Unofficial Portkey Archive

It's Never Too Late by utkari02

It's Never Too Late


Title: It's Never Too Late

Author Note: Please don't kill me for leaving the flashback like that! *Hides behind the bushes!*

She awoke with a start. She didn't even realize she had her wand in her hand until she focused on the person standing at the foot of her bed with their hands up. Apparently she still hadn't outgrown her reflexes from years on the run from Voldemort.

"Woah, Hermi, calm down."

"Don't call me Hermi." Hermione said groggily, lowering her wand, "You know I hate that nickname."

"You let Harry call you a nickname" said the male voice, indignantly.

"Why must you always bring that up, Carl, you know that's different. He's my best friend and we've been through a lot together. You know that. Stop being jealous." She said as she reached over to turn on the light.

"Who says I'm jealous? I'm just stating the fact that everything is always different with Harry." Carl said. "'We're best friends.'" He mocked, "'I've known him forever.' 'We've been through so much.' 'He's the only one that's been there.'" He paused. "You know what, Hermione, you're my fiancé, and I'm really starting to get tired of you defending your unhealthy relationship with him. You know he's in love with you, why do you keep acting as if you're just friends?" Carl half-screamed.

"Carl." Hermione said, too sweetly. "Stop." She said, completely changing her demeanor, "You do not want to get me started on defending mine and Harry's relationship again to you. Because you know what, Carl, I'm sick of having to defend it in the first place. And you're right; we're not just friends we're more than that. We're best friends, and nothing you do or say is ever going to change that. We've been engaged for six months, and dating for a year before that; you'd think you'd be able to get that through your head in eighteen months." Hermione shouted.

"How can I get over it when it's constantly shoved in my face? 'Harry this.' 'Harry that.' 'Harry's taking me…' 'Harry got me…' 'Harry says…' It's bloody ridiculous Hermione. You talk about him constantly, he's always around, or taking you out to lunch, or meeting you somewhere. And I'm… I'm done. You've got to choose Hermione. Him or me." Carl yelled.

"Him." Said Hermione simply.

"Him? That's it? Not even gonna stop to think about it eh?"

"It's not like it's a hard decision Carl. My life started the day I met him. We've been there for each other for over fifteen years. You've no idea what we went through together."

"That's because you've never told me!" he screamed

"What do you want me to say?" Hermione asked, running out of steam. "That we've almost died together countless times? That we watched our best friend, our brother, die together? That we've killed together?" She drew in a ragged breath. "Is that what you want to hear? Because that's the truth." She sunk down on the bed. "We're always going to be in each others' lives. That's just how it is." She paused. "The only question that's left is whether or not you're able to live with that." Hermione closed her eyes, completely spent. She hadn't had an outburst like that in a long time. It wasn't long before she lay down on the bed and drifted off to sleep, but not before she heard quiet footsteps cross the room and exit out of the door, and her life.

Hermione awoke with a start. She was not surprised to see that this time she didn't have her wand in her hand. Her subconscious knew as well as her conscious mind who was in the room with her. He was lying on the settee at the foot of the bed, and he looked most uncomfortable. She smiled at the thought that he'd risk back cramps rather than just staying out in the living room on the couch. She sat up, and with that movement, the blanket she didn't remember using fell to her waist. She silently got out of bed and walked over to him.

"Harry," she whispered, gently caressing his shoulder, "Harry, honey, get up."

He stirred.

"'Mione?" he asked, groggily, "What are you doing up? You should be sleeping." He said reaching for his glasses that had fallen off at some point during his restless hour of sleep.

"Get up silly, you'll get a crick." She said ignoring his questions and pulling him up into a somewhat standing position. "Look, you've already strained your back." She admonished while leading him over to the bed. "On your stomach Mister!" She commanded pointing to the bed.

"'Mione, really, it's not necessary. Look, I can stand up just fine." He said while gritting his teeth.

"Uh huh. Bending over at twenty degrees isn't the same as standing up. Now get in, before I have to resort to force."

Harry gingerly crawled into the bed while Hermione walked to her bathroom to get her potions supply she always kept for this particular situation. Ever since the Final Battle, Harry had had problems with his back.


Harry was running through the Forbidden Forest. Voldemort had kidnapped Ginny. Apparently she was either the weakest, or caught off guard, or perhaps Voldemort thought that because Harry had dated the fiery red-head she meant the most to him. Either way, Harry still had to go after them.

The Battle was definitely not in their favor. Harry had seen Neville get bested by Bellatrix. He was made to suffer the same curse that drove his parents to insanity. Luna had been caught off guard by Lucius Malfoy and took a killing curse to her back. Lucius didn't have much time to revel in his kill before Draco, disgusted with his father, drove a knife through his heart. Harry would hear later that this moment, was actually the only time that Draco had ever seen his father look at him with pride in his eyes. Hermione had been surrounded by the seniors Crabbe, Goyle, Nott and MacNair. They never knew what hit them. Harry had never been more proud of Hermione then at that moment. She shot him a brief but worried smile but was then engaged by the Lestrange brothers. Harry stopped to help, but felt his scar ignite with happiness. He shot a stunner at one of the brothers and took off with an apologetic glance at Hermione. He saw Lupin, Tonks, Hagrid and McGonagall taking on a hoard of werewolves and dementors. Harry shot Prongs at the dementors and watched them scatter. The senior members of the Order shot a grateful glance at Harry and doubled their attack on the werewolves. Harry came across Kingsley and Mad-Eye battling cowardly Death Eaters six to one. Looking to his left Harry saw the Weasleys battling, like they do everything else, together as a family. None of them, however, noticed the troll that was coming upon them. Harry started to turn to help them, but was saved from doing so by the sudden appearance of Grawp who was more than capable of taking down a mountain troll. Harry was nearing Hagrids' hut when he was hindered by the appearance of Bellatrix Lestrange. For the first time since the Department of Mysteries, Harry was face-to-face with Sirius' murderer. Harry heard someone approaching to his left and glanced and saw Ron, but in doing so opened himself up to a curse from Bellatrix.

"Crucio." She screamed.

Harry gritted his teeth awaiting the pain he knew was coming when a rock shot up from the ground and intercepted the curse.

Harry looked right, wildly, and saw Hermione, bruised and bloody with a nasty gash along her cheek, but upright and alive and ready for a fight. Harry felt something with in him stir at the sight of her. She gave him a weak smile and made her way to him at the same time that Ron did.

"Alright there Ron?" Harry asked his friend who was sporting a black eye, a bloody lip and a gash in his shoulder.

"Alright, you?" he asked.

"Alright, Hermione?" Harry turned and asked her.

"A lot better than Dolohov is at the moment." She said, with a feral grin.

"Good." Harry complimented with a nod of his head.

"Didn't think you were going to go off without us, now, did you Harry?" Ron asked, attempting a wry smile.

"Of course he didn't, Ron, he'd want us to be there to join in on the fun of killing that half-blood bastard, Voldyshorts." Laughed Hermione.

Bellatrix was apoplectic. "How dare you insult my master like that you filthy muggle-loving, Mudblood. I'll have your heart for that."

"Oh, I'm afraid you'll have to get through us first." Said Ron.

Harry couldn't believe that Ron and Hermione were taunting Bellatrix like this. He assumed it was their way of dealing with the fear.

And with that, the battle began. While shooting and dodging spells Harry could see why Bellatrix was Voldemorts' Lieutenant. She was damn good. The trio had put up a good fight and were just about winning when somehow Bellatrix had gotten off a Killing Curse. It was headed towards Hermione. Hermione was too stunned to move. In all of her fights, she'd never been this caught off guard by a curse before. She was frozen, and all she could think of was how she'd let Harry down. Harry needed her, and now she was about to die. As if hearing her thoughts, Harry's attention was drawn to Hermione. He didn't understand why she was still standing there.

"Hermione, move!" came Harry's anguished cry.

But Hermione didn't move. Harry was too far, there was nothing he could do. He was about to lose Hermione. No, he couldn't lose Hermione. Not her.

Harry was interrupted from his jumbled thoughts by the sudden appearance of Ron in his line of sight. He looked at Harry and got a small smile on his face. Harry looked in his eyes and it looked as if Ron was saying, 'I know.' And then he was hit with the Killing Curse and slowly fell to the ground.

Everything seemed to be in slow motion. 'No, Ron's not dead. He can't be dead.' Harry thought to himself, eyes filling with tears, as he sprinted to them. He grabbed Hermione's hand and yanked her to the ground, just narrowly avoiding a second jet of green light.

Harry was brought back to real time with Bellatrix's trademark cackle.

"Poor wittle Harrykins has lost his bestest friend. Oh dear. And what's this? He dropped his wand? What luck is that?" She taunted.

It wasn't until Bellatrix had pointed it out that Harry realized that he didn't have his wand. He looked to Hermione and saw that she too, was without her wand. They both looked to Bellatrix.

"Only a coward would kill someone unarmed." Hermione said with a sob, finally breaking out of her trance.

"I'll take them any way I can get them." And with that she sent another killing curse at Hermione.

Harry grabbed Hermione and pulled him to her, but it was unnecessary. The curse was once again intercepted, but this time it was by a man paying a debt.

Peter didn't have time to think. He was compelled by the wizard debt that he owed Harry for sparing his life all those years ago, and after thinking of not much else these past weeks finally came to realize that he owed the boy so much more. He ran to the clearing and stepped in front of the spell. And like the coward he was, even in this final act of bravery, he brought his arms up to shield himself. This act of cowardice was the last of Bellatrix Lestrange, because in putting his hands up in front of him, the curse hit his magnificent silver hand that was bestowed upon him by Voldemort himself. And rather than absorbing the curse, it actually reflected back to the caster. Bellatrix was so taken aback that she didn't have time to react. And the next second found Bellatrix Lestrange dead, a complete look of surprise and utter disbelief forever etched upon her once beautiful face.

Peter was just as astonished by this turn of events. He walked over and picked up the two wands that lay next to Bellatrix and made his way to the crouching couple holding on to each other for dear life not twenty feet away.

"Here." He said gruffly, thrusting the wands towards the teens. "Take them, he's about a hundred yards in the forest, he's alone."

Harry grabbed the wands from the shaking Peters' hand.

"We're square. Good luck." He turned and headed towards the Hogwarts grounds where the rest of the battle was taking place.

"What just happened?" Asked Hermione.

"Dumbledore always told me that one day I'd be glad I stopped Remus and Sirius from killing him. Suppose he was right." Harry said. "Come on, it's not over until he's gone."

"You want me to go with you?" Hermione asked, voice full of trepidation.

"Of course." Said Harry.

He grabbed her hand and they turned and saw Ron lying in front of them. Hermione stopped, a sob escaping her throat.

"Not now, 'Mione. We can't afford to linger. He'll be honored above all others. We'll make sure of it." Harry said.

"You're right Harry." Hermione pulled out her wand and moved Ron's body to a secluded spot near the forest, disillusioned him and then did some fancy wand work that Harry didn't recognize.

"What was that bit at the end?" asked Harry.

"In case we don't make it back. So someone will be able to find him." Hermione said sadly.

"It'll be alright 'Mione." Harry said hugging her to him and placing a kiss on the side of her head. "We've got to go."

"Let's go get some justice, Harry. For Ron."

"For Ron, Luna, Cedric and Dumbledore. For Sirius, Mum and Dad."

"For everyone."

And they walked in the forest hand in hand.

***End Flashback***

"Aaaah." Moaned Harry, "Yes, there…No, lower, harder…Yes! Merlin, you have magic fingers 'Mione." Harry sighed.

Hermione giggled. "I bet you say that to all the girls, Mister Potter."

"Not a one." Harry said seriously, turning to look at her.

"Really?" she asked.

"Really." He said.

They stared at each other for a moment.

"Carl's gone. He left me." She told him.

"I know. He owled. Said I should come over, that you'd need me." He replied, not quite meeting her eyes.

"Hmm, I think he was more astute that I ever gave him credit for. He said something during our argument that I've been brooding over ever since."

"What did he say?" asked Harry.

"He said that you were in love with me." She said quietly.

Harry looked away. Hermione reached out and touched his chin, gently forcing him to look at her.

"Was he right?" she asked.

Harry stared into her eyes. What he saw there literally took his breath away. She was so beautiful. Her hair was still wild and bushy, she had a faint scar running along her cheek, and her eyes. Her chocolate brown eyes that he loved to get lost in. He saw so many emotions in her eyes tonight. They did always seem to be able to know what the other was thinking just by looking at each other. He saw what looked like trepidation, and sadness, and joy, and hope, and most prominent of all was the love he saw in her eyes. The love that she had for him, the presence of love that gave him the courage to take this leap that he was about to take.

"Yes." He said simply. "Yes, he's right."

Hermione couldn't believe what she'd just heard. There he was, sitting right in front of her and he'd just answered her question. He loved her, he was in love with her.

"Tell me." She commanded.

"I love you." Harry said reaching out and cupping her face in his hands. "I'm in love with you. I always have been."

"Oh, Harry." Hermione sobbed, tears making their way out of her eyes and down to his hands. "We've been so daft."

"You mean?" he asked.

"Of course you prat." She smiled. "It's you. It's always been you."

And with that, they both leaned forward and shared their first kiss. It was the first kiss of the rest of their lives.