I just had to get this out before it drove me crazy. My muse has been in overdrive since I saw DH2 lol.
Hermione tearfully watched him walk away. Each step he took was like a brutal blow to her already fragile heart. From the moment she saw him dejectedly walking down the broken stairs, Hermione knew her worst fear had become a reality. Even then her denial had kicked in until Harry vanquished all hope that he was indeed one of the horcruxes. Her tears were flowing freely now. She didn't want him to face his destiny alone but she knew he would never allow her to help him in this situation.
"I'll come with you", she murmured tearfully as his words took a firm grip on her heart.
"Kill the snake", Harry replied rejecting her offer, "kill the snake and then it's just him".
At the moment Hermione had done the only thing she knew, she hugged him like every other time she saw him. Greeting him that way had become her ritual and she broke down as his strong arms encircled her, pulling her desperately closer because they both knew it would be the last time she held him. Touched him. Saw him. Hermione's heart galloped inside her chest as panic rose within her with a force that made it hard to breath. The look in his eyes just before he walked towards his death would haunt her forever. He had wanted to say something to her but refrained. It had been the same sad, solemn look he had when she had been the one to walk away that night after they danced.
She needed to talk to him, tell him what she just realized. Her pulsed raced as she wiped her tears away and stepped forward but froze. Hermione didn't get any further than that because she suddenly realized that she wasn't alone. There was a third of the Trio standing right beside her, Ron. She turned around and met his unreadable expression. Her eyes took in his battered appearance and the pain he couldn't quite hide from his blue eyes. They had lost so many people tonight, all of whom were closest to them. Their eyes met and locked and she knew he could read everything she couldn't say in her eyes. She had kissed him and he had called her his girlfriend.
Nothing had made her happier at the time. But now everything had changed and she had changed. Harry's imminent dead and his acceptance of it had made her realized she didn't have to accept it. She couldn't accept it without him knowing. She took a step towards him and gently cupped his gritty cheeks as she smoothed away the dirt and grime. She was about to hurt him very much, but it had to be done. It wouldn't be fair to either of them. He returned her gaze with the same intensity.
"Ron". His name; that was all she had to say for him to understand. He nodded jerkily and covered her hand on his cheek, squeezing gently. His blue eyes sparkled with emotion and Hermione knew he understood.
"Go". The softly spoken words released her from the connection that had been brewing between them for a while now. Hermione smiled sadly and hugged him before taking off in the direction that Harry had been only a few minutes before.
She stumbled over books and crumbled stone not really caring if she fell. She needed to get to him before she couldn't get to him. Hermione knew if he made it to the Forest already she wouldn't be able to see him again. As she skidded around a corner, barely managing not to fall memories of their relationship over the years flashed before her eyes. The first time she met him. When he saved her from the troll. When they became friends. Their conversation down the trap door.
You're a great wizard Harry.
Me. I'm not a good as you.
Books and cleverness. There are more important things. Like friendship and bravery.
And love Hermione finished for her eleven year old self. Love. The most important thing of all. Many flashes of them through the years she welcomed, hoping she could have so many more with him. She was breathless by the time Hermione reached what was left of the front door and that was when she saw him. His drooped shoulders with wand clutched tightly in his hand as he slowly walked through the rumbled court yard.
"Harry!" Hermione shouted stopping him in his tracks immediately. Even through the dimly lit night Hermione could see his shoulders straightened as tension tightened his muscles. He turned around almost fearfully towards her as she made her way towards him, closing the distance between them with each step she took. She watched his fingers clutch his wand as his eyes locked intensely on hers. It was so strong Hermione felt as if he touched her, spreading warmth throughout her body.
She came to a standstill a heartbeat away from him. His eyes held many questions but right now Hermione had the answer to just one of them. She took the remaining step bringing her body flushed against his lean form. Hermione's breath hitched as Harry leaned in, molding their bodies together. She didn't have to say anything, it was written in her eyes, in her body language and most of all in her touch. Yet he refused to touch her. The tension in his body radiated in waves as if he was trying very hard to not loose control.
"Hermione", he croaked out half pleading with her, half reprimanding her. It made her smile slightly but the powerful look in his green eyes reminded her of the severity of their situation.
In response, Hermione placed her hands on his chest and his gasp thrilled her. This may be the last time she would see him and Hermione was going to make it a moment she would remember forever. She pressed her body closer and slid her hands up his chest, over his shoulders and into his hair. Harry's wand cluttered to the ground, tapping against the cool stone as his hands clutched her waist. She could tell his control was slipping. Their eyes locked and held, green clashing violently with brown making her breath caught.
She move in and lightly pressed her lips to his. The reaction was instant. At just a touch of their lips, sparks exploded along her skin sending tingles throughout her body. Warmth blossom at the pit of her stomach as Harry groaned within his throat and tugged her closer as he took over the kiss, changing the light pressure to something much more intense and passionate. Hermione dug her fingers into his dark locks, responding just as fervently as his tongue traced the seam of her lips, asking for permission. She granted what he sought and his tongue slipped into the hot cavern of her mouth and tangled with hers. It was only meant to be short and sweet but the desperation Hermione felt in his touch urged her emotions into overdrive. This was going to be the last time she saw him alive. What seemed an eternity later they broke apart, each breathing heavily as Hermione cupped his cheeks bringing their gaze level.
"I just needed you to know Harry", she whispered breathlessly. His eyes filled with tears as hers slipped over her lids. His grip on her hips tightened at her words and she knew he knew exactly what she meant. "I don't know how or when but it happened and I needed you to know. I didn't want you to go to him without knowing".
"I needed you to know Hermione", Harry murmured leaning further into her body. "It happened along the way but I didn't know how to tell you. I'm glad you came after me. You always come after me even when I don't ask you to and I'm grateful for that. You started out as my best friend Hermione but now you are so much more. Thank you for everything".
"You never needed to thank me Harry", Hermione replied tearfully clutching desperately at him. She couldn't help the sob that escaped her lips. "You thanked me everything time you stayed alive".
"Say it", Harry murmured wrapping his arms completely around her, making her feel safe and secured. "Please", he implored, "I just need to hear you say it once. Just once Hermione". Hermione looked into his beseeching eyes tainted with strong resilience, knowing she couldn't deny him anything. She never could.
"I love you Harry James Potter", Hermione whispered and he smiled. The corner of his lips lifted slight and it was enough to warm her heart. For a few minutes she make him feel at ease and happy and loved.
"And I love you Hermione Jean Granger", he replied softly tracing her lips with his thumb before he leaned in and gave her the lightest of kisses. Just the press of his lips to her and it was one she was going to remember for the rest if her life. "Now close your eyes".
His eyes were once again somber and Hermione knew exactly why he wanted her to do that. It was because he didn't want her to see him walk towards his death. He hugged her tightly and whispered into her ears, bringing fresh waves of tears to her eyes. She closed her eyes, cementing this moment to memory. His touch. His scent. His words. She felt him pull away and fought the urge to open her eyes. Hermione felt him press his lips to her neck, then her forehead as his fingers brushed across her cheeks and then nothing. He was gone.
She couldn't hear him and she couldn't feel him. She didn't want to open her eyes anymore because he wasn't there. Hermione couldn't feel him anymore. Her eyes fluttered open and nothing but silence and the crumbled court yard greeted her. He was gone. Hermione wrapped her arms around her waist, holding herself as sobs racked her slender form. She allowed herself one minute to loose control and give into the pain of losing him before the steel curtains came down, bringing her emotions under control. They had a snake to kill and Merlin help her it would die. Harry Potter was not going to die in vain. He would be remembered and cherished forever because he was in her heart.
For those of you reading my other fic "What's Meant To Be", I'll update before the week's over :)