As Harry walked away from Quirell's office, he knew that Quirell would be considering the offer. After all, it was really 'An offer he can't refuse'.
But acceptance or refusal, whatever definitive reply Harry got in the future, it would tell him the true nature of his professor.
His first phase of the game was now finished. And it was a complete success.
Yet something was missing.
" Hermione" Harry said as he bumped in her while absent-mindedly walking. As he saw her, he finally understood.
" I was looking for you.
I didn't even realize it, but now that I have found you, I know that I was looking for you." Harry said.
" Harry, what are you saying?" Hermione asked.
" Remember last night, when you said that I was trying to change the world just to impose what I thought was right? I wanted to say that it wasn't like that. I do accept my mistakes. I saw Dobby transform himself today through his thoughts and that is the biggest correction of a belief I have had since I saw Prof. McGonagall turning into a cat. So I do admit my mistakes, and I .." Harry continued breathlessly and then stopped, not knowing how to explain that he was a good person. That he wasn't running after power. That he wasn't doing things 'just because he could', but because he genuinely cared.
But in that particular instance, he so deeply wanted Hermione to believe in him, that he found that he couldn't say these things. As if he was afraid of them being rejected.
" Harry" Hermione said " I heard from Dobby that you made an apology to Derrick for provoking him."
" Dobby heard me?" Harry said.
" He had removed the magical ear wax by then. And house elves do hear better, I guess the makers designed them magically that way so that they didn't have to shout orders." Hermione said " Anyway, I wanted to say that what you did was a thoughtful and correct thing to do Harry.
And that's what is so good about you. That is why even though I was angry on you, I still never backed away from your plan of fighting the snitches of our systems.
You may be wrong, in fact, you very often are. But if there is one redeeming feature in you Harry, it has got to be your constant effort to be less wrong." Hermione said.
Harry felt something ease in him to hear no accusation from Hermione, at least for then.
Hermione smiled back at him. And they walked away to the Ravenclaw dormitory.
And finally Harry didn't feel anything lacked in that moment. Finally, he felt happy.