Chapter 1 : We'll smile indeed
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Harry Potter walked the darkened corridors of Hogwarts castle. At every window stood a student, a teacher, or an Auror, wands out and ready. This was the hour that Voldemort had allowed the defenders of Hogwarts. The dead had been reverentially moved, the injured had received medical attention, and now everyone was back at their posts. He had just left Ron and Ginny having said what he felt, in effect saying goodbye, to each of them. Only Hermione remained. He found her, like the others, leaning against the stonework, her eyes fixed outside, wand in hand. “Hermione?”
“What? Oh hi, Harry. I didn’t realise it was you. Good to see you.”
“You too. How are you feeling?”
“Scared to death, Harry. Wondering if I’ll be alive to see the sun shine again. You?”
“The same. It won’t be long now, less than an hour, I would say. Hermione, I’ve just come to say thank you. Thank you for being my friend. You are one of the few people who cared for me. That is a debt I can never repay. You have never let me down and I’m sorry for the times I doubted you. Like the time you told McGonagall about my new broom. I got mad, but you were right. You stuck it out with me in that tent for almost a year. I couldn’t have done any of this without you and if we get through this I’ll make sure that everybody knows that.
“It wasn’t just me Harry…”
“I know; I’ve already seen Ron and Ginny. Take any one of you three out of the equation and I would have failed. I’ve thought a lot about it and realised that alone I’m pretty inadequate. I’ve always said that I couldn’t have done any of this alone. Tonight it’s really come home to me just how true that is.”
“Harry, stop putting yourself down. Lots of people have helped, but we needed a leader. That job fell to you. You inspired us with your courage and leadership and there are more than a few people who care for you. I do, probably more than you or even I know. You know, Harry, when I was little, if I was hurt or scared, there was only one person I would go to. With my Dad’s arms around me I was safe. Nothing could get to me. There were times in the tent when there was just the two of us and I felt very lonely at night. I needed those arms around me. I came very close one night to getting into bed with you, just to feel your arms around me, to feel secure for a few hours. I didn’t because I was worried that you might get the wrong idea, and if you had, I knew I couldn’t, and wouldn’t have wanted, to resist.” She did not say that she would have been very disappointed if he hadn’t got the wrong idea.
“This fight isn’t just about you and Tom Riddle anymore, Harry. For us it’s all or nothing. If we lose then those who survive might wish they hadn’t.”
“That’s sort of why I’m here, Hermione. I am going into the forest soon and I don’t have the first idea what will happen in there. That’s why when I saw Ginny and Ron I… I said a proper goodbye to them. Er… just in case, you understand.”
“Ah, I see. That’s what this is really about. Now you’re here to say goodbye to me. Well, don’t bother. I’ll be here in the morning and so will you…”
“You can’t know that, Hermione. This isn’t a Quidditch match we’re talking about. People are going to die tonight, you don’t seem to realise that.” She raised her voice,
“Yes, I do know that, Harry!! It’s… its like… if I believe strongly enough that we’ll survive, then we’ll survive. I don’t want to think any other way. I wish we knew what the end of the day will bring, but it’s enough that the day will end, and then of course, we’ll know.” She broke, started to sob and clung to him, desperate, but not daring, to tell him just how much she loved him. How she dreamed of them exchanging vows, how she longed for her body to be huge with his child. He didn’t need that sort of pressure at this moment in time. Minutes passed as they held each other. She eased her head back and looked into his eyes; she could see he was remembering too. The tent.
She was sitting on her bed feeling miserable; the Horcrux hanging around her neck was responsible for that. The radio was playing,
Hey little train! We are all jumping on
the train that goes to the Kingdom.
We’re happy, Ma, we're having fun
and the train ain't even left the station
Harry came to where she was sitting, he took her hand and she stood up. She could feel the difference in her mood as soon as he took the Horcrux from her neck. Harry backed into the centre of the room. He started to sway to the music, encouraging her, without words to do likewise. Although she swayed with him, her face remained glum. Harry raised one of her arms and she pirouetted under his arm. Gradually her mouth began to stretch into a small smile. After a few more minutes they were whirling and laughing. The music stopped and hugged each other. Her smile faded to sadness again as they faced each other.
Now, she thought, it has to be now. “Harry, we’re in for a rough time, aren’t we?”
“I think that’s safe to say, Hermione.”
“I’m scared Harry, I don’t want to die…”
“You’re not going to die if…”
“Let me finish, Harry. I was going to say, I've been thinking about this a lot lately, and I don’t want to die a virgin. I want to know what it’s like to be loved by a man.”
Hey, little train, wait for me
I was blind but now I see.
Have you left a seat for me
Is that such a stretch of the imagination?
“You should be talking to Ron, not me.”
“It’s not Ron I want, Harry. Never has been. Besides, he’s not here. He might not get back before…”
“What are you saying, Hermione?”
“Make love to me Harry, please.” She kissed him with a longing that he had never felt from Ginny. Her hands were around his back tugging his shirt out of his jeans. He interrupted her long enough to pull her shirt over her head. Their actions became more urgent and frenzied before they collapsed on his bed. Hands and mouths touched and explored. When the moment came it was everything Hermione had hoped for, and more.
She gazed at him through half closed eyes. Normally she chewed softly on her bottom lip whilst concentrating hard on something academic. She was doing it now through sheer pleasure. Suddenly she couldn’t help herself, “Oh Harry, Harry...” He only said one word.
They slowly came down from their release and over the next couple of weeks had made love twice more. Then Ron returned…
At the first opportunity they had persuaded Remus Lupin to bind them in an Unbreakable Vow never to speak of those events, except to each other. Remus also vowed never to reveal the existence of the bond.
She came back to the present. “Say it Harry,” she whispered softly, “say goodbye to me.”
“Today must end the thing that began the night he murdered my parents. Whether we shall survive or not, I don’t know, so let’s say goodbye as if it’s the last time.” He softly kissed her lips. "Goodbye Hermione, I love you. If we meet again, we’ll smile. If not, then this parting was well made.”
Calmer now, she kissed him in the same fashion, revelling in the sensations transmitted from his lips to hers. “Forever and ever, farewell Harry, I love you too. If we do meet again, we’ll smile indeed. If not, then it’s true this parting was well made.”
Hermione Granger tightened her grip on her wand and gazed once more out of the window. She could not bear to watch the as yet unspoken love of her life walk away, knowing she might never see him again. She had thought long and hard about whether to tell him or not, but she couldn’t, not now. She couldn’t tell him about last week when she missed her second period. Putting her free hand on her lower abdomen she whispered, “I’ll do my best to keep you safe, little one, that’s Mummy’s promise to you.” She began to sing softly, her favourite song,
Hey little train! Wait for me.
I was held in chains but now I'm free
I'm hanging in there, don't you see
In this process of elimination
Author note. Thanks for the basic idea go to Brutus, Cassius and their owner Billy Shakespeare. Nobody puts quill to parchment like he did.
I would value the opinion of anyone who reads this. Please leave a review. If you don’t like it, tell me why. (In a nice way). A parting well made Part II is posted. Check it out.
The characters belong, of course, to JK Rowling. Only the idea is mine.
Song lyrics from ‘O Children’ by Nick Cave.
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