It’s been hard, living with the knowledge that she’s alone in the world, no parents anymore, at least not for now, not since she’s wiped their memories and sent them off to Australia. Today, on Christmas Eve, this holiday that’s meant to be about home and happy warmth and family, it hits her harder than ever, what she’s done, what she’s lost, possibly for good.
Rather than a house, there’s just the tent. Rather than warmth, there’s the cold snow crunching beneath her feet, and rather than happiness there’s fear and a strained sense of urgency. Rather than her family, there’s just Harry.
But it’s what she chose--he is what she chose--and hard as it is, Hermione doesn’t regret it. She could never be sorry for choosing to be by his side. Especially now, as she holds his hand and he clutches hers back almost hard enough to make it ache as she watches him, Harry Potter, let loose and simply cry. He abandons all pretense at strength and poise; he trusts her enough to lay himself and all his emotions open before her eyes without any fear of judgment or mockery, though at the moment, she knows Harry could care less who sees him sobbing before that cold grey stone like a lost child.
She feels an empathetic twinge in her own chest, a shallow echo of that feeling of loss, but deep as her own sorrow is, Hermione knows that Harry’s is infinitely deeper. That doesn’t make her pain any less real, but even so, the mingling of logic and compassion give her perspective, and she steps closer so that their shoulders brush and their shadows melt together, squeezing Harry’s hand tighter still.
It’s her first Christmas without her parents.
It’s Harry’s first Christmas with his.