?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

A Questionable Encounter: Part Two

Okay this started out as a one shot and then I had a brainwave. So here is the result of that. I really don't know if I will write another chapter or not. I do promise that if I write more chapters there will not be any cliff hangers, that is the best I can do dears, it all just depends on the inspiration and when it hits me.

So without further ado a short addition...

Ron had come up to him, just outside the cellar, that night, after. He watched silently as Harry took the strands of yarn out of his pocket and touched them one by one to the tip of his wand. Ron smelled the acrid scent of burnt human hair and realized what his best friend was doing. He gave Harry a silent, but questioning look, his lip still puffy, but no longer bleeding.

“I don’t need them anymore.” Harry answered the unasked question simply.

“Why not?” Harry heard the undercurrent of protectiveness in Ron’s question.

“I saw her tonight. She was staying over with the twins. She found me in the back room.” Harry touched his wand to the piece of blue yarn, the red hair sizzling in the silence. His mind was still soaking in the sensations of Ginny beneath his hands, in his arms.

“And?” Ron seemed to be trying hard not to be accusatory.

“And I told her, so I don’t need these anymore.” The last piece of yarn was now only ash at Harry’s feet.

“Told her what, Harry?” Ron had stepped in front of him, forcing Harry to look in his blue eyes.

“That I love her.” Harry said with an almost sad smile. He heard Ron exhale what he hoped was a sigh of relief. “Those were just pieces of string: things. She loves me, I don’t need them anymore.” With that, they turned and descended back into the cellar to a waiting and worried Hermione.

~*~

The scent of burning parchment was one that she had become accustomed to all too recently. She watched determinedly the way the edges curled into ash as the flames consumed the untidy black scrawl. Just like his hair, his hand went in all directions. His one letter signature was always the first thing to disappear. As the ash fell to the floor it was as if she could still see it in her mind, whole unblemished. The way they used to be.

The messages were hurried, sometimes smudged and blurred. She was sure they were written quickly, furtively in some dark place by the light of Hermione’s bluebell flames. They were half words, barely phrases, sometimes just a letter to represent everything, and numbers that meant little to anyone but her. Still she burned them, just as she knew he would burn the strands of yarn.

Once there was a long letter, maybe months ago, maybe years, the time passed so differently now in her mind. No, it was only a month ago, written hastily on the back of a discarded order form. It said only one thing, over and over as if he had been writing lines. Maybe it had been an effort to write over the second scar, or maybe just a confirmation of its words. She did not know. She only knew that it had been the hardest one to burn.

The parchment had caught easily enough; it was just that she had the hardest time touching her wand to it. She had counted them hastily; the sounds from the front of the shop drown out by the pounding in her ears. The repeated words blurred by the stinging in her eyes. One hundred and forty-two times he had written it. That was the number of staircases at Hogwarts, she had thought. He had written her full name at the top and signed it with his. There were only two sentences on the whole parchment, even though it was full. He had written “I love you” one hundred and forty-two times and then once “please don’t ever forget.” As if she ever could. She would count to one hundred and forty-two to put herself to sleep, each number a testament and a vow. She would murmur it in her waking moments until she was old and grey. She would whisper it from behind the veil, if it came to that.

She blew the ashes of her latest cryptic missive out her open window, and slipped into her own soft warm bed at the Burrow. She closed her eyes and let the picture of the parchment float to the front of her mind.

One. I love you, too.

Two. I love you, too.

Three. I love you, too.

Four…

~*~

He was alone with Hermione at the kitchen table in the basement of Grimmauld Place. Ron was sleeping by the fire in an arm chair they had levitated down from the living room. Harry sipped his tea and looked at the place near the hearth where Ginny had played so often with Crookshanks. He and Hermione smiled wearily at each other as Ron let loose a particularly loud snore. Harry watched as Hermione gazed over at his other best friend. He saw the weariness ease on her face and be replaced with something else; a look he knew well, having burned it into his memory several weeks before.

“Have you told him, Hermione?” he asked in a soft whisper. Her hair whipped in a bushy mass around her shoulders as she startled and looked back at Harry.

“Told him what?” Hermione’s eyes were narrowed and her tone was quizzical.

“That you love him,” Harry said resolutely not moving his gaze from her eyes. Her cheeks tinged and she looked away, fiddling with her mug of tea.

“I love you both, you both know that.” She replied matter-of-factly, still not meeting Harry’s eyes.

“Hermione, you know what I mean.” Harry reached out and stilled her fingers on the handle of her mug, causing her to finally look up. “He needs to hear you say it. He deserves to know, beyond any doubt. You deserve to hear him say it back and mean it, not just because you have finished an essay for him.”

Hermione nodded, smiled biting her lip, and stared back at Harry as he continued.

“Soon, Hermione; tell him soon. Before we run out of chances.” Harry got up from the table and headed up the stairs. Leaving his two best friends in the kitchen; one still snoring, and the other staring after him wondering when the boy she had know for the past six and a half years had become a man.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
jandjsalmon
Aug. 14th, 2005 01:27 am (UTC)
The was brilliant. I teared up a little with the counting to sleep. So beautiful! I have a promblem letting go of characters in a story, so another chapter would be great, but even if you just left it here, it would be enough. It was lovely! :)
ladytory
Aug. 14th, 2005 01:32 am (UTC)
Oh thanks dear. I don't want to be a tease but I kind of like this little universe. So I am letting my mind wander in hopes of catching another plot bunny. It will be here if I do!
jandjsalmon
Aug. 14th, 2005 02:48 am (UTC)
Groovy! Then I'll be here too! :)
lemaljumellen
Aug. 29th, 2005 03:52 am (UTC)
I loved this story. It was so brilliant and so adorable. Amazing!
katieay
Sep. 5th, 2005 09:58 am (UTC)
Before we run out of chances

Brilliant work. I didn't leave a comment on the first one, I think this one is even better. It gripped me more, with the cryptic messages. So very like Harry to do that, brilliant characterisation all round.

I found you through Joy of Ron, by the way ;o)

Off to read the next two!
ladytory
Sep. 5th, 2005 02:45 pm (UTC)
Oh Thanks for stopping by I do hope that you enjoy the sequel as well, there is a bit more Ron/Hermione in that one. Thanks for leaving a comment! I do appreciate it!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )