“Where is the Life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?" –T.S. Elliot
“Good morning,” an unusually cheerful Harry greeted Hermione as he took a seat by her at the dining hall.
“Still sleeping, decided not to go to breakfast and just sleep in today.”
She merely nodded her head with a knowing smile, not at all surprised by the announcement.
“So how are you this fine morning, love?”
She shrugged unenthusiastically. “I’m okay.”
“Well I should hope so given that you and Ron finally got together last night. Anyway, I see Ginny over there so I’ll talk to you later okay?”
“Sure,” she told him with a weak, but nevertheless, encouraging smile.
Looking back at the memory he knew that she hadn’t been okay that day, but what killed him was the idea that he would never learn what it was that brought on that short bout of depression. He should have been there for her.
one year later.
“Hey mate,” Ron somberly greeted him, clapping him on the back as he took a seat by him at the bar.
“Ready for the newly implemented annual ritual to begin?” Harry asked him with a pained smile.
Ron winced slightly. “Well I’m praying that it won’t actually become an annual ritual.”
“What’d you get her then?”
“A plane ticket to here,” he sheepishly admitted with a sheepish smile.
Harry let out a laugh. “Way to be inconspicuous.”
“I try, and, hey, at least I got her a muggle form of transportation, she’s got to appreciate that,” he reasoned with a grin, rather proud of himself for his feat. “So what’d you get her?”
“Well, apparently, great minds think alike because I got her a locket that acts as a portkey when you open it.”
“And where would it take her to?” Ron asked him with a knowing grin, quickly figuring out where it was all leading to.
“Did you tell her that in the birthday card or did you leave her to her own defenses so she’d be forced to come her when she opened it?”
“I’m not an idiot, Ron, it wouldn’t be worth it if I didnt, she’d kill me, you know that temper of hers.”
Ron nodded, wincing at the various memories that came to mind when Harry made that comment. “Worse than the infamous red headed temper.”
“Too true,” Harry said, raising his glass in agreement.
“Hey, mate?” Ron said, with a tone that immediately changed the entire feel of the conversation. The air between them stilled as the solemn undertone in the conversation was rehashed with those two words.
“Do you—do you think she’ll ever come back… to stay?”
Harry involuntarily flinched at the mention of that, ever since she had left the question of whether or not she would ever return had been a taboo topic of sorts, both deciding that it was better to avoid the pain of that prospect through avoidance.
“I hope so, but for now… she sounds happy, and I don’t want to be the selfish git that takes that away from her.” I’ve done enough as it is.
Ron nodded. “I just wish she’d come back… even just for a day. I never realized what an important role she played in my life; those weekly letters just aren’t enough.”
“They can’t ever compete with the real thing, can they?”
“Who ever thought that the stuck up girl that we initially despised would be the one that we were hopelessly pining for later in life?” Ron chuckled at the irony of the situation.
“She’s special like that.”
“Well then, here’s to her, hopefully she’s out there having a blast celebrating her twenty-third birthday.”
“Here’s to her,” Harry nodded, raising his glass to Ron’s.
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