Hermione walked down the hall and she couldn’t pick her head up. She hugged her books tightly to her chest and walked as close to the wall as possible. People walked past her as if they couldn’t see her. The smartest and possibly most outgoing Gryffindor had simply vanished from view.
She began wondering, ‘If they ignore me long enough. . . if they forget about me long enough. . . pretend I'm not here. . . that I am invisible . . . Would I actually just melt away into the cold stones of the wall I hug to so tightly? Would I really disappear?’
One girl, in rush to her class, bumped into her so hard that her bag was torn off her shoulder. The girl didn’t even look back, like she hadn’t even felt their bodies collide. Hermione quietly bent over to collect her strewn items.
She picked each paper up slowly and tried to unwrinkle it. What did it matter anyway? She’d receive top marks whether it was crinkled or not . . .sighing in frustration she continued to gather her books and quills.
As she reached for her Arithmacy book her hand landed on another hand, not the cold cover of her textbook. She slowly looked up and met the eyes of the last person she expected to be on the floor helping a disappearing girl collect her things.
He didn’t acknowledge her, but he did quietly hand her the book. Then he turned and walked away without saying a word.
She wrapped her arms around her precious book and watched his retreating back. What was the point in being perfect . . . If you were useless?
She trudged the rest of the way to her class without looking up. She even walked in late, and the professor took no notice. The world wanted her to disappear, and so she had. If they ignored her long enough, she would.
She took her seat in the back of the classroom and spread her notebooks and textbooks out. She had the table to herself, no one would sit next to her. No one ever had.
So she was taken by surprise when a quiet voice, a voice that had come to haunt her waking and sleeping, asked gently, “Can I sit here?”
Hermione didn’t look up and silently moved her belongings to her own side of the table. She inched away from the person so that she would not have to bear them inching away from her. This person only sat here because it was the only seat. She would not condemn them to her presence.
She kept her head down, so she did not notice that the whole front row of seats was empty.
She was slowly taking notes in an old wrinkled notebook. It was a routine she had established, walk in with head down. Sit in back and don’t look up. Don’t answer questions. Don’t strive for excellence.
This person was invading on the safe bubble she had built around her. They inched their chair silently closer to her and their cologne wafted over to her. It was so familiar. So comforting.
Don’t walk the path of the damned. Don’t walk that path again, she thought to herself. Don’t make the same mistake twice.
He is the reason you are still here. It’s his fault.
No matter how many times she tried to blame him, she couldn’t.
She had, at one point in time, loved him. She had loved him, but she had betrayed him.
The memories haunted her. They truly did.
He haunted her.
She had tried to escape. When they were on the field, she had tried to throw herself over the edge, but she couldn’t. He had found her weeping over the body.
The Cold. Pale. Dead. Body.
The body of his enemy.
But . . . he hadn't been the enemy. Her head screamed it at everyone she walked past.
He wasn't like them! He wasn't one of them! He had been kind. He had been gentle. He had held her as if she was a piece of glass and he was afraid to break her. He had been fighting for them!
She had failed.
She had failed so bad that she couldn't even get death right.
She could feel his breath on her neck. He was too close. He was too close. She closed her eyes and tried to breath, but all she could smell was his cologne. Permeating. She could just stop breathing all together.
It was what she deserved.
A hand took her by surprise when it reached up and gently brushed a stray strand of hair from her cheek.
It was so different from his. So different, but she shouldn't have known how his hand had felt. This was the hand she should have become so comfortable with.
Not the other he.
She froze, no one had dared touch her for a little under a year now. She was vile. She was disgusting.
She was tainted.
“Look at me.“ The voice begged.
She couldn’t look at him. She couldn’t make her neck turn. Her eyes wouldn’t lift off her paper. Her world started to spin.
“Please Mione, I can’t live like this anymore. I can’t pretend anymore.” The voice whispered at her.
She still couldn’t move. She couldn’t breathe. Stars were dancing before her eyes.
He was invading her carefully constructed world. Her shelter to keep them all out. He was shattering it with one touch.
“Don’t you remember how it used to be? At Grimmauld place? In the common room? Even in the halls? We didn’t care then. . .where have you gone Hermione?”
His voice was calling to her, she was starting to turn. Her neck was unlocking and her eyes were slowly lifting.
Her heart screamed at her to stop. To think. To take caution.
She had lost everything though. She had failed when her friends had needed her. Her heart had failed her.
She turned and then slowly lifted her eyes to his face.
When their eyes met a single tear coursed down her cheek. One solitary orb of translucent pain that melted away next to her warm skin.
It all came back to her. All the details, all the spoken words. All the moments she had pushed from her mind. She had forgotten. Now she could only remember.
Why had they done it?
His stark eyes reflected the pain she felt ripping through her veins.
They had caused it. They had been the downfall, the collapse of the civilization of the modern world.
They had betrayed good and evil and formed an alliance of love.
Love had no part in a war.
“Come back to me Mione. Save me from my pain.” He begged.
She had to turn her heart to stone. She had to.
But she couldn’t. She had shut him out for a year and tried to save him from her own pain. She had failed him too.
The bell rang, signaling the end of class, but they didn’t hear it. Everyone filed out and left them, unnoticed sitting in the back of the room.
Her breathing rattled against the empty walls, reverberating back to them. It was a shout, too loud for the moment where they would finally face the catastrophic event she had caused.
“We have to end this.” She protested throwing his robe around her bare shoulders. The silver and green contrasting her brown hair that hung loose around her face. “This can’t keep going on.”
He was at his feet in seconds and drew her against him, taking her lips with his own. All protesting died in her mouth.
“When the fighting begins, promise me. Promise me you’ll stay safe.” He begged her.
She looked away and made for the door. “You know I must fight.”
“I can’t watch it happen Hermione. I can’t let it happen. They’ll kill you. And when they try to, I’ll betray us. I’ll run to your side and shield your body with my own, and they’ll know.”
“You mustn’t!” She said as she turned back to him at his words. “We could loose everything! Just trust me.”
“I do.” He said as he took her in his arms again. “But, he doesn’t. If he finds out . . .”
“He won’t.” She said placing a finger on his lips. “He can’t.” She said in a desperate whisper. "We are betraying our families . . . our friends . . . our selves."
It was a moment she wouldn't trade for the world, because it was their last before he had left to follow his lord, and she had left to follow The Order.
When the fighting had been at it’s thickest, all eyes were turned towards the master and the servant.
That’s when it had started.
The most dreaded color had pierced her eyelids . . . green.
The two most horrendous words ever uttered.
Vile and cruel.
Two words and her heart stopped beating as surely as if he had cast the spell on her too. She cast hateful eyes in the dark lord's direction only to be affronted with the image that had haunted her dreams for so long.
That's when she betrayed every principal she had ever held dear.
She had seen his limp body fall to the ground and she had rushed to him. She had collapsed on his bloody corpse and cried until her eyes had no tears to cry.
And while she mourned, the battle raged on.
Her friends died. Her friend’s parents died.
He may have secretly been fighting for her side, but only because of her. The worst thing was, only she would ever know, only she and his master.
When they came back for her she was still in the same position. He came and scooped her into his arms when the deed was done and carried her back to safety.
And she had hated him for it.
It was their seventh year. The year after the final battle between Voldemort and Harry and she had failed them.
She had failed everyone.
Ron was gone, Kinglsey was gone, Professor Snape had sacrificed his life playing both sides, Remus Lupin may never recover, even Mrs. Weasely had tasted the cold Avada curse.
But Hermione was still here.
She hated herself, she hated to exist.
Hermione was a coward.
She had turned her back on her friends in their time of need. But what hurt more was when she had unfaithfully turned her back on him.
Hermione had survived.
Not by choice.
Hermione had made the wrong decision.
Hermione had loved the enemy.
Harry had had to drag her away from Draco’s body where he found her mourning her lost love.
He had to harden his heart while he watched his love, his one true love, mourn for his one true hate.
And here they were. Trying to explain to each other a deed that was unexplainable.
She had loved the enemy.
Harry had fought for her and her alone. She had been the reason he had been able to dominate Voldemort.
He had watched her tear herself apart for a year. He had felt betrayed at first, but he missed her.
He could forgive her.
But could she forgive herself?
“Please Hermione. . . Please.” Harry said placing a hand on each side of her face.
“Don’t disappear on me.”
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