Chapter 4 : Coming Home
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Harry and Ginny were out there to buy school supplies and maybe even a pet each. They had decided not to bring anything into the past with them as they were starting afresh and needed robes in the current style, books according to what the syllabus was in 1976 and pets. Harry hadn’t had a pet since he had left Hogwarts and now, as they entered Eeylops Owl Emporium, the same dark shop where he had bought Hedwig on his eleventh birthday, he could not help feel excited.
“Good morning,” said Harry, wanting to appear as friendly as possible to the shop keeper, who was a toothy little man, grinning like an idiot and nodding at the two of them; they were the only customers in the shop. “We are looking for the best owl you have.
The shop keeper grinned wider still as he silently led them to a corner of the shop. They passed countless cages on the way, every single one of them occupied by an owl but Harry was not attracted to any one of them. Ginny remained silent; she had declined the idea of owning a pet as she had left Arnold the Pygmy Puff back in the present and could not bear the idea of replacing it, especially since it was still alive and it was among the last things she had gotten from Fred before he died.
In a secluded corner, there were only two owls, displayed in polished cages hanging from the ceiling. One was a Eurasian Eagle and the other a snowy owl; the same snowy owl that Harry had owned?
“Is that Hedwig?” Ginny whispered.
“Can’t be,” Harry whispered back, “I don’t think that owls live long enough for me to buy the same owl more than a decade later.” He lifted up his hands to take the cage as he decided to buy it when Ginny grabbed his arm.
“Do you really think you should do that?” she asked.
Harry raised his eyebrows questioningly.
“Well, think about it,” they moved away from the man who was trying to listen what they were saying, “If you buy the same owl that you are destined to buy in the future now, will you not be changing your past?” She made a confused face. “I don’t think I put that the right way.”
Harry laughed. “You didn’t but I get it. Let’s go with the eagle owl then?”
When Ginny nodded her approval, Harry picked up the owl’s cage, paid for it from his overflowing money bag and led her out of the Emporium.
“Is that all?” asked Harry as he looked through their purchases.
Harry woke up at eleven o’clock the next morning, seeing as he not been able to sleep the previous night. He felt like he was eleven again and could not help but feel ecstatic about being in the past. He looked at Ginny sleeping across from him and his smile vanished. Even though they had shared the same bed the previous two nights, nothing had transpired between them. Harry had wanted to wrap her arms around her while she slept and pull her close; to feel her body pressed up against his; to experience the passion that burnt inside them with the intensity of a thousand scorching suns emerge, but nothing had happened. Ginny was talking to him like he was a close friend, not her boyfriend. She hadn’t laid a finger upon him and had clearly indicated that his touch wasn’t welcome either. He was starting to get extremely worried. He knew they had to talk about it eventually, but he was terrified that it would aggravate the situation rather than resolve it and he could not afford to do that, especially when he was carrying around an engagement ring in his pocket all the time.
Ginny had also had trouble sleeping the previous night but she had tried her level best to fool Harry and feign slumber. Harry knew that she was avoiding him and had said nothing. Now, she stirred slightly as she felt Harry get up from the bed and move to the window of the room they were residing in. They had rented a room at the inn in Hogsmeade; it was no five-star hotel, but it sufficed. Harry stood by the window, looking down at the street which was beginning to fill with people. As he observed the view, he felt Ginny come and stand beside him, slipping her hand into his. He looked down at their hands, surprised. Just a moment ago, he had been thinking about how she did not allow any intimacy between them and now she was holding his hand?
Harry gazed at her face trying to figure her out. She had suddenly gotten extremely hard to read; her eyes not expressing the emotions he knew she felt. He gave up after five minutes, realising it was fruitless and they both stood next to each other, looking out the window in companionable silence.
Harry was jerked awake by a distant horn. He had zoned out in a chair and was suddenly alert. A horn. A train’s horn.
“The Hogwarts Express!” he exclaimed as he saw Ginny taking hold of her trunk from the corner of the room. Harry imitated her and both of them rolled their trunks out of the inn and made their way to the train station, Harry sincerely hoping that they would see Hagrid first so that they would not have to face the swarm of students he didn’t know.
They reached the station just as the train slowed to a stop and the doors opened and students began pouring out onto the platform. That is when Harry heard a voice so familiar; it was no different than the one he frequently heard in the future. He and Ginny turned around and saw the massive form of Hagrid waving students towards him.
“Firs’ Years, this way! This way, all firs’ years!” he called.
Harry and Ginny made their way towards him just as he spotted them.
“Harry! Ginny!” he called. Harry grinned. It was just like he knew who they were but, of course, Dumbledore had already told him their names. Harry and Ginny reached and he smiled down at them.
“Welcome ter Hogwarts!” he said, “I thought I had ter take yeh up ter the school in the boats but Professor Dumbledore had a different idea. He wants yeh ter go in the carriages alon’ with the other students ter mingle with ‘em. The carriages will be pickin’ everyone up from the path that leads out from the station. Now I have ter go but I will see yeh both inside. Come along now!” He said the last phrase louder beckoning all the first years to the stream that lead to Hogwarts’ squid-infested lake.
Harry turned to Ginny. She was looking at him as if she knew exactly what he was thinking. She had expected this. She knew that Harry really wanted to see his parents but she could not help but feel apprehensive about it. Harry barely knew how his parents had been when they had been in their sixth year and she was afraid that he might react negatively if they did not turn out to be what he was expecting because clearly, Harry was expecting a lot.
He began moving towards the crowd eagerly, closely followed by her. They had not yet seen anybody they recognised or knew from the present apart from a pretty, round-faced blonde who looked uncannily like Neville Longbottom. The students were slowly making their way towards the carriages but Harry and Ginny could see that apart from the second and third years, mostly everyone had gotten on the carriages and gone. A couple of carriages were left behind which were being filled up quickly. Harry and Ginny made their way towards the last of the carriages, their eyes searching.
And that was when he saw her. He looked exactly like his father; he’d been told all his life but one look at the titian prefect by the last remaining thestral made his mind go blank. In all his years since he had first seen her picture, he’d never imagined Lily Evans like this. In Snape’s memories she was guileless and bursting with the energy of childhood; the epitomic picture of innocence. In the wedding picture he had gotten from Hagrid, she was blissfully happy but her eyes still betrayed an underlying fear and anxiety about the graveness of that era. And in all three times he had seen her image – in the Mirror of Erised, the Little Hangleton graveyard after Priori Incantatem and via the Resurrection of Stone during the Battle of Hogwarts – she’d looked immensely proud of him, but there had still been the sadness of her not being there alive and the meeting being in such a sombre situation.
This was entirely different though. She couldn’t be completely innocent, of course – Voldemort was at large. And yet, she was smiling; complete contentment etched across her features, clear as day. Harry watched – fully riveted – as a taller, brown haired person placed his hand on her arm and whispered in her ear, making her laugh. He drank the sound in like he had never heard female laughter before. His mother was happy; she laughed and smiled and shared jokes with friends.
From where Harry was standing, he could perfectly see that Lily Evans had been a living, breathing, happy student, just like the billions of others that passed through the hallowed halls of Hogwarts. It was unbelievable, really, how normal she seemed now, smiling up at her blonde companion and sweeping her dark red hair back with one hand, not unlike Ginny often tended to. Then, glimpsing the staring pair standing at a distance, out of the corner of her eyes, she said something inaudible to her friend and ushered him into the last available carriage, before heading over to Harry and Ginny.
“Hello, I’m Lily Evans, Gryffindor prefect. Are you two students?” she introduced herself warmly.
The sight of the sparkling emerald irises, identical to his own, seemed to have struck Harry dumb, so Ginny extended her hand in greeting. “Hi, Lily. I am Ginny Watson and this is Harry Jackson. We are transfer students from Beauxbatons. So, yes, we are new students.”
Lily smiled, “Welcomed to Hogwarts, Harry and Ginny,” she beckoned towards her carriage. “Why don’t you join me in that carriage? It will take us up to the school.”
Harry couldn’t control himself; he laughed out loud. His mother was standing right in front of him talking to him like he had never been here before! His feeling of was happiness was indescribable at that moment. They followed Lily into her carriage to see two people already seated inside. Lily did not waste any time and began introductions.
“Harry, Ginny, this is my boyfriend Chris Parker,” she gestured towards the blonde she had been talking to before, “and this is my best friend Kate Jones,” this time she indicated the pretty girl sitting next to Chris.
“Hello Harry, nice to meet you,” Chris extended his hand. Harry took it, not being able to decide at that moment whether he liked the fact of his mother having a boyfriend that was not his father or not. He certainly did not have any hard feelings for him at that moment and he did not want to judge so he just shook his hand warmly and smiled at Chris letting him know that he was a amiable person.
Kate just waved at them, eyeing Harry curiously. Ginny shifted at his side and tried to stare her down. Harry grinned; enjoying Ginny’s jealousy. He had no idea that Ginny had eyed Chris the same way Kate was eyeing him but had given it up the moment she had found out who he was. Harry figured that Ginny would not have any problem making friends as she barely had any desire to find her own parents who had already graduated and she would not judge anyone either. He knew he would have a difficult time adjusting but he did not really care at that moment as he looked at his mother sitting across from him talking to her boyfriend. All he wanted to do was get to know her.
The carriage slowed to a stop after a few minutes and Harry and Ginny got out along with Chris, Kate and Lily. They all remained silent as Harry looked up at the castle he had learnt to always call home. The stairs seemed to be calling him towards them and the Great Hall had not changed one bit. The students were already seated at their house tables and Harry and Ginny hesitated in the doorway, uncertain of what to do. They had already told Dumbledore which house they would be in but they were not sure whether to just go up to the Gryffindor table boldly and sit there.
They didn’t need to wait long, though, as Chris helped them with their dilemma. He beckoned them to follow him as he himself made his way to the Gryffindor table. Harry sat down alongside Chris as Lily, Ginny and Kate sat down opposite them. The sorting was about to begin and surely Harry saw the first years being led by Professor McGonagall towards the front of the Hall. Harry looked up at the staff table. He recognised most of the teachers including Professors Flitwick, Slughorn and Sprout. There was a man whom he did not know; he looked European, with short curly brown hair and deep blue eyes that were smiling down at the students good naturedly. He reminded Harry of Gilderoy Lockhart with his good looks and charming smile. He sincerely hoped, however, that this man proved to me a better teacher than the future heartthrob.
The sorting began but Harry sat rather uninterested through it. He looked up at the Gryffindor table, looking for the four other people he wanted to see and there they were! Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs: the Marauders of Hogwarts. Harry grinned when he saw them; they weren’t paying the slightest attention to the sorting either. His father, who looked exactly like Harry had looked when he had been sixteen - thank God for the change of appearance, thought Harry – was doing something his wand and occasionally glanced around the table trying to locate someone; Sirius Black was sitting next to his father, his raven hair gleaming in the candle light and fallingcasually into his eyes. He flicked his head to one side to remove his hair from his eyes and Harry saw that he also had his focus deviated from the sorting to his father who seemed to be doing some kind of trick with his wand.
Opposite James and Sirius sat Lupin and Pettigrew. Lupin had a prefect badge shining on his chest, his face smiling, his uniform looking extremely old and his attention focused completely on the sorting. Despite knowing the truth, Harry could still see it clearly reflected in their actions that his father was clearly the irresponsible and carefree person Lupin was not and never had been. Peter Pettigrew sat beside Lupin and he seemed to be unsure of where to look. He kept shifting his gaze from the sorting to James and was clearly curious as to what he was doing, but Harry barely cared to look at him thoroughly. He had decided in his mind that he would try to stay as far away from Wormtail as possible in order to avoid losing his temper at him, due to his explicit knowledge of his own past, and changing the course of his parents’ future.
The sorting ended as the last first year joined the Hufflepuff table. Dumbledore stood up, lifting his hands as he began speaking.
“To the first years, welcome to Hogwarts and to the rest of us, welcome back! I have a few notices to give out but they can wait until you are well-fed and better equipped to listen. However, as we have all been introduced to the first years, I would first like to introduce two new students who have just joined our sixth year; please welcome your new Gryffindors, Mr. Harry Jackson and Miss Ginny Watson!” he gestured towards them just as Harry realised that he would have to stand up. Harry and Ginny both stood up, their faces burning with embarrassment as the entire Great Hall turned their eyes to look at them. To Harry’s relief, Dumbledore did not give the students enough time to stare him down as he continued and the mortified pair were allowed to sink down onto the bench, “Now, tuck in!”
Harry suddenly realised that he was starving as he saw food appear in the empty golden dishes. The students began talking and the voices of chatter and laughter reached his ears as Harry had dinner, for the first time since he was a baby, had dinner at the same table as both his parents. He couldn’t have hoped for a better entry back into Hogwarts. He was looking forward to what tomorrow held in store for him and looking forward to befriending the Marauders.
“So, Harry,” began Chris in between bites, “Why did you transfer from Beauxbatons?”
Harry looked up, going blank; he hadn’t thought of this. He looked at Ginny; panic evident in his eyes. She glanced at him briefly before coming to his aid, once again.
“Actually, Chris, Harry lost his parents at a very young age and he’s always been close to my family since we met at school. So after my parents died last year, we both decided we needed to get away from all the memories in France and make a new start. And what better place than at Hogwarts, back in our homeland?”
Her story-making capabilities surprised Harry. He smiled slightly, trying to look bittersweet just like Ginny was. Most of the people around them had listened in on her story, taking in the information curiously.
Harry noticed his father, almost five people away, looking at him inquisitively. Sirius was whispering something in his ear and, just as he finished talking, a mischievous smile appeared on James’ face. Harry hoped whatever Sirius had said about Harry would keep him away from trouble.
Just then Nearly Headless Nick floated towards them. He introduced himself and told Harry and Ginny that he was glad to meet them and this kind of transfer had never been done before.
“Well, everybody needs a change, Sir Nicholas,” Ginny smiled, using the ghost’s original name.
Nick beamed at finding such a respecting new Griffindor and floated away as the Hall went quiet and Dumbledore rose once more.
“I have a few announcements to make. Firstly, Mr. Filch has asked me to remind you that the Forbidden Forest is out of bounds for all students. Also, we have a new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher here with us tonight. Please welcome Professor Bastian Schroers,” The European-looking man stood up as the students applauded him politely in welcome. Harry noticed that the female students, including Ginny, were clapping much more enthusiastically than the boys. The new teacher sat down as the sound of applause died. “He is comes to us all the way from Munich, Germany and I hope that you can make him feel more at home at Hogwarts School, as well as finding him helpful and educational.
Lastly, I have to remind you that Lord Voldemort”– the Hall gasped audibly – “remains at large and is killing and destroying families as we speak. I request you all to remain calm in this sepulchral atmosphere and trust that you are safe at Hogwarts. I would advise you to keep yourself away from all the Dark Arts and respect the security measure that have been placed around the castle.” He suddenly clapped his hands, “But enough of that talk! Now, you have lessons bright and early tomorrow morning so I suggest you go off to bed and get a good night’s sleep!” He regained his seat, just as the students began getting up and exiting the Hall.
Lily came over to join Harry as he and Ginny made their way towards the stairs. “I’m really sorry, guys, but I have to go along with Remus to help the first years,” she said, gesturing towards Remus Lupin, who waved amiably at them, “So Chris will help you with your dormitory. Ginny, you can go with Kate and Alice; she’ll take you to our dormitory.” Ginny and Harry nodded in thanks and followed their guides up to the Gryffindor common room. There they separated, Ginny going off to the girls’ dormitory as Harry followed Chris to the boys’.
“The sixth year boys have two dormitories,” Chris informed Harry as they made their way upstairs.
“Why? So many students?”
“Nope. Before you there were seven of us; the Marauders, they are the soul of the school, the popular ones,” he added sounding bitter. “And then there is me and my best friends. The divide was pretty obvious and one day, getting sick of their pranks and their secrets, Mark, Kevin and I requested Dumbledore to give us a separate dorm.”
“And he agreed? Just like that?” Harry asked, surprised. The Dumbledore he knew would have tried to resolve the issues rather than allowing them to separate.
Chris smiled, “Yea, he did. Doesn’t seem the type, does he? We were surprised too but we were not complaining. I think that now that you are the eighth, you bunk in with us.” He said as he opened the door to his dorm.
And he was right. The dorm, indeed, had four beds; one of them had his trunk lying at the foot of it.
Chris walked in and Harry followed, noting two other boys sitting on their respective beds.
“Harry, this is Mark Nichols,” Chris introduced, motioning towards a tall and well-built boy with light brown hair and black eyes, “and this is Kevin Mathews.” The other boy was slightly shorter and stockier but attractive in a way that Harry knew girls would find appealing. Chris continued, “They are my best friends; and guys, this is Harry Jackson.”
Kevin and Mark got up and shook Harry’s hand, sparking up a conversation with him instantly. Harry sat down on his bed, talking to them, listening to their life stories and telling them his own invented story. Harry realised that they were a friendly lot and, as he lay down in his bed waiting for sleep to come, he wondered how he would make friends with James Potter and Sirius Black when they and his roommates seemed to have such a lot of bad blood between them. That, Harry thought, is tomorrow’s problem, as sleep finally enveloped him into its folds.
Ginny woke up the next morning, feeling completely at peace. She had slept soundly the entire night now that she was back where she had spent such a significant part of her life and it had had its effect on her mentality. Being back in Hogwarts and in the presence of Professor Dumbledore had brought back the peaceful state of mind she had lost a long time ago in the war, even though Voldemort was still alive and powerful in this era. Her and Harry’s obvious problem was at the back of her mind and as she got out of her bed, realising that she was the only one awake, she pushed it further back, deciding that if Harry refused to address it, so would she.
She got dressed in the silence of the dorm and made her way out quietly, leaving Lily, Kate and Alice Kingsleigh sleeping in peace. It was still early and most of the students were still fast asleep; the common room was empty, as were the corridors. However, the Great Hall wasn’t and as Ginny entered, she saw Harry and Chris Parker sitting at the Gryffindor table, both sharing a fresh copy of The Daily Prophet. Two seats away on the opposite side of the table, she could Sirius Black and James Potter groggily consuming their porridge. Making her way towards the table, she sat down beside Harry just as Chris raised his head from the newspaper and saw her coming
“Good morning, Ginny!” he said, “How was your night? Slept well?”
“Yes, I did, Chris, thank you.”
Harry looked up at Ginny now. His eyes met hers and, like so many other occasions, a silent conversation passed between them, telling him everything he wanted to know about her well being and her night. She started eating her own toast, noticing that Harry was not paying any attention to his own. He had put down the newspaper and was now observing his father who was sitting closer to Ginny than she had thought. It was clear that he and Sirius had heard what Chris had said. It struck Ginny that James and Sirius were not the type of guys who go up to newcomers and introduce themselves. She could see it in Harry’s eyes how much he wanted James to come talk to him; Harry was trying to catch his eye but James and Sirius seemed to be staring at something else.
Ginny followed their line of sight and saw a stunning, disgustingly leggy blonde sitting at the Ravenclaw table who was staring right back at Sirius Black, maintaining eye contact with her heavily made up blue eyes. Just then, James snapped out of his reverie and turned his attention towards the other three sixth years sitting near him.
“Prissy!” he exclaimed, as if calling a long lost friend. “How’s the love of my life?” He asked.
Ginny was puzzled and, apparently, so was Harry. They had no idea who he addressing, but their confusion was cleared when Chris put down his fork and looked up at James with fury flashing in his eyes. The rage in his expression made him look even more attractive to Ginny as she realised who James was referring to as the love of his life.
“She’s MY girlfriend, Potter, not yours,” Chris muttered through gritted teeth, “so just back off!”
James Potter smirked and so did Sirius, who still had not removed his eyes from the girl.
“Don’t you worry, not for too long,” he assured his furious fellow Gryffindor; his casual manner even more impressive than Chris’ fury.
Ginny could not take it anymore. “She’s not going to fall for it, you know,” she said casually, looking directly at Sirius Black.
Sirius did not even bother to look at her, opting to maintain his steady stare instead. “I can bet you ten galleons that she will.” His mouth moved ever so slightly as he said this and Ginny could hear the challenge in his voice that she HAD to accept. She felt Harry’s hand clasp hers underneath the table, warning her of the consequences but, at that moment, she didn’t care. Sirius’ and James’ arrogance had forced her to ignore her better judgement.
“You’re on!” she hissed back at Sirius. This forced both Sirius and James to snap their heads in her direction, their movement synchronised and their expressions disbelieving. Sirius Black laughed.
“It’s your money,” he shrugged and resumed his staring.
Ginny focused on her breakfast and, for the next five minutes, none of them spoke. Even Chris seemed interested in what would happen. Ginny was perfectly confident that such a pretty girl would not fall into the clutches of someone who looked so much like the playboy he actually was.
“Hah!” Sirius exclaimed, clapping his hands once. Ginny, Harry and Chris looked up at the Ravenclaw table. The girl wasn’t there. Turning around, they saw the girl making her way towards Sirius Black that very instant. Giving Ginny a victorious glance, he shifted his gaze at the girl who was gracefully making her way towards him. Slowly and steadily, she came and sat down beside him and as soon as she did, Sirius Black kissed her square on the mouth! Ginny and Harry’s jaws dropped open in unison just as Chris made the sound ‘Ugh!’. Sirius had nerve! He did not even talk to the girl he had been staring for so long but just kissed her? For some inexplicable reason, Ginny was outraged; she was sure it had nothing to do with losing a bet. They were making out in the Great Hall in the presence of teachers nonetheless!
“OI!” She yelled, “This is a breakfast table!”
Sirius Black paused in his kissing and turned around to face her slowly, smugness emanating from his every arrogance-exuding pore.
“Would you have complained if I had been kissing YOU instead of her?” he asked, looking directly in her eyes.
Ginny had already opened her mouth to reply to express her indignation before he turned the full force of his silvery gaze on her and her words seemed to die on her tongue. Looking away from those piercing, swirling grey irises seemed like a good idea one moment, but failed desperately the next.
From his arrogantly arched eyebrow to the torso apparent behind the table, Sirius Black was sexuality personified. The thick, ebony tresses falling carelessly over his captivating eyes and the elegant, aristocratic features currently dripping with amusement; the smirk that quirked his full lips and the adorable dimple in his right cheek; the chiselled torso and broad chest well-honed from long hours of Quidditch and the crooked set of his red and gold tie – he was a study in contrasts: sexy, but cute. Dangerous, yet adorable. And altogether? Entirely, irresistibly lethal.
She opened and closed her mouth a few times, unable to form words and the cocky bastard actually had the audacity to wink at her, as if reading the barrage of sudden, lust-filled thoughts in her mind and she knew he had done it on purpose. He had actually WANTED her train of thought to trail in that direction and acknowledge his sensuality. Apparently, the Sirius Black of 1976 was even lesser like the Sirius she had known than she had initially imagined. Stupid, conniving git.
“Didn’t think so,” he said and turned his attention back to the Ravenclaw girl. James Potter smirked.
“Are you okay?” She heard Harry ask her. She had completely forgotten him and Chris and she simply nodded her head in mortification.
Just then, Merlin bless her, Lily walked and sat beside Chris.
“Good morning, every one!” she said, including Harry and Ginny in her greeting. They all waved in response apart from Chris, who greeted her with a completely dazzling smile. She smiled back, her face radiating happiness, as she bent forward to kiss him.
“Evans!” James Potter seemed to have transformed. His previous smugness had vanished, replaced by a puppy dog look. He rose up his hand and ruffled his hair, messing it up even more than before and asked what Ginny guessed had become his catch phrase. “Will you go out with me?”
Lily looked at him with disdain. She did not even bother to reply and sat down beside Chris, instantly striking up conversation with him. James’ face fell and Ginny looked up at him, giving him the same smirk he had given her only a few moments earlier.
Harry now had his attention on Lily and was conversing with her and Chris merrily. Ginny did not bother to hear what they were saying. She concentrated on her breakfast and tried extremely hard to avoid looking at Sirius Black. She had no idea what was wrong with her. This had never happened before. The Sirius Black she had known was distant and had only cared about resisting Voldemort and his godson, Harry. This one was giving her his full attention and was even attracting attention from her. She glanced at Harry and then back at Sirius who seemed to have grown the sense to actually converse with the girl he had previously been exchanging saliva with and realised that the uncontrollable attraction she had recently felt towards Harry was now gone. She still wanted him and perhaps even loved him but the strong physical desire she had for him was suddenly gone. Sirius Black had had the wrong effect on her. She suddenly wanted him; and as she gazed at him talking to the Ravenclaw girl, she suddenly felt a pang of jealousy that had not experienced in a long time.
Ginny turned around to see Professor McGonagall walking towards them. She was clearly addressing James Potter, however, he and Harry replied in unison.
Everyone on the table that was in hearing range turned around to look at Harry; Ginny whipped her head around, glaring at him for making such a foolish mistake. James Potter, Chris, Lily, Kate, Sirius, the Ravenclaw and even Professor McGonagall were now all looking at Harry trying to fathom why HE would respond to James’ surname.
“Er...,” Harry fought to explain his foolishness, “Sorry, I spoke out of turn, Professor. I wanted to ask you something?” He ended his sentence, turning it into question, clearly waiting to see if they bought it.
They did. They all turned back to their own business. “Alright, Jackson,” said Professor McGonagall, addressing Harry, “Let me deal with Potter first, then I’ll answer your queries.” She turned back to James Potter. “Potter, I already have a few hopefuls for the Quidditch tryouts with me here; I want you to concentrate on winning this year!” She bent closer, “Beat Slytherin or your captaincy will be in grave danger, Potter,” she threatened James, who nodded seriously. Ginny stared. Apparently, Professor McGonagall had taken Quidditch even more seriously in her past.
“Now, Jackson, what is it you wanted to ask?” Ginny noticed Sirius and James listening in closely.
“I also wanted to put down my name for Quidditch. Plus, I wanted to know how mine and Ginny’s timetable is set?” Harry asked, clearly improvising.
“I was coming here to inform you of that anyway, Jackson,” she said and went to the head of the table to start issuing timetables.
Sirius Black was now staring at the two brown heads sitting together. Ginny tried to ignore him and concentrate on the newspaper lying in front of her, trying to figure out how the conditions had been before Voldemort fell from power, but his scrutiny made her uncomfortable.
“What?” she asked looking at him.
“Are you two together?” he asked, pointing at Harry and Ginny.
Ginny looked at Harry. They had not thought of this. Of course, in their present they had been together, at least to the world, but in the past, they had not decided what their relationship status was. They had not even had the time to talk about it and it was clear that each of them had avoided this topic with one other. However, Sirius Black’s blunt question had forced them to think about it and as they looked at each other, they communicated silently and as usual came up with a decision unanimously.
“Err...it’s complicated,” Ginny said, sounding unsure of herself.
Sirius’ eyes gleamed mischievously as he murmured, “Awesome,” almost inaudibly.
Choosing to ignore this Ginny received her timetable from Professor McGonagall and, asking for directions from Lily for her first class, she set off, without waiting for Harry. She knew he would confront her about her actions at the breakfast table and she was not yet ready to answer his questions. She barely knew what the explanation was herself so she hurried forward, hoping desperately for him not to follow her.
She did not have time to dwell Harry, however, as she tripped in her hurry and fell into the arms of someone. Losing her train of thought and her balance, she held on to the figure and looked to see who was holding her. She did not expect to be looking in the eyes of the sixteen-year-old Severus Snape.
A/N: Hey guys, sorry this one took longer to upload, wasn't expecting the long wait myself. =D anyway, don't forget to review please; any kind of advice or criticism is welcome. Also, thank you to all my readers! =)
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