Disclaimer……….. All characters are the copyright of JK Rowling
It had been just over two months since Hermione had moved into the flat with Ron, it was slightly over two and a half months since she had seen her other best friend Harry Potter, and she was beginning to get really worried about him and their long friendship. Actually she had been worrying for the past month ever since the night of the engagement party held at the Burrow for her and Ron. Ron's mum Molly Weasley had insisted they hold it there because she was convinced that Hermione's muggle parents would not be able to cope with all the wizard folk.
As usual Hermione had eventually given in to the bullying woman and reluctantly allowed the pushy woman to tell everyone what to do, but Harry had not turned up that night and she had been very disappointed. Ron soothed her worries by telling her that he sent the invite to their best friend who would probably be unable to attend because he might be on duty or something and she had accepted what he said, it did after all make sense.
Now as she had a few hours off from her job as assistant charms professor at Hogwarts, she was doing some much needed shopping in Diagon Alley. Finding that with all her shopping done she had a couple of hours to spare before she had to pick up her new robes at Madam Malkin's she decided to visit Harry at his office, there would be no way for him to avoid her there if that was what he was doing. She walked into the ministry and headed to the fourth floor to the Dept of Magical law enforcement where he worked.
Harry was not in his office; in fact it did not look like anyone had been in there for quite some time. As she left his office she bumped into and was greeted by Minister Shacklebolt.
"Hermione how nice to see you, what's it been three, four months?" he greeted with his usual smile.
"Yes about that Shack, how are you? enjoying the job?" Hermione replied with her own welcoming smile and a hug for the huge man.
"Tell you the truth, I don't think I have had more than a half day off since you and Harry finished off Voldemort and his friends, how is Harry by the way? I thought I might have heard from him before now to let me know how he is." Shacklebolt said as he pulled her out of the way of a rushing crowd of trainee Aurors that passed them.
"What do you mean how is Harry, don't you know?" Hermione asked a worried frown appearing on her brow.
"I haven't seen Harry since he was medically discharged from the force, that was a nasty injury he received," Shack said with a hint of worry entering his voice "don't tell me he didn't tell you?"
"When did he get injured?" Hermione asked feeling more worried by the minute.
"Well let me see," the minister said as he pulled a small notebook from some hidden pocket "ah here we are Harry was allowed to leave St Mungo's on the evening of the 23rd march I remember the healers were going crazy about it but Harry insisted he had his two best friends at home and that they would help him if needed."
"Thanks Shack." Hermione said as she gave him a quick hug and rushed for an open lift. She remembered the date very well, it was the day that she and Ron had moved into the flat, it was also the day when Ron had stayed behind at the house to talk to Harry because he had not arrived home by the time they had moved all their belongings from the house they had all been sharing to the flat Ron had found. It was the day Ron had finally proposed to her.
Hermione almost ran to the nearest floo threw in some floo powder and in a flash of green flame she vanished, she stumbled from the fireplace as she arrived at her destination, the house was in almost total darkness, it seemed Harry had not bothered to open the curtains, it did not take more than a few seconds for her to open the curtains and the window allowing some fresh air into the stale smelling room.
Looking around the room it did not take her long to realise that the place looked exactly as it had on the day they had moved out. 'almost exactly' as it had done on that day. There was still a cardboard box full of the junk that she had insisted Ron throw away sitting in the middle of the floor, the book belonging to Harry that she had been glancing at that day still sat on the coffee table still open to the page she had been reading, two coats she had asked Ron to hang back up still lay where they had fallen close to the doorway.
As she looked around the room the only thing she could see different were the dried stains covering the couch and floor, stains that looked suspiciously like dry blood, and on the floor next to the couch lay a piece of crumpled parchment.
Hermione picked up the parchment and smoothed it out before she read what she knew instantly to be Ron's awful scribble.
'Harry, I've nipped over the cauldron for a quick beer before I go home, Hermione is at our flat waiting for me, I forgot to tell you we were moving, I was supposed to say something about it days ago but you know me, Hermione wanted me to tell you about the flat. Anyway me and Hermione have moved out, we should get together sometime for a beer. Ron'
Hermione carefully folded the parchment and placed it in her pocket, the stony look on her face gave her a rather scary look as she started to check the other rooms for her best friend. There was no sign he had been there apart from the blood stains that were also spread on the kitchen floor. The food in the fridge had turned bad and from what she could tell it had not been touched since the day they had left.
The amount of blood stains on Harry's bed told her just how badly he must have been injured, and he had come home to find an empty house, his so called best friends who he had hoped would help him had moved out with out telling him anything. She wondered what he now thought of her, and the idea that he might no longer think of her as his friend made her stomach to knot up.
She suddenly realised that she had always been the one he looked after, the one he thought of first, the one he always tried to protect from harm, the little 11 year old girl who had only survived to grow to womanhood because he had saved her life, kept her alive at the risk of his own life. Slowly she built a new picture of Harry in her mind; it was not a picture of a best friend. It was a picture of a man doing all he could to show her he loved her, and once again because of Ron they were not there when he needed them.
Having rechecked the entire house she stood in front of the fire place, flicked her wand lighting a small fire, then she took a deep breath and threw some floo powder into the flames and seconds later she was gone.
Ron Weasley lay slumped on the couch, a bottle of butterbeer in one hand and a copy of Quidditch weekly in the other, he was thinking of neither of these as he plotted ways to get Hermione to finally allow him into her bed.
He had thought it would be quite easy to get her out of the crazy idea of waiting till she was married before making love once he had gotten rid of what he saw as his only obstacle, Harry Potter. All he needed to do now was find a way to make her see that shagging was the best thing in the world. His trouble was Hermione was a lot smarter than he had actually thought, he should have known better, after all he had put up with her for years, ever since their first year at Hogwarts, as far as he was concerned he had waited long enough to get into her knickers and now he was getting fed up of it.
'If I was Harry bloody Potter she wouldn't be telling me to wait until we are married, no sirreee Harry bloody I killed Voldemort Potter could get her in his bed in a second'
The thought aggravated Ron to no end, knowing that he was right for once. He knew Hermione had loved Harry almost as long as she had known him; after all she had spent the biggest part of her life so far being worried about and helping the bleeding hero of the world, he knew he was right because the entire world was waiting for Potter and Hermione to get together, that was one of the reasons he never informed Potter they were getting engaged.
He thought it funny that the entire world except Hermione knew Harry had been in love with her for years, he chuckled a little when he thought once again about how thick she was where Harry was concerned, she didn't even realise she was in love with him either, it gave him pleasure to think that he would be the one to reveal it all to her after he had had his way with her on their wedding night, he would enjoy the fact that she was trapped in marriage with him while the guy she really loved looked on with a broken heart.
'Well the bloody plonker will have a long, long wait if he waits for her, cause I had the brains to ask her on a date first, I was the one who proposed, she's mine now and he can go screw himself' he was thinking as he slammed his bottle down onto the small coffee table.
The thing was if Ronald Weasley had had enough brain power to work it out he would have realised quite some time ago that Hermione did actually have feelings for him, she had after all accepted his proposal of marriage, she had accepted when he had first asked her out on a date but he was so blinded by his jealousy of Harry James Potter that he could not see his own worth, or at least what she thought he was worth.
'I'll get her drunk, yeah that should work, little drop of beer followed by some fire whiskey, she doesn't normally drink so she should be out of it after a couple, yeah I'll get her drunk' he told himself as he lifted his butterbeer once more and took a long drink and congratulated himself on purposely forgetting to tell Harry they were moving to Hogsmeade.
A cold stony faced Hermione Jane Granger stepped from the fireplace in the living room of the flat she shared with Ron, taking a few deep calming breathes she walked slowly to the kitchen. Ron as usual was lounging on the couch he insisted they have in there with his head stuck in his Quidditch magazine and he never even noticed her enter.
"Would you care to tell me what this is?" Hermione's cold voice asked bringing him out of his thoughts.
One look at her face and he knew he would have to forget his plans for a drink later. Sitting up he looked at her hand and the crumpled piece of parchment she was holding out to him, taking it he looked at his own scrawled writing and remembered where he had last seen it. He had left it on the coffee table at the house for Harry, it had seemed a good idea at the time, after all he did not want to have to tell Harry face to face or he would have had to tell him where they were moving too, and maybe explain why he had said nothing sooner, leaving a note had seemed the best thing to do. Now as he looked up to see the icy glare he was getting from Hermione he realised it had not been such a clever plan after all.
"I- er- its- well- I left it for Harry," was all he could say.
"You said you told him weeks before we moved, you said he was to busy to help us move, truth is you never told him did you, he didn't help us because he knew nothing about it did he?" Hermione said icily.
"No well I forgot," Ron answered trying to look at her with a small smile like Harry did.
"You lied to me Ron," she hissed at him.
"I- well- why does he have to know everything?" Ron said his face going red.
Hermione glared at him and suddenly saw him for what he actually was, he was a self centred, greedy, jealous, and stupid child in a mans body, she knew as the revelation came to her that that was all he would ever be and wondered why she ever thought she could be happy with him, the thought that she would rather spend her life just as Harry's friend than waste all she was on Ron ran through her mind, she would rather love Harry from a distance than not at all, and she knew if she stayed with the cretin sitting in front of her all she would ever be to him was a baby making machine. She made her mind up there and then what she was going to do.
Ron had expected more of a yelling match, but Hermione had simply gone to her bedroom, he was gloating over this fact when she came from the bedroom and told him to go and fetch a bottle of fire whiskey.
"I think it will be needed later," she said as she walked into the living room.
Ron grinned a wide grin and rushed to put on his cloak, he would just slip into the three broomsticks and have a pint or two to celebrate before he returned home with the whiskey, it would not take him long to get her drunk, he smiled as he thought of what he would do to her later. "Wont be long love," he called as he left the flat to walk to the pub.
Ron was gone before Hermione told him why he would need the whiskey later, she was even more annoyed at him for a couple of minutes but then thought it would be some sort of poetic justice when the prat returned to find she had moved out without telling him where she was going, he would find out soon enough why he needed a drink.
Leaving just her engagement ring behind on the kitchen table Hermione walked out of the kitchen into the living room and flicked her wand around the room, thirty minutes later she stepped into the floo "12 Grimmauld place," she said before she vanished with all her belongings in her fully packed internally enlarged trunk.
Fifteen minutes later after having placed all her things back into her old room she left Grimmauld place and walked to a quiet lane nearby, there she stuck out her wand and just a minute later she climbed aboard the Knight Bus and booked a ticket to the Tonks house on Smithy Lane Stoke.
Thirty-five minutes later Hermione was knocking on the front door of the Tonks house, the door was opened by a very tired and bedraggled looking Andromeda Tonks, grandmother and guardian of Hermione's godson Teddy.
Andromeda, who insisted on being called Andie was really pleased to see Hermione and welcomed her with a fierce hug before ushering her into the house. It did not take long for Hermione to discover that Andie had been extremely busy for the past few weeks, not only did she have Teddy to look after, for the past two months she also had his godfather Harry to look after as well.
Andie took Hermione up stairs to point out the room Harry was staying in and then left the young woman alone as she went back down stairs to keep an eye on Teddy.
Hermione took a deep intake of breath and gathered her courage, she was positive Harry would attempt to throw her out, after all it would seem to him like she had done the unthinkable and left without saying a word. As she stepped up to his door she wished with all her heart she had never believed Ron when he kept telling her that Harry was to busy to visit them. Knocking gently on the door she listened carefully, she could here a little rustling and then she heard the voice she didn't know she had been missing so much.
"Min… And…" Harry's voice called quietly.
Hermione took it as an invitation to enter, Harry was sitting on his bed near the window, looking up at her he looked straight into her eyes. She found her self a little disappointed when his eyes did not light up as they used to when she entered a room.
Harry sat dressed only in his very tight underpants that resembled cycle shorts, simply looking at her; he said nothing and just waited. Hermione was suddenly nervous, for the first time since she met him there was nothing in his face she could read, it was just a grey blank with two blank green eyes, no sparkle of life, it was as though he had died inside.
Hermione stood several seconds just looking at him and she felt her heart and soul twist, 'we did this to him' she thought as she looked into those empty eyes. She was suddenly startled from her thoughts when Harry spoke.
"Was there something you wanted, you should find Teddy down stairs," he said his voice sounded cold and emotionless.
Hermione did not know what to say, everything she thought of sounded rather hollow in her mind, how was she to say sorry for what had happened, she had not been the one to keep the move from him, but she had foolishly listened to Ron's lies. "Hello Harry," was all that left her mouth.
Harry slowly stood and walked to the window, his back to her as he asked again what she wanted. Hermione gasped as he turned away from her, a livid one inch bright red scar ran from the top of his left shoulder right down his back and leg to his heel.
All thought left her mind as she ran across the room and wrapped her arms around him from behind and started to cry on his shoulder, it took a few minutes before she could stop the tears and try to tell him what had happened. In those few minutes she never noticed Harry pull her arms tighter around him self, nor did she notice him rub his cheek in her hair or the tears that he silently shed as he leaned back into her.
Slowly while they still held each other she told him what had happened, how Ron had lied to her about it all, she ended with a gentle sob when she told him she had left Ron. It was only then that she noticed the way Harry was holding her, how he was leaning back on her breast and she knew that she was feeling something she had felt many times before but never realised what it was.
Harry slowly turned in her arms and gazed deep into her eyes, then before she knew it she was kissing him with a passion she had never felt before, any thought of anything outside the embrace they were locked in vanished from her mind, only realisation of what she had been missing in her life flitted among the fireworks that exploded in her brain as they kissed for the very first time. She had found her reason for being, he had been there all along and she had been blind but now she saw the light of true love in those wonderful green eyes. She loved him, she really did and the knowledge surprised her. She was supposed to be clever and yet she had almost thrown away true love in exchange for simple feelings of pity for a red haired boy who would never become a man.
Hermione Jane Potter smiled as they walked arm in arm out of the small Muggle church. Her dad was calling for Harry to look his way instead of staring at his wife "Come on Harry you got the rest of your life to look at Hermione, you only get to have your first picture as man and wife once."
Hermione kissed Harry on the cheek as the camera flash went off, thoughts of the mistake she might have made flitted through her mind for a few seconds and then she said a silent thank you to Ronald Weasley for leaving that note for Harry, finding the note had helped her find her true love. It had to be the best note she had ever found.