Chapter 27

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.

There was a flurry of activity as the students of Hogwarts boarded the train that would take them home. Prefects and Professors directed traffic, making sure no one got trampled. The sun shone down brightly on the proceedings, glinting off the top of the train.

Off to the side, Harry and Hermione stood together, watching the ordered chaos. Hermione had her trunk with her, but Harry had left his at the castle. He would not be going home on the train, for he had no home to go to. Instead he would be staying at Hogwarts for the summer, which he was more than happy about. Anything was better than returning to the Hospital, even sleeping on the streets of Hogsmeade.

Harry and Hermione stood and watched; time slowly trickling forward to the moment when they would have to part. Neither wanted the other to go, but it was an inevitability they had accepted.

Finally, as the last few students made their way onto the train, Harry turned to Hermione. 'I guess you need to get on the train now…'

Hermione nodded sadly. Tears tickled her eyes. Harry saw them and felt his heart ache. He desperately wanted her to stay with him, but knew it wasn't possible. So he decided to do his best to cheer her up.

'We'll see each other soon. A few short weeks. Then we'll be back together again. By that time, I'm sure I'll have found the Chamber of Secrets. And then we can be together for nearly a whole year. Just us.'

Hermione nodded again, firmed her face and forced a smile.

Harry was silent for a moment, before he met her gaze. 'I want you to remember something, okay? Every night, when you go to sleep, I want you to remember this. I love you, Hermione.'

Hermione ducked her head, cheeks flaming to life, but only for a moment. She looked back up within seconds and met Harry's waiting eyes. She pointed to her heart, then to his. I love you too, it said.

'You love me too?'

Hermione nodded.

Harry smiled. 'I'll remember that every night as well.'

Professor Snape appeared before them. 'You need to get on the train now, Miss Granger.'

Hermione nodded one last time. She grabbed her trunk and started to walk away. Harry watched her go silently, Snape standing by his side. Hermione made it all the way to the train before she froze on the spot. Instead of going up the steps and boarding the train, she instead dropped her trunk and rushed back to Harry. She stopped before him and looked him in the eye, blushing mightily. Then she reached out, quickly, and took his hand. She squeezed it once, as hard as she could. Harry grinned and squeezed back.

They stood like that for a few seconds, holding hands, before finally Hermione let go.

'See you soon, Hermione,' Harry said.

Hermione smiled, then rushed back to her trunk and boarded the train.

Harry and Snape stood on the platform until the train departed, disappearing behind the mountains.

'So, Potter,' Snape said, 'how do you fancy coming to live with me?'

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