Disclaimer, Sad to say I do not own any of the Harry Potter universe, it all belongs to J. K. Rowling
A/Note… It has been commented on by many people, the fact that in JKR's Epilogue at the meeting on platform 9 ¾ Harry and Hermione never spoke to each other. They did not greet each other as old friends would, and the question has been asked by many 'Why did they not speak?'
It is my personal belief that JKR actually had some one else write the last book, a ghost writer perhaps, someone who had either not read the first four and a half books or someone who had no interest in them and was not in the least interested in continuity.
Well I sat down and began to type and this is my version of what may have caused the two former friends who were so close they could speak to each other without the use of words, to ignore each other while still in such close proximity to each other. Broomstick…
Nineteen Years plus 30 minutes later.
It had been nineteen years since the day they fought the battle of Hogwarts. Nineteen years since they had been a trio and it seemed he still had not forgotten what had happened that night. She remembered that day as if it were just that morning that the battle took place, but the memory of that night was one that had been revisited by her on almost a daily basis since it had happened, she had wished so many, many times over the past nineteen years that she could return to that night and give herself a good wake up shake...
Harry Potter stood in the great hall and watched as families gathered together sharing greetings, hugs, and kisses, and he suddenly felt so alone, so desperately and totally alone and didn't know what to do. In the past twenty-four hours his life had changed so radically. Yesterday he was fully and completely convinced he had no future, even earlier that day he had walked out to face Voldemort certain he was approaching his own death and completely resigned to it. Now he had a future to look forward too, a life where he would not be the target of a deranged psychotic murderer. But he just had no idea of what to do, of how to live alone without the threat of death.
The thoughts of his ex girlfriend Ginny that he had clung to so desperately over the past few months suddenly meant nothing at all to him, he had seen her at least twice and he had felt no need or desire to talk to her or even to acknowledge she was even alive. The only one he wanted to talk to was his best friend. Giving a small shake of his head trying to clear the empty feeling in his soul, and the tight uncomfortable hollow feeling in his chest he stepped forward. Not knowing where he was going, simply knowing he had to get away from all these people who were sharing their affections with each other, with their 'families'.
Five minutes later found him standing at the bottom of the entrance steps of the castle. He stood there staring out into the darkening night and wished he could simply disappear, escape everything and everyone. Everyone but Hermione, right then while feeling lonelier than he had ever felt in his life before he also longed for one of her hugs, the ones that only she could give.
He didn't know if that was because she had been the very first person who had hugged him, the only person for several years he had allowed to touch him like that, he just wanted her to hold him tight and take away his problems for a short time as she had done so very often in the past.
Hermione Granger was worried about Harry, she had seen the look in his eyes as he had watched the people around him and she knew he was missing his family. She was torn between going after him to offer a little support, or to remain in the great hall and offer her support to Ron and the Weasley family who had just lost one of their members. Fred had died in the battle and the whole family were gathered around the bed where his body lay.
An hour later Hermione was getting far more worried about Harry, he had not returned from outside, and she knew no one had gone out to check on him or offer him comfort. She had thought that Ginny would have offered her comfort to the one she professed to love but she had not left the family. She had noticed that Harry had actually walked passed Ginny several times without even glancing at her, he had had the opportunity to talk to her but he had made no effort to do so, and that puzzled her.
Harry had been staring out at the stars and working out his feelings. He now knew what he had felt and thought was love where Ginny was concerned was nothing more than a simple teenage need to feel like other boys his age, added to an equal helping of teenage hormones.
The real and pressing need to be held by Hermione and to hold her in return and yet leaving her be to spend time with the man she loved so that she was happy, was what real love was. He was surprised and shocked when he realised he had somewhere along the way fallen head over heels in love with her.
He also knew it was that love that had fuelled his feelings of utter loneliness; he knew he would feel that way for a very long time, if not for the rest of the life he now had to live. He knew his love would go unrequited, because for reasons beyond comprehension she was in love with Ron.
Ron, who always hurt her and made her cry, Ron, who was forever finding fault with her, arguing and yelling at her. Ron, who had no respect for her, or what she believed in.
Harry stood there alone knowing she wanted to be with Ron, and still he craved her company, her hugs and to hear her voice, and he knew in his heart it was a desire that would never go away no matter how long he lived but he also knew that there was no one at fault, no one could choose who they fell in love with, so he would do nothing to ruin her happiness. He would simply keep his distance from her, it hurt knowing he could no longer be close like they had been, but it would hurt even more having her touch him or to having to speak to her.
Looking out at the stars and watching as light clouds skitted across the sky and blocked out the occasional stars from his view as though turning them off he knew that in the future he would have to be like those clouds and hide the love he had for the one bright point in his entire life so far.
He knew he would not be able to return to the great hall this night, and maybe even the following few nights. He knew he would not be able to cope with seeing her with him, with the one who had left them. The one who had preferred food and a warm bed to friendship and loyalty. Ron who rather than stick with them had deserted them as soon as the going got hard.
And so he simply stood and watched the darkness of a world that was sleeping. A world where he had no family to greet him, hug him or kiss him. A world where he was destined to be in love for the rest of his life with a woman who did not return that love.
Hermione had finally decided Harry had been out side alone long enough and not one of those who had claimed to love him had even thought of him, or of going to him. The quiet voice in her head commented 'that also includes you'. Excusing herself from the Weasleys she made her way out of the main doors. She stood at the top of the steps simply watching him for a while, noting that he had not moved at all, he simply stood there like a statue and she wondered if he was breathing he held so still as he stared at the dark sky.
Pulling her self from her thoughts she took in a few deep breaths and walked down the steps to stand next to him. A quiet "Hi," was all she said as she stood by his side and looked at his profile seeing a sadness in him she had never seen before.
Harry turned to look at her and she could see the pain and emptiness in his eyes, there was also a longing in them that seemed to reach right into his very soul. Gently she turned him and pulled him into a hug. She had not expected his reaction as for a minute or so he clung to her so tightly she could barely breathe, he held her as though his entire life depended on it. And then he was gently pushing her away from him. Placing one hand gently on each of her shoulders gently pushing her backward.
"Please Hermione, I can't… please don't touch me again… don't make it any harder for me… you should go… be with Ron… be with the Weasleys… just please don't… don't touch me, it hurts so much," he stuttered out hesitantly and sounding so very sad and mixed up.
Hermione didn't understand what was happening, what was wrong with the man she had grown up being able to read like an open book and it scared her. It scared her more than Voldemort had during the battle. There was something really troubling him and she hadn't a clue what it was. "Harry, are you ok? You're not making any sense," she whispered.
Harry looked at her and tears filled his eyes, "I can't hide it any more, I have to leave you, I have to go away… I have to find somewhere… God Hermione I love you so, so much but you chose him, and it's ripping me apart inside, so please… go… go back to Ron. Give me time to… I don't know. All I know is I want you to hold me and take away the pain so much, but I know if you do it will just be worse later, a lot worse. I think maybe I'll grab my stuff, maybe go visit the Dursleys eh?"
He took a deep shuddering breath and then turned and walked away from her. Hermione stood staring after him in shock as he walked away, he stopped half way up the steps and without turning around he told her "I'll be in love with you for the rest of my life Hermione, nothing will ever change that."
Nineteen years 30 minutes later, kings Cross station.
Hermione gave a very tiny nod of her head, one that no one noticed. She had been right once again, their two families had been together on the platform for thirty minutes and Harry had not said a single word to her. Not even a word of greeting to her from him.
It had been nineteen very long years since that night. It was the last time he had spoken a word to her. Nineteen years and he had said not one single word to her in all that time, and yet every time they met at the family get togethers she could see his love for her, it was still there showing in his eyes. It was a love that was always accompanied by a silent unspoken hurt and pain. There was no recrimination no accusation in his eyes, just the sad acceptance of the way things were.
She never visibly got angry with him for not speaking to her or not greeting her with any sort of physical contact. She knew he was still in love with her and that was enough for her, it pained her deeply that it had broken his heart her choosing Ron but she had thought she was in love with the red haired boy at the time.
Hermione stood and watched him as he watched the Hogwarts train disappear around the bend, she could see the internal loneliness that had shadowed his entire life in the way he held himself, and she knew why that sadness always seemed to surround him. She also knew that this would be yet another meeting where he would talk to Ron, and yet not have a single word to say to her or her two children.
As they walked toward the exit of platform 9 ¾ she knew she had to tell him now before the Weasleys told him the twisted version they were bound to make up. Three months before she had finally made a life changing decision. A decision that now required her to talk to Harry James Potter, and hopefully for him to talk to her. Just before they reached the exit she pulled Ron to a stop. "Take Hugo home Ron," she said then turned to Ginny "Ginny take your little one and go home with Ron in our car. Harry you will come with me, we are going to have a talk. No more of this silence and ignoring me, it's gone on far too long."
Without waiting for Ron and Ginny to move Hermione wrapped an arm around Harry's arm and dragged him toward the rarely used waiting room. Ron scratched his head and nodded toward the exit "At bloody last, I've been waiting years for Hermione to blow up at him for not speaking to her. I bloody blame him for her being… well never mind that, I still blame him, maybe things will get better now."
"Yeah, me too. I've asked him numerous times why he won't speak to her, what she wrong had done for him to act that way, and every time I got the same answer. 'She did nothing wrong Gin, that's what she did, absolutely nothing wrong.' Now what sort of answer is that? Maybe Hermione will find out what it's all about at last so we can all get over it, whatever it is." Ginny answered agreeing with her brother.
Hermione had cast several silencing and locking charms on the door and windows of the waiting room and Harry knew that no one would be able to get in and he also knew he would not be able to leave the room, Hermione was to good a witch for him to be able to disable her locking charms with out plenty of time to do it, time she obviously would not allow him.
"Ok Harry James Potter. First I am going to make an admission, one I have been denying to myself for a long time. I don't even care if you are disgusted with me... With my heart soul and mind I wish I had never had Ronald Weasleys children. I wish I had never let you walk away from me that night. And with every thing in me I wish I had never married Ron. I was totally stupid; my reason for marrying him had nothing to do with love like it should have. I was so bloody naïve to think what we had was love.
Like an idiot I started going out with him because I believed Molly's big happy family rubbish. When he asked me to marry him, do you know what made me say yes, I didn't want to let the Weasleys down, I didn't want to upset their family, I thought it was what every one expected of me, and so it was something I had to do. Like a bloody fool I didn't think about what I wanted to do, which way I wanted my life to go, and I admit I never thought about how you felt. And then before I knew it I was married, it was the most stupid thing I ever did.
What's really stupid is it wasn't until my wedding night when he wanted sex that I realised far too late that you were the one I wanted to be my first. I didn't want him touching me, every time he touched me I shut out every thing until I didn't even know he was there, and I did that by thinking of you, about how my life would be so much better with the man I love. There used to be a saying among the women of the Victorian period 'Lie back and think of England' well I simply lay back and thought of you, I never once reacted to him or showed him any feelings. I was so cold toward him he hardly ever wanted sex with me for which I am grateful and thank the gods for.
I filed for divorce three months ago; I want you to know that. I have to go later today to collect the paper work now the divorce has been finalised. I can't take it any more, can't take him touching me, looking at me. We haven't slept in the same room for over ten years, the last time we had sex was when I got stuck with Hugo, that would not have happened if I had done the charm myself instead of believing him when he said he had done it. And I would love to be able to eat a meal while it's still hot and fresh instead of waiting until he has finished eating like some sort of disgusting animal, before I can eat without throwing up at the sight of him. His eating habits have got ten times worse since he left school.
Harry do you know what it's like knowing my parents absolutely loathe him and the kids. They are ashamed of having grandchildren that are… well there's only one word for them 'thick doesn't cover it', both of them are mentally deficient like their father. My dad has never forgiven me for choosing Ron and not you. My mother hardly speaks to me and not at all if Ron is there, and none of them are welcome in my parents' home. I bet you are disgusted with me now knowing I have no love for my own children."
Harry stood listening to Hermione ranting on, a smile slowly crept into his eyes and gradually it began to show on his face. As she wound up her rant he began to chuckle, very quietly at first but slowly building into a full on belly laugh.
Hermione stared open mouthed as Harry stood in front of her and began laughing at what she had told him. She had bared her soul and he was laughing, furiously she turned for the door but before she could move away Harry grabbed her arm and spun her around. The next thing she knew she was being hoisted up in his arms and swung around and around, all the time Harry was laughing.
Harry set her down on her feet and they held onto each other until the dizziness from the spinning faded away, still laughing as if he had gone crazy Harry reached into an inside pocket of his jacket and pulled out an envelope waved it front of her for a second then handed it to her.
Hermione not sure what on earth had made him laugh harder than she had ever seen him laugh in years, opened the envelope he had given her, pulling out the contents she quickly read through the three pages. Folding the paper back up and placing it in the envelope she joined Harry in laughing.
A few minutes later they separated having held each other in a hug, they both collapsed onto one of the benches in the room, tears of laughter and happiness still fresh on both their cheeks. "When?" she asked when she got her breath back.
"Collected it this morning, you know all you said earlier about your marriage, it's almost word for word like my own even the 'lay back and think of England' except I thought about you. The only real difference is the thickness part and the awful table manners, that and I know exactly how many times she had sex with me." Harry told her as he placed the envelope with his finalised divorce papers back in his pocket.
"I suppose you failed to get custody of the kids like me, stupid pureblood laws I never even asked for custody. I shouldn't really say this but I was relieved when the council said I had absolutely no rights toward the children because I was a Muggle born." Hermione quietly said.
"Yes, they told me the same. Said with Ginny being a pureblood and me a half blood she would automatically get all rights toward the kids. Told me I don't stand a chance in hell no matter who I am, or how famous I am. It's one of the reasons I followed the train, even though I was never sure they are mine, I still have a good relationship with them, I wanted to see them for as long as I could because I'm sure that today will be the last time I am allowed near them. I'm almost positive that the Weasleys will never allow me access to any of them.
Still Ginny will be in for a surprise, knowing I would always love you and not being sure if I could spend my entire life with someone else. I took getting divorced into account when I sorted out the finance part on the marriage contract. It's all there in the small writing and I know that none of the Weasleys bothered to read the contract before they signed it. You have no idea how glad I am that my account manager talked me into demanding the marriage contract in the first place.
I'll provide for the kids unless they prove not to be mine, but Ginny will find she has no claim on my money or properties. I will probably allow her something like the average yearly salary of a wizarding family to give her a chance to find somewhere to live but that's all, and it will only be the one time. Her dream of getting her hands on the Potter fortune is just that 'a dream' one that will never come true.
I never actually fully trusted her because I knew she was one of those boy who lived fans and I remembered that day Molly told you she used a love potion on Arthur. Before she can claim anything for the kids she has to have them blood tested to prove they are truly Potters and considering none of them looks remotely like me. Which I find odd cause I looked a lot like my dad and my granddad so I don't think they will pass any blood test." Harry informed the still teary eyed woman sitting next to him.
"We make a right pair don't we eh? We both filed for divorce without telling anyone, you don't like your kids because they are to much like the prat you married, and me, I don't think the kids are mine at all. So what do you want to do?" Harry asked looking deep into the eyes he had loved for what seemed his entire life.
They sat in a comfortable silence for ten minutes each of them thinking over what they had done and what the consequences might be, and what they wanted to do next. Harry was the one who broke the silence with a little nervous cough before he spoke "So, how about we move in together. We can live at 'Evans house', no body but me in the wizarding world knows about it, granddad Evans left it to me in his will. I got the paper work on my twenty first birthday from Lloyds bank. There are plenty of rooms and you can choose which ever one you want. It'll give us a chance to get to know each other again, get back what we had before this bloody nightmare happened. So what do you say? Want to give it a try Miss Granger?"
Hermione let out a huge sigh; she had been terrified when she had decided to tell Harry the truth about how she felt about Ron and the kids. She had been so sure she would never even see him again, that he would be disgusted with her being a mother who had no feelings for her own children, and here he was asking her to move into a house with him. "Harry… do you think we could move in right away, get away from the whole Weasley family, live as Muggles for a while, stay away from the magical world completely until things sort of settle down?" she asked nervously.
Harry gave a small nod as if to him self before he answered "I always did rely on you to come up with a plan to save my arse. I had no intention of going back to the Willows, can you imagine what I would have to put up with having Molly living right next door. Two Weasley mouth pieces yelling at me at the same time is just too much for me to even contemplate suffering.
I never intended to go back when we left this morning; Kreacher will have moved my belongings by now. I left Ginny a copy of the divorce papers and a letter from my solicitor informing her that any contact she wishes to make with me will have to be through his office. And before you say it, yes I'm a chicken for not doing it face to face. I just don't wish to be obliviated or something by Molly or George, or to listen at them rant on endlessly."
"I think I'll floo call Ron from Hannah's house on the way to the Leaky Cauldron. I really think there's a chance he could get violent with me if he thinks I'm with you, and he is not on her ward list so he won't be able to floo over and cause trouble. I'll tell him I'll post him the divorce papers.
He's always been insanely jealous of you because of everything you have and both of us getting our divorces on the same day well he's going to put two and two together and this time instead of coming up with five like he usually does he's going to come up with the right answer. I felt quite a few times he was on the verge of actually hitting me so I don't want to risk seeing him," Hermione said a little sadly.
Together they moved into Evans House, each choosing a room for them selves. Within the first week living there they both received letters from the Weasleys through their lawyers. As expected they were both denied any access rights to the children, according to Ron that had been Molly's idea and she had always thought Ron was too good for a mudblood.
Harry was truly surprised the day he received a letter from Gringotts informing him that all three of the children he had helped to raise had been removed from the access list to the Potter vaults after they had failed the blood tests, he had hoped just a little that at least Lily was his. Hermione had found a sterilisation charm on him later that day while checking for any tracking charms, she removed it immediately.
With the two of them living together in the same house they spent many hours talking, they talked about all sorts of things, Hermione spoke of her hate in being practically forced into being a stay at home mum after all the hard work she had put into her education. Harry told her of his hate for all the parties and dinners they went too simply because of who he was. In a month their relationship was almost back to what it had been over nineteen years before and they decided to give dating a try. They soon found that living as muggles they were far happier than they had been for a long time. Their dating each other only lasted for three dates before they began to share a bedroom together.
Their first time making love seemed to rekindle and then deepen the love they had for each other. Buying a small Muggle bookshop and publishing business helped them to decide to live completely as Muggles. Hermione ran the bookshop and helped Harry with the publishing side of the business. She found her parents' attitude changed dramatically once they knew she was no longer with Ron and had moved in with Harry. They were truly happy when Hermione told them they were going to continue to live away from the world of magic for the rest of their lives.
Three months after their first night making love Harry asked her to marry him, that night they began to discuss having children. Eighteen months after moving into Evans House Hermione gave birth to their first daughter. Two sons and another daughter, all of whom were extremely intelligent, completed the Potter family. As the children grew Harry and Hermione home taught them. The next nineteen years were the happiest years either of them ever had and they had many more years of their very long lives left to enjoy loving each other.