A/N: Hello all this is my first fanfiction and I hope you enjoy.
Thought I should clarify some things before you read, this will first and foremost be a story about Harry and Hermione set in an AU. Harry isn't the boy-who-lived, Neville is, but Harry's and Neville's parents were both killed. Harry grew up more abused and starved as he wasn't really under the protection of Dumbledore, living with his Aunt and Uncle. Neville grew up with his family like in canon, making Dumbledore more a part of his life early on.
This leads to them killing off Voldemort when he attempts his resurrection. Basically everything in canon happens, but slightly altered, mostly with Neville and Ron while Harry plays a mysterious role in each. Harry is powerful however,but he was sorted into Hufflepuff while Hermione into Ravenclaw.
This story picks up during the 5th year after Neville and Dumbledore kill Voldemort for good. I did this mainly because I wasn't interested in an adventure story about Harry and Hermione, there are a lot of those already. Instead I'm interested in making more of a love story(which hopefully will stay interesting).
I have a bad problem switching from Harry's to Hermione's views awkwardly, so let me know how to improve!
Hermione Granger pushed her Hogwarts trunk through the station of Kings Cross while keeping an eye out for all of the little First years coming in. The Ravenclaw prefect looked down at her badge in pride and smiled quietly to herself, standing at attention in case anyone happened to need help. She nodded to a couple new aquaintances she had made over the past year, having gone to the Yule Ball with Viktor Krum seemed to have given the bushy-haired girl some semblance of popularity.
She couldn't help another wide smile that split on her face when she thought of the events at the beginning of the Summer. To think that Professor Dumbledore and Neville Longbottom were able to defeat Voldemort when "once and for all". Details were a little scarce, but Dumbledore had told them Voledmort was defeated for good. Prior to that Dumbledore had always said that he was still alive, and it was all over the Prophet how Dumbledore had created a plan to defeat him as soon as he ever did come back. For some reason the Professor required Neville's assistance, which seemed really peculiar to Hermione, but her elation over the final death of Voldemort washed away any curiosity that she had.
Thinking about Neville led her thoughts to all that he had to overcome during the last years. From discovering that Quirrell was a Death Eater, to saving little Ginny Weasley from the Chamber of Secrets, and even winning the TriWizard Cup-which fell into Dumbledore's plans- Hermione couldn't help but admire him. But then again, every girl in Hogwarts had admired him, and it was no secret that he was now the most desirable wizard in Hogwarts, if not the wizarding world. He had even turned in the mass murderer Sirius Black to the dementors! Hermione didn't know the exact details of the night that Black was kissed, but she did know that Professor Lupin mysteriously quit almost immediately afterward and Professor Snape seemed happy for days in the aftermath.
Hermione shook herself back into alertness as she realized where she was. The dementors that year had left her in a dark sort of depression 3rd year, and everytime she looked back on those days the depression would resurface. But that was in the past, and Hermione took one last glance around the station before deciding it was time to board.
While Hermione did have aquaintances that she could sit with, she wasn't particularly close to any of them. For the longest time she lived her life as the know-it-all muggleborn obsessed with books and knowledge, not really conducive to starting a friendship. She had tried to become friends with her fellow Ravenclaws, who would seem to have the same thirst and desire, but none had readily shown themselves.
Hermione thought it had something to do with the arrogance due to intelligence that not only scared away others, but also scared her away from them. She, like many of her fellow Ravenclaws, were very intellectual, and almost every discussion turned into some form of debate, leading to many heated arguments and tensions usually running high amongst the Claws. Since she rubbed many of her fellow students the wrong way, it had been hard making close friends.
As she searched the Express she did recieve a few nods and hellos, but no one offered a seat, and Hermione didn't bother to invite herself. Hopefully there would be an empty compartment that she could hole herself in after the prefect meeting.
Walking through the Hogwart's Express, Hermione finally stopped at a compartment with only one other student inside it. The boy seemed to be entranced with an old looking book, and Hermione couldn't help thinking that he looked rather familiar. Stopping for a second, trying to wrack her brain for the name, she realized that the black-haired boy was actually in her own year.
Hank...no...Henry..Harold...HARRY! Thats it!
"Hello Harry," she said, waiting for a response. Harry looked up from the book that he was reading, and with a glance. Hermione felt like the Hufflepuff 5th year had judged her in that quick second, but all she had been able to see were his eyes. Piercing yet beautiful at the same time, there seemed to be something hidden behind Harry's emerald eyes. With a start Hermione realized that he had responded to her, and she withdrew from her thoughts.
"Would it be alright if I sat in here? All the others are filled" Hermione said. Harry again seemed to judge her, but she seemed to pass as he shrugged his shoulders.
"Ya sure, it's not like anyone else will ever come." Hermione paused to think after his statement. It was true that she had never seen the boy with any companions, more of a ghost really. Even the classes they had together she couldn't recall him speaking or even participating. After flashing him a quick smile, she put her trunk away.
Both of them were quiet as Hermione sat down again, and Hermione began to fidget with the awkward silence as Harry countinued reading his book. It would take another half hour before the Express would move and she had to attend the prefect meeting. Hermione decided that if there were to be a dicussion within the compartment, she needed to start it with the lonely boy.
"What're you reading?" Hermione asked.
Harry didn't respond, but instead lifted the book so that she could see the gold writing on the front. Advanced Magic for Masters glittered out from the black binding of the book. A book for all intents and purposes, for magic users on par with Aurors and Unspeakables.
"Magic for Masters?" Hermione asked incredulously, with a hint of mocking in her voice. Maybe the boy had just stumbled upon the book and was perusing it. "Are you following the theory alright? I'll explain it to you if you need me to."
Harry gave her another glance, this time with a little bit of hostility and Hermione couldn't help but feel a little guilty. Hermioen cringed from how her voice sounded, even to herself, and from the judgement in Harry's eyes. Before she had a chance to apologize for her tone however, Harry responded.
"I'm getting on fine" and his tone seemed to suggest that the conversation was over, and Hermione couldn't help but keeping quiet until she had to leave for the meeting.
Hermione couldn't help but think about Harry throughout the whole meeting, and the guilt that hit her when she had spoken to him. It was doubly hard when she knew exactly what her problem was, but couldn't contain herself. She couldn't contain her natural self, and somehow it alwasy ended up making someone feel bad.
She looked around the room at her fellow prefects, some who she knew, and some who she didn't. Neville of course would be, especially after what happened with Dumbledore and above average grades. Ernie Macmillan, Hannah Abbott, Parvati Patil, Draco Malfoy, Pansy Parkinson, and Anthony Goldstein rounded out the rest of the 5th year group. Hermione knew some choices were obvious, but some choices she wasn't too sure about. Hermione diligently took notes though as the Head Boy and Head Girl described the roles and the scheduling of patrols.
Afterwards Hermione walked back to her compartment, casting a quick glance at Neville as he moved to join his friends Ron, Seamus, and Dean. Hermione had stopped breathing for a moment, and as Neville walked she shook her bushy hair and hurried back to her compartment. A few compartments away from her own, Hermione heard a startled shout and rushed forward to see the disturbance.
What she saw was two 7th year Slytherins dazed from being flung back from farther along the corridor. Farther along she saw Harry bent over a shocked first or second year, seeming to speak urgently Harry pulled back from the boy and looked him directly in the eye waiting for an answer. The boy nodded, Harry smiled and ruffle his hair, and shooed him along as he re-entered his compartment. The small boy and his companions hurried past Hermione back to their compartment as she helped the two Slytherins up.
"What was that?" Hermione questioned rather directly, and both Slytherin students looked at each other, debating whether they should answer. "I'm a prefect you know" Hermione reminded them, lightly tapping her badge.
One of them scowled at her, and the other looked rather angry as well. "Nothing" he replied, and as Hermione raised her arm in a threatening manner, both of the large men pushed pass her. Giving a huff of annoyance, Hermione proceeded back to her compartment with a lot of questions about the enigma Harry.
When she walked into the compartment, Harry was back to sitting down and reading his book. As she was about to confront Harry however, Hermione remembered the last brief conversation that they had, and decided that she shouldn't be so agressive against someone she didn't really know. Hermione appreciated that he wanted to read, but she had done that all summer and wasn't too interested in doing so at every free moment. Hermione secrelty yearned for friends to talk with, and even she got bored of reading all of the time. So she sat the rest of the ride in silence, until one of her fellow Ravenclaws entered through the doors.
"Hello Luna" Hermione said rather hurridley, glad that someone was there to satisfy her need for human conversation. "How was your summer?" Luna gave her an awkward smile, seeing that while Hermione had never been particularly mean to her, she had made fun of Luna's beliefs and ideas.
"Hello Hermione, I had an interesting summer, what about yourself?"
"Oh just the best time, my parents decided to take me to France to see all of the sights. I'm sure you would love it Luna. Have you ever been?" Hermione said. Luna gave her another awkward smile and replied in the negative. After the plesantries however, Hermione realized that she had nothing else to discuss.
While searching in her mind for a topic of conversation, Hermion decided to just ask "Did you need something from me Luna?". Luna glanced over to Harry, whose eyes were still concentrated on the book.
"Actually no, I came to talk to Harry" Luna replied.
Hermione looked to her glasses wearing companion with a raised eyebrow. She hadn't been aware that Harry was friends with Luna Lovegood of all people. She mentally filed that piece of information in her head, as well as a slight disapproval of Harry associating himself with someone like Luna. Harry still hadn't looked up however, and as the silence stretched on she moved to shake him to attention.
Harry jerked up in surprise, his hand stretched out palm open to Hermione's face almost as if to attack her. As his eyes recognized her face, he lowered his hand and seemed to become aware of his surrounding. His eyes darted to Luna, and a frustrated sigh exited from him.
"Hello Harry, you're looking well" Harry only gave a nod in response, trying to rush the conversation along as quickly as possible. "I heard you saved a couple Gryffindors. I thought you said that you were done with all of the nonsense?" Luna said, and Hermione got the feeling that Luna was trying to egg him on, to show some sort of reaction. Hermione too became interested in Harry's lack of emotional responses.
"Is there a reason for this visit?" Harry asked rather rudely, and Hermione's eyes showed signs of disapproval. While she didn't particularly care for Luna, she didn't think there was any reason to be rude.
"Oh no, just seeing if the Wrackspurts had left you. You know you really should do something about it Harry, or else it'll be a lonely road" Luna said dramatically, although there was a hint of sadness in her voice. Hermione distinctly got the impression that the girl held some inner darkness that she could never understand, and felt a little guilty for her treatment in the past.
"And you Luna?" Harry said, and Hermione knew that the exchange had suddenly taken a turn. Luna seemed to stiffen up, and gave Harry a frostier look.
"There's nothing wrong with me Harry" she said, but she now held herself awkwardly, about ready to leave the compartment and the uncomfortable conversation.
"Oh really, I'm sorry I must have mistaken you for being mental" Harry responded, and Hermione could see the hurt in Luna's eyes as tears started to glaze in them. Luna just looked at Harry with sad eyes, and he turned away uncomfortably.
"Goodbye Harry, I'll see you later" she said, rushing out of the compartment with her Hogwart's robe billowing behind her. Harry looked after her for a second, thinking about running after her. But with another sigh he opened his book up. Before he had a chance to read again Hermione was in his face, looking at him rather sternly.
"You go apologize right now Harry Potter!" she began " It takes a lot for someone like Luna to express themselves and you have to go and be rude to her like that". Harry looked at her strangely at first, and raised an eyebrow at the end.
"Maybe Luna would feel better about expressing herself if less people were rude to her about every little thing she does" Harry said with a straight face, and from the guilty look in her grimace Harry knew he had won the little argument. "And plus Luna and I have an understanding, she knows not to talk about certain things, especially in the presence of strangers."
Hermione looked at Harry shrewdly, but decided now wasn't the time to press the boy. There was obviously something between the two, but she didn't want to spend the rest of the trip arguing. This was the first glimpse into the real life of another person that she had never seen before. She sighed, and looked out the window as the Express continued to roll on.
Hermione got into the Great Hall rather quickly so that she could help direct the flow and pace of the older students. Not having much to do, she politely stood at attention while watching the students filter in, nodding at a couple of her fellow students. Harry, who was now a blip on her radar, was walking along the side of the wall by himself. When an opening cleared he darted into the Great Hall, without interacting with anyone else. Hermione frowned at this in disappointment, it seemed like no one noticed Harry, and he didn't really care to try and gain that attention. Not even his fellow 5th year Hufflepuff mates had made a move to say hi.
As the students coming in slowed down, Head Boy Cedric Diggory directed the prefects that they too should sit down and get ready for the feast. Hermione went and sat down in a random location, and had small talk with the closest person, in this case Su Li and Padma Patil. As her eyes roamed around the Hall she noticed that Harry was inconspicuously sitting by himself at the end of the table. His head was in a book even now, and Hermione couldn't help but questioning if he had done so in the past. If he did read this much why hadn't he done better in the end of term tests? If she recalled correctly, and for Hermione she usually did, he always appeared to score average everytime. Nothing to give away his true power or knowledge, but enough to pass the necessary classes.
This alarmed Hermione for multiple reasons, but mainly because Harry Potter was becoming a puzzle not easily solved. As the sorting happened and throughout the feast, Hermione continued to steal glances at Harry. He continued to hold his book with one hand, while eating with his other. She found it incredible how much he was able to put into his body considering that his frame was so small. Half way through the feast Hermione flicked her eyes over to the end of the Hufflepuff table again, and was shocked to see nothing remained but an empty plate. Harry had snuck out in between her last glances, and it seemed that no one around him had even noticed.
"Hermione" Su Li said, and Hermione jerked to attention. She mentally chided herself as she answered.
"Is there something going on between you and Henry?" Su Li asked.
"Henry? Henry who?" Hermione stuttered, hoping she wasn't talking about the boy on her mind. Su Li's grin widened at Hermione's response.
"You know, that kind of cute guy who has over in the corner. Reading his book? Henry...Padder right?" The girls surrounding Hermione were all leaning in now, breathlessly waiting for a response.
"Oh him. He's nobody I just met him on the train. I think his name is Harry Potter though" Hermione said, hoping she had played it off nonchalantly.
"Oh isn't he the orphan boy? I heard my dad talking about him when we saw him boarding the train, awfully lonely isn't he. I heard that he lives with his muggle Aunt and Uncle." Padma jumped in, and now everyone was becoming more interested in the scrawny boy.
"Oh yes, but thats not the best part about him is it Hermione?" Su Li said again, and at Hermione's questioning glance and raised eyebrow, Su Li continued. "Well I've heard since his parent's were killed by You-Know-Who's forces, he inherited all of their money... a lot of money"
Hermione grimaced, she wasn't interested in Harry because of his money. But it was nice to know how much that mattered to other witches. At Hermione's disapproving look however, Su Li continued "I only know about that because my dad was looking into marriage prospects. My dad also said that after our third year, when.." Su Li got quiet, down to a whisper, and all the girls leaned in farther."when Sirius Black was kissed, it was revealed that Harry was his godson and betrayed the Potters."
The girls gasped in surprise, and Su Li grinned in triumph, relishing in the warmth of attention and gossip. "But they never said anything about that in the Prophet" someone said, and Su gave them a pitying look.
"They're not going to print everything in the Prophet of course, and why shame Henry-sorry I mean Harry- at the time even more? Although I did also hear that Harry inherited all of the money from the Black Family as well." the girls gasped appreciatively again.
"Which makes Harry one of the most eligible boys at the school in terms of marriage. And the best part is to get that money, Harry was chosen as the Black heir over a direct blood heir like Draco. His father was really angry over that, my dad told me " Su finished with a smile, looking at the appreciative glances the other girls were showing her after giving out such gossip.
"Harry's not going to take any of you as his wife you know" said a voice from behind Su, and half the girls turned around to take a look at Luna.
"Why do you say that?" Hermione asked, before any of the other girls could be rude and run her away.
"Well, I expect Harry won't want to stay around long enough for anyone to tie him down so to speak"
"Whatever Looney" Padma said " you don't have to hide it. You can have him. It's not like any of us wants a broody loner like him even if he has all that money. Why be with someone that miserable and depressing?"
The girls around her murmured their agreement, although Hermione looked on in silence. "Don't talk about Harry like that" said a 3rd year boy rather heatedly, Stewart Ackerly if Hermione remembered correctly. Stewart seemed to realize what he said, because his face immediately began to redden and he looked down at his plate.
"Oh what do you know that we don't?" Hermione asked, feeling like she was finally making headway into the puzzle. "Nothing, nothing" was his response as he turned away to speak with his friends. Hermione glanced again around the table, only to find questioning looks and an appreciative grin on Luna's face.
"Well anyway Hermione I know he reads a lot, so he may be your type." Su Li said, getting back on topic "But you can do much better. I mean you went with Krum to the ball last year after all."
Hermione colored red, she didn't like that this conversation about Harry was starting to turn into one about her love life. "No I'm not interested in Harry, I just find him interesting" she said, looking at Luna who was staring back with a frown. Luna looked deep in thought, before leaving quietly and leaving the Great Hall.
Harry Potter was quite angry at the days events. His whole life he had been living stealthily and inconspicuously. No one paid attention to him and he paid attention to no one. The only real influence he had within the school was to stop older students from bullying the younger ones. No one was to look at him with anything other than indifference, even his head of house, Professor Sprout, didn't remember his name half the time. It was easier this way, living life distant from all others, and while it did get lonely, Harry always had the end goal in mind.
Since he had learned about his inheritance from his parents, Harry's only goal in life had been to run away and leave. He had only wanted to learn enough magic to get him by, and then leave to another country like Australia or America. His first eleven years of life had been hell, with beatings and starvation a common occurence whenever he "acted up". Harry's life grew cold and he learned to put on faces of indifference to mask the real pain he was feeling.
But third year, when he had learned the truth about his family, Harry couldn't help but let go of the mask. Remus Lupin and Sirius Black, two men who had both been estranged from him, had opened up Harry's closed heart. Remus, who was a family friend and his third year Professor, was still alive but in a deep funk.
Sirius on the other hand had first made contact with Harry two years ago. Harry had noticed the black dog hanging around the grounds of Hogwarts, and had taken him on as his best friend. Half way through the year, he introduced the dog to Remus, who after a tense stand off, finally revealed Sirius Black and thetruth of the night his parents were murdered. Knowing that Sirius was innocent, and finding that the traitor was inside the castle, opened up Harry's heart to emotions he'd never felt before.
Anger, hatred, fear, sadness had all attacked him that year. The first year he had actually really felt anything in a long while. The first year he had opened up to anyone about everything. Harry had 6 great months with his Godfather, until the fateful night where they put their Pettigrew plan into action. It had been so perfect, so well planned, until Neville Longbottom and Ron Weasley followed him into the Shrieking Shack. That had been a very tense night, where Harry tried to explain the situation to them, tried to beg them to give him a chance. But as the two boys were about to give that chance, Severus Snape had walked into the shack.
Quickly binding up Lupin and Black, Harry was quickly overpowered and was witness to his godfather getting kissed under the orders of Dumbledore and Fudge. Only his anger and fiery words at the death of his godfather left the two leaders with doubts on their mind. The following article in the Daily Prophet was subdued instead of boastful, even though Fudge wanted it to be well known Dumbledore decided to lay off for Harry's sake.
From then on Harry's goal shifted back from living a happy life with his godfather and family, to learning as much as he could and leaving Britain forever. He was over this life, over everything that had to do with blood feuds, and betrayal, over wizards and magic. After Sirius' death Harry often thought about suicide, about ending his life. But Remus seemed to know what Harry was going through, and did his best to support his adopted nephew. They talked together all through the summer after third year, and well into the fourth. But while Harry did decide not to end himself, it didn't take away his masks of indifference and coldness.
And now, due to one witches strange fascination with him, he was on the verge of losing it all. Out of all the people it had to be Hermione Granger Harry thought, groaning to himself. As Harry walked up to his favorite tower he couldn't help thinking about the bushy haired girl. She was obviously very intelligent, and she figured that Harry was a puzzle. He could see it in her eyes, the gears turning in her brain trying to figure him out. And it wasn't like Harry had anything to hide, not really. He just didn't want to get close to anybody, or for anybody to get close to him. It hurt thinking about his parents and Sirius, and his role in their deaths.
During his third year the dementors made him remember by hearing the voices, the Death Eaters not bothering to kill his parents until they had to. Well not his father at least. Pure blood, they had said, didn't need to be spilled. But after killing his mother, his father had done the best he could to save Harry. Harry knew, from those memories, that his parents had died protecting him, had given their lives to insure his. Luckily help had come at the last second, or else their sacrifices would have meant nothing.
Even Sirius had died for him. For his happiness. His godfather had sacrificed his safety to spend time with Harry. Had escaped Azkaban for revenge yes, but within the 6 months Harry had spent with him Sirius began to understand that revenge wasn't worth it. That spending time with Harry was worth more than killing Pettigrew to avenge his friends. But it was he, Harry, who made him leave his safety. It was he, Harry, who wanted Sirius to go along with a plan to trap Pettigrew and prove to the world his innocence. And ultimately, no matter what anyone said, it had been Harry who carelessly let Neville and Ron see him on the Marauders Map, leaving the castle into the Shrieking Shack.
As Harry finally got up to the tower, he went into his favorite spot on top of the tower itself. From there he had the best view in all of Hogwarts, able to see the Forbidden Forest and even into the mountain side. He was also able to just lay back and look up at the stars, so quiet, free, and beautiful. The only person who had ever found this spot was Luna Lovegood, and only because she had practically stalked Harry all of last year.
At the reminder of her Harry couldn't help but scowl. What right did she have to judge him? She acted crazy like her father to mask the death of her mother. He knew she only did it to humor her father, to play along with his own mental instability, but trying to judge him while she did so got him angry. He knew too, why she had taken an interest in his life. He had stopped bullies from attacking and teasing her at the end of his third year, and since then she had been following him thinking that she knew all the answers to fix his problems. Harry knew too, that she was a hundred fold more intelligent then she let on.
She seemed to understand Harry's problems too, and that frustrated him as well. Not because she was a companion in pain, but because she thought it her place to save him from his own demise. It seemed she knew that he too wanted to leave all the painful memories of Britain, and was trying to trap him by getting him to make connections. Harry sighed thinking to the incident on the Express, he didn't want to be rude to her, she just kept coming on strong recently.
Harry heard light footsteps coming from below, and sighed as he knew who it would be. "Hello Harry, I knew you'd be up here" Luna said, looking up from the balcony below Harry. Harry remained quiet, knowing that Luna had enough experience with conversation with him that she would say what she wanted. .
"They're talking about you, you know" this got Harry to sit up from his position.
"What do you mean?" Harry asked, with a hint of panic in his voice. Luna heard this, and knew that she had his attention, and any time that happened was a chance to get closer to him.
"Oh well when I was leaving the conversation they were talking about how good of a husband you would make. And how much money you were worth, you know the gossip kind of things"
Luna frowned when the conversation didn't continue, and listened as Harry gave a triumphant kind of noise. "You think it's a good thing they are talking about you then?" Harry remained silent, trying to think of a correct answer.
"They wouldn't be after Harry Potter, they're after their hero image of Lord Potter and Lord Black. And if they want to chase a phantom, I'm okay with that" Harry said, back to sounding relaxed and indifferent. He peered down over the edge, to see Luna looking out into the sunset obviously deep in thought. She looked up into his eyes, a smile on her lips and in her eyes.
"Yes I think you're right" Luna started, carefully keeping eye contact with Harry to gauge his reaction " but there is one who seems genuinely interested in you" Luna left unsaid who, but both she and Harry knew who she was talking about. And her grin grew wider as she saw a flash of fear cross his eyes. He gave a sigh, and laid back to look at the stars.
"Stay away Luna, and stop dreaming up schemes. I don't need your version of happiness, I only want mine. Peace and quiet from the world. So just stop" Harry's voice had gotten increasingly cold as the words came, almost to the point where Luna believed he was becoming hostile. She however knew what she had to do, and stood her ground. It took a while for Luna to recollect her thoughts, before she made to speak again.
"You do know there is some seer blood in my heritage right Harry?" not getting a response, Luna continued. " I can't really see the future, or make prohpecies. But when you rescued me from those bullies I felt something. I felt like I had to help you. That there was something that I needed to do to guide you. And everytime I feel you leaving, something within me tells me that its wrong. You're true happiness lies here, please believe me." Harry remained quiet, he had heard this argument from her before, and wasn't too sure how to think about it. Harry knew that he was trying to take the easy route, leave all of his problems behind and start new, but at this point it felt like the only reasonable response for him.
He gave another sigh. Today was just too dramatic for his liking, he needed to go back to controlling his life. "What do you feel from Hermione?" Harry asked suddenly, breaking Luna from her own thoughts. At this Luna smiled again.
"I think you two will be very happy together."
I know my characters are OOC, but I mainly attribute that to their scenarios.
Please review and let me know how to make it better!