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Fickled teenagers, you can't figure out what they want (no offense to those of you in your teens. You'll understand that statement someday soon, I promise!) Anyways....Thanks for all the reviews.....This has been by far my favorite chapter to write so far.....So read and let me know what you think...... Read and Review.... nothing is my own. *************************************************** Chapter eleven: And the Truth Will Set You Free The thought of the sun glowing behind Pavarti Patril’s frame danced in the mind of the boy who lived. Her sweet voice ringing though his thought like the cries of a siren. Why was he dancing on a cloud, why couldn’t he get her out of his mind? “Earth to Mr. Potter?” Madame Hooch said annoying waving her hand in front of his dazed eyes. Harry turned a bright shade of pink, “sorry Madame Hooch.” “I hope you were planning out a strategic Quidditch plan for your sake,” she spat before continuing with her meeting. The captain’s meeting were by far the worst part about quidditch, although this was the first one Harry had attended, he had already decided he could do without them. “Please leave a copy of your roster with me before you leave, and pick up a copy of the game schedule. I will notify you of what practice times you will be given when I take a look at your request. Know that Gryffindor does get first pick being that they are our school Quidditch champions.” Madame Hooch said in her strict monotone voice. Harry looked around at his fellow captains. There was Zacharias Smith from Hufflepuff, a funny looking seventh year girl named Rosy Rodchester from Slytherin. This struck him as odd since he had never seen a girl on the Slytherin team before. And finally Cho, who was the Ravenclaw team captain. Everyone started to gather their notes apparently Madame Hooch had dismissed the meeting when Harry was scanning the room. Harry followed everyone else’s lead gathered his things, trying to give off the perception he knew what he was doing. He walked up to the front table and gather his copy of the game schedule and left a copy of the new Gryffindor team roster. “Hi Harry,” Cho said as she appeared next to him to gather her game schedule and deliver her team roster. Harry forced a smile, “hello.” “I’m really excited about this weekend,” Cho said shyly. “What is this weekend?” Harry asked not realizing how stupid he would soon be feeling. Cho smiled and let out a light laugh, “the Hogmeade trip silly.” Harry suddenly lost control of his tongue, “itsthisweekend!” “Are you okay?” Cho asked, her smiled suddenly fading. “Yes, fine,” Harry said suddenly, “I just completely forgot about the Hogmeade trip being this upcoming weekend.” Cho suddenly went slightly pale, “do you still want to go together?” “This is your chance to get out of it,” Harry thought but he couldn’t do it. Harry nodded as he smiled, realizing he didn’t have the heart to disappoint her. “I just know we’re going to have such a good time. I promise, no more coffee shops,” Cho made a cross across her chest. Harry cringed at the drugged up memory of his last trip to Hogmeade with Cho. “Where do you want to meet?” Harry asked knowing she’d be expecting that question. Cho shrugged and blushed slightly, “I guess at the front doors around nine?” Harry nodded and bit her goodbye as he walked back to the Gryffindor common room. “You could have cancelled, she was giving you a way out,” a small voice in Harry’s head badgered. “You don’t even like her, why play with her emotions?” He muttered the password feeling absolutely miserable. Why did he have to be such a nice guy? Why did he worry about what people would think of him if he cancelled his date with Cho or asked Pavarti out. Harry didn’t have to answer those questions, he already knew the answer. It wasn’t he wanted to be nice to Cho, or if he even cared what people would say if he cancelled. As long as Harry was going with to Hogmeade with Cho, he had an excuse not to act on his emotions towards Pavarti. His fate had been tainted by a terrible prophecy, the curse of his life. It would be wrong to let someone get close to him, only to be doomed to die. He already had enough baggage on his shoulders with the fears of something happening to Lupin, Hermione, or any of the Weasleys. He knew if Voldemort went after any of his friends it would be his fault. He could almost see the evil grin on Voldemort’s face if he found out Harry had a girlfriend. No, he wasn’t normal, and he couldn’t pretend he was. There were certain sacrifices he had to live with. Harry turned his eyes as Pavarti smiled at him as he passed her on his way to the boys dormitory’s stairs, he had to forget about her. She deserved a better life than the one Harry was going to have to live. The week went by quickly, and other than Divination, Harry was pretty much able to avoid Pavarti. She acted like nothing had happened between them, and Harry was thankful that the tension wasn’t dominate in their conversations. In fact he was extremely satisfied with the way his week had gone until the morning of the Hogmeade trip. He rolled out of bed with a terrible numbness in the pit of his stomach, he honestly didn’t want to go to Hogmeade with anyone. It was the first trip since Sirius death, and he would prefer to spend the day wandering around the streets, maybe by the shrieking shack and even up the hill to Sirius’s old hideout cave with his memories. Instead he was forced to face another doomed date with Cho Chang. Harry had already decided he was going to tell her the truth, well partially, during their date. He didn’t want to lead her on if he didn’t have feeling for her. She had been though enough heartache to last a lifetime. Harry watched feeling very annoyed as Ron and Hermione spoke to each other using nothing but facial features. “What are you guys planning on doing today without me in Hogmeade?” He felt kind of proud of himself for putting them on the spot like he did. “Nothing,” Ron said instantly eyeing Hermione for help. Hermione nodded, “we’re not even going to Hogmeade, we have some uh, research to do today.” “For what?” Harry questioned, shocked they were giving up one of their Hogmeade days. “Nothing important, Ron needs help in transfiguration,” Hermione said with a light sigh, a signal she was lying. Harry shook his head and rolled his eyes, “whatever.” Ron started to say something but was stopped when Hermione nudged him in the side. “Listen, I’ve got to go meet Cho. I’ll see you guys tonight?” Harry said leaving the table feeling very annoyed. He exited the Great Hall and ran smack into Ginny and Dean, “hey guys.” “Where are Ron and Hermione?” Dean asked, knowing they normally went together as a trio. “There not going,” Harry said shortly. Dean smiled, “your welcome to hang out with me and Ginny today.” “I can’t, I already have plans to go with someone else,” Harry said in the same short tone. “Who?” Dean asked eagerly. Harry eyed Ginny wearily, “ask Ginny.” Cho was standing in line near the gamekeeper Mr. Filtch, “Harry!” “Hello,” Harry greeted forcefully. Cho grabbed his hand and tugged him into line next to her, “come on, we need to hurry.” “What’s the rush?” Harry asked a bit confused. “Didn’t you read the announcement?” Cho asked shocked Harry wasn’t as excited as her. Harry lowered his head slightly, “I’ve got to start reading the message board more often.” “Harry, it is the annual Hogmeade autumn festival, that is why the trip is so early this year.” “Oh,” Harry tried to sound excited, although he wasn’t quite sure why he felt the need to. Cho drug him excitingly though the grounds and into the streets. Other than the paper decorations and a few banners it looked as solemn as Harry remembered it. “Come on, these festivals are so much fun. My parents use to bring me when I was younger. Before I came to Hogwarts,” Cho said excitingly. Her dark eyes beamed like a kid at Christmas as she pulled Harry to various street vendors who were selling magic potions and strange charms. Harry couldn’t remember ever seeing the streets of Hogmeade so crowded. “Oh, look a protective crystal. My mother had one of these she wears around her neck to keep away evil spirits,” Cho said staring at a small clear rock in her hand. “Evil spirits?” Harry said, laughing lightly at Cho statement. “Well, my family is Chinese,” Cho said turning slightly pink. Harry picked up a pointy black hat and placed it on his head. Cho let out a loud burst of laughter when she turned and saw him, and Harry nudged her flirtingly and threw an identical hat on her head. “We’ll take them,” he said to the vendor, throwing a few sickles at him to pay for the goofy looking hats. Cho was still laughing, “we look like Professor McGonagall.” Harry smiled, she was so pretty when she was laughing. Cho grabbed Harry’s hand yet again and starting pulling him towards a smoking display in the middle of town. “They use to burn witches you know, muggles did,” Cho said motioning to the billowing fire with a person tied to a stake in the middle of it. Harry stared horrified, at the sight of the screaming figure. “Oh don’t worry Harry, it’s just an act. It doesn’t hurt a bit, kind of tickles actually,” Cho laughed at his expression. Suddenly Harry remembered Hermione saying something about witch burning during one of her magical history lectures, “I know, it just looked aweful painful.” Cho pulled Harry’s arm close to her and laid her head on his shoulder, “your so silly.” Harry smiled a her and pulled her hat over her eyes, “you’re the silly one if you ask me.” It was so nice to be away from Hogwart and his friends. For a brief moment he felt normal and the woes of his life seemed like a distant bad dream. He was actually having a good time, with Cho! “Hey Harry!” Semeaus waved as he ran over towards them. “Great festival huh?” “Yes, it’s marvelous,” he said noticing Cho going red next to him. “Where is Lavender?” “Oh, her and Pavarti are purchasing a crystal ball for Professor Trelawney. Well, I’ve better get going,” Semeaus said happily as he ran back over to a Ravenclaw boy Harry recognized at Terry Boots.” Harry narrowed his eyes as he watched from a distant. Pavarti and Lavender returned a moment after Seamus. He felt his stomach grow uncomfortable as he saw Pavarti grab Terry’s arms. She shot Harry a pleasant wave and the group turned and disappeared into the crowd. “Harry, you okay?” Cho asked watching him closely. “I can’t believe she’s going out with him,” Harry said aloud, regretting it instantly. Cho bit her lip, “why is it such a big deal, Terry isn’t that bad of a guy.” “It isn’t,“ Harry lied trying not to think about Pavarti. He smiled at Cho and tried to figure out a way to change the subject. “So, how is quidditch going?” “Harry Potter, you like her, don’t you?” Cho accused, she was smarter than she sometimes appeared. “No,” Harry lied, “if I liked her, I would be here with her instead of you.” It sounded smooth to Harry, maybe had finally said the right thing. “Oh, you don’t want to be here with me?” “I didn’t say that. I wouldn’t have asked you if I didn’t want to be here with you Cho.” She looked at him skeptically, but nudged her hip into his and shook her head. “You sure are suave with your words sometimes Potter.” “What is that suppose to mean?” Harry said with a smile of relief. She grabbed his hand again and pulled him though the crowd towards the middle of town. Harry felt a lump in the upper region of his throat as he saw hundreds of couples dancing elegantly on an outdoor dance floor. Cho didn’t ask him if he wanted to dance, she merely pulled him onto the dance floor, and silenced his protest with a disdained look. She wasn’t as forceful as Pavarti was on the dance floor, she actually let him lead. Which was necessarily a good thing because he wasn’t quite sure what to do, but she didn’t protest or complain. Cho even laughed when Harry would step on her toes. “Your terrible Harry, who taught you how to dance?” Cho teased. Harry smiled back, stepping on her small foot once again, “sorry, I’m not a very graceful dancer.” “Obviously, you’re the definition of the term two left feet,” Cho jeered. Harry eyed her, “so you think you can do a better job of leading?” Cho tried to lead Harry’s hips to the music and finally let out a huff of frustration. She put her hand around his back and lowered him into a sloppy dip. “What was that!” Harry joked as she pulled him back up. “A dip,” she informed him, smirking slightly. Harry finally shook his head and lead her off the dance floor, “lets go get a drink at the Three Broom Sticks.” Cho nodded in agreement and let Harry lead her away from the crowds of the festival. The Three Broom Sticks was packed as usual, and Harry had to fight his way to the bar top to order the butterbeers. He paid for them and handed her one as they went to find a place to sit. Harry went white, in the corner sat Professor O’Riley and Remus Lupin. He placed a firm hand on Cho’s shoulder to slow her down, “let’s sit here.” “Harry that table is filthy,” she protested. “It will be fine,” Harry said smiling. She shrugged and took a seat at the cluttered table. Harry watched the two professors talking quietly. They seemed to be laughing about something or other and Remus was holding her hand across the table. Harry had never seen Remus look at someone the way he was looking at her. “Harry, who are you watching,” Cho said wearily. “No, don’t turn around,” Harry warned, making her stop halfway though her turn. Cho smile faded completely, “is it Pavarti?” “No,” Harry said instantly, disliking the jealous tone she was using with him. She watched him a few more moments, “this is ridiculous.” Before Harry could protest she snapped her head around in search on who Harry was so interested in, “oh, that is Professor Lupin and Professor O’Riley.” “I wonder what their talking about?” Harry asked watching them closely. Cho rolled her eyes, “their probably talking about the Defense class.” Harry shook his head, “no, she knows him, I saw a letter from him on her desk when I had detention.” “Maybe their in love,” Cho said in a sweet nonsense voice. Harry made an odd face, “honestly, what is it with girls and always assuming people are dating and in love.” Cho grabbed her chest in a mock hurt, “that’s low Potter.” Harry didn’t respond, but strained to hear what they were talking about. “You’ll never be able to hear them in here with all the noise,” Cho said laughing at Harry’s attempt. Harry bit his lip and sighed, “I’m just curious.” “Curiosity killed the cat,” Cho joked, but her face instantly fell. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said that.” Harry was a little confused why she thought he’d be offended by the comment. “Talking about death, killing,” Cho explained, the color fading from her face a bit. Harry instantly felt an emptiness inside him, “It’s okay.” Cho rose from her seat, “lets get some air, it’s awful stuffy in here.” Harry followed her back onto the crowed streets of Hogmeade, “you want to get away from all these people?” She nodded, happy he had read her thoughts. Harry grabbed her hand and let her towards the road that lead up to the Shrieking Shack. “Oh Harry, we can’t go up there. That place is haunted!” Cho exclaimed giving him a little resistance as he pulled her along. Harry smiled, “don’t be silly, it was never haunted. I promise.” “How do you know. Have you personally spoken with the ghosts that live here?” “Actually I have,” Harry replied. They walked around to the back of the old condemned looking house, and took a seat on a brittle looking set of stairs. “Oh, this place gives me the creeps,” Cho shuttered. Harry looked at the old house with fondness in his eyes, “I think this old place is amazing.” Cho pulled her robes tightly around her shoulder as a cool breeze sent a chill though her body. “Cho, there is something I need to tell you,” Harry started, knowing he had to tell her he didn’t like her in that way. Cho smiled, “I’ve had a wonderful time today Harry.” “So have I,” Harry said honestly. “You know, I felt really bad for going out with Michael last year,” Cho admitted. He felt the air in his lungs getting heavy, “you shouldn’t have. I mean things just didn’t work out between us.” She laughed to herself, “I was kind of a emotional mess last year. With the whole Cedric thing.” Harry watched her, it was the first time he had heard her mention Cedric’s name this year, and she wasn’t crying. “It isn’t easy losing someone you really care about, and you seem much better about it this year.” “There were just so many things left unresolved between me and Cedric. I guess I also felt a bit guilty for crushing on you last year too,” she turned bright red. “That’s what Hermione told me,” Harry admitted. Cho narrowed her eyes, “Hermione? Why are you bring her up now?” “Oh Cho, there was never anything between me and Hermione. I think she’s rather ugly,” Harry said remembering Hermione’s advice. Cho suddenly went into a fit of laughter, “did she tell you to tell me that?” Harry felt his face go a bit red, “maybe.” She grabbed his arm and pulled herself close to him, “I’m really going to miss you next year Harry.” “Huh?” “I’m a seventh year, I won’t be at Hogwarts next year,” Cho reminded him. He actually felt a bit down about her comment, true he didn’t like her in that way, but he didn’t want her to leave his life forever, or did he? Harry felt a quick pair of lips touch his cheek, “what was that for?” “For showing me such a nice time today,” she blushed. “Uh…geeze. I’m speechless,” Harry said lightly. Cho face suddenly turned towards his and she stared into his green eyes. She didn’t say a word as she moved her face slowly towards his. Like he was connect by an invisible string he felt his face moving towards hers as well. The noise from the town below had faded and it seemed time had stopped. He saw the freckles on the end of her nose start to blur, and he felt a warm sensation touching his lips. “AHHHHHH!!!!!!! DEMENTOR ATTACK!!!!” The two broke apart swiftly and snapped their head towards the intruding noise. “What the bloody hell what that?” Harry swore rising to his feet staring down at the village. Cho grabbed his arm and let out a soft whimper as a darkness seemed to fall over the town. “Dementors,” Harry muttered. “Here? What would Dementors be doing at Hogmeade?” Cho asked as she watched the sight below. “There looking for me,” Harry said darkly. Cho held Harry tightly in her arms, “oh Harry, don’t go down there. Hide up here. They’ll never know your up here.” “You can’t hide from them, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve already sensed me,” Harry said feeling a bit overwhelmed. Cho began to sob lightly, “no, I won’t let them get you.” Harry grabbed Cho hand tightly and approached a boarded window. He tried to tug at the board, by hand. “Surely we can find a better hiding place than this,” Cho said worriedly. “Trust me,” Harry grunted as he tugged, “forget it.” He pulled out his want, “Accio board.” The board flew off the window and Harry and to duck to keep it from smacking him square in the face. “Come on,” Harry urged giving her a boost though the opening. He pulled himself up behind her, and felt a searing memory penetrate his mind. This was the room he had learned the truth about his parent’s murder. This was the room that Sirius’s Black had truly become one of the most important people of his life. “Oh Harry,” Cho cried looking around the room in complete terror. “This way,” he motioned leading her to the passage way that lead back to the Whomping Willow. She let out faint whimpers of fear as they ducked though the small passage. “Not much further now,” Harry insisted. Cho nodded but was to afraid to actually speak. When they reached the end of the passage a look of absolute relief spread over her face. “How did you know about that passage?” she asked a bit shocked. Harry shook his head, “it’s a long story.” Cho face went pale and she lifted her hand and pointed a finger to something behind Harry. He didn’t need to hear her say what it was, he gripped his wand tightly and flung himself around to face his worst fear.

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