Harry & Hermione
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witowsmp - A Sirius Matter
Chapter 4 - Feelings and Trust
Just in case you're confused, let me clear up the matter. I am not J.K. Rowling, and I do not own Harry Potter, and am certainly not making any money off of this. I'm writing this purely because I enjoy it, and I hope you do too.
A Sirius Matter
Chapter 4 – Feelings and Trust
After they'd spent a few hours with Hermione's parents (eating dinner, watching a movie), Harry and Hermione walked upstairs to Harry's room, where he'd carried the new trunk when they got back. Together, they started putting Harry's clothes in the dresser and closet as appropriate.
Hermione said, "You really impressed dad tonight."
Harry looked confused. "Impressed him? How? I got you home late."
"And you took responsibility," said Hermione, "He'll never admit it, but that impressed him. He expected you to make up an excuse like I took too long shopping or something. Instead, you just said that it was your fault and not to punish me."
"Well," said Harry, "It was my fault. Anyway, what did you think about Grimmauld Place?"
"It could really use a new decorator," she said grinning, "but I think it wouldn't take more than a few hours to turn one of the rooms into a dueling room so we can practice defensive magic. I think we at least made it safe for muggles, as long as they don't mess with any objects that might be cursed, so we can tell them about it tomorrow. I don't think they'll have time to visit the house then, but they will want to visit, if only for a proper demonstration of magic. They don't ever actually get the chance to see what I'm learning."
"I was wondering why you didn't tell them about it today," said Harry.
"I was afraid they'd insist on joining us, or else forbid us to go to a potentially dangerous house. Well, I think you'll want to put these away yourself," said Hermione with a smirk, indicating his new underwear, the only clothes now left in his trunk. He quickly grabbed them and threw them in a drawer, anxious to get them out of sight. While he was doing that, she started pulling out the new books and laying them on his bed in several small piles.
"What are you doing?" asked Harry.
"I'm organizing the books based off of the topics. Here are advanced charms books. Over there are defensive magic books, including one on defending your mind. The magical branch is called occlumency. It sounds fascinating. There are wizards who use what's called legilimency to read people's thoughts, and occlumency is the defense against it. We need to make sure no one can read the prophecy or anything about our training out of our minds. Over there are books on the dark arts, which reminds me, we may want to visit Knockturn Alley at some point later on if we need to learn more about the dark arts. Hopefully we won't. She pointed out several other types of books, until she reached the last four. "…and this book, 'Unlocking Your Magical Potential' is about specific magical exercises that are supposed to help you learn to use every bit of magic inside you."
"What does that mean? Don't we already know how to use our magic?"
"Not entirely. Most wizards and witches don't ever use their full potential. It's kind of like the way we don't use most of our brain. We slowly learn to use more as our magical education continues, but then we stop learning. Most Hogwarts graduates don't use half of their potential. Your spells are supposed to have greater potency if you put more power into them, and you'll be able to perform spells you wouldn't have been able to before. This book shows ways to focus your mind more so that you channel more of your magic. This next book is on wordless and wandless magic."
"What?" said Harry, "We need a wand to do magic."
"No we don't," said Hermione. "Everybody does wandless wordless magic as children, and it's called accidental magic. Last year you did an impressive, albeit illegal, demonstration of wandless, wordless magic on your aunt. Wands help us to focus our magic, but aren't necessary. I honestly wonder why we bother with wands. It may be harder to learn magic without them, but it would make us better wizards. I remember my first accidental magic. I was seven years old. I was in a library with my mum reading, and she took a book from me, claiming it was too advanced for me to understand. I was really upset. She put it back on the shelf and started walking back toward me. The book came off the shelf by itself and floated back to my table." Hermione smiled. "I did my first summoning charm, and it was without words or a wand. Now this year Professor Flitwick is going to teach us the proper wand movement and incantation, which by the way is, 'Accio book.' Anyway, I don't understand why they get us so dependant on wands."
"So they can snap them," said Harry thoughtfully.
"What?" asked Hermione.
"Think about it. When the Ministry of Magic thought Hagrid had opened the Chamber of Secrets, they snapped his wand to prevent him from doing magic. If the Ministry arrests someone, how do they disarm them?"
"They take their wands," said Hermione, with a look of comprehension. "It's all about having a means to control magical people. If you think you need a wand, and they take that from you, you feel helpless."
"The trouble is, that's what the bad guys will want to do, too."
"I think we need to make learning wandless magic a priority. According to the introduction, it's very difficult to master doing your first intentional wandless magic at will, but once you've learned the focus necessary, you can learn to do almost any spell. The book starts by making you focus enough to do nonverbal magic with a wand, and then tries to teach you to do it without. There are forty chapters, and it recommends studying and practicing one chapter per week."
"Ok," said Harry. "We've just got to remember not to let anyone else know about whatever extra skills we learn. What's the next book about?"
"Magical methods of transportation. It teaches apparition, making portkeys, putting fireplaces on the floo network, even how to charm brooms and other things like carpets to fly. These skills could come in handy when planning an escape, rescue, or raid."
"Isn't some of that illegal?" asked Harry.
"Yes," said Hermione.
"Then why does Flourish and Blotts sell a book on it?"
"It clearly states at the beginning that the spells listed are not to be used for illegal purposes; that it is only for educational purposes. That covers the writer, publisher, and store if one of their customers is caught."
"What's this last book about?"
"Human transfiguration," said Hermione proudly.
"You mean becoming animagi, like Sirius."
"Yes," said Hermione, "It says you can become animagi within a year of starting this book. I think that being able to transform would be a great advantage if we were attacked."
"So do I," said Harry, "That's a good idea. We have to keep it secret, though. Unregistered. I don't want any potential enemy to know about it."
"So," said Harry, "How does our schedule look?"
Hermione took out a muggle legal pad and made a chart for the week, putting everything between 6 a.m. and 12 p.m. into hour blocks. She wrote exercise for the first hour. "My mum has an exercise video I think we should try using. If we don't like that, we'll find something else. The next block (7-8) was showering, breakfast, and travel to Grimmauld place. The next hour (8-9) was reading the day's subject (advanced charms, defensive magic, magic potential, wordless-wandless, animagi, magical travel, and occlumency on Sunday through Saturday respectively), and then the next hour (9-10) was practicing what they read. The next hour (10-11) was to practice dueling so that they'd develop battle instinct. Then they'd come back home.
Harry said, "I wonder if we could put your house on the floo network to save travel time."
"That would be a good idea. I think I'll read about that tonight. I wonder if there are laws that allow or prevent a muggleborn's home to be on the floo network. Anyway, there's one other thing I thought we might do, Harry. I'd like us to enroll in a muggle self-defense class."
Harry smiled. "You mean learn karate?" he asked excitedly.
"Yes. Once the summer's over, we could probably continue learning from a book, but I think we'll need a background of actual practice. We'll have to ask mum and dad about it. I don't suppose they could stop you, but they most certainly could stop me. I say tomorrow morning we wake up at six and use that exercise video, and then we try to make breakfast to soften them up…"
"I can make breakfast," said Harry, "The Dursleys made sure of that."
"…and then we ask them if we can practice magic at Sirius' place. We don't need to discuss the threat of Voldemort for that. We're just studying."
"What about the exercise and karate?" asked Harry.
"Very simple," said Hermione. "We'll simply tell them that Hogwarts doesn't offer physical education, but we both decided that we want to be in good shape. And we'd also like to learn some self-defense, just in case we run into some problem. You're famous in our world, so that means that there may be some crazy people out there who might try something."
"Ok, Hermione," said Harry. "Once we have their permission to start, we should talk to Ron."
"Ok. I guess we should mail Sirius his mother now, shouldn't we?"
"I guess so," said Harry, as he took the legal pad from Hermione and turned to a blank page. Using a muggle pen, he wrote,
Thanks for the information. I've taken your advice and asked for Hermione to help me, which she has agreed to do. Tomorrow, we're going to talk to Ron. We went to your house. It was a mess, but Hermione and I sorted it out mostly yesterday. We found a portrait of your mother. She didn't seem to like us, and would have been a great distraction from our important work. After trying to remove the whole portrait, we found that some type of powerful sticking charm was on it. We cut the canvas off the wall, shrunk it, and silenced it. We hope you're not angry about that. That's what's on the canvas. You can decide what to do with her. As Hermione explained it to me, the charm on your door makes it only respond to people who have been personally invited by you. If you wouldn't mind, could you send a written invitation to those two, in case they come to your house alone?
Then he called, "Hedwig," who immediately flew to his wrist. Harry tied the paper, along with the rolled up shrunk canvas, to her leg, and she flew off into the night.
That morning, they did exactly what they said, getting up at six. They found the exercise video adequate for now. It had them doing sit-ups, push-ups, and several stretches and aerobic exercises that left them worn out. Hermione took the first shower while Harry looked around the kitchen to figure out what to cook for breakfast. He got everything he would need ready so that he could start cooking once he was out of the shower. As soon as Hermione came back downstairs, he went to his room, grabbed some clothes, took a quick shower, and then went back downstairs to cook omelets and sausage. As he was just finishing up, Mr. and Mrs. Granger came downstairs.
"Good morning, Adam, Marissa," said Harry.
"Good morning, Harry," said Marissa. "Adam told me you were a good cook, but you didn't have to do this," she said as he prepared the plates while Hermione got the silverware and drinks ready.
"I wanted to thank you for letting me stay here," said Harry, as he set a plate on the table in front of Mrs. Granger. "I really do appreciate it."
"It's our pleasure, Harry," said Adam. "We've got to go to work. What are your plans for the day?"
"Actually daddy," said Hermione, "that's something we'd like to talk to you about. Harry got a letter from his godfather that says that he has a house in London that's protected so that underage magic can't be detected in there, and we'd like to go over there for a few hours every day to practice spells from next year's classes, if it's alright with you, that is."
"Hm," said Adam, "Alone here or alone there. How many hours a day did you have in mind?"
"Just 8 a.m. until 11 every day," answered Harry.
Adam said, "That should be fine. I think Marissa and I would like to go there for a demonstration on our next free day. We've never actually seen Hermione perform a spell."
"We'll arrange a special demonstration for you. We'd also like to visit Ron Weasley today so we can invite him to join us tomorrow if he'd like."
"That sounds fine," said Marissa, "Just be back by 5."
"Er, there's one other thing," said Hermione, "We've been talking, and, as I told you before, Harry's famous in our world."
"Yes," said Adam.
"He wanted to sign up for a self defense class so that he could defend himself in case some whacko comes after him, and, er, I'd like to join him."
"Honey," said Mr. Granger, "I don't really think that it's nec…"
"…necessary for a young lady to be able to defend herself?" interrupted Mrs. Granger. "I disagree. I think it would be an excellent idea."
"Fine," said Adam, realizing that he'd never win an argument about this. As scary as that idea was, he knew that even the muggle world wasn't safe. "Just don't go looking for trouble once you know how to defend yourself."
"Thanks, daddy," said Hermione, throwing her arms around her father.
Once the parents were gone, Hermione said, "I guess we'd better catch the Knight Bus if we want to keep our schedule."
"So, did you get the chance to check if you get your house on the floo network?" asked Harry.
"I did and we can't. The normal way is asking the ministry to do it, but they won't put a muggle house on the floo network except temporarily for emergencies. The book has a spell for making a private floo network, but it would need to be performed here," she said with a neutral face.
"Oh, well," said Harry, "Then the bus it is."
"Actually," said Hermione, now beaming, "I found a better way!"
"A portkey!" she said.
"I know that's one of the types of travel mentioned in that book, but what is a portkey."
"Any object that has been charmed to transport you magically from one place to another. There are several kinds. One can be set to leave at a specific time. Another can be activated by touch, and another by saying an incantation while holding it. There are a few other kinds, but the third one is my favorite. You can carry it with you and not worry about it taking you when you're not ready to go. It's a complex spell, but I think I can make a few at Grimmauld Place to take us in between this house and there. I'm making two because I think we should each carry a portkey with us at all times in case we need to escape."
"You really are a genius!" said Harry.
She blushed and said, "Only if it works."
They grabbed the books they'd need that day and rode the Knight Bus to Sirius' house.
While Harry picked out and arranged a room that they could practice magic in, Hermione started working on the portkeys. She'd brought a few of her necklaces with her. One was silver with a small heart, and the other was simply a gold necklace with nothing on it. She decided that a necklace would be easiest to keep on you at all times so that you only have to say the proper words instead of digging into your pocket for it and then saying the words. She decided that Harry would wear the gold, and she'd wear the silver. "The trick," she thought to herself, "is to come up with words we won't accidentally say and then disappear in the middle of a conversation." She decided to use short phrases.
Harry finished preparing the room, and then sat down to begin reading. He'd read a few pages, and then his thoughts would drift toward Hermione. If he wasn't thinking about how smart she was, he was thinking about how helpful she was. If it wasn't that, it was how much he trusted her. If it wasn't that, it was how much he enjoyed being with her, and how much he liked holding her hand. If it wasn't that, it was how nice she looked in muggle clothes.
Harry startled at that idea. "When did I start thinking she looked nice?" he asked himself. "Probably when she showed up at my door," he answered. "Actually," he said to himself, "I think I started feeling like this when we traveled back in time together a week ago." He smiled to himself, "Am I starting to feel, 'that way,' about her?" He supposed it wasn't unreasonable. She was certainly a nice girl.
"I wonder if she feels anything like that toward me?" he wondered. He then realized that if she did, she'd probably hide it the way he wanted to, and hope that he'd make a move. He was the male after all. He then thought, "What if I approach her and it ruins our friendship?" Then a logical part of him that actually sounded like the girl in question said, "It won't ruin your friendship. Even if she doesn't like you like that, she'll probably be flattered. It might be a bit uncomfortable at first, but as long as you're ready to accept her answer and don't try to push her, it'll be fine. If you were brave enough to face Voldemort twice, why are you afraid to face Hermione?"
He still didn't know what he'd do, so that logical voice said, "If you don't do anything about it, you're going to go out of your mind before the summer's over! You're already talking to yourself." Harry put his hands on his head as though he were about to pull out his hair and let out a small scream.
"What's wrong?" came Hermione's voice from across the room. He quickly turned to see her holding a gold necklace.
"Er," he said, looking at the ground, "nothing."
"Then why do you want to pull your hair out?" she asked with a grin. He felt his heart start beating faster as she approached him. "Were you thinking about the prophecy?"
"No," he answered, trying to look at anything but her.
"Then what are you thinking about?" she asked, now looking a bit worried.
Harry looked down at the floor in silence, hoping she'd go away so that his heart would stop beating so fast.
"Come on Harry," she said, "look at me and answer my question."
He looked up into her brown eyes and muttered, "You."
"What was that?" she asked, apparently not hearing him.
"You, alright, I'm thinking about you," he said, making absolutely sure he wasn't yelling.
"Me?" she asked, a small smile starting to form at the corners of her mouth, "What about me?"
"Er," he said, thinking that he might as well just say it. "I've been thinking about how smart, helpful, and wonderful you are, and how pretty you look in that outfit, and wondering if you, er, maybe, kind of, liked me, a little." He started out fast, but slowed down as his face got redder and redder. "I'd, er, understand if you don't, I just had to say it before I go crazy."
She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Could he really mean what she thinks he means? "Er, are you trying to say that you, you fancy me?"
At this point Harry was no longer capable of speech, as he prepared for rejection. How could he be so stupid to think she might fancy him? He closed his eyes and silently nodded his head, resigned to the rejection that he was destined for. He felt like Sirius must have, when he was locked in the tower, awaiting the dementor's kiss. "Ok," he admitted to himself, "that's a bit overly dramatic, but I know I'm not gonna like this."
"And you want to know if I fancy you?" Hermione asked, her face smiling brightly as her cheeks reddened.
"Here it comes," thought Harry, whose eyes were still tightly shut.
"I, er, do fancy you, Harry." His heart stopped for about five seconds as he looked up at the smiling girl before him. "I, well, just never thought you'd fancy me. I mean, I'm just a know-it-all with bushy hair and buckteeth…"
"Not to me!" declared Harry. "I don't want you to say that about yourself ever again! You're the most brilliant, caring person in the world, and you are pretty!"
"Um, I don't know what to say." She sighed, "Thank you, Harry, but you're the good-looking one. I mean…"
"Good-looking? With that ugly scar across my forehead!"
"You're good-looking to me, as well as the bravest, most noble, humble…"
"So, er, will you be my girlfriend?" He cut her off because he can't stand hearing praise about himself.
"I thought you'd never ask!" she said with a smile.
He hugged her and kissed her on the cheek.
"Harry," she said timidly while her cheeks got very pink, "Er, well, boyfriends and girlfriends don't just kiss like that. Er, they kiss on the lips."
Harry's cheeks were now bright red, "I, er, know. I just, well didn't want to push you into doing something you didn't want to do."
She smiled at her first boyfriend, feeling more confident because he was more nervous than she was. "Thanks, Harry. That's a very good rule that I want you to follow, but in this case, I want you to kiss me."
After they spending an appropriate amount of time experimenting with their first kiss, Harry, whose face was still red, asked, "What did you come in here for anyway? Did you finish making the portkeys?"
"What? Oh yes, portkeys. I've got yours here. I wrote down the phrase you say when you want to leave so that I don't accidentally disappear while explaining it to you." She pulled a piece of paper out of her pocket and handed it to him. "As long as you're wearing this necklace, when you say these words, you'll disappear and go to the right place."
"Did you test them?"
"No, I thought I'd let you know. That way, if something goes wrong, you'll know where I went. If I can't get back for some reason, I'll take the bus here so don't worry."
"No," said Harry. "I'll take the risk. I'll go," he said taking his necklace out of her hand and saying, "House One Now," as he slipped it over his head. He felt a pull from his navel as he watched his girlfriend fade away. He found himself fallen on the floor of Hermione's bedroom. He blushed as he thought of possible implications of that. He then said, "House Two Now," to portkey into the living room of Sirius' house. After he got up off the floor, which he'd fallen onto again, he noticed that Hermione was waiting for him, with an amused look on her face. "It worked perfectly, proving yet again that you are the brightest witch of your age!" he said.
She was caught between anger and glee. She said, "Harry, you shouldn't have just taken the portkey like that without discussing it with me, but I'm glad it worked."
"Hermione," he said, "I'm sorry, but you were gonna do the same thing."
"Er," she said, "well, I guess you have a point, but it doesn't always have to be you who takes risks."
He knew he didn't want to have their first argument today, so he said, "Noted for future reference. Do you want to test yours now?"
After she'd gotten back from a successful trip to her house, Harry asked, "Why does it go to your bedroom?"
She blushed. "Not for the reasons you might think. My parents sometimes have muggle guests, and I don't want us to appear out of thin air in front of them. I picked the room least likely to be occupied when I'm not there. I'm going to have to trust you not to pop in while I'm changing or something. If you do, I'll tell my dad you tried to rape me."
"Yes I would," she said firmly.
"I guess we've spent enough time here," said Harry. "We shouldn't get started on our training before we've invited Ron anyway. I say we visit him and then find a karate school."
"Sounds like a plan to me," said Hermione. "Er, what do we tell him about us?"
"Well, that's a good question. I think he might fancy you. Not that I blame him," he added, grinning. "I suppose we'll have to tell him the truth."
They then flooed to the Burrow, and were greeted immediately by an enthusiastic Molly. "Hello Harry dear! This is an unexpected pleasure!" she said as she engulfed him in a hug. When she released Harry, she said, "Hello Hermione," and embraced her as well. "It's almost lunchtime. You must join us!"
"Thank you, Mrs. Weasley, we'd love to!" said Hermione, "but first we need to speak to Ron for a few minutes."
"Of course dears. He's outside with Ginny degnoming the garden."
They walked outside to find the two youngest Weasleys throwing gnomes over the fence, apparently competing over who could throw the farthest. It was surprisingly close, Harry noticed, Ginny is stronger than she looks. Just when he was thinking that, the redhead in question turned and saw Harry and Hermione walking toward them. Her eyes immediately went the new couple's hands, which were holding each other as they walked. Ginny appeared a bit pale for a second, but then seemed normal. She said out loud so Ron could hear, "Hello Harry and Hermione!"
"What?" said Ron happily as he turned. Harry noted that Ron's smile faltered for a second as his eyes too rested on the holding hands. "Hi guys!" Ron said, "What brings you here?"
"Actually," said Harry, "We want to talk to you."
"Go away, Ginny," Ron said.
"Fine!" she said, "You can…"
"Actually Ron, we'd like to talk in a place more private, like your room," said Harry. Then he turned to Ginny and said, "I'm sorry Ginny, but this is a very private matter. I hope you're not mad at us. Hermione and I would love to catch up with you before we leave. We're staying for lunch."
Ginny seemed a little less angry when she said, "I guess it's all right."
When they reached Ron's room, the youngest male Weasley said, "Ginny sure calmed down when you talked to her. I don't care what she says. She still fancies you, mate."
Harry looked uncomfortable. "Er, I suppose we should get this out of the way first then. Hermione and I are now dating."
"What?" asked Ron, looking at Hermione for confirmation.
"It's true Ron. We just started this morning. You're the first to know," she said.
"Er, well I never guessed…well, it's a surprise, but, well I guess if you're happy…"
"We are," said Hermione.
"Is that what you wanted to talk to me about?" asked Ron.
"One of the reasons. The other is a confidential issue. You know how I always end up facing Voldemort or his followers, and you two end up with me most of the time."
"Yes," said Ron.
"Hermione and I have decided to start training every day so that we won't have to rely on pure luck the next time we're in trouble."
"Training?" said Ron.
"Yes," said Hermione. "We exercise in the morning at my house, and then we portkey to Sirius' house, where underage magic can't be detected."
"You can do magic there," said Ron, "Wait a minute, Harry. You go there every day. You exercise at Hermione's house. Why are the Dursleys letting you go?"
"Actually, I'm staying at Hermione's house."
"What?" said Ron, his face turning pink. "You're staying with her! No wonder you're together! You've probably…"
"What Ronald?" asked Hermione. "What do you think we've done?"
"I'll bet you just want me at that house to lie and say you weren't doing anything but studying! I'm not gonna do it!"
"What?" said a clearly shocked Harry. "That's not what this is about! We were planning this training before we got together! This has nothing to do with that!"
"Oh yeah," said Ron, "Where were you when you got together?"
Harry and Hermione looked at each other and blushed.
"See," said Ron. "I knew it!" He got up and stormed off, slamming the door, and leaving Harry and Hermione in his room, in utter shock.
About fifteen seconds later, the door opened, and Ginny came in quickly, shutting the door behind her. Her face looked pale. "You go to Sirius Black's house? What if he finds you? Harry, he wants to kill you!"
Harry looked from Hermione to Ginny. "Listen Ginny, I'm not gonna talk about your snooping, cause it's probably pointless, but what I am gonna tell you has to stay a secret. Only Dumbledore, Lupin, Ron, Hermione, and myself know this. Sirius Black was innocent. Peter Pettigrew, an animagus your family knew as Scabbers the rat, was my parents' secret-keeper. He betrayed them to Voldemort. Then Sirius tracked him down, but Peter killed all those muggles and escaped as a rat, leaving Sirius to take the blame. Peter found your family and got you to take care of him for years.
"While Sirius was in prison, he saw the picture of your family that included Scabbers, who Sirius immediately recognized. He broke out of Azkaban, not to kill me, but to kill Pettigrew. That's why he went to Ron's bed with that knife. He was after Ron's rat. We found out all this on the day Buckbeak escaped, but Pettigrew managed to escape again.
"Fudge decided to take Snape's word over Ron's, mine, and Hermione's word. He wouldn't even give Sirius time to wait for Lupin's testimony before the dementor's kiss was to be performed. I won't tell you how, but Hermione and I freed Sirius. He's my godfather. Obviously I can't live with him since he's on the run, but he does what he can for me, including giving me access to his house."
Ginny just sat there wide-eyed listening intently, taking in all of this information. When he was finished she said, "Scabbers? I sometimes fed him and petted him. I even cleaned his cage a few times for Ron. Ewww!" Then she looked at the two of them with an evil grin. "I'll keep your secret if you let me go to that house."
"What?" said Hermione, "Why?"
"I heard you say you can do magic there. Let's just say there are some spells I want to practice."
"I don't think I want to know," said Harry. "What do you think, Hermione?"
"Hmm. Maybe if she studies occlumency with us."
"What's occlumency?" asked Ginny.
"A way to stop someone from reading your mind so no one can steal our secret from you," answered Harry.
"That sounds like something I'd want to know anyway," said Ginny.
"Then we'll pick you up on Saturday mornings at 8 o'clock," said Hermione. "We'll study occlumency for an hour together, and then let you do your own thing for two hours. We'll leave at 11."
"By the way, Ginny, we want anything you learn about our training or anything else while you're there absolutely secret," said Harry.
"What else will you give me for that?" asked Ginny.
Harry was getting frustrated with her game, "I never thought I'd say this when Dumbledore mentioned life debts last week, but you owe me a life debt, and keeping this training secret could save my life one day, so I am counting keeping my secrets as part of that life debt. In the wrong hands this information could cost my life. If my enemies somehow find out that I'm training, then they will attack me with more force than if they don't know. I want them to underestimate me."
"All right, all right, Harry! I know you saved my life! And I'm grateful! I promise I'll keep whatever secrets I may stumble upon. I was just having fun."
Harry relaxed a bit. "I know you were, Ginny. I know that you would never deliberately betray me. I just wanted to stress how important these secrets are to me. Don't tell them to anyone, not even Ron. He's mad right now, but I'm sure that won't last forever. But even then, if I want Ron to know something, I'll tell him."
"Ok, I won't threaten to tell secrets, but could I come more often than once a week? I know you flooed here based off of the soot that's still on you, so couldn't I go that way?"
"I'm not sure," said Hermione. "It's a very secure house. We can floo out anywhere, but we haven't tried flooing in. It may have some system that won't let you floo in. We should ask Sirius before trying that."
"Ginny, we go there at 8 every morning. I suppose we could get you some of those days and let you practice whatever hexes you want while we train. Do you know what days you can come?" said Harry.
"I'll have to find out from mum. I'll owl you the day before."
Lunch wasn't nearly as tense as it could have been, since Ron spent a lot more time concentrating on his food than his anger. After lunch was over, the couple portkeyed to Hermione's home, where she said, "I'm glad you didn't tell Ron about the prophecy. Ginny would've overheard."
"I had a feeling she was gonna listen in," said Harry.
"Do you think we can trust her?" asked Hermione.
"She won't betray me to Tom Riddle, if that's what you mean. She just wants to feel that she knows what's going on. But I don't want to talk about the prophecy when she's in the house. I want to put a silencing charm on the room when we're at Grimmauld Place with her."
"Alright," said Hermione. She then pulled out her phonebook to find karate schools. After calling a few different ones, they settled on one in town that would give them lessons at 1 p.m. every weekday. Hermione suggested they bicycle there. "It will be extra exercise, and it'll be fun to do something the muggle way." They went back out so Harry could buy a nice bicycle. When they finally got back home, they started playing the same game of tag they'd played the day before, only this time, as boyfriend and girlfriend. Neither said anything, but both were dreading telling Hermione's parents.
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