Harry Potter And The Enlightening Experience
"What do you mean she had a nightmare?"
"Veronica, she's going through something personal right now. People experience panic attacks and need to be alone sometimes. She'll be down when she's ready."
"Pfft. Fine. BYE HARRIET!" shouted Veronica back upstairs.
"BYE!" shouted Harry, seeming more and more like a mentally ill girl who had had delusions of being a boy wizard all her life.
The door down stairs shut into it's frame, and Harry took a quick sigh.
Really, where was he?
Opening his trunk again for any clues, he discovered all of his old schoolwork, every piece of parchment signed "Harriet Potter" under the signature line. All of the homework answers as well as the type of language used for essays was virtually identical to his own wordings. Potions homework was often graffitied by snide remarks from Professor Snape, criticizing him(or her...) for seemingly arbitrary failures such as not doing something fast enough or not knowing a useless piece of information only tangentially related to the potion they were making that day. So Snape, as a woman, was just as awful in this world as s/he was in the real one. Great to hear...
Letters from "Veronica" that "Harriet" had received in years past and collected were all here as were Hermione's letters, and all of Veronica's letters were also virtually identical to Ron's style of handwriting. Some of the content itself was a little different, maybe a tad more gossipy and bitchy when talking about others, but all in all still recognizably Ron. Hermione's letters hadn't changed one bit either, minus the changing of names, pronouns, and the noticeable absence of references to Voldemort or any of the death defying adventures they had been in.
"So...so this means t-that nothing has happened to any of us, whispered Harry. None of us are special here."
Now that Harry thought about it, did that mean the basilisk in the Chamber Of Secrets was still there? Did Professor Quirrell not become possessed and then die in his first year? Was the DADA position even cursed anymore without Voldemort's presence?
Was Sirius still alive?
Oh my Merlin thought Harry, rifling through to the bottom of the trunk for any letter's from her godfather.
For twenty long, agonizing minutes, he pored over every single letter for mentions of Sirius Black, but none were found. Harry knew that in his panicked state, he probably overlooked something that could relate to Sirius, but he was much too frenzied to do the same search all over again. Right now, he absentmindedly wished that he had a spell that could track for specific keywords or phrases in books and documents. That would sure save a lot of time.
Now he was beginning to sweat. It was working up towards being a hot day.
One of things Harry found interesting in the trunk was several old newspaper issues that were kept in mint condition.
For instance, on the November 1st, 1981 issue of The Daily Prophet, the headline ran:
YOUNG COUPLE KILLED IN ANTI-MAGIC HATE CRIME, INFANT DAUGHTER BRUTALIZED
by Morgan Crowley
The adjacent headline picture showed two people in their early twenties, Harriet's parents, smiling and holding each other in their arms by the River Thames. The female on the right looked exactly like Harriet did, albeit a few years older and with a more developed body. The man on the left must have been the distaff counterpart of Lily Evans. He was handsome, and seemed like a clean cut, good guy all around, with a hearty and innocent smile on his face. The text below the picture read:
Lyle Evans and Jamie Potter, both of Godric's Hollow, were married for less than two years.
Turning the page to A3 to continue the story, Harry was then struck by the name of his parents killer. It couldn't be...
"Tom Riddle Jr., a muggle man with family roots going back to Safiya Slytherin, killed two magical citizens on Halloween night yesterday. Both were of Godric's Hollow, a neighborhood mostly inhabited by witches and their families. Lyle Evans and Jamie Potter died of gunshot wounds at 10:38 P.M from a .38 caliber revolver in what Aurors say was an anti-witch motivated crime spree dating back to "at least 1962" according to the Lead Auror Barty Crouch. Their one year old daughter, Harriet, also suffered from a deep, lightening shaped incision that Mr. Riddle made while cutting into her forehead with a kitchen knife. Sounds of Harriet's screams alerted neighbors to the house, where Mr. Riddle was then put under a binding spell after he had attempted to shoot at the concerned good Samaritans. Aurors apparated to the scene minutes later, and Mr. Riddle was apprehended. Mr. Evans and Ms. Potter were pronounced dead at the scene, and Harriet was taken to St. Mungos. Mr. Riddle has several other outstanding criminal acts on his record, having been responsible for multiple counts of fraud and assault on in both the magical and non-magical worlds. This pattern alludes to Mr. Riddle organizing a terror campaign against magical society and those of the muggle world in business relations with it.
Jamie Potter, a graduate of the Hogwarts School Of Witchcraft in 1977, married her sweetheart Lyle Evans in July of 1979. One year later, their daughter Harriet was born. Families of both Evans and Potter describe the two as "inseparable".
"They had their fights like any couple, but Lyle really loved her" claims Petunia Evans, Lyle's sister.
"They got married pretty young, and Lyle was severely adamant that they could beat the odds and make their marriage work out. Lyle said he had met Jamie at Dobell's Jazz Record Shop in London and they just starting talking and hit it off immediately. First, it was their taste in music, and then it was their taste in movies, and eventually they got to their taste in, well, private matters. Lyle said it was like a fairy tale."
Mr. Potter and Mrs. Potter, who wish to remain anonymous, made similar declarations.
"Jamie had somewhat of a rebellious streak. She was a real spitfire, a wild child, and I believe that Lyle helped her settle down and have focus on what she really wanted in life" according to Mr. Potter.
"...She and her friends had gotten into a lot of trouble at school, and her magic wand was almost broken because of it. She was a good student, but was she too restless to just sit by and be a Prefect or win Head Witch. I think the Missus and I hold the record for being the parents who most often had to go to Hogwarts to meet with the Headmistress about proper punishments at home..."
"I shall miss her forever, and damn that muggle Riddle to the pits of Hell. the lowest level of Dante's Inferno, forever" he angrily added.
Tom Riddle is currently being kept under solitary confinement in the holding cells of the Auror Department in the London Underground. He will face trial by the Wizengamot in December.
Voldemort was still here, albeit in muggle form now. How ironic. But he still had enough psychopathy in him to murder two innocent young people in love and to facially disfigure a little baby. Harry felt a touch of dread come upon him. Fate, if it existed, seemed to inextricably link him to Tom Riddle and his parents dying...if of course, he was in an alternate universe. It was much more likely that he was mind modified as Hermione inferred. Oh, why of all day's today? Stop, Harry...you sound whiny.
Harry observed the front page of the next newspaper, this one dated December 15th of the same year.
TOM RIDDLE SENTENCED TO LIFE IN AZKABAN
by Agatha Báthory
Tom Marvolo Riddle Jr, the man who last Halloween killed Jamie Potter and Lyle Evans in cold blood, and injured their one year old daughter, was sentenced today by a unanimous vote from the Wizengamot..
Riddle will serve for life in Azkaban, the magical prison in the North Sea, in muggle grade solitary confinement. He will be separated from the rest of the population and not subject to the thrall of the dementor's whom guard the remainder of the prison.
Chief Warlock Almeda Dumbledore, who is also the Headmistress of the Hogwarts School Of Witchcraft , was the one who spoke on Mr. Riddle's behalf, requesting for Riddle to be kept in solitary confinement.
"Mr. Riddle showed definite signs of mental illness while he was being interrogated. A muggle psychologist was brought in, and he concluded that Tom Riddle displayed all of the symptoms required to diagnose him with Antisocial personality disorder."
Jamie Potter's parents, as well as Lyle Evans' family, spoke with tranquil fury and sadness at their children passing away at such a young age:
...Harry couldn't read anymore, so he folded the two newspapers and put them back in the trunk. He started crying. In front of him laid a blown up color photograph of the man who took his parents away from him.
Tom Riddle was a very good looking man, even in his fifties. He resembled Timothy Dalton a little bit when the latter had played James Bond back in the 80's(occasionally, Harry had been able to sneak a movie or two in on the telly when Mrs. Figg had fallen asleep during babysits). His cold, rage filled glare was as strong as ever. Even without wizard powers, he was clearly insane, manipulative, and evil.
At the bottom of the page, written in Harry's handwriting: TOM RIDDLE MUST DIE.
Harry wept for five more minutes before mustering the courage to think about how all of this could be.
Obliviation, or some other mind modifying spell, was at the top of the list in his mind. But why put so much detail into this?
If Harry was in an alternate universe, on the other hand, what happened to the Harriet Potter of this universe? Was she in Harry's own body right now, going through the exact same problems as he was? Oh bollocks, that meant that she had to face a Tom Riddle with powers now, and unlike the Riddle that she knew, Voldemort was virtually immortal and armed to the teeth with magic spells that could take down an army.
Sighing for one last time, realizing that spending all morning up here would draw too much attention and would solve nothing, Harry decided to get dressed and try to find out what happened to him and everyone else as covertly as he could. He decided to get dressed.
The Hogwarts uniform was more or less identical to the one in Harry's world, minus the red and gold plaid skirts he found folded alongside his pants. Harry ignored those, however, still worried about his sanity as well as his manhood, and merely decided to wear the standard black trousers. Harry put them on, looping the black belt around his waist, sighing at how tight the trousers felt due to his big butt and hips. These pants had obviously been tailored to fit the contours of Harriet's body, but Harry hadn't ever been more self conscious before. The pressed white shirt was fine, smaller than Harry's normal shirt's, but otherwise gender-neutral. He put it on, buttoned it up, and then noticed that with his long hair stuck inside, he had to pull it all out. He did so, with the messy locks feeling like silky tentacles. Then he put his black robe on, once again having to pull his long hair out of it. Arrgh!
He picked up his wand from the nightstand and stepped out into the radiance of sunlight, finally the warm glow blasting into his face like that one time he had gotten to go to the beach with the Dursley's. Taking a brief side trip into the sixth year bathroom, Harry studied his new self, twirling around from back to front. Harriet Potter was one pretty girl. It was just a shame that he had to be her. Her scar was still present, and Harry wondered why it hadn't gone away yet. After all, it wasn't magical in nature. He would have to ask Hermione about it.
The massive dining tables in the Great Hall were decidedly less populated than in his world. Though a lot of the boys that Harry knew seemed to have been born girls in this "Alternate Universe" just like he had been(in the Gryffindor section, for instance, he could see distaff counterparts of Dean Thomas, with her hair in cornrows, talking to who probably amounted to Seamus Finnigan, who had very pale skin and pouty red lips), not all of them were. Neville Longbottom was missing among the other sixth years. Over at the Slytherin table, there were no signs at all of Crabbe and Goyle, Malfoy's knucklehead bodyguards. Also, there was no Blaise Zabini, nor Theodore Nott. In Hufflepuff, Cedric Diggory was nowhere to be found, despite the fact that he couldn't have been killed by Tom Riddle in this universe since Riddle wasn't a wizard here. There were also a few others, but Harry was bad with names so he just...
"Oops, sorry" he said, accidentally bumping into a short girl with a bob of curly blonde hair who had been leaving the Great Hall. "Who are you again?"
"Colleen Creevy, future photographer!"
The girl pulled a large, old fashioned camera out of her knapsack, and took a picture of Harriet.
"Your name's Harriet, right? I think we met once in my first year. I'm a year below you. You're a great Seeker, is what I've heard."
"Yeah, I am" said Harriet, wiping her forehead, not realizing how conceited she sounded. Colleen didn't seem to notice. With her other hand, she shook Colleen's.
"Well, see ya! I'll make sure to make a copy for your own photo album." Colleen then bounced out the room, reminding Harry a little bit of Luna Lovegood.
Four giant velvet clothes covered the right hand wall, representing likenesses of the Four Founders of Hogwarts. In red and gold, a strong and powerful woman named Godiva Gryffindor was portrayed. On the next poster, in yellow and black, was the stout and matronly Helga Hufflepuff. In blue and bronze was a true lady and a scholar named Rowena Ravenclaw. Finally, in silver and gold, was the likeness of Safiya Slytherin, looking just as powerful as Godiva Gryffindor, but with a dark, foreboding look in her eyes.
Harry couldn't believe it. Seeing was believing, but only barely.
At the end of the table, Gryffindor Prefects Veronica and Hermione were eating and chatting animatedly with one another, no different than any of their younger peers. Harry had to say with no small amount of hesitation that Veronica looked absolutely amazing, but he was sure that was because she looked so much like Ginny. Well, mostly, since she was more filled out than Ginny. Not fatter, but taller and thicker, and built like a budding amazon. Hermione looked exactly the same as she did in Harry's world, but since she wasn't romantically involved with Veronica(or was she? Harry was sure Hermione wasn't bi-curious or lesbian, but who knew how much things were different here...), the relationship between the two seemed more like two good friends from different backgrounds. Not BFF's, but in a way something more special than that. The bickering between them inadvertently made each of them stronger- from Veronica, Hermione learned how to open up and act human. From Hermione, Veronica, much like Ron, probably learned critical thinking skills when it came to things outside the world of Chess.
At the front of the Great Hall was the professor's table. Where Severus Snape normally was resided a curvacious yet oily looking woman who must be her. Hagrid's seat was empty, but that wasn't exactly a surprise since he often took long trips away from Hogwarts on occasion, or even just stayed in his hut to eat sometimes. Harry couldn't begin to imagine what he looked like as a woman. Then there was Dumbledore...
It was nearly impossible for Harry to accept that this was Dumbledore. It was probably the missing beard, Harry surmised. It was the elderly wizard's defining trait. But if Albus Dumbledore was the real life version of Gandalf, this Dumbledore was definitely the real life version of the Greek goddess Demeter. Mature looking, but no less beautiful, Almeda Guinevere Wulburga Elizabeth Dumbledore looked down kindly upon Harriet with that same all knowing twinkle in her eyes.
"Hey guys" said Harriet, glancing away from Dumbledore's gaze and sitting down next to Veronica. Just like Ron would, she talked with her mouth full of bacon.
"H(muffled)y, H(muffled)t." Swallowing her food half whole, she then talked correctly. "Hey Harriet. What was your bad dream about?"
Veronica than belched loudly.
Hermione looked over at Veronica with a death glare.
"What? All I asked was what it was about?"
"You have no tact whatsoever."
"It's fine" said Harry to Hermione. "I just had a bad dream is all. I was in a place I've never been before, and for some reason, I was a boy in the dream."
"Oi, a boy? Maybe it has to do with Sigmund Freud, that muggle Professor Burbage talked about in Muggle Studies class. Weren't you talking about maybe going out with a boy back home?"
"No! It wasn't anything like that"
Oh no. I have a boyfriend back home? Things can't get any worse...