A/N: Hey all! I think this may be the last part of the story. It all depends on how I'm writing this further along. Thank you SOOOOOOOO much for all of the wonderful reviews. You have no idea what it means to be given so much support. Someone asked if I got the proposal scene from Boy Meets World. Yes and No. I mean it came into my mind after I had written it and I was like 'Oh yea, it's kind of like that.' But I used lines from the movie. Anyway, a big notice is that this chapter is going to be in first person from Harry's point of view, like at the very, very, very beginning of the first chapter. Be sure to read the "Letter from the Author" at the bottom. So anyway, here goes it.
A Year to Remember
Hermione gazed at me for a moment and a grin slid onto her lips.
"Yes," she whispered gently.
I smiled back at her and leaned in. Our lips met like they had time and time again, but this time there was more passion and love than ever before. We were committed now, for the rest of our lives, and it felt good.
Within two weeks we were married. Hermione wore the same dress as she did in "Everyman" back in December. It hung loosely on her for she had lost so much weight from her illness but she still looked amazing. Her hair was in soft, chocolate colored ringlets and her face was light and creamy. She was the image of an angel. . . my angel. Her father was very understanding about everything and gave Hermione away without a complaint.
The ceremony was more than I could have hoped for. It was in the church Hermione's mother grew up in. Her parents were also married there. We had to magically expand the place for there were so many people, and still some were standing outside. Everyone I knew was there. I asked Ron to be my best man and Lavender was the maid of honor. It seemed as though the entire school was present. The rest of the gang sat in the first pew while other friends and familiar faces were scattered along. Professor Dumbledore, Professor Mcgonnogal and even Professor Snape had showed up. My own godfather, Sirius Black, stood in the back and smiled proudly the whole time. There wasn't a dry eye in the church.
Hermione was determined to make the walk down the aisle like any normal bride. Her father had rolled her up to the back of the aisle and as the wedding march began she slowly stood up and clung onto her father's arm. Her legs were shaking as she straightened herself but I wasn't worried. When she was ready, she looked up and smiled at me. Everyone held their breath as she struggled with all her might to make it up to me. When she was half way down the aisle she had to stop to take a breath. She didn't let it bother her though and she started a small conversation with Susan Bones, who was sitting right beside her. I had to laugh. Hermione had one of the greatest senses of humor I have ever known. At last she made it to me and I took hold of her hand. The wheel chair had been magically moved from the back of the church to a position next to her feeble body. Hermione smiled up at me, sighed, and then plopped down in the chair. The whole congregation started to applaud her. I had never been so proud of anyone in my life.
I knelt down to her level and kissed her hand.
"I love you," I whispered.
"I love you too Harry," she whispered back.
The minister smiled fondly upon us. He had been an old family friend of the Grangers. He had even married Hermione's parents.
"Love is patient; love is kind. Love is not jealous, it does not put on airs, it is not snobbish. Love is never rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not prone to anger; neither does it brood over injuries. Love does not rejoice in what is wrong but rejoices with the truth. There is no limit to love's forbearance, to its trust, its hope, its power to endure whatever comes. Love never fails."
Finally, the time had come for our vows.
"I, Harry James Potter, solemnly swear. . . ."
"I, Hermione Elizabeth Granger, solemnly swear. . . ."
"To take Hermione Elizabeth Granger. . . ."
"To take Harry James Potter. . . ."
"As my lawfully wedded wife."
"As my lawfully wedded husband."
"To love and to cherish. . . ."
"To love and to cherish. . . ."
"in sickness and in health. . . ."
"in sickness and in health. . . ."
"All the days of my. . ."
". . . .of my life."
I never once broke eye contact from her. I saw her eyes begin to tear up as we gave each other our rings and I couldn't help but finally wipe the fallen ones away.
"I now pronounce you man and wife," the minister said tearfully, "you may kiss the bride."
The church rang out in cheers, applause, tears, and laughter. Hermione was mine and I was hers. It was the most fulfilling feeling in the world. I kissed Hermione gently on the lips and smiled up at her. She was beaming with delight. She stood and together, she and I made our way down the aisle as husband and wife. I looked out among the crowd and got choked up when I saw Professor Snape wiping his eyes. Hermione nudged me in the ribs gently and grinned. She always said he was a good man at heart. She always believed that everyone was truly good at heart. If she didn't have such faith, we probably would never have been together.
Hermione and I had the ideal summer, filled with more love and compassion that some people see in a lifetime. We bought a little house in the English countryside with a white picket fence and plenty of flowers all along it. I even brought home a dog, which she played with lovingly everyday. We spent our days talking, laughing, and just watching each other. A few times, Hermione even felt like dancing, and she danced with more energy than I would have expected. If she taught me one thing, and she taught me more than one lesson, it was never to underestimate her. I never did after that dance.
One Saturday morning in early September, I heard her call me into our room. She was lying in bed weak and discolored. The disease had hit her hard at the end of August, and she hadn't left the room in days. It was painful for all of us, but Hermione kept her head up high and smiled as I entered the room.
"Harry," she said weakly as I sat and took her hand.
"I'm here baby," I reassured her, or better yet, I reassured myself.
"Take me outside," she whispered.
I nodded and carried her light body out of the house and into our garden in the backyard. I set her down on a hammock that was connected between two oak trees, surrounded by roses. I laid down with her and held her in my lap.
"I love you," I whispered into her hair, kissing her temple.
"I love you too," she said quietly.
"Thank you Hermione," I said gently, "for all that you've given me. I'd be lost without you."
"I know," she laughed heartily. I smiled. Even at the worst of times, Hermione could lighten anybody's mood. "Harry," she muttered, after about half an hour of swaying beneath the trees, "it's time for me to go."
"No," I muttered, reality finally hitting me. I had prayed so much, I thought that maybe, maybe she would. . . . "not yet Hermione. I'm not ready," I said frantically, "please baby, don't leave me."
Hermione slowly turned her body and faced me, smiling.
"You're ready, and so am I," she whispered, "thank you Harry. You gave me the life I always dreamed of," she kissed me lightly on the lips, "I'll be waiting for you." And then she nestled her head against my chest, wrapping her arms around me. She closed her eyes with a small smile on her lips. I held on to her tightly, wishing that maybe I could give her some of my own strength.
We stayed like that for what seemed like hours. And then, I felt her grip loosen around me, and her slow, gentle breathing subside. I knew she had gone, with her unwavering faith. I continued to lie with her peaceful body in my arms and didn't move until our pup, Sam, jumped onto the hammock and laid against Hermione, whimpering. I knew it was time to let go.
Six years later, I was getting ready to move back to Hogwarts and be a teacher there, as a special favor for Dumbledore. As I was packing my bags, I fell across Hermione's diary. I hadn't read it in so long. I picked it up and flipped through the many inspiring pages. I fell across her list and couldn't tear my eyes from it. I read it over and over, just as I had when I was seventeen. The list had inspired me to ask her to marry me, and she told me on our wedding night that she was so glad I had.
My whole goal that year was to make all her wishes come true. We spent some of our summer nights strumming a guitar, both of us clueless how to play, but enjoying our time anyway. I spent my first year as a widower in the Peace Corps, working in Calcutta with small children. Hermione loved kids. If she had had another year left, I know we both would have wanted to have a child. I read her list over again. She fell in love, got married, played the guitar, and stayed in school as long as possible. I joined the Peace Corps with her in mind and two years before, I received a letter from Professor Snape. He had been working vigorously in his dungeons ever since Hermione passed away, and one day, after many experiments with a mixture he invented, he had discovered a cure for cancer. He named it The Hermione Potter Cure. Snape won the muggle Nobel Prize and became a member of the Order of Merlin, First Class. He became an international legend, but in the many speeches and addresses he gave, all he could do was thank a dear young girl he once taught, before breaking down into tears each time. After years of warring against each other, he is now like the father I never had.
All that was left was to witness a miracle, write a book, and outlive her father. Hermione had written a book though. A marvelous, inspiring and touching book that sends you crying at one point and laughing at another. Or at least that's what the Daily Prophet called it. Before I began work at Hogwarts, I decided to publish her diary as a gift of hope for all who read it. In fact, that's what Witch Weekly called it: a gift of hope.
I visited her father the day before I started work and gave him the original diary.
"She would have wanted you to have it," I said to him kindly.
"Thank you son," Mr. Granger had smiled. He began to flip through the pages and stopped in the middle. He let out a hearty laugh. "Ah, that Hermione. She had her whole future planned out." He had stopped at the list. "Seems she did everyone of these, with a little help of course."
"Dad," I said quietly, "I tried to fulfill them. But a couple, I couldn't help."
"Harry," Mr. Granger said seriously, sitting straight and facing me with an understanding look on his face, "when my wife died, I was slowly falling apart. And then, my Hermione was dying too. By the time she went to Hogwarts for her last year I was dead. I was all alone. But Hermione," he paused and smiled, "she kept living. She outlived me; she outlived everybody come to think of it. She had strength that no one will ever be able to match, ever."
I nodded at him, completely understanding what he meant. I then looked over at the book and sighed. Her number one goal in life, she never reached.
"I'm sorry she never got her miracle," I muttered, staring sadly at my shoes.
"She did," he said matter-of-factly.
I looked up at him confused.
"It was you."
That night, I wrote a prologue for the diary and sent it to the publishers. It went something like this:
When I was seventeen, my life changed forever. I never thought that year would turn out like it did. Not everyone believes me when I say this. But that's because no one experienced what I had. No one experienced what she had. I've rarely told this story to anyone. It's not something that can be explained in a paragraph or two. This is the story of one simple girl that changed my life, my heart, and my soul forever. At some points you may laugh, at others you may cry. But this is her life. This is her story. It's our story.
I'm thirty-four years old now, twice the age I was when I fell in love with Hermione Elizabeth Granger. In fact, I'm sitting in the Hogwarts auditorium now, watching the drama club put on a production of "Everyman." It's become a Christmas tradition and in the spring, the club puts on a performance from another list in Hermione's diary, a list of her twenty-five favorite theatrical productions. They even named the theater the Hermione G. Potter Pavilion, in her honor.
I'm watching two of my students now, reenacting exactly what Hermione and I once did. I know she's watching them too, smiling like I am. These two teenagers, each Head Boy and Girl, are 'going steady' from what I hear. But I've watched them ever since they came to Hogwarts. They've gone through everything together, best friends since day one. Not exactly what Herm and I had but all the same. I know Hermione is looking down on them, blessing them with all the love in her heart. And she has such a big heart and so much love to give. Their future will be something great.
I can't see Hermione, but I know she's here, beside me every moment, helping me through each task I bear. And all of her love, I can't see it either, but I can feel it. I have faith in it; I have faith in her, just as she taught me. I know her love is here, and I know she's here. And quite frankly, that's all I need to know.
Hello everyone! Yes, this is finally the end of "A Year to Remember." I know most of you did not want Hermione to die. I didn't want her to die either, but I wanted to make a point. I think the movie and the book "A Walk to Remember" touches base on this but this is the whole message I wanted to send to my readers. Love is a powerful, powerful blessing. There is a difference between a gift and a blessing and love is definitely a blessing. It can overcome anything and change people's lives forever. Hermione was a girl who gave nothing but love. For most of her life, she never got much of anything in return, but it didn't stop her. The goodness of love that Hermione had changed Harry's life around. It saved him. At the beginning of the story, he was going nowhere fast. As soon as he discovered the love she was giving to him, it changed him, turning him into a better person. Another example is Professor Snape. Even though he didn't play a part in this story until this chapter, Hermione's love affected him too. He obviously was fond of his star student and was touched by her life, her love, and her death. It drove him to work hard and protect the rest of the world from what happened to Hermione and so many other people in the past. He discovered a cure for cancer and named it in her honor. I know there isn't a cure in the real world but I believe that someday a life will be touched and a cure will be found. Love has many powers if it is true. Hermione had a true, clean heart and wished nothing but the best for everyone. She didn't find herself to be a hero or a strong person, but she affected so many and had such an impact on people. In a way, her love saved the world. And love can do that. So let's spread it. Before I go, I'd like to quote a poem I wrote back in May ((it's called "Defeat" and it's posted on this site)). I didn't realize until now actually that the last line of it is something of what Hermione might say. "Through your life's roughest times, share, love, and forgive." Hermione is a prime example of that. Maybe we could all learn from her. Sitting here now, I know I am already. Thank you so much for all your wonderful support! It's been an absolute pleasure. ~Marian, Your Librarian