ATTENTION: Ladies and Gentleman, This is my first ever story. I feel like I should warn you of a few things before you continue.

For one, I didn't know New Zealand was not part of Australia. There are a lot of other minor errors (tense-switching), but that's the main one.

There were two, and only two reasons I wrote this story. One: To see if I wanted to write. I answered that inquiry quite soundly. Two: To see if I could write. Before this story, I barely wrote much more than a 500-word essay. I never googled anything if I was confused about something, and I worked with what I had. This was my training ground, and if I could point to two stories that helped me become a decent writer, it's this story and the first 5 chapters of The Deathly Hallows, Take Two. But it took a lot of errors and bad grammar to get here.

Thank you for your support throughout the years, and I'll continue it when I can, but for now... I've accepted that this is a story with no plot and no real future, even when I started writing this. I'm glad a lot of you like it, but with all the crap given to me through the years for the errors, this isn't exactly on the list of stores I'd advertise. But, it's here. And I hate it when authors delete or discontinue stories I love, just because it's not up to par, and they're 'better' than that. I will probably never delete it. After all, it's my second most popular story, and third most faved. So it's great for what it is.

But this is for all the new readers, which is why I have this posted on the first chapter - Read this with an open mind, and try to focus on the romance. That's all I ever wanted this story to be; Harry and Hermione getting together, and living happily ever after, all being well and whatnot. And, of course, I never liked the way he killed Voldemort in the end, so unlocking his potential was a priority as well.

So... if you can, enjoy!

Disclaimer: If I owned Harry Potter and its characters, this would be a FanFilm.

A boy quickly sat up in his sleep, startled, with a thin sheen of sweat forming on his raven eyebrows. He ran his hand through his equally raven and mussed up hair, which was also a little wet.

His left hand searched for his glasses while his right hand searched for the wooden stick in his back pocket. Quickly finding his round spectacles, he fumbled them on. After feeling the stick in the back of his trousers, he stopped. There was a small light in the room, so he could look around. He could hear loud snoring. He must've been in Ron's room. After one look around, he smiled. It was just a dream. A nightmare, to be exact. The amazing part about it was the lightning bolt-shaped scar on the right side of his forehead wasn't paining him, like it always was. It was a normal nightmare. The first time in a long time.

This teenager always had horrible dreams, whether they be a loved one dying, or in an immense amount of pain. No dreams of dark lords, flying motorcycles, people screaming in pain when a wooden stick, or 'wand', was pointed at them, or people getting hit by a green light and immediately fall, never able to get up again. It was just a normal nightmare, and oddly, he was grateful.

Harry Potter never had normal dreams, but then again, he was never normal. He was 5'9", with extremely untidy hair, with round, mostly always broken glasses, and also happened to be a wizard.

Even in wizard standards, he wasn't normal since he was a year old. Having the darkest wizard in centuries kill your parents on Halloween and being destroyed by his own curse when he got to 15 month-old Harry Potter, thus becoming the Savior of the Wizarding world before you even know about it, is a little bit unnatural. And just a week ago, he avenged his parents by killing that madman—something no one was ever able to do.

Harry quickly wiped his face of the sweat. He felt parched. He silently rolled himself out of the tangle of sheets and walked out of the semi-dark room, careful not to wake anyone up.

While he was walking down the hallway of the Burrow, he thought about when he woke up. He thought that shortly after, an enormous, purple-faced man would barge in and point his ham finger threateningly at him. He also half-expected to see a small, bony-faced, stuck-up woman complaining about what if the neighbors heard him. He even expected to be kicked out of the room, and sent back to live back downstairs into the horrid broom cupboard under the stairs.

But he knew better. The faces of Vernon and Petunia Dursley are in the past. The face of their son and Harry cousin, Dudley Dursley, is in the past. He would never again be forced to visit Number four, Privet Drive, of Little Whinging in Surrey. He may have made a small connection with Dudley and Aunt Petunia the last time he saw them, and may have wanted to know what they're doing now, but had no great desire to visit them. He wasn't even sure that they went back to Privet Drive, with all that has happened.

As he started walking down the stairs, he then realized that there is nothing left to do. Voldemort was gone, permanently, and Harry was still alive. He never thought past the battle with Voldemort—he never expected to beat him and live—so he doesn't know what to do with his life now. He decided at Hogwarts, the morning Voldemort was destroyed, and when he went to sleep, that he definitely didn't want to spend the rest of his life taking down dark wizards, so being an Auror was definitely off the list. At least he had Hermione, Ron, and Ginny to help him out.

Lost in thought, he didn't notice the brown, long, bushy-haired woman sitting at the kitchen table, drinking coffee. "Harry?" she asked. He looked up and saw her, but he was facing the back of her head. "Hey, Hermione, how did you know it was me?"

She shrugged, still not turning around. "You have light footsteps."

He chuckled a little as he walked over to the sink to get a glass. "So does Ginny."

"Yeah, but you have slow, careful footsteps, like you don't want to wake anyone up. Although I don't know why you would do that. If the Weasley's can sleep through that annoying ghoul clanking in the attic, I'm sure they can sleep when you walk around."

Harry pondered this for a moment while he washed the glass, then smiled as he realized she was right. "You know me well, don't you?" he finally asked.

She shrugged again, this time with a little smile. "More than anyone else. So, what are you doing up so late?"

"The usual."


Harry sighed as he fills the glass with water. "Yeah, but that's a good thing. My scar doesn't hurt anymore. Maybe because I'm not a… I mean… the mind link is gone."

Hermione sharply turned away from the coffee looked up at Harry. "You're not telling me something." She simply said.

"You know me a little bit too well," Harry admitted with a nervous grin.

"What are you hiding from me?"

He sighed louder than before. "Well, since it's all over, I might as well tell you the whole thing. You remember when I told you and Ron why I went down into the forest, right?"

"I don't remember you telling us why, but I remember you telling us that you went into the forest to killed for your 'nobility' reasons, even if we told you not to," Hermione said, her voice getting slightly louder each time, but not loud enough to be heard upstairs. "I swear, what part of 'We're in this together' do you not understand?" She asked him, her voice lower, but Harry could still hear the hardness in her voice. He could swear that he heard it crack a little. She was clearly distressed about what he had done. He inwardly swore to never do anything to make her feel that way again.

"Well, I left something out when I told you," Harry said, trying to ignore Hermione's loyalty. He knew that she was implying that if he died, she and Ron would not be far behind. "You know the only reason that I died was because of the Bond of Blood that was in Voldemort' veins. But I never told you the other reason. The night Riddle came to my parents' house to kill me because of that bloody prophecy, he gave me more than his powers. He didn't even know that. I realized the reason of how he can see through me, and how I can see through him. It wasn't a mental connection."

Hermione furrowed her brows and began thinking furiously about where this was leading. For the first time, she had no idea where he was going with this. Harry sat down next to Hermione and took a sip of water, knowing the internal struggle inside her head. He decided to give her one more hint; "It was a soul connection."

Hermione widened her eyes and her mouth slowly opened in realization. It all clicked into place in her mind, as if a thousand piece puzzle formed together in two seconds. She slowly turned to Harry.

"So… do you mean… to say that you are… well, were… a—Horcrux?"

Harry nodded grimly, not seeing the wetness in Hermione's eyes. "An unintentional one. Now I know what the prophecy meant by 'Neither can live while the other survives.'"

By surprise, Hermione threw herself at Harry and gave him a crushing hug, burying her head in his shoulder. "I'm so sorry, Harry! I should have known! I should've found out sooner! I should've…" she silently cried, yet it was loud in Harry's ears, ringing with the guilt she had. Harry awkwardly patted her back, wondering what Ron was going to say, or worse Ginny, if he was seen like this. "It's okay, Hermione, it's okay. It's all over." After a few seconds, Harry stopped patting her back and started rubbing it in small circles, gently. He found it easier to comfort Hermione than any other girl, especially Cho. He started wondering why; probably, because he's used to see her crying by now; He decided he'll worry about that later. "When Tom hit me with the killing curse, I didn't die, but the Horcrux was destroyed. Now, there is no trace of Tom left."

Hermione pulled back and locked her teary, brown eyes, with his emerald green eyes. She's looked at his eyes many times before never seen his eyes looking so…clear. His eyes were practically shining. Hermione knew it must have been the dark soul that resided within him his entire life that made his eyes cloudier before, or it could have been the dark things that have happened to him. There was a saying that you could see a person's soul by looking into their eyes. Whichever reason, Hermione decided she should turn away, before he asks what's wrong. She can't have a conversation with Harry about his eyes. It just wouldn't be a comfortable conversation… to Harry, anyway. She could look into his eyes all day, but she knew she had to look away. It would be too awkward.

Meanwhile, Harry was having an internal struggle himself. Hermione's eyes started sparkling all of a sudden, like she was happy about something. She was fairly close to his face, but for some odd reason, he didn't mind. He kind of liked it. She has been close to him like this before, and he always felt a little weird about it. In any case, he had to turn away, just in case any Weasley's came downstairs.

They both turned away at the same time after what seemed like hours, their faces incredibly red. They each took long sips of their drinks. There was a short silence until Hermione broke the tension. "So, umm, how are things with you and Ginny?"

Harry swallowed hard and wondered how they skipped to this conversation. Just a few seconds ago they were talking about Dark Lords and fragmented souls. "Well, um, we hadn't got back together. I wanted to give her some time to grieve, since Fred…you know. I can't believe all that happened a week ago. We lost Fred, Remus, Tonks, Colin…" He broke off, the ache in his chest increasing. "If I knew what was going to happen to Remus, I wouldn't have yelled at him last year."

Hermione put her arm around Harry's shoulder. "Harry, you should be glad that you did. If you didn't, then Remus would've died and would've regretted that he never even saw Teddy, but with your encouragement, he even spent some time with him and Tonks. He would be very grateful for that. And I know what you were thinking that time, too. I think your dad would've taken your side."

Harry formed a small smile on his lips. "How much more do you know about me?"

Hermione's cheeks pinkened as she smiled. "Seven years worth."

Harry felt another weird feeling in his stomach, and thought he's gonna need something to eat in a few minutes. He knew that Hermione likes to study, but she studies her friends, too? Ron would burst out laughing and yell 'I knew it'. Come to think of it…

"How are you and Ron?" He asked suddenly, but casually.

Hermione went pale and looked down at her coffee. "Well, as you saw, we kissed—"

"Of course I saw it. It was more hideous than Ron and Lavender snogging."

Hermione paled even more and said in a tiny voice, "Well, it was my first real kiss, technically. I was trying to give him a touch on the lips."

Harry's eyes widened at that understatement. "Okay, first of all, I thought you snogged Krum. Second, I saw your tongue. Were you giving him a touch on the lips, or the throat?"

Hermione's cheeks pinkened again in embarrassment, which got a smile out of Harry. She looked up at him with an affronted expression. "I didn't snog Krum! He gave me a kiss on the cheek after the Ball, which Ron ruined. He never even held my hand after that! And that was Ron's tongue, my mouth never even opened. I meant for it to be friendly. Okay, I admit, a little bit more." Harry furrowed his brow.

"But Ginny said that you snogged Krum."


"When we caught her in the closet with Dean."

"She must have been assuming."

"So that was a 'little more than friendly' kiss. So, are you two going together?"

Hermione giggled, and she almost dipped her nose in the coffee for leaning over. Harry found that a little cute. "Are you serious? Do you realize how long that relationship would last? Not long. At first when I thought of me and Ron being together, I thought that we would be able to work out our rows and disagreements from then on. Then, as the year progressed, I thought about it. It's too much for me. So, about two days after, we officially ended things between us. He was a little, well, very reluctant at first, I admit, but I assured him we'll still be the best of friends, along with you, of course."

Harry was thinking about what she said. He knew that they were never compatible, and could never be in a long-time relationship, no matter how much they liked each other. They may fight like 'an old married couple', but they're most likely try to kill each other before they get old. For some reason, though, he felt relieved to hear that. "You said 'as the year progressed'," Harry pointed out. "Didn't you mean years?"

Hermione took the last sip of coffee and sighed. "No. I only thought about it in sixth year. I gave up after that Lavender fiasco. I also fancied him a little on our trip. But, during the battle, I don't know what happened. I was so caught up in the adrenaline rush, thinking of what I did before that kiss. Me, a muggleborn, destroying part of an all-powerful wizard who happens to hate all people Muggle-related. And no other wizard in the world – except you, of course – could ever defeat him. I felt like I could do anything and not care about the consequences at the moment. And on top of that, Ron finally said something nice about House-elves. I was not thinking straight, for the first time in quite a while."

Harry smirked. "Hermione, you must've been a little disoriented. First, you tell me that something is too much for you to handle. Then you tell me that that something is Ron Weasley. Next you tell me that you didn't care about doing stuff and didn't worry about getting into trouble. Then you tell me you weren't thinking straight?"

"I know; I feel like I'm still in a hangover after what happened." They shared a laugh as they went to the sink to put the glass and the mug into the sink.

"Do you know any cleaning charms, Hermione?" Harry asked. He knew she could do any spell ever invented, but he's never seen her do a house chore spell before.

"Well, I did try once, but it became a disaster fairly quickly. We had to destroy the dishes before it spread. I was a little scared to do it after that." Harry was slightly curious to what happened, but immediately decided that he shouldn't know. Instead, he just shrugged and started washing the dishes by hand and soap.

Hermione was staring at him washing the dishes, wondering why he was the only boy she knew who could wash dishes without complaint. Not only was she surprised that he was cleaning them thoroughly, leaving them sparkling, she was surprised even more by the fact that she was next to the sink, a girl, and he didn't even ask her to do it. He didn't even ask for her help! Harry was very different from Ron, she thought absently. She was glad about the fact that he didn't ask any more along the lines of her trying to get Ron's attention during sixth year. She would probably never tell him now that he was with Ginny, but from the end of third year until the end of fifth year, she was trying to get the attention of the man in front of her. Harry may have said that they aren't dating at the moment, but Ginny will definitely try to get back with Harry before the beginning of the school year, probably before the end of the month.

Her fancy with Harry started off with a small crush in first year. He came to check on her to see if she was okay – much to Ron's dismay – only to find her almost getting crushed by a troll. While Ron was throwing small pipes at the troll, running around in circles and trying to hide, Harry jumped on its back and stuck his own wand up its nose. It was very brave and very stupid. And she was incredibly grateful for it. She wouldn't call it a crush. He was her best friend and her first friend, and that's natural.

When they became friends, Hermione started to know the real Harry Potter; not the Boy-Who-Lived, but Harry, a true friend, a kind and caring person, who happens to be in a series of very unfortunate events. A boy whose parents died when he was a baby. A boy who has been raised by people with a heart of stone, while he was able to keep one of gold. A boy who never made a friend, ever, until Ron and Hermione came along, and to some extent, Hedwig.

She couldn't help but be impressed by Harry when he solved her puzzle back in second year, obtained Godric Gryffindor's sword, and without even knowing how to wield one, killed a fifty-foot long basilisk and also figured out a way to destroy Tom's Horcrux. Any other way of trying to destroy it, and he probably would've been dead. It was pure dumb luck, but it was quite clever.

The crush grew into a strong liking when Harry saved Sirius and Buckbeak. She didn't think that she could've done it alone without him. When she held onto him for dear life as she went up into the sky, she started to relax a bit. And soon she started to enjoy it. She also knew why; as long as she was with Harry, she had nothing to be afraid of.

In fourth year, Hermione swore her heart stopped for at least 3 seconds when Professor Dumbledore called Harry's name in the Goblet of Fire. At first it was a good thing. Hermione was able to help him with loads of spells, and she also got to spend a lot of time with him. Hermione wanted to curse Ron for thinking that Harry put his name in the cup and enchanted it so that his name came out. Honestly, it wasn't even in his handwriting! Then, by the time Ron had apologized and they made up, the Yule ball had come around. Hermione tried to get Harry to take her to the Yule Ball, at least as friends, but he was quite smitten by Cho at the time. When Viktor Krum, a Tri-Wizard Champion, asked her, she had to say yes. That would at least irk Ron a little.

Unfortunately, she got her wish in front of everyone in the common room after the ball. But she didn't want to think about that, though.

Right after the Second Task of the tournament, Hermione was disturbed to know that even if she and Viktor went on one date and only got a kiss on the cheek, that she was 'the thing that he would sorely miss.' He never even learned to say her name right. But she was a little bit happier when Krum told her that Harry almost fought a mermaid to save her until Krum appeared.

She started thinking of what happened after that when Harry finished the dishes and noticed Hermione with a faraway expression in her eyes, like if she was in an entirely different place. He dried his hands in a towel and softly snapped his fingers between her eyes as he whispered.


She returned to the present and began blinking rapidly. "You okay, Hermione?"

"What…oh, yeah…yeah, Harry."

"I think you need some sleep."

She quickly turned and ran upstairs until she got to the top. Without turning around, she whispered, "Night, Harry," and disappeared. Harry watched her go upstairs.

Shaking his head with embarrassment, he quietly made his trek to his and Ron's room.

When Harry pulled the covers over his bed, he looked over to Ron. He was sleeping with a frown on his face. He looked like he was grumbling in his sleep. He did notice that Ron was a little weird since the day after the battle. He was in a very sour mood, worse than the others, who just lost one of their own.

Sighing, he lied in the bed and tried to get a little more sleep in.

Please review. This is my first time writing anything that didn't have a grade. But I guess reviews are my grade. I hope I pass.

Edit Date: 6-09-2008