Hermione sat on her bathroom floor and stared blankly at the little plastic device in her hand. It had been a total last resort before making her way to a healer. She had been feeling ill for weeks. Foods that she had normally loved were upsetting her and she woke up most mornings needing to throw up the contents of her stomach. For the first few days, she figured it was just a stomach bug and that it’d go away, but it hadn’t. Hermione had then sought out a book – naturally – and found a potion that was supposed to cure basic stomach ailments. But it didn’t work.
It was after two weeks of being sick that Hermione remembered that she hadn’t had her period since long before the Final Battle. She hadn’t really thought much of it, since she had been under a lot of stress both before the Battle of Hogwarts and after, and she knew that stress always messed with her periods.
But the thought stuck with her, and that had led Hermione to the local chemist’s shop for a test. She didn’t think that it’d actually come back positive. After all, she’d only had sex one time.
But it had. A happy little smiley face stared back at her.
The only thing she could think, the only thought flowing through her head was, What am I going to tell Harry? r
It had only happened because it was cold. Honestly. It was so cold, and no matter how many warming charms they used, they just couldn’t retain heat for long enough to stay warm, especially at night. So Hermione had suggested that they share a bed.
Harry had blushed and stuttered. Hermione had laughed at him, and then kissed him on the cheek. “I trust you,” she had said. Because it was true. She trusted Harry Potter more than any single person in the world, even more than herself at times. Hermione knew that Harry would never hurt her, at least not on purpose.
So, that night when it was time for them to get some sleep, she had crawled into Harry’s bed beside him and curled into his warmth with a contented sigh. It took him almost an hour to settle down and become comfortable, but eventually, he wrapped an arm around her waist and fell asleep.
That had started it all. Each night they would cuddle together in his bed or hers and keep each other warm. One morning, after a really nice sleep, Hermione woke up and felt Harry’s erection pressing against her bum. With fog clogging her head, she didn’t realize when she started to press herself back against him with wiggles that could only be described as sinful.
By the time they were both fully awake, Hermione had worked Harry into a frenzied state of arousal, and she wasn’t too far behind. Hermione would have thought that she would apologize and then spend the next night in her own bed suffering from the cold. But she didn’t do that. Instead she had rolled around in Harry’s arms and kissed him. She didn’t wait for him to respond, Hermione just pushed her lips against his and shoved her tongue into his mouth. Harry froze, but then kissed her back. And it was so good. Before they knew it, they were both naked with Hermione straddling Harry’s hips as she rode him to completion after completion.
When it was over, and they both were laying on their sides facing each other, breathing hard. That was when reality set in for Hermione. She closed her eyes and tried desperately to control the blush that was threatening to take over her entire body.
What had she just done?
After she had fled a few moments later to the bedroom to clean herself up, she stared into the bathroom mirror at her flushed reflection. Hermione knew that she wanted Ron. It was Ron who had stirred thoughts of love and lust for so long that she couldn’t even remember. It had never been Harry.
Well...almost never. In third year she had crushed on him hard, but then she found out he couldn’t go to Hogsmede, which meant that she spent more time with Ron, and her affections had changed.
But now she and Harry had slept together, and she knew it had changed everything. Hermione blushed deeper as she knew there hadn’t been any sleeping involved at all. Now she was more confused than ever. Ron was gone, having abandoned them weeks before, and now she had just fucked her best friend into the mattress that they only shared because it was so damn cold outside. What was she supposed to do now?
Eventually, Hermione dragged her body into the shower and had cleaned herself. The tenderness between her legs only served as a constant reminder that she had just lost her virginity to Harry Potter. Her virginity that she had always thought would be given to Ron.
Once she was done in the shower. Hermione reluctantly returned to the main area of the tent. Harry was dressed – having used the second, smaller, bathroom to clean up – and was standing at the stove cooking porridge.
“Harry...” Hermione said as she came up behind him. Harry looked towards her, his face unreadable. Hermione flinched. She was always able to read Harry, it was one of the things that made their friendship so great. The only times it hadn’t been true were during the times when they weren’t getting along like during the broom fiasco during third year and during their sixth year where she had been too caught up in being right to realize that her best friend was hurting. Seeing that unreadable expression on his face now hurt quite a bit.
“We should talk,” She said finally.
Harry just nodded and turned off the burner. He wiped his hands on a dish rag and turned towards her, giving her an expectant look. Hermione flushed, knowing that he was waiting for her to start the conversation.
“Look, what we did was a mistake,” She started, and flinched a bit when hurt flashed across his features. “I mean, not a mistake, but it shouldn’t have happened. I’m sorry, I just got caught up and...”
Harry just looked at her for a moment before he nodded. “If that’s the way you see it, then that’s okay, I guess.”
“Wait, isn’t it the way you see it too,” Hermione asked. “After all, you have Ginny to think about.”
“Ginny and I aren’t together anymore, Hermione.”
“But you will get back together when the war is over, I know you will.”
Harry shrugged. “Maybe, but I doubt it. She is more interested in my fame than anything else. It’s something that I learned throughout our relationship.”
“So, you don’t think what we did was a mistake?”
Again, Harry shrugged. “I don’t know. I mean it was nice, and I don’t regret it, so how can it be a mistake?”
“But you don’t even like me like that!” Hermione said in exasperation. Harry was silent, which caused Hermione to shift uncomfortably. “Do you?”
“I...I did. For a long time,” Harry said softly, looking her in the eyes. “But I’ve known since the end of third year that you chose Ron and that he returned your feelings.”
Hermione stared back at him, shocked. She couldn’t even fathom what he was saying. She’d never once, not ever, got any indication that Harry Potter fancied her. Not once. In fact, if she had been asked, Hermione would have bet a lot of money on Harry seeing her as a sibling, not as a romantic interest. “I...I don’t even know what to say”
“I think you’ve already said everything you need to. It was a mistake, right?”
“Harry...” Hermione said, reaching out for him. He didn’t back away, but he didn’t step forward either.
“No, Hermione. It’s okay. I’ve known for a long time that it was never going to be me. It’s why I went after Cho and then Ginny. You’re not breaking my heart or anything. I may be a teensy-tiny bit in love with you, but I’ve already gotten over it, I’ll be fine.”
With that, Harry went back to cooking breakfast and Hermione stood there staring at her best friend like he had grown an extra head. Harry was in love with her? What?
Hermione went to her bunk and pulled out a book and tried to read, but she couldn’t focus. She couldn’t think about anything other than what Harry had said. The next two days went on like that, with her trying desperately to think about something other than the fact that her best friend was in love with her. The atmosphere in the tent was tense, and Hermione knew that it was only a matter of time before it snapped and something dramatic happened.
And it did. Three nights after the day Hermione and Harry had sex, Ronald Weasley came trotting back into their lives, sword of Gryffindor in toe, and spouting many mostly-sincere apologies in her direction.
Ron’s return helped Hermione focus on something other than Harry, namely, her anger at the red-headed arsehole who had spent weeks in a warm bed with lots of food while she and Harry froze and starved.
By the time Ron had been back for a week, Harry and Hermione’s relationship was mostly back to ‘normal.’ There were moments where Hermione would feel uncomfortable, but mostly she and Harry returned to the friendship that they had enjoyed before Hermione had almost ruined it. It was that, more than anything else, that made Hermione decide that the best thing to do was to ignore the event completely. Harry seemed to be doing the same thing, so she didn’t feel bad, and as he had said, she wasn’t breaking his heart by not choosing to be with him.
And besides, they had more important things to do, like find the next bloody horcrux.
She had hurt him though. Hermione had seen the hurt on his face when she kissed Ron during the Battle of Hogwarts. She had seen the dejected look on his face after the Battle had ended when she and Ron had come up to him holding hands. But he didn’t say anything. He gave them a smile and congratulated them about getting together. It didn’t reach his eyes, but Hermione appreciated the effort. The day after the Battle, Hermione cornered him and asked him about his reaction.
“Harry… are we okay?”
Harry looked at her for a moment before giving her a grin. “Of course we are.”
“No, I mean...I know we didn’t...talk about what happened in the tent, but I wanted to make sure it’s not going to affect our friendship.”
“It won’t, Hermione. I told you, it wasn’t like you broke my heart or anything. I’m happy for you and Ron, really.”
Hermione studied him and he looked sincere, but she could see in his eyes the pain that she had caused him. “I’m sorry, Harry.”
Harry gave her a real smile then. “You don’t have to apologize, Hermione, not at all. No matter what, I want you to be happy. You’re my best friend. If you’re happy, then I’m happy. Don’t worry about me and my feelings. I’m fine.”
“No, really. I’m okay. I’m going to go see Andromeda and Teddy today, and help her with Remus’ and Tonks’ funerals. Are you going to be with the Weasleys?
Hermione nodded, letting him change the subject. It hurt her to think that she caused him pain, but if he was going to be okay with her and Ron, she would try to make sure she didn’t cause him anymore distress by picking at the wound.
Since that day, things had been as normal as they could be given that they’d spent two weeks going to funerals every day and several more weeks helping to repair Hogwarts. She saw Harry almost every day, and he didn’t seem distant or anything, so Hermione vowed to move on. She and Ron were giving their relationship a chance, and that was going okay, and Hermione had hope for the future.
But now she was pregnant. With Harry Potter’s baby. Harry Potter, who was not her boyfriend. Harry Potter, who was in love with her, and had told her so. Harry Potter who she’d had sex with and then rejected with a simple, yet hurtful statement.
Hermione didn’t stop the tears that started to flow down her cheeks. What am I going to do?
Harry Potter exited the bank in a trance. The entire experience he had just had was completely surreal, and he wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. For one, he was apparently one of the most wealthy men in Britain.
Harry didn’t know what to make of that fact, but there it was. He wasn’t so shocked about that, however. He had known that his family had a lot of money and that the vault that he had been using since he was eleven was just his trust vault. So finding out that the Potters were very wealthy was not that surprising. Harry had also realized that he had received a lot of money from Sirius. The Blacks were much wealthier than the Potters, and Harry had received all of that money.
The real shocker had come when Harry had found out about the hundreds of people who had sent him money over the years. Dumbledore had apparently created an account in 1982 that received every donation and gift that Harry received. That vault was also used for almost two decades worth of fan mail, which Harry wasn’t looking forward to going through. The money though was shocking. There were people who had willed him the entirety of their estates. The grand total of those gifts made the Potter and Black fortunes, both of which numbered in the high nine figures, look paltry. It was mind boggling.
The money he had made the 10 million galleon fine he had paid the goblins much easier to swallow. They had not been happy about Harry’s ‘excursion’ into the bank, and had showed that displeasure by taking a hefty fine and forcing him to sign a blood oath stating that he’d never steal from the bank again. They had only been that lenient after they had found out why Harry and his friends had broken into the Lestrange vault.
Harry looked out over Diagon Alley and held in a smile. It was so nice to see the alley full once again. It was all too easy to remember how deserted, dark and dreary it had been when he, Ron and Hermione had made their way through just a few weeks before. Many of the shops and businesses were reopened and the few that weren’t still showed signs of life. That wasn’t to say that there weren’t signs of the war that had just ended still visible. Ollivanders was still a burned out husk of its former glory, and Harry knew that it was likely to stay that way for some time. Ollivander was still recovering from months of torture at the hands of Voldemort and his minions. Harry wasn’t sure the old man would ever be the same after that ordeal.
With a silent sigh, Harry made his way into the burgeoning crowds and towards the main apparition point. He had a hat over his head now so that he wasn’t recognized, so he moved fairly freely, which was a relief. After learning so much about his family from the Goblins he wasn’t quite sure he could handle being mobbed by a bunch of well wishers.
A few minutes later he arrived at Grimmauld Place and flopped down on the new sofa he had gone out of his way to purchase. Harry had plans to slowly renovate the entire house – though now that he knew he had other homes he figured that he could take his time. The sofa, however, was not something he was going to wait for. The old furniture was dusty, hard and pretentious. Harry spent most of his time on the couch, so he wanted something comfortable. So a few days after the funerals ended, he had went to the nearest furniture store and picked out the one with the best cushions. It was bright orange, but Harry did not care one bit. It was the most sinfully comfortable thing he had ever sat on.
Harry pulled out the ledger that his account manager Sharpclaw had given him. It was full of information not only on the money he had in his accounts, but also the businesses he owned or had investments in. The list was almost as staggering as the amount of gold in his vaults.
Harry stared down at the black ink that flowed over the parchment. It was too much to even consider. All this information did, was make Harry keep thinking about what came next for him.
Ever since the funerals ended, Harry had been thinking about that single question: What’s next ? Voldemort was gone. For years and years, Harry’s only goal was to survive his next encounter with the Dark Lord. That was it. Beat Voldemort and hopefully live to tell the tale. Now that was over, and Harry found himself to be at a loss as to what to do next.
The only thing he knew he didn’t want to do was go back to Hogwarts. Harry just knew that Hermione would be going back, and just the thought of being around her and Ron turned his stomach. It wasn’t as if they were fighting or anything. It was that Harry just couldn’t stand watching his two best friends now that they were together romantically. It hurt so much to see Hermione kiss Ron, and while she tried not to do it when Harry was around, there were a few times when Harry saw them together and it just ripped him to shreds.
He had lied to Hermione when he said she hadn’t broken his heart. They’d had sex and then she had told him that she thought it was a mistake. Harry couldn’t fathom how the best thing that had ever happened to him could be a ‘mistake.’ It just didn’t make sense.
But Harry had gone along with it. What else could he do? He had even made a joke out of his feelings, and told Hermione that he would be fine. Because he would be fine. Harry had good practice at hiding his feelings for his best female friend. She had chosen Ron long ago, and since that wouldn’t change, Harry would just continue to suck it up.
That didn’t mean he would put up with having to see their relationship everyday while attending Hogwarts. He was no masochist. Harry was happy for his friends, but he would not subject himself to torture.
So Hogwarts was out.
The other option was taking his NEWTs at the ministry of magic and joining the Auror department. That held little appeal for Harry, as he was quite sick of fighting off dark wizards left and right. Even through he’d planned on entering the Auror Academy after Hogwarts in his fifth year, things had changed. Voldemort was gone, and Harry was done fighting. He just was.
So, he’d take his NEWTs, but then what? Harry looked back down at the ledger in his lap and realized that he could literally do anything he wanted with his life. Money was apparently never ever going to be an issue for him or his offspring.
With a sigh, Harry put the ledger on the couch cushion next to him. The answer was not going to be found in columns of ink on parchment. Whatever the answer was, Harry hoped he could figure it out soon.
Hermione had eventually pulled herself together. She had gotten up off of her bathroom floor, flushed the toilet, washed her hands and face, and then meandered out to her bedroom where she changed into her most comfortable pyjamas and flopped down on her bed. She had no interest in facing the world at all, even though it was just a few hours after lunchtime. Instead, she fell asleep feeling sorry for herself.
When she woke up it was well past dinner time, and her stomach was complaining again. This time, luckily, it was in hunger and not because she needed to say hello to the toilet seat.
Wearily, Hermione got out of bed and made her way out into the main area of her flat. She loved the little space. It was only three rooms in total, but it had character. The main area housed a small kitchen, living space/dining room, and office. The bedroom was small, but just the right size for a queen sized bed and a night stand, and the bathroom was just large enough to hold a claw foot tub and a sink. It wasn’t extravagant, but it was hers, and to Hermione, that was all that mattered.
She stuck with a simple meal of cereal, as she really didn’t feel like cooking anything. As Hermione was munching on a spoonful of raisin bran, she gazed out blankly at the city street below her flat. It felt like the entire world was collapsing around her and she could do nothing to stop it.
What did she do now? Hermione knew that no matter what happened between her and Harry, her relationship with Ron was over. She knew Ron better than he knew himself, and she knew that there was no way he was going stick around with her and help raise another man’s baby. It was just not possible. He might have matured a bit after he had come back during the Horcrux Hunt, but he hadn’t matured that much.
What was she going to tell him? She couldn’t very well go over to his flat and tell him that she had gotten knocked up and that it was his baby, not when she had told him that their entire tryst was a mistake. Hermione knew that she had hurt him, and that she was still hurting him, no matter what he said out loud. She could see the pain on Harry’s face every time she forgot herself and showed Ron affection in front of Harry. It wasn’t that she couldn’t imagine a scenario where they could work things out, it was that she couldn’t think of a situation where she wouldn’t just hurt Harry more. Hermione knew that her feelings weren’t those of a woman for a man when it came to Harry Potter. She was attracted to him – obviously, given the outcome of their one time in bed together – but she wasn’t romantically interested in him, and she hadn’t been in many years. Hermione couldn’t see that situation changing, even with a baby now in the mix.
Add in the hurt that she had already caused him, and Hermione knew she was stuck between a rock and a hard place when it came to options.
On the other hand, it wasn’t like she couldn’t tell him at all. That would be the absolute worst thing she could do, because eventually it would come out, probably at the exact worst time. Not to mention that the baby would probably come out of her looking exactly like its father. There was no way she could pass off a black haired, green-eyed baby as a Weasley, even if she were that cold hearted, which she wasn’t.
So she had to tell him, and she couldn’t be with him. She also couldn’t be with Ron. Hermione hadn’t felt so alone in her entire life. She couldn’t even go and talk to her mom, because her mum was in Australia and didn’t even know that she had a daughter. Hermione had known that the charm she had used on her parents was permanent, and she didn’t regret saving her parents in such a way, but right now she could really, really use her mum. The tears that flowed down her cheeks couldn’t be stopped and Hermione didn’t try anyways. What was the point? She was alone, just like she probably always would be.
Neville Longbottom loved plants. It was a secret that his most favorite subject at Hogwarts had always been Herbology. It was probably the thing that made his Grandmother the most disappointed in him throughout the years. He wasn’t a charms prodigy like his mother had been or a defense prodigy like his father had been. Neville had no interest in being an Auror or working for the ministry. To Augusta Longbottom, Neville’s unwillingness to be like his parents was a complete failure and for many years that had been exactly how she had treated him.
It had only changed when he had gone to the Department of Mysteries with Harry Potter and the rest of his friends. Neville’s bravery that night showed his Gran that there was more to the boy than just a few potted plants could show. She had gotten him a new wand and the rest, as they say, is history. Even Neville, however, was shocked at what he had become during his seventh year at Hogwarts. Standing up to Voldemort there at the end was simultaneously the most brave and stupid thing he had ever done. He’d been utterly terrified, but he would not let that beast kill more of his friends if he could help it. Harry had told him to kill the snake, and one thing that Neville had learned throughout the years is that if Harry said something, it was important to listen.
After the war, Neville watched the Golden Trio – as the press was calling them. He could tell that Harry was putting on an act of being okay with Ron and Hermione’s relationship, he was pretty sure that anyone watching Harry could tell that. For years, Neville would have sworn that Harry and Hermione would end up together, but it looked like he had been wrong. Neville was sad for his friend and he couldn’t really see what Hermione saw in Ron that made him a better choice than Harry.
But then you couldn’t choose who you fall in love with, Neville had learned that better than most. He had fallen in love with Ginny Weasley even though he’d known that Ginny belonged to Harry. They’d spent so much time together during the first term that Neville just knew that she was the girl for him. When she didn’t come back after Christmas he was a little heartbroken, but also a lot relieved, since she would no longer have to put up with the Death Eater infestation at Hogwarts.
Now that the war was over, Ginny was avoiding him, and he was done with that. Neville apparated outside the Burrow and pinged the notification ward with his magic. He knew that Ginny was likely hurting due to Fred’s death, but she didn’t need to hide that from him. Neville’s insecurities told him that she was likely hiding from him because she didn’t return his feelings, and that hurt quite a bit.
He was greeted by Mr. Weasley. “Ah, Neville. What do we owe this pleasure?”
“Hello, Mr. Weasley. I was wondering if I could talk to Ginny for a few moments.”
“Ginny?” Mr. Weasley asked in surprise then he shrugged. “Sure. Here, come on through.”