Chapter IXX: finding the infamous Gryffindor courage
“You won't ever be happier...until you find that special place where you belong...” -Anonymous
“I like this,” Hermione shyly admitted as they sat on the balcony connected to the library, slowly drinking their coffees and eating their breakfasts.
Harry nodded mutely, staring out onto the garden behind the manor.
“What’s with you, you’re never this quiet… well, okay, that’s not true, but you’re still not one for meditation in the morning, not when you’re fully awake and gearing up to start a new day,” Hermione rambled on as she tore off a piece of her croissant and smeared Nutella on it before popping the piece into her mouth.
He let out a small, breathy laugh. “Just thinking.”
“About the meaning of life?” she teased him with a grin.
He nodded. “Something along those lines.”
“Any answers on that front?”
He shook his head, sadly. “None as of yet, I’m afraid.”
“Ah,” she said.
“Yeah…” he sighed.
They sat in silence for a while, each left to their own thoughts—or forced to since they had nothing better to do, as was Hermione’s case—and enjoying the novelty behind the unusually perfect weather that day.
“What’s wrong, Harry?” she asked, effectively ending the interlude.
He shrugged, much to her annoyance. “Nothing.”
She cocked her head to the side, her eyebrows furrowing as she sent him a perplexed look. He could almost see the wheels in her head turning as she desperately tried to analyze him—rationalize his actions and unusual behavior. “What is it Harry?… come on, please, talk to me.”
He turned to look at her. “Nine months ago today I made a promise to myself… I told myself I’d have her.”
He could see she wanted to say something, but she wouldn’t—she respected him enough to let him do it at his own pace.
“I’m not getting anywhere in that respect, to tell you the truth,” he told her before turning his face from her, breaking away from her.
“Who is she, Harry?”
He let out a deep sigh. “You have Nutella on the corner of your lip,” he told her in a strained voice that she was totally oblivious to as she quickly wiped off the chocolate from her face before licking it off her finger. And as he got up, leaving her alone on the balcony, he realized that—for the life of him—he couldn’t deicide whether it was a blessing or a curse that she was so ignorant to her effect on him.
“I’m sorry about this morning,” Harry announced as he took a seat by Hermione on the couch where she was getting her daily fix of celebrity news—a dirty little secret love affair of hers that he’d only recently discovered.
She smiled as she turned the TV on mute. “It’s okay, I understand, I really do.”
“I was hoping I could make it up to you-”
“Oh, Harry, you don’t need to. Really, you don’t,” she told him earnestly as she squeezed his arm lightly to assure him of the fact.
He grinned. “That doesn’t matter; all that does is that I want to.”
“So when will this illicit little date of ours be taking place then?”
“Well honestly, Harry, don’t you think at all? If we’re leaving Ron out of it I doubt we should tell him, you know how jealous he gets,” she told him with a teasing tone as she sent him a conspiratorial wink.
He chuckled. “Of course, how could I be so blind?—so I think I’ll pick you up at your bedroom door tomorrow at eight.”
“Well then see you in front of my door then, but right now, let’s learn about Patrick Swayze and that cancer of his,” she told him with a smile as she turned the TV’s volume up as she snuggled into Harry’s chest, resting her head in the crook of his neck as she watched the program.
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