Chapter beta: Dani
Chapter translator: Aivy
Harry led me purposefully to the Room of Requirement. Surprisingly, when he opened the door, it revealed only a large bed inside, but Harry stepped inside with determination and downright tore his clothes off. A small door opened to the right of him which led to a tiled bathroom. He disappeared into it, not having said a word yet. I shrugged and did the same, wishing for a bath and going inside.
Under the rushing, soothing shower, I could do nothing against the tremors that invaded my body and sank to the floor, exhausted, embracing my knees with my arms and pressing my face against them. The water constantly dripped down on me and warmed me as I was so unimaginably cold, inside and out. So much had happened - almost too much in the short length of time - that I could hardly believe it. All these impressions and this mass of disturbing information made me shiver as I sat there in the shower like a lost little child with the water drumming down on me... On the other hand, how was Harry doing?
Groaning, I closed my tired, burning eyes and immediately remembered Umbridge's eyes, the eyes of Jugson, the eyes of Bole, and also the wide, disbelieving eyes of Sirius that I had been able to see so well despite the distance between us. That was what you never forgot, the eyes and the look in them. It was the final, incredulous wonderment of what they experienced when they died; the realisation, the disbelief, the alarm, the fear, and the resignation as well, and finally the acceptance of the inevitable end.
I felt no sorrow, except for Sirius. I didn’t feel sorry for the others, they all deserved it. Furthermore, you saw how effective Stunning Spells had been against the Death Eaters. Their comrades-in-arms had simply revived them. Those that I had eliminated had been out of the fight for good, so it was no-one’s fault but their own…
Our friends, too, had performed well considering that we had faced grown-up, determined men. Although I still doubted that they hadn’t held back!
These were idle thoughts though as nobody would answer them for me.
The way it looked, Snape had actually understood Harry's hint, informed the Order, and then had come to check on us. Thinking about the way he had kept me from the fight in the Death Chamber put a confused smile on my face. In such a situation, he had seemed to have forgotten our dispute. I'd have to tell Draco; normally Snape wasn’t quite so touchingly concerned.
And then Lucius! I couldn’t believe it and was still a bit astonished about myself. I had stunned Remus in cold blood to save Lucius. What was wrong with me?
That was the question here. Just for the stupid face he'd made when he had realised I'd saved him, it had been worth it. He would have food for thought for a while. Although, I was sure I had distinguished that he had been waiting for the right time to spring into action and might have meant even more casualties!
What would he think had prompted me, the Mudblood, to rescue him? Him, who was hunting me - and openly confessed it to my friends, too - to spare him Azkaban and even attack Remus? Well, my dear Lucius, I am curious to see your face when you eventually get the answer!
And those abstruse thoughts cheered me up despite the deaths I had witnessed. Thus, I found the strength to go on. I loosened my cramped arms and stretched them, then pulled myself up and got back to my feet with new courage. The game continues, so get a move on, Harry is waiting, I reminded myself.
We survived and there was still a lot to do. We had a war to win!
My self-pity had no business here. I should rather be glad to have come out of the battle relatively unhurt. Also, I could be very proud of my achievements in the fight.
I stepped out of the bathroom into the small room in a short nightgown that I had transfigured from my cleaned clothes and saw that Harry was already lying on the big bed, staring at the ceiling without his glasses. He gave no recognisable sign that he had noticed I was approaching and seemed to be very far away with his thoughts.
It was weird that I was going to share a bed with him like that, all alone in a room. He didn’t seem to want to be alone, looking for closeness, and neither did I, and I was ready to give him what he needed. It was much more intimate without the other boys in the dormitory but, oh well. I walked to the bed, pulled back the thick blanket, and snuggled into the sheets. I had healed myself in the bathroom; there were no serious injuries for which I would need a healer. I had also treated myself to one or two potions and now held two vials out for Harry which earned me his attention.
“What’s that? I won’t take Dreamless Sleep!” Oh ho! Since today there seemed to be a new Harry James Potter. Sounding so harsh, everything soft and childlike seemed to be banished from his voice. He gave me a cold, assessing look.
“Pain Reliever and Strengthening Potion. You see? Look at the colours, yellow and green,” I said sweetly, dismissing the accusation. “Dreamless Sleep would be red.”
He looked me straight in the eye as if he wanted to check if I wanted to deceive him. I didn’t and he seemed to come to the same conclusion for he decided to take the vials from me. He grimaced in disgust when he gulped them down valiantly. The potions really didn’t taste pleasant.
“Do you still have injuries that need healing? It’s not a hassle, only one or two spells…” I asked resolutely. I was still sitting upright while he was already lying there propped against many pillows. I knew him too well; you had to lure him because he hated it like the plague to go to a healer. However, he too hadn’t emerged from the fighting without injury after all.
“Oh no, nevermind!” he said dismissively and tried to wave me off. Thereupon, I pressed my lips together aggressively and when he saw that, he sighed in annoyance but got up and stripped off his T-shirt. It was impossible to imagine something less erotic. There couldn’t be any less sexual tension between us.
I just looked worried at his back first, as he had leaned forward while stripping off the shirt, and I had noticed that some Cutting Curses had probably grazed him. Nothing bad, but uncomfortable. Therefore, I cast the pinching and twinging healing spells and observed the cuts slowly mending as desired.
After a nudge against his shoulder, he sank back and presented me his battered, black-and-blue rib cage, which made me moan. Again, I went to work and healed him quite well. I couldn’t do more because, unfortunately, I didn’t have my salves with me. All this, I did under his watchful eyes.
As far as physical pain was concerned, Harry was like me and could probably teach me a thing or two. Barely noticing or unwilling to acknowledge it, he, too, seemed to be used to pain, not just mental, but physical pain as well. That earned my respect, just like his endurance of Umbridge’s blood quill. He would never have gone to Pomfrey for the abuse. In that regard, Harry was tough and very stubborn.
“You're done. Unfortunately, I have no salves at hand.”
“That doesn’t matter. It will be fine, thank you!” Harry replied. He flopped back into the pillows without putting his white shirt back on and I laid back as well and pulled the cover over us.
We laid in silence for a long time in the Room of Requirement which was lit only by the fire of the small hearth and it seemed as if each of us was caught in their own gloomy thoughts. I waited fatefully for the questions that would await me probably sooner rather than later.
Again and again, I heard the rustling of the sheets when Harry twisted or turned. He was restless. I was relatively calm and still trapped in Dumbledore's stories and revelations. Above all, I recited the prophecy over and over in my mind. Poor Harry! Murderer or victim. Murderer or victim!
I repeated it in my head again and again, and, finally, came to the decision that I would do anything so that Harry would not become the helpless victim. I would make sure that he was ready to become the murderer, with all the consequences entailed.
His rough, hoarse voice rose in the silence of the small room and I knew he wasn’t looking at me.
“Sirius is dead.” The statement was softly spoken while his voice trembled with suppressed emotions.
“Yes, Harry, he is with your parents now,” I tried to cheer him up with this admittedly not very comforting perspective.
“Um… he briefly called me James during the battle,” Harry mentioned, heartbroken.
“Really? Well, he always saw your father in you,” I explained rather sparingly and briefly angered by Sirius’ inability to see Harry for himself and not only as a bad substitute for James.
“Yeah, that must be it. I ... Do you think he's... up there somewhere?” He waved his hand through the air as if he couldn’t grasp the word he was looking for.
“Harry, I think he's with your parents; finally reunited with his friends. His life had been botched for years!” I said harshly and very pragmatic. He groaned.
“Yes, you’re right. Twelve years of Azkaban leave its mark. But I'll miss him, I... it hurts even more if you lose your family so consciously!” he exclaimed and held his breath.
“Oh yes, Harry, I believe you, I believe you very much!” I agreed full of sympathy. I meant my words very seriously and honestly, thinking immediately of what I would do to my parents on our first day of holidays. As Harry had said, to lose one’s family so consciously... It probably couldn’t get more consciously than how I planned to handle the matter and oh yes, that would hurt, but it had to be done so I would do it, the decision had been made.
“Now there’s only you left Hermione,” he announced sadly, but also with something like hope in his voice. I felt him turn his head slowly to look at me and I mirrored his action without hurry. In the faint glow of the fire, I registered the tired, unhappy expression in his eyes and gazed at him sadly.
“Oh Harry! It means a lot to me to hear you say that! I belong to you and you belong to me... yes... and I think you have many questions,” I nibbled nervously at my lower lip after this admission that we were family for each other.
“Thank… thank you for saying that. It means a lot to me, too! And yes, you guessed right. I just don’t know whether I could bear to hear it right now. That was a bit much today, unbelievably so…” he said, slightly shaky, but he valiantly fought back his sobs and put his arm over his eyes so he didn’t have to see anything anymore.
“Do you want to talk about the most important topic? Dumbledore and the prophecy?” I offered gently and would be grateful for the breather.
“Hm, I don’t know. What’s there to talk about the bloody orb? Now we know it! But honestly, I don’t need a prophecy to realise that Voldemort has been after me for years. Haven’t I opposed him year after year?! I think it's all a lot of nonsense and it makes me mad that Sirius lost his life over that. He is dead, dammit!” He breathed heavily, ramming his fists into the mattress on both sides of his body in a fit of rage.
“Alright, Harry, ask something else! What do you want to know?” I offered quickly. I wanted to distract him urgently; not that he conjured another magical storm. One per day was enough. It wasn’t good for his magic to get so thoroughly depleted.
“Malfoy! What was that about? What did he mean by biting and blood? It looked like you knew each other and let's say... It was pretty obvious what he wanted from you!” His voice had assumed a distinctly suspicious tone.
“Well, what he alluded to happened at the Ministry during the Christmas Ball,” I began cautiously and slightly despondent but could read in Harry's face, which he had turned to me, that this wasn’t really a surprise to him. That, however, was one for me and so I straightened up slightly, blinking at him in consternation. “You knew that I was at the ball? How?”
“Yes, I did and I always wondered why you didn’t tell me. What’s so secret about it?” he asked urgently, leaving me with my mouth open. There was so much more to Harry than everyone thought and even I seemed to make the mistake of underestimating him sometimes. Because he had been patient for a surprisingly long time.
“I’ll tell you in a second. But please tell me first, how did you know?” I asked curiously which elicited a soft smile over my impatience.
“How? That bothers you, doesn’t it? Well, love, Viktor and I, we write to each other from time to time. He told me about your visit and that you were suddenly gone without a trace! And that you apologised to him by owl only two days later, that there had been an emergency and, unfortunately, you had had to leave immediately.”
“Viktor!” I breathed in realisation. I had actually lost sight of him. If I had continued to have a great deal of contact with him, Draco would have probably thrown a fit. Not good, not good at all! “Uhm… Yes, right. The scene that Lu… Malfoy described took place at the ball. He hunted me down and backed me into a corner. He…” I mauled my lip again, sinking back into the pillows and instinctively grabbing my shoulder.
“And? He… bit you, really? Was he serious about that?” Harry looked at me incredulously.
“Yes, he bit my shoulder. That hurt a lot, but that's about it. Then, he had to give a speech and I got out of there as soon as possible!”
“He’s sick. I can’t believe that. Why did he bite you?” Harry had propped himself up onto his arm and now looked intently into my face, grimacing in disgust. “I mean, that’s disgusting!”
Wasn’t he cute? Harry really did know so little about sexuality that it hurt! But how was he supposed to know that this was a purely sexual, erotic game of cat-and-mouse Lucius had started here? A painful and extremely daring game. Harry didn’t understand that though and I stayed silent for a moment. How should I explain that to him? Should I get started with the birds and the bees now?
No, certainly not. Sirius had just died; it would be irreverent to talk about sex right now.
I examined Harry’s face hovering above me. He looked down at me with an expression both questioning and demanding.
“Well, you're seriously asking me why he bit me?” I made sure.
“Yes, I am. Why and what blood did he refer to?” he nagged me further, his interest clear to me.
“Geesh, Harry,” I squirmed and then turned completely, facing him. He also sank back into the pillows so that we now lay face to face to each other.
“Well, it was pure ... sex. Harry, it should provoke, humiliate, degrade and he bit hard enough to break the skin! He is a Death Eater, what do you expect? It’s an erotic, devious game for him!” I attempted to explain.
Harry looked at me wide-eyed and shook his head, his features twisting in disgust.
“Really sick. How do you know? You stay so cool... Do you have experience with something like that?” The lack of understanding almost jumped out of his innocent green eyes.
“Harry, not today, please. I don’t want to talk about a topic like that, not right now,” I requested deadly seriously, believing that if I talked about sex now I would have to think about Sirius and about Cedric and then I would get a stomachache. Not today, during the holidays, yes! But today, I didn’t want to think about sex and so I slid closer to Harry, snuggled up to his bare chest and enjoyed his warmth and he granted my request for closeness and didn’t force the subject, for now.
“You wanted to know what I did in the Ministry. I was where we went today. There is a… hall, the Hall of Archives and-” I said quietly and broke off when he yelled into my ear all of a sudden:
“You broke in!”
Startled, I pulled my head back to look at him in surprise and to get my sense of hearing to safety.
“What did we all do together today?” I silenced him and reminded him accusingly that we had all broken into the Ministry together today. “Although, if I'm not mistaken, you suspected that already when you eyed me so weirdly in the round entrance hall, didn’t you?”
“That's right. I thought it strange that you obviously knew all the pitfalls already and mastered them so easily, without thinking. You usually only act like that if you are familiar with something, otherwise, you would have approached the matter much more carefully, would have checked and tested a lot more diligently!” he confessed. I had known for a long time that his talent for observation was pretty well developed, which he confirmed here and, apparently, he knew me just too well.
“Yes, exactly and that’s why I was already familiar with the premises. What did I want there? Well, I wanted information and some of it you can only get in the archives. Quite simple!”
“Do you want me to pester you for more details? What kind of information could have been so important that you dared to go alone? Breaking into the Ministry! If they had caught you, you would have landed in Azkaban. Are you crazy? Did you stop to think about what could have happened to you?!” He was very upset and glared at me angrily.
“It certainly wasn’t free of danger, but I got in and out without anybody knowing, so everything went perfectly. I'm good, very good at things like that!” I admitted not without pride.
“That sounds like it wasn’t your first exploit in this regard.” Suspicious, he raised an eyebrow.
“You remember the potion in our second year?” I whispered, calling the Polyjuice incident to mind.
“Of course, but it sounds much more practised from your mouth,” he questioned suspiciously. Gosh, since when was Harry so keen-eared and far-sighted? That would make everything a lot harder. Where was my old Harry? He had probably disappeared last night together with Sirius and left behind this suspicious, but very grown-up young man.
“Mhm... let's just say cracking Snape's door as a second year and not getting busted was much more difficult and time-consuming than storming the Department of Mysteries!” I summed up soberly and pronounced my crushing verdict on the Ministry.
“I take your word for that! Don’t keep me in suspense any longer. What were you searching for?” he begged with open curiosity.
“Dumbledore, I've collected a lot of information about Dumbledore. Unfortunately, I don’t have the evidence and documents at hand, but I went there just because of him and his past!” I revealed quietly and nibbled again on my lower lip.
“Whaaaat?! Why?” Harry hissed in astonishment.
“That’s a long story. Sure you want to hear that now?” I enquired tiredly.
“Sure, everything that occupies my mind and distracts me is good,” he affirmed fervently and I conceded with a huff as he wanted answers now.
“Well, then... My search was successful, I found…” I started my long monologue about the family trees. That Albus' mother, Kendra, was a Muggleborn, that his father Percival was pure-blooded, that he had a brother, Aberforth, who was the owner of Hog's Head, and that there had also been a sister, Ariana.
I told him what Bathilda Bagshot had told me and revealed to me about the life of the Dumbledores.
I summarised what happened to Ariana at the tender age of six, what his father did, how the family kept everything silent. How everyone died, except for Albus and his brother... about the friendship and relationship with Gellert Grindelwald. That they had lived together for a year in the house, that they had planned a lot; about the book that I still had to work through, about the recurrent, outlandish sign on the coats and the spine and in the handwritten notes of the book! Questions about questions; and that after Arianna's mysterious death, Albus and Gellert went to Europe together.
I admitted that I hadn’t been able to dig up any more elemental information; also that Dumbledore had successfully erased all traces of the family. All this knowledge I relayed to him, without ever being interrupted by Harry. He kept quiet and listened, remaining very calm and listening to everything until the end, when I fell silent, took a deep breath and waited for his opinion, for his reaction.
And waited and waited.
I was breathing hard, not knowing how he would react. I hoped he understood.
“Say, Hermione, what got into you that you didn’t tell me something important like this before now! That you didn’t trust me from the beginning! What came over you?” he shouted at me, enraged, straightening up. He now sat upright in the bed, fuming mad, glaring at me. He looked downright impressive as he loomed above me with a bare chest that was no longer that of a child, giving free rein to his anger and his wrath which was almost palpable, if not to say, tangible.
“What did I do that you don’t trust me?!” he shouted loudly and I didn’t even try to answer. “Bloody answer, dammit!” He got threateningly close, his lips pinched in anger.
“Tell, would you have let me go?” I whispered softly and pushed back into my pillow. The strength to keep upright had left me after this long day.
“Bloody hell, no! That was all much too dangerous!” He was still raging and beating his fist aggressively into the soft mattress from time to time.
“It wasn’t. Please calm down. I’m much too good for that and don’t forget the knowledge we gained…” I tried to placate him.
“Yes, great! Today is a day I learn things I never wanted to learn and experience! Great. What should one think about Dumbledore now? You really believe that he is gay and had a relationship with Grindelwald? The Grindelwald? And that he sent his lover to prison? Great, just great!” he gasped out, sinking his hands into his shaggy hair to tear at it. I groaned.
“Yes, I think so. As soon as you see the photo you will believe it, too,” I prophesied earnestly.
“Nah, I believe you anyway... But what’s the point to his whole behaviour? I don’t understand him and I think that I never did!” He was rubbing his face desperately, tired and disappointed.
“I also don’t know what's going on in his brain. I think he has radically renounced the Dark side and is now very Light. However, he overlooks the fact that he cannot win this new war by Light means alone. Just look at the prophecy concerning you!” I shared my views with him.
“You mean the part that I have to become Voldemort’s murderer to eliminate him?” he asked timidly and thus we suddenly changed the subject.
“Yes!” I stated harshly and with determination.
“Too right. How would I do this with purely Light means? With love? Please, please, dear Voldemort, I love you and now do me the favour and drop dead? He would rather kill himself laughing and I would make a fool out of myself,” the words came so drily over Harry's lips that despite the horribly tragic circumstances I got a laughing fit over his cynicism.
Sorry, but he had said it so ironically, it was just too glorious and he, too, had to smirk when he noticed my amusement about his sarcastic words. It was as if the ice of his annoyance was breaking and then he also was laughing aloud. Yes, picturing this scene had something hilarious!
He fell back into the pillows and chuckled hysterically, just like me, until slowly the silence returned and Harry returned to letting the new information sink in. I also tried to reconcile my insights into Dumbledore's past with his present-day revelations about Harry.
I have to say, I believed Dumbledore that he had planned everything as he had said. Only, what I absolutely couldn’t understand was his unwillingness to counteract the fate. Why the hell hadn’t he prepared Harry much earlier? With the knowledge of the prophecy, Harry should have gotten prepared for war from the very first moment!
The excuse of wanting to leave him his childhood didn’t do much for me. First, what childhood? The Dursleys hadn’t given him anything resembling a youth worth living in and when school started we were exposed to the Dark Lord's attacks from the first day. At least since then, after the first year, Dumbledore should have taken action and trained Harry in general, but above all his mind, to protect himself effectively. Why did he do it so late? Why with so much delay?
We both shared our thoughts, discussing them intensively. We neither found rest nor sleep, hence we lay in bed and talked about Dumbledore. Harry was still a little miffed about my solitary ways but also pleased with the information I had found out because of them, so he was very divided, but at least he was no longer openly angry with me. The rest would subside with time, I hoped.
“Hermione, as I said, you are the only one I would still call family. Although I expect complete openness and honesty from now on, otherwise, I’ll have to react accordingly,” Harry threatened me frankly, eying me both crossly and sternly while at the same time delicately brushing a strand of my curly hair out of my face.
“I know, Harry, and as you can imagine I still have a lot to confess, a great lot, but do you really want me to start now? It's going to be extensive. Do you have the strength to handle that right now?” I offered him. If he wanted to know everything straight away, I would tell him without reservation, even if I had planned it differently.
“No, definitely not! Cold shivers run down my spine when you say it that way. At a moment like this, I don’t even know if I want to know, believe me. But we have seen with Dumbledore where silence leads to and therefore I won’t run from your truths. Just not today. I would like to take your offer and have you tell me everything during the holidays. I have to think about so much and if all your news are so world-shaking for me, that would really be too much and I want to make sensible, well-thought-out decisions; Which I'm not able to do right now. Do you think you can really get me out of the house?” he explained unusually grown-up and patiently. He, apparently, just wanted to assure himself that I really would be able to do what I had promised.
“You have truly grown up a lot, Harry!” I said proudly and cupped his cheek with my hand.. “Hey, and sure, of course! I can get inside and out of pretty much everywhere, believe me!” He gave me a disarming smile.
“Oh yes, unfortunately. Anything childlike left in me died tonight, Hermione. So dead, just like Sirius! I am no longer a child. How would I? I realised that this past year, after Cedric's death, I have been desperately trying to cling to the childhood, the joyous childish school days that Hogwarts promised me. But I now understand very clearly that this was an elusive tactic, one that won’t help me anything here. This is war! In the Ministry, I felt briefly like on a battlefield ... I left the room with the basins because I wanted them to follow me, me and the bloody orb, so you and everyone else would stay unhurt. And already, I start to break my new principles as I don’t dare to ask you about the others: Ron, Ginny ... Luna and Neville!” he sighed deeply and sounded very lost, but also moved in his hurtful openness.
“Well, then I'll answer you: Nothing happened to Ron, he just sat there and laughed. Ginny woke up again from the stunner, only her ankle was causing her problems, but she grit her teeth amazingly. She cried but I told her to revive Luna, who collided quite unfortunately with a table and fell to the floor and will have a bump to show for it, and then to leave the Department of Mysteries. Neville was doing relatively well, he even tried to help Shacklebolt... And I - well, you saw it, not much happened to me!” I summarised.
“Thank god, nothing too bad happened to our friends thanks to our, to my decision. I couldn’t bear to lose another one because of a bloody prophecy that the old crock knew anyway!” His eyes began to glow ominously in the darkness of the room as if there was a fire burning inside him.
“Harry, calm down!” I said sternly and nudged him.
“Bloody how? When I think what all wouldn’t have happened if the oh-so-great Dumbledore had just gotten his mouth open earlier. Sirius could still live! Oh, everything’s crap. My life was never different; I should have died back then!” he declared bitterly.
“No, don’t say that!” I yelped and launched myself at him, clutching him like a monkey, holding tight and not letting go.
“But it is true! Do you know what makes me really angry? I think he didn’t really fight for Sirius at the time... because he wanted to leave me at the Dursleys, for the greater good and his stupid blood protection!” Harry said accusingly. “If Sirius hadn’t been incarcerated in Azkaban, he would have taken me in and that didn’t fit into Dumbledore's great plan. He himself said that he had planned my life after that fateful Halloween and he seems to sacrifice everything to the great good. I feel like one of Ron's pawns on the chessboard!” he ranted into my hair, pressing my face to his chest.
“Rather like a king,” I added dryly.
“Or that. Still a chess piece, though. I’m fed up with everything going over my head and you too don’t come away favourably!”
I put my head back to look at him after these accusing words and got another glare.
“Sorry. But accept that you know that I was right to keep silent in the beginning. How could I have told you that? Ron, Ginny, the Weasleys, alas, everyone wouldn’t understand my actions and why I'm doing this, no matter what I found out, and until recently you wouldn’t either; you would have damned me!” I explained myself forcefully. Harry was silent for a moment, thinking.
“Mm-hm... when I think about it ... Yeah, you're right, I’d have judged you and not for the better! Burglary... running away, keeping so much to yourself. That with Malfoy on the ball, that's also difficult to swallow - and I’ll want more detail on that later - but I can promise you one thing: I’ll never act rashly anymore. I'd rather sleep one more night on a decision. I can understand that in your ingenious super brain you'd already come to the realisation that something’s wrong with Dumbledore,” he laughed with little humour, “and it has also been confirmed, so I'll always give you the chance to justify yourself. I can also understand why you wanted to tell me later. I wouldn’t have believed you at the beginning of the year, and even with evidence, I would have struggled to see in him the Dumbledore you described and depicted. However, as I said, nothing is the same as it was yesterday and so I believe you. Why should a person make so much effort to shroud his past in the fog of oblivion if there is not something fishy going on?” Harry concluded with an absolute conviction.
“You don’t trust him anymore?” I dared to ask.
“Conditionally, I don’t trust him because he doesn’t tell everything as he is such a secret monger, so I am very restrained and careful. But what I surely am is angry, unspeakably angry, that he has the arrogance to decide about my life since I was a little child and even now. We see what came out of it, a fucked childhood and now every year a fiasco, one bigger than the last.” he replied, agitated, and I realised that he was right. Harry was amazingly clear-sighted while we talked and reconciled. “Unlike you ... you also didn’t tell me everything but you were always at my side, every year, always very close. Without you and your research I wouldn’t have survived the first and second year, the third year for sure, and the fourth year, without your support. And the incident in the Department of Mysteries as well because I wouldn’t even have escaped from Umbridge's sausage-like fingers. He always arrives only when everything has already happened, but you, you are always there when it happens!”
For a while, we lay in the protective embrace of each other’s arms.
“We should get up, what time is it?” I mumbled and checked, jerking up when I saw the time. “What? It’s ten o'clock?! We should get started and make our way to the hospital wing soon.”
“Hm? Why soon?” he wanted to know and yawned heartily.
“If Pomfrey has given them a potion they’ll sleep until noon so we should try to catch some breakfast, or what do you think?”
“Yes, you are right. Come on, let’s go,” he groaned and you could see that he would have prefered to never go out of that room again. Thus, we got up after a sleepless night, went to our respective bathrooms and got ready. It was always nice to experience what magic made possible, otherwise, we would have had to go to the dorm first. This way, we were able to make do without.
When we saw each other face to face in the daylight of the Room, I swallowed hard. Harry looked different from yesterday, his facial features much more mature and grown-up; a bitter expression seemed to have chiselled itself into his face. Sirius' death affected him deeply. The glow of his green eyes seemed subdued and a hitherto unknown hardness had taken residence in their depths. And when I looked at him, smiling sadly, he held out his hand to me in a silent promise and when I took it with a firm conscience and squeezed determinedly, I also gave him a promise that from the summer onwards there should be nothing between us. Right now, as knackered and exhausted as he seemed, he wouldn’t be able to bear any more shocking news. He looked like he was carrying a heavy burden on his shoulders.
“Come, the world is waiting for us. Let’s show them what it means to tangle with us!” were Harry's definite words. His voice, too, seemed deeper and more mature than before.
Thus, we crossed the threshold together and faced the day after!