A/N: this all belongs to JK Rowling. Thanks to my beta Kat Morning. Let me know what you all think…review! Thanks
Fortunately for Harry, he didn't have long to wait. The next evening, there was a gentle tapping on his window. He didn't notice it at first, until Hedwig gave an indignant hoot to get his attention. Harry looked up from his History of Magic essay with a start. Then, "oh. Sorry, Hedwig" as he opened the window and let her in. She flew over to her cage for a gulp of water before flying back to perch on Harry's wrist.
It wasn't long before Harry had detached a bit of parchment from her leg, and began to read.
Dear Mr. Potter,
I trust your summer is going well. I regret to inform you that I have denied Mrs. Weasley's request that you be allowed to spend the last two months of the summer holidays at the Burrow.
Harry paused at this point, long enough to groan under his breath.
This summer, due to circumstances I will not explain now, I feel it wise to have you spend the next month of the holidays with Miss Granger and her family. I have already discussed this with Mr. And Mrs. Granger, and they are willing to allow you to stay on with them, until the 1st of August, at which time, Miss Granger and yourself will be free to travel to the Burrow. To that end, I have enclosed a small port key, which will take you to a prearranged destination where the Grangers will await your arrival at exactly 3:17 PM Monday afternoon.
"Portkey? What portkey?" Harry wondered.
To acquire your port key, tap this parchment twice with your wand, and say the word "Solidium". Do not be concerned about a notice from the Improper Use of Magic Office , as I have spoken to Mafalda Hopkirk on your behalf.
Well, this was certainly an unexpected development. He was going to spend a month with the Grangers? Harry had never even been to visit Hermione. What about her trip to Bulgaria? Harry shook his head in confusion. On the bright side of things, however, Monday was only 2 days away. If he could get away from the Dursleys, Harry would almost consider spending the summer with Snape. Then again, maybe a month with Hermione would be a pleasant experience, and at least he knew he would get his essays done. With Hermione around, there was no way around that.
The next two days passed very slowly for Harry. With the list of chores and little odd things around the house he had to do, coupled with his uncle's furious tirades about Harry's "abnormality" (Don't you even THINK of mentioning your freaky friends under my roof, boy!) Harry began to wonder if Monday would ever arrive. Eventually, though, arrive it did. Harry had already packed his trunk with all his school things, and was ready to go far before 3:17 PM. Thankfully, the Dursleys were out today, doubtless gone to get some new toys, or whatever else, Dudley happened to want. Harry looked at the clock once more. 3:08 PM. Nine minutes to go. Harry decided to pass some time by taking one more look around his room, and under his floorboards, to make sure he hadn't forgotten anything. Finding his room void of anything he would want or need during his stay at Wizarding school, Harry decided to wait by the fireplace, for the appointed time.
Glancing at the clock once more, Harry noted that it was now 3:15 PM. Two minutes to go. He took out the parchment from Dumbledore, tapped it with his wand and said, "Solidium". Harry wasn't overly surprised when the old piece of parchment became a small figurine resembling Fawkes, Dumbledore's pet phoenix.
It was time. Harry took a look at the fireplace, and silently thanked Dumbledore that he wasn't being made to travel by Floo, which was one of his least favourite methods of transportation. With one last look around the house, Harry tapped the phoenix with his wand and felt the familiar jerk behind his navel, and suddenly found himself face to face with the man he assumed to be Mark Granger. Mark was tall, with short brown hair and he was wearing a thick jacket against the cold.
His smile was warm however, as he reached out to shake Harry's hand. He released it quickly, however, when Harry, obviously surprised by his grip, let out a small gasp.
"Er, Sorry, Harry old boy. Guess I don't know my own strength. Why don't we go on down to the car and head home. Hermione and Emma are waiting."
It wasn't long before Harry and Mr. Granger had the trunk and Hedwig's cage packed up with Harry in the front passenger seat. The drive to the Granger household was pleasant, with Mr. Granger asking Harry all sorts of questions about his life with the Dursleys, about Diagon Alley, and a bit about Hogwarts. Harry in turn asked Mr. Granger about life at the Granger household, and dozens of little questions about how things were to be this summer. It wasn't very long at all before Harry found himself beginning to like Mr. Granger. He could see where Hermione got some of the more interesting quirks in her personality.
Suddenly, it seemed to Harry, Mr. Granger turned onto a street in London, and the ride was over. So, taking a moment to gather his thoughts, Harry grabbed his trunk, waited for Mr. Granger to open the door for him, and stepped inside the house. There, he was greeted by the smell of warm bread and tea, as well as two feminine voices drifting out from the kitchen. It sounded as if the voices were coming closer, seeing as how Mr. Granger had not exactly been silent when closing the door.
Harry scarcely had time to set his trunk down before seeing a flash of bushy brown hair, and hearing Hermione's shriek of "Harry!" before she enveloped him in a near bone-crushing hug.
Normally, this wouldn't bother Harry as much as it might, as he was somewhat used to receiving hugs from his friend. This time, however, Harry wasn't able to do much except gasp out, "Her-mi-o-neee! I…can't…breathe!" as he squirmed uselessly under his friend's grip.
Hermione's blush was almost as strong as the trademark Weasley blush, as she let go of him slightly and muttered a soft apology. Once she had let go of him completely she gave him a funny look, as if she wanted to ask him something, opened her mouth, closed it, opened it and then closed it yet again.
By that point, Harry was sure she had something important to say and thus told her "Blimey! If you have something to say, say it before you go mad!"
Naturally, Hermione looked slightly abashed, but then asked Harry the question he was certain wouldn't have taken Hermione even this long to ask.
"Have you started your homework, Harry? Have you been studying? You know we have more O.W.L.s year!! Have you s—"
Whatever Hermione may have been about to say was downed out by a large crash coming from the kitchen area.