Ch. 9 Happily Ever After?
She came about slowly, the white ceiling hazily swimming into view. She's been seeing a lot of the hospital wing lately. Her whole back ached as carefully, Hermione pushed herself into a sitting position. Glancing to her left, Harry and Ron were sound asleep on one of the chairs, looking incredibely uncomfortable. A wave of fondness washed over her and straight after the feeling that she was going to cry. Unprepared a few tears slipped out before she managed to choke them back.
What was she supposed to tell them? That she'd gone back and fallen in love with Harry's Godfather? How could she possibly do that to him? There was no way he could accept that, it was surely be too weird? And Sirius.... all she could think about was the pain on his face, as if she'd ripped his heart straight out and stomped on it. Oh she wished she'd told him the truth, but that just wasn't a possibility. As much as she wished otherwise, the time line was more important than her love life. But that didn't make it any easier.
Besides, for her it has only been a day. One day ago she was professing her love for Sirius, hearing that he loved her back. Yet since that day around twenty years had passed for him. And look at what he'd gone through. The death of his family, betrayal, Azkaban, the Veil...she still loved him. Hermione knew that no matter how much he might have changed since his Hogwart days that she still loved him but he might not feel the same. How could she have expected him to wait? To hold onto his love for a girl that, for all he knew, he'd never see again? This must have been the pain that Sirius had felt, it was unbearable, tearing her up inside.
"Hermione?" Harry scrambled into her bed and as soon as he saw the tears incased her in a bear hug. "Hermione? Shhh, it'll be okay. What's wrong?"
"Mistake, hurts...past..." Stumbling over her words she was aware of a second pair of arms going around her.
"I'm sorry Hermione," Ron whispered but she only shook her head. That wasn't important anymore. All she could focus on was the feeling of her heart breaking. She wasn't sure how long they held her but finally her sobbing slowed to weak hiccups and she slipped off into an exhausted sleep.
"...we have to know! We're her best friends!"
"You didn't see her, somethings hurt her and I want to know what!"
She kept her eyes closed as Harry and Ron interrogated someone. Despair welled up but she pushed it back. She shouldn't let it take over until she'd talked to Sirius. Maybe she was being pessimistic. Maybe they could work...maybe...
"Miss Granger was sent into the past, as I already explained. What happened there is for her to tell you, it's not my story to tell. Now I believe Miss Granger is awake."
"Hey," Hermione whispered, looking up at everyone around her bed.
"Nice to see you're feeling better Miss Granger. Now everyone, I think we should step outside while she gets changed." Slowly everyone trekked outside. Well everyone except Sirius who was standing in the back, unnoticed. Rolling out of bed Hermione nearly jumped out of her skin when he spoke.
"We should talk."
"Sirius! I..." yet no words came. What could she say? That she still loved him?
"I haven't told Harry or Ron anything that happened. And I think it should stay that way. Hermione...I....we should just forget everything that happened. It would just upset Harry and...well it's been twenty years. I'm now a forty one year old wizard... You know what I'm saying don't you?" Of course she knew what he was saying. He was older, mature, he didn't want anything to do with a witch who was still in school. He'd moved on and didn't want to bring up the past. She understood that, it broke her heart, it was killing her inside, but she still saw where he was coming from.
"So you don't-" She cut herself off. Of course he didn't still love her. There was no reason to cause the wound to open more by his admittion. "I understand." For a second he hesitated, as if he wanted to come forward and hug her, instead he swiftly turned and left the hospital wing. Hermione waited till the doors had closed before she let the tears come. Her whole body shaking with her muffled sobs she sank to the floor finally letting her despair flood over her in a wave.
1 Week Later
Harry knew something was wrong. Since she'd been back Hermione had been acting strangely. Nobody else seemed to notice it. Speaking of weird Sirius had been a little funny as well... Seeing Hermione curled up in the corner with a book he decieded it was about time he got told the truth. Determined he sat down next to her and took away her book.
"Hermione, what's going on?"
"Wha- Nothing Harry, I'm fine, seriously I'm fine." She wouldn't meet his eyes and he knew that she was lying.
"Hermione, you can tell me anything, we're best friends," he reminded her gently, titling her chin so she was looking at him.
"I-" The love and worry in Harry's face cracked her, before she knew what she was doing she was spilling the whole story. Going into the past, meeting his parents, falling in love. By the end she felt emotionally and physically drained. Waiting for Harry to walk away in disgust or start shouting at her. Instead he pulled her into a hug, before giving her a light shake.
"This isn't the Hermione Granger I know. She wouldn't just lay down and take it, she'd fight for the man she loves! It would be weird, with him being my godfather, but if it makes the two of you happy, Hermione you have to go after him. At least try."
"You really- I- Thanks Harry," she whispered, unable to believe how lucky she was to ahve such an understanding friend. Sometimes he was insensitive and didn't know what he was doing emotionally but when it really counted he was there for her.
"Go, go talk to him. I'm away for a shower to scrub myself clean," chuckling slightly he took off up stairs as Hermione raced out the Common Room, determined that she would make Sirius listen.
"Sirius, we have to talk!" Hermione pushed her way into his classroom.
"Now isn't a good-"
"Do you still love me?" she demanded to know, no dancing around the subject.
"That wasn't the question. ..Me?"
"N- Yes. Yes I do there are you happy?!" even though he wanted to he couldn't lie to her.
"Why did you say all those things? Why did you say we couldn't be together?" Tears welled up in her eyes, unable to push them down she let them roll down her cheeks. She noticed she seemed to be crying a lot lately, which really wasn't like her but she just couldn't seem to help herself. After everything that had been happening.
"I'm an old man Hermione! Old enough to be your father! And Harry's my godson, your best friend, this-"
"Harry doesn't mind, he knows! And I love you Sirius, I don't care about your age, it's different in the wizarding world, you know that as well as I do!" her voice dropped to a whisper as she pleaded her case, to make him understand. " We could work Sirius, I know we could. Why won't you try?"
"This would take a lot of work Hermione. A lot of people would be against it but I do still love you. And I'm prepared to work hard to make sure that we work, you're worth it and so much more. So Hermione Granger, will you accompany me to Hogsmeade this weekend?"
"I'd love to," she sniffled. It would be a long hard road but deep down Hermione knew that in the end the two of them would come out of it together. In the end it would just cement their relationship and strengthen their love for each other.
So I've had the end of the story sitting, finished in my folder and I forgot to post them. I was looking through my account when I realised it. Sorry for the massive gap between these, it's no excuse I know and I give you permission to throw the rotten vegetables :P
Anyway, there is a epilogue, I'll post it in a day or two, I jsut have to re-read it and check for mistakes.
Hope you enjoyed it!