Disclaimer all characters, settings, etc, are the copyright of JK Rowling and Bloomsbury Publishing
The Fates mistake.
It had been a tiny insignificant change to the way the fates had planned and laid out Harry James Potter's life; it was proved that night that even the fates could make mistakes. They had totally overlooked the possibility of it. That one tiny change. That small oversight in how things should be, had caused really major changes in the life of Harry James Potter. Changes the fates were not prepared for. What was that tiny change? The answer to that question is simple, Lily Potter decided to answer her sons' plea for guidance.
Harry James Potter sat up on his bed hidden from the outside world by drapes and silencing charms, tears flowed down his face as he remembered the dream he had just had. Although it was not a true nightmare it had been one of the worst dreams he had ever had to suffer through. He had been unable to wake him self no matter how hard he had tried.
Memories of the dream in its entirety ran through his mind once again.
'He had just finished his first successful summoning spell while his best friend Hermione taught and encouraged him. They had spent every spare minute they could with her teaching and he himself being taught and now Hermione's patience and his own determination had paid off, he had done it. He had summoned his broom from almost a mile away.
The first thing he did after he had first summoned his broom to him from across the Quidditch pitch was to wish that his mate Ron had been there to share in his moment of triumph small though it might be. Then having remembered that Ron was not talking to him he turned to thank Hermione, only Hermione was no longer there, in her place stood his mother with a deeply sad look in her eyes.
"Hello Harry son," she almost whispered.
Harry stood staring at his mother, thoughts of Ron and Hermione gone from his mind. "M-M-Mum?" he questioned with a stammer.
"Yes Harry it's really me, I chose this dream to visit you in because my son, your dad and I are so very disappointed in you." Lily Potter said as a small tear accompanied her words.
Harry stood his eyes wide and his mouth hanging open as her words slowly registered in his mind, "You're disappointed in me, I don't understand, I always try to do as you and dad would want me too, I try so hard to be like my dad."
"Harry you are so like James in so many ways, but you have so much to learn, so much to know, so much growing up to do," Lily said as she stepped closer to her son.
"Tell me, what did I do to disappoint you so much, please mum I have to know?" Harry almost begged of the beautiful woman with dark red hair standing just a few short feet away, what he really wanted her to do was to place her arms around him and tell him she loved him.
"Harry you do like girls, I mean you don't fancy boys do you?" Lily asked without any delicacy at all.
Shocked Harry almost yelled "MUM!!! Of course I like girls and no I. Do. Not. Fancy. BOYS."
"Then why is it Harry that you treat the only true friend you have so cruelly, why is it you always place that red haired 'boy', the greedy one with no manners and a jealous streak a mile wide, before her?" Lily asked still looking sad.
"I… I… I…" was all Harry could say in reply.
"Think about it Harry, Hermione Jane loves you with all she is, everything she does revolves around you. Everything you've succeeded at was because of her, without her there would have been no saving the stone, no rescuing the Weasley girl, or Sirius. You would not have learnt that summoning spell you are so proud of and want to show off to that Weasley boy…"
Lily paused a little before she went on.
"And the Weasley boy, the one you still think of as your best friend, he was the first one to turn against you when your name came out of the flames of that Tri-Wizard cup. He's the one who always holds you back in your classes, he's the one who discourages you from learning, dragging you away from your home work making you fail…
Ronald Weasley, is jealous of your fame, your money, your looks, and your friends. He hates it when you get noticed and he doesn't, he's the only one apart from the Malfoy boy who resents you so much… Tell me son do you truly want to give up the love that Hermione has for you, for the fickle friendship of one who would desert you so quickly. Remember if he has done it once he will do it again and again, each time it will cost you dear, each time you will feel just as disappointed, just as let down. He has betrayed you just as Peter has betrayed us. What kind of friend is that."
One by one all the memories of the times he had placed Hermione a distant second to Ron played in his head, and he was unable to prevent them, time after time in his memory he saw Hermione on the edge of tears as he took Ron's side in their disagreements, and time after time Hermione was proved to be right and Weasley in the wrong.
"Think about it son, think seriously about it and do it now before it is too late. Before you lose her to another." Lily finished with as she finally pulled him into the hug he so wanted.
"I will mum, I'll talk to Hermione in the morning I promise, I can't loose her she means too much to me," Harry said as he buried his head in his mums dark red locks.
"And Harry, you should refuse to take part in the tournament, to do so will cause you much pain and heart ache." Lily then let him go then and faded away while promising to watch over him.
Harry had woken up then, the smell and feel of his mother still fresh in his mind, the warmth and love he had felt from her as he had been almost crushed in her embrace still covered him.
That morning he sat with tears of regret running down his face. Whether it was a dream or not he did not really care, what he did care about was that it had shown him just how bad a friend he had been to the wonderful girl he relied on to live. As that thought entered his mind he wondered for a few moments exactly what it meant, and then as though some one had turned on a light in his mind and heart he knew exactly what it meant. It meant with out Hermione his life would be empty, not worth living, she was his everything. He found himself wishing he had had the dream sooner, or grown up quicker, he had missed so much time with her, time he had wasted with Ronald Weasley, deserter.
Harry was pacing the common room when Hermione came down from the girls' dormitory to go to breakfast. As soon as she stepped off the last step of the stairs Harry was by her side.
"Would my lady honour me with her company at breakfast?" he asked grinning at her.
Hermione stood open mouthed for a few seconds before she came up with an answer "I would be delighted good sir," she said and then she did something he had never known her do before, she giggled.
Down in the great hall as they ate their breakfast, Ron sitting just a few seats to their right kept giving Harry looks that were filled with hate and jealousy, as he shovelled his food into his mouth as though this would be the last food he would ever see. Harry getting fed up of Ron's staring looked straight into the boys' eyes and spoke, "Would you mind eating less like some wild animal, its enough to turn the stomach of even the strongest person."
After that little reminder to Ron that not everyone ate in such a greedy and rather disgusting manner. Harry was surrounded by his fellow Gryffindors as they wished him luck on the first task of the tri-wizard tournament. With all the good wishes he was getting from his fellow Gryffindors he did not get much chance to talk to Hermione after breakfast until he entered the champions' tent and she gave him an almost bone crushing hug and wished him good luck...
The absolute silence around him went completely unnoticed by Harry Potter as he was sat down on the ground quietly relaxed while he was chatting to this apparently wise and friendly being in front of him. Just a few minutes before hand Harry had entered the arena with his nerves almost shredded before he even began this the first task of the Tri-wizard tournament. The only thing that had kept him calm enough to actually walk to the arena entrance and set foot in the huge arena knowing that there was a Horntail dragon waiting for him, was the hug that his best friend Hermione had given him seconds before the champions chose their dragons.
Ten minutes earlier…
With Hermione's hug still making his heart feel light he had stepped into the huge arena. As he peeked nervously around the first huge rock he had hidden behind, his head forward just enough to get a look at the Horntail, Harry heard the huge dragon roar at the crowds, but above the roar was the voice Harry heard in his head.
'Must we always be on display?' the angry voice asked 'Why are these humans so strange?'
'That's a damn good question' Harry thought unwittingly in reply as he looked for another rock big enough to hide behind while getting him a little closer to his target.
The Horntail instantly swung her head in his direction and looked him straight in the eye. 'Hello youngling, at last a human that can communicate, perhaps you could tell me why all these humans are taking pleasure in seeing me in chains?'
Harry knew instantly that it was the Horntail talking to him in his head, and he unthinkingly stepped from behind his hiding place to look at the almost black eyes of the dragon. 'Hello, I take it this is unusual then, oh! I'm Harry, Harry Potter, those humans are all waiting for me to take that egg from your clutch' he thought as he looked at the dragon in front of him with wide surprised eyes.
When the dragon finished roaring at him it was a slightly angrier voice that seemed to shout in his head and asked 'Why would you take one of my young ones, I have done nothing to hurt you youngling?'
'I'm not after one of your young ones, it's the gold one that they hid amongst your own eggs that I am meant to take' Harry thought quickly in reply.
The dragon stepped back a little and looked down at her clutch of eggs 'Ah, I see, I hadn't noticed that one among my own, mind you, you have to understand I was sleeping when they chained me here.'
Harry took another tentative step forward, 'Well the whole idea seems stupid to me, I never even wanted to be in this stupid tournament in the first place. They should never have brought you and your friends all this way from your home if you want my opinion' he thought as he looked at the thick steel chain around the dragons' neck.
'So this is some strange tournament then, you don't sound very happy about being a participant. Come youngling sit, tell me what is the tournament about and why you are so unhappy about it, your task seems simple enough.'
Harry moved forward slowly and sat down on the ground in front of the huge magical being in the centre of the arena. 'Well where to start. First, I was entered against my will, and getting this egg is the first of three tasks that are supposed to be a test of our skills, though all the others who entered are older than myself, in fact I was not even old enough to enter the stupid thing and even if I had been I would not have entered. Who wants Eternal bloody glory on top of everything else?' he thought as noticed how powerful she was and yet anything but fierce as he had believed dragons were supposed to be.
The dragon looked him in the eye then sat down before she decided to lay down to talk in comfort. She lay her head just in front of Harry and asked 'So if you did not enter and were to young then tell me why have they sent you among the older ones, is the world of humans so cruel to their young?'
Harry thought about the best way to answer this question for several seconds, as far as he was concerned the adults in his world were cruel, even Dumbledore who until he was forced into this tournament he had thought of as kindly and wise. 'I think they are if they want something done their way…'
Harry found himself sitting and telling this huge Horntail all about his life, and all he had been through. He told about his life with his aunt and uncle who hated him and mistreated him. He told about his fight with Voldemort in his first year and again in the chamber of secrets. How his fellow students treated him. Totally oblivious to the world around him Harry sat and enjoyed talking to the dragon. He forgot that she was not human as he related everything he had suffered to someone who actually listened to him for the first time in his life. Finally he had reached the part about the tournament, how his best friend Hermione who had gone without sleep as she had helped him to learn some spells to help him this morning when he had stepped into the arena expecting the worst to happen.
Harry watched as the dragon lifted the golden egg gently from the clutch in her teeth and dropped it in front of him 'It seems you are being used by the elders for their own ends youngling. Before you go youngling you should know I can see there is a great evil residing in your scar it feeds from you there in your head, when you finally take your true form the evil will have to leave you, I don't know what you call it when you allow your true self some freedom but your thoughts call it a 'Padfoot or a stag', we would call you a bird of light, take the egg youngling and let your true self free soon.'
Harry slowly picked up the egg and placed it in his robes 'Thank you, you have given me much to think about' he said as he rose slowly and turned to leave the arena. 'Oh before I go how is it I can hear you and talk to you?'
The dragon seemed to chuckle to her self which to those listening sounded as though she was extremely angry, 'You are a bird of light youngling, you have the ability to talk to all magical creatures. Oh and youngling take care of your Hermione, admit your feelings for your life mate' she answered before she stood up and once more roared at the crowd.
As Harry walked into the exit tent he was grabbed in a tight hug by a huge mass of bushy brown hair, gently removing the hair that had found its way into his mouth he willingly returned the hug, he noted to himself that it was the first time he had not flinched when someone touched him, Telling some one about his past, even if it was a dragon, had helped him to begin the healing process.
"Harry you were absolutely amazing out there, how did you do that, what spell did you use? When did you practice it? Why didn't you tell me?" the questions poured from Hermione.
Harry tried to answer her but she seemed to carry on asking questions without even stopping to breathe, it was when he chuckled at this thought that Hermione finally fell quiet for a moment, taking a breath before speaking again a little quieter.
"I was terrified when you entered the arena, and when you walked up to that dragon like that I swear my heart stopped beating," she said as more people began to gather around them.
"Later," he whispered in her ear before he reluctantly stepped back from her embrace.
"Mr Potter that was most unusual, would you care to tell me how you did it?" Albus Dumbledore the headmaster asked, his eyes twinkling in that friendly fashion, the grandfatherly smile firmly fixed to his face.
"That sir, let us say, is my trade secret," Harry replied remembering what he had been thinking while talking to the dragon. Somewhere during the past fifteen minutes he had lost all trust and respect for the old man who on the surface seemed so kind. The old man who had insisted he take part in this farce, and yet did not offer him the help that the other champions got from their head teachers, the old man who had placed him with his aunt, and every year forced him to return there.
As Harry turned to leave the tent with Hermione clinging tightly to his arm, he saw Ron Weasley standing there a huge smile on his face.
"Charlie would give anything to be able to do what you just did Harry, it was bloody fantastic," Ron said his smile still plastered to his face.
Harry looked carefully at the boy who he had thought his best friend before his name had come out of the Goblet of fire, the same boy who had called him a liar and refused to speak to him for weeks, the boy his mother had warned him about, all he could think to say was a rather unenthusiastic "Thanks."
People were congratulating Harry all the way to the Gryffindor common room, Hermione stayed by his side the entire walk, never letting go of his arm. When they were in the common room Harry took his usual seat on the sofa in front of the fire, Ron shoved Hermione to one side as she was about to sit with him and he dropped into the seat.
"So Harry mate, how did you manage to tame a dragon?" Ron asked not seeing the look Hermione was giving him.
Harry felt his anger grow as Ron pushed Hermione out of his way. He had enjoyed having Hermione to himself, he liked it when they were sitting together without Ron there to argue or make her cry. "Well first Weasley, if you recall you are not my mate, so to use your own words to me 'piss off'," Harry said as he got up from the sofa and grabbing Hermione's arm gently pulled her over to a corner away from the rude prat who had shoved her, and he sat in one of the two chairs there, nodding for Hermione to sit in the other one.
Harry was just about to speak to Hermione telling her about the dragon and what it had said, when Ron sat down on the arm of her chair facing Harry. "I thought we were best mates Harry, I promise I won't tell anyone how you did it," he said as though he had not heard Harry's previous words to him.
"Best mates eh? Well if I remember right, for the past few weeks I was a liar trying to get more undeserved fame and attention according to you. I haven't changed at all, so I say again Weasley, in your own words, 'PISS OFF'," Harry told the boy who had been a stupid red haired prat. Then he looked at the girl opposite him who had stuck by him and spent hours of her spare time helping him "Fancy a walk Hermione?"
Hermione spent the time during the walk trying to talk Harry into accepting Ron's odd form of an apology; she barely gave Harry a chance to say much at all about what had happened. It was the last time Harry bothered to speak to Ron, he did not need friends who called him a liar, he had enough enemies doing that already. Hermione wasn't too happy about Harry being so unwilling to forgive Ron, as she kept telling him. She was after all best friends with both of them, and it was making her life a little difficult.
The following weeks leading up to Christmas were hard for Harry as he refused to talk to Ron, and Hermione feeling torn between the two spent far less time with him and more time with Ron. Harry spent a lot of the time alone out in the grounds of the castle trying to find his true self like the dragon had told him.
When the ball was announced his first thought was to ask Hermione to be his partner but the way things were between them he was worried she would reject him so he didn't bother. He had never even got a chance to tell her how he had talked to the dragon. The night of the ball when Hermione went to the ball with Krum, Harry was angry with her and at himself for being jealous. He took Parvati as his partner but only bothered to have one dance before he then went to take a walk around the grounds. He arrived back in the common room to hear the blazing row Hermione and Ron were having and being afraid of losing his temper and hexing Ron he went straight to bed leaving them to get on with it. He was truly tired having finally worked out what the dragon had meant while he had been walking around the lake for what seemed the hundredth time that week.
He was helped with the clue to the second task by his fellow Hogwarts champion Cedric Diggory, and began to spend more time in the library studying alone; gradually Hermione began to spend time with him again and started to help him in trying to find a way of staying under water for an hour. There were several questions about the first task that she kept asking him until he eventually decided to tell her what had happened. They were sitting in the library at the table Hermione had commandeered in their first year. Harry was trying to find the words he needed in order to tell her he spoke with the dragon without it sounding too crazy. When for a reason he did not know she suddenly commented on how she had enjoyed the dancing with Viktor Krum. Harry huffed at her and loudly slammed his book shut.
"If you had not been so caught up with me forgiving Weasley, I would have asked you to the ball, but you just couldn't let it go could you, you had to go and ruin everything, even ruined the damn dance for me," he said angrily.
A shocked Hermione stared at him in horror as he stormed from the library after his outburst. "Well that was rude," she said to her self as she started to pack away the books they had been using.
"Rude it may have been, but it was also true wasn't it?" said a third year blonde haired girl who was standing behind Hermione.
Hermione turned around "What the hell is that supposed to mean, and who are you?"
"My name is Luna Lovegood, and what I mean is, you drove Harry away from you trying to get him to forgive Ronald Weasley for betraying him Trying to make him ignore the fact someone, who, had he been a true friend, should have known Harry did not enter his name in the goblet without being told, someone who called a person as honest as Harry a liar and refused to talk to him."
Hermione stared wide eyed at the younger girl, "I never drove… I never…" as she tried to deny driving away the boy who had saved her life in favour of a prat who was always yelling at her and making her cry, she began to see what the young girl was saying and she wondered if she had ruined her friendship with Harry permanently.
Luna looked dreamily around the table as though she were watching something unseen pass them by before she spoke again "Miss Granger, why is it they say you are the brightest witch of the age when you can't even see you are hurting a boy who loves you? How do you think Harry felt when he thought you were helping him but then you appear to be day dreaming of another boy, one of his opponents, instead?"
Luna then simply walked away, leaving Hermione to think about what she had said.
That night back in the common room Harry had Neville Longbottom's help in solving his problem of breathing under water for the second task, and then once again he kept himself to himself, fully convinced that apart from Neville he was friendless. He did not waste his time however, now that he knew what the dragon had been talking about, he spent almost all his time in the library, making sure he was as far away as he could be from Hermione's table. He read everything he could on the subject, preparing for the day when he would be able to release his 'true self'.
Harry was sitting in the common room reading yet another book with a little information in it he had desperately needed, when Hermione appeared by his side and asked him to take a walk with her. Reluctantly he agreed and placed his books into his book bag before taking the bag up to his dorm. Hermione was waiting for him near the exit when he came back down the stairs into the common room. Ten minutes later they walked out of the main entrance and headed down to the black lake.
The fact that Harry had not said a word to her had Hermione scared she had ruined their former friendship beyond repair. Before the silence between them would have been comforting in some way she never understood, but this silence was tense and uncomfortable, she could feel that Harry did not want to be with her.
"Harry I'm so, so sorry for the way I've been treating you since the end of the first task. I made a huge mistake in trying to get you to forgive Ron. I realise now that what he did showed he never was your true friend. I suppose you think the same about me too now. I just wanted to tell you I'm really sorry, and that I am very fond of you, I don't want to lose your friendship. I want to help you," she told him as they walked around the lake.
"Well it so happens I don't need any help, I figured the clue out and I figured how to do what I have to do. Oh and what about lover boy Ron, I suppose this is another try to get me to forgive the jerk, and why are you trying to tell me you want to be with me, is it so you can spend more time daydreaming about your favourite Quidditch star," Harry said a little more viciously than he meant too. He was still angry about the girl he loved day dreaming about the older boy while she was with him.
"Harry I wasn't day dreaming about Krum, I was thinking about you, I just wanted you to know I enjoyed going dancing, it never even occurred to me how it might seem to you until a girl named Luna pointed it out to me, I just wanted you to ask me to go dancing with you," Hermione said in a pleading sort of voice.
"Luna… Luna Lovegood? She's a bit dotty but I like her, she's really nice in her odd ball way. Did you know her dorm mates steal her things, and that's why she dresses oddly," Harry said forgetting all about Krum now he had had his say and now he knew that Hermione tried to hint about himself taking her dancing together as a couple.
As they headed back toward the castle Harry pulled Hermione into a hug and very hesitantly kissed her, she for her part kissed him back. Then with their arms around each other they walked slowly back up to their common room, only stopping a few times to share a kiss or two. They were boy and girlfriend by the time they made it back to their common room, much to the dislike of one very angry Ronald Weasley who was now without friends.
Albus Dumbledore stepped back his eyes wide in surprise as the waters in the centre of the Black lake erupted in to a swirling mass of foam and then bubbled and churned violently. A dozen or so Merfolk floated unconscious like stunned fish to the surface along with three other bodies, Ron Weasley, Cho Chang and the young French girl Gabriel Delacour. Standing and surveying the bodies as they floated and bobbed on the churning waters he wondered what could have gone wrong. It was all supposed to be so simple, 'obviously I must have overlooked something' he thought as panic began to grip the watching crowd.
Two minutes earlier on the bottom of the lake.
Harry Potter, angry, and unwilling participant in the tri-wizard tournament swam into the Mer-people's village to see four people tied to the lake bed, as he closed in on the four floating bodies, just one stood out in his vision, Hermione Granger. His best friend and girlfriend, the one who had got him through every dangerous situation he had been in since his first year. The girl who had stood by him when no one else did, the girl without who's help both he and his godfather would be dead. With out her he would never have made it this far in this stupid tournament. There was a sudden realisation in his mind at that moment, despite their age nothing and no one was more important to him in the entire world. Hermione was his world, he loved her in a way he could never love any other.
Looking down on the kidnapped figures Harry saw Merfolk warriors as they began to surround the helpless humans, when one stood holding a spear right next to Hermione's neck, Harry saw a red mist descend in front of him, his sight narrowed down until he could see just Hermione, her eyes closed, her hair drifting about in the current, her face pale like a ghost as though she were dead. A truly core deep anger began to boil up inside him as his magic was getting away from him, just as it had done before when he blew up his aunt Marge.
As the rage in him at the idea of anyone harming his Hermione grew, the waters around him began to churn. Rushing forward to rescue her, a merman suddenly blocked his view pointing a spear at him and telling him to find his own hostage.
Harry seeing a threat standing between him and Hermione let his anger erupt. All the physical and mental bindings on his magical core collapsed releasing a huge surge of magical energy that radiated out from Harry like an earth quake and swept through the mer-village stunning and throwing the mer-people in all directions, the ropes that held three of the four humans snapped releasing the captives to float to the surface in the now extremely turbulent water. Harry swam forward and with a simple point with his finger he freed Hermione, and holding her tightly in his arms he swam for the surface.
Reaching the surface with Hermione in his arms Harry headed for the nearest shore to him, he was cold and shivering, but Hermione was freezing, her lips held a tinge of blue, and she was shaking violently from the cold of the water. As Harry pulled her on to the bank his body began to radiate heat, warming them both.
Harry clung tight to Hermione who in return was clinging to him; the last thing she remembered before waking in his arms was walking into McGonagall's office. Suddenly Harry leaned forward and kissed her lovingly in a way they hadn't kissed before, surprising them both but at the same time pleasing them both.
The babble of voices that caused them to break the kiss was led by Dumbledore yelling and asking Harry what had happened down in the lake and why he had not rescued Mr Weasley. Harry looked up at his headmaster his green eyes far darker than they had ever been before.
"Was this your stupid idea," Harry asked Dumbledore quietly "to put my girlfriend Hermione in danger at the bottom of a lake?"
Dumbledore gave Harry an exasperated sigh "She was in no danger, Harry, I can assure you," he said as though talking to an infant.
"YOU FUCKING OLD IDIOT, ANYTHING COULD HAVE HAPPENED DOWN THERE AND YOU WOULD NOT HAVE KNOWN." Harry yelled at his headmaster.
"Harry, Harry, Harry, I can assure you…" Dumbledore started to say when he was cut off as Harry lifted his hand and with a wave of his hand accompanied with the words "Piss off idiot." Albus Dumbledore was bodily thrown half way across the huge lake landing with a large splash right out in the middle of the freezing black lake. Harry his anger flowing from him in waves looked at the crowd as they watched the great Dumbledore flung away like a rag doll, "Anyone else think it was a good idea to pull such a stupid trick?" Harry growled out.
"Mr Potter you should calm down," Bartimus Crouch said in his high nasal voice.
"Calm down, you moron, no wonder so many people die in this stupid tournament with people like you in charge," Harry said as he easily lifted Hermione in his arms as though he were lifting his bride over the threshold and stepped forward toward the castle and warmth.
Crouch and several others who stepped in front of Harry to stop him on his journey toward the castle all found them selves simply flung to one side as Harry carried Hermione gently in his arms.
Hermione one arm around Harry's shoulders the other across his chest, relaxed in his arms and rested her head on his left shoulder, closed her eyes and smiled. Harry had kissed her again, only this time it had made the kiss that Krum had given her after the ball seem pathetic. She was just about as happy as she could ever remember being.
A very cold, bruised, and pain filled Dumbledore was rescued from the lake. Waiting for him as he climbed from the boat was his deputy head, Minerva McGonagall. "So Albus do you still think young Mr Potter would rescue another boy instead of his female best friend, or are you still to stupid to see what you have done?" she gloated "don't say I did not warn you, putting her in danger was a stupid thing to do, and to think that Harry would simply leave her for someone else to rescue was just about one of the most stupid things you have ever done."
Harry placed Hermione down on their favourite couch in the Gryffindor common room. He asked her how she was feeling, she reached up and pulled his head down to her and returned the kiss he had given her at the lake.
When Harry asked her why she had been put in the lake she told him about the last thing she remembered. She had been told to report to McGonagall's office, she remembered opening the door and then there was nothing until he was holding her on the lake shore.
"So they did not ask your permission, you have no idea why you were there?" he asked to make sure.
Hermione assured him she would not have volunteered to be a hostage in such a dangerous place. Especially for some other boy to rescue when she had him as her boyfriend. Harry's anger was once again doing odd things to his magic and it was only when Hermione kissed him again that he managed to calm it down.
The next morning at breakfast Luna Lovegood approached them at the Gryffindor table. Without a word she placed a book down in front of Harry and pointed at the page she had marked, then with an 'I told you so' look at Hermione she went back to the Ravenclaw table.
Harry read through the page the odd girl he thought of as a friend had shown him, and once again his blood began to boil. Slowly he pushed the book to Hermione, pointing to the title of the chapter he had just read. Magical Contracts How and Why.
Hermione read the page and she too became angrier than she had ever been before, she had just read that Magical contracts could only work if the participants willingly and free from coercion signed a magical contract at the same time, or took an oath and sealed it with magic.
"That's it Hermione, I've had enough of this stupid tournament. I've had enough of this stupid school. I'm gonna pack my stuff. I'm leaving, there has to be safer schools than this one, I'm sick of you being put in danger because of me, while that stupid old man just sits back and smiles." He declared as he walked toward the head table.
Harry was absolutely furious with Dumbledore, he had lied to him and he had placed Hermione in danger without her permission. As he stormed up to the headmaster Dumbledore smiled his infuriating condescending smile.
"Ah, come to apologise Harry?" Dumbledore said his eyes twinkling.
Minerva McGonagall knew Harry well and she looked in total disbelief at Dumbledore, could the old fool not see that the boy was angrier than she had ever seen him before; she grimaced as she carefully pulled her wand from her pocket. She did not know what was going to happen but she felt sure she would need her wand ready.
"Why did you put Hermione in that lake without her permission?" Harry asked the headmaster in a quiet cold voice.
"I was quite within my rights Harry, she is only a muggle born after all," Albus Dumbledore realised just a split second to late just how stupid his reply had been when he saw Harry's fist approaching rapidly.
Harry put all the anger he could into the punch he threw at the arrogant man in front of him. He caught the headmaster full on the chin and sent him flying from his chair and over the next table.
"Only a Muggle born? Only a muggle born? My mother was a muggle born you hypocritical bastard."
Minerva McGonagall against her own better judgement pointed her wand at Harry; she intended to place the petrifying charm on him until he cooled down. Without even turning around Harry disarmed her, then spun around at her. The magic pouring off him was awesome as it pulsed through the castle.
Professor Snape sent a stunning spell at Harry only to see it simply soak into the boy harmlessly; he was then lifted bodily from his chair and flung through one of the large stained glass windows of the great hall. Snape had broken almost every bone in his body before he even hit the courtyard outside, he had had his last chance from Harry Potter and he would never be fit enough to bully pupils again.
Harry turned to look at McGonagall and spoke quietly but very clearly "Did you know about this, did you agree to it because she was only a muggle born. Well you can take your world of magic and shove it up your collective butts, after today I will never set foot in this evil dump again. Never will I be tempted to return to your world of bigotry and hate, and god help anyone who gets in my way."
Harry stormed out of the great hall. Hermione rushed after him, she had heard what Dumbledore said and for a few seconds she didn't want to believe her own ears. She was 'just a Muggle born', from the way Dumbledore had said it, it sounded like she had no rights in the magical world what so ever. It took her just seconds to decide as her faith in authority figures crumbled, she would leave this world of bigotry with Harry. As she walked up the main staircase with Harry she realised she would have chosen to leave with him no matter the reason.
Hermione watched Harry as he said the password to the portrait of the fat lady, and pulled him into a hug "We could have trouble getting away from the school," she said a little anxiously as she kissed him again.
"We'll be ok, I'll go pack and meet you back here in a few minutes," Harry answered her after they shared a rather passionate kiss.
Five minutes later Hermione came down the stairs that led to the girls dorms, her trunk floating along behind her. Harry was already in the common room waiting for her his trunk no where to be seen. For a moment Hermione thought he might have changed his mind, but then he reached out his hand pointed it at her trunk and shrunk it small enough to fit in her pocket.
"So how do we get out of the castle?" she asked "do we use one of the secret passages?"
Harry smiled at her and then he closed his eyes and a look of strained concentration filled his features. Hermione wondered what he was up to, but with all she had seen of late she just stood and patiently waited.
Suddenly there was an extremely bright flash of golden light which was accompanied by an awful scream seemingly coming from a green mist that was drifting toward the ceiling, followed by another bright flash of blue white light and there in the place of Harry stood a white and gold phoenix.
After flapping his wings several times the phoenix flew over her head and seemed to wave its tail at her. Hermione having been told by Harry how he had escaped the chamber of secrets two years before, took hold of the tail feathers. A quick flash of fire and Hermione found herself standing on an unknown muggle street.
Harry re-appeared standing next to her with a huge smile on his face, "Wow! That was awesome," he said as he turned to her and took her hand.
"How did you do that? When did you become an animagus? Where are we Harry?" Hermione asked as she looked around at the uniform houses in the street.
"This my love is Privet drive, just thought I would pay my dear aunt and uncle one last visit," he said with a vengeful look in his eyes.
"Oh I have always wanted to talk to them," she said sarcastically "I mean they seem such nice people."
Harry simply chuckled at her then started to pull her with him toward one of the houses. He didn't bother to knock, instead he just said "Alohomora," and the front door swung open.
Walking in the house the first person they saw was uncle Vernon, as he opened his mouth to yell at Harry he fell to the ground stunned, aunt Petunia poked her head around the door to the kitchen, her face lost all colour when she saw them standing there.
"Hello aunt Petunia," Harry said before she fell to the floor in a full body bind.
When they left number four Privet drive Harry had all his documents he would need in the muggle world, plus his parents birth and marriage certificates. He had a huge smile on his face as he closed the front door for the last time. Hermione had to ask him what he had done because it seemed he was far too happy to be leaving without apparently having bothered to get any revenge on his evil relatives.
Harry chuckled a little as he said "Well dear uncle Vernon will find he now has a rather silly young girly voice, 'permanently'. Aunt Petunia will spend the rest of her life seeing my face in anything she cleans, even if she only cleans just a little, it will drive her crazy because she loves to clean and hates me so much."
"Now we need to get to your house, if I knew where it was I could take us there in a flash," Harry said as they walked hand in hand down the street.
Hermione gave a little giggle which Harry had never heard her do before "So you're not up to Fawkes standards then, he always seems to know where to go."
Seconds later Harry had transformed into a phoenix again and after a few moments of concentration flew above Hermione's head and let her take hold of his tail feathers, a quick flash of fire and they re-appeared in the Granger back garden.
As they walked into the house, Hermione in the lead they could hear Dumbledore making threats to the Granger parents about Hermione's future. Harry quickly transformed and flew into the living room. Swooping down on Dumbledore Harry grabbed the old wizard by his robes and in a flash of fire they both vanished.
Hermione ran into the living room just in time to see them vanish, she was about to shout out to Harry but it was too late. Turning to her parents she rushed to hug them both, her father was furious about her headmaster threatening them, and he felt so angry about being unable to do anything about it.
Helen, Hermione's mum simply wanted to know what was going on? What was the magnificent bird that seemed to have rescued them? Why was the headmaster so angry with Hermione? All these questions needed some answers. Hermione asked her parents to be patient and promised when Harry returned all would be explained. Just two minutes later two flashes of fire erupted and two large birds appeared. Harry transformed back into himself, while the other phoenix, Fawkes, settled himself on the back of an arm chair.
Hermione, Helen her mum and Richard her dad were all staring at Harry and he knew they were all waiting to be told what had happened.
Harry took a breath, "I took the old fool back to Hogwarts, I made sure he had a soft landing when I let him go. As I let him go Fawkes came to see why I was treating his companion in such a way. Well Fawkes didn't like what he saw when I showed him my memories, so we left the old goat in the lake and came back here."
"In the lake, you dropped him in the lake again, oh Harry I wish I could have seen that," Hermione said wistfully.
"Yeah the old goat was screaming all the way down," Harry said smiling.
"Why is Fawkes here, did he tell you?" Hermione asked looking over at the red and gold bird.
"Yeah he said that Dumbledore in his attitude to you being 'only a muggle born', he had stepped over a line that took him out of the light, anyway he then said that as he hadn't been the protector of a non-wizard for at least five hundred years he would come with me to take a look at your parents, seems they passed his test," Harry replied as he too looked at the now sleeping Fawkes.
Harry had a long talk with the Granger family, he revealed his past to them, telling them all he had been keeping secret because he felt ashamed, he felt it had all been his fault. That is until he had spoken to the dragon. He finally got to tell Hermione every thing, including how he felt for her.
Hermione listened carefully to all Harry said and then realised why he had almost clung to Ron as his first friend his own age. She knew why he had not seen the way she felt about him. Harry had no knowledge of what love of a family or that of someone else like an aunt was like, he only knew that he was hated by his Aunt Petunia and Aunt Marge. He had never been given any from his so called family. It did not take Hermione long to pull up her courage to tell him that she loved him. She had loved him since second year when she had been petrified and he had been the only one to visit her. She had to tell him then that though her body could not move she had heard all he had said, and without him being there telling her all about the days lessons and how he and Ron were doing in their search for the chamber, she would probably have gone crazy.
Later that night as Dumbledore was once again escorted from the Granger house. This time by Fawkes. Harry Potter and the Granger family, thanks to the fates tiny mistake, as far as the British Wizarding community were concerned seemed to simply vanish from off the face of the earth. Life in Australia, attending the Queens School of Sorcery was a very happy time for two young lovers. James Evans and Jane Puckle married the week after they graduated as the two top students of the school. They both lived happily and raised their five amazing children with the help of Richard and Helen Puckle.
The dark lord, Voldemort, died when Peter Pettigrew made a fatal error in the resurrection ritual that brought all Voldemort's soul together while at the same time draining him of his magic. As he was using a magically constructed body to try and live in he died when all his magic was drained and the body was unable to survive. Harry Potter was indirectly responsible for the death of Tom Riddle when he had used his power of persuasion on his godfather and professor Lupin to save Pettigrew's life.