The Sugar Quill
Author: Cogito Ergo Sum  Story: A Change of Fate  Chapter: Chapter One
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Chapter One

"Harry! Harry, over here!" Harry turned around to see his best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger yelling and waving madly from the steps of Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlor. He grinned and dashed down the street to meet them. As soon as he set foot on the patio of the parlor, Hermione shrieked and threw her arms around his neck. Patting her back a bit awkwardly, he gasped, "Mione, you're holding me a bit tight, there. Think you could let me go?" Blushing, Hermione pulled back, but even as she did, she started scolding him.

"I didn't get one owl from you this summer and I was so worried! I was afraid something had-" Ron interrupted her and slapped Harry's back.

"Good to see you mate," he said over Hermione's lecturing. Hermione glowered, but Harry only laughed.

"What are you guys doing here?" he asked.

"Well," Ron began before Hermione could start up again, "Dad told me you were staying at the Leaky Cauldron again, so we picked up Hermione and came here today. We'll be staying here until September first instead of at the Burrow." Hermione's eyes widened.

"You knew he was all right?" she demanded. Ron nodded.

"And you didn't tell me?"

"Um, no?" he squeaked.

"You little-" she started, but Harry stopped her.

"Don't think he knew you didn't know," he said gently. Hermione's face reddened and she yanked her arm from Harry's grip.

"All right then," she declared, suddenly businesslike, "first stop is Flourish and Blotts." The two boys groaned and Hermione waggled her finger at them.

"School is a great deal more-"

"-important than Quidditch and ice cream!" the boys chorused.

"We know," Harry finished. Hermione's face was still stern as she grabbed the elbows of her friends and started dragging them down Diagon Alley.

"Flourish and Blotts it is!" she announced cheerfully, ignoring the grumblings of the two sixteen-year-olds behind her.

* * * * *

A week later as Ginny, Ron, Harry, Hermione, Fred and George boarded the Hogwarts Express, the Weasleys stood on the platform waving and calling out their goodbyes.

"Fred, George, if I get any owls from Professor McGonagall this year, you two are going to be sorry!"

"Harry, don't you go looking for trouble!"

"Hermione, keep my son in line!" That was Mr. Weasley, and Hermione and Ron immediately flushed scarlet.

"Dad!" Ginny poked Ron.

"He's right, though," she whispered. Ron whirled around and pulled his wand.

"You-" Ginny danced, laughing, out of his reach. Fred immediately picked her up, cast a Feather-light Charm on a struggling George and carried them both out of the compartment, leaving only Harry, Hermione and Ron in the small room.

"Bye, Dad, Mum!" Ron yelled.

"Goodbye, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley!" Hermione cried out the window.

"See you next summer!" Harry shouted. Hermione elbowed him.

"Ouch! What was that?"

"That was not the right thing to say!" she admonished.

"It's true!" he protested. Ron giggled. Hermione stared at him.

"Ron?"

"What?"

"Did you just giggle?"

"So what if I did?"

"Nothing, nothing!" Hermione said hastily. "I just...never mind." Ron shrugged as the train began pulling out of the station.

"Okay." The trio was thrown backwards in their seats as the train picked up speed, soon roaring along the countryside. Hermione muttered, "Ingen inngang," and the compartment door clicked. Ron looked at her.

"What did you do?" Hermione shrugged.

"Cast a permanent no entrance spell on it," she said casually.

"Wicked! Teach me!" Hermione stared.

"You want to learn something?" she asked in amazement. Ron looked hurt, and then grinned wickedly.

"Might be helpful at night," he said suggestively, winking at her. She turned red and Harry burst into laughter.

"How long as this been going on?" he demanded through his laughter. Ron's ears turned pink.

"A month or so..." Hermione mumbled. Harry laughed even harder.

"Took you long enough to figure it out!" Hermione made a face.

"That was not my fault!" she declared. Ron started to argue, but just then, the train stopped, they were all thrown forward and there was a large bang at the front. The lights went out.

"Ron?" Hermione whispered. "Harry?"

"Yeah?" they asked in unison.

"Where are you?"

"I'm not sure, exactly. I can't see," Ron said sarcastically.

"Of course not, there's no lights!" Hermione said, clucking her tongue at them.

"Can't you remedy that?" Harry demanded.

"I don't know how to work the lights!" she protested.

"Hermione?"

"What, Ron?"

"You're a witch."

"So?" Ron groaned.

"And they say you're intelligent? I'd like to see dumb! Lumos." The tip of Ron's wand lit and he held it up.

"Oh yeah..." Hermione whispered. Ron giggled again. Then suddenly, he said, "Hey, Harry, how'd you get over there?" There was no reply.

"Harry?"

"D'you think, Ron, that he's gone to sleep?" Ron grinned.

"Maybe he's thinking about Cho Chang..." he laughed. The boy in the corner suddenly looked up.

"Cho Chang...she's changed her name?" he demanded. Ron raised his eyebrows.

"No, as far as I know, it's always been Cho. You know, the one who was dating-" As he realized what he'd been about to say, he fell silent. The other boy didn't catch on.

"I thought her name was Lian..."

"No," Ron argued, "that's Cho's mum. Remember, 'cause she kept her name when she married Cho's dad. Merlin, you hit your head hard in that fall!"

"Wait! How d'you know so much about Cho's family?" Hermione asked.

"Because the great prat in the corner jabbers about her so much," Ron answered nonchalantly.

"Oh. Harry, are you okay?"

"Harry? I'm not Harry. Who are you?" he demanded. Ron laughed and walked over to him, plopping himself beside his friend.

"You know, sometimes your sense of humour is just bizarre." The boy frowned.

"I wasn't joking."

"Sure you were. Oh, look! The train's just begun moving!"

"We ought to put on our robes," Hermione said.

"Yeah, we should," Ron agreed. "Harry, you go to the bathroom. I'll go to Fred and George's compartment. They'll let me change in there. See you in twenty minutes, then?"

"Right," Hermione agreed. "We ought to be at Hogwarts by then."

"But the witch with the food cart hasn't even come yet!"

"I know," Hermione said, "but they've made the trip quicker this year.” Upon seeing Ron and Harry’s questioning looks, she explained, “Even though Fudge doesn’t seem to believe you and Dumbledore about what happened last year at the Right, then. Go change." Ron shook his head and grabbed his robes from his trunk, trying to get out the door. When he couldn't pull it open, he turned around and said to Hermione, "Mione, could you, erm, unlock this for me?" Hermione giggled and said, "Alohomora!" The door sprang open and Ron walked through, closing it behind him.

* * * * *

After the feast and the Sorting that night, Ron and the other boys walked up to their dorm. Once they'd gotten themselves settled into bed, Neville commented, "You know, Harry, you've been awfully quiet tonight." The boy in question shrugged.

"Yes, I know. I'm just...tired. That's all." Neville nodded, satisfied.

"All right, then. Maybe you'll feel better tomorrow." And with that, all five settled into bed. The next day was not pleasant. When they walked into Potions, Harry gasped.

"He teaches here?" Ron looked at him strangely.

"Yes...he's been teaching us for the past five years, remember?" Quickly, Harry nodded.

"Oh yeah...sorry. Brain lapse."

"Maybe you should go to the infirmary," Hermione said worriedly.

"No, that's all right," he reassured her. "I'm okay." It went a bit like that in all their classes, except that Professor McGonagall had given him several odd looks throughout the period. When they got back to the common room after their last class, four hours before dinner, Ron and Hermione practically dragged him to the far corner of the room and pushed him down on a chair. They sat on a couch opposite from him and looked at him suspiciously.

"What?" he demanded.

"Harry," Ron began, "you're not acting like yourself. You've never been like this. And last year, you never would have been able to Transfigure that rabbit into a toadstool before Hermione did."

"I studied Advanced Transfiguration last year!" Harry defended himself. Hermione and Ron exchanged glances.

"No, you didn't," Hermione said gently. "You studied regular Transfiguration with us, remember?" Harry shook his head, as if to clear it of cobwebs.

"Oh, yeah, I remember..." he said slowly.

"Look," she said, "we know you're not Harry."

"Y-you do?"

"Yes, we do," Ron interrupted.

"How?" Ron looked at Hermione curiously.

"Yeah, how?" he demanded. Hermione hid her grin.

"Well, for one thing," she pointed out, "your eyes aren't green. And for another, you don't have a scar."

"They aren't? He doesn't?" Ron asked, leaning forward to see. "They aren't! He doesn't!" he said wonderingly. "Harry, how'd you get brown eyes? And where'd your scar go?"

"He didn't! And it didn't go anywhere!" Hermione cried in exasperation. "That's not Harry!"

"Oh, yeah. Continue, then."

"Harry-or whomever you are, you're not doing a very good job of pretending to be Harry. Now, I'm a little bit scared, considering I don't know who you are, but we're willing to give you a chance."

"We are?" Ron asked. Hermione elbowed him. "Oh, yes, we are," he said hastily.

"So," Hermione continued, "I'm going to give you this opportunity to tell me who you actually are." Imposter-Harry sighed and held out his hand.

"Well, seeing as how I now know who you are, I suppose I can do that. Hi. My name is James Potter. How on Earth did I get here?"

(A/N) Sorry about the thing with the food cart, but I couldn't think of any way to fit it in. In the next chapter, Snape gets a couple rather odd spells cast on him. These are things I would like to inflict upon him. If you want to email me, have suggestions or whatever, my email is serpenscantare@hotmail.com. For those of you who don't speak Latin, it means dragon song. Okay, then! Reviews are good! Anyone who reviews gets a great fat hug! Reviews can be sent to my email or they can be left on the review-y board thing. Flames are welcome, and will be used to toast my brother's perpetually cold feet!

 

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