Gift
Disclaimer: I don't own HP or any of these characters. That belongs to JKR, Scholastic Books, Warner Brothers, etc.


Sono yume wo kanaeru tame ichiban taisetsu na mono wo ageyou,
jibun wo motto daisuki ni naru fushigi na medicine
-- Sakamoto Maaya, Gift

A moping Harry wasn't very pleasant to be around. Everyone agreed on that. Almost everyone agreed on who should go speak with Harry to ask what was wrong.

For his part, Ron Weasley rather thought that there had to be someone better than him to go and try to cheer up Harry.

Yet all of his fellow dorm mates had elected him to talk to Harry and so he was stuck. It was not as if he could pass this task on to Hermione – for one, she probably didn't even know that there was a problem as Harry was careful to put on a cheerful face for the rest of the world to see during day. It was only at night in the boys' dormitory when he took of his mask. Ron actually suspected that whatever had been troubling Harry had started earlier than they thought and that Harry's defenses only came down recently because he had grown tired of holding them in place.

Such exposition, however, did not help Ron in terms of planning how to confront Harry. Ron really wished that it were Hermione instead of him who was going to talk to Harry. He thought that she would have an easier time in getting Harry to come out of his shell for if nothing else, she wouldn't be tongue-tied.

And she definitely would have thought of something to say during the ten minutes he had been standing silently by Harry's bed.

"Is there something wrong, Ron?" asked Harry, startling Ron out of his thoughts. "Because if not, I'd like to be left alone right now."

"Actually, I was going to ask you that. What's been troubling you these days?" Ron inwardly winced. He was not scoring any points for subtlety here.

"It's nothing," Harry replied as Ron had expected him to.

"Well I doubt it's nothing as you've been moping about the room for the last several days."

"Let me rephrase that then. It's none of your business. And it's not like you can do anything anyway."

"You don't know that." Ron sat on Harry's bed. "So what has been bothering you? Girl problems?" Ron knew he had guessed correctly when Harry remained silent. "Okay, if it's a girl problem, then it must be that you're having trouble speaking to her unless you've been keeping something from me."

"No, I've not been keeping secrets, so don't start on about that again."

"You know, you really don't need to be talking to me right now—"

"I could have told you that."

"—you really need to be talking to this girl you fancy. It's a little late but is she a Gryffindor? If not, then you'd best wait till morning but if she is, I think you should go see her now."

From the look on Harry's face, Ron knew he was going to be stubborn about the situation. "I don't want to talk to her, thank you very much."

"All right, I'm not going to argue that point with you. If you like her, I don't see why you wouldn't want to talk to her but—"

"She doesn't want to talk to me," muttered Harry.

"Stop right there. You're Harry Potter. Of course, she wants to talk to you. I dare say that every single witch in the school wants to talk to you and most of them are probably willing to do more."

"No, almost every witch wants to fawn over The-Boy-Who-Lived. They don't care about me. And the witch I like, she doesn't even care about what I've done so she wouldn't want to speak to someone like me."

"And I say you won't know until you try talking to her."

"Oh yeah, and watch me get shot down in record time. No thank you, I'd rather not humiliate myself and besides, I'll get over Hermione in due—"

"You like Hermione?" Ron interrupted, absolutely stunned by Harry's inadvertent confession. "You mean, Hermione our best friend? The bushy haired, buck toothed,—"

"She's had those fix since fourth year, in case you haven't noticed—"

"—bossy, know-it-all, bookworm—"

"She's not bossy. Well not as bossy as before. And she's not a bookworm, she just likes studying so she spends a lot of time reading but it's not the same—"

"—of a witch? You mean that Hermione, right?" Ron finished, ignoring all of Harry's interruptions.

"Yes, that Hermione, though I don't agree with your description."

"I can't believe you're having trouble saying anything to Hermione. Why, she probably likes you better than you like yourself!"

"I don't think there's very much that she'd like about me."

"I don't believe this. You're afraid of Hermione. You talk to her every day. I can't believe this."

"I get the point. Now how about leaving me alone now that you know what's wrong with me?"

"Sorry, mate, can't do. You're going downstairs to talk to Hermione or else I'll—"

"I hope you're not thinking of hexing me because you know I'll hex you first."

"Maybe. But you're forgetting who my brothers are. And I wasn't thinking of hexing you, I was thinking of burning your precious broom."

Harry narrowed his eyes at Ron. "You wouldn't dare do that. The entire House would be mad at you."

"Would you rather me threaten to tell Hermione myself?"

Harry winced at that suggestion. "You know, you're not being much of a friend here."

"I think I am," Ron sighed. "You've been depressed, Harry. I don't know if there's anything I can do for you but I'm willing to bet that Hermione will be able to make you feel better. I think she'll make you like yourself better. She's the best possible medicine for what's bugging you right now. And if you're not willing to take your medicine, then I'll just have to make you take it."

"What if she—"

"She won't. That's not how our Hermione is. Come on now, let's go. I'll make sure that no one interrupts you while you're talking."

The smiles that graced his friends' faces as they walked hand in hand the next day was all Ron needed to see to know that everything had worked out right.


Author's note: As always, I would love to know what you thought -- so reviews are very much appreciated. And the song lyrics preceding the fic were the ones that inspired it.




















Omake
Just in case anyone's wondering what Harry actually said to Hermione:

"H...Hi Hermione," said Harry nervously, as he dared to interrupt Hermione in her reading.

"Harry!" she exclaimed when she saw him, a brilliant smile covering her face. She leapt up from her seat and dragged him forward by the arm. "I thought you were already in bed."

"Err . . . no, I wasn't and I just . . . thought it would be nice to see you . . . and so I came down here. Hope I'm not bothering you . . . " Harry stuttered. He was more than slightly stunned from the sight of her and couldn't find anything suave to say.

"Of course not. I was just reading ahead—"

"Hermione, Ireallikeyou!"

"I . . . can you say that again?"

Harry wanted to sink into the ground and disappear for not being able to have at least made sense. Swallowing his embarrassment, he tried again. "I said I really like you, Hermione."

"I like you too." She smiled uncertainly at him.

He stifled a groan. She wasn't making this easy for him at all. He tried a different tactic. "This weekend . . . there's a Hogsmeade trip again . . . and I was thinking . . . well, only if you want to of course. . . but I thought it might be fun—"

Comprehension dawned upon Hermione. She threw her arms around him and said, "Of course, I'll go with you." She blushed and leaned towards his ear. "If that's what you mean . . . a date that is . . . I'd love to go with you . . ." She moved as if to kiss his cheek, then thought better of it . . . and quickly kissed his lips.

Harry was seen around Hogwarts with an absurdly goofy grin for the next several days. Not even a detention from Snape was able to make him stop smiling.

Especially as said detention was received for snogging in the library with Hermione.