Word Count: 1,222
Summary: Harry and Hermione in three moments: One good, one bad, and one ugly. carry the weight of unraveling where we went wrong
Warning: Implications of an affair. Don't read if you don't like affair!fics.
A/N: Title is a lyric from "Stupid" by Sarah Mclachlan. This was meant to be my fic for anythingbutgrey's ficathon, but as I wasn't sure if the person who I was writing for was okay with affair fics, I stopped writing it. So you all get it instead :)
1. The (Mostly) Good
Harry had no idea how this happened.
One minute, he and Hermione were arguing over whether or not they should go back to Godric’s Hollow to search for Gryffindor’s sword, the next minute, they were kissing, lips moving, tongues swirling, hands roaming where hands had never dared to roam before.
Hermione arched her neck, her breath coming a bit faster as Harry kissed a trail down her jaw to her shoulder, his hand against her lower back pulling her closer.
“What are we doing?” She gasped, then moaned quietly as he kissed what he guessed was a particularly sensitive spot between her neck and shoulder.
“I have no idea,” Harry answered, even if this wasn’t entirely true – his feelings for Hermione had been changing, molding themselves into something more, something stronger. Something a lot less friendly and a lot more like what he might very well call love. If her reaction to this kiss was any indication, he wasn’t the only one.
His breath caused goosebumps to erupt along her skin, and she shivered. She held his chin in her hand so she could look him in the eye before dragging his mouth back to hers once more.
“I have to go take watch,” Harry breathed against her lips.
“No, you don’t,” Hermione mumbled back, refusing to disentangle herself from his arms. “You had watch last night. Tonight’s my turn.”
“You need your rest,” he said as their kisses gradually grew less insistent. “I’ll take watch tonight.”
Hermione nodded, kissing him one final time and finally letting him go. Harry pressed a kiss to her forehead, then headed out of the tent.
Later, Harry would muse that there was no way either of them could have known that Ron would return that night, no way they could have known that their best friend's arrival would halt any chance at a relationship that the two of them may have had. Hermione was meant to be with Ron, and he was meant to be with Ginny. That was the way things were supposed to be. They both knew this.
His heart told him differently.
2. The Bad
"I think Ron is going to propose."
Harry stopped in his tracks. The two of them had been walking through Hogsmeade, on their way back from one of their monthly visits to Professor McGonagall, when Hermione dropped this particular bit of news. Ron was currently away with work, while Harry had gotten a reprieve for the weekend. Ron told them to go on without him, and to "say hello to all the little brats for me." Harry had rolled his eyes. Hermione had glared, but couldn't help the smile that had quirked at her lips.
Harry turned to Hermione, snow crunching under his boots. Winter had come early this year and with it an almost constant flurry of snowfall. In the past two weeks, Harry had seen enough snow to last him a good long while. "What makes you think that?" he asked, shoving his hands into his pants pockets under his cloak.
Hermione shrugged. "I'm not sure. Just a gut feeling. And I told you to bring a pair of gloves because it was colder here than it was in London, didn't I? Let's go into the Hogshead, maybe we can get Aberforth to give us a warm cup of hot chocolate before we leave."
Harry threw Hermione a look. "Stop changing the subject."
She shivered, wrapping her cloak closer around her. "It is rather cold today, isn't it?"
Hermione sighed, defeated. "Oh, all right. I found the ring in his drawer while I was helping him pack for this weekend."
"Found?" Harry asked, amused.
"I wasn't looking for it, if that's what you're insinuating," Hermione said, bristling. She began walking. Harry followed so closely that their shoulders touched and he shivered again, now for an entirely different reason.
"Okay, so, Ron is going to propose," he said, voice surprisingly steady. "What's the problem?"
"There is no problem," Hermione said with emphasis. "I just thought you might want to know."
Silence fell between them, and Harry could sense that Hermione had something more to say. He could feel the unsaid words that remained between them on the air, almost taste them on his tongue.
Hermione looked at him uncertainly out of the corner of her eye. She inhaled. "Harry," she said, her voice hesitant. "Do you..." Her voice trailed off.
"Do I what, Hermione?"
She exhaled loudly. "Do you ever think about...that night? The night..."
Harry's eyes were cast down at his shoes. He couldn't look at her while she spoke. He knew exactly what she was going to say, even before she said it.
"The night we kissed?" she murmured quietly.
Harry stared ahead of him, not sure how he should answer the question. The truth was yes - he did think about that night. He thought about that kiss all the time - how good it had felt to have Hermione in his arms, how her lips had felt against his, how amazing her body had felt pressed against his. How if he had his way, he would have his arms around her right now, have her for himself, always, forever.
He wanted to be honest. He wanted to tell her how much he wanted her.
Instead, he said, "If Ron asks you to marry him, you should say yes." His voice was empty, flat, lifeless. He knew she would be able to tell right away that he was lying.
Hermione's eyes filled with tears, but she nodded. "You're right," she said hoarsely. "You're right."
She moved to the side, putting another inch of space between them, but the distance may as well have been a mile.
3. The Ugly
Hermione gasped as Harry pressed her roughly against her bedroom door.
Her lips were like fire burning against his, and Harry groaned as she nipped lightly at his bottom lip. This kiss was nothing like their first, their last – this was passion bordering on violence, lips crashing together and hands grabbing at clothes, the need to feel skin on skin almost desperate.
“Wait,” Hermione said, even as she clung to Harry’s shoulders as if he were a lifeline, her fingernails digging into his skin through the material of his shirt. “Wait. We shouldn’t be doing this.”
Harry kissed her neck, the hollow behind her ear, then her lips. “I know,” he breathed, “But I can’t help it.”
“This is so stupid. Stupid,” kiss, “Stupid,” kiss, “Stupid.”
“I know,” Harry said as he quickly unbuttoned her blouse and pushed the material from her shoulders. “But I can’t stop.”
Harry slipped his hand beneath the waistband of her skirt, and Hermione’s breath caught in her throat. Her head fell back against the door, and she moaned.
“Don’t stop Harry,” she said, hitching her leg around his waist, wrapping one arm around his shoulders, the other making quick work of his trousers. “Don’t ever stop.”
Harry thought of Ron, away for the weekend with work, of their newborn daughter asleep in the next room, of his own pregnant wife waiting for him at home, and bit his lip. This felt so good, so perfect, so right. But the guilt was almost overwhelming.
He knew they would both regret this in the morning.