The Point of Love
Disclaimer: Everything Harry Potter related belongs first, and foremost, to JK Rowling and then to her partnerships with Scholastic, Bloomsbury, Warner Bros., etc.
Author's Note: Yes, I am fully aware that I could get slaughtered by posting this before Masterpiece.
When she was young, love was foreign.
Not a beautiful, foreign language that rolls off the tongue; not a wonderful, foreign culture that engulfs the heart of a person, but the type of foreign that held no melody, that presented no enlightenment. She used to wonder, what's the point of love? What was so mesmerizing about any one person that would make another wish to spend the rest of their life trying to appease and honor them?
She used to wonder. Until she opened her eyes.
She remembers him at eleven: a bit short for his age, not in confidence but in actual stature, with hazel eyes that seemed to be alighted by any sight, sound, or whiff of trouble. His voice quaked in laughter, almost all the time, and his schoolwork never came first. He would talk to her all the time, but never about anything. Just the random pass-the-time talk about what-ifs that would never happen on days that would never come.
But she laughed and conspired theories with him on the layabout days in Charms and Herbology. And still, she wondered, what's the point of love?
At the age of twelve he made the Quidditch team as a Chaser. She remembers him exploding into the common room when he heard the roster had been posted. He pushed over the fifth years that were hovering over the parchment, grabbed it from the tac-up board and studied it far more than she had ever seen him study anything else. She remembers him running toward the stairs despite the calls from the fifth years. He told her unabashed later that day that he framed the parchment: the first mark of his greatness.
And she congratulated him, asking him to see the parchment; when he asked her to come to his first practice she did. Still, she wondered, what's the point of love?
When they were thirteen he discovered the beauty of dung-bombs at three in the morning on exam week. She remembers him tracing around Hogsmeade on their first day trip in mid-September. She remembers he was the first to arrive and literally had to be escorted back up to the castle by Professor McGonagall. He told her the dramatic story the next day in Care for Magical creatures, letting his hands swing freely in the air, crashing into the caged flobberworm, sending it flying onto a nearby Hufflepuff.
She listened to his incredulous story and, with him, served the detention that came with it. She polished the trophies, making jokes about that lesson with him. And still, she wondered, what's the point of love?
The age of fourteen seemed to make him a full-time troublemaker. She remembers him sneaking in at four in the morning a few nights. He owled her just after, asking her to come to the common room. He told her about the entrance to the kitchen, letting her know that all she needed to do was tickle the pear and she could be granted entrance; and then she could get whatever she'd like, because of the house-elves. He swore to her that he found a room with cases and cases of butterbeer, just a bit away from their own portrait. She went along with him as he tried to find it again.
When they didn't find it, she went down to the kitchen with him, still listening to his disbelief in their misfortunate. She laughed at his melodramatic frustration. And still, she wondered, what's the point of love?
She still hadn't seen him crack a book open, even when he was fifteen and taking OWL level classes. She remembers he spent most of his time on the Quidditch field, as he was that captain for the first time that year. He started ruffling his hair, completely aware of how messy he was making it. She remembers him telling her they should go on a date. She always said no, and a few times angrily so. She remembers his fierce apology at his antics, and then her own apology for her insults. They ate dinner side-by-side in the Great Hall a day later, celebrating the end of their OWL exams. She remembers him spilling pumpkin juice down her hair.
When he nearly snorted from laughing so much, she grabbed her own pumpkin juice and forced it down his pants and roared at the hilarity of his face. And still, she wondered, what's the point of love?
The summer before their sixth year, he owled her nearly every day. She remembers the way his handwriting looked on the parchment: scribbled hurriedly, but neatly as though its legibility was his first priority. When she went to Diagon Alley just before term, he snuck up behind her, scaring her nearly half-to-death as he pulled a vanilla ice cream cone out from behind his back. She remembers the look of satisfaction on her face as she told him it was her favorite kind. He stayed by her the rest of her trip around Diagon Alley. He bought nothing for he had already gotten everything he needed days before. He merely followed her from store to store, pointing out the oddities of things and offering alternative uses for them.
She began asking him things she had always wondered about the objects and laughed at his smart-arsed replies. And still, she wondered, what's the point of love?
When they were seventeen, beginning their seventh year, he popped into the Head's Compartment, holding a small bouquet of flowers toward her. She remembers the alighted look on his face when he explained it was to congratulate her for her appointment as Head Girl. She brought the flowers to her nose, inhaling the scent before noticing a small card among the roses. She remembers the scribble she had grown so accustomed to on it bearing the proposal of a date. She remembers the hopeful look on his face as she took the card into her hands.
She nodded her head, her lips parting in a small smile as he pulled her into an embrace. But still, she wondered, what's the point of love?
When they were eighteen, they crossed the sunlit grounds of Hogwarts for the final time, about to board the Hogwarts Express. She remembers stopping at the gates with him, looking back on the school and all the memories she had built within the stone walls. He stared at the castle with the same hazel eyes he had had when he was eleven, with the same height of confidence and now of stature; with a voice that not only quaked with laughter, but rung of power and strength. His school work never was first priority with him. As time went on, she gained that title. She remembers tucking her hand into his and pulling him out toward the world.
And now, she knew, there was no point of love. It was just there. And it was perfect.