Love can sometimes be magic. But magic can sometimes…just be an illusion.
My life at Hogwarts as a carefree determined student was near its end, though at that time I never could have thought so. Now as I reflect on the days I had with him, they were so close to…perfection. I began to doubt the belief that perfection was not possible. People said our relationship was a living example. I believed it.
And now…it’s all just the unforgetable past. The past I still hold on to, the memories I wish to keep with me- except those memories. Those memories wake me in my sleep. Those memories will never leave, never stop taunting me.
But no one is to blame.
Not even him.
Nothing can be changed once it happens. You just have to wake up and hope everything’s going to be OK.
That’s what I have to do now. Wake up. But it’s hard when waking up means accepting reality. That perahps the person you fell in love with would bring you your worst nightmares.
Sometimes the best way to forget is to relive those memories. Understand and accept them.
That’s why you’re here now, to listen to my story. How I was mesmerized by love’s spell and drowned by love’s intesity. Help me wake up.
The next week was blurry, passing so quickly that I was utterly dazed. The October air smelled of smoke and leaves, crisp, alive, and filled with excitement. Every time I took a sniff of it, my heart would flutter as it reminded me of his scent after a Quidditch practice.
I had become Harry Potter’s girlfriend. First girlfriend to be exact. For seven days now, and I don’t regret. In my eyes, no longer is he the mysterious boy-who-lived, but my boyfriend. Sometimes I have to stop walking and pinch myself. Nope, not a dream. This was real. We were real.
As for everybody else…they thought we were a joke. All the Gryffindors stared as we made our first public appearance together hand in hand upon entering the Great Hall for lunch one afternoon. All the Ravenclaws stared. All the Hufflepuffs and even the Slytherins. The males whistled and cheered, hoping that since Harry Potter was finally taken that the girls would start looking at them. While they cheered, the females sneered. Millicent’s buttons were so ever popular that once the whole female population flashed them in unison upon my entrance. But I did not falter, I did not break.
Harry was always there. Catching me when I felt like I would fall. Supporting me when I felt like crumbling. He became my pillar of support and affection. If I was doubtful, he would reassure me.
“Look at them, they hate me,” I would suddenly realize when another button flashed before my eyes.
He would squeeze my hand, “It’ll be over soon,” he’d say soothingly. “Soon their jealousy will fade and they’ll look at you in a different light.”
That kept me going. Yes, soon they’ll all realize how silly they’re acting. Soon L&P will start fussing about my hair again. Soon Ginny will come back and tell me of all her latest problems. It was only a matter of time.
So here I am, in the comforting embrace of the library walls. With books and more books aligned on many wooden shelves, surrounding me with knowledge that I was thirsty to gain. And it was then that I learned a bit more about my boyfriend.
“What are you doing ‘Mione?”
“I can’t seem to find…” I flipped another page of Most Famous Trials of Witch Burning.
“The most famous witch burned during the 14th century?” Harry read off the question from my History of Magic assignment sheet.
I nodded, only half listening as I was determined to find the answer in the book. “It has to be here somewhere…”
I lifted my head, narrowing my eyes ever so slightly. “Pardon?”
“Patricia Rosebury,” he repeated, “most famous witch of the 14th century, famous for inventing the Wolfsbane Potion yet sadly burned on the night of July 17th.”
I blinked. He shrugged, “If you don’t believe me, I do recall it’s on page 75 of that book you’re holding.”
My fingers quickly fumbled through the pages, landing on page 75. I scanned the page, my eyes widening by the second as the words seeped into my brain. “Goodness…you’re right!”
Harry didn’t seem surprised as he returned to playing with his peacock feathered quill, which he explained he had gotten from Gilderoy Lockhart during the second year.
“How about the 16th century then?” I tested.
He stopped flipping his quill and replied, “Mistress Eliza the IV, whom supposedly was a distant relative of Helga Hufflepuff. Some believed Eliza escaped, which was probably very likely.”
I looked at my book and was amazed to see he was correct once again. “Amazing…”
He simply gave me a lop-sided grin as I continued to ask miscellaneous questions out of the blue for an whole hour. And much to my amazement, he knew the answer to each and every single one of them.
Very well then. I had a world famous wizard as a boyfriend, and a genius as a boyfriend too. Splendid.
The weather was chilly now, the leaves red and yellow, a perfect picture of autumn. Walking on dry leaves, and hearing them crunch under your every step is a rather comforting sound. I tugged my scarf tighter around my neck as I glanced wistfully at Harry who was doing the same thing.
He gave me a small smile and reached his hands towards my scarf, tightening it around my neck for me. “There.” He stepped back. “All nice and cozy.”
I smiled softly and looked up at the darkening sky, streaked with pink and orange as if someone had spilt a big bucket of multi-coloured paint onto the sky. I breathed out, watching my breath come out in a little puff of smoke. “If only it was snowing, wouldn’t it be pretty?”
Harry looked at the sky thoughtfully, and then suddenly crouched down. I tilted my head in confusion. “Harry?”
Before I knew what was happening, Harry popped back up with a handful of leaves in his arms and was tossing it in the air. I gave a yelp of surprise as the leaves rained down on me in flakes of red, orange, and yellow. “What are you doing?”
“Creating snow,” Harry replied with a lop-sided grin and threw another bundle of leaves into the air.
I untangled one from my hair and giggled, tossing a bundle in his direction. “You’re so silly!”
“Am not,” He pouted and tossed another pile right at me.
I fell backwards, landing onto the pile of leaves behind me. My robes and hair caught with dried leaves and dirt, but Harry didn’t look any better. I broke into giggles as Harry stood there with a smudge of dirt on his nose and a particulary big leaf stuck right ontop of his head. “What?”
I waved my hand, signaling him to crouch down- and he did so. I plucked the leaf off his head and laughed. “Look at me! I’ve got leaves stuck in my shoe even! This is going to take a long time to get out…”
Harry simply grinned, “Here, I’ll help.”
“Thank…” I was cut off as another pile of leaves rained down on me right ontop of my head. I glared at Harry through the raining leaves. “Oooh you’re so dead Mr. Potter!!”
He didn’t laugh, but stood up and ran in the opposite direction, me following close behind. Of course, he ran much faster than me, but it was still fun to try and catch up with him. Harry slowly realized that I would probably never catch up to him at this rate, and finally slowed down.
I pounced onto his back, bringing leaves and twigs up with me; we both landed on the ground in a heap of robes and leaves. “Owww, I think a twig got stuck in my shoe.” Harry complained.
I stuck my tongue out. “Serves you right!” I stood up to brush off my newly decorated robes and blew a tuff of hair away from my face. “You know, I think we better hurry. We’re going to miss dinner..”
“That’s why we skip the ‘cleaning our selves off’ part and just go straight to dinner,” Harry replied, taking my hand and leading me towards the castle.
“But we can’t possibly just go in like this!” I looked at myself from the reflection on the window we were walking by quickly. My hair was in disarray, a couple strands sticking up on end, my robes were wrinkly and leaves were stuck onto me everywhere- in my hair, on my robes, on my tights.
“Why not?” He chuckled and opened the grand doors of the Great Hall.
I wanted to squeeze my eyes shut, but the sudden light from the Great Hall and the number of eyes looking our way made my eyes stay open. I swallowed hard and looked at Harry. He was perfectly calm. “I’ll see you later then, ‘Mione?” He looked at me with his entracing eyes.
I nodded and he smiled, releasing my hand while striding towards the Slytherin table as if it was ordinary for a student to walk in like a walking pile of leaves. I hastily headed towards Gryffindor table, noticing the many curious looks I was receiving.
“Where did you come from?” Lavender glanced at me from head to toe with a disgusted look on her pretty little face.
I huffed and sat away from her, near Neville who looked curious. “Where did you come from Hermione?”
“Outside,” I replied, suddenly feeling awfully hungry.
“Oh.” He said bluntly while scooping up a spoonfull of mashed potatoes.
I ran a hand through my jostled hair, untangling the leaves from them and brushing off my robes with my other hand. Neville still looked at me curiously. “You went outside with Harry, didn’t you?” He asked, wide-eyed.
I stopped cleaning myself off and looked at him hard. “Yes. Is there something wrong with that?”
Neville shrunk back, “No…no of course not.” He dropped his spoon. “Well, actually…”
Perhaps he had finally gotten influenced from the rest of the school and was begining to turn on me too. I sighed, placing my hands on my lap and ready to listen to what Neville was going to say.
“Well, it’s not wrong that you’re hanging out with him,” Neville almost seemed frightened, “but it’s just…don’t you care?”
Neville glanced around him and finally placed his eyes on me. “You know…about what other people think. I mean, it’s almost like…you two are together.”
I wanted to laugh, but ended up snorting. “We are together.”
He fell silent, then glanced feebly up at me. “So it is true? You are together?”
I rolled my eyes. “Yes. We’ve been together for more than a week now.”
This was one of the many things I couldn’t understand. Why was everyone making such a big deal out of this? Couldn’t anyone just mind their own business and life? Or perhaps everyone in this darn school didn’t have a life and had to stick their pesky noses into mine…
“Why does everyone care so much about this?” I stabbed my fork into a piece of salad. “I mean, it’s not like me being with Harry will effect any of your lives!” I wasn’t only talking to Neville now. In fact, I had caught the attention of my whole table which attracted the attention of the other tables.
I didn’t care. I had, had enough of their behavior. “So yeah, even after the Quidditch thing, you all are still looking at me as if I was, I don’t know! Vermin!” I glanced at Lavender and Parvati particularly. “Even people that I thought were friends…” I shifted my gaze to Ginny now. “They even avoided me. Why? Just because of sheer jealousy?”
Everyone was silent.
“Ok, I know it’s just human nature to be jealous, but this is so immature,” I continued, my voice steady. “Especially the girls. So it’s true- I’m Harry’s girlfriend. So what?! It makes you all jealous right? Well, jealousy will get you no where, don’t you see? Haven’t you realized that all of you are getting no where with your whole ‘ignore Hermione Granger’ thing? I’m still with Harry.” I sucked in a breath.
“All of you,” I stated, “being jealous is not working. It’s not going to get me sad, or away from Harry, but possibly annoyed. I think the smart thing for all of you to do is just to stop all of this , and stop acting like uncivilized people.” I stood up abruptly, causing my fork to clang to the ground. I turned my gaze towards Lavender and Parvati again, who looked like they wanted to crawl under the table and hide. Then I looked towards the Slytherin table, at Millicent Bulstrode who had her mouth agape.
“And just accept reality..” And I left.
The library was eerily empty, with the window facing the Quidditch pitch which was just a foggy blur through the pelting rain. I hadn’t returned to Gryffindor tower yet..I suppose I was in shock at my sudden outburst during dinner. It surprised everyone, and even myself. But I didn’t regret it, I was just -shocked-.
Or maybe it was a foolish thing to do. Maybe now everyone even thought worst of me. That I was some crazy lunatic that snapped at everyone…or just Hermione Granger the bookworm. I don’t know what they thought…I acted before thinking. Isn’t that a bad thing?
I dropped my quill, unable to concentrate on my assignments with so many thoughts running through my head. Oh life was complicated…but I didn’t want it to be. I just wanted to get good grades and study for the N.E.W.T.s that were coming up. Well, kind of coming up. To me, they seemed like they were just around the corner.
I rubbed my temples tiredly.
I looked over my shoulder, wondering who on earth it would be that was calling my name. It was Ginny Weasley. “Oh…hello Ginny.”
She came closer, her red hair seemed even redder in the dim light, and her eyes were wide and clear. She was clutching at her sleeves and looked uneasy, almost as if she were afraid. Why was everyone acting this way anyways? “I..I just wanted to say..”
“…To stay away from Harry?”
She shook her head quickly. “No! No..that’s not what I meant..” She sighed. “I wanted to apologize, for my behavior and everyone elses.”
I looked at her in shock and amazement. “Apologize? Er..”
“I know, it was a very childish thing to do. Ignoring you, and everything else,” She blurted out hurridly. “But I suppose it just…kind of came over all of us. We just..found it hard to swallow that a Gryffindor was with a Slytherin…and especially Harry Potter. I mean, I didn’t mind that much…but I suppose I didn’t want everyone else to think badly of me, so I followed the flow…” She looked out the window. “I’m sorry.”
I blinked, and couldn’t help the smile that was spreading on my face. “Apology accepted.” I patted the seat next to me. “Let’s talk?”
Ginny gave me a small smile before taking the seat, looking slightly nervous but a bit more relaxed. I laughed, “You look like I’m going to pounce on you or something.”
“Well, it’s just..I’m really sorry!”
I smiled, “It’s alright…really. I understand why you did what you did…but, I must’ve been really odd during dinner…”
“No!” She cried. “You were amazing. Brave too…” She blushed. “It really shook us up, but you got your message through.”
“…Ugh, I must be a complete freak,” I said through giggles and a frown.
Ginny laughed, “No, I just think everyone’s amazed. You should have seen Lav and Parvati afterwards. They were so red…it was really weird.”
“Perhaps what I did was a bit too…you know, feisty,” I mumbled.
“Oh Hermione! You’re a psychic!”
I quirked an eyebrow at her, “What?”
“Seamus and Dean were running around changing those buttons Millicent made,” Ginny said through giggles while I groaned, knowing this wasn’t going to be good. “So now they say ‘Hermione Granger, feisty nerd’.” She finally broke into laughter and I groaned again.
“Oh this is so embarrassing,” I slumped in my seat, glaring at my blank piece of parchment.
Ginny squeezed my hand, “But it’s a good thing! At least those buttons don’t say what they use to say, right?”
“…I suppose,” I agreed relunctantly. “But still! Couldn’t we just not have any buttons at all?”
“Oh that just wouldn’t be any fun,” Ginny answered with a chuckle. “So, are you going to sit in this library all day and do nothing or are we going to go up to Gryffindor tower and face the lions?”
“The lions?” I stared.
“Well, I mean everyone else,” She stood up. “Shall we?”
I glanced from my empty piece of parchment to the eager look on Ginny’s face. Well… “Oh, alright then.”
And supposedly, after I had my sudden departure from dinner that day- Dumbledore made an announcement. On Halloween night, there was to be the traditional Halloween feast, and- A Halloween Dance. Of course, everyone was thrilled, but all the females suddenly realized that it was no longer exciting to predict whom Harry Potter was going to go with. Of course it would be Miss Hermione Granger. I rolled my eyes- at least most of the Gryffindors were on speaking terms with me again.
Lavender was looking at me right now, though she must’ve thought I hadn’t realized. Parvati seemed to take it much easier than her, and acted as if nothing had happened and still made a fuss about my bushy hair.
“I really think you should get it straightened,” She suggested. “Then it wouldn’t be so hard to deal with!”
I shrugged, “I’m use to it.”
I looked over at Lavender who quickly looked away. I sighed, maybe I should try mending things up. “So Lavender, I hear that you’ve got these really pretty earrings.”
She stared at me. “Well…so?”
“I don’t know,” I answered stupidly, “I mean, they must be really pretty. I hear everyone’s really jealous of them.”
I could see her eyes lighten up at the sound of that. She pranced over towards her night table and opened the drawer, pulling out a small velvet box. “Well, they are really pretty. See?” She opened the lid and a pair of dangly earrings in the shape of stars came into view.
In fact, they were really pretty. I had heard from Parvati that Lavender had gotten it from her mother through owl post. “Oooh, it is really pretty.”
“Well of course it is,” Lavender said haughtily and snapped the lid shut. “But since when was Miss Bookworm ever interested in jewelry?”
I frowned, “Since now? I was just saying your earrings were nice.”
Lavender didn’t reply but she hurridly opened her drawer again and dropped the earrings inside, slamming the drawer shut again. I looked at her, slightly amused. “Slow down! It’s not like I’m going to steal them..”
She shot her eyes at me. “Or maybe you are thinking of stealing them! Just like how you stole Harry!”
“Stole?” I repeated.
Lavender crossed her arms and looked at Parvati for support. “Right Parvati? I bet she used some…some potion to make Harry fall for her! I mean, out of everyone, why Hermione Granger?!” She fumed.
Parvati opened her jaw and shut it again as she looked from Lavender to me. “Well..you know, Lav, don’t take this personally, but Harry never belonged to any of us.”
I was surprised that Parvati had not been Lavender’s echo. They were usually so…in tune with each other that it was scary. This must’ve been the first time that I had seen Parvati and Lavender on opposite sides of a story.
“Ok, so what!” Lavender spat. “But she did just prance into our lives and snatch him away! It’s…it’s not right!”
Parvati stared at her, “Lavender, you’re speaking nonsense.”
“Well I don’t care!” She flopped onto her bed and shot daggers at me through her narrowed eyes. I sighed, maybe Lavender’s feelings towards Harry weren’t as..shallow as I thought they were.
I walked towards her bed, and asked, “Do you really like him?”
She looked at me through narrowed eyes again, she looked ready to cry. “Maybe yes, maybe no.”
“Well..whatever your answer is, I’m sorry ok?” I uttered, suddenly feeling sorry for the girl. “Maybe you do really like him, but I’m sorry, I do too. I hope you can accept it, and we can just be like how we use to be. And if you can’t, then…I guess you’ll just need time.”
Lavender sniffled, not looking at me anymore but at her bedsheets. I stepped back, feeling that I had done my job. “Will she be OK?”
Parvati nodded, “Maybe you should just leave for a second…let her have some space.”
I nodded, grabbing my book bag and one quick look at the mirror before stepping out of the room. I forced a smile onto my face before proceeding down the stairs..I didn’t know why, but I felt tired. Tired of having to put up with what everyone thought of me, tired of trying to…get everyone to understand me. Maybe I wasn’t meant to be understood..or maybe I was only meant to be understood by Harry.
Harry…I felt like seeing him now. He was the only one who didn’t expect anything from me, or expect me to act in anyway. He just expected me to be by his side..Harry.
I walked out of the portait hole numbly, not realizing that I wasn’t alone.
My eyes darted towards the source of the sound, meeting those familiar green gems. I felt happiness wash over me as I almost ran towards him in joy. “Harry..”
Yet he didn’t let me finish as he drew me into his embrace. His embrace, always fresh and warm. In his embrace, everything was alright, everything was good. Nothing was wrong. In his embrace, it was OK to be yourself, it was alright to release your emotions.
In his embrace, it was alright if time stopped.