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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?

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