Disclaimer: Harry Potter's not mine.
Author's note: I know some of you don't want to hear my excuses again. But let me tell you that my whole family went to our province in La Union. We stayed there for three weeks. We don't have computers there. We're lucky to have a television. What could I do? Go on...tell me I'm lazy...you have no idea…
CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE: THE HUNDREDTH BOUQUET
"Oh, my god," I said under my breath.
My head was spinning; everything around me was a blur. Harry just stood there and looked at me with an expressionless face.
"I – I'm her? So that must mean...you – you're him!" I stammered, my heart hammering loudly in my chest. "But how?"
Suddenly all my memories for the past few weeks came back to me like a film being rolled again.
"You mean I was that girl you were talking about?" I asked, remembering the scene where Harry told me about Miss Perfect. So I'm Miss Perfect?
"Yep," he said casually like we were only having a normal conversation.
"But you said she wasn't me!"
"I never said that!"
"Oh, yes you did, mister," I said. "That memory's still fresh in my mind and I can remember every single detail of it!"
"If that's the case then you must know that I'm right!" Harry replied. "Can you remember me saying, 'Hermione, the girl's not you'?"
"No," I said. "But you laughed at me when I reacted –"
"But your face was really funny at that time," he said jokingly and I gave him a hard stare. "It – er – was a mean thing to do – laughing at you like that..."
"So it was you who sneaked in my room that night!" I accused.
"No, it was Zacharias Smith," he said. "Of course, it was me who sneaked in you room that night! And the night before that and the night before that and the night –"
"You almost gave me a heart attack!"
"Hey, I thought you were a sleep! If I knew you were awake then I should have worn my invisibility cloak."
"So Ginny was right after all," I muttered to myself but Harry heard me."
"Ginny knew it was me?" he asked.
"Well, yes, she said he could be you," I said. "You were the other suspect aside from Ron. But it never, ever occurred to me that you could be the one!"
"You never told me about that!"
"Do think I'd tell you even if I thought that Ginny was right? Of course not!"
"Why not?" Harry asked. "I'm your best friend!"
"Ron's my best friend but I never told him about what happened that night," I said. "I didn't tell you because if you're the lily guy –"
"I thought you said you never believed it was me?"
"You might be more cautious about what you are doing and that would make it a lot difficult for me to investigate," I said, ignoring what he said.
"You were investigating?"
"Well, no – sort of," I stated. "I've accidentally read your diary."
"You've read my journal!" he said, hysterically.
"Don't worry, I just glanced at it. That's all! And it was an accident!" I said defensively. "I was cleaning your dirty room when I found this notebook under your pillow."
"Why were you in my room?"
"I was waiting for you. Ron said you weren't at breakfast and you were missing the whole afternoon. You were not at dinner too so I started to worry. I went to your room, expecting you to be there but you weren't. Where were you?"
"I was down at the kitchens, drinking," he murmured guiltily. "I know I shouldn't be doing that because I'm the Head Boy and Captain of the Quidditch Team...should set an example like you always remind me, but I felt so miserable that time..."
I knew perfectly well why he was miserable. It's because of me. "I waiting for you at your room because I wanted to apologize for hurting you," I said. "I was in a bad mood that day because of Madam Pomfrey and because the lily guy didn't send me lilies. I was sort of hoping the lilies would cheer me up but none came."
Harry looked apologetic at me. "Yeah, I know. I was in the hospital wing the whole night so I wasn't able to give you any. Sorry."
"But the lily guy sent me whole lot more the next day so I sort of forgave him," I said.
We became silent for a few minutes, glancing at each other, waiting for anyone who would break the uncomfortable silence. I decided to do it.
"I saw you," I started but the words got stucked in my throat. Relieving that scene again made my eyes sting. I took a deep breath and continued. "I saw you and Ginny at the changing rooms last night. How would you explain that?"
"Well, after Quidditch practice yesterday, Ginny said to tell me something important so we both stayed behind," Harry explained. "Then she told me that she likes me, that she'd do everything for me and if it's alright with me, she would be pleased to be my partner for the Ball."
What a nerve, I thought.
"But I told her I was sorry and that I already love someone else. I told her it was you and she started crying but she was also smiling which was really odd. I asked her why she was like that and she mentioned something about you winning the game. She never explained what that meant and I never bothered to ask. Then she asked me a favor. Said that if I could just give her a warm embrace, she'd be fine and everything would be back to normal. And so I gave her a hug and she cried on my shoulder. After that, she made me promise that I'd tell you how I feel, and that's the other reason why I'm here."
"Oh. Remind me to thank Ginny."
I couldn't believe it. Everything seemed to fit. All of it made sense to me, all of my questions answered. The last piece of the jigsaw puzzle fell on its right place and the picture became clear to me. The one who was in the picture, the one that I've been looking for for so long is Harry. I was so stupid not to notice. It was right before my eyes. I was so blind...
I heard Harry sigh. "I know it may come as a shock to you. I'll let you think about it. I'll come back when you have your answer. The lily guy will be waiting for you," he said and he gave me a weak smile. Then, he turned to leave.
"I've already decided," I said aloud. "And my answer is no."
Harry suddenly stopped walking but he didn't look back. He seemed to be in a state of shock.
"The lily guy shouldn't have hidden behind all those letters and all those lilies. He should have shown who he truly is. Who knows, maybe the girl already loves the real him and he doesn't have any clue."
Harry spun around, his mouth a bit open. I smiled at him and said, "Can you tell him that, Harry? Can you tell the lily guy everything that I've said?"
Harry's lips curved into a smile and he nodded. "Sure. No problem."
Everyone was chatting in the Great Hall the next day about the Ball last night. It seemed to be a spectacular night and Ron kept on telling me that I've missed the most wonderful moment of my life.
"You should have come, Hermione," Ron said as we ate breakfast. "The whole night was filled with magic."
Ron was sitting with Luna when I arrived at the Gryffindor table. They were reading the latest issue of Quibbler. Ron was listening attentively to Luna when she was explaining something about an article and he was fixated to her. I was surprised on how Ron was changed by Luna.
I snapped out of my reverie when the owls came. I noticed that there seemed to be a lot more owls today. That's odd, I thought. Half of them seem to be heading this way...
But then I realized there were heading towards me! They landed on the Gryffindor table, scattering plates everywhere. All of the people in the Great Hall looked over at our table.
"Bloody Hell, Hermione," Ron said as he wiped his pumpkin pie of his face. "What are these?"
I looked closely at the owls and each of them have a bouquet of white lilies with them. I thought he understood what I meant...why the owls again?
"Look, this one's got a note with it," Luna said taking the note and reading it. "It says, 'Ninety-nine owls, ninety-nine bouquets.' You know, ninety-nine is not a very lucky number. It says that –"
"Ninety-nine?" Ron said, cutting Luna sentence. "Why not a hundred owls and a hundred bouquets?"
"It's because I have the hundredth bouquet."
My hair stood on its ends. I'd recognize that voice anywhere…
I slowly turned around and saw Harry standing about ten feet behind meHe was holding the last bouquet of lilies. "I've already told him and he agreed," he said and he grinned.
I smiled and ran towards him. I jumped at him and we both landed on the floor. Everyone was staring at us but I don't care.
"I believe that this is for you," he said as he handed me the lilies.
"Thank you," I said.
"And if I remember it right, you owe me ten galleons."
"I was right about Ron, wasn't I?" he said and he winked at me.
"How dare you," I replied my eyes narrowing into slits. "You knew it all along..."
He started laughing and I decided to the only right thing that I could think of. I kissed him.
At first he was shocked about it but he responded after a while. The sweet was sweet and gentle, not tongues or anything. That sort of kiss could wait. As of that moment, that would be enough.
We pulled apart. Everyone was cheering at us. I giggled at the look on Harry's face when we broke the kiss.
"Do I still owe you ten galleons?" I asked him.
Harry shook his head. "That kiss was more that ten galleons."
"Now about that date that you're planning," I reminded him. "Where will you take me?"
"I'd take you anywhere," he said. "Do you want to start now?"
He beamed at me and we both stood up and ran out of the Great Hall, hand in hand. Where did he take me? I think I'd keep it to myself. But every moment that I've spent with him was the most wonderful moment of my life. I didn't miss it after all like Ron said.
Thanks a lot for giving me 800+ reviews! I hope you still give me some now that this story is over. Be writing more stories and will be posting them when I finished 'em. Please tell me what you think about the ending. i suck at endings...oh, well...review!