A/N: This is for round 2 of the finals of season 5 of the Quidditch League Fanfiction competition. I'm Chaser 1 for the Caerphilly Catapults.
The theme was letters. Mine was E, so I had to mention Ernie MacMillan, the East Wing, Eagle, and Eggplant.
In addition, my optional prompts were 1. (colour) blue, 6. (object) textbook, and 10. (quote) "Bloody Hell!" - Ron Weasley
Word count: 985
As he walked the halls of the East Wing on the way to dinner, Harry Potter mused on how he was honestly getting tired of people looking at him. He didn't want to notice that most of the students (and a few of the professors) at Hogwarts thought he was mad for saying that Voldemort was back. He was even getting tired of the few people who would run up to him, grab his arms, and confess solemnly that they believed him. Mostly because, after Ernie MacMillan, these confessions had all been followed by scores of mocking laughter and jokes and, "Look! There he is now!" before someone would pop up behind Harry and grab his shoulders, hissing like a snake. Harry almost wished he could call people names in Parseltongue. That might get them to shut up. As it was, though, he could only speak the language when a snake was speaking to him. And since they were definitely not snakes…
So, when a Hufflepuff girl broke off from her small group of multicolored ties – blue, red, green, and yellow together – to shout, "Look out!" at Harry, he merely frowned, before he felt a splitting pain in his head.
He woke up a few moments later and was just in time to see the girl kneeling next to him spit a curse at someone behind him.
"Ow! Bloody Hell!" he heard his attacker scream when the curse connected.
Harry took the opportunity to groan in pain.
The girl looked down again, before starting to help him up. "Sorry about that," she said. "That was my sister."
Harry sat up, head still pounding, and managed to say, "That was your sister?"
The Hufflepuff girl blushed. "Yeah," she said. "Honestly, most of my family are like that, when it comes to you."
"When it comes to me what?" Harry snapped, annoyed because he had put his hand to his head and found a very big bump, though this meant that his attacker had actually thrown something at him, rather than casting a spell.
Harry scowled at her. "What do you know about Voldemort anyway?" He turned toward the direction of his attacker and found a History of Magic textbook lying on the ground next to him. That would explain the bump.
She winced at the name, but recovered quickly, obviously trying not to show that she was uncomfortable.
"I know he's back. I believe you saw him," she said. "That's why my sister threw the book at you."
"Because she thinks I'm mad for believing you, and my parents agree. I count myself lucky that she hasn't thrown anything at me. Can you walk?"
Harry nodded, grudgingly.
"You should get to the hospital wing. But I'll save you some eggplant from dinner if you like!" She smiled.
Harry stood there, unsure what to say, but deciding not to mention that he hated eggplant.
"Sorry," she said, blushing again, "I know you've got your own friends to save you something to eat. It's just…you looked so lonely just now."
Harry smiled, then. "Thanks," he said, "I appreciate it."
"No problem! I'm Carrie, by the way!"
"Nice to meet you." He shook her hand
"You too," she said. She looked behind her only to realize that her friends had gone on ahead. "I've got to go. Don't be a stranger!"
The next time he saw Carrie, it was in front of a boggart. He had noticed, of course, that she was a part of Dumbledore's Army, but he hadn't had any time to talk with her, only exchange hellos.
He ran to her when he heard her scream, but was puzzled when he reached her.
The boggart didn't look scary at all. It was in the shape of a girl who looked very much like Carrie herself. She was hovering on a broom in front of the Eagle and blue background of Ravenclaw's crest.
A moment later, Harry realized that was not all of the illusion, as the boggart took a swing at a bludger.
He stepped in front of Carrie and yelled, "Ridikulus!"
Carrie was sitting on the floor, panting, tears dripping down her cheeks. "Thanks," she said with a weak smile.
Harry nodded. "Who was that?" he asked. "Was that your sister?"
"It might have been—well, it could have—yes. It was my sister." She stopped trying to make an excuse for the boggart.
"Your sister is your worst fear?" Harry asked.
Carrie nodded sadly, and took a deep, shuddering breath. "Has been ever since that day I cursed her. Oh, Harry, it's like I don't know her anymore!"
"I'm sorry," he said.
"It's not your fault," she told him, before taking it back. "It is your fault," she confessed, "For telling the truth at the end of last year. We're half-bloods. Allison is scared of what the truth could mean for us. I know she doesn't mean to be cruel, or to scare me, but she does."
Harry took a long look at Carrie, before he gave her a long hug. He thought of so many things to say to her. "My cousin Dudley does things like that," or "You're doing all you can to keep them safe," but everything fell flat when he opened his mouth to say it.
Finally, Carrie sniffed and leaned back, smiling weakly again.
"Anyway, thanks," she said.
Harry went on with the lesson, but his mind was elsewhere. Breaking a family apart had never been his intention, but he realized he had never really thought about the dynamics of a family who are all frightened, and react differently. He never really thought about family dynamics at all. He looked around the room and wondered how many of the students there were suffering because they had put their faith in him. When he thought about it, he was surprised there weren't more boggarts like Carrie's.