Disclaimer: Harry would have died had I had any choice in the matter.
Summary: Our entire relationship could be described by one simple word: cake.
Life for me has been exactly what I thought it would be, a cake, which I have eaten and had too.
Our entire relationship could be described by one simple word: cake. Every event, every memory, it was all associated with a certain cake. It was us, we were weird and quirky and we loved every moment of it. We lived life to the fullest and cake was always there to remain as a constant reminder of each of our escapades.
This, this would be a Reine de Saba, no doubt of that. The perfect cake for something like this—light, so you can eat copious amounts without even realizing it, but, at the same time, chockfull of chocolate and all those heavenly calories that we tell ourselves that we despise but, really, revel in.
The cake for wallowing, the cake for a broken heart, the cake for a dream lost.
Yes… Reine de Saba really is rather deserving of its name, it is definitely a queen in that one respect as it does top all other comfort foods. It will be the only cake that I will ever be able to look at again without breaking into tears… I hope…
Yes, Reine de Saba symbolizes my revolution; my leaving the bastard who takes me for granted so easily. It's good, it's great; it's a new epoch in my life, one that can symbolize only greatness. After all, from here on out it can only get better, right?
Yeah… right, that is what they usually say in these sorts of situations… next step, however, is actually believing that old proverb.
"So this is how you celebrate everything?" he asked me with a crooked smile as we sat in the kitchen devouring a cake that I had snuck in from a Häagen-Dazs down the street, in the middle of the night too—I had no idea they were open so late.
"Yep," I smiled with a vigorous nod as I basked in the ice cream-goodness of it. Ice cream just had a way of making the world better, taking away all of your problems and just leaving you in a sugary bliss.
"I have to admit that it is amazing, nice choice of ice cream for the cake by the way."
"Stracciatella and hazelnut with the cookie crumble in the middle is the only way to go, Harry. You know you really do need to become more erudite— as far as the ways of the world go, at least."
He cocked his head to the side as he raised an eyebrow at me. "Really?"
"Yep," I firmly responded with a definite nod, immediately rising to the silent challenge.
"And what if I were to say that I think I'm covered in that respect?"
"Then I'd say you're a dense and cocky arse for thinking that killing a kook like ole Voldy is really worth all that much."
He let out that bark of laughter that I just love to hear. It made me so happy to see him so carefree, more so than I'd seen him in ages, even though the death of the old prejudice prat had taken place a year ago to date. He really did like depression a tad bit too much at times. And, anyway, it truly was about time that Harry got that stick out of his arse and moved on, learned to live a bit.
"And how do you propose I go about doing that then?"
"I see… so what if I were to say that I have an idea?" he asked, leaning in closer, as if to tell me a secret of the most clandestine kind… and I can't deny that I was liking that prospect, being Harry's confidant, that is.
"I'd say go for it, it's about time you broadened your spectrum a bit," I honestly told him before taking my spoon and using it to playfully place a dab of ice cream on his nose.
He just smiled. Rather charming, really.
"I'm going to have to get you back for that, you know?"
"Oh I count on it," I retorted with a small smirk.
And then… then he did something confusing, amazing… baffling. He kissed me.
I'm rather ashamed to admit that I couldn't help but kiss him back… and, sadly, I did so with such unadulterated fervor that I was rather shocked by my own raunchiness. I mean, I'd always been an extremely passionate person, but that… that was just… well damn, for lack of a better word.
Within a second I had found myself somehow on his side of the counter with my legs wrapped around him as he pushed me onto the island, pressing a rapidly growing erection into me… it was all just so raunchy… and I liked it.
Finally, however, I overcame my hormone induced lack of control and pushed him away and, for awhile, we just stood there staring at one another. I sat on the counter as he stood before me, each fighting for breath as we panted heavily but neither making a move, merely staring the other in the eyes.
"You—you shouldn't have done that," I said, shaking my head in fear.
"And why not?" he whispered huskily as he made a move towards me again, only to be rebuffed with a hard shove and a rather scary glare from me.
"Because of Ginny, your girlfriend, you prat," I spat before somehow, and how is beyond me, getting up the strength to walk out of the kitchen. Leaving him behind, staring and gaping at me with a combination of awe and confusion.
I guess… I guess we really never had any business getting together. I mean, we're all wrong for one another; he needs someone that'll agree with everything he says—just like everyone else does. He needs someone who's beautiful—and incomparably so—athletic, adores quidditch… someone like Ginny. Someone who everyone expected… someone who was fated for him…
No, we never had any business being together, all I was ever meant for was to be a phase… a cake filled phase that was just or fun… for laughs… a merry good time filled with some pretty saucy shags…
I just… I wish it was worth more in the end, that that wasn't all that it came down to. It hurts and breaks my heart to think that in the end, no matter how much it may have meant to me, all I'll ever be is a temporary fixture in his love life.
"I broke up with her."
"Why would you go and do something daft like that?" I asked him, not even bothering to look up from my paperwork when he entered my office, unabashedly unannounced, barging in there as if he owned the place.
The prat really is a narcissistic pillock… I actually do hate him at times.
"Is that all you have to say in response?" he asked me, his voice laced with shock. You know, as hard as his life may have been for a certain period, apart from the formidable eleven years of his life he never has been met with rejection or indifference… I don't think he was mentally prepared for such an apathetic retort. I imagine it was quite the shock to his system to have been met with such an unenthusiastic response.
"Pretty much, yeah," I shrugged with an uncharacteristic monosyllabic-ness.
"Hermione," he whined rather petulantly. Some savior of the world he is, I mean in reality all he is is another spoiled prat.
"Well I should hope you know my name after all of these years," I quipped with a tight, sarcastic smile...
He rolled his eyes as he made his way to my chair, spinning it and holding it in place so that I was forced to look at him, much to my distaste. "What do you want?" I asked with a growl.
"For you to talk to me."
"I don't see why I should," I immediately retorted, trying not to fall victim to those unnatural attractive green eyes. Those damn things should really come with a warning.
He let out an audible sigh, clearly annoyed with me—a fact that I reveled in after the position he had put me in that night two days ago where he had made me the other woman.
Imagine, me, the immoral wench on the side. I was never that girl and refuse to be her, how dare he force me into that position by kissing me like that?
He shifted nervously, clearly unused to receiving the cold shoulder from me. But it served him right, he deserved to finally be faced with some consequences for his actions, too often is he let go just because of his name—too often people just forget. I'm not one of them, I never have and never will be that person, I have more self-respect and too much so for him to allow myself to do that.
"I—I brought cake," he said the magic words almost tentatively, as he brought the box into my line of vision. When he put my weakness on display like that I just couldn't help but bite the bait.
"What cake?" I whispered shyly, hating admitting defeat—and so easily at that.
He sent me a crooked smile. "Chocolate mousse."
"Why don't you take a seat, Harry," I offered.
Still, though, no matter how wrong we may have been I just—I couldn't see it. I deluded myself into thinking that it all meant something, that we were meant to be… that maybe we were that twist that fate seemed to always send people…
I had hope, throughout it all I honestly thought that we stood a chance in hell, that despite everything it had taken for us to get together that we were… that we were something worth fighting for. I don't know why or how I got to that point, but I did.
I believed in us.
I trusted that in spite of the fact that we had come together through him cheating on Ginny and that in spite of Ron, and the animosity that would surely ensue should we get together, that there was actually a likelihood that we'd… that we'd find something in one another—something irreplaceable and priceless.
It was delusional and naïve of me, but with him I couldn't help but allow my inner girly side to run rampant.
I couldn't help but blush when he unabashedly walked into the bedroom, stark naked, with a box, holding a whole tiramisu cake, and two forks. I bit my lip as I watched him settle onto the bed, placing the box on the bed and then pulling me closer to him by throwing my leg around his waist as he lay down.
"Only ensuring that you won't escape, Hermione, my intentions are entirely innocent—well about as innocent as they can be when we're laying in bed… and you in just my button down. Must say, however, that the look is very fitting, you should really consider going for it more often."
I sent him an amused smile as I playfully cocked an eyebrow. "Really?"
He nodded with a grin as he opened the box and took some onto his fork, before offering it to me. I accepted, grasping onto his hand and guiding the fork into my mouth, all the while maintaining eye contact with him.
"Ugh, I love cake," I moaned as I swallowed the chunk of chocolate and coffee utopian-esque bliss. "I swear it's sinful, how good it is."
He chuckled. "No, I believe what's sinful is watching you eat it, love."
"And here I thought you said this was innocent."
"There's nothing innocent about shagging if it's done right, love," he winked at me, moving the box out of the way, haphazardly throwing it onto the bedside table, before pinning me down onto the bed, again.
I felt like such a slag for actually having sex with him on the second date, totally disregarding the three date rule, and even that one was rather brazen to begin with. Yet, somehow, I couldn't regret it. Letting go of my inhibitions like that… it was wonderful, a once in a lifetime experience for me—at least to that extent.
The things that we did that evening, and the rest of that weekend once we locked ourselves in for the following two days, they were enough to make me never able to look at a tiramisu cake the same way again due to the fact that I just can't help but immediately associate it to that.
It wasn't even so much what we did that evening, I've done more and been more adventurous, but it was the new feeling to it all… it was the talking in between, the flirting, the teasing, and… well just the everything. It was the perfect way to come together, so unnatural and so against the rules—at least in the sense of how unexpected it was, given everyone's expectations for us—that it was perfect.
"Harry, what's wrong? You've been fidgeting all evening, I'm actually starting to wonder if someone hexed you or something and you're too much of an egotistical prat to admit that some one got a leg up on you," I admitted with a bashful smile as I watched him flush slightly at the confession.
"No," he weakly said before coughing slightly to clear his throat. "You're the only one who ever manages to out smart me anyway… but—well-"
"Yes," I goaded him.
"Well… I kind of have to tell you something and I'm not quite sure how… never really had to be the first one to say it, to tell you the truth-"
My eyes widened as the cogs in my head started turning. "If this some kinky sex proposition it's just not happening, Harry, I'm willing to be pretty adventurous in that area but Dom is just not my niche."
He gaped slightly, as he stared at me wide eyed, clearly shocked by the blunt statement… which, I'll admit, was rather tactlessly said. "Not everything you read in the tabloids is true, love," he assured me slowly. "This is… this is actually about something else."
"Oh," I reddened. "What is it then, Harry? I mean, it's not as if you can make a bigger fool of yourself than I did just now."
He sighed deeply as he raised his head, looking up at me, straight in the eyes. "I—I'm in love with you."
It took me a moment to get over my initial shock, a moment that was surely hell for him as he just sat there, nervously shifting his weight from one side to the other. When I finally did, however, I couldn't help, but grab him by the lapels of his blazer and pull him towards me, across the, thankfully, empty table, and snog him senseless.
Etiquette be damned, I couldn't help but partake in some, extremely rare, PDA with my boyfriend who had just admitted to being in love with me.
"I love you too, Harry James Potter," I told him, breathlessly, when we finally pulled away from one another.
He smiled at me.
"Excuse me—Miss? Sir?—would you like your frozen orange soufflé now or would you rather put it off?" the waiter shyly interrupted us, clearly not having expected the display we had put on.
Harry turned to him with a wide mile. "I think that this occasion begs for some cake, actually."
"Hermione?" he tentatively called out as he entered the dark kitchen, the only light being a few candles that I had set as I really didn't want to face the light at the moment—I just wanted to wallow, and what environment is better for that than the dark?
"What do you want?" I gruffly asked him, my voice hoarse from all the tears I had shed—bloody hell I hate being a girl.
"You—you—you what, Harry?" I asked him, bitterly mocking him. After all, I had never claimed to be perfect nor a person who doesn't hold a grudge—in fact, I am willing to attest to all those traits with pride; if anything it means I won't allow people to walk all over me, and we all have our faults, I'd rather that be mine.
He let out a deep sigh as he ran a hand through his hair. "I'm sorry."
"A bit late for that, isn't it?"
"I didn't mean it, Hermione, I swear."
"Then you're a liar," I immediately retorted without the slightest bit of hesitation.
"I-" he paused, letting out a frustrated groan, clearly a bit flustered by my hostility, something that he so rarely ever experienced.
Serves him right, really.
"How could you, Harry?" I asked him, tears beginning to form, yet again, at my eyes, much to my displeasure. I hate him for being able to make me cry so easily. "How could you just say that when you claim to be in love with me?"
"But I am!" he defended, adamant to prove it to me.
"No," I said as I shook my head sadly. "Someone that loves me wouldn't put me through that, hurt me like that, you bastard," I spat at him, bitterly.
"Love," he whispered, hurt in both his voice and his eyes as he neared me, touching a hand to my cheek, one that I immediately pulled away form. "Hermione, I love you, just you. I'm a prat; I didn't mean a word of it, honestly."
"Maybe—maybe all of this was a mistake, Harry. I mean, really, you and I had no business ever getting together," I whispered, roughly rubbing the tears that were slowly making their way down my face.
He looked at me in disbelief. "You can't mean that."
"But—but I do."
"Harry, are you sure that's a good idea? I mean, it sounds really dangerous," I cautioned him as we sat on the chesterfield of his library, him having just explained a plan for a mission he and Ron were heading.
He rolled his eyes. "I think I've been doing this long enough that I can assess the risks and come up with a decent plan, Hermione."
"It's not about how much experience you have, though. You're going in there totally blind, without any idea of what's going on in there—they're Death Eaters, Harry, that's not something you should treat so lightly. Don't underestimate them just because you beat their leader."
"Maybe you just don't know what you're talking about, have you ever considered that possibility?" he bitterly asked me.
"Harry, I just—I don't want you to get hurt, that's all," I told him, trying to keep my voice void of emotion, trying not to let on just how much he had hurt me with that comment.
He scoffed. "I don't need a mum; I don't need someone to coddle me. What I need is your support, Hermione, that's all."
"And what if I can't always give you that?"
That question surprised him, so much so that even the invincible and famous Auror in him couldn't help but allow his emotions to show—something that he tried so hard to refrain from whenever getting into arguments. His head snapped at the question and he stared at me wide eyed, his jaw going slightly slack at the possibility. "I don't see why you shouldn't if you love me."
"And I don't see why I should ever be met with an ultimatum like that. I—I won't do it, Harry. I've never been one for lying and I won't start now, and I sure as hell won't put on those ruddy rose-colored glasses that everyone seems to have on wherever you're concerned. I'm not that person and I won't lower my standards by becoming that. And—and so long as you want that I just can't be with you," I admitted with a sigh.
As I felt the tears building up in my eyes I just couldn't let him see it, I couldn't let on how much he had hurt me with his words—his implication. It was over… I knew that much, a couple… they just don't bounce back after that and I surely wasn't going to continue watching the destruction of our relationship so I did what every smart war hero does.
And the lemon meringue pie lay forgotten on the escritoire where we had left it for later. Seemed as if later would never come as far as that poor desert was concerned.
"Come on, love, at least hear me out. We can sit and talk over this ice cream cake I brought over. I mean, it's be a shame to see it go to waste—especially now that you've finished that cake of yours," he pointed out, and smartly so, much to my distaste.
"Fine," I spat out as I let him take a seat, opposite to me, at the island and silently handed him a fork as he opened the box. "Why are you here, Harry?"
"I thought I made that obvious enough, love."
I gave a tight, sarcastic smile. "Obviously not."
He let out a deep breath, clearly only just realizing how difficult I was going to be that evening. "I didn't mean it, Hermione, none of it."
"Then why did you say it," I asked as I took a rather disgustingly large bit of the cake.
"I—I don't know," he stammered pathetically. "I guess—well I don't know what I guess, honestly. My temper got the best of me and I just said things that I didn't even mean… at all."
I look up at him to find that he hasn't even taken a bit of the cake; instead he's starting at me.
"That's utter rot. I don't care what you say about not knowing the truth is you're just a pampered prat who can't stand being told he might be wrong—your head is so big that you need someone who'll agree with you no matter what… someone who sees you for your name, not you. Because the truth is, Harry, that as much as you may think that you want someone to see you for you, you can't handle it either, you need to be "the boy who lived," you need to be fawned over, and I just can't do that. Ginny, however, can."
He shook his head stubbornly. "I don't want Ginny-"
"Well then someone else… but not me."
"Hermione," he sighed desperately as he chanced his life by bringing his hand upon mine, which was limply lying on the island.
I let him.
"I don't want her or anyone else. What—what you said is true, I am full of myself and used to constantly being agreed with—so much so that as much as I may hate it I've grown used to it and can't comprehend anything else. But I don't want to be like that, I need someone who'll teach me how to be wrong… and accept it. I need someone who will challenge me… plus, it helps that you look rather sexy when you do," he grinned slowly.
I hate him for knowing exactly which chords to hit to make me fall victim to his charm. I really do… just, sadly, not enough to not allow myself to be charmed.
"Harry," I sighed. "What about the next time? I can't handle a relationship where it's a constant question of which waters I actually can tread with you… it's too turbulent… and not even in a good, challenging way."
"I want to change, though, to go back… you deserve better, and I want to be the bloke that gives it to you."
"Thing is, Harry, you shouldn't have to change… not to be with someone."
I really hate being the voice of reason at times like these.
"What if it's not just for you but for myself as well? After-" he cut himself off with a sigh, his nerves getting the better of him as he ran a hand through his hair. "After you left I just sat there… for hours… I actually sat on the balcony while it was pouring out there… helped me think, oddly enough," he rambled on nervously, taking pauses between each thought, as if to test the waters, to see if I was actually even listening.
"I—I realized what an incredible prat I was towards you the second you left, but it took me a bit longer to really grasp the rest of what you said. You're right, I enjoy being right, adore it."
"Most people do," I quietly offered.
He shook his head adamantly. "Doesn't excuse being a prat to the girl you're supposedly in love with. I—I want us to work, Hermione, I want to have you—all of you, particularly the judgmental side because Merlin knows I need someone to kick me in the arse when I get to be a complete arse," he smiled slowly, tentatively.
I sighed, leisurely raising my other hand and placing it on top of his, which was still resting atop of my own. "I think I can do that," I smiled shyly.
I nodded. "Yeah."
He let out a small laugh of disbelief. "Really?—because, I mean, you do realize that if you say yes now there's no going back, I'm bound to muck things up in the future but you're stuck with me regardless if you give any affirmative answer or even indication right now."
I chuckled lightly as I listened to him babble, seemingly without any intention of giving up until I finally gave in. "Harry?"
"That's not an answer."
"I realize that," I responded with a nod, "but I'm really not in the mood for any deep declarations of love right now. In fact, I think we had enough of those for the evening, so how about we go put the rest of this cake to good use in the bedroom… and then, tomorrow, we can go buy a lemon meringue pie to make up for the forsaken one today."
"That—that sounds like an affirmative answer."
I smirked as I picked up the box and a can of whip cream that was lying on the counter. "That'd be because it was. Now, are you coming or not, because I was really hoping to prove that age old proverb that 'you can't have your cake and eat it too' wrong," I asked him as I sauntered towards the bedroom, not even bothering to look back as I walked towards the room. I knew what his answer would be.
After all, ice cream is the cake of bonds formed with us. It's symbolic, and symbolism is just something that should never be forgone or ignored.
author's note: thank you so much for reading and please review