Chapter 6 : Floo Powder
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"Just in time! What took you?" Ron said quite cheerfully, even though he too still looked a little tearful himself.
"Yeah, erm, sorry, got a bit caught up... Moving staircase," Harry smiled back, confused as Ron's face turned cold, his features turning into a grimace as he suddenly glared from Harry to Ginny and back again.
"Ron, don't be so silly," Ginny said harshly, shocking Harry once again, he hadn't a clue what was going on.
"What?" Ron responded increduously.
"I saw your face and it isn't what you think, Harry and I didn't do anything whilst we were away from your prying eyes that's worth crying yourself to sleep at night over," Ginny smiled sarcastically. Hermione, who was stood next to Ron with her bag hanging off her shoulder and her hand intertwined with his, chuckled a little.
"Oh shut up," Ron scowled, the tips of his ears turning scarlet.
"What? It's not my fault your face just held the expression that can only be likened to Merlin's hairy bottom," Ginny grinned. Harry, who had suddenly cottoned on, started to laugh, hard. Ron's face glowed redder than his hair, if that was even possible, with both anger and embarresment. Ginny just continued to smirk.
"You can shut up as well Harry!" Ron frowned, suddenly focusing his attention on him.
"Why? It's not like she's lying, is it?"
"Well, she wasn't telling the truth?"
"I am here you know and I do have a name," Ginny butted in. Ron flapped at her signalling she wasn't welcome in the conversation; Ginny blinked in contempt.
"How can you say that Ron, you know you hate it when you know Ginny and I are alone and your face just then proved it!" Harry stormed.
"Why shouldn't I hate it? If you haven't noticed Ginny is my little sister and you're my best friend, it obviously freaks me out! I only allow it because you're a better candidate than all those other boys that fancy the pants off of her!" Ron shouted back.
"Allow it! Allow it! So it's up to you now who I date Ronald?" Ginny butted in again, "I don't see Harry getting his wand in a twist because you and Hermione are together!"
Harry suddenly caught Hermione's eye and felt his insides squirm. A sudden feeling of nauseating guilt built up in his stomach. She seemed to be looking at Harry with a strange expression on her face, almost contemplating yet also a little confused, but luckily she glanced away before Harry could worry about it too deeply. Ron had turned his attention to Ginny and hadn't noticed.
"Why would he be bothered about that?" Ron shouted.
"Because Hermione and you are Harry's best friends, would it not put you out if Harry and Hermione had got together?" Ginny retorted.
Hermione's cheeks burned red in a deep blush, Harry could feel sweat building up on his forehead and his face burned. He squeezed Ginny's hand tightly, she glanced at him but took no notice, she was way too busy with her shouting battle with Ron.
"Oh don't bring that up Ginny! You know full well this is different, you're my little sister, obviously I'm protective over you!"
"Don't bring what up? It's true isn't it? You've always been worried Hermione was interested in Harry, that's why you never made a proper move and let her take the reins first!" Ginny shouted.
"Now, that is just not relevant to what we're saying!" Ron said, he was blushing deeply now and was jumping from foot to foot uncomfortably, his lanky frame bouncing up and down. Harry and Hermione were both bright red and mortified.
"Isn't it?" Ginny smirked, she knew she had the upper hand.
"No," Ron frowned, "we're arguing about my feelings towards you and Harry!"
"Basically relevant then!"
"Quit arguing!" Hermione suddenly sprung out of nowhere, abruptly stopping the brawl and gesturing towards the group of Weasleys that stood open mouthed next to the fireplace watching the argument. Every one of them apart from George looked fishlike.
"Aww, likkle Ronny's insecure," George grinned cheekily. He glanced over his shoulder, waiting for Fred to back him up with another joke, but Fred wasn't there. George's grin disappeared immediately and his face went solemn and held an expression of terrible grief. Percy, who was stood next to George and looking at Harry and Hermione with a rather odd expression, squeezed George's shoulder, he didn't know what else to do. Ron decided to ignore the joke, it hurt him, seeing George like he was, Fredless.
"Right, well, seeing as you lot have stopped your show we best be off," Arthur frowned dissapointedly at Ron and Ginny, "Molly, you first, then you George, Ginny then me, Ron, Hermione, Harry, after me if you would," Arthur continued as Molly grasped floo powder in her hand and stepped into the fire.
"Ginny, Ron, now you've shut up I'd like to let you know you'll be feeding the chickens as soon as we get back as punishment for that petty argument," Molly said seriously before yelling, "The Burrow" in a clear high pitched voice and throwing the floo powder down. The fire erupted around her, and as the vivid green flames died down, she'd vanished.
"Dad..." Ron groaned, a pleading look across his face.
"You heard your mother, right George, you're next," Arthur said sternly, patting George tenderly on the back as he shuffled into the fireplace. Bent over double he uttered his destination and disappeared.
Percy, Ginny and Arthur followed until it was just Harry, Ron and Hermione left in the Defence classroom.
"Well then 'Mione, you next!" Ron grinned, pushing her forward, his previous embarresment seeming to have unbelievably disappeared.
"I wish you wouldn't do that Ronald, I'm perfectly capable of getting myself into a fireplace," Hermione scowled a little. Harry looked away quickly as Hermione glanced at him. He couldn't risk looking at her properly, he knew it would set of the butterflies again and make him feel horrendously embarresed.
"Oh come on Hermione, if you weren't able to get yourself into a fireplace I'd already have you strapped into a wheelchair," Ron smiled lamely; Hermione didn't hear him, only spoke and dissappeared into the green flames.
Ron switched his gaze to Harry as soon as she vanished. "Don't believe a word Ginny says about me, okay?" He said uncomfortably.
"What?" Harry said, still staring at the place where Hermione had been, lost in thought over her strange behaviour towards him, she seemed almost worried and a little interested. He was intrigued. He'd expected her to have told Ron by now, to be showing an obvious emotion of some kind, but she was holding it in, which was extremely rare, she was Hermione after all, Harry didn't understand it.
"My sister, Ginny, your girlfriend, don't believe a word she just said," Ron repeated, glancing from Harry to the fireplace.
"Oh, yeah, yeah," Harry smiled, his gaze suddenly pulling away from the now orange flames.
"You didn't hear what I said, did you?" Ron asked, his eyes hardening as Harry focused at him. Harry shook his head sheepishly.
"I said that Ginny was talking crap before."
"Oh right, yeah, sure," Harry smiled at him.
"I know I took ages to finally ask Hermione out but I always knew she liked me," Ron continued.
"You never asked her out..." Harry frowned.
"No, no... I did... See, when she and I went to Hogmeade together, remember? I asked her then?"
"No you didn't, I just wasn't allowed to go that time because I didn't have permission? Ginny's right, Hermione made the first move, when she launched herself at you and kissed you during the Battle, you never actually asked her out..." Harry trailed again. Jealousy seemed to burn up inside him, he put the feeling aside.
"I tried though Harry, you know, I asked her to the Yule Ball?"
"Yeah, when you couldn't find anyone else to go with, bet that made her feel special?" Harry smirked.
"Well if she hadn't already accepted the offer from Viktor Krum," Ron spat his name, "then I would have been able to make her feel special."
"Okay, whatever you say Ron."
"Ginny's wrong though, I never thought Hermione fancied you," Ron continued nevertheless, sounding slightly desperate, Harry glanced at him, he looked desperate too. Harry could only smile reassuringly, Ron seemed pleased enough with his response and stepped forward to take the floo powder.
"Ron, I need to tell you something..." Harry burst earnestly and out of the blue, the hairs on the back of his neck stood on end nervously and his mouth went dry with anxiety, but Ron needed to know the truth.
"Oh right? Tell me when we get to The Burrow yeah? It can wait, can't it? Rest of them will be getting worried seeing neither of us have gone through yet," Ron grinned as he took the floo powder in his hand and positioned himself in the flames.
"No Ron, wait, it's important!" Harry shouted. It was too late though, Ron had vanished into the green flames.
Harry grimaced. He'd been ready to tell Ron everything and Ron had stopped him, Harry wasn't sure if he'd be able to build up the courage again to say what he needed to say. He wiped the build up of sweat that had gathered on his forehead away and readjusted his glasses, which had somehow managed to fall down his nose. Ron would be expecting Harry to tell him something when Harry got to The Burrow, and if he told Ron at the Burrow then that meant Ginny would find out at the same time too. Harry couldn't bear imagining what would happen if that occured. There would be arguments, duels, possibly a few slaps or punches here and there. No, he would have to tell them seperately.
Why had he been so stupid? Why the hell did he suddenly feel something different about Hermione? It annoyed him. If he'd stopped himself from kissing her he wouldn't be in the stupid mess he now found himself in.
Thinking about it though, Ron and Hermione being together didn't fit right in his mind whatsoever, in fact it didn't settle at all. It used to, he'd always thought it would happen eventually, but now it finally had it didn't seem right. Maybe Hermione should be with somebody else and he was just helping that along? Maybe Ron and Hermione are destined for a break up and he was just hurrying that up? Suddenly, without warning, the memory of Hermione's lips on Harry's sparked viciously in his head. Harry shook himself vigourously, trying deperately hard to rid himself of the potentially dangerous memory. He couldn't let it stay on his mind, otherwise he'd be breaking his promise not to get involved. Harry leant forward and took his own handful of floo powder, momentarily taking his thoughts away from Hermione.
He stepped into the fire place, the flames didn't burn him, only sent a warm tingle through his skin. He glanced around the room. It would be the final time he'd see the it, the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom he so loved. Everything suddenly crashed down on him. He'd never see the castle again, ever, and it tore at him like a knife. Tears began to roll down his cheeks. Hogwarts had been his first real home, the first place that he'd truly felt welcome, where he felt properly loved. It was cruel to end it now. He so wished he could stay, for just one more year, to enjoy the castle with no interferences, just a normal school year and then he'd be ready to leave. Heck, Harry hadn't even done his N.E.W.T.S... Although the Ministry had already offered him an apprenticeship to be an Auror, but still. He couldn't believe it. His insides seemed to deflate inside him as he looked sadly around the room, determined to remember every detail. Without Hogwarts Harry's life would be miserable. He'd never have met his friends, never have been able to defeat the darkest wizard of all time, would never have known what it felt to really be loved. Now it was over though, all that was left to do was look at the stuff in Hermione's bag and then Hogwarts would be in the past. Harry would never see the magnificent turrets or the ever changing Great Hall again, would never be able to lie in his four-poster and mull things over or sit outside by the tree in summer and just talk. He'd never be able to lie down by the Lake with Ginny again, never go down to Hagrid's hut or up to Dumbledore's study. It killed him inside. Harry just couldn't take thinking about it any longer, he threw the floo powder down and felt himself disappear.
A/N: In this chapter I was basically just trying to build up tension so hopefully†I did just that and that you enjoyed it! I know it's got a bit slow over the last two chapters but I'm basically just trying to add more information to the story so it all isn't so fast and so on so bear with me! The next chapter I think will be awesome!
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