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#1. What Happened Next? by FawkesThePhoenix

Format: Novel
Chapters: 32
Word Count: 149,442
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Contains profanity, Strong violence, Scenes of a mild sexual nature, Substance abuse, Sensitive topic/issue/theme, Spoilers

Genres: General, Action/Adventure
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, McGonagall, Draco, George, Ginny, Luna, Neville, OC
Pairings: Harry/Hermione, OC/OC, Ron/OC, Other Pairing

First Published: 07/13/2015
Last Chapter: 03/13/2017
Last Updated: 03/13/2017

Summary:
Following on from the end of the Battle in Deathly Hallows. Harry and Hermione fell in love instead of Hermione/Ron and Harry/Ginny.

Follows the stories of Harry, Ron and Hermione as they deal with life after the greatest adventure of their lives.


Chapter 2: Chapter Two.

"How did we get dragged into this?" Ron mumbled as he, Harry and Hermione were walking down the cobbled streets of Diagon Alley.

"It'll be fun!" Harry said cheerfully knowing all too well that Hermione would be listening to his response with eager ears.

"Maybe for you but you have Hermione, I'm alone. I'll be lumbered with Ginny!"

"You're not alone. Don't be stupid." Hermione argued. "It'll be just like it used to be."

"No, you and Harry are a couple now, that means everything will be different."

"Shut up," Hermione ordered. "Right, we need new robes, Harry needs a wand, our books and supplies. Is that all?"

"I want a new wand too," Ron answered.

"Fine. Where do you want to go first?" She paused for two seconds and then said, "I say robes, books, supplies and then get your wands?" All Harry and Ron could do was stare at her, she did enjoy taking control.

Diagon Alley had been restored wonderfully, if an outsider came to visit, they wouldn't have been able to tell that there was a war merely several months before. Knockturn Alley had been reinvented too, but it was still a scary place and people rarely wanted to be seen there. Harry, Ron and Hermione walked towards Madam Malkin's to get fitted for their Hogwarts Robes. They needed to buy everything again; Harry just hoped Hermione remembered what was on the list all those years ago.

As Harry opened the door, he was greeted by a beautiful girl who couldn't have been much younger than them. "Hi. She said with a strong Irish accent. "You pronounce it like Ee-fa." She added when she noticed their confused faces as they stared at her name badge 'Aoife'.

"Nice to meet you Aoife. Is Madam Malkin here?" Hermione asked politely.

"No, I'm her great-niece, though, I can help you with what you need."

Aoife was amazingly gorgeous; she had deep black hair, fair skin and the most vibrant green eyes anyone had ever seen. Her fringe framed her face nicely as the rest of her straight hair fell to below her shoulder. Harry looked over at Ron, but he hadn't even looked at Aoife yet, he was too busy looking at all the types of work robes. "Well, we're here for Hogwarts robes," Hermione roared, glaring at Harry for gawking at Aoife.

"Hogwarts robes?" She questioned but didn't pry any further. "A lot of your age have turned up wanting Hogwarts robes. I suppose since the conclusion of the war; everyone wants to go back to school. My parents are finally letting me go this year. They didn't want me going there in case I got caught up in all of it. My father has been teaching me." She shared.

"I guess with the fear of Voldemort gone; everyone wants things to go back to normal." Hermione agreed, she glanced over at Harry and noticed he was still staring at Aoife. "Sorry for not introducing ourselves. I'm Hermione, and this is my boyfriend, Harry." She said forcefully, she was never normally a jealous person, but she didn't like all of Harry's attention being on Aoife.

"Obviously I already know who you are. Last year you were the three most wanted people in the Wizarding World, and now you are the most celebrated." She giggled. "Anyway, let's get you lot measured up." So she got out three tape measures which went to work for her. "Do you need just work robes or everything?" She questioned.

"Everything. Including three Gryffindor ties please." Hermione said.

"Coming right up."

Several minutes later, Harry, Ron and Hermione had purchased all their robes. Hermione and Aoife had begun talking, and it turned out, Aoife liked books too. Hermione invited her to walk around with them but, unfortunately, she had to work, but she did say she would try and catch up with them after Madam Malkin came back.

"She was nice." Hermione smiled as they left the shop and headed towards Flourish and Blotts to pick up their school books. Harry eyed Hermione suspiciously. "I'm not jealous of her!" Hermione added. "She's really nice, and she said that we looked cute together." She giggled.

"Well," Harry said before kissing her cheek, "We are cute together."

"So cute it's sickening." Ron moaned. "I thought nothing would change."

Harry and Hermione ignored him as Harry put his arm around Hermione's shoulder. They carried on down the street when they saw Draco Malfoy limping along with his mum. "Hi, Draco," Harry chirped. Before Draco could say anything, the three of them had walked off.

They finally arrived at Flourish and Blotts. Hermione stated that she had contacted McGonagall and she had asked the shopkeepers to put the books they needed back for them. Harry and Ron decided that due to the vast amounts of people in the shop, they would give Hermione the money and she could go in and get the books. She wasn't a fan of this idea but couldn't say no to Harry's wide eyes.

"So...do you reckon Aoife will find us?" Ron said trying to sound casual.

"Why?" Harry asked trying not to laugh.

"No reason," Ron said going bright red.

"Hey!" Came a voice from the crowd. "I'm glad I found you two, where's Hermione?" It was Aoife, Harry looked at Ron and noticed that his cheeks had gone even redder.

"She's just getting our books," Harry replied. "Did your aunt come back early?"

"No, my brother Aengus said he would take over." She smiled. "Is it alright if I walk around with you? I don't know anyone at Hogwarts; I hope my dad taught me the right things." She laughed. "Sorry, I get awkwardly nervous around strangers."

"Don't worry so does Ron." Harry laughed. Ron glared at Harry, but that didn't turn back time. "How old is your brother?" Harry asked, still trying not to laugh at Ron's face.

"Same age as me, we're twins. Well, triplets actually but I don't know where Ardal is."

"So there's Ardal, Aengus and Aoife?" Harry asked.

"Yep, we come from a very Irish family." She laughed.

"I didn't know Madam Malkin was Irish." Harry pondered.

"Oh she's not, but my dad is, and he's not related to her. She's my grandmother's sister. Meaning she is my Mum's Aunt. We were brought up in Ireland though so that make's us a hundred percent Irish, according to my dad." She laughed. "You don't talk much, do you?" She looked towards Ron.

"Sorry, I normally do, but as Harry said, I get awkwardly nervous around strangers." He tried to laugh at himself.

"Well, I'm Aoife Curran, I'm nearly 17, and I have been homeschooled in Ireland for my entire life. There, now I'm not a stranger." She smiled.

Ron laughed, "Now you're not a stranger. I'm Ron Weasley, and I'm 18. My friends are making me go back to Hogwarts to finish my last year."

"Oh, so we'll be in the same year. What subjects do you take?" She enquired.

"Potions, Defence against the Dark Arts and Herbology. How about you?" Ron asked he had finally found his voice.

"Potions, Charms, Herbology, Transfiguration and Defence against the Dark Arts," Aoife told him.

"Wow, that's nearly as many as Hermione is taking," Ron said in amazement.

"I want to be a Healer so I need to take these subjects. I did alright in my OWLs so hopefully I will be okay this year. How about you, Harry? What subjects do you take?"

"Potions, Defence against the Dark Arts, Herbology and Transfiguration," Harry said.

"Auror?" She asked.

"How did you know?" Harry laughed.

"Only small hints...like... you're Harry Potter." She laughed.

"Hermione!" Harry said as he saw her walk towards them, arms weighed down with books. He ran over to her to help her.

"How long have they been together?" Aoife whispered to Ron.

"Who knows, I think they only made it official when Voldemort died. But they've been close since our first year." Ron replied.

"Thanks," Hermione said, looking up at Harry.

"No problem." He said before kissing her.

"Awww," Aoife muttered. Ron looked at her questioningly. "What?" She blushed. "I think they're cute." She looked at Ron's disgusted face. "You're just jealous." She mocked. "You want a Hermione in your life!"

"No! What about you? Do you want a Harry?" He teased.

"How do you know I don't already have one?" She asked, she didn't wait for an answer and walked off towards Harry and Hermione.

"Hey, Aoife. We're going to Ollivanders to get wands for Harry and Ron. Do you want to come with us? After that we're done so, we can get some lunch or something?"

"Sounds great!" Aoife said. So all four of them walked off to Ollivanders shop.

"Do you know what house you'll be in?" Hermione asked Aoife.

"No, but my whole family have been in Ravenclaw, so I guess I'll be put there."

"That's a shame," Hermione said.

"Yeah, but maybe I'm brave enough for Gryffindor." She laughed.

"Luna is in Ravenclaw; we'll introduce her to you," Harry smiled.

"Luna Lovegood? I've known her for a while. Her dad and my mum used to work together."

"Great! So you do know someone." Harry said.

"Yeah, I guess. We never really were friends. She was more friendly with Ardal; he's into all things weird and wonderful." She chuckled.

"Sounds like Luna." Ron laughed.

*

Several hours later, Harry, Ron and Hermione walked through the front door of The Burrow and were welcomed by Mrs Weasley's smiling face. "Hello, you three." A chorus of "hellos" filled the room. "I am so glad you've decided to return to Hogwarts, Ron."

"Of course, I always wanted to." He said blissfully before running upstairs to put his new school supplies in his trunk.

Mrs Weasley watched in astonishment as her stubborn son ran upstairs. "What was all that about?" She asked Harry and Hermione.

"Aoife." Hermione giggled.

"Who is Aoife?" Mrs Weasley asked.

"Oh, you'll find out, I'm sure.

"We're exhausted, so I think we'll be going straight to bed. Thank you for having us these past few days. It actually made a lot of difference." Hermione added.

"Alright, dears. Will you be staying for breakfast?"

"If that's alright with you?" Hermione asked.

"Of course, you are always welcome here!" She beamed at them.

"Thank you," Hermione said.

"Hermione? Are you coming?" Harry asked as he began to walk off to their room.

"Yeah, in a second. I just need to do something." She watched as Harry walked out of earshot and then turned to Mrs Weasley. "Thank you so much for letting us stay with you. It has done wonders for Harry. I'm hoping that returning to Hogwarts will continue to heal him." Hermione smiled while getting slightly teary.

"Don't mention it. You two are always, always welcome here. I'm glad that we could help Harry feel better." She smiled back.

Hermione nodded before making her way to her room. As soon as she turned the handle and walked in, Harry said, "Are we really going straight to bed?" With a small smirk on his face.

"What do you think?" Hermione answered with a sparkle in her eyes.

*

At about 11 o'clock, Harry and Hermione arrived back at her parent's house. They only had a week left before the start of school so they had decided to return home, after making arrangements with the Weasley's about 1st September.

"Thanks for taking me there, Hermione," Harry said as they walked through the front door.

"No problem, I'm just glad it helped you." She smiled at him.

"How is it you always know what's best for me?" He laughed as he put his arms around her waist.

"Because I know you better than you know yourself." She giggled. She stood on her tiptoes and gently kissed him; he returned the kiss. After several glorious minutes, Hermione pulled away, "We need to pack," she said.

"Why did you have to say that now?" Harry moaned.

"Stop whining," she laughed, "we don't have long before we go."

"Bu-but."

"Harry, we need to pack."

Although he loved her with all his heart, her obsessive organisation skills were something he could do without, saying that, they were the reason he was still alive today so, he stopped moaning and got on with the packing.

"See, that wasn't so hard, was it?" She asked him when he had finally closed his trunk. "Now, you are free for the rest of summer."

"Oh yeah? Want to make me busy?" He laughed.

"Harry! Hermione! Are you here?" Came the voice of Hermione's mum.

"Coming, mum!" Hermione called back. "Sorry, Harry." She sniggered as she ran downstairs to greet her mother.

"Hi, darling. Did your trip help Harry?" She said somewhat quietly.

"It did, thank you. We're all going back to Hogwarts to finish our final year." Hermione smiled.

"What?! When do you go back? Oh, Hermione, I wish you had told us sooner." Her mother sighed.

"I didn't know then. Can't you just be happy for me?"

"Of course I'm happy for you, you just don't understand. When you're a mother, you'll know the feelings." She looked sadly at her only daughter.

"Oh mum, I still love you." She said, hugging her tightly.

"I love you too, Hermione. Just be careful this time." She ordered, returning the hug.

"I'll look after her," Harry said standing by the door to the living room. Hermione let go of her mum and smiled at Harry.

"I know you will. Like you did last time." Her mum said with every ounce of confidence.

All three of them heard the front door unlock, open and close. "I'm home!" Hermione's dad called from the hall.

"Hello!" Everyone called out to him.

He made his way into the living room. "Ah, Harry, Hermione, it's good to have you back." He smiled at them.

"They're not here for long," Hermione's mother spoke. "They're going back to Hogwarts next week."

"Well, let's make good use of the time we have left. I was thinking a holiday?"

"Really?" Hermione squealed. "Isn't it a bit late to book?"

"No, one of my patients owns a house in Paris, and he said that we could stay there. It doesn't take too long to drive to France so we can go tomorrow."

"Oh wow. Love, that's amazing."

"Yeah dad, that's brilliant." Hermione chirped.

"Everyone pack your things then. Enough for a long weekend."


"Have you ever been to Paris before?" Hermione asked Harry as they walked up to their room to pack for the second time that day.

"No, I've never really been on holiday," Harry informed. "Have you?"

"Couple of times, dad makes a lot of contacts doing what he does. Luckily they owned their Practice so can take time off whenever." Hermione laughed. "It's lucky really because of me being at Hogwarts most of the time. You'll love it there; it's really romantic and tranquil."

"It'll be fun to get away before Hogwarts." Harry agreed. "Plus, if it's romantic, I have an excuse to do this," he picked Hermione up and spun her round. She laughed and wrapped her legs around his body.

"And I have an excuse to do this," she said before placing her lips on his. She was so glad that Harry was back in the 'now', she had been worried that he would constantly live in the past for the remainder of his life, forgetting to live in the present.

*

Early in the morning the next day, Hermione's mum came in to wake them up. The ferry left Dover at 8 am and the car journey to the port would take just over two hours. It was so early, Hermione's eyes stung every time she blinked. "Morning mum," she yawned as both she and Harry had walked into the kitchen for some breakfast.

"Morning," she replied cheerfully. "I've made you both a nutritious breakfast, eat up. We need to leave in about twenty minutes." With that, she left to help her husband pack up the car.

"Do you need any help with packing up the car, Mrs Granger?" Harry asked.

"No thank you, Harry, you have breakfast to eat. Oh, and call me Rose." She smiled at him.

*

About 7 hours later, they had finally reached the house they were staying in. Harry helped Hermione's dad bring in all the bags as Hermione and her mum sorted out the sleeping arrangements.

The house was beautiful; Harry couldn't really see the outside of it, but the inside was spectacular. The downstairs was mostly open-plan with exposed brickwork and beams. The bedrooms looked similar to the downstairs, but obviously had typical bedroom furniture including a massive, four-poster bed. "Wow." Was all Harry and Hermione could say as they walked around the house.

"Impressive, isn't it." Rose chuckled. "I think we should all go off to bed now, though; we have had a very busy and long day."

So Harry and Hermione slumped upstairs and, as soon as their heads touched the pillows, fell asleep.

France was a beautiful country, and Paris was a wonderful city. Every day, the four of them would eat at small restaurants and cafes and every night, they would walk the roads and lanes of Paris. When the time came to pack up and leave, Harry had fallen in love with the place. As they began their mammoth drive across France to get to Calais, Harry turned to Hermione, "I promise to bring you back here one day." Both of them smiled, and Hermione reached over and put her hand in his.

*

"Hermione! Get up. Ron will be here soon." Harry hadn't slept at all; his mind was just going over everything that happened at Hogwarts from the very beginning. He knew that it would all be different, but maybe that wasn't what he wanted.

"Huh?" Hermione had half awoken. "Whataya talking about?" She mumbled.

"We're going back to school today." He laughed. Even half awake, she was the most beautiful person he had ever seen. It almost took his breath away.

"What time is it?" She suddenly wasn't asleep at all.

"We've got about an hour before he gets here," Harry informed her. The way Hermione's body was blocking the morning sun made her look like a silhouette, a beautiful, mesmerising silhouette.

"What?" She asked awkwardly as Harry hadn't taken his eyes off of her.

"You are just so beautiful."

She smiled bashfully as she sat up on her knees and pulled him close to her.

*

The doorbell rang from downstairs as Harry and Hermione quickly got changed and picked up their trunks and walked downstairs. Hermione's parents were at work so they all had a goodbye dinner the night before. As they struggled out the door with their trunks, they were greeted by Ron. "Why are you carrying them? We're of age now; we can use magic whenever."

"We haven't used it since being here," Hermione informed, "only for some things."

"Well, why don't you make your trunks lighter or do you like heaving it around?" He laughed.

Hermione had ordered a taxi to take them to Kings Cross Station which got them there with half an hour to spare. Hermione paid the driver, and they carried their weightless trunks towards the station. "Aoife should be here somewhere. She asked whether we could help her get to the platform." Ron smirked. "Just like you, Harry, in our first year."

Harry laughed but in his mind, he was reliving his first time here, his life was about to change drastically, and he didn't know. Now, he was going back to the place that held so many memories.

"What about her brothers?" Hermione asked. None of them had seen them yet, but if they looked anything like Aoife, Harry would be slightly jealous. They walked towards the platforms and saw three black-haired people hanging around the pillar that said 'Platform Nine'.

"Hey, Ron!" Aoife called. "Hi Harry, Hermione. This is Ardal," she said as she pointed to the boy standing next to her. Harry recalled that he was the one who was friends with Luna, looking at him, he wouldn't have been able to tell. "And this is Aengus," she pointed to the other boy. Harry was right; they were both very attractive men themselves. They were identical and looked a lot like Aoife. That had jet black hair, a lot like Harry's: all over the place. They had the same green eyes as Aoife, but Aengus had more of a tan than the others.

"Nice to meet you!" Ardal said cheerfully. "Can I just say, to get it out of the way, thank you for saving the world." He looked at them seriously for half a second before bursting out into laughter. The others joined in with him; Harry could tell that they were going to be a handful, a bit like the Weasley twins used to be.

"Shall we go to the platform?" Hermione pondered. "Itis not difficult, all you have to do is run at this brick wall." This is how Harry could tell that the Currans were not Muggle-Borns as they didn't look questioningly at this suggestion. Hermione and Harry went first, then Ardal, Aengus, Aoife and Ron.

"Do you think they're, you know, together?" Aengus whispered to Harry, Hermione and Ardal as they watched Ron and Aoife talking and joking.

"Nothing would surprise me," Ardal replied. "Our sister does love the red-heads." He laughed.

"He comes from a family full of them. If she doesn't like Ron, she has her pick of another." Harry joked. "It'd be good for Ron if they got on, though, he was worried that we would leave him out."

"Why would he be worried about that?" Aengus asked.

"Because they're in love," Ardal said, pointing at Harry and Hermione.

"Ah, that would do it." Aengus agreed.

At ten to eleven, Harry, Hermione, Aengus and Ardal made their way onto the train to find an empty carriage. "There's not many students here yet." Harry pondered aloud. "Do you think people don't want to return to Hogwarts?"

"Maybe they just invested in more carriages." Ardal suggested. Harry wasn't sure whether this was a joke or not so just ignored what he said.

They found an empty carriage relatively quickly. By the time Aoife and Ron joined them, the train had started to get more full. At exactly eleven, like usual, the train left the stations. For the whole journey, Harry, Ron, Hermione and the Curran triplets talked about their past experiences at school. They found out that their father, Patrick Curran, was recently appointed as the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts before he had become a full-time tutor to his children, he was an Auror for the Ministry. They also found out that there was a fourth Curran child, a younger sister named Aisling, she was a lot younger as this was her first year.

"She wanted to go to Hogwarts with dad, she's very shy," Aoife told them. "She doesn't really know how to make friends, our little hamlet in Ireland was small but she never spoke to anyone there, she's too busy reading or learning some impossible mathematic thing."

This reminded Harry of Hermione, "She'll find her voice at Hogwarts." Hermione said confidently. "I did."

"That's because you found your soul mate." Harry joked forgetting that they were not alone, he leant in to kiss her, but she turned her head at the right time so that he kissed her on the cheek.

"You guys are just the sweetest." Aoife swooned.

"Just because you've never been in love, it's not as fun as you think," Aengus said.

"Oh I don't know," Aoife said while staring right at Ron, "it is if you find the right person." Ron blushed and smirked at the same time, while Harry tried his hardest not to laugh.

"So, Harry, do you play Quidditch?" Aengus asked, getting the focus off Aoife and Ron's love story.

"Yeah, I was the captain of Gryffindor house our last year. I think Ginny, Ron's sister, is it now." Harry informed. "I was Seeker. Do you play?"

"Try to but it's hard when you live in a Muggle village. Dad set up protections around our garden, but it's not fun when you're on your own."

"Oi, I can play Quidditch," Aoife argued. "I just choose not to!"

"You can't play Quidditch!" Ardal laughed.

"Well, neither can you." Aoife sulked.

"But I didn't claim I could."

"Whatever," Aoife said as she crossed her arms and looked out of the window.

"Don't worry, Aoife, I can't play Quidditch either. But it is fun to watch. Harry, will you try and get back on the team this year?" Hermione asked.

"Maybe, if they don't already have a new Seeker. "

"No one will be better than you." Hermione smiled.

"Please. Stop." Ron ordered. "I may be sick all over you two."

"That wouldn't make them any less perfect for each other," Aoife said.

The morning slowly faded into the afternoon which slowly turned into the evening and they had finally arrived at Hogwarts. Harry looked up at the castle and was instantly glad Hermione said they should return. They had managed to repair all of the damage from the battle, and it looked just the same as it had done before. All of Harry's fears had been wrong; he didn't focus on the bad memories: the deaths, but on the good ones like the bonds of friendship he had made with Ron and Hermione and everyone else. The triplets all looked up at the castle; Harry could see in their eyes that they had been waiting to come here since the moment they knew it existed. They all made their way off the train and heard the usual call of "Firs' years, follow me!" The Currans looked at Hagrid and suggested that, as it was technically their first year, they should follow Hagrid. They didn't so all six of them walked towards the carriages drawn by thestrals. Harry imaged that a lot more people would be able to see them since the battle which brought back the bad memories to him. "Everything okay, Harry?" Aengus asked as they sat in the carriage being pulled towards Hogwarts. At this question, Hermione and Ron instantly looked at Harry; the worried looked returned to their eyes.

"Yeah. Just never thought I would be back here is all." He replied quietly. He glanced over at Hermione, and she gave him a weak smile. She took his hand and squeezed it; this gave some comfort to him.

*

"Welcome to Hogwarts everyone. For some this is the start of a new adventure in your lives, for some this is the end and others, the middle." It was really odd hearing McGonagall making the welcoming speech. Some part of Harry imaged that everything would be the same. "First off, I would like to welcome some new members of staff here today. We have a new, permanent, Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Curran." As he stood up, everyone clapped and cheered. "Thank you," McGonagall said to silence the hall. "And also our new Muggle Studies teacher, Professor Poe." A tall, young woman stood up who was sitting next to Professor Flitwick. "Secondly, I would like to inform you that I am now your headmistress, but I will also continue teaching Transfigurations. Now, on with the Sorting."

Professor Sprout read out the names on the list. "Alexander, Benjamin."

A young blond-haired boy sat on the stool. After several seconds, the hat shouted "RAVENCLAW." One of the middle tables erupted into loud cheering and applause.

"Barron, Melinda," Professor Sprout called.

A girl who definitely wasn't eleven sat on the stool. "HUFFLEPUFF." The hat screamed almost instantly.

"Curran, Aengus."

The first triplet sat on the stool. It took a while for the hat to place him in a house, Harry hoped he would be in Gryffindor, so did Ron by the looks of it because it would strengthen Aoife's chances somewhat. "GRYFFINDOR." The hat finally declared. Harry and the rest of the table burst out into celebration.

"Curran, Aoife."

Ron sat up straighter, praying that the hat would decide the same, "GRYFFINDOR." It screamed after several tense moments. Ron clapped the loudest this time around. Harry and Hermione couldn't help but smile at their friend.

"Curran, Ardal."

The last triplet made his way to the stool. "He wouldn't mind being in Ravenclaw, because of Luna," Aoife whispered to the rest of them. "But I would like to be in the same house as him."

Harry looked around and noticed Luna looking eagerly at Ardal. Harry would have liked him to be in Gryffindor too but by the looks of it, Luna really wanted him in Ravenclaw.

"RAVENCLAW." The hat shouted. Ardal looked extremely pleased. He ran over to Luna and gave her a massive hug. Aoife and Aengus looked as equally happy for their brother.

"Curran, Aisling."

A tiny girl stood up; she looked exactly like Aoife but, just a lot smaller. "RAVENCLAW." The hat declared. The little girl ran straight over to her brother and sat in between Luna and Ardal.

"Well, at least she's with one of us." Aengus beamed. "She was really worried that she would be placed in Slytherin." He laughed. "Does Slytherin still have the same reputation now or is that over?" He pondered aloud.

"Still full of snakes." Ron spat. "I wouldn't trust anyone there."

The rest of the sorting went on whilst Harry, Ron, Hermione told Aengus and Aoife all about the Gryffindor Common Room and everything else Hogwarts.

"Well, well if it isn't the three best friends, back for more I see..."

"What are you doing here?" Ron moaned. He stood up from the table and stood in a threatening stance.

"Same as you, Weasel, to finish my education."

"Ron! Don't; he's not worth it!" Harry and Hermione shouted as they tried to hold him back.

"He-is-a-rat!" Ron breathed. "Let-me-have-him!"

"RONALD WEASLEY! STOP RIGHT NOW. Here at Hogwarts, we accept everyone, notwithstanding their past actions." McGonagall shouted as she stormed towards them. They hadn't noticed how loud their ruckus was; the whole hall was staring at the four of them standing in the middle. "I do not want to have to give you a detention, and I particularly do not want to make Gryffindor start off with minus house points." She said through gritted teeth.

"I'm sorry, Professor," Ron said whilst suddenly finding his shoes oddly fascinating.

"Don't say sorry to me, Mr Weasley." She said sternly.

"I'm sorry, Draco."

"That wasn't so hard was it, Weasley," Malfoy smirked.

McGonagall stared at Malfoy with a slight look of disgust. To Harry, it seemed like she was trying to stop herself from shouting at him too. "I suggest that we all go back to our seats and enjoy the food prepared for us." McGonagall's voice didn't imply suggestion; it expressed demand. No one wanted to challenge any further because they were wary about how far McGonagall would go.

"I can't believe he is here. Why? He nearly destroyed this place." Ron grumbled under his breath as they went back to their food.

"What did he do? Who is he?" Aoife whispered to Hermione across the table.

"Draco Malfoy." She said in an undertone.

She didn't need to say any more; Aoife seemed to have heard the Malfoy family name before now.

"He is a coward. A pathetic coward." Ron said.

"He was just doing what his family thought was right." Harry expressed. "Just leave him to it."

Ron was about to question Harry's motives, but Hermione caught his attention and vigorously shook her head to get him to drop it. Harry had suddenly gone reticent and didn't speak for the majority of the meal. "Can I just say goodnight to Ardal and Aisling before we go up?" Aoife said. Aengus followed her over to the Ravenclaw table where their siblings sat with Luna.

"Harry? Do you want to go up to the Common Room? It'll be quieter there." Hermione suggested. Everyone else was still sitting and chatting. McGonagall had said they would have tomorrow off to grow accustomed to the surroundings again as everything had been chaotic since last year. "Ron, tell Aoife where we are," Hermione said, "Could you stay away for awhile as well? I need to make sure Harry is okay." She whispered this last bit, wanting to hide this concern from Harry. Ron nodded and walked over to the Currans.

Hermione took Harry's hand and guided him up to the Common Room where they spent long nights talking things through. When they got there, they sat down on the red, squidgy sofa in front of the fire. Hermione put her arms around Harry as he rested his head on her shoulder, she slowly and continually ran her fingers through his hair. They didn't say anything, but she knew that they didn't need to. They must have drifted off because Hermione woke in the middle of the night. She was still cradling Harry, and he was fast asleep. The fire had been put out a while ago, but someone had wrapped a blanket around the two of them. Hermione brought it closer to her, making sure that it was still covering Harry and fell back to sleep.

She was glad they were back here, it was full of bad memories and death, yes, but it was also where everything started. She felt safe here, safe and secure, but this feeling only lasted when Harry was around. Hogwarts used to be her haven but slowly, over time, that had changed to Harry. To Hermione, Hogwarts was Harry.

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