Feeling Strangely Fine
by Gabe

And it's strange but you're feeling fine
"All Worked Out" Semisonic

The owling started almost immediately after I made it back to 4 Privet Drive. I expected Uncle Vernon to lash out at me for it, but he didn't. I kept telling myself that it was because most of the owls came at night, so it didn't bother him so much but I know that's a lie that I just comfort myself with. He doesn't say anything because though he's mean, he's spineless, and when he looks at me now, he knows I'll shove whatever caustic remark he has right back down his throat. I wonder if it's just because I appear stronger now, or if it's because death is still reflected in my eyes. I can't really tell--when I look in the mirror, I see the same face I've always seen. But I do know it's different. How could it not be, after the things I've seen and been a part of?

But I'm digressing. The owling started, and as of now--my 15th birthday--it hasn't really stopped. Most letters are sympathetic and comforting; but every once and a while there are a few that attempt to verbally scar me. I glance over all of them, but they all end up in the same waste bin at the end of the night. Every sympathetic note is a carbon copy of the one before it, and it bores me to tears. Every nasty letter is practically identical, and it makes me yawn. I still haven't figured out who leaked my address to the public--my first thought was Rita Skeeter had a hand in it, but Hermione did put up a rather stiff threat to the journalist, and I know the Hogwarts faculty wouldn't have. Well, perhaps Snape, but he would have realized the majority of the letters would comfort me, and that would ruin his fun entirely. So I don't really know. But whoever they are, they are placed on my Annoying List for the time being. Well, for the most part they are... There has been one redeeming moment in this flood of unwanted mail, but that's getting ahead of myself.

I don't really care about either set of mail for a very important reason, you see. The nasty batch is trying to rub the guilt in my face, while the other is trying to relieve me of it. Both sets are rather futile because, what they don't seem to realize is that I'm not feeling guilty. I'm actually rather guilt free. My moping is limited only to the fact that I'm spending another summer at the Dursleys because, lets be realistic, that would make any 15 year old child who isn't Dudley mope considerably.

The lack of guilt staining my conscience hasn't gone by unnoticed by myself, I can assure you that. It's made me want to question some of my moral groundings, but I'm afraid that whenever I try to think it over with just myself, I get hopelessly confused with the threads of thought. And I get the feeling bringing it up with anyone else I really know will lead to biased answers and overly large amounts of concern. I personally don't feel like dealing with either. That's why I'm waiting for Hannah's reply to my last owl.

Hannah Abbot is a Hufflepuff Hogwarts student in my year. I've known her, vaguely, through Herbology class practically my entire school career, so my curiousity was piqued when she wrote to me roughly a month ago. I had got a few letters from Hufflepuff students, and their reactions varied greatly, so I was, for once, interested to see whether she was condemning me or comforting me. To my great surprise, she did neither. Hannah simply wrote something along the lines of "I'm sorry about your ordeal and having to unwillingly play a part with Cedric's death, but, really, what's the point of rehashing the past so?" She then went on as if we were old friends, inquiring about random things and jotting down a few short ancedotes of her own.

Her letter I didn't throw away. Instead I threw away the rest of the post without even opening it, pulled out my quill and wrote a lengthy response. I answered her random questions and asked a few of my own; I explained the Dursley situation and therefore declined her suggestion of a telephone call--she was muggle born, but still, my getting a phone call at all would cause too many ripples in the pond, so to speak. Satisfied, if surprised at myself, I then sent the letter on its way with Hedwig, and in a couple days, got a response. It then set up a pattern. Hannah and I wrote pages upon pages about absolutely nothing really, getting to know each other through the quill. Rather quirky and old fashioned, I know, but we were content with it. It gave us a chance to find someone new, both in each other and within ourselves. We've also had more than one philosophical debate rage through the mail, which is why I'm comfortable with the idea of hitting her with the questions I had smacked her with in my last letter.

You see, I'm sitting here in my room in the dark, and I'm back to the quandry of the moral high ground. I'm wondering what everyone would think if they knew how I really feel... They keep telling me not to blame myself, but would it horrify them to know I don't feel this guilt they think I have? Does this make me Slytherin, or something worse than that? Or does it simply make me well adjusted? I don't think anyone really knows--I sure as bloody hell don't--but of all the people I know, Hannah will be able to at least give me her honest opinion, which is all I really want. But, another thought's just crossed my mind now... If her honest opinion is that yes, that this feeling strangely fine is something wrong, that I have thrown my morals out the window in order to feel guilt free, is it going to make me feel different? Am I going to want to feel the blame of it all?

No. Not really.

Well, I suppose that makes the question a moot point then, doesn't it?


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