Days turned to Weeks, and Weeks turned to months, and it was now December, and Hermione and Ron hadn’t heard anything from Harry and Sirius since Sirius said he was taking Harry to try to get his magic back. To say they were worried was an understatement. Hermione especially.
“Hermione, please.” Ron pleaded, “You have to eat!” Ron pleaded shoving a bowl of soup across to her in the dinning hall. “You don’t eat like you should, you think Harry would want you getting sick?”
Hermione grunted something barely above a whisper, that was more then likely a curse word directed toward Ron.
“Hermione, you can’t stay depressed forever,” Ron continued to coax, “It’s almost Christmas for crying out loud!”
“I’m scared, Ron.” Hermione finally whispered not looking up.
“What?” Ron asked growing concerned.
“I’m scared of a lot of things. Some Gryffindor I am,” She sighed.
“Tell me.” Ron said placing a hand over her’s.
“I’m scared for Harry, I … I can’t shake the feeling something terrible happened to him. What if I never see him every again?” She asked, tears beginning to form as they have on a daily basis since Harry left, “I’m also afraid of Draco and You-Know-Who. I know Prof. Dumbledore intimidates him, but he’s back at full power now, and it really wasn’t the Headmaster that’s defeated him all these times, it was Harry and…and he isn’t here anymore. Who’s going to help us if You Know Who comes again.”
“That’s all silly talk, Hermione.” Ron said reassuringly, “Number one, Harry’s fine, he’s with Sirius, and if I know Harry Potter, nothing will stop him from coming back to us, to you. Number two, What ever You-Know-Who and that jerk Malfoy’s planning, if Prof. Dumbledore can’t stop it, I know Harry will show up in the nick of time, just like he always does! You know Harry can’t help but play hero.”
“I don’t know…” Hermione sighed sadly.
“I do, now come on.” Ron said pulling her to her feet quickly, “We’re going to the Commons and you’re going to watch as I beat you with my uncanny Wizard Chess skills!”
“Witch’s Chess.” Hermione corrected with the closest thing to a smile she’s given in a weeks, “And you’re going to lose this time.”
“We’ll see!” Ron chuckled, as the two left the dinning hall, not aware of the eyes that were watching them.
Later that night, Draco shot out of Hogwarts toward the Forbidden Forest, “Master! Master!” He called out wildly.
“I am here, my apprentice.” A voice called from a nearby shadow.
“They know, Master! They know!” Draco panicked.
“Granger and Weasley?” the voice responded, “I am truly not surprised. The Mudblood’s attention to detail is the reason Potter has foiled Riddle’s plans even after he had regained his physical form.”
“What are we going to do?” Draco asked, “If they inform someone in the Ministry, your powers are not strong enough to take a full on battle against the whole Ministry of Magic!”
Draco then doubled over in pain, “Do NOT question my powers, Apprentice!” The voice growled, “You were nothing but a pathetic Mudblood meant to live a life of a Muggle before I dropped you on Malfoy’s doorstop all those years ago, and began your training to be my successor. Know your place, BOY, or else I will take away what I have given you and leave you back on the streets to fend for yourself!”
“F-Forgive me, Master.” Draco begged from his hands and knees.
“You are correct though, Apprentice.” The voice mused, “Those two could present a problem. Eliminate them. But make it ‘an accident’.”
“How would you like me to do it, Master?” Draco asked finally pulling himself to his feet.
“Use the dog.” The voice said sounding as though he was walking away.
That next evening was Hogwarts’ Christmas Dinner. The Dinning hall was filled with laughter and chatter of students excited to go home and visit their families for Christmas the following week. Everyone seemed happy, everyone except with little surprise Hermione. But even she couldn’t help but smile at Ron, he’d not admit it and neither would Lavender but they’ve been spending an awful lot of time together. Hermione then laughed loudly when Lavender looked up and noticed enchanted mistletoe floating in mid air over their heads and quickly laid one on him before he could get away.
Lavender broke it quickly leaving Ron completely brain fried. She lead him over to where Hermione was seated and helped him set down, seeing as he’s mind no longer had the ability to function enough to understand the concept of setting.
“Take it someone has a boyfriend now.” Hermione teased.
“I don’t know if it’s really that far yet.” Lavender responded trying to snap Ron out of his daze.
“DRACO!” Crabbe yelled running through the crowded dinning hall, “Where are you? Draco!”
Crabbe then ran on followed closely by Goyle.
“Hmm, I wonder where Malfoy is?” Lavender asked absentmindedly as she watched the two stooges run out into the hallway.
Hermione didn’t have a chance to even think of a worry when the two Slytherins came running back in faster then they went out, “Big dog…BIG, Big dog…BIG, BIG, BIG, Three-headed Dog… BIG, BIG, BIG, ANGRY, THREE-HEADED DOG!!!” They yelled, while running trying to find a place to hide.
“big … three-headed … FLUFFY!” Hermione screamed as the massive, black, three-headed dog Hagrid named Fluffy came bounding into the hall, foaming at the mouth.
“Fluffy?” Ron asked coming immediately out of his trance, “FLUFFY! RUN!!!” He yelled grabbing both Hermione and Lavender’s wrists and took off running away from the angry animal.
Hermione was struggling to keep up with Ron when she tripped and fell hard on the stone floor. Ron didn’t notice her fall till he was several feet away and spun around quickly to see Fluffy barring down on her.
Hermione rolled over on her back and watched the dog jump into the air and come straight toward her; She could have jumped out of the way probably but was completely frozen in fear. “Harry…” She whimpered/prayed, hoping for a miracle.
She closed her eyes tight and felt something hit and jerk her into the air. She thought it was Fluffy’s jaws, but why was there no pain? Was she dead? Weather she was or not, she was too scared to open her eyes to see. After a few moments she gathered the courage to open her eyes, and to her surprise she was being cradled in someone’s arms.
The guy looked about her age, though much, much taller, atleast 6’9”, he wasn’t massive but he was very well build, and was wearing strange form fitting dark brown robes. She looked up at his face. It was slightly boyish yet mature with well defined cheekbones and she noticed his unruly raven black hair, and almost glowing blue eyes, and a strange X shaped scar on his forehead.
She looked down and to her surprise he was standing on thin air atleast twenty feet in the air. She yelped and closed her eyes fearfully, “Are you ok?” he asked and to her surprise his worry-filled light blue eyes slowly changed to emerald green.
‘Those eyes… can it be?’ She though gazing into the deep green eyes, “Harry?” She asked nervously.
“Uhh…” He gawked not sure what to say, but Ron’s screams broke his thoughts, “Fluffy’s acting wired,” He said looking down at Fluffy chasing Ron and Lavender and ignoring everyone else, before going after him at neck break speed leaving Hermione’s stumach where they were floating.
“He seems to be just after you and Ron, ‘Mione.” He said absent-mindedly as he landed between the cowering Ron and Lavender the raging K9. “Bad Fluffy!” He cried setting Hermione down and gently pushing her behind him. “Stay behind me,” He ordered coolly, not looking back.
Fluffy then lunged at Hermione and the stranger stuck his arm out between them, which Fluffy forcefully took a bite out of. The young man jerked his arm away and took a step back cradling it.
“You shouldn’t have done that, pup,” He growled as his green eyes returned to the previous blue color. He then stretched out his good arm, and his opened hand began to glow, “Bad Fluffy! Bad!” He yelled as white light surrounded the massive dog and he started to float. “Go to sleep, Fluffy, You’ve had a long day.” He said casually and the dog’s six eyes began to get heavy.
“Now go back to your chamber like a good puppy, and I’ll have Hagrid send you a doggy treat later,” He said with a smirk as the dog slowly lowered to the ground. Once he was to the ground, Harry walked up to the massive dog and patted his middle head, “now move along, and don’t want to cause anymore trouble,”
Fluffy whimpered a moment before slowly walking back out the way he came. The Teenager turned back around to the fainted Ron and Lavender, and the wide-eyed Hermione letting his eyes fade back to their natural green. “Are they all right?” he asked looking down at the collapsed figures.
“Harry… it is you…” Hermione gasped staring into his deep green eyes.
“Hermione.” Harry sighed. He hadn’t planed on revealing himself like this. He still had a lot of training to do before he could officially return.
“You’re bleeding!” Hermione yelped grabbing his arm, and touching his wound gently.
“It’s just a scratch,” Harry said softly but jerked slightly when she touched a tender spot.
She looked up at him, then down at her now bloody fingers from touching his injury, “But…it’s bleeding. It needs to be taken care of.”
“I’ll be ok, I really have to go now,” He said turning to leave.
“No!” She yelled running around in front of him, “I want to know what happened! What happened? How did you … you change this much?” She asked looking him over again.
“I’ll explain soon enough, ‘Mione, but I really Have to go. I’m sorry,” Harry reasoned.
“I don’t want you to leave me again,” Hermione sighed looking down sadly.
I didn’t leave you the first time,” Harry said softly, while stroking her cheek.
“Harry…” Hermione sighed leaning into his hand, as a tear ran down her cheek.
“Hermione…” Harry said bending down so his face was just barely an inch from her’s, “Don’t forget what I told you before I left, all you have to do is remember, and I’ll be with you.”
“Harry … I …” Hermione whispered before Harry bent down and gently placed his lips on hers.
Hermione was in heaven, she brought her hands to rest on his chest and kissed him back with every ounce of passion in her body. She held the kiss until something made her jump high into the air, “Hermione, what the bloody hell are you doing???” She spun around and saw that Ron as well as everyone else in the dinning hall was staring at her like a circus freak.
“W-what?” She asked nervously, “Where’d Harry go?” she asked looking around at the countless wide eyes.
“Hermione, uh Harry wasn’t here, you’ve been snogging with the bloody wall for the last five minutes.” Lavender choked out worriedly.
“Yes he was! He…he saved me and Ron and you and everyone else from Fluffy!” Hermione snapped getting a worried look from Ron.
“Hermione, that didn’t happen…” Ron said walking up, “I miss him too, but this is outrageous. Let me take you and let you see Madam Pomfrey.” Ron then walked up and took Hermione’s arm gently and led her out of the Dinning hall.
“I know what I saw!” Hermione said working her hands together, she glanced down and gasped when she saw the blood still on her hands from where she touched Harry’s injured arm.
She was about to comment on it when a voice called from behind them, “RON! HERMIONE!”
They looked behind them and spotted Percy running up to them.
“What are you doing here, Bro?” Ron asked looking up at his older brother.
“Just got a letter from Harry for you two, and thought I’d deliver it personally.” Percy said happily as he handed Ron the letter. But kept one of his arms behind him strangely
Ron opened the letter and started reading it out loud,
Dear Ron and Hermione,
I have good news, I think I’ve finally found away to use magic again, but it’s going to take a lot of work to learn how to do it. Sirius received your letter a few months ago and I thought I’d suggest neither one of you stay over Christmas Holiday. I don’t know if Draco is working for Voldemort or someone else, but I am really worried about you. I hope to see you both soon, take care of each other.
P.S. Mione, don’t forget.
Hermione and Ron looked at each other and nodded. “See Hermione, he’s far off from here, there’s no way he could have came and saved us, and I think I’d remember being chased by that bloody three-headed hell hound!” Ron said sticking his chest out causing Hermione to roll her eyes and made Percy smirk unusually.
“Well, Mates, I better get back to work, be careful. Take care, Lil Ronniekins,” Percy said turning toward the exit.
“Bye, Percy!” Ron said as they both waved good-bye, “Now Hermione, lets go talk to Madam Pomfrey.”
Percy walked outside the gates of Hogwarts and looked around suspiciously before walking into the shadows.
“You took to much of a risk!” Balthazzar said walking up, “You still have much to learn!”
“I know.” Percy said as his eyes changed to light blue and his body started go glow white. Then in a flash of light Harry replaced Percy. “Take it was you who cleared their memory.” Harry asked looking toward the old sage who was eyeing him angrily.
“How’s your arm?” Sirius asked looking at Harry’s injury.
“Not as bad as it looks.” Harry said looking at the bloody mess on his arm.
“Let me see it.” Balthazzar snapped bringing a glowing hand to the teenager’s arm, and after a few moments the wound was completely healed. “If you would have waited a little longer, you could have done that on your own.”
“IF I WOULD HAVE WAITED A LITTLE LONGER,” Harry snapped, “Ron and Hermione wouldn’t be here anymore-”
“Nonsense, Dumbledore could have easily stopped the dog without your interference.” Balthazzar said matter-of-factly.
“Still…” Harry grumbled looking down as if in shame.
“I have to admit one thing, Hero.” Balthazzar said with a smirk, “That girl you saved is a real hottie, do you think she’d be interested in older men? Huh? Do ya?” Balthazzar asked excitedly.
“NO!” Harry snapped making both Sirius and Balthazzar step back, “Find your own girlfriend, you old pervert!”
“Hey!” Balthazzar yelped as if he was insulted, “who’s old?”
Harry rolled his eyes, “Lets just get back, so I can hurry and finish this training.”