Chapter 9 : Chapter Nine: Opening Up
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It was late Saturday morning as Harry Potter made his way through the many corridors of Hogwarts. He knew she would be in the library as she had been in the library around this time every Saturday they had spent at Hogwarts for as long as he had known her. He knew Hermione Granger better than anyone in this entire world and she knew him just as well. She had been his rock all the way through the war and his voice of reason during his years at Hogwarts. He loved her more than life itself but on a strictly platonic level. She was as close to him as a sister and he thought of her as such. He had spent the last couple of weeks living in regret, sorrow and longing. Regret for not supporting her when he should have, sorrow for the friend and sister that he had lost and longing for her to be back in his life. He had missed her terribly and today he was going to make it right.
Sofia's head snapped up in confusion. She hadn't been called that name for so long and it was strange to hear it now, after months of being called something else. Her eyes soon landed on Harry and she grimaced at the sight.
"That's not my name", she said stiffly whilst looking back at her book.
"I know, I'm sorry, it's just old habbits and well, it's hard to let go", responded Harry.
Sofia looked back into his eyes at this. Harry had just told her a small part of how he was feeling and it made her want to know more. She directed her eyes to the chair next to her and looked back at the boy she had known since she was 11. Getting the hint, Harry took the seat.
"I take it you're here for a reason", she stated.
"Yes. I came here to apologise". At seeing her sceptical look he quickly added, "And to explain".
"Well go on then". She didn't care about sounding harsh. As much as she loved Harry, he had hurt her by not being there for her for the past few months.
"I'm sorry, I really am. When I first found out I didn't believe it but then when you woke up and confirmed everything that the Zabini's had told me I was in shock. A million things kept running through my head. I kept thinking about them being Slytherins but I knew that wasn't important, I mean, look at Severus Snape. He was in Slytherin and he was the bravest man I ever knew. Then I kept thinking of Blaise being your twin and I just felt like I was being replaced. I thought of you as my sister and I still do but it hurt to know that you had a real brother, a brother who had the same blood as you and not just a pretend one like me. Then I looked at you and saw how you had changed. It killed me to know that I was never going to see my Hermione again. Never again would I see her laughing face or her red cheeks when she was angry. Knowing that just made me feel sick. I felt like you had died and looking at the new you stopped me from believing that you were there inside. Then you went and got put in Slytherin so I thought that you must have changed inside and the Hermione I loved was really gone forever. Watching you around school showed me that you were just the same though. Finishing your work first. Spending most of your time in the library. The only difference was that you were sad and I knew exactly why. I almost strangled Ron when we got back to Gryffindor Tower for calling you those things. Every time I saw other students being horrible to you I wanted to get up and rip their faces off b-".
"Then why didn't you?", interupted Sofia.
"Because I was weak. I still felt replaced. I still didn't want believe that it was you and I just couldn't bring myself to accept it. When I heard about what Lavender and the other girls did to you though I was outraged. I went to the Hospital Wing to see if you was there but you wasn't. I even brought some strawberry flavoured calming draught because I know how much you're scared of water and that's your favourite flavour".
Sofia smiled at this. He still knew her like he did before. Before she had changed and been reunited with her family.
"What has made you change your mind then?", she asked. If she was to forgive Harry she had to know why he had his sudden change of heart.
"Because I miss you. You've been part of my life for the last 7 years. You've been there for me when no one else has. Even when Ron left, you stayed with me and I knew how much you loved him. Year after year you risked your life to help me even when I asked you not to. You put yourself in so much danger simply because you were my friend and, even though I felt guilty for dragging you through all of my mess, nothing in the world meant more to me than having you by my side. You were there for me when we lost the people closest to us because of Voldemort. Fred, Remus, Tonks, Dumbledore, Sirius. When we were on the battlefield, I prayed so hard every second for you to be ok, for you to live. It would have killed me if I had lost you that day. I was so relieved to see your face after I defeated Voldemort. I couldn't afford to lose anyone else and you were the most important person in my life. You still are. You're my best friend and you're the only sister I've ever had. I love you".
Both had tears in their eyes when Harry had finished. Sofia leapt into his arms as they cried into each other. They sat together for what seemed like hours releasing all of their tears. They cried for the times that had nearly cost them their lives, they cried for the terrible ordeal that they had had to endure during the war, they cried for the people that they had loved and lost, they cried for the absence that had been present for the last few months, they cried for the forgivness that had been given and accepted, they cried for the memories of their beautiful friendship, they cried for the good times that they had yet to come but mostly, they cried for the eternal love that they had for one another; the love of a friend and of a sibiling.
"It's so good to have you back, Harry", Sofia wept. "I missed you so much".
"It's good to be back, I missed you too".
"If you still want to call me Hermione, that's fine you know. Everyone else calls me Sofia but I understand if you don't feel comfortable with it".
"Well if that's your name then that's what I'm going to call you. I can't say I won't slip up sometimes and call you Hermione by accident but I'll try my best", Harry replied. "It is a little weird though. Harry and Sofia, Sofia and Harry. Best friends Harry and Sofia".
They both laughed at Harry's attempt of trying to get used to her name, but his last sentence stumbled upon the elephant in the room. They soon sobered up as the realisation that they were no longer a trio set in.
"He will come around eventually you know. He just can't seem to get his head around it. I think he's a little jealous too if I'm honest", Harry said softly.
At her confused look he spoke again.
"Well, the Weasley's have never been well off and we both have, especially me with the money my parents left. When we were rewarded by the ministry I think he finally thought we were on a level footing with money, at least with you, but then you turn out to be a Zabini and that made you richer than all of us. It made him feel as if he was once again the poor one and the one who was left out. The media had a field day with your story and despite his fame from the war, the press have always been more interested in me than him, and now you too". This last part was said with a grimace on Harry's face. He hated how much the press tried to invade his life.
"But that's so superficial", she replied.
"I know, but you know how Ron is. He can sometimes resemble a green eyed monster. I'm sure he will begin to see what I see. He will come around, he just needs some more time".
"I hope so", Sofia resonded sadly.
Sofia practically skipped into the Slytherin common room after her talk with Harry. She was on cloud 9 and no one could bring her back down. She had her best friend back, the boy who she thought of as a brother. Harry was back in her life and she couldn't be happier.
"What the hell have you been on? You look like a cheshire cat", laughed Blaise as Sofia came into view.
"You really do have a way with words, do you know that?", Sofia responded sarcastically. "Actually, I just came back from the library an-".
"Only you could get this excited from spending most of the day in the library", sniggered Theo.
"If you let me finish, you will know what I'm so happy about".
"Please do continue to entertain us", drawled Draco, his infamous smirk on his face.
"I just spoke to Harry an-"
"What the hell did he do?!", demanded Blaise.
All of the boys started to rush over to Sofia at this as if to check no physical harm had come to her.
"You've been crying! I can see the tracks on your face. I'm going to kill that-".
"For the love of Merlin! Will you all SHUT UP!".
Not used to Sofia's loud voice, the boys flinched and immediately sat back down.
"Before you all got up like a bunch of bumbling idiots, I was going to say that Harry came to apologise to me and we sorted everything out".
"Then why have you been crying?", Blaise asked disbelievingly.
"We had a long talk and things got quite emotional. Believe it or not, Harry and I have been through a hell of a lot. No one else in this world could ever understand what we went through together. You couldn't even begin to comprehend the bond that we have. Going through near death experiences together tends to give you that. Seeing his body when Voldemort said he was dead was the worst moment of my life. The pain was so excruciating. I just wanted to curl up next to him and die with him. We lost people who we both loved in the war and believe me, winning came with such a price it almost wasn't worth it. We were there for each other when no one else was. At one point we were the only people in each others lives, for months actually. Sharing an experience like that, no one will ever know what that feels like".
The group had gone silent at Sofia's words. The girls even had tears in their eyes. They had never heard her talk about the war. Not even Blaise. To hear even a small part of what she went through made them feel for her so much. They now understood why she had forgiven Harry and, even if they didn't like him, they knew that the relationship he shared with Sofia was strong and infinite. It would last forever and nothing could break it.
"It sounds like you really have something special", said Pansy, breaking the silence that hung in the air. "Have you ever spoke about the war to anyone before?".
"Not really. I never had any close friends apart from Ron and Harry but we were there when everything happend. We never really felt the need to talk about it, it was too hard. Just before was the first time Harry ever metioned it. Hence the tears".
"You could talk about it to us if you want?", asked Daphne.
"I don't know, it's rather personal. It was something that Harry, Ron and I went through together. It would be strange saying it to other people".
"Just think of it like telling a story. You don't have to if you don't want but it might help you get it off your chest and come to terms with things".
The fact that it was Vincent Crabbe who had just said this astounded every single one of them.
"Vinnie, did you actually just say something intelligent and heart felt?", Theo asked with his face a mirror of shock.
At this Vinnie's cheeks flushed red in embarrassment.
"I think he's right actually. Maybe it would be good and I'm sure you would all like to know about our 'adventures'. I have to ask though, please do not let anything I tell you go as far as this room. Harry, Ron and I are not ready to let the world know what truly happened yet".
All of the Slytherins agreed and Sofia began her story. She told them of the prophecy which had led to Voldemort targetting Harry. She told them of the reason for Harry's survival when he was just a small baby and the fight for the Philospher stone. She told them how Harry finally found a family with Sirius untill he was cruelly taken away. She told them of Snape and his love for Harry's Mother. She told them of the night Ron had left them alone. She told them of the Horcruxes and how they were all destroyed. She told of them of the Deathly Hallows and how Harry had once had all 3. She told them of the many months they had spent on the run. She told them of the night they went to visit Harry's parents in Godric's Hollow and of the statue and sign they had seen in front of the ruined house. She told them of the special relationship between Professor Dumbledore and Harry. She told them of the people they had painfully lost and lastly, she told them all about the night of the battle at Hogwarts from the perspective of Harry, Ron and herself. She told them everything.
Almost 3 hours had passed by the time she was finished and everyone was teary eyed. Daphne and Pansy were openly crying and Sofia was struggling to keep it in.
"That was..", Theo started, in awe of what he had just heard.
"Yeah", said Adrian in an equally trance like state.
"I can't believe everything you went through. Everything you fought against. All 3 of you", cried Daphne.
"I actually feel for Potter. To lose all of those people", sobbed Pansy.
"It's unimaginable", Draco whisphered.
"Why did you do it?", asked Blaise. She had told them everything she had done with Potter and Weasley but not why. At this question, everyone looked up at her curiously. They too had wanted to know why.
"Because they're my friends. Every year at Hogwarts we went through so much together and every year we all became closer because of it. When Harry decided to look for the Horcruxes, he didn't ask Ron and I to come. We chose to. Harry was our friend. Our brother. We went through everything together and we would rather have died than let him go alone. He needed us and we were not going to fail him".
"So you risked your life, for all of those years, for your friends?", Theo questioned.
"Yes. Yes I did. And I would do it all over again if I had to. Just as I would do it for any of you".
The defiance in her startling blue eyes as she said this statement sent shivers down their spines. Just by looking into those crystal orbs, the Slytherins could see just how much she meant what she had said. She would do it all again. They were in awe at her bravery and loyalty and could not understand how she had not been placed back in Gryffindor. They could see how fiercely she loved her friends and how much she would do to protect them. What shocked them the most was the she had said she would do it for all of them too. Looking at each other the Slytherin friends all nodded, thinking the exact same thought; "And we would do it all for her too".
Sofia left the bathroom and walked into her dorm to be met with the sight of Pansy, Daphne, Millie Bulstrode and Giorgina Napleton (her other two room mates) styling their hair and putting on their make up.
"Are you four going somewhere?", she asked in puzzlement.
"No", Pansy replied, "Us five are going somewhere. After what you told us all earlier, we decided that you need a little fun in your life and we are not going to take no for answer".
"Oh, I don't know", Sofia said hesitantly.
"You're coming whether you like it or not. I've left you an outfit on your bed and Giorgie will take care of your hair and make up. Come on, it would be rude not to take advantage of the fact that 7th years are allowed out to Hogsmeade on nights out and I've heard the new nightclub their is mental".
Despite her protests of wanting to stay at the castle, 45 mintes later Sofia found herself with her make up applied, her back combed hair curled to perfection and her body in one of Pansy's dresses.
"Girl, you got one fine ass!", shouted Millie jokingly.
Sofia laughed but did feel slightly self conscious. The dress was a cobalt blue and extremely tight, or 'fitted' as Pansy liked to say. The neck line went down into a v showing off her curvacious chest tastefully and stopped mid thigh. Looking at herself, Sofia could understand why Millie had said what she had. It really did make her behind stand out.
"Come on, we'll go to The Three Broomsticks first and then head over to Moonfire when we've had a few drinks", said Daphne.
The girls walked out of their dorm and down the steps to their common room. Sofia wobbled slightly in the black platform heels she was wearing but soon got used to them.
"And where do you think you lot are going?", asked Draco. He had clocked the girls trying to sneak out of the common room in the corner of his eye.
"Out", smiled Pansy, feigning innocence.
"Not dressed like that you're bloody not!", shouted Blaise. He was clearly talking to Sofia and the other girls smirked at his protectiveness over his twin.
"I beg your pardon?", Sofia asked, raising an eye brow as if to dare him to tell her what to do again.
"That dress is far too short and so low you can see your lady things! People will think you're a-a, well, a tart", he blurted out.
Sofia scoffed at this and the girls burst out into a fit of giggles.
"I'm sure everyone will think she looks beautiful, just like we do. Don't you agree, Draco?", Pansy smirked. She just loved making Draco squirm.
Sofia looked over to him and blushed slightly. Draco was practically drooling over her but his face was still in shock.
"Yeah, erm sure, yeah, I mean yes, beautiful", he stammered, not taking his eyes away from her chest.
Blaise looked at him horrified and smacked him around the back of the head with his hand.
"Mate, that's my sister!", he exclaimed.
"Well, it's not my fault she's fit!".
As soon as Draco realised what he had said his face turned into one of pure horror. He hadn't meant to say that out loud.
Sofia nearly had to put her fist in her mouth to stop herself from crying with laughter. Blaise's furious face and Draco's embarrassment was just too much to handle.
"Well, we'll be off now boys, have a nice night", Daphne teased as the girls headed towards the exit.
Sofia couldn't resist that chance to humilate Draco further and turned back to him just before she walked through the portrait hole.
"Bye Draa-co", she smiled coyly, laughing further at the reddening colour of his normally pale cheeks.
"Well, that was fun", Giorgie giggled as the girls made their way across the entrance hall.
"It was hilarious. That is one the only times I have ever seen Draco embarrassed", laughed Daphne.
"Well if you think that was fun just wait for tonight. It. Is. Going. To. Be. Madness", smirked Pansy. With that, the girls apparated at the Hogwarts gates, ready to start their night of intoxication and fun.
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