Belong to Nowhere
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.
Here it is chapter 25. More three chapters plus an epilogue and it's finished.
Thanks to everyone who was kind enough to leave a review.
Chapter 25: Maybe
After a few minutes of an awkward silence, Harry spoke again. "I'm sorry, Ron."
Ron glanced at the empty beds in the room; Seamus and Neville were in the Common Room playing Explosive Snap, Dean had gone to an appointment with Professor Flitwick. The young Weasley sighed before standing up from his bed, and then walked towards the window.
"You know, Harry, what does sadden me?" he asked in a wistful tone. "What does really sadden me is that I'm not surprised. Disappointed? Yeah. But not surprised."
Harry's head snapped at Ron, his eyes blinked in mild shock. "What d' you mean, Ron?"
"She was always crazy about you," Ron said trustfully, "even before we met each in the train. You were always the hero, the prince." He snorted despite himself. "And then you saved her life-"
"You were there too, Ron."
"But it wasn't only her fault," Ron continued as if he hadn't heard Harry. "Mum..." He shook his head, smiling sadly. "Mum never hid how 'wonderful would be if our Ginevra gets along with dear Harry...'And even me...I won't deny that I was happy when you two got together." Ron turned his gaze to the window; the first drops of rain begging to fall. "Gin was happy, Mum was happy, I was happy, even you looked happier..." He turned to face Harry once again. "But that wasn't real, was it?"
"No." Harry shook his head briefly. "Ron, I really cared about Ginny. Please, don't-"
Ron held up a hand making him stop. "I know, Harry," he said. "The problem is that you will be forever her hero, her knight..."
"She has to realize that that Harry Potter doesn't exist." Harry ran a hand through his hair. "I understand she may have difficulties letting go, but- all those lies, Ron! Why all those lies?"
"She got desperate," Ron replied, a shadow searching his eyes. "She always hoped that you'd get together after everything was finished. I know my sister, Harry. She is a Weasley, and like a Weasley she may have been a little explosive sometimes, but she is also good at chess; at just observe- and wait." He startled a little when a thunder's crashed. "Her lies were to keep you away from the only girl that really matters to you. I'm not saying that what she did is okay; No, she used your and Hermione's trust to make you believe in her. But, Harry," Ron looked tentatively at him. "Ginny isn't a bad, evil person. I'm sure she never wanted or thought bad about you or Hermione. She- she just went a little of control."
Harry understood how hard Ron's position was; after all, Ginny was his baby sister. However, he couldn't bring himself to feel pity of Ginny. She hadn't only told lies; she had also spread those rumors about Hermione.
"Ron, I know she is your sister, and-" He ran a hand thought his hair once again. "If it had been only these, let's say, silly lies about me and her still together...I would still be disappointed and a little angry, but I would try to understand. However, it wasn't only it. She told all of Hogwarts that Hermione was pregnant! She even insinuated that Hermione was really a traitor! At time I didn't notice, but-"
"I-I just can't believe, or even imagine that my sister did such things on purpose, especially about Hermione being traitor. Despite everything, before you two have dated, we were all friends! Yes, she felt- feels- jealous, And insecure about Hermione but I'm sure she never wanted to do any harm."
"It's hard for me too, Ron. I really want to believe that Ginny has only a simple case of jealousy and A broken heart."
"Harry," Ron spoke suddenly, "b-before you talk to her...Please, let me talk with her first."
Harry looked at his best friend, and even if he didn't think that was a good idea he agreed. "That's okay, Ron," he said, and despite himself he let go a yawn. Merlin, I'm tired. "Now, Ron, I'm really tired. I think I'm going to bed."
Ron smirked at his friend. "Miss Granger has been tiring you that much, Potter?"
"More than you think, Ronald," Harry replied, a little happy for the change of the subject, his eyes shinning slyly, "and I love it."
Ron held up his hands in a mock surrender. "Please, please, save me from the naughty details!"
Harry was about to make a comment when the bedroom's door opened, and Dean Thomas came in.
"Oh, hi, Ron. Hi, Harry," he greeted them. "Um, Harry?"
"Yeah?" Harry asked.
"Um, I would like to have a word with you," Dean replied in a quiet tone.
Harry sighed; he didn't want to sound harsh, especially after how he had treated Dean all those past weeks, but he was really tired- and whatever Dean wanted to talk wouldn't be that important, right?
"Er, Dean, please don't get me wrong, but I'm really tired. Can't we talk tomorrow?"
Dean had a feeling that he had to tell him about that straight away, but his classmate did look tired, not to mention... she had begged him to not call Harry, she had said that just needed a few minutes by herself. He hadn't heard what Ginny had said to her, but he could see that weren't nice words.
"Oh, okay, we can talk tomorrow," he concurred with a slight nod, even if that little voice inside his head keeping telling him that he should tell Harry what had happened straight away.
Hermione didn't understand why she wasn't able to transform herself into Star. She had tried, tried, and nothing. It was like there was something blocking her Animagus ability.
When she had finished the talk with Ginny, her only wish was to be alone. She didn't want to see, to speak, or listen to anyone- she just needed a time with herself.
Obviously, it was a surprise when Dean Thomas appeared by her side, asking if she was okay.
"I'll be fine, Dean," she had said, wiping her tears, "no need to worry."
"I-I couldn't hear what Ginny said but-"
"Doesn't matter, Dean," she interrupted him. "I'll be fine. I-I just need to think about some things." She gave him a tiny smile.
"Do you want me to call Harry?"
"No! No, please! I just need to be alone, but thank you anyway."
She just wanted to be alone when she went to the grounds. She just needed a time to think, try to understand...- to make decisions.
It didn't matter that was starting to rain; actually, she was even enjoying the feeling of the water wetting her body- maybe that could work like some kind of catharses.
And with the sudden and strange inability to transform into Star, Hermione wandered not really paying attention on where she was headed.
She couldn't deny that Ginny's words had hurt-a lot. It was hard to understand such hate, such coldness. Hermione had always thought the best about the youngest Weasley; she always had thought that they were truly friends, even if sometimes they weren't too much alike.
Of course there were times when Ginny Had said things that were hurtful, but Hermione had never thought it was on purpose, or deliberately attempting to wound-she always thought that every time Ginny had said those things she only had the best interest at heart, she was only trying to help.
Now, Hermione could see that she was wrong.
Ginny had never been her friend.
And that scared her.
But also, in a way, it had infuriated.
'You are supposed to be the brightness witch of your age, Hermione Granger!' she thought angrily with herself. 'How in Heavens name didn't you notice Ginny's true intentions?! How I could have been so stupid?!'
Part of her wanted to go back in time and- instead of walking away- just hit Ginny with all the curses and jinks and whatever she had know; she wanted to go back and forbid herself to cry in front of Ginny; she wanted to say that Harry loved her- that...
Hermione wiped her tears furiously, not that it mattered as the rain became stronger. The word stupid continued to play and replay in her mind with Ginny's cruel words.
But she wouldn't let Ginny's words poison her even more. Yes, Madam Pomfrey had said that no magic could repair Nagini's damage.
There was no magic...
Hermione smiled. Actually, she laughed. When she had made the decision to kill Nagini she had had, deep inside, a hope that the consequences weren't permanent. However, in the aftermath Madam Pomfrey had firmly stated that was no hope, no cure, no magic that could heal Hermione's womb.
Madam Pomfrey's words had been so firm, so certain that the young witch had never thought or considered something different.
Truly, Hermione hadn't even allowed herself to think differently. That diagnostic, that sentence had gone deeper than she had expected or imagined.
It was a difficult time.
Ron and Luna were becoming serious in their relationship. Harry was digging more and more into the trainings and tactics of War, and; in his few free moments Ginny always managed to get his attention...
Hermione closed her eyes, suffocating a sob.
How many times she had pretend to be okay? How many she had cried to sleep because she no one?
Hermione shook her head, opening her eyes once again. She didn't want to remember those sad times. Especially Now, after she had a new revelation. She had been so immersed in this Magical World that she was forgetting her own background; she was forgetting something that didn't exist in the Magical Environment: science.
She had never stopped to consider that, maybe, there was a chance. A Muggle chance, nonetheless. She still remembered the first time she had heard about Louise Brown.
To make matters even better, Ginny Weasley had no idea who Louise Brown was, or What Artificial Insemination was.
Looking back, it had been a good thing that she hadn't cursed Ginny. Actually, it had been even greater that Ginny had seen her walking away crying.
Hermione Granger wasn't called the brightest witch of her age for nothing. She would get Ginny for what she had done, but not yet. The term was almost finished and she couldn't risk a suspension or expulsion. No, she would wait. She would let Ginny think she had given up.
She would act like a Slytherin.
"Oh, Ginevra, you'll never-" Hermione was talking to herself when she was interrupted by a strong thunder's crash, making her realize that was really late- And that she, was soaked to the bones. "God, I have to go back to the Castle."
It was then that she realized that she was more far away from the Castle than she had thought. With all the tears, the rain, and her desperate thoughts, Hermione hadn't noticed she had actually entered the Forbidden Forest.
"Great, just great," she muttered and looked around, holding fiercely her wand. "Your stupidity has hit its limits, Granger!" The storm was getting worse and worse, and the young witch wasn't sure exactly where she was. Not wasting time, Hermione lifted up her wand and was about to cast a Point me when all of a sudden a bolt appeared from the sky, reaching an old Yew tree's branch.
Hermione had no time to react as the branch knocked her head, making her fall unconscious on the ground, bleeding.
The next morning...
Grimmauld Place, the kitchen
"Hey, Pad, Good mor-" Remus was greeting Sirius when he suddenly stop, noticing how pale his friend looked like, "What happened? Are you All right?"
Sirius muttered something unintelligent before taking a seat. Remus rolled his eyes but didn't reply- at least not in verbal communication: he simply stared at his friend.
He loved Sirius but he had to admit that sometimes the old Animagus liked to ensure a pity party. It had been like that since they were kids in Hogwarts. It was probably a sad reminiscence of his family life, the lack of a parental love; a silly way to gain attention.
However, now, looking carefully at Sirius' pale face, Remus realized that something really wasn't right. "Sirius?"
"I feel strange, Remus," Sirius finally replied, looking undecided at the coffee's jug in front of him.
"Are you hurting or something?"
Sirius looked up at Remus. "Yes, and no." He shrugged. "I don't know how to explain. It's a feeling of emptiness." He ran a hand through his hair. "I don't know."
"Is it- Is it Hermione?" Remus asked carefully, almost afraid of the answer.
However, Sirius shook his head. "I don't think so. Do you remember what Flitwick explained to me, don't you? I am still sort of connected to her, but not like before. She and Harry bonded- a love bond is a lot more powerful than anything else."
Remus didn't look convinced, though. "But Flitwick also said if something, let's say, major- happened to Hermione, you would still feel it."
Sirius took a deep breath, his eyes looked concerned. The truth is, he was afraid that it had something to do with Hermione- he just didn't want to believe. He had never been the kind of man that hid himself
Away in dear, but, after the rebirth, something had changed in him. He was more cautious.
Perhaps it was a paternal thing, a fatherly thing. "Yeah," he finally respond, "I guess you are right. I know you are right- I- I just want to pretend that nothing has happened- if this makes sense." He rubbed his eyes, suddenly tired, despite the fact he had just woke up. "Nothing really makes sense- One part of me thinks that if something had happened we would know by now. They are in Hogwarts, after all! However, it would be better to contact McGonagall- ask if something unusual has happened."
Remus nodded briefly. "It's the best thing to do." He paused a moment. "Sirius, what's happening to you? You- You have never been afraid of bad news, or whatever. You have never been afraid of the truth."
"I don't know what's going with me either, Moony," Sirius replied truthfully, "but, you are right- I am afraid, I am cautious." He ran a hand through his hair. "Bloody hell, I am acting like a Hufflepuff!"
Remus fought an urge to roll his eyes. "You are a father now, Sirius- a sort of father anyway. Maybe that's it. Perhaps you should talk to Filius again."
"Perhaps we could invite Flitwick to live here!" he snorted. "No, you are right- I'll talk to him...again, but now we need to know if something has happened."
"Mate, are sure you don't want to see Madam Pomfrey?" Ron asked Harry, looking concerned at his pale best friend as the two of them were about to enter the Great Hall. "You really don't look well."
"I am fine, Ronald," Harry spat; though, he didn't feel fine at all. His sleep had been horrible- and not a Nightmares/Voldemort kind of horrible- it had been a 'sickness' kind of horrible. He was feeling cold and hot, his head seemed to want to explode- and there was also this feeling of weakness, like his heart was beating in a lower compass. "And I had arranged with Hermione to meet her here." He was about to open the Great Hall's door when Ron, suddenly, put a hand on his forehead. "What the hell, Ron!" he hissed.
"You- You are burning in fever, Harry," Ron replied awkwardly, his ears red as a tomato.
Harry sighed exasperatedly, but didn't reply. Instead, he just rolled her eyes and opened the door, walking in. He could be feeling like death but he needed to see Hermione- it was a primal urge.
However, when he and Ron spotted The Gryffindor table, Hermione wasn't there.
Ginny was. Dean Thomas was there too, and Harry remembered that his housemate wanted to talk to him.
"Oh Harry!" Ginny squealed, making him unconsciously groan. "You are back! I didn't know! I was so worried that-"
He held up a hand making her stop. "Have you seen Hermione?" he asked coldly.
Ginny stopped and then pasted a forced smile on her face. "Oh? Is she back too?" she commented in a dismissed tone. "I didn't know." She sighed. "But no, I didn't see her. Honestly, the last time I saw her was on last Hogsmeade weekend. Maybe-"
"You are lying, Weasley!" Dean shouted, standing up. All the eyes in Great Hall were looking at him. He turned to Harry. "That's what I wanted to talk to you last night, Harry. Hermione and Ginny-" He spoke the last word like it was some kind of disease. "Hermione and Ginny had a discussion last night. An ugly one. Hermione was cry-"
"It's a lie!" Ginny cried, her face red. "I would never-"
You've better not done anything to her, Ginevra.
Harry's breathing started to become erratic. He was about to say something when Hagrid busted in the hall, breathing hard.
"Headmistress! Headmistress!" he cried, running towards the Head table.
Professor McGonagall stood up and raised her hands, sighting him to stop. "What happened, Rubeus?"
"Centaurs... student...Forbidden Forest...not good," he said between gasps.
A wave of dread filled Harry's body.
"Hermione!" he cried, just before the darkness enveloped him as he fell down, unconscious.
A huge thank you to Sugarquill39 who betaed this chapter! Lots of hugs, dear:)