Chapter 1 : Fireworks Forever
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It was dark, pitch dark, at the Hogwarts library when I opened my eyes slowly. “Ouch!” I grumbled as I felt a slap on my arm. “What was the for?”
“Wake up, Harry,” said a bushy-haired girl, who sat in a long table piled with thick books. “We don’t have any time! The exam is just hours away!”
“Potions. Yes. Focus,” I muttered, gingerly getting up to sit next to her. My hand accidentally brushed hers and I felt a tingle go through me. Shivering, I pulled my chair closer and picked up a book that looked like it’d take the rest of my life to finish.
“What’s the matter?” asked the beautiful girl, her alluring brown eyes going from annoyed to concerned.
“Nothing…” I breathed, trying to concentrate. I was going to be officially murdered in roughly six hours if I didn’t finish, but even that couldn’t stop my heart from racing every time I looked at her.
“Hermione, when do you know when you’re in love?”
She looked at me weirdly. “What?”
“Well…when you get that feeling in your gut telling you that you’re in love.” She smiled, amused.
“What about when you kiss? Fireworks?” I said, jokingly.
“Maybe.” She said mysteriously. I laughed and looked at the accursed book again.
Giving up, I pushed the book away with a sigh. “I give up,” I announced. “It’s no use.”
“Don’t say that!” insisted Hermione with a glare. I caught her eye and breathed in sharply. Her big brown puppy eyes were narrowed, but turned quizzical when they read the hunger in my own. I wanted nothing more than her at that moment. On impulse, I reached out to grab her shoulders and move closer to her.
I could feel her breathing become heavier. “Harry…” she began, but succumbed when my lips were on hers. I snaked my arm around her narrow waist. She sighed as my tongue traced her luscious lip, begging for entry, which she granted. Our tongues intertwined and I took a sharp intake. She tasted better than anything I could ever imagine.
I pulled back, dizzy, but I felt her soft hand pull me again. Feeling her hands trace the contours of my chest, I moaned softly. Her hands drew irresistible circles on my chest, and were soon clutching my hair as I kissed her more fiercely.
She was unbuttoning her shirt. Her glorious body was soon in display, and I felt a thrill as I softly ran my hands down her body. She moaned, leading me to the hook of her bra. I unhooked it, and slowly massaged her breast.. I let my tongue travel over the soft mound, causing her to moan, before something clicked and I pulled back.
Her eyes were closed in ecstasy, but were confused when she opened them. I looked at her longingly. She was so beautiful, she was all I wanted. Would this one night make that much of a difference? Yes, it would, I sadly concluded. I couldn’t risk our friendship.
“Hermione…no…we can’t do this.” Leaving her half-naked in the library, I ran back to the dormitory, my heart aching.
“HERMIONE!!” I yelled, sending my pillow flying. Drenched in cold sweat, I rubbed my old scar absent-mindedly. “Fuck them dreams,” I muttered. Lying still in my massive bed, I tried to block the images that were so vividly playing in my head…Hermione…library…getting intimate…I mentally shook myself. Now was not the time to dwell on my dreams, not after what had happened.
I felt a lump in my throat as I remembered the night before…the night I realized something. Something that I’d known, but not consciously accepted. I yawned, wondering why I was remembering that night in fifth year now…
Yesterday had been one of the worst days of my life. After getting to know that her fiancé spent nights dreaming about another woman, Ginny was furious and had cancelled the engagement. We quarreled frequently, and she had a hot temper, but this time I knew she wouldn’t come back. She would probably go live with Ron now.
Ron and I had had a falling out three years ago, and although we made up, things had been chilly between us. I used to miss him terribly, but as time passed by I accepted the fact that he’d changed. The Ron I saw wasn’t the one who was my best friend. The war changed people, me and Ron included.
He didn’t approve of my engagement to his sister. This new development would make him happy.
My fights with Ron deeply affected Hermione. At that time, she too couldn’t accept the fact that he’d changed. As the years passed by, we just isolated ourselves from each other…Ron was seeing Lavender, Hermione was with Malfoy and I was with Ginny. We all had our own lives to lead.
I thought about how much things had changed. At Hogwarts, we were inseparable.
I slowly changed into jeans and a black shirt and Apparated to somewhere I hadn’t been to in the last two years.
I rang the doorbell and waited patiently as I heard her voice calling out. She opened the door, holding a glass of pumpkin juice, which she promptly dropped when she saw me. She looked breathtaking, in very short shorts and a patterned wraparound top. Her hair was no longer bushy, but hung down to her waist in beautiful ringlets. Her eyes, her lovely brown eyes widened in shock when they saw me.
I heard the doorbell ring and sighed, quickly emptying my glass of beer and picking up a glass of pumpkin juice instead. Nobody knew I drank, and I was planning to keep it that way.
I bustled to the front door and opened it, and the glass fell from my hand. So much for the pumpkin juice…my mouth fell open when I saw who it was. Someone I thought I’d never see again.
“Harry?” I whispered, my voice hoarse. He looked great. His emerald eyes were deep, serene and more mature than from two years ago. His hair was still jet black and stubbornly messy. He’d grown taller, and more muscular…I could see his well-built, lean chest through his shirt.
“Hello, Hermione,” he said quietly, his eyes appraising me. Maybe I was dreaming. “You look great.”
“As do you. Come on in.” I inhaled his amazing scent as he walked by me. “So what’s the occasion?” I asked, curiously.
“I…nothing. I just thought I’d drop by and see you.” He hesitatingly stepped into my apartment. I sat down beside him on the loveseat. Although I hadn’t seen Harry for a while, I knew him well enough to guess something was bothering him. He had on his trademark worried expression.
“Harry, what’s wrong?” I asked. He shrugged. ‘I’m serious, Harry. What happened?” Sighing, he looked at me and mumbled, “Ginny and I broke up…”
“Oh, Harry…I’m so sorry…” I said, my heart aching for him. I hugged him, but he didn’t let go. He sniffed me, and suddenly stiffened.
“Hermione…you’ve been drinking?” he looked shocked. I shrugged. “I’ve been drinking quite a bit since…since…” I felt my eyes become moist. “Since my parents died last month…my ex killed them.”
He looked confused. “Malfoy,” I said, bitterly. “I thought he’d changed. Apparently not.”
“I’m sorry, Mione.” He hugged me again, and all of a sudden I was reminded of that night years ago, that amazing memory I clung to, to get through everyday. My eyes met his and something told me he was thinking of that day too.
“I love you, Hermione,” he said, his eyes intense. “More than my own life.”
I looked away, unable to believe that someone like him could ever fall in love with someone like me…someone who was all books. I refused to meet his eye, even when I felt his hand on my shoulder.
“Hermione, say something.”
“I…no. I don’t believe you.” I stubbornly folded my hands, feeling tears trickle down my cheeks. It had to be a joke- albeit one that hurt. Why was Harry pulling my leg?
“Hermione.” He gently turned my face so I was looking at him. “Mione, please don’t cry,” he begged, looking upset.
“W…why? Why are you playing around like this?” I sniffed, turning away again.
“I’m not playing around.” He sounded very serious. “Of course you are!” I glared at him. “How could you not be?”
“What do you mean?” asked Harry, looking baffled. “Face it, Harry…you’re an internationally renowned hero, killer of Voldemort, the most eligible bachelor in the wizarding world. Why would you pick me, the pathetic, geeky, unremarkable, plain girl who always stood in Harry Potter’s shadow?”
He gripped my arm tightly. “Hermione, you have never been unremarkable or plain. Anyone who said that is completely deluded.” I just sniffed again in response.
He laughed softly. “Hermione, look at me.” I obeyed, and immediately wished I hadn’t when I faced the force of his magnetic eyes.
“I love you, Hermione Granger,” said Harry clearly. “I love you and I have ever since that day when we first met on the Hogwarts Express, when you were looking for Neville’s toad. As the years passed by, this love only grew stronger. I regret the fact that I was too thick to realize how much you mean to me earlier, but now all I can say is how utterly and completely besotted I am with you.”
I gave a small smile when I saw the transparent honesty in his emerald eyes. Cocking my head to one said, I replied “Well, that’s good, because I just happen to love you, too.” I pulled him by the neck towards me and kissed him.
Years later, I always thought how funny it was that after what Harry said about fireworks and kissing on that night, that there just happened to be some in the sky at that very moment.