Disclaimer: Sadly, the wonderful world of Harry Potter does not actually belong to me. I'm just borrowing Jo Rowling's characters for the time being.
Author's Note: For a further summer, this takes place ten years after the war. During the Horcrux hunt after Ron left, Harry and Hermione's relationship starts to develop into something more. Ten years later, Harry decides to make a huge confession to Hermione about his feelings, and together they relive everything that happened to them while they were searching for the Horcruxes and how everything changed between them. I realize that this idea has been done about a million times, but please give it a shot. It'll mostly be my own made up scenes that took place during the hunt, but I will also have some major plot points in there as well. Anyway, enough dilly-dallying, please enjoy the prologue :)
"Why would you tell me this?"
Her voice cut through him like a knife. It was full of pain and sorrow, the after effects of not dealing with their problem earlier, of waiting until now to let it all come out, of letting all of this pent up emotion build within them, growing and spreading like an infectious disease.
"Because it's the truth," he replied flatly, finally looking up into her eyes.
He hadn't looked at her since he walked through the door of her tiny flat. He hadn't been able to look at her throughout his whole speech, his confession. He always averted his eyes from her, staring out the window, looking up and over her head, becoming fascinated with his shoe laces. But he looked at her now, his eyes meeting hers, only to see tears hiding behind her lashes, her face twisted in an expression of pain and confusion.
He hadn't thought about what his confession would do to her. Quite honestly, he hadn't thought about her feelings at all. But this was only for the sole reason that he thought they were on the same page.
"Please don't cry," he said quietly and awkwardly, breaking away from her tearful, penetrating stare.
He had never been able to comfort her as she cried. It had never been too difficult comforting other women as they sobbed; a pat on the back and a simple, "It'll be alright," always seemed to suffice, but with her… he didn't feel right about brushing her off like that. She was too important to him; she meant more to him than just a small pat on the back.
"How long have you known?" she managed to choke out, breaking the silence that had fallen between them, and he looked up to meet her eyes once more.
"Honestly? All along, I suppose," he responded with a shrug, though he didn't know why he was shrugging. This wasn't a shrugging matter, this was important.
But he was starting to doubt himself now. He was beginning to think that he had been imagining things this entire time. Maybe they really were on different levels, and he just thought that…
"Why now? After all this time, why choose now?"
She was angry with him. Her voice told him that much, though she wasn't yelling or raising her voice at him. She wouldn't yell, she never yelled at him, but sometimes he wished that she would. The pain in her voice when she talked like this was too much for him to handle. This pain was worse than any yelling.
"I don't know. I just… needed you to know… the truth," he replied, finding it hard to talk, much less breathe.
He watched her jump up from her seat as she cried, "The truth? I'm sorry, but how do I know that this is the truth? How do I know that you're not just… not thinking clearly because everything is about to change, and you don't want it to, because I'm about to-"
"Don't. Don't say it. If you say it, then it makes it all real," he whispered, cutting her off.
She was right. Everything was about to change. And he had to admit that he was scared for that. He didn't want their relationship to change, but he knew that it would. And her saying it, saying the words that he never wanted to hear, was just setting it in stone. And that was a nightmare for him. But that's not why he was telling her this. That really had nothing to do with it at all.
"Of course I'm telling you the truth! Do you want me to relive to you every moment that I've ever spent with you? Will that show you that what I told you is real? That what I'm feeling is real? I've known all along that there is something here. I know you know it too, I'm not just imagining things!" he yelled, his anger rising, because he was scared that he had just ruined everything. And when he got scared, he also got angry. It was a defense mechanism for him, one that he picked up at a very young age.
"No, Harry," she said, shaking her head. "Not every moment, just the most important moment, the one where everything changed. That's what I need to hear. You need to relive that for me. I need to hear all of it."
The tears had stopped, he could tell by the way that her voice sounded stronger instead of choking back on the tears, and it also sounded less angry.
He looked up at her, their eyes connecting once more, and her brown eyes gave him strength. They gave him confidence, as her eyes have always been able to do with him. And that proved to him that he wasn't going crazy, and that she had felt it too. All of his doubts vanished then, and he knew that everything was going to work out fine.
"Hermione," he sighed as he closed his eyes, willing his mind to bring him back to the time where everything changed for them.