A/N: This was a random plot bunny that jumped me years ago and wasted away on my hard drive. I finally looked back on it and actually enjoyed it. Hope you enjoy it as well!
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or anything related to it.
Harry had just had the worst argument of his life. Ron had always had a temper and when Harry finally unleashed his wrath they rowed back and forth like he had never thought possible with his best friend.
Neville had tried to mediate but had fled when the blasting curses got involved. The entire dorm had nearly been destroyed. Ron had eventually stormed out after blocking a flurry of hexes aimed at his head. Harry repaired his own bed and laid there stewing in his anger.
Ron had barely been gone from the dorm ten minutes when the door opened again. This time softly.
It was Hermione. Harry had thought that Ron would have stopped her in the common room and told her to leave him alone. Either he hadn't or she had decided to come up anyways.
"Harry?" She asked softly again. He heard her picking through the wreckage of his belongings and blasted bits of the four posters. When she seemed to have reached his bed she stopped.
"Harry? Are you awake?" Her voice was quavering.
"I don't want to talk Hermione." He replied gruffly into his pillow. "Go away."
"We don't have to talk, but I'm not leaving." She repaire Ron's bed then took a seat facing Harry. Harry sat up to face her.
"I told you to go away." Harry glared at her. Infuriatingly, Hermione simply glared back at him. "And what makes you think I'd do that?"
"Because I don't want you here." Harry snarled. He made his way over to the door and held it open for her to walk through, but Hermione made no motion to leave. She simply stood and faced Harry.
"You don't mean that Harry."
"Yes I do now go! Go! GET OUT!" He roared. What part of this wasn't she understanding? "Leave! Get out of my life! All I want is to be alone! Just like Voldemort wants. Alone. Just me and Him to face each other."
"So that's why you packed your rucksack?" Hermione was looking at his rucksack that he had indeed packed and placed on top of his Firebolt. "You can't leave Harry, and I don't think you even want to." She was still speaking calmly.
"AND YOU KNOW JUST WHAT I WANT DON'T YOU!?! LITTLE HERMIONE, WHO STILL HAS HER MUMMY AND DADDY, NOT TO MENTION ALL THE WEASLEYS, KNOWS WHAT I WANT!" Harry was screaming now. He was screaming so loud he thought his throat would tear. "YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I WANT! I WANT IT TO BE OVER! I WANT TO DIE AND TAKE HIM WITH ME! AT LEAST THEN I COULD SEE MY PARENTS…SEE SIRIUS AGAIN!"
At that his wand sent another blasting curse that left a large black mark on the wall. He was glaring at Hermione, wishing for all the world she would take that sad look off her face. That her eyes weren't swimming with tears. What he failed to notice were his own tears.
"H-Harry." Hermione's voice was raspy, as if she was barely keeping herself from losing control. "P-Please don't talk like that. You don't want to die." Her lip was quivering and she took a step towards Harry.
"Yes Hermione, I do." Harry's voice was lower now. He didn't feel he had the strength to yell anymore. He let all his resignation seep into his voice.
"I'm tired Hermione. I'm tired of people close to me dying. Everyone who loves me ends up dead. Everyone in my life is better off leaving me. It's better for me to just hunt him down and try to kill him, or die trying." He walked across the room, attempting to pass Hermione and grab his Firebolt and bag.
Hermione grabbed his arm. He felt his resolve to leave waver.
"Please Harry." Hermione's voice was barely a whisper. "Please don't do this. I don't…I can't pretend to know any of what you're feeling. Ok? I don't. But you can't leave. If you're really going after him then I'm going with you."
Harry turned to look at Hermione. Her brown eyes were pouring tears, but beneath that Harry could see her resolve. Hermione could be incredibly stubborn, and he knew that one way or another she really would go with him.
"Hermione, you can't"
"Yes I can Harry, I've gone everywhere else with you. I went after the Sorcerer's stone with you, you know I would have gone into the Chamber of Secrets with you, I went with you to the Shrieking Shack, I went back in time with you, I would have faced the dragons and merpeople with you, I would have went to the graveyard with you, I went to the Department of Mysteries with you."
At the mention of the Department of Mysteries Harry lost his temper again.
"DON'T YOU GET IT?! YOU CANT KEEP GOING WITH ME! MY PARENTS ARE DEAD BECAUSE OF ME! SIRIUS IS DEAD BECAUSE OF ME! AND ALL MY FRIENDS NEARLY DIED BECAUSE OF ME!"
"Harry.." Hermione's eyes were pleading with him, but before she could finish Harry cut her off. "Hermione no. I can't lose you again."
"But Harry, I'm alright. I'm standing here aren't I?" Hermione gripped his arm even harder as if to prove she was really there. "You haven't lost me."
"Hermione when you went down. I thought…" Harry nearly couldn't finish. "I thought you were dead. I thought you had died and it would have been all my fault. I would never have been able to live with myself. I've never felt more terrible in my whole life. I thought my life was over. I can't go through that again. I won't."
Harry was pleading with her. He needed her to listen. Needed her to understand.
But Hermione didn't let him go. More than anything else she had ever done or said, nothing said just how devoted she was to following him wherever he went than her grip on his arm in that moment.
They both simply stood there for a minute. The only sound was a few stifled sobs from Hermione and Harry's breathing. Harry reached up to take Hermione's arm off him, but the gentle way he touched her told her his resolve to leave was gone. They took seats next to each other on Harry's bed. He wasn't sure what to say. He could feel Hermione looking at him, but he couldn't look back.
Harry still didn't look at her. He felt ready to burst at the seams. As if all the unfairness, all the pain welling inside him was ready to burst forth in one great flood. The back of his eyes stung and a lump formed in his throat.
Just when he thought the dam would hold, Hermione reached her hand out and grabbed his. He didn't remember putting his head in her lap. He didn't remember her putting her other hand in his hair or sound of her sobbing with him. He was falling apart at the seams.
Everything he had felt about his life for five years: knowing he would never know his parents, being famous because of the scar Voldemort marked him with, being unfairly ridiculed, the constant stares and whispers, the constant threats on his life and those of all that he loved, and finally losing his last vestige of a life he could never have in Sirius..
It all just flooded out in a river of tears. His hand gripped Hermione's so tight it had turned white. He could feel her shaking with the sobs that racked her as she watched her best friend fall apart. After what seemed like years, his sobs stopped coming and he ran out of tears. Hermione simply stroked his hair, content to simply be there and let Harry decide when he had gotten it all out.
Harry tried to find his voice. "Hermione?"
There was a pause as Hermoine steadied herself. "Yes Harry?"
"I'm sorry for yelling at you." Harry felt incredibly guilty for having shouted at her. He felt even worse for how he had treated Ron and blasted his friends' beds and belongings.
"Harry, you don't need to apologize."
"Hermione yes I do. No one has stood by me like you. Not even Ron. You believed me when my name appeared in the Goblet of Fire. You've stood by me through everything, and I nearly got you killed by my stupidity, as if being my friend doesn't already put you in enough danger. To top it off I've jumped down your throat at every opportunity this year and have generally been a jerk."
Harry felt like all his barriers were still gone and everything he had felt guilty about was pouring out. He knew that he wouldn't even be alive without Hermione. He knew no one followed him more loyally than her, she had taken the brunt of his anger and hurt, and his foolishness had nearly cost her life in the Department of Mysteries. He would never forget the feeling of loss when Dolohov's curse hit her or the relief when Neville found her pulse.
"H-Harry, you know I would never leave your side. We're in this together. You're my best friend. You don't think I've weighed the c-cost? Ron and I both. We know we could very well lose everything for you. We don't care. We've had plenty of time to leave and we're not leaving now." Hermione's voice shook, but as Harry lifted his head to look her in the face it was resolute.
"Hermione, thank you. For everything. For putting up with me. For staying with me." Harry couldn't bring himself to say "and for being a shoulder to cry on", but Hermione understood. He knew she did. She always understood him even better than he usually did.
"Harry of course. That's what I'm here for. I may never know what it's like to be you: to go through all you've been through, but I am always here for you. Whatever you need. Always."
Hermione wrapped him in one of her trademark hugs. Harry almost felt like he was going to lose it again, but managed to regain control. She would never know how much this meant to him. She would never be able to understand and he would never be able to explain it to her. He held her tight and kissed her forehead, hoping to communicate just how indispensible she was to him.
"Harry I want you to get some rest. I'll get the boys and we'll worry about sorting out this mess." Harry opened his mouth to object but Hermione cut across him. "No Harry, non-negotiable. You need sleep. You're a wreck. I'll stay here and wait until you're asleep if that helps." Harry couldn't really argue with her logic and was too tired to try. "That would be nice." He admitted.
Harry didn't even bother to change. He laid his glasses on the table and stretched out on his bed. The blurry outline of Hermione came closer until her face came sharply into focus; it was inches away from his own.
"I love you Harry." And before he could respond she pressed her lips onto his. It was gentle and full of the warmth that he had come to know in her presence. It was the most calming thing he had experienced in his whole life.
His tongue brushed her bottom lip and she opened up to him, their tongues awkwardly dancing together and exploring one another. The pleasant aroma of her hair filled his mind while his hands pressed her firmly into him. Her hands ran wild through his hair.
Voldemort himself could have been in the room and Harry wouldn't have noticed or cared. All that existed in the world was Hermione: Her soft lips, her warm body that fit perfectly against his own, and the sweet taste of her kiss.
They finally broke apart after what seemed like ages. He looked deep into her brown eyes and saw nothing but a bottomless well of affection. It sent his heart into jitters. He wasn't sure of anything to do or to say except
"I love you."
He didn't even remember falling asleep, but his mind was soon filled with dreams involving his bushy haired friend and what they would do with a life without Voldemort.