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One Step Closer

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Hermione stood up from the cot, slowly and carefully. Being bedridden for more than a week took a toll. She was the only one left in the hospital wing. Neville’s broken nose healed easily and Ron needed only a few potions and rest. She was surprised she was all alone. Ron was probably with his family. Harry with Sirius. After that too close encounter with death in the Department of Mysterious, she’d want to be with her family too.

She pushed her hair over her shoulder. Her hand stilled. The puckered skin of her new scar was still tender.


She squeaked. She looked around and watched as Harry appeared from beneath his invisibility cloak. “Harry? It’s the middle of the day.”

He shrugged. He set the cloak down on the end of her cot. “I wanted to be left alone.”

“Then, why are you here?”

“I meant-” Harry sighed. “You were right, Hermione. I should have listened to you.”

“Harry, don’t.”

He took small steps toward her until he stood directly before her. She had to look up to see him properly.

His usual clear green eyes were red-rimmed and weary as if he hadn’t gotten any sleep. He opened and closed his mouth, but no words came out.

Hermione held back her own tears. She brought her arms around his torso and held him as best she could. “I’m okay, Harry.”

His arms were slow to come up, but when they did, he hugged her firmly.

Hermione felt something knock against her hand. She glanced over to her side. Harry walked beside her, a light dusting of pink on his cheek.

She turned to his hand. She reached out and tugged on his pinkie. “Can I hold your hand?”

He nodded.

She slid her fingers between his and squeezed his hand. “You can hold my hand whenever you'd like.”

Harry squeezed her hand back.


She looked from her book. “Yeah?”

“Have you seen this morning’s Daily Prophet?” Harry roamed around the sitting room.

“It’s on the counter by the stove. I already flipped it toward the Sports section.”

Harry quietly moved into the kitchen, when he returned, he sat down beside her on the couch. He leaned over slightly and kissed her cheek. “Thanks, Hermione.”