Disclaimer: Don't own the Characters.
A/N: This is mostly an excerpt from my Champion's Champion story. If you've read it, then you've read this already. I'm posting it as an one shot for those who don't enjoy the uh..unique humor found in that particular story.
Harry awoke with a start from a deep slumber in his four poster bed in the Gryffindor tower. He didn't know what had awakened him, but he felt something was wrong. As he tried to think what it could be, one thing, or one person as it was, came to mind; Hermione. He somehow knew something was wrong with Hermione. Without another thought he jumped out of bed, grabbed his wand and glasses and rushed down the spiral staircase. He wasn't sure how he was going to get to the girl's dorm, but he knew he would, he must find a way. As he entered the common room, he felt a wave of relief as he recognized the bushy hair in profile to the fireplace that still burned brightly. He cross the room and was about to say something when Hermione glanced up and Harry could see the tears streaming down her face.
"What's wrong?" Harry asked as he settled into a spot next to her. It was then he noticed she had a book in her hand. That in itself was of no big surprise, but in this case her body language suggested she wanted to throw it in the fire was. Harry put his arms around her and pulled her closer.
Hermione loved the feel of Harry's closeness. It brought a sense of comfort that attacked the helplessness she had felt since awakening from the dream she had experienced. Hermione leaned against her boyfriend, resting her head on his shoulder as she whispered. "I...I had a nightmare."
"Do you want to talk about it?" Harry asked as he buried his nose into her hair, smelling the vanilla smell he loved so much.
Hermione lifted the book she still held tight, "I've been rereading this," She said.
Harry glanced at the title and read 'A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens'.
"I've always loved the story, but…" Hermione started but her voice was strained and tears started wetting her eyes again.
"It's alright, I'm here and everything is alright," Harry said soothingly, "You know I would never let anything hurt you if I can help it."
"I know," Hermione replied and she took a rattling breath to ease her sobs. Finally she continued. "But the dream was so real. You know this story?" She asked. "It's about someone who is visited by the three ghosts of Christmas. In my dream it was me...I was visited by the three ghosts and…and…it was horrible."
Harry tightened his hold on his girlfriend as he caressed her back. He said nothing as he waited for her to continue with her story.
"The ghost of Christmas past was one of my classmates from school before I came here," Hermione explained. "She showed me the days where I was bullied and called names like geek and nerd and chipmunk at my old school," Hermione paused for a second to sniff but then continued. "I never had friends at school and it hurt when everyone kept talking about getting presents from this friend or that one and I only got presents from my family."
Harry knew how she felt. He hadn't even got presents from family, while his cousin got tons of them. He caressed her cheek with a finger and when she lifted her gaze into his, he smiled. "It'll never be that way again, I promise you. We have each other now. You're my best friend and now my girlfriend."
The edges of Hermione's lips fought their way up into a small smile as she nodded, but then the smile faded as she remembered the next part of her dream. "The Ghost of Christmas Present was next of course," Hermione sniffled and swallowed before continuing. "It...it was Ginny, but...but it wasn't as it supposed to be. She showed me the Yule Ball and...and..I was there with Victor Krum. You were the Champion instead of Ron and had Pavarti Patil as your date," she shuddered at the memory. "Ginny just laughed when I tried to scream out that it was wrong, but I couldn't move or say anything. I had to watch. I had to watch as Ron started yelling and making a scene as he called me a traitor and made a huge fuss. Why Harry? Krum? What was the dream trying to tell me? Why would I be there with Krum? You know I don't care about Quidditch. Why would I go to the ball with a Quidditch star?"
"It was just a dream Hermione," Harry assured his girlfriend. "But I can probably tell you why Ron made a fuss. He was probably jealous that Krum didn't ask him."
A small laugh came through Hermione's sniffles.
"Now as for the real Yule Ball, I happen to know for a fact that Krum will not be your date, for it shall be me who has the most beautiful girl in the castle upon his arm. Besides, could you really see me and Pavarti? I mean exactly how would that have happened? I don't think we've said a dozen words to each other in almost four years."
Hermione wanted to laugh and smile, but the scene from the finale of her nightmare passed in front of her eyes causing a shudder to run through her body. "The worst was...was the Ghost of Christmas yet to come," She said. "It was so terrible that it's what woke me up."
"What was it?" Harry asked gently.
"The Ghost...it was some middle-aged woman who called herself JK Rowking or something like that," Hermione found the words difficult to say as the horrible scene unfolded again and again in her mind. "It...it was horrible. I...I was married, married to Ron and we had two kids one of them was named Hugo. You were there of course but you...you were married to Ginny," Again Hermione had to pause to sniff.
"Ginny?" Harry asked incredulously.
Hermione nodded as she continued. "You had three kids and...and even had named one Albus Severus."
"Now you know it was nothing but a nightmare Hermione," Harry said with a little laugh as he wiped a small tear from Hermione's cheek, "Could you imagine me with Ginny? And to name one of my kids after Snape?"
Hermione sniffed again but her lips were moving back up to a smile.
"Albus Severus huh? Albus Severus Potter? ASP like a snake? Poor kid, he'd be the first Potter ever to be sorted into Slytherin," He and Hermione lapsed into a comfortable silence as he held her. After a couple of minutes a funny thought came to Harry's mind. "Speaking of initials, do you think Snape might have a first name that actually starts with an A while Severus is actually his middle name?
"An A? Why.." Hermione started in a confused voice but then she started giggling as the joke fell into place. "You're terrible."
"Yes, but I can make my Mione laugh," Harry said. "Now are you feeling better? Or should I keep you here in my arms the rest of the night."
Hermione looked into Harry's emerald green eyes. "Much better Harry, thank you. But that nightmare really was so real. Maybe you better hold me for a while longer."
"I will hold you as long as you need me to," Harry said softly, "And to make sure that nightmare never comes true, promise me that if I ever have thoughts of dating Ginny or if I ever suggest that we name one of our children after that greasy haired git, you'll drag me to St. Mungo's for a full mental scan."
"Our children Harry?" Hermione asked looking up at him with a smile.
Harry blushed. "I..I can't think of anyone else I want in my life and hope..well someday…"
Hermione smiled as she held Harry's gaze for several seconds, "Someday sounds extremely nice to me," Hermione said finally as she touched her lips softly to his. "And you must promise that if I ever have a romantic thought about Ron or suggest Hugo as a name for one of our," Hermione blushed, "children, you'll do the same and drag me off to St. Mungos?"
"I promise," Harry whispered as his lips found hers.
Silence materialized again as the two of them sat and stared into the flames. No words were needed for several minutes. Finally Hermione turned to her boyfriend. "Why did you come down?"
"What you mean?"
"Well it is the middle of the night. I don't think you normally come down to the common room at this time every night do you?"A twinkle of mischievousness developed in Hermione's eyes as she continued. "Unless you secretly meet Ginny down here."
"What? No...of course not," Harry stammered, then seeing the mirth in Hermione's face, "I'll get you for that one."
"Promises, Promises," Hermione replied as she waggled her eyebrows. "So why did you come down."
Harry shrugged. "I...I woke up and felt something was wrong," He explained. "All I could think of was you. I got worried and..." He shrugged again.
Hermione smiled at Harry. "How could I be so lucky to have this wonderful person for a boyfriend. He's right It was a silly dream. Me with Ron?" She snorted in her thoughts. "That is simply ridiculous," She snuggled into Harry holding him tighter. After several seconds of listening to his heartbeat, she realized something, something that she needed to say. "Harry, I...I love you."
Harry froze. For the first time in his life he'd heard three words that no one had ever said to him before. His heart skipped a beat and then started pounding even harder. As she looked at Hermione he could see the care she had for him. In her almond brown eyes he found what he most desperately wanted. He knew without a doubt, if he were to look into the Mirror of Erised at that moment who'd be staring back at him. Harry knew he loved her too.
"I'll understand if..." Hermione started but his lips upon hers stopped her words.
When the kiss ended, Harry ran his fingers along Hermione's cheek. "I love you too Mione."
The fear that Harry might reject the idea of her love ceased and joy quickly spread throughout Hermione. The thought of that JK Rowking or whoever it was in the guise of Christmas yet to come disappeared for she knew who her future was going to be with. She smiled but then she remember what he'd said and had ask. "Mione?"
"Just wanted a special name for you. If you don't like…" Harry started.
Hermione put her finger on his lips to silence him, "Harry, coming from your lips almost any name you call me is wonderful."
Harry and Hermione talked some more but finally they drifted off to sleep while holding each other.