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#1. What Happened Next? by FawkesThePhoenix

Format: Novel
Chapters: 32
Word Count: 149,442
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Contains profanity, Strong violence, Scenes of a mild sexual nature, Substance abuse, Sensitive topic/issue/theme, Spoilers

Genres: General, Action/Adventure
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, McGonagall, Draco, George, Ginny, Luna, Neville, OC
Pairings: Harry/Hermione, OC/OC, Ron/OC, Other Pairing

First Published: 07/13/2015
Last Chapter: 03/13/2017
Last Updated: 03/13/2017

Summary:
Following on from the end of the Battle in Deathly Hallows. Harry and Hermione fell in love instead of Hermione/Ron and Harry/Ginny.

Follows the stories of Harry, Ron and Hermione as they deal with life after the greatest adventure of their lives.


Chapter 16: Chapter Sixteen.

He broke away from her to gather his thoughts, he still couldn't quite believe what they were doing, but he didn't want to think about it too deeply because the guilt would settle back in the pit of his stomach.

"Aengus?" It was Hermione, but it seemed as if her voice was on the opposite side of the room. Somehow, without knowing he had done, he was back sitting on his bed. His hands moved down his body and discovered his shirt was completely buttoned up. "Aengus? Did you hear me?" She repeated, "you zoned out." She observed.

"What just happened?" He asked slowly, confused and in a haze.

"I came in and said that I wanted to talk about how I reacted..." She said suspiciously, "and you completely ignored me."

"You're right," he breathed, "we shouldn't be around each other," he said as he quickly left the room.


Aengus couldn't get his head around what had just happened. He wondered around the castle trying to avoid everyone, but at the same time looking for someone he could talk to. As he walked, he came to the realisation that the only person he would even consider talking to was the very person he had just run away from. How could he talk to Hermione about it anyway, he had just proven to her right and he couldn't see past the embarrassment of the whole situation.

"Aengus? What have you done to yourself? More importantly, who?" It was Ginny, despite her continuous efforts to get him to open up and trust her, he just didn't want to.

"Not now, Ginny. I have something to sort out." He explained, he started to walk off before stopping and turning around. "I'm sorry, things are just going wrong at the moment. As you can see, I'm not in the best of states."

She nodded slowly, looking slightly to the left of him, feeling awkward. "You do know what friends are for, right? If you ever need someone to talk to about anything, that someone can be me."

He took a shallow breath, "and is that all you want to be? Friends?"

"What do you mean?" She didn't want to get her hopes up, she always did that, especially after she met Harry.

"It seems like we're the only two single people around. Hermione has Harry, Aoife has Ron..." He trailed off, not really believing what he was saying. "How about we give it a go?"

"I don't think you mean that, Aengus." It broke her heart to say this, to reject him. "I've played second want to Hermione once already and I don't really feel like doing it again," she explained quietly, staring at her feet.

How did she know? Was his face giving it away? "What do you mean? Hermione had nothing to do with this."

"Aengus, don't treat me like an idiot. Everyone who has eyes and ears knows how you feel about her. I tried to ignore it, once again I thought that I could change that, but I can't seem to win against her."

"Don't put yourself down, Gin. You're perfect, but I can't seem to look past her at the moment and I hate myself for it."

She stretched out her hand and gently stroked his arm, "it's alright. Maybe once you can, I'll take you up on your offer." She smiled weakly.

"I'm sorry," Aengus said, he looked at her and realised how much she cared for him, which made him feel even more guilty at what he had just done.

"Don't be, I know how it feels to watch the person you love love someone else."

"I don't love her," he whispered through gritted teeth, trying to avoid any eager ears overhearing him.

"If you say so," she smirked, "just be careful, those two are meant to be together, the only person who will get hurt is you," She informed. It wasn't as though he wasn't well aware of that, what he was shocked about was that his heart wasn't disputing what Ginny had said about being in love with Hermione. He nodded and walked off, his head swimming with new and old facts.


He wasn't thinking about where he was walking and he ignored the screams of confused students and classmates when they saw his face. He didn't realise where he had instinctively walked to. The only thing he did notice was being hit in the face with a door flying open. "Opps, sorry." A timid voice apologised. He looked up and focused his eyes at last. A petite girl with thick, shoulder-length auburn hair greeted his eyes. "Oh my, I didn't just do that, did I?" Her eyes widened when she noticed his bleeding nose.

"What? Oh no, that wasn't you," he reassured her as his fingers reached to his nose.

"Good. You might want to clean yourself up or Filch won't be the scariest being roaming around the castle." She laughed, her laugh was small and unique which made Aengus smile. It was a breath of fresh air to not be asked about how the blood and bruises ended up on his face. "I'm Robyn, by the way." She smiled, repositioning the books that were resting in her arms.

"I'm Aengus, I haven't seen you around. Are you new here this year?" He asked politely staring into her big blue eyes.

"This is my fifth year here," she informed. "But I wouldn't expect you or anyone else to really notice me. You're new here, though, you're whole family came at the same time. I suppose that must have made it easier for you to settle in." She debated to herself.

"You sure know a lot about me," he smirked, something which had no effect on Robyn.

"I guess you could say that. I'm not some crazy stalker." She insisted, "but being so unnoticeable has its benefits. I enjoy writing and drawing and I suppose I get quite a good picture of most of the students here."

"Drawing, huh? Have you drawn me?"

"Maybe, I don't really remember everyone I sketch."

"Perhaps you can show me them some time," he suggested innocently.

"Maybe sometime," she replied, her voice not really conveying the desire of the promise. She walked off without saying another word to him.

"Aengus? What are you doing here?" Aengus had finally discovered where he was, outside his father's office.

"Don't worry, I'm not here to see you. I'm trying to see the least amount of you as possible." He argued.

"Don't speak to me like that." He bellowed.

"Careful, you don't want more people to find out your secret. We don't want other students, or worse teachers, knowing you use your fists to convey your emotions; like a coward." He chuckled to himself as he walked off, getting far enough away before allowing tears to drop from his eyes.


"Hermione, did you manage to talk to him?" Aoife asked when she saw her laying on her bed.

"I tried but he ignored me and ran off. What did McGonagall say?" She had tried to fall asleep and forget about everything for a couple of hours, but the events of previous weeks and today made sleep an enemy to her.

"We didn't speak to her. If we're going to put a stop to this, we're going to need Aengus on our side and going behind his back will only hinder that." Aoife exclaimed.

"I see. Let's just hope he doesn't get hurt again."

"I imagine he will be avoiding him now."

"How are you?" Hermione asked gently.

"I'm not really sure," she answered, walking over to her bed and sitting on the edge of it. "I don't think it's really sunk in yet. I think once I know Aengus is safe, everything will hit me. I'm considering dropping Defence Against the Dark Arts, though, I can't look at him without feel pure and utter hatred."

"But you need it. Don't throw everything away, Aoife. Aengus wouldn't want you to stop it, it would be like admitting defeat. We should try and get him out of here sooner rather than later, though."

"How are you supposing we do that?" Aoife asked with a hint of annoyance in her voice.

"Family emergency? Anything which will get him gone for a couple of days. Maybe if Aengus doesn't have the fear lingering over him, he'll be willing to talk to someone about it." Hermione ponder aloud.

"What family emergency, Hermione? All our family is here." Aoife sighed.

"No grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins?"

"Dad's dad, but he's in a nursing home somewhere in Ireland. We haven't seen or heard from him in months.

"For several seconds, Hermione stared at Aoife in disbelievingly, "Aoife...that would be the perfect emergency." She said as she walked over to her on her bed, "by the time your dad gets to your granddad, we should be able to convince Aengus it's the right thing to do."

"Do you think that would work?"

"It wouldn't do any harm to try."

So they wrote a letter to one of Aoife's friends in Ireland, asking him to send a letter to her dad pretending to be someone at the nursing home. "I hope this doesn't backfire. If it does, it will be Aengus who pays the price." Aoife fretted as her and Hermione watched the owl fly away from them.

"As soon as your dad leaves, we'll talk to Aengus," Hermione instructed, hoping that all the aspects of this plan would run smoothly. "Does this friend of yours know about Hogwarts?"

"Yeah, we became very close a few summers ago. I may have told him everything." She blushed, keeping her gaze on the owl.

"Everything? What happens if he tells someone?"

"He won't, I trust him. He hasn't so far. I don't think anyone would believe him even if he did."

"Does he know about Calum and what he did to you?" She asked.

"No, something happened so we lost contact, but before I came here, I went to see him and apologised. Why do you ask?" She asked suspiciously.

In all honesty, the reason she asked was because Aengus had told her some time ago that Aoife had a reputation back at home and she was wondering whether this man had something to do with it. "Just something to talk about," she said quietly, not wanting to raise suspicion but doing nothing but that.

"What is it?" Aoife asked forcefully, finally looking at the side of Hermione's face as she was determined to keep her eyes on the sky.

She sighed knowing that the truth would come out eventually and despite not wanting that moment to be this moment, she opened her mouth to speak. "A while ago, before Christmas, Aengus said something about you. I'm only asking because I don't want Ron to get hurt. I know you would never hurt him now, but I fear your past will hurt him."

"When did you decide you got to control my relationship? If it concerned Ron, I would have told him."

"Oh, like you told him everything you told me about Calum?"

"It's none of your business what I tell or don't tell my boyfriend!" She yelled.

"I'm not saying anything I wouldn't if I didn't care about you."

"Are you sure it's me you care about? After all, it wouldn't be the first time you had strong feelings for him, would it?" Aoife asked harshly.

"What are you talking about?" She asked, perplexed.

"Ginny warned me, I chose to ignore her, I like to see the good in people, but it looks as though she was right. I should have trusted her,"

This hurt Hermione. To think that two of her closest friends had been gossiping about her. "What did she say? Why did she warn you about me?"

"She said that you had form. First she told me all about Krum. She said that you led him on and when he made a move you pushed him away. Did you do the same with Ron? Is that how you get your kicks? Making boys vulnerable and then chucking them away and destroying their hearts. You've won Aengus over, he trusted you and told you really personal things, told you things he hasn't even told me. Is Harry next?"

"What?" She asked, facing her with glistening eyes.

"Well, you couldn't chuck him when you first got together because you needed him to protect you. You needed him to love and care for you like he had never done before in order to stay alive. Then he was ill, he needed your care and help so you couldn't ditch him. Maybe this has made you fond of him, even made you love him, but that isn't enough for you, you want to get back to Ron because you didn't destroy his heart, he let me in."

"Aoife, what on earth are you talking about? Krum was just a childish crush, I got caught up in his fame and façade. I didn't lead him on, far from it. He just misunderstood what I wanted. It was nothing more than that. As for Ron, it was just heat of the moment, If I could go back in time and stop it from happening, I would. But Harry is the one for me, I never thought I could love someone as much as I do him and I especially didn't think it would be possible for anyone to love me for me. The only reason I brought this up was because I see he way you look at Ron and I the way he looks at you and I don't want you to lose that. The only reason I brought this up was because you've found who you're meant to be with and you need to cherish that." She said, lip trembling as she spoke. She didn't wait for Aoife's reply, as she turned around and walked away to find Harry.

"Hermione- wait. I'm sorry." She called out, knowing she had well and truly overstepped the mark.


"There you are. I've been looking for you for ten minutes." Harry smiled when she walked into the Common Room. It took some time to clock the sadness in her face. "What's happened?" He asked as she fell in his arms and cried into his shoulder. "It's okay, tell me what happened."

"Aoife-" she stuttered, still pressing her face against him.

"What did she do?" He asked, massaging her scalp affectionately.

"She said I had form of leading guys on and chucking them when they are most vulnerable. She said that I was about to do that to you for Ron because apparently I didn't hurt him enough." She sobbed, gripping his back for support.

"That's absolute rubbish, I'm sure she didn't mean it. Ignore what she said, forget it and I'm positive she'll come and apologise before the end of the day."

"Do you really think that?" She said in between deep breaths.

"I do, and if not, you will always have me." She looked up at him and broke out into a small smile as she stood on tiptoes and gently kissed him.

"Were you really looking for me for ten minutes?" She smiled, "in the Common Room?"

"It's a big room, lots of corners you could have been hiding in." He joked. "I knew I would find you in here thought." He winked.

"Oh yes, you definitely found me here, not the other way around." She giggled.

"Let's not get caught up in all that. We're both here, how about we go back to the library." He suggested.

"Really?" She asked in astonishment.

"I know it will make you feel better and take your mind off of things. Plus, I have some work to finish."


Harry was right, as soon as they returned from the library, Aoife rushed straight over to her. "Hermione, I'm sorry for what I said. I was completely out of order and didn't mean anything I said. I was just upset with everything that has happened. I hope you can forgive me."

"What you said hurt me because sometimes I think I am exactly like you explained and you confirmed it."

"No, you're nothing like that, I know that everything you do is out of love and friendship. I'm sorry."

Hermione contemplated Aoife for half a second before coming to her conclusion and she showed this by launching into a hug. "I'm sorry for prying into your past. I know it's none of my business."

"You were just protecting your friend, but maybe we shouldn't be so opinionated in each other's lives," she said with a hint of a grin on her face.

"That sounds like a good deal."


So everything was back to normal. Well, as normal as it could be at Hogwarts. Weeks went by without anything significant happening then one day changed that and all was not calm once again. "Hermione!" Aoife howled as she ran into the Great Hall on a Monday morning in the middle of February. "Ethan has written back, he's sent one to Professor Curran too." She almost sang. She had long stopped referring to Professor Curran as her father as she insisted no father would do that to his child.

"What does the letter say?" Hermione asked, swallowing a piece of egg far too quickly causing her eyes to water.

"Here, read it for yourself," she said as she handed Hermione the letter.

'Dear Fe,
It's good to hear from you. I was pleasantly (not a word Fiona would use) surprised to see that you use owls as postmen. You know me, I never ask questions so I will be happy to write the letter to your dad, thanks for giving me an addressed envelope, that's much appreciated. I'm sending your letter straight after the one to you dad (thanks for the extra owl). I have no idea how long it will take, but I hope I have helped. When are you coming home? Inistioge isn't the same without you. I can't wait to see you again.
Always,
Ethan.'


"Do you think the second one has arrived?" Hermione pondered as soon as she finished reading the letter.

"I assume so. We'll have to wait and see." Aoife answered.

"Where's Ron?" Harry asked as Aoife sat down opposite them.

"Don't talk to me about him." She scoffed.

"What's happened?" He asked.

"Harry, that's talking about him." Hermione nagged.

"Sorry," he muttered.

"You'll found out anyway, might as well hear it from me. He found out about us sending Ethan a letter. He was angry I didn't tell him. I guess you were right, Hermione."

"There's still time to fix things with him. Just let him cool off."

"Definitely, let him cool off, Ron does and says things without thinking when he's upset or angry," Harry confirmed.

"Let's hope he understands when I explain it to him," Aoife said.

"Make sure you tell him everything, if you don't, it might come back to haunt you again," Hermione suggested.

Aoife looked at her with a hint of annoyance in her gaze, but she didn't say anything because she knew Hermione was right. "Can you believe how quickly this year is going?" Harry asked, changing the subject.

"I love it here, I wish I could have come here sooner and under different circumstances," Aoife said.

"A lot happened during the years. It wasn't always like this, this calm." Hermione informed.

"It would have still felt like a family. Despite the fact mine is falling apart, I feel far from alone here. Always someone to look out for you. Even though you were going through dark things, battling demons, but at least, you weren't alone when things were getting tough." Aoife argued back.

"You had your brothers," Hermione replied.

"Not really, I suppose Aengus was who I went to for support, but that changed. Here feels like a proper family, you two have always and will always be there for each other."

"Not always, we've had our ups and downs, but on the whole, yes we have always been there for each other," Harry said.

"That's why you're perfect for each other, everything you stand for is everything I want my relationship to be."

"We're not figures in a glass box on some shelf for all to see. We're not perfect, far from it. Our glass is as fogged up as yours, as everyone's. We've messed up, we've made mistakes. You shouldn't look up to us, take us down from the shelf you put us on." Hermione was clenching her folk with her left hand as she spoke. Harry looked at her cautiously but didn't say anything, he just picked her left hand off the folk and kept it safe in his hand.

"That's exactly the point. You might not be perfect, but it's the fact you've got through it, together. That's why I look up to you. You two have a concrete relationship which I have never seen before." She smiled at her friends.

"I suppose that has come from years of friendship," Harry interjected. "You and Ron can be strong too, you just need to learn to trust each other with every ounce of your being. Once you can do that, there's nothing you can't overcome. "He smiled before tucking back into his breakfast.

"Harry Potter, where did that come from?" Hermione laughed. They never talked about their relationship with other people, not unless they were asked and here he was, almost bragging about it.

"What we have is special, yes, but it is based on trust and love. That's all you need to begin with."

"Are you feeling alright, Harry? Only I think you're showing emotional range." Hermione joked, beaming at him.

"I would like to point out that it was Ron who had problems conveying emotion." He winked.

"See, history helps in relationships and you have cauldrons full of it." She moaned.

"History is made without trying. You and Ron already have it." Hermione pointed out.

"Yeah, but-" She began saying when a shadow loomed over her.

"Aoife, I received a rather urgent letter from you grandfather's nursing home. It would appear that he has taken a turn for the worse and it suggested I went to say goodbye." Professor Curran informed. "I just thought I would let you know that I know what you are playing at," he leant down so that his face was level with hers, "your grandfather died months ago, he never went to a home, he was too proud and arrogant for that."

"Wh-what?" She stuttered.

"He died months ago. When he left you never asked after him so I never bothered to tell you. I thought it was best that way." He smirked.

"How could you not tell us? He is our granddad!"

"No, no, he was your granddad." He hissed as he walked away.

"Can you believe him?" Aoife screamed, causing the whole of the hall to look at her.

"Oh, Aoife, I'm so sorry." Hermione whispered, reaching out her hand to squeeze hers, something was wasn't welcomed as Aoife pulled her arm away instantly.

"I hate him," she said through gritted teeth and tear after tear rolling down her cheek. "We're going to get rid of him one way or another. I'm not waiting for Aengus to do something anymore." She said in a monotone. Harry gave Hermione a cautious look, one that she returned instantly.

"What are you going to do?" Hermione asked hesitantly.

"We are going to get rid of him, any means necessary."


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