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This One's For Paul

By aadixon

Drama / Romance

Chapter One

“Where are you off to?” asked Hermione, arms folded and tapping her left foot.

Harry stood there in the middle of the common room staring at his bushy haired friend. His mouth sat slightly open and he was clearly hiding something under his robes. He had been headed for the portrait hole when Hermione had entered from the girl's dorm.

“Just off to the Prefect's bathroom, Hermione.” replied Harry, finally recovering though not convincingly. “Dunno if it's any of your concern, but the password is still the same as last year and that's really none too clever for your Prefect lot. Plus, I do share a dorm with Ron, Neville, Seamus, and Dean. With Seamus acting like a right foul git and Ron spending hours 'washing up', one really doesn't get much privacy.”

“Privacy?” repeated Hermione, raising an eyebrow and uncertain now if she wanted to know.

“Leave the sewage thoughts for Ron's washing time, Hermione.” said Harry, causing Hermione to blush. “First Cedric dies, then Voldemort returns, then the trial, Dumbledore's avoiding me, I'm having very strange dreams, and now Umbridge is making the only class I ever truly enjoyed a living hell. I'm having a hard time dealing and need a little time to clear my head; that's all.”

“Harry, I know that things have been really hard for you, but I've noticed that it's only on Friday nights that you disappear for hours at a time.” retorted Hermione.

“It's the end of the week, Hermione.” said Harry simply. “I never can seem to manage a decent week anymore and by the time Friday night arrives I'm ready to scream.”

“Harry, I'm here for you.” said Hermione, allowing herself to smile. “If you need someone to listen, just say the word and you'll have my undivided attention.”

“You're a good friend, Hermione.” said Harry, smiling and placing a hand on her shoulder that caused her to shiver. “I hope you know how much you mean to me, but right now I just need to get away.”

“I understand, Harry.” replied Hermione, reaching up and covering his hand with her own. “You mean a lot to me too.”

Harry continued to smile as he pulled his hand away and headed for the portrait hole. He looked back at Hermione, still smiling, as he exited the common room. The place where his hand had been felt cold now, as though it missed the warmth.

Hermione made up her mind in an instant and bolted out the portrait hole after him. She rounded the corner of the fifth floor just in time to see him entering the Prefect's bathroom which was directly across from the statue of Boris the Bewildered. She crept up to the door, then hesitated. She knew the password, of course, but entering it now meant that she'd be in there alone with Harry. Something about that thought made her stomach flutter.

After a few painful minutes she decided that if he wasn't decent, or being decent, she'd turn and leave immediately. However, the thought that he might be sitting in there crying was more than she could bare.

“Pine fresh.” whispered Hermione and the door slid open silently.

Hermione slowly slipped inside, cautiously looking around; ready to hide her eyes at any moment. The sounds of rustling garments caught her attention first, before she saw Harry stuffing his school robes into a black duffel bag then hiding it in a nearby stall. He was wearing what looked to be modern Scottish attire, complete with a tartan kilt. The noticeable thing that was missing was a shirt. A tartan placid was all that adorned his upper torso. She blinked several times to make sure that she wasn't hallucinating. While this look for Harry was indeed strange, she also felt it wasn't unpleasant looking either.

She slid behind a nearby pillar and watched as Harry walked over to a small cupboard and pulled out a Muggle whiskey bottle. She could not believe that Harry had turned to drink, but she also presumed that it could explain the attire. She watched as he held the bottle at arms length then withdrew his wand from inside the sporran pouch and tapped the bottle three times with it's tip. Instantly, the bottle began glow blue before Harry and the bottle ported away.

Hermione stepped out from behind the pillar, staring at the spot where Harry had just stood moments before. She could not comprehend what she had just seen. Harry had just used an illegal portkey to leave Hogwarts. Her mind was moving a thousand kilometers a minute trying to figure a way to find Harry, then suddenly she had a very long shot idea. She knew that it would reaching, but she could not think of anything else.

“DOBBY!” shouted Hermione, hoping the tiny elf would answer her call.

CRACK

“Miss Harmony called for Dobby?” asked the tiny house-elf, bouncing up and down; his tennis ball eyeballs wide.

“It's Hermione actually, and yes I called for you.” replied Hermione. “I need to ask you a question Dobby, but you must swear not to repeat this to another soul.”

“Of course, Miss Hermione. Dobby will not tell a soul.”

“First, has Harry confided in you about where he is?” asked Hermione.

“Yes miss.” replied Dobby, looking nervous. “Master Harry made me promise not to tell anyone.”

“Not to worry Dobby, I'm not going to ask you to break your promise. I was just going to go with him, but I didn't make it here in time.” said Hermione, hoping her lie was convincing.

“Oh no.” said Dobby sounding worried. “Master Harry will be very disappointed.”

“It's okay, Dobby.” said Hermione. “I'll just go with him next time.”

“Not to worry, miss. Dobby can take you there!” sang the tiny elf. “Dobby will have to take you to the alley though, as Dobby isn't allowed inside. Dobby cannot be seen by Muggles.”

“That's fine, Dobby.” said Hermione, her mind racing as to where Harry might be.

“Miss also might want to change clothes as not to draw Muggle attention.” said Dobby.

Hermione thought for a moment as to how Harry had been dressed, then transfigured her robes into a purse, her skirt into a tartan, and her trainers into open-toed sandals with a three inch heel for some added height. She untucked her blouse, discarded her tie, placed her wand in her purse, then looked in the mirror. Pleased with her appearance she turned back to Dobby.

“I'm ready, Dobby.” said Hermione.

Before Hermione could say another word, Dobby grasped her hand and they Apparated together out of Hogwarts. She felt as though her body had been squeezed through a straw before her feet met the wet pavement.

“Here you go, miss.” said Dobby. “Master Harry will be so happy to see miss.”

“Thank you, Dobby.” said Hermione, wondering if Harry would share the tiny elf's enthusiasm.

Dobby bowed low before a loud, CRACK, marked his departure. Hermione looked around nervously to see that she was standing outside of a pub. As she exited the alley she looked up to see a sign hanging above the pub entrance that read, 'The Knot'.

Gathering her courage, she marched up to the door, wrenched it open and walked inside. Immediately, she was met by a large man blocking her way.

“May I see your ID?” asked the man in a thick Scottish accent.

“Oh damn.” hissed Hermione. “I changed so fast I forgot my ID. Um, my beau, Harry, is here and he can vouch for me. If you'll just let me go get him I'll let you buy me a drink later.”

“Your beau is Harry James?” asked the man skeptically.

'Harry James', she thought to herself. 'He's using his middle name as his surname?'

“Why yes.” replied Hermione. “You know him then?”

“Yeah, and I also know that he's underage as well.” said the man, chuckling. “You'd better hurry. He's getting ready to go on stage.”

“Uh, thanks.” said Hermione uncertainly.

Hermione moved past the still chuckling man and into a packed pub. The crowd was a ruckus one and she could see the stage to the far left where there looked to be a rock band setting up. All the band members were wearing kilts and placids just like Harry had been before he ported away.

“Lassies and lads!” yelled a man as he took the mic. “Are you ready to ROCK?”

The crowd roared in appreciation.

“Here they are again! Those Scottish rockers, The Chips, with their new lead singer, Harry James!”

Hermione watched in pure shock as Harry took the mic from the man then raised his free hand in a fist to the crowd; extending his thumb, index, and pinky fingers.

(Music Begins: Bagpipes, Drums & Electric Guitar)

Harry begins to sing:

I'm a major minority, I can tell the government lies

Long as they don’t compromise my infernal disguise

Cold water is all around, is this what it feels like to drown

Ain't no body to pull me out, it feels like I'm going down

(Bagpipes lead interlude)

White magic hypocrisy

Forced to follow the rules

And there ain't no places to fit us in

Cause it's been this way all along

I do what I want

Whenever I like

Because it's my right

I don’t ever want to do what I'm told

It's getting old

And this is how my life’s been turning out

(Electric Guitar leads interlude)

I do what I want

Whenever I like

Because it's my right

I don’t ever want to do what I'm told

It's getting old

And this is how my life’s been turning out

I do what I want

Whenever I like

Because it's my right

I don’t ever want to do what I'm told

It's getting old

And this is how my life’s been turning out

I do what I want

Whenever I like

Because it's my right

I don’t ever want to do what I'm told

It's getting old

And this is how my life’s been turning out

For… me…

(Music Ends)

Hermione pushes her way towards the stage as the band takes a bow to the roaring crowd. Just as Harry takes another bow, his mouth splits into a very toothy grin as he spots her. He quickly signals to the band requesting a minute, then hops down from the stage to greet Hermione; his kilt flapping a little.

“How in Merlin did you get here?” asked Harry, eying her outfit.

“I tricked Dobby into bringing me, then I told the man at the door you were my beau.” replied Hermione, smiling wryly.

“How did you know that Dobby –” began Harry, then stopped and smiled. “Most brilliant witch ever!”

The man that introduced the band made his way over to Harry and Hermione.

“Excuse me miss.” said the man, nodding to Hermione. “Harry me lad, your fans are waiting!”

“Come up on stage with me!” said Harry, turning to face Hermione; a wild look in his eyes. “You don't have to sing if you don't want to, but be there with me!”

“Harry!” shouted Hermione.

“None of the lads here will mind, miss.” said the man with a wink.

Before Hermione could argue, Harry took her by the hand and ran back onto the stage. Wolf whistles filled the pub as the drummer shouted, “Fair better to look at than you, Harry!”

“ONE, TWO, ONE TWO THREE!” shouted Harry.

(Music Begins: Bagpipes, Drums, & Electric Guitar)

Laughing, Harry pulls Hermione tight to his side and begins to sing:

The voice will carry 'cross the water.

You can hear it if you try.

Our message rides along the rising tide,

Clear to the other side.

The message echoes through the valleys.

Reflecting off the mountains high.

Out over deserts, through the canyons deep.

Here's a gift for you to keep.

Here is a message in the song

Tell you the message, sing along.

Let's pull together now and every time.

There's a chance we will survive

(Electric Guitar leads interlude)

The message speaks in every city,

In every village, every town.

To all that worry of this troubled way.

We can change it all today.

Here is a message in the song.

Tell you the message, sing along.

No need to question 'cause we all know why

We can change it if we try.

(Bagpipes & Electric Guitar lead)

Here is a message in the song

Tell you the message, sing along.

Let's pull together now and every time.

There's a chance we will survive

Become one,

Become one,

Become one,

Become one,

Become one,

Become one,

Become one,

Become one,

Become one,

Become one …................

(Music Ends)

Harry threw his other arm around Hermione, tilted her back, and kissed her. Instinctively, Hermione wrapped her arms around his neck as her mind completely shut down. Time, place, and every other sense of reality fell away. How long they stayed like that; how long the crowd shouted their approval and whistled; how his placid got to be around her torso instead of his were all a mystery to her. The only thing she knew for sure was that she never wanted it to end.

When they finally broke apart the band had began playing another song, which Harry holding her tightly to his side began singing as though they hadn't missed a beat. Hermione's mind was on fire, along with the rest of her. She even began singing with him on the chorus to his delight.

It was several hours before The Chips were finished for the night; Harry and Hermione singing out the rest of the songs together. Harry then introduced Hermione to the band as Hermione Jean. She felt that they were a good lot, but couldn't wait to get Harry back to Hogwarts so she could properly interrogate him; that is after they finished snogging some more. They bid goodnight to the band, went around back to retrieve Harry's portkey, then ported away back to Hogwarts.

The moment they landed in the Prefect's bathroom, Harry wrapped Hermione in his arms and began to kiss her passionately. She responded in turn, hoping that this wasn't just some mental dream. When they broke apart again, Harry didn't let go, but instead pulled her into a tight hug; burying his head in her bushy hair. He was crying now, and Hermione hugged him as tightly as she could.

“What's wrong, Harry?” whispered Hermione. “You can tell me anything. You know that.”

“Sorry.” sniffed Harry. “Just being mental, I guess. Just figured I'd be alone as long as I lived, and after the graveyard I haven't figured on having much more time left.”

“Don't talk like that, Harry.” said Hermione, forcing him to look at her. “I'll always be here for you and Voldemort isn't going to kill you.”

“How can you be so sure that he won't kill me?” asked Harry bewildered.

“Cause we're going to defeat him or get away from him altogether.” replied Hermione. “We'll figure it out and we'll be together forever, I promise.”

“How can you promise that?” asked Harry.

“You said it yourself. I'm the most brilliant witch ever.” replied Hermione smiling.

~0~

Hermione continued to accompany Harry back to The Knot every Friday night until six months later she realized that Harry's strange dreams were because he had some kind of unnatural connection with Voldemort. She convinced him to go to St. Mungos using the patient privacy act that protected cursed witches and wizards, where they discovered the horcrux. After two days of intense rituals, the horcrux was successfully removed from Harry followed by five more days of rest.

Dumbledore was brought in by the DMLE and questioned heavily by Madam Bones. Dumbledore avoided any punishment for his oversights with Harry's well-being, but was forced to step down from his post as Headmaster of Hogwarts. Professor Umbridge assumed the post of Headmistress for a brief period of time before being found incompetent in the post and replaced by Professor McGonagall.

Harry only returned to Hogwarts, after he left St. Mungos, long enough to gather up his belongings and bid farewell to his mates. Hermione did the same, for she had convinced her parents to leave with her and Harry for destinations unknown; the Bahamas. Madam Bones had agreed that since Harry and Hermione would be leaving Britain permanently, the trace would be quite illegal and removed it from both of them. The Bahamaian magical government provided protective wards for Harry and the Granger family so that neither Voldemort or Dumbledore could ever find them. They also extended asylum to Sirius Black so that he could join Harry and the Grangers.

Dumbledore, unable to rely on Harry to stop Voldemort, defeated Voldemort in an intense battle that eventually led to the demise of both parties. Following the battle, all of Voldemort's followers were rounded up and captured, leading to a unanimous vote in the Ministry of Magic that reinstated capital punishment.

On Harry's seventeenth birthday he proposed to Hermione, with the blessing of her father, who accepted enthusiastically. One year later they flew The Chips out from Britain to the Bahamas to sing for their wedding. Harry and Sirius started a very lucrative map making company, Never Lost Inc, that guaranteed safe travels to all witches and wizards that visited; taking into consideration the privacy of strangers by limiting the Marauder's characteristics to only the person or groups purchasing. The map company soon spread to include all of North and South America. Hermione went on to write thirty books on the magical and muggle world while her parents simply retired to the 'Good Life'.

Thirteen years later their oldest child, James, received his acceptance letter to Hogwarts. Harry replied with a resounding 'NO' before torching the letter. He and Hermione would home school their four boys and three girls in magic. As Harry had said more than once, Hermione was indeed the most brilliant witch ever.


The End



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