A/N: We're really sorry for the extremely late update. Even though we were released from school two weeks ago, a lot of stuff happened in between. We were sort of at a writer's block for the longest time. And just last week my (marionettedoll95) sister was admitted in to the hospital for viral encephalitis, which is an inflammation of the brain. A lot of my time was spent at the hospital with her, where there was unfortunately no wifi, so I couldn't reply to most of the messages you sent us. And CheshireCat85 went on a family vacation just yesterday around the country, so this is a bit rushed. We hope you guys understand and enjoy the last chapter!
Chapter Ten: Plastic Hearts
La, la, la, la, la
Keep it on
Melt my plastic heart
And help me move on.
Why can't I move on?
– Dirty Pretty Things, Plastic Hearts
"It's—it's about Hermione."
Harry felt his stomach drop. He frowned. "What about her? Is she alright?" When Draco didn't reply, Harry took his friends shoulders and shook him. "What happened to Hermione?" He asked, looking Draco in the eye.
With a sigh, Draco replied, "She got into an accident."
"Is she—she's alright, isn't she?" Harry asked, his chest tightening.
"I don't know. I had to leave. Wood called me for an emergency. I had no idea why though, I got to the pitch and no one was there," Draco explained. "I told her I'd stay with her, or at least bring her home, but she wouldn't hear of it. I've never seen her so… miserable."
"I need to see her," Harry decided, slipping his jacket on.
"Wait," Draco interjected. "What happened to Gin?"
"Ginny? Oh, she left a long while ago. You can see if she's home," Harry replied offhandedly.
"Oh, good." And without another word, Draco left the flat.
Hermione was sure she was insane. Her mind was playing tricks on her. Maybe she finally snapped from all the stress she had been receiving the past few weeks. Anything would have been a better explanation than trying to convince her mind that he was real, that he had come back because he cared for her, that he had forgiven her.
"Hermione," Harry croaked, sounding thoroughly relieved. He took a few strides until he was right in front of her bed, by her side. "Hermione, thank God, you're here."
Hermione clutched the sheets around her tighter. If Harry came any closer— "Don't," she said as sternly as she could through her tears when he tried to move closer. "I can't—you shouldn't be here."
Harry looked confused. "What are you talking about? I'm where I'm supposed to be."
She shook her head and replied weakly, "I'm trying to keep myself from going mad. You shouldn't—you're not supposed to be here. It's—it's to painful to have you here."
"Hermione," Harry said, sitting on the edge of her bed, "why are you saying these things to me?"
"Don't. Please. I can't do this anymore," she whispered. "Harry—"
She was cut off when his lips pressed hers. He pulled back after a few seconds, wiping away her tears. "I've missed you."
"Harry," she warbled, stifling her sobs, "you're here. You're really here. It's really you." She pressed her face into his shoulder as more sobs racked her body.
For a moment, she squeezed Harry so tightly, he could only breathe her in and tell her, "It is, it really is, Hermione. I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry I left you."
Hermione pulled back and looked rather ashamed. "I don't deserve you. I lied to you. Harry, I'm so sorry. I don't deserve forgiveness. You—"
"You didn't deserve a lot of things I threw your way. But I can't move on, Hermione. I learned through the hardest way that I will never love anyone besides you. What I feel for you—it's never going to go away. It'd be like losing a part of myself."
Before he could even take in another breath, Hermione threw her arms around him and held him to her. Harry returned the tight embrace, stroking her back up and down. And they stayed like that for the longest time. They didn't kiss, nor did they talk.
And with their arms wrapped around one another and tears falling down from each of them, they only held on.
Hermione smiled as she watched her kindergarten class scurry around her, looking for their snacks. She watched as a black-haired little boy struggled to open his pack of crackers. He glanced around for help and caught her gaze. Shyly, he gave her a crooked grin. Hermione beamed back at him and came towards him.
"Alright there, Gem?" She asked, smoothing his hair back.
"Yes, M—er, Miss Hermione," replied the young boy, trying to rip open the packet, only to have slip from his fingers.
Hermione laughed softly at the helpless look on his face. "Would you want me to help?"
"Yes, please," he replied in a genteel tone. He handed it over to here quietly, looking expectantly at the brown-haired teacher.
Hermione ripped the packet open with ease and handed it back to him. "There you go, Gem,"
"Thank you," he mumbled, embarrassed as some the other boy students laughed at him.
"Jeremy Finch," Hermione exclaimed at a brown-haired young man, who had started laughing at Gem, "I will not have you laughing at other classmates that way!"
"Sorry, Miss Hermione," the boy mumbled and he returned promptly back to his food.
Once their classes were over and the parents had retrieved their children, there were only three students left, including Gem. The other two, who were twins, were busily playing with the building blocks. Hermione had finished checking the tests and watched as Gem looked longingly at the two twins.
Hermione smiled as she came over and ruffled his hair. She picked him up and sat down, placing him on her lap. She flattened his hair and kissed his forehead. "What's wrong, Gem?" She asked, stroking the hair on the back of his head.
"I'm scared about Lily," he murmured, hugging the brunette.
She embraced him and kissed the top of his head. "She'll be alright—"
"Hey," a familiar voice said from behind, startling the both of them, "I thought favoritism wasn't allowed in school."
Hermione smiled at Harry, who was standing and grinning, holding a bouquet of wildflowers. It was her favorite kind of flower, and he always new whenever she needed them. "Are those for me?" She asked sweetly.
"No, I brought them for my favorite little boy, Gem," Harry retorted with a roll of his eyes.
She set Gem down on the floor gently and pulled at Harry's tie, meeting his lips for a kiss. "Those are for me, aren't they?" She whispered, her lips centimeters away from his.
"Yes," Harry breathed pulling her closer.
At the last minute, Hermione snatched the bouquet from him and turned away from Harry. "These will look lovely in the living room," She murmured, sniffing at their sweet scent.
Harry scowled. "You're a bloody tease,"
"Hush, no swearing in front of the children."
"Are the twins still here?" He asked, glancing around the room. He spotted the two redheaded twins destroying the towers of blocks they made.
"Hey Nicolas, Vincent, where's your father?" He asked, tousling their hair.
"He's at practice. Mum's at the Quibbler, working on the newest article about Cornish pixies," they replied.
Harry opened his mouth to say something but Hermione interrupted, "Harry, how's Lily? I've been meaning to see her, but I just haven't found the time. And with summer approaching—"
"Lily's going to be alright. The Healers said she was going to be just fine. I thought I already told you that."
"I know," Hermione said, chewing on her bottom lip. "I just can't help but worry."
Harry pulled her in for a kiss when he felt someone tug on his pants leg. Gem James Potter was staring up at him with wide brown eyes. "Can we visit Lily today?"
"Of course, Gem. We'll even eat dinner with her, if you'd like that," Harry said, ruffling his son's hair.
Harry Potter had been an official Auror for five years. He and Hermione had been married for four years. And his son, Gem, had been with him for three. Once they had gotten past the emotional strain and Harry finished Auror training, he had asked Hermione to marry him, to which she enthusiastically said yes. They had Gem a year after, and Lily a year after that.
Hermione was teaching at a local Muggle kindergarten school near Harry's flat, where she had moved back into. Her mother had remained in Sheffield, much to Hermione's dismay. But life in Sheffield was where she had wanted to stay.
Just recently, Lily had caught a high fever, which endangered her life since her immune system wasn't quite strong yet. It caused distress within the small family, but she was pulling through.
"Hey, you lovebirds,"
Hermione turned while still in Harry's embrace and found Ron and Luna standing there.
"Ron, Luna, it's good to see you again," Hermione said, smiling at them.
"We're just here to pick up Vincent and Nicolas. We've got dinner at the Burrow," Ron informed, picking up Nicolas. "Fred and George's birthday, you know? These boys wouldn't miss it for the world. They're exact carbon copies of Fred and George."
Luna picked Vincent up and kissed his forehead. "How's Lily?" She asked, tucking her blonde hair behind her ear.
"She's getting better. Tell Molly our apologies for missing her dinner. And tell Fred and George we're sorry for missing out on their birthday," Harry replied, leaning his chin on Hermione's shoulder while wrapping his arms around her stomach from behind her.
Ron waved his hand dismissively. "They'll understand. Give Lily our regards, even if she doesn't understand yet."
Harry chuckled. "We'll tell her. See you, Ron, Luna."
Once they had left, Harry gave Hermione a soft kiss as she took Gem's hand. "We should go see Lily," he said quietly.
Hermione nodded in agreement. "The flowers would look lovelier in her room," she said, picking up the bouquet.
Harry glanced at the two most important people in his life. He couldn't believe how lucky he was.
Hermione noticed how behind he lagged and gave him a curious look. "Everything alright, Harry?"
He nodded. "Everything will be, at least. Let's go." Before he could stop himself, he stopped Hermione and pulled her in for a passionate kiss, all while Gem avoided looking. (He hated it when his parents started getting mushy.)
Hermione's brow furrowed and she had that I'll-Get-To-The-Bottom-Of-This face. "What was that for?"
"I can't kiss my beautiful wife now?" He teased, grinning impishly at her.
Hermione laughed. "Well, yes, you can. But it's still so out of the blue."
"No, it wasn't. You're delusional." He picked Gem up and grabbed Hermione's hand, placing a soft kiss on it. "Come on then, Lily's waiting."
A/N: Please review and keep an eye out for our next story, which you, the readers, get to vote on. So far, we've only got 33 votes all in all. We're closing the poll in a few days, so please vote for the story you want next. Also, don't forget to leave a review! Feedback helps! :)