Hello everyone and welcome to a little 'bonus' from this story. This is not part of the main story but an alternative to chapter 2, dealing with a partnership other than Harry and Fleur.
In the interests of shameless self-promotion I'd also like to draw your attention to a couple of new stories I've just published the opening chapter for - Harry Potter and the Veela Nation which is set in an AU environment and Harry Potter: The Beauxbatons Years which is the sequel to the main "Grateful Veela" story. If you've enjoyed this story so far then please check them out.
Chapter 2a – the Harmony one-shot
Hogwarts School Grounds
Monday, 28th February 1994.
Hermione hugged herself as she looked around the dark, chilly grounds; her ire could only warm her for so long in the bleak, wintry weather as she hunted her prey. Finally she spotted his silhouette, near the shore of the Black Lake, and stormed towards him.
"Harry!" she cried as she approached him; he jumped violently at her shout and turned to face her.
"Oh, hi Hermione," she noticed as she approached, and her eyes adjusted to the darkness, that he still wore a rather goofy grin.
"I've been looking for you since the end of class. Aren't you could standing out here?"
"I hadn't noticed," he replied honestly.
"Hmph, I suppose she did that to you," the girl snarked.
Harry looked questioningly at her but said nothing. Hermione conjured some of her bluebell flames in an effort to warm herself; they also supplied enough light for her to glare at him properly, though Harry had to close his eyes due to the rapid increase in the light level.
"Fleur told me what you two did all weekend," she added hotly.
"Really?" he opened his eyes in surprise, immediately regretting having done so as the fire-light stung them; he wasn't ashamed of the weekend's activity but didn't particularly want it broadcasting all over the school – and hadn't expected that Fleur would do that.
"Yes, she may have thought you already told me," the bushy-haired witch added guiltily.
Harry turned to face her, eyes beginning to adapt to the light. "What's really bothering you, Hermione?" he asked.
"You slept with her!" she hissed.
"I did," he agreed. "She said she wanted to thank me for saving her sister's life in the second task," he gestured to the rippling lake, "and felt that teaching me uh… 'certain skills' would be a way to make us even."
Hermione forced herself to bite back a laugh as Harry floundered a little with his explanation, though talk of 'skills' left her intrigued; she was a fifteen-year-old girl after all. Something else was troubling her too. "Why are you stood out here all alone?" she asked.
"Thinking," he replied simply, lapsing into silence as he looked out over the dark water again. Hermione shivered as a gust of wind hit them; she tentatively slipped her cold hand into Harry's for warmth. To her surprise he barely reacted at all, tightening his grip just a fraction; she had expected him to pull away in surprise.
"What were you thinking about?" she asked eventually.
"Something Fleur said… afterwards," he gestured with his free hand. "She said that, while her being a Veela meant the physical side of what we did was always going to be uh… tough to better," Hermione sniggered involuntarily, "the emotional side, the… the love-making I suppose," the witch was now thankful for the darkness around them as she began to blush furiously; from what she could see of Harry by the light of her flames he wasn't blushing, "would be even better with the one I truly love." He turned to her, green eyes looking directly into brown. "You know me, Hermione, you know my story, love is something that was in short supply for me growing up, so I guess I'm trying to figure out who I might be able to love."
"Oh," she was taken aback by him thinking of something so deep. "Maybe I can help you with that?" she blurted out, "just not here. It's getting cold."
He cocked his head. "I really hadn't noticed," he admitted. "Come on, let's go inside then." Neither made any attempt to separate their hands until they entered the Great Hall and Ron lifted his head from his dinner and stared at them questioningly.
"Oh, we were outside," Hermione explained hastily, "and it was cold so I was trying to warm my hand."
The redhead shrugged and returned his attention to his dinner. Harry, who hadn't yet eaten, took an empty plate and began to fill it before the house-elves started removing things. Hermione, who had eaten, sat patiently while he ate, reading one of her ever-present textbooks, much to Ron's disdainful amusement.
"Fancy a game of chess later, mate?" he asked when he was finally finished with dessert.
"Later, sure," Harry agreed, "but I'll be going to the library first." Hermione suppressed her astonishment at the statement; Ron could not. "I want to start planning for the task," he elaborated.
"But that's months away," his freckled sidekick protested.
"Yes but I'm in the lead," Harry enthused. "Now I'm this close I want to win."
Ron could understand that but couldn't bring himself to spend time in the library. Wishing him luck he headed back to Gryffindor Tower alone.
"You're starting preparations already?" Hermione asked. "You don't even know what the task is!" she pointed out.
"No, but you said you would help me with my… other problem," he reminded her, "and what better place for you to help me than your favourite haunt?"
The brunette witch sniggered. "Let's go then," she urged him once he'd finished eating.
"So," Harry began once they'd acquired a seat in the farthest corner of the library (just outside the door to the Restricted Section), "where did you want to start?"
"Well," his friend began, "why don't we start with what you look for in a girl?"
"Because I don't know what I look for?" he replied with a grin; Hermione rolled her eyes.
"There must be something, Harry," her tone was laced with exasperation. "Let's look at the ball. You asked Cho and then asked Parvati. Why did you pick them?"
"Well I asked Cho because I think she's pretty; I first noticed that when we played Ravenclaw in the Quidditch last year," he replied. "When she said she already had a date I uh… I got desperate," he admitted. "I asked Parvati because she was there really."
"So you don't think she's pretty?" Hermione challenged with a smirk.
"No, she is," he insisted, knowing enough to appreciate that any other answer could potentially land him in a whole heap of trouble, "but I… I dunno," he shrugged in defeat, "I think I got fixated on Cho and then when she was taken I didn't really have a Plan B."
"So now what?" Hermione pressed. Harry closed his eyes and sighed in frustration; they snapped open again as his mind's eye was filled with a picture. Hermione was looking at him and he tried hard to keep his expression neutral.
"What?" she asked, sensing something had affected him.
"I just… something struck me."
"What was it?" she asked excitedly; he closed his eyes again.
"Can you give me a minute?" he asked. "I want to just see if I can figure something out."
Hermione sat impatiently while Harry, eyes still closed, seemed to be working some things out. After a few seconds she got bored and retrieved a book from her bag. She'd read a couple of pages before Harry opened his eyes.
Opening his eyes, the first thing Harry saw was Hermione in her usual habitat; sat in the library and reading a book. While her hair wasn't as sleek as it had been for the Yule Ball and her robes were nowhere near as flattering as the dress robes she'd worn that night, he could still equate the belle of the ball with the witch sat before him. But it was something else that held his attention; thinking on their adventures she had given him unflinching and almost unquestioning support with whatever they'd come across. They worked together so, so well and this year especially she was the one constant, the person by his side throughout everything and the only person to believe him when he denied entering the tournament. She was beautiful, smart and would be by his side no matter what.
"Hermione," he began cautiously; she glanced up expectantly from her book, "would you go to Hogsmeade with me on the next weekend – I mean, as a date," he blurted out the rest of this. His friend just stared at him open-mouthed for a few seconds, long enough for Harry to get uncomfortable. "I mean, if you don't want to or… oh, of course there's Krum," he realised. "You know what, just forget it, I'm sorry," he got up abruptly and fled the library at top speed, much to Madam Pince's disapproval.
Hermione sat there watching him go as she tried to process what had just happened. Harry had asked her out! Harry had asked her out… and she had sat there like a spare part… and then he'd run off at top speed, probably feeling that he's made a total fool of himself. She stood up and put her book away before the thought struck her – how should she respond to this?
"Mate? Are you ok?" Ron asked as Harry stumbled into the Common Room.
"I'm fine, Ron," he replied distractedly. "Do you still want to play chess?"
Ron nodded; they set up the board and had made their first few moves when Hermione burst into the room. The redhead saw Harry look around before snapping his head back to the board, staring at it with far too much concentration; he gave the newcomer a questioning look before making his next move. Hermione took a nervous seat nearby and watched them play, though it soon became obvious that her presence was having a detrimental effect on Harry's play; his face was flushed and his focus was all over the place, leading to Ron winning inside 20 moves.
"Never mind. Another game?" he smiled broadly.
"Can it wait a minute?" Hermione asked in pleading tones. "I'd like a quick word with Harry."
Ron shrugged, having no reason to decline; Harry stood reluctantly and followed her to a secluded corner.
"I'm sorry Harry I…" Hermione began; he cut her off.
"It's ok, really," he assured her. "I sprung it on you without thinking." Then he gave a hollow chuckle. "I'm making a habit of being shot down by girls who are seeing other wizards." Then he smiled wryly. "Hey, at least it beats being shot down by single witches. Still friends?" he finished hopefully.
"Actually, I'm not seeing Viktor. We had a nice time but it was just a Ball. Honestly, the thing he'd miss the most?" She shook her head before grasping his hand firmly. "I wanted to apologise for just sitting there like a lump; I just couldn't believe you'd ever ask me what you did. But," he took a deep breath, "I would love to go with you to Hogsmeade on a date."
Harry gave a genuine smile. "Wow that's… that's brilliant."
Hermione grinned back. "Yes, we just need to decide what to tell Ron; it could get awkward as the three of us usually go together."
"Well it was just you and me earlier in the year," Harry countered, "back when he didn't believe me. Maybe he can meet us later when we go and see Sirius?"
"That could work," she agreed.
"I'll make sure he's in a good mood before I tell him," Harry promised, "I'll let him win a couple more games."
"Sure," she teased, "you'll let him win."
Harry stuck his tongue out at her.
Ron was stunned when Harry delivered his news. He didn't seem upset, just very, very surprised (not least as he assumed, like Harry had, that Hermione and Krum were a couple). The advantage of this was, despite his chess set's best efforts and advice, Ron was suitably distracted for Harry to actually beat him.
"I thought you were going to let him win," Hermione reminded him as Ron trudged off to bed, more upset about losing at chess than his two friends going on a date.
"Oh yeah," the boy-who-lived grinned guiltily.
Saturday, 5th March 1994
To say Hermione woke up would imply that she had slept. That hadn't really been the case since a troubling thought had struck her the previous night. The worry had led to the young witch tossing and turning the night away; finally, around 6:30 in the morning, she gave up and stumbled downstairs to the Common Room where she slumped onto one of the settees by the fire. Thanks to Dobby the fire burst to life as the girl yawned, curled up and closed her eyes.
It only felt like moments later that she was being shaken awake; she opened her eyes and found herself staring into Harry's.
"Are you alright?" he asked.
"What time is it?" she mumbled by way of response.
"Around half past seven."
"Oh," she sat up, "looks like…" she caught herself, "it's time for breakfast." She stood before realising she still wore her nightdress. "Let me just get changed then we can go down together?"
Harry took a seat on the recently vacated settee and waited. Around two minutes later Hermione returned, dressed but still not looking, to his eyes, like she was ready to face the day. Nonetheless she took his hand (as had become customary over the last few weeks) and they headed to the Great Hall together.
As usual they had to contend with snide comments from the Slytherin table; looking to the staff to intervene had proven pointless so they simply ignored the jibes. Harder to ignore was the permanent scowl on Krum's face when he saw them; Hermione had spoken privately to the Bulgarian in the library but he clearly remained extremely disappointed with the situation, though he had wished her every happiness.
Clearly he could also see that the girl was looking less than 100%; the international seeker made his way across the hall and stood directly behind the fledgling couple.
"Are you alright, Herm-own-ninny?" he asked in a gruff voice; she started a little and turned to face him, as did Harry.
"I'm fine, Viktor, thank you for asking," she replied calmly.
"You look tired and distracted," he observes.
"It's nothing," she insisted, shaking her head. Krum looked unconvinced and threw Harry a suspicious glare before retreating to his table.
"Are you sure you want to go on our date?" Harry asked fearfully. "Krum's right, Hermione, you don't look your usual self."
"I'm fine, Harry," she replied forcefully. "Let's just finish breakfast and then we can go."
"Ok," he surrendered before looking cautiously around the hall. He had hoped to spy Viktor, to see what he was doing or whether he was watching but instead caught Fleur's eye. She winked at him and gave a surreptitious thumbs-up, which he appreciated; he smiled at the French witch.
The Three Broomsticks,
"Ok," Harry sighed, "it's clear that this was a bad idea. At least we tried," he added in a toned of defeat.
"What do you mean?" his date asked.
"You've barely said two words all day and you don't look happy. I don't know much about the subject but I'm sure this isn't normal behaviour for a date."
"You're right, I'm sorry," she conceded. "You were right about me being… well about me not being myself today. I didn't sleep very well last night."
"Nerves?" he asked in surprise. "I was nervous about our date but not to that extent, I mean, we've known each other for ages…"
"Not about the date itself," she clarified, "more about… well something hit me last night. You slept with Fleur. I don't mean to throw it in your face," she hurriedly added as he opened his mouth to retort, "but I just wondered if you'd be comparing me to her. And how can I compare to her? She's a Veela, she's perfect! And I thought… I thought you might expect us to… you know, do that as well."
Harry palmed his face; she shook his head behind his hand. "Hermione," he began firmly. "You're my best friend in the whole world. There's nobody I trust more than you and I wouldn't do anything to jeopardise that trust or our friendship. Yes Fleur gave me some er… tuition," Hermione smiled in spite of herself, "but I'm not looking for you and I to do that today. If we decide we want to have an 'official' relationship then that will come in time, when we're both ready for it to. As for comparing you to Fleur," Hermione raised her eyebrows and saw Harry visibly pale a couple of shades as he realised that whatever he said could and would be used against him; she sniggered as the tension left her, both due to his earlier words and the hole he seemed to have dug himself, "I'm not going to lie to you, she's beautiful, but so are you." Hermione scoffed. "I'm serious, you looked amazing at the Yule Ball."
"And today?" she challenged lightly, hoping to make him squirm a little more.
"Well your hair's a little more… normal," he began; she nodded, having not used the Sleek-Easy on it it remained bushy and barely manageable. "Your clothes are nicer than your robes but don't flatter you the way your dress robes did," he thought that sounded diplomatic enough; Hermione seemed to agree as she hadn't gone for her wand, "and you are very pretty, something that your smaller front teeth really help to bring out."
He let out a sigh of relief that he seemed to have talked his way out of too much trouble, something that caused Hermione to chuckle. "It looks like I was worrying over nothing," she commented. "Thanks Harry," she reached across the table and squeezed his hand while taking another sip of her butterbeer.
The afternoon went far better for the two of them as they walked hand-in-hand around the village, spending far too much in Honeydukes and Harry picking up a couple of things in Zonko's (causing Hermione to roll her eyes, though Harry made it up to her with a trip to Tomes and Scrolls where she was able to browse to her heart's content). All too soon it was time to head to the Shrieking Shack to meet Ron.
"So I suppose this is the end of the date," Harry observed as they left the book shop.
"I suppose so."
"Could we… could we do it again?" he asked hopefully; Hermione pretended to look thoughtful for a moment and then smiled.
"I'm sure we will."
Harry's heart soared in his chest; he leaned in and kissed her on the cheek.
"Is that the best you can do?" she asked saucily. "It looks like you need more lessons from Fleur."
Harry then placed a hand on each of her shoulders and kissed her on the lips. It was a chaste kiss but long enough to leave Hermione with eyes closed and hoping for more, one day.
"Better," she grinned, taking his hand again as they walked to meet their friend before going to see Sirius.
Tuesday, 5th April 1994
The four champions left the Quidditch pitch, each lost in their own thoughts. Harry and Cedric were most indignant about the hedged growing on the surface, while Fleur was busy pondering spells that would best help her to solve the maze and hopefully catch up the others; she was once again ruing her failure against the Gryndilows that seemed to have put her out of contention for the cup, although it had led to an enjoyable weekend with Harry Potter, she smiled to herself at the thought.
The youngest champion seemed happy to her eyes; he was definitely rather relaxed around the young lady in whose company he was always seen. Fleur could see the love developing and strengthening between them and was happy for them both; she hoped that the young witch would come to appreciate what she had taught him.
The last champion was brooding; Fleur watched from a distance as Krum intercepted Harry.
"Could I haf a vord?" he demanded before seizing Harry's arm and leading him towards the Forbidden Forest. Fleur glanced at Cedric, who nodded to her, and they stealthily crept towards the other two; Fleur cast a disillusionment charm on herself before, at his whispered request, she did the same to Cedric.
"We've been friends for ages and I realised how much she means to me," they heard Harry saying, his voice rising as the Bulgarian glared at him. "I did try to back off because I thought you two were a couple but she said you weren't, that it was nothing more than a date to the Yule Ball."
Cedric was shocked as Krum raised his wand, pointing it directly at Harry; before he could react Fleur fired a stunner, dropping the Bulgarian where he stood. Harry's wand was in his hand and he was looking around nervously.
"'Arry, it is me," the French Veela called; the fourth year relaxed his stance slightly before Fleur dropped the Disillusionment. "Cedric is 'ere also," she looked around and then shrugged, "somewhere."
Diggory chose that moment to cast a Lumos spell; Fleur giggled and walked over to the light source before reversing his Disillusionment charm as well.
"Thanks for helping me out there," Harry told her; she gave him a smile and a nod.
"De rien, mon cher."
In his office at the school, Barty Crouch Junior, still disguised as Alastor 'Mad-Eye' Moody watched the scene unfold on Harry's map. He watched the three depart, leaving the stricken, unconscious form of Krum behind (Fleur would enervate him from a safe distance). He frowned as his non-magical eye saw another name slowly approaching the seeker from within the forest. To his surprise that name was also Bartemius Crouch. He hurried towards the scene as fast as the retired Auror's body would allow to deal with the unwelcome intruder.
Friday, 24th June 1994
Something was wrong. That was apparent the moment she saw a flash from within the maze. Two sets of red sparks had flown into the sky earlier in the evening; the unconscious bodies of Fleur and Krum had subsequently been retrieved. Hermione got out of the stands and rushed to the entrance of the maze; although he had no idea why she was so agitated, Ron had followed.
"Professor Dumbledore," the witch called as she approached; the Headmaster turned to face the two students.
"Miss Granger? Mr Weasley?"
"What's happened? I saw a flash of light from the middle of the maze. Does that mean it's over? If so, where are Harry and Cedric?"
"I don't know," he admitted. "You had a better vantage point than me from the stands but someone taking the cup should have brought them here, to the front of the maze."
"Get some brooms," she told Ron.
"What?" he asked, bewildered.
"Get. Some. Brooms," she repeated in a slow hiss.
"Miss Granger? What do you have in mind?" Professor McGonagall had joined the trio.
"I'm going to fly over the maze and see if Harry and Cedric are still in there. If they are then there's nothing to worry about. If not…"
"I'm afraid we can't allow anyone to interfere with the integrity of the tournament," Ludo Bagman added his opinion.
"I won't interfere," she insisted, "I just want to know if they're still in there or not. Ron, brooms now."
The redhead acquiesced and rushed to the Quidditch locker, collecting a couple of the school brooms; they weren't brilliant but were the best available and would do the job.
"Thank you," Hermione kicked off uneasily but determinedly and hovered just above the level of the hedges; Ron joined her a moment later.
"Wow, you must be worried to be up here," he observed.
"Yes, Ronald," she confirmed, determined not to look down before she absolutely had to, "now, you check the right hand side, I'll do the left. Just see if they're there." Both students ignored calls for them to return to the ground.
Hermione really, really hated flying; it was testament to her nerves and her feelings for Harry that she flew as high as she did and as fast as the aged broom would allow as she searched for any signs of him or Cedric, trying to ignore the thought of how far she would fall if she slipped off the broomstick. She saw the skrewt, a sphinx and several other creatures before reaching the centre of the maze; the plinth stood empty just beyond the recovering acromantula.
"Turn back Ron," she called, knowing her friend's arachnophobia and bad experience with the giant spiders in the past. "The cup's gone and I don't see them!" Just to be sure she swept over the rest of the maze before joining Ron and the senior staff again.
"Mr Weasley says the cup was gone and so were the two students," Professor Dumbledore addressed her as she landed.
"That's right," she confirmed. "Where are they? WHERE'S HARRY?"
"I'm afraid I don't know," Dumbledore admitted. "Professor Moody was responsible for taking the cup into the maze," he added slowly and thoughtfully before turning to his Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, who was, inexplicably, smiling broadly – a smile wiped from his face as a re-enervated Fleur stunned him from behind.
"Miss Delacour?" Professor McGonagall asked in shock.
"Monsieur Dumblydoor said zat 'e took ze cup into ze maze. 'E should know where zey are but 'e said nussing. Now you can use ze Veritaserum on 'eem to find out."
Dumbledore turned to Snape. "Severus, fetch some for us," he commanded; the Potions professor nodded and headed to the castle, robes billowing behind him.
In the stands, Colin Creevey put his camera down (he'd taken several photos since Hermione and Ron had rushed to ground level) and turned to his first-year brother Dennis. "Finally," he said, "something interesting happened that we could actually watch!"
It was all so typical, Hermione lamented, that something should go wrong just when things were going well. Her relationship with Harry was progressing nicely; they kissed very often (she had to suppress a smile at the thought given the current situation) and she felt herself falling for him more and more each day. He seemed to be doing likewise and, while he hadn't pressured her at all or even raised the possibility of them sleeping together, she now found herself not exactly opposed to the idea.
Snape's return coincided with a flash just outside the maze. With a cry of "Harry!" Hermione raced over to see her boyfriend clutching both the cup and Cedric. She pulled him into a hug and he dropped both the cup and Cedric's arm before breaking down in tears; it was only then that the others, who had joined the scene just behind the witch, realised that the popular Hufflepuff was dead.
Crouch Junior's revelation of the plan (under Veritaserum) in front of the Minister had been a horrifying event; Harry's confirmation that Voldemort's rebirth had occurred forced Fudge to act, listening to Dumbledore's advice and agreeing to finally strengthen the Auror department in preparation for the coming war, while both Harry and Crouch identifying Peter Pettigrew's involvement saw Cornelius agree to rescind the kiss on sight order for Sirius. Padfoot's subsequent arrival saw the Minister question Sirius under Veritaserum before formally clearing him of any and all charges.
"Now what?" Hermione asked fearfully; it had been a harrowing ordeal for Harry and he now sat, goblet of Dreamless Sleep potion by his bedside and ready to take it. Everyone else had left but Hermione argued, and Dumbledore concurred, that Harry needed his girlfriend by his side to help him through this. He, himself, was talking to Fudge about further measures that needed taking (which would include questioning Harry under truth serum the next day to confirm the identity of the Death Eaters he had seen in the graveyard).
"Well after term ends Sirius and I go to wherever he lives and begin our new lives," her boyfriend said as lightly as he could. "Beyond that? We have to hope Fudge and the Ministry are up to the fight ahead. Voldemort's only just back so maybe with the information I can give them they can do something to slow him down so that they have time to prepare before he makes his move." His eyes began to well with tears again; Hermione leaned over and picked up the goblet.
"Take your potion, Harry," she gave it to him. "You need to rest."
"Will you stay?" he asked fearfully.
"All night and beyond," she insisted. Suitably mollified, Harry drained about half of the potion and settled back on the bed. Hermione took the goblet from him, putting it back where she'd found it, kissed him and lay down next to him. Once his eyes closed he was almost instantly asleep; she gently took his glasses off and set them on the bedside table next to the goblet before curling up next to him. While it was nice to cuddle into him she really wished she had some of that potion as well as she was sure that her own dreams would be far from pleasant this night.
Hermione had had a better night's sleep than she'd feared. Cuddling Harry had seemed to keep her nightmares at bay and she'd only woken up when she heard his rapid, shallow breathing. She looked around and saw that the infirmary was still dark.
"I'm sorry," Harry whispered, "I woke up and suddenly everything came flooding back to me."
"It's ok Harry," she assured him, hugging him closer, "you've been through hell; it was always going to affect you. Do you have any more of your potion to take."
"Yes," he confirmed. At her behest he drank it and was soon asleep again; she pulled closer to him and drifted off again herself.
Saturday, 25th June 1994
Hermione stayed with Harry (with his and the Headmaster's consent) while he gave his interview. Fudge had, with some reluctance, immediately given the order for the arrests of Malfoy, Avery, Nott, Crabbe and Goyle – all identified by Harry as being in the graveyard in Death Eater regalia when Volemort's rebirth had occurred.
"Professor," Harry asked, "what happens now? I mean, Sirius has been cleared so I can go and live with him, can't I?"
"Ah," Dumbledore responded, "you can indeed, once he has a place that is habitable. Sirius," he continued at Harry's questioning look, "is the last of the Blacks and his home had stood empty for some time. He and I visited last night and it really is not fit for company. He is going to try and get it clean, with the help of the rather…" he glanced at Hermione, "troubled Black house elf before you leave your aunt's house. So I would ask you to go there and Sirius will collect you once his home is ready."
Harry nodded reluctantly. He didn't want to return to Privet Drive at all but could at least see light at the end of the tunnel.
"I'll come and visit you Harry," Hermione promised, "and you can come to our house once or twice before then."
"Ah Miss Granger," Dumbledore interrupted, "if you two plan on moving about the country, I must ask that you do so safely, ideally asking an adult witch or wizard to escort you. With Voldemort back Harry especially could be in grave danger out in the open."
"I'll send Hedwig to Sirius when you want me to come over and he can come with me," Harry suggested; Hermione nodded.
"Very well. Enjoy your summer," Dumbledore dismissed them.
Platform 9 ¾,
Kings Cross Station, London
"So," Harry turned to his girlfriend as they approached the barrier.
"So," she repeated.
"I guess this is it for a few days."
"Yes, you can meet my mum and dad at least and I'll get permission for you to come over. Then once Sirius has his place ready…"
"You can come visit," he finished and they shared a smile. "I wouldn't wish the Dursleys on anybody so it may be better if you don't visit me there. I wouldn't want you getting in trouble for cursing them."
Hermione gave a chuckle at that before throwing her arms around her boyfriend and kissing him passionately, eliciting a number of cheers and wolf whistles from the students passing through the barrier.
"Are you ready to meet my parents?" she asked with a smirk.
"Let's do it," he agreed and hand-in-hand they passed the barrier and back into the muggle world.
AN: Thank you for reading. I'm sure most of you expected it to be an M-rated chapter, in truth so did I until I wrote it and their relationship progressing that far never seemed to quite happen in what I thought would be a logical and satisfactory way. As we saw towards the end they're getting close so I'm sure Harry WOULD get to put his lessons to good use in the near future with Hermione. PD