"Love isn't finding the perfect person.
It's seeing an imperfect person perfectly."
It was weird to be back at Hogwarts. I was amazed they still had the same candles floating in the Great Hall. At least, I thought they were the same candles… they looked the same… but they could have been replaced, it's been five years, so that was highly plausible.
The floor seemed to smell the same, too.
Only I would be too mesmerized by the candles to watch where I was going. I lifted myself from the stone floor and brushed the invisible dust from my skirt. My nose felt like a drum, throbbing in quick beats. I rubbed the bottom of it, checking for blood and breathed a sigh of relief when I found none. Thankfully, I was early so not too many people had seen my little slip-up, but if the people were just as similar to the non-changing candles, I would be the talk of the reunion.
Yes, I, Hermione Granger, was attending my five-year school reunion.
It wasn't as though I had much of a choice, really. Just a week ago an owl dropped of an invitation at my flat and I immediately threw it in the waste bin. It arrived just before I usually went to bed, so while I was sleeping I woke up to a horrible noise. When I searched my flat to find out just what it was, I discovered it was my invitation. It was screaming bloody murder and I tried everything to shut it up. It was only when I looked at the note in the envelope that I discovered why I was being tortured. There, in little green letters was the message “RSVP or you'll be sorry.” I finally gave in and sent back the invitation with the “will attend” box filled in. I wasn't regretting it thus far, so maybe this wouldn't be the nightmare I thought it would be.
I made my way to the table my check-in card said I would be seated. As I sat down I couldn't help but glance at the other name cards at the table. It was mere curiosity… and a little bit of fear. There was Ginny, she was always pleasant; Ron, I could deal with him; Malfoy, ugh gag; Neville, alright; Luna, always a pleasure. My hand was shaking as I picked up the last card, the one to the left of me. It wasn't like I could help it; people always had that superstition when dealing with an ex. The metallic letters shined the name Harry Potter and I dropped the card.
Bollocks, I knew that karma would always get me in the end. No, don't get me when I'm old and will most likely die of it, hit me when I'm young and drive me crazy! So the fear immediately returned in my mind from that moment on. I thought I'd left him in the past; buried it, never to be dug up again. Damn karma. Damn mother f-
I looked up from where I was glaring at the table cloth to find the smiling face of Ron. He took the seat to my right as I greeted him politely in return. “Hello Ronald”
“Oh, Ronald, eh?” He asked with a laugh, “So I wasn't just imagining you murdering the table with your eyes.”
I shrugged my shoulders meekly, “I'm not in the best mood.”
Ron nodded in understanding, “Found out he was coming?” I nodded and looked down to fiddle with my hands. He was silent and I was glad he wasn't pressing it, which was very unusually for Ron. But, then again... “You know he's really-”
“Don't bother sticking up for him, Ron. It's not going to work.” I interrupted. Then again, Ron would always be Ron.
“It was worth a try.”
He sighed dejectedly and got up to leave. I just turned around in my seat and buried my head in my hands. I knew that wasn't the last time I'd be hearing some comment about Harry and how freakin' sorry he was. It was over and done with and it didn't matter if he was sorry or not, he knows what he did was wrong and shouldn't have our friends tell me. Sometimes I just wished that I hadn't fallen for him in the first place.
I heard the band begin to set up at the front of the hall and the chatter start to grow louder. This little shindig was going to start soon and all I wanted to do was get the hell out. I tried to block out images of what I thought was going to happen— the angry voices, the suppressed emotions coming out, the tears in the bathroom— but they weren't going away. Gods, it was like the Yule ball all over again!
Lifting my head, I saw that my table was still as vacant as it was when I got here. I looked around me, searching for who I knew was supposed to be here. I saw Ginny and Malfoy in a corner… oh, god, in public? Was there no length in where they would… express their love? Shivering, I shifted my line of vision to the center of the room and saw Luna talking animatedly to Ron about something; Ron was looking at her with a slight shine in his eyes and was smiling widely at her. Neville was also around; he was by the buffet table, filling himself a cup of punch. Looks like everyone was there and accounted for that mattered. But I couldn't shake the anxiety off of me.
It wasn't as though I was anticipating his arrival… not in the least. But I haven't seen him for a few months so… it was only natural to want to see how he's doing, how work is going, if he still has those boxers with the pink and red hearts on them. Wait, scratch that last one. It was none of my business to ask him about his boxers, even if they were my favorite pair of his… gahh! I need to stop thinking about Harry in his boxers! Think of dead puppies! Dead puppies, dead puppies, dead puppies!
My head snapped over to Dean Thomas who was looking at me with a peculiar look on his face. “Hi Dean” I said a bit too high-pitched.
“Then why do you look like someone stole your lollipop?”
I snorted and he smiled. “Just thinking is all.”
“No!” I said quickly. He arched a brow at me and I tried to keep a straight face. Which I had never really been good at doing; even if I was telling the truth, everyone thought I was lying. It was safe to say I steered clear of poker.
“Alright, if you say so. But hey, do try and enjoy yourself. It's supposed to be a party, not a funeral.” He said kindly. I nodded my head and he began to walk away. But before took five steps, he turned back. “And just so you know he really is s-”
I held up my hand, “Don't even think about it.”
Looking a bit put-down he turned away again and walked over to where Luna and Ron were. I saw him exchange a few words to the pair and they both turned their gazes to me for a moment, before shaking their heads. Ron was giving Dean a pat on the shoulder and I could read his lips, “Thanks for trying, mate. I'm sure he appreciates it.”
Scoffing at the group of them, I got up off of my seat and stormed to the bathroom. I could feel their eyes on my back but I kept walking. Some people just couldn't take a hint! When a person says they don't care, people should drop it, not keep on trying for three straight months! God, talk about thick headed.
I bent down and looked underneath the stalls, checking to see if anyone was in them. I was alone. I dug in my purse for the cardboard box. Now was the only time I really had to do it. I hadn't had enough time to pick it up earlier. Besides, the night was already going downhill and a migraine was working its way into my skull. Dumping out the contents of the box, I conjured a glass of water and washed the two pills down my throat. Tylenol should put a stop to my worries; save me from the physical pain I knew my head was going to take in the next few hours. I'd found that the Muggle pill worked ten times better than the pepper-up potion, though I didn't know why.
When I was back inside of the hall, everyone was already seated and looking at the menus, telling their orders to the plates in front of them. Heart pounding, I made my way to the table where I was earlier. I saw the familiar tuft of raven hair sitting in the seat next to mine and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. There he was, not even a meter away from me. The other occupants of the table saw me frozen in place, and soon the whole hall was staring at me. I couldn't move.
It was when he turned that I really started to panic.
Come on, Granger. It's only Harry—Yeah, your ex, Harry—So? He's still your best friend—that you haven't seen for three months.—Oh shut it.Gathering up all of the courage I had, I moved my legs the few steps it took to reach my seat. Everyone at the table seemed to be holding their breathes, waiting for the inevitable. I was waiting too, to be honest; I sure as hell wasn't going to say it first.
“Hello Hermione” his velvety voice said from my side.
Ahh, there it is.
“Harry” I replied without turning.
The breaths were all released simultaneously. That hadn't been as bad as I thought, though his close proximity to me was starting to take its toll on me. Oh, honestly! I hadn't been near him a full minute and I was already acting as though… no. No, I couldn't think it.
“So Harry, you had something to say to us?” Ginny asked, talking a bite of her salmon.
Harry nodded as he took a sip of his water. “Yeah, I was saying that I met someone.”
My breathing stopped.
I think everyone else was looking at me for a response. I didn't give them one; I just focused on my menu, ignoring the churning feeling in my stomach. The chicken looked good… oh, and so did the Ceaser Salad.
“Her name is Melanie.”
“Oh, I know Melanie” I heard Draco comment, “Works down at St. Mungo's, right?”
“Yeah, I met her after one of my raids.”
I shivered at the word. As soon as Harry had been accepted into the Auror Academy, he'd immediately been put through the advanced class and graduated within a few months. This was an extraordinary thing, one that I was immensely proud of him for. But that meant that he started to go on raids for the remaining Death Eaters trying to bring up a new army every few weeks. He'd come home bleeding with multiple bruises on his face and stomach. I'd always scorned him for not wanting to go to St. Mungo's, but he always replied, “Who needs a mediwitch when I have the cleverest witch of our generation living with me?” Oh, and a few comments on how much he loved me, blah blah blah. In the end I had always cleaned him up. Of course he would go to St. Mungo's now.
“Lucky man, I think she's got one of the most amazing-” Ginny elbowed him in the stomach, “talents with potions I'd ever seen. Man, does she have talent. No offense, Granger.”
I looked up from the menu, “None taken.” He didn't mean it.
“So anyways, I asked her to move in with me.”
Neville choked on his drink and Ron dropped his fork, making a clattering noise as it hit the glass plate. I tried to keep my composure behind the menu, but it was hard, as my hands started to shake again, this time from holding back tears that were making their way into my eyes.
“I know it's a bit soon, but I really love her and-”
I threw down my menu and sprinted out of there. I really did have to leave now. If I didn't, people would see my reaction, not that they didn't expect it. I just hated anyone seeing me at my weakest. Through the entranceway I went, pushing the heavy door open, tears flowing freely down my cheeks. I tripped down the stone steps in my hurry to get to the carriages at the other side of the gate. Dirt rubbed on my face and I just lay there, crying into the dirt, propped up on my elbows. My back was heaving, my chest not being able to hold back the loud sobs.
“Hermione…” the voice seemed to be of pity. Of course someone would follow me out here. I turned over and sat down, head hung low. The person's hand came up and tilted me up by my chin and I stared into their emerald orbs. “Why didn't you say something?”
I just closed my eyes and shook my head. And he disappeared.
My eyes shot open.
I felt an arm tighten around me and pull me closer. I looked around out of reflex. I wasn't outside of Hogwarts at all; I was in the common room snuggled up to someone. It only took me a moment to register who it was. I sighed in relief. It was only a dream.
But I couldn't shake the feeling of how real it was and I shivered.
I turned and looked into his eyes. They were full of concern and I smiled sadly. “Nothing” I replied.
“It's never nothing with you.” He said smartly. I breathed a laugh. “Now tell me what's bothering you.”
“I had a bad dream. Where… where we were at our five-year reunion and… things were so different. It was like I hated you, but I still loved you and you were with someone else. I know it sounds stupid-”
He placed a finger on my lips and leaned forward. Our lips touched briefly and he pulled back smiling. “I love you. I can't picture myself with anyone else.”
I snorted, “That is so clich�.”
He chuckled. “So?”
“So… so… say it in words that don't remind me of a cheesy romance novel.”
He seemed to contemplate it for a moment. I was beginning to think if he wasn't going to reply when he kissed me again. This time, it wasn't very brief. His lips were heavily pressured on mine and his tongue swept over my lips. I let him in and felt the velvet of his tongue tangle with mine. You know how people say that someone tastes like something? Like lemons or pumpkin pie? Yeah, it's not like that. He just tastes like… tongue. Harry tongue.
When he pulled back, I was left breathless. “You are too much of a smartass for your own good, you know that?”
“I don't hear you complaining.”
“Oh, I'm most definitely not.” I said with a smirk.
He laughed and I felt my stomach flutter. I loved his laugh. How could I ever dream of him and me being apart? I could never let him out of my site. Even if he had to move to Antarctica, I'd follow him. I didn't even care if he'd get sick of me. He could hate me for all I care, but I would never leave him, never not talk to him, and never not love him. He was my Harry, and I was too smart to let him go.
“What are you thinking about?” he asked, rubbing my arm softy.
I ignored the goose bumps, “How lucky I am to have you.”
He raised an eyebrow, “Now who's being clich�?”
“I don't hear you complaining.”
He chuckled and placed a kiss on my forehead. “I think we should get some more sleep. I, for one don't want to be cranky in the morning.”
“What time is it?” I asked.
“It's still dark, therefore too early to get up. So let's sleep.”
I rolled my eyes and snuggled into the crook of his arm. We were like that throughout the entire night. I didn't even care that we were in the common room. Who cares if anyone saw us? It was natural for a boyfriend and girlfriend to sleep together. Wait that sounded wrong. I mean… fall asleep together. Ahh, who was I kidding? That was a great mental image to fall asleep on. I liked my second dream tremendously more than my first, I can tell you that.
I was being shaken awake too soon for my liking. Even though I knew I had to wake up, I just wanted to sleep; especially if it meant having dreams like that. Very reluctantly, I opened my eyes and stretched into Harry, being careful to not hit him. He didn't seem to be complaining, in fact, I think he was rather excited. I blushed as I sat up, trying not to make it apparent that I had just felt… uhm… Harry Junior awaken as well.
Harry got up as well and we walked down to the Great Hall in a comfortable silence, hand in hand. I found myself smiling the whole way. Today was our first official day as a couple; minus the quotation marks. To every other student, it was just another day; to them we had been together for a month already. But only Ron, Harry, and I knew that today was special. Oh, and maybe Terry, too. But who really cared about him?
Ron was already eating breakfast, if you could call what he was doing eating. It was more like swallowing the food whole. I fought the urge to gag at the sight of it. Harry's face twisted in an odd way as he watched Ron eat. He didn't bother to comment, either. It was just Ron being Ron.
Ginny arrived a few minutes later. “Ugh, Ron” was all she said.
The four of us ate in silence. It was just a regular day. Yep, totally ordinary.
“Hey guys?” Ginny asked, getting our attentions. “I've been thinking lately-”
“Whoa, really?” Ron asked, aghast.
Ginny punched Ron in the arm and he muttered a faint “ouch”. “I've been thinking about the future. The end of the year is soon and you guys will be off to start your careers and stuff. Do you think we'll still be friends five years from now?”
I think irony was becoming my new best friend. Harry looked over at me and smiled, “I know where I'll be.” He put his arm around my waist and I blushed. Yes, he would most definitely be with me.
“Ich, you don't have to get all couple-ly over it” Ginny said, her nose scrunched up in disgust.
“Why are you so interested in it anyways, Gin?” Ron asked, pointing a fork at her.
“No reason” she said nonchalantly. I could have sworn she was stealing a glance at something. I turned my head over to where her eyes had been and I smirked. I was wrong, someone. Yep, irony and I were two peas in a pod. There, looking at the spot in front of me was none other than Draco Malfoy. The only thing that surprised me was how… not disgusted I was by it. It was Malfoy… but it was Ginny, too. Ginny wasn't one to make stupid decisions, but I had a feeling that everyone else wouldn't be as lenient as I was. Well, maybe Harry. He seemed to be a little on the slap-happy side lately. Not that I could blame him; life was pretty damn perfect right now.
“Ginny, why is Malfoy looking over here?!” Ron screamed loudly.
“I don't know what you're talking about, Ron.”
“Don't you take that tone with me, why is he looking at you like that?”
“I don't know, Ron.”
A/N: Well, there you have it, the last chapter of this here story. I hope you all liked my momentary burst of inspiaration turned 8-chapter story :) Thank you for all of your great reviews, for they are what feuled this story to be what it is now! Some people have been hinting for a sequal on the other fanfiction sites that I've posted this story on, any opinions? Leave a review and tell me because i am sooo open to doing one, i already have a little plot forming in my head :) Thanks again for reading and remember to leave some love in the box below!!
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