Word Count: 1,068
Summary: I get it. You choose him. Hermione burrows her head in Harry’s shoulder. She knows she should feel guilty, but she just can’t. She thinks that’s what bothers her the most.
A/N: Title from "Gravity" by Vienna Teng. Takes place during Deathly Hallows, but is
“I get it. You choose him.”
The words make her heart beat frantically in her chest. Harry’s eyes are narrowed, but the words leave him reeling.
Ron runs towards the open air, and all Hermione can think is Not safe, don’t leave, please don’t leave, as she pushes open the flap of the tent and stumbles out.
She staggers blindly through the dark, falling over tree roots and her own two feet, chasing after him through the rain.
But he’s already gone, and she isn’t sure who to blame.
They don’t talk for days.
Hermione has always hated girls who cry constantly, even when they have something to cry about (don’t get her started on Cho), but for the next three days, she cries herself to sleep every night. She misses Ron, misses her friend, and she can’t stand thinking that he might hate her.
Harry can barely look at her, and she can barely look at him, can’t bear to see that guilty, forlorn look in his eyes. She misses him even though he’s still there, which hurts so much more than Ron’s desertion ever could.
He thinks she’s crying over Ron, just Ron, only Ron, but she’s not – she’s crying over him, too.
“It’s snowing again,” he says, shaking snowflakes out of his hair and frantically rubbing his hands by the little blue fire in the center of the tent.
“Mmm,” she responds, distracted. Her eyes are drawn to the front of the tent, to the snow falling on the cedar trees, and the darkening twilight sky.
Harry’s arms tentatively slide around her from behind, and she closes her eyes, sighing, leaning into the embrace, letting herself be warmed by him, by his very presence.
He doesn’t ask her who she’s thinking about – he already knows.
I get it. You choose him.
Hermione burrows her head in Harry’s shoulder. She knows she should feel guilty, but she just can’t. She thinks that’s what bothers her the most.
He’d almost died.
He’d almost died, she’d almost… oh, God.
Hermione’s hands shake as she gives Harry her wand. He turns his back and walks away from her, two steps, three.
I get it. You choose him.
She grabs his arm, “Harry!” throws her arms around his shoulders, and clings.
Then, she kisses him like a desperate plea, don’t die, don’t die, don’t leave.
Hermione has always been a logical individual. Every decision, every answer, can be found with a little bit of thought.
But others come upon her so suddenly, she’ll feel like the wind is knocked out of her. The answer makes perfect sense, she’ll think– why hadn’t she seen it before?
This is one of those times, but it is neither cautious nor logical. Nothing about this is logical, she thinks as Harry’s lips press against hers and she pulls herself tighter against him. Nothing about this makes sense.
Then again, maybe everything about this makes sense. Maybe she just isn’t looking hard enough.
“I’ll finish the watch. You get back in the warm.”
She doesn’t know how to respond. Hermione wishes she could do something, anything, to comfort Harry, to show him that he is loved, because she -
She freezes, hand on the tent flap, thoughts coming to a standstill. She loves him. She loves him.
Hermione turns around, sits casually next to Harry, thigh pressing against his, and drapes a blanket over both of them. “I think I’d rather stay out here.”
She pretends that his smile doesn’t make her heart race.
She falls asleep with her head on his shoulder; she wakes up alone in her bed to the gentle shaking of her shoulder.
The sight of Ron half-hiding behind Harry as she stands makes her freeze.
Then, she’s shouting, fists flying, and every little protest, every attempt to apologize only makes her angrier. All that time she’d wanted him to come back, to come home - she looks at Harry, eyes filling with tears, and stalks off to the back of the tent to be alone.
And now she wishes he’d just stayed away.
She doesn’t talk to either of them for days beyond short phrases and single words.
She keeps to herself, taking watch silently when her turn passes, ignoring Ron’s blatant attempts at conversation and Harry’s disbelieving stares.
The weight of another body in bed with her that night makes her eyes open warily to see Harry staring down at her in the darkness.
“You should cut him some slack,” Harry whispers, gently easing The Tales of the Beetle Bard from her fingers and placing it to the side.
But Hermione shakes her head, then takes a deep breath, leans forward and kisses him. “This has nothing to do with him,” she whispers against his lips, but she knows it's a lie.
This has everything to do with him.
Harry’s breath is hot against her skin and she stifles a moan against his shoulder.
This wasn’t supposed to happen. One minute, they were talking, the next minute, they were kissing, and now they were…
Hermione digs her fingers into Harry’s back as he gasps, then buries his face in her neck. Ron is sleeping in the bunk above them; they need to be quiet. They can’t get caught. Not right now. Not like this.
“Harry,” she whispers, back arching, but he cuts her off with a kiss. Then, they both go still.
“You don’t- have to say anything,” he murmurs as they catch their breath. He rolls over and clutches her to his side, and even with the bitter winter cold, she has never felt warmer in her life.
Every night, he comes to her.
They muffle their moans and sighs against each other’s skin, and Hermione puts her love for him in every touch and every kiss.
Ron never suspects a thing.
I get it. You choose him.
The words run through her head like a mantra as she lies in Harry’s arms, eyes staring at the indentation Ron’s body makes in the mattress above her head.
He was wrong, she thinks, one arm thrown around Harry’s waist; there was no choice involved in being with Harry – it was something natural, like breathing, something that progressed on its own before she’d even realized what was happening.
She still doesn’t feel guilty, but that doesn’t bother her so much anymore.