‘Fifth year.’ Harry thought while running through a drill Balthazzar had set up, “Maybe the end of forth year. Yeah, that kiss on the cheek was what did it or maybe when she hugged me and told me I was a great wizard and that I was brave during our first year and I blew it. We’ll probably snog for a few months then she’ll get tired of me, and I’ll lose not only a girlfriend by my best friend too, Merlin I’ve blew it,” He thought out loud before yelping at Balthazzar’s cane hitting hard on his knee.
“CONCENTRATE!” Balthazzar barked before setting back to watch.
‘She probably hates me now.’ Harry thought as he continued through his exercises, ‘Wonderful, Potter, simply wonderful! Hey Hermione, I love you too, but I have to run like a coward because I haven’t a clue what the bloody heck I am, idiot!’ Harry scolded himself. ‘Friendship and bravery, I’m not even brave enough to face my own friends.’
“Ok enough of that! New practice!” Balthazzar said quickly causing Harry to look up from his thoughts just in time to see a Bludger coming at him before it plowed right between his eyes. Harry’s feet and head switched places before he hit the ground with a sickening thud.
Harry moaned while rubbing the apparent massive bruise on his forehead. “What was that?” He asked finally opening his eyes and jerking to see Balthazzar’s hideous face inches from his own. The old sage chuckle evilly.
“That’s what you get!” Balthazzar scolded, “If you would have been paying attention to the here and now, and not on that Hoochie Mama back at Hogwarts you would not be in this situation where you have just been knocked on your backside by a flying ball of all things, and being scolded by me for being a hormonal worry wart dumbass. You are foolish to think she belittles you enough to make you a simple month or two fling. Look back at your last few years, Hero. Look at your friendship and tell me where it can’t benefit going farther. And … and look at yourself now!” Balthazzar then smiled, “That bruise make you look a bit like me.”
“Oh God…” Harry gasped setting up, “DON’T SAY THAT!” he yelled as he relaxed and brought his hand to his face and slowly healed himself.
“Very good, Hero,” Balthazzar praised, “You are learning after all … I’m surprised.”
Harry pulled himself to his feet. “Ok let’s try that again.” He said his mind now fully on the ball trying to take his head off. Then a moment later the Bludger come flying toward him at the speed of a bullet, yet Harry easily dodged it. The Bludger made several more passes at other angles but Harry as before, dodged it with ease.
“Give me a challenge Balth… GA!” Harry exclaimed gripping his scare on his forehead, giving the Bludger a opening to hit him in the chest sending the air out of his lungs.
“Are you ok, Harry?” Sirius asked crouching down beside his godson.
Harry just pulled himself to a setting position, “Balthazzar, you said Voldemort wasn’t behind what’s going on?” Harry asked looking at the puzzled sage.
“Yes, that’s correct.” Balthazzar responded not understanding.
Harry then sighed worriedly, “Then I think we have another problem on our hands.”
Later, at Hogwarts…
“One more time, Ms. Granger.” Madam Pomfrey sighed looking down at Hermione reclining on a psychiatrist’s couch, “Why are you physically attracted to the stone walls of Hogwarts Castle?”
“HONESTLY!” Hermione cried trying not to yell, “Like I’ve told you for the last few weeks! I am NOT attracted to stones, or bricks, or any bloody thing else, I THOUGHT I was kissing HARRY!”
“As you’ve said,” Madam Pomfrey replied unemotionally, “but if Harry was there, why did no one else see him?”
“I don’t know.” Hermione grunted in frustration.
“OK, tell me about the three headed dog.” Pomfrey asked looking at a parchment.
“Fluffy is Hagrid’s watch dog, Prof. Dumbledore uses him to protect The Mirror of Erised.” Hermione explained.
“Ah yes, the mirror who can show a person’s deepest desire. Not many children know of that fairy tale these days.”
“It’s not a fairy tale, it’s here!” Hermione said growing angry as usual.
“Of course it is.” Madam Pomfrey said with a reassuring smile, which sickened Hermione, “as is your image of Harry being a all powerful being. As I’ve tried to explain, it is all merely a fantasy produced by your mind from grieving and missing your best friend. I’ve already made arrangements for you to take an early Christmas Holiday so you can have extra time to rest and recover. Go home and rest, Hermione. You could really use it.”
“Fine.” Hermione snapped setting up and stomping toward the exit.
As she walked out the door Ron, who had been waiting for her as usual, stepped up and tried to keep up, “How’d it go, Herm?” he asked before flinching from the glare.
“She’s sending me home early, because she thinks I’m nuts, Ron!” Hermione growled, “Honestly!”
“No one thinks your nuts… no one important anyway…” Ron said his voice braking off at the end, “But maybe you could use some extra rest, you know to help you…”
“I KNOW! I KNOW! Help me get over Harry, I’ve heard it bloody all!” She snapped stomping her foot, “I swear to Merlin and all things considered holy in this world, that once I find out who made me look like a bloody fool, I’ll bloody tear them limb from bloody limb, with my bloody bare hands!”
“Hermione…” Ron said soothingly, “Don’t you think that’s a bit much?” he asked with a smile, which quickly changed to a look of fear with an audible ‘eep’ when he saw the death glare to end all death glares on Hermione’s face, “Ok, shutting it now.”
“Go to class, Ron,” Hermione sighed, “I have to go start packing, I go home tomorrow.”
“I’ll see you…” Ron started as he turned toward her only to see her already storming off, “after class then… good day to you too.”
Hermione walked into the commons room and set down on the couch nearest to the fire with a sigh, “I’m not crazy!” She said out loud to no one in particular.
“Hey!” A hushed voice came from the stairs of the girl’s dormitory catching Hermione’s attention, “of course you’re not, Mione.”
“What?” Hermione asked looking in that direction, ‘what’s going on? Everyone should be in class. No one should be here.’ She thought looking toward the spiral staircase.
“Mione, come on!” the voice said again.
She slowly and timidly got up and walked up the steps toward the dormitories. Whoever was talking to her was just ahead because the door slammed just as she got to it. She worked her fingers over the doorknob a few seconds before finally opening the door and to her surprise there was no one there but on her bed was a small trunk which door seemed to have just been slammed.
“What’s going on here?” she asked walking over to her bed. Her cat, Crookshanks, jumped up on the bed and began to rub up against the trunk lovingly. ‘That’s weird.’ She thought observing her cat’s unusual behavior.
She slowly opened the lid to the trunk and to her surprised she found another cat. She picked it up in her arms and looked it over, he was a male, silky jet black short fur, and had very deep emerald green eyes, and also an unusual mark almost like a scar on his forehead in the shape of an X.
It mewed contently at her almost like it was overjoyed to see her. “Hello there,” Hermione coo petting him. She then set him down next to Crookshanks but started to reach for him when she recalled he was not fond of any other cats. She was shocked when she saw Crookshanks rub up against the cat almost like he has already known him. “What’s this?” she asked reaching into the trunk and pulling out a small note.
P.S. Don’t forget
“Could … you be from … Harry?” Hermione asked picking the cat up before setting on the bed and setting the cat on her lap, “Harry, or whoever gave you to me, didn’t give me a name for you.” she brought her hand to her cheek in thought, “Black? Night? Emerald?” she asked getting a blank looks back in return, “Wait I know!” she said tracing the mark on his forehead,
“How do you like… Scar?” the cat answered with purrs as she scratched behind his ears.
Hermione giggled and hugged her new friend before setting him back down on her bed, “Ok you and Crookshanks don’t go anywhere while I finish packing.” She said getting up and moving toward her dresser, “Tomorrow I’ll show you where I live when I’m not here at Hogwarts!” She said excitedly, “but tonight… Usually I just sleep with Crookshanks, but I’m sure he won’t mind you sleeping with me too.”
“Scar?” Hermione asked moving around to the edge of the bed where her new cat mysteriously simply fell off the side. “What’s wrong?” She asked picking up the prone feline and laying him on the bed and whipped the few drops of blood from his nose she guessed was from the fall. “Hmm, must be like those fainting goats.”
She pet him a few time before going back to packing cheered up more then anyone else has been able to since Harry left the school.
Meanwhile outside the window a pair of eyes watched the scene.
“Balthazzar, do you think he knows what he’s getting into?” Sirius asked worriedly.
“Can Dumbledore ever find decent tasting candy?” Balthazzar responded.
“Then shouldn’t we get him out of there?” Sirius asked watching Scar slowly regained consciousness.
“No.” Balthazzar responded smoothly, “This is part of his training. Besides, this could be entertaining.”
Not long later, Hermione finished packing her trunk, and threw herself back down on the bed, beside the recovering Scar. “I think I’ll go … just one more time …” Hermione said as Scar looked at her with confusion.
“You want to come with me, sweetheart?” Hermione asked, not noticing the dreamy look in the cat’s green eyes when she called him ‘sweetheart’.
She then smiled and picked the black cat up into her arms and started toward the commons room. “Everyone should be in the Dinning Hall,” Hermione mused, realizing it was Dinnertime. “We should be able to make it without anyone seeing us.”
Hermione, with Scar in her arms, made her way out of the Gryffindor tower and made her way toward the forbidden third floor of the school.
Hermione slowly eased into Fluffy’s chamber and to her shock, the dog was infact wide-awake. She tried to run, but was frozen in fear at the growling behemoth. Why she just waltzed into the chamber without casting a Musica charm first was beyond her. But there she was her fearful eyes meeting Fluffy’s six angry eyes.
Hermione closed her eyes tight waiting for the pain, but when it never came she slowly looked up to see Fluffy sniffing her worriedly. Then she let out a slight yelp when Fluffy cried out and dove into the far corner of the chamber, trembling and whimpering.
Hermione looked on at the cowering three-headed dog, cocking her head to the side trying to understand what exactly just happened, and failing to notice her now blue-eyed cat literally smiling at the fearful K9.
Hermione then carefully made her way down the small trapdoor and on through the traps and on to the Mirror’s chamber. “I’m sorry for having to drag you through all this, Scar,” Hermione apologized before walking into the chamber, “ I don’t know if I’ll get to see him over the holidays or not, and I … just had to see him one more time before I go home.”
Hermione then walked in and sat down before the mirror, “Harry?” she asked but her eyes slowly gave in to worry, “Harry? Where are you?” She had expected to see Harry in her arms, as she has seen this whole time. But instead she only saw her reflection setting before the mirror with Scar being held tight to her chest.
She set for a few more moments, before sighing and standing to her feet. “I … I wonder what this means …” she asked no one in particular before taking one last at the mirror and exiting the chamber.
Meanwhile, in a hidden temple in the very center of the Forbidden Forest
“You summoned me, my Lord?” Wormtail said walking into a dark chamber.
“Yes,” Lord Voldemort hissed, “Any word on the Potter child?”
“Last report he still is without the use of Magic. This is great news, Master! Without Potter’s there to forewarn Dumbledore, our army…er YOUR army is more then enough to take Hogwarts and then the world! And Potter will be easy pickings for you to destroy at your leisure!”
“I see no good news from this,” Voldemort snapped, “Where is the challenge? Where is the hunt? Harry Potter had the makings of a great wizard and was already a worthy advisory, the thoughts of facing him as a mere…MUGGLE… saddens me.”
“I am sorry, my Lord,” Wormtail apologized, “So when shall we make our attack?”
“You will lead the first attack upon the students’ return after the new year. Hogwarts will be mine.”