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Harry nodded, still slightly unnerved by the turn of events that afternoon. With a pardon from the adults, he followed his friends up the narrow stairs and down the halls to the bedroom. He shrugged off his jacket and flopped backwards on to his bed, draping an arm over his eyes.
[i "Well? Give us something to work with, here,"] Ron nudged his foot before sitting on his own bed opposite Harry.
Where to even begin?
[b "I think Dumbledore intimidated Fudge,"] he blurted first. [b "Fudge looked pissed enough to send me to Azkaban right then and there, but Dumbledore showed up and they just dropped the charges."]
[i "Just like that?"] Ron frowned in confusion.
[b "It was weird. I don't think I've ever seen the Minister look that small before. It was like he reverted to being a kid under Dumbledore's watch."] Harry sat up and looked at them. [b "He's the only reason I wasn't expelled. They wouldn't even let me defend myself. Every time I tried to open my mouth to explain everything, some council member cut me off and talked down to me like I'd purposely gone out looking for a fight."]
Harry rose to his feet and began to pace. [b "I don't think I've ever felt so sick in my life. I nearly lost Hogwarts. If Dumbledore hadn't shown up when he did, I'd be done. No more school, no more anything. Just back with the Dursleys, or prison, if Fudge had his way."]
The stress of the hearing was getting to him, and this time his head hurt from a migraine and not his scar. [b "The Ministry is trying to keep everything from last year hushed. They think I'm a threat. If I step out of line once more, Dumbledore won't be able to come to my aid. Fudge is looking for reasons to lock me up so I can't spread anymore lies."]
He looked to Hermione. [b "If they knew about the Order, it would be over for us all."]
Hermione had been anxious since Harry and Mister Weasley had been gone. She had tried locking herself in the library with the books as she normally did, but even that for some reason was of no comfort to her. Mostly did she believe that her bestfriend would be getting out of the trouble that he had gotten into, but there was still that little bit of doubt in her that he could be found guilty and it was that small doubt which seemed to be eating away at the bushy haired teen girl.
[i "Come on Hermione, there's nothing to worry about. Dumbledore'll be there and able to get Harry off. Don't see why you're being as anxious as a mother hen. Hey, I know what will get your mind off of this for a little while, watching Fred and George get in trouble for trying to listen in on Order stuff. What do you say?"] Ron said as he watched the girl fidgeting in the chair she usually was curled up in with her books.
A sharp brown eyed glare fell on the ginger haired boy. [b "You've honestly the emotional capacity of a teaspoon, haven't you? Even with Dumbledore's help and being there he still might not have a chance.. Especially with Fudge and all his deceptions."] The girl replied huffily, only to get up from where she had been sitting as loud chatter could be heard downstairs.
With the loud chatter and Mister Weasley's voice drifting up the stairs, both Ron and Hermione ran down the stairs just as everyone was crowding Harry. Ron had pushed his way through like his other siblings, but Hermione had hung back. When she could, the girl did make her way through the others who were still crowded about and over talking one another, hugging the boy tightly when she got to him.
[b "I'm so glad you got out of it!"] The girl said when she pulled back, a dark red in her cheeks when Ron all but stared at the two.
[i "I told her you would, mate. If we can steal you, want to go upstairs and tell us all about it?"]
The boy hadn't even had time to get his balance back before he's being hurried off to the designated court room. If he was nervous before, his anxiety grew nearly triple the amount when he stepped inside and saw all of the eyes pointed right at him, with a single chair facing the panel of Ministry members. Cornelius Fudge was perched directly in the middle, and called for quiet among the spectators. [i "Mr Potter, I assume there's no confusion as to why you're here today."]
[b "Actually Sir-"] Harry began to speak but was immediately cut off.
[i "Because surely you know that you were committing acts that are absolutely forbidden by our laws. You're aware of our laws, are you not?"] Fudge continued.
[b "Yes Sir, but I wasn't-"]
[i "Then you are very clear on the consequence of these actions,"] the Minister droned on.
It continued like that for a while. Harry would attempt to break in to the conversation to defend himself, only to be spoken over. It was growing quite frustrating. Even Mr Weasley was getting rattled. Harry had begun saying an internal farewell to Hogwarts when the door opened and Dumbledore strolled in as though he hadn't interrupted an important government hearing. [i "You cannot be here, Albus. This is a private meeting,"] Fudge nearly foamed at the mouth.
[i "You see, Cornelius, I am here to act as Mr Potter's council. As, in our laws, you know is permitted,"] Dumbledore didn't look phased by the Minister's reddening face. [i "Why we're here in the first place is beyond me. It's clear the boy was defending himself."]
[i "He used illegal magic in a muggle location. You know very well that comes with charges!"]
[i "In defense against your dementors, was it not?"] Albus coolly replied.
Fudge's face drained of all colour. [i "Not to mention, this boy has single-handedly saved our world countless times. In the midst of Voldemort returning, you wish to remove Mr Potter from the safest location, and leave him defenseless in the muggle world? I think that will cause more trouble for you, don't you?"] Dumbledore continued.
The panel members were quietly murmuring to themselves. Despite Fudge's assurance that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named had not returned, there were doubts among even the most high-ranking officials. Fudge listened to the male beside him and cleared his throat. [i "It is the official decision of this Ministry that the charges against Mr Potter are dropped, and he enrollment at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry be reinstated."]
Harry had never seen anything quite like it. In the span of a few moments, he had gone from being expelled and exiled from the wizarding world, to being free once again. He could barely speak to thank Dumbledore before the headmaster had left the room.
[i "I told you, didn't I? Nothing to worry about!"] Arthur was all smiles as he clapped the boy on the back. [i "Let's tell the others the good news."]
Upon arriving back at the manor, Mr Weasley announced the news with a booming, "[i "Charges are all dropped!"]
The rest of them swarmed Harry to give him squeezing hugs and congratulations, with the Weasley children all talking over each other, and the adults trying to speak between breaks in their sentences.
The girl gave a weak smile and then an indignant pout. [b "I've got a lot of classes, but Merlin Harry not that many. Besides everything is so fascinating as it is I couldn't decide what not to take."] Hermione said as a pink came to her cheeks.
For those few moments things seemed easy. Almost light even. Well they did until the knock came to the door and hurtled them both back into the reality of things. Gently her hand squeezed his and she nodded.
[b "I'm sure you'll get out of this...if they are true to the laws..."] The bushy haired girl managed to say before he and Mr. Weasley began back to the man part of the house, Hermione following them and taking a spot lining one of the walls.
The girl had tried to be of comfort, but now it seemed that she could not think of what to say. She just only looked to her bestfriend and gave a small smile and nodded, which meant she agreed with the others that he would be fine.
Once everyone had said what they had wanted, Mr. Weasley had taken out a portkey and the two of them were off. The man looked at the boy when they had appeared.
[i "Right, the courtrooms are this way Harry. We still should have time to make it."] And with those words said, the man led Harry to the lifts.
Harry faintly smiled at her, feeling his heart warm that she was doing her best to comfort him. [b "You're right. At least we got to see each other. Merlin knows Ron and I won't see you once classes start. How many are you taking this year? Seventy-eight?"] he teased.
The knock at the door brought a disturbance to the peace. Taking a deep breath, Harry gave her hand a quick squeeze. [b "Better get to it,"] he muttered.
Arthur held a suit jacket out to him as he pulled the door open. [i "Best look respectable. Any little bit helps."]
With a last look to his bushy-haired friend, Harry gave her a tight-lipped smile in an attempt at bravery. [b "See you soon,"] he spoke quietly.
It almost felt like he was being led to his death as they entered the main room of the manor, and everyone lined the walls. He could tell they all wanted to offer some sort of comfort, but could not find the words so they merely stood with confident expressions. [i "Try not to fret, dear. Arthur will take good care of you. We'll be waiting right here when you get back with good news, no doubt,"] Mrs. Weasley caught him in a hug.
[i "She's right. You'll be just fine,"] Sirius was next, giving his godson a tight squeeze.
[b "Can't be worse than Dementors, can it?"] Harry attempted a joke, which only the twins snorted at.
[i "Right. We must be off. Stick close, Harry,"] the Weasley patriarch produced a portkey wrapped in a cloth. [i "On three."]
As the count hit three, the two men grabbed at the same time, and Harry felt the familiar tug behind his navel as the world spun around them.
Startled was what she could imagine the boy being as she called out softly to him, but she couldn't help it. Since he had left the table and seemed very off, Hermione found that she wanted to find him and wanted to help if she could. She knew that he didn't want her to worry about him, but he was her best friend and because he was, the bushy haired girl couldn't help herself from worrying about him.
When he didn't open the door at her first plea, the girl almost thought that her cat had been defective and led her to the wrong door. Only the soft creeks beyond the door let her know that Harry was indeed in the room. IF it had been anyone else, the girl would have given up and probably gone back to the others or even found her way to the library but after seeing him during breakfast she couldn't help but feeling he needed her more. So without really thinking about it, the girl called out to him once more, pleaing with him to let her in.
Almost did she expect him to ignore her again, but to her relief, the door was opened and waved her in. Quickly, Hermione slipped into the room and listened to Harry's words as he relatched the door and spoke his words. It was at that moment did the girl wish she was their redhaired friend as he would be able to make a joke and light of the situation. But even in being able to do so, she somehow knew it would not he of help.
Lightly she leaned on the door and slid down against it, her head resting back on the wooden door. [b "You know...considering how you've said you spent the summer before now...it has turned out to be interesting...Of course not at all the one we would have wanted...but at least we got to see the other before school started and even got a night to catch up."] She said as she slowly looked to Harry, offering a small smile.
At his next words, her hand went to take his and gave it a small and reassuring squeeze. [b "They'll do everything that they can to help you...please keep hope."]
It was after she spoke her words did a knock come to the door, making Hermione squeak and jump. [i "Harry, we best be going soon. Don't want to be late for the hearing!"] Came Mister Weasley's words from outside the door.
Her voice startled him out of his thoughts, almost making him smack his head on the window sill. He should have known she would find him. Hermione always managed to. Sighing, Harry rose to his feet and crossed the room until he was staring at the door.
Should he open it? Maybe if he stayed quiet enough, she would go back to the others and give up looking for him. He didn't want to ruin her morning. Hell, she'd gone through far too much already to have to be stuck worrying about him. [b "I'm fine, Hermione. I just needed some air."]
His voice shook as he spoke. Pausing for a few more moments, he wasn't surprised that he could still faintly hear her breathing on the other side of the door. She pleaded with him once more to open up, and with resign he unlatched the lock and pulled it open, waving her in.
He closed it quickly behind her, leaning back against it as his head fell to rest against the wood. [b "Not quite the relaxing summer we've hoped for, is it?"] he muttered. [b "Secret societies, Dementors, and now a hearing at the Ministry. They might as well keep me at Hogwarts all year round."]
Harry slid down in to a sitting position, pulling his knees to his chest. [b "It's going to be okay, right? The Order won't let the Ministry arrest me, will they?"]
Back and forth she began to push her own food on her plate. She had been trying to help Harry and it seemed that she was even failing at that. Of course she knew he was more than anxious; anyone in their right mind would be. But she couldn't help feeling that everyone was making things worse for him, herself included. And so when Fred and George offered their advice and Ron seemed to side with his mother, the girl did not even look up from her plate. She couldn't find it in her to even really be hungry with how the morning seemed to be shaping up and so pushed her own plate towards Ron, sure the red haired boy would still be able to want more after he polished off Harry's remaining food.
[b "You know..you could show more concern and try to be of comfort, rather than stuffing your face. Right now our friend needs us, and all you can seem to think about is food. And you two, I know you can find this funny and something to laugh about but don't. At least try and be more helpful without wanting to get him into trouble."] The girl muttered as her eyes locked onto Fred, George, and Ron after Mrs. Weasley had left the dining room to get more pancakes made.
After her spoken words, Hermione pushed her chair back, gave the remaining adults a small nod of her head and left the room. She was going to try and find Harry and make sure that he was okay. But as she left the dining room, the girl froze and skimmed the halls, biting her lip. She was not at all sure where he had gone and she knew that Kreacher would not help her because she was "foul" and of "dirty blood."
[b [i 'If I was Harry...where would I go?']] Hermione found herself thinking as she slowly began her way up the stairs, brown eyes on most doors as she passed. Many of them were closed and were known to be locked. But that didn't stop her from trying them and when they failed to open did she just simply move forward and continue her search.
As she moved forward, Crookshanks snaked around her legs and meowed at her. At first, the girl tried to nudge her car away, promising to pet him all he wanted after she had found Harry but the feline grew more persistant. Finally, the girl stopped and looked at the car who by now was looking up at her with an expression that seemed to mean to follow as he was on his paws and padding off down the hall. Oh it was madness and she knew it, but at the moment it seemed Crookshanks seemed the only one interested in helping her find Harry. And she was to the point of taking any help she could get.
It wasn't long before Crookshanks stopped outside a closed door and pawed it. The cat then looked up at Hermione. [b "You're saying he's in here?"] She asked as she tried the door's knob to find it locked. The girl turned to look at her cat, but the great ball of fur had gotten distracted and was already off down the hall to chase something he'd seen.
[b "Harry...if you're in there, please open the door."] She said, leaning against the door. Hermione hoped he would hear her and stiffened as she could hear foot steps coming down the hall. It sounded heavier, so she was assuming a man's, more like Mister Weasley's as he was the one who would be taking Harry to the Minstry. [b "Harry please!"] The girl now begged, wanting one more chance to try and say something to him, anything to him that might help him before he had to go.
Harry knew that Hermione was only trying to make him feel better, but his stomach remained in a knot. As far as he was concerned, the only one in that room who would be siding with him was Mr. Weasley. After last year, he wasn't sure if he would even feel welcomed at Hogwarts. [b "Let's hope,"] he murmured under his breath.
[i "Harry dear, don't you worry. It will all work out. But you need to eat that food before you go. Your stomach won't feel any better if you leave it empty,"] Mrs. Weasley motioned to his still-full plate.
Throughout breakfast, he only managed to get rid of the bacon and toast. Fred and George offered him advice, most of which would surely only serve to get him in more trouble. Ron didn't seem concerned at all, believing his parents' words that it would work out. Instead, he helped himself to the rest of Harry's breakfast when the raven-haired boy pushed the plate his way and got to his feet. [b "Excuse me,"] he hurried from the table.
Harry didn't even know where he was going, only that he had to get away from the chatter at the table. He threw open a door to an empty room, closing it and locking it behind him. He needed to think. He tried to remember any such law that would prevent him from defending himself. Sadly, he'd never really come across laws regarding Dementors attacking civilians.
Suddenly feeling claustrophobic, he marched to the window and threw it open, dropping to his knees to breathe in the fresh air. He could see life outside moving on as always, the people unaware of the boy watching them from a hidden house. Not for the first time, Harry was envious that they didn't have a care in the world.
The smile given to her did not reach her best friend's eyes and she noticed that. The bushy haired girl knew he was more than anxious and the way that he played with his food by poking it and pushing it back and forth on the plate. Without really thinking, her hand under the table went to his arm and gave a small squeeze. She wished she could give him more encouragement or even help but this was a time even she felt helpless to do so.
It was when Remus spoke did Sirius roll his eyes. [i "I get what you are saying Remus, but it IS Harry who this happened to. The Ministry already is against him after what he saw last year.. Dumbledore or having someone, anyone in his corner is his only hope as you know sometimes the way trials are conducted is far from fair."] The man knew that his words were of no comfort, but he was wanting Harry to know without sugar coating it.
Even Hermione cringed and gave Sirius a disapproving look at what he had said. She knew it was true, but now was not the time to say it. [b "Harry I know it looks hopeless...but you did it because you wanted to save your life and your cousin's. Besides...you have saved them in other ways..so there is bound to be someone who will believe you and help you."] The girl said with a small smile as once more she was trying to help him.
Harry tried to give Hermione a reassuring smile that he was okay, but it didn't reach his eyes. The food on his plate wasn't the slightest appetizing anymore. He was well aware that the Ministry was not overly fond of him. Especially after last year. He couldn't see any way how this meeting would go in his favor.
He poked at the food on his plate, pushing it around while the table grew more full with people. The twins bickered as Ron and Ginny fought over a particularly large pancake. Images of his wand being snapped in front of him, being expelled from Hogwarts, and being left behind by his friends flashed before his eyes. His stomach twisted and churned with anxiety.
[i "I'm sure it'll just be a formality. They'd want to investigate the situation, no matter who it happened to. No need to be worried,"] Remus tried to comfort him, giving him a smile from across the table.
[b "I'm not exactly just a random wizard. I think they'll be a little more interested in the fact that it was me it happened to. One more reason being Harry Potter works against me,"] Harry muttered under his breath.
As if he needed another reason to be bitter about his fame. The Ministry was not likely to admit that their Dementors were the issue, but rather focus on the fact that he had failed to show restraint in using magic while being underage.
The girl bounced slightly on the balls of her feet as she was waiting for the two boys in the hall. It was no surprise to her when Harry had emereged and Ron was still in the room. If anything, the girl couldn't help being a bit irritated, but quickly shook it off and offerd Harry a small smile. [b "You can take more than two minutes. I won't hold it against you."] She tried to tease as she watched the boy walk into the wash room.
As he was in the washroom, Hermione sighed and leaned on the wall and began to play with the ends of her hair. She was thinking about the night before and how nice it had been. The girl still wished that the night had not ended and they could hide in the library again. But even she knew that was wishful thinking. And with those thoughts, her cheeks were heating up with a blush that she couldn't help. What was wrong with her? He was her best friend...it wasn't like... But she was withdrawn from her thoughts the moment that Harry had emerged and spoken.
[b "Honestly, I think we should leave him to deal with his mother. Ron should be more responsible and respectful...and it means we can eat before he gets ahold of anything."] Her last words were meant as a slight tease, but she also knew Harry understood what they meant as well.
Her eyes followed his to the stairs and as the smells of the food that Mrs.Weasley had prepared hit her sense, Hermione couldn't help but blush as her stomach reacted to it. After a second, the girl fell into step beside Harry and walked with him down the stairs and into the kitchen. A faint smile traced her lips as she looked to the others in the room, bidding them a good morning taking the seat Harry pulled out beside him.
The girl reached for a piece of toast but it fell from her hand at Mr.Weasley's words. Instantly, Hermione's hand went under the table and gripped Harry's. She knew he was more than anxious and she was for him, but she was trying to be reassurimg as well. [b "I'm sure you'll be fine Harry...they have to be reasonable...and besides you're innocent."] She whispered and motioned towards his plate meaning that he should eat. Oh how she wished she could do more for him and even go with him.
[i "Harry, dear you better eat up. You and Arthur haven't got long before you have to be going. We are all sure you will be fine..and notice has gone to Dumbledore as well."] Mrs.Weasley said taking a seat and offering a warm and motherly smile as she too tried to offer the boy some reassurance.
Harry simply rolled his eyes at their dramatic friend, turning away to gather his clothes from the dresser on his side of the room. He didn't even have his socks out of the drawer before the Weasley matriarch is shouting for them. [b "Didn't give you much time, did she?"] he smirked at Hermione.
He snatched up his nearly threadbare pair of jeans and one of Dudley's old t-shirts. [b "Get moving,"] he called over his shoulder to Ron on his way out the door.
The washroom is just down the hall right before where Hermione stood waiting. [b "Give me two minutes,"] he told her, closing the door behind him.
He got dressed as quickly as he could, running the water in the sink to splash some on to his hair in hopes to flatten it slightly. To no surprise, it doesn't do anything to help. He tightened his belt a little more securely and rejoined Hermione in the hall, no doubt still waiting on Ron. [b "What do you say we get breakfast and let him face his mother's wrath when he shows up late? I'm famished,"] he suggested, motioning to the stairs.
A few of the others were still absent from the table, but the twins and Ginny were already there with Sirius and Arthur. [b "Good morning,"] Harry greeted them, pulling out a seat for Hermione beside him.
Fred and George gave half-hearted grunts at being up so early, but Ginny smiled at him in return. [i "Harry! Good, you're up. Your hearing has been moved up, I'm afraid. The Ministry wishes to speak with you sooner about your little fiasco with the Dementors. I'll be accompanying you,"] Arthur announced with an attempt of sounding cheerful.
Harry nearly choked on his juice. [b "Moved up? To when?"]
Arthur hesitated for only a brief second. [i "This afternoon, I'm afraid."]
Harry bid his appetite farewell. He sat back in his chair and stared off in to space, picturing his expulsion from Hogwarts, and being stripped of his wand. [b "I'm dead."]
It was as miserable to the girl to be waking the boy as it was for him to be waking. She knew just how he felt as she didn't want to be up either, but given the threat of Mrs. Weasley and knowing what the woman could be like when upset it was better they listened. A small laugh did slip from her lips as she shook her head. [b "Honestly I wish we could hide.. But you know as well as I do that she would only hunt us down and give us even more to do and even watch to make sure we get our chores done. Or worse, she'll give us even more. I do like to help...but...well you'll see why this place makes you wish that you could hide."] Hermione found herself saying as she offered an apologetic smile and then looked back at the redhead of their little group and sighed.
He slept and snored like a bear. It was a wonder that anyone could even sleep with Ronald and even have a good night's sleep. Sometimes the girl was tempted to ask Harry how on earth he managed, but she always thought better of it. Though she was curious, the bushy haired girl thought it would be both rude and offensive, which was the last things she ever wanted to be to her best friends, well mostly to Harry because Ron hardly ever took care not to be rude to her. Sometimes she wondered if the Weasley boy even knew that she was a girl and not just one of the boys. And as that thought crossed her mind, brown eyes stung with tears she refused to let fall.
Quickly her hands came up and rubbed her eyes as she turned back to give the dark haired boy another apologetic smile and shake of her head. [b "I haven't even bothered with him. Everytime I do, he tends to bite and is not very nice about it. You see..I thought I might get you up first and maybe get some help in waking the 'beast'."] She said quietly, giving and almost pleading look.
Hermione was about to once more turn back to Ron but before she could even make her way over to try and wake him, Harry was out of bed and acting in the manner of a chipper child. At first, Hermione had no idea what he was doing, but as he hit Ron in the head with the pillow and once more sounded all awake and chipper she couldn't help a giggle. Though it was early, she couldn't help but find the antics amusing. Or rather she did until Ron grouched at Harry because he was trying to help her wake him.
[b "Ronald, he doesn't need the threat. And incase you haven't noticed he's enough on his plate. Besides, your mum wanted us all up for breakfast and then more cleaning."] Her words were sharp and her hands were on her hips as she spoke.
[i "Blimey, Mione it was a joke. And urgh, really? She's been making us clean all summer."] The Weasley boy groaned as he turned over on his side and covered his head once more. It was clear he was awake and not at all happy about it. It was also clear he would not leave the room until the other two did as well.
Brown eyes rolled and glared at the blanket. But soon her attention went back to Harry and once more she sighed. [b "Honestly, I don't know. Mrs.Weasley said that she would wake them...I was just to wake you and Ron."] Hermione said, a little pink in her cheeks.
[i "RON, HARRY, HERMIONE HURRY OR YOU WON'T GET ANY BREAKFAST!"] Molly yelled from downstairs.
[b "Guess we better go. She's not kidding...you know how the others eat."] The girl said and then turned, almost rushing from the room, but stopping just down the hall to wait for the other two.
Harry had been slumbering peacefully for once, without traumatic memories flashing in his dreams. In fact, he hadn't dreamed of anything. It was possibly the most restful sleep he'd gotten since he was young. It was disturbed, however, when a pair of hands gave him a bit of a shake. [b "What?"] he slurs groggily, trying to see through half-closed eyes.
Seeing that it was only Hermione, and not a threat, his head dropped back down against the fluffy pillow. [b "Don't want to get up. Don't make me,"] he pleaded, wanting to go back to that peaceful state of no worries.
The threat of Mrs. Weasley forced his eyes open fully, knowing that the matriarch of the family would not stand for them skipping any kind of chores. [b "Think we can hide out in the attic until she stops looking for us?"] he asked hopefully.
Already knowing the answer, he slid his blankets off and threw his legs over the side of the bed, reaching for his glasses. [b "I see you haven't attempted to wake the beast yet,"] he noted the sound of Ron snoring across the room.
Rising to his feet, Harry snatched his pillow up and padded across the room, not even bothering to be quiet since it wouldn't rouse the redhead anyway. In one smooth motion, he swung the pillow around and bashed Ron in the face with it. [b "Wake up, Ronniekins,"] Harry tried to sound chipper, knowing it would just make his friend more irritated.
Ron groaned and rolled over, murmuring incoherently. [b "Let's go,"] Harry swung again, connecting with the back of his head.
[i "I'm going to kill you,"] their friend growls, glaring up at them from under his hair.
[b "I already have one psychotic wizard trying to kill me. I don't need another. Get up, it's time for breakfast,"] Harry drops the pillow on to the bed, turning to Hermione. [b "Is everyone else awake?"]
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