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Chapter 25 : Chapter 25: Memories
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Exam time past in a blur and soon enough it was the day before they were due to leave. None of them could fight the somewhat solemn and miserable air that fell over them.
“Hey you lot,” Fred sighed. “No more moping.”
“We have something for us all to do,” George said. “Come on. It’s time for a trip down memory lane.”
As Fred and George urged Hermione, Ron, Harry, Ginny, Dean, Seamus, Luna and Neville up and out of the Great Hall after their nostalgic final lunch there.
“What are we doing?” Hermione asked as they were led outside of the castle.
“Walking,” Fred replied and Hermione rolled her eyes.
“Walking? Really? I didn’t notice that,” Harry said sarcastically.
“Listen you lot, this will be a lot more fun if you stop asking questions and just go with it,” George said.
“It seems pretty strange to me,” Ron muttered.
“All will be revealed shortly. As we said, we’re on a trip down memory lane,” Fred told them.
The twins led them down towards Hagrid’s hut and the Forbidden forest. “First stop.”
The group smiled at the sight of Hagrid standing outside his hut and beaming widely at them. Fang who had been sat beside him patiently bounded towards the group leaping up at Ginny who gave a squeal and stepped back. “This is mostly a stop for you, Harry,” Fred told him. “But we reckon it’ll be nice for everyone just to say an early goodbye of sorts.”
“Thank you,” Harry smiled at them and greeted Hagrid with a hug.
“I was 'ere to see you all start,” he said. “And now look at you all. Grown up, brave, young adults. And you’re finishing school.”
“We don’t really want to leave,” Luna admitted.
“I can’t imagine you would but I know you all have great futures ahead of you and it’s your time to leave this place,” he told them.
“But there’s so many memories,” Hermione sighed.
“They may’ve ‘appened ‘ere but it’s not where they stay. Those memories will go with you wherever life may take you,” Hagrid said.
“We know,” Neville said. “But Hogwarts just feels like home.”
“Exactly,” Dean agreed.
“I’m going to miss it here. All the mysteries and secrets of Hogwarts, all the people, all the places, everything,” Seamus said.
“We all are,” Ron said. “It doesn’t seem right to think that we’re leaving and we won’t be coming back.”
“On the bright side we never have to take another exam,” Fred grinned always one to be optimistic but the group were unfazed by the attempt at happiness. The group then bid goodbye to Hagrid and George led them off again, his hand clasping Hermione’s and pulling her along.
“Now, don’t be afraid guys,” George said. “We’re just going to take a quick walk in the Forbidden forest for old times’ sake.
“He’s got to be joking,” Seamus said.
“He’s not,” Fred said. “Come on it’s daylight. Nothing’s going to happen.”
The group followed reluctantly into the dark and sheltered forest. “This is mental,” Ron said earning several agreeing nods. “If we run into any acromantulas I swear I will kill you.”
“If we run into any acromantulas we’ll be dead already,” Neville said.
A thestral bounded through the trees not far from where they were and they all smiled sadly at the sight of them knowing that, for most of them, a few years ago they never would have seen it.
“Mr Potter and friends know not when to give up, do they?” came the voice of Ronan, the centaur.
“Ronan,” Harry said. “We were just...saying goodbye to the forest.”
“These kids back again,” came another voice, making them all jump.
“Firenze,” Hermione smiled.
“We’re just here to reminisce,” Fred told them.
“Well goodbye. You have all been greatly involved in the changing of our world and I suppose we must thank you,” Ronan said.
“There’s no need to,” Ron assured him. “Thank you for everything over the years.”
Both centaurs nodded and followed them to the edge of the forest. “Goodbye young heroes.”
The group smiled and chuckled slightly before calling a collective ‘thanks’ and ‘goodbye’ as the centaurs disappeared back into the forest.
The group chatted happily their spirits lifted by the small visits they had paid the past as they were brought back into the castle by Fred and George.
“And here is the Library,” George said stopping before it. “Now if you are a normal, sane person you wouldn’t really care but there’s one person here who has probably spent more time in here than Madame Pince herself.”
“So let’s just go in quickly for the last time, let said person say goodbye to their sanctuary and the rest of us can too. Of course if you’re Ron and you didn’t even know there was a library at Hogwarts then you can say hello and goodbye,” Fred joked.
They all laughed. “What’s a library?” Ron asked, faking cluelessness.
They followed Hermione into the library and watched as she walked down some aisles her fingers trailing along the shelves and brushing over the spines of books. She smiled to herself as she did so and then returned to the group ready to leave.
George gestured for them to wait for a moment then turned to Madame Pince, “I’m really sorry about this but...” he began and his friends watched curiously. “I hate these stupid books and all their unnecessary knowledge!” he yelled as loud as he possibly could and Madame Pince gave him a look which could only be considered a death glare, unimpressed by the amount of noise he had made and the point he had given in the process. “Sorry!” he called again before rushing the group out of the library.
“George,” Hermione scolded him but couldn’t help but laugh.
“I’m sorry but I’ve always wanted to do that,” George said and sighed with the air that he had removed a great weight from his chest.
“You truly are mental,” Ron informed him.
“I wish I had thought of doing that,” Fred said looking at his twin with a great respect.
“Alright you two, where to next?” Seamus asked.
“A place we are all quite familiar with,” George grinned once more dragging them out into the now brighter and warmer summer’s day.
A few minutes later the group found themselves walking onto the Quidditch pitch where Angelina stood, surrounded by brooms and a chest.
“Hey,” she greeted them. They all chimed back ‘hellos’.
“Who’s ready for a five on five game?” Fred asked picking up a broom and throwing it at Harry who caught it so expertly and with such a casual, confident manner that he truly could have been born to play. George assisted his twin in handing out brooms but Neville and Hermione both refused and attempted to back away from the group.
“Nuh-uh,” George said. “No backing out of this, you two. You’re going to play a game of Quidditch on this pitch before your time at Hogwarts is over, okay?”
Neville looked at Hermione desperately. “Don’t look at me,” she sighed. “I can’t control him. If he says we are going to do it we pretty much don’t have a choice. Sorry.”
“You’ll be fine, Nev,” Seamus assured him and Dean arched an eyebrow at his best friend doubtfully as he mouthed the word ‘really?’
“I’m going to die. I’m going to die the day before I graduate,” Neville mumbled to himself and everyone laughed.
“Alright you two here’s a crash course in flying. You guys know how the game goes by now all you need to learn is how to fly,” Fred said breezily.
The group gave the two of them step by step instructions on how to fly and hovering just a foot above the ground Hermione felt sick with nerves. “Let’s go Granger,” George said and kicked off from the ground beginning the practical teaching with her whilst Luna and Harry helped Neville.
George was easily twenty feet above Hermione and she looked up at him feeling panic surge through her. Hermione was a fast learner. In everything. Always. No exceptions. Anything she set her mind to she could figure out. Sadly this had not applied to Quidditch in her previous years and she doubted it suddenly did. But she also wasn’t one to give up.
“Alright Hermione keep your eyes on me,” George called down to her. “Lean forward gently and angle yourself upwards just slightly.”
Hermione did as she was told and though it was jerky she did manage to move, rising upwards towards George...possibly too quickly but she soon corrected herself. Her movements were not smooth or confident, or anything remotely close for that matter, but they were a start.
“There you go!” George yelled with a smile as she levelled with him however she seemed to have problems with just hovering and her broom seemed to jolt and judder. “Just relax,” he said zooming closer to her and placing a hand at the top of her broom, steadying her.
“Easy for you to say. I belong on the ground, George. I don’t know if I ever mentioned but I’m kind of scared of heights,” she told him.
“I know. But this is something you couldn’t miss out on,” George told her. He kept his hand on her broom and began to fly around the edge of the pitch reminding Hermione to take steady breaths and just relax as he tugged her along. Despite the fact she was being pulled it was a smooth movement, she could feel the wind rushing through her hair and it felt like she was gliding. Even dragging her around George made flying seem effortless. Show off. Without warning George let go of her broom, a similar tactic to the way many taught a child to ride a bike.
When she felt herself struggling to control the broom, she was ready to cry out for help but steadied herself and relaxed as much as she could despite the knowledge that if she fell now she would be dead. She continued laps of the pitch the jerkiness improving slightly but not entirely. She was no professional. She never would be. She was by no means in control of the broom but it was actually moving the way she intended it to most the time. Sort of, at least. Neville seemed to have made similar progress but clumsy as ever had already managed to crash into a goal post. Thankfully he had recovered quick enough to not plummet to his untimely death.
“I think she can handle a game now,” George said as he and Hermione landed. She trembled as she dismounted the broom trying to readjust to the solid ground.
“Brilliant,” Angelina smiled. “Well, I’ll be referee and score keeper. You can sort out teams.”
“Two captains?” George suggested.
“How about we split up couples?” Ginny said, ever competing with Harry.
“Yeah,” Harry agreed with a confident smirk.
“Alright then, I’ll have George, Ron, Seamus and Nev,” Ginny said.
“Fine,” Harry said. “I’ve got Fred, Hermione, Dean and Luna.”
“Good luck,” George grinned at Hermione who looked at the broom warily.
“If I die I hope you realise it will be on your conscience,” Hermione informed him.
“You really think I’d let anything happen to you?” George asked her.
“Never,” she said and pressed a quick kiss to his cheek before joining her team mates.
“No worries, my twin,” Fred smiled. “I’ll look after the new bee,” he said and fondly ruffled Hermione’s hair as if she were an infant.
“If you wish to keep that hand I recommend that you never do that again,” Hermione warned him.
Fred just chuckled, “You wouldn’t hurt me, Granger. You adore me too much.”
Hermione didn’t have time to reply when Angelina blew her whistle and the group kicked off she saw the quaffle and snitch rise as she did but focused first on reaching the same height as the others before anything else. She was relieved that there were no bludgers involved in their mini-game.
She was slower than the others but once she was up there she was quick to analyse what was happening. Ron, on the other team, was keeper and on her own Luna was, Harry and Ginny played seeker on their respective teams and that left herself, Fred and Dean as chasers on their team with George, Seamus and Neville on the other team.
She was surprised to see the quaffle hurtle towards her but with some conscious corner of her mind she managed the catch it, after fumbling for a few flustered seconds, and rushed forward, her actions messy but accomplishing what she wanted to more or less as she threw it to Fred who caught it effortlessly and zoomed ahead to score the first points of the game.
“Yes!” Fred cheered and high fived Hermione as he flew back. The game continued with Ginny’s team leading in points and Hermione found herself enjoying herself though occasionally she would surprise herself by looking down and get a slight dizzy spell though the fresh air and wind quickly swept it away. She was proud of herself as her flying skills progressed, still uncertain and jerky but definitely improving and intercepting a pass and tossing the quaffle to someone of her own team made her feel triumphant.
George had cheered her at that moment regardless of what team she was on and though she had not scored any points herself she was flying and catching and throwing with some accuracy which was impressive for someone who was dead set against the sport.
Eventually Harry caught the snitch, making Ginny’s teams leading score irrelevant and secretly no one would have wanted it any other way. It seemed fitting that after everything Harry would win his last game at Hogwarts.
Hermione landed shakily relieved to be back on the ground but struggling to readjust and balance herself.
“You did amazingly, Granger!” Fred grinned rushing to hug her. “Is there anything you can’t do?”
“Great job ‘Mione,” George smiled dismounting his broom. “I knew you could do it. See all that time you spent watching you could have been playing!”
“Let’s not get too carried away,” Hermione said. “I managed to fly and catch without plummeting to my death but let’s not push it.”
“We did it,” Neville grinned at her. “And we’re both still breathing and uninjured.”
“I’m telling you it’s a miracle,” she laughed.
“Don’t put the brooms down,” Fred said. “We’re off for some more touring now.”
“George,” Hermione groaned. “I survived the first time. Doesn’t mean I should get back on it.”
“Alright, Love,” he grinned and mounted the broom. “Come with me instead.”
Hermione was beyond relieved and cupped his face with her hands and kissed him quickly and forcefully before breathing a “thank you,” to him.
George chuckled and rubbed the back of his neck taken aback by this act but by no means unhappy. Hermione perched behind him on the broom and wrapped her arms around his waist tightly resting her head on his shoulder and burying her face in his neck. Luna and Neville opted for the same approach though Luna being the stronger flyer was sat in front of Neville. The rest were happy to fly alone and they kicked off with Fred, George and technically Hermione leading the way.
The sun was beginning to set and the pink-orange shades of the sky lit up George’s face beautifully from where Hermione was sat and he glanced back at her he pressed a soft kiss on the tip of her nose. The group moved swiftly and George and Fred slowed as they neared the Black Lake which looked undeniably beautiful in the light of the setting sun.
They dipped lower flying just over the surface of the water and they all seemed content.
“This is amazing,” Dean called.
“It’s perfect,” Neville added.
“We’re geniuses,” Fred laughed and high-fived his twin who smiled as they headed back the way they had come from, towards the castle. They circled the castle several times just looking down at the grounds, recalling memories and wishing it didn’t have to end.
“I love you.”
Hermione barely heard it. It was a whisper and she could have mistaken it as the wind but the words were so distinct and the way they were spoken was awfully familiar.
She stared at the back of his head and smiled to herself pressing a soft kiss to the side of his neck and trailing them up to his ear, “I love you too,” she murmured gently into his ear.
She could sense his grin more that see it and couldn’t help but laugh to herself. Hermione was not the kind of girl who needed a boyfriend. She didn’t need a hero. She wasn’t dependant on anyone else to look after her or care for her. Hermione Granger was a smart, independent, strong girl that could handle herself very well indeed. She was brave and she was her own hero. She wasn’t a pathetic damsel in distress who would cry on the floor waiting for a boy to come and save her. She was perfectly capable of saving herself.
That didn’t mean she didn’t appreciate the gestures. It didn’t mean she didn’t appreciate him being her hero every so often. It didn’t mean she didn’t want him to. And maybe at first she didn’t need him but by now? She did. Maybe not in the pathetic ‘I’m going to curl up and die because you left me’ way but more in the sense that she found herself constantly asking what she would do without him. When she needed to cry he was there. When she needed cheering up he was there. And then he was just always there, to care for her, laugh with her, spend time with her and to love her.
Hermione’s thoughts were disrupted as she noticed Fred fly through a small window into what she determined to be the Astronomy tower. “Duck, Hermione,” George told her and she did as he said, climbing off the broom once inside the tower.
As they all dismounted their brooms after entering the Astronomy tower they noted the sun slowly slipping out of sight leaving a sea of reds, oranges and pinks illuminating the grounds of Hogwarts.
“Say goodbye,” Harry said sadly as they all gathered around the various windows staring out at it all. They all smiled and sighed contently as the burning in the distance gradually faded allowing a deepening blue to crawl across the previously blazing sky before flooding it entirely. It was not dark enough to see the stars yet but the moon glowed faintly casting a somewhat peaceful light on the scene before them.
“We’re not done yet,” George said. “One last stop.”
“Then we’ll go down for the end of term feast,” Fred informed them.
“Lead the way,” Ron said and the group followed the two closely.
They soon found themselves standing outside a door that wasn’t usually there. The Room of Requirement. They exchanged curious glances but the twins just smiled at them all stepping aside and allowing the group to push open the doors and walk in.
There was a collective gasp from the group as they stepped into the familiar settings of the DA meeting room which just so happened to be filled with all of the Dumbledore’s Army members...the ones who were left at least.
“Surprise!” the twins cried in unison wearing matching grins as they rushed in following their friends.
“Hey,” several people greeted as the group walked in. The group just smiled at the people surrounding them.
“Think it’s about time you kick off this meeting Harry,” Dennis Creevey said and as attention was drawn to him Hermione felt a pang that she was sure she saw in other people’s eyes. One of the people that was missing was Colin. Dennis’ elder brother. He had been killed in the Battle of Hogwarts. That was a painful thought and Hermione was overcome with the urge to hug the younger boy.
She was beat to it by Dean who didn’t full out hug the younger boy but warmly slung an arm around his shoulder. “Yeah Harry. I reckon it’s time for another meeting,” he agreed.
“Come on Harry!” Fred said.
“How about a few friendly duels for old times’ sake?” Terry Boot said.
“You have heard your people Mr. Potter,” a calm and familiar voice rang out. Several people whipped around to find the source of the voice to see the new addition of a portrait hung on the wall. Dumbledore.
Many people grinned at the picture, some seeming surprised and other just amazed.
Harry stood simply speechless in the centre of the room. “I-uh...wow...thank you...”
“Potter,” George said and rolled his eyes. “We’re looking for something to do. Some good laughs and duels to remember.”
“Well alright then,” Harry grinned. “Let’s get on with this then. Welcome back to Dumbledore’s Army...”
There was a pause filled with cheers and applause. “It’s been a long time but it’s good to see so many of you here and we are by no means forgetting those of us that aren’t here but we all know that they did what they did for the sake of our world and all of us. So let’s not waste the time they fought to get us. Anyone else want to have some fun?” cheers again. This encouraged Harry even more. “So let’s see just how well I taught you guys. Boys one side, girls the other!”
The groups organised themselves immediately leaving a large, cleared space in the middle of the room.
“Who’s up first?”
“You!” a boy who Hermione identified as Ernie Macmillan called.
“And who am I challenging?”
“I’ll take on the Boy Who Lived,” Fred grinned rolling up his sleeves and pulling out his wand.
“Nothing painful,” Harry said. “Stick to disarming, non-permanent and no harmful charms, spells or jinxes that we can’t reverse.”
“Scared Potter?” Fred teased.
“In your dreams,” Harry chuckled and began their duel throwing a disarming spell at Fred who expertly deflected it throwing his own charms back. The end found Fred sat on the floor laughing off a hurt pride and shaking Harry’s hand with a smile.
Dennis and Nigel duelled next, followed by Luna and Hannah Abott, Dean and Seamus, Ron and Ginny and many mini-battles later: Hermione and George.
“I’m not going easy on you Granger,” George told her.
“I would never ask you to. You’d just embarrass yourself more than you are already going to,” she teased.
“Oh please I could beat you in my sleep,” George retorted with false cockiness.
“That would be the only time you could,” Hermione smirked. “In your dreams.”
“Five galleons says Granger kicks his arse?” Fred grinned looking across to Ron who laughed and shook his head.
“No way. George has this one. You’re on,” Ron said and shook his brother’s hand.
“Expelliarmus!” George yelled which Hermione deflected with a simple wave of her wand.
“Is that all you’ve got, Georgie?” she mocked.
“Levicorpus!” he shouted. Hermione sidestepped it and gave a soft ‘tut’.
“I expect more from you George. I must say I’m disappointed,” she said loftily.
“Aguamenti!” George tried and Hermione watched as the jet of water sprayed her.
“What was that really going to do except make me look like I went swimming?” she asked in amusement.
George flushed slightly realising his stupidity but recovered quickly, “Locomotor Wibbly!”
That one did hit Hermione. However despite being collapsed on the floor she maintained a firm grip on her wand and aimed at George who was just about to begin proud celebration.
“Rictusempra!” she called trailing her wand on his figure and watching with a grin as he burst into laughter moving jerkily as a result of the tickling sensation that passed through him.
“N-no f-fair,” he managed to force out between laughs as he clutched at his side, doubling over.
Hermione took advantage of this casting a counter charm of herself and leaping to her feet quickly. “Pertrificus totalus!”
George immediately stopped squirming, frozen on the floor. The room burst into applause and Hermione gave a grateful bow before releasing George from his state and pulling him up.
“Well played, Granger,” he grinned and wrapped an arm around her.
“Why thank you Mr. Weasley,” she smiled and used a charm to dry herself. “You were a worthy opponent.”
Ron reluctantly handed Fred the money and he grinned. “Thank you very much.”
“Wait you bet on that?” George asked his twin incredulously. “And you bet that Hermione would win? Instead of me, your twin?”
“Um...nothing personal,” Fred said awkwardly. “It’s just that you know...Hermione’s epic.”
“Wow thanks,” George said sarcastically but smiled.
A few more duels took place amongst the members and eventually Harry called an end to it all knowing that the end of term feast would start in just over an hour and everyone needed to change.
“I just want to thank you all for everything over the years,” Harry said. “Thanks to Fred and George for planning this for today it’s been amazing to relive old times without the pressure of previous times. Dumbledore’s Army has been and will always be remembered as a great success and thank you for putting your faith in me and fighting alongside one another. It means a lot and we’ve all been through a lot together but here’s to the future and everything we’ve been through that has made us who we are now.”
A round of applause rung out, “Thank you all for everything. I wish you all the best of luck for the future and hopefully I’ll see you all around.”
“Thanks Harry!” voices chimed throughout the room. Most remained there for a few moments afterwards just talking, wishing each other luck and saying early goodbyes.
“Thanks for everything,” Dennis said walking up to Harry, Ron and Hermione. “He- Colin- used to idolize you. I can understand why. So I guess... thanks to the three of you for what you’ve done for me, him and everyone else.”
Hermione’s heart broke in that moment and she pulled the younger wizard in for a hug, “You never have to thank us for anything. You’ve grown into the most amazing wizard, Dennis. We’ll miss you.”
“Thank you,” he smiled. “It won’t be the same here without you all.”
“Enjoy it while it lasts,” Ron told him. “You’ll hate leaving.”
He called a ‘bye’ and left them.
Harry, Ron, Hermione, Fred, George, Ginny, Luna, Neville, Dean and Seamus were the last to leave the Room of Requirement sighing in a mix of happiness and sadness as they walked away from the room to the Gryffindor common room to get ready before the feast.
So, what did you think? I really hope you liked it but I won't know unless you tell me so here's an idea...drop me a review? Please? More than anything I'd like to know what you thought about this chapter because in all honesty I'm not too sure about it. I had a lot of fun writing this and it's quite a bit longer than most of my chapters but once I came to the end of it I wasn't sure if it was right for the story. It's here anyway so hopefully you liked it but please just be honest. I'd rather you were truthful than just trying to spare my feelings! I'm a big girl now, don't worry I can handle constructive criticism just not flat out hate please!
Thanks to everyone for all the support with this story so far, I really appreciate it. It means a lot to me that you follow the story and are hopefully enjoying it! Jenna :)
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