the mirror of erised


Rating: PG13
Genres: Romance
Relationships: Harry & Hermione
Book: Harry & Hermione, Books 1 - 7
Published: 16/09/2012
Last Updated: 14/08/2013
Status: Completed

[post-dh, right after ch36] "Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi" It is their hearts’ deepest desire. Second part, Hermione's POV.

1. i. of growing up and growing old; Weasley is our king

Okay, I had this done since… long ago, I forgot I had it and just now found it. I went over it and discovered it was supposed to be the first part of a three-shot, but since I can't remember how the rest was going to go and it stand perfectly well as a one-shot, I'll leave it at that.

I wrote this right in response to a talk about the Erised of the Golden Trio here in PK's forum, long before it was shut down. And also as my interpretation of what Hermione's Erised is (I still like to think of my idea better because it was never really specified as to whom Hermione sees, JKR only implied it, never went out and said the name, not that I know of) and what Ron's and Harry's Erised would be after the War.

Note that this is told from Ron's POV. I might add Hermione's and Harry's later, but as of now, it's remain as it is. So… I hope you enjoy it!



“The Mirror of Erised”

(post-dh, right after ch36 // It is their hearts' deepest desire.)


Ron waits for Harry to be no longer within sight, and a few seconds more until he hears the door to the 7th year boy's dorm close, before turning around to face Hermione. She is still looking at the stairs to the boy's dorms, right where Harry was before leaving to get his well-deserved rest.

He takes this chance of distraction on her part to watch her, really watch her.

She's beautiful…

Her hair is no longer bushy, sometime around 6th year she managed to tame it down, now it's only wild (especially now), so her long tresses fall almost gracefully along her back and around her shoulders, and almost because they have just won a war—finally, after all the suffering and hardships, it was all over. His eyes move along the elegant curve of her forehead and nose and lips and chin and jaw and neck… then up to her eyes, so brown and inviting, that seem to be seeing something only she can see. His eyes move back to her lips, those glorious lips he has been lucky enough to kiss and—

Oh, bloody hell…

That's it, isn't it, the kiss? Delivered in the hardest moment of their lives, it was everything he ever dreamed of and yet… not. He remembers feeling elated, a sense of finally overcoming him, but then… his elation turned into confusion and a little bit of satisfaction upon hearing Harry rage at them for not focusing in the matter at hand. He should've felt happy, shouldn't he? As happy as he could ever be, but he didn't. He felt confused and disappointed.

Because, to be the one kiss he's been looking forward to all his life, it was only that; a kiss. Not the turning point of his life, not the beginning of his happily ever after, not the epitome of Hermione and his relationship. I was only a kiss. Still, it was the most important moment of his life.

Even now, as he watches Hermione's profile intently, he knows he will never forget it, the kiss, will always cherish it, even though it turned out to be the exact opposite of what he wanted.

Because it was his and Hermione's first kiss, and the precise moment he realized the truth about his heart's truest, deepest desire.

Hermione turns to him then, and raises an eyebrow, questioning his insistent staring, and he knows. He knows she felt it too, the confusion and disappointment, knows she still feels it, but, unlike him, doesn't know what to do about it.

I guess it is my turn to be the mature one of the Trio, uh?

He extends his hand to her and she takes it after a brief moment of hesitation, without another word, he leads her out of the common room. Soon, they are walking down halls, around corners, passing by empty classrooms, and down stairs until they reach a very familiar-looking wall and—ah, there it is. The door that'll take them to the Room of Requirement.


He holds up his hand, stopping her midsentence, and urges her to keep walking. She resists at first, her hesitation is great enough for him to feel it too, and he smiles reassuringly at her. There's nothing to fear, nothing to doubt, he thinks, not for the first time wishing he and Hermione had that special bond she shares with Harry, so she can understand what he means to say, only this time, there is no resentment, no jealousy in between.

Hermione finally complies and they step into the room, and she gasps.

Ron smiles, silently thanking whoever created this room, for it has given him just what he wants. The room is empty, but it's not that emptiness what he wants, it's the object standing tall and proud in the centre of it.

“The Mirror of Erised…”

He nods softly, not knowing if she saw him, and lets go of her hand, walking down a few of the steps surrounding the mirror, and then sits down. He smiles amusedly as he realizes he was sitting right in front of the mirror.

Hermione follows his lead and sits next to him, neither saying a word for a while.

“So, what do you see?” he asks suddenly.

After a prolonged silence, he sneaks a glace out of the corner of his eyes and sees guilt, longing, and an overwhelming sadness reflected in her eyes. The overall display of emotions dies as soon as he turns more fully to face her, and her expression becomes guarded. His eyes widen slightly and a knowing look settles on his face.

Oh, I see…


An apology, surely. She is going to apologize, but he won't let her, because if he does, he'll be allowing her to escape from the truth that he saw clearly in those brown, brown eyes he loves so much.

“You see, when I first looked into the mirror, it was during Christmas in first year,” he began, cutting her excuses short. “Harry had found it, and he came to wake me so I could see it. We didn't know what it was back then. Harry thought the mirror showed us the past, I thought it showed the future, because while Harry saw his whole family reflected there, I saw myself as a seventh year, with a Head Boy badge, and the House and Quidditch cups in my arms.”

Hermione smiles weakly, appreciating his humour thought she is most likely fighting the urge to go back to Gryffindor tower and hug the life out of Harry. He gives a knowing smile and leans back into the steps of the stairs surrounding the mirror, resting his elbows in the cold, hard stone.

“We found out later what it really was, the mirror, and it made sense. What I wanted the most back then was to surpass my brothers; and what Harry wanted the most…”

“Was—is his family. He still wants that,” says Hermione, finishing his sentence.

It makes him wonder how every time they talk about Harry, their thoughts seem to be in perfect sync, but push something non-Harry-related into their conversation and within minutes they are at each other throats.

“Yeah, he still does… Anyway! The image probably stayed the same until around fourth year, when I realized you were a, insert exaggerated gasp here, girl. From then on, I like to believe, since I don't really know for sure, that my Erised would have been something along the lines of me and you—”

Hermione cuts his monologue with a soft but clear “You and I,” before motioning for him to continue.

Ron chuckles good-naturedly, “Alright, alright… something along the lines of you and I together as… a couple, lovers, or whatever you want to call it.”

She opens her mouth to talk, but Ron holds up his hand and turns his face to look into the mirror.

“Now, however… I am looking into the mirror, and all I see is Harry, Hermione, and Ron as they should always be, as they—we were back in first year, without the complications of teenagers' hormones.”

The silence prolongs between them for a few minutes. Hermione's eyes remain trained on whatever it is the mirror is showing her, as are his; both with slightly sad smiles on their faces. The topic he's been dancing around suddenly falls upon them, waiting for someone to acknowledge it, letting the truth hanging over their head like a heavy cloud of a storm. It is Ron who decides to acknowledge this truth; one that he has accepted the very moment he decided to bring Hermione into the Room of Requirement, and now is ready to voice.

“The thing is, Hermione… what I really want to say is… that I know I've fancied you ever since the Yule Ball, but this last year, while we hunted for the Horcruxes, I really…” he pauses and takes a deep breath. “I really, really thought to be in love with you. I honestly believed me loving you like that; believed you to be my ideal girl, the one for me, but… you aren't.”

“What are you saying Ron?”

Ron sighs softly, “I'm saying… that I'm glad you kissed me, Hermione… because it made me realize that my love for you isn't any different than my love for Ginny. I look at you and I think you are beautiful, but it's in the same way I think Ginny is beautiful.”

“And you can tell that just by sharing one kiss?” asks Hermione, tilting her head to one side in confusion.

He clears his throat a few times, averting his eyes and staring at the ceiling, a light blush reddening his cheeks.

“Don't take me wrong, but when we kissed,” he coughs nervously, sneaking quick glances in her direction. “When we kissed, it was great and all, but… I didn't quite feel anything of what I was expecting, you know… No excitement or desire… None of…” there's another nervous cough. “None of what I felt when Lavender used to kiss me back in sixth year…”

He trails off rather lamely, not wanting to look at Hermione for he knows he's probably made her mad with his stupid comment, but he honestly doesn't know how else to explain what happened to him during their first (and most likely only) kiss. And just when he was about to stutter an apology, Hermione giggles.

Like really giggles.

And his shock must've been showing clear on his face, because as she turns to look at him the laughter bubbles out of her heartedly. In a way that hasn't happened in almost a year.

“I know what you mean, Ron,” she says, brushing a lone tear from the corner of her eyes. “I didn't feel anything either, no matter how much I tried to force myself into doing so. There was none of what I felt when I kissed Harry—oh… oops.”

Ron gapes at her, watching a blush begin and deepen with every passing second. She coughs nervously, avoiding his gaze and looking stubbornly ahead of her, right into the mirror, which only makes her blush to redden.

“Er—I wasn't supposed to say that…”

“You kissed Harry? When did it happen? Why didn't I know that? How come he didn't tell me?”

He can't quite grasp the thought of Harry and Hermione kissing, even though she just confessed, and her blushing face is more that proof enough to assure him she isn't lying. It's just… so surreal. And if it really did happen, then why did Harry tell him he loved Hermione like a sister? You don't kiss your sister. At least not like that!

“He doesn't know, Ron,” says Hermione, still avoiding his gaze. “And I would prefer it to stay that way; a secret.”

“Uh, yeah, sure, but… Hermione, why not just tell him?” he wonders in confusion. “And how can Harry not know? It's a kiss! I mean, I know he can be a bit dense from time to time, but he isn't—”

“He was sleeping.”

Ron shuts his mouth silently, and then there's a pause. Slowly, almost involuntarily, the left corner of his mouth starts to twitch, finally lifting into an amused grin. Hermione looks at him warily, probably trying to foresee his next course of action.

“Why, Hermione, I didn't know you were that kind of girl, taking advantage of a bloke while he's unconscious,” he grins cheekily, enjoying her embarrassed blush. “I'll have that in mind before falling asleep while being in the same room as—ow, hey!”

“Git! He was having an awful nightmare, and wasn't waking up, no matter how much I shook his shoulder! I didn't know what else to do!”

Ron laughs good-naturedly while rubbing his right arm.

“Did it work, then? Did sleeping beauty wake up from his nightmare?”

“Ron! I'm serious, I—he didn't wake up, but… it did chase the nightmares away, I—oh, sod it.”

His laugher dies into a few chuckles that appear from time to time, before settling into a comfortable silence. It is probably the first silent moment he's ever had with Hermione where neither is ignoring the other and he likes it, very much.

“Does this mean we'll stay friends only?” Hermione inquires suddenly.

“Yep, the best of friends.”

She leans back into the stone steps, copying his position, and smiles. They both focus their gazes in the reflection shining from the mirror. And suddenly Ron knows everything is finally alright.

“Good, because I like that very, very much.”

Ron grins happily, staring at the mirror, where a much older version of Harry, Hermione and himself stand hugging each other and smiling brightly at him. Hermione is in the middle, with one arm wrapped tightly around Harry and his' waists. Harry in turn, has his arm around her waist, while he has his around her shoulders. They are quiet for the most part, until he says something that'll make them all laugh heartedly. Occasionally, Hermione would turn to Harry and kiss his cheek affectionately, while he makes gagging gestures from his place next to them, only to laugh at their flushed faces later.

When he first saw the image materialize in the mirror, he'd been confused, because, why would his best friends being together be his heart deepest desire? But then, he'd realized something; it wasn't the fact of them being together, it was the fact of them being happy, and Ron knew —knows— that together, they'd be happy, truly happy.

Ron blinks confused as out of the blue, another person walks into the happy picture; a woman. Harry and Hermione smile at her, as if they were used to be in her presence, and as Hermione leans further into Harry and away from him, the woman envelops him in a tight hug, one Ron can see does not bother his older self at all. In fact, older Ron returns the gesture gladly, and he realizes with a start that this woman must be his wife, or future wife, whoever she is.

So this is it, my heart truest desire… The Golden Trio, finally happy.

“Well, your Erised must be really good, Ron, because you have this goofy smile on your face as if you just won something big.”

Hermione's voice snaps him back to reality. He turns to her and gives her a mischievous wink. “Oh, I'm just seeing Harry, you and I in the near future having this amazing threesome, and Merlin, Hermione, I never thought—hey, that hurt!”

Hermione keeps swatting his arm, each time harder than the last, as she grows steadily embarrassed and angry. “Don't you dare finish that sentence!”

“Merlin, Hermione, stop! I was only joking, really!” he laughs as her face takes a lovely shade of red, pretty close to his hair colour. “Honestly, girl, you have no sense of humour.”

“Just tell me what you see.”

“Alright, it is about us, you know. You, Harry and I are standing there, hugging, and being the best of friends. We look older, and you and Harry look very cosy hugging each other,” he chuckles again as her face gains the exact same colour of his hair. “Really, I'm feeling left out here.”

“Your Erised is about me and Harry—”

“Harry and I,” he corrects.

She sticks her tongues out at him before resuming her sentence. “About Harry and I being… together?”

“Yeah, well, not exactly like that. I just see us there, all happy smiles and group hugs and hearty laughs. You do seem to be glowing as you lean into Harry to kiss his cheek though, that ought to mean something. And I…”

Hermione looks at him expectantly, but he can't seem to keep talking.

“And you…?”

He feels his cheeks getting incredibly warn, “Er, and I… seem to be the same, you know, all happy with this woman that suddenly decided to appear in there.”

Suddenly, there's a familiar pair of arms around his neck, and Hermione proceeds to hug the life out of him for good. “Ron, I'm so happy for you!”

“Yeah, Hermione, need air,” he wheezes out, breathing deeply once she lets go. “And thanks, but I don't even know who this woman is yet.”

“Oh, you will find her, Ron, I'm sure you will.”

Hugging her tight to his side, he sits with her for a few more minutes before the curiosity gets the better of him and he can't keep himself from asking.

“So, what is your Erised, uh?”

Upon seeing her blush come back with a vengeance, he smirks delighted. “Ooh, does it involve you and Harry and wild, passionate sex somewhere here in Hogwarts? The woods? The Quidditch pitch?”

Hermione pulls away from him, standing up abruptly. “Goodness, Ron, no! And I'm not going to tell you!”

“But it is about Harry, right? Come on, Hermione, I know your feelings aren't as platonic as you want to believe, tell me.”

No,” she says, and starts walking towards the door. “Now, let's go, I'm tired and all I want right now is a comfy bed and a pillow.”

“I'm sure Harry's bed is comfy enough. Want me to sneak you in?”

Before reaching the door, Hermione spins around and points a finger to him. “I swear, Ronald, if you don't stop your inappropriate comments right now, I'm going to hex you into next century!”

Then, she exits the room and slams the door shut behind her, leaving Ron laughing as if there was no tomorrow.

“No sense of humour at all!”


He eventually catches up with her on her way to Gryffindor Tower. As they step through the portrait hole, the first thing Ron notices are the worried faces of his family, the remaining member of the DA as well as the Order, plus Headmistress McGonagall (Merlin, it's going to take time to get used to calling her Headmistress instead of Professor). Ginny is the first to realize their entrance as she runs straight to them, hugging him tightly.

“Ron, Harry's missing!”

She barely finishes her sentence and Hermione is already halfway up the stairs to the boys' dorms. He disentangles himself from his sister and follows her up, only to find her sagging in relief against the doorframe of the seventh years' room. The panic he manages to see on her face fades quickly, and she gives him a smile as he reaches her side.

“He's in here, still sleeping, oblivious to everything… Thank God,” she whispers, the relief clear in her voice.

He releases the breath he doesn't know he's holding and leans into the door, next to Hermione. “That was quite a scare, huh?”


He notices the sweet smile, however small, on her face as they turn around and head to the Common Room to spare their friends for further stress. How lovely of her, denying her feeling when they are pretty darn obvious.

“Still going to try to deny your feelings for him, Hermione?”

She punches his arm and as they descend the last steps of the stairs, her face becomes incredibly blank. Ron can only chuckle.

“What was that? Why did you run off so suddenly? You should be looking for Harry! He could be—”

“He's sleeping upstairs, Ginny. Just where we left him,” says Hermione, cutting his sister's worried rant.

“He's upstairs?”

They nod and Ron takes it upon himself to give explanations. He tells them, vaguely of course, that when they were in the Great Hall Harry came to their side asking them to follow, and then proceeded to roam the castle until they reached Dumbledore's office. It is here where he hesitates, and Hermione takes over.

“Why go there? What was he looking for?”

“He wanted to ask Professor Dumbledore's portrait something… That's all.”

The group seems to accept this answer, or they're either too tired to keep asking. Just when Ron thinks he'll be able to sneak into his room and catch up with some sleep, Ginny steps in front of them and smiles in a way that tells him that whatever comes out of her mouth will make him cranky.

“So, where have you two been?”

Hermione frowns at her, making her smirk, and he can only sigh tiredly. No use in hiding anything, he supposes; then again, there isn't anything to hide.

“We were in the Room of Requirement, talking about our future as the Golden Trio and about our romantic relationship—our very non-existent romantic relationship.”

Ginny's shocked expression, as well as everybody else's, makes him roll his eyes.

“What do you mean non-existent?”

“Exactly what it is, Ginny,” says Hermione. “There is nothing going on between Ron and I; there never was and there never will. We're just friends.”

“The best of friends,” he cuts in.

“The best of friends,” repeats Hermione, giving him an annoying look.

“Now, sister, if you don't mind, we're very tired and want to rest. So please, step aside.”

Ginny does as she is told, looking at their retreating backs in shock. At the foot of the stairs though, Hermione grabs his elbow, ignoring everyone stares. She struggles as if trying to win a battle for a while, then opens her mouth to talk; and right there he sees exactly what she wants to say. He squeezes her hand, halting her struggle.

“I get it, Hermione,” he smiles as she looks at him in disbelieve. “And don't worry, I'll tell him. Though I could still try to sneak you in…” he whispers the last part, and receives a hit in response.

He grins and ruffles her hair before turning to climb the stair, ignoring to the best of his ability the stares of his family and friends. He enters the rooms he shares with Harry and the other boys, plopping down onto his bed. His mind finally decides to catch up with his tired body and all he wants now is grab his pillow and sleep.

But he has one more thing to do before that.

“You know, Harry, you are one lucky bastard for having Hermione care so much about you,” he chuckles as his only response is a small snore coming from his friend. “Like truly lucky. And you may be my best mate and all, but if you hurt her, I'll have to hurt you.”

He is forced to pause as a huge yawn finds its way out. Rubbing his eyes tiredly, he focuses them back on the sleeping form of Harry. He suddenly realizes it's been literally years since Harry last had a good night of sleep. He grabs one of his pillows and begins toying with it.

“I could tell you how much she loves you, you know, mate, but it isn't really my place to do so. In the meantime…” he trail off, and throws the pillow straight at Harry's face.

Harry jolts awake, grabbing his wand and frowns when he only sees him grinning. “What the hell, Ron? I almost hexed you right now and—why are you smiling at me like that?”

“Hermione says good night and sleep well.”


Ron grins as he watches Harry look around the room, searching for Hermione no doubt. Crawling under the covers, he murmurs a quick good night to Harry, who responds with another snore. The sleep doesn't take long to arrive, his much needed rest. And as he drifts off into oblivion, he thinks of everything that is to come starting the next day. His brother's funeral, as well as all those who lost their lives in this war… Everything that is left to be done…

Everything… that…



End… for now.


As I said, if I remember where I wanted to go with this story, I might add the two parts left, but if not, it's good as a one-shot, so I'll mar kit as complete.

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2. ii. of moving back and moving on; the brightest witch of Hog

Well, I'm finally remembering where I wanted to go with this so… luckily I won't forget until I finish the last part, which it's not even a word yet.

Something I forgot to mention before, if not, ignore it. THIS, this fic was written back when I still liked Ron, before I re-read the books and realized how much of a git he is sometimes, even at the very epilogue. Back then I still thought of the Golden Trio, etc.

I still think of those three like that, but mostly when thinking of the movies, because movie!Ron is not that much of a jerk compared to book!Ron.

So, anyway, if Ron were to ever grow up (which, unfortunately, it didn't happen), I thinks this is how he would turn out to be.


We are sorry, Hermione.

Four words. That's all it takes to make this Christmas holidays miserable.

She stares at the letter in her hands, feeling the tears burning in the corner of her eyes, but she blinks them back furiously. Frowning and biting her lower lip hard enough to draw blood, Hermione crumbles the letter and throws it into the fireplace and hopes it burns all the hurt away.

But it doesn't. Her parents' letter is still engraved into her head.

“Damn it…”

What are they sorry for, anyway? She knew the consequences of her actions were going to be unpleasant, and would cause her many pain in the end, but it had to be done.

“Damn it.”

She had to help Harry. Her parents have to understand that, they will understand; they just need time, they said so themselves, in their letter, just a little time.

We are sorry, Hermione. We just need time.

Before she can dwell on the letter any longer, she hears Ron coming down the stairs, dragging his trunk along. Hastily, she wipes the tears that had been about to fall, making sure she looks alright, and then continues pretending to read her book. However, the moment Ron speaks, she knows her attempts at normalcy are futile.

“Hey, Hermione, what did the letter…?”

Her face twists into a grimace, and she bits her lower lip again. Out of the corner of her eye, she sees Ron looking intently at her hardened expression and then at the fireplace, where the half-burned letter lays (not quite) forgotten, realization dawns over him and then he's at her side on the couch, pulling away her book and hugging her tight as she tries to hold back the tears.

“Oh, blimey, Hermione…” he says, and remains quiet.

He starts rubbing circles on her back awkwardly, trying his best to comfort her despite the fact that he doesn't know how, and she appreciates the sentiment because she knows he must feel out of place in this situation. So, pulling back from his embrace, she wipes the few tears that managed to escape away and gives him a watery smile. Ron smiles back, and strokes her head as an older brother would, never mind that he is younger than her.

They stay silent after that, neither one of them knowing what to say; she doesn't want to talk and he doesn't know if he should. Hermione's inwardly pleased that the Common Room is mainly deserted and that Ron seemed to be the only one eager enough to start his holidays, as he's the only one done packing. The least thing she needs right now is an audience witnessing her breakdown.

Ron pats her head lightly and she sighs, turning to look at the fireplace again. She can feel the redhead's gaze on her face, searching for something, for what, she doesn't know, but eventually he gives up, because he ends up asking anyways.

“So, what does this mean?” he says tentatively.

“It means that I won't be going home for Christmas,” she replies and smiles sadly at him. “But it's not like I didn't expect this to happen, you know. I was well aware of the consequences when I decided to Obliviate them. I just didn't think…”

Ron takes her hand in his and squeezes it a little. “Didn't think what?”

I just didn't think it'd cause this much damage. That it'd hurt so bloody much.

She shakes her head and doesn't reply, instead turns to look at the fireplace again, at the half-burned letter (she ought to make it burn completely, but can't seem to find the strength to do so) that is not close enough to the fire to become ashes yet. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she acknowledges the fact the Common Room is filling with Gryffindor students rather quickly, as more and more students are finishing packing, but none of those students are the one she's been waiting for.

“Uh… You can always come to the Burrow with us.”

Hermione looks at him surprised, but shakes her head, smiling apologetically at him, hand still clasped tight between his own. “No, Ron, I can't. But thank you, anyway.”

“Is it because of Harry and Ginny?”

The question makes her tense completely and she tries valiantly to supress this reaction, not wanting Ron to see it. But with the new dynamic their relationship acquired, he sees right through her efforts. Or maybe the whole letter thing left her drained and she no longer possesses the strength to put herself together.

“It is.”

Hermione cringes slightly, but nods. And it isn't that she doesn't want to spend Christmas with Harry or Ginny, but… seeing them together this past term had almost broke her, she honestly doesn't know how she managed to keep her cheery façade when they were together within her vicinity. If she were to spend these holidays with the Weasleys, and with her parents letters engraved in her mind, Hermione knows she'll crumble under the pressure of repressed feelings and that could not happen, not if the result is a troubled and, more likely, unhappy Harry.

It is her own fault, after all, that she took so long to accept her feelings for her green-eyed best friend. It is her own fault she fell in love with him.


She turns to Ron, seeing his worried eyes searching her face, and manages to give him a tentative smile that does everything but appease his concern. “I'll be fine, Ron. Really, I will.”

He frowns sternly at her, casting a furtive glace around them to ensure no one is looking their way, and drops his voice to a whisper. “Why don't you just tell him, Hermione?”

“I don't want to be the one taking away his happiness.”

His exasperated sigh is warning enough for the upcoming argument; the only real argument they have nowadays, as the other discussions are more out of habit than for a real reason. “But he's not happy, he hasn't been happy since the start of term, at least not completely! Ginny can't make him happy, Hermione, and you know it!”

Ron hisses these words angrily, but Hermione refuses to reply, knowing she's only capable of snapping now and that will most definitely lead to a full out argument. Oh, she wants to answer back, she wants to scowl him for saying that, for disregarding his sister like that, but really, Ron is right. Harry isn't happy.

And that's her main problem with spending Christmas with the Weasley clan, having to see Harry trying to cope with the aftermath of the War while pretending to be happy for everyone else's sake. If only Ginny were capable to understand him fully, his fears, his frustration… Hermione would be fine with their renewed relationship, but… but the youngest Weasley seems to have gotten into her head that avoiding the issue is best for Harry, that force him into a normal life is the answer when in reality all Harry needs is someone to lean on, someone who'd willingly take his worries and sorrows from him.

Someone like me, the thought comes unbidden and it makes her frown, wondering at the selfishness of it.

Instead, he gets Ginny, who's been trying for months to mould him into this Celebrity and Hero she has idealized since she was a little kid.


“What do you want me to do, Ron? He wants to be with Ginny and he's never ever seen me like that! I'm just—”

“You don't know if he's ever seen you like—Harry!”

Hermione freezes at the mention of his name, and the shock on Ron's face tells her he hadn't seen him coming until it was probably too late. When she gathers enough courage to glace at him, Harry's looking at them with an odd expression on his face. An awkward silence falls over them for a few seconds before Ron coughs lightly and excuses himself, saying something about forgetting his Quidditch magazines on his desk. After he leaves, Harry takes his place on the couch next to her, giving her an even odder look.

“Um… are you…done packing?”

She wants to curse herself for asking something so lame, as the answer is rather obvious what with his trunk being right next to him. But Harry, being Harry, only smiles at her and nods, and then sends her a questioning look.

“What about you? I thought you'd be done packing by now.”

His question makes her squirm in her seat, for she doesn't know what to say. The right thing to do, would be telling him what had happened with her parents, about the letter, but if she were to tell him the truth, Harry would no doubt blame himself for this rift between the Grangers and she could not—will not ruin this Christmas for him. Harry would have a Happy Christmas, even at the cost of her own.

Hermione smiles at him, albeit sadly, to which he gives her a questioning look but never voices his concerns as she speaks first, telling the only truth she can. “My trunk's upstairs.”

Harry smiles at her and, after what seems a moment of hesitation, grabs her hand, giving it a light squeeze. “I can help you carry it down, if you want…”

His offer is unnecessary and they know it, for a simple hovering charm would do the job and Hermione is nothing if not brilliant with her spell work. She appreciates the sentiment though, his effort at trying to put two years of awkwardness behind them, however fruitless it is (because now that there are no life-risking situations, she can feel the distance between them like a bottomless abyss).

“That's alright, Harry, uh… Ron will help me with it,” she smiles apologetically, supressing her wince at both her blatant lie and the disappointing look on his face.

“Oh, alright…”

She's about ready to apologize and tell him everything, wanting to do something to erase the disappointment from his handsome face, anything, but a flash of silky red and its rightful owner appearing later makes her stop and grit her teeth.

“Oh, Hermione! I'm so glad you're working on your problems with Ron! Merlin knows my brother can be a bit of a git sometimes…” Ginny trails off, sitting next to Harry (more like on top of him), and loops her arms around the bewildered boy. “But don't worry, he'll come around and you'll be together in no time.”

Her saccharine sweet smile doesn't fool her, Hermione knows that youngest Weasley is seething at the fact that she'd been talking with Harry. Whatever prompted this sudden hostility from Ginny, she doesn't know, but it is getting tiresome and it's only another reason for her to not spend Christmas with the Weasleys. She'd like to believe it's because of her break up with Ron, but really, that was a mutual decision.

It can't be because of Harry, can it? I mean… I'm not that obvious… am I?

Just then, she notices Harry's odd expression, the very same he had when he had seen her talking with Ron minutes ago. An expression she can't quite comprehend. But it's almost like… almost like…

“Can it, Ginny. How many times do I have to tell you? There is nothing between Hermione and I, there never was.”

Ron, bless his soul, lets his trunk fall next to them, effectively drawing Ginny's attention from her, and engages into a glaring match with his sister. Harry, on the other hand, keeps his eyes locked with hers, as if trying to peer into her mind, to read her like he used to, way back when their friendship was the strongest of all, before 6th Year, before the disaster that was their 7th Year… the Final Battle…

Hermione knows she could let him see, see her every thought, her very soul, but… that would give her away, it would reveal too much too soon and most likely bring forward too many complications, so mustering all her acting skill, those that had helped her all through 6th Year, she gives him a bright smile.

Before Harry can reply to her smile, Ginny jumps to her feet, visibly enraged, and grabs his arm, hauling him to his feet. “Come on, Harry, it's time to go.”

Her tone is cold and clipped and without further ado, she drags Harry out of the Common Room, barely giving him time to grab his trunk. The boy sends her a pleading look, trying to convey his discomfort at having to deal with a raging Ginny, but all she can do is smile apologetically at him, again. The portrait slams closed, and Hermione doesn't need the specifics to know that whatever it was the Weasley siblings were discussing, it wasn't pretty and it certainly didn't end well for the youngest redhead.

“You know… sometimes, I wonder about her…”

Ron's comment makes her sigh and just for the sake of habit, she gives him a stern look. “Ron, she's your sister.”

He looks blissfully ignorant to her unspoken reprimanding, but that is to be expected. “I know, that's why I wonder.”

She rolls her eyes, but comments no further. “Hurry up; you don't want to miss the carriages to Hogsmeade,” she says, standing up, grabbing her book and heading for the stairs to the Dorms.

“You didn't tell him.”

“Ron, the carriages—”

“You do know he's going to throw a fit once he realizes you're not on the train, right?”

Hermione turns to look at her red-haired best friend, heaving an exasperated sigh. “I know, okay? But I trust you to be able to help him cool off and enjoy his holidays. If you must, tell him you didn't know either. Now hurry or they'll leave you. I need to finish your presents, so go.”

Ron, however doesn't move, instead starts stalking towards her. “When are you two going to fix this?”


“No, Hermione. This rift between you two, it's been growing since 6th Year. What with all we've been through together—all that you've been through together, it shouldn't be there, this… this chasm. What happened? Why are you suddenly so awkward around each other? I don't think it's because of me or you for that matter.”

“It's not Ginny, Ron, so stop right there.”

“You're lying though, it is partly her fault, and maybe mine too. But then, it might as well be our, the four of us, entire fault. The point is, Hermione, that you should've fixed it already, moved past it. You should've gone back to completing each other's thoughts, sharing private jokes, having silent conversations… back to how things were before the disaster of this last two years.”

“You think of those years as disasters too?”

“I think we should've never let ourselves drift so much apart.”

It really is impressive how much she hated it when Ron is right, especially with something she isn't ready to face just yet. But he is right, these past two years had been nothing if not weird and disastrous, they grew up too much too fast, hence changing completely from the carefree teens they once were and… worst of all, they drifted apart, the Golden Trio not so golden anymore.

“You've felt it too, uh?”

Ron sighs tiredly and nods. “Yeah… Even with the Horcrux Hunt, with the looming threat over our heads, it's still felt different, like… like nothing was ever going to be the same.”

“After all that's happened, Ron, you can't expect things to remain unchanged… This War… We changed, everything changed. It's inevitable.”

“Yeah, but not us. Not our friendship. That's the one thing that never ought to change, the bond we share.”

He wants to say more, but she doesn't let him, instead Hermione smiles sadly at him and urges him to go. He complies but stops at the portrait hole.

“You promise me to fix this thing with Harry after the holidays, Hermione, or else.”

She grins at him, grateful to see him revert to his normal self. “I promise.”

“And stop being so stubborn and immature, I'll say this to Harry too of course, because you know I'm the immature one of the Trio and that's a title I'm not ready to give up just yet.”

Her grin fades as soon as Ron's out of sight and reality falls over her.

She's alone, for the first time in seven years she's really, truly alone.


It really is impressive how much she hated it when Ron is right.

True to his word, Harry had thrown a fit once he realized she hadn't been at the Hogwarts Express. And according to the quick note Ron had sent her, probably from the train still, he had managed to calm their friend, albeit with great effort. She had been having dinner with the students that had stayed at the school and the professors (it was, after all, Christmas' Eve), when the note arrived and she'd retreated to Gryffindor Tower shortly after to write back, hoping to do some damage control.

So imagine her shock when, upon entering the Common Room, she'd been greeted with the sight of Harry sitting comfortably in front of the fire.

And here she is now, standing by the entrance, with no clue as to what to do, what to say, how to act. Then, a sudden feeling of dread engulfs her as she notices the piece of paper he's holding in his hands—her parents' letter. She opens her mouth to say something, anything, to explain the existence of the letter and… the reason why he's been unaware of it.

“You didn't tell me,” he says, so quietly that she almost believes it's a figment of her imagination.


“You told Ron, but you didn't tell me… why?”


“This is not the first thing you've hidden from me, ever since the War ended… There's something else you're not telling me, I know it… I can feel it, Hermione.”

She remains silent, wishing the earth would swallow her whole before she does something to break her relationship with Harry for good. He stands up, her parent's letter grasped tightly in his hand, and turns to face her, an unreadable look on his handsome face.

“Why didn't you tell me about your parents? You know I would have stayed here if I had known…” he trails off miserably, clenching his jaw as if trying to rein in his emotions, which is probably true; his very stand screaming feelings of guilt and regret.

“This is why. You're already feeling guilty over something you didn't do,” she says earnestly. “Harry, I chose to erase their memories and send them away. I performed the spell myself. You had nothing to do with it; I did it to ensure their protection. I could have done it differently, I could have talked to them and explain the situation. I could have convinced them to go away, but I didn't. Instead… I chose to erase their memories.”

“But you only did that because of me! You said so yourself, you—”

“No. I did it because it was only a matter of time before Voldemort found my home. I couldn't have gone on The Hunt knowing that any day could be my parents' last day, that's why I sent them away, with no memories of their daughter. This rift in my family is not your fault, Harry. And I didn't want to tell you because you deserve to have a careless, happy Christmas now.” Hermione sighs regretfully and stares at him sadly, still not being able to recognize the look on his face. “But obviously, I failed at ensuring that.”

The silence feels oppressing; neither knows what to say to… to close the chasm separating them.

Harry glances down at the letter in his hand, frowns briefly and looks up at her in such a way that it makes Hermione want to flee. “What else aren't you telling me, Hermione?”

She blinks slowly, trying not to show her rising panic, unsurprisingly succeeding. “There's nothing else.”

His jaw clenches painfully, barely containing the scowl attempting to appear on his face. “Do not lie to me.”

“What makes you think I'm lying?”

“I can tell, Hermione!”

Can you?”

The venom behind those words surprises even her, and by the looks of it, it is enough to render Harry speechless. Hermione doesn't know why she's suddenly so angry, but she is; she's enraged. Everything is coming to its boiling point and she no longer has all the answers, she no longer can predict what's going to happen or even make a close assumption. She only knows she's angry at everyone and everything: her life, the War, the choices she's had to make and Harry. She's so angry at Harry and his inability to recognize all the bloody signals she's dropped over the years quite literally on his lap, all those little things she's been doing for him —to keep him safe, to make him happy— that tell him, loud and clear, how she truly feels for him.

She's been so bloody obvious it's a wonder how he hasn't seen it yet. And that makes her so bloody mad.

“Can you really, Harry?” She very well spats those words, and plunders on without allowing him to talk. “You can tell when I'm hiding something from you, but you cannot bloody tell when I'm dropping anvil-sized hints on your lap about my feelings?! How could you miss that, when the whole freaking Wizarding World could see it, yet you see something I'm hiding!?”

Harry gapes at her, his anger forgotten along with the letter on his hand; he says nothing, standing there dumbstruck.

“Or were you just being purposely ignorant to it in lieu of clearing Ron's path? Because he's your best friend and who the bloody hell cares what I want, what your sister wants?”

He breathes in sharply, his eyes widening as the last words leave her mouth and he knows. Of course he knows what she's talking about.

“Ron told me, Harry, what happened the night you two destroyed the locket. I had to drag it out of him, but he told me. The question is, why didn't you tell me? Why would you hide something like that from me, and yet stand here and accuse me of doing the same?”

Hermione doesn't wait for him to react; she walks by him and straight up the stairs, locking herself in her room as soon as she reaches it. She knows she never answered Harry's question, not directly but now he probably knows what her big secret is and she no longer cares.

She just wants the pain and the awkwardness and the distance to go away.


If someone would have told her last year that she would be spending this Christmas Eve in such a state of distress, Hermione wouldn't have believed it.

Because, you see, last year she accompanied Harry while he visited his parents' graves. Supported him in his time of sorrow, summoned Christmas roses for him to pay his respects and everything. It was a sad, heart-breaking night, but she was with Harry, they had each other and for a brief moment they connected in their time of need.

Now she's alone, sitting once again in the Room of Requirements, in front of the Mirror of Erised.

She should inform Professor—Headmistress McGonagall and have it confiscated.

“What do you see?”

Really, the fact that his sudden appearance doesn't startle her should amount to something, but as it is, Hermione is simply too exhausted to care. So, she doesn't react at all, simply remains sitting in front of the mirror.

Harry doesn't seem deterred by her silence and sit next to her. Out of the corner of her eyes, she can see him fiddling with the Marauders' Map. After a while, he starts talking again. “The first time I looked into the Mirror, it was Christmas, our First Year. I saw my parents and grandparents and I guess several older generations of Potters behind them.”

She glances at him briefly, before focusing on the image the Mirror keeps showing her.

Harry talks again. “I haven't looked at it since, but I suppose the image would be the same. Maybe it would have some additions…”

Hermione cringes, while thinking of Ginny being one of those additions.

“Hermione, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have thrown those accusations at you, I know you wouldn't—”

“It's okay,” she interrupts, because she would—she did. “I shouldn't have reacted like I did, it was uncalled for and… I shouldn't have yelled at you.”

“I guess these past two years finally caught up to us, uh?”

Hermione chuckles weakly and hears Harry do the same because that has to be the understatement of the year. “Yeah, I guess.”

“Can we fix it, Hermione? I don't want to lose you. You are… one of the most important persons in my life.”

She looks at him then, and sees the anguish that's been plaguing for God's know how long, his eyes pleading with her to give him a positive answer. Hermione feels her resolve breaking, and she wraps her arms around him, because she simply cannot stand to see Harry so sad.

“I don't know, Harry. I truly hope we can, because… because you are one of the most important persons in my life too,” she says, whispers really, pressing her face to the side of his neck. It is necessary to hide her eyes from him now, because what she really wants to say is that he is the most important person in her life.

But can they? Can they really fix this? When they both know the other is keeping secrets from them?

Harry reacts only seconds later and embraces her back; he places his chin on top of her head at an angle she knows will allow him to look into the Mirror without trouble.

“So, what do you see when you look into the Mirror?”

Hermione pulls back to focus on the Mirror's reflection, her arms remain wrapped around his shoulder loosely.

And she sees this moment.

She and Harry sitting side by side, their arms wrapped around each other. Only, their embrace is a loving one, in the Mirror, and they are both smiling at each other. Hermione kisses his cheek and nose from time to time, and Harry reciprocates by kissing her lips lightly, lovingly as well. The love shining in Harry's eyes is hard to miss.

Hers is a simple desire.


She turns back to him and gives him a weak smile before answering. “You. I see you.”

And she presses a chaste kiss against his lips.


I'll leave this marked as complete because I don't know when I'll have the final part ready. So, yeah I hope you enjoyed Hermione's POV.

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