Later that night, tucked up in the dormitory Harry and Ron finally had time to talk.
“Weird to be back?” Ron supplied first, pulling on pyjamas.
Harry was stood looking at his bed, it was like nothing had changed apart from him, he felt detached, as if he were watching from someone else’s eyes. It felt odd to be standing in this room with four other people getting ready for bed as if nothing had happened, as if he had been transported back all those years.
“Surreal, you know,” Ron said. “I hope George is ok at the shop though?”
“Isn’t Percy helping him?”
“Yea but still.”
“Yea, I know mate,” Harry said sitting on his bed.
“So how come you weren't with Ginny at dinner?” Neville asked.
“Urm well... we broke up,” Harry shrugged looking down at his hands.
“Oh!” Everyone but Ron was staring at him.
“I was really busy, you know with the training and all that at the Ministry, so we called it a day,” “well she did
” he added silently to himself. It still hurt, after all that they had been through, for her to do this to him.
Gratefully he noticed Ron had changed the subject and he crawled into bed listening to the others discussing changes that would have been made to the castle, until he feel into the deepest sleep he had had in months.
The next day Harry collected his timetable from McGonagall at breakfast and found himself with a free period.
“How goods that?” Ron came rushing up to him in the great hall. “Free period already, I knew it was going to be a good year.”
“Don’t get to exited Ron.” Hermione’s voice drifted over to them. “Just think how much revision we have to do for our NEWTS.”
Harry smiled to himself, everything was starting to feel normal again.
“Ahh don’t spoil it for me,” Ron muttered.
Hermione had joined them now with another year seven girl in toe, she had long brown curly hair, and by the looks of it she was from Ravenclaw.
“I’ve got Ruins, then I’ve got to go to a meeting with Ernie Macmillan." Hermione rolled her eyes. "He’s the head boy," she added at Ron's blank look.
"Adelaide has got a free period too though." She snatched up Harry's timetable and scanned it quickly. "In fact your both in transfiguration after.” Harry looked up from his bacon and eggs at hearing his name and looked blankly at the three people who were staring down at him.
“You know Adelaide, she's a Ravenclaw prefect,” Hermione said smugly, positively beaming at him."
"Hi," Harry managed after an uncomfortable pause.
"Hay," the poor girl waved back at him obviously just as uncomfortable as he was.
"Ok then." Ron added grinning, he grabbed Hermione’s hand and the two of them walked off towards the stairs.
“Ok then fine.” Harry scowled at their retreating backs, annoyed at their obvious interference with his social life or lack thereof.
She smiled sliding into the bench opposite him, "Ok, how awkward was that?"
"Just a bit," he smiled.
"I think Hermione felt sorry for me," the girl laughed. "Never mind a free period is nothing to be scoffed at, fancy a stroll around the lake?"
"Sure, the lake sounds good,” he said, thinking anything would be better than sitting around the common room alone.
Hitching her book bag higher over her shoulder, Adelaide bounced up from the bench and Harry followed her towards the front door jostled by the students all scurrying to get to classes before they were late.
After the short walk toward the lake, Harry had decided even after Ron and Hermione's meddling he liked Adelaide, she had a nice friendly chatty way about her.
Every time she spoke he thought he could hear a slight accent, he found it appealing, and was trying to work out where she was from, when they came upon a shady patch of trees with a bench nestled underneath. Other seventh years were already taking advantage of the free period and were milling around the lake as the September sun warmed the morning air.
Harry motioned to sit and she followed his lead, She was a couple of inches shorter than he was and if he remember rightly, she must of been in Ginny's year.
"Looks the same as before doesn't it?" she asked breaking the easy silence they had fallen into.
"I don't know what I expected, I suppose I still expected it to look like the last time I saw it, the rubble and everything." Vivid memories flashed through his mind as he said this.
"I know what you mean." she nodded scrapping her shoes over the dirt.
"Where you there?" he asked." The battle?" she nodded again.
He turned to face her, to look at her properly, she was staring at him intently her big brown eyes roaming over his face, he felt uncomfortable with the scrutiny.
"You were so brave" she finally sighed, turning away from him. "It was just crazy," she swept some of her hair behind her ear. "I didn't know what I was doing half the time, it was terrifying, and now everything's just meant to go on like normal and I just don't know what to say to people anymore." she was looking at him like she wanted answers.
He wanted to reassure her, to say something, anything, but didn't know what. They fell into silence.
"You're not from around here are you." he finally said, then felt silly for saying it out loud.
She turned to him sharply, "what makes you ask that? " she had asked it politely enough but he could see he had unnerved her for some reason, it automatically peaked his interest.
"Your accent," he said sitting back.
" No well, actually I'm from a little town in Spain." she said.
"Yes, I moved over here to England, about a year before the war started." she looked uncomfortable with this subject and they sat silently for a few moments, he was mentally trying to word more questions without seeming too nosy.
"You speak really good English, you only have a little bit of an accent."
"Thanks" she smiled. "Are you Gryfindores Quidditch captain this year?" The quick turn of conversation threw him for a second but a smile came to his lips anyway, thinking of Quidditch had that effect on him.
"Yes I can't wait to get back on the pitch, I've got so many plans I want to put forward to the team this year, I can't wait for try outs and.." he snapped his mouth shut suddenly realizing he was talking to a Ravenclaw.
"Really?" she grinned, "don't stop, I'm interested!" she fluttered her eyelashes at him innocently.
"What and give the opposition a clue, ha no chance!"
"Well since Ravenclaw are going to take the cup this year anyway, there won't be any real harm done." she winked at him and laughed.
Her laugh was infectious and before he knew it they were deep in Quidditch talk. It wasn't long before other seventh years joined them, Neville and Seamus had just walked over to them as they began arguing in earnest about the use of cobbing in professional Quidditch.
"I've never wanted to play, my dad was a huge Tornados fan I went to every game with him." Adelaide was saying to Neville.
"Was?" Harry asked.
"He was one of the casualties of the war," she supplied sadly.
"where did he work?"
"The Ministry," she finally stuttered.
Unwilling to linger on the subject of the war again, Harry was about to start up another subject when he spotted movement in the trees.
“There you are!” they all jumped as Ginny came into view, she looked murderous. “I've been looking for you everywhere Harry.” she stopped as she caught sight of Adelaide sitting so close to him on the bench, a guilty look passed over his face, even though he had nothing to feel guilty about.
“Didn’t take you long,” she hissed. “ By the way McGonagall's looking for you.” with this she whipped around and walked head high back to the castle.
He looked apologetically at everyone.
“Come on we’ve got transfiguration now,” he said to break the awkward silence. Neville and Seamus were giving each other knowing looks.
Great he thought, he defiantly needed to have this out with Ginny, if only for the sake of his sanity.
Back in the common room that night Harry sunk gratefully into his old chair by the fire, he had two essays to complete one for transfiguration another for potions he also had a spell to memorize for transfiguration and all for tomorrow. "This is worse than our owls," he grumbled to a weary looking Ron as he slumped into the chair opposite him.
“At least you don’t have prefect duties as well,” he sighed pulling reams of parchment from his bag, their free period seemed a long forgotten dream.
“No, but McGonagall wants the new team members names as soon as possible for Quidditch, apparently something big is happening this year, I've no idea what though she wouldn’t let on.”
“Yea, I heard Ginny found you earlier,” Harry shifted awkwardly in his chair.
“Listen Ron, It's not what Ginny thought even though I have no idea what she thought but,” Ron looked at him blankly.
“She found me sat with Adelaide, I think she jumped to the wrong conclusion.”
“Ahh! That explains the filthy mood.”
“I know she’s your sister and everything, but Neville and Seamus were there. I mean what does she think that I'm going to do, go around snogging every single girl I talk to?”
Ron Pulled a face.
“Listen Harry mate, yea she’s my sister, your my best mate but there's no way I want to be dragged into this. I still don’t understand why she broke up with you in the first place, after all you had only got back together. ”
“Well that makes two of us then,” Harry muttered.
“I just wish you’d both sort it out. See other people, get back together... I just can't stand the stress.” he stuck his hands in his hair and pulled a tortured face, Harry couldn't help but laugh.
"You can't stand the stress? Listen mate, I tried and there's nothing I can do it's up to her, I told her how I felt, and I just..”
“Ahh! Please no more, I need no details,” Ron covered his ears “I hear nothing.”
Harry threw his book at him laughing as they both slumped back into their chairs.
“No more talking about feelings or sisters, ok?” Ron said with a grin.
“Deal” Harry laughed, “oh damn talking of which.” Ron sat up straight as Harry looked over his shoulder, Ginny and Hermione were walking towards them, Hermione weighed down with books.
“Well I'll see you later Hermione,” Ginny called walking straight past Harry and Ron without a backwards glance, dropping the books on the table between them Hermione turned to Harry with a reproachful look on her face.
“You’ve hurt her feelings you know.”
“Ahhhhhhh no more talking about feelings!” Ron shouted, making Hermione jump a mile, Harry snorted with laughter.
“You two are so insensitive,” she sniffed.
“I’m sorry Hermione,” Ron said leaping up and ushering her into his space near the fire. She smiled at Ron then turned to Harry.
“She told me what happened.”
“Nothing happened Hermione she read all the wrong things into it.”
“So you can't lecture… what?”
“I said I know, I talked to her, I mean I told her I introduced you to Adelaide but really you should of gone after her and explained, that’s why she’s mad.”
“Hermione she broke up with me, I’ve spent the last six months trying to comprehend why.” Harry nearly shouted at her.
“I know Harry,” Hermione said calmly. “I just think it would have been a nice thing to do.” Ron rolled his eyes behind her back, Harry smothered his laugh with a cough and pulled some of the books from the table towards him.
Ron scowled down at his half written essay, looking across at Hermione.
"Well why did you bring Adelaide over this morning?" Ron finally asked.
"I think she was feeling pretty down, I met her on the train she was sitting alone, I think someone said her best friends moved to Baubaxtons during the war. There doesn't seem to be many seventh year Ravenclaw's this year," she added quietly.
"She's friends with Luna though right?" Ron asked.
"I think so, well she seems nice enough."
Harry sat back, once again confronted with the war and its repercussions, it made him angry he could feel it burning deep inside himself.
He looked up to see Ron and Hermione having a tussle over a quill.
“Ron you are not allowed this quill, its cheating if it gives the answers for you.”
“Ahh come on Hermione you know you’ll give me the answers anyway, so I'm just saving you time.” Even Hermione had to laugh at that, but she snatched the quill away and had tossed it into the fire before Ron could blink. He pretended to look hurt, “ok Hermione you win.”
"Thank you Ronald,” Hermione smiled triumphantly. Ron reached into his bag with a wink at Harry and pulled out another quill.
"Is that another one?” Hermione shrieked making a dive for him.
This would not end well, thought Harry grinning. He pulled his parchment closer and over the screams of laughter from his friends, resigned himself to a night of study.
I hope you enjoyed this chapter, I'm trying to keep the characters as canon as I can while playing with the story line, I hope its working please let me know what you think. xx