Disclaimer: Not mine.
A/N: You guys are fabulous. Thanks so much for reading.SIXTH YEAR
Making sure no one was watching I snuck up the stairs to the Owlery, taking the steps two at a time, a big smile on my face.
I stepped inside, sticking my hands into my pocket and trying to wipe this stupid smile I had on my face off, but it was almost pointless. Josephine stood with her back to me, cooing at one of the school owls.
"Don't you own an owl already?" I asked.
"More like an eagle, if you ask me," she said. "That thing pecks at me every time I try to pet it."
Josephine turned, her smile matching mine. Running forward, she flung her arms around my shoulders.
"Merlin, it's been a horribly long summer without you," she said as she let go and pushed her long blond hair behind her ears. "And your letters left much to the imagination."
"And your letters left little," I said, grinning. "I really didn't need to know that you caught your brother snogging with Pansy. I had nightmares for days."
Josephine giggled, taking my hand and leading me over to the window. "So fill in the blanks for me, okay? Why did Dumbledore pick you up from your family's house?"
I shrugged, not quite sure how much I was supposed to tell her or not tell here. "He wanted to . . . explain some things to me. You know, about Sirius' will."
She fell silent, her hands reaching over to grab mine. "I'm so sorry about that, Harry."
"I'm sorry too," I told her. "I mean he was your cousin . . . even if you didn't really know him."
"It's all right. . . . You know I met him once."
"Yeah. I mean, I don't really remember of course. I was way little, almost one, probably. Aunt Andromeda gave me a picture earlier this summer with the two of us, Sirius and I, together. He's holding me in his arms and my hand is wrapped around his finger and we're just laughing. . . . I . . . I wish I could have spoke to him more."
"I think he would have really liked you."
"Of course. Sirius always loved the outcast in his family."
Josephine reached over and hit me in my arm. "What makes you think I'm an outcast?"
"You hang out with me."
". . . Oh, right." She laughed and I joined in. I realized that I had missed this. The stupid jokes, the laughs. Josephine was the first girl I had been able to talk to like this who wasn't exactly apart of the close knit group that the Weasleys, Hermione, and I had created. I liked listening to her laugh.
"So how are Hermione and Ron getting along then?" she asked.
"Awkward, still," I told her, rolling my eyes. "Sometimes, you would think that they were just going to snog right in front of you and then other times you have to make sure not to leave them alone together because someone's going to end up dead. Either way, I still feel like a third wheel in all of this."
"Maybe I should change my hair and eye color and I can hang out with you guys so you don't have to feel so alone." She said it jokingly but the idea started to make me think.
"Why don't you?" I asked.
"Seriously? I really couldn't."
"Do you realize how close an eye Draco's been keeping on me ever since my 'accident' last year? I mean, it took an act of Merlin for me to sneak up here without him following me. It'll take Merlin a Hogwart's load of miracles to help me sneak off to Hogsmeade with you."
"Aww, come on. You'll be able to get away with it. Last year you were smack dab in front of your brother and he didn't even recognize you."
"Please, can we not talk about that? I still get nightmares."
"Besides, you'll have loads of fun. We always do."
"Even though Hogsmeade hasn't changed since you started going your third year, right?"
"Still, it's fun to get away from the castle for a while."
"Says the 'Boy-Who-Never-Wants-To-Go-Home', though truly I understand your pain, I really do."
"And it'll be more time we can spend together."
I felt my face get hot almost a millisecond after the words popped out of my mouth. Why had I said that? Why do I have to make everything so freaking awkward? Merlin, what is wrong with me?
A blush colored Josephine's cheeks too as a small smile came to her face. "I should go," she said bowing her head slightly. "Draco probably thinks I 'fell down the stairs again'."
"Yeah, I should go too," I said, running my fingers through my hair. "Though, my friends probably didn't even notice I'm gone yet, the way they googly-eye each other."
Josephine giggled again, the blush in her cheeks fading slightly. "I'll see you later, Harry."
I took a deep breath, trying to calm down. Josephine did the same, I noticed. "All right," I said, trying to appear cool and collected. I'm pretty sure it didn't work though.
"Bye, Harry," she said again, walking past me.
I grabbed her arm softly and she stopped. "Will you think about it? Hogsmeade, I mean," I said.
She smiled again. "Yeah I'll think about it."
I let go of her arm and she walked off, casting another glance back at me. I gave her a small, awkward wave, turning back towards the window as she disappeared down the stairs.
My heart was beating abnormally fast and my face was still flushed.
I blamed it on the cold.