* I own nothing, I just have fun. I hope you enjoy this!*
One month exactly, to the day if one were to be precise a strange man walked up to the burrow and knocked. The Weasley's were still in mourning for the loss of their son, and Arthur hesitantly answered the door, they had been bombarded with condolence owls and spontaneous visits. He opened the door and saw an old man standing on the door step.
"Can I help you?" Arthur asked wearily.
"I was informed that a Miss Granger has taken up residence here." The old man replied, his voice quaked with age and weariness.
"You have been informed correctly." Arthur replied slowly.
"I would like very much, that it is if it is not too much trouble, to speak with her for a moment." The old man shifted his weight, which was bearing down on an old twisted walking stick.
"Very well. May I have your name?" Arthur asked as he nodded his head slowly.
"Prince. Havenger Prince, sir." The old man began to cough.
"One moment, if you will." Arthur turned and left the old man standing on the doorstep. He walked into the kitchen where Hermione was seated, quietly nursing a cup of tea.
"Hermione, there is a man outside asking to see you. He's an old fellow by the name of Havenger Prince." Arthur gestured towards the front of the house. She looked up from her tea, her brow furrowed as she tried to recall the name.
"I don't know anyone by that name." Hermione shook her head, and sat her cup down gently. "But I'll go and speak to him." Hermione stood up and walked towards the front door, meeting the old man who now had his back turned to the door as he looked out over the fields. Hermione cleared her throat, and the old man jumped slightly as he turned around slowly.
"Would you happen to be Miss Granger?" The old man asked as he began to rifle around in his coat pocket.
"I am, sir." Hermione nodded.
"I was entrusted with a letter some time ago, with very precise instructions to deliver this to you, only upon learning of the death of its author. I was given such news, just yesterday." The man was still digging in his pocket. Hermione watched him, she didn't want to think about who set her a letter upon their death. So many had died, it could have been just about anyone. "Ah! Here it is!" He withdrew an envelope and handed it to her.
"Who is it from?" Hermione asked as she took the envelope. Her name was written on the outside, but nothing else.
"My great-nephew." The old man responded simply as he turned and began to walk away.
"Who would that be?" Hermione shook her head as she watched him hobble down the path.
"Read the letter, and you'll find out. Good day to you, Miss." The old man apparated when he reached the end of the path, leaving Hermione standing there with a strange letter in her hand, and confusion running through her mind. She took two steps back into the house, and closed the door staring down at the envelope in her hand.
"What was that about?" Arthur asked as he saw her come back in.
"He delivered a letter to me, from someone who died." Hermione looked up at him.
"A letter?" Arthur asked. "Who sent it?"
"I don't know." Hermione shook her head.
"Well if you read it, I'm sure they signed their name." Arthur put his hand on her shoulder.
"I think I'll go up to my room, and read it alone first. If you don't mind, of course." Hermione bit her lip.
"Not at all, I think that's a good idea. After all, you don't know what it says, or who it's from." Arthur patted her shoulder as she nodded. Hermione slowly walked away, never pulling her eyes from the envelope as she ascended the stairs to her room. She closed the door and made her way over to her bed, turning the envelope over; she broke the seal and pulled out its contents. Hermione took a deep breath before unfolding the letter, steadying herself she began to read.
If you are reading this, I have perished in this war. It is my most sincere hope that the light won out, and perhaps I lived long enough to see it come to pass. It is not my intent to upset you with this letter, rather I have found that no matter how many times I have attempted to talk myself out of writing this, I always sit and begin a fresh, and now you are reading it. I suppose this is my attempt at gaining some sort of peace of mind as they say. I have never once in all the years I have known you spoken to you in any manner which would lead one to believe we were friends, or that I even cared. I have cared, and thus the reason for this letter. Forgive me if this makes no sense, I have had little time for sleep and worries are beginning to take their toll on my mind and body. I am growing so very weary.
I feel the need to apologize to you, for everything I have ever said or anything I did that hurt you in anyway. You were always my best student, and you were always kind to me. You were kind, even though you had more than enough reason to behave otherwise. I thank you for that. Your kindness was the only comfort I had for a very long time. I knew you would be an asset to Harry from that first day in class. I am sitting here, remembering that first day, and I must admit I am laughing. You were very eager to show what you had learned. Would it surprise you to know you were the first and only student to ever behave that way on the first day in class? In my entire teaching history, you were the first and last. I regretted every unkind word I ever said to you, the moment it left my mouth.
You were a rose in a sea of thorns. I could see things that most of your peers could not, and I am sorry once again that you suffered emotionally at the hands of the students in my house. I do believe you shut their ignorant mouths at the Yule Ball. You looked like a goddess on that evening, if I may be so bold.
I am not intending to sound inappropriate.
As I write this, you are on the run. I do not know where you are, or if you are safe. I am worried. I am so very worried.
I do hope my uncle finds you, where I believe you will be once this war is over. Please forgive his lateness, he is very old and has no doubt delivered this letter long after I have been interred. You are no doubt at the burrow, right now. I find comfort in that thought.
It is my most sincere hope that you never have to lay your eyes upon this writing. I pray you never read what I have to say, it is my most ardent wish that I am able to find you, and tell you in person so you may hear the tone of my words, and see the expression of my face. I may hope for too much. I know I hope for too much.
I must tell you that you are brilliant, absolutely brilliant. You are aware of this, but too humble to acknowledge it. Do not settle, for anything or anyone.
I saw you in the forest, the night I brought Harry the sword. I am confident he shared with you, that which I shared with him. I did not share everything, I must confess. You have always been most observant, and it would not surprise me in the least, if you had already come to realize that fact.
I have one last secret, one thing no one knows for I have never once allowed my thoughts to pass my lips. I feared putting you in more harm, which was more than one person, could bear. It is already breaking me that you are in as much danger as you are. I would end this damned war now, if it were up to me. No. I would never have let it start in the first place. Yes, but alas I cannot change what is happening, or what will happen yet.
I am not sure when, what I am about to reveal to you occurred. I cannot pinpoint a single moment, or an epiphany that I had. I only know that at some point you planted a seed within me. A small seed that was sown into soil I thought had been sown with salt, yet the seed grew. I tell you this now because you are of age for me to do so. I also must stress that this realization has only been made apparent to me for this past year; it is not something I have harbored over your many years here. I give you my word. Somehow, in some manner unknown to me you made me love you. I do, I love you Hermione. I do not write this to hurt you. Please, do not feel any pain from my words knowing that I am dead. I do not intend to cause you any pain.
There is a moment, which lingers in time where I looked at you and saw you in a different way. There was a day when you looked up at me; you have the most caramel colored eyes that when the light catches in just the right manner, one can see the smallest flecks of gold. You have a habit of smirking when you are correct in your observations, and biting your lower lip when you are nervous. You also have a nervous habit of tucking your hair behind your left year, it is most endearing.
Alas, if you are reading this then I am gone. It matters not. If I were alive and there speaking I would ask if there would ever be a chance you could love me? I will never know, and wounds me most deeply. I had to tell you, in case the thought ever lingered across your beautiful mind, and now you know. I hope that I was able to see you once more before I fell. Perhaps you were there. No, I would rather you not remember me in that manner. There are few memories, I know, but only look to the ones that cast me in the most favorable light if you would, to remember me?
I wish you have great success in your life. I wish you love, and love without boundaries. I hope the man that wins your favor knows how very lucky he is. When you are an old woman surrounded by your children and grandchildren, and your time is drawing near, I hope you will take comfort in knowing that I will not be far from you. If you want me there, all you need do is ask.
You need not share this with anyone. You are free to do as you please. You may burn this letter once you have read it, and never think on it again. I will carry this secret into my grave, for you are the only one I have shared it with.
I love you.
Hermione refolded the letter and brushed away the tears that were streaming down her cheeks. She wasn't aware of at what point during the letter she had begun to cry. She buried her head onto her knees, clutching the letter. A knock on the door jarred her out of her tear filled daze.
"Yes?" Hermione asked, her face was blotched and swollen from crying.
"Hey 'Mione. I just wanted to check on you, Mr. Weasley said you got a letter…" Harry poked his head into the room but stopped talking as soon as he saw Hermione's face. "Merlin 'Mione, who is it if from?" Hermione shook her head.
"Close the door." She commanded, and Harry obeyed taking a step into the room. She handed him the letter, which he took hesitantly. He began to read, his eyes fervently moved over the parchment. When he was done he looked up slowly and met Hermione's gaze. He was speechless. "He loved me." Hermione whispered.
"Hermione…" Harry shook his head as he handed the letter back to her.
"No. Don't say anything, I just…I have to…I just need to be alone for a bit." Hermione's voice wavered as she fought the tears. Harry nodded.
"Alright,'Mione. Your secret is safe with me, no worries. I'm here if you want to talk." Harry turned and opened the door. He glanced back briefly to see her reopen the letter and begin to read it again. She was shaking, and he closed the door quietly leaving her to her thoughts and a love letter from a dead man.