Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter
A/N: H'ok. So. Another multi-chaptered story guys! Yep, it's been dragged out of me. I was sitting in Modern History on the last day of school last term and started drawing up a mind map. So, I pretty much know what's going to happen… unlike my previous multi-chaptered stories. It isn't finished so you may have to wait after the fifth or sixth chapters for more than a week or two but I will try my best. I don't know how long it will be though. So don't ask me that yet. Hopefully it'll be longer than ten chapters. Oh, and if you think its clichéd, don't worry, I know it is. But, I hope you like it and please review at the end! Giant thanks to the wonderful talianne who beta-ed for me. My usual beta hasn't responded and I fear her computer died on her again… oh well. StarAngel613, if you're out there email me! Sorry, I kinda got impatient :P lol sorry honey…
Chapter One: Surprises
"Just another day."
"It's not as though you've never gone out to do this before."
"Because we all know the famous Harry Potter has defeated Voldemort before."
"Hermione I don't want –"
"– me to get hurt," she finished his sentence, glaring at him. "How many times do I have to tell you I don't care what happens to me?"
"Well, I do care," he said stubbornly. "No one else is going to die because of me."
Hermione flinched slightly as she woke up suddenly. 'Just a dream,' she thought to herself, feeling a deep, sinking feeling in her stomach.
She sighed heavily as she realised she wasn't going to fall back to sleep and sat up in the bed, rubbing her eyes. A quick glance at her alarm clock told her that she could be getting up in another half hour to get ready for work. She shrugged and turned the alarm off and slid out of the bed, yawning widely.
"I'm not going to die because of you," she said, just as stubbornly.
"I'm not going to take that risk Hermione. You are not coming with me."
"Just because Ron –"
"You're not coming with me," Harry interjected, stopping her from finishing her sentence.
Hermione stepped into the shower when the water was at the right temperature – not too hot, but certainly not too cold. She let it pound down on her head for a moment, her eyes closed as she felt the water trickle down her naked back. She then turned around to let the water fall down her front, rubbing it into her stomach and just under her breasts to make sure she was completely wet.
She began to wash herself, washing away the memories of a certain hero she'd come to love over the years…
"I can't lose you too Hermione," he whispered, stepping forward to pull her into a very tight hug. "If I lose you then I have nothing else to fight for."
"Just please do as I say," he said softly, pulling back to look at her face.
"I don't want to never see you again," she whispered, resting her forehead on his. "I want to be with you the whole way through."
"You have been," he whispered back, moving a hand up to wipe away the single tear that escaped the corner of her eye. "You've been with me from the very beginning Hermione, and that's why I don't want you with me now. I would never forgive myself if something happened to you."
Once she'd washed her body and hair, she turned the shower off, breathing the steam in deeply and closing her eyes. She reached out of the shower for her towel and wrapped it around her body before stepping out of the shower to stand in front of the steamed up mirror. She gazed at her blurred reflection for a moment before leaning forward to rub the mirror clean of the steam.
"Promise me you'll come back Harry," she whispered desperately.
He smiled slightly and kissed her lips tenderly, "I promise Hermione."
She looked slightly uncertain by his actions, "What was that for?"
Harry sighed, "If anything does happen to me I want you to know something…"
Hermione waited for him to finish his sentence. When he didn't, she asked, "Which is?"
"I love you Hermione," he finally whispered, "And no one is going to take you from me."
She bit her lip, 'What a time to confess our feelings for each other,' she thought to herself. "I love you too Harry," she whispered back. "No one could ever take me away from you."
He gave her a small smile and kissed her lips softly, "I have to go."
Once dressed and with her hair dry, she made her way into her kitchen. Crookshanks sleepily lifted his head as if to say, "What are you doing up so early?" as she approached him to scratch his chin. He was very lazily stretched out across the kitchen table, looking as though he could stay there all day.
"'Morning," she muttered to him, scratching him under his chin and on his stomach. She yawned slightly and moved away from the cat to the kettle. She filled it with water and drew her wand from the pocket of her robes to cast a heating charm on the kettle.
"Voldemort is gone!"
The cheer rose from the centre of the crowd and it quickly spread, turning into screams and yells of joy. Hermione and Ginny frowned at each other.
"Where's Harry?" Hermione asked softly.
"I don't know," Ginny replied just as softly.
"Good morning Miss Granger!" Hermione's secretary, Mary, said cheerfully as Hermione bustled into her office.
"Hi Mary," Hermione replied, smiling down at her. "Have you got my schedule for today?"
"Yes," Mary said, picking up a rather long scroll of parchment. "You've got a half hour lunch break at one thirty before Mark comes in for a check-up," she added, winking up at Hermione.
Hermione smiled, "Thank you Mary."
She walked into her office and closed the door behind her, tossing her schedule onto her desk and hanging her robes up on the stand in the corner. She moved over to her desk and sat down behind it, pulling her schedule towards her.
"He never came back," Dumbledore said tiredly.
"What do you mean, he never came back?" Hermione asked, standing up suddenly.
"Calm down Miss Granger…"
"Why didn't he come back?" she asked, glaring daggers at the old man.
"We don't know. Please sit down Hermione," Dumbledore said very firmly.
Hermione sat down and Ginny made herself heard, "Do you know anything?"
"We only know that he killed Lord Voldemort. His body hasn't been found yet so we still hope he's alive."
"How are you doing today Severus?" she asked, peering down at her former potions professor who was lying rigid in a bed. He'd been bitten by some sort of poisonous spider, and the venom had seemed to paralyse his whole body, apart from his eyes and mouth.
"Are you any closer to finding a cure Granger?" he asked through gritted teeth.
"I'm afraid not," Hermione said, checking a chart at the foot of his bed. She glanced at the professor's face, "My healers are working on it."
"Why aren't you?"
"Because all of my time is spent looking after patients like yourself, Snape. My healers will come up with an antidote, and when they do I can assure you that I will make sure it works before testing it on you."
"You had better," Snape muttered irritably.
'Or not,' Hermione thought to herself, sighing as she placed the chart back on the foot of his bed. "I will be back later this afternoon to check on you."
She ignored whatever remark came out of his mouth next and turned her back on him, leaving the room to go to her next charge.
'In memory of all the people who died or have been missing since the war began, the Harry Potter Memorial Statue was erected in the centre of London today. The many names are engraved into the statue below the image of the Boy-Who-Lived, Harry Potter. No one knows just what happened to the wizarding, and indeed the whole world's saviour. All that anyone knows is that Harry Potter freed the world from the prison the Dark Lord had conjured…'
"Turn it off," Hermione snapped irritably, glaring at the Wizarding Wireless Radio. When no one moved to shut the irritating box off, she drew her wand and shot a spell at it. The radio immediately shut down and Hermione resumed trying to break the table with the force of her mind, glaring down at the deep brown wood.
"You're not the only one who's hurting Hermione," Ginny said softly.
"I know," Hermione replied, raising her eyes to glare at Ginny. "And I know Harry isn't the only person we lost. Ron and… they were great friends too," she said, the sharp tone of her voice softening as she saw tears come to Ginny and Mrs Weasley's eyes. "I'm sorry," she muttered.
"It's alright dear," Mrs Weasley said tiredly, standing up and going to the kettle, which was now beginning to whistle on the stove. She poured the boiling water into three mugs with tea bags.
"You seem to be doing quite well Mr Adams," Hermione said thoughtfully, tracing the healed wound across his torso very lightly.
"Hermione." Mark caught her fingers and grinned cheekily at her, "We go through this every time I'm here. You can call me Mark."
"This is business," she said, pulling her hand from his. "I don't mix business with pleasure."
"Can't I be the one exception to the rule?" Mark asked playfully, sliding off the raised bench and slipping his arms around Hermione's waist, moving his head closer to hers. He kissed her lips softly and she smiled into the kiss.
"Maybe just this once," she murmured, submitting to his touch and kissing him again.
"It's time you moved on Hermione," Ginny said reasonably, leaning against the doorframe of Hermione's bedroom and watching her friend search through her wardrobe.
"No, it's not," Hermione exclaimed, grunting in frustration as she couldn't find what she was looking for.
"It's been a year," Ginny said, moving into the room and touching Hermione's shoulder. "He's not coming back."
Hermione glared at Ginny, "He promised me he would. He told me he'd come back."
"He couldn't know…"
"He'll come back Ginny," Hermione said stubbornly, going back to searching through her wardrobe.
"What are you looking for?"
"One of the mirrors Sirius gave him before he died. Harry always kept the other one with him," Hermione said quickly. "I can't believe I didn't think of it until now," she muttered to herself. "Bah! Where is it!" she exclaimed, ripping everything out of her drawers and cupboard, searching and searching for the small mirror.
"I don't think…"
"I didn't ask what you thought," Hermione said sharply. "Oh thank God," she mumbled, withdrawing the small mirror from the depths of her second-bottom drawer. She held it up, "Harry Potter."
"I'll come around later tonight," Mark said, buttoning his pants back up.
Hermione smiled and held his shirt out to him, "Alright. Remember to bring the pizza this time. I don't like getting it delivered."
Mark took his shirt and grinned cheekily, "Yes dear." Once with his shirt on, he kissed Hermione one last time before leaving the office.
Hermione smiled slightly and moved around the other side of the desk and sat down, yawning slightly. A photo on her desk caught her eye and she managed a weak smile as she gazed down at it.
It almost seemed like a lifetime ago when she, Harry and Ron were in their fifth year. The photo depicted her in between her two best friends who had their arms around her, laughing happily. Now, she was the only one of the trio left and she suddenly felt rather old – she was, in fact, only twenty three, but her life experiences had forced her to mature much earlier than anyone her age.
"Your next appointments are waiting Miss Granger!" Hermione heard Mary call from her desk.
Hermione sniffed slightly and made sure that no tears escaped the corners of her eyes before calling back, "Send them in!"
Hermione frowned slightly as she tucked her hair behind her ears. "In or out?" she asked herself, raising an eyebrow at her hair. She sighed, 'Stupid bushy crap,' she thought irritably.
There was suddenly a loud crack in the living room and Hermione heard Mark call, "Hermione?"
"In my bedroom!" she called back.
"Hey," he said, entering her room.
"Hey," she said, turning around and standing up.
"You look great Hermione," he said, smiling nervously and leaning forward to kiss her on the cheek.
"You can't come over tonight?" she said, raising an eyebrow at his flustered appearance.
Mark sighed, "Yeah. I'm really sorry. My mother is in town and insists on spending her first night here with me. She'll probably end up on insisting…"
"To spend all of her nights with you," Hermione said knowingly. "Don't worry. You go and have a good time with her."
"Are you sure?" he asked, raising his eyebrows. "I can tell her I can't see her…"
"No," Hermione cut across him, "Go and spend time with her. I'll see you for your check-up tomorrow."
"Alright. You're not angry with me, are you?"
Hermione smiled and leaned forward and kissed his lips softly, "I do find it terribly hard to be mad at you, dear."
Mark grinned, "Alright. I'll see you tomorrow then." He kissed her quickly on the cheek before disapparating with a loud crack.
She sighed when he was gone and proceeded to undress and change into her pyjamas, pointing her wand at her face and removing her make-up, and shaking her hair out. "I suppose I'll have to order a pizza now," she said to herself.
Once she had her favourite pizza (one with everything on top, except of course for anchovies and mushrooms) she sat down in her living room with some reports to write up. She worked slowly through them, slowly eating the pizza too. Soon, half the pizza was gone and she found she needed a drink. So, she stood up from the couch and went to the kitchen, pouring herself a glass of water and drinking it at the sink, filling it back up when she had drunk it all.
Hermione jumped and frowned, "Mark? I thought you were supposed to be with your mother tonight?"
She frowned and set the glass down on the bench and drew her wand from her pocket, "Mark?" she called, peering carefully around the corner of the kitchen to look in at the living room.
But it wasn't Mark who was collapsed in the middle of her living room. No, it was someone she hadn't seen for five years.
"Harry," she breathed, her eyes widening. She dropped her wand and her hands flew to her mouth. "Oh, Harry," she whispered, not being able to speak any louder.
To be continued…