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Chapter Three: Hogwarts Again


It was a few days later, and Harry was finally starting to get over his grief from the funeral. Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny were sitting at the table one morning, when Hermione noticed four dark dots out the window; they were steadily coming closer.

“Look!” Hermione said, pointing, “I think they’re owls.”

Ron frowned. “Don’t we normally get our Hogwarts letters about now?” Hermione paid no attention to his remark, and hurried to open the window. Sure enough, the four handsome screech owls swooped in and landed on the counter, one sending a dish spinning.

Hermione had the letters off the owl’s legs in a flash. “There’s one for me…and for Harry…There’s one for each of us!”

Harry took his letter quickly and scanned the front, which bore the Hogwarts coat of arms. Was he going to be allowed back, one last time?
Ripping open the envelope, Harry started to read.

Dear Mr. Potter,

Under these unusual circumstances, the school will be permitting yourself, Mr. Weasley and Ms. Granger to take your NEWTs along with your other classmates who did not complete theirs last year. All of the sixth year classes of this year will do half of the sixth year curriculum and half of the seventh year, so they will be prepared to take their NEWTs at the same time as you. As a result, you will only be at Hogwarts half days, and will take classes with the sixth years as well as your year. We unfortunately do not have space for your year to board at Hogwarts, so we suggest perhaps finding living arrangements in Hogsmeade. We wish for you to arrive at the castle the morning of September the second, where you will receive your schedules.


Attached is your booklist.

Sincerely,
Deputy Headmaster F Flitwick


“They’re taking us back! They’re letting us get our NEWTs!” Hermione screamed, grabbing Ron and jumping up and down.

“Blimey, Hermione,” Ron said, pushing her into a chair, “It’s just school.”

“I know, but I…I,” Her eyes widened, “We have so much to do! We have to get jobs, I have to visit my parents, and we have to buy books…”

Ginny was laughing, but she suddenly stopped as something fell out of her letter. She screamed as loud as Hermione had.

“I’m Quidditch Captain!” She yelled, jumping on Harry. Harry was about to say his congratulations, but she wrapped her legs and arms around him, and kissed his mouth, over and over again. Harry had to lean against a wall to support them both.

“Sorry,” Harry said to Ron and Hermione weakly, “and congrats, Gin,” Harry said, as Ginny kissed his neck, “When are you going to visit your parents, Hermione?” Harry asked, trying to push Ginny back into her chair. Ron was looking out the window and whistling.

“Well I was actually planning on leaving today to find them, un-obliviate them and then spend a few days with them. But now we have so much to do…”

“We’ll take care of your books, Hermione,” Ginny said, letting go of Harry and standing up, “Go spend some time with your parents.”

Hermione let out a rush of air. “Thanks. It’s just…I never get to see them, and I know they miss me.”

“No problem.” Ginny said, smiling, “Now Harry and I have something we need to work on right now.”

Hermione and Ron raised their eyebrows.

“I mean…I’m just helping him with something.” Ginny continued, “Oh come off of it, you two. C’mon, Harry.”

***

Needing help, and having no one to turn to, Harry had asked Ginny to help him with something he was working on. He was planning to surprise Hermione and Ron with a flat for the three of them to share. He had already picked it out; it was a relatively small one with two bedrooms, a bathroom and a kitchen/living room. Harry had wanted his own bedroom – his thoughts had created some wild fantasy involving Ginny and him in the middle of the night, without Ron or Mr and Mrs. Weasley to interrupt them. But this flat had been the best choice, and so Harry accepted he’d have to share a room with Ron.

Now the next step was to go visit the flat itself. Harry had already written to the landlord using Pig, (He had yet to find himself emotionally prepared to replace Hedwig,) and had an appointment to see the flat today. He was taking Ginny with him because he didn’t really want to go alone.

“So how are we getting there?” Ginny asked, once the door to her bedroom was closed and locked.

“I thought I could side-along apparate you. It’ll probably be easier than flooing.” Harry suggested. Ginny nodded.

“Okay. I told my parents we wouldn’t be here when they get back from that Ministry picnic. I was vague though, so no one knows where we’re going exactly.”

“Good. Shall we, then?” Harry asked. Ginny bit her lip.

“I hate apparating…I’ve only done it twice…”

“Take my arm,” he coached, and she obeyed, “And let me do the rest.”

Everything went black and tight.

***

Ginny looked positively shaken after her journey. “That was…horrible…” she said making a face. Harry laughed.

“You get used to it. The building is this way.” Harry said, and he wrapped his arm around her waist, and kissed her cheek. They walked casually along the road, passing other witches and wizards who were relishing in the warm summer sun. Finally, they turned along a side road called ‘Hengist Way.’

“234…”Harry read, “236…238…240. There it is, Gin.” Harry said, pointing at a medium sized, three-story building with brown bricks and small windows. There were daisies planted outside beside the hedges, and a small black wood sign with the address written on it was attached to the wall beside the door.

“Harry, it’s perfect!” Ginny said, looking at him with a smile. He smiled back modestly.

“It’s okay. And you haven’t even seen the inside.”

“I still think it looks very roomy,” Ginny grinned at him, “Let’s go in.”

The front room matched the style of the buildings outside. There was a large wooden staircase leading to the upper floors, and a door leading off to the flat where the Landlord lived. There were some chairs in the back arranged around a small fireplace.

Ginny was looking all around, taking everything in as she and Harry walked across the front room.

“He said to knock on his door when I arrived.” Harry said, pointing at the small door off to the side with “Landlord” engraved on it.

Ginny nodded and the two walked over to knock on the door. A middle aged wizard with greying hair and a moustache answered the door.
“Hello!” he said when he saw them, “You must be Mr. Potter! I’m so pleased to finally thank the man who rid us of the Dark Lord at last.” The landlord grabbed Harry’s hand and pumped it up and down enthusiastically.

“And who is this young lady? Your betrothed, I suppose?” the landlord asked when he saw Ginny. Neither of them bothered to correct him, and Ginny held out a hand.

“Ginny Weasley. Nice to meet you, Mr…?”

“Mr. Cole pleased to meet you as well. Are you and Mr. Potter buying this flat for yourselves?”

“No,” Harry said, “For my two friends and me.” Mr. Crawford nodded.

“I see. So I suppose you’d like to see –“Mr. Cole stopped abruptly when he was interrupted by a young blonde witch who came up behind him.

“Father, may I…oh, are these the new tenants?” Harry felt his breath whoosh out of him as got a good look at the witch. She was tall, and looked a little older than Harry. She wearing well-fitted purple robes, and her long blonde hair was left down. Long eyelashes framed her light brown eyes. Harry was instantly aware that Ginny was glaring at him, and he quickly looked away from the stunning witch.

“Armida Cole. And you must be Harry Potter! I’ve heard so much about you.” Armida shook Harry’s hand. Her hand was cool and soft against his.

“Thanks.” Harry said, trying to look anywhere else but her face, and settling on a potted plant behind her.

“And who is this? Your fiancée?”

“Girlfriend.” Harry said quickly. Ginny scowled and shook Armida’s hand stiffly.

“Nice to meet you too.” Armida said, but she didn’t seem nearly as interested in Ginny as she was in Harry.

“Armida, why don’t you show them around the flat? I’m doing some paperwork right now, and you know your way around.” Mr. Cole said, heading back into his flat.

“Sure, Dad.” Armida said, smiling, “This way.”

If looks could kill, Ginny had just cast Avada Kedavra. She followed next to Harry, arms crossed, glaring.

Harry had a feeling this was going to be a long tour.

{A/N} YAY Chapter three :) I've actually finished this story now and headed on to the next part (it'll be in three, if you're wondering) and all in all I'm quite pleased with it. I'll keep posting as fast as the chapters can be validated, as long as you guys keep reading ;) Don't forget to review!

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