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Open Wounds & Broken Hearts by Rose Wilts

Format: Novella
Chapters: 9
Word Count: 12,940
Status: WIP

Rating: 15+
Warnings: Mild Language, Scenes of a Mild Sexual Nature, Substance Use or Abuse, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme

Genres: Drama, Romance, Angst
Characters: Harry, Hermione, Ginny, Aberforth, OC
Pairings: Ron/Hermione, Harry/Hermione, Hermione/OC

First Published: 12/04/2007
Last Chapter: 04/15/2009
Last Updated: 04/15/2009

Summary:
banner by Antiquity at tda.


He had left her, she had cried herself to sleep because of him, he had caused her more pain with one small farewell than most people could ever imagine in a lifetime. No, Harry Potter was no friend of hers.


Chapter 1: Chapter 1- The Weeping of The Soul
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Hot tears rolled down the cheeks of a young witch. Her face, normally so bright and rosy was now drained and empty.
She had lost everything.
He had died to make the world a better place, but how could the world be a better place without him in it?
Besides her Harry shuffled on his feet. He had tears streaming down his own face and was taking quick, sharp breaths. His eyes were puffy and red and uneven stubble was beginning to grow across his chin. He had not taken well to this latest emotional blow.
It was hard for him too, but not like it was for her. He hadn’t loved him, not like she had.
She had loved him for a long time, since third year at least, and the worst part? She had never told him.


The cool autumn breeze blew against her robes, messing her hair and drying her tears.
A pointed witches hat and black veil covered her face but everyone could still tell it was she. Her unmistakable slouch a dead give away. But for once it wasn’t from books or work, it was from pain and the agony of losing a loved one. Ron Weasley.


The occasional witch or wizard approached her, expressing their sorrow, or concern.
It mattered not to her what they thought. They only opinions that had ever mattered, really were the ones of those already gone.


Hermione Granger stood at the end of the line, at the end of the guard of honour.
Hundreds of people gathered, some merely knew him by sight, others by heart.
She knew him by both, and more. She’d watch him grow. From a gangly, under-confident eleven year old boy to an even ganglier, yet powerful young man.


He said he’d always be there for her. But he wasn’t it, was a lie. She knew it was stupid to blame him for it. But she did. If only he hadn’t been so noble.


She watched as the four remaining Weasley brothers carried his casket up the path.
She could tell that it was more than the physical weight of their brother’s death upon their shoulders.
Their faces, so shattered and weary, held more emotion than most people could ever feel in their hearts.


All around her people wept into handkerchiefs and onto each other’s shoulders. No one could comprehend the fact that he was gone.
Ron Weasley was dead, so why had the world not ended? How was it that everything could keep going, while such a key part, or so many people lives had just departed?
That was what Hermione wanted to know.


Her whole body now shook as they approached her. She drew the veil tighter around her face and her body was racked with grief. She bowed her head and began to cry. She had never cried like it before. It was like her heart was pouring out of her eyes. What she felt was unexplainable. What was even the point of living?


“Hermione.” George Weasley placed a hand on her shoulder. He didn’t need to speak. She understood. Hermione nodded and George walked on.


Harry was by her side again holding her hand. He was glancing distractedly around, watching the mourners milling around, consoling one another or crying to themselves. There was not one of them who wasn't in tears. 
He looked over his shoulder then back at Hermione. Something was clearly on his mind.


“Hermione.” 

He sounded urgent, almost panicked, restricted. She paid him no attention. Her eyes were fixed on the casket disappearing over the hill.


“Hermione.” Harry squeezed her hand, trying to get her to look at him. His eyes bored into her skull, but still she ignored him.

The Casket was gone. Ron was gone. All was gone. 

She glanced down at the white flesh on the inside of her arm. It would be so easy.


Harry grabbed her shoulders and steered he around to face him. She could not bear to look into his eyes. His piercing green eyes. She had never been able to hold ter gaze.
Harry looked straight at her.


“I have to leave Hermione.”


She nodded, not really understanding his words or how much they would come to mean to her later on.


“I’m leaving.”


He hesitated a little before he kissed her swiftly on the forehead, and with one last imploring look, turned on his heel and walked away. 


A single sob escaped Hermione's lips, although she did not really understand.


She watched his figure walking into distance. He reached the boundry of the grounds and turned on the spot, and then he was gone.


Ron had gone, just like her parents, and now Harry too.


There was nothing left for her here.


Nothing.









Author’s note: Okay. So that was a very short chapter, but I only really wanted to know if it intrigued anyone. Is it too cliché? It's pretty over dramatic, or not, I mean all her friends and family are dead (pretty much.)
 To be honest, I don’t really know where I’m going to go with it. He he. Thanks guys, tell me what you think! please review!


Chapter 2: Chapter 2- Stitches
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It was about midday, and what a fine day it was. The sun was shining and flowers blooming. Even the laziest beings had ventured outside and that included Mr. Gripe the neighborhood scrooge. No one could deny it; the day was glorious and everyone should be a part of it. 


However the curtains of Hermione Granger’s bedroom remained drawn. 


Outside the world was alive, but the inside of the house maintained its silence.
Dust had gathered over the furniture and cobwebs clung to the ceiling. Floorboards creaked underfoot and rodents dwelled in peace under the stairs. 


And the curtains remained shut. 


It had been so for many a month now. Yes ever since the death of her lover it had been this way.
She had decayed and matured, to the point of bitterness some said. She had lost her youth and all the care that was ever held in her heart.
Why some said that she had ceased to exist at all.
But they were wrong. 


Only two knew the truth, and one of them was in the upstairs bedroom, lying in a crumpled heap on her bed.
She was tangled in the sheets in a sweaty mess. Her knotted brown hair was plastered to her scalp and across her brown, why it had even lost some of its bushiness.
Whether it was sweat or tears that rolled in beads down her face she did not know. She was in no fit state to conceive such truths anyhow. 


Only a single beam of light penetrated through the thick curtains. The thin shaft shone over her desk and books, the memories of long ago.
The light however did not extend to the furthest corners of the room, there in the dark; the foul creatures of Hermione’s mind were left to fester away. 


Oh yes, she was not well at all. 



Ginny Weasley had recovered faster than anyone had ever thought possible. Why she had even surprised herself. 


It wasn’t that Ron’s death hadn’t affected her, because it had and in more ways than anyone could ever imagine.
He was her brother and she loved him. The Burrow seemed just that little bit larger and colder without Ron in it. God, who was she to deny it? She missed him. Even if half the time they were together he spent it fawning over Hermione and herself over Harry, or moaning and complaining. The other half of the time he was Ron. Ronald Weasley, exactly as his friends knew him, because that other half of the time that was precisely what he was to her. A friend. 


As if Ron’s death hadn’t pained her enough there was that other report, the one that had reached her just days after the funeral, when she had begun to think that maybe she could make it.


Harry Potter had been reported missing.


Ginny had spent at least the next three weeks in her room, speaking to no one, occasionally eating. She spent hours pouring over photos of the two of them wondering where it had all gone wrong. Wondering what she had done that had made him hurt her this way, didn’t he realized what he was putting her through? 


She had wanted to die. 


But she was a Weasley, and knew very well that Weasley’s didn’t die unless they had a very good reason.
Finally, but not without time, she had begun the rebuild her life. She started eating again and even contacted Hermione. 


Hermione Granger, her best living friend, how could she have forgotten that she must’ve been going through the same ordeal? Harry and Ron were like brothers to her, maybe even more in Ron’s case, she didn’t know, but she did know she wanted to help. 


Slowly, but surely, together the two of them began to restore their lives. Hermione was in a worse state than Ginny, and it took all of Ginny’s patience to even get her to leave the house.
At last Ginny managed to drag her out to a bar one night. The air was thick with the scent of cologne and alcohol, the music loud and handsome strangers plentiful. Ginny chatted to all the cute gentlemen she could find, Hermione chatted to none. 


After that night the two of them had stuck to quiet conversation at either Ginny’s or Hermione’s house. They argued sometimes and swore to never see each other again, but when one received a tearstained letter from the other all was forgotten. They needed each other more now that they ever had. 


Everything was going according to plan; right up until Harry Potter was reported dead. 


The wizarding world was in an uproar. How was it that Harry Potter, their savior, their idol, their god, could die? Surely the world must be coming to an end.
No body cared what Hermione Granger or Ginny Weasley could be feeling. All they had was each other. 



Hermione drifted silently through the house. She didn’t know why she even bothered to make an effort, Ginny could see clearly through her façade. It was so much worse than she had ever meant it to get. 


She walked unsteadily into the kitchen and started to scrub the dishes. The stack by the sink was teetering threateningly, but Hermione knew she just had to grit her teeth and do it. While she worked ‘Unchained Melody’ escaped her lips.
The music was soft, cautious and terribly off pitch but she enjoyed it all the same. It was nice to sing, it made her feel happy. She had never admitted that to either Harry or Ron. They would’ve taken the mickey out of her for sure.
A soft chuckle strangled from her mouth, eventually transforming into gasping tearless sobs. Her body shook in agony, but no tears dripped down her cheeks this time. 


It was getting easier. So much easier to reach past the pain.
Her hands formed a cage around her body, holding herself in, pulling back together to careful guise. After a few minutes her breathing steadied and heart rate slowed.
It seemed that the more times it happened the easier it was to recover when it occurred again. In an unsteady motion she rose to her feet. Ginny Weasley was walking down the drive. 


Hermione bolted into the bathroom. The dishes could wait; her personal appearance was of a more pressing urgency. A messy house was acceptable, but she had to at least look like she was taking care of herself or Ginny would have a fit.
She rummaged hysterically through the draws looking for a brush. After a short moment she realized she held a wand in her hand.
In a swift fluid motion her hair lay flat and tidy. Another flick and the dark circles under her eyes were gone. 


She searched madly through a pile of what she hoped were clean clothes on the floor until she found a soft yellow dress and grey cardigan. Better than nothing she shrugged. With a racing heart she pulled it on, smoothing out the creases as she marched towards the door with an outstretched hand. 


It was blasted open before she could touch the knob. 


“Hermione Granger, I’ve been knocking for ages!” Ginny glowered, though the effect was somewhat lost as her face was ashen and eyes wild. 

“Honestly! I though you’d died.” 


Hermione softened and closed the door with a snap leading Ginny into the lounge. 


“What you really mean to say is ‘thank you, I’m glad I’m here’.” I wasn’t a question. 


Ginny still looked furious but nodded nonetheless. Her critical eyes raked over Hermione once before sweeping the room. Her expression was disapproving. 


“There is such a thing as house elves you know?” She half smirked despite the underlying sternness in her message. “And as you’re clearly not doing the housework yourself…” 


But she never got a chance to finish her sentence. 


“Ginny.” Hermione warned. “We’ve had this conversation before. I am not getting a house elf; honestly, did you really think a few demises would change that?” 


Her tone was flawlessly light when she said ‘demises’, but her heart gave a painful throb at the reminder. 


Ginny cringed at Hermione’s words. 


“That’s not-” She started, patting her friend’s leg comfortingly. “I was only trying to-”
Hermione cut across her once more. 


“Gin, it’s all right. I’m fine, really.” Her eyes gave nothing away. She got better at this by the day. 


‘Fake it till you make it Hermione.’ She sighed to herself. ‘Fake it till you make it…’ 


Author's note: Thank you to everyone who reviewed my last chapter. It really made me want to write more. I'm sorry that this chapter isn't long yet took me aggges to post. I promise the next chapter will be juicier! 

Rose :)


Chapter 3: Chapter 3- Anniversary
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The basket in her hand was starting to get heavy, but nevertheless Hermione added a bunch on bananas. She refused to magic it lighter. It’d do her good to strain a little. 


As it turned out, her ‘fake it till you make it’ philosophy had worked out better than she ever could’ve imagined, for today Ginny decided she was fit to go out on her own. 


It certainly hadn’t been without much begging and persuasion of her part, but after almost a full hour, Ginny had finally given in. 


So now she stood in the last isle of her local grocers. She had only meant to buy some fruit, but after she got looking she realized how low she was on…well everything. 


It took up the main part of her morning, striding down the isles, scanning for the cheapest and placing it in her basket. It was a satisfying feeling whenever she got a particularly good bargain. It was like catching a great ball of landing a good punch. 


Hermione now made her way up to the counter. A portly round-faced woman with thinning blonde hair was waiting behind the counter. She smiled kindly as Hermione approached. 


“How are you today love?” She asked, in a rough voice, already scanning and packing Hermione’s items. 


“Chilly out en’t it?” 


Hermione smiled back taking her three now packed bags from the lady. They were heavier than she’d expected them to be, and her tired arms screamed in protest. 


“It is a bit; perhaps it’ll rain later on?” 


“Maybe it will, you best be home before it does now.” 


Hermione puffed as she struggled to steady herself against the weight of the bags. The lady threw her a concerned look. 


“Don’t worry.” She called already turning around to hobble out of the automatic doors. 

“I will be.” 


And once she was out of sight, she turned on her heel and vanished. 





Once home Hermione swiftly unpacked the bags. She made sure that she cleaned up all of her mess or Ginny would be after her. 


With an exhausted sigh she grabbed an apple and slumped onto the couch. The T.V was already on, muggle news blaring from its speakers. 


Hermione never paid much attention to what the newsreaders ever had to say. It was amusing how poorly informed muggles were.

“We now move onto our last time for the evening, a man who some say is destined to me the next Picasso. Leo Rogers can pains pictures with his elbows!” 

Hermione leapt to her feet. She really needed to get out. 


In a matter of seconds she was in her room pulling on jeans, white shirt and beige cardigan. She wasn’t feeling in the mood for anything extravagant. Still, her simple attire managed to look strangely stylish. 

She bolted to the door and slipped on some boots, pulled her heavy coat from the hook and slung her bag across her shoulder. 


She was ready. 


She had been right about the weather. It was raining, and heavily too. It wasn’t pattering down; this rain was coming down in hard sheets. It stung her bared face and drenched her hair. 

With some difficulty Hermione extricated her wand from her pocket and cast a shield around herself. The rain could touch her no more. Once she had reached the boundary of her property she glanced around herself to make sure she was entirely alone. She didn’t exactly want to be the one responsible for exposing their world. After one final fleeting, look about, she apparated. 



She found herself this time in the small wizarding village of Farnvale. The town was tiny, mainly made up of small timeless cottages and even smaller shops tucked away behind curtains of trees and untamed vines. 


It was no longer sheeting rain, but drizzling lightly, the air was cool, but not icy like it had been before. Hermione pulled off her hood and began to walk down the street. 


The main street was nothing more than a narrow gravel road, lined by quaint teahouses, books stores, post offices and bars.
The gravel crunched underfoot as Hermione walked making her way towards the nearest vending place of alcohol. 


This was where she needed to be. 


She pushed the door open and a wave of warm, tobacco scented air washed over her. She walked towards the counter, seating herself on one of the stiff leather stools.
Around her people talked, though they were nothing more than a babble of voices with no particular flow or gist. In the background music played, although Hermione did not recognize the tune she tapped her feet along to the beat. 


It was noisy and crowded in this room, but for the first time in almost a year, Hermione Granger almost felt whole. 


She ordered a shot of firewhiskey feeling more lighthearted and reckless than she had in a long time and picked up some salty bar peanuts. She was hungry enough to eat even them. 


Before long a beefy grey-haired man, with a stubbly grey beard came and sat next to her. His friend also seated himself near her. They began to talk, in low, cautious voices, but Hermione found no interest in what they were so urgently communicating to each other. 


She remained watching them however, watching, but not seeing. 

She tapped her foot and downed shot after shot. The strong liquor burned her throat, but she hardly noticed. 


I wasn’t until she heard the words ‘Golden trio’ that she really started listening. 


She leant forward, towards the two men who were speaking of her so casually, no doubt unaware that one the ‘the golden trio’ was sitting in their midst. 


“Aye, he was a fine lad.” The balder and slimmer of the two was saying, the one seated further away from Hermione.
“But the brave die young. All three of them perished within a year!” 


Hermione’s brown furrowed. All three of them? 



The beefy man scoffed. “Granger didn’t die.” And the slim man’s expression darkened. 


“Ah, but Arnold old pal, if the rumors are true she’s as good as dead.” 


The fat man what completely and unashamedly interested now. He tipped forward in his seat, swiveling his ear towards the other man’s mouth. His piggy eyes were bright and alert. 


“What rumors?” he demanded, louder Hermione was sure, than he had intended.
The second man leaned forward, beckoning the larger with a finger and the fat man bent forward closer. Hermione now had to strain to listen. 


“They say she’s gone mad. Locked away in a private home I’d say. No one ever sees her, no one ever hears of her. The death of her lover and best friend was too much and it simply,” He clicked his fingers, “pushed her over the edge.” 


Hermione leaned away, disgusted. They thought she was dead, no, worse than that. They thought she was insane. 


Her head was pounding. How dare they talk of her? Who were they to stick their noses into other people lives? She had never had any business with either of them before, and she certainly wouldn’t be having any tonight. 


With a dignified huff she swept to her feet. She slung her bag over her shoulder and threw the two men (who were now gazing at her with a mixture of alarm and amusement) a withering glare. 


But they did not even recognize her. 


She stalked out of the bar without a word. Her long dark hair flaring behind her. Her eyes were burning with emotion. 


She glimpsed her reflection in the window as she left. It hit her why they did not make the connection between the Hermione Granger they had talked of and this very different one. 


She did not look the same. 


Her skin was pale porcelain, just as it always had been, but this time there were no flushed red cheeks, or smiling dimples. Instead her skin was sallow and waxen. It stretched across the bones of her face, across her now hollow cheek bones. 


Her eyes were flat, depthless brown. Not perceptive or intuitive as that once had been. These eyes did not care. Instead they blazed with hard, cold, hardheartedness.
The determination to keep holding onto that thin strip of sanity she had in her grasp. 



She pulled her jacket tighter around her thin frame as the biting, icy air of the evening reached her again. 


Blindly she made her way down the street. She tripped often and her teeth chattered. The night was colder than she remembered, but she needed to escape. 


Her feet fumbled as she walked. The alcohol had made her unsteady, but perhaps she had planned this all along. She couldn’t even remember now. 


She spoke to herself as she walked. Trying to reason with herself, imitating Ginny, attempting desperately to find a way to control her reckless feelings. 


At last she collapsed, behind some bins. Her eardrums were filled with a faint buzzing and when she breathed sharps pains stabbed her chest. 


Her entire form shook from the pale, delicate, flakes of snow that were beginning to calls around her. Hermione’s hair matted and became plastered to her scalp as she rolled in the muck the rain had left behind, trying fruitlessly to right her position. 


It was useless. 


“To the trio!” 


These words rung out through the night, clearer than anything else Hermione had heard in two years. For once it made sense to her. She could suddenly comprehend.



Tears welled up in Hermione’s eyes. Her body flooded with grief. Uneven, broken sobs racked her body and pierced the silent evening. 


She had remembered what day is was and why the men had spoken of her. 


It was exactly two years to the day since Ron Weasley had died. 




0o0

She was warm and comfortable, something here was not right. Her body was encased in something soft and secure. She wanted to know what it was, but could not open her eyes, to lift herself from this dreamy haze. 


Hermione mumbled to herself scolding, some of her old personality shining through. She really should check where she was. It was the logical thing to do. 


Grudgingly her eyelids fluttered open, at first all she saw was light. Blinding white light. She almost snapped her eyes back shut again, but something else caught her attention. 


There was a man. 


He was standing in the corner of the room, which Hermione saw now, was not white, but cream, with soft blue curtains. 


He leant casually against the wall, a gentle smile tugging at his lips. He was older than her, she could tell, but age had done him well in his looks. 


His hair would once have been the darkest black but now it was streaked every so often with greys and whites. It was combed messily and unevenly across his smooth forehead. 


His eyes crinkled slightly at the corners as he looked at her, fondness painting his expression. They were clear light blue, and fathomless.
Hermione liked them. 


At last he noticed she was awake. His expression became more formal, but still kind and he walked slowly towards her, his movements fluid and athletic.
He stopped just by the side of her bed before he spoke. 


“I was wondering when you’d come round Hermione Granger.” 


Hermione felt herself smile. His voice was rich, musical and soothing. She felt compelled by this man. This strange, unknown man who had watched her sleep. 


What was he doing here anyway? 


“I am Wilem Dahl, your healer.”





AN- Wow, third chapter AT LAST. Ha ha, it took me forever to write this, every time I tried to put my ideas to paper....er computer screen it just came out all wrong. So I left it for a couple of months (as you may have noticed) and here it is! I hope it's OK. Please, please, please review :)


Chapter 4: Chapter 4- Wilem Dahl
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In the first few months of their relationship Hermione had loathed Dr Dahl. Not because he was pushy or annoying, purely because he was exactly the opposite. 


Of all the healers they could have landed her with, they had to give her the one she couldn’t justifiably get mad at. 


She hated the patience on his face while he waited for her to drain her medicine or the sincerity in his eyes when he told her he was glad she was starting to feel better. He was much too nice and honest to her, far more so than she deserved.
All Hermione Granger needed was someone who she could yell at, but Wilem Dalh was no such thing. 


She complained about him every evening when Ginny came to visit. She was too riled by his self-possession to even feel sorry for Ginny, having to hear the same old rant night after night. 


“Honestly, the way he looks at me, all understanding and unwearied. I don’t need someone to watch over me, and I especially don’t need him. Good for nothing, smart-arsed, stuck up prat! He so- so- so earnest. I just want to hit him sometimes!” 


But Ginny just smiled and took it. It was useless to ask Hermione what she’d done or how she felt. She’d just reply back with some quip at Wilem all over again. 


It was Ginny who was the one who was forced to keep civilised words coming out of Hermione’s mouth whenever Wilem was in the room with them. It wasn’t an easy task, but she did alright. Most of the time Wilem just smiled and kept going about his work. She wondered if the poor girl would ever get used to him. 




And then, three months down the track she did… 




It was a Monday morning and Hermione Granger was not yet awake. Only pale washed out sun, filtered through the rain shone into the room. Everything was shadowed by clouds and blanketed in fog. Most people had slept in, but Wilem was already up, wheeling a tray of breakfast into Hermione’s room. 


It wasn’t that she was physically ill, because she wasn’t and could have done all this by herself if she wanted to, but Wilem liked taking care of her. There was something about her that compelled him. 


As quietly as he could he pushed the tray over to her bedside. He took the lid of the food and poured her some tea. For now he would leave her sleep. As it turned out, she wasn’t exactly a morning person. 


He took the wilted violets from the flower vase and relaced them with some new ones. He put her clothes from the day before into the laundry chute and binned all the tissues on her bedside table. He knew she still cried herself to sleep at night. 


Deciding to wait, he sat down on the chair at the foot of her bed and watched the steady rise and fall of her frame as she breathed. 


The sun glinted against her ivory skin and highlighted the gold tones in her chocolate hair. The dark purple shadows under her eyes seemed to be almost dissolved in this light, but Wilem knew they were still there. He didn’t think they’d really left her face since Ron died. 


When Hermione Granger has entered her first year at Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Wilem had been out of school for four years.
Perhaps some of the most vivid mental images that existed in his mind were those that his brother Brent, a fifth year at the time had painted in his mind. Those of the trio in their earliest days. He could see them all blush and smile modestly as they won the house cup for Gryffindor. Yes, he could see Hermione doing that very easily. 


She certainly was a fiery one. He remembered the way she had looked when he first introduced himself. She didn’t speak to him at first, she didn’t speak to anyone. And if she spoke to Ginny, Ginny never said.
Then suddenly she just started yelling. She didn’t want to take her medicine and she didn’t want him to stay calm. It annoyed her when he looked away politely while she dressed and she was positively seething when he had to help her out into the gardens. 

She didn’t trust him and he was frustrated by his understanding of her. He knew she wanted someone she could just mad at, and could he blame her? But what else was he supposed to do? Yell at his patients? No, he couldn’t do that, and especially not to her. 


So, she maintained her inexplicable fury with him and he stayed just as calm as before. She hated it. 


All the same, Wilem Dahl couldn’t help but love her. Even just a little bit. 


There was mumble from the bed and Hermione’s form stirred. Her thin pale arms rose up into the air as she stretched and her body arched. Wilem look away courteously, only really watching her from the corner of his eye.
He saw her raise a hand to run her hand through her thick hair, untangling it with her fingers. 


“I had a dream about you.” 


Wilem spun around. Was she talking to him? Surely not. Normally her tone had more of a hiss or a forcedness to it. Whatever it was, it had never been a murmur before. Her tone was so soft it seemed to caress his ears. It was velvet and honeysuckle. 


“Wilem?” 


He walked over to the side of her bed cautiously. His blue eyes were curious but wary. Wilem started down at her, seeing just her head poking out from underneath the covers. Her perceptive brown eyes and delicate lashes. He smiled very softly. 


“Is everything alright?” 


“I had a dream about you.” She repeated, her tone matter-of-fact. She started at him with wide innocent eyes and gave him a half-smile. 



Yes, and despite of everything, Hermione Granger couldn’t help but love him back as well. Even if it was just a little bit. 




AN- Wow, I haven't updated this story in FOREVER! I'm so terribly sorry. I really enjoyed writing this chapter. I was looking through my folders of fics and I was like- hey! I haven't written anything from this in ages. So I sat down and wrote this in like- 3o mins, and now I'm posting it. Crazy,  I know. Anyway. I hope you enjoyed it. Feel free to review :)

Chapter 5: Chapter 5- Night time Phantoms
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“Gin, Ginny! Are you still there?” 


Ginny’s head appeared in Hermione’s line of vision once again. Her long red hair was hanging around her face and her eyes were wide. Hermione breathed a sigh of relief and Ginny grinned ruefully, knowing what had happened. 


“Yes?” She asked half amused, half apologetic. Hermione beamed, remembering the good news she had to tell her friend. 


“Wilem says that he thinks I’ll definitely be right to come to your house on Saturday.” Hermione informed her. 

They weren’t talking face to face. Instead Hermione knelt on the floor in Wilem’s study, her head thrust into the emerald flames of the fireplace.

Ginny beamed back.

“Brilliant!” She enthused. “I’ve been getting lonely around here, and I’m glad you’re not doing anything you’re not supposed to. You’re not, right?” 


Hermione rolled her eyes. Her knees were getting sore, she didn’t want to spend more time convincing Ginny she’d been fine than she already had. 


“I’m positive Gin. He’s been letting me do a lot of things by myself lately. I’m fully recovered, c’mon! Apparently I’m doing much better than other patients he’s known.” 


Now it was Ginny’s turn to roll her eyes. 


“Yeah, we all know why that is.” She muttered softly, still aware of her friend’s delicate emotions. 
Regardless of what Hermione said about being better, Ginny was still a little cautious, the admittedly she was glad it seemed her friend had finally found someone. That she was finally moving on. At least that was what it appeared. Hermione had gotten very good at pretending over the past two years, but for the first time, her happiness seemed real. 


Hermione tutted reprovingly at her. 


“Now listen here. You know full well there’s nothing between Wilem and I. It’s purely a patient carer relationship.” 


Ginny laughed. “Whatever you say ‘Mione.” But upon seeing the woman’s face she changed her reply. 

“Alright, alright. There’s nothing, I get it!” She laughed and shook her head, sending her hair into a red frenzy. She started rising to her feet and brushing off her knees. 

“See you tomorrow ok?” She asked Hermione, looking down into the flames. “Make sure you’re not late.” 

Hermione laughed, said goodbye and pulled her head out of the fire seeing Ginny’s feet disappear around the corner as she did. 


Easing her stiff joints she rose to her feet. The blood went rushing back into her legs and her bones cracked. Wincing she straightened up and sighed. 


“All settled?” 


Hermione smiled slightly. She knew that voice; it had become her constant companion these past few weeks. She turned around to see Wilem sitting behind his desk, scanning through a pile of papers. He had not looked up when he spoke, but he knew she was no longer talking to Ginny, even as immersed in his work as he was. His hair kept falling into his eyes, but with a patient hand he brushed it back. 


Hermione smiled again. That was Wilem, patient to the core. He had been patient with her and now he had fixed her. She felt better by the day. She owed him the world.
She made her way across to the desk, picking up her coat as she went. She wasn’t weak anymore, she no longer relied on people to support her as she walked or to wait for her while she ate. She wasn’t confined to her room either. Now she could go around wherever she wanted, whenever she wanted. 


She had been remitted from the hospital over a week ago. Now all she had to do was make a daily check-up to Wilem’s office, otherwise he’d come after her. But that wasn’t a problem at all to her now was it? 


“Yep.” She said her tone bright. “I’m going over to Ginny’s tomorrow at six for dinner. Everything is settled indeed.” 

She sat down in the seat opposite to his and laughed lightly. He laughed too and Hermione sighed. 

“I really need someone to talk to.”

He looked up from his work and smiled, his light blue eyes were alight with sincerity, again. There was barely a crease on his thirty-one year old face. He smiled at her again, trying to look serious. 


“There’s always me?” 


Hermione smiled back and placed one of her hands over his. 

“I know.”

0o0 


It was now eleven o’clock on a Saturday evening and both women were sitting on the hearth, facing the fire, staring into its flickering depths and feeling very full. 


Hermione closed her eyes and let the fire’s glow warm her eyelids. She couldn’t recall feeling so at ease for such a long time. Even the past few weeks with Wilem had seemed to rush to her. The soft smiles and careful touches. All the hours spent in his study talking and adjusting, and then that feeling. The feeling of realising that life had presented her with something beautiful and she would be crazy not to take it. 


Hermione smiled when she heard Ginny draw a breath, readying herself to speak. 


“So, you and Wilem, what is there between you, really?” 


Hermione smiled wider. She should have guessed this conversation topic would come up. 


“Hmm, about twenty miles I’m say.” She replied back, not missing a beat and causing her friend to groan at her answer. 


“Seriously Hermione.” She sighed. 


“Well, there’s definitely something.” She said slowly, contemplating her answer, not wanting to reveal too much. 


“I thought- I mean- I love talking to him. It’s nice to talk to someone different-“ She threw an apologetic glance at Ginny. “No offence. You know, I realised the other day that you’re basically the only person I’ve talked to for two years.” 


She laughed hollowly and sat up, grabbing the knitted blanket from the couch and wrapping it around her thin body. Addressing herself more than anyone else she spoke softly. 


“I don’t know why I didn’t realise I didn’t have to be so alone sooner.” 


There was a silence. Not an awkward one, but a companionable one. Neither of the girls really realised how much they had come to rely on and mean to one another until now. Not long after that, the clock struck twelve.
The fire cast eerie flickering shadows around the room and turned their skin to glowing ice and eyes to wild fire. 


Once again it was raining outside. It came down against the roof in hard sheets, pounding against the windows and thrumming against the ground.
In the distance thunder rumbled, but the storm was far away, for now. 


“You know, when Harry was reported dead, I wanted to kill myself.” Ginny said softly. Hermione looked up. 


It was the first name his name had come up in conversation between them for almost two years. 


“But it didn’t.” She sounded crazy as she said it. “And now look where I am. I nowhere different to where I was before he, he, died.” She looked away so Hermione wouldn’t see the tears in her eyes. 


“I still th-“ 


But she was cut off by a scraping noise from outside the window. Both women froze. Slowly, Hermione drew her wand out of her back pocket, feeling that long lost rush adrenaline that only a sense of danger could bring on. She held her wand out in front of her, readjusting to the sensation, feeling every bit like she was greeting an old friend. Pre-war Hermione and Post- War Hermione were meeting at last. 


Ginny was on her feet too, her wand was held loosely in her hand by her side. She walked vigilantly over to the window and peered out. After a moment of close inspection she laughed. 


“It was a branch, I think it was a branch from the oleander bush.” But her voicd shook as she made the confirmation. The two sunk back into their seats, their peaceful night ruined. 


Not long after that Hermione left.


0o0 


The heavy rain against her window made Hermione restless. She slept fitfully, caught between wake and slumber. Half of the time she wasn’t sure which was which. What was the reality and what was the dream. 


In the dream there was someone standing over her, a dark shadow watching her sleep. They did not move nor speak. They were as still and as carved as an ice sculpture. Hermione wanted to reach out to them and tell them that everything would be alright, but she knew she couldn’t. 


In the reality long shadows and rumbling thunder haunted her. The large empty house wasn’t bright and open as it was in the day. Instead night time phantoms prowled the track from the bedroom to the bathroom and the dark side’s spies were everywhere. 


For the seventeenth time that hour Hermione awoke with a shudder. There was still someone watching her, she could feel it. She tried to swallow, but her throat was parched. Eyeing the moving photographs on the wall warily she slipped out of the bed and onto the rug, lain across the polished timber floor. 


The ground chilled her feet, but that didn’t bother her so much as her thirst. Grabbing her wand from the bedside table she made her way out into the hallway. Once again she felt that surge or familiarity as she held the wand out before her body, its tip alight and her senses acute.
She remembered tiptoeing like this so many places with Ron and Harry. 


The school halls, the forest, graveyards… Shivering and brushing away the memory Hermione walked into the kitchen and poured herself a glass of water. 


She was on her second cupful and leaning up against the cabinet when the front door was blasted open. 


There was the crash of shattering glass as the cup slipped from her hands and smashed on the floor. 


“Hermione!” 


“Ginny!” 

Ginny was there, as clear as day and as pale as the moon. Her hair was a wet, knotted mess tangled around her face and her eyes were wide, clear glass. Her whole body shook as she embraced Hermione. 


“Oh thank God, thank god…” She murmured she held Hermione tight and sobbed into her shirt. 


Hermione, shaking as well, pried Ginny’s cold hands off her. Her heart raced in her chest and felt like it might burst out. Her breathing was unable to stay even, it came in shallow ragged gasps. 


“What is it Ginny?” She asked urgently, her voice cracking. 


Ginny stepped away and wrung her hands together. Tears streamed down her face and her skin paled more. 


“Oh Hermione, you’ll never guess who just showed up.” 



And with those words Harry Potter pulled off the invisibility cloak and stepped across the threshold. 







Author’s note- Okay, to some of you, this relationship (Hermione/wilem) might seem really rushed. But to me, it makes sense. I couldn’t think of a way to say it with out saying it straight out, but here’s the deal- Hermione has been out of love for so long. Since Harry and Ron died there hasn’t really been anything good in her life. Now here is this man who kind and gentle and patient and loves her. When Hermione yelled at him the first few weeks it was almost like a test her subconscious had set up. Now that she’s realised he’s perfect, everything is rushing to her in torrents of emotion. She finally feels things and she’s ready to love this man with her heart and soul. Get it? Ha ha, probably not. Sorry for the freakishly long AN. Please review!

Chapter 6: Chapter 6- The Man who Died
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It had been almost two years since anybody had seen Harry Potter, but the man standing before Hermione looked so different to the Harry she’d once known that it might as well not have been him at all. You could have walked past him on the street and thought it was someone else all together. 


He was taller still and broader. While not bulky he was well shaped with veins that protruded slightly as the wound across his hands and up his arms. Just the same as when he was a boy his skin was pale ivory. The strong, clean cut of his jaw was marred by a thin white scar running the length. Uneven stubble grew on his face and his jet black hair shadowed his features. And his eyes, his emerald green eyes did not shine. Instead they seemed to emanate an unfathomable sadness. He seemed much older than twenty. 


As Harry Potter and Hermione Granger stared at each other from opposite ends of the kitchen years of friendship rushed past them, and the funny thing was, it almost seemed irrelevant. 


He had left her, she had cried herself to sleep because of him, he had caused her more pain with one small farewell than most people could ever imagine in a lifetime.
No, Harry Potter was no friend of hers. 


He did not smile and nor did she. 


“What’re you doing here?” She asked, her voice was surprisingly even. It rung with cold hard fury. Her coffee coloured eyes glinted in the night. 

When Harry replied his voice was low, lower than she remembered it and husky. 


“I never said I wasn’t coming back.” 


“That wasn’t the question.” She pressed, her tone sounding harsher by the second. 
“Why are you here?” She shouted the last word and out of the corner of her eye saw Ginny start to cry again, burying her face in her hands. But she did not care; Harry Potter was taking her focus. 


“This is-“ He started, but Hermione cut across him. 


“No! You can’t do this to me! I thought you were dead Harry, dead! You can’t just take back something like that.
I spent two whole frickin’ years in the dark. Not one letter, one owl! Do you have any idea how many tears I’ve shed over you?” 


And she was crying now, the tears coming thick and fast, streaming down her face. He did not cry, but pressed his lips into a thin line and started at her, empty. The desperate expression in his eyes almost killed her. 


“I couldn’t, I can’t-“ She struggled to get the words out, her sobs meddled with her thoughts. Suddenly there were warm strong arms around her and someone strong was holding her. Gentle hands stroked her hair. A face was pressed against her head and wetness touched her skin. 


“I’m so sorry, so sorry.” He murmured into her hair, his voice cracking as he spoke. His familiar scent stirred memories and his soft words pulled at her heart strings. 


Visions flashed before her eyes- Harry sitting on the stool, his thin fingers grasping the sides so tightly it seemed it was life support to him. The sorting hat fell over his eyes and she could see his mouth pressed into the familiar unreadable line. 

Once again it was their first year and she was in the chamber under the school with him, as he prepared to pass through the flames to meet his fate. The determined gleam in his eyes, the earnest way he spoke to her. 

Harry was fourteen; they sat by the lake together. The wind blew his hair and he frowned out across the lake. She was the only support he had. 

Rumours were flying around, crazy insane gossip about the death of their invincible headmaster. Dumbledore was dead and for yet another time Hermione saw the blank look in Harry’s eye as he confirmed it was true. 

He was eighteen and so was she and together they huddled around Ron Weasley’s coffin, saying their last goodbyes. 


And now here they stood. 



“NO!” 


With a force that surprised even herself Hermione wrenched herself away from Harry and pushed him back. The look of ancient sadness in his eyes deepened. He didn’t look shocked or hurt. She didn’t think he’d expected more. 


“No!” She repeated, advancing towards him, wand drawn. “I waited for you, for two whole BLOODY years! Why should I welcome you back? God, why should you even be back?” 


She was crying again, hysterical. He stood there, the corner of his mouth tugged down in a sorrowful grimace and eyes shining with tears he was trying to fight. Still, he made no move towards her. Hermione stalked closer to him, this time the fury seemed to radiate form her entire body. She stood but a meter before him, breathing deeply before she slumped, her head hung. When she spoke again it was barely a whisper. 


“Go away Harry. I don’t need you here.” 


His expression was unreadable as he backed away. He never took his eyes from her the whole time, they bored into her skull, communicating some vital concept that she could not grasp at. 


“Leave!” 


He paused with his hand on the door handle, turning back over his shoulder, tears leaking from the corner of his eye. 


“I’ll be right here if you need me.” He whispered, the lines of his face etched with remorse. “I’ll be waiting.” 


“Just go.” She pleaded her tone feeble. “Just, please…” 


So Harry Potter did what she told him too, because he always did. He walked out of her front door and into the storm then he twisted on the spot and was gone. 


He had disappeared just as abruptly as he had arrived, and for all Hermione knew, he might have never really been there at all. 





AN- short chappie, I know. But Harry's back *fan girl scream* Ha ha. Yay! Reviews anyone?

Chapter 7: Chapter 7- The Wrong Road to Recovery
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The two stood in the shadow of his study door. The light that shone into the corridor was barely enough to highlight either of their faces; though perhaps that was an appropriate thing. It was a bad time far both of them, and yet some how, not quite as bad as it was for the woman who sat in the office, her shoulders hunched against the fire, her head in her hands. 


She had been sitting there, frozen in that state for the past hour. As Wilem Dahl and Ginny Weasley watched her from the shadows of the doorframe both of them wondered, quietly and to themselves if she’d just been pushed too far this time. 


“How is she Wilem?” Ginny asked staring into the handsome, but tired and lined face of the older man. He had just been in to check on her and returned back with the same air of grim defeat as he had entered with. 


“She’s…” He paused, looking at Hermione as she sat in his chair, her shoulder’s shaking softly as she cried. What was she? He knew what he wanted her to be; cured, fine, even coping would be better than nothing; but alas, she was not even one of those things. Not even close. 


“She’s…” He said again, searching for the right words, being careful, unwilling to hurt anyone. “She is unwell.” He settled on at last. “But only time will tell just how unwell.” 


The two settled back into resonating silence. 


“So, he’s back then?” Wilem asked at last. The tone of this voice made it very clear just who ‘he’ was, and what exactly he thought of him. But who could blame him? Harry Potter had destroyed the woman he loved. 


“Yes…” Ginny said slowly, nodding her head and staring off into the dark. “Yes, he is. Though I don’t know how long for. A week, maybe a month? Maybe he’ll stay? …” She trailed off, lost in her thoughts. It had surprised her to not feel anything when Harry showed up again. Then again, it had surprised her that he had shown up at all. 


“Maybe he’s already left?” Wilem suggested, and one could not help but hear the hope running undercurrent in his voice. Ginny smiled softly. 


“I don’t think so Wilem.” She said. “From my experience, Harry doesn’t like running away.” 


Wilem snorted. 


“He didn’t used to.” 


Ginny knew he was right. Maybe Harry had left, just as soon as he had arrived. Perhaps that was a good thing? Or perhaps that would ruin them all? One thing was for certain- Harry Potter had changed. He didn’t smile, and he didn’t hurt, maybe, after all his time away he didn’t feel at all. 




That same oleander bush that had scared both she and Hermione earlier scraped against the window. Ginny shivered, the night time making her imagine darker creatures and darker days. 


A cool chill crept under the front door as the wind continued to howl outside and rain bucketed down. She pulled the crocheted rug tighter around herself and buried her body deeper into the old sofa. 


She felt a little safer wrapped up in her cocoon with the light of the fire playing off her face. Sleep was taking her as it’s own at last, its intoxicating tendrils ensnaring her body. She shifted a little and murmured to herself, closing her eyelids and breathing in deeply. 


There was a knock on the door. 


Ginny jolted back to reality. A glance at the clock told her it was one fifteen in the morning. Who could it be? She wondered as she rose to her feet and put on her dressing gown. It was probably Hermione. Ginny couldn’t blame her for not wanting to be alone on a night like this, however, out of old habit she grabbed her wand from the floor and padded out with the entrance. 


There was another knock on the door, more urgent and demanding this time. Ginny put her eye to the peep hole to see who it could be, but all she saw was the black evening. Summoning all her bravery she carefully turned the handle, and let the door swing forward on its own. 


The tall, broad figure of a man stood before her, only illuminated in places by the light shining from the living room. She saw a flash of pale skin, scars along a jaw line and a ragged mop of black hair. 


Fenir Greyback! 


“Hello.” He said in a soft, but low and rough voice. Terror rushed through her body. 


So she pulled her wand and stunned him. It was then that the crumpled body of Harry Potter fell across the threshold in into the light. 





That was how it had started for her. After realising what she had done she had dragged his body out of the rain and into the house, revived him and gone straight to Hermione. Bad move. What a stupid girl. She thought to herself. She should’ve just kept it to herself. 


“He’s changed, Wilem.” She whispered, hearing the fear and sadness in her own voice. Wilem looked down to her pale and slowly aging face. He felt pity for her on some level. Harry Potter had been her friend, brother and lover; but that small amount of compassion could not overwhelm his resentment and anger entirely. 


He, Wilem had spent months of his time making her better, getting to know her, falling in love with her. It had been hard work, but it was worth it, and now Harry had ruined all that. Vaguely Wilem wondered what it would be like meeting Harry Potter had he not first reduced the woman he loved to an emotional wreck. 


Once more he stared through the doorframe and in on Hermione’s private pain, hearing again her words to him. 


“Help me Wilem.” She had whispered to him as he bent over her and sponged her forehead. “Help me be better.” 


And he would, he would try. 



There was a sound from the next room, the sound of a chair being scraped against the floor. Wilem looked up from the Ginny to see Hermione on her feet; her frail form moving about the room in an agitated way. Her movements were quick and jerky. She appeared to be talking to herself as she stood by the large window, staring out onto the black London street below. She ran hands through her hair and rubbed her arms to warm herself. Then she stopped moving altogether and pressed her head against the glass, looking, but not really seeing. 


Ginny and Wilem stood frozen, staring in at her in wonder. What was wrong? Why after all these hours had she decided then to move? They shared a quick puzzled glance before turning back to Hermione. 


“Ginny.” 


Ginny started at the sound of her own name. She looked at Wilem with wide eyes, unsure of what to do. Hermione had not moved and she did not move again as she called her friend’s name a second time. 


“Go!” Wilem whispered, so Ginny forced her body into motion and surged through the doorway. She stopped about a meter from Hermione, watching the steady rhythm that pulsed through her body as she breathed. 


“I have to see him.” Hermione croaked at last. Ginny gasped, moving to her side, placing a hand on her arm and staring into her face. 


“What?” She asked, although she had heard perfectly well. Hermione looked up, her face chalk white, dry tears staining her cheeks. 


“I have to see him.” And as Ginny looked into her best friends empty eyes, she knew he really did have to. 


There was no other way. 






AN: Wow, another update. That's 3 in 2 days... just not for this fic. Oh well. I hope you like the chapter. The chapters for this one are always short. Please review!

Chapter 8: Chapter 8- Open Arms
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It was bitterly cold outside as Hermione walked towards number 12 Grimmauld place. Tall, dark houses lined the streets, silhouetted against the setting sun, seeming like tombstones. Hermione suppressed a shiver and began to walk up the front steps. 


There was a part of her; the small, frayed fragment of rationality that still remained in her body that told her this was a bad idea. It was a bad idea, where was no denying that. However, after so many years of blurring the lines between good and bad, legal and illegal, Hermione Granger could honestly say she didn’t give a shit. 


There were some things she had to say and so many things she had to ask. She was going to charge in, give Harry a piece of her mind, fight him for a piece of his and then never see him again. It would be a simple as that, she could be strong if she had to be, at least, she hoped she could be. 


She raised a white fist to the door and knocked once. There was silence from the other side of the door and then the muffled sound of footsteps, slowly making their way forward. Hermione lowered her hand and clenched her hands into fists, she took a deep breath. On the other side of the door, Harry Potter looked through the peephole, then mirrored her actions. They breathed together. 


With a click the door unlocked and swung forward. He looked terrible. His hair was a matted mess, his eyes bloodshot, red rimmed and circled by dark shadows. He was in a bad need of a shave, and despite all this, he smiled. 


He was happier to see Hermione than he would ever let on. Then again, there were a lot of things that he would never let on. Hermione gasped when she saw him and rushed inside, closing the door behind her with a snap. 


It was years since she’d been to Grimmauld place but nothing much had changed. Except its owner that is. As she took in Harry’s sunken, defeated face she almost smiled. The house had passed from one haunted man to another. 


“Hello.” He said softly after what seemed like hours. Hermione realised they were still standing in the hall. She could barely remember why she was here at all. All she was aware of was the sadness that Harry seemed to radiate. A remorse that seeped from his body and in turn, embraced her’s. She shook herself and nodded curtly. 


“Hello,” She began to walk down the hall briskly. She was determined to get what she came here. Harry followed along behind her. Despite everything else he should have been thinking about, he admired her. It must have destroyed her, he knew it had. He didn’t blame her for hating him; how could he when he hated himself… after all that he had done… Still, here she was stronger than ever, taking charge. She had her head screwed on right, Hermione. 


They had stopped outside the kitchen. Harry frowned, confused. 


“Do you want something to eat?” He asked slowly, reacquainting himself with proper manners and formalities. “I could get you some-“ 


“Why did you come back?” 


That stopped him. Why had he come back? He stared at her, perhaps a little frightened by the ferocity of her expression. She glared back, trying to hide the pity she felt for those wide, vulnerable eyes. She focused on the sound of the ticking of the clock and his steady breathing. No one spoke for some time. 


“I don’t know.” He whispered at last. He seemed scared by his words. “I just- I just…” but what ‘he just’ Harry didn’t know. “I wanted to see you.” He said at last.
Hermione’s eyebrows shot upwards. He wanted to see her? He was the one who had left. 


“Then why did you leave?” Even to her own ears Hermione’s tone sounded accusing. “Why did you Harry? Why didn’t you stay, you knew how much- how much... I needed you…“ 


And she was crying again and he was holding her. Her resolve wavered. Did it really matter why he had gone and why he was back? He was here now, with her. She had her best friend back. Surely that was enough? 


But it wasn’t, of course it wasn’t. Gently this time she pushed away from him. His arms released her. He reached up and brushed the tears from her cheeks. 


“I never meant to hurt you.” He murmured softly. “Though of course, I knew it would.” 


“Then why Harry?” She pounded his chest angrily, this time not caring if she hurt him. “Why did you fucking have to leave?” 


He caught her thin wrists in his hands as she launched at him again, ready to pummel every inch of his body. She pulled angrily, trying to free herself but it was useless. He was too strong. He waited for her to calm down, for her to stop struggling before he let her arms drop. She was a pitiful sight now, especially after she had seemed so strong before. Her face was streaked with mascara and tears and her hair had fallen out of its neat bun. All he wanted to do was hold her in his arms, to promise he’d never leave her again. But he couldn’t. He knew it was unwise to make promises he’d probably break. 


He began to walk away from her. He couldn’t bear seeing her already fragile form so broken and run down. He didn’t want to deal with the knowledge that he had done that too her. It was too much for him. 


“Where are you going?” She asked. He was surprised that her voice was soft, sad even. He turned to see her sitting on the floor. She looked up at him with wide, teary eyes. 


“I can’t give you the answers you want, Hermione.” 


“Then don’t, not now. But don’t leave me.” 


Hermione’s eyes bore into Harry’s own. She knew it was hypocritical of her, stupid on the main part to give up so easily, but she couldn’t bear to lose him. Not again. 


“You’re prepared to put that much trust in me?” Harry asked her softly. “After what l’ve done to you?” He almost smiled at her. Hermione had always been like this. So willing to forgive, handing out second and third chances like it was going out of style. He thought she may have changed, but she was still good to the core. 


“I’m prepared to give it one more try.” She whispered, rising to her feet and clinging to the wall for support. “I’d like to believe I can trust you, really I would.” 


“So would I.” Said Harry, almost smiling at her once more. He reached out and took her hand, helping her down the hall and towards the front door. He reached up and took the key from the hook, putting it in the lock and turning. He put it back up and turned to Hermione. She stared at him with a odd expression in her eyes. 


“I missed you, you know.” She sighed stepping forward and wrapping her arms around him. Her patted her awkwardly on the head and slid one of his arms around her body. 


“I missed you too, like you’d never imagine.” 


There was a silent pause as the two held each other. Harry sensed Hermione was about to say something. There was normally a silence like this before she said something she wasn’t sure about. He still remembered that, 


“Do you want to go out to dinner tonight?” She asked suddenly, drawing back and staring at him seriously. “I mean, obviously you’d have to have a bit of a clean up… but maybe, you know…” She trailed off embarrassedly. Harry nodded and smiled slightly. 


“Sure, name the place and I’ll be there.” 


Hermione smiled softly as well. 


“Somewhere quiet. How about McGuire’s?” Harry nodded in agreement. Somewhere quiet was a very good idea. 


“I’ll see you there.”

And then Hermione Granger opened the door and stepped back out into the blustery winter air. With a small smile and waves she turned on the spot and vanished.

Chuckling to himself Harry Potter locked the door once more and walked upstairs to have another sleep.



A/N: WOWZAH! New chapter. Gee, I haven't updated this fic in aaaaages. Did you like it at all -is nervous- please, please review?

Chapter 9: Chapter 9- After All This Time
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“Hermione, please think rationally about this.” 


But she had already tried, and of all the things meeting Harry involved, rationality was not one of them. She paused fixing her hair to face Wilem. He was standing behind her, looking over her shoulder and into the mirror where she had set about her work. His slowly aging face was lined with concern. He had just returned home from work and was not yet fully changed. 


His shirt was unbuttoned with a tie loosed around his neck. The worry for her in his eyes was almost overbearing. She felt a surge of affection towards him, but nothing he could do would stop her, and nothing she could do would make him understand. 


She reached out a placed a hand on his bared chest. He closed his eyes and exhaled softly at her cool touch. 


“I have to go.” His eyes snapped back open. 


“No you don’t!” 


“Yes- I- Do!” She glared at him defiantly, her jaw set. Wilem was reminded of those first days of their relationship, those days when she had seemed determined to hate him. He smiled sadly; he knew it could come to that again if he pushed her. He shook his head and turned away. 


“Don’t be mad.” Hermione whispered, wrapping her arms around his waist and pulling him towards her. She had to stand on he toes to poke her head over his shoulder and kiss his cheek. “Please, Wilem, please. Try to understand this.” 


He sighed again, nodding, although he knew he could never understand. What did she even see in him? A few years ago he would have paid money to see the legendary Harry Potter. The chosen one, the boy who lived, but now, now all he wanted was for the boy to be gone. The world was better off without him. It could cope just fine without him playing vanishing acts and destroying lives.
Hermione was better without Harry. Wilem was certain of that fact, but had no chance of convincing her. 


“When will you be home?” He asked quietly at last. This surprised Hermione. Surely he was going to put up more of a fight than this? 


“I-“She said, walking around to stare him in the face. He avoided her gaze, instead stared determinedly at some point to the left of her. “I don’t know.” She said. “Ten, maybe later?” 


“Ten?” 


Wilem’s mind was suddenly over active. He thought of all the things that could happen in four odd hours. All the things Harry Potter could do to her fragile little heart. He could destroy her in that space of time. Wilem shivered, turning red. 


“Surely you don’t need to be out that long? Ten?” He repeated again. “I thought you were just going out for dinner?” His tone was sharp as he said this. Hermione looked grim. 


“Wilem, please. Promise me you won’t be mad. Surely you can understand how very much there must be for us to catch up on.” 


Wilem pursed his lips. He could imagine what sort of catching up Harry Potter would like to do. For that, he decided was the only reason he had come back. Taking advantage of a poor, weak woman. It made Wilem’s stomach turn, but he didn’t show it. At last he managed a forced smile. He had to show Hermione he trusted her. He loved so much, he couldn’t lose her. 


“I understand.” He said at last. She looked as though she wouldn’t believe him but after a while she smiled. She reached up and kissed him sweetly. 


“Okay then. Goodnight, don’t wait up.” 


She smiled again before grabbing her coat of the hook and walking out the door. 


Wilem rolled his eyes. Don’t wait up. That was the stupidest thing he’d ever heard her say. 






Harry was nervous. What was he going to say to her? What would she even ask? He was so lost in his thoughts that he didn’t even realise that he had nicked himself with the razor until the blood started streaming down his neck. 


Muttering oaths to himself, Harry cleared up the mess with a spell. He had done as Hermione had asked and cleaned himself up. The sleep had done him well and the black bags and red veins were gone from his eyes. He had cut and washed his hair. And now he was shaving. When he finished he stood back to take a proper look. 


It wasn’t so bad, he decided. He hadn’t done such a great job with the hair, but at least he didn’t look so much like Sirius anymore. That had bothered him. The pale skin, the long, lank hair. He didn’t to think of himself as having gone to ruin like that, but in retrospect that was exactly what had happened. 


He didn’t have anything to wear, but after fishing around in the cupboards in Sirius’s old room he found a pair of neat black pants and a creased white shirt. With a grimace he tried to iron it, but succeeded only in making it slightly warmer. He never had been good at those homey type spells. 


A glance at that watch he had been given by the Weasley’s told him it was five to seven. So, trying to block out the painful memory of that one particular family Harry strolled downstairs to wait for Hermione. 


It had been almost two years since he’d properly seen any of the Weasleys. Of course he’d been checking up on them, he’d checked up on all of them. But he’d never let one of them see him. He didn’t want that. 


Just then there was a rap on the door. Harry rose to his feet, walked out to the hall and opened the door. 


“Sorry! Sorry I’m late.” Hermione gasped, taking off her coat and shaking off her umbrella. Harry smiled, not really listenening, instead soaking her in. She looked very pretty, he thought. Not beautiful, but very pretty. She was too skinny and pale to look healthy, but there was some colour on her cheeks and spark in her eyes. Her hair was pulled up in a loose bun, and she wore a nice deep blue dress under her heavy coat. 


“You look lovely.” 


She flushed with pleasure and embarrassment. “Well, thank you.” She muttered. “You look lovely too.” She beamed at him, her eyes raking appraisingly over his freshly shaven face and newly cut hair. He still looked a little dishevelled. His clothes were a bit crumpled and his glasses lopsided, but quite dashing nonetheless. 


“Shall we go?” He offered, holding out a hand and wondering if he was being too forward. He had missed her so much. She looked at him strangely for a moment; he could see some of the hesitation in her mind. He imagined her internal battle. This would only make it harder for her if he chose to leave again. 


But then she took his calloused hand in her own small warm one. She smiled at Harry, putting on her jacket and opened up the door. She popped open the umbrella once more and then they were gone. 






It had been a nice evening. Quiet, warm and at times awkward, but nice all the same. They had talked mainly of trivial things. Stuff like what a bother it was to keep up an appearance or how miserable the weather had been lately. Each time they strayed too close to a subject that neither of them wanted to discuss, the topic was changed and very quickly too. 


Towards the end of the night when they were feeling full, warm and drowsy was when things started to change. They paid the bill and left the restaurant. It was chilly outside and Harry hugged Hermione closer to himself. She responded by wrapping an arm around his waist. They made their way back to Harry’s house like this. 


It was nine thirty. 


Harry lit a fire when they were inside and they sat around it, warming their bodies in front of its flames, talking and sometimes laughing. At around quarter past nine Harry got up to fetch the bottle of sherry he had seen the other day in the kitchens. When he returned they sipped in silence, content and warm. 


Harry looked across at Hermione, wanting to tell her so many things, but unwilling to scare her away, which inevitably, he felt, he would. She looked beautiful under the soft glow of the fire. Its gold flames reflected on her pale skin and in her eyes. And yes, he would stretch to say beautiful now. 


Suddenly, she spoke. “You know,” she started softly still looking into the flames. “I didn’t really think you were gone.” Harry stared at her intensely. “I think, I think it was because I wanted you back so badly.” She looked at him; he could see the tears glistening in her eyes. “I couldn’t let myself believe that you were gone.” 


Then he was beside her, holding her in his arms. She buried her head into his chest, but for once, did not cry. Her fingers played with the hem of his shirt. Absently she slipped her fingers underneath and ran her fingers along the bare skin of this stomach. Harry closed his eyes and sighed. It had been so long since someone had touched him like that. But surely not Hermione, surely not… 


He looked down at her now, his eyes wide and she smiled back. There was no hesitation in her expression. Then slowly, but deliberately he pressed his lips to hers. She kissed him back, gently but then harder and eventually hungrily. He wound his arms wound her frame and laid her down, their bodies were pressed tight together, searching for so much more than something physical. Bit by bit and layer after layer the clothes came off, cast into a discarded heap, the coldness of the night was long forgotten. 


Maybe it was the fact that they had missed each other so much, or the fact that they were a little too intoxicated that they did it. It could have been that, or perhaps, it was just the fact that it was deep down inside; both of them were merely very lonely people who wanted to feel loved one more time. 


And Wilem Dahl was wrong. Harry Potter hadn’t damaged Hermione’s heart at all. He had healed it, just a little bit. 




A/N: woo hoo! Quick update hey. Harry/Hermione action at last :) What did you think? Please review my little dears!

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