I grew up in a poor, but loving family and my parents seemed to spoil me more than any of my other siblings. I couldn't buy the things I wanted to buy, because we didn't have any money. Yet I was happy. Why? Because I had two parents who loved me with all their heart, and I had super-cool brothers who would play with me, laugh with me, tease me and take care of me. The things I couldn't have because we weren't well off didn't matter much to me, because I just wanted them, I didn't need them.
Every day, I would wake up at the crack of dawn and rush out of the house without brushing my teeth to watch the sunrise. My brothers were the greatest people ever, but they were pretty lazy and wouldn't wake up early even if you paid them too. At this time of day, only my mum and dad would be awake ; my mum in the kitchen getting breakfast ready for our big family, my dad already out in the porch, sitting on the swing with two cups of hot chocolate in his hands. My dad would see me, take one long look at me, and then send me back into the house telling me to brush my teeth. I never asked how he knew.
I would quickly brush my teeth and rush out of the house. My dad would give me a cup of hot chocolate, press a kiss to my cheek and take me into his lap, and we would watch the sun rise and hear the birds chirping. We wouldn't say a word, instead taking comfort in each others' presence. My mum would soon join us with a cup of coffee and a knitting magazine in her hands.
I was in my dad's lap and my mum was there right beside me with that reassuring and comfortable air about her. My adorable older brothers were snoring their heads off in their rooms with the curtains drawn shut to block every ray of light that could possibly come in. I was five years old and these were the happiest days of my life.
After I turned six, my mum would sit with me once every week, and tell me fairy tales, both magical and Muggle. My favourite Muggle tale was Cinderella, as I hoped that when I grew up, my Prince Charming would come and sweep me off my feet. My parents had bought me a copy of Cinderella for my sixth birthday, and I treasured this above all my other presents that I had ever received. I can't explain it but this book was worth its weight in gold to me and I cried for two hours when George accidentally dropped tea on it. My tears only abated when mum, who was out shopping for groceries, came home and demonstrated to me what a Cleaning Charm was.
I enjoyed all the wizard's tales my mum told me, but the one I loved the most, the one I would ask my mum to repeat at least once every month, was not a fictional fairy tale ; it was a true story. A story about the Boy Who Lived.
'Years ago, there was a big, bad wizard whose name was You-Know-Who...' she would say, and continue the astounding story till, '... and that's how Harry Potter, the person who defeated You-Know-Who with an amazing display of wandless magic when he was just one year old, came to be known as the Boy Who Lived.' I always asked my mum again and again, 'Is this a true story? Is Harry Potter a real person?' I couldn't believe that someone so brave and so powerful could actually be a real person.
Now, at such a young age, my life held a new meaning to it. My family was whole and happy because of Harry Potter. He saved us. He should be worshipped like a God.
My fascination with Harry Potter never dwindled. The next few years passed by in a flash. Before I knew it, I was ten years old and I had spent the majority of my pre-adolescence day-dreaming about Harry Potter. I always thought about what I would say to him if I ever met him, and whether he would consider being friends with me. I always snorted in derision when I had the last thought, why would the great, brave Harry Potter even consider being friends with someone as ordinary as me?
The summer that I turned ten, our family went to King's Cross station to drop off my brothers for their school year. The youngest of all my older brothers, who was one year older than me, was starting at school that year. I never forgot that day, for it was the first time that I met Harry Potter. I found out then that he was not only brave and heroic, but also kind and humble.
I could just barely see his face through the window glass as the train was leaving the platform. I waved my hands, acting as if it were meant for my brothers, while really I wanted Harry to respond. My brothers waved back at me and Harry didn't.
I spent that whole year wishing that my eleventh birthday would hurry up, so that even I could attend Hogwarts.
The summer rolled by again, and Ron was back after his first year. My parents and I heard about him getting fifty last minute points for Gryffindor to steal the House Cup from Slytherin. I heard that he was involved in something dangerous regarding You-Know-Who with Harry Potter and one of their mutual friends, a girl called Hermione Granger.
I pestered Ron for details, as soon as we got home, and he didn't disappoint me. Although he largely magnified his own part in the adventure, I managed to suss out the basic outline of what had happened. Ron sacrificed himself at the chess board, and then Harry and Hermione went on. Harry and Hermione. Those words sounded nauseous to me. My stomach boiled with jealousy at the thought that some other girl had met Harry first and become friends with him.
After an eventful trip to Diagon Alley, where we ran into the Malfoys, I got onto the train and found that all the compartments were full. I found a compartment that had a bushy-haired girl with enormous teeth sitting in it. I was pretty nervous as she seemed to be engrossed in her book and paid no attention to my arrival. I turned to leave, but she seemed to have heard me and told me that I could take a seat if I wished. I thanked her and sat down opposite her. I was relieved that there was someone who seemed friendly and would be nice to me.
If only I knew how wrong I was...
If only I knew that this girl would be my tormentor, that she would destroy all my hopes and ambitions with one decision of hers, that many years later her happiness would be directly proportional to my suffering...
But I didn't know.
I remember my conversation with her pretty clearly.
'Hi,' I said shyly.
'Hi,' she replied.
'What's your name?'
'Hermione Granger, and yours?'
'G-Ginny Weasley,' I said, unable to believe that this was Harry Potter's best friend.
'Oh, are you Ron's younger sister?!'
I merely nodded in reply.
'It's nice to meet you,' she said.
'You too,' I replied.
Silence reigned for a while, before I blurted, 'Are you Harry Potter's girlfriend?'
The reddening of her cheeks was unmissable. 'No, I'm not. We're friends, best friends.'
'So does that mean he's available?'
'I don't know, why don't you ask him? I don't own him or something. Why do you like him, anyway? You've never met him or even talked to him.'
'I didn't mean that, I just meant - I want to be his friend. And as for liking him, don't you like him too?'
'Yeah, I like him - as a friend.'
'Oh.' Clearly this best friend of Harry Potter's didn't comprehend how brave and noble he was , even though she spent one year of her time with him.
'So it's okay with you if I fancy Harry?' I cringed internally. I didn't have to take this girl's permission, I could do whatever I wanted.
'Sure,' she said, but I could sense the sarcasm in her tone and she was fighting a smile.
I became angry. Bloody bookworm, just because she's Harry Potter's best friend, she thinks she's above us all and can talk how she pleases. I'll show her one day. One day, I'll kiss Harry and I'll find out if she's still sarcastic and smiley about it.
But, my parents taught me better than to carry a grudge, so we chatted amicably for some time before she went back to her book.
That year turned out to be a rough one for me, and it ended with me being rescued from a horrible chamber in which a basilisk and You-Know-Who by Harry Potter, of all people. But at the end-of-term feast, I saw Harry and Hermione running towards each other and hug as if they had only each other in the world. I felt a pang of jealousy run through me, before I assured myself that Harry was just relieved to see Hermione awake after her petrification. I tried to get Hermione's attention and let her know that I was happy that she was awake, but she was too busy being comforted by Harry to notice.
My second year started and I saw that Hermione started filling out in the right places, and I looked down at my still flat chest, wondering when that would happen to me. But I knew that I was two years younger than Hermione, and I knew I would grow to be much more attractive than her, because her bushy hair and buckteeth were definitely a turn-off for any boy.
On Christmas Day, I remember walking into the Gryffindor common room, to encounter a furious Ron, who was shouting about something stupid that Hermione had done. I hid a smile, as I always suspected that Ron fancied Hermione, but was too shy and probably too intimidated to do anything about it. I perked up when I heard the word 'Firebolt', and I discovered that Harry had received a Firebolt from an anonymous person, and Hermione had found out and reported it to Professor McGonagall.
According to her, the broomstick could've been from Sirius Black and might be dangerous, but I knew better. I was pretty sure that the broomstick was from an unknown admirer and Hermione obviously didn't want Harry to enjoy anything that wasn't from her, so she decided the broomstick must be thrown out as a way of marking her territory. She told me a year ago that she didn't own Harry, and here she was, making his decisions for him. It was clear that she was sinking her claws into him. 'What a bitch!,' I fumed to myself silently. I was even more disgusted when Harry got his Firebolt back (with nothing dangerous about it) and he and Ron promptly went after Hermione like lost puppies seeking their master. (or in this case,mistress.)
Barring that, I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary between the three, although something did happen at the end of the year, of which I knew no details of, for even Ron refused to tell me when I asked him during the summer.
My third year started and Harry was unexpectedly named as a champion of Hogwarts for the Triwizard Tournament that was to take place that year.
Around a month before Christmas, the Hogwarts staff announced that there would be a Yule Ball, which was a traditional dance, and also an opportunity to socialize with the students of the other two schools. All the Hogwarts' gossip turned to who was wearing what and who was going out with who to the dance. Like many other girls, I was naturally interested in going with Harry to the Ball. However, I could only go with a fourth year or above, or not go at all.
Topic among girls of almost all years turned to the mysterious identity of the date of Viktor Krum, the international Quidditch star, as well as school champion.
I went shopping in Hogsmeade for a dress that I could wear, if I got a date above fourth year. I looked through all the stores, but all of them had dresses that I wasn't that fond of and they were too expensive anyway. Then, in one store, my jaw dropped and my eyes were almost popping out. I found the dress I wanted, and all the other dresses couldn't even compare to this one. I was drawn like a magnet towards it, and I felt alive. This dress was made for me. It was a periwinkle-blue colour and it was made of a rich, floaty material.
I asked for the price and my heart stopped. I couldn't have heard right. The price was more than double of what I had. And the money that I had was the last of the money that we won in the lottery last year, and my mum told me to try not to use all of it, and to buy a dress that I liked while trying to save as much of the money as possible. I considered taking a loan from any of my friends, but in my year, I had only one close friend from whom I could ask for some money and she wasn't that well off either.
In fourth year, the only person I knew well enough was Hermione Granger. I wasn't going to ask her, I decided. I wasn't very egoistical, but asking her was out of the question. The girl who thinks everyone should be honoured just because they've been in her presence.
I could just imagine what she would say if I asked her for money. 'Oh, of course Gin, here you go, you can try impressing Harry all you want, but he's already wrapped around my finger,' she would say with a triumphant smirk on face. Okay, to be honest, she wouldn't say the part about Harry, but her expression would imply exactly that.
Slowly, reality crashed down on me. I had no options left. I rushed from the store and ran to my dorm, desperately trying to hold back my tears. Thankfully, all my dorm-mates were still in Hogsmeade, shopping. I cried and cried and cried. I didn't have the dress that was meant to be mine. I don't know when my tears abated, but my eyes were red and puffy and I looked at my reflection in the mirror and I looked horrible.
I took out my Cinderella book, and read it five times that night, convincing myself that Harry would notice me someday and I would find happiness with him. I fell into an uneasy sleep that night, with the Cinderella book clutched to my chest.
The night of the Ball arrived, and I found a date. But I was disgusted. My date was Neville Longbottom. I wasn't disgusted at the prospect of dancing with him, but I was disgusted with what he told me. He said that he had already asked Hermione Granger, admitting that it took him two weeks to pluck up the courage to do so, but she politely turned him down. I was going out with what Hermione had discarded? My Prince Charming for this dance came as Hermione's leftovers? I couldn't believe it. Once again, without even trying, Hermione was on cloud nine, with the boy and probably even the dress she wanted ; and me? I was stuck firmly to the ground, inhaling her dust, with a horrible dress and a boy she stamped on, however politely she may have done so.
I made my way into the Great Hall with Neville, and we stood silently, awaiting the champions and their dates to make their entry. They started coming in, and my jaw dropped when I saw who was on the arm of the famous Viktor Krum. It was Hermione. More than fifty girls much more beautiful and attractive than Hermione glared at her with undisguised loathing. I looked around to see that even Harry's jaw dropped, and Ron couldn't take his eyes off her, even Neville was staring.
'What a tart!' I thought. Ron, my brother, and her best friend obviously had a major crush on her. She already had her other best friend, the Boy Who Lived, at her beck and call. And now she came as the date of the glamorous, Bulgarian National Seeker Viktor Krum. Was there an end to her lust? How much more did she want?
My eyes which were narrowed at her, dropped down to her dress. In that moment, I felt such an intense stab of hatred against Hermione, that I stumbled backward. I felt like pulling Hermione by her hair and slapping her till she saw what she had done, till she had seen that in getting what she wanted, she had stepped on so many toes and broken so many hearts. 'That's my dress she's wearing, mine...!' my heart cried out.
I had a miserable ball, although Her Highness Hermione certainly didn't. I saw her through the corner of my eyes, she was talking to Krum and touching him gently on the hand as they ate, every once in a while she would turn to Harry and laugh about something, while she flirted with Cedric too.
Late in the night, after she was done dancing, I overheard Viktor offering to get her a drink, and she went and sat between Harry and Ron, probably trying to make sure that they still remained entranced by her and stuck in her seductive trap.
I left almost immediately after that, too disgusted to even be in the same room as Hermione. I read my Cinderella book that night again, because I had nothing else to comfort me. I kept telling myself that all my agony was one phase of a full cycle and one day Hermione would feel the same despair that I was feeling now and that her arrogance and holier-than-thou attitude would be her downfall. After all, good things always happened to good people, didn't they? If that was true, Hermione would grow up to be a forty-year old virgin with twenty cats to keep her company, wouldn't she? Sooner or later, all the boys she seduced, manipulated and toyed with would recognise her for what she was, wouldn't they?
Soon afterwards, I would put my non-existent love life and feelings for Harry on the back-burner, for something terrible happened on the night of the third task. Voldemort had returned and maybe it was always there and I was blind to it, but for the first time I had seen Harry for what he really was : a human. Maybe it was all the tales of the Boy Who Lived from my mother, or maybe it was the fact that he killed a sixty foot basilisk and saved my life in the first year that I knew him, but I had never warmed up to the fact that Harry was a human like all other people. However, seeing the anguish on his face that night as he lay in the hospital wing, I vowed silently that from then on, I would treat him as just Harry.
My fourth year and Harry's fifth year, was a year of distrust and discord. Almost nobody believed Harry when he said that Voldemort had returned, and he took matters into his own hands by starting an organisation for us to learn duelling and basic techniques to defend ourselves. I always suspected that Hermione forced him into starting it, but I've never been able to prove it.
Once it was clear that Harry had a crush on Cho Chang, a Ravenclaw two years older than me, I started dating a guy called Michael Corner. However, his relationship with her failed, and the gossip circles (which were no doubt indulged by Cho herself) whispered of how it was Harry's closeness to Hermione that squashed the romance. Once again, Hermione decided that Harry shouldn't be looking at any girl other than her, and so took matters into her own hands.
At the end of the year, Harry had a strange dream that required him to go to the Ministry of Magic, of all places, and initially he harboured the idea of going alone, but me, Luna, Ron, Neville and Hermione quickly disabused him of that notion and told him that wherever he was going, we would be right there behind him. I really wanted to use this opportunity to prove to Harry that I wasn't the young girl who needed protecting anymore, I wanted to show him that I could stand firm along with him and fight.
Whether my attempt succeeded or not, I didn't find out, for initially Harry's behaviour towards me didn't change at all.
Then, things changed. I had dumped Michael Corner at the end of the previous year because he was a sour loser and couldn't face the fact that Gryffindor beat his house at Quidditch. My new boyfriend was Dean Thomas, and one day Harry and Ron walked in on us kissing, and when I looked at Harry's face for his reaction, I saw something that I wanted to see for a long time : longing and jealousy. I couldn't believe it. Harry finally saw me as a girl and not as a best mate's baby sister! I considered dropping Dean right then, and going after Harry, but I knew I couldn't do that. Hermione could do those kinds of things, getting rid of a guy as if he were garbage and immediately picking up a new one. I couldn't.
But towards the end of the year, my relationship with Dean started becoming difficult, and it was finally a small thing that led me to breaking things off with him. My mind was now, once again, fully focused on Harry.
The day Gryffindor won the Quidditch Cup (again!) was the most glorious day of my life. Harry had a detention with Professor Snape (again!) and I was the stand-in seeker for Gryffindor. After we won the match by a whopping margin of three hundred and ten points, our party commenced in the Gryffindor common room, and afterwards, Harry came in, having finished his detention.
I brandished the Quidditch Cup at him, and gave him what I hope was a blazing look. I threw my arms around him and then before I knew it - before I knew it, he - he was KISSING me! I gloried in the feel of his soft lips pressing against mine, before we reluctantly pulled away due to lack of air.
My eyes immediately went to Hermione's. My eyes reached her face in time to see a shocked expression on her face before she hastily recomposed it into a beaming one. Her eyes, however, revealed nothing. No emotion at all, positive or negative. I knew it was wrong, but I felt more triumphant at having something that Hermione couldn't and didn't have, rather than the fact that Harry kissed me.
I was riding high now, all my time either spent preparing for OWL's or being with Harry. We took long walks on the castle grounds and spent a lot of time beside the lake, either having a picnic lunch or just feeding the giant squid. He was an amazing kisser, his kisses could go from soft and tender to hot and passionate. I always knew Harry was a brave, kind and caring person, but I never knew he could be romantic too.
We spent a few great weeks together, before they all changed again. Harry had left the school earlier to do something, and it turned out that he was right. Malfoy was a Death Eater and he brought the Death Eaters into the castle, and Snape went and killed Dumbledore. Something changed in Harry then, I couldn't figure out what, but something in him snapped, and I started to get the dreaded feeling that our time together was at a close.
The day of Dumbledore's funeral was also the day my relationship with Harry ended. He told me that he needed to do things alone, that he couldn't be involved with anyone. I didn't try to stop him, I knew there was something he and Dumbledore were working on to destroy Voldemort. But I had a weird feeling that even if he defeated Voldemort and came back alive, it would not be me who he came back too. I didn't think it would be Hermione either, but I kind of had a feeling that my relationship with Harry was over for good. After the funeral, there was not a single dry eye among the attenders, except probably the Ministry bureaucrats. I saw Harry walking alone, talking to the Minister for Magic, beside the newly constructed white tomb, and Ron comforting Hermione, who was weeping. I wish that they had kissed, so that it would mean that there would be no chance in the future of a relationship between Harry and Hermione, but I was disappointed.
Ron and Hermione didn't kiss, however they got up and went to Harry. I saw Ron murmuring something to Harry, and I saw Hermione taking his arm and giving it a gentle squeeze. Harry's expression became slightly less melancholy then, and then I understood ; whatever dangerous mission Harry was going off on, Hermione and probably Ron would be accompanying him. I figured out something very painful that day. No matter what happened in Harry's life, Hermione would always be there to celebrate it or mourn it with him. No matter what girl Harry dated, if she didn't have the Hermione stamp of approval, Harry would drop her like a hot potato. Hermione would always be the number one girl in Harry's life, no matter what. This revelation hurt me deeply, and again, after almost two years, I felt a stab of hatred against Hermione run through me and a desire to hurt her. Even though Cho was the only other one that Harry had dated, it was the thought of Hermione that made my blood boil.
Harry defeated Voldemort the following year in the Great Hall of Hogwarts. He was the recently discovered heir of Godric Gryffindor and the sword of the founder impaled Voldemort. Everyone was ecstatic. I, along with many other people ran towards Harry, not expecting a kiss or something intimate, but at least a hug or a smile. Just like in the path to Harry's heart, I was beaten in the path of people running towards him to congratulate him.
Hermione won both races.
I watched in shock, as the world came crashing down upon me. I watched as Hermione wrapped her arms tightly around Harry, a big smile on her face. I watched as they stared into each others' eyes and moved their faces closer to each others'. I saw their gazes turn to each others' lips and I saw Hermione stand on tiptoe and gently brush her lips against Harry's. What shocked me was the way they pulled away and smiled at each other, lost to the world around them. I knew then that this was a practised movement, and that Harry and Hermione had kissed before.
I wondered when they had started dating. 'They could've started secretly even while he was dating me!' I thought morosely, but I dismissed that thought. Hermione wouldn't have minded doing such a underhand thing, but Harry had much more morals than that. That led me to the conclusion that they got together during the time that they were gone.
I could've just imagined the situation - Harry sitting alone somewhere, worrying about the mission and how they could complete it or maybe even me and what I was doing. I could see the image of Hermione subtly scooting up to him and comforting him, all the while bringing her hand to somewhere guys like it a lot, to his thigh, maybe. I could just imagine Harry opening his mouth to speak and Hermione just throwing herself at him and kissing him fiercely. Harry, being the nice and shy guy, responded so as not to disappoint Hermione. There was no other girl there with Harry at that time, and Hermione probably revelled in that fact. Revelled in the fact that she had ultimate power over Harry.
'Clean my shoes, Harry.'
'Kiss me nice and good, Harry.'
I was filled with disgust at the idea of Hermione ordering Harry to kiss her. Then, as if waking up from a daze, I looked up to see Hermione again kissing Harry with all the passion she had. My heart broke and it felt like hot knives were slicing themselves into my body again and again. I made my way out of the hall quickly, with the knives plunging into me with each step I took away from the happy couple.
'Couple,' I thought miserably. Harry and Hermione were a couple. Once I was out of the Great Hall, my walk became a sprint and I reached my dorm, feeling numb. I was so shocked and grief-stricken that I was past the point of crying or raging. I still couldn't believe it. My mind was whirling and I collapsed onto my bed, staring into space. Harry and Hermione.
Harry and Hermione.
And now my disbelief and shock gave way and were consumed by fury.
That witch, no, bitch!! This was her plan, I thought with dawning realisation. I always knew that Hermione was very manipulative and very ambitious when it came to her boys and her needs. But even I didn't think that she had it in her to do such a heinous thing.
She played the part of a good buddy to him for six years, allowed him to fancy other girls while at the same time extending her vice-like grip on his life, and she gave me and so many other girls false hope. She told me that she didn't fancy Harry and I accepted that without thought. And now, now... in front of everyone she made it clear who Harry belongs to. She marked her territory clearly in front of me even though she told me that I was free to pursue Harry.
Another sickening thought invaded my mind. Harry made the first move on me last year. Was that only because Hermione allowed it? If Hermione expressed her discontent with the situation, would Harry have kissed me at all? If no, then did that mean that I had a chance with Harry in the first place only because of Hermione's mercy?!
A wave of nausea passed over me at the last thought and I promptly threw up. Luckily I had made it to the bathroom in time. To my consternation, my anger didn't wash away even after I vomited and I had to find some place quickly to unleash my fury. I wrenched open my trunk and took out the Cinderella book and threw it as hard as I could in the common room fire. Seeing that it wasn't burning fast enough, I cast an incendio at it. Tears dripped down my face as I watched it burn. I had the beloved book since I was six years old and now it was gone in a fit of anger. Gone thanks to Hermione. My blood was thundering through my brain now, and I knew that I had to hurt Hermione before I went insane.
I ran to the seventh floor, and walked past the empty hall three times, thinking frantically, 'I need a room which has a dummy Hermione! I need a room which has a dummy Hermione!' Hatred arose in me when I walked in the room and saw a very smug Hermione sitting on the sofa reading a book called, ''How to make Boys Sing along to your Dirty Tune.''
I rushed to the dummy and pushed her out of the sofa and stomped on her nose as hard as I could, glad to see that the Room was realistic enough to make Hermione bleed profusely. Maybe Malfoy was right when he said that her blood was worthless.
I took my wand out and snarled a curse that I had only tried unsuccessfully on Dolores Umbridge in the recently concluded battle and last year on one of the Death Eaters that managed to come into the castle, the Cruciatus Curse. To my horror, the curse worked this time and a jet of red light shot from the end of my wand and hit Hermione right in the face. I pleasured in hearing Hermione scream and watched as her face became more and more twisted, before I remembered Neville's parents and that they spent almost twenty years in a permanent ward of St. Mungo's because someone enjoyed doing this to them. I felt bile come up my throat again. I had used the Cruciatus Curse and enjoyed it, something that only Lord Voldemort and Bellatrix Lestrange did.
Hermione had broken my heart and made my existence a pitiable one because of her selfishness, and now she had robbed me of my innocence. I felt anger well up in me again, I had used an unforgivable because of my uncontrollable pain while she was probably up there, playing hockey with Harry's tonsils. I resolved then that I wouldn't let Hermione have the satisfaction of seeing me as a human wreck. I swore that I wouldn't storm or rant at either of them, because if I did so, my temper would get the better of me and then Hermione would be able to see how unsettled I was.
And so that was what happened. Both of them cornered me a few days after the victory and told me what was going on, they had fallen in love and wanted to tell me over Christmas break itself, but Ron got injured while they were on their mission. Great, what a merry Christmas it would've been for me then. I glared at Hermione and quickly looked away before she noticed. She certainly didn't waste her time, did she? Within six months of Dumbledore's funeral, Hermione was up to her old tricks again.
A couple of years passed, and Harry and Hermione didn't break up at all. Harry had now become the most famous and loved wizard in the whole world, and quite popular with ladies of all ages. However, the whole world knew that their attempts were useless, for Harry had eyes for no one but Hermione. They, being among the cream of the society, were invited to all kinds of lavish parties and posh social events, and even the most die-hard gossip seeking reporters said that Harry didn't so much as glance at the other girls at the events, so intense was his desire for Hermione.
The whole wizarding world loved Hermione the same way as they loved Harry. After all, she was seen as the steady girlfriend of Harry Potter, their saviour, not to mention that she had helped him immensely during their still unknown mission.
Harry's wealth increased to staggering proportions. He was now the wealthiest wizard in Britain, because he controlled the Potter vaults, the Black vaults, the Dumbledore vaults and also the Gryffindor vaults. He already inherited the Potters' ancestral home in Godric's Hollow, Grimmauld Place, and a few beach-side properties. The Potter and Black family house-elves were owned by him and he became the master of Dobby, at Dobby's request to 'serve the great Harry Potter and Mistress Grangy.' Dobby had started a family with the formerly unstable house-elf, Winky.
Of course, on exertion of Hermione's devious influence, Harry gave her complete access to everything and all accounts were under the name of Harry Potter and Hermione Granger. I couldn't believe what I saw. Hermione had more than a hundred million galleons to throw around and she hadn't even worked for a Knut of them. Along with Fred and George's highly successful business, and Bill's influence in Gringotts, our total family fortune probably came to half a million.
But all the property Hermione owned wasn't enough for her. She wanted a new house to be built in the middle of a forest clearing far away from prying eyes. That house had four floors, seven bedrooms, three halls, five bathrooms, and two kitchens. I probably forgot a lot of things, like the fact that there was an entertainment centre on every alternate floor, or the fact that there was a huge swimming pool with a steam room, or the fact that there was one huge library and one more was added at Hermione's request.
One day, Harry and Hermione left their huge mansion and came to our small house, the Burrow. Which reminds me, I didn't know what they named their place.
'Well, guys, we have news for you.' They remarked at the same time.
'What?!' we replied.
'We're going to name our house - ''The Potters' Nest'',' Hermione said.
'Your house,' I thought to myself, snorting. 'What a mooch.' Then the full implications of Hermione's statement hit home. Immediately all the women of the household (including me) rushed to Hermione and demanded to see her hand. She willingly obliged, showing her ring finger. I gasped when I saw a big rock, whose worth was easily ten times that of the Burrow's.
But they weren't finished with their news. Harry took Ron aside and asked him to be his best man, and Hermione asked me to be her maid-of-honour. I felt like bursting into tears, I had convinced myself that this was just a fling and soon enough me and Harry would be together making green-eyed, red haired babies. But apparently Harry's babies were going to have green eyes and bushy brown hair. At this thought, I couldn't hold back my sobs, so I quickly hugged Hermione and told her that I would love to be her maid-of-honour. I think she suspected that all was not well when she saw my 'happy tears' but she chose not to say anything.
Trying to get away from Hermione, I sat in the sofa soon afterwards and I heard what Harry and Ron were talking about.
'Mate, weren't you planning to wait another two weeks before you proposed?' Ron asked.
'Yeah, but I was kind of in trouble with her already. I've had to sleep on the sofa for the last four days and she's threatened me with no sex.'
'Ouch, what the hell did you do?'
'Well, I ate some food in the library.'
'That sounds kinda harsh.'
'That, along with some other things I did.'
'Ah - Right. She loves her library. That's our Hermione.'
'That's my Hermione,' Harry corrected.
Listening to that made me feel disgusted at the way Hermione was treating Harry. For the first time since Harry and Hermione kissed under the enchanted ceiling of the Great Hall on Deliverance Day, I felt something other than anger at Hermione. I felt sorry for Harry. His girlfriend already dominated him, and now that he was having a marriage with her, I truly couldn't even imagine how much of a bossy and domineering wife she would be later on.
* * *
I am forty years old now. My statement about the first phase of the cycle has not come true. Because I am forty years old with very little light in my life. I am stuck in an abusive marriage far away from my friends and family whom I have not communicated with in any way for more than twenty years. My husband is an alcoholic, to whom I'm just a cook and an occasional shag. He has never exhibited any desire to have children with me. And as a result, I have no one to receive love from and no one to give my love to.
Watching Harry Potter and Hermione Granger get married was the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life. Unable to bear the agony of them together and also the happy faces of the whole family, I succumbed to the pressure of escapism and around three months after their wedding, I moved to Czech Republic without informing anyone.
She has everything I ever wanted, everything I ever dreamed of. People see her, admire her, fawn over her, wait on her and love her. The thing I hate the most is that she behaves as if everything was meant to be like this ; as if she was born to live like this.
My emotions have been almost wiped out over the course of the last twenty years.
There are times when I encourage my husband to hit me even more than he usually does, to remind myself of the biggest mistake I've committed in my life : destroying the Cinderella book. Sometimes, I truly regret having done that.
I feel a sense of longing for my childhood innocence, the times when I sat with my parents with a drink in my hand and watching the sun rise. I always dreamed of having Harry's babies and doing the same thing with them. Not only do I not have his babies, I don't have any babies at all.
I miss hearing the explosions from the twins' room, or the reprimanding tones that Percy would take. I miss the horrifying feeling of being thrashed at chess by Ron.
I know I'm an aunt to more than ten kids, and I haven't seen neither hide nor hair of them. I don't know their hobbies or names or even genders.
I feel my childhood and my happy days creeping back to me now. But, I also feel that familiar stab of hatred against Hermione Gra-Potter which has been becoming more frequent in the last few years.
I really hate her.
This time, the stab of hatred disappears as soon as it comes, only to be replaced by fear and dread as I hear my husband pounding on the door, demanding entrance.
AN - Please review, this is the first time I've tried a one-shot. Pretty Please...