Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
Foreword: Hey there, everyone! An idea came to mind when I was reading my story He's Mine. I wonder what it would be like if I were to tweak it a bit and make it to a full-blown story. Naturally, I couldn't get it out of my head until I wrote it down. Now here it is! Please enjoy!
By Romantic Silence
"…can't believe the Boy-Who-Lived did that…"
"…never really thought the Harry Potter would stoop so low…"
"…what did you expect after that Heir of Slytherin fiasco two years ago…"
Hermione frowned. She could hear the whispers of gossiping students as she strode through the aisles of Hogwarts Library.
It was only a week since Harry's name came out from the Goblet of Fire and binding him to compete in a dangerous, life-threatening tournament he didn't even want to be a part of. The rumor mill had been circulating since day one and there didn't appear any loss of momentum in sight. Harry was now thought to be a no-good, attention-hogging, stuck-up cheat and was now shunned by the majority of the school. Who cared what Harry had to say about all this! It most certainly wasn't Hogwarts.
It incensed her. Harry was the most caring and sensitive boy she had ever met. He was a loyal friend, putting the lives of his loved ones before him. Hermione knew right from the beginning that Harry would never have wanted to take part in the Triwizard Tournament – he had enough fame as it is. Whatever happened to the gratitude given to him for supposedly ridding them of Lord Voldemort?
The entire world turned their backs to Harry. They vilified him; they made him out to be something he never was or could ever be. All Harry ever wanted were friends and a family. Was that too much to ask? None of their friends believed him when he said he didn't place his name in the goblet. The worst culprit was their supposed best friend, Ron. He was supposed to stick with them and remain loyal; that was what friends do for each other! But he didn't do that – like the others, he demonized Harry's image.
Ron was not the only one that failed Harry. There was the faculty as well. Professor McGonagall, a professor she admired, was powerless to help him. Headmaster Dumbledore, the supposed greatest wizard of the era, could not use his immense power – magical and political – to save Harry from his situation. Figures of authority she had trusted had failed her best friend miserably. The pedestal she once proudly placed them on was now shattered.
There was no one that can help Harry.
There is no one except me.
The thought gave her pause. As much as she hated to admit it, she was the only person in position to help Harry. She was the only one within range that would do what must be done to ensure that Harry would come out of this competition safely. She was the only one that was able to reach Harry in time when he needed the emotional support he would surely need.
But can she do it? Can she do all this? She was just one girl after all…
"Hermione, are you here?"
The girl in question looked from side to side to find the source of the voice.
"I'm right here – through the slot in the bookshelf!"
Hermione turned around and, sure enough, she spotted familiar green eyes gazing at her through a small opening of the bookshelf. Her lips turned up into a bright smile.
"Harry," she spoke softly, "what are you doing here?"
She saw his eyes light up as he answered, "Just bored. There isn't much to do in the common room. Oh – um – stay right there, I'll come around."
Harry hurried with haste, noisily shuffling about until he reached her little spot between the bookshelves. She watched him bustle forward, a merry, boyish grin upon his lips. Hermione couldn't help but admire him. He was becoming very handsome and she could now see why James Potter was very popular with girls when he was in Hogwarts – at least according to Sirius.
However, Hermione didn't admire Harry currently for his physical appearance. It was because he looked so jovial in comparison to what his moods had been in the past few days. The amount of times he was seen smiling and laughing was becoming scarcer each day that passed since Halloween. It relieved her to see him return to the normal, carefree Harry she had grown accustomed to since they became friends.
"What are you browsing for?" Harry asked her curiously.
Her gaze perused through the selection of books in front of her, finding none that caught her eye, "Just something to read. I've already finished my assignments so… what? What is with that look?"
Next to her, Harry was barely containing his laughter.
Hermione puffed up cheeks and pouted, "I don't see how this is so funny."
"Hermione today is Friday!" He proclaimed, as if that answered the question forming in her mind.
"I don't see how that is relevant to the topic, Harry." She said, arching her eyebrow inquiringly at him.
His shoulders sagged and he elaborated, "It's a beautiful day outside. The weekend is just beginning. Let's head on down by the lake and just relax in the outdoors rather than be cooped up here in this stuffy castle."
Her initial reaction was to decline and answer that she was perfectly fine staying inside to read her chosen books – something she always did on Fridays. But she caught something flickering in Harry's eyes. It was only for a moment, but she saw fear, sadness, and anger pulsing through him. Immediately, Hermione understood. Something had happened and Harry wanted to get away.
"Okay." Hermione answered him with a smile.
"Brilliant! I asked Ron to come earlier but he didn't want to… he… still doesn't want to speak to me." Harry murmured, his voice slowly disappearing as Ron's name escaped his lips.
Hermione now knew what happened. Harry's attempt to reconcile with Ron failed again.
Gently, Hermione took Harry's hand and rubbed the top of it comfortingly with her thumb. "I always wanted to walk around the Black Lake, but I never had the time. Why don't we go now?"
Her best friend excitedly turned and began leading the way, Hermione trailing after him. Her thoughts returned to the topic of whether or not she could help him get through all this by herself. And she found the answer. The answer was that yes, she could do it alone. Harry was her best friend and he needed her now more than ever. She was the only one Harry would ever need. She would make sure of it. Anyone else would be a bonus.
I'll always be there for you Harry. I swear it.
She thought of Ron. She thought of Voldemort. She thought of Dumbledore, Snape, and McGonagall. Hermione thought of every single person that was so fickle in their thoughts of Harry. A dark look crossed her features as she followed Harry in his shadow. She would do anything it takes to keep Harry alive, healthy, and happy.
Even if it means turning wicked.
Afterword: Well, what do you think? Is it any good? How dark should I make Hermione be? Did you enjoy the writing style? Please tell me your thoughts and feelings.