Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Harry Potter, Prisoner of Hogwarts

You Can Lead a Horse to Water...

by Quillian 2 reviews

The train ride back to Hogwarts...

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst, Drama, Parody - Characters: Harry - Warnings: [!] [?] - Published: 2005-08-15 - Updated: 2005-08-15 - 1928 words


A/N: Okay, now that everything is back on the road, time to show some trouble on the tracks! (Okay, now did that just sound corny or what?)

Chapter 4: You Can Lead a Horse to Water...

Harry looked at Platform 9 and ¾. He kept wondering what all sensible human beings tended to think... "Should I or should I not?"

Hm, maybe he could do a repeat of the beginning of his second year and crash into the closed gate behind the barrier... Wait around, deliberately crash into the barrier this time...

But then again, if he went to Hogwarts, he could get some things straightened out for good... and Dumbledore did cut him short with that Stunner back in the courtroom...

'Oh, what the hell?' Harry thought. 'At least I won't get bored. I need to make sure there is no magic holding me back in any way, after all.'

With that, he ran into and through the barrier.

It took only a moment or two before people realized that the great Harry Potter was on the platform. The whispers spread like wildfire, all of which Harry pointedly ignored. The current awe and admiration of their once-again hero only incensed Harry further; he had seen the wizarding world either praise or shun him, swinging back and forth from one to the other like some sort of collective pendulum, but this was just one time too many.

He wove his way though the crowd, trying to get through before they could all try to close in on him or something. Out of the corner of his eye, he spotted something which got his attention.

Ron and Hermione - /no/, Weasley and Granger - were trying to get to Harry in an attempt to try and reconcile with him. But what really got his attention was how they were wearing respective Head Boy and Head Girl badges.

'How in the hell did they become the Head Boy and Girl?' Harry wondered. 'Must have been Dumbledore's doing. Oh what the hell, I've practically given up trying to figure out what that old man is thinking nowadays.'

"Harry!" Ron yelled as he and Hermione made their way up to him.

"Harry, we're so sorry, please, just give us another chance," Hermione pleaded tearfully.

"Why, so you can get another chance to screw me over and make sure I actually do die this time?" Harry shot back, making his former best friends flinch.

"Why would I do such a thing?" Ron cried, horrified.

"I dunno, why did you even betray me so swiftly to begin with?" Harry countered evenly. When both of his former friends failed to answer, Harry took this opportunity to go in for the kill. "I apparently can't trust you - I don't even know you anymore! So, I'm only going to say this once: Leave me along, or you will not like what happens next!"

Ron completely lost his cool at Harry's warning, even if it wasn't a threat per se/. "You watch it, /Potter! You say anything else like that again and I'll have you thrown out of Hogwarts and into Azkaban so fast it will make your head spin!"

An immediate collective gasp came from everyone present. Harry looked shocked only for a moment before he covered it up with a vindictive sort of laughter. "Look at you, Weasley! Not even back for a minute, and already you're falling back into old habits and repeating the same old mistakes!"

"How could you, Ron!" Hermione said, shooting her boyfriend a death glare.

Now turning his vindictive gaze to her, Harry added, "I don't want you to stick up for me, Granger! You're just as bad as he is!"

Hermione looked as though she'd been slapped in the face, and she opened her mouth to make some sort of protest, but no words came out; she knew it was true.

"Now, if that's that, I must be on my way."

With that, he turned to leave before anyone could stop him.

He went from car to car, trying to find a cabin that was as empty as possible. Eventually, he found one that only had one seat left vacant, but was occupied by people whom he didn't mind at all.

Neville and Luna were sitting next to each other, involved in a conversation. Neville looked up and saw Harry, then greeted him. Luna did the same, and Harry eagerly greeted his two friends who had still kept their faith in them even after all that had happened.

The three of them talked for a little bit... until Harry said something which he didn't realize would cause some problems for himself later on...

"I'm glad I still have the both of you as friends I can count on."

Here, Neville glanced at Luna, looking rather concerned, while Luna looked impassively back at her boyfriend.

"Well, Harry," Neville began, turning back to face his fellow Gryffindor, "You see..."

"What is it, Neville?" Harry prompted him, not knowing what was going on here.

"It's just that, well... It feels as though you're using us, Harry."

Harry blinked repeatedly, brow furrowed. "Using you?"

"Yes... While we do understand that you're grateful to us because we kept faith in you, it feels like you're using us to make Ron, Hermione, Ginny and everyone else jealous and feel even worse about it. In other words, it's like you're using us for some sort of revenge on them so you can keep sticking the knife in and twisting it."

Harry was at a loss for words. Finally finding his voice, he said, "Neville, Luna... I'm not doing anything of the sort. I don't use people, I never did and I never will. I just don't do that."

"We know you don't Harry," Neville reassured him, "but don't you think that you should just forgive them and try to put things back together?"

Harry looked at Neville as though he had suddenly started speaking some rare language from some far-off land. "What?" was all Harry could croak out.

"Harry," Luna said, taking over for Neville now, "Yes/, what they did to you more than a year ago was both mean and foolish. /Yes/, they weren't so kind to the two of us, either. And /yes/, it was rather amusing at first to see you rant like that. We won't pretend to know what you went through, Harry, but this getting kind of old. While Neville and I do dislike what they did, we just want to fix things for everyone's sake, both theirs /and our own. I've seen Ginny over the summer, and she looks absolutely horrible. She hardly ate, hardly slept, hardly /talked/... she looks like a zombie, Harry! Ginny's still my best friend, I can't just let this happen! They're all turning into emotional wrecks, Harry. This has to stop!"

Harry didn't show any sort of sympathetic emotion on his face. In fact, the lines on his face only hardened. "If that's how they feel, then they should have thought about it before they betrayed me and set themselves up for all this," he said coldly.

Neville and Luna let out a collective sigh. Getting up and collecting his things, Neville said, "Perhaps it's because we didn't go through what you did, perhaps it's because we just might be more forgiving... but either way, we can't do this, Harry. You're a good friend to us, but we don't want to get involved in this and be forced to choose sides like this."

"We'll talk more later, Harry," Luna promised him by way of farewell. A moment or so later, they were both gone.

Harry hung his head and let out a deep sigh.

"How dramatic," commented a voice to his left, coming from the seat next to the window.

Harry literally jumped out of his seat and turned to face this new person whom he didn't notice before during his talk with Neville and Luna. This other person was a dark-haired and dark-eyed boy, about Harry's own age and wearing a Slytherin badge, was gazing out the window, yet observing Harry's reflection in it at the same time.

"Who are you?" Harry asked in a decidedly neutral tone, hoping to not sound aggressive or anything.

Turning to face Harry properly, this other boy introduced himself with a passive look on his face. "My name is Blaise Zabini. I'm in the same year as you, actually."

Harry searched his memory for anything on this Slytherin, and when he found nothing, he merely shrugged as if to apologize. Blaise didn't seem to be at all offended, and actually allowed a small smile onto his face.

"Oh, I just seem to have this way of blending into the background like a chameleon... maybe it's because I'm just a quiet person, maybe it's because I often come last because of my last name..." Here he gave a mock shrug. "Who knows? It would also explain how come you never noticed me during five years of Potions classes."

Harry smirked a little. Blaise, his tone now a little more serious, then added, "Oh, and by the way, Harry Potter, if you must know, it just so happens that I never did support Voldemort; he killed some of my relatives during the First War. And as for your innocence... well, between how quickly you were tossed out and how Draco Malfoy and plenty of other Slytherins seemed to know something everyone else didn't, I had my theories."

Harry digested all this. "Sorry to hear about your relatives then. Wait... How do I know you're telling the truth?"

Blaise raised an eyebrow, looking... impressed? "Ah, commendable caution. I like that, actually. Here, you know what? Go ahead, use Legilimency or something on me. That ought to settle the matter."

Harry was actually starting to like this other boy more and more. Concentrating, he then used mild Legilimency to tell him enough which he needed top know: That Blaise was indeed telling the truth, in that he hated Voldemort for being involved in the deaths of some of his relatives. As for whether or not he believed in Harry's innocence... well, he was certainly more open-minded about the situation than most other people, to his credit.

Harry and Blaise continued to talk for the rest of the train ride to Hogwarts, both of them starting to get along well with the other. Harry sort of wished he had met Blaise much sooner, thinking they would have gotten along well.

Finally, some hours later, they were starting to slow down, and Harry's mood returned to cold, knowing that he would now have to come back to this prison he called Hogwarts. Sure, Hogwarts was an exponentially better place than Azkaban, but it was still a prison nonetheless.

Getting his things together and putting on his Hogwarts robes (yet purposely neglecting to wear his Gryffindor badge), he walked with Blaise down the hall and off the train to the carriages that were waiting for the students.

(End of Chapter 4.)

A/N: So, how was this one?

Note about Blaise Zabini: Yes, I decided to make a good version of him. (BTW, what did anyone else think of the canon Blaise Zabini whom we finally saw in HBP? I don't know about the rest of you guys, but Blaise's mother being married seven times and inheriting huge amounts of gold after her husbands die mysterious deaths seems /quite /suspicious to me...)

Next chapter is where Harry returns to the "nice prison" known more commonly as Hogwarts... -Quillian
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