A/N: I do not own Harry Potter, I wish I did, but I don't.

A Painful Memory

Harry could not hear Hermione crying, but he knew she was. It had been nearly two weeks since Ron left and she cried every time she thought that he wasn't paying attention.

Harry walked over to Hermione's watch post at the tent door. Placing a hand on her shoulder he said softly, "Why don't you try to get some sleep? I'll keep watch for awhile." He tried to smile but it didn't feel as if it was coming off right.

Hermione nodded and started to walk to her bed, all the while trying to keep her tear swollen face hidden. She got about four steps away when she whirled around and crying softly, she whispered "He left me. How could he just leave me?"

Harry rubbed his hand across his face. Raising his arms and gesturing at the tent walls he sighed, "He didn't leave you, Hermione. He left this."

"He left us." She insisted.

"He loves you, I know he does." He whispered, wanting to ease her pain.

"He's your best friend and he's not here. Does knowing that make it hurt any less?" She bit back. Tears were coursing down her cheeks now. She'd abandoned all attempts at hiding her misery.

"Hermione, I…" He trailed off. At a loss of what else to say he opened his arms and she fell into them, sobbing violently into his chest. He held her to him; burying his face in her bushy brown hair and wishing it were straight and red. Her hands were grasping at his shirt as she let loose the last two weeks of torment she had bottled within her. Harry rubbed his hands up and down her back in a feeble attempt to console her, knowing that he couldn't mend her broken heart. 'I swear I'm going to tear Ron a new one when this is over. Look at what he's putting her through.' He thought to himself.

They were standing lost like that for so long that Harry failed to notice exactly when they first started kissing. He didn't know who started it, and he didn't care. He was kissing her as fiercely as she was kissing him. Her hands were in his hair and he was grasping at her back and bottom. Their breathing was fast and ragged, coming in great gasps as they pulled at their clothes. Hermione was pulling at his belt and Harry was struggling to remove his shirt without losing contact with her lips.

After a furious struggle they were free of the cumbersome garments, Hermione in her bra and panties and Harry in naught but his shorts. His arousal was straining obviously against the fabric.

There was no embarrassment or hesitation, only the white hot need of two teenagers who had been pushed far past their breaking point. They clutched and grasped at each other, needing to feel hot flesh pressed on hot flesh.

Harry picked Hermione up, her legs wrapped gloriously around his waist, and he carried her to his bed. At no time did he think that this was wrong, that they should stop. All he could think of was how good it would feel to loose himself, for a time, in her. To not have to think about horcruxes or death-eaters, but to revel in the time-old motions of need and release.

Harry pulled off the last of their clothing and lay down naked on top of Hermione, continuing to passionately kiss her, his hands roughly exploring her body.

Her hot breath rasped in his ear, "Please Harry, I need this so bad. Please."

Harry needed no further encouragement. He sank into her heat, savoring the sensation for a moment before slowly moving within her. Her moans progressed until he found he was thrusting in earnest now. Moving faster and deeper, Hermione was matching him thrust for thrust.

They were not gentle. There was no tenderness or loving words, no soft caress. There was just the sound of their skin as it slapped against each other, his grunting from his efforts and Hermione's throaty groans. Her head was thrown back and her eyes were closed, her fingernails digging into his back as he ravaged her.

There was nothing else in the world at their moment of climax. Just their sweat and the smell of their sex as they found the release they both so desperately needed. Their primal moans and growls the only words needed to express what they felt. As Hermione shuddered beneath him Harry put all his feelings of frustration and hopelessness into his final thrusts and then he too found dizzying relief.

He collapsed on top of her, too tired to support himself any longer. He rolled off Hermione and lay beside her, both of them heaving and gasping for breath. After a few moments they both donned their pajamas and got back into Harry's bed without saying a word to each other.

They lay there for some time with Hermione's head pillowed on his chest before Harry said softly "Tell me that wasn't your first time Hermione." Harry was riddled with guilt as he continued. "I wasn't gentle, I didn't make it special, just tell me that you and R…" He trailed off unable to say his friend's name, "that you two found each other before this whole mess got started, that it was special. I don't think I could look at myself tomorrow if I just stole your virginity from you. Just tell me this wasn't your first time." He whispered the last part into her hair.

"It wasn't my first time Harry, he already had that honor." Hermione whispered to his chest. She too was still unable to say Ron's name.

Relieved, Harry asked "He never told me. When did it happen? Was it everything you'd hoped for?"

Hermione gave a sad sigh and said "It happened the night before he left. I was on watch and he couldn't sleep, so he came to talk to me. He was hesitant at first, trying to work up the courage to kiss me I suppose, when I leaned in really close and then he was kissing me. I was so happy because I'd wanted him for so long. But soon the kissing wasn't enough and we were taking our clothes off. I ran back here and hit you with a sleeping spell so we wouldn't wake you. It went on for half the night and it was beautiful. I was nearly weeping for joy by the time we were finished. We spent the rest of the night in each other's arms."

"I'm glad you two shared that."

"Well the next night he left, so obviously I wasn't enough to keep him here." Her voice was bitter with abandonment.

They were silent for a few minutes when Hermione looked at him and said "By the way you were talking, I'd say this wasn't your first time either." Harry shook his head no. "I'm glad. I wouldn't want to think I stole that moment from Ginny. So tell me your story Harry, you heard mine."

Harry cleared his throat and closed his eyes as he recalled that night.

"It was the night of my birthday, just before the wedding. It was late and I couldn't sleep so I was out on that bench on the Weasley's back porch. Ginny had kissed me in her room earlier."

Hermione giggled and said "You were interrupted though. I did try to stop him from going in there but you know how he is about his baby sister."

Harry snorted as the memory of the look on Ron's face as he was caught kissing Ginny in her room came back to him. Ron's face was a shade of purple that Uncle Vernon would have been proud of.

"Well I was out on that bench thinking about her and that kiss and how much I was going to miss her, when the back door opened and there she was in only her nightdress. I thought she looked the most beautiful I'd ever seen her. We stared at each other, not saying a word, then she held out her hand and I took it. She led me to that apple tree by the Weasley's pond and we started kissing like we had been doing in her room that afternoon.

"We weren't hesitant," Harry snorted. "We had gotten into it pretty heavy in the broom cupboards at school the year before. She stepped back from me and pulled her nightdress over her head. She was standing in front of me, naked in the moonlight, and I thought I was looking at an angel, she was just so beautiful." His voice had turned to a whisper. "We were out there 'till dawn. I got a broom out of the Weasley's shed and flew her to her window so she could sneak back in. I kissed her goodbye, thinking I'd be able to speak to her at the wedding, but we fled during the attack and I never got the chance. Not a day goes by that I don't think about her and everything I should have told her, about how much she means to me," he paused, "and that I love her."

Harry's voice thickened at the end of his story. He had never dreamed he'd tell any one that story but he'd told it to Hermione without embarrassment, as if the memory were replaying itself for both of them instead of just Harry.

"If he had known about that, he never would have said that you didn't care about her." Hermione said softly.

"If he'd known about that he would have cursed me and I'd still be puking up slugs" Harry pointed out.

Hermione giggled. "You're right, he would have."

Harry recalled Ginny casting a charm on herself that night and cursed at himself. "Oh shit Hermione, I'm so sorry! We didn't use a contraceptive charm!" He exclaimed, sitting up hurriedly and nearly knocking her off the bed.

Hermione pushed him back to a laying position. "Don't worry about it Harry, I've been taking birth control potion since June. I thought it would be safest considering how R…, how we felt about each other, and that we'd be sharing a tent for who knew how long. I had hoped it would happen."

After a pause, she looked at him and said solemnly, "We can never tell either of them about this Harry. They would never understand and it would hurt them too much. This cannot happen again."

Harry nodded in agreement. He certainly wouldn't tell any one and he was glad that Hermione had been the one to bring it up, not wanting to hurt her feelings.

"Do you think the two of you will get back together after this is over?" Harry questioned her.

"If we're all alive when this is over, I may just kill him myself." She said severely.

Harry hugged her tightly and kissed the top of her head. "Let's get some sleep. We can forget watch duty for one night and we'll both be better off tomorrow having gotten a full night's sleep." Harry yawned. He certainly wouldn't want to be Ron if Hermione ever got a hold of him.

Hermione waited a long time after Harry fell asleep before she cautiously got out of Harry's bed. She went into the kitchen to make herself a cup of tea. Waiting for the water to heat she pulled out her beaded handbag and retrieved her cauldron, potion ingredients and a potions book that had a page marked.

She had been considering making a memory potion for herself to forget about her sleeping with Ron, thinking that if she didn't remember sleeping with him, that his leaving her wouldn't be so painful. After talking with Harry she decided that her memory of Ron was a good one and worth keeping even if it was painful. Though the memory of her and Harry had to go. It wasn't safe to keep that memory and it was too powerful to be left at a concurrence between them that they would just never mention it again. It had the power to hurt too many people, not to mention the fact that things could get really awkward between her and Harry. They did not need tonight to drive a wedge between them, what they were doing was too important, and they needed each other now that Ron was gone.

It's not that she didn't love Harry, she did very much so, she just wasn't in love with him anymore than he was in love with her. That place in their hearts was already occupied by Weasley's.

There had been a big difference in making love with Ron and sex with Harry. While Ron had been sweet and gentle, Harry had been rough, almost brutal. There had been no love, just sex. He would begin to think that he had mistreated and abused her when in actuality she had been no better to him. She pulled her clothes off and looked in the mirror at her body, the signs of their evening were written clear across it. Her inner thighs were already starting to bruise; she'd need some of Fred and George's bruise remover for that. Looking in the mirror she saw her lips were swollen, that would go away on its own soon enough. Turning around to look at her bare backside she could see small red marks on her bottom from where Harry had been grabbing her; more bruise remover for that also. She sighed, picked up her wand and headed back to Harry's room.

She wrinkled her nose as the air that was still heavy with the smell of sex struck her. Hitting Harry with a sleeping spell for a second time in two weeks, she whispered in his ear for him to roll over onto his stomach. With a grunt he did so obediently. Hermione pulled back the covers and lifted his shirt. Harry's back was criss-crossed with angry fingernail marks left by Hermione, she had taken her emotions out on him just as he had on her.

'I hope you felt that Ron, you prat!' she thought venomously. She began to trace the marks with the tip of her wand, whispering an incantation as she did so. The marks disappeared one by one.

"Well that takes care of that, doesn't it Harry?" she questioned his slumbering form, knowing he was oblivious to her. "Couldn't have you drink my memory potion with those marks still there, could we? You might have seen them later and questioned them."

She kneeled next to the bed and said "You see, we both have to take the memory potion Harry, there is no other way. Sure we could use the obliviate charm, but only if I could convince you go through with this in the first place. You'd likely try to be all noble and tell me it was wrong to erase what we did, even if we weren't proud of it. Then if I did convince you, we'd have to perform the spell at the exact same time, if we had two working wands; which we don't. Then I'd have to trust you to do the spell correctly, and Harry, as capable a wizard as you are, we can't afford to go to St. Mungo's if you turn me into another Professor Lockhart. St. Mungo's isn't open to muggleborn's at the moment, and as we're two of the most sought after teens in the country, we're just going to have to rely on my potion skills."

She brushed the hair from his forehead and stood up. His face was squashed into his pillow, his mouth agape and was snoring slightly. Hermione gave him a sad smile and whispered softly "This really is for the best Harry, we'd never survive if we lost each other too." With that she went back to the kitchen and the whistling kettle.

The memory potion was quite simple really. It didn't take unusual or hard to get ingredients, just that the method was quite precise; ingredients had to be prepared just so and added at precisely the right time. It took twenty-two hours to make a memory potion; ingredients had to stew for hours before the next ones could be added. That was why she hadn't made it for herself before; they were never in one place for long enough to make one. That was going to change for today only. Hermione would leave Harry under the sleeping spell for the day so that they could remain in this location, and she could make her potion.

She began preparing her ingredients while re-reading the potion procedure in the book propped open in front of her, intermittently taking sips of her tea. Her mind drifted from Ron to Harry and back to Ron again. Ron's face above her was full of passion and wonder while Harry's was pained and angry. She sighed and put down the silver knife she was using to cut up the dogwood tree roots. Rubbing the heels of her hands into her eyes to keep herself awake, she willed herself to stop thinking of Ron. 'Hermione stop it!' She berated herself. 'You need to concentrate and do this right. If you make this potion wrongly it won't work and you'll never get another chance to do it again. You and Harry will have to live with what you did for the rest of your lives. You'll both have to look in the mirror everyday and know that you did something you shouldn't have.'

Hermione's thighs ached. It was hard to believe that something that had hurt so much had at the same time felt so achingly good. She had heard older girls talking about regretting sleeping with one boy or the other, thinking they were foolish for not being able to control themselves. Now she understood the blood passion that had taken over her and Harry. They had been powerless against it, unable to stop it if they tried.

She returned to her potion preparation. Paying strict attention to what she was doing. Throughout the night she caught snatches of sleep where she could, always waking up again to add the next ingredient or to stir the potion the correct number of times.

Finally, the next night, after working tirelessly the entire day, she was able to add the final ingredient, the memory she no longer wanted. She held her wand to her temple and pulled it away, silver gossamer strands trailing from her wand back to her head. She held the memory over the cauldron for a moment before despondently dropping it in. The potion turned from blue to water clear; there was only the faint smell of chamomile to tell the difference.

Hermione removed the cauldron from the flame and poured it into a glass phial. Sealing it, she looked at her watch. It was two am and she was exhausted. She crawled into bed to get a few hours sleep before morning.

Morning came all too soon. She got dressed, put the kettle on to heat, and took one final look in the mirror to make certain all her marks were gone. Satisfied, she went to Harry's bed. Looking him over first, she lifted the incantation that she had placed him under.

Harry opened his eyes groggily to look at her leaning over him. "Hermione? What is it? What's going on? Why are you waking me up? Are we in danger?" At this he abruptly sat up.

"Harry, we're not in danger. We just overslept and we should really get going. Come on, I made some tea and toast for breakfast."

"Hermione, about last night…" he began but Hermione cut him off.

"Harry we agreed to not speak about it, remember? Come on, breakfast is getting cold." She turned and walked away to give him privacy while he dressed. She knew he'd feel guilty and the look on his face just now convinced her above all else she was doing the right thing.

A moment later, Harry joined her at the table, a sheepish look on his face as he awkwardly tried to avoid her gaze. He picked up his tea and took a generous swallow. A blank look replaced the perturbed one he was just wearing, his eyes slid out of focus for a second and then he was back again.

"What's in this, chamomile? It's good." He stated.

"Thanks Harry. How do you feel?"

Harry looked at her strangely for a moment, "Fine" he said slowly, looking at her quizzically. "Why do you ask?"

"No reason; the last couple of days have been difficult is all." She took her cup and turned away so Harry wouldn't see her face. Bracing herself against the counter, she took a gulp of her memory potion spiked tea. A warm flood washed over her, and she was left with no memory of her violent episode with Harry, the making of the memory potion, or pouring it into both their cups of tea.

Setting her cup on the counter she felt lighter for some reason she couldn't quite place her finger on. Although there was still the dull ache of Ron's running off on her, it seemed less somehow this morning. Turning to face Harry she said "So, ready to pack up?"

The End

A/N: This is my first fan fiction, please read and review.