Title: Christmas Wishes

Author: Jade Skywalker

Beta Readers: None at this time, will send to them and have them look it over. I will repost at that time.

Rating: PG-13 for mild language, peril, and adult themes.

Spoilers: Books 1-5

Summary: It's seventh year, Hermione is looking back on her time at Hogwarts and all that has happened. Though her heart is filled with what she wishes would happen, what would come of her relationship with the one person in her life she loves the most, the one person she almost lost.

Warning: This story seems to have turned into a story where Ron isn't exactly shining nicely. I didn't start it out that way, it just worked. I personally have no problem with Ron, this story however, does. Another warning is the way this story is going to go, one of the characters will seem to receive a lot of training in a short amount of time, however, it'll be explained (partly) later on.

Sequel: I honestly don't know if the story is completed or not. I haven't been able to figure out how to continue on with the story. However, it does seem to be a neutral place to stop for me to be able to get this out by midnight on the Twenty-Fourth of December. If you wish to have me write more, please feel free to tell me so, and please give some hints. If enough of you wish it, so be it.

A/N: I am still working on Destiny's Ghost. My Beta's and I are working on the next two chapters. There seems to be an order error. Not to worry, the story is still progressing, just a bit slowly. Thanks to both of my Beta's, who help to keep me on track and to keep the story continuing on smoothly, and concisely; if it weren't for the both of you, this story would be one long run on sentence.

In Memory Of

Michael Linden Brown

1969-2004

Christmas Wishes

Blinking the sleep from her tired eyes, Hermione Granger reluctantly glances over at her alarm clock, only to sigh in resignation. It's five thirty in the morning, a Saturday morning at that, and here she is, unable to go back to sleep. Pushing the covers almost angrily off her, she slowly and begrudgingly begins her day.

As Hermione heads to the Head Girl's bathroom, she wonders ideally if Harry is awake yet. At this thought an evil gleam forms in her eyes, as she decides awake or not, he will be, at least when she's finished with him. With this wonderful thought in mind she turns the water on for her bath.

Sinking into the inviting warmth of the water, Hermione allows her mind to wander, only for her thoughts to focus on the past seven years of her life, here at Hogwarts. She is unable to stop the smile from forming on her face, when her thoughts inevitably seemed to settle on one person. The one person she learned of before stepping through the barrier that first day, and the one person she had never thought would affect her as much as he does. And to think, all he has to do is breathe.

Hermione's mind focuses on the beautiful, impossible emerald color of her best friend's eyes. Oh, how she loves his eyes. How she loves him and how she wishes he could, would love her back. Though she knows this to be impossible, she can't help but dream and wish it were so.

With a bone weary sigh she reluctantly forces herself to get out of the warm water and into the frigid cold air of the castle. With a shiver she quickly wraps a towel around her. As she does this, her mind changes gears and her thoughts drift back to over a year ago, back to the summer before fifth year. She knows mentally that a year is only three-hundred-and-sixty-five-and-a-quarter days ago, but her heart feels as though many lifetimes have come and gone within those seemingly endless days.

Hermione slowly and methodically sets out her clothes she's going to wear for the day with one hand while her other hand tries to dry her soaked hair. She can't help but mentally cringe as her mind goes over memories of the summer before sixth year. She and Ron had started to date just before the beginning of their fifth year. In truth they had been more or less dating since she first arrived at Grimmauld Place. They had never told Harry about them. Ron insisted, no matter how much Hermione had pleaded with him. She had known Harry would feel betrayed by their secrecy, but Ron would not be swayed. She had known Harry would figure things out, if he hadn't already had, and she feared his reaction to this knowledge.

BEGIN FLASHBACK

It had been a very quiet summer, at least where Harry was concerned. Hermione had written him twice a week, receiving no reply. Had she not known he was reporting to the Order she would have been frantic with worry. Since she knew the Order was watching over him, she settled herself on just worrying about him.

One day it had finally come to a head, Hermione just couldn't take the silence from Harry anymore. So she pulled out a piece of paper she hadn't touched since the summer after first year. Harry's phone number, the one he gave to both her and Ron just before leaving the platform. Gathering not only all of her courage, but her righteous temper, she determinedly dialed the number and waited with baited breath.

Hermione mentally counted the tones her ear received. "One, two, come on, three, please pick up, four, Harry answer the damn phone, five, where could he be, six, where is everybody, seven, guess I should call back later, eight, hanging up now, nine, come on Harry, ten," Hermione slowly starts to remove the receiver from her ear, reluctant to quit.

As Hermione starts to pull the phone from her ear a barking voice sounds through the receiver. "Dursley residence, Vernon Dursley speaking," Vernon Dursley recites over the connection.

"I need to speak to Harry Potter please," Hermione asks diplomatically.

"Never heard of him," Vernon says with venom in his voice.

"I know you have Mr. Dursley," Hermione counters evenly.

"He's not here," Vernon spits out just before Hermione hears the phone being slammed down.

Hermione pulls the phone away from her ear to look at it incredulously, "Oh no he didn't just hang up on me, how dare he," she mutters only to quickly start to redial the number, her anger getting the better of her.

"Dursley residence, Vernon Dursley speaking," Vernon's voice spills through the receiver once again.

"I need to talk to Harry, or I'll tell the man with the eye you won't let him come to the phone," Hermione threatens hoping it will work, that it'll be enough.

"If you want to talk to the boy so much, you would talk to that man," Vernon growls in response. "The boy is with him at the moment, after all," he nearly shouts, the hatred evident in his voice.

"When Harry gets back," Hermione says trying to cover her shock at this news. "Have him call me," she asks.

"Are you the one, who is dating the redhead," Vernon asks with an evil smile evident even in his voice, the boy after all, talks in his sleep. As he asks this Hermione's heart falls from her chest to below her stomach. "Hermy, or whatever," Vernon continues when he receives no response from the annoying girl. "If you are, don't count on him calling you at all," Vernon declares triumphantly and slams the phone down once again.

Hermione hears the man slam the phone, but only distantly. Her world may have just been destroyed with this one conversation. The only thought running through her mind being, "Harry knows, oh Merlin, Harry knows," what she didn't realize was the fact she actually said it out loud.

END FLASHBACK

Reaching up with her right hand, Hermione wipes away the tears that have started to fall as she remembered that day. Even to this day she cries almost inconsolably when she remembers that conversation. It took her mother nearly three hours just to stop the flood of tears, only for Hermione to have cried herself to sleep in her arms. Loosening her towel Hermione reflects on the fact that day was the beginning of when she realized it was the worst year of her life. Reaching out Hermione grasps her shirt and begins to dress, but her mind is anywhere but in the present. She is remembering the days following her conversation with Vernon Dursley.

When Hermione finally awoke from her cry induced sleep, she set things into action. She instantly wrote the Order, demanding to know what's going on. She even wrote to Ron to tell him Harry knows of them dating. She even wrote another letter to Harry, begging forgiveness and trying to explain it wasn't her idea to keep it secret, though she never sent this particular letter. She did send one asking for him to let her explain and not to hate her.

The next day Tonks arrived at her door step holding her last letter to Harry, handing it back to her, an action that broke Hermione's heart. Tonks explained that Harry had to be relocated because he was no longer safe at the Dursley's. Hermione begged to be told where it was, if she could go to him, only for Tonks to shake her head and tell her she didn't even know where he had been taken, very few in the Order knows where he is or what is happening there. Hermione finally realized that Tonks honestly didn't know and seemed very bothered by this fact. So knowing this, she asked one final question, "Will Harry be on the express." To which Tonks honestly answered she didn't know.

As it turned out, Harry wasn't on the train that day. Ron had tried everything he could to keep Hermione from searching every compartment for Harry. That day the two of them got into a row, a bad one at that. Ron kept telling her they don't need to look for Harry, Harry has the whole order with him, he doesn't need them. It was then Hermione figured out what had happened. Ron had used her. Their fight more or less proved this.

BEGIN FLASHBACK

Hermione turns to look at her boyfriend of one year, "What do you mean we shouldn't be looking for Harry," she asks incredulously.

"I mean you are MY girlfriend not his," Ron nearly shouts out in anger.

"I am his friend too," Hermione counters.

"You are MY GIRLFRIEND, and girlfriends don't go hanging out with other guys," Ron growls out.

"He's your friend," Hermione says incredulous as to why they are fighting over their friend.

"No," Ron says shaking his head, "he's not, not when he tries to steal you away from me," he finishes.

"RONALD WEASLEY, HARRY HASN'T BEEN TRYING TO DO ANYTHING." Hermione shouts back at the redhead, furious with his accusation.

"Then leave him alone," Ron demands.

"He's my friend," Hermione repeats.

"Him or me Hermione," Ron points out.

"Why are you doing this," Hermione demands in response.

"You know exactly why I'm doing this Hermy," Ron says as he steps closer to her in the hallways of the express, trapping her between the outer wall and him.

"Don't call me that," Hermione repeats, "how many times do I have to tell you that," she asks as she pushes him away from her.

"You are mine," Ron says as he forces himself back onto her. "This year I won't be taking no for an answer, you are mine," he whispers in her ear as he brings up his hand to her chest.

Hermione's eyes widen in shocked horror as she feels his hand move up her chest and to her breast, she pushes him away more forcefully, needing to get away from him. "Don't touch me," she shouts out, the fear evident in her voice.

"You're my girlfriend," Ron says trying to capture her again.

SLAP!

Hermione stares at the stunned boy before her, trying not to cringe at the pain in her hand. "I told you before, I am not that way," she repeats in a deathly whisper. "If you want a whore for a girlfriend, I suggest you find someone else," she grounds out hating this is how things have turned out. Hating this relationship has cost her more than she ever wanted to pay.

Ron's mouth curves up into an evil smile, "I already have," he states. "But I got what I wanted anyway," he says evilly.

"What's that," a feminine voice asks from just behind Hermione, the anger evident in her voice.

"Harry will no longer have anything to do with you," Ron says staring at Hermione, ignoring the presence of the other female.

"RONALD BILUS WEASLEY, I AM GOING TO TELL MOTHER WHAT YOU HAVE DONE," Ginny Weasley shouts out as she draws her wand and points it at her brother.

"I finally had something he didn't and now he can't," Ron says in a sing song voice. "Oh and Hermy, we're over," Ron says and then turns around to make his way to his new girlfriend, who just happens to be a Slytherin.

Hermione stands there with her hand over her mouth, the shock evident not only in that gesture, but the fact her whole body seems to be trembling beyond belief. Her legs weaken and she is no longer able to support her own weight, so she slides down the edge of the wall to sit on the floor, her eyes still fixed on the last place where she seen Ron. "What have I done," she whispers as the tears start to come.

Ginny shakes her head in embarrassment, that rat is part of her blood, she would have never thought he'd do something like that. Though to be honest, she should have known. She used to fear him before coming to Hogwarts. Looking down at the form that is Hermione Granger; she knows, there is more repercussions to what just happened than she knows. Sighing, she makes her way over to her friend, helping the crying girl to the compartment where she, Luna, and Neville are sitting.

"Neville," Ginny says as she settles Hermione down on the bench, "will you go and look for Harry," she asks softly, wishing against wish, hoping against hope, that Harry is somewhere on the train. Though from what she heard over the summer, she knows better than to believe he is really here.

"Okay," Neville says softly knowing better than to remain behind, though he already knows Harry isn't on the train. With that he stands up and exits the compartment and makes the rounds, searching for someone who isn't there.

END FLASHBACK

With a sigh her mind returns to the present once again. Hermione remembers that day very clearly. It was a day she had never wanted to live and she just couldn't figure out how it could get much worse. Though she cursed herself when she told everyone her thoughts about that, the others in the compartment just looked at her sullenly as though knowing ahead of time what was about to come. Another sigh escapes her lips as her mind returns to the past, to that day.

BEGIN FLASHBACK

Ginny, Luna, Neville and Hermione make their way from the carriage to the Great Hall. As they entered, Hermione instantly looks around to see if she can find Harry. To her dismay she is unable to locate him, anywhere. Three of the group continues to the Gryffindor table as Luna goes over to the Ravenclaw table. "Where's Harry," Hermione whispers in question to Ginny as she watches Ron sitting down at the far end of the table from the three of them, the evil grin still plastered on his freckled face.

"I don't know," Neville whispers in answer.

Just then the first years enter the hall. For the first time in six years, Hermione doesn't listen to what the hat said; she didn't listen to the students being sorted. She just tried to find her friend; she needed to find Harry. It came as a surprise when the Great Hall suddenly turned silent, causing Hermione to look up at the aged Headmaster.

"Welcome to another year, I hope your heads are empty and ready to be filled with new knowledge. I must make a few, start of term announcements. The Dark Forest is forbidden to anyone who doesn't want to die a most horrible death. For those who do, I still wouldn't suggest going there," Albus Dumbledore pauses slightly as some of the student's chuckle at his words. "I will save the rest until after the feast, so dig in," he says waving his hands slightly causing the food to instantly appear before them. After many gasps can be heard, Hermione realizes this year she finds nothing exciting about the feast.

"Where can he be," Hermione mutters after looking around the Great Hall for the millionth time, her food left forgotten long before.

"I have an idea," Ginny says softly, regretfully. "But it more than likely isn't true," she says instantly as Hermione turns around to look at her hopefully.

"Where," Hermione asks just as softly.

"War," Neville says from her other side.

Hermione turns to look at Neville with wide, horror filled eyes, "what," she gasps out hoping she didn't hear what she thought she heard.

"May I have your attention," Professor Dumbledore asks as he stands up once again. The food instantly disappears from the tables as everyone looks up at the head table. "I have a few more small details to finish up and then I'll let you all get to bed," he says as he looks out over all the students within the Hall. For the first time in her life Hermione realizes the Headmaster has no twinkle in his eyes, and this does nothing to alleviate her fears about where Harry is. "We have a new Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor," he pauses here as some of the students start to chuckle at this. "Yes, it does seem this is a yearly occurrence," he agrees with a nod of his head. "I have asked the Ministry for an Auror to be sent here to teach, in response we were sent two," he says pointing to two people, "I'm pleased to introduce to you Nymphadora Tonks and Kingsley Shaklebolt," he introduces them to the Great Hall.

Hermione blinks in surprise as she hadn't noticed them there before, but she quickly recovers and starts clapping loudly in welcome to the two new Professors. Her eyes meet Tonks and Hermione instantly regrets this fact as she sees worry and anger in the Aurors eyes. Closing her eyes Hermione looks back to the Headmaster.

"I have one more thing to say and then I'll let you go. As some of you have noticed, we are missing, one of our number," Albus says softly but loud enough that his voice can be heard. "Harry Potter may not be coming to school this year," he says and pauses as the room turns into whispers. His eyes meet that of the horrified Hermione Granger and he knows instantly she somehow has an idea of what he is about to say. Nodding his head once in agreement he continues, "Mr. Potter has been recruited for Military service; he is fighting against Voldemort and his supporters. We don't know when he'll return to our number, but Mr. Potter has promised to fulfill his destiny before he'd step foot within these walls again, no matter how long that may be," he pauses as he picks up his goblet and raises it slightly. "Let's raise our goblets to wish him and those with him luck and pray he returns to us," he says and whispers softly, "soon." With that he takes a drink from the goblet, as does most of the Hall, with the exception of the Slytherin table and Ron Weasley. Once done with his drink Albus raises his goblet toward the enchanted ceiling. "Be safe," he whispers so only those near him can hear, "and come home soon," he says and then finishes his drink

END FLASHBACK

As her mind returns to the present, Hermione finds herself on the edge of her bed, her legs tucked up into her chest. Her head buried between her knees and tears staining her skirt. Swiping at the tears once again, she unfolds herself from her position and stands up on shaky legs. "That day really wasn't a good day," she whispers as she looks down at her skirt, she shrugs as she decides to change it once again. Walking over to her closet she opens it and decides to forgo the skirt and grabs a pair of pants.

Her mind starts to wander once again, "Stop," she nearly shouts out in her empty room. "I don't want to remember anymore," she whispers knowing it's no use. Dropping her new clothes on the chair beside the bed, she decides she might as well let the memories take their course.

Hermione's mind instantly travels back to the days following the Welcoming Feast. It was the beginning of a year that was worse than she had ever thought possible. She and Ginny would spend day in and day out in the library. Both of them doing their best to stay away from Ron, though this proved to be unnecessary as he spent all his free time down in the Slytherin Commons room with Pansy Parkinson, doing things neither of them wanted to think about. It was during one of these sessions Hermione finally admitted to Ginny to having fallen in love with Harry over the years of their friendship.

Ginny just smiled at her and said, "I know."

It soon became more unbearable as classes started. Every time she turned around she would try and search for Harry, only to come up empty. Her heart was breaking more every second. When she wasn't studying, which she did a lot more of, she was writing letters to Harry, wondering how she could get them to him. It came to a point where she was desperate just to see his writing again that she went to talk with Professor Flitwick to see if he had any of Harry's old assignments she could see. He smiled sadly and told her he didn't.

The next day in transfiguration she was called to stay after class to talk to Professor McGonagall.

BEGIN FLASHBACK

"You wished to see me Professor," Hermione asks as she stands in front of the aged Professor.

"How are you holding up, Hermione," Professor McGonagall asks kindly. Filius had talked with her last night about Ms. Granger's request.

At hearing this question, Hermione broke down in ways she never thought she could. She nearly collapsed right then and there in her grief. She told the Professor everything, from her jealously about Harry seeing Cho, even for as little as he did, to the pain she felt when she learned he was fighting in this war. She explained about her relationship with Ron and what he did on the train. She even confessed to feeling more than just simple friendship for Harry. Hermione exposed her heart and her soul, knowing the only thing that could make her better was no where to be seen. This thing she is talking about is in fact a person, a person she hasn't seen or heard from since he walked away from them at King's Cross Station at the end of last school year and here it is the middle of November; and far as she can tell she won't be seeing him anytime soon. Hermione told her everything and more than she had ever thought about.

Minerva McGonagall listened to what she was being told with a kind ear, she listened and prompted her to continue when she seemed to hesitate with what she had been about to say. Minerva had seen the difference in Hermione take place throughout the course of the term. She didn't fully understand the reasons, but she knew something more was going on then she knew. She had watched the confident and caring woman turn inward and try to refrain from even answering questions in class. Minerva watched as Hermione's homework increased in length and decrease in compassion. Something Minerva had seen when Hermione was back in first year, back before the three became friends. She had wondered what had caused this drastic change in the woman before her, and now she knew. Once the story had finished, Minerva knew what she had to do. "I'll talk to Albus and see if there's not a way we can get those letters of yours to him," she said softly to the still crying girl. Hermione's head snaps up instantly and Minerva can see the hope in her eyes. "I can't promise you anything, but I can try," she instantly rushes to correct anything she may have alluded to.

"Thank you," Hermione says before she flings herself at her Professor. "I'll just go write another one, just in case it is possible," she says excitedly before she all but runs out of the classroom and to her dorm, forget dinner, she had more important things to do.

Minerva watched her go with a soft smile and a shake of her head. If Albus denies this, two people will be hurting. Though she can't tell if she means Harry and Hermione, or Hermione and Albus, because if Albus denies this then Albus will suffer, and it will be by her own hands.

It was two days later, two very long and torturous days later that Hermione was told to stay after class again. So with a heavy heart Hermione made her way back to her Professor, hoping for the best, but expecting the worse. "You wanted to see me Professor," Hermione asks nervously.

Minerva smiles at the student before, knowing what they are about to do is the right thing, "the Headmaster would like to see you this evening Ms. Granger," she says as she looks around the room as though wondering if something or someone was listening to what was being said.

Hermione got the hint and sighed softly in understanding, "Yes Professor, what time exactly," she asks softly.

"Just after dinner is done," Minerva says with a gentle smile. "He asks that you bring your reports with you," she continues and smiles wider as Hermione's eyes light up with excitement, with hope. "The password is earwax," she finishes with a roll of her eyes.

"Thank you professor," Hermione says refraining from hugging her professor once again.

"You may go now," Minerva says with a slight laugh as she watches the child in front of her withhold her reactions.

"Yes Professor, thank you again Professor," Hermione says as she dashes out of the room and back to her dorm to get ready for dinner. She wants to know the exact second she can see the Headmaster. Grabbing another piece of parchment and a quill she quickly writes another letter to Harry, hoping against hope he will read it, will read them all.

"Enter," an aged voice calls as Hermione knocks on the door to his chamber door.

Hermione slowly pushes the door open, she has never been in the room before, she remembers what Harry had told her about it, but she herself has never been there. "Good evening sir," she greets as she tries to swallow past the lump in her throat.

"Good evening Ms. Granger," Albus says kindly as he points to a chair across from him near the fireplace and a good distance away from his desk.

Hermione sits down nervously, "Thank you," she says as she readjusts her skirt properly.

"Professor McGonagall told me of your request," Albus says getting to the point of their meeting.

Hermione swallows again, "Yes sir," she says in a voice that is barely a whisper.

"Why do you wish to write to Mr. Potter," Albus asks as he eyes her form appraisingly.

"I miss him," Hermione answers instantly and honestly.

"Why now Ms. Granger," Albus asks as he sits back in his chair and brings his hands up to his face as he continues to watch her. "Why did you wait until now to ask," he asks again when she doesn't answer.

Hermione looks up at the Headmaster with tears in her eyes and streaks down her cheek, "I was afraid he'd hate me," she admits honestly. The Headmaster tilts his head in question to this answer and Hermione closes her eyes momentarily and then launches into telling the same tale she'd told Professor McGonagall. "And that's what happened sir," Hermione finally finishes as she swipes once again at her tears.

"I see," Albus says as he stands up from his chair and walks to his desk and picks up a small box. He walks back to his chair and sits back down. "Did you bring the letters with you," he asks softly. Hermione nods once and reaches into her bag and removes the large bundle of letters she has written. Albus sees this and can't help but smile at them. "You may place them within this box and I will send them to Harry," he instructs as he hands over the box.

"You're going to send them," Hermione squeaks out in question.

Albus laughs softly, "All you ever had to do was ask," he says as he watches her stuff the letters into the box he had given her. He sobers up and looks at her intently, "I feel I must tell you he might not be able to write back and if he is, it will be sporadic at best," he warns her.

Hermione pauses as she thinks about this, "I don't mind," she says and then continues. "I mean, I want him to write back and all, but I," she pauses not knowing how to explain what she's thinking, what's she's feeling.

"Want to at least have some kind of connection to him," Albus finishes for her. Hermione nods her head in agreement and hands the little box back to the Headmaster. "You may bring letters for Harry to me every Friday, if he has any I'll have them for you then," he explains. "Fawkes," he calls softly and the Phoenix flies over to his outstretched arm. "Take this to Harry," he says softly as he ties the box to his leg. With that done the Phoenix takes flight, only to disappear in flames a moment later.

"Thank you," Hermione says as she stares at where the bird had been a moment before.

"It is I who should thank you Ms. Granger," Albus says as he sits back in his chair. Hermione turns to look at him in question. "Harry has been wondering what he's done to upset you so," he says in answer to her unasked question.

Before she can respond to his words a knock resounds through the room only for the door to open a moment later and Severus Snape to walk into the room. His eyes settle on her, "Leave," he says bitingly. Hermione knows better than to stay when he uses that tone of voice. So she quickly left.

The conversation happened a week ago today, and for that week Hermione had found herself more confused and terrified than she had ever been in her life. What exactly did the Headmaster mean when he said that Harry had wondered what he'd done to upset her? More importantly her mind has been focusing on whether or not Harry would read her letters, if he could or would write back to her, and if he did what would he say? So the whole week has been spent on worrying about what she will learn on Friday.

Hermione also wrote many letters to Harry, two to six letters a day. She explained to him how scared she was he hated her, how she feared him not reading her letters, how she feared he wouldn't write back to her and how much she missed him. In one letter she detailed everything she missed about him. From the way his hair stood up at all odd directions to the fact he likes to tease her about how little she eats when she's reading a book she can't put down. She told him everything that happened in every class. To sum it up, she told him everything.

This brings us to now, as she stands looking at the gargoyle, knowing in a few moments she will receive her answers and that her new bundle of letters will be on their way to him. "Ear," she pauses as she clears her throat.

"It's going to be okay," Ginny says standing beside her. "If he can, he'll write. You'll see," she says soothingly.

Hermione turns to look at her and Ginny is surprised by the fear she can see within those brown depths, "What if he hates me," she questions almost pleadingly.

"This is Harry we're talking about here," Neville points out. "He can't hate anyone but Malfoy," he pauses and then continues. "Though I don't even think he hates him just what he does," he clarifies.

"Earwax," Ginny says and then pushes the shaking Hermione onto the staircase. "We'll be here," she calls up the stairs.

Hermione reluctantly makes her way, slowly, to the door and knocks softer than a fly running into it. "Enter," the aged voice calls out, the amusement clear in his voice.

Hermione opens the door and makes her way over to the Headmaster and the Deputy Headmistress. Clearing her throat again she pulls out the new bundle of letters for Harry, "I have them sir," she says as she hands them over to him. "Thank you," she says and quickly turns around to head out the door.

"Ms. Granger," Minerva calls out knowing Hermione isn't going to ask if she got anything from Harry or not. Hermione turns around slowly and looks at her Professor. Minerva picks up a small box from the edge of the desk and with a gentle turn of her wrist, "catch," she says as the object sails through the air towards a stunned Hermione.

Hermione reacts at the last second, but soon enough to catch the box that now lies in her hands. She looks up at the other two in the room. "He wrote," She pauses as her voice cracks slightly, "he wrote me," she asks incredulously.

"It seems as much," Minerva answer softly hoping things will turn out for the best.

Hermione smiles brightly at them, "Thank you, thank you very much," she proclaims happily and all but flies out of the room so she can read them.

As Hermione runs down the turning stairs she realizes that for the first time since she called the Dursley's she's smiling. She pauses only long enough to smile at the two people who are waiting for her at the bottom of the stairs. She had told them about not only her feelings for the raven-haired boy, but of the meeting she had a week ago. They had declared they would go with her for support. "You coming," she questions as she starts to walk away from the gargoyle, her eyes fixed upon the box in her hands.

"I gather he wrote," Ginny asks as the two of them caught up with her.

"It seems," Hermione says softly.

"No," Neville says catching the tone in her voice. "Don't you dare start worrying again," he says as he shakes his head at the fact they just went through this and now they have to do this once again.

Hermione pauses in her steps, "What if he hates me," she questions softly the tears surfacing once again.

"You won't know until you read them," Ginny points out.

"I can't," Hermione cries.

Ginny pulls the box from the clutches of her hand and opens it, Neville quickly grabs Hermione from trying to snatch the box back. "NO," Hermione cries out, she doesn't want to hear the hate within the letters. The hate she so deserves.

Ginny pulls the top letter out of the box and opens it. Clearing her throat she begins to read.

Hermione

Wow, I was really beginning to worry there. I had actually feared you would never write to me again. I wondered if you were ashamed of me for fighting, for being in this war. It's been the longest time without hearing from anyone I know.

It is so good to hear from you again. Though I have yet to be able to read your letters, I just decided to write this quick note before Fawkes has to return to Hogwarts. I included my own letters from the past couple of months, I know they are a bit old, but I didn't want you to think I hadn't been thinking of you.

I miss you. I miss everyone.

Please don't hate me for fighting, but its something I have to do. I'll understand if you don't understand this, and I'll understand if you refuse to talk with me further because I am part of his war. I need you to trust me when I say I have my reasons. Please don't hate me; I don't think I could survive with that knowledge.

I better get going the battalion is moving out and if I want this letter to get to you on Friday. I'll write during the next week. I hope to hear from you soon.

Thanks for writing, even if you really didn't want to.

Love

Harry

Ginny folds the letter back up and places it back into the envelope, she then reaches up and wipes her own tears from her eyes. She looks over at the now, very still Hermione, she had stopped resisting Neville's hold long ago. "That's the Harry I know," Ginny says with a soft smile as she places the letter back into the box and hands the box back to Hermione.

"He doesn't hate me," Hermione whispers as she takes the box gently into her hands.

"Looks like he fears you hate him," Neville points out.

"That git," Hermione huffs, "as if I could ever hate him," she says still staring at the box, thus missing the looks of humor on the other two's faces.

"Do you think we could write him next week," Neville asks.

Hermione looks up at this request. "I don't see why not, but, I'll ask," she says with a thankful smile on her face.

"Good," Ginny says, "I need to talk to my big brother, since my biological one is unworthy," she says honestly which causes the three of them to laugh.