Disclaimer: I own NOTHING. Zippo, natta, nutthin'. I guess, in retrospect, I own the plot, and one or two of the random characters I've placed in. Other then that the song belongs to Vertical Horizon and whomever else. And Harry Potter belongs to J.K. Rowling. Fabulous woman that one is.
Author's Note: Yes, I have been on hiatus for many, many a moon. Reasons why. 1) College sucks. 2) Being unemployed sucks. 3) Guys suck. 4) The main computer that had ALL my stories, plot ides, EVERYTHING, is dead. 5) Life sucks. 6) Working at a job that leaves you unfulfilled at the end of the day, sucks. 7) The economy sucks. 8) Life really does suck, but does have it's moments. Now that we've gotten through my fun times and the optimistic portion of the show, I would like to take the time to thank everyone who read and reviewed "You know, I'll take your hand" and "Butterfly kisses". PS: Butterfly Kisses is going to probably be on a permant hiatus because of reason 4. On a lighter note... I have been obessing over this story for the LONGEST period of time. I have now dedicated myself to writing this story, so if it takes all my blood and sweat I WILL finish it. Because this has been in the making for quite some time. This being the third version and my favorite.
It is in fact an H/HR because, well, I'm sorry, canon or NOT, I effin love it. There will be H/G and H/R but not really in a "happy" light. Grant you, I ADORE Ron, so he's ok. And Ginny, well, I have odd opinions of her, and I like the Draco/Ginny pairing personally. Not the point. There will also be R/Luna, side fact. You don't like any of these couples, bite me, oh, and don't read. We're big boys and girls now, there's no reason to be nasty because it's a couple you don't like.
There probably is mucho grammar, spelling, and maybe even a few "historical" mistakes. You're more then welcomed to point them out (nicely please) and I'll do my best to correct and rectify the situation.
You are all amazing readers and writers and I want to hear what you have to say. Opinions, applause, and criticisms are the road to getting better and strengthing a passion. So please R&R :). Go Team!
Summary: It's a wonder, how some magic works. Whether it be a simply card trick, a rabbit out of a hat, or be it real magic, wands and levitation. Then there's real magic. Looking into someone's eyes and knowing that they're your soul mate, loving a child that hasn't been born yet, not being able to handle losing someone you love. There was also fantasy magic, dreams and wishes that came true. Miracles that are acts of gods. Miracles that not only change your life, but granted you a new one.
When tiredness becomes the excuse to a failing marriage, one must either admit there's a problem, or go about living life. Hermione Weasley is currently going through a life with a tired husband and non-failing failing marriage. So what happens when a bit of magic not only changes her life, but places her right in the middle of a miracle?
So you sailed away into a grey sky morning.
Now I'm here to stay, love can be so boring
Nothing's quite the same now, I just say your name now
But it's not so bad, you're only the best I ever had
You don't want me back, you're just the best I ever had
So you stole my world, now I'm just a phony
Remembering the girl leaves me down and lonely
Send it in a letter, make yourself feel better
And it may take some time to patch me up inside
But I can't take it so I run away and hide
And I may find in time that you were always right
You're always right.
So you sailed away into a grey sky morning
Now I'm here to stay, love can be so boring
What was it you wanted, could it be I'm haunted?
But it's not so bad, you're only the best I ever had
I don't want you back, you're just the best I ever had
--Best I Ever Had--
"We can't even go out for a simple dinner." Her voice echoed through their empty house.
"It was my job, what did you want me to do?"
"I don't know, have someone else go."
"Like who, Hermione?" She spun around and pointed her finger at him.
"You're a second class Auror Ronald. There are, what? Fifty men and women under you. One of them could have gone." She spun back around walking into the kitchen. The tea kettle sat on the right burner and with a flick of her wrist an orange fire ignited under the silver kettle.
"I'm sorry that I like my job."
"You like the job because you get to play hero. We're not at Hogwarts anymore Ronald."
"I know that Hermione. I love my job, the last time I checked that was a good thing. I mean, it's nothing like the Magical Law Enforcement council you're on, but it's good for paying the bills."
"Don't throw money in my face."
"I'm not, I'm simply stating that every time I go out there another bill gets paid."
"I'm sorry I'm not a stay at home wife who cooks and cleans all day."
"Get off your high horse." The tea kettle erupted loudly from the stove. With another flick of the wrist the fire died down as did the whistle.
"It's our thirteenth anniversary and you spent the majority of it searching for some wayward wizard." Her brown eyes were watering. "This isn't working for me Ron."
He looked at her, his arms folded over his chest. He looked at the ceiling and then the floor, finally arriving back to her brown orbs.
"What do you want me to do? Take off work, go on a vacation, what?" She had never been happier that Hugo was at his grandparents and Rose was at school. At least they could escape the fights that she and Ron found themselves in almost every night.
"What happened to us?" Hermione leaned back into the kitchen chair she had sat in. "We use to be so happy."
"We haven't been happy in months Hermione."
"Why?" His blue eyes seemed to hoard knowledge, knowledge that was still unknown to her, however his stance suggested he didn't know.
Thirteen years and they were still a mystery to each other.
"We're just tired." Ron shrugged and unfolded his arms. "I can't deal with this now, we both have work in the morning and we're going to be running late. I'm going to sleep down here."
"Do as you please Ronald." And with that Hermione marched past him and upstairs to their bedroom. Ron sleeping on the couch had been a new routine. Hell, even when he slept in the bedroom they slept in two different comforters, almost like make-shifts sleeping bags.
They were strangers sharing a bed. And if Hermione was the gambling type, she'd bet that strangers touched more then she and her husband.
She undressed quickly, placing on a large tee shirt and crawling into her side of the bed. It hadn't always been like this. They had been happy. They had known each other and had been the best of friends for twenty five years. Twenty five. And now, over the past six or seven months they had become distance strangers, familiar with each other but still unacquainted. And even then it had been a few years in the making. Right around the time Hugo turned seven, almost three years ago. Ron had taken on more at work, as did Hermione, only to end up here. Not even sharing the bed on their anniversary.
Forget sex, at this point she'd give a rib to have a decent conversation.
As she laid in bed she stared at the ceiling, wondering where it was the two had gone wrong. Maybe it was just tiredness.
Maybe it was just them.
Either way, sleep didn't come as easily as she would have like.
"You look like a train wreck." Hermione glared over to her closest friend, Venus De Marco, a fellow council member for the Magical Law Enforcement department.
"Thank you Venus, it's always nice to receive compliments." Her voice had an edge to it, warning anyone not to cross her.
"I'm just stating. How did your anniversary dinner go?" She gave a sharp look to Venus who looked away and nodded. "That good, huh?"
Venus De Marco was no ordinary witch. She was tall and thin, with long black hair and blue eyes that could cut glass. She was smart and funny, with an air of extravagance. The two had become close friends nine years ago when Venus started in the department. It was Hermione's job to make sure that the young intern knew what she was doing.
"He got called to work and he went."
"That daft." Venus scoffed. "We'll talk more at lunch?"
"Yes." Hermione gave a quick smile as Venus stepped into her office. She, on the other hand, still had a little ways to go before she reached her own office. And lucky for her, the supervisor was waiting patiently in front of the oak door leading to her seclusion.
"Mr. Donavan, how are you?"
"Very good Mrs. Weasley, thank you." He opened the door for her, extending an arm to welcome her in.
"What do I owe the pleasure?"
"Mrs. Marissa Malfoy had to cancel that meeting that she schedule." Hermione resisted the urge to roll her eyes. That wasn't even a surprise, Marissa Malfoy was notorious for causing an entrance and probably wasn't up to it this morning. However, that was hardly the cause for her supervisor's presence.
"I'll call her and make a new appointment. Was that all? A messenger or a memo would have sufficed."
"Actually, I ran into Mr. Potter, the head of the Auror Department."
"And?" Hermione was trying not to be rude, but she desperately wanted to start on her paper work. There was a mountain to do and not nearly enough time.
"Oh, nothing, he asked about you however, I wanted to make sure there were no cases concerning any of the Aurors' activities." Ah, he wanted to make sure that she wasn't hiding information from him.
"Harry and I are close friends Mr. Donavan. You know that. I'm sure Harry was merely checking on me. I'll talk to him later."
"Of course, of course." Mr. Donavan smiled and excused himself from her office.
Hermione rolled her eyes and flopped down into her work chair. It was going to be a day, she could feel it in her bones.
This was probably her favorite time of the day. Lunch. She sat at one of the oval tables in the café at the Ministry, popping grapes into her mouth.
Venus sat across from her scoping the room out for any one of interest. Gossip was low this week and it tended to make the beautiful witch a little antsy; not having anything to divulge to the world.
"I think we went wrong when we got married." Venus looked at Hermione and made a face.
"At marriage? Hermione, I believe that you and Ron were probably very happy at the point of marriage. Now, maybe after having two kids and becoming two very busy parents, I could understand the chemistry dipping a bit."
"You and Darien have six year old twins, you both work, and you still have time to spend with each other." Hermione gave a defeated looked to Venus who cocked her head to the side.
"Don't forget a mother-in-law who calls me Mercury because that seems logical in her mind." This didn't help ease Hermione's state of being. "Come on, you two are just going through a rough patch."
"We've been going through a rough patch for almost two years. Maybe longer. One day we were happy, and the next day it was like sharing a space with a ghost. I knew he was there but I couldn't see him, touch him, feel him. We haven't had sex in almost a year."
Hermione looked away as Venus' mouth dropped open. "A year?"
"Yes a year, close your mouth. For Merlin's sake."
"Hermione, a year is a long time. Have you talked to anyone about this?"
"Only you." Hermione looked at Venus who had shut her mouth, creating two thin strips under her nose. Hermione rolled her eyes, placing her chin in her palm. There were reasons why she kept so much to herself. The look on Venus' face was one of them.
"I didn't know that it was that bad." The comment seemed to upset Hermione more then any of the actual problems at hand. She squirmed a bit in her seat, before allowing her eyes to search the café.
It was one thing to admit there was a problem. It was a totally different thing to have someone close to you state how bad the problems actually were.
'That bad.' When had it gotten, that bad?
"Do you still love him?" Venus sat back as the sharp look formed over Hermione's face. "It happens, Hermione. Some people don't stay in love forever."
"He's just tired. It's hard working and helping around the house and watching children." The look she was receiving from Venus was far from comforting.
"When did tiredness become an excuse to a failing marriage?"
"We are not failing." Hermione's tone had an edge to it, which promptly shut Venus' mouth. "He's tired. And so am I." She sat back and folded her arms. Her marriage was not failing, she refused to believe that. They were just tired, simple as that.
Venus made a clicking noise with her tongue and then smiled brightly to the right of the table. Hermione followed her friend's glaze only to see Harry Potter walking towards their table. She rolled her eyes and let her arms fall into her lap, there was no need to look so closed off to Harry.
"Well, if it isn't the two most beautiful witches at the Ministry." Venus' smile widened.
"You're lucky your wife isn't here to hear you say that." Harry chuckled and shook his head.
"I doubt she'd even care at this point. She called me a flirt the other night."
"As long as she knows what she has." Hermione watched as the two laughed together, oblivious to the rest of the world.
"What brings you to this side of the world Mr. Potter?" Harry looked at Hermione, his eyes glittering with laughter.
"Actually, I wanted to see you." Hermione cocked her eyebrows. It had been ages since she and Harry had really talked. Of course there was the small talk that they made at work, and the group conversations they had when they were on Holiday, but they were no longer as close as they once had been.
"See me? Did I do something wrong?" Harry laughed and shook his head.
"Merlin Hermione, I just wanted to say hi. It's been a lifetime since we've actually talked." And so it had been. "I wanted to take you and Ron out for your anniversary, but he's working late tonight. Paperwork or something, I don't even know." Hermione watched as Harry shrugged and scratched the back of his head. "He told me to ask if you wanted to go though? Give us time to catch up and stuff."
Hermione looked at him. She didn't even know Ron was staying late to work. He hadn't told her. Not that this was a big surprise, he had been staying after work more and more as the days wore on. Most nights he didn't even think to tell her. Sitting up in the kitchen, worrying about your husband, was not a routine one should ever have to get use too.
"Not cooking is always a very good thing I guess." Hermione gave Harry a small smile. "Dinner would be lovely."
"Great, I made reservations at the BeWitching."
"OH! They have the most amazing shrimp dishes. We have takeaway still in the house." Venus looked over and winked at Hermione.
"The BeWitching sounds perfect."
"Great, I'll swing by your office around six?" Harry's face was brighter then it had been minutes ago, brighter then it had been in possible years. Not that Hermione would remember, but one can always recognize brightness.
"I have some paperwork of my own to finish actually. Six thirty would be better." She looked at the ceiling thoughtful. Harry could probably give her until seven thirty and she would still only be partially done.
"How about seven, because the reservations aren't until eight. That way you can have a little extra time so you're not rushing. Maybe I can even help Ron out with some of his paper work." Harry gave her a smile, thinking he was doing a favor by helping out her husband. Hermione, however, figured that Ron was probably just wasting time instead of being at home. Being at home was a dangerous thing these days.
"Seven it is." Hermione flashed him a smile and then looked down at the table, popping another grape into her mouth. A warm hand fell over the top of her head, pushing one of the curls that were framing her face back.
"I always like it better when your hair is down." He gave her a smile and a wink. "See you at seven."
Venus' eyes stayed on Harry as he turned away and walked off, greeting and making small talk with various witches and wizards as he went.
"That man is possibly the sexiest man alive." Hermione rolled her eyes.
"You're married, to quite an attractive man yourself."
"So?" Venus shot a look at Hermione and then continued watching the disappearing form of Harry. "Harry is at least two inches taller then Darien and has the whole unruly, I don't care, black hair, style. And those muscles, psh, gorgeous."
"You wouldn't have thought so when we were at school. He filled out a lot more after he started working as an Auror. He use to be very scrawny." Hermione shook her head, popping the last of her grapes into her mouth.
"Well, Merlin did him a favor then. Uh, beautiful."
"No, I'm boy crazy, and that my dear friend, is a beautiful man. I wish I could go out to dinner with him, he must be very charismatic."
Hermione looked at Venus and then the table. Harry had always had the most fantastic personality. Of course he had a temper that was beyond anything Hermione, Ron, or Ginny could have ever mustered, but that wasn't anything to hold against him. But she only knew Harry from what he was in school. Not really what he had become over the years. She didn't see what Venus saw.
Even though she had to admit, he had become very handsome over the years. Ginny was in fact a very, very lucky woman.
"You two would have gorgeous children." Hermione looked skeptically at Venus. "Not that Rose and Hugo aren't to die for. I'm just saying." Venus looked away and stuffed a forkful of salad into her mouth.
"He's an old friend." Hermione looked towards the direction Harry had disappeared into. Venus looked at her friend and the gave a sideways glance in the same direction. She swallowed her food and nodded her head.
"Yeah, ok, but you can't honestly tell me that you never had a crush on him?"
Hermione sat up a bit straighter, stretching behind her. She had been through the worse with Harry, more then Ginny and more then Ron. When the rest of the world had turned their backs, she was always by his side. And maybe there was a small crush, deep down, but it was ages ago. She sighed and looked at Venus who was watching her with great interest.
"Oh, for Merlin's sake. Venus, I've known him since we were ten. We're the best of friends."
"Yes, I understand this, this is not what I'm asking."
"I'm going back to work. I have dinner plans." Hermione stood up and stuck her tongue out and then smirked. She turned and began walking away from her bemused friend.
Hermione sat at her desk, staring into a mirror she had conjured mere minutes before. It was almost seven and she was trying to look as presentable as possible. She had let her hair loose and then transformed it into a river of curls and waves. She couldn't remember the last time she had let it down. It was long now and it was much more of a hassle then it was worth.
She wasn't even sure why she had let it down. Shaking her head she decided that it didn't matter.
A knock at the door echoed into her office, with a quick flick of her wrist the mirror disappeared. She straightened herself a bit and cleared her throat.
"It's open." She smiled as Harry stepped in. He was dressed in a black suit with a green dress shirt that matched the color of his eyes. His hair was unruly, but the smile on his face perfected the image.
"You let your hair down." He nodded his head and his smile widened. "It got so long."
Hermione gently touched her hair and shrugged. "Who has time for a haircut these days?"
"I guess your right. You finish all your paperwork?" Yeah, right, she looked over to the side of her desk where a small stack of files sat.
"Almost, but I still have tomorrow." She stood up and receiving a low whistle. Looking up her brown eyes crashed with green eyes. "What?"
"You look fabulous." Hermione looked down and then gave him a bright smile. She had changed from her blue skirt and white dress shirt into a navy colored dress. It was formfitting with a flimsy skirt that fell from mid thigh to over her knee.
"I didn't want to look shabby, Venus said the BeWitching was very trendy." Harry nodded his head, running his hand through his hair.
"You look very trendy." Harry held out his hand. "Shall we go? I change the reservations to just us."
"Ron couldn't finish his paperwork?" Hermione gave him a smile, but soon lost the smile as Harry's eyes faltered and his stare went from her to the floor.
"He had more paperwork then I thought he would, actually." Harry cleared his throat and smiled, but it didn't seem to reach his eyes. "I didn't even know how behind he was. I'm going to have to keep better tabs on him."
Hermione tried to see the truth in Harry's eyes, but she wasn't doing very well. She gave him a smile and nodded her head.
"I think you should keep better tabs on him. He's complaining of tiredness." Harry looked at her, but Hermione simply placed her hand in his and quickly apparated the two to the restaurant.
"Where's Ginny?" They were already on their main courses. Venus was right, the shrimp were delicious. They had stuck to random topics of discussion, work, the kids, Venus, the Malfoys, and some repressed memories from their time at Hogwarts. Discussions of their spouses had been avoided, at least until now.
Harry looked up from his lamb and potatoes. His eyes seemed to dull and he cocked his head from side to side.
"She's, um, she's at Molly's." Harry cleared his throat, cutting a piece of his lamb and popping it into his mouth.
Hermione watched him. "When did she go to Molly's?"
"Last night." Harry looked up and gave a very wiry smile to her. "Apparently she's been feeling a bit under the weather. I believe the word tired was put out there." He cleared his throat again and began nodding his head. "She took Lily and said that she was just going to get away for a couple of days."
"Oh, Harry." Hermione placed her hand over Harry's. His green eyes brighten slightly and he forced a smile onto his face.
"It's not as shocking as you'd think." Hermione instantly understood what he meant. Tiredness was running rapid these days, obviously.
"Harry, I, I do understand." Harry nodded in her direction.
"I kind of figured you would."
"Please tell me that he was just tossing paper into a waste bucket." Hermione knew that Ron would never, ever cheat on her, but thoughts such as that seemed to flood her mind every now and then.
"Actually, he was just sitting at his desk. I lied." Harry cleared his throat for the third time that evening. "He didn't tell me he was working late, nor did I tell him about the dinner plans. It's actually coincidental that your anniversary was yesterday."
Hermione stared at him blankly. Harry dropped his head slightly and looked guiltily at her.
"I had these reservations for weeks, it was a surprise for Ginny. And, well, last night when she ran off to her parents' place, I thought I'd just invite Ron. Ron, however, told me about your fight last night before I could even tell him about dinner."
"So you thought you'd invite me?" Hermione was confused, she was trying to put the puzzles pieces together but was not fitting them in order.
"Who better to understand a tired spouse?" Harry gave her a crooked smile and then looked down at his plate. "I missed you. I mean, as Ron was talking about the fight and how he's been so confused lately, I just kept thinking about you. Like, how you were doing, and how you've been. I've been a dreadful friend."
Hermione's hand found Harry's once again. Giving it a squeeze, she smiled at him.
"That's what happens Harry. It's as much my fault as it is yours. We've been living very, very busy lives."
Green met with brown and a small warmth spread through Hermione's core. A warmth she had almost forgotten. Harry turned his hand over, grasping her hand.
"We have some amazing dinner here, I don't think I want to talk about Ron and Ginny anymore." Harry nodded his head, moving his hand back to his glass.
"So, Darien really flies airplanes, huh?" Hermione's face lit up, a giggle leaving her lips.
"Yep. He works for a private company." Harry laughed.
"I've only flown once." He shrugged and leaned back in his chair, his eyes focusing on her.
"Oh, I use to fly all the time, before I got my letter. My parents and all those trips." Hermione laughed. "It was interesting times back then."
Harry nodded his head. "What was your favorite family vacation?"
Ron and Ginny weren't brought up the rest of the night. It had been the first time in months, that the two old friends had felt at home and very much awake.
It was well into the next morning, maybe two, three o'clock. A part of her wished to walk in the door, Ron waiting diligently in the kitchen. This was hardly the case.
She shut the door quietly and looked around, the hallway light was on, dimly lighting the beginnings of the kitchen to her right and the living room on the left. She looked into the living room, leaning against the walkway. Ron was curled up on the couch, his breathing rhythmic with sleep.
She looked away, shaking her head. Pushing off the wall she walked up the stairs, her heart suddenly heavy.
It was the first night she could remember laughing and joking. They had shared memories, talked about their children, and even discussed the woulds and coulds of their lives. It was the first time she had been able to talk to someone outside of her own mind.
She shivered as she stepped into her bedroom. The window was open, the breeze forcing the curtains to dance. Rolling her eyes she walked over to the window, falling to her knees on the window seat.
The sky had never been so bright with stars. Instead of shutting the window as she intended, she leaned forward staring at the dark sky. It had been ages since she looked up at the stars. Maybe even a life time ago.
There was a bright twinkle, and she stared up at the unusually bright star.
"I wish it was better then this." Her voice carried from her lips to her ears, fighting against the breeze. A small smile fell across her lips. Harry had stated mere hours ago, that if they all just watched the stars a little more then they all could live life a little better.
Even watching the stars would not help her marriage. Stars didn't cure the onset of unhappiness or tiredness. They were only balls of gas that lit up the sky like diamonds.
Sighing, she leaned back and shut the window, locking it slowly so she could have the memory of the stars in her dreams. She shook her head and walked to the bed. She sat down and took off her shoes and unzipped the dress. It fell to the floor as she stood up and grabbed her night shirt from the foot of the bed.
There was still a chill and she was happy to find warmth from her comforter. As her eyes closed she thought she saw a light fill the room. She was simply too tired to open her eyes, and the thought was soon lost to dreams and nightmares alike.