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Back to Hogwarts
Harry's last night in Hermione's house passed in a daze for the young ghost. As soon as the Granger family had reached their home, Hermione ran up the stairs and slammed the door of her room, collapsing on her bed and sobbing herself to sleep. Mr. and Mrs. Granger had had the dubious honour of entering the guest room and sorting through Harry's things. Of course, the boy himself wasn't happy about strange people rummaging through his personal belongings, but there was nothing he could do about it. After watching the pair pack up the now redundant trunk for a while, Harry drifted off through a wall and floated through the house aimlessly.
Later in the night, after unsuccessfully trying to shut his mind down in some sort of sleep, Harry was becoming frustrated. He now knew how insomniacs felt. Wandering aimlessly around the house was far from interesting, especially since he couldn't touch anything. Normally he would have tried to sleep through the night to at least alleviate the boredom, but unfortunately ghosts didn't sleep.
After what must have been his sixth pass through the kitchen, Harry threw himself into a chair and crossed his arms in resignation. There was nothing to do. He couldn't read a book, he couldn't watch television, and he couldn't listen to music or talk to anybody. As he thought about it more, he realised that maybe he should have just stayed with his parents and Sirius. Despite the intense urge he felt to help his friends, he knew that he was useless. He couldn't study and find a way to defeat Voldemort if he couldn't pick up books. He couldn't even wield the magic he supposedly had. He was useless.
In the early hours of the morning, Harry finally made a decision. If he couldn't touch anything, he would just have to learn. That's what he was there for after all. He would be going to Hogwarts later that day, and there he would find someone to help him. Normally he would go to Dumbledore, but this time the Headmaster wasn't an option because he wouldn't see or hear Harry. The same went for the other living occupants of the school. The ghosts, however .
Harry suddenly sat up from his slumped position in shocked realisation. He was going to Hogwarts in a few hours, and it was full of ghosts. Granted, they weren't the same type of ghost as he was, but they were more likely to be of help. They might be able to teach him how to become visible and communicate with the living. And Peeves could touch things .
Feeling a lot happier than he had earlier, Harry closed his eyes, a small smile on his face, and planned for the day to come.
Harry was brought from his contemplative state by the sounds of movement above him. A smile on his face, he realised that it was finally morning, and Hermione would be getting ready to go to school. Standing up, he drifted out of the kitchen and up to the guest bedroom, taking a seat on his trunk as he waited for the Granger family to get ready for the day and head down to breakfast. He thought the guest room was the safest place for him. After all, he didn't want to accidentally see one of them changing or showering.
When he heard them heading downstairs for breakfast, he floated through the ceiling and into the kitchen below. He still found the sensation of passing through things a little disturbing, but he was fast becoming used to it. As the Grangers took their seats at the table, Harry could see the effect his death had had on them. They all sported dark shadows under their eyes from a restless night's sleep. Hermione's mother looked pale and drawn, and her father seemed a little shaky. Hermione herself was a wreck. Her hair was unkempt and her clothes wrinkled. Her hands shook slightly as she lifted her glass of orange juice, and her face was pale and blotchy. Her eyes were red rimmed and bloodshot, showing she had been crying.
As Harry took in their appearances, especially that of his friend, he felt guilt twisting in his stomach. He had done this to the normally bright and smiling girl. He had hurt her so badly. If he didn't have a `saving people thing', then he would still be alive now, and his friend wouldn't be suffering. It was all his fault. As usual.
By the end of breakfast, Harry was felling rather depressed. He became lost in thought for a while, almost missing the Grangers leaving the house for the station. With a start, he leapt up and followed Mr. Granger out of the house and jumped into the car next to Hermione.
The ride to King's Cross was silent. Harry spent the time trying to make contact with his friend. As silent tears began to trail down her cheeks, he rested one transparent hand on her leg and the other one her head, stroking her hair gently as he whispered comforting words in her ear. She didn't seem to know he was there, but like the night before she calmed slightly. Harry knew that he was far from full communication, but it was a start at least.
King's Cross station was packed as it was every September 1st. Wizards and Muggles alike were milling around with trolleys full of bags, boxes and trunks. In the vicinity of Platform 9¾ there were a large number of trolleys sporting Hogwarts school supplies, cats, toads, and owls. The noise was rather loud, especially when people stepped onto the hidden platform. As Harry reached the entrance into Platform 9¾ he became slightly nervous. Walls and floors were easy to pass through. Magical barriers, though, were another thing. As he walked through the barrier, he felt the strangest sensation. It was as if the wall was crackling with static electricity, and he felt the slightest hint of resistance as he passed through it.
Strange, he muttered to himself when he reached the other side, before shaking his head and boarding the train.
Once on the train, he wandered around, watching the students bustle into their compartments and greet the friends they had not seen for several months. Many of the compartments he passed, though, had solemn looking people in them, some of which were crying.
Seems like the news is out, he said to himself after passing the compartment containing a gloating Malfoy.
Finally, he reached the last compartment, and looking inside he saw Hermione, Ron, Ginny and Luna Lovegood. Luna, as usual, had a dreamy look on her face, and her nose in an upside down copy of the Quibbler. The other three were all talking quietly to each other. Ginny and Hermione looked as if they had been crying again, and even Ron had bloodshot eyes. Harry made his way inside and sat down in one of the spare seats, listening intently to his friends' conversation.
Did you see the Daily Prophet this morning? Ron was saying, There was a ten page article about Harry. It was awful, actually.
What did it say? Hermione asked, I never renewed my subscription after fourth year.
Well, the whole of the front page was the news of Harry's death, he told her with a slight sob, It said about the Death Eater attack and the wall collapsing. Then the next three pages were about DE attacks in general, followed by a summary of Harry's life, and all his Hogwarts adventures. Then we had a page and a half of commiserations and well wishers at the Prophet leaving messages.
That's awful! Hermione gasped, How are the rest of your family taking it?
Mum's the worst, Ginny said, She's upset all the time. Any little thing will set her off, and she just breaks down and cries. Dad's holding it together for her sake, but we can see he's just as upset as she is. The twins are unhappy as well. I've never seen them so somber.
It's to be expected, though, the bushy haired girl said, I mean, Harry was such a big part of our lives. We took for granted the fact that he was the Boy-Who-Lived-Through-Everything. None of us ever expected him to die. He always seemed so infallible.
It's not like he's gone, Luna spoke up, surprising the others, who had forgotten she was there.
What do you mean? Ginny asked the odd girl.
He's still here. He hasn't finished his task, she said in her dreamy voice, before turning her attention back to the magazine she was reading.
Harry was rather shocked at the younger girl's words. It was as if she knew he was here, and why. Thinking it over, he realised that he wasn't actually that surprised. Luna had always been a mystery, believing in things that any normal person would laugh at. Maybe they had all underestimated her. Taking the initiative, he leaned forward in his seat and rested his ghostly hand on her arm.
Luna? Can you hear me?
She didn't answer him, but at the contact he saw a shiver pass through her body, as if something cold had touched her. Before he could investigate further, though, the door to the compartment was roughly pulled open, startling all of the occupants.
Well, well, well, if it isn't the Mudblood and Weasel. Oh, and not forgetting the Weaslet and Loony Lovegood, came a sneering voice from the door.
What do you want, Malfoy? Ginny sneered.
Wow, the Weaslet has spunk. Just came to see how the Golden Trio is doing now that Potter got himself killed. Not that it's a great loss
Shut up Malfoy, Hermione said coldly, while restraining Ron, who had turned an interesting shade of burgundy, You're not welcome here. Take your snide comments and leave us alone.
Really, Granger, what sort of a threat is that? Anyway, you can threaten all you like, but with Pothead out of the way the Dark Lord will pick of Muggle lovers and Mudblood scum in no time, and guess what. You're top of the list!
Harry was becoming angry. How dare Malfoy gloat when his friends were in pain? It was sick, and he wouldn't stand for it. As the irritating blond continued to spout his insults, the anger was building in Harry and he felt a strange power gathering in his palms. Suddenly, it was too much for him to hold in and with a shoving motion of his hands, there was a huge flash of lavender light and Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle were blasted out of the door by a shockwave of energy. The ghost boy's anger drained away as he joined his friends in looking at the scene in utter confusion.
W-what was that? Ginny asked, frightened.
I don't know, Hermione said, It came out of nowhere.
It was purple! Ron gasped, amazed, No magic I know of is purple.
Purple is the colour of soul magic, Hermione whispered, for once not having a full explanation for what was going on. The group lapsed into silence, Ginny pulling the door to their compartment shut on the three unconscious Slytherins.
In the corner, Harry was having a small panic attack. He didn't know how he had done it. One minute he had been full of rage at the Prince of Slytherin, the next minute there had been a flash of light and they had been blasted backwards. He knew he had been responsible, and he was still a little awed at the power he had shown, but because he didn't know how he had done it, he couldn't replicate the effect. Harry spent the rest of the journey thinking over the incident and trying to find a way to control his power.