Huddle up!" Harry called out to the team. "Come on you lot I don't have all day."

It was the end of their first practice. He wasn't trying to push anyone harder than normal this time around. This was him just trying to see what they were made of and if any adjustments in their game needed to be made.

The rest of the team were there in seconds, but Draco was taking his sweet time. "Oi Malfoy! While we're still young." He rolled his eyes openly at me. "Alright all in all, good practice. We've really got to work this year if we want to defend our title. Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff don't have anything going for them, but Gryffindor could be dangerous. As you all know, we're facing them first match of the year."

"We'll crush them easily." Malfoy said to the agreement of most of the team. Most of them.

"Overconfidence is a weakness Draco." Blaise retorted. "The second you start underestimating your opponent is the second that they use it against you."

Draco snorted. "As long as Potter catches the Snitch it shouldn't be a problem. If that's his plan that is."

"Something you want to say to me, Malfoy." Harry raised an eyebrow. Was his former friend really going to do this in front of the team?

"Nothing, except you seem to be spending a lot of time around Gryffindors lately." Draco challenged. "And I'm pretty sure one of the them is the Gryffindor Keeper's girlfriend." Nobody else said anything but the look on most of their faces they seemed to all share Draco's observation. And judging by those looks they didn't like it one bit.

Before Harry could speak, Blaise came to his defense. "Draco can't you see what he's doing? It's bloody brilliant."

"What are you on about?" Draco looked over at his friend.

Blaise sighed as if it was common knowledge. He had the team's attention now. "The more time Harry spends with Granger, the more it'll worry the Weasel. What's Potter doing with his girlfriend, he'll wonder. If he's worried about Harry and Granger shagging, then he won't be concentrating on those hoops and the more goals that idiot will let in."

Most of the team looked satisfied with that answer. "Do you really have to hang around a Mudblood though, Potter?" Vance asked. "Surely there was a different way."

Harry's eye twitched but other than that his reaction to the slur wasn't noticeable. Mason Vance would've been a Death Eater straight out of Hogwarts if they were still recruiting. The information that his dad had given him, maybe they still were. Harry shrugged. "Best idea I had."

Vance grunted but otherwise let the matter drop. Draco wasn't appeased, however. "So that's really it? You're just hanging around Granger to mess with Weasley?" Draco raised an eyebrow.

"That's what I said isn't it?" Harry retorted.

"That's what Blaise said." Draco pointed out.

"Even if it weren't the truth Malfoy, I don't have to explain why I hang around the people I do. Not to you." There was a barb in there about their former friendship and Draco picked it up clear as day. He glared at Harry openly.

"Are we dismissed Captain?" He spat.

"Yes. For tonight." Before Harry could even finish, Draco had turned and was on his way back to the locker rooms with most of the team following him. The only ones who remained were Harry, Tracey, and Blaise.

"So that's the only reason you're spending time with Granger?" Tracey gave Harry a look.

"Let it go Trace. Please?" Harry begged. If what Blaise had told him what true, then he just wanted this whole ordeal to end. Why couldn't they just be friends? Why did they have to complicate things between them? Tracey didn't respond and joined the rest of the team on the way to the showers.

"Well…that wasn't tense at all." Blaise commented.

Harry snorted. "Thanks for the save there mate. I only wish it would've gotten Malfoy off my back."

Blaise chuckled. "As if. Harry he might not ever let this go. I don't even think he cares about Granger being a Muggle-born anymore."

"Then what the hell is his problem?" Harry asked.

"Her blood status has something to do with it." Blaise clarified. "But in his mind, he believes that you chose her over him"

"I gave him a choice." Harry argued. "I would love to be friends with Hermione and Draco both."

"You don't need to justify yourself to me." Blaise responded. "I know mate. If you want to be friends with Granger that's your business. But it's the way you told him. You were right to put your foot down, but you could've gone about it a different way."

"I wasn't just going to let him insult Hermione." Harry spat. "Never again. In fact the next time he says some shit like that about her again, I'm going to-"

"You can't do anything Harry." Blaise interrupted. "Remember what House we're in. The rest of the Snakes won't take too kindly to you being friends with Granger, you know that."

"I don't give a shit about the rest of those bastards." Harry snapped. "They only tolerate me anyway because I'm good on a broom. Remember, my dad's the ones who put their Death Eater parents in Azkaban."

"I thought you would've learned by now Harry." Blaise muttered looking around the pitch. Nobody was there except for them but that didn't matter. Somebody could always be listening. "You can't say things like that in our House. I can't even say things like that in my own home. My Mum isn't a Death Eater, but she doesn't hate them."

"You're playing a dangerous game Harry." Blaise continued. "Remember that but always remember I've got your back. Just like I should've had your back in first year."

Harry shook his head. "You're here now. That's all that matters."

"Come on we should get the hell out of here. I'm starved." Blaise said.

After they hit the showers the other members of the team were long gone so it was just them walking up to the castle together. "Think we'll get lucky with steak again?" Harry said hopefully.

Blaise snorted. "Not lik-"

"Hey Potter?" They turned and saw Longbottom walking towards them. "We need to have a word."

"What is it?" Harry asked. He didn't really care if the other boy wanted to be friends with him, but he was willing to try.

Longbottom looked over at Blaise. "Let's talk in private." He insisted.

"Whatever you have to say to me you can say in front of Blaise." Harry responded.

Neville shrugged. "I just wanted to ask you what your deal is?"

"My deal?" Harry was confused. Did he have a deal?

"Why are you suddenly so interested in Hermione?"

"I'm pretty sure she already explained this to you Longbottom. She and I became friends on the cruise we went on." A friend that he had kissed and now didn't know how to feel what type of way about.

"Why though?" Neville asked. "You're telling me you saw Hermione and the first thought you had was "I'm going to go be friends with that Muggle-born Granger"."

Harry shrugged. "I never cared that she was a Muggle-born, Longbottom. My mum is one."

"I know. Our parents are friends." Neville said surprising Harry.

"Are they?" Harry asked. "Since when?"

Neville raised an eyebrow not sure if the other boy was joking. "Since Hogwarts? Plus, your Dad and mine both work together as Aurors."

Learn something new every day. "Mum and Dad never told me that." Harry admitted. "But like I said Longbottom, I don't care that Hermione is a Muggle-born."

"You may never have said anything cruel, but you didn't care when your best mate Malfoy started in on her. Or me for that matter." Neville glared.

"I know and I apologize for that." Harry said sincerely. "I just want to make things better."

"I'm sorry too, Longbottom." Blaise said. "And just so you know Harry isn't exactly friends with Draco anymore."

This had Longbottom's attention. "Why? I thought you both have been friends for years now."

"We were." Harry said. "But then he couldn't accept that I won't tolerate him being horrible towards Hermione anymore."

Neville didn't say anything at first. "You're serious then? You actually want to be friends with Hermione?"

"I'll be friends with you too if you want." Harry said.

Neville snorted. "Never thought I'd see the day. Harry Potter wanting to be friends with me."

"What about you Zabini? Are you trying to be best friends with me as well?"

Blaise shrugged. "Another friend never hurt anyone. No skin off my bones if you don't like me though."

Neville thought about it for a second. "You go running everyday right?" Harry nodded. "I'll go with you next time and we'll just take it from there."

"Maybe then you can talk to Hermione." Harry commented. "About...well whatever happened between you two."

"She told you we weren't talking?" Neville asked. Harry nodded again. Neville sighed. "That does remind me I need to talk to her. I overreacted a bit when she said something to me. I just want to make it right. I'll see you tomorrow Potter."

Neville started to walk away. "Longbottom." The boy turned. "If we're going to be friends, you'll have to start calling me Harry."

"I'll reassess the situation after the run tomorrow." Neville responded and began walking away.

"This year just keeps getting weirder and weirder." Harry shook his head. "What?" Blaise was staring at him.

"Sooooooo, you invite two Gryffindors, the girl who is in love with you and Daphne Greengrass to go running with you…but you don't ask Blaise? You know your best mate?"

"Who?" Harry asked and Blaise slugged him across the shoulder. "Fine fine. Do you want to go running with us tomorrow?"

"Not good enough." Blaise folded his arms and started tapping his foot.

Harry sighed and got down on one knee. "Blaise Zabini." He said in his best romantically inclined voice. "Would you please do me the honor of joining myself and others on our daily five thirty am run?"

Blaise put his hands over his mouth in mock shock. "Oh yes Harry! You've made me the happiest- wait. Did you just say five thirty?"

Harry got to his feet and grinned. "Everyday brother. Everyday." He grabbed his friend around the shoulder and kept walking towards the castle. "Come on I'm starving."


Hermione walked down the stairs from her dorm room.

She had been successfully dodging Ron for the past few days or so mainly because her boyfriend liked to sleep in so much. This discussion that she was planning on having with him was going to get harder and harder the longer she put it off. This weekend was a Hogsmeade weekend, the first of the year. She would tell him then.

"Mornin Hermione." She was surprised to see Neville sitting by the fire dressed in a hoodie and sweatpants. "About time you got down here. I was about to leave without you."

"Leave for where?" She was confused.

"To go running?" He acted as if it should be obvious. It really should…mainly because of his attire.

"You're going to be running with us?" He nodded. "But why? I thought you didn't like Harry?"

He sighed. "Let's talk and walk. I want to get down to the Great Hall."

"Children these days." They heard the Fat Lady mutter behind them.

"I'm sorry Neville." She apologized immediately. "I never should've compared you to Ron. It was horrible of me."

"No, I'm sorry Hermione. I overreacted. You were right. I was acting like Ron. A thick-headed idiot with the emotional range of a teaspoon."

"Well…I wouldn't go that far." She said even though what Neville was saying about her boyfriend were facts. "What changed your mind?"

"Potter."

"You talked to Harry?" She was surprised.

He nodded. "Zabini too. Talked to them yesterday. It was…enlightening to say the least. I thought Potter would start insulting me since you weren't around, but he was actually a decent bloke. The jury is still out if he's a friend candidate, but I'm open to it at least."

"I'm glad to hear Neville." She smiled lightly at him. "You'll see that Harry is a good person. I'm sure Zabini is as well."

"Zabini, not Blaise?" Neville raised an eyebrow.

"He's more of Harry's friend, but I'll keep an open mind." She replied echoing his previous statement.

"Apparently one of the only friends he has left apparently." Neville commented without realizing he said it out loud.

"What?" She asked looking over at him.

"W-What?" He sputtered. Shit.

"What was that you said about Harry not having many friends left?" She demanded. She wasn't going to let him off the hook that easily.

"D-Don't know what you mean." Shit shit shit. Potter was going to be pissed at him for this.

"Neville." She said warningly.

He sighed. "I didn't tell you this but apparently Potter and Malfoy had a big falling out recently. They're not friends anymore."

"What?" Why hadn't Harry mentioned this to her? "Why? What happened?" His only response was to look at her. "Wh- me?" Neville nodded. "But why?"

"Potter said that he got fed up with Malfoy always belittling you and calling you…well that word." She knew which word all too well. She had heard it since she had started at Hogwarts. Mostly from Malfoy. "He cut him out."

"I did this?" That hadn't been her intention to come between friends. She may not have liked Malfoy, but he was obviously an important person in Harry's life. She didn't want to be the reason they weren't speaking anymore.

"It was long overdue if you ask me." Neville grunted. "If Potter is really trying to be a better person then getting rid of that Death Eater spawn Malfoy will only help him in the long run.

She didn't respond. The only person she wanted to talk to right now was-

"Hey!" Harry waved. With him were Zabini and Greengrass. "Nice to see you could make it Longbottom. I know you've already met Blaise but I don't know if you've me-"

"Heir Longbottom." Daphne nodded.

Neville bowed slightly back at her. "Heiress Greengrass."

"Okayyyy then." Harry blinked. "I guess you guys have met."

"We go to a lot of the same parties." Daphne said it offhandedly. "Our dads were friends at school."

"Coming to our New Years Day party this year?" Neville asked as if it was normal business between them. The way that he was talking about it was strange. Almost like he was reading a prepared script. "My Dad said he extended an invite."

Daphne nodded. "My family will be there as always."

Blaise pouted. "Wish we would've gotten an invite too right Harry?" Harry was suddenly looking anywhere but his best friend. "…. You too?"

"My family really. I thought it was a little weird until you told me that our parents are friends, Longbottom."

"Yeah from Hogwarts." Daphne said automatically like it was common knowledge.

"You knew too?" Harry groaned.

She nodded. "My Mum dated your dad for a little while actually. After that she started dating my father."

"…You're kidding right?" Harry asked slowly.

"Don't your parents tell you anything about school?" Daphne asked confused.

Harry shrugged. "I've never really asked."

"Anyway, sorry Hermione. How are you doing this morning." He asked.

"Fine I guess." She said quickly. "Can I talk to you for a second?"

"Sure." He responded. "We can do it over breakfast."

"I need to talk to you now." She said firmly.

"Let's go save some spots." Blaise said suddenly and before Harry could blink the three of them were gone, leaving him with Hermione.

"What did you want to talk about?" He asked worriedly as she folded her arms. This couldn't be good.

"Why didn't you tell me you weren't friends with Malfoy anymore?" She asked.

He sighed. "Longbottom has a big mouth then?"

"He told me on accident." She said immediately. "Why didn't you tell me Harry?"

"It didn't seem important." He tried to shrug it off.

"It's important to me." She retorted. "Especially because it was my fault."

"Let me stop you right there." He responded before she could continue. "Me and Draco have been drifting apart for a while now. Did I like how he was treating you? No. But just the fact that he would turn on me because I didn't share the same bigoted viewpoint that he does was the last straw. I can't be around that anymore. Especially if he won't accept that I'm choosing to be friends with you."

"H-He for sure knows that we're friends then?" She had figured that Malfoy hadn't know for sure and he had just started levelling accusations. But if word got around that Harry was friends with her- "Harry, this is exactly why we decided to keep this secret!"

He shook his head. "They know now. I'm sorry Hermione but I couldn't deal with Draco badmouthing you anymore. You're my friend." He said firmly. "And I'm not alone. I've got Blaise."

"I'm still worried. For you and Zabini now too. The rest of your hou-"

"The rest of my house can go to hell." Harry stated. He didn't care anymore. What were they supposed to do? Maim their Quidditch Captain and their best chance at defending their title? "There's going to be a lot of dirty looks, but I'd like to see them try to do something."

She shook her head. "I'm still worried Harry. That's my right as your friend."

"Oi!" Daphne called out to them from the Great Hall. "You two coming or not?"

"Be there in a second Greengrass!" Harry retorted. "Trust me. I know what I'm doing."

"Trust Harry Potter." She snorted in a very un-lady like fashion. "Never thought I'd hear those words."

She sighed. "Alright I'll let you handle it but the second I see a bruise I'm going to the Headmaster."

"You worry too much Hermione." He smiled at her and they started walking towards the Great Hall.

"And you worry too little Harry." She shook her head. She hoped that he was right. She didn't want him to end up in the Hospital Wing because of her. Or worse, St. Mungos.


"So how was running with Potter this morning?" Tracey asked as her and Daphne left breakfast that morning.

"Potter?" Daphne raised an eyebrow. "Hasn't it always just been Harry for you?" Tracey shrugged. "Well you would know how it went if you actually came."

"I don't feel like waking up that bloody early okay?" Tracey snapped.

"Tracey don't get mad at me because you're jealous of Granger." Daphne muttered to her friend. "It's not her fault that she wants to be friends with Harry now."

"Oh, I think she's aiming for a little bit more than friendship." Tracey grumbled.

"What are you talking about?" Daphne asked. What was Tracey on about now?

Tracey shrugged innocently. "Not allowed to tell. Ask Harry."

Daphne sighed at her best friend. "Tracey I'm sorry that Harry didn't have the same feelings that you did. I really am. But I'm getting tired of this."

Tracey glared. "This really isn't any of your business Daphne so why don't you leave it alone?" She started walking faster and faster until Daphne was in her rear-view mirror.

Daphne sighed and shook her head. Why couldn't things just be simple? "What's her deal?" Harry asked as he and Blaise walked up behind her.

Daphne wanted to say something but didn't want to in present company. "If it's about Tracey having a thing for me then Blaise already knows." Harry followed up.

Daphne shook her head furiously. "She doesn't like seeing you with Granger."

Harry shrugged. "That's too bad then. I like Hermione and if Tracey doesn't then that's not my problem."

"Be friends with her if you want Harry but remember the consequences." Daphne replied.

"You too?" Harry rolled his eyes. "The rest of the House won't do anything to me because I'm-"

"Why because you're the Seeker?" Daphne scoffed. "All of these Death Eaters in training were taught to hate Muggle-borns and Blood Traitors way before they learned to love Quidditch. If you think they won't take offense to you being friends with Granger, then you have another thing coming."

"What about you?" Harry asked. He thought differently than Daphne, but he would take her opinion into consideration. "You went running with Hermione remember? They'll hate you just as much."

"I went running with you and Granger just happened to be there. All I have to do is say that I had no idea she would come."

"You really have all your bases covered, don't you?" Harry grumbled.

She shrugged. "I'm a survivor my dear boy. If you want to be friends with Granger, then go ahead. I'm not going down on that ship." Blaise chuckled. "That funny to you Zabini?"

"It just shows Greengrass that while everyone around us is changing, you're still the same." He pointed out. "Ice Queen indeed."

"Don't call me that." Daphne snapped. She hated that nickname.

"Stop making it fit and I will." He smirked.

She glared at him and was about to take a step at him before Harry put a hand across her path. "Not in front of the other houses." He said under his breath. They had arrived at Transfigurations. From their very first day in Slytherin they were instructed to follow a set of rules. Rule number one and the most important: No quarrelling outside the house, especially not in front of the school. They were Slytherins. Everybody else in the school hated them so they needed to stick together. Ironic if you asked Harry.

Daphne muttered something at Blaise but otherwise didn't say anything. "Potter!" Lavender Brown started waving at him. He looked to both of his friends who only shrugged at him. She was standing by herself apart from the rest of her house when he walked over to her. "Sit with me when we get in there." It wasn't a request.

"Sure." He replied. Was every Gryffindor in the school trying to get in his good graces now?

They took a table near the back of the classroom. Hermione walked in seconds later and started looking around. She froze like a deer in the headlights when she saw Lavender and Harry sharing a table. "…Hi guys." She said as scanned the table for any available seats next to them. There were none.

Lavender smiled sweetly. "I think Neville is saving a seat for you Hermione." She nodded up at the front where the boy was sitting. Hermione's eyes narrowed and she slowly walked up to the front where Neville was waving to her. She would look back every minute or so to look at the pair. What was Lavender planning?

"So, any reason that you wanted to sit with me?" Harry finally asked.

"Can't two friends sit with each other?" Lavender asked innocently.

"We're friends?" He was confused. "I can't remember a single word that we might've said to each other."

"We're talking right now?" She said as if it should be obvious. "Ok maybe we're not friends." She admitted. "But I'd like to be."

"I have a few questions though." She asked lowering her voice to a whisper.

"Go right ahead." He shrugged.

"First off what are your intentions with Hermione?"

"What do you mean?" He tried to play innocent.

Her eyes narrowed. "Potter. I know you kissed her."

"Shit." He sighed. Was no secret safe anymore? "She told you?"

"I guessed." Lavender corrected. "Who else knows by the way? Not Malfoy I hope."

Harry shook his head quickly. "Just Blaise and Tracey."

"Tracey Davis?" Lavender looked to her left. "You mean the girl glaring at me right now?"

"What do you mean?" He looked past Lavender and sure enough Tracey was shooting less than friendly looks towards their table. When she saw Harry had caught on, she looked away. "Never mind." He sighed.

"She have a thing for you or something?" Lavender asked. Harry hesitated. He didn't know how much he could actually tell this girl. Lavender rolled her eyes. "Potter I'm not a gossip queen like everyone says I am. Whatever you tell me I won't tell anyone else."

He sighed and nodded his head. "She told me that she was okay with us just being friends, but I guess that was a lie. I really don't know what to do."

Lavender shrugged. "Not much you can do. You've already tried letting her down easy right?" He nodded. "Then at this point it's her fault for not picking up the message, not yours."

"Now back to Hermione."

He sighed. He hoped that she would've forgotten about that. "What do you want to know?"

"First off you really had to choose a girl with a boyfriend?" Lavender raised an eyebrow.

He shook his head. "I-I don't know what happened there. It was in the spur of the moment. I couldn't help myself."

"What are your intentions with her?" She repeated.

"I don't know Brown." He admitted. "I want to be friends with her I really do. I thought these feelings would just go away after some time away, but they didn't. Shit they might've gotten stronger."

"You could always tell her how you feel." Lavender said.

"She's dating Weasley." He countered. "I have no idea why. I know he's your friend and all but he's a git."

"He might be my friend, but I can recognize the fact that he's a git." Lavender agreed. "And just so you know she's telling him this weekend."

"S-She's doing what?" Had Harry heard that right?

"She doesn't want to keep this from him anymore." Lavender continued. "It's not fair to him"

"Great now I have to watch my damn back now." He meant it when he told Blaise that he could handle Weasley, he just hated having to look over his shoulder the rest of the year.

Lavender shrugged. "Honestly Potter you'll probably just have to face him. You don't seem like the type to run from your problems."

He sighed. "I can't promise I won't kick his ass."

"Ron might surprise you. He's quicker than you might think. He won't face you in a duel either. Odds are he'll just throw punches."

"Good." Harry shrugged. "Prefer it that way actually."

"I hope you guys don't have to fight Potter." She said. "I'd rather Ron just takes this like an adult and leaves you alone as he tries to work it out with Hermione. But that's not likely."

Harry nodded. "Did you have another question?" She shook her head. "Well then why did you say you had a couple questions?"

She shrugged. "To seem dramatic."

He rolled his eyes. "Fair enough."

"Brown! Potter!" McGonagall snapped at them. "If I have to come back there and separate you two then I will."


"What was so important that you were talking to Harry in Transfigurations?" Hermione asked Lavender on the way from dinner.

Lavender shrugged. "He's a very interesting person. I'm a very interesting person. I thought we'd have an interesting conversation."

"About…" Hermione's eyes narrowed.

"The weather. School. Things of that nature."

"Was I mentioned?"

"You were mentioned a good…. ninety five percent of the time."

"Lavender." Hermione groaned. "When I told you about what happened with me and Harry, I didn't want you to interrogate him."

"Yeah I know. I chose to though."

Hermione shook her head. "What did you ask him?"

"Nothing major." Lavender said. "Only th-"

"Excuse me." The Fat Lady interrupted. "Are you coming in or not?"

"Balderdash." Lavender said quickly.

"Indeed." The Fat Lady rolled her eyes and the door swung open.

"So, what did you tell him?" Hermione asked.

"Wel-"

"Hey!" They were interrupted again but this time it was someone who Hermione needed to talk to but had been putting off.

"Hey Ron." They both said. He grunted at Lavender and walked straight up to Hermione. He leaned in and mashed his lips on hers. This had been the first time she had been kissed since her and Harry. Unlike Harry who was gentle and wanted to explore her lips, Ron was more aggressive. All he did was just mash his own mouth up against her own. When she felt his tongue start to push into her mouth, she gently pushed him away and smiled at him. "Hi." She said again.

"We need to talk." He demanded.

She nodded. "I agree. May-"

"I thought I said, I didn't like you hanging around Potter." He pressed on.

She looked past him and wanted to shake her head. He couldn't have picked a worse time to do this. Dinner had just ended so the Common Room was filled to capacity. "And I told you, me and Harry are friends. I'll be friends with who I want." She responded. She tried moving past him, but he grabbed her arm. Not roughly but much harder than he should have.

"So, my opinion means nothing?" He spat. "I told you how I feel about it. Why can't you just do as I ask?"

She wrenched her arm away from him. "Because I'm not some housewife who is just going to obey you. I'm my own person and I can associate with who I please."

"Why does it have to be Potter though?" He raised his voice. Around them people were starting to tune into the argument.

"Ron not here." Lavender said gently trying to steer the two towards the boy's dorm.

"Yes. Here!" He snapped at her. "You both have been ducking me for the past week in favor of that damn Slytherin and I have a right to know why."

Hermione started rubbing her temple. She was really going to be forced to tell him. Here in front of all these people. "Ron I-"

"What Hermione?" He snarled. "What the hell is going on between you two!"

"I kissed him!" She suddenly said. "I kissed Harry!"

The chatter in the Common Room slowly died. You could hear a pin drop. "You kissed Potter…" Ron said silently.

"On the cruise I was on this summer." She wanted to look anywhere except at him, but she wouldn't let herself. "I wanted to tell you, but I didn't know how."

"You kissed Potter.." He repeated. He had been staring at the ground but suddenly he looked up at her his eyes aflame with rage. "YOU KISSED POTTER?!" She wanted to curl up into a little ball on the ground and cry.

"Ron, I-"

"Don't even bloody start!" He shouted taking a step towards her but suddenly someone had a hand on his chest holding him in place.

"Don't." Neville said firmly.

"Did you know about this?!" Ron demanded of his friend.

"No, I didn't but I was here when she told you herself." Neville folded his arms not moving away from Hermione. "Maybe if you gave her a chance to talk instead of acting like a bloody child the-"

"Forgive me but I just found out my slut of a girlfriend is snogging a fucking Slytherin." He roared. Behind Neville, tears were beginning to run down Hermione's face. "Oh, forgive me Longbottom."

"Piss off Weasley." Neville clenched his fist.

"What is she snogging you too?" Ron looked past Hermione who was now being held by Lavender. "Is that why you two are so close all of a sudden? What boy aren't you sno-"

Neville pushed Ron back and into the wall behind him. "Enough." Neville growled.

Ron pushed him back. "And I thought we were supposed to be friends." He looked once more at Hermione and sneered at her. "Hope you enjoyed your boy toy. Won't be able to recognize him after I have a chat with him." With that he turned around and stormed out of the Common Room.

"Idiot." Neville shook his head. "You might want to get your brother." He said to the Weasley Twins who shrugged.

"If he wants to take a swing at Potter, then we're not going to stop him."

"You okay?" Neville asked Hermione who quickly shook her head. The entire Common Room was now looking at her. Some with disgust, others with confusion but most with curiosity. "Why don't you all piss off?" Neville demanded and most of them found something else to do. Except Finnegan and Thomas who made their way over.

"Now we know why you've been spending so much time around Potter, Granger." Finnegan smirked. Hermione suddenly pushed past him and sprinted towards the staircase to the girl's dorm. "What's her de-"

He was silenced by Neville dropped him to the ground with a right hook. "Oi Neville!" Dean said coming in between him and Seamus. "What the hell man?"

"Get him out of my face." Neville growled and when Dean didn't say anything, Neville took a step forward. "Now."

Dean pulled Seamus to his feet and instantly the Irish boy wanted to go after Neville again. "The bloody hell is your problem? You best mates with Potter? Fooking traitor!"

Neville sighed as Dean dragged Seamus away towards the boy's dorm. "Well that could've gone loads better." He said to Lavender.

"I need to go check on Hermione." Lavender said. "You might want to go stop Ronald."

Neville shrugged. "He's a big boy. He can fight his own battles."

"Neville." She said firmly. "I know he's being a total prat but deep down. DEEP DOWN. He's a good person. You need to stop him."

Neville sighed. "Why do I have to be the mature one?" With that he walked out of the Common Room and went after Ron.

Lavender ran up to their dorm ignoring all the looks she was getting from the other girls. "Don't ask!" She snapped at Sally-Anne when the other girl looked ready to ask her a question.

Thankfully her roommates were staying outside their dorm for the moment but who knew how long that would last? She pushed open the door and quickly shut it behind her. There was Hermione on her bed with her face buried into a pillow. She slowly made her way over to her friend. Muffled as they were, she could still hear the sobs wracking the girl's body. "Hermione?" She softly asked as she sat on the bed next to her. In a split-second Hermione's face was out of the pillow and was now thrust into Lavender's shoulder. Lavender held her as she sobbed for the next hour.


"Harry!" Tracey called after him as he and Blaise were walking into the dungeons. "Beat it Zabini."

Blaise looked at his friend who shrugged. He could stay if he wanted but Blaise felt like he didn't want to be here for this conversation. "I'll catch you later." He said before walking ahead of them.

"What did you need Tracey?" Harry asked simply not slowing down for her.

"I noticed you talking to Brown earlier in class." She said quickening her pace.

"And?" He asked.

"What were you guys talking about?" She asked trying to appear nonchalant.

"No offense but that's really none of your business." Harry retorted and turned to face her. "Tracey, if I didn't make this perfectly clearly, then I apologize. But we're just friends."

"I didn't know. I only saw you talking to her today." Tracey shrugged.

"Not me and Lavender. You and Me." He said firmly. "You've always been one of my closest friends and I'm sorry for taking you for granted all these years, but I can't do this. If you can't accept the fact that we can't be more than that, then I don't think I can be around you anymore."

Tracey was silent for a moment. Honestly, she had just been hoping that if she waited a while and broached the subject again maybe his opinion would change. "You're serious, aren't you?" He nodded. "Listen Harry. I'm sorry. But I don't know if I can ever let these feelings go." She said honestly. "I do want to be friends with you, but I don't know how."

"Trace." He sighed. "Maybe we should take some time apart you know?"

She hesitated before slowly nodding her head. "Maybe that would be a good idea."

"I really want to be friends with you too. You're one of the most important people in my life. I don't want to lose you. I-"

"Potter!" They turned to see Weasley thundering towards them from down the corridor. "TIME TO TEACH YOU A DAMN LESSON ABOUT MESSING WITH OTHER PEOPLE'S GIRLFRIENDS!"

"I guess Hermione told him then." Harry shook his head.