Disclaimer: I do not own anything Harry Potter related. All that brilliance belongs to JKR. The song "I'm Still Here" belongs to John Rzenik. The song "Love Will Keep Us Together" is from Vitamin C.

A/N: The thing I like about these "A/Ns" is that it's a chance for me to talk to my readers and really get to know them. Ok, I probably sound like a freak but hey, I know at least 10 friends that will agree with you. I am so sorry that this is out so late. I thought that Christmas break was really boring and that I'd be able to finish this story and also begin to study for finals. Monday, December 30, 2002 was going to be my study day. I woke up at 4 . in the afternoon. My cousin came over and at 10 I went to see "The Hot Chick." If that's not wild enough for you ((I know it isn't but flatter me)) on Tuesday, New Year's Eve, I went to see "Chicago" with 11 of my friends ((Brilliant movie! Go see it!)). On New Year's Day I went to my aunt's house and on Thursday I asked my mom to take me to c "Harry Potter 2" again before I had to go to a rehearsal for my play. Friday . what did I do Friday? Suddenly I don't know but on Saturday I had another all day rehearsal and then instead of studying like a good girl I went to see "Chicago" again. Sunday I had confirmation and look, I'm back at school. Last week I should have been studying or writing and I would have except on Tuesday I had an audition, on Wednesday I had a call back, on Thursday I had rehearsal, and on Friday I was in a showcase. Now that it is Wednesday and final exams are over and I've told you my whole life story, I think it's time to start again..

I'm Still Here

Chapter 5

"There's still something missing."

"Hermione, you've rewritten the song two times. It's perfect."

Harry sat in front of the common room fire with Hermione pacing back and forth in front of him. The talent show was in three days and the two had been working tirelessly on the song. They had already practiced the spell and it seemed as though Harry was a musical prodigy.

"The song is fine but the music, it's acoustic," Hermione went on, "it needs, something, more, not acoustic."

"What are you talking about?"

"Like electric," Hermione paused and bit her lip, trying to explain, "well, like a band I mean. Bass, Drums, Keyboard, the whole package. It's just well," she sat down beside Harry and sighed, " I don't know."

"Don't know what?" Harry asked, quite annoyed at himself for being so clueless. He had just been so distracted since Christmas, even more than he usually was.

"Do you think that maybe Ron and Seamus and those guys wanna be in the Talent Show?" Hermione asked quietly, staring at the fire.

"Hell no," Harry said automatically, "they laugh at this kind of stuff."

"I know," Hermione muttered.

Harry watched Hermione for a few moments. She was hugging her legs to her chest and she had this blank expression on her face, almost as if she was sad.

"Herm, what's wrong?"

"I need them Harry!" Hermione said, suddenly full of life. "I've already talked with Dumbledore and he's transfigured three desks into instruments. You would be the best act in the whole show if those guys would play. Damn! Why do guys have to be so stupidly stubborn?!"

She quickly stood up and slammed her food down in frustration. Harry smiled at her and shook his head.

"Herm, don't worry," he said comfortingly, standing up beside her, "Ron's my best friend and Seamus and Dean and Neville, they're my crew. I can get them to do anything."

"You sure?"

-:-

"Hell no!"

"But Ron-"

"Harry, I'm not gonna be in some stupid show just so you can impress some girl!"

"Ron," Harry said angrily, sitting on his bed in frustration. Hermione was right. Why did guys have to be so stubborn? "I can't do it alone Ron," Harry muttered, "I need you, and I need Seamus, and I just need all of you, please."

Ron sighed and looked at Harry sitting pitifully on the bed. He would have said yes right away, but it was so much fun to play with his friend's head. But enough games-

"As long as I can play the drums," Ron stated proudly.

A relieved smile appeared on Harry's face.

"Deal!"

-:-

Harry paced nervously backstage. It was the night of the Talent Show and the entire school was seated in the auditorium. Ron got Seamus and Dean to agree to play the bass and the keyboard. Hermione had performed the same charm on them and they too played their instruments beautifully. The act was great; it was perfect. Harry admired Hermione so much for what she had done for him and still found time to do an act of her own. He hadn't seen her all night though. She, Ginny, and Lavender were the last act, right after Harry and his crew. His palms were sweaty and his knees were shaking. He hadn't done anything like this before. He needed Hermione to be there. Or at least he wanted Hermione to be there.

"Harry," Ron's voice interrupted his thoughts, "we're up next, come on."

Harry nodded nervously and walked up behind the curtain. Seamus and Dean both gave him reassuring smiles as they got into place. Harry put the guitar strap around him and took a deep breath. This was it. Everything he had worked for, everything Hermione had worked for. And she wasn't there.

The curtain opened and lights shown brightly on them. Harry cleared his throat.

"Hello everyone," he said into the magical microphone, "before we begin I would like to dedicate this song to a special girl out there somewhere. Without her, I don't think we'd be here today. So um, let's do this."

Harry turned and faced Ron who smiled knowingly and nodded. He beat his drumsticks in the air and counted to three. The spell cast over the four boys and music erupted from their fingertips and blasted through the auditorium. There was no turning back now. Harry took a deep breath and just let it go.

"I am a question to the world/ Not an answer to be heard/ Or a moment that's held in your arms. And what do you think you'd ever say/ I won't listen anyway/ You don't know me/ And I'll never be what you want me to be. And what/ Do you think you'd understand/ I'm a boy, no, I'm a man/ You can't take me/ And throw me away. And how/ Can you learn what's never shown/ Yeah, you stand here on your own/ They don't know me/ 'Cause I'm not here. And I want a moment to be real/ Want to touch things I don't feel/ Wanna hold on and feel I belong/ And how can the world want me to change/ They're the one's that stay the same/ They don't know me/ 'Cause I'm not here.

"And you see the things they never see/ All you wanted - I could be/ Now you know me/ And I'm not afraid. And I want to tell you who I am/ Can you help me be a man/ The can't break me/ As long as I know who I am. And I want a moment to be real/ Wanna touch things I don't feel/ Wanna hold on and feel I belong/ And how can the world want me to change/ They're the ones that stay the same/ They can't see me/ But I'm still here."

Harry continued playing with more soul and passion than he ever had before. The interlude quickly passed and he closed his eyes and sang his heart out again.

"They can't tell me who to be/ 'Cause I'm not what they see/ Yeah, the world is still sleepin' while I keep on dreaming for me/ And their words are just whispers and lies that I'll never believe. And I want a moment to be real/ Want to touch things I don't feel/ Wanna hold on and feel I belong/ And how can you say I'll never change/ They're the ones that stay the same/ I'm the one now/ 'Cause I'm still here. I'm the one, cause I'm still here, I'm still here, I'm still here. I'm still here."

Harry opened his eyes and saw a standing ovation in front of him. He couldn't hear himself think. People were screaming and cheering and applauding so greatly that Harry was in shock. He turned and faced Ron, Seamus, and Dean who were smiling and laughing in reply.

When they finally left the stage, Harry walked straight into Hermione. But she didn't look like Hermione. The front of her hair was twisted back and the rest was in a mess of curls. She had make up on and was wearing low- rise jeans and a red tank top, which together showed off much of her toned stomach and many other certain features. Harry's mouth opened in shock.

"Harry, you were wonderful!" Hermione squealed as she reached up and gave him a hug.

"I, I couldn't have, uh, done it without you Herm," Harry said nervously, feeling a slight blush upon his cheeks. She smiled up at him and he was lost for words.

"I gotta go on stage now," Hermione said, "but do me a favor alright? Just. listen to the words. I really want you to hear them."

Harry nodded and watched her walk on stage with confidence and grace that he failed to notice before. Ginny and Lavender were behind, wearing identical outfits that matched Hermione's. Harry positioned himself in the wings so that he could have a good view of the stage. The lights were out so he was staring into complete darkness. The curtain rose slowly and music began to play out of nowhere. A spotlight hit Hermione and she smiled widely.

"Love," she sang softly, "love will keep us together/ Think of me babe whenever/ Some sweet talkin' girl comes along, singin' a song/ Don't mess around, you just gotta be strong/ Just stop-"

The lights lit up the entire stage and Ginny and Lav were on either side of Hermione, singing back up.

"'Cause I really love you/ Stop, I been thinkin' of you/ Look in my heart and let love keep us together. You, you belong to me now / Ain't gonna set ya free now/ When those girls start hangin' around, talkin' me down/ Hear with your heart and ya won't hear a sound/ Just stop, cause I really love you/ Stop, I've been thinkin' of you/ Look in my heart and let love keep us together, whatever.

"Young and beautiful, but someday your looks'll be gone/ When the others turn you off, who'll be turnin' you on/ I will, I will, I will, I will be there to share forever/ Love will keep us together/ I said it before and I'll say it again/ While others pretend I need ya now and I need ya then/ Just stop, cause I really love you/ Stop, I been thinkin' of you/ Look in my heart and let love keep us together."

When the girls finally finished their outstanding performance, they had the crowd cheering louder than Harry did. When Hermione finally left the stage she found Harry immediately, staring at her in awe.

"Was it that bad?" she asked nervously.

"No," Harry muttered, "that was, wow. You were great."

"Thanks," Hermione smiled and bit her lip. They were quiet for a moment, nervously staring into each other's eyes. "Listen, Harry," Hermione said a few moments later, "the song. Umm, I didn't write it. I didn't have time. Actually Ginny picked it out. But um, the whole reason we sang it was-"

"And will the following acts come back out onto the stage," Dumbledore's voice interrupted her speech and she finished abruptly. "Collin Creevey: Lord of the Violin," a kind applause was heard as Collin walked proudly onstage. "Herm, Lav, and Gin: Soul Singers," Hermione gave Harry a wink and linked arms with the girls as they walked onstage excitedly. "And lastly The Stillers: Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Seamus Finnigan, and Dean Thomas."

The crowd went wild as Harry walked casually onstage with his so-called "bandmates." He found a place next to Hermione who smiled up at him.

"About the song," she shouted over the noise.

"What?" Harry shouted back.

"I sang it for you!" she shouted again as Dumbledore started to announce the winner.

"What?"

"And in third place," Dumbledore's voice was heard as he silenced the crowd, "Collin Creevey."

The audience applauded again as Collin bowed and left the stage.

"And the second place winner is."

"I sang it for you," Hermione whispered, the room quiet with anticipation.

"The Stillers!" Dumbledore said happily. "Which means, Hermione Granger, Lavender Brown, and Ginny Weasley are our winners!"

The auditorium burst with pandemonium. Instead of being happy for himself and for Hermione, Harry was staring wide eyed at the girl. She was looking up nervously at him, biting her lip.

"Why?" Harry asked, hoping for something he knew couldn't be the reason. Hermione took a deep breath and shouted above the noise.

"I think I love you!"

The room went still. It was so quiet that a pin drop could be heard. Everyone was staring at Harry and Hermione, who silenced the crowd on accident. After a few moments of awkward silence, Harry cleared his throat.

"You love me?" he whispered, taking a step closer to her.

"Yes," Hermione replied, biting her lip again.

"Good," Harry smiled, "because I think I love you too."

The crowd flared up again, cheering even louder than before. Among the loudest though were Ginny and Lavender, who were jumping up and down and hugging each other in excitement. Ron was yelling himself hoarse, relieved that his best friends had finally confessed to each other.

But Harry heard nothing of it. He gazed longingly into Hermione's bright brown eyes and brushed a lose strand of hair away from her face. He gently took her face in his hands and kissed her. Hermione kissed him back with as much longing and passion that she held within her. Harry wrapped his strong arms around her waist and her hands found their way to his neck and grabbed hold. The two never broke their connection and continued to kiss each other in front of the entire school.

Harry was finally in a place where he felt like he belonged. Hermione was the one person that understood him, helped him, supported him every moment. She had given him so much. He was so glad that he rewrote the second verse of the song himself. It was about her; it was for her. She was the one. She was his one.

After a while, people did leave, but Harry and Hermione stayed in place, not realizing how quickly time had passed them by. Hermione finally did break apart and was breathing heavily, as was Harry.

"I can't believe we just did that," she muttered, staring at Harry in awe.

"Neither can I," he replied, grinning wickedly, "Want to do it again?"

Hermione smiled.

The two didn't return to their dormitories until much, much later. that morning.

-:-FiN-:-

Ok, that's it. "I'm Still Here" is finally over. I know it was a cheesy ending but it works. The song Hermione sings is "Love Will Keep Us Together." If you ever saw the movie "Get Over It" with Kirsten Dundst, then you know that Vitamin C sang it at the beginning. My friend wanted me to use that song and I thought it was cute so yea. I called Harry, Ron, Seamus, and Dean "The Stillers" because the song is called "I'm STILL Here" and that's as creative as I got. Anyway, hope that you all enjoyed it. It's been a pleasure. Until next time, ~MtL