An insistent knock sounded through out the residence of #4 Privet Drive. Consequently waking one Vernon Dursley from a sound sleep. The first one that the family had had since their freaky nephew had returned from that freaky school of his last week.
The obese man mumbled all the way down the stairs about how certain people were inconsiderate and had no respect for those who were sleeping in order to make an honest living. Opening the front door, Vernon found two ordinary looking men standing on the front stoop.
"Mr. Vernon Dursley?"
"Yes. How can I help you?"
"Inspector Harris," said the older looking man, showing Vernon his badge. "This is my partner Officer Payne."
"Is there a problem Inspector?"
"Do you have a nephew named Harry James Potter, age 14?"
Vernon's face went red in an instant. He should have known that this had something to do with the freak. "What's the boy done now?"
"You misunderstand Mr. Dursley, Mr. Potter isn't in trouble. A friend of his has been in an accident and is asking for him."
"One of those freaks no doubt." mumbled Vernon. "Come inside while I wake the boy."
The two men stepped inside and stood in the hall as Vernon shut the door and went back upstairs. Trying to keep the fact that the boy was locked in his room quiet, he set about unlocking them quickly, but quietly. Once they were undone, he opened the door and flipped on the light switch. He hadn't expected the boy to bolt out of the bed with that stick of his pointed at him.
"Boy," growled Vernon.
Harry's eyes widened over what he had just done and the trouble that he was going to get over it. He'd be lucky if he saw the sky for a week after this.
"Yes sir?" came the whispered reply.
"Get dressed. There are two policemen downstairs. Apparently one of your freaky friends got hurt and for some reason is asking for you. We'll deal with this when they bring you back." spat Vernon as he shut the door. As soon as the police left he would deal with the boy. That brat knew better than to pull that freakishness on him.
Not wanting to make his uncle even angrier and not wanting to think of who was hurt, Harry dressed quickly. It dawned on him as he tied his trainers that this could be his chance to escape. He quickly released Hedwig from her cage, telling her to go hide somewhere until he got settled. Then he wandlessly shrunk her cage and gathered his things together. Putting everything in his trunk. After a final look around making sure that nothing was left behind, he shrunk his trunk and placed it in his jeans pocket. He then hurried downstairs where the two men and Vernon were waiting for him.
"I'm Inspector Harris and this is Officer Payne, my partner."
"Uncle Vernon said that someone was hurt?"
"I'm sorry to be the one to tell you this, son. A Hermione Granger was injured in an automobile accident this evening along with her parents. They were killed instantly. Ms. Granger is currently in a hospital but the prognosis doesn't look good. She's asking for you. The doctors feel that she would be more at ease if you were there. We were asked to bring you to her."
"Then let's go."
"Mr. Dursley we'll try and have Harry back as soon as we can. Thank you for your understanding and have a good evening."
Vernon grunted in acknowledgement. He stared at the boy. His eyes vowing a suitable punishment when he returned.
Within minutes Harry and the two policemen walked out of the house and left in an unmarked police car. The entire episode was missed by a sleeping Mundungus Fletcher.
Harry said nothing during the car ride to the hospital. He didn't pay attention to which direction they were heading. He saw nothing outside the windows. He didn't even notice that it had started to rain. All he could think about was that Hermione was hurt. His grief was kept inside. First Cedric, now Hermione. He refused to cry until he was alone.
When they stopped, Harry automatically got out of the car. He looked around in surprise. There was no hospital in sight. He slowly drew his wand out of his sleeve, trying to do so unnoticed.
"No need for your wand, Mr. Potter. Trust me this location is a hospital. It's just a magical one called St. Mungos." said Inspector Harris.
"Are you wizards?"
"No, muggle. Wife's a witch. She's a healer here. She's also the one that sent me after you. Payne's what you call a squib."
Harry slowly lowered his wand. His gut instinct told him that the man was telling him the truth. Harry nodded and followed Inspector Harris over to an alley where the staff entrance was located.
"We don't want anyone to know that you're here. Wife says that you're famous or something. Don't want to cause a riot now, do we?"
"Something" muttered Harry. The security guard nodded to the group and pointed them to an empty lift. A short ride later, Harry found himself in front of Hermione's room. The Head Healer, Anna Harris, met him there.
"Mr. Potter, I'm so sorry to meet you under these circumstances."
"Thank you" whispered Harry, his voice cracking with emotion.
"My husband informed you as to who was injured?"
Harry could only nod. His voice wasn't working to well at the moment.
"I understand how hard this will be, Mr. Potter, but I have to ask you not to make Hermione too emotional. She is dying and I can't stop it. Her injuries are too severe to be healed. She isn't in any pain and has been made as comfortable as possible. I honestly think that she holding on to talk to you."
"That sounds like my Hermione." he whispered. A ghost of a smile could be heard in his voice. His mind was whirling. 'His Hermione! Where had that come from? Life was so unfair. Hermione was dying and there was nothing that he could do to stop it.' he thought. Tears formed in his eyes but he wiped them away before they could fall.
Anna Harris watched as the hero to the Wizarding world accepted what was going to happen. His life had been filled with tragedy since he was one. He now had even more of it on his shoulders. She watched as he visibly steeled himself for what was to come.
"One other thing, Mr. Potter."
"Listen to what Hermione has to say, all of it. Then try not to lose your temper until you're away from her. She doesn't need the guilt right now and I don't think that you want her last moments on this Earth to be a screaming match."
His confusion showed but he nodded in agreement. He wondered about what Hermione would feel guilty about. The question showed on his face.
"She'll tell you. I'll be waiting right here for you when you're done." She opened the door for him and after he stepped into the room, shut it again.
Inside the room lay a very still looking Hermione Granger. Beside her bed was a small table full of potion vials. This wasn't supposed to happen! At least not to her! Choking back the sob in his throat, Harry shuffled towards the bed. The sound of his feet must have made her realize that he was there, because by the time he reached her beside her eyes were open, looking at him with love. He almost broke down right then and there.
"Oh god, Hermione." Harry whispered, no longer able to keep the tears from falling.
"It's alright Harry. I'm ready to go now that you're here." Her voice sounded as strong as ever to him.
"It's too soon! I need you! I'll always need you!"
"I know but you have to be strong and let me go. I also need you to forgive me."
"Forgive you? For what?"
Hermione closed her eyes as if to gather the strength to tell him what she had done. "I knew that I would die this summer. I had a true vision. How it was to happen, I didn't know, but Death was knocking all the same. We both know that once that happens nothing can change Fate. For the most part I accepted what would happen."
"No you didn't! I know you too well, Hermione Granger! You would have done something!"
She gave a weak chuckle. "You do know me very well Harry. Alright I had a hard time accepting it but I did come to terms with what would happen. I have only one regret."
"Just one?" Harry smirked slightly.
"Okay, more than one but only one desire then."
"What was that?"
"I wanted to leave my mark on the world."
"I get that so what did you do that you think I won't forgive you for?"
Under the paleness Hermione blushed. "I wanted to do something for you that no one had done before. I know that you would treasure my gift. I hope you will forgive me for doing so."
"Hermione," growled Harry. It wasn't like her to evade a topic like this.
"I…I read about a potion that could help me in my quest. This potion was considered a last resort among Purebloods to get an heir."
"I don't follow."
Hermione sighed. This wasn't how she wanted this conversation to go, but she had no choice. "It seems that most Pureblood women have a hard time conceiving a baby. A potion was developed to help them achieve that but at a high cost. The husband would ejaculate into the potion, activating it. Then the wife would drink it and end up pregnant."
Harry just gapped at her, not believing what he was hearing.
"The potion, however, is strong, almost too strong. Instead of nine months for the baby to develop and be born, it would take nine days. One day per month. Also it would destroy the uterus. The wife could never have another child again."
"You….you took it?" he asked not believing what he was hearing. This was so out of character for her.
"Yes, and yes I know it doesn't sound like me."
"Who? Who did you put in it?"
Hermione refused to look him in the eye when Harry asked that question.
"You" she whispered.
He expected that answer but was still surprised to hear her say it. "When?"
"After the Tournament was over and you were back in the Tower. I snuck up to your dorm one night. You were in the middle of a nightmare. A bad one from what I could tell. So to help you, I tried to change your dream by stimulating 'you'. I assumed that it worked because your moaning changed and you seemed to try and help me get you off."
Harry turned bright red. He vividly remembered the night she was referring to. It was one of the few nights that he had slept well. Now he knew why.
"By the way, you gave more than enough for the potion. The Healer was impressed. Anyway, once you 'finished' I gathered up all that I could and used a freezing charm on it until I could meet with my Healer."
That had Harry blushing even more. "I don't know what to say." That was more than true, he didn't. He didn't even know if he should feel happy, sad, or betrayed about it.
"I do understand Harry. I wasn't planning on telling you until after I was gone. But Fate wanted you to hear it from the source I guess."
Harry looked at Hermione closely. He saw no sign that she was pregnant. He looked at her with questioning eyes.
Hermione understood his unspoken question. "We have a daughter. The accident caused her to be born a little early but Healer Harris told me that she's doing fine."
"A daughter? A little girl?"
"Yes a little girl. I named her Lily Elizabeth Granger Potter."
"You named her after my mother?"
"Mine as well."
Harry tried to wrap his mind around what had happen to him within the last few hours. He and Hermione had a daughter. Hermione was dying before his eyes. He was more lost now than he had ever been before.
"I want you to promise to do three things for me."
Harry didn't like the sound of how final this was getting. But he could never refuse Hermione. "What are they?"
"First I want you to promise me that you will find Lily a new mother."
"I know that you aren't ready for that yet, but later on Lily's going to need a woman's point of view. I'd rather it not be Ginny but if your heart leads you there then so be it. I also want you to give her some siblings. Both of us had lonely childhoods. Make hers a happy and well loved one."
"Hermione, I don't know if I can do that. Why not Ginny?"
"I don't think that she's the right one for you. She thinks of you as the hero, not the person. Please do this for us."
Harry couldn't take the pleading in Hermione's eyes any more. Closing his own eyes he whispered "I promise."
Harry cleared his throat trying to regain control. "Next?"
"I want to transfer my knowledge to you."
Harry's mouth hung open and he just gapped at her. "How do we do that?"
"There's a spell that is considered almost Dark but isn't banned. I learned while I was researching some of those hexes that we learned for the Tournament. I'll teach you the incantation and wand movement. Once you have it down, you perform the spell just before kissing me. Everything that I know and any special abilities that I have will transfer to you. I still will remember them but you'll have the actual knowledge."
"Are you sure, Hermione?"
"Very. I'd like to think that this might be what helps you defeat Voldemort."
Harry only nodded. This was getting to surreal. Pulling his wand out he set out to learn a spell that he really didn't want to. After a few tries Hermione told him that he was ready to do it for real. Leaning in close to her, Harry placed his forehead on hers and whispered the spell.
"Scientia de Suus Tribuo ut Mei" He leaned in and kissed her gently on the lips.
The rush of knowledge into his mind was staggering. He had no idea that Hermione had this much knowledge. He noted that her natural way of organizing had transferred itself to his mind. His mind began to organize every thought, emotion, spell, and book that either of them had experienced or read. A room in his mind was created by the both of them to store everything. Harry recognized it as the Gryffindor common room. Something that they both had in common as far as location. Together they sealed the room with barriers, traps, and false leads. The final act was to place a barrier over the inside of his scar so that Voldemort wouldn't use it to cripple Harry. Then the spell ended.
But even as the spell ended, Harry continued to kiss Hermione. He knew that this was going to be his only chance and he didn't want to lose it. He poured every ounce of love that he had ever felt into the kiss. Finally for the lack of air did he end it.
"Thank you' said a breathless Hermione. Her eyes showed the happiness and love she felt for Harry in accepting what was happening.
"You're welcome," he said a little smugly.
They sat in silence so that they could get their emotions back under control. Now was not the time to lose them.
"I want to see Lily. Can you bring her here?"
"I'll be right back," Harry said as he moved to the door. Opening it he saw Healer Harris and the two policemen waiting outside.
"She wants to see Lily."
"I thought that she might. I'll just go get her, Wait here." The healer went across the hall and came out with a small blanket wrapped bundle. Harry saw a head full of black hair.
"Here you go, Mr. Potter." said Healer Harris as she handed Harry his daughter.
"I've never held a baby before."
"Then you best learn. Here I'll show you." She gave Harry a quick course in baby holding before gently pushing him back into the room.
Harry walked carefully back to where Hermione was waiting for him. Once he got to the bedside, he sat down on the edge of the bed and shifted so the Hermione could get a better look. He was in awe of the little one. Getting a better look showed that she had his hair color and eyes but looked a great deal like her mother.
"She's beautiful Hermione," whispered Harry.
"I know, she has your hair and beautiful eyes" came the breathless reply.
Harry blushed. "But she looks like her beautiful mother don't you think?"
But no reply came. Hermione had been granted her final wish. She had seen Harry holding their daughter. The love she felt was visible in his eyes. She had made the right choice. She had given the man she loved the one thing no one else had, a family. Closing her eyes, she slipped away from life into death's embrace calmly and at peace.