Chapter 81 - The Happy Ending?

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Everyone had gone off to do summer things and Hogwarts was all but empty. However, Harry and Draco had permission to stay so that Harry could get his lab worked out. They had plans to go and stay in Evergreen House, the place Harry had inherited from his grandparents and which they'd had refurbished, for a couple of weeks or so later on, but until then they had the run of the school.

Pansy's mother had taken very little convincing after a fire call from Draco. He had laid it on very thick about how Pansy was the only one who seemed to be able to cope with all the press attention he and Harry were getting now the war was over. However, Pansy had already proved her worth in making sure that all reporters knew, in no uncertain terms, that they had to go through her. Harry and Draco hadn't been remotely bothered since she took the job, leaving them to relax for the summer holidays.

Harry was enjoying clearing out the old classroom manually, as well as magically. It was good to be active. Draco, on the other hand, was not so much in favour of the hard labour, so Harry had let him do a lot of the wand work while Harry did most of the fetching and carrying, at least when it didn't need two people.

Whatever the explosion had been it had turned everything black and wrecked most of the furniture. The first few days had mostly been about emptying all the broken equipment out of the room and disposing of it. Draco had helped with the couple of benches that had still been intact, but Harry had done most of the rest of it by himself.

Draco had been in his potions classroom, playing with concoctions of his own.

Now that it was empty Draco was helping Harry once more, using his expansive knowledge of magic to help remove black from the walls, floor and ceiling. Unfortunately there were patches that were impervious to magical cleaning, which was why Harry also had a bucket and a scrubbing brush. He probably looked like he had been on the wrong end of the floo network, but he was enjoying himself.

Dropping the brush back into his bucket he admired the now white tiled wall. The tiles seemed to have a lot of magic running through them, probably to make them impervious to most magical substances, but also probably what had made them immune to any of Draco's spells. It would make a useful storage area once he started putting things back in the room.

"Ugh," Draco said from just behind him, "I think your bucket needs emptying again."

Harry looked down and had to agree with the assessment. The water was as black as Voldemort's soul.

[Okay?] Draco asked, at which point he realised that thought had caused a spike of anxiety to run through him.

It was par for the course these days, so he took a deep breath and let it flow away.

[Fine,] he replied and gave Draco a smile to back it up.

It was as he turned that he realised they had a visitor.

"Hermione," he said, smile growing, "what are you doing here?"

"Um, hi," she said, stepping into the room. "Wow, you two have done an amazing job so far."

"Mostly Harry, not me," Draco replied. "Malfoys do not do manual labour."

Draco was not as averse to mucking in as he pretended, but Harry let him get away with the illusion. Hermione smiled, of course, but there was something off about the way she was reacting. He lowered his barriers a little and discovered there were some things he'd never seen before. Hermione was glowing gold and giving off little gold sparks as well.

"To what do we owe the pleasure?" Draco asked. [What is it?]

Clearly Harry was letting Draco in on all of his reactions today. He didn't bother replying in words he simply showed Draco was he was seeing.

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