He sat up in his bed, panting and sweating very profusely. Harry grabbed his glasses and rubbed his temple. 'What does Voldemort want? Is that the same girl as before?' Extremely confused, Harry got out of bed and sat on the window seat that overlooked the lake. The sun was just beginning to rise, and cast a pinkish glow over the glass-like water. He leaned his head against the cool window pane. 'Now I REALLY need someone to share my thoughts with' he thought. Ron was too oblivious, Hermione was overly caring, but Ginny.... She had changed over the summer. In a good way, too. The odd feelings that he was starting having for her were making sense now. She was beautiful, smart, funny, and a great Quidditch player. How could he not like her? 'Too bad she's still with Dean.' A voice in his head said to him. 'She probably isn't even interested in me anymore.' Harry brought his head away from the window when a loud grunt that sounded very much like Uncle Vernon's came from behind him. He saw Ron fall out of his bed and land flat on his face with his blankets and pillows coming down with him. Harry rolled his eyes and silently laughed to himself at Ron's still sleeping form. Ron could fall asleep on a rock and never notice. Suddenly, a movement outside the window caught his attention. Harry squinted his eyes to see a lone figure running along the grounds towards the forbbiden forest. Curious, he went to his trunk and pulled out the Marauder's Map. "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good." The many lines and figures that made up the map suddenly appeared. He scanned the grounds part of the map quickly, looking for a living form. He saw Hagrid, Fang, and C.P.? Harry's head shot up as he grabbed his invisiblity cloak from his trunk and his wand from his nightstand before dashing out the door. As he ran, Harry struggled to put on his cloak. He ran the whole way down to the entrance hall, keeping a close lookout for teachers. When he was out on the grounds, Harry checked the map again to see where she was. He also noticed another figure moving in and out of the boundries of the map. He followed the map into the forrest until he became so deep in it that the sunlight didn't shine in this part; and everything looked like a creature, ready to eat you. Up ahead of him, Harry heard muffled voices. As he came closer, he saw Cat talking quietly with a much taller figure. Her face was red, and she seemed very angry. The figure in front of her was dressed in all black, and was wearing a hood over its face. The figure's hand pulled back the hood to reveal the last person Harry would expect. He widened his eyes, and ran as fast as he could back towards the castle. When he was safe inside the enterance hall, Harry laid his head against the wall and closed his eyes. 'Why would the two of them be out there?' He didn't even realize why he even ran away from them. He should have stayed. It would have been good information to listen to. His eyes shot open as his invisiblity cloak was ripped off him by a girl crouching in front of him. "Why were you in the forrest?" Cat spat. "Are you incapable of keeping out of everyone's business?" "Why were you there?" Harry shot back, staring her straight in the eye. Seeming taken back, Cat stood up and said, "It's none of your business." "Yes it is." "If it was any of your business, you would know." "He's my friend! I want to know what he would be doing with a Slytherin like you!" Eyes burning with hate, Cat stormed off, giving him a very rude sign with her finger as she rounded the corner. Muttering angrily, Harry stomped all the way back up to the Gryffindor tower. When he came through the portrait hole, sitting on the couch in front of the fire was none other then Ginny, reading a book. Barely noticing her, Harry sat down next to her angrily. Looking up from her book, Ginny said teasingly, "What happened? Cat got your tongue?" "It's not funny, Ginny." Harry snapped, his temper flaring. A hurt expression came onto Ginny's face. Getting up she said, "Fine, whatever Harry. Just wanted to help." "Wait, Ginny. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to take out my anger on you." Sitting back down, much closer this time, Ginny asked, "So, what's bothering you?" Harry launched into the whole story of what had just happened, what he had heard in Dumbledore's office, and all the dreams he was having. When he finished, Ginny was silent for a moment. "So you've had to carry all that on your shoulders? I'm so sorry, Harry." She put her arms around his neck and rested her head on his shoulder. "I'm happy that you finally decided to talk to someone." "Thanks, Ginny. I'm glad I did too." Ginny brought her head up from his shoulder and looked him in the eye. Harry's breath was caught in his throat as he looked into her chocolate-brown eyes. "Ginny, wouldyouliketogotohogsmeadewithme?" Harry asked in one breath. "Sorry, didn't catch that." Harry took a deep breath and asked again. "Would you like to go to Hogsmeade with me?" A smile lit up Ginny's face. "I would love to." Surprised by her reaction, he couldn't help but ask, "Aren't you with Dean?" "No, we broke up during the summer. He told me that he liked someone else." She shrugged her shoulders as if to say that it didn't matter. "So, you really want to go to Hogsmeade with me?" Harry asked unbelievingly. "Yes, Harry I want to go to Hogsmeade with you." Ginny said laughing. He smiled back, it was one of the few moments in his life when he was truly happy. ************************************************************ The weeks that passed before the Hogsmeade visit, Harry became very nervous. He had already told Ron that he was taking Ginny to Hogsmeade, and Ron couldn't have been happier. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Harry!" Ron had yelled. "I'm happy you finally came to your senses to ask her out! Now, I want to know. Where are you taking her? What are you planning on doing?" "I haven't really planned anything. Whatever Ginny wants to do, I guess." "Good, because Hermione and I were just going to-" "Wait, you and Hermione? You asked her out?" "Yeah, yesterday. It kinda slipped out." Ron had said, grinning sheepishly, his face a dark scarlet color. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ He smiled slightly at the memory of Ron's face, and how embarassed he looked. Today was finally the day that they would be going to Hogsmeade, October 31st. Harry was both nervous and excited about his date with Ginny. They had agreed to meet in the Great Hall at the Gryffindor table. He was sitting there, waiting patiently with Ron for her and Hermione. Ron's leg was moving up and down in worry, his hands and face all sweaty. Harry was completely calm and was eating part of a muffin. "Hi guys." Standing in front of them was Hermione and Ginny. "Hi, Ginny, ready to go?" Harry asked standing up and giving her a light kiss on the cheek. "Yeah, coming Mione, Ron?" "Coming. Come on, Ron." Hermione took Ron's hand and pulled him up from his seat; which his butt seemed to be glued to. "You-you...l,loook...very..pretty Hermione." Ron stuttered staring at her as if in a trance. "Thanks, Ron. You don't look so bad yourself." She smiled at him, causing a large smile to come onto his face. The four friends walked down to Hogsmeade, the couples holding hands. Each were deep in their own conversations. Harry and Ginny were arguing about who the best teams were for the World Cup. "Look, Ginny, I know you like the Cannons, but they have no chance. It'll be the Arrows and either the Harpies or France. What? France is surprisingly good this year." "Oh, please Harry." Ginny sighed, waving her hand in front of her face. "The Arrows' keeper can't stop one quaffle, he's like how Ron was last year." She said pointing at Ron. "I heard that!" "Anyway, the Harpies are going to lose to China in the semi-finals, its going to be the the Cannons and Ireland." "What Ginny said!" "Oh, shut up Ron. Go kiss Hermione." Ginny and Harry said at the same time, they looked at each other and started to laugh. "That's not funny!" Ron yelled, his ears turning pink. "Come on, Hermione, we're leaving." He grabbed Hermione's hand, who was shaking with surpressed giggles, and drug her away towards Honeydukes. Harry and Ginny continued to laugh until they came up to the Three Broomsticks pub in Hogsmeade. "Want to go in?" Harry asked when they both had finally calmed down. "No thanks, lets walk around for awhile." He nodded and the two of them set off towards Honeydukes. After their money bags were considerbly lighter, their stomachs full of sweets, and their pockets full of new Zonkos merchandise, the couple made their way to the Shrieking Shack. Harry leaned against the fence that protected it and looked out at the vast mountains behind it. Ginny caught him looking and asked him, "Harry, you okay?" "Just thinking." "About?" "Everything that happened in there." "Oh. You want to talk about it?" "Well, well, well, look who we have here." A cold drawling voice came from behind them. Harry spun around to see Malfoy, Crabbe, Goyle, and Cat standing in a large pile of dead leaves. "What do you want?" Harry asked impatiently. "To see what you and your pathetic girlfriend were doing." Cat sneered. "Sorry Potter, Padfoot and Prongs aren't here anymore." Angry, Harry drew his wand and pointed it at her face. "Watch your mouth Parker." Cat simply looked down at his wand without interest; a bored expression on her face. She stepped closer to him, a small smile on her face. "What are you going to do, Potter? Levitate me?" Malfoy and his croonies started laughing hysterically. "Stupfey." Harry yelled. The spell coming straight at Cat, she simply stuck out her hand, the spell hitting it, bouncing off the hitting Goyle in the chest. She had a calm expression on her face, as if she reflected magic off her hand everyday. "Come on, Harry. Lets get out of here." Ginny whispered. She took his hand, and together, they walked away from the Slytherins. ******************************** "How can she do that?" Harry asked unbelievingly when they were sitting at a table in the back of the Three Broomsticks. "Do what?" Hermione asked curiously. Her and Ron had met up with Harry and Ginny outside. "I'll tell her. Harry and me were at the Shrieking Shack, when Malfoy, Crabbe, Goyle, and Cat came. Harry and her started fighting, and then he sent the stunning spell at her, when she lifted up her hand, the spell hit it, bounced off, and hit Goyle in the chest." "Who hit Goyle in the chest?" Ron asked, coming back to the table with four mugs of butterbeer. "Cat." Harry answered. "She's in Slytherin though." "I'll tell you Ron." Hermione said, telling the story to Ron who seemed mildly interested in it until the part came when Goyle got hit with the spell. "She hit him in the chest! That's great!" "That's not the point, Ron." Hermione rolled her eyes at him and flicked his ear. "The point is that Cat can do something odd with her hands." "So she can magic with her hands. Doesn't matter." Ron shrugged his shoulders, taking a deep gulp of his butterbeer. "But Ron, we can't really even do it. Sometimes, though. Only very advanced wizards and witches can do magic with their hands when they want to. And she's younger than us." "She's a genius though, Hermione." Harry said. "How do you know that?" Harry told the story of what he heard in Dumbledore's office the night that he had the nightmare. "How come you didn't tell us before?" Ron asked, a little offended. "I told Ginny a couple of weeks ago, but I guess it just slipped my mind." "We're your best friends-" Ron protested. "And Ginny is his girlfriend." Hermione finished for him. "You would tell me something before you told Harry, right Ron?" "Um," Hermione rolled her eyes and the whole table started laughing. After more jokes exchanged (mostly about Ron), the two couples made their way back up to the castle for the Halloween feast. They made their way to the Great Hall just as the feast was beginning to start. The hall was decorated with the usual bats fluttering about, and the jack-o-lanterns taking the place of the levatating candles. Immediatly, Ron dug in to the bowls of cupcakes and the candy apples. Harry had started eating a large piece of chocolate cake, while Hermione and Ginny had started on the carrot cake. The only talk that went on between the students that night was about their days at Hogsmeade. The feast seemed to be only filled with mindless chatter and sugary food; little did everyone know, that a dark cloud was about to come to rest on Hogwarts. ************************************ After the feast, when the Gryffindors were making their way up to their dormitories, something stopped them in their path. When Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny arrived, the onlookers had grown to Ravenclaws and some Hufflepuffs. Harry pushed his way through the crowd until he came to the front. There, in front of the portrait of the Fat Lady, was a young Gryffindor first year hanging by his neck from a rope suspened in the air by magic. Behind him, in words written in what looked like blood was: MUDBLOODS UNWANTED, LEAVE NOW. Harry heard Hermione gasp from behind him and he turned around to see Ron holding her while she sobbed. "Move! The headmaster's here! MOVE!" Filch shouted as the students parted to make a pathway for Dumbledore to walk through. He took one look at the hanging student before shouting, "All students other than Gryffindors, go back to your house towers! Ms. Minigione." Dumbledore addressed a tall, second year girl with long and bushy hair. "Go get Madame Pomfrey immediatly." The girl nodded before running off towards the hospital wing. "Gryffindors, go into your common rooms." Dumbledore ushered the Gryffindors into the common room before walking quickly towards his office. "Who could have done this?" Harry asked Ron, Hermione, and Ginny as they sat in their favorite seats by the fire. "No idea. Probably a Slytherin, though." Ron said angrily. "Don't be daft, Ron. Even a Slytherin wouldn't go that far." Ginny replied. "Oh, I don't know. What about that new girl? Dog, or whatever her name is." "Cat." "Who cares! Anyway, she seems like a dirty rotten snitch to me. I mean, stunning people in her own house, reading minds, mysterious meetings in the forrest, doing magic with her hands. She seems to be up to something." Harry had to agree with Ron, she was weird, and who knew what she was capable of doing?
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