Chapter picture by Caren @ TDA
Chapter 10- Back Home
The next week and a half passed quickly for those staying at Number Twelve Grimmauld Place and before Harry knew it, he, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny were on board the Hogwarts Express as the great scarlet steam engine began to pull out of the station. The four off them were trying in vain to find a compartment before Ron and Hermione had to go to the prefect’s carriage, but were having no such luck.
“Come on, Ron,” Hermione began with a sigh. “We might as well head to the prefect’s carriage.”
A sour look formed on Ron’s face at the mention of the meeting, but before he could object, Hermione grabbed his arm and began pulling him along behind her towards the front of the train.
“We’ll find you later, mate!” Ron called as he pulled his arm out of Hermione’s grasp and began to follow her, though a little slower then she would have like.
“Come on, Harry. Let’s go find a compartment,” Ginny stated, shaking her head at her older brother before turning around and heading towards the rear of the train with Harry close behind her. All the way down the train, Harry couldn’t stop looking at Ginny. Her soft skin. Her sweet voice. Her bright red hair shinning in the light coming in from the windows. He was so wrapped up in looking at her that he didn’t even noticed that she had stopped before a compartment and had turned around to look at him until she asked, “Harry, what are you looking at?”
“Oh…..um,” Harry stuttered, looking away from her as he felt the heat rise in his cheeks and hoping that it wasn’t visible. “Nothing.”
“Come on then,” she commented with a smile, opening the door to the nearest compartment. Harry looked inside and smiled at the occupants of the compartment: Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood.
“Hello, Harry, Ginny,” Neville greeted as they stepped into the compartment.
“Hello, Neville,” Harry replied, sitting down in the seat beside him as Ginny closed the door before sitting down next to Luna who looked up from her magazine and smiled at Ginny. “Had a good summer?”
“Yeah. Look at the new wand I got!” exclaimed Neville, pulling a new wand out of his pocket and holding it out towards Harry for him to see it. None of the occupants of the compartment noticed that the door was sliding open. “It’s Willow and Dragon Heartstring, 7 ½ inches”
“I doubt you could use it any better than your last one, Longbottom,” drawled the voice of Draco Malfoy. All those in the compartment looked up to see him standing in the doorway, flanked up by his cronies Crabbe and Goyle.
“Nobody asked your opinion, Malfoy,” Harry stated harshly as he stood up from his seat to face the blond.
“It’s not an opinion, Potter,” he sneered, glancing past him to where Neville was still sitting. “It’s a fact.”
From where she sat, Ginny laughed sarcastically for a few moments before standing up, pulling out her wand in the process and pointing it at Malfoy’s face. “In your own twisted mind.”
“I see mini Weasel is here,” Malfoy sneered, glancing down at her wand. “Where is the other Weasel, in his cage perhaps?”
Malfoy laughed at his own joke and Crabbe and Goyle sniggered where they stood behind him. That was, until Ron’s voice sounded from behind him. “He’s right behind you.”
Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle stopped laughing and spun around to see Ron and Hermione standing behind them, wands pointing at the three Slytherins. Harry stepped forward, pulling out his own wand and pointing it at Malfoy. “Leave now.”
Malfoy turned around and smirked at Harry. “I wonder what side your sister would choose in this, Potter.”
“She’d be next to me,” Harry replied through clenched teeth as Malfoy and his cronies pushed past Ron and Hermione and headed towards the front of the train. Harry sat back down with a sigh and replaced his want in his pocket as Ron and Hermione moved into the compartment.
“What was he talking about, Harry?” Neville asked as Hermione slid the door closed and sat down beside Ginny. “You don’t have a sister, do you?”
Harry glanced over at Hermione across from him and seeing her nod, looked back to Neville. “Yes, Neville. I do have a sister. Her name is Jennifer.”
Neville gaped at Harry for a few seconds before asking, “Well, where is she?”
“She is in the United States. But you have to keep this a secret until Dumbledore tells me otherwise,” Harry explained, glancing between Neville and Luna to see if they both understood. Without any hesitation, they both nodded in reply.
"Why is she in the United States?” asked Luna, setting down her magazine in her lap as she looked at Harry. “Was it because of the Flagnorts?”
Everyone looked over at Luna with confusion. Ron was the first one to respond to this question.”What the bloody hell is that?”
The rest of the train ride was spent telling Neville everything he knew about his sister, wondering what she was like, and Luna going on and on explaining to Ron what a Flagnort was.
When Harry sat down at the Gryffindor house table that evening, he found that the first question people asked him as soon Dumbledore had finished his opening speech and the feast had appeared on the table was, ‘Are you going to continue the DA?’
After the first few times of answering that he probably would not start the group up once more and seeing the disappointed looks on their faces, Harry began to think. Just because Umbridge was gone, should he really stop the DA? So many people had told him that it had helped them tremendously, and how often would the teacher be able to focus on one or two students? Very little or never, for they would have to worry about the class as a whole.
So when Seamus had asked just after the beginning to the feast, Harry told him that the DA would indeed be starting up again. All those around that had been in the group and were sitting in the vicinity heard this and smiled, glad that the group would be active once more. The rest of dinner was spent discussing what they would be learning that year and when the first meeting would be held.
But before the first meeting, he wanted to at least see what the newest Defense Against the Dark Arts professor was like. Dumbledore had introduced the petite blond sitting up at the table as the new professor April Anderson. Though from first glance, Harry was sure she would be better than Umbridge and Lockhart at that, seeing as she wasn’t wearing pink and didn’t seem to be obsessed with her appearance.
Before Harry knew it, he and Ron were telling Hermione good night in the common room before heading up the separate staircase leading to the boy’s dormitory. Going up the stairs until they reached the room they had stayed in since first year, though it was now labeled ‘sixth years’, they opened the door to find that Neville, Seamus, and Dean were already in the room.
Harry and Ron walked over to their four poster beds, at the end of which there trunks sat, and began to get ready for bed. Opening his trunk and pulling out his pajama’s, Harry smiled. This was where he was meant to be. Not Privet Drive, not Grimmauld Place, not even the Burrow with the Weasleys, who were essentially his family. No, this magical castle was his home. And Harry smiled for that very reason.