A/N - Alright folks, here it is, the final chapter! From the
beginning of Fix You to here, it's been fun writing these stories. I
hope you all enjoy the final chapter here, and please review. Let me
know what you think of the story.
- Chapter Four –
You Belong With Me
She could not believe he was there, standing a mere twenty feet in front of her. He had changed a bit in his last few years in isolation, but he still had those eyes—those bright, emerald eyes. Even in the grey world that surrounded them, his eyes still stood out like a pair of lone stars in the night sky.
Her mind was both blank in its shock, and frantic with how to proceed. He just looked at her quietly, holding on to the book that she wrote. Should she run up and hug him? Kiss him? Yell at him?
Or should she stand, and prepare herself for the verbal bombardment that she deserved. Her mind continued to circle, and no viable words could fit what was going through her mind as time continued to tick away with Harry looking up at her from his walk way. Why did he have to look at her like that?
'A- . . . an- . . . . and?' Hermione managed very nervously. She knew from his look what the answer would be: shouts, yells, and a final angry and dejected good-bye. She knew it was coming, and although she thought she was prepared for it, she realized nothing could prepare her for this.
Harry looked down, and moved the book into his line of sight. Hermione was still standing oddly at the top of the stairs, and Harry did not take any steps, be they front or backwards.
Harry sighed, and looked back up at her. 'I didn't like it.'
The words hit Hermione like a brick wall. She could feel herself sway with the realization that Harry in fact hated her, and her book. She had feared the idea of seeing Harry and hearing his full anger at the book and her feeling, but she could never visualize it. It was always hard to picture it, because she wanted for it to not happen so badly, she would not let herself visualize it. Of course now there was no need to visualize it; it was happening right in front of her.
It seemed her entire core hollowed with Harry's words and his expression, and her eyes began shedding tears, that cast warmly down her cheeks as she began to hiccup.
'You . . . you di- . . . you didn't?' Hermione asked shakily as more tears fell. She was not asking if it was true, but just because she could still not believe he did not like it. How could he not like it, she poured her heart into it.
Harry maintained his ground as she cried on the front steps of his house, and nodded. 'No, I didn't. I would have expected much more from you' he answered, some disappointment entering his tone. Hermione's eyes billowed in more tears at his words, but her mind was also finding his words confusing.
'Wha- . . . what do you mean?' she asked as her breath continued to be broken by hiccups.
'Well' Harry started, taking a step. Hermione's eyes almost completely dried up at noticing he was coming closer. 'I'd have expected a mystery, or drama; not romance.' His tone was still disappointed, but Hermione's mind continued to hold to hope. He had not yelled or banished her away yet. He was still talking, and that was enough to keep her hope strong.
'I had oth- . . . other stories, bu- . . . but this was the on- . . . one they wanted' Hermione responded cautiously. She was holding onto a post on the front porch for support, and she was worried if she let go, she would fall down the stairs, and the way her mind was thinking, all the way to the depths of the Earth.
'I see' Harry responded, glancing at the book again.
He looked back up at Hermione, and her mind was finally catching up to her. All of the events of two years ago, the anguish of never hearing from him, the constant reminder of how he was gone; that was all in the past. She remembered how when just earlier that week, the idea that Hedwig had delivered her a note made her more excited than she could remember, and how now, actually seeing Harry, how she should do what she did not do all those years ago.
She had nothing left to give but her heart to Harry, and it was no good living without him knowing the truth, regardless of whether he understood the book or not.
Hermione let go of her logic, and her reason, and put her faith in Harry. Letting go of the post she was dearly holding on to, she took a breath, and with tears still falling down her cheeks slowly, she descended the stairs rapidly, and tackled Harry in a hug.
'Oh Harry' she sniffed as she buried her face in his terribly missed shoulder, 'I'm so sorry!'
She could feel Harry hesitate for a moment, but her heart slowed, and her blood turned warm as she felt him drop the book on the ground, and frame her with his arms.
Feeling Harry all around her made Hermione cry even harder as all her memories poured through her mind. Remembering that rainy night in London, and how every time since then, the rain reminded her of Harry, and how utterly depressed they both were that night so long ago. She remembered all those days, so many days, where she found herself curled up on a chair, or sitting on the grass, or anywhere, and thoughts of Harry began to meander through her mind. She remembered, hoped, and dreamed about Harry, and now at least one of those dreams could come true.
Hermione hugged tighter, and her hands pushed harder into his shoulders. Her tears slowed, but only because she had very few left to give. Harry's familiar smell, which Hermione vividly remembered, had changed a bit, and was closer to cologne she remembered Lupin wore. It was sweet, but not strong, and she breathed in his new and wonderful aroma.
'Lupin gave me some of his cologne after that dinner in the backyard' Harry commented, Hermione smiling and letting out a laugh. She wiped her cheeks and closed her eyes again. Somehow, even after all this time, Harry could still tell what she was thinking when they hugged.
'I like it' she said as she felt Harry's hands moving against her back. He was doing it lightly, as she expected, but she could tell they were Harry's hands. He always was gentle with her when it came to hugs.
'Harry' she said, backing up to look at him and clearing her throat quietly, 'I'm so sorry. I messed everyth-'
'Hermione' he interrupted, looking down at his feet. Hermione's heart momentarily melted, hearing him say her name for the first time in two years. 'Let's . . . let's go for a walk.'
Hermione could hear disappointment again creeping into his voice, and she looked down for a moment, before nodding.
Harry turned slowly, and started towards the gate, but he looked back to find Hermione still standing where he left her.
'Are you coming?' he asked.
'Can I . . . ' Hermione started, looking down at her shoes.
'Can you what?' he asked quietly. Hermione was hesitant to ask because of the situation, but she needed to ask.
'Can I pick where we walk?' she muttered. Harry turned back, and walked towards her.
Harry seemed to scan her over for a few moments, before bending down, picking up her book that he earlier let go, and nodding. 'Alright.'
Hermione took a step forward, while her mind was trying to piece together all of what happened so far. She was totally confused as to whether Harry hated her, or loved her. She would have preferred if he just took the extreme road of either of them, be it yelling at her in anger, or kissing her with love (the second choice Hermione was praying for), but he was doing neither. He hadn't yelled, and he definitely did not make to kiss her.
Harry moved closer, and Hermione looked up at him. He calmly put his book in his left hand, and held out his right. Hermione was hesitant to take it, but Harry lowered his glance at her.
'Hermione, you need to guide me there. Unless I know where you're going.'
'No' she responded quietly. 'No, you don't know where it is.' She moved over slowly, and reached her hand out to his. Hermione felt it took ages for her hand to drift towards his, but after a decade of slow motion movement, her fingers grazed his palm, and their hands fit into each others. Harry was again, not squeezing hard, but Hermione could feel the shivers move through her core.
Harry was holding her hand. She was holding Harry's hand.
'Hermione?' he asked, looking at her. She shook her head, and came back to reality.
'Oh, sorry. Alright, on three' she said, thinking of her destination. She knew where she wanted to go walking. She had walked there so many times as it was, and she always dreamed of seeing that silhouette of a man walking along the horizon, and approaching her slowly.
'One . . . two' she said, feeling Harry squeeze her hand. 'Three.'
Harry moved with her through the siphoning calmly, and did not bump into her once. She stayed more focused than she had ever been before. Her feet landed on the pavement of the road, and she looked up to see the sun fading on the horizon, and the sky patched with puffy clouds shaded in purples and reds.
Harry looked around, and scanned the horizon. 'Where are we?'
Hermione smiled at him, and looked ahead. 'On the coast. I live just over there' she explained, pointing towards the west, where her house was just over the horizon.
'It's beautiful here. A good change from the Hollow' Harry admitted, looking at Hermione. A shadow of a smile wiped across his face, and Hermione's heart fluttered.
Harry started ahead, and Hermione followed quickly. Harry's hand fell slowly from hers, and her mind turned dark, realizing she still had no idea as to which way he was going to go.
They walked next to each other for a while, and no words were spoken between the two of them. Hermione just still could not believe that Harry, her Harry, was walking next to her, just as she had dreamt about.
Hermione was worried about speaking. She wanted to keep things how they were. She knew it was not perfect, but she didn't want it getting any worse. She knew her speaking could just ruin it all, and make Harry upset. It was a fine line she had to walk, and although she knew she would have to talk at some point, she wanted to enjoy the quietness between them now.
They walked down the paved country road, and continued in quietness. The sky was painted in wonderful shades of blue and deep purple that faded to bright red, with the entire spectrum between mixed in the clouds. A light wind frolicked along the grass, and swayed both their hair as they moved down the road. Both of them looked at the horizon, and the ocean, whose steady music could be heard rolling over the land.
They took an easy pace to walking, and Hermione continually looked at Harry to take in his changes. He was thinner than before, but not much. His hair was longer, but that was to be expected. Hermione thought it looked nice, but his hair was not much of a worry at the moment.
He seemed a little tense with his posture, but Hermione realized that she must look a hundred times worse. She could feel her hands fidgeting around in her pockets as they walked, as the nervousness increased with each passing moment of silence.
'Let's sit down' she said suddenly, breaking the silence that had enveloped them. He looked around, and nodded. The two of them moved off the road and up a small incline to the top of the hill. It was very much like the one Hermione had been sitting at the week before.
Hermione sat down first, and Harry looked about first before following suit. He just looked out at the ocean, and Hermione gazed at him closely.
She was looking for something, anything to tell her what was going on in his mind. Why could he not just say how he feels?
He turned his head and looked at Hermione right in her eyes, and it was then she realized that she was complicating the situation beyond what it was. He calmly looked back out at the ocean as a gull flew over, and she looked out as well.
'I messed up two years ago' she said quietly, glancing at Harry. He breathed in deeply, and sighed.
'We both did' he professed, still looking out. He moved his sight to his side, and put the book on his lap, looking at it again. Hermione looked down at it, and found him stroking the cover with his fingers, dusting it off.
Hermione, seeing Harry with her book in his lap, reached over slowly, and caressed his hand. At first she was scared he would retract his hand, but her heart was not put to such sadness. His other hand holding on to the book, his hand gently entwined with Hermione's, and she nudged closer to him.
They were sitting next to each other, and both looking at each others hands.
'Why did you write it?' Harry asked, looking back at the book, and then at Hermione, who was mere inches away.
She asked for the book with her other hand, and he handed it to her. She looked down at it, and she again looked at Harry, and into his eyes. In the dying sunlight, they seemed to grow in depth, like she was looking into two emerald jewels.
'I wrote it for you Harry' she answered warmly. Harry's eyes stayed on her for a moment, before looking back at the book in her lap. His head dropped, and Hermione pushed forward.
'Harry' she whispered, letting go of his hand and cupping his face so she could see him. 'I'm sorry for that night. There's something I should have done then that would have saved us all these years of torment.'
'What?' Harry asked quietly, looking away from her. Hermione, with a little force, moved his face back towards her, and she slowly leaned over.
She tilted her head, and kissed him. He tensed for a few moments, but as Hermione moved herself over, and her hands moved down his neck to his shoulders, his tension floated away, and he began returning the kiss.
Harry slowly moved his hands, and cupped Hermione's face, and she could feel the energy that Harry had pent up running through him. She pushed ever so slightly towards him, and he fiercely moved his hands to her back, and pulled her closer. Their kiss deepened quickly, and Hermione's body pushed to go farther, while her mind was still trying to realize she was kissing Harry.
After that fateful night in London, after all the rainy days, after all those thoughts and dreams, after two years, she was finally kissing Harry.
Their kiss slowed like a train coming to a halt. It was gradual, and pushed on so slowly, Hermione could feel the wind die, and the waves stop as time stood still, and her fingers tingled with the moment. They held together when it was done, like never wishing to stop, and let go of each others lips.
They both breathed in deeply, drinking in the beautiful moments after such a long awaited time. Hermione opened her eyes slowly, and found Harry with the most handsome smile she had ever seen. A tear broke down her cheek, and he pulled her close and hugged her longingly.
Hermione openly laughed, as tears of happiness fell from her eyes. She was terrible at keeping her emotions in check, and Harry brought out the worst of that in her.
'Oh Harry, I'm so sorry about the last two years' she admitted from his back.
'I was sad, beyond belief, but it doesn't matter now Hermione. What matters is now, and that things can be fixed. Who knew Hagrid would be the one to do it though?' he chuckled, Hermione doing the same.
'Why didn't you come back?' Hermione asked, regretting the question once she realized what she said.
Harry sighed for a moment, and looked at her. 'I was just too much in a sea of unhappiness. I thought I ruined everything, and that everyone hated me. I kept tabs on you guys, but at first I wasn't going to read your books. I felt that sea wash over me, and I could feel myself drowning in it. I wanted to too, but it was Hagrid who convinced me to try and read you book. I was going to leave tomorrow for Australia, but I just finished the book today.'
'And now?' Hermione asked hesitantly.
'And now' Harry responded, picking up the book, 'now I realize I am the one who made the mistake. I was this close to being swallowed in the sea, but you showing up, and reading your book, made me realize I was wrong. I'm sorry I did this to you Hermione. Now I don't know where I belong.'
He looked away, and Hermione felt frustrated at Harry. He did everything right that night, and he was still blaming himself.
'Harry' she said confidently, again moving his face towards hers. 'We both made mistakes alright, and I know exactly where you belong.'
'Where?' he asked, Hermione smiling.
'You belong with me.' Harry smiled at her, and a flicker of a tear ran down his cheek. She wiped away soothingly, and kissed him again warmly.
The two of them stayed on the hills near the ocean well into the night, and returned to Hermione's home hand in hand. They had talked all the time, about what had taken place in the last years, and what was going on with their friends.
Entering Hermione's home, Crookshanks gave Harry a welcoming rub against his leg, and he asked to use Hermione's owl.
'What for?' she asked as she turned on the lights. She still used some Muggle devices, and electric lights where one of them.
'I just need to write someone.'
Hermione brought her owl to Harry, and he wrote his message, which the owl was bringing to its addressee moments later.
A/N - So, what are your thoughts? I hope you enjoyed both stories,
and all I ask is you please review! Also, feel free to check out my
other stories if you wish:)