Hermione was sitting by Neville at the Gryffindor table, eating a piece of toast while glancing at her watch. The Great Hall was packed with students eating a quick breakfast before classes, all students except Harry Potter and Ron Weasley. Hermione gave a huff as she ate another bite. They were late.
Neville glanced at her, giving her an uneasy smile. "I'm sure they'll be down at any moment. "
She frowned, "You said they were sleeping when you came down?"
Nervously Neville nodded. "But that was a hour ago. I'm sure they're on their way."
She took another bite, deciding whether or not to go up to the boy's dormitory and drag them out of bed herself. After another bite she had decided. Just when she was about to stand a flurry of owls burst into the room, each dropping off mail and newspapers to the teachers and students. She then made the decision to go after the Daily Prophet's owl gave her a copy of today's paper. She was on her feet ready to go when she received the paper but then thought better of it when reading the title. With a sigh she started reading, as an unusual quiet settled across the Great Hall.
The Truth about the Boy Who Lived
By Rita Skeeter
Ever since that fateful Halloween night, Harry Potter has become a celebrity to every wizard man, woman, and child. He has graced our papers for years, and yet there is still much we do not know about the boy. After the events of the Triwizard Tournament last year, we began to doubt the innocence of the boy. After all we didn't know him at all. Could He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named be back, or was it simply an attention-seeking ploy from an adolescent boy. At the time the last seemed more likely. I began to question the average normal everyday wizard, and while Potter had some strong believers, he had some strong disbelievers also, both stating many facts that contradict themselves, and I found that both sides didn't know truly who Harry Potter was. Thus I began my investigation, and what I found shocked me to the core. And I warn my readers that the following is not a story for the weak of heart, nor a story to be read to children.
I started my investigation in Harry Potter's hometown, Surrey. It was my plan to talk to the neighbors of Harry Potter to get some insight on the Boy-Who-Lived's life that we have not seen. The answer's I got when interviewing the boy's neighbors were much of the same. "The boy is a menace, a no good menace. He means nothing but trouble," One woman told me to which all the others agreed. It was until this next point that I thought for sure I knew who young Harry Potter was. I asked the ladies where the young man lived and all of them pointed to the house across the street. It was one of the ladies turned to me and whispered nervously, "You see the window with the bars on it. That's his room. They put bars on his window three years ago, he only stays with his family during the summer, during the rest of the year he gets sent to a school for teenage criminals." I couldn't believe my ears, what were these women talking about?
I preceded my investigation by speaking to Harry Potter's Second Grade muggle elementary school teacher. She told me a whole different story, a story that sent shivers down my spine. "He was a bright kid," she remembered. "Quiet and shy, but bright. He grasped onto concepts quicker than any child I had ever seen. I'll never forget when he received a 100% on his first test, the best grade in the class, the way his eyes shone with happiness." Her voice then grew darker. "I'll never forget when he come back the next day with a black eye, cut lip, and a limp. He failed every test after that. I know that he understood the concepts better than anybody in the class, yet each test came back a Fail." She took a breath. " I wanted to contact the authorities so bad, yet I knew that it would never work. His First Grade teacher called child protective services, and within a month her job was taken from her, and the investigation was dropped as if it never happened. His family is monsters. He'd come to school unnaturally skinny, bruised, and too quiet. I knew his family beat him, spread rumors about him, and I think starved him. But I also knew I didn't have the power to get him removed from his home, so I did my best to help him in my classroom. All of us teacher banded together to do whatever we could. But it was never enough."
As I looked into her eyes could not help but to believe this was the truth, Harry Potter was and possibly still is abused! I then asked her to describe the boy to me just to make sure we were talking about the same person. "He is quick, quiet, courteous, and brave." "Brave?"I asked. She laughed, "A group of boys (Mr. Potter's cousin included) were picking on a younger student and Harry went right up to them and pushed them away, of course the boys beat both boys up, nine against one was not a fair fight. The next day he came to school in a much worse condition than he left in. And yet he still went against his cousin, knowing the consequences and yet still standing up. I believe he has a 'saving people thing' from a psychology standpoint." When asking her what she meant by her psychologist standpoint she grew serious, " In most abuse cases the victim will act out to receive attention, they will cause trouble, and in some cases might even turn into abusers themselves. In Harry's case however, he prefers to stay in the shadows, unnoticed. He is one of the few that feel that because they could not save themselves it is their duty to save others from becoming victims. And from what I've seen of Harry, I'd say he is the type to try to save the world no matter the coast and not expecting a reward. He is the type that would sacrifice himself to save another person."
I took everything she said and found what she said to be true with more investigation I found that Harry Potter, the boy we all doubted, was in fact starved, locked up in his room for months upon months, and beat on a constant. Some beatings so severe, I am told that they have scared his back. Adding all this information to the amount he has done for his school. I am told by multiple sources that on more than one account he has placed himself in danger to protect another. I have found the truth of the boy who is Harry Potter and feel ashamed of myself. The Wizarding World has failed Harry Potter. And I condemn Minister Fudge for his vendetta against this poor 15-year-old boy.
Harry Potter is the boy who is constantly beat down not only by his family but also by the Wizarding World, and myself. He is the boy who saved our world. He is the boy who had nobody to stand for him, so he stands for others. He is not the Boy-Who-Lives, but more of the Boy-Who-Survives. After all the persecution we have placed him under, he still tries to warn us of the coming of You-Know-Who. He stands by his statements unwavering. And honestly after my investigation I fear I can do nothing else but believe him and what he says to be true, and I sincerely hope that the Wizarding World will cease their blindness and open their ears to the world around us. And if one thing is for certain, the entire Wizarding World owes Harry Potter a sincere apology.
Hermione's eyes welled up as she stared at her paper in disbelief. It was all lies! It had to be! and yet...and yet it made sense. All of it made sense. And she herself could not deny that she had her suspicions.
She glanced at Neville, to see him looking back at her, his face pale and mouth agape. She then looked at the rest of the Hall, somewhere staring at her look to see her reaction, others were looking at the Gryffindor table in general looking for him, and the rest were looking at their papers in shock and disbelief.
Dumbledore then stood up and spoke with his voice amplified (though it was unneeded). "Students, all classes are canceled today. Please conduct yourselves wisely today, teachers are here if you need them." He then swept out of the Great Hall with Professor Snape and McGonagall in a hurried manner.
Chaos issued the hall. Everybody was speaking, some were crying, and others were shouting. Hermione found herself surrounded by Gryffindors. Dean was shouting at her over the chaos.
"IS THIS TRUE!"
"I Don't Know!" She shouted back.
"How Could You Not Know!"
She then started to cry.
"Dude back off!" Neville yelled at Dean. "How come you didn't know? We have shared a dorm with him for 5 years!"
Dean looked speechless, and then looked at Hermione. "Merlin! I'm sorry Hermione, don't cry."
But she didn't stop. She couldn't stop.
It was at that moment when they all heard a door open. The whole Hall suddenly became silent, as the door creaked fully open, revealing a late smiling Harry Potter and a laughing Ronald Weasley. As the two took in the Great Hall, staring at them, Harry started inching back toward the door.
"Why are they staring at you?" Harry whispered to Ron.
Looking a bit freaked out Ron replied unsurely, "Mate I think they're staring at you."
The two looked at each other and then nodded as they quickly ushered themselves back outside the Great Hall, before anybody could say a word.