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The Name Of The Game

Chapter 1: Kindred Spirits

The sun broke through the tattered drapes that hung over the window of the Weasley's guest bedroom. Harry didn't even stir. He just sat motionless, and awake in the bed. He had been awake the entire night. Sleep wasn't an option for him anymore. If he fell asleep then the nightmares would soon follow, and soon he would have to see the faces again. The faces of all those who had died, Sirius, Cedric, his parents. Even awake he saw them.

Ron and Hermione had tried to comfort him all summer, but nothing seemed to work. They just didn't understand how he felt. Harry had stayed with the Weasley's all summer. Hermione had just arrived a few days ago, and was to stay until school started in a week.

This particular morning Mrs. Weasley had a special surprise in store for the whole family. The enthusiasm was killing Ron. It was annoying everybody else.

There was a light knock on the door.

"Harry, breakfast is ready," Mrs. Weasley said.

"I'll be down in a minute"

Harry very badly wanted to tell Mrs. Weasley how he really felt. He wanted to yell at her, and tell her he didn't want to be bothered. But she was the closest thing he had to a mother. He couldn't do that to her.

A few minutes later he heard Hermione and Ginny walking past his room in a fit of giggles. The laughter stopped when they passed his door. The laughter always stopped when someone passed his door. A moment later Ron, George, and Fred walked passed talking about the latest Chudley Cannon's victory, but the conversation soon stopped as they walked passed his door. The conversations always stopped when they walked passed his door.

Harry drug himself out of bed and ran his hands through his tatty bed head. He changed into a blue hoodie, before opening the door and walking down the stairs. The Weasley's were already fighting over something stupid, none the less. Hermione sat quietly watching, until she spotted Harry.

"Good morning Harry! How did you sleep?"

"Oh wonderfully, thank you" he answered sarcastically.

Mrs. Weasley handed him a plate full of morning foods. Everyone knew that Harry hardly ate anymore. He ate what he needed to stay alive, and that was all. Ron leaned over to Harry,

"So mate, what do you suppose the big surprise is?" he asked

"Dunno," he replied.

"I think it's a dog. Or maybe a dragon"

"Ron, don't be ridiculous, you are not getting a dragon." Hermione chimed in

"If Hagrid can get one, so can we" Ron retaliated

"I don't know if you remember Ron, but Hagrid got that dragon off of Professor Quirrell, who just happened to be hosting Lord you-know-who. Oh yeah, there's also the detail about how he got it taken away!"

"Oh yeah, bring that up again." Ron said

"Alright everyone! I know you have all been excited about my big announcement. Well Ron has anyways." Said Mrs. Weasley

The whole room was silent. Ron was on the edge of his seat.

"Well I don't know how to say this but…"

Just then the doorbell rang.

"We are hosting an exchange student, which will be going to Hogwarts with you all, and she's at the door now." She said so quickly that it was hard to even understand what she had said.

The room was still silent.

"A girl?" Ron asked

"A girl!" Fred and George said together, grinning.

"A GIRL! And where will she be staying?" Ginny demanded

"Well with you of course Gin" Mrs. Weasley said as she quickly headed for the door, before her daughter could even start with a counterargument.

She opened it to reveal Dumbledore, and a tall red head with wavy long hair. With her she was carrying several bags. She wore a pink tank top with three buttons on the front, with a purple colored cardigan over it. With it she had a pair of dark blue denim jeans, and black slouch boots. The girl was overall ordinary, and she seemed to be the same age as the trio.

"Dumbledore! Great to be seeing you again!" Said Mr. Weasley, getting up to shake his hand.

"Yes it is and wonderful seeing you all here as well" said Dumbledore, with a slight gesture towards Harry.

"Please come on in, let me take your bags dear" said Mrs. Weasley.

"Everyone I would like to introduce Danielle Golding. She came all the way here from Dalewood, Connecticut" said Dumbledore.

Danielle stepped forward and shot a perfect smile.

"Hi everyone, it's nice to finally meet you. You can call me Danielle."

George was the first to stand and offer his hand out to her.

"I'm George, master of trickery and love," He said with a wink. Fred stood up too and offered his hand to Danielle.

"Yes and I'm his brother Fred, he gets it all from me." Hermione giggled.

"Nice to meet you." Danielle said.

"My name is Hermione Granger. Is this your first time being in London?" Asked Hermione.

"Actually no, I used to live here when I was little." She said, but she seemed uneasy at the topic.

"Wonderful! Well I suppose we will be getting to know each other a lot, being Gryffindors together and such."

"Actually Ms Granger I don't believe that is entirely true. All the exchange students will be sorted into houses at the start of the year feast, just like you all went through." Said Dumbledore matter-of-factly.

"Oh, well than she should have nothing to worry about. A Gryffindor is brave, and smart. You seem like you would fit in perfectly, right Ginny?"

"Oh yeah of course, nothing to worry about." Said the fiery red head.

"I'm so sorry, I forgot to introduce the rest of the gang," said Mrs. Weasley "That over there is Ron, that's Ginny, you'll be rooming with her for the time being, that's Mr. Weasley, you can call him Arthur. Oh and that over there is Harry.

"Well it's great to meet you all," said Danielle. Harry couldn't help but notice that Danielle was looking a little bit strangely at him.

"Please sit down, get yourself some breakfast! Later you'll get to know everyone better. Oh, I have a wonderful idea! Fred, George why don't you too take Danielle down to your joke shop later! It will be a wonderful chance for you all to bond." Mrs. Weasley suggested.

"Of course! That is a spectacular idea!" George almost yelled.

"I agree completely! A Fantastic idea indeed!" Fred said

"Well than it's settled."

"What do you think Danielle dear?" Asked Mrs. Weasley

"I know you! You're Harry Potter! You-"

This set Harry off the edge. The same edge he had been standing on for a long while.

"The boy who lived! Yes I know, I defeated Voldemort when I was only one years old, and I also witnessed the death of Cedric Diggory a year ago, when the dark lord returned. Would you like to see my scar?" Harry yelled as he thrust his hair back to reveal his lightning bolt shaped scar. He shoved his chair back and bolted up the stairs to his room.

The entire kitchen was silent. Everyone looked at Danielle awkwardly.

"I was just going to say that he was an excellent Quidditch player."

"I am so sorry for that, he's been going through a bit of a rough time."Ron said

"Oh, I understand. Maybe I should go talk to him." Danielle suggested

"I think maybe he needs some time to blow off some steam." Hermione said

"I feel terrible about this all." Danielle said

"It's fine really. We'll talk to him before we go to the joke shop, and calm him down."Hermione said

"Sure, sure. Oh and please let him know that I am really sorry."

"Of course" replied Hermione

Hermione and Ron both disappeared into the living room. Danielle stood alone in the hallway.

"This is going to be a long summer" said Danielle

Hermione traveled up to Harry's room, with Ron and Danielle on her heels, and gently knocked on the door.

There was no noise from within his quarters, but this was nothing unusual considering that Harry had barely spoken a word to anyone in days.

"Harry it's just me and Ronald. We want to know if you're alright."

A very inaudible 'fine' was heard from within the room.

Hermione sighed, "Look Danielle didn't mean anything by it. She said she just wanted to tell you she really likes how you play quidditch." Hermione reassured her sullen friend.

Nothing was heard again.

"Yeah mate, she really wanted you to know she didn't mean anything by it. If it's alright she would like to apologize." Ron said

"Fine" Harry silently spoke. Ron and Hermione exchanged a surprised look. They looked back at a very surprised looking Danielle. Hermione and Ron gave her a reassuring look that seemed to say good luck, before heading back downstairs.

Danielle knocked before softly opening the door to Harry's messy quarters. She looked around at the scattered books, and items of clothing lying around the floor. Finally she found Harry sitting by the window, arms folded in front of his chest, legs propped up on the window sill. It appeared that he hadn't noticed her come in, but then he turned his head away from the particularly dull view, and stared blankly at Danielle.

"May I have a seat?" she asked as she gestured towards his bed. Harry shrugged.

"Listen Harry I know that we seemed to have gotten off on the wrong note downstairs, but I really am sorry if I humiliated you in any way."

"Its fine, you didn't know right. Or at least that's what you told everyone downstairs." Harry said rather bluntly and sarcastically.

"I guess you want the truth then."

Harry's look suggested that was exactly what he wanted.

"Ok well first off, I have no parents. Just like you. When I was about one year old, my parents were working at the hospital wing. I was left with my aunt. To this day I'm still not quite sure what happened to them, but from what I've been told they were murdered. I don't know who did it, or why. But Harry we are more alike then you think." Danielle said

Harry stared at Danielle, but with a different expression then before. It was more an expression of understanding.

"Look I know that I am the last person you thought would know what you're going through, but the truth is that hope comes in the strangest of forms. I know who you are, and about the boy who lived. For your sake though, nobody needs to know that." Danielle said to a still confused looking Harry.

"Yeah, I understand." Harry simply said

"I don't know about you, but I don't think that Fred and George can stand me being up here alone with you. In fact I am pretty sure that they are listening at the door as we speak." Suddenly the sound of hurried footsteps moving down the stairs was made. Danielle giggled, and this made Harry do something that he felt he hadn't done in a long time, smile.

The two got up and shook hands, declaring a silent but understood truce. When they made their way downstairs everybody was waiting to go the joke shop.

"Everything alright I take it." Said Hermione

"Everything is…" Danielle looked at Harry.

"Everything is great" He finished. He smiled at his new friend. He was glad to have someone who knew what he was going through. Now he would have her with him for a whole summer, and through the school year to help him cope. Danielle was like a guardian angel sent to him at his worst time. Deep inside Harry knew that this was going to be a long summer.

You all are probably wondering what is going on. Well this is obviously not an "official" update. I edited the story a little and combined chapters, but nothing was deleted I promise! Read it again if you please, while I encourage all new readers to do the same. A real update is on the way though I promise!


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