Chapter 1 : Friendship
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Author's Note: This is an idea I had while watching the movies and reading the books again. Moments when it would have been easy, and in character, for Harry or Hermione to say something to promote the two of them together at a later date. It should be easy to tell when each part happens. This is just additions to the movies and books, and does not change anything else about them, until the last part.
Harry & Hermione: Evolution
Chapter 1: Friendship
Harry started up the steps, at that moment feeling very alone. His best friends' words echoed in his mind once again, that even in the wizarding world hearing voices was never a good sign. “Have you two ever had the feeling that you could do something and not even remember doing it?” he asked plaintively.
Ron and Hermione stammered out incomprehensible replies, and Harry turned away. He continued up the stairs, now thinking of Fred and George's little crack about him taking tea with his fanged servant in the Chamber of Secrets. Those words hurt more than he pretended they did. He knew they were only teasing him, but in conjunction with everyone else's whispers, his pain was only exacerbated. A few tears leaked out of his emerald eyes, which were now dulled with sorrow. It's the Dursleys all over again, he thought, choking back a sob. He had learned not to cry, or at least not to let anyone see him cry, in his eleven years with his relatives.
He found an empty classroom and went in to think. The tears came more quickly as his friends' words chased each other around in his mind, and he thought about the conundrum of loneliness. He wanted to be alone with his pain, but had been lonely all of his short life and didn't like the feeling. It was a never ending cycle that kept circling back on itself to make him feel worse.
Suddenly, the door eased open. A bushy brown head peeked around the corner, and a pair of chocolate eyes that Harry had probably never been happier to see met his. Within seconds, Hermione Granger and joined him in the middle of the room and wrapped her arms around his tiny body.
“Oh, Harry,” she sighed. “I may not know exactly how you feel, but I just want you to know that I believe you. I know you could never hurt anyone, and I don't believe you're the Heir of Slytherin. You're too noble for that.”
Harry dried his tears on his sleeve as he looked sideways at her. His lips quivered into a smile and he put his arms around her to return her hug. “T-thank y-you, Hermione,” he said softly.
Her smile was quick and bright. “And besides, I have proof that you're not Slytherin's great-great-great-grandson or anything like that!” And with that, she got up and pulled him up with her, taking him by the hand and leading him from the room.
As she tugged him along, Harry asked, “Where are we going?”
“You'll see,” she chirped, turning to smile at him again.
They stopped in front of the Trophy Room, and she tugged him inside. “Come on, I'll show you what I found.”
She led him to something that, at first glance, wouldn't have belonged among all the polished silver trophies and awards, but Harry looked closer at the piece of parchment. At the top it read “Head Boys”, and marching down the left side were names. On the right were the days they served. Near the bottom was a name Harry had never thought to look for on a list like this: James Potter, Gryffindor, Head Boy 1977-1978.
“See, your Dad was Head Boy,” Hermione announced. “He was in Gryffindor, and look here-” she moved her finger up about an inch from the glass, “your grandfather was Head Boy, and in Gryffindor, your great-grandfather, your great-great-grandfather, and on through the generations of your family. You can't possibly be descended from Slytherin if your entire family has been in Gryffindor practically since the dawn of time.”
“Hermione, you're the best,” Harry said with great feeling, turning to her and looking her in the eye. “You're the best friend anyone could ever have, and I don't deserve you.”
“Of course you 'deserve' me, Harry Potter,” Hermione said, her voice gaining an edge of steel. “Don't you ever believe otherwise. If anything, I don't deserve you as a friend!”
Harry rolled his eyes, and asked, “Do I have to turn your own words back on you?”
Hermione giggled and kissed him on the cheek. “It's a good thing my parents are dentists because you can give me cavities.”
Harry turned red, both from her kiss and her compliment. “Come on; let's go back to the common room.”
And they left hand in hand.
2: Something More
Harry spun around, heading for the door to grab his Invisibility Cloak before he and Hermione used it to sneak into Umbridge's office. However, a thought had been niggling in the back of his mind for some time now, and he turned back. Ron, Ginny, and Luna had already left, and at this point he didn't care that Ron liked Hermione.
“Harry, is something else wrong?” Hermione asked, concerned, and taking a step toward him.
“Just something I want to tell you,” he muttered, not meeting her eyes out of nervousness.
“You know you can tell me anything,” she answered kindly.
“I just-” he began, “If anything happens, if something goes wrong-”
“I want you to know that...I like you... a lot...” Harry said. “Ever since second year, when you showed me those names on the Head Boy list...”
Hermione smiled beautifully, thinking for a moment that he was simply exaggerating his feelings, and not really meaning that he wanted to go out with her or anything like that. “You're very good at giving me cavities, Harry,” she joked, stroking his cheek.
He ignored her quip, muttered, “I hope you can forgive me for this...” and kissed her.
It wasn't deep or soul-searing like first kisses were said to be, but it was truly sweet nonetheless. There were no fireworks, no declarations of undying love, but Hermione's knees still melted at how sweet and right Harry's lips felt on her own. It was just a quick brush of lips, but it expressed perfectly how deeply Harry regarded her, both as a friend and as a girl. He pulled away just as quickly as he'd kissed her, and was out the door before she had a chance to touch her lips in surprise.
3: Full Circle
Harry followed Hermione into the unused classroom she had hidden in upon seeing Ron and Lavender sucking each other's faces off. When he opened the door, he heard a muffled sob. I wonder if she realizes that this is the same classroom I hid in back in second year, he thought when he saw sitting in practically the same spot he had sat in three years before.
“Go away!” Hermione screamed. “Leave me alone!” Harry ducked a flock of pissed off canaries that she sent streaking towards his head, and continued into the room, keeping one eye behind him, and the other on Hermione's wand.
“It's just me,” he said soothingly, hiding his own sadness that she would be crying over Ron. “Just Harry.”
“What are you doing here,” she asked almost mechanically. “I want to be alone.”
“The thing about that is, you don't actually want to be alone,” Harry said sagely. “When people say that, they're just hoping that someone who understands their pain will come along and make everything better.”
“How did you get so smart?” Hermione asked, surprised.
“Because I felt the same way you feel now, back in second year,” Harry said softly. “Remember, I hid in this very classroom when everyone thought I was the Heir of Slytherin. And then you came in, and while you didn't understand just how badly it hurt to be alone like that and wondering if you could be evil without knowing it and you cheered me up.”
“This isn't...” Hermione began, looking around.
“Oh, but it is,” Harry said with a small smile. And he put his arms around her in a hug like she had done for him three years before.
At the sweetness of Harry's actions, Hermione burst into fresh tears. “Why is he doing this?” she sobbed. “He's treating me the same way he did in first year, before we became friends!”
Harry pulled away a little in surprise, looking at her. He had thought she loved Ron and was broken up because of the redhead's sudden desire to imitate an eel with Lavender. Now she was indicating that she was simply confused and hurt over Ron's regression into an eleven year old with a knack for making Hermione sob in despair of ever finding friends.
Hermione caught on to his confusion, and stated, “You thought I was jealous.”
“Yeah,” he admitted, his heart daring to soar.
“Oh, Harry, you really can be sweet, and so naive,” Hermione sighed, laying her head on Harry's shoulder companionably.
The door opened again, and this time it was Ron and Lavender coming, probably looking for a quieter place to make out. “Oh,” Ron said, noticing Harry and Hermione. “Sorry,” he added, not sounding sorry at all.
“Oh, don't mind us,” Hermione said acidly, bringing her wand back up and sending another squadron of murderous canaries out, this time aiming for Ron's face.
“Yeah, we were just leaving,” Harry said, hiding amusement at the idea that had just flitted into his head. He pulled Hermione out by the hand, and flicked his wand to seal Ron and Lavender in the room with the canaries he had Charmed to circle back like a boomerang. The spell would last for about ten minutes, long enough for him and Hermione to get away.
“Harry, you're the best!” Hermione giggled, wrapping her arms around his neck.
“I think he's going to deeply regret making you feel this way,” Harry said, supremely satisfied. They walked away, hearing Ron's howls of pain echo behind them.
“Harry,” Hermione said, smiling at him.
“Yeah?” he answered.
“Just shut up and kiss me,” she ordered, pulling his mouth down onto hers for their second first kiss.
Fireworks went off, Hermione's knees melted again, and this time their tongues battled for dominance. “I love you,” she said, pulling away to get air several minutes later.
“I love you, too,” Harry said, kissing her again.
It had been a year since Harry and Hermione had officially gotten together, and Ron had slowly gotten used to the idea. Right now, in fact, he had offered to stand guard at the door of their tent while his two friends relieved some pressure that had been building over the last several months. He was positive they were heading for marriage, based on the kind of pressure the three of them had been under.
A rustle sounded in the bushes about thirty feet from their present location, and Ron's blue eyes narrowed. He was just about to brush it off, however, when he heard it again. It had gotten closer. He went back in the tent to warn his friends.
Harry came out, his eyes firm and cold. “Let's go see who it is,” he said, pulling out his wand. “Ron, you stay here with Hermione. I'll be right back.”
Ron looked at Hermione, noticed her quick glare as a prelude to a protest, and said, “I'll go with you. Two are better than one.”
“Fine,” Harry said. “But we need someone to stay here so the others can find the tent again, and I'd rather Hermione stayed safe.”
The two men left the tent and started prowling through the bushes. It wasn't long before they found the intruder. Ron cried out as a spell impacted him in the shoulder, and again in the chest. Even though both spells had been cast silently, and Ron didn't know he'd been Silenced before the attack began, Harry was able to home in on their attacker.
“Incarcerous! Stupefy! Petrificus Totalus!” Harry incanted swiftly, not saying a word. All three spells struck their target, who fell face forward in the pine needles and twigs, bound, and Stunned. “Ron, are you okay?” Harry asked, checking on his friend.
“Yeah, I'm okay,” Ron grumbled after Harry had removed the Silencing Charm. “He got me pretty good, though. Must be a Death Eater.”
“I'll say,” Harry said, turning their attacker over. “Got Snape. Come on, we'd better get in fast, or else bigger trouble may be coming.”
They dragged Snape to their tent, and Hermione squeaked in alarm when she saw him. “What in Merlin's name are you doing bringing him here?!” she raged. “He'll probably kill us all!”
“Actually, Harry creamed him,” Ron said. “Notice he's bound, Stunned, and Petrified? Harry did that in the space of about two seconds, and it was head-on, too.”
Harry grinned and waved his wand to wake up their prisoner. Snape opened his eyes slowly, and couldn't disguise the relief in them fast enough; Harry caught him, and that set the tone for the interrogation.
“So, Snape,” he said almost conversationally. “What brings a greasy git like you to our neck of the woods?”
“He's going to kill me,” Snape said. “He's figured out I betrayed him, and now he's going to kill me.”
“Who?” Harry asked. “Me, the new head of the Order, or Lord Conjunctivitis?”
Snape sneered. “The Order is in shambles, Potter. There is no head.”
“No, you made damn sure of that before putting your greasy tail between your spindly little legs,” Harry agreed. “And you just confirmed that you haven't been hexed so much you don't where you are or who you're talking to.”
Snape winced, not intending to spill so much.
“So, Lord Conjunctivitis wants you dead, apparently,” Harry hypothesized. “You, and everyone else in the world. Why come looking for us?”
“Because,” Snape admitted grudgingly, “you're the only one who can stop him.”
“You want to be on the winning team,” Harry said, standing up. “Fine. You can start by making amends for betraying the free world. Hermione and I needed another witness so we can elope, and witnesses to a marriage between wizards are unable to betray the bonded couple. By seeking us out, you just volunteered.”
Snape looked horrified at the thought of another Potter marrying and-gasp- procreating.
“I need love to beat him,” Harry reminded him. “But you knew that. That's why you're here.”
5: Fourteen Years Later
“James William Potter, stop scaring your sister!” a strident voice called out when a little girl started crying. “Lily, honey, they don't set trolls on the new first years,” the same voice continued, now soothingly.
“Aw, Mom!” a young boy moaned. His twin brother snickered. “Shut it, Sirius.”
“Now boys, be good,” their father, Harry Potter, warned them. “But if you do run into any trolls, levitating its club above its head works quite well.”
“Harry,” Hermione warned, “you telling the kids that story is probably what caused this in the first place.”
“Unless I'm very much mistaken, love, Lily asked us how we met,” Harry replied, grinning.
“She asked us when we fell in love,” Hermione retorted.
“Same thing,” Harry shrugged. Hermione blushed. “Now, kids, it's time to go catch the train.”
“You know, love, I'm actually glad Snape is still alive and has returned to teaching,” Hermione said, bundling their four younger children into jackets while telling their older two to stop fooling around.
“Why is that?” Harry asked, because as Head Auror, he pretty much had to hate the evil bastard who'd made his life hell.
“Imagine the look on his face when James and Sirius are Sorted,” Hermione pointed out almost evilly. “That's why I let you name them after your father and godfather, rather than having James' middle name be Sirius.”
The two boys boarded the train as their parents, brother, and sisters watched and waved. They were going to find a compartment to hold for their friends, who were sure to arrive late. Sure enough, the Weasleys and Longbottoms stumbled through with moments to spare.
A young boy yanked on his father's sleeve and brushed strawberry blond hair from his eyes. “Why are they staring at us, Dad?” he asked.
“Because I'm incredibly famous,” Ron Weasley boasted. “I've caught some of the worst Death Eaters to ever lick You-Know-Who's boots.”
“Actually, I caught them,” Harry said. “And you're still afraid to say his name, I might add.”
“Come on, Hugo, on the train,” Luna Weasley said, nudging her eldest son towards his first year.
“I still don't get why you named him 'Hugo',” Ginny said, coming up behind Ron and Luna.
“Ronald liked it,” Luna said. “And I think it's better than Albus Severus.”
“You know, Ginny, that's why Neville wants to kill Snape,” Harry pointed out, absentmindedly rubbing his scar. It hadn't pained him in fourteen years, and he knew that all was well.
* * * *
It seems so easy to give the books a real happy ending that makes sense. Of course Rowling had to do it the hard way and give the books a long, complicated, and convoluted ending that is supposed to be good but is actually quite bad. And we’re supposed to be the delusional ones.
So, how did you all like it? Review! And thanks for reading.