Disclaimer: Harry Potter & Co belong to JK Rowling. I just own the plot.
Little thing I thought up, wrote most of it, and abandoned it, only to discover it weeks later and finish it. I'm quite proud really.
He is the sun.
Hermione isn't just a book-obsessed, bossy know-it-all with bushy hair. All right, she'll accept she is those, but she's more. She's unusually observant, which is a good thing because her two best friends are boys and she loves them with all her heart, but sometimes they can be rather thick.
If she had to label Harry, she would bypass the usual labels of 'Boy-Who-Lived' or 'Saviour' or 'The Chosen One'. She would label him the sun. And it's fitting.
The sun is beautiful.
Harry is beautiful.
Not in the usual sense of the word. It takes a special eye to notice his beauty, because even though she loves him, she has to admit he isn't the most of attractive of boys. He's scrawny and short, with unruly hair and big glasses. His eyes are only part of his beauty.
No, what is beautiful about Harry is his light. He burns with light that comes from youth and purpose. His light shines on others, but only those he chooses.
Everyone is attracted to the sun.
Well, maybe not everybody, Hermione thinks during yet another torturous Potions lesson. She watches Snape put down Harry and burns inside and vows to do something about it and soon because Snape is making Harry's light fade.
But most people are attracted to his light. She watches Blaise Zabini sneak secret glances; watches Malfoy infuriate Harry just so he stays with him longer. Watches Ron stand up for Harry, just so the light gets brighter slightly. Watches everyone who passes them glance and take another look because the light from the sun has caught their eye.
But nobody can get too close.
She and Ron are the only ones that can get extremely close. Hermione supposes that's how he differs from the sun slightly, although not many can get close. Herself, Ron, Luna, Neville, Mrs Weasley, the twins are the only few. Harry pushes Ginny away because she is confusing and he senses she may hurt him. Remus is excluded because even though Harry cares about him, Remus distanced himself first, by waiting until Harry was thirteen to appear.
Sometimes she feels smug, being part of the exclusive list. The others feel it too. Neville is like a flower - he needs the sun to survive. He reaches for the sun and the sun touches the flower gently. The twins make jokes and treat him much like a brother, just to see the light grow until it's almost blinding. Mrs Weasley gives him the part that was neglected: the love of a mother.
Luna - well Hermione isn't quite sure what Luna contributes. Luna sings songs about sunshine under her breath and creates what looks like daisy chains, only they're made out of weeds to sling over Harry's hair.
And herself and Ron? Well, they just keep him shining, no matter what.
Nobody can survive without the sun.
If something happens to Harry - if his relatives go to far or Voldemort gets his hand on him again - they will all die. Maybe not in the usual sense in the word; their bodies will continue to exist, but they will cold. Their warmth will be gone, just because the sun is no longer there to shine on them.
Keeping him alive is part of their job so they learn all they could and sacrifice sleep to help him train. But they also do the little things. They gently coax him into talking about his dreams and help him cope with the weight that is school. Ron plays chess and makes remarks and is ready to defend Harry. Hermione offers advice and gives affection - hugs and gentle touches - and makes sure he puts enough on his plate and eats it. Neville often sits with Harry and sometimes they talk (but it is usually silences) and is always ready to give his all to help. And Luna? She smiles while she connects the ends of the weed chain and leans close to place it on his head.
And it is enough. Every little gesture gives him fuel. The light blazes even stronger and they all feel warm and know that everything is just right.