Confiding in a stranger

Harry hadn't met Hermione's parents before. He knew and was friends with Hermione for over 7 years, been through a war with her, fought alongside her, faced death with her. And he never even met her parents.

He felt guilty for that. That he hadn't even taken the time to ever meet her parents. She was his best friend, his confidante. He trusted her with his life, and he hadn't even met the people who raised her, the people who helped her grow into the woman she had become in the seven years he knew her.

But here he was, standing outside their door, on the sidewalk. Hesitating to go in, because he didn't know how her parents would feel about him. If they would blame him for the danger Hermione had been through. If they would blame him for the necessity to send them to Australia.

He wasn't a Gryffindor for nothing though, and he had faced far worse thing than meeting his best friends family. Hermione had invited him, because she had told her parents so much about him, about them.

"Come on, Harry. I don't know why you're nervous about this." Ron said, pulling Harry out of his musings. The redhead chuckled. "You're acting as if you're the boyfriend she's introducing. You're just the best friend."

"Yeah, maybe. But I'm the reason she's been through a war." Harry glared at his friend.

"You know it was her choice, mate. She knows that, and I doubt even her parents could change her mind about something she thinks she's right about." Harry chuckled at that.

"Yeah, you're right, I'm worrying about nothing." He pulled his courage together and walked the short distance to their door, closely followed by Ron.

Before they could ring the doorbell, the door was banged open and Hermione came running out, throwing herself onto the two boys.

"Oh, I've missed you two so much. Really, you should have come last week." Harry chuckled and pushed the girl into the redheads arms, after she had kissed his cheek.

"You needed time to reconnect with your parents, Mione. But we missed you too. Grimmauld wasn't quite the same without you."

Ron nodded, before he kissed his girlfriend. After a few moments of awkwardness for Harry, they pulled apart. Hermione grabbed both of their hands and pulled them inside.

"Mum, dad! They're here!" Hermione yelled, leading the boys into the kitchen. "Have a seat." She said, while she started nervously rummaging through the cupboards. "Any tea?"

"Hermione, sweetie. Sit down, I'll make the tea." Mrs. Granger walked into the kitchen, closely followed by Mr. Granger.

After introductions were made, and conversation about everything that happened the last couple of years started up, Harry's worries were proved unnecessary. They didn't blame him for anything. In fact they were proud that Hermione proved to be raised right, by standing ground and trusting and believing in her friend.

After a couple of hours, they had diner, which was delicious and after, when Hermione, Ron and her mother went up to Hermione's room to pack some of her childhood stuff to take back with them to Grimmauld, Harry was left alone with Hermione's father.

"So Harry, tell me, do you have anyone waiting at home for you?" Mr. Granger asked, swirling his wine in his glass before sipping from it.

Harry hesitated. "I'm not quite sure, sir."

"What do you mean, son?" Mr. Granger looked at him thoughtfully.

"I used to date Ron's little sister, Ginny, before the war. But with everything that happened in the war, and well, with the rebuilding of the Wizarding world, I just feel so much older than her." He hesitated again, not sure if he could burden his friend's father with this.

He had talked it over with Hermione a lot, before she had left England with Ron to search for her parents in Australia, but that had been a couple of weeks ago. He had mulled it over a lot, weighing his options. He figured he could use a new look on things.

"And that's just not it. I feel older, yes, but I don't quite want her exposed to the press as much as I am. She's going to be in the press, she is considered to be a warhero too. Although on a lesser scale than the three of us, not meaning to sound conceited, sir."

"Not at all, young man, from what Hermione told me about you, and what I've seen this afternoon, you are one of the most humble young man I've ever met." Mr. Granger said, and patted Harry on his shoulder.

"Thanks sir. That means a lot to me." Harry smiled.

"So what's the other reason, I've got a feeling there's more than this to it." The older man asked him.

Harry blushed. "Well yeah, I've not told anyone this before, so I'd appreciate it if you could keep it to yourself, till I've told Mione and Ron."

"Of course, son. If you feel like you can trust me with your secret, I'll keep it in confidentiality." The dentist winked. "I am a doctor after all." Harry laughed.

"Uhm, well, I think… I'm not quite sure how to put this… I've met someone… Well that's not right, I've know them for almost as long as I know Mione and Ron. Well… Not as well as I know them of course, otherwise I wouldn't…" Harry's thoughts turned inwards.

"Take your time, son. The three of them will be busy for some time, if I know my wife, and I'd like to believe I do, she'll have the talk with the two of them before they'll pack." Harry chuckled.

"I'm glad I don't have to be around for that." Mr. Granger winked and got up. "Some more wine, Harry?"

"I shouldn't, I still have to apparate home later, but I think I'll need it to finish this conversation." Harry smiled a bit greenly.

"You don't have to tell me, only if you want to, son." Mr. Granger said, pouring some more wine into Harry's glass.

"I know, sir. But I think it'll be good for me to say it out loud, you know. To make it more real." Harry sipped from his glass, putting it down, picking it back up and draining it. The older man chuckled and refilled Harry's glass.

"I think I might be gay." Harry said, throwing it all out at once. He didn't dare looking up at Mr. Granger, afraid that the dentist would be disgusted with him.

"Oh." That's all the older man said. Harry chanced to look up and the man winked at him. "So, what's his name?"

Harry smiled gratefully. "Professor Snape, sir."

Mr. Granger raised an eyebrow. "THE professor Snape? The potions professor that used to make every students life miserable?"

Harry blushed again. "Yeah, that one. He's actually not that bad. It was a front he put up, to be believable as a spy. Voldemort or the Death Eaters would have found it strange if he was nice to the students."

Harry drank again. "He's actually quite… How shall I put it… Tolerable? Nice sometimes even. I spend a lot of time with him, in between the rebuilding of the school, visiting him in the hospital. He was poisoned by Voldemorts snake. Right in front of us, actually, and we believed he was dead. Fortunately, after the battle I wanted to go and get his body. So I took the school nurse with me, she wouldn't let me out of her sight until I was lying in one of her beds." Harry chuckled.

"We were just on time. Apparently Severus had lost consciousness when we were with him, but he had awoken a few minutes after we left, taking a blood replenishing potion and antidote for the snakes venom. But if we had come half an hour later, he wouldn't have survived. He needed more help, but he was too weak to get it on his own." Harry shuddered; he didn't like to overthink the consequences of getting there too late. Fortunately they were.

Mr. Granger just listened, never once interrupting him, when Harry told him about Snape's life and their talks in the hospital. Severus didn't quite like the visits at the beginning, but he put up with it, and over the six months he was in the hospital, they had formed an amiable friendship. Severus had even invited him over at his home two days ago, when he left the hospital, but he had said he had to settle in first.

So Harry shared his hopes with Mr. Granger and his fears. "I'm scared that he doesn't want anything to do with me, now that he is out of the hospital." Harry's hand trembled when he raised his glass to drink again.

"So tell him how you feel." Mr. Granger said softly.

"What?" Harry's eyes went big. "I can't tell him." His hands started shaking even more. "Then he really won't want anything to with me anymore."

"Harry son, if this war, learned me anything, is that you have to grab any chances you have. To do anything you have to do, to be happy. I nearly lost my daughter, my beautiful little girl, and I wouldn't have even known about it." Mr. Granger looked lost for a moment. "I lose sleep over it. So does my wife. What if she hadn't survived."

Harry felt a pang of guilt once more.

"Anyway, Harry, that's not what's important, she survived, and she's safe. But you have to tell him, maybe you should first talk to Ginny, explain why you can't get back together anymore. Then you tell him. If he doesn't invite you over, go to his place. Talk to him." Harry nodded barely noticeable.

"I know. But what if he doesn't feel the same?"

"Then you know." Mr. Granger said. "And maybe he would still be willing to give you a chance. But you would have tried everything you could. And you won't be haunted later with what ifs."

"I know, sir. But it won't be easy."

"Love isn't meant to be easy. But believe me. It'll be worth it." Mr. Granger smiled softly. "Trust me. And I think we better change the subject now, I think I hear the others coming down the stairs."

Fin