Disclaimer: All characters belong to J.K. Rowling. I own nothing of hers!
Hermione deflated into her favorite chair and started sipping on her lukewarm tea. Her curly mane in a tight bun with tendrils falling from it, and still wearing her office attire, she curled her legs up and tried to relax. She took a deep breath. She thought about trying to get sleep; Merlin knows she needed it. However, she knew that she would only be tossing and turning till morning and on that rare occasion that she did get some form of sleep, she would only be awoken after a short time.
The house was silent other than the clock softly ticking, simply reminding her of time slowly passing. She sighed and closed her eyes. 'I'm just so tired' she thought rubbing her eyes, and brought her fingertips to rest on her temples, carefully massaging them. 'Scratch that- exhausted' she decided. She dragged open her eyes, realizing how much they felt like sandpaper, and carried her vision around the den.
It was a mess. Laundry was in half folded and discarded piles around the room. On the coffee table there were piles of work she brought home with her, still needing to be done. Her boss was an understanding woman and let her work the past week from home. But, the work had to be done. As much as she enjoyed her career, it was the last thing on her mind right now. An outsider would never guess that the disastrous den belonged to her.
She moved to the picture of her and her parents after successfully returning their memories in Australia. A small smile graced her lips. They were confused and a bit hurt at first, but, after she spent time explaining everything, they couldn't have been more proud. She grew closer to her parents than she had ever before, over that summer. The warm beaches with a crystal blue ocean appeared in her vision. She could almost smell the salty water and feel her father's arm linked with her own as they walked the coast. She mentally noted to write them, it was far too long since she had last.
Her eyes flitted to a moving picture. Three best friends. A bushy haired girl, the boy who saved the world, and a lanky redhead. Her heart sunk. The picture showed them laughing and enjoying themselves. They were at Hogsmeade during one of their last visits as Hogwarts students. It was cold and persistently snowing. Hermione was freezing and hardly enjoying the onslaught of snow that was relentless. Ron, however, got her to laugh by running around trying to catch snowflakes on his tongue. He kept saying that he just couldn't catch any, even though he kept collecting snow in his mouth. Hermione and Harry laughed harder than they had in years it felt. Collin managed to snap a photograph of them just after that. It was one of her fondest and carefree memories of her and her best friends. She knew all too well that wasn't what it was like anymore.
She glanced at a piece of parchment that she had been avoiding for weeks now. The script was messy and small- she could recognize Harry's handwriting anywhere. She set down her tea cup and replaced it with the parchment. She knew full well what the message was; she could probably recite it from memory. Yet, every time she thought about what it asked, she read it again.
I know this is a long shot since you're not returning many letters these days, but I figured you'd at least read mine. In case you haven't read Ginny's letters in a while, I've done it. I've asked Ginny to marry me. I wanted you to be there, but you haven't come around in almost three years, even when I've asked. We've talked about the wedding and Ginny and I can't do it without you there. She has insisted (and has written you about fifteen letters to you explaining this) that she refuses to be wed without you by her side. I can understand where she is coming from, because you're my sister too. It feels wrong not having you share the moment with us. So much so, that Ginny has prepared (much to Molly's dismay) to live with me, unmarried, for the rest of her life. We both want to get married; it is that important to us.
I don't know what happened between you and Ron. He won't say a word to me about it, and you update us on your job and nothing personal. Hell, you won't even tell us where in America you live. It's a bloody good thing owls know where to take letters.
I love Ginny. I want to marry her. But, we are not going to do it unless you are there. That is how much you mean to us Hermione. I know you mean the world to Ron too... It hurts how you abandoned us. I know Ginny feels it too, even if she won't admit it.
Please, just consider it.
She wiped the tears that were now streaming down her face. Harry was right. She started to ignore Ginny's letters. It was too much to take and she couldn't lie to her anymore. But, when an owl swooped in and dropped off Harry's letter -over a month ago- she had to read it. She owed him that much. Taking a deep breath, she set down the parchment, tears still leaking from her chocolate brown eyes.
"I'm so sorry" she whispered to the empty room. She never wanted to hurt anyone, let alone the man she considered her brother. She knew what needed to be done at the time, and she did it.
She had thought about responding to the letter. But what could she say? She wanted to be there, she truly did. But if she were to go, everything could be revealed. Then the whole reason why she left would be wasted. If she went, she would see Ron. The thought made goosebumps spread across her skin. She didn't know if she could bear the thought of seeing him again.
A few minutes passed, and Hermione wiped the final tears from her face. The burden on her shoulders seemed to get heavier every time she read that letter. She felt that if she were to have anything else added, she'd collapse. She knew it wasn't an easy request to complete; she also knew Harry had no idea why she couldn't. She left her life in England for a reason. A certain redheaded reason.
A cry was heard from another part of the house. Hermione rose from her chair quickly snatching her wand from the end table, and headed to the kitchen. She grabbed a bottle and poured in a fever reducing potion, noting that her supply was running low. Attaching a nipple to the top, she made her way to her daughter's bedroom.
This is the first story I've written and published on FanFiction. Quite the terrifying experience!
A special thank you goes out to holly1492 who took the time to preview my work and provide feedback. If you're looking for some amazing Romione stories, head her way. Make sure to read, my personal favorite, "All In."
I would truly appreciate to hear your thoughts on this chapter!