"I love you Hermione."
Hermione gave him a kiss and told "I love you Harry, but I can't hurt the Weaselys. Not after they've lost a brother or son"
As soon as Luna Lovegood had finished helping heal the injured in the hospital wing, her mind turned to the man she was in love with, she wanted to thank him for rescuing her, to see him before he left with the woman she knew he loved. She was on her way to see him when she had the vision of him leaving and where he would go, her journey changed direction and she headed for the great hall.
The sound of the hard face slap echoed around the great hall, the shock of it staggering not only the recipient of the slap but also all those in the hall, the words they next heard were like another slap to all of them.
"You cruel, cruel evil bitch, to tell him that you love him and then walk away leaving him alone. The fucking Weasleys have only lost one of their family. He has lost everyone he ever loved, you are worse than Voldemort, you took away his very last hope. As the Old Magic is my witness, you shall never find happiness with Ronald Weasely. This I have seen, and so shall it be.
Five and a bit years later...
"So, Mrs Weasely, it's been five years. Five years since Harry told you that he loved you, and you told him that you loved him, only for you to turn around and betray those feelings by choosing Ronald Weasely instead. Ron, the one that nearly got you killed by a by a troll in your first year as a result of him calling you an 'insufferable-know-it-all', the one who never visited you when you were petrified in the hospital wing, the one who abandoned Harry at the start of the Triwizard tournament, the one who didn't believe you had a date to the Yule ball, the one who abused his authority as a prefect? The one who abandoned you and Harry during your hunt for the Horcruxes because of his ridiculous and insatiable appetite? The one who belittled you a every turn and gave you no support for your ambitions? "
"Your curse has held just fine Lovegood, the last five years have been perfectly terrible."
"It's Potter now, Mrs Potter to you. Lovegood is my professional and academic name. Your should realise, of course, that what said was more in the way of prophecy than curse. Though, if it had been considered truly just, it may have been given some power by the Old Magic. It's certainly possible, since I suppose that your rejection of Harry's love in favour of someone that you never loved – all because you didn't want to hurt the Weaselys after they had lost one and only one of their seven children. So you rejected Harry's love – the love of a true Hero who had been willing to die for the only woman he had ever loved, all because your were too much of a stupid bitch to realise just how much Harry had lost. He lost his parents when he was fifteen months old, then subjected to a decade of abuse. Then he lost his godfather, the headmaster – who he thought of as something akin to a grandfather, then Hedwig – his familiar. Then the final battle killed Remus Lupin – the last connection he had to his parents, and Nymphadora Tonks – his cousin, leaving his godson an orphan. And did you really think that the death of Fred Weasely didn't hurt Harry? With all that, it's hardly a surprise that the Old Magic may have chosen to extract some vengeance, especially considering that Harry had avenged the murder of Unicorns. But Old Magic has never been vindictive, so if you hadn't married Ron, had reconciled with Harry, you might well have had a happy life."
"Wait, if I'm the only woman Harry ever loved, how did you manage to become Mrs Potter? How you be happy with a man who doesn't love you."
"You think that Harry loves you? No, he hates Hermione Weasely. Harry loved Hermione Granger, but she's gone now. Her spirit began to fade when she altered her parents' memories, faded hugely when she rejected Harry, and had faded entirely when she chose to marry Ronald Weasely before even restoring her parents' memories. Anything that was left was certainly gone when you never returned to finish your education. As for my marriage with Harry, you of all people have no right to ask that question, given the state of your own marriage, but I will answer it anyway. Let me tell you the tale of the last five years, of how I helped Harry after you broke him, then you can tell me how your last five years have been, and we'll compare notes. I was the only person to follow Harry after he left, and I found him in Godric's Hollow, talking to the graves of his parents. I hugged Harry – you know that the hug you gave him in his first year is the first form of physical affection that he can remember receiving? I told him that I was sorry, that if I had known that he was going to suffer such a painful rejection for such a pathetic reason, I would have left the treatment of the injured to others, and been there for him. Then I promised to never leave him, and invited him to stay with me. The Rookery may have been destroyed, but Lovegood cottage was still standing, and given the lack of options, he agreed. We visited Teddy and Andromeda the next day, and I saw a little happiness in Harry when he held his godson. Even in his depressed state, was able to persuade me to do the hardest thing I have other done, and reconcile with my father. In September, all three of us left to go Snorkack hunting - Harry's first real holiday. Now, of course, I wasn't truly expecting to find anything, but Harry seemed to find some enjoyment, and hugging him as much as possible – which was a lot – seemed to stop him falling too far into depression, even if I was always the one who had to initiate any physical affection. Slipping into Harry's bed and holding him certainly seemed to help him sleep better. I don't know what daddy thought of it all, but he wasn't going to say anything against the boy that had not only defeated Voldemort, but also rescued his daughter and persuaded her to forgive him. It came as rather a surprise when Harry discovered a herd of crumple-horned snorkacks in Switzerland. I suppose you must have heard about that, it was even in the Prophet, even if it wasn't on the front page."
"No I haven't. One of the first things Ron did after we married was to forbid me from reading anything not related to quidditch. He'd have forbidden even that if he wasn't so lazy that he made me summarise the quidditch news for him."
"We'd found what we were supposed to be looking for, so we stayed and spent weeks carefully documenting everything we observed. Harry was happy to have achieved something important that didn't involve him killing something. One of the snorkacks managed to follow us home – apparently she wanted to be Harry's pet. Harry named her Jane, after Hermione Granger's middle name – strange how you lost your middle name when you got married. We take Jane to visit the herd, and make more observations of the snorkacks very often. Our work with the snorkacks got us awarded Swiss citizenship – in case Britain passed some stupid law that we had to flee from, like declaring snorkacks dark creatures. It also got me and Harry an ICW care for magical creatures mastery – father already had one, of course. Having an accomplishment that he could be proud of, and Jane's unconditional love, along with something in the way of family – me, my father, Andromeda, and Teddy, Harry was mostly over his depression. It made me terribly happy, when after the awards ceremony for our masteries, Harry was, for the first time, the one to initiate a hug between us."
"Ron hasn't so much as touched me since our wedding, except to beat me, since our wedding night. Even then, I expect it was only to consummate the marriage, and begin enforcing the magic of the marriage contract. I would like to see one of the snorkacks, but how did you know that I never went to restore my parents' memories? I was planning to do it after the wedding, but but Ron wouldn't let me, he said that he wasn't going to do anything for 'filthy muggles', and with the marriage contract in play, I couldn't do anything."
"Rather stupid of you agree to marriage without understanding the contract first, but that's just the sort of thing I'd expect from Hermione Weasely. I, for one, think it incredibly odd that you seem to have not wanted your parents at your wedding, though Ron's attitude is hardly a surprise. Anyway, rather a lot of the bigots survived the war, including Umbridge, and they soon wormed their way back into power, and started to try to pass some worrying laws. So Andromeda took Teddy and fled to Australia, where there would at least be no legally sanctioned discrimination against Teddy because of his status as the son of a dark creature. It's a good thing they did, given that the laws in place today would have allowed for him to be hunted down and executed by the department for regulation and control of magical creatures. Anyway, while we were in Australia, Harry happened to run across your parents. He was able to make use of the elder wand, and restore their memories. Your parents weren't entirely happy with what you did to them, but they could see at least some of the logic, and if you were the one to restore their memories, they would have forgiven you. But they were truly angry at you for the way you treated Harry, and you choosing to marry Ron without inviting them to the Wedding. Your parents chose to stay in Australia under their new identities, hoping that you had merely been delayed, and would come to them, but you never did. Teddy and Andromeda stayed with them, and with Andromeda's help, they've become the dentists of choice for the magical populations of Australia and New Zealand."
"My parents must hate me, and after what I've done, I deserve it."
"After more than a year, Harry had finally begun to initiate quite a few of our hugs. After a lifetime of almost none, Harry was beginning to seek out physical affection. Now at this point, nothing sexual had happened between us, not even a kiss. We were simply very good, affectionate friends. We'd split our time between Australia and Switzerland, preferring to spend very little time in Britain, and the time we did spend was mostly only to visit my father. Harry had started spending a lot of time reading. He hadn't been allowed much in the way of books by his relatives, and Ron 'Troll-Brain' Weasely made sure that he kept up that habit after he started Hogwarts. He went through a lot of muggle fiction to begin with – books that he'd wanted to read as a child but hadn't been allowed to Lord of the Rings, Narnia, Redwall. But then he picked up a Runes book because he wanted to do the Rune puzzles in the Quibbler – the puzzles that I was writing. I suspect that a combination of being punished for outperforming his rather stupid cousin when he was growing up, and having to fight off the effects of the horcrux had dulled his intellect, because he took to it like a duck to water. I started learning Runes with my mother when I was five, and Harry caught up in under a month. The overall realisation was that even with the income from our book on snorkacks, and my work for the Quibbler, being enough for us to sustain our lifestyle, not to mention the Potter and Black fortunes, was that Harry wanted us to complete our education, though of course you should never stop learning. We took our NEWTs in what we considered the most important wanded subjects – Transfiguration and Charms, along with a NEWT in Runes, with Harry also taking the OWL as well. Of course, it seemed rather strange to be taking our first NEWTs after we'd received our first mastery. Harry was enjoying the pursuit of knowledge, and we dived into the study of a new area – warding. Hardly surprising that Harry wanted to study a way to protect that didn't require him to fight. That required us to study arithmancy, and we did require some help with that. We had a stroke of luck though, and while out for dinner, we ran into a couple, that to our great surprise, introduced themselves as Nicolas and Pernelle Flamel – apparently they had never trusted Dumbledore with the real stone – although it should have been obvious that they would never have trusted the goblins with an artifact able to turn scrap metal into gold."
"I did wonder at the time why the Flamels would have such difficulty keeping the stone from a disembodied dark lord. I mean, they've kept it safe for centuries."
"Well, Grindelwald never tried for it. That one was obsessed with the hallows. Harry showed them his memory of the so-called protections and were horrified at the both the danger to students and the weakness of the protections. There were even more horrified given that they knew of a least a dozen ways to trap or destroy Voldemort's wraith, at least three of which Albus knew of, but it seems that he was blinded by prophecy. They were even aware of a ritual that could have taken the wraith and the horcruxes out all at the same time – though it would needed checking to make sure it would work for multiple horcruxes. The important thing is that Pernelle turned out to be something an arithmancy expert, and she agreed to teach us. Nicolas wanted to get in on the act as well, and ended up teaching us how to properly and safely prepare potions. It wasn't long before we took NEWTs in potions and arithmancy, and Harry came up with the idea of a 'passive' ward, one that would be inactive, and therefore almost undetectable until the requisite piece of magic crossed the ward. If we'd had it before, we could have warded against Voldemort's magical signature, which also would have warded against anyone bearing the dark mark. Of course, it has some potentially nasty uses, which is why we only submitted a practical demonstration, and thesis that consisted only of proof that it was possible. Even that was sensitive enough that the ICW didn't make it publicly available.
We went to another awards ceremony to receive our ICW warding masteries – the only people to have made a significant original contribution warding in the last century. By this point, we'd become at least a little famous in certain circles – not quite twenty, and we'd received two ICW masteries. It's rare enough that people receive more than one, and to have achieved our second mastery so young was unheard of. Given how we'd worked together, and were always seen in public with each other, some of the Swiss magical newspapers had come to the understandable conclusion that we were together in a romantic sense. Harry told me that he wasn't entirely unhappy with the attention – after all, he'd worked hard on these accomplishments, hadn't had to kill anyone, and most of the attention came from people who were unlike the brainless sheep that seem to inhabit most of the wizarding world – but that he would rather they got all the details right. I asked him 'Well, you can certainly see why they would think we're dating, but would it be so bad? I've loved you for years Harry Potter, and I'd certainly be happy to date you.' He told me 'Luna, you know that my heart has never healed, and I don't believe that I'll ever truly be able to love again. If you can live with a partner who is incapable of loving you, if you think that you can be happy with me, then I will do what I can to make you happy.' I kissed him before there was a chance for doubt to set in, and we had sex for the first time that night – I suppose you cannot refer to it as making love when only one of the people involved is in love, though that didn't stop us from enjoying ourselves. Harry woke up early, as is his habit, and apparated back to England to ask my father for permission to marry me. As it happened, Harry had to wake my father up before he could ask permission, but even so he was happy to give Harry permission – certainly no other man would have been thought worthy enough of me to be given permission so easily. I was quite surprised to wake up to find Harry with a ring proposing marriage, but the surprise wasn't going to stop me agreeing immediately.
We rushed the planning for the wedding, but with so few guests, there wasn't that much to organise. The only guests were my father, Nicolas and Pernelle, Andomeda and Teddy, your parents and Ollivander. I suppose Ollivander might be something of a surprise, but he was with me in Malfoy manor, and me and Harry are the only people he has ever made custom wands for, and so is responsible for Harry's rather unique wand – Oak with the tail hair of a crumple-horned snorkack as its core. Not to mention that Harry had begun to take something of an interest in wandlore. Now there was a rather interesting event when I accepted my wedding vows. It seems that Harry's relatives had been more successful than anyone though at 'beating the magic out of him'. He'd somehow walled off the majority of his magic to prevent outbursts of accidental magic. Now, there had been a couple of times over the years, like when he drove off over a hundred dementors, that he'd been able to access a little of the walled off magic. Those walls had begun to fall, but your rejection slammed them back into place, stronger than ever. Now between his pet snorkack Jane, his godson Teddy, along with his strong and physically affectionate relationship with me, and having something resembling a caring family in the form of my father, Andromeda, and your parents – you know that they consider Harry to be like a son to them, but have declared that you are no longer their daughter?, and more recently, Ollivander and the Flamels. I suspect the months of kinky sex helped too – Harry may not love me, but he certainly finds me attractive. So when I confirmed that I was tying myself to him for life, it washed away his fear of being rejected again, and those walls came tumbling down. Of course, this released a huge burst of magic, which could have been dangerous to anyone within a few miles, though I suspect not to those of us that Harry cared about. Fortunately, though, it seems that harry's bond with Hedwig was stronger than anyone could have expected. Hedwig's spirit was still bound to Harry, and there was enough magic being released to do almost anything, and it gave provided Hedwig's spirit with a new body – that of a phoenix, white flames with streaks of blue. We were also blessed with the presence of a herd of unicorns, who allowed us to pet them – rather a surprise, given what's usually said about unicorns and virgins. I suppose it might have had something to do with that master of death nonsense, but personally, if it was anything other than just Harry's magic, I believe it was an act of the Old Magic. We certainly caused a stir when we walked through Geneva's magical section, hand in hand, with Hedwig on Harry's shoulder."
By this point, Hermione had begun sobbing. Luna was only to the half way point of the five years, and already Luna had managed to describe a life that was in many ways what Hermione Grangerhad desired. Two ICW masteries - denoting original contribution to the subject, rather than the 'Teaching' masteries granted by individual ministries that denoted only a good grasp of the existing material. Luna hadn't mentioned it, but she knew the Black library was large, the Potter library was likely also large, the lovegood's printing press likely ensured a good collection, and they quite possibly had some access to the library the Flamel's have acquired.
"I haven't had an orgasm since I married Ron! He won't touch me like that – not that I think it would help, given what our wedding night was like. The marriage contract, along with Ron's orders disallowed even the possibility of self-gratification. I'm at home frustrated, while Ron goes out and uses his fame to pick up random floozies to shag. I'm reduced to the role of cook and maid, blamed for our lack of money - even though he was the one one who forbade me from working, he can't hold down a job, spends any spare money he has on whores and Chudley Cannons memorabilia, not to mention eating enough to feed a dozen people. He took my wand from me and hasn't allowed me to use magic, and beats me regularly – and it's all perfectly legal according to the law and the marriage contract, since I'm 'just a mudblood'."
"Do not look for sympathy from me, not after you nearly killed Harry with your rejection, but to continue with our story, Harry and I spent a year on what could be called our honeymoon – broke up by visits to my father, Ollivander, the Flamels, your parents, Andromeda and Teddy, of course. We travelled around the world, studying the different systems of focusing magic. We picked up some amount of wandless magic – Harry's raw power made it easier for him, and enough power bled over our wedding vows to help me with it. We collected all the information we could on the different focusing methods, and we began combining it with Ollivander's wandlore. It was our longest project yet, taking over a year, but we were able to devise a procedure that allowed for combining multiple cores in a single wand. Of course, at first it reduced compatibility since the magic had to be forced through both cores and even if it was an improvement, they were still inferior to single core wands, but we found inspiration from the nonmagical world and were able to, in essence, set it up so that the cores are in parallel, so most of the magic would be channeled through the best suited core, rather than each core in succession. That got us our third ICW masteries - and we currently hold the only masteries the ICW has ever awarded in the field of wandlore. For the last few months, we've been busy making custom multicore wands. Everyone who follows the ICW academic section wants one, and are willing to pay very well - upwards of 500 galleons a wand. Of course, my father, Andromeda, the Flamels and Ollivander were the first to receive multicore wands – as gifts, and we have one to give to Teddy when he's old enough. Hermione, do you know why I've taken the time out of my busy schedule to talk to a stupid bitch?"
"So far as I can tell, you've come come to show me what I lost when I rejected Harry."
"That's partly correct, though I'm also here to show you the damage you did to Harry. But if those were the only reasons, I expect I would have come after I married. No, I came today – and you were allowed to talk to me by your husband, because of a law that passed recently. Essentially, it states that if the 'mudblood' spouse of a pureblood wizard fails to provide him with a heir within five years for any reason, he has the right to sell his spouse – as property."
"But Ron only had sex with me once."
"The law makes no allowances for that – the 'mudblood' is automatically assumed to be at fault. Now Ron certainly wants the money – he always did have something of a short term view, and want gold galleons, as opposed to the silver sickles he gets selling you hair for use in polyjuice potion. You know, I have some hairs from Hermione Granger, and I've offered to take polyjuice for Harry, but he doesn't wish to be so disrespectful to her memory. I understand that both Draco Malfoy and Cornelius Fudge are even willing to pay 50 galleons for you – a bit less than the going rate, but then you have been married to Ronald Weasely for five years, so it's to be expected."
"So I'm worth a tenth of a fancy wand, and so this is some kind of interview?"
"I'll do anything, absolutely anything, just please get me away from Fudge, Malfoy and Weasely"
"You do realise that you would have very little say, given that you will be considered property. But really, anything?"
"Well, we have been looking at some sex based rituals, but one of them needs some of the ribs of the third participant to be vanished, requiring skele-gro regrow them afterwards."
"You mean that I'd get to experience magic again? I'll do it, and do it happily. On the few occasions I've been allowed out the house I've found myself hoping to be attacked, so that I could experience magic again, even if it was being hit with a cruciatus curse."
"Excuse me for a moment"
Luna stepped out of the room, and then came back a few minutes later with a wand in her hand that Hermione recognised, even after so long without it – vinewood and dragon hearstring, her wand. Luna handed the wand to Hermione who felt a familiar and longed for warmth run up her arm.
"You will start practising your wand movements – can't have you messing up charms because of sloppy wandwork now, can we? You will be good, since I did pay double what anyone else was offering for you. You've not apparated for a long time, so I'll have to take you side-along to our home in Switzerland. "
Hermione had been happier in the last hour than she had been at any point in the last five years – She had her wand back, and she was experiencing powerful magic – being apparated all the way to Switzerland.
That night, she found that Luna had been serious about vanishing some of her ribs to perform a ritual and then regrowing them with skele-gro. Hermione didn't care about the pain though, she was experiencing magic again, she'd been able to orgasm for the first time in several years and unlike the beatings Ron had given her, it was even contributing to magical research.
The next day, Hermione woke to a sight that she had all but forgotten about and given up hope of ever seeing again. Her pet, Hermione Granger's familiar, Crookshanks was curled up at the bottom of her bed.
Over the next five years, Harry and Luna made plentiful use of Hermione for their pleasure. Occasionally, but not often, in painful ways, and only when it was necessary for research purposes. Even so, Hermione was enjoying the experience. She was experiencing and performing magic again, and Harry and Luna not only allowed, but encouraged her to read. Five years without magic or anything even remotely intellectual had damaged Hermione's mind and magic, and it took three and a half years before her capabilities were restored to close what they had been before she married Ron.
After five years of service, Luna was able to release Hermione from her slavery.
"I don't want to be released. I want to stay"
"Hermione, I'm releasing you from slavery, not asking you to leave! Your parents are willing to restore your surname. I am Mrs Potter, but there still may be room for a Mrs Black. Are you prepared to become the woman you always should have been?"
"I am happy enough, but Harry is merely satisfied. I believe that Hermione Granger's spirit was not quite fully gone, and it has been restored enough that there is a chance she will be able to heal Harry's heart, and then there is a chance that Harry may come to truly love me. Not using magic for five ears weakened you to the point where you are unlikely to see sixty, and bearing children would likely kill you. Marrying Harry will let his power bleed over to you, and counteract that damage"'
A year later, Hermione Granger became Hermione Black, and with his broken heart healed, Harry was able to return Luna's love in full, just as he had loved Hermione Granger for so long. Hermione and Luna had also come to love each other, though not to the extent that they both loved Harry. Luna because Hermione had healed Harry's broken heart and allowed Harry to love her, and Hermione because Luna had rescued her from Ronald 'bloody git' Weasely, but most importantly, because she had been willing to share Harry with her.