- A rift
Molly and Arthur Weasley sat down beside each other, across from Harry at the dining table.
Mrs. Weasley started: “Harry, I know you are a nice young man. But Arthur was right, I shouldn’t have trusted you with staying in contact with our daughter after hearing you being a Slytherin. I dismissed it, because you seemed very nice in your letters and you are a Potter after all, but Arthur told me so many stories about … your kind, I am scared for our daughter, I am sure you understand that.”
Taken aback with the bluntness of her words, Harry’s facial expression hardened. “No, I cannot understand that. How you can judge a person simply by hearing in what house he is, is beyond me.”
Arthur took in a sharp breath and said: “Now, don’t you dare to take that tone with my wife! That’s exactly the reason why I can’t trust a Slytherin. I bet you also tried to blame the muggles by saying they abused you! I grew immediately suspicious when Daniel Potter,” he said the name with might and enthusiasm, “did not agree with what you said!”
Harry shock his head, he couldn’t believe how such seemingly gentle people could turn on him for such a petty thing like house allegiance.
Wondering how he could calm them down and persuade them to give him a chance, he remembered how Draco Malfoy manages to constantly talk his way out of trouble.
While he did not respect the Malfoy heir, Harry had to admit that the boy possessed a silver tongue.
“Trying won’t hurt I guess” He thought and tried to smooth talk the Weasleys, he told them about how glad he was to be able to write to Ginny, how she is his best friend and how unlike his housemates he was. He went on about Mrs. Weasleys cooking skills and how important Arthurs work was. He switched between carefully placating the Weasleys and describing himself as an outsider of the normal Slytherin circles.
Mrs Weasleys expression seemed to soften but Mr. Weasley suddenly yelled: “See Molly, I told you he is a lying Slytherin, trying to get us to believe him with sweet words! Out, I don’t want to see you ever again and keep away from my daughter, OUT!”
Mrs. Weasley looked shocked but then screamed: “Yes dear you were right, he really is a deceiving Slytherin, go away!”
Unable to restart the conversation as he was always cut off, Harry walked out of the room to grab his stuff. On his way upstairs he bumped into Ginny. “I can’t believe my father said those nasty things! I am so sorry.”
“You listened? Mhm, should have expected that. I really thought your parents are more reasonable, I mean they are so nice and loving.”
“They are incredibly loving, but my father hates Slytherins with an unmatched passion and mum stops acting reasonable as soon as she thinks one of us is threatened.”
“Yeah, the scary Slytherin comes to steal their daughter!” Harry sad while rolling his eyes.
Ginny giggled: “Anyway, I guess I will have to write our letters in secret now.”
Harry’s eyes widened in surprise.
“Oh come one, don’t make such a face. Did you really think I would stop writing you just because my parents say so? If anything, it makes it much more fun!”
Harry chuckled: “I am so happy I met you. I will write you a letter tonight as soon as I figured out where I will stay.”
“Oh, you are not going back to Hogwarts?”
“No, I guess I will explore Diagon Alley a bit more. I heard people talk about the Knights Bus, how do you call it?”
“Just wave your wand, don’t worry it doesn’t count as magic, you won’t get into trouble for that.”
“Alright, thanks. I will leave my school books and notes with you. So you can still learn a bit even if I am not here.”
“Thanks Harry, but won’t you need your notes for the exams?”
“I guess, just send them back to me when you are done, still plenty of time until I have to write them.”
“And your books?”
“I’ll buy new ones.”
“What? No Harry, I can’t accept that.”
“Too bad, I am leaving without them.” He grabbed his trunk laughing and went towards the door.”
“I’ll see you next year then, right?” Ginny asked with a sad smile.
“If you go to Diagon Alley during the summer let me know, I will be there!”
“Mhm, if you stay at the Leaky Cauldron I might be able to visit you a couple of times during summer break and Christmas Holidays. I will let you know if I can sneak off.”
“Sounds great! See you then. Bye”
With that, Harry made his way out. He walked towards the tiny village, reaching a road he pulled out his wand and waved it around a bit. “I just hope nobody is looking, I look stupid.”
His thoughts were interrupted by a loud bang, as a double decker bus appeared right in front of him. He stepped into it warily and was greeted by a cheerful voice: “Ey lad, come in. Where do you wanna go?”
“Eh, Diagon Alley, please. How much is that?”
“45 sickles and 6 knuts, lad.”
Harry handed over the money and made his way towards one of the seats, he sat down just in time to not be violently thrown through the bus by what would be the most reckless driving Harry had ever witnessed.
The bus was empty except for one older women, who looked not to be bothered by the shaking and sharp turns in the slightest.
He arrived at the leaky cauldron with shaky legs and a revolting stomach. “I definitely prefer flying,” he mused.
Harry greeted the toothless bartender who was cleaning a mug with a dirty rag. He wasn`t sure if he should point out the uselessness of it.
“I’d like to rent a room for two weeks, please.”
The bartender, Harry remembered him being called Tom, gave him his trademark smile and charged 7 galleons.
Harry went up to his room, placed all his belongings and wrote a short note to Ginny.
< em>Hope you are alright, I am at the Leaky Cauldron, room number 7. Send Hedwig along if you know when you can sneak away, I think she can find me in Diagon Alley.
He gave the note to Hedwig and said: “Make sure nobody but Ginny sees you when delivering this.” She nibbled on his fingers before giving a hoot and flying out of the window.
Harry sighed, “Spending Christmas with a loving family would have been too much to ask for I guess. I just can`t believe how fast Mr. and Mrs. Weasley turned on me, one moment they were the nicest people I have ever met and a second later they call me evil incarnate.”
Harry put his head in his hands, he clinched his teeth as he remembered: “Of course, I told them the truth about my abusive relatives, but Daniels pride won’t let him admit it, and I look like an attention seeker who tries to blame muggles. “ Getting more agitated at the second he balled his hands into fists.
“They are exactly as ignorant as muggles. As soon as something goes against their believes, they look away and shun it. I would have thought people who deal with fantastical occurrences on a daily basis are more open minded. I hate the stupidity of mankind, no matter where you come from or who you are. Wizard or muggle, they all hate to be wrong, can’t admit their mistakes and choose to see the convenient lie over the truth.”
His ranting was only interrupted by his rambling belly.
He went down and ordered some sandwiches. Back in his room, he wasn’t in the mood to go out, so he wanted to start with his homework. Remembering having left most of his school books with Ginny a big sigh left his mouth. Trying to not act like a brat who whines about the unfairness of the world, he thought about how he could spend his time.
Remembering the book “The arts of the mind” Professor Snape had given him, he began reading.
Soon he was engrossed with his own thoughts and calmed down considerably due to trying the mental exercises descripted.
The hours flew by until Harry`s concentration was broken by Hedwig nibbling on his ear.
“Wow, there you are already! You are amazing.”
She looked very pleased with herself at hearing the praise.
< em>I don’t think I can visit you today, but the boys will go out tomorrow and I`ll tell mum I would visit Luna Lovegood, a good friend of mine.
I will meet you at the cauldron at about 10 am.
See you tomorrow,
Feeling delighted by her message, he decided to go down to Diagon Alley. “Maybe I find a nice spot for us to hangout, Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour sounds like a good spot. I wonder what her favourite flavour is.”
Passing Flourish and Blotts, he decided to buy all of the books he left with Ginny.
Entering, he was greeted friendly by a middle aged shop assistant. “Hello, I’d like to purchase all of the first year Hogwarts books, please.”
She raised an eyebrow and asked: “A little late, don’t you think?”
“I lost all of them in an accident, really an unpleasant situation.” Years of lying and blaming his brother for his own wrong doings payed off well, as the woman gave an sympathetic sight and said: “Very well, I guess I can give you a discount. You are already punished enough for having to come her on your holidays, no need for me to put Glyccis eggs into the wound, right?”
Harry grinned and said: “Thank you so much, I have to pay the books with my pocket money.”
She gave him two bags with books and asked for a much lower price than Harry had paid last time.
Feeling good about himself, he decided to go to Gringotts, seeing how much money he had. After all, it had to be enough for 7 years. “Not like my brother would need the money, I bet half the wizarding world would jump at the chance to pay for him.”
Entering Gringotts he asked for the Potter vault assistant. After some minutes a stern and annoyed looking Goblin called him over to an empty room.
“Hello Mr. Potter, pleased to meet you. How may I help you?” His voice was void of any emotions.
“Hello Mr. eh what is your name?”
“Hello Mr. Gromdrak, I would like to know how much money I have in my and my brother’s vault.”
Gromdrak stood up and walked over to a stone wall, he tapped various stones with his boney fingers until one stone vanished and he retrieve a piece of parchment which lay behind it.
“The contents of your trust vault are 80 galleons, these will be replenished to 100 galleons every year from your family vault.”
Thinking for a second Harry asked: “How much money do I have in the family vault?”
“I am sorry” Harry did not believe for a second that he was. “You have no access to the Potter family vault until you are legally an adult. Neither does your brother, as he was the first born and will therefore be the first to reach adulthood, he will become head of house and will have control over the vault.”
Harry got angry but remembering his occlumency book he had read just before he did his best to calm down. “I have to keep a cool head, to make the most out of this mess, what did the book say again? A right, ‘A calm mind is the key to greatness’” he thought.
“Will the trust vault be refilled on the first of January?”
“Then I would like to get the remaining 80 galleons right now, will anybody know that I took the money?”
“Not until someone took the position as head of house Potter.”
“Very good, can we go down now?
Af ter getting his money Harry didn’t feel like spending much more time in Diagon Alley without Ginny, so he went back to the Leaky Cauldron and got to sleep early.
The next morning, he rose buzzing with excitement to be able to spend the day with Ginny, he found the time passed awfully slowly.
Finally nearing 10 am, Harry went down. He ordered a drink and sat down on a table from where he could watch both the door and the floo. Harry nipped impatient at his pumpkin juice and felt with every minute more dread. “What if she was caught? Or worse, if she didn’t want to meet me after all.”
The flashing of the floo pulled him out of his anxiousness, a tiny girl with a thick woollen cap was walking out of the chimney. Spotting Harry she cried his name and flung her arms around him. He fell almost from his chair at her enthusiastic attack but was grinning widely.
“Hey, I am glad you made it. Did anybody see you leaving for Diagon Alley?”
“Yes, Luna did. But she won`t tell anybody.”
“Ah perfect, did you have breakfast or do you want to eat something before heading to Diagon Alley?”
“I already ate something, but let’s get going right away! I never was at Diagon Alley without my parents.”
Harry and Ginny walked aimlessly up the Alley, chatting and laughing. Ginny wore a grey woollen cap that managed to hide her entire hair, Harry was a bit sad at not seeing her hair, but understood the necessity of not being seen.
“I admit, your hair stands out. A shame that you have to hide it, I love how it sparkles in the sunlight.”
Ginny blushed slightly and said: “Thanks Harry, nobody ever complimented me on my hair, mum always buggers me about the length. She tells me it’s improper to have hair that reaches your waist.”
“Please don`t cut it, it looks wonderful!”
“Thanks I will do my best to persuade her” She laughed and added “But I think I should not mention that you want me to have long hair. My hair would be cut in a second.”
“I take your parents really found a liking in disliking me?”
Ginny sighed and looked forlorn: “Yes, I have never seen dad this mad. I think because Lucius Malfoy is giving him a lot of trouble in the Ministry lately, he blames Slytherins in general. He told us dozens of stories to prove how all Slytherins are bad. What annoys me even more is how fast mum changed her opinion on you.
She was spluttering about being blinded by your heritage and how amazing Daniel is. Daniel tried to defend you a bit but nobody really listened to him. Ron was constantly spluttering something about what a bad influence you were on Daniel.”
“Uh, that’s sad. I am sorry for causing so much trouble in your family.”
“Don’t be, it’s their fault not yours. I just don’t understand how my family can preach love and tolerance while they do the exact opposite.”
“Your brothers didn’t seem to mind too much, I guess.”
“Mhm, well Ron was quite happy. Daniel looked a bit uncomfortable, he really seemed torn between helping you or staying in the good graces of my family. The twins didn’t care, they said that you are pretty okay for a Slytherin.”
They stopped in front of the broom store and ogled the various racing brooms.
“Why did you not try out for the house team, Harry?
“I don’t know, I didn’t think first years were allowed. You are not even allowed to have your own broom, at least if you are not the glorious boy who lived.”
Ginny giggled at that. “Oh come on, why are you so jealous? All the attention for something you did as a baby would just be annoying, and by acting smart you can gain much more than he can with his special treatments.”
“Yes well, because he is the first born of us, he will become the head of house Potter on his seventeenth birthday. All the money, houses and heirlooms will go to him.” Harry snapped.
“Do you think your brother would do that to you?”
“No, but who knows how your family will influence him over the years. How long until he calls me a dirty snake?”
“Fair point. If you don’t mind me asking, how do you pay for your school stuff if you can’t access the vault?”
“We can access a small vault that refills every year to 100 galleons.” Harry smiled and added: “Daniel doesn’t know this, so I took 80 galleons out. If I can’t get my full inheritance, I will make sure to get as much as I can now.”
“My, you truly are a devious Slytherin.”
Harry got a panicked look on his face. “Do you think I have to give Daniel his share, if you say that’s the right thing to do, I will.”
“No, no. I would have done the same, sadly there is not much to get from my family. Don’t be afraid to show who you are, at least not in front of me. I like you, and I will like every part of you, you are my best friend.”
“And you are mine.”
“Does your offer on treating me to some ice cream still stand?”
“Sure, but ice cream in December? How about some hot chocolate?
“Mhm, alright. Hot chocolate it is.”
They sat down inside Madam Nadukis Coffee shop.
“So Gin, will you try out for the Quidditch team next year?
Ginny rose an eyebrow. “Gin? If you were my brother I would prank you into oblivion now.”
“Oh sorry, I just thought it’s a nice nick name.”
“A nick name for a nick name?” She giggled. “No worries, you can call me whatever you want.”
“Mhm, alright. Firebug.”
“You are kidding me, right?”
She sighed. “Ok. Remember me to not trust you in naming things.”
“Hey I came up with a nice name for my owl.”
“You don’t think Hedwig is a good name? If you had an owl, what would you name him or her.”
“Pigwidgeon of course.”
“Short version would be Pig.”
Harry laughed and Ginny joined, but then said: “I mean it.”
They spent some more time together chatting until Ginny had to go home.
The young teens made their way towards the Leaky Cauldron.
“See you, Harry. I will write you as soon as I can get away from my family again.”
“I am already looking forward to it. And in just over half a year we can spend every day together!”
“Yes, next year is going to be amazing.”