I asked a friend if a friendship between a guy and a girl could also be called a bromance. He said sure; it’s when you wish she was your real sister.
(OR WORSE, EXPELLED)
He told her to leave before she got hurt.
She told him not to be stupid.
He’d never really known what it was like to have someone before he met Ron and Hermione. That’s how life had always been. Hermione had a mother and a father and people who loved her. Ron had five brothers and one sister and his family was so large it hurt his head to think about – but Harry was alone. No brothers or sisters. Just Harry.
And he was okay with that.
Being alone meant that he could just worry about himself and make sure that he got through the day without too much mental or physical damage (though it was hard, living with Dudley and all). Being alone meant that he had just himself for company. Being alone meant being lonely.
His loneliness never hit him until it was gone.
And boy, was he glad to be rid of it.
He first became friends with Ron due to a turn of fate and a conveniently located train carriage. He became friends with Hermione because of an extremely large and smelly mountain troll.
It was a beautiful friendship, in his opinion. Because every morning he’d wake up, jump on Ron’s bed until Ron managed to shove him off, and shower and sprint downstairs, where he’d meet Hermione, hair as bushy as ever. She’d smile, and they’d cloudgaze until Ron came blundering down. Then they’d go to breakfast.
Harry loved his routine.
(I’M HERE FOR YOU)
He forgot to tell her to be careful.
She didn’t realize how lost he’d be without her.
“That one looks like a really fat unicorn.”
“Or a rhino.”
“Well, yes, if you want to be uncreative,” Hermione allowed, shooting him a brief grin. “There’s a mermaid.”
“I see…Millicent Bulstrode’s cat,” Harry paused, cocking his head to the side, “oh wait, no. No, it looks a bit like you, actually.”
He shot her a cheeky grin, to which she responded with a calm blink.
“I see Goyle. Or you,” she frowned, seemingly deep in thought, “you’re quite similar in appearance.”
Harry gaped while she rewarded him with the same cheeky grin he’d previously used.
“I’ll get you for that,” he promised.
With a squeal, she shot away from him.
When Ron came down, it was to utter chaos – Hermione sprinting around the room with Harry chasing after her, both in hysterics.
He shook his head, bemused. He’d never understand those two.
He’d been scared many times that year – when they’d nearly gotten pummeled to death by the Whomping Willow, the petrified Mrs. Norris, that writing on the wall, running away from Malfoy as half Harry, half Goyle – but the first time he felt truly hopeless was when he stared down at the frozen body of Hermione Granger.
Her expression was one of terror.
He’d never seen Hermione this afraid before.
He’d never been more relieved than when she came running down the Gryffindor Table, her hair streaming behind her like a tumble of leaves, face alight with joy because you did it, you solved it!
“Not without your help,” Harry had reminded her, pulling away from her enthusiastic hug. She’d merely given him a brilliant smile.
And that’s when he realized that Hermione Granger went from being just his good friend to his very best friend.
Of course there’s a difference.
(YOU’LL HAVE TO KILL ME FIRST)
He always figured she recoiled against the idea of rebellion.
She proved him wrong by insulting a teacher and punching a Slytherin across the face.
It was official – Hermione Granger had changed that year. Everyone noticed it. Sure, she was still a stickler for the rules and god forbid if you ever picked on first years while she was around – but she’d changed. She’d become a person, someone with beliefs that she wasn’t afraid to voice and ideas she wasn’t afraid to share.
Harry was a bit terrified of her, to be honest.
He’d never realized how much she had in her until she proved unfaltering under the stress of class and that huge fight with Ron (Harry hated when they fought, he was obligated to choose Ron’s side and he could tell how much it hurt her) and Buckbeak and how was she still standing at this point?
Hermione Granger was so brimming with life sometimes it tended to spill over and she’d plunge herself into something with too much.
He loved that about her. And hated it, too. Harry had never known what it was like to both hate and love someone so much with just one puny little heart until he’d met Ron and Hermione. He realized late one night that it was because they’d become his siblings.
He smiled for days whenever he thought about it.
Harry was surprised after she insulted and walked out on Trelawney. Shocked when she’d announced she felt rebellious. Absolutely flabbergasted when she socked Malfoy in the face.
He’d never been prouder of anyone until that moment in his life.
If only he could permanently etch into his memory the look on Malfoy’s pointy little face…
And when she put herself between him and a potential murderer (who was really just his godfather, but still), there was a strange sort of fire in his heart, and he realized that Hermione Granger would die for her friends if she needed to do so.
He resolved to make sure that she never needed to do it.
(THAT STUPID COW OF A REPORTER)
He asked her why she wasn’t mad at him.
She was the only one who understood – he’d never asked for any of this.
“Sometimes Ron lets his jealousy blind him,” She said gently when Harry demanded to know why he was being such an insufferable git.
“Well, he’s a stupid ninny.”
“Give him time, Harry, he’ll come around,” Hermione said patiently, swinging her legs to an invisible beat in that incredible head of hers as they sat on a desk in an empty classroom together. Sunlight created dancing clouds of dust that looked like glitter in the air, swirling around the two of them under the dying sun. Hermione’s hair lit up around her head with a billion tones of varying brown. There was a brief moment of silence while Harry tried to name them all.
“What are you staring at?” She finally asked.
“Shh,” he murmured, “your hair looks alive.”
She punched him in the chest and told him he shouldn’t be preaching about messy hair. He had to agree.
The next morning, all he could see in the clouds were dragons and eggs and a particularly frightening one of him with his head on fire. Hermione informed him that he needed to sleep otherwise his already damaged brain would cease to function altogether.
He thanked her for her unending support and sympathy.
Every day at breakfast, Hermione started stealing his toast.
“Woman!” Harry yelped when she first snatched it off his plate, “get off my food!”
“You butter it better than I do.” Then she’d give him an innocent smile and take a huge bite, forcing him to make another one.
He always grumbled and groaned, but he didn’t really mind.
…most of the time.
He did not approve of Victor Krum’s intentions towards her, though he was better at hiding it than Ron was. Hermione got scary whenever he brought up either of them so he just dropped it altogether.
He did not, however, stop glaring threateningly at Krum every time he stared at Hermione.
Even when Hermione noticed and hexed him for it.
He cried into her hair for two hours after the Tournament was over.
Ron finally got him to laugh.
That summer, before he left with his Aunt and Uncle, Hermione turned to him and gave him a long hug. She was smiling affectionately when she pulled away, and pulled him down so that she could kiss his forehead.
“I’m proud of you, Harry,” she said.
(WE NEED A REAL TEACHER, NOT THAT OVERGROWN TROLL)
He asked her if she was afraid of him.
She got mad and told him none of it mattered; he was still her best friend.
Every morning, she started to greet him with a hug and a bright smile. It didn’t matter how grumpy he looked or how upset he looked or if he responded at all.
Harry was glad for that. Everyone else was avoiding him, but Ron and Hermione went out of their ways to make sure he understood that nothing had changed, that they were always there for him.
It was Hermione who finally told him to get his act together.
“You’re acting like a constantly PMS-ing preteen girl, Harry Potter, so man up.”
She was the only one who could have ever gotten away with comparing The Boy Who Lived to a female adolescent experiencing hormone imbalances.
“Yeah, well, Cho’s an idiot. I’d never date you, no offense. You’re my brother.”
“Love you, ‘Mione.”
“…I love you too, but don’t ever call me that again.”
She relished rebellion, Harry realized as Hermione’s entire face lit up. She liked fighting for a cause, because it gave her purpose in life, something to be passionate about. Harry had never noticed how important he could be to anyone until he saw the group of kids surrounding him, faces alight, expectation and awe in their expressions.
“You’re even more of a rule-breaker than I am!” Harry exclaimed to her later that night, confronting her about it.
“Yeah, difference is, she’s better at disguising it than you are, mate,” Ron quipped. Hermione threw in a gloating smile, and Harry poked her belligerently in the stomach. Her responding poke almost started a full-on war, but Ron managed to intervene.
“You don’t always get what you want,” Harry warned her, “no matter how hard you fight for it.”
She rolled her eyes, “I only fight for things that I think are worth it.”
“And because you hate Umbridge,” Ron added under his breath.
“Everyone hates Umbridge,” Hermione retorted calmly, “Only Filch likes Umbridge, and no one quite cares about Filch’s opinion.”
Harry had to agree.
“I’m fighting because I’ve found a cause,” She finished primly.
“And what would that be?” Harry asked her.
She looked at him. “You,” she said simply. “You’re worth fighting for, Harry. And I’ll fight next to you until the very end, because I believe it with all my heart.”
When he visited her and Ron in the hospital room after their escapade in the Ministry, he felt almost helpless. He wondered how many times the two of them would narrowly escape death on his account.
The thought of it scared him more than he expected.
That night, he found a cause worth fighting for. Not because he was supposed to, not because he, Harry, had been chosen for the task.
He wanted to be the one to kill him.
Voldemort had hurt Ron and Hermione. He’d killed Sirius. He’d killed Harry’s parents, and any chance he might have had for a normal life. He’d mentally tortured Ginny when she was just eleven.
Watch out, Tom Riddle. Things just got personal.
(SHE’S PERFECT FOR YOU, YOU KNOW)
He demanded to know how she’d figured out he was in love with Ginny.
She said she knew him better than he did – of course she’d figured it out.
“I’m not upset because of Ron.”
Harry gave her a look, and she bristled. Her lips were tightly pursed as she turned back to the bookshelf, tilting up on her toes in order to reach her book. She grunted in exasperation as her fingers scrabbled short.
Harry reached up and pulled it off the shelf for her, but he hid it behind his back before she could tug it out of his hand.
“You went to the party with McLaggen, Hermione, you’re clearly upset,” he said, holding it high over his head. Hermione huffed.
“He’s not that bad,” she commented frostily.
“You hid in the curtains to avoid snogging him,” he said dubiously. There was a short moment of silence while Hermione tilted her head to acknowledge this very true bit of information.
“Did he manage to snog you?” Harry finally asked. He hope she didn’t hear the underlying dangerous tone in his voice. She’d probably smack him and tell him to stop being overprotective for one minute of his life; she could take care of herself, thank you very much.
“He tried,” Hermione said idly, turning back to the bookshelf and searching for another book.
“And nothing. Malfoy came walking down the hallway, sneered at us, and then Cormac tried insulting him and I slipped away.”
Harry couldn’t help but be impressed.
“What did Malfoy do?” he asked.
Hermione rolled her eyes, “Your obsession with Malfoy is worrying, Harry. He didn’t do anything. Now give me that book, I have to write my essay.”
Harry was bored out of his mind as he sat next to Hermione. Ron had gone off to snog Lavender (again), Hermione was writing (another) essay, and Harry was sitting there, staring idly into the fire. Hermione sighed and leaned her head against his shoulder, slipping the feather of her quill into her mouth. Harry pulled it out without looking; she’d already choked on her quill three times and he really wasn’t in the mood for a fourth.
“There’s sugar quills in my bag if you want them,” he said, still staring at the hypnotizing flames, “just don’t eat your feather quills.”
She muttered something indistinguishable and most probably insulting. He thought he caught a snippet of where he should stick his sugar quills, but he couldn’t be sure.
Three seconds later, she uttered a defeated sigh and unfolded herself to grab a sugar quill. He let his gaze wander around the room as she leaned back next to him. It landed on Dean and Ginny.
He scowled involuntarily. It seemed as though they were attempting to teach Arnold how to roll over.
“She’s still dating him?” Harry asked darkly, flinging his arm in their general direction. “I can’t bloody believe it…”
Hermione looked over at him, her eyes gleaming with humor. “Since when did you care about who Ginny dates?”
Harry immediately dropped his hand and sat upright. “I don’t,” he said, fixing his eyes on the fire. “I don’t care.”
“Sure you don’t, Potter.”
“Shut up and write your essay.”
“Just say it, Hermione.”
“I wasn’t going to say it.”
“You were going to say it.”
“…I TOLD YOU SO!”
“Yes you did.”
“I knew it from the beginning! I told both of you so! I knew it, I knew it, I knew it!”
“Okay. That’s enough, Hermione.”
“I know you better than even you know you, Harry Potter! How’s that for smartest witch of the age? I told you – mmph!”
“Harry, you can’t put a girl in a headlock!”
“It’s alright, Ginny, Hermione doesn’t count.”
“She’s going to hurt you for that, and I will stand by to watch and enjoy every second of it.”
“Nah, she – ouch! Ouch, Hermione – gah, I’m sorry! I’m sorry! Stop – woman! This is abuse!”
Dumbledore is dead. The most powerful man he’d ever known – gone. Killed like a mere mortal by the most miserable excuse of a man on this planet.
First his parents. Then Sirius. Now Dumbledore.
His eyes burned with tears as he squeezed them shut tightly against the world, and he buried his face in Ginny’s hair. It felt comforting against his skin. She was comforting and warm and beautiful.
Tom Riddle had already used her once.
Harry knew what he had to do.
“You’re not getting rid of us, Harry,” Hermione said fiercely, later that night.
“Yeah,” Ron agreed, “you can’t exactly break up with us, now, can you? No, we’re sticking with you like a couple of wart plasters, and you’d better get used to it.”
(WE’LL END THIS TOGETHER)
He told her that she could still turn back if she wanted.
She smacked him and told him that he really needed to stop spewing nonsense.
“I’m not going anywhere, Harry James Potter, and you’d better get that through your thick skull,” Hermione said fiercely, pinning him down with flashing coffee eyes.
“Look, it’s dangerous –”
She quelled him with another look.
“I’m safe with you,” she said. He snapped his mouth shut, and she turned around and grabbed his jacket, wrapping it around herself.
“I’m taking first watch, you go to sleep.”
And that was that.
At night, she’d whimper in her sleep. Harry had no doubts that she was by far the bravest girl he’d ever known – Ginny was the fieriest, what with her locks of hair and endless tenacity – but he felt almost…almost relieved, that even someone like Hermione could be afraid.
He supposed that was a little sick of him, but it was true. It made her seem human, at fault, and of course she had her faults but she always seemed so untouchable. Hermione never needed his help. He’d always needed Hermione’s.
And it felt good, that he was able to give something back to her, after everything she’d ever done for him.
“Shh,” he murmured, pushing her hair away from her face, “Shh, Hermione, it’s okay.”
“He’s gone,” Hermione whimpered, “he’s…mum…dad…don’t die, please…no, not Harry, take me, don’t kill Harry!”
His heart cracked in two when he realized that her darkest nightmares included his death. To this day it surprised him a bit, that someone could care so much for him, that he could ever be so loved.
He hesitated, glancing at the flapping folds of the tent. Technically, he should be on watch…but what was the difference, really, if he watched from over here instead of out there?
He muttered a quick spell to inform him of any human presence, then before he could change his mind, climbed into her bed with a swift motion, settling against the wall of the tent and letting the blanket fall into his lap.
Hermione stiffened at the new presence, but Harry gently maneuvered her until she was cradled against his chest, her head in the crook of his shoulder and his neck. Her breath fanned evenly across his skin, and for the first time since Ron left, Hermione didn’t cry at night.
She woke up feeling refreshed, and even though she demanded to know why Harry had such dark bags under his eyes, he refused to tell her.
A night’s loss of sleep was no big deal if she could sleep easy for once.
Besides, she’d probably hex him for being in her bed.
His weakest moment was when Hermione’s screams bounced off of the walls and into his brain, Ron’s desperate shouts mingling with the noise.
For the first time that night, he’d been truly afraid.
He focused on Ginny when the time came. The way her hair felt against his hands, the way her eyes lit up when she talked, that little smirk she’d get on her face when she was saying something witty. The expression of tenderness that seeped out from her eyes. How beautiful she was to him, all of the time.
But in the last second, he remembered Ron and Hermione, his family. His brother and his sister, and the way they were always there for him even when the rest of the world wasn’t. To them, he wasn’t The Boy Who Lived or The Chosen One or Undesirable Number One…he was just Harry. Just Harry, my brother.
And his heart swelled as the rush of green light came speeding towards him. The last beat of his heart was for those he loved.
(ALL WAS WELL)
They grew old together.
It was perfect.
Every Valentine’s day, Harry would buy three roses. A red one for his wife, Ginny. A yellow one for his daughter, Lily. And a white one for his sister, Hermione.
Every Christmas Eve, he’d go to Godric’s Hollow and visit his parents’ grave. No one was allowed to go with him except Hermione. She was the only one who could conjure those flowers.
(Besides, she’d already seen him cry…and it just wasn’t something guys did together. Going with Ron would be a highly uncomfortable experience he’d never wanted to live through.)
And when Ginny asked him, late one night when they talked about every little thing imaginable, why he’d never been in love with Hermione, Harry had laughed.
“I love her, Ginny, but I could never fall in love with my sister.”
“Oh come on, Harry,” she pushed playfully, “not even a little romance?”
He smirked, looking uncannily like his oldest son. His next sentence proved that it was exactly the effect he’d been going for. “We’re bros, Hermione and me.”
“You are such a strange person.”
“Whatever, Gin. You’re just a hater on our bromance.”
“He’s actually calling our friendship a bromance?!”
“Yeah – pretty funny, actually.”
“Funny?! Funny – oh, that’s it. I’m going to complete the job Voldemort failed to do for seventeen years.”
“Harry James Potter! I am not your ‘bro’ – I am a bloody female, in case it’s escaped your attention all these years!”
With her, it was a forever kind of deal. Even if she did hex him without remorse.
And Harry was happy with that.
Everything belongs to J.K Rowling and Warner Bros.
“I’ll go with you.” Is said by Emma Watson in Warner Bros’ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2.
“Or worse, expelled.” Is said by Hermione Granger on page 162 of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Scholastic Version). And in the movie, as far as I can remember.
“We’ll end this together.” (or some variation) was said by Rupert Grint in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2, Warner Bros.
“All was well,” was the last sentence of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Scholastic Version.)