The Harry Potter universe and all the characters in it belong to J. K. Rowling. I get nothing out of this except enjoyment.
My readers have often commented that my stories tend to be heavily weighted toward narration at the expense of dialogue (and they're right). So I decided to try writing one that's entirely dialogue. A good example of this style is Jeconais's 'Object Lessons Trilogy', particularly the second part – 'Watching Paint Dry'. Initially I was going to make this 100 percent dialogue, but decided it read better with a few 'stage directions'.
This is a post DH story (excluding the epilogue) and starts roughly a month after the final battle. The rest you'll need to figure out from the context.
An Enlightening Morning Conversation
"Oh, hi Harry. Good morning."
"What are you doing up so early?"
"I … I was just awake. You know how I like to get up early. How about you?"
"I couldn't sleep – I mean, I guess I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep."
"Love some, thanks."
The two of them sat quietly sipping their tea for a few minutes.
"Now Harry, what's the real reason?"
"You're not going to let me get off with 'I'm fine' are you?"
"Have I ever?"
"No, not very often anyway."
"I have trouble sleeping sometimes."
"Occasionally. No, really Hermione, it's not every night if that's what you're thinking. I just have a lot on my mind these days."
"I guess that's understandable."
"What about you?"
"What do you mean?"
"If I have to be honest with you, I expect you to be honest with me too."
"Oh. Well, I guess I have a lot on my mind too."
"Sometimes. But not that often."
"That's a relief."
Hermione rose to her feet and held out her hand, beckoning toward the door.
"Come for a walk with me."
"What? You mean right now?"
"Yes. It's early. We can get in a nice long walk before breakfast."
"Just the two of us?"
"Yes. I want to talk to you."
The pair made their way to the top of a small rise and stood gazing out at the horizon.
"I've missed this."
"The two of us together. Talking. Watching the sun rise."
"Yeah, it has been pretty hectic lately."
"And I can't remember the last time we had a chance to talk to each other, just us, one on one."
"You're right. Not much chance of that with a house full of Weasleys."
"So, tell me what's been on your mind lately."
"Well, it's not just one thing. I guess I've been feeling overwhelmed by everything."
"That's understandable. In fact, it would be surprising if you weren't. After all, we were pretty isolated for most of the year and it's an adjustment being around lots of people again."
"It's not just that. It just seems like I'm being hit by one thing after another. First it was the funerals, of course. And I don't begrudge that at all, but it was such an emotional time and I ended up pretty drained."
"I know what you mean. But I was so proud of the way you handled them. Those were some really nice things you said about Fred, and about Remus and Tonks. I don't think I ever got the chance to tell you that. You were wonderful."
"Um, gee thanks. They all hit me pretty hard, you know. It was tough with Fred because he always was so good at keeping things lighthearted, and because of the effect it had on the Weasleys. It hurt so much to see them mourning."
Harry paused and struggled to go on.
"And … and of course Remus was the last connection to my parents … I'm sorry, I …"
"Hush. Go ahead and let it out. That's what friends are for."
Hermione held him close as he buried his head into her shoulder.
"Sorry, I think I got your shirt wet."
"You can cry on me anytime, Harry. I know you always feel like you have to hold it in, but you know you don't have to do that with me, right?"
"I know. Thank you. But it's not only that, I feel so bad about little Teddy, too. Growing up an orphan I mean."
"I know, Harry. And I know you worry about the same thing happening to him as happened to you, but it's not going to. You'll make sure of that and I will too."
"Of course. I'll help you out with whatever you need."
"I … I guess I should have realized that you'd do that. You've always been there for me."
"That's right, and don't you forget it. Now, go on."
"Well, it didn't stop with the funerals, did it? Next it was the ceremonies, and the speeches, and the medals, and the banquets …"
"And you've always hated that sort of thing."
"Exactly. But everyone expects me to play the part of the conquering hero. Even Ron and Ginny. They love that stuff. I mean, they know I don't like it and I can see that they're sympathetic to how I feel, but they eat it up. And that's good, because it helps them move past their losses. But I don't want to keep doing that. I'm tired of being a celebrity."
"I know. You want to be just Harry. You'd like nothing better than to just get away from the hoopla and settle down and live a normal life with your friends."
"I knew you'd understand. I should have talked to you about it sooner. You always understand what I'm going through."
"That's because I know you better than anyone, Harry. You can always come and talk to me."
"I'll try to do a better job of remembering that."
By unspoken agreement, they sat down on the grass and Hermione leaned her head against Harry's shoulder while he put his arm around her waist.
"This is so nice. Being able to talk with you like this. And it's so calm and peaceful out here."
"Yeah. We should try to do this more often."
"So, how are things going with Ginny."
"Great! We've been, uh …"
"OK, by the look on your face I don't think I need to hear that kind of details."
"Oh, sure. I … hmm."
"Well, I guess I assumed that she talked about those things with you. Didn't you tell me once that Lavender and Parvati always shared the details of what they did with guys?"
"True. But … well, Ginny and I haven't really been that close since …"
"Well, since she and you started going out."
"Yeah. She's … well, I think she feels threatened by me. She knows you share a lot of things with me that you don't with her and … well, I think she'd prefer that you and I weren't so close. And we were together all year without her."
"I guess now that you mention it I can see how she'd feel that way. But I have no intention of giving up what I have with you. She's just going to have to learn to deal with it."
"I'm glad to hear that!"
"You, know, Ron worries about that, too. He …"
Harry stopped abruptly.
"I'm very aware of that. But what were you about to say?"
"Well, let's just say that if he saw a boggart this year it would have turned into you and me kissing each other."
"Really! He told you that?"
"Well, not in so many words, but yes. That's essentially what happened right before he destroyed the locket."
"Oh … So that's why …"
"I was just thinking of how things seemed to change between you and me when he came back that night. You seemed more distant. You were trying to reassure him, weren't you?"
"Well, yeah." Harry paused, then continued. "So, how are things going with you guys now?"
"Not so great."
"Oh. Well, I'm sorry to hear that. What's wrong?"
"Well, remember how Ron was with Lavender? All of a sudden they were all over each other and it seemed like they were trying to suck each other's face off? Well …"
"Stop! I mean I … uh, I try not to think of you and Ron … uh, doing that."
"I'm sorry. I guess I made the same assumption you just did."
"Well, I thought that you boys always bragged to each other about how far you got with your girlfriends."
"Well, that's true in most cases, but I never talk to Ron about Ginny and he never talks to me about you. Since she's his sister, you understand, he doesn't want to think about her doing that sort of thing with any guy, and certainly doesn't want to hear about it. And, well, you know you're sort of like a sister to me as well so …"
"Oh. I guess that makes sense. OK, I'll try to avoid the graphic details. But you know I kissed him at Hogwarts right before the battle started."
"It was pretty hard to miss."
"Yes. Ahem. Sorry about that. But that was my first time and …"
"Wait a minute. I thought you snogged Krum."
"What? Viktor? I never kissed Viktor. Where did you get that idea?"
"Ginny told us."
"Why would she …? Wait a minute, did you say 'us'? She told Ron too?"
"Yeah, during sixth year when we caught her and Dean snogging in the corridor."
"So … hmm, well perhaps he thought I was more experienced than I really … never mind. Anyway, my point is that he wants to move our relationship along much faster than I want to. I mean, we only just started dating and …"
"And now he's already talking about making it permanent."
"Yes. How did you know?"
"I'm getting the same thing from Ginny."
"I see. Perhaps that's something peculiar about the wizarding world that I wasn't aware of. Getting married so quickly, I mean."
"That could be. I mean, I know my mum and dad weren't dating until their last year, and I think they got married right out of Hogwarts."
"Well, I'm certainly not ready for that yet. I'm not even to the point that I'd say that it's likely to be Ron."
"Well, that's a relief."
"Why? You don't think I should marry Ron?"
"No! Well, yes. I mean, at this point I agree that I don't think you and Ron are ready to get married. But what I meant to say was that it's a relief that I'm not the only one who feels that way. After all, Ginny and I have only been dating a couple of months, if you don't count the time we were apart last year. And … well … since you're being so honest …"
"Things aren't really going that great with Ginny."
"Well, the … OK, the snogging is great. But I'm not sure we … well, for example, you and I have a lot closer connection than she and I do. I guess I'd thought that a husband and wife would be closer – you know, understand each other – sort of like, well sort of like you and I do."
"Oh my! What a nice thing to say! That deserves a hug. Thank you, that's really good to hear. I mean, that you think so much of our relationship. And … well, I agree with you. When I get married I want to have the kind of closeness – understanding each other is the way I'd put it also – with my husband that you and I have too. And Ron and I … well, we aren't there yet."
"Exactly. I mean, Ginny and I aren't there yet either. And now that you mention it, I'd have to agree that Ron doesn't understand you as well as I do. I've always assumed that it was because you and I were both raised as muggles and had that in common."
"Harry, I am so glad we had this conversation. I think both of us are to some extent in the same place. You need to realize, and I do as well, that there's no reason we have to necessarily end up marrying the first person we dated. Well, the first person we were serious about, I mean. Neither Cho nor Viktor counted as real relationships. We need to take it as slow as we need to and not let them rush us into anything we don't want to do. And if it turns out that either of us marries someone else, that's fine."
"You're right. I feel so much better. And I'm also really happy we talked about this. Like I said, we need to do this more often."
The two smiled and sat together for a while in a comfortable silence, then got up and continued walking.
"OK, what else is on your mind?"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean that I know you pretty well too. And I can tell by the look you just got on your face that you're thinking about something, but are worried about whether to bring it up."
"Harry Potter, that's … well, I had no idea you noticed things like that. And I appreciate it but …"
"Come on, out with it."
"Well, it's just that you already have so much else on your mind and I don't …"
"Hermione Granger! Don't you dare suggest that your concerns aren't as important as mine. You've given up so much for me this past year. I don't mean to say that I didn't appreciate it, but now that's over and it's time I started worrying about you as much as you worry about me. Now, tell me what's bothering you."
"OK. I was thinking about my parents."
"Oh Hermione, I'm so sorry. What a horrible friend I'm being."
"Harry, you …"
"No, don't say it. I can't believe that didn't already occur to me. What do you want to do about them? And how can I help?"
"Well, I was thinking it was time that I go to Australia and look for them."
"And bring them back?"
"Well, that depends. They might not want to come back."
"OK, now who needs a hug? Come here."
This time Hermione buried her head into Harry's shoulder.
"OK? Better? Now, I'm going to tell you the same thing you're always telling me. Don't keep stuff like that to yourself. Share it with us, just like you want me to share important stuff like that with you."
"You're right. I'll try."
"So, tell me what the problem is."
"I'm worried about how they'll react. Remember, I memory charmed them to think they were different people, and removed all knowledge about me from them. They don't even know they have a daughter. How are they going to react to a strange girl showing up and telling them that, and wanting to cast a spell on them to make them remember? They don't even know magic exists."
"Wow. I never thought about that. You're right, that's going to be a problem. We should all go together."
"Oh no, I'm not saying that. You and Ron have too much else on your minds."
"And besides, I don't think Ron can pass as a muggle well enough. I mean, can you see him flying on an airplane for twenty-four hours? He'd go spare. He'd be complaining about everything muggle before the first hour was out. By the time we were half way there we wouldn't be speaking to each other, and by the time we arrived I'd be ready to kill him."
"OK, I'll grant you that. But I can still come."
"Harry, I couldn't ask you to do that."
"You don't need to. It's my choice."
"No, Hermione. It's just like you told me last year. You don't have a choice. You need me and I'm coming with you."
"Oh Harry. OK, you're right. Thank you. And …"
"Well, I think I need to get away from here for a while. And from what you've been telling me, which actually confirms what I'd already suspected …"
"I need to get away too."
"Yes. However …"
"And you were thinking of asking me all along, because you wanted me to come with you, and you also thought it would be good for me to get away from all this madness, but you were feeling guilty about asking me, and worried about what I'd say. Does that about cover it?"
"I'm impressed! You really do know me pretty well. But …"
"What about Ginny?"
"I could ask you the same thing. What about Ron? And what exactly are you asking? What will I feel about going off without Ginny, or what will Ginny feel about me going off without her? And the same questions apply to you and Ron."
"You left one out. How will they both react to us going off together?"
"Well, as to the first question, from what we just said, I'm thinking it might be good to get away from them for a while. Sort of a chance to cool things off a bit. And let them know that things aren't as set in stone as they seem to think. As to how they'll react, I think I can guess, but there's only one sure way to find out. Are you willing to risk the potential unpleasantness?"
"Well, I'm not thrilled about the prospect, but on the other hand I'm not going to stop doing things with you just because one or both of them will get jealous. I told you before, I have no intention of giving up what you and I have together."
"Neither do I. Oof! You need to give a guy more warning with those hugs."
"Shut up and hug me back. That's better."
"So, it's settled then? You and I are going to Australia and see what the situation is."
"Yes. Oh Harry, you have no idea how much better I feel. Thank you so much!"
"Well, let's wait until after we face the Weasley temper before you decide how much better you feel. I think it's time we were getting back."
"Oh. Can't we stay out here longer?"
"Come on, show that Gryffindor courage."
Harry took her hand and coaxed her back in the direction of the house.
"It's times like this I wish I'd let the Hat put me in Ravenclaw."
"How can you say that? Just think of all the trouble you wouldn't have got into if you hadn't hung around with me all those years."
"Don't push your luck, Potter."
The laughter of two best friends echoed through the clear morning air of Ottery St. Catchpole as they embarked on another adventure together.
A/N I have ideas for one or two more chapters for this story, but there won't be any particular update schedule, as most of my time is being spent on another long comprehensive story. I was thinking of having all of the conversations be between Harry and Hermione, but it seems that one between Harry and Ginny, and another between Hermione and Ron, might be in order. What do you think?