Chapter 3 : You Forgot Me Long Ago
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We cannot love unless we have accepted forgiveness, and the deeper our experience of forgiveness is, the greater is our love. - Paul Tillich
With a sudden jolt Hermione woke up. Slowly she opened her eyelids. She was still in the dark common room. The fireplace had finally burned out and the thunderstorm could only be heard from far away. Somebody had put a warm blanket over her. She groaned lightly as she started to think about what she should do now. She put the blanket aside as she sat up. As she took a closer look at it she wondered who had taken care of her like that? Who would do such a thing after what had happened, after what she had done? The very thought made her throat close painfully.
Uncertainly, Hermione turned her eyes from one corner to another empty corner. Indeed, the common room was empty, but still she didn’t feel alone. Rather she felt as if somebody was watching her. It couldn’t be. As she stood up and turned to an armchair in front of the fireplace it was empty too. Carefully, she took one step after another until she was standing in front of the armchair. Somehow, she could even feel there was someone. So she reached a hand out and soon, all too soon, she felt a familiar soft, silk-like material under her fingertips. Hermione grabbed a handful of the cloak and pulled it off of Harry, who was sleeping. Before she had a chance to feel angry, she felt touched that he hadn’t forgotten her this time.
Her breath became quicker at the mere thought of what had happened and why she was in that situation after all. Oh, Hermione was angry and at the same time she was guilty. All these emotions pressured her in a way nothing had ever pressured her before. If she could just turn back the time and make things right again.
“You’re awake?” a hoarse voice interrupted her thoughts.
“Why are you here?” Hermione hissed.
“I told you before that I care for you. That’s why.” Harry answered flatly.
“No, you forgot me long ago.” she whispered as she turned around and let his cloak slide to the floor.
“That isn’t true, Hermione. Don’t you see? Don’t you see that I never forgot you?”
“How should I know? You dropped me like an old pair of shoes. Since our 6th year started I haven’t existed to you. All you did was ignore me, as if I had never been your friend.” There was a dangerous gleam in her eyes as she finally faced him again.
To her surprise Harry was standing right in front of her, looking straight into her face.
“You know why. I didn’t want to hurt you. That was never my intention. What I wanted was-“
“Don’t start with this again! You keep telling me you wanted to protect me but all you’ve done was leave me alone when I needed you. Have you any idea how much I needed you? But all I got was the cold shoulder. My parents are dead. They died the most terrible dead there is and you-you just kept going. How many nights have I hoped I would wake up from this dream, wake up and know you were nothing but a bad dream. I would give my life for you but you wouldn’t even give me a hand if I needed it. If you call this protecting me I don’t know what you’d call killing me.”
Harry groaned painfully at that.
“We had this conservation before. I-I can’t make it right again, Hermione. If I could your parents would still be alive you would never have met me. Your life would be fine and safe,” he whispered not daring to look into her eyes.
“And Cho would still be alive. You don’t need to say it. I know she’s dead because of me. Because she saw us like that,” Hermione answered and turned around to go up into the girl’s dormitory. She couldn’t forget what had happened earlier this day, before Cho Chang had died. It felt surreal and so far away but still she could see it.
The last ray of sunshine told her the day was nearly over and her patrol would start. It was one of the dullest things about being Prefect. All she ever would find were students who weren’t back in they common room in time. Sometimes, she would even find Mrs. Norris strolling through empty corridors. Hermione really disliked the cat that caused her so many troubles. At least once every night she had to see Filch and explain to him that she was doing her duties, not plotting to set his cat on fire. She never mentioned that she really had thought about it. In the daytime, Hermione was with Ron and Harry, though Harry tried to avoid her. For months they hadn’t spoken with each other. At the beginning, Hermione had thought it was because of the things she had said back in their 5th year. But, slowly, after she had gotten the news about the death of her parents, after she had a breakdown, she knew that Harry had forgotten her.
It had hurt her so deeply at first. She had never thought that something could hurt her more than to know that she had to life without her parents. But she had been wrong. It was just as painful. Why, she didn’t know. Hermione was about to pass the Transfiguration classroom when she heard a very loud bang. Like she had received an electric shock she jerked around and searched the dark corridor with wide open eyes only to find that there was nothing. Suddenly, from far away she could see something moving in her direction. Was it a ghost or just her petrified mind playing tricks on her? A rush of air hit her face before something solid pushed her to a classroom with the door opened. Shortly after door was closed she heard an angry voice. It was Snape screaming the name of the one boy he hated the most.
”Potter, now I have you. Being in the restricted section without permission will earn you three months of detention.” Just a few steps away from her she could hear panting. Before she could react Harry opened his cloak just to press her against him. One hand covered her mouth and the other covered them both with the Invisibility Cloak.
Harry’s face glistened lightly with sweat and it was tense. He tried hard to steady his breath as Snape seemed to came closer each step. A faint creaking told them that he was in the classroom, too. A tall shadow filled the entrance, but Professor Snape didn’t step in, he just turned around on his heels and left.
Author-Note: I would like to thank Rawles for her betaing. That’s all so far. Please read and review.
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