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Chapter 10 : Now You Know
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Now You Know
Will you run?
Can you handle it?
Cause I need you to tell me
Maybe this is bold
But I'm hoping you'll stay
For the happy ending
So now you know
So the story goes,
Yeah you already know
So don't be a fool and go spoil the ending
"Now You Know" -Hilary Duff
They broke apart. Harry looked at Hermione, flabbergasted.
"Kissed you?” Hermione finished for him. “Yes”
Harry continued to stare at Hermione, at a loss for words.
"That night that you kissed it me, it made me realize that those feelings had never died." said Hermione with bravado. "All those times we've spent together, how close we've gotten ever since. You can't tell me you don't see it too."
"I do, but-"
"It killed me that you ran away not even a second after you kissed me." Hermione continued. "It hurt even more to lie and say that it meant nothing when it obviously it meant everything."
"Can you honestly say you love Ginny?" Hermione inquired after Harry said nothing. "She's been practically absent from your life this entire year!"
"I know but-"
"Tell me that you didn't feel something that night that you kissed me." Hermione said daringly.
"I did feel something." Harry said honestly. "Something I've never felt with anyone."
Hermione's eyes searched his, a wide smile on her face.
"You were afraid weren't you?" Hermione asked. "That's why you wanted to marry her. You felt like you betrayed her?"
"Please don't do it." Hermione pleaded.
"I can't" Harry responded. "Not after that kiss."
"I'm sorry...I was just so overwhelmed of the idea of losing you to her." said Hermione genuinley now realising the crazy thing she had done. "I'm sorry, that must sound awful."
"No, it doesn't." Harry said genuinely. "I know all too well what you mean.I felt horrible. He's my best mate, your boyfriend."
Hermione buried her face in her hands.
"How did this happen?" she asked, her voice slightly muffled.
"It was bound to happen." Harry answered.
Hermione looked up, curiously.
"Well, we've been really close for years Hermione. Feelings can change." Harry explained.
"Have you known for a while?" Hermione asked inquisitively.
Harry drew a heavy sigh.
"Since fifth year, it took a really big scare to make me see what I hadn't before."
"Really?" asked Hermione stunned.
"Yes." Harry replied. "By that time, Ron's infatuation for you had grown. I never felt I saw any sign from your part. Besides, Ron is my best mate, he already feels like I get everything."
"That's a very admirable thing you did." said Hermione. "But If I would have had any idea that you felt the same way…"
"So…what happens now?" Harry asked after a minute of silence and staring.
"I have no idea," said Hermione truthfully. "But this feels right."
"That it does." Harry agreed.
"Lets just take it day by day. See where it leads us," Hermione suggested.
"What about Ron and Ginny?" Harry asked.
"Well…" said Hermione uncertainly, knowing that what she was going to say was something so outrageous.”Ginny is going back to Hogwarts in another week and Ron is going back to work so…"
"Are you saying we should just…" said Harry.”Keep it a secret?"
"I know it's wrong but…I want to be with you. I want to be able to kiss you." said Hermione passionately. "I know we're with other people but I can't stop thinking about you. and i dont want them to get hurt...not yet."
"I can't stop thinking about you either." Harry admitted. Harry felt the ring box against his hand as he put his hand in his pant pocket. "Wait for me at Forescue's ."
Hermione looked at him bemusedly.
"Why?" she asked.
"Just go." said Harry.
"All right…" said Hermione uncertainly.
Hermione sat inside Forescue's, circling her spoon mindlessly around the puddle of melted ice cream in the bowl.
"What took you so long?" she asked as she saw Harry arrive.
"I was returning the ring." Harry replied sitting next to her.
"I still feel somewhat guilty of ruining your plans." said Hermione bashfully.
"You shouldn't." hurry said truthfully. "I honestly don't know what I was thinking."
"Probably the same thing I was thinking when I decided to be Ron's girlfriend." said Hermione.
"Why did you and Ron get together?" Harry asked curiously.
"Well, I was overwhelmed by everything that was going in the war. I knew there was a high possibility I would die...that any of us would die. I couldn't have you, so I went for Ron." Hermione explained.
"That was pretty mean don't you think?" Harry said.
"What about you?" Hermione asked defensively. "Where did that sudden fancy for Ginny in our sixth year come from?"
"I honestly don't know." Harry replied. "I just needed a distraction."
"That doesn't sound any better than what I did." said Hermione smugly.
"Okay, so we're both messed up when it comes to these things." said Harry.
"We are." said Hermione. "What I find disturbing is that I don't feel guilty."
"Neither do I." said Harry.
"Look, all I want is to see if we can make it through anything." said Hermione truthfully. "I want to know if what we could have is worth hurting our dearest friends."
"So we're going to go through with this?" Harry asked. "Being together in secret?"
"It's not right but there's no other way. What’s the worse that can happen? We drift farther from them? That’s already happening." Hermione said genuinely. "Ron and Ginny would never understand and if they don't know, they can't freak-out."
"I really think I have been a bad influence on you." said Harry grinning impishly. "The Hermione I knew would never do that."
"Well the Hermione you knew is tired of being selfless." said Hermione audaciously. "For once in my life I don't care about doing the right thing."
"Because I'm the right thing?" Harry asked pompously.
Hermione hit him playfully.
The clock struck loudly outside of Forescue's, it was five o' clock and Ron and Ginny would be back at Grimmauld Place in an hour.
"We should get back home." said Hermione reading Harry's mind.
"Yeah." said Harry unenthusiastically. "This is going to be hard to do"
"I know." said Hermione. "Just remember all I told you and know that I'm with you through it all."
"I will." said Harry.
Hermione paid for her ice cream and walked out after in front of Harry. Together they walked into the Leaky Cauldron and flooed back to Grimmauld Place.
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