Hermione was the first to wake the next morning. She felt peaceful for the first time in a long time. She just laid there, the early morning light drifting through the window and down to her naked skin. Naked. Hermione was naked, completely exposed. She pulled the sheet closer around her, suddenly truly aware of her state. She quietly got up and tip toed to the bathroom. In the bathroom, she stood in front of the mirror and examined her body in its entirety. She saw the left over part of the scar on her arm from Bellatrix, it was still there, still a reminder plaguing her every time she saw it. She was too skinny, not eating as much after the war ended. She looked fragile. Easily breakable. And maybe she was, if Bellatrix were still alive, she could easily kill Hermione. Hermione hated this thought of being so fragile. It made her sick, disgusted with herself. Rustling from George’s room broke her from her thoughts.
“Hermione?” he called out, waking up in an empty bed after last night made him feel uneasy. She quickly emerged from the bathroom, still completely bare. He couldn’t help but let his eyes scan over her body, appreciating its beauty. She blushed from head to toe.
“Sorry.” He muttered. She walked over to the bed and quickly covered herself back up. His arms wrapped around her.
“So, about last night…” she said. George instantly became nervous. Had he moved too fast? Had he pushed her to do something she now regrets?
“I was wondering, was that your first time?” She asked. He let out a sigh of relief.
“Yeah. It was yours too right?” She nodded. He felt another wave of relief wash over him, he had a piece of her that no one else would have, and she had that same piece of him.
“How are you today?” He asked her after a few moments of silence. She thought about his question, such a simple question, yet so many answers to it.
“Contradicting.” She answered. It was the truth, she felt so good with George, yet the second she was alone, she found Bellatrix slipping to her mind, and when that happened, Hermione always managed to find something wrong with herself. How did it get like this? How did it get this bad? That one moment alone and Hermione could be defeated without a fight.
“Pardon?” George didn’t quite understand what she was getting at.
“When I’m with you I feel good, I feel at peace. But when I’m alone, even for a second, she pops into my head. I can’t even look at myself in the mirror most days. I’m so ashamed of how bad this got, how much this has taken over me. I’m not the same and it kills me. I can remember how I used to be, strong and happy. I was a much better person then.” She explained. She wanted to cry, but she wouldn’t allow herself. She knew the first step was talking about all this. Emotions could come later. George’s eyes scanned her face over and over, seeing in her eyes how much this pained her. He didn’t know what to say, he just pulled her close and held her for a really long time.
“I understand.” Was all he said. He said it so quietly, but she heard him. And it was all she needed to hear.
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