Harry Potter was at Number 4 Privet Drive, lying on his bed, his eyes directed to the ceiling while his thoughts spun around in his head. It was the middle of the night and he had just woken up from a nightmare he had about Voldemort attacking another Muggle-born family. The nightmares had been continuous; night after night Harry would find himself lying awake, panting like he had just run a marathon. So he had avoided sleep, busying himself with his school books during the night or going for a run around the neighborhood during the day. When he had nothing else to do, his mind would wander back to the events that took place over the year.
Harry watched as Snape stood over Dumbledore, his wand pointed directly to the Headmaster’s chest. Harry vainly tried to break the Full-Body Bind spell that was placed on him, not able to stand the thought of seeing Dumbledore died in front of his eyes. As he heard Snape about to say the killing curse, something unbelievable happened.
Malfoy tackled Snape to the ground, giving Dumbledore a chance to crawl away. Harry couldn’t believe his eyes. Malfoy! Draco Malfoy, the cruel, evil, little prat, had just saved Dumbledore and fought against his Head of House!
After helping Dumbledore to the hospital wing, Harry and Malfoy stayed in the corridor to talk. Harry paced back and forth while Malfoy stood with his back to the wall, looking really pale. “Malfoy, why did you do it?” Harry finally asked.
For the first time all night, Malfoy looked directly at Harry. “What are you talking about?”
Harry rolled his eyes. “Why did you save Dumbledore? There has to be a reason why you suddenly changed your mind about Dumbledore and attacked Snape instead. Do you want something?”
“I-I don’t want to be like my father,” Malfoy mumbled, casting his eyes on the floor again. Harry had never seen him so unsure of himself. “I hate the way he treats me and I don’t want to grow up to be like him. I don’t want to be a Death Eater like him.”
Harry stood there just staring at him, and then he did the one thing he never thought he’d do. He extended his hand to Malfoy. “Thank you. If it weren’t for you, Dumbledore would be dead by now.”
Malfoy stared at the hand before shaking it. “Anytime,” he said, smiling, “but don’t expect me to do it all the time.”
Harry chuckled. “Well, don’t expect me to be nice to you either.”
On the train ride home, everyone was confused to why Harry and Malfoy were somewhat more polite to each other, but Harry just shrugged.
Harry got a letter from Malfoy this summer, saying that he better not tell anyone what he did. Harry was only happy to say that he wasn’t planning to. He didn’t want to think about what Ron might do to him if he found that Harry shook hands with Draco Malfoy.
The thought of Ron made him feel guilty. He wondered how Ron would take it if he said that he was starting to have feelings for Hermione that he had felt in his third year. He had known that Ron liked Hermione too, and knowing that he couldn’t lose Ron over a girl, even if that girl was Hermione, Harry moved on. For the past three years he had turned his attention to other girls and dated Cho Chang and then Ginny. But after the break up with Ginny, those feelings had surfaced again. God, he didn’t know what to do. He had thought being with Ginny would make take those feelings away for good, but it didn’t.
Harry liked Ginny a lot, but not in the way she cared for him. He had believed that he did, but now that he thought about it, it was just a way to forget his feelings for Hermione. That had made him feel guilty; he was only using Ginny and he couldn’t continue to do that, which was one of the reasons why he broke up with her.
Harry sighed and looked at the clock, which read forty five minutes past eleven. Only fifteen minutes until he was seventeen, until he was an adult wizard and able to get out of the Dursleys’ house. He wondered what everyone was doing at the moment. He knew Hermione should be at Grimmauld Place by now.
Harry shook his head. He needed to stop thinking about her. Getting up from his bed, he went downstairs. The house was dark and quiet; no snoring could be heard from either his uncle’s room or Dudley’s. That was to be expected, since the Dursleys had gone on vacation a few days ago. His uncle’s parting words had been, “You better not be here, boy, when we get back at the end of the month.”
Harry then had told him that once he turned of age, he would be gone.
He went into the kitchen, made himself a sandwich, and went back upstairs. He just took his first bite when he entered his room to see a girl with bushy hair Apparated into his room along with three other adults.
Harry had choked on his sandwhich, instinctively taken out his wand, and pointed it at the intruder before he recognized them. “Hermione! Tonks! Remus! Moody! What are...cough...you doing here?”
Hermione went over to him, patting him on the back. “Oh, I just wanted to be here before you turn seventeen so that I could help you pack.”
“Granger get Potter’s things pack” demanded Mad-eye “we’ll wait for you down stairs.” The three adults walked over to the door, Tonks waving happily at Harry and giving him a thumbs up. Remus gave him a small smile and pushed Tonks out the door, closing it behind him.
Harry, finally able to stop coughing, took a good look at his best friend. She looked different. Although her brown hair was still a bit bushy, but it was now coming down in big curls to her mid back. The polo shirt and jeans that she was wearing fit her nicely as well. He never really saw her in just a plan shirt and jeans, Hermione always had a sweater on or her robes and she looked good. Wow, she looks beautiful
, Harry thought to himself.
Hermione noticed him staring and stole a quick look at him. His hair was no longer long, but was cut short; looking like it did a few years ago. He was still skinny, but he looked like he had been exercising. He looks better, but I don’t think he’s getting enough sleep,
she thought, glancing at the bags under his eyes. Soon she would have to talk to Harry about what was bugging him and the Horcruxes and what they were going to do about it.
“Did you cut your hair?” Hermione asked, breaking Harry’s stare.
Harry ran a finger through his hair, blushing slightly when he saw that Hermione had indeed caught him starring. “Oh yeah, Remus and Tonks came by a few days ago to visit and Tonks said I needed a haircut so she cut it for me. Do you like it?”
Hermione nodded. “Oh yes, it looks better now that it no longer in your face. I can see your eyes better now.”
Harry’s grin grew wider. “Thanks, I really like your hair too. It’s not that bushy any more,” he said, patting her hair as brotherly as he could. Hermione blushed. “Thank you. Well, we better get you packed. Professor Moody is bounded to get impatient if we take too long.”
He nodded and walked over to his trunk. He opened the top and had started to pile his things into it when Hermione stopped him, grinning. “You don’t have to do that. I’m of age, I can use magic now,” she said. She took out her wand and flicked it. Harry’s belongings flew from the corners of his room and fell neatly into his trunk. With another flick of her wand, the trunk shrunk down to the size of a softball.
Harry, suddenly overwhelmed with gratefulness to Hermione, walked up to her and pulled her into a hug. “Thanks for coming, Hermione. I really missed you this summer,” he said into her hair.
Hermione hugged him back. “I’m really glad I came, Harry. I really missed you too,” she whispered.
Harry sighed, taking in the fruity scent of her hair. God, why can’t I just get this feeling I have for her out of the way,
he thought as he pulled away from her. He starred at her for moment and she starred back, they didn’t break their gaze until Moody throw the door opened “come on you two, we have to leave now!” he barked.
Harry and Hermione jumped away from each other, they nodded and waited until Moody lift the room again.
“How are we getting to Grimmauld Place? Harry asked “are we flying again?”
Hermione chuckled. “No Harry, we are Apparting. I’ve learned to do Side-Along-Apparition, so it won’t be a problem.”
“Right. Should we leave now? It’s two minutes to midnight,” Harry said, pointing at the clock on his nightstand.
“Yeah, we should. Mrs. Weasley is staying up waiting for you, and Professor Moody is getting annoyed” Hermione said, taking his hand. Harry felt heat running through his body as she laced her fingers with his. “Are you ready to go?”
Harry nodded. “Yeah, let me just put my trunk in my pocket and tell Hedwig where we’re going.” Still holding on to her hand, he walked over to Hedwig’s cage and opened it, letting her hop onto his outstretched arm. “Hey girl, we’re going to Grimmauld Place. Can you fly there?” Hedwig hooted once and gave him a nip on the ear before she flew out the window.
Harry looked back at Hermione. “Do you think you can shrink Hedwig’s cage too, ‘Mione?”
Hermione smiled at her new nickname and nodded. She shrunk the cage and Harry pocketed it along with his trunk. “Are you ready to go now?” she asked, taking his hand again.
Harry looked around his old room one more time before he nodded. “Yeah, let’s get out of this place.” Hermione smiled. She knew that Harry was dying to leave this horrible place he had to call home.
She pulled Harry out of his room, leading him down stairs where everyone was waiting for them, Harry stopped and looked around “where’s Ron?”
“He wanted to stay at Grimmauld Place,” Hermione spoke “Molly made a late dinner for you and Ron was hungry.” She rolled her and Harry chuckled, knowing Ron would stay for the food.
Moody grumbled, “Right now that Potter is pack and ready to go, off to Grimmauld Place.” And with that he apparated out of the room, Remus was next giving Harry and Hermione a small wave. Tonks was last; she looked at the two teens joined hand and winked at them before apparating out of the room.
“Okay, hold on tight.” Hermione said, Harry squeezed her hand and with a pop they were both gone, never to come back to Privet Drive again.
Ok this chapter had finally been edited thanks to my new beta Potterholic, I know that the next chapter wont make much since because of the change in this chapter, but don't worry it will be fix very soon.
Thanks to Kali @ TDA for the Chapter Image