All recognized characters belong to J.K. Rowling
Everything else is mine.
R – for violence, language and adult content
Contains male/male pairings- That's SLASH... you know, GAY
Harry Potter and the Parliament of Dreams
Chapter 3 – Summer Moon
The afternoon in Ron’s attic room passed quietly. Justin and Mickey eventually fell asleep, although Mickey had climbed into the cot with Justin. Harry slept deeply the whole time, having used far more energy than he was used to using. Ron drifted in and out of sleep, listening to the other boys in the room whenever he was awake.
Ron was the only one truly awake when George appeared in the doorway. His red head popped into the room around the door and looked right at Ron.
“Mum says to wake them up, so she can get some food into them,” George said quietly as he came slowly into the room.
Ron nodded and got out of bed, heading for Harry. George made his way over to Justin and his brother. George very gently shook Justin’s shoulder, causing him to pop his eyes open. The look of pain that crossed Justin’s face touched George deep in his heart. The normally jovial twin had a look of sincere compassion on his face when he gestured it was time for Justin to get up. He couldn’t bring himself to talk at the moment.
Ron had managed to wake up Harry. He looked utterly helpless, with his jet-black hair all over the place. The emotional pain that was visible on Harry’s face was starting to tear Ron up inside. Ron pulled Harry into a hug and held him for a few moments. Harry remained rigid for a second before relaxing completely into Ron’s embrace.
“It’ll be okay Harry, I’ll be with you mate,” Ron whispered confidently.
Harry smiled briefly for his friend. Together they went down the stairs, leaving George with Justin and Mickey.
As soon as he got downstairs, Mrs. Weasley pulled him into a tight hug.
“Fred told me what happened, Harry. I’m very proud of you,” Molly stated with a serious look on her face.
“I just did what I thought was right, ma'am,” Harry replied quietly.
“I know lad. I’m proud that you know what is right,” Molly stated firmly.
“Now you’ve embarrassed him again,” Ron interjected with frustration.
Molly rounded on Ron, “I’m very proud of you too, my youngest boy.”
Ron blushed then too, further retorts dying on his lips.
“Now,” Molly said as she gathered the boys up, “it is time to put some good food into you."
Having said that, she sat both boys side-by-side and shuffled away to collect her next pair of boys. The Finch-Fletchley boys were seated across from Ron and Harry. The twins, Percy, and Ginny arrived next. They all sat down and dinner commenced. Arthur Weasley had returned to the office to help with the cleanup.
The whole atmosphere was very somber while they ate. Harry got more and more restless as he picked at his food. Justin and Mickey weren’t much better off. After only fifteen minutes, Harry excused himself and went outside. Justin and Mickey got up too, but went back upstairs.
Molly looked at Ron and tilted her head towards the door that Harry went out. Ron nodded, got up and followed Harry outside. Fred and George got up of their own accord and went upstairs to find Justin and Mickey.
Ron found Harry a few moments later sitting on a large rock next to the garden.
Harry was staring out into the night and gave no indication that he noticed Ron appear. Ron stayed quiet, watching his friend.
Draco’s evening was a little different from usual. Instead of sitting in his bed and reading, he was standing in the giant window that graced his room. The window overlooked the great expanse of land that made up the rear of Malfoy Manor. Draco was feeling drawn to the night. He turned and flicked his wand, causing all the lights to go out, putting him into darkness.
The only light in the room was now coming from the almost full moon. The light cast on Draco made him look sinister and pale.
“The choice is coming. Soon. Choose wisely, or we will both regret it,” echoed in his head.
‘I’ve already made my choice, haven’t I?’ Draco thought to himself.
‘Or, I’m I supposed to play nice with Potter?’ he asked himself.
He didn’t have an answer, but staring into the bright moon made him more relaxed.
Harry watched the moon rise, wondering what he had to do, wondering how he could be normal.
Ron stood quietly for nearly an hour, displaying more patience than he ever had. As he watched, Harry seemed to relax in the moonlight. He finally stepped forward and gently laid his hand on Harry’s shoulder. Harry didn’t jump, or otherwise move.
“Thanks for being out here with me Ron, and thanks for giving me the time,” Harry said quietly.
Ron blinked in surprise, “Your welcome. Are you okay mate?”
“I will be, I think. There is just so much going on. Something about what happened earlier today has had me thinking. I think I need to discuss something with you,” Harry said somberly.
“Anything Harry. You are my best friend and nothing is going to change that,” Ron stated firmly.
“I hope not. Earlier today, when Mickey kissed me, I liked it. A lot,” Harry whispered.
“Oh. OH! I thought you were interested in Cho?” Ron replied confusedly.
“I’ve thought about boys, but I’ve never really moved beyond that. I really do think I’m gay, though Ron,” Harry said a little more firmly.
“All right then,” Ron said.
“It doesn’t bother you?” Harry asked incredulous.
“Of course not Harry! That is a muggle issue. There have been many great gay witches and wizards,” Ron said smiling.
“You’re sure it doesn’t bother you?” Harry asked again.
“No. I hope you aren’t attracted to me though,” Ron said lifting his eyebrows, “I kind of like Hermione.”
Harry laughed, “She’s all yours mate!”
“Good,” Ron replied with a shit-eating grin on his face.
They got up together and walked back inside, Harry’s demeanor improved. They walked straight to their shared room. Justin and Mickey were already settled in to Justin’s bed. Both of them were sleeping. Ron smiled at Harry and Harry returned it. They went to their separate beds without further words.
The next day started early for Mr. and Mrs. Weasley. Arthur Apparated to work a little before seven a.m. Mrs. Weasley went straight to the kitchen to start preparing the massive breakfast that would be required to feed all the teenagers at The Burrow. She was surprised when several owls arrived at her window at once. She let them in and took off the letters and sent them on their way with an owl treat each.
One of the items that arrived was a copy of the Daily Prophet. There was also a letter from her husband and one from Professor Dumbledore.
She read the brief note from Arthur first. “Molly, please check the second main story in the Daily Prophet. I’m off to a meeting to discuss it. It does look like it is a go. Rita Skeeter apparently bombarded Cornelius at home last night with an advanced copy of the article. Love Arthur.”
She opened the Daily Prophet and saw the headline. “Death Eaters Attack Diagon Alley!”
She looked down to the bottom of the page and looked at the next biggest headline, “Boy Who Lived Saves Lives: To be Awarded Order of Merlin Third Class.”
Boy Who Lived Saves Lives:
Harry Potter defended two boys’ lives yesterday with the help of Ronald Weasley, son of Arthur Weasley of the Ministry of Magic. Both boys managed to capture one Death Eater and to kill another one while defending Justin and Michael Finch-Fletchley. The Daily Prophet would like to offer its sincerest condolences to both Finch-Fletchley boys on the loss of their parents in the attack in Flourish & Blotts.
This reporter talked personally to Cornelius Fudge, Minister of Magic last evening. He has agreed to push forward a resolution to award both Harry Potter and Ronald Weasley the Order of Merlin Third Class for their outstanding bravery and heroics in defending their fellow students. If the resolution passes as expected, Harry Potter and Ronald Weasley will be the youngest Wizards in history to be awarded this prestigious honor.
Molly dropped the paper in surprise. Her youngest son was going to get the Order of Merlin Third class at fifteen! And so was a boy that she loved just as much as her own children. She was never more proud of Ron in his whole life.
She remembered she had a letter from Professor Dumbledore so she picked that up next.
I’d like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking in Harry Potter and the Finch-Fletchley boys. As Arthur has no doubt told you, the two Finch-Fletchleys have no family left to speak of. The same is also true of Harry. Would you consider adopting all three boys? I know it is a great responsibility and a great burden for a family of nine, but I can think of no better mother and father than you and Arthur. All three boys are independently wealthy and have the full support of many of the staff here at Hogwarts. I’ve already made arrangements with Gringotts to transfer a small amount of money to your family account. This money is not charity. It is to offset the expenses involved with clothing and feeding three additional mouths. Thank you for considering the matter of the boys and please get back to me after you discuss the matter thoroughly with Arthur.
Your friend with love,
Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
P.S. Congratulations to you and yours for Ronald’s pending Order of Merlin Third Class. I know you are proud of him, as am I.
Molly reread the letter twice as tears trickled down her face. Of course she would take in the lovely boys. Was there any other option, truly? It broke her heart to see those boys in pain.
Arthur mentioned the possibility last night and I agreed immediately. We feel that it would be best to deal with the paperwork and discuss the possibilities with the proper authorities before we approach the boys with the offer. I wouldn’t want to raise false hopes with any of them by offering a family and new home, only to have the government deny the possibility.
Thank you very much for your help with getting Ron his Order of Merlin. I know you sit on the Committee and I can’t tell you how much it means to Arthur and me. Ron hasn’t been told yet (nor Harry), but I’m sure he’ll be quite proud, as it is something that he can truly call his own. I realize how hard it is on him being the youngest of six brothers and this may be just the thing to increase his confidence.
As soon as she finished the letter she went looking for an owl to deliver it. Harry’s snowy white owl Hedwig sensed her intentions and immediately stuck out her leg, looking forward to having a delivery.
“Thank you Hedwig,” Molly said to her, scratching behind her ear tufts.
Hedwig hooted throatily in appreciation.
“Bring this to Albus Dumbledore at Hogwarts please, deary,” she told the owl.
Hedwig hooted and then soared out of the open living room window.
Harry woke up around eight A.M. to stirring in the room. Mickey was awake and was shaking his brother in attempt to wake him up as well. Ron slept on unaware.
Harry got out of bed and stumbled towards the bathroom. After five steps forward, he turned around and got his glasses. He then went to the bathroom. When he was complete with his necessary business in the bathroom, he walked silently down the stairs and made his way to the kitchen.
“Good morning dear,” Mrs. Weasley greeted him. “What would you like for breakfast?”
“Toast and bacon please,” Harry replied as his eyes drifted over what was available.
“Coming right up. Have a seat at the table,” she told him cheerfully.
Harry sat down as Mickey and Justin drifted silently into the room. The boys sat down on either side of Harry. Mrs. Weasley looked surprised as she set Harry’s food in front of him, as she didn’t hear the boys enter.
“What would you boys like to eat?” she asked.
“A little of everything please?” Justin asked shyly.
“You sound just like my Fred,” Mrs. Weasley chortled.
“I’d like some eggs and bacon if you don’t mind,” Mickey piped up.
“Of course dear,” Molly smiled kindly at him.
Harry finished his breakfast fairly quickly and excused himself form the table. He wandered into the living room and dropped down on the center of the couch. A few minutes later Justin came in and dropped into the seat next to him.
Justin stared forlornly at the wall and he started to sob pitifully after a few minutes of silence. Harry wasn’t sure what to do so he pulled the other boy into him. Justin moved willingly and curled up into Harry. Harry wrapped his arms around Justin and rocked slowly back and forth, understanding the other boy’s pain.
Harry drifted off to sleep awhile later when Justin had quieted down and done the same.
Several hours later, Harry woke up to find himself stretched out on the couch gently rubbing against another warm body. There was a light blanket covering them both. He opened his eyes and recognized the back of Justin’s head and he froze in shock.
Justin mumbled and pressed himself backwards against Harry’s arousal quite insistently. Harry moved his center section away from Justin again only to have Justin stir.
“What’s going on Harry?” he mumbled quietly.
“Nothing,” Harry squeaked.
Justin pressed back into Harry again and Harry whimpered quietly.
Justin leaned forward and then turned around to face Harry. Harry looked down to see Justin’s pants tented in front and he blushed.
Justin took Harry’s hand gently and smiled saying, “It’s okay Harry. There was no harm done. We were just enjoying each other’s company.”
“Are you… I mean do you like… other lads?” Harry asked quietly.
Justin looked at Harry closely, “I do.”
“So do I, though I’ve never been interested in any in particular,” Harry replied blushing.
“Like I said Harry, we were just comforting one another. What happened when we were sleeping is natural for us. There was no harm done,” Justin smiled tentatively.
Harry squeezed his hand, “Right. There was no harm done.”
“Shall we go find Ron and talk Quidditch then?”
“Good idea,” Harry replied, looking relieved.
It was a few days later that Professor Albus Dumbledore showed up at The Burrow. He came with two small boxes and two envelopes.
“I’d like to see Harry and Ron please,” he told Fred, who had answered the door.
Fred invited the Headmaster inside and led him to the kitchen where everyone had gathered.
“Good morning everyone,” Dumbledore said when he arrived in the kitchen.
Everyone replied in kind.
“I’m here today to award Mr. Harry Potter and Mr. Ronald Weasley with the Order of Merlin Third Class. I’m sorry we couldn’t have the normal ceremony, but under the circumstances we thought it would be best to do it this way.”
Harry and Ron both stared in shock at the Headmaster. Justin, Mickey, Fred and George stared at each other and at Harry and Ron. Molly Weasley beamed with pride at the two boys.
“For what sir?” Harry managed to stumble out.
“For outstanding bravery and heroics in defending your fellow students.”
Harry and Ron both blushed a bright red and looked guiltily at Justin and Mickey.
Justin responded, “You both deserve the recognition. I wouldn’t have been able to stand there the way you two did.”
Harry looked at the pained expression on Justin’s face and went over to hug him. It very quickly became a large group hug in which everyone was involved.
“I’d love to stay and chat, but I have a lot of business to take care of back at Hogwarts. Congratulations again and I’ll see you when school starts,” Dumbledore said cheerfully.
Molly followed him out and they talked while the boys all smiled at each other and examined the ornate medals.
July 31st arrived before they all knew it. Molly Weasley had managed to get everyone settled and feeling at home within a few days of their arrival. Arthur had used his connections at the ministry to see to the Finch-Fletchleys' stuff. The boys were fairly well covered in insurance and investments that their parents had made. Arthur arranged for a financial planner, familiar in both the wizarding world and muggle world, to take care of the boys’ finances. He also arranged to have himself placed in temporary custody of both boys. The muggles went along without a hitch as the Ministry of Magic used its connections with the Muggle government.
Molly had also successfully prepared a surprise party for Harry’s birthday, arranging with Hermione’s parents for Hermione to stay at the Weasleys for the rest of the summer.
Hedwig had returned from her daily flight with a letter and package from Sirius. Harry opened the letter and read it. It was the usual niceties with the addition of the explanation of the book that was in the package. It was shrunk so that Hedwig could carry it, but it was a guide on how to become an Animagus. There were numerous notes in the margins that were Sirius’ and what must have been his father’s handwriting. He realized with a jolt that this was the book that they studied to become Animagi. He secreted it away in his trunk, before anyone else saw it.
Harry was feeling very tired, but otherwise was recovering well from all the excitement. He did continue to stew over the thoughts of being gay. His nightly dreams became a lot more interesting as he figured out his true preferences sometimes involving Justin and a continuation of the incident of the couch. Justin never brought it up again, though he glanced at Harry every so often in a more interested way.
He was jolted away from his thoughts by the arrival of his other best friend, Hermione. She walked right into Ron’s room and pulled him into a hug. Harry was surprised for only a moment before he returned the hug.
“Harry, can’t you ever have a quiet summer?”
“It would appear not,” Harry replied dryly.
“Happy Birthday Harry! I’m staying the rest of the summer.”
“Thanks… You are?” Harry asked in surprise.
“Mrs. Weasley invited me to stay and my parents thought is was best. I think she wanted to have as many friends around you as possible.”
“Most likely,” Harry smiled back at her.
“I’ve been studying some new curses and hexes.”
“You are always doing new things.”
Hermione mock glared at him for a moment before breaking out in full grin. “Why are their two extra cots in here?”
“Justin Finch-Fletchley and his younger brother are staying here. Their parents were killed in the fight in Diagon Alley,” Harry replied quietly.
“Oh No! I didn't realize they were staying here. I read about what happened in the Daily Prophet. Are they okay?”
“Ron and I defended them against some Death Eaters. We killed one. I injured the other.”
Hermione looked stricken for a moment at the pain on Harry's face before pulling Harry into another tight hug. "I'm glad you stood up to them to save others Harry."
"They gave us both the Order of Merlin Third Class."
"I read. Congratulations on the honor, though I can see how much it hurts you to think about it."
“There is something else I need to tell you Hermi,” Harry said very quietly.
“What is it Harry?”
“Mickey Finch-Fletchley gave me a very long kiss as thanks for saving him.”
“I liked it, a lot Hermi. I’m gay.”
Hermione tilted her head a little bit and said very calmly, “Harry, you are my best friend. You will be my best friend, no matter what. You can’t help your sexuality. I read this really nice book called Real Boys once, and in it…”
Harry smiled as he cut her off with a big hug, “Thanks Hermione. You have no idea how much that means to me.”
It was at this point that Ron walked in. A look of slight confusion and a bit of jealousy crossed his features before a smile went across his face.
“Hermione! Good to see you. Ginny came out to the field to tell us you were here. Harry didn’t feel up to practicing Quidditch with us today. He wanted some time to think.”
“Ron, remember what we talked about that night?” Harry asked.
“Yes,” Ron replied.
“I told Hermione about me, I think you should tell her what is on your mind.”
Ron paled. “Tell her what?” he whispered.
“You know what, twit.”
“Tell me what?” Hermione demanded, quietly hoping it was what she hoped.
Ron looked desperate and trapped. He finally rushed it out, “Hermione, I really like you a lot and want you to be my girlfriend.” He cringed a little expecting an explosion.
Hermione walked over in front of him. She looked in his eyes for a moment before leaning in and kissing him on the lips. His whole body blushed a brilliant red that rivaled his hair.
“It’s about time!” Harry grinned at his two best friends.
They went downstairs together to join what was shaping up to be a big party. Harry got gifts from all his friends and they all had a good time. They all were able to forget about the pain and the problems that had been hovering over their heads, for a while at least.
Harry woke up abruptly again. The pained expression on the face of the fallen Death Eater faded from his vision as he regained consciousness.
He had been having them all too frequently. It was still a couple of days until they left for Diagon Alley. It was decided that they would all spend the last day of vacation there. The Ministry, through Arthur Weasley, had arranged protection, in the form of Aurors, for both Harry and the Finch-Fletchleys. Harry did not want protection, but he wasn’t given any choice in the matter. Both Arthur and Molly had been very firm on the point and Harry had relented.
Harry’s attention was brought back to the room when he heard a sniffle from the direction of Mickey’s bed. It was apparent that Mickey had another nightmare as well. The boy was awake and cringing under his covers. Harry made a noise and Mickey popped his head out and Harry gestured to him. The boy hopped out of his bed and climbed in next to Harry as soon as he had lifted the covers. The boy folded himself into the same shape that Harry was in and Harry wrapped his arms around the boy. The boy fell back asleep almost instantly. Harry was glad. Both he and Ron had taken on the roll of big brother for little Mickey.
Justin was having a hard time adjusting and had taken to needing comforting himself. Harry really couldn’t blame Justin for not being able to help his brother. Harry snatched his glasses off the stand and looked over in Ron’s bed. Justin was curled into Ron in a similar fashion. Both Ron and Harry had been acting as an older brother and comforter to the boys for the last two weeks, when the comfort of each other just wasn’t enough for them. Neither boy had any previous experience as Harry was an only child and Ron was the youngest brother.
They both did very well, though. Harry was glad that Justin usually went to Ron’s bed for comfort, as Harry was afraid that he might become more interested in Justin sexually. Harry found Mickey cute, but still a bit too young for sexual desire. Justin, on the other hand, was cute and gay. The small event on the couch had not left Harry's mind. They weren’t interested in each other, but Harry didn’t see any reason to test hormones.
Harry decided to stop pondering things and get back to sleep. He placed his glasses back on the nightstand and then pulled Mickey in a little tighter. He went back sleep almost immediately and was able to sleep the rest of the night away.
The rest of Draco’s summer passed quickly. His daily routine was set after a few days and he didn’t leave his room until the last day of August. He spent each day doing exercises from the magic books to learn how to apparate and how to become an Animagus. He was not able to fully achieve results, but he learned everything he needed. Some of the ingredients he needed to prepare the initial potion were unavailable to him.
He figured he could get the ingredients from Professor Snape as soon as he got back to school. Snape liked him enough to give him the potion ingredients without asking why he wanted them.
Draco had continued to have strange dreams throughout the summer. On a few occasions, he even woke up sexually aroused from something that occurred in his dream. Except for the first time though, he couldn’t remember any of his dreams. He still wasn't sure what Voldemort did, but the fact that he was sent away in one piece, without the mark of the Death Eater, pleased him greatly. Despite what Harry and his friends might think, Draco had no desire to be subservient to the Dark Lord. Draco had far too much ambition to be a cow-towing underling.
Draco stood in his room on the last day of his incarceration. All of his school things were packed and he was wearing muggle jeans and a tight silk shirt. The room was as dark as pitch except for a small candle burning brightly on a low table near the bed. The light caused shadows to leap and climb across Draco’s pale face. He had come to the conclusion that he would no longer be following his father’s dark path. He would now do what he felt he needed to do. Narcissa arrived within moments of his conclusion and they walked together down to the car, several elves dragging his school trunk behind them. As soon as the car was loaded, they sped off towards London and Diagon Alley.
Draco went to the Leaky Cauldron first. He checked in and dropped his trunk in his room. His mother had left him at the door, and driven off without even a simple goodbye.
Draco set out in to Diagon Alley on his own. As he passed through the bar area, he saw the famous Boy Who Lived sitting alone, drinking a butterbeer. Their eyes locked in the mirror and Draco, in an uncharacteristic manner merely nodded to the other boy as he passed him on his way out the door. Once into Diagon Alley, Draco looked over the book requirements for the fifth year. As soon as he determined what he needed, he made his way Flourish and Blotts to buy his books.
It was August 31st, the very last day that they were on summer vacation. Harry truly wanted to get back to school. Hogwarts promised at least a bit of normality to his life. Normality and Hogwarts, oddly out of place in the same sentence, Harry thought wryly to himself.
He was sitting at the bar of the Leaky Cauldron, silently sipping a butterbeer. After the last incident in Diagon Alley, no one was taking any chances at all. There were not one, but two Aurors standing in the shadows near the back of the tavern room. If he hadn’t been told they were there, he really wouldn’t have noticed them. Justin and Mickey were upstairs in their room, also with a guard. They did not feel like going out into the Alley at all.
As he was drinking, he looked up in the mirror just in time to lock eyes with Draco Malfoy as he passed by him. Malfoy nodded to him in acknowledgement. Harry nearly fell out of his stool in surprise. Malfoy not only hadn’t stop to insult him, he acknowledged him as a person. Harry turned his head in wonder and watched Malfoy saunter quietly out the door into Diagon Alley. Harry watched the slightly smaller boy until he was out of sight before he noticed two sets of eyes on him. He turned to see one of the Aurors approaching him. He turned fully to face her.
“Mr. Potter, was that boy Draco Malfoy, the son of Lucius Malfoy?” she asked.
“Yes, ma'am,” Harry responded politely.
“We have long held suspicions that Lucius is an important Death Eater and…”
Harry cut her off, “Lucius Malfoy is most certainly a Death Eater. He was present when Voldemort returned.”
“We don’t have any definitive proof of that,” the Auror replied shortly.
“I was there, but you can believe what you like. Why are you asking about Draco?”
“We wanted to keep an extra sharp eye on him and see if we could check for a Dark Mark on his arm.”
“I seriously doubt that Draco would join Voldemort’s ranks. He’s more bark than bite. In fact, he tends to be nothing without an audience. I doubt that he even is Death Eater material.”
“How would you know?” she snapped at him.
Harry’s eyes flashed slightly, but he only replied, “Like I said, believe what you will. I’ll do what I need to do and I’ll let the truth attend to itself.”
“I have no idea what I did wrong to get assigned to this arrogant little shite…” she mumbled under her breath.
“Probably the same thing I did to get you,” Harry said sotto voce.
She stiffened in anger and swallowed her retort.
Draco was in the store for only a few moments when he noticed a bushy brown head in front of him. He rolled his eyes to himself when he realized it was Granger with her nose in a book as usual. He was surprised to see Weasley’s arm across her shoulder in an almost intimate embrace. He shifted slightly trying to leave, but he made too much noise. Weasley turned towards him and his face turned red when he recognized Draco.
“Malfoy! Buzz off!” Ron Weasley snapped out at him.
Draco was already turned around so he spun back to retort, “Weasley, I have absolutely no desire to see you with your Mud… Muggle-born girlfriend.” A rather weak comeback, he immediately thought. He also realized that he choked on saying Mudblood. That wouldn’t make him popular in Slytherin House. Draco turned and stormed off, angry with himself. Ron stood there for a moment with a confused look on his face.
Draco managed to calm down and collect his books and supplies in record time. He sauntered back to the Leaky Cauldron with only slightly less of the Malfoy pride displayed than his normal.
He breezed by Potter again without insulting him. He went up the stairs and as soon as Draco arrived in his room, he dropped on the bed and started going over his new schoolbooks. He fell asleep several hours later.
Harry turned back to his butterbeer, as soon as the Auror went back to her post. He sat there for quite a while contemplating his drink and waiting for the return of his friends. He was surprised again as Malfoy breezed by him without saying anything. Harry was suddenly feeling confused about Malfoy’s actions and his gaze followed Malfoy as he disappeared up the stairs. Harry was startled to realize that he was also checking out Malfoy’s arse. Harry sat up straight in surprise.
It was only about twenty minutes later when Ron and Hermione returned with Mrs. Weasley. Ron was smiling again and had his long arm draped around Hermione’s waist. Harry smiled at his two friends as they approached.
“Any problems getting books?” he asked.
“Other than bumping into Malfoy? No. He doesn’t seem to be on the ball though. He barely even insulted either of us before rushing off,” Ron replied.
“Odd, he passed me twice. The first time he passed, he nodded at me. The second time, he just breezed by as fast as he could saunter.”
“How are the bodyguards?” Hermione asked, nodding to the agitated looking female.
“They really don’t like this babysitting job. I wish Mr. Weasley hadn’t insisted that Minister Fudge assign them to me. I am glad that once we are on the Hogwarts Express, they’ll leave me alone.”
“They are here for your safety Harry!” Hermione admonished.
“Don’t give me that look Harry!”
“Hermione, I know I keep surviving through luck, but I have survived so many attacks now that I’m feeling more than a little jaded about the whole thing. I just want to be left alone.”
“Harry, something you did nearly fifteen years ago saved the wizarding world from You Know Who. That world owes you a debt of gratitude. Some people think that you are the only one that can beat him.”
“Bullocks! Voldemort is not unstoppable and I’m not the one that is ‘destined’ to stop him. You are starting to sound like Trelawney!”
Hermione flushed scarlet, “I do NOT sound like that old windbag!”
“Yes you do. I’ll die when I die. It’s that simple. If I happen to die at the hands of the Dark Lord, early in my life then at least I’ll be with my parents.”
Hermione was shocked into silence. Ron stared at his best friend for a few moments in silence.
“Let’s go upstairs Harry,” Ron said as he tugged Harry’s arm.
Ron led Harry to the room they were sharing. There were two double beds in here. Ron sat Harry down on Harry’s bed before joining Hermione on his own.
“Harry?” Ron asked.
Harry looked up, tiredness radiating from his eyes, “yeah?”
“Harry, you are my best friend. You have been closer than my brother for the last four years. I don’t want to lose you and I don’t want you to give up,” Ron started.
Hermione picked up, “You are my best friend too Harry. While Ron and I have become more interested in each other, that doesn’t mean I care any less for you as a friend. I know you don’t like it one bit, but you have survived You Know Who on numerous occasions now. I do not want you wishing to join your parents. Even just to yourself.”
“I agree with her Harry. You do not need to think about dying. You need to think about school. And Quidditch. You need to stop thinking about the Dark Lord. It will be nearly impossible to get you away from Dumbledore this year. They have heightened security and the protections at Hogwarts, after all the trouble this summer. You just need to relax. Maybe you can enjoy Finch-Fletchley?” Ron continued.
“Hey! I did not prompt Mickey into that kiss. He was just glad because he thought I saved his life!” Harry finely responded, blushing a bright red.
“I don’t know about that Harry, as you are sleeping with him. Besides I was talking about his brother, Justin. Justin was watching his little brother smooch with you with no small amount of jealousy,” Ron joked.
“You’re the one that has Justin sleeping with you,” Harry winked then bellowed, “Next thing you are going to do is accuse Draco of liking me like that!”
“Why do you like him?” Hermione made a sly grin.
“He’s cute and has a nice… hey wait a minute! Hermi! Don’t do that to me. How could you…” THWAP! A pillow to the side of his head from Ron cut Harry off in mid-tirade.
A pillow fight followed that left them all winded and sitting in the middle of the floor hugging each other. They all had smiles on their faces and were ready to face the school year.
They all went to their proper beds and fell asleep quickly. The first time in awhile, in Harry’s case. They all slept the night all the way through to wake up to Fred and George pounding on their doors.
The ministry sent cars to get them all to Kings Cross. They loaded quickly and were all rushing to their next year at Hogwarts.
Draco finally slept a night all the way through. Tom, the innkeeper, knocked on his door and woke him up at nine a.m. the next morning. Draco quickly showered and dressed in muggle clothes.
He stepped out into muggle London and hailed a taxi. He told the driver to bring him to King’s Cross Station. As soon as he arrived he went through the gap onto Platform 9¾. Finally he’d be able to catch the large red steam engine to his only safe haven.
End of Chapter 3
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