Pairing: Harry Potter/Hermione Granger
Summary: Harry Potter has always loved Hermione Granger, and he always will. This is the story of how he and Hermione come together.
Tags: Romance, Fluff, Songfic, Lyric Llama, AU
Word Count: 2231
Author’s Note: Written for June 2019’s Lyric Llama event on Harmony & Co. This month, Llama Del Rey gave me this lyric “But you’re not just time that I’m killin’, I’m no longer one of those guys, As sure as I live, this love that I give, Is gonna be yours until the day that I die” Forever and Ever Amen – Randy Travis
This resides in an AU where Hermione and Ron got together in Third Year. I know, yech, but it turns out well in the end.
Hermione had loved Ron Weasley forever, or so it seemed to Harry. Back in their third year, they paired off and it seemed like one of those romances that were just meant to be. Harry had watched from the sidelines, their best friend, but also the stereotypical third wheel. During their fourth year, he sat alone while they had their dates, and their kisses, and went to the dance together. It seemed the only time that Hermione paid Harry any attention at all was when Ron pulled some idiotic stunt or hurt her feelings.
Of course, Hermione being Hermione, she was still there for him and his adventures. She helped with the tournament during fourth year when Ron was being a git, and during fifth year she helped him with the DA. In sixth year she wasn’t around as much. Harry wasn’t sure why she had been so angry with him during that year, but at the end of the year, she came back and was a good friend once again.
But Harry had a problem. Despite all the ways he had been shafted to the side throughout the years and despite the feeling that Ron and Hermione were just ‘meant to be,’ he was in love with Hermione Granger. It had happened during fourth year when she had paid him more attention than usual due to the tournament. Harry wanted her to be his, though he would never get in the way of her happiness by telling her so.
During sixth year, he finally got fed up with waiting for her to see that he was a much better choice than Ronald Weasley, and started to date. First, he dated Luna Lovegood, a friend that he had made during his fifth year and with whom he had spent a lot of time after Hermione had started treating him with disgust. She was a little odd, but cute in her own way. But she hadn’t really wanted anything romantic from him, so after one date at Christmas time, they parted ways and stayed friends.
Then Harry had dated Ginny Weasley for eight weeks before the end of sixth year. That had ended up being a complete disaster because while Harry was just dating her for fun, Ginny had fashioned herself as being in love. When he had brake it off to go fight in the war, she had been heartbroken.
That was when Harry changed. He couldn’t have the one woman he wanted, and he couldn’t commit to anyone else – or so it seemed – so he wouldn’t. After he defeated Voldemort, he had no shortage of women who wanted to be with him. So Harry floated from one fangirl to another, quickly gaining a reputation amongst both the press and his friends as a womanizer and a playboy. He didn’t really care. While he wanted to have a wife and a family, the only person he wanted that with was Hermione and she was with Ron.
Even after Ron had deserted them on the Horcrux Hunt, Hermione was still just as loyal and in love with Ron as she had been since third year. It hurt, but Harry was beyond it. He was still their friend, and they saw each other a few times a week, but just as it had been during their Hogwarts years, he was on the outside looking in.
It all changed in 2002 when four weeks before their wedding, Ron and Hermione had a huge fight and broke up. The couple had apparently been having problems for over a year, but after that fight, they were done. Harry, being the good friend he was, stuck with Hermione. He held her when she cried, let her stay in his guest bedroom while she looked for a new place, and helped her settle the accounts for the abandoned wedding. Harry always wanted to be there for her.
It was then that he decided that this might be his chance. Harry knew he couldn’t come right out and tell her about his feelings. Hermione wouldn’t react well to that at all. No, instead he had to make her see him as a potential romantic partner.
For that, Harry had to stop the drinking and the random sex partners. And he did. Harry decided that he would not be that guy anymore, and would instead try to be the man that Hermione deserved.
Of course, Hermione noticed and immediately jumped to the wrong conclusion.
“Harry, I’m going to move out of your guest bedroom.”
Harry froze. They’d just had a great dinner together and Harry had been luxuriating from being the focus of her complete attention. He turned towards her after setting down the stack of plates he’d been carrying to the sink.
“I’m going to move out,” Hermione repeated. “It’s been six months since…since I moved in, and it’s time for me to stand on my own two feet.”
“Hermione, you know you don’t have to do that? I love having you here.”
“I’m cramping your style, Harry, and don’t tell me that I’m not. You haven’t had a date in six months. I don’t want to be the cause of you not living your life.”
“You’re talking nonsense, Hermione,” Harry said nervously. “You’re not the reason why I’m no longer dating floozies and bimbos.” Liar.
“Then why aren’t you dating? Harry, before I moved in you were dating someone new every week, sometimes more often than that. Now, nobody in six months!”
Harry shrugged and turned away from her so that she couldn’t see his face. Hermione had always had a knack for knowing when he was lying. “Maybe I’m sick of that lifestyle. I’ve always wanted to settle down and have a family, and I can’t do that if I’m the wizarding world’s playboy. It’s time for me to grow up and out.”
“And you just happened to make this decision the same moment that I broke up with my boyfriend of almost a decade and moved into your spare bedroom? I don’t buy it.”
Harry turned back towards her. “It’s true, I’ll even swear on my magic if you don’t believe me. I’m not that guy anymore, I don’t want to be. So please don’t move out. I mean if you’re set on it, then obviously I’m not going to stop you, but I really do love having you here. This apartment is a bit big for just me, so having someone else here, someone who I care about and like is so much better than going out and trying to find a roommate.”
Hermione looked unsure, but eventually, she gave in and Harry sighed in relief. He didn’t want her to go. If it were up to him, she’d never leave. That was something he wasn’t going to repeat to her because even in his head it made him sound a little too much like a serial killer.
The next change Harry made was to his professional life. For the years after the war, Harry had treated his jobs almost like he had treated women. He moved from one to another, never giving any job much of his attention or effort. At Hogwarts, he had plans to become an Auror, but after defeating Voldewanker, Harry no longer had the drive to fight dark wizards every single day. But he didn’t know what he should do with his life, so he floated from one job to another. He didn’t really have to work since his parents and Sirius had left him a fortune that would last his family generations.
Now Harry wanted to show Hermione that he was taking life seriously, so he decided that he needed to find out what he wanted to do with his life. That had proven difficult because Harry still didn’t know. He had done well in Hogwarts, often studying on his own while Hermione and Ron did their own thing, so he had the credentials for a lot of jobs. In the end, Harry decided that he liked the idea of being his own boss. So he pulled out some of his fortune, bought a nice little storefront in Diagon Alley and started up a used bookstore. Now, Harry knew he was pandering a bit to win Hermione, but he didn’t care. He was a bit of a bookworm, and the idea of selling used and rare books was one that he thought he’d enjoy.
Hermoine had been shocked and then delighted. Then she had done something that had shocked Harry. She had quit her job at the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures and had decided that she was going to get a job at his bookshop. Harry, of course, hired her on the spot and made sure that she was well compensated for it. It was like a dream come true. He worked with her for hours each day and then they went home together at night.
By the time a year had passed, Harry didn’t think he could get much closer to her, and that was when he made his move. After a long day at the store, he asked her out to dinner.
At first, she didn’t understand. Hermione thought that he was just asking her to have dinner with him as a friend.
“A date?” She repeated after he corrected her. “You want to go out on a date with me?”
Harry nodded, trying to control the blush that was threatening to creep up on his cheeks. He would not look away and bluster about like a twelve-year-old asking out his first crush. Hermione might be his first crush, but he was a grown man.
“I don’t understand. Since when do you want to date me?”
Harry sighed. “Oh, I don’t know, since about third year, I think. The summer before that I was so excited to learn that third years got to go to Hogsmeade. I was going to walk right up to you and ask you to go with me for the first trip, but then Vernon wouldn’t sign my form and then after that first trip you started to date Ron and things changed.”
Hermione stared back at him in shock. Harry hadn’t planned on dropping this on her all at once, but he knew that Hermione appreciated honesty, so he would be honest with her.
“After that, there was no way of telling you that I fancied you. I wasn’t going to get in between you and Ron. It seemed then that you guys were meant for each other and there was no way I was going to put a stop to that because it would have meant losing both my best friends.”
“But…Since then, Harry, you…” Hermione blushed.
“I know, I became a playboy.” Harry shrugged. “I decided after I broke Ginny’s heart that I couldn’t offer any woman commitment. By dating around and being honest about expectations, I kept from getting too attached and I prevented myself from breaking anyone’s heart. I know it looks bad, but as I said a few months ago, I’m not that guy anymore.”
Hermione nodded. “I know you’re not. I didn’t believe you back then, but I do now. I…uh…I guess I’d love to go to dinner with you…as a date.”
Harry grinned and refrained from rushing forward and kissing her senseless. He needed to take this slow if he was going to earn her heart.
The next two years of his life were amazing. Harry and Hermione continued to get closer and closer together, and Harry fell more and more in love with her each and every day. When he proposed, he had it all planned out.
First, he took Hermione to her favorite restaurant, which turned out to be a burger joint. Harry didn’t care. She was not the type to need a fancy, high priced restaurant, and that was just one of the things he loved about her. After they had eaten their burgers and slurped their shakes, Harry had gotten down on one knee.
“Harry, what are you doing,” Hermione asked.
Harry grinned. “A smart girl like yourself should know what this usually means.”
Hermione’s eyes widened and Harry’s grin got bigger.
“Hermione Granger. I love you more today than I did yesterday and I will love you more tomorrow than I do today. Each and every day that you and I have together is a gift and I will always cherish those days and you. As long as I live, this love that I have for you is yours to keep. I promise that I will love you forever, forever and ever. Will you marry me?”
Hermione had shaken her head, which made Harry’s shoulder’s droop. But she was smiling. “Harry, you are such a sap. Get up here, of course, I’ll marry you.”
Harry could feel the relief flooding through his veins as he stood up and kissed his fiancee with all his love and passion.
Four months later, they married in a small reception with just their family and friends present. Harry gazed at his bride as he danced the first dance with her after the ceremony, and couldn’t believe that his wildest dreams had come true. Hermione was his wife. He loved her so damn much, and he knew he would love her forever and ever, no matter what.