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The Weight of the World by bobrollin
Chapter 32 : Family
 
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Chapter 32 - Family

The rest of the day Harry was forced to drink different potions from Madam
Pomfrey. She fed him one to help with his pain, one to help heal the burns, one
to help with his strength, and a few others that she really didn't tell Harry
any specifics on, but he drank them anyway.

Madam Pomfrey still wasn't allowing visitors and Harry was grateful. His chest
and throat both hurt badly, so talking wasn't a comfortable activity for him
yet, but it was getting better.

Later that afternoon in the common room, Ron, Hermione, and Meagan were the
happiest people in the world, especially Ron and Hermione. Aside from
mentioning Harry and wondering when they'd get to see him, the talk had resumed
to OWLs for Hermione and Meagan, and Quidditch for Ron.

The mood was brighter around dinner as well. Dumbledore, Sirius, Hagrid, and
Lupin were sharing stories of funny past events with Professor Livingston. They
were all filling her in since she'd been gone and sharing stories about the
locations of some of her old classmates and friends. Hermione and Ron had their
appetites back too and smiles never left either one of their faces the entire
night as they chatted away about different things.

The next morning they were all up early and after breakfast they met back in
the common room. Ron was planning on going up to the Hospital wing to ask Madam
Pomfrey when they'd be able to see Harry.

"Make her let you in Ron," Hermione said with her bossy voice,
"I'm sure Harry wants to see you, and I'm sure he's getting bored just
lying up there in bed."

"Actually it does get boring up there."

It was Harry. He didn't have his glasses on and he spoke with a scratchy voice
and he was still in his hospital pajamas but he had come into the common room
without any of them noticing it.

"Harry!" Ron said turning around quickly.

Harry put up his hands to stop Ron from charging over him.

"Easy Ron!" Harry said smiling. "I'm still hurting pretty bad so
don't try and hug me or anything."

It was hard for Ron not to give him a big bear hug, but he restrained himself.
Instead he stuck out his arm and the two shook hands.

"It's good to see you mate. We were worried sick." Ron said.

Harry smiled at him, and then at Hermione who was standing behind Ron.

"Hello Hermione." Harry said.

Hermione had silent tears coming down her face and she slowly approached Harry.
Harry reached up and wiped away one of her tears, and then put his good arm
around her and gave her a hug.

She couldn't say anything and Harry didn't need to say anything. They just held
on to one another and Ron stood back and watched with a huge smile on his face.
Meagan was still sitting in a chair, but she had tears streaming down her face
too.

Hermione let go of Harry as soon as she knew that the hug was hurting him.

"What are you doing out of the Hospital Wing?" she asked him.

"Madam Pomfrey said it would be okay if I took a short walk to try to get
my blood all flowing again. I don't think I was supposed to come this far, but
I came anyway." Harry said.

Hermione wiped her eyes and then walked over to one of the large sofas.

"Come over and sit down. Where are you glasses?" Hermione said.

They could tell by how slowly Harry walked and the cringe on his face when he
sat down that he was still in a lot of pain.

"I'm not sure where my glasses are. Hagrid's going to go to Diagon Alley
to get me a new pair."

Harry saw by the looks on their faces that they were very concerned about him.

"I'll be okay. Just a bit beat up. And my arm and shoulder's got
burns."

"Harry, maybe you should get back to the Hospital Wing. It might not be
good for you to be out like this," Hermione said worriedly.

"He just got here Hermione." Ron said.

"Yeah Ron, but he's still getting better." Hermione snapped back.

"It's okay Ron. She's right. I'll be in trouble as it is. I was supposed
to be back after a few minutes but I just had to come and see you all."
Harry said smiling.

"We're coming up to see you later." Ron said.

"Okay good, I'll try to make sure she let's you all in. Hermione, will you
walk me back?"

"Of course." Hermione said smiling as she helped him up from the
sofa.

Meagan and Ron said their goodbyes and Hermione and Harry walked slowly back to
the Hospital Wing.

"Harry, we were so worried about you. Sirius was sick with worry. He said
you looked terrible when he found you."

"I felt terrible. If he wouldn't have found me when he did, I'd be dead
now. I held them off as long as I could, but they were just too strong."

"Harry, I thought I'd lost you. No one knew if you were going to be okay.
Madam Pomfrey let us go in and see you yesterday, and I cried when I saw
you."

"Hermione, when I get better I'll tell you more about what happened."

Hermione looked at him and didn't say anything, but she knew that whatever had
happened to him was probably terrible.

"Harry, if you don't want to talk about it, you don't ever have to tell
me. I won't ask you to do that."

Harry just smiled at her. "I know Hermione."

They were getting close to the Hospital Wing when Hermione walked in front of
Harry.

"Harry, thank you for coming to get me. I could have never imagined that
anyone could be that brave, but you came for me Harry. Even though they could
have killed you, you came for me."

"Hermione, it was my fault that you were there in the first place."

"No Harry, it wasn't your fault. I knew the risks of being up there."

"You mean the risk of just being my friend?" Harry asked seriously.

"Especially the risk of being your friend. Harry, if I had it to do again,
I wouldn't do anything different. Some people never go through life having a
friend like you, but I'm lucky. Don't you know how safe I feel with you?"

"I don't know how you can feel safe with someone trying to kill me all the
time." Harry said jokingly.

"Harry, I feel safe because I know you won't let anything happen to me.
You'd die for me Harry and I want you to know that I would die for you
too." Hermione said trying to fight back tears.

Harry leaned in and kissed her. It was a passionate kiss and was about to go
down in the record books but they were interrupted by Madam Pomfrey.

"Harry! Where on Earth have you been? Get in here and back in your
bed." Madam Pomfrey said.

Hermione was embarrassed and didn't follow him in.

"Harry, we'll come to see you later." Hermione said.

"Okay." Harry said smiling at her.

Later that evening Harry was visited by Hagrid, Sirius, Lupin, Professor
Livingston, Ron, Hermione, Meagan and Hedwig who flew in the open window and
nipped Harry's hand quickly before she was chased out by Madam Pomfrey. Harry
was really tired from all of his visitors, but he loved seeing them all.

Soon after sunset, Madam Pomfrey chased everyone out and Harry was on his way
to a really well deserved night's rest. He was all alone in the large room with
only a few dimly lit torches and it was very peaceful. He was just in the
process of dozing off when Hedwig came flying into the room again and perched
on a lamp that was on the table right beside the bed. Harry smiled when he saw
her and sat up in the bed so that he could lean over and scratch her under her
wing.

"Hello girl." Harry said smiling. "You missed me didn't
you?"

She hooted softly and nibbled on his hand affectionately as he scratched her.

Finally she lifted her leg and Harry saw that she had a note attached to it. He
still didn't have his glasses so it was hard for him to see the writing. He
pulled it closer to his face, and it took him a while, but he was able to read it.

It was from Hermione.

 

 

Harry,

Thank you for letting me walk with you today, I was so glad to see you. I
didn't get to tell you today Harry, but I was looking for some owl treats for
Hedwig and I found the letter you wrote for me. I know I wasn't supposed to
read it, but I couldn't help it. I want to thank you for everything you said in
that letter. At the time it was really painful to read but now that you are
okay I consider it the most beautiful letter ever written. Sleep well tonight
and remember how much you are loved by everyone, but especially by me.

Love,

Hermione

- - -

Harry smiled at the letter and folded it up and hid inside a book that he had
been reading. He took a few more minutes to pet Hedwig before she finally took
off out of the window.

Harry was reaching to turn the lamp down when he noticed someone standing at
the foot of this bed.

"Good evening Harry."

"Professor Dumbledore!" Harry said.

"I see you are feeling much better. You had us so worried Harry."

Harry felt very guilty all of a sudden as he watched Professor Dumbledore walk
beside his bed and sit down in the chair.

"Professor, I'm sorry about the other day. I should have never talked to
you and Sirius like that. I should have been a lot more level headed."

Professor Dumbledore smiled at him. "Harry, no one can blame you for what
you did. I would have done the same thing had I been in your shoes."

Hearing this made Harry feel so much better. He had so many new questions for
Dumbledore. He didn't even know where to start.

"Professor, when I got there, Voldemort didn't fight me sir. He made his
Death Eaters do it, one by one. Some of them I hurt really bad and he just
smiled when I did it."

Professor Dumbledore leaned back in his chair and looked at the ceiling before
a smile came over his face.

"Harry, many years ago just shortly after I became Headmaster here at
Hogwarts, Riddle came to seek me out. Back then not everyone knew who Voldemort
was, and Riddle figured he could make his name as Voldemort by killing me off
and taking over the school. He brought a few of his followers with him, all of
them younger, but very powerful wizards, around his age, who were in Slytherin
with him. They came up to see me in my office. Now, I knew their intentions
Harry, you'll learn it's very easy to sense the evil in people, so they didn't
catch me off guard. In the end, I had neutralized his followers and Riddle was
the only wizard left. I bet you can guess what he did next Harry."

Harry thought for a second, then a smile crept over his face.

"He ran, didn't he?" Harry responded.

"He did." Dumbledore said. "But I knew he would keep coming
Harry. You have heard me say before that we are only as weak as we are divided,
well the same goes for Voldemort and his followers. Our mission at the Ministry
before you stopped him as a baby was more simply to stop his followers and not
so much just try to stop him. We have tried to create chaos inside his numbers
and it worked and continues to work. I believe that Voldemort has probably
destroyed more of his own followers than we have. The point is Harry, that the
world will always have their Voldemorts. There will always be those who seek
out evil and it will always be the job of those who value valor, love, family
and friendship to set out to stop them."

Harry had a lot to soak in. He took a deep breath and then looked up at Dumbledore.

"So sir, you're saying that you think Voldemort is frightened of me?"
Harry asked.

"I have no doubts in my mind Harry. But do not think of this as a good
thing Harry. This only means that he will not fail to underestimate you again.
His attempts will get more ruthless, and he will stop at nothing to hurt you
and the ones you love."

Harry felt his stomach drop at the last few words that came out of Dumbledore's
mouth.

"Sir, I can't live with myself if he hurts Hermione again. Or if he gets
Ron or Sirius, or you sir."

"Harry, there is a price we all pay for love and friendship. It does not
come easy. This does not mean that we should give all of these things up. You
were willing to risk everything for Hermione, and she was willing to do the
same thing for you. Your friend Ronald, myself and Sirius would all gladly take
these risks as well. You must understand Harry that in the past few years
you've gone from having almost no family to being surrounded by people who love
you. This will continue to grow Harry. It is for this reason that I wake up
every day with a smile on my face and await the challenges that threaten these
things I hold so dear."

Harry felt at ease again. He knew that Dumbledore wouldn't always be there for
him, and he knew that Dumbledore was constantly doing everything he could to
prepare Harry for when that day came. Dumbledore left Harry that night, feeling
better about the decision he had made to stay behind with them all. He knew his
dad had been right. They would always be there waiting for him.

Harry was allowed to leave the Hospital Wing the next day. He was still very
sore, but getting back into his every day life helped him forget about the
pain. That next week there was another large meeting at the castle with Moody
and many of his fellow Aurors. They explained how they raided the underground
base and found it abandoned as well as most of it caved in.

They also had several questions for Harry and Hermione in regards to how many
were there, any news on plans or any clues that might help them. Harry and
Hermione gladly told them everything they could. Later that next week, there
was a ceremony where Ron was given the Order of Merlin, Third Class, for his
actions in saving Fudge's life against the Death Eater. His entire family came
down for the presentation, including Percy who seemed very jealous the whole
time watching Ron shake hands with all of the high Ministry Officials. Harry
had to watch in the distance wearing his invisibility cloak. Everyone knew that
Harry had deserved the highest award ever created for his actions against
Voldemort and his followers and saving Hermione, but everyone decided that
Harry should lay low for a while since Voldemort figured him to be dead.

Harry didn't complain about this. He knew that he'd be able to relax for a few
more weeks until school started up again, and then everyone would know he was
still alive.

The last few days before start of term, Harry was back to flying again. He and
Ron took to the Quidditch field and began working on Ron's keeping skills.
Meagan and Hermione did some flying too. They were both getting better on a
broom, especially Meagan.

Ron and Harry were taking a break watching the girls fly around while they
drank some water.

Ron looked at the small healing scratches on Harry's neck that were created by
Voldemort's fingernails.

"You back to normal yet?" Ron asked.

"Normal Ron?" Harry said.

"Oh you know what I mean, back to feeling healthy? You sure are flying
like it." Ron said smiling.

"I guess Ron." Harry said still watching Hermione fly.

"Ron, now that you're a famous Order of Merlin hero, are you still going
to let me be your friend?" Harry asked smiling playfully.

"Oh give me a break Harry. Lockhart had the Order of Merlin, and he's
still trying to figure out what his name is." Ron said throwing what was
left in his water cup on Harry's head.

Harry laughed at him.

"Okay, I got keeper now. Try to get something past me." Harry said
jumping on his broom.

Meagan and Hermione stopped for a second to see what the two boys were doing.
They laughed as they saw Ron try to shoot goals on Harry, and Harry easily
stopping them all.

"You think he's going to be okay?" Meagan asked Hermione.

"Harry...? I hope so," she said.

"I would have never thought that anyone could go through so much."
Meagan said. "I would have crumbled long ago."

Hermione smiled. "Not Harry. I'm not sure anything would crumble
him."

Meagan saw the smile on her face as she looked over at the two of them.

"You guys are like a family, you know that don't you?" Meagan said.

Hermione's smile got larger. She didn't need to acknowledge this. She knew they
were like a family. In fact, they were a family. She'd do anything for them,
and they'd do anything for her.

But the smile slowly disappeared from Hermione's face as she thought about
Voldemort. She knew that it wasn't over, and that he'd come after Harry or one
of them again.

Hermione pulled out of her deep though as she felt the wind that was created
when Meagan flew past her quickly.

"Let's go down and see Hagrid!" Meagan said. "I'll race
you!"

Hermione took another quick glance at Harry and Ron, smiled, and then sped off
towards Hagrid's cabin.

 

THE END


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