AN: So, I am back. I meant to post this a few days ago but I got really busy at home and stuff. Then I fell into this deep, black hole of reading fan fiction instead of writing it. But I am back. I am hoping to update everyday like I did before but it may not happen. But I promise a week will not go by without an update and I will try to update every 2-3 days. Thanks for all the support guys. Forgotten but not Gone was my first fan fiction and the love you guys showed for it made me want to write more.
By the way for those who don't know this is a prequel to my Harry/Hermione story called Forgotten but not Gone. This takes place several years prior to the events in that story. You don't have to read that story to enjoy this one (I don't think) but it wouldn't hurt so check it out.
Read and Review. Thanks.
Harry was roused from sleep by a knock on the door. He had been dozing off on the couch in front of the fire. Harry sat up and looked around- his eyes landing on the clock on the wall. Who would be coming over at 8:00 at night unannounced?
Harry stood and stretched. He started for the door but jumped back and yelped when there was a crack of apparition in front of him.
"Is Master needing Kreacher to answer the door for him?" The elf croaked.
Harry yawned and grinned, "No Kreacher," Harry said. "I can get it."
"Is Master needing Kreacher to...do anything?" Kreacher asked.
Harry shook his head, "I am good. Thank you though. And I told you that you don't have to call me Master. Just call me Harry, alright?"
Kreacher didn't respond. He just shuffled away. Harry felt terrible. He wished Kreacher would retire but the elf was determined to keep waiting on Harry which made the young man thoroughly uncomfortable.
Harry shook his head and crossed the room and went to open the door. His best friend Ron Weasley was standing there look looking uncomfortable. "Hey mate," Ron greeted him. He tried to put a smile on his face but it didn't quite reach his eyes.
"Ron, are you ok?" Harry asked.
Ron nodded, "Can I come in?"
"Oh, yeah, sorry," Harry chuckled, "Sorry mate." he stepped back and let Ron inside.
The two went into the livingroom. Harry sat down in a chair and motioned for Ron to take the couch. The boys sat there quietly for a moment. Harry cleared his throat, 'Want something to drink? Water or a fizzy drink? Or-?"
"Got anything stronger?" Ron asked.
Harry stood up and grabbed a bottle of firewhiskey and two glasses from underneath a cabinet in the sitting room. He poured a glass for Ron and handed it to him.
"Cheers," Ron said tipping it back and sucking it all down.
Harry sipped his drink slowly. Then he said, "What's going on Ron?"
Ron rubbed the bridge of his nose and groaned, "I need to tell you something."
Harry froze and prayed to all that was good in the world that Ron wasn't about to confess that he had cheated on Hermione because not only would that hurt Hermione terribly but that would put Harry in an awful position. Not that he wasn't already there. Ron and Hermione's tempestuous relationship had made Harry's life unbearable for months. He never knew what to say when one was complaining about the other. Especially because Ron was wrong more often than not and he hated to admit that. "What?" Harry asked tentatively.
"I am breaking up with Hermione," Ron said. He looked nervous as if he were afraid Harry would hit him. Truthfully Harry wanted to.
"Why?" Harry asked, his voice sounding dangerously calm.
Ron raised an eyebrow, "Why?" he echoed. "You want to know why?" He shook his head, "Blimey, Harry where have you been the last eight months? Hermione and I are miserable. If we stay together much longer we won't be friends anymore. I can't live with that."
"You sure you aren't doing this because you want to snog other girls?" Harry asked ruefully.
Ron looked angry for a moment. He opened his mouth and then he closed it. He heaved a sigh and shrugged, "That actually may be part of it. I don't even know anymore."
Harry didn't know what to say. Should he talk Ron out of it? is that why Ron came here? Or was he looking for Harry to validate his behavior? Or did he just need support? "When?" Harry asked.
"I am taking her to dinner tonight. I plan to do it tonight." Ron said.
"In public?" Harry was floored. That seemed insensitive. But was their really any good way to break up with someone?
"Less chance of her making a scene," Ron said sheepishly.
Harry snorted,"Wouldnt count on it."
Ron chuckled and nodded, "I guess," he said. "I need a favor mate."
"What?" Harry asked tentatively. He wasn't sure he wanted to know.
"I am sure after we split up it will be awkward with her living at the Burrow," Ron explained. "I was wondering if Hermione could move in here with you?"
Harry nodded, "Of course," he said. Then he hesitated, "Ron, I think Hermione is going to be mad that we are making arrangements for her."
"Probably, "Ron admitted ,"But I need to know she has someone. I need to know she won't be alone. I maybe the world's biggest prat but I do love her, you know? I just don't know if I am in love with her."
"Then I suppose breaking up with her is the best thing," Harry told him. "Just promise that you will sensitive about it, alright?"
Ron made a face, "Of course I will," he said.
Harry walked Ron to the door. He hated what Hermione was going to go through with this break up but part of him believed it was best. Maybe he friends just needed some time apart to appreciate what they had. Either way he would be glad when the battle between Ron and Hermione came to an end.
Harry was awoken again. This time he was actually asleep in his bed and it was a bit later.
"Master Potter?" Kreacher was shaking him.
"Hmm?" Harry mumbled.
"Mistress Hermione is here," Kreacher said.
Harry sat up and looked around. It was taking him a few minutes to get awake enough to understand. He took his watch from the nightstand. Midnight. "Hermione is here?" Harry asked.
"She is waiting in the sitting room for you," Kreacher said.
Harry rubbed his face and put his glasses on. He stood up and stretched. He followed Kreacher out into the hallway. Harry jogged down the stairs. He saw Hermione standing in front of the door. She had some bags with her. "Hermione?" Harry asked.
She turned to face him and he could see she had been crying. She rushed him and threw her arms around his neck. "Harry!" she sobbed.
Instinctively his arms went around her, "It's alright," he soothed her. He rubbed her back.
"Ron and I- He-" Hermione was still sobbing. Harry's heart was breaking for her. He still believed the separation was for the best but to see Hermione like this...
Harry pulled back. With his hand on the small of her back he led her into the sitting room. "Sit down," he urged her. Harry took his wand from his pocket before he sat down and summoned them each a bottle of water. He sat down next to her and handed her the water. "Drink something."
Hermione smiled at him but there were still tears glistening in her large chocolate colored eyes. "Thanks," Hermione said. "I am so sorry to burst in here at midnight and dump all of my problems on you."
Harry waved her off, "I wasn't even asleep yet."
Hermione quirked an eyebrow and smirked, "Oh really? So they half lidded eyes and the rumpled hair is what exactly? A new fashion statement?"
Harry laughed in spite of himself and shrugged, "I might have been dozing but it's fine," he told her. "I will always be here for you- day or night. You know that right?"
Hermione nodded and took another sip of water. Silence fell around them like a blanket.
Harry cleared his throat, "Tell me what happened Hermione?"
Hermione put a hand to her forehead and sighed deeply, "Ron broke up with me."
Harry didn't like keeping things from Hermione but he didn't fancy her knowing that he and Ron had talked about her behind her back so he tried to look impassive. "Oh?"
Hermione narrowed her eyes and pursed her lips. Harry looked at his feet. "You knew!" Hermione accused. "You knew he was going to break up with me and you just let me walk right into it. Didn't you?"
Harry's head snapped up," I didn't know," he defended himself. "Well, I didn't know until tonight. He popped by before you went to dinner." He felt like a prat. He was wondering if he should have tried to warn her but he really didn't have time. Harry hung his head, "I am sorry."
Hermione's lip quivered, "No, I am sorry. This isnt your fault. I couldn't have asked you to intervene. That wouldn't be fair on you." She wiped the fresh tears off her face. "I shouldn't have been so shocked you know? Ron and I have been off for a while. He had been distant and I am sure I haven't been a ray of sunshine either. But when he said we should see other people I just felt so betrayed."
"Is this a break or is it permanent?" Harry asked.
Hermione shrugged, "I have no idea," she admitted. "Ron said we should take a break and see other people. I informed him that I was not going to do this halfway. We were going to be together or not. He got really angry and said that were done. I said fine and then he left me in the restaurant."
Harry groaned. That sounded like Ron but he had hoped Ron would be mature about this. "He just left you there?" he asked.
"Yup," Hermione confirmed. "Once I calmed down and settled the bill I went back to the Burrow. Ron want there. I have no idea where he was or what he was doing. I didn't want to wake up Mrs. Weasley so I left her a note."
"What did you say?" Harry asked. He didn't want to know what the Weasley matriarch was going to say about all of this. She was convinced Ron and Hermione were destined to be together. "In the note, what did you say?"
"I told her that I appreciated all that the Weasley's had done for me but that Ronald and I needed some time apart." Hermione chewed her lip, "I told her I would be staying here. Is that alright with you?"
"Of course," Harry assured her. "This is your home as long as you want it or need it." He put his hand on hers.
Hermione smiled again and this time she actually looked a little happier. "Thank you. Ronald actually suggested I stay here. I have to admit it irritated me to be sent away like a child and to be told where I should stay. I considered not coming here just out of spite but really? Where else would I have to go? Where else would I want to go?"
"I am glad you came here," Harry told her. "I would have been worried about you. I want to keep you close."
Hermione huffed, "I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself, Harry Potter," she told him. "I am sad about what happened with Ronald but I am not going to die from it. People break up all the time."
"You guys may even get back together?" Harry reasoned.
Hermione made a face, "Maybe," she said. "But I doubt it. I still love Ron but I don't think it could ever be the same. He chose to run away instead of fighting for us. I won't be able to forget that."
Harry shifted in his seat. The idea of Ron and Hermione being permanently done was strange. He always thought they would end up together. He always thought they would be forever. Of course there was time he thought he would end up with Ginny Weasley and that didn't work out either. Harry didn't know what to say to Hermione and he didn't feel like going through a Ginny Weasley pain spiral so he stood up abruptly. "You're probably tired. Let me show you to your room." He offered her his hand
Hermione took Harry's hand and let him help her to her feet. Harry magicked her bags to follow them up the stairs. Harry had been renovating Grimmauld Place for a while now but the process was slow moving. He only had two bedrooms in livable condition. His bedroom and the one right across from it.
Harry opened the door an ushered Hermione inside her new room. It had a bed, a closet and a writing desk. The walls were clean and plain white. "You can make yourself at home. Do anything you want in here. Make any change you want." He eyed the bags that had landed on the floor by the door. "Is that all of your stuff?"
"I have a few more things at the Burrow," Hermione replied.
"We will go tomorrow and get them," Harry said. Hermione looked at him wearily, "I will make sure Ron isnt there, ok?" Hermione relaxed and nodded. " Bathroom is right next door to your bedroom. It's all yours. I have an ensuite."
The two friends stood there in silence for a long moment. Hermione yawned and Harry chuckled, "I guess that is my cue to get out of your hair." He leaned over and kissed her cheek. "Sleep well Hermione. Let me know if you need anything?"
Hermione squeezed Harry's shoulder. "I will. Goodnight Harry."
"Goodnight Hermione," Harry said. He walked out of the room and closed the door behind him. Harry went to his bedroom and closed his door. He slipped off his shirt and climbed into bed. This has been a long day and Harry was exhausted. And he had a feeling the next few days would be just as exhausting.