Author's Note: Okay, so… long time no see? And I'm so sorry for that you guys! I've been away for a really long time! And I never meant to be! This story's been getting a lot of attention lately, and I kept saying I was going to come back to it but I kept getting distracted! But here I am! And here's an extremely short chapter! I kind of hate it… but I wanted you guys to have something! I'm so, so, so, so, so, so sorry! If you guys can ever forgive me… Well, I love all of you guys! I hope you haven't given up on me!
Harry was watching Hermione as they walked to the Hospital Wing to visit Luna, who had, in fact, been the one that was injured in Hogsmede. Harry had wanted to see her and make sure she was okay, so he mentioned it at breakfast. She was walking fast in hat worried way she had when one of her friends was hurt. And, Harry thought, even though she didn't really like Luna because of her odd ideas, she was still worried for the girl. He loved that she was so compassionate, but then again he just loved her.
Neville had agreed to go with them, Ron said he'd be by later, and Ginny had gone ahead of them, worried for her friend.
Luna was sitting up in bed as Ginny sat next to her when they arrived. She was staring out the window but looked at them smiling when she heard them approach. Before any of them could open their mouths to ask if she was all right, she said in her normal dreamy voice, "I'm all right. It was just a stunner, but it was powerful. They wanted to make sure it wasn't dark magic. You can send your Stumples away now…"
"Stumples?" Neville asked the pressing question on everyone's mind.
"They feed off of worry," she sighed. "You have quite a lot around your ears, Neville."
Harry grinned at the confused looks on everyone's faces, "I'm glad you're okay, Luna."
"Me too," she said. "That you're okay, I mean. I saw you two fighting, and I wasn't sure if you had made it out without being hurt."
"We're okay, just a few cuts and bruises," Hermione said grabbing Harry's hand and holding on tight.
Harry smiled at their clasped hands, stroking her thumb with his. He loved that he could hold her hand. He could do it before, but it never really meant the same thing as it did now. Now it meant safety and love, while before it was frightened children and panicked moments. He was sure, that would still happen, but he liked this new leisurely hand holding. It made him feel like they belonged, like their hands were made to clasp one another's.
"When are they letting you out?" Neville asked sitting on the edge of the bed. Hermione raised a brow at Harry when she saw this. He just shrugged at her with a small grin.
"Later today," she sighed. "I would be terribly bored if you all hadn't thought to visit."
"Of course we'd visit, Luna!" Hermione said smiling softly. "We're your friends."
Luna grinned widely at them but didn't say anything. Neville started a conversation about the mysterious Stumples, asking what they looked like. They spent a good hour and a half talking and laughing before they were kicked out by the Madame Pomfrey. In good spirits, now that they knew Luna was not mortally wounded, they went out to spend a few hours on the grounds.
Harry dragged Hermione away from the others to have a few moments alone with her. He sat on the ground and pulled her down so that she was sitting between his legs facing away from him as she rested against him. "You know, for being someone who's never had a girlfriend before, you're quite good at it…" she sighed as she tilted her head to look at him.
"I just want to be close to you," he shrugged. The look she gave him indicated that she like his answer and he made a contented sound as she shifted closer to him. He couldn't wait to have a family with her. She'd be a great mother; logical but loving. Good thing to be, because he'd just love having kids and be a total pushover and she'd have to discipline them. She'd insist that he'd have to too, so he'd have to toughen up, he supposed. They'd look like her but have his nose or eyes or hair, although he hoped they wouldn't. Their hair would be a disaster, he decided. He grinned at the thought.
"Something's going to happen this year isn't it?" Hermione asked quietly.
"Probably," Harry sighed pulling her back against him. "But we have each other, so I think we'll be all right."
"You're so different," she laughed disbelievingly. "Last year you we're doom and gloom and loneliness, but now you're hope and love and togetherness…"
"Well, I didn't know I loved you last year," he said simply. "Before I knew I loved you, it was going to be the same thing, but probably worse… I lost Sirius, but you helped with all the letters over the summer… and then I realized it at the Burrow…"
She nodded against him and didn't say anything more. She just let the warmth of his body seep into her bones. She loved that they could be like this, even when the world was going to hell and Death Eaters were attacking, they could just hold each other and everything was okay for a while.
The next few days went by somberly as the professors and students recovered from the attack. Harry kept Hermione as close as possible whenever he could and she just let him. Malfoy was seen smirking at them more than usual but Harry usually got rid of him with a glare or a silent snarl over Hermione's shoulder or behind her back.
Of course, his nightmares doubled, and Hermione insisted that he got as much sleep as possible. Harry let her worry but after a week his nightmares all but disappeared, and things were back to normal, except that there were now Aurors in the school at all times. He was tempted to get them to arrest Malfoy, but Hermione insisted that it was a stupid idea. He'd let her win that one, but he still thought about it sometimes.
One day in late November, they were resting after an extremely long day of Potions, Transfiguration, DADA, and Charms. Harry was lying on the couch, his head in Hermione's lap as she stroked his hair. She seemed to be doing it absentmindedly so he didn't bother her. She looked exhausted, he noticed.
"Hey," he said softly tugging on her arm. She looked down and then shifted so that she was lying next to him with her head on his chest. "You look very tired…"
She nodded, "Long day, homework last night." Her voice was a sleepy whisper as she snuggled into his side.
"You should rest," he whispered to her. He loved moments like this; she was sleepy and didn't want to move so she just cuddled up to him. He loved the feel of her body against his and even though most of the time it was less than… appropriate. That was normal though, or at least Hermione said it was. So really, he supposed, that it was normal because Hermione's always right.
He looked at her, smiling as he saw she was drooling on his chest. He loved her so much that he was sure he'd burst with it one day. It was like a fountain, filling him with feelings he'd never felt before and then releasing them in huge waves of happiness and love and all those good feelings he had around Hermione. There was nothing in the world he loved as much as her, and he would never let anyone take her away from him. If it ever happened he'd rip the person responsible to bits and feed them to Fang.
For now, he just held her close and let her dribble on his shoulder because he still had her. She was an angel. His angel. And he would stop at nothing to keep her. He watched over her as she slept, only falling asleep as the last person filed out of the common room and his eyes would no longer stay open. He fell asleep with a tight grip on her waist and her hand over his heart, where it belonged.