Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters, plot and interactions are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Authors Note: Reminder, Ginny in this story (and I think future stories) is played by Karen Gillan (Amy Pond from Dr Who)
Hogwarts Shuffle! Chapter One
Harry had spent every day so far that summer stealing newspapers and trying to listen to the telly without the Dursley's noticing. Always looking for news about the return of Voldemort and never hearing anything interesting. It was too painful to think about what had happened at the end of the school year, Sirius was just missing, he refused to believe the closest thing he had to loving family was gone. Maybe it wasn't "healthy" as Hermione tried to tell him in the ONE letter she'd sent him; maybe it was just a coping mechanism, maybe he was delusional, but he wasn't getting much mental help from anyone so he did what he could.
Not that they noticed him, he'd figured out pretty quickly that the less they saw of him, the better. He'd had one near miss of accidental magic early on when Vernon had threatened him. His eyes had apparently been glowing with power but nothing actually happened externally. It had been enough to quell them into submission and he'd taken the chance to tell them he would be happy to stay out of their lives if they'd stay out of his. So far things had worked smashingly, as far as being ignored was better than verbal abuse and physical labor.
"Coping Mechanism" was just one of the new words and phrases he'd picked up this summer. He'd spent a fair amount of time at the Library every Wednesday when he knew Mundungus was taking his detox nap under the living room window. The Knight Bus was a surprisingly handy thing if you were a stranded underage wizard and could either hold your lunch or didn't have anything in your stomach to hold. Luckily Harry had been able to sneak to Diagon by removing his glasses and pulling one of Dudley's ball caps down over his scar. Wizards were surprisingly dense when you stopped to analyze them at all. So with a trip to Diagon he'd been able to withdraw some money and get more than table scraps to eat that summer. Despite his imprisonment and imposed isolation he'd had one of the best summers he could remember. At least when he wasn't thinking about his missing godfather or his basically absent friends.
It was one such Wednesday, returning from the Library with a "borrowed" psychology book and a stash of sweets, that he overheard something which definitely fit in the "interesting" category.
In our top story this afternoon we bring you footage of what have been
titled "The Gates" in the Japanese countryside. For those who haven't
been made aware; "The Gates" purportedly link to the world of the Gods
and the world of the Devils respectively. These ruins were discovered
only months ago and the doors opened only a week ago admitting strange
looking humanoid figures from both worlds. They claimed to be the King
of the Gods and the King of the Devils.
Harry stood transfixed as they showed footage of the pulsating blue doors and the large muscular man purported to be the King of Gods and the thinner but handsome figure who claimed to be King of the Devils. They both had strange ears and seemed to have an Aura around them, one of light and one of darkness.
"Just what we needed in this world eh pet? More freaks!" Vernon was overheard stating loudly. "Obviously it's some kind of hoax, I can't believe these so-called News people are taking this seriously. Gods and Devils, honestly..."
Harry really didn't know what to think but events on the other side of the planet really weren't the type of news he was interested in.
It would serve Vernon right to have them truly be God and the Devil, I'm sure both would like a word with him. Harry thought to himself. Having seen enough for the moment he took his sweets and his study material up to the room the Dursleys grudgingly let him use during his summer stays. When he got to his room he was only mildly surprised to find Errol, the Weasley family owl, passed out on top of Hedwig's Cage with the snowy Owl seemingly eyeballing the geriatric bird with contempt. On the desk, which was not really a desk so much as a card table missing one leg and help up by several unread Choose-Your-Own-Adventure novels Dudley had acquired over the years, there lay a letter addressed to him in now familiar handwriting. While Hermione and Ron had let him know in the single letter they had sent that they were under orders from Dumbledore not to communicate with him about what was going on with the Order of the Phoenix; Ginny had, it seemed, decided as long as she didn't write anything about the Order she could still talk to him, which considering his best friend was supposed to be the brightest witch Hogwarts had seen since Rowena..or possibly Lily..that was saying something.
Harry picked up the letter and moved to the lumpy shape some would refer to as a bed where he tried to get comfortable. He smiled to himself, How many times have I told myself most witches and wizards just aren't that smart? I wonder if it's catching with her staying with the Order this summer instead of getting a good dose of Muggle Common Sense this year? he thought wryly to himself.
He opened the letter and began reading, he and Ginny had been keeping a conversation going for several weeks now. At first he'd been afraid of the fan girl he knew she kept just beneath the surface, but gradually he'd come to know the real Ginny who was actually quite fun and she had come out of her shell a bit, leaving the stuttering shy girl with her elbow in the butter dish in the past. He didn't precisely have feelings for her, but their communications had become a bit teasing and flirty lately.
So mum has us cleaning AGAIN, honestly I think the dust bunnies are
breeding alongside the other dark creatures in this place. It's not like
there would be any news to tell you about the Adults even if I wanted
to, they keep us busy morning and night beating curtains and sorting
through dingy old books and things trying to make some sort of headway.
I swear the dank and dirt are alive, it's like we clean a room and the
next day you can actually see where the gross has grown back, like a
mold but made of Darkness.
In any case I hope you are having fun, I'm glad you took my advice to
sneak out to the library. It sounds like you've at least been entertained
this summer. You'll have to teach me that eye trick to use on the twins
if you ever figure out how to duplicate it. Come to think of it, do you think
its anything like that sparkle in the Headmaster'seyes?
Mum has been going spare trying to figure out where Errol has been lately,
luckily he reliably collapses in the back garden every time he returns so I
can grab your letters before she can find them. I'd use Pigwidgeon but we
both know Hedwig might go round the twist and eat him just to make him
stay still. As for your question before, no I am not writing any other boys
no matter what you might have heard from my brother. I've decided to
dedicate myself to my studies this year for OWLs anyway, unless a certain
one decided to make a move I don't know that I could ever say no to him.
STOP GRINNING, I'M NOT TALKING ABOUT YOU YOU BIG HEADED GIT.
So now that is out of the way, what's new on your end? Any news on you know-who?
Sad to say you might hear something before we ever would isn't it?
Gin (and if you ever call me that where someone can hear you you'll
get a bat bogey where the sun can't see)
He had started addressing her letters as Gin about a week and a half ago and she'd let him have it in the first response, by the third time she'd given in and told him he was the only one besides her older brother Bill who was allowed to call her that without consequences. She'd tried calling him Har and Ree by neither stuck as they were admittedly not nearly as good as nicknames as Gin was. Ginny's letters had definitely helped him stay sane, and he admitted he was growing to like the friendly flirty banter. That still didn't mean he was anywhere close to fancying her, well maybe...
Self Delusion? Harry asked himself jokingly, he analyzed his thoughts and shrugged it off. He might be deluding himself a bit but he thought he was getting a hold of his emotions pretty well and from what he could tell it was just friendship with a bit of flirty fun thrown in. The last thing he wanted anyone to be able to say was that he was deluded, not after the way the press had treated him. Harry laid down the letter and pulled out his study material and his notebook, after stumbling upon his conclusion that people in general but especially magical people were stupid, he began looking up psychology texts for background on why some people think and act the way they do. He liked to play amateur shrink, figuring out why other people were crazy was helping to keep him from going crazy as much the letters from Gin.
For instance, he'd all but planned the Headmasters death in the first days of solitude before the first letter from Ginny arrived. Since her suggestion he get out of the house and "read a book or something" to keep from going stir crazy he'd psychoanalyzed many of the people in his life and made peace with them instead pieces of them.
Dumbledore: Possibly suffering from Dimensia or Alzheimer's *mental
note to see if the latter CAN affect wizards*, the man was somewhat
ancient already when Tom Riddle had attended Hogwarts, by the time Harry
had come along the man was at least a few hoots short of an Owlery.
From a certain point of view (mental nod to Sir Alec Guinness)
Dumbledore really was only looking out the Greater Good, however from
Harry's (the victims) point of view he was a manipulative bastard who
wasn't even good at whatever game he was playing. Harry no longer hated
the man, that was an admittedly short circumstance in any case, but
something had to be done about someone with such apparent mental
degradation holding two or three prominent and influential positions.
Snape: While it is really easy to hate the man, piecing together the
little he knew already Snape had never once tried to inflict physical
harm, he did not appear in that graveyard, in fact he had actually saved
Harry's life on at least one occasion, possibly more, which might...possibly...
grudgingly even lead to some sort of Life Debt if those actually had any power
other than moral duty. He was, grudgingly, a genius with potions as, he just
had zero ability to impart that knowledge to his students. His appointment to
Potions Master at Hogwarts has much more to do with his position as a spy than
teaching ability. You would think that the ability to teach would be part of
any Mastery certification, but that assumes that Snape holds any real world
title other than the one bestowed by his position at the school. All in all he's
a greasy, nasty awful person; especially to me, but to be fair, according to
Remus, and the pensieve, the Marauders were bullies at least when it came to him. How will I feel
about Draco's children?
Draco: Honestly he's full of himself, he is trying so hard to be his father but
at least Lucius has that aristocratic suave thing going for him. Even while being
attacked by a house elf or at the Department of Mysteries he was a respectable
villain. Draco on the other hand is every bad cliche about Slytherin rolled into
one and he seems to revel in it. He has obvious daddy issues and only makes them
worse by trying to prove himself in all the wrong ways. Draco is to be pitied more
than despised, I can actually see what the Headmaster sees in him as much as I hate
to give the old man credit.
Tom Riddle aka Voldemort: Taking the evil parts of everything I know about him and
setting them off to the side, and only going by what I've seen of him in the Diary
and the odd recounting of his time at Hogwarts I've heard. He was quite the gifted
student and the ultimate Slytherin. Cunning and attracted to Power. Something must
have happened in his childhood to drive him to Evil...perhaps Dumbledore fiddled
with him the way he has fiddled with my life? How would I be now if I'd gone to
Slytherin instead of Gryffindor? I have every reason to hate Muggles thanks to my
so-called family; maybe Tom had a crappy childhood and he's taking it out on everyone?
He isn't even be a Pureblood, imagine what a Halfblood or Muggleborn would go
through in Slytherin. That would explain the way he tortures his followers, it
really isn't all that different from the way he treats Muggles. Bottom line is like
Draco, Tom obviously has issues and is to be pitied, not feared...though he is to be
feared as well if for no other reason than he is obviously insane.
He laid the notebook on the desk beside the letter from Ginny and laid back on his bed. He'd begun taking a few minutes each day to sort his thoughts and emotions out and analyze them, once he'd identified that Riddle and he might share a lot of similarities it had scared him into making certain he didn't end up crazy and evil despite the Headmasters best intentions.
He cleared his mind and began breathing deeply, on a whim he'd picked up a book on meditation techniques during an earlier trip to the library. He borrowed the books but didn't have a library card, luckily security was pretty lax at the place and he figured as long as returned what he took it wasn't much different than doing it the right way. But getting a card would require filling out paperwork and something told him he didn't want to be in any system that might give away his whereabouts. As he sorted through his thoughts and tried to get to that calm centered place he'd found before where his mind was completely blank, he reflected that he might have picked up a few IQ points along the way. Hermione would be so proud to hear that he'd been studying, though she might not like his choice in literature.
An hour later he awoke from the blank mind space he'd fallen into when the alarm went off on his watch telling him it was dinner time. Part of his unspoken deal with the Dursleys was that he would still do a few chores to earn his keep but he made sure that at least this one meal he prepared included a portion for him to take back up to his room.
So stowing the library material, notebook and letter from Gin under the mattress with the rest of his stash he made his way downstairs to the kitchen. As he went down the stairs an odd thought went through his head to analyze himself in the same way he'd done his enemies list but he shrugged that off. He was perfectly happy for the moment suppressing and telling himself he was fine. He could deal with day to day situations rationally but the deeper issues weren't doing him any harm right where they were. Deep and away where he didn't have to think about them.
Okay so maybe I am in denial, but I have acknowledged it and I'm moving on, *mental note to put that on my to do list, eventually, maybe if Voldemort doesn't try to kill me this year.
Authors Note: For this story...and I think any future stories, Karen Gillan is who I'm picturing for Ginny. Nothing against Bonnie but she never lived up to the Ginny in my head. The actress name is best known as Amy Pond from Dr Who.