The sun rose slowly I the forest, scattering the creatures of the night and bringing sparkles of light dancing across the snow fresh on the ground from the previous night's fall. This was disturbed frankly by none other that Draco Malfoy and his two goons, Crabbe and Goyle. They marched through the snow, leaving a trail behind them that any forest animal could follow, including trolls and wild stags. Draco didn't care about this, though. All he knew was that his nemesis Harry Potter was stationed not too far from him, and he needed to pay a visit to his neighbors… it was the polite thing to do
Hermione woke slowly, stretching out and reaching for some warmth to cover the cold air flowing into her sleeping bag. Blinking slowly, she sat up and rubbed her eyes. "Harry?" She asked, trying to remember why she was in a Muggle tent in the middle of December.
"Out here." She heard his voice call. "I'll have a nice breakfast going soon. I've had a lot of practice with this kind of cooking with my aunt and uncle, I have." His voice trailed off about however his training had been on a stove and not an open flame, but –hey- it's all the same principle, right?
Hermione smiled lightly to herself. Harry wasn't the best of cooks. He relied on her most of the time when he or Ron had wanted snacks before a mealtime.
"What the hell you doing here?"
Hermione blinked. Who had he said that to?
Malfoy snorted at his foe. "Well well well, Harry Potter slaving over a campsite. Such a pitiful sight to see." His lackeys laughed dumbly at their mentor's comment. "Tell me, Potter, who are you feeding that trash to? A Weasly? We all know he can't cook for himself. What with no cooking utensils?"
"For your information, Malfoy, he does, and no, Ron's not here this time." He stood threateningly and glared.
"Harry, what's all this fuss about?" Hermione poked her head outside of her tent and the her body followed, covered only by one of Harry's extra large sleeping shirts that went past her knees. "Malfoy." She said his name like a swear word and her face grimaced at the sight of him.
"Hermione!?" He asked surprised. "You're shaking it up with Hermione in the middle of the forest!?" His face still held a look of fake shock. "You ARE a brave one aren't you, Potter!?"
Hermione was furious. How dare he!?
"Watch your tongue, Malfoy." Harry spat, sending daggers with his eyes.
"What?" Malfoy took a daring step forward. "Not want people to know of it? Your little 'roll in the hay?' Well, I don't blame her for wanting to get you in the sack. A no good Mudblood like her would probably spread her legs for any one with a famous name. Lucky for you she just happen to be a so called friend." Another step. "Tell me, Potter, was she a screamer?"
Harry leapt the fire in one jump and cleared the distance between them so fast he had the chance to grab Malfoy's cloak right in front of his neck. "You take that back!" He screamed, furious.
"Make me potter!" He yelled just as loud, grabbing his hand. "Or are you too upset protecting that no good, low down, Mudblood, two cent whore!?"
Harry's fist connected before he knew what he was doing. Malfoy lurched sideways but managed to punch him back in the stomach. Harry grunted, but tackled him in the snow, pounding on his face with both hands.
"This is for Ron!" Punch. "And Hagrid." Another punch with his other hand. "For always insulting people!" another. "For insulting the sport of quidditch!" another punch. "For ME!" he slammed him so hard his eyes began to swell. "And this." He breathed, balling up his fist tight. "Is for Hermione!"
And his fist shattered the cartilage in Malfoy's nose. Crabbe had to rip Harry off then, before he did any more damage. Goyle lifted Malfoy to his feet and the stunned sixteen-year-old looked at Harry with honest shock. His mouth opened to say something, but he shut it instead, turning. The last bit of his pride was stripped from him when he snorted and coughed, sending a bit of blood onto the snow.
"That felt surprisingly well." Harry breathed, turning to the tent. "Hermione? 'Mione, where are you?"
The quiet sounds of soft sobs came from the tent. "Oh no…"
Harry opened the flap to his tent and literally felt his heart fall when he saw the crying girl laying face down on the sleeping bag. Sighing to himself and cursing Malfoy, he zipped up the tent and sat next to her, rubbing her back with one hand. "The things he said weren't true, you know." He told her soothingly. Her sobs slowled considerably at the motion to calm her down. "He's just jealous." Harry continued. "Jealous that the greatest witch that Hogwarts has ever seen were born from Muggles, and he- a "pure bread" cannot match your talent."
Hermione nodded lightly in the pillow, but still made no move to get up. Harry continued, now turned sideways and gently massaged her back with both hands. Her quiet tears soon stopped and she felt the world growing distant and the warm hands slid over the light fabric covering her back. She could feel the world slipping away, but she welcomed the comforting feeling and was soon fast asleep.
When Hermione woke again, she found Harry next to her, running his fingers through her hair. She smiled sleepily up at him and managed to get out a small "thanks" before almost drifting off again.
"Just telling the truth, I am." He replied with a smile, but then turned serious. "'Mione, you're the best witch here. And I'm proud to be here with you and to call you my friend."
Hermione felt her cheeks go pink, but still smiled up at him and sat up. Without a moment's delay, she wrapped Harry into a hug and pulled herself to sit in his lap. "I'm glad I have such good friends." She told his ear. "Very glad."
Harry's hands found themselves once again rubbing her back. "Hey, anytime." He smiled.
Both parted lightly and smiled to each other. A moment passed and Hermione found herself strangely leaning forward. Before she could question this weird feeling, she discovered her eyes were closed and her lips were parting slowly. 'Wait a minute….' She told herself. 'I'm about to kiss him!' But she didn't stop herself, didn't want to. The only thing that mattered now was capturing the boy's lips with her own.
And she would have too, if not for the patting on the tent.
"Harry? Hermione? You two in there?"
Hermione jerked back, eyes flying open to see a scared look on Harry's face. "I almost kissed her…" She heard him breath astonished, a goofy grin on his face. "I almost kissed her…"
The tent unzipped and Hagrid poked his head in. "Ah, thar ye are." He grinned broadly. "Come on now, Your food's been burning for quite some time now, an' – Hermione, are you wearing Harry's cloths?"
Hermione blushed sharp red and stammered out her edscuse, but Harry beat her to it. "She fell in the creek." He said with a laughing smile. "All of her stuff is probably frozen solid out on the lines outside."
Hagrid retreated his head for a moment to look at the line of cloths, but soon laughed heartily, which Harry joined in.
The young woman in the tent pushed Harry out with a pout and flustered expression. "I'm changing." She informed them. "Don't you dare peak!"
And the tent zipped shut.
"How are ye doin' out 'ere in tha forest, Harry?" Hagrid inquired, watching him cook a lunch now over the fire. "No problems, I'm assuming?"
"I had a little skirmish with Malfoy earlier, but other than that, no."
"Ah, I see." Hagrid's face concentrated for a moment. "Yes, I do believe it says on the parchment not to enter in another student's area of magic. I'll ask Dumbledor about it tonight over dinner. In the mean time, I must say I'm sorry to hear about Hermione. It's forbidden to give any students any extra items, and cloths were up to the student to bring."
"It's okay." Harry replied, poking his fire. "I'm sure we'll manage on 6 shirts for four days."
Hermione then chose to reappear from the tent. She had on the same pants as yesterday with another shirt, held close at the top. Harry recognized it as his "V-neck" shirt. It looked as if to fit her almost properly, being one of Harry's older shirts. It however, was apparent why she held it closed at the top when she bent over to pick up a log. Harry could feel his eyes bulge. Quickly he turned his head and thought he would pass out from a nosebleed if the blood rushing to his head didn't slow.
"Quite a cutie, Hermione." Hagrid told him with a wink. "You be best to get her now before another guy does." He stood with a smile and looked around. "Well, I reckon I mus' be goin' now." He voiced. "I've three more tents to get to before lunch is over."
"Bye Hagrid." Hermione told him as she put a log in the fire. "See you tomorrow."
"This deep enough?" Harry asked, hands shivering in the cold snow.
Hermione sat next to him on a log while he dug. "No, it needs to be another four inches deep." She replied with a quick measuring spell.
Harry grimaced, but punched the ground again and again with the magical spades that came from his knuckles. After six punches, he pulled the cold hard dirt from his hole and breathed. "Mione…Tell me this is good…"
Hermione looked at it and nodded. "Yup. Now for my part." She dropped the seed into the earth and moved the dirt ontop of it with the side of her shoe (one of the only articles of clothing that she saved). "She waved her wand across it naturally and clearly said "sproutus impatious!" The seedling bloomed almost instantly.
"Wow." Harry nodded. "How long?"
Hermione checked their instructions. "An hour." She sat by the fire and watched her handiwork move lightly, clearly growing. "Then we pluck, mix and find an animal. That'll be the hard part."
"Scared of going out of our protection ring?" Harry raised an eyebrow. "Eh, 'Mione?"
She wrinkled her nose at him out of habit. "Not at all." She sniffed proudly. "I'm not scared."
"Sure." His voice was joking, watching her check her cloths she managed to hold in front of the fire. "Dry yet?"
"Not even." She sighed. "All I have dry are my knickers."
"And what pretty ones they are at that." Harry smirked. The comment got himself a face full of Hogwarts issued dress skirt. "Ack, I've gone blind!"
She giggled at his lame attempt to be funny.
"Alright." Hermione nodded. "Pull it up now." Harry did as he was told, getting dirt and sod all over him. Her muttered a slight 'Ack', but Hermione continued. "Alright, we planted the seed, grown, and uprooted. Now we need to turn it to juice."
Harry nodded and held it over a beaker. "It was liquidus forthus, right?"
His friend nodded. "The basic swish and flick wand motion."
Harry did so. Swish, "Liquidus forthus." And flick. The plant instantly burst into liquid, falling neatly into the set up beaker. "God, I love doing that. So rewarding."
Hermione rolled her eyes, but secretly smiled to herself. She had thought the same thing when she did it in class. "Anyway, now we must mix the elixir."
"You're doing it." Harry commanded, pushing the beaker into her hands. "Time for Hogwart's best witch to strut her stuff."
"You just wanna see my butt." She commented, walking to the tent for her supplies. "Strut indeed."
Harry let his eyes linger. "And a mighty fine butt it is!"
Whoosh! "Haha, you missed me, 'Mio-" piff! "Nevermind."
"And there we are." Hermione said, looking over the clear liquid in the glass in front of her. "Not too shabby, if I do say so myself."
"And you do." Harry added, shivering lightly. It had taken her all afternoon to finish the potion, messing up once ("Whoops") and fixing it later ("See!? TOLD you I could fix it"). All in all, it turned out to be all right.
"Shush." She commanded of him. "How are my cloths?"
Harry rubbed his sore arms after holding some of her cloths close to the fire long enough to de-thaw and dry them. "You have a shirt for tomorrow and a skirt with your long thermal pantyhose."
"Such a dear." She commented, patting Harry's head by standing on her toes. "That why I keep you around."
"Says the book worm who spends all of her time in the library."
"Oh shush!" She stuck her tongue out at him girlishly and snatched her cloths from him. "At least I don't talk to snakes."
"What's wrong with that!?" He demanded, following her into the tent and plopping down onto the sleeping bag and grabbing a bag of chips.
"Nothing at all, weirdo." She replied, grabbing his chips and eating some.
"Geeze Mione!" Harry sulked, eyeing his chips. "You eat more than me and Ron combined, and that's no easy feat!"
"I'm a growing girl." She commented, sitting in front of her and crossing her legs. She pulled her shirt back so the V-neck wouldn't show too much of her cleavage.
"And don't even gain a pound." He snatched back his chips and shoved some into his mouth.
"I have a high metabolism." She got the bag back with a snatch on her last word. "You pig, you ate them all!"
"I only got one handful!"
"…Oh, yeah, I ate them. Hehe, silly me."
"'Mione, you're incredible."
Nose wrinkled. "I know."
"Now leave, I wanna change to go to sleep."
Hermione slid into the sleeping bag next to Harry and snuggled her back against his front, allowing his arm to lazily snake around her. She reached up and took it in hers in place of her teddy bear back at her dorm, but he literally flinched away.
"You're like ICE!" he complained. "Your feet too!"
She humped and dug her feet deeper into the sleeping bag in vain. Harry was too tall for her. "Just get over it and let me warm my hands." She grabbed his and held it, smiling at the warmth it brought. "Thank –you~!"
Harry shivered, but didn't complain farther. It wasn't that bad after all. In fact after her hands warmed up a bit, he pulled her closer to him so her back was pressed firmly against his front. "You be best to get her now before another guy does." Hagrid's words floated around in his mind a moment before he spoke. "Hey, 'Mione?"
"Hmmmmm?" She was as good as asleep.
"Do you enjoy being with me?"
"Mmmhhhmmmmm…" She pulled his hand to her chest and brought her knees up, curling into a little ball.
"Okay, just wondering."
"You're not even awake are you?"
It was Hermione who woke up first the next day. She stretched, giggling lightly as Harry's fingers grazed her stomach when she bent her back to work out it's kinks. Sighing happily she snuggled back in with her best friend and re-closed her eyes, enjoying the warmth a little more before she had to get out and start the search for a wounded animal.
"How long are you going to stay here?" A voice asked her neck, startling her lightly.
"Well, yeah, who else would you be sleeping with?"
"You make it sound so perverted."
"Well you're the one getting all snuggly."
She humphed indignantly. "I didn't hear any complaints from you."
"What's there to complain about?" He answered in kind, pulling her close. "It's nice to have someone here for you when you wake up."
"Yeah, it is." She agreed, taking his hand and holding it to her chest like the previous night.
"Where does this leave us?"
She played with his fingers for a moment while thinking. "Really close friends?" He kissed her neck, sending shivers down her spine. "Or would you like to be my boyfriend?"
"Thought you'd never ask." He breathed, pulling her closer and leaving a trail over her shoulder.
"Mm, Harry, no," She told him, trying to surpres a purr of excitement. "Hagrid will be here in a little bit and we still have to find an animal and—oh wow."
"Was it good for you too?" Harry asked lying next to her.
"If you call having a boy who had no clue what the hell he was doing kissing up and down your neck and then being interrupted while your half naked by someone who is six feet taller than you who says something about "Young'ns" and then making out clumsily and awkwardly… Yes, It was the best time of my life." Her voice was serious and sweet, ending with a soft peck to his lips. "But next time, my rules, alone, and we take time to learn how to kiss properly before you go putting your tongue in like that."
"Hermione…that was your tongue."
"See anything?" Hermione asked, hugging herself trying to keep warm.
"Nothing. I can't believe I'm saying this, but can't there be a single wounded animal around here?"
"Yeah, but—oh hey! A little rabbit!"
Harry walked over to her and kneeled down. "And he's hurt too. Poor little guy." Harry looked at the brown furred rabbit in front of him.
"Little guy probably didn't stand a chance." Hermione sniffed. "I feel so bad wanting to have one hurt now…"
"This is why we're here." Harry told her, pouring a little elixir on he wound. It healed almost instantly. "Powerful stuff."
The now fine rabbit immediately shot up and away, scared out of its mind.
"Well that takes care of that." Harry commented, standing. "This entire trip and not a single goblin, troll, werewolf, giant spider, or anything."
Malfoy ran like hell, being chased by no less than seven monsters. His voice rang out like a little girl scream as he plowed through the snow.
"Tomorrow we go back." Hermione said, watching the fire in front of them. "It's been fun, these last few days."
"Yeah. Got to camp, some extra points, and a girlfriend to show for my troubles."
"Heh. I bet we'll make front page on the Daily Prophet. I can see it now. "Harry Potter admits to being the boyfriend of Hermione Granger, the top student at Hogwarts."
"Yeah right." Harry replied, unzipping the tent and changing for bed, soon followed by Hermione. "I do believe you asked me."
"Hmmm? I don't recall that." She gave him a grin that he never saw on her face before, but was sure he was going to like. "Care to prove it, Mr. Harry Potter?"
Harry smirked. "Why sure. I think Hogwarts should know what really went on."
She giggled and pushed him down on the sleeping bag, lying on top of him. " Prove it."
Hope you enjoyed it. Please leave a review if it touched your heart in any way. ^.^