Disclaimer: If I did own DMC4, DmC would never have existed. If I did own Harry Potter, Severus Snape would've possibly never died.
Here we go.
"You'll write, won't you?"
"Of course." said Harry. "Hedwig will find you no matter where you go."
Dante adjusted the trunk that contained his belongings. "Maybe I should get an owl." he muttered to himself.
Hermione was petting Fang who had come bounding out of Hagrid's cottage the moment the sunshine had fallen on it. Which was about ten minutes ago. Now the sunshine had reached the gates that led into and out of Hogwarts, which was where they were standing.
Dante, Ron, Hermione and Harry, the last of whom had to beg Madam Pomfrey for a half hour before he was allowed to come outside.
Dante had tried to wake Neville up before they had come out, but Neville had mumbled something unintelligible and pulled his pillow over his head. Dante had shrugged his shoulders and left the boy in peace, much to the consternation of his female friend.
"I still think we should've woken Neville up." She said for about the tenth time.
"No way." Dante pointed at her. "Thanks to you, I know what it feels like to be pestered at absurd hours."
"Pester?" Hermione looked indignant. "I do not pester anyone!"
"Keep telling yourself that, and you just might believe it." There was a pause before Dante added, "But no one else will."
She thinned her lips. "I-"
"I'll try to borrow Erol." Ron cut in hastily, and Hermione shot Ron a glare and fell silent. "To write letters, I mean. He's our family owl. But I don't know if I can get him over the summer…Percy's doing a lot of correspondence lately."
"And you need to keep up to date on the studies." Hermione said. All three boys groaned at that.
"Give me a break, Hermione, I'm not even attending school!"
"Doesn't mean you don't need to learn the spells." she said briskly. "I'll send you the list of the textbooks, with a few additional books for help, of course."
"Of course…how much are we talking when you say few again?"
Ron made a face and spoke in a high pitched tone, "Oh, just a few dozens, of course."
"Barely a dozen." Hermione said, offended. Harry coughed and hid his mouth behind his hand.
Dante sent him a death glare which sent him laughing.
"Oh, shut up." said Hermione. "He won't get the teachers' guidance so he will need the extra books for references."
"Some time today, Mr. Sparda!"
Dante made a face and leaned down to hug Fang's neck, who pawed at his chest. "Remind me again why I told Snape of all people to Apparate me to Hogsmeade?"
"Because you're an idiot." Ron deadpanned.
Dante chuckled as he stroked the huge dog that was now licking his face. "Maybe."
"And don't ever change." Harry threw in.
Dante gave Fang a last pat on the head and stood up straight. "Wouldn't dream of it."
"Dear lord." Dante beckoned them close. "Let's have a group hug."
They all joined in, Ron with a bit of reluctance, but once they had done so, it lasted a few minutes at least.
They pulled away after another sharp comment from Snape, and smiled at each other.
"Until next time." Dante said and turned.
He didn't look back as he walked to Snape, who led him out of the gate and held out an arm. Dante held it loosely. They both spun on the spot, and vanished.
Hermione let out a soft sigh and buried her face in Harry's shoulder. Ron patted her head even as he bowed his own. Harry leaned his head against Hermione's and shut his eyes.
A few minutes passed with them in the exact same position.
"He wouldn't like it if he saw us lose even a second like this." Hermione said at last, and they all wordlessly turned back the way they had come, Fang whining pitifully as he trudged along.
Almost on cue, their hands sought one another's, and holding hands, they trudged up the path towards the Hogwarts castle with heavy but sure steps.
"This is where I leave you." said Snape. "Straight up the road, that is where Aberforth lives. I'm assuming you know how to knock, so do that and you'll find your grandfather."
"Yeah, of course." Dante eyed the establishment, and then the surrounding neighbourhood. It seemed very peaceful. Not at all like Hogwarts, or even the orphanage.
"It's a shame, really." Snape said suddenly. "You actually secured adequate marks in Potions."
Dante craned his neck to look at him properly. "How good are we talking?"
"You came right behind Miss Granger, passing your brother with four percent marks to spare."
Dante grinned widely. "Thanks for that information. My brother's such a loser."
"Between the two of you, let's just say that I would prefer you to be my student."
Dante smiled at the compliment. Then he looked Snape up and down contemplatively, and in a lightening fast move, closed the distance and engulfed the Slytherin in a quick embrace.
Snape stood stunned, his body rigid. Dante let go almost immediately, grinning at his professor's discomfort.
"Try not to give Neville too much of a hard time, okay?" he said in an easy tone, and then ran off, towards the shop Snape had pointed him to.
Snape took a few minutes to sort himself out. He really would miss the brat, miss his show of open caring. He could tell by the strange emptiness in his chest.
Dante knocked and glanced back at the spot where Snape was standing. The guy was gone. He didn't expect any less.
"Coming." A voice grumbled, and the door opened to reveal a hard-faced old man. He frowned at Dante. "What do you want?"
Dante smirked to himself and pulled off the hat that had shielded his silver hair from view. "Missed me, grandpa?"
He couldn't remember a time when he'd been given a tighter hug, even counting Hagrid's.
"Dante, my boy!" Aberforth said hoarsely. "All this time…I had no idea until last year…I don't write…but Albus told me what happened….dreadful business, you're still supposed to in school after all…those scumbags at the ministry…"
"It doesn't matter, grandpa." Dante silenced him as he untangled himself from the embrace.
"Of course it does, but you don't need to worry about that." Aberforth told him. A smile lightened his face and suddenly his features were much kinder. "You're home."
"One student, but Hogwarts seems so empty already." Professor McGonagall sighed quietly. "It doesn't seem real, Albus, that he won't come back."
The teachers in the staff room nodded in agreement. Flitwick sniffled.
But Dumbledore's eyes were thoughtful, with just a hint of a twinkle in them.
"Won't he?" he murmured as if to himself. "I wonder…"
THE END…for now!