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“Hermione, please think rationally about this.” 

But she had already tried, and of all the things meeting Harry involved, rationality was not one of them. She paused fixing her hair to face Wilem. He was standing behind her, looking over her shoulder and into the mirror where she had set about her work. His slowly aging face was lined with concern. He had just returned home from work and was not yet fully changed. 

His shirt was unbuttoned with a tie loosed around his neck. The worry for her in his eyes was almost overbearing. She felt a surge of affection towards him, but nothing he could do would stop her, and nothing she could do would make him understand. 

She reached out a placed a hand on his bared chest. He closed his eyes and exhaled softly at her cool touch. 

“I have to go.” His eyes snapped back open. 

“No you don’t!” 

“Yes- I- Do!” She glared at him defiantly, her jaw set. Wilem was reminded of those first days of their relationship, those days when she had seemed determined to hate him. He smiled sadly; he knew it could come to that again if he pushed her. He shook his head and turned away. 

“Don’t be mad.” Hermione whispered, wrapping her arms around his waist and pulling him towards her. She had to stand on he toes to poke her head over his shoulder and kiss his cheek. “Please, Wilem, please. Try to understand this.” 

He sighed again, nodding, although he knew he could never understand. What did she even see in him? A few years ago he would have paid money to see the legendary Harry Potter. The chosen one, the boy who lived, but now, now all he wanted was for the boy to be gone. The world was better off without him. It could cope just fine without him playing vanishing acts and destroying lives.
Hermione was better without Harry. Wilem was certain of that fact, but had no chance of convincing her. 

“When will you be home?” He asked quietly at last. This surprised Hermione. Surely he was going to put up more of a fight than this? 

“I-“She said, walking around to stare him in the face. He avoided her gaze, instead stared determinedly at some point to the left of her. “I don’t know.” She said. “Ten, maybe later?” 


Wilem’s mind was suddenly over active. He thought of all the things that could happen in four odd hours. All the things Harry Potter could do to her fragile little heart. He could destroy her in that space of time. Wilem shivered, turning red. 

“Surely you don’t need to be out that long? Ten?” He repeated again. “I thought you were just going out for dinner?” His tone was sharp as he said this. Hermione looked grim. 

“Wilem, please. Promise me you won’t be mad. Surely you can understand how very much there must be for us to catch up on.” 

Wilem pursed his lips. He could imagine what sort of catching up Harry Potter would like to do. For that, he decided was the only reason he had come back. Taking advantage of a poor, weak woman. It made Wilem’s stomach turn, but he didn’t show it. At last he managed a forced smile. He had to show Hermione he trusted her. He loved so much, he couldn’t lose her. 

“I understand.” He said at last. She looked as though she wouldn’t believe him but after a while she smiled. She reached up and kissed him sweetly. 

“Okay then. Goodnight, don’t wait up.” 

She smiled again before grabbing her coat of the hook and walking out the door. 

Wilem rolled his eyes. Don’t wait up. That was the stupidest thing he’d ever heard her say. 

Harry was nervous. What was he going to say to her? What would she even ask? He was so lost in his thoughts that he didn’t even realise that he had nicked himself with the razor until the blood started streaming down his neck. 

Muttering oaths to himself, Harry cleared up the mess with a spell. He had done as Hermione had asked and cleaned himself up. The sleep had done him well and the black bags and red veins were gone from his eyes. He had cut and washed his hair. And now he was shaving. When he finished he stood back to take a proper look. 

It wasn’t so bad, he decided. He hadn’t done such a great job with the hair, but at least he didn’t look so much like Sirius anymore. That had bothered him. The pale skin, the long, lank hair. He didn’t to think of himself as having gone to ruin like that, but in retrospect that was exactly what had happened. 

He didn’t have anything to wear, but after fishing around in the cupboards in Sirius’s old room he found a pair of neat black pants and a creased white shirt. With a grimace he tried to iron it, but succeeded only in making it slightly warmer. He never had been good at those homey type spells. 

A glance at that watch he had been given by the Weasley’s told him it was five to seven. So, trying to block out the painful memory of that one particular family Harry strolled downstairs to wait for Hermione. 

It had been almost two years since he’d properly seen any of the Weasleys. Of course he’d been checking up on them, he’d checked up on all of them. But he’d never let one of them see him. He didn’t want that. 

Just then there was a rap on the door. Harry rose to his feet, walked out to the hall and opened the door. 

“Sorry! Sorry I’m late.” Hermione gasped, taking off her coat and shaking off her umbrella. Harry smiled, not really listenening, instead soaking her in. She looked very pretty, he thought. Not beautiful, but very pretty. She was too skinny and pale to look healthy, but there was some colour on her cheeks and spark in her eyes. Her hair was pulled up in a loose bun, and she wore a nice deep blue dress under her heavy coat. 

“You look lovely.” 

She flushed with pleasure and embarrassment. “Well, thank you.” She muttered. “You look lovely too.” She beamed at him, her eyes raking appraisingly over his freshly shaven face and newly cut hair. He still looked a little dishevelled. His clothes were a bit crumpled and his glasses lopsided, but quite dashing nonetheless. 

“Shall we go?” He offered, holding out a hand and wondering if he was being too forward. He had missed her so much. She looked at him strangely for a moment; he could see some of the hesitation in her mind. He imagined her internal battle. This would only make it harder for her if he chose to leave again. 

But then she took his calloused hand in her own small warm one. She smiled at Harry, putting on her jacket and opened up the door. She popped open the umbrella once more and then they were gone. 

It had been a nice evening. Quiet, warm and at times awkward, but nice all the same. They had talked mainly of trivial things. Stuff like what a bother it was to keep up an appearance or how miserable the weather had been lately. Each time they strayed too close to a subject that neither of them wanted to discuss, the topic was changed and very quickly too. 

Towards the end of the night when they were feeling full, warm and drowsy was when things started to change. They paid the bill and left the restaurant. It was chilly outside and Harry hugged Hermione closer to himself. She responded by wrapping an arm around his waist. They made their way back to Harry’s house like this. 

It was nine thirty. 

Harry lit a fire when they were inside and they sat around it, warming their bodies in front of its flames, talking and sometimes laughing. At around quarter past nine Harry got up to fetch the bottle of sherry he had seen the other day in the kitchens. When he returned they sipped in silence, content and warm. 

Harry looked across at Hermione, wanting to tell her so many things, but unwilling to scare her away, which inevitably, he felt, he would. She looked beautiful under the soft glow of the fire. Its gold flames reflected on her pale skin and in her eyes. And yes, he would stretch to say beautiful now. 

Suddenly, she spoke. “You know,” she started softly still looking into the flames. “I didn’t really think you were gone.” Harry stared at her intensely. “I think, I think it was because I wanted you back so badly.” She looked at him; he could see the tears glistening in her eyes. “I couldn’t let myself believe that you were gone.” 

Then he was beside her, holding her in his arms. She buried her head into his chest, but for once, did not cry. Her fingers played with the hem of his shirt. Absently she slipped her fingers underneath and ran her fingers along the bare skin of this stomach. Harry closed his eyes and sighed. It had been so long since someone had touched him like that. But surely not Hermione, surely not… 

He looked down at her now, his eyes wide and she smiled back. There was no hesitation in her expression. Then slowly, but deliberately he pressed his lips to hers. She kissed him back, gently but then harder and eventually hungrily. He wound his arms wound her frame and laid her down, their bodies were pressed tight together, searching for so much more than something physical. Bit by bit and layer after layer the clothes came off, cast into a discarded heap, the coldness of the night was long forgotten. 

Maybe it was the fact that they had missed each other so much, or the fact that they were a little too intoxicated that they did it. It could have been that, or perhaps, it was just the fact that it was deep down inside; both of them were merely very lonely people who wanted to feel loved one more time. 

And Wilem Dahl was wrong. Harry Potter hadn’t damaged Hermione’s heart at all. He had healed it, just a little bit. 

A/N: woo hoo! Quick update hey. Harry/Hermione action at last :) What did you think? Please review my little dears!

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