OH, you haven't lived until you've been in the Burrow the day we head to Hogwarts! Harry thought with a broad smile - Percy wasn't coming this year, nor were the twins (since moved into their own place in Diagon Alley), but Harry and Hermione more than made up the difference. Oh, Harry well knew that Hermione could be neat and prim when necessary - but that wasn't her issue. Choice was. Specifically, which books to take, which to leave, and where to put them all. She was pretty good (for a girl) with the spatial problems, but when she wanted to fit Just One More, well, it was pretty much hopeless.
Yesterday Harry had been certain that he had everything, but then he'd taken his broom out, and his gloves, and where did he put that mirror? Ron was just about the same, and petite Ginny Weasley could hardly be heard as she asked her Mum where her textbooks had gotten off to. Apparently Ron had taken one, and out of the third flew Canaries (a casualty of the last Sunday Dinner, when the twins had apparently been monkeying around with some newfangled contraption or another.)
They piled into the old Ford, and trucked out to the Train Station, pulling off every trunk (Harry quite glad that he didn't have to deal with the Dursleys), and hauling them all onto the platform. 9 and 3/4, of all things! Harry always had a good laugh. They couldn't have picked Six and a third, could they? (Come to think, he figured if he asked Hermione he'd get a real explanation about it. Harry frankly preferred the laughter - some things got worse for being explained).
They were nearly late, so they all piled onto the same car, finding an empty (or nearly, the Slytherin sitting within took one look at all four of them, and gracefully bowed out, saying "I'll find someplace else, thanks." Harry found himself wondering what would have happened if he had asked the lass to stay - before picturing the predictable redfaced outrage out of Ron Weasley. Perhaps it was better to have not, really.)
Harry noticed that Ron and Hermione were fighting, again (He devoutly hoped it wasn't over Ron's newly learned spells, as Snape had said it was a bad idea, and that had all sorts of underlines on it in Harry's mind. Surely Hermione knew better...?), and that made it awkward, as Ginny was staring pointedly at Harry - surely she didn't expect him to intervene? Well, maybe she just wanted him to talk with her. Awkwardly, Harry asked, "What'd you learn this summer."
"Spells,"Ginny responded, and Harry felt like he had just stuck his foot in his mouth and bit down hard. Harry idly stared out the window (watching a hawk fly beside the train, swooping to try and catch birds flushed by its passing). After a while, Harry stood up, saying simply, "W.C." Neither Ron nor Hermione looked at him, and though he was fairly sure that Ginny was just pretending to ignore him and his incompetent conversational ability, she also refrained from making any comment.
It was just his luck, really, that Harry would see Malfoy as he was heading to the W.C. Harry Potter stiffened as he saw the blond, keeping his breathing slow but feeling his traitor heart accelerate. It's just Malfoy, Harry thought with more than a bit of irritation. As Malfoy approached, Harry realized that Malfoy was also a little tense - and that made him suddenly feel better. As haughty as ever, Malfoy leveled an arrogant nod of acknowledgement in Harry Potter's direction. Catching Malfoy's eye, before Malfoy could awkwardly walk by, Harry said simply, "Good day." Malfoy's gray eyes met his, as he raised his eyebrow just slightly, indicating that Harry had caught him just a bit offguard with the comment.
"Same," Malfoy responded, as they both turned smoothly to allow each other to pass in the tight corridor without touching.
[Harry Potter is not trying to be Malfoy's friend. Why Would He?
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