Always Doesn't Mean Forever

Summary: A friendship, that was thought to last forever comes to an end.
Rated: 'T' for some language.
Disclaimer: Come now people, use that noggin of yours.

Author's Note: I just found this just recently, sittingidly in a notebook from last year. It's a sad, depressing short story I wrote during one of my sad depressing days. I never really intended to publish it but looking at it again today I realized that it's actually not half bad. Reviews are, as always, welcomed.

"It's her idea really, not mine."

The two friends sat at a table library. They had sat there so many times before, studying for tests, looking for information to use against You-Know-Who. This time, however, was completely different.

"Hermione, please try to understand. I care about you, I do. It's just that…" his voice trailed off before he finished but it didn't matter. She knew what he was going to say.

'He just cares about her more,' Hermione thought sadly

Silence filled the room making it unbearable. Each one prayed for the other to speak yet, at the same time, to remain silent. Neither wanted to be having this conversation yet it seemed unavoidable.

'Do you agree with her?" she asked quietly. "About it being better if we weren't friends anymore?"

"Don't say it like that," he said. "We could never not be friends."

"We just can't act like friends anymore," she said simply.

"We could…"

"No," she shook her head. "We couldn't."

He paused, unsure of what to say. She looked up, locking eyes with him.

"Do you agree with her?" she asked again. "Is this what you want, Harry?"

He ran a hand through is unruly, black hair. "This is what Cho wants," he said, carefully avoiding the question. "She doesn't want anything to come between us… and I don't either."

Hermione blinked desperately, trying to stop the tears that she knew would come. "I didn't realize that our friendship was an obstacle for you two." She said coldly

"Its not," he said quickly. "Its just she's worried. She doesn't want to get hurt again."

"So naturally it's just better to hurt me, isn't it?" she sniffed. "Same old Harry huh? Always around, acting like a pal, until she comes calling and then it's off you go!"

"It's not like that Hermione…." Harry began

"Oh bloody hell it isn't!" Hermione spewed. "Its the same thing time and time again! Cho tells you to jump and you ask how high! She uses you Harry! It's happened before! She'll play with you for a bit, until the day comes when she gets tired of the games and then it will be over. Just like before. She'll break your heart and you'll come running back to the friends you left for her. But other people have lives too Harry. Other people have feelings besides your precious Cho! Some people would prefer not to sit around and wait until you suddenly come to your senses!"

"Hermione, please…"

"You don't think Harry," Hermione interrupted sadly. "You never seem to when it comes to Cho. You always act first and think later. That's the problem."

"I don't know what to say. Please don't be angry." Harry pleaded

Hermione sighed. "I'm not angry Harry, just upset. I'm upset that you let Cho do this to you, to us. I'm upset that I didn't see it coming. Most of all though, I'm upset that I'm losing my best friend over something as trivial as this. For that's what you were Harry, my best friend."

Hermione stood to gather her stuff and prepare to leave. As she turned to go, he jumped up and placed a hand on her shoulder.

"Please," he pleaded. "I…" His voice trailed off.

"You what, Harry?" she asked quietly. Turning back around to face him he saw the tears in her eyes, the pleading for an escape.

"Nothing." He merely shook his head.

Hermione nodded. Gently she took his hand that still rested on her shoulder. She squeezed it gently before letting it go, forcing herself to smile.

"I'll see you around"

And with that, she turned and was gone.