8: Happily Back to Privet Drive
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
Harry and the Mysterious Curse of the Girl-Who-Lived
Quick note: A few more obvious divergences this time.
Many thanks to my beta, who rarely misses horrible mistakes that doom this story to the recycle bin of history.
CHAPTER EIGHT: HAPPILY BACK TO PRIVET DRIVE
It didn't take long for Harry to tell a short, slightly edited, version of his encounter with Quirrell and Volotredi. The reactions were fairly predictable.
"Oh," gasped Lavender. "It's about the bravest thing I've ever heard."
Neville nodded in agreement.
"Do you suppose the Mirror was related to the Cult of Eris, the goddess of Discord?" Padma asked in a kind of rhetorical manner.
Ron shook his head in disbelief. "I can't believe things got crazier after I got hit by a giant chess piece."
"Is that so?" Hermione asked with a smirk. "I'd have thought that'd be your ideal way to die. Perish with glory, conquering an evil chess set."
Ron looked very intrigued by the idea. "I can't say I disagree all that much," he said.
"I want to know what happened to the rest of you," Harry cut in, seeing that Padma seemed like she was about to ask another question about the Mirror. "I don't know what happened to Neville or Hermione, or even to Parvati and Lavender - did you manage to find anyone?"
Parvati shook her head. "No, but when I went back to the third floor door, the Headmaster actually did find me to confirm that you guys had gone to protect the Stone from whoever. He hurried off pretty fast after that."
"He actually came past when I was checking on Ron, trying to figure out how to get both of us onto a broom," said Neville. "To be honest, I didn't even know if I could manage just flying myself up."
"And I wasn't helping matters, being knocked out and all," Ron grinned. "Heroically knocked out by giant chess pieces, that is."
"I think Neville was braver trying to fly with you," Parvati replied. "No offense, Neville, but Ron's good at chess and you aren't so good at flying."
"That's a good point," conceded Ron.
"Anyway," Hermione interrupted with a cross expression. "Continuing on with the story, the Professor showed up, looking quite worried, if I do say so myself. And then he went after you, and brought you back only a minute or so later. I wasn't sure if you were dead or just unconscious, but Professor Dumbledore said you would probably be fine, just needed to go to the Hospital wing."
"There's something I don't understand," mentioned Padma.
"I don't know if the Mirror is connected to anything mythological, Padma," Harry said, slightly annoyed.
"Not that," she dismissed. "I do not understand why love can damage a incorporeal spirit."
Hermione rolled her eyes. "I hate to say it, but the technical details are probably too complicated to grasp at our age. I think it's just fascinating that Harriet's mother was apparently such an accomplished witch at a fairly young age. It's very inspirational."
"On to more important matters," decided Ron. "Mainly Quidditch. The game was postponed for two days because you were in the infirmary, but it was only postponed to today. Will you be able to play?"
"Ron!" Hermione scolded. "There are more important matters than Quidditch!"
"Yes, there are," said Parvati. "But now that Harriet's fine, she can beat the Ravenclaws senseless. Can't you?"
Harry blinked. "Well, yes. Yes, I feel fine now." Then he grinned widely. "The only issue is somehow convincing Madam Pomfrey I can handle it."
"It's not a big deal if you can't, Harriet," Neville assured. "We won't like you any less."
Parvati scowled. "That may be true, but you can't speak for the older Gryffindors. And besides, wouldn't you rather win the Quidditch Cup?"
"I would," agreed Harry. "And honestly, I think I'll feel even more like myself once I get on the broom."
"Um, Padma," Lavender said slowly. "You're not offended that we want Ravenclaw to lose, are you?"
"Why would I be offended?" Padma asked in surprise. "I would rather they lose."
This rather shocking remark was met with an impressive few seconds of silence.
"That's... that's mad!" Ron blurted out.
"You don't want to support your own house team?" asked Harry.
Padma shrugged. "Not really. Of the students I have been exposed to in the school, I think that you first year Gryffindors are far more useful than the ones in my house. They are shockingly shortsighted and are terribly boring in any intellectual debates."
Hermione rolled her eyes in mild consternation at what Padma had said. "I don't know if that was intended as a compliment or not, but I'll take it as one." Still she was more surprised by Padma's evaluation of her own house than anything else. "How odd," she mused. "This changes much of my perception of Ravenclaw."
Madam Pomfrey came back into the room, looking fairly displeased. "Miss Potter, the Headmaster has informed me that you are to be released, unless you would rather stay and rest longer. Are you quite sure you are up to leaving?"
"Yes she is!" Ron piped up excitedly, but quickly retreated in the face of Pomfrey's harsh glare.
"I'm fine, ma'am," Harry replied about as politely as he could. He didn't want to take any changes with Quidditch, after all. "Thank you for your concern, but I do feel completely recovered."
Madam Pomfrey frowned, but she nodded. "Very well. And you have one additional visitor before you leave."
"Who could it be?" Harry wondered, and his friends didn't seem to know either.
"It better not be Snape," Ron scowled.
A moment later, the large form of Hagrid squeezed through the door. He looked around in slight surprise.
"Oh, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised to see yer friends here." Hagrid then sniffed and almost started to cry. "Yeh kids are great, yeh've been good friends ter Harriet all year. And helpin' me out with Norbert an' talkin' about magical creatures an' all. It's all my ruddy fault yeh were in danger in the first place - I told that evil git how ter get past Fluffy."
"Calm down, Hagrid," said Parvati soothingly. "You didn't intend any harm, I'm sure. And you were a great friend to us all this year too. I'm sure my sister agrees."
Padma had a wide, crooked smile on her face. "Yes, that is quite accurate. You are very knowledgeable when it comes to magical creatures."
Hagrid chuckled softly. "That's kind of yeh to say. It's good ter see kids interested in creatures, it is. Oh!" Hagrid's eyes widened and he pulled out a fancy-looking book. "Almost forgot. I got a present for yeh."
Harry accepted the gift with a smile, and when he opened it, his jaw dropped.
It was a magical photo album, filled with photographs of his mother and father, happily waving from every page.
"Sent owls off ter all yer parents' old school friends, askin' fer photos… knew yeh didn' have any… d'yeh like it?"
Harry didn't quite know what to say.
"That is a brilliant gift, Hagrid," Hermione said graciously. "You can see how much Harriet likes it."
"But don't get too emotional," Ron interjected. "You still have a Quidditch game to win."
Harry laughed. "Thanks for keeping your priorities in order."
Oliver Wood was so happy to see Harry he actually burst into tears.
"I was afraid you'd be laid up past when you could be of any use," the captain opined.
The older girls scowled at him.
"That's quite a thing to say, Oliver," Angelina said angrily.
"Now, now, keep that fury for the field," Fred put in a sage tone.
"Gryffindor Furies," George mused. "I must say, I like it quite a bit."
"Has a ring to it, doesn't it?" Fred agreed. "The beautiful and mighty wings of the Furies."
Angelina looked like she was trying not be pleased with the comment, although Alicia and Katie weren't bothering to hide their enjoyment of the idea.
"I think it's a wonderful nickname," Katie said with a smile. "And we shall steal it immediately as our own idea."
"Maybe we should just get out there and win?" Harry asked in amusement.
"Well said, Harriet!" Oliver Wood pumped his fist. "Glad to see that your head is still in the right place, unlike these jokers. I think that all this exposure to the Twins has made the girls lose perspective."
Fred shook his head in mock sadness. "Exposure to the Twins indeed. I dread the day they cure Weasley-itis."
George wiped away a nonexistent tear. "There'd be no more joy in all the world."
When Harry flew up in the air, a roar spread over the crowd. Harry had the oddest feeling that they were cheering for him. Which as it turned out, they were.
"There she is, folks," the voice of Lee Jordan echoed over the field. "The girl was in the Hospital Wing this very morning, and now she's flying like nothing's wrong. I don't care what anyone says, Gryffindor girls are the best."
"Jordan!" McGonagall snapped, albeit not that harshly. "Keep your entirely accurate but irrelevant comments out of the game."
As the air sped past Harry's face, he felt a sense of exhilaration spread over him and felt full of energy. Without a doubt, win or lose, this had been the very best year of his life.
But they still won, of course.
Harry felt like he was floating on a sea of pure joy as he walked with his friends to the end of year banquet. With the win over Ravenclaw, they were a shoe-in for House Cup, or at least a very close tie with Slytherin. Oliver Wood could not be seen without a permanent grin firmly attached to his face.
"I'll never forget this," he had assured Harry. "I know we have two years left - but I have a feeling we'll win them both. Just try not to get in the Hospital much if you can help it, all right?"
Harry promised to do his best, although privately he wasn't sure if he'd be able to hold to it, given the craziness inherent at Hogwarts.
"Harriet, I must say," Ron said in a bit of a fake, pompous tone as they sat down at the banquet table. "This year has been quite astounding. I wonder what you have planned for the next one?"
"Perhaps she'll defeat You-Know-Who two times in one year to break her record?" offered Lavender with a grin.
"Or maybe she'll ride a dragon while doing her homework on its back?" Hermione said with a small smirk.
"Enough," Harry groaned, and then smiled a bit sinisterly. "Besides, I was planning all those things for third year."
They all laughed at that.
Dumbledore stood up in his seat and the Hall quieted very quickly.
"Another year gone!" Dumbledore said cheerfully. "And I must trouble you with an old man's wheezing waffle before we sink our teeth into our delicious feast. What a year it has been! Hopefully your heads are all a little fuller than they were, you have the whole summer ahead to get them nice and empty before next year starts."
He paused to wait for the inevitable giggling to subside. "Now, as I understand it, the house cup here needs awarding, and the points stand thus: In fourth place, Hufflepuff, with three hundred and fifty-two points; in third, Ravenclaw, with three hundred and sixty-six; Slytherin has four hundred and seventy-two, and this year's winner, Gryffindor, has a grand total of four hundred and eighty-three."
The Gryffindor table erupted into cheers at the narrow victory. McGonagall and Snape were shaking hands, although Snape looked almost bored with it all, like he'd rather be done with the whole business of Houses and Cups altogether.
"Which means," Dumbledore continued when the applause died down slightly. "We will need to have our usual decorations for victory." He waved his wand, and within an instant, the entire hall was decked out in the Gryffindor colors of red and gold, and a huge banner appeared over the High Table, proudly displaying showing the Gryffindor lion.
The next few days passed quickly, and Harry found himself being surprised by getting exam results. With all the excitement of going after the Stone and winning the House Cup, he had completely forgotten having taken them just the previous week.
"I can't believe it," Hermione said in shock.
"That you have the best grades in the year?" Ron asked in amusement. "You shouldn't be surprised, although I'm not shocked you are."
"Um," Hermione looked a bit worried. "Padma, you aren't mad I beat you, are you?"
"No," said Padma. "I still learned a great deal. And you beat the other Ravenclaws too, which I consider to be a good thing."
Ron laughed. "Sounds reasonable to me."
Parvati rolled her eyes. "So, Harriet, Professor Dumbledore said you wouldn't have to stay at your Muggle relatives all summer long, right?"
Harry nodded. "Right. Hopefully I can stay by one of you lot, if that's okay."
Parvati smiled brilliantly. "I would be very happy for you to stay with us, if you wanted." She glanced at her sister. "And I'm sure Padma wouldn't mind one way or another, right?"
"No," Padma answered. "Why would I care where Potter stays for the holidays?"
"You should all visit this summer," said Ron. "It'll be great to hang out, and to be honest, my Mum really wants to cook for everyone."
"Those brownies were pretty good," Harry mused. "Okay, I'm sold."
"Are your relatives going to be all right to you?" Hermione asked in a worried tone.
"Yeah, it should be fine," Harry replied. "Dumbledore and I are supposed to head over there soon. Oh, speaking of which, here he comes now."
The Headmaster worked over to the group with a kind smile on his face.
"Hello, everyone. I trust you are all reasonably satisfied with your exam results?"
"Yes, sir," said Parvati with a polite nod.
"I didn't fail," Ron shrugged. "So that's a win for me."
"Ron, don't be rude!" Hermione hissed. "We are all more than satisfied, Professor."
Lavender and Neville seemed a bit too intimidated to say anything at all.
"Are you fully packed and prepared to leave?" Dumbledore inquired.
Harry nodded. "Yeah, all ready to go when you are."
"I shall instruct the house-elves to gather together your belongings so we can bring them along, and you can say your farewells in the meantime." Dumbledore nodded politely to the group and walked off.
"You're leaving already?" Hermione asked a bit sadly. "But the train doesn't leave for two days!"
"Dumbledore has a lot to do, and he thought it best if we got back a bit early to put the Dursleys off guard," Harry explained. "But don't any of you worry - I'll be giving Hedwig plenty of exercise this summer!"
"You better!" Lavender said, tearing up, and grabbed Harry in a hug. "Try to have a good summer, will you?"
Ron shook his head and sighed. "Don't let the Muggles get you down, Harriet."
"I won't," Harry promised, now also embracing a crying Parvati. "Come on, Parvati, I'll be seeing you soon enough."
"I know," she sniffed, and wiped her nose on a handkerchief. "But I'll miss having someone normal around to talk to."
Dumbledore then returned, floating Harry's things behind him. "Shall we, my dear?"
Harry waved to his friends. "Have a great holiday, guys. Keep an eye out for Hedwig, eh?"
As Dumbledore and Harry walked away from the group, Harry thought he heard Hermione ask "Say, what are house-elves?"
"Before we arrive, Not-Harriet," said Dumbledore, as they walked through the streets near the Dursley's home. "Let me give you that special paper and ink I mentioned." He handed a thick package to Harry, who accepted it.
"Do I need to do anything special to get it work"? he asked.
Dumbledore shook his head. "No, merely be sure to include that you are writing of your own free will and are not being mistreated, and we will be able to determine if anything is amiss. If you do not include those words or use the correct paper, we will investigate immediately."
"Great," said Harry brightly.
They walked up to Number Four, and for the very first time in Harry's entire life, he was actually looking forward to walking into the Dursley's house.
Harry knocked on the door and waited for his aunt to answer the door - it was unlikely that Vernon or Dudley would bother answering it.
Aunt Petunia opened the door and immediately scowled. "What are you doing here so early? Did you get expelled?"
"Hello, Aunt Petunia," said Harry with an enormous grin. "I've come back a bit early with someone you may know."
His aunt frowned then her eyes widened in horror as she saw who stood behind her nephew.
"It's you!" Petunia shrieked.
"A pleasure to see you too, Mrs. Dursley," replied Dumbledore with a short bow. "May we come in?"
Petunia's face crumpled like she had bit into a lemon, and looked like she wanted to slam the door in their faces. But apparently she thought better of it and stood back to let them in.
"Vernon," she called back in an unsteady voice. "You had better come here at once."
Harry's uncle made some sort of noise and blundered into view, followed by a curious Dudley.
Dudley scowled angrily. "What's he doing back here? And who's the stupid old man?"
Petunia looked like she might faint. "Duddikins, run up to your room dear... quickly. We need to have a quick talk that would be very boring for you. All about books and such."
"If I go, can I get that new game I want?" Dudley wheedled.
"Yes," Petunia almost yelled. "Now go, sweetums."
After Dudley had trudged heavily upstairs, Dumbledore looked around with an incongruous smile.
"Might I assume you had invited us to have a seat?"
Vernon's face turned red. "Now see here, you old fool, I won't have any of this freakish nonsense in my house! We agreed to keep the boy, not put with any of your bloody shenanigans!"
"Is that so?" Dumbledore asked in a quiet, curious tone.
Petunia tugged at Vernon's arm and whispered something in his ear.
Vernon became even madder, but he managed to spit out, "Please have a seat, won't you?" Harry was shocked that Vernon had managed to even say the words without exploding.
"It seems that perhaps we have a bit of a minor issue on our hands," said Dumbledore calmly once they had all sat down in the sitting room. "Involving your relative that you promised to take in and raise as your own - a promise, it seems, you have failed to keep."
Vernon gripped the edge of his seat so tightly, Harry was sure it would break if he kept at it.
"How dare you?" Petunia hissed. "How dare you accuse us so? After all we did for the brat, watching over him, feeding him, doing our best to keep him from your bloody awful magic. After what you did, leaving him on our doorstop with a damned note!"
"A note?" Harry asked in confusion.
"Oh, you don't know about that?" Petunia asked acidly. "What a surprise that saintly old Dumbledore treats people so shabbily."
Harry was about to angrily defend the Professor, when Dumbledore held up a hand to forestall the action.
"Before we continue down this acrimonious path, perhaps I should clarify a few things," he said. "First of all, Petunia, I apologize that Hogwarts was unable to accept you - I should have responded in person to explain and perhaps we could have arranged a way for you to visit."
"What's this then?" Harry asked in wonder.
"Pet..." Vernon said slowly. "What - what is he talking about?"
"You... you - horrible old man!" Petunia shrieked shrilly. "Stop trying to ruin my life like you always have!"
"Mr. Dursley," said the Headmaster. "If your concern is whether or not your wife is magical, rest assured that she is not."
"Well, good," Vernon grumbled. "But what's this about trying to be accepted to the... ruddy school of yours?"
Petunia's eye widened in panic.
Dumbledore smiled kindly. "A simple matter to explain, of course. Petunia was under the impression that Hogwarts was merely a special boarding school, and wanted to attend with her sister. Obviously she was disappointed to learn that it was a school for magical people and she could not be a student there." He glanced over at Harry and gave a kind of look, giving Harry the impression that he should play along and not ask further questions about it.
"Yes, that's it," Petunia said in what clearly sounded like relief. "Obviously once I knew what it was, I didn't want any part of such nonsense."
Vernon nodded. "Very good. That's settled, then."
"Now," said Dumbledore. "As for the matter of the note, the explanation is somewhat complicated, so perhaps I can explain in a letter this summer?" He addressed this question to Harry.
"Oh," Harry frowned. "Um, yes, all right. I guess that's fine."
"Excellent," Dumbledore smiled. "Now then, there is one final matter to address. Potter will be sending out a letter to us each week so we can be sure nothing is wrong. If a week passes without a letter, then we will come to investigate."
"You will do no such thing!" Vernon blustered in a nervous manner.
"There are many who would be interested in the conditions of young Potter's upbringing," Dumbledore mentioned almost absently. "Including one of Potter's Professors, someone who grew up around your neighborhood, Petunia - Severus Snape? Perhaps you know him?"
Aunt Petunia stiffened and turned quite pale. "There will be no need for that. You can be sure that the boy will be permitted to send his letter and we will do nothing that even you folk might consider problematic."
"But, dear," Vernon whispered.
"Enough, Vernon," Petunia snapped. "This will not be such a hardship. Potter will do his chores and eat his meals, but otherwise we leave each other be. Is that understood?"
"Yeah!" Harry said agreeably, more than happy with the compromise. Chores weren't so bad, especially if he didn't have to see the Dursleys much more than a little.
"I am glad we were able to agree," Dumbledore stood to leave. "Don't forget that the owl, Hedwig, will be needed to send and receive messages. I am she will be hardly noticeable at all, so you should not worry about that either."
Harry walked his teacher back to the door.
"Sir, did you see?" Harry asked quietly. "Did you see how they treated me like a boy?"
"I did indeed," the Headmaster replied. "And it was useful information for a certainty." He smiled. "Now then, Not-Miss Potter. I wish you the very best summer, and unless there is a problem, I will see you on your birthday."
Harry nodded. "Have a good holiday, sir."
After Dumbledore had left, Harry stuck his head in the sitting room, where his aunt and uncle were still silently looking annoyed.
"I'll take my stuff upstairs and be out of your hair, then," Harry said cheerfully, and turned away without waiting for a reply.
He grinned at Hedwig, who cocked her head curiously. "Well, girl, this looks to be a boring but fairly decent summer, wouldn't you say?" Hedwig just looked at Harry with her usual piercing manner and Harry laughed.
"Well said, girl. Well said."
End of Book One
Next time, Book Two: Harry Potter and the Trouble With Diaries
"He sent the letters!" Vernon and Petunia screamed at the same time.
"What the?" Harry looked up in surprise. "Didn't you get my letters?"
And now I will include some omakes as per several requests, which include, shall we say, alternate looks at Harry's first year at Hogwarts.
OMAKE NUMBERS ONE: HARRY AND FILCH - BEST BUDS FOREVER
Harry raced down the hallway, hoping Filch hadn't seen him. He couldn't be caught again after dark, and desperately wanted to avoid any more horrid detention.
"Who's there?" Filch yelled out. "Damn you kids, always running away." The gnarled old man then sighed and collapsed on the floor. "Oh, no one will ever talk to me. I'm so alone."
Harry paused, feeling a sudden pang of guilt. He crept back slowly, but very carefully. What if this was just a clever ploy? A nasty trick to get him off his guard then clap him in irons?
"Are - are you okay, sir?" Harry asked softly.
Instantly Filch bolted to his feet with a growl. "Shut up, you! You wouldn't understand what it's like - raised in a Magical family, but not Magical yourself. I am sick and tired of you little brats teasing and jibing me for being a Squib."
"I understand more than you'd think," Harry confided. "I was raised in a Muggle house where they hated magic - and me as well, for that matter."
"Really?" Filch asked, hardly daring to believe.
"Really," Harry confirmed, and grinned widely. Filch then began to laugh horribly, in sick, disgusting, hacking coughs and chortles. Inspired, Harry couldn't help but join in. The two laughed for the next hour.
"Say, you seem like you must know a lot about all sorts of magical things," Harry realized suddenly, interrupting the unsettling laughter. "Like how magical people really are. And better ways to clean! I could always improve my cleaning skills."
Filch cackled and rubbed his hands together. "Oh, the things I could tell you, Potter. The things I could teach you."
"Could you?" Harry asked sincerely.
Filch blinked in surprise. "Oh hell, why not?"
That was when Harry and Felch became the very best of friends. Harry became a creature of the night, learning the secrets of cackling, improving his slinking through the shadows, and overall becoming a truly creepy individual.
Harry roamed the halls at night with Mrs. Norris, giving Filch some well deserved time to rest. They would often take turns, where Harry would act as a caretaker, and Filch would pretend to be Harry and attend classes.
The secret was wearing a pair of glasses and no one was the wiser. As for Harry, when he walked with Mrs. Norris, everyone just assumed it was Filch.
"Morning, Harriet," Ron said cheerily.
"Shut your ugly face," Filch-with-Glasses snarled. "And stop hogging the syrup."
"I love your long hair," Lavender marveled. "So stringy and thin!"
Thus started a bit of a new hairstyle trend with the girls.
And Harry became quite adept at patrolling the late night halls.
"What's this? Children out of bed?" Harry-with-Norris snarled. He saw Fred and George cavorting with some manner of nonsense. "You little punks will get the Iron Maiden for this!"
"And you!" Harry snarled at Professor Snape, who was standing nearby. "Young man, get back to bed this instant!"
"But I'm a Professor," Snape tried to protest, but Harry wasn't about to take that as an excuse.
"Go before I paddle the daylights out of you," Harry spat. Everyone ran in fear before that grisly glare.
"So, Miss Potter, you have come for the Stone, have you?" Quirrell asked.
"No," Filch said with malice. "I've come to tell you to shove that turban up your arse!" He then proceeded to do just that, which had the unexpected side effect of Volotredi fleeing in terror.
The next few years passed quickly...
"All this Chamber needs is a good cleaning," Harry realized.
"Werewolf, shut up!" Filch screamed. "And get back to your detention!" The wolf whined piteously but complied.
"Harriet, will you go to the ball with me?" Random girl #1 asked Filch.
"Get in line," Filch oozed. "I have four nubile ladies already begging for a piece of me."
"Shut up, you cow!" Harry snarled at Umbridge. "Or I'll give you a whipping you won't soon forget! In fact, I'll do it anyhow." A very cowed Dolores left Hogwarts later that day.
"Well, finally we fight, face to face for the last time, Potter!" Volotredi screeched.
"That's what you think!" Filch laughed evilly and whipped off his glasses.
"What in the world? The squib caretaker? Then where's...?" Volotredi's eyes rolled back and the Dark Lady crumpled to the ground, a dagger in the back of her head.
"Behind you," an unshaven Harry chuckled. "And now for the best part: the cleanup!"
"I'll leave you to it," Filch said with a nod. "You've mastered everything I could teach you about care-taking."
Harry was touched and so very proud. "Thank you, sir. I won't let you down."
"I know you won't," grumbled Filch and replaced his glasses so he could pretend to be Harriet and find a few curious lesbians.
(Inspired by everyone who asked for a Mentor Filch - and shockingly, it was more than one)
OMAKE NUMBERS TWO: YOU EAT LIKE A BIRD
Harry sat down to enjoy a tasty banquet and eat like a healthy eleven year old. But for some reason, he was only able to eat slowly and very politely, like the way he would stereotypically think about a girl in his head. It began to get annoying, then Harry noticed how utterly rudely Ron was shoveling food into his rapacious gullet.
"Stop eating like that, Ron," Harry scolded. "You'll end up choking!"
"Mmf?" Ron asked cleverly. He swallowed. "What's wrong with the way I eat?"
"You eat like an animal," Hermione sniffed. "And I'm glad someone finally brought to your attention before you insulted someone important."
"Oh is that how it is," Ron asked, an odd glint in his eyes. "Then I suppose we shall see about that. Yes, we shall see about that indeed."
As the days went by, Ron would be seen eating very carefully at meals, less and less, until he had become a mere skeleton of his former self.
"Ron, you've taken this too far," Harry finally said, picking at his own food. "Eat something already."
"Oh, I will," Ron said, then began to laugh maniacally. "I'm just saving up my appetite for something special."
A little while later, Ron and Harry had met up with the troll when trying to rescue Hermione.
"You take Hermione and get out of here," the skeletal Ron grinned horribly. "Let me take care of this."
Harry was too creeped out to argue and dragged Hermione out of the bathroom.
A somewhat less emaciated Ron came to breakfast the next morning, carrying a giant bone with him.
"No!" Harry shouted. "You didn't... you couldn't possibly!"
Ron shrugged. "I was hungry."
"But it smelled awful," Harry protested quietly.
"Yeah, I know," Ron said with a sigh. "And I got an awful stomachache. I'm not doing that again - is it okay if I just eat like I used to from now on?"
Harry nodded frantically. "Yes! I mean - a troll! Gross!"
Ron grinned and began to pour platters of food into his mouth.
Hermione was shocked into near silence. "He didn't really eat that troll, did he? What happens if he stops eating again?"
Harry then smiled slightly. "You know, it's always good to have a secret weapon in reserve. Even if it is disgusting, Ron is a decent bloke. And his appetite just may come in handy someday."
(Inspired by those who wanted the curse to affect how Harry actually acted)
OMAKE NUMBERS THREE: THE JOYS OF REAL ESTATE
Harry and the gang walked down the hallway before class, idly chatting about a number of things.
Neville took a deep breath and seemed to be summoning some sort of strength. "Harriet, you know how I like Herbology?"
"Uh huh," replied Harry absently.
"Well there's something I like even more than that."
Harry's eyes narrowed and he felt suddenly worried. "What's that exactly?"
"Real estate, Harriet. Did you know that wizards have real estate?"
"I suppose I hadn't thought about it," Harry shrugged. "But I suppose they must."
"Oh, it's horribly more complicated than that," Neville said energetically. "It's all really quite fascinating."
"Is that so?" Harry said, mostly ignoring Neville.
"Harriet, can I teach you about real estate?" Neville asked hopefully.
"No you certainly may not," responded Harry with a very big smile. "I am not interested at all."
Neville's eyes glittered. "Oh, for some reason I think that might just change."
Harry had a very bad feeling about that.
Later on, Neville's lectures on real estate began to annoy everyone equally.
"So about the Stone," Harry started to say.
"Harriet, you clearly have no understanding about the subtle intricacies of wizarding real estate." Neville said reproachfully.
Hermione scowled. "Dang it, what's real estate got to do with anything, Neville?"
Neville smiled, pleased to answer this question. "Let me explain. You see, when wizards want to buy or sell a wizarding house, they must first . . ."
Parvati and Lavender groaned, and Ron took the opportunity to take a nap.
Neville rambled on and finally finished his explanation. "As the greatest wizarding real estate agent of all time said, it's all about Wizarding Location, Wizarding Location, Wizarding location!"
"Who was that, Neville?" Hermione couldn't help but ask, although she immediately regretted it.
"Her name was Sara Underhill."
"Sara Underhill?" asked Hermione. "Wait, no, she was listed as the greatest mediwitch of her generation. You must be thinking of Anne Prewett."
Neville scoffed. "Trust a girl to make that kind of foolish mistake.
"But, Neville," Ron piped in, immediately regretting it. He soldiered on nonetheless. "My great aunt, Anne was a wizarding real estate agent and she did come up with that phrase."
Neville scowled. "You don't know anything, Ron, so stop being so stupid."
This got everyone just a little bit more annoyed.
The group walked towards a giant chess set, and Neville started talking again.
"So as I was saying before the Devil's Snare, you gotta consider amortization rates." Neville chuckled. "Unless you're just an idiot."
Suddenly Ron screamed and punched Neville as hard as he could, dropping the pudgy boy to the ground, knocked completely senseless.
"Guys, I'm so sorry," Ron sighed. "But I couldn't take another Merlin-dunged minute of hearing about bloody real estate!"
"Language, Ron," Hermione scolded. "But still, I'm glad you did that, otherwise I'd have done it myself."
"Just leave him," Harry said. "I'm sure he'll dream wondrous dreams of probates and brokerages." He paled. "Oh blast, now I'm doing it too! Hermione, slap me!"
Hermione was happy to oblige.
Harry shook his head to clear it. "Okay, that's better. Now let's get that stone!"
(inspired by a very special real estate agent)
OMAKE NUMBERS FOUR: THAT OLD ERISED MIRROR
Harry stared in the Mirror of Erised, seeing a girl reflection next to his normal male one. He waved, and both boy and girl waved back. Harry then performed a complicated little dance, and the two reflections matched it perfectly.
"Hmm," Harry mused. "This gives me an idea."
Parvati yawned as she woke up and went to wash up. But she stopped short at a very odd sight.
Harry was fixing his hair in front of a giant mirror.
"Um, Harriet, where did that huge mirror come from?"
"Eh? Oh good morning, Parvati," Harry said pleasantly. "It's some mirror that shows my girl reflection, not that I expect you understand that bit. But now I can finally see what you guys do so I can finally fix my stupid hairstyle!"
"Huh?" Parvati replied in utter confusion.
"Feel free to join in," Harry motioned her over. "I had a bit of time lugging this thing up the stairs - dropped it several times, mind you. But it apparently doesn't break easily, and it's fairly light, so here we are! It's big enough for everyone to use!"
Parvati walked over cautiously and gasped.
"What is it?" Harry asked, a toothbrush in his mouth.
"I see myself all grown up and wondrously beautiful," Parvati enthused. "And I'm kissing this handsome man with messy dark hair and glasses."
"Really?" Harry asked in intrigue. He looked back at the mirror, then back at Parvati and grinned. "How interesting."
What would end up being even odder is that Lavender and Hermione would see the same thing, although Hermione's included having a stylish pair of glasses herself and Lavender's reflection had a very low cut blouse. But Harry decided to note all of it in a journal he had just decided to start using. You could never be too careful for the future, after all.
(Inspired by the idea that the Mirror was the only way Harry could see what other people saw)
OMAKE NUMBERS FIVE: A NAME FOR HARRIET
"Hmm, so I can't call you your actual chosen name," Dumbledore mused and paced a bit around the room. "Perhaps a different name, closer to your own but female so my mind will allow me to say it aloud?"
"I guess that might be okay," Harry allowed.
"How about Hera?" Dumbledore asked. "Queen of the Greek gods."
"No, that sounds too girly," Harry explained.
"Then maybe if I mixed Hera with Aria, the name of a Greek nymph - to make Hera-Aria."
Harry scowled. "Well that just sounds awful."
"Absolutely not!" Harry crossed his arms.
Dumbledore considered his options. "How about... H'Eyrie?"
"Are you even trying anymore?" Harry asked plaintively.
"Not that much," Dumbledore admitted. "But wait - how about Hermelinda?"
"Stop teasing me!" Harry yelled. "That's not even a real name!"
"Oh, but it is," the Headmaster assured his student. "But I see your point - why not a nonsense one? Perhaps the wondrously invented name of Harry-ina?"
Harry's eye twitched and he began to get a bit of a headache. "Sir, you know what? Just call me Not-Harriet."
Dumbledore frowned. "My dear, now you are just being silly."
(Inspired by my own troubles with coming up with a good name to call Harry)