Chapter Three: Reunion.
Hello my faithful readers!
Now, I'm sure those of you who have followed this story will know, but this will be the final chapter for this story. I have decided, after being swamped with reviews, to continue it as another story. So, this one will remain a three shot. I hope you enjoy and please review!
Without further ado, I present chapter three...
A cool ocean breeze swept across the landscape, making the grass bend and shift like the waves in the sea; the sky was a serene blue, not a cloud marring its complexion; and an assortment of birds twittered conversationally in the trees.
As she lay in this paradise, she sighed in pure contentment. Her mind was relaxed and completely at ease. As the wind gently brushed the hair from her forehead, her face tingled comfortably, and the warmth of the sunshine made her smile. Her mind was empty of thought as she lay in this tranquil Eden.
But there was something wrong.
That single word, "wrong" filtered through her mind, echoing loudly in the depths of her consciousness. Slowly, her mind began to re-engage with her surroundings and she opened her eyes in confusion.
This land was indeed a utopia; its natural beauty unmarred by neither the wizard nor muggle worlds. But it was wrong; it felt wrong. She shouldn't be here. How did she get here? It looked like nowhere she had ever been.
She pushed herself up onto her elbows and scanned her surroundings. It all looked so perfect; too perfect. A dictionary definition of 'paradise'.
Slowly her mind began to dredge up her most recent memories. Chronologically organised images flashed through her thoughts; death of Dumbledore; wedding at the Burrow; Grimmauld Place; the Ministry; Horcrux hunt; Godric's Hollow; Forest of Dean; Gringrotts…Hogwarts…death of Voldemort…celebration…Harry…
Her mind stopped. Harry. A strangled sob came from her throat as her mind caught up. Tears streamed down her face as his smiling face flashed before her eyes; his slow descent as he fell backwards; her scream when she saw the speck on the ground…
But there was more; three days' worth of memories which were full of pain and misery; then the final day; the day of Harry's wake…her final day. She remembered walking into the Great Hall, climbing up next to him and drinking the vial…
And then here.
She blinked the tears from her eyes as she looked around once more. Her logical brain screamed as it tried to make sense of her surroundings. Suddenly, it hit her. It seemed obvious now.
She was dead.
The vial was filled with a fast acting poison; completely painless and killed in a matter of minutes. She remembered it was like falling asleep. Clutching Harry's unmoving chest, her eyes slowly shut and she fell asleep, only thinking of seeing him again.
So where was he?
If she was dead, then where was he? In all the stories, a person's family and loved ones were there to meet you when you died. As far as she could tell, there was no one in this paradise but her and the birds.
She turned her gaze to the sea, tears falling from her eyes, listening to the gentle lapping of the waves on the sand. As she listened, the other sounds seemed to die, hearing only the water on the beach; and then, nothing.
The area around her seemed to become silent. There was no noise. Nothing. She closed her eyes, straining her ears to pick up anything.
And there it was.
Soft, crisp footfalls on the grass. They were steadily heading toward her, the meadow parting with a rustle as they advanced. It was melodic; a stable rhythm echoing in the silence around her. As she listened, it suddenly stopped. A breath caught in her throat. The hairs on the back of her neck stood on end and she shivered.
Slowly, her eyes opened and she sat up, keeping her back to the figure. With a deep breath, she pulled herself to her feet and turned around tentatively. As her eyes met the figures, a single tear fell from her eye and journeyed down her cheek.
There he stood.
As he looked at her, his emerald eyes glistened with warmth and love, although there was an underlying sadness in them; his raven black hair was blown around gently by the noiseless wind; he was wearing a thin cotton shirt with matching shorts, standing barefoot; and a lopsided smile graced his features.
She stood there for a minute, staring unbelievingly, drinking in his features as if he would be cruelly snatched away once more. But he didn't fade and he didn't move. The gentle wind rustled his clothes and hair but he remained motionless, hands in his pockets, staring back at her lovingly.
Finally, she broke the silence with a single word.
"Hey." That was all she could say. She sifted through her mind, trying to find a more appropriate response, but there wasn't one. Harry's smile grew even wider and tears fell down his face.
"Hi." He replied, his voice thick with emotion.
With the one word greetings out of the way, neither moved a muscle. They stood, staring at their counterpart, unmoving. Finally, with a light sob, tears streaming down her face, she ran at him with wild abandon.
Stretching his arms wide, he caught her and held her tight, spinning her around him in pure joy. She laughed in delight as he span her, their eyes never leaving each other. Putting her back on the ground, their arms still encircling the other, they leaned forward in tandem; their lips meeting in a joy felt reunion.
After a moment, they broke apart breathlessly and leant their foreheads together enjoying the closeness in this tender moment. She felt as though there was so much she wanted to say, but her words escaped her.
While she thought, Harry pulled away and cupped her face with his gentle hands, stroking her cheek with a calloused thumb. He smiled tearfully, his eyes twinkling with joy as he held her once more. Leaning forward, he kissed her softly before saying four words.
"I love you Hermione." She returned his smile two fold and held him tightly, before whispering in his ear.
"I love you too."
They sat side by side on the grass, holding each other loosely, heads leaning together as they looked out across the beach and out to sea.
With those four words, all the sadness, grief, misery and anger which had plagued the end of their lives were banished, fading away from their minds.
They were together again.
Nothing else mattered.
Thank you for reading.
This story has been one of my favourites and I'm glad its finished. It may not be much, but it took a lot to write and I'm very proud of it. Now, this story will be continued as another fic 'Rebirth: A Second Chance.' Please have a look if you get the chance!
This is the Quill, signing off!