Disclaimer: Do not own Harry Potter

Chapter 1

Once again, a year at Hogwarts had come to an end, and Harry Potter found himself on the Hogwarts Express, returning to Kings Cross Station. It would be the sixth time Harry had made the journey away from the beloved home he had found in Hogwarts, but it would be the first time he did not long to return.

He leaned his head against the cool glass window of the rear compartment of the train and let the vibrations of the glass soothe his aching mind. It had been a tremulous year, which had ultimately brought the demise of Voldemort, but for Harry it was at too high a cost. Countless Aurors, students, and professors had lost their lives in order for Harry to win the war. Dumbledore, Hagrid, Sprout, Ginny, Seamus, Neville, Cho, Susan, the Creevys, and countless more had made the ultimate sacrifice. Sure, it was exciting to think that he could finish his time at Hogwarts without the threat of Voldemort hanging over his head. However, he knew the magic of Hogwarts was in the people, and he knew that the old school would never be the same.

Tired of his current train of thought, Harry stole a glance across the compartment at his two best friends Ron Weasly and Hermione Granger. Currently, they sat in comfortable silence with her head resting lightly on Ron's chest and his arm snaked around her shoulder in a comforting gesture. Whether it was the constant battles or the harsh reality of death, Harry found that the war had ended their squabbles, and he was extremely grateful for it. They had both changed and matured in the past year, of course Ron having the farthest to travel on that road. Ron had seemed to acquire an easy confidence and edge that helped to balance his often exasperating goofiness, which had inspired many in the several battles that had occurred in the past year. Hermione on the other hand seemed to soften as the year progressed, and he found her newfound patience and understanding toward him and others, especially Ron, extremely beneficial. Changed or not, he was just thankful they had both escaped the war with their lives. Continuing to subtly watch them, he saw Ron whisper something to Hermione. He then noticed her eyes quickly slid from Ron to himself then back to Ron. She then gave a discreet nod, which earned a smile from the red-headed boy who then gave her shoulders a quick squeeze. Breathing a sigh of relief at their continuing amicability, Harry once again resumed his previous activity and was quickly subdued by the vibrations of the glass.

As the train came to a stop, Harry pretended not to notice, content with just sitting there, his head against the window. He mentally willed Ron and Hermione to simply leave him, not in the mood for the awkward farewell chit-chat. As he resolutely kept his head upon the glass, he heard them both begin to move about and make towards the compartment door. He then heard a distinct pause; they probably figured out that he wasn't leaving with them. He then heard the opening of the compartment door, and then the immediate trampling of feet and the gushing voices in the corridor invade the compartment. However, above the rumble he heard Hermione whisper to Ron to go on without her. Grimacing to himself at her decision to stay behind, he heard the swish of the compartment door closing and felt the weight of a body in the seat next to him.

Refusing to acknowledge her presence, he continued to stare out the window. Clueing in to the fact that he would not be opening up the dialogue between them she tentatively began the discourse.

"Harry, I just wanted you to know that Ron and I are here for you, and that there is nothing that you can't share with us." With still no sign of intelligence radiating from Harry her patience began to wear thin, "We care about you Harry. That's what friends do. They share each other's burdens, and trust me we feel the weight of the war on us too. You just need to let us in, so we can all begin to heal. I mean, you haven't talked to anyone since the funerals and it's high time that you did. Harry, you are not alone, so come out of that bloody cupboard under the stairs and face the world that is finally yours for the taking, The life you have earned." she asserted, her voice heated as she concluded her speech.

Although touched by her fierce friendship, Harry still refused to respond, self-pity refusing to give way. Saddened by his resolve to ignore her, she gave in to his wishes, and quietly whispered, "Goodbye Harry, have a nice summer," and leaned in to kiss him on the cheek goodbye. His resolve breaking at the sorrow in her voice, he turned to stop her from leaving, but instead found his lips upon hers.

They immediately froze, shocked at their current situation. This was his best friend, this should definitely not be happening. However, when he began to feel Hermione deepen the kiss, he couldn't help but respond accordingly and wrapped one arm around her waist and let one become tangled in her hair. He felt her arms slid around his neck, and then they both became lost in the moment. He didn't know how long the kiss had lasted, but at last he felt Hermione pull away and lean her forehead against his. The were both breathing heavily; Harry had no idea what to say and instead gazed intensely into Hermione's eyes. An emotion lingered there in her brown orbs. Was it confusion, regret or something else entirely. However, he didn't have long to hypothesize as her gaze fell from his, along with her arms from around his neck.

"Harry," she whispered, " Ron asked me to be his girlfriend today on the train ride home." She paused, " And I said yes." She then quickly stood up and finally left the compartment, only this time Harry didn't want her to go.