Chapter XV: finding more
“You are not discovering yourself, but creating yourself anew. Seek, therefore, not find out who you are, seek to determine who you want to be.”
“So you’re staying?” Ron incredulously asked her for the fifth time since she had “officially” announced it to him, Luna, and Harry at the three broomsticks, where they had met up for an impromptu lunch that was called to order by Hermione.
“Yeah,” Hermione told him with a shy smile as she nervously bit her lip.
“Oh I just knew that something like this would happen, the starwurst fairies always play with fate like this!” Luna happily exclaimed as she pulled Hermione, who was sitting to her left, into a one crushing embrace.
“I think you may have really been onto something with that one,” Hermione told her with a laugh.
“Starwurst fairies?” Harry asked with a quizzical look.
“Protectors of all platonic bonds,” Hermione told him with an amused smile.
“You remembered,” Luna commented with a surprised beam.
“Naturally—after all, the bride’s always right,” Hermione told her with a teasing wink.
“But bloody hell, Hermione,” Ron exclaimed, still in a state of shock. “You’re back—you’re really back then?”
“I do believe that that’s what I just said,” she teased him.
“This is great Hermione, really… I—we’ve missed you.”
“Ron, you look like you’re about to cry with how you’re going on like that, please, don’t pull a Hagrid on me!”
He grinned at her. “You’re mean, you know that, right?”
“But you love me for it anyway.”
He laughed, rolling his eyes as she batted her eyelashes obnoxiously at him. “Well I’d love to hear you go on about how amazing you are, but I’m afraid that Luna and I have a cake tasting session to attend to—one that I’d really prefer not to miss.”
“It’s one of the few things that he actually enjoys doing for our wedding,” Luna told them as the couple got up and Ron helped her into her coat.
“Well what else is there to enjoy?” he muttered moodily as he thought back on all the hellish tasks he’d been coerced into doing for the damn affair.
“Too true mate, too true,” Harry sympathetically nodded in agreement.
Hermione let out a deep sigh after Ron and Luna had left. “And then there were two.”
“Yeah, seems to be like that a lot recently, doesn’t it?”
“Eh, I guess we can’t really blame them, I mean they’re trying to plan a wedding with over a hundred guests in just two months, but still-”
“You miss having an entire afternoon with them?” Harry asked her with a knowing smile as he relaxed his arm on the back of her chair.
“Exactly, that makes me sound so selfish, doesn’t it?”
Harry shrugged. “We all have our faults.”
“But I was going for perfection Harry!” she told him with an exasperated sigh. “God, I thought you knew me better than that, even Malfoy knows that fact!”
Harry chuckled at her outburst. “You know what I just realized?”
“What?” Hermione asked as she settled into his chest.
“We never really celebrated the fact that you’re moving back here. Last night when you told me—we never really got the chance to revel in it…”
“And lets do it tonight; I want to make up for it.”
She chuckled softly. “There’s nothing to make up for, Harry.”
“Woman, just let me do this, will you?”
Hermione gasped as she gave him a scandalized look. “You did not just call me woman!”
He grinned. “'Fraid so love.”
“Well I never!-”
“So I’ll pick you up at eight then.”
She sighed, “Fine.”
“Please don’t tell me that this is where you take all of your dates?” she begged with a distinct undertone of distaste when the maitre d’ of the muggle establishment immediately recognized Harry upon their entrance before leading them to Harry’s table.
Harry chuckled, placing her hand on the small of her back as the two followed the maitre d’. “I highly doubt that a place that’s famous for it’s ice cream, that’s also the size of your head, is the type of restaurant that my dates would ever be particularly interested in going to,” he assured her as he pulled out her chair for her when they arrived at their place in a secluded corner of the restaurant.
Hermione visibly brightened at the mention of ice cream, gleefully asking him “ice cream?!”
“I thought you’d enjoy it,” he told her with a shrug.
“You know me far too well, Harry.”
He grinned as he handed her one of the menus on the table. “Very glad to hear it, now pick what real food you want to eat first seeing as I can’t have you spoiling your appetite.”
“Was that supposed to be an imitation of me?” she suspiciously asked him, cocking an eyebrow at him.
“Admit it Hermione, you were a bit of a mother hen when we were younger.”
She grimaced slightly before letting out a small laugh. “Those were the days.”
“Now here we are old and all we have left is the memories, and soon even those will be gone.”
She giggled. “What can you do anyway?”
“So I had a lot of fun tonight—surprisingly enough,” she told him as he walked her to the door of her hotel room.
“Why don’t you move in with me?” he suddenly asked her as they stood in front of the door.
She looked at him, sending him a quizzical look. “Pardon me?”
He sighed; he had really hoped to be a bit more suave when he finally made the offer that had been on the tip of his tongue for so long. “Move in with me, I live in Grimmauld Place and that manor is far too large for just me—you and I both know that, you mock me for it constantly, so help me rectify that little dilemma.”
“Just… think about it Hermione, I doubt we’d have any problems, and it’s better than you staying at a hotel until you can find a place.”
“Okay,” she nodded. “I’ll think about it.”
“Great, night Granger,” he told her as he kissed her forehead before leaving her standing at the door—frozen, speechless.
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