Harry & Hermione
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Sytravious the Dark - Duel For The Elder Wand
Chapter 4 - Ambush at Hogsmeade Station
Ambush at Hogsmeade Station!
The town of Hogsmeade was pretty quiet this time of the morning. Shop keepers swept up and turned on their display windows. Only a handful of wizards and witches walked here and there up High Street. It was about 7am and Harry had just apparated outside the small town limits. Aberforth's owl had informed him to meet him at the Hog's Head that morning.
Harry now walked quietly with a dark robe over his head and body. He didn't want the attention today. Way too early for that. But he was happy to be meeting Aberforth however. He had not seen him since the last wizarding war ended at Hogwarts the year prior. Also he reminded Harry of Dumbledore so much. Minus the huge personality difference.
Hogs Head was already open but no customers had yet arrived. He walked in and pulled the hood off his head. Aberforth was sitting at one of the empty tables waiting patiently. He nodded politely at Harry and motioned for him to take a seat.
"Morning boy" Aberforth grunted. "Glad you could make it, sit down sit down."
"Thank you." Harry said.
Aberforth served two butter beers and a small plate of eggs, meat, and cheese. They ate and drank while they caught up on the small details of their lives. Harry mentioned how Ron and Hermione had been keeping him company over the last few weeks and Aberforth discussed business doing well and the like.
"Ah well now onto why we are really here today hmm? You asked me about that duel here not long ago didn't you? He asked Harry. "I thought you might ask eventually and I'm glad you did boy."
"Yea but did I really have to come all the way out here for your answer?" Harry asked after he set down his butter beer. "No Offense. Glad to visit."
"No of course I didn't ask you here just to blab on about a duel you can read about in the prophet. I asked you here today to discuss what happened before the duel Potter." Aberforth said.
He got really serious now as he looked around to make sure no one was listening outside.
Harry sat up and paid attention. He raised an eyebrow as he looked around too not quite sure where the younger Dumbledore was going with this.
"I'm glad you have had a quiet summer off Harry and caught up on that much needed rest. But I'm afraid the break is over for you. You are in a bit of danger I fear." Aberforth whispered. His eyes widened as he looked Harry square in the face.
"What are you going on about?" Harry said alarmed. "What danger?"
"If you would shut up and listen I'll tell you boy." The old man said sternly.
Harry apologized and listened as Aberforth began his tale.
"Couple weeks ago now around noon this odd looking lot of men come in my pub. But that's nothing new here. What made these few stick out more was their paranoid conversation and way about them. Never seen them around here before either seemed to be foreigners. As they were whispering to one another I couldn't help but over hear your name mentioned several times. Also went on talking about a certain wand if you follow me." He said wrinkling his eyes.
"Now this lot sounded like they were planning something foul Harry, Something involving you and your wand. And unless I'm mistaken I doubt they were meaning your phoenix feather wand." Aberforth gestured to Harry's own wand by his side.
Harry let out a deep sigh. The thought of having more danger lurking out there for him didn't surprise or frighten him as it did in the past. It pissed him off. He was tired of having to look over his shoulder all the time. He wanted a normal life for once. Harry listened as Aberforth went on.
"Now apparently they were talking loud enough for someone else to hear, because a stranger, one young man I didn't even notice sitting in a corner laughed at them and began mocking their discussion. This one gave me a bad vibe. Had a dark look about him. I didn't even see him walk in at all, as if he just appeared." Aberforth said.
"Well the group of men spat back some obscenities and what have you at this dark stranger and challenged him outright to back up his talk. The stranger quietly got up and walked outside. Everyone including me assumed he had realized he was outnumbered and left peacefully. But as he stepped outside into the road he stopped and shouted back to the men that he was waiting on them. As he turned to face the bar we all got a good look at him. He bore that Son of a bitch Grindelwalds mark on his robes." Aberforth said with disgust.
"I didn't realize the duel happened right here at Hogs Head." Harry said.
"Pay attention boy this is important!" Aberforth said.
"Sorry go on" Harry said taking another sip of his drink.
"These wizards followed him outside and surrounded the dark clad one. They seemed just as turned off about his robes as I was. But after that it was all a blur. Before I could get my wand out it was all over with a bang. They were all defeated easily; disarmed, stunned, cursed you name it!" He said raising a brow.
"You know the rest of the story from there; the wizards were taken in for questioning and arrested while the dark wizard disappeared."
Harry took a moment to think about the story. What did it mean exactly?
"So you figure this group of men were planning something bad against me? And it had to do with the Elder wand?" Harry said.
"Then this dark stranger must not be so bad. He took care of my problem didn't he?" He added.
"Don't be so sure Harry. Maybe he took care of his problem…" Aberforth said as he seemed to daydream into his thoughts.
"What do you mean?" Harry asked.
"Look here boy I don't have the time or patience to explain to you what I mean every time you have a question. Point is I believe you might find yourself in a real fight here one day. And I'll be damned if you're not going to be well prepared!" he said standing up tall now.
"I was never known to be as bright as my brother Albus or even half as famous, but everyone knows what I was great at and still am. I'm a duelist at heart Harry. Been in more than my fair share of fights. Can't remember ever losing one and that's the truth." Aberforth said proudly.
"If you think I grew up with my brother and didn't pick up plenty you're mistaken and I will tell you this now Harry… You will learn everything I know if I have to drag you kicking and screaming, you will be a master duelist if it's the last work I achieve." He said as he looked Harry deep in the face with his deep blue wise eyes.
"Will you accept my help Harry Potter?" The old wizard said staring down at Harry now.
Harry felt a chill go through him as he looked up at Aberforth. He couldn't help but remember Dumbledore as he fought Voldemort in the ministry years back. Here was a powerful wise wizard finally willing to teach Harry something he could use now and forever. How to protect himself and others against all that he would encounter.
"When do we start?" Harry asked as he stood up.
"Well now of course you fool." Aberforth said shaking Harry's hand.
It was already after dark at Grimmauld Place and Hermione and Ron had just finished eating dinner and dessert. They relaxed now by the fire in the drawing room. Ron looked through some quidditch cards he had been collecting while Hermione wrote her parents a letter.
Harry slowly entered the front entrance on the lower floor. His face and arms were scratched up from the training with Aberforth all day and night and his muscles were beyond sore. Had he known the extend and depth of the training Aberforth had in mind he might have gave himself a few days peroration.
He climbed the stairs finally and limped into the drawing room. He sank into the couch closest to Hermione and closed his eyes with a sigh.
"Harry oh my god what happened to you!" Hermione yelled as she ran to him.
"What the hell happened Harry?" Ron asked "Get into a fight with a dragon?"
"No nothing like that, I'm fine really just doing a little studying is all." Harry laughed.
"You did say I shouldn't be sitting around after all right Hermione? So I studying defense against the dark arts today, the advanced version." Harry said as he rubbed his neck and muscles.
"Are you on crack mate? You can tell me if you are…" Ron asked raising an eyebrow at Harry.
Harry sighed and went on to explain to Ron and Hermione about what he discussed with Aberforth earlier in Hogs Head. He then described the insane sessions with Aberforth in the forbidden forest where he showed Harry the use of speed and some new attacks and counter spells unknown to Ron and Hermione.
"So you honestly believe you will be attacked by someone eventually Harry?" Hermione asked with a worried look.
"I don't know really but if it does happen I want to be more than ready. My fight with Voldemort may have made me seem invincible but I know I'm not. I have much to learn." Harry told her. "The old man really doesn't hold anything back either."
"Here let me help you." Hermione said as she performed some healing spells. Most of the scratches faded away. She was tempted to rub his back and neck too but thought better.
"Thanks Hermione that's much better already. I'm going to go fix some supper and take a hot shower then hit the hay." Harry said as he yawned." Got to head back again tomorrow."
"Your bloody joking man? Again tomorrow you said?" Ron said dropping his jaw.
"What are you planning for another war? This is crazy." Ron mumbled as he went back to his quidditch cards shaking his head.
"Harry he has a point. I understand there might be some people out there who might want to take a crack at you but no reason to kill yourself with Aberforth every single day." Hermione pleaded with him.
"Look guys it's not that serious, I just had a rough first day. I was rusty you know?" he lied.
"Besides it's a great workout." He said winking at Hermione.
She looked away now blushing slightly. Harry stood up and headed to the kitchen.
"Don't you two worry about me; I know what I'm doing….Trust me on this one ok?" He called back as he disappeared into the smell of Kreacher's cooking.
Hermione sat there on the couch thinking of what Harry told them. She knew he wasn't really over doing it. She just didn't want to admit how much she missed him all day. And now he would be gone again tomorrow?
"Oh by the way Hermione." Ron said not looking up from his cards.
"I Promised George I would stop by the store and help out tomorrow. Got to make some extra money before School starts and all." He told her.
"That's fine. What time are you leaving?" She asked.
"Pretty early, I think I'll end up crashing at home too." He said through a yawn.
Hermione felt a chill go up her spine. She would be spending the night alone with Harry in this house all night. She stared into the fire as all kinds of thoughts invaded her imagination.
"Did you want to come with me?" Ron asked snapping her out of her day dream.
"Me? Uh I would Ron but I have so much to do. Packing, shopping, a lot of reading to catch up on. I haven't been at school over a year. Don't worry I think we can survive a day apart Ronald." She said with a smile and a wink.
"Oh boy Harry is sure to kill me now." Ron whispered.
"Why would you say that?" She asked looking at him.
"Leaving him stuck here with all you all day. I was sure you would come along…" Ron laughed as he ducked the pillow Hermione threw at him.
"Oh go to hell Ron" Hermione said as she laughed and attacked Ron onto the floor.
The rest of the night passed quietly as Harry finished his supper and showered. Hermione and Ron eventually tired of playing around and retired to their rooms as well. Harry had no idea he would come home to just Hermione the next day as Ron and her forgot to mention it to him. The house was quiet now except for Kreacher's snoring.
The following day began the same as before. Harry left early to meet Aberforth in Hogsmeade. Ron left to work with George and Hermione went shopping for school.
She was the first to arrive back at 12 Grimmauld place and remembered Ron would be spending the night at the burrow that evening.
A wave of guilt and excitement overcame her. She immediately ran upstairs to shower and change before fixing supper herself. She decided she would give Kreacher the night off.
Harry walked into his home later that night. He was completely exhausted and sore again. His lessons today taught him non verbal spells. It was mentally draining and he almost gave up but his patience paid off when he was able to send Aberforth flat on his back with a pulse of energy without uttering a single word.
He walked into the drawing room and found it was empty so he tossed his cloak onto the sofa and headed for his room.
He continued across the hall to take a long hot shower. After he was changed and clean he headed to the smell of delicious dinner coming from the kitchen. As he opened the kitchen door however he stopped in his tracks.
The table was laid out very homely with his fancy china Sirius had left him. There was a warm fire burning in the corner and a bottle of fire whiskey and some pumpkin juice as well. Hermione was putting the finishing touches on the most wonderful smelling food Harry had smelled since he last ate at the Burrow.
"Uhh am I missing something here?" Harry said as he looked around the room for Ron.
Hermione turned around and smiled at Harry. She was wearing a loose skirt that came down just past her mid thigh and a form fitting top. Her hair was hanging loose on her shoulders.
"Just in time for dinner Harry. I hope you're hungry because I think I got carried away." She said giggling.
"Oh good I'm supposed to be here then, I was afraid I might be interrupting you and Ron." Harry said relieved. "Speaking of Ron…." Harry said looking around.
"I thought you knew…Well he is at the Burrow tonight Harry. Didn't he tell you?" Hermione said as she set the food down on the table.
Harry poured himself a shot of fire whiskey. "Oh yea? No I didn't know. When will he be in?" Harry said as he started to drink his shot.
"Well I suppose tomorrow afternoon knowing how he likes to sleep in and all, do you want some salad?" Hermione said not looking up from setting the table with some garden salad and dressings.
Harry choked on his whiskey as he heard what Hermione said.
"Are you all right Harry?" Hermione said as she rushed over to Harry and slapped him on the back.
"Oh yea sure 'cough' just fine. Wrong pipe you know?" Harry said between coughs.
"So he is spending the night there?" Harry said as he sat down and wiped his mouth.
Hermione nodded and looked at Harry now. She slowly took her sit next to him.
"Hope you like it, I made it all on my own." She took a sip of her pumpkin juice and licked her lips.
"Looks great…." He said looking at her and then around the room. He expected Ron to walk in any moment so he could laugh at Hermione's joke. But after time flew by and dessert was being served he realized it was no joke. He was alone with Hermione and would be the all night long. Should be interesting to put it lightly.
They walked out to the drawing room after dinner to relax by the fire and catch up on their day. Hermione lay across one couch while Harry sat on the rug by the fire.
"So you're learning a lot fast I take it." Hermione told him after he described his lessons that day. "Sounds pretty intense."
Harry nodded his head silently. He was trying to survive the night one minute at a time. But as he glanced up at her he noticed the way she was sitting allowed him a small view of her legs all the way up to her waist if he just leaned a little…more…to...the..Right.
Harry lost his balance and caught himself with his elbow. Hermione looked up at him raising her eyebrow.
"You all right tonight Harry?" She said smiling.
"Yup… just a little tired and sore you know." He said sitting up straight.
"Well that won't due. You will never fall asleep feeling that way." She said as she stood up and walked over behind him.
Kneeling down she started to massage his neck and muscular shoulders.
"I use to have to do this for my dad after work. So I have had tons of practice." Hermione whispered to Harry.
He closed his eyes as she rubbed his knots and muscles. Her touch felt wonderful. Harry wished he could just be grateful for the friendly gesture and leave it at that. But his feelings for Hermione continued to haunt him no matter how he tried to ignore them.
Harry stood up suddenly and walked to the fire and stared into it trying to calm himself. His heart was beating hard in his chest. He didn't look back at Hermione.
"Wow I guess you feel better already…." Hermione said as she sat back against the couch. Her heart was beating faster as well. The way his body felt against her hands made her feel warm inside.
"What the hell Hermione…" Harry finally said. "What are you doing?"
"What do you mean? I just thought you might need a massage after today is all…sorry." She said. She felt hurt at his reaction. But didn't let it show.
"That's not what I meant. The fancy dinner. The incredibly sexy outfits, now these….It's like you want me to mess up again." Harry said as he turned around and faced her.
"I what? That's not true Harry! I was just trying to be nice… I…Why would you say that?" Hermione shot back.
Harry felt bad for saying what he did so quickly. He let out a sigh and sat down again.
"I didn't mean to offend you….I'm sorry. It's just with everything that's been going on I was under the impression…. I am under the impression that you don't want anything to happen between us." Harry confessed.
"Being here alone with you now like this. Well it's not easy for me… that's all." Harry whispered to her.
"Well it's not exactly a walk in the park for me either you know, but we can't just avoid each other the rest of our lives." Hermione said back to him. "I want to be able to still spend time together and not worry about what might happen."
Harry looked up at her as she stared back at him with a defiant look. He couldn't help but smile at her. She always looked so adorable the way she wrinkled her brow when she was upset.
"You're right… I know. I tell you what. Let's rewind for a minute and start over." Harry said standing up.
He walked back to the carpet and sat next to Hermione. He grabbed her hand and held it in his while she looked away from him trying to stay mad. He started making goofy faces at her and pulling on her hand.
Hermione tried ignoring him but eventually started laughing and gave him a playful push away.
"Ahhh I can't stand boys!" Hermione shouted at the ceiling.
"Put a sock in it, you would be lost without me and you know it." Harry said.
"Oh please you need me way more than I need you Harry." Hermione responded rolling her eyes and smiling.
Harry smiled and stared deep into her eyes. "You're right…I do need you." He whispered.
Hermione blushed and shoved Harry playfully. She then sighed and leaned back against him and he instinctively wrapped an arm around her.
"What do you want to do with the rest of our night?" Hermione asked as she relaxed against Harry's chest.
"Well now that you mention it….." He teased with a smirk.
"Oh shut it Harry! You know what I mean." Hermione laughed.
"Honestly I'm tired as hell, but I don't feel like moving just yet." He said as he played with her hand in his.
The two of them lay there quietly together. Both with thoughts of each other running through their minds. Both using all will power and discipline to fight their wants and desires. Harry finally found the strength to take control of the situation. He knew how he felt when he saw Ginny at the burrow with Michael. How would Ron feel now if he walked in?
"We should get up now." Harry whispered to Hermione.
But she didn't move. She was breathing softly on his chest with her eyes closed peacefully. She had fallen asleep on top of him. Harry smiled and lightly kissed her cheek.
"I have a secret to tell you…I think I'm falling in love with you." He whispered into her ear.
Hermione slightly stirred in her sleep but did not wake up. Harry sat up slowly and picked her up easily in his arms. He carried her up the stairs and into her bedroom. After laying her down onto her bed softly he removed her shoes.
He was about to leave when her hand reached out and grabbed his wrist.
"Wait….Stay with me tonight…..Please." Hermione whispered. "Nothing will happen I promise. I just don't want to be alone." She said quietly as she looked at him with the most adorable face he could remember.
Harry closed his eyes and let out a sigh. "Only for a little while then, but then I have to go to my room." He whispered back to her.
She nodded her head and pulled Harry onto her bed next to her. She started to pull her skirt off but Harry grabbed her hand to stop her with a panicked look on his face.
"It's ok Harry, I always sleep like this." She said smiling. "Besides I'm under the blanket you won't see a thing."
Harry let her hand go reluctantly as she slipped her skirt off and laid it down by the bed.
He got comfortable next to her but on top of the covers out of respect. The lights dimmed with a flick of Hermione's wand and the allowed themselves to relax a little bit while closing their eyes.
"Harry did you want me to finish the massage?" She asked as she rolled onto her side looking at him.
"You will have to take off your shirt though. It's not like I haven't seen you before so…" She added shyly.
Harry silently nodded as he allowed her to pull his shirt over his shoulders. He lay on his stomach as she started to rub his back down. Her hands felt like miniature pieces of heaven. He went into a deep state of relaxation.
Hermione sat up and straddled Harry's lower back as she massaged his neck and shoulders. She told herself that this was ok because she was doing it as a friend. It meant nothing at all. She had Harry in her bed, home alone. His shirt was off and she wasn't wearing any pants. Perfectly normal….Shit it wasn't normal at all but she didn't care.
Being in a constant state of denial had got her through the last few weeks fine and she wasn't going to admit anything to her conscience now.
Harry lay asleep now beneath her. Her massage was too much for him in his tired state. She smiled and slid off him and cuddled next to him in her bed. Her rolled over onto his back and began snoring softly.
Hermione studied his body now in the moon lit room. The scars on his arm from Nagini's bite. The scar in his chest from Voldemorts horcrux. The scar on his forehead and chest from both Avada Kedavra and The infamous "I must not tell Lies" scar from fifth year.
Harry's body told a story of pain and suffering. But Hermione was so thankful he was still here to tell it on his own. She thought now of the new warnings he had received from Aberforth and wondered what other scars he might receive over the next few years.
Shutting that image out her mind she laid her head on his chest and closed her eyes. They both had wonderful dreams that night as they slept in each other arms.
The next week went by like a blur. Aberforth told Harry he had figured out a way to continue their lesson once school started. He didn't go into detail how exactly but Harry knew he would come through. Harry had learned a lot as it was but mainly he was much faster with his reflexes and spell work, had better knowledge of basic attacks and could perform quite a few non verbal spells including several new ones. But he still had much to learn.
Harry, Hermione, and Ron now walked into Kings Cross station. Harry and Ron each caring one end of Hermione's locker and dragged their own. The terminal was busy with travelers going to different parts of England and beyond. They walked mainly unnoticed to platform 9 ¾.
Hermione went through first followed by Ron. Harry jumped through last. The sight of the Hogwarts Express sitting on the tracks stood greatly before him. Its steam billowing up into the air as hundreds of students scrambled to get organized. Harry felt a sense of being home as he stared at the scene before him and he allowed a smile to form on his face.
People started to stare and point now. Excited voiced were talking as Harry made his way to the train with Hermione and Ron. Some parents shook his hand as he walked by. Others gave him the thumbs up. Harry politely nodded in appreciation but kept focused on getting his things onto the Express. No doubt the first years were star struck by Harry being so close by after all the exciting news.
This year would be different. A lot of his friends had already graduated last year. The only people he expected to see were Ginny, Luna and unfortunately Draco. Not seeing any of them just yet however they decided to board the train. Harry and Ron decided on a quiet compartment closer to the front. Hermione was a prefect so she had to sit in the very front with the other prefects. However she promised to come drop in on them as soon as she could get away. Ron also being a prefect was required to do the same but decided he would pretend he forgot.
The train started steaming ahead as all the students got settled in. Harry and Ron were about open some butter beers when the door opened to their compartment and Ginny and Luna walked in.
"Hello Harry, Ron." Luna said. She was wearing a purple feathery scarf and zebra striped pants. The latest copy of the Quibbler under her arm.
"Hey Luna, how was your summer?" Harry said trying not to look at Ginny.
"Oh it was marvelous. Daddy took me to Bermuda to try and catch a whooping Yargle Borge." Luna said excitedly.
"Wow sounds fun." Ron said looking at Harry. "What the bloody hell is a Yargle Borge mate?" Ron whispered.
"No idea just smile and nod Ron, Smile and nod." Harry whispered back.
"Hello Harry." Ginny finally said. "You look….Great. Working out I guess?" She said quietly.
Harry looked at Ginny now and nodded his head. Then looked back out the window.
"Soooooo, suppose we will have much quidditch competition this year?" Ron said sensing the awkward moment. "I mean Draco is back but besides him I say we will clean house huh Harry?"
"Yea I think you're right. Should be fun" Harry replied getting interested.
Ginny frowned but sat down finally and joined in on the quidditch conversation. Luna sat quietly read her Quibbler upside down.
After about 30 minutes their door opened again. This time it was Hermione who let out a loud sigh as she sat between Ron and Harry.
"I never have seen so many first years in my life. Were we really that annoying?" She vented out to anyone listening.
"I think we probably were." Ginny said laughing.
Hermione noticed Harry's leg brushing against her own. She pushed it against him a little more in a way no one would notice. Harry looked at her from the corner of his eye and held in his smile. They had played these little games all week since their sleep over. Nothing noticeable of course. Just small gestures only they could see.
"So Ginny how was your summer?" Hermione asked. "I hardly heard from you at all."
"I mainly stayed at the burrow but I went to visit Bill and Fleur a few times." Ginny said glancing at Harry. She was hoping he would talk to her eventually.
"Oh is that all you did?" Hermione asked faking a smile. She had been holding in her anger with Ginny ever since she found out about Michael. Thank god he graduated already. She would hate to see Harry bump into him again. It was mainly her protective nature over Harry that caused her to even bring it up.
"What did you do all summer? Besides stay holed up in Harry's house sleeping over every night?" Ginny shot back rolling her eyes.
"Other than staying at my best friend's house studying for school and being with my boyfriend not much. Afraid I can't quite find the time to snog my ex boyfriends these days, Shucks…." Hermione replied giving Ginny a threatening look.
Ginny's eyes got really wide as she stood up and glared at Hermione hard.
"Now hold on here. Break it up you two!" Ron shouted as he stood up blocking Ginny from Hermione. "No point bringing up old news and all."
Harry didn't get involved in the spat. He continued looking out the window pretending to ignore everything. He felt guilty thinking about what He and Hermione had done only a few weeks before.
Ginny's face got red and she stormed out the compartment slamming the door shut behind her.
"What in Merlin's beard was that all about?" Ron said looking at Hermione.
"Look I know she is your sister and all but she had it coming Ron. She is lucky that's all I said. After everything Harry has been through? C'mon!" Hermione said back raising her voice.
Ron pulled out a miniature white flag on a tooth pick out his shirt pocket and started waving it. Harry finally laughed.
"Do you always keep one of those on you mate?" Harry asked laughing still.
"With her as a girlfriend? Definitely!" Ron said nodding.
That earned him a slap upside the head and a laugh from everyone in the compartment. The train pressed on the rest of the way to Hogwarts as the group of friends dozed off.
The Hogwarts Express steamed into Hogsmeade station with a loud screeching halt. Students cheered and began piling out as they all dragged their luggage with them.
Hermione and Ron went to help first year's lineup. Things were going pretty well and normal as usual. Harry lugged his trunk up and began walking towards where the chariots out to be that would take him and his friends back to the castle.
He was ahead of the crowd of students and would finally get to catch the first chariot back he thought to himself pleased.
However that's when things changed. Harry sensed something was wrong right away. There was just an odd aura in the air and he set his trunk down and began to look around. It was eerily quiet at the station and the familiar feeling of darkness overcame him.
Four wizards much older than Harry appeared around the corner one by one blocking the path to the chariots. Each wore dark cloaks and had hoods covering their heads. One stepped out in front of the others and pointed his finger at Harry.
"Harry Potter…. Your journey and story have been long and brave." He said is a loud deep voice. "But I'm afraid it must end here. You are not worth to be master of the wand of might!"
All the students got quiet and a few first years screamed. Ron and Hermione gathered as many students back to the train as they could and ran towards Harry.
The dark wizards slowly began to walk forward with wands drawn by their sides .They stopped about 5 feet in front of Harry and looked at him with hate as they waited for him to react.
Harry studied the group in front of him. The wizard on the far right seemed nervous and kept glancing at the others. The one to the far left was fidgeting with his wand. The two in the middle however seemed focused and eager for battle.
"So let me guess. You all got together and decided that it would be a great idea to come all this way to ambush me at the train station? And I would be easily defeated? And you would walk away with my wand just like that?" Harry said nervously but obviously upset at the nerve these men had.
"Bravo to the brains of the group!" Harry said clapping his hands.
The wizards cursed at him for this and took another step forward. However Harry let his wand drop slowly into sight so they could clearly see it. They all hesitated at this movement.
"You think you can actually win Potter? You are outnumbered and we have the element of surprise you fool!" The leader said. "Don't worry though this will be over quickly, you won't feel a thing."
Harry laughed at them now causing them to raise their eyebrows and glance at each other.
"Out numbered? I hope you have more skill than you have brains." Harry said as Ron and Hermione walked up behind him. His talking had bought him the time he hope for allowing Ron and Hermione to join him.
They all stared each other down and toyed with their wands. The leader of the group was getting angry at the sight of Hermione and Ron but he seemed to be holding back.
"Listen are you planning on standing there all night and playing with your wands or are you going to fight already!" Harry shouted.
The wizard's eyes got wide with shock and the pointed their wands up at the students.
Harry reacted with lighting reflexes and shot a stunning curse right into the middle left wizards face. No sooner had he struck his enemy when a curse came flying right back at him.
A scream sounded from the crowd watching as it seemed Harry was done for. But he apparated right before it hit and reappeared behind the wizard who shot it stunning the crowd.
At the same moment Harry stunned the first wizard Hermione shot her stack at the one to the far left. His curse struck her spell in mid air as they exploded against each other and they started dueling right onto the tracks in front of the train.
Harry Stood behind his second enemy now as the wizard twirled around flying up in a blur of black smoke and shot curses down at him. A shield formed between Harry and the curses and they were deflected. Harry was using his new non verbal magic with great skill and speed. The adrenaline combined with the worry he had for all the students nearby had his senses at their peak.
A golden flame shot out his wand now and knocked the dark wizard back while he was still flying up in mid air causing him to come crashing down onto the floor. The pavement cracked with the dark wizard's weight as his robes were smoking from Harry's spell. He was unconscious.
As this second fight was happening Ron noticed the wizard on the far right hesitate before attempting to sneak behind Harry and point his want right at his back. Noticing Harry was paying no mind Ron quickly reacted pointing his wand first and shouted out his spell.
The wizard flew backwards into the side of the train making a small dent. He sank down into the ground and moved no more.
Hermione was still dueling her enemy with some difficulty. He was very skilled and she was only able to deflect his attacks at best without doing enough damage of her own. As she was attempting to send a counter spell to block his last curse he disappeared into a giant ball of water.
Harry's powerful attack engulfed the wizard entirely into the water dome as he was lifted high into the air. He seemed to be drowning and waved his arms around wildly gasping for air.
"Harry! That's enough you will kill him!" Hermione said while watching the man slowly drown.
"I know that's the point. These men came here to do the same thing to me Hermione!" He shouted back at her while he continued to hold the man up in the air with his spell.
"I'm not even off the train 5 bloody minutes and I'm dealing with this shit? Are you kidding me!" he continued shouting.
Hermione rushed over to Harry and stood right in his face and pulled him close to her tightly. She had to try to calm him down before the man died.
"Please Harry, let him down. You're not like them. They would kill you not the other way around. Please." She said the last please so close her lips brushed against his ear.
Harry looked down at her and his eyes relaxed. The anger faded away and he realized what he was doing. With a flick of his wand the water ball fell apart and the wizard came splashing down onto the train tracks. He was coughing and weakened severely.
The crowd of students cheered loudly as they came running off the train again. Some of the older prefects came to help them collect the wands of the wizards and detain them.
Moments later Hagrid came running up to Harry and his friends with his huge dog running with him.
"What's going on here? Harry are you all alright?" He said panting and looking around.
"I'm fine Hagrid. But we need your help with this lot." Harry said pointing to the dark wizards who were wand less and surrounded by prefects and some older students now.
Hermione and Harry went on to describe what had happened in detail and a lot of students who were closest also attested to their story. Hagrid angrily tied up the wizards and held them their under guard until the auror's showed up.
"You better head on up to the castle Harry. The head mistress will be wanting to ask questions. Don't you worry about these fellas, they aren't going anywhere!" Hagrid said with a kick to one of their feet.
"Thanks" Harry said as he looked at his attackers once more. Without another word he grabbed his trunk and together with Ron and Hermione he walked to the chariots and took the last one up to Hogwarts. Aberforth's warnings resounded in his head. He would have to thank him later he thought.
As they were riding up Hermione broke the silence first.
"Harry who were those men? Have you seen them before?" She asked worried.
"I have..." Said Ron. "Well three of them anyway. They were those wizards from the Prophet Harry. You remember?"
"Yes I recognized them as well." Harry said as he thought about it.
"I think it's obvious what they were after. They wanted to defeat me to take power of the Elder wand. But I don't even have it! I put it back with Dumbledore after the Battle last year." Harry said
"Still think you're crazy for that one mate." Ron said. "Think what you might have done tonight if you had it?"
"Exactly why it was good he didn't have it Ronald!" Hermione shouted. "Harry you have to be careful with this. Let's hope it was a onetime incident. I didn't like the way you were back there with those wizards. It was amazing yes! But you had this look in your eye. I've never seen you that way before." She said giving him a strange look.
"Bloody brilliant it was!" Ron said interrupting Hermione. "Harry how did you know who to attack first?"
"Well I didn't have a plan per say but the one on the left." Harry started. "He was kind of fidgeting a lot and seemed distracted. So I left him to Hermione, obviously I underestimated him. The two in the middle were very focused and ready to fight. However the leader seemed the most dangerous so I attacked him first." Harry told them.
"I knew the second would attack shortly after so I automatically apparated. And well you saw what happened after that Ron." Harry said shrugging.
"Yeah but the one on the right? You ignored him altogether! Why?" Ron asked bewildered.
"Well you were standing right there Ron, weren't you?" Harry asked.
Ron thought about this deeply for a minute as the chariot rode on in silence. The he looked up and smiled.
"What if I missed?" He mumbled with a grin.
"Let's just be glad your wand wasn't mended with spell-o-tape this time." Hermione added.
They all had a good laugh at that one as they arrived at the castle. Harry got out and looked up at the amazing sight of Hogwarts. He felt right at home and smiled big. What a way to start his year. If tonight had any way of showing how his last days here would be lived he was in for an exciting year at Hogwarts.
Ron patted him on the back snapping him out his thoughts. Hermione walked up to them and smiled as all three looked up at the castle now.
"You guys ready for this?" She asked as they both put their arms around her.
"You know it." Harry said with a grin. Ron sighed and nodded in agreement.
So the trio set off to begin what would be their last days at the place they all called home the past seven years.