You don't have permission to post in this thread.
Harry shook his head. [b "You're always at the top of my worry list when you're upset. Kind of hard to focus on anything else. Maybe I should go downstairs and give Ron a good swat upside the head. He seems like he needs it."]
He knew all too well about the pain that their other friend could be. But he was always worse when it came to Hermione. Harry figured that Ron was just easily irritated when Hermione proved him wrong, or pointed out his mistakes. She never meant any harm. All she wanted to do was keep him informed so he wasn't quite as ignorant.
[b "What do you say we have a night for just the two of us? We can catch up without Ron giving us attitude. Once everyone goes to bed, we can sneak back here and just have a quiet evening. I think I'm far too wired to even think about falling asleep. What do you say?"] he asked, looking hopeful.
He'd always had fun with Hermione when she let herself relax. She was always so wound at school with her heavy workloads, that they rarely got to spend time together, just the two of them. He and Ron were always together, but he didn't get that same luxury with Hermione. As much as he loved when the three of them were able to sit around and talk, it almost always ended with an argument, and two of them going to bed angry, while Harry sat awkwardly by.
[b "I'll use the cloak and sneak down to the kitchen for snacks and some pumpkin juice. It'll be fun, I promise,"] he gave her his best puppy dog eyes.
The faintest of smiles came to the girl's lips and she shook her head slowly. [b "I could never find you to be crazy Harry... Brave and a little stupid sometimes...but never crazy. And I know all too well that Ronald was stupid last year and has had his doubts about you.. But there is no reason to. I mean you were right in our first year when you thought Voldemort was trying to steal the stone, right in second when you said that you were not the heir and that you feared bad things were coming, right with third year...Needless to say, every time you have had a feeling of something you have been right. You know I'll always be there for you and help."] Those were the only words she could say as she wanted him to know that she was NOT like Ron in the slightest. She wanted for Harry to know that she would never turn away and would help him if she could. He was her one true friend. Even truer than Ron.
Her mind was wandering a bit through the years. Ron had been the reason that she had become friends with the pair in the first place, but even in that being so, there was just something about Harry. He never tried to pick fights with her and had always been there when she needed him. Like the brother she had always wanted. But as of late, the girl did find herself as possibly wanting more. Of course he could never and she knew it, and so she would have to be content with their friendship and how things were.
As soon as she heard the boy's soft voice, brown eyes came up from her lap where she had taken to staring and she bit lightly on the corner of her lip. Had he not asked her for the truth, the girl would not have felt guilty in lying to him. She would not have felt guilty about trying to be strong. After all, her best friend did have so much to deal with and didn't need her silly problems added to what he had.
[b "Honestly...tired...Ron and I have been at it all summer.. And I...just tonight I took it more personally than I should have. I know he doesn't mean it.. But Harry, don't worry about me. You've your own worries."] The girl said, offering a weak smile.
Harry smiled. [b "As long as you don't think I'm crazy. I don't think I could take it if you didn't believe me. Even Ron has had his doubts about me."]
He was reminded of the previous year, when his other best friend had all but abandoned him during the beginning of the Tri-Wizard Tournament. It had been a harsh blow to Harry to think that Ron had not believed him. The two had been inseparable since they'd met, and to no longer have the redhead's friendship for that time made Harry almost depressed. But Hermione had been a constant in his life. She'd never given up on him yet, but he still feared that one day, something might change that.
[b "How are you, Hermione? Truly."] He added the last bit when he knew that she would hold back the honest truth, even if it was to spare him worry.
He never liked when she was upset, and he'd had many bickering matches with Ron, when he'd made her cry or angry. He just wanted to make sure that if there was a way he could make her happy, or smile, he would do it.
It seemed as usual the boy could see past the facade that she was trying to put up and she was almost worried that he would ask. But when no questions came, the breath she hadn't realized she had been holding in slipped from her lips. And once more a small yet forced smile came to her lips as she stayed silent and let the boy speak.
[b "You were the first person who tried to get to know me past the 'clever know it all' that everyone thought me to be...and I will never forget that...since then I have thought of you like family...the others too once getting to know them..And I know that we are just as happy to see you as you are us."] The girl found herself saying without taking much time to think it through.
For the first time she wasn't quite being as careful and thoughtful as everyone thought her to be. A hand slowly came up and pushed bushy brown hair back as she bit softly on her lip, thinking over his answer to her question that she had asked of him. [b "No...they have been tiptoeing around all of us, really. The Order think we are just children and shouldn't worry about all of this...want us to have as 'normal' a life as we can... But I don't think you are at all wrong. They need to know that Voldemort seems to always come back and after you...if they don't tell us...they should at least you so that you can defend yourself."] Hermione said softly, being totally honest in what she thought.
Harry gave her a sad smile. He could tell that she was more upset than she was willing to let on. He'd gotten to know Hermione well enough in their five years of friendship to see that she was doing her best to hold in her emotions. Ever the stubborn one. But he wouldn't push it. He'd respect her wishes.
He let out a soft breath, leaning his head back against the chair. [b "I'm happy to be here. I know I acted like a complete jerk earlier, and I'm sorry. I really am happy to see everyone again. I don't like being away from you and the others. You're my family."]
Harry grew quiet for a few moments, recalling the events of that summer. He'd gone to bed every night wishing that he'd be able to escape to the Burrow again. Grimmauld Place wasn't ideal, but at least he was with them. He shuddered at the thought of spending any longer with the Dursleys.
Her question drew him back to the conversation, and he offered her a tired smile. [b "I'm just nervous. And a bit angry, to be honest. Everyone is tiptoeing around me, as if they're afraid to let something slip. I don't want them to be secretive about all of this. We're not children. We need to know what is out there, so we can protect ourselves."]
His green eyes looked to her. [b "Do you think I'm being stupid?"]
The girl didn't mean to let Ronald once more get under her skin, but the boy just had a way of doing so. He never thought his words through, nor had he seemed to realize that she WAS a girl and sometimes wasn't as emotionally strong as he and some the others could be. And to top it off, it just seemed like he enjoyed making her irritable just to see how long she lasted. It almost seemed like a game, one she was getting so tired of playing and didn't know how much longer she could take it.
As all of that was spinning around in the girl's head, a few tears began to slip down her cheeks. She had been trying so hard not to let them, but this time the boy had gone too far. He had been doing this all summer and didn't seem to care. And what was worse was she just let it go and hod how she felt, or would just hide herself up in the library like she had chosen now. It was the only way she knew and the only comfort since she wasn't really incredibly close with anyone in the house, well aside from perhaps Tonks and Ginny but she didn't want to seek them out constantly.
[b "Um, hi Harry... I'm fine really, just wanted to do some 'light' reading.. Thank you for coming to check on me though..."] Hermione whispered, almost fighting the lump in her throat from her emotions starting to get to her as she slowly reached up and wiped a stray tear off her cheek.
Slowly, the girl marked the page she had been reading and closed the book. Her head titled a little and she gave a small smile. [b "It really is nice to have you here.. I mean.."] But for some reason she found herself tongue tied and once more got comfortable, just his presence almost being soothing.
[b "Are you okay?"] She couldn't help asking as she remembered dinner and how things had seemed. And the look he had been giving off and on. She did want to help if she could, and she was trying to distract herself from her emotions.
Harry could tell that Hermione was upset. He wondered how many times she and Ron had fought over the summer. [b "I'm going to go join Hermione. Thank you for dinner,"] Harry rose from his seat, excusing himself.
[i "Oh."] Was Ron's response, as the redhead looked at the plates of dessert that were being placed on the table, clearly torn between joining his friends, and stuffing his face.
[b "It's fine, Ron. You stay and eat. I'll find you later, and we'll play chess,"] Harry dismissed him.
This seemed to pacify the other boy, whose features got more bright, immediately. As he left the room, Harry couldn't help but notice that the conversation seemed to become easier for those he left behind, and it stung a little bit. He didn't want everyone to tiptoe around him for the rest of the summer.
He retraced his footsteps to find his way back to the library. Rapping his knuckles on the door, he peeked in and found her curled in a chair with a book in her lap. [b "I wanted to make sure you were okay. I know Ron can get under your skin,"] his voice broke the calm silence of the room.
Stepping inside, Harry moved to a chair beside her, making himself comfortable and looking to her with a soft smile. There was something calming about being around Hermione in her little haven.
It wasn't like the ministry would take any form of responsibility for their creatures leaving post, and she knew it too. But something about it seemed off, far too off. It almost seemed like an order of sorts. Almost like someone didn't want for Harry to be returning to school. But how was she going to voice what she was thinking without any proof and without being thought 'mental'? In all honesty, this very much looked like a time where keeping her thoughts to herself would be a good idea. Or would be until she could get her two friends alone.
Brown eyes snapped up from her plate as soon as she heard the words snapped out by Mrs. Weasley and a shiver ran through her. The girl had been at headquarters long enough to know another bout was on the way and bit her lip, praying it would be interjected quickly. And as soon as Harry's words were spoken before Lupin's had been, the breath she had been holding slowly slipped from her lips. It wasn't much help, but it was calling them off the matter that had happened and the fight that had been coming.
[b "We've all been cooped up here for the most part. They think it better for us not to wander so we don't get into trouble...look for it or it find us. And this way we're safe.. or it's what the rest of us have been told. But it isn't all that bad..."] Hermione said, trying to answer Harry's question.
"Oh yeah, not that bad?! Have you lost it, Hermione? We've been trying to clean this place for weeks, and still haven't got much done." Ron said with a roll of his eyes at the way the girl had tried to make the house seem better than it was. It wad quite clear that the redhead was starting to get tired of being 'cooped up' as Harry had put it.
It was his words that struck a nerve with her. She had been trying not to fight with Ron, but he was being a bit of a prat. [b "Thank you for dinner Mrs. Weasley... I'll take the plates of those who are done and then I think I am going up to the library to do a bit of 'light' reading."] The girl said quietly, pushing her chair back and gathering plates before depositing them to the sink and leaving the kitchen.
"What's with her? All I said was we're stuck and it hasn't been fun." Ron said with a shrug, seemingly not seeing the big deal at all.
Harry looked to Hermione, nodding silently to her comment. There was no explanation for why the Dementors had been roaming away from the wizard prison. It made the boy nervous. It was unlikely that the Ministry would admit any fault for their creatures abandoning post.
He was grateful for Sirius' praise, but it was short lived once Molly glared at his godfather. [i "You suppose Harry was having fun, fighting for his life, do you? I swear, Sirius, I think you have never grown up. This is a frightening situation!"]
By the look of the Weasley children, Harry assumed that another bout was on the cusp of starting. [i "I'm not trying to lessen the seriousness of the matter. I'm merely saying I'm impressed with the way he handled it."] Sirius took a sip of wine, not phased by her.
[b "You've been locked up this whole time?"] Harry interjected to try and aim the topic away from himself.
[i "The whole 'wanted' status has yet to be lifted. So, the dear Order has made sure that I don't step outside of these walls,"] Sirius answered.
[i "It's for your own good. And Harry's. Remember that you're doing this for him,"] Lupin tried to mediate.
[i "That's the only reason I've listened to the Order."]
A frustrated sigh came from the other end of the table, but Harry wasn't sure who it came from. How had they all been here without killing each other? It didn't seem like anyone was getting along.
[b "Will we have to stay cooped us, as well?"] Harry looked for an answer from anyone who would give it.
Brown eyes met green eyes and a small smile came to her lips at his mouthed words as she mouthed back a 'you're welcome.' Of course she knew that their redheaded friend had meant no harm, but he did have a way of giving little to no thought before he said or did something and quite often it landed the pair in the most ridiculous of arguments. Quickly brown eyes went to Ron who gave a look, but decided to let it drop, which she was grateful for. The girl REALLY didn't want another of their petty fights, especially not that night since so much had already happened.
And just as what had been before, she went back to eating. This time she was more slow and actually trying to taste the food as she realized that the library would still be there after and she wanted to make sure that Ron didn't say or do anything else stupid through the rest of the meal. But that wasn't the only thing, it was a 'law' of Molly Weasley's that no one leave the table until everyone was done and the mess was cleaned. And usually she was one of the ones chosen to help in that aspect.
Silence or little chatter here and there came from around the table. Most of it having to do with trying to clean the old Black House or some from of work that one of the adults sitting about had. But mostly there was the clattering of silverware hitting plates or scraping from knives. So not really at all what one could call a calm and happy 'family'
Slowly, Hermione's eyes came up to look at Harry and she could see the look of annoyance starting to once more appear upon the boy's face. But before the girl could ask what was on his mind, Sirius cut in and asked what had happended with the dementors.
[b "But that doesn't make any sense...they are supposed to be at Azkaban... Unless..."] But at some looks she was getting, Hermione quickly looked down and blushed, keeping quiet. If she could, the girl would tell both Ron and Harry what she had been thinking.
"No need to look like a child being scolded, Harry. You did the right thing. Only wish I could have been out there too having a bit of fun. Sounds much more exciting than being 'prisoner' to your old childhood home." Sirius said, sounding both impressed with his godson and glum for his lack of adventure.
Harry caught Hermione's eye across the table and mouthed 'thank you' with a grateful expression. He knew Ron meant well, but their red-headed friend could be rather thoughtless with his comments on occasion. It had caused many fights between himself and Hermione. But for the current conversation, it seemed that he was willing to drop it, and go back to eating.
Everything was so delicious that Harry went back for seconds, and then thirds. He couldn't remember the last time he had gotten to eat an actual meal, and not just the leftovers after the Dursleys had finished stuffing their faces.
The conversation during dinner was lax, with the most noise coming from the scraping of knives and forks on the plates. Whenever Harry made eye contact with someone from the Order, they would polite smile, and then immediately look down to their plate. It was beginning to drive him crazy.
[i "So Harry, would you care to give us your side of the story, about what happened with those Dementors?"] Sirius was the one to break the silence.
Swallowing his mouthful, Harry frowned. [b "They came out of nowhere, really. My cousin was giving me a hard time when I was at the park, and they just sort of appeared. We tried to get away, but they chased us until they got us cornered. I had no choice but to use my Patronus,"] he looked to the adults, hoping that he wasn't about to get a lecture.
It didn't take long for everything to be set out on the table and for those who stayed for dinner or even stayed in the old house to take their places at the table. Hermione was whispering something to Tonks, who sighed shaking her head and then began to change her face to make both her and Ginny laugh.
The girl was hardly paying attention to the details around the kitchen and was actually eating quickly herself. She wanted to get back up to the library and read a little more and she was also anxious as she could feel the tension between Sirius and Mrs. Weasley again. It was horrifying to see the tempers flare between the two and always sent everyone 'running for the hills'.
Hermione was getting so lost in her head that it took Ron's words about Harry being Seeker to pull her back to 'reality' and she nudged the redhead in the ribs. [b "Ronald, that's not THAT important... You know how he is treated and so let him enjoy it."] She almost said haughtily, earning snickers from Fred and George and a look from Ron which had her cheeks burn a bright red and she snapped her mouth shut, falling into silence as she ate.
Harry had to bite his lip to suppress a smirk that was begging to appear on his face. He knew well enough that Sirius would not cower to anyone, let alone Molly Weasley. All Harry had to do was wait a few hours, and then he could get Sirius alone to start asking questions. At the moment, however, he was only focused on the mounds of food appearing along the table.
Before long, a miniature mountain of potatoes was protruding from Harry's bowl of stew, and a plate sat waiting for him, piled with an assortment of goods from the rest of the dishes. He had begun scarfing it down quickly, but a raised eyebrow from Lupin made him cough, and slow his pace. [b "It's delicious,"] he offered a compliment to Molly.
[i "Eat more, please! You're far too thin for your age. By fifteen, Bill was already towering over the family. We'll get you there, too,"] she stepped up behind him, dropping some more slices of roast beef on to the plate.
[i "He can't get too big, Mum, he's the seeker! He needs speed,"] Ron interjected.
[b "I don't know. A little weight sounds nice. I'm sure my bones poked poor Hermione when we hugged earlier,"] Harry grinned lightly.
[b "We thought that they would have told you that. I mean it would have made you feel almost better instantly to know you would have someone on your side... Though..."] But before the girl could say much more, Molly Weasley called up to them, interrupting them.
Hermione wanted to tell Harry a little more about the house and some of what they had gotten Tonks to tell them, but she knew how the woman could be and so trailed after her two best friends. As soon as Harry said how he missed home cooked meals, a voice came from behind them, and it did make her jump as she would have thought that Srius would have still been in the kitchen. But she had learned when in the old house of Black to expect the unexpected.
So the girl pulled Ron to the side with her and the pair watched the exchange between Harry and Sirius. Watching them, almost gave her a sad feeling because it made her think back to their third year when he had almost been free. Back to where things could have been different, better for her best friend. But she had to quickly shake it off as the exchange between the other two had come to an end and they were motioned to follow into the dining room as well.
"Now Sirius, I expect you won't be saying anything will you? They are all too young and this is meant to be left to us." Molly was saying as she sent Hermione to help Ginny set the table and motioned Ron to sit and be out of the way as she was putting a pot of stew in the middle of the table.
[i "Wouldn't dream of it, Molly"] Sirius muttered with a roll of his eyes and then gave a wink to Harry. The man had no intentions of 'behaving'.
Harry guessed that it would be a plus to have Dumbledore, if anyone, on his side. He knew that the wise wizard believed him about Voldemort, and would do what he could to help him. [b "I guess it isn't all bad news, then. I hadn't heard that he would join me."]
They were interrupted by Ron's mother, and they knew better than to make her wait. The scent of the food greeted them the second they came within view of the dining hall. [b "I've missed homecooked meals,"] Harry spoke, his mouth watering.
[i "It's a good thing there is plenty for everyone,"] a new voice joined from behind him.
Turning, Harry came face to face with his smiling godfather. [b "Sirius!"]
Not caring that they were being watched, Harry threw his arms around Sirius, who graciously returned the hug. [b "What are you doing here?"]
[i "What do you mean 'what am I doing here'? Welcome to my humble abode,"] Sirius released him, gesturing to the house around them.
Harry glanced at his friends, before turning back to the man in front of him. [b "But I thought this was-"]
[i "Headquarters for the Order of the Phoenix? It is, indeed. But, it is also known as Grimmauld Place, which is also known as the home of one Sirius Black. But, we can discuss that later. For now, we need to get some food in to that skinny body of yours,"] Sirius guided him through the door in to the dining room.
All posts are either in parody or to be taken as literature. This is a roleplay site. Sexual content is forbidden.