A/N: hello this is chapter 11 and the chapter you have probably all been waiting for. I'm not saying anymore on that hee hee. I'm sorry about the cliffy in chapter 10 but I felt that I needed 2 take more time 2 write what happens between Harry and Hermione. I didn't want to rush it.

Disclaimer: For the final time (sniff sniff lol) I don't own anything-only the plot.

Chapter 11

Harry put Hermione down carefully and looked into her eyes. They were still full of hate.

"Thanks," he muttered quietly.

Hermione gave an annoyed sigh and walked a few paces away from Harry. The fall left her feeling quite cold even though it was a warm night. She started rubbing her shoulders. She looked at Harry but then quickly turned her back on him. She couldn't even bear to look with him right now. She was mentally hitting herself. Why did she have to say that – 5 minutes? Okay it wasn't long but she knew that Harry would not give up. That was the problem though…she had always found it hard to say no to him, even for things like letting him copy her homework. She didn't want to forgive him after what he had done…this wasn't going to be easy.

Harry wanted to ask for longer. 5 minutes? That wasn't anything! But from the look on Hermione's face, he knew that he was lucky to get five minutes at all and more importantly he was lucky enough to find her in the first place. She could have died. Harry quickly put that out of his mind and looked at Hermione. She was rubbing her arms for warmth but she still had her back to him. This wasn't going to be easy.

Harry walked slowly up to Hermione, untied his robe and placed it gently over Hermione's shoulders. As if it was poisonous she quickly shook it off her so it fell on the ground in a heap.

"Don't bother," she spat.

The pair just stood in an awkward silence for a couple of minutes. Neither knew what to say to one another. It was so tense that you could cut the atmosphere with a knife. Hermione couldn't bear it for very long.

"Well?" she said. "What do you want?"

Harry was speechless. Ever since he had saw Hermione when he was with Cho, he had been thinking of a million things to say to Hermione to apologise. There were so many things that he had planned to say, things that he needed to say…but he couldn't speak.

"Well if you aren't going to say anything I might as well just go." said Hermione. Still Harry remained silent. "What's wrong Harry? Where's your Gryffindor courage now?"

She quickly turned round and started to walk away.

"Hermione please don't do this," said Harry. Even though Hermione had every right to be angry he thought that that comment was a bit too harsh but he also knew that he couldn't remain silent. After all, he only had five minutes.

Hermione stopped, turned to face Harry and crossed her arms over her chest. She immediately regretted saying that. Harry was without a doubt the bravest person she had ever met. He had survived Voldemort 5 times and had saved her life…but now he couldn't even say sorry!

Harry started fidgeting with the corner of his robes and stared at the floor. "I can't even tell you how sorry I am I just-"

"Why Harry?" said Hermione, clearly not caring that she had interrupted him.

"Huh? What do you mean?"

"You know damn well what I mean Harry." she shouted. "If you wanted to be with Cho tonight you could have had the decency to tell me."

"But I didn't want to be with Cho. Hermione you don't understand."

"No that's where you're wrong. I understand perfectly…I…I loved you Harry."

Just then Hermione bust into uncontrollable tears. Harry had never seen anybody cry like that but it was what Hermione said that shocked him even more. She loved him. Even though she had told him in the letter it only now just sunk in. Harry had no idea that she had felt the same.

"Look I've had enough just leave me alone." sobbed Hermione.

Hermione ran as fast as she could towards the castle but Harry soon caught up with her. Force fully he grabbed her arm and pulled her to a halt.

"NO Hermione. I'm not leaving you until you know the truth."

"I ALREADY KNOW IT!" she screamed.

Harry used his free arm to quickly pull out a piece of parchment from his robe pocket.

"No you don't. Read this." He said forcefully. Hermione didn't take it. "Please Hermione…I'm begging you please read it."

Just like she thought she would, Hermione was now struggling to say no. She grabbed the piece of parchment and sat under the tree where Harry, Ron and herself usually studied. She used Harry's robe to sit on so that her dress didn't get dirty. She began to read the parchment and Harry slowly sat down beside her.

Dear Harry,

I'm glad to hear that you feel terrible about what happened last night. You deserve it but I certainly didn't!!

How dare you shout at me like that! I was only trying to help, you know. Now I wish that I had never bothered.

And another thing, will you stop going on about Sirius. I'm sorry that he's dead and everything but I've had enough of you being miserable every single bloody day. You have to forget him and get on with your life!

You really hurt me Harry, I hope you know that. No, I don't accept your apology. It will take a lot more than that to rebuild our friendship.

Also I can't believe that you thought I would go to the ball with you after this! Sorry but go find a girl who will actually put up with you being miserable every day!

Hermione

P.S oh yeah and thanks for the flowers and breakfast.

Hermione finished reading and stared at disbelief at the note.

"What on earth? This is absurd...I didn't write this!" snapped Hermione.

"I thought you did. I hadn't received a reply from you all day so Ron and I were waiting in our dorm. Cho came in and gave me the note. She said it was from you."

"But I didn't give her that. How could you not tell that she was lying?" Hermione asked angrily.

"She said that she got it from a house elf. I was guessing that it was Dobby so I believed her."

"That still doesn't explain how you ended up snogging Cho. Why did you ask me to the ball if you liked her?"

"I don't like her Hermione and I'm still asking myself why I did that. I know this is hard to believe but she kissed me. I tried to push her off me but-"

"Well you're right about one thing Harry, this is hard to believe."

"I was just so upset. I thought that it was you that said all those horrible things. I…felt numb."

"I would never say those things Harry," said Hermione as if what he had said was ridiculous. "Especially about Sirius."

"But you were so angry." said Harry. "I was so upset and Cho was the only one there. All I could think about was you and before I knew it, Cho was kissing me...and…"

Harry couldn't continue. He started crying silently but the emotion was still there. Hermione was shocked; she had never seen him cry like this, not even at Sirius's death. She knew now that he meant what he said. The sight of him crying made her cry even more.

"Didn't you even get my note?" she asked through sobs.

"Yes. It fell out of Cho's pocket. When I realised the truth I kicked her out. I was so angry and I hated myself for what I did to you. I still hate myself now and I always will."

Hermione cautiously sat closer to him. He was now speaking so silently that she had to lean in closer to hear him.

"Seeing you there Hermione, you...you looked so beautiful...I was speechless. But seeing your face and the fact that it was my fault…I…felt dirty...I wanted to die there and then."

He turned to face her. She was still crying but silently. Harry gathered up his courage and hesitantly placed her hand in his. Hermione tensed ever so slightly but to Harry's relief, she didn't pull away.

"Harry I know I've already said this but you really did hurt me and I never expected it from you. You're my best friend…I trusted you with my life."

"And I don't want that to change. Hermione, you have to understand. Cho means nothing to me; she just caught me at my weakest point. For as long as I can remember I have known that there has been something missing in my life...well...someone actually."

Here they came, Harry could feel them coming from his heart and into his voice-box. Those 3 immortal words...

"I love you Hermione."

Hermione was speechless. She had always dreamed of this moment – for Harry to say that to her. But she never thought that it would come true. Not that it had, it seemed unreal.

"You…you love me?"

"Of course I do. I love everything about you. You're beautiful! I love your smile, your eyes, your kindness, your bravery, how you twist your hair around your finger when you're studying, how you always tell off me and Ron for not doing homework, how you always helped me no matter what. And for that I can never thank you enough."

Hermione smiled through her tear filled eyes. "You don't need to thank me you idiot...but...how…"

"What?"

"How do I know that I can trust you?"

"Hermione, I don't know how I could cope without you. You are the bloody reason why I'm still here!"

Hermione let out a small giggle at this. It was the best sound Harry had heard in ages. He grabbed her other hand so that he was holding them both tightly.

"I'm not joking...I look at myself ten years from now and I see you, not Cho or any other random girl. I see you and me together. Cho may be my past but you're my future."

Harry dug into his pocket and pulled out a very old looking piece of parchment.

"I've had this for months but I was saving it for tonight…Sirius told me it was my mums favourite song...it was the song my mum and dad first danced to as a couple…and it was their wedding song. Now it's for you."

Hermione curiously took the piece of parchment and read.

From James to his Lily

Now from Harry to his Hermione

I wanna make you smile,

whenever you're sad.

Carry you around when your arthritis is bad.

Oh, all I wanna do, is grow old with you.

I'll get your medicine when your tummy aches,

Build you a fire if the furnace breaks.

Oh, it could be so nice, growin' old with you.

I'll miss you, kiss you,

Give you my coat when you are cold,

need you, feed you.

I'll even let you hold the remote control.

So let me do the dishes in our kitchen sink,

put you to bed when you've had too much to drink.

Oh I could be the man who grows old with you.

I wanna grow old with you...

That was all Hermione needed. All memories from the previous 24 hours were temporarily gone. She loved Harry and he loved her-that was all she needed.

For the billionth time that day, she burst into tears.

"Oh crap I've done it again Hermione I'm so sorry if you didn't like it I-"

To Harry great surprise Hermione shook her head and was laughing slightly.

"Harry you really are an idiot…but I love you."

Suddenly, almost violently Hermione flung her arms around Harry in a tight embrace. They both stood up and faced each other. Hermione's arms were around Harry neck and his were wrapped tightly around her waist.

"You look beautiful Hermione, I love you,"

"I love you too Harry,"

They both leaned in slowly and their lips met in their first kiss. Both were overcome with emotion and immediately knew that it was right! From that moment both knew that there was no other person for them.

After a short while Harry broke the kiss. He had never had so much energy in his life. He picked Hermione up and spun her round. Hermione screamed with enjoyment and laughed at how stupid he was being.

"Harry...put...me…DOWN!!" she screamed through laughter.

"Yes ma'am," said Harry.

He placed her down and noticed that his cloak was still on the ground. Hopefully being second time lucky, he picked it up and placed it round Hermione' shoulders. To Harry's relief, she snuggled into it like it was a warm blanket.

"Thank you," she said.

"Listen Hermione, I know things may be hard at first but I want to prove to you that you can trust me again. I will never do anything like that again…I promise."

"Cross your heart and hope to die?" she mocked.

"Stick a needle in my eye," he answered back.

Hermione laughed and kissed his check.

"I understand if you want to just go to bed now," said Harry. "I know tonight hasn't been your most enjoyable night."

"Perhaps not but it has been the most important. Now I have you. Besides the ball isn't over yet and I'm sure that Sirius would have wanted you to have fun."

Unlike the previous night, Harry fully understood what Hermione said.

"Yeah I guess you're right. He's probably up there laughing at us now."

Hermione laughed and stared at the sky, it was a beautiful night, the stars were shining down on them that was for sure.

"Coming then?" she asked. "I just want to go upstairs and clean my face. I'll meet you outside the Hall in ten minutes?

"No problem," Harry held her hand tightly and the pair walked slowly back up to the castle.

----------------------

Meanwhile Ron and Lavender were waiting anxiously in the great hall. Ron was holding on to Lavender's hand tightly as she was visibly shaking.

"They've been gone way too long," she said. "Something's happened I know it."

"Look if something had happened we would have known by now. They're probably just talking right now…actually it will probably be Harry who is doing all of the talking."

"But Ron it's been ages I don't know if-"

"Lavender, give them a chance," he interrupted. "After all, Harry has a lot of explaining to do."

"Yeah I guess," she agreed.

There was a pause between them. There was one question playing in their minds but neither had the courage to ask it. Eventually Ron gave in.

"Do you think Hermione will forgive him?" he asked.

The Hall how was slightly quieter than usual, the weird sisters were still paying but it seemed that less people were chatting. However both Ron and Lavender were too caught up in their thoughts to notice.

"Well she does love him that's obvious but then again Harry has probably near enough broken her heart. But I want them to get together, they fit so perfectly."

"Yeah we do don't we,"

Ron and Lavender got the fright of their lives. Both of their heads shot up simultaneously to see Harry and Hermione standing in front of then. Both had huge smiles in their faced but most importantly, they were holding hands!

Lavender squealed and pulled her best friend into a huge hug. Harry saw Ron look at them suspiciously, shake his head and then mutter something which sounded awfully like 'girls'.

"How are you we were so worried!" said Lavender.

"Yeah I'm fine," said Hermione. "I now know the truth."

"Well done mate," said Ron. Harry smiled at him in appreciation. "So does that mean that you two are finally an item?"

Harry wrapped his arm around Hermione's waist and pulled her close to him. "Finally yes." he repeated.

"Well I'm really happy for you both," said Lavender. However just after saying that she burst out laughing and Ron soon did too. They both immediately covered their mouths as to try to keep quiet.

"What are you two laughing about?" asked Hermione. Lavender pointed at something behind Harry and Hermione. Both turned round and they too tried to hold their laughter.

To their huge surprise Malfoy was standing next to Cho. Malfoy's nose was black and blue and was bleeding, (clearly broken), and Cho was visibly shaking from anger. Overall it was a very funny sight.

"What happened to Malfoy?" asked Harry through his laughter.

"Malfoy threatened me a bit and was saying some horrible things about Ron's family," said Lavender.

"Let's just say I got to do something that I have wanted to do for years!" said Ron. "Break Malfoy's greasy nose."

Suddenly the four of them burst out laughing and they soon caught the attention of many students in the hall, including Malfoy and Cho. Cho took one look at Harry and Hermione with their arms around each other and was absolutely livid. She turned her back on them and continued to fuss over Malfoy.

Suddenly Harry grabbed hold of Hermione's hand and began to drag her across the Hall towards Malfoy and Cho. Hermione soon stopped him.

"Harry what are you doing?" asked Hermione.

"I just want to prove to them that they haven't won," he answered through gritted teeth.

"Well why didn't you say so?" asked Hermione as she raised her wand. "Tearium."

Harry turned round to look at Cho. He noticed that threads at the bottom of her dress were loose and her dress was beginning to unravel!

It took a while for anyone to notice as it was quite slow but soon the hall was filled with giggles from the girls and wolf-whistles from the boys. Cho turned round to see what was going on and she noticed that nearly every guy in the hall had their eyes focused on her legs. For a moment she took it as a massive compliment and winked but she looked down to see her thighs on show and her dress quickly disappearing before her eyes.

Cho screamed and ran as fast as she could out of the Great Hall before anybody saw anything else (to many of the boy's disappointment!). Malfoy (who still had his hands over his nose) ran after her.

Soon the Hall had calmed down and Harry turned to face his girlfriend. (How great that word was!)

"That was amazing!" said Harry.

"I never knew you had it in you!" said Ron.

"Yeah well that bitch deserved it. Hermione one, Cho nil!"

Harry wrapped his arms around her and gave her a long kiss on the lips.

"Get a room!" shouted Ron.

They broke apart and Harry leaned in to Hermione's ear. "Wait here," he whispered.

Hermione looked at him suspiciously and watched him go up to the top of the Hall. He was soon lost in the crowd.

"I'm really glad you're ok," said Lavender.

"Thanks Lav so am I,"

Harry quickly returned and joined the group.

"What were you doing?" asked Hermione.

Suddenly, in contrast to the upbeat music playing previously, slow, beautiful music started playing.

"May I have this dance?" asked Harry.

"Of course," said Hermione.

Harry led her to the middle of the dance floor. He wrapped his arms around her waist and she wrapped hers around his neck.

"I thought you don't like dancing?" said Hermione.

"I know," said Harry. "But I'm with you now."

The Weird Sisters started singing and Hermione instantly recognised the lyrics. It was the song that was written on the parchment Harry gave to her.

"For our first dance together," said Harry.

"But not the last," said Hermione as she kissed Harry on the lips and rested her head on his shoulder as they swayed to the music.

"Oh and by the way, thank you for the album, it's the best present anyone has given to me," said Harry.

"No problem," said Hermione. "I wanted it to be special but you can add any pictures you want to at the end,"

"I will…don't worry about that…most of them will be of you."

Hermione smiled and listened to the words of the music, she couldn't believe that Harry's mum and dad had done the exact same thing all those years ago. It was the best night of her life. Both Hermione and Harry would never forget this moment.

-----------------

About an hour later many people had left the hall. Only about thirty remained. Hermione and Lavender were in one corner chatting with Parvati while Harry and Ron were crowded around the buffet table (which was just about empty by now with a big help from Ron of course!)

Dean and Neville had spent the whole night wolf whistling at Harry, Ron, Hermione and Lavender and shouting the odd "Get a room" every now and then. Now it was payback time!

"You know they don't know what they're missing by not having a girlfriend," laughed Ron.

"Yeah but this will teach them," said Harry as he dropped something into two mugs of butterbeer. "This will be hilarious!"

The two boys laughed and turned to walk over to the two boys. They were both holding two butterbeers. The one in their right hands being the 'dodgy' one.

The girls saw them holding the drinks and walked quickly towards them.

"Hi guys," said Lavender. Both took a butterbeer from the boys. "Thanks, we were dying over there!"

Both girls took a huge gulp from their drinks. Harry and Ron looked down to notice that their right hands were now empty. Oh no.

Harry and Ron laughed nervously at the girls and Hermione noticed that Ron's ears were begging to turn red. Something was going on.

"What?" asked Hermione.

However she didn't need to wait long for an answer. Suddenly both Hermione and Lavender started meowing like cats (pretty loudly)…and purring!

Thankfully it didn't last long and both girls put their hands over their mouths in shock. Unluckily, everyone on the Hall heard and there was an eruption of laughter. Dean and Neville were the worst.

"Now this is more like a party!" shouted Dean. He then wolf whistled at them "Go girls! Meow!"

The two girls were mortified but they had a funny feeling who was behind it. Harry and Ron put down their other butterbeers and fought so hard not to laugh.

"Harry Potter?" asked Hermione curiously.

"Ronald Weasley?" asked Lavender in exactly the same tone of voice as Hermione.

Harry gulped nervously "Well…eh…you see we kinda put...a …sweet in…the…..eh"

"Well…it…wasn't for you but….funny….and…eh…RUN MATE!!!!"

Harry and Ron turned and ran for their lives out of the Hall, but the girls (who quickly took off their shoes) were soon on their tail.

"YOU TWO ARE DEAD!"

And lets just say that the biggest pillow fight in Hogwarts history took place that night…in the Gryffindor Common room.

A/N That's all folks! I can't believe it's finished!! (Tear) it was my first fanfic and I really enjoyed writing it! Thank you to every1 for all of their support.

I have an idea for an epilogue – a one shot of exactly one year later. Tell me what you think of this idea and it will probably be posted within 2 or 3 weeks. But after that, this fanfic is complete!

So what do you think? Of this chapter and of the story as a whole! Please let me know it would be fab if I got over 100. But please no flames.

Stephy xx