"Goodbye for now. So long, I think the hardest part of holding on is letting go."
-P.O.D., "Goodbye For Now"
Madam Pomfrey wrapped Harry's arms tourniquets, even though they had stopped bleeding hours ago. She said there was some sort of medicine in the fabric to further heal the wounds.
After Madam Pomfrey went to tend to Ron, Harry decided to talk to Draco. There was something he wanted to ask him about, which had happened last night that he didn't fully understand.
Harry pulled back the curtains to where Draco was. He was awake reading a letter, which was most likely from his father. When Harry walked in, Draco put his index finger up to signal that he wasn't done reading. He soon folded the parchment and just held it in his right hand.
"How's your leg?" asked Harry, as he stood near the bed.
"Much better, now that I don't feel any pain," said Draco with a smile, but he continued more seriously, "Thanks for pulling me out of there."
"What, you thought I was going to leave you there? If I had left, you would've died with all those rocks falling," said Harry, somewhat casually yet somewhat seriously.
"Yeah, well. I thought a thanks was in order. You…err…you saved my life," said Draco, looking down. Harry knew Draco hadn't really wanted to say Harry had saved him.
"Oh, I would hardly call it saving your life," said Harry.
Draco just shrugged. "Anyway, what happened after you went into the room with Quirrel? Snape wouldn't tell me anything."
Harry told him what happened. How it had been Quirrel that wanted the stone, not Snape. "Told you," said Draco with pride. "I knew he wasn't the type to want to live forever." Harry continued finishing the story about how Voldemort left, as if he were air.
Though, Harry left out the part about how Voldemort had told him they could have power together.
There was a moment of silence and then Harry said, "Well…I wanted to ask you something."
"Why did you help me when Weasley was in trouble? I know you hate him," Harry stated plainly, looking at Draco.
Draco sighed at hearing the question. "Harry, I know he's your friend. You don't have to pretend by calling him by his surname," said Draco bitterly. "Besides, you would have jinxed me if I didn't help him."
Harry nodded and half-chuckled. "Probably."
They talked for a while about nothing in particular until Madam Pomfrey found Harry there and told him to go back to his bed. She said she would come to checkup on him in a few minutes.
Harry got up from the edge of the bed and pulled open the curtain just enough to get through. As he exited, a man was walking by, and Harry bumped into him. The man in a black robe winced in pain, gripping his arm tightly.
"Sorry!" Harry exclaimed to the man, who turned. It was Snape. "Oh."
Snape tightened his grip on his arm and walked away, without even giving Harry a reproachful look. Harry stood there, watching as Snape swiftly walked away, until he finally decided he wanted to lie down in his bed.
As Harry stared at the ceiling, he heard the curtain ruffle slightly, and he lifted his head to see Dumbledore standing at the edge of his bed. He sat up completely and Dumbledore sat at the edge of his bed. "Hello, Harry," he said peacefully.
Harry gave him a small smile before saying, "Professor, I was meaning to ask you what happened earlier with Greyback. I know now that it was Quirrel, who told him to come. Was anyone hurt?"
"Greyback is no longer a threat. He was arrested and taken to prison. There were a few injuries, but no one is going to become a werewolf. The school is lucky to have careful teachers, teachers that can take care of such a situation. I'm just sorry I was absent," said Dumbledore.
"There was no way you could have known, Professor," said Harry.
"That's true," said Dumbledore. "Professor Snape told me what happened while down the trap door, Harry. That Voldemort was living off of Professor Quirrel. But he told me that there was a time when he was unconscious. I need you to tell me what happened."
Harry told Dumbledore what happened, leaving off saying, "Voldemort left, saying he would be back."
"I have no doubt that he will be back. When, I do not know. But he will be back, Harry."
"Professor, how is it I was able to burn Quirrel?" Harry asked curiously.
"You weren't able to burn Quirrel, you were able to burn Voldemort. Voldemort has never been able to touch you after the night you got your scar because of what your mother did. She sacrificed herself for you, Harry. Because of that you're still alive."
There was silence until Harry thought of another question. "Earlier I bumped into Snape—"
"Professor Snape," corrected Dumbledore.
"I bumped into Professor Snape, but he didn't turn to me or say anything. He just walked away."
"Your wondering why there was no remark from him?" said Dumbledore. "I'm guessing that he didn't like being hit with a spell in front of a student and knocked unconscious. And the fact that you were able to bring him out of the room to safety while he was unconscious, which I told him about, didn't help. He's bothered that it wasn't him saving you."
"I see," said Harry as he thought about what had happened just hours before.
Dumbledore moved to make himself more comfortable on the edge of Harry's bed. Harry looked up at Dumbledore, who was looking at him calmly.
"There's something I want to talk to you about, Harry," said his headmaster. "The Mirror of Erised. I know that before last night you hadn't seen it in months, but I want to talk to you about what you say in it all those months ago. You told me you saw your parents and that it would suddenly switch to an older version of you. A more powerful version of you."
Dumbledore was peering at him, almost unblinkingly from behind his spectacles. "I never really had a chance to speak to you about why it is you saw such a thing. Do you know why you saw the two blurry images in the mirror, Harry?"
"Not really, sir," said Harry truthfully. "I know that the mirror shows my desires, but I don't know why there was two."
"There was two because it seems you have conflicting desires about what it is you truly want," said Dumbledore. "On one hand, you have the desire to see your parents again. But on the other, you have the desire for…power."
At the word 'power,' Harry looked away from Dumbledore. Instead he stared at the blanket that was covering his legs.
"Those two desires are both great, I'm guessing, in your mind. Neither one being in higher esteem than the other. For now that may be true, but in time I'm sure that will change. I just hope you chose the right path, Harry. Perhaps I should leave you with that," said Dumbledore as he got up from Harry's hospital bed.
He looked up at his professor, who didn't look angry or bothered by Harry's desire for power or the confliction in his mind. But Harry could have sworn he saw something in Dumbledore's face that showed a certain untrustworthiness of Harry, but it was quickly gone. Harry could feel an indivisible barrier that was slowly coming up between himself and Dumbledore.
Maybe Dumbledore won't trust him anymore because of what he knows about Harry. Dumbledore was a truly great man and headmaster, and Harry was saddened by the thought that something like this could hinder their friendship of teacher and pupil.
"Good day to you, Harry. Feel better," said his headmaster with a small smile. But before Dumbledore left, he turned back and asked, "What happened to the Sorcerer's Stone?"
"Well…I threw it against the Mirror of Erised. They both shattered. I don't think either of them should be around people," said Harry.
"Wise idea," said Dumbledore.
"Professor, what did you see in the Mirror of Erised?" Harry asked curiously.
"Myself putting on socks. I never get socks. It's always books," said Dumbledore with a warm smile, a twinkle in his eyes.
The school was as close to normal as it could get after having Fenrir Greyback in the castle and four students going down the forbidden trapdoor. It seems the whole school found out about them going in the forbidden corridor less than twenty-four hours after.
Two days later, when Draco had been released from the Hospital Wing, he could be found in the Great Hall, telling Parkinson about how they almost had to amputate his leg. Harry could hear her gasping, and he started to laugh. Draco turned to him, "You don't mind if I leave out the part about you saving me, right?"
"If you tell a story, you should tell the whole thing. I'm the hero of this story," said Harry jokingly.
"We'll see," Draco said before he turned away.
The other Slytherin's had been almost outraged that Harry and Draco had associated with Gryffindors, especially a "mudblood" and a "blood traitor." A couple days after going down the trapdoor, a fifth year Slytherin boy had even jinxed him and Draco, thinking it funny that they had the word 'GRYFFERIN' written largely on their forehead in red to green letters. The boy and his friends laughed annoying afterwards and said they were Gryffindor-lovers. Draco got really angry, and attempted to Stun the boy, but missed. They went to Madam Pomfrey for half the day, so that no one would see them.
With the last month of school as the weeks of exams, Harry spent most of his time studying with Draco and Blaise. For hours on end, they could be found in the Common Room looking through a year's worth of notes. The last month was tedious, and the exam hours went slowly.
At the last dinner at Hogwarts, Dumbledore told the school that Slytherin had won the Quidditch Cup – the Slytherin table cheered loudly – but the House Cup had gone to Gryffindor – Slytherin glared at the Gryffindors, who were now yelling in happiness.
June 30th came around, and Harry was taking one long look at the Slytherin common room before he had to leave. Draco and the others had already left with their bags and were making their way down to the Hogwarts Express. But he didn't want to leave. Leaving Hogwarts would mean going to the Dursley's and he wasn't ready to do that just yet.
Just then, Harry remembered his Conglomerate Stone. Quickly, he fetched it out of his trunk and held it in his hand as he took out his wand. He looked at the different colors, but only green seemed the most suitable since it was the Slytherin common room.
He tapped his wand to the transparent stone as he said, "Slytherin common room!" The green stone became instantly opaque. He stowed the stone back in his trunk and put away his wand before he finally walked out of the common room.
Before long, Harry, Draco, Blaise, Crabbe, and Goyle were sitting in a Hogwarts Express compartment, waiting for the train to start. Harry was sitting near the window when Hagrid tapped on it and nodded for him to go to the train door.
"I'll be right back," said Harry as he got up and walked out. He met Hagrid at the door, who was holding a large, red photo album. /p
"This is fer yeh, Harry," said Hagrid, handing him the large book. "Pictures of yer mum and dad…and some friends. Have a good summer, Harry. See yeh next year."
Steam began to billow from the front of the train and a large hooting sound filled the area. "See you, Hagrid. Thank you." Harry went back into the compartment, holding the photo album.
"What're you holding, Harry?" asked Blaise.
"Photo album," Harry replied as he sat down.
Another loud hooting sounded and they all felt the train begin to move into a steady pace. It would be hours before they reached Platform 9 ¾. As the hours past, the blue sky outside turned into darkness as Harry and the others talked about plans for the summer break and played some games before they had to say goodbye.
Eventually, the Hogwarts Express came to a loud stop. Harry got his trunk, saying goodbye to his friends. As he walked into the station, Harry saw Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia, and Dudley waiting for him, looking resentful since they had to have Harry back for the summer.
Draco followed him out to the station since he was looking for his father. Draco waved to him. Harry said, "Goodbye…for now."
A/N: So sad that we must part. Anyway, did you love it? Hate it? Don't want to read the six next sequels? Or can't wait for the sequels to be up? Please tell me/p p By the way, "A Different Road II: Influence of a Diary" will up in a couple weeks. Sorry for the wait. I thought I would give people a chance to finish the first one before moving onto the second. If I'm one of your favorite authors then you'll get an email saying that I put up a new story. If not then check the Alternative Universe category later.
Thank you all so much for reading my story! Thank you to those who constantly reviewed and gave me feedback whether it was good or bad. I sincerely hope that you all read the sequel, which will be up soon. And then read the ones after that since there will be more. Thank you again! Yours truly, Sara