The ebony haired seventeen year old wizard was all smiles on this glorious Monday morning as he rolled out of bed. Today he was going to Hogwarts to start his seventh and final year.
He walked to the bathroom and eyed his reflection for a moment. He had grown another inch over the summer and was sure that he was catching up with his best friend, Ron Weasley, who had surpassed Harry's height three years before.
His hair was in the usual disheveled mode, but he had grown accustom to it over the years. It gave him sort of a boyish look and it made all the girls swoon.
His body had grown some muscle from years of Quidditch playing. His arms were a little stronger and his legs a little more powerful, not to mention his rock hard stomach.
His emerald eyes sparkled as he rubbed the sleep from his eyes. Most girls would have to agree that this was his best feature. It was capable of mesmerizing some of the strongest girls. He could make girls drool at his feet just by looking at them with his eyes and giving them that wonderful "Harry Potter" smile.
He ruffled his hair and exposed the one part of himself that he liked the least, to him it was a terrible reminder of the past; a past he would much rather forget. The lightning bolt scar stood out like a white dot in a black picture. This is what caused him awful nightmares and set him apart from everyone else in the wizarding world. He was "the boy who lived", the boy who had defeated Voldemort five times. Most girls wanted him just for that reason, he was famous and had money. He didn't like that fact and he hated most people for it. He was generous and an overly-hearted human being, but when it came to people staring at his scar or being with him just for his name, he despised mankind.
All he wanted in life was to get a job, fall in love, get married and have a family and maybe even live happily ever after. He smirked at this thought, knowing that it was pretty much impossible for that to happen to him.
But he couldn't complain too much about his life. He was one of the smartest kids in school, which was why he was named Head Boy. He was captain of Gryffindor's Quidditch team, and not to mention one of the most popular and sought after people at Hogwarts. He really did enjoy life, even though it had its ups and downs.
He shut his mind off from his morning thoughts and hopped into the shower. It didn't take long and he was out and dressed to kill. He wore denim jeans, a blue button up shirt, black boots and of course, and his black spectacles. He had thought about going with contacts, but he didn't think he looked right without his glasses, so he opted for the "four eyed" look.
Spraying on some cologne, he opened up the door, ready to face the day.
Taking two steps at a time he made his way down to the kitchen for a little breakfast.
As he opened the door, he saw his favorite godfather, Sirius, standing over the stove making breakfast. Food was flying out of the refrigerator and eggs were cracking into a pan.
Harry didn't have the opportunity to grow up with a mother and a father. His parents were killed by the one person who gave him his scar, Voldemort. His mother had sacrificed herself that night, and by doing so gave Harry the protection he needed to sustain being killed by Voldemort also.
Ever since that night, Voldemort has tried to kill Harry five times, each one was unsuccessful, but that didn't stop him. Harry knew Voldemort would be back for more, it was only a matter of time.
Harry was sent off to live with his mother's sister. That was the worst years of his life. His cousin, aunt and uncle treated him as if he was dirt from the garden. He hated them with a passion, for all the pain and torment they put him through, but in his third year all that changed.
He found out he had a godfather, who was wrongfully accused and sent to Azkaban. Sirius broke out of jail, to try and kill Wormtail, a.k.a. Peter Pettigrew, who was the one who set up Sirius and Harry's parents, and the one person Harry hates just as much as Voldemort. To even speak that name is like poison to Harry's mind.
Harry had been living with Sirius ever since last year, when he was found innocent of all the charges that were brought against him. Harry now couldn't complain at all about his life; at least not his living arrangements.
"Hey Sirius!" Harry called as he sat himself down at the table and poured himself a glass of pumpkin juice.
"Finally up I see, I have been up since the crack of dawn, slaving over a hot stove, just so you will be well fed for your trip today!" Sirius said with a look of complete seriousness.
Harry couldn't suppress a grin an added, "Yeah, and I have just been named king and I am taking up quarters in the royal castle!"
Sirius started laughing, picked up the food he was cooking, and scraped in onto some plates for him and Harry.
"So are you ready to begin your final year?" Sirius asked as he joined Harry at the table and they both started to eat their food.
"Yeah, who knows what this year will have in store for me. Maybe this time Voldemort will poison my food or stun me at my next Quidditch game," Harry said trying to scrape off the part of his burnt toast.
"Harry, I don't want to hear you talk like that. I know something happens mostly every year, but look, so far you have made it out and you will continue to do so. You are strong, just like you're parents, and you will get through this. Just try and enjoy your last year at school," Sirius said as he took a bite of his eggs and made a face from their awful taste.
"Yeah, I know, I guess you're right. I'm ready for school, to see all my friends and well…everyone," Harry said as he started to get a little red in the face.
"Oh, everyone huh, could you be referring to Miss Chang?" Sirius said with a smirk on his face.
Harry and Cho began dating early last year, and everything seemed to be going really well. He didn't know if he loved her, but he was certain he cared for her. She was pretty and popular, well they both were, so it would fit for them to be together, right? Harry figured he was making the right choice by staying with her, but he didn't know how things would be this year.
"Yeah, I miss her too. She has been busy traveling this summer, but I will get to see her today," Harry said trying to hide his embarrassed face.
"Well, I'm glad everything is working out for you. Now finish your breakfast and we will floo over so you can board the train."
Harry picked up his fork and tried to look like he was enjoying his breakfast, but it was so terrible he didn't want to put it in his mouth.
Sirius looked at him and gave him a smile. "Good, isn't it?" he asked.
Harry gave a smile and Sirius nodded his head, "Yeah, it's terrible!"
Harry laughed and said, "Yeah, it is!"
Harry boarded the train and searched for his friends. Since he was Head Boy, he had to meet with Professor McGonagall first before he was able to hang with his friends.
"Chudley Canons are the best Quidditch team ever, no matter what people say!" came a voice from two compartments from where Harry was standing. He immediately recognized the voice of his best friend, Ron Weasley, and headed down to the compartment.
He slid open the door and found Ron arguing with his other best friend, Draco Malfoy. They had all been best friends since first year and ever since first year Draco and Ron fought constantly.
They heard Harry come in and they turned to him. Standing up, they gave each others hand a shake and a manly pat on the back.
"What's up guys?" Harry said as he took a seat next to Ron.
"Not much how was your summer?" Ron asked.
"It was OK, what about you guys?" Harry asked as he crossed his leg over his knee trying to get more comfortable.
"Same here, our trip to Romania was pretty good. Had an interesting time," Ron answered.
"Yeah, not much happened with me. Mostly just laid around and did nothing," Draco said.
"Well that shouldn't have been to hard for you Malfoy, that's what you always do!" Harry said which caused Draco to glare at him and Ron to laugh out loud.
"Shut it Potter," Malfoy said. "Don't you have Head Boy duty or something to do?"
"Oh shit, I almost forgot," Harry replied getting up and heading to the door. "I'll be back as soon as the meeting's over."
Harry walked down the hall making his way toward the front of the train. He finally came to the door labeled Head Boy and Girl, and he slid open the compartment.
When he walked in he noticed he wasn't alone. In the corner sat a girl with bushy brown hair and her face hid behind an Arthimancy book. He knew immediately who it was; the dorkiest, smartest, weirdest girl in his year, Hermione Granger.
"Um, is this where we are supposed to have our meeting?" Harry asked as he took a seat across from Hermione.
Hermione didn't lower the book or look up to him she just simply replied, "Yes. I suspect Professor McGonagall will be along soon."
Harry rolled his eyes at her perfect grammar and laid back in the seat. He studied her for a minute. Hermione was in Gryffindor, but she mostly kept to herself. Harry never saw her with anyone besides the biggest klutz of the school, Neville Longbottom, and he knew she mostly spent her time in the library. When he had seen her in the common room, her nose was always buried in a book. Dork, Harry thought to himself. He was jolted from his thoughts when the door opened and Professor McGonagall walked in.
Hermione closed her book and sat it beside her. Harry looked over and stared at her face. She didn't where any make up and already had her Hogwarts robes on. He watched as Hermione focused all her attention on Professor McGonagall, never even acknowledging that he was in the compartment also.
"Welcome back Mr. Potter and Miss. Granger," Professor McGonagall said as she closed the door behind her. "Well I think congratulations are in order. I am pleased to see that two Gryffindors are Head Girl and Head Boy this year."
"Thank you Professor," Hermione stated politely. Harry simply gave a nod of his head.
"I will make this short and sweet so that you may leave and go back to your friends. Every Tuesday you will need to meet with me in my office at eight pm so that I may inform you of your duties for that week. You will need to patrol every night from ten pm till midnight. You will be able to take house points or send students to my office whenever you deem necessary. I hope that you will not misuse this privilege. You are to punish anyone out after curfew or anyone misbehaving. Are there any questions?" Professor McGonagall said.
"Yes, Professor," Hermione said, "Do you want us to patrol together or do we rotate?" Harry knew Hermione was going to ask something. Out of every class they had, she always has to ask something.
"You need to patrol together. I don't want any students walking around the school by themselves, and especially at night."
Great, now I got to spend my time with this geek every night, Harry thought to himself.
"OK then, Mr. Potter any questions?" Professor McGonagall said as she turned her attention to him. Harry noticed that Hermione had now turned to face him for the first time since he had walked in. He caught her eyes and something seemed to hit him, but just as suddenly as it came, it was gone. He turned back to Professor McGonagall and said, "No, I think I'm all good."
"Alright, well now that that is taken care of, you are allowed to leave and go join your friends," Professor McGonagall said. She turned and left the compartment. Harry got up, but was surprised when he saw Hermione pick up her book and begin reading. She didn't make any movement toward the door.
"Uh, are you not going to leave? McGonagall said we can go now," Harry stated the obvious. Why is she not leaving? Surely she has at least one friend.
Hermione didn't look up, but replied "I'm perfectly fine where I am, thanks." Harry shrugged his shoulders and immediately left the compartment.
The train pulled into Hogsmeade station and everyone filed out. Ron, Draco and Harry jumped into a carriage, ready to start the year.
They made their way into the Great Hall and took seats at the Gryffindor table. Harry looked around and noticed that Hermione was seated at the end of the table. Across from her sat Neville Longbottom. Dorks of a feather, flock together, Harry thought to himself as he smirked.
He turned his attention back up to where the teachers were gathered. He looked and noticed that Remus Lupin was back again to teach Defense against the Dark Arts classes. Harry was happy about this. Seeing as how Lupin was one of the marauders, and best friend to Harry's father, James, Harry had really taken to him and really enjoyed his classes.
The sorting took place, and when all the first years were seated with their correct houses, Dumbledore stood. The entire hall quieted down to listen to the Headmaster's speech.
"Welcome back everyone! It is good to see you all once again. I am sure this year will be a wonderful and great year. I have one announcement to make before we begin the feast," Dumbledore said and Harry heard Ron sigh beside him. "This year, we will have another Yule Ball, just like we did a few years back. The only difference is that this year, we are going to crown a king and a queen. Nominations will start in two weeks, and voting will continue until one week before the ball. Alright, now that I have said that, let's eat!" Dumbledore clapped his hands and the tables filled with food.
They all ate eagerly, especially Ron, and when everyone was done and stomachs were full, they all left to join their respective houses.
Harry walked down the corridor with Ron and Draco, heading for the Gryffindor common room.
"So Harry, seen Cho yet?" Ron said giving Harry a wink.
"No, I didn't see her at dinner, who knows where she is?" Harry replied with a solemn look. He was really looking forward to seeing her.
"Maybe she is arriving late," said Ron.
"Or maybe she is avoiding you," Draco added looking toward Harry. Harry's insides clenched at the thought. He hadn't even imagined that Cho would try to avoid him.
"Don't listen to him Harry, I'm sure she will turn up," said Ron, glaring at Draco, who just gave him a smirk back.
They walked into the portrait hole and took their seats in front of the fire. They were their regular seats, and everyone knew not to sit in them.
Harry, Ron and Draco, pretty much ruled the school. Every girl wanted to date them and every guy wanted to be them. Harry had Cho Chang, Ron had Lavender Brown, and Draco had Parvati Patil. They were the envy of all the students at Hogwarts and no one got in their way. They always got what they wanted.
After a few games of chess with Ron trying to get his mind off of Cho, Harry heard a commotion coming from the portrait hole. He looked over and in walked Cho, Lavender and Parvati.
Harry watched as they strutted in like the owned the school, well in a way they did. Everyone waited on them hand and foot.
Harry eyed Cho as she walked in wearing a short skirt that showed off her long, slender legs, a tight fitting shirt that was cut off to show her midriff. She wore black, high heels and her hair was flowing down her back. She was gorgeous, and every guy wanted her, but Harry had her.
He got up to meet Cho, but she didn't even look his way. She continued to walk over to the girls' dormitories.
Harry watched in disbelief as she ignored him. What is going on here?
"Well man, looks like you certainly got dissed," Draco said putting a hand on Harry's shoulder. Harry stared wide-eyed at the stairs.
"There has to be a good explanation. Maybe she's just tired and didn't really feel like talking," said Ron trying to give some comfort to Harry.
Harry turned to Ron and gave him a yeah-whatever look. He went back to sit on the couch, lost in his thoughts. He heard the whispers and gasps of shock around the common room, but ignored them. What is going on, why did Cho ignore me? Maybe she really didn't see me. Yeah, who are you trying to fool?
Just then, Ron tapped Harry on the shoulder and he turned around. Cho was coming down the stairs and over to Harry. Ok, see everything is fine.
Harry went to hug Cho, but she stopped short and stared at him. "Oh, Harry, I wanted to tell you. This…," Cho said pointing to the two of them. "…is not going to work. I'm sorry." Cho gave him a smile and turned to leave.
Everyone in the common room had quieted down, and was watching the pair intently.
Harry grabbed Cho by the shoulder and stopped her. She turned around to face him. "Wait just one damn second Cho, I think I deserve an explanation!" Harry was fuming. What the hell is happening here?
"Fine," Cho said, rolling her eyes. She moved to sit down on the couch and Harry sat beside her. "This summer my father had tickets to the Quidditch Cup, and of course, Bulgaria was playing. We went, and our seats happened to be right beside the owner of the Bulgaria Quidditch Team, Marco Skivitz. Well of course, he invited us to his party he was throwing that night at his mansion, and we went. There I happened to meet up with Viktor Krum, the seeker for Bulgaria," Cho said as her eyes got a dreamy expression.
"So you met Viktor, we met him in fourth year, what's the big deal?" Harry said not getting the point.
"I'm getting to that. Well in fourth year, he was still in school. Since he is out, he is able to do more promotion work and now he is filthy rich. And well, one thing led to another. That weekend was a blur, and look," Cho said turning so Harry could see the tattoo on her shoulder. Harry looked down and noticed it was a small picture of Krum's face. "He got me a tattoo." Cho finished and began looking at her nails.
"So you cheated on me with Krum?" Harry said angrily. He was annoyed at the whole situation. He looked like an idiot in front of everyone. He just couldn't believe this was happening.
"Well not technically. We weren't really together anyway. I mean, our relationship was really for show anyway. You didn't think that I would leave Hogwarts still dating you, did you?" Cho said as she began to laugh at the comment. Harry had a stoned expression on his face and Cho saw it. She stopped laughing and put a hand on his cheek. "Oh, you did! That's so sweet! But don't worry, Harry, I'll still go to the Yule Ball with you. I mean, we're gonna be crowned King and Queen, and it's only right if we go with each other!" She hugged him briefly and Harry tensed. He didn't hug her back. She smiled and jumped up, heading back to her dorm room.
The common room was in a dead silence when Harry looked up. They began busying themselves and looking as if they were not watching the scene that had just unfolded in the middle of the common room.
Draco came over and looked at Harry. "Seems someone just crashed and burned!"
"Don't worry about it mate, you don't need her," Ron said as he eyed his best friend warily. Harry didn't move; he was still trying to absorb what just happened.
"Yes he does need her. She made him what he is now!" Draco said.
"Whatever, I can turn any girl in this school into the Queen at the Yule Ball. I don't need Cho. With the right look, the right style, and the right boyfriend, a complete loser could rule over Cho any day!" Harry said coming out of his stupor. He didn't need Cho, and he was going to prove it.
"I feel a bet coming on," Draco smirked and Harry and Ron looked over at him. "I pick the girl and you have to turn her into the queen at the Yule Ball."
Harry looked at him and smirked. "Fine, it's a bet!" Harry said as he stuck his hand out to shake Draco's.
"Ron, you in?" Draco asked and Ron shook his head. "No, you two go have your fun, but keep me out of this!"
"Ok, now let's go shopping!" said Draco as he and Harry got up from the couch. They walked out of the portrait hole and down the corridors. Draco was pointing out potential candidates and Harry was going over them in his head.
They turned the corner and the door to the library swung open. Hermione Granger stepped out with a heavy bag over her shoulder and her arms piled with books. She began walking and tripped over her feet, falling flat on her face. She began picking up her books, oblivious to the two boys staring at her.
"Well, it looks like we have a winner!" Draco said, looking at Hermione still picking up her books. Harry's eyes widened.
"Oh, no, no, no," Harry said shaking his head. "Ugly, I can do, fat, workable, some kind of fungus, manageable, but Hermione Granger?"
"So, I guess that means you can't do it Potter!" Draco smirked and Harry turned to face him. He was not one to back down from a challenge, even if the possibility of him winning this one was slim to none.
"Harry Potter doesn't give in. Now, watch a master in action!" Harry said as he strolled over to Hermione, who was still trying to pick up her books.
Harry leaned down and started helping her. Hermione got up and looked at him. Harry held out the books and said, "Need some help carrying all those books?"
Hermione eyed him for a minute and said, "No, I got it. Thanks." She began to walk away and Harry stood in front of her.
"Hermione, I was thinking, maybe one day, me and you could...," Harry began but Hermione interrupted him.
"You're in my way," she simply stated, not looking him in the eyes.
"Oh, sorry," Harry said as he stepped out of the way. Hermione bustled past him.
"Hermione, I was wondering if you…," but Hermione didn't even acknowledge him, and she continued on her way. Harry looked around and noticed several people staring at him. "If you would embarrass me horribly in front of all these people," he muttered to himself, feeling rather embarrassed.
Draco came up behind him and said, "Smooth move, Potter!"
Harry stared at the retreating form of Hermione and said, "This is gonna be a lot harder than I thought!"