We don't know if you're a boy or a girl, and we have no idea what we want to name you, but we know that we love you so much.
I'm writing these stories down because I want you to someday know how your father and I discovered our love for each other. We can never know if our world will become a dark place again, and we may not be here to tell you these stories. Although these stories did not happen under the best of circumstances, looking back, we wouldn't trade any of these moments for the world.
During the time when we fell in love, our world was a very dark place. We were fighting Voldemort so people like you could have a better life. We struggled to find light in our everyday activities. Some of these moments were gloomy and frustrating, while others were spots of color in our otherwise dreary world.
I love you so much, and I desperately hope I can tell you these stories myself, when the time is right.
Your mother, Hermione
“He could smell it, my perfume.”
“Next time, Hermione, as much as I like your perfume, just don't wear any.”
Wait, was that a compliment?
I couldn't really tell. In normal circumstances, that would seem to be a compliment, but in this occasion, it was a safety recommendation.
Well, in that case, I'll just take it how I want to take it.
Might as well take it as a compliment.
As we walked towards the tent, I could see Ron peaking out, and boy he did not look happy.
He was gone.
He had left us.
He had abandoned us.
He had abandoned us.
He had abandoned us.
I kept repeating that in my head, not caring how unhelpful it was proving to be. Every time the thought ran through, it was like a little poison dart shooting through my brain and my emotions over and over and over again.
He had abandoned us.
“Why are you still beating yourself up, Hermione?” Harry's voice penetrated my clouded thoughts. “You couldn't have done anything. It was all his choice, and his choice was to leave.” He had sounded calm, except near the end, which was undeniably bitter. Harry was handling it so well. He had not once moped, or stared off into the distance, or tied a scarf around a tree, all of which I had done.
Why was I beating myself up over this? It was his choice, and obviously he didn't care enough about Harry or me to stay and tough it out. Any inkling of romantic feelings for that foolish boy needed to go away.
We arrived at our newest campsite, and I sniffled. God, I didn't want to do this again, but here I went. I didn't want Harry to have to see me cry again, so I walked a few yards away and sat down on a wide rock. I muffled my sobs in my hands.
I. Am. Pathetic.
I stiffened when I felt a hand on my shoulder. I looked out through my fingers and saw Harry, the wonderful boy, sitting down next to me. Once he was seated, his hand went from my shoulder to my waist. He was comforting me!
I didn't care anymore if he saw me cry – and I wasn't sure anymore if I was crying because of Ron, or crying because of how sweet Harry was.
I let my body fall into his, and my sobs were muffled by his shirt.
Harry was holding his hand out to me with a slightly excited look on his face. I knew what he wanted, and I reluctantly reached out my hand to grab his. He pulled me up, and led us into the middle of the tent. He was trying to distract me, I knew, but maybe, just maybe, he could pull it off. Goodness knows I needed a distraction.
He started us into a silly little dance that was so comical in its simplicity and ridiculousness, that I couldn't help but crack a smile. He seemed heartened by the smile, and over the course of the song that was playing off the radio, and the next, and the next, and the next, he led us in even more ridiculous dances.
I admit it – Harry got me out of my bad mood. I couldn't quite believe it, but Harry had always been incredibly good at scaring my bad moods away.
Who needed Ron anyway? We were having plenty of fun without him!
Harry looked so happy. I hadn't seen him like this since the spring, when he was dating Ginny before Dumbledore died. It was good to see. It made me happy.
Another song ended, and this time it seemed like we would as well. We stopped moving, and just kind of stood there in the moment.
I kissed him.
I wanted to, so I did.
“Hermione, you were right. Snitches have flesh memories, but I didn't catch the first snitch with my hand, I almost swallowed it.”
I had forgotten that! Good thing he had remembered.
He was looking at me differently. It must have been the kiss. It had changed things, no doubt about that. We had shared something so special, and we had connected in a way I never thought possible.
I kissed Harry.
A month ago if you had told me I would kiss Harry, and not Ron, I would have checked you out for a concussion.
I was happier than I had ever been, even though we were on a headfirst dive towards war.
I had been gazing off into the distance, I guess. The slight grin on his face showed that he had an idea of what I had been thinking about.
“Oh, I'm sorry, Harry.”
As his form of answering, he leaned down and kissed me.
“Don't be,” he whispered as he pulled away.
I finished my wand movement, and put it back in my pocket. I stood, unsure of what to do next.
“Merry Christmas, Hermione.”
That's why I've fallen so hard and fast for this boy. Even in times of distress, when he's uncomfortable, or sad, or scared, he cares for those he's close to.
“Merry Christmas, Harry.”
His sweetness had me choking back tears.
I stepped closer to him, put my head on his shoulder, and wrapped my arm around him. We stood in the graveyard, staring at the gravesite of James and Lily Potter, and felt the sadness. But as long as we had this, this thing that had grown between us so quickly, I knew we would be okay.
He woke up suddenly.
“It's okay Harry, we're back in the tent, safe and sound.”
He visibly relaxed, and once again, I felt for the poor boy. Constantly connected to Voldemort, with the world on his shoulders – more than any teenager should have to deal with.
I had always been there for him, through thick and thin. Through Fluffy, through the basilisk, through Sirius and Wormtail, through the Tournament, and through Sirius' and Dumbledore's deaths. Although I knew I would never consider leaving his side, I made my resolve firmer to make sure I was always there for him.
“I know you're tired, Harry, so please go back to sleep. You need to regain your strength.”
I turned to walk back outside the tent and regain my watch.
“Wait, Hermione. You saved my life back there. Thank you.”
“Oh, Harry – you shouldn't thank me for that. You've saved mine countless times, it was the least I could do. Besides, I can't let you die when I don't even know what to call this thing between us. When you wake up again, you'll have to tell me what you think about it.”
I left him lying there, with an incredibly gobsmacked expression on his face.
“You've outdone yourself this time, Hermione.”
I looked up at the sound of his voice. He sat down across from me, and I had to agree with him. The forest, covered in snow, was breathtaking.
“The Forest of Dean. I came here once with Mum and Dad.”
“It is, isn't it?”
A comfortable silence fell between us.
“Hermione...I want this.”
Although he had not said what he wanted, I knew what it was, just by his tone of voice and steady gaze.
I was quiet, trying not to get too excited, waiting for him to go on.
“It's crazy, and insane, because we've got so much to worry about right now, but I'm falling for you. Hard. And right now I want nothing more than to call you my girlfriend, even if we're the only ones that know.”
He looked so hopeful. I wondered if he could read my mind just through my smile.
“Me too, Harry. Me too.”
“Maybe we should just stay here, Harry. Grow old.”
A bit of silence as he processes it.
“I can't say I haven't had thoughts like that. Daydreams really. Just stay here, with no worries, open to whatever life brings. It would be so easy to keep applying enchantments, ignore our troubles, and stay hidden.”
“And, gosh, I want to. I want to so bad. Being here with you, I can almost forget everything else. And now with our relationship, the desire to stay here together is even greater.”
Another pause, and I sense a but coming.
“But as much as I'd love to do that, I can't. I can't give up on what I've started – the task I was given to complete. There are too many people relying on me, hoping I can somehow find a way to defeat Voldemort.”
I know he's right.
“And someday, Hermione, I'm going to have children, and I want them to be able to grow up in a safe world, worry-free, with friends living next door, and the ability to try anything they can dream of.”
Tell me again why I'd never considered this man?
“What's wrong, Hermione? You're crying.”
“Oh, Harry, I'm sorry to wake you. It's silly really – I just thought to myself 'wow, I can't wait to introduce my Harry to my Dad, he's what every Dad wants for their daughter'.” I stopped there, unable to go on, for the tears had returned.
“And then you remembered about your parents,” he finished for me. I nodded miserably.
Harry got out of his bed, and came over to mine.
He crawled in next to me, and put his arm around me. I snuggled into him, feeling safe and content with his warmth.
“I,” he began in a quiet voice, “will do everything I can to keep those tears from coming back. If we both survive whatever battles are to come, the first thing I will do is go with you to recover your parents, and I will not stop helping you look until you've found them.”
“Would you really?”
“Absolutely, Hermione. There's nobody I care about more than you, and I don't want to see you unhappy.”
“You're the best, Harry.”
“You're not so bad yourself.”
“Mhm. Stay with me?”
“I think I love you.”
I stared at him, shocked.
I wasn't shocked at the words – I immediately felt warm and fuzzy – I was just shocked at the timing. We were eating dinner, it came out of nowhere, and we had been “dating” for all of two days.
But this was a declaration from him. How was he, a young man with little experience with love, this sure of his feelings?
But oh, I felt it too. I had felt it from the start.
“Harry, I love you too.”
And I knew I did. Although I had only known about my feelings for him for a few months, we had so much history to work off of. Every single moment we had shared since age eleven had led up to this one moment in time, when we could be confident in our feelings.
He smiled at me, and grabbed my hand, and we continued eating. There would be time for talk about this new development later. Right now we were just content to know, and feel each other's love wash over us.
Ron had returned.
But any fears over a blow-up were for naught. Harry had obviously told Ron about us sometime during their adventure at the frozen pond, and he seemed to be taking it well. Maybe he had grown up a bit while he was away.
I also worried about how Harry and I would interact with him around, but I needn't have worried about that either. Ron wasn't back two hours before Harry sat down next to me during my watch for a conversation.
“Hermione, knowing you, I know you're probably wondering how I'm going to treat you now that Ron's back, but I'm not going to treat you any differently than I have been. You are important to me, and Ron needs to know that.”
I smiled at him, showing that I understand and was happy, and I put my head on his shoulder to snuggle into his warmth. He covered us both in a blanket he had brought out, and then we were content to sit with each other in peace.
I knew I had a man who loved me for me, and he knew he had a woman who loved him for him. If one of us died in the conflict to come, at least we could die with that knowledge.
Although the battle was likely near, at that moment, I felt like nothing could overcome us.
Harry loves me.
All was well with the world.
So that's that. We fell hard and fast for each other over a few short months, but it shouldn't have come as a surprise to us. Everything we had ever done together over the previous seven years had allowed our feelings to grow without us even realizing them, until they found the perfect moment to burst forth, and then they rushed forward like a tidal wave.
After the days in the tent, we had some tough days. But we fought through them, together as always, and with the help of many friends, we were able to defeat Voldemort, and put an end to the darkness of the British Wizarding World.
As far as Harry and I go, long story short, we were happy to date for a couple years, recovering from the emotional scarring of the Hogwarts Battle, and reveling in each other's company. At that point, we were in no rush, considering our world was once again safe. We took the time to find my parents, who we located in a small town on the Gold Coast. Once I had reinstalled their memories, we brought them back to England. As I had expected, my Dad adored Harry.
On a winter's night, one much like the cold night in the Forest of Dean when he told me he loved me, Harry proposed. It was simple, nothing fancy, just how he knew I would like it.
We got married at Hogwarts in the spring three years ago, in a beautiful ceremony that had Hagrid utterly bawling. We were surrounded by our families, and our closest friends, and we could not have been happier.
Until we found out you were coming.
You're not even here yet, but you've changed our lives forever, in the best way.
We can't wait to meet you.
Your mother, Hermione