass, still wet from the morning dew, he breathed in the country air and let his thoughts roam. Classes would resume soon and he found that as excited as he was to return to Hogwarts – the only place he had really considered home – he was a little saddened to be leaving the Burrow. It was with wide eyed astonishment that he realized that there was now a second place he considered home.
The thought brought a grin to his face and as he reached the top of the hill he sat down against a large oak facing the Burrow. Ron had been right; it certainly wasn't much to look at. In fact Aunt Petunia would have been horrified at the way it seemed haphazardly pieced together. But to Harry it was perfect. The little quirks made it that much more a home; people lived and loved in that house. Harry had never felt more lucky as he realized that they wanted him there as himself, just Harry, and wasn't that one of the best feelings he'd ever had.
A short while later Harry was still sitting beneath the large oak, his eyes closed as he enjoyed the morning sunlight. They popped open however as he heard the back door the Burrow clang shut. He watched surprised as Ginny looked around and spotting him headed towards him, one arm behind her back. In all the time he'd been at the burrow she'd barely spoken to him, and now she was headed straight towards him. Her face was nearly as red as her hair while she stared at the ground as she walked.
Harry stood and brushed stray bits of grass and dirt off his trousers. He fidgeted unsure whether he should start heading down to meet her or if he should stay where he was. Torn the decision was taken from him as he lingered too long and the redhead approached him.
For a moment they both stood there. Harry unsure what Ginny wanted and Ginny unsure if she wanted to do what she came outside for anymore. Finally gathering up her courage she raised her face towards him and brought her arm from out behind her back to present him with a package in plain brown paper and a messy bow.
'I k-know it's l-late but… I, um, I thought… Happy Birthday Harry!' Ginny finally got the words out and then Harry watched in bewilderment as she flushed an even brighter shade of red before turning and fleeing down the hill. He watched her disappear inside the house and then looked down at the present he held. Noticing there was a letter attached under the bow he sat back down on the grass and carefully slid the note out.
I know it's late but I thought I might get you a present anyways. Mum's always told me it's good to write thoughts and feelings down, it makes them more real and easier to understand. You seem like you could use a place to put yours. I somehow wound up with this and as I already have one of my own I though I'd give this one to you. I hope you like it.
Puzzled Harry untied the bow and carefully removed the paper. A black book fell into his lap. Opening it he saw nothing but blank pages and realized it was a journal. On the front cover were the initials T.M.R.
He ran his finger over the letters and wondered what they stood for. Standing once again he made a cursory sweep of his clothes to get any lingering earth off and headed down the hill back towards the house. Inside Ginny was standing at the table trying to steal some of Ron's bacon.
Passing by her on the way to the stairs he smiled. 'Thank you for the gift, it was very thoughtful.'
Ginny went furiously red but managed to nod her head before she bolted past him back outside. It seemed she had used up all her courage on giving him the present because he didn't see her the rest of the day.
It wasn't too long after Ginny rushed out that Ron dragged Harry upstairs to his room for a game of exploding snap, where Harry placed the journal in his trunk. The rest of the day and those following were spent busy in various activities and with so many people to spend time with it's no surprise that Harry forgot about the journal and did not write in it until long after they were at Hogwarts.
AN: Please let me know if this is something you would like to see continued. I've got the story almost completely outlined however if there isn't an interest for it I'll devote my efforts towards other plot bunnies. I have a whole farm full of them starving for attention. :) I hope you enjoyed reading this. It's been awhile since I've done and H.P. story and I'm rather pleased to find I still have a passion for it.
Thank You for reading!