Once Upon A Dream
Disclaimer: I don't own HP or any of these characters. That belongs to JKR, Scholastic Books, Warner Brothers, etc. This is just something to pass the time while waiting for the next book.

How do you take back words you wish you had never spoken?

How do you fix something that you irreparably shattered with your own hands? How do you reach out to someone to tell him that you really do care? How do you say 'I'm sorry' to someone who's never there?

She hasn't figured that out yet.

****

They always talk about her behind her back at work.

"Do you know who she is?"

"No, who?"

"She's Hermione Granger."

"You mean the one who—"

"Who dated and dumped Harry Potter."

"My god, what a fool."

"He's better off without her."

"Yes, he seems to have recovered just fine, hasn't he?"

"Is that such a surprise? Who wouldn't want to comfort him?"

Then they laugh and leave her behind.

Just like he did.

****

She can no longer even remember what they were fighting about on that day.

That's a surprise because their fights were always few and far between. Considering that there are not too many to remember, she should be able to recall what had started it all but she can't. All she can remember is that when they fought, it hurt so much that at times she couldn't stand it. She hated herself whenever she was yelling at him. He didn't deserve such treatment.

He deserves so much better than her.

****

He's everywhere around her.

She can't escape him. No matter where she goes, there's always new gossip about him. People are always talking about the new girl that he's dating and then turn to stare at the girl who was foolish enough to let him get away.

Those stares don't hurt a single bit. What hurts is knowing that she was stupid enough to let him get away.

She wishes she could turn time back and make everything right again. It has been far too many a day since she's last seen him and she doesn't know how much longer she can live this way.

****

She told him that she wished she would never see him again.

She knew, right then, that those words should have not been spoken. She knew from the look on his face that something inside of him had been broken. He left without saying a single word. Like with so many of her wishes before, he's done his best to make sure that wish came true.

She hasn't seen him since.

****

She cries herself to sleep far too often.

It hits her hardest at nights that she no longer has him. That's when her memories set in and she recalls many pleasant nights spent with him. Some nights they spent loving each other until the first streaks of light shot across the sky. Other nights they simply held one another and shared with each other the travails of the day. Then there were those nights when they didn't say a thing—no words were necessary between two hearts that were so close together.

She misses him most at night. Her tears are no substitute for him but she wants no other.

She loves him.

****

As was the case at the start of her first year at Hogwarts, books are now her only constant companions.

She's in Flourish and Blotts, picking up a few new books. She remembers those summer days that they would spend together. She'd sit in his lap and relish being able to listen to his melodious voice, as he'd read to her from her selection.

Reading aloud to herself is much less enjoyable. She misses him.

She's at the front of the shop, ready to pay for her assortment of books, when a shock of midnight-black hair catches her eye.

She looks up and sees him.

Instinctively, she mouths 'I miss you' but he has already turned away. He walks off without once looking back.

It feels like he's left her all over again.

****

She loves him more and more each day.

She doesn't know how that's possible but it's true. Her love continues to grow and she appreciates him more even though he's not by her side anymore.

Of course, that just makes it more painful to know that she's lost his love somewhere along the way.

Sometimes, she misses him so much that she feels that she can no longer go on. She just wants to lie in bed all day until he comes back to her. The tears start falling then and nothing can stop the downpour.

Until she lost him, she never knew that it was possible to love a person as much as she does.

****

Once again, she's eating at the restaurant all by herself.

She can cook but she doesn't like to. He always did and she would always help him in the kitchen. That room was constantly filled with laughter as they had fun cooking together.

The kitchen's full of dust now. She can't bring herself to cook anymore—the room's too full of memories of him for her to spend too much time there. So though it's expensive, she eats out every night. Anything's better than subjecting herself to those memories.

There are times when she's by herself alone at dinner when she wonders why does it still hurt so much. It seems so unfair that she hasn't gotten over him when he's moved on so long ago. She admits that she was wrong; she admits that those words should not have been said. Surely, she has paid the price for saying those words by losing him yet the pain lingers on.

Then she remembers the look of anguish that illuminated his face at those words and she thinks that she can't possibly ever hurt as much as he did at that moment.

Something tells her to look up and suddenly she can see that he's there.

She gets up immediately, placing a few galleons on the table to pay for the dinner. She walks over quickly to him but not before he sees her. He whirls around and leaves before she can reach him.

She doesn't stop though. She needs to tell him that she's sorry, even if she can only shout it at his back. She longs to tell him that she still loves him although she won't, as she doesn't think that those are words he'd want to hear. She races after him, hoping against hope that he'll still be there.

All her hopes are dashed when she gets outside of the restaurant.

He's nowhere to be seen. Once again, he's managed to escape her. Once again, he's done his best to make what she said she wanted come true.

A sob escapes her as she leans back against the wall. It kills her to have lost yet another chance to apologize. She knows that she can't make things right, that she can't make him love her again. Yet at the very least, she does want to let him know that she didn't mean the words for maybe then she can begin to accept the fact that she doesn't have him. The tears rain down, falling so hard that they almost choke her. "I love you," she whispers between her tears, into the silent night, wishing that the words would somehow reach him.

"Do you?" asks a voice from her side.

She doesn't have to think to know it's him. Without even glancing, she leaps towards him and throws her arms around his neck, nestling her head against his shoulder. She doesn't even notice when his arms come up to embrace her and pull her closer. She keeps on crying, incoherent in her need to tell him that she loves him. She babbles on, saying that she's sorry, that she misses him, that she loves him.

What startles her out of her misery, is realizing that he's now crying too.

"I love you," she whispers desperately. "I didn't mean it. I always want to be with you."

"Do you?" he asks again stupidly.

"Yes." She lifts her head off his shoulder to gaze directly into his gorgeous eyes. "I've missed you ever since you left that day. I've regretted those words almost before they left my mouth. I've loved you although you've moved on and I find myself loving you more as time goes on."

Those words break through to him and his lips are on hers before she can blink. "I love you too," he murmurs into her mouth before they're too busy kissing, too busy being together once more, to do anything else except live.

Author's note: I would love to know what you thought of this fic, good or bad. Please review.

And just a response to a reveiw from Stoneheart about my last fic -- It has been awhile since I was regularly posting fics, hasn't it? Well part of the reason for that is that I've been writing stuff like this that's really too short to post. Anyway, shall hopefully be posting more often again soon.