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Chapter 15 : Chapter Fifteen: Flashes
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"You just left her like that? Crying in a compartment?" Ron asked in amazement.
Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Neville and Luna were walking up the path to the carriages, and since the others were caught up in a conversation Harry, Ron and Hermione had fallen behind a little so Harry could tell them what had happened earlier.
"I wasn't going to just stand there and let her pressure me into telling her." Harry replied calmly.
Ron opened his mouth to say something, but thought better of it a moment later and shut it again, which Harry thought was very smart of him. Hermione just kept her lips pursed and said nothing, walking alongside them with her eyes pointed straight ahead. Ron, who had just noticed the silence that surrounded them, looked at her.
"Well? You've been awfully quiet, what do you think?" Ron asked her.
She bit her bottom lip and glanced over at Harry quickly, and when he looked back she avoided his gaze and looked over at Ron for another moment before she answered him.
"Well, it might of not been the best move, Harry." She said hesitantly.
Harry looked at her with disbelief, and opened his mouth to retort, but she quickly cut him off.
"I know that's not what you want to hear right now, Harry, but speaking as I girl I know how she must feel. I mean I know where you're coming from too, but I understand what she's probably thinking right now." Hermione said rather quickly to defend herself.
Harry closed his mouth and gritted his teeth together, but gave a small nod of his head. Ron and Hermione watched him subtly as he thought over it, and after a moment Harry replied.
"I guess your right." He mumbled, giving Hermione a guilty smile.
Hermione gave a bright smile in return, hitching her bag over her shoulder more securely as they continued down the uneven path towards the school carriages.
"Of course I'm right Harry, when have I never been?" She said teasingly, her brown eyes sparkling as Ron and Harry gave snorts of laughter, "Besides, I thought you liked Cho, what happened?" Hermione asked with a sly grin.
Harry choked on his own spit and looked at her, coughing as his cheeks started to turn red. She kept her grin on her face, watching him in amusement.
"You okay, mate?" Ron asked, patting him on the back.
Hermione watched as Harry's eyes nervously glanced at Ron and then to Ginny's back, and had to bite her lip to keep herself from laughing as Harry spluttered to answer.
"F-fine, and no Hermione, I don't like her anymore. She gets to emotional sometimes, is that normal for a girl Hermione? You don't get moody a lot, well, only when Ron's around." Harry responded.
It was Hermione's turn to blush.
"I do not!" Hermione snapped, glaring daggers at Harry, who laughed.
"Whatever you say Hermione." Harry shot back.
Ron looked at both of them, before shaking his head and started to walk a little faster to catch up with the rest of the group.
"You both are bloody crazy!" Ron said playfully over his shoulder.
Harry and Hermione chuckled, and Harry watched as Hermione's eyes followed Ron. With a smirk he hurried to catch up too, stopping for a moment to whisper in Hermione's ear.
"I guess we both have a thing for red heads."
"How could you not see them? They were standing right in front of the bloody carriage!" Harry exclaimed as he, Ron and Hermione made their way towards the Great Hall.
"Harry, nothing was pulling the carriage, it was pulling itself like it always does." Hermione said, her eyebrows pulled together.
Harry looked at her incredulously, his mind spinning. The horses were huge and had wings, how in the hell had she or Ron not seen it? The horses were right in front of them for crying out loud! But he decided not to push it as they entered the Great Hall, not wanting anyone to hear him, it would just give people more of a reason to talk about him. As they started to make their way to the Gryffindor table Harry noticed the level of noise in the hall went down, and felt the back of his neck prickle as he felt people watching him. Harry averted his eyes and looked straight at the Gryffindor table, ignoring the attention that was on him. He felt the corner of his mouth pick up as Ron and Hermione started talking a bit louder, noticing his discomfort, and tried to get the attention off of him. He glanced up at them for a moment with a thankful smile before he went back to staring at his own feet, which were more interesting than the students watching him.
Thankfully by the time all three sat down the volume in the Hall went up again, and Harry felt the tension leave his body for the first time since he walked onto the train that day. Looking up at the staff table he watched the teachers talk amongst each other, and let his eyes scan over each one, looking for anything out of place. Right away he noticed Hagrid was missing, and felt shock run through him for a moment, and noticed a new face at the table besides Tonks, but couldn't think of who it was. The next thing he noticed was that McGonagall was missing, but Harry knew that she was collecting the first years to be sorted. With a jolt he realized this would be the first sorting he'd seen since his own.
"Harry!" A voice next to him said in a loud whisper.
Harry jumped a little and whipped his head to the side, and looked at Ginny with startled green eyes.
"Are you okay?" She asked in a small voice.
"Yeah, you just startled me out of my thoughts." He replied with a forced smile.
"The sorting's about to begin."
He nodded and raised his eyes up, following the little first years who waited nervously to be sorted. As McGonagall called them up to the sorting hat, Harry watched the first years scurry to the stool, a small smile upon his face. Then out of nowhere his scar seared with a burning pain at the same time an image flashed inside his head of him on the ground at the Riddle House, soaked in blood and on the ground, obviously holding back screams of pain. Harry kept his eyes closed as a shiver ran through his body, and took a deep breath. It's over, it's all over. He chanted inside his head, but he found himself panicking, not really knowing why. Harry looked up quickly to see if anyone was watching him, whether student or teacher, and was relieved to find no eyes on him at the moment, and averted his eyes down to the ground.
Why was he suddenly having flash backs of what happened at the Riddle House? Normally he could control where his thoughts went, so why couldn't he right now? He felt unease rise inside him like bile, something wasn't right. Maybe Sirius was right, I'm not ready to be here, not right now. As soon as the thought entered his mind Harry tried to shake it off, he was meant to be here, Hogwarts was his home. He was safe. Looking up at the staff table Harry could see Dumbledore giving his beginning of the year speech, but easily blocked what he was saying as he calmed himself down.
He knew there was something wrong, but he refused to believe that it was because he was at Hogwarts like he knew Sirius would. But Sirius wouldn't know this happened, Harry already knew what he would say and didn't like it at all. He was staying, staying with his friends and at the castle he called home, and wouldn't let anyone take it away from him. Shaking himself slightly to get rid of the all the thoughts inside his head, Harry looked back up and tried to listen to what Dumbledore was saying.
Harry wandered down the corridor, his eyes frantically searching for any door that he could find, and turning down the next corridor a trickle of excitement went through him as he saw a door down the hall. His feet started to hurry down the hall without him aware, but he found himself not caring. He started to sweat as his heart picked up, he was finally close to what he was searching for-
Suddenly a figure emerged out of the shadows, making Harry jump back as if he had been shocked. Straining his eyes, he tried to make out who the figure was, but it was too dark. Fear replaced excitement as the figure approached him, a sense of dread filling him, and as the shadowy figure stepped into the light, Harry clenched his teeth together to hold back his scream. His red eyes glowed in the eerie darkness in the corridor, the too familiar sinister smile forming his lips, his cloak making it seem as though he were floating with each step he took as Harry stepped back. Voldemort continued to walk until he had Harry cornered by the door, looking like a scared child as he crouched as far as he could, trying to use the shadows to shield him.
"There's no use in hiding from me, Harry, I'll always find you." Voldemort sneered, his voice echoing down the hall.
Harry flinched away, anger and fear mixing in his body. He wanted to do something, anything - but his body ignored his protesting mind. His eyes widened as he saw Voldemort pull out his wand and pointed it straight at Harry, who squeezed his eyes shut while his mind screamed for help. Voldemort's laughter filled his ears as he heard a curse fired, and just barely made out the green light behind his eyelids-
With a jolt Harry opened his eyes, sitting up quickly so his eyes could search the room, but found his vision blurry. His shaky hands searched wildly for his glasses, and he jammed them onto his face as he pulled a curtain out of way to see the room. With a sigh of relief the Gryffindor dormitory came into focus, and as he became aware of his surroundings Harry could hear the breathing and snoring of the other fifth years in the room. Taking in a deep breath, Harry pushed his hand through his sweaty hair, leaning his body back until his back hit the mattress, and tried to make his body relax.
It was just a damn dream, Harry thought to himself, pulling the covers he kicked off the bed over his body. But as images flashed inside his head of Voldemort, and the cold humorless laugh filled his eyes, he couldn't help but think it wasn't. This is starting to get out of hand, Harry thought as he felt his body tremble from his dream. Was he becoming paranoid? Was his mind conscious or not going to keep reminding him of the danger that was awaiting him in the future?
Sirius. He might know why this is happening, maybe this was how it was like for him when he was in Azkaban, and maybe even after. But as Harry pulled back his covers to get out of the bed, realization hit him. It had only been one day and he was going to go crying to Sirius. Was he really that weak? Could Voldemort of made him soft? If there was one thing Harry hated more than Voldemort, it was showing weakness. To him that was telling someone the perfect way to destroy you, and he refused to do that.
With a sigh he pulled the covers back over him, welcoming the warmth it brought to his body, and as a tired calmness creped over him he felt his heart calm and his trembling stop, and shut his tired eyelids. Don't worry about it now, it's not big deal. Harry thought vaguely as he drifted off to sleep. Only time would show Harry how wrong he was.
The next two weeks past in a blur for Harry: classes, homework and catching up with friends left him no time to wonder about the events of his first day back or the confusing dreams of the corridor he had at night. But Harry was glad, he didn't like thinking about it, so he gladly accepted the distractions. His remaining injuries were hardly a bother anymore with the help of Madam Pomfrey, and they didn't hurt him as much as they used to. The only problem that he had to face daily was Snape, who took them and the Slytherins for potions. Harry was still angry - no infuriated - with the overgrown bat, and was glad that Snape had gotten the message loud and clear. He ignored Harry whenever possible and no longer humiliated him in front of the class, something that did not go unnoticed by the very disappointed Slytherin's.
This is how it should be, Harry thought in annoyance as he sat in the Great Hall, pushing his breakfast around on his plate and ignoring the glares he was receiving from Ginny and Hermione. Harry glanced up at them and gave a smile, popping a piece of bacon into his mouth for their benefit. It seemed Mrs. Weasley had them watching Harry like a hawk to make sure he was eating, which amused him as much as it annoyed him. Hermione rolled her eyes at him and returned her attention back to the Daily Prophet in her hand, her eyes scanning over the articles. Ron chose that moment to join them, plopping down next to Harry and making himself a large plate of breakfast. He made small talk with Harry as they ate. Then, to entertain Harry, Ron searched through the Great Hall for anyone embarrassing themselves and pointed it out to Harry the moment he saw it, his own little revenge for all the attention they paid Harry recently.
"What are you staring at, Gin?" Ron suddenly asked.
Harry turned his head around in time to see Ginny's eyes glance away from him, a pink blush making itself noticeable on her cheeks. Harry himself tried not to blush as he looked at her, fighting a smile, as she stumbled for an answer.
"I-I thought I saw something on Harry's face." Ginny muttered, looking apologetically at Harry.
At that moment Harry saw Hermione's head perk up and look over at them, as her eyes met his own, Hermione gave Harry a knowing look he was getting quite used to, and he shook his head in response.
"He does, and don't pity him for it, he was born with that face." Ron said while he rolled his eyes playfully.
"OI!" Harry exclaimed in mock-offence as the others laughed.
Harry shoved his elbow into Ron's chest, a lazy smirk on his face as he heard Ron grunt from the hit.
"You wish you had my stunningly good looks, not everyone is as blessed as I am." Harry said, brushing his hand through his messy hair.
"More like cursed." Ron muttered to Ginny, who bit her lip to keep herself from laughing.
"Why're you Weasley's picking on me today? I can understand Ron since he's a git, but you offend me Gin." Harry said with a hand over his heart.
"You know what Harry? I think you're right, I never side with Ron. I'm joining Team Potter." Ginny said with a smirk, throwing her last piece of toast at Ron.
Harry and Ginny laughed at Ron who was removing the sticky bread from his face and turning red as he tried to wipe the butter and jam off his cheek. Hermione scooted closer to Ginny and grabbed a piece of bacon from the girl's plate and aimed it at Harry who jumped as it hit his face.
"Look at what you did, Potter, turning blood against blood! You ought to be ashamed of yourself." Hermione tried to speak sternly but she couldn't hide her smile.
"I can't help myself, M'ione, Ginny's such a fantastic person to side with, have you seen her Bat-Bogey Hex?" Harry replied playfully.
"But I'm your brother!" Ron said to Ginny, throwing his hands in the air.
"I've got five more, what makes you special?" Ginny asked as she took a sip of pumpkin juice.
Harry snickered a little too loudly and was hit full in the face with Hermione's Daily Prophet, courtesy of Ron. Then they all burst into laughter at the same time. After a minute, Hermione wiped away a tear that had escaped the corner of her eye and checked her watch, with a small gasp she jumped out of her seat.
"We've got to go guys, Charms starts in fifteen minutes and the halls are bound to be full, we'd better hurry." Hermione said as she grabbed her bag.
Harry and Ron hurried out of their seats too and grabbed their own bags. Ginny smiled at them, as they hurried off, finishing her breakfast.
"Have fun!" Ginny yelled at them as they left the Great Hall, rolling her eyes at the rude hand gesture Ron gave her in response.
"Bloody hell! How does the teacher expect us to get all this done!" Ron exclaimed as he hitched his bag over his shoulder more securely.
Harry, Ron and Hermione were making their way back to the Gryffindor Tower after Charms, more out of breath than usual, with all the books they were carrying.
"Don't exaggerate, with the help of a study schedule you should be able to get all of your work done in time." Hermione told him with a sigh.
"Bloody hell, not this again." Ron leaned over to whisper in Harry's ear, who had to turn his head to keep Hermione from seeing him laugh.
Ron chose not to answer Hermione but rather he just gave a small shake of his head. She didn't notice. They kept walking until they reached the Fat Lady.
"Mimbulus mimbletonia." Harry spoke the password before he was asked and together they entered the Gryffindor common room.
Harry and Ron walked over to a small desk near the boys dormitories while Hermione headed to her dorm.
They set their bags down, throwing themselves into chairs, and started sorting through their homework, searching for something easy to do first.
"Did you have any clue what Flitwick was saying earlier?" Ron asked, holding their Charms homework in his hands.
"I wasn't paying attention either you dunderhead, we were playing hangman on the corner of my paper."
"Oh yeah." Ron chuckled.
"We're just reviewing Summoning Charms right now, the homework shouldn't be too hard - let me see it... 'Explain the history of Summoning Charms'... We'll ask Hermione about that later..."
Ron nodded his head and threw the homework into a small pile next to him then began to dig through his bag for something else.
"What about the Dream Journals? Did you write in it for last night?" Harry asked, searching his bag for the journal.
"No, not yet, since I don't remember what I was dreaming 'bout last night but it'll take me ten seconds to make something up." Ron muttered as he opened the journal to the right page and grabbed his quill.
"I still can't believe Trelawney's making us do this." Harry said as he started writing.
"The woman's completely nuts." Ron replied as he dipped his quill in ink.
They sat in silence as they finished writing in the Dream Journals, concentrating so they wouldn't forget the details they had made up in their head for their 'dreams'. When Ron finished he put the journal away and took out his Prefect schedule, forgetting what day he and Hermione had to patrol the hallways.
"FRED! GEORGE!" A loud voice screeched.
Harry jumped and looked up, searching for the source of noise, when he finally found it he shared a glance with Ron, knowing what was coming next. Hermione had her hands on her hips as Fred and George walked up to her, mischievous grins on their faces as they stared at her, not at all intimidated.
"Yes?" George questioned, arching one of his eyebrows.
"Didn't I tell you to get rid of these?" Hermione questioned angrily, shoving a piece of paper in his face.
"It's amazing isn't it, Fred? How much our dear Hermione sounds like mum."
"Absolutely astonishing." Fred replied.
Harry chuckled as he looked over at Ron who had a smirk on his face as he watched Hermione yell at someone else for once. Harry turned his attention back to the papers in front of him, trying to ignore Hermione arguing with the twins as he searched for the rest of the homework he had to get done.
"Harry?" A familiar voice said to his right, he turned to look up at her as he put his quill down.
"Yeah, Gin?" He asked.
"Hedwig came after you left the Hall and gave me your mail since she couldn't find you." She said as she held out an envelope to him.
"Thanks Ginny." Harry replied with a smile as he took the envelope from her and started to open it, but stopped as he saw who sent it to him, "Excuse me, I'll be right back." Harry muttered.
He got off his chair quickly and hurried up Gryffindor tower until he reached his room - thankfully empty - and sat down on his bed as he finished opening the letter.
I'm sorry I haven't been writing, things with the Order are a little crazy at the moment. How is school going? Tonks said that you've been doing excellently in your classes recently, even with all the OWL work. And before you ask, yes, it does get worse. How have you been feeling? Any dizzy spills? Are your nightmares getting better? Any scar pain? I know I must sound annoying, but I need to know. Please reply as soon as possible, but don't put too much, just in case the letter falls into the wrong hands.
Harry stared at the parchment for a moment, his emotions conflicted. Should he tell Sirius about the dreams he had been having? The searing pain of his scar that gave him a vision on the first day? Part of his mind screamed yes, while the other part was telling him no. Harry was torn: whether to tell Sirius what had happened and look weak or say no and deal with it by himself. He reached into the drawer in the bedside table and grabbed a piece of spare parchment along with a quill and ink. As he wrote, he left out what had happened on the first day.
"Harry!" Hermione called for him from the bottom of the stairs.
"Hold on a moment!" Harry called back.
Harry quickly signed his name on the bottom of the letter and sealed it in an envelope. As he went to place it in the drawer, he saw a flash of white by the window.
"Hedwig." Harry breathed as he hurried towards the window.
Harry undid the latch that kept the window shut and opened it wide, letting Hedwig fly in, she then landed on his shoulder and gave a gentle squeeze with her claws.
"Hey there girl." Harry said as he stroked her feathers, and in return she nipped his ear affectionately.
"I need you to send this to Sirius, I know the letter says something else; but it's for Sirius." Harry told her.
Hedwig nipped his ear again and Harry took it that she understood, when she held her leg out to him Harry tied the letter there and stroked her feathers once again before she flew back out the window. Harry watched her soar, away into the distance, with the letter for Sirius secured tightly to her leg.
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