Title: Finding Hope
A.N: Written for Harmony&Co’s Flash Fiction Friday.
Author: The Muse of Apollo
Word Count: 990
August 10, 2008
Harry waited impatiently in the line to get his coffee. He wasn’t really in a hurry, but he had never liked lines. That and he had a lot of work to do. Coming to the coffee shop to do it was perhaps not the best idea, but he was sick of sitting alone in his apartment gazing at his computer monitor. Sometimes telecommuting was terrible.
Finally making it to the head of the line, Harry placed his order. While he was waiting for his coffee and muffin to be prepared, he glanced around the busy shop, looking for a table where he could set up his MacBook. There were a few free tables and there was even one near an outlet in case he stayed long enough to need juice for his laptop.
Harry took his completed coffee and his muffin to a free table near a window and set himself up for a long day of work and people watching/procrastination. He sipped his coffee and chewed through his blueberry muffin as he set his fingers to work on his latest project.
After the war, everyone thought that he’d become an Auror and spend his life hunting dark wizards. And for a long time, that was what Harry really wanted to do. However, after he killed Voldemort, becoming an Auror didn’t appeal to him at all. After several false starts, and after the thing with Hermione, he’d left the wizarding world completely, and had gone to school in the US, eventually getting a degree in electrical engineering. Harry now worked for a large company, designing electrical systems for large buildings.
It wasn’t what he thought he’d be doing, but it was interesting and he got to meet a lot of great people along the way.
Harry was brought out of his work by the sound of a coffee cup hitting the floor off to his right. He looked away from his laptop and was shocked to find someone looking at him. Someone with large brown eyes and wild brown hair.
“Harry,” Hermione whispered.
Harry quickly looked away and started to pack his things. He couldn’t do this. He couldn’t even talk to her, because it hurt too much. Before he could grab his backpack and leave, he felt a hand on his shoulder.
Harry turned to her in resignation. “What can I do for you, Hermione.”
“I…I mean, it’s good to see you,” Hermione said, softly. “I didn’t know you were in Boston.”
“Yeah. Ever since I left England. What are you doing on this side of the pond?”
“I’m consulting with the American Ministry of Magic for the next year.”
Harry nodded. “That’s nice.”
The two remained in silence for several moments. Just before Harry decided to make his escape again, Hermione broke the silence.
“I’ve missed you, Harry,” she whispered, sorrow creeping into her tone.
Harry sighed. “Hermione, you know why I had to leave. It was just too hard.”
“I know,” Hermione said, nodding. “I don’t think with the way that it all ended that I ever said that I was sorry.”
“You never had to be sorry. I didn’t really blame you for not feeling the same way. I didn’t mean to get all angry about it, but…I was just…so in love with you. When you said that you were getting married to…to Ron, I lost it.”
“I know. Then you left.”
“Yeah,” Harry agreed. Because he had left. He’d had to. There was just no way he was going to stick around and watch the love of his life marry someone else. After the fight he’d had, where he’s ashamed to say he’d begged her to love him instead, he’d had no choice but to pack his bags and leave her as far behind as possible. Since then he’d abandoned magic almost completely, and hadn’t looked back.
Of course, that was a complete lie. He still thought about Hermione every single day. He still loved her, and he knew that he always would. It was a part of him, and despite the constant reminder, the heartbreak, he wouldn’t change that for the world. Having that love, even if it was one-sided, was better than no love at all.
“I don’t even know what you’ve done with your life if you’re happy or have a family. I…feel like I messed so much,” Hermione said, looking down at her feet.
Harry smiled then, “I am happy, Hermione. At least as happy as I can be. I don’t have a family, I…uh, I never really found someone that I could have that with,” the besides you, going unsaid. “What about you, are you happy?” With him?
“We divorced last year,” Hermione said sadly, “we just couldn’t make it work. Even…even after our daughter was born, we kept fighting, he kept drinking. It…it was bad.”
“Yeah. Rose,” Hermione smiled. Her marriage to Ron might not have been the dream she had always hoped it’d be, but she didn’t regret it. She loved her daughter.
“I’m happy for you, Hermione,” Harry said, trying not to show how much her having a child with another man affected him.
“I don’t regret my marriage, Harry. How can I when it gave me a beautiful daughter,” she paused for a moment before continuing, “but I regret what happened between us. I wasn’t kidding when I said I’ve missed you. Would…would you like to sit and have coffee with me? Maybe…maybe we can catch up more?”
Did he? He wasn’t sure he was comfortable talking with that. Though, the conversation they’d been having hadn’t been as disastrous as he’d expected at first. “Don’t you have to get back to your daughter? She’s here in the US with you?”
“Yeah, she’s here. She’s in daycare right now. I’ve got some time.”
Harry stared at her for a moment. What was the worst that could happen? “Sure. Let’s have coffee.”