AN: This is the rest of the story. It ends with the train ride home. I will write a separate story for their summer and 7th year. Enjoy the last 3 chapters! I you want to read this as single chapters go to since that was where this was originally posted.
Chapter 47: Slytherin vs. Gryffindor
The morning of the match Harry was trying to calm his nerves. The Gryffindors had thrown him an impromptu party last night to give him there support. It was basically everyone sitting around talking about all of their past Quidditch games. Even Hermione joined in to the Quidditch talk when she reminded him that his very first catch of the snitch was already in Hogwarts: A History for being the only time the snitch was caught by the seekers mouth!
Everyone was up early that morning to crowd around him on his way to breakfast. He knew he had to eat to keep up his strength but couldn't imagine a heavy breakfast with all the butterflies in his stomach. "I feel like the match started hours ago but in my stomach instead of out on the pitch!" He told his friends as they tried to force feed him. "I'm more nervous today than I was at my first game!"
"That's because you didn't know what to expect before and you had the excuse that it was only your first game if you did badly. You don't get to use that excuse today!" A voice said happily from behind him.
"You could be a little more supportive here Malfoy, this is a big day for him. As his friend you should be sympathetic to him not condescending." Hermione said trying to defend her stressed out friend.
"Maybe when you choke out there they'll let me try out for England," Draco said egging him on. He knew that Harry played better when he could just concentrate on beating the other team. If he got him upset enough he would focus on doing everything in his power to take down Slytherin. Malfoy knew he wasn't good enough to make the English team but he thought Potter had a pretty good chance.
"I heard they were looking for male cheerleaders, maybe you should try out for that. Although since you are such a pretty boy they might want you in one of the skirts," Harry shot back. He knew what Draco was doing. All those hours of Occlumency training and he could easily read when people were sincere or not. He also knew that getting riled up was exactly what he needed to focus on the game.
"It's such a shame the scouts weren't here for the game that you passed out and fell off your broom. It would be a shame if that happened again, a waste of a perfectly good broom." Draco was enjoying himself. Even though he liked Harry now, he missed the taunting repartee they used to have.
"I could beat you using one of the schools brooms. It's not about the broom, it's about the talent. Some people have some don't. How many times have you caught the snitch against me?" Harry was getting into it now and was starting to look forward to wiping the smirk off the blonde Slytherin.
The taunting went on for another few minutes until Gabrielle came over to drag Draco away to eat breakfast. "You'll show him Harry. That stupid arrogant git will be eating his words when we kick there arse!" Ron growled in between bites.
Ginny and Hermione smiled at each other, they both had figured out what Draco was up to but Ron was as dense as normal. The team finished eating and headed down to the changing rooms for the pre-game pep talk. Hermione hurried over to Neville so they could plan the decorations for the Gryffindor stands. They wanted to go all out to show their support for Harry.
She stood up on the bench of her table once they had finished talking to make her announcement to the rest of the school. She waited until the Slytherin team had left just to be courteous. "If anyone is interested in purchasing a flag, button or banner with 'Potter for President' on it as well as ones with 'Harry's My Hero' I'll be in the entrance hall directly following breakfast. My associate Mr. Longbottom will also have rosettes that play Weasley is our King the Gryffindor version and assorted other team merchandise. Please come out and support Harry in the biggest game so far of his Quidditch career." Hermione finished her sales pitch and she and Neville headed out to the entrance hall to set up shop.
They had asked permission to sell these trinkets last week and had convinced the twins to help them enchant all the merchandise. There were even Weasley Wizarding Wheezes logos on the backs of everything (in exchange for their help). Hermione un-shrunk the three trunks full of stuff and conjured two tables to sell it from and cash boxes for the money. They were selling all the stuff at just barely over cost, just enough to finance the very large party they had planned for after he received his invitation to tryout for the team.
There were very few students who didn't stop by the 'Potter Shop' before the game. There were even some Slytherins who bought some 'Harry's My Hero" buttons. They had made special outfits for Tonks and Remus to wear and new hats for McGonagall and Dumbledore. Hermione had to hand it to the twins; they really ran with her ideas. Tonks had changed her appearance to look like a female version of Harry, complete with hot pink curse scar. Hermione had made her a gold t-shirt with red lettering that read 'I'm Harry's Mum!' just because Harry liked to tease her like that. They made Remus a red shirt with gold writing that changed to three different sayings: 'My Son is #1', 'Potter Fan' and everyone's favorite 'I Howl for Harry'. She had only asked the twins for the first two but it seems they couldn't help themselves.
They hurried and shrunk the rest of the stuff and raced down to the pitch where Lavender and Parvarti were saving them front row seats and hanging up posters and large banners with the 'Potter for President' or 'Harry's My Hero' slogan on them. Over ¾ of the stadium was decked out in Gryffindor colors and cheering for Harry. You could even see the scattered Harry button or flag in the sea of green that was the Slytherin section.
The entire Weasley family (minus Charlie) turned up in the teacher's box to watch the match. The nice thing about being Minister of Magic was Arthur was able to come to any of the games. The family was decked out in Harry paraphernalia as well. Fred and George had painted their faces gold so with their red hair they looked like walking Gryffindor posters.
Finally Dumbledore entered the teachers' box followed by four wizards. Three of them had on English International team colors and was sporting Gryffindor colors and looking kind of familiar to Hermione. She pulled out her omnioculars and looked at the scouts. She wondered if Harry would be more nervous since there were four of them than the 1 or 2 he was expecting. "It's Oliver!" She yelled happily once she saw a close up of the fourth wizards face.
"Oliver Wood?" Neville asked her. "What do you think he's doing here with the scouts?"
"I don't know, but if he is a scout as well then Harry has a much better chance of getting a tryout. Oliver knows how talented Harry is." Hermione was excited to see the boy she used to have a secret crush on back in 3rd year. He had been in 7th year and was always nice to her since she was friends with Harry. Plus he was one of the handsomest wizards she had ever met. She knew it would never be more than an infatuation since he seemed even more obsessed with Quidditch than Ron, but she didn't mind the view!
"How is it possible that he got even cuter?" Parvarti whispered to Lavender while they stared at Oliver. Hermione smiled to herself knowing that she wasn't the only one who liked his look. The difference is that she wouldn't do anything to try and get his attention where the two girls next to her were already plotting ideas on how to ask him to join them for the victory party after the match.
"We do have to win the match first," Hermione reminded them enjoying their blushes as they realized she could hear all their scheming.
Everett Smith, the head scout for the English team introduced his colleagues to Dumbledore as Ted Newman of the Wasps and Billy Goodman of the Cannons. He was the only fill time scout for England but the two helped him scout from all the current teams. Oliver Wood was still playing for Puddlemore United and had already been offered the keeper position for the English team.
"It's good to see you again Wood!" McGonagall said happily as she shook hands with her former Quidditch captain student.
"It is great to be back," Wood said smiling at his old professors. "I can't believe how many are cheering for Gryffindor!" He laughed as Fred handed him a 'Potter for President' flag. "These will sell very well if he makes the team!" They laughed and Wood went to sit next to his former team mates. "Hello Professor Lupin," Oliver said to the man next to him. He was between George and Lupin.
"Nice to see you Mr. Wood. Congratulations on making the English team." Remus told his former student.
"Thank you," Wood said and then caught sight of Tonks and her t-shirt and laughed. "You look just like him! Hi I'm Oliver I used to play on the team with Harry," He said to her extending his hand.
"I'm Tonks, I teach DADA with Remus. Harry's told me stories about you and your speeches before the matches. I hear they are legend around here." She said laughing.
Harry was pacing in front of the rest of the team during his pre-game pep talk. "I don't care what it takes but we are not letting those snakes get the cup this year! They may be nicer and some are even our friends but they are Slytherin and all Gryffindors know that they fight dirty and unfair. Don't think that because they don't taunt you in the halls anymore that they won't try and knock you off your broom. We need to go out there and play hard and play strong. We have practiced for this game all season. You all know your moves. Malfoy thinks he can walk all over us. I say lets get out there and show them they should rue the day they ever thought they could beat us." He put his hand together in the middle of the players and they all yelled "Go Gryffindor!" before heading out to the field.
Lee Jordan had come back to commentate the game since they still had not found another student good enough to do it. He introduced the two teams two applause. There was no booing for the first time in recent history. Harry and Ron shook hands with Malfoy and the players all mounted their brooms waiting for Madame Hooch to release the quaffle.
Ginny grabbed the red ball as soon as it was released and sped toward the Slytherin goal. "Weasley with the quaffle, she speeds around the Slytherin chasers and avoids a collision with Goyle. She fakes a pass to Finnigan and scores! 10 points to Gryffindor and a great shot by the youngest Weasley." Lee continued. "Slytherin in possession heading toward the middle of the pitch, Ouch! Great work there by beater Dennis Creevy who knocks the quaffle away and into the waiting arms of Gryffindor chaser Dean Thomas. Thomas to Finnigan who dodges a bludger hit by Crabbe."
The game was very fast pace; the two teams were well matched. Harry and Draco were hovering above the action. Harry noticed that Draco seemed to be sticking with his usual 'mark Potter' strategy and had yet to try and watch for the snitch himself. Harry had seen the snitch the minute he took to the air and could have ended the game in less than 30 seconds but realized that would not be the way to show off his skills. Since Draco had not seen it he let it go to find later.
Harry decided it was time to try some of his moves. He started by slowly circling the pitch looking for the snitch but keeping Malfoy in vision at all times. Harry heard the bludger approaching before he ever saw it and had plenty of time to institute his new move the 'Bludger Beater'. It was an adaptation of the sloth grip roll but instead of actually turning around his broom he used his broom to rotate him. He had been perfecting his spinning moves and had figured out how to rotate his broom in a full circle just by shifting his body weight the correct way. He quickly executed his move and rotated 180ï to avoid the bludger then completed the turn once it passed him. He liked this move because if someone was tailing him, like Malfoy had been at the moment, they didn't have time to react to the bludger.
The stands erupted in cheers as Harry expertly avoided the bludger and it grazed Malfoy. If Draco had been following any closer he wouldn't have had time to duck. The scouts looked at each other with raised eyebrows at Harry's maneuver. Harry had given Lee an enchanted list of his new secret moves that would stay blank until he performed one of them. Once he successfully performed his move the parchment would show what he had named the move and a description of it for Lee to tell the spectators.
"That was a new move Potter invented called the Bludger Beater. Using his broom he literally flies a 360ï circle in the air allowing the bludger to fly past and hopefully hit anyone tailing him." Lee called out as the paper came to life. He was excited to be the first one to be able to comment on Harry's new moves. "I would say this move would quickly become a favorite of seekers everywhere if anyone else could fly like that."
Malfoy was not following as closely after the close call with the bludger. Gryffindor had scored 5 more times but Ron was having a great game not letting a goal in yet making the score 60 to 0 Gryffindor. Harry could hear the cheers of 'Weasley is our King' as Ron blocked yet another shot. It was time to pretend he had seen the snitch to throw off Malfoy. Harry gave the pitch one last look over to make sure he didn't actually see the little gold ball before he whipped his head in the other direction, put on a look of concentration and dove toward the Slytherin side of the pitch. He weaved in between the other players and easily avoided another bludger hit his way by Goyle. Draco was hurrying to catch up to him, cursing himself for allowing Harry to get so far away. The stands were in an uproar thinking that Harry had found the snitch. Harry darted through the right goal post, effectively distracting the seeker while Ginny scored in the left hoop, and dove straight toward the ground. When he was four feet from the ground he pulled out of the dive. He usually pulled out earlier so Malfoy was convinced the snitch was in front of him and gave it his all. As soon as Harry pulled out of the dive he stopped and let Malfoy fly past him.
As he casually flew up to his usual hovering height he heard Lee say, "A perfectly executed Wronski Feint by Potter. He had all of us including Malfoy convinced he saw the snitch. Brilliant flying and a spectacular dive." The scouts were in agreement with the commentary. Everett noted that Harry even took the time to distract the opposing keeper so his team could score while in his feint.
"I taught him that move, but it just seems so much more than when he was younger," Wood commented as he and the Weasley's cheered him on.
The game continued on for a while with Gryffindor leading 90 to zero. The Slytherin chasers had missed or Ron had blocked at least 7 goals. It was the best anyone could ever remember seeing Ron play. The scout from the Chudley Cannons turned around to address Mrs. Weasley. "Do you know if there are any teams your son is interested in trying out for when he's done with school?"
"Well I'm sure he'd be honored to try out for any team but he is a true Cannons fan. His entire room at home is decorated in Cannons posters and colors. I know it's always been his dream to play for them." She told the man with a small smile.
"I'm actually with the Cannons, Madame. I will talk with my staff about sending out a tryout invitation to him next year." He told her as they discussed Ron's stats for a few minutes while there was not much action in the match. A few minutes later the one of the Slytherin chasers had a breakaway with the quaffle. He flew towards Ron an aimed at the left goal. The chaser faked throwing the ball causing Ron to fly toward the left goal. The chaser then tossed to quaffle to his team mate by the right goal who quickly tossed it in before Ron could get back.
"And Slytherin finally scores!" Lee commentated. "That was great team work by the Slytherin chasers. There was no possible way Weasley could have stopped that goal."
Ginny flew by Ron and reminded him there was no way he could have stopped that goal. "You can't be in two places at once Ron. Don't worry about it; they were going to get one in eventually. Shake it off, stay focused." She yelled before taking off toward the Slytherin who had the Quaffle. She flew low below the Slytherin chaser who didn't see her. As soon as the chaser raised his arm to pass to his team mate she shot straight up in the air grabbing the quaffle out of his outstretched hand. She rose quickly into the air and shot toward the hoops.
Lee laughed as he looked at Harry's enchanted parchment. "That was Ginny Weasley's patented new move she has been working on in practice. Harry Potter has dubbed it 'Pop Goes the Weasley' as it is a surprise capture of the quaffle at the exact point the other team is about to pass. Weasley flew low below the opposing chaser waiting to pop up and steal the quaffle. I think it is a move that will shortly become very popular."
The students in the stands all laughed at Harry's name for Ginny's new move. The game had been in full swing for almost an hour already and the score was 110 to 10 in favor of Gryffindor. The Slytherin team was playing well; they just couldn't seem to be able to get past Ron. Harry was having fun annoying Malfoy by flying in figure-8s and zigzagging around the pitch. He knew Draco's strategy was to follow him closely and it was amusing to play follow the leader. He flew into position to start his new feint move.
Harry started when he was facing the Slytherin goal, flying lower than his normal cruising altitude. Making sure Malfoy was paying attention he hurried an jerked his head around and quickly turned his broom with a look of glee on his face and took off up into the air toward the other end of the pitch. The spectators all turned their attention to the seekers now thinking that Harry had seen the snitch. Harry kept climbing into the air until he knew Malfoy was hooked as well as the crowd. Finally he leveled off his broom and just hovered, waiting for Malfoy. Harry just grinned at Draco, winked and then flew back down toward the game.
"That was the newest feint move out of Harry Potter's personal arsenal. He created this move after realizing that there were no feints that incorporated an upwards climb. He really had us all fooled with that one! Nice move Potter!" Lee called as the stands all cheered for their favorite hero and his ways of keeping the match interesting. The scouts were all impressed with Harry's creativity as well as his skills as a seeker. He had great presence out on the pitch and it was as if he had radar to detect incoming bludgers.
"I thought he was good when I was in school," Wood told George. "But he is phenomenal now. He started out as the best seeker the school has ever seen and I have a feeling before the end of the world cup there will be many calling him the best seeker the world has ever seen. And to think that I was the one who taught him how to play!" The twins grinned at their old captain and his love of the game.
"Don't cry now Wood. If these gentlemen here are smart they'll have Harry on your team in short order!" Fred told him with a pat on the shoulder. "Now if they let us try out for the beater position we might have an even better shot..." They all laughed knowing that the twins may have been good at Hogwarts but were no where near good enough to play professionally.
Slytherin scored 2 more times in the next half hour of play. Ginny had scored twice as well as Dean once, making the score 140 to 30 Gryffindor. The Slytherins were starting to revert back to their normal underhanded ways. The game was not going in their favor and as reformed as they might be, Slytherins hate to loose. Madame Hooch had to award four penalties to Gryffindor already and warned Crabbe and Goyle that they were only to hit the bludgers with the bat not the other players. The Creevy brothers took it upon themselves to turn it back on the Slytherins and made sure all their bludgers were aimed at Malfoy.
Draco had just dodged another bludger and was busy glaring at his bodyguards for not protecting him when Harry saw it. Down near the ground in the middle of the pitch and heading toward the Gryffindor goals was the golden snitch. Harry grinned and dove. It was almost directly below him. He was flat against his broom at almost a 90ï angle from the ground. The crowd all gasped at his intense dive. That was when Lee saw the snitch and yelled that "Potter has seen the snitch! Look at that vertical dive; he is fearless and graceful at the same time." Draco knew he had no chance of catching Potter. He didn't notice Harry dive right away thanks to the bludgers that seemed always headed in his direction. He raced after the messy haired boy with the faster broom hoping that the snitch would alter course and bring it closer to him.
Harry was in his element. Everything else in the world just disappeared as soon as he focused on the winged golden ball. He pulled out of his dive as the snitch moved closer to the Gryffindor hoops. The crowds were wildly cheering him on even though he couldn't hear them he was so focused. He reached out his arm toward the ball and wrapped it in his gloved hand. The roar of the crowd and the sounds of the game came back to him as he lifted the snitch into the air so all could see. His smile was huge as he flew up to meet the rest of his team.
"Harry Potter receives 150 points for catching the golden snitch. Final score of the match is Gryffindor 290, Slytherin 30." Lee said while clapping along with everyone else in the stand. "With that victory Gryffindor wins the Quidditch Cup!" The Gryffindor team were trying to head to the ground while all still tangled in a group hug. The stands were all still cheering and Gryffindor House was jumping up and down and hugging each other.
The teachers' box was alive with the sounds of jubilation. All the Weasleys, Remus, Tonks, Oliver and McGonagall were all laughing and cheering. All the other teachers, save Snape, were clapping and looking pleased. McGonagall headed over to Snape, "Good match there Severus, better luck next year."
He scowled at her before retorting, "And how will next year be any different? As long as Potter is around we might as well forgo the matches and just give you the Cup now." He grumbled as he made his way out of the stands and back to the sanctuary of his dungeons. Dumbledore just chuckled as he heard his potions master's comment. They all filed down to the pitch for the presentation of the Quidditch Cup.
Chapter 48: Celebrations
Harry and Ron accepted the cup for the team since they were the captains. They lifted it above their heads and everyone cheered. The school was in a good mood after the match. Even the Slytherins stuck around to mingle with the other houses before they all headed up for dinner in the great hall. Harry and his friends hurried over to where the Weasleys were standing with Oliver and the scouts. "Great game Harry," Mr. Weasley said as Mrs. Weasley hugged all of them.
"Very well played Mr. Potter, I am Everett Smith, the head scout for the English team this is Ted Newman of the Wasps and Billy Goodman of the Cannons they also help scout for the national team." Smith said as Harry shook hands with each of them.
"Those were some very interesting moves you created," Newman told him. "Have you created other ones as well?"
"Yes, I have quite a few that I haven't had the chance to use in an official match yet." Harry told the man. "I even have a few that my team mates don't know about as I have only practiced them by myself." Harry and the three discussed his strategy for a while, leaving the others to talk amongst themselves.
"Hello Hermione," Oliver said with a smile. "How have you been? The twins said you are the Hogwarts Dueling Champion, that must have been fun."
"It's nice to see you again Oliver," She said with a large smile. "The tournament was a good time. It's too bad they hadn't thought of it when you were still here. How is everything going for you? Are you still with Puddlemore?"
Oliver grinned that she knew which team he played for since she used to always ignore Quidditch talk when he was in school. "Yes, I'm with them as well as I made the English National team for the World Cup Tournament. You'll have to come to the matches once Harry makes the team. Then you can show me those dueling skills of yours. I'm afraid I don't get too many opportunities to duel with my practice schedule." They talked for a few more minutes before Ron walked over to break them up.
"Come on you two! Let's head inside to eat so we can hurry up and get to partying!" Ron said always thinking of food. "You are staying tonight aren't you Wood? Dumbledore said it was alright for Fred, George and Lee. It'll be like old times!"
Hermione was excited that Wood would be staying. She also enjoyed the envious looks she got from the 6th and 7th year girls as he took the seat next to her at dinner and kept asking her about her school work. Lee was trying to convince Neville to be the new Quidditch commentator while the twins were busy trying to flirt with the 7th year girls. Ginny, Harry and Ron sat discussing the game and his chances of getting a tryout.
The scouts and remaining Weasleys had left before dinner. The teachers knew it would be difficult to control the students that night since they were all so riled up about the game. "I can't believe you guys sold all that stuff!" Harry said to Hermione and Neville. "I'm not sure about the 'Harry's My Hero' stuff, but it was still cool."
"We'll make a killing on selling that stuff once you make the national team," Fred commented. "Can you imagine how many girls will want posters of you in their bedrooms? Maybe we could sell them Harry Potter bed sheets so they can wrap themselves up in pictures of you!"
"Don't you dare!" Ginny said with a glare. "I don't care that so many girls want Harry but I draw the line at bed clothes or anything more intimate!" Harry chuckled and put his arm around her.
"I always thought it would be you and Harry that would get together," Oliver told Hermione quietly, almost leaning into her to speak into her ear. "Although I'm glad that I was wrong." He had always appreciated that Hermione wasn't like all the other girls, she was strong willed and extremely intelligent.
"Harry is like my brother," She said with a shy smile. "Besides, he's not mature enough for me. I have decided that there is no one here at school that I could date. I'll have to wait for university or hope I meet some dashing older man this summer someplace."
Oliver smiled and was about to make a smooth remark about her meeting a dashing older guy at a Quidditch match when they were interrupted by Lavender and the Patil Twins. "Hi Oliver! Can we get you to sign your picture that was in Witch Weekly?" Lavender said batting her eyelashes and holding out a magazine and quill. The three girls must have run up to their rooms to get the magazines. All three of them wanted autographs.
"Sure, I'm surprised you still even have this issue, it came out almost 6 months ago." He took the magazines and quill so he could sign them. He smiled to himself as he saw Hermione roll her eyes at her classmates before turning back to her dinner.
"We couldn't throw it away; it has your picture in it. You were such a great keeper when you played here." Parvarti told him with a little giggle as the other two nodded. He handed them the magazines back and turned back to his dinner. They hurried off to the other end of the table giggling like mad.
"Are those the girls that were always going on and on about Divination?" Oliver asked Hermione and groaned at her nod. "They used to hang all over me and offer to read my tea leaves." Hermione couldn't help the snort of amusement that popped out. Wood looked at her and grinned. "Will you help keep them away from me tonight? As the reigning dueling champion I would hope you could protect me from their insane giggling." Hermione laughed outright at that and agreed to help him. She liked that he was flirting with her and wanted to spend the party with her.
"Do you think I should go rescue Hermione from Wood?" Ron asked Ginny and Harry. "You know she doesn't like to talk about Quidditch all that much and he is sitting awfully close to her." Ron said with a look of distaste on his face.
"Leave Wood alone," Ginny told her brother. "Besides, he is a smart guy that can talk about more than just Quidditch. Let Hermione have a good time." Ginny winked at Harry as she saw Wood whisper something to their friend making her laugh.
"I don't think she needs to be rescued Ron," Harry told him carefully. Even though they were broken up and Ron was starting to see Susan he was easily jealous of anyone Hermione talked to. The fact that it was Oliver Wood, pro Quidditch keeper, didn't make things any easier. "She looks like she is enjoying herself. Wood's a great guy and if Susan is coming to the party she'll need someone to dance with."
The party filled the common room since there were so many students from other houses there. There was music as well as snacks. The twins were selling some of their sweets and other merchandise and were happy that Wood was keeping Hermione occupied so they could trick some of the younger students. "Do you want to dance?" Wood asked her as she saw Harry lead Ginny to the middle of the room where they had cleared space to dance. They made their way over to Harry and Ginny. Hermione tried not to laugh at the look on Lavender's face when Wood wrapped his arms tightly around her back.
The party was winding down and Hermione was actually sad to see it end. She was having a great time with Oliver. He was a great guy and she hoped she would see him again over the summer. "Will you promise to come to at least one of my matches this summer even if Harry's not on the team?" He asked her, looking deep into her honey brown eyes.
"As long as you keep your promise that I get to duel you," She said with a smile. "We need to get you trained enough to fend off all those adoring fan girls." They laughed and danced for a little longer.
"Can I write to you?" He asked as he brushed his lips against her ear. She shivered at the contact and nodded, unsure of her voice. "May I give you a goodnight kiss?" He asked knowing he was pressing his luck. Hermione couldn't believe it; he actually wanted to kiss her! She pulled her face back and gave him a smile. He leaned in and pressed his lips against hers. Hermione was in shock, she had never felt anything like that before. "Good night," he told her and kissed her cheek before leaving the common room with the twins.
Hermione sunk down onto one of the couches and stared blankly into the fire. Oliver had kissed her and she had liked it, a lot. It wasn't awkward like when she kissed Ron. It was short but it was electric. She felt like she was floating and couldn't wait to see him again. She hoped he would write to her and that she wasn't just a momentary distraction. He was a popular Quidditch player with fan girls; she hoped he actually liked her company.
Ron had been walking Susan to the portrait hole to walk back with Justin and Hannah when he saw Oliver kiss Hermione. He barely noticed Susan kiss him goodnight since he was glaring at Wood. He watched as Hermione sat dreamily on the sofa touching her fingers to her lips. She had never looked like that after he kissed her and that made him jealous. He had been certain they were meant to be together, but it had never been easy. He loved her and she loved him, just not in the way most couples love each other. He knew they were better off as just friends and he was very happy with Susan, he just hated the thought of Hermione with anyone else.
Ginny and Harry were sitting together on the sofa across from where Hermione plopped down. They had seen the kiss and grinned at each other. They were happy that Hermione was having a good time. "Uh oh," Ginny said and pointed to where Ron was standing a stiff as a board. "You better go talk to him before he says something stupid to her and she hexes him for it."
Harry knew it would take Ron a while to get over Hermione. He just didn't understand his best mate. Ron could go snog Susan and expect Hermione to be fine with it, but the minute she shows any interest in anyone he gets upset with her. "Why Wood?" Ron asked as Harry came over. "I could understand some smart college guy, but Wood is a Quidditch player, a keeper like me. If she wanted to date another Quidditch player why couldn't she have stayed with me?" Ron sighed. He knew he shouldn't be so upset. He had handled their breakup better than this. He just couldn't help but feel like his heart was just ripped out of his chest. His Hermione was kissing another guy. "I guess I just realized how over it was."
"Ron, can you tell me that you aren't happy with Susan? You were telling me yesterday how the two of you talk about Quidditch all the time and how you never get bored when talking to her and that she wants the same things you do. You told me how much you like how she feels in your arms and how you didn't realize snogging could be that much fun." Harry told his friend. "Do you want to give all that up?"
"No, why would I?" Ron asked snapping out of his depressing trance. "Susan is amazing and we are great together."
"You can only have one of them Ron. You can't be with Susan and not allow Hermione to move on as well. She's our best friend, don't let this interfere." Harry said.
"I understood the logic of our breakup from the start. She was right, we are better off as friends. But I loved her, I still love her in a way and it wasn't until I saw her with him that I finally felt my heart break. I expected this feeling to surface the night of the party in the room of requirement, it just took a slap in the face to make me realize that she isn't mine anymore." Ron told Harry with a shrug. "I'll be fine with it, I just need some time. I'm going to bed. That was a great game you played today Harry!"
Ginny moved over to sit next to Hermione once Harry left to talk to Ron. "You seemed to have a good time tonight," Ginny said with a sly smile. "We'll have to invite Oliver over this summer."
"Yeah," Hermione said with a smile. "He's rather nice don't you think. We'll have to go to all of the matches when Harry makes the team." Hermione turned to look at her best girl friend with a mischievous smile. "Did you see the looks on Lavender and Parvarti's faces when he sat by me at dinner."
"I personally enjoyed the looks they gave you when he held you so close in his arms while you two danced. He never left your side all night." Ginny said trying to pry details without asking directly.
"He was so sweet. He came up to me to say hello after the match and then sat by me at dinner. We talked about school and all kinds of things. He was flirting all through dinner, whispering things in my ear. He told me that since I am the dueling champion I had to protect him from Lav and the other girls." They laughed at that and Ginny urged her to continue. "He pulled me so close when we danced. I felt so safe and content in his arms. I didn't want the party to end! He made me promise to come to one of his matches and then he kissed me. Oh Gin, it felt so amazing and it was just one short little kiss! He said he would write to me. I really hope he does." They headed off to bed then as it was quite late and they were the only ones left in the common room.
"Just wait until Lavender hears that you kissed Oliver, she will have a fit!" Ginny laughed. "It'll be like the Yule Ball all over again. You should have heard them going on and on about how you snagged Victor Krum. Now that I think about it Hermione, you seem to have a thing for Quidditch players. First it was Krum, then Ron and now Oliver... I didn't think you liked Quidditch!" Ginny laughed as they got ready for bed.
"Oliver was second in his class only to Percy. If your brother hadn't been here he probably would have been a prefect and maybe even Head Boy." Hermione told her. "And he can hold an entire conversation without talking about Quidditch. The only time he mentioned it all night was when he asked me to come watch. I never told anyone before, but I had a crush on him in 3rd year. I knew the other girls thought he was cute, but he was always so nice to me."
"I'm glad you had a good time today," Ginny yawned. "I'm sure he'll write soon and you'll know that he has a crush on you now!"
Everyone was still talking about yesterday's game at breakfast. The Gryffindors were telling stories about the party to anyone who wasn't there. Ron was in a much better mood about Hermione, sleep had obviously helped him. "Ginny, do you think mum will let me invite Susan over for a week this summer?"
"It'll have to be during the first two weeks because afterwards she'd need Dumbledore's approval." Ginny told him. "Why don't you just owl mum and find out. The worst she can say is no."
"You should invite Susan to join EDA next year," Hermione told him. "She is good in DA and would make a good asset to the team and you obviously trust her."
"What if they break up, we don't want any hostility in EDA. We have to work smoothly with each other." Ginny cautioned, she was really just fishing to see how strongly Ron felt about the girl. They spent lots of time snogging, but he had never really mentioned if it was serious or not.
"I think it's a good idea," Ron said. "I'll see how things go over the summer and we can ask her to join at the start of next term." He turned slightly pink as he realized he didn't want to break up with the pretty Hufflepuff. "I don't think we'll break up, although we haven't really even said we were going out. She's really great and I think you guys would all like her."
"Well if you could break yourself away from her lips long enough to let her speak we might be able to get to know her better," Harry teased him. He didn't get a chance to make any more comments before the mail arrived. Harry looked up at the owls hopefully, he knew it was early but he really wanted that tryout invitation.
It seemed like the entire hall turned to watch him as a tawny owl landed in front of him. He pulled off the scroll and gave the owl some of his bacon before it flew off. He slowly opened the scroll. He just stared at the paper in front of him, unblinking and not comprehending. It was too good to be true, he had made the tryout. He was going to be able to try out for the national team as seeker! He turned to Ginny and wrapped his arms around her in a huge hug and whispered in her ear, "I got it."
Ginny grinned and jumped up, "You got it! Let me see!" She yelled pulling the parchment from him and squealing in delight. "He made it, he gets to try out!" She yelled across the hall and the entire student body cheered for him.
Hermione was so interested in what was happening with Harry she didn't even notice the owl sitting in front of her. She turned around surprised to see a beautiful eagle owl sitting in front of her with a parcel attached to his leg. She untied the box and offered the owl her toast before it hooted its thanks and flew back to its master. She looked curiously to the parcel in front of her and took the note from the top. It was from Oliver! He had written her a short letter.
It was wonderful to see you yesterday. I had a great time. In fact I can't remember the last time I enjoyed someone's company as much as I enjoyed spending time with you. I hope we can stay in touch. I have a flat in London, perhaps you can visit sometime. We could go to the dance club in Diagon Alley with your friends. Given his performance yesterday, I'm sure I will be seeing much of Harry this summer. I hope that means I'll be seeing a lot of you as well. My apologies if my kiss last evening was too forward. Your beauty and intelligence has made me act like a school boy again. I hope to hear from you soon.
P.S. Make sure you enlarge the box before you open it. I had to shrink it to make it easier for Max (my owl) to carry it.
Hermione carefully arranged the box on the table and enlarged it to its proper size. She carefully untied the ribbon that held it closed and reached to take off the lid. She wondered what he had sent her. It was a long green rectangular box. She opened it to reveal a dozen roses in all different colors. She smiled and inhaled the scent of the flowers. There was another card that read:
I didn't know what your favorite type of rose was, so I had to improvise. I hope at least one of them brings a smile to your beautiful face. Oliver
Hermione grinned again and reached into the box to pull out a fire and ice rose, her favorite. They were red with white at their tips. She held it to her face and smiled, a dreamy expression crossing her face. Ginny turned to Hermione to ask her what she thought of Harry's chances when she noticed the flowers and the note. "Oh Hermione they are absolutely gorgeous! I can't believe he sent you a dozen roses!" Ginny was quite loud with her comment and quite a few heads turned to see what the fuss was.
"Who sent you the flowers Hermione?" Neville asked her. He also asked loudly as he was sitting almost 5 people away from her.
"They're from Oliver," She replied loving the gasp of shock from Lavender who was sitting farther down the table. She turned to Ginny and the two hurried to the girls' dorms to put the flowers in water.
"He sent her flowers after one little kiss?" Ron asked incredulously. "He must have it bad for her. I never sent her flowers." Harry just nodded and was glad that Oliver actually did like Hermione. She needed someone to have a good time with and Oliver could be just the wizard to bring her out of her shell for the summer. The boys then decided to head up to see Remus and discuss plans for the tryouts.
Hannah, Luna and Gabrielle each hurried after Hermione and Ginny so they could see who the flowers were from as well. They had seen her dancing with Wood and wondered if they were from him. The five girls spent the rest of the morning holed up in the prefect girls bedroom talking about boys. "That is so romantic," Hannah cooed. "Justin would never think to send flowers, especially without some occasion for them."
"Harry is actually very romantic. He tells me all the time that I am the most beautiful woman he's ever known. He even took me on a picnic in the astronomy tower for our 6 month anniversary." Ginny told them as they compared boyfriends.
"Draco is very sweet to me and such a gentleman too. He always gets the door for me and offers to push in my chair. He kisses my hand before placing it on his arm to walk me to class." Gabrielle told them all with a smile. "We are really starting to fall for each other. It's odd since we got together as a way to avoid relationships and now it's turning out that we actually care for each other."
"I'm glad you are falling in love, you need to love the man you're going to marry. I know that I won't marry unless I'm in love," Luna told them all. "Neville is a sweet guy but he is so shy it's hard to tell where the relationship is going. But I'm not in a hurry and it's not like anyone else has ever paid any attention to me anyway."
"Don't you think it's odd that we all have boyfriends now? Just last year it seemed like boys were the last thing we were worried about. Is it because we are getting older or did we just finally give in to them?" Hannah asked them all.
"It's normal for us to start to pair off at this age. Most wizards get married right after school is over and we are only a year or two away." Ginny told them all. "My parents were engaged before my mum even started her 7th year and Bill was born immediately after they got married. The wizarding world is different from the muggle world that way."
"Look at Draco and I. He had been betrothed to someone since he was 5 years old and that was only because it took his parents that long to find someone suitable. They would have had to look longer if the royals were not in hiding. He is a Count or a Duke or something like that and if the royal court was still around he would most likely have to marry another royal." Gabrielle told them.
"The royal line is the only one that has never intermarried. They are very particular with mixing bloodlines. I read that though they must marry a pureblood they must be at least 5 times removed so as to not diminish the houses power with intermarriage." Hermione told them. She had read some more on the royal family after Harry reminded her of them and his talk with Snape. "There used to be quite a lot of royal families and such but they have mixed with muggleborns and are no longer in the pool of eligible partners. In fact there are very few witches available and many of the royal wizards had to be married to non-royal purebloods just to keep their lines going."
"Yeah, all the royals that are anywhere close to our age are wizards. It seems they all had boys. That was one of the problems Draco told me about that his parents ran into when trying to find him a wife. The dark lord is the other problem; many of the royal families went into hiding as well when the king and queen left. They were scared the dark lord would kill them instead when he couldn't get a hold of the queen." Gabrielle said.
"Why did you-know-who want to kill the queen?" Ginny asked. Her mother refused to speak of the dark lord in their house so she never was told the reason the royal family went into hiding.
"She is the most powerful witch in the world. They all say that Dumbledore is the only wizard he is afraid of, but she is the only witch he ever feared. Supposedly he power is so pure that it emits an aura around her when she uses it. The aura is a trait of Merlin, a soft golden glow surrounding the witch or wizard. Only the heir to the throne inherits the power and the glow. Supposedly the heir comes into his or her powers when they are 18 but the queen was only 17 when she fought Grindlewald and during the fight she tapped into her powers and everyone could see the aura and was afraid of her power." Luna told them in her far away voice. "My mom used to work at the castle as an aid to the princess. My dad says the Kensingtons are the greatest of wizard kind and are not just England's but the wizarding world's royalty."
"Well I'm glad they are in hiding then," Ginny said quietly. "If they have to marry royalty then I wouldn't be able to be with Harry since he is royalty and I'm not." Everyone realized how horrible that would be and decided to change the subject to what they planned on wearing to the end of the year party they had to celebrate Harry's tryout and the end of exams.
Chapter 49: End of the Year Bash
Exams were over. Ginny and Luna had finished their OWLs and the end of the year party was later that night. Harry was sitting in Remus' living room talking with Tonks and him about Quidditch. "You'll have to play as Xavier then," Tonks was saying. They had decided that it wouldn't be safe for Harry to be in public view for the summer. He was much too tempting a target for the death eaters at Quidditch matches and they didn't want to risk the lives of the spectators should the death eaters attach during a game.
"We'll just announce that you don't want to put the public at risk by playing. Then we will say that you gave your letter to my nephew to try out since he was coming to London and had just lost his family. We will have you try out as X and they will either give you the spot based upon your tryout or not." Remus told him.
"At least I'd get to play that way," Harry commented. "Then when this whole war is over it will be fun to announce that X was me all along!" The small family laughed and decided to head down to lunch together. "When you two get back from your honeymoon you will be expected to attend every one of my games."
"Getting ahead of yourself there Harry, you have to make the team first!" Tonks joked and ruffled his hair.
"Nah, I'm just practicing my superior X attitude. Did I sound like a cocky pro Quidditch player? I think it might be fun to give him an attitude like Malfoy used to have of smug superiority." Harry told them and Remus laughed.
"Why don't you just copy Sirius' personality? He was smug and superior as well as playful and funny. You might have more fun playing Padfoot than the alternative. Besides if you act like Malfoy used to there is no way anyone would believe you get along with your friends and that might make for awkward questions." Remus told his son.
"I can't believe the year is over!" Ron moaned. "It went by so fast. We'll be going back home tomorrow. What are you doing over the first two weeks Hermione?"
"I'm going to go visit my grandparents for a few days and spend some quality time with my parents. I never get to see them anymore since I spend so much time in the magical world. Oliver is going to visit for a few days as well," She said blushing. They had been writing back and forth since the match and she didn't know when she would see him outside of Quidditch matches so she invited him to stay for a few days. "I don't think I'll have much time to spend with him over the summer with all my research and his Quidditch schedule so we thought a few days at my parents would be the only chance we get alone."
"What did your parents have to say about that?" Harry asked her surprised she would invite a wizard to her muggle parents house.
"They were hesitant to let him stay but I explained how busy I would be with professor Snape all summer and they gave in. I think my dad just wants to interrogate him and my mum is just happy I'll be spending any time at home." Hermione told them.
"So are you going to show him your room?" Ginny asked wiggling her eyebrows suggestively.
"Gin!" Hermione said scandalized. "You know I'm not that kind of girl, honestly I think you and Harry are the ones we should worry about!"
"Hey! Ron is having Susan over as well so we should at least include him in this torture secession." Harry commented. "The way those two are joined at the lips all the time they might be the ones we need to worry about." They looked over to where Ron was sitting at the Hufflepuff table with his arm around Susan.
"At least he's happy." Hermione commented with a grin. "He was always upset that I didn't want him pawing me in public. She doesn't seem to mind his hands all over her!" They all laughed at that and finished their lunch and headed outside to enjoy their last day at Hogwarts for the year.
"Are you going to miss me over the next two weeks?" Ginny asked him seductively as they sat under an oak tree near the lake. Hermione was talking with Neville about some sort of hybrid flower so they didn't have to worry about being overheard. "I'm glad you have your own room at headquarters now, we won't have to worry about Ron catching us."
Harry grinned at her suggestive terms and leaned to whisper in her ear, "What would he be catching us doing my love?"
"Anything you want..." she said shyly and kissed him gently. "I love you Harry and I'm not worried about holding back any longer." They had gotten carried away in their snogging sessions a few times and had to give themselves mental cold showers to keep from doing anything they weren't ready for. They had gotten to third base and had been there for some time. Harry knew he loved Ginny and would wait forever until she was ready. He had never even mentioned going farther to her. He was shocked that she thought she was ready. They were both going to be 17 soon and he had determined he wouldn't touch her like that until she was at least of age.
"I love you too Ginny, but I'm not in a hurry. I won't take you until at least your birthday. I love you too much to rush you." He said as she kissed him passionately for being so unlike all other guys who would jump at the chance. "You can come to my room any night you like. I have always wanted to sleep with my arms wrapped around you."
"Will you two knock it off, you're making Neville blush with all your touchy feely lovey dovey crap," Draco drawled as he and Gabrielle joined the group by the lake. "Afraid she'll forget about you over the summer Potter?"
Harry realized there were many other students around and Draco was making sure they all believed the cover story. Harry would be staying at Hogwarts with Dumbledore over the summer since Remus and Tonks were going on honeymoon. Draco was going to stay at headquarters as well since his mother was taking off for their villa in France like every summer and he didn't want to stay in the manor by himself. He would also help with all the research projects that were on going for the order.
The girls all disentangled from the group an hour and a half before dinner and hurried to the Gryffindor prefect dorm to get ready for the party. "I have to look good tonight; I'm not going to see Justin for over a month!" Hannah said as she flipped through the hairstyle and makeup book that Lavender and Pavarti had given Hermione for Christmas. The five girls were determined to turn heads tonight.
"I loved the looks on their faces at the party in the room of requirement and I want to make them all stare again." Ginny said with an almost Slytherin smirk. "Besides, its fun to see the boys almost drooling over us!"
Ginny decided that since she went in Slytherin colors last time she should knock them dead in Gryffindor colors tonight. She wore a sparkly gold halter top. It had a gold hoop around the neck that acted as the halter and the material attached to the hoop in the front at her neck. The shirt showed almost all of her back. She was wearing red Capri pants of Hermione's that they charmed to be covered in golden colored phoenixes. The outfit was complete with gold strappy sandals, red nail polish and red lipstick. Her hair was pulled off her face in a loose plait with gold ribbons braided in. She knew she would knock Harry dead in that outfit.
Luna's outfit was still odd but looked very good on her. She was wearing a multi layered skirt, the under layer was bright blue and the over layer was yellow with cut outs so you could see the blue beneath. Then she had on an off the shoulder purple satin shirt with a bright blue tank top under it in case the top shirt slipped down. She had her hair pulled back with a yellow cloth hair tie and her typical funky earrings.
Hannah was wearing tight jeans that hugged her figure in all the right places. She was more filled out that some of the other girls and was able to wear a rather revealing top. The top was a rosy pink color with a very deep v-neckline. It was a sleeveless top that was scrunched on the sides to give it flair and make it show off her flat stomach. There was a matching even deeper v-cut in the back with strands of pink beads draped across the opening. She had on pink stiletto heals that Hermione charmed to feel like they were tennis shoes.
Gabrielle was wearing a sundress made of a floatey material that swayed seductively when she walked. It was a pale lilac in color and looked great with her silver hair. She was wearing silver ballet flats and had her hair tied back simply with a purple ribbon and silver accessories. She borrowed Ginny's amethyst stud earrings to complete the outfit. She looked great without being too seductive. She had to be careful not to attract too much attention with her Veela good looks.
Hermione looked ravishing. She was decked out in black wearing a very tight asymmetrical black top that had one strap over her left shoulder only. The strap was wide but had been gathered together and held with a dragon broach. She also had a long silver chain with a dragon pendent hanging from it. She was wearing a tight black mini skirt with silver details in the form of dragons on each back pocket and a string of runes around the hem of the skirt. If anyone bothered to translate the runes they read 'Not just a bookworm'. She was wearing calf high black leather boots with a 4 inch heal she had charmed to feel like her bedroom slippers and a silver belly chain around her waist. She had long dangling silver earrings that looked like a string of scales and her hair was charmed into ringlets that cascaded down her back. She had charmed her nails longer and painted them black with silver stars and her make up gave her an overall shimmery look. The look was completed with silver bangle bracelets and a silver dragon ring. She was very pleased with her outfit as she had spent all day yesterday making it.
The girls headed down to the great hall for the leaving feast. The paused outside the doors to the hall and grinned at each other wondering what the reaction would be to their outfits. Dumbledore had allowed them not to wear their uniforms and they were taking advantage of it now to show off before the party. Luna opened the doors and Hermione lead the group of girls into the hall. They separated and headed to their house table enjoying the looks they were getting from the boys throughout the hall. Hermione and Ginny grinned at each other and sat down next to Harry at the table. Ron was sitting across from them with Neville. "Wow, you look incredible Hermione," Ron said while trying to close his gaping jaw. "You too Ginny but you really shouldn't be wearing such revealing clothing. Mum would kill you if she saw that outfit and I don't like the way the guys are staring at you."
"So it's ok for you not to be able to take your eyes off Hermione's chest but not ok for me to wear a shit with an open back. So you're telling me its fine for everyone but me?" Ginny said chillingly. Ron could be such an overbearing git at times. Hermione smirked at Ron knowing he had put his foot in it.
"That's not what I'm saying." Ron said trying to defend himself. "I just want you to be careful that no one tries to grope you or anything." Rob shrugged knowing he had lost before he had even really started. The girls were old enough to wear whatever they wanted, so he would just sit back and enjoy. "I wonder if Susan will dress up for the party." He said with a smile as they waited for Dumbledore's leaving speech.
Snape was sitting at the head table glaring out at the students who were all in casual dress. He wanted to curse the headmaster for allowing such a thing. The students all looked ridiculous in their attempt at fashion. He was sure he would have a headache from all the different colors before the feast was over. He watched the hall doors open again and the five girls walk in confidently. His mouth went dry as he took in Hermione and her outfit. She looked great in black, he actually liked the color black that's why he always wore it. She turned to say something to Hannah and he could see the outline of a silver dragon on her backside and there were silver runes along the front of the skirt. He was trying to get the notion of finding out what her skirt said out of his head. She was a student; he shouldn't look at her like that! He shook his head and tried to clear his head before Dumbledore could figure out who he was looking at.
"Well it has been another fine year at Hogwarts. We have had struggles as well as successes. It is my great joy to see the four houses coming together in unity to fight our most feared foe. To our 7th years we wish you the very best in your futures, may you always look back fondly on your memories of these halls. To the rest may you have an enjoyable summer full of fun and adventure? It is now time to award the house cup! In fourth place with 215 points is Slytherin. In 3rd place with 389 points is Ravenclaw. In 2nd place with 413 points is Hufflepuff. And in 1st place, winning the house cup with a record high of 732 points is Gryffindor!" The hall broke into applause for the Gryffindors. "Now let us begin our feast!" He said as the plates filled with food before them.
"How did your students manage to get 732 points?" grumbled Snape as he sat next to Minerva. He knew the answer though. They earned 300 points just for the ones that fought against the death eaters, not to mention the points they earned for winning the Quidditch Cup and all the points for academics. Now that Potter and company were all prefects they never lost any points for breaking school rules and there were no reasons for him to take off points in class since both Potter and Granger always came prepared.
"You're just upset because your house came in last this year. We all finish last once in a while Severus. You should be glad you have that many points with the number of students that defected out of your house to join the dark forces." Minerva told him as she helped herself to treacle tart.
The feast was wonderful but they were all glad when it ended. The fourth years and below headed back to their common rooms as the 5th, 6th and 7th years prepared to party late into the night in the great hall. They were given permission for the party and the prefects helped plan it. The teachers would be coming and going throughout the night to check for miss behavior but they were basically left to their own devices.
"Can I dance with you Hermione?" Sylvester from Slytherin asked her almost immediately. "You look absolutely beautiful tonight."
"Thank you Sylvester and I will dance with you, just so you know that I am seeing someone now and we can only be friends," She told the pushy Slytherin as he led her to the dance floor.
"Poor Hermione," Gabrielle chuckled as she saw Sylvester corner her for a dance. "She should have known better than to dress like that and not expect her fan club to go nuts!"
"She looks great tonight, I'm sure Wood would will be upset he missed it," Draco smirked. "I think I'll have to suggest that every Slytherin guy ask her to dance just to show what happens when she shows up dressed in dragons."
Hermione was busy that night dancing with any boy who asked, surprisingly almost every Slytherin male asked her to dance. "She doesn't seem to mind dancing with all the guys from Slytherin Draco," Gabrielle told him as they made their way to the punch bowl. "If you want to make her uncomfortable you'll have to try harder. All you're doing now is encouraging her. She's positive she looks great now that all you boys have drooled all over yourselves."
Draco got an evil grin on his face as he saw the perfect solution walk into the room to check on the students. "Professor Snape sir," Draco said approaching his mentor. "I have a request sir, you see Hermione has danced with every Slytherin here except you and me and I was hoping you would dance with her as well so I can say she danced with every Slytherin male."
"Why would I want to dance with a student? Let alone a Gryffindor student?" Snape smirked at the blond boy.
"Because she is decked out in silver dragons and dressed to kill and I wanted to teach her a lesson in playing with fire, sir." Draco said with a matching smirk. "Once you dance with her, I can dance with her and tell her why. Please sir," Draco whined knowing how much Snape hated whining.
"Shut up already Malfoy." Snape snapped as he made his was over to the stupid little chit his students had seemed to all fall for. Not that he could blame them though; even he wasn't immune to her charms, though he was loath to admit it. He grinned a feral grin and offered the girl his hand. "Would you care for a dance Miss Granger?"
Hermione was glad when she realized the only Slytherin left to dance with was Malfoy and she would be done with parade of serpent students. Then she saw Snape approach and knew she shouldn't have tempted fate with the dragon motif. The pesky Slytherins were awful protective of dragons and snakes. Snape asked her to dance in that velvety smooth voice of his and she took his hand as he led her to the dance floor. She was surprised by how warm his hand was, she had always imagined him to be cold. He placed his hand firmly on her lower back and grasped her hand commandingly before leading her gracefully around the floor. "You dance very well Professor," Hermione said with a small smile to her soon to be research partner.
"Classes are over for the year Hermione. We are now colleagues until they resume again. You may start calling me Severus as we will be spending so much time together." He told her without his usual sneer.
Hermione loved the sound of her name when he said it. The way it rolled off his tongue in that purr made her shiver. "I look forward to our research this summer Severus," she told him as he pulled her slightly closer at the sound of his name on her tongue. He had finally translated the runes on her skirt and smirked to himself.
"So if you are not just a bookworm, what else are you Hermione?" He purred into her ear as they danced. He knew she didn't expect anyone to translate the runes or she would have made it less provocative.
"Perhaps you shall find out this summer Severus," She told him with a smirk. "What fun would it be if I told you? It's always more interesting to figure it out for yourself." She was surprised she had the nerve to say such a thing to their normally snarky potions professor.
"I can tell you are more than what you seem. Most other women would be too scared to dance with every Slytherin in the school. Perhaps you wore those silver dragons just to see the reactions of the serpent house?" Snape said evenly just as the song ended. He released her and bowed to her regally.
"Thank you for the dance Severus. I shall see you at the wedding," She told him and headed over to her friends who were still looking at her strange for dancing with Snape. Snape hurried out of the hall before he was forced to dance with any other student. He had enjoyed the feel of the young Gryffindor in his arms and wanted to savor that feeling for the rest of the evening. He knew it was wrong, but it had been quite some time since he had last held a woman in his arms.
"Why were you dancing with Snape?" Ron asked as if she had done something truly disgusting. "Him and every other Slytherin in the school! If I didn't know better I'd say you had a thing for someone in that house!"
"Severus and I were just discussing our research project for the summer and the rest of them are asking me to dance because I'm wearing silver dragons. I think Malfoy put them up to it. It's ok though, I am enjoying the attention and they all dance quite well. Even Crabbe and Goyle avoided stepping on my feet." Hermione told them with a small laugh. Susan was looking at her like she had grown a second head and Harry and Ginny were smirking and Neville looked like he would be ill. "What?"
"You called him by his first name!" Ron said, "What's up with that?"
"He and I are working together all summer as colleagues, not as professor and student. Dumbledore asked that we refer to each other in less formal tones while we work this summer and Snape said that since classes were over we were to start now." Hermione told them all trying not to roll her eyes at the frightened look on Susan's face.
"Hermione, darling. You look absolutely ravishing tonight. It's no wonder Severus couldn't keep his hands off of you." Draco drawled from behind her. He had heard her explanation and decided to play with her a little. "I do hope he will be able to contain himself this summer as his room is next to mine and I'm a light sleeper." Hermione had turned around to face Draco when he arrived and could hear Susan gasp and knew Ron was glaring and Harry and Ginny laughing and Neville was probably trying to keep his dinner down.
"I've told you before Draco dear, I don't want Severus... I want you." Hermione purred with a smirk. "Come dance with me before that hussy you call your intended wants you back." She then pulled him to the dance floor and they danced closely together for show both laughing silently.
"That was a good showing Granger, I have to give you credit. Bones looked like she was going to pass out and I'm afraid Longbottom is going to have nightmares for years." Draco chuckled.
"It's a shame I didn't have time to insinuate a threesome with both of you, which should have put them in the hospital wing until next term started." Hermione laughed. "Did you really need to tell them all to dance with me? I did enjoy myself, but really Dragon!" Hermione and Ginny were both calling him Dragon as a nickname when they were alone with the boy as it was so appropriate.
"Did you pick out that outfit just for me then?" He asked her teasingly. Over the last two months they had gotten to be closer friends and he was looking forward to spending the summer hanging out with her.
"Well Ginny went Slytherin to the last party so I figured I should try it this time. Besides, I actually like dragons. I knew it would turn some heads so it made it even better. I plan on keeping the outfit and wearing it out to the club in Diagon Alley in a few weeks." She told him with a smile. "It should keep Oliver on his toes."
"He'll have to keep a tight hold on you or you'll be swept up by us Slytherins." Draco laughed. "Can Gabrielle and I come with you two to the club? I love to dance and promised I would take her this summer. My birthday isn't until August so we'll have to go with a fully qualified witch or wizard. What do you say, will you take us with you oh great witch?" Hermione laughed and promised they would all go out.
Dumbledore came in at midnight and told them to head to bed as the train was leaving right after breakfast. The prefect stayed to help the Head Girl and Boy clean up the hall and to have a last good bye with their head students. Hermione was not all that impressed with the way the Head Boy and Girl ran things this year and was determined that she would do a better job if she was awarded that honor. Plus she wouldn't mind her own room and bathroom!
Chapter 50: Train Ride Home
The four friends shared a cabin by themselves on the ride home as was tradition. Even Ron didn't seem to mind being separated from Susan for a few hours. She was going home with him to the Weasley's for the first week of the summer holiday and he was ecstatic. Ginny was upset that she wouldn't see Harry and Hermione for two weeks but Hermione reminded her she was going to visit Charlie for a week of it anyway and it wouldn't seem like long at all.
"I can't believe I'm going home. To my actual real home with my real family. Not to the Dursley's where I would be miserable, but home. It's an amazing feeling. I always used to think of Hogwarts as home, until now." Harry said with a huge grin and his arm draped around Ginny's shoulder.
They played exploding snap until the lunch trolley came and as usual Harry bought them their treats and they tucked in to the magical candies and cakes. "I'm going to miss the rest of the EDA that isn't in the order," Ginny commented. "It feels weird to keep secrets from them. I know we can trust Colin and Dennis and Hannah and Justin."
"I'm sure if they were of age Dumbledore would let them join, but as it is they are still living with their parents who have not idea what the Order is and we can't risk the fact that their parents may not be as trustworthy as they are." Harry told them with a shrug. "That's why I was surprised they talked to your parents about it Hermione. It wouldn't be something I would think they would disclose to muggles."
"I'm not sure what they told them actually. I wasn't there, Dumbledore went by himself and my parents haven't asked any questions. They ask about lots of things, but when it comes to the darker side of magic their curiosity runs out. I can't say I blame them. I wouldn't want to know about a curse than can kill me with two words I had not way to defend myself or my family. I'm sure my dad feels safer not knowing than knowing the whole story." Hermione added.
"What if he told them everything and they are just too scared to ask you about it?" Ginny asked her.
"I don't know but I have a feeling my mum wants to talk to me about some important thing the two weeks I'm there. She said that my grandma and she had been discussing my future and there are some things that I need to know about our family." Hermione said. "I'm kind of worried about that conversation since my grandparents don't know about me being a witch or anything about magic. They think Hogwarts is a boarding school for overachievers like me."
"Are you ever going to tell them about being a witch?" Ron asked. "Because they will need to know if you ever want them to come to your wedding. A wizarding hand fasting uses magic to join the couple."
"I have plenty of time to worry about that later. I still don't plan on getting married until I'm done with university." She told him with a laugh. "I know wizards traditionally marry young, but I have never been traditional in anything I've done, why start now?"
The were discussing all the things they wanted to do over the break They liked Hermione's idea of going to the dance club a few times. "That will be a lot of fun. Maybe we can go shopping for new club clothes in muggle London so we have new things to wear next year." Ginny said to Hermione.
"I'm not sure mum will let us go," Ron told them sadly. "You know how protective she is of us."
"We are fully qualified now Ron, she can't baby us too much if we can use magic outside of school. We get to get our apparating licensees as well! That should be a way cool test!" Ginny said excitedly.
"I'm actually going to get my license as soon as we get to London. I told my parents I wouldn't be home until late and that I had a ride home. I'll get my license and appartate home." Hermione told them all.
if you don't pass?" Ron asked her. "How will you get home
"Ron, when has Hermione ever got less than perfect on an exam?" Harry asked his friend. "She has read everything there is to know about the subject, there is no way she will fail. And even if she did, she could always call the Knight Bus."
"When are you going to get yours Harry?" She asked him with a big smile at his confidence in her abilities.
"Later this week with Remus, we have some last minutes wedding stuff to take care of and need to go to Diagon Alley so we'll just stop by the ministry first." Harry told her with a smile.
"I can't wait for the wedding. It's so exciting that they are getting married. It's weird to think they have been dating less than a year and are already getting married." Hermione said with a far off look on her face. She loved weddings.
"Why are you excited? You have to spend half the day hanging off of Snape! O still can't believe that Remus chose him to be his other attendant." Ron griped.
"Severus and Remus are friends Ronald. You see, some people are able to see around his 'bastard professor' mask and realize he is not a bad person. He just has to act like that to keep the death eaters fooled." Hermione told him sternly. "You better be nicer to him over the summer. If you go around being rude he's going to be in a bad mood and we won't get as much work done."
"How can you say that I'm being rude, he always takes points and gives detentions for no reason?" Ron said.
"Hermione's right Ron. Snape has been much more pleasant to us since Christmas. He and Harry are even getting along, why can't you just let the past go?" Ginny asked her brother. "Or are you still sore about Malfoy's comment from last night? You know he was just trying to bait Hermione. There is nothing going on between her and Snape!"
"What about the way he had his arms wrapped around her when they were dancing and he even whispered in her ear!" Ron yelled then looked to the floor when he realized he had been tricked into saying why he was mad at Snape. He couldn't look at Hermione, he knew she would be upset that he was jealous again.
"Ron, do you remember that talk we had after the party when we beat Slytherin?" Harry asked as Ron nodded yes. "We aren't going to have to have that talk again are we?" Ron shook his head no in defeat. He knew he was overreacting, but he still hated the thought of Hermione in another man's arms.
"I'm sorry Hermione, I'm a git. Please don't be mad." Ron said quietly without looking up.
Hermione put her arm around him and made him look at hr eyes. "Ron, I'm sorry if my being with Oliver upset you at the party. I never intended to hurt you, ever. You're my best friend and I love you like a brother." She paused to smile at him before continuing. "But I refuse to apologize for dancing with Severus. He and I are going to be spending an ungodly amount of time together this summer. We may be stuck in the lab sleeping in shifts for days. I do not EVER want to hear about you being jealous of him or insinuating there is something other than potions research being done. Are we clear?" She asked firmly.
"Yes, and I'm sorry. I will try my best." Ron said knowing he had gotten off luck that she didn't hex his private parts for insinuating there was something going on with her and Snape.
"Good, because if you don't and we play truth or dare again you'll be the one they will wonder if has feelings for the potions master. Not to mention that you'll hope Madame Pomfrey is visiting after I finish hexing you." Hermione said with a smile watching as the color drained from Ron's face.
Ginny broke the tense silence by giggling imagining Hermione hexing Ron in places not even Mrs. Weasley would be comfortable healing. They spent the rest of the trip playing cards and talking about all the adventures they had had that year.
When they got to King's Cross station they piled off the train. Hermione was sending Crookshanks with Harry and Remus since she was only going to be at her parents for two weeks and Crooks hated to travel. She shrunk her trunk and put it in her pocket before helping the others with their stuff.
"Hello Hermione dear," Mrs. Weasley said giving Hermione a big motherly hug. "Have a good time with your parents and send my regards."
"Sure Mrs. Weasley, I'll see you in a couple of weeks at the wedding." Hermione smiled as she hurried off to say good bye to her friends. Harry and Remus were standing by Tonks so Hermione hurried over to leave them her cat. "Thanks for taking Crookshanks," she told Tonks who was petting her familiar hello. "He hates lots of traveling so there is no point taking him home just for two weeks."
"No problem, I bet he misses being at headquarters anyway. It's almost as much fun for a cat as Hogwarts." Tonks said as they got ready to leave. They were taking a portkey and it would activate in a few minutes.
"See you all in a few weeks!" Hermione called with a smile as they disappeared. She then hurried out to hail a cab to take her close to the phone booth entrance to the ministry of magic.
"Hello Susan, it is nice to finally meet you. We are glad you were able to stay for a while." Mrs. Weasley said trying to put the girl at ease. "Come along now, we need to get back so I can get dinner ready before your father gets home."
They all left for the burrow using the floo. Susan didn't know what to make of the burrow. Ron had tried to explain it to her but she still couldn't imagine that the minister of magic would live in anything other than a mansion, yet here she was.
"Come on Susan, I'll show you to your room. You get Percy's room since he is still a git." Ginny said and drug the other girl up the stairs.
Draco and Gabrielle were heading to Malfoy manor for a week before Draco's mother took off for France. They took the floo and were quickly greeted by the house elves that relieved them of their baggage. "Come on, I'll show you to your room. I made sure to put you right down the hall from me in case you need anything in the middle of the night. Just so you know, my mother's room is on the other side of the manor." Draco said with a wink as they headed up the stairs. "We'll join my mother for dinner later."
"Thank you for inviting me Draco," Gabrielle said sweetly. She knew that they would either fall in love or end up disliking each other after living so closely this summer. She was fairly certain she was already half way in love with him, but she was afraid of that as well.
"Anything for you my love," Draco said kissing her soundly before opening her door to show her the beautiful room he had set up for her.
"Welcome home Harry," Remus said when they appeared in the sitting room.
"Thanks dad, it feels great to be here finally." Harry said as he hugged the only father he had ever known. "I'm glad my family is finally going to be together," he said pulling Tonks into the hug as the small family enjoyed each others company for a while before heading off to unpack.
Harry looked around the room that had once belonged to his godfather and smiled at the photo of Remus, Sirius and his father on his dresser. "Yes, I am finally home."
Will be continued as a separate story for the summer and the gang's 7th year.