Irritable The New sixth year.
Harry Potter was annoyed, really annoyed, and the reason for his annoyance was his supposed best friend Hermione Jane Granger. They had left the last lesson of the day after spending two hours in the potions class that ended an hour earlier, once again professor Slughorn had given Harry a good grade for his potion placing him at the top of the class, and he was feeling quite pleased with himself. With the help of the text book that had once belonged to the 'half blood prince' he had been able to make an almost perfect nerve restorative potion.
Hermione however had once again made a snide comment, something about Harry being too stupid to make a decent potion without help. After listening to her for some months going on about his use of the text book of the half blood prince something inside Harry had exploded into a fierce anger at her words and rather than go to the common room with everyone else he decided he needed to take a walk to cool down.
The last thing he wanted to do was to loose his temper with her in front of all his house mates, his walk had taken him around the now deserted corridors of the castle where he had gradually become more and more interested with the magical portraits. Wondering what it was like to be stuck in a portrait for years he had struck up a conversation with the portrait of Rowena Ravenclaw. It was not long before he had poured out his life story concluding with the tale of the best friend who seemed to have become anything but a friend.
Rowena's advice about sorting out the problem with Hermione instead of letting it get worse seemed to him to be sound advice. "What you need to do Harry is to sort it out with her, ask her about why she has changed, decide between you if the friendship is at an end. If it is then you can both take your different paths and there should no longer be any need for the antagonism."
Harry entered the common room and looked around glaring at his house mates leaving them under no doubt he wanted them to leave the room and give him some privacy. As everyone, including the seventh years, began to find excuses to leave he approached Hermione where as usual she sat curled up in a corner of a couch reading.
Looking around and finding the room now deserted except for himself and Hermione, he stood directly in front of her, his arms folded across his chest. Still annoyed with his anger barely in check he took a deep breath, he knew this was going to be difficult, he knew he was lacking when it came to interacting with other people. His upbringing and the isolation from normal life forced on him by Dumbledore keeping him imprisoned had seen to that, but the girl in front of him had been his friend for five years and she knew him well enough to realise his shortcomings in socialising.
"So what the hell is going on?" he asked in a cold voice.
Hermione looked up from her book with a start, "Oh… Harry you made me jump."
Forcing his face to remain expressionless he repeated his question "You did not answer the question, what's going on?"
Hermione looked at him, an expression of puzzlement on her face but in her eyes he could see she knew what he was asking, "What are you talking about Harry?" she asked quietly.
"I want to know what's going on. Is our friendship at an end and if so why? What did I do to make you dislike me so much, do you hate me and if so why?" he asked with a total lack of feeling in his expression and his voice.
There was a look of surprise and maybe a little hurt in her eyes as she looked at him, her mouth opened and closed several times but no words came out, as she just sat there and looked at him.
Harry nodded his head a little at her silence, "I see… well if that's the way it is we should stay as far away from each other as we can manage for a week or two while you make up your mind if the friendship is finished, if you cant make up your mind then I will. Two weeks Miss Granger and that's all, that way I won't have to listen to your snide and nasty remarks more than I have too, will I… and to think, I thought we would always be together, that I would always have you be here by my side, what a laugh that is, as you seem intent on proving me wrong."
Harry turned and leaving Hermione staring after him, he walked out of the common room to go back and continue his conversation with Rowena. He explained to her how he had still been annoyed and had decided he had to give her a choice, if she had not made her mind up in the two weeks he would bring the friendship to an end so he could hopefully put some distance between himself and the girl he had fallen for over two years before, and to do it before his feelings got too deep. 'If they weren't already too deep' a small voice in his head whispered.
Rowena was interested in what Hermione had said and was surprised when he told her word for word what had been said and what had happened. From what she had learned about Hermione Granger from other portraits she had expected far more from the girl. Harry spent the entire evening talking to Rowena's portrait and when he eventually returned to the common room to go to bed, he did so with knowledge about the castle that had been hidden from everyone for a little over a millennium.
Walking back into the common room at fifteen minutes to midnight Harry found the place deserted apart from the one person he did not wish to see or talk to right then. Without a word he walked past her and made his way to the stairs of the boys' dormitories, he had his foot on the first step when she called him.
"Harry… can we talk?" she asked.
Harry stopped and without turning around and keeping his back to her so he would not have to look into those amazing brown eyes, he said "Sorry miss Granger but only my friends are allowed to call me Harry, I would be happy if you would remember that. I'm really tired right now and I'm going to bed, maybe tomorrow." He then continued up the stairs and went to bed.
Before he fell asleep his thoughts drifted to how things used to be, this time a year ago he had had two friends who he had thought of as his family. If he had found out the new things about the castle then, he would have been eager to share the news with them as soon as he could, this year however his two best friendships were at an end. Ron, who Harry had thought of as a brother, was too busy with Lavender Brown to bother speaking to him, and he had no idea what had happened with Hermione who had acted almost like a wife to him for five years, but was now acting like Pansy Parkinson.
He wasn't completely blind to how Hermione had been showing a romantic interest in Ron and as he lay there he admitted to himself he was jealous of Ron and if she ever asked him to be her boyfriend he would forgive her anything in an instant just to be able to kiss her.
Hermione had never been so lonely and miserable since she first started at Hogwarts; she had no real friends amongst the other girls, having always been part of a trio with Harry and Ron. Ron dating Lavender had really annoyed her and made her jealous, she saw Lavender as stealing her best friend and it was obvious Ron preferred her company and all the snogging to being with Hermione or Harry.
But it was Harry, who since he had practically ended their friendship kept vanishing each evening, and nobody knowing where he went that began to hurt the most, he no longer spoke to her even when they did see each other. Their long friendship was over and it was her who had drove Harry into ending it. He had given her the chance to put things right, but she had been stupidly stubborn, refusing to believe she was in the wrong. Each day that passed she missed him looking to her for advice and help, she missed their little talks, but mostly she simply missed being with him and being able to hug him or hold his hand occasionally.
It took a full month of this loneliness for her to realise she had been taking all her anger about losing a best friend to Lavender, out on her other best friend, and that had resulted in destroying the one friendship she finally knew she could not live without. She realised she could be happy without Ron around, but without Harry her life was empty and had no meaning. She had to admit to herself she was in love with him and knew she had made a really bad mistake and if she did nothing about it she would regret it for the rest of her life.
Early on the Sunday morning one month after Harry ended their long friendship, while Harry was at breakfast Hermione decided to try to follow Harry, maybe find out where he went, find out if he was seeing a girl. Find out if she had any chance of regaining his friendship. Taking the risk of things getting even worse with him, she snuck up to Harry's dorm and borrowed his invisibility cloak.
She was just in time reaching the entrance hall. Hidden under the cloak she watched as Harry left the great hall after having had his breakfast. He looked around as though checking he was alone before he made his way up the stairs, on the deserted third floor he walked down the corridor where they had once found a huge three headed dog. Reaching the end of the corridor Harry stopped to speak to a portrait, after a quick conversation the portrait frame slid along the wall revealing an ornate oak door hidden in a recess. Harry opened the door and stepped inside and out of sight.
Rushing forward Hermione managed to enter the doorway just before it closed and she found herself in an entirely new world. It was like she had stepped back over a thousand years, there were no portraits or paintings on the walls; instead each wall was covered in various tapestries swords shields and other weapons, what furniture there was, was the oldest style she had ever seen. Harry was hurrying toward a flight of stairs and Hermione almost lost track of him as she looked around in surprise at where she had found herself. She was in another Hogwarts, one that was far different to the one she knew and loved.
Two more flights of stairs saw Harry walk along a corridor and then open the fourth door along. By the time she reached the door it had closed, she waited for a minute to gather her courage before she removed the cloak and placed it in an inside pocket of her robes. Taking a deep breath and praying that Harry was not with a girl she reached out and opened the door.
Entering through the doorway Hermione found herself in a room where Harry was sitting with four people who she recognised from their descriptions in Hogwarts a history. Four people who most definitely should not be in the world at the same time as Harry and her. Four people who Harry was quite happily talking to as though he knew them well, and yet he should in no way be able too know them at all.
Harry saw the surprised look that came on the face of the slightly overweight woman sitting in front of him as she looked over his shoulder, turning in his chair to see what had caused the reaction he found himself looking into the brown and amber eyes he knew so well.
"Bloody hell! Granger what the heck are you doing here, did you follow me?" he almost whispered.
The woman to Harry's left cleared her throat a little and said "I suppose you should introduce us to Miss Granger, Harry."
Harry looked at his companions and nodded "I suppose I have no choice. Rowena, Godric, Helga, Salazar, this is a former friend of mine, Miss Hermione Jane Granger. Hermione Jane Granger I would like you to meet the legendary founders' of Hogwarts."
The disappointment in Hermione's face when he introduced her as a former friend was obvious to them all except Harry who was looking at the floor while he spoke.
"Before we proceed further I think that our two young ones should talk, and sort their problem. Come my friends let us retire to take beverage and leave them to sort their quarrel," Godric said as he rose from his seat.
By the time Harry looked up, his four new friends were leaving the room through a doorway behind them. The last thing he wanted was to open up the wounds from earlier in the term, he was only just beginning to come to terms with not spending all his time in the company of the girl who was stood just a few feet away from him.
"Harry, I'm so sorry I hurt you," Hermione said before he started to say something that would hurt her again, from deep inside herself she felt this might well be her last ever chance to put things right with him.
Harry's head snapped up from its slightly bowed position "I'd rather know why, than to hear how you're sorry. Why are you being so hateful, what did I do that deserved that sort of treatment from someone I loved?"
"Harry I wasn't thinking right I was… hang on, what do you mean 'you loved'?" Hermione asked in surprise as his words registered in her mind.
"Well I thought it was bloody obvious to everyone that I loved you. I thought you might have some similar feelings for me, but I now know that was wrong. For five years you got on at me to do better, study harder, get better grades, then as soon as I found something to help me do that, were you happy? 'No' instead you turn nasty and hateful even after I offered to share that little bit of luck with you." Was his rather loud reply.
"Are you saying you were in love with me?" came Hermione's astonished question.
"Funny all this time I thought you were the most intelligent person I ever knew, seems I was wrong about that too, yes I'm in lov… was in love with you, how could I not be?" Harry said exasperated with everything that was happening.
Hermione's mind was spinning, Harry had been in love with her and if his slip was anything to go by he was still in love with her, she found that thought exhilarating and it excited parts of her that had never been awakened before. It was then she told herself it would be so easy for her to fall in love with him completely, the quiet little voice in her head whispered 'you really are a fool, you've been in love with him for years. Why the heck do you think you always worried so much about him? Your blindness to your own feelings, your refusal to listen to me and your disgusting selfish behaviour this year could well have been the biggest disaster in your life tell him how you feel woman'
"Harry… er, please, will you forgive me for how I behaved, can we put the past year and the completely idiotic and stupid way I have been behaving behind us, can you please please forgive me, let me try to put things right because I… well I… I mean… Oh bugger it. I love you… I'm in love with you… there I said it, I've admitted it out loud, I love you and my stupid fear of being hurt again and the prophecy and anger over losing Ron as a best friend made me deny that, even to my self and I behaved like a complete fool… bloody hell Harry, I can't live without you in my life, god I even want your babies," she said her pleading eyes never leaving his even while she wondered where the part about babies came from.
Harry did not move for a long moment, he just stood there looking at her, then he lifted his hand and beckoned for her to come closer to him. As she reached the point just out of his reach he held out his open arms to her. Hermione launched herself at him almost knocking him off balance.
Harry spoke jokingly with a huge grin on his face as they hugged tightly "Why the hell I still love you I don't know, but then I never could resist you. If that was your way of asking me to marry you, I cant see any reason not too, the babies though will have to wait just a little while, but having said that I recon it would be great to put in some practice while waiting, and the sooner the better as far as I am concerned." He ended with a loud chuckle.
Hermione was shocked and it showed on her face. What Harry did not know was it was her own reaction to his playful words that had shocked her, her first thought had been 'Oh god sex with him, 'yes'!' her next thought had been 'how soon can we do it' followed by 'I'd even be happy to let him give me a baby right here right now'. Taking a breath she whispered in his ear "Any time you want to practice you'll find me ready… And now that you mention it I think we should get married during the next holiday we have, I mean we've already done the going out together bit." She added with a chuckle of her own.
Harry stared at her his eyes stretched open wide as he realised what she was saying, he was about to reply when the door behind them opened and a grinning Godric walked back into the room, seeing them hugging he smiled "Is everything sorted?" he asked as he made his way to his seat.
Harry watched the founders as they re-entered the room, as he watched he was thinking how easy it had been for him to forgive and accept Hermione back into his life, the thought of the last thing she had said seemed to echo in his head bringing thoughts that he had never had before. The thoughts were then tempered a little as he realised the only thing he knew about the female anatomy, and how babies were made came from his dorm mates, and what little he had managed to see on the Dursley's TV on the odd occasion he had managed to watch it a little. He hardly had any idea at all about giving the girl pleasure while making a baby, and no idea at all about looking after a baby let alone being a father and bringing one up, but having his own family was his deepest desire so he needed to find out.
The thought that the only person he could ask was the girl involved did not cheer him at all, asking Hermione what to do would be far to embarrassing for him. Then Salazar Slytherin placed his hand on his shoulder and gave it a little squeeze.
"You alright Harry son?" he asked as he took his seat.
Harry then had one of the few epiphanies he had while at Hogwarts, he could learn all he needed to know easily, he just needed the courage to ask his new mentors for some advice, all he needed was a little time and a quiet word. He felt sure they would be willing to talk to him about sex and what he would need to do to make Hermione happy. Momentarily he felt a twinge of sorrow when he thought he really had no one else to give him the talk his room mates had seemed to find highly embarrassing, he wouldn't mind being embarrassed if he had his father here to give him the talk.
His mind was brought back to what was happening as Rowena was explaining to Hermione that the doorway they had entered was a portal to the past. They could go back to any time in which the castle had existed and if they were careful they could come and go between the future and the past with little problem.
Harry interrupted Rowena by raising his hand as though in class, "Er… Hermione, I accept, I mean yes, during the next holiday break I will marry you."