Disclaimer: seriously, I have far better taste than an ending like the one in the books—even if I do suck at finishing stories

Disclaimer: seriously, I have far better taste than an ending like the one in the books—even if I do suck at finishing stories

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Nice Girls Always Finish Last

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Summary: they say that "nice guys always finish last," but what ever happens to the nice girls of the world?

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They say that "nice guys always finish last," but what ever happens to the nice girls of the world? Is life really so unfair that she—or, better yet, I am doomed to that same horrid fate?

It just… it just isn't fair.

I've known him longer—hell, you could even argue that I'm still the only person that really even knows him. Yet, somehow, none of that seems to matter. Instead, I'll always just be that smart, passingly attractive girl who will never quite be enough for him. It just isn't fair—right that that's all that it comes down to in the end.

Why the bloody hell did I, of all people, have to go and stupidly fall in love with the one bloke I could never stand a chance at being with? I'm smarter than that, worth more than that, so why am I so weak?

I just—I want to be the heroine that we all read about as kids, the one that overcomes this great strife, managing to persevere against all odds, and still find love along the way. Like a modern day Cinderella—only, you know, with a brain because, really, who falls in love with a bloke that she's only known for an hour or so?

I know it's all terribly naïve and stupid of me, but I just can't help but want it all after seeing how she has it.

Ugh—God, that makes me seem like such a horrid person, doesn't it?

--

"Hey Hermione, what are you writing there?" he asked her, seating himself beside her on her living room divan as he tried to sneak a peak at whatever it was that she was jotting down in that book of hers.

"None of your business," she told him, swatting his arm as she quickly stuck the book between the cushions of the chesterfield in a valiant effort to shield it from his prying eyes.

"Oi, you didn't have to abuse me over it, it's just a diary!"

"Don't be such a baby Potter, you're twenty-two for Christ's sake—and it's not a bloody diary," she said with obvious distaste. "And it's a journal, get your facts straight."

"Oh, I apologize my lady, you know how I am with all that terminology, never could quite get it all down pat," he told her with a playful grin as he lightly nudged her shoulder with his own. "So, really, what were you writing about anyway?"

"Nothing" came her immediate reply.

He groaned. "Oh come on, we're best mates, you're not going to get away with that pathetic excuse of a response with me of all people."

She shrugged.

He rolled his eyes. "You're not really going to make me tickle you for that bloody thing, are you?"

"Sadly no," she told him with a small grin. "I'm afraid I have to go anyway-"

"Where?" he asked, more so nosily than curiously.

"Oh you know, places to be, people to see. That sort of a thing," was her noncommittal reply as she got off the couch, gripping a retrieved journal tightly to her chest. "See you later Harry."

"Yeah… bye," he responded in a confused tone something that exemplified just how caught off guard by her uncharacteristically sudden departure.

--

I promised myself that I would never be that girl—I had always hoped that I was stronger than that, but here I am.

I mean bloody hell it's not even a love lost where I can, at least, get some satisfaction out of some sense of closure from it all—instead, it's just blah. And the fact that I even just said that really says something about all the shit that I seem to be going through now given how verbose I am.

Cor, I can't believe I was actually rendered speechless!

But, the thing is, I hate having to watch them, listen to everyone say how perfect they are for one another—just like another Lily and James. I mean, does Lily really have to be a red head? Can't she be a fiery brunette who has a few temper control issues here and there? Is that really so unimaginable?

--

"Wotcher," he whispered into her ear as he came up from behind her at the café where he'd spotted her spending another lunch writing in that bloody book of hers. How could she pass up a fun filled hour long meal with him for some writing?

The bloody bint really needed to get her priorities in order.

"Harry? What are you doing here?" she asked, her face the picture of bewilderment and surprise—her mouth even left slightly agape in her state of shock to boot—as she quickly closed her journal.

"I was passing by on my way to that Greek place with the amazing musaka when I saw you here through the window. Is this really what you left me all on my lonesome for?" he asked her, purposefully stressing the "this" to emphasize his distaste at the thought, and maybe even instill a bit of guilt in her.

She rolled her eyes as she picked up her mug to take another sip of her cappuccino. "Don't be so overdramatic, you were going to spend your lunch hour with Ginny anyway."

"Not today, there's a sale at Louis Vuitton-"

"Who?"

He let out a loud, good natured sigh. "Please don't tell me you just said that, Hermione. Hell, even I know that one."

"Harry, I only know about three famous brands. There's Coach because of their purses, Armani because my glasses are from there, and Betsey Johnson because… well she's just cool—everything else is just random stuff that I pick up when I run into a store for five minutes to find a dress for a gala or something," she admitted with a shy, crooked smile as she rambled on.

He chuckled. "Only you, Hermione, only you."

"Better be," she retorted with an impish grin.

"So what's so important that you'd rather spend your free time writing about it than spending those precious minutes with me?"

"Nothing" was her monosyllabic reply.

Regardless of how hard he may have tried to contain the reaction, and aggravation, towards her words, he still couldn't help but stiffen upon hearing the short, cutting answer. "Nothing, huh?"

She nodded slowly, a bit put off by the fact that she couldn't figure out where he was taking that whole thing.

"So you're really not going to tell me?"

She shook her head. "Afraid not."

He sighed, clenching his jaw slightly in aggravation—no matter how undeserved. "Can I at least know why?"

"It's just none of your business," she told him simply, a short retort that effectively ended the conversation.

He stayed with her for the rest of his lunch hour, but not a single other word was uttered, not really. It was all just the meaningless shite that you'd talk to anyone about. It was cold, the mood thoroughly ruined by what had passed.

--

He and she had an argument last night, something about how much she shops and her apparent "lack of work ethic" and, oddly enough, those were actually his words, not mine. Shocker, no?

But guess who got to be the lucky girl that had to act as his shoulder to cry on. Yeah. God, where does it end? Isn't there supposed to be some sort of a limit for torturing poor, defenseless, love struck girls such as myself?

I had to tell him that it would all be okay, that they love one another and that, in the end, that's all that really matters. Like hell it is!

It's funny how so often the things that we say are so far from what we really believe. Were I to tell the berk what I really think he'd get an ear full on how I think she's a vapid little bint—who, oddly enough, reminds me of this character, Daisy, from The Great Gatsby, not the sweetest thing to say, let me tell you. But, GOD, I wish I had said that; screw being a good mate and all that, I'm tired of it and it's all highly overrated anyway—I just want to be happy already!

--

"Hi," she greeted him as she took a seat across from him at the small, family run Greek place that they'd decided to have lunch at that day.

"Do my eyes deceive me or were you actually able to separate yourself from that little diary of yours?" he teased.

She groaned. "Honestly, Harry, it's a-"

"Journal, I know, but I prefer calling it a diary. It's rather fun getting a rise out of you," he told her with a conspiratorial wink.

"Go to hell," she told him as she sent him a powerful death glare as she tried to bite the insides of her cheeks to contain the small smile that was forming on her lips, despite whatever control she tired to maintain over it.

"Been there, done that," he said, waving her off in a faux bored tone.

She let out a light, breath of a laugh, preferring not to even say anything in response to that.

"Can I ask you something?" he asked her, all amusement gone from his voice as he gave her one of those piercing looks that always seemed to make her go weak at the knees.

She couldn't help, but cock her head to the side at the sudden shift in energy. It was all just so horribly unexpected; especially with Harry given that he was always one for keeping the good mood alive, not ruining it like that. "Sure," she told him, albeit a bit hesitantly, as she forced herself to look away from him before she lost all of her resolve and, instead, focused on the server who had arrived with the musaka Harry had ordered for them before she had arrived.

"Will you ever tell me?"

"Tell you what?" she asked, purposefully avoiding the question as she took a large bite of her food, praying that he would follow her example and forget all of that nonsense as he got lost in a food induced state of bliss. Sadly, however, she forgot that he wasn't Ron.

He sighed. "Will you ever just tell me what it is that you write in that thing—even just a little hint?"

She smiled softly. "Come on, Harry, you can't expect me to do that; after all, the best little secrets are kept."

He sighed. "So no chance?"

She shook her head sympathetically. "Afraid not love."

"Damn."

--

He asked me if I've ever been in love.

It was all just so random though, we were eating breakfast at this small little bistro that I'm absolutely in love with—anyway, I was munching on this amazing, heavenly gift of a croissant when all of a sudden, no warning or anything, he just asked me if I've ever been in love.

Needless to say, I choked—not a very attractive sight I tell you.

Anyway, that really got me thinking and I don't think I've ever really been in love. I mean, yeah, technically I am with him, but that doesn't really count given that it's not even reciprocated, and, well, that fact's just pathetic….

Oh what great heights the bloody "brightest witch of our age" has fallen.

--

"Boo!" he said, nudging her shoulder lightly as he let himself lay down on her bed beside her.

"Harry! I told you that I hate it when you do that—damn Aurors!" she rambled as she closed her journal and put it in her bedside table's drawer.

"You need to learn to live on the edge anyway," he shrugged, grinning as he lay on his side, fully turned to her.

"You have Ginny for that one, I'm the logic—the angel on your shoulder that saves your stupid arse whenever you're about to totally muck things up by being your usual idiotic self," she retorted with a smirk, all the while rather proud of herself for the inconspicuous Ginny bashing with her statement.

He let out a deep chuckle. "Of course, how could I possibly forget?"

"I know, right?!"

He laughed as he grabbed one of her pillows, adjusting it for himself, taking the entire "mi casa es su casa" far too seriously, in Hermione's humble opinion—not that he really cared. "Anyway, you know, I was thinking about the question I asked you this morning-"

"Well that's one question answered now—at least I know why you're here."

"Oi, are you going to let me finish or not?"

"Calm down," she admonished, rolling her eyes at how petulant he could be at times.

He rolled his eyes. "Bloody hell, I've never quite met a woman who manages to emasculate me quite like you do."

She snorted.

"Anyway, I realized something while you were choking-"

"Thanks," she said with a scoff.

He, however, ignored her interruption and continued talking nonetheless. "And it's been bothering me ever since… I realized that I don't think I've ever really been in love," he told her slowly, hesitantly. It was almost as if he was afraid of the truth to his words, as if saying it made it official, and that thought clearly scared him.

She scoffed. "What the hell are you talking about Harry? You've been with Ginny for years now, given it's a bit of a turbulent on and off thing, but-"

"No" came his short, cuttingly decisive reply.

"Really?" she asked him in surprise, eyebrows furrowed slightly in her state of confusion.

"Yeah," he nodded.

"How come?"

He just shrugged noncommittally in response.

Prat.

--

That would have been the perfect opportunity for me to just burst out and say something along the lines of: "then choose me, love me, let me prove to you that love can exist!" and I honestly wish that I had done that— that I had the guts to. After all, it really would have made life so much easier for me had I, but I'm just not that girl. No, instead I'm the nice one and it really does seem as if they always finish last…

Instead, I told him to go home and tell Ginny. I told him to tell her that he wants commitment and that they should go away to find each other again because that's what I know he wants, needs, to hear, and the good girl always looks after the people she loves despite what she may want.

Life's a bitch.

--

"So how was Greece?" she asked him two weeks later as they sat at the bar of a new pub just around the corner of the ministry, it was quickly becoming Hermione's favorite because of the rather dishy bartender.

"Apparently full of shops that we don't have back in good ole England," Harry glumly told her as he took a deep sip of his fire whiskey.

That answer immediately caught her attention and Hermione tore her focus off the handsome man serving drinks and turned to Harry. She couldn't help but wince slightly as she did so, biting back a groan at the extent of the slag's vapidity and stupidity. "I'm sorry."

He nodded, shrugging a bit helplessly as he focused his attention on his drink. "Needless to say, I ended things this morning. She was a bit surprised by the fact, threw a shoe at me actually—it even almost blinded me."

"Anything I can do to help?"

He shook his head solemnly. "Just sit with me."

"Okay… I can do that/"

--

Dante said that hell is just like that whole cliché dark, torturous place that we always seem to imagine when someone brings it up, but Sartre—Sartre said that l'enfer c'est les autres that hell is, in all actuality, others. It's supposed to be based off of this idea that we judge ourselves based solely off of the preconceived opinions that others have in regards to us—well he said that that's hell— that dependence on others and the extent of our own insecurity.

I'm definitely starting to think that the bloke knew what he was talking about when he said that in Huis Clos.

For me, just when I start feeling as if I'm finally worth something—that I'm not just "plain Jane" Granger—she has to say something.

Ah! Just when you think you're out they pull you back in!

She, with her lovely, flawless face, that only hours of moisturizing and spa treatments could possible achieve. And then me, the girl who'd much rather be reading a good novel or something—maybe some Christopher Buckley if I need to relax, rather than get some manicure— for recreational purposes. How can a girl like me ever compare to that?

And she managed to prove as much last night with just nine simple, little words.

We were at some charity function and I was talking to him when she suddenly showed up, placing a possessive arm around his shoulder, asking him if he was going to introduce her to his friend—all that was done without even sparing me so much as the slightest look. Yet, when she finally did, it was those words that came out of her mouth that just did me in, that condescending, degrading little "oh, well I don't have to worry about you."

It no longer mattered that I was wearing an amazing little brown slip of a dress that somehow managed to be the first thing to ever make me feel sexy, as if there just may be some truth to those compliments that others seemed to constantly pay me. Hell, that dress made me actually consider paying more attention to fashion!

It no longer mattered that, in my red pumps, I finally reached that 1.75 meters of height that I had always so longed for.

It no longer mattered that, by some divine miracle, my hair looked positively amazing in that whole just thoroughly shagged way—because, honestly, my hair will never be perfect, but it can reach a shag induced perfection that's at least sexy, and I can accept that.

It no longer mattered that I was finally comfortable with myself—in my own skin. All of that was demolished through nine simple, little words.

--

"I'm sorry," he told her with a pained look as he took a seat by her on the stairs in front of the museum where the benefit was taking place.

"It's okay—not your fault," she distractedly told him as she continued taking her grief out on the journal the she always kept with her and had even shrunken to fit in her purse.

"It is—you deserve better than that, she had no right to say such a thing."

"It's fine Harry," she told him through gritted teeth, praying that he'd just get the message through that thick skull of his and leave her alone already.

"No, it's not-"

"Harry!" she snapped at him, quickly growing impatient with the seemingly clueless dolt. Typical—when you don't want to talk, he finally does, men. "Just leave me alone, I'm really not in the mood for all this tonight."

--

He never denied it.

He never made a move to stand up for me.

Talk about a good mate, huh?

--

"You know I've been dying to know what was in this blasted think forever," she heard a voice announce as she entered her office, distractedly flipping through a pile of messages. When she looked up, however, she couldn't stifle the gasp at the sight before her.

"Harry—you—diary… What… how-"

"It's a journal, not a diary, Hermione; you have to get your facts straight," he told her with a wry smile as he threw her words back at her.

"My—my book-" she continued in a weak, broken whisper of a voice.

"Eloquent in its brevity, I'll give you that," he smirked, apparently slightly amused by how she had, effectively, been rendered speechless.

"How did you-"

"It was open on your desk," he explained.

"And you—you-"

"No. Read the page it was open at though, it was only three lines, but it was enough," he shrugged awkwardly as he ran a hand through his hair. "I figure there's a reason you keep it private and if those are the sort of thinks you have written in it I don't even want to read it for fear of how many other times I've screwed things up."

She winced, instantly realizing just which entry he was referring to. "Harry, it's not-"

"Don't. Don't try to help me save face or come up with an excuse for me because you're right, I didn't say anything and I should have. I guess, there at least, I just thought that it was obvious—how bloody amazing you looked that evening, that is. So beautiful," he told her with a sincere smile, lightly touching a hand to her cheek as he spoke.

She smiled. "You don't need to-"

"I'm not; I wouldn't do that—not to you."

She blushed. "Thank you."

--

He doesn't think. He acts before processing it all. He randomly blurts out whatever comes to mind. He's a slob. He's not afraid to mock me—and incessantly. He can be an arse. He thinks my study habits are odd—and that's on a nice day.

He's so far from the shy introvert that I am, but somehow those are the things that just make him so perfect. He forces me to get out of my shell, take chances in life. He helps me see the beauty in my flaws. He teaches me the lessons that my books can't. He's… he's just… he's Harry—the guy that I can't help but love.

--

"So…" she said, blushing slightly, unsure as to what to say as they danced at the charity ball for the St. Mungo's branch in Africa—one that Hermione had been working on gaining funding for.

"Shh… just enjoy the moment love. You did amazing work here, now don't over think it—I imagine that you'll even find that it's nice to give your brain a break once in a while," he told her with a small grin, his eyes dancing with mirth as he playfully squeezed her waist.

"Well I don't want to end up like you," she teased him.

He chuckled good naturedly. "Don't worry; you'd have to turn it off far more often than that to reach my pathetic level."

She nodded, biting back a smile at his words.

"What are you thinking?" he asked her after a mere two seconds of silence.

"I thought you said we were doing a no talking thing right now."

"Yeah, well I've realized that that whole thing is highly overrated."

"Figures," she quipped. "And I was thinking about us… everything that we've been through together."

"We have been through a lot," he agreed before taking her by surprise by executing a rather posh and pathetically cliché spin that was accompanied by a deep dip.

"That move is the oldest one in the book—and you stepped on my foot you dolt. You really need to come up with better material, you know."

He shrugged. "I was never terribly talented at dancing."

"Then how about not attempting any of those fancy little twirling things, I think I'm about to be sick."

"Very feminine thing to say there, love," he quipped.

"Why thank you, you know how I've always prided myself on that particular quality of mine," she told him, obnoxiously batting her eyelashes at his to fully achieve the whole effect.

He snorted lightly. "So… I was thinking-"

"And here I thought you hadn't quite mastered that skill yet. Damn, I owe Ron ten galleons now."

He chuckled. "Funny."

"I like to think so," she smirked proudly.

"So, anyway, I was thinking that you might be interested in helping me with something."

She eyed him wearily as she cocked an eyebrow at him. "And what might that be?"

"Well, you see, I've decided that being mates is boring."

"Really?"

He nodded resolutely. "Yep."

"And what solution do you propose for that little dilemma?"

"Wel,l I'm glad you asked," he told her as a jubilant look of pride overtook his face, sad part was that it was most likely over some half-ass plan that was really only worth mocking relentlessly. "I think you and I shouldn't be mates anymore."

"Yep, definitely half-ass," she thought to herself before asking him, in a clearly bored tone, "and what should we be?"

"Oi, you're supposed to show at least a slightly more affected reaction to that, I just said we should be mates!"

She rolled her eyes. "Just get on with it Harry."

"Fine," he muttered as he stopped her and gruffly pulled her closer to him. For the first time ever he took her completely surprise, after stopping her he suddenly crushed his mouth to hers. It was an amazing kiss no doubt, deffinitley "shag me for day on end" worthy, but the kiss… the kiss was a far cry from the one that any heroine or princess receives at the end of the tale when she finally gets the prince and her happy ending.

Randy arse.

When he finally pulled away from the surrendering kiss she slapped him.

"Oi, you kissed back!"

"Maybe, but you didn't have to be an arse about that. Groping does not come with the first kiss you pervy idiot," she told him with a glare.

He snorted. "Figures that you'd be the one to take all the romance out of this."

"Oh, and you didn't?" she challenged with a scoff.

"Okay, I give up," he told her with a laugh as he raised his hands in defeat. "How about we go and find a private place where you can show me exactly how it's supposed to be. Teach me and do with me what you will."

"You better make up for it—and tenfold at that," she muttered as she let him lead her off the floor.

Fin.