lost amongst our winnings.
harry potter, harry/hermione (friendship). 433 words, pg.
she pulls him from the past and sets his feet firmly on the ground of the present, just as she always has.
for the harry potter non-canon ships ficathon. prompt: "too many years built into memories".
Harry doesn't know what he is supposed to do when the war is over. There are no more Horcruxes to destroy or Hallows to find. No more cold nights sitting outside the tent with a foreign wand in his hand. No more battles or races against the clock to win. Over half of his life has been spent working toward this final moment between him and Voldemort and after it ends, he feels lost. Nothing after the war comes naturally to him.
So, he spends months (maybe years, he doesn't remember anymore) doing exactly what everyone expects Harry Potter to do: rebuilding the world, training to become an Auror, dating Ginny. The entire wizarding world is watching him as he tries to discover what his new normal should be. No one (except her) seems to notice that he isn't really there for these things.
Standing between his former professors and his best friends at the front of the restored Great Hall, his body celebrates the restoration of his home, but his mind is back in the tent with Hermione, remembering the soft skin of her cheek against his stubbly one as they danced.
It was simpler then, he thinks, and then nearly laughs out loud at the thought. Nothing had been simple then. He just can't help but think that at least he'd been following a path already paved for him instead of walking down the unmarked one he's on now. This new unknown makes his heart skip beats and his lungs freeze up when he sees the the different paths laid out in front of him, waiting for him to choose one, to take the first step toward the rest of his life.
He feels the tips of Hermione's fingers brush against the back of his hand and then her fingers are squeezing his, pulling him from the past and setting his feet firmly on the ground of the present. He squeezes back and watches the corners of her lips quirk upward out of the corner of his eye.
There are days (read: every day) where Harry feels lost after the war is over. But then there are moments, moments like these, when she reminds him to open his eyes to the present and breathe just by brushing her hand against his. He watches her smile and laugh, the haunted look in her eyes put there by war finally fading into a memory, and he feels steadier on his feet and more at home in his skin because she's there.
Hermione is right there, standing beside him, the true constant in his life just as she's always been.
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