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I need Your Love by ZoeBabe47

Format: Novella
Chapters: 23
Word Count: 47,873
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: 15+
Warnings: Strong Language, Strong Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature

Genres: Romance
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Lupin, Sirius, Lily, James, Voldemort, Draco
Pairings: Harry/Hermione

First Published: 01/21/2005
Last Chapter: 01/03/2006
Last Updated: 10/28/2006

Summary:



The trio enters their 7th year at Hogwarts. Harry gains powers he did not have before and trains for the big battle. He gets a surprise he never thought he'd get. Harry is forced to fight a battle that will decide the wizarding world’s fate. Will love triumph or will evil take over the world? When Hermione needs him the most will he be there? Will he find out just how much love will save him? Or will he fight this battle on his own?


Chapter 1: A New Beginning
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It was almost midnight as Harry looked up at the night sky. It was raining slightly telling Harry to close his eyes and fall asleep. He hadn’t slept much since Hermione was gone and he worried about her.

“What else could I have done?” He whispered to himself. “It was the best choice to make. But am I actually preventing her from danger or causing more of it?” Ron sent continuous letters over the last week. Mostly about his family but occasionally talked about Hermione.

'She’s worried about you. She can’t stop thinking about you.' Ron would write. 'She stays locked up in her room all day.'

At least Harry knew she was safe. But why was she already at the Burrow? Ron wouldn’t say why and neither would Lupin or Sirius. Sirius would write the same things over and over.

'How are they treating you? We’ll see you soon.'

But not actually telling him when he would be leaving the Dursley’s for the last time. But Harry didn’t know he would be leaving within the next two weeks. He usually spent his time in his room, outside, or watching the news when Vernon would let him. He tried to find any hint of muggle killings on TV and in the Daily Prophet. He felt very lonely as he sat in his room.

One morning he was walking outside after breakfast when he spotted Mrs. Figg. She waved and walked back to her house. He slowly made his way to the park and sat on the first swing he saw. Just then Harry saw Hedwig fly towards him in a hurry. She landed next to him with a piece of parchment on her leg.

“What is it girl?” Harry asked taking the parchment.

Harry,
Stay inside! Do not go outside! Danger is coming your way!! We will come get you as soon as we can!”
Sirius


“What?” Harry said rereading the parchment. Then Hedwig nipped at his finger in an urgent way. Dark clouds started settling in. She nipped at his finger again and then flew away. Rain started falling as Harry decided that whatever was going to happen was about to happen. He started running towards the house when he stopped dead as a laugh erupted through the air.

“Running away Potter?” That ice cold voice said. Harry turned around to face his biggest enemy. “Are we scared? Are you ready for this?”

“You spend too much time talking.” Harry taunted.

“Crucio!” Voldemort screamed. Harry was caught off guard and it hit him square in the chest. He fell to the ground screaming. “Can’t take the pain Potter?”

“Why don’t you just get it over with?” Harry said as Voldemort released him from the curse.

“You want to die so quickly?” Voldemort said circling him as Harry stood up. “AVADA KEDAVRA!” He screamed aiming towards Harry. Harry quickly ducked and it missed him. Harry reached in his pocket and realized he didn’t have his wand. How stupid, Harry thought. He raised his hand and only thought what he could.

“Expelliarmus!” Harry yelled, pointing his palm towards Voldemort. Voldemort laughed but instantly stopped when his wand flung out of his hands.

“It’s not possible.” Voldemort said. “Accio wand!” He said before Harry could catch it. “Avada Kedavra!”

“Protego!” Harry said instantly. But the shield wasn’t strong enough and once the spell hit it, it broke apart. Harry fell to the ground after hearing a few pops.

“Harry?” A woman screamed racing towards him. Then thinking thing’s were safe he fell into a deep sleep.

**********************************

”Is he going to be okay?” Hermione asked worryingly.

“I don’t know. His breathing is low and his heart beat is faint.” Lupin said. Sirius was sitting next to Harry with his face in his hands. “He needs rest.”

“Didn’t he get the warning?”

“He did.” Sirius said. He reached down into Harry’s pocket and found a piece of parchment. “He was outside trying to get back.”

“I hope he’s okay.” Hermione started to cry when Ron came into the room. “Oh Ron, how could this happen? How did he know where Harry was?” Just then Dumbledore walked in the room after a long discussion with Madam Pomfrey.

“Let’s give Harry some space. I’d like to have a meeting.” Dumbledore said nodding for everyone to leave the room. Hermione was the last one to leave. They all followed Dumbledore down to the dining room. “Good morning everyone.” He said sitting down. Hermione and Ron sat together. She held onto his hand for support. “I realize that this is a very difficult time for us. Harry is well close to death but because of his recent powers he was able to give him somewhat of a shield. Luckily we came just in time so that Voldemort could not have caused any more damage.”

“Like kill him or get his blood for the potion?” Kingsley asked.

“Yes.”

“What about his new powers. Was it wandless magic?”

“Yes. As we have figured out, Harry did not have his wand and used wandless magic. Though it is not strong enough, it was very effective.”

“Will he live?” Tonks said almost in tears.

“We are very sure that he will, but it is too early to tell. We are making sure we can get him everything. I do not know if he will gain consciousness every once in a while. It really is a guess.”

“What about Voldemort?” Moody asked.

“He disappeared once he saw us. The Dursley’s have been put under protection for the time being.” Dumbledore replied. “However I’ve just learned of a deep tragedy. Hermione, will you please come with me?” He asked. Hermione nodded and followed him out of the dining room.

“What is it Professor?” Hermione asked.

“Follow me.” He said leading her to the living room.

“Mum!” Hermione yelled seeing her mom on the couch. She ran towards her and saw her crying. “Mum, what’s the matter?” Then she looked up and didn’t see her dad. “Mum, where’s dad?” She turned towards Dumbledore who didn’t have the usual sparkle in his eyes.

“Voldemort was coming after you.” Dumbledore said not looking her in the eyes.

“No.” Hermione denied it.

“He did not have a chance to kill your father because Moody and Remus were there. However, your father was put into St. Mungo's for the time being. I’m very sorry.” Tears started streaming down her cheeks.

“No! What will happen to him?” She yelled.

"We're not sure yet. He's very hurt. I'm going to send you to visit him whenever you want to." Dumbledore said. She pulled away from her mother's hug and ran past Dumbledore towards Harry’s room. She fell to the ground in front of his bed and cried even harder. “Harry, wake up. Please wake up.” She grabbed his hand and kissed it. She slowly got up and got on the bed with him. She pulled the covers over them and wrapped her arm around his waste. “Please wake up.” She said closing her eyes tightly before falling asleep.

**********************************

“She’s just received the bad news.” Dumbledore said returning to the dining room.

“How did she take it?” Lupin asked.

“Like we expected. She’s in Harry’s room right now. I think we should give her time alone. She’s been through a rough day.” He said sadly.

“What do we do?” Lupin asked.

“We wait, and hope that Harry will wake up.”

**********************************

Ron slowly made his way towards Harry’s room with a plate of food for Hermione. “Hermione?” He asked. When she didn’t answer he opened the door. He smiled a little as he walked towards the bed. “Hermione?” He whispered. She moved slightly and opened her eyes. “I brought you some food.” He said quietly.

“Thank you.” She replied sitting up a little.

“I’m really sorry Hermione.” He said setting the plate down on the table. "He'll be okay, I know he will."

“Thanks.” She smiled slightly but then started to cry again. He sat down next to her and gave her a hug. She cried into his chest as he held her. “First Harry and now my dad. I can’t take this anymore.”

He didn’t know what to say so he rubbed her back until she stopped crying. “Harry is going to be fine. I promise.” He said holding her shoulders. “You should eat and then get some more rest.” She nodded and whipped her tears away. He handed her the plate and then left the room. She ate her sandwich and milk quietly and then leaned back down on the bed.

“I wish you were here Harry.” She whispered before kissing his cheek and then cuddling up next to him. “I love you.” She fell back into a deep sleep.

**********************************

Harry’s eyes fluttered open slowly. He felt something pushed up against him. He looked down to see Hermione lying next to him.

“Hermione?” He whispered softly. Her eyes stopped moving and opened slowly to see Harry looking at her.

“Harry?” She said loudly. “You’re awake!” She was smiling for the first time all summer. “Are you feeling okay?”

“I love you.” He said leaning back down and falling back into unconsciousness. Hermione got up in a hurry and ran downstairs. “He woke up!” She yelled hoping someone would hear her. Then she ran right into Lupin. “He woke up!” She said gaining her balance again.

“What?” He said seriously.

“I was sleeping and he said my name. Then he went unconscious again.” Hermione said.

Sirius came into the hallway. “He fell back asleep?” He asked.

“Yes.”

“Did he say anything else?” Lupin asked.

“No.” She said hiding the fact that he said I love you.

“We’ve got to tell Dumbledore.” Sirius said.

“I’ll go tell him.” Lupin replied walking into the dining room where he was going to use the floo network.

“This is a good sign. Stay with him in case he gains consciousness again.” She nodded and made her way back up to his room hugging Ron on the way.

Chapter 2: The New Ability
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Harry did not wake up again. Hermione stayed with him all day occasionally going down to talk to Ron, Ginny, her mum, or the Order. She waited patiently for Harry to awake, talking about her father and mother, about family, and school. She would read him Hogwarts, A History to keep herself occupied; and occasionally Ron would join and listen to Hermione talk.

“Thing’s just aren’t the same anymore.” Hermione said looking down at Harry.

“I know. Don’t worry, he’s going to be fine.” Ron said getting up and standing next to the bed.

"Harry has got to wake up and end all this madness." Hermione said.

“We’ve got to end this." He said emphasizing the word 'we've'. He’s going to need our help.” Ron said. “Anyways, I should help my mum fix lunch.” He said dreadfully. Hermione grinned at his face expression.

“Sorry.” She said. He nodded and left. “Wake up Harry.” She whispered in his ear. She started thinking about her dad and decided it was best to visit him. She kissed Harry on the forehead and then left the room in search for her mum. She went downstairs and found her mom sitting on a couch looking out the window.

“Mum?” I asked quietly.

“Hermione.” She turned her head and smiling. “Come sit with me.” Hermione walked her way to the couch and sat down next to her mum.

“How are you?” She asked.

“I should be asking you that.” Her mum said. “It’s okay. Are you ready to visit him?"

"Yeah." Hermione replied. "I'll go find Lupin." Hermione said before leaving. She came back a few minutes later with Lupin in tow. They went to St. Mungo's through the floo and were there in seconds.

"I'll find his room number." Lupin said walking away. Hermione and her mum waited patiently for him to come back.

"Were you there when it happened?" Hermione asked.

"No, I was at the store." Her mum said.

"Good. I don't know how I would handle it if both of you ended up in here."

"Don't worry, he'll be fine."

“Come on, this way." Lupin said coming back and then leading them to his room. He was at the very end next to the window with curtains drawn around him. He was awake slightly.

"Hey dad." Hermione said smiling. "How are you?" She noticed all the cuts around his face and arms and his breathing was ragged.

"Good as new?" He smiled slightly.

They spent an hour talking until her dad fell asleep. They kissed him goodbye and went back to Grimmauld Place.

“If I wasn’t a witch, none of this would have happened to us.” Hermione said coming out of the fireplace.

“You’re a wonderful witch, I wouldn’t want you any different and neither would your father.”

“I love you mum.” Hermione said giving her a hug.

“I love you too. Now you better go give some company to Harry, you never know when he might wake up.” She winked and smiled. Hermione smiled, wiped away any remaining tears, and walked back to Harry’s room meeting Ginny on the way.

“Hey Hermione, umm could I talk to you?” Ginny asked.

“Yeah of course.” Hermione said. Ginny dragged her towards their room and closed the door behind her. “What is it?”

“You’ve got to swear you won’t tell Ron. Harry already knows.”

“What is it?”

“I like Draco.” Ginny said bluntly. Hermione choked and had a fit of coughs before she resumed herself.

“What? How could you like him? What about everything he’s done to us?” Hermione said trying to knock some sense into her.

“He’s really a good guy. He’s changed a lot. We just met up in the hallway after Dean dumped me and we started talking. But please promise me you wont tell Ron.”

“Yeah of course. What are you going to do?”

“I don’t know. Draco already talked to Harry but if you guys could…”

“Oh no Ginny. You’ve got to tell Ron yourself!” Hermione said angrily.

“No, no that’s not what I meant. Could you guys just talk to Ron about Draco? I mean don’t make it obvious but you know when the school year starts. That way maybe Ron could see how good Draco really is.”

“I don’t even know how good he is? But fine, I’ll help. Has Harry already agreed to this?” Hermione asked looking towards the door.

“Yeah he wants to help. But thank you so much. I appreciate this.” Ginny said hugging her with a big smile on her face.

“Okay but you owe us.” Hermione said smiling.

“Thank you!” Then they left the room and she went joyously down the hallway as Hermione made her way back to Harry. She opened the door and walked slowly into the room before realizing Harry was sitting upright on his bed.

“Harry!” Hermione gasped running the rest of the way towards his bed. “How long have you been awake?” She asked.

“A minute or two.” He whispered.

“Are you feeling okay?” She sat down next to him.

“Yeah. My head, throat, eyes, legs, arms, body, everything hurts.”

“I’ll go get Madam Pomfrey to give you something.” She said getting up about ready to head out the door when he grabbed her arm.

“Wait.” He said. She turned around and sat back down.

“What?” She asked.

“Can you ever forgive me?” He asked referring to before school got out.

“I already did Harry. Just let me go get Madam Pomfrey so you can feel better.” She smiled. He leaned forward and kissed her tenderly on the lips.

“I missed that.” He said quietly. She smiled sweetly and then left the room. A few minutes passed as Hermione got Madam Pomfrey. As they arrived back at Harry’s room everyone else decided to join him.

“Take this dear. It will help the pain.” She said handing him a bottle full of purple red liquid. He smelled it and almost gagged.

“Do I have to?” Harry said giving a disgusting look.

“Do you want to stay hurt or take the potion?” She asked irritated.

“All right all right, I’ll take it.” He gave it one last glance and gulped it down.

“There, that’s better.” She said taking the empty bottle and leaving the room. Hermione took a seat next to Harry.

“Are you all right? You gave us a right good scare there mate.” Ron said coming closer to the bed.

“Yeah I’m fine. Just a little sore that’s all.” After a little talk everyone cleared out to give him some space. As Hermione was about to leave he called out her name.

“Yeah?” She asked turning back towards him.

“I’m sorry about your dad.” He said holding her hands.

“What? How did you know about that?” She said with shock written all over her face.

“You told me.” He said simply.

“No Harry. I didn’t say anything about my dad.”

“But that doesn’t make any sense. I swear I heard you say something about your dad.”

“Wait.” She said loudly. “I'm going to see Dumbledore.” She said urgently and left the room before Harry could say anything. It took a while before she came back closely followed by Dumbledore.

“What?” He asked like he missed something.

“Harry, there’s no easier way to say this but I think you’ve developed the ability to read minds. Not just at any given moment but when you want to.” Dumbledore said.

“How? None of my parents read minds did they?” He asked confused.

“No, I’m not sure how you picked up this ability but I will look into it. I do know that you are only able to read minds when you touch someone or really want to read their minds. Not just at any given moment. Also when someone is of a weak state." He replied.

“Oh.” He said unenthusiastically.

“You could actually use this to your advantage Harry. You can read people's minds that are linked to Voldemort.” Hermione said.

“That’s true Harry. This could indeed be very useful. Anyways, I should get back; I’ve got important things to discuss. I will be back here when you are feeling better to check up on that wandless magic.” His usual twinkle was very visible in his eyes. He smiled and left the two teenagers alone. She sat down as he starred at her obviously trying to read her mind.

‘I don’t think so Harry.’ She thought.

‘What?’ He thought.

‘Wait I heard that. How come I can hear that?’ She instantly got up and ran out of the room hopefully to catch up with Dumbledore.

“Ahh, this is indeed very interesting.” The old wizard said.

“What does it mean?” She asked. “How come I can read his thoughts too?”

“I believe the love you both share for each other means that Harry is giving you this talent. Only you two can talk to each other through thoughts. I believe no one else will possess this.” He smiled. “Be careful of what you're thinking about at any given moment. Harry may want to know what you're thinking." He grinned. "The mind is not a open book for others to read, but if he has a need to know then he will read. Don't worry." He smiled again and then left. She went back to Harry’s room to find him lying down on his bed.

“When were you actually going to tell me about your dad?” He asked not looking straight at her.

“When you were feeling better.” She said slowly sitting down next to him. Tears formed in her eyes and she turned away from him.

“I’m so sorry.” He said leaning up and wrapping his arms around her. “It’s my fault.” He said quietly.

“Don’t say that. They’re muggles and its Voldemorts fault.”

“But he attacked your family because of me.”

“Stop it!” She said angrily turning towards him. “Not everything is your fault.”

“I hurt you.” He said touching her cheek.

“I’m fine now.” She said assuring but obviously still looked hurt.

“You know, I can read minds now.” He smiled sweetly.

She thought for a moment thinking quickly so she could read it aloud. “You did hurt me. I still don’t understand why you did what you did. And then when you got hurt, I was so scared that you wouldn’t come back to me.”

“I had to come back. There was no way I would leave you.” He said wrapped his arms around her once again. “I love you Hermione, more then I can say.” He looked down at her lips leaning in closer and watched as her eyes closed. He leaned in the rest of the way and rested his lips on hers. But she instantly pulled away.

“What?” He asked confused. She just shook her face and looked down.

“I should go.” She said. ‘I don’t want to get hurt again.’ She thought getting up.

“I heard that.” He said. “I’m not going to hurt you again. It was a mistake.”

“I know. I need some time that’s all.” She said closing the door behind her. Ron came into the room shortly afterwards.

“Did you talk to Hermione? She seemed a little upset when I talked to her a minute ago.” Ron said sitting down in the chair next to the bed.

“We sort of talked I guess. She doesn’t want to get hurt again.” Harry said sliding his legs off the bed.

“She knows you wont hurt her again.” Ron said.

“I know; she needs time I guess.”

“Women.” Ron said shaking his head. “Hey should you be getting up?” He said seeing Harry trying to get up.

“I’m hungry.” Harry said leaning on Ron for support. Ron grinned and shook his head.

“I’m sure everybody will be glad to see you up.” Ron replied smiling and helping his buddy out of his room.

Chapter 3: Patching Things Up
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“Gwen is coming home tomorrow!” Sirius said excitedly at breakfast the next morning.

“Is she doing better?” Harry asked.

“Very much. She’s finally eating and able to walk. Soon she’ll have enough energy to do magic again.

“That’s good to hear. Have we heard anything about Kate?” Harry asked.

“No sign of her. Kingsley has been looking for her nonstop. We’re all worried about her. We don’t even know if she is still alive. Jesse has been helping as well; looking at all the old spots Voldemort has been but hasn’t found anything.” Sirius said sitting down across from Harry.

“Is that why we haven’t seen or heard from her in a while?” Hermione asked taking a seat next to Harry.

“Yeah, she’s been helping as much as possible. Barely taking a break. Lupin has been worried about her.” Sirius said with a smile. “Lupin has been keeping in touch with her though. I wonder when they’ll get together.”

“What?” Hermione said choking on her drink. “They fancy each other?”

“Yeah for a while now. Didn’t he tell you about the story?” He said turning towards Harry for the last part.

“About him biting her and looks after her now?” Harry asked.

“Yup, that’s the story. Our Lupin has finally found someone.” Sirius laughed. They ate breakfast talking about Lupin and other things but Harry couldn’t keep his eyes off of Hermione. She looked different somehow. The same soft curls, chocolate eyes, soft skin as always but something was different. “Harry?” Ron asked. Harry snapped his focus to Ron who was now sitting next to Lupin.

“Yes?” He asked.

Ron smiled and said, “Ginny wants to talk to you.” He said nodding his head next to him.

“Oh sorry Ginny, I wasn’t really listening.” He said as Hermione snickered with his response and began talking to Ron.

“Draco is coming here tomorrow.” Ginny whispered as they entered the hallway.

“What?” Harry asked loudly. “Why is he coming here? I still don’t trust him and I certainly don’t want him in this house.” He said lowering is voice

“He needs our help.” Ginny said trying to knock some sense into him. “He went to Dumbledore for help. He doesn’t want to follow in his father’s footsteps. Can’t you just try to trust him?”

“I’ll try.” Harry said. “You’re gunna have a harder time with Ron though.”

“He’s going to have a fit when mum tells him he’s coming over.”

“WHAT?” An angry voice came from the kitchen.

“Well I guess he just found out.” Harry laughed and followed Ginny into the kitchen.

“Harry!” Ron said when he walked into the room. “Did you know about this?”

“Ginny just told me.” Harry said sitting back down.

“And you don’t care? I wouldn’t want that grease ball in my house.” Ron said leaving the room with a huff.

“Now this is my house, I’ve already agreed to his staying. Dumbledore came to me asking if he could stay here. I don’t care to have him in my house either, but he needs a place to stay.” Sirius said standing up.

“Ron, you better stop this nonsense. He’s coming whether you like it or not. He’s coming tomorrow afternoon.” Mrs. Weasley said. “After all, he just lost his mother so I hope you all won’t be too hard on him.”

Everyone settled back down. Ron went to his room in a huff and slammed the door. Mrs. Weasley walked away in a fit at how immature he was acting. Hermione was about to get up but then turned towards Harry.

“Could I talk to you later tonight?” She asked.

“Yeah of course. What’s wrong?

“It’s nothing. I just need to talk.” She looked sad and stood up before tears formed in her eyes.

“Of course.” She left the room.

“Are you two still having problems?” Sirius asked.

“She wants to take it slow. She doesn’t want to get hurt again.”

“Well I suppose that is for the better. But she’ll come along.” He smiled. Just then someone came into the hallway with a loud crash. Everybody quickly gathered around and saw Lupin come in with Jesse in his arms. His long black coat looked dirty with mud and her clothes were torn.

“Remus, what happened?” Sirius said instantly going to help him.

“We were attacked. I got her out of there as quickly as I could.” He said.

“By who?” They carried her upstairs before Lupin answered. “Who attacked you?”

“Lucius Malfoy with a few other death eaters I didn’t see.” He said angrily setting her down on the bed.

“That rat!” Sirius said angrily. “His son is coming here tomorrow.”

“Draco?” Lupin asked surprised. “Why would he be coming here?”

“His mother was murdered. He went to Dumbledore and asked for help. This is the safest place for him.”

“How did the other’s react?” He asked like they weren’t even there.

“Ron is mad but we are fine with it.” Ginny said scaring Lupin a little bit.

“Sirius, send for Madam Pomfrey. Jesse needs a little bit of healing.” Lupin said looking down at her on the bed. Sirius nodded and pushed everybody out of the room to leave them alone.

That day, Lupin spent mostly in Jesse’s room. Sirius sat alone thinking of Gwen. Harry tried talking to Ron would end up being yelled at so he left him alone. Hermione locked herself in her bedroom as well only letting Ginny into the room.
It was only Harry, Ginny, Mrs. Weasley, Mr. Weasley, and Sirius at dinner that night.

“So you guys never told me exactly why Gwen was put into St. Mungo’s.” Harry asked trying to strike up a conversation as Ginny was talking to her parents.

“She wouldn’t eat anymore and was sleeping most of the day. At night she would have nightmares and only woke up for minutes at a time. We decided to take her there so that she had a chance of living. It was her decision to go. She didn’t want to loose her life and risk not being able to be with you.” Sirius said. “There are great healers there, and she’s doing so much better.”

“I’m glad. She shouldn’t be in so much pain.” He said thinking of spending time with Gwen. “I can’t wait until I can talk to her.”

“I bet you can’t. She’ll be happy to see you again.” Sirius paused and then spoke up again. “Gwen won’t be happy to see Jesse here.”

“Why?”

“Because they are just two different people with two different opinions. And just the fact that Jesse is too young for Remus.”

“I’ve realized that too. They better work out their differences or who knows whats going to happen during this war. Everybody has got to work together or we’re going to have chaos.”

“I know. Lupin and I are going to try to talk to them when they’re both feeling a little bit better. But until then, we’re going to have to keep them separated.”

“Good.”

“What are you boys talking about?” Tonks asked sitting down next to Sirius as Hermione sat next to Harry.

“Nothing important.” Sirius said. Then Sirius overheard something Ginny whispered. “What’s wrong with her?” Sirius asked her.

“What?” Ginny asked surprised by his question. “Oh, Hermione. Well I don’t really know. I mean, I was talking to her in her room and she kept spacing out in the middle of saying something. She’s been crying a lot. I hope she’ll be all right about her father. I mean there is a chance that he'll live through this. It must be really hard for her.” Ginny replied.

That night came as quick as Harry wanted it to. “Hermione?” Harry called out hoping she would answer sometime.

“She’s outside Harry.” Ron called from downstairs after getting something to eat. “She told me to come and get you. Cheer her up okay? She looks really sad.”

“I plan to. I just hope she’ll be okay.” He said walking slowly down the stairs as Ron patted him on the back. He walked outside and saw her lying on the ground with a blanket. “What are you doing down there?” He asked.

“Looking up at the stars. They look beautiful tonight.” She said. “Come join me.” She patted down on the blanket-covered grass and he lied down next to her. She quickly cuddled up next to him and wrapped him up in the blanket with her. “Oh look, a shooting star. Did you see it?” She said smiling.

“Beautiful.” He said looking at her.

“I know you’re probably wondering what I needed to talk to you about.” She said sitting up. Harry sat up as well so he could face her. “It’s so hard. My family getting attacked and then you get hurt. I’m surrounded by so much happiness when so much bad has happened to me." He wrapped her up in a hug thinking it was the thing she needed. She started crying into his chest.

“It’s okay.” Harry whispered.

“No, it’s not. It’s not okay.” She said pulling back with a look of disgust written all over her face.

“Hermione, I’ve lost both my parents. I know how you feel. It’s going to be okay, he'll pull through this, I promise."

“It’s not okay. He’s coming after you Harry. I go to sleep every night and I dream about you. I dream that you’re going to die.” She started crying even harder as he wrapped his arms around her once again. He couldn’t say anything. He knew he wasn’t ready to fight Voldemort, not now. He wasn’t ready.

“I can’t stand to lose you again.” She said getting closer to him and lifting her head from his chest. He looked down at her and wiped her tears away.

“You’re not going to lose me.” He said caressing her cheek. She looked at his lips and then his eyes. She closed her eyes as their lips met. Ron watched from his window and smiled to himself and then got into bed to go to sleep.

“Come on, it’s a little chilly now. We should go inside.” Harry said helping her up and grabbing the blankets.

“Can I sleep with you tonight?” She asked.

“If you don’t mind Ron’s snoring.” He laughed.

“I don’t mind.” They walked inside and up to his room. They went inside and found Ron still awake.

“Goodnight you guys.” He said closing his eyes and sliding the blankets up over him.

“Goodnight Ron.” Hermione said slipping beside Harry in his bed. A few seconds later, Ron was snoring. “Wow, how can you stand that?”

“You get used to it.” Harry said smiling and sliding the blankets over them. “You feeling better?” He whispered.

“A little.” She smiled sweetly and cuddled up next to him with her hands pushed against his chest. He wrapped his arms around her. “You always make me feel so safe.” She said.

“I’ll always keep you safe.” He brushed a strand of hair behind her ear and looked down at her. “Sleep tight.” He kissed her forehead and closed his eyes.

“Do you love me?” She asked still looking up at him.

“I’ll always love you.” He said opening his eyes for a second to look at her and give her a quick kiss. She smiled and closed her eyes. “Goodnight.”

Chapter 4: Things They Didn't Know
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Harry woke up with Hermione next to him. She looked peaceful as if she had no worries at all. He moved a piece of hair out of her face as she fluttered her eyes open. She yawned and stretched out her legs.

“What time is it?” She asked cuddling closer to him.

“Early.” He whispered and kissed her forehead.

“Harry, what I said about taking it slow…”

“I understand. It’s okay. I understand that I hurt you and it was wrong.” He said before she could finish.

“No, it’s not.” She paused. “I missed you and I can’t stand being without you.” She looked up at him and touched his face. “I love you so much.” They leaned in to kiss each other until Ron rolled over.

“Get your own room.” He groaned but sounded a little happy that his friends were finally back together.

“Go back to sleep Ron. It’s too early for you.” Hermione said turning towards him.

“Ha ha ha.” He said turning back towards the wall and falling instantly back to sleep. Hermione and Harry fell back asleep only to be woken back up a little while later by Lupin and Sirius. Hermione went to her room to get changed as Harry changed and talked to them.

“You two back together now?” Sirius asked with a smile.

“Yeah.” Harry said.

“I’m happy for you Harry. You two deserve each other.” Lupin replied. “But listen, we’ve come to wake you up because Gwen is coming home in a little bit. She wants to talk to you.”

“About what?” Harry asked.

“I’m not sure. She just said that she needed to talk to you as soon as she got home.” Sirius replied.

“When will Malfoy be here?” Harry asked.

“This afternoon. Sometime around 1.” Lupin said.

“Ron will be thrilled.”

“Don’t worry about Ron. Molly is going to talk to him today about it.”

“I wonder how that’s going to go.” Harry said. He knew the conversation between him and his mum wouldn’t be pleasant and would give anything to see it. But he didn’t trust Malfoy either and didn’t want him here but knew it was the right thing. Just then Hermione walked into the dinning room to join them as they ate their breakfast. She sat down next to Harry and grabbed his hand. They ate listening to Sirius and Lupin talking. Ron and Ginny came down shortly after Lupin went up to Jesse’s room. Hermione leaned closer to Harry, “Meet me outside at midnight.” Hermione whispered seductively in his ear. Harry watched her leave. Sirius also got up and left.

“Do you know when Malfoy is getting here?” Ron asked disgusted.

“Lupin told me around 1.” Harry responded turning back towards him.

“Just great. This summer is officially over.” Ron said.

“Just give him a chance Ron. I mean come on his mum just died. He has to hide from his dad now.” Ginny said getting angry.

“That doesn’t explain why he’s been so rude to us before. You can’t just trust a man overnight you’ve hated for years.” Ron faced Ginny.

“Why not? He’s not that bad anymore.”

“What would you know? You know nothing.” They both got up and pushed their chairs aside.

“What’s going on here?” Mrs. Weasley said coming into the dining room looked angry. “Ron, I need to talk to you alone please.” She said opening the door for him to follow. Ron rolled his eyes and followed Mrs. Weasley out the door. Ginny sat back down and started crying. Harry got up and sat next to her.

“It’s okay.” Harry said rubbing her back.

“No it’s not. He’s my brother and he’s always protected me. I don’t know what I’m going to do when I tell him. I just feel like he isn’t as protective as he used to be. I miss him. I mean I know it may be annoying at times but I’m glad he’s always there for me.” Ginny replied wiping the tears from her eyes. She sniffled and then got up. “I’m okay. I’ll just have to talk to him sooner then I’d like.”

“It’ll be fine. Ron wont be open to it at first but give him time and he’ll see.” Harry smiled. He was the only one left in the dining room as everyone left. He took the quiet time to think for a while until Lupin came into the room with Sirius.

“We’re going to pick up Gwen right now. We’ll be home soon. I’ll send for you once Gwen is here.” Lupin said. Harry nodded as they left again.

“Harry?” Hermione said peeking her head into the room.

“Yeah?” Harry asked taking a sip of his milk.

“You the only one in here?” She asked.

“Yeah. Everybody left. It was actually nice though.”

“Well then I’ll leave you again.” She said about to close the door.

“Wait.” He said getting up. “I’d like you to stay.” He said. She smiled and walked over to him.

“I heard Ron and Mrs. Weasley fighting. But they’re actually fighting about more then just Malfoy coming. They’ll probably be up there all morning.” Hermione said taking his hand. “I just hope something good will come out of this.” She leaned her head against Harry’s arm as they walked out of the kitchen together and went outside.

“So why do you want to meet me at midnight?” He asked turning to face her holding both her hands.

“You’ll find out.” She smiled. He stopped walking backwards and put his hand on her face, cupping her cheek. She placed her hand over his, as he pulled closer. He brushed a strand of hair behind her ear and then leaned down to give her a kiss. Just then Ron came running outside looking angry.

“Ron, are you okay?” Hermione asked as Ron came walking towards them.

“I’m so sick and tired of people arguing to me about the way I feel about Malfoy. That guy is trouble, anybody can sense that.” Ron said shaking his head. “Oh I’m sorry if I interrupted anything.” He said turning towards Harry who was until then quiet.

“No it’s okay.” Harry said not looking at him but seeing Sirius come walking towards them.

“She’s here.” Sirius said reaching them.

“Gwen?” Hermione asked.

“Yes. Harry could you come with me.” He asked.

“Of course.” Harry said. He gave Hermione a quick kiss on the cheek and followed Sirius inside.

“So Ron still isn’t open to the idea?” Sirius asked as they walked up the stairs.

“No, but I can’t blame him. I understand where he’s coming from so yeah.” Harry said.

“We’ll just try to keep those two apart for a while then.”

“Yeah I think that would be a good idea.” Harry said as they reached her room.

“You can go on in.” Sirius said opening the door. Harry walked in and walked towards the door as he saw Gwen sitting on the bed looking out the window.

“Harry!” She said jumping up and walking towards him. She engulfed him in a hug and kissed his cheek. “So good to see you.” She smiled.

“How are you feeling?” Harry asked.

“I’m doing good, a lot better. Umm, sit down.” She said leading him towards the bed. “You’re probably wondering why I wanted to talk to you so urgently.” Harry nodded as she continued. “I wanted to talk to you about your parents. As you know, I was your mother’s best friend. We got close right before her and James got together. Is there anything in particular you want to know?”

“Well I’d actually like to know how my parents got together. All I know is my mom hated my dad.” Harry asked.

Gwen smiled and said, “Well James didn’t really give up on Lily even if she hated him. It actually took something very sad to get them together. Voldemort had just killed one of Lily’s close friends because she was born from muggles. Lily was afraid that he was coming after her next and came to me. She went to speak to Dumbledore and cried. She bumped into James in the hallway and they started talking. After that she saw him in a new light and she started to like him.”

“I actually wanted to know…” Harry started to say until Dumbledore interrupted them.

“I’m sorry to interrupt. Could I steal Harry away for a moment?” He asked.

“We’ll talk later. I’m a little tired anyways.” Gwen said lying down on the bed. Harry got up and followed Dumbledore out of the room.

“What is it?” Harry asked walking with him downstairs.

“Lets get down to the dining room. I’d like to discuss this with everyone.” He said. Harry followed him in silence until he got to the dining room where many people had taken seats. Hermione saved a seat next to her and Ron and waved towards him to come sit down. Dumbledore walked towards the head of the table and stood there. He waited as everyone went silent waiting for him to begin.

“I’ve called upon you all tonight for this meeting. I’ve discovered some very important information concerning something we learned just a little bit ago.” He paused and looked at Harry. “We’ve discovered where Harry gained his wandless magic and his ability to read minds from. Voldemort.” Some people gasped but others were used to it by now.

“But how?” Someone asked.

“As you all know, Harry is the boy who lived and has become a very strong wizard. What Voldemort doesn’t know is when he cast the killing curse on Harry; it transferred more and great powers to him. This is just the beginning of Harry’s powers which could turn into something great to use against Voldemort.”

“How great could these powers get?” Lupin asked.

“Powerful. Harry will need to learn to control them if not, I’m afraid things could get bad.” Many heads turned towards Harry. Hermione grabbed his hand to comfort him. “I’d like Harry to begin his training tomorrow night. The quicker we get these powers under control the quicker we can use them. That is all for now.” Dumbledore said. Everyone got up to talk or leave. What did he mean by things getting bad?

“Will you four come with me?” Dumbledore said leading Harry, Hermione, Ron and Ginny out to the hallway. “Malfoy will be arriving with Moody any moment now.” Just then Malfoy came in the front door. He looked a little disgusted with the place until he saw Dumbledore. “Welcome.” He said.

“Thank you.” Malfoy nodded and then saw the four standing there. “Actually I’d like to talk to Harry alone.” He said not looking at anyone.

“Follow me.” Harry said leading Malfoy up the stairs and into an empty room, which he would be staying in. “This is where you’re staying.”

“Thanks. I wanted to say thank you for letting me come here. I know I haven’t treated any of you with any respect. I know I may not be the best guy to you right now. But I really am a different person. I want to help.”

“Don’t take this wrong but it’ll take a while for any of us to get over what you’ve done to us in the past.”

“That’s okay. Actually could you tell Ginny to come up here when you can?” He asked.

“Just don’t get any funny ideas.” Malfoy grinned and nodded.

“Thanks again.”

“No problem.” Harry closed the door behind him and went back downstairs where Ginny and Hermione were alone. “Malfoy wants to see you.” He said to her.

“Thanks.” She smiled and practically jogged upstairs.

“How’s Ron?” Harry asked.

“How do you think?”

“That bad huh?”

“Yup. I feel so bad for him. He’s had to put up with a lot today.”

“Don’t worry about him.” Everyone started filing out of the dining room and left the house. After that it was just Mrs. Weasley, Lupin, Sirius, Dumbledore, Gwen, Jesse, Tonks, Moody, and the five teenagers that were left in the house.

“I will be back tomorrow to start your training.” Dumbledore said to Harry before he left. “Moody will be helping as well. Be good.” He smiled at Hermione. Then He, Moody, and Tonks left. Lupin went up to talk to Jesse who nobody had seen since she got here and Sirius went to talk to Gwen. Ron stayed in his room and wouldn’t come out.

“You know, we’re all alone for a while.” Hermione said. Harry smiled and kissed her on the lips.

“You aren’t scared that I’ll hurt you again are you?” Harry said after breaking away.

“No of course not. I trust you.” She smiled.

“Good. We still on for that midnight meeting then?” He asked.

“Don’t be late.” She blew him a kiss and then walked away. Harry walked upstairs and stopped outside Malfoy’s room.

“Don’t you lay your hands on my sister!” Ron shouted.

“Ron stop. It’s not what you think.” Ginny said. Harry walked into the room and saw Ron holding Malfoy by the collar of his shirt.

“What’s going on here?” Harry asked.

“I saw Malfoy with his hands on my sister.”

“Ron, I’m a big girl. I can take care of myself.” She replied getting angry. “Just let him go.” She pushed his hands off Malfoy and looked at him with disgust. “I guess this is the right time to tell you given the state of things. I know you hate him and wish he wasn’t here. But for my sake, I hope you can get over those things because I like Draco.” She said. Ron practically choked.

“Malfoy? How could you possibly like him?” He asked getting red in the face. Hermione came into the room because she heard the yelling from downstairs.

“He’s not as bad as you think he is.” Ginny said calming down a little bit.

“He’s exactly as bad as I think he is.” Ron said a little quieter then before. “I’m disappointed in you.” He said with tears in his eyes. Then he brushed past Hermione and left.

“Ron wait.” Ginny said trying to follow him before Hermione grabbed her.

“Don’t. He needs time.” Hermione said. “Harry and I will try talking to him okay?” She asked. Ginny nodded and walked over towards Malfoy who gave her a hug. Harry and Hermione left the room and closed the door behind them.

“Poor Ron.” Hermione said. “I had no idea it would be this hard on him.”

“I did.” He grabbed her hand and led her up to Ron’s room where they found Ron with his face in his hands.

“Ron?” Hermione asked sitting down next to him. “We should talk.” Harry sat down on the other side of him and waited for Ron to lift his head.

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Chapter 5: Training Begins
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“Did you guys know about Malfoy and my sister?” Ron asked looking up and looking from Harry To Hermione

“Ginny told me.” Hermione said.

“Malfoy talked to me on the train ride back.” Harry replied feeling guilty.

“How come you guys didn’t tell me?” He said nor annoyed or angered, just sad.

“They wouldn’t let us. Ginny was so scared that you would hate her for it so she wanted to wait for the right moment to tell you. When maybe you could have seen a better side of Malfoy.” Hermione said.

“There is no better side to him. I can’t stop her from liking but I don’t have to like him.” Ron said looking down at his hands. “I just don’t want to see her get hurt.”

“She’s a big girl. I’m sure she can take care of herself.” Hermione said feeling horrible.

“I know, but I don’t trust him.”

“I don’t either. But we’re in war; we have to learn to rely on each other and protect each other.” Harry said and then went silent.

“Harry’s right. Even though I hate Malfoy, I’ll save him from getting hurt because he’s one more person we can use to fight in this war.” Hermione said.

“I still can’t trust him.” Ron said.

“I know, and to tell you the truth I don’t either. But Ginny does and she likes him.” All of a sudden Harry got up and made his way to the door.

“Harry?” Hermione asked looking alarmed.

“I’m sorry.” He said leaving the room.

“What’s wrong with him? Did I say something?” Ron asked.

“No. I’ll go talk to him.” Hermione got up and left Ron alone. She caught up with Harry outside the dining room.

“Harry?” She asked grabbing his arm. “What’s the matter?” He looked back at her with tears in his eyes. “Harry, is everything all right?” She said touching his face.

“I’m afraid. For the first time in a long time, I’m afraid.” He said not looking at her.

“What are you afraid of?” She asked worried.

“That people I love are going to die.” He said looking straight into her eyes. Hermione closed her eyes and hugged him tightly. He started crying and couldn’t hold back any longer. “I don’t want to loose you again.” He squeezed her even tighter.

“You’ll never loose me.” She leaned backwards with his arms still around her and then kissed him. “Just promise me I wont loose you.” He shook his head and looked at her sadly. “Harry, promise me.”

“Hermione I will always be with you.” She knew what he meant by that but couldn’t stand talking about it anymore.

Harry and Hermione spent the rest of the day apart and separated from everyone else. Hermione was locked up in her room for most of the night after dinner. Harry hadn’t talked to anymore for hours. He heard everyone go to sleep and waited patiently for midnight to come. He heard soft footsteps walking down the stairs and then outside. Harry got up from the couch and quietly made his way outside where the mood was shining. She was standing there looking at him. She was dressed in her long pajama pants, a button up shirt, and her coat.

“Good morning.” She said with a sweet smile. He wrapped his arms around her waist and lifted her up. “Put me down!” She said starting to laugh. He twirled her around until he got dizzy. He put her down with his arms still wrapped around her. Just then she looked up and it started to rain. She gave a little yelp and hugged Harry tighter.

“Now I’m all wet.” She said closing her eyes for a minute. “Come on lets go inside.”

“Wait with me for a minute.” He looked up to the sky as the rain hit his face.

“Come on.” She laughed.

“Okay okay.” He said grabbing her hand and they ran inside. They quietly went upstairs and into his room. Ron wasn’t there.

“Where’s Ron?” Harry asked.

“Oh about that.” She smiled biting her lip. “He took a different room tonight.” A crack of thunder sounded throughout the house and Hermione jumped into his arms. “Oh my gosh, that scared me.” Hermione said laughing. Harry on the other hand wasn’t laughing; he was looking at her seriously. “Why are you looking at me like that?” She asked. He unzipped her coat and took it off. She then slid off his shirt and soaked in the sight before her eyes. He leaned down and kissed her. He slowly glided her towards the bed and they fell on it. He slowly unbuttoned her shirt and through it on the ground. He reached behind her back and unclasped her bra. Then he slid it off her arms and threw it on the floor. When Harry turned back towards her she pulled him down so she was covered. She then shook her head and closed her eyes.

She hesitated on what to say to explain. He slowly got up as she covered herself with a blanket and he got her one of his shirts since hers was wet on the floor. He grinned at her nervousness and got back on the bed while handing her the shirt. She slipped it on as He leaned back on the bed and faced her. “I’m sorry, I thought I was ready but I’m still not. I want to but…” She started to say.

“It’s okay.” He placed a finger on her lips. “I just want to spend the night with you.” He kissed her once on the lips and lay sideways as he wrapped one arm around her waist. She cuddled up next to him to absorb his warmth.

“Do you ever wonder what it would be like if neither one of us were witches?” She asked.

Harry laughed and then said, “Yes I can because I’m not a witch.” She playfully hit his chest. “Owe that really hurt.” He said touching the spot she hit.

“You know what I meant.” She scolded.

“Yeah, sometimes when things get rough. But I can’t ever imagine living a world without you.” He said.

She smiled sweetly and said, “I love you so much.”

“I love you too.” Harry said kissing her lightly on her forehead. “Goodnight.”

“Goodnight.” She smiled closing her eyes and falling into a deep sleep. He watched her sleep peacefully for a while until he fell into the dream world.

“You didn’t honestly think you were going to spend the rest of your pathetic little life with him, did you?” Voldemort said annoyed. Harry turned to the person he was talking to and noticed that it was…

“Hermione.” Harry whispered. She was chained to the wall looking dirty and weak.

Voldemort let out a shrill laugh and said, “He’s not alive to save you know, or the rest of this wretched world. He failed you and now all of your friends are going to die. You’ll be the last of course. I want you to see them all die.”

“No.” Harry said. “No, Hermione I’m right here. No!” Harry yelled. Then he felt someone shaking him. “NO!” He yelled again shaking his head as sweat poured down his forehead.

“Harry, wake up.” Hermione said getting worried. She placed a hand on his chest and he jolted awake. “Harry, are you okay?” She asked instantly. He looked around for a minute and then sat up. Tears started running down his cheeks and he engulfed her in a tight hug. “Harry, what happened?”

“This has got to end. I can’t take it anymore.” Harry yelled leaning back from the hug. Everyone woke up by Harry’s sudden outburst and came into the room.

“What is it Harry?” Lupin asked looking like he had already been awake.

“Another dream.” Harry replied rubbing his forehead without knowing.

“What was it about?” Sirius asked coming into view.

“I was dead and Hermione was captured. You were all going to die.” He said shaking his head as tears started falling down his cheeks. Hermione hugged him and closed her eyes.

“You won’t die Harry. He’s playing tricks with your mind.” Hermione whispered.

“And I want it to end. You have no idea how this feels. Knowing so many people would die because I failed. I’m tired of knowing this. It’s got to end and soon.” Harry said angrily wiping the tears away.

“It’ll end.” Sirius said nodding his head and then went out into the hallway pushing everybody else out and ordering them to go back to bed. Lupin was still standing where he was and asked, “Hermione, could I speak with you outside?” Hermione nodded and kissed Harry on the cheek before getting up and following Lupin outside where he closed the door behind her. Sirius was also standing there waiting for them.

“I’m afraid, Harry is under a lot of pressure.” Lupin took a deep breath and shook his head. “His training starts in the morning and Dumbledore asked me if you could attend them with Harry. He thinks it will help Harry concentrate more.”

“I’m sure he’ll concentrate all he can even if I’m not there. He wants this to end, he’ll take any chance to get stronger and better if he can.” Hermione said seriously.

“You’re right. I just think he’ll feel better with someone there. Maybe you could even help or learn something yourself.” He said nodding. Lupin and Sirius went up the hallway whispering as Hermione went back in the room. Harry was already sleeping so she hopped into bed next to him and quickly fell asleep.

Luckily the rest of the night was silent as Harry dreamed of more peaceful things. Harry woke up the next morning finding Hermione was already gone. He quickly changed and went into the dining room where mostly everybody was at the moment. He made a quiet entrance and sat down next to Hermione practically scaring her and making her jump.

“Don’t do that.” She said hitting him in the arm.

“You better eat something quick, Dumbledore will be here for your training in just a few minutes.” Lupin said coming in from the kitchen. Mrs. Weasley sets a plate down in front of him with toast and bacon on it.

“Where’s Ron?” Harry asked taking a big bite of his toast.

“Don’t know. He hasn’t come down from his room since last night.” Hermione replied. Just then Ginny and Malfoy walked in. Ginny looked somewhat out of place as she sat down.

“Have you guys talked to Ron yet?” Ginny asked.

“We did yesterday.” Hermione replied.

“I tried this morning but he wouldn’t say anything to me. He was walking in the hallway and wouldn’t give me his attention.” She looked down at her plate and picked at her bacon. “I don’t know what to do. I miss him.” She pouted as Malfoy secretly held onto her hand under the table.

“It’ll be okay Gin, he’s just trying to deal with it all. He’ll be fine.” Hermione smiled.

“I hope so.” A few minutes of silence passed by as Harry finished eating. Dumbledore came into the room followed by Moody

“Are you ready to start your training?” Dumbledore asked. Harry nodded and got up. “Are you coming Ms. Granger?” Harry took a glance back at her but kept on following Moody without saying a word. “You should get started and I’ll be right with you.” He said once they got into the living room.

“Where are you going?” Harry asked.

“To get something.” He said smiling and then walking out of the room.

“As you know Harry, we are going to teach you how to use wandless magic. Dumbledore will have to demonstrate the more advance magic.” Moody said. “First we are going to start out with a basic protection charm or shield if you may. Now hold out you hand with your palm facing outwards and repeat after me.” Harry did what he was told as Hermione took a seat in one of the chairs facing them.

“Protecten.” Moody said.

“Protecten.” Harry repeated after him and instantly a yellow and gold shield surrounded him. Moody said a simple disarming spell and it bounced right off his shield.

“Very good, now to make it stronger say strang.” Moody said.

Harry said, “Strang.” His shield thickened but he could still see Moody clearly.

“I’m going to hit you with a strong spell and see if it can deflect.” Suddenly Harry was hit with a strong force but it bounced off but in his protest his shield slowly disappeared.

“How could you?” Hermione said standing up angrily. “What if it didn’t deflect?” She was yelling.

“Hermione, what’s the matter?” Harry said walking over to her.

“He hit you with an unforgivable! What if your shield couldn’t have deflected it? Then what would you have done?” She said pointing her finger at Moody.

“I had to see if his shield was strong enough. What else could I have done?” He said simply. Just then Dumbledore came into the room followed by Ron.

“I just thought Ron could join.” Then he looked between Hermione and Moody and frowned. “Did I miss something?” He asked.

“Professor Dumbledore.” Hermione said walking over to him. “Moody hit him with an unforgivable!”

“Did the shield hold?” Dumbledore asked ignoring Hermione’s anger.

“Yes it did, but it’s not strong enough. It fell right after the spell deflected.” Moody replied.

“That’s good news. Your magic is stronger then I expected. He should learn stronger spells then.” Dumbledore said making his way towards Harry.

Hermione grunted and threw her hands up. “Doesn’t he mean anything to you?” She yelled angrily walking out of the room and slamming the door behind her.

“What did you hit me with?” Harry asked.

“The Cruciatus curse.” Moody replied. “It’s the strongest spell besides the killing curse.”

“I understand. I would have wanted you to do the same thing. I’ll talk to her later.” He replied. “What next?” He said excitedly. Ron took Hermione’s seat on the couch and watched Harry’s training.

It lasted until dinner and Harry was growing quite tired. “I believe that is enough for one day. You’ve learned a lot Harry. I would like your training to continue through the school year. Meet me every Thursday in my office starting the second week of term.” Dumbledore smiled and left with Moody. Harry sat down next to Ron to rest.

“How are you doing?” Harry asked.

“Better. I think I’ll talk to Ginny after dinner.” Ron replied looking down at the floor.

“Are you okay about her and Draco?”

“Not yet. I mean I hate him so it’s a little weird. But I think thing’s can be okay later on.”

“That’s good to hear. I’m sure Ginny will be really happy that you’ll understand.”

“Yeah.” Was all he could say.

“Anyways, I think we should go and get some dinner.”

“I thought you’d never say.” Him and Harry laughed as they walked to the dining room. Hermione was sitting by herself looking still angry. Harry shrugged his shoulders and went to sit by her. For a minute he just sat there waiting for her to say something but she didn’t.

“Ron is going to talk to Ginny.” Harry said breaking the silence between them.

“That’s good.” She said without looking at him.

“What’s wrong?” He asked lifting her face so that her eyes were looking at him.

“Harry, aren’t you mad? I mean he used…” She started to say.

“I know what he used on me. Listen, I would have done the same thing. I mean what better curse to test me on then that? This was to help me. I’m sure if my shield broke down that Moody would have let up as soon as possible.”

“But you could have gotten hurt.” She said shaking her head.

“I’m fine now, aren’t I?”

“I just don’t want anything to happen to you, especially during training.”

“I know.” He hugged her. Then Harry heard Ron say to Ginny, “Could I talk to you?”

“Of course Ron.” Ginny replied following Ron out of the dining room.

“Is he fine with everything?” Hermione asked watching them leave.

“He will be.” Harry replied. Then Malfoy who was all alone walked over to them.

“Is Ron finally accepting me?” Malfoy asked

“No, he’s just giving you a chance. I wouldn’t screw it up if I were you.” Harry replied.

“I’ll take that as some advice.” He said.

“You do that.” Malfoy glared at him and then left.

“Are you two finally getting along with Draco?” Mrs. Weasley asked setting down a plate of food for them.

“Yes.” Hermione replied just to keep her from asking any further questions.

“That’s wonderful. I hear Ron is finally giving him a chance too?”

“Yes, finally.” Hermione nodded.

“That’s all very good. How was your training Harry dear?”

“Good thanks.” She smiled and took a deep breath. She took a seat and looked sad about something.

“What’s wrong Mrs. Weasley?” Hermione asked.

“You kids are growing up so fast. You’re falling in love and soon you’ll be out of school.” She wiped away the tears that were forming in her eyes. Hermione got up and hugged her. “Don’t worry about me, I just love you like you were my own.” She smiled.

“We love you too.” Hermione said smiling. Mrs. Weasley hugged her back and wiped the remaining tears from her eyes.

“Now go along, I don’t want to keep you.” She said smiling.

Hermione sat back down and they ate their dinner. Ron and Ginny came back into the room and sat by Harry and Hermione. Malfoy stayed away to keep his distance for a while.

“So?” Hermione asked watching them sit down.

Ginny smiled big and looked at Hermione. “It’s good. We talked and everything’s good.” Harry heard this and raised his eyebrows at Ron. “Thank you so much Ron. You have no idea how much this means to me.” She got up, walked over to Ron and gave him a big hug.

“I’m glad everything’s worked out.” Hermione said smiling at Ginny.

“So am I. So am I.” She repeated slowly.

--------------------------
I hope you enjoy it.

Chapter 6: The Last Return
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The next day Dumbledore pulled Harry aside so they could talk alone. “Harry, I know you’ll find this out when you get your letter but I wanted to tell you for myself. I’ve decided to make you Head Boy.” He said.

“Me? But I’ve gotten into so much trouble.” Harry said grinning.

“But you’ve been through many things a full grown man couldn’t have done. You’ve done the right thing for many situations. You’re full of heart and I believe you were the right choice for Head Boy.”

“Thank you Professor.” Harry said.

“No thanks are necessary.” His eyes twinkling.

“Could I ask who’s going to be the Head Girl?”

“I suppose I knew you would ask but you already know that answer.”

Harry’s grin grew large and nodded. Then they went back into the dining room and sat down like nothing they talked about mattered.

“What did he want to talk to you about?” Hermione said questioningly.

“Oh it was nothing.” He smiled and finished eating.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

“I’m HEAD GIRL!!!” Hermione screamed from her room. She ran into Ron and Harry’s room as quickly as she could.

“Congratulations Hermione.” Ron replied.

“Thank you.” She smiled big. Then Harry walked in carrying his letter and a badge that read Head Boy.

“You’re Head Boy?” Ron asked.

“Yup.” Harry replied.

“Congratulations.” He said not trying to sound disappointed. “Now you guys get to give me orders.” He said.

“I’m so happy for you Harry.” Hermione said jumping into his arms and kissing him.

“Hey! Do that somewhere else!” Ron said looking at his letter trying not to look at them as they kissed.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

“Hurry along Harry, you’re going to be late.” Mrs. Weasley said pushing him through the wall between platforms 9 and 10. Harry pushed his cart carrying Hegwigs (HEDWIGS?) cage and his trunk. He quickly caught up with Hermione and Ron who were ahead of him. They quickly said their goodbyes and boarded the train. Ginny was the first one on and had grabbed an empty compartment.

“Thanks Gin.” Hermione said rushing into the compartment. Ginny was made Prefect as well, which Mrs. Weasley was very pleased with. Ron seemed to be really anxious about something and at the same time nervous.

“Ron, what is wrong with you?” Hermione asked sitting across from him. He was shaking his legs and kept looking at the door when there was noise.

“Nothing.” He said. Harry laughed at his friend’s behavior. A few minutes passed as the train started to move. Just then Neville and Luna walked in. Harry looked over to Ron whom’s face turned red. She took a seat next to her and Neville by Hermione.

“How was your summer?” Ron asked building up his courage. Luna smiled and looked over her magazine.

“Mine was very good. You will never believe what I got to do.” She said excitedly.

“What?” Hermione asked.

“I went to Rome!” She smiled even bigger.

Hermione’s mouth dropped in complete astonishment. “You’ve got to tell me everything.” Hermione said leaning forward in her seat. Even Ron looked like he was interested but it only lasted a few minutes. Hermione, Ginny, and Luna sat by the window to talk and the three boys decided to play exploding snaps. After a couple hours Ginny decided to leave.

“I’ll try to see you guys later.” She said leaving the compartment.

“I’ve heard she’s going out with Malfoy.” Luna said once the door was closed.

“She is.” Hermione replied.

“Aren’t you mad Ron?” Luna asked turning towards Ron.

“Not anymore. But if he hurts Gin, I’m going to kill him.” Ron said.

“Oh Harry, we’re late!” Hermione said getting up in a hurry and grabbed Harry.

“Where are you guys going?” Neville asked.

“We’re Head boy and girl.” Harry said quickly before Hermione pulled him out of the compartment. Harry followed Hermione up to the Head compartment where they spent the rest of the train ride going over duties with the new prefects and giving orders. Harry and Hermione were walking down the hallway of the train when they saw a new person.

“Hello.” Hermione said greeting him. “My name is Hermione Granger and this is Harry Potter.” She said motioning towards Harry who was behind her.

“My name is Matt.” He said shaking her hand and then Harry’s.

“Are you new? What year?”

“I’m 7th year. I transferred France.”

“Why?”

“Oh my dad is really good friends with Dumbledore so he wanted to be here for the fight.” He paused. “Excuse me? Did you say your name was Harry Potter? The Harry Potter?”

“Yeah, that’s right.” Harry said annoyingly. He didn’t like that he was famous and everybody knew him.

“It’s great to finally meet you. So are you guys in your 7th year then?”

“Yes.” Hermione said. “So do you know what house you’re going to be in?”

“I’m going to be sorted with the first years. I’m really looking forward to Hogwarts. It seems very different to me.”

“Well we’re Head Girl and Boy so if there’s anything you need help on, come to us. It was nice meeting you.” Hermione said smiling. Harry didn’t say goodbye or anything and just continued walking down the hall in the opposite direction.

“He seems like a nice guy. Don’t you think?” Hermione asked. At first Harry didn’t say anything before Hermione nudged him in the arm.

“I don’t know. He’s hiding something, I can just feel it.” Harry said looking straight ahead.

“Well he seemed fine to me.” Hermione said.

“You don’t even know him.”

“And neither do you.” Hermione was angry now. “What’s wrong with him?”

“He’s keeping a big secret.” Harry said.

“So? A lot of people keep secrets.”

“But his isn’t normal. I can’t read it.”

“What? You were trying to read his mind? Harry!” Hermione said starting to walk off. “Do you read mine all the time?”

“You know I wouldn’t.”

“No, I don’t think I do. Obviously you try to read his mind when you don’t even know him. Give him a break. Not everybody out there is bad you know.”

“If you want to trust him with your life then fine. I’m just telling you what I know.” Harry said walking past her.

“Harry.” She said feeling a little bad. “Come on.”

“The least you could do is stick up for me.” Harry said not looking at her. Harry and Hermione were the first one off the train and saved everybody a seat on the carriage. Harry hadn’t said a word to her since they left the train.

“Congratulations.” Luna said coming up to Harry and Hermione. “You guys will get to share your own common room together. That should be nice.”

“Well congratulations to you too for making a prefect.” Hermione said pointing to the badge she was wearing.

“Oh thank you.” She said blushing slightly.

“Come on.” Harry said ushering them onto the carriage. Luna, Neville, Hermione, and Ron filed in. Harry sat silently the whole ride listening to the others speak and looked out the window. They got inside and sat down waiting for the first years to come in.

“Come on, come on.” Ron said playing with his fork. “I’m starving.” Hermione shook her head and looked towards Harry. He was looking towards the doors. Hermione waved her hand in front of his face a few times before he snapped back to reality.

“I wonder who’s going to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts now that Kate isn’t here.” Ron said.

“Maybe Lupin will come back and teach us. Or Sirius.” Hermione said.

The first years started coming. They were nervous and some were scared. They walked to the front waiting to be sorted.

“When I call your name, come up to the stool and sit down. I will place the hat on your head and then you will be sorted.” Professor McGonagall said. “Melissa Ablan.” She stepped up to the front and the hat was placed on her head.

“GRYFFINDOR!” The sorting hat yelled out.

After a while Matt’s name was called out and Harry snapped his head up to watch. “Gryffindor!”

“See Harry, he can’t be that bad if he made it into Gryffindor.” Hermione said but instantly wished she hadn’t. Matt walked to the table and sat down at the end.

“Together Houses will win
Or they will fall
Stand together
And victory will be in our favor
Stand apart
And the dark will take over.” The sorting hat’s song was short and left many to whisper.

“Good evening everyone and welcome back to a wonderful year at Hogwarts. I would like to welcome back Professor Lupin who will be taking over Defense Against the Dark Arts. As before the Forbidden forest is well forbidden.” Dumbledore said eyeing Harry. “What are we waiting for, enjoy the feast.” He said clapping his hands and instantly the tables were filled with wonderful food.

“Finally.” Ron said digging into the food. A few minutes later Matt came along and took a seat next to Hermione. She looked at Harry uncomfortably but he wasn’t looking.

“Hello Harry.” Lupin said walking towards their table. “I was asked to tell you that Dumbledore would like to meet with you after the feast to show you your rooms.”

“Thank you Professor.” Harry smiled. “I’m glad you’re back to teach us.”

“It’s nice to be back, but Dumbledore will get many letters in the morning objecting my return.”

“I’m sure you have more fans then you think.” Hermione said.

“Thank you.” Lupin said smiling and then he walked back up to the Teacher’s table. Matt was watching him closely and turned towards Hermione when he left.

“Is he that werewolf my father was talking about?” He asked almost disgusted.

“Yeah.” Hermione said before Harry could say anything.

“My father doesn’t trust him. What if he’s working for Voldemort?” He asked.

“You think he’s working for Voldemort?” Harry asked finally. Hermione tried saying something to Harry but held a hand up to her face. “He’s been fighting on our side since the beginning of all this. His best friends have died because of that pig.”

“You never know. I heard Voldemort was looking for werewolf’s.”

“That doesn’t mean every werewolf out there will join him.” Harry took another bite of his food before he got up and walked out of the great hall.

“Did I say something?” Matt asked looking bewildered.

“Professor Lupin is Harry’s friend. Don’t talk about things you don’t know.” Hermione said angrily before she got up and followed Harry. “Harry, come back here. What is your problem?”

“Just go back, I’d like to be alone right now.” Harry said.

“Harry, please talk to me. I haven’t done anything wrong.” She said grabbing his arm. “I know you don’t like him, but he doesn’t know anybody here.” Harry shook his head and continued walking. Hermione sighed and walked back to the great hall.

“What’s wrong with Harry?” Ron asked once she got back.

“He’s not feeling very good and just wants to be alone.” Hermione replied trying to make it seem like Matt wasn’t the reason he left.

Soon the feast ended and the prefects showed everyone to their common rooms and Hermione was the only one left. She walked up to the teacher’s table where Dumbledore was waiting for her. “Where’s Harry?” He asked.

“He went for a walk. He got upset earlier so I don’t know where…” She began to say.

“I’m here.” He said walking towards them.

“Good, follow me.” Dumbledore said walking past them and out of the great hall. Harry followed closely behind Dumbledore and didn’t speak to Hermione.

“Here we are.” He said. They were at the North Tower in front of a large portrait. “Now the password is Peace. I advise you tell no one unless you want your friends coming in here.” The portrait flung open and they walked inside. It was huge. “Now to your right is Harry’s room and to the left is Hermione’s room. Straight forward is a bathroom, which you will have to share. Your things have been brought up already so I will leave you two to get used to this place.” He smiled and then started to leave the common room. “Oh wait, your bedrooms each have a password.” He whispered something to Harry and then something to Hermione. “Goodnight.” And then he left. Harry went straight to his bedroom before Hermione could say anything and slammed the door shut.

Hermione let out a loud sigh and went to the bathroom. It was bigger then the Prefect’s bathroom. The bathtub was again like a pool. She decided she could use a bath and started to take off her clothes as the water filled the pool. She stepped in and instantly felt relaxed. She closed her eyes and before she knew it, she fell asleep.

Harry walked out of his bedroom and wanted to find Hermione. She wasn’t in the common room so he figured she’d be in her bedroom. He knocked on the wood next to the portrait. “Hermione? Are you in there?” He asked but she didn’t open the door. He figured she didn’t want to talk to him and fell asleep already. He went down to the bathroom to check it out before going to bed. He opened the door and found Hermione sleeping peacefully. Then he noticed she wasn’t wearing anything. “Hermione.” He said smiling slightly but he turned around when she heard him.

“Harry!” She shrieked but instantly calmed down. “Will you hand me that robe?” She asked. Harry saw the robe and grabbed it. He walked towards her without looking and handed it to her. “Turn around please.” She asked politely. Harry turned around and heard her get out of the water. She grabbed the robe from his hand and wrapped it around her. “You can turn around now.” She said picking up her clothes. “Did you want something?”

“I needed to talk to you about before.” He said not looking at her. “I shouldn’t have took it out on you.”

“No, you shouldn’t have. But I was wrong to doubt you. I don’t know him and I shouldn’t have taken his side. I’m sorry.”

“No don’t be sorry. I just have what my head is telling me. I don’t know him and I can’t assume what he’ll become.” He lifted his hand and touched her face. “I love you more then anything.” He said before kissing her. She pushed away slightly realizing her state of being.

“Harry?” She asked. “I’m not dressed.” She said smiling.

“I like it that way.” He said seductively.

“Harry.” She punched him playfully while her cheeks flushed red.

“Will you sleep with me tonight?”

“Harry!” She said loudly.

“I didn’t mean that.”

Hermione burst out laughing. “I know. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.” She said. “Just let me get dressed first.” She said walking past him to her room to get her pajamas. Harry walked out after her and went into his room to change as well. Hermione knocked and waited as Harry opened the portrait. “Are you going to tell me the password?” She asked pushing him out of the way.

“Are you going to tell me yours?” Harry asked.

“Harry, you know I’m not going to. A girl’s room is her privacy.” She laughed.

“And mine isn’t?”

“Well you could change it if you don’t want me in here.” She said frowning. “But I can’t understand why you wouldn’t want me in here.”

“Come here.” He said softly. She walked towards him and he wrapped his arms around her. “Time for bed. We have to get up early tomorrow for classes.” Harry walked her towards the bed and then they got in. “I think Matt likes you.”

Chapter 7: Problem's Arise
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The next morning, Hermione was up and about before Harry even woke up for classes. “Come on Harry.” She said throwing a shoe at him.

“Hey.” He groaned throwing the shoe on the ground.

“I’m serious Harry, you don’t want to be late for your first day of classes.” She walked over to his bedside and thought he had fallen back asleep. He suddenly grabbed around her waste and pulled her down on the bed. “This is no time to play around.”

“I don’t get a kiss?” He asked leaning over her.

“Only if you get up.” She said.

“Fine, you win.” He said raising his hands like he surrendered.

“That’s better.” She said getting up and walking out of the room.

“Hey! Where’s my kiss?” He yelled after her.

“Tough luck.” She laughed. He got dressed quickly and caught up with her before she left. He pinned her against the wall and she had a smile on her face. “Harry, you should know better.” She said. There was silence between them until her face became serious. “Did you mean what you said?”

“When?” He asked still pinning her to the wall.

“That Matt likes me?” She asked. Harry instantly backed away.

“You can’t tell? Come on.” Harry said.

“No.” She said.

“You’ll see.” Harry said walking out of the common room with Hermione trailing behind. “He’ll ask you out soon you know.”

“You aren’t jealous are you?”

“Should I be?” He said turning towards her.

“Harry.” She smiled. “Do think I’d dump you for some guy I don’t know? Do you not trust me?”

“I don’t trust him.” He said kissing her on the forehead. “I don’t want to loose you.”

“You’ll never loose me.” She said looking up at him.

“I’ve been looking for you everywhere.” Ron said running towards them in a hurry.

“What’s wrong?” Hermione asked.

“Kate’s back.” He said catching his breath.

“What? She’s here?” Harry asked confused. “Show me where.” Ron waved for them to follow and they started running down the halls and to the front doors of the castle. All the students were crowded around in a circle. “Excuse me.” Ron repeated for them to get out of his way. Harry entered the circle that Dumbledore and the rest of the teachers were in. Kate was on the ground bleeding from many places.

“Kate!” Harry said panicked. “What happened?”

“She’s been tortured.” Dumbledore said sadly. “Where is Madam Pomfrey?” He said getting angry.

“I’m here.” She said pushing the students out of her way. “Oh my, she must be taken to the hospital wing quickly.” Dumbledore lifted her up and everyone seemed to follow to the hospital wing. Harry wanted answers but knew not to press Dumbledore until they got Kate treated. Once they sat her down on one of the beds Madam Pomfrey ran off to get a few things. When she came back she pushed everybody out of the area and closed the curtain.

“What happened to her? How did she get here?” Harry asked.

“Hagrid found her in the Forbidden Forest this morning. Hagrid carried her to the castle right when you arrived. Sadly so many of our students had to see this.”

“Is she going to be okay?” Harry said taking a moment to think.

“She needs lots of rest and a lot of potions to stop the pain.” Madam Pomfrey said coming out from behind the curtain. “Headmaster, could you please take all these students out of this hospital wing?”

“Yes of course. Come on everyone, back to the great hall for breakfast.” Dumbledore said. The teachers helped Dumbledore take everyone back to the great hall. Ron, Hermione, and Harry were the only ones left in the wing.

“Don’t worry Mr. Potter, she’ll be okay. You should come back in a few days to see how she is doing.” Madam Pomfrey said leaving the wing and going to her office.

“You hear that Harry, she’ll be fine.” Hermione said smiling.

“Why would she be in the Forbidden Forest?” Harry asked thinking aloud.

“I don’t know. Do you suppose Voldemort is there?”

“How? I thought this place is closed off.” Ron said sitting down.

“It is, but he’s done it before.”

“This is where the final battle will be.” He said getting up to look out the windows. “I know it.”

“But there are innocent students here.” Hermione and Ron joined him at the windowsill.

“That doesn’t matter. He just wants to finish me off and then he can get what he wants.”

“Don’t think negative. You’re going to beat him.” Ron said.

“How do you know?”

“Because Harry, you’ve stood up to him before. You can end this finally and be rid of him.” Hermione said.

“I’m not as strong enough as him.”

“You will be.” Ron said smiling.

Harry couldn’t think during class because his mind was on Kate. He hated having people get hurt because of him and he didn’t want it to happen again.

“Harry?” Hermione said trying to get his attention. “Harry?” She said standing up holding her bag. Harry looked around the room and saw it was empty. He didn’t even realize the class was over.

“Harry, could I talk to you?” Lupin said coming out of his office and seeing he was still in the classroom.

“Yeah.” He said.

“I’ll see you at lunch.” Hermione said giving him a kiss on the cheek and then leaving.

“Harry, are you okay?” Lupin asked.

“Yeah of course.” Harry said walking towards his desk.

“I hope Hermione can help you with your homework since you weren’t paying attention. Don’t let this disrupt your mind Harry; she’s going to be okay. You’ve got to think about school right now.”

“I know, it’s just hard to pay attention when lives are at stake.”

“It’s okay to worry. But you need to pay attention, you’ve got to learn.”

“Because I’m not strong enough. I’m not nearly as powerful as I should be.” Harry said looking disappointed.

“That’s not it Harry. You’ve done things most people would never do in their lifetime. You’ve stood up to Voldemort more then anyone else has. We believe that you will end this.” Harry didn’t know what to say. “You need to learn as much as you can.”

“How can people think I will end this? I’m only 17. I can’t do this.”

“Snap out of it Harry. Stop telling yourself that you can’t do this. You’re stronger then most full-grown wizards, you just have the wrong attitude about things. Don’t think about fighting this war for yourself. You’ve got to think about others. Think about your friends, your Aunt, and Hermione.”

“What do you think I’ve been thinking about? I’m fighting this war for them. I don’t care what happens to me as long as I beat him. Do you know how many times I’ve thought about this? Millions, because everyday I think I’m going fail, and that puts more lives in danger because I failed. Do you have any idea how hard this it?” Harry asked getting angry. Lupin tried to say something but Harry put a hand up to stop him. “This war isn’t about me, it’s about destroying that bastard so that everyone can live without the fear that their world might be taken over by him. I’m trying my best Remus.” He grabbed his bag and left the classroom before Lupin could say anything back. Harry didn’t appear at lunch and that worried Hermione so she left early.

“I’ll see you in class Ron.” She said grabbing her bag and left the great hall in search for Harry. She went to the Head’s common rooms and found him pacing in front of the empty fireplace. “Harry what’s wrong?”

“Nothing!” Harry snapped at her. She walked up to him and put an arm on his shoulder. He pulled away and walked up to his room locking the door. She followed and stood outside his bedroom.

“What’s wrong?” She asked pressing the issue. He was obviously really angry for a reason. “Harry, talk to me.” Harry didn’t open the door nor make any noise from inside his room. “Please?” She said softly sitting down outside the door. Harry stood next to the door silently and sat down. “Why wont you talk to me?” She asked. “I’m not leaving until you tell me what’s wrong. I’ll just sit here for the rest of day, even night if I have to.”

“You’d do no such thing.” He said opening the door. She instantly stood up to face him.

“Harry…” She started to say.

“Wait!” He said holding a hand up to stop her. “I was talking to Lupin, and he says I’m fighting this war for myself. He thinks I’m fighting my own battle, to end this. I’m fighting it for everyone so they can have a peaceful life and not have their children grow up in fear.”

“Harry…” She started to say again.

“Stop!” He said loudly. “Don’t say it. Don’t you say it.” He said angrily turning back into his room.

“This war is important to everyone. I know how hard it is Harry, I’ve been there and back again with you and I’m still here.” She said walking towards him and wrapping her arms around him. “I’m here until the end.” She planted her lips on his and squeezed closer to him. “I love you.” She said leaning back in his arms.

“I love you too. I don’t know what I’d do if I lost you.” He said.

“You wont have to. I’ll live, I promise you.” She smiled.

“I wish I could say the same thing.” He said gloomily.

“What are you talking about? Harry James Potter, don’t you ever say that to me again. I wont lose you.” She said. Harry didn’t say anything but looked away from her. “Come on, we’ve got to get to class.” She said grabbing his hand and leading him out of the common room.

For the last 2 weeks, Harry had been ignoring as many people as he could except for Ron and Hermione. She would sneak in late at night and slip into his bed falling asleep in his arms. Harry held his first Quidditch practice and luckily most of his teammates had practiced over the summer so they were even better.

“Make sure we win again this year Harry.” Professor McGonagall said after their practice. “The trophy would be nice for another year.”

“Yes Professor.” Harry nodded going into the dressing room. Everyone had already changed and went back to the castle except for Harry. He took his time getting changed until he heard someone come into the dressing room. “I’m almost done!” He yelled out.

“No need to hurry.” Someone said. Harry snapped around and saw Matt.

“What are you doing here?” Harry asked surprised to see him.

“Actually I was thinking the same thing.” He responded.

“Well I am the Seeker, I think I have a pretty good reason to be down here. But seeing as you aren’t part of this team, you don’t have a reason to be down here. Nor should you.”

“Now Harry, I’ve just come to give you some news.”

“And what news is that?” Harry asked getting rather annoyed.

“That I’ll be stealing your girlfriend soon.” Harry dropped was he was doing and raced towards Matt and tackled him to the ground. “She’s got a lovely body you know. Sadly it’s not been touched before. But you don’t have to worry about that, it wont be so innocent soon.” Harry had had enough and soon punched his face.

“If you ever talk about Hermione like that, I’ll see to it myself that you are killed. Do you understand me?” Harry asked. But Matt was laughing and spit out blood from his mouth.

“I can talk about her anyway I like. Now if you would please get off me.” Harry got off him but wouldn’t let him go that easily. He punched him in the face again until Hermione came running in.

“Harry!” She yelled going towards Matt who was holding his face. Matt sneaked a smile to Harry while Hermione was checking his already bruised face. “I think you should go Matt.” She said pointing towards the door. Once he was gone she was about to leave.

“Hermione wait!” Harry said grabbing his things and running towards her as she left the room.

“Why Harry?” She asked.

“He was talking about you.” Harry said trying to stop her.

“I don’t care Harry. You shouldn’t have punched him.”

“Well what was I supposed to do huh? Just stand there and listen to him say that he wanted to touch you? Now if I leave you at any time, I’ll think ‘Is Matt watching her? Is she okay?’ Do you have any idea what he could do to you?”

“I don’t know what to say.” She said. “Why would he say something like that to you?”

“Because he wants me to know that he can do it, and he will.”

“I’m sure he wont try anything Harry. He’s not like that.” She said continuing to walk up to the castle.

“Why wont you just trust me on this? Why do you always have to side with him?” Harry asked angrily.

“I don’t Harry, I just think you’re being hard on him is all.” She said following him as he started to walk off.

“Do you want me to be nice?” He asked turning towards her again.

“Give him a chance.”

“Yeah right, he has one chance. If he does anything out of the ordinary, that’s it.”

“Thank you.”

“If he touched you, would you tell me?” Harry asked.

“I don’t think he’d touch me Harry. He’s not that stupid.” Hermione said.

“Answer the question.”

“Yes Harry, of course I would.”

“Always have your wand on you and use it if you have to.”

“Harry I know what to do. I think I can defend myself if something happens. Stop worrying about it.” She said leading him back to the castle. “You know, my birthday is tomorrow. Got any plans for me?” She asked.

“Maybe.” Harry said with a smile on his face.

“Oh please tell. You know I’m not good with surprises.” She said.

“You know I can’t tell you. But I know you’ll love it. That reminds me, I need to talk to Dumbledore.”

“About?” She asked.

“Oh nothing, just a little something.” He said making her nervous. “Come on, I’ll walk you to our room and then I’ll go see him.” He didn’t want to leave her alone after what happened. Harry walked her to their common room and then left for Dumbledore’s. He returned a little while later in a cheerful mood.

“What?” She asked as he sat down next to her at the fire.

“Oh nothing.” Harry kissed her on the forehead and watched her read her book.


Chapter 8: Birthday Surprise
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Hermione went to bed early leaving Harry in the main room. He had begun thinking about her birthday party that would take place here tomorrow night. He decided that he would have Ron and Ginny help him spread the word to Gryffindors that a birthday would take place at 7 in the head common room. He was surprised that no word had gotten around to her at all. No one made it obvious and nobody brought it up. Though Hermione got suspicious when Harry wasn’t around for lunch and most of the day. Ginny’s job was to keep Hermione out of her common room so they took a trip to Hogsmeade. She didn’t object but didn’t want to go without Harry until she was forced to.

“Ginny, why do we have to go without Harry?” She complained.

“Because he’s studying and doesn’t want to be disturbed.” Ginny said lying off the top of her head.

“Come on Gin, you know me better. I know Harry isn’t up there studying. It’s the weekend. When did he ever start studying on the weekends?”

“I don’t know, maybe it’s a change for this year.”

“I know you’re lying to me and I’ll get to the bottom of this.” Deep down she knew they were planning something but she really didn’t want to ruin whatever it was. “Otherwise, how do you explain to me why Harry hasn’t been around much today and that you’ve kept me out of my own common room.”

“Oh Hermione, who wants to be locked up there anyways? Plus, it’s much better fun here.” Ginny said.

“Fine, don’t tell me.” Hermione said sighing and leaning back in her chair.

7 o’clock was coming around much too quickly but Harry was fine. He was just nervous. He wanted everything to go perfect for her. “Harry, where do you want this?” Luna asked.

“Just put it on the table.” He said helping Ron with the ‘Happy Birthday Hermione’ banner. “Is everybody almost done?” He yelled out.

“Almost Harry.” A few said finishing up what they were doing.

“10 minutes!” Harry finally yelled out.

Everyone was running about trying to get everything done before everyone gathered around the front waiting for Ginny to bring Hermione. “Lights out!” Ron yelled as all the lights went out along with the fire. They waited and waited.

“Where is she?” Someone asked.

“I don’t know, I told Ginny to bring her here at 7.” Ron said.

“They’re just running late.” Harry reassured them. Just then the portrait door flung open as Hermione walked in first.

“Where’s Harry and why are the lights out?” She asked angrily.

“SURPRISE!” Everyone yelled as the lights turned on. Harry was in front of the group and they all stood behind a table with a huge cake on it. Hermione started laughing as everyone came towards her to give her a hug. She got to Harry last as he stood in back.

“You did all of this for me?” She asked finally looking around. All the presents were stacked on a table to the right and the cake was on the left. There were games set out to play and food at the far end. “How did you do it all?”

“I had a little help from these guys and Dumbledore.” Harry said smiling.

“Dumbledore knew about this?” She asked surprised.

“He sure did. I hope you like it.”

“Like it? I love it, thank you so much!” She said pulling him into a hug.

“I have a surprise for you later.” He whispered in her ear. She smiled and became excited for it until someone pulled her away.

The whole night was full of games and eating. At the end Hermione opened her presents. Ron got her a book about underwater creatures that she started reading immediately until someone pulled it away and made her open another one. Ginny got her a ring that changes colors by her mood.

“Thank you guys so much. This means a lot to me.” She said giving extra hugs out to everyone.

Around 11 everyone started to leave and their common room was a mess. “We’ll have to clean this tomorrow.” She said to Harry who just said goodbye to Ron. Ron whispered something to him but Hermione didn’t hear it.

“We’ll clean it tomorrow, not tonight.” Harry said grabbing her hand.

“So what’s that surprise?” She asked as he led her towards his room.

“You never can wait for a surprise can you?” He asked remembering last time.

“Why would I wait?” She said as they walked into his room. “I should get it now.” She said walking in front of him as he closed the door behind him.

“You think you deserve it now?” He asked.

“Oh I know I do.” She smiled at him as she flung her arms around him. He wrapped his arms around her waist pulling her closer.

“Happy Birthday.” He said pushing her towards the bed.

“Thank you.” She smiled. He slid his hands under her shirt and slowly slid it over her head and off her arms. She then returned the favor and took off his shirt. She slowly slid her hands over his bare chest until he leaned forward to kiss her. Her hands moved into his hair and around his neck. He unbuttoned her pants and slipped them off as she fell onto the bed pulling him with her. When they broke from the kiss she said, “I love you.”

“I love you too.” He said before diving into the kiss again.

They woke up in each other’s arms. “Morning sunshine.” Harry said moving a strand of hair out of her face. “Have a good sleep?”

“One of the best.” She smiled.

“We should get up for breakfast.” He started to move until she wrapped her arms around him to make him stay.

“Just a couple more minutes.” She said. “This is nice.”

“We have to get up sometime.”

“Yeah I know.” She yawned.

__________________________________________

“Harry! Kate woke up.” Ron said finding them in the hallway. He was walking with Ginny and Luna. “She wants to see you.” Harry gave Hermione a look and they all started running towards the Hospital Wing.

“Kate.” Harry said coming towards her bed. She sat up slowly wincing in pain. “What is it?”

“It’s not safe here. There’s going to be an attack.” Kate whispered. “The students are safe.”

“Are you sure?” Harry asked. He turned towards Ginny and Luna. “Get Dumbledore. He needs to hear this.” They nodded and ran off out of the hospital wing. “Kate what did you hear exactly?”

“Voldemort.” She paused. “He’s planning an attack.”

“When?”

“I don’t know.” She closed her eyes trying to remember. “It’s going to happen soon. Really soon. These students have got to go home. They aren’t safe.” Dumbledore came rushing into the wing followed closely by Ginny and Luna.

“What is this I hear?” He asked. Kate told him everything she told Harry and by the time she was done, Dumbledore looked deeply saddened. “He has indeed come early.”

“What are we going to do Professor?” Hermione asked.

“We must tell the students.”

“But what about the ones who aren’t on our side. They will tell their parents and Voldemort will find out. Then his attack will be quicker.”

“We need these students. The students who do not wish to fight will have their memory erased of the recent events and taken home. I’m afraid our Minister of Magic will not provide us with enough wizards to stand a fight. These students are the best chance we’ve got.”

“But they’re too young. They don’t know how to fight.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll take care of everything.” Dumbledore said before leaving. “Harry, come with me.” Harry followed him out of the hospital wing and to his office.

“What is it?” He asked getting inside the office.

“Harry, I’m afraid we have not had enough time to fully train you. But, I need you and the DA to help the younger years. We will cancel all classes and instead we will have training. I’ve already contacted all the members of the Order and other Aurors. They will arrive shortly. At lunch we will discuss this with the school.” Dumbledore said.

“What’s going to happen?” Harry asked finally letting it sink in.

“I don’t know.” Dumbledore said shaking his head. “Gwen will be arriving in an hour.”

“Okay.” Harry said nodding and then he left his office. “What are we going to do?” He asked himself.

“What is it?” Malfoy said coming up from behind him.

“What?” Harry asked.

“Well you’re talking to yourself and asking what we’re going to do. So I was just asking.”

“There’s going to be an attack on the school.”

“When?” Draco asked surprised.

“We don’t know. Kate woke up this morning and told us what she heard. But she knows that it’s soon.”

“It’s too soon.” He said surprised.

“Yeah, it is.” Harry said sadly. “Dumbledore is going to talk to everyone at lunch. We need people to stay and fight. Get whatever Slytherins you can to stay and fight with us. Others will be sent home.”

“I’ll get right on it.” He said walking away towards his common room.

Harry headed back towards the Hospital wing to get Hermione and go to breakfast.

“What’s going to happen?” She asked as they all walked to the Great Hall. “We’re not ready.”

“We will be.” He said confidently. “We’re going to have training and more people are going to fight.”

“But that’s not enough. They’ve got Dementors, Death eaters, and who else knows what.” Ron said.

“No, it’s not enough. But we can’t do anything but help others and stay together. This will be the last fight, we will loose people, but we need to stick together. We need to fight. Make a stand.”

“Wow Dumbledore should make you give a speech.” Ron said smiling.

“I will if I have to. People need to understand how important this is. We’re going to loose if we don’t stick together.”

“We will.” Hermione said wrapping her arm around Harry. They ate breakfast silently. No one had anything to say and they had to stay silent about the attack until lunch when Dumbledore was going to announce it.

“What do you think he’ll say?” Ginny asked.

“I have no idea.” Harry said.

“I hope he gets through to people. The students need to step up and defend what they believe in.” Hermione said.

“They’re parents will object, and no doubt take their kids home.” Luna said joining them at the Gryffindor table. She sat close to Ron.

“Not unless they go against their parents and fight without their permission. It’s their lives.” Hermione said.

“I hope they do. Or we will have less people to stand against them and we will loose.” Harry said picking at his food.

Chapter 9: What Is To Come
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“Everyone, please sit down.” Dumbledore said to the restless students. Most of them were standing up talking in groups and in whispers. Everyone went back to their tables and sat silently waiting for him to start talking. “Thank you. I know most of you have probably no doubt heard rumors of what’s happening.” Mostly everyone in the Great Hall nodded his or her heads. “I will not stand here and lie to you. Voldemort is coming.” There were gasps that filled the room. “He is coming to the school and we must stand and fight for what he believe in. If we do not stand against him, we will fall and we will fall into dark times. Stand up if you will fight, stand up if you will fight for this school, for your freedom, and for others.” Everyone at the Gryffindor table stood up as well as Ravenclaw. There were more then half of the Hufflepuff students who stood up, the others were too afraid to stand up and fight. Most of the Slytherins were still sitting until Draco Malfoy stood up. The one’s who were too afraid to stand up in the first place and stood up. Soon less then half of the Slytherin table was standing up.

“Those who wish not to fight, please follow Professor Snape and Professor McGonagall into the next room.” Dumbledore said waving towards the Professor’s. They stepped away from their seats and took the students out of the Great Hall. “Please, take your seats.” He said to the students who were left standing. “We will begin training tomorrow morning after breakfast. I’m afraid we are running out of time and must use the time we have. First and Second years will be staying in the castle where you will be helping Madam Pomfrey in the Hospital Wing. Third and Fourth years along with a few selected students from other years will be helping Professor Snape make potions for Madam Pomfrey. Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh years will be trained in combat.” He took a moment to analyze anything that he had missed.

“What about the others Headmaster? What happens to them?” A Ravenclaw fifth year asked.

“The others who do not wish to fight will have their memory swiped of my speech and will be taken home out of harm’s way.”

“But what’s their reason for returning home?” Another Ravenclaw asked.

“They simply wanted to.” Everyone was getting restless and wanted answers. Had they signed up for the right reasons? Was everyone going to be okay? “I’d like everyone to have the rest of the day off. Tomorrow will be a very trying day and most of you will need your rest. I’m afraid their wont be any free time tomorrow.”

Everyone stood up again and walked out of the Great Hall talking amongst themselves.

“Dumbledore, have we made the right decision?” Professor McGonagall asked getting back to her seat and watching the students leave.

“If they do not fight, then who will? Aurors will be arriving today and tomorrow to help with the students. I’m also calling upon some parents who wish to help.” Dumbledore said simply.

“What if the parents do not want their children fighting? They’re risking their lives.”

“I do not have a say in what to do if they do not want their children fighting. It was their decision and they will have to deal with their parents.”

“I hope they stand up to them then.”

“They will.” Dumbledore said. “Now, we must be off. We’ve got a lot of things to prepare.”

“When do you think he’ll attack?” A Hufflepuff asked scurrying with his friends to his common room.

“I hope not soon or at all. We’re kids, how are we supposed to fight. We can’t do this.” His friend said. “I don’t even know if I’m capable of attacking another person.”

Harry overheard many people talking about it and received stares from mostly everyone. “I wonder what’s going to happen to him.” Some said. “Is he ready?” “Can he save us all?” Harry grew restless and grabbed Hermione’s hand. He rushed her to their room and sat down on the couch in front of the fireplace.

“What’s wrong?” She asked sitting next to him.

“I don’t know.” He said. He was upset that they didn’t have faith in him. “I don’t know if I can do this Hermione.” He said putting his face into his hands. She put her arms around him and held him close.

“You are the strongest and bravest person I know. You can do this, I know you can.” Hermione said. He lifted his face and his eyes met hers.

“I don’t want to leave you alone.” He said.

“What do you mean?” She asked confused.

“If I die, who will look after you? Who will protect you?” His eyes filled with tears and she quickly wiped them away.

“You’ll be there.” She smiled kissing his forehead. “You’ll always be with me.” He wrapped his arms around her and held her close.

“Promise me you won’t fight in this war?” He asked.

“What?” She pulled back. “You can’t keep me from fighting Harry. I told you I’m going to be there. I’m fighting with you.” He shook his head.

“I can’t lose you.” He said.

“You’re not going to lose me Harry, I promise. This is my war too, and I’m going to fight in it. I want it to end and I’m not going to sit back and watch.” He placed his hands on either side of her face.

“Please?” He asked frowning.

“I want to fight.” She said simply.

“I don’t want to have to worry about you. This is my war, I’m the only one who can end it.” He said. Tears were running down his cheeks once more.

“I won’t fight.” She said hugging him close to her. “I won’t fight.” She repeated. He held her close and breathed deeply. “You wont lose me Harry.” She kissed his cheek.

They spent the day together, mostly staying silent as Harry worried about his own life. Was he ready? Was he ready to fulfill his destiny?

“Hey you guys.” Ron said coming into their common room. “Gwen’s been trying to find you Harry. She arrived a little bit ago.”

“She did?” Harry asked almost jumping out of his seat.

“Yeah, I’ll show you where she is.” Ron said turning back around.

“I’ll be back later.” He said to Hermione placing a kiss on her forehead.

“Okay.” She said. “I’m actually going to bed.” Harry looked disappointed but it was well past 10 and even he was a little tired. “Goodnight.” She got up and went to her room before he left.

“She looks a little upset.” Ron said noticing her leave.

“I told her I didn’t want her to fight.” Harry said following Ron out of the room.

“What? Why?” Ron asked stunned.

“I don’t want to lose her. I don’t want you to fight in it either but I know I can’t reason with you.”

“She was born to fight this war Harry. Why do you think she’s stuck with you all these years? If she didn’t want to fight, she would have stopped being your friend a long time ago. But she stuck by you. She wants to fight. Do you think she can bear to lose you? Well you’re wrong if you do, she would like to see you not have to fight this war. But she knows you have to. She knows it’s what you have to do and she knows you can do it. We all do.

She doesn’t want to lose you in this war, and when the time comes, she will sacrifice herself for you.”

“I can’t let her do that Ron. I love her too much.” Harry said.

“She will do it to save you. She loves you and she wont watch you die.”
Ron didn’t say anything else and they slowly walked towards Dumbledore’s office where Gwen was waiting. Harry knew Ron was right. Hermione wanted to fight in this war. She wouldn’t just stay back and watch as others died. He knew she would save her life in more ways then possible and he wished it wasn’t so. He knew that it came down to him and Voldemort fighting and that everyone else didn’t matter. But they wanted to do this, they wanted to make a difference, they wanted to help.

Chapter 10: Catching Up
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“You were looking for me?” Harry asked Gwen as he stepped inside Dumbledore’s office.

“Yes Harry. Come with me.” She said before taking another glance and Dumbledore. He nodded and she walked past him. Harry and Ron both followed her to the door.

“Mr. Weasley, could you please tell Hermione that Harry wont be back until morning.” Dumbledore said.

“Morning?” Ron asked looking back. Harry also looked back bewildered. “When in the morning?”

“Early. Before she will wake up.” Dumbledore said. Ron nodded and left the office. "Harry, when you get back to the common room to see Hermione, please tell her that her father has been released from St. Mungo's."

"Yes Professor." Harry smiled. He was finally all better.

“Anyways, Gwen has something to show Harry that cannot wait any longer. Now you better hurry.” Harry followed Gwen out of the office and down the halls.

“What are you going to show me?” Harry asked as curiosity ran through him.

“You’ll have to wait.” She said smiling slightly.

--------------------------------------------------

“Hermione!” Ron yelled in the common room. He waited a few seconds before yelling, “Hermione!” again.

“What?” She said angrily coming out of her room. She was in her pajamas and already looked half asleep. “Where’s Harry?” She yawned.

“Gwen wanted to show him something. Dumbledore said he wouldn’t be back until morning. But early enough to get a couple hours of sleep.”

“It takes that long to show him something?” She asked angrily. “Thanks Ron.”

“Your welcome. Good night.”

“Night.” She went back into her room and sat in her bed for a few minutes before going into Harry’s. It was clean but empty. A few photos were out on his desk and a few books were on his desk but everything else was in his trunk. She got into his bed and fell asleep.

--------------------------------------------------

“How much further is it?” Harry asked dragging his feet behind her.

“Oh come on Harry, not too long.” Gwen said laughing at his impatience. They were in a tower that must have been on the opposite side of the Astronomy tower. He had never been this way, but it didn’t look like many had. There were not classrooms down the hallway, only stairs that led to a room. They walked up so many steps Harry was beginning to get tired. “Just a few more.” She reassured him. Just as she said, a few more steps and they were in front of a door. He opened the door slowly waiting for what was inside to come out. He saw Sirius standing in the middle of the room in front of something big and draped with a off white sheet.

“What’s this?” Harry asked walking towards him. Just then Lupin came out from behind it and walked towards them.

“Let me show you.” Sirius said taking the end of the sheet and pulling it off. It was a huge picture with a beautiful golden frame. The picture was a painting of a luscious room with fluffy furniture and paintings. There was a fire that was moving in the background, but where were the people?

“What is it?” Harry asked confused.

“Who’s there?” A woman asked. “Sirius, is that you again?” She came into the picture and looked at Sirius and Lupin, then took a double take and looked at Harry. She had beautiful red hair with emerald eyes. “Harry?” She asked emotionally. Tears ran down her cheeks. “James! Come here! It’s Harry!”

Harry was too shocked to say anything. Gwen moved to his side so that she was in view of James and Lily. “Is that my boy?” James asked. “He sure has grown.”

“He looks just like you James.” Lily said.

“Mom? Dad?” Harry said slowly taking in what was in front of him. “Is it really you?”

“Of course it’s us Harry.” Lily said smiling. “It’s so good to finally see you after all these years. Sirius has told us quite a few things about you.”

“I can’t believe you attacked a Troll your first year.” James said. “Good job.” He received a slap on the back of his head. “Hey, what was that for?” He asked looking towards Lily.

“He could have been KILLED!” She said.

“Oh right. Give him a little credit dear, he did save his friend.”

“Girlfriend.” Lupin corrected him.

“Girlfriend you say? I would like to meet this girl.” Lily said smiling. “Is she nice, is she smart?” She asked sitting down and pulling James down too. “How come she didn’t come with you?”

“She was going to sleep.” Harry said blankly. He was still in shock over seeing his parents. He could finally talk to them. “She’s nice, she’s wonderful.”

“That’s great honey, I’m so proud of you.” Lily said smiling.

“Have you done it?” James asked. Lily punched him in the arm and scolded him.

“He’s too young to have done it already and that’s not a question you should be asking your son.”

“So are you saying you were too young when you first did it?” He asked smirking. This made her shut up and turned away from him. “I thought not.”

“How come I was never told about you guys?” Harry asked smiling at his question but avoiding it completely.

“Actually, we were just moved here. We were at Godric’s Hollow for a long time in the basement before anyone found us. Thankfully they did, I was growing quite tired of seeing the same thing all those years. It was nice to finally get out. Now we can talk with people and catch up on some news we missed while we were gone.” Lily said.

“How long have you been here?” He asked.

“For a couple days.” Gwen said. “It took us a while to get them here. I actually went into Godric’s Hollow, which has been vacant ever since. I went to collect some books when I went into the basement and found them there.”

“That leads me to another question, how come I’ve never been there?” He asked.

“It’s too dangerous to take you there. Voldemort knows about it and where it is. It hasn’t been fixed since the accident.”

“I’d like to go there sometime.” Harry said.

“You will go there, I promise.” She said smiling.

“So how come we have to be stuck in this tower, away from everyone?” James asked.

“Because you cause trouble.” Sirius laughed. “Actually, if it’s all right with Harry, we would like to move it into his common room. That way you can be there.”

“I don’t think he wants us around all the time. After all he is 17, sharing the same room with his girlfriend.” James said. “Oh yeah, congratulations on making Head Boy.”

“Thanks.” Harry smiled.

“Tell me, where is Kate?” Lily asked changing the subject.

“She’s still in the hospital.” Lupin said. “I’ve been around to check up on her, she’ll be okay in a week or two. She just needs her rest.” Lily nodded. It was a family reunion Harry had dreamed of. His parents were finally there.

“I would like to meet this girlfriend of yours.” Lily said.

“You’ll meet her.” Harry said smiling. “I’m sure she’ll want to meet you.”

“Are you close with her?”

“Yes, very. She’s been there for me more times then I can count. I love her.” They all smiled as their Harry was growing up. They talked for a few more hours, catching up about issues, family, friends, school, and teachers. They also talked about the war and what Harry had been through.

“Snape is teaching?” James said choking. “I can’t believe it. What’s he teaching.”

“Potions.” Harry said sneering. “He always takes points away from the Gryffindors and then takes points away if you don’t know the answer. I swear, the man has it out for Gryffindors. He doesn’t like me either. Ever since I came here.”

“Really?” James asked.

“Yeah, he even had to teach me Occlumency which didn’t work at all.”

“That slime had to teach you Occlumency. That must have been awful.” Lily said. “That man was the worst. I hated him.”

“Anyways, Harry should probably get going. He needs to get some sleep before tomorrow.” Gwen said.

“Good night Harry, we love you.” Lily said blowing kisses. “We’ll talk some more later when you have time and not so late in the night.”

“I love you guys too.” Harry said smiling and getting up from his seats that Lupin conjured up.

“I’ll have some house elves take you down to Harry’s common room.” Lupin said.

“Thank you.” They all walked out of the tower and down the stairs.

“Good night you guys.” Harry said going into his common room.

“Night Harry.” They all said back to him and continued their way. The common room was dark and the fire was almost gone. He went to the bathroom to take a quick shower and then made his way to his room. It was past 2 in the morning and he was tired. He went into his room and found Hermione sleeping in his bed. She looked peaceful and beautiful. He smiled as she was hugging the covers to her. He put on his pajamas and got in the bed. He pulled the covers from her grasp and wrapped his arms around her.

“What time is it?” She yawned and opened her mouth.

“Late.” He said.

“What did Gwen want you for?” She asked snuggling closer to him and closing her eyes again.

“I’ll tell you in the morning.” He said kissing her forehead. He also decided to wait and tell her that her father was better until the morning.

“Good night.”

“Good night love.” He closed his eyes and sleep took him quickly.

Chapter 11: Hogwarts Training
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There was a morning call around 8, everyone was awake and dressed before 8:30 and went down to the Great Hall for a quick breakfast.

“So how come you got back so late?” Hermione asked at breakfast.

“I’ll have to show it to you.” Harry said smiling. “It’s great.”

“Show me at lunch. I don’t think we’ll have time to go back to the common rooms until then.” Hermione said. “But can you give me a hint?”

“Well, it’s a picture.”

“What’s so great about a picture?”

“You’ll see.” Harry said taking a bite of his toast.

“You’ll see what?” Ron asked sitting down.

“A picture.” Hermione answered. “It’s supposed to be great.”

“Oh, right.” Ron said rolling his eyes. They continued eating their breakfast until everyone was done.

"Hermione, Dumbledore wanted me to tell you something." Harry said just remembering.

"What?" She asked taking a sip of her pumpkin juice.

"Your father has been released from St. Mungo's yesterday." He smiled. She took a moment to register this and then her smile grew bigger.

"He's out?" She asked excited. "So that means he's better! I can't wait to see him over Christmas break!" They sat there waiting for someone to say something but no one did. The teachers sat in deep discussion before the Great Hall doors banged open.

“Look, Mad-Eye Moody is here.” Hermione pointed.

“And Tonks and Jesse.” Ron said. There were far more people there then just that as they walked along the tables up to the front.

“Thank you for coming.” Dumbledore said shaking their hands.

“Of course Dumbledore. You think we’d leave you to fight this battle alone?” Tonks asked.

“Of course not. But I am not fighting alone.” Dumbledore said looking out to the students. All of them had heard what they were talking about.

“Professor, do you really think this is a good idea? I mean, they could get hurt or even killed.” Kingsley said.

“I have faith in them, and I do not think they will kill innocent children.”

“Not them, but he will.” Moody said. “You know he’ll kill anyone who gets in his way.”

“Then it’s best if we not stand in his way then eh?” Dumbledore said. “Now listen, we’ve got to train these kids. We don’t know how much time we have before he attacks.” He paused as he looked out the windows. “Madam Pomfrey, will you please take the First and Second years to the hospital wing. Please feel free to use the hall space if you cannot fit everyone inside. I need you to demonstrate cuts, wounds, injuries, and so forth. Teach them how to heal and make simple healing potions. Snape, please take the Third and Fourth years to the Dungeons with you to make more extreme potions. Also teach them how to revive someone who has been stupefied. When you are done making potions, have Dobby and Winky take them to Madam Pomfrey please. Everyone else will stay in the Great Hall.”

“All the First and Second years, please follow me.” Madam Pomfrey said. They stood up and followed her out of the Great Hall.

“And Third and Fourth year students please follow me to the Dungeons.” Snape said. He didn’t wait for them all to be standing before he left the Great Hall. Now there were only Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh years left in the Great Hall.

“Everyone stand up.” Dumbledore said. As they all stood up, he waved his arm and the tables stacked up against the walls leaving plenty of space. “Everyone please line up against a wall.” Everyone headed to the far right of the Great Hall and stood a few feet in front of it. “Good.” Dumbledore said smiling. He and the others stood across the students on the opposite wall. “Use only simple spells.” Dumbledore said. “Show us what you got.” The teacher’s started coming at them with their wands at the ready. Many shouted different things and numerous things happened.

Moody’s robes had caught on fire; Kingsley had a case of Jelly legs, Sirius had been frozen into place, and someone had a baby’s head. Dumbledore had to help everyone get out of the spell and thankfully everyone was okay.

“Good job.” He said smiling. “You no basics, which temporarily catches the Death Eater’s attention. Though Moody would have put out his fire, and others would have helped get Kingsley’s legs back to normal, as well as other things.”

That morning they had learned more mature spells that would put them unconscious as well as stay frozen. They learned how to make a strong shield that would block most basic spells and some stronger ones.

“I’m tired.” Hermione said yawning sitting down on the floor.

“You’re tired? At least you didn’t have to work as hard as others to get the spells right.” Ron said as Harry and him joined her on the floor. Everyone was resting.

“Try harder and concentrate. You’ll get it.” She said reassuringly.

“Well I can’t when I’m hungry.”

“Ron, you had more breakfast then Harry and I combined.”

“Hey, I’m a growing boy. I need my food.”

“Sure Ron, you keep telling yourself that.” Hermione said laughing. Harry hadn’t been paying attention to anything they were saying. Instead another group was talking and distracted his eyes and ears. Tonks, Lupin, and Jesse were arguing about something. “Harry?”

“Earth to Harry?” Ron said waving his hand in front of his face.

“Sorry, what?” Harry said snapping back to his friends.

“What’s got your attention?” Hermione asked.

“Look.” Harry said pointing over to Lupin, Tonks, and Jesse. “It looks like they’re having a fight.” Hermione and Ron turned their heads to look at the group fighting.

-------------------------------------------

“Remus, come on. You know she’s not good.” Tonks said angrily standing close to Lupin and giving Jesse a nasty look.

“What has she ever done to you?” Lupin asked. Jesse looked stunned and shocked.

“Look at her.” Tonks said flinging her arms about. “You trust her? You actually trust her? She worked for Voldemort. She’s a werewolf.” Lupin obviously was hurt by her last comment.

“If you don’t trust her for being a werewolf, then you don’t trust me.” Lupin said about to walk away. Tonks grabbed his arm and pulled him back.

“You never worked for Voldemort, you didn’t do things.” She couldn’t look at him anymore, her eyes hit the floor but her hand was still around his arm. “You didn’t kill families, parents, brothers, or sisters.”

“Tonks, what are you talking about?” Lupin asked placing a hand under her chin to raise it.

“Nothing, she’s talking about nothing.” Jesse said stepping forward obviously hiding something.

“Tonks, tell me.” Lupin said.

“Remus, come on. She doesn’t trust you.” Jesse said grabbing his other arm and beckoning her toward her.

“She killed my brother.” Tonks said. A tear ran down her cheek as she said this.

“Tonks, I’m sorry. I never knew.” Lupin wrapped his arms around her and gave her a huge.

“Remus!” Jesse said angrily. “I was controlled! I didn’t know what I was doing!”

“Jesse, there was a time and a place where you were working for Voldemort. You weren’t controlled, you did things that shouldn’t have been done, but they were. I know you’d go back in time and change those things, but you can’t. Yes, you went under cover shortly after you left, but that doesn’t clear you of the things you had done before.” Lupin said turning his head towards her with his arms still wrapped around her.

“Remus, I’ve said I was sorry. I didn’t know he was your brother.” She said turning towards Tonks.

“It wouldn’t have made a difference if he was my brother or not. You still would have killed him.” Tonks said.

“How do you know it was her?” Lupin asked looking down at her once again.

“Because I was there. I saw her kill him and I couldn’t do anything. I would have risked killing myself. I watched him die!” Tears were falling freely from her eyes and her face was screwed up in anger. “You took him away from me!”

“Tonks, I’m sorry.” Jesse said taking another step closer.

“Don’t come near me.” Tonks snapped pulling away from Lupin’s embrace. “Don’t talk to me ever again.” She stormed off in the opposite direction leaving Jesse looking dumbstruck.

“I feel so bad for what I’ve done, but I can’t take it back. I did it yes, but there’s not a day that I wished I could take back the things I did. I made a mistake, could you ever forgive me Remus?”

“Of course I can forgive you. I made you what you are today and for that I feel deeply sorry for. I’ve done things in my life that I wish I could take back but I can’t.” Lupin said.

“Do you still love me?” Jesse asked coming closer to Lupin.

“Jesse, I’m sorry. You’re more like a daughter to me.” Lupin said softly. Jesse became angry and stepped away from him.

“You’re the one who made me what I am, you make me fear everyday that I might hurt someone when I’m turned. I thought you cared about me because you did this. But I was wrong.”

“Jesse I do care about you. Just not in the way you want me to.” Lupin felt sorry for what he did but he couldn’t take it back, it was done.

“It’s her isn’t it? You love her don’t you?” Jesse asked referring to Tonks.

“Jesse…” He started to say.

“No! Don’t say another word to me. Just go away!” Jesse stormed off in another direction. Apparently Snape had been listening on and watching the conversation.

“What did you do to my daughter?” Snape asked angrily coming closer to Lupin.

“I told her I didn’t love her.” Lupin said simply.

“She loves you?” He asked more softly.

“She did, I don’t know anymore. I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be sorry. You cared for her when I wasn’t there and you were the one who got her to join our side. So I say thank you Remus.” Snape said sticking out his hand as Remus shook his hand. “I’m going to go and find her.” He said before he turned in the direction where Jesse went and walked away. Remus stood there for a moment before going after Tonks. As they left Dumbledore sat the tables back up for everyone to eat lunch. All of the First, Second, Third, and Fourth years students returned. Some happier and more excited then others for learning new stuff.

“But I thought Lupin liked Jesse.” Hermione said taking a spoon full of mashed potatoes.

“He did, I mean when we first saw her he did. But I guess things change.” Harry said. “That is really weird though.”

“Well I think Tonks is a better match for him.” Hermione said. “I mean, after all Jesse is Snape’s daughter. So it’s kinda like Lupin could be her dad too.”

“Well Tonks is pretty young too.” Ron said.

“I guess. I just think he’d be happier with Tonks. I mean you’ve seen how they talk to each other and are generally happy with each other.”

“Yeah.” Harry said. “I just hope the rival between Tonks and Jesse doesn’t effect how they fight together.”

“Oh yeah that’s right. Cause if one of them is in trouble and they are near, what are they going to do? I totally agree; I hope Lupin or Snape for that matter can get them to understand each other.”

“Jesse has more of a risk then Tonks does. Jesse was a Death Eater so Voldemort will be after her because of her betrayal.” Harry said after taking a sip of his pumpkin juice.

“You’re right. He would be after her.” Just then Gwen who hadn’t been seen since last night walked in with Kate. “She’s feeling better already?” Hermione said surprised. Though Kate looked a little better, Gwen had to help her walk to the front of the Great Hall.

“Professor, where is Jesse?” Gwen asked.

“I’m not sure. Professor Snape went to check on her just a bit ago. Why?” Dumbledore asked.

“There’s something wrong.” Kate said.

Chapter 12: From Anyone
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“What’s wrong with Jesse?” Professor Dumbledore asked.

“We’ve got to find them. There’s something terribly wrong.” Kate said urging Gwen to help her walk out of the Great Hall.

She’s in danger. I just hope I realized it in time. Oh god please. Kate thought. Harry shook his head as these words came to his mind.

“Harry? What’s wrong?” Hermione asked noticing him shake his head.

Why am I hearing this? I haven’t heard anything from anyone in a long time. Why now? Harry thought.

Harry? I know you can hear me. Kate thought looking towards Harry. Harry, something is terribly wrong. Can’t you feel it? I don’t know what is, but it’s bad. I knew Tonks and Jesse would have an argument, but it’s turned worse then just fighting about differences. Harry come with us. She thought nodding her head to follow her. Harry got up without answering Hermione and practically ran towards them. They walked fast to the Dungeons where they expected them to be and didn’t say a word to each other. They found Tonks and Jesse fighting once more.

“Why should any of us trust you?” Tonks yelled.

“I’ve helped you! My life is on the line just like yours!” Jesse yelled.

“Stop!!” Lupin yelled over them. “I’ve had enough of you two fighting. This has gone on for too long. You are both acting like children and I’m tired of it.”

“I won’t fight in this war with her.” Jesse said selfishly.

“Are you on our side or not?” Kate asked.

“Of course I’m on your side. I wont ever go back to the way I was.”

“Then it’s not up to you to decide whether or not you will fight with Tonks. You’re on her side too and your feud is going too far. I don’t care what happened to the both of you, but this is war. And we don’t have time to sort out your differences or what made you fight in the first place. I need you two to get over what happened at least for the time being. I can’t do this without all of you working together.” Harry spoke up. “This is no time to fight about what happened. Think about what is to come. Lives will be taken and many will get hurt. I ask you, no I beg you, to help me.” Everyone was moved by what Harry said, but it needed to be said. “Now come on, we’ve got to train everyone. We can’t waste time.” Harry started to walk out of Snape’s classroom when there was a big boom. Everyone was knocked down as the castle shook.

“Is everyone all right?” Gwen asked getting up and helping Kate get up.

“Yeah, I’m fine.” Harry said and everyone else said yes. “We’ve got to get back to the Great Hall.” Harry said starting to run out of the room and everyone followed. Everyone was on alert in the Great Hall. Hermione and Ron started running towards Harry. “What happened?” Harry asked them as he looked out the window.

“We don’t know. We think it came from the forest, but it was close. Too close.” Hermione said. “I’m worried.” Harry looked down at her and wrapped his arms around her. “So what happened with Jesse?” Her hands were on her chest as he held onto her waist.

“Oh I set things straight.” He smiled. “Where’s Ron?” Harry asked looking around noticing Ron wasn’t standing with them.

“Oh, he went to talk to Luna.” Hermione smiled. “I think he finally got the courage to talk to her. You know, I never would have thought he’d have liked her.” She said looking into the distance. “I mean she’s always saying stuff and believing stuff that isn’t true. Or well has no proof to it. I’m glad he’s found someone though. Well I mean besides me and Lavender.” She smiled. “Speaking of the devil.” She said pointing to the Great Hall entrance. There was Ron walking hand in hand with Luna Lovegood. He walked towards them and stopped at the window.

“Do you guys know what caused the big boom? Sounded like it was close.” Ron said.

“I’m pretty sure we can guess who caused it, but what it was, I don’t know.” Harry replied. “So are you guys a couple now?” Ron’s ears instantly turned red.

“Yeah.” Luna said dreamily looking up at Ron with her hands on his chest.

“I’m happy for you, for the both of you.” Hermione said smiling.

“Thanks.” Ron said. “Took me a while to you know…” His ears turned red.

“Yeah, it was pretty funny watching him actually.” Luna laughed. “He kept fumbling with his words.”

“Well that’s Ron for you.” Harry said as he clapped Ron on the back. “I’m glad he finally got things out.” Ron smiled shyly and didn’t say anything. Then there was another boom and a shake.

“What’s going on?” Hermione asked as she toppled into Harry’s arms. “We’ve got to find out what’s causing it.”

“I’m sure we’ll find out in due time.” Harry said.

“Harry!” Neville came running up to him. “Lupin wants to see you immediately.”

“Thanks Neville.” He said as Neville walked away. “I’ll be back later.” Harry said to the others and kissed Hermione on the cheek. He ran off to where Lupin and Tonks were talking. “Neville said you wanted to see me?” He asked walking up to them.

“Yes.” Lupin said turning towards him now. “Harry, your parents wanted to see you.”

“Oh okay.” Harry said. Honestly he had forgotten them since morning. He went back to Hermione and Ron to tell them where he was going. “I’ve got to go back to the common room. Did you want to see what I was going to show you?”

“Of course!” She said jumping up with joy.

“I’m going to pass until later.” He said looking down at Luna. Harry and Hermione laughed at his face.

“All right then.” Harry said grabbing Hermione’s hand and then taking her to the common room. She kept asking questions the whole way there but he wouldn’t say anything more then it was a picture. “Come on.” He said. “Just look.” As they climbed in the portrait hole she found a huge picture on the wall to the left. Harry took Hermione towards it.

“Harry is that you?” Lily said in the picture. Hermione gasped as she saw his mum walk onto the portrait. As well as James and Sirius was waiting there for them.

“Oh my.” She said.

“Is this…”

“Yup, this is the one I’ve been telling you about.” Sirius said smiling. “Hey Hermione.”

“Hey Sirius.”

“Mum, dad, this is Hermione Granger.” Harry said.

“It’s nice to finally meet you.” James said.

“We’ll have to talk sometime.” Lily winked at her. “Just girl talk.” James stuck his finger in his mouth and acted to throw up. Harry and Sirius laughed.

“So, what did you want to see me for?” Harry asked.

“Right, Harry, listen to us. Those booms you have been hearing and those shakes?” James said.

“Yeah? What about them?” Harry asked cutting in.

“They’re Giants. And they’re not happy.”

“Why aren’t they happy?”

“They’ve been tricked. Lord Voldemort has resorted to using magic on them, which is making them even angrier.”

“Why is he using magic on them then?”

“To try and keep them there. He wants to use them to fight in this war. But the Giants are corroborating. They don’t want to fight for him. But then wont fight for us either. They just want to go back to the mountains. And then they aren’t getting along with each other. The two booms you have heard have no doubt been two giants being killed.” James finished.

“And Voldemort wont let them leave?”

“Of course not. He’s trying to do anything that will make them work for him.”

“But how do you know all this Mr. Potter?” Hermione asked stepping forward.

“We have our ways my dear.” Lily winked. “Listen Harry, be careful. If he does use Giants, there’s nothing you can do. Stay clear of them and tell others to do so. I just hope Dumbledore has a plan to keep them away from the castle or at least stop them from doing anything.”

“Thanks for the heads up.” Harry said.

“No problem.”

“Well we’re going to go back down the Great Hall. Did you tell anybody else about this?”

“Of course we did. We told Dumbledore and he’s no doubt passed it on. We’ll update you on anything else that comes up.”

“Okay. Love you.” He said.

“Love you too darling.” Lily said.

“It was nice to meet you.” Lily and James both said.

“You too.” She smiled sweetly. Hermione walked ahead of Harry so that she left before him.

“She seems sweet.” Lily said. “I would like a talk with her.”

“Okay mom.” Harry smiled and then exited after Hermione. They walked back down to the Great Hall where mostly everyone was sitting down again and talking amongst themselves. They walked over to Ron who seemed to be waiting for them with Luna.

“Harry, can I talk to you for a moment?” He asked.

“Yeah of course.” Harry left Hermione with Luna and followed Ron once more out of the Great Hall and into the entrance hall. “What is it?” He asked as Ron turned around to face him.

“I didn’t want to bring it up earlier but I just wanted to talk to you about it.” Ron said.

“About what?”

“I heard you told Hermione you didn’t want to fight in the war. Is that right?” He asked.

“Yes.” He said simply. He felt bad for telling her but he didn’t want to risk her life.

“Why? Harry, she’s a fighter. She has every right to fight in this war as you and I or anybody out there. You can’t make her stand aside and watch people get hurt or worse die…”

“Ron.” Harry said putting up a hand to stop him. “I can’t have her fight in this war because where ever I’d go, I’d worry about her. I’d worry if she were okay, if she’s hurt, or worse. Ron, I love her and I can’t watch her die.” He paused for a moment. “I can’t give her what she wants Ron. Do you understand that I might die out there? I am more likely to die out there then anyone is. I would give my life for her. I would rather see her live her full life living happily then to have her grieve over my death. But if I were to survive and she not, I couldn’t live with myself.”

“Harry, stop it!” Ron yelled angrily but not too loudly. “You’re wrong, you’re more likely to stay alive longer then any of us. If you die, she will grieve over your death. And worse, she’ll blame herself because she wasn’t there to help you. You can’t make her not fight in this war.”

“Ron, if I had it my way, I would have no one fight this war. This is a battle between Voldemort and I. And I don’t want to see anyone get hurt or die because of this man. I’m not strong enough to take that guilt or to grieve for the ones who lose their lives.”

“You’ve got strong people fighting on your side, Harry. It’s everyone’s choice to fight or not. You can’t make that choice for her.” Ron argued still. “Or anyone else.” He paused and looked at the look on Harry’s face. “She already agreed with you to stay behind, didn’t she?” When he didn’t say anything Ron nodded. “Harry, you can’t make her not fight.”

“I didn’t make her.” Harry snapped. “She chose not to.”

“Yeah, after you begged her!” Ron yelled angrily. “This is not a one man’s fight, we’re all in this together!”

“I don’t need this from you!” Harry yelled finally and walked away from him. He didn’t decide to go back to the Great Hall where Ron would no doubt follow him. He ran as fast as he could to the Head Common Room. James and Lily were surprised by his sudden returned and questioned him about it.

“Honey, what’s wrong?” Lily asked once she saw the look on his face.

“What happened?” Sirius asked coming out of the bathroom.

“Leave me alone!” He shouted and ran up to his room and slammed the door. “I don’t need this from anyone.” He said through gritted teeth as he leaned up against the door. “Anyone.” He repeated. He closed his eyes and raised his legs to his chest. He fell asleep within a few moments.

Chapter 13: An Attack
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“Harry?” Hermione yelled once she got into the common room.

“Hey.” Sirius said coming downstairs from where Harry’s room is. “He wont come out for me. Do you have any idea what mad him this angry?”

“Well Ron told me they had an argument but he wouldn’t tell me what about.” Hermione replied.

“Well I’m sure you’ll have better luck at talking to him then I will. I’ll be down in the Great Hall if you need anything.” Sirius said. He said ‘Goodbye’ to Harry’s parents and then left the common room. Hermione walked up to Harry’s room and waited outside for a moment.

“Harry? Are you okay?” She asked softly outside the door. He didn’t say anything. “Come on, you can talk to me. What did Ron say to you?” Still there was silence. “Fine, I’m coming in.” She opened the door and was surprised to see Harry fall to the ground waking up from his sleep. “Oh Harry, I’m sorry.” She got down on her knees and began to help him up. “That’s probably why Sirius couldn’t get through to you. Come on.” She stood up and grabbed his hand pulling him with her.

“Thanks.” He said softly gaining his balance and slowly walking into his room ahead of her. She closed the door behind them so that they could get some privacy in case his parents overheard.

“So are you going to tell me?” She asked as he lay on the bed leaving her standing.

“What’s there to tell?” He asked looking up at the ceiling.

“What happened between you and Ron? Why you ran off so quickly?”

“It’s nothing.”

“It doesn’t look like nothing now does it?” She asked putting her hands on her hips. “If it was nothing, you wouldn’t be here in the first place as everyone else is in the Great Hall waiting for dinner.”

“Maybe I don’t feel like going down there with everyone.” Harry said stubbornly.

“Fine, don’t tell me. Don’t come looking for me when things go wrong then. Like you never do anyways.” She folded her arms across her chest and went to leave the room.

“Wait!” He said stretching his arm out and sitting up on the bed. “Don’t go.” He said more softly. She turned around slowly and glared at him. “Ron is mad at me because I told you I wanted you to not fight and to stay behind.”

She sighed in frustration and flung her hands out. “I knew I shouldn’t have told him. That big git. Listen, I understand why you don’t want me fighting. He’s just mad because I should make my own decision. We were just talking about the battle and I told him I wasn’t going to fight. He asked why and then I told him. It’s all my fault he’s mad at you. I shouldn’t have told him.”

“Don’t blame yourself Hermione. It’s my fault that I told you to stay behind. I shouldn’t have said anything. It’s not my place to make decisions for you and I don’t want to. I’m just worried about you and I don’t want anything to happen to you.” He got up from the bed and walked closer to her.

“I know Harry.” She wrapped her arms around him and held him close.

“I don’t want to keep you from fighting if you really want to fight.” He said rubbing her back.

“I want to fight Harry, but we’ll discuss that later.” She slightly pulled back so that she could face him still in his arms. “I’ll talk to Ron when we get down to dinner. Come on.” She pulled away and grabbed his hand to pull him out of the room.

“Wait.” He said pulling her back and wrapping his arms around him once again. He kissed her passionately on the lips as he pulled her even closer. He slowly walked backwards so that they fell on the bed with Hermione on top of him. She moaned into his lips, “Mmm, Harry.” She said pulling away from his kiss. “We can’t. It’s almost dinner time.”

“Just a little longer.” He smiled smirking.

“Your parents are downstairs, I don’t think so mister.” She pushed herself off him and stood up straightening her clothes. “Now come on.”

“Can we continue this later.” He asked with puppy dog eyes.

“Oh don’t give me that Harry.” She turned away from him. He then came up behind her and started tickling her. “Stop it!” She screamed laughing. “Harry!”

*

“What’s going on up there?” Lily asked from the portrait. She was reading a book on the couch as James sat next to her with his arms around her.

“Who cares?” James asked yawning.

“Hello!” She said irritated waving a hand in front of his face. “He’s up there with a girl, who he has very strong feelings for, and you really don’t care what’s going on up there?”

“Lily, he’s 17. He’s of age. Come on, you can’t put it against him. Honestly, when did you give it up? Huh?” James said casually. She hit him in the chest and he was at a lose for breath. “What?”

“It’s not my fault. It’s not like I was planning for it to happen.” Lily said throwing down the book and crossing her hands across her chest.

“Of course you didn’t. Everything has to be planned. Planned this, planned that, and when something isn’t planned you get all scared and crazy.”

“Well I’m sorry.” She said with an attitude. “If you didn’t like me planning all the time then you shouldn’t have married me.” She pulled away from him.

“Lily I’m sorry. You know I love you for the way you are. But you can’t blame me for everything that doesn’t get planned out or is too rational.” James said inching forward.

“You’re right. I’m sorry I blame everything on you. I just like things being planned but it’s fine.” She said softening the look on her face.

“I love you.” He smiled.

“I love you too.” She reached forward and kissed him softly.

*

“Harry.” She said finding herself once again on the bed only beneath him. “We’ve got to get down there.”

“But I don’t know if I want to see Ron right now.” Harry complained getting off her and helping her back on her feet.

“Well that’s too bad. You two are friends, and fights are bound to happen. But you’re going to do me a favor by coming down with me.” She put her hands together as if making a wish. “Please, for me.” She batted her eye lashes at him.

“Fine.” He glared at her. “Come on then.” He grabbed her hand and led her down the stairs. Then they found Lily and James having a make-out session on the couch. “MOM! DAD!” He yelled turning away from the portrait.

“Oh my gosh Harry, we’re so sorry.” Lily said pulling away from James and sitting up.

“Well don’t let it happen when I’m around.” Harry said hiding a grin that was playing on his lips. “We’re going down to dinner. We’ll be back afterwards. That’ll be 30 minutes.” Harry said giving them a hint. Without either of them saying another word Harry led Hermione down to the Great Hall. Mostly everyone was already there sitting at the tables that had been set up again for dinner. Hey sat on the opposite side of Ron and Luna.

“I see you’re back.” Ron said snidely to Harry.

“Yeah, that’s right.” Harry said calmly.

“Ron, listen, Harry didn’t make the decision for me. I chose to not fight in this war. I know what I’d be risking if I did fight and I don’t want Harry to worry. It’s not either of your decision to say what I should do. Just leave me be and let me chose. You shouldn’t be mad at each other because you disagree with each other. Let me make my own decisions. I don’t need people sticking up for me.” Hermione said before Ron could come up with a retort. Harry and Ron fell silent and just ate their dinner while Luna, Hermione, and Ginny engaged in a conversation all to them. Ron and Harry didn’t speak for the rest of the dinner or speak to anyone else. Ron went to walk Luna back to her common room and Ginny walked with Harry and Hermione to their common room.

“I’ll see you guys in the morning.” Ginny yawned and waved good night.

“Good night Ginny.” Hermione said as the portrait opened to show their common room. Harry walked in behind Hermione in case his parents were doing something he didn’t want to see.

“Good night Harry, Hermione.” Lily said yawning and then leaned her head on an already asleep James’ shoulder.

“Night mum.” Harry said.

“Night Mrs. Potter.” Hermione replied.

“Call me Lily. I’m not old enough for Mrs. Potter just yet. Good night kids.” She closed her eyes and fell asleep. Hermione walked to her room opened and closed her door. Then she tiptoed back to Harry and they went into his room. Lily who had her eyes partly opened saw this and shook her head.

“What?” James whispered.

“Just like us.” Lily said as a smile couldn’t help but escape her lips. “Good night James.” She kissed him softly and resumed her place on his shoulder.

*

Harry closed the door behind them as Hermione went outside to look out on the balcony. “It’s beautiful.” She said looking up at the sky. It was a clear night and the starts were shinning bright. The moon was off in the distance lighting the ground beneath them.

“I can think of one thing that is more beautiful.” Harry said coming behind her and wrapping his arms around her waist pushing her back to him.

“Oh yeah?” She asked smiling. “And what’s that?”

“You.” He whispered in her ear and shivers ran down her body as his breath touched her ear.

“How flattering.” She smiled turning around in his arms so that she faced him. She saw worried etched all over his face. “Don’t worry about Ron. He’s just being a git right now.”

“It’s not him I’m worried about.”

“I don’t want you to worry about me either.” She said.

“I do worry for you and I can’t help it. I’m so in love with you.” He looked down at her with tears in his eyes.

“Don’t cry.” She said whipping a tear that had fallen down his cheek. “Harry, nothing is going to happen to me. I promise.”

“You promise?” He asked.

“Yes, I promise.” She said. Honestly, she had no idea what was going to happen. She was scared for her life but she had more worries on her mind. She was worried for Harry, for his life, and what would happen to him. He had to fight Voldemort whether he wanted to or not. He made a choice to fight him and not run away. For that, she had to be strong for him. He lasted all these years facing Voldemort more times then anyone. “Come on, let’s not talk about this.” She said breaking the silence. “Now is not the time to worry about things. Not yet.”

“You’re right.” He pulled her inside, closed the doors, and closed the curtains. He pulled out his wand, put a silencing spell around the room and locked the doors.

“Now that’s more like it.” She said mischievously. He pushed her on the bed and lay on top of her. “Wait.” She said as he began leaving trails of kisses along her neck.

“What?” He asked looking up.

“Are you sure your parents can’t hear us?” She looked around the room and looked back at him when she was satisfied that there were no portraits that they could travel through in his room.

“I’m sure.” Harry smiled. “They can’t hear a thing.”

“You positive.”

“Yes I’m positive. But if you think they can then we don’t…”

“Oh shut up.” She glared at him and then kissed him. They slowly took off each other’s clothes and were lost in each other in no time.

*

Harry shifted in his sleep until he woke up and found Hermione in his arms. He looked down at her and smiled. He tried going back to sleep until he heard an explosion on the grounds. It was much too close. Hermione sat up instantly as did Harry. He grabbed a robe off the floor, wrapped himself in it and went to the balcony. “Oh no.” Harry said shaking his head. “It’s too early. Please no.”

Hermione came walking towards him with his blanket wrapped around her. She came close to Harry and saw the Death Eaters walking towards the castle.

“Harry.” She said. He wrapped his arms around her holding her in comfort.

“I’ve got to go help.” He said getting back inside and throwing his clothes on. Hermione put on her clothes from the night before and followed Harry out of the common room.

“What’s going on?” James asked as they came running down the stairs. “We heard an explosion.” Lily looked just as alarmed as James did.

“I’m going to find out.” Harry said quickly and without another word Hermione and Harry leapt out of the common room. Harry almost ran into someone on the way out and toppled backwards into Hermione. “Sorry.” He said gaining his balance and watching the students run down the hall. “Come on.” He grabbed her hand and then ran with the crowd towards the front of the castle.

“Lupin!” Harry yelled grabbing Lupin’s attention as he came running out of his classroom. “What’s going on here? How did they get on the grounds?”

“I have no idea Harry. Listen, you need to gather everyone from the DA and get them to the front of the castle now.” Lupin ran off the way Harry and Hermione were headed.

“How are we going to get everybody?” He asked Hermione.

“We’ll use our galleons. They’ll meet us down where everyone else is headed.” Hermione said taking out her galleon. ‘God I love this woman.’ Harry thought to himself. Once she was done they starting running towards the Entrance Hall.

“Harry!” Ron yelled. Luna, Ginny, and Malfoy were following him closely. “Do you know what’s going on?”

“No idea.” Harry responded. “Lupin wanted us to bring everyone from the DA together.” Soon more and more people from the DA were running towards them causing a big group. Many had questions but nobody had answers. Once everyone was there and a few more they went to the front doors where Lupin and Sirius were standing.

“Dumbledore, they’re here.” Lupin said getting Dumbledore’s attention.

“Good, I need you to split into groups.” Dumbledore said without looking at them. They were split into groups within minutes.

“Hermione, I love you.” He said kissing her and hugging her close to him once again.

“I love you too.” She replied smiling.

Dumbledore came closer to Harry’s group and stopped beside him. “He’s not here Harry.” He said.

“What? Why not?” Harry asked.

“I don’t know. I don’t know why he would send death eaters here. It’s suicide.”

“What are we going to do?”

“We have to see what they want.” Dumbledore said looking out to the Death Eaters who had stopped in the middle of the grounds. Harry started to walk on the grounds towards the death eaters but no one followed him for a minute and this made Hermione nervous. Then Dumbledore followed him and they walked slowly towards the death eaters. Two of them came walking towards Harry and they stopped in the middle.

“What are you doing here?” Harry asked.

“You pathetic little boy. Go back to the castle and hide.” The baby voice came from Bellatrix Lestrange.

“Shouldn’t you be hiding behind your master by now?” Harry taunted.

“Give me a reason.” She said taking her wand out.

“Stop!” Yelled the death eater beside her. It was Lucius Malfoy. “Voldemort sends a message to Potter.” He said handing over a small sphere. Harry took it into his hands and then to his pocket.

“He sent all these death eaters to just give me a message?” Harry asked. Malfoy smirked before disapparating away with a pop. Every death eater followed suit and they were all gone. Harry walked with Dumbledore back to the castle where everyone stood.

“What’s that Harry?” Ron asked.

“A message.” Harry responded looking down at the silvery sphere in his hand.

“Well, are you going to listen to it?” Harry never took his eyes off of it. He saw a slit at the top and opened it. Voldemort’s masked and hooded face popped up and started saying the message.

“I see my faithful death eater has given you my message. Listen closely Potter. I will make your life a living hell. I will kill the rest of your family, the people close to you, your friends, and your precious girlfriend’s family and her. Then I will come after you.” Voldemort started laughing and disappeared. All of a sudden something sprayed out of the sphere and sprayed into Harry’s eyes and mouth.

“Harry!” Hermione screamed as Harry fell to the ground unconscious.

Chapter 14: The Hospital
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“Take him to the hospital wing, now!” Dumbledore yelled. Several people picked Harry’s limp form and hurried him to the hospital wing. “Minerva!”

“Yes.” She said watching as the others carried his body to the Hospital wing.

“I need you to get all the students into the great hall, quickly!”

“Yes Professor.” She said. “Come on, everyone to breakfast!” She shouted over the students and had the other teachers round them up and push them into the Great Hall where they sat down at their tables. Snape walked with Dumbledore to the hospital wing.

“Take this, find out what was in it.” Dumbledore said handing him the sphere. “Be careful and hurry back. Poppy will need to know what she’s dealing with.”

“Yes sir.” He hurried off in the direction of the dungeons to see what it was. Dumbledore hurried his way to the hospital wing. The whole DA was sitting around the closed off area where Harry was lying. Hermione and Ron stood up when they saw him approaching.

“Is he going to be all right?” Hermione asked worryingly.

“The answers to that will come soon enough.” Dumbledore said calmly. “Poppy.” Madam Pomfrey came out of the curtained area to see what Dumbledore wanted. “How is he?” He asked.

“I’m not sure. It seems like some sort of poison but I’m not sure.”

“Professor Snape is trying to find out what it is now.”

“Professor, he better find out fast. It’s spreading and I’m doing everything to slow the spread but it’s not stopping it. If it reaches his heart, there wont be a lot I can do for him.”

“I understand.” Dumbledore nodded. “Mr. Weasley.” He said turning his head to the redhead.

“Yes?” Ron said stepping forward.

“I need you to go down to the dungeons and bring Professor Snape back with you. And hurry.”

“Yes sir.”

“Can I see him?” Hermione said stepping forward.

“Not now.” Madam Pomfrey said. “No one is to go inside that curtained area until we can contain it. I need to find out what it is first.” She turned back to Dumbledore and they waited for Ron to come back with Snape.

*

“No, this can’t be right.” Snape said shaking his head looking down at the sphere.

“Professor?” Ron asked opening his dungeon door. “Professor Dumbledore wants you to come up to the Hospital Wing quickly.”

“Is it spreading?” Snape asked suddenly.

“Yes.” Ron said taken aback by the question.

“Come on, we’ve got to hurry!” Snape said fear washing over his face. He grabbed the sphere and together they ran to the hospital wing.

“Do you know what it is?” Dumbledore asked right away.

“Yes.” Then he looked around at the others. He clearly didn’t want to say what it was in front of everyone, especially Hermione who would know what it was instantly. Dumbledore saw the look on his face and nodded.

“You all could use some breakfast.” Dumbledore said. Hermione stood up angrily getting ready to protest until he put a hand up to stop her. “Please, all of you need to eat something. No use hanging around here. I will call upon you if anything changes.”

“Thank you.” Ron said before guiding Hermione out of the hospital wing after everyone else left.

“I can’t believe he wouldn’t tell us.” Hermione said as tears of anger fell down her cheeks.

“Hermione, it’s okay.” Ron said. “It’s something serious and they have a right to keep it away from us. Come on, you need to eat. We’ll visit him later.”

“Fine.” They walked to the Great Hall where everybody else was eating and whispering about what happened earlier. Everyone stared at Hermione as they walked in and she hid her face. She sat down in between Ron and Ginny.

“Are you okay?” Ginny asked quietly.

“No, I’m not okay! Do I look okay to you?” She snapped but her face softened quickly. “Ginny, I’m sorry. It’s just, I’m worried…”

“I know Hermione, we’re all worried. I know how you feel and I’m sorry but you don’t need to take your anger out on me. He’ll be okay, I know he will.” Ginny tried to smile. Hermione tried eating but she was too worried and sad. She picked at her food for a while and stayed quietly as everyone else was talking about what happened this morning.

By the afternoon, everyone in the school knew what Voldemort’s message said and every time Hermione passed, they stared at her. They knew he was after her family. She didn’t give it much thought; she just wanted Harry to be okay. Everyone was kept out of the Hospital wing all day. At dinner Dumbledore came down to join everyone. Everyone began whispering once again. Everyone was confused and yet frightened. They wanted to know how the Death Eaters got on the grounds.

“Quiet down everyone.” Dumbledore said standing up. “I realize this morning came as a shock to most of you and by now all the rumors and gossiping stories have come around. Yes Harry Potter is indeed in the Hospital wing. I cannot go into detail of what has happened to him and it would be much appreciated if there were no disturbances outside the hospital wing.”

“Do you know what happened to him?” A Ravenclaw yelled.

“Yes and we are containing it.”

“Is he going to die?” A first year Hufflepuff asked.

“No.” Dumbledore said. He looked deeply tired but spoke calmly. “Training will resume tomorrow so you will return to where you were yesterday.” Food appeared on the tables and everyone began eating forgetting their questions.

“We’ll visit him after dinner.” Ron said to Hermione. She looked up at him and smiled.

“Thanks.” She said and began eating her food. They finished 20 minutes later, Ron said goodbye to Luna and Ginny and they set off to the Hospital Wing. They knocked on the doors and Madam Pomfrey opened them.

“Yes?” She asked politely.

“We came to see Harry. Is it okay to see him?” Ron asked.

“You can let them in Poppy.” Dumbledore said from inside. He was sitting on a chair next to Harry’s bed. She nodded and stepped aside to let them in.

“Is it safe?” Hermione asked.

“Of course. It’s not contagious anymore.”

“Has it stopped spreading?” She asked fearfully. Dumbledore took a deep breath before he answered. “Yes.”

“How are we going to stop it form spreading? I thought you could contain it.”

“We are still trying to figure out what we can do to help him. I’m afraid there is nothing at the moment that we can do.”

“Well aren’t you trying to find some way to help him? You can’t just leave him like this.”

“Hermione, it’s okay. They’re doing everything they can.” Ron said rubbing her arms softly.

“How would you know?” She snapped angrily. “He’s dying, and if you don’t do anything to help him…”

“He is getting weaker. It is spreading and will soon take over his heart. We’re doing everything we can, Miss Granger, to help him. Professor Snape is already making potions for Harry here. Please, stay calm, he will be all right.” Dumbledore said calmly. He walked over to Madam Pomfrey leaving Ron and Hermione alone with Harry. Ron couldn’t help but overhear what Dumbledore was telling Madam Pomfrey. “If he does not fight this, we will lose him.” And then he turned and left the hospital wing. Ron was glad that Hermione had not heard this, if she had, she would be shouting again and crying. She held onto Harry’s hand and brushed away his hair. Dumbledore left after a few more minutes of talking to Madam Pomfrey. A while later the hospital wing doors opened and Ron looked to see who it was.

“What are you doing here?” Ron asked angrily getting up from his seat and moving towards him.

“I’ve come to look upon our hero. Isn’t that what you’re doing?” Matt asked.

“You aren’t welcome here.” Ron said standing his ground as Matt came closer towards him.

“Now, why would you say such a thing? I’ve just come to spend some time with…”

“Hermione, I know.” Ron said rudely. “She doesn’t want to see you.”

“How would you know? She may be dying for someone to hold her.” Mike grinned. “Now move aside.” He pushed on Ron’s shoulder and Ron swung his fist into Mike’s face. There was a loud sickening crunch and Ron came in contact with Mike’s nose.

“MR. WEASLEY!” Madam Pomfrey shouted coming out of her office. “OUT OF THIS HOSPITAL WING NOW!” Hermione also came out from Harry’s curtained area to see why she was yelling.

“But he was…”

“NO buts, out.” She pushed him once but he barely moved a foot. “Out!” She yelled louder. She pushed him all the way out of the doors and came back. “Here let me fix that.” She aimed her wand at Mike’s nose and his nose became straight. He wiped the remaining blood off on his robes.

“Thank you.” He smiled.

“Your welcome.” She smiled to him and then left towards her office.

“Why have you come?” Hermione asked crossing her arms over her chest.

“To see if you needed comfort of course.” He smirked coming closer towards her.

“Get away from me.” She said angrily backing up into Harry’s bed. He reached his hand out and brushed it against her arm. “Don’t touch me!” She said louder. She fell back onto Harry’s bed as she backed up farther trying to get away from Matt.

“Oh come on. Don’t be like that.” He said. She climbed over Harry’s bed before Matt was in front of her. She ran past the bed and him out of the hospital wing. She distantly heard Madam Pomfrey yelling, “No running!” Matt ran out after her and chased her down the hall.

“Come back here!” He yelled angrily. Hermione ran as fast as she could away from him.

“STOP running in the halls!” Professor McGonagall said as they raced past her. “Wait a second.” She said more to herself then to them. ‘That was Hermione and Matt, she didn’t look too happy.’

“Stop chasing after me!” She yelled back to him. She was running out of breath and she would soon stop. But she couldn’t, she had to keep going, until she ran into something. “Professor Lupin!” She said out of breath. Matt skidded to a stop a few feet away.

“Why have you been running in the halls?” He asked more to Matt.

“I needed to talk to her.” He said simply.

“Professor, he was chasing after me. He wouldn’t leave me alone.” Hermione said stepping behind Lupin. Sirius came out of the classroom to see what was going on.

“What’s going on?” Sirius asked looking from Hermione to Matt.

“Nothing.” Matt said quickly.

“Hermione, what happened?” Lupin asked.

“I was visiting Harry in the hospital wing with Ron. Matt came in and Ron punched him. Madam Pomfrey told Ron to leave and I was left alone with Matt. He came towards me when I asked him to stop and then I ran out here and he chased after me.” Hermione said.

“And why were you chasing after her?” Sirius asked.

“That’s none of your business.” He turned around and started to walk away.

“It’s all of our business. I’m a teacher and you will tell me.” Lupin said walking towards him. Matt kept walking and so Lupin followed him.

“Are you okay?” Sirius asked.

“Yeah I’m fine. Its just Harry never trusted him and I don’t think I do either. He’s always taunted Harry that he would take me.” Hermione said looking anywhere but at Sirius.

“What do you mean ‘take you’?”

“He would like to…to…” She couldn’t finish her sentence.

“Oh okay, I get it. You best be looking after yourself. Don’t go anywhere alone especially now that Harry isn’t here. Go with Ron wherever you can and don’t do anything by yourself until Harry gets better. You understand?”

“Yes.”

“Come on, I’ll take you back to the common room.”

“Thanks.” She smiled and then walked her to her common room.

“You best be watching out for Lily and James. They only just heard what happened.” Sirius warned her. “They may be on the rampage.”

“Thanks.” She said again. “I hope they’re all right.”

“Me too.” Sirius said. “I’ll tell Ron to come to the common room so you don’t have to stay there for the rest of the night.”

“Okay.” She said and she went inside leaving Sirius in the hallway. She heard something crash outside just as the portrait hole was about to close and then she saw it fling open.

“You think you could get away from me that easily?” Matt said with an angry face. Hermione screamed and then Harry’s parents came into the picture. Matt flung himself on her and she fell to the ground. She screamed again.

“James we’ve got to get help.” Lily said quietly. “Come on.” They hurried out of their portrait.

“What do you want?” She cried trying to push him off.

“You know what I want.” He said smirking.

“Why?” She cried again.

“Because you’re so beautiful. And when I want something, I’ve got have it. No matter what happens.” He grabbed her hands from hitting him and held them above her head. He then reached up her shirt and she screamed.

“Please!” She cried out. “Don’t do this!”

“Don’t worry. I’ll only be rough with you if you make me.” She struggled in place and tried to get her hands free from his grip. He bent down and kissed her hard on the lips. She kept her lips tightly closed and she was breathing fast. He broke away and left trails of kisses down her neck. He ripped her shirt apart and kissed her chest.

“STOP!” She screamed.

“No one can hear your screaming, doll.” She couldn’t believe she had stuck up for him at the beginning of the year. She was secretly scorning herself for her lack of judgment.

“GET OFF HER!” Ron yelled out of nowhere throwing Matt off her. Lupin, Sirius, Dumbledore, Ginny, and Luna had come into the room.

“Oh my gosh Hermione.” Ginny ran forward and wrapped her in a hug. “I’m so sorry.” Hermione couldn’t say anything or move. She was in shock. Before she knew it Lupin, Sirius, and Dumbledore had carried Matt out of the room.

“Hermione, are you okay?” Ron asked coming towards the three girls now. She looked at Ron and then hugged him tightly.

“Thank you so much Ron!” Hermione cried into his chest. “I can’t thank you enough.”

“It’s okay.” Ron said rubbing her back. “Come on, get a new shirt and we’ll go and visit Harry.” Hermione nodded, ran towards her room, pulled on a t-shirt, and all four went to see Harry. She practically ran towards Harry’s bed and grabbed his hand.

“Harry please, wake up. I need you now more then ever.” She said putting her head down on the bed and then closing her eyes. An hour later Hermione had fallen asleep and they left her alone. It was well into the night when she woke up again. It was dark and Hermione’s back was hurting from the way she was sitting. “Harry, I’m so scared.” She whispered. “I don’t know what I’d do without you. Please, pull through this. You’ve got to, for me. You mean so much to me and I don’t want you to go. Not yet, not ever.”

Chapter 15: An Unnecessary Talk
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A week passed, Christmas was the next weekend, and Harry still wasn’t showing signs of waking up.

“Can’t we take him home. I mean can’t someone look at him so he can come home for the holidays?” Hermione argued.

“Hermione, I would love for him to go home for the holidays. But he’s showing no signs of waking up. I would much rather have him here so that Madam Pomfrey can look over him.” Dumbledore said as he rested his hands on his desk.

“Please professor.” Hermione pleaded.

“If he wakes up, then we can send him home with care. But please, I don’t feel like arguing about this.”

“Yes Professor.” She stood up and was about to leave. “Excuse me, Professor?” She turned back around in front of the door.

“Yes?” He said rubbing his eyes behind his half-moon spectacles.

“What happened to Matt?”

“Matt McKenzie?” Dumbledore asked putting back on his spectacles.

“Yes.” She looked down.

“He was taken to Azkaban that night.”

“But he’s only 17.” Hermione said.

“You are always fighting for the good of bad people.” He smiled with a twinkle in his eyes. “He was charged with rape and found guilty. No, he will not spend the rest of his days in Azkaban. Rape is a huge charge whether it’s in the wizarding world or the muggle world.”

“Yes Professor.” She smiled and then left the office. Honestly, she was happy that Matt was out of Hogwarts and she never had to see him again. But she couldn’t wipe the memories that popped in her head and in her dreams. They weren’t only what happened but what could have happened. She didn’t get much sleep for the fear of more dreams and that Harry wasn’t sleeping next to her. She did sneak into the hospital wing every time she woke up from her nightmares by taking his invisibility cloak.

“Harry, Christmas is almost here. I wish you would wake up so we can take you back home for the holidays. I miss you. I can’t tell you how much I miss you. How much I miss your arms around me, your voice, your attitude, your love, and I love you so much.” She rested her head on Harry’s bed and fell asleep. Hermione woke up early in the morning and sat back slowly keeping the invisibility cloak around her and looked around.

“Do you think he will wake up anytime soon?” She heard Dumbledore ask nearby.

“I’m not sure Professor. He might wake up anytime. It all depends on him. I’m giving him all the potions I can to help him through this. But he’s got the real antidote in him and he’s got to fight it.” Madam Pomfrey said.

“Is there any sign at all?”

“Of course. Just this morning his heart beat was back to normal. I can’t explain it; it’s nothing I gave him that could have done it. His breathing is back to normal. It’s like a miracle happened over night.” She sounded pleased. Hermione smiled down at Harry. “But, if he does wake up, he wont be able to talk or see.”

“Why is that? But his breathing is fine.”

“Yes, he fought for his ability to breathe almost immediately before even starting on his heart. But that poison went in through the eyes and mouth. He didn’t think those were as important as breathing. Though it has been hard with potions, I’ve had to force them down his throat because his ability to swallow as been temporarily disabled.”

“So he fought for his lungs, nose, and his heart?” Dumbledore asked more of clarifying.

“Yes. He’s improving but that doesn’t mean anything. He’s still fighting it, and he’s got to get rid of it all before he gets any better. There’s only so much I can do and the rest is him.”

“Keep me posted in case anything else changes.”

“Of course.” Dumbledore left quickly and then Hermione decided it was time to leave. She gave Harry as quick squeeze on the hand and then left. She went up to her common room as quickly as she could and changed.

*

“Hermione, I’ve been meaning to find you.” Gwen said catching her outside the Great Hall. “Lily wanted to talk to you.”

“Oh.” Hermione said blushing slightly. “She could have caught me on the way out of the common room.”

“Well she wanted Gwen and I to come.” Kate said limping down the hallway.

“Oh. Did she say what she wanted to talk about?” Gwen and Kate exchanged a look before saying anything.

“We have an idea.” Gwen said. “But, we can’t discuss that until we’re there. Come along.”

“What about breakfast?”

“I’ll have some house elves bring up some breakfast.” Hermione had failed to tell them anything about S.P.E.W. and decided to leave it alone. They walked back to the common room and walked in.

“Oh James, they’re here.” Lily said excitedly.

“Great, I guess I have to leave now? Don’t I?” James asked annoyed.

“Well of course. Why don’t you go and visit Lupin and Sirius?” Lily smiled.

“I have no choice do I?”

“No.” She said sweetly.

“You know, if it was up to me, you wouldn’t be having this conversation with this nice young lady. I think she’s old enough to…”

“Now, now, don’t go spoiling anything James. Now go on.” She practically pushed him out of the picture. “Now, hello dear.”

“Hi.” Hermione said.

“Take a seat.” They sat down on the couch with Hermione in the middle. “So, Hermione, I would like to talk to you about Harry. How are you taking the news dear?” She asked suddenly changing the tone of her voice to sorrow.

“Fine I guess. I’ve dealt with his life in danger before. But it’s still a little too much for me.” She said looking down at her hands in her lap.

“I know. How are you dealing with the Matt situation?”

“Fine.” Hermione said not telling the truth.

“Hermione, I can tell that you’re lying. Come on, you can tell me.”

“I have nightmares now.” Hermione said. “They happen at least every night. I honestly don’t get much sleep unless I sneak down to the hospital wing and spend the night with Harry. This has happened before but I just never thought it would happen again.”

“Oh Hermione, I know how terrible this must be. I’m really sorry.” She paused as Gwen wrapped a comfortable arm around Hermione. “This wasn’t exactly what I wanted to talk about. I wanted to talk to you about Harry and…”

“Them two sleeping together?” Gwen suggested.

“Yes that’s right.” Lily glared at Gwen. “You sound as if you’re comfortable talking about this?”

“Well, yeah I guess. I mean when we were younger; James and I got the talk about all this. Maybe James didn’t like to talk about it much but being with Sirius for so long can…”

“I get it.” Lily said stopping her.

“Right.” Gwen said.

“Anyways, Hermione. You’re young and you shouldn’t be doing these kinds of things. I mean, were you even protected or did you have any idea what could happen out of all this?”

“I’m 17, and I know what I’m doing. Yes we use protection and I know everything that could happen if something went wrong. I’m perfectly capable of making this decision on my own. I don’t need to talk to you about it. I have a mother.” Hermione got up and went to her room.

“Well that didn’t turn out like you planned, did it?” Kate asked.

“I’m just looking out for them. What if she turned out to be pregnant? She should be able to start her job before all that.”

“Right, because you waited until you were 30 to sleep with James?” Gwen asked sarcastically and angrily. “You were Hermione’s age when you did it, you can’t go telling Hermione that it’s wrong and she should wait when you didn’t.” She got up and went to Hermione’s room.

“I’m just worried about them. That’s all.”

“And they’re glad you’re worried.” Kate said. “But you can’t butt into their personal lives. They’re of age and they have a right to do what they want. Just let them decide for themselves if they’re ready or not.”

“I guess you’re right. I didn’t mean to sound like her mother if she thought I did.”

“Don’t worry; she’s just emotional about Harry right now. She’s all right. But she is right you know, you aren’t her mother. The one you should talk to is Harry.”

“But as you can see, he’s in the hospital wing now isn’t he?” Lily asked angrily crossing her arms across her chest.

“Are you girls done yet?” James asked coming into the portrait. He looked around and only saw Kate. “Oh.” His face lightened up. “So it didn’t go to well, I take it?”

“Oh bugger off.” Lily got up and left the portrait. Gwen came back down from Hermione’s room a few minutes later.

“Where did Lily go?” She asked.

“Who knows?” James said. “Where’s Hermione?”

“She’s in her room getting her bag and books for class. I bet she’ll be happy when Christmas comes around. I always hated classes before the holidays.” She said changing the subject. “I wonder if she’s going to go to her parents with Harry doesn’t wake up.”

“Well she could use her parents for a while. I mean with all that’s happened to her, I’d want to go home and be with my parents.” Kate said.

“I’m going to find Lily.” James stated before walking out of the portrait. Gwen and Kate shrugged their shoulders and Hermione came down from her room ready for her classes.

Chapter 16: Coming Back
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“Welcome home honey.” Her dad said opening the door to her mother and Hermione. Her and her mother had just gotten home from King’s Cross. The train ride home was boring and longer then ever since Harry hadn’t been there. She was silent the whole time looking out the window as Ginny, Ron, Luna, and Neville watched on.

“Hermione are you alright?” Ron asked.

“Yeah I’m fine.” Was all she said. She didn’t feel like talking. She missed having Harry with her.

"Dad!" She squealed. "I'm so happy you're finally better!" She hugged him tightly. "I love you so much." She smiled at the both of them and then they watched her walk up the stairs with her trunk in tow. She stayed silent most of the first week before Christmas. She was happy her dad was back, but the excitment drew down as she started thinking about Harry. During dinner one night an owl flew in carrying a letter.

“Who’s it from dear?” Her mum asked.

“It’s from Dumbledore.” Hermione said taking the letter off the owl’s leg. She opened it in a hurry and read it silently. “HE’S AWAKE!” Hermione shrieked with joy, jumping up from her seat and flinging her arms into the air. Her dad grabbed the letter from her hand and read it aloud.

“Dear Hermione, Harry woke up this evening. I’d like to send for you to come to Grimmauld Place. Harry will arrive there tomorrow morning. I will send someone for you at 11 tomorrow. Happy Holidays.” Her dad said.

“Can I go dad? Please? Please?” Hermione pleaded putting her hands together and kneeling next to her dad.

“Oh let her go Robert. She’ll be happier there.” Her mom said. He looked down at his daughter and smiled.

“Of course you can.” He said. She leapt up and hugged him tightly before going over to her mom and doing the same.

“Thank you! Thank you so much.” She smiled.

“Now finish your dinner.” Her mum laughed. Hermione sat down willingly. She finished her dinner, kissed her mum and dad goodnight, and then went to her room to pack. She felt bad about leaving her parents for Christmas, but they knew how important Harry was to her and had to let her go. She fell asleep later then usual due to excitement and too many thoughts running through her mind.

“Hermione!” Her mum yelled from downstairs. “Time to wake up! Breakfast is ready and it’s almost time to go!” Hermione jumped up from her bed, ran to the bathroom and changed. Then she packed the rest of her things into her trunk, dragged it downstairs, and then went to the kitchen where her mum and dad were already eating.

“We’re going to send you our presents tomorrow for Christmas.” Her dad said reading the newspaper.

“Thank you.” Hermione said. When she finished her breakfast a knock on the door sounded her ears. She dropped her fork and ran to the door. She found Lupin and Sirius was standing right outside the door.

“Are you ready?” Sirius asked.

“Yeah.” Hermione said. “Just hold on.” She said turning around to see her parents standing in the dining room doorway.

“Have fun dear, and we’ll see you in a few months.” Her mum said. “I love you.”

“I love you too mum.”

“Merry Christmas. Love you.” Her dad said hugging her. She hugged her mum next.

“Merry Christmas.” She smiled. Lupin grabbed her trunk and they left her house. She didn’t know it would be the last time. She didn’t speak the whole ride to Grimmauld Place. She was too anxious to see Harry and be with him. When they arrived, she didn’t care to grab her trunk, and ran inside.

“Where’s Harry?” She asked.

“He’s upstairs in his room.” Mrs. Weasley said coming into the room after hearing the door open and someone run in. Hermione didn’t wait around and ran upstairs. She burst into his bedroom a minute later and found him sitting up taking a potion that Professor Snape was supplying him. He smiled slightly as she arrived and she moved forward. She sat down in a chair next to his bed and waited for Snape to finish and leave.

“How are you feeling?” Hermione asked taking a hold of his hand.

“Better now that you’re here.” He smiled.

“I missed you.” Hermione said. She jumped up and hugged him tightly. “You have no idea how much.” She began crying.

“Hermione, what’s the matter?” He said pulling away from the hug and holding her face in his hands. She shook her head and looked away biting her lip. “Hermione, what happened?” He asked more forcibly.

“I can’t.” She whispered shaking her head and closing her eyes. Tears started falling and Harry wiped them away.

“Hermione, I can’t help if you don’t tell me.”

“Matt…” She whispered so that if anyone was around they couldn’t hear unless they were right next to her.

“What about Matt?” Harry said getting angry and tried getting up from the bed.

“Stop.” Hermione said pushing him back down. “I didn’t want to tell you because I knew you would act like this.”

“How else am I supposed to act?” He paused calming himself down. “What happened?”

“Hermione!” Gwen called from outside the room. Hermione quickly wiped the rest of her tears away and stood up.

“Yes?” Hermione asked as Gwen came into the room.

“Could I have a word with Harry?” Gwen asked.

“Sure.” Hermione kissed Harry quickly on the cheek. “I’ll see you later.” And she left the room.

“What did Matt do to her?” He asked as soon as he knew Hermione wasn’t around.

“Actually, that is what I wanted to talk to you about. Listen Harry; promise me you wont get too upset. And stay calm. He’s already being punished for it.”

“What did he do?” He asked angrily.

“He tried raping her Harry.” Gwen said calmly.

“That bastard! I’ll kill him!” Harry yelled for everyone to hear in the house. He started getting up and out of the bed but Gwen held him back.

“Harry, what did I tell you?”

“To stay calm.” Harry said angrily sitting back down.

“You can’t handle this right now Harry, you’re still weak and if you do anything fast, you’ll go back into a coma.” Gwen said. “You’ve got to be cool about this.”

“Okay, I get it.” Harry said irritably. “Where’s Hermione, I want to talk to her?”

“Umm well, actually I have more to say to you. Your mother…”

“What did she do?” Harry asked getting more irritated.

“Well, she knows you and Hermione have slept together. And well she had a little talk to Hermione about it.”

“Why? She’s been around for a little over a year of my life and she thinks she can talk about that stuff?”

“Harry this is your mother and she’s only watching out for you. Plus she would have talked to the both of you if you weren’t in the Hospital. Hermione took it rather badly actually. Told Lily she wasn’t Hermione’s mother. Poor girl, I feel bad too. I mean Lily is practically a total stranger to Hermione and she’s talking about it because you are her son.”

“I’m 17! I think I know how to make my own decisions. I can't wait until they talk to me.”

“I’ll send Hermione back up here with some food for you.” Gwen said. Harry didn’t say anything so Gwen left.

“Hey, I heard you downstairs.” Hermione said walking through the doorway a few minutes later. “So Gwen told you then huh?”

“Come here.” Harry said beckoning her forward. She sat his plate of food down on the table next to him and sat down on the bed next to him. He wrapped his arms around her tightly keeping her close and she snuggled up against him. “Hermione, I’m sorry I couldn’t be there to protect you.” He said.

“Don’t say sorry.” She said looking up at him. “It wasn’t your fault he tried to do what he did.”

“I should have been there.”

“Harry, stop. You can’t be everywhere at once and plus you were sick. Don’t blame yourself for his stupidity.” She caressed his cheek. “I’m just glad you’re okay.” He smiled and kissed her on the forehead.

“So what do we got here?” He said reaching over to his plate of food. “Hmm a ham sandwich, banana bread, and for dessert a piece of apple pie. Not bad.”

“So they’re feeding you solids?” She asked as he started eating the sandwich.

“Well I refused to eat from a straw. Plus I can handle it, I’m all better.” He winked.

“Good, you’re going to need your strength.” She smiled sweetly. On that thought, Harry remembered Gwen said his mum talked to Hermione.

“So, I heard my mum talked to you?”

“Oh please, don’t even start on that topic. That day was just horrible.” Hermione said leaning back down on the pillow.

“It couldn’t have been that bad.” Harry laughed.

“It was! She was lecturing me about it when you were in the Hospital wing. I mean come on. I have my own mother thank you.”

“She’s just trying to look out for you.”

“I know, and I shouldn’t have been rude about it. But I was going through a lot at the moment. I do appreciate that she cares. It’s just, why then? Why couldn’t she have waited until you were there?”

“Umm well, I think they want to talk to me alone.”

“Why?”

“Well I’m the guy, I control these things.” He laughed. “Maybe they’ll talk to us both at some point but who knows.”

“Great, I’m really looking forward to it.” Hermione grunted.

“Aren’t you?” Harry laughed. “I am. I can’t wait to see how my parents try to talk to me.”

“Well wont it just be your dad? I mean woman to woman and man to man?”

“Yeah, but it should be fun. Try to look on the brighter side. They’re nervous about talking to us about it. It’d be fun to try to see how they get it out.”

“You can look at it as funny but I’ll look at it as terrifying.”

“Who else was there with you?”

“Kate and Gwen.” Harry started to laugh. She looked up furiously at him. “It’s not funny.”

“I know, I’m sorry.” Harry said.

“Are you done eating?” She asked.

“Yeah, you want my banana bread? I was never fond of it.”

“What?” Hermione asked surprised. “Wow I learn something new everyday. I can’t believe you don’t like banana bread. You’re crazy.”

“Why thank you.” Harry said handing her the piece of bread and watching her eat it.

“I’ll take the plate back downstairs.” Hermione said. “You want something to drink?”

“Water, thanks.” He smiled. She got up, took the plate and kissed him before she left. “I love that woman.” He said quietly to himself.

Chapter 17: Given Advice
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“Harry, there’s a picture where your parents can visit regularly.” Gwen said on afternoon before Christmas.

“Great.” Harry said not exactly enthused.

“Yes I thought so.” Gwen said catching is sarcasm. “Anyways, they would like to talk to you.”

“Now?” Harry asked.

“Yes. Professor Snape said it was okay for you to move.” Gwen said coming towards the bed to help Harry stand up.

“Any ides on what this is about?” He asked.

“I’m sure you know already.” Gwen smirked.

“Yup.” Harry said putting his arm around Gwen so she could help him down the stairs. She placed him in the living room where a new picture frame was placed. “Is it empty?”

“Yeah, just an empty picture of Godric’s Hollow. Just call your parents and they’ll hear.” Gwen said placing him on the couch and then leaving the room.

“Mum, dad.” Harry called.

“Oh hello dear.” Lily said coming into the picture. “I’ll get James. He’s off wondering.” She smiled. It was a few minutes before they were both back in the picture. “So how are you feeling?”

“Better I guess. A little tired.” He said.

“That’s good. I’m so glad you’re awake. You have no idea how worried we’ve been.” Harry could tell James was getting a little bored. He obviously was doing something exciting before Lily pulled him away from it to have this boring conversation. Somehow Harry had to agree that he didn’t want to be there either. “Well anyways…” Lily said after talking about something to do with Godric’s Hollow and what the picture was. Harry wasn’t really paying attention. “I think your father would like to talk to you.”

“What?” James said shooting his head up and looking at his wife.

“You know, about Harry and Hermione.” Lily tried whispering but Harry overheard.

“Oh right.” James said unenthused.

“Right, okay. I’ll just be back at the other portrait. Love you honey.”

“Love you too mum.” Harry said.

“All right, so what do we have to talk about now?” James said sitting down on a chair. “Oh right.” He said rolling his eyes. “Sorry, but your mother is make me give you this conversation. ‘It’s what every father should talk about to his son.’ She told me.” He said the little part in a girl voice trying his hardest to imitate Lily.

“I heard that!” Lily shouted.

“Hey, aren’t you supposed to be back at the other portrait?” James yelled back.

“All right, fine!” Lily said. Harry was laughing at all this. He wasn’t used to having parents and found it fun that they fought.

“Anyways, how did Hermione take the talk with Lily? Lily seemed upset afterwards but wouldn’t say anything.” James asked.

“Umm well, Hermione just told me she wasn’t comfortable. I mean she’s not Hermione’s mum.”

“Yeah, I understand how that goes. I’d like to meet her parents. They’ve raised a nice young girl. And I might add that you know how to pick them.”

“Thanks.” Harry smiled.

“She reminds me of your mother.” James said in deep thought.

“What?” Harry asked surprised.

“Yeah, they’ve both got a temper, they both seem really smart, nice, and strong.” He said.

“I guess.” Harry said. He didn’t know his mum that well but they always said “Sons usually like their mums” or well something like that. Maybe Hermione was like his mum but he just wanted them to get along eventually.

“Anyways we’re supposed to have this talk or your mum is going to hex me.” James and Harry laughed. “Well as you know, you’re old enough to make your own decisions. You are of age so I still have no idea why we’re talking about this.” He cleared his through. “But anyways, you know that it’s important that you wear protection.” Harry nodded as if this was a dumb question. “Now listen closely Harry, this is very important. Listen to your woman and let her always right. Now you can disagree with her but she’s always right. Treat her like a lady. Give her gifts every now and then, even if it’s not a special occasion. Tell her you love her when you can. Give her hugs and kisses in public. They may seem to hate it but they secretly love it.” He winked and smiled. “When someone hits on them or looks at them, wrap your arms around her and kiss her. She’ll know she’s yours and hold her whenever you can. Never miss an opportunity to tell them they're beautiful. Never, ever slap her, even if it's just in a joking way. Even if she swats you first, never make any gestures back. If they complain that something hurts, rub it for them without being asked. Girls are fragile, be very gentle.”

“Wow.” Harry said.

“Yes well, I’ve learned a lot in my life with your mum. But most of all, just be happy and make her happy. Protect her and give her company even if she doesn’t want it. Most of the time they need someone to talk to and someone to hold them.” He paused and thought a little more about any more advise he might have stored in his brain. “Well, I guess that’s it for now. But you know we’re supposed to be talking about things that are more personal. So let’s get to it shall we? So how many times have you done it?” That was a blunt question.

“Twice.” Harry said blushing slightly.

“That’s it? You’ve got a woman like that and you’ve only slept with her twice?” He asked surprised.

“Sounds like you’re encouraging this.” Harry laughed.

“Umm well.” He laughed nervously. “Anyways.” He changed the subject quickly. “How was it?”

“Dad! I’m not sure I’m totally comfortable talking about that.” Harry said holding back his laughter.

“Right. Well just thought I’d ask. Now Harry you know the seriousness of your actions right? That she could end up pregnant?”

“Yes, I know.” Harry said. “I’m well aware.”

“Well I’m all up for a grandson.” James winked. “But I just hope you’re thinking through the possibilities.”

“I am.”

“Great! Well now that that is settled.” James said breathing a sigh of relief. “Where is Hermione anyways?”

“I think she’s talking to Ginny in the kitchen.”

“The red-head?” He asked.

“Yes. Ron’s little sister.”

“Okay.” James said nodding his head. “Well I don’t think it’s really necessary for you two to have a talk with the both of us. I think you understand what could happen. I’ll pass the word along to Lily. Oh yes and tell Hermione I’d like to meet her parents and that I said hello.”

“Okay.” Harry said standing up.

“Are you okay to walk on your own?”

“Oh yeah, I’m fine. At least until I get out of this room.” He smiled.

“Okay, I’ll see you later son.”

“Bye.” Harry said reaching the door and leaving the room.

“You done already?” Gwen asked coming out of the kitchen at the sound of the door closing.

“Yup.” Harry said.

“Any better then how Hermione took it?” She asked helping him back up the stairs.

“I think dad was a bit easier to handle.” Harry smiled.

“Yes, well that’s because James is a boy. But I hope you gave you some good advice.”

“Yes, very.”

“Gwen!” Someone yelled from upstairs.

“Sirius! Hold on a minute. I’m helping Harry!” Gwen yelled back. She rolled her eyes so that Harry could see. “Now he’s such a little boy.” Harry laughed.

“Where’s Hermione?”

“Oh she was still down in the kitchen talking to Ginny. I’m not sure what about though. Looked like they were in deep conversation mode.” She laughed. “Ahh here we are.” She plopped him down on the bed. “Now, is there anything I can get you?”

“No thanks. Could you send Hermione up when she’s done talking to Ginny.”

“I sure could.”

“Thanks.”

“Your welcome.” Gwen smiled. “Now I’ve got to go see what Sirius wants.” She winked.

*

Hermione came up to the room 20 minutes later to find Harry sleeping. She smiled and sat down next to him. “Harry?”

“Hmm yeah?” He said yawning and opening his eyes.

“Your dad said he wanted to meet my parents so Lupin and Tonks are getting them. Only for the day.”

“Exciting.” Harry said sarcastically. He sat up and moved out of bed. “So what were you talking to Ginny about?”

“Oh girl stuff.” Hermione blushed.

“Sounds fun.” Harry smiled. Then he clutched his side and the smiled was wiped off his face.

“Harry? Are you okay?” She got up and walked towards him.

“Yeah.” He said but a second later he fell to the floor and landed on his knees.

“I’ll get Professor Snape.” Hermione said before she ran out of the room. She came back within seconds with Snape leading the way. Gwen and Sirius came in the room too.

“Help me get him back to the bed.” Snape said to Sirius. Sirius stepped around Hermione and lifted Harry’s feet up and walked him to the bed. He pulled out a potion and leaned Harry’s bed back. “Take it.” He instructed. Harry downed the potion and went limp. “He’s sleeping. Should be up in time to see your parents before they leave.” He said to Hermione.

*

Hermione stayed with Harry until her parents arrived. They even brought her her Christmas presents. “Mum! Dad!” She yelled running down the stairs and hugging them.

“Hey honey.” Her mum said.

“So what are we doing here exactly?” Her dad asked looking around the gloomy home. She couldn’t blame him for asking. The house wasn’t exactly welcoming.

“Well Harry’s parents wanted to meet you.” Hermione said.

“I thought you told us they were dead.” Her mum whispered.

“They are. It’s just they left behind a painting. Paintings in the wizarding world move and talk so it’s like his parents are alive.” She explained.

“Interesting.” Her dad said generally interested.

“So where’s Harry?” Her mum asked.

“Oh, he had a little incident earlier so I’ll see if he is awake and then we’ll be down in a minute. Lupin will show you where to go.” Hermione said.

“Sure will, right this way.” Lupin said. Sirius had already taken the presents and put them under the Christmas tree they decorated. Hermione trotted up to Harry’s room to see that he was awake.

“Hey.” Hermione said. “My parents are here, so do you want to come down?”

“Yeah.” He said. She helped him out of bed and then helped him downstairs.

“Are you feeling better?”

“You ask that now? Now that I’m already down here?” He laughed.

“Well, yeah.” She blushed. Their parents were already having a conversation when they joined them.

“Hello Harry.” Her mum said.

“Hello Mr. and Mrs. Granger.”

“Please call us by our names.” Her dad said.

“Thank you.”

“So what do talk about?” Hermione asked.

“Actually I wanted to discuss to your parents about what we talked about earlier.” Lily said a little shy and didn’t look at Hermione.

“Oh yeah, what’s that?” Her dad asked. Hermione looked at Harry with wide eyes. She didn’t want to talk about this now. Not now.

“We’ve recently found out that Harry and Hermione are sleeping together.” James said. Her parents both had shocked looks on their faces.

“Excuse me, what?” Her mum asked.

“They didn’t tell you yet?” Lily asked. They both looked at Hermione and then gave Harry a death glare.

“No, they haven’t.” Her dad said. Harry could distinctly hear Hermione gulp.

Chapter 18: Late Night Snack
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“When did this happen?” Her mum asked.

“Just recently.” Hermione said. That wasn’t exactly the truth. It wasn’t like it happened yesterday. It was 4 months ago.

“And why didn’t you tell us?”

“Mum come on, like I’m going to discuss this openly with you.” She paused and then looked at her dad who was still glaring at Harry. “Look at dad, he already hates Harry for doing nothing.” Her dad looked over to her innocently. “Oh come on dad, you’re angry at Harry because of what happened. Well it’s not his fault. And listen, we’re fine. We know the possibilities okay? I don’t need a lecture about what could happen. I’m not 7.”

“Robert she’s right. I mean she is 17 and in the wizarding world that’s of age. And besides, they’re in love.” Her mum said.

“But she’s our little girl, Jane.” Hermione rolled her eyes and grabbed onto Harry’s hand for support. “And they’re not even married yet.”

“That doesn’t matter. Do you think we waited or that half the people out their wait. Robert, if they’re in love…”

“Stop!” Hermione said angrily. “This was mine and Harry’s decision. It’s in the past and you can’t change what happened. Mum, dad, I know you’re worried about me but I can take care of myself. I think I’ve earned that. I love Harry and I don’t care what you think.”

“That was well said.” James said more to himself then anyone else.

“So could you just please, be happy for us? Be happy that I’m in love and I’m happy?”

“We are happy for you baby.” Jane said getting up and hugging her.

“Thank you mum.”

“Robert.” Jane said under her breath when she sat back down in her seat.

“I’m happy for you too.” Her dad said. “Now you better marry her.” He said to Harry.

“Umm, Robert, could I talk to you alone? Out in the hall?” Harry asked. He looked back at Jane and then to Harry and nodded. They left the room slowly as Harry limped out.

“So how long are you guys going to stay?” Hermione asked her mum.

“Oh only over night. Your dad has got business tomorrow before he can get a break.”

“I wish you could stay for Christmas.”

“I know dear, but don’t worry. We’ll see you this summer.” Her mum smiled and hugged her again. Harry and her dad joined them a few minutes later and then they had dinner together. Harry and her dad seemed to be getting along much better then before.

*

“Good luck.” Her dad said to Harry and winked.

“Thanks.” Harry said smiling.

“We love you Hermione, Merry Christmas.” Her mum said hugging her and then Harry. “We’ll see you soon.”

“I love you mum, dad. And Merry Christmas.” She paused. “Oh wait, I almost forgot to give you your presents.” Hermione said before running up to her room, grabbing 2 wrapped boxes and then handing them to her parents. “Open them on Christmas day.”

“Oh all right.” Her dad said inspecting the box. “Love you.” He led his wife out of the door and waved goodbye.

*

“So what did you talk to my dad about?” She asked in the bathroom while she was putting her hair up and Harry was in the shower.

“Nothing, I just had to talk to him.” He said.

“But what about?”

“Hermione, I’m not going to tell you. So just leave it alone.” He laughed.

“But I want to know.” She said leaning up against the counter. “Why wont you tell me?”

“Because it’s not important right now. And plus a man can have secrets can’t he?”

“No.” She pouted. “Are you almost done?” She asked just as he turned off the water and pulled the towel off the rack.

“Hold on.” He said. He came out of the shower with the towel wrapped around his waist. She turned to face him and couldn’t help but stare. He kept coming towards her until she hit the door behind her and her breathing quickened. He smiled and leaned forward to kiss her lightly on the lips. “I’m glad I still have that effect on you.” He grabbed his clothes and opened the door to let himself out.

“You evil man.” She said following him into his room.

“Hey! I’ve got to get dressed here.” He said throwing his dirty clothes in the hamper and getting his pajamas from the dresser.

“I know. I won’t look.” She smiled.

“Sure.” Harry said. He turned around and walked to the far corner of the room to get dressed. He quickly dropped his towel and pulled on his boxers.

“Now that wasn’t too hard was it?” She laughed. “Hurry up.” She said. He quickly got dressed and walked over to her. “Come on.” She grabbed his hand and dragged him downstairs. They walked into the kitchen where everyone was having a late night snack.

“Hey guys.” Hermione said to Ron, Ginny, Fred and George, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, Bill, Tonks, Gwen, Sirius, and Lupin.

“Did Harry make you late?” Lupin asked laughing.

“He’s slow. Gotta give him a break.” She said kissing him on the cheek.

“Yes we do. Oh Snape dropped this by a little earlier.” Sirius said pulling out a small bottle of potion for Harry. “He seemed to be in a hurry to leave. Made us think he didn’t want to join us.” He laughed.

“Butterbeers.” Mrs. Weasley and Tonks said before giving everyone a glass.

“Thanks.” Harry said. “So what else are we having?”

“Cake.” Sirius said smiling. “Chocolate I think.”

“No one is more excited to be having chocolate cake then you are.” Gwen smiled. “I’m looking forward to the cheesecake.”

“Well there’s also going to be cherry cupcakes, and candy for the kids.” Lupin said.

“We’re not kids.” Ron protested. “They’re better be chocolate frogs.” He said under his breath.

“I think I’m going to have some of that Chocolate cake.” Harry smiled.

“Fine by me, as long as you don’t take more then two pieces.” Sirius said greedily.

“Okay, I’ll only have two.” Harry said.

“Cheese cake coming up.” Tonks said setting down three cheesecakes. One set in front of Gwen.

“Where’s the chocolate cake!” Sirius said after her.

“Oh you can wait a little longer Sirius. Just calm down and you’ll get it.” Gwen said getting her a piece and then eating it. “So how was the talk with your parents?” She asked Hermione.

“As well as expected I guess.” She said taking a piece as well. “They didn’t seem too happy at first but I talked some sense into them.” She smiled. “But then Harry took my dad away and he wont tell me what they talked about.”

“It’s nothing.” Harry said sneaking a wink at Sirius who smiled.

They spent most of the night talking, laughing, eating, and drinking. It was 3 in the morning before anyone thought about leaving. Hermione was sleeping against Harry’s chest, Ginny had fallen asleep with her head on the table, and Ron was still talking to Fred, George, and Bill. Mrs. Weasley had fallen asleep in her chair next to Mr. Weasley who joined into the conversation with Ron. Gwen was talking to Tonks at the end of the table while Sirius was finishing the chocolate cake and Lupin was sleeping in his chair.

“Time for bed I think.” Mr. Weasley finally spoke up as Mrs. Weasley jolted awake. Sirius and Ron were the only ones that groaned. Tonks woke Lupin up and helped him to his room. Mrs. Weasley woke Ginny up and they left for their rooms. Bill, Fred and George, and Ron left after them leaving Gwen, Sirius, Hermione, and Harry.

“So what did you say to her dad?” Gwen asked standing up and walking over to Sirius.

“I just asked him something.” He looked down at her and then shook her slightly awake. “I think I should get her up to bed.”

“Night Harry.” Sirius said.

“Goodnight.” He said to them. She was still half sleeping as she followed him up to his room. She instantly fell into bed and went to sleep with her arms wrapped around him and her head resting on his chest.

“I love you Hermione.” He kissed her on the forehead, turned off the light and fell asleep.

*

“Mmm…” Hermione moaned waking up curled up next to Harry.

“Morning sunshine.” He laughed.

“Ha ha.” She said closing her eyes tightly and stretching. “What time is it?” He looked at his wristwatch.

“8.” He said setting it back down.

“When did I fall asleep last night?” She asked rubbing the back of her neck.

“At two. Don’t you remember waking up and walking with me back to the room at three?”

“No?” She said yawning. “It was fun last night.”

“Yeah, most fun any of us have had for a while.” He said getting out of bed.

“Yeah. Wake me up when you get out of the shower.” She said closing her eyes and going back to bed. He smiled and went to take a shower.

“You up this early?” Sirius asked walking down the hallway.

“Yeah. You?” He asked.

“Gwen woke me up. She’s an early bird.” He smiled. “I’ll get breakfast ready. Is Hermione awake?”

“Yeah. Well she told me to wake her up after I was done.”

“I thought she was an early bird?”

“Well, last night must have been a little much for her.”

“Yeah, she sure did look like she had a lot of fun. Looked like Mrs. Weasley put alcohol in the drinks.” They laughed and then Sirius went downstairs to fix breakfast. Harry smiled about last night. She did act a little crazy. When he got out of the shower he went to wake her up.

“Time to wake up.” He said brushing the hair out of her face. She shifted slightly to face him and opened her eyes.

“What did I do last night? I feel so worn out.”

“Beets me. Must have been something in your drink. Or otherwise…”

“But it was a butterbeer, we all had the same amount to drink. So why would it affect me?”

“Maybe it was that piece of candy you ate.”

“What, the Cherry boppers? I did have a lot of those.” She rubbed her forehead as she felt a headache come on.

“We’ll ask Mrs. Weasley if you can take anything.” Harry said helping her out of bed.

“Where’s your robe?” She asked. “I’m cold.” He grabbed his robe that was hanging on the chair and wrapped it around her.

“Better?”

“Yeah.” She said. “Thanks.”

They went down to the kitchen to get breakfast and to ask Mrs. Weasley if she knew anything about the Cherry Boppers. But she wasn’t there either.

“Where’s Mrs. Weasley?” Harry asked Sirius.

“Arthur said she was still sleeping when he left a few minutes ago. It is kind of weird too, she’s usually up. And Lupin’s still sleeping too.” Sirius said now thinking harder about it. “Did you figure out what it was? Maybe all three took it?”

“We think it was the Cherry Boppers.” Harry said reaching for the counter where a box of the candy lay. He started laughing.

“What?” Hermione asked sitting down.

“This isn’t candy. It’s medicine to make you sleep. It tastes like candy so kids will eat it.”

“Great, so I was drugged.” She groaned and sat her head on the table.

“I’ll put you back to bed when we’re done eating.” He laughed. Gwen came down a few minutes later and ate breakfast.

“Wow, maybe Molly forgot it was medicine or something. Well we were looking for anything that was sweet weren’t we?” She asked.

“Yeah. I don’t think we were up for reading anything.” Sirius laughed. They ate breakfast and then Harry put Hermione back to bed where she fell asleep within minutes.

Chapter 19: Family Background
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“MERRY CHRISTMAS!!” Hermione yelled waking Harry up instantly.

“Merry Christmas to you too.” He said stretching. She kissed him on the cheek and hopped out of the bed.

“Hurry up!” She said pulling him out of the bed. “Presents wont open themselves.”

“Okay.” Harry said standing up. “Slow down.” He smiled. They walked downstairs and everyone had breakfast together. The Weasley’s joined them for Christmas and decided that spending a holiday together is what they needed. Ron was actually not his self. He was excited to open presents and wasn’t half asleep eating breakfast. Draco joined them for Christmas as well as Tonks.

“So what did you get me?” Hermione whispered.

“You’ll see.” He smiled.

“Oh come on, just a hint.” She fluttered her eyelashes together at him.

“Nope. I haven’t actually seen it either. I had to get Sirius and Gwen to get it for me. I saw it once and I had them get it since I’m not allowed to leave.”

“Well you’ve still seen it.” She said. He shook his head and she knew she wouldn’t get it out of him.

“You’re not getting it until tonight.” He said.

“What? That’s not fair!” She said pouting. “You’re getting yours.”

“I know, but I want to give it to you tonight.”

“Fine.” She said returning to her food.

*

“Hermione, I love it.” Harry said as he finished opening his present. He reached over and kissed her on the cheek.

“I’m glad.” She smiled. It was a sort of picture. And in Chinese it said Destiny. The picture was made out of clay like material and the symbol was painted on it circled with green with a leather hook so that you could hang it on the wall. “Look deeper in the box.” She said.

“What?” He asked. He reached in the box again and felt something at the bottom.

“I fixed it for you. I mean, I thought you and Sirius would like to use it again.” Hermione said as he pulled out the mirror Sirius gave him back in 5th year.

“I wonder if Sirius still has the other mirror.” Harry pondered.

“He’s not here?” She asked.

“No, him and Lupin left.” Harry said. “Mrs. Weasley said Dumbledore wanted to see them about something.”

“Hmm, I wonder what it’s about.” Hermione said grabbing the few presents her parents brought over. She pulled out a new shirt and a pair of pants, along with a book. Then she opened a Christmas card from them.

Hermione, we hope you have a great Christmas. And we’re so happy for you that Harry is finally feeling better. And we know how happy you are. We hope everything with you and Harry work out. We’re so happy for the both of you. Merry Christmas and we’ll see you this summer. We love you so much.
Love Always, Mom and Dad


“Awe, Harry read this.” Hermione said handing the card towards Harry.

“I wonder if they felt the same after the talk with my parents.” Harry smirked.

“I’m sure they wrote this card afterwards.” Hermione smiled. “Plus they were fine with it in the end.”

“Yeah, I guess.” Harry said.

*

Sirius and Remus didn’t get back until after dinner. Then they kicked everyone out of the kitchen to have an Order meeting.

“Must be important.” Ron said. Him, Ginny, Draco, Harry, and Hermione were all sitting in Ron’s room talking because it was too early to go to bed. “Do you think it’s about You-know-who? I mean, we haven’t heard anything about him since before Christmas?”

“I’m sure any Order meeting is about Voldemort.” Hermione said. “Ron, say it with me, Vold-e-mort.” Ron scolded and ignored her while Ginny laughed.

“Voldemort.” Ginny said coming closer to Ron. “Voldemort.”

“Stop!” Ron yelled angrily. “Go away.” He pushed Ginny slightly away from him.

“Well I am going to bed.” She said getting up and grabbing Draco’s hand.

“No you’re not. You’re just going to go in your room and snog. If mum finds you two in there alone she’s going to get mad.” Ron said warningly.

“She trusts me more then you Ronald.” Ginny said pushing Draco out the door and closing it behind her.

“I honestly don’t know what she finds so great about him.” Ron said lying back on his bed and playing with a piece of string. “I don’t even want to think about it.” He shook his head with a disgusted look on his face.

“He’s not all that bad.” Hermione replied. “He’s changed. And besides I don’t think Ginny would date him if he hadn’t of changed.”

“I just can’t imagine my sister snogging that man.”

“I thought the same thing about you and Luna.” Hermione replied.

“Yeah whatever.” Ron said and then looked at Harry. “Why are you so quiet?”

“I’m just thinking about the meeting downstairs.” Harry replied staring off to the floor.

“So how about we go and get my present.” Hermione smiled.

“You didn’t give it to her yet?” Ron asked surprised. “Awe, keeping her in suspense.” Ron laughed.

“It’s not funny.” Hermione said pulling Harry up from the bed and pulling him out of the room. “See you Ron.”

“Bye guys.” Ron said still fiddling with the piece of string.

“You go on up, I’ll be there in a minute.” Harry said stopping her outside Ron’s room.

“Where are you going?” She asked.

“Just to see if the meeting is over and try to get a word out of someone.” He grinned.

“All right.” She said with a sad expression.

“Don’t worry, you’ll get your present.” He smiled kissing her on the cheek and then going down the stairs. She went the other way and waited in his room. He went down to the kitchen just in time to see Mrs. Weasley coming out of it.

“Hello Harry dear, what do you need?” Mrs. Weasley asked.

“Just a glass of water.” He said.

“Okay, well the meeting is over, so go on in.” She said. He nodded and went into the kitchen.

“She has a right to know Dumbledore.” Lupin said.

“Who has a right to know what?” Harry asked walking over to the cupboards and pulling out a glass. Everyone was silent as he filled his glass of water. He turned around and looked at them. “What is it?”

“Harry, Hermione’s parents have been killed.” Dumbledore said calmly. Harry chocked on his water and sat it back down on the counter so that he wouldn’t spill the rest. “What?” Harry said. “When?”

“This morning.” Sirius said. Harry closed his eyes and rubbed them.

“Are you planning on telling her this?” Harry asked.

“Of course.” Lupin said.

“Why did you wait so long?”

“It’s Christmas.” Sirius said.

“That doesn’t matter. She’ll have the same reaction if you tell her today as she would tomorrow. This is important.”

“You’re right.” Dumbledore said getting up. “She needs to know now.”

“I’ll take care of it.” Harry said before drinking the rest of his water. “I think it’ll be better for her to hear it from me.” He paused while he sat the glass in the sink. “Who did it?”

“Death Eaters.” Lupin said.

“No Voldemort?” Harry asked.

“No.” He said shaking his head. Harry nodded his head and then left the kitchen quietly. He walked up the stairs and to his room. “Hermione?” He asked as he looked around the room. She wasn’t there. He walked down the hall and heard the shower going. “Hermione?” Harry asked again.

“Who is it?” She asked cheerfully. Harry felt bad but he knew she had to know.

“Harry.” He said.

“I’ll be right out.” A few minutes passed and then she came out fully clothed brushing her hair. “What is it?” She asked noticing his sad face.

“Maybe we should sit down.” He said walking her towards his bedroom.

“Harry, you’re starting to scare me.”

“Hermione, there’s no easy way to say this.”

“What?” She asked. She sat down and he shortly followed.

“Your parents were murdered by Death Eaters.” Hermione’s mouth opened slightly as tears ran freely down her cheeks. She shook her head denying what Harry said.

“No. You’re joking, right?” She said.

“I’m so sorry.” Harry said shaking his head. He leaned in closer until Hermione started hitting him softly.

“No!” She yelled crying. Harry pushed her towards him and wrapped his arms around her. She was crying loudly into Harry’s chest.

“I’m so sorry Hermione.” He said softly as his own tears started falling. He was sad to see this happen to her. Harry sat with her silently until she fell silent in his arms. He lay her down on his bed and covered her up. “I love you.” Harry said kissing her forehead. He left the room and went down to the kitchen where everybody was now. Ron, Draco and Ginny were sitting silently waiting for Harry to return.

“She’s resting.” He said entering. Lupin was about to ask a question when Harry continued. “She needs to sleep.”

“Harry, I must speak to her.” Dumbledore said standing up.

“About what? She’s just gone through something terrible.”

“I know, but there’s something she needs to know. It’s better to know now then later.”

“What is it?”

“Let’s talk about this with Hermione.”

“In the morning. I don’t want to wake her.” Harry said. Dumbledore nodded and sat back down. “I think I’ll go up there and give her company if she needs anything.”

“You all should go up to bed too.” Mrs. Weasley said. “Shoo, out.” She said practically pushing the rest of them out of the kitchen.

*

Hermione didn’t come down for breakfast the next morning so Harry brought her food. After she finished eating Dumbledore came to talk to her.

“What is it now?” She asked softly sitting up in bed.

“Miss Granger there’s something I must tell you about your family.” Dumbledore said pulling up a chair next to her bed. Harry took a seat next to her on the bed. “Your parents were not muggles.”

“What?” Hermione asked confused. Harry had the same confused look on his face. What was Dumbledore talking about?

“Your parents were squibs. They kept their identities hidden.”

“What?” Harry asked thrown off guard.

“What are you talking about?” Hermione asked beyond confusion. “They weren’t squibs. I know they weren’t. They would have told me.”

“No, I’m afraid they kept it a secret for your protection.” Dumbledore said shaking his head.

“Protection from what?”

“From Voldemort.”

“But he’s got nothing to do with me besides the fact that I’m muggleborn.”

“Not muggleborn. Hermione, your grandparents died before you were born because they were powerful wizards. Your parents moved out and lived in the muggle world and took up muggle jobs. They wanted to protect you from him.”

“They could have told me.” Hermione said. “They would have.”

“They were going to tell you on your 17th birthday but decided against it. They wanted to tell you and there’s no doubt they wouldn’t have.”

“But why would Voldemort come after me?”

“Because there was another prophecy.” Dumbledore said.

“What?” Harry asked again. This was ridiculous.

Chapter 20: Unsettling
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“There was a prophecy made shortly after the one about Harry.” Dumbledore said. “Voldemort knew nothing of this prophecy until years after you went into hiding. No doubt he came upon someone who had information about it.”

“Who told him?” Hermione asked.

“A man was broken out of Azkaban and went into hiding. He came across what was left of Voldemort and Tom used what he could out of him and left his body.”

“Does he know the whole prophecy?”

“Yes but only recently.”

“By who?” Hermione asked.

“Before I tell you that, I must tell you this. Voldemort killed your grandparents because they knew the prophecy and whom it contained. But he couldn’t get it out of them. Your parents hid, fearing for your life. Now that Voldemort does know, he sent death eaters to your parent’s house to come find you. Instead, they killed your parents.”

“Who told?”

“Professor Snape is the only other person besides myself and Voldemort that knows this prophecy.”

“What?” Harry said angrily standing up. Snape walked in with his usual attire and is greasy black hair. “You told him!” Harry said grabbing his wand and pointing it at Snape.

“Harry, there is no need to attack Professor Snape.”

“But he told Voldemort!” Harry yelled.

“Harry!” Hermione yelled over him. “Stop. All I want to know is what the prophecy says.”

“In a world, torn by war, love will be found in the darkest of times. Through the pain she’ll rise, out of all those who fall. The one who can give the chosen one strength to defeat the Dark Lord. She will make the ultimate sacrifice to end the war and peace will finally rise again through her love.” Snape said. Hermione couldn’t say anything at all at first.

“What sacrifice?” She asked.

“No one can really give you that answer. But the answer will come in time and you’ll know what it is.” Dumbledore said. Harry was still looking menacingly at Snape.

“Get out.” Hermione said quietly. “I want to be left alone.” Snape left first and Harry followed Dumbledore out of the room. “Harry wait a moment.” She said.

“Yeah?” Harry asked.

“Harry…” She said starting to cry again. “My parents…they’re…”

“Shh.” Harry said coming forward and wrapping her in a hug. “It’s okay. I’m here for you, for anything you need.”

“Thanks Harry. I never knew how it felt to loose your parents. But now I know how you feel. How can you stand this?”

“All those years I never had a family. It turned out I had a family all along. You, Ron, Sirius, Dumbledore, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, and now I can talk to my parents through a portrait. Hermione, you aren’t alone in this world. There are people here who love you more then anything. And your parents aren’t really gone, they’ll always be with you.” He kissed her on her forehead.

“How are you so smart?” She asked smiling up at him.

“I think you’ve had an effect on me.” He grinned.

“Good.” She hugged him again. “I don’t know what to do now. What am I supposed to do with all the information about the prophecy?”

“I’ve had two years to deal with mine and I’ve faced facts on what I have to do.”

“But yours is clear. You have to defeat Voldemort, I have no idea what I have to do.”

“You’ll know when the time comes. I know you will. Just promise me you wont spend hours thinking about that prophecy.”

“I wont, there’s nothing to figure out. No clues to help.”

“Thank you.” He said. “Feeling any better?”

“A little. This Christmas is definitely not the best though.”

“Well obviously. Just don’t grieve too much. I hate to see you sad, it breaks my heart.”

“Thanks for caring.” She smiled.

“I love you.” He said.

“I love you too.”

“Are you ready to go see everyone? Or do you want to stay in your bed for the rest of the holiday?” Harry asked getting up.

“I definitely don’t want to stay up here, alone. I’ll come down in a couple of minutes. I look really bad so I’ll come down when I’m ready.”

“All right, I’ll let everyone know you’re coming down.” He said kissing her on the forehead and then left her to get dressed. As he was walking down the stairs to the kitchen he remembered that he hadn’t given Hermione her Christmas present. But he thought it was best if he just waited a while to give it to her. Now just wasn’t the time.

“Where’s Dumbledore?” Harry asked as he walked into the kitchen.

“He left with Professor Snape.” Mrs. Weasley said. “How is Hermione doing?” She asked.

“Better I think.” Harry said sitting down. “She’s coming down after she’s finished getting dressed.”

“All right. I’d like to ask if everyone keep his or her thoughts to himself or herself. She’s had a hard couple of days, I think we should stay off the topic of how she is.”

“That’s exactly what I was thinking.” Harry nodded and everyone else agreed. Hermione walked in a couple minutes later looking much better. The patches under her eyes were gone and her hair wasn’t a mess.

“Who wants to go outside and have a snowball fight?” Fred asked.

“Sounds good to me.” George said as they both stood up. “Who’s going to join us?”

“I will.” Ron and Ginny said immediately.

“I think I’ll just watch for now.” Hermione said.

“I’ll join.” Harry said. They all went to their rooms to change into something warmer and into their winter pants and coats. They met downstairs 5 minutes later and then went outside. Hermione watched them from the side and read a book. Harry, Ron, and Ginny were on one side and Fred and George on the other. After a while Harry threw a snowball in Hermione’s direction and it hit her square in the face. She didn’t say anything at first but then wiped off the snow. They stopped the game to watch her.

“I’m going to get you Harry!” She yelled smiling and ran over to Fred and George’s fort. The game lasted for another hour until the FGH’s team won. It stood for Fred, George, and Hermione.

They went inside soaking wet and hung everything in front of the fire. “Thanks for getting me to play.” Hermione said once they got upstairs with a cup of hot chocolate. “I needed it.”

“Your welcome.” Harry said. “I didn’t mean to actually hit you in the face though. Bad aim I guess.”

“Sure Harry.” Ron laughed.

“It’s true.” Harry said smiling.

They returned to Hogwarts a few days later. Hermione was in better spirits but kept to herself most of the time. Most of the school was quite as well. No one actually knew when the final battle would be or if they were ready. The castle was never left unguarded. Each night, there are different aurors stationed around the castle making sure nothing is out of place. Hermione returned to sleeping in her own room, usually going up to her room at 9 and not coming down until before Harry was awake. After a week he caught her in the main room before she left for breakfast.

“Hermione, what’s up?” Harry asked getting up off the couch as Hermione walked down her stairs.

“Harry.” She said startled. “I didn’t know you would be down this early.”

“Yeah.” He said.

“Harry, it’s just, I need some time to myself. That’s all.” She said.

“Hermione I’ve barely spoken to you in the past week. I just hope there’s nothing wrong between the both of us.”

“Oh course not.” She said walking up to him. “Everything is fine.” She nodded. “But I’ve got to go down to breakfast.” She kissed him on the cheek and then left.

A few days past and in the middle of the night she snuck into his room. He woke up when she closed the door and sat up in bed to face her. It was dark but even he could tell her eyes were dark and her cheeks were covered in tears.

“Hermione.” He said welcoming her to come into bed with him. She came forward and slipped into bed next to him. He wiped her tears away and kissed her on the forehead before lying back down.

“I’m sorry Harry. I’m sorry I shut you out.” Hermione said crying into his chest. “I’m scared.”

“Scared of what?” He asked brushing her hair out of her face.

“I’m scared for you.” She said looking up at him. “I’m scared that you’ll get hurt.”

“I wont get hurt. I promise.” He said hugging her tighter.

“Harry please, let me help you.”

“No Hermione. I can’t have you out there with me.”

“This is my war too. I deserve to fight.”

“We already had this talk Hermione.”

“I don’t care. I hate the feeling that I’ll just be sitting aside and waiting for the injured to come into the Hospital Wing. That’s terrible. I want to be out there.”

“And what if something happened to you?”

“What if something happened to you?” She shouted back. “I don’t want to loose you.” She said closing her eyes. “I love you.”

“I love you too.” He said. “Go to sleep, we can talk about this later.”

Weeks turned into months of waiting. Everyone was trained but the waiting was unsettling to them.

“It’s almost May and nothing has happened. It’s too quiet.” Lupin said in Dumbledore office. “What are we supposed to do?” The Order was there along with Harry, Hermione, and Ron.

“We have to wait.” Harry said.

“Wait for what? What if it never happens?” Tonks asked.

“It’ll happen. Trust me.” Harry said.

“But the students. They’re classes can only occupy them for so long. They seem to not do their homework.” Professor McGonagall said. “They’re minds are set on the battle.”

“It’s been four months since we’ve heard anything of a threat.” Lupin said.

“You don’t suppose they’ve left the Forbidden Forest?” Tonks asked.

“They wouldn’t.” Sirius said. “They’re just getting ready.”

“But how do we know when the real battle will be?”

“You don’t. That’s the point.” Harry said. “They want us to wait, to think that they wont attack us. We just have to be ready when they do.”

Chapter 21: This Is It
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“Everything is going to change.” Hermione said standing out on the balcony late at night. “This war will change so much.”

“Only if we let it.” Harry replied standing beside her.

“You can’t pretend that everything is going to be okay after this. Lives will be destroyed and we’ll live in grief for a long time.”

“But the magical world will know that he is gone.”

“How can you speak like everything is going to be alright?”

“Why do you speak like I’m going to die?”

“Because I’m afraid of loosing you.”

“I’ll live, I promise.” He said hugging her. “Stop worrying so much. I want you to think about yourself for once. Think about your health and your personal life. You barely speak to Ron or Ginny anymore. You need to give your mind a rest for a while before something happens. Something that could have been prevented.” She had lost a few pounds in the last couple of weeks; she was unusually pale and tired all the time. “I’m right here and I’m not going anywhere.” He paused and lifted her chin so that her eyes met his. “I want you to be happy again. I want to see those beautiful teeth and that smile. I want your eyes to glow and your face to light up again. I don’t want to see you cry yourself to sleep anymore.”

“I don’t know if I can be happy again.” Hermione said shaking her head. “My parents are gone, some of the people I know will be killed or hurt, and I can’t loose you. Not again.”

“Don’t talk like that anymore. Be happy that this war will finally be over. For good.”

“At the expense of a lot of good people.” Hermione said shaking her head. “I just don’t want to see people lose their lives.”

“You can’t save them all.”

“But I could still be out there to help. I can’t help but think that I could possibly save their life. No one deserves to die.”

“But everyone does, eventually. You can’t stop death.” Harry said. “It’s destiny. You just have to live with your own. What you do, is what you are meant to do. Just like my destiny is killing Voldemort. I’ve faced that fact. Don’t let me keep you from doing what you want to do.” He said stepping back inside. “If you want to be in this war, go ahead. I can’t stop you.” She followed him inside and grabbed his arm.

“I wish none of us had to be in this war.” She looked down. “I’ll stay behind because I know someone will need my help here.”

“You’ll have your turn.” He said kissing her on the forehead. “I love you.”

“I love you too.” She kissed him passionately and then quickly removed his shirt. One thing led to another…

*

May crept up on them all too fast. Spring had arrived but not many could tell. The grounds were covered in mist and fog. No one was allowed outside the castle after dinner and if you did go out on the grounds, you always needed an Auror to assist you.

“This is bollocks.” Ron said looking outside. “Why wont he just come out and end this thing?”

“In a hurry?” Luna asked.

“No, I just want this to be done.”

“We all do.” Hermione said drinking her pumpkin juice.

“Ron, you know how much it scares me that I’ll lose you.” Luna said.

“I know.” He said kissing her on the cheek. “Don’t worry, I’ve got Harry.” He smiled towards Harry who wasn’t paying any attention but was looking outside. “Harry?” Ron asked. “What are you looking at? I can’t see anything through all that?” Harry didn’t say anything.

“Harry?” Hermione asked waving a hand in front of his face. “What do you see?” Hermione said trying to look where he was looking.

“They’re coming.” Harry said standing up and looking down to Dumbledore who was clearly looking off to the forest like Harry was.

“When you are finish with your dinner, please stay seated.” Dumbledore said standing up.

Hermione looked over at Harry again. “Harry, what’s happening?”

“Stay seated.” He said not looking at them but up towards Dumbledore who was leaving.

“Where are you going?” She asked as he got out of his seat.

“Just stay here.” He ordered and followed Dumbledore out of the Great Hall.

“Do you really think it’s starting?” Ginny asked coming over to their table and sitting down in Harry’s old seat.

“I don’t know. I mean who could possibly see through all of that?” Ron asked.

“I think that’s the reason why they’re saying it’s starting.” Hermione said. “It’s getting thicker by the minute.”

“Then how are we going to see through it?”

“It’ll disappear, I’m sure.” After a few minutes everyone became restless and started spreading rumors. “Honestly, can’t people be mature for one second.”

“What are they supposed to do? Sit around and be scared?” Ginny asked.

“No, they can start thinking about the battle and what’s going to happen. This isn’t a joke.” 10 minutes later, Dumbledore and Harry walked back into the Hall. Harry sat down without saying a word and everyone had his or her eyes on Dumbledore.

“The time has come when we must use the skills we have mastered to end this war.” Dumbledore said standing up at his podium. “We must end this tonight. Harry, if you would please…” Harry nodded and stood up. He walked up to where Dumbledore was standing and took his place at the podium.

“This is it.” Harry started to say. “This is where we decide what happens. Do we stand and fight for a world we’ve grown to love? Or do we run and hide? If we don’t stand and fight, what do you think would happen? Do we win or do we lose? Most of you aren’t ready for this war, to fight, but I know we can do it. I know we can end this, here and now. I know some of you think that you aren’t ready. That we aren’t ready for this. Trust me, I don’t even know if I can do this. If I’m capable of doing this and saving everyone. I’ve seen so many things since I’ve been here at Hogwarts and I’m ready to stand up for what I believe in. Of course, I have a fear of loosing. What if I fail? What if I don’t kill him? If I don’t do this, who will? A lot of you know what it’s like to lose someone, to have them taken away from you. I’m tired of fearing for others lives; I want to end this so I don’t have to look over my shoulder everywhere I go, wondering if he’s there. Who’s going to stand with me? Who’s going to stand up and fight against him and his army? Sure he’s got the upper hand with dementors, giants, death eaters, but we’ve got something he doesn’t. Love. Lets end this misery and destruction. I know I’ve had enough, so who will stand with me?” He shouted the last part. Everyone in the Great Hall immediately stood up and started clapping their hands. “Lets get this over with then!” He shouted over everyone.

“Will everyone please go to their common rooms to get changed into something better suited? When you get back down here, please split into your groups that we had assigned and get into your positions.” Dumbledore asked.

Everyone left the Great Hall and returned to their common rooms to get changed. After about 15 minutes everyone returned and separated. Ron, Hermione, and Harry were walking towards the front of the castle to meet the rest of their group until Hermione stopped abruptly.

“Hermione, aren’t you coming?” Ron asked stopping a few feet in front of her. Harry was the last one to stop and turned back. Hermione was looking at Harry when she shook her head.

“I’m going to stay here.” Hermione said.

“Are you sure?” Harry asked taking a step forward.

“I’m sure.” She nodded and then turned towards Ron. “Don’t get hurt out there, okay?” She asked as she engulfed him in a hug. “Look out for Harry for me and bring him home to me, please.” She had tears in her eyes as she pulled away.

“Of course.” Ron said trying to smile but he had tears in his eyes as well.

“Don’t let anything happen to him.” She kissed Ron on the cheek. “I’ll see you soon.” She gave Ron last one hug and then Ron walked up to the front of the hall and waited for Harry. Harry was now a couple of feet in front of Hermione. He pulled out a small red box wrapped in a gold ribbon and placed it in her hand.

“Don’t open this until I get back.” Harry said. “It was supposed to be your Christmas present but I thought it was better to wait after all that had happened.” Hermione nodded unable to say anything. “Promise me you wont open it until I come back.”

“I promise.” Hermione cried. She placed it in her pocket and looked back up at him. “Promise me you’ll be careful.”

“I’ll be fine.” He said reassuringly.

“Don’t do something stupid.” She smiled.

“Where would the fun be in that?” He smiled too wrapping his arms around her in a hug.

“I love you Harry.” She said crying into his shoulder. “Come back to me.”

“I’ll always come back to you. I love you always and forever.” He put his hands to her face and brought her lips into a kiss. After a moment he let go and walked away. She was about to cry out but quickly wiped away her tears and turned around to walk to the Hospital Wing. ‘Be strong Hermione.’ She told herself. She walked slowly to the Hospital Wing.

Harry and Ron joined up with Ginny, Malfoy, Luna, Neville, Dean, Pavarti, and Seamus. They all had broomsticks in case they needed it. “Are you guys ready?” Harry said.

“Yeah.” They said in unison.

“Where’s Hermione?” Ginny asked looking around.

“She wont be joining us.” Harry said. Dumbledore, Snape, McGonagall, Lupin, Sirius, Gwen, Jesse, Tonks, and Moody joined them.

“Are you ready?” Dumbledore asked.

“Yeah.” Harry said as every one else just nodded.

“Good.” Dumbledore lifted his wand and said something under his breath as he pointed his wand. The fog and mist went away to show a surprising and frightening sight.

“Oh my.” Ginny said. Death Eaters were closest to them, the dementors were floating on the ridge of the Forbidden Forest and the Giants were nowhere to be seen yet, as well as Voldemort.

“Lupin, stay with them.” Dumbledore instructed. “The rest of you follow me.”

“Be careful out there.” Lupin said giving Tonks a quick kiss.

“I’ll be nearby.” Sirius said to Harry. “I just need to do something first. Good luck, and I’ll see you out there.” Harry nodded and the rest left.

“We leave when the bell rings.” Lupin said.

“What did you give Hermione?” Ron asked while no one paid them any attention.

“A ring.” Harry said taking off his glasses and wiping the lenses.

“A ring?” Ron asked with a smile on his face. “Are you going to ask her to marry you?”

“That was the idea.” Harry said putting his glasses back on. “I was going to ask her on Christmas, but things went a little differently then planned. I decided to wait.”

“I’m so happy for the both of you.” Ron patted him on the back. “You make each other both happy. And congratulations.”

“Thanks.” Harry smiled. “Ron, promise me, if anything happens…”

“You’ll be okay.” Ron nodded and looked away. “We’re both going to get out of this alive.” Harry smiled sadly and nodded.

The bell rang loudly over the grounds signaling the start. “This is it.” Harry said. “Let’s go.”

Chapter 22: An Army of One
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“I didn’t think you would be joining us.” Mrs. Weasley said when Hermione arrived at the Hospital wing.

“Well, I guess I changed my mind.” Hermione shrugged. “Now I just feel worried.”

“That’s natural. All of us are worried. I’ve got Ginny and Ron out there.”

“Yeah.” Hermione said.

“My dear.” Madam Pomfrey said coming out of her office. “Who is the father?”

“What?” Both Hermione and Mrs. Weasley said in unison.

“You’re pregnant.” She said smiling and looking at Hermione. Hermione fainted and was caught by Mrs. Weasley.

*

“Harry! Duck!” Ron yelled 10 feet away. Harry ducked immediately and saw a red bolt pass overhead of him.

“Thanks.” Harry yelled back.

“Don’t mention it.” Ron smiled. “I’ve got your back.” Harry ran off in the direction he was going and Ron shortly followed.

*

Hermione was out for quite some time and when she woke up students already surrounded her. “Good you’re awake.” Madam Pomfrey said. “I need you to get me the potions from the cupboard.” Madam Pomfrey said. “Hurry.” Hermione ran into the office and grabbed the potions. She put them on a platter and ran back to Madam Pomfrey. “Drink this down Mr. Creevy.” Hermione helped him drink it down and then left the potion next to his bed. “Where are those new potions? We’re running out.” She asked.

“I don’t know, Professor Snape should have had them up here by…” Hermione started to say. But then they appeared on a nearby table.

“Oh thank goodness. Hurry; take this over to Mrs. Weasley.” Hermione ran towards Mrs. Weasley who was helping a 6th year out of bed.

“Good.” She said immediately as Hermione handed her a potion. “Drink this down dear, and you can go.”

“Hermione, there are too many people coming in here.” Mrs. Weasley said going to the next patient. “You’ve got to go and help. Too many people are getting hurt out there. I need you to go out and find those who can’t get back here. Snap your fingers and a house elf will appear. They will bring them back here. Hurry!”

“I understand.” Hermione said.

“Take the small potions in my cupboard. And don’t forget your wand.” Madam Pomfrey said coming over. “Hurry.” Hermione nodded and ran into the office. She quickly shoved the potions into her pockets and a bag and ran out of the wing. She ran as quickly as she could out of the castle passing injured people.

“Oh my.” She said at the sight in front of her. Fire was burning everywhere and smoke was overhead. Students were running everywhere as well as the death eaters.

“Dementors!” A boy shouted and pointed towards the forest. Indeed dementors had joined the battle at last. “Get ready!” He shouted again. Hermione wanted to help but she stayed at the front of the castle to look at the injured students coming in. “Miss Granger, what are you doing out here?” Professor McGonagall asked. Her hair was a mess and there was dirt and dust on her robes.

“Madam Pomfrey sent me out here to help.” She said.

“Good.” She said. “Be careful out here.”

“Thanks, you too.” McGonagall ran off in another direction. “I hope you’re okay Harry.” She said to herself.

“Hey, I can hear you.” Harry said in her mind. “What are you doing out here?”

“I was sent out here to help the minor injuries. Where are you?”

“By the forest.” He said. “The dementors are dying back so you wont have to worry about them.”

“Thanks.” She said. “Any sign of the Giants yet?”

“No, but how hard could they be to miss?”

“Yeah. Just be careful.”

“I will. Kisses.”

“You too.” Hermione said regaining her attention to the people coming her way.

“I thought I’d never see you again.” Someone said behind her. Hermione knew that voice, she turned around slowly and put her hand in her pocket and grabbed her wand.

“Oh trust me, tonight will be the last time you’ll ever see my face.” Hermione said.

“You’re right.” Matt said taking off his death eater mask and pulling his hood off his head. “I think I should have one last look at that beautiful face. Too bad you had to go for Harry though. We could have had fun.”

“I’m sure.” Hermione laughed. “You would have had fun raping me.”

“It would have been in you best interest.” He said. “I don’t usually go for the mudblood type like you. I made an exception for you though.”

“And why is that?”

“Because of Harry.” Matt grinned. “I could have shown him what he couldn’t have. If you live to see the end of this war, I’ll come and find you. That way the Dark Lord wont have to kill you.”

“Oh trust me, I’ll see the end of this war. I’m not so sure about you though.”

“Why is that?” Matt asked.

“Because I will kill you.”

“Don’t be so certain of that.” Matt laughed and disappeared.

“Hermione!” A girl yelled. Hermione turned to her right and saw Ginny running after her helping another girl towards her. “She’s not breathing!”

“Set her down.” Hermione instructed.

“Is she okay?” Hermione checked the girls pulse and shook her head.

“What’s her name?” Hermione asked.

“Caity Mackenzie. She’s dead?”

“I’m sorry.” Hermione snapped her fingers. A house elf appeared and disappeared with the girls’ body. Hermione had to be careful. She wasn’t only worried about herself. She had a baby to worry about now.

*

“I already saw your girlfriend Potter.” Matt said as both Harry and him circled around.

“Did you now?” Harry asked like it didn’t upset him.

“Yeah. She actually thought she was going to kill me. That pathetic mudblood. I don’t understand men like you. She isn’t equal to you!” He raised his wand and was about to shoot a spell at him when Harry heard someone yell “Crucio!” Matt fell on the ground yelping in pain. Voldemort and a few death eaters came out of nowhere.

“Did you think I was going to let you kill him?” Voldemort asked laughing lifting the curse. “Get up you pathetic fool.”

“My lord, forgive me. I wasn’t going to kill him. Just wanted to teach him a lesson first.” Matt said bowing.

“A lesson is better learned when he is dead.” Voldemort said now turning to Harry. “Don’t you want to join your pathetic mudblood mother and your muggle loving father?”

“I’ll see them when the time comes.” Harry said with his wand still outstretched.

“Do not try your pathetic spells on me Potter. You wont win that way.”

“I wont have to.” Harry said standing straighter.

“You think you can beat me?” Voldemort and the others laughed.

“I know I can.” As he said this others appeared at his side. Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, Mad-Eye Moody, Ron, Arthur, Bill, Charlie, Fred, and George Weasley, Kate and Gwen, and Tonks arrived at his side. His men were outnumbered but just then he knew things had gone terribly wrong.

“GIANTS!” A man yelled off to Harry’s left. Voldemort gave a shrieking laugh and just then Giants had appeared behind Voldemort and the others. It was down to this battle. This was what decided the fate of this world. Through the commotion Harry got separated from Voldemort.

“HARRY WATCH OUT!” Sirius yelled. Harry jumped out of the way just in time before a Giant stomped down on the ground. Harry fought his way back to Voldemort to finally end this. He didn’t want it to last more then it had too. Lives were at stake.

“HARRY POTTER!” Voldemort’s shrieking voice rang over the battle. Harry followed his voice and once again found him in the presence of the greatest Dark Lord ever. “No one to back you up this time, Potter? Are you sure you wont need the help?”

“I’m positive.” Harry said ignoring the battles going on around them. “Do your worst, for I shall do mine.”

“AVADA…” Voldemort started to say.

“Everte Statum.” Harry said as it caught Voldemort off guard for a moment and stepped back.

“You’re going to have to do better then that to beat me Harry. The only way to kill me is that killing curse.”

“Oh I know.” Harry said. “But you’re not going to defeat me by it.” Harry said shaking his head and keeping his wand up. “Whenever you’re ready.”

“CRUCIO!” Harry was hit in the chest with it but it did nothing to him. “What is this?” Voldemort said angrily. Harry used his strength to shoot the curse back at Voldemort who was too surprised to notice. It lasted for a moment but it did its damage.

“Expelliarmus!” Harry said.

“Protego!” Voldemort said laughing. “Everte Statum!” Harry was struck but only flew back a few feet before he landed on his feet.

“Immobulus!” Harry yelled but Voldemort dodged it lazily.

“Don’t try your petty tricks on me Potter. I’ve told you, it wont work.” Voldemort said laughing.


“Let’s finish this.” Harry said seriously. “We’ve both had enough of each other.”

“You’re right.” Voldemort grinned.

“AVADA KEDAVRA!” Harry and Voldemort shouted at the same time. Both wands pointed at each other. They were busy dodging the spells and tried it again. Voldemort gave up and used different curses to hurt Harry. Harry fell to the ground gripping his stomach as blood gushed out.

“Not many know that spell. I made it myself.” Voldemort said.

“When you want to kill someone, don’t just stand there talking about it.” Harry said before he yelled, “Avada Kedavra!”

It caught Voldemort off guard and hit him in the chest. Harry was breathing heavily and he was on his knees. “HARRY!” Ron shouted running towards Harry. Harry fell to the ground sideways a little lightheaded. “Harry, you’re going to be okay. It’s just a scratch.”

“It’s something else.” Harry groaned. He closed his eyes for a moment and then opened them. “Take care of her Ron.” He said.

“Don’t say that. You’re going to be okay.” Ron said choking back tears.

“Promise me.” Harry coughed up blood. “Promise me you’ll take care of her.”

“I promise.” Ron nodded. Harry started to close his eyes. “Don’t give up now. After all you’ve done, don’t give up. Don’t die. Don’t die on her.”

“This is it Ron.” Harry tried to grin. “It’s over. I’m finally free of him, we all are. This is my time. You will go on and you’ll have a family. You all have so much to enjoy and to do and to be. Live your life and don’t give up on the good things that bring us hope. A new day with come, and when the sun shines, it’ll shine out the clearer.” His own tears fell down his cheeks. “Tell her I love her.”

“I will.” Ron said sadly.

“It’s okay.” Harry smiled. “Everything is all right now.” Then he became limp in Ron’s arms.

Death Eaters fled the scene and the Giants were all taken down. Soon the sun rose and the sun shine brightly in the morning sky. “Where is he?” Hermione shouted as tears fell from her eyes. Harry was lying in the Hospital Wing with many surrounding him. Sirius was crying as he sat next to the bed. Lupin was behind him as well as Sarah and Gwen.

“He did it.” Ron smiled. “He finished it.” Hermione came forward and cried out in grief.

“NO!” She cried lunging forward onto his bed. Ron rubbed her back tenderly as she wrapped her arms around Harry. “He was supposed to come back to me!”

*

“At the end of the day, there’s another day dawning, and the sun in the morning is waiting to rise.” Dumbledore said at Harry’s funeral. “He was a great man and a great student. He changed all of us in so many ways. He was expected to save us all at such a young age. None of us could do it for him and he knew it. But even the best fall sometimes. He wanted to be like every one else even though he knew he was different. He gave his life to give others the freedom they could have.” Everyone paid his or her respects and his closest friends/family stayed longer. Hermione kept to herself most of the time rubbing her belly.

*

Time passed and soon they graduated from Hogwarts. Hermione was showing a tiny belly and she told everyone at the graduation party. Everyone congratulated her. But that night she went to bed crying. Ron came in shortly after everyone left and closed the door behind him.

“He told me to tell you that he loved you.” Ron said coming towards her.

“I can’t do this without him.” Hermione said sitting up and wiping the tears from her eyes. “I can’t raise this baby on my own.”

“You’re not on your own. You have me, Ginny, Gwen, Sarah, Sirius, Lupin, the list goes on.”

“But Harry was supposed to be here. He’s supposed to help me raise our child.”

“In heart he is with us all.”

“He was supposed to leave me Ron.” She said before he wrapped his arms around her. “I miss him.”

“We all miss him.” Ron said rubbing her back. “Everything is going to be okay. I promise. Everyone will help out with the baby. I know Fred and George would love to baby-sit.” Hermione let out a smile.

“Thanks Ron. What would I ever do without you?” She asked hugging him back and then wiped her tears away.

*

“Here’s your baby boy.” The healer said handing Hermione the newly born baby.

“What are you going to name him?” Ron asked looking down at her and pulled her hair back from her face.

“I think I’ll name him Daniel. Daniel Potter.” Hermione said smiling down at her baby. “He looks just like his father.”

*

Even though they were different in so many ways, they fought as One, an Army of One.

Chapter 23: A New Life
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Four years pass as Hermione raises her son. “Danny! Your Uncle Ron is coming over!” Hermione yelled up the stairs. “Hurry up!” A young boy about 4 years old came running down the stairs.

“Where is he?” He asked waiting at the door.

“He’s not coming in by door silly. He’s coming by floo.”

“Ohh.” He said running towards the fireplace. The fire turned green and Ron popped out a moment later.

“Hey Danny.” Ron said pulling the little boy into a hug. “You’re looking more like your father every day.” Hermione smiled from the doorway. “I brought you something.” Ron said.

“What?” Danny asked searching the pockets of his uncle. Ron pulled out a mini broom.

“Reducio.” Ron said pointing his wand at the broom. It grew to the normal size of about 5 feet.

“Ronald.” Hermione said scowling.

“Don’t worry, it only hovers a couple feet off the ground and it doesn’t go fast.” Ron smiled and stood up.

“Wow!” Danny said.

“What do you say Danny?” Hermione said coming into the room.

“Thank you Uncle!” Danny said hugging Ron tightly before running off with his broom.

“Thanks for stopping by.” Hermione said. “He likes to see you.”

“Any time.” Ron smiled.

“Want some tea?”

“Sure.” Ron said following Hermione into the kitchen. He sat down at the table and waited for her to sit before he said anything. “So how are you holding up?”

“I’m doing good. Work at the Ministry is busy as always.” Hermione said taking a sip of her tea. “Danny’s always causing trouble around the house. Making things happen.”

“So he’s shown his first signs of magic then?” Ron asked.

“Well of course, Fred and George can’t stop showing him how to do things.” Hermione laughed. “He loves you guys so much. You mean the world to him. And to me.” Hermione said seriously. “Thank you for always being there for me.”

“Of course. We’re your family.” Ron said smiling.

“I’m glad he’s shown signs of magic, he’s pretty smart with it too.” Hermione beamed. “So how are you and Luna?”

“Great. We moved in together last week.” Ron nodded. “I admit, it’s a little weird sharing a place with a girl.” Hermione laughed. “But I love her.”

“I’m happy for the both of you.” Hermione said. “How’s Gin doing?”

“Good. Healer life is treating her good. She just finished her internship and she’s helping the big Healers.”

“That’s good news.” Hermione smiled. “I haven’t talked to her in ages. We’re both busy with work and we’ve gone our separate ways. I should call her for some tea.”

“She’d like it.” Ron said. “But then again you haven’t talked to a lot of people you used to.”

“Besides Danny’s immediate family and of course Fred, George, me and my parents.”

“Yeah. I can’t keep Danny away from his family.”

“When was the last time you went?” Ron asked talking about Harry’s grave.

“Months ago.” Hermione said shaking her head. “I’ve been really busy with the Ministry and Danny. I haven’t had time.”

“Hermione, come on. We’re going there.” Ron said getting up. “Danny!” He called.

“Ron no.” Hermione said standing up as well. “I can’t go.”

“You can’t or you wont?” Ron asked. Danny came gliding into the room on his new broom.

“It’s awesome!” Danny yelled in happiness.

“I’m glad you like it.” Ron said helping him off the broom. “Go get your shoes and coat on.”

“Where are we going?”

“We’re going to visit your dad.”

“Oh.” Danny said bowing his head and then looked up at Hermione. “We’re going to daddy’s grave?”

“Yeah baby.” Hermione said kneeling in front of him. “I think it’s time we went again.”

“Okay, I’ll get my coat.” Danny said before leaving the kitchen. He came back a few minutes later with his coat zipped up and his shoes untied. Hermione kneeled down again and tied his shoes for him. They didn’t say a word but silently agreed on leaving the house. She drove them to the graveyard and found his stone. Hermione magically had flowers appear in her hand and then sat them in front of his gravestone.

“Hey Harry.” Hermione said sitting down. “I miss you.” There was silence before she said anything else. “Danny came to see you.” He came forward and sat in her lap. “He looks like you more and more each day.” She started to cry.

“Come on Danny.” Ron said from behind. “Lets leave your mom some time alone.” Danny nodded and got up. He didn’t leave without giving her a hug first. “We’ll wait for you in the car.”

“Thanks.” Hermione said. She didn’t say anything until she was sure they were far enough away. “Why’d you have to go? You weren’t supposed to die.” She cried into her hands. “I wish you could have met your son. He’s like you in every way and he needs a father. He needs you.” She quickly wiped the tears from her eyes and stood up. “I love you.” She kissed her hand and then touched his gravestone. “I’ll see you later.”

She had a nightmare that night. Harry walked into the house and up to her room. Hermione thought she woke up but in truth she was still dreaming. “Harry?” Hermione called from her bed. “That can’t be you. You died.”

“I came back for you.” He said coming closer. “To kill you!” He shouted and she immediately woke up.

“Mommy?” Danny asked from the door. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah baby, I’m okay. What are you doing up? It’s late.”

“You were making noises. We’re you having a bad dream?”

“Yeah, I guess I was. Come here.” Hermione said holding out her arms. Danny jumped onto the bed and hugged her.

“Can I sleep with you?” He asked.

“Of course.” She smiled. The next night she was having the same nightmare until she woke up hearing someone walk in her front door. She wrapped a robe around herself and crept out of her room. She heard voices coming from downstairs.

“I couldn’t wait to see her.” Someone said. “It’s been too long.”

“I know. But I think it would be better if you saw her in the morning.” A voice that sounded like Ron said. “She might be freaked out. I was.”

“I can’t wait. I have to see her.” Hermione turned on the lights and the boys froze.

“Who’s there?” Hermione called out.

“Hermione, it’s Ron.” Ron said as Hermione came out from the stairs. “Put your wand down.” He laughed. She didn’t do so and kept it pointed at the hooded figure.

“Who’s that?” She asked as she got off the stairs. The man’s hood fell down revealing a raven black haired man with glasses. “Harry?” She whispered.

“Yeah.” He said stepping into the light.

“It’s not possible.” She shook her head and backed away. “You…you died. I saw your body.”

“We all thought he had died.” Ron said. “Madam Pomfrey couldn’t find a pulse or a heart beat. But in truth, they were all shallow. Dumbledore took him in and helped him regain his strength.”

“And no one told me?” Hermione asked as tears formed in her eyes. “After his funeral, after months of me crying over him, after 4 years, no one decided to tell me?”

“I didn’t even know until last night.” Ron said.

“Does he know?” Hermione asked.

“Know what?” Ron asked.

“About my son.” Ron looked back at Harry who by the looks of it had no idea he had a son.

“Mommy!” Danny called from upstairs. “What’s going on?” He came into view and ran downstairs.

“Your uncle just stopped by for a midnight chat.” She said quietly.

“Uncle Ron!” Danny said leaping forward and giving him a hug.

“Danny.” Hermione said kneeling in front of him. “This is your dad.” Danny looked around Ron and at the strange man.

“But daddy’s dead.” He said.

“That’s what I thought too, honey.” Hermione said and then she stood up. “Harry, meet your son.”

“Daddy!” Danny shouted as he caught a glimpse of Harry’s face. Harry lifted Danny up and hugged him. Tears started falling from her eyes.

“I think I should get going to leave you guys alone to talk.” Ron said. “Bye Danny.”

“Bye Uncle.” Danny said waving as Ron took the floo back.

“Umm, would you like some tea?” Hermione choked out.

“Sure.” Harry said nodding and they walked into the kitchen.

“Danny, I think you need to go back off to bed.” Hermione said.

“But mum…” He whined.

“No buts. It’s nearly midnight and I don’t want you being tired in the morning. So off to bed you go.”

“Is daddy going to be here in the morning?” Danny asked. Hermione looked at Harry and he nodded.

“Of course he is.” Hermione said. “Now give him a hug and a kiss and say goodnight.”

“Night daddy.” He said hugging him and then kissed him on the cheek.

“Night.” Harry said smiling and watched him leave the kitchen. “How old is he?” He asked.

“He turns 5 next week.” Hermione said.

“I’ve been gone that long?” He shook his head in disbelief. “If I knew…”

“It’s okay. I just thought that someone would have told me; so that I could have seen you, so you could have seen your son.”

“But I’m here now and I’m not going anywhere.” He got up and walked over to her. She started crying. “Shh, it’s okay.”

“I cried every night.” Hermione said as he hugged her. “Danny was the only thing that kept me going because I saw you in him. His hair, his eyes, his stubbornness and the knack for getting in trouble.”

“How come you never told me you were pregnant?” He asked.

“I didn’t know until I got to the Hospital Wing the day of the war. Madam Pomfrey could tell.”

“I’m sorry I wasn’t there.”

“It’s not your fault.” Hermione smiled and looked up at him. “I’m just glad you’re here now.”

“So am I.” He smiled back. “Come on, it’s late and you look tired.” He grabbed her hand and led her to the bedroom. When they reached the door he stopped her. “You never opened it?” He asked rubbing her left hand.

“No.” Hermione said shaking her head. “You told me to open it when you got back.”

“Hermione.” He smiled and rubbed her cheek. “Where is it?”

“It’s in here.” Hermione said walking with him to her bedside table. She opened the top drawer and took out the small box. “I thought about opening but I couldn’t.”

“It’s okay.” He nodded and smiled. “Sit down.” He instructed. She sat down on the bed and then he got on one knee.

“Harry.” She said lightly.

“Hermione, I’ve loved you from the moment I saw you and I’ve waited long enough to give you this. Will you marry me?” Harry asked opening the box and revealing a square cut diamond.

“Yes.” She smiled and cried at the same time. He placed the ring on her finger and kissed her lightly. “I love you.” She said hugging him. “And I missed you.” She closed her eyes and roamed her right hand in his hair and smelled his scent in.

“I love you too.” He said.

‘Please, don’t let this moment end.’ Hermione said to herself as they slipped into bed. She woke up the next morning in Harry’s arms and couldn’t stop smiling. ‘Thank you.’ She said and went back to sleep.

*
I hope you like, I'm trying to work out a plot for the next sequel, but I'm not sure it'll work. We'll see and keep looking back for new stories. I'm hoping to have a new story out within the next couple of months.

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