When They Are at Shell Cottage
None of these characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Harry Potter belong to me; I’m just using them to hopefully write an entertaining story.Author’s Note:
Wow, I don’t even know where that time since the last chapter went. I suppose it’s getting to that busy time of the year again and there are some holiday adventures coming up, which might keep me a little busy but hopefully I will still have some time to write. Basically, I can probably only see one more chapter happening before Christmas, but after the New Year I will have much more time on my hands again. Thanks for hanging in there!
This is more of a character-orientated chapter rather than action-packed, nevertheless I hope you enjoy it. I am also in the process of going back through and doing some minor editing to the previous chapters and I’m somewhere into Chapter Four now.
*****Chapter Seventeen – When They Are at Shell Cottage
“W-what?” was the only thing that Dawn could manage.Where‘d the last day and a half of my life go?
The panic about that, paired with the fear of what had happened in that period of time, was almost too much for her. Buffy had to be behind her being moved to this strange cottage while she was unconscious, without any regard for what Dawn may have wanted instead, that was one thing she was almost certain of.
“Dawn?” Harry’s voice suddenly cut into her thoughts, she looked up to see him staring at her with concern. “Maybe I should go find Buffy...” he trailed off, preparing to move from his spot on the edge of the bed.
“No!” she said a little too forcefully, she was really too tired to endure her sister’s overprotective antics, Harry looked confused. “I’m too tired for her right now... seriously, Harry, what freakin’ happened to me? A-and the baby?”
“We don’t know exactly, actually,” Harry reached up and scratched his head in uncertainty. “But from where I saw it, I think the baby is the only reason why we are sitting here now. It somehow protected us, although it obviously came at a cost,” he finished, gesturing at her.
“The baby’s okay though, right?” her voice wavered, to which Harry quickly put her fears to rest by vigorously nodding.
“Wait! So what, you’re saying that I’ve been in snoresville for almost two days because of the baby?” she asked incredulously. “I don’t get it.”
Harry shrugged. “Madam Pomfrey and Lupin seemed to think that in order for the baby to be able to perform such powerful magic, it relied on your energy to do so... basically, your body had to rest to restore itself back to normal.”Fucking hell,
a voice screamed in frustration, although judging from the startled look on Harry’s face, she realised she may have said it out loud as well. Why couldn’t anything be normal for once?
She thought with frustration, as she also pondered the implications of what Harry had just revealed to her. The baby had the ability to perform some forms of magic from within her womb, in which Dawn herself had no control over, even though the baby could put her in a coma or kill her if it got a little bit carried away. It was just another thing in her life that she couldn’t have a say in, and this almost made her wish that the monks had never bothered to create her at all, it certainly would have saved her from all the heartache and pain.
Harry must have been watching the emotions display across her features, because he spoke again, as if reading her mind. “Madam Pomfrey wanted me to relay to you when you woke, that she thinks you should keep yourself away from any further situations where the baby may use advanced magic, because your might not recover if this happened again.”
“Do you really think I’m that stupid? Because I’m totally
gonna deliberately try and get myself killed!” she snapped angrily, to which Harry slight recoiled at her tone. “Sorry,” she apologised, looking away from him, suddenly feeling emotional and her eyes began to prickle with tears. “I-I just don’t know if I can do this, Harry... Dammit - I never cry this much!”
Trying to avoid further humiliation about breaking down, she had shielded her face from Harry by using her hands, a short moment later she felt the mattress shift beneath her legs. Puzzled, she peered through her hands to see that Harry had slid from his seated position down at the foot of the bed and now seated right up next to her, so she lowered her hands. The close proximity had made her current woes disappear almost instantly, as well as her breath catch in her throat, while both sat there completely silent. He then reached his hand, hesitating for a moment, before he finally brought it to her face, so delicately that it made Dawn’s skin tingle under his touch.
Unlike the last time, Harry was the one to move forward, while Dawn remained frozen in the moment. He was close enough that she could feel his breath blowing gently on her face, when all of a sudden, the bedroom door burst open.
“Oh, excusez-moi!” a French woman, who Dawn thought she’d seen before, was quick to apologise; Harry pulled his head away with a frustrated sigh. “I am sorry, ‘arry, I thought zat you were asleep. I’ll let ze others know zat you’re both awake.”
She politely closed the door behind her, although Dawn had wished she’d had the manners to knock in the first place. Then again, maybe being interrupted twice was the universe’s way of trying to tell them both something. Perhaps it was better this way anyway; she was far too tired and confused to deal with her feelings right now. Not that, while in the moment, her mind wasn’t screaming for him to kiss her. She pushed all those thoughts to one side for the time being. Meanwhile, Harry had stood up and now was standing away from the bed, looking ready to say something to her.
“Who was the blonde?” she cut in before he could, she noticed a tiny bit of annoyance flash across his features.
Harry’s body language seemed to drop slightly in defeat. “Oh, uh, that’s Fleur – she’s part of the Order and married to Bill, Ron’s eldest brother. Actually, this is their house,” he explained, motioning to the walls around them. “I feel kind of guilty having everyone intruding in on them, considering they’ve only been married six months.”
Everyone? she immediately thought. “Who’s every-“
“Dawn?” her sister’s voice carried loudly from the hallway, as the door once again opened and Buffy made her swift entrance, followed behind by Willow. Dawn could see the relief was over her when Buffy saw that she was finally awake. “Oh my god, you’re awake!” Buffy was across the room in seconds and enveloping her into a tight embrace. “I was freaking out for a while there,” the blonde spoke into her shoulder before she finally pulled away.
Willow was second to lean over and pull her into an embrace. “Glad you’re to see you awake, Dawnie,” she said with relief. Now with everyone standing around her, Dawn wanted to get up, not to mention she was already sick of being couped up in bed. She pulled the covers back and went to swing her legs over the edge of the bed.
“Hey!” Buffy was quick to scold her. “Don’t you even think about it, missy! Stay right there, you only just woke up again.”
She sighed and looked over to see if she could get Harry’s support, however when she glanced over to where he was standing moments before, she suddenly realised that he’d left the room without her noticing. She must have been too caught up in Buffy and Willow fussing over her to even register that the strangely comforting feeling she got when he was around had disappeared, leaving an empty hole in the pit of her stomach.
Feeling dejected, she looked back up at Buffy, who hadn’t hesitated in making sure that she was securely tucked back in to her bed. She shook her head in frustration. “I should’ve known that because I’m pregnant, you’d smother me even more! I’m not sick, you know...”
Buffy folded her arms defensively. “You were out of it for almost two days, and that is normal how?” she trailed off, and Dawn knew she had a point. “Oh, and before I forget, Lupin will bring that Hogwarts nurse to do another check-up on you tomorrow, she was pretty peeved and we had to fight her to take you from her care before you’d woken up.”
This immediately stirred up other emotions in Dawn, just when she thought she was starting to calm down again. “Hey - that brings up another point! You all just went and moved me while I was unconscious and couldn’t have any say in it,” she began ranting. “And now that I’m here, what am I supposed to do? Be on house-arrest until the baby’s born?”
Buffy was about to retort back, however Willow stopped her before she could, knowing too well how to stop a war from breaking out between the sisters. “Someone tried to kill you, Dawn,” she pointed out in a slow, calm voice. “You said yourself; it wasn’t safe to stay at Hogwarts. And we didn’t know if or when you’d wake, so....”
Dawn rubbed her hands over her face, sighing once more, although she was extremely grateful for Willow’s interjection because she was really not in the mood to get into another argument with Buffy. With all the stress that had been surrounding her from day one, she would be surprised if the baby managed to turn out even half-normal. Then again, the baby isn’t normal, is it?
she thought absurdly.
“You’re probably hungry,” Buffy cut into the momentary silence, to which she eagerly nodded. “I’ll get Fleur to bring something up.”
Another thought that she hadn’t had a chance to ponder suddenly struck her. “Hey... who else is here? Where’s Giles and the others?”
Willow and Buffy both looked at each other meaningfully, before Buffy turned back and made eye contact with her. “They’re not here; we’ll tell you all about it after you’ve eaten something.”They’re not here?
The words reverberated in Dawn’s head, while Buffy rushed out of the room, her footsteps fading away. Willow had lingered in the room, stopping her from over-thinking Buffy’s last words.
The redhead looked over at Dawn. “About before, Dawnie,” she began. “You may have been out to the world when we had to move you, doesn’t there wasn’t someone thinking about what you wanted – Harry got into a few arguments with Buffy about it.”
When they’d arrived at Shell Cottage the day before, everyone had been warned about the magic and wards protecting the cottage and not to cross-over the boundaries. Knowing this all too well, Harry had no intentions of crossing the edge of the wards; however he certainly wanted to get away from the house as far as he could. Which brought him to the cliff adjacent to the cottage, where he sat with his legs outstretch and his feet just managing to dangle over the cliff’s edge, with the chilling, winter wind blowing right through him.
He sat there brooding over everything, especially the most recent week of his life. He thought that his life was confusing enough before this week had even begun, but now he had absolutely no idea what he was doing. He felt like it was one of those times when he could really use a father or even his godfather to talk to, and he sombrely wondered what Sirius might have done or said if he was alive to see him right now.
The echoing of a nearby cracking sound, as someone apparated beside the house, caught Harry’s attention; he listened to the crunching sound of the ground beneath their feet, which got louder and louder as whoever it was unexpectedly approached him, obviously having spotted him wallowing in self-pity.
“Harry,” he heard an older male voice simply say and he turned and glanced up over his shoulder to see Lupin standing nearby. “Everything alright?”
“Fine,” Harry mumbled in a tone that said ‘I’m actually not fine, but I don’t want to talk about it’, Lupin seemed to get the idea because he didn’t push any further, which was one of the things he liked about the older wizard.
“I heard from Bill that Dawn is finally awake, which is extremely good news,” Lupin said, sounding genuinely relieved, Harry figured this was because the werewolf had grown to care about Dawn, having had the good fortune of spending the last few months with her - he only wished the same could’ve been said for himself. “Is everything okay with her and the baby?”
Harry nodded, looking to stare back out across the cliff edge. “Everything seems to be alright, thankfully.”
“Although you don’t look very excited about that,” Lupin observed, just when Harry thought that he had avoided the ‘deep and meaningful talk’ with him.
Harry dropped his head, finding a random rock to stare at. “I’m happy about that, don’t get me wrong, but... uh, it’s complicated.”
Harry plucked the courage to look back up and noticed Lupin’s frown turn into a look of understanding. “Trust me - with a woman, it always is,” he gave Harry a pat on the shoulder. “The best thing you can do is talk to her, know where you both stand.”
Without waiting for a response, the werewolf turned and headed towards the house, leaving just Harry and the sound of the waves crashing into the cliff below. He knew that Lupin had a good point, with all the conflicting emotions he was going through, surely Dawn had her own, and they both really needed to get them out in the open and talk about it with each other. The primary thing that frightened him about having that talk was if he found out that their feelings about each other were quite different, this baby meant that they would be connected now for probably the rest of their lives, and he didn’t want to imagine if things turned bitter between them.
Deciding that he couldn’t just sit there any longer avoiding what had to be done, he pushed himself up and wandered towards the house. However, he’d only made it halfway before the door opened and Ron came walking straight towards him.
“Hey Harry,” Ron greeted. “Lupin told me you were out here - what are you doing out here? I heard that Dawn woke up.”
Harry nodded, almost robotically. “I know, I was there when she did... I just wanted to get some fresh air.”
Ron stuffed his hands in his jacket pockets and visibly shivered. “Blimey! Why on earth would you want to do that? It’s bloody freezing out here!” Harry shrugged nonchalantly. “In fact, because it’s so cold, Bill sent me out here to get some more firewood from the garden, want to help me?”
“Sure,” he replied, helping Ron was probably a good distraction for him and he missed just being able to hang out with his best friend, so he followed him down the side of the house and around into the garden.
They passed their tent, which had been set up at the start of the garden for extra accommodation, considering how limited the space was inside the cottage, and approached a small shed at the back of the garden, where Bill and Fleur stored their firewood. As they entered the shed, they were met with large piles of whole logs, which obviously needed to be cut down to a more appropriate size before they could be used. They silently set to work chopping the logs apart, with the help of a breaking charm, and then started a new pile of the chopped wood right near the shed door.
“So,” Ron eventually broke the silence, while they got to work, Harry could hear the hesitation in his voice. “I haven’t had a chance to ask you yet because you’ve either had other things to worry about, or Hermione has been around... We’re best mates, Harry; you can’t keep me in the dark about, well, what happened with you and Dawn, if you know what I mean...”
Harry frowned, his first thought was that Ron had seen him and Dawn’s almost kiss in the Room of Requirement, but when he turned to look at his best friend and saw his raised eyebrows, he suddenly caught on to what Ron was getting at. Harry found his cheeks colouring, talking to Ron about his first kiss with Cho was one thing, discussing what had happened that night with Dawn was a completely different thing, especially when his first time had been under such unusual circumstances.
“Come on, mate,” Ron urged when Harry was slow to reply. “I know you said that it was the prophecy’s doing, but you can’t blame a bloke for asking, they’re supposed to tell each other what they’re in for.”
“Uh well,” he began cautiously, he may not have had a choice in what happened back in London but he certainly had a choice in who knew exactly what had happened, and even though he usually shared everything with Ron, he felt like what had happened between him and Dawn was something that should stay between them. “It’s all a bit of a blur actually,” he tried to lie convincingly. “The prophecy made it all happen so fast that I don’t really remember much... sorry to disappoint you.”
This was far from the truth; in fact Harry remembered everything quite clearly, although when he thought back to it, the memories played out like it was a stranger with his face instead because he certainly wasn’t in his right mind back then.
Meanwhile, Ron had obviously bought the lie; he briefly rested his hand on Harry’s shoulder and threw him a sympathetic look. “Merlin, what a tough break.”
Moving over to start gathering a collection of the newly chopped logs in his arms, Harry muttered an agreement. He was sure that Ron was picking up on the ‘I really don’t want to talk about it’ vibes that he was throwing out, because the two fell into a slightly uncomfortable silence. Harry thought it best to change the subject quickly.
He cleared his throat. “So how are things going with you and Hermione? I’ve noticed there haven’t been as many rows lately.”
As Ron also went to gather up some firewood, Harry spotted a goofy smile plastered across his face, which almost gave him an acceptable answer in itself. Ron and Harry usually shared everything with each other, but with everything that had happened in the past week and limited chances to talk privately, it was obvious that there was something that Ron had yet to share with him.
“Something finally happened, didn’t it?” Harry asked, although slightly disbelieving that his friends had managed to put aside their stubbornness to tell each other what Harry could so obviously see, that they both had strong feelings for each other. He and Ron were standing in the shed with armfuls of firewood; Ron was standing in front of the door but hadn’t made a move to leave.
“Well actually... it did!” Ron exclaimed; Harry could see that he was deliriously happy and just dying to spill the beans. “I kissed her the other night.”
Harry found his eyes widening, knowing that this was a big development for the pair. “W-wow, when did this happen? What did she do?” he asked the redhead.
The grin remained firmly etched on Ron’s face, so Harry already had a pretty good idea that Hermione had reacted well. “Well, it happened two nights ago, in the Common Room after you’d gone back up to the dorms. Hermione was rattling on about you, we were both concerned about you, and then out of nowhere, I somehow managed to pluck the courage to go ahead and kiss her,” Ron recounted, while Harry became aware of how heavy the logs in his arms were getting, however Ron seemed too involved in his story to notice this too. “She was definitely surprised at first, but then – she kissed me back!”
“That’s brilliant, mate,” Harry replied enthusiastically, realising how nice it was to have the topic of conversation on someone besides him or Dawn for once and he was also happy for his friends.
Ron nodded. “I mean, we had a chance to talk about it in the tent last night, while you were up with Dawn, and she was worried about ruining our friendship but in the end we decided to take it slow,” he continued on, as Harry’s arms began to shake and he feared that he would drop the entire lot. “But, blimey, Harry... I don’t know why we didn’t do anything sooner!”
Harry felt himself returning the smile, although he was pre-occupied contemplating over both Ron’s last words and also what Lupin had said before; he knew he had to do something, he was going to finally talk to Dawn, even if he didn’t fully understand his current feelings he had to know if there was something there for her too.
He was relieved when Ron finally kicked the shed door open with his leg, allowing them to both head back up to the house, both chatting and there was even some laughing, reminding Harry of when things were much simpler.
After Buffy had brought her a much-needed meal, looming over her like a parent with a child to make sure Dawn had finished her plate, she’d left Dawn to get some more rest. However, Dawn somehow knew that this wouldn’t be easy, since Harry had disappeared off somewhere and it was like this strangely made her unsettled enough to not be able to find sleep. The more she thought about it, not taking into account the past day and a half of sleeping, somehow the only good sleep that she’d managed to have over the past week was when Harry was nearby. She assumed that this was another one of those weird, special baby-related things.
Looking around and spotting her suitcase sitting over in the corner of the room, she realised that she really needed a shower and a fresh change of clothes. She got up, slightly shakily at first, and then began to search through her suitcase; suddenly realising many of her clothes were probably not going to not fit her growing stomach, particularly her more fitted and tight clothing. She found herself groaning in frustration, throwing aside the clothes that wouldn’t fit into a messy pile on the floor.What am I gonna do as I get bigger?
She thought angrily. It’s not as if I can go shopping at the nearest mall.
Dejectedly, she ended up selecting a pair of sweatpants, long-sleeved top and a thick, knitted cardigan, thinking that she probably looked quite trashy but there was certainly nothing she could do about it. Then again, why was she so worried - who exactly was going to see her like this anyway? The dismal thought that she was trapped in this house for who knows how long occurred to her.
Her next dilemma came when she quietly opened the door and took a step into the hallway, almost expecting Buffy to come running at her out of nowhere to force her back into bed, she stopped when she realised she had no idea where the bathroom was. She gazed around, the staircase leading downstairs was directly opposite her bedroom and there were several doors to both her left and right. As if on cue, the sound of momentary sound of gushing water, followed by the opening of the door directly left of her bedroom.
“Oh,” Hermione was surprised when she spotted Dawn lingering in the doorway, after her momentary surprise she appeared glad to see her. “Hello, Dawn. It’s wonderful to see that you’ve recovered and are up and about again.”
“Thanks,” Dawn threw back a smile; she then glanced cautiously at the staircase. “According to my sister, I’m actually not supposed to be up, Buffy being bossy and all... Please don’t tell her - she thinks I’m asleep, but I kinda need a shower - I’m starting to smell so bad, the homeless wouldn’t want me,” she joked and the witch nodded her head to convey that she wouldn’t sell Dawn out. “I didn’t know you guys were here too, you and Ron both came with Harry, right?”
Hermione once again nodded. “We’re a team, we stick together,” she then lowered her voice in case others were listening in. “Besides we’ve still got horcruxes to find. Harry told us both about how you found the diadem in the Room of Requirement - that is absolutely incredible; I’ve never read of anything like that before... Perhaps the baby might be able to shed some light onto the next one, without any more risk to you, let’s hope,” Hermione trailed off and Dawn watched as her eyes curiously travelled towards the mess on the bedroom floor behind her.
Dawn quickly waved that off. “Just tryin’ to find something that actually fits now,” she replied, placing the hand that wasn’t holding her change of clothes on her abdomen. “I’m totally gonna be screwed soon, especially if I can’t leave to go shopping.”
“Actually,” Hermione trailed off, deep in thought. “Most of your clothes shouldn’t be too hard to alter slightly, with magic of course,” Dawn eyes widened, that possibility had not occurred to her. “I could attempt to do that for you if you’d like?”
She eagerly nodded, feeling quite relieved that she didn’t have to spend the rest of her pregnancy in her shoddiest clothing, but at the same time slightly disappointed that there wasn’t a need to go shopping, not that she could anyway. She already really missed being able to just do all that ‘normal’ activities she used to be able to do without fear of being killed; she loved her shopping as much as the next girl. Furthermore, would she be able to go shopping or anything in the near future? A grim thought of being hidden away with her child for years and years to come, until Voldemort was finally defeated, stuck her with terror.
She took a deep breath and steadied her thoughts. “Thanks so much, Hermione,” she said sincerely, then pointing towards the bathroom. “I’m totally gonna make a beeline for the shower now, but do you think you could take a look at those clothes when I get out?”
Hermione nodded enthusiastically, looking like she was quite happy to have something to do, making Dawn realise that there probably wasn’t that much to do around Shell Cottage and she was probably in for a long haul. Was she going to lose her mind being confined to this place? She was struck with guilt when she considered how the people she cared about were forced into seclusion too, that they were in danger just because they knew her. And Harry has put up with this for seven years how?
She wondered, as she threw Hermione an appreciative smile, despite all the inner turmoil, before swiftly making her way to the bathroom.
Although she was still feeling slightly drained on energy from the events of the past few days, exiting the bathroom she gave a sigh of relief, feeling much better for the shower and change of clothes. When she re-entered her bedroom, Hermione was sitting in the chair in the corner with her nose stuck into a random, magical book, which Dawn probably would have found quite interesting if she wasn’t so distracted with everything else that was going on around her.
The bushy-haired witch stood up, looking apologetic. “I hope you don’t mind that I waited in here, I thought it would be less obvious to be in here rather than somewhere out in the hallway, especially if your sister happened to come upstairs.”
“No, great idea,” Dawn replied, slightly amused that she would think something like that would be a big deal. “So,” she trailed off, glancing around at the mess of clothes on the floor in front of her.
Hermione placed her book down on the chair and then asked permission to start sorting through what would be easier to alter, once again surprising Dawn with her politeness, after years of being used to Buffy rummaging through her things without her consent. They spent quite a while getting Dawn to try on clothes, while Hermione tried various spells to either adjust the length of them or to give the fabric more stretch it in to account for Dawn’s pregnant belly, particularly thinking about when it got larger.
Both girls also used the opportunity to get to know each other better, and Dawn had decided that she liked Hermione, although she had also become aware of the fact that the witch had a bossy streak in her that did remind her somewhat of Buffy. One other thing that immediately struck her was the fact that she hadn’t instantly ‘clicked’ with Hermione as she had when she first met Ginny. The sudden thought of Ginny made her miserable, realising that she hadn’t been able to talk with her before she’d left Hogwarts, although she knew she had good reason to hate the girl now, part of hoped that despite all the complications, they were going to be able to continue some form of friendship. But then again, just because she was easily forgiving of what the redhead had done, maybe being friends with Ginny would still be just too awkward for them both.
After Hermione had done what she could, she crossed her arms in satisfaction whilst admiring her handiwork. “That should get you by for a little while,” she said. “If you need any alterations in the future, all you have to do is ask me, or Fleur perhaps... definitely not the boys though,” Dawn saw an amused look appear on her face. “Ron tried to make some alterations to his dress robes in Fourth Year, they were absolutely appalling! Although, if you get desperate, I’m sure Harry would be better at it than Ron.”
“Thanks, this is awesome!” Dawn replied with a smile, deliberately avoiding making a joke of the double-meaning in Hermione’s previous sentence, although it did suddenly bring up a valid question. She felt like she couldn’t go without voicing it, so she tried to casually look through her newly-altered clothes. “You, Harry and Ron all seem close,” she began hesitantly to which Hermione nodded, she bit on her lip while she tried to word everything in her head. “Uh, there hasn’t ever been... like, anything more between you guys.”
Hermione gazed at her knowingly. “If you specifically mean between Harry and I, then no,” she replied with a laugh.
“No!” Dawn jumped to defend herself, perhaps a little too enthusiastically. “I meant either of them... just curious, is all,” she finished, feeling stupid and knowing that she hadn’t fooled the other girl for even a second.
“Alright then,” she humoured her. “Yes, I do love Harry - like a brother.”
A huge relief flooded through Dawn, although she tried her best not to think about why. She swiftly fired back another question to distract herself. “It’s the same deal with Ron, I’m guessing?”
Although she hadn’t expected anything because she was just making conversation, Dawn was surprised to notice that Hermione’s demeanour had changed following this question; the older girl’s cheeks began to turn pink, telling Dawn that her last comment was far from the truth.
The abrupt sound of footsteps travelling up the staircase suddenly drew both girls’ attention, while Dawn was quick to realise that the familiar calming feeling was washing back over her, as well as a flutter in her abdomen as the baby moved joyfully.
“I can apparate downstairs, if you want to pretend you’re resting,” Hermione quickly suggested.
“Don’t worry, it’s not Buffy,” she replied, absentmindedly placing a hand on her stomach.
Hermione eyes followed the movement of her hand, and Dawn could see a question forming in her mind, however she didn’t get a chance before the bedroom door creaked open halfway for Harry to poke his head in. He was obviously not expecting to see both Dawn and Hermione standing there judging by the startled expression on his face.
“Oh, Buffy said you were asleep,” he said to Dawn standing in the now open doorway, she quickly shook her head; he appeared quite sheepish for getting caught out sneaking into her room, especially with Hermione present. “Sorry, I was probably interrupting, I’ll leave you both to keep talking,” he finished, turning to leave.
“Wait, Harry,” Hermione called, moving over to the door. “I was just helping Dawn with something and was about to head downstairs anyway.”
Harry stopped and gave his friend an appreciative smile, stepping inside the room to make room for her to leave. Once she was gone, Harry stuffed his hands into his pockets, looking like he was debating something in his head; Dawn could tell that he felt extremely awkward, especially after what had happened earlier that day.
“I know,” she spoke first. “We’ve got a lot to talk about.”