LIGHTS PATH TO LIFE

Chapter 1: Friendship and Love

Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter but I keep checking the mail every day to see if that status has changed.

Harry Potter paced along the floor of his study, a spare bedroom in his rebuilt home at Godric's Hollow. Ginny, Ron and Hermione joined him in the study going over all of the preparations for the final battle. Five Horcruxes had been destroyed and the decision was made to kill the sixth, the snake Nigini, during the final battle. Voldemort, it seemed, had been separated from his soul for so long that he did not notice that they had been found and destroyed. Harry decided that he wanted the element of surprise on his side.

"Ok, so we're agreed then. Ron, Hermione, you guys will be responsible for destroying Nigini. Once you've got that done send out your signal and that will be my cue to seek Tom out. I'll try to stay out of the battle and not bring his attention to me as long as possible." Harry continued to pace clearly etching a line in the rug.

"Harry, don't forget me. I will be fighting too and I will be with you when you face Tom." Ginny looked defiantly at him, challenging him to tell her no.

He stopped his pacing and walked over to where she was sitting. He knelt in front of her and cupped her face in his hands. "I know love. I wouldn't stop you, actually I couldn't stop you. I know I need you by my side if I am to send him to hell once and for all. But that doesn't mean that I still won't do everything I can to protect you." He caressed her cheek with his thumb as if trying to remember how every inch of her felt. She closed her eyes and tilted her face to the right and leaned contently into his hand. He leaned forward and kissed her lips gently but clearly displaying all the love that he had for her.

Ron and Hermione looked at them and noticing how uncomfortable Hermione was looking, Ron loudly cleared his throat to get their attention. "All right Harry. I think we're as prepared as we're going to be. We've done all we can and now we just have to wait for You-Know-Who to make his move." Ron stopped and thought for a moment. He realized that they had no way of knowing when the final battle would begin and that would definitely be a problem. "Um, how will we know when he does make his move? It's not like we have a lot of contact with the order, hell they don't even know we're here."

Harry got up and began to pace again. "Not to worry Ron. Moony and I have already figured that out. I've sort of set up a connection between his mind and mine and when the time comes he'll tell me."

Hermione was shocked at that bit of information and her mind was going in all different directions with many questions. "Does that mean that he could read your thoughts? Does he know we're at Godric's Hollow? How exactly did you create this connection? Is it like what you and Voldemort have?"

Harry rolled his eyes and glared at Ron for starting this conversation. Ron shrugged his shoulders in a weak attempt at an apology. "'Mione, relax. I swear you're going to explode one day. Ok I'll try to explain it. No, it's not like the connection that Voldemort and I have. He forged that connection when he cursed me. No, he can not read my mind and he does not know we're here. I was able to take one of my power lights and create a link between us."

"What exactly do you mean by that?"

"Well 'Mione, I've been able to control these power lights better since they came to existence. I'm not totally sure what they are but I really think that they are part of my magical core. Most wizards and witches never get to a point where they find their magical core but as for my magical core, well the essence of my magical core, it decided to seek me out. I can sort of communicate with them and they help me accomplish whatever I need to do. Like when Ron and his brothers decided to beat me up that day at the Burrow. I called forth the lights and they became what I needed them to be. They sure came in handy when I had to tie up that lot!" Harry laughed as he remembered the shock on their faces.

Ron cut in, "Yeah well you don't have to remind me about that. We did apologize to you after." Ron's face was turning red as he remembered the events. Hermione wasn't there to witness it and he was glad that she didn't see him get thoroughly whipped.

"I know Ron and we've lived happily ever after since then. Anyway, that's the best I can explain it. When the time comes the energy light that I have designated will register with me when Moony sends his signal to us."

Ginny stopped giggling at Ron's embarrassment and decided that a break was needed. "Well since it seems we've all missed lunch why don't we have an early dinner."

"Ginny that's the best thing you've said all day. I'm starving!" Ron was already walking towards the door. He stopped and turned when he noticed that they weren't following him, "Well?"

"Ron you are hopeless. 'Mione you can help Harry put away all of this stuff and straighten up a bit. I'll go to the kitchen with the bottomless wonder over there and get dinner started." Hermione nodded her agreement and Ginny walked over to Harry and gave him a lingering peck on his cheek. "I'll make sure to make some treacle tarts for you, love."

"Come on Gin, the faster we get there the faster you cook and the faster I eat!" She let out a yelp as Ron dragged her outside of the study.

Harry shook his head and laughed at Ron's antics. Some things just never changed and he was very grateful for that. He began to roll up loose pieces of parchment and put them away. Hermione hadn't moved a bit and he looked at her curiously. ""Mione? Is everything ok?"

"Harry I don't think she should come with us."

Harry stared at her, wondering what she was on about now. "What do you mean? Who shouldn't come with us?"

She began to wring her hands, a clear sign of nerves. "Ginny. I don't think you should allow her to come. She's too young and she can get hurt."

Harry didn't know what to make of her statement. She had never voiced her concern before and why would she pick now to do so, when they were so close to that final confrontation with Voldemort. "Hermione, I don't…."

"Harry, there's a reason why you didn't bring her along with us while we were searching and destroying those horcruxes. It was dangerous and there had been a few times when we were lucky to escape ourselves. This is going to be even more dangerous and there is too much at stake here." She began to pace back and forth and with great effort she continued to explain. "What if Voldemort gets her? What if he tries to use her against you? Do you honestly think that you'll be able to do what needs to be done? Can you do that while Ginny is in danger?"

Harry fixed his eyes on her. His temper was quickly rising but he tried his best to keep it in check. "Hermione I know exactly what I need to do. You know for a fact how long I've been preparing for this. I also know that I can't do it without her by my side. She is the key to my success." Harry's voice was now rising clearly loosing any restraints he had on his temper. "Besides she is of age and I can not and will not tell her that she can't fight with us. She has as much right to face Tom as I do and I will not deny her that!"

Hermione's frustration in Harry's stubbornness was growing. "How do you know that you can't do this without her? How is it that you are so sure?"

"You've heard Dumbledore say it all the time. The power I have that Voldemort knows not is love. I love her. I love her with every fiber of my being."

She waved her hand at him dismissing his reasoning. "Oh please Harry. How do you really know? You've never been with anyone other than Ginny. You didn't grow up knowing what love is, so how could you be so sure? What about me? I've been on this adventure of yours since our first year at Hogwarts. I've been there to help you find and destroy all of those horcruxes. I love you too! Why isn't that enough?"

Harry opened and closed his mouth a few times. Did she just say what he thought she did? He shook his head and began to step away from her. "Hermione, I…what…what are you playing at? What do you mean you love me?" He did not like the turn this conversation had taken.

She was shocked that she said all she had said. He was one of her best friends but lately she had been wondering about her true feelings for him. She debated with herself wondering if she should continue, well she's come this far she may as well continue with her confession. "Well…um…you see, I think I've developed feelings for you. I've thought about it and I've analyzed my feelings and I decided that I couldn't go into the final battle without telling you. Without you realizing that I was there too and possibly giving me a chance." She looked at him hoping that he understood her reasoning.

Harry was beginning to turn numb. The world that he knew, that he felt so comfortable in was beginning to fall apart. Why now? He looked at her and began to shake his head. "No, no, no…NO! How can you even say all this to me? Why would you even say it now after all this time?" Harry was now shouting at her and he didn't noticed when the air around him began to swirl. "You were there! You were there when I proposed to her."

"And what if you die in your fight with Voldemort? You would die not knowing how I felt and not letting yourself give us a shot."

He looked at her with disgust; this was not the same girl who became his best friend after defeating the mountain troll. He stared at her, his emerald eyes piercing her brown ones. "I am not going to die. I know what my destiny is and where it lies. It lies with Ginny. Yes, you play a role too but at this point I don't know if I want you there anymore." Harry's voice continued to rise. He didn't care if he let all his anger out on her; he was devastated and betrayed by her confession tonight.

She winced at his words. Clearly he was upset but once he calmed down and thought about what she had to say she knew he would forgive her. She didn't notice that Harry's hair was fluttering, moved by an invisible breeze. His emerald eyes were blazing like green fire and he began to glow. Harry had crossed the point where he could restrain his temper but Hermione didn't notice any of this. She was focused on one thing and one thing only; getting him to see her logic.

"You don't mean that Harry. You're just confused right now. I've given you a lot to think about and you also have to consider Ginny's feelings. She's so young and she probably will be upset at first but she'll be able to get over it like she did back at Hogwarts." She was so focused on Harry and making him understand that she didn't hear footsteps coming up the stairs. The house had a swirling wind all around and Ginny and Ron knew that it was a clear sign that Harry's temper was out of control. It was all Harry could do not to curse her into oblivion for her betrayal. But Hermione didn't pay any attention to that.

She walked up to Harry and pulled him towards her by his shirt color and planted her lips to him. She swept her tongue across his lip seeking entry but Harry stiffened quickly refusing to return her kiss. A gasp could be heard at the doorway causing him to turn around quickly to see Ron and Ginny. Harry groaned and inwardly cursed at Hermione as he shoved her away. "Oh bloody hell!"

A/N: Thank you so much for reading. Please leave me a review letting me know what you think. If you don't like it, please don't flame me but give me ideas to make my story better. Thanks!!!