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Harry flipped over onto his back for the tenth time since he had woken up. His sheets were wrapped around his sweat drenched legs, and his pillow had long since lost its coolness, and was now damp from his forehead. He had tried everything he could think of to get comfortable, but nothing was working. Ron could be heard snoring in the bed next to him, the sound was coming from above him, because he was sleeping on the floor of Ron's bedroom. It was the night before his birthday and he was staying at the Burrow, along with Hermione. They were planning on going to Diagon Alley tomorrow, to get their school things.

To say that he didn't know the reason he wasn't able to get back to sleep would be a lie. He knew perfectly well why, it was the same reason why he had been wide awake when Lupin had come to get him in the middle of the night nearly a week ago. He was having dreams, not that that wasn't normal unfortunately, but everyone of these dreams either included the death of himself, or someone he cared about, it was usually Ron or Hermione. The dreams had started his first night back at the Dursley's and had continued throughout the summer up until tonight. He had just woken up from a dream, or a nightmare rather, in which it had been Lupins turn to die a horrible and painful death, Harry assumed that it was Voldemort that was killing everyone, but he never stayed awake long enough to see the attackers face.

Finally giving up on the going back to sleep idea, Harry sighed heavily and sat up, umtangeling his legs from his sheets. As quietly as he could, he stood up and tip toed past Hedwig and Pig's closed and covered cages, and through the door.

The crooked stairway leading downstairs was suprisingly cold concidering the fact that Ron's room felt like it was sitting right under an inferno. Glad that he had worn his sweatpants and sweatshirt, he slowly walked down the stairs planning on getting something to drink, or maybe doing the History of Magic essay that he had been putting off ever since it was assigned.

There was barely enough light to see by as he reached the bottom of the stairs, and entered the kitchen. He was about to open the refridgerator when he saw a light coming from the living room to his right. Siliently he stepped away from the fridge and and cautiously walked torward the light. His heart began pumping slightly faster than normal as he crossed into the living room. The light it turned out, was coming from a candle that was burning steadily on the coffee table that stood in the middle of the couches and mix matched chairs. He could see a figure sitting in the chair in front of him, but all he could see was the back of their head. He took a few more steps and stopped. He didn't know whether he wanted to let the person know that he was there or if he should walk, go back to bed, and forget that he had seen anyone.

Fortunately that decision was made for him when the figure moved a little to the left, revealing tuffs of very bushy hair, bushy hair that he would reconize anywhere.

" Hermione? " He whispered walking around the chair. Hermione jumped and almost fell out of her seat, dropping the book she was holding. When she realized it was him she sighed, and tried to catch her breath.

" Harry...you scared me... " She said picking the book up off the floor and placing it on the coffee table. Harry smiled slightly.

" Sorry...what are you doing down here? " He asked sitting down on the couch directly across from her.

" Couldn't sleep...I should be asking you the same question. " She said pulling a pillow into her lap and hugging it. He knew Hermione already knew about his dreams, he had told her and Ron his second day back at the Burrow, only because Ron had heard himsaying things in his sleep.

" Same. " He said simply.

" Dreams? " She asked knowingly.

" Yeah....there getting worse...it was Lupin this time... " He said looking in her general direction, but anywhere but her face. He didn't know why, but talking about his dreams made him embarrassed, even if he was talking to one of his best friends.

" Did you see who was...I mean...did you see who it was? " She asked, obviosly uncomfortable asking the question.

" No...but it's him I know it, it's Voldemort. " He stated. Saying Voldemort's name had never been a problem for Harry, but saying it now made him shiver against his will.

Hermione didn't flinch. He had to hand it to her, she had grown alot the past year, gotten braver. Harry had grown also, but he wasn't sure if he liked the way he was growing very much, or what it took to make him grow. He didn't like to say it much, but Hermione, Ron, and him were only kids, as much he hated it when people would call them that, it was true, they were only sixteen. But in his opinion, they mind as well be adults, with everything they've been through they had been forced to grow way to much in the past...well..in all their years at Hogwarts really.

" He's never going to stop is he? " Hermione blurted, as if she had been waiting for the right time to ask. She glanced at Harry for a second, before looking down at her hands. Harry shook his head slowly.

" Not until he gets what he wants... " He answered leaning all the way back on the cushions of the couch. He had always known that Voldemort would continue to be a threat until the end...whatever the >I> end was. But saying it out loud made it more real, and Harry didn't like it at all. Hermione shifted in her chair, squeezing the pillow to the point where it looked like it might burst.

" Whats going to happen? To us I mean, what if... " She left the sentence hanging there, but Harry understood the question, it was the question he often asked himself. And he always came up with the same answer.

" I don't know...that's what kills me. " He said finally looking at her face.

" I know something will probably happen to me, theres no point in lying about it...but if something happened to you or Ron, I think I might...it would be my fault.. " He said stumbling over the words. Hermione just stared at him for a few seconds before saying anything, she looked like she was on the verge of tears, he hoped she could keep it together, because if she started..then he didn't think that he could control his own eyes. She sighed looking like she was trying to find the best way to say what she wanted to.

" Harry....me and Ron would do anything for you, we risk our lives for you..because we want to..not because you made us. If something happened, it would be on us. " She said getting up out of her chair and walking over to and sitting next to Harry on the couch. He didn't know what to say, it was true, Harry had never made Ron or Hermione do anything for him. They had done it all voluntarily, that was the amazing part.

But no matter what Hermione said, he would himself if something happened to them. Sometimes he wondered what it would be like if on the train in their first year he had told Ron that he was waiting for someone, that the whole compartment was taken, and Ron had never sat there. Or if Hermione hadn't cared enough to ask around for Nevilles stupid toad, and the three of them had never met. Sure Harry would have possibly been alone throughout his Hogwarts years, but at least Hermione and Ron wouldn't be in danger. But no...the two of them had to be his friends, they had to stand by him through everything.

" I'd still blame myself.... " Harry said, and to his horror his voiced cracked slighty. His vision was getting blurry as his throat tightened. He tried as hard as he could not to let any tears fall, not to show weakness, not even to Hermione.

" Harry... " She breathed leaning over and putting her arms around his neck. He rested his head on her shoulder, and let a few tears out sliliently so she wouldn't know. He could hear her sniffling.

" None of this is you fault, you know that don't you? None of it. You have to stop blaming yourself for everything, it will kill you if you do. "

Harry smirked, trying to make his voice sound as normal as possible.

" Some how I don't think blame is going to be the thing that kills me. " He muttered trying to lighten the mood with a joke that he didn't find remotely funny, niether apparently did Hermione. Niether of them were smiling. She pulled away from Harry-big mistake-she could now see that he had been crying. She wiped under his eyes with her hand in two to quick swipes, and sighed shaking her head.

" Listen, I know it's been hard for you...it's been hard for us too. But you've got to keep going, everything will work out in the end, and as cheesy as that sounds, you've got to believe it. " She said, looking at him thoughtfully.

" Thats what everyone keeps telling me, how am I supposed to believe it, when things keep happening? I mean what if they never stop, what if- " Hermione cut him off.

" Stop. Thats what I'm talking about, don't say things like that. And as for why you should believe it..because I'm Hermione, and if you haven't noticed, I'm always right...hasn't anyone told you yet? Ron's figured it out, I'm surprised you haven't. " She said laughing slightly. Harry would have mentioned that he would follow Hermione instructions, for as long as he knew her, which he hoped would be until he died, because if he had listened to Hermione that day...when she had told him to stay at Hogwarts...well...best not to get into that.

" Your right, fine...I believe you. Happy? " He asked wiping the remaining moisture from his face with his sleeve. And smiling at her, trying to convince her that her he was okay.

" I wouldn't say happy...more like content...I wont be happy until this is over, and we can finally get on with our lives. " She said pulling her hands into her sleeves and crossing her arms.

" Me niether....just promise me one thing. " Harry said looking her in the eye.

" What? " She asked simply.

" Whatever happens after this...Me, you, and Ron...will do something together. " He had been thinking about this for a while now. It would be nice to do something with his bestfriends, that didn't include them having to risk their iives on a daily basis. She smiled.

" That sounds perfect...deal. " She said yawning.

" I'm getting tired...its... " She looked over at the clock that didn't have the Weasley's face on it.

" Twelve thirty...Happy birthday! "

Harry was momentarily confused...then he realized that he had been sixteen for thirty minutes.

" Thanks...I almost forgot about it. " He said getting off the couch and stretching. Hermione got up too.

" You should get some sleep... " She said following him to the stairwell after blowing out the candle.

" So should you...sorry to keep you up. " He apologized.

" Anytime... " She said putting her hand on the banaster.

They walked quietly up the stairs and reached the top without a sound. Harry turned to Hermione before she went into Ginny's room.

" 'Night Hermione, and...thanks.. " He whispered, so not to wake up any of the Weasley's.

" Your welcome, and sweet dreams...literally...ok? Maybe practice some Occlumency...it might help. " She whispered back.

" Yeah. " He said nodding slightly.

" Okay...Happy birthday again... " She said kissing him on the cheek and tip toeing into Ginny's room and closing the door. Sighing, Harry walked into Ron's room and layed back down. For some reason, it didn't take him long to fall asleep...
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A/N: I loooooove this little story. I wrote it n school, so if I went to far on somethings, bare with me because I have a free period that lasts almost 2 hours...so I have lots of spare time. lol.

p.s. THIS WAS NOT IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM A ROMANCE STORY. Everyone who's anyone knows that Hermione belongs with Ron. Anyway review the story...please!

P.s. Would you like a Banner? If so, send me your request via email or just leave it in a review!

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