Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.
Chapter 7: False Attraction
The next few weeks passed without a hitch, James spent half his time with Harry and the other half with Hermione. Unfortunately, he still hadn't been able to befriend Sirius and Remus in quite the same way as he had before he died. They just seemed too different to him.
"Hermione?" James whined.
Hermione sighed. "I've already told you I'm busy. Why don't you go see what Sirius and Remus are doing? I'm sure they'll enjoy spending time with you."
James stiffened. "It's ok. I'll just wait until you're free."
Hermione turned to face James. "What's wrong? Sirius and Remus have both told me that you've been avoiding them. That you can't look at them in the eye without flinching."
"I don't know what it is, but whenever I look at them I just cringe." James shuttered.
"You're going to have to get over it. Those two used to be your best friends and they're beginning to wonder what they did to you to make you react so negatively to them." Hermione explained.
"But they didn't do anything."
Hermione raised her eye brow curiously at his statement. "Then maybe you need to tell them that. Its driving them crazy thinking that they did something to offend you."
James averted his eyes from her intense stare. "I just can't help blaming them even though they did nothing wrong."
"What are you blaming them for?" Hermione asked curiously.
"That they lived and we died! I know its not their fault, but I can't help it. I've tried to let it go, to tell myself that they couldn't help what happened, but it doesn't matter. Inadvertently I still blame them and I don't know how to let that go." James muttered angrily.
"I understand that you're looking for someone to blame, but it isn't right to blame the people who love you most."
James stood up angrily. "You don't understand anything! You've never died."
Hermione's eyes softened. "I don't have to die in order to know how easy it is to want to blame someone for your problems. But if you're going to blame someone at least put the blame on the right person."
"And who is the right person?" James asked angrily.
"Peter Pettigrew and Voldemort, they are who you need to be angry with. Not Sirius or Remus, they haven't done anything to you. They've only been as supportive as you'll let them. So just let them in, I think they deserve it. You can't forget that they've been through a lot since you've died as well. Neither of them has had the easiest life. Talk to them James, please." Hermione practically begged. She had seen the pain etched on their faces when James turned away from them countless times and she couldn't bare it any longer.
James swallowed the lump in his throat painfully. "I don't know."
"Just… think about it, ok?"
"Yeah, I got to go." James mumbled quickly.
He understood what Hermione meant, but it wasn't that easy. He knew that they did nothing wrong, but they were his closest friends and they continued living. While he died at the hands of Voldemort.
"Omph." Someone groaned as he walked into them.
"Are you ok? I'm sorry, I wasn't looking where I was going."
"It's ok. We all get lost in thought sometimes." She smiled sweetly.
James smiled, "Ginny, right?"
"Yea," she blushed under his scrutiny. "Are you ok? You looked to be deep in thought back there."
"I'm ok now that I've found you. So I've been in this house for weeks now and I don't know anything about you. Why don't you tell me about yourself."
"Well, Mr. Potter-"
"James." Ginny looked confused. "Call me James."
Ginny's smile widened and leaned in close. "Well James, what would you like to know?"
"Hermione?" Bill called. "Are you in there?"
"I'm right here, Bill."
"I've been looking everywhere for you."
Hermione looked worried. "Is everything ok?"
Bill laughed. "Yeah, I just thought you needed a lunch break. You've been at it for hours already."
"Fine or not, you are taking a break. We can't have our favorite bookworm starving herself even if she's trying to save us." Bill teased.
"I'm not starving myself." Hermione huffed.
"I'm only kidding." He threw his arm casually over her shoulders. "Now I'm allowing you to show me a good time, but only after you buy me lunch." He winked flirtatiously at her.
Hermione laughed at his attempt at winking. "Ok lover boy. Lead the way. An keep in mind that I don't like to waste a lot of time. So we'll have to get in and out without a hitch."
"Oh, you wound me. You're such a romantic." He grabbed his heart jokingly, as if he was in pain.
"Didn't you know?" Hermione laughed as Bill guided her to the kitchen. "So what's everyone up to?"
"Everything is still pretty quiet so everyone's pretty bored."
"Have Fleur and Victoire left already?"
Bill smiled tightly. "Yea, but its for the best. I want them safe and Voldemort's influence hasn't reached France yet. I'm hoping we'll get rid of him before then."
"We will." Hermione said confidently.
Ron stormed out of the kitchen in a huff, muttering about stupid girls.
"Ron, what's up?" Bill asked his little brother.
He looked up angrily, his face still flushed in anger. "It's Ginny."
"Is she ok?" Hermione asked worriedly.
Ron growled. "Oh, she's more then ok. She is making a bloody fool of herself and Harry right now. I don't know what is wrong with her, but someone needs to take that girl down from her pedestal."
"What do you mean?" Bill asked curiously.
"See for yourself, but I'm leaving before I lose my lunch." Ron stalked off in a huff.
Bill turned to Hermione. "What do you think that was about?"
"I don't know, but whatever it is it doesn't sound good. I have a bad feeling about this. Nothing can make Ron lose his lunch."
"We might as well see what's up."
They walked into the kitchen to see Ginny flirting with James Potter. Worst of all, Harry was sitting only a few seats away from them eating his lunch like nothing was wrong. Hermione wanted nothing more then to rip Ginny's head off for the pain she was causing Harry, she didn't deserve him.
Bill turned to Hermione and leaned in to whisper in her ear. "I'll be back. I'm gonna go see what's up."
Hermione nodded. "I'll be with Harry."
"Ok, be back." Bill kissed her cheek.
Hermione turned back to see James staring at her, but she ignored him. If he wasn't going to do the right thing she didn't want anything to do with him.
"Harry!" Hermione said happily. "I've been looking everywhere for you."
Harry smiled at her. "I've just been in here."
"Since I haven't been around as much as I like I thought we could go out. Just the four of us."
"Four of us?"
"You know; you, me, Sirius, and Remus. We can catch a show or maybe just go out for dinner. What do you think?" Hermione grinned. "It'll be a family outing."
Harry glanced uncomfortably at the other end of the table. "Can my dad come?"
"Of course. He is apart of your family. Do you want you girlfriend to come too?" Hermione asked curiously.
Harry shook her head. "Not really, we haven't been talking as much lately. She's been a little distant lately." He glanced over at the spot where Ginny was flirting with his father like he didn't exist.
Hermione growled, unable to keep her thoughts to herself any longer. "She's not worth it. You deserve so much better."
Harry smiled at her warmly. "Thanks, that means a lot to me."
"That's what friends are for." Hermione grinned. "An we're the best of friends."
"The very best. Do you think I should talk to her now?" Harry asked curiously, not knowing much about girls.
"It's up to you. What do you feel is the right thing to do?" Hermione had her own opinion on how Harry should treat her, but she knew that Harry was too nice to do anything she had in mind.
Harry smiled stiffly. "I'll be right back."
Hermione nodded and watched as Harry went to talk to Ginny. She had looked up at him in surprise before she followed him to the other side of the kitchen. Her face crumbled into one of anguish, but he wasn't having any of it.
"What's going on?" James asked Hermione.
"Ginny doesn't deserve Harry. So now you'll be free to do whatever you please once she's boyfriend free." Hermione said snottily.
"What are you talking about?"
"Ginny was Harry's girlfriend. You know, your son."
James' eyes widened. "Really?"
"Yes, didn't anyone tell you?" Hermione faltered a little from his look of confusion.
"No, I had no idea. I just-"
"Yeah, you just flirted with your son's girlfriend for the last few hours. How does that make you feel?" Hermione stood up and left before he could even reply and his son soon followed, but not before smiling at him. As if he did nothing wrong.
James wanted to disappear, but that wasn't going to happen when Ginny sat down once again. Acting as if her boyfriend didn't just break up with her and went right back to flirting with him.
Harry grabbed Hermione's arm before she made it to the first step. "Hey, hold on there. I thought I was the one who was supposed to feel righteously upset." Harry half-heartedly joked.
Hermione sighed. "I know."
"Then what's the problem?" Harry asked curiously.
"It's just… I know that his whole reason of being here is to find his soul mate, but that doesn't mean that he can just trapeze around and flirt with a bunch of girls. He should at least find out whether or not they're with someone." Hermione growled angrily.
Harry touched the side of her face gently. "I understand, but he didn't know and that means something. You should have seen his face when you left, he felt horrible and you can't hold it against him. No one told him… I didn't even tell him."
Hermione leaned into Harry's hand. "I know. Why didn't you?"
"Because it wasn't real to me anymore, our relationship. For awhile now I think we just stayed together because it was convenient. Do you know what I mean?" Harry asked curiously.
"Yeah, I think I do." Hermione admitted hesitantly. "Did it hurt? I mean, to see your father and Ginny flirting so blatantly in your face?"
"Not as much as I thought it would. Which helped me realize that I didn't love Ginny like that anymore." Harry admitted.
Hermione turned thoughtful. "I know this isn't the best time, but do you think it's possible that Ginny is your father's soul mate?"
"It seems likely. She does look a lot like my mother, but then you have to realize that they weren't meant to be. So what makes Ginny any different? To be honest I just think he's looking at the obvious choice, but its wrong. I'm sure of it." Harry exclaimed with a glint of determination in his eyes.
"Are you ready for that?" Hermione asked unsure of Harry's newfound certainty. She remembered how unsure he had been when she told him that his parents weren't meant to be.
"Ready for what?"
"For a new mother, because that is what will happen when he marries again." Hermione pushed the thought into his head. She knew she was being harsh, but she wanted him to see things for what they were.
Harry looked her directly in the eye before responding. "I know what it means Hermione. An I'm not angry."
"I just don't like to see you hurt."
"An I'm not going to be. You worry too much."
"Only about you." Hermione admitted. "You're my family."
Harry wrapped his arms around her waist. "You'll always have me, but you have more family then that. There's Sirius, Remus, Ron, my dad, and the Weasleys. We're all your family."
"Thank you. It means a lot to me, I know I sometimes forget that they're all there for me." Hermione buried her face in his neck. "You know I love you."
"I love you too Hermione."
Someone cleared their throat and Harry and Hermione glanced around to see James standing there staring at them wide eyed.
"Yes, dad?" Harry asked.
James turned to look at Hermione, still wrapped his Harry's arms. "I wanted to apologize to you about Ginny. I didn't know… if I'd known I would never…"
Harry pulled away from Hermione's embrace and patted his dad's back. "It's ok dad. I understand and there is nothing for you to apologize for."
Hermione watched the exchange uneasily, not sure if she should leave or not. "But I do. Hermione was right. I should have asked or something before I started talking to her." James glanced at Hermione again.
"Well you're forgiven then." Harry noticed that his dad seemed to want Hermione to forgive him as well and Harry wasn't sure what to do about that. He didn't know what he would do if Hermione turned out to be his father's soul mate.
"Thank you. I should go… I didn't mean to interrupt you two." James mumbled and left before either of them could say another word.
Harry turned back to Hermione. "That was weird."