My first Harry Potter piece online! Woo! If there are any mistakes or improvements I can make, please review and let me know!
All rights go to J.K. Rowling.
No matter how brainy she was, or how logical, Rose Weasley was still a girl. In the company of others she would scoff at tales of love at first sight or the perfect kiss. When it was just her and Mum at the kitchen table unable to sleep, the stories she loved most were about her parents. They were the quintessential happy ending; exactly what she wanted some day.
So when she found that note in the library, her world turned over.
It wouldn't have been that special to anyone else, a standard piece of parchment folded up and tucked into a crack between the stones of the back library wall. Not even the neat hand writing was very unique. What it said however...
Rose had felt betrayed in the first couple of days after reading it. Her mother had lied to her when she had laughed, "Oh honey, you've run me out of love stories!"
Then she had read it again and regained a tithe of sense. It had never said anything about her mother reciprocating the writer's feelings, or even knowing they existed. Perhaps it was Rose's turn to tell a love story.
It was the first day of summer break after her fourth year when Rose thought about the note again. Her dad was at work and Hugo was over at their cousin Albus' house, so it was just her and Mum.
The note burned a hole in her pocket as she examined her mother. Hermione Weasley-Granger had aged gracefully, accepting the signs of middle age without a fight. There were a few grey hairs and she had laugh lines forming around her mouth, but Rose had never seen a more beautiful woman.
"Mum?" she finally called from where she sat lazily at the table, "I think you have one more love story that you didn't tell me about."
Holding cups of iced tea, Mum raised an eyebrow. "What makes you think that?" she asked mildly, sliding one of the glasses across the table. She sat down on the chair across from her daughter, leaning forward with interest.
"I found this in the library when I was studying for my exams," Rose told her, plucking the old parchment from her jeans pocket, "It was in a crack in the wall and I couldn't help but be curious about it, so I read it." Eagerly, she offered the note.
Smiling, Mum took it. "My, this looks old," she mused, carefully unfolding it.
Rose watched carefully as her mother read it. Excitement built up, leaving her tapping her fingers against her forearms impatiently. Would Mum smile and say that she didn't know the writer? Would she be freaked out and tell her about this crazy stalker she once had?
The actual reaction was the last one Rose ever expected: tears. It wasn't bawling or really even crying, just a few salty drops slipping down her cheeks and a shuddering breath.
"Mum?" Rose asked cautiously, "What's wrong?"
"You found this in the Arithmancy section of the library, didn't you?" Mum asked, ignoring the question. Instead, she smiled sadly over the parchment at her only daughter.
Dumbstruck, Rose nodded. "How did you know?" she wondered, cocking her head to the side.
"Because that's where he studied all that year," Mum explained, caressing the parchment tenderly, "He would be there whenever he could get the time, always struggling to learn more and increase his chances of winning."
"Winning... the Triwizard Tournament?" Rose asked. Upon her mother's confirmation, she turned her gaze back to the parchment. She had a whole new respect for the writer.
"I'd run into him a few times before," Mum told her, chocolate eyes peering off into space as she remembered, "In my first year, and then studying in the library sometimes. He was always very kind to me, even before your father and Uncle Harry."
Rose leaned in further, eager to hear the story. "Then why were you crying?" she asked, gaze drifting to the note.
"Because I missed the chance to tell him I loved him too," Mum said softly, the smile on her face sad and almost painful, "As it was, all that ever happened were a few small conversations in the library and one dance that I'll never forget." She handed the parchment back, fingers dragging along the edge as it passed between her fingers.
"Don't you want it?" asked Rose, frowning slightly.
Mum shook her head. "That part of my life is done," she murmured, "Now that I finally have closure, I can truly move on. Thank you." She squeezed her daughter's hand with a sparkle in her eyes.
Squeezing back, Rose folded the note with her other hand. She tucked it back in her pocket, careful of its age. "Could you tell me about breaking into Gringott's again?" she requested.
This time, Mum laughed. The rest of the morning went quickly.
That night, Rose laid on her bed and looked at the note again. What her mum had said shed a whole new light on the boy who had written it over two decades earlier.
I don't know you, and chances are that you don't know me. But I can't go into this without saying it to someone, even if it's just through a note left in the library. This might be tossed away or never found, but at least I've said what I needed to.
Sometimes I feel like a sicko, watching her. She's only fourteen after all, while legally I'm an adult. It sounds wrong, it probably is wrong, but I can't help it. In not even a calender year, she's become everything I want.
The first time I saw her, she was in her first year. I didn't pay much attention beyond her bushy hair and plea for directions to Professor Snape's classroom, although even then I noticed that she had a spark in her eyes. I warned her that he was unpleasant, told her where to go, and promptly forgot about the incident.
Over the next couple of years, we would run into each other sometimes. It was never a very long encounter, just reaching for the same book in the library or going opposite ways down a corridor. Stories were always told about her and her friends and the trouble they would get into; the forbidden corridor, a basilisk and time travel were the least of it.
Then, I realized that she had grown up. It hit me like a rogue bludger as she climbed that hill the day before the Quidditch World Cup. Her body had grown and filled out, her hair had for the most part been tamed. The look in her eyes was older, wiser, but the same light of life was there and it drew me in. I was fascinated as never before.
It was partially for her that I even entered this Tournament. I wanted to give Hufflepuff a reason to be proud, I wanted to please my dad... most of all, I wanted her to notice me. It didn't work, since her friend Harry Potter was chosen as well.
I admit that I was a little bitter toward Harry for being chosen. Fame and glory had been his from a year old, so what did he need this for? He insisted that he didn't enter his name, but right up until the end of the first task I didn't believe him. Afterward... I was of age and I felt insane for entering. There was no chance that he had come into this willingly.
I spent more and more time in the library after being named a Triwizard Champion. The Tournament was dangerous and I needed to learn more new spells than ever just to stay alive. The only real bright side was that she was in there just as often.
Every time I saw her, it was nearly impossible to look away. It's endearing how she bites on her knuckle when she's concentrating. And it was all for Harry that she practically lived in the library.
I was jealous. Then the articles came out describing her relationship with Harry that provoked both envy and rage in me. Envy that he had what I wanted and rage that her name was being slandered for it.
With the knowledge that she was off-limits, I had asked Cho to the Yule Ball. She didn't know that she was a second option, or I don't think she would have gone. If my presence hadn't been required as a Champion, I'm not sure I would have gone.
Then she came in on Viktor Krum's arm and it was nearly impossible to look away. The whole night I struggled to pay Cho the attention I should have, knowing that the girl I had wanted to ask was right there and she had been available this whole time. I felt like a terrible date and a bloody fool.
Only when the night was almost over did I get up the courage to ask her for a dance. She had been crying for some reason and the sight left me hurting for her. It was the only reason I was even able to get the words out of my mouth, I just wanted to make her smile again.
The three minutes we danced were heaven. She was real and warm in my arms, her small hand in mine and her focus completely on me. It was all I had ever wanted and more. It felt like she belonged there. Eventually Krum wanted her back, and being a gentleman, I didn't resist. It hurt to pass her back to her date, but it hurt more to have to smile as I did.
Not even two months later was the second challenge. I had worked out the clue and warned Harry, hoping against hope that maybe he would mention me to her. I could tell that he did, because when she saw me next her eyes sparkled.
The second task came around and just as before, I looked for her in the stands. This time however, I couldn't find her anywhere. Cho was missing also, I had noticed. It made me uneasy, but I pushed it away.
For the second task, things had been taken from us that we would dearly miss and were guarded by merpeople at the bottom of the lake. I had been thinking of my broomstick when I was underwater. Seeing them tied up sent a shock wave through me; it wasn't things that had been taken, it was people! There was one of the Weasleys, a girl who must have been Fleur's hostage, and... her and Cho.
It wasn't difficult for me to decide which one I should rescue. When I saw Krum out of the corner of my eye however, I realized it wasn't an issue of what I wanted. I rescued Cho because I was supposed to and I've regretted it ever since.
Now as I sit in the library writing this, I feel strangely rushed. My pulse is racing and it's almost impossible to keep from shaking. If I told you that I wasn't terrified about tomorrow, I'd be lying. But it's more than that, it's like my body is trying to make up for a lifetime within a day.
She just passed by my table so close that I can smell her shampoo, something spicy but sweet. She even smiled at me.
I've just made a resolve. When I get out of the maze, I'm going up into the stands and I'm going to kiss her. I don't care anymore if she's dating Harry or Krum, I just want her to know how I feel.
And what I feel is overwhelming. Every time I see her I can't help but have this goofy grin on my face, and every time I see her smile, I do too. When she laughs, it's the most beautiful sound in the world and when she notices me, my heart skips a beat.
If somehow I die in that maze, this is something I don't want to take to my grave. I want someone to know, even if it's fifty years from now, that I'm in love with Hermione Granger.