Story Summary:
"Young Harry Potter was always different from the other children, preferring the company of his books and the dusty corners of the local library to playing games in the park with his sisters. Aged fifteen, he was exactly the same, except for one thing: an obsession." [One-Shot] [Slashy] [AU]

Author's Note:
Once again, this is AU and slash. Don't like? Then click that little button at the top of the screen labled "back".

Young Harry Potter was always different from the other children, preferring the company of his books and the dusty corners of the local library to playing games in the park with his sisters. Aged fifteen, he was exactly the same, except for one thing: an obsession.

'Sad, isn't it?' he asked Hermione bitterly one day in the Hogwarts library. 'I'm in love with a straight guy.'

The table that almost seemed to be reserved for the two of them in the corner of the library was right next to one of the smaller windows positioned right next to the greenhouses, where he often went with whichever girl he was seeing at the time. Pascale Moon, if his memory served him correctly.

Hermione, who, apart from Susan, was perhaps the only one of his peers that Harry could consider a friend - she was more of a confidante, really - had given him a sad stare when she thought he couldn't see her, upon seeing the particular spot he'd chosen to be his study zone.

Harry had been well known when he'd first arrived at Hogwarts, his fame having grown in the four years proceeding his eleventh birthday. His "obsession" had been one of the few who never approached him with and outstretched hand and a welcoming smile.

Hermione thought that Harry just wanted Zabini's recognition because it was one of the few things he couldn't have. Harry thought that he was in love.

'Who is she?' Rosie and Shelly asked him the summer after his third year: Rosie's first. Apparently he had been spotted in a Blaise-induced daze, except that Rosie didn't know that "she" was a "he".

'I'm reading,' he replied. 'Leave me alone.'

Harry was pretty much invisible at school, except to Hermione and Susan: Rosie was too caught up in her newfound popularity among the Gryffindor girls to remember her dearly beloved older brother, and most of his adoring fans had grown bored of him after his reality had shattered all their delusions of a Gryffindor-Boy-Who-Lived.

In the Ravenclaw common room, people didn't make friends. They studied, and ignored each other. Those who wished to socialise did so with friends in other houses. Much like Harry himself did, actually: Hermione was the Gryffindor outcast, and Susan was one of brighter Hufflepuff students.

Zabini was a Slytherin. It was a well-acknowledged fact at Hogwarts that the Slytherins were the untouchables: they kept their relationships inter-house, for the most part, and those that weren't rarely lasted.

'She's a Slytherin, isn't she?' Shelly concluded during her first Christmas away from home. 'You'd tell us otherwise.'

Then Hedwig had arrived with a large box of presents from their parents, providing a convenient distraction so Harry didn't have to answer.

Hermione and Susan were the only people at school who knew about his obsession. Uncle Moony and Uncle Padfoot had figured it out, too, but they'd never told anyone, or so they claimed. Uncle Padfoot had almost given it away with Harry's fourteenth birthday present: a large, leather-bound volume entitled The Joys of Gay Sex.

Harry had managed to laugh it off, and his family had put it down to some weird attempt of Uncle Padfoot's to try to get Harry to understand the relationship between his father's two best friends. After the party, his face stained with such a deep shade of red that Harry thought it would never quite leave, he'd shoved the book under his bed, and left it there to gather dust. He thought he might have burnt it, if he believed in such things.

'I forgive you,' Susan said to him, sitting in Hermione's usual seat in the library, gazing out the window with Harry, where Zabini had his tongue down Pascale Moon's throat, and blushing furiously. Harry's face was still as pale as always, but his eyes were narrowed in anger as he stared at the Slytherin girl.

'What for?' Harry asked her.

'For loving him,' she answered.

'Congratulations,' Ernie Macmillan said five years later, when Harry was twenty, clapping him on the shoulder in a patronising manner. 'After four years, I almost expected that this would never happen.'

Harry smiled and accepted the Best Man's well wishes, and when Ernie had gone, his eyes flickered over to where his new wife was speaking with Hermione, the Maid of Honour.

Harry knew that Susan knew that he still loved Blaise. Hermione knew too, as did Uncle Moony and Uncle Padfoot, but they weren't telling, or so they claimed.

That evening, they lay in bed together, and Harry imagined that Susan's creamy skin was a dark tan, that her strawberry-blonde hair was pitch black, and that her cornflower eyes were dark brown.

'I forgive you,' she said the next morning. For not loving me back, went without saying.