Summary - After Harry destroys Voldemort, the wizarding world is overjoyed. While the remaining Death Eaters are slowly being rounded up, Harry reflects on his past triumphs, and finds they were all in vain. He tried his hardest to achieve his goals and in the end, he got what he wanted, but it wasn't necessarily what he needed. So many people are content and happy with how the world is changing, and settling down, and yet Harry is not. He is starting to realize now, after all he has gone through and all that has happened, that the person that he has always longed for, the person he needs right now more than ever in his life, is in fact married to his best friend.
Inspired by the Coldplay song, Fix You
Any lyrics embedded within the story are not mine, and are from the song.
A/N - I'm working on descriptions in this story, so please review, and let me know if you like them or not. Thank you, and enjoy!
Stuck in Reverse
He felt the weather was mimicking him. It was raining, and had been for days, the kind of constant rain that usually had people sitting and reading a book next to a window, or just looking out and enjoying the watery scene while listening to the steady anthem of the rain falling outside.
It was calming, the kind of rain that made people slow down and take in the scenery around them, rather than just be focused on their destination. It added that wonderful scent to the air, making even the centre of the biggest city smell, even for a moment, like an Amazon rainforest. The rain had more that just the ability to get people soaked, it had the talent to change there moods, and transport them to a totally different place.
Rain also has the capacity to make some people feel sad. The dampness of the world seems intensified to some by the falling of water from the sky. The dark shades of grey that the world is turned to sometimes make even the most cheerful people feel down and miserable. The depressions of each raindrop as it touches their skin seem to intensify the pointlessness in trying to cover oneself from the reality of the rain. These people discard their umbrellas, they leave their raincoats undone, and embrace the truth in the rain, allowing themselves to become drenched in both water, and sadness.
And for the past few hours, Harry Potter was one of those people.
He was in London, on his way back to his flat. The rain had been falling for almost a week, however Harry managed never to get wet. He would usually Apparate to and from work, so he never really set a foot outside. Lately however, he began to take to walking home, allowing him time alone to think and ponder.
He didn't understand why he was feeling so sad lately. Things should be great for him. He finally defeated Voldemort, the darkest wizard in the last half-century, and he and his friends survived. The wizarding world called Harry a hero, something he laughed at less and less each time he heard it.
The world started to return to something as close to normal as Harry could imagine it. Hogwarts reopened, the Ministry was back into order (with the new Minister of Magic, the one and only Arthur Weasley), and all of Harry's friends went on to do great things. Harry, after going back and graduating from Hogwarts, went on to Auror training, currently standing in his third year. He found it became bland after a while, since he had been doing it since his first year at Hogwarts. He found outlets though, such as Quidditch, to tide him over sometimes.
This night, Harry started his long walk home. It wasn't that far really, only a few blocks from the Ministry, however it was enough on a night like tonight to make someone soaked, even for only a short distance of exposure to the rain.
Harry walked along slowly, trying neither to cover himself to stay dry (which was pointless anyways, he was already drenched), or walk quickly to limit the time spent in the downpour. He glanced around and found the few people who braved the rain where doing these things, however he found no point in trying to do it himself. He just looked back down at the cobblestone sidewalk he was walking on, and continued on quietly, his jet black hair casting droplets down upon his face.
It all started when he returned from his defeat of Voldemort. Everyone was so happy to see him alive, especially Ginny and Hermione. Both girls cried tears of happiness when he walked through the door of the Burrow. When he entered that night however, Harry felt something a little surprising.
When he looked at Ginny, his love and now fiancée, and at Hermione, he couldn't place the feeling he felt. There was something about Hermione. He didn't understand it then, however he realized it later, and as time passed, it became more an issue for Harry until soon enough, he had a hard time focusing on anything else.
When he returned from destroying Voldemort, using his love and conquering the sorcerer, the victory for the wizarding world was not one for Harry. He tried his best, and got what he wanted; Voldemort was no more, peace was restored, and his friends were alive. What he needed though, was to be with the girl he would love for the rest of his life and raise a family with, and it was only in the last while that he realized, in that he did not succeed.
The night he returned to the Burrow, it was not Ginny's face he looked to first, it was Hermione's. It was his love for her, not Ginny, that allowed him to destroy Voldemort. He told no one of it, however it haunted his thoughts for months afterwards.
He did not understand why it worked in that manner, however he came to realize as problems became evident with Ginny and himself what it was. They were not huge problems, but small and constant flaws that Harry noticed more and more as time passed. It was through some deep thinking and several of these walks, Harry came to realize that he was not in love with Ginny anymore, but was, and had always been, in love with Hermione.
He still saw Hermione, along with Ron. They were engaged now, and were getting along amiably. The times he saw Hermione, his chest ached not to be able to pour his heart to her, and kiss her passionately and let all the build up of years of love out in a torrential tidal wave of emotion. He held himself back from acting on his impulses, however now as people began to settle into their lives, he found he wasn't ready for it. He didn't want to marry Ginny, he couldn't. He was in love with Hermione, and had been for years.
Harry stopped for a moment, and allowed his shoulders to hunch as he gave a sigh, looking down at his soaked shoes which stood in the massive puddle that was the sidewalk. Water pooled around his shoes, and he could feel his socks becoming dampened from the water. He could just give a flick of his wand and make them dry again, but he didn't even feel he had the energy or wantingness to do that.
He was getting tired of how things were. He had a deep love for someone, and yet could never tell them. Everyone was going on, doing great and having wonderful lives, and yet Harry was still stuck to having life still being uneasy.
This uneasiness was showing more lately. He found many nights were spent awake, his mind constantly reminding him of his situation and how there was no escape. He was so tired from these sleepless nights, and it easily showed on his face, and in his posture.
When he did fall asleep, all he did was have dark dreams of seeing Hermione, Ron, and all his friends happy, with himself standing to the side to watch while his heart broke, slowly and painfully, in his chest. Ginny tried to help him when it would become evident while at their flat, but Harry couldn't tell her the truth. She was the only one that loved him, even if he really didn't return the same kind of love.
Harry hated the situation. When he returned from the battle, he thought he would be able to tell Hermione, and would be able to hopefully get together with her and begin to move on with life. She and Ron however, started dating very soon after, and they never broke up. Harry kept quiet the whole time, and never said a thing, however he silently and somewhat sadly wished they would break up. When they announced their engagement only a few months ago, he realized that telling Hermione would be impossible. He lost something he could never replace: a chance to tell her how he felt and find if she loved him too. He took their engagement as a spike to his heart, realizing that Hermione must have no such feelings for Harry. His love for her was all for waste.
Harry wiped his face, and continued walking. All these problems festered in Harry's head, and many times on these walks he found tears streaming down his face, not even realizing he was crying. The tension that existed in his mind was sometimes overwhelming, and he took these walks to allow himself to vent, so that Ginny would not question him.
All through these worries, he kept wondering if it could get worst. He had been debating going and talking to Hermione, whether to get closure or to actually hear that the feeling was mutual. Of course, Harry immediately discarded the second notion when he thought of it. She was in love with Ron, they were married, it didn't matter if she loved Harry like that. Even if it was true, Harry would be a horrible person to ask her to break her marriage to Ron for him. Plus, Harry knew to not put his hopes up on anything. He became a slight pessimist, and agreed with himself to always assume the worst, since the worst usually happened to him, this situation as a prime example.
Harry was stuck, with no where to go.
He looked up, the rain running through his soaked black hair, and down his face, and saw the streetlights above him. He knew the way home, it was a left turn down this street, and four buildings down. He also knew the way to Ron and Hermione's flat. It was straight down the street he was on, a few blocks away. As he came to the corner where he would make his turn to his and Ginny's flat, he found himself noticing something.
The streetlights on their street were off. You could still see the building entranceways, and the street was visible enough, however the sidewalk lights were all darkened. The buildings appeared ghostly, empty of both light and life. Harry stood on the corner for a while, wondering what he should do, and if he should believe it was a sign.
Should he return to Ginny, and go back to his depression and face the truth that he would have no choice in life but to settle for her, since the girl he wanted was already taken and utterly unattainable, or should he follow the lights, and go to Hermione, and take the chance he never took before, the chance he has hated himself for passing up?
Harry stood, glancing in both directions, as the rain continued to fall. The sidewalks were empty of people, the puddles glimmering as droplets fell. Harry stared down towards his own flat, then back towards the lighted street. Harry's mind weighed his options, figuring what choice he should make.
Why can't I be happy? Why can't I know the truth, and tell her my secret that has devoured my thoughts and my life for the past three years?
Harry drew a deep breath, closed his eyes, and walked forward.
He felt his bones ignite, as he took more and more determined steps, allowing the lights to guide him. He knew the chances of hearing good words were low, but he needed to take the chance. He was on his way to Ron and Hermione's, and would settle the conflict within.