Chapter 1: Stranger
Stranger Than Fanfiction
Summary: With Dumbledore ignoring him, Snape and Umbridge tormenting him and unwanted visions from Voldemort, Harry turns to the Room of Requirement for help.
Warnings: Swearing and lots of plot spoilers.
Disclaimer: The character and situations you recognise, as well as most you don't are the property of J.K. Rowling and anyone she's assigned her rights to. This is a work of fanfiction, and I have no intention of making any profit from this story.
Author's Note: This is a plot bunny that attacked me while I'd been waiting for my Thoughts of Pudding muse to return from sabbatical, or wherever it ran off to. Not sure how long this will end up, but at least I do know how it's going to end. I guess it will depend on how much fun I have getting there, but I doubt it will end up rambling along like ToP. Incidentally, since I don't like author's notes cluttering up a story, you won't see another one until the end of the last chapter, so check my profile/bio or Yahoo group for any updates/info. Cheers, Brian. PS. This chapter has been edited since I originally posted it.
Chapter 1: Stranger
Harry thought carefully of exactly what he wanted as he paced back and forth three times in front of the empty wall opposite the portrait of Barnabus the Barmy.
Coming to a halt, he slowly opened his eyes – it was just a long blink, really – and let out the breath he'd been holding at sight of the ordinary looking wooden door now in front of him. Sighing in relief, he grasped the handle and entered the Room of Requirement.
He'd barely entered the room when he came to a complete stop in confusion. The room looked like a typical bedroom, with a bed close to one of the far walls with a small chest of drawers alongside it. A stack of dusty novels and a digital alarm clock sat on top of it, along with a wallet, keys and what looked like some pocket change.
Looking around further, he saw a couple of sliding doors that was evidently a built in wardrobe, and a fair sized desk with a computer. The desk chair obviously served double duty as a laundry basket, as a pair of jeans and a polo shirt were thrown over one of the arms.
As Harry examined the room, he was startled by the sudden sound of a cheerful conversation coming from the alarm clock. 'I thought electrical items didn't work around magic?' Harry wondered, as he finally noticed the display on the clock was announcing the time as 6.30. 'Huh? But it's 8pm!'
The sound of a groan and a hand smacking the top of the alarm clock to silence the inane babbling of the radio announcers brought Harry's attention back to the bed. He stared at the mound hidden under a quilt and wondered whether the bed had been occupied the first time he'd glanced around the room.
Harry simply stared at the bed, trying to puzzle out why the room had seen fit to recreate an unrecognisable bedroom, and wondering who was in the bed. He was still puzzling when the alarm started filling the room with chirpy sounding voices again.
"Shut the fuck up!" came an annoyed and oddly accented male voice from the bed, as an arm came swinging around to unerringly strike the alarm clock and silence the radio again.
"I don't know why I keep the alarm tuned to that shit," the voice muttered, and Harry watched as the arm started scratching at the man's head, before the covers were moved back and he slid his legs down to sit on the side of his bed, head in his hands.
Harry was surprised to see that the guy didn't bother wearing more than a pair of shorts to bed. 'Ok, so he's not worried about cold nights, and his clock is set over 10 hours ahead of us… That probably means his accent is Australian then. How is a guy about my age from the other side of the planet supposed to help me?'
The hand reached over and did something to the alarm clock, before its owner stood up and groggily looked around, spotting Harry for the first time.
"Who the fuck are you and what the hell are you doing in my room?" the guy yelled, as his stance took on a more alert and aggressive pose.
Harry drew his wand and prepared to cast a body bind. He had no intention of ending up in the hospital wing if he could help it.
The guy's eyes widened at the sight of Harry's wand, and he looked at Harry again, taking in his entire appearance. Harry was wearing his Hogwarts robes and it wasn't as though everyone he'd met didn't recognise him, scar visible or not.
"Bloody hell! Daniel? What are you doing here? Did I win some competition I don't remember entering or something? Hey, hang on; shouldn't you have some minders with you? What the hell is going on?"
"Actually, my name's Harry Potter, not Daniel, and as for where you are, that's going to be a little hard for you to believe."
"Harry Potter. Yeah, sure you are. No, really – joke's over! Who put you up to this?"
"It sounds like you've heard of me, so why is it so hard to believe I'm me?" Harry asked, a little indignantly. He didn't like his fame, but at the same time, he wasn't sure how he felt about having to prove who he was either.
"You mean besides the fact that you're a fictional character?" came the sarcastic reply.
"Fictional? I wouldn't believe the rubbish they wrote about me in all those 'Boy-Who-Lived' stories, but I'm hardly fictional," Harry replied indignantly.
"Listen, I love Jo's stories, alright... well, the first five anyway, since I think fan fiction did a better job of finishing the tale off, but if you think they're real, then you've taken the obsession a bit too far, mate. I'll ask you again, who put you up to this?"
Harry stared confused by the guy's utter disbelief in him, and feeling a little disturbed that this probably meant that somewhere deep inside him he apparently did want to be Harry Potter, The Boy Who Lived. Why else would he feel an overwhelming desire to prove to this idiot that he was telling the truth?
"So I suppose you don't believe in magic either then?" he asked.
The guy just raised an eyebrow and shook his head slowly. His expression suggested that his patience at the supposed prank had worn thin.
"Wingardium Leviosa!" Harry incanted, levitating the top book from the pile next to the bed into the guy's hands.
The guy's knees buckled and he fell to the floor, staring dumbly at the book, turning it over in his hands as though checking it for hidden wires. He looked up at Harry, shaking his head and muttering, "Not possible. I must still be asleep... can't be."
Harry started to get annoyed. There was a reason he'd come to the room in the first place, and he hadn't planned on breaking curfew just so he could spend all night trying to argue his existence with some creation of the Room. "What's so bloody hard to believe?" he demanded.
The guy looked up at the tone, and a frown appeared on his face. "You want to know why it's so hard? Here, see for yourself!" And with that he flicked the book towards Harry as though tossing a Frisbee.
Harry reacted to the sudden missile by casting a Protego, and the book bounced off the shield onto the floor. Harry looked down at the book, and saw his name in bold blue letters on a red background. 'HARRY POTTER and the Goblet of Fire'. There was a picture of a boy on a broomstick which he supposed was himself, dodging a fire breathing dragon which bore little resemblance to the Horntail he'd faced in the first task. He snorted at the image as he imagined even Malfoy armed with a rolled up newspaper should be able to sort out this dragon. Then again, maybe not – it was Malfoy after all.
Harry picked up the book and couldn't help but look through it. His eyes widened as he read the chapter titles, and he forgot to breathe after he'd opened the book at random and started reading events he'd lived through not much more than a year and a half ago. He started turning pages furiously before the book was plucked out of his hands.
He looked up at the suddenly worried face of the guy who'd snatched the book, and had then stepped back a bit to look at Harry. "What's the date?" he asked Harry.
"It's the 28th" Harry replied. Then, correctly interpreting the look he was getting, continued "March… 1996."
The guy didn't answer, but he did relax his firm grip on the book and he tossed it onto his bed. He walked over to his chair and grabbed his clothes, before walking back over to sit on his bed. "Take a seat," he said, indicating the chair, then pulled on the shirt and jeans as Harry sat down.
"Why'd you take the book back?" Harry asked.
The guy ignored the question as he sat thinking for a minute. Eventually he came to a decision. "Alright, fuck it! I'm going to chuck logic out the window and just go with this. If nothing else, it's going to make a good little story when I wake up. Now, if it's 1996 for you, then I'm guessing you aren't on any trip to Oz looking for Hermione's parents, are you?"
Harry shook his head, confused. 'Why would I be looking for Hermione's parents in Australia?
The guy ignored him since he'd already started muttering to himself after asking the question. "No, my room didn't even look like this back in '96. It can't be a time turner since they only go backwards." He looked over at Harry. "You didn't use some weird-arse time turner did you?"
Harry shook his head again.
"Nah, didn't think so, but had to check. Ok, so that's out. Alright, so if this was some kind of summoning ritual, why would I have woken up in my room instead of in some– Oh wait! This isn't really my room is it? Shit! I'm in the Room of Requirement aren't I?"
At Harry's nod the guy just started cursing softly, before something occurred to him and he gave a small chuckle. "Well, I suppose I know how Moriarty felt now."
The guy shrugged, "I was just reminded of a Next Gen episode I watched, where Data accidentally created a real character in the holodeck out of one of his Sherlock Holmes stories. Anyway, never mind that – what am I doing here?"
Harry shrugged. "I don't know. I wanted the room to help me get some answers, but I've got no idea why it created you, or your room for that matter."
The guy just looked at him for a minute as though Harry were something he'd need to scrape off his shoe, and then he sighed. "You know, mate, the first bit of advice I'm going to give you for free is to engage your fuckin' brain before you open your bloody mouth again. Now, do you want to think about the second part of your answer again, or am I going to have to draw you a fuckin' picture?" The guy returned the glare Harry started sending him.
"What? You don't like being insulted? Then stop talking shit, and I'll save the abuse for that useless ranga that hangs around you."
Harry was getting more than a little angry, but if he was honest with himself it was mostly self-directed for 'talking shit' just as the guy said. The other half was mostly frustration since he couldn't understand half of what he was talking about.
"Alright, yeah, I got it. The Room figured you'd be able to provide the answers I'm looking for. But can I get them in English please? Half the stuff you say might as well be in Welsh, and the other half is just swearing."
The guy thought about that for a moment before responding. "Yeah, that's fair enough I s'pose. Okay, so do you want to clue me in on what answers you're looking for?"
Harry let out a sigh. Could it be this easy? "I'm not sure I even know where to start. I keep having these visions of a corridor, and I don't know what that's about – I'm assuming it's connected to Voldemort somehow, but I can't ask Dumbledore about it since he won't even look at me. I'm supposed to be learning Occlumency from Snape to stop these visions, but it seems every time I have a lesson things just get– WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU SMILING AT? DO YOU THINK I–"
"Wait, Harry, I'm sorry. It's just; everything has started to catch up to me. Look, to you, I'm just something the Room of Requirement created for you, right? Well, from my perspective, I've lived some 16 years, and can remember all of it. I didn't just spring into existence when you walked in my room – not from where I'm sitting anyway.
"To me, Harry Potter is a more famous name in my world than in yours, but it's famous as a series of seven books – one for each Hogwarts year since you started. In fact, book one is called 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone', except in America where they called it the Sorcerer's Stone. You've already seen book four; Goblet of Fire. Can you see what I'm saying? It would be like you talking to the TV and having it talk back to you."
Harry blinked and tried to understand the other guy's perspective, and wondered how he'd cope if he ran into Doctor Who. Then something the guy had said struck him. "Did… did you say seven books? One for each year?"
The other guy nodded almost imperceptibly.
"And you've read them all?" Harry asked softly. He wasn't sure he had enough breath in his body to talk any louder.
"Yeah, Harry, I have."
Harry whooped in excitement. "Then you know what happens! What I need to do to…" he broke off at the look on the guy's face, and guessed the reason. "So, I die then? Well, I'm not really surprised I guess with Voldemort back," he said, feeling suddenly empty after the exhilaration of a few seconds earlier.
"Hey, you don't die – and before you ask, yeah, Voldemort does. But, there are plenty of casualties, and frankly I hated the last book. Didn't think much of book 6 either, come to think of it. Still, on the positive side, you do get a happy ending, sorta. Not the one I wanted for you though. Hey, cheer up! I know who you end up marrying, and the names of your kids!"
"I… Who…? But what…? I… stop, just stop. It's too much to handle-"
"Yeah, I guess it is, but, Harry, d'you wanna hear some good news?"
Harry nodded, though absolutely sure he wasn't in any condition to be able to react to it now. The recent revelations had floored him. Who had died? He'd got married?
"Well, there may have been seven original books written, but there are also hundreds of thousands of other stories written by fans, and I've read several hundred of those as well. A lot of those make quite a few assumptions about your magical abilities, and what resources you've got, but there are plenty that have much happier endings than what Jo came up with. So the skies the limit! You tell me what and who you want, and I can probably tell you how to get there."
Harry just stared at him, trying to work out what he wanted to ask about first. His thoughts were whirling and he couldn't get them to settle on anything. As soon as he thought of one thing, that triggered three other ideas, which triggered more.
"Listen, Harry, I can see you need some time to really think this through, but there is something you need to know about before you leave here. According to the original book, Umbridge is going to catch you sometime next month. It could even be next week, but it is sometime in April. You'll be leading the DA through the Patronus charm, and Dobby will come in trying to warn you as best he can. But although most of the DA will get away, you'll be caught. That leads to some nastiness and Umbridge will take over Hogwarts."
"WHAT? How does she find out?"
"Someone in the DA betrays you. Look, you may want to give some thought to how much you want to change things around. I'm not saying you shouldn't, but you need to realise that the more things change, the less likely the future is going to run the way the books I've read have. Maybe you should get some advice from that bushy-haired friend of yours? How come you're wandering around without her anyway?"
"I just needed to get away and do some thinking."
The guy nodded. "Fair enough, so where's Hermione?"
"She's studying, or at least she was an hour ago. Runes I think. Why?"
"I think she stopped studying and decided to go looking for you." The guy replied.
"How would you know that? Did you read it somewhere?"
The guy grinned. "Nope!" And then he looked pointedly past Harry's right shoulder.
Harry turned around to see Hermione looking at him with some disapproval.
"I thought it would be too much to expect that you'd actually be in the library studying for a change. What are you doing in here anyway? Oh, don't bother making excuses. I wondered how long it would be before you realised that you could turn the Room into anything you wanted and started creating whatever you imagined.
"Well you don't have time to get addicted to this, as you've got your OWLs to study for, and don't forget Occlumency and the DA! Who is your smirking friend over there, Harry? Don't you think you should introduce us?"
"Uh, not really, no," Harry replied.
The guy laughed. "Oh, this is gold! How did you get all that out without drawing a breath? Or have you learnt the trick of circular breathing? I can probably get you a didgeridoo if you have, though generally speaking, sheilas aren't supposed to play them."
Hermione gaped as she tried to process all of the unfamiliar words, before turning back to Harry. "Who is he?"
The guy laughed, then looked over at Harry with an evil grin, "Yeah, Harry, who am I?"
"Bugger off!" Harry retorted, realising that he'd neglected to even ask the guy his name. Hermione was going to be on his back for days about his manners over this.
Hermione gave Harry a displeased look, and then turned to the guy and stepped forward with her hand out. "Pleased to meet you, I'm Hermione Granger, and you are?"
The guy took her hand, but instead of shaking it he gave it a kiss as he inclined his head in a bow. "Charmed, I'm sure. You can call me Bruce."
The guy gave her a warm smile before looking over at Harry and the expression he expected to see on his face. Bingo! "Problem, Harry?"
"No," Harry replied shortly.
"Cool. Okay, since Harry's got my chair so why don't you sit on the bed with me here?" the guy suggested to Hermione.
"No problem, you can have your chair back!" Harry said, immediately standing up and moving over to Hermione's other side.
Harry's gesture waving the guy over towards the chair wasn't subtle, and the guy couldn't help but smirk at how easy it was to manipulate him. No wonder Malfoy did it so often. Besides, he considered himself a fairly loyal Harmonian, so he wasn't about to let the little ginger get her claws into him if he had any say in it. Harry Potter deserved better than a fangirl.
In the meantime Hermione had noticed the book on the bed as she went to sit down, then gasped as she looked at the cover. "What is this?" she asked, looking back and forth between the two boys. Harry tried to take it out of her hands, but she had a firm grip on it. Harry gave up as he realised he'd have more luck taking her wand out of her hands than a book.
"Harry, I thought you hated your fame? Why would you imagine having books about yourself?" Hermione asked, looking at him while disappointment dripped from her tone and expression. She turned to the guy "And I thought you said your name was Bruce? Or is J.K. just a pseudonym?"
"Geeze, you're quick with the guesses, Hermione. No wonder you're considered the smartest witch of your generation. Firstly, I didn't say my name was Bruce, just that you could call me that. Secondly, I'm not the author – the J.K. stands for Joanne Kathleen, and that is her real name not a pseudonym, well, as far as I know anyway. And thirdly, Harry only learned about the books about quarter of an hour ago, and he was just as surprised with the existence of them as you are."
"Well then, where–"
"Hang on a tic, Hermione. Let me bring you up to speed so that you're on the same page with Harry." The guy said, and then explained everything that had occurred since he'd woken up this morning... or was it evening?
After finishing his short summary, the guy looked over to the drawn curtains, and found himself almost compelled to walk over and draw them. As he did, sunlight streamed in through the window and he looked out over his back garden. So, it was morning after all, wasn't it? He toyed with the idea of opening the window and jumping out to see just how far the magic extended.
What if the door to the Room of Requirement was more like a portal to his real room, and they were sitting in his bedroom in Adelaide in 2012? If he jumped out the window now and ran down to the local deli, would he find a newspaper from March 1996 or March 2012?
He opened the window and took in the scents from the garden along with the fresh air. 'What does this mean? Does it prove that I'm where I expect to be, and those two appearing just mean I'm going nuts? Harry's spell proved that this isn't some hoax, didn't it? And seriously, if I was going to imagine Hermione, wouldn't I have pictured Emma after watching the movies so often?'
That last thought was a definite point to consider in his opinion. The real Hermione was a pretty enough girl, but she didn't hold a candle to the actress that played her. So if it was his imagination that created them, he'd definitely have used the cast, not the real people. He barely even recalled the canon descriptions of them. Hang on, did he just think of them as real people?
'So if they are the 'real' people, then what does that mean for me? That I really am just a creation of a magical holodeck?' The guy started feeling dizzy and leaned against the window ledge until the feeling passed.
"Je pense donc je suis" he muttered as he walked back to his chair. Hadn't he thought this was going to be a lot of fun a few minutes ago?
"I wouldn't have guessed you'd read Descartes, Bruce," Hermione said, and he noticed she sounded sympathetic. 'Trust her to have worked out what I was thinking.'
"Hmm? Oh, I haven't really. I Googled 'Cogito Ergo Sum' a while back and liked the French version better."
"Googled?" She asked.
"It's an internet search engine. It doesn't exist yet in your time, but everyone uses it now in mine to find things out. You just type in the words, and the answers pop up a second later."
"Okay..." Hermione said hesitantly, trying to imagine what it would be like to have instant access to knowledge like that. Suddenly it seemed that 2012 couldn't arrive soon enough.
Harry looked between the other two occupants of the room. Both seemed lost in their thoughts, so he cleared his throat to get their attention. "Sorry, but we were talking about Umbridge discovering the DA earlier, and I'd like to know more about what happens."
The guy nodded, "yeah, alright. Let's get back to why I'm here then. How much do you want to know? I mean, do you want to be nudged along a better path without knowing what's coming up, or should I just tell you what is going to happen? Do you want details or just outlines of things to come?"
Harry and Hermione looked at each other for a second before Harry replied. "I'm not too keen on the idea of being nudged along; I'd rather be told what's going to happen. I guess the more details you can provide the better. It's a pity we can't read the books our… selves…"
Harry stopped and his head whipped around to the pile of books by the bed. They were out of reach from where he was sitting, but he simply stared at them and couldn't make himself move closer and pick them up.
Hermione stood up from his other side and picked up the stack of books, bringing them back to the bed and placing them on her lap as she sat down again. She looked through the collection, keeping up a running commentary as she did.
"Ender's Game, Starship Troopers, The White Dragon, ahhh, here's one; Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix!" She handed the book to Harry, while the others were discarded behind her on the bed as she checked each title.
"Hmm, Master of the Five Magics?" She looked at the back of the book and scanned the synopsis before holding it up. "Is this of any use to us?" she asked the guy.
"Nope, but it's a good read," he replied.
"What about Castle of Wizardry?" she asked, holding up another book.
He shook his head. "Nope, if they don't have Harry Potter in the title, then they aren't relevant."
She nodded and went back to her sorting. There weren't many more books to sort through.
"I thought you said there were seven books?" she asked, confused at only finding the one book, other than the Goblet of Fire that she'd seen earlier.
"There are, but I didn't say I had them all in my room, or that they are all printed."
"What do you mean by that?" Hermione asked.
The guy just nodded his head towards his computer, and Hermione's eyes were suddenly glued to it.
"But… electrical devices don't work in Hogwarts! It says so in–"
"Hogwarts: A History!" The guy interrupted, before punching the air in triumph. "Sweet! That's one down!"
Hermione looked a little annoyed with him but the guy noticed Harry seemed to be having trouble hiding his grin.
"Hermione, have you noticed anything unusual about my clock?" the guy asked her.
She looked at it and let out an exasperated groan "Oh, how did I miss that?" Then her head flicked back to the computer. "Do you think it's safe to turn it on? I mean, the clock is one thing, but how do you think the magic will affect your hard drive and RAM?"
The guy shrugged. "I have no idea, and to be honest, I'd rather not risk wiping my drive if I can help it. My own memory is pretty good, so why don't we see how far we can get with that before worrying about what's on my PC?
Hermione nodded reluctantly. "So which book is that one then?" indicating the book in Harry's hands.
"That one is all about your current year, from the time Harry and Dudley were attacked by dementors until…" the guy paused as something occurred to him.
"You know, Harry, I think you should give it back to Hermione while we have a chat. You aren't ready for what's in there yet. Trust me on that, okay?"
Harry hesitated while he considered the request. Wasn't this a choice he should be making for himself? While he pondered that, Hermione took the choice, along with the book, out of his hands and then tucked it under her thigh and well out of his reach.
She ignored Harry's annoyed look and turned to the guy. "So, Harry said he wanted to know what was going to happen, how about you fill us in generally how things turn out, and then we can talk about details afterwards. Do we all agree?"
Harry looked up from Hermione's raised thigh, and saw both of them looking at him, so he nodded his agreement. He watched the guy nod absently to himself before he started talking.
"Ok, here's a brief outline of what happens next, as near as I can recall. During one of the April DA meetings, Umbridge catches you and takes you to Dumbledore's office. She uses the signup sheet as evidence that Dumbledore is creating an army to oppose Fudge, and the idiot thinks all his Christmases have come at once, since he can now get rid of both of you.
"Dumbledore escapes with Fawkes before he's arrested, and Fudge puts the toad in charge of Hogwarts. Things get pretty tense and eventually the Weasley twins decide to leave Hogwarts with a bang to start up their shop. The Occlumency lessons never improve, and you eventually see a memory that Snape put in the Pensieve and that's the end of your lessons with him."
"What did I see?" Harry asked.
"Let's try and save the questions for later, or we'll never get through this. Okay, during your History of Magic OWL, you get a vision of Voldemort torturing Sirius, though Hermione tries to convince you that it's likely a trap – and she's right. Anyway, you try to use the floo in Umbridge's office to… well, never mind the details, long story short; you, Hermione, Neville, Ginny, Ron and Luna end up fighting a dozen Death Eaters in the Department of Mysteries over a prophecy about you and Voldemort.
He paused at the shocked looks from Harry and Hermione, and he raised a hand in reassurance. "Fortunately, none of you end up with any permanent injuries thanks to some members of the Order of the Phoenix showing up to help out. Unfortunately, S– one of the members is killed by Bellatrix, and you chase after her. Voldie shows up and he and Dumbledore battle it out, before he tries to possess you. It doesn't work, and he takes off with Bellatrix, leaving the rest of his DE's to be captured.
"After that, Dumbledore portkeys you back to his office in Hogwarts and you have a conversation that you don't like, and that includes learning the prophecy. Over the next few days, Umbridge is kicked out of Hogwarts, and Dumbledore gets all the positions back that he'd lost. Since Fudge and others saw Voldie at the Ministry, there is no denying his return and the Prophet runs a story about how you were right all along. Everyone gets healed up before the end of term, and that's pretty much it for book 5 really."
The guy looked over at Harry and saw tears in his eyes. "It was Sirius, wasn't it? That's the name you were going to say. He died at the Ministry because of me, didn't he?"
"Oh, Harry," Hermione said, moving closer and hugging him tightly.
"Yeah, you're right, Harry. But it's not going to happen that way now, is it?" the guy reminded him.
"Fuck no!" Harry said venomously. "I'll kill that bitch first!"
"Harry! Language!" Hermione said, pulling back from him, shocked at what he'd just said.
"Err, that would be my fault, Hermione," the guy said apologetically." I wasn't exactly minding my P's and Q's before you arrived, and I reckon I've been a bad influence on him."
Hermione frowned but didn't comment on it any further, instead she went back to the original topic. "So what happens in the next book?"
"Well, cutting to the chase, I'd say not a whole helluva lot. Dumbledore's idea of training Harry to face Voldie is to waste most of the year showing him memories of Tom Riddle's life, and telling him about Horcruxes, which is the reason Voldre hasn't moved on to his next great adventure. For some reason, Hermione, you spend most of the year ragging on Harry and getting upset when the ranga starts snogging Lavender."
"Who? What do you mean by ranga? Are you talking about Ron?" Hermione asked.
The guy shrugged, "Yeah, him. And ranga's just a nickname for a ginger. You know, short for orang-utan."
"Well, it sounds insulting. Is that really necessary?" She asked.
"Depends on context really. Most of the people I hang around with wouldn't think twice about casual insults. Besides, the reason you thought it sounded insulting was because that was how I intended it. Can we move on now?"
At her curt nod, he continued. "So apart from that, the only other bit of excitement really is that you work out that Draco's taken the dark mark, and he's spent most of the year in a plot to kill Dumbledore. In a way he succeeds, since he manages to bring a bunch of Death Eaters inside Hogwarts."
He turned to look at Hermione directly. "You really should have believed Harry you know. He spent most of the year trying to convince you something was up with Malfoy, but you seemed to think he was just being paranoid."
"Uh, you said that his plot succeeds. So… does that mean he kills Professor Dumbledore?" Harry said, interrupting before Hermione could respond.
"Nah, turns out he doesn't have the cajones for it, so Snape AK's Dumbledore instead. There's a story around that though, and strange as it sounds it turns out that he really is on the side of the light like Dumbledore always insisted. Anyway, Snape, Malfoy and the DE's escape, there's a funeral for Dumbledore and Fawkes disappears. Harry decides he's not going back to school for seventh year as he needs to hunt for the Horcruxes so that Voldie can be killed, and you and Ron decide to go with him. That's pretty much it for the sixth book."
He looked over at the two students with glazed looks, staring at him from where they both sat on his bed, "Right, so any questions?"
Eventually a question occurred to Harry. "Can you tell me the Prophecy?" he asked. He'd overlooked it when the topic came up earlier, as he was preoccupied about Sirius.
"You want the highlights or the actual thing? Oh never mind. It starts off like this; 'The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches… born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies…'
"That's the part that was overheard by a Death Eater when it was made before you were born, and he then reported it to his Dark Lord. That's the reason why Voldie went after you and your parents, though as far as he knew, Neville Longbottom was also eligible to be the one referred to at this point. Still, for whatever reason, Voldie went after you first. Dumbledore thought it was because Voldie believed a half-blood like himself was more likely to be the bigger danger.
"Anyway, the prophecy continues with; 'and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not… and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives … the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies …'
"So there you go; that's the Prophecy from Jo's fifth book, The Order of the Phoenix. You ready to hear about the last book now?"