Chapter 14 : Where I Stood
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Where I Stood
I don't know what I've done
Or if I like what I've begun
But something told me to run
And honey you know me it's all or none
'Cause she will love you more than I could
She who dares to stand where I stood
“Where I Stood”- Missy Higgins
Harry made his way towards the burrow. It hadn’t changed significantly since he had last seen it before the war. Except for the fact that the Burrow was devoid of young Weasely’s. He knew Mrs. Weasley must have felt like she was in an empty nest. He looked up to what he knew was Ginny’s window. Harry had a feeling that’s where Mrs. Weasley most likely placed Hermione. Harry faced the kitchen door and knocked on it softly. He had no idea why he felt like he had when he willingly walked to his fate the night he vanquished Voldemort. Yet, at the same time he realized how similar to what was about to happen it all was. After all, after he talked to Hermione, if he even got to talk to her, it would all be over. All their confessed feelings would evaporate into thin air because nothing could ever happen. The threat of losing what they knew was too big to ignore.
“Harry!” said Mrs. Weasley brightly before enveloping in a hug. “You’ve finally come to visit.”
Harry smiled at her warmly.
“Yes, sorry I haven’t been around much.”
“Oh no, that’s perfectly understandable.” said Mrs. Weasley. “You’re a busy young man now a days.”
“Yeah.” said Harry feebly.
“But I have a feeling it isn’t me you’ve come to visit is it?” asked Mrs. Weasley amusedly.
“I actually came to talk with Hermione.” said Harry bashfully.
“Yeah I figured you did.” Mrs. Weasley nodding. “What happened with you two?”
“I honestly don’t know.” said Harry truthfully. It was half-true, everything had happened so fast that he couldn’t really see what the real issue was, he just knew he had to get it resolved somehow.
“Well, she’s staying in Ginny’s old bedroom. She should be in there,” said Mrs. Weasley. “She said she had some studying to do.”
“Thank you.” Harry replied.
“Not a problem.” said Mrs. Weasley smiling warmly. “I do hope you solve whatever problem you both are having. You’ve been through so much, you shouldn’t let any trivial stuff ruin your friendship.”
“Trust me Mrs. Weasley, this is anything but trivial.”
Harry went up the stairs and found himself facing the door he had not seen since he, Ron and Hermione left on the Horcrux hunt little over a year ago. Though this time he wasn’t as nervous as he had been when Ginny beckoned him inside on his seventeenth birthday. He knocked the door gently.
“Come in” came Hermione’s soft voice.
Harry let himself in. Hermione was reading a book and was propped up against Ginny’s former head board. Everything in the room clashed with Hermione’s personality. The walls were littered with posters of Quidditch teams and the occasional handsome Seekers who were more famous for their looks than for their actual skill.
“Hello” said Harry timidly.
Hermione smiled weakly at him.
Harry sighed as he gathered the strength to say all that was needed to be said.
“Look, I came to apologize for what I said earlier.” said Harry honestly. “You know I didn’t mean it.”
“It seemed to me like you did.” said Hermione. “And I don’t blame you for it. But I really don’t think you want to apologize for it.”
“I was just speaking out of anger.” Harry explained.
“No you didn’t.” Hermione replied. “You know it’s the truth, I’ve ruined it all. Everything.”
“This doesn’t make any sense!” Harry said frustratingly running his hands through his hair.
“It should make sense to you.” said Hermione. “Ginny can love you more than I ever could.”
“How could you possibly say that?” Harry asked.
“Harry you know me. I would never feel right if I knew I was hurting someone else by my actions.” said Hermione tearfully. “I could never be devoted to you when I know my other best friend is suffering because of my happiness.”
“This isn’t fair.” said Harry dejectedly.
“No, you’re right.” replied Hermione. “It isn’t. but it’s right. You didn’t see how heartbroken Ginny was when she told me how she was feeling. She was feeling like a third wheel Harry. She’s your girlfriend. She shouldn’t have to feel that way.”
“She won’t be any longer. Not after this.” Harry said adamantly.
“Harry don’t be like this. If you need to be angry, be angry at me” said Hermione. “I’m the one who started this.”
“Hermione, you can’t always tell me what not to do because in this case you are not in the right.” said Harry.
Hermione drew out a heavy sigh.
“Fine, I have no right telling you what to do. Especially not when even I don’t know what I’m doing.” said Hermione
“You can’t live your life in fear Hermione.” Harry argued. “And you also can’t live a lie. They always catch on.”
“I know they do! And I’m not going to lie. I’m putting a stop to this before it gets any further.” said Hermione tearfully. “What we have might be real, but the timing is all wrong. And I please ask you to forget I ever said anything. Forget it ever happened.”
“Do you know how ludicrous it is what you’re asking me to do?” said Harry outrageously.
“It is. I agree. But there’s nothing else to do Harry. We started something, something great. But people aren’t supposed to suffer when their friends are in love.” said Hermione desperately. “We’re the ones setting everything off balance by acting too late.”
“Too late?” Harry asked “It’s not like we’re married to them. We have the rest of our lives to solve everything!”
“Harry please just….don’t make this harder than it already is” said Hermione pleadingly.
He knew he she was torn at what she was saying. He knew she wished she could just forget it all and run far away with him. Somewhere they could actually be happy and feel free, were nobody opposed them being together.
“We can’t do this.” Hermione whispered. “It’s too hard. It can‘t be us.”
“Fine. I’ll go along. But I know one day you’ll realize that what you’re going is probably the most unintelligent thing you’ve ever done” said Harry resolutely. “And when you figure that out. I’ll be there. Just like I’ve been there before and how I will always be. You may be right on most things Hermione, but I know you’re dead wrong about us not being together.”
Harry turned around to walk out of the room and was stopped Hermione’s hand.
“You don’t hate me do you Harry?” Hermione asked. Looking so lost and dejected
“You know I never could.” said Harry reassuringly. “But I am disappointed you would just give something up because it was too hard to handle.”
“Harry, I know this is asking for too much right now but…I really don’t want our friendship to suffer because of my stupid stupid mistake.”
“We have made it through a lot Hermione. This will also be one of those experiences we’ll get over.” said Harry impassively. “Just…don’t ask me to be the same guy I was before I knew anything. That’s going to take a long time.”
“You’re still going to move out?” Harry asked curiously.
“Yes.” said Hermione softly. “I think it’s the best thing to do. I actually sought out a potential one.”
“Oh” said Harry dispassionately. “Well…I guess I’ll see you around?”
“Yes.” said Hermione.
“Mum told me what happened.” said Ron the next day when he found out Hermione had left Grimmauld Place.
“Why didn’t you tell me anything?”
“Because you were at work and besides I didn’t want to trouble you.” said Hermione half-heartedly.
“But that’s what I’m here for. I’m your boyfriend.” said Ron. “I’m supposed to be let in on things like these.”
“Ron, I really don’t want to talk about it right now.” said Hermione delicately. “Okay?”
“I see. But what are you going to do now that you and your confidant aren’t in friendly terms?” said Ron arrogantly. “I don’t see how hard it is to talk to your boyfriend about things like these.”
“You just made it clear as to why I don‘t.” said Hermione bitterly. “You always have to play the victim with everything. Always making Harry out to be the villain in the story.”
Ron stared at Hermione disbelievingly.
“This is bloody unbelievable. Even when you guys are cross at each other, you always take his side.”
“Ron could you for once put your jealousy aside and see how upset I am that my best friend is angry at me?” Hermione yelled angrily.
She was getting fed up with Ron’s constant comparison between him and Harry. She was tired of hearing him talk about how Harry always got what he wanted. Little did he know that the only ones not getting what they wanted was Harry and her,
“You never seem upset when you and I row.” said Ron sulkily.
“That’s because I’ve gotten used to it. You’re not about to deny that we have always rowed.”
“It’s all different with him isn’t it?” Ron asked desolately.
“Ron get out.” Hermione said plainly.
“Touched a nerve?’ Ron asked.
“Get out!” Hermione said firmly.
Ron left in a huff and Hermione threw herself on Ginny’s bed, her eyes landing on a picture of Harry and Ginny kissing. Being a wizard photograph, it replayed itself like a horrible little movie. Tears welled up in her eyes, as she looked at it closely, unaware that an eavesdropping Ron had returned and was looking on in dismay.
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