Harry knocked on the door to Professor McGonagall's office and steeled himself for what was bound to be a dour discussion with the old witch for something Harry couldn't even remember doing.
"Come in." He heard from inside the room. "Please, take a seat Mr. Potter. Now, I wanted to discuss the situation with the Quidditch captaincy. Surely by now you know that the season is starting."
“Oh, right. I'd nearly forgotten about that. Sorry to say this Professor, but I was thinking that maybe I might not join the team this year... What with all that happened in the battle with Voldemort, really I just want to relax for a while."
McGonagall couldn't hide her dismay at losing one of her best players in the team. She hoped that giving the Captain's Badge to Harry, he could create a team as good as before. But she wasn't going to give up yet. "Are you sure? This is your last year here. I'd expected you to take this badge without any hesitation. Please give it another thought before you decline it."
"I'm really sorry, Professor. I did think about it. Quite a few times, really. Choosing not to take it will be better for me in the long run. If it makes it any better, you could give it to Ron. You know as well as I do that he's crazy about Quidditch. He knows way more than I do. I apologize again, but I can't accept the badge."
The old witch supposed he was right in many things. And she knew well enough everything the courageous Gryffindor had to go through to have the peaceful life he was living right now. "Very well then. It saddens me to know I won't have one of, if not the, best player(s) in my House's team this year. I'm sure Ron will do a fine job as captain of the team."
"I have no doubt Ron will do an excellent job. Just give him some time and he'll manage. Is there anything else you needed to talk to me about, Professor?"
"No, you may leave to your class now. If you pass by the hospital wing, feel free to tell Ron about the good news. If it's not too much trouble, that is." McGonagall asked of Harry.
"No, not at all. I'll pass by before class. I'm sure Professor Lupin won't mind if I'm late." Harry smiled at the mention of his favorite professor. He was beyond happy when he found out he'd be coming back to teach on Harry's last year.
"Here's the badge. And Harry...thank you...for everything." McGonagall's tone was honest and Harry knew that "everything" entailed everything. For defeating Voldemort, therefore bringing peace to the magical world. Although there were still some Death Eaters lurking around, it was much better than how it was when there was a Dark Lord present. For saving Dumbledore when he was near death after their trek to The Cave in search of the locket. And as much trouble as he had gotten in throughout the years at Hogwarts, he was one of her favorite students to have and teach.
Harry wore a small, sincere smile as he grabbed the badge and responded to the professor's heartfelt thank-you. "It's not just me to thank. Everyone had a part in it. You and everyone else in this castle helped me defeat him. So I want to say thank you to you too." And with that, he walked out of Professor McGonagall's office, who now had teary eyes, trying to keep her emotions in check.
"Oh, if only you could see him now, James and Lily." She quietly spoke to herself. She very much wished Harry's parents could see how much of a powerful and noble wizard he had become.
As Harry entered the Hospital Wing, he was filled with joy at being able to inform Ron of his obtaining the Quidditch Captaincy. He remembered that his deepest, most desperate desire was to be Quidditch Captain. So with a bounce in his step, Harry walked up to Ron's bed and shook his shoulder slightly. "Ron, wake up. I've got good news!" But Ron was too busy mumbling in his sleep.
"Jenkins passes it to Gorgovitch...no need for a shot Gudgeon caught the Snitch!"
"CANNONS WIN!" Ron extended his arms as he sat up on his bed, exclaiming the Cannon's triumph. He accidentally managed to punch Harry in the face, not realizing it himself.
"Ow! Blimey, that hurt!" Harry had a hand to his nose, making sure nothing was broken. Fortunately, it only resulted in a nose bleed.
"What the bloody hell?! Harry, what happened to your nose?! It's bleeding!" Ron stated the obvious.
"Really, Ron? I hadn't noticed." Harry's tone dripped with sarcasm, just as his nose leaked with blood. "You punched me in the face! Is this how you normally wake up? Punching people, giving them nose bleeds?" Harry grabbed a nearby rag and placed it under his nose.
"Well, only sometimes. Sorry, Harry, but I had another dream! About the Cannons! They're like visions, but dreams. They're...dreasions! Harry, I'm absolutely, most certainly, bloody positive that this season...is the Cannon's season!" Ron claimed once more as he went on about his precious team.
"Yeah, well these ‘dreasions' are nothing compared to what I have to tell you. You’re officially the new Quidditch Captain!" Harry saw Ron's face go from blank, to momentary confusion, to realization.
"I'm the new Quidditch Captain..." Ron whispered in amazement. Another eye roll and he was back to laying on his bed.
Harry just shook his head, amused at how many times Ron had fainted so far today. He was happy for his friend. He deserved this. He didn't want to tell Ron that he was originally the captain of the team though. He probably wouldn't have taken it as well as he had. Harry knew all too well about Ron always coming second to best. Always being one-upped by his brothers and sometimes even by Ginny. But now Ron could be happy and if Ron was happy, then Harry was too. Realizing he was already late enough for his first class, he rushed out of the Hospital Wing, leaving the badge on Ron's table near his bed.
Professor Lupin didn't mention Harry's tardiness, thinking he most likely had a good reason to be late. Though the rag held to his nose caught his attention, yet he still didn't mention that either.
Hermione, though, had worry etched on her face. "Where have you been? What happened? What did Professor McGonagall want?" She asked question after question, not bothering about taking notes anymore.
"I was at her office. Wanted to talk to me about the Quidditch captaincy. I turned it down and gave it to Ron. I didn't tell him I declined, though. Just told him he was the new captain of the team. He then proceeded to faint." Harry explained as he brought out parchment, a quill, and some ink from his bag.
"What about your nose? Here, let me." Hermione took the rag from Harry, grabbed him by the chin and began dabbing his nose, ridding it of the blood.
Harry couldn't quite take his eyes off of her face. From such a close proximity, he could see the rosiness of her cheeks and the facial structure of her nose, eyes, her furrowed brows as she concentrated on his nose...her lips. "Umm...I got punched in the face." Harry was too busy studying her beautiful, honey eyes that he didn't bother to elaborate.
"You got punched?! By who?" Hermione accidentally applied more pressure to her dabs, angered at someone hurting Harry.
"Ow...it was only Ron. He woke up from a dream and accidentally landed one on me. Partly my fault for standing so close." Harry couldn't really blame Ron. He should have seen it coming, what with his dream.
"Oh, that idiot. He could have broken your glasses, possibly putting shards in your eyes. You wouldn't want to be blind now would you?"
"No, but you would have been there to fix my glasses like always." Harry gave a lop-sided grin at the couple times Hermione did her crafty spell work to fix his pair of glasses that always seemed to be broken.
Hermione softly smirked, also recalling the same memories. "Although true, you should know that simple spell by now. It's not that hard."
“I do, but then that'd ruin the fun in you being the one to always fix them, wouldn't it? Besides, I'd rather you do it than me. You were always good at the Mending Charm." Hermione slowed her dabbing and they began to stare into each other's eyes for the second time that day.
Hermione looked away and was about to notify Harry about the class's dismissal, but Professor Lupin beat her to it.
"Alright everyone, I will see you all at tomorrow's lesson." As everyone began to leave, Remus leaned on his desk, watching Hermione hand Harry the bloody rag so she could start packing her supplies. He saw so much of James and Lily in them that, frankly, it scared him. In a good way though. He just hoped they'd act on their obvious feelings towards each other. Anyone could see it. Even feel it. Their love for each other was simply overwhelming.
Hermione stood up, telling Harry she didn't want to be late to her next lesson and scurried out the door. Harry wasn't sure what he'd said to make her leave in a hurry. Had he said something bad? Was she annoyed at always having to fix his glasses? Or maybe she really didn't want to be late for her next class. Or maybe Ron was really wrong about everything. Harry should have known not to raise his hopes when it came to Ron's suppositions. Remus's voice made Harry jump as he made his way to the exit. "You shouldn't wait so long, Harry. Make your move before someone else makes it for you.”
Harry looked back at his Dark Arts professor, giving a nod at his advice. Professor Lupin’s words reverberated through his mind as he made his way to Charms.