Harry Potter sat restlessly in the kitchen of his aunt and uncles recently vacated house. He had laughed for a good five minutes imagining Uncle Vernon's face when he realized that his dangerous nephew had not actually gone to stay with his weird friends. Instead Harry had just gone into the city for a few hours while his unfortunate relations had left for a week long vacation in France. Uncle Vernon had apparently done something impressive at his job, and felt it was fitting to spend his new paycheck wisely. Harry, of course, had been ordered to make other plans. It was not an issue at all to leave for the Burrow a few weeks ahead of time, in fact, Harry couldn't believe his luck. Spending his 17th birthday at the Dursley's had not been an exciting prospect. This had all changed, however, when he mailed Ron, who had been less then eager for Harry to come over. In a very confusing letter Ron had explained that his father didn't want harry over so soon, because of something to do with his birthday. Dumbledore, Harry had to take a deep breath here, had apparently left the Order with instructions concerning Harry's 17th birthday. And then after a quick apology, "Sorry, mate", Ron had ended his letter. Furious Harry had sent Hedwig off with a letter to Hermione, demanding an explanation, since he apparently wasn't going to get one from Ron. Hermione had written back immediately, begging harry to stay calm and just do what the Order asked. That was all she could say, as well. Harry had written back again, informing Hermione that he was at the moment being forced out the door by a very annoyed Vernon and now had nowhere to go. Vernon had dropped him off in the city as they drove to the airport, and he was planning on staying there. He would be waiting for her at the Leaky Cauldron. So she had better show up.
Faster than he could have imagined, Hermione arrived in the wizards pub. Then he realized that she was now allowed to apparate, and use magic outside of school. She looked very worried, as she searched the pub for him, then spotting him, nearly tackled him.
"Hermione! I'm fine! Get off!" Harry had gasped, as he was suffocated by her strong arms around his waist and bushy hair in his face.
"Harry James Potter!" Hermione yelled at him, finally pulling away, "Do you realize how dangerous it is for you to be out! The Order would absolutely die if they realized you were in wizarding London BY YOURSELF."
"Well, I'm not alone anymore, "Harry replied, "You're here."
She glared at him, and then sighed.
"yes, I'm here. And I'm staying with you until the Order decides to..." She shook her head, "Anyway, come on. We are going back to your house."
"What! Why?" Harry spat out his butterbeer, which was now almost empty, "And how are we going to stay there? They locked the house, and I can't use magic."
"But I can." Hermione answered, "And as the older and apparently much less insane wizard here, I say we are going back NOW."
"Less insane?" Harry smiled at her frown.
"Come on!" She glared at him, "Pay, and then we are leaving."
Harry groaned, then pulled a couple sickles out of his pocket. Then standing slowly, he followed Hermione out into the muggle streets.
"I can't believe you didn't even bring your cloak! What we're you thinking!" She shook her head, as they walked through the crowded streets.
"I wasn't thinking, alright? And they were forcing me out the door so I couldn't exactly grab it."
Harry paused as Hermione pulled him into an alleyway, "Take my arm. NOW." Harry grimaced then gripped her small arm with one hand, then closing his eyes he followed her movement as they turned on the spot.
With a gasp, he opened his eyes and found themselves in the front yard of his unfortunate Privet Drive home. Hermione, after a quick glance around, had dragged him to the front door.
"Alohamora." She whispered, and they heard the muggle locks click open. With a satisfied smile, Hermione pushed the door opened and shoved Harry inside. Once inside she locked the door behind her, using the muggle locks, and a few spells Harry had never heard before.
Then she turned to face him, and glanced around the small entrance way. "Well," she smiled, "Show me around."
Harry rolled his eyes, and then gave her a quick tour around the house. He was glad that he didn't have to explain any of the muggle contraptions to her, and they had both laughed at the thought of Ron trying to understand the use of a dishwasher. Finally they headed upstairs, and paused in Harry's room. Hermione had sat down on his bed, and to fill the awkward silence, Harry opened the window and let Hedwig out of her cage. She hooted gratefully and flew out the window.
"So," Hermione said suddenly, "Where am I sleeping?"
Harry turned to the girl on his bed, and he met her eye slowly. The tension in the room seemed to build, and he swore she was thinking the same thing he was. But no, his mind rationalized, this was Hermione. His best friend, the girl RON was in love with. He shook his head, and looked away.
"Um, here." He walked out of his room as quick as possible, hoping to God that he wasn't blushing, "You can have the guest room. Aunt Petunia only lets certain people use it, but she cleans it practically every day so it should be clean."
Hermione came up behind him, and he seemed to bolt into the room. Leaning his body on the dresser, they looked around the white walls and floral bed sheets of the guest room. He swallowed, realizing that the room was right next to his. She was avoiding his gaze, but answered calmly enough, that this would be fine. Then she had opened her purse, and began pulling stuff out of it. Clothes, a hair dryer, books and several other things all came tumbling into the bed. All from her tiny purse. Harry forgot the awkward moment, and wished allowed that he could turn 17 soon. Hermione had smiled at him.
"So, what were you planning on doing for dinner?" She glanced at her wrist watch. He glanced at his too, it was already 5:30.
"Um, I don't know. take out?"
"Sounds great." She smiled.
He nodded, and then started to leave the room. Then he turned when he realized that Hermione hadn't moved.
"You forget something?"
She nodded, her face worried, and she almost looked guilty.
"I forgot...I have to mail Ron, and the Order to tell them that you are OK."
"Oh." Harry turned away, "I'll just order for us then. Is Chinese OK?"
He could hear the worry in her voice, "Thanks, that would be great. Um, I can borrow Hedwig, right?"
Harry only nodded, as he headed down the stairs. Hermione hadn't come here on a whim, she had been sent here on orders! Harry clenched is fist together, he knew he shouldn't be mad at Hermione. He needed to blame the Order, he needed to blame Dumbledore...
He shook his head; he would not go back there. Turning into the kitchen he grabbed the phone and pushed 8. A few years back Dudley had managed to set the nearest Chinese place that delivered on speed dial. he also had a pizza place (7), a Mexican place (6), and a few others harry didn't know. Harry listened to the phone ring, then a very pleasant man answered the phone. This place had only lasted so long thanks to Dudley's large appetite, and they would do almost anything for the gracious Dursley family. So, after ordering a half size of Dudley's "usual", Harry sat in the kitchen alone. He wondered if he should go check on Hermione, maybe she was back in his room writing on his desk. He shook his head. Where were these thoughts coming from! This was Hermione! Little did he know, that Hermione was sitting on his bed having the very same dilemma with herself.
She had written the note, and sent Hedwig off, but being in his room again had sparked something inside of her. She knew immediately that it was nothing at all like the feelings she had for Ron. But still, there was some sort of tension between her and Harry that excited and terrified her. This was not good. It was just nerves, she rationalized. Teenage hormones that had been forced to lie dormant because of this war. And now it was growing stronger, and she was scared. Scared about what would happen to her friends, and herself. That was the reason, wasn't it? Sure, she was definitely aware that her heroic friend had become suddenly very good looking. But she didn't feel for him in that way. Hermione shook her head, then taking a confident breath, headed downstairs.
SO after the few comments about my typos, and largely my mishap with "email", I caved in and decided to fix the first chapter. Let me just say that I know fully that Ron cannot email, that was a typo. It was supposed to be mail, as in owl mail. So I apologize.
I do not mind criticism, but let me just say this is my first fanfic and so obviously its not going to be perfect. Obviously I prefer compliments, but I totally understand that a reader needs to understand what they are reading. Nonetheless, enjoy!