Harry Crow

What will happen when a goblin-raised Harry arrives at Hogwarts. A Harry who has received training, already knows the prophecy and has no scar. With the backing of the goblin nation and Hogwarts herself. Complete.



11. Best Friends Forever

The classroom door opened though most of the room's current occupants didn't notice they now had a visitor. Padma and Neville were practically dead on their feet, exhaustion clearly visible in their features. Hermione was certainly flushed and tired but Harry hardly looked out of breath. Bill was finishing their first lesson by hammering his point home. "The fitter you are, the longer you can last in a fight. It just may be the difference between getting away or being seriously hurt. That is why we will practice, practice, and practice again."

Hermione was breathing heavily, knackered from dodging spells and her repeated attempts to cast a strong shield - and she hadn't yet learned one spell to fight back with. She was flustered, sweaty and certainly not a happy young witch. "Professor Weasley, what if I just take out a gun and shoot the bad guy?"

It was Hermione's idea of a joke, thinking of her favourite scene from 'Raiders of the Lost Ark', but the person who'd just entered didn't take it as such. Dumbledore didn't think it was funny at all. "MISS GRANGER! Firearms are abhorrent to the magical community, anyone using one against a witch or wizard would see themselves shunned by magical society. They should never be used."

Hermione couldn't believe what she was hearing so asked the headmaster for clarification. "My father is a member of a shooting club, he could put a couple of bullets into you from one hundred yards away in the time it takes to cast a shield. Are you saying this is wrong?"

"I do not doubt your facts," Dumbledore said this in such a condescending manner that it was clear he didn't believe this feat was possible. "All I am saying is what would happen if you - a witch - were to use this abomination on someone else."

"And just who makes up these rules?" Hermione didn't wait for an answer but turned to Harry, wanting to hear the only opinion that mattered to her.

Harry's answer showed his inexperience with relationships, best friends or any other kind. "Goblins like to look their opponents in the eye before they kill them."

Hermione could actually feel the smugness radiating from Dumbledore, even though the headmaster was currently behind her. Her lip was trembling at what she perceived as Harry's betrayal. "I'll tell you what Harry, while you're looking into Voldemort's eyes, I'll shoot the mad bastard in the head. I don't care if no one ever speaks to me again, at least you will be alive. If you let others set the rules, you'll be dead - because Voldemort certainly won't let any stupid rules stop him getting what he wants."

With that, Hermione ran out the door in tears.

Harry looked to Neville for some clue as to what had just happened, his friend shrugged his shoulders as he had no help to offer. "Harry, I don't even know what a gun is?"

Padma just about managed to find enough breath to huff at Harry. "It doesn't matter what a gun is, she was right and you were wrong. Now get after Hermione and tell your best friend that - you moron!"

It was a worried Harry who shot out the room after Hermione.

Albus as usual was able to turn any situation to his advantage. "As it would appear your lesson is now over, could I have a private word with your professor?"

It might be a polite dismissal, but Padma and Neville still knew they were being dismissed.

Bill had already decided he wouldn't make any of this easy for the old man. He'd talked over with Barchoke the best way to handle this approach and they both agreed Dumbledore would expect to have to wear the Gringotts employee down - so that's what Albus was going to have to do. He decided to make it as awkward as possible right from the start. "It will have to be a quick word Albus, I have places to be and things to do this afternoon."

Albus hated having to rush these kind of discussions, where was the room for finesse in that? As William was currently putting on his cloak and getting ready to leave, he really had no other option. "You seem to enjoy teaching and I was wondering just how attached you were to working for the goblins?"

Bill just laughed, "Yes I enjoy tutoring but it is such a small part of my new position - not something I fancy doing full time. I would miss my other duties too much."

"Just what are these other duties? Perhaps we could find something similar to interest you within the castle?"

"Albus Dumbledore, you know I can't talk about that. Even more so with someone who's currently barred from Gringotts." Bill thought that was enough for a first encounter so bade a disappointed Dumbledore good day.


Hermione may have been training for just over a week now but Harry had been doing exercise routines for years, he quickly caught up with the upset young witch. "Hermione, you were right and I was wrong."

At that Hermione turned to face him. "What was I right about Harry?"

Panic flashed through him for a second before he fought it down. Panic led to mistakes and he couldn't afford to make one now. He gently took her hand and kissed the back of it while his mind worked out just what he was going to say. "I don't know anything about guns, and not much more about offensive spells, but you were right. I cannot let outside forces determine the rules of a fight, because there are no rules in a fight."

Hermione almost managed a smile. "That's all I was trying to say Harry. Guns might not be the answer, but we shouldn't just dismiss anything out of hand. You have been trained to use a blade, and appear expert with it. I don't think I could use that method on someone. If it was to save my parents or my friends though, I think I could use a gun. I'm pretty sure I could've pulled a trigger to shoot that troll in the infirmary. It's a cultural difference Harry, something to be worked out - not dismissed as irrelevant."

He was beginning to understand what his best friend was meaning. "The muggle way would be guns, the goblins would use a blade up close while wizards would stand and fire curses at each other. What you're saying is that I should rule nothing out?"

Hermione now flung her arms around him and held Harry close. "You said you've got to fight him but I don't want you to - I just want the bastard dead and you alive. No chivalry, no duels at dawn, you can look him in the eyes after you've killed him - sneak up behind and cut his head off. You gave that troll every chance before being forced to kill it. Don't give Voldemort a chance - because he wont give you one."

She was crying while holding him tight, Harry's arms around Hermione gave her the courage to say what was on her mind. "I've never had a best friend before Harry so I don't know if what we have is normal or not. What I do know is that I never want to lose this - ever! Between deranged dark lords and every witch under the age of twenty five wanting a piece of you, I feel I'm going to get left behind..."

Hermione was suddenly experiencing blood flow issues as Harry's arms held her even tighter, that wizard didn't know his own strength. His words though pumped joy to every part of her body.

"I will never abandon you Hermione. As far as I am concerned, we will be best friends forever."

He then buried his head in her bushy hair as she whispered "Best friends forever" in his ear. Hermione was giddy - whether from happiness or lack of oxygen to the brain she didn't really care at this point.

A droll voice she had come to know so well spoilt this perfect moment. "Eh Harry, judging by the colour of her face, Hermione really needs to take a deep breath about now. I also think you should let her feet touch the floor again."

It wasn't until Harry's grip slackened that Hermione realised he'd lifted her off the ground, Harry really didn't know his own strength.

"I'm sorry Hermione, I guess I got carried away..."

She gave him a grade one new improved version smile. "It's fine Harry, I'm sorry too for causing this..."

Padma's droll voice once more interrupted. "Are you sorry for swearing in front of the headmaster? Certainly impressed the hell out of me."

"What! Oh my, do you think I'll get detention - should I apologise?"

This had been a major clue to Harry that his best friend was really upset - he'd never heard Hermione swear before. "I think you should get house points for saying you wanted that mad bastard Voldemort dead."

Neville glanced nervously at his two friends. "So are you two okay again?" Nods saw him continuing, "Sorry I wasn't much help Harry..."

"That's okay Neville - two clueless males here. Just as well we've got Padma and Hermione to keep us right."

"...And don't you forget it Crow. See Hermione, I knew the hat put him in Ravenclaw for a reason."

"I don't know why it put me in Gryffindor? I was rubbish at defence today."

"You'll get it Neville, Hermione and I have been training in the morning - it definitely helps."

"I don't care how much it helps, I am not getting up at ridiculous hours to go running - and certainly not wearing anything like Hermione dresses in to do so. My father would cast me out the family for even mentioning clothes like that." The pink tinges both her friends managed was another victory for Padma, and helped with taking their minds of why they were fighting in the first place. Everyone though decided it would be a good idea to have a shower before heading down to lunch.


At breakfast on Monday, the headmaster introduced the new Defence against the Dark Arts professor. Professor Keegan was a small, mousy man with receding grey hair and a developing paunch. He stood and nervously acknowledged the students as Dumbledore introduced him. The wizard appeared terrified of his own shadow but at least wasn't wearing a turban. Penelope had told the first years that Hogwarts defence teachers had gotten progressively worse every year she'd been here. Professor Keegan didn't seem capable of bucking that trend.

The Ravenclaw first years were now all looking toward Harry, and he didn't disappoint. "Curse-breaker Weasley will still be tutoring me at our normal time for defence. The rest of first year are welcome to join those lessons."

He didn't say any more, too engrossed in the letter Eargit had delivered. Hermione noticed the amount of concentration Harry was affording the parchment in his hands and asked the obvious. "Anything wrong Harry?"

"Oh I think father is being sneaky, I'll know more after speaking with Curse-breaker Weasley." He could see Hermione already beginning to fret that something was wrong so decided to tell her now.

"Every Halloween, while the wizarding community celebrate, my father and I have a little family ritual that we do. The reason I loathe being referred to as the boy-who-lived is because that stupid title only tells half the story. People tend to forget what else happened that night, my mum and dad were murdered."

Hermione instinctively reached for her best friend's hand, offering comfort for Harry while wondering just what this ritual was. She soon found out.

"My father takes me to the cemetery where my mum and dad are buried and we spend a few hours there, I sit and tell them everything that's happened to me since the last time we talked. Father has asked me if I want to invite you along this year."

Hermione was overwhelmed at this development but needed to be sure Harry wanted her there. She couldn't think of anything more personal than this. "What do you think Harry? You said it had become a family ritual, do you want someone else there?"

"Hermione, I would love you to be there beside me. I want to introduce my mum and dad to my best friend. I just think my father is being sneaky about it."

"This must be some goblin thing I don't understand Harry, so you're going to have to explain that."

Harry squeezed her hand and told her part of the truth. "To get out of the castle for the day, you need a parental permission slip. I think my father will be contacting your mum and dad the minute I say yes. I also have a sneaky suspicion that the subject of guns will find its way into whatever conversation they have."

"Oh Harry, that's brilliant."

"I wrote to my father expressing your opinion that this shouldn't be a fight, it would seem he agrees with you. I just hope he doesn't frighten your parents off."

Again Hermione was confused, she was getting used to it though from hanging around with Harry. "You lost me again Harry."

"Have you told your parents that your best friend has a powerful psychotic nutter trying to kill him? If they are as smart as you, they'll grab their daughter and head for the hills. Getting you as far away from danger as possible would definitely be the smart move. I certainly wouldn't blame them if they did..."

"Well I bloody would..." this was said loud enough to attract attention, causing Padma to run interference for them. She started chatting to Terry about their herbology homework and soon had dragged another two first years into the discussion.

Hermione lowered her voice so anyone other than Harry would have trouble hearing what she was saying. "My parents know I was in the infirmary when that troll paid a visit, they also know who saved me. I've described in great detail how you and Padma stood up for their daughter when those girls ganged up on me - we both know Neville would have been beside us too if he'd known. My mum is over the moon that I have friends now who would do that for me. That I'm exercising and taking extra lessons on how to defend myself has my dad pretty chuffed too."

Hermione hung her head as she said the next part. "That was not the first time I had been faced with a group of bullies, it was the first time I had friends rushing to help me. My parents knew my main hope for Hogwarts was to make some friends, and that I've managed to do that. I've never been happier and they will certainly not drag me out the castle because your father speaks to them about guns."

Harry had to hope Hermione would be a decent judge of her parents' reactions, what really worried him was just how much his father would reveal. They had plans for after their visit to the graveyard this Halloween, one of which Hermione certainly couldn't accompany them on. Just what was his father up to?

Their trip down to herbology allowed the rest of first year to hear the news that they could continue the defence lessons with Professor Weasley. Malfoy immediately but politely declined the offer, being quickly followed by Crabbe, Goyle and Parkinson.

Ron didn't need to withdraw, he was never included in the first place. Ron had returned to the castle with his new wand tucked away in the pocket of his new robes. His mum and dad had badgered and harried their youngest son every chance they could while he'd been home. With Ginny not talking to him because he tried to attack her hero, it had been a pretty dismal time for the youngest male Weasley at the Burrow. That his mother also forbade him any second helpings - and stopped all his 'snacks' - left the young Gryffindor desperate to get back to Hogwarts. Breakfast was enough to tell him his problem still existed though, namely no seconds.

His father had been so angry and had actually went mental at him for the first time in Ron's short life. His dad's temper appeared to be driven not only by the fact his son had fired those curses, but also that Ron hadn't apologised afterwards. His father had laid down the law - apologise by Saturday or he would be getting dragged back to the Burrow by Bill on Sunday. He would have to chose his moment carefully, there were all different definitions of 'public' and Ron intended to do the deed with as few people there as possible.


After talking to his defence tutor, Harry was ready to kick himself. Only his need to conceal the package he'd just been slipped stopped him. Of course his father would have to contact the Grangers over Harry's immediate plans, the rest had just followed from there. Curse-breaker Weasley had already contacted Hermione's parents, and Harry was delighted they had said yes to his idea.

Bill was contacting them again on Thursday and would now arrange a meeting between the Grangers and his father to discuss Hermione's participation in their plans for Halloween. Now all Harry had to do was keep a secret from Hermione for a few days - easier said than done.


Hermione had noticed a change in her best friend over the last few days, it may be subtle but it was there. There was nothing subtle about tonight though, all through their astronomy lesson Harry had been like a little kid on Christmas Eve. Professor Sinistra had barely dismissed them when Hermione dragged Harry over to a quiet spot of the astronomy tower to demand some answers.

"Okay Crow - spill it. I want to know what's going on."

Harry's wide smile at this may have been confusing but his next action just blew her socks off. He leaned in and kissed her. It was only on the cheek but it was from Harry, it was her first kiss and they were under the moonlight. It was only when he spoke that she got a grip and realised just what had been going on.

"Happy Birthday Hermione!"

Realising that it was now well past midnight, it hit Hermione that she had just turned twelve. "How did you know?"

"It's my duty as a best friend to know when your birthday is, I'll bet you know mine?"

"Harry, the entire castle knows when yours is, I'm surprised it isn't a public holiday..."

Hermione was stopped from saying any more when Harry pressed the present Bill had slipped him into Hermione's hands. It was an exquisite inlayed and lacquered wooden box that measured about eight inches by two, though wasn't even an inch thick. She opened what she guessed was a jewellery case, only to snap the lid closed after barely a glance. "Harry - oh shit Harry - this is way, way too much. It's only my birthday! This is birthday, Christmas, Easter and anything else you can think of for the next decade."

Harry's smile never wavered as he opened the box and took out what was inside. "What we have here is a cultural difference Hermione. Goblins don't celebrate Christmas, Easter or any other wizarding holidays, so nothing is more important to us than someone's birthday."

This news rocked Hermione back on her heels. "You don't celebrate Christmas Harry?"

Padma and Neville had hung back to give their friends a moment, having been in on Harry's plan. Both had gifts for Hermione that they would give her tomorrow. Padma knew how excited Harry had been about this and didn't want her friend getting sidetrack and disappoint him.

"Hermione, the Patil family doesn't celebrate Christmas either. As Harry said, it's a cultural thing. Now stop going off at a tangent and show me what Harry got you, he wouldn't even give us a clue."

While this had been going on, Harry had used the time to fasten the bracelet around Hermione's wrist. Her first glance at it in the box had told the birthday witch Harry's gift was beautiful, seeing it on her wrist changed that opinion. Beautiful just didn't do this work of art justice.

The bracelet was made from gold yet of a design she'd never seen before. There were five gold disks that had tiny sapphires around their edges. These disks were encased in a filigree design that would have all other goldsmiths weeping with envy, before taking up lumberjacking. Compared to this, they might as well have been practicing their trade using axes.

Two of the disks had engravings on them that Hermione didn't recognise, the other three though had her heart doing backflips in her chest. The one on the left proclaimed HARRY while the right one was engraved with her own name. It was the one in the middle of these two that had tears of joy slowly running down her cheeks, it announced to anyone glancing at her wrist that they would be BEST FRIENDS FOREVER.

Padma's hands shot to her face the instant she laid eyes on Harry's gift. "Oh Merlin's hairy left buttock! Hermione, that's goblin made jewellery."

Hermione thought that would be obvious, since it was a gift from Harry. She didn't understand the emphasis Padma was placing on its manufacturers.

Neville was happy that for once he could supply his friends with some answers. "Hermione, the goblins are world renowned metal smiths. They not only make fantastic blades, they have no equal when it comes to making jewellery. What makes it even more sought after is that they hardly ever let any of it fall into wizards or witches hands. The Longbottom family has one item that has been passed down the family for hundreds of years."

Padma was nodding like a lunatic, unable to take her eyes of the bracelet her friend had on her wrist. "Hermione, you'll start a riot when you walk into the great hall wearing that tomorrow. Please make sure that bitch Chambers gets a good eyeful of it."

"This is too fine to wear everyday..."

Harry interrupted the birthday witch. "Hermione, I want you to promise you'll never take that off. It contains protective runes carved into two of the disks. Just by being in contact with your skin, the bracelet generates enough protective power that it would easily have deflected both the curses you were hit with last week."

"Oh shit, shit, shit - enchanted goblin jewellery! Hermione, when anyone asks - just say it was a gift from Harry and act dumb about everything else. Trust me on this, your bracelet is worth its own front page headline in the Prophet."

Neville agreed with Padma. "Goblin jewellery is extremely rare, your bracelet though might be the only piece of enchanted goblin jewellery not owned by a goblin."

All eyes were now on Harry, he chose Hermione's arm that he had placed the bracelet and brought the back of her hand to his lips. "It says right there that we will be best friends forever - that to me is priceless. Happy Birthday Hermione." Harry then kissed the back of Hermione's hand and had the birthday witch practically swooning. "Now I hate to ruin this moment, but if we don't get a move on we could be spending your birthday in detention. Everyone else has left."

Professor Sinistra emerged from the darkness, loath to break up the cutest thing she'd ever seen. She could hardly wait to tell Minerva in the morning. Aurora agreed with Miss Patil though, and would not be mentioning that Miss Granger's bracelet was enchanted.

"Not quite everyone has left Mr Crow, Happy Birthday Miss Granger. Now I will escort you four to your houses, just to ensure no one gets detention on such a special day."

Harry held out his arm for Hermione and all four followed the astronomy professor. Hermione though took a moment to kiss Harry on the cheek. "Thank you Harry, it's absolutely gorgeous and I love it." Both may have been blushing as they made their way along the corridor but their wide smiles could practically light their way back to Ravenclaw tower.


Padma gave Hermione her present before they went down to get Harry for breakfast. It was fun to watch her friend's face change colours as she read the title of the book - Twelve fail-safe ways to woo your wizard. When Hermione started displaying purple tints in her colour scheme, Padma lost her battle with laughter and handed over her friend's real present. It was still a book, though Hermione appeared to appreciate 'a score of offensive spells to even the score' far better than her first offering.

Padma was behind her friends as they walked into the great hall and was pleased to see her prediction was coming true. Hermione's hand was, as usual, through Harry's arm. This appeared to be the perfect angle for the sapphires of her bracelet to catch the light and sparkle.

Padma thought young witches possessed skills for sniffing out shiny, sparkly things that would rival any niffler. When those shiny, sparkly things were worn by another young witch, the poor little niffler might as well stay in its burrow because it became a no-contest. There were students in the great hall who couldn't read instructions off the blackboards in classrooms yet could tell you what Hermione Granger's bracelet said.

When Neville approached the Ravenclaw table with a gift for Hermione, the Knut dropped that it was her birthday. She was delighted with her new book on noble houses and their customs. A red-faced Neville was eventually persuaded to sit beside the trio, but not before Hermione had hugged him and kissed her friend on the cheek in thanks.

As usual, Roger had watched the by-play between the friends. He also couldn't help but notice every witch at the table staring at Hermione's birthday present. "Hell Crow, you're making the rest of us guys look bad here. Just how are we meant to match that?"

Harry really liked Roger's joking nature, and answered right back in the same vein. "Well Davies, I don't see what's wrong with letting everyone know I have a great best friend."

The entire table heard the humour in his voice, they also understood there was steel underlying that humour.

A newly returned Chambers sat at the other end of the table, head down and not looking or talking to anyone. Her parents had been livid when they heard what happened, her father was all for contacting the parents of the other girls involved to arrange some collective action against this upstart who'd harmed their children. The Prophet had changed everyone's views, or rather their report on what happened to the Malfoys did.

The purebloods were learning a variation on the golden rule - those that HAVE your gold make the rules!

Few, if any, felt secure enough in their own wards to trust having their fortunes stored at home. There was also the added problem of those witches and wizards with access to their home. Gringotts protected fortunes not only from robbers but those family members who would think a share of said fortune should rightly be theirs. It was easy for the Gringotts account holder to define exactly who could do what to their vault - telling your brother / mother / greedy in-laws / obnoxious cousins that they weren't welcome in your house had far more significant ramifications. All sniggering at Draco's respectful behaviour soon stopped as pureblood after pureblood received the same message from home - do not antagonise Harry Crow.

Minerva sat at the staff table and watched over her charges. Her eyes usually focused mostly on her lion cubs but she found her gaze more and more being drawn to the Ravenclaw trio. Mr Longbottom's acceptance into this group was also very pleasing. Augusta tended to wrap young Neville in cotton wool, making good friends was exactly what the young lad needed.

The deputy headmistress couldn't help but think young Harry was surrounding himself with good people. She approved wholeheartedly of his close friends and Master Pitslay had impressed the hell out of her. William Weasley was in her unbiased opinion, one of the finest young wizards to have come through Hogwarts in a long time.

Her correspondence with Barchoke was also refreshing. His entire aims were centred around what was best for his son, and he was more than prepared to back that up with gold when needed. She'd listened with great interest to the tale of what had happened after their astronomy class last night and was finding her opinion of Harry matching Pomona's. He may be the son of James Potter but he had none of the faults his biological father had at the same age. Now if only Severus could get his head out his arse and see the boy was far more like Lily than James, they may be able to avert a confrontation that couldn't end well.


When Professor Weasley asked them both to wait behind, Hermione started to run through the entire lesson in her mind to discover what she'd done wrong. Bill played along with her fears at the start.

"Miss Granger, you can thank your best friend for your current predicament." His wide smile would have half the witches in the castle dropping at his feet, Hermione was just pleased this meant she wasn't in trouble with a professor. "Your mum and dad wanted me to wish you a Happy Birthday, oh and give you this."

Hermione was so touched by this, she didn't notice Harry moving behind the professor's desk. "How was Harry responsible for you seeing my parents?"

It was Harry who answered her. "Well, it was actually my father. When he discovered what I wanted to get you for your birthday, he realised I needed your parents' permission first."

Hermione was beginning to wonder if this was a goblin thing again, did giving someone a bracelet signify something more in there culture? That was until she saw what Harry had in his hands.

"Happy Birthday Hermione. I didn't name him yet, figuring I would leave that up to you."

Harry gently placed a fluffy black kitten into her hands, Hermione fell in love with her new pet instantly. "Oh Harry, he's simply gorgeous. With that goblin sense of humour of yours, the poor thing would probably be saddled with a name like snowball."

Harry couldn't help but smile at his best friend's reaction to his gift. "Actually, I was thinking more along the terms of Moonlight. Without that light, he would be practically invisible."

Hermione had a different memory to associate with Harry's suggestion, it reminded the young witch that her first kiss had been under moonlight on her birthday. She also had to admit that his suggestion was so much better than Blackie - which was the first thing that came into her head. "Okay, so Moonlight it is. Harry, you're spoiling me."

"Hermione, you only turn twelve once in your life - why shouldn't that be celebrated?"

Harry picked up her present from home and offered his arm, he'd heard something outside that had him wanting to leave now. If that prat attempted to spoil Hermione's birthday, there would be hell to pay.

Hermione had Moonlight cradled in one arm, while her other was linked with Harry. She had been fretting about spending her first birthday away from home, but this year she had friends to share it with. Hermione thought this was already her best birthday ever.

Ron was walking back from his defence lesson when he spotted the Patil bint standing outside a classroom with Neville. He didn't think there could be a better opportunity for a 'public' apology than this.

"Miss Patil, I would like to apologise for hitting you with that curse. It was purely accidental as you were never my intended target."

Padma's gaze hardened as she stared Ron down, the Ravenclaw witch well remembered the taste of slugs, and what getting cursed had led to in the infirmary. Padma had no intention of giving this Weasley an easy out. "What about Hermione, the girl you intended the curse to hit?"

Ron's temper momentarily flared but he managed to get control of it, why couldn't this bint just say she accepts and get this over with? "I intend to apologise to Miss Granger too."

She nodded at that. "If Hermione accepts your apology, I will too."

Neville couldn't help but prod the prat. "This is your lucky day Ron, Hermione will be coming right out that door any minute."

Before Ron had time to bolt, he was suddenly faced with Crow and Granger. With retreat no longer an option, he was forced to behave like a Gryffindor. "Miss Granger, I would like to apologise for firing a curse at you."

Hermione didn't think this day could hold any more surprises but had just been proved wrong. Padma's slight nod gave her the information she was looking for. She hadn't actually been hit with the curse but at least the idiot had apologised to Padma, there was still one thing missing though. "What about Harry, isn't he due an apology too?"

This was a step too far for Ron. "What for? It was me who ended up in the infirmary..."

The growl stopped Ron's rant in its tracks. A furious Bill was standing behind Crow and Granger, glaring right at him - Ron needed no further prompting. "Mr Crow, I would like to apologise for attempting to curse you."

Harry genuinely liked three of the Weasley brothers, and it was Hermione's birthday. "Apology accepted."

The two girls quickly followed Harry's lead as Bill handed Neville the cat basket and supplies Harry had forgotten about in his haste to leave the room. As the four friends made their way along the corridor, Bill dragged his youngest brother into the classroom by his new robes.

"I want a word with you Ronnie!"

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