Chapter 1 : Don't Forget
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Hermione's the first to say it.
"We were just kids."
She's looking into a mug of tea, and in the background Hugo is crying.
Ron nods at her. "I know."
"We didn't - didn't deserve it." She shakes her head. "All of the responsibility." She looks up at him, and her eyes are wet. "Did we?"
"No. But we did what we had to do. We were... brave."
She shakes her head. "Not me. It was you two. Always you two. You - You're the one who made me kill the Horcrux and I didn't do anything except be Harry Potter's best friend, the brains of the operation."
He smiles. "We would have died a hundred times without you."
"But what good's that now?" She clears her throat. "Now, when... when everyone's forgotten and I can't?"
"No one's forgotten."
"But no one talks about it. Everyone's moved on and I can't." She's whispering now, so fast. "I can't move on because... because I keep thinking of that night and it kills me but I don't know what to do."
"You don't have to get over it this quickly."
"But Hugo - he's going to grow up with a crazy mother."
"He would have done that either way." He nudges her shoulder with his, and there's a smile playing at the corner of her lips.
"All right. All right." She shakes her head. "Fine. I'll - I'll stop being so mopey."
"You don't have to do that." Suddenly, his face is serious.
She creases her forehead.
"Talk to me. I don't know why you keep shutting me out. I was there, too."
"I don't want to make it worse for you." The words are whispered, lightning-fast, and she's blushing. (She never used to blush.)
"Love." He puts his arms around her. "You won't."
"All right." She nods, her face twisting. "All right."
Ron is the second to say it.
When she's asleep, that night, Ron goes to visit Harry.
"She doesn't think she did anything to help," he tells Harry, sitting at the table at Grimmauld Place.
"And she won't talk to me about it. I just don't want to see her hurting, but I'm not all right, either." He clears his throat. "We were just kids, you know? We didn't know what we could do, what was being done. We never understood, not really, and the war ended as we were becoming adults and I don't know what to do."
Harry is silent for a long while, considering his words. "You don't have to know. Just be there for her."
Ron nods. "Yeah, I think I will." He leaves, and falls asleep next to her.
Somehow, they move on.
Harry is the third to say it.
He talks to his children, hands on his knees. "Do you know why I'm famous?"
"You're The Boy Who Lived, and The Chosen One," Lily speaks up, her face splitting into a grin.
"But do you know what that means?"
"I think you're all old enough now to - to hear the story. I'm not going to tell you everything, just enough to understand."
He considers his words, and his kids watch him with wide eyes.
"We were just kids," he finally starts, and all of the emotions he's been carrying for years seem to spill out of him with that phrase. "Just kids that wanted to change the world, and we did. We weren't perfect and we weren't the heroes but we did what we could."
He tells them their story, and hopes they understand.
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