Chapter 2 : Chapter two.
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Second time Love
Standing up to Dumbledore
Hermione awoke early the following morning, memories of what had happened the day before filled her mind almost instantly, she was pleased to realise that her younger self was the most dominant half of the two joined souls. She had not changed very much if at all, apart from feeling braver now than she ever did before, but that could be because the boy of her dreams had kissed her, getting up from the bed she wandered dreamily to the bathroom, thoughts of the way Harry had kissed her with that last loving kiss flooded her mind, it was a kiss that dreams were made of, the kind of kiss that made a girl go weak at the knees.
She relived the kiss as she took her shower; then again as she brushed her teeth, and all over again as she brushed her flyaway hair.
Walking down to breakfast she knew she would be facing questions from Dumbledore but she would deal with him after she had talked to Harry and not before, entering the kitchen she saw several order members standing or sitting around but there was no sign of Harry. Without saying anything more than a quick good morning Hermione poured out two mugs of tea from the large tea pot sitting in the centre of the table, picking up the mugs she made her way up stairs to Harry’s room, using her elbow on the door handle she opened the door just in time to see the bare butt of Harry who was just pulling up his boxers having had his morning shower, his shoulder length hair still hung damp and glistening, as was his back, his naked torso was amazingly well developed for someone of his age, she decided that the muscles were due to all the quidditch.
Knowing Harry loved her, and would always love her, gave Hermione the courage to overcome her natural shyness and ignoring his blushes she walked over to him and handed him a mug of tea, “We need to talk,” she said as she pulled out her wand and placed some rather intricate and secure locking and silencing charms on the door. If anyone wanted to get in they would have a very hard time getting around the charms she had designed herself while on the hunt for Horcruxes.
Once the charms were in place she sat down on the bed and patted the mattress next to her, indicating for Harry to sit as well, sipping her tea she told Harry about all the things that Dumbledore had kept from him, she missed nothing out from how manipulative the headmaster was to how he was using Harry for his own purposes, she finished with “He might be doing what he thinks is for the best but he has made too many mistakes, mistakes that will eventually cost lives, and the hunt for those pieces of Voldemort’s soul should have started ages ago.”
Harry listened carefully to all Hermione told him and she could see him getting annoyed, “Harry it will do no good getting angry at what has been done, what we need to do is work out what to do about it all,” she said taking hold of his hand.
She was slightly surprised that Harry did not question how she knew the things she told him but supposed that if she thought about it Harry had always trusted and relied on her knowledge and intelligence.
Harry coughed and looked a little uncomfortable as he tried to say some thing, “Er Hermione about yesterday, you kissed me, why?”
Hermione thought about it for a second before answering “You kissed me back, I could ask you why,” She said with a chuckle “but to answer your question, it was the only way I could think of getting through to you.”
“Well I wouldn’t complain if you got my attention like that all the time,” Harry said laughing.
“I suppose a girl could do that with a boyfriend,” Hermione replied with a girlish giggle “but this girl doesn’t have a boyfriend yet.”
Harry chuckled a little before he leant toward her and placed a kiss on her cheek “I could do with a girlfriend, seeing as how Cho wasn’t quite as good looking or as nice to be with as you, and if you haven’t got your eye on a red headed someone else, how would you like the job?” he asked smiling and his eyes twinkling.
Hermione wondered why they had never spoken like this before, “Yes Harry,” she answered knowing that now they truly were more than best friends, she kissed him on his cheek and repeated herself “Yes Harry.”
Harry stuttered a little as he asked “You will, you’ll be my girlfriend?”
Hermione chuckled as she answered him “Yes Harry, I’ll be your girlfriend.”
Harry jumped from the bed and forgetting he was only wearing his boxers he leapt into the air and yelled “Yes, yes, yes,” as loud as he could, almost losing his boxers as he jumped.
Hermione fell back on the bed laughing and remembered the condition they had been in on the same day in her other life, when she had been hospitalised and having to drink ten different potions a day, and Harry had been miserable and inconsolable over Sirius’s death, this time she would do all she could to make Harry’s life happy, and that in turn would make her happy.
Hermione waited as Harry got dressed then hand in hand they walked down to the kitchen where they found Dumbledore was waiting for them.
Harry spoke before Dumbledore had time to ask any questions, “Why? Why have you treated me the way you have?” he asked without emotion.
Albus Dumbledore’s mouth dropped open as he looked at the expressionless face of Harry.
“I’m not sure I know what you mean Harry,” Dumbledore began “but maybe we should talk in private.”
“Oh no, that’s alright I want these people to know why you left me with my aunt and uncle when you knew they were mistreating me,” Harry replied.
“I did not want you to grow up a pampered little prince, I wanted you to grow up as normal a boy as could be under the circumstances,” Dumbledore began.
Harry cut him off with a snort “Oh so growing up being abused and beaten is growing up as a normal boy?”
There were murmurings from the order members who were listening, Sirius had straightened up in his chair as he heard Harry say he had been abused.
“I really think we should have this conversation in private,” Dumbledore said looking annoyed.
“If you want the boy who lived as a weapon then you had better come up with a much better reason for my being abused, starved, and beaten for ten years, and I want to know why you have wasted the last five years, instead of training me and preparing me for what is to come you have done the opposite, and I think these people who have put their trust in you should know what has happened to me,” Harry said still showing no emotion.
Hermione was amazed at the courage and determination of Harry as he faced the old headmaster. She reached down and took hold of Harry’s hand and gave it a squeeze.
“Harry I put you with your mothers sister because the blood bond created when your mother gave her life for you was the most powerful way of keeping you safe,” Dumbledore was saying when Harry once more interrupted.
“Ah being safe as in being treated as a slave, almost starved to death, being beaten and kept locked up, having a cupboard under the stairs as a bed room for ten years, yes I can see how that would be keeping me safe, the fact I haven’t grown into some deranged lunatic is no thanks to you,” this time when Harry spoke his voice was full of venom, “In the Muggle world what you did is a crime, did you know that, they send people to prison for slavery.”
Dumbledore had a tear in his eye as he watched Harry get up from his seat and walk away with one final parting remark “What did I ever do to you that was so bad.”
Hermione along with Sirius followed Harry, when they entered Harry’s bed room Sirius spoke up after clearing his throat. “I never knew Harry, I mean I knew that your mum and Petunia did not get on but I never guessed Petunia would treat you like that.”
“I blame no one but Dumbledore for that, he knew how I was treated but did nothing, absolutely nothing,” Harry told his godfather, he felt sick thinking of how he had always looked up to and respected Dumbledore.
Hermione told Sirius about the prophesy, Sirius said he had an idea but he was never told the actual wording, he was as shocked as Harry had been when he realised that Dumbledore had indeed failed Harry and the rest of them by wasting the last five years.
Sirius and Mr Weasley escorted Harry and Hermione back to the school using a portkey, Mr Weasley made the usual offer to the two best friends of his son, they would be welcome to spend a couple of weeks at the Burrow.
Two days before the end of term Dumbledore sent a note to Harry asking him to visit him in his office that evening at eight.
Both Harry and Hermione turned up and when the headmaster said that he needed a word in private, Harry surprised both Dumbledore and Hermione when he replied that he would like his fiancé to remain with him.
Dumbledore tried to apologise for the things that Harry had suffered in his short life, taking great pains to try and make them believe he did not know how bad things had been, neither of the teenagers forgot that the headmaster had already admitted he knew exactly what was happening, and then he proceeded to tell them about having arranged for the Dursleys not to mistreat Harry during the coming summer.
Hermione who through use of her own spells had managed to keep three of them hidden for a year while Voldemort was in charge of both the ministry and Hogwarts school, with freedom to do as he liked, turned on the headmaster.
“Harry will be spending the school holidays with me,” she said almost hissing the words.
“I’m afraid Harry will have to go to the Dursleys if only for two or three weeks,” Dumbledore said exasperated.
“I don’t think so, you sir are not Harry’s guardian, and out side this school you have absolutely no authority over what Harry does, or where he goes, so as I said Harry will be spending his holiday with me, I his fiancé unlike you will keep him both safe and happy, so if I was you I wouldn’t waste time trying to find us,” Hermione said calmly.
The two teenagers had absolutely no intention of letting Dumbledore dictate to them any longer, his manipulation was over, Harry would spend his holiday learning from Hermione, she was after all the cleverest person he had ever met, and as far as he was concerned at the moment she was his best hope of getting through it all alive, knowing the prophesy he realised that his future life lay in being able to defeat Voldemort as soon as was possible. They had no more time to waste being children, now it was time for them to grow up and take control.
Dumbledore’s thought process was brought to a halt by Hermione’s words, it did not take him many moments to realise she wasn’t known as the brightest witch in her year for no reason, he did indeed have no authority over Harry outside the school, and there would be no way he could legally get the Dursleys to take him against his will, in fact they would be more than happy if they never saw Harry ever again. For the first time in many years Albus Dumbledore did not know what to do, he could appeal to Sirius but he knew that would be a waste of his breath and time. Then to add insult to injury the two teenagers as good as dismissed him when Hermione simply said “There is nothing else you wish to talk about is there,” then just walking away and leaving the office.
Down in the entrance hall they met Malfoy and his cronies, Malfoy instantly insulted Hermione by calling her a mudblood, Harry had his wand out in a flash and was about to cast some spell or curse at the evil little Slytherin when Hermione stopped him, “don’t waste your magic on the stuff people scrape from their shoes,” she said grinning at Harry.
Cussing Malfoy grabbed for his wand but he found Hermione’s fist could still hurt quite a lot, he was on the floor before he had got even close to his pocket, Malfoys cronies stood not knowing what to do while Malfoy lay flat on his back holding his nose.
“If I was you Malfoy, I wouldn’t go around insulting my girlfriend,” Harry said as they walked around him.
“Whats going on here, ah ten points from…” professor Snape shouted then stopped midsentence.
“I wouldn’t finish that if I was you,” Hermione said coldly as she stared defiantly at the potions master.
“Why you insufferable mudblood know it all,” Snape shouted, that’s when Severus found out that Harry had a very good right hook.
Another voice from behind them broke the silence that had fallen in the entrance hall “Ah Mr Potter and Miss Granger, one hundred points each for bringing sanity back to the school I think, don’t you Severus, and I think another fifty points each for showing great restraint by not using magic when unjustly and severely provoked. Oh and by the way Severus if I ever hear you call one of my students that name again you will be looking for a new position, and get up of the floor, it looks most undignified.” Professor McGonagall said before sending Crabbe and Goyle up to her office to deliver her luggage.
As they left Hogwarts for the summer Dumbledore stopped Harry and Hermione as they dragged their trunks out to the waiting carriages.
“I wish to try to apologise once again Harry, I realise now I should have trusted you more, I should have told you some things and I am sorry I did not do that, the only excuse I have is that I cared for you to much, I just wanted you to have a normal childhood, I thought I would tell you when you were older,” Dumbledore said sounding sincere.
Harry dropped his trunk and stared at the headmaster “How you can stand there and tell such lies, I don’t know,” he said to the astonished headmaster.
Dumbledore stood with his mouth open but no words were forming, he shook his head as though wishing he had not heard what had been said.
“You who placed me with cruel abusers, and knowing what I had to suffer you sent me back every year, how could you possibly care one iota about me when you were willing to do that, to put me through all that year after year,” Harry spat out.
Grabbing his trunk Harry turned to Hermione “Come on love, lets go get some fresh air.”
Dumbledore watched them load their trunks on to the carriage and he knew that any respect or friendship, or indeed any connection at all he might have once had with Harry was gone, and sad as it was he could not blame the boy who had known no happiness outside his friend ships with Miss Granger and Mr Weasley, it would take a lot of work to regain the trust of his two favourite students.
As the carriage bounced it’s way to Hogsmeade station Hermione sat cuddled tight into Harry’s side, his arm lay across her shoulders and she had her head leaning against his chest, “Harry,”
“Hmmm, yes love,”
“You called me your fiancé, why’d you do that?” she asked.
“I wanted to stop Dumbledore making you leave,”
“Oh was, er was that the only reason?” Hermione’s voice sounded apprehensive.
“Well yeah, but then, oh I don’t know it just seemed like that’s what you should be, you know my fiancé like,” Harry replied awkwardly.
“Well shouldn’t I have a ring or something if you are going to tell people I’m your fiancé?” Hermione said chuckling at his awkwardness
“Umm, er, yeah I suppose,”
Hermione’s face broke out in a huge smile “And aren’t you supposed to ask me something first?”
Harry somehow felt the smile in her voice and decided to join in the game she seemed to be playing “Yeah, I suppose I should really,” he paused for effect “er, Hermione love, er, could you, er would you, er willyoutellmethetime,” he choked out laughing.
Hermione gave him a thump on his shoulder and laughed with him but he caught just a glimpse of disappointment in her face before she began to laugh with him.
Once they had settled back down and their laughing had ended they both sat silent for the remaining few minutes until they reached Hogsmeade station, as Hermione reached to open the door harry caught her hand, “Oh by the way I just wondered if you might like to marry some day?” he asked quietly before kissing her.
Neville Longbottom met them as they jumped down onto the platform “I’d love to Harry,” Hermione said as Neville steadied her.
“Love to what?” Neville couldn’t help asking.
“Oh I just asked Hermione to marry me,” Harry said strutting around his friend.
Neville’s eyes shot open “You did? What about?” and he nodded his head in Ron’s direction.
“Well Ron isn’t talking to us because I asked Hermione to be my girlfriend, so I don’t think he will like us being engaged not one little bit,” Harry said with a sad look on his face.
“I can’t see what his problem is,” Hermione said looking at the boy she had come to hate.
“Well everyone knows he fancies you, and some people even thought you fancied him,” Neville commented quietly.
“Me fancy Ron? Why on earth would I fancy someone who annoys me so much?” Hermione said looking as though Neville was crazy “as a matter of fact I’m quite enjoying not having him argue with me all the time, perhaps he should stay this quiet all the time.”
Harry and Neville followed Hermione onto the Hogwarts express, “Come on you two lets go find Luna and Ginny,” she said as she led them down the train.
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