Chapter 6: How Did We Get Here?
AN: Yes that's a reference to the Minecraft achievement of the same name. So for this chapter, I'm kindly asking both Mojang and JKR to not sue me :)
Doing a final edit and posting this at 3:30 AM is an entirely different vibe. I've been working on a massive, massive school essay/project for the entire day. My entire body feels like a piece of floating cotton candy.
Through the window of the smallest bedroom of Number 4, Privet Drive, the Boy-Who-Lived watched as his heavy cousin danced on the sidewalk. It was a ridiculous sight and succeeded in getting Harry to crack a smile for the first time in days.
Panting from the exertion, Dudley threw two thumbs up at his cousin, before hopping on his bike and pedalling away. A couple of minutes later, Harry heard the bang of a firecracker go off a few blocks away.
Harry tried to hold onto that sliver of happiness, but without any immediate distraction, the boy's surroundings quickly dulled any positive emotion. Looking around, he saw the same sight that he had been living in for the past several weeks. Bars on the window, locks on the door, a catflap to push food through, and his snowy owl Hedwig, who in typical irritating fashion was levitating just above the bottom of her cage, flipped completely upside down.
Harry Potter let out a long sigh. This summer was not going well.
Cats. So, so many cats, and for absolutely no reason. There were cats here, and some more cats over there. One cat was doing backflips on a pogo stick. Another few were giving an attempt at ziplining, despite the fact that there was neither a wire nor an elevation change which to zipline down. Then, a dog appeared, and all the cats turned into chickens. Squawking at each other, ruffling feathers and generally being headache-inducing. Two of the chickens were wearing little metal hats and began to head-butt each other at a rapid pace, creating a commotion. In all honesty, it was quite irritating.
Clang, clang, clang.
Harry Potter woke from his unintelligible dreams to Ron Weasley shaking on the bars on his window. Shoving his glasses on his face, Harry got to his feet, rubbing his eyes and shaking his head like a waterlogged puppy. He peered through his barred window
"Ron? Fred, George? What are you doing here?"
"Breaking you out, of course! I can't let my best mate starve to death," the second youngest Weasley replied.
"Not to mention it'd be pretty poor of us to let the Boy-Who-Lived waste away in a muggle house," piped up one of the twins.
"You know, vanquisher of the Dark Lord," the other twin continued.
"And the Chosen One!" threw in Ron. The other three stared at him for a moment, before Harry refocused.
"Wait, how did you lot get here?" he queried.
"Can't tell you that," the three brothers responded simultaneously.
"Well then, how am I supposed to leave with you?"
"Don't worry about it, ol' chap," began the person who was probably Fred.
"Just grab your stash," continued his brother, who might've been George
"Get it packed,"
"And we're off like that!"
George and Fred, whichever one was which, now found that it was their turn to be on the receiving end of incredulous stares.
"Why were you locked up?"
"Well…I bet Dudley that he couldn't convince his parents to lock me in my room for the entire summer. Jokes on him, though, we were betting with candy and I gave him that one box of Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans that only has the gross candies. You know, dirt, mucus, troll kisses, broccoli."
"Harry, I don't think you really won that competition, considering you were locked in your room for over a month."
"And anyway, what about before? I sent you owls as soon as I got home, and no response. What's the deal with that?"
"Oh, I think that was this Gollum looking creature. Popped into my room one night and tried to bribe me out of Hogwarts using my mail."
"So what did you do?"
"Tried to kick the little blighter in the crotch."
"He still got away with my letters though, sorry I couldn't write back."
A sigh. "It's fine Harry, don't worry about it."
Severus Snape was pissed off. He was certain that Potter and his weasel sidekick hadn't been on the train. However, as though to spite him, the two insolent children were strutting towards the castle from the lake, looking far too happy for his liking, and they didn't even have the decency to be late. Snape groaned. This was going to be another long year.
The Great Hall was just as vast as ever, students milling about as more poured in through the large doors. Of the two boys, Harry found their third friend first. "Hermione!" He called.
She turned. "Harry! Ron! It's so good to see you!" The boys found themselves enveloped in a very bushy-haired hug. "I barely heard from either of you! You're both doing well, I trust?" Then, without pausing for an answer, she continued to chatter away. "And where were you two?"
Harry looked slightly confused. "Pardon?"
"Were you on the train?" she asked.
"Can't tell you that," Ron cut in.
"What do you mean? Why?" She pressed.
The two boys shrugged, most definitely not in unison.
"Well, were you off the train?" Hermione persisted.
"Yes," said Harry.
"So you weren't on the train?"
"Can't tell you that," said Ron immediately. Again.
"And anyway, not that it tells you much, Hermione," continued Harry. "You were off the train as well."
"No, I wasn't!" Hermione looked a mix of shocked, scandalized, and offended. To a very slight degree.
"Well, you're here right now, aren't you?" explained Harry. "And you had to get on it at the platform, which leads to the conclusion that you were at some point off of the train."
Hermione stared at her two friends, more than a little confused.
The students of Hogwarts were still flowing into the Great Hall, and the noise level was nearly deafening. Harry Potter was feeling quite pleasant, he and his friends had seated themselves, and Ron and himself were doing a marvellous job of confusing Hermione.
That was when Harry caught sight of Professor Dumbledore, who had just walked by. The Headmaster was wearing absolutely hideous robes, consisting of all four colours of the Hogwarts houses. Yellow plaid with green polka dots and chaotically intersecting lines of red and blue. And it was all neon, except the Hufflepuff colours, which were a sickening mustard yellow. They were dubbed that night, and to be remembered for all eternity, the Hideous Hogwarts Robes.
"Noooo!" Harry screamed, pointing a shaking finger at Professor Dumbledore "It's too early in the year for this!" Harry's ensuing flight was positively desperate, managing to knock plates, goblets, and cutlery off of every table in the Great Hall.
Harry Potter raced through the hallways and dove into the first hiding spot he could find- a broom cupboard. Being an innocent second year, he didn't understand the true purpose of such a hiding place. Harry bent over, catching his breath when a small, soft feminine voice floated up from the darkness in the storage closet.
"Well hello there. I rather thought I would be alone in here, but it appears that was not to be. Were you running from the nargles? I do believe I can still hear them."
Harry jumped, spinning around and drawing his wand. "Who's there?" he called.
"Oh we're introducing ourselves, aren't we? My name is Luna Lovegood. You don't happen to know how to get some light in here, do you?" The girl's voice sounded pleasantly odd, as though the soundwaves wanted to take a nap.
Harry shook himself, feeling rather odd. "Er, yeah sure. Lumos." The light cast random shadows about and revealed a small, silvery blond-haired girl who was fiddling with a strange-looking necklace, occasionally swatting at the air. "Er, I'm Harry. Harry Potter."
"Oh, are you?" Luna's gaze flickered up not to Harry's scar, but to his tie sporting Gryffindor colours. "I suppose Gryffindor does fit with the narrative in many cases," she mused.
"What?" Harry shook his head. "Oh nevermind. Anyway, what were-"
But his question was broken when the cupboard door got thrown open. "That is enough, you two! I really must ask that you return to the Great Hall for the Sorting." Professor McGonagall frowned at the grey tie on the girl's robes. "Especially you, Miss...Lovegood, wasn't it? You need to BE sorted."
"I don't think I want to be sorted, Professor," replied Luna in her trademark dreamy voice. "I don't like the idea of being categorized."
Harry still looked terrified at the idea of returning to the same room as the Hideous Hogwarts Robes, so McGonagall sighed and grabbed one wrist of each child. As she dragged the two children towards the Great Hall, she leaned over and whispered to Harry, "Five Galleons she's a Ravenclaw."
Harry scowled at his Professor. "I am NOT taking that bet."
Professor McGonagall chuckled at him and pulled the Gryffindor and unsorted first year into the Great Hall. Harry kept his eyes carefully averted from the Staff Table, doing his utmost to avoid looking at Dumbledore. Harry didn't really pay attention to the Sorting Song, and only started listening at the end.
"…and top hats? You're all just bastards, say thanks to your mothers." The Hat did a backflip and all was quiet. A hesitant applause followed the Hat's…unique song choice, chiefly led by the exuberant Weasley Twins. Harry zoned out again through most of the Sorting, though he did note that the Lovegood girl did indeed make it into Ravenclaw.
"I knew it," he muttered.
Hermione, who was sitting next to him, shot Harry a quizzical look which he ignored. Turning away, Harry accidentally looked at Dumbledore. His eyes bugged out, and something in the boy broke.
Sitting in the Headmaster's ornate thro- chair, Dumbledore was wearing a set of boring, brown robes.
Harry Potter didn't speak in coherent sentences for three and half days.
AN: Hey so I'm not going to be one of those authors that will always take suggestions with the guarantee that they will be implemented, but if you have a particularly random idea or any other feedback I'd love to hear it anyway. The more bizarrely random, the more likely for some version of it to make it into the story. Thanks for reading :)