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 Awkward reuinions *Ron and Hermione*

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PostSubject: Awkward reuinions *Ron and Hermione*   Sat Sep 07, 2013 4:16 pm

After his interesting first meeting of the term with Malfoy, Harry sought out the quiet and solitude of the train's rearmost compartment. A couple of days ago he had sent identical owls to Ron and Hermione urging them to meet him in this very compartment as early as they were able to. He stowed his baggage and Hedwig and settled heavily into a seat by the window. Now all Harry could do was wait for the reunion he had least been looking forward to.

He leaned his head against the window and closed his eyes, trying to figure things out. There were a couple of ways this could go. Ron and Hermione could follow his virtually unquestioningly, as they had on most things up to this point. That would be a lucky outcome, but Harry didn't think it was very likely. They were all getting older and becoming more independent. He would likely have to actually convince them that his way was the right way.

Ron's loyalty would depend upon a couple of factors. The first was always his family. If they went strongly enough and near completely towards Dumbledore, Ron would follow out of a desire to please them. His nearing legendary jealousy would also play a role. If Harry said the wrong thing, or the wrong outside force hit at the wrong time, Ron would side with Dumbledore just to spite Harry. If all of that could be avoided, though, Ron was the best ally Harry could have. There was truly no one more loyal or committed than his oldest friend.

Hermione came with an entirely different set of problems. Out of the three, she had always been the one most dependent on rules, order, and the way things ought to be. She depended on authority and would likely work at a desk in the Ministry of Magic one day, doing something terrifyingly boring. On the other hand she considered Harry the brother she never had at home. So no matter what Harry said or did, this would be a hard choice for her.

These thoughts chased each other through Harry's mind over and over until his head started to spin. He was unaware that he had drifted off to sleep until the jarring of the opening compartment door brought him back to the real world. He kept his eyes closed and worked to slow his breathing, not wanting to give up the advantage of appearing to be asleep. He had no idea who had just stumbled upon him, after all.
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PostSubject: Re: Awkward reuinions *Ron and Hermione*   Sat Sep 07, 2013 6:36 pm

The scarlet steam engine that was the Hogwarts express stood ready and waiting as it did every year. The students and their families crowded the platform as usual. The sounds of stamping feet, crying mothers, screeching owls and meowing cats sounded along the platform. Parents could be heard reminded their children to stay out of trouble. To write home every week. Everything was as it usually was with a few exceptions.

One was the fear and anxiousness was palpable. You could see it in the lines on the adult's faces, and in the eyes of the children. You could practically taste it in the air. The second and what was most grating on Ron's nerves was that for the first time he wasn't in the presence of his best friend, Harry Potter. It occurred to Ron then how even in his jealous state he missed his best friend. Over the years Ron had come to look at Harry as a brother. But also of the years a jealousy had been festering within the red head and it was almost out of control.

All summer he had tried to contact Harry. Make sure he was alright and see how he was dealing with the death of his Godfather. But he had been ignored to the full extent of the word, and that stung with a deeper hurt than Ron had thought it could. All summer Ginny and Hermione had hounded him for news about Harry he could not give them, his mother too. This had pushed Ron almost to his breaking point.

He had thought of many things over the summer. Ron knew most people, his family included, thought he was a class of moron. And in some ways he might be, but he was perfectly able to use a brain cell. Or two. He had often asked himself why he was so jealous of Harry. The answer had come a lot more easily than he had thought. Being Harry's best friend, Ron knew Harry didn't like the attention he was always given. He didn't like being in the spot line or the headlines of the Daily Prophet. Ron's jealousy stemmed from the fact that he was the sixth born boy in his family and already had enough to live up to without adding all of Harry's triumphs to the list.

Ron knew it wasn't Harry's fault that his family had accepted him so completely as one of their own but it was easier to blame his friend for it than to just accept it. How was anyone supposed to see Ron if he was always being overshadowed by his best friend and his brothers? The red head let out a growl of frustration as he shoved past a group of third years on the train and shouldered his way until he came to the compartment Harry had indicated in his letter.  At first the red head had been hard pressed to ignore Harry as he had ignored Ron all summer just out of spite but Ron finally came to his senses and agreed after he had calmed down and vented.

The ginger paused outside the door to regain his senses and make sure his frustration wasn't going to get the best of him. Harry had said it was important and Ron knew that if Harry thought it was important then it probably was. Having battles with his insecurities all summer Ron was ready to hear Harry out before passing any judgement which was a feat for him because he was normally the one jumping to conclusions.

I must be hanging out with Hermione too much, he thought, sliding open the door and spotting Harry who looked to be asleep. "This wasn't what I expected." He muttered to himself as he tried to quietly stow his stuff and owl away.
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PostSubject: Re: Awkward reuinions *Ron and Hermione*   Sat Sep 07, 2013 10:29 pm

Hermione said goodbye to her parents on the platform as the train signaled it was about ready to leave. She was nervous about the upcoming meetin with Harry having received his letter calling for one. The witch remembered frowning at the formalness of it and the lack of feeling in her friend's letter. It hasn't sounded like Harry at all. It hasn't sounded like a letter to a friend and that was why Hermione currently had a nervous ball settling in her stomach.

She made her way down the train with Crookshanks in tow to the compartment Harry had described in his letter. She knew he had requested they arrive early but Hermione had had a late start. She had forgotten to wrap his birthday present and wouldn't leave the house until she had. This was also on her person as she past compartments of reuniting friends and frantic first years. For once Hermione didn't pay any mind to them. She was worried about Harry and what he had to say to her and Ron. She was also worried about Ron'e reaction to how Harry had ignored them all summer.

Hermione was equally angry with their friend for it but she was reasonable enough to head Harry's side of the story. Ron and reasonable didn't belong in the same sentence. Hermione eased the compartment door open and peeked inside. A genuinely happy smile came to her lips when she finally laid eyes on her two boys, one sleeping and one settling in.

Maybe it wouldn't be so bad after all, she thought as she entered the compartment fully and slid the door closed as quietly as possible so as not to disturb her sleeping friend. "Hey Ron!" She exclaimed in a whisper. "It's so great to see you! Has he been sleeping long?" She asked quietly as she hugged the red head, indicating Harry.
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PostSubject: Re: Awkward reuinions *Ron and Hermione*   Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:32 pm

Harry could tell without opening his eyes that it was Ron who entered the compartment first. Spending nearly every waking moment with someone for five years made the way they moved fairly familiar. He didn’t open his eyes yet, though. He knew better than to try and win Ron over without his rational half making it back here. Still, time dragged on and he was beginning to wonder if she had decided to stand them up when the door finally opened again.

“Not all that long,” Harry answered her question with his eyes still closed, “but I wanted to make it seem like I was until you were both here so we could do this all at once.” He actually had no idea how long he had slept, but the answer still felt right. He also realized vaguely that feigning sleep until they were both there could be seen as paranoid, but it didn’t bother him that much. In Harry’s mind the isolated and paranoid of this year were a natural progression from last year’s bouts of ineffective shouting, especially when you considered everything that had happened.

He opened his eyes slowly, looking from one best friend to the other, trying to figure out exactly how he was going to say what needed to be said. He sighed heavily, hoping that his eyes showed the pain he felt in everything that had gone on. He was trying to hide the newfound determination that was underneath until he needed it.

“I owe you guys an apology for this summer,” he began. “I didn’t really WANT to ignore you, but then I didn’t want to see or talk to anyone, and when I did want to, I didn’t have any idea what to say. I know it’s no excuse and I must have worried you both out of your heads. I hope you don’t automatically hate me for it.”

He needed to get to his new leaf, but it could wait. First, he needed to see if there was any reason to. If he had already lost Ron through the summer of neglect, he might as well keep all the sensitive information to himself and save what Ron would say to other people after they went their separate ways.
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PostSubject: Re: Awkward reuinions *Ron and Hermione*   Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:02 am

He had only just managed to get his things stored away when Hermione arrived and then he had an armful of the bushy haired witch. Ron returned her hug somewhat awkwardly patting her on the back and muttering about how it was great to see her too. This was Harry's thing, not Ron's. It wasn't that he hasn't missed her but Ron was still in that awkward point of his life were witches were mental and didn't register on his mind much. Sure he hugged Ginny but hugging Hermione wasn't the same now was it? This ought to have been some kind of clue to him but the ginger was awfully daft in the girl department.

His mouth opened to tell her he had just got there not five minutes before she did and closed again at the sound of Harry's voice. He had been awake the entire time. This fueled Ron's anger with Harry and it could be seen by his ears growing red. He stayed silent. If nothing else he owed it to Harry to hear him out, and by coming here that was what he offered.

Ron nodded his head in acknowledgement and acceptance of his best Kate's apology but could no longer keep silent as he sank heavily to the seat. "You could have told us that mate, instead of having us worry about you all summer." The red head spoke quietly looking at the floor.

Last year had opened his eyes to alot of things and one of those was that he needed to grow up a bit. Ron also didn't want another repeat of fourth year. He didn't want his jealousy and anger to win out over the small amount of common sense he had. Last year had been all walking on egg shells because of Harry's wild mood swings due to his connection to You-Know-Who. Harry hadn't trusted them enough to let them in on it until it was too late.

That was the real problem here. Harry didn't trust them and that was probably the one thing that made Ron angry the most. For nearly six years he had given tears, blood and sweat to his best friend. Every ounce of loyalty the red head possessed. He had never been like Hermione, who always wanted to run to a professor. But it seemed now like it had all been for nought because it was clear Harry didn't trust them.

"So let me get this straight mate. You ignore us all summer because you didn't trust us to leave you alone if you had told us that was what you needed?" His voice rose with his temper but he was able to hold on to that steady calm in him for the time being.
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PostSubject: Re: Awkward reuinions *Ron and Hermione*   Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:55 am

Hermione turned immediately at the sound of Harry's voice and before she could stop her herself had her arms around the boy she so considered a brother. "Oh Harry! We've been worried sick! You really should have said something!" Her scolding muffled because of the hug.

She released him and sat down opposite him with a watery smile that was indication she could cry. It had been too long since she had seen or heard from him. Much too long. Hermione glanced at Ron when he quietly spoke. It caught her attention because Ron was never quiet. Not even when he slept. According to Harry. His ears had turned red and Hermione braced herself for the explosion of that fiery temper of his but it didn't come.

She hated to admit that she was impressed by his calm. There was a change in him she couldn't quite figure out but it didn't keep her from bowing her head in shame. Ron might have been able to let Harry have his alone time if Harry had told them this up front but Hermione knew she never could have. This was a downfall of here that could have pushed Harry completely away from her and that was one thing she could not face at the moment. Hermione stayed silent. She knew they were all about to face a pivotal moment and the outcome was in no way clearer than it had been the day before.
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PostSubject: Re: Awkward reuinions *Ron and Hermione*   Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:18 pm

Harry returned Hermione’s hug gladly, then felt another pang as she settled into her seat. She was already almost crying just from his silence. What was she going to do when he started saying heavy things? What about it Ron reacted badly? If Harry and Ron degenerated into a fight right here would it cause Hermione to have some kind of breakdown? Should he even be trying this?

Harry opened his mouth to answer Ron’s initial comment, but closed it again without speaking. His best mate and this was the third straight fall of this. Apparently they would never understand each other. Their backgrounds and situations were just too different for everything to click perfectly. He looked to Hermione for help, but she was gazing at Ron like she had never seen him before or something. Had they both already decided he had failed them as a friend by going silent this summer?

“It’s not like that,” he finally muttered. Though it was barely audible, he was sure his friends could hear it. He hoped they heard in his voice that he didn’t want to lose them, never wanted to lose them, no matter how much changed. “It’s not about how much I trust you…”

Harry trailed off. That wasn’t exactly true, was it? A lot of this was entirely about how much he could trust them. Could he trust them to think he was sane after everything that had happened? Would they immediately repeat everything he said to people he was not ready to tell yet? These were the kind of things that couldn’t be judged by letters. Things needed to be said in person, and he hadn’t been ready to do that until now. In truth, Harry wasn’t even sure he was ready now, it just couldn’t be put off any longer.

No wonder this was going so well.
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PostSubject: Re: Awkward reuinions *Ron and Hermione*   Tue Sep 10, 2013 12:00 am

"Then what is it about Harry?" Ron demanded angrily, his temper getting the best of him for the first time in the conversation. "You ignore us all summer then at the last minute decide to invite us to hear you out and now that we're here you have nothing to say." The red head's temper was soaring and he calmed himself enough to keep from full on yelling. His face was screwed up in what might have been something between a grimace and a glare but it was hard to tell.

He had come into this wanting to keep his cool but it was quickly getting harder to do with Harry pussy footing around whatever it was he wanted or needed to say to them. Ron wished his friend would just spit it out because he wanted to understand what was going on and felt Harry owed it to them to explain.
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PostSubject: Re: Awkward reuinions *Ron and Hermione*   Tue Sep 10, 2013 12:31 am

It was bad timing that Hermione thought this a joke. She rolled her brown eyes and snapped at Ron. "Don't be ridiculous Ron. Of course Harry trusts us." She gave a small chuckle as if this were some outrageous thought that was just too funny to be considered true.

As the unusually awkward silence stretched on after Harry trailed off Hermione looked between her two best friends with alarm in her chocolate brown eyes. One summer couldn't have made Harry throw everything away could it? She jumped a bit surprised by Ron's loudness especially when she was sitting right next to him. In any other circumstance she would have laughed at the look on his face. Now she barely noticed it as she looked to Harry.

Hermione observed her friendly closely for the first time since she had last seen him. Something was different about him she just couldn't quite figure out what. She decided she had remained silent enough and that if they were going to get through this thing altogether she had better intercede before Ron lost complete sense and Harry took offense.

"Ron if you start to shout in my ear I promise I will silence you until we get to the common room after the feast!" She threatened the red head easily as if she had done it a million times before. Which she had. "Harry said he was sorry and he needed time alone. Just drop it." She was trying to convince herself just as much as Ron. She turned her attention back to Harry. "What is it you need to talk to us about Harry?" She asked with a small genuine smile at her best friend. That had felt more like old times.
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PostSubject: Re: Awkward reuinions *Ron and Hermione*   Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:01 pm

That was as good an invitation as he was going to get. While Ron was already ticked at him, at least Hermione was still trying to be on his side. She probably had a better chance of getting through to Ron than he did anyway.

He sighed and took a deep breath. Surely they didn't need to know the whole Manifesto yet, especially the way this was going so far. There was one thing they needed to know before they got off the train, and of course it was the part that was going to go over the worst.

Harry once again opened his mouth and then closed it again. Dumbledore was Ron's hero! Hermione had once actually said that if they couldn't trust the Headmaster, there was no one they could trust. How was Harry supposed to convince them that the old man had lost his mind? The longer he sat here, the worse an idea this seemed.

"Look," he finally said heavily. "You're probably not going to like what I'm about to say, so I'll say it quickly and get it over. The time to blindly follow Dumbledore is over. He treats people's lives like they don't matter as long as some greater goal is achieved. It's sick and wrong. I'm breaking ties with him and his Order and I hope you will too. Anything else with my summer kind of lines up after that. So yeah."

He had petered off there at the end, but it had still gone better than Harry had dared to hope. Now he just had to wait and see what his two best friends thought of his life changing decision.
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PostSubject: Re: Awkward reuinions *Ron and Hermione*   Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:36 pm

Why was it always him who she snapped at? For a brief moment all problems were momentarily forgotten and Ron looked at Harry with his mouth opening and closing like a fish. He goggled at Hermione like he wanted to say something more but with a final audible snap he shut his mouth. Ron was sure now wasn't the time to test her. Maybe she was right like she normally was and he should just drop the whole thing and listen to what his best mate had to say. It's what he came for right?

The more Harry spoke though the more Ron wished he could close his ears. His face resembled that of a fish again his mouth opening and closing in silence now looking from Harry to Hermione with disbelief in his blue eyes. "Harry mate, that's.." Ron's voice was hoarse and he wasn't sure what it was exactly. Crazy? Insane? What about his life over the last six years hadn't been though?

For a short time Ron just sat there with a slack blank look on his face and mouth open. Inside his mind he knew this was the moment he had to make the decision to either cut ties altogether with Harry or follow him to the ends of wherever this might lead. His loyalty to his friend warred with his jealousy and anger. Up until that point Ron had looked at Harry and Dumbledore as a sort of single entity. You just couldn't think of one without the other. Last year the separation of the two had almost gotten them all killed and had gotten Sirius killed.

But that had been Dumbledore's call hadn't it? Slowly Ron could feel the jealousy and anger dissolve as realization hit. Maybe his life was harder with Harry in it but Harry had always been there for Ron. And Ron's family. They shared everything together and blood couldn't make them closer. And he never had to follow Harry blindly because Harry shared everything with him. The answer to all his problems came as suddenly as if someone had flipped a switch in him. Ron's loyalty had always laid with Harry and this time would be no different. Ron wouldn't make the mistake he did in fourth year again and let any petty jealousy tear his friendship apart. He had to grow up.

"I'm with you mate. I reckon we've got to have a death wish taking on Dumbledore and You-Know-Who." He looked resigned but gave his friend a rueful grin. "Not to mention mum." It was a true testament to his decision that Ron had made a joke of it even given the fact that he had probably just signed his own death warrant.
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PostSubject: Re: Awkward reuinions *Ron and Hermione*   Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:29 am

Hermione ignored Ron and his ridiculous looks and focused on Harry and what he was saying. She was stunned speechless if her expression was anything to go by. Harry was turning against Dumbledore now too? "Oh Harry. Are you sure...?" She trailed off questioningly but knew by the determined look nothing would deter him from this current course he was on.

The bushy haired Gryffindor witch worried her bottom lip as she considered this. For Hermione it had ways been difficult to go against authority. She put so much by rules and authority figures. She always felt they deserved to be obeyed and respected. And Dumbledore was the pinnacle of the peak in that chain. He had helped them so much.

But that wasn't exactly true was it? Thinking back through their various years it seemed Dumbledore had always showed up just as everything had been said and done. In regards to Harry he always gave information too little too late. That had cost Harry so much to date but the cost of Dumbledore's actions last year in keeping Harry out of the loop had cost her friend his beloved godfather. Sirius had been a friend to all of them but he had loved Harry like a father did a son even for the short amount of time they had one another.

Looking at Harry Hermione realized that this decision hadn't happened overnight like so many of his did. This had been built up over a period of time and losing Sirius had been the catalyst. She switched her attention to Ron and found that he had changed over the summer and for the better. He was on board with Harry in this and now it was just on her to decide. She had known this would be a pivotal moment and now here it was staring her in the face and the choice between following orders from those in authority and following her instincts battled within her.

"Sometimes doing the right thing isn't doing the right thing. And sometimes doing the right thing is the hardest thing." She muttered to herself. Her choice was clear now and she looked to her boys with a bit more defiance in her brown eyes. "Well we all know you wouldn't last three days without me." The smile on her face told them she too was with them to the end.
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PostSubject: Re: Awkward reuinions *Ron and Hermione*   Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:45 pm

They were on his side, they really were. A weight the size of Dudley seemed to lift from Harry's back. Even though he had been trying to prepare for a life without them since his chat with Ginny the other day, he had no idea how much he had needed to hear their support. Sure, this was likely to just be the first hurdle in a long couple of years they had left at the castle they were streaking towards, but they had cleared it. Everything else could be worried about later.

"Thanks loads, guys," he said to them, beaming. He grabbed his robes and pulled them on, not wanting them to see the emotion that was leaking from his eyes suddenly. He managed to wipe his eyes on the inside before his head reemerged. "Remind me to show you something I wrote up for this year when we get to the common room tonight," he added in what he hoped was an offhand way. He wasn't sure he could actually pull off offhand at the moment. Still, the Manifesto could wait until there were full bellies and a warm fire.

He glanced at his watch and was shocked at how late it was. Maybe he had slept longer than he realized before Ron opened the compartment door. "Not to try and push you out of anything, because I would never do that, but don't you have to do Prefect things, like, half an hour ago? Don't let me get you in trouble before we even get to school. I'm sure I'll do enough of that once the year gets going."

Still, he made no move to actually get up. He wouldn't ever force his friends into anything, but even with his new independent streak, he wasn't about to just walk off and let them get on with things after two months apart. "Find me when you finish being important and putting people in detention or whatever, yeah?"
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PostSubject: Re: Awkward reuinions *Ron and Hermione*   Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:16 pm

It felt like a weight had been lifted after his choice had been made. It wasn't until that moment that Ron had realized just how much stress had been on him because of his indecision. It seemed now that the decision had been made following through would be easy. Or as easy as things ever were when concerning Harry.

"No problem mate." It was the only response he could come up with to fill the awkward silence. It was only now that the shame of having drifted so far from his two friends who he had been through so much with set in. Ron nodded his head with a screwed up look on his face. It was somewhere between a grimace and curiosity. Curiosity at what Harry wanted to show them, which sounded like a much better time then the prefect meeting Harry reminded them of that was the reason for his grimace. "We could always skip it mate." He instantly regretted the offer as it came out a bit too hopeful and he physically winced as he knew Hermione would not be pleased. Merlin but she was a scary witch.

Run for it mate, his brain told him and that's exactly what he did. He got up so fast it was like he had aparated into a standing position. "See ya mate." He said to Harry quickly with a comical fearful expression and swiftly left the compartment knowing Hermione wouldn't be far behind and hurrying to the prefect compartment before she could hex him silly.
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PostSubject: Re: Awkward reuinions *Ron and Hermione*   Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:30 pm

Hermione beamed back at her friend who she really considered a brother. It was relieving to have all of that over with now and all of them being on the same page again. She wouldn't be Hermione though if she didn't have any reservations about this whole idea and she even considered briefly trying to talk Harry out of it in the future. For now everything was right again with the three of them though and she didn't want to ruin it by starting a row.

She too looked with interest at Harry wondering what he had written up that he had mentioned when Ron decided to be an idiot. This was something he could usually be counted on and she narrowed her brown eyes on the red headed boy next to her taking a deep breath getting ready to let him have an earful. Hermione didn't get very far however because Ron quickly took his leave obviously trying to avoid her wrath. She stood with a bit more decorum smiling a conspiratorial smile at the dark haired wizard and gave him another tight hug. "I really missed you Harry." She said with a tinge of sadness in her voice at the long summer apart.

When she pulled back she beamed at him. "We'll come find you after the meeting. Promise." Her look turned stern. "Now try and stay out of trouble." With that she too exited the compartment and headed down the train to catch up to a certain red headed wizard.
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