The students return home on the Hogwarts Express after Voldemort was killed during the battle at Hogwarts.

“We’re almost there,” said Ron, peering out of the window for the third time. Harry, Ron, and Hermione could see the miniature outline of the King Cross Station in the distance. Hermione shook her head and looked at Harry in amusement.

“Just a bit more!” said Ron, loudly. He jumped in anticipation and collided with the top of the bunk. After saying a couple choice words, he began to rub his bruised forehead. Harry and Hermione just laughed.

“What?” said Ron, looking at the both of them.

Hermione replied, “We know that we are almost there. You don’t need to keep telling us, and by the way, don‘t get over excited: we’re going to meet the Dursleys.”

“What?” Harry shouted, “Who said that we are going there?”

Hermione glared at Harry and said, “I just did.”

“But why Hermione?” asked Harry, irritably.

“Because, Harry, they’re still your family. You’ve got to meet them one more time.”

Harry shook his head and said, “No, I won’t.”

Hermione bent closer to him, and replied, “Yes, you will!”

It happened all of a sudden. Before Harry realized it, he had risen his hand and gave Hermione a hard slap. The force of the slap caused Hermione to fall onto the floor. Harry looked in horror at Hermione.

“Hermione! Sorry. I didn’t… didn’t mean,” said Harry, stuttering. Before he could help her, Ron had already helped her to her feet. Ron drew out his wand and pointed it at Harry, “Just stay away from her, alright!”

But before Harry could say anything, Hermione burst into tears and left the compartment. Harry tried to follow her, but Ron stood in his way.

“You’ve got to get through me to get to her!” said Ron, furiously. Ron’s face was contorted with rage, turning a deepest shade of red.

“Ron, I don’t want to hurt you. Get out of my way. I just want to apologize…” replied Harry, anxiously trying to get past Ron.

“Hark! Look who’s talking!” said Ron, furiously, ”You make Malfoy look better at the moment.”

Harry looked at Ron, apparently in shock. Ron stowed his wand beneath his robes, pushed Harry, and left the compartment. Harry continued to stand there, defeated.

After a few moments, he sat down, covering his face with his hands. What had he done? He couldn’t believe what had just happened. He had never thought about hitting a girl, let alone Hermione: one of his best friends. Tears started to leak from his eyes.

Suddenly, Harry heard a calm voice speaking beside him. It was Luna Lovegood, another student in Harry’s year.

“Harry, what’s the matter?” questioned Luna.

Harry looked up at her. If it had been someone else speaking, he wouldn’t have replied. But Luna was different. She was a true friend. Harry, smiling weakly, said, “Hey, Luna. How are you?”

Luna put down her bag on a seat, saying, “I’m good. But what about you? I saw Ron and Hermione leaving the compartment a little while ago.”

Harry said, “I had accidentally…”

Before Harry could answer, the door slid open. It was Ginny, Ron’s younger sister and Harry’s girlfriend.

AuthorSean Palladino

Ginny entered the compartment, sitting down beside Harry. She looked at him, momentarily, before saying, "Harry! Why did you do that to Hermione? I know you couldn't have done that."

Harry didn't reply as he buried his face in his hands. Moments later, he heard the door slide open. Luna had left, leaving Ginny and him sitting alone. Ginny looked at Harry intently, but quite suddenly, the door slid open yet again.

Luna appeared with a glass of water in her hands. She gave it to Harry, taking the glass. Both Ginny and Luna looked at Harry, worriedly. While Harry drank the water, Ginny said, "Harry, please tell me."

Harry tried to cover his face again, but Ginny, stopping him, said, "Harry," she said, softly and lovingly.

"I don't know what got into me," Harry began, "And I don't know why I did it. It was like a kind of evil force had done it for me: trying to make me do something bad. I hope Hermione doesn't think I purposefully did that."

Ginny pressed Harry's hand more tightly, saying, "Don't worry. I've already told Hermione that you didn't mean to do it."

Harry looked up and said, "But how did you know I didn't mean to do it?"

Ginny smiled and said, "Well, who could know you better than me?"

Suddenly, the door slid open again. Dean Thomas, looking flustered, said, "Ginny, I got to... Hey, its Loony Lovegood! How are you Loony?"

Dean roared with laughter, while Ginny immediately whipped out her want and muttered, "Stupefy!"

Within a flash, Dean was thrown backwards and froze, instantaneously. Ginny said, quite furiously, "He's been following me ever since we left Hogwarts."

Harry looked at Ginny, surprised and wanting to say something commendable to her, but Luna said, "Ginny, you're great!"

Ginny gave a small nod and said, "Well, I'm going to go get changed. See you, Harry."

And without an ounce of delay, she gave him a kiss on the cheek and departed. Luna followed suit and left as well. However, momentarily after both Ginny and Luna left, an owl soared through the open window and obediently fluttered onto the seat. Harry untied and ripped open the letter attached to the owl, reading it fervently:


We have to talk to you about a few things. Please visit us as soon as possible.

Your aunt, Petunia Dursley

Harry couldn't believe that the Dursleys had sent a letter to him: let alone Petunia, Harry's aunt who despised his existence. Suddenly, and for the fifth time, the door slid open. Ron and Hermione walked into the compartment. Ron passed Harry, still looking angry, and sat on the furthest seat.

Hermione walked towards Harry and said, "Harry, I'm sorry! I shouldn't be forcing you to go to the Dursleys. It's all my fault!"

Harry shook his head and said, "Hermione, it's my fault. I just can't believe what I did to you. I'm really sorry."

Hermione chuckled, hugging him with tears still flowing down her eyes. Harry continued, "Well, anyway, you didn't need to force me. The Dursleys even want to see me. They've sent this letter."

And Hermione (and reluctantly, Ron) read the letter from Petunia Dursley.

AuthorSean Palladino