Chapter 12 : Replacements?
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The next few weeks were quite awkward for Harry, the new knowledge that Hermione was in love with him made him feel slightly awkward and what made it worse was Ron always asking what was wrong. Harry noticed that Lavender was staying quite quiet and Ginny always seemed to wander off with Jenny when Harry wanted to talk to the blond haired girl. Harry soon learned to cope with it all and to top it all off his Occlumency apparently wasn’t working as he started having weird dreams again.
“Look, apparently the Ministry has offered the Goblin’s a new deal to keep them on their side.” Hermione said pointing out the article in the Prophet at Lunch time. Ron, who was sitting next to her, peered at it briefly and grunted.
“Nothing interesting then?” Ron asked. He stared at some homework he still had to do, “How do you stun a Troll?”
“Use wingardium Leviosa on it’s troll” said Harry smirking slightly, remembering his first year when Ron and himself had fought a mountain troll to save Hermione.
“Yeah, but Grout won’t want that.” Ron said. He scribbled it down anyway and then rolled up his parchment that was strewn across the table.
“I don’t think he’ll like the grease smears all over your work either.” Hermione said frowning. Ron shrugged,
“Oh well, his problem.” Ron said.
“What if you get a detention.” Hermione snapped at him.
“I haven’t gotten a detention for over a year now and if I do I lose my badge and Harry becomes prefect, what’s the problem?” Ron asked like it wasn’t a big deal though Harry knew that for once Ron liked being slightly better then Harry. Harry didn’t really mind and he felt quite proud for Ron.
“But Grout is quite strict. He’s given three Slytherins, five Hufflepuffs and eight Gryffindors detentions in the past month” Hermione said scowling
“How do you know that?” Ron asked.
“When you’ve shared a dorm with Lavender and Pavarti, you tend to pick up bits of gossip.” Hermione said.
“But that still-”
“There’s a Quidditch practice tonight by the way.” Harry said trying to stop them bickering.
“We’re playing Slytherin next aren’t we?” Ron asked.
“Yeah, it turns out that Draco is back on the team. Though half the team was cursed before he got back on.” Harry said.
“Suspicious isn’t it?” Hermione said.
“Yeah, but I’m a bit worried because our beaters are a bit and we have new chasers, the Slytherins can be quite vicious.” Harry said.
“But the match isn’t for another few months yet so no worries mate.” Ron said. He stuffed all his things into his bag and filling his mouth with food.
“I suppose.” Harry said frowning slightly. A silence fell upon the three as they sat and ate their food.
“Are you two going to Hogsmeade?” Hermione asked the boys.
“Of course.” Ron said with a smile, “when do we never go to Hogsmeade?”
“I was just wondering because there is the whole thing with Voldemort…Oh Ron grow up.” Hermione snapped as Ron gave a shudder.
“Yeah, well I’ll probably have April tagging along with me.” Harry said.
“But that will mean that Jenny can come with you.” Ron said suggestively with a grin. He was met by two slightly annoyed stares. Ron glanced at Hermione and then at Harry. “Ok, I get why Harry would be annoyed but why are you annoyed?” Ron asked turning back to Hermione. Hermione rolled her eyes and picked up her books and left the hall. Ron stared with her mouth open.
“Shut your mouth, it’s disgusting.” Harry said frowning slightly.
“Oh, sowwy.” Ron said as he swallowed his lunch. “So, what was that about?” Ron asked a bit more quietly.
“Oh, nothing.” Harry said. He didn’t really want to tell Ron that Hermione, Harry’s best friend, was in love with him, Harry. He didn’t want to see Ron’s face if, what the rumours said, was true that Ron fancied Hermione.
“What, you can tell me. I’m your best mate.” Ron said. Harry frowned and then nodded.
“Well, Hermione…ask your sister.” Harry said, not wanting to hurt Ron. Ron looked slightly annoyed then stood up to look for Ginny. Ginny was just walking in with Jenny, they had grown quite close recently, which suited Ginny just fine, they had their heads bent inwards slightly in a way that reminded Harry or Fred and George before they caused trouble. Some people, including Harry, had noticed that they often disappeared and soon after they reappeared something would go bang or a couple of Slytherins would break out in spots.
“HEY GINNY, JENNY, OVER HERE!” Ron shouted. Ginny looked up and went to where Ron and Harry were sitting. Ginny and Jenny ran over and smiled sweetly at Harry. This caused Harry to get slightly suspicious.
“What do you want?” Harry asked cautiously.
“Well, we were wondering if-” Ginny looked at Jenny and grinned, “Can we borrow your map and Invisibility cloak?”
“Why?” Harry asked suspiciously. Jenny and Ginny looked at each other again and both burst out in a fit of giggles.
“Please Harry.” Jenny said pouting slightly. Harry frowned and then nodded.
“Alright but when do you need it?” Harry asked. Jenny grinned. Harry stared at her, ignoring Ginny at first.
“We need it tonight. We’ll only need it for about an hour. We promise we’ll put it back.” Ginny said.
“I already said yes didn’t I?” Harry snapped, not meaning to. Ginny frowned but Jenny gave Harry and happy smile.
“Thanks.” She said, “Come on Ginny.” The two girls got up and started whispering quickly again as they left the hall.
“Strange.” Ron muttered.
* * * *
“Jack, please try and improve your aim.” Katie said tiredly at Jack after he had narrowly missed Ginny with a bludger then accidentally let go of his bat causing Harry to lose track of the snitch.
“Sorry Katie.” Jack said, “but my hands are completely numb.”
“Well, we might have to play Slytherin in these conditions so next time get some gloves.” Katie snapped at him. Andrew sniggered. His aim had been getting better and better and he was becoming the same standard as Fred or George Weasley.
“Ok, End practice.” Harry said, seeing the tiredness in Katie’s face. Katie gave him a grateful smile and the entire team were all landing back on the ground when the Slytherin team appeared.
“How’s the Weasel king and his faithful subjects?” Malfoy sneered.
“Shut up Malfoy.” Harry said back.
“I’m doing great thanks. And how are your faithful followers? Deatheaters I believe.” Ron snapped back. Malfoy looked slightly surprised, Ron never stuck up for himself. The Gryffindor team returned to their common room frozen to the bone but in a good mood, the only two that didn’t seem affected by the weather was Ginny and Jenny. They were talking as quickly as they had earlier at lunch.
“What if they catch us?” Jenny asked.
“You’re not backing out now are you?” Ginny asked.
“No, I think it’s brilliant. Are you sure you can get all of them?”
“With your help yes, of course.” Ginny said grinning.
“What are you two on about?” Ron asked. Ginny and Jenny looked at him innocently.
“Nothing.” Ginny said. Ron looked at Ginny suspiciously.
“I have seen that look too many times to be fooled by it.” Ron said.
“We were just planning what we were going to get people for Christmas.” Jenny lied.
“It’s still only October.” Harry said slightly bemused.
“Nothing wrong with planning early is there Jenny?” Ginny asked looking at her friend.
“Nope.” Jenny said innocently. “Can you give us your cloak and stuff in a little bit please?” Jenny said giving Harry a sweet smile. Harry took an extraordinarily long breath.
“Yeah, sure just come and find me when you want it.” Harry said. Jenny grinned and gave him a quick hug before running after Ginny, who had gone to their dorm room.
“I swear, Ginny is going to be exactly like Fred and George.” Ron said collapsing into a seat next to Hermione.
“Quidditch practice good?” Hermione asked Ron.
“Yeah it went ok until the Slytherins turned up at the end.” Ron said.
“They didn’t put you down again did they?” Hermione said sympathetically.
“They did but it didn’t matter.” Ron said,
“He stood up for himself.” Harry said sitting on a chair opposite them. Hermione glanced at Harry and turned her attention back to Ron.
“Well, I’m going to bed,” Ron and Harry frowned.
“It’s still really early though” Harry said.
“Who’s going to help me with my homework?” Ron asked. Hermione gave him a smile and left. Harry’s frown deepened, Hermione had been a bit cold to him, why?
“Hey Harry.” Ginny said jumping up on him suddenly. Harry jumped slightly and looked at Ginny. She seemed to be holding something behind her back.
“Hi Ginny.” Harry said.
“Can we have your cloak and map now?” Ginny asked.
“Sure.” Harry said. He got up and started for his dorm room. He was followed by Ginny and Jenny joined them nearer the steps.
“I can’t wait to see their faces.” Jenny whispered to Ginny, Ginny giggled slightly.
“I know, it’s going to be great.” Ginny whispered back. Harry looked behind him and saw the two girls acting innocently. He pushed his door open and went to his trunk the girls sat on his bed and looked into a bag that Ginny was holding.
“So there’s definitely enough?” Jenny whispered.
“Yep, give or take a few.” Ginny said. Harry pulled out his cloak and got his map out of his trunk.
“What are you two doing?” Harry asked.
“Nothing.” Ginny said. “Thanks for the cloak.” She made to grab it but Harry pulled it just out of reach.
“Not until you tell me what’s going on.” Harry said. Jenny and Ginny looked at each other and Ginny grinned but Jenny frowned.
“No.” Jenny said urgently to Ginny like they were having a psychic conversation like the ones that Pavarti and Lavender often had. Ginny nudged Jenny forwards and Jenny looked at Harry slightly shyly.
“I’ll see you downstairs.” Ginny said cheekily. She left the room before Jenny had time to say anything.
“Seriously, what are you two up to?” Harry asked Jenny, pretending to be the responsible older brother type figure. Jenny smiled slightly, her giggliness seemed to have evaporated the moment Ginny had left.
“Will you promise not to tell anyone?” Jenny said seriously. Harry nodded. Jenny waved a hand for him to bend over slightly so she could whisper in his hear. Instead of being told what was going on Jenny kissed Harry’s cheek softly as grabbed his cloak and map before disappearing like the speed of light. Harry blinked a few times trying to register what had just happened. Jenny had kissed him, sure it hadn’t been a kiss on the lips but just a kiss on the cheek but still.
A grin spread over his face and Harry lay down on his bed thinking about Jenny. Harry couldn’t even think of anyone better then her, sure he’d only known her for a while but still. Everything about her seemed to make Harry smile, her voice, figure, appearance the way she was hyper around Ginny but shy around Harry.
Soon Harry fell asleep in his bed without changing out of his quidditch robes. He was standing in an abandoned house staring at a wall covered in bits of Parchment. There were hundreds, no thousands of names on the wall but at the very top of the wall were four names written in silver ink,
Harry looked down the section of the wall that had GRYFFINDOR and SLYTHERIN.
“I must know what was in that prophecy.” Muttered Harry to himself but it wasn’t Harry’s voice, it was a deeper, more snake like voice. Harry’s gaze came to the bottom of the SLYTHERIN line and he held out his wand. There was a name written there, TOM MARVOLO RIDDLE, Harry crossed it out with his wand and in it’s place wrote LORD VOLDEMORT.
Harry bolted awake breathing quickly. That dream hadn’t been a bad one but it was still enough to make Harry’s scar burn. He touched it delicately and tried to calm his breathing.
“Shit.” Harry said.
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