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The Night Sky

By Lisa Bryan

Romance

Chapter 1

The moonlight cascaded through the window as the night sky shinned bright with stars. On a window seat nestled in a blanket, even though it was summertime, a young woman sat diligently scanning the sky for a falling star. This had been her nightly ritual for the last four weeks, each night hoping that a star would bring her wish. On a table beside her bed were reminisces of dinner and a half empty glass of water. Some days she would join her family for dinner but tonight she choose to stay by the window perch watching the sunset and the beginning of the night sky. The room was a young girl's room with mementos of her past scattered around. The clock on the bedside table closest to the window read 2:34am as she glanced around allowing her eyes to refocus so she could continue her nightly watch. Normally the room was clean and organized but now her sadness could be seen throughout with each pile of books and letters. She sighed heavily as she resumed her falling star watch hoping to catch at least one tonight. She pulled her blanket tighter around her as a sudden chill attacked her senses. Resting beside her feet an orange cat was awoken from his slumber looking extremely annoyed. He glanced around the room then up to his owner briefly before settling back to sleep.

Her wondering mind marveled at how quickly things had changed and how quickly she became once again a lost little girl, unsure of her purpose and even herself. If her friends could see her she knew they would think she was under an Imperius Curse given that her usual bossy, know-it-all presence was no where to be seen. Perhaps that is why it has been three and half weeks since she had spoken to anyone besides her mother and father. Interspersed around amongst the piles were letters from her friends and fellow students begging her to come visit as they were sure it would help her. She knew they were worried about her but she just couldn't seem to muster the strength to venture back into that world. With her replies always the same she was sure they would eventually get the point and leave her alone, if only just for a bit. True to her red headed friend's stubborn nature he went as far as calling her thick for her assumption that her loneliness and pain was not shared by all of them and her coped up alone would do no one any good. Even though she knew he was just frustrated that she wouldn't let him help she was still stung by his words. Even truer to his good-hearted nature an apology arrived moments after his original letter. His sister on the other hand had not felt the need to apologize after her howler but giving her the benefit of the doubt and knowing just how much she was grieving it was easier to not be so hurt by her letter.

Allowing herself to get lost in thoughts she failed to hear the small pop in her room. Crookshanks on the other hand lifted his head to determine what the rude distraction was only to sigh and attempt to go back to sleep. Though the only light was coming from the moon and the silence was still ever present in her bedroom suddenly she noticed a shift in the air. At first she thought it was her mind playing tricks on her as it was the one month anniversary of his disappearance but as the sensation grew heavier and heavier she steeled herself as she prepared to look around. The barely visible movements she made was all he needed to move from his spot and rush towards her. Before she knew what was happening strong arms were around her and a familiar black mop was buried in her chest. She sat frozen unsure if this was yet another of her many daydreams not daring to believe this was really happening. Slowly she brought her arms around him and as she felt his awkward grip tighten she finally allowed herself to believe he had really come back. Just as she grasped what was happening she was yet again thrown off her axis as two hands found their way to her cheeks, pulling her down to meet lips she never thought she would get to taste. As her lips made contact with his she froze and starred at him with wide eyes. It took her a couple of beats to recover and knowing her as well as he did he waited for her to catch up. His patience was rewarded with the most desperately passionate kiss he had ever partaken in. He moaned as he pulled her down to the floor and deepened the kiss, their first kiss.

As oxygen became an issue for both of them they reluctantly pulled apart trying to keep as much contact as possible. Quiet sobs escaped from her as he pulled her head to his chest and rested his head on her head. He felt her holding on with strength he never knew she had as his relief swept over him finally seeing her and being in her presences again. As her sobs died down he felt her head rise up as their eyes met for the first time. Holding each others gaze they found themselves unable to speak. Noticing the extreme tiredness in his eyes she easily slipped back into the Hermione of old as she lifted them off the floor and led him to her bed. As if he was reading her mind he nodded, taking a seat on the edge of the bed to remove his shoes. Knowing that he could finally sleep peacefully he slid to the head of the bed and settled in. Only after she was satisfied that he was comfortable and on his way to sleep did she herself make her way to the other side of the bed. Arranging herself so that she was comfortable and still allowing Harry enough room she closed her eyes and took a long haggard breath, repeating the steps until she could pull in a deep breath and exhaled. For the first time in weeks she gave into the sensation of her body relaxing and sleep beckoning her. A smile spread across her face as Harry shifted next to her and wrapped his arms around her waist. Her last conscience thought was how amazing it felt to have Harry's embrace protectively surrounding her and his head nestled in the crock of her neck. He was home; he was finally home.

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