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02 February 2014 @ 04:24 pm
[fic] pour a little salt, we were never here  
lol, bcz why not. I wrote this for Emma ages ago and never got on with not-comment-posting it. I want to write a whole post on 9E2O and best friends romances done absolutely right and why nothing did and will ever again compare for me (because i am now dead inside). In the meanwhile, JKR can continue trolling (it is also amusing that about fifteen different people from rl and fandom had sent me the link to the interview when i woke up, never change). This is also my first post of the year, so, hello (o...o...o...) and happy...february? i love you?

(but the most hilar has to be people everywhere today just accusing each other of wanting xyz endgame because they're most attracted to that character/just want to self-insert/fantasy wish-fulfill. and it's like. um. did you just...not get to the part where jkr said that's exactly what she did? clearly it's just as legit a thing to want as anything else. sit down, fandom.)

pour a little salt, we were never here
harry/hermione; harry/ginny, ron/hermione
post dh | pg-13 | oneshot
what happens is stupid, they all just grow up. that's it, that's the whole story.

The files just pile on and on, and she starts getting migraines earlier each day. Nobody said saving the world, one signature at a time, would be this hard.

He calls; she picks up on the fifth ring.

“Run away with me?”

His voice is teasing, a lilt to it, that she hasn’t heard in much too long, and it makes her day.

“Anytime.” she says. Gives him a two-finger salute that he can’t see.

He laughs.

Her head aches a little less afterwards.


That’s when it gets strange.


She tries to mix it up, because he doesn’t.

Just give me time to make my damsel hair.

After I've finished screaming at the Department, alright? Wouldn't do if there was someone left here who didn't hate me.

Book a corner of the world, Harry, I’m there on my white steed.

“Run away with me?” he’ll say yet again, voice softer each time. His consonants, harder.

And she-- she’s mostly running out of things to say.


What happens isn't poetic. What happens isn't particularly epic or even tragic. What happens is stupid; they all just grow up. That's it, that's the whole story.


"Haven't spoken to Harry in ages," Ron tells her over the evening drinks. They make a point to meet at least twice a week. This is a healthy relationship, the kind where they make time out for each other and talk, and the spaces between their fingers aren't filled by ghosts, and they will not name their children after the dead, "bloody hell, you wouldn't even know he's in the same Department."

She nods, takes a dainty sip. There are things she learned about being a girl, a proper girl that her aunt told her about all those years ago when she broke her favorite vase, even in middle of endless war and bloodshed and screaming. God, the screaming.

"You--" Ron is avoiding looking at her, she notes distantly; he's not very good at hiding his feelings. It's one of the reasons she's always loved him, has always known he's always loved her "does he talk to you?"

She thinks about that for a moment, "no." He doesn't talk to her. He just talks, and sometimes, she's just there, listening in.

Ron nods, much too quickly, "we need trio time."

They haven't been that in very long, she wants to remind him. She takes another sip, instead, and lets her thumb rub patterns against the frost lining the glass. It makes her nerve endings go numb, but at least the swirls are pretty.


She will find a ring at the bottom of her glass that night, and her heart will break, and she will have been in love. Maybe in that order.

She doesn't nearly swallow it, she doesn't nearly choke on it, she sees it just before that, just before she can choke on the metal, and the white noise in her head quiets down some. She's missed this. Missed the quiet.


"Ron asked me to marry him." she cuts him off, mid-way.

He's silent for a minute, "congratulations". If he's unhappy about this in any way, she can't tell. Maybe she forgot the language he's written in. She used to know it well, once, she remembers. Maybe she's out of practice with the letters, the symbols of him, the fancy Auror calligraphy at odds with the bitter childish scrawl she'd painstakingly learnt by heart, because there are more important things, like bravery, and friendship.

"You don't even know what I said."

He laughs, or something, "you said 'yes', Hermione."

Of course she did.


"Last chance," he says. His words are slurred, just a slight edge to his consonants this time. They're softer, somehow. He doesn't drink much.

She thinks maybe if she said yes, maybe if she just said yes, he'd stop asking it, because god knows, he's just pushing to see how far he can go, before she snaps, and he didn't even choose her, ever, none of the times he could have, and how is this fair?

"No," she says, she doesn't want to find out, "no. Fuck you. No."


"This doesn't mean this is over," she says fiercely, bending down to bow, before slipping her hand through his, and putting an arm across his shoulder. They're out of sync with the beat, she'll realize later. But the dance with the best man isn't customary, so maybe people aren't looking, "you, me, Ron, together, we will never be over."

She wants to believe that, she wants to believe it so much. She just wants to believe. In magic. Love. Friendship. Heroes. Anything. Anything.

He pulls her closer, their hips aligning. For a second she can feel the rhythm, just for a second, she's in sync with him, before she pulls back, startled.

He looks at her through his glasses; they're square now, they narrow his gaze, stop the wide-eyed wonder she remembers, at the frame, and occasionally, she wants to break them under her foot. Occasionally, she wants to scream too.

His gaze is inscrutable, and she finds she has to drop her own to the floor, "we already are."


What this ends isn't anything-- nothing real-- because there was never anything there. What it ends is a possibility. A cabin in the woods and staying frozen forever.


Ginny's ring is beautiful, it takes her breath away for a full three seconds.

"The ring is gorgeous," she says.

"Congratulations," she says.

"I hope you'll be very happy together." she says.

Harry grins, and it's bright and full of life and a before-the-war look that almost makes her ache. She divides her Gregorian Calendar on those denominations.

She is not being fair, and she's not a good person, but she drinks too much anyway, and the jealousy going down is a slow burn.

But eventually she smiles back, and she thinks it's real enough to almost be real.

He loses the brightness through the long-drawn evening, and when she looks at him next, he's lost in thought across the room, mid-movement, like he just...forgot to move. In this war there were no winners, she knows, just the dead and the lost, just wounds festering beneath the surface.

Harry turns his head, and looks at her, unfocused, then appears to recognize her, and mock-smiles, raising his glass in a silent toast.

This is the surface.


This is how she loves Harry Potter: as every other girl in the world, with the starry-eyed longing for a boy in the history books.

This is how she loves Harry: as Hermione.

This isn't how she loves Harry: as a woman.

This is how she could have loved Harry

This isn't how she loves Harry: as a woman.

Anyway, everyone knows, she's the books and cleverness. The unimportant things. There are more important things.


Run away with me.

His voice is hard, inflexible, and it's everything she'd been terrified of. There is no teasing lilt, no laughter. He's not even pretending anymore.

"I can't," she says, free hand unconsciously coming down to cup her swollen belly, "you know I can't."

"That's not the same as you don't want to." he points out.

She's tired, all of a sudden, sometimes, he drains her out, "Harry--"

The static of his absence is louder than the sounds in her head. The quiet is always relative, she knows. She holds the receiver long after he lets go on the other end, looking at the rain falling outside the window of the cramped Ministry office, fogging up the glass. It's cold outside.


He answers on the third ring.

"Run away with me," she says.


She stamps another file.

emma: oh i never know you from the sunhoratios on February 2nd, 2014 01:42 pm (UTC)
har har @ your timing my friend
This is just as amazing as ever. Re-screaming to be honest.
youcallitwinter: all quiet on the western front.youcallitwinter on February 2nd, 2014 08:21 pm (UTC)
Re: this is satan, i'm off being satanic: leave a message
You'd given me a prompt just when I was in the mood for writing them, so clearly this is forever yours tbh.
Florencia: Keep Calm (DE)florencia7 on February 2nd, 2014 04:33 pm (UTC)
I'm not into HP, but that was an absolute delight to read, because your writing never ceases to amaze me with its beauty & depth ♥

Happy New Year! ;D
 photo 105511_original_zps07597f87.gif
youcallitwinter: our time is nowyoucallitwinter on February 2nd, 2014 08:22 pm (UTC)
HAPPY NEW YEAR :DD That Leo gif is so celebratory, it is much suited for all shenanigans ever, heh. Thank you for reading, I hope the year ahead is beautiful for you!
nit(ya): potter → favorite ship ever ever ever.asweetdownfall on February 2nd, 2014 05:06 pm (UTC)
omg ow ow OWWWWWWWW

This is so brutal and beautiful and adschjkkvdesgjllfedgjl I adore your Hermione <333
youcallitwinter: and all the times i had the chance to.youcallitwinter on February 2nd, 2014 08:24 pm (UTC)
LMAO, my work here is done, then. :D But seriously, thank you, brutal is pretty much what I was trying for!
нσω ∂σ уσυ нσℓ∂ α мσση вєαм ιη уσυʀ нαη∂?fiddlings on February 2nd, 2014 05:08 pm (UTC)
I am still firmly stuck over here in the delusional Draco/Hermione land, but I've always been intrigued by Harry/Hermione. And after last night, OBVIOUSLY the logical thing to do would be fic hunting. And lo and behold, this one just falls into my lap inbox. *cue celebration*

Anyway! Basically, you rock. Never ever stop writing. ♥

I LOVED the delicious angstiness of this, the bitter realism. It was fantastic.
youcallitwinter: measured my life in coffee spoons.youcallitwinter on February 2nd, 2014 08:28 pm (UTC)
LOL, yeah, if Harmonians were delusional, it REALLY makes me wonder what term they'd have coined for D/Hr shippers (which I think is actually the largest HP shipping fanbase, if the amount of fic is any indication.) And I totally ship them too of course, they were my biggest HP fandom-love, except I've always felt like writing them would require an actual epic, length-wise, to get them to a space of mutual...ity. Good thing so many fic writers actually delivered on the challenge.

THANK YOU SO MUCH, THOUGH? Bitter realism just made me :DD u feel me 4 lyf, tbh.
(no subject) - fiddlings on February 5th, 2014 09:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - youcallitwinter on February 9th, 2014 08:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Lizzie: loki + thor [i was not magnificent]xx_pinkstar on February 2nd, 2014 06:23 pm (UTC)
omg stahhhppp, how can you always provide gorgeous fic EXACTLY WHEN EVERYONE NEEDS IT.


youcallitwinter: and the days were bright red.youcallitwinter on February 2nd, 2014 08:32 pm (UTC)

Also, THIS:


just reminded me of Emerson's special Harmonians Wall of Shame remark where he said something like "good grief, they're dead and buried and yet they continue to rise like zombies from the grave." I would be lying if I said I wasn't a lot little amused to dead right now.
(no subject) - xx_pinkstar on February 2nd, 2014 08:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - youcallitwinter on February 2nd, 2014 08:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Alexia Lisa Drake: HP - Harry & Mionealexia_drake on February 2nd, 2014 07:25 pm (UTC)
It does feel very real. Nicely written.

I do ship Harry/Hermione, but my OTP have always been Draco/Hermione. I think it's much more fun/challenging to make it work! lol
youcallitwinter: and sometimes things fall apart.youcallitwinter on February 2nd, 2014 08:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! I really appreciate it <3

My fanon OTP was totally Draco/Hermione too! They're the ship I've read the most fic for and was most invested in in fandom! Although canonically, I always did ship Harry/Hermione, haha.
(no subject) - alexia_drake on February 2nd, 2014 08:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - youcallitwinter on February 2nd, 2014 08:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Andrea: harry/hermione // pictures of usjacyevans on February 2nd, 2014 10:37 pm (UTC)
Jesus Christ, no it's okay, it's not like I needed my heart anyway. OUCH. This is gorgeous and so, so painful.
youcallitwinter: yesterday upon the stair.youcallitwinter on February 2nd, 2014 11:00 pm (UTC)
It's because I'm dead inside. There really is no excuse for me. /nods

Hee, thanks so much, I'm glad it worked for you!
woobloo: logan/veronicawoobloo on February 3rd, 2014 05:35 am (UTC)
While I never had any real HP ships (beyond laughing at Draco/anyone and rather enjoying Neville/Ginny) your writing is beautiful and angsty and just overall delightful (in a thoroughly painful way, of course.)

But my real reason for commenting on this post is. THE VMARS MOVIE. FACES. AND THINGS. ONE MONTH. the end.
youcallitwinter: broadway has you in its hold right nowyoucallitwinter on February 3rd, 2014 07:40 am (UTC)
Lol, I've always been v. shippy about HP (I think my OTP was Hermione/everyone, post-HBP movie and the Freddie Stroma casting, I'm fairly sure I shipped Hermione/Cormac as well, heh) but I'm not anymore, so I'm just popcorn.gif right now, than actually involved, which makes it fun.

(no subject) - woobloo on February 3rd, 2014 08:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - youcallitwinter on February 3rd, 2014 03:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - woobloo on February 3rd, 2014 10:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - youcallitwinter on February 5th, 2014 05:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Kelsey: hp.hermiekwritten on February 4th, 2014 01:49 pm (UTC)
darling this is so beautiful it made my heart ache.

thanks for breezing through, breaking us, and then departing on the wind.
youcallitwinter: there is such a lot of world to see.youcallitwinter on February 5th, 2014 04:56 pm (UTC)
Considering how regularly you do the same to me, turnabout is only fair play! I hope you're doing well, darling <3
dropofmoon117dropofmoon117 on February 7th, 2014 08:03 am (UTC)
This is fantastic. Wow. I haven't read a fic this beautiful in a long time and when I came back to revisit the fandom I was hoping for something heart breakingly poignant like this.
youcallitwinter: we could have had it all.youcallitwinter on February 9th, 2014 08:12 pm (UTC)
That is lovely of you to say so! I haven't felt like writing in a while, so this is very encouraging :)