Harry opened his eyes the next morning to Mrs Weasley shaking him awake. He blearily forced his eyes to open and glanced around the room to see that Ron was still sleeping. “Get up.” Molly said to him, “You’ve got one hour before you leave for school!” Harry suddenly felt a lot more awake as he realised that he was rather lacking in time before they had to leave. He scrambled out of bed and quickly left the room to use the shower next door. Luckily he found it deserted since most other people were already down at breakfast. He finished in the bathroom quickly and magicked himself into muggle clothes before leaving the room and making for the kitchen. When he entered he saw that most of the adults were there, and those that were not would already have gone to work or to Hogwarts but Harry was the only one actually going back to Hogwarts as a student that day who was up. “Finally, you’re up.” Remus said before taking a bite out of his toast. Harry sat down in an empty seat opposite Remus and next to Severus, who wasn’t particularly bothered about their seating arrangements. “Isn’t anyone else up at all?” Harry asked, wondering how they could afford to sleep in so late on the first day back. “No, you’re the first.” Remus replied. “It’s not as if you have less than an hour to get ready or anything, don’t get that idea.” Snape said coolly before taking a drink of his tea. “Or are you planning to fly to school in an enchanted car again…?” “Do be quiet, Severus.” Minerva said to him from next to Remus. Harry quickly ate some toast under Remus’ scowl but the man was unable to comment due to his own only eating toast. He and Molly appeared to have done quite well in the war of Harry Vs. food but he still wasn’t eating as much as he should be. He glanced up as Hermione and Ginny entered the room, both looking quite worried at the time and neither of them dressed yet. They were then followed by Molly who walked into the kitchen and glanced around. “Isn’t Ron up yet!?” She demanded as she forced Harry to accept more food onto his plate. “I’m not hungry, Mrs Weasley!” Harry tried to say as she gave him another slice of toast, “Really!” “Nonsense, dear.” She smiled as she left his plate looking rather more full than before. Remus grinned at Harry across the table; he had to hand it to Molly, she really knew how to make Harry eat. Harry grinned back at him when Molly started attempting to pile the food onto his plate, telling him that he would need his strength. “Ron!” Molly barked at him when he walked into the room, “Where the hell have you been?! You have forty five minutes until we leave and if you’re not ready…” She didn’t end her sentence but left it hanging whilst she glared threateningly at Ron. “I’ll be ready mum!” He said as he sat down at the table and started to eat copious amounts of bacon and eggs in such a manner that it made anyone watching him feel ill. “You should eat a little more, Severus.” Molly said to him as she bustled around the room, “You need to keep up your strength.” “I believe that I can safely say your son has successfully put myself and every other occupant of this room off food for what could be quite a long time.” Severus replied coolly as he put his knife and fork together neatly on his plate and glanced to the side of him where Potter was occasionally eating some of his toast. “So are you actually ready for school then?” Remus asked him and Harry nodded. “I charmed my stuff downstairs last night so I could have got up later.” Harry said. “And you didn’t because…?” Minerva asked. “Molly got me up.” Harry explained and Minerva nodded. “Well you don’t want to be late, Harry.” Molly said mildly to him before following that up with, “RON! STOP EATING LIKE A PIG AND GO GET DRESSED!” Ron scowled at her before shoving back his chair from the table and marching out of the room, leaving an amused silence behind him. “So immature.” Harry heard Hermione say to Ginny.
Their hour disappeared quickly and soon Harry found himself sat at the bottom of the stairs whilst everyone ran around him in chaos. Fred and George had put off opening their shop until later so that they could see off their younger brother and sister at the train station.
“Are we all ready yet?” Molly asked and glanced around. Molly, Severus, Filius and Remus were all dressed and ready, standing in the doorway awaiting everyone else. Kingsley and Tonks appeared from the kitchen along with Arthur, Mad Eye, Bill and Charlie.
“Hurry up, Hermione!” Ron’s voice called on the upper floors of the house.
“Shut up, Ron!” Hermione yelled back as the two of them came into view with Ginny behind them. Ginny and Hermione leapt out of the way as they saw Fred and George flying along the landing but conveniently forgot to tell Ron to do the same. Ron flew down the flight of stairs and landed at Minerva’s feet as Fred and George flew down the stairs on Ginny and Hermione’s trunk, landing gracefully by the side of Harry who couldn’t suppress a grin at his best friend sprawled on the floor.
“What the hell do you think you are doing?!” Molly demanded of Fred and George who looked slightly less impressed with their stunt now that they were facing their infuriated mother. “You could have knocked Ginny down the stairs!” Ron looked up at her in disbelief as everyone else tried not to laugh.
“Is that everyone?” Mad Eye asked as he glanced around, mentally taking notes of who was there and trying to find any absentees. Finding none Filius waved his wand and the door opened, revealing two cars outside, which had doubtless been magically altered to fit them all in.
“Let’s be going then.” Molly said as she herded the large group of people out through the door and down the path to the two cars. Everyone split up into the two and Harry found himself sat inside the front car with Arthur driving, Molly and Ginny in the front and Ron, Harry, Charlie, Remus and Filius in the back.
“You will be careful this year, won’t you Harry?” Remus said to him as Harry watched the scenery change through the window. Upon being addressed Harry turned round to Remus and looked at him. He looked close to exhaustion and Harry guessed that the full moon was approaching. He saw familiar anxiety in his eyes though, and Harry’s guess was that after seeing four of his school years he didn’t want any repetitions.
“I’m always careful.” Harry muttered, “It’s not as if I planned my life to be as it is.”
“I know…” Remus said softly and Harry smiled slightly at him but the anxiety in his eyes remained and Harry knew that it wasn’t likely to get much better after seeing his fifth year, which hadn’t been too bad, unless you counted Sirius’ death, of course.
“At least you’ll be at school with me this year.” Harry said and he hoped that the presence of his guardian would do him more good than bad, after all, Hogwarts was the safest place in the Wizarding world and Voldemort would have a hard time getting hold of either of them there.
“I was at school with you in your third year and I wasn’t much good then, was I?” Remus said.
“Yeah, do you think I would have believed Sirius without you there? Do you think I would have learnt the Patronus charm? Do you think that I’d be half as good at defence against the dark arts as I am now? Do you think we’d even know each other?!” Harry asked him in quick succession and Remus smiled at him.
“True… but you seem to forget that I could have killed you at the end of the year, or bitten you or anything!” Remus said, lowering his voice slightly as the rest of the conversation in the car began to languish until Ron and Hermione started to argue again.
“So what? I’m almost always being killed by something. My third year was relatively safe compared to the rest.” Harry said and Remus looked disapproving of his life but didn’t comment.
The journey wore on and soon they were all getting out of the two cars and walking into Kings Cross as one large and bizarre looking group. Harry noticed that Mad Eye was wearing his bowler hat again and he hid a grin when he watched people walking out of their way to avoid him in the station. Glancing around as they reached the part between platform nine and ten Harry saw a few people that he recognised from school but no one from his year. Ginny saw a boy that she knew and walked through the barrier with him, much to Ron’s disapproval and insistence that she was far too young to have a boyfriend, something which caused Hermione to laugh and then start an argument with him about.
They passed through into platform 9 ¾ in small groups and soon Harry was surrounded by witches and wizards of all ages as people boarded the train and others stood talking to people through the carriage windows, saying good bye and promising to write.
“I can’t believe we’re not all going to be together again for months!” Molly said, looking rather upset at the idea of not seeing all those around her for some time.
“I know, it’s marvellous, isn’t it?” Severus said coolly, although he wasn’t sure that he meant what he said.
“You must all come to Grimmauld Place over Christmas.” Molly said and everyone agreed. Harry glanced up at the clock on the platform and saw that it was almost time that they boarded the train to go back to school.
They all started t say their goodbyes to one another and Harry found himself embraced tightly by Molly.
“Take care this year, Harry.” Molly said to him and Arthur stood behind her, smiling apologetically.
“We’ll see you at Christmas.” Arthur said to him as Molly grabbed hold of Ginny and hugged her tightly.
“I’ll be arranging for you to carry on your apparition lessons during school later on in the week,” Mad Eye said to Harry as he grinned at him with his eerily revolving eye under his bowler hat. Harry couldn’t take it any more and started to laugh slightly. “What’s so funny?”
“That hat.” Harry grinned and hoped that he wasn’t about to be hexed as he turned and found Minerva regarding him.
“I hope that this year is better for you than your last, Harry.” She said, making sure that none of the students nearby heard her use his first name, “At least Remus will be hear to keep an eye on you. I expect that you will continue your Animagus training whilst at school. We will arrange times and days later on.” Harry nodded and smiled slightly, he had been very grateful for her help with his becoming an Animagus. Filius smiled at him and promised him that he would duel with him during the year. Even Snape didn’t seem particularly cold against him, even though they were in public and even went as far as to mention Occlumency lessons, which he said would commence starting in the second week. Tonks was her usual cheery self and stuck her pierced tongue out at Harry as the two of them watched Hermione saying a blushing goodbye to Kingsley.
Harry looked around and saw Remus watching him with a slight smile on his lips, he walked over to him and for a moment they were at a loss for words.
“Just look after yourself.” Remus said and Harry rolled his eyes, he had heard that so many times from so many people.
“I will!” Harry insisted, “I’m only going on the train to Hogwarts and then once I’m there then we’ll be in the same building. Nothing’s going to happen.”
“I hope you’re right.” Remus said, the prophecy lingering in his mind and the image of Harry being tortured in his fourth year trying to work its way into his consciousness.
“I will be.” Harry smiled and gave him a brief hug before pulling away and walking towards the train. Glancing back, Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny smiled as they saw everyone stood smiling and waving, or in the case of Tonks laughing and sticking her tongue out.
They entered the train and soon found a spare compartment towards the back. The four of them entered and left their trunks lying on the floor and as out of the way as they could manage.
They all stood at the window and looked out to see their ‘family’ all there, watching them.
“They’ll be fine, Molly!” Arthur insisted as they looked at the four of them in the train.
“Yeah, they don’t get in danger that often.” Fred said.
“Just Harry.” George said, which didn’t help much.
“But he’s always in danger though.” Fred said and Remus felt a strange stab of fear for Harry, but he knew he was being irrational – Harry was perfectly safe and nothing was going to happen whilst he sat in a train.
“Shut up, you two.” Bill said and they did as they were told. They all looked back up to see the train slowly moving out of the station and Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny smiled and waved at them as they went and the adults all smiled and waved back.
“We’d love to stay—” Fred said.
“—and incite fear in Mum—” George said.
“—but we’ve got a joke shop to run!” Fred grinned.
“See you later.” George said as the two of them apparated out of the station, presumably to their shop. Remus glanced around and noticed Lucius Malfoy walking along with Narcissa on his arm and Crabbe and Goyle walking mindlessly behind him. He hated the fact that they had all successfully bought their way back out of Azkaban and believed their money capable of anything. His attention was brought back to those around him as Minerva conjured a portkey and held it out to him. He, Filius and Severus all stepped forwards to take a hold on the item and a second later they all felt a pull behind their navel as they disappeared from the station.
“Aren’t you late for work?” Bill asked Tonks and Kingsley who glanced at each other and looked mildly horrified.
“So are you.” Tonks said, gesturing at himself, Charlie and Arthur.
“We’re not, we took the morning off.” Charlie explained and Tonks looked more alarmed.
“Come on.” Kingsley said and apparated out of the station to the Ministry.
“I suppose I should get back to Gringotts.” Charlie said, “Apparently some of the dragons are becoming restless.” Charlie had recently taken up a job at Gringotts dealing with the dragons which guarded the more important vaults so that he was able to work closer to home. “You coming, Bill?”
“Yeah, I’ll see you at dinner Mum.” Bill said and the two eldest Weasley siblings disappeared with a crack, leaving Molly, Arthur and Mad Eye stood in Kings Cross. The three of them departed to separate locations and soon the platform was empty.
On the train Harry was sat in the compartment on his own. Hermione, Ron and Ginny had all gone to the prefects meeting, leaving him with only himself for company. He knew it wouldn’t last though.
“Hey Harry.” Neville said as he opened the door, “There’s nowhere else, do you mind if I…?” He asked and Harry smiled and told him to come in. They were joined a bit later by Luna who sat down with them and stayed there for the rest of the journey. As they talked other members of the D.A. often came and put their heads around the door to say ‘hi’ and sometimes came in and sat down for a few minutes before returning to their own compartments. Most of them were asking the same question though: Was Harry running the D.A. again that year?
“I doubt it.” Harry replied to Neville and Luna who asked him just that once everyone else had gone, leaving the three of them alone again, “We’re going to have a good teacher this year.” He told them.
“Really?” Neville asked, “You know who it is?” Harry nodded.
“So who is it then?” Luna asked him, glancing up from behind her copy of the Daily Prophet, which she occasionally tutted at and muttered something darkly under her breath when she spotted a ‘mistake’ in their stories.
“You’ll find out when we get there.” Harry said and was saved from saying anything more when Hermione, Ron and Ginny returned from their meeting. Hermione smiled at Neville and cast a cool look towards Luna; even though they had all been at the Department of Mysteries together during the year before Hermione still didn’t like Luna much and was very much in the opinion that she wasn’t quite right in the head.
“What’s the matter?” Harry asked Hermione, noticing that she looked rather huffy when they walked inside. Ron didn’t look particularly bothered about anything which lead Harry to believe that he had said or done something stupid at the meeting. This was soon shown not to be the case when Hermione explained herself.
“Malfoy’s been hexing the second years in Hufflepuff.” She said.
“And we tried to stop him.” Ron said and Hermione scowled at him.
“I tried to stop him, you just watched!” Hermione said, her voice rising. “Right infront of some first years though! They’ll be terrified!”
“They’d be terrified anyway.” Ron pointed out.
“That’s not the point.” Hermione snapped at him before magicking herself into her robes and a second later Harry did the same. Neither Neville nor Luna decided to risk making an attempt at doing so and Ginny didn’t know the spell for it. Ron, being Ron, decided to attempt the spell which Harry had only attempted to teach him the day before.
“Ron!” Ginny laughed as Ron was suddenly stripped down to only his socks and everyone looked away from him quickly.
“Cover yourself up, Ron!” Hermione said, not daring to glance back at him to see if he was still only wearing a pair of socks.
“I can’t!” He cried and Harry and Ginny started to laugh helplessly.
“Why not?!” Hermione demanded.
“I don’t know where I vanished my clothes to!” Ron almost yelled and Hermione was soon doubled over with laughter as she kept her eyes well away from Ron.
“I don’t bloody well believe this!” Ron muttered as he glanced up to see Malfoy at the door and then when he moved his gaze he saw Luna watching him. He blushed even redder than he had previously been and looked back up at Malfoy, silently pleading with him not to notice them. Malfoy’s glance shifted into their compartment to see Harry, Hermione and Ginny laughing whilst looking away from Ron in the corner who was completely naked and Luna watching him.
Malfoy was on the floor in an instant, rolling about in hysterics and Crabbe and Goyle laughed gormlessly, not really understanding what was so amusing. After a few minutes, Ron had eventually pulled on one of Harry’s robes which Hermione had summoned from his trunk and Malfoy managed to get up from the floor to see Ron now wearing robes which were far too slim around his middle but which only went down to halfway down his legs, making him look as if he were wearing three quarter length robes which only caused him to laugh hysterically again.
“Thanks for the laugh, Weasley.” Malfoy sniggered as he walked off down the train, still laughing slightly at intervals.
“Mum’s going to kill me when she finds out I vanished a set of robes.” Ron groaned as he buried his head in his hands, the sleeves of Harry’s robes dropping so that they were halfway down his arms.
“You can’t go into Hogwarts looking like that.” Hermione told him, “You’ll have to find one of your own.”
“I only had that one; Mum told me that she’d send me my other ones later on when she’d washed them.” Ron explained as he hit his head on the wall and cursed himself for trying that stupid spell.
Harry hid a smile as he glanced out of the window and watched the countryside rolling by. He felt bad for the position that Ron was now in, but at the same time he was very glad that it wasn’t him that had to walk into the Great Hall wearing robes which were more than six inches too short and very tight fitting. He glanced at Hermione who was laughing silently and he realised that she too was visualising the reactions of everyone in the Great Hall when they entered.
A/N: I know I did something like this in my other story but this isn't leading up to a large set of chapters where everyone curses the Slytherins, don't worry! It's mostly just fluff really, next chapter coming soon but the time between chapters being posted might start to get longer since I'm beta-ing stories for three or four people at the moment (and yes I know my own stories have rubbish spelling and are filled with typos but I don't bother to check my own stuff) so that's why chapters could start taking longer. Thanks to everyone for reading twenty chapters filled with no school at all and I will attempt to add a new chapter on Thursday. Toodle pip for now :o)
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