During dinner that night, the entire Weasley gang, Harry included, sat in silence at dinner over sausages and mash. They spent a couple of hours conversing over the previous match that afternoon.
“We romped you.” Ron gloated.
“That’s because Hermione blows.” Fred retorted.
“It’s because I’ve never played.” Hermione huffed, spooning some of her dinner.
“Whatever. We still won.”
They spent so long talking about Quidditch; nothing else of importance really came up.
A few moments later, Ginny, who was conveniently seated next to Harry, nudged her napkin from her lap to the floor, in what she hoped appeared to be smooth nonchalance, next to his feet.
“Ooops, I’m so clumsy. Pardon me.” She purred, and as she reached for her napkin, her hand did a detour down Harry’s leg.
Harry narrowed his eyes and practically ground his teeth raw from chomping on his food so hard.
Ginny smiled, placing the napkin delicately on her lap.
Well, this has to stop, then, doesn’t it? Harry thought to himself.
The glance Ginny shot him was, in Ron’s opinion, overly friendly. The twins noticed as well, but didn’t seem to care.
Taking his mind off his horny sister, Ron turned to Hermione. “So, Hermione, tell us about your new boyfriend.” Nobody but Harry caught the bitterness in his tone.
Hermione’s face flushed as the Weasley family’s ears perked up. Harry especially.
Grinning, she sighed in a sing songish sort of voice. “His name is Logan Conner. He’s a, erm…what did he call it? Oh, Senior at an American wizard school in Florida. I met him while I was helping a group of Wizards get into a Quidditch match there.”
“Go on, “ Ron demanded, pounding his fork in his food.
Hermione paid no mind to his tone. “Anyway, I sat with him and a friend of his during the match, with my family, of coarse. Logan and I hit it off really well and we’ve been owling each other ever since!”
“What about Victor Krum?” Harry asked.
She shrugged. “We don’t talk much anymore. Last I heard he was seeing a Czechoslovakian girl. Katrina something or another. Anyway, Logan is the most dashing man I’ve ever met. He’s good friends with Ethan Knox-“
“No way! The American pro Quidditch player?” Fred asked.
“The very one. He said I may be able to meet him sometime.”
“Lines.” Ron mumbled, face practically touching his food.
“Awesome!” George exclaimed.
“Just peachy.” Ron began to slam his fork into his food again.
Mrs. Weasley shot him a warning glance before turning her attention to Hermione. “You sure about the long distance thing? It can get very difficult.”
“We’re going to try. When Christmas comes around we’re going to try to see each other, but it’s no guarantee…” her voice trailed off, now realizing Ron’s abnormal behavior.
“So anyway, congratulations on your new found love.” Ginny sincerely commented, momentarily taking her mind off Ron’s rudeness.
Hermione beamed. “Thank you. You’re next, you know.”
"Oh, I have my mind on who I want next.” She slyly commented, eyeing Harry. His throat suddenly became very tight.
“It’s over between you and Dean, then?” Mrs. Weasley asked.
“That was fast.” Charlie told her.
“Eh. I got over him.”
“Did you frisk him?” Fred asked.
“Fred!” Mr. And Mrs. Weasley shouted in unison.
“What?” he retorted, in defense. “Usually the end of a short relationship is namely because of bad-“
“That’s enough, Fred!” Mrs. Weasley shouted. Mr. Weasley turned beat red, hiding his eyes in his hands. The rest of the table began to laugh uncontrollably.
Ginny, for the first time that day, flushed. “No, Fred. I didn’t frisk, shag, or do anything to him. Though, if you wish to discuss sex, we can always share the relationship you and Angelina had together-"
Before his parents could comment, he broke her off. “So, the two of you didn’t click, huh?”
She laughed. “No. Not as well as we thought we would.”
Right. Harry thought to himself. He probably had to beat her off with a stick.
"Letters are here.” Bill nonchalantly stated, digging his fork into some potatoes.
Harry moved his eyes to the window where four owls flew in with parchments tied to their legs. He, Ron and Hermione held their breaths. Those letters determined whether or not they would be returning to school this year; as in the results of their O.W.L.S would be included.
After Hedwig, Pig, Errol, and a school owl for Hermione handed over their parchments, they gave them each a treat, and after exchanging nervous glances, open their letters.
Harry and Ron exhaled in relief and Hermione grinned, nearly screaming.
Ron was about to say something about knowing she was going to get the highest scores in Hogwarts anyway, but voted against it.
“Guess those are good noises.” George decided.
“Yes,” Hermione answered. “Very good noises.”
“Hang on,” Ron began, “listen to this: It is with great pleasure we welcome you back to another year at Hogwarts. This year there will be major changes, including in the staff. On your first night back, you will be fully informed of these changes and upcoming events. Below is your supply list; make sure everything is purchased before Term 1 starts. Also, take notice in the ending note. Thank you, Professor Minerva McGonagall, Deputy Headmistress, Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Wonder what that’s all about.”
“Listen to the ending note.” Harry ordered. “This should be interesting: There will be a Quidditch workshop on Monday, August 23 for everyone interested. More details will be discussed upon arrival. Meet on the Quidditch pitch noon sharp. Thank you.”
“Workshop?” Charlie asked. “We never had a workshop.”
“Yeah.” George agreed. “Neither did we. So not fair.”
“They do have a lot of spots to fill.” Mr. Weasley answered, as-a-matter-of-factly.
Harry and Ron agreed. “Listen to this…” Ginny began; grin spreading on her face. “There’s to be a Halloween party. Correction…costume party on Halloween.”
“You mean as in dressing up?” Harry exclaimed, horrified. Both he and Ron flipped over their letters.
“It’s on the supplies list, twits.”
Ginny could hardly hold her amusement. George and Fred laughed. “Well, we dropped out in the right year.”
“Aww, Ronnykins gets to dress up!”
“Sod off, Fred.”
“Are you going to the workshop?” Bill asked.
“Absolutely!” Harry answered, without hesitation.
“I wonder if I should go…” Hermione pondered.
“What for?” Ron asked. “You wouldn’t be able to last.”
“Maybe I wouldn’t, but that gives you no reason to doubt me!”
Ron shut up.
“Maybe you should...watch…” Harry began, slowly, trying to choose his words carefully. He remembered all too well how the wrong ones could piss off a female.
“I’ll go. And watch. I don’t want to play on Ron’s team anyway.”
Nobody said another word the rest of dinner.
Changing into their pajamas later that night, Harry watched Ron slam things down harder than normal.
“You all right, mate?” he asked him.
“Yeah.” Ron spat. “Why?”
Harry shrugged. “You just seem…different, that’s all. I mean, I know you and Hermione have a hard time getting along, but tonight you instigated a little more unfairly than usual-"
“So what? She seems more than capable of handling her emotions just fine.”
Harry had a pretty good idea the direction he was coming from, and understood the feeling. “Maybe, you should just lay off a little, Okay? She’s happy.”
Before Harry could comment, there was a knock on their door. Hermione peered inside, without permission.
“Can we help you?” Ron asked, not letting up on his bitterness at all.
Hermione decided not to let him bother her. “Excuse me, Ron, but do you mind if I give Harry his present in private, please?”
“Whatever.” And he was gone.
Hermione sat on the bottom bunk next to Harry, holding his gift in her lap.
It’s a book . He concluded. A big one.
“Herm, before you give me my present, I need to ask you something.” She flicked her hair and shifted a little.
“Are you Okay?”
“ I’m fine. Why do you ask?”
“You just seem different, that’s all. You were careless in your letters and you…didn’t ask how I was.”
He shifted his feet and faced the ground, with a hint of embarrassment rising.
“Oh, Harry.” She sighed, amusement dripping from her tongue and brought him into a hug. “I think about you all the time. Even that rotten friend of ours, Ron. I guess I just got so excited I didn’t even think to ask about your scar. Just because I didn’t ask, though, does not mean I don’t care about you, Okay?”
He grinned. “Okay.” Then he frowned. “You know you need to be more careful when you send owls, Hermione. You gave yourself away big time when I received your letter.”
“I know, I know, I was being careless. Like I said, I got excited. Don’t worry about me, daddy, I can handle myself.”
He laughed as she brought him into a noisy wet kiss.
“So, how are you, Harry, darling?” she facetiously asked him, when they broke free. “Scar problems?”
He laughed. “I’m just fine, thank you, and no scar problems. Just minor headaches. Every now and then a migraine.”
Her face fell. “Really?”
“Yeah, but I don’t think it’s my scar. Just normal headaches.”
“Well, you know, you should still-"
“Talk to Dumbledore. I know.”
She blushed. He knew her all too well.
“Where’s my present?”
“Oh! I almost forgot! Here.” She handed him the semi-square package wrapped in brown paper. “Now, I know it’s not a normal book, “ she began as he started to open it, “but I wanted to do something different. I kept a journal while I was on vacation. And I wanted to prove to the two of you that you’re always on my mind.”
“You gave me your journal?” he asked, confused, flipping through some of the pages.
“I made a copy. I know you and Ron don’t get opportunities to get out much, so I took pictures of everything I thought would interest you, including the Quidditch match in Florida. There’s notes in there about what I did that day, and how I miss you guys…”
“And about your new boyfriend?”
“Of course, why wouldn’t I? Read it. You might find it interesting.”
“Thank you, Hermione, I will. Just promise me you won’t buy me any more books.”
She laughed. “Deal. Now, get some sleep. Ginny and Ron want to train tomorrow.”
“Yeah, I know, ‘so we don’t look like arses’.” He mocked Ron’s words.
“Well, good night, Harry. I’ll see you in the morning.”
“Good night, Hermione.” He replied, as she kissed his forehead.
When she stood, Harry watched her sashay to the door. She was defiantly getting too woman for her own good.
When she opened the door, the twins fell in a heap on the floor in front of her.
Hermione shook her head and put her hands on her hips. “Your mum still have your extendable ears?”
“Every last one of them.” Fred gloomily answered, as he and his brother stood, brushing themselves off.
“She’s forever taking the good stuff.” George added.
“Serves you two right. You shouldn’t stick your noses in places where they oughtn’t belong.”
“Aw, Hermione, you’re no fun.” Fred grumbled, light heartedly.
George rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “Say, erm, by the way…what exactly were the two of you doing in there?”
Harry’s face flushed a little.
“I was giving him his birthday present.” She growled.
“Uh huh, sure. And what did Mr. Potter get for his birthday?” George asked.
Hermione gave a devious smile and rubbed her hands on the sides of their faces. “Wouldn’t you like to know?”
Fred and George felt their knees almost give way.
Harry’s face flushed a brighter red as Hermione pushed passed the boys.
Fred gave a dramatic sigh. “Harry, mate, what did-"
“She gave me a journal!”
“With pictures?” George’s eyes never looked more hopeful.
Harry grinned. “Yeah. But I haven’t looked through them all yet."
Both Fred and George let a smile toy with the corners of their mouths. Reading their minds, Harry closed the journal and set it aside. “Not tonight, mates. It’s getting late.”
“C’mon, Harry, just one peek.” Fred pleaded. “One bikini picture?”
“Good night, Fred, good night, George.”
"Okay, okay, we’re leaving. Just remind us to tell you about our newest product in the morning-vanishing swimsuits! They’re wicked!” George exclaimed.
Harry just shook his head. “Good night, mates.”
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