Persona [H]

"The Rewriters of Fate."

...

[18/08/1996]

Morning

Honestly, Harry's only point of reference to compare the the feeling to had to be the Imperius curse. Referring to the mad compulsion to enter the cupboard under the stairs he had been harbouring for the past ten days...

Reminiscent of the soothing, seductive voice that lodged itself in the back of his mind and egged him on towards the desired actions of the castor. It was not a 'like-to-like' scenario, but the scrawny sixteen year old (sat upright in his narrow bed in Number Four's smallest bedroom) had nothing else he could liken the... song?

It was a melody, present in his mind rather than drifting in through his ears. Wordless but definitively human, feminine and high. It was, quite honestly, the most beautiful song he'd even known; a soulful aria that drifted through the household like a gentle breeze.

It burrowed under his skin and required him to get up, walk down those tight, creaky stairs and slip into the place the Dursley's had dubbed his 'room' all those years ago.

It hadn't developed gradually, the desire had set itself upon him with the subtlety of a Bludger blow. Bowling him over with a vicious NEED to unlock the abysmal place and see what was within.

Had Harry not found the sensation so wholly alien and unnatural, he'd have already been in there. His own recognition of the oddity of the song and feeling, even as a young man who could literally bend and defy the laws of physics with the wave of a stick, was the only factor that halted him from... well... doing as he was told.

He turned a weary eye over to the small desk (a thin, slight table that looked like a strong gust would have it fall to pieces) physically drooping under the weight of his books, birthday presents and Hedwigs cage. The cage occupied fairly recently, the beautiful snowy owl having slunk in just prior to her companions awakening; the sun firmly climbing over the horizon and drenching the world in orange and yellow.

Sweaty, annoyed and still very much tired (the song present even as he went for rest, leading to nights of sheer restlessness) Harry DID get to his feet. Slipping out of the room with nary a creak from the door-frames and floorboards, quietly going about some of his morning ablutions (quietly cursing about the coldness of the shower) before slinking into his room in time to miss Vernon rising to do the same.

Whilst his grunting and groaning Uncle stomped (in comparison to his nephew) through his early morning routine, Harry slipped into the least baggy of his threadbare collection of hand-me-downs and slotted his feet into a pair of too small trainers. Slipping downstairs and sliding himself an apple and a slice of bread for a 'hearty' breakfast.

He didn't even allow himself a glance at the cupboard under the stairs, just leaving the building, well into a comfortable job by the end of the street and ready to keep it up for the next few hours.

...

[18/08/1996]

Daytime

He found it nothing short of depressing that the nicest, and most comfortable, articles of clothing he owned really were his school uniform. A standard shirt and trousers, fairly smart and the only items of clothing he had (though, Harry now realised his dress robes from the Yule Ball fit this criteria) that fit him.

He re-opened his school trunk behind him by swivelling around and launching a sharp kick to the leathery case, the item snapping open rather forcefully. Harry wincing briefly at the sharp 'BANG!' on the lid hitting the wall, before wondering (with a weary curiosity) if his dress robes were appropriate attire for a will reading...

The constant noise in his ears only seemed to vanish in these moments, when the cold squirming feelings under his skin arrived and he remembered a man he thought of as a father lifelessly falling back into oblivion...

Back to reality, he couldn't wear the robes.

He was in the 'Muggle World' right now so, for his own sake, he couldn't wear his robes. Though the image of Aunt Petunia's face, puce with rage and lips pursed so aggressively it looked like she'd sucked on a lemon, when angry was so fascinating a sight that Harry was almost tempted to throw them on just to spite the nasty... woman...

Harry sighed, back in his room staring down at the clothes he'd set out on his bed just before he'd gone out earlier that day. Deciding against being deliberately antagonistic, he stuffed his spare robes (a set of Hogwarts robes that, miraculously, had not had the Gryffindor insignia and colours sewn onto them by the enthusiastic school house elves) into his book bag to change into later and blitzed through getting changed. Images of a shaggy haired loved one falling into the grey shifting veil playing over and over again.

A leftover from the previous summer,

It almost felt like a dream, or some sort of past life. So much further away than twelve measly months ago.

The Knight Bus appeared on the road before him with a usual gunshot bang, the Boy Who Lived entering with a wave, a flash of silver Sickles and a request for the Alley. He settled into a rickety seat with the copy of the Prophet he hand under his arm. His eyes not leaving the article on the front page:

Former Under-Secretary and Interim-Hogwarts Headmistress Dolores Umbridge still missing. An article that had been a cathartic front page headline two weeks prior, when the Daily Prophet finally realised that that vile toad hadn't come back from the Forbidden Forest.

The part he played in her... 'disappearance' was something a little part of Harry felt guilt over. But with everything else that had occurred between then and now, it honestly (and quite callous of him to think such a thing) was the furthest thing from his mind. Harry baring it only the briefest whilst his mind wandered onto other things, such as whether he should stop by St Mungos after Gringotts to get himself tested for some sort of curse or compulsion charm.

Perhaps he'd been hit with something at the Ministry? No.

He'd rather not think about the Ministry. Simply allowing himself to be thrown around the Knight's Bus.

He recognised Griphook as soon as he arrived, making a beeline for the only goblin he knew (even if his line was two wizards longer than the tempting one to the left) and was greeted by the baring of yellowing dagger-like fangs after a cordial good morning.

That, via context, he assumed was a smile.

Had he been a REAL Gryffindor, he'd have had the bravery to tell Griphook to either work on it or never do it again.

But he just allowed himself to be lead along to one of the back rooms of the bank in a daze, sat himself numbly in a room filled with the sympathetic and the sniffling and nodded along blankly as a ghostly visage of his beloved godfather (with remarkably few exceptions) left him with all of his worldly possessions...

...

[18/08/1996]

Evening

His eyes fell upon it on exiting the kitchen, hands damp from washing the dishes and the sun having long since set. The sky a dark blue with some glittering star peeking out from behind the clouds as the gibbous moon slowly slid up and along the night sky.

A pang in his stomach and chest,

He wasn't there right now, he was already in there, much smaller and far more scared than. Every footstep above him casting down dust and shaking his world, little squeaks and cries ripping involuntarily from his throat as he sat huddled into the corner. Knees up to his chin and surrounded by black.

In that brief moment, distracted and in his memories, he found his hand on the knob. Hand flying away as if the cheap metal were molten and the song SHOUTING in his ears.

He ran, upstairs with his heart in his throat, certain to lock the door to his room before burrowing into his sheets (heart in his throat). The music quieted down to a more soothing, almost sympathetic tone. He was gently lulled to a peaceful slumber for the first time in weeks.

...


...

[19/08/1996]

Morning

Exactly a month prior to Hermione's birthday, Harry's first thought on blearily returning to the world at six a.m. on that morning of the nineteenth. That impulse to fly downstairs and wrench the door open secondary for only the briefest moment.

He ignored the cupboard again when he left for a jog, but that was mostly because he was rushing out of the door with the money he'd swiped from under Dudley's floorboards... not at all because he was afraid to look at it...

...

[19/08/1996]

Afternoon

He came back from his job to an irritated Aunt Petunia thrusting the house phone at him with a grateful voicemail message from Hermione for the 'Pocket Observatory' he'd gotten her. Gushing at volume for a solid five minutes that warmed his heart and made him cringe.

He settled down the phone and had his Aunt's vitriol to deal with for the rest of the afternoon...

...

[19/08/1996]

Evening

When he gave in, the night was warm.

He gave in because, honestly, if the Weasley's weren't coming for him this year AND he had somewhere just as safe to go... why would he stay?

Despite the niggling feelings of guilt and sorrow at the circumstances of his new home (and the mishmash of other dark emotions afforded to going to Grimmauld Place and knowing Sirius wouldn't be there to greet him) he did see lumbering about that lonely house as far better than dealing with the scowls and passive aggression of the Dursley family.

"My, that took you a while!" A high, somewhat nasally, man's voice reached Harry's ears as he numbly

He just... blinked...

The door he'd entered was to the dark, cobweb infested cupboard. The room he entered was anything but...

It was a parlour, a huge one at that, the rooms walls almost far enough away that Harry couldn't see them. The distant walls and corners shrouded in shadow from the dim light of the twilight beyond to east facing window and the flickering sources of light.

Window, he'd noticed it in periphery and yanked his head over to it.

That view, was NOT of Privet Drive.

Apparation? He didn't know, he'd never done it before. But it was most definitely not the swirling feeling of the Floo or a Portkey.

He snapped around and paused, before nearly jogging back to the door way (mind spinning),

"Wai-" A voice behind him briefly piping up, stopped by a hearty chuckle and an interruption,

"Allow him a moment, my dear." That nasally voice again, interrupting the feminine cry Harry distractedly thought he'd get back to...

He popped his head out from the 'cupboard'. The prim and proper Number Four still there on the other side of the door, leaving him to look about, knocking on walls and ensuring that he'd actually travelled somewhere else rather than the place having been inserted into his old childhood 'room'.

He slipped back in sometime later with a stuttering question on his lips,

"Wh-what is this place? And who are you?"

A cheery chuckle greeted his words, truly drawing Harry's attention to the man at the centre of the room.

Good lord... he was certain he wasn't entirely human.

An absurdly long nose. Sharply pointed ears and bulging, bloodshot eyes, all on a clearly narrow and tall man hunched quite heavily over his colossal desk. Those black eyes were on him with a mirthful yet expectant edge, one of his two incredibly bushy eyebrows raised (honestly giving Harry the impression of a fuzzy black caterpillar).

Behind a mahogany desk, a sheet of parchment before him with a cerulean blue quill in his long, bony fingers, the man gave an odd mockery of a bow (in his seated position)

"Ha, the latest in a long line of Fools. Welcome to my Velvet Room!" That nasally voice again,

He was confused, maybe even a little annoyed. The blue fire, the beyond the pale view outside, and the strange presence and apprehension that flowed from the man across the room. Combined with the vibe he got from the word 'Fools' and it was too much... he just couldn't...

Harry spun on his heels and strode out, kicking the door closed behind him (this time just ignoring the cry to stop from the woman he hadn't actually seen).

He stormed upstairs, and threw the last of his things into his trunk after blasting off a letter to Dumbledore about the encounter.

He was out of the house and back in the purple triple-decker (for the third time that day) in less than five minutes. The song no longer ricochetting around his head as he allowed himself to be thrown around the interior on his way away from the Dursley household.

NOPE.

...