Chapter 17 : Happy now
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A/Note, a short story I came up with while stuck on another story, hope you read and enjoy.
There is a small amount of bad language used in this story so please take notice of my warning.
I woke up from my latest nightmare covered in sweat; it was so bad I could feel a small trickle of liquid as it rolled down my chest, checking my watch I found I had only been asleep for four hours. As I rolled off the bed still fully dressed I wondered if they had moved his body yet, it had been just six hours before that Voldemort had finally died, his death had brought about the end of the battle of Hogwarts and his death eaters, the end of the war.
I rummaged through my backpack for the cleanest clothes I had left; I needed a shower before I left. Unable to get any hot water, I turned on the cold tap and I stood under that cold shower washing myself for as long as I could, I made my mind up by the time I was dressed, I would thank Hermione for all the help she had given to me, tell her how I felt about her and then hopefully together we would leave this world together and move on with our lives, and one thing I was very sure about I would never return to this world where so much segregation and hatred is a part of daily life.
As I walked down to the common room I could see both Hermione and Ron sitting on the couch their backs facing me, I called over from the bottom stair
“Hermione could I have a word in private when you have time,”
It was when she turned and faced me and I saw she was holding his hand, I was suddenly reminded what my latest nightmare had been about, the awful dream that had woken me wasn’t about Voldemort or the actual fight, it had nothing to do with all the deaths I had seen, it was all about a single minute, one short minute when my entire hoped for future was destroyed, the future I had finally begun to pray for during the past few months was suddenly and permanently destroyed in that one lousy minute.
I turned and rushed back up to the dorm room, I grabbed my things and shoved them unceremoniously into my back pack, I was just slinging it over my shoulder when she entered the room.
“Harry…” she began before she noticed I was ready to leave “where are you going?” she asked quietly almost as though she did not want to believe I was leaving.
I thought of ignoring her and just leaving without a word, but then I thought about all she had done for me in the past, she at least deserved an answer; she had earned that much from me.
“I’m done with the world of magic, I’m going back to the muggle world,” was all I told her.
“That’s it, you’re just going to up and leave us all?” she asked “what about Ginny? What about me?”
I was really hurting inside and I thought she had betrayed me, the innocence in her voice angered me and I felt my temper rising, there was nothing I could do to stop myself when I turned it all on her,
“Stuff Ginny, stuff Ron, stuff all the bloody lot of you, I hate you all, you bloody bunch of hypocrites, now why don’t you just piss off back down to that bastard deserter down stairs.”
Hermione stared at me and I could see the total disbelief in her face, she did not need to say a word I could see the tears forming in her eyes, all she managed to say was my name, “H-Harry what?.”
I looked into her tear filled eyes and all I felt was betrayal, so I yelled at her, “I was so in love with you, I came down there to ask you to leave with me, then seeing you holding his hand reminded me of that bloody treacherous kiss, you have no idea how much that hurt, I blocked that kiss out of my mind after I let Voldemort kill me.
I fell head over heels in love with you on that search, you had chosen me in the tent, you kept holding my hand, put your arms around me where ever we went, you comforted me at Godrics Hollow, held me close at the grave side, when we did that married couple act you seemed so happy, it was as though we were really married.
You made me fall in love with you and then you deserted me for that coward, that deserter, well I hope you are happy with him, just remember the guy who always took care of you right from the day we beat that Troll left here with a broken heart.”
As I turned for the door I remembered that all the shields around Hogwarts were down so I simply disapparated and left her there with my yelling still ringing in her ear.
I have no idea what she thought or how she reacted to what I said, I was to busy feeling sorry for myself to care, I kept seeing that bloody kiss and it was driving me crazy.
I arrived on the Dursleys front doorstep and after they reluctantly allowed me in to collect my things, I told them the war was all over, they were safe now, after packing and collecting my things that I had left there just over a year ago I found myself once again on their door step and wondered where I could go from there.
I shrank my trunk and forced it into my backpack, then as I walked down the drive to the road I saw Mrs Figg, she was at my side before I could summon the knight bus.
“So Harry, congratulations,” she said as she shook my hand.
“Er thanks,” I replied wondering how she knew so fast but then I realised that by now the whole wizarding world must know.
“So have you decided where you and the little Lupin boy will live?” she asked smiling.
I had completely forgotten about little Teddy, I was his godfather and it was now my duty to look after him, how the heck does an eighteen year old boy who knows absolutely nothing about children look after a baby I wondered, then I thought that I must be cursed I could not leave the wizarding world just yet, I would have to go and see if Andromeda Tonks was going to look after him or did she want me to have him and to raise him.
After saying goodbye to Mrs Figg I caught the knight bus and I asked the driver Ernie if he could drop me off right out side Andromeda Tonks house, it was just twenty minutes later when I knocked at the door to the Tonks residence.
I was welcomed by Andromeda who almost instantly insisted I call her Andie now that I was the nearest thing to family she had left apart from little Teddy.
She noticed the tear streaks down my face, tears I hadn’t even realised I had shed, when she asked about them I found myself telling her all about Hermione’s treachery with my former friend. I told her how he had broken our friendship the night he had deserted us, I told her how and why during our time alone together in the tent I had fallen in love with Hermione.
Somehow telling Andie had eased the hurt a little, I don’t know if it was what she said when she told me that people cant make someone fall in love with them, the love must have been there before, but neither can you chose who you fall in love with. If Hermione was in love with Ron then there was nothing Hermione or I could do about it.
Andie offered me a room if I wanted some where to stay, I could be with Teddy and she could teach me all I needed to know about looking after him, I accepted the offer, it would be the perfect place to live, no body would find me here, I mean who was going to look for the famous boy who lived in a Muggle house owned by an old witch.
Those first few days learning how and when to change little Teddy when it was needed, how to hold him and feed him, began to take my mind off my broken heart, I had a baby that needed me, and he needed all the love I could give him, I swore he was not going to grow up unloved, unwanted like I had done, I think that’s why Remus and Tonks had chosen me to be godfather, they knew me so well.
As the weeks passed and we shared the job of looking after Teddy, Andie seemed to somehow look younger. It was just over a month after I had moved in that I remarked on how well she looked; she smiled a huge smile at me.
“I still miss my little Dora but having you and Teddy here, well it’s like I have the son I always wanted, so now I feel like I have a son and a grandson, it makes me feel a little younger,” she said still with that huge smile.
It was the day after that when Andie called me down from Teddy’s room, I had just put him to bed and was still singing softly to him, watching as his eyes closed and he began to breathe steadily and rhythmically.
Down stairs Andie told me I had a visitor in the living room, she said it was someone she thought I should see and talk too, I got the impression it was almost an order.
Walking into the living room I couldn’t miss seeing her, she stood looking nervous right in front of the fireplace her back to the small fire.
“Oh its you,” was all I said as I looked at her red rimmed eyes and slightly sagging figure, I thought she had lost some weight but then told myself it was not my worry anymore.
“Hello Harry,” Hermione said twisting her hands together and shuffling her feet.
I sat down on the couch and just looked down at the floor, I did not want to see her or talk to her, I had only stayed in the room because I knew Andie would be waiting out in the hall, making sure I did as she suggested.
Hermione fidgeted obviously waiting for me to say something, but I had nothing to say, I mean what can you say to some one who betrayed you and broke your heart? So I just sat and looked at the carpet.
“I came to say I’m sorry,” she said sounding nervous.
“Okay, now you said it is that all?” I asked really quietly. I could here her sniffle and I knew she was crying, instead of feeling the way I usually did the few times before when she cried, I felt a little pleased, somehow I had hurt her back a little, I turned and looked at her “Well?”
Hermione looked at me with her tear stained face and those beautiful brown eyes and suddenly I wanted to rush to her and hold her tight, make her pain go away, stop her crying, I tried telling myself I was being stupid, it was time to ask her to leave, instead I patted the cushion next to me and asked her to sit with me.
She walked over and sat slowly, never taking her eyes off me, “So what do you want?” I asked looking deep into those brown pools of sorrow.
“I want you to forgive me,” she replied rather quietly.
“Hermione, I could forgive you for almost anything, I love you so much, but you betrayed me, you chose the guy who was forever upsetting you, the one who spent most of the past seven years shouting at you, and calling you names, the guy I thought might actually hate you because of the way he treated you, I treated you right Hermione, I always respected you, I didn’t yell at you or call you names, but you chose him, I don’t know if I can ever forgive you for that, you know what he did to our friendship, you knew how he had destroyed it when he deserted us, I thought you had feelings for me, I just don’t know,” I told her as I held my head in my hands as it tore my heart apart again.
“I had to know if I could love him instead of you, you never showed me any sign you might have feelings for me, so I had to choose someone else, when you told me how you felt and just left me there I knew I couldn’t love him, or anyone else because I love you Harry, I have for years, you just never seemed to love me back.” She said in a whisper.
I stared at her as my mind spun and a million thoughts all fought for a place and to be heard, “You love me, as in, IN love?”
“Yes Harry, I just hoped you could forgive me, maybe give me another chance, I made a big mistake with Ron, I missed you so much and it hurt so much to think I broke your heart it took me ages to pull myself together long enough to work out where you might be,” Hermione said as she placed a hand gently on my cheek.
Although I had still felt betrayed now that I knew why she had done it, I just couldn’t help myself, I wrapped my arms around her and kissed her tenderly, I think the kiss was all she needed, to know just how I felt about her, she knew that no matter what I said with words, the kiss and all the love behind it said that I had forgiven her, the kiss was interrupted before it became passionate by a cough from the door way.
Andie stood there all smiles “I have made up some supper, it’s in the kitchen.”
Hand in hand I led Hermione into the kitchen; there were three plates of food and three glasses of brandy laid out on the table, taking our seats Andie kept grinning at us like a manic teenager.
“I always knew you two were meant to be together,” she said as she raised her glass, “to my family,” she said before we all drank the toast.
Andie talked Hermione into moving in with us, and just a month after she moved into the house Hermione moved out of her room and into my room with me, she has become like a mother to Teddy, mind you it doesn’t take long to fall in love with the little tyke, he’s just started to crawl now, gets into all sorts of things.
We live happily as a family, Hermione’s parents who the Australian ministry found and had brought back from Australia, visit us often and Helen, Hermione’s mum asked when the big day is going to be, I really looked forward to the Saturday after Hermione said she would marry me, because when Helen visited and asked I could tell her that Hermione said yes when I proposed and we are getting married in a Muggle church with no witches or wizards invited, on the fourteenth of August.
August the fourteenth was a beautiful sunny day; due to Hermione insisting I should have some family there, even if it was the worst family on the planet, I had even invited my Aunt, who actually turned up, I refused to accept the small gift she had brought.
Hermione looked absolutely stunning in her Muggle wedding dress, it was a beautiful white with an intricately embroidered rose pattern all over it, she wore a matching pair of shoes and gloves, and her hair was done in ringlets, to me she looked like the most wonderfully beautiful bride that had ever graced a wedding ceremony, I was so proud when her dad Richard placed her hand in mine, I was even more proud when I heard her say those two special words ‘I do’.
For a wedding present I bought us a small Muggle book shop, we both work there together, but we always make sure we are finished by four P.M so that we can be home in time to have tea with Andie and Teddy, Oh yes I should mention that Teddy has shown no sign of having his fathers little hairy problem.
Our honeymoon was a long weekend at the inn in Godrics Hollow, we visited my parent’s grave again and once again Hermione held me close and comforted me.
There will be a small addition to the family in a few months time, the woman I fell in love with who has become a mother to my godson, is soon to be the mother of our first child, she says she wants to have the baby at home, but I don’t know about that yet, I mean, I’m bloody scared about it all as it is. Still I have the woman I love as my wife and I already know she will be a wonderful mum, yes I think after all we have been through I am truly happy now.
I saw the look in Harry’s eye as I turned to answer him, he had just come down the stairs and said he wanted a word with me in private, the instant I saw those wonderful green eyes and the look of deep hurt in them I knew I had made the biggest mistake of my life, I let go of Ron’s hand like it had burnt me and told him it would never work between us, he must still be wondering what happened.
By the time I reached the seventh year dorm Harry had finished packing, I was just going to tell him I had ended things with Ron, that I had made a mistake, when I noticed he was about to leave, I never finished what I was going to say, I was distracted by the thought I might be to late.
I asked where he was going, and then I asked him about Ginny, that’s when he started yelling, all I could remember was he had said he had fallen in love with me but I had broken his heart, and then he was gone.
I fell to my knees crying, the man I had loved for so very long had said the very words I had waited to hear, I just hadn’t waited quite long enough.
I had made my mind up two weeks before, that as Harry wasn’t interested in me I was going to give Ron a chance, I knew he fancied me and I knew he would ask me to be his girlfriend, I had kissed Ron just before Harry left the castle to face Voldemort, I shuddered to think he died because I wanted to know if I could fall in love with Ron, I thank all the Gods there are that Harry was returned to us, I could never have lived with the guilt. It was a stupid time to be worried about falling in love and being loved in return; I think I was afraid I might not make it. I should have known Harry would never declare his love for anyone while Voldemort was alive, it was the reason he had ended things with Ginny, he didn’t want her to be a target used to get to him. Somehow I let myself forget that noble streak in him.
I don’t know how long I lay on the dormitory floor crying, Neville found me and picked me up placing me on Harry’s bed, I cried myself to sleep that night and for several nights after, I don’t remember much about it all, I just felt like I had done one of the worst things it was possible for me to do, and I just couldn’t pull myself together, in hurting Harry I had hurt myself more than I thought was possible.
It was Luna who helped me out of it, she convinced me I should find Harry, try and put things right, but where do you search for a wizard who left the magical world behind and went back to being a Muggle, I had no idea where to look, then we had the memorial service for Remus and Tonks Lupin and I suddenly knew where I might find him.
Andie told me he might not see me when I arrived at her house, I begged her to at least give me a chance to talk to him. She told me just how much I had hurt him and she said that even if he talked to me he might never be able to forgive me, she knew for sure he would never be able to forget, still I pleaded for just a few minutes, I promised to leave if he refused to see me.
When he walked into that room I was scared to death, my knees were shaking and I had a really hard time speaking, I managed to say hello before my throat closed up on me.
I couldn’t hold back the tears as I watched him sitting on the couch, he wouldn’t even look at me, I tried to apologise for what I had done, and then he looked at me, I could see so much hurt in his eyes I just cried more, then he was patting the seat next to him and for a fleeting moment the sadness in my heart lifted a little, I walked over and sat down where he had indicated, I felt so nervous I was desperate to use the bathroom, but I didn’t dare ask, I couldn’t afford to leave things as they were.
I asked him if he would forgive me and then I told him how I felt about him, how I had loved him for so long, then suddenly he was kissing me and my heart was floating, my head swimming in happiness, it was a gentle kiss one that was full of love and forgiveness, it wasn’t my first kiss but it was definitely my first real loving kiss.
Funny thing when Andie invited us into the kitchen for supper I had completely lost the desire to go to the bathroom, when Andie decided to ask me to move in with them I was ecstatic, I couldn’t get away quick enough, I wanted to go fetch my things and move in right there and then.
I had fallen in love with little Teddy, and I really enjoyed looking after him, I was proud of how well Harry looked after him, he never refused to change Teddy no matter how bad he smelt or how much mess he was in, I could see a wonderful loving father for my own children in the wonderful man that was my boyfriend at last.
I had never made love to a man before, and when Harry asked me to move into his room I was a little scared, but my love for him soon overcame that fear. Harry did not try to talk me into moving in with him, he just mentioned it one night in one of our conversations, when I did move into his room he was patient with me and waited until I was ready, we had plenty of laughs that first time, we neither of us really knew what we were doing, all we had to go on was what we had read about it or what others had told us, still he was gentle with me and our love making was something beautiful.
I think I must have been the happiest bride that ever got married, after loving Harry for eight years, then nearly losing him forever we were really getting married, my heart was nearly bursting with happiness when we said our vows, Harry looked so handsome dressed in his grey morning suit, Harry’s best man was one of our neighbours who helped Harry to keep Andie’s rather large garden under control, he too was dressed in a grey morning suit, as was my dad, dad looked so proud as he placed my hand into Harry’s and whispered “I knew years ago this day would come.”
I stopped taking the contraception potion the week after we got married, and now I have a wonderful bulge in my stomach where the first new Potter is growing, I felt movement last night for the first time, I was so happy I had Harry hold his hand on the spot for ages until he felt it too. we don’t know if it is a boy or a girl, we’ll find that out when he or she enters into our world, when the doctor asked us if we wanted to know we both answered no.
Harry bought us a little book shop down on the high street, the business is fairly good, we even have some regular customers, though Harry does occasionally moan at me for reading instead of working I am really truly happy now.
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