Chapter 15: This is Us
“Hermione?” I called again as I detached myself from Harry and we both stood to our feet. Despite my call she kept moving as though she had heard nothing. We watched in confusion as she approached us slowly with her trunk floating behind her, her head bowed toward the ground and her shoulders gently shaking with the sound of soft sobs that floating to my ears. What had happened to not only cause my best friend to be so upset but to also cut her vacation so short when for weeks she thought of almost nothing but seeing her parents again?
“Hermione?” Harry called out this time in a much louder and more noticeable tone. She finally looked up.
“Harry?” she whispered sounding as though she was caught off guard by his presence before moving her eyes to where I stood behind him, “Chris?” she stared at us for a moment, as though she were studying the situation and immediately jumping to a logical conclusion, “Sorry, did I interrupt something?” I could see a small hinting smile tug at the corners of her mouth as she asked the question although it stayed quietly hidden behind the stains of her quiet tears.
“No sweetie.” I answered quickly as I moved away from him once more with my blatant confusion shining on my face. “Mione, what are you doing her—”
Harry interjected, finishing the rest of my question, “I thought you were on holiday with your parents?”
The moment we mentioned her parents Hermione fell to her knees as loud sobs overtook her entire body and many tears broke through the banks of her eyelids and soaked her cheeks. I rushed to her side, falling to my knees beside her and wrapping my arms around her in a comforting hug. Harry stared at us looking completely at a lost. ‘Hermione, please tell us what’s wrong?” I begged after a moment of allowing her to wallow in her sadness.
She pulled out of my grasp as she took a few steadying breaths and tried to wipe the evidence of her tears from her eyes before launching into her explanation, “At first, nothing was wrong, I met my parents at the train station as usual and we fell into our usual holiday manner for the first few days of break. Then, two days ago I was alone in my room, writing a short letter to Ron about when I’d be coming to the Burrow and I heard an explosion from downstairs. I quickly grabbed my wand and raced downstairs only to find…” her voice began to break when she reached this part of her story, “only to find that Death Eaters were attacking my family.” As soon as the words left her lips she fell back into her mess of tears. I looked away from my grief struck best friend and immediately connected eyes with an equally shocked Harry, who had moved to sit beside us.
“Hermione, are your parents…” he couldn’t finish the rest of that horrible thought.
“No, they’re both fine, the Order came just in time, they’re in hiding now.” She mumbled as she once again tried to stop sobbing and wipe away her tears. Harry and I both released quiet sighs of relief before we all lapsed into a painful silence, filled with only thoughts of the worst. That is, until Hermione decided to confirm my suspicions, “When I got downstairs I was frozen as I watched them torture my mum with the cruciatus curse, forcing my father to watch as they held him back. A moment later a death eater approached me, and I finally started fighting back just when the Order finally got there.” She grew quiet again for a moment as a dazed look crossed her face, one that told me that every image from the attack was bombarding her mind. “I can still hear her screaming” she sobbed as she wrapped her arm around herself tightly and let her tears fall once more.
For a moment Harry and I locked eyes while trying to console one of our closest friends, and for that moment we shared equal emotions of fear, anger, and vengeance in our eyes. As I looked at him I could see something else hidden in his eyes. Was that guilt? We soon looked away, returning our attention to Hermione, allowing sympathy to hide the previous wave of emotions. We all lapsed into a tense silence as Harry and I tried to simultaneously keep our feelings at bay while figuring out how to help our best friends, she sat silently crying in my arms. I soon surmised that maybe some rest was the only thing that could help her right now.
“Hermione let’s go upstairs. You’re distraught and need to get some sleep.”I suggested as I pulled her to her feet.
She laughed bitterly, “I haven’t slept in days.” She said as she allowed me to help her toward the stairs, her trunk still floating behind us.
“Then I’ll get you a sleeping potion out of the bathroom.” I offered gently. Just as we reached the door leading to the girl’s stairway I turned around to let Harry know I’d be right back down only for another voice to cut off my sentence before it even began.
“Hermione?” they called causing all of our eyes turned to face the portrait whole as it opened to reveal another unexpected friend who decided to cut their holiday short as well.
“Ron?” We all cried together in shock, before Hermione took off running towards allowing the loud thud of her trunk clattering to the floor to be the only proof of her having once been standing behind me. They met in the middle of the room and immediately fell into each other’s arms in a very tight and comforting embrace. Ok, so maybe I was wrong, rest wasn’t the only thing that could help her right now.
I watched the couple with a soft smile as Harry joined me off to the side of the room with the same expression on his face. He gently wrapped his arms around me and planted a soft kiss on my cheek before allowing his mouth to cover my ear, “She’s going to be ok.” He whispered reassuringly. I just nodded in response, knowing that what he said was completely true. He soon joined me in watching our two best friends as they pulled each other close almost as if they wished to never let go.
“I missed you.” I heard her whisper ever so softly, almost inaudibly, to him as they held each other firmly.
“I missed you too,” he replied just as quietly, “I was so scared when I heard what happened.” He added as he kissed her cheek. I laughed to myself quietly at the thought that for once Harry and I got to see them act like we do instead of their normal “old married couple”—ish selves.
“Oi you two get a room, we don’t need to see this.” Someone called from the entrance to the common room. I looked past the couple to see three more red-heads enter the room; one that I couldn’t stand to be in the same room with and two who used to be like older brothers to me. As a matter of fact, while everyone seemed too caught up in the actions of the two lovebirds, one set of eyes seemed to really be testing the old expression if looks could kill. Oh well, she’ll get over it in time. Ron and Hermione acted as if they hadn’t heard a word he said and just stood there still clinging to each other for dear life.
“What are you two doing here?” Harry questioned from beside me, nodding toward the twins, who hadn’t stepped foot in Hogwarts since their spectacular departure the year before.
“What’s the matter Potter, are we not allowed to revisit our old home?” George teased as he and Fred feigned identical looks of hurt.
“Harry I’m shocked, would you really try to keep us away from Hogwarts, and to think, we treated you like family.” Fred scoffed with a look as though he’d lost his puppy.
“Wow, you two haven’t changed one bit, you’re still just as dramatic as ever.” I laughed teasingly, bringing their attention to me and away from my newly restored boyfriend.( You know, all of a sudden for some odd reason I really love that word, *sigh* boyfriend. Ok I know I’m getting really girly and cheesy and all that but understand, I’ve been depressed for weeks and am now taking advantage of the chance to bask in my moment of happiness. YAY!)
“Well, well, well George look who it is.” Fred said with a smirk. I looked at him questioningly for a moment until he fleetingly looked to my left and I quickly understood the look on his face, the look on both of their faces. They didn’t faze me; they never did.
“Why Christine, how have you been?” George asked their smirks spreading to sleek smiles as he put so much emphasis on that God-Forsaken name. Ugh! Um…about them never fazing me; never say never.
“You did not just call me that?” I growled lowly as my face contorted instantly into a look of disgust. Their smiles broadened.
“Of course not—” George began.
“Christine” they finished together.
I gritted my teeth in anger for a moment at the repeated sound of that dreadful name. My mother was the only one to ever call me that, and will always be the only one to call me that, because I hated it. Why? Because my dead beat father chose it, because he liked the way it sounded, blah, blah, blah. OMG there’s a reason why I go by Chris! Although I was trying to calm myself down, the fact that Harry was silently sniggering to himself beside me didn’t help, which is why I took the liberty to elbow him in his side before I finally found my voice. With a strained smile I said, “I was right, you two haven’t changed you’re both still ignorant jack — hello Professor.” my retort was quickly cut off by the entrance of Professor McGonagall. I wonder, can points be taken when we’re technically not in school at the moment.
“Miss Parker, what are you doing in the Gryffindor common room?” she asked clearly shocked at my presence here. I stuttered for an answer for a moment before she saved me the trouble and found the answer for herself, “Oh,” she sighed as the gazed for a moment at Harry’s arms around my waist, causing both of us to blush slightly, “never mind that, Professor Snape has been looking for you?”
That certainly sobered up the entire room. “What? Why?” I asked in bewilderment. Why would that overgrown bat be looking for me?
“Because the headmaster would like a word with you, please follow me. As for the rest of you, your parents would like for you to know that they will see you in the Great Hall for dinner?” she replied sharply before quickly turning on her heel and leaving for me to catch up.
With a small sigh of frustration I turned and kissed Harry on the cheek and told him I’d see him later, before running after her. Shit! I thought. I suppose soon I’ll be moving back to my dungeon.
It had been hours since my meeting with Dumbledore, which, by the way, had nothing to do with my current living situation and I was back in the Astronomy tower still trying to digest everything I had been told. There I was scared that I was about to get reprimanded for a decision I’d made months ago, wondering how long I’d be serving detention and come to find out that the news Dumbledore had for me was much more earth shattering. I just couldn’t seem to understand it at all. Not a single thing that he said to me seemed to make sense.
“Chris?” A deep voice called from behind me causing me to jump slightly in surprise.
“Huh?” I answered as I turned around to see who had found me this time. “Oh, hey baby.” I said somberly, relaxing a bit when I say it was only Harry, before turning to my original position. I sat staring out the window and my constant state of confusion with my legs dangling hundreds of feet above the deadly ground bellow me.
“Hey” he replied as he walked over to where I sat and planted a small kiss on my cheek, before sitting down beside me, “I’ve been looking for you for hours.”
“Oh sorry, I’ve been up here for hours since my talk with Dumbledore.” I told him as I continued to stare at the snowy grounds as they shined under the magnificent full moon.
“What’s wrong? Did he find out that you’ve been staying in the tower?” he asked worriedly.
I chuckled uneasily, he definitely knew me too well, “No, what makes you think something’s wrong?”
“Well for starters you’re being quiet and you’re almost never quiet, then the fact that you’re even up here, and when you said that just now you didn’t even look at me so I know you were lying.” He informed me. I finally turned to face him with my mouth open forming a perfect “o” shape. I opened and closed it a few times searching for something that would get him to drop the subject, but nothing came to mind.
“Ok you caught me,” I conceded with a sigh, “but nothing’s really wrong, I’m just a little confused about some things Dumbledore told me.”
“That happens to a lot of people after talking to him,” he laughed, “well, mostly me.” I laughed softly for a second before allowing a small grin to settle on my lips. “God, I’ve missed your smile.” He whispered softly as he grasped my chin in his and brought my lips to his in a chaste kiss. My smile grew the second we a pulled apart leaving only our foreheads touching. “So are you going to tell me what’s confusing you?” The corners of my mouth fell slightly as I began to pull away only for him to refuse by immediately pulling me back and forcing me to looking into his gorgeous eyes as he pleaded with me, “Please” How could I say no to that?
After a moment of thick silence I sucked in a deep steadying breath before I quickly blurted out, “Errmykneespairintseratackedcuzuvme.”
“What?” he asked, his face contorting to look just as confused as I had a moment ago.”Slowly please?”
I sighed, “Hermione’s parents were attacked because of me.” I repeated slowly.
“What? Why would you say something like that?” he asked clearly shocked and highly concerned.
Once again I drew in another deep breath, “Because Mione’s house wasn’t the first place they visited that night, mines was. They were looking for me and luckily my mother wasn’t there.” I confessed sadly as I moved from my seat on the window’s ledge and slowly walked across the room with my arms wrapped around me. I stopped only a few feet short of the door and leaned against the nearby wall as tears stung my eyes for the umpteenth time that night. Harry wasted no time in joining me by the door and wrapping his arms around me in a comforting hug. After a few minutes of just standing there he pulled away and wiped my tears with the pads of his thumbs, before finally speaking.
“Ok stop crying and start from the beginning because I’m starting to see why you were so confused.” He suggested as he cupped my face in his hands and forced me to keep looking at him. I laughed slightly again, with some tears still seeping out of my eyes as I gently pulled away to remove them myself. How was it that even when I felt like this he was still able to make me smile and laugh so much? Why did I stop talking to him again? Oh yeah, insufferable git, I remember now.
“Well,” I began after finally calming down enough to fully explain everything, “Dumbledore told me that before any of this happened that they had received word that Voldemort was targeting a student although no one knew why. After a while he found out from someone within his inner circle that Voldemort wanted me. However, due to certain circumstances,” I somewhat blushed at this point, “nobody on either side could really figure out where I was during school, or where I’d be during break. So, the death eaters decided to search for me wherever I might possibly be, which included Mione, and Pavarti’s homes.”
“What, Pavarti too, is she—” he tried to ask but I quickly cut off his question with the answer.
“She’s fine, like my mother, she and her family were out of the country, except they were visiting family for the holidays. She and Padma are on their way back here as well as the rest of the school, Dumbledore asked for everyone to return in order to prevent any more attacks on students and their families.”
We lapsed into a tense silence after the words left my lips. Harry stood there digesting everything I’d just said as I began to worry even more about everyone that was close to me. Soon the guilt began to fill me up to my core, thinking of how much damage I’d done to Hermione and her family; the damage I could have done to Pavarti, her family, and especially my mother. How could this happen? Why would Voldemort want me? As my questions began to consume me I felt two comfortable arms wrap themselves around me in a warm and soothing hug, which I immediately melted into. Like the sweetness of his words and the warmth of his kisses, the reassurance of his embrace was definitely at the top of list for what I had missed terribly. We stood there for a while, him soothingly patting my back and me clinging to him like he was my very last hope for understanding.
“Chris, it’s not your fault.” He whispered softly as he continued to rub my back.
“What? How can it not be?” I questioned softly as I leaned back slightly to get a better look at him. “Hermione and Pavarti could have been killed; my mother could’ve been killed and all because Voldemort wants me. So how can you say that?”
“Did Dumbledore tell you why he wanted you?” he countered
“No, but what does that matter? The point is that he does and is still very willing to torture and kill anyone I’m close to in order to get to—”
“Chris, the only reason he wants to get to you is so that he can ultimately get to me!” he cut in forcefully. I was completely stunned.
“What?” I asked in confusion, “Harry this has nothing to do with—”
“It has everything to do with me.” He said mournfully, lowering his head in shame. Who was this person, because the boy I knew never looked so broken, so defeated,…so sad.
“Harry,” I paused wondering what to say next with several question running through my head at the moment, but I quickly pushed them back. I always tried to push him to tell me about everything he felt, yet for two weeks I couldn’t allow him to do the same to me. So, rather than ask what had happened in the past few seconds to bring about this sullen appearance, I decided to keep to the topic at hand, “this isn’t your fault.” I whispered with strong conviction hoping that he’d believe my words almost as much as he believed his own a moment before when he said the same thing to me.
He only sighed in response as he looked back up at me. I held his captivating eyes for barely a fraction of a second before he completely pulled away from me and took my original seat at the window. He sat hunched over with his head in his hands, as though frustrating thoughts had field his mind just like the questioning ones that invaded mines only a moment before. I stood still for a moment as I tried desperately to push away the guilt I’d been feeling for hours and instead replaced it with the compassion for him that I normally felt almost every time a sullen look crossed his features or his handsome smile faltered. Soon, I found myself standing directly in front of him with my hands placed near his neck gently rubbing his tense muscles as my fingers lightly played with the small hairs that trickled from his messy mane on down his neck. His stomach was practically touching mine as we stayed in that position, while I quietly comforted him and he began to allow his frustration to leak out of his body and into my fingertips. After a few minutes he roughly grabbed my wrists in his hands and looked up at me wryly, “You know it’s hard to think with you doing that.”
I smiled softly as he pulled me down to sit on his lap before I calmly placed my head on his shoulder while he pulled me close. “I was only trying to make you feel better, which I know it did.” I whispered, my breath gently tickling his neck and causing him to shiver ever so slightly so that even I could barely notice.
“It did,” he chuckled softly, “did we just trade places because I think I was doing the same for you barely two minutes ago?”
“Yes,” I smiled against his skin, “but I really don’t feel all that much better. I still feel really guilty.”
“So do I.” he replied, “Chris, the reason I—”
“Baby, you don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to, I just want to hold you and you to hold me, I missed this.”
“I missed this too,” he said softly as he moved to kiss me. Again I smiled, as his lips ghosted over my own for a moment before I began to kiss him back for a moment before we pulled apart and sat there staring into each other’s eyes, “but it really is something you should know.” Even though his tone was soft and gentle I couldn’t help but hear the desperateness and the concern that dripped from each syllable. As we continued to stare at each other, I could see the same emotions shining in his eyes.
“What’s wrong?” I asked shakily as I caressed his cheek, not really knowing if I wanted to hear about what had him so worried. With another sigh he began to speak,
“The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches…Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies…and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have a power the Dark Lord knows not…and either must die at the hand of the other, for neither can live while the other survives…the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches, born as the seventh month dies.”
As he spoke I listened intently as he spoke trying to not just find the meaning of his words but also the feelings he put into them. With each new addition to his words I became more enthralled with what he had to say and also somewhat perplexed. It was as if he spoke in riddles, each new phrase adding to the mystery of it all.
“What is that?” I asked shortly after he finished, waiting barely a moment in order to collect what little bit of thoughts I had concerning what he’d just recited.
“That,” he began curtly, “is the reason when my Godfather died last year and the reason why my parents were killed, and” he paused as he turned to me with a pained expression on his face. He looked as though he was on the brink of crying and I automatically felt my chest constrict painfully and my throat close up as I tried to swallow the large lump that sat there. It was almost as if his pain were mine, because soon I too was close to tears and I hadn’t even heard what was left to say, “it’s the reason why they’re now after you.” he finished softly before once again looking away. He made no move to run away, to hide his pain, so I saw that as a sign to continue, a sign that he was trying to open up more than ever before.
I quickly pushed back the tears and set aside my pain for him before I asked my next question, “So what the prophet’s been saying is true, you are the ‘Chosen One’?” I questioned tentatively, hoping that he would answer and not try to pull away.
He nodded slowly as his mouth scrunched into a grimace, like he tasted something foul and needed to rid himself of it quickly, “That damn…prophecy has taken away everyone that I love and I don’t want you to be next.” He admitted fervently as he slid out from underneath me and began to walk away. He took barely a step before my hand shot out, latching on to his tightly and forcing him to turn back to me. I quickly rose to my feet and closed the short distance between us as he feebly attempted to pull his hand out of mine while my other hand moved to cup his cheek, forcing him to look me in the eye.
“Baby if that’s how you feel, then why are you walking away from me?” I asked painfully.
“I’m not—” he began to refute but I wasn’t having it.
“You cannot let this control your life!” I cut in forcefully before feeling a huge shift in the different mix of emotions in the room.
He quickly pulled out of my reach the second the words had spilled from my lips, “How can’t I?” he asked hotly, “Because of that thing I’ve been marked for death since before I was born. So how am I supposed to just act like it doesn’t exist?”
“That thing didn’t exactly name you Harry, Voldemort did” I retorted in the same fierce tone, “He’s the reason for all this. What happened to Hermione was neither of out faults, it’s all because he decided that anyone with muggle blood is unfit to have magic and other idiots like him decided to lift him up on their shoulders.” I took a breath for a second as I allowed my words to began to sink in, “So even if this prophecy didn’t claim you, we’d all still be targeted and someone else would have to clean up his mess.” Another short pause, “Baby, I know what it’s like to get dealt a bad hand in life; I love my mother with all my heart yet she treats me like shit, but I would never wish that on someone else. Do you really want someone to have to deal with what you’ve been through?” the more I spoke, the more pensive his features became as he allowed all my words to melt into his thoughts. A deafening silence had solidified between us, as he just stood there allowing his mouth to open once in a while as though he had something to say before sharply closing again when he realized that he was rendered speechless. All the while I just stood there watching him, hoping that at least a small part of what I’d just said had somehow made sense to him and that another argument wasn’t rising within him. Soon the silence began to annoy me as I waited for him to finally speak and I allowed my eyes to drop to floor as the worse case scenarios began to run rapidly through my head.
After another moment or two I heard his footsteps as they quickly approached me and looked up just in time to see him standing in front of me before he pressed his lips upon mine in a hard kiss. I squeaked slightly in surprise before allowing myself to melt into him by wrapping my arms around his shoulders and pulling him even closer. My eyes soon fluttered shut as I kissed him back just as deeply. It was the most heated kiss we’d shared since that night at the party and it reminded why I loved being in his arms at all times. But, all too soon, he pulled leaving me utterly breathless and wanting more. “What was that for?” I asked softly as I tried to catch my breath
“Have I told you lately how much I love and adore you?” he replied as he gently caressed my face and a look of devotion filled his emerald eyes.
I smiled back for a second before allowing a coy remark to leave my lips, “no but I love it when you tell me, or better yet,” I paused as one hand mirrored his touch of my cheek and the other slid down the front of his shirt, “show me.” I whispered before leaning back in for another kiss which he eagerly granted. However, this one didn’t have the same heat and depth, but still showed the immense amount of passion and desire we had for each other.
“How did this go from me comforting you to you helping me?” he laughed after once again pulling away way too soon for me.
I laughed, thinking about how weird the events of tonight had been, “I don’t know I guess we’re just weird like that.” I said causing him to laugh too. “Hey,” I called, as a question popped into my head, “you never exactly told me why you were looking for me in the first place.”
“Well, I just wanted to spend the rest of my Christmas Eve with you.” He answered sweetly before leaning in for another kiss which I gladly accepted.
“Aww that’s so…wait a minute, it’s Christmas Eve?” I asked in confusion. He replied by just nodding his head as an amused smile graced his lips. “Wow, I definitely stayed locked in the common room for way too long because I clearly lost track of my days.”
“Well then let me catch you up to date, “he laugh as he looked at his watch, “Christmas Eve officially ended about 25 minutes ago and we are now starting off our first Christmas together.”
“hmm, well in that case,” I murmured as I turned his attention back to me and pulled him close to me once more, “Merry Christmas baby.”
“Merry Christmas” he replied shortly before we once again sought comfort in each other’s lips.
It was absolutely perfect. Although the kiss was soft and gentle, I could still fully feel the heat, the passion, the desire, and especially the many emotions he pour out through his lips and I know he felt the same from me. I began to tremble slightly as his hands slid down my body before settling on my hips and firmly latched on to them as he attempted to pull me even closer if that was even possible. The kiss became more rushed and electrified as his lips slid away from mine and down my jaw like before moving to cover my neck and ears. I sighed with pleasure as my desire began to grow more and more with each touch and kiss he splayed on different parts of my body. I soon felt my back hit the wall that had been a few feet behind me only moments ago and I was now squeezed between it and the man I loved. Just as he slightly leaned down to hopefully pick me up we both heard the door as it slowly began to creak open and stopped just in time to see our trespasser.
“Well, well, well, my pet, what do we have here?” Filch hissed as he glowered at us with glee. I guess catching us up here was somehow his Christmas wish come true, too bad it was about to turn sour.
“Two students who are technically on break at the moment, and therefore technically cannot be reprimanded.” I answered snidely for his mute partner in crime who had stalked in right behind him. I smirked at triumphantly at the glum looking Filch for a moment before Harry finally grabbed my hand and pushed our way through the entrance. Filch just watched us mournfully, with his mouth twisted into a bitter smile until we finally disappeared from view. We quickly continued our getaway until there was a good distance between us and we decided to slow down. We continued in silence as we made our way back to the common room our thoughts began to return to astronomy tower and soon, we found ourselves locked in an empty classroom, making up for lost time. Finally we were back to being us.
A/N: The prophecy as well as almost all the characters belong to JK Rowlings while i only own the lovely Chris V. Parker and the twist and turns that make up the plot. Plz review, Luv Ya!!! ~Grifferin~