an alternate ending...

Part V: Because we're epic.


I tried.

I had tried so hard to stay away, to be the mature one who made the sane decision… after all, that's me, right? "Good old, Hermione; you can trust her," they all say, and I wanted so badly to live up to that holier than thou image, to deserve it. Ultimately, though, all that time was just wasted and the effort was pointlessly put forth in a futile quest, one whose pointlessness I only realized in the final moments.

When he had asked me to go away with him a thousand variations of the same answer ran through my mind, a million reasons why we shouldn't and couldn't ever be flew before my eyes, and yet it was all worthless because the second I opened my mouth to tell him off, as I knew I should, words left me.

He and I… we're not perfect—nor did we ever were or claim to be—but, regardless of that, everything's just not worth it without him. Truth is, despite everything that's gone on—regardless of the pain, the death, and the heartbreak—I only ever feel as if I'm alive when with him.

It is what it is.

We've gone through hell and back to get to the point we're at today. We've toiled for ages in a seemingly hopeless quest to hold onto one another because it was worth it, the effort and the excruciating pain of it all… it's epic, it truly is.

In all honesty, I'm not the proudest of it and I do wish that I was stronger. I wish I was more loyal so that I could report Harry to Ron and the other Aurors, but I can't—never could and never will be able to… I just can't.

It's a curse at times, I'll admit, our history has proven that fact on countless occasions, yet I can let go. It's not a masochistic need or a sadistic desire to lead him on; it's just that I can't live any other way… I don't want to, not when I've had such a beautiful taste at that perfection we had then. I love him… I love him, and in my eyes it's all so worth it. Everything that it took to get here, the hellish realm that I lived in for those years, isn't important anymore when I wake up in the morning to the sounds of the waves crashing just outside of the beach house and then that final, beautiful culmination where he tells me how glad he is that I chose him.

And I'm glad I did, too.

He makes me feel content, he makes me whole, and I've never been happier than I am now, in his arms and watching all of his promises to me come true in so many more ways than I could have ever imagined or hoped for.

Because it is flawed, it is messy, and the past will always haunt us, I think, as that sort of a thing is inescapable, really, but I'm there to soothe the nightmares and he mine. I'm there to keep his monsters at bay and he my sadness.

We're alone and we're not all at the same time, our relationship has always been a muddled up, contradictory, paradoxical mess, that won't change, but it makes sense to us. We have our demons and our skeletons in the closet, but it doesn't matter, not anymore.