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