Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters within and no offense or insult was meant by the creation of this story.
Author's Notes: I was trying to make sense of things in my head after I read the JKR interview where she and the interviewers basically had a good laugh about how 'delusional' Harry/Hermione shippers were. To her credit, she never actually used the term herself, but the implication was clear. Things truly don't add up for me. I just wanted to ask 'why?' It may be over for Rowling, but it will never be over for me. But I would still like to know the reasons why. I guess we will never know.
The Creator of this world, otherwise known as 'J', found Hermione sitting under a tree by the lake. The girl watched in fond amusement as the giant squid juggled some rocks.
"Hermione," J said gently.
The girl glanced toward the voice and her smile faded.
J noticed this, but she didn't comment on it. Instead, she said, "I've been looking all over for you. We need to go through a run-through of the new chapter."
"Can't we take a break?" Hermione asked plaintively. "The sixth book just came out last week."
"You've never been one to shirk work," J said with some concern. "Is something wrong?"
Hermione bit her lip, obviously contemplating the question. She finally said, "I would just like some time alone if that was okay with you."
J realized that Hermione was refusing to meet her eyes. Her concern grew, so she knelt down on the grass beside the 17-year old girl. "Are you worried about what people are saying about you? It should pass soon. Some people are just going to dislike you no matter how I write you."
"It is partly that," Hermione admitted. "I know that I can be pushy and annoying sometimes, but that's just who I am. Most of the time, I can ignore the people who say that Harry and Ron are only my friends because I help them with homework and keep them alive, or the ones that say I'm just a know-it-all suck-up that gets more attention than she deserves. I know those things aren't true though."
"But now..." J prompted when Hermione didn't continue.
"But now what they say has some truth to it!" Hermione cried. "I don't know who I am anymore! I'm helping people cheat, leading boys on, acting like Harry's an irritant rather than a friend, and I've hardly done any research this year. Not on the Prince's book or new defense spells. I gave up so easily on looking for information on Horocruxes, and I didn't mention the D.A. or S.P.E.W once this year!"
"I don't think that means you were a different person," J replied patiently. "I was trying to show that you could be a regular teenage girl. You're more than a walking encyclopedia, Hermione. You may be wise beyond your years, but that doesn't mean you've finished growing up."
"That's fine," Hermione said in a tone that plainly said it was not. "But that doesn't mean I had to stop doing all the other stuff I always do or turn my back on my principles. Was I really growing up or just regressing?"
J sighed. It was such a hardship being an author sometimes. Characters had a tendency to take on a life of their own and their wishes could go against hers. Hermione, in particular, constantly butted heads with her. That wasn't too surprising since Hermione was the embodiment of her rational side.
She truly cared about her creations, but she had to go with what she believed to be right. J was proud that she had written such a strong female character, but she could be mildly annoyed by it as well.
"You're my favorite character, Hermione, but I do not appreciate you speaking to me in this manner."
"Sometimes I don't feel like your favorite character," Hermione muttered.
J decided to let the comment pass. "What is this really about? Is this about you and Harry again?"
Hermione reddened and didn't reply.
"Oh, Hermione," J said with sympathy. "You and I both know that was never a real option. It simply wouldn't work."
Hermione looked down at her feet. She said softly, "It's just so hard for me to believe that everything in Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix was just one big red herring."
"It wasn't supposed to be easy to spot. That's how red herrings usually work," J said, trying to make a small joke.
Hermione's frown didn't even flicker. "But it seemed like so much effort for so little gain. Most of the readers never even caught on that you were trying to throw them off the track. And you must have been trying to do that because why else would you spend so much time showing what good friends Harry and I were? That was already rather obvious. I just don't get what you were trying to accomplish."
Her brow furrowed in thought. "What was the point of the talk between Victor and Harry? Why did you restate the point a year later by having Cho be jealous of me? Why did you even bother writing the Grawp scene or Grawp for that matter if they had no relevance to the plot? Why did you put so much emphasis of my kissing Harry on the cheek 4th year if it was simply platonic? I could understand you doing one or two of these things as trick but all of them?"
"Like I said, I was trying to trick the readers-"
"Well, it didn't work!" Hermione exclaimed. "Or maybe it worked too well. It seems like you spent so much time trying to point people toward a Harry and Hermione relationship that you forgot to put up any real supports for the official relationships you were really going for!"
"Hermoine!" J said with some irritation.
Hermione ignored her. "Why did Harry pull me away in the Department of Mysteries if Ginny was the one in danger? Why did he react so badly to my supposed death? Why didn't you have Harry and Ginny run around defeating Death Eaters? Why did you give Luna a crush on Ron then just practically ignore her existence the next year? Why did I act so strangely when Harry described his kiss with Cho? Why did I interrupt his date in Hogsmeade? Why-"
J tried to interject. "The plot requires that you and Ron-"
Hermione interrupted again. "And that is my biggest problem. I guess I don't really mind being paired up with Ron. I just wish that it made more sense. I could have cared less when Ron became Keeper. I almost always ignored Ron in favor of Harry. I was ecstatic over Harry's Christmas gift and never even wore the perfume Ron gave me.
"Why is it that Harry will at least talk to me or try to see things from my point of view when he's mad with me and Ron won't even try? People say we fight like an old, married couple, but couples who stay together that long have learned how to handle conflict. But when Ron and I fight, neither of us actually ever apologizes nor tries to fix the problem. We only became friends again in HBP because Ron got hurt! In Prisoner of Azkaban, Ron only got over the Scabbers thing because of Hagrid and Buckbeak. You can't expect a near-death disaster to happen every time we have a fight!
"And you'd think I'd have more self-respect than to pine after Ron after he made his move with Lavender. Do you really think that Ron getting a chance to snog a girl would, in your words, 'make him worthy' of me? I would have thought him treating me with more respect would have done that. More red herrings, I presume?"
Hermione now stared directly into her creator's face, anxiety but also bewilderment etched on her face. "I do not wish to offend you, but this plan seems excessively more elaborate than it has to be. I can't help but wonder if your subconscious knew more than your conscious mind evidently does."
J found herself getting angry. She said coolly, "And despite all these so-called points, most of my readers still believed that Harry and Ginny would get together along with you and Ron."
The fire in Hermione's eyes dimmed and she sagged against the tree. Then in a barely audible voice, she said, "And that may be the saddest and most disturbing thing of all."
J took a deep breath. "We're not getting anywhere with this. It was never my intention that Hermione Granger herself would be a Harry-Hermione shipper. You are obviously in a real pain, so I will give you some time alone, but you have to learn to accept the truth. I'm sure that with time that you will see that it's better this way."
J stood up, dusted her pants off, and vanished from sight.
Hermione stared up at the blue sky, remembering when her life hadn't been so muddled and she had been full of hope and optimism for the future.
"Is she gone?"
Hermione nodded and watched as Harry took the Disillusionment Charm off himself. He looked at her with compassion in her eyes. He sat down beside her and she leaned her head against his shoulder.
Harry began to stroke her hair. "Hermione, I wish I could make you feel better, but I don't really understand. We're together here, aren't we? Isn't that the important thing?"
"I guess so, but I would have liked to stop hiding our relationship. It would have been nice if this really happened onstage."
"I guess you'll just have to be satisfied with having me behind the scenes," Harry replied with a slight raise of his eyebrows.
Hermione giggled slightly. "Oh, stop it." She sighed again. "I just hate disappointing the people who really believed. They're being accused of seeing things that weren't there, but Harry, those things were there! Maybe they misinterpreted those things, maybe they were misguided, but they weren't delusional. They didn't just imagine it all, right?"
Harry intertwined his fingers with hers. "No, they didn't."
Hermione gazed fondly at her boyfriend, her best friend, and the person who knew and liked her for who she truly was. "At least in some plane of existence, the world makes sense."
He pulled her body closer to his. "I'm afraid that I can't change events in the real world, but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy ourselves here. Well, maybe not here. I think we need a break from Hogwarts for a while."
"Where are we going to go?" Hermione asks, watching Harry pull a Galleon out of his pocket.
"Wherever the portkey takes us."
Harry and Hermione had time for a brief kiss before they swirled out of sight.