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Chapter 6 : Maybe If I Told You the Right Words
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Chapter Seven: Maybe If I Told You the Right Words
Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. -C.S. Lewis
Late morning and he was still sleepy. Maybe it was that he wasn’t in his bed. Maybe because he had had sleeped with his best female friend. What a strange twelve hours that had been. Nervous he ran his hand through his hair. The place beside him was empty but still warm. Harry was alone in her room, alone lying in her bed. The sunshine was streaming much stronger through the windows on the mess of this room.
Harry should have known it. He should have known that it had been too many feelings, too much love. Like being bottled into a small glass, and then someone suddenly opening it and all the emotions steaming out.What did he expect? That Hermione could forget if he couldn’t even forget. Still he knew that he loved her, but did she love him? This wasn’t the right situation for them. They shouldn’t start it like that. He had always thought that if he fell for her, that it would be different. That they would go slow. But it hadn’t been slow and it didn’t bother him. Not as much as the fact that they hadn’t been close in the past months. Hermione was different and so alone. She wasn’t living her life anymore. She was feeling so low and unable to function, that she wasn’t even in her classes everyday.
Cho was dead and Hermione was guilty. No, she isn’t guilty It’s Voldemort. Only he did it. If Harry closed his eyes he could see Hermione with her wand in her shaking hand and this wide open eyedlook as if she wanted to just faint. This picture hurt him. He couldn’t understand why he hadn’t felt something more as Cho was falling to the ground. Only when he looked up to Hermione could he feel how empty his heart was.
Still he could hear Ron’s voice from yesterday. The sharp hissing that told Harry what a fool he was. Maybe his glasses were still lying broken on the floor.
“Did you ever love Cho or was it always Hermione?” Ron yelled at Harry after he told Ron that he still cared for Hermione. Shaking in anger he jumped to his feet took his glasses which were shattered from his nose and threw them with much more power to the floor. Without a second word he left the common room and went to the prefect area.
What happened then was amazing. Slowly he sat up in her bed. It was time to stand up. But he didn’t want to face this problem. Thinking of what Hermione said this morning, Harry thought if he held her, if he kissed her, she would forget. He was wrong, he knew it now. She had left him there all alone. With all of his heart he wished they could just go on without looking back. Didn’t she know how short life could be? Didn’t she know that he didn’t want to lose her? That he only wanted to feel her, to feel that she was alive again! Of course she knew it, but did she want what he wanted?
“We..we have to..stop this!” she had had told him with difficulty. He would have stopped if she hadn’t guided him back to her. All he wanted to do was to hold her and make her forget. Sadly, he wasn’t successful. With one push, he jumped out of bed. He couldn’t stand to lay there and think. Where was she--maybe in the bathroom or in the common room. Harry didn’t know. Hermione was gone when he woke up. She left him alone.
His boxers were lying on the floor. He put them on and took the rest of his clothes in his arms. His wish was now a nice hot shower. As he opened the door, he noticed it was much darker in the corridor. Without his glasses, it was much more difficult to see anything more than six feet in front of him. Lucky Hermione wasn’t that far away yesterday.
On the other side of this corridor was his room and a little bathroom, so he didn’t need to take that big prefect bathroom. Somehow it was better for him to know he wouldn’t meet any other student. Especially not Ron, who used this bathroom, too. It was like a different life now, now that the trio was spliced. He could see everyday how much worse she felt. This pain that he felt was the worst he had ever felt in his life. And to watch how Hermione suffered from that, knowing he could end it, but not being ready because he didn’t know the right words. What should have he told her? No words in this world could take it away.
After Harry’s 5th year, he had the same feelings as Hermione did. It was difficult for him to come to terms with the fact that he wasn’t guilty. Nobody could take this feeling from him not even Cho. “Yeah, Cho!” he murmured slowly and sighed. Darn it, if the guilt Hermione felt towards her parents’ and Cho’s deaths was anywhere near what he felt at the time of Sirius’s death, he knew this simply was not right.
Harry was still standing in the door lost in his thoughts, lost in the past. Slowly he shook his head and went on to his room. It was so dark in this corridor. He found a door and pushed open. “This isn’t my room,” he said to himself in surprise. Somehow he had managed to open the bathroom door.
A mist was flowing through this little room and it was hot in here. Now Harry knew where Hermione was. “Sorry, I didn’t know…!” he said unsure because he didn’t see anything. It was different now. Not like early this morning when he was sleepy and wasn’t thinking. Now he was awake and standing in a bathroom full of mist. He started to sweat lightly. On his heels he turned around and wanted to leave her alone.
“Wait! I wanna talk to you,” he heard her voice beyond the mist.
“Can we…can we do that later? I mean a bathroom isn’t the best place, is it?!” To his own surprise he was nervous. Nervous about what she could say to him.
In his heart, he had a bad feeling. He didn’t like how she sounded. Hermione´s voice was so distant, without emotion. Nothing like it was a few hours ago.
“It can’t wait…” she broke up. Slowly he turned back, the mist still in front of him. He couldn’t see a tiny thing from her. Before he knew it, in front of him stood Hermione wrapped tightly in a white towel. Her long bushy brown hair was wet. She was lightly sweating or was it still water? He didn’t know it. His mouth went dry as he saw her.
“Hermione, I don’t think this is a good idea,” he croaked.
“I needed to say that to stop it.” With wide eyes he looked at her. This wasn’t serious. She didn’t mean what he just thought.
“I…I wanted to end this earlier but…but I couldn’t you were too close. We did cross the line, Harry! This isn’t right. You aren’t supposed to sleep with me and I’m not supposed to touch you like that,” she went on.
“What?” Harry asked blankly.
“You heard me right. I can’t do that.”
“Are you telling me that was wrong? But it isn’t wrong, not if I love you!” His clothes fell to the floor. He was now truly shocked. For the first time, Harry recognised that Hermione wasn’t lookingat him. Her eyes were fixed on her hands which shook lightly.
“Don’t say things you don’t mean,” she whispered.
“I mean every word I said to you. Why are you doing this? This doesn’t bring her back. Hermione, you have to go on.” His anger was rising, and, deeply, he breathed in.
“You just don’t understand me. I didn’t do it because of…of her. I do it because of me.”
“Right, I don’t understand you. Can’t you see that I don’t want to lose you?” He reached to touch her cheek, but she backed away.
“Well, we are in the same boat, aren’t we?! Let’s just stay friends.” Her voice was absolute, without any emotions.
“Friends? We were always more than just friends.” All he wanted right now was to put his arms around her tightly. But this was impossible. She stood there in this white towel with the water from her hair streaming over her skin. This wasn’t right, that his feelings weren’t right.
“Call it what you wish, but we have to go back to that.”
“This...This isn’t like switching back to normal. You know darn well that it isn’t like that.” He felt how his voice was rising.
“You think I don’t know it? Of course I know it. But after all that’s happened, this is the last thing that could help us. We would destroy everything that is left.” She sighed and looked up straight into his eyes. There was sadness and something he couldn’t describe but it made his heart jump.
“How will you know?” his voice was barely a whisper.
“I just know it. Look what happened between you and Ron, between us three. We aren’t friends anymore. But that is what we need to be--the war isn’t over. The worst things haven’t happened yet. We need to stay close and not separate.”
In her voice there was a pleading that wasn’t there before. “Who said that we can’t be close if we stay where we are now? What is wrong with that?”
She turned around at these words. “Because friends don’t do that.” As she said that she faced him again and her face became cramped. Only some pearls of sweat made it softer.
“Don’t be cruel, Hermione. Don’t be cruel to me and not to yourself.” To his own horror, his voice was pleading, displaying all of his feelings.
Again he reached for her face. He barely touched it as she took his hand in hers.
“Don’t. It wouldn’t change anything. I know it’s hard but it’s for the best.” A sad smile appeared on her face as she let go of his hand.
“I won’t take it. Don’t think I’ll let you do this. For once in your life, be selfish, Hermione…” he went on but she went around him and left him alone in the bathroom.
“You can’t shoot down feelings. You simply can’t. It makes it irrational.” Harry’s own voice was echoing from the walls. Emptiness was what he felt. But at the same time he wanted to run after her, embrace her, and bring her back to him.
She could hear Harry’s angry voice as she closed the door behind her. Taking a shaking breath, Hermione leaned against the wooden door.She wasn’t sure if she was strong enough to face him one more time, at least right now. It had cost her every bit of her control to stay there and to tell him it hadn’t been right. With her hair dripping wet, wearing only the towel, she became aware that this was the room where everything had happened. What was it that was keeping her from being with Harry? Something deep inside of her was against it, against the fact that she had lost control yesterday and again this morning. “Is it enough?” she asked herself. Her own voice was so unsure. Slowly she became aware of what it was that she was feeling.
It was the naked fear that he could cost her everything. She had been a mess because of Cho’s death. But what would happen if she lost Harry? She needed to be distant with him again, but would it be enough? With both hands she pushed herself away from the door. Luckily today was Saturday and maybe she could hide in her room, hide from her feelings which weren’t as strong as her mind that was telling her to keep her distance. Never before had Hermione felt like this. There was so much confusion between her heart and her head. Feeling frustrated she went to her cupboard. Slowly she opened it and searched for fresh muggle clothing.
For the entire morning, she thought about how she should go on from here. How could they sort this out in these last few weeks of the year? It was time to reunite the trio, and this was another reason she needed to deny her feelings for Harry. She loudly threw the doors to the cupboard shut, now holding some jeans and a nice shirt. She didn’t care that her bedroom looked like **** or that her hair was still wet like her body. Her mind kept working. It was telling her to run back to him and tell him that it was all a mistake. That she didn’t mean what she had said. But she couldn’t risk it for anything in this world.She laid her clothes down on the bed, and made her way back to the cupboard to get some underwear. However, before she could reach the cupboard door, the door to her room burst open. She turned around saw him for a second. “Ha-” Hermione said lamely but was cut off by a strong embrace.
His arms were tight around her waist and Harry was kneeling in front of her. She didn’t trust her eyes.
“Harry, I …please. Why?” she stuttered.
“Don’t leave me this way,” his voice was muffled and slightly whimpering.
She was speechless. In all the years she had known him, she had never seen him like this. He never pleaded for anything, and now here he was kneeling in front of her and holding her as if she was the last thing in his life. Slowly, she brought her hands to his head. Still she was shocked and still she could feel his arms very tightly around her waist. It was difficult for her to breathe because her own feelings started to overwhelm her.
“I didn’t leave you,” she whispered softly.
Even though Harry’s hair was wet, she ran her hand through it. Hermione knew it wasn’t what she should do, but she couldn’t stop it. It was too much. In every sense, it was too much. She didn’t want to push him away, but she didn’t want him so close to her either. But now he had reached her and was close to her as before. Suddenly, she slipped down to her knees. He looked directly into her eyes. He opened his mouth but closed it again. Then he tried it again.
“Just tell me that you don’t love me and I will leave you alone. I would do it. Just look into my eyes and say it,” he whispered. She could barely hear him. She looked at him for a long time before she tried to answer.
“I can’t. I just can’t!” she said again only this time louder. She was telling them both that she couldn’t say she didn’t love him, and at the same time, she couldn’t be with him either.
She realized that this was what it was like to be in love. She slowly figured it out.
“Hermione, it doesn’t change anything if you push me away. I tried it and it doesn’t do any good. You know that, don’t you?”
“It makes me so weak,” she whispered back.
Harry’s arms went tighter around her with her words. “I’m with you. You hear me? We can get through this. ”
She nodded slowly before she leaned into his embrace. Her head leaned against his shoulders and his on hers. Lightly, he kissed her bare shoulder and loosened his hold on her, but didn’t let her go.
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