READ BEFORE PROCEEDING: Bulgaria is now a war-zone, Harry and Ginny are married, Ron and Hermione are married and this is set about four years after Deathly Hallows. Bold parts are the present, italicized parts are flashbacks. Hope you enjoy! :)
Disclaimer: I'm 17, I live in the Philippines, I ship Harmony so hard it hurts, I am clearly not J.K. Rowling. Nothing is mine, it's all hers. "O Children" is by Nick Cave. Oh, and the song at the end is David James Archuleta's. That's all.
It was about two hours past midnight. They were on the rooftop, just the two of them. They were finally alone after almost two years. He stared at his watch, something that became a habit ever since he'd been assigned to this mission.
Today, he decided, he'd have to tell them today during Mrs. Weasley's bi-monthly Sunday brunch. In front of his whole family.
God, he was screwed.
"I've been assigned to Bulgaria."
And then all hell broke loose.
The plate Mrs. Weasley was holding shattered into a million pieces, Charlie swore into oblivion and Fleur started talking in rapid fire French.
Ginny flung herself to him, half-screamed "No. Harry! You can't. You-I can't lose you, Harry. Not again. Not again!" and then proceeded to sob on his shoulder.
He stared at her and saw the sadness, fear, hurt and desperation in her eyes. And he couldn't bear to look at her for just one more second. Seeing her like that hurt him a million times more. And so he looked at Ginny instead.
"Would you stop constantly staring at your watch like that? It's driving me in-bloody-sane!" she told him.
He chuckled then asked "Do you think they'd give me a medal for that?"
"For making you swear." He grinned at her.
"Oh, honestly!" she huffed back at him.
"Nicholas Flamel," she whispered dramatically, "is the only known maker of the Sorcerer's Stone!"
This didn't have quite the effect she'd expected.
"The what?" said Harry and Ron.
"Oh, honestly, don't you two read? Look -read that, there."
"Ron was supposed to take this assignment too, you know." He suddenly confessed.
"Yeah?" she said, softly.
"What happened?" she asked.
"I had to make him change his mind." He replied.
"What do you mean I'm not going to Bulgaria?!?!?!?" Ron bellowed at him.
"I mean: You're. Not. Coming. It's too dangerous, Ron."
"That's rich, Harry. I fought a bloody war with you. Why can't I do the same now?"
"I can't risk it Ron."
"Wherever you go, I go. Remember? I thought that was clear when we went into the Chamber of Secrets back in second year."
"Ron, listen to me!" he shouted. Ron stared at him and nodded.
"I need you here. I need someone to be with the girls. Our girls. What if we both get killed in Bulgaria, eh? I can't -can't do that to them, Ron. I need you here. I just -okay?"
"So you'll stay?"
Ron sighed. "So I'll stay."
"How's Ginny doing by the way?" she asked him suddenly.
"Oh, you know. It's not getting any easier for her." He answered her.
"Well, I could just imagine. Her with the baby and all."
"Yeah." He mumbled.
"Aren't you the least bit excited? You're gonna be a dad, after all."
"I'm more scared than excited, to be honest." He told her.
"Because you might leave him fatherless?"
"Harry. Love, I need to talk to you." Ginny said as she slipped into bed.
"What is it, Gin? I've got to read these files Kingsley gave me."
"Harry...I'm pregnant." She whispered.
He quickly looked up from his files. "What?"
"I'm pregnant. You're going to be a father."
"Where's Ron? I mean, it's my last day and all. Shouldn't he be here?"
"We had a little argument."
"Well, I'm sorry if our relationship isn't as perfect as yours and Ginny's!" she snapped at him.
"I didn't -you know that's not what I meant. I just thought that the arguments would lessen now." He said.
"I know. I know. I'm sorry. It's just that things are just complicated with me and Ron. Not that it's never been not complicated, I mean. He's just been more distant than usual and my work has been taking over my life and -what are you laughing at, Harry James Potter?" she huffed at him.
"You're ranting, again." He laughed.
"You're brilliant, Hermione. Truly." He said sincerely, grasping her hand.
"Actually, I'm highly logical which allows me to look past extraneous detail and perceive clearly what others overlook!" she replied hurriedly.
"So, have you been to Diagon Alley lately?" she asked him once they ran out of things to talk to.
"Ginny normally does the shopping with Molly so, no. Why?"
"Ron just says that George is getting worse."
"Yeah. I noticed."
"How'd you know?"
"It's just that when I told everyone about Bulgaria. He just...didn't react the way I thought he would."
"So what'd he do?"
"Hey, Harry? Can I talk to you in private?" George whispered to him.
"Yeah, sure, George." He stood up from his seat and followed George into the den.
"What is it George?"
"Harry. I -are you sure about going to Bulgaria?"
"Yeah. For the good of the wizarding world and all that. It is my eternal job to rid the world from evil." He tried to joke but to no avail.
"I've already lost one brother to a war, Harry. I don't want to lose another one."
"He's just scared to lose you Harry. We all are."
"I've never said this during the first war but I'm scared to die too, Hermione." He admitted.
"Good. I'd be worried if you weren't."
There was a beat of silence between the two of them.
"I'm scared for you."
"You are trying to figure this egg out aren't you?" she asked him, worried.
"What's that suppose to mean?" he snapped at her.
"It just means that these tasks are designed to test you. In the most brutal way, they're almost cruel and..."
He looked away from her.
"I'm scared for you. You got by the dragons by mostly your nerve. I don't think it's going to be enough this time."
"You never told me why you accepted this mission."
"Thought you of all people would figure it out."
"Well, I do have my theories."
"Like you said, I've got a saving people thing."
"You're really thick, Harry."
"I'm not coming back, Hermione. I've got to finish whatever Dumbledore started. I don't know where that will lead me but I'll let you and Ron know, when I can."
"I've always admired your courage, Harry, but sometimes you can be really thick. You don't really think you're going to be able to find all of these horcruxes by yourself do you?"
He swallowed and she leaned closer.
"You need us, Harry."
It was time.
"Hermione, I need to get going."
"Aren't you going to wake Ginny up?"
"We uhh...already said our goodbyes."
He looked at her. Really looked at her. Trying to memorize every detail, every freckle on her. He wanted to remember what she looked like forever. He wanted it imprinted on his brain until the day he died and considering his circumstances, that might happen anytime soon.
He had just raised his wand when the compartment door slid open again. The toadless boy was back, but this time he had a girl with him. She was already wearing her new Hogwarts robes.
"Has anyone seen a toad? Neville's lost one," she said. She had a bossy sort of voice, lots of bushy brown hair, and rather large front teeth.
"Are you sure that's a real spell?" said the girl. "Well, it's not very good is it? I've tried a few simple spells just for practice and it's all worked for me. Nobody in my family's magic at all, it was ever such a surprise when I got my letter, but I was ever so pleased, of course, I mean, it's the very best school of witchcraft there is, I've heard - I've learned all our course books by heart, of course, I just hope it will be enough -I'm Hermione Granger, by the way, who are you?"
She said all this very fast.
"Wait one more minute."
"I can't Hermione."
"Yes, you can. And you know you want to."
"Harry Potter," said Harry
"Are you really?" said Hermione "I know all about you, of course -I got a few extra books for background reading, and you're in Modern Magical History and The Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts and Great Wizarding Events of the Twentieth Century."
"Am I?" said Harry, feeling dazed.
You're five minutes late.
"Hermione, I really do need to go now."
"Oh, Harry" she said and hugged him tighter than she normally did.
"Well - I was lucky once , wasn't I?" said Harry, pointing at his scar. "I might get lucky again."
Hermione's lip trembled, and she suddenly dashed at Harry and threw her arms around him.
"Harry - you're a great wizard, you know."
"I'm not as good as you," said Harry, very embarrassed, as she let go of him.
"Me!" said Hermione. "Books! And cleverness! There are more important things - friendship and bravery and - oh Harry - be careful!"
She stepped away from him slightly and stared at his emerald eyes.
Great Godric, she's beautiful he thought.
"What is it?" she asked.
"I -nothing." He stammered He didn't understand why he hadn't spotted it before.
His eyes fell instead on the girl next to Krum. His jaw dropped.
It was Hermione.
But she didn't look like Hermione at all. She had done something with her hair; it was no longer bushy but sleek and shiny, and twisted up into an elegant knot at the back of her head. She was wearing robes made of a floaty, periwinkle-blue material, and she was holding herself differently, somehow - or maybe it was merely the absence of the twenty or so books she usually had slung over her back. She was also smiling - rather nervously, it was true - but the reduction in the size of her front teeth was more noticeable than ever; Harry couldn't understand how he hadn't spotted it before.
"Do you honestly expect me to believe that?" she laughed.
"You're beautiful." He blurted out.
"No, I'm not. But thank you, Harry. That's sweet of you."
"It might have been a good idea to mention how ugly you think I am... "
"But I don't think you're ugly," said Harry, bemused.
"Harry, you're worse than Ron . . . well, no, you're not," she sighed.
The silence surrounding them was deafening. They were in his living room now, his pack on his shoulders but he couldn't bring himself to apparate. Not yet. Not with her looking at him like that with those hazelnut eyes of hers.
"So, I guess this is goodbye? For now, at least?" He told her, shattering the silence.
And that broke her. She started to cry. Harder than she'd ever cried before. Harder than when she mourned for all the dead in the war. Harder than when she sobbed after Ron left.
And so he went to her, wrapped his arms around her, muttering sweet nothings in her ear.
"'Bye, Harry!" said Hermione, and she did something she had never done before, and kissed him on the cheek.
"You've said to us once before," said Hermione quietly, "that there was time to turn back if we wanted to. We've had time, haven't we?"
"Harry!" she sobbed and clutched onto him tighter.
"Shhh. Hermione. Please. Stop crying now, okay?"
She only sobbed harder.
'Hey little train! Wait for me!
I was held in chains but now I'm free
I'm hanging in there, don't you see
In this process of elimination
"Don't go, Harry." She whispered in his ear "Please, don't go."
"I - I -Hermione, we talked about this." He said, pulling away from her.
"Harry, wait! Don't go. Oh, God, please!" she sobbed.
One more minute
Wait, wait, wait don't go
Just one more minute
Wait, wait, wait don't go
She ran to him again, her face nuzzling his shirt and whispered "Please."
He sighed. How could he deny her like this? It was impossible, torturous, unimaginable.
I can't sleep I'm feeling wide awake
Tonight is taking it's time
How much more before the morning breaks
And I can leave it all behind
'Cause every time I try to close my eyes
I only end up seeing memories of you
And it's never enough I'm waiting
Even though you're gone I can hear your heart
It's calling out my name like a flash in the dark
If this is just a dream
I won't give it back
I'll find a way to make it last
One more minute wait wait wait don't go
Just one more minute wait wait wait don't go
A/N: I like reviews. :DDocument created with wvWare/wvWare version 1.2.7