Hermione glared at Harry in a most unusual way. It was almost as if they were having a staring contest, and when someone would lose they would be cursed.
They were sitting out on the Hogwarts grounds; it was late into the year. Very late. In fact, they were supposed to be leaving on the Hogwarts Express in about one hour.
Ron and Draco came walking up to them.
“Hey,” Ron said as they came closer.
Neither Harry nor Hermione lifted a finger to them, they didn’t say ‘hi’, and didn’t stop staring down each other.
“What’s up with them?” Draco asked Ron.
“Obviously one of them is mad. Or both. You can never tell with those two.”
Draco shook Hermione, but she didn’t move. Ron locked his arm around Harry’s and tried to pull him off the ground. Eventually he succeeded.
“Ron, what are you doing?” Harry asked him.
But before he could answer Hermione chimed in, “Oh my god. We’ve got less than an hour to get ready.”
Draco nodded. Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Draco all raced up to the front doors. Then slowed down to a walk as they opened them.
Everyone was inside, making last minute preparations. There was an enormous commotion and the halls rang with laughter and speech. People around were all signing pictures as the seventh years all had gotten photographs. Soon others spotted the four-some.
Parvati Patil and her sister Padma pranced up to them, “Hey. You guys want to sign our pictures?”
They saw that the twins had pictures of nearly everyone in the seventh year. Harry could spot his and glimpsed that it was moving, as usual.
“Sure,” he said as he grabbed both of his pictures from their hands. The others followed suit.
After about twenty people had come up to them and asked them for their autographs, Draco split from the pack and headed for the dungeons.
Walking up the steps toward the Gryffindor common room, Harry caught sight of Colin Creevey and his brother, Dennis.
“Hey Harry, Hermione, Ron,” he said in a very eager voice.
“What do you want, Colin?” Harry questioned.
Colin and Dennis each held out a picture of Harry. It wasn’t like the others though; it was of him playing Quidditch.
Harry assumed that Colin had taken the picture with his camera, he so very much adored; though not more than Harry. In great depression, Harry took the pictures away from the two, pulled out his quill, and signed his name.
They soon made it up to the common room.
“Dragon hair,” Ron said and the painting of the lady in the pink dress opened.
Inside there were several trunks lined up, all ready to be carried downstairs and out to the train. Harry, Ron, and Hermione fumbled up the stairs and turned separate ways when they reached the top to go into their own dormitories.
When Harry and Ron opened the door to their room, which still occupied the five beds, and started packing up all their trinkets and clothes Ron spoke up. Dean and Seamus and Neville listened closely to their conversation while pretending to pack also.
“Why were you and Hermione staring at each other like it was a death match?”
Harry froze; he couldn’t really recall what had made Hermione so pissed. “I don’t know.”
Ron shrugged, “You know Harry, I don’t believe you.”
“What?” Harry said with a perplexed expression on his face.
“You just can’t give in to the fact that you like her.”
“What are you talking about, Ron?”
“Remember the first Yule Ball.”
“Remember how pretty she looked.”
“And now she’s started using that look quite a bit.”
“And remember how worried she was about you after the second task in the Triwizard Tournament.”
“And remember how distressed she was when you hopefully defeated You-Know-Who.”
“And remember how gorgeous she is.”
“Yeah.” Harry’s face went a bright pink color.
“And remember how much you love her.”
Ron grinned. “I mean, no.”
Ron broke out into hysterical laughter and doubled up onto the floor.
The other three joined in. Harry’s face went a vivid red, which was full of embarrassment and anger.
“Yeah, we finally got him to admit it,” Dean said as he tripped over his trunk and flipped onto his bed.
Everyone burst out laughing and he smiled then hopped up and gave a bow as if he had purposely done it. This made them laugh even harder.
The party piled onto the Hogwarts Express, all eight of them. There was Harry, Hermione, Ron, Draco, Parvati, Dean, Lavender, and Seamus. Yet there were only two couples, who obviously were sitting on each other’s laps. They were as following; Parvati and Seamus, and Lavender and Dean. Ron had previously been dating Padma, but they broke up before the end.
Then rose a commotion. They all agreed to pass around their pictures of each other. They each wrote their names on the back of their photos and then gave them to the others and followed a circle. Eventually, when all the photos had been returned to their owners you couldn’t tell whom the picture was of.
The group fell into a quiet conversation.
“You guys realize that we’re never going back to Hogwarts,” Ron said in a gloomy voice.
The other seven replied with a simple ‘yeah’ in the same tone.
“Well, I’m going back,” Lavender said in a cheer-up sound.
“Why?” Draco asked.
“I got a job there as the Divination teacher.”
The rest nodded. They knew that the job suited Lavender well.
“Yeah, and I’m going to become a fortune teller. I’ve made a shop in Hogsmeade,” Parvati told them in an equally cheerful voice.
Soon the quiet conversation erupted into a telling of what they would do while they were out of Hogwarts.
“I’m working with Mr. Ollivanders at the wand shop in Diagon Alley,” Draco said.
Dean told his next, “I’m working for the Daily Prophet as an editor.”
“I’ll be working at a book shop in Diagon Alley.” This was evidently Hermione.
“I’ve got a job at the Quidditch shop,” Ron said.
Seamus told everyone, “I’m going to be at the Three Broomsticks.”
“What are you doing, Harry?” Parvati asked him.
Harry thought for a moment, then remembered what it was. “I’m playing for the England Quidditch team.”
Hermione was still not talking to Harry. Ron noticed this. (He probably did something to really piss her off.)
The group fell into a sudden silence. All of them were thinking different thoughts.
(What will happen after we split up?) Ron thought.
(When will we see each other again?) was on Draco’s mind.
(I hate Harry.) was of course what Hermione had among her brain.
The trolley cart, which was being pushed by the same old woman, rolled along to the group’s compartment.
(Now she going to say ‘anything off the trolley, dears?’ and then we’ll all order.) ran across Dean’s head.
“Anything off the trolley, dears?”
They all ordered they’re usual; Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, Chocolate Frogs, Pumpkin Pasties, and all the other goodies that were stored.
Not long after they started eating the whistle blew. They all reluctantly got off their seats and walked out into the crowded street of Platform 9¾.
Harry looked around. Every girl was crying, all the boys were shaking hands. And then there were the eight of them. Hermione hugged everyone except Harry, who got a glance, then trotted off towards her parents.
The others did the same although they actually said something to Harry, then walked off to find their parents.
Harry chose to apparate to his new home. It was off in the middle of nowhere it seemed, surrounded by forest and a crystal lake. It was in possession of Sirius who was now Harry’s official guardian. Harry was thankful to not be going home to the Dursley’s this summer.
He arrived at the front door of a fairly good-sized house. It had a large oak door and was made of wood. It had nice, white polished windows and a concrete porch. It was two stories tall and the backyard faced the lake that was a bright blue on account of the sky. Harry stepped into the home and set his trunk down by the door to rest.
(There’s nothing to complain about, Harry.) he told himself. (How about this, Hogwarts is over, Hermione hates me, and my life is trash.)