Disclaimer:I don't earn any money on this and anything you recognize don't belong to me.
English isn't my first language so if you find grammar mistakes please let me know I'll happily correct them.
AN: I'm probably messing a bit around with the timeline, and I know Hermione is supposed to be in the hospital wing after the DoM, but let's just say her injuries weren't as extensive/ more easily healed or she's just stubborn when it comes to Harry. I have no idea how the muggle studies OWL exam is supposed to be, and I know Hermione didn't take the class to that level, but in this universe she did.
How his destiny suddenly didn't seem so bleak
She finally found him sitting brokenly surrounded by destroyed furniture in an abandon classroom, his pain visible for all to see.
"Harry?" she said tentatively
"Go away. Just please go away, Hermione" He sounded so broken that actually debated with herself if she should comply with his wishes. In the end she decided to do the opposite, she quietly warded the door, to prevent anyone else from hearing them and/or entering the classroom, before she went and placed her arms around him. His body went completely rigid, and he made a token of an effort to push her away, but in the end he sagged against her and sobbed his heart out.
When Harry became aware of his surroundings again he realized he was practically lying in her lap, with her stroking his hair and back, while making comforting murmurs. Sitting up and hesitantly glancing at her face, he realized her face was lined with almost dry tear tracks. When he looked questioningly at her she just said: "I'm so sorry about Sirius, Harry, so sorry!". He just nodded sadly.
For several long moments the only sound that could be heard in the room was their quiet breathing, but then Harry took a deep breath saying softly: "Hermione, I don't think we should be friends anymore". She froze and the before comforting silence was suddenly deafening. "What" she managed to croak. "I don't think we should be friends anymore" he repeated, "As a matter of fact you should probably stay as far away from me as possible".
"Why ?" she exclaimed.
"It's for the best"
"THE BEST?!" she practically shrieked and jumped to her feet, and before he could answer she continued: "NO! You don't get to just tell me to stay away from you after five, FIVE, years of being my best friend, because you think it's for the best! You had better give me an explanation as to how you reached that conclusion, so I can tell you how monumentally stupid it is"
On some level he knew he was stupid, that he would need her, but at that moment he was just angry, so he jumped to his feet as well and yelled: "Don't you see I'm dangerous to be around! You just got hurt because of ME! And now Dumbledore just showed me… Goddammit it's up to me, I have to kill…. Hermione I can't kill Him I don't even know where to begin"
His frustration calmed her, and she just took his hand softly saying: "Kill whom Harry? What did Dumbledore say?"
"There's a prophecy" He quietly confessed, and knowing Hermione's opinion in prophecies, her only response of a loud scoff didn't surprise Harry.
So Harry just continued, figuring he might as well tell her everything, to make her realize how dangerous he really was: "The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches… born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh moth dies… and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not… and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives… the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies…" He took a deep breath, while looking into her doubtful eyes, before he continued: "It's about me, I have the kill Voldemort. And he knows it, that's why he keeps coming after me. Dumbledore just showed me the prophecy, apparently it was said before him, when my mother was pregnant, that's why my parents went into hiding. So now do you see I'm dangerous, He is just going to keep coming after me, so you won't be safe around me". He finished looking down, not able to bear watching her walk away.
It felt like forever, but in all honesty it was probably no more than a couple of seconds before he felt her hands on his shoulders "Harry, look at me. Please", when he slowly raised his eyes she continued: "this is bad Harry, but come on, it's not like we haven't realized he was after you, this just makes it official and explains why. If you think I'm going to walk away from you because of that you are seriously lacking some brain cells! We are a team, we save each other, it's what we done since first year here at this madhouse, and nothing is going to chance that" she finished softly, surprising the first smile out of Harry since the death of his godfather.
Harry's mood sobered quickly though "He is dangerous Hermione. I mean Dumbledore struggled to hold him off, the only reason we all survived at the Department of Mysteries was because the entire bloody ministry showed up".
Instead of the usual platitudes, Hermione threw him for a loop when she responded with: "Harry, what would you say was the greatest achievement of the non-magical in the past hundred years?"
"What the fuck! Whats that gotta do with anything!" he said, his confusion and anger apparent.
"Just humour me, please. I swear there is a point to this."
He took a very deep breath before deciding to hesitantly answer: "I don't know exactly what to choose; I mean there a so many things. Spacecraft is amazing, landing on the moon and all, but maybe the internet, or computers, modern cars, electric cars, airplanes, hell transportation in general. Or maybe all of the modern electronic or mechanics for the home, that have made everyday life so much easier than it used to be. Perhaps the atomic bomb, horrible as it is. Or any of the physical, biological or medical advances, the whole gene mapping thing they been doing, and didn't you mention something about a cloned sheep?"
Through it all his confusion hadn't disappeared and Hermione had just been sitting there nodding at him.
"Exactly Harry. I just had my oral muggle studies exam a couple of days ago, and they asked me that exact question. I started thinking and saying along the same lines as you. But they just looked at me confused, I clearly wasn't saying what they were looking to hear, so I thought maybe they weren't thinking in terms of inventions or knowledge, maybe it was supposed to be something cultural, something historical, so I thought maybe giving women the right to vote, ending segregation, ending apartheid, the fall of the Berlin wall. But clearly it wasn't any of that either so I fell silent. Do you know what professor Burbage, finally said? She said and I quote: 'It's the invention of the horseless carriage miss Granger. It's an easy question, we have covered that in class, you should have remembered'. The horseless carriage?! I asked her if she meant the combustion engine or maybe the modern car. And she just looked down her nose at me, and said; no she meant the horseless carriage."
"The horseless carriage?" Was Harry's only comment, and while it was clear he was as confused by that as she was, he still didn't get her point, so she continued: "I just walked out of the room, I figured it was pointless, so I went to talk to professor McGonagall, do you know what she said?" It was obvious to Harry that she had found the whole experience incredulous so he just mutely shook his head, allowing her to continue "She just told me everyone knew it was the horseless carriage, it had been on the curriculum when she was a student as well! I couldn't even help it, I just blurted out that maybe that was the problem, there had been a lot of progress the last 50 years. She looked scandalized, but I just continued and asked her if she hadn't noticed the progress when she went and explained magic to muggleborns. And she just told me that maybe I shouldn't take the class if I didn't agree with what was being taught. When I told her it wasn't about agreeing with what was being taught, it was about the fact that what was being taught was wrong, she just dismissed me. I tried going to Dumbledore, but he just offered me a lemon drop and told me that I may be intelligent but I didn't know everything, and he had every faith in the curriculum being taught." She looked so forlorn saying that but Harry still didn't understand.
"Okay so I get that our professors don't know much about the non-magical world, but what exactly does that have to do with what I was saying?"
"Oh Harry, don't you see? They don't know everything, as a matter of fact when it comes to our world they hardly know anything!" She said pointedly.
"So you are saying I should challenge Voldemort to a duel in knowledge about the non-magical world?" He sounded confused, but Hermione realized he was tired, grieving for Sirius and angry with the world for thrusting this destiny upon him, so she decided to just be straight with him,
"Harry you mentioned the atomic bomb, while rather extensive how do you think He could defend himself against that?" she asked.
"Well you can't defend yourself against that, but we can't exactly drop a nuke over England either".
"I know, but how about guns, sniper rifles to be precise, missiles, airborne poisons? Do you think the people who think the horseless carriage is the greatest achievement for the non-magical in the past century, an achievement that apparently haven't been surpassed since McGonagall was a student, would know anything about that?" She said smiling
Harry finally smiled and threw his arms around her laughing, suddenly realizing he had hope. "You're right! I'm stupid for thinking that I have to face Him in a duel just because Dumbledore thinks it's the best idea" He said laughingly.
An:If you read so far, thank you for taking the time, I hope you enjoyed it :)