Chapter 3 : august 9th
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Voldemort was standing over the crib, his red eyes fixed on the sleeping figure in the crib. He raised his wand. His cold laughter filled the room as he muttered the curse. “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO”
Harry woke up screaming and sweating. He looked around at his surroundings, he was still in his bedroom, and Hermione was gone. Harry could hear the sound of her cooking downstairs, Hermione hadn’t been the same since Claudia died, she was thinner, paler, didn’t talk much to anyone except to Harry, who feared for her health, for she hardly ate these days, Harry had to convince her to eat.
Of course, Harry had never recovered either, he was devastated when Claudia died, and these reoccurring dreams only seemed to make it worse, even though he had defeated Voldemort 5 years ago, he still had them almost every night.
Absentmindedly, Harry went to the calendar and looked at the date; his face fell as he read the date on the calendar “august 9th” he said quietly to himself, today Claudia would have been sixteen years old. He wondered if Hermione remembered, but then he thought of course she remembers, she remembers every year, every single year.
When Harry got downstairs, Hermione was cooking breakfast. He went to the kithcen table and sat down; 'The Daily Prophet' lay on the table for him like it did every morning. Hermione looked up at him and smiled “good morning” she said trying to sound cheerful, but Harry could see from the redness in her eyes, that she had been crying.
“Good morning,” Harry responded.
“Um, what would you like?” asked Hermione.
Harry didn’t think Hermione needed to strain herself anymore like this, “I’ll just have some coffee love”
“Alright then,” said Hermione “coffee it is”
She took her wand out and summoned coffee, and a filter and put them in the coffee maker, Harry noticed her hands were shaking as she worked. “Uh, maybe I should do that” he said.
“No no no, I’m fine” she said shakily.
She tried to put the coffee in the filter, but her hands were shaking so bad, she dropped the coffee on the floor, “Shit” she muttered, and got down on her knees and started to try and clean the spilled coffee.
“Hermione darling, please let me help you”
“I’M FINE HARRY, JUST PLEASE LET ME DO THIS OKAY PLEASE.” She shouted.
She scrubbed the floor as hard as she could, Harry could see tears forming in her eyes, and he had to do something to help her. He got up, kneeled down next to her, and put his arms around her. She stopped scrubbing and looked tearfully at him. “I know how you’re feeling” he said as comfortingly as he could, “I feel that way too”
She stared at him for a moment, then buried her face into his shirt and sobbed uncontrollably. Harry held her tight and rubbed her back, he could feel tears beginning to form in his eyes as well, but held them back.
They stayed that way for what seemed like hours before Hermione finally looked up. “It was my fault” she murmured.
“What?” said Harry shocked; he had never heard her say this before.
“It was my fault Claudia died; I pushed his wand away from her, I made our house fall down, I’m the one responsible for her death.”
She started to cry again “Hermione” Harry said softly.
“If it wasn’t for me, we would be throwing Claudia her sweet sixteen right now instead of sitting here crying, if it wasn’t for me she wouldn’t have died, if it wasn’t for me th-
“If it wasn’t for you Voldemort would have killed her, right there and you know that, you were just being a good mother okay, it’s not your fault, its Voldemort’s fault, don’t ever blame yourself for what happened.”
Hermione stared into the eyes of her husband, which had lost it’s old brightness and were now dull, almost colorless. “I heard you screaming, did you have another dream?” she asked.
“Yeah, they're coming so much more lately”
More tears started to form in Hermione’s eyes, “I’m sorry, I wish I could make them stop, and then you won’t have to suffer from them anymore.”
Harry was quiet for a moment, trying to find a way to change the subject, “um, did I tell you, Ron called yesterday, he was wondering if we wanted to meet him and Luna at the leaky cauldron on Monday, then maybe go shopping.”
Hermione got up and went to the sink to wash her hands; she was silent through the whole thing, “if you don’t want to its al-
“No, no, I’d loved to, really I would” she said.
Harry smiled, “Good, I’ll tell Ron later when he calls, he finally learned how to use the phone, it’s a miracle”
Hermione laughed a little at that, which made Harry happy. She hardly ever laughed anymore.
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