Chapter 14

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Harry Potter belongs to J.K. Rowling. Blah blah blah. should just put a blanket disclaimer on the site for all the idiots that could possibly believe we actually own these stories or make any kind of a profit.

So far, Harry had suffered no consequences after setting fire to Malfoy's robe, but then, it had only been two days since the event had taken place. The story had spread, as they do, and now most of Hogwarts had heard about it. Harry was expecting being dragged off to the Headmaster's office any day now.

Even Hermione had heard about it. She wasted no time in asking him about it during their next study session.

Did you really set fire to that boys robe? She looked concerned as she scribbled out the quick question.

'Yup, I did,' Harry had no problem admitting it.

Hermione pursed her lips, and then wrote: You shouldn't have done that.

'Why?' Harry didn't wait for a response. 'Malfoy's a jerk. He was provoking me. I had to teach him a lesson.'

So you set his robes on fire? Why didn't you just tell Professor Snape? I'm sure he would have taken care of it. Hermione's brow was furrowed in consternation. Harry thought it was pretty cute.

'I don't need Snape to fight my battles for me. Besides, it wouldn't have worked. If I did that, they'd all think they could push me around and not have to suffer the consequences. I'm sorry, but I won't let anyone bully me.'

Hermione lowed her head in thought. Harry could tell she was worried about him, so he tried his best to appease her concern.

'It'll be okay,' he said. 'I'll probably get a slap on the wrist or something. No big deal.'

Hermione didn't look convinced. Her bottom lip was trembling as she wrote out a new message: It's not just that Harry. He could have been seriously hurt. You can't just, she paused, quill hand shaking, burn things you don't like.

Harry understood. She wasn't just talking about his actions against Malfoy. She was talking about the fire. Finally, that topic was going to come up.

'I was wondering when you'd bring that up,' he said.

I don't want to, Hermione wrote. I, but she couldn't find the right words, and simply sat there, quill poised, tears forming in her eyes.

'Hermione,' Harry said, softly, 'I'm sorry. You're right. I probably shouldn't have set fire to Malfoy's robes. No matter how much he deserved it. Please don't be upset with me.'

Hermione wiped at her eyes. Okay.

'Friends still?'

Of course!

Harry smiled. 'Hey,' he said, and winked, 'at least I put him out though right?'

Hermione ducked her head and smiled. Not funny, she wrote, but Harry could tell she didn't mean it.

There was a momentary silence. Then Harry said, slowly, 'do you want to talk about the fire?'

No. Not yet.

'Aren't you curious?'

Yes, but I trust you.

'Why? I mean, it's great that you do, but why do you trust me?'

I don't know. I just do.

Harry nodded. Opened his mouth, then shook his head, grabbed the parchment, and wrote: Thank you, with a smiley face.

Hermione giggled.

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