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Above the Clouds by cathyyy
Chapter 43 : Leaving Hogwarts
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 275


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  [I don't own anything except some OC's and the plot. Everything else is JK Rowlings. Enjoy the last chapter!]

 
 







 

 

 

It's over, I thought to myself as I packed. It's really over.
 



 

During the feast the previous night, McGonagall had held a speech about changes. She'd told us that she'd seen us all change during the year, some more than others. I agreed. This year at Hogwarts had been beyond anything I had ever imagined. I had changed a lot; everything had changed a lot. It was a change for the better, I was sure of it. I glanced around in the bedroom to make sure that I had packed everything, I hoped that I had because my trunk was already full. Biting my lip, I walked out and left the trunk in the bedroom. I was alone in our own little common room; Draco, Blaise and Amber were down in the dungeons. It was the very last day we were here after all, and they had spent most of their time in the Slytherin common room. No wonder they wanted to spend some time there before they left.
 



 

Taking a deep breath, I began to make my way towards the Gryffindor common room. I couldn't just leave Hogwarts without saying goodbye to that place. It was too important to me, I had so many memories from there. As I walked down the halls, I couldn't help but to think back on the years I'd spent here. I thought about my first year, when I'd come to this school with an urge to learn everything I possibly could about magic. When I'd been attacked by a troll and lied to a teacher for the first time. I smiled at the memory, I suppose you could say that my friendship with Harry and Ron begun on that day – when they saved me from the troll.
 



 

I wondered what the eleven year old me would've said if she learned what would happen in the future. If she learned that during her third year, a werewolf would be her teacher. If she learned that Voldemort would rise again during her fourth year. If she learned that she'd be fighting against Death Eaters in her fifth year. If she learned that during her sixth year, her Headmaster would be killed. If she learned that she would survive a war, bigger and more horrible then anything she'd read about. If she learned that she would live through it and find love during her seventh year at Hogwarts. If she learned that she would be happily together with Draco Malfoy. The eleven year old me probably wouldn't believe a single word of it.
 



 

As I reached the portrait of the Fat Lady, she stared at me. Not quite believing her eyes, I guess. I hadn't been there for quite some time. She was waiting for a password, and I realized that I didn't know the current password.
 



 

“It's Pro Tempera.





I spun around at the sound and found myself staring at Professor McGonagall. She gave me a small smile – it seemed as if she'd been expecting me.

“Professor,” I greeted before turning back to the portrait. “Pro Tempera.”
 
 

The portrait swung open and I stepped inside, followed by McGonagall. Everyone had already left for the Great Hall where breakfast was being served. I glanced around and remember sitting in here and studying, talking to friends and I knew I'd miss it. I'd miss school the second I was out of here, I was sure. Not just because I enjoyed classes, but because Hogwarts had become a part of me. A home. I cleared my throat and turned to McGonagall. She'd followed me in here for a reason, that much I was sure of.
 



 She gave me a small smile. “I have something I would like to talk to you about.”


She motioned for me to sit down and we both did. Needless to say, I wasn't expecting this.



 

“I don't know if you remember this, but when you were in my office last time, Dumbledore wanted to speak to me after you left. From what I understand you have the original copy of the Tales of Beedle the Bard?” I gave a quick nod as she said this. She nodded as well.

 

 



 “It's written in runes,” I informed her, just in case she wasn't aware of it.


“Yes, Miss Granger, I know. Dumbledore wondered if you would like to translate it?”

“I'd love to!” I breathed and McGonagall seemed pleased with my answer. I smiled to myself, excited beyond belief over getting to translate the original copy. McGonagall looked saddened for a moment and as she spoke again, I could hardly believe how emotional she sounded.
 



 

“It's been such an honour to have you as a student, Miss Granger,” she said and blinked a few times. “You truly are a remarkable witch.”
 



 

“Thank you, Professor,” I said with a shaky voice. My eyes were filling with tears and I didn't quite know what to say. We both fell silent for a while before McGonagall stood up and told me that she would give me some privacy.

“I'll write you sometime during the summer and see how the translation is coming along,” she said before she turned to walk out of there. She stopped suddenly and turned to look at me. “Oh, and I thought you'd like to know that you did excellent on your N.E.W.T's."

She gave me a nod and then she walked out and the portrait closed slowly behind her.
 




I let out a deep breath and looked around. Smiling to myself, I walked to the girls dormitory, had one last look around before I decided that it was enough. I loved this place and I could be in here forever just to make sure that I would remember every detail – but that would be like torture. Instead I glanced around once more before I walked out of the Gryffindor common room and headed towards the Great Hall. As I walked down all the stairs, I remembered to avoid the trick steps, something that came naturally these days. I remembered how Neville always used to forget about those and smiled to myself.


I hoped that I would come back to Hogwarts a lot in the future, and teaching here wouldn't be something that I would turn down easily. But for now, I just wanted a break from school – odd as it sounded. A break from school, but not from Hogwarts, as confusing as that might sound. I had high expectations about this summer and I hoped that it would be fantastic. I would get to work on translating he book. Hopefully, I'd get to spend a great deal of time with Draco as well. The only problem was that we hadn't made any plans. We had hardly talked about it. I just hoped that it wouldn't be long until I went to visit him.
 



  I walked in to the Great Hall and took it all in. I remembered the first time I'd stepped in to the Great Hall and smiled at the memory – it had seemed much bigger back then. It was still huge, of course. I noticed that Draco and Blaise were already there, and Draco turned to look at me and as I came closer he grabbed my hand and pulled me down next to him quickly.

 



  “You'll never believe what Blaise has done,” he hurried to say and my eyes widened. I glanced over at Blaise – I guess I looked quite terrified.

 


 

“Oh, relax,” Blaise rolled his eyes and waved his hand. It took me a second or so to notice it. He was wearing a ring. I shrieked and everyone looked at me, I quickly covered my mouth and glanced between Blaise and Amber.





  “You're engaged!?” I tried to keep my voice down.

 

 “Not quite,” Blaise scratched the back of his head. “It's more like a promise ring. To prove that I wont forget about her now that I wont be going to Hogwarts anymore.”



 

“You're totally engaged,” Draco said and sounded amused.

 

 
Blaise rolled his eyes. “Call it whatever you like.”




“Well...” I said and couldn't keep from smiling widely. “Congratulations or something.”
 

Amber glanced at Blaise, who was grinning at her. She leaned forward and he pressed his lips against her when she was close enough. I had no doubt that those two would last even with Amber having two more years of school. It was so typical Blaise, wasn't it? Getting engaged at a early age. Not that I minded, I knew their love was strong and I saw nothing wrong with further commitment. But it was very typical Blaise. He was extreme in everything he did, and I guess that when it came to relationships, he wasn't any different. It was all in or nothing when it came to Blaise.
 

I turned my head to look at Draco, who was quite the opposite. He wasn't one to rush in to things, even though our relationship had happened very quickly. But from the time that we got together until he confessed to loving me, that had taken quite some time. I was glad it had, I was glad that we'd taken that time to really think things through and we'd only said 'I love you' when we'd been absolutely sure about it. Draco was shaking his head at Blaise, who was still claiming that it wasn't 'exactly an engagement'.

Luna sat down next to me, she didn't seem to be surprised about Blaise and Amber at all. Instead, she acted as if she had been expecting it for quite some time. She looked up as the owls flew in and smiled happily as she received the Quibbler; she opened it and begun to read at once. She seemed almost indifferent to leaving Hogwarts, although it was hard to tell with Luna. Neville and Hannah joined us as well, but they had already heard about Blaise and Amber so they didn't comment on it. Instead they acted very much as if it was just another day of school.
 

I laced my fingers through Draco's and saw a smile spread on his lips. He gave me a quick glance and smiled wider before he picked up his conversation with Blaise again.



When Draco had finished his breakfast, and I only had a bit of toast left, he asked me if I would go with him back up to our common room. Apparently he had left some things up here. I gave a nod and stood up, he took a hold of my hand once more as we began to walk. I was pleasantly surprised to see that people didn't gawk at us like they used to. I guess they'd gotten used to seeing us together after all these months.
 


Reaching our common room, Draco mumbled the password and we were let in. Draco pulled me along and as I glanced around, I noticed that he hadn't forgotten anything at all.
 



 

Pulling me in to the bedroom, he sat down on the bed and I did the same.
 



 

“I'm gonna miss this place,” Draco said, sounding somewhat surprised by his own words. “All this time, I've wanted nothing more than to be done with school and now that I am...”




 

I couldn't very well say that I understood how he felt. Being done with school had always scared me and it definitely hadn't been something that I'd been longing for.

“I guess I've just gotten so used to being here every year, you know?” he said and looked at me. That I could understand. “And now, I'm supposed to get a job.” He didn't sound too excited about the idea. “Who would want to hire a former Death-”
 

“Draco,” I interrupted and he silenced. I couldn't believe what he was saying. He was an outstanding wizard, he got good grades. His change towards the end of the war had saved him from Azkaban, surely people would take that in to consideration when he tried to get a job? “This is nonsense. You're brilliant at everything you do, I'm sure other people will see that.”

“You really think that, or are you just trying to make me feel better?” he attempted to joke, but the joke fell flat. “I hope you're right.”
 

Draco turned his head to look at me and I smiled. He returned the smile and closed the gap between us. He pressed his lips gently against mine twice and then I eased back.
 

“I'm going to miss this,” I sighed and put hand on his. “We've been around each other constantly and now we're going to live miles away from each other. It's going to be such a huge change and I-” I trailed off and sighed. “I'm going to miss having you around all the time.”

Draco chuckled lightly and captured my lips once more, I returned the kiss fiercely and felt Draco sigh. He pulled away somewhat, only to trail kissed down my neck. He paused by my ear. “I plan on being around a lot, though,” he said huskily. 

“Yeah?” I breathed as his mouth pressed against my jaw. 
 

“Count on it,” he said and then his lips found mine again and my eyes fluttered closed as we kissed. We broke apart as we heard the portrait open. With a groan, Draco fell back on the bed. I heard Blaise's laugh before he'd entered our room.

“You had a snog party and I wasn't invited?” Blaise shook his head, trying to look hurt. “You guys should probably get a move on, we don't wanna miss the train back to London, now do we?"

Draco's very mature response was to throw a pillow at Blaise, who left the room with a chuckle.

 









 

The ride back to London felt much longer than it had ever done. Probably because I wanted to stay so badly. We'd bought sweets from the trolley and we'd passed the time by telling each other Hogwarts memories. It was fun to hear what Draco and Blaise had been up to during their years – Blaise had almost been as much of a prankster as the Weasley twins.



 

 


Draco and I was just in the middle of talking about the time that we got detention together in first year as the train came to a stop. We all glanced around at each other, none of us wanted to get off the train and go back home to our families, not really. With a sigh, Amber stood up first. In a way she was the lucky one here, she got to go back next year. If only she would see it that way and stop complaining about being so young.

 

 


“You ready to go?” Draco nudged me and I shook my head no, but got up anyway. We got ready to leave but patiently waited for people to get off the train so that we wouldn't have to push our way out through the crowded place. Once most people were gone, we took our stuff and got off the train. I noticed that Draco was searching for his parents. He seemed to have found them because he sent off a smile. I knew that mine wouldn't be here, they'd be on the other side of the barrier.
 

 


We moved out of the way as more students came off the train. Amber had run up to her parents and hugged them, but Blaise stayed with us.

 


 

“So...” Blaise began awkwardly. “I'm going to Italy for a couple of weeks. But we'll catch up when I get back to England?” 



 

 



 

Draco and I nodded, not really sure what to say. My head spun and I felt silly for getting tears in my eyes. I wouldn't get to see Blaise in weeks, and I didn't even have plans to see Draco yet.
 



 

“When are you leaving for Italy?” Draco asked, not even he could keep his emotions from being heard in his voice. Blaise told us that he would be leaving shortly, in a few hours. He would go with Amber to her place first and use their Floo-network. “Owl me when you can, okay?”



 

 Blaise nodded and then they gave each other a quick hug. I bit my lip as I watched them, the two best friends who looked far too sad to have just graduated school. I yelped in surprise as Blaise attacked me with a hug, but soon enough I found myself hugging him back as hard as I could. “Should I owl you, too?”

 

 



 

“You better,” I raised an eyebrow as I spoke and he chuckled. He let go of me and ruffled my hair. I didn't mind, it was already a mess anyway. Blaise said bye and then he walked over to Amber and put his arm around her waist. She turned her head and sent him a wide smile. I tore my eyes off them and focused on Draco instead.
 



 

There was a long silence and we just looked at each other, and then Draco reached up and stroke some of my hair out of my face and put it behind my ear. My breath got caught in my throat and Draco gave me a crooked smile.



 

“No need to look so sad,” he said.

 

 



 

“Can't help it,” I shrugged and carefully put my luggage on the ground(which was quite heavy, I always seemed to pack too much and mostly books). I closed the distance between Draco and I and put my arms around his waist and buried my face in his chest. He seemed quite surprised but slowly embraced me and let his head rest upon mine. “You'll visit?”
 



 

“All the time,” he promised and as I looked up at him, he pressed his lips against my forehead. “And you?" 



 

“Of course. As long as I'm welcomed.” He knew I was talking about Lucius, although I didn't think that Lucius had much say in it if Draco and Narcissa teamed up against him. Draco's smile widened; he had probably been thinking the same thing. 



 

 


Draco leaned down and pressed his lips against mine, I pressed myself against his chest and he pulled me closer yet. It was pleasantly surprising to feel those butterflies in my stomach flutter even after all those months. I didn't really care if anyone saw us, they weren't important. My hands made their way to his neck and I ran my fingers through his hair. He broke the kiss to breathe and I gave a small sigh which amused him. I gave him one small quick kiss before I glanced over his shoulder to see that his parents were trying their best to avoid looking our way. Draco followed my glance and we both laughed at the fact that both of them were blushing slightly.

 

 


“I should probably go,” Draco said after a few seconds and looked back at me. I nodded and bit my lower lip. Draco pulled me in for another hug and I closed my eyes and inhaled. Draco's arms slowly let me go and I sighed. I should probably get going as well. “See you soon, Hermione.”

 

 


I smiled a bit as he turned and began to make his way to his parents. I stared at his back, until I noticed that Narcissa was waving at me. I waved back and even got a small nod from Lucius. I nodded back. As Draco reached his parents, Narcissa hugged him tight. I picked up my luggage and then I made my way to my own parents.

 

 Once through the barrier, I spotted them. I hadn't realized just how much I had missed them until I saw them smiling at me. I hurried up to them and hugged them both. As Mum embraced me, I found myself shedding a tear or two.



 

“Sweetheart, what's wrong?” Mum asked and I shook my head.

 

 
 

 

“Nothing,” I hurried to say. “Let's go home.”



 

Only, it didn't feel like I was going home. It felt like I had just left home.






 










Sunlight hit my face as I opened my eyes, I blinked several times to get used to it. The night had been brutally hot, so I untangled the covers from my body quickly. There was something about today, I remembered. Something that caused my stomach to tighten in excitement, only I couldn't remember what it was. I blinked a few more times and tried to wake myself up and get my brain to work. I rolled over in my bed and that's when I spotted the picture of Draco and I that had been taken last Christmas. I sat up straight and a huge smile spread across my face – of course, Draco was coming over today.

I hadn't seen him since we left Hogwarts, and mind you that was two weeks ago. Those two weeks had been enough to convince me that life after Hogwarts would be living hell. I had been bored out of my mind, I had almost finished translating the book – and when I was done with that, I wouldn't have anything to do. Hopefully, Draco would be there to keep me occupied. That, and the fact that Blaise was coming back to England in just a week, made me feel a bit better. I hoped that the summer would turn out to be a lot more fun with those two around.

I made my way to the shower and nearly ran over Crookshanks in my hurry to get there. I mumbled an apology to her but she seemed to ignore me completely. Shaking my head at her, I continued towards the bathroom.
 

Once I was clean and dressed, I made my way downstairs. I could smell pancakes and sure enough, when I walked in to the kitchen I found that my mother had made me breakfast. I groaned as I heard a laugh coming from the garden and I understood that my aunt was here. But, not even that could make my mood falter today. I ate the pancakes quickly and then I served myself a glass of milk and headed outside. Crookshanks followed me and meowed, I bent down and picked her up.

 “Draco is coming today,” I whispered to her excitedly and she blinked twice. I was willing to bet that she understood me.
 

I walked outside and found my parents and my aunt sitting in the sun. “Good morning!”

“Look who has woken,” Dad said and my mother mumbled 'about time...'. I rolled my eyes at both of them and had a seat. Crookshanks settled down in my lap and fell asleep purring.

“Hello,” I said to Kristy who gave me a nod. Despite our talk after Grandma's death, things hadn't changed drastically. We still found each other just as annoying as before, but I think that she understood me better these days. “How are things?”
 

“Okay, I guess,” she replied casually. “And with you?"

“Same.”

That was about as much we spoke to each other the next hour and a half. Mum and Kristy had gotten closer after Grandma's death, and so Kristy had been coming around more often then before. I guess that was a good thing for Mum. They'd been close growing up, but when I was born – their relationship had taken a turn for the worse. I was really glad that they were getting along fine these days.

I followed Mum in to the kitchen when she was going to make some more coffee for herself and Kristy. I was bored enough to count the seconds until Draco was supposed to get here. I sighed and looked at my Mum, she looked really healthy compared to the last time I had seen her, which had been right after Grandma had died. We had avoided talking about Grandma since I got home, but I had to bring it up sooner or later.
 

“Mum,” I begun. “Can we go to Grandma's grave someday? I haven't been there since the funeral.”

She turned around and smiled. “Of course. Maybe Draco would like to go with you?”
 

“I think he would,” I replied and then I raised my eyebrows. “Why are you smiling?”

“I was starting to get worried,” she shook her head. “You haven't mentioned Grandma in a while, and I began to think that you weren't grieving properly."

“I'm fine,” I said and I actually meant it. Her choice of words made me grin. Grieving properly. Was there a way to grieve properly? I shook my head at her words.
 

Crookshanks hurried past me and I furrowed my eyebrows at her and followed her. She was running towards the door with her tail in the air and meowing loudly. Just as I was about to pick her up, the doorbell rang and I shrieked in surprise. I hurried to open the door and I found Draco standing there looking amused and somewhat bewildered at the same time. He'd cut his hair, I noticed. It wasn't that big of a change and it looked very good.

“Were you waiting by the door?” He chuckled at my confused face but then I understood what he meant – I had opened the door just seconds after he had rang the bell. I blushed a bit, not quite sure what to say. Crookshanks was stroking against his legs and I shook my head at the smart cat. I then remembered that Draco was standing right there and I nearly knocked him down as I jumped up in his arms. He laughed out loud and hugged me tight. “I've missed you, too.”

I shut him up by pressing my lips to his. He let out a surprised moan before he eagerly kissed me back. I ran my fingers through his hair when we parted and he grinned. “Do you like it?”

“I do,” I said and repeated my actions. I felt the urge to make a complete mess of his hair, but I stopped myself in time. “I love it, actually.”

“Good,” Draco gave me quick kiss. “Would you mind helping me with those?”
 

I stared at this things. He was only going to spend two weeks here, but he had packed enough for two months. I shook my head and laughed, but helped him with them nonetheless. He greeted my parents before we carried his things up to my room. He began to unpack as soon as everything was there. I complained and told him that he could to that later, but he insisted on unpacking first. Once he was pretty much done, he turned to me.
 
“Look what I brought,” he grinned widely as he held up two small things. I looked at him and furrowed my eyebrows. He waved his wand over them and I quickly realized that it was two shrunken brooms. I had no idea when or where we'd be using those, but I was happy about it nonetheless.

“You didn't!” I laughed and clapped my hands in excitement. I hadn't been on a broom since the Quidditch game and I found that I missed it a lot. He leaned the two brooms against the wall and then he threw himself on my bed and pulled me down. “How's your summer been so far?”

“Awfully boring. Yours?” Draco was stroking my arm as he spoke. I cuddled up to him.

“Same,” I sighed and tilted my head up. I met his grey eyes and we just looked at each other for a while. Draco leaned down to capture my lips and my eyes fluttered closed.
 

I could feel his smile against my lips and I let my hand grasp his hair to pull him even closer to me. Under my other hand I could feel his heartbeat. As Draco told me that he loved me, I realized that life after Hogwarts might not be so bad after all.

“I love you, too,” I said and beamed up at Draco.

I also realized that this was the beginning; the beginning of a whole new chapter of my life.

 
 

 







 



 
 

[Beware, rambling ahead:


 

It's over. It's really over. I can't believe that I finished my first novel! It hasn't really sunk in yet. I have such mixed feelings about this whole thing – I'm sad that it's the last chapter. But I'm proud and glad to have finished it. I'm not going to lie, there's been some tears falling over here, especially when I reread it. I'm sure that I'll shed another tear than I change the status to 'completed'. I remember when I began to write this story back in January 09, and I didn't think that it would be longer than 15 chapters. Here we are, on chapter 43! Crazy, isn't it?
 
Also, for the stuff that wasn't cleared up in this chapter:


 

Pansy Parkinson had her baby and moved to Ireland with the father of the baby. She named the baby girl Cassiopeia. She's not getting one nights sleep because the baby wakes up all the time. 



 

Matthew Raven is still in Azkaban, terribly regretting everything he did.



 

Laura  gave up on trying to sabotage for Hermione and company, and is currently trying to come up with good ways to annoy Amber next year. 

 

 


Harry is thinking about proposing to Ginny, and Ron is happily together with Lavender. He's getting better with every day.

 

I have a few thank-you's that I would like to give, if that's okay. Here we go :)



To Hermione, Draco and Blaise(and Amber, too) for being completely amazing characters to write. I'm gonna miss writing Blaisey the most, I think, haha. 

 


To all of you readers and reviewers: You've been more than amazing, and each review mean so much to me. Thank you for sticking to the story for so long and for just being awesome. I love you all :') 

 


That's it, I think... I still can't believe it. I really hope that you enjoyed this chapter, and that you've enjoyed this whole story. Thank you all. And, please, leave a review? :) Thanks, Cathy.


I know I have many unanswered reviews atm, but I'm going to try to answer them all soon. For all of you who has asked about a sequal, that is VERY unlikely, I'm afraid.]


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