Loneliness

Chapter 7

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Harry Potter belongs to J.K. Rowling. Blah blah blah. should just put a blanket disclaimer on the site for all the idiots that could possibly believe we actually own these stories or make any kind of a profit.


Hermione had a lot on her mind. Last week, she had come to the library to study and found Harry looking at old editions of the Hogwarts Gazette. She had frozen on the spot. Harry hadn't noticed her, even as he left the library. The look he had on his face, she had never seen that before. Not on him. It was such a resigned sadness that it broke her heart. She had wasted no time in going over to see what newspapers he had been looking at. When she saw, the broken pieces of her heart had shattered into a thousand more pieces.

Before this event, she had been debating something, going around in circles, her fear of contact and her longing for companionship battling each other. But after witnessing Harry's pain, she was finally able to make a decision. She was ready.

So here she was. Her chance had arrived. Across the library desk, Harry sat, scribbling away with his quill, his forehead scrunched up in concentration. Nervous butterflies roiled in her stomach, making her want to throw up, yet her determination was absolute. She was going to do it. Dry mouthed, she tore off a little bit of parchment and wrote one single word on it: Hi. Her hand was half extended when she froze. All she had to do was drop the little note. It was so simple, and yet so hard. Tears came to her eyes and she fought down a sob as her hand retracted and she slumped back in her seat, feeling ashamed and defeated.

Harry looked up, hearing her chair screech against the floor. She quickly ducked her head to hide her teary eyes. She glanced up through the curtain of her bushy hair and watched as confusion played out across his face. Eventually, he gave up and went back to work. She quickly rubbed her eyes with her free hand; the note crumpled up in her other. In her anger she had made a tight fist. Fingers shaking, she opened up the note and read the one, pathetic little word she had written. Why was it so hard? Why could other, normal people speak so easily to one another? Why couldn't she? Why was it so hard for her to even take this tiny little step towards communication? It wasn't fair.

Realising she was falling into a self-destructive downward spiral, she attempted to calm herself by taking slow, even breaths and counting in her head. One, two, three, four. The simple task, her go to mental exercise, helped her regain her calm and composure.

Hermione looked at the piece of paper in her hand, tracing the one word with her fingertips. This was her chance to finally connect, even if it was tenuous, with the boy who had done more for her than anyone. If she failed this, she would never have another chance. Her failure here would haunt her and destroy any other chances she might have down the line, a poisonous memory. She had to do this.

Hermione steeled herself this time, closed her eyes and counted to three. One. Two. Three. Then she, hand trembling, reached across the desk and dropped the note in front of Harry. She opened her eyes and peered at him sheepishly. He stopped what he was doing, his frown deepening. Finally, a small smile curled his lips, and he looked up at her.

'Hi.'

Hermione blushed, and then ducked her heard and scrawled a reply on her parchment: Thank you for sitting with me. This time it was easier to reach across the table and drop the note.

Harry read it, and then said, 'thank you for letting me.'

Hermione's cheeks felt so hot she feared they might explode. Her heart was pounding as she wrote another little message: There's so much I want to say and ask.

Harry smiled. 'We have all the time in the world.'

Hermione's heart skipped a beat. She raised her hands to cover her face in an attempt to hide what felt like the world's brightest blush, but not just that. She was also hiding a huge smile. She wasn't used to the feeling. It kind of hurt, but in a good way. She kept her hands in front of her face until she felt like her blush had subsided and the smile had gone. When she took her hands away, Harry was still sat there, waiting patiently.

'You okay?'

Her hand flew across the parchment as she replied: Very.

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