Chapter 21 : Chapter Twenty One: Settling In
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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 the Gryffindors 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 Slytherins.
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, he shook his head at her 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.
"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 Weasleys 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 better brothers than you Ronnie." Ginny replied 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. They all burst into laughter, enjoying their playful banter. 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 bed. 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.
"Do you think she'll believe I had a dream the Giant Squid was drowning Snape?" Harry asked, his quill hovering over the journal.
Ron snickered in response, "Who cares? She'll interpret it somehow to your untimely death."
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 incredible." 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 on his scar that gave him a vision? Part of his mind was screaming 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.
A/N: Another chapter! I had a blast writing this one, especially with the playful banter, writing for Ron is the best! Anyways, the next chapter is done, I just have to have my Beta look over it before I post it. R&R!
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