Chapter 1 : Superman Complex
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As Ginny Weasley makes her way down the aisle, decked in gold and escorted by her older brother Ron Weasley, Hermione Jane Granger stares forlornly at her best friend of nearly six years. She knows that she should be treasuring her last, normal day before the three of them set off for what may well be their deaths; she knows that she should be exchanging proud smiles with Mrs. Weasley, the woman that considers Hermione to be her second daughter; she knows that she should be watching teary-eyed as Fleur Delacour makes her way towards Bill Weasley, dressed in shimmering folds of white silk and looking every bit the most gorgeous and wanted woman in the world that she is; she knows, too, that she should be listening raptly as Fleur and Bill profess their love for one another. But she’s not, and the truth of the matter is, she can’t. All she can do is concentrate on the boy – no man – who purposely sat in the row next to her in order to avoid her heated whispers of warning. All she can do is think about that one thought that has ran constantly through her head since fourth year.
Harry James Potter has a superman complex.
This one thought had never seemed truly significant. Sure, she knew about it – everyone did. Especially after the Second Task during the Triwizard Tournament, but what did it matter? Well it mattered now. Because Hermione had finally realized how much impact she had on this man’s life.
Ever since sixth year ended, she has berated herself constantly for underestimating the significance of Harry’s “saving people thing.” After all, she knew of it for so long…
She’s known since she was twelve-years-old, when she watched a crazed-boy of eleven fling himself onto the back of a violent troll, in order to ensure that a girl to whom he certainly had no attachment would make it out of the bathroom alive. At the time, she had been too grateful to see the signs.
She learned of it again, when she was thirteen, after awaking from a deep sleep. The news was all over the school – Harry Potter had, without telling Professor Dumbledore or any other power of actual esteem, made his way into the Chamber of Secrets, fought a basilisk, and saved Ginny Weasley from what was believed to be certain death. This time, she had been too proud to realize the significance.
He proved this yet again when he was fourteen and rescued the youngest Delacour girl from the bottom of the lake, somehow believing that Dumbledore would allow a little girl to die just because her older sister was attacked. This time, however, she did recognize that perhaps Harry needed a talking to about jumping into situations at the first call of distress, but never mind that – she was too relieved to comprehend the importance.
He proved it in fifth year, when he pushed everyone away, certain that no one could understand him. She had been too determined to help him to see what was right in front of her. He proved it once more when he insisted on rescuing Sirius, an act that had almost led to Harry’s demise. She was too distressed to accept the truth.
It was at the moment, on their way home from school this very year, however, when Neville informed her of her near death experience, that lightening had finally struck and Hermione knew what had to be done. Since that moment, when she learned that Harry had almost allowed himself to be ruthlessly murdered by a Death Eater as he lay distraught by her side, Hermione knew that she would never allow Harry to save her or worry about her again. Ever. It wasn’t worth it. Her life was nothing compared to his – she wouldn’t be able to live with herself if she knew he gave himself up for her. After all, if anyone was going to die, it was she for Harry.
So as Fleur promises to love, honour, and cherish Bill, for as long as they both shall live, all Hermione can think about is the hours following the wedding, when Harry will tell Ron and Hermione that if anything goes wrong, anything at all, they should let him know immediately. That only if they agree to these terms will he let them follow. And Hermione knows that she will bite her lip and nod, promising with all her heart to follow Harry’s orders. Later that night, she will return to the room that she shares with Ginny and sob silently into a pillow. She’ll scold herself, voicing her disgust for lying to her best friend for the first time since the time-turner disaster. But the emotional pain she’ll endure matters little – not if it means that Harry is kept safe, or at the very least, that she did her part to ensure it.
It never occurs to Hermione that, perhaps, she has a superman complex as well.