Gwyn Swann and the Prisoner of Azkaban

by Lady Dawson

Chapter Twenty-two: First Kiss

The last weeks of school were finally over and summer had finally settled down upon them. Gwyn had her bags packed and Tabby was put into his cage as they were once again heading towards the train station to take them back to their homes, but there was a feeling of turmoil in the air. While they had saved an innocent man, the guilty had walked free and was now on his way undoubtedly to his master, who had been lying alone and friendless for almost thirteen years.

Now, he had one of his servants back. But as Dumbledore had told Harry, Pettigrew was in Harry's debt for saving his life. And Gwyn doubted very much that he would be happy about having a servant who was in Harry Potter's debt.

Gwyn knew, as she had known since the end of last year, that it was only a matter of time before Voldemort returned. Maybe she had known it all along. But with Pettigrew gone, their days were numbered before they descended back into the dark days which they had been born into. And instead of their parents fighting, it would be Gwyn and her friends would be in the war now.

Placing the last of her belongings into her trunk, Gwyn closed the lid, snapping it shut as she looked around the empty dormitory.

"Well, Tabby, this is it," she said with a small sigh, looking down at her cat through his cage. "We're not gonna see this place for a couple of months. Soon, we'll be back at Madeline's."

She loved her guardian; she did, but it was not home. Hogwarts was home. Harry, Ron, and Hermione were her family and they had built their home here. And while it was nice to have somewhere to go during the summer holidays, it was not the same as being here in the castle.

Climbing down the staircase with her things, Gwyn joined her friends as they headed with the rest of the school to the train station to meet the Hogwarts Express to take the students back to the Muggle world.

Harry, for the first time since she had known him, actually looked happy to be going away from the castle. But he had good reason. Instead of going to those "relatives" of his, he would be going to someone who actually cared about him. His godfather and his parents' best friend.

Sirius had managed to find a nice house in the country, with its own Quidditch pad. Gwyn had no doubt that Harry would waste no time in trying it out when he got there. But mostly, she was just happy for her friend. It was about time that he had some happiness in his life.

Stepping up onto the train, Gwyn followed Harry into one of the compartments, sliding her trunk into the holders above their heads and letting Tabby out of his cage, allowing him to climb up into her lap. Petting him, Gwyn watched as the train began growing fuller and fuller until finally taking off.

She gave a small wave to Hagrid, who was still grief-stricken after Buckbeak's death. Gwyn wished that she could give some comfort to him, but there really was no comfort for things like this. There were no answers for things like this, no reasons to be given.

"So are you ever going to tell us how exactly you were getting to all of your classes this year?" Ron said for the thousandth time.

Gwyn laughed, glad to have someone pull her out of her thoughts as Hermione gave a small smile. "I was turning back time," she answered. Everyone stared at her as though she had lost her mind and Gwyn exchanged a look with Harry. "Professor McGonagall gave me a Time-Turner at the start of term. She made me swear not to tell anyone. She had to write all sorts of letters to the Ministry of Magic so I could have one. She had to tell them that I was a model student, and that I'd never, ever use it for anything but my studies. . . . I've been turning it back so I could do hours over again, that's how I was doing several lessons at once, see?"

Gwyn was gawking at her friend by the time that she had finished and she shook her head, closing it. "You are completely insane, Hermione Jean Granger, you know that?" she demanded. "No wonder you've been so exhausted the whole year. When you get back home, you need to get to bed and one of us will wake you come September." The boys laughed and Hermione even grinned, but shook her head.

"Don't worry, next year isn't going to be like this one at all," she assured Gwyn. "I dropped Muggle studies this morning."

"But you passed your exam with three hundred and twenty percent!" Ron pointed out.

"I know," Hermione said, heaving a sigh. "But I can't stand another year like this one. That Time-Turner was driving me mad. I've handed it in. Without Muggle Studies and Divination, I'll be able to have a normal schedule again."

Ron stared at her, then shook his head, making a face at her. "I can't believe that you didn't tell any of us about it," he complained. "We're supposed to be your friends."

"I promised I wouldn't tell anyone," Hermione said, giving him a weary look. Gwyn and Harry exchanged a look.

"You know," Gwyn said with a teasing grin, "one of these days, you two are going to end up killing each other or getting married."

Ron actually sat up so fast that he hit his head on the ceiling, which sent him back into his seat. Hermione actually turned an interesting shade of red. Harry started laughing at their expressions and Gwyn grinned wildly, her blue eyes twinkling with mirth.

"That certainly got a rise out of them," she said before closing her eyes. "Let's see . . . I'm seeing . . . I'm seeing a beautiful house with a Quidditch pad in the back and a little boy and girl wrestling around—"

"Stop that!" Ron yelled. "I told you two that seers were too annoying to put up with," he said to Harry and Hermione. "Told you that first year."

Gwyn retaliated by swatting Ron, still smiling. "Who says that I was joking?" she said in a deadly serious voice. Even Hermione was having trouble holding her laughter in now.

Glaring at her, Ron quickly changed the subject, looking at Harry expectantly. "Hey, listen, it's the Quidditch World Cup this summer! How about it, Harry? We could all go see it! Dad can usually get tickets from work!"

Harry looked excited about this fact. "Yeah, I bet Sirius would enjoy that," he agreed, looking over at Gwyn. "What do you think, you in?"

"Like I would pass that up, how many times are we going to have a chance to see the World Cup?" Gwyn asked. "Hermione?"

"Sounds exciting," she agreed. Gwyn grinned, reaching up and pulling Ron's Exploding Snap cards out of his trunk easily.

"Hey!"

"Oh, come on, who wants to play?" she asked, holding up the cards.

They were several games in before they abandoned the game to buy some food from the witch with the tea cart. Gwyn bit into a Chocolate Frog, letting Ron claim the cards as she ate the Frogs quietly, wondering not for the first time where Pettigrew was at and if the Ministry would catch up with him before he managed to get to Voldemort.

It was all too soon when the train finally reached Platform 9 ¾, pulling to a stop at the magical platform. With her trunks and Tabby's cage in toe, Gwyn walked through the barrier with Harry, Ron, and Hermione, spotting Madeline in the train station at once, talking with Sirius, who had greatly improved since he had earned his discharge. His hair was much shorter than it had been and his face was fuller, less gaunt than it had been when she had first set eyes on him. If she hadn't known that it was him, then Gwyn doubted that she would've recognised Sirius.

"I thought you said that this guy was a dangerous menace to everyone around him?" Gwyn joked to her guardian, who only gave her charge a withering look as Sirius grinned.

"Well, it only goes to show that sometimes, we don't know people as well as we thought," Madeline admitted. She gave Sirius a look as the Animagus chuckled. "I don't think I need to ask how your school year was."

"Same as always," Gwyn said with a shrug. "You know, adventure, excitement, danger lurking around every corner . . . hey, maybe next year, I can go up against a dragon," she suggested, causing Madeline to close her eyes in horror and amazement.

"I swear, sometimes you frighten me, child," she sighed. "Why is it that you always find yourself in the middle of danger? You're going to make me die of nerves, Guinevere," she scolded. Gwyn only grinned up at her guardian before looking back over at her friends. "Go on, go say goodbye to them. And when we get home, I'm going to have a long talk with you about what staying out of danger means," she added.

"What's life without a little risk?" Gwyn countered as she walked back to her friends. "Well, this is it."

"Another year gone by," Ron agreed. "What do you think they'll get us next year for a Defence teacher? I'm thinking maybe a vampire, since we've already done the werewolf bit."

"Maybe an Auror," Gwyn suggested. "Dark wizard catcher," she added to Harry's blank look.

"That'd be cool," Ron agreed. "But on the bright side, at least you'll be able to visit Hogsmeade next year," he added to Harry, whose grin had gotten brighter at that statement.

"You mean legally," Hermione said reprimandingly. "I'd better go. Mum and Dad want to get home before the evening rush." She hugged each of them in turn. "I'll see you over the summer, hopefully."

"World Cup, remember?" Gwyn pointed out. "We're definitely going to see each other over the summer."

Hermione smiled broadly as she walked towards her parents, waving goodbye to them as Mrs. Weasley called for Ron.

"See you two," Ron said, giving Harry a manly hug and receiving a hug from Gwyn before joining the rest of his family and leaving Harry and Gwyn standing in the station.

"Well, I guess . . . this is goodbye, then," Harry said, looking down at her. She gave him a small smile, shaking her head.

"No," she replied. "Not goodbye. It's never goodbye. It's only just . . . I'll see you soon." Harry smiled at her as she turned to head back to Madeline when both Tristan and Hermione's voice echoed in her head.

"If you do absolutely nothing, then one day, you're going to wake up and wonder what could've happened if you had just taken a chance."

"Make it obvious to him."

Gwyn made up her mind in mid-step and turned back around to face Harry once again, who looked completely thrown. For better or for worse, it was time to make her own future that didn't have anything to do with her visions.

She grasped his shirt, pulling him towards him and kissed him, causing several onlookers to hoot and wolf-whistle.

It was a soft, chaste, gentle kiss that nevertheless caused him to kiss her back. But more importantly, it was her first kiss and it was perfect. Gwyn felt her heart race and when she finally pulled away, she wasn't sure if she was able going to get it beating to its normal pace again.

Harry was staring at her in complete astonishment, but she couldn't see any displeasure in his eyes.

She grinned up at him, deciding that now was the best time to leave. "See you over the summer, Harry," she said, turning around and walking back to Madeline, grabbing her trunk from where it stood and walked towards where she knew the car was parked, Madeline right behind her, the past slowly catching up with them.

But to Gwyn, the future never looked brighter.

AN: Okay, Prisoner of Azkaban is finally finished and I've already started on Goblet of Fire. So, let's make a deal, okay? If you guys give me four or five reviews, then I will post the first chapter of Year 4 tonight. What do you say? Do we have a deal or not?

Lady Dawson