Sorry this chapter took ages to post. Anyway on with the story! Please Review :)
Harry was woken by the sun early in the morning. He put on his glasses and stared at the dust particles drifting in the air glowing golden from the early morning sun. He was happy, of course, but he still had Voldemort and his Horcruxes on his mind and school seemed sort of trivial and unimportant. He also had his NEWT results to worry about. After what felt like ages he heard the other members of his dorm beginning to stir. Knowing that it was time to get up he took his uniform from his trunk, went into the bathroom and changed. He went into the common room and was surprised to see that Hermione was in there. She was sitting on a sofa with her legs curled up under her and was leaning against the arm of the sofa. She looked as if she had been sitting there a while as she was staring out the window without really seeing anything and was already in her uniform with her hair brushed which made Harry wonder what time she had gotten up. She wasn’t reading which was surprising to him but he didn’t want to ask her and disrupt her thoughts.
He quietly walked over and sat down next to her. His weight made the sofa cushion drop slightly. Hermione jumped violently out of her thoughts as she looked round at him.
“I couldn’t sleep” she sighed when she saw that it was only Harry sitting next to her. Harry nodded in agreement but didn’t say anything. He could sense that Hermione wasn’t in the mood for conversation. The fire from the night before had gone out leaving the ashy remains in the grate which moved slightly in the gentle breeze that swirled down the chimney. After a few minutes of silence and them just sitting there Harry decided it was time to break the silence.
“Are you OK? He asked hurriedly, unsure of what her reaction would be. The last time he has seen her she had been running out of the Great Hall in tears. Slowly she turned her back from the window to look at him.
“I’m fine” she told him before turning back to the window. She didn’t sound angry but her tone told Harry not to contradict her. He didn’t feel like trying to get her to talk again so they just sat there is silence as the sun continued to rise.
The silence was finally broken when Ron ran down the spiral staircase that led to the dormitories. He looked slightly flustered as he almost fell down the last few steps before looking up at Harry crossly, which confused him as he hadn’t done anything wrong to Ron. Not that he could think of anyway.
“What are you doing down here?” Ron asked Harry angrily.
“Woke up early” he replied simply still slightly confused by Ron’s sudden anger.
“What’s got you so upset?” he asked, when Ron didn’t move.
“I was worried!” Ron told him, sounding exasperated. Harry paused before bursting out into laughter making Hermione stare at him and Ron look hurt. “I’m sorry Ron” tried to say seriously when he had finally managed to calm himself enough to talk. “But just because you wake up and I’m missing doesn’t mean I’ve been kidnapped or anything”
“It’s ok mate” Ron sighed before turning and going back up to the dormitory again.
He and Hermione waited for Ron to go back and change into his robes and then the three of them set off to breakfast down the almost deserted corridors. When they got to the hall they realised that they were very early to breakfast and there was only a few people in the hall. They hurried over to the Gryffindor table and sat down to eat their breakfast. Today’s breakfast was simple as it normally was on a school day but it was miles better than what he was allowed at the Dersley’s. Harry buttered some toast and ate it absentmindedly as he watched the twins from last night enter the hall. The boy was talking excitedly to his sister who was trying her hardest to ignore him. Harry turned back to his toast ant tried to hide his smirk by taking a bite of toast.
When they had finished their breakfast they had to wait at the table for Professor Mc Gonagall to hand out their new timetables. For the first few years it was simple because they all had the same lessons mainly but after OWLs everyone had different timetables so it took ages to fill them. By this time the hall had filled with chattering of the many students, many of whom still had a lot of catching up to do after the long summer. The hall was beginning to empty of the lower year students who had received their timetables and eaten their breakfast by the time Professor Mc Gonagall hurried over to them.
She took out a blank time table and laid it on the table before asking Harry what subjects he was taking. When he was halfway through remembering his subjects he was interrupted by a loud voice from behind them.
“WILL YOU SHUT UP!” came a loud and annoyed voice from behind them. Professor Mc Gonagall looked up angrily to see who had caused the disturbance as he and Ron turned to look at the unexpected noise. It was the twins again. The girl was standing and glaring at her brother who was looking murderously back at her. He opened his mouth to retort back to her and Harry didn’t know what would have happened if their older sibling hadn’t ran over.
“Annabel, what’s wrong with you?” she asked angrily to the girl, as she pulled her brother out of his seat so he was standing next to her. She walked back to the Hufflepuf table, taking the surprised little boy with her whilst Annabel glared at the both of them before grabbing her timetable and storming from the hall.
“What subjects are you taking again, Mr Potter?” asked Professor Mc Gonagall after a moments shocked silence. After he told her again she tapped the blank timetable and handed it to Harry, although it was no longer blank. After Ron’s and Hermione’s timetables had been given to them they set off back to the Gryffindor tower to collect their bags.
“ugh. Potions first with the Slytherins’” moaned Ron. “Hey, do you think Professor Slughorn will still be teaching or is Snape back” he asked Harry as they made their way to the tower.
“Dunno, but Voldemort has got Snape where he wants him so maybe the curse has been lifted and he can stay for more than one year” said Harry hopefully as Defence against the Dark Arts was much more bearable with Snape than potions was. This was probably because he was good at Defence against the Dark Arts so Snape couldn’t complain at him as much as in potions, which he was horrific at according to Snape.
When they got down to the dungeons they were relieved to find the large shadow of Professor Slughorn behind the smoke and steam. They were the first people to arrive so walked silently to the same desk they had sat at last year and got out their equipment.
“Hello Harry, m’ boy!” came Professor Slughorn’s jolly voice from behind the smoke making them all jump. Harry had had to let professor Slughorn ‘collect’ him last year in order to get a memory from him and now Harry was really beginning to regret it.
“Hello Professor” he half sighed, trying not to look annoyed at Slughorn. Eventually the rest of the class arrived in dribs and drabs. The class was the same as last year, not that Harry had expected any change. Harry glared at Draco Malfoy who had just strolled in followed by the other Slytherins. When Draco realised Harry was glaring at him he turned and gave Harry a royal wave whilst the Slytherins snorted with concealed laughter. When they were all in their seats Slughorn came out from behind the steam and welcomed all with a lecture about their NEWTs.
“Well class, I hope you have had a restful summer as this year you will be taking your N.E.W.T.s. They are important and will shape your life so try hard and the rest of your life will be made so much easier.”
Harry put his head on his hands and thought that Potions would not make his life any easier. His scar gave a small twitch, as if to remind him of the job that was at hand. He looked up when he realised that Slughorn had stopped speaking and was facing the store cupboard. Harry hurriedly looked at Hermione’s book and opened his to the same page. It was the polyjuice potion. He opened his potion making kit and began. It was easy to brew the potion as they had already brewed it in their second year and he cut, chopped and added the required ingredients whilst stirring in the necessary way.
By the end of the lesson everybody had got to the half way stage and were putting their attempts into named flasks so they could be left to simmer for the necessary month. Harry’s potion was a turquoise hinted Green not the “brilliant green” as said in the book. Ron’s was a mossy colour but it was better than Malfoy’s which was almost black in colour and very gloopy. He obviously couldn’t brew potions as well when Snape wasn’t in the room. Hermione’s potion was a perfect shade of green which caused Professor Slughorn to yell “Ten points to Gryffindor” when he had seen it.
They had been ordered to write a foot long essay on how the uses and problems for the polyjuice potion for their homework. Harry smiled in remembrance of the time Hermione had used cat hair and had accidently turned herself half feline for a week. She hadn’t found it nearly as funny as he and Ron had. Malfoy turned to Hermione and “Meow”ed at her when he thought Slughorn wasn’t looking but she raised her eyebrows and turned back to the front. Slughorn was confused by his behaviour but carried on with his explanation on their homework after a few seconds. When the bell rang Harry left the class thinking that somehow they would be getting even more homework than the year before.
Their next lesson was herbology so they walked to the green houses in the warm September sun to greenhouse three. They had been given an even longer lecture on N.E.W.T.s there and by the time Professor Sprout had finished talking there was no time to do the lessons work and so they couldn’t be set their homework, much to her annoyance. “It’s only the first day and I’m already behind schedule” she had murmured angrily to herself as the end of lesson bell went.
They set off down to lunch, happy that their homework had not been given out. The Great hall was filled with noisy students again when the three of the entered. The first fears were all chattering excitedly about their morning and some even had their wands out and were practising the Lumos spell which they must have been taught that morning. Only half or the group had managed the spell so far and the others were looking annoyed about their failure.
The trio ate lunch then Ron and Harry went out into the sunshine but Hermione rushed up the stairs off saying she needed to do something, leaving Ron and Harry staring after her.
They sat down on the grass near the lake and lay back in the warming light. After a few moments Ginny ran over and dropped down on the grass next to Harry, making him groan inwardly. Why couldn’t she understand that it was hard enough for him to stay away from her anyway and it was near imposable with her doing this?
“Where’s Hermione” she asked looking back towards the castle.
“She went to do something.” Said Ron as he attempted to shrug whilst lying with his hand behind his head, which failed
They spent the rest of their lunch break on the field before slowly made their way back to the castle when the bell rang. Hermione was not outside the Defence against the Dark Arts classroom when they got there. Ron wanted to wait for her so they stood outside the classroom whilst everyone else went in and took their seats. She came running up the corridor just as they were about to go into the classroom with a focused look in her eyes, as if she had just made her mind up about something. They took the last desk at the very back of the room and, for the third time that day, they were lectured about their N.E.W.T.s Harry was tired and was unlucky enough to yawn just as Snape turned to look at him.
“Am I boring you, Mr Potter?” he sneered.
“Well, can you please refrain from yawning in my class”
Draco Malfoy sniggered but Snape pretended not to notice.
The DADA was a double so there was plenty of time for the lesson afterwards. The term was starting with an advanced shield charm which could stop all spells apart from the killing curse. It could even protect the user from fiendfyre for a short amount of time. They divided into pairs to practice the spell and to Harry’s great annoyance he found himself paired with Draco Malfoy who spent his time trying to jinx Harry with the teeth growing curse which made Harry automatically use Portego to deflect the spell as he didn’t trust the new spell and didn’t want to end up looking like a beaver.
“Potter” barked Snape making Harry jump round. “Are you planning on using the correct spell for this lesson?”
Harry sighed and turned back to Draco. There was no point in arguing with Snape. It only ever got him a detention. He hurriedly cast a Jelly-legs jinx at Draco, hopefully stopping him from casting any more spells until it wore off. The boy wasn’t ready and was hit in the chest with the spell. He stumbled back and then fell to the ground as his legs turned to the consistency of jelly.
When their lesson ended Draco was only just beginning to regain the use of his legs and he stumbled to his desk to collect his things. Snape gave them another Essay to write, only this one was on the new spell they had learnt. Then they were dismissed and Snape swept from the room. The trio was about to leave when a small, dark haired girl walked over.
“So you’re Hermione?” she asked, looking up as the top of her head only just came past the top of Hermione’s shoulder
“Yes, and you must be Emily” she replied, nodding at the golden badge on the small girls robes.
“Everyone in Hufflepuf thought it would be you with the badge.” The small girl told them with a nod. “So did I” she added after a pause.
“Well it’s who got the badge that matters really. And now I really must be off” said Hermione calmly before rushing from the room, leaving Harry and Ron behind. Ron instantly ran after her.
“Um, Well done” said harry to the girl before he too ran from the room, leaving the girl standing alone and looking hurt.
Harry went straight to the Great Hall for dinner but neither Ron nor Hermione was there. He sat down next to Ginny who smiled at him.
“So captain, when is tryouts?” she asked
It took Harry a few moments to work out what she meant.
“Oh, I’d forgotten that I was captain.” Said Harry looking down at the badge pinned to his robes “How about in two Saturdays time?” he added after a moments thought.
“Yes, we will need to get as much practise as we can get!” she smiled and looked down at her plate.
“Did I hear you talking about Quidditch?” said Ron sitting down at the table and pilling his plat high, as usual.
“Yep, are you playing Keeper again?”
“Depends if you want me back, Captain”
“Depends if you are going to be our king again” smiled Harry looking up at Ron. It was then that he noticed that Hermione was not with Ron. He asked where she was but Ron just shrugged.
“She said that she was too busy to eat dinner”
When they had eaten they went to find Hermione. She was sitting at a desk in the crowded common room writing so quick that her hand was almost a blur.
“Are you ok?” Harry asked putting a hand on her shoulder.
She nodded but didn’t stop writing. Sensing that he would not get any answers from her he pulled out his books and sat down next to her to start his polyjuice potion essay. Ron sat down too and started his. Harry, having used polyjuice potion before found the task easy but it still took him a while to research its many risks other than the only for human transformation one. He finished his essay before Ron but he didn’t want to start his essay for Snape as he was tired. By this time the common room had emptied almost completely and there were only the fifth, sixth, and seventh year students left that were doing homework. He sat down by the fire and let his mind wander. It was warm and comfortable near the fire and he had soon fallen asleep, much to Ron’s amusement.
Harry woke up confused, he was lying on a sofa in the now silent common room. The fire had gone out and the room was cooler now. There was still litter on the floor which showed that the house elves hadn’t been to clean yet. He yawned and sat up. The room was empty apart from him and Hermione. She was sitting at a desk still scribbling away furiously. He looked at his watch and was shocked to see that it was nearly two in the morning.
“mm” she didn’t look round
“Are you going to bed soon?”
“In a bit” she still didn’t look up
Harry stood for a moment behind her wondering what to do. It didn’t seem right just to leave her there but he didn’t want to start an argument with her. Eventually he sighed and went up to his dormitory, wondering why Ron had not woken him when he had gone to bed. He put on his pyjamas quickly and got into bed, hoping to get a little more sleep before the morning.
When Harry woke in the morning he questioned Ron about why he had to woken him last night.
“I wanted to mate, but I had this argument with Hermione, she refused to go to bed and then she told me to leave her alone. I asked her if she was ok but she started yelling about not letting her study so I stormed into the dorm. It seemed weak to back to the common room even if it was to wake you” Ron told him looking serious for a change.
“Oh well that makes it all OK then, me spending a night on the sofa” replied Harry sarcastically.
They got changed and then waited in the common room for Hermione. The` y both tried calling up the stair as they already knew that trying to get up the stairs would turn it into a slide. Eventually Harry had to send a third year girl to see what was taking so long.
“She was asleep but I woke her up for you” said the girl as she ran off after her friends.
A few minutes later Hermione ran down the stairs two at a time. Her hair was more bushy than usual and she looked tired.
“Sorry for keeping you waiting, I overslept” she said sheepishly as she crossed the room with them.
They took their bags to breakfast as there would be no time to get them afterwards and hurried down their food before running up to transfiguration.
Mc Gonagall had the same idea as all the other teachers and started the lesson with a lecture on N.E.W.T.S and ended it with giving them homework. The spells they covered in the lesson were even harder than the ones they had studied year before and Hermione was the only one who managed it and even her attempt wasn’t perfect. After transfiguration they had double potions again.
When Harry entered the dungeon Slughorn walked up to him and Hermione.
“I was thinking of hosting another Slug Club dinner soon, Is the Sunday after next alright with you?”
Harry had to nod. There was no way for him to wiggle out of this one, he would just have to go and try to have a good time. Slughorn’s lesson was alright. They spent their time brewing an invisibility potion because their polyjuice potions wouldn’t be ready to continue for another month or so. Harry was pleased at the end of his lesson. His potion had done exactly what it was meant to and he couldn’t see the bottom of his cauldron. He scooped some up and put it in the flask that Slughorn had given him.
It was then that a caldron across the room exploded creating a fire and a large plume of purple smoke. Everyone near the exploding caldron had then panicked and ran across the room to get away from the smoke as nobody knew what it would do. Harry had then put down his flask of potion in the confused rush to get away from the smoke and fire. After the fire had been extinguished and the smoke considered safe Harry spent the next few minutes searching for his invisible flask. He then gave up and had to go ask Professor Slughorn for another flask who had chuckled merrily as he gave Harry the new flask. Harry filled the new flask and, being careful not to put it down, walked to the front of the room. He placed it on the sticker that Professor Slughorn had put his name on. As soon as his hand had let go of the flask it was impossible to see again again.
After lunch was Divination for Harry and Ron. Harry supposed that she was at ancient runes but he didn’t know as she had skipped lunch again. Divination was as boring as usual but thankfully his death had not been predicted.
Hermione was not at dinner either so Harry and Ron decided that they would have to ask her what was up.
They found her in the common room studying as usual but she became annoyed as soon as Harry asked her what was up.
“Nothing is wrong apart from you two won’t leave me alone!” she yelled as she stormed up into the dorm. Harry and Ron stared after her confused by her behaviour. Harry groaned inwardly and sank down onto a sofa. He took off his glasses and rubbed his forehead trying to think what was wrong. He was brought out of his thoughts by a slight thud and the feeling of being moved upwards slightly. He opened his eyes to see the blurred figure of the little boy sitting next to him.
“Hi” replied the boy. Did this boy sound constantly excited?
“Um, have you enjoyed Hogwarts so far?” Harry asked slowly. He really had no idea what to say to this child.
“Yea, it’s great. We have done all sorts of spells and I’ve never seen magic before because my parents are muggles and my sister always said that she couldn’t do magic out of school...” Harry left the boy rattling on and shut his eyes again.
“Sorry to interrupt but I’m going to bed” he said eventually as he stood up and went up the stairs, leaving the boy behind on the sofa. Ron was lying on his bed when Harry entered the room. He looked up and Harry thought that he saw Ron nod but he couldn’t be sure as he was still carrying his glasses. Neither of them said anything else that night as neither of them felt like talking.
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