After returning to the Burrow, eating dinner and much pestering from Ginny to see her new gift, Harry headed to bed. Harry wanted to make sure that they were alone when he gave Ginny the necklace and being alone at the Burrow was a rare occurrence. With the Hogwarts Express leaving in only two days time there barely seemed time to sit down rather than scheme up ways to get Ginny alone without her mother around.
Harry was sure that the Weasleys were all aware of his relationship with their only daughter and that they seemed fine with it, but he still felt a little bit awkward displaying affection towards her in front of them. They were like the family he never had and he did not want to ruin it for anything.
The morning of September first arrived and with it came chaos at the Burrow. Things that had been forgotten were being shoved into any remaining space in their trunks and the animals were being hoarded back into their various travel cages. Harry's new owl Bitgrip, compared to Pig (Ron's tiny owl), was extremely well behaved. He looked out at everyone with an almost bored look in his eyes. Harry had opened the cage door to let him out to feed but had not seen him move at all. It wasn't until he had woken up the next morning that he realized that his cage was empty. He went to the bathroom and by the time he had arrived back in Ron's bedroom (Ron still sleeping) Bitgrip was back and in the same position waiting patiently in his cage. Harry was starting to wonder if Bitgrip could even fly for he had not had the need to send a letter to anyone and had not seen him in the process of leaving or returning. Secretly, Harry had brought Crookshanks into the bedroom and brought him close to Bitgrip to see what he thought of the strange owl. Crookshanks seemed convinced enough and didn't put up a fuss so Harry was convinced thus far that nothing sinister was going on. He just came to the conclusion that the little grey owl was shy from being in the menagerie for so long only to be brought into a strange family.
Just like several years previously, a Ministry car arrived to escort them to Kings Cross station. Mr. Weasley said they were trying to make it up to Harry for all the trouble they had caused him in the past three years. Knowing that the car made the traveling of the Weasleys less of a pain, Harry did not complain. Since there was only the four of them plus Mr. and Mrs. Weasley they all fit into the magically expanded vehicle with ease and comfort. They arrived at Kings Cross with astonishing hast and by the time they arrived at platform nine and three quarters they had over a half an hour until the train would leave at eleven. As Harry gazed upon the sight of the scarlet steam engine he realized how much he actually had missed going to school and actually being a teenager.
'Feeling nostalgic?' came Ginny's soft voice from behind Harry's ear.
Harry turned to look at her. 'I just missed it all, you know?'
They headed towards the train and loaded their trunks. Since they were some of the first ones to arrive, Mrs. Weasley insisted they all go and change into their uniforms for a group photo before they headed off. They obliged her and all went to change into their school robes. As Harry looked at himself in the mirror and fastened the gleaming Head Boy badge to his chest he felt rather proud and suddenly wished his parents were there to take pictures as well. He knew however that they were looking down on him now with Sirius, Remus and Tonks and knew that they were happy for him. He tried to flatten his hair but knew it was impossible and headed back out onto the platform to take the photograph. It was actually a rather fun experience, laughing and standing with his two best friends and his girlfriend and having a new photo to add to the album that Hagrid had given him.
'Just think, after this year, all of the children will be done school!' said Mr. Weasley proudly.
Mrs. Weasley looked as if she were about to break down into tears but gave each of them a long hug before they boarded the train. As the platform started to fill up with hundreds of students saying goodbyes to their families, Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny walked down the hallway of the train to get settled.
'Harry, the Head Boy and Girl get their own compartment so all four of us can stay in there. Ron's a prefect anyway and I don't mind Ginny staying,' said Hermione.
'It's ok. I'm going to go find Luna and Neville. I've missed them so much this summer. Besides, you'll all be discussing rules and such. I've never been fond of following rules myself,' said Ginny, and with a flirty grin said to Harry, 'Come and find me later when your duties are finished.'
She winked and gave him a kiss on the cheek before turning and heading towards the back of the train. Harry, Ron and Hermione headed right up to the front of the train and found the compartment where a plaque was placed outside the door with the heading, "Head Boy: Harry Potter, Head Girl: Hermione Granger". The compartment was not much different from the other ones except that it was much larger to accommodate for all the prefects. Harry placed Bitgrip next to the window so that he could have a nice view of the scenery as they traveled trough the countryside.
Harry and Hermione found envelopes with their instructions for the year in them along with the first passwords for all four common rooms and a list of prefects. Harry felt at a bit of a loss since he had never been a prefect so he wasn't really sure how these meetings were supposed to go. Thankfully Hermione took the reigns and Harry mostly sat and listened. Hermione didn't seem to mind. The meeting had already finished and half the prefects had left to do their hallway patrols or head back to their friends when she said, 'Did you want to add anything Harry?'
'Hmm? What? Oh no, you covered everything I think,' he said mentally slapping himself for almost falling asleep.
Ron had to head off to do some patrols and Hermione headed off with him. Before they left though, Harry asked them to send down Ginny, Luna and Neville. Ten minutes later, Ginny arrived followed by Luna and Neville. Neville had a few light scars on his face from what had happened the last time he was at Hogwarts but seemed cheerful to be going back.
'Hello Harry!' said Luna as she looked around the large compartment.
Ginny crossed to Harry and kissed him firmly on the lips before sitting down next to Bitgrip by the window. They all discussed how their summers had been. Mostly it was uninteresting yet somehow peaceful.
'I had to come back for another turn at my seventh year. Mostly because I had to go into hiding in the Room of Requirement so I ended up missing the exams and such. I don't mind really though. We'll all get to graduate together so that should be fun right?' said Neville popping a fizzing whizzbee into his mouth.
'Yeah it should be great,' said Ginny. Harry noticed that she seemed a little put out about something and hoped that before they got to Hogsmeade station he could finally give her his gift.
They were soon joined by Ron and Hermione who looked thoroughly tussled.
'Had a go at it in the loo did you?' said Ginny jokingly.
Ron and Hermione avoided each others gaze and, blushing joined the others. They talked for an hour or so before Luna brought up the topic of their futures after graduating from Hogwarts.
'Well, I was thinking of going on a sabbatical for a year or so to foreign countries to study unique plants,' piped up Neville with great enthusiasm. 'After that, I don't know really. I'm not really that good at anything else.'
'You were a great leader for us when Harry left. You were probably what kept most of us going last year,' said Ginny. 'Maybe you would be good at teaching?'
Neville seemed to think on it for a minute before turning to Harry, 'So what do you think you want to do?'
Harry hadn't really thought about this either. With everything that had gone on last year, the possibility of having a career seemed ridiculous. 'Well, I think I still want to be an Auror. I'm taking all the right classes for it. It's something that I really love you know? I think that's important. Doing something you're passionate about.'
'Not me,' said Ron, 'I've thought about it, and I don't think I want to be in anymore dangerous situations. I've been in enough to last me a lifetime. To be honest I don't really know what I want to do, but I bet you I know what Hermione wants to do,' said Ron smiling.
'Oh do you Ronald? How could you possibly know what I want to do for the rest of my life?' asked Hermione in mock outrage.
'You want to free the house elves once and for all! You better get some more people to help you knit though. There's a lot of house elves in the world,' said Ron laughing.
'Well, you're pretty close actually. I think I want to go for a position at the Ministry in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. It's like what Harry said, you have to do what you're passionate about,' said Hermione. 'What about you Luna? Going to go looking for Crumple-Horned Snorkacks?' she said with a scoff.
'Yes actually, how did you know?' asked Luna, obviously not noticing the sarcasm dripping from Hermione's comment.
'Just a lucky guess I suppose. What about you Ginny?' asked Hermione.
'Hmm? Oh well, I'm not sure yet. I'm not particularly fond of anything academic. I always thought that Charlie's job would be really interesting. Working with dragons; it would be exciting at least. The worst thing I could imagine would be stuck at a desk every day of my life.'
By this time it had grown dark outside and the lights of Hogsmeade village could be seen far in the distance. He needed to talk to Ginny now.
'Ginny? Will you come on a hall patrol with me?' asked Harry.
Ginny looked puzzled, 'Yeah, sure'.
They walked down the very end of the train having to stop only once to stop a second year Slytherin from putting a Weasleys Wizard Wheezes firework product down a Ravenclaws robes. The found a small compartment and stole inside it and Harry quickly shut the door behind them. Before he knew it Ginny was kissing him and he was kissing her back. It had been so long since that night when they had been in Ginny's room and not had to worry about people catching them in a snogging session. As soon as Harry was able to come up for air he said, 'Ginny, can I give you your present now?'
'Oooo yes! I've been waiting for days!' she said excitedly, her face giddy and brushing her hair out of her face and behind her ears in anticipation.
Harry reached into the left pocket of his robes and brought out the gift wrapped box. He handed it to Ginny, who was now wearing an expression of a child on Christmas morning. She turned and sat down on the seat of the compartment. Harry sat across from her watching as she opened the present. She tried adorably to try and contain her excitement as she gracefully opened the wrapping as Harry knew it was taking all of her power not to rip it open. She looked at the velvet box, took a deep breath and opened the lid.
The shine from the necklaces was reflected in her eyes and she smiled broadly as she traced her fingers over the delicately designed lockets.
'Oh, Harry, they're beautiful. Are they for both of us?' she asked still grinning.
Harry got up and sat down at her side and took the heart shaped locket out of the box and fastened it around her neck. 'They're like messenger lockets. You'll have one and I'll have one, this way, even if we're busy or in a different part of the castle we'll always be able to be near each other.'
Harry took the oval, more masculine looking locket, and fastened it around his neck. It hung down low so as to be concealed underneath his shirt. He held it in his hand and tapped the front with the tip of his wand. There was a small clicking noise and Ginny's hand flew to her chest and where the heart shaped locket lay.
'I can feel it. It feels like a heart beating,' she whispered. She opened the locket and so did Harry. Out of the small window inside looking out at them were their counter parts. Ginny shut the locket and flung her arms around Harry's neck.
'This is so wonderful. I've never received anything so romantic!'
They felt the train come to a stop and heard the shuffling of the other students exiting the train. With one last lingering kiss Ginny and Harry exited the train hand in hand and joined Ron, Hermione, Luna and Neville who were waiting for a carriage. Ginny could barely contain herself and began at once showing off her new gift to Hermione and Luna.
'Hey mate, thanks for making me look bad!' said Ron in a slightly less joyful voice.
Harry caught Ginny's eye as they traveled towards the towers and turrets of Hogwarts. She looked at him as though she couldn't get enough of him and he realized that he couldn't get enough of her. He loved her and he never wanted her to forget it.
Wow, I've got some great comments from people. I know people were wondering when Luna and Neville would show up. Also, I know that my chapters have been on the short side, but I think this one is pretty long. Over 2,000 words anyways. And just so everyone knows, I'm not a guy. I'm a woman. I think people are getting the wrong idea from my penname. Edward the Magical Lobster was a lobster that I met in Paris while I was there this summer and my sister and I made up all these stories of his adventures in the tank at the restaurant we went to. LoL sorry for the confusion! Hope this chapter goes well. There's not much action in it but I had to write it for the next stuff to happen. Hope you enjoy! Thanks!!