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So this resulted from listening to Jeff Buckley’s cover of “Hallelujah” about a million times. I highly suggest listening to it if you can while you read to get into the right frame of mind. If you go to the music search on MySpace and enter “Jeff Buckley,” choose the first entry, and it’ll list a few songs that one can listen to, and “Hallelujah” is there. I know there are a few interpretations of this song, but I’m going with “the pain of love,” whether it is romantic or platonic. In this story Hermione is between the two, but I don’t think it really matters. She’d react the same way no matter what, in my opinion. I hope you enjoy. And please review and let me know what you think.

(7/1/07--Thanks to ladyemma for pointing out a spelling error!)

Well I heard there was a secret chord
That David played and it pleased the lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?
Well it goes like this the fourth, the fifth
The minor fall and the major lift
The baffled king composing hallelujah

“Harry?” Hermione sat next to the boy as she placed a tentative hand on his shoulder. Harry flinched. Everything was tentative with Hermione nowadays. Everything. It was almost as if she feared him. Everyone feared him. He was shocked that Hermione even dared approach him.

“Harry? Are you all right?”

Harry let out a hollow laugh and it was Hermione’s turn to cringe. Ever since that night, Harry had been a shell. He ate, slept, and breathed, but nothing else. He showed little to no emotion, and Hermione found herself staying up late many a night, praying to whomever might be listening that they give her back the Harry she had known before the War.

“Am I all right?” he repeated, staring blankly into the fire. “Am I all right? What do you think, Hermione? You’re an expert at looking into my soul. You tell me.”

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

“Don’t act like that with me,” Hermione said softly, her uncertainty melting away. “I’m not McGonagall or Dumbledore’s portrait. I was there with you, Harry. I fought with you, side by side. Don’t treat me as if I’m someone to push away.”

“Don’t treat me as if I’m someone who will break at any minute,” Harry countered, eyes flashing. As much as she hated whenever Harry got like this, it comforted her to know that he could still feel, even if it was anger.

“I won’t, I promise. I’m sorry for before. I just…” Hermione trailed off. “I just don’t know what’s what anymore.” Hermione waited for a reply, but none came. “Harry, why won’t you talk to me?”

“I am talking to you,” Harry shot at her.

“You’re not even looking at me.” Harry grimaced. “Harry.” The hand squeezed his shoulder, and Harry couldn’t help but shudder. He didn’t deserve to be comforted. Not after what he had done. “Harry. Look at me.” Hermione’s voice was slowly turning from that of comfort to her “no nonsense” tone, the one she used whenever she tried to knock sense into him.

He remained quiet. He didn’t want to talk about it. He couldn’t talk about it. How could Hermione, who had broke into hysterics after, in defence, she accidentally killed a Death Eater, possibly understand what he had done?

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to her kitchen chair
And she broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hermione shook Harry as she cried, “For Merlin’s sake, Harry!”

“Just…stop, Hermione,” Harry said, looking down at his hands. “Don’t waste your time.”

“Waste my time?” Hermione whispered in shock. “Waste my time? You think trying to save you is wasting my time?”

“Yes,” Harry answered simply. A smack resonated through the Gryffindor common room as Hermione’s hand met Harry’s cheek. Harry didn’t even react. He was numb to pain, numb to emotion.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

“I can’t take much more of this Harry,” Hermione said in a broken voice. “I need to…. Let me help you!”

“You can’t help me!” Harry suddenly roared as he finally lifted his head and looked Hermione in the eye. “No one can help me! No one gets it. They think they’re helping me by keeping me in this castle and finishing my education – by keeping an eye on me and telling me that ‘it’s okay’ and what I did was ‘for the good of mankind.’ Well if it was for the good of mankind Hermione, why can’t I sleep at night? Why can’t I smile anymore?”

Hermione’s lip trembled. “I don’t know Harry,” she answered, watching his face. “I don’t know why you do this to yourself; why you can’t just accept that what you did was right.”

“I should’ve died with him.”

Baby I have been here before
I’ve seen this room and I've walked this floor
You know, I used to live alone before I knew you
And I've seen your flag on the marble arch
And love is not a victory march
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

Hermione felt as if she was going to be ill as Harry’s words echoed in her mind. “What?” she asked, her voice breaking.

“I should’ve died with him. There’s nothing left for me here. Hogwarts isn’t even my home anymore. It’s just…a prison.”

“Nothing left for you here?” Hermione repeated, and she clenched her fists. “Nothing left? What about all of us?”

“That’s great and everything, Hermione,” Harry snapped. “But I don’t have anyone left who cares about me – at least not in the way I need. I pushed away the one person who ever loved me.”

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hermione knew Harry was speaking of Ginny, and she had half the mind to slap him again. Instead, she placed her hands on the edge of Harry’s face and wrenched it towards her.

“How dare you,” she whispered. “How dare you underestimate the love Ron and I have for you? How dare you pretend that you don’t know how much you mean to me?”

“Hermione…” Harry began.

“No. Don’t. By all means, live in this deluded world of yours where you can be some sort of martyr.” Hermione’s nails were digging into Harry’s face, and he knew that she was furious with him. “Where no one cares,” she added sarcastically. “Because you’re Harry Potter. You can’t be happy, can you? No one can truly love you, can they?” With that, Hermione placed her lips firmly on his, and Harry was filled with shock. It wasn’t a gentle kiss of passionate love. It was one filled with years of anger and disappointment, of rage and torment. It was filled with a desperation Harry didn’t think was possible for a girl such as Hermione.

Well there was a time when you let me know
What's real and going on below
But now you never show it to me, do you?
And remember when I moved in you?
And the holy dove was moving to
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

When Hermione finally leaned away, Harry saw that tears were streaming down her face. “Well you better start living for someone, Harry, because I love you, and if you leave me now and turn into some recluse I’ll never forgive you.”

“Hermione, you don’t understand.”

“Stop telling me I don’t understand!” Hermione cried out. “I understand! I was there! I killed people, too, Harry! It hurt me like nothing I can describe, but it pained me more to know what they had done. They didn’t deserve to die. No one deserves to die, Harry, no matter how horrible the act, but it was either that or let innocent people be tortured at their hands, because I didn’t do anything.”

Harry watched as Hermione broke down in front of him, the kiss the furthest thing from his mind.

“Oh, Harry,” Hermione finally whispered, throwing her arms around him. “Harry, what’s going to happen to us? To you?”

“I’m fine,” Harry answered in the same monotone he had used for months now.

“No you’re not,” Hermione said, shaking her head. Harry felt her bushy hair brush up against his face. “You’re not, and neither am I. I’ll never be fine until you are, Harry. And…” She took in a shaky breath and whispered in his ear. “The worse part is that…that I’m losing you, Harry.” She collapsed into sobs. “I’m losing you, and there’s nothing I can do but watch you slip away. I’ve never felt so powerless”

Harry unconsciously tightened his arms around Hermione. Here was the girl who had stood by him since he was eleven-years-old, the one person who had always tried to look out for him, whom he had always cared for more than any other girl in the world, even if he never realized it, and he was repaying her by leaving.

“I’m sorry,” he said, closing his eyes. “I’m so sorry, Hermione.”

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

“Y-you’re not going to do anything else, a-are you?” Hermione asked, releasing Harry. “You’re not going to st-stop yourself from turning into this person? All you’re going to do is…is say sorry?” Harry saw a fire ignite behind Hermione’s filmy eyes, and he recognized it as the same flame that had driven S.P.E.W. and the D.A.

“Hermione…” he said weakly.

“You’re just going to let him destroy your life and turn you into this cold shell. You’re going to let him destroy your friends…let him destroy me.” She wiped furiously at her face. “Harry Potter can face the greatest evil mankind has ever seen, but he’ll just step aside and let his life crumble around him, is that it?”

“Hermione, I killed someone!” Harry exclaimed, his voice rising in anger.

“You killed a man who was responsible for the genocide of half of the Wizarding World! Who murdered innocent muggles who had no idea what they were facing. Who murdered your parents, and Lupin, and Neville. Who was going to murder you. Why can’t you get that through your head?” Hermione was screaming now.

“Because I didn’t just kill him like you killed those Death Eaters, Hermione. I used Avada Kedavra. I used a curse that requires you to want to kill more than anything in the world. A curse that Voldemort himself used, on my parents, and Lupin, and Neville, just like you said. A curse that gave him pleasure. I used that curse, Hermione! And I’ll never forgive myself for that.”

Maybe there's a god above
But all I've ever learned from love
Is how to shoot somebody who outdrew you
And it's not a cry that you hear at night
It's not somebody who's seen the light
It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah

“So that’s it then, is it? You won’t even try to make something out of your life? Not for yourself, or for Ron, or for me?”

“This is my life,” Harry growled.

“Well that’s all good and well, Harry,” Hermione choked, “but what about us? What do we do without you? What do we do with this person who just sits here like a stone?”

“I don’t give a damn about you and Ron,” Harry shot at her. “I’m tired of people telling me to live for others. This isn’t about you. It’s about me.”

“Of course,” Hermione said brutishly. “Of course. How could what you do affect us in any way whatsoever?” Hermione stood up, and Harry immediately felt the coldness engulf him as she left his side. “What does it matter if you’re not there for us anymore? Why should we need you?” Hermione made her way towards the girl’s stairs and whispered over her shoulder. “All you ever were was the most important person in my life.” She turned away. “Goodbye, Harry.” She climbed up the stairs, her footsteps echoing throughout the empty dormitory.

Harry returned to staring at the fire, not noticing when a tear rolled down his face and dropped onto his hand. He felt no physical pain. He felt no emotion. He felt…nothing.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

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