A/N: I own none of this. I do not own Harry Potter or any rights to his image or personality. I do not own the moon or the stars. I do not own human genders, other than my own personal original factory equipment. Honest. Nope, not me. I most certainly do not own the rights to a billion dollar literary work.
Harry Potter and the Distaff Side
Harry regained consciousness and found he was staring at a very familiar blurry ceiling. In the hospital wing. Again. It was not the right bit of familiar blurry ceiling though. He turned his head and found himself once again looking into the startling green eyes of ... a blob.
"You're awake then." The blob with green eyes put a pair of glasses into his hands. The blob resolved it's self into the girl who called herself Harri.
"You're in my bed."
"Not in this universe. Healer Pomfrey hung a plaque on this bed with my name on it, in honor of all my visits."
"So, you're... Me?"
She shrugged. "Pretty much Iguess. Healer Pomfrey is talking about writing a paper about us, she says we are identical down to the cellular level."
"Merlin on a crutch. Other than our plumbing are we any different at all?"
"According to Professor Dumbledore, not much." She noticed the look on his face. "Don't get mad, she had to know before she could trust you here. She entered your mind and examined your memories. What she found startled her to no end."
Harry thought about that for a moment. It made sense, Wait. "She? Professor Dumbledore is a woman?"
"As far as the Professor could tell, everyone in your world has the wrong gender. Orestes is quite excited by the idea of what he called 'parallel universes', and really wants to talk to you. I think mostly he wants to know what his female version is like."
"Orestes Granger. Muggleborn, we tease him, he's the brightest Wizard of his generation."
"Really bossy, has to know everything, hates being wrong, wants to fight against House Elf slavery?"
"Yours did S.P.E.W. too?"
"Yeah, nothing Ron or I could say would convince her that SPEW was a bad name."
"What is yours called?"
"You had a Ron? Ours is Veronica Weasley."
"Jealous git? Envies your money and anything else you ever get without thinking things through?"
"You know her then." They laughed together
"So, you were at the graveyard with the cup, you were a Fourth champion as well?"
"God yes. Did you hate it as much as I did?"
"Possibly more. My Granger was the only one to believe me." He suddenly realized that there was no one in his universe to stand up against Riddle.
"Same here. I'd have never survived the second task if Orestes hadn't spent days teaching me the bubblehead charm and teaching me to transfigure my clothing to a Muggle Wetsuit. That gave me the edge I needed to get there first. Ronnie was totally pissed that I took Orestes instead of her." She smiled at the memory. "But no where near as pissed as Krum was when it looked like Ronnie was 'the thing she'd miss most'."
"That was brilliant. It never occurred to me to take Hermione, I got there first using Gillyweed, but I hung out until I made sure everyone else was going to find their hostages. Fleur Delacour didn't make it, so I took Ron and her sister. I came in third, but got bonus points for saving Gabrielle and ended up in second place."
"I guess we have more differences than just our plumbing, though the results seem to be the same." She looked thoughtful. "What did you do for the first task?"
"Summoned my Nimbus, teased the dragon until she good off her nest, then dove down and snatched up the egg. The Horntail snagged me with one of her tail spikes, bunged up my left arm, but not too bad. The other three all got scorched a bit."
"I asked for the Egg, the Dragon gave it to me."
"Asked for the Egg. Dragon's speak Parseltongue?"
"Yeah. Pretty much every reptile does. Snakes are just the chattiest." She looked surprised, "After the zoo incident when we were 10, I tried talking to every animal I saw. It was well worth the 3 days in the cupboard under the stairs... Didn't you?"
"No." he sighed. "Ok, you're the smart one. I guess I'll have to be the pretty one."
"What?" she laughed.
"Every set of twins I've ever met had one who was the smart one, and one who was the pretty one, except the Weasleys, who were both scary smart, and judging from the girls they attracted, I'm guessing fairly good looking."
"Don't sell yourself short Mr. Potter" The pair turned to discover a tall witch watching them over half moon glasses, long white hair in a braid hanging down the front of her robes. "You and Miss Potter take slightly different paths, yet end up in basically the same place. The only reason that you did not end up dueling your Tom Riddle as Miss Potter did is that yours knew of the prophecy. The only reason Miss Potter was not banished from this reality is that her Thomasina Riddle did not know of the prophecy or perhaps did not know the spell."
"What happens to me now Professor?"
"Ah Mr. Potter, that is indeed agood question. Your sudden appearance was rather public, The Dark Lady no doubt knows who it was who interfered in her revenge on Miss Potter. The Ministry knows who you are. Miss Potter needs to return to the Dursley's over the summer, but you..."
Seeing Harri's face fall at that news Harry interrupted "The hell she does. She's not going near those bastards."
"Mr. Potter, the blood protections in place make her Uncle's home the safest place for her."
Harry shook his head. "Excuse me Professor; you're not thinking this through. My Riddle used my blood to make his body. Harri? Did she take yours?"
"Riddle has her blood. Your blood protections mean nothing any longer."
Dumbledore stood opened mouthed. This was a novel experience, being so absolutely, fundamentally wrong.
"I must admit Mr. Potter; I am not used to having the flaws in my thinking pointed out by fourth year students. Thank you." Harry noticed that this Dumbledore's eyes twinkled as well. "Perhaps you aren't the 'pretty one'"
Harry had climbed to the top of the Astronomy tower. It was early yet, if this was a couple's area in this universe as in his, he had a while before the happy couples showed up. Dinner in the Great Hall was just... weird. Everyone spent the meal looking at him like some type of bizarre creature, which he supposed he was from their perspective.
"I thought you'd be up here" He turned to see Orestes Granger climbing up the trap door.
"It's a quiet place. I don't have my broom, why not?"
"I wanted to thank you"
/Thank me?/ "Thank me for what?"
"For bringing Harri back. And Cecelia, but mostly Harri."
"I couldn't leave her. Hell, I didn't even know she was a she, I could barely see. Thanks for the glasses by the way." Harry watched a thestral flying over the forbidden forest. "My Granger always said I had a 'saving people thing'."
"I've been know to say that about Harri. Are you all right? You seem awfully down."
"My world has a Dark Lord. If the prophecy he told me is to be believed, his sending me here has left my world, my friends with no defense against him. I don't know how I got here; I don't even know where 'here' is. Your Dumbledore has no idea if it's even reversible. It's possible that all my friends are dead or will be soon. All because I wasn't good enough to defend myself."
"You're only 14 years old. You are easily one of the two most powerful students at this school. A duel between you and Harri would probably be the most frightening thing I've ever seen, at least since Harri and Ronnie saved me from that Troll first year."
"My god, you've got it bad don't you?" Harry looked at the Bushy haired boy with the large brown eyes.
"And you don't?"
"Since second year when she was petrified. I thought I liked Cho Chang until I saw Hermione coming to the Yule ball. I was such an idiot. Now I've lost her."
"Our Ravenclaw is Cheng Chang. Harri had a thing for him as well. Do you know how Harri feels about me?"
"I've got no idea mate. For your sake, I hope she feels like I feel for my Granger. At least one of us should be happy."
"Harri is going to spend the summer at the Burrow, with the Weasleys." Orestes also stared off into the forest. "I've asked my parents if I could invite you for the summer. I haven't given them any details about you, just that you don't have anywhere to go. If you don't mind I'd like to discuss your situation with them, but if you'd rather I'd not..."
"Thank you. A bit bold inviting a guy who just fell out of the sky yesterday isn't it?"
"Is it? I've never really known about those things... Nothing in the books about it." He smiled. "Even us book worms know when to make fun of our selves."
"I appreciate the offer. You can teach me to be a man in a woman's world."
"Is it really that different?"
"From what I've seen today, yes."
"We can work on it. Will you come?"
"Thank you Orestes, yes I will."
"So." Orestes smiled, "What can you tell me about Hermione Granger?"
For the last five days before the end of term, Harry was moved into the Gryffindor 4th year boys dorms with Orestes and his dorm mates Lawrence Brown ('don't call me Larry') and Parvatinandan Patil. (Oddly the 'boy's dorms' were where the 'girls dorms' were in his reality.) Orestes was relatively calm and reserved with all the test anxiety Harry had come to expect from his time with Hermione as the school year ended. Lawrence and Parvartinandan were... well giggly and romance obsessed, not terribly unlike Lavender and Parvati. They were among the few that did not ask about their counterparts from his reality. Harry suspected that they did not really believe him and thought him to be deluded.
Time in the common room was... different. While the 4th year women pretty much left him alone (he suspected that Harri had told her dorm mates to leave Harry alone. If she had he was grateful) the 5th, 6th, and 7th year women stared at him like he was a piece of meat and they had not eaten for awhile. Had he and his friends looked at girls like that? He did not think so, but it might not be conscious. A universe of sexually aggressive women? He smiles wryly to himself. It could be worse.
He suddenly started laughing at himself. Would he have to start worrying about his reputation?
A few moments later, a pair of red heads flopped onto the sofa on either side of him... Harry had been expecting the 6th years since he got into the common room, he had not expected them to be hitting on him, but there you go.
"Hello Handsome, what's so funny?"
"Fancy meeting you here Mr. Stranger from a Strange Land"
"I was just speaking with my sister Frieda"
"She was. Greta was just speaking to me."
"And I said to her, Greta, how could someone so cute be alone on the sofa?"
"So I said, Frieda, we should introduce ourselves."
"And I said, Frieda, you're right."
"You realize you've both identified yourselves with each using both names?" Harry laughed. "Isn't there a third choice?"
"I knew a Fred and a George, but they were known to refer to themselves as Gred and Forge on occasion... Maybe you should be Freta and Grieda?"
"It will annoy Dad to no end."
"Won't fool Mum, she always knows us."
"But it will drive Dad around the bend."
"We like you Harry."
"We'll keep you."
"If you're good, we'll let you raise our babies."
"What more could I ask for?" What ever their gender, the twins would always make him laugh.
The evening before the leaving feast, Harry made his way to the Quidditch pitch. Veronica and Arthur Weasley and Harri were flying far above, doing loops and spirals. All three of them could really fly. Harry felt a bit of envy creeping up on him. He would have to see what he could do about getting a broom.
Veronica spotted him and pointed him out to Harri, who dove to the turf, pulling up at the absolute last second, coming to a full stop beside him.
"Thanks for coming."
"No problem, I was just reading.
"I've been kind of avoiding you since I got out of the Hospital Wing."
"I noticed. I've been creeping you out haven't I?"
She was startled. "You knew?"
"Of course I knew. You creep me out. It's like suddenly finding out you've got a twin."
"I was worried you'd be mad."
"For what possible reason would I be mad at you? I'm the intruder."
"You saved my life, you may creep me out, but you're no intruder."
"Harry, I've been speaking with the Headmistress and the Goblins. I'd like to adopt you into the family."
"You can't do that."
"Yes I can. I already have. I stole one of the blood samples that Healer Pomfrey took from you. The goblins tested it and you are most definitely a Potter. The Potter trust automatically funded a vault for you." She handed him a Gringotts key and shrugged. "Use it, don't, it doesn't matter, when we come of age we both get half." She drew him into a light hug. "Face it Brother, until we can figure out how to send you home, you're stuck with me." She made a face. "I've always wanted a brother, but you still creep me out."
"I could live with having a sister. It's just weird seeing all my scars on your body."
"You think that's weird? When you in the shower, I snuck a look at you naked." She blushed. "I figured that the first one I saw ought to be 'my own'."
"You saw me naked?"
"She wouldn't let me peek." Ronnie Weasley added. "She's selfish that way."
Harry turned back to his 'sister'. "Thank you so much for that at least." He stopped for a moment. "Hey. You saw mine. I should get to see yours."
"Crap." He smiled. "It was worth a shot."
It was possible that seeing the student body boarding the Express to go home for the summer holidays were the most depressing thing Harry had ever seen. He had spent three hours the night before writing a letter to the Grangers thanking them for the invitation of a place to stay and attempting to explain himself. Orestes had told him that his parents were perplexed that after four years of letters about a girl named Harri Potter, just where this boy named Harry Potter had come from.
Harry had explained as best he could exactly where he had come from. Hermione had always given him the impression that her parents were very intelligent people, equals to her own formidable intellect. Since Orestes was little different from Hermione beyond their plumbing, there was no reason to assume that his parents would be any different. The letter was easily the longest of his life as six pages. As he attached the letter to one of the School Owls he silently hoped that they wouldn't take this as the delusional ravings of a mad man.
Now he was on the platform watching familiar faces with unfamiliar bodies' board the train. Suck it up. You know what you need to do. He watched Orestes board the train balancing the basket containing his half kneazle Brunhilda atop his trunk. He silently prayed that somewhere Hermione was safe doing the same with Crookshanks. He boarded the train himself and went to find a compartment.
There they were, Harri, Ronnie, and Orestes all in one compartment. He knocked at the door.
"Can I come in? Or would that be too weird?"
"It will be weird, but get your butt in here." Ronnie said gesturing to her side. "Can't have people thinking Harri's brother isn't welcome to hang out with us."
"Grab a seat Harry; I can brief you on my parent's odd habits."
"Come on in Harry."
The ride to London was relatively uneventful; the twins came in for a while, teasing Harry, trying to get a rise out of him by showing him cleavage. Harry just concentrated on Fred and George's faces and managed to ignore them. Lea Jordon came by after a while and the twins left with her to go do something or other.
They were about an hour out of London when the door opened and a blonde girl flanked by a pair of large ugly girls.
"Wonderful, two scar heads. You can just smell the failure in the room."
"Well since you came in Malfoy, sure. Practice a little hygiene and it will go away."
"Ha! Good one Orestes."
"Thank you Ronnie."
"Who do you think you're speaking to Mudblood?"
Harry started laughing. The Malfoy girl turned her attention to him.
"What's so funny Potter boy?"
"It's just that I was worried. The Malfoy in my reality is a fairly handsome, if gutless man. I was worried that you would be a babe and I would be attracted to you. Thank god, that won't be a problem. Your face would make a blind man vomit, and I've seen better tits on a 10 year old."
The blonde drew her wand and pointed it directly at his face. "Still funny?"
"Oh definitely. Think about what you're doing sweet cheeks." He stood up and advanced on her until her wand tip was against his chest. "I survived a killing curse as an infant. A dark lord, equal in every way to your Dark Lady feared me enough to send me away rather than face me a fourth time." He took another step, her wand bent. "Four times. How many do you suppose your mummy could survive against your Dark Lady? I think you should go away before I get upset. It would be most unpleasant if my anger got the better of me, wouldn't it?"
Trembling, Thubani Malfoy stepped back, without even a sneer exited the compartment, and with her bookends she stalked off.
"Oh well done Harry." Ronnie said. "Never seen Malfoy back down like that."
"That might have been stupid Harry," Harri warned. "Malfoy isn't shy about hurting people."
"I know, but she looked to be frightened of me. I figured, why not?"
"Well I say he's got quite a pair of rocks in him."
Harry sat down and looked to Orestes. "Rocks?"
"Slang term for ovaries. She means you were brave."
"Oh, in my world the term was balls."
"Why the bloody hell would balls mean courage?"
Exiting the platform with Orestes following Harri and the Weasley's Harry spotted the couple that could only be this universes Grangers. He recalled the faces he remembered from second year at Diagon Alley. They looked to be kind people; he hoped that he would not be a disappointment to them.
He hung back as Orestes ran to his parents and the family had a private hug. After a few moments, Orestes separated from his parents and waved Harry over.
"Harry I'd like you to meet my parents: Danielle and Emmit Granger."
"Mr., Mrs. Granger, thank you for having me, especially on such short notice."
"It's no problem Harry, after all, how often do we get to have a visitor from another universe?"
Orestes' mother smacked her husband lightly on the arm. "Please ignore Emmit's sense of humor Harry. Orestes had told us quite a bit about you, and your letter was quite informative as well. We'll talk about it at home. Come on."
In the car, on the way to the Granger home Orestes whispered to Harry "You wrote my parents a letter?"
"I just wanted to make sure they knew what they were getting into. I know Hermione tended to sugar coat her letters home, and suspected that you did as well. Why surprise them with a delusional story?"
"Harry, you're something else. This summer is going to be fun."
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