hey would you ever do a "what if harry potter had been a girl" story? or a trans girl? i don't know how much gender would change things except other people's perceptions but...
Hermione went to the library, when Harry first confided in her. Whatever the faculty, the administration, or the Ministry believed or didn’t believe, the Hogwarts library gave the children what they needed and always would.
Hermione came back with books and books on gender in wizarding history, on the spells and words wizards had used for centuries or decades or mere years, and she and Harry bent their heads together and figured out what words Harry felt best told her story. From her hometown library, after that first summer, Hermione brought back memoirs and brightly-colored pamphlets that Harry read through instead of finishing her Potions homework.
When Harry looked in the Mirror of Erised, she still saw her mother, her father, all her gathered, lost kin. The specter of her father gathered up her hands in his. Her mother pushed back the long dark hair Petunia had always made her cut short and she called her beautiful.
When she looked into it again, after Devil’s Snare and winged keys, giant chess and Ron lying prone on the floor, Hermione wringing her eleven year old hands in the potion riddle room– When Harry looked into the Mirror again, she saw herself, just herself. The girl in the mirror winked and smiled and slipped the Stone in Harry’s pocket. No matter what other wishes and want laid on her narrow shoulders, at the end of the day the thing Harry wanted most was to help. Harry brushed one hand over the lump of rock in her robe pocket, and then brushed her other over her mess of hair, which was feet shorter than the girl in the mirror’s.
She woke up in the hospital wing, bedside table piled high with candy.
Once Harry and Hermione had sussed out between them what the words were for what was going on here, they had explained it to Ron. Harry didn’t come out to anyone else until partway through second year, though, at the height of the Heir of Slytherin nonsense.
She was fed up, then. She just wanted to be left alone, and this wouldn’t help with that, but they were all already staring. Keeping this to herself felt like a vice around her chest. Hogwarts was supposed to be better.
After, Ron came almost to blows with anyone who goggled or sniffed or rolled their eyes. Seamas learned to swallow his tongue. Draco Malfoy didn’t. Hermione wrote up an explanatory note about appropriate pronouns in her best penmanship and then copied it with flicks of her wand. With Harry’s embarrassed permission, she gave it to every professor Harry had or would ever have.
Colin Creevey stopped her in the Great Hall with a tug on her sleeve. She turned, shoulders rising, and the kid said in his piping voice, “You’re still my hero.”
That was better than it could have been, but she wasn’t sure she liked the “still.”
Peeves, though he was nasty about everything else–ickle firsties and orphan girls–got it immediately. For all six years of her Hogwarts tenure, he dropped water balloons on the heads of anyone who misgendered her. Professor Binns never quite figured it out, but he didn’t know any student’s name. Nearly Headless Nick gallantly and somewhat awkwardly called her lady and tried to hold open doors for her, despite the fact that he couldn’t open them.
Snape called Harry “Mr. Potter” for all seven years that he was in Harry’s life. Around year three, Ron stopped counting the detentions he got for his increasingly sarcastic responses to this.
The whispers about the Heir of Slytherin grew louder and louder, keeping pace with “Uh, I thought it was the Boy Who Lived?” Fred and George Weasley took it upon themselves to walk Harry to and from class when they could, talking loudly enough to drown everything out.
Then Hermione got Petrified and the Heir whispers stopped abruptly. Harry, if she hadn’t been busy with Ron trading off reading their assigned textbooks aloud to Hermione in the infirmary, might have felt gratified that the whole school knew how much this bushy-haired kid meant to her. Alright, so they thought she might murder Muggleborns with a mysterious monster, or sic a snake on her opponent in a dueling club? But they knew she wouldn’t hurt Hermione for anything.
In the Chamber, she met Tom Riddle. He was supposed to be her mirror, though she didn’t quite know that yet. He was supposed to be her shadow, the chain around her ankle, the other half (or another eighth) of her story and his soul.
Ginny had been trying to speak for months– to tell someone, to open the diary and the bag under her bed full of chicken-blood-stained robes and to thrust them into the light. But Percy had shushed her, all his assumptions orbiting his own importance to her story. The teachers had patted her on the head. She had been frightened, eleven years old with Tom whispering in her ear, guiding her hands.
Harry had been trying to speak for years– to explain to someone the way she did not feel like Dudley, like Vernon, like the boys in the locker room at school. Hermione had listened. Hermione had given her books and books of people who felt like her. Ron had listened, and taught her wizard’s chess, and kicked Draco in the shins.
But here Harry was, standing alone– a red-haired lump at her feet, dark robes sodden with moldy water. Hermione was frozen. Ron was trapped behind a rock fall and Tom was pacing, gloating, glowing. Ginny was breathing. Ginny had to be breathing. Harry was going to save her. She had to, because no one had listened to the kid, not even Harry.
The phoenix tears left no scars on Harry’s arm. Riddle, the Chamber, the life going out of her, everything that had happened in that long year– none of it left scars on Ginny, or at least none that anyone could see.
When Harry got back to 4 Privet Drive that summer, she suffered through Aunt Petunia’s annual hair cut and then she curled up with Hedwig and wrote a letter. She wrote about the Muggle candies she missed when at Hogwarts, and how her cousin thought she was weird for being excited about summer homework. She asked Ginny how she was.
Ginny wrote back after a long week. She didn’t answer the question, but she wrote about helping Dad on the car, about the apple harvest coming, and Fred and George playing pranks on the ghoul in the attic.