A/N: This was written in response to Kristen Elizabeth's challenge over at the H/Hr forum on Portkey, to write an interview for Harry and Hermione in the style of the interviews in the movie, "When Harry Met Sally". Enjoy! Oh and standard disclaimers apply. I own nothing except the plot and Emily.
The Power of Love
The young woman approached the house with some nervousness. Ok, she told herself, relax. They're just like any other couple, just relax. You can do this. You've done it before, just like any other interview.
But she knew. They weren't "just any other couple". They were the most famous couple that Hogwarts had ever produced. She had grown up hearing their names. Every little girl dreamed of having a love like theirs. Harry Potter and Hermione Granger Potter. They were the most famous couple in the wizarding world.
She was at the door now. She knocked, with some trepidation, taking deep breaths, trying to calm herself.
The door opened.
It was him, in person. Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived and the wizard who'd twice defeated Voldemort. The same green eyes, messy black hair, although it was now salt-and-pepper, and that famous lightning-bolt scar, just off the center of his forehead.
She took a last deep breath for courage and smiled as she held out her hand. "Hi, Mr. Potter. I'm Emily Browning. I'm here for Witch Weekly's special on Hogwarts couples."
He smiled back as he shook her hand cordially. "Of course, yes. We've been expecting you. Come on in."
"Hermione, the interviewer's here!" he called, as she entered the house.
It was a nice house, a comfortable one, furnished cheerfully and practically.
A woman came down the stairs and entered the living room, smiling in a friendly fashion. "Hello. I'm Hermione Potter."
Emily smiled back involuntarily at the woman in front of her, the most famous witch of her time. She had an aura about her, one of dignity that commanded respect. But this was belied by the kindness in her eyes and smile. Her hair was graying, and there were wrinkles around her eyes, but she was still a remarkably pretty woman for her age.
She was a fitting match for Harry Potter, who, at 55, was still a very handsome man.
He was one of the few wizards over 50 who still regularly appeared on the lists of Most Attractive Wizards and Witch Weekly's Most Charming Smile.
Hermione took a seat next to her husband on the love-seat. He put his arm around her in a gesture that was so obviously spontaneous, it was clear that it came naturally to him.
Emily took out a Quick Notes Quill and a roll of parchment.
"Well, as I told you in my owl, Witch Weekly is working on a special issue to be released on Valentine's Day next year, on couples who met at Hogwarts. And you two, as Hogwarts' most famous couple, naturally must be included. I've already spoken with several of your classmates, Mr. and Mrs. Ron Weasley, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas, as well as Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy. Basically, I'm here to find out more about how you ended up together. Naturally, I as well as the rest of the wizarding world is familiar with the basics, that you first met on the Hogwarts Express when you were 11, have been best friends since your first year and that you both were at the Last Battle against You-Know-Who. What we're interested in is the private story that only you know about what happened that led to your marriage."
Great ghost, she couldn't believe she was saying this to the most famous couple alive. Asking them to explain a love that was legendary. She took another breath and forced herself to look up at the two of them.
Hermione spoke first, sensing the reporter's uneasiness. "Of course, we would be happy to tell you everything you need to know, wouldn't we, Harry?"
He nodded in assent, looking tenderly at his wife.
Emily couldn't help but notice. It was becoming clear that whatever else had changed over the years, Harry Potter was still as much in love with his wife as ever and she with him. "Thank you, Mrs. Potter. I guess I just want to know your side of the story. When did you first realize you were in love with Mr. Potter?" She cringed at the personal question. There were times when she really hated that she had been given this assignment. It seemed so intrusive, asking about such personal things. Both of them, however, looked unfazed. Clearly they'd been asked about all this before. They exchanged speaking glances before Hermione began.
"When did I fall in love with Harry… that's actually a good question," she laughed. "I'm not sure exactly when it happened, it just did, really. I suppose it had to happen. We were best friends and so close for so long. And then one day I just realized that I didn't just love Harry as a friend but that I was in love with him."
She reached over and squeezed her husband's hand, who squeezed it in return.
"We were in the library, studying for our N.E.W.T's and Harry looked up and insisted that we go out for some air, saying I had bags under my eyes and looked as if I hadn't slept in days." She glanced at her husband who looked appropriately sheepish. "That's Harry for you, always so complimentary." She continued on, smiling somewhat dreamily as she remembered. "And I just looked into his eyes and I knew. He was always making me take breaks from studying. I think if it weren't for him I'd never have set foot outside of Hogwarts our 6th year."
"You wouldn't have," Harry interrupted then. "You practically moved into the library. I was surprised you didn't bring your trunk with you. That was why I insisted you take breaks outside. I was worried you'd study yourself into your grave."
She smiled at him and for a minute, Emily could see, they forgot about her presence entirely, as brown eyes smiled into green. She suppressed a smile and made sure to note this moment down.
The moment ended though and they came back to earth. Emily hid her amusement as she turned to Harry, asking, "Then when did you fall in love with Mrs. Potter?"
His brow crinkled as he thought about it. He opened his mouth, closed it, and then finally said, "I don't know."
Hermione laughed at this answer. "Oh come on, Harry, you can do better than that."
He laughed too and continued. "Well, I never really knew it consciously, although I know it must have started sometime during 5th year. I was afraid Hermione and Ron would be hurt because of their friendship with me and tried to distance myself from them, but they both stuck by me. And I think I started to realize then just how much I needed them, needed her. It was in 6th year that I really started to notice whenever she was around. She'd always been pretty but it was then that I started to see how beautiful she was." He smiled at his wife, who smiled back and pressed the hand that was on her knee.
He paused, thinking about it. "I still didn't know I was in love with her until towards the end of 7th year, though." He stopped, his smile fading and his green eyes darkening in remembered pain. "At the Last Battle."
He fell silent, his eyes darkened and unfocused as he replayed in his head images that had haunted his dreams and waking moments for so long after it was over. Hermione squeezed his hand sympathetically, her brown eyes warm and understanding. She knew, she'd gone through it all with him.
Curses and hexes were flying all over the place.
Harry ducked a curse, shouting "Petrificus Totalus" as another Death Eater ran toward him, wand in hand.
All around him, his friends and allies were fighting. Some were wounded but were still blocking curses and continuing to defend themselves gamely.
They were winning, though. The Death Eaters had lost heart and their numbers had been significantly decreased already. But more Death Eaters kept on coming, sending curses and hexes their way. The air smelled of it, all the Dark Magic constantly in use.
Somewhere close by, Harry heard someone scream from a Crucio and winced.
"Harry! Look out!"
Harry whipped around, sending another Death Eater flying as he muttered "Wingardium Leviosa", and he saw what had made Hermione cry out.
The sounds of the battle taking place was drowned out by the buzzing that was in his ears suddenly and Harry was aware of only the pain in his scar, that felt like it was ripping his skull apart and the coldness in the red eyes that were fixed on him out of that snake-like face.
Voldemort. His mind screamed the name in sheer fury, as he faced the wizard that had murdered his parents, killed Dumbledore, and caused the deaths of so many other people.
"Well, well, well, if it isn't Harry Potter," Voldemort said in his strangely hissing voice, making Harry's name sound like a curse in itself. "Come to die, have you, Potter?" And his cold, cruel laughter rang out, sending a chill straight through to Harry's heart.
"You're the one who's going to die, Voldemort," Harry said in a low voice that yet had an undercurrent of danger and sheer power in it.
Vaguely he was aware that the battle seemed to have paused while everyone looked at the two central figures, the acknowledged leaders of both sides. All who were there knew that one or the other would never walk away from that battle. It would be over, one way or another that day.
They knew and so they watched the face-off.
"Ha!" Voldemort spat. "Still over-confident, Potter. That's going to get you killed, you know. Just like your pathetic father and your Mudblood of a mother."
Harry was trembling, his hand clutching his wand as if he would never let go, forcing himself to stay silent. Voldemort was just baiting him, trying to anger him into distraction.
Abruptly, Voldemort turned, pointing his wand off to the side, as he said "Crucio" almost casually.
Hermione screamed in agony, feeling the sheer physical pain of it, as if knives were stabbing every inch of her, as if her body was being ripped apart from within.
Harry felt rage such as he had never known build up in his body, rage that he released in a roar. "Nooooo!"
He had killed his parents, he had killed his two mentors. He was NOT going to kill the woman he loved.
His heart seemed to stop at that realization, even while he knew it was absolutely true. He loved Hermione and if he died in the process, he was going to make sure that she lived.
Somewhere in his mind, through the sound of Hermione's scream that was ringing in his ears, he heard Dumbledore's voice saying, "Love, Harry, is a powerful thing. Possibly the most powerful thing in the world and it is the one thing that Voldemort knows nothing of…"
And suddenly, Harry knew with a cold certainty what he was to do.
He thought of all the people he loved. He saw his parents' faces, he saw Dumbledore, he saw Hagrid, he saw Sirius and Remus, he saw Ron and all the Weasleys and standing out among them all, he saw Hermione.
He pointed his wand at Voldemort, who had put another "Crucio" on Hermione and was laughing his cold, cruel laugh at her screams. With Hermione's face in his mind, her voice in his ears, he roared, "Avada Kedavra!" with all the force of rage and the power of love, feeling it running through his body and into his wand.
There was a blinding flash of green light that shot from Harry's wand with all the power of the love that had fueled it and Voldemort shrieked as the light hit him squarely in the chest.
The light got brighter and brighter, until Harry had to close his eyes, as Voldemort's last dying scream seemed to go on and on.
And then there was silence.
Harry opened his eyes. Where Voldemort had been, there was only a pile of black robes with his wand lying beside it.
Hermione was lying curled up on the ground, bruised and he could see blood on her face and hands. But she was alive. Relief hit him so hard his knees nearly buckled.
All around him, he could see his friends approaching. The Death Eaters were gone. They had vanished with the destruction of Voldemort. In a last burst of malignity, he had called them to him with the Dark Mark, destroying them as well.
Slowly, he approached the heap of cloth and piece of wood that was all that was left of his arch nemesis that had haunted him for the past 7 years. Deliberately, he bent, picked up Voldemort's wand and broke it. It should never again be used for the evil that Voldemort had unleashed with it. Just as deliberately, he pointed his own wand at the pile of cloth and said, "Incendio totalus" watching as Voldemort's robes burst into flame before disintegrating before his eyes. It was finished.
Harry turned away, feeling strangely numb, avoiding the eyes of Ron and Sirius who had come to stand beside him.
His steps were swift as he knelt by Hermione.
She was crying, tears streaking through the dirt and blood on her face in a truly horrible fashion. She was still the most beautiful girl he'd ever seen.
She looked up at him. "Harry…" And at the sound of her voice, the touch of her hand on his, the numbness vanished leaving soul-deep relief and the knowledge of his love for her.
He pulled her into his arms, holding her against his chest. "Thank God you're alright. It's over now, it's all over," he repeated, as if to reassure himself as much as her.
"Harry, are you alright?"
Harry's heart swelled. She had been hit by the Cruciatus twice, she was bruised, bleeding and yet, she still worried about him.
He pulled back, wiping away the tears that were still on her cheeks. "I love you, Hermione," he said simply.
Tears welled up in her brown eyes and she clutched him tighter. "Oh, Harry, I love you too." And then her eyes rolled back in her head as Hermione finally succumbed to the pain and exhaustion she was feeling and fainted.
Harry blinked, light coming back to his green eyes, as he looked at his wife.
And as Emily watched, he lifted her hand to his lips, kissing it, as his eyes expressed his love.
Emily looked away, feeling abashed and suddenly uncomfortable, as if she was intruding on a private moment.
Emily stood up, causing both Harry and Hermione to look up at her, startled. "I think I have enough material now for the interview. Thank you again for agreeing to speak with me."
They both stood, in unison, still holding hands.
"Oh, I do hope we haven't made you uncomfortable or scared you or anything." Hermione's voice was sincere, as were her eyes.
Emily smiled. "Oh, no, I really am grateful to you both for agreeing to speak with me and I think this is plenty of material for Witch Weekly. I really appreciate it. And you will, of course, be receiving a complimentary copy of the special edition when it is released."
She shook hands with them both and left the house, feeling their eyes on her as she walked away.
When she reached the end of the street, she looked back at the house that looked so similar to others on the street, with no indication that within those walls lived two of the most famous wizards of their time. Harry and Hermione were still standing in the open doorway, but no longer watching her. They were kissing. It was a gentle kiss, not at all indecent or inappropriate even considering they were standing in an open doorway.
Emily smiled. And now she knew just why Harry Potter and Hermione Granger were known as the Golden Couple of Hogwarts.
Valentine's Day, the following year.
Emily waited impatiently for the special edition of Witch Weekly's "Love at Hogwarts" to be released.
Finally, with a fluttering of wings, delivery owls flew in, dropping stacks of the magazine on each desk.
Emily grabbed one and opened it up to the page on Harry and Hermione.
On it was a picture of the two of them, smiling at each other, with their hands entwined. And even as Emily watched, photo-Harry reached over and kissed photo-Hermione.
The article was very brief, in comparison to the others, but Emily, reading what she had written the evening after speaking with them, knew that it was enough.
Harry Potter and Hermione Granger are the Golden Couple. They were married three years after their graduation from Hogwarts and have 2 children, who are both happily married.
Ask them to tell their love story and they will say they don't know. And it is true. Their love is not one that can be told in a simple story, not a love that can be explained or reasoned. It is a love that grew out of years of friendship and is built on years of trust and understanding. It is a love that still shines out of their eyes when they look at each other. It is a love that can save the world, and indeed, did save the world.
Harry Potter did not defeat Lord Voldemort. He would be the first to tell you that. Love defeated Lord Voldemort, the love that they felt then that has only grown stronger with time.
There is no more to be said, no more that can be said to do justice to the power of their love.
I can only add that, on this day that is a tribute to love and lovers everywhere, I can think of nothing more fitting than to dedicate this issue of "Love at Hogwarts" to Harry Potter and Hermione Granger Potter, the Golden Couple, for their love that changed the world.