Chapter 3 : Daddy's not home for Samiches
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“I love you Hermione.” He said softly. “I know you don’t remember, but I love you with all my heart, and… I can’t live without you. I don’t know how I made it all this time without you by my side.” Harry’s eyes sparkled with tears. Her face told a story of disbelief, and shock. Hermione’s eyes bore into him, her mouth opened to speak, but did not mutter a word. “Hermione please say something. Anything.” Harry begged.
“I…” Hermione started, “I don’t… I can’t believe this.” She said softly, holding the ring in her hand. She looked back up to Harry. “I thought… I thought you loved Ginny.”
“I love you!” Harry insisted. He took her hand, “Hermione,” he said, as if trying to dig into her memory, “You are the number one greatest thing to ever happen to me.” Harry told her softly. ‘Except maybe lily, but I’ll have to deal with that later’, he thought. “I just wish you could remember how much I love you. How much I need you.” He looked at Hermione lovingly. “I’m more in love with you now than any day before and you don’t even remember how much that was.”
She looked scared, “Harry… I… I don’t know what to say.” Harry just nodded. “I mean… of course I love you too but… I just don’t remember… I mean…” tears started falling out of her warm chestnut eyes, and Harry wiped them away with his thumbs. “I…” she tried to muster a sentence.
“I’m sorry Hermione.” He muttered. “I just wanted you to know how much I love you.”
Hermione wiped her own tears, “I don’t understand why this is happening to me. As far as I remembered you were dead, and Ron and I…” she choked on her words, “And you were dead.” She said, wrapping her arms around his neck.
Harry was surprised for a moment, but then buried his face in her neck as she clung to him. “Hermione I’m fine. We’re fine.” He whispered. Hermione pulled away and nodded. Harry could tell by the look in her eyes she still had questions. Who could blame her? “What is it ‘Mione?” he asked softly.
“What about me and Ron?” Hermione asked with a small voice. Harry’s heart felt as if it was shot straight through. “I thought that it was always supposed to be me and him and you and Ginny!” Hermione asked, obviously very confused. “That’s how it always was and how we always thought it would stay.”
“Hermione.” Harry said softly, “Ron is married to Luna. They have a son, and another baby on the way.” Hermione looked toward Harry, with the same expression that had adorned her face for the past minutes. He felt like he had a pit in his stomach, afraid that his wife was still in love with his best friend.
“So,” she asked, “it was me and you… us…”
“Yes Hermione.” Harry said simply, “It has always been us.”
Lily sat at the table with peanut butter and jelly and a tall glass of milk sitting in front of her. Luke sat next to her munching away on his lunch. Both of the kid’s chairs magically hovered so they could reach the table, and so they wouldn’t fall off either. Luna sat across the table, talking to Ron, eating their own lunches. Lily frowned slightly, and it didn’t go unnoticed.
“What’s wrong Lily Jean?” Lucas asked, cocking his head to the side, his silvery blonde hair falling down into his eyes.
Lily shrugged, “My daddy said he’d be back for samiches.” Lily said taking another bite. “But he’s not here yet.” She explained with a mouth full of peanut butter.
“Lily… don’t talk with your mouth full. And Luke elbows off the table!” Luna reminded her from across the table.
Lily took a sip of milk, and swallowed what was in her mouth. “I’m sorry.” She said in her sweet little voice, before turning back to Lucas. She giggled as Lucas’s face writhed in disgust. “What?” she asked.
“Mum is always tellin’ me to keep my manners. I’m a boy! I don’t need to.” He said in a hushed voice.
Lily shrugged, “I don’t mind.” She said. “It’s kind of nice.”
“How do you figure?” Lucas asked, stealing a grape off of Lily’s plate.
“Well…” Lily started, “I don’t think I have a Mum. You’re lucky you gots one. A very nice one too.” Lily said, stealing one of Lucas’s strawberries in return.
Lucas looked at his plate, “Oh.Well…”, he looked up at Lily, “Maybe you’ll have a mom one day. I think everybody gots a mum.” He simply said finishing the last of his sandwich.
“Maybe.” Lily said unsure.
“Let’s go play!” he said sliding off his chair, Lily following excitedly. The conversation was not gone unnoticed by the adults at the table, and Ron couldn’t help but look at Luna wearily.
Hermione closed her eyes, but he still stood before her when she opened them. She swallowed hard; quite shocked by everything she was being told. His soothing voice came too her ears again, “I know this can’t be easy.”
“Easy?” Hermione cried, “This is crazy! One minute I think you’re dead, and the next your by my bedside telling me that we’ve been married for…” she paused.
“5 years.” Harry said. “Going on six.”
“God we married young!” Hermione said in shock. Harry chuckled, and Hermione gave him a strange look, “What?” she asked.
“You don’t know how great it is to see the Hermione coming back into you.” He said. Hermione smiled a little, and then looked down at her hands and the ring in it. “It’s my mother’s wedding ring.” She heard Harry say. “Originally of course.” He said. “Ron was the best man, Luna the maid of honor. Their Son Luke was going on 2, he was the ring bearer.” Harry said, “And then you… Merlin Hermione I don’t think there ever was a day you looked more beautiful.”
Hermione could feel herself beginning to cry again, and his soft hand wiping her tears. “I want to remember Harry.” She whispered. He brushed a hair out of her face, “I want to remember so badly.”
Harry shushed her, and she looked up at him with big brown eyes, “It’s alright ‘Mione.” He kissed her hand lightly, and traced circles with his thumb around the spot he had laid his lips. “I know. We all want you to remember, but in all honesty… I’m just so grateful to have you back.”
“Harry you don’t have me back though!” Hermione said, fighting the need to cry. “I’m not… me. I mean I’m me, but I’m the 18 year old Hermione in my memories. I’ve missed 4 years of my life.” She said with a choked up voice.
“I’ve waited almost 4 years to hear your voice again.” Harry said seriously, “For this alone… I can’t even explain how thankful I am.”
Luna watched as Luke and Lily chased each other around with throw pillows in their tiny hands. Normally, she’d ask them not to use the nice pillows, but she didn’t have the heart to right now. Ron sat at the kitchen table, head in his hands. “Is it wrong that I feel so awful?” he asks, “I mean I didn’t do anything! And I can’t fix anything but…” he sighed. Luna wrapped her arms around him.
“I know Ron.” She said softly, unsure of what else to say. It was like Ron had told Harry. Lily was smart. Sooner or later she was bound to notice. “Maybe Hermione will recover soon. Maybe she’ll come home.” Luna said rubbing her husband’s back.
“For the sake of Lily I hope so. I don’t think I’ve felt so rotten for having the perfect family in my life!” Ron half laughed.
Luna smiled, “Oh we’re far from perfect,” Luna said, “Last night Luke peed in the potted plant in the hallway because he couldn’t make it to the bathroom.
Ron smiled, and looked at his son, “Like I said, we’re perfect.” He placed a hand on Luna’s stomach, “And about to get more so.” A goofy grin spread across his face as Luna rolled her eyes.
“I think it’s a boy.” Luna said feeling the baby kick. It had been a very active baby, and caused Luna a lot of discomfort sometimes. “It’s too much of a pain in the arse not to be.”
Ron laughed, “I just want a healthy baby… and I really wish I could buy Lily a mum or something.” He laughed, looking back over as Lily pounded Luke’s head with a throw pillow. He shrugged, and Luna ran her hands through his hair. “But then again she has a mum… she just really needs to come home.” He said.
Luna nodded, “It’s only a matter of time now.” She said. “She’s awake, she’s speaking. She just doesn’t remember.”
“Quite unfortunately.” Ron said, eating the last of his son’s sandwich.
“It’s only a matter of time until she remembers…. Right?” Luna inquired, rubbing circles in her husband’s back, looking upon the children playing.
“Possibly…” said Ron, “But the problem is… it’s only a matter of time until they discharge her too....and I'm not sure if Hermione will be ready for Lily"
Harry rubbed his thumb in a smooth circle about the back of Hermione’s hand. Not much was said for a while, but nothing was really left to say. Except…maybe telling her that her daughter was waiting for him at Ron’s house and he had to go. But he couldn’t do that just yet. Not so soon. He looked into her eyes. “You know I love you… so much.” He said. “More than you remember.” He chuckled a little bit.
“I’m glad you find the situation so hilarious.” Hermione laughed lightly, clasping Harry’s hands between her own. “I love you too.” She said. “I know I do… I’m just…”
Harry put a finger to her lips, “No more. Not today. We can talk more later.” He said. “To be honest though I have to depart.” He said with a sad smile.
“Do you need to go to work?” Hermione asked innocently.
Just before Harry said no, he thought about it. What other way would he explain? Besides, he had been an auror. He had played quidditch for a while, only to go back to the ministry when Hermione was attacked and he needed a job that allowed a flexible schedule to take care of a toddler. But even with all these experiences, no job was as important to him as being Lily’s father. He almost lost his job once when Lily got sick. He stayed home for 2 weeks taking care of her. They threatened to fire him, he dared them to. They never did. Lily was his life, his biggest challenge. He smiled toward Hermione, “Yea. I do.”
“Just one last question,” Hermione said sitting cross-legged on her bed. “When do I get to go home?” she asked.
Harry never thought about that. He would need to talk to Lily soon, because pretty soon Hermione would be coming home. He must have grown pale because Hermione called over to him. “Harry? Harry are you alright?” she asked. Harry nodded.
“I’m fine.” He said, snapping out of his trance with a slight laugh. He walked forward, and put his hand on her cheek, and leaned down toward her face, the whole time contemplating weather to kiss her cheek or lips. Pausing momentarily, he kissed her sweetly on the lips, letting his linger on hers for a moment before pulling away. He smiled warmly when he saw Hermione smiling shyly and blushing. “I love you.” He whispered. “You’ll come home soon.” He said, stepping away, and out the door, looking back once with a loving smile.
Ron cradled a sleeping Lily in his arms. It was only 3, but the four year old still needed a nap on days like today. She had spent much too much time running around with Luke not to be sleepy. While Ron and Luna watched TV she had crawled into his lap, and drifted off to sleep, while his own son fell asleep on the floor in a cluster of pillows he fashioned into a makeshift bed. Lily’s brown curly hair lay in a tangled mess over Ron’s arm as he picked her up, and carried her toward the guest bedroom. He lay her on the bed, tucking her under the covers.
He kept the door open a crack as he left, and then did the same with his own son, tucking him into his bed, with the Chudley Cannon’s comforter. On his way down the steps he heard the door knock, and he opened it. There standing was his best friend of years. He smiled, putting a finger to his mouth, signaling for quiet. “They’re asleep.” He whispered, letting Harry in.
“Did she behave?” Harry asked, taking off his coat and scarf.
“Does she ever not?” Ron asked rolling his eyes, causing Harry to chuckle. “How was Hermione?” he asked, walking with Harry through the house.
“Good… good… she thought she was married to you but you know… good.” He laughed slightly, and Ron gave Harry a guilty look. “It’s fine. We’re fine. We talked for a long while and… god Ron I’ve missed her.” Harry said hanging up his coat.
“I can only imagine Harry. I’ve missed her, and she only my friend. You’ve been deprived of so much more.” Ron said, getting two butterbeers out of the refrigerator. “So she took the news well?” Ron offered.
“Yea. At least toward the end she was more comfortable with… everything.” He took a sip of his drink. “I mean I can’t blame her for being a bit skeptical.” He said.
Luna walked into the kitchen gracefully. “Hello Harry.” She said in a sweet voice. Harry put down his drink to hug Luna and kiss her cheek.
“And there’s no sign of her memory at all?” Ron asked, watching Harry shake his head no. “You would think with magic someone would be able to find something.”
Harry chuckled, “Yea someone could and her name is Hermione Granger.”
“True.” Luna said. “It just had to be her that was taken in by the Nargles silly games.” She said. “Though I have no clue what they would want to do with her memories.” She pondered.
Ron laughed, “You with these Nargles, I thought you stopped that nonsense years ago.”
“I’m not the one who’s looking for my sock’s pair every morning.” Luna said, winking at Harry. “I’m going to go take a bath.” She said kissing Ron’s cheek before waddling up the stairs.
“I can’t wait to have that again.” Harry said with a sigh.
“Have what again?” Ron asked leaning against the counter, sipping at his drink once more.
“What you get to have every day. Your wife by your side, loving you, loving your family. I can’t wait to just… be back to the way things were meant to be. I can’t wait to give Lily a mother. I can’t wait to give Hermione a daughter. I can’t wait to bring Hermione home.” Harry said, but then looked over at Ron, “But somehow I’m going to have to explain the whole situation to a very persistently curious little girl who is only 4 years old.”
Ron took a sip of butterbeer, and then reminded him, “Going on 5.”
Lily was having a terror. She twisted and turned in her sleep. It was absolutely horrid.
She was at home with her father, eating dinner, when monsters came and took her dad away from her. She was alone and afraid, and she didn’t know what to do. Her father had always told her to call Ron in an emergency, but when she called him, the monster answered. She wondered why the monster took her father. It occurred to her dream self that the monsters must have taken her mother too, and now she was alone. She left the house to find out where the monster took them. But by the time her little feet hit the sidewalk in front of her house, she had woken up. The dream didn’t last long, but it seemed very real to young Lily, almost like it had happened before.
Now it was a particularly horrifying dream, but being left alone is a big deal when you are four, going on five. Lily woke up with tiny tears forming in her eyes. Her dad had not come back to Ron’s yet. Perhaps he was taken away, just like her mother must have been. She sniffled, still quite scared, and crawled out from under the covers.
She made her way out of the bedroom and slowly stepped downstairs, careful not to slip for she only wore socks on her feet. When she reached the bottom of the steps, she walked quietly into the kitchen, peering in slightly to make sure the dark faced monsters were not hiding there to get her. Nobody was there though. She got a little more scared now though, because that’s uaully where she would find Ron and Luke when she woke up.
She checked in the study, there were no monsters, but nobody else either. And the same was true for the Living room and Dining room. Tears started to flood her eyes, until she heard the front door open. She ran and hid behind the china cabinet, peering out to see who it was, and when the tall dark haired man she called ‘daddy’ came through the door, she ran out and slid into him, burying her face into his pant leg. “Lily?” Harry asked, picking her up. “What’s wrong Lily?” he asked, stroking her hair.
“I thought…. I thought they got you too and you…you were gone forever.” She sniffled, hugging her father close.
Harry hushed her and rocked her back and forth, “Lily it’s alright I’m right here.” He said. “It was only a nightmare.”
Lily cried some more, “It didn’t feel like a nightmare, it felt cold.” She explained to him. “And then the monsters that got mummy got you too.” She said looking into his eyes with a sad piercing green stare.
Harry looked at Ron oddly, before looking back to his daughter, “What monsters baby?” he asked.
“The ones that got mum.” She said. “The ones that took her away from me.” She explained. “Their faces are dark and they make me feel cold.” She said with sad teary eyes.
Harry held his daughter close, incredibly afraid she was inheriting his tendency for very real, very true nightmares, “It’s alright Lily.” He said, allowing her to cling to his neck. “It’s going to be fine.” He wished he could believe his own words.
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