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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 19: Chapter Nineteen.

Harry woke up the next morning expecting a letter from Hermione, but nothing came. He didn't express his worries over this to Ron or anyone else, he knew that he would hear something soon, she had promised to write as soon as she could - she was probably just busy.

"How's Hermione and her mum? Has she written to you yet?" Aoife asked Harry and breakfast.

"No, I expect she's too busy to write," he replied.

"Oh, right, yeah, of course. Well, if you ever write to her, send her my best wishes and her mum, of course." She said sweetly.

"Yeah, will do."

Aengus looked up from his plate to take a glance at Harry having sensed something in his tone.

"When is she coming back?" Ron asked.

"She has to come back next weekend before we start lessons again. Right, Harry?" Aoife chipped in.

"Yeah."

"I wonder if she'll come back before then," Ginny added to the conversation.

"Only if her mum gets better," Ron argued.

"Does anyone know what's wrong with her?"

"I don't think Hermione even knew when she left."

"It must be quite serious, though, else she wouldn't have gone."

"Maybe they just wanted to see her?"

"But why? Because it's serious."

"Perhaps we should talk about something else, like what we're going to do with this week off." Aengus interrupted.

"I was thinking of drawing up a plan for our holiday. Hermione suggested it a while ago, I think it's a great idea." Aoife answered. "That way we know where we're going and what we're doing so we can get excited."

Ron and Aoife became emerged in holiday conversation whilst the rest of the speakers seemed to have dispersed. "Thank you" Harry mouthed to Aengus and he nodded as a welcome.

Harry calmed down drastically now that the conversation wasn't about Hermione. He wouldn't mind usually, but he didn't know what to say and even worse, he didn't know how to help. Several minutes later the post started to arrive. Even now Harry looked up in the search of a white owl and even now it broke his heart when he remembered.

However, today an owl did swoop down to Harry and gave him its outstretched leg. He quickly untied it and stood up. "Is that from Hermione?" Ron asked.

"No," Aengus replied quickly. "It's for me, but I gave it to Harry to keep until I wanted to read it."

Harry wasn't sure why Aengus was doing this; although they weren't enemies they never really spoke, but he went along with it, "he doesn't want it right now so I was going to put it somewhere safe until he wants to read it." He carried on with the unconvincing story.

"Who's it from?" Aoife asked staring at her brother.

"Why do you want to know? It's private."

"So private you gave it to Harry?"

"I'll just put this in my trunk then," Harry informed, striding off.

"It's not for you is it, Aengus? It's from Hermione." Aoife said.

"Why can't you just leave things alone, Aoife? It doesn't concern you so just drop it." Aengus snarled through his teeth. As he walked after Harry, Ron looked past his disappearing body to the door where his best friend slipped out.

"Unbelievable. She's our friend too, we want to know everything's okay." Aoife huffed.

"Actually, Aoife, I think this is one of those times where Aengus is right. If it is from Hermione, we'll find out when we're meant to." Ron said at a whisper whilst his face turned bright red.

"Wh-wh-" Aoife stuttered, but she never managed to finish, or start, the sentence.

*

"Thanks for everything back there," Harry said as Aengus walked up to him in the foyer outside the Great Hall.

"No problem, I know what it's like to be suffocated by questions you don't know the answer to."

"Why are you helping me?" Harry asked curiously, trying his hardest not to sound ungrateful.

"I just said. I know how it feels and I thought you deserved a break, I know how insistent Aoife can be."

"Not because of Hermione?" Harry's eyes narrowed with suspicion.

"What? I guess she was a factor, yes. You're both my friends so I want to help you out."

"If you say so. Thanks again, it means a lot to have someone on my side."

"Anytime. See you around," Aengus smiled before he walked away.

Harry clutched the letter to his chest as he contemplated where he would go to read it. He noticed that the sun was shining so he settled down on the lawn outside.

'Harry,
I wasn't going to write this letter so soon. I don't want you to worry and come here. Mum is ill, seriously ill, she needs a kidney transplant soon, but she has no one to donate to her. I'm forcing a test through to see if we're a match, if we are, I'm going to donate. I really need you to stay calm and don't come here.
Love Hermione.'


Harry read and reread her letter. Her words spelling out everything she needed to. He thought about how he should go about it. He could go to McGonagall and tell her that he needed to leave, but that would run the risk of being banned from going and being watched by her for the rest of the week. The only thing to do was to leave without telling a soul.

He walked to where he had taken Hermione yesterday morning and like he expected, the gates were securely locked. He knew magic wouldn't work on magic gates, so he looked to the ground and wondered how far down they went. Then something came to him, he picked up a stone and chucked it over the top of the gate - it didn't rebound back. He did it again, just to make sure and again it fell to the other side.

He pulled out his wand and summoned his broom. He thought of the bemused faces watching a bodiless broom fly through the corridors. He prayed that a pair of eyes didn't belong to his Headmistress else his plan would be scuppered. His broom arrived and he mounted it, kicking it upwards and flying it over the gate. He felt a small pushing force but it wasn't strong enough to repel him. Once he was back on the ground, he tucked his broom behind a tree and went to Hermione.

"Harry, it's lovely to see you. Hermione is upstairs in her room. Go on up." Hermione's father smiled as he opened the door wider for Harry to fit through.

"Thanks, sir."

"Please call me Archie, Harry."

"Thanks, Archie." Harry smiled, it would take some getting used to being on first name basis with him.

"You know the way. She's had a shock, finding out the seriousness of her mother's health. She's tired, but I know she'll be glad to see you."

"If you need some time, Archie, I'll be happy to hold the fort for you," Harry said as he noticed his grey face and dark eyes.

"That's very kind of you. My brother and his family are staying in a hotel for the weekend. They're here to see a show and they invited Rose and me along too. We both really wanted to go, but Rose isn't too well today. I won't go to the show because that would finish far too late, but it would be nice to see them for a couple of hours. If you really don't mind."

"Go to the show if you want to, I am more than happy to help."

"Thanks for the offer, but I will just have lunch with them. I know you would look after them both very well, but I don't want to leave my wife for too long. I work most of the week, so this is the only proper time I get to spend with her."

"Why don't we have a nice dinner tonight, if Rose is up to it. I'll cook...or get something in. I think someone needs to look after you too." Harry smiled, hoping to sound genuine.

"You are honestly the nicest young man I have ever met. I'll pick some ingredients up on my way back from lunch, we can make it together."

"That sounds like a plan." Harry smiled.

Archie grasped his shoulder like a father would do to his son, "I'm glad Hermione has someone like you." This made Harry feel so welcomed and safe. That small action, whether it was intended to make such an impact, made Harry feel something he had never felt before - it made him feel like he had a family who loved him. "I'll just tell Rose what's going on, thanks again."

"My pleasure."

"Harry! That was quick. I was sure it would take you a while to get here. How did you manage it?" Hermione looked slightly better than her dad did, but she had only been here for one night.

"I flew over the gate," Harry said simply, walking over to the bed and sitting down.

"Flew? Wasn't there a force field or something? How can it be that easy to escape?"

"I did feel something, but it was weak. Maybe someone helped me." Harry pondered.

"I don't care how you got here, I'm just glad you did," she said, wrapping her arms around his body and placing her head on his chest. He fell back and her hair covered his face, the smell of coconut being a smell of comfort to him.

"Do you want to talk about it?" He whispered as her ear wasn't far away from him.

"I don't really know much about it. She's got kidney disease which will soon become kidney failure. Her nurse explained it to me yesterday. She can be on dialysis for the rest of her life if she wants to. Three times a week for five hours."

"What's dialysis?" He asked gently.

"Her kidneys aren't doing what they should, they're not removing waste from her blood. Dialysis does that for her. Although she could go to work, it makes her extremely tired and dad doesn't really want to risk it. The nurse said that, although dialysis does give her a normal life, she can do everything she used to, she recommends a transplant so she doesn't have to stick to a schedule." Harry was playing with her hair as he listened, he didn't have any solutions to the problem, but she didn't mind. She just needed to talk to him.

"This transplant, if you are a match and everything works, how will it affect you?"

"The nurse said that it would take up to 6 weeks to get back to normal, but after that nothing would really change. They would want me to have check-ups to make sure everything is working alright, and I would need to be healthy, but that's nothing."

"So you could do everything you would be able to do with two kidneys?" He said, trying to ask something, but not wanting to use the direct words.

Hermione knew this but wasn't so afraid to say it outright, "I asked her and she said that there shouldn't be any problems during pregnancy or childbirth. They would obviously monitor me closely if or when it happens."

This relaxed Harry. They had never spoken about the idea of children, not seriously, but this was a good start. "So what does your mum think of it? I can't image she is happy about it."

"She doesn't want me to do it. But she's agreed to hear me out. She's worried that it'll ruin my life drastically, but it won't. I'll loose six weeks, but what's that to what she's going through? I just want to help her like she helped me my whole life."

"She just wants you to be safe and happy."

"I'll be happy once I know she'll be alright."

*
"Mr Weasley, have you seen Mr Potter recently?" Professor McGonagall asked sternly when they bumped into one another in the corridor.

Ron, who was on his way to the Common Room, wasn't in the mood for a grilling by his headmistress as Aoife had summoned him for a chat. "Sorry," he said vaguely.

"Well when you do see him, tell him I need to speak to him."

"About?" Ron asked, "only he won't want to come if he knows he's in trouble," he added when she gave him a look of disgust.

"Nice try, Mr Weasley. He isn't in trouble, though." She confirmed.

Ron nodded in agreement before stepping sideways and walking to his doom.


"Ron, I think we should talk about what's been going on," Aoife said as she sat on the end of his bed.

"Right," he replied, knowing his part of the conversation would be less than relevant.

"Do you remember a couple of months ago? We were outside McGonagall's office and Ardal was trying to make me go and speak to her after I had changed my mind. He was trying to force me and you stood up for me."

"Of course I stood up for you, we're on the same side."

"So why didn't you stand up for me this morning? With Aengus?"

"There was nothing I could do."

"Do you know the main reason I wanted to know about Hermione?" Ron shook his head, "because I know how much you care about her and I know how much you're worrying. I wanted to know for your sake."

"Well thanks, that means a lot to me. I am worried about her, but she has Harry to hold her together."

Aoife stared at him with her mouth slightly open. She couldn't quite believe how unaware he could be. "I did it for you because I care about you, because I don't want to see you down and when Aengus was laying into me, you just sat there, saying nothing and to make it worse, you took his side in the end. Something's happened to us, have you become bored with me? Do you want me to leave so you can find someone new?"

"No, of course not. I l-" He began to say, but he lost confidence.

"Say it, Ron. It shouldn't be hard if you mean it." She said, her eyes urging him on.

"Aoife-"

"Elizabeth," she interrupted.

"Aoife Elizabeth Curran, I love you," he whispered. That was enough for Aoife though.

"I love you too." She smiled before launching at him and planting a big kiss on his lips. "Why has it taken you so long to say it?"

"I guess I didn't know until I thought you were breaking up with me." He grinned. "So, your middle name is Elizabeth then?"

"Mum's name. I always preferred the name Eliza though. But you don't really shorten middle names."

"Eliza? That's the name of our first daughter then." He laughed.

Her eyes widened as her mouth turned upwards, "do you mean that?"

"Of course, I do. I've never felt this way about anyone. I know we've only known each other for less than a year, but I know that there's no one else I ever want. I know we're young and some will call us naïve, but you're all I want for the rest of my life." He said confidently.

"Are you..." She stuttered.

"Maybe I am. I don't have anything to offer you, only myself."

"That's all I need." She beamed.

*

"Miss Weasley, you're just the person I was looking for." Madam Hooch squealed when Ginny turned the corner.

"Madam Hooch, how can I help you?" Ginny asked sweetly.

"At the last Quidditch match, a scout was present. He picked you out and wants to sign you as soon as you leave Hogwarts."

"What? You can't be right. Are you sure?" She asked in amazement.

"I'm surer than I've ever been. He said you had the right mixture of competitiveness, drive, intelligence, determination and teamwork. This hardly happens. To be signed right after leaving school is an amazing achievement, not as great as being signed whilst still at school, but you shouldn't be too upset about that."

"Thanks," Ginny said under her breath. "What team is it?" She asked.

"You won't believe this, but it's the Holyhead Harpies!" She exclaimed.

"No!" Ginny screamed, "Holy-" She stuttered, not believing her ears.

"You are the newest Chaser for Holyhead Harpies! This is so exciting, I know, but you can't tell anyone for now. Keep this to yourself until you've signed the contract."

Ginny was buzzing, she couldn't get her head around it. For years, she had been wondering what she would do once leaving Hogwarts. She had always been drawn to the professional Quidditch life, but she always believed it was too farfetched to even think about being signed by a team. She couldn't wait to tell everyone she knew, couldn't wait to see her mum's proud smile and Ron's jealous face. She would have to move to Wales, of course, but she would sort that out when the time came. She wouldn't be able to go on holiday with her friends, she would need to think of a good excuse for now.

*

"I'm so glad you came, Harry. It really helped me out." Hermione said; they were still lying together on the bed. They both seemed to have fallen asleep at some point in the conversation.

"I would walk the world if you needed me," he whispered.

"I know you would," she replied, closing her eyes and smiling.

Below them, the front door was being pushed open, "only me." Archie called up.

"I just need to speak to your dad," Harry said.

"About what?"

"It's a surprise." He smiled, getting up from the bed and walking out of the room. Hermione became more alert, she was sure the surprise wouldn't be what she thought it would be, she hoped her hunch was wrong.


"Ah, Harry. I've got all the ingredients here for Rose's favourite meal - cottage pie and banoffee pie. Don't worry, they're not hard to make. I'll make the pudding. You get started on the cottage pie whilst I go and see how Rose is doing. There's a recipe over there." He pointed to a shelf full of cookbooks. Harry slyly approached them and saw that the recipe could be in any one of them.

He lifted one off the shelf and it just happened to be the right one, he grinned at himself thinking that he had already overcome the first hurdle. Archie was right, it didn't seem to be too complex and he was used to cooking in a Muggle kitchen.

By the time Archie reappeared in the kitchen, Harry was almost ready to put it in the oven. "Harry, don't put it in yet. We will do that a couple of minutes before we want to eat. It looks like you've done a great job, but Rose what's to speak to you now." He smiled as he walked over to a cupboard to get a glass bowl out to make his part of the meal.

"She does? Is she okay?" Harry pondered anxiously.

"She does."

*

"Excuse me," Aengus said to a girl who had her back to him, upon hearing his voice, she turned around. "Oh, it's you. Robyn. How are you?" Completely taken aback by the whole situation, Robyn was tongue tied for several seconds. "Sorry if I startled you, it's just an odd occurrence to bump into someone you actually know the name of round here."

"I'm pretty sure I know most of the names under this roof," she smirked.

"Oh yeah, you're a crazy stalker." He joked; she breathed out loudly, indicating a laugh. "So?"

"So what?"

"How are you?" He grinned.

"Not too bad," she answered. She was holding a black folder which was almost bursting at the seams.

"What's all that?" Pointing at the full folder.

"It is my OWL year," she argued back.

"So that's all school work?" He asked knowing full well it wasn't.

"Yeah," but one slipped out, and before she could stop him, Aengus bent down to pick it up.

"That's really good. Who is it?" He asked, handing back a black and white sketch of a young boy.

"My nephew, Oscar."

"How old is he?"

"5."

"Will he be coming here?"

"What's with all the questions? Am I being interrogated?"

"You've just asked two," he mocked.

"My questions weren't personal. I don't talk about my family, not to anyone." Her usually soft, quiet voice had been replaced by a harsh tone.

"I didn't mean to upset you. I just wanted to get to know you a bit more." He tried to turn up the Irish, in the past, his accent had charmed his way out of some sticky situations.

"I don't talk about my family. The Irish doesn't work on me, by the way." Aengus analysed Robyn's and could have sworn she had winked at him.

"I understand that I don't like talking about my family either," Aengus said softly. He reached out and, after hesitating slightly, touched the top of her arm. She recoiled and took a step back. "I'm sorry," he said when he realised he had completely misread the situation.

"You've nothing to be sorry for...yet," she smirked and walked off, laughing to herself as she went.

"Wait-" he called out before knowing what she should wait for.

She stopped and turned around slowly, "yeah?"

"It was nice to see yo- your drawing." He quickly edited his sentence to stop sounding too keen.

"I'm sure it was." She smiled.

*

Harry timidly knocked on Rose's bedroom door. "Come in," she called.

"Hello, how are you feeling?" Why had he said that? It made him sound like he was trying to sound like a doctor.

"I've been better, but I've definitely been a lot worse. How are you? Please, sit down." She added, indicating to the chair that was by her side.

"I'm alright." He carefully sat on the chair, becoming more aware of the noises he made and trying hard to eliminate them.

"I expect you have been speaking to Hermione about her ludicrous plan to be a donor?" She noticed Harry's nod and carried on, "it means a lot to me that she would go through all that to help me, but I don't want her to. She would be helping my life but risking her own. I know you wouldn't want her to do that, so will you speak to her for me? She might listen to you."

Harry thought about what he was about to say, "I can't change her mind, Mrs Granger, I also wouldn't want to. She watched me risk my life time and again to stop Voldemort and this is something she is set on. This is something she wants to do, for you. We both know this is going to happen."

"I envisioned you would say something like that, so here's what I ask from you now. I need you to protect her for the rest of your life. I mean it. If she does this for me, you have to promise me that she'll never come to any harm."

"You don't need to ask me to do that, I have tried to keep her safe since we were 11."

"I know," she said smiling as she took Harry's hand affectionately.


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