It has been an…eventful summer. But now, it's over. I'm standing at the side at platform 9 ¾, Honey wrapped securely around my neck, Padfoot lying smugly on my feet. Donal is talking animatedly to me, trying to explain how you get to Durmstrang. I'm listening, but not with all my attention. Sev is standing a few feet away, looking mostly like a dementor in human disguise as he glowers at everyone daring to come near us. That man could easily win an Oscar for his acting skills.
This is the last time for a while we will see each other. Sirius and Donal will be going away, and Sev will be teaching again. Yet, I can't feel completely sad about it. I mean, this means I'll meet Hermione and Ron again. And to be honest, Sev's and Sirius' constant bickering is starting to get on my nerves. Because even as they're not openly hostile anymore, they aren't best friends either.
And now the wall posing as the gateway shimmers, activating to let in the first students. We share a last goodbye and then I'm alone again, seeing as Sev brings Honey to Hogwarts so she won't have to endure the bumpy train ride there.
Students fill the platform now, and I spot Draco at the far end, climbing onboard one of the cars at the front. Thank God, I didn't run into him, or I might have used one of the hexes Sirius and Donal have taught me this summer. But that won't do. Yet at least.
It's the voice of a girl and I turn around just in time to receive a warm hug from Hermione.
"Mione!" I smile. "It's great to see you again!"
And it is. She has grown over the summer, filling out and becoming a pretty young woman. Personally, I think Ron will be tongue-tied
"I have had such an exciting summer!" Hermione smiles. "Mom and dad brought me to Scandinavia to hike in the mountains, celebrate Midsummer and see wild dragons. I've learned so much!"
I grin back at her. She may have changed outwardly, but inwardly, she's quite the same.
"I'm happy for you," I reply. "My summer was pretty good too."
Hermione nods, an expression of wonder on her face.
"I still have a hard time believing it," she says. "I mean, Snape nice, kind even! That alone is a miracle. And then you are 'family'… You must be so happy, Harry!"
"Believe me, I am," I grin. "But I could live without the nagging. I swear, I've been out every day this summer. And if I ever have to eat a meal as balanced as those Sev makes me, I'm going to scream."
Hermione looks amused at my vivid language, but gives me an appraising look.
"It has done a lot of good though," she comments. "You look like a gingerbread, and I wouldn't be surprised if you're even taller than Ron now. It's like you have physically become a perfectly normal teenage boy just over the summer."
I shrug, trying not to roll my eyes.
"It wasn't my idea," I tell her. "Sev has strange ideas on how a healthy boy should be. And if you add Remus' and Sirius' ideas to that…"
I don't get any longer as Ron comes sprinting over to us. Hermione is right. I do top Ron with about an inch now.
"Mione, Harry!" he yells.
Hermione and I smilingly meet him.
"Hi, Ron!" I grin.
"Harry, you've grown," Mrs Weasley states as she manages to catch up with her son.
Ron only stares.
"Summer with Snape sure has been good to you," he finally says. "I never thought I'd say this, but thank God for Snape. You're not a midget anymore Harry."
Hermione whacks him.
"That was just down right rude," she tells him.
And poor Ron melts into mush. He's almost embarrassingly taken with Hermione's new looks.
"You're pretty!" he almost cries.
I snicker and Hermione looks pleased. Those two can be so fun to look at sometimes.
"Well, thank you, Mr Weasley" she nobly says, then laughs and hugs him too.
The colour of Ron's face rapidly becomes a shade redder than his hair.
The Great Hall seems to be even louder this year as everyone but the 1st years have sat down, I notice. I'm chatting slightly with Ron and Hermione, waiting for the feast to begin. So far, neither Sev nor Honey have arrived; even if I doubt it will take much longer for either of them.
I glance at my wristwatch, and then poke my two best friends. As they look questioningly at me, I smile smugly.
"Watch Malfoy" I whisper.
Heading my advice, they look over to the Slytherin table just as the white haired Deatheater's child sips on his pumpkin juice. Then, suddenly, he sprouts two elegantly twisted horns as his face suddenly develops a drastic growth of facial hair. Ron chokes on his chocolate frog and Hermione seems to fight back a sudden urge to laugh. Those around her don't manage as well though, and it doesn't take long until Malfoy is the centre of everyone's attention.
"A simple potion," I comment as his fellow Slytherins try to unhex him, unsuccessfully I might add. "Has skin of a Boomslang as a main ingredient, but flavouring it with a bezoars stone makes you grow horns as well as a nice, bushy beard."
Hermione looks at me with a musing look on her face.
"I guess you've learned a bit about potion making when you lived with him," she slowly says.
I nod, hiding a grin as Sev enters the Hall from a side door. He only glances at Malfoy, and then raises one eyebrow in my direction. Then I don't notice much more as my face suddenly is cuddled by a hyper Honey.
"Calm down!" I mutter and pry her from my face, settling her on my shoulder.
Squeaking accusingly at me, she wraps her long tail securely around my upper chest as if to keep me from disappearing. Ron and Hermione watch me struggle with curious looks on their faces.
"This is Honey" I introduce. "I believe I told you about her in my letters?"
"You did," she says. "She's so cute!"
Ron and I share a resigned look as Hermione pets the cuddly creature I now wear. Girls! Then my friends freeze and I hear the beloved voice of Sev from behind.
"The try-out potion I assume?" he softly says, so low that no one but Ron, Hermione can and me hear while glaring menacingly at me as to not make anyone suspicious.
"Yes, sir" I reply with a naughty grin.
A small smile tugs at the corner of his mouth as he looks at me.
"Well done," he comments under his breath, then glide away to bring Malfoy to the hospital wing while looking remarkably unpleasant.
"Wow" Ron breaths. "He really is nice."
I shrug and glance at the doors.
"Oh, look, they're coming!" I exclaim.
And as we turn to watch the Sorting begin, we can truly feel that the new school year has begun. That we finally are 6th years.