Latin. saying of unknown origin: "per aspera ad astra" ("over rough ways to the stars"), here adapted as "per asperissima ..." ("over the roughest ways ..."))
When Harry left the station at the end of his fifth year at Hogwarts he was almost looking forward to spending two months away from the wizarding world and everything that would remind him of his godfather's death. Unfortunately, Uncle Vernon did not take the bullying he received from the Order members too well. It was not hard to notice that Harry was shaken to the bones, and the Dursleys took advantage of that. Subtlety was not their strength, but their constant sneers and scoffs shattered Harry's frail defences in no time, and he blew up in their faces after only two hours at Privet Drive when his uUncle suggested with a sneer that his presence was a threat to "normal" people.
Without his friends, not knowing what was going on in the wizarding world once more, Harry was easily caught in a tangled web of self accusations over Sirius's death and the almost-killing of his friends, musings of ifs and whats and outbursts of rage. In his highly emotionalised state Occlumency hardly worked, which left him with snaps and visions of Voldemort's doings and thoughts, none of which were pleasant to have, and almost unceasing pain in his forehead. Within a week the Dursleys had turned Harry into a nervous wreck.
The Weasleys had returned to the Burrow, in Ron's case, however, only for a short while. Hermione's parents had been shocked by the turn of events in the wizarding world and insisted that Hermione and her friends needed a timeout and offered to take them away from England for an extensive summer trip on the continent. For security reasons this was out of the question for Harry, but he did not mind at all if Ron went with the Grangers. He did not mind anything, he hardly registered what was going on. Ron and Hermione did mind of course, but there was no other way. So Ron happily left within a few days, looking forward to spending time with Hermione, while Mr and Mrs Granger agreed with each other that they had never seen their self-controlled daughter so fidgety as just before meeting Ron at the Leaky Cauldron. It only stood comparison to Ron's nervousness, which was amplified by the prospect of going on a Muggle holiday with Hermione's parents.
Only two days later Dumbledore decided to get Harry out of Privet Drive at once. The guards positioned around the house had reported that Harry seemed on the verge of losing his sanity while almost starving deliberately at the same time.
Since his security was of vital importance, the Weasleys agreed to move into Grimmauld Place with him. Ginny, however, was not at all glad about leaving the summer's idyll at the Burrow for the cheerless house in London, and Harry's nearly deranged mental state did nothing to make things easier. Within hours they had their first row. Ginny was incensed because her holidays had been ruined, while Harry pined over Sirius as if nothing else in the world mattered. She would be damned if she let him!
Harry was so exasperated already that even the slightest criticism let him lose his temper. The memory of Sirius, which was even stronger at Grimmauld Place, made the large house too small, and it seemed to him that it was impossible to avoid Ginny and her constant insistence that he had "to get it out and get done with it".
The fact that Harry really liked her was making the situation even more difficult. Harry was unable to explain when he had begun to find Ginny ... interesting. He had been impressed that she had had the guts to yell at him about being posessed by Voldemort; he had been anxious not to take her with him to the Department of Mysteries; he had felt protective of her when Bellatrix Lestrange wanted to torture her; he had felt horrible when she was hit with a stunning spell; his insides had lurched when she had told Ron that she had chosen Dean (Why Dean?). During his time with the Dursleys, he had often been overwhelmed with grief, shame and anger. Trying to find some relief, he had daydreamed about girls or just one girl; having a girl to call his own, a girl who would understand him, a girl to be his safe haven. This girl had never looked like Cho, but as his fantasies had become more pronounced and detailed, the girl had begun to grow fiery red hair and to sport amazingly cute freckles.
Therefore, after each quarrel with Ginny, Harry felt so ashamed of himself that he thought it was impossible to ever look her in the eye again, at the same time reminding himself that he was not really supposed to look into her eyes in the first place, because she was dating Dean Thomas. They were caught in a most vicious circle.
* * * *
Mr Arthur Weasley to Albus Dumbledore:
It seems that bringing Harry here was not a good idea. Ever since his arrival he and Ginny have been constantly fighting each other. Harry needs some space on his own, but cannot get it, because Ginny seems to believe that she has to make him see that he is not to be blamed for what happened to Sirius. She means well, but she does not understand that he needs a more careful approach.
Harry, on the other hand, cannot understand why she brings up his most painful memories time and again. After his experiences with the Dursleys, not having learned to fight in a civilised manner, he feels trapped here, and Ginny has to take the full brunt of his frustration.
Therefore, I fear that we face the danger of either our only daughter or Harry (You know, we feel about Harry this way.) cracking up sooner or later - or both of them. I do not want this to happen and I think the best thing would be to bring them both to the Burrow. It will be hard work to make it a safe place, but the effort might be worth while. It would give both of them space enough to avoid each other if necessary. And we should not forget that Harry's security is not the only thing that matters. He desperately needs to experience some normality.
A/N: Look like "Per Aspera Ad Astra"? This is the variant story, and it will take a different turn soon. Please, keep reading! - Thanks to Wolf's Scream, the Pony Express among pre-betas, and Jenadamson for their help. - Look at my profile for a disclaimer.