Title: Rumor Has It.
Author:
Parker K. Harvelle
Summery: FEM!HARRY AU: Meredith Potter never thought much about love, she'd never really been shown a lot of it. Her sixth year will change everything as she stops pretending to understand where life is taking her.
Pairings:
Meredith/Tom (Voldemort), TBD
Warnings:
Some Language, mentions of child abuse and neglect, violence, torture, Dark!Harry, Fem!Harry, AU!Year 6, Manipulative Dumbledore (But not evil or dark),

Disclaim Her: As someone who found alternative ways to read the books online and can't seen to get the money for the movies together do you really think I own Harry? Because I assure you if I did Harry would have been a bit more bitter to Dumbledore and the Dursley's and Voldemort would have lived. I own only what you don't recognize! Enjoy!

Note: Graphics are on profile, banner for story and Meredith is Portrayed by Karen Gillian. Also the scientific term for Meredith's eyes is heterochromia, where one eyes is another color or sometimes the eye is simply two colors at once. Some of the chapter is taken from the book but it is not a complete rehash of the book as it'll get more AU as we go on. Please tell me what you think!

WARNING!: Chapter 2 is a A/N!


Rumor Has It.

Chapter 1: Meredith.

The hottest day of the summer so far was drawing to a close and a drowsy silence lay over the large, square houses of Privet Drive. Cars that were usually gleaming stood dusty in their drives and lawns that were once emerald green lay parched and yellowing - 'for the use of hosepipes had been banned due to drought. Deprived of their usual car-washing and lawn-mowing pursuits, the inhabitants of Privet Drive had retreated into the shade of their cool houses, windows thrown wide in the hope of tempting in a nonexistent breeze.

Meredith found it all pretentious and boring. She lived on Privet Drive since she was a year old and she'd watched year after year as nothing changed, everything stayed the same. This summer though did differ in one way from the others, this summer there was no external sounds of screaming kids, splashing water from pools and water-hoses. The Summer's heat had made practically unbearable for anyone to linger outside without fear of heatstroke. The only person left outdoors was a teenage girl who was lying flat on her back in a flowerbed outside number four – which just so happened to be her.

She was a skinny, red-haired, girl who had the pinched, slightly unhealthy look of someone who has grown a lot in a short space of time – a miracle in her mind as she'd feared being a short5'0 for the rest of her life. Her jeans were torn, dirty, and barely kept up by a thick belt wrapped multiple times around her petite waist. Her T-shirt was baggy and faded, and the soles of her trainers were peeling away from the uppers. The strangest part of her appearance was her eyes, they were strange all on their own and often caused people to stop and stare. For as long as she could remember her eyes had been to different colors, her left the same bright green her mother had and the right was a brilliant hazel that sometimes appeared almost as green as her left.

Overall Meredith Potters appearance did not endear her to the neighbors, who were the sort of people who thought scruffiness ought to be punishable by law, but as she had hidden herself behind a large hydrangea bush this evening she was quite invisible to passers-by. In fact, the only way she would be spotted was if his Uncle Vernon or Aunt Petunia stuck their heads out of the living-room window and looked straight down into the flowerbed below.

Meredith Lily Potter had lived with her Aunt and Uncle since she was one, having been orphaned when a Dark Lord calling himself Voldemort had come into power and targeted the Potters. Upon their death she'd been sent to the Dursley's, her own personal purgatory. The Dursley's prided themselves on being normal, and Meredith simply wasn't normal like her relatives, and personally she rather not be.

She was a witch but even as a witch she couldn't be normal. When Voldemort had killed her parents he'd cast his wand on her but for some reason – assumed by Dumbledore to be the power of love and sacrifice – the killing spell had bounced off her and hit him, destroying his body for nearly fourteen years. Just two years ago he'd returned and her life had become that much more complicated.

Before Hogwarts though she'd thought she was simply a freak like her relatives often told her. Her eleventh birthday had been the best day of her life, she'd found a home at Hogwarts, something she'd never had before. Point of the matter was there had never been any love between her and the Dursley's so there was no love lost either. Until she'd gotten her Hogwarts letter neglect and abuse had been ritual in the Dursley's home. Though the abuse had been more emotional then physical she could still recall a few hits here and there and a number of beatings from her uncle which she could count on both her hands. Now it was mostly emotional unless Dudley was in the mood to revive a game of Merry Hunting.

"Where's the girl today Pet?" She heard Vernon asked and she raised an eyebrow as she turned her eyes from the sky to stare at the window seal.

"No idea," Petunia said and she rolled her eyes. Hadn't she heard this conversation before. Before it could go any further Meredith stood up, careful not to hit her head on the open window. Just as she was about to leave she felt the beefy hand on her wrist which wrenched her around.

"What are you doing out there girl?" Vernon asked, his face turning an ugly purple having already achieved a raging red. She fought herself not to roll her eyes and tore her wrist out of his hand, wincing at the pain of doing that. Just from looking at it she could tell it would bruise over within a few seconds.

"Nothing Uncle Vernon."

"Vernon leave the girl be," Petunia said as she looked disdainfully at her niece who in her mind resembled her sister to much for her own liking. "Leave the house for a while girl. I don't want to see you for the rest of the day."

"Yes Aunt Petunia," Meredith said and turned to leave, rolling her eyes as she did.

"Don't roll you eyes at me girl!" She heard her aunt call back and she wondered for a moment how her aunt had known she'd rolled her eyes. She shrugged, not really caring enough to stop and ask her aunt. Best to let sleeping horses lay, after all she didn't need to give Vernon any reason to take up his old hobby of lets-beat-Merry-senseless, yeah he had just as much imagination with tittles as Dudley did. That is to say none.

She spent the rest of the day under a tree at the park on Magnolia Crescent. It was deserted mostly, though she saw a few people wander by. The most noticeable was a woman with black hair and what appeared to be dark eyes, probably no older then her mid twenties. What caught her attention wasn't her appearance though, it was the large black dog she was walking. As she and the dog passed by tears filled her eyes and sniffed, trying to force them back.

Her fifth year at Hogwarts had not been fun or what you could call safe. She didn't know what the old coot was thinking when he allowed Umbridge into the school but it had led to many students being abused, including herself. Self consciously she began running the pad of her thumb over the words carved into her right hand.

'I MUST NOT TELL LIES.'

She was sure she'd always have the scar. More scars were not what she needed. The point was the school year had ended with her near successful crucio of Bellatrix LeStrange after she'd killed her Godfather, Sirius Black. Not to mention Voldemort having possessed her but was forced out not long after. It was her fault Sirius had died but she tried not to think of it, after all Sirius wouldn't have wanted her to dwell on it, would he?

It was around 9 when she wondered back to Privet Drive and after endearing a long yelling tantrum about how late and ungrateful she was she was sent to her room without dinner. She didn't much care to tell the truth, she could go days without food thanks to years of practice.

"Hedwig what are you doing back so soon?" Meredith asked an hour latter as she opened the window for the weighed down owl. She winced as the snowy bird dropped a dead rat on the bed and hooted softly, puffing her chest out. It almost seemed as if she was so proud of her bounty she didn't care about the letter on it's foot. With a sigh Meredith sat at her desk, as old and broken down as it was, and reached out for the letter which Hedwig gleefully stuck her foot out for her to take.

Meredith Potter was on the front and she instantly knew who it was from because of the slanted script, she rolled her eyes then. Dumbledore. She respected the old man, and had once thought of him as a grandfather but over the years she had slowly saw through it all. True he only had her best interest at heart but he was playing a messy game with her life and after fifth year she'd had enough of his half-truths and manipulations. She wondered if he had done the same with Tom Riddle's life but always shut the thought away as soon as it entered her mind.

She tossed the unopened letter onto the top of the desk, which was messy, much like the rest of the room. A mess of newspapers sat primarily in a puddle of light on her desk, the letter on top of it covering the first few letters of the headline of one, but she knew what it said from memory by now.

The headline of one blared:

MEREDITH LILY POTTER: THE CHOSEN ONE?

Rumors continue to fly about the mysterious recent disturbance at the Ministry of Magic, during which He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named was sighted once more.

"We're not allowed to talk about it, don't ask me anything" said one agitated Obliviator, who refused to give his name as he left the Ministry last night.

Nevertheless, highly placed sources within the Ministry have confirmed that the disturbance centered on the fabled Hall of Prophecy.

Though Ministry spokes wizards have hitherto refused even to confirm the existence of such a place, a growing number of the Wizarding community believe that the Death Eaters now serving sentences in Azkaban for trespass and attempted theft were attempting to steal a prophecy. The nature of that prophecy is unknown, although speculation is rife that it concerns Meredith Potter, the only person ever known to have survived the Killing Curse, and who is also known to have been at the Ministry on the night in question. Some are going so far as to call Potter "the Chosen One," believing that the prophecy names her as the only one who will be able to rid us of He-Who-Must-No t-Be-Named.

The current whereabouts of the prophecy, if it exists, are unknown, although {ctd. page2, column 5)

A second newspaper lay beside die first. This one bore the headline:

SCRIMGEOUR SUCCEEDS FUDGE

Most of this front page was taken up with a large black-and-white picture of a man with a lion-like mane of thick hair and a rather ravaged face. The picture was moving — the man was waving at the ceiling.

Rufus Scrimgeour, previously Head of the Auror office in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, has succeeded Cornelius Fudge as Minister of Magic. The appointment has largely been greeted with enthusiasm by the Wizarding community, though rumors of a rift between the new Minister and Albus Dumbledore, newly reinstated Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, surfaced within hours of Scrimgeour taking office.

Scrimgeours representatives admitted that he had met with Dumbledore at once upon taking possession of the top job, but refused to comment on the topics under discussion. Albus Dumbledore is known to (ctd. page 3, column 2)

To the left of this paper sat another, which had been folded so that a story bearing the title ministry guarantees students' safety was visible.

Newly appointed Minister of Magic, Rufus Scrimgeour, spoke today of the tough new measures taken by his Ministry to ensure the safety of students returning to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry this autumn.

"For obvious reasons, the Ministry will not be going into detail about its stringent new security plans," said the Minister, although an insider confirmed that measures include defensive spells and charms, a complex array of countercurses, and a small task force of Aurors dedicated solely to the protection of Hogwarts School.

Most seem reassured by the new Minister's tough stand on student safety. Said Mrs. Augusta Longbottom, "My grandson, Neville — a good friend of Meredith Potter's, incidentally, who fought the Death Eaters alongside him at the Ministry in June and —

But the rest of this story was obscured by the large birdcage, which Hedwig was now sitting upon with annoyance, knowing his owl like she did she was probably annoyed that she'd went through all the trouble to get the letter to her and Meredith had yet to open it.

"I know, I know you want me to open it." Hedwig hooted and Meredith chuckled. "Okay but please get rid of that rat. The only rat I want to you to bring me is Wormtail and unless that's him get rid of it."

As it was she'd have to get some new sheets and a comforter from the linens and throw that one in the wash before Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon woke. Thankfully there was no way they'd hear it since it was all the way down in the basement. Hedwig narrowed her amber gaze before hooting softly and going to the bed and plucking the rat up and heading for the window. It looked like she would take off but then she superciliously dropped the rat and hopped back onto her cage, her chest puffed out proudly and a smug like look on her face.

With hesitance born of not wishing to read the letter she opened it and pulled out the parchment inside.

Dear Meredith,

If it is convenient to you, I shall call at number four, Privet Drive this coming Friday at eleven p.m. to escort you to the Burrow, where you have been invited to spend the remainder of your school holidays.

If you are agreeable, I should also be glad of your assistance in a matter to which I hope to attend on the way to the Burrow. I shall explain this more fully when I see you.

Kindly send your answer by return of this owl. Hoping to see you this Friday,

I am yours most sincerely,

Albus Dumbledore.

"Most sincerely huh," Meredith muttered bitterly as she crumbled the letter. Five days until he arrived, great. "Happy now girl?" Hedwig nodded as she looked up from grooming her feathers, sometimes it amazed her just how human the bird could seem.

She spent the next hour cleaning her bed sheets and comforter and putting the now fresh ones back on her bed. By then it was almost one in the morning and Meredith decided to lay down, knowing her Aunt and Uncle they'd wake her bright and early to cook their breakfast like the lazy swine they were. With a chuckle Meredith fell into a dreamless sleep – at least for the moment.

xXx

She wasn't in her bed anymore, but in a place she didn't quite remember at first. Then it hit her, Riddle Manor, possibly the same room she'd seen Wormtail and Barty Crouch Jr in her fourth year. She turned slowly, observing the room and the differences in it between then and now.

"What are you doing here?" The voice was velvety smooth and charming without even trying but also had a underline of a promise, a promise of pain if he wasn't respected or answered properly.

She swung around, her red hair flying behind her as she turned. In front of her was none other then Voldemort but there was a difference. Instead of the snake man she'd seen reborn or even in June at the department of mysteries this one looked almost exactly like diary Riddle. He appeared a little older, wasn't wearing the school uniform but respectable robes any well off wizard of proper standing would wear and his eyes were not the charcoal green color they had been before but a bright crimson.

"Voldemort?" she asked dumbly and she watched as the blank yet cold mask softened a bit, curiosity burning in the Dark Lord's eyes. He stepped closer to her and on instinct Meredith stepped back, and for once noticed she wore what she'd worn to bed, a large t-shirt with the Gryffindor house crest on the left breast. Hermione had given it to her for her last birthday, and it was a two sizes to big but still over covered to mid thigh. "Where am I, did you bring me here?"

"Hmm, no Potter I did not," Voldemort said and stopped just as she was back as far as she could get from him, her back hitting the wall. His lips quirked up in a half-smirk and he tilted his head. She shivered slightly as his eyes roamed over her body, wishing she had worn something other then the large shirt to bed, like some pants. "I assume you were asleep, or are asleep should I say."

"So you didn't bring me here?" she asked and the man rolled his red eyes at her.

"I believe I just said that, yes."

"Then what..."
"I do not know," he said cutting her off. "How are you this summer Merry?"

She winced and glared. "Don't call me that."

Voldemort raised an eyebrow. "Oh, your friends do, do they not?"

"They're my friends, there is a difference Tom." Voldemort narrowed his eyes at the girl who looked defiantly back at him with mismatched eyes and he shrugged.

"Very well," he said ignoring the use of his birth name and sitting on the same chair she'd seen him sit in during the dream from fourth year. "Don't just stand there, have a seat Potter."

"Why, shouldn't you be trying to kill me?" Meredith asked and he snorted.

"I don't think it'd take in a dream-scape, use that brain of yours girl." He looked at her as she sat slowly on the chair that'd appeared across from him. "After all that's what it's there for."

"Funny," she muttered dryly. "Can't you send me back, I don't really want to be here."

"Nor do I, but as I don't know what brought us here I can undo it." The silence was awkward for a few moments before Meredith couldn't take it anymore and asked.

"What happened to you? Last I saw you were sporting the snake look and no nose." Voldemort looked at her amused, though his face was rather blank she could still read his eyes like a book, though she suspected that was because he allowed her too.

"I can switch between the two forms at will, a ritual I found during the first war. You didn't think I chose to be that repugnant did you Meredith?" he said and Meredith hummed. It made since, from what she'd learned about Tom Riddle during second year he was rather vain about his looks and wouldn't have just thrown that away for power, after all what was one without the other?

"So it's jut to scare everyone out of their wits?" Voldemort smiled slightly.

"Yes, only my inner circle and now you have been blessed the chance to see my true form, which is the one you see before you in case you get any ideas." Meredith fought back a smile but lost but it was gone seconds latter as she remembered with whom she was with.

"You never did answer my question," he suddenly said. "How is your summer Meredith?"

"It'd be better if my godfather were still alive and if Bellatrix were dead," she snapped, Voldemort raised an eyebrow.

"How rather bloodthirsty of you, whatever would Dumbledore think?"

"Screw Dumbledore, Bellatrix killed Sirius and I'll kill her for it. And eye for an eye, she'll have to pay for it one day." She watched as the Dark Lord laughed, though it wasn't the evil, high pitched cold laugh she was used to, this one was almost human, but still cold enough to make her realize this was still Voldemort she was talking to.

"You intrigue me Potter."

"I don't know weather to be flattered or worried."

"Both would probably be a good start."