Content Harry Potter Miscellaneous
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This one took place just after my fifth year ended.


I'd just gotten back from yet another walk around Little Whinging.

I figured I had the right; lots on my mind.  Recently dead godfather (killed right in front of me, even), failed attempt to cast an Unforgiveable Curse, mental connection to the darkest Dark Lord in living memory, plus a revealed prophecy.  You know, the typical stuff on most teenagers' minds.

I'd stepped onto some gum during the walk, so I left my shoes on the front stoop, making a mental note to clean them later.  I even remembered to avoid the squeaky step on the stairs as I ascended to my room.

Opening the door, I was brought up short by an unexpected sight.

A woman was reclining on my bed, reading through the letters I'd received from my friends.  She was short, a platinum blonde, perhaps twenty years old, and wearing a white gown loosely gathered about her waist.  One leg was propped up, showing a very long expanse of bare skin.

She looked up at me, clearly startled.  I could see surprise and not a little bit of fear in her expression.

After staring for a bit, I came back to my senses and whipped my wand out and pointed it at her.  "Who're you?  Why're you in my room?"

She blinked her unusual amber eyes.  A tentative smile, looking a trifle forced and uncomfortable, formed.  "I live here," she answered, voice a harsh rasp that did not match her otherwise elegant appearance.

I frowned at her.  "This is my room.  How can you live here?"

She tilted her head in a manner that I found familiar but couldn't place.  Without verbally replying, she simply lifted one arm in a gesture toward the window.

"What are you on about?"

She gestured again.  "My perch."

I glanced at Hedwig's perch before focusing again on the crazy woman.  "You're off your rocker.  That's Hedwig's perch."

She blinked again.  "I am Hedwig."

I stared, waiting for her to explain.  She simply gazed calmly back.  "You're insane," I eventually accused her.

With a sigh, she transformed into Hedwig.  It was clearly an animagus transformation, but not at the same speed I'd seen McGonagall or Sirius perform it.  After a few seconds, she transformed back.

My arm dropped as I stared at her.

"I am Hedwig," she repeated in her raspy voice.

"How can you be Hedwig?" I asked blankly.

"Animagus," she answered simply.

"Who . . . what . . ."  I couldn't even complete a question.

She loudly cleared her throat.  Wincing and one hand coming up to massage her throat, she asked, "May I have a glass of water?"

I frowned at her, wand coming up again to point at her.

She gave me an amused look.  "My throat hurts.  I hardly ever talk, Harry.  I just want to make my throat feel better."

I still stood there, indecisive.

"I don't even have a wand."  With a very amused expression, she held out her arms.  "Care to search me?"

I flushed and fetched her a glass of water from the upstairs lavatory.

She hadn't moved before I returned.  She sipped at the water for a few seconds as I took a seat at my desk.

With a small frown of concentration, she said, "When I was fifteen, Dumbledore taught me the animagus transformation.  I became an owl.  On Dumbledore's orders, Hagrid gave me to you as an eleventh birthday present.  In short, I've been spying on you since."

Eyes narrowing, I brought my wand up again.

She gazed sadly at me.  "It is not by choice, Harry.  I'm under a binding magical . . . contract of sorts."

"Then why did you reveal yourself to me now?"

"You surprised me.  This wasn't planned."

"So you would have continued to spy on me for Dumbledore?" I asked, not even trying to keep the derision out of my voice.

She dropped her gaze to the glass in her hand.  "I didn't have a choice," she whispered.

The silence held for long moments.  "What kind of magical contract?" I finally asked.

She shrugged.  "In simple terms, I am a slave."  Something like amusement showed in her eyes at my gob smacked expression.  "I was bought by Dumbledore five years ago.  After the animagus training, I was presented to you as a . . . loan, I suppose.  I am still owned by Dumbledore, however, and must act according to the rules he set forth."

Even through my anger at the meddling old fool, I was still able to think.  "If he's managed to turn even my owl into a spy against me, is everyone I know spying on me?"

She looked at me sadly.  "I believe so, yes."

My eyes widened.

"The Weasleys have been paid to report on you since before you met them.  Miss Granger has been promised the Head Girl position and private tutoring as long as she keeps tabs on you.  Personally, I think she was also drug across your path as a possible love interest - I heard that Potters have always been interested in intelligent women - or at least to make you dependent upon another of Dumbledore's agents."

"Dobby?" I asked, hoping at least some of the beings I thought were on my side were actual allies.

She shook her head.  "Giving an elf clothes must be a conscious choice.  Inadvertently throwing a sock at the elf, as I understand it happened, wouldn't do it.  How could they do laundry otherwise?  He's been acting under the orders of Malfoy all along.  Dumbledore just integrated that into his own plans."

"Remus?"

"He's too dependant on Dumbledore's good will.  One word from the headmaster and he'd be executed.  He'll do anything asked of him."

"Sirius?" I asked next, hope dwindling.

"He was actually on your side.  On the flip side of that, he was intentionally restricted to that . . . house to drive him to do something reckless."

That made me feel only slightly better as that plan had clearly worked.  "Hagrid?" I asked.

"He knew.  As a half-giant, he's addicted to the calming potions that Snape makes and Dumbledore gives him."

I hung my head.  "Is anyone I know acting without an ulterior motive?"

She shook her head.  "Probably not.  Snape was told to antagonize you, a plan I suspect he was more than willing to follow.  The Dursleys have had a geas on them from the beginning, designed so that they would treat you poorly.  Your string of worthless Defense teachers was to keep you from being a serious threat to Dumbledore.  Your various adventures - Philosopher's Stone, Chamber, and so on - were careful tests designed by Dumbledore.  He wanted you trained in a very specific way."

"You seem to know a lot," I observed dully.  Even through my emotional implosion, she sounded far too informed for someone who had presumably spent the past five years as a bird.

"It's amazing what people will say in front of an owl," she offered as an explanation.

I blankly stared at her as all the bits and pieces of information whirled about in my mind, crashing into each other and tearing apart my world.

I leaned forward and wept into my hands.  Everything upon everything in my life had been built upon a foundation of lies.  And at the cornerstone of everything stood Albus Dumbledore.

I don't know how long I sat there alternately crying and shaking in rage, blind to the world around me.  How could he do that to me?  What'd I ever done to him?

I wasn't worried about her doing me harm.  How many hundreds of evenings had I slept with her in the room?

When I finally regained touch with the reality around me, I felt her rubbing one hand across my back and the other hand carding through my hair.

I gave a hiccupping little laugh.  "Hedwig . . . er, you, always did that with . . . your beak when I was feeling down."

"I've always been on your side, Harry.  As much as I was able, anyway."

In my cynical state of mind, I considered asking how she could expect me to believe her.  I finally let it go, though.  No point in asking a question that couldn't be answered.

Instead, I asked, "Something you said earlier; Dumbledore bought you?  You mean he kidnapped you somehow?"

She shakily made her way back over to the bed and sat down again.  "No, I mean bought.  As in paid money to my clan and took me legally."

"Slavery is illegal," I pointed out the gaping hole in the argument.

"I'm not human," she said softly, looking at me fearfully.

Looking at her, a few of the small pieces fell into place.  "Veela," I stated.

She just nodded, looking down at her hands nervously wringing a bit of her robe.

"Hey, don't be like that.  Not like it's anything to be ashamed of."

She gave an inelegant snort, an action that clashed with her very elegant beauty even sitting in my bedroom wearing a simple white gown.  "We're classified as beasts.  Hence why my clan could legally sell me," she finished with a little apathetic shrug.

"You don't seem upset at being a slave."

She gave another little shrug.  "So far it hasn't been so bad.  When Dumbledore had control of me, he treated me reasonably well.  Since becoming Hedwig, I've had a kind and attentive master.  Besides, he's noble and kinda cute."  She smiled at me, veela charm rolling off of her in waves.

The same strength of mind that granted me immunity to the Imperious Curse stood me in good steed.  I was momentarily tempted to do something to try and impress her, but I shook off the notion immediately.  "Stop that," I chided her.

She looked slightly ashamed of her actions.  The aura decreased.  "And he's resistant to the veela allure," she added to her previous thought.

"That's a good thing?"

"For a veela who doesn't want a mindless plaything?  Yes."

"You sound like Fleur.  Hey, do you happen to know -"

She raised a hand, stopping me from finishing the question.  "Her mother is from one of the French clans.  I was born and raised here in the U.K. in the only English veela clan."

Something was just not adding up to how freely she was telling me things.  "If he placed you here to spy on me and monitor my mail," I waved a hand at the letters she'd previously been reading, "I can't imagine he'd have permitted you to speak with me."

Her expression turned a bit vindictive.  "As I said, I must act according to the rules he set forth.  This situation is outside of those rules - you surprised me, remember - so my words are not constrained."

"Your words are not.  How about your actions?"

"If I am ever discovered, I am to do everything in my power to ensure you are to remain," she answered promptly.

"Remain?"

She stood and ran one hand down her white robes.  Her voice changed to a low, insinuating purr that wrecked my concentration.  "Think about it, Harry.  Now that you know about me, I can stay with you."  Moving ever so slowly, she started gliding toward me, showing none of the jerky awkwardness she had before.  "Ignore Dumbledore.  You have friends and allies."  Straddling my lap, she lowered herself until she was sitting on my knees facing me.  One hand came up and absently started playing with the hair on the back of my head.  Her other hand lay, feather-light, upon my chest.  She leaned forward and breathed into my ear, "You and I can have a good life together, Harry."

With what little remained of my working brain, I realized I had a choice:

I could stay where I was and continue with Hogwarts and my friends there.  On top of that, it seemed I had a new . . . er, girlfriend.  A veela to boot.

All I had to do was ignore Dumbledore's manipulations in absolutely every aspect of my life.

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Author Notes:

Blame uberwald for this bunny.

I read this post and the dream sequence sprung to life.

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