Shades of Green

By: Ricole

Author's Notes: This was written for my dear "alter ego," in honor of the end of her teenage years. Basically, what I tried to do was capture Hermione's thought process. I hope you enjoy it!

Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, and this is just for fun.

He was buried in his dark green dress robes. I didn't even need to think about it when they asked me.

"Green," I answered. "The green dress robes."

It didn't matter that the robes wouldn't bring out his eyes like they used to because his eyes were now closed permanently. Harry, my Harry, had always been associated with green in my mind, and it only seemed fitting that my last glimpse of him on Earth would be while he was wearing green.

His vivid green eyes were the first thing I noticed about him when I met him that fateful day on the Hogwarts Express. Well, that and the fact that I'd read about him in one of my many books, and also that he really should have been getting dressed in his Hogwarts robes by that time. But most of all, I remembered his lovely green eyes.

That summer after our first year at Hogwarts, I found an old dark green shirt in the back of my closet. I started wearing it often. I remember that Mum questioned me about it.

"Hermione, dear, why are you wearing that green shirt all the time? I bought that for you three years ago and you've hardly worn it at all until now. It doesn't even fit you as well as it did then."

"But it's such a lovely shade of green, don't you think?"

Somehow, wearing that shirt reminded me of Harry, made me feel closer to him. I was worried about him that summer, living with those awful relatives of his. That was when I realized that sometime during the school year, I had subconsciously started associating Harry with the color green.

It wasn't entirely logical, I knew. And usually, I am the definition of logical. But when it comes to Harry, I've never been completely logical. I lived it then, and I understand it now.

Only Harry could make me truly green with envy. When he kissed Cho, I was surprised to look in the mirror that night and find that my eyes were, in fact, still brown. I felt that surely everyone could see the green-eyed monster behind my eyes just as clearly as I felt it inside. No one ever saw the way I struggled with the envy, then or later—especially not Harry.

Not that I would have wanted him to know. I wanted him to be happy. I never dreamed that that would include me as his wife. Of course, that doesn't mean that I didn't wish it would.

That terrible time when we were searching for the Horcruxes, that time of desperation and tragedy and terror, was also the time I first began to hope that perhaps, just maybe, if we both somehow lived through it all—

There's been lots of talk about those days, about the defeat of Voldemort, since news of Harry's death was released. But no one's accounts really match what I remember. I remember the many sleepless nights, the many tears that I wouldn't allow myself to cry, and the many times I was reminded to be thankful for my two best friends.

But it's funny what you remember, years later, about times like that. Because I also remember silly little things, like the fuzzy green mold on our bread. I remember thinking with a bitter laugh that pre-war Hermione would never have wanted to eat bread that was old enough to have earned some mold, whereas Voldemort-hunting Hermione considered that bread—any bread—a veritable feast.

I remember those green eyes I loved so much being filled with an exhausted, hollow look. It was that look that gave me the determination to somehow make it through everything, to make sure I was able to fight alongside Harry as long as possible, to help him shoulder the burden.

And I remember those times that made me begin to hope—those times when it seemed that perhaps, when everything was over—when just for a moment while he was looking at me, his cares seemed to melt a bit, and his eyes looked a little less haunted. When that happened, no matter where we were or how tired or scared we were, I didn't feel so homesick anymore.

Maybe that's why I started associating green with home, too. Maybe that's why I insisted that we paint the nursery a nice shade of light green.

"It's such a pretty color, Harry. And besides, it will work for either boys or girls, so it's practical, too."

"But what about a nice, bright yellow? That could work for boys or girls."

"Green is more…soothing."

He laughed, then, a bemused laugh. "All right, Hermione, if you really want light green, we'll paint it light green."

Our first baby had his beautiful green eyes. I was so excited the day that I saw they were going to change from baby blue to that vivid green.

"Look, Harry! She's going to have your eyes! I'm so glad."

"Just out of curiosity, why are you glad?"

"Because I love your eyes. They're so pretty. I was hoping she wouldn't end up with my eyes instead, brown being a dominant gene and all."

"But what's wrong with brown eyes?" he protested, and he got a kiss for that. I often wondered if he associated me with brown the way I associated him with green. Perhaps he wasn't as silly as that, but the thought made me smile.

She ended up being the only one of our children to inherit Harry's green eyes. So I found it funny and wonderful when she announced that she was marrying a man named Brent Greene. I knew no one else would share my fascination with the color green and my daughter's new name, so I kept it to myself.

She was the one who sat beside me this morning at the big memorial service, silently squeezing my hand to offer comfort. The service was a nightmare. It seemed like the whole Wizarding world wanted to come. Harry would have hated all the attention and the false grief, and he would have despised the way it became a social event as much as a memorial to a wonderful man. But he was their hero, and I couldn't deny them this last chance to say good-bye to such a beloved icon.

We held the service at Hogwarts. Hogwarts was once alive with so many happy memories. I can't help but feel that it has been tainted, somehow; that this is now what I'll remember most about it. Somewhere, my brain knows that's not true, but in the tunnel vision that comes with grief, it sure feels like it.

I had to listen to so many well-wishers, people I didn't even know, people who only knew me as "the widow—you know, the one who helped him in the war." I wanted to yell and scream, to shout that none of them really knew Harry, my Harry, at all. He was so much more than their hero; he was a husband and a father and a friend, and he was genuine and humble and full of love. But I somehow kept my composure through the ordeal, and finally we escaped to the private burial ceremony for family and close friends.

The sun is shining today, the birds are singing, and summer is in full swing. The lush grass of the cemetery is a lovely shade of green. It reminds me of picnics with Harry, of times lying on the grass and looking at the stars, of looking into his green eyes when he was about to kiss me. I feel almost as if Harry is here with me, and I'm glad that I'm surrounded by so much green as I drop some brown dirt onto his casket. It is rather poetic—he is surrounded by my brown dirt, and I am surrounded by his green grass.

"It almost seems like the weather is mocking us, so bright and sunny, doesn't it?" Ron asks me as we are leaving the gravesite.

I wipe a tear off my cheek, but I give my dear friend a watery smile. "No, Ron. I think it's just what he would have wanted." Breathtaking, warm, and green—Harry—home. "It's just perfect."