Disclaimer: I do not own any Harry Potter characters.
Summary: Harry and Hermione are friends and live in the same house while Ron is married to Luna. Both of them are famous in both the wizarding and muggle world. A woman suddenly turns up in their doorstep with a baby telling them that the baby is not safe with her and if the people who are after her find out that the baby was hers, they would kill it. Hermione offers to look after the baby and take care of her child until her name was cleared. In this time, Harry and Hermione get closer ... Will they remain friends posing as a family..or something more? (H/Hr)
Author's Note: I know that I haven't updated this story for a while and I apologize for that. It makes me feel guilty to all those that were waiting for it and it didn't come as quickly as they hoped it would. Therefore, I have to say, now, that I can't make any promises for quick updates, mainly because I've been very busy lately.
Chapter Eight: The Letter
Harry sighed. It had been a few days already and yet, the pain was still raw. It felt like it was only yesterday that he had held her hand as she muttered her parting words. He felt a strange kind of emptiness – he felt as though he had lost a sister. In a way, he had thought on the day of her funeral, in a way, he had lost his sister. A sister that was irreplaceable.There was a quiet knock on the door that brought him out of his thoughts. He turned his head, just noticing that his cheeks were tear-stained.
"Come in!" he called out as he wiped his cheeks vigorously with the back of his hands and swung his legs over the side of the bed. "The door's open!"
The door opened, albeit cautiously.
"Oh, Harry," Hermione said softly as she entered and spotted him. She walked to his bed, sitting down beside him when he motioned for her to sit.
"Hey, 'Mione," he said weakly, trying to offer her a weak smile. Hermione was stared at him for a few moments. She shook her head lightly before she scooted closer to him, putting her hand on his arm.
"She wouldn't like you to be like this, Harry."
"I should have been there to help her," Harry whispered painfully. "I should have been there to stop the curse."
"You can't keep on doing this to yourself," Hermione told him, although Harry knew that she felt that part of it was her fault and that she was trying to be strong for him. "Being depressed wouldn't bring her back."
"I know," Harry said as he averted his eyes towards the floor. "I'm trying, but it's still painful."
"It should be, Harry," Hermione said. "She was a good person, one of your greatest friends." Harry forced a smile on his face. "Whenever you're ready, find out what she was trying to tell you. That might help."
It took a moment for Harry to realise what she was talking about.
'The letter,' Harry thought. 'I almost forgot about it.'
"Right," Harry breathed. "What would I do without you, Hermione?" he said as he looked at her.
"Probably the same thing I would do without you," Hermione smiled, a strange look in her eyes, but the moment it appeared, it was gone. She got up and walked to the door. "Ron and Luna are downstairs with the kids. You can come down anytime," she said as she stepped out. "You know where to find me if you need anything."
Harry pulled out a box from underneath his bed when he heard the door close behind Hermione. He pulled back the silver clasp and looked at its contents. There was a letter stored in it. It was the only thing in it. It was Heather's last letter to him. For days, he had put off the time to finally read the letter and find out what information it held that Heather would worry so much about. Surely, it couldn't be that bad?
He took a deep breath and tore the envelope's edge. A sheet of paper fell out from it. It was folded in half and, from what he could see, it had Heather's legible, yet, a little on the sloppy side, writing.
My Dearest Harry,
I feel so silly right now! I don't even know why I'm writing this to you. I've been staring at my ceiling for the last two hours, unable to get the sleep I deserve! It's not everyday I get a lot of time-off.
Despite the situation, Harry had to crack a smile at that. It was true. During the last four months, she was never home for more than a week, and when she was there, she would mostly be sleeping. However, she still tried to spend as much time with her friends and family as she could.
Anyways, as I was saying, I don't know what to say, yet I know that I do have a lot to say …does that make sense? Well, I hope it does, because I think it does and you know that what I say does make sense …most of the time anyway - doesn't it? Well, I hope it does because I think it does make sense and I like to think that I'm always right!
Harry had to read that part at least three times before he understood what she was trying to say. He always knew that when his friend was nervous, she would start to say things out of blue, even in her letters.
Where was I? Oh, yes! I was saying that I didn't know what to say and that rubbish! Well, I don't. I have a weird feeling that I should write you this and I would make the biggest mistake of my life if I didn't – but I told you it's just a feeling and I'm not a very big fan of Divination. Yes, I know, I probably don't like it because of that Trelawney being a fraud and 'poisoning my mind that every Seer is like that' as you said so yourself about a few years ago, but still! Am I talking too much? I think I am …and don't roll your eyes at me!
Harry chuckled lightly.The letter was making him a tad bit better.
I guess thishas beennagging me, because I know I haven't been completely honest with you. Maybe its time that you know a few of the little things I've kept from you.
Harry raised his eyebrows at this. Was there something really this important that Heather sounded so uncharacteristically serious?
Where to start? I guess the best place to start is from the beginning of the story right? Harry, you don't know how hard it is to write this down. I'm an Auror. That's right, I'm an Auror – a Top Auror, one of the best ones around. My mission or whatever you want to call it, is to look out for you. They ordered me to watch you for whenever danger was around the corner.
Harry stared hard at her words, then laughed bitterly. So that was what this was? The friendship he had with her – the friendship he had treasured so dearly, was fake?
You have to understand that even if it began that way, me being forced to befriend you and all, it changed along the way. I didn't like the idea of babysitting a conceited, egotistical prat that Ihad once thoughtThe-Boy-Who-Lived would be. I had to do it though, or my boss would fire me. My job was to protect you no matter what from Merlin knows what. I was told to risk my life for you if worse comes to worse.
At first, you were distant from me, barely talking to me as we began our job. I was your photographer, you were my model. That was all it was to me. You were trying to order me around, but I think I gave you quite a shock when I didn't listen to you. I decided to leave things as they were, because for the first time in my life, I actually enjoyed a job.
As time passed, I actually got to like you. My job wasn't that difficult anymore. I was having fun while doing it. I knew that wasn't planned, hell I didn't even think of the possibility of befriending the Great Harry Potter. I got to know you better as you opened up to me and, eventually, you ended up as one of my best friends.
I offered the Ministry to stop paying me because it didn't seem like a job anymore. They realized after that that no one was planning an attack on you anytime soon or anything so life threatening that they would waste one of their best Aurors. They gave me a different job after that. That's why I haven't been home a lot.
After reading this, I would be mad too. Doesn't it sound so cliché?
Here, Harry couldn't help but notice that the ink was smudged due to tears. Unable to read what written next, he scanned the parchment to read the next legible writing.
I wish I told you this sooner, but I was afraid. The possibility of loosing a friend like you was even scarier that facing twenty Death Eaters single- handed. I hope you forgive me for this.
You'll always have me by your side, remember that. You'll always have Hermione and Ron, too. We're all by your side. Whatever happens, understand that I will never leave you.
Harry raised his eyebrows at what he read next. It was really out of blue. Really unexpected. Totally random. First she was confessing about the foundation of their friendship, then she was giving him advice - on his love life!
About your love life, you need to learn how to allow that other person to have a say in it. Don't go thinking that you're the only one being affected. Respect her enough to make her make her own decisions. And not everything has a happy ending. If you do have a relationship and it doesn't work out, it'll be able to move on knowing that you tried, just like I did. I made a mistake of not telling him I loved him. I don't want you to make the same mistake.
I'm really sorry again, Harry.
Harry clutched the letter in his shaking hands. How was he suppose to feel about her confession? Angry that their friendship had started forced? Disappointed that she just told him now when she had countless chances before? Annoyed that she still told him when he was perfectly happy without this information. Happy that she told him the truth? He didn't know.
However, something deep inside him was churning. He rested his backagainst the headboard, leaning his head on one of his knees, which was brought up. After reading the letter, he felt as though a large weight had been lifted of his shoulders. Then, he knew. She needed to tell him this just as much as he needed to hear her say it. He felt like their friendship wasn't truthful then, but now, it felt - well - real. He couldn't explain what it was then. It felt like a huge detail was missing, and now, he knew exactly what it was. And in time, he'd learn to accept that.
He appreciated Heather. From her annoying habits of hogging the blankets when she slept over, to her crazy and wacky advices. Just like the one she had on her letter. It was a confusing 'advice' to read. Very confusing. So confusing to him, in fact, that he guessed he would never know what she was trying to tell him. However, by believing this, it was as though he was missing very something important.
Harry smiled to himselfso suddenly, that he surprised even himself.He stood up from his position and went to the washroom to freshen up and face the day. He felt better than he had been in days. He went back out, pulling a clean shirt over his head when he suddenly froze. In the middle of the bed was another piece of parchment. He walked to it slowly, his eyes narrowed.
Harry cocked his head to the side. Was this parchment really there before? Why hadn't he noticed it? Did he just miss it from the envelope, or did an owl just deliver it now? Perhaps her – Heather's- parents found it and owled it to him.
'But that's impossible,' a voice said in his head. 'They just saw you yesterday, I'm pretty sure they should've seen it before.'
Harry agreed silently that that was a logical reason, cursing the voice for ruling out the only reason he could think of. But how would that explain the letter? He shivered as a cool breeze went inside the open window. He was standing in front of the letter as though he was expecting it to speak for itself. He decided that he just didn't see it and it had been sitting on the bed for a while now, along with the letter he had read just moments before.
Thank you for understanding. I'll always be here, by your side, no matter what.
That was all it said. it didn't say who it was from. Just those two simple sentences.
Just as he finished reading the letter, the curtain of the window moved gently. He was certain there wasn't a wind that pushed it, he was standing right behind it. Surely, he'd feel it if there was any.
And the curtain. The curtain moved as though something had just gone through it. It didn't move forcefully, like most of the winds would move it considering the season. Harry looked atthefourteen wordsfor a few long moments and smiled.
Harry walked to the large window and looked up at the sky. At that exact moment, a gentle wind came, brushing Harry's hair off his forehead, just like Heather used to do. Harry thought he heard a familiar laugh brush through with the breeze, but was not sure of it. He sighed as he leaned on the window sill. He got lost in his own thoughts and by the time he was aware of the time, it was nightfall. Instead of going out where he could hear Hermione's faint footsteps in the hall, he climed into bed. That night, he slept without his usual nightmares that started since Heather's death.
Author's Note: Hi! Really sorry if this chapter bored you. I just thought I'd show you this 'side' of Heather, and of course, to show how Harry has been coping. I'm not sure when I'll be able to update! I'm really sorry ... I just squeezed in this time from the Holidays, you know how busy they get and add in the school!