A/N: Sorry this has taken forever to get out. Life can really get in the way sometimes. Anyway, please read and review. Even just a few words would make my day!
The next morning, Hermione was awakened by Dobby.
"Hermione Granger! Time to get up!"
"I'm up Dobby, I'm up," she replied. She quietly retrieved her things and headed to the bathroom to get ready.
When she returned, she found Dobby playing with Harry's train.
"Thanks again for this, Dobby. Be careful with magic today, I don't know how Harry will react to it since he's not eleven yet. But if he starts making things happen, then don't worry about it. Give him a bite of breakfast when he wakes up and some lunch around 12. I'll be back around 10 to check on him and then I'll be back for the day at 2. Oh, I forgot to get him some toys, so if he wants something, conjure it, but don't completely spoil him. And if you need me, come get me at class."
"No problem, Hermione Granger. Have a good day," Dobby said.
"You too, Dobby." She peeked into Harry's bed. He was fast asleep and a good bit bigger than when he went to bed. She kissed his scar again and left.
When she returned at 10, Harry was napping as he had woke up shortly after she left.
When she returned again at 2, she found the room overrun with toys.
"Dobby! What's all this?" she cried.
"Hermione Granger said to give Harry Potter toys, so Dobby did," the house elf replied.
"But I also said 'don't spoil!'"
"Dobby didn't spoil. Harry Potter was a wonderful child today! Besides," Dobby whispered, "Harry Potter made a teddy bear come to him today."
Hermione paused. She had a feeling that Harry would be performing unknown magic.
"Did he realize it?" she asked.
"Dobby is not sure, but little Harry Potter was not frightened when Dobby made the airplane appear."
"Hi, Hermione!" Harry said as he ran to her and gave her a hug.
"Hey there, kiddo." 'Hmm, calling me Hermione now. I'm guessing he should be around 7 already,' she thought.
"How was your day?" she asked.
"It was great! Dobby can just make toys appear from nowhere! He's fun!"
"Did you say thank you for all this?"
"Yes I did! And I let Dobby play with whatever he wanted to."
"Tis true, Hermione Granger. Harry said please and thank you for everything here!" Dobby said.
"Well, ok. I'll start my homework now before dinner," Hermione said, sitting at the desk.
"Dobby must go and help with dinner."
"That's fine, Dobby. Thanks again!" Hermione said.
"Bye, Dobby. Thanks for a great day!" Harry said, high-fiving Dobby.
"Harry Potter is more than welcome!" Dobby said before disappearing.
"So, you had fun today?" Hermione asked.
"Oh yeah. Dobby's really cool. 'Course, so are you, Mione," Harry replied.
Hermione began to wish older Harry could act like younger Harry.
"Well, thank you, Harry."
Hermione sat down and began to write a letter. She could only hope that this surprise would work out. She'd been planning it all day.
Just then, Hedwig flew in through the open window.
"Wicked! That's such a pretty owl!" Harry exclaimed as the bird landed on the desk.
"Hedwig, how do you always know?" Hermione asked as she carefully tied the letter to the snowy owl's leg. She noticed Harry's curious expression and outstretched her arm for Hedwig to perch on. "Harry, this is Hedwig. Would you like to pet her?"
"Yeah!" Harry said as he tentatively reached out for the owl's head. Hedwig hooted happily and playfully nipped at Harry. Rather than becoming frightened, Harry smiled brightly. "I think she likes me!"
"Yeah, I think she does," Hermione agreed. "Would you like to hold her?"
Harry nodded and Hermione held out his arm. Hedwig scooted onto it and perched with content.
After a minute, Hermione realized that she needed that letter to be sent. "Ok, Hedwig, I think you know where that letter should go."
The owl bobbed her head and took off through the window.
"Ok, Harry, can you just play there while I work on my homework till dinner?"
By the time dinner rolled around, Harry was asleep.
'Hmm, Dobby must have worn him out. I'll just slip out to grab some dinner for us,' Hermione thought. However, when she returned, she found Harry crying on the bed.
"Harry! What's wrong?"
"Hermione! You came back!" he said, running to her and hugging her tightly.
"Of course I came back. Why on earth wouldn't I?"
"I don't know. I just have this feeling of always being left alone."
Hermione was glad the Dursleys weren't there; otherwise she might have hexed them into next week.
"Harry, never worry about being alone again. You'll always have me, ok? I just popped out to get some dinner," Hermione said as she showed him the food.
"Ok," Harry said softly as he reached for the food.
"Tomorrow, I'll have a surprise for you," Hermione said.
"If I told you, it wouldn't be a surprise! You'll just have to wait until tomorrow," she said, hoping that the "you're a wizard, Harry" conversation would go well. But she realized that telling him might not be so bad since Dobby had already (apparently) introduced him to some magic.
"Oh, ok. Mione? Thanks for taking care of me," Harry said.
"You're very welcome. What are best friends for?"
Harry smiled and Hermione knew that older Harry was just below the surface. 'Of course Harry would be able to fight some of the spell off. He's Harry for Merlin's sake. And it's just one day to go. We'll have you back to normal in just a little over a day,' she thought.
"Ok, after dinner, time for a bath and then bed."
"Ok," Harry said while devouring his food.
After dinner, Harry willingly got his bath and got into bed.
"I love you."
Hermione's heart jumped. It was difficult to tell whom this was coming from. 9-year-old Harry or 16-year-old Harry trying to break through.
"I love you, too, Harry." She bent down and kissed his scar. "Good night, kiddo," she said as she pulled the curtains on the bed.
Hermione went to bed hoping that telling Harry about magic would go well.
The next day, Hermione decided to take off from classes to take some time with Harry and his magic.
'Today, wand work. Tomorrow, flying. He'll kill me if I don't get him ready for the Quidditch final,' she thought.
When Harry woke up, she couldn't believe how much he had grown.
"Harry, how old are you?" she asked.
"Eleven. Mione, are you feeling ok?"
'Hmm, I'm not sure if the process is going at a constant rate. Seems to speed up and slow down. Biology and magic meet. Boys grow at a weird rate in these years,' she thought. 'This may be a great learning experience in the end.'
"Well, that's great. I don't have to wait to explain things to you. I have part of your surprise!" She produced a copy of the letter he received from Hagrid when he was 11 (the first time).
"Dear Mr. Potter. We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry," he read aloud. "Mione? Witchcraft and wizardry?"
"Yep, there's your surprise. You're a wizard, Harry. You're mum was a witch and your dad was a wizard and you are just as magical as the both of them."
She stared deeply into the emerald green eyes she remembered from the first time she met him on the Hogwarts Express. He seemed to be processing the information well.
"A wizard. So, that makes you a witch, if you go to school here as well," Harry said.
"Everyone that goes to school here is magical. We have wands and ride brooms and everything."
"I have a wand?" he asked incredulously.
"Of course you do! And a racing broom as well. But we'll leave flying for later. For now, let's go over some simple spells," she said as she dug through his things to find his wand.
"Ah-ha! Here it is. Now, let's begin," she said as she handed him his wand and a textbook as well.
For the rest of the day, Harry and Hermione practiced spells and charms, pausing only for food. After dinner, Hermione noticed how big Harry had gotten again.
"How old are you now?" she asked.
"Almost thirteen. Why do you keep asking?
"No reason." She couldn't believe it. Tomorrow, Harry would be 16 again and all would be right. Though, she would miss the "I love you's" every night.
"You've gotten really excellent with your magic, Harry. I always knew you were a natural. I'm very proud of you."
"Thanks, Mione. It doesn't hurt to have a great teacher," he said with a blush.
Hermione blushed as well. "Well, I guess I can't shuffle you off to bed tonight. But still, I think you should wash up and get to bed anyway. Big day of flying ahead of us. I have another surprise for you, too."
"Ok. Be back soon!" he said as he headed for the bathroom.
Hermione got ready for bed while he was gone. All the while, she kept thinking of how things would be different since she saw this super vulnerable side of Harry. She certainly didn't think any less of him; quite the opposite, really. But would he look at her differently?
While he was gone, Hedwig flew back into the room. Hermione opened the letter and smiled. "Brilliant," she said happily.
"What's brilliant?" Harry asked as he returned.
"The second part of your surprise," she said.
"Ooh, what's that?"
"You'll know tomorrow, so get into bed."
"Ok, ok," he muttered and climbed into bed. "Well?" he asked.
"Well, what?" she replied.
"Our routine. You kiss my scar and I go straight to sleep."
"Harry Potter. You're almost 13 years old. You don't need me to kiss your scar to fall asleep."
"But when you didn't before some of my naps, I had nightmares. I slept so well when you kissed my scar."
"Ok, ok. Anything for the famous Harry Potter," she said kiddingly as she walked over to his bed and kissed his scar. "Better?"
"Much. G'night, Mione. Love ya," he said as he drifted off to sleep.
"Good night, Harry. I love you, too," she whispered as she crawled into her own bed and dreamed of what could be.
The next morning, 14-year-old Harry leaped onto Hermione's bed, early in the morning.
"Mione! Where's my surprise? Are we going flying?"
"Great. Now you get up early," she muttered. "You're surprise isn't here yet. You'll have to wait."
"Not here yet? You said I have a broom!"
"And you do. But I can't be the one to teach you to fly or play Quidditch."
Harry looked at her with questions in his green eyes.
"Ok, ok. Your surprise is that Sirius is coming to teach you to fly. I got his reply last night."
"Sirius? Really! Yes! I haven't seen him in forever!"
Hermione wasn't sure if Harry would remember Sirius, but apparently, he did. This memory thing sure was selective. He only seemed to remember Dumbledore, Sirius and herself.
"Yes, Sirius is coming over with breakfast, so settle down while I go get a shower," Hermione said as she dragged herself from the bed and to the bathroom.
When she returned, she found Sirius and Harry sitting on the bed, eating and talking.
"Hey, Hermione! I'm just getting caught up with our Harry here," Sirius said.
"I see that," she replied. This was all part of her plan. Harry would have a father figure teach him to fly and how to play Quidditch. And Sirius would gain back some of the time with Harry that he lost.
"Mione, are you coming out with us?" Harry asked excitedly.
"I wouldn't dream of letting you two go out there unsupervised. Of course I'll be there."
"Harry, why don't you go change into your Quidditch robes? They're the red ones in your closet," Sirius said.
"Ok, I'll be right back!" Harry said, running to the closet and tearing out of the room to change.
"Hermione, how are you holding up?" Sirius asked once Harry was gone.
"I'm ok. The last few days were hard. But I'd do anything for him."
"I know that. And I think he does too. He's really glad you were here for him."
"Did you guys talk about it?"
"Only briefly," Sirius admitted. "But I can just tell. I think there may be more than friendship there for him, but he's scared of it."
"So am I," she whispered.
"I know you both are. Look, if there's one thing Lily and James would want, it would be for their baby boy to be happy with someone wonderful. I think that someone could be you, Hermione. Maybe this week was the best thing that could happen to either of you."
"Maybe," Hermione said softly.
"Hermione, don't worry. Things will work out. I can tell that our little hormonal teenager has some feelings for you," Sirius said with a sly tone.
"Hormones!" Hermione shrieked. "I forgot about those! Sirius, you've got to help me!"
Sirius gave her a confused look.
"I cannot explain certain things to a hormonal teenage boy. If he's got questions, you've got to answer them!"
"Hermione, we've already covered that ground. What do you think we were talking about when you were in the shower?"
She got a scared look on her face.
"Well, not of you in the shower," Sirius said quickly. "But I know he's confused right now. Don't worry, I'll help him. For generations, fathers and sons have bonded like this over Quidditch."
"I'm just glad he has someone through these years."
"I wish James could have been here for either time, but I am proud to help."
Harry burst through the door then and almost carried Sirius and Hermione to the Quidditch Pitch.
After only a few hours, Harry had completely mastered flying and the basics of Quidditch. Now it was time to put him through his paces as a Seeker.
Hermione almost had to cover her eyes as she watched Harry dive for the Snitches. Sirius wasn't bad on a broom and she was glad he was teaching Harry and not her.
She got very curious during the times where Harry and Sirius would take a break from flying and just hover in the air, seemingly talking. 'Thank God, Sirius is here,' she thought.
Once it was time for dinner, the three headed back to the castle, quite sure that Harry (who was almost 16 again) would be ready for the next day's Quidditch final.
Sirius ate with them and then excused himself, saying that he wanted to explore the old castle alone (with a casual wink to Hermione). But he promised to be in the stands for the game the next day.
Harry and Hermione headed back to "their room" for the last time. Hermione was almost sorry to see the time end.
"Mione, I never really got a chance to thank you for all you've done these last few days. I know you hated sacrificing class time, and that means a lot to me."
"Harry, I'd do anything for you. Don't worry about it."
"So, do you think I'm ready for tomorrow?"
"I know you are! Harry, you have been a great flier since the first time you rode a broom. If anyone can kick Slytherin's ass tomorrow, it's you!"
Harry seemed a bit shocked by Hermione's outburst, but proudly thought that she was only like that because of her pride for him.
"You're more than welcome, Harry. Now, go get washed up and get to bed! Tomorrow's a big day!"
Harry said nothing. Hermione, slightly concerned, looked deep into his eyes and saw something different. She gasped.
"You definitely can't push me around now, Mione. Guess who's back?"
"Harry? You're back?"
"All 16 years, present and accounted for."
Hermione hugged him tighter than she ever had. It was so good to have him completely back.
"I missed you," she said, sobbing into his chest.
"I know. I'm really sorry. But I'm back and we're gonna take Slytherin down tomorrow, right?"
"Right," she mumbled. "But for now, get going and take that bath!" she said in her bossiest tone.
"Yes, ma'am!" he said with a mock salute and left for the bathroom.
Hermione changed and waited for him to return. When he did, he crawled under the covers and stared at her.
"Kiss?" she asked nervously.
"Of course," he said with that grin that made her melt.
She crossed the room and gently placed her lips to his scar, knowing it would be the last time. She waited for the words she'd grown used to hearing, but they never came.
She went to her own bed, drew the curtains and willed herself to sleep before the tears could come.
The next morning, Harry woke Hermione and told her not to be late to the match.
"I wouldn't dream of it. Good luck!" she called as he left. Once she got the will to get out of bed, she hurriedly got ready and ran to the Pitch.
As predicted, Gryffindor wiped the floor with Slytherin, 250 – 30, as the entire team was fired up at the sabotage technique used by the opposing team. The victory wasn't as sweet though as Draco Malfoy didn't play. He was banned from the game for his trick played in Potions.
After the game, Hermione waited for Harry like she always did, but she didn't get a "we kicked Slytherin's butt" hug from him. 'I guess things are different now,' she thought sadly.
Then, Harry asked Hermione back to "their room."
"I thought Dumbledore was going to get rid of it once you were better," Hermione said as he shut the door behind them.
"He's still going to. But I asked him to keep it just a little longer so I could get some well-deserved, quiet rest."
"I see," she replied.
"Hermione. I need to ask you a favor."
"Will you kiss my scar again? That way, I'll sleep well," he said.
She tried to hide the pain of fulfilling his request. "Of course I will, Harry," she said as she leaned towards him. However, as she began to lean in, he began to sit up and caught her mouth with his.
Hermione's eyes flew open as the reality of what was happening hit her like a ton of Quaffles. But when Harry put his hand behind her head, she knew it was no accident and began to enjoy her and Harry's first kiss.
When the kiss ended, they both laid back onto the bed.
"I was serious, you know. I do want to take a nap, so I didn't lie to Dumbledore. And I don't want any nightmares, so I didn't lie to you. Will you kiss my scar one last time?"
"Of course," she said as she softly kissed his forehead. When she snuggled back into his arms, it happened.
"I love you, Hermione Granger. And I mean it this time," he whispered.
"And I love you, Harry Potter. And I always have," she replied as they both drifted off to sleep.