Chapter 9: Back to Hogwarts

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The Awakening Power

by Sib

Chapter 9: Back to Hogwarts

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Harry walked about his room gathering his belongings, feeling a bit melancholy. He was packing his trunk in preparation for the return to Hogwarts, but unlike his previous years, he was feeling gloomy about leaving the Weasleys' home. He looked at his Pensieve sitting on his desk, reflecting on the eventful summer.

For the first time, the Weasleys' house had really felt like a home to him. All his life Harry had wished for a place like this, where he felt comfortable and wanted. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley had gone far out of their way to make him feel like he belonged, and he appreciated it more than they could ever know. Harry wished he could help them out financially, but knew there was no way they would ever accept it.

As he carefully packed his Pensieve into his trunk, he pondered on the other factor that made him want to stay. Returning to Hogwarts meant returning to the reality of his life. Although he had felt burdened by his problems during the summer, the Burrow had felt like an oasis where his troubles were an issue for another day.

He knew that when he returned to the school, he would start getting all the attention and all the looks that he got every year, except this year would be even worse with all the events at the Ministry. He wasn't certain what the reaction would be, but it was sure to get him even more unwanted attention.

Of course, he also had to deal with the fact that he would be unable to take advanced Potions. He had thought about at least asking Snape for permission to take the class, even though he was certain Snape would turn him down. It was worth a shot, at least.

He sighed as he packed the last of his clothes into his trunk and closed the lid. He put his Firebolt next to the trunk so that it would be ready to go.

Looking at his broom reminded him of Quidditch practice this summer. Ron's new broom from last year had performed well, but Harry could tell Ginny was frustrated by her old broom's lack of performance. The previous season had been hard on it, and it tended to shudder and list when pushed too hard. She didn't say anything, of course, since she was used to her family's lack of money. Harry knew she would never complain about it.

An idea had started forming in his head when Mrs. Weasley bellowed up the stairs. "Hurry up you lot! Come down to breakfast, or you're going to be late for the train!"

The yell shook him out of his reverie and into action. He started walking through his door, but just as his body crossed the threshold, a loud fwoom sounded and he had an odd feeling as if a wind had just blown through his body.

He stopped, wondering what had just happened as he stood in the corridor outside the bedroom. Just then, Ginny walked out of her own room. She suddenly stopped, eyes wide, and pointed at him.

"Harry! Look at yourself!" she managed to say, before she broke down in a cascade of loud laughter.

Harry looked down at himself and saw that he had red and gold stripes spiraling down his body. He looked like a giant Gryffindor barber pole.

Hermione came out of the Ginny's room as Ron came down the stairs. "What's all the commotion abo–" Ron abruptly cut off, stunned at the sight of Harry. He started laughing hysterically, dropping to the floor holding his stomach.

Hermione had her hand over her mouth, trying not to laugh, but was failing miserably. "Oh, Harry, I'm sorry, but..." Her words collapsed into giggles. Harry burned with embarrassment.

Ron pulled himself together long enough to say, "H – Harry, I just need a little off the top and the sides..." and then collapsed into laughter again, rolling on the floor. Ginny and Hermione laughed even louder. Harry had to admit it was pretty funny and started laughing himself.

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