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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.

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