The Sugar Quill
Author: Azyne  Story: After the Boys of Summer  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

“Take care, Harry,” Lupin said softly

Disclaimer: No, none of it’s mine.  Nothing but the---well, plot, if you want to call it that….


Disclaimer II: The song “Boys of Summer” belongs to Don Henley, though I based my fic on DJ Sammy’s version.


A/N: And thanks a million times to my beta Elanor Gamgee, who, as SQers would say, ROX!


After the Boys of Summer


“Take care, Harry,” Lupin said softly.  “Keep in touch.”


Mrs. Weasley rushed forward to Harry and squeezed him gently, whispering what seemed like comforting words into his ear.  After she had left with a brief kiss on his cheek, Ron grasped Harry’s hand and promised, “We’ll see you soon, mate.”


“Real soon, Harry,” piped up Hermione from behind.  She could not get herself to hug or kiss Harry.  She was too afraid she would start bawling her eyes out right there on his shoulder. 


Nobody on the road
Nobody on the beach
I feel it in the air
The summer's out of reach

Hermione knew she did not have the right to do that.  Harry had just been through yet another year of torture, and she, Hermione, wanted to cry?  No, she had to be strong, for Harry.  Harry, who had no parents, hardly any friends---and now, nowhere to go after graduating Hogwarts. 


Sirius was dead.


Empty lake, empty streets
The sun goes down alone
I'm drivin' by your house
Though I know you're not home

Harry nodded at them.  Hermione saw that his eyes were sort of glassy, and knew that even though he could only smile and wave goodbye to them, the fact that they were all here meant a lot to him.


The group watched him go.  While staring at the distant black dot of Vernon Dursley’s business car, Hermione was prodded in the arm.


She turned to Ron with wet eyes.  “I know,” he said quietly.  “It’s not fair.”  His crystalline eyes were etched with sympathy as he looked down in the direction of the Dursleys’ car.


But I can see you---
Your brown skin shinin' in the sun

You got your hair combed back and your sunglasses on, baby
And I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone

Hermione blinked away tears, shook her head, and whispered, “No, it’s not.”

I never will forget those nights
I wonder if it was a dream
Remember how you made me crazy?
Remember how I made you scream

After a heavy sigh, Ron asked, “So what are you up to this summer?”


Hermione would have welcomed the change of topic, had it been a different one.  “Oh, I don’t know, I think Mum and Dad mentioned something about South-Eastern Europe.”


Ron’s eyes narrowed.  “South-Eastern, eh?  Bulgaria, perchance?”


Hermione knew she couldn’t avoid the inevitable.  “Well, if Bulgaria is part of South-Eastern Europe, then yes!” she snapped.


Now I don't understand what happened to our love
But babe, I'm gonna get you back
I'm gonna show you what I'm made of

“I can’t believe you’re still writing to him,” Ron retorted.  “Especially now, when your friends need you most.”


“Viktor’s my friend too!”


“Oh sure, your friend,” sneered Ron.  “Gonna spend the night at his house, then, are you?”


“I---no---well---” Hermione sputtered.  “That is none of your business, Ron!”


I can see you---
Your brown skin shinin' in the sun
I see you walkin' real slow and you're smilin' at everyone
I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone

“Well, go on, I don’t want to be in the way of your writing another gushy letter to your boyfriend.” 

I thought I knew what love was
What did I know?


Viktor Krum was most definitely not her boyfriend.  Sure, they had gone to the Yule Ball together, and sure, she still kept in touch with him, but she wrote letters to Ron, didn’t she?  And that didn’t mean he---

Those days are gone forever
I should just let them go but---

“He is not my boyfriend,” she insisted. 


“Whatever,” Ron muttered.   He picked up an end of his trunk and dragged it toward the group, which was now separating.  “See you, Hermione.”


Hermione blinked, and tears that had been threatening to fall during the whole exchange slipped down her face.  Oh jeez, Hermione, get a grip on yourself, she scolded.  They had been through that conversation innumerable times before; it was nothing new.  But the fact that Ron hadn’t invited her over for the holidays---that was.  Picking up a handle of her own trunk, she hauled it to where her parents were chatting pleasantly with the Weasleys.  Ron was standing awkwardly beside his mother, tugging on her sleeve as Hermione made her way over.

I can see you---
Your brown skin shinin' in the sun
You got that top pulled down and that radio on, baby
And I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone

“Ah, Hermione dear, there you are,” said her mother.  “Come now, it’s time to get home.”  They bid their farewells to the Weasleys, and Hermione heard an indistinct grunt of “Bye” from Ron, but said nothing in reply.


As she and her parents reached their car, her father said cheerfully, “Oh, by the way, Hermymie,” using the nickname Hermione hated most, “we were talking to your friends’ parents---wonderful people, really---and we’ve invited the your friend Ron and his sister Ginny over for a change.  We think the Weasleys could do with a little privacy; it seems they get none in that house of theirs.”  Her father winked at her, but Hermione was far from amused. 


Stricken, she turned to the Muggle taxis Mr. Granger had called for the Weasley household.  It was both a relief and a painful jolt to her heart to see that Ron seemed equally as horrified.  She and Ron looked at each other for a moment, and when Hermione realised it had been more a rather long moment of staring, she jumped into the backseat of her parents’ car.  Then, feeling a little impulsive, she chanced a glance back at Ron.

I can see you---
Your brown skin shinin' in the sun
You got that hair slicked back and those Wayfarers on, baby
I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone


It turned out Hermione would not be going to Bulgaria after all.

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