Warnings: MAJOR OoC-ness, language, violence (maybe?), a horrible attempt at the British vocabulary/language. And so on and so forth.
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter and company; JKR, Scholastics; and so on and so forth.
Author's Notes: I have a little, just little, problem with Hermione being older than Harry, by nearly a year. I don't know why, but I get irked off by it. So, in my story, she is younger than Harry. No, the epilogue will not be relevant in this story. (Honestly, Albus Severus? Hugo? Scorpius?) I pity them.
About Forever: Take Two, it's currently on a small hiatus. I'm sorry, but I'm facing slight writer's block.
I think, from what I remember that Gringotts is the only Wizarding Bank in all of the Wizarding World. Don't you think that's a bit much for one bank, even if it is Magical? Well… sigh, whatever.
This is the Prologue. Ish…
Hope you enjoy.
August 15th, 2001 …
Harry checked the rest of the flat. Sure, Hermione had made sure that everything was packed into their suitcases, but it didn't stop Harry from being sure. He checked the two bedrooms, making sure that everything was bare, and then moved to the dining area. Once making sure that everything was, indeed, bare, he made his way towards the once filled lounge.
His eyes travelled around the room. It wasn't extraordinarily large, but it wasn't small, either. A small giggling sound distracted Harry's wanderings. Seeing his eleven-month-old son waddling around the room, travelling around the suitcases, looking for his father, Harry had to admit that he loved his son very, very much.
Grinning, he picked up his little bundle. Young Andrew Harry Potter smiled, blowing bubbles from his mouth, his small hands moving upwards to tangle in his already unruly black hair. Bright green eyes met, and Harry gave his son a kiss on the forehead. Although the child was still small (even in weight and height), he had the stamina of a child at least two times his age.
Harry turned around, looking for his wife. She came from the loo a few minutes after, and was now gazing at Harry. Hermione smiled, walking towards her husband and son. Taking out her wand, Hermione shrunk all of the suitcases (save her large purse and the baby bag for Andrew) and put them into her jean pocket. She then turned to Harry.
"And how is our little Andrew doing today?" she questioned, her thin, yet firm arms, enveloping her husband and son.
Harry smiled, kissing the top of her head. "Running around and giggling, as usual." After a moment, he asked, "Have you got everything?"
She nodded. "Yes. The furniture we've already sold and all of our books, clothes, and other essentials are packed away, into my pocket."
He nodded, moving away from her. Moving towards the window, he saw the streets of California and the people walking down the sidewalks, going to their college classes. "Can you believe we're leaving California? As University graduates, no less?" he asked softly, patting Andrew's back, seeing as the young boy was getting sleepy.
She came behind him, leaning her head onto Harry's shoulder, "I know, it's so surreal. As if it were just yesterday we were arrived here, and now we're graduates, going back to our home country." She emitted a soft sigh, careful not to awake her dozing son. "I just hope Mum and Dad are alright. They've been awfully worried that you and I wouldn't be able to handle going to Stanford and having a child, and with another one on the way," she murmured, her hand absently going to her stomach.
She frowned, her eyes tearing up. "But now that their health is deteriorating, we have to go back." Even softer than before, she whispered, "Harry, I'm scared. I don't want to go back to England. I don't want to see everyone again. It still hurts."
"I'm scared, too," murmured Harry, resting his head atop Hermione's. "I'm scared of what everyone's reactions will be. I'm scared, too, love." He sighed, kissing her temple. "We'll get through it, Hermione. We will."
She chuckled, wiping the tears from her eyes. "Look at me, tearing up!"
"Well, when you're pregnant, you do tend to get a bit emotional over everything," he said, chuckling softly, one hand holding Andrew firmly to his chest. "You were emotional while you had Andrew, and you're going to be emotional for another six months until this little one arrives."
She nodded, her hand touching her stomach fondly. "And to think, we're going to have another son." Her expression was dreamy and serene, a look Harry admired very much.
"You know it's a boy?"
She shook her head. "Not from the doctors, but I know it's a boy."
Shrugging a shoulder, Harry wrapped a strong arm around Hermione's slim waist, and they went towards the door. Looking around their home once more—the same home that they lived in for nearly four years—Harry and Hermione Potter locked the door and turned around.
While Hermione was adjusting her purse and baby bag, she heard one of Harry's friends, Matthew, come up to them.
"I can't believe you're really going to leave!" said Matthew, his voice sad. The tall boy (much taller than Harry's five nine frame) with blond hair and black eyes slapped Harry on the back softly, careful not to wake Andrew. "It's gonna be so lonely without you two! And little Andrew and his giggling," he added, gazing fondly at the slumbering boy.
Harry offered a feeble smile, knowing that they'd return when they had the chance. "Don't worry, Matt. Hermione and I will be back someday, perhaps even this year."
"Yeah, but who's going to play Volleyball and Soccer for us? You're the best we've had since Spencer left!" he exclaimed.
Harry blushed. "Thanks, but I'm not that good." Before Matt could retort, Harry continued. "And besides, I have to return to England—my in-laws are sick, and they need us."
Matt nodded. "But you are going to be back to finish graduate school, aren't you?" he asked, looking at both Harry and Hermione.
Now it was time for Hermione to answer. "I really want to, Matt. I really do, but I'm not too sure we'll have enough time. Handling a child and University was hard enough—Harry and I had to compromise our schedules so much! And with another child on the way, I'm not too sure we'll be able to." She held his hand loosely in a friendly gesture, "Don't worry, Matt, we'll visit."
He nodded, dejected. "Yeah… Melissa is going to be so sad that they're losing their setter for Volleyball. She thought you were always good." He grinned. "But hey, at least you won't have to run Cross Country anymore."
Hermione shuddered, letting go of his hand. "That was the worst season of my life! Don't bring that up," she muttered, shaking her head.
Harry checked his watch, seeing that they only had three hours until their flight left. "Well, Matt, I guess this is where we say our farewells." He brought him into a loose hug, "I'll see you later," he said, letting his friend go.
He nodded sadly, "Yeah. I'll see you later, Harry." He kissed the back of Andrew's head, "And you too, Andrew." Turning towards Hermione, he brought her into a tight hug, and then gave her a kiss on the cheek. "Bye, Hermione."
She nodded, tears forming in her eyes. "Bye, Matthew."
After giving each other a few more farewells, the small family finally left the apartment complex. While going down, they met a few other old classmates, and even ran into a Professor. After a quick discussion, and even a bit of hopeful persuasion to continue schooling, Harry and Hermione continued their way.
Once they went to the garage and found their car, Harry put Andrew into his car seat and then went to the driver's seat, while Hermione situated herself next to Andrew. Putting the car into ignition, Harry drove off into the warm California sun.
Hermione sighed, looking out the window. They were currently driving through the campus, watching the stadium pass by, the same stadium Harry proposed on, after they'd watched a football game. She smiled fondly at the memory.
"That was a wonderful game," Hermione commented, her hand wrapped loosely around Harry's waist. They were currently walking back to their shared flat, hoping to get a good night's sleep before classes started again the next day.
"Yeah," Harry nodded, "it was." Nervously, the eighteen-year-old fingered the velvet box that was obscured by his loose, faded jeans. "Erm," stammered Harry, hoping he wasn't going to mess this up, "Hermione?"
"Hmm…?" she hummed, making her way through the hoard of people.
Harry stopped walking, making Hermione raise her eyebrow in question. He nervously pulled the sleeves of his black long-sleeved shirt up, and took the velvet box out from his pocket. Getting on one knee, ignoring the fact that everyone was watching with interest, Harry asked, "Hermione… will… will you, erm, marry me?"
The crowd waited in silence, their eyes travelling from Harry to Hermione repeatedly. Finally, after what seemed like forever, Hermione announced, in a small voice, "Yes." She had tears streaming down her cheeks as Harry whooped for joy, punching the air, and finally enveloped her in his arms, spinning around. The crowd cheered happily for the two freshmen, even if half of the crowd didn't know the two.
"I'm getting married!" whispered Harry happily. "I'm getting married!" he repeated.
They'd gotten married two months after, knowing that if they delayed, their class schedules, homework, and such wouldn't let them have the opportunity. They spent their summer vacation as their Honeymoon, never leaving their now shared bedroom unless absolutely necessary. Hermione smiled giddily and rested her head against Andrew's cushioned car seat, closing her eyes.
Harry looked behind him and saw that Hermione was dozing off. He smiled, hoping that she would be able to sleep on the plane. Because of that thought, the smile that adorned the twenty-one-year-olds face died.
After the war had ended, Harry was hoping to start his life. It had, in a way, but not in the way he imagined. Once the moved the Elder Wand to a secure place, Harry hoped that he would be able to go back into Ginny's arms and start his life. They dated for about a week, but then Harry realized that it just wasn't working. He was too busy attending funerals (for Tonks, Remus, Fred, and other casualties from the war) with Hermione and Ron to notice he had a girlfriend. Once he broke it off, Hermione had announced that she was leaving to Australia to renovate her parents' previous memories.
He was apprehensive and didn't want to let Hermione leave the country by herself, so he suggested that he go with her. After countless nights of insomnia (and near begging—courtesy of Harry), she agreed. She wasn't sure why, but Harry simply said that he needed to get away from the media and the Wizarding World for a while. They hadn't told Ron for fear of feeling betrayed by his best mate and girlfriend. They'd left during the night while staying at the Burrow, using the Night Bus to get to the Muggle airport, Heathrow.
It took them a week to finally take the needed charms and spells from her parents' minds. After realizing that they had a child, Mister and Missus Granger hugged their child like no tomorrow. Once they finished the necessary work, Hermione wondered what the rest of Australia was like. And for two weeks, she, Harry, and her parents travelled the great outback.
Harry smiled as one special memory came to his mind. May was just beginning and Hermione was just sitting on a rock, innocently reading a book.
Harry saw Hermione all alone, reading. Harry sat near her, looking over her shoulder. She was reading a book in Ayers Rock, and Harry grinned, shutting the book.
Calmly, Hermione said, "I was reading that."
Cheekily, he responded, "I know. But you don't need to read on Ayers Rock; I bet you already know everything there is to know on the subject!"
She shook her head, and decided to change the subject. "Where are my parents?" she asked.
"Sleeping, I reckon," he answered, resting his head on her shoulder. Ever since they left England, it seemed as though their relationship had, somehow, changed a bit. As if there were more than friends, at times. "It's beautiful, isn't it?" he asked, referring to the scenery they were looking at currently.
She nodded, resting her head atop Harry's. "Yes, it is."
They simply sat there in silence, each enjoying the other's company. After a few minutes, though, Harry brought his head up and looked at Hermione.
"Have we owled Ron yet?" he asked, a bit worried.
She sighed. "No," she murmured. "And, although I'm a bit ashamed to admit it, I don't really want to owl him."
He looked at her quizzically. "Why?"
She sighed, turning away from him, "Because I'm afraid of what he'll say. I know he'll think we left him out, again, and I'm cheating on him. But… the thing is… I… I just don't have feelings for him," she murmured. "I've started having feelings for someone else, and I'm scared Ron will find a way to find out. Maybe he'd find a way to track us, and yell at us. Just like when we were in the tent," she said.
"If you fancy someone else, you shouldn't be ashamed to tell Ron, Hermione," he told her, a bit uneasy that she fancied someone else. "If you don't tell him, you'll go back to England and Ron will think you two are still dating."
"What if I don't want to return?" she asked quietly.
"Why wouldn't you return?" Harry retorted, just as quietly.
She snorted, finally turning back to Harry, "For the same reasons as you. Now that the war is over, I'm nearly as famous as you are! I don't want to face the public, I don't want to be offered jobs because I'm Hermione Granger, the brains behind The Boy Who Defeated Voldemort. I don't want any of it anymore, Harry. I want to get away from the Wizarding World. I… I just want to move on," she whispered, her head hung low.
Harry saw a few tears drop, and now knowing what to do, he simply hugged her tightly. He ran his hand soothingly (or at least he hoped it was soothing) up and down her back, one hand cradling the back of her head. After a few moments, Hermione chuckled humourlessly and pulled back slightly.
"Look at me," she chuckled, wiping a few stray tears. "I'm getting all emotional over nothing."
Harry shook his head, using one hand to wipe the extra tears from her face. "It's not nothing, Hermione," he whispered. "If you want to get away for awhile, you go." After a moment, he asked quietly, "But… if you go, can I go with you?"
She smiled, enveloping Harry into a tight hug. "Of course you can, Harry. You don't even have to ask." Pulling away slightly, she noticed that their faces were a few inches apart.
Normally, this wouldn't have bothered her; she'd been this close to Harry plenty of times! But, now that she saw Harry with tears pooling in his eyes, she couldn't help but see every feature of his face. His bright emerald eyes, the same circular spectacles that covered them, the same lashes that were (even though Hermione hated to admit it) thicker, longer, and curlier than hers. Her eyes travelled down his face, as if studying him. His nose wasn't long, neither was it short, bumpy, or off centre. She thought it was just perfect. She then saw his slight stubble beard, the beard he spent almost a month and a half trying to grow. (Sometimes she wondered if the only place he had hair was on his head.)
She hadn't noticed that while she was "studying," her fingers had tangled themselves into his thick, soft hair, and that she was slowly leaning in. Closing her eyes, she pressed her lips to his in a chaste kiss.
He hadn't known that he was the one she fancied until Hermione's parents arrived later that day. At first, he thought that it was just a friendly kiss, one that close (very close) friends shared. A week later, Harry found himself telling her that he fancied her, too, and was willing to give the new relationship a chance.
Once Hermione's parents were back in England, the new couple found themselves applying to college. With a bit of persuasion to the American Ministry (they had admitted that they weren't fully ready to leave the Wizarding World, just the English Wizarding World) they found themselves accepted into Stanford University, ready to start in September.
They'd unanimously decided on living together (though they wouldn't be sleeping in the same room) and that dorm life was a bit too expensive with their current savings. Once they went to an American Wizarding bank, which instantly apparated them to Gringotts, and had paid enough money to let the goblins make a sort of credit card (that would also turn into various other cards, if needed), they were set. (By that time, Harry had already put Hermione's name on his bank account, not taking 'no' for an answer. He didn't care that they'd just started dating; if something happed to him, he trusted her most with his money.)
He'd taken his major in Biology, while Hermione had taken French and Engineering. During that year, Harry and Hermione decided that they needed to get in shape. (They were nowhere near overweight, but they decided that some muscle would do them good.) So Harry had made the men's Volleyball and Soccer team that year. Meanwhile, Hermione, too, and tried her hand at Volleyball, and found that she was actually quiet good at it. Though Hermione only played Volleyball for a total of two seasons, her figure was slim and fit. After Andrew was born, she wanted to take of the extra weight, so she'd started Cross Country, in the hopes that she'd shed the extra weight.
Harry chuckled, remembering when she'd made the team. There hadn't been too many people trying out, and when she tried, she found out that she wasn't the best of runners. However, the coach had let her stay on, for lack of people. She'd even run a few times (successfully regaining her previous figure) and then vowed that she'd never run Cross Country again.
Sighing quietly, Harry took the exit to the airport. It's going to be hard… but we'll get through it, thought Harry. I just hope no one thinks we're dead, or something. Even though it had been four years, the married couple still had yet to write to the Weasleys. Though they wanted to, very badly, they just couldn't bring themselves to do it. They knew Molly held the delusion that he'd marry Ginny, and Hermione, Ron.
He shook his head, ridding those thoughts at the moment. He'd have plenty of time to think while on the flight. He drove slowly as the cars in front of him took their luggage out and went into the airport. Harry stopped the car, and saw that Hermione jerked awake, coughing when the seat belt was caught in her mouth.
"We're here," he announced softly, knowing that his son was still sleeping. He saw everyone will luggage in their arms, and Harry thought that they'd look suspicious if they didn't have at least some luggage on board with them. They had an eleven-month-son, and he was bound to get him self dirty one way or another.
She nodded, taking Andrew out and holding him close to her chest. Opening the door, she got out and attempted to grab her purse and baby bag.
He saw Hermione struggle, and so he took Andrew from Hermione and put his small head on his shoulder, patting him on the back as he awoke suddenly. The young boy slowly went back to sleep, and Harry kept him close to his chest. He looked around and wondered what he was going to do with his car.
"What about the car?" Hermione asked, taking a small carry on and opening the trunk of the car. She muttered a spell and it went back to original size; Hermione took it out, hoping that no one saw her spell work.
Harry thought for a second, closing the door closest to him. But then, Hermione exclaimed, "I know! Wait right here," she told him, taking the keys from him and getting into the car.
"Wait, what are you going to do?" he asked her before she could drive away.
"You'll see. Just take Andrew into the airport and I'll be there in five minutes," she told him and drove off.
Harry rolled his eyes and took the black carry on and started walking inside the airport, making sure his hold on Andrew was firm. Once inside, he looked around for a seat. Finding one, he sat down and checked the time. Seeing that it was nearly three, he took out his cell phone ("You're going to need one if you're living in the Muggle World," explained Hermione) and just toyed around with it. He'd turn it off once he got on the plane.
A few minutes later, he saw his wife—clad in fitting light blue jeans, a short-sleeved pale yellow shirt, and brand name trainers—coming towards him, seemingly looking for their passports and tickets. "C'mon, Harry," she said, taking the carryon. "Our flight leaves in two hours."
He nodded and got up.
They still had to wait half an hour for their plane to arrive and they could board, so Harry and Hermione decided to simply wait. They were sitting near an old couple and a young couple, both staring at Hermione and Harry.
Harry never liked it when people stared at him, and when they started whispering (rather loudly, his mind added) about the three of them, Harry tried very hard to stay calm. Hermione was currently playing with a wide-awake Andrew, who was bouncing on his Mother's lap. He was giggling happily, teeth showing from his pink gums, and trying to hold on to Hermione's shirt so he wouldn't fall onto the cold floor.
Hermione chuckled, kissing her son on the forehead. "You're a silly little boy," she cooed, sitting him down on her lap and giving him a biscuit to munch. Andrew tilted his head back so he could see his father, his head nearly hitting the armrest, and stuck his hand out, reaching for Harry's new square spectacles.
Harry laughed, making the two couples stare at him, and said, "Yes, he is rather silly." He grinned, showing straight white teeth (something made his in-laws very happy), and gave Hermione a kiss on her temple.
Slowly, half an hour dissolved away. Their flight was called and they soon boarded the plane. After making sure everything was okay (Harry and Hermione turning their cell phones off, making sure Andrew wouldn't throw a fit when the plane took off, and securing their "luggage"), the two peacefully sat in their first class seats.
Harry smiled, giving Hermione a loving kiss. "What was that for?" she asked, as the kiss ended.
He shrugged and rubbed her stomach softly, then their son (who was resting on her lap), and finally rested his head on her shoulder, giving her neck a thorough kiss before answering. "Because I love you; and besides, do I need a reason to kiss my wife?"
She shook her head, resting it on top of Harry's. "No, I guess you don't." Softly, she added, "And I love you too." Slowly, she drifted off to sleep, holding Andrew securely on her lap.
The last thought to graze Harry's mind before he, too, drifted off to sleep was: I just hope the Weasleys won't be too mad.
Author's Notes: No, Andrew is not from my other story, "A Mother's Sacrifice." Just thought you ought to know. (I just really love the name!)
I know I've just type-raped them, again, but I just really wanted to start this. I'm sorry if I got anything wrong.
Soo… what do you think?