Chapter 6 : Sixth year at Hogwarts
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‘You can go now Potter,’ drawled Snape, and finally Harry escaped his presence; he sped out of the room before he could change his mind.
The first thing on his mind was Quiddich, the final match. If they lost, he would’ve let them down, and badly at that, he would be hated, and so would the rest of the Gryffindor team.
He took a very deep breath before entering the Gryffindor common room, when he did enter he was surprised at what he saw.
He’d expected a funeral atmosphere, but instead it was a party.
Ron was entwined with Lavender; Harry presumed that Hermione had brought Luna from the Ravenclaw common room because she was sitting, watching Ron and Lavender, looking tearful.
Hermione was sitting her nose in a book, but when she heard Harry come in she put her book down, stood up and grinned at him, he grinned back at her, all of his attention on her.
But he was surprised when Ginny threw herself onto him and kissed him fiercely.
He was so surprised he didn’t move, when he did try to move, Ginny had such a firm grip on him that he couldn’t. But when he finally pushed her away, he saw Hermione’s tearstained face, glistening in tears in the dim light of the common room.
Their eyes met, a single tear ran down Hermione’s left cheek, just watching her made him feel terribly sad, Hermione wiped her face and ran out of the room, she left unnoticed, but Harry sped after her, while all the girls crowded around Ginny, wanting to know how good a kisser Harry was.
Hermione seemed to have disappeared off of the face of the earth, Harry looked everywhere for her, she just wasn’t to be found.
Harry did not give up, however, if he returned to the common room, he would have hell to pay from Ron and Dean, Ginny would be on to him, and Hermione would remain abnormally upset.
He couldn’t figure her out, why was she so upset? He hadn’t wanted to kiss Ginny, and even if he had why was she upset, honestly! He didn’t understand what went on in girl’s complicated heads.
A furious red-head caught up with him, ‘Harry!’ snapped Ron, ‘how could you kiss my sister?’
‘I didn’t kiss her, she kissed me,’ said Harry, ‘she wouldn’t let go, and now Hermione’s upset.’
‘Why?’ asked Ron curiously.
‘No idea,’ said Harry, ‘but it’s over something, and I want to find her.’
‘You shouldn’t have responded to my sister,’ said Ron, there was still a little fury in his voice.
‘I didn’t!’ said Harry, ‘I don’t like her, not that way,’ but Harry was pretty sure that he didn’t like her any way, it had been like that since they went to the ministry the previous year.
‘It looked like you responded to her,’ said Ron sulkily.
There was silence.
‘You like Hermione don’t you?’ said Ron, comprehension lit up his face and he looked practically gleeful.
Harry blushed a deep red, ‘no, I don’t,’ he said, ‘of course not, I just don’t like you’re sister, Ron.’
‘Everyone knows you’re “secretly” seeing her,’ said Ron, ‘I just didn’t realise it for myself, Ginny told me, she was pretty upset, but she’s cheated on five of her boyfriends, so I think she deserves it. Just slightly.’
‘I’m not seeing Hermione,’ said Harry quickly, but he could not get the conviction into his voice.
‘I saw her in the Transfiguration classroom,’ hinted Ron, ‘now, I’m going back to the Gryffindor common room.’
But before he disappeared around the corner, he said, ‘and I’m supposed to be the clueless one.’
Harry hastened to the Transfiguration classroom, Hermione was sitting on the McGonagall’s desk, practising her Patronus.
‘Expecto Patronum,’ she said clearly but only a weak wisp of smoke erupted from her wand.
She sighed, and jumped down from the desk, frustrated, as she always was when she couldn’t achieve something, she tried again but an even weaker wisp of smoke erupted from her wand.
‘The only spell you ever had trouble with,’ whispered Harry and she spun around as fast as lightning.
Harry approached her, put his arm around her shoulder and held her wrist, pointing her wand in front of her.
‘Close you’re eyes,’ Harry whispered softly into her ear, ‘think of the happiest you’ve ever felt, then repeat after me. Expecto Patronum.’
Hermione closed her eyes, and thought deeply, that was the only kind of thinking she ever did, no thinking was ever too complex, she never thought simply. She slowly and clearly said, ‘Expecto Patronum.’
An otter erupted from her wand, it circled them, and Harry smiled.
‘You did it,’ he said proudly, ‘you did Mione, now we need to talk.’
Hermione opened her eyes and turned round and looked at him, ‘you’re right,’ she said slowly, ‘we do need to talk.’
‘I did not in any way want to kiss Ginny,’ said Harry ‘Ron said it looked as if I responded, I swear, on my life, I didn’t. I don’t like her that way, actually,’ he paused, ‘actually, I don’t like her at all, I haven’t for ages, she used to be like a sister to me, since last year, she’s been different, so now I don’t like her at all.’
Hermione smiled, and bent her head shyly, ‘I acted stupid,’ she said, ‘I just –,’ she paused and thought, then she finished, ‘I don’t like Ginny, not anymore, not since last year either, she’s not right for you.’
‘I know,’ said Harry, ‘she’s too much of a …’
He paused, but didn’t need to say anymore, because at the same time, both he and Hermione said, ‘yeah,’ and laughed.
‘So,’ said Harry, holding his hand out, Hermione took it.
‘I’m a stroppy cow,’ she said, ‘moodswings, that’s it.’
‘I think I can handle you,’ said Harry and Hermione blushed, this was something she hadn’t done in a long while.
‘I haven’t seen you do that in ages,’ he said softly.
Hermione blushed again, and then giggled.
‘We’ve been through a lot together,’ said Harry looking into her beautiful melting brown eyes, ‘and I’m glad I’ve still got you.’
Hermione resisted blushing again, but smiled back at him, ‘I’m glad you’ve still got me,’ she said, and this time Harry blushed.
‘Ha!’ she said pointing at him.
‘You’ve got me started now,’ complained Harry grinning, ‘come here.’
He tickled her and she squealed.
‘Get off,’ she giggled as Harry tickled her, ‘I’m being attacked by a maniac!’
‘That’s me,’ said Harry laughing loudly.
For a few minutes Hermione giggled and squirmed helplessly in Harry’s arms, they both grew motionless, and Harry leant in to kiss Hermione, when …
‘Harry James Potter,’ said Ginny who was standing at the door, ‘what are you doing with her? Hermione, he’s mine!’
‘I’m not yours, I was never yours,’ snapped Harry angrily, pushing past Ginny and pulling Hermione with him.
Ginny pushed Hermione as she passed, Hermione attempted to ignore her but Ginny pushed her again and again and again.
In the end Hermione turned around and punched her hard, just as she had punched Malfoy three years ago, Ginny fell to the floor.
She jumped to her feet again, glared at Hermione and ran out of the room.
‘She’ll be starting rumours about you,’ said Harry gently, then caressing Hermione’s cheek.
‘I know,’ said Hermione, ‘she’s pathetic, but I don’t care, not if I have you,’ then she added, ‘and Ron. She’ll be starting rumours about you too.’
‘I know,’ said Harry smiling, ‘and like you said, I don’t care, not if I have you,’ then he added, ‘and Ron.’
Harry and Hermione laughed together, but then seriously, Harry linked hands with Hermione.
‘Hermione, I have something to tell you,’ he said.
‘Yes?’ asked Hermione excitedly.
‘Hermione Granger,’ said Harry lovingly, ‘I don’t know about you but really, really like you.’
‘I really, really like you too,’ said Hermione eagerly.
‘Will you please go out -,’
They were interrupted by McGonagall.
‘What are you doing in here?’ she asked sharply, surveying them, her sharp eyes soon reached their hands.
‘Nothing, professor,’ said Hermione glancing at Harry, ‘I was practising spells, Harry was helping me, weren’t you Harry,’ she said nudging him.
‘Yes,’ said Harry, ‘I was helping her,’ he couldn’t help but grin.
‘Potter helping you, miss Granger?’ said McGonagall inquiringly, ‘I would surely of thought it would’ve been the other way round.’
‘No,’ said Hermione quickly, ‘he was helping me with… with Defence against the dark arts,’ she finished.
‘Go back to you’re common room,’ said McGonagall, Harry and Hermione didn’t need telling twice, they both instantly sped out of the room, leaving McGonagall to her suspicious thoughts.
Hermione giggled when they got outside the fat lady portrait, ‘she looked speechless,’ said Harry, laughing.
‘Harry,’ said Hermione, ‘what was it you wanted to ask me?’
‘Hermione,’ said Harry taking her hand, ‘will you go out –,’
Ron pulled Lavender out of the common room and Luna also left, practically in tears, Hermione squeezed Harry’s hand and chased after her.
‘Sorry mate,’ said Ron, ‘if we were interrupting -,’
‘Shut up,’ said Harry, though not letting his anger show.
‘I’ll see you later,’ said Harry, and he went inside the Gryffindor common room, and avoided all of the girls.
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