Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or his characters, and have no right to it except as a long time fan.

Edited: 10/26/20

Secrecy

Broken Trust & A New Friendship

He sat in the grass leaning against a thick tree near the lake reading his transfiguration text book, his book bag sitting next to him, just relaxing in the cool breeze of the receding summer when he noticed someone slowly approaching him. He sighed, wondering if he was going to have to get up and leave to get away from one of his so called friends again. He was getting more than a little irritated at having to repeat himself over and over again. Why couldn't they just understand that he needed time alone? If they were such good friends why couldn't they respect his wishes?

Are they actually good friends though? It was only four weeks into his second year at Hogwarts, and Harry had come to the disturbing realization that his two closest friends were not in fact good friends at all. He didn't even know if they really were his friends. Ron and Hermione were the first two real friends he had ever made, and what he had recently learned had thrown his small world into chaos. So much so, that he felt he could no longer trust them…or anyone else in the castle for that matter.

"Ummm…H..Harry?" He heard a quiet voice stutter, breaking him out of his thoughts and causing him to remember the person who had been approaching him and put him in that line of thinking in the first place.

Harry looked up and to his surprise saw Ginny Weasley standing near him staring at her feet with a blush on her surprisingly determined face. He was shocked and surprised that she had come to him, and was actually talking to him, when at almost all other times she seemed too shy and embarrassed to even look at him.

"Ginny." He greeted her, his surprise clear in his voice.

"I…Harry…" Ginny gave a frustrated sigh and took a deep breath. She let it out slowly and lifted her eyes to Harry's face. She was determined to say what she had to say no matter the consequences. "Harry I just wanted to say that…that you shouldn't pull away from everyone the way you have. The professors are starting to worry and…" She paused in hesitation before forcing herself to say what was on her mind before she lost her courage and ran away. "and so am I." She blushed again, but continued on.

"I hear the professors talking when they think no one is listening. And they're starting to worry even though it hasn't really been that long. I…I don't know why you're doing this, and it's none of my business, but I just wanted you to know that they'll probably start to get on your case about it if you keep going on by yourself and ignoring everyone."

Harry was even more surprised at her words. Not just surprised but shocked as well. She had hardly stuttered and she hadn't run away before she finished. She had seemed determined to say what she said to the point where she had actually looked like she had forced herself to spit the words out.

She was worried about me. He thought to himself with a little wonder. I mean I know she likes me, but this is the first time she's seemed concerned. And she did just come and talk to me. I wonder how long she's been wanting to say this. What am I supposed to say to her? He wondered as he continued to look up at her. Maybe he should tell her why he was doing it, so she wouldn't be concerned anymore.

But can I trust her with that information? He asked himself. He had a feeling he could, and he was beginning to learn to trust his gut feeling. Especially since he felt he couldn't trust anything else.

"I know that they most likely will, but this is something I have to do." He said with a weary sigh. "Come here; sit down with me." He said, and watched her hesitate a moment before sitting next to him on the grass.

"I've learned something that has…has disturbed me, and changed the way I think and see people." He started slowly, in a quiet voice. "Do you know what legilimency is?" He asked her and watched her shake her head with a frown.

"It's a skill that lets a person have access to the feelings and memories in a person's mind. It also allows a person to show visions or memories to another person. So basically a person who has this skill can pretty much get into someone's mind, see all the memories they've ever had, tell if they're lying or if they're not what they seem to be, and plant fake memories if they want." He explained.

"Wow! That…that's…" Ginny trailed off, unable to come up with the right words to express her feelings on this new information.

"It's kinda brilliant…and a bit scary." He said in a sort of disbelieving tone. He was still getting used to it. "And I learned during the first week of term that I have this skill." He whispered, and heard Ginny's very audible gasp.

"Yeah. I was shocked too. I didn't know what was happening. I thought I was going mental." He said as he shook his head lightly. "The first time it happened it was like…the second or third day of term. I was hanging out with Ron and Hermione and I looked at Ron because he was going on about something. I looked at him, right into his eyes, and that's when it happened. It was like…like I was remembering something, only I knew that it wasn't my memory because it wasn't familiar…and I wasn't even in it!" He explained.

"It was in the headmaster's office. Ron was standing in front of his desk, but Ron looked a bit different. Just a bit younger. And I'd recognized the robe the headmaster was wearing. It was the same one he wore at the sorting feast in my first year. What they were talking about completely shocked me. The headmaster said….."

"…Now Mr. Weasley, do you understand what I am asking you to do?" The headmaster asked gently with a twinkle in his eye.

"I think so. You want me to be his friendhis best friend, and to make sure he stays on the right path." Ron said. "That shouldn't be too hard. We got along great on the train, buthow do I know if he's on the right path or not?" H asked.

"Don't worry about that. I'll help you. All I need you to do is inform me of anything unusual that happens around the two of you, and simply tell me about your day."

"I came back to reality after that. I was confused about why I had just seen that, but shocked at the same time. I mean it's not hard to understand who they were talking about. It's not like Ron had made any other friends on the train that day." He said with a frown.

"I left after that. I went up to my dorm room to try and make sense of it. To try to figure out why I had seen that, and why Professor Dumbledore would want something like that. I thought it might be stress about wanting to start off this year right. You know…get good grades and not have to worry about stressing over homework when quidditch training starts." He explained with a shrug.

"I ended up thinking about it for so long that I began to think that I had imagined it. I mean why would the headmaster want something like that? And Ron wouldn't do something like that right? So I figured I would just pretend like I had never seen anything, but I would try and see if there was anything in the library that explained what happened just in case it wasn't my imagination." He sighed. "Then later that week it happened again. I looked into Ron's eyes and suddenly…"

"Here you are Mr. Weasley." The headmaster said as he handed Ron a bag of chocolate frogs. "These should last you a few weeks. I trust you remember to use them should he go off the right path and do things we don't think is right?"

"Yes Professor. I remember." Ron answered as he nodded his head confidently. He had spent all of last year making sure Harry stayed on the path of the light. It wouldn't do for The Boy Who Lived to turn dark. He had made sure to tell the headmaster everything he and Hermione did with Harry no matter how small it was or if he thought they would get in trouble for it.

"And don't worry. You'll be getting your payment. It will go straight into your family vault like last term." The headmaster assured him.

"When I came back to reality after that I just got up and walked away without saying anything. I had realized that the person I thought was my best friend had been paid to be my friend and had been lying to me for more than a year. And worst…I realized that I had forgotten all about the first time that had happened." He explained in a betrayed tone.

"It wasn't like the kind of thing where it suddenly slips your mind because you've been too busy. After this second time it was like the memory of the first time and all the thinking I had done had suddenly been placed back in my mind or had been unblocked." He continued.

Harry explained how after that last unexpected visit to her brothers mind, he had immediately started to distance himself from everyone. Student and professor alike because he had no idea who else had been in on the whole thing. He began to go over his memories of his first year and remembered how there had been so many things that he had not wanted to do but had found himself doing anyway.

He briefly explained to her all about the sorcerer's stone and all the clues and running around they had done to try and stop whoever had been after it, and told her that he had never wanted any part of it. He had been curious at first about what it was that had been hidden in the vault, but once they figured it out he had wanted to move on, especially after learning that Voldemort was still out there and after it as well. The last thing he wanted was to give the dark wizard a chance to finish what he started.

He had remembered other incidents throughout the year that he hadn't wanted to deal with but had found himself going on with it as if it had been his idea all along. He would find himself wanting to do something and after talking to Ron or eating something that he gave him he would suddenly want to do something else instead. Usually what Ron wanted to do. As he analyzed his memories he realized that he couldn't trust his friends, especially Hermione because he thought that she of all people should have seen the differences in him.

Ginny was shocked and outraged. How could the headmaster and Ron, Ron, her own brother, do that to him? It was horrible. She hardly had any words to express exactly how she was feeling about everything Harry had explained to her so far.

She was insanely happy that he was opening up to her and that, more importantly, he trusted her enough to tell her these things. But she was sad for him as well. It sounded as if he had had his free will taken from him and had no idea why. And she couldn't believe her brother would do something like that! And it sounded as if he had done it for money. Money!

She felt shame for her brother. She wasn't stupid. She knew that Ron had issues with their family not being all that wealthy, heck she admitted to having some issues with it now that she was at Hogwarts, but for him to take money to be someone's best friend. That should have been beneath him not just as a Weasley but as a Gryffindor as well. But then she supposed that it must have taken a massive amount of courage to accept money in exchange for manipulating The Boy Who Lived.

"That's not all." She heard Harry say, cutting into her thoughts. "I also realized that it happened whenever I tried to talk to you." He confided, and Ginny froze in disbelief as she stared into the green eyes she admired so much.

"Every time I tried to go talk to you, Ron would stop me. Either he would start talking to me before I could walk over to you, or he would come divert me when I was on my way over to you, or he would even cut in when I had managed to get to you without interruption. Do you remember those times?" He asked.

All Ginny could do was nod sadly. She remembered because it was no secret how she felt about him, and she was always watching him when he was in the same area as her. She remembered all the times she would blush furiously at being caught staring at him, but then suddenly feeling like her heart would pound its way out of her chest as she watched him start to walk toward her, and then feel her small world shatter when Ron distracted him pulling him in another direction.

"After going over my memories I realized that that had been going on as far back as the summer when Ron and the twins brought me to spend the rest of the summer with your family." He explained with a sighed.

He was quiet for a while as he thought about all he had just said to Ginny. He didn't feel any reluctance to tell her and no regret whatsoever. He thought that it might have been because he knew she couldn't have been a part of it since she hadn't been at the castle at the time.

Still, he had been watching her as he talked and she had been listening closely and seemed to react how he thought someone who hadn't been involved should react. Shocked and outraged. He knew the emotions well since he had been feeling them quite strongly throughout the week. Shock, outrage,…and anger.

"So that's that. I spent the beginning of the second week in the library trying to figure out why I could see into Ron's mind and eventually came across a book with a small section describing legilimecy. All it did was describe what it was, so I still have no idea how I did it. I figure I'd try and find more on it during the summer. But anyway, once I made that discovery I've been spending my time right here, hanging out in the grass under this tree." He finished quietly.

"I…I don't know what to say Harry." Ginny said quietly. She had had a hard time describing her feelings before, but now she had no idea what to think now that she knew that Ron had actively tried to keep Harry from talking to her.

"I'm sorry that I have a brother that would do something like that. I'm sorry that Professor Dumbledore would do something like that. I'm sorry that you can't trust anyone anymore." She said sadly as she squeezed her hands together, watching her fingers turn white. This was the most she had ever said to him.

"Since…since you can't trust your friends, maybe you should make new ones." She suggested, and took a steadying breath. "And I'll be the first if you like." She said boldly.

"I don't want you being by yourself all the time. I know that can get lonely real quick." She said sadly, having experienced that a lot being the only girl in the family and not having really made friends yet. "I can just sit with you and not talk if that's what you want." She added quietly.

"I would like that. To be your friend that is. And I want you to talk. How can we be friends if we don't even talk?" He asked with a small chuckle.

"And I think your right. I'll try and make some new friends. I think I'll try the other houses to start with. At least then I can be sure that they can't stop me from talking to you." He said.

"What about Ron? I know you're not talking to him, but that won't stop him from talking to you." Ginny said thoughtfully.

"I know." He said sourly, having already dealt with him a few times since he distanced himself. "He won't stop me this time." He said fiercely. "I'll keep ignoring him or tell him to go away. There's nothing wrong with us being friends, so I don't know what his problem is." He added, and watched Ginny shrug her confusion as well.

"But there's something I want to get out of the way before our friendship officially starts." He said, and watched Ginny look at him curiously. "Your feelings for me." He said and watched her shrink a little.

"Hey it's okay. There's nothing wrong with you liking me. I just think you should put your feelings aside for a while and get to know me. I think that right now you just like The Boy Who Lived, but I would rather you like Harry Potter if you're going to like me at all." He said softly, and watched her nod.

"I'm thinking that either your feelings will get stronger or they'll fade, and I'll either develop some or I won't." He explained. "I'd like it if we don't talk about our feelings again until we're sure that they won't hurt our friendship. Is that okay?" He asked a bit uncertainly.

"Yes." She said softly.

Her feelings weren't hurt. He was right after all. She had a crush on him, but she didn't really know him. But that would change now that they were friends. They would get to know each other now, and hopefully she could keep talking to him like this so he could actually see her personality and not the shy, blushing, stuttering girl that runs away from him.

"I…I'll do my best to try and get over…over my shyness and stuttering." She said with a smile.

"Excellent." He said with the first smile he had had since the week began.

From then on they spent their free time getting to know each other, spending more and more time together, and eventually becoming close friends.

Ginny learned that Harry was smarter than he let on, and what he thought Ron and Dumbledore were up to and how he felt about it. But more importantly to her, she found out what really happened when he came to spend the end of the summer with her family. She had heard that he had been rescued, but no one had wanted to say any more than that. She also learned a little about his life with his relatives.

Harry learned that Ginny hadn't made any friends yet, and that once he got pass her shyness she was really fun and relaxing to be around. That alone was enough to make him realize that he was right to trust her. Ron and Hermione hadn't been relaxing to be around at all. If the two weren't arguing with each other, they were trying to get him to do something that they wanted to do or thought would be good for him.

He also learned that Ginny really loved to fly and was just as much of a quidditch freak as most of her brothers. He found out she felt left out of her family because she was the only girl, that her brothers wouldn't let her play with them when they were little, and her mom treated her as if she was made of glass.

With all the time they were spending together and all the things they were learning about each other, it was no surprise that they quickly moved from being close friends to being best friends. They were quickly learning that they could tell each other things that they wouldn't or couldn't tell anyone else.

Harry especially could tell her things that he would have been very reluctant to tell either Ron or Hermione. They could truly be themselves around each other. They could lie around and just do nothing in each other's presence without having to explain why they weren't do anything. They could simply sit with each other and not talk and still feel comfortable in the silence.

They also began to develop habits. Ginny had taken to leaning against him when they were in the common room sitting on the couch, it didn't matter if they were doing homework or just reading one of their text books. When they were outside under what they had privately dubbed "their tree" she would lay down and rest her head against his thigh, slowly over the weeks moving it into his lap.

Harry for his part had developed the habit of running his fingers through her hair. He had a fascination with it. He loved the color and soft silky feel of it, not to mention it was very relaxing to him.

Throughout the weeks while their friendship was developing, Harry slowly began to let his friends back into his life. He could tell that Ron and Hermione weren't taking the shift of their friendship well.

He supposed if it had been him he wouldn't have taken it well either. To suddenly find himself being push into the background by someone he consider his best friend and knew said friend considered him of equal status would have him jealous and possibly angry, especially if there was no explanation.

But there was nothing Harry could do. It was his secret and he couldn't explain without telling the secret, and he couldn't do that without knowing he trusted them completely.

He also took Ginny's suggestion to heart and began to make friends. Hufflepuff's, Ravenclaw's, and Gryffindor's of all years were slowly becoming his friends, and he was happy that they would be ones he could trust.

He was also happy that he was talking more to one of his roommates, Neville Longbottom, and getting to know him better. After going through his memories he had realized that he had basically shunned anything other than an acquaintance with the shy boy because Ron didn't really like him all that much.

Harry was doing much better in his classes then he had the previous year. With his distance from Ron and Hermione he didn't have to worry about the red head complaining about the work or his controlling him however he had been doing it, and he didn't have to stress over Hermione's bossiness about when and what he should be studying.

It also helped that he was slowly getting over the conditioning that had been done to him before Hogwarts. After all, it was hard to get good grades when you knew you would be punished because they were better than your cousin's. He was happy that along with his progress Ginny was starting off her first year at Hogwarts well. He always welcomed questions when she was having trouble, and if he couldn't answer her question he would help her find it.

Although he had pushed Hermione and Ron back to just "friends" instead of best friends, he had decided to go back to spending time with them. With Hermione it was mostly just to study since that was pretty much all she did when by herself, and with Ron he went flying and played games with him when the red head was by himself.

It was rare that the three of them hung out together, and he was aware that people had noticed, but he did his best to make an effort to keep up their friendship since they had been his first friends. And because Ron had truly been his best friend.

Author's Note: For those concerned about the whole Harry knowing Legilimency. Let me explain. When I first thought up this story I hadn't been concerned about it but when I decided to try and get it all written out and into something that could be posted, I wondered if a person could be a natural at Legilimency but not Occlumency. I always thought that you had to know Occlumency before Legilimency. And that is probably the case, but for my story that's not how it's going to be. He's not going to suddenly be poking into people's minds or anything. I just needed a way for him to find out about Ron. When I first imagined the scene I hadn't even been thinking about Occlumency and Legilimency.