Concept: a movie theater that only shows Harry Potter films. The movies will be in 4D. The temperature will drop when dementors are present. Fans will blow on you during quidditch scenes. Enticing smells will be pumped in during feast scenes but don’t worry about feeling hungry because the theater will serve Bertie Botts, treacle tart, drumsticks, butterbeer, chocolate frogs and those tiny little pies that Mrs. Weasley makes. Instead of loyalty cups, you get discounts if you wear a Weasley sweater.
it’s daybreak. i’m meandering through a field on my family estate. i look up and see u there striding towards me in tight pants, riding boots, a half open shirt, and an overcoat. the music swells. u stutter through what is possibly the most romantic proposal of all time. i kiss ur knuckles and gaze into ur eyes as sunrise breaks over the horizon.
“Mr. Weasley conjured up candles to light the darkening garden before they had their homemade strawberry ice cream, and by the time they had finished, moths were fluttering low over the table, and the warm air was perfumed with the smells of grass and honeysuckle.”
I was wondering, what if Harry and Hermione had met before Hogwarts?
The first time Harry Potter met Hermione Granger, she was standing with her chin up and her hands on her hips a few paces from the old olive tree in the schoolyard, glaring into the far distance. The wind was trying to twist and buffet her hair into her face, but mostly it was just tangling cheerfully with itself.
Dudley and Piers were busy kicking all the other kids off the play structure, so Harry had retreated out into the grass. He stood a safe distance from the weird girl who was pretending to be a statue and thought wistfully of lunch.
“There’s a fallen bird’s nest,” the girl said in a rapid and certain tumble of syllables. “The boys knocked it out of the tree, but I chased them off and I’m hoping the mama bird comes back. I’m Hermione Granger. We just moved here.”
“Harry,” he said.
“How’d you get that scar?” she said.
“That’s a weird scar for a car accident.”
Harry shrugged. “It killed my parents.”
She blinked quickly at him and even at that distance he wished vaguely that she wore glasses, too, because her gaze was something that really felt like it should have some built-in bluntedness. “Mine are dentists. Mum’s taking me to the library after school, want to come?”
Before they went into Diagon Alley, Harry asked Hagrid if they could find a payphone. Hermione picked up on the first ring.
“Harry! Where have you been? I’ve been trying and trying to call–”
“Sorry, yeah. Um, so, I’m not coming back to school next year, I…” Harry drifted off, staring at Hagrid’s massive moleskin shoulders. The giant man saw him looking and gave him a tentatively cheerful little wave. “It’s been weird, Herm.” He pressed his forehead into the phone stand, but not too hard. “I think you’re the only thing I’m really going to miss.”
“Harry,” Hermione said and Harry started to frown, because that wasn’t her stern and startled voice. That was the voice that meant she was off down a charging war path of other thought and might not have heard him at all. “I’ve been reading.”
“Of course you’ve been reading,” he said. “I’ve been being forcibly hidden from a swarm of post office owls–”
“You’re in books,” she said in breathless delight, squeaking over the telephone line. “First thing we did, of course, after the professor explained, was get her to escort us to a bookstore– a whole bibliography, Harry, a whole world’s bibliography I haven’t even touched– how am I ever going to–” She took in a little calming breath, and murmured, “Different infinities, it’s okay, Hermione, okay.” A sharp exhale and then she tumbled right back into her rushing rivelet of a sentence. “And I picked up a good dozen, besides the school books, of course, and Harry, you’re in books, in Dark Wizardwork of This Century and A Modern Wizards’ History and October’s End: A Biography–”
“Hermione,” said Harry with slow enunciation. “Are you a wizard, too?”
“A witch, I think,” she said. “But I’m still reading up on the sociology of it all.”
Hagrid wouldn’t say Voldemort’s name, but Hermione would. She came over with a stack of books up to her chin, gave the Dursleys her normal pointed little stare that said she’d like to set them a little on fire, and curled up in his cupboard with him.
He supposed she probably could learn how to set them on fire, now, if she really wanted to.
She gave him passages and excerpts with his name in them, with his parents’ names, a home he hadn’t known. There were pictures of a ruined house with the smoke drifting in little curls of ink. There was his mother, smiling and waving in black and white. There was his mother, laid out on the floor, with a sober little caption below it. That picture was still, except for curtains fluttering in the window.
Hermione finally dragged her face far enough up from the pages to see Harry holding his own hand very tightly, and then she closed the book and reached for one about which magical creatures you should pet and which you shouldn’t.
“Sorry,” she said.
“I wanted to know.”
“I’m still sorry.”
The Grangers drove Harry, Hermione, Hedwig, and their trunks to King’s Cross Station. Mrs. Granger kissed the top of Hermione’s head while Mr. Granger mussed Harry’s mop of dark hair affectionately, and then they swapped children and repeated the treatment. Hermione pushed her hair back out of her face and marched them all to Platform 9 ¾, the entrance mechanism of which she had read all about.
“Before you go,” Mrs. Granger said, “let’s buy you some sandwiches? I don’t know what sort of food they’ll have past that–”
“There’s a trolley,” Hermione said, but her parents dragged them off to a snack kiosk anyway, Harry happily in tow.
As they were on Hermione’s tight schedule, there were plenty of compartments open, and they took one all to themselves– well, to themselves, Hedwig, and Hermione’s books, which took up two seats. (Harry would wheedle Hagrid into taking him to Diagon Alley for Christmas shopping that year, where he would get Hermione a carry-all bag for her small personal library.)
Hermione took a long preparatory breath while Harry unwrapped his sandwich. “Harry? What if I go and sit down under the Hat and I just sit and sit there, and then it says I’m not a witch at all?” Hermione said, the words getting more squashed together and higher-pitched as she went. “I’m not magic, it just got confused, and they send me home? Harry, I don’t want to be a dentist. Other people’s mouths are disgusting–”
“You’re not going to get kicked out,” Harry said, chewing amiably on his sandwich. It was not good, but the Dursleys hadn’t bothered with any breakfast for him and he hadn’t wanted to bother the Grangers about it either. It was a bit dry on the way down, but it settled warmly in his belly.
“But what if I do?”
“I’ll stage a protest,” said Harry. “Refuse to do my homework til they reinstate you.”
“You’re not going to do your homework anyway.”
“See how dedicated I am to you.”
She made a dismissive little noise at him, wringing her hands in her lap.
“Hermione,” he said, and she lifted her bush of hair to look at him. “You’re the most magical person I know. It’s gonna be alright.”
She gave a long slow blink but whatever she might have said was interrupted by an uneven knock at the door. “Um,” said the pudgy boy standing there. “I’ve lost my toad.”
Hermione leapt to her feet. “Where did you see him last?”
Harry followed in the wake of her forward charge, but he brought the rest of his sandwich with him.
(Harry did not know this and would not know this until Mrs. Granger mentioned it casually over a Christmas dinner years and years later– but she and Mr. Granger reported the Dursleys for child abuse and neglect, over and over.
The reports got lost– minds scrubbed down, papers vanished– but they kept calling in reports. They considered kidnapping. They couldn’t imagine why the wizarding world might want to keep their chosen one somewhere so toxic, why they might want to keep this underfed child and his messy hair with those people.
“My mother left me a blood protection spell,” said Harry, whose scar had not ached in years. He poked at his mashed potatoes under the focused attention of Mrs. Granger’s stern little forehead wrinkle. “I had to live with family, blood family.”
“Then they should have made them treat you right,” Mrs. Granger said, as though it was that simple.
Mr. Granger gave Harry another helping of peas.)
On the steps of Hogwarts, Draco Malfoy thrust out his hand to the Boy Who Lived, who surveyed the open palm with amusement. “Thanks,” said Harry. “But I think I can tell the wrong sort for myself.”
The redheaded, freckly, hand-me-down clothes boy Malfoy had been bothering snorted. Harry slipped his hands into his pockets.
“You’re the kid with the rat from the train,” Hermione said. “And the spell that didn’t work.”
“It was a cool rhyme anyway, though,” Harry said. “Hi, I’m Harry, this is Hermione.”
“Yeah, she said, then. I’m Ron– uh, Ron Weasley.”
“Yeah, he said,” Harry said, rolling his eyes Malfoy’s direction. “Come on, you wanna stand with us? Hermione will tell you about the ceiling.”
“It’s enchanted!” said Hermione.
When Hermione founded SPHEW, Harry was not surprised. He had spent too many schoolyard days escorting spiders to safe spaces, keeping vigil over fallen bird’s nests, and watching Hermione stand up on her desk chair in heated pitched verbal battles with teachers. She’d driven at least two teachers to tears and taught most of them at least a few new vocabulary words.
Over summers and holidays, Harry and Hermione took Ron to the movies, to the seashore, to Hermione’s top three favorite libraries. Hermione’s Aunt Meg taught them how to whittle under a cloud of cigarette smoke that clung to Harry’s hair until he washed it out.
In this life, there were things in the Muggle world that Harry missed, that he wanted to see again. He loved Hogwarts, and he nominally went home to the Dursleys each summer, but he knew he always had a bed at the Grangers’. He knew the weird system they used to organize the books on their shelves. He’d pass Mrs. Granger the marmalade in mornings before she had to ask. He got free dental check-ups all his life, which was good because the Dursleys rarely bothered taking him into the dentist.
The whole Granger family tore apart newspapers every morning, calling article excerpts across the table and pointing each other to their favorite journalists. Before Hermione even first stepped onto Hogwarts grounds she got a subscription to the Daily Prophet. During Harry’s fourth year, Mr. and Mrs. Granger got Arthur Weasley to buy them an owl and then began an unending campaign of furious letters to the editor that never got published.
In a crumbling boat shed, Severus Snape died, but first he pressed a shining bundle of memory into Harry’s hands.
The fight was still going– Neville newly broad and certain; Luna whipping out quiet, barbed little curses; Ginny charging like an army in and of herself. Hermione had her arms full of basilisk fangs. Ron was moving people like bishops and knights. But Harry had a long damp walk before him, so he had time to wade through that life not his own.
Severus had been a lot of things– one of them was in love. Harry dragged his feet through forest mulch, seeing a little redheaded girl in sunlight, hands not his own offering her transformed flowers. It had been just them for so long. For Severus, for so long, there had been no one but him and Lily.
Even in Hogwarts, Severus had drifted through the classrooms and common room and library. He had believed in magic, in the cool slide of good knives through dried roots, and in Lily– always, always in Lily– Lily in sunlight, Lily chewing on her thumbnail over Transfiguration homework, Lily flicking soapsuds at him in her kitchen at home over summer, Lily pig-tailed and seven, wide-eyed as he showed her the first magic she’d ever seen, a leaf to a flower, a bit of sunlight to a bit of fire.
He had loved, and it had been a real thing. He had fucked up, and it had been a real thing, that heartbreak, that regret.
When Harry turned the Stone in his hand and saw his mother step into pseudo-life in that forest clearing, he thought I wish I’d known you. He thought about how she was in sepia and gray, here, just like in the pictures in the pages of Hermione’s books.
But he was also thinking about Severus. He was remembering Lily in sunlight, remembering her walking away, remembering her in that same cold photographed sprawl but in color–in grief–in bruised knees and heaving gasps.
Severus had been the first to find Lily’s body and it had felt like someone had cut the sunlight out of him. Harry was living through that grief, but he was also living through the wail of the child crying unacknowledged. His tiny pudgy hands were wrapped around the guardrail of his crib.
Harry was thinking about a girl standing in a field like a statue, hands on hips. He was thinking about Hermione’s raised hand ignored in Potions, or the way Snape had sneered that he didn’t see a difference in her cursed teeth. Love had made him brave, perhaps. It had killed him, but it had not made Severus good.
Harry wondered if his mother would have escorted spiders to safe places, if she would have stood guard over fallen bird’s nests, if she had worried herself to pieces that first time on the Hogwarts Express about the Hat telling her she didn’t really belong.
“I wish I’d known you,” he told the specter of Lily Potter. He held his own hands tight.
For Harry, for so long, there had been no one but him and Hermione. Even in Hogwarts, there were things only she would understand– parking meters, the cobweb ceiling of his cupboard, the silence of marmalade at breakfast. Harry believed in magic and he believed Hermione Granger was the most magical thing he knew.
“They’ll be alright,” he said. “I’ll be alright. I was alright, mum. I wish I’d known you– but I wasn’t alone.” He squeezed his hands tighter– Hermione showing him her favorite spots in her favorite libraries; Ron shyly showing them the Burrow like it was anything less than a magnificent masterpiece of warm rooms and patchwork architecture; Hermione standing in the field like a statue, bushy-haired and seven years old, jaw set. “She wasn’t alone, either,” he said. “And she’ll be alright. Ron will be alright. I have to do this, don’t I?”
“We are so proud of you,” Lily said.
“Thanks,” said Harry. “Sorry,” said Harry, and wondered if Hermione was going to be able to read the little passages and excerpts with his name in them, with those un-moving pictures and the sober captions underneath.
He dropped the Stone.
When Harry Potter died for the first time, crumpled in forest mulch, he didn’t go to a squeaky clean King’s Cross Station. There were no crescent moon glasses to twinkle kindly at him.
He stood under an old olive tree and a little girl looked up at him with those eyes that needed shielding, needed blunting, needed a manufacturer’s warning. “A wind’s coming,” she said. “You can just go. It will be easy.”
He stood outside Diagon Alley, a Muggle payphone tucked between his shoulder and ear. “You’re in books,” she said, with a breathlessness he’d barely heard for years. There had been too much weight on his shoulders, on hers. “You’re done,” she said. “You’ve done enough. Go on, tap three bricks up and two to the left.”
He stood in Godric’s Hollow, in the snow, holding her hand, looking at the ruined house. “You should have had this,” she said. She was seven and small, not nineteen and weary like she had been in life. The sky was overcast but there was sunlight glinting in her hair. “You can still have this. You can have everything.”
“You’re not real,” Harry said.
“But you are,” she said. “There’s a wind coming. It will be easy.”
“You’ve never done anything easy in your life,” he said.
She took both his hands– hers were so small against his grown fingers, his broad palms, and how had they done everything with hands that small? Basilisks and werewolves; shouting down teachers from atop desk chairs.
Harry was sitting in his cupboard in the light of its single bulb and he was too big for this space, his shoulders curling forward, his head bowing. She was standing there with sunlight still in her hair and her arms piled high with books. “You don’t belong here,” she said. “It will hurt. You won’t fit, if you go back. Everything can be easy. Everything can be fine. It doesn’t have to hurt, ever again.”
“Hermione,” he said and leaned forward, put his hands on her hands where they were gripping her books. “It’ll be alright.” He smiled and she was staring at him with those eyes, those goddamn eyes. “We never fit, remember?”
“We tried,” she said and Harry squeezed her small hands gently.
“Send me back,” he said. “I want to go home.”
After the battle, as Hogwarts rang with frantic healing, crushing grief, and raging celebration, the three of them retreated to the library. Hermione hauled them down narrow aisles until she found her favorite tucked-away nook and they all collapsed on sagging sofas that seemed to not have been touched at all by the war.
“Well,” said Hermione. “What now?”
Ron let his head flop back against the seat, hair tumbling all over his pale forehead. “I’m going to nap,” he said. “For a month.”
“That’s not physiologically possible,” said Hermione. “Or if it is, then it’d be a coma.”
“It’s a metaphor,” Ron said, then: “no, wait, a hyperbole.” Hermione beamed at him. He blushed a little and elbowed her gently.
“After this, you’ll be in books, you know,” Harry told her.
“Not– I mean–” Hermione rubbed at her nose furiously. Ron laughed enough to wake up and sit up, throwing an arm around her shoulders.
While Ron came up with outlandish titles for Hermione’s eventual many biographies, Harry pulled his feet up onto the sofa. He watched the candles float quietly between the shelves.
ARTHUR WEASLEY IS ONE OF THE MOST UNDERRATED CHARACTERS IN THE SERIES AND CERTAINLY THE MOST UNDERRATED OF HARRY’S FATHER FIGURES ok this man:
is so passionate about his job and supporting muggle rights that he doesn’t give two shits abt his reputation as a blood traitor even tho it’s apparently the reason he never got promoted at the ministry
wrote the book on why u should not enchant muggle objects and literally has a shed full of flying vehicles and shit that he hopes his wife doesn’t find out about??? lmao what a rebel?? i love this guy
was concerned about harry before he even met him because ron was worried that he wasn’t responding to letters and when harry came to stay he totally could have been like ‘shit another mouth to feed’ but was really really happy that harry was there and safe??? ‘pls sit next to me at dinner, child, i need to ask you ten thousand questions about muggles’
like he was actually the first adult ever besides maybe hagrid to sit there and ask for harry’s opinions and recognize that he had knowledge and thoughts to offer im crying
fixed harry’s glasses for him after they broke in the floo ;-;
gave zero fucks about what everyone else thought should be done and told harry about sirius black bc he wanted this kid to be aware and safe as possible??
dragged the dursleys for not treating their nephew like a human being (and destroyed their living room what a great moment tbh)
gives advice that harry remembers years later bc he respects this kind ginger man so much ‘don’t trust something that can think for itself if u can’t see where it keeps its brain’
(lol remember that one time molly was upset about death eaters at the quidditch world cup and he made her some tea and then was like ‘i think this needs some whiskey too trust me i’m a doctor’)
agreed that harry should be told certain things about the resistance because he knew harry was competent and intelligent enough to handle it but like also kept in mind that harry was a kid in the middle of a war
took harry to work with him and made sure he got to his hearing on time and distracted him and ‘smiled at him encouragingly’ when he knew he was nervous im dying this was so sweet
was part of the group who threatened the dursleys to keep their hands and shitty attitudes away from harry and he was so ‘light’ and ‘pleasant’ abt it omg this dude was throwing so much shade
was ready to fight scrimgeour with remus when the minister wanted to get harry alone and harry had to be like ‘omfg stand down pls’
‘am i about to discover where you, ron, and hermione disappeared to while you were supposed to be in the back room of fred and george’s shop?’ … ‘how did you-?’ … ‘harry, please. you’re talking to the man who raised fred and george’
never raised his voice except for that one time he told a fully trained auror to back the hell off and get out of his way so he could see his injured son and harry literally thought ‘holy shit’ it says so right there in the book u can check
fought in the battle of hogwarts and after fred and harry had been killed he went into full on rage mode and teamed up with percy to fuck up the minister for magic
‘madame delacour glided forward and stooped to kiss mrs. weasley too. “enchanteé,” she said. “your ‘usband ‘as been telling us such amusing stories!” mr. weasley gave a maniacal laugh; mrs. weasley threw him a look, upon which he became immediately silent and assumed an expression appropriate to the sickbed of a close friend.’
Harry calls Draco “Dragon Boy” because his name means dragon in Greek (from Latin).
Draco does not appreciate this and proceeds to call him “Henry” because Harry is a nickname for the German name Henry.
Harry also, does not appreciate his pet name.
Thus began the list of names they call each other.
“I’m a whore for you, blondie.”
Harry holds doors open for Draco. He also pulls out chairs for him.
Because Draco is a, “Pretty pretty princess that deserves to be treated like one.”
“Cough cough… the door?”
“I’m carrying all the groceries, Draco. I don’t have a free hand.”
“Well, put some down and open it.”
“Yes, Potter, I am serious. Do I look like I open my own doors?”
Draco bought them a kitten.
He named her Rosie Malfoy-Potter.
She’s a little pure white kitty with clear blue eyes, and the constant need to lick Harry’s nose.
Harry didn’t know he was going to come home to his boyfriend holding a tiny animal, letting it crawl over his arms and onto their couch.
He was shocked, and angry at first.
But not even the Boy-Who-Lived can resist a kitten.
“Look at her! She’s nuzzling my hand!”
“Yes, I see that.”
“Isn’t she the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?”
“It’s a cat.”
“No, it’s our daughter!”
“No, it’s a cat.”
“Come here, let me just…”
Draco placed the fluffy ball of fur in Harry’s arms. She quickly warmed up to him and began snuggling into his chest.
Harry picked her up, pulling her in front of his face.
Draco pushed the kitten closer, as she cautiously sniffed his nose.
And licked it.
“See? She loves you.”
“Harry? Please, I’ll be the housewife and take care of the children. Let me have her? Let us have her?”
“Alright, she can stay.”
Harry’s a workaholic.
Sometimes he takes extra shifts because he wants to. Not for the money.
This annoys Draco.
Before they moved in together, he didn’t know how often Harry could throw himself into his work.
Saving lives, trying to protect the world from forces that would never cease.
Sometimes he needed to be reminded that not everyone can be saved. There’s more to life than being the hero.
Draco was a good reminder. Like an alarm.
He would go off at a certain time, whenever he needed him. Whenever Harry stayed up for forty-eight hours without sleep working on a case, he was there. Ready to owl him in sick, make sure he slept that night, he got food in the morning, he made sure Harry knew he couldn’t be there for everyone. The only way to stay sane as an Auror is to know when to go home.
“Harry, you can’t keep going like this.”
“I have to finish looking over this file. If I can find out where this kid is then-”
“Give that back!”
“No, you listen to me. You can’t keep doing this.”
“Not eating, not sleeping, not talking, only working. It’s not good for you. I’m worried. You come home, but you’re not home. You’re at work. We haven’t had sex in three weeks. You haven’t had a full meal in three weeks. Mrs. Weasley flooed wondering where you were at dinner this Sunday. You know what I told her? You were hooked on this case. Addicted. This is an addiction, Harry. You’re addicted to saving people. Addicted to helping. Yeah, well you can’t save everyone, Potter! If you’re going to have a fucking hero complex then why don’t you save the ones who really matter in your life. I’ve woken up screaming and crying twice this month, and where were you? Not next to me, not where I needed you. I’ve needed saving. I love you, you stupid prick. I fucking love you. I fucking care about you. Please, for fuck’s sake, don’t do this to yourself.To us.”
Imagine if Jily were alive during Harry’s second year
Harry and Ron: *crash the Weasley’s car into the Whomping Willow*
THE NEXT DAY
Ron: *gets a howler*
RONALD WEASLEY! HOW DARE YOU STEAL THAT CAR! I AM ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTED! YOUR FATHER’S NOW FACING AN INQUIRY AT WORK AND IT’S ENTIRELY YOUR FAULT! IF YOU PUT ANOTHER TOE OUT OF LINE WE’LL BRING YOU STRAIGHT HOME! — Oh, and Ginny dear, congratulations on making Gryffindor. Your father and I are so proud.
*awkward headshake by Ginny*
Harry: *gets a howler*
*Lily’s stern and angry voice* HARRY JAMES POTTER! HOW DARE YOU PULL SUCH AN IDIOTIC STUNT! YOU COULD HAVE BEEN- *cut off by James’ even more louder, albeit excited as fuck voice* A FLYING CAR! YOU RODE A BLOODY FLYING CAR! I AM SO GONNA TALK WITH YOU ABOUT THIS! I AM SO HAPPY- HECK I AM SO BLOODY PROUD! A FLYING CAR! HOW’S- *cut off by an even more excited Sirius’ voice* MERLIN’S SAGGY PANTS! YOU ARE JUST THE PERFECT MARAUDER OFFSPRING AREN’T YA?! I AM PROUD TO BE YOUR GODFATHER! JUST YOU COME HOME! I’LL TEACH YOU- *cut off by Moony’s frustrated voice* Padfoot! Prongs! NO!
* occasional clapping and sounds of party poppers bursting in the background, obviously done by Wormtail*
Ron during the Feast: How come do you not get scolded! ;_;
Harry (smirking): It’s a Marauder thing.
McGonagall (who obviously hears that comment while passing the timetable): Trust me, Mr. Weasley. It’s truly a Marauder thing.
They scanned the darkening grounds excitedly, but nothing was moving; everything was still, silent, and quite as usual. Harry was starting to feel cold. He wished they’d hurry up.…Maybe the foreign students were preparing a dramatic entrance.…He remembered what Mr. Weasley had said back at the campsite before the Quidditch World Cup: “always the same - we can’t resist showing off when we get together…”