A/N: For those who have read Serpent and Her Lion will know my hatred of Ginny. In canon she was a fan girl who ended up marrying Harry. Although I was fine with it in the books because there was actually backstory. In the movies they were just like: Hey this happened in the book so lets just push past all flirting and make them fall in love right away. It was extremely annoying and could've been handled much better.

In this story and possibly my other stories however, Ginny is going to be portrayed differently. The Boy Who Lived never was, so she wasn't a Harry lover all her life. Therefore, she didn't grow up idolizing him and it will be different.


"Now gentlemen I would like to hear your side of things and tell me why I'm not currently on my way to bed tonight." Dumbledore sighed at the two young men in his office. To say that he had been surprised when Mr. Potter had been brought before him and accused of fighting, would be an understatement. Mr. Weasley on the other hand was a different story. The boy was a known powder keg. At his right side Professor McGonagal listened. On his left Professor Snape did the same. They would be the ones handing out punishment to their own students.

Harry shifted in his seat. "I was on my way back to our Common Room with Tracey when Weasley came up to me and threw a punch. I defended myself."

Weasley glared at Harry the best he could through his black eye. "You deserved everything you had com-"

"Mr. Weasley." Dumbledore said stopping him. "Please do not interrupt Mr. Potter until he is finished speaking."

"Why? This is all his fault anyway." Weasley grumbled.

"By all the accounts which include Mr. Longbottom, you were the one who initiated violence. How is this Mr. Potter's fault?"

The door to the office came banging open and in came Harry's parents followed by the Weasley's. "Ronald what on earth have you done now?" Mrs. Weasley snapped and glared at her son. "Fighting on school grounds?"

"Harry please tell me this wasn't your doing." James demanded.

"Thank you for coming posthaste." Dumbledore said to both sets of parents. "It is good to see all of you again although I wish it was under better circumstances."

"We were just getting to the bottom of this. Mr. Weasley here was just explaining why he thought Mr. Potter was at fault."

"Why did you attack Harry, Ron?" Arthur asked. "What came over you?"

Ron snarled. "He kissed my bloody girlfriend! Prat deserved it!"

"Ahh a lovers quarrel." Dumbledore shook his head. To be young again. "Even so Mr. Weasley that does not give you leave to attack another student. I am afraid you will have to be punished."

"Punished? What the bloody hell for?"

"Ronald!" Molly snapped at her son. "Enough!"

"As you have admitted to striking Mr. Potter first, I've come to the conclusion that he was only defending himself against further harm. You will be given over to your Head of House and she will decide your punishment. Minerva."

"Come now Weasley." She ordered. "Molly and Arthur, I will need to speak to you as well."

"Of course, Professor." Arthur nodded and turned to look at the Headmaster. "I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you Headmaster." Dumbledore nodded at his former student as he turned to leave. "You are free to go Mr. Potter."

"I would like to have a word with my student, Headmaster." Snape said suddenly.

"For what reason?" James asked. "Didn't you just hear Professor Dumbledore? Harry didn't do anything wrong."

"I would still like to speak with him in private, Potter." Snape said a touch of irritation seeping into his voice. The years definitely hadn't dimmed the animosity he had for Harry's father.

"Of course, Severus." Lily said before her husband could speak again. "Harry, meet us in the Great Hall after you are speaking to Professor Snape. We'd like a word with you as well." James looked at his wife and looked as if ready to say something about Harry going off alone with Snape alone. Lily put her hand on his shoulder and squeezed it.

"Yes." James said reluctantly. "We'll wait right there for you son."

"Harry, I will no doubt see you in the morning?" Dumbledore asked. Harry nodded. "To the rest of you I bid you good night. Lily and James, I hope to see you at the match between Slytherin and Gryffindor next month."

"Wouldn't miss it Albus." James grinned and looked over at Snape. "I would never miss a chance to see Gryffindor run it up- Owh." Lily had pinched her husband and glared at him. The only one who saw the look of humiliation on Harry's face, was Dumbledore.

"Come on." She grunted and yanked her husband out of the Headmaster's office.

"Come." Snape said simply to his student. Harry got out of the chair and followed behind his head of House. His parents had already disappeared from the hallway, no doubt on their way to the Entrance Hall to await him. He expected for Snape to lead him down to his office in the Dungeon but was surprised when Snape turned into an empty classroom and locked the door behind them. "Sit." He commanded and Harry took a seat at one of the desks.

"Professor I'm sorry. Weasley ambush-" He began.

"I was there Potter." Snape interrupted. "I heard the cause of yours and Weasley's dispute. I know that you are not at fault." Still his eyes tore through the boy. "I do not make it a habit to get involved in the personal lives of my students. You and the rest of your house have no doubt received the talk from your parents?" Harry nodded vigorously. He didn't want to spend his night talking about sex with Professor Snape. "However, I wish to know your endgame."

"My endgame sir?" Harry asked confused.

"I look after my students, Potter. It may not seem like it to you and many of your classmates but while you are here, you are my responsibility. It is true that I detest your father more than words can describe but you are one of my students. As such I feel that I should warn you that your housemates might not look too favorably on this."

Was Snape trying to look out for him? "I understand sir."

"And you intend to pursue Miss Granger anyway?" He raised an eyebrow.

"Erhmmm…I don't know sir." He admitted.

"You better figure that out soon Potter. Weasley will not keep this silent for long. This will spread."

"I won't be able to protect you from this Potter. As least not fully. Do you understand?" Harry slowly nodded. The man hadn't protected him in his first year when the House had declared open season on him. Why was he protecting him now? "You are dismissed Potter. If you are stopped by a Prefect, then simply tell them the reason that you are away from your Common Room."

Harry nodded and then left the classroom more confused than when had entered. After his student had left Severus shook his head and sighed.

It had been the first time that he had seen Lily since they had graduated. He hadn't been invited to her and Potter's wedding. Not that he had expected to be. Seeing her today brought back memories. Not all of them good.

He had never hated Potter because of his father. He had never hated the boy at all. Every time he saw the boy it made him think of Lily. He had her eyes. And seeing those eyes everyday made him realize just how much he regretted his past choices.

"What did Snivellus want?" James asked his son as he finally arrived in the Entrance Hall. James was surprised when Harry glared back at him.

"Professor Snape just wanted to make sure I was alright." Harry grunted. His dad snorted.

"That's a laugh." Beside him, Lily cleared his throat. "Erhmm…Harry. I just wanted to apologize for what I said in there. I didn't mean-"

"It's fine." Harry responded. "A Gryffindor saying how he wants to see his son's team get the score ran up on them. Why wouldn't I expect that?"

"Harry." James said. "I'm sorry. I am. I was just trying to get under Snivel-"

"Can you please stop calling him that?" Harry snapped at his Father.

"I've been calling him that ever since Hogwarts." James shrugged. "I think he's used to that by now."

"And you wonder why he hates you, Dad?" Harry retorted.

"Harry is right, James." Lily glared at her husband. "You were horrible to Severus back in school and you're not helping matters now." James mumbled something under his breath.

"Fine." He said aloud. "I'll talk to the git when I see him at the match." He looked over at his son. "We'll be there cheering you on Harry." When Harry didn't look overly enthused at the idea James sighed. "Well I guess we'll see you then."

"I need to talk to Harry for a moment." Lily said. "Alone." James shrugged and walked out of the Entrance Hall where Professor Flitwick was standing guard.

"Harry." She smiled at him before shaking his head. "Harry what are you doing?"

"What do you mean?" He asked.

"This business with you and Hermione." She said folding her arms.

"What about Hermione?" He tried to feign ignorance.

"Harry." She raised an eyebrow. "I was just about ready to go to sleep when we got the floo call. This whole incident has thrown off my whole routine for the night. Don't do this."

He rubbed the back of his neck. "It happened on the cruise." He finally said.

"When you kissed her?" She tried not to seem overly excited but couldn't help it. He nodded.

"I feel terrible." He sighed. "I never wanted this to happen to her."

"Sweetheart." She shook her head. "While I'm not saying you should go around kissing other people's girlfriends, the heart wants what the heart wants. You like Hermione, don't you?" He hesitated before finally nodding. "Does she like you too?"

"I don't know." He responded. "She told me she just wants to be friend."

"Harry I-"

"Potter!" Weasley shouted. There were him and his parents coming from the Great Hall, McGongal behind them. "This isn't over!"

"It is!" Harry called back glaring at the other boy. "Just leave it alone."

"Why? Want to keep this quiet so you and your whore won't be bothered?"

"RONALD BILIUS WEASLEY!" Mrs. Weasley smacked her own son upside the head. "HOW DARE YOU SPEAK ABOUT A LADY LIKE THAT!"

"I quite agree." Professor McGonagal's eyes narrowed. "In addition to your weeks detention, I believe that you just bought yourself a suspension from Quidditch, Weasley."

"What?!" Ron whirled to face his head of house. "For how bloody long?"

"For as long as I decide." She folded her arms.

"But w-"

"Return to your Common Room. LONGBOTTOM!" Neville had been doing his patrols at the time and it had taken him through the Great Hall. "Please escort Weasley here back to your Common Room. Now."

"Yes Professor." He nodded and grabbed Ron's shoulder. "Come on."

"Get your hands off me." Ron swatted Neville's hand away and stormed off with Neville behind him.

"I'm so sorry for my son, Lily." Arthur apologized shaking his head in distress. "I hope he hasn't been like this all year Harry."

"No sir." Harry shook his head. "I don't really speak to him to be honest."

Arthur turned to look at McGongal. "If he gives you anymore trouble take whatever measures you might need. Don't hesitate to owl us either."

McGongal nodded. "I'm afraid if this keeps up then harsher punishment might be needed."

"It will be discussed." Arthur nodded.

"I'm so sorry Lily." Mrs. Weasley said sincerely.

"Don't worry about it Molly." Lily smiled at her friend. "Are we still going to have tea this weekend?"

"Of course! Wouldn't miss it." Molly smiled. "We really must get going."

They bid their goodbyes and the Weasley's left to say goodbye to James who had been having a conversation with Flitwick. "Harry, I don't think you're right about Hermione."

"Huh?" Harry asked confused. Were they back on this again?

"She might've wanted to just be friends with you before, but I think it's safe to say that whatever she had with Ronald is at an end." Lily frowned in the direction that Neville had taken Weasley. "She doesn't seem like the girl who would stick around after being called what that boy called her."

"I don't even know if she would want me Mum." What was he supposed to do? Kick down the portrait of the Fat Lady and see Hermione right now?

"And how do you know that?" She raised an eyebrow. "I'm not saying declare your love for her Harry but maybe talk to her about what happened the next time you see her. Maybe you can invite her to the Ball that's happening in December."

"Erhmmm…Ball?" What was his mother talking about?

She rolled her eyes. "You obviously never read your letters from school. There's going to be a Christmas Ball. It's a few days before actual Christmas so students can still go home for the holidays."

It must be like the Yule Ball last year then. That had been an interesting night. He had gone stag but had ended up in the broom closet with Susan Bones at the end of it. "I guess I can talk to her about it." Harry said finally.

"Just talk to her sweetheart." Lily smiled. At the end of the day she just wanted her son to be happy and she liked to think he'd be happiest with Hermione. She had only spent a short amount of time with the girl but she felt like she could read people quite well.

She took him into a hug and was surprised how much he had actually grown since she had seen him. Where they had once been around the same height, he now rose above a couple inches above her. And she caught the slightest hint of stubble on his cheeks. "I love you Harry."

He wrapped his arms around her. "I love you too Mum." There was a reason he got along better with his mother. His Dad was just too much like him and he was just too much like his Dad. Two upfront personalities that were always in conflict with one another.

"Promise me you'll write more by the way." She said after she let him go and raised an eyebrow at him.

"I promise I'll write every day." He responded.

She rolled her eyes. "That's a lie and we both know it." They shared a laugh. "We'll see you at the match next month." She got on her tip toes and kissed him on the cheek.

"I'll see you then." He smiled.

She gave him one last hug before walking off to join her husband. James gave a small wave which Harry returned. "James." She said as they began walking towards an area off the grounds where they could apparate. They had flooed there but since they were already outside they might as well head down to Hogsmeade and leave from there. "I think we should invite two more people to join us for tea this weekend."

"Tea?" He was confused. "Oh right…tea." He finished when she gave him a glare. "Who did you have in mind?"

"The Grangers."

"Why don't you lot piss off!" Lavender snapped at the crowd of Gryffindors who had begun to whisper amongst themselves as they glanced at her and Hermione. Lavender had been trying to make them feel embarrassed, but it had failed. "Don't pay them any mind. They're not worth it."

Hermione nodded. She had spent the entire night crying into Lavender's shoulder, so she was only running on a couple hours of sleep right now. She was about ready to pass out, but she couldn't take a sick day. She had to push through.

"Oi Granger?" Cormac McClaggen called out to her. He was a horribly rude person who had always let his eyes roam over her whenever she came near. "Fancy a shag?"

"Piss off McClaggen!" Lavender snapped at the boy.

He shrugged. "I just figured if she'd give it up to Potter, she'll give it up to anyone." He wagged his eyebrows at Hermione. "So what do you th-" He had taken a couple steps towards them but then he stumbled and fell into the ground.

"Watch out McClaggen you could've hurt yourself." Ginny said walking past the downed boy.

"You little bint." He got to his feet and glared at her. "You did that on purpose."

"Did I? That's a horrible accusation." She raised an eyebrow. "Want to make something of it?"

He took a step closer but then he noticed something out of the corner of his eyes: her twin brothers. They were eyeing him down. Just waiting for him to curse their little sister. "Watch yourself Weasley." He spat before storming off.

"Thanks Ginny." Hermione said quietly and Ginny only nodded at her.

"Don't mention it." She shrugged. "Here I'll walk with you guys."

"Why did you do that for me?" Hermione asked. "I cheated on your older brother."

Ginny sighed. "I normally don't condone cheating. I also don't condone how Ronald has been treating people around him this year. I might've done the same thing too. He's a right royal prick." She said. "Why Potter though? That seems like the most random pairing ever."

Hermione hesitated before looking around to see if there was anyone else. They were the only ones in the hallway. "We saw each other on the cruise I went on this year. Harry was very kind. He kissed me and I didn't stop him."

"So, you didn't kiss him back?" Hermione shook her head. "Why did you tell Ron that you kissed him then?" Ginny asked.

"Ginny because I don't know how to feel about Harry." Hermione admitted. "I want to be his friend. I do. But… but."

"You think there might be something more there?" Ginny asked. Hermione nodded. "I get it, I guess. I've never been in this type of situation, so I don't know what advice to give. All I know is you're better off without Ron."

"No shit." Lavender snorted. Ron was her friend. Had been her friend was more likely at this point actually. But after he had called Hermione a slut in front of the entire house and acted as if she would strike her, he could bloody well hang.

"Did Neville end up stopping Ron?" Lavender asked Ginny who nodded.

"Barely. I was still up when they brought him back. Apparently, Potter gave Ronald a black eye."

"They fought?" Hermione asked looking over at Ginny. Of course, it wouldn't have really been a fight. She had seen how muscular Harry was versus Ron.

Ginny shrugged. "Kind of. Ron threw a punch and then Potter knocked him on his ass. That's when Neville showed up."

Hermione shook her head. She never wanted it to be like this. She had wanted to quietly work through this with Ron, not be treated like a whore by the rest of her house. What was she going to do?

They arrived at the Entrance Hall which had people coming in and out of it for breakfast. "A whole lot of family loyalty going on here." Ron spat. He had been walking in with Seamus and Dean when he saw them.

"Not here mate." Dean said to his friend, but Ron ignored him.

"The hell is your problem Ginny?" He demanded. "My own sister betraying me like this?"

"Go away Ronald." She glared at her brother. "Why don't you go stuff your bloody face some more?"

"Leave now Ron." Lavender snarled.

"Everybody is a traitor now aren't they?" Ron looked over at Hermione who had so far remained silent. "No one is as big a liar as you. Spread your legs for Potter yet this morning?"

"I can't believe what I ever saw in you." He scoffed.

Hermione finally couldn't hear anymore. She turned around and ran off towards the staircase, tears streaking down her face.

"The whore couldn't take it?" Ron shook his head in anger ignoring the looks he was getting from Ginny and Lavender. Around him a small crowd had formed and had been listening to what he was saying.

"Get the hell out of here Weasley." A voice ordered from the gate to the grounds. Here came Harry from his morning run. At his side was Daphne, Tracey, and Blaise. If looks could kill, then Ron would've melted right then and there.

"Piss off Potter." Ron snarled at the Slytherin. The Entrance Hall was slowly starting to fill up. Everybody loved a good show.

"Want round two that bad?" Harry's eyes narrowed. "Keep talking."

Ron took a few steps towards Harry with his fists clenching. "You cheapshotted me Potter. It won't happ-"

"What is going on here?" They turned to Neville walking towards them. "Clear out. Now."

Ron scoffed. "Now I have to deal with you Longbottom?" He glared at Neville but moved past him towards the Great Hall.

"He throw a punch this time?" Neville asked and Harry shook his head. "He has a right to be pissed but he's going too far."

"Next time he calls Hermione a whore I'm busting his nose. We clear Longbottom?" Harry barked.

"Make sure you don't do it in a public place." Neville asked.

Blaise shrugged. "We'll do it in the dungeons. Weasel has already shown he's willing to come down there looking for a fight."

"Talking about hurting my older brother, Zabini?" Ginny raised an eyebrow as she and Lavender came over.

"Maybe. What of it?" He challenged.

"If Potter has to defend himself that's fine. But I'm not going to listen to you talk about you're going to jump my brother."

"Just tell him to stay away from me then." Harry retorted. "We won't have a problem then unless he hurts Hermione."

"You just had to kiss her, didn't you?" Ginny glared at Harry.

"Harry you did what?" Daphne asked the shock showing on her face. She looked at Tracey and Blaise as if expecting the same reaction but was disappointed. "Was I the only one who didn't know?" They nodded. "Damn."

"I would never have done it if I knew it was going to lead to all this." Harry said honestly. "What did that prat do?"

"Only humiliated her in front of the entire house." Lavender responded shaking her head. "And then Cormac McClaggen was being an arse to her this morning?"

"Which ones McClaggen?" Harry asked instantly.

"Tall. Big. Stupid looking. Almost like a Gryffindor Goyle." Ginny replied. Three out of four Slytherins snorted but Harry remained silent. "What are you going to do Potter?"

"I need to find Hermione for one." He said simply.

Ginny frowned at him. "I don't think that's such a good idea."

"I do." Lavender said instead.

"What?" Ginny was shocked. "I don't think she wants to see anyone right now."

"She may not want to see anyone right now, but she needs too." Lavender shook her head. "And she spent the entire night crying into my shoulder and wasn't any better for it. I think it's time someone else has a go. Plus you two should really talk Potter. It'd be best if you talk to her."

"Where is she?" Harry asked. First class of the day was Defense. He would just have Blaise tell Remus that he was sick. He would make up the work. What was important right now was finding Hermione.

"If I had to guess." Lavender looked at Harry. "The Library."

After Harry convinced Blaise to lie for him, he started towards the Library. It made sense really. He knew Hermione was a big book worm and probably just wanted to be around something that she loved right now.

"Shouldn't you be in class?" Madam Prince raised an eyebrow as he entered.

"I don't have a class right now." He lied. "I just came to check out a book for a charms essay I'm working on."

Madam Prince's eyes narrowed but she didn't dispute his story. Him only setting foot in the library once helped him. She didn't know what year he was, so how was she able to call him a liar?

He started walking around the library. He wasn't the only fifth year playing hooky today. He found Hannah Abbot and Anthony Goldstein snogging in a stack near the entrance to the Restricted Section. He just walked away like he hadn't seen them. None of his business.

He was just about to give up and leave when he heard it. A soft crying in the stack just next to him.

He sighed and poked his head around the corner. There she was. Sitting at a table by herself with her head buried in a book. She was using it as a sort of pillow as she cried.

He walked up to her slowly and took the seat next to her. If she knew he was there, then she gave no indication.

"Hey." He whispered softly. She looked up and after seeing who it was began crying again. "Are you o-"

"Don't ask me if I'm okay." She muttered. "Do I look okay?" He didn't know what to say so he didn't say anything at first. "I heard about the black eye you gave Ron last night…thanks for that."

He smiled lightly at her. "Any-" Before he could finish she had her arms wrapped around his midsection and had buried her face into his chest her sobs beginning again. He didn't know what to do in situations like this. He wasn't good with crying girls, so he just wrapped his arms around her and let her cry.

"Why does it have to be like this Harry?" She said in between sobs. "I've never been more humiliated by anyone. They all looked at me as if I was a tramp."

"It's going to be okay Hermione." He whispered to her. "I promise."

"How do you know?" She hiccupped slightly.

"I just do." He offered a quick smile. "Life can't always suck can it? It has to go back to normal at some point."

She snorted but some of her mucus that had been collecting now found itself on Harry's robes. "Sorry." She said embarrassed.

"Don't worry about it." He replied. Whatever his feelings that he had for her he was just okay in this moment. Being there for her. Holding her. She didn't need a boyfriend. She needed a friend. "My mum says hi by the way."

"Did she?" Hermione looked up. "When?"

"Last night." He explained. "She and my dad came to the school to meet with Dumbledore."

"Because of Ronald?" She rolled her eyes as he nodded. "Harry I'm sorry for dragging you into this. You didn't get into trouble, did you?"

"Don't apologize for this Hermione." He said firmly. "You never have too. And if that chump Weasley comes near you again let me know. I'll handle him."

"Harry, I don't want you to get into trouble." She argued.

He shrugged. "You forget what house I'm in." He grinned. "I'm not going to run up to him and punch across the face. Slytherins are better than that."

She rolled her eyes. "If you say so."

"Are you okay to move?" He asked and after a second, she nodded. "If you want, we can go get something to eat."

"How?" She sniffed as they got up. She had yet to release her arms around Harry. "The Great Hall is probably closed until lunch and even if it's not I doubt they'd want us in there."

"I have my ways." Harry replied.

"Harry what are we doing here?" She asked. He had led her down to the basement and in front of a portrait that had a bowl of fruit on it.

"Just watch." He reached up to the portrait and acted like he was tickling a pear. The pear began to giggle at him, and a knob appeared.

"Harry what is this?" She asked.

"The Kitchens my dear Hermione." He replied with a grin and opened up the door.

Everywhere they looked food was being prepared. Vegetables were being chopped. Meat was being seared. And it was all being done by-

"Are those elves?" She asked as the little creatures ran to and from.

Harry nodded. "They're the cooks. According to my Dad when Hogwarts was first founded, Hufflepuff brought elves here from across the world so they wouldn't be abused."

"Master Potter!" An elf with a squeaky voice piped up.

"I've told you before Temo that you don't need to call me Master." Harry told the elf who offered a shy smile.

"Yes, Master Potter sir. Temo is sorry sir." Harry wanted to roll his eyes but stopped himself. "What can Temo be doing for you?"

"Hermione here never got breakfast. I was hoping you could make her something really quick?"

"Say no more sir!" Temo clapped his hands together excitedly. "Temo would be honored to help Harry Potter and his Miss with their breakfast."

Hermione's face went red at the elf's insinuation. "Erhmm…Temo, Hermione isn't my-"

Suddenly a small round table appeared right next to the blazing fireplace with two chairs. "Just sit right there sir. Temo be getting food for Harry Potter and his Miss."

"Sorry." He apologized as they took their seats. "For what he called you I mean."

"It's fine." Hermione said although she was still blushing. "It just caught me off guard."

"From the way he's talking to you he sounds like he knows you." Hermione pointed out trying to steer the conversation to something else.

Harry nodded. "He used to belong to a business associate of my Godfather. He treated him horribly and was eventually arrested for embezzling from a business deal with my Godfather. The courts ruled that he was property of the Black family then."

"Your Godfather is Sirius Black?" She asked surprised. "He is head of the family right now isn't he?"

Harry shrugged. "I guess. He doesn't really like all of that. He has a proxy do all the political stuff. He used to be an Auror before the Minister made him resign. Can't have a Lord of a big family potentially get his throat slit in a dark alley."

"Sirius only had Temo for a couple of months, but I still loved being around him. Sirius actually thought about keeping him, but he ended up having him come to work in the kitchens at Hogwarts. He already has a house elf and one is enough to keep his home clean."

"The food is served sir." Temo said excitedly walking up with two plates filled to capacity with eggs, bacon and toast. "Can Temo be getting anything else for Harry Potter's Miss?"

"No thank you Temo." Hermione said kindly her face tinging pink again. "This is all wonderful."

"Please let Temo know if there is anything he can do." The Elf bowed and took his leave.

"He really is an interesting elf, isn't he?" Hermione wondered aloud as she began to eat.

"Guess I'm just used to it by now." Harry shrugged.

"Do you have anything planned for the weekend?" Hermione asked.

Harry shook his head. "I thought about going down to Hogsmeade. Are you going?"

"I uhm…" She was originally going to go with Ron. That's where she had been planning on telling him what happened this summer. "I haven't decided yet."

"Would you want to go together?" He asked. "Not as anything. Just two friends going out to the village together." When she gave him a look, he sighed. "Hermione I already told you I don't care what the House thinks. They can hang for all I care. If they don't like it then tough."

"You keep saying that, but I still worry Harry." She said. "Are you sure you want to go with me? Ron might be there."

"And if he says anything, I'll bust his nose. That's what I told Longbottom I'd do, and I won't be called a liar." He continued. "He can come too if you want. Brown as well if she wants."

"What about your friends?" She asked.

He shrugged. "Don't know what they're planning. Blaise might come. He usually decides at the last second."

"That sounds…nice." Hermione finally said. "It'd be fun. I could use a day out."

"And thanks for this Harry." She smiled at him. "I really needed it. Should we clean up?"

"I wouldn't." He said warningly. "Whenever I try, they chase me around the kitchen with a frying pan."

"They really do love their work, don't they?" Hermione said more to herself as she looked around the kitchen.

Harry nodded. "I've noticed that too." He got up from his seat and offered his hand. "Shall we."

She accepted his hand but dropped it as soon as she was helped out of her seat. She didn't want to give Temo any ideas.

They left the Kitchen and were instantly blasted by cool air. "It really is almost a furnace down there isn't it?" Hermione said as they began walking."

Harry nodded. "It almost needs to be. The number of things they actually cook produces so much heat. Plus, the fireplace doesn't make it any better."

"Well I thi-"

"Potter." They turned to see Draco walking towards them. Missing from his side were his two bodyguards. And Theo was nowhere to be found either.

"Draco." Harry nodded at the boy coolly his whole exterior changing. "Aren't you supposed to be in Defense?"

"Aren't you?" He raised an eyebrow. "Wasn't feeling well. Left early." He said simply. His eyes glanced over to Hermione who was shifting uncomfortably. "Granger."

"Malfoy." Was the only answer she gave.

"So, the news going around is that you two are an item now?" Draco said but it was without his usual sneer and venom.

"People like to talk about things they don't know anything about." Harry replied. "Was there something you needed Draco?"

Draco took a step towards Harry. "Just be careful Harry." He said in an almost whisper. "Please." With that he left the two feeling very confused.

"That was…odd." Hermione said saying what the two were both thinking. "I thought you said you both weren't friends anymore."

"We aren't." Harry replied. What had all that been about?

"Honestly that's the first time ever I think he hasn't called me a Mudblood." Hermione said. "Was he being serious? About what people are saying?"

"I don't know." Harry admitted. "I haven't talked to anybody all day except for you. If they are then pay them no mind. We know the truth."

She smiled at him but had her fears. Even if he wasn't, she was worried for him.

She hoped he knew what he was doing.