A/N: I do not own Harry Potter
Chapter 1: What is Valentine's Day?
February 13 1991, Hufflepuff Common Room, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Eleven year old Harry Potter was confused. All around him people were running around making last minute preparations for something called Valentine's Day. The main cause of his distress was that as far as he could see only the boys were preparing for something. Even his year mates like Ernie and Justin were in on it. Some boys were packing gifts, some were arranging flowers in a pretty bouquet. Some were even preparing their dress robes!
'Damn the Dursleys for not teaching me everyday social customs!' thought Harry in anger.
Not knowing who else to turn to he approached Cedric Diggory, his unofficial older brother who helped him and other first years adjust to Hogwarts life.
"Hey Cedric, can I have a moment of your time?" asked Harry.
Cedric, putting down his bouquet of flowers turned to Harry. "Sure, what can I help you with?"
"You see," Harry started in a quiet voice so only Cedric could hear him. "We… I… in my family we never celebrated Valentine's Day so I'm unsure of what I'm supposed to do."
Cedric, realizing the importance of this conversation walked Harry to a small alcove where no one could overhear them. "Valentine's Day is…" Cedric started but realized that even he needed to think about just what is Valentine's Day, he never needed to explain it to someone before. It was always so straight forward. You like a girl, you give them something they like and have a good time and you get a kiss or something more if you are lucky. Getting his head out of the gutter he started his speech again. "Valentine's Day is a day where boys give girls who they like a present and make them feel good. Harry, is there a girl you like?"
Harry needed to think about this. There was of course Susan Bones, Hannah Abbot and Megan Jones, his fellow first year Hufflepuffs but did he like them? How does one know he likes a girl? What is like?
"How do I know I like a girl?" Harry asked inquisitorially.
'Damn, this guy asks some deep questions.' Cedric's fourteen year old mind thought. "Um… you enjoy spending more time with them than any other girl?" he half asked half answered.
"I see…" Harry said. His fellow female Hufflepuffs were out of the question then, they made him feel uncomfortable. They were always staring at him, making him feel like a piece of fruit waiting for him to ripen, but that was ridiculous, wasn't it? Then he remembered Hermione, a first year Ravenclaw, who always helped him when they were in the library. Sure she was bossy but she was the only one who actually made him feel like he was worth something by always making him do better. She was also the only girl who didn't make him uncomfortable. Following that logic she is the girl who he enjoyed spending more time them then with any other girl.
"And how do I make a girl feel good?"
Cedric just stared at the tiny form of Harry Potter wondering just how to answer that question before he realized that he was only eleven and his hormones didn't kick in yet. Shaking his head he started, "Well in case of most girls you ask them on a date, and before you start a date is where two people who like each other do something one or the other enjoys. In my case after breakfast I'm taking Cho down to the Black Lake for a walk."
Harry understood that and it was pretty simple. So only the present is left. "What type of present will you give Cho? What type of present should I give?"
"In my case I will give her some of Honeydukes finest chocolates and a bouquet of Alstroemeria, it was a pain to get them. I needed to owl order them from London and spend most of my allowance on them." Seeing the crest fallen look on Harry's face Cedric quickly added. "No one expects a first year to do all that for a girl, you can't even go down to Hogsmeade even if you wanted to. So I think a single flower will be more than enough."
"Not to mention just asking someone on a date by the boy-who-lived would be enough for 90% of the girls to throw their knickers at him." Cedric grumbled under his breath.
"What was that?" Harry asked.
"You can't just give her any flower. All flowers have a special meaning, like a special flower language. In my case alstroemeria means friendship and devotion. There are some flowers that you only bring to funerals while others are used to propose to someone."
Harry, now thoroughly confused just nodded and solemnly walked back to his dorm room wondering if it wouldn't have been easier just to stay locked up in a cupboard.
February 14 1991, Great Hall just after breakfast, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Harry was nervous. Harry was fidgeting. Harry was praying to every deity he knew. Every minute he would check if Hermione finished her breakfast, while his own plate was bare and untouched. Seeing Hermione putting her utensils down Harry gathered all of his courage, put his game face on and headed for the Ravenclaw table.
Hermione was annoyed. Hermione was pissed. If she heard one more snide comment from Cho about how she won't even get a card while God's gift to mankind, Cedric Diggory, will take her away on a Phoenix she will hex her into next week, damned the consequences. So it was no wonder that when someone called her name she already had her wand in hand, a hex on her tongue. Turning around in a fluid motion that would make Jackie Chan walk away in shame she pointed her wand between the eyes of… Harry?
After giving an audible gulp Harry kneeled down in front of Hermione.
"My fair maiden Hermione," Harry started, keeping his head down and eyes on the sleeve of his robes, "would you bestow this poor man the greatest honor imaginable by allowing me the privilege of escorting you on this day of days as your date?"
Without looking up he took out an origami flower from the sleeve of his robe, holding it up for Hermione, who took it with trembling hands.
It was a good thing that Harry kept his eyes glued to his sleeve. That way he didn't see that every girl was rendered speechless by this little byplay, that every female eye was glued on Harry, even from the Slytherin table.
Cho was the first to find her voice. "Wha… what kind of flower is that?"
Harry, who was mentally thanking Cedric for preparing him for this question, answered in a heartbeat. "Since I could not find any flower worthy for Miss Granger," 'and I didn't want to accidentally propose to her' he mentally added, "I decided to make one especially for her. It was made from the paper of my Transfigurations assignment, which I got an O, without Hermione's help it would have never bloomed into such a lovely flower. It was only natural that I return it to its rightful owner."
Cedric, on the other end of the hall, was mentally cursing the little shit for raising the bar so high. If this is how a first year midget asks a girl on a date then what would the girls expect of a third year?
Hermione, realizing that this wasn't a prank and that the boy in front of her was serious, answered in her most reassured tone. "I gracefully accept your offer. The honor is mine to be able to be escorted by a fine gentlemen such as yourself."
Before getting up Harry quickly ripped off his prepared speech, which was spelotaped to his sleeve, quickly hiding it in his sock. Grabbing Hermione's offered arm they slowly started walking towards the exit.
"Where are we going?" Hermione asked trying keep her smile from splitting her face.
Harry stopped dead in his tracks, searched around the great hall before spotting Cedric.
"Cedric?" Harry shouted across the Great Hall, "I forgot to ask, do you tell your date where you are taking her or is that a surprise?"
"Let it be a surprise Harry." Hermione added before dragging him out of the Great Hall.
Cedric, looking around frantically, was desperately hoping that no one made the connection between him and Harry. It was for not. On the head table Professor Spout looked like she was about to award the house cup to Cedric while Headmaster Dumbledore was giving him his grade one reassuring smile.
At the Gryffindor table all the males were looking menacingly at him. Fred and George were actually taking out their beater bats. At the other end of the hall he was getting a similar treatment from the Slytherin table except that they were conjuring rope and tying it in an all too familiar manner. It seems like the house of the lions and snakes united under a common cause. The Ravens on the other hand, seeing as they don't really need to add more weight on to a dead man's cement shoes, started to calculate the odds of his survival while the males from the Hufflepuff table were torn between house loyalty and male loyalty.
Cedric was also getting glares from the female population. They were all waiting to see what The-Man-Who-Taught-The-Boy-Who-Lived came up with for Valentine's Day. The most prominent one was Cho Chang who looked like Christmas came early.
February 14 1991, The Library, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Harry entered the library dragging a still smiling and giggling Hermione to her favorite table. The smile slowly faded, being replaced by confusion when she saw Harry taking out his school supplies along with an essay that was due for next week.
"Harry? Why did you bring me to the library?" asked Hermione her voice becoming angrier after every word.
"To study." Harry answered in an offhand tone.
"Harry James!" Hermione all but screamed, "Your idea for a date is for us to do homework and study in the library!? Am I only a book to you!? Do you also expect me to do your homework?"
Beads of sweat suddenly appeared on Harry's face. Hermione is one scary witch when she is pissed. 'And here I thought I was out of the firing zone.'
With fake confidence he tried to continue his offhand tone. "We… Well you s… see…" Harry stuttered "Cedric explained to me is that a date is when two people do stuff they like," Harry gulped "together so I know you like to spend a lot of time in the library and I don't really know what else you like to do so I didn't want to assume anything and I always see you studying alone, so I thought you would enjoy studying together." Harry finished with a zero-confident smile.
Hermione was shocked at the level of thought Harry put into their date. Looking at her flower she got up and kissed Harry on the cheek. "Thank you Harry, that was very thoughtful and sweet of you."
Harry breathed in a sigh of relief, thanking god that Valentine's Day only comes once a year.
"I can hardly wait to see what you come up with next year." Harry heard Hermione whisper to herself thinking the exact same thing.