Harry = Madelyn

Hermione = Amethyst

Harry He walked to the compartment, already having seen Hermione slip in a moment earlier. His hand ached, but the bandage wrapped around it was devoid of crimson spots. What a strange summer it had turned out to be. Naturally, for him to say it was strange was quite an assessment given the odd circumstances he seemed to attract merely by existing. Before crossing the threshold, Harry carefully placed a black glove upon his bandaged hand.

Hermione Hermione glanced up as Harry walked in and smiled, the sort of smile that lightens a person's face completely. It had been a long, boring summer, though she hated to admit it. She had spent most of her time studying or reading, or she would pass the time thinking. Or, of course, writing to Harry. In any case, she was very glad to see Harry when he arrived, and promptly greeted him with a hug.

Harry Harry relaxed in her embrace, reluctant to let go. Hermione had always been a comforting presence in his life, and one of the only people that could set his mind to ease with a simple touch. Resting his head upon her shoulder he smiled and asked, "Glad to see me?" He was pleased to see that a summer of growing had done some good and Hermione was now noticeably shorter than him. At least the growing pains had been good for something. Of course, he was back to casting a rather slim silhouette, but all pleasant things came with drawbacks.

Hermione She held onto him a little longer, since he seemed to enjoy the hug – though perhaps not as much as she did. "Yes," she answered his question, and it was true. Hermione was very glad to see him, and had been looking forward to seeing him since they had parted at the barrier last year. She glanced up at him, suddenly aware that her nose was even with his neck and that her chin no longer quite reached his shoulder. He must have had a very large growth spurt over the summer. It was then that Hermione pulled away hesitantly, realizing just how long they must have been hugging; he must have begun to suspect something.

Harry Harry offered a pout, looking at her over the rims of his glasses, "Already wanting to get away from me?" The corner of his lips twitched, betraying a small grin lying just beneath the surface. With a mock sigh he said, "No, that's okay. I understand. You're just anxious to see Ron again, I can't compete with that." A devilish grin lit up his features as he quickly sat down and tried to get closer to the window- and out of slapping range.

Hermione Hermione gaped for a moment. He didn't think…? She quickly came to her senses. He couldn't be serious and have that look on his face. "Oh, so you like to be hugged now?" she quickly retorted, declaring war. "I wasn't sure – at that maturity, boys sometimes think we girls have cooties." Satisfied with her comeback, she sat down across from Harry, fighting the trace of a smile that wanted to take over her mouth.

Harry He leaned forward, still looking over the tops of his glasses, and teased "I think you were just hoping I was Ron." Smiling, Harry leaned a bit closer, "Besides, it is a well documented fact that girls do have cooties. But if I haven't caught yours by now, I never will. I probably got them second year." His face became thoughtful, "Then again, you weren't really watching with whom you were colliding into, maybe you had meant to hug Ron then too." The flushed look on her face was adorable, and he couldn't help but try and make it deepen.

Hermione Hermione scowled. "Honestly, Harry, is Ron paying you to do this?" Her face reddened considerably. "Anyway, you know very well that I knew exactly whom I was colliding into." Hermione leaned back in her seat, beginning to feel uncomfortable. "And if you ever caught my cooties, just be glad their mine and not Ron's."

Harry His grinned broadened as he slipped beside Hermione, "So, do you still want to collide with me?" Harry knew that could be taken in two very different ways, but felt confident that Hermione would not think he meant something that intimate. It was Hermione after all, and she was not usually quick to grasp that sort of innuendo. Besides, he was referring to hugging, and nothing more. Still, it took a lot of effort not to enjoy a bit of juvenile mirth.

Hermione Hermione shot him a half-hearted glare, finding it most unfortunate that most boys seemed to think she was fun to tease. It was also most unfortunate that she was beginning to lack comebacks. "You know, I might have," she said to him. "But I think you would enjoy it too much. So, no. No colliding for Mr. Potter."

Harry He pouted again, and offered his best version of saddened eyes, "Fine. Get my hopes up and then take the rug right out from under me. And here I was hoping to get collided with again." He smirked and offered the last bit knowing full well he would get smacked for it, "Tease."

Hermione Through the effort it took not to be smiling or laughing, she was only able to pretend to look offended and slap him lightly on the arm. "Pervert," she accused. She really needed to keep herself composed around Harry, otherwise he would be able to get away with anything. And if she couldn't keep him from getting himself into trouble, who would? Nevertheless, she let a smile creep its way out again, privately wishing that 'colliding' with him wouldn't be defeating her purpose.

Harry He edged a bit closer, enjoying the way her cheeks turned from flushed pink to a deep crimson. He looked down to where she had lightly slapped and smiled up at her, "Are you flirting with me, Miss Granger?"

Hermione Oh, if she ever regained her wits, he was going to pay for this. "Am I flirting? That's a fine thing for you to ask, Mr. Potter, since you've been flirting with me ever since you got on this train." And if that didn't fluster him at all, she didn't know what she would do.

Harry Harry raised an eyebrow as his features became smug, almost Malfoy-like, "And if I have been flirting? Should I take this as you encouraging me to continue?" A smile broke the smug expression, as he was enjoying this far too much.

Hermione He was really, truly going to pay for this. The problem was figuring out how. And 'how' was probably a very different approach, if she knew Harry – an approach she was not at all good at. "Yes," she said lightly. "Yes, go on, you steamy sex chicken, you."

Hermione Harry collapsed into a fit of laughter, "Steamy… sex… chicken?!" Laughter shook him until tears glistened in his eyes, "I have been called a lot of things over the past few years… but never a steamy sex chicken!" After composing himself again, Harry placed an arm around her shoulder, and gently lifted her chin with his gloved hand, "And exactly how much flirting would you like your… chicken to indulge in?"

Harry If it was possible, Hermione became even redder. She wasn't quite sure how good that reaction was, but she quickly forgot to wonder. Gulping she met his eyes briefly, unsure of how to answer him. It was becoming quite obvious that she didn't have much to worry about when it came to telling him how she felt about him, but it was also quite obvious that she had never been in a situation like this before. Nervously she glanced down at his hand, and frowned. "Harry," she asked, "Why are you wearing a glove?"

Harry For a moment, his features darkened, and a look akin to panic set in. Then, as quickly as it arrived, the look vanished and was replaced by a casual grin, "Oh, trying to change the subject are we?" Harry hoped he could redirect her, but Hermione was almost impossible to dissuade once she had set her mind to uncovering information. So, he did the only thing that seemed the most likely to completely get her mind off of the glove… he leaned in closer and placed a soft kiss upon her lips.

Hermione Hermione felt her heart sink even as he kissed her, something she had wanted desperately but now found incredibly disappointing. She pulled away quickly, and glowered at Harry to the best of her ability. "You're the one trying to change the subject. Tell me, Harry. Tell me why you're wearing a glove in September," she demanded, making a grab for his arm, hoping that even if he wouldn't tell her, she could figure it out on her own.

Harry He looked at her, sincerity marked across his face, "It's something I've wanted to do for some time… I just thought that…" Harry sighed and then continued, "I just thought that you liked Ron still, so I wasn't going to press the issue. But after what you said today… if I misunderstood your feelings, I'm sorry…" His eyes winced and teeth gnashed together in pain, "Please, let go of my hand… it's bandaged and still very sore." Breath escaped between his teeth in a hiss as he felt the bandage become wet with his own blood.

Hermione Hermione quickly let go of his hand, sighing. "I'm sorry – Harry, you didn't misunderstand. I might have enjoyed that…but, Harry, I need to know what happened," she said, near tears. She shouldn't have said anything. A great time had suddenly become a very awful situation, and if she had just kept her mouth shut...well, it was too late now.

Harry He moved to the seat across from her and gently peeled away the glove, exposing a thick white bandage spotted with wet marks of scarlet. "Bloody hell…" he said while cradling the aching appendage. He looked over to Hermione and spoke more bluntly than normal due to the sharp pain that wasn't entirely due to the bleeding hand, "Sometimes people don't want to talk about things, and sometimes they just need a bit of time deal with things before sharing them. It would be nice to have my privacy respected at least by my friends. Merlin knows the rest of the wizarding world doesn't give a damn about it." He looked away, watching the landscape roll by outside of the window, "Is it so much to ask for, to not be forced to share something I'm just not ready to talk about?"

Hermione Damn, did he know how to make her feel like she had never been born. She stared firmly down at her hands. Her eyes blurred, and she felt a tear fall into her lap, but ignored it. Of course, he had every right to be upset. "I'm sorry," she choked as her body shook with the first wave of tears, which she knew would be followed by several more. "I'm sorry; I was just worried about you. I just wanted to…" She choked again, and suddenly found that she was incredibly angry. Whether it was for being turned away, or just for being humiliated, she wasn't sure. "I was just concerned," she spat, "And I wanted to make sure my best friend was all right. Because I worry about him – constantly – and God knows it never gets any easier." Gasping for breath, she headed for the door. "Forgive me for caring," she snapped before she stumbled out into the corridor. Why she did this, she didn't know. It wasn't as if she had anywhere else to go, and now the whole world was free to see her tears.

Harry He felt angered by the apology that wasn't an apology, but an attempt at pointing the blame back to him, "I would never ask you to apologize for caring. I will, however, ask you to apologize for trying to force me into telling you about a mere injury, and compounding the injury in the attempt." Harry walked behind her through the corridor, "You know me, when I'm ready to talk I always let you and Ron know what is bothering or hurting me. Yes, I may take my time getting to that point, but I would like to think I have the right to mull things over in my own head before sharing. Hell, I'm more forthright with both of you than anyone. I tell you both things that I would never even think about speaking to anyone else. Is that simply not good enough anymore? Am I to be forced into confessing whatever catches your curiosity from now on?"

Hermione Hermione took a deep, shuddering breath, trying to control the tears that didn't want to stop. "I'm sorry, Harry. I'm sorry I pried, and I'm sorry I hurt you – though if I had known you had an injury, that might have been avoided. But damnit, Harry, there was no need to make me feel about two feet tall for being worried." She reached up to wipe the tears away from her eyes, turning away slightly. She was torn between guilt and anger. She was aware that she had crossed a line, but she also thought Harry trusted her enough to tell her everything, but apparently he didn't.

Harry He looked incredulous, "Worried?! I'm pissed about my hand hurting and you trying to force me into talking about something when I clearly didn't want to. How in the nine hells is this my fault?" He stopped for a moment, "Wait. Let me get this straight. I flirt with you, kiss you, and then have the unmitigated gall to avoid talking about something I obviously was not ready to talk about… and this is now my fault that I need to go change my bandage because I didn't express my displeasure in a way you approved of?" He nodded curtly, "Right. How could I have not seen it before?" Motioning with his good arm he added, "You realize that makes no bloody sense at all?! Christ, is it that hard to say you screwed up without somehow turning it back around to being at least partially my fault?" He moved in closer, "This may come as a huge shock to you, but no one shares everything with their friends. People don't even share everything with their lovers. We all have things we don't want to share- whether it is because the memory hurts too much, or we just have to figure out how we feel about it, or even if we're just too damn scared to. And you know what? There's not a damn thing wrong with that. I've got two words for you, Miss I-Share-Everything-Important… Time Turner." Harry caught his breath and smoothed over his robes, "Now if you'll excuse me, I have a bandage to change."

Hermione Hermione gave her fish imitation briefly. "Damn you, Harry. You above all people know how hard it is for me to admit I'm wrong! And right now, I don't think I am! Something's obviously happened to you, and all I did was make an innocent inquiry as to what it was, and you blew up on me! And you know what? That hurt, especially since I had spent all summer worrying about you, and it seems there's something to worry about! You know, since first year I've thought of almost nothing but your welfare – glad to know I'm appreciated, really! And don't you dare use the Time-Turner against me. A Time-Turner is a hell of a lot different than an injured hand, Harry." Hermione let out one last strangled sob, ashamed of herself for letting Harry see her cry. "I'm sorry, Harry. That's the best I can do," she managed as she attempted to get around Harry and back into the compartment.

Harry Harry blinked, "I can't even begin to debate this with you, because you've already rewritten the whole thing in your head. Let me sum up what happened for you, in case you ever feel like connecting with reality again. First, I kissed you. Obviously this doesn't even rate as a footnote for you, although it did a fair job of moving the earth for me. So I don't make you weak at the knees, fair enough. Second, you accused me of changing the subject and lunged for, and then grabbed, my hand. Now a reasonable person would have figured if someone didn't want to talk about something, maybe some space should be given on the matter. However, it is obvious now that you and Reason are not on speaking terms right now. I could go on, but I doubt it would make any difference. Suffice to say, somehow Logic and Miss Granger have disconnected. I'm going to go clean up my hand, and hope you two make up in the near future."

Hermione Hermione winced. "So it's the kiss, is it? Well, for one, Harry, I've wanted you to kiss me since…God, I can't even remember anymore. And when you kissed me, I knew something was wrong, and the most important thing to me is always making sure you're all right. So I pulled away, and tried to find out what had happened to you. Gods forgive me. I'm sorry, I was more concerned with finding out what had happened than whether or not you wanted to talk about it." She moved to go back into the compartment. "And you do make me weak in the knees. But do go on, and if you ever decide you want to speak to me again, I'll be here."

Harry He leaned against the doorframe, "You aren't even listening, are you? Did you not catch the part where I said my main problem here was you trying to force me to tell you something I wasn't ready to talk about? Have I somehow not made that entirely clear? As far as sensing something was wrong when we kissed- let me inform you of something. When we kissed, absolutely nothing was wrong in my world. Everything was perfect, for once. I don't know where you got your radar, but I suggest you bring it back for an exchange."

Hermione Hermione fumed. "Yes, I –was- listening, and I don't know how many times I've told you know, I'm sorry." She sighed, suddenly very weary. "I'm sorry, I was wrong, and that's all I can say. I'd love to go back in time and change it, but I'm afraid that would break several very important wizarding laws." She crossed her arms over her chest, feeling as if she might burst into tears again at any moment. "Just go, Harry. I'm obviously not your favorite person in the world right now, so I don't see what's keeping you here."

Harry Harry walked over to her and sat down, "You see? That wasn't so hard, now was it? That was a real, honest apology- the first one you've given. No accusations or excuses, just a simple admission of having done something wrong and wishing to make up for it. That's all I wanted." He wrapped his arms around her, hoping she wouldn't mind, "That's all I wanted. And of course you're still my favorite person. Just because I'm angry doesn't mean I love you any… less…" Uh oh. He hadn't exactly meant for that to come out, but it was a bit late to take it back now.

Hermione She sighed, out of relief and tiredness, and relaxed against him. It was over now, things would be all right, or as all right as could be expected. Granted, she felt thoroughly embarrassed, not to mention incredibly shaken, but at least she was no longer on Harry's bad side. When she heard his words at first, she barely comprehended them, but when they echoed in her head, she froze. "… And of course you're still my favorite person. Just because I'm angry doesn't mean I love you any… less…" Hermione looked up at Harry, amazed. "Love?" she repeated, trying to drive the hopeful tone out of her voice. He could have very well meant it as her best friend; then again, that seemed unlikely, given today's events.

Harry Harry placed a soft kiss on her forehead, "Yes, I do love you. Very much, to be honest. And if you can somehow manage to put up with me…" he paused for a moment and then grinned, "… and my lousy kissing, then I would like for us to be together." His mirthful expression turned serious, "But Hermione, please just do me this one thing. If I'm not ready to talk about something, please don't try and force me to. I'll open up when I'm ready to."

Hermione Her heart fluttered, and she let her arms tighten around Harry. "I love you too," she told him. Her smile faded slightly. "And I'll try, really – I honestly didn't mean to force you, and…" She broke off and started over. "I'll try to mind my own business. It'll be hard, you know – I'm nosy by nature. But I will try." She smiled again. "And you're kissing is not by any means lousy."

Harry A smile returned to his face, "That's good to hear; I was starting to think about becoming a priest after school so no other person would have to be subjected to the mediocrity of my kisses." Harry leaned back against the seat, drawing her closer, "But you've convinced me to give up celibacy."

Hermione She chuckled. "I'm glad I changed your mind. It would be a terrible thing, to waste a steamy sex chicken such as yourself," she commented, remembering with a smirk Harry's earlier reaction to the term.

Harry Harry shook his head, "Please, tell me you can come up with a better term of endearment than that. I'm afraid Malfoy will start wearing a flashing button that says 'Potter is a Steamy Sex Chicken'. And now I'm really disturbed by that mental image."

Hermione She laughed. "Malfoy would probably think it was too much of a compliment," Hermione said, though the idea was certainly amusing. "I don't know. What's your idea of a better endearment, hmm?"

Harry Harry grew thoughtful, and then looked to her with an expression of complete seriousness, "How about Gryffindor Sex God?" After a moment, he began to softly shake with suppressed laughter.

Hermione Hermione wrinkled her nose. "I don't think so. That would imply that we tested it, wouldn't it? And no," she said before he could use it against her, "we're not going to test it anytime soon." She considered something. "What sort of endearment would you come up with for me?"

Harry Harry laughed at her preemptive strike on his plans. He grew thoughtful and then offered, "My formositas ardorus."

Hermione She smiled, touched, and wondering where he had learned the Latin phrase. "Am I?" she sighed contentedly, "I like it. When did you learn Latin?"

Harry Harry smiled, "Yes, you are. And I don't really know Latin as a language, but most of the spells are in Latin, so I've picked up pieces of it, here and there." Harry was loathe to admit he had heard Snape calling a particular potion by that name, because the thought of it still disturbed him a bit.

Hermione She gave him a suspicious look. "I don't remember ever learning a spell that would requite the words 'loved beauty.'" She thought of something, then added, "Unless this is another thing I'm not suppose to ask about."

Harry He sighed and gave a lopsided grin, "Well… I was sneaking out after hours during second year and heard Snape call a bottled potion he was looking at by that name. It took me a while to look up the translation, but needless to say… I'm still a bit disturbed by it."

Hermione Hermione cringed slightly. "Shouldn't have asked. But…are you sure it wasn't a love potion or something?" She gave a mock shudder. "There must be a logical explanation. Other than Snape being out of his mind, of course. But anyway, let's change the subject. Now I need something to call you." Hermione thought a moment, trying to recall something equally interesting. "I heard a Spanish phrase once, that means something similar. 'Mi dulce amado.'"

Harry Harry smiled and relaxed against her, "Sounds nice, what does it mean?" She had a point though, there had to be some reason for Snape to call the potion by that name, and he seriously doubted it was due to any form of insanity.

Hermione She smiled fondly. "'My sweet beloved,'" she translated, resting her head against Harry's shoulder. The phrase was certainly growing on her, now that she had a proper use for it.

Harry Harry enjoyed the rest of the train ride in comfortable silence, listening to the familiar sound of their progress down the track. He held Hermione close, and felt completely at peace… except for the rhythmic aching within his hand.