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Chapter 17 Welcome to Hogwarts It’s been a couple days since I’ve updated, but I have been pretty busy with work and friends, even if it is break, plus I started a new training program for Crew so I’m pretty wiped. Well, we are back in the grounds of pre-written chappies, as I am currently in the middle of chapter 21. Good news for all of you who don’t know yet!!! JK Rowling has finished writing Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince, and has set a release date…July 16, 2005…..ONLY SEVEN MORE MONTHS!!!!!! Thanks for all your reviews, and as always feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, or anything regarding this story. * ** *** ** * * ** *** ** * The last week of Christmas vacation at the Burrow dragged on, and on, and on. Ginny had taken herself to locking herself in her room, but she didn’t seem to be giving up on Harry, and whenever she left her room and passed him in the hall she shot him flirtatious glances, which infuriated Brooke. Brooke and Harry still were on speaking terms with each other, and had become very good friends, although everyone knew that they wanted to be more. Hermione and Ron had tried to reason with Harry about his approach towards starting a relationship with Brooke, but he was being quite stubborn, and wouldn’t hear of it. He kept telling them over and over again, “I don’t want her to get hurt.” Brooke understood where Harry was coming from, as much as she disagreed with it, and she had tried talking to him about it a few times, but it had always ended with Harry telling her how much he cared about her, and how he wasn’t going to let her in until he was sure he could keep her safe. Hermione and Ron had made their relationship public, and everyone had been very happy for them, especially Mrs. Weasley who had exclaimed when she found out, “I knew it! It was just a matter of time!” Despite the tension between Harry and Ginny the Weasley’s had treated Harry no differently, and had even told him a few times that they believed she was acting childish. This morning, however, was the end of term, and everyone was racing around trying to get everything in order. Harry had spent the morning in his room loading everything into his new trunk that he had bought in Diagon Alley the week before with Brooke, after they had talked up in the woods. He had made a comment about not having enough room in his trunk for all his belongings any more, so Brooke had suggested he buy a new one. There had been a bonanza of different types of trunks, in the luggage shop. Some like Mad Eye Moonys, some with one compartment, some that were specially built to hold a certain type of item. Harry, however, wanted something that he could use for a long while, and had bought a beautiful mahogany chest that he had found in the back of the room. When opened, it revealed a set of gleaming hard wood stairs, which brought him down to a small room. The trunk gave a new meaning to the term magical. The oak floors and Oriental rug were gorgeous, and the room was decorated with Gryffindor colors. There was a plushy armchair and a fireplace in one corner, and shelves all around the room for books, a wardrobe in another corner for all of his clothes, and even a special compartment for his quidditch gear. Harry had paid two hundred galleons for the trunk, and thinking back on it now he felt it was well worth it. The ministry sent a car for them again this year, so at around ten o’clock, after everyone had said their goodbyes Harry, Hermione, Ron, Brooke, and Ginny all loaded into the shining Black town car, heading towards King Cross station. The tension once again ran high in the car, as this was the first time in a week that they had all been together in such a small space, since all the incidents around Christmas. No one said anything, but Harry noticed that Brooke was being quite fidgety. “You okay?” He asked her. “I’m just nervous.” “It’ll be okay, you know us, and everyone else at the school is really nice, plus you won’t be the only new student.” “Oh who honestly cares?” snapped Ginny. Ron gave her a warning glare, and she immediately quieted, still grumbling to herself, and staring out the window. Brooke looked down at the floor at Ginny’s words, and Harry gave her shoulder a little reassuring squeeze. Finally after about an hour’s car ride they arrived at Kings Cross, and all gratefully clambered out of the car, and grabbed their belongings thanking the ministry drivers as they went. They received many strange stares as they made their way through the station towards the platform; Hedwig wasn’t helping by hooting insistently either. They eventually made their way over to the barrier between platforms nine and ten, with a very puzzled Brooke. “You guys there must be some kind of mistake, there’s a platform nine and a platform ten, but no platform nine and three quarters.” She said, looking between the two platforms. “That’s because you have to run through the wall.” Said Hermione. “Run…through…like as in through solid stone?” Brooke asked in astonishment, they all merely nodded their heads as an answer, “You guys sure do it different in Britain don’t you.” She said it more as a statement than as a question. “Tell you what guys, why don’t you go through first to show Brooke how it’s done, and then I’ll bring her through after?” said Harry. “Sounds good to me,” said Ron as he headed through the barrier, followed by Hermione, then Ginny who shot a look back at Harry as she went through. “I still can’t believe it, you just go through?” asked Brooke as she watched the others disappear into the wall. “Yeah, it’s best to do it at a run if you’re nervous, we can go through together.” “I don’t know Harry are you sure it will work?” “Positive, you trust me don’t you,” he asked as he looked down at her. “Yes,” she whispered, as she grabbed onto his arm tightly. “On the count of three. One. Two. Three.” Harry ran through the barrier, Brooke hanging onto him as he pulled her through. He looked up once they passed through to see the gleaming Hogwarts Express in the sun, and turned back to see Brooke smiling up at it. “See, I told you it wouldn’t be so bad.” “I guess it wasn’t as bad as I though, but it’s still weird running through a solid brick wall and all,” she said looking up at him with a smile. “We should hurry up and find a compartment, before they all fill up.” “You lead the way,” she said allowing herself to be pulled into a compartment with Harry at the end of the train, once they were settled she asked, “So where are Hermione and Ron?” “Oh they have to receive their head duties, but then they’ll be in after that.” “Okay.” There was a tense silence in the compartment after that, neither one really trusting themselves to speak to the other. Finally Harry broke the silence. “So, uh, have any ideas what house you’ll be in?” “No, Professor Dumbledore said we’d get sorted when we got there, I hope I’m in Gryffindor though, it sounds the best, and everyone I know is there.” “Yeah, but Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff aren’t too bad, it’s just Slytherin that you want to look out for.” She simply nodded, not knowing what else to say. Harry stayed silent too, also not knowing what to say. They were both saved by the food witch who knocked on their door asking them if they wanted anything to eat. Harry jumped at the opportunity to break the awkward silence, and made his way over to the food cart. “We’ll take the lot, and uh how bout some reading material too? We’ll take all the magazines and newspapers you have.” The food witch loaded his outstretched arms with the merchandise, while Harry pushed a handful of gold into hers, and made his way back to the compartment. “Do you think you bought enough?” asked Brooke teasingly. “Just about,” Harry replied casually. “Here let me see one of those,” she said, taking a copy of witch Weekly from the pile of goodies Harry had set down on the bench, while Harry started digging through a container of Bertie Botts Every Flavored Beans. They sat in silence for a while, while Brooke perused the magazine and Harry chomped on various sweets, until Brooke happened across an interesting article. “Uh oh,” she said. “What?” inquired Harry, who put down the chocolate frog he was about to unwrap, and moved over to read over Brooke’s shoulder. “There’s an article in here about you.” “Me?” “Yeah, it must have been from that interview you gave in Diagon Alley,” she said as she began to read the article aloud.
Harry Potter’s Sweetheart? By Miranda Robins This Christmas Harry Potter was witnessed shopping with a very pretty unidentified witch. Mr. Potter and his ‘friend’ were discovered while inside Flourish and Blotts, where Mr. Potter graciously greeted his many admirers. Mr. Potter agreed to give a small interview with a handful of reporters, myself included, where he gave away information that Witch Weekly Readers have been wondering for awhile. When asked about his recent accident Mr. Potter explained that he had been playing Quidditch when he was hit with a bludger, and fell from his broom, but when asked about the reported foul play imposed by the opposing teams beaters he had no comment. Mr. Potter was also asked about his plans for Quidditch in the future, where he told reporters that he would not be playing Quidditch but exploring ‘other career oppourtunies’. What these opportunities could be, no one knows for sure. Mr. Potter was also able to identify his preference of chocolate, over vanilla, stating that he ‘had always been more of a chocolate man.’ When questioned about the girl he had been shopping with earlier he informed the press that she was a good friend, but when asked of his romantic interest in her he declined to comment, which has this reporter wondering, could this be Harry Potter’s new sweetheart? Don’t worry yet ladies, the rumors still have not been confirmed.
“Great, just what I need,” Harry mumbled under his breath. “They all have details on the interview, look,” said Brooke who was examining more of the tabloids that Harry had purchased. “Why does everything always happen to me?” Harry asked as he slumped down in his seat. “Oh, it’s not too bad Harry, it looks like only Witch Weekly commented on us being a ‘couple’” Harry looked up at Brooke and smiled sadly, silently wishing that what Witch Weekly had reported about him and Brooke could be true, but he knew it couldn’t. She smiled sadly back, thinking the same thing. “I guess it’s not as bad as some of the stuff they’ve printed, but I’ll bet you anything that people will be quoting these articles for a good two weeks and asking me questions about them incessantly.” “I doubt that Harry.” “Don’t doubt it.” * ** *** ** * The rest of the train ride had gone by uneventfully for Brooke and Harry. Ron and Hermione had joined them about half way through their journey, complaining profusely about those ‘snotty fifth year prefects.’ Now they were all in the Great Hall waiting for dinner to begin, minus Brooke who was waiting to be sorted with the other new transfer students. Finally, after several minutes of waiting Professor McGonagall carried the sorting hat and stool out in front of the excited students, and Dumbledore rose to speak. “Welcome back to Hogwarts, everyone, I hope all of your Christmas holidays went well. As I am sure many of you already know there was an attack on the Boston School of Magic recently, leaving it’s students without a place to receive their education. Hogwarts has offered a spot to various seventh year students so they may finish their final year of magical education on schedule, and many have graciously accepted, so without further adieu let me introduce to you your new students, please do all you can do to make them feel at home, as I am sure many of you will.” Dumbledore looked pointedly at Harry as he finished his oration. Harry stared back at Dumbledore, but broke eye contact when he heard Professor McGonnagal’s voice begin calling off names. “Abrams, David.” “HUFFLEPUFF” “Deer, June” “RAVENCLAW” “Gifford, Julie” “HUFFLEPUFF” “Haus, Kurt” “SLYTHERIN” “Lindman, Jack” “HUFFLEPUFF” “Royale, Morgan” “GRYFFINDOR” “Vener, Brooke” “GRYFFINDOR” Brooke gave a relieved smile, and ran off to the Gryffindor table where she settled down between Harry and Hermione. The rest of the room watched as McGonnogal took the sorting hat and stool back down from the stage, seeing as Brooke was the last to be sorted. There were quite a few murmurs throughout the hall, but they all stopped once Dumbledore rose to speak again. “Excellent, I daresay that our new students will be positive additions to their new houses, and I welcome you all to Hogwarts. Now…let’s eat.” “AMEN” called Ron. “Thank you for that Mr. Weasley,” answered Dumbledore with a laugh, as the rest of the hall chuckled at Ron’s outburst and began digging into their plates. Ron reddened slightly, but was not too put out to eat. “SI OOD EOU EN GRYDOR,” said Ron through a mouthful of food. “Honestly Ron, we’ve been over this talk when you aren’t stuffing your face, no one can understand you when you talk like that.” Hermiome admonished. Ron looked sheepishly at her, before taking a big swallow. “Sorry Hermione, I was just saying to Brooke that it was good she was in Gryffindor.” He answered. “Yeah it is.” Said Harry. “I was so nervous though the hat kept telling me I’d be good in Slytherin, and I kept telling it I didn’t want to be a Slytherin, and it kept telling me I should be.” said Brooke while she ladled some potatoes onto her plate. “Don’t worry about it too much, that’s what the hat told me too, but then I told it I didn’t want to be in Slytherin, just like you did, and then it put me in Gryffindor.” Said Harry as he sipped his pumpkin juice. “WHAT?!” sputtered Ron through a mouthful of steak, “You never told us that?” “It never seemed that important.” Harry replied nonchalantly. “Well you still should have told us.” Ron replied back in exasperation. “Listen Ron remember in second year when everyone thought I was the heir of Slytherin.” Asked Harry. “Yeah, how could I forget?” ‘Well, I started thinking that maybe I was, and when I talked to Dumbledore about it, I told him about what the sorting hat had said about me being good in Slytherin, and how I told it I didn’t want to be in Slytherin. He told me that it’s our decisions that prove who we really are, so me not wanting to be in Slytherin, meant I wasn’t a Slytherin or something like that, but anyway it just didn’t seem all that important.” “Well…” Began Ron, but he never finished due to Hermione interrupting him. “Just leave it Ron, or else.” She threatened lightly. “Or else what?” “Bad stuff.” Said Hermione raising a seductive eyebrow at him. “Would you guys stop that!” yelped Harry at Ron and Hermione who were shooting each other playful glances. “Sorry Harry, of course.” Answered Hermione as she turned back to her plate. Ron shot Harry an annoyed look, before following in Hermione’s footsteps and greedily returning to his food as well. After several more minutes of eating Harry stood up and announced. “I’m going to bed, It’s been a long day.” “Do you think I could come with you, I want to get to bed, and I don’t know where to go?” asked Brooke. “Sure,” replied Harry as he bade Hermione and Ron goodnight, who were now back to glancing at each other, and left the hall while Brooke and several other pairs of eyes followed him. They walked in silence until they reached the fat lady, where Harry said the password. “Chocolate Mousse.” Harry put his hand out for Brooke to enter first. He watched as she entered and turned to observe her surroundings, he smiled slightly at her reaction. “So you like it?” He asked from behind her. “Yeah, it’s really cozy. My old school was nothing like this.” “It is pretty nice.” “Thank you Harry” “For what?” “Just for everything. I know it probably wasn’t all that great at times having me around, but you’ve really helped me feel at home.” She said giving him a sweet smile. “What are you talking about? It was always great having you around, you helped me out a lot too you know.” He said returning her smile. They just stood there looking at each other before Brooke broke the silence. “So…” “So?” “So…uh I think I’m gonna go to bed now, lessons start tomorrow, and I’m pretty exhausted, where do I go?” “Oh…um….right, up those stairs, and their should be a sign on the door that says seventh year girls dorms.” “Okay, thanks Harry, goodnight,” She came up and give him a quick kiss on the cheek, before turning away and running up the stairs to the girls dormitories. Harry just stood there after she left, open mouthed like a fish out of water, holding his face where she had kissed him. He didn’t even hear Ron and Hermione come on, or notice Hermione run up the girls staircase a few moments later, he just kept standing there. “Harry are you dead or something?” asked Ron, coming up in front of Harry and waving his hand in front of his face. “No…no…umm, just thinking.” He replied quietly. “Are you okay?” asked Ron skeptically. “No, I mean yes…I mean well, maybe, I don’t know,” stuttered Harry. “It’s Brooke isn’t it?” “Yes, I mean no,” “Just admit to your feelings for her Harry, I know she likes you too, and Hermione told me that she still likes you just as much as she ever did, it’s not too late you know?” “I can’t, I don’t want her to get hurt, but that isn’t stopping me from falling for her.” Answered Harry as he dropped himself into his favorite armchair by the fireplace. “Falling?” Asked Ron, as he settled himself in the chair across from Harry. “Yeah falling.” “Falling how?” “I dunno, just falling.” “You mean like in love.” “NO, I couldn’t be falling in love with her, it couldn’t happen, I mean we aren’t even going out or anything, how can I fall in love with someone I’m not dating?” He reasoned with himself. “I fell in love with Hermione when we weren’t dating.” “That was different you guys were friends and stuff.” “And you’re saying you and Brooke aren’t friends?” “No, we’re friends, but I’ve only known her for what two weeks, you don’t fall in love with people after two weeks.” “It could happen.” “When?” “When two people know their right for each other from the start.” “God, Ron when did you become the expert on relationships?” “Oh believe me I’m not, this is all just the stuff Hermione told me.” “Figures,” said Harry laughing. “Hey,” Ron protested, “I can be pretty sensitive when I want to be.” Harry let out a snort of laughter, which caused Ron to hit him over the head with a pillow. “Ow, that hurt,” said Harry rubbing his head, only to find a bump already in that spot. He stopped thinking hard, how had he gotten the bump? He couldn’t remember. “What?” asked Ron, “Decided you can’t beat me, and given up?” “No, it’s not that,” answered Harry still deep in his thoughts. “What is with you today?” asked Ron, yet again waving his hand in front of Harry’s face. No answer. “Hellloooo, earth to Harry, Voldemort is attacking the school outside, look.” Said Ron, trying to get a response out of Harry. Still, no answer. “I saw Brooke kissing Neville…” No answer. “Snape was wearing a pink dress in the hall.” “THAT BASTARD,” shouted Harry, as he jumped up from his seat smacking Ron in the head. “Oww, gosh mate that hurt,” but Harry wasn’t listening, he was already out the door, leaving the portrait open and swaying in the breeze, despite the complaints of the fat lady. “What now?” mumbled Ron to himself as he wearily trudged up the boys staircase, trying not to think of what trouble Harry had gotten himself into this time. * ** *** ** * * ** *** ** * A/N: What has Harry figured out….hmmm I wonder, don’t you? Don’t worry I’ll post a new update soon, but first I’ll leave you a little quote that I absoloutly love, just because. "You can always trust a dishonest man to be dishonest. Honestly, it's the honest ones you want to watch out for." --Capt. Jack Sparrow

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