What Kept Me Running

A HariPo oneshot

by mew-tsubaki

Note: The Harry Potter characters belong to J.K. Rowling, not me. This pairing was discovered by my buddy, Morghen, so please gimme a little mention if you write them! Thanks! It is one of many of Mew and Mor's Weird Pairings, most of which you may find in Mor's and my forum, "Mew and Mor's Weird Pairings Fan Stories," found here (Just take out the spaces!): http : / forum. fanfiction. net/ forum /Mew_and_Mors_Weird_Pairings_Fan_Stories /76194 / Read, review, and enjoy! And check out and join the forum FUN!

- ^-^3

Audrey Weasley couldn't stop the scene from replaying in her head.

Over and over, her mind's eye replayed an eight-second scene that seemed to last a lifetime. Percy and Hermione, not standing too much apart. Percy tilting his head down and slightly to the side. Hermione standing on tiptoes, bringing her lips closer to his. Then the final collision, like some horrible finale of Hell's symphony.

And just like that, Audrey's life had been turned upside down.

I need to stop this, the witch told herself. She stopped kneading the dough for bread because her hands had unconsciously been tearing into it. Audrey closed her mottled gray eyes and leaned on the countertop. She'd been like this countless time—trying to do some easy, useless, menial task and ending up caught in the past.

Though she could see the betrayal again and again in her head, the truth was that it had happened a year ago. And a year later, Audrey had managed to hang in there. When Audrey had exposed them, Percy had disappeared, and no one in the family had heard from him since. As for Hermione… She was still a part of the family. Ron wanted nothing to do with her, but she refused to leave because of Rose and Hugo. Audrey didn't think that mattered much anymore; Rose and Hugo were almost done with Hogwarts, just as Audrey's youngest daughter, Lucy, almost was, too. Her elder daughter, Molly, had finished a couple of years ago.

What bothered Audrey the most was Hermione's persistent apologies. Not a day went by that Hermione didn't try to beg for Audrey's forgiveness. Audrey had always wondered why Hermione cared so much—was it that Audrey was Hermione's fellow Muggle-born witch in this family? Was it that Hermione didn't want the retribution of any of her sisters-in-law? Was it that Hermione didn't know the two-years-older Audrey very well and therefore didn't know of what magic Audrey was capable, especially considering that Audrey—despite being English—had studied at Beauxbatons instead of Hogwarts? Or was it simply that Hermione had grown too accustomed to having everyone around her like her?

Whatever it was, Audrey hated one thing more than anything else:

She'd already forgiven Hermione a long time ago.

Audrey pushed her chocolate-colored curls over her shoulder and cleaned up the doughy mess. There was no point in trying to bake right now when she was so riled up.

I can't let her know she's gotten to me, Audrey ordered herself as she grabbed an ice-cold gillywater from the fridge. No, she couldn't have Hermione thinking she'd won. Audrey didn't know why she couldn't find it inside her to stay really angry with Hermione. The thing was, when everything blew up in their faces, Audrey had kicked Percy out and…frankly, she'd felt bad for Hermione, thinking that Hermione had been looking for love in all the wrong places—least of all starting with Ron in the first place. Apparently Audrey was the only one in the family who'd ever really questioned why the hell Hermione had ended up with the idiot.

As if Audrey had Summoned her, the doorbell rang. No doubt it was Hermione.

"Seriously? Couldn't Voldemort just have sent me a telegram instead?" she hissed under her breath as she went to the door. She paused, shook herself free of any negative thoughts, and opened the door. Her annoyance returned upon seeing that pretty, rouged smile.

"Good afternoon, Aud," Hermione said. She paused. "Um, may I come in?"

"Hmm? Oh, right, right…" Audrey turned back to the kitchen, the other witch following her. "Had an okay morning, I presume?" Audrey asked.

Hermione shrugged. "Magical Law Enforcement is never easy." She placed a bag on the table. "I brought muffins."

Audrey glanced at the bag, her face warming. Hermione had come to learn her very well over the past year. "…thanks." Audrey grabbed some tea for both of them and leaned against the sink, sipping her tea and nibbling on a warm bran muffin.

The genius witch sat at the table. "Anything new with you?"

"Not since you saw me yesterday."

"Oh. Right." Hermione's face reddened. It wasn't as though she hadn't noticed her behavior.

Audrey watched her over the rim of her mug. Hermione wasn't a bad person, just… Misled? Audrey thought. She pondered the idea before chucking it; Hermione was anything but misled. Audrey drifted her eyes on the picture before her: Hermione, pretty with her hair half up, breaking a chocolate muffin into pieces, swirling her tea in her mug without drinking it. Then Audrey's memory was repainting the view, and Hermione was standing up and Percy was back and they were kissing and—and—

"Audrey, are you all right?"

The gray-eyed witch shuddered and looked into a concerned face. "Y-yes… I'm fine…" Audrey shook her head and dumped her tea. "I think this tea might be old, though."

Hermione stood and dumped her drink, as well. "I should go for today." She patted Audrey's cheek and hugged her—Audrey ignoring the tightness she felt within her own chest—before collecting her things and going. It didn't matter that she'd only been there for a short while; whenever Hermione said she'd leave, she left.

Audrey showed her the door and released a breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding. There were sometimes when she wanted to smack Hermione, but… If Audrey were being honest, she would state that she didn't ever wish Hermione to leave.

- ^-^3

For a couple of days, Hermione's apologies came in the form of muffins. Audrey said little but her thanks about them, and that seemed to be the most verbal interaction the witches shared. Hermione always wanted to say something more, Audrey could tell, but Hermione didn't free her thoughts, whether for Audrey's safety or her own.

It drove Audrey a little nuttier than usual, but she had grown quite used to Hermione's…"quirks." Hermione chewing her bottom lips when thinking, Hermione almost not blinking when writing or reading, Hermione throwing her shoulders back when confronted—Audrey knew them all really well.

What about that gesture where she arches her back to throw herself into your husband? Audrey's conscience nagged.

Audrey gritted her teeth. Ex-husband, she mentally corrected. She tossed and turned to try to fall asleep, but it was hard. Whenever the topic of Percy came up, it was an involuntary reaction to replay that old scene in her mind.

Percy and Hermione, not standing too much apart… Percy tilting his head down and slightly to the side… Hermione standing on tiptoes, bringing her cherry-red lips closer to his… Her hair falling over her shoulders against her back, providing a stark contrast between her dark tresses and her pink skin… Her slim neck stretching as her head lifted up… Her strong jaw showing from a profile view… Her brown eyes glittering and closing, her chest heaving as she exhaled… Her hand resting on her chest as she almost kissed…

No one. There was no one there. It was as though Percy had never even been there.

And yet Hermione still looked so sensuous, so bothered, so…tempting.

Words formed on her lips: "I'm sorry." And then she was chewing her bottom lip, innocent and guilty all at once, waiting for Audrey to say something, do something—anything!

Audrey woke up, covered in goose bumps. Her heart was pounding in her chest, her hands trembling. The witch turned on her nightstand light and threw off the covers. She was still in disbelief that she had…dreamed that…

Oh, who am I kidding? she inwardly groaned. I'm not that surprised… She frowned, hating the sweat that covered her arms, chest, and legs. However, on a second thought, she realized the dampness she felt on her thighs was not entirely sweat. Audrey blushed Gryffindor maroon, glad that Molly had a place of her own and Lucy was away at school as she grabbed her wand and cleaned the sheets. Apparently she was not just emotionally attracted to Hermione.

- ^-^3

When the next day arrived, Audrey dreaded Hermione showing up.

More than usual, she thought. She dressed and made herself breakfast. After she ate, she went through her old books on the shelf and selected an ancient-looking History of Magic text. Nothing like weary facts to kill the mood prematurely.

She fell asleep at some point in the afternoon, only to be woken up by the sound of knocking on the front door. Groggy, Audrey peeked out the window and glimpsed short brown hair. It was her daughter, Molly.

Audrey opened the door, a greeting on the tip of her tongue when she froze. No, it wasn't Molly. Hermione had her hair tucked up today. Internally, Percy's ex cursed. Of course. Her only visitor these days was her sister-in-law.

"Hello, Aud," Hermione said. She wasn't as cheerful as she had been, but she stepped inside nevertheless. "How are you today?"

"Peachy," the gray-eyed witch groused. She went into the living room and closed her book. "Look, Hermione, you don't…you don't have to keep visiting me. I'm not some invalid."

The genius witch frowned. "I—I thought so…"

"Thought what?"

"You seemed to be tiring of me finally," Hermione answered, a sad tinge to her voice. "I've definitely overstayed any semblance of a welcome I ever possessed."

Audrey didn't reply. A lump had formed in her throat. Hermione didn't realize how far off she was…and now Audrey wondered if it was too late to repair things. At least, between them.

"I'm sorry about…still liking Percy back then," the witch said, meeting Audrey's eyes.

The gray-eyed woman tensed. "That was a cruel thing to do. You upturned everything."

"I know… I'm sorry." Hermione winced and hung her head in shame.

Seeing her like that, pained as never before, a rush of—of catharsis washed over Audrey. She knew her barriers were breaking—barriers that no one else in the family had attempted to demolish. And here Hermione was, demolishing them without even trying. Audrey grimaced, hating the feeling of frustrated tears pricking the backs of her eyes. "God! You know what sucks the most?"

Hermione furrowed her brow. "…what?"

This was it. The make-it-or-break-it moment. Audrey wanted to both keep her mouth shut and burst out with a cry the words that next poured from her mouth: "The fact that I just wanna hate him and love you."

The house creaked amidst their silence. A few minutes passed without either of them moving, and Audrey started to understand why Lucy hated public speaking. Even one person's eyes on her was terribly frightening.

Audrey opened and closed her mouth several times, but she couldn't think of anything else to say. It was kind of hard to top her previous statement.

Hermione dropped her eyes to the floor before dropping herself into a chair. "I see."

It wasn't very monumental, but the sentence told Audrey that everything, her… It was all stupid. So bloody stupid. "Get out, Hermione."

"What?" She was startled.

"Get out," Audrey repeated. She waved at Hermione as though to dismiss her and left the living room down the hallway.

"Aud, no, we should—"

"Should what? Talk about our feelings or some crap like that?" Audrey shook her head. "Please, forget what I said. And don't come here anymore."

Hermione stomped behind her, full of her Gryffindor temper. "Goddammit, Audrey!" She yanked on the taller's arm and forced her to face her. "Are you really that stupid?"

"I'm not stupid!" Audrey barked, nose-to-nose with her.

"Then why didn't you see that I was trying to fix things between me and you, not me and the family or Percy!"

Audrey grimaced. "That's because you have a high opinion of yourself and love attention—"

Hermione slapped her cheek. "Goddammit, Aud!" She pushed a brown curl out of Audrey's eyes and gingerly touched the newly red cheek. "How did you expect me to respond to that…?"

"A laugh would be nice."

She shook her head. "No. I'd never laugh at that."

Audrey wanted to cry at Hermione's calm attitude. "Then do something. Anything but being caring."

Hermione was kissing her then, all passion and care and comfort at once. "I can't stop caring," she breathed before she kissed Audrey again.

The gray-eyed witch moaned, disliking herself for the whole bloody production. She wished one of them had said something earlier, especially when she felt the other witch's tongue in her mouth. How could she have missed out on this?

Audrey touched Hermione's back beneath her shirt and the genius witch hissed from pleasure. Hermione hooked a finger in Audrey's jeans and nipped at her neck, and Audrey started unbuttoning her shirt.

There was no turning back now.

- ^-^3

When they awoke, it was dinnertime. The sun had set long ago. Audrey buried her head in her pillow.

Hermione drew the blanket up over her shoulders. "That was…"

"Different," Audrey finished for her.

Hermione's face burned bright red. "I've never had feelings for another woman before."

"Me either," Audrey said into her pillow.

The genius witch rolled over to look at the woman. "But I'm not upset about what we did, Aud."

The gray-eyed witch peeked out from under her dark curls. "You aren't?"

"Are you?"

Audrey sat up slowly, thinking. "No. I'd been...I'd been thinking about this more recently."

"This?" Hermione echoed, eyebrows raised.

Audrey blushed. "Not this exactly, but…us. Our little routine." She sighed and frowned. "But you—and Perce—"

Hermione rose beside her and leaned her cheek on her shoulder. "You only saw us; you didn't hear what we'd been talking about."

"No, but—"

"Audrey, Percy had heard from George and Ron that I'd once had a crush on him. He…" She grimaced. "He seemed to be looking for temptation, so when we got talking of old days and he came at me…"

"Wait, didn't you go for him?"

Hermione closed her eyes. "Not really."

"Then why didn't you tell me?"

"Because I was hoping for some excitement outside of my own stale marriage. And it was wrong of me. I thought it better that you hated me instead of begrudging me for what you would've thought was me lying to you."

Audrey nodded, following the logic. She glanced at the younger witch and motioned between them. "But what about…this?"

Hermione smiled. "I wasn't expecting this or looking for this either, but…it happened. You didn't leave my brain or dreams alone, and then I figured you weren't leaving my heart either. As ridiculous as that sounds," she added with a laugh.

Audrey watched her laugh, smiling herself. It was admirable to see someone be so true to their feelings that Audrey was a little envious. Though she had not had many, er, "dreams" about Hermione, she had been paying her more detailed attention as of late. Hermione was right; it had happened. And that wasn't such a bad thing.

The gray-eyed witch pushed Hermione back onto the bed and hovered over her, kissing her neck, collarbone, and cheeks. Every time, Hermione giggled. "I guess I wasn't sounding that ridiculous...OH!"

Audrey grinned impishly. "Hermione, do us both a favor and shut up, luv." And then she snogged the living daylights out of her.

- ^-^3

*lol* I love Percemione…and for some reason I love breaking them up… I like Audrey, too—a bit of a spitfire with a reasonable streak. And yes, that had been a wet dream Aud had. 0.0! *lol* But they got to be sexy, so yay for them. And I think an OOC-ness was fairly well-explained… ;] I also liked this, because a lot of my stories are "Meet & Make-out/Mate"—but this one gave them a history to play on, so again, yay for them. B)

Thanks for reading and pleasey review!

-mew-tsubaki :3