Summary: Hormone fueled dreams, Muggle psychoanalysts and personal revelations, oh my!
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters. That is a good thing. I would do very bad things to them indeed if I owned them. Heh. J.K.Rowling owns them and she's the one making money off them.
Author's Note: This is a fluff piece. It gets slightly angsty in the middle, but other than that, it's fluff, fluff, fluff! If that's not your thing, please move on. Any flames will be used to make s'mores. I would like to thank Nacey for beta-ing this baby, supporting me when I went through a crisis of confidence, and also for just being an all around wonderful chica. You rock, Nacey! I would also like to thank Mistiec, who through Nacey, like some strange game of Telephone, told me she liked this fic. Mistiec, you rock my world.
It was, Harry decided, the pink elephant that should have clued him in. He had been having a perfectly horrible day, waking up late, dropping all manner of things and Cho had laughed at him when he ran into her. Now, in Quadruple Potions (another thing, he mused, that should have tipped him off), a pink elephant had come waltzing into the classroom.
No, really. Waltzing.
As Harry watched the elephant twirl and spin, he thought the waltz suited the animal. The elephant seemed to be a miniature version (it came up to about his waist, Harry figured), but it moved with a strange sort of grace. It certainly wouldn't have had the same sort of fluid motion if it had been doing, say, the samba, the tango, or, and here Harry shuddered, the fox trot.
No, the waltz suited the small pink elephant, and Harry was surprised to find that he was the only one who thought so. Harry looked around and saw that no one else had noticed the elephant. Harry frowned. Pink elephants didn't waltz into classrooms everyday. Even in the wizarding world, it should have attracted some attention. Surely, this Meant Something.
Harry frowned again. Why was he thinking in capital letters?
"Potter!" Snape barked. "Kindly remove this animal from the classroom!"
Harry felt a rush of relief that some one had noticed the dancing pachyderm, but then became irritated. Why should he have to deal with it? What did he know about pink elephants?
"Don't worry, Professor, I'll take care of it," said a voice from behind him.
Harry turned and smiled. Hermione, of course. She would know what to do about this whole sit—wait, since when did she sit in the back of the classroom? She always liked the front—
"Come here, boy…that's it, c'mere," she cooed.
Harry blinked. Hermione was cooing? And how did she know that the elephant was male? This whole thing was getting weirder and weirder. Harry turned back to the animal, expecting to see some sort of elephantine gesture of defiance, but instead the elephant moved toward Hermione.
Harry frowned. The aisle was awfully narrow and he didn't see how the elephant could fit through—hey, was it getting bigger? Harry squinted a bit and sure enough the elephant had grown.
Well, that settled it. There was no way the elephant could get down the aisle.
And yet…the elephant was moving. Harry looked on in wonder as the elephant came down the aisle, still growing. It was a tight fit (extremely tight, Harry noted), but the elephant kept coming.
"Nice one, Harry," Ron snickered.
Harry looked over at him. Where had he come from? "You see it too?" he asked.
Ron rolled his eyes. "A dancing pink elephant? They're hard to miss."
"Why didn't you say something?" Harry hissed, still keeping an eye on the advancing elephant.
Ron shrugged. "Well, they're rather common, aren't they?"
Harry looked at him a little oddly. "What?"
Ron calmly looked back. "Well, they happen to everyone, don't they?" He started to chuckle. "Although, I don't think that I've ever seen on in Potions before. Good job, Harry!" He clapped Harry on the back.
Harry rubbed the bridge of his nose. This whole thing seemed to be spiraling out of control and he wasn't sure how to get back on track. Hermione was still cooing (cooing!) at the elephant, Ron sounded like a hyena next to him, and now Malfoy was gazing at the elephant with a speculative gleam in his eye.
Harry decided he did not like the way Malfoy was looking at the elephant at all.
"Back off, Malfoy!" he snapped.
Draco raised an eyebrow. "Where's your sense of adventure, Potter?"
"You're not touching that elephant!" Harry said stubbornly.
Draco just smirked. "Whatever you say, Potty-head." He turned back to his cauldron and continued working on the assignment (whatever it had been; Harry couldn't remember; why couldn't he remember?).
Harry looked back at the elephant that had seemed to finally stop growing. It was now as tall as he was, but was still pushing forward toward Hermione. Harry scrambled back, ducking around and jumping over desks, a sudden urge to see Hermione hitting him.
"Hermione," he gasped, finally getting to her after a long run (surely the Potions dungeon wasn't that big?), "what are you doing?"
Hermione gave him a warm smile. "I'm taking care of the problem, Harry."
Harry, not for the last time, was confused. "But…but how? How do you know about this?" He made a vague gesture toward the elephant.
Hermione continued to smile at him. "I read about it, of course."
Harry felt a strange sense of urgency come over him. He desperately needed to know why Hermione was doing this. He grabbed hold of her shoulders and gasped a little. She was so warm. "Why, Hermione? Why are you doing this?"
Hermione laid a hand on his chest. "You're my best friend, Harry. Why wouldn't I?"
Harry looked at the approaching elephant, who was now almost to them. He looked back at her. "So you're only doing this because you're my friend?" he asked, somehow disappointed by this possibility.
Hermione shook her head sorrowfully. "Oh, Harry, don't you see? Ron is my friend, but I wouldn't do this for him."
Harry looked at her, bewildered and frustrated. "Do what?"
Hermione smiled as she twined her arms around his neck and pulled him close to her. "I love you, Harry," she whispered, her breath puffing in his ear. Harry stiffened and tried to look at her, but she had already turned to the elephant, who had finally reached her. It lifted its trunk and gave a little blast of triumph. Hermione grinned and laid a gentle hand on its head, between it eyes, at the base of the trunk. "Good boy, I knew you could do it," she whispered. She stood up on tiptoe and bent toward it. Harry watched her with an anticipation that tightened his chest.
Hermione leaned forward and gently placed a kiss where her hand had been and then—
The elephant disappeared.
Harry jerked back, surprised beyond belief. He looked around, searching for some sign of the elephant, but there was only Hermione in the empty classroom, with a curious, contented smile on her face. Harry gaped. "What just happened?"
Hermione looked at him, her smile spreading into a grin. "Honestly, Harry, what did you expect to happen?"
Harry just blinked.
He woke up with a gasp and sat upright. He looked around a little wildly. He was in bed. In the boys dorm. In Gryffindor Tower. He could hear Ron snoring in the bed next to him. Harry crawled over to the side of the bed and peeked out of the curtains. He looked around suspiciously. No pink elephants. Excellent.
He crawled back to the center of the bed. The dream was already starting to fade a bit. Good.
Harry paused before settling down for some sleep. The dream had been so vivid, so real. Had it meant something? He was used to dreaming about Voldemort and premonitions of his own demise. Pink elephants left him at something of a loss. Finally, however, after a bit of thinking, he decided that it meant nothing. Probably just a bad piece of pie or something. All in all, middling.
He tried to get back to sleep, but visions of pink elephants danced through his head until dawn, taunting him. Great, now they were talking, dancing elephants. Poor.
"This place is finally getting to me," he muttered, running a hand through his hair. He realized he wouldn't be getting any more sleep that night. Very poor, indeed.