Title: You Can Be My Trigger
Setting: After the war, AU.
Rating: M (Just to be safe)
Plot: After the war, Hermione shuts down emotionally to cope with the scars of being left behind. A certain blonde takes it upon himself to try and get her back to her old self.
"I'm tired of feeling so numb." – Plumb "Cut"
Harry Potter, the boy who lived to grow into the man who survived, paced. His pacing was a nervous habit obtained during fifth year; all that time spent in that old house had affected him all the way to this point. At 23 now, the war had long been over and done. Casualties aside, it was almost as if it'd never happened, for most of the wizarding world. It was amazing how something could so easily be forgotten by those who it'd never touched. It was also amazing to Harry just how many had never been touched by the happenings between him and Voldemort. It amazed him to think that there were children born and years old who had never lived with the fear that some unknown spirit would crush their world on a whim.
It would seem that everything could go back to normal, as much as was possible. But it wasn't so. Running his hand through his tousled hair, he glanced nervously into the hospital room again. Muggle hospitals had always made him nervous, even when he was a child. It wasn't the muggle part so much, as the hospital part. He swallowed hard and took a brave step into the room.
Hermione Granger rested on the bed, her hands folded in her lap. "Hey, Hermione." Harry's voice broke the silence as Hermione turned to look at him. A ghost of a smile crossed her lips as she looked him over. He looked good, she admitted to herself silently.
"Harry," she greeted him quietly, her eyes returning to the window yet again.
Harry swallowed and took a nervous seat on the edge of the chair near the bed, opening his mouth to speak, then shutting it when Hermione turned to stare at him. "Don't lecture me, Harry. I know it was dumb. But I'm fine, really." Her words softened as she finished, turning to the window. The TV was on mute, muggle news scrolling across the screen.
Hermione was a hero. With lady luck on her side, she'd managed to save a child from a building on fire while on her way home. But that wasn't what bothered Harry. Hermione had always been willing to take risks for others… but they'd always been calculated risks. A frown creased his brow as he sighed softly. "I know it's been rough, since… they… died, but, really, Hermione. You can't keep living like this."
Hermione shrugged, her hair coming from behind her ear as she looked back to the window. "I'm fine Harry." But she wasn't, and they both knew it. She went to work, she ate, she replied when asked a direct question, but she wasn't… lively. She didn't glow, she didn't list off random facts, when needled at, she didn't needle back. It was as if her fire had died a little each time they'd lost someone in the war, and at the end… well, she was barely a flicker, hardly a glimmer of what she'd once been.
Another sigh, and Harry stood. "If you say so, Hermione. But we're adult enough by now to admit that's not true." With his parting words, and a desperate glance over his shoulder, he left her in her room, her dull brown eyes still on the window. He didn't hear her soft whisper of acceptance, uttered on an exhale.
A/N: Here's the prologue. I'm going to upload chapter one, too, just to get things rolling. This story shouldn't be too long. Four - five chapters at most. I've got almost three written, so. We'll see.