authorsnote: i've been debating about doing this story for a while, and I finally sat down yesterday and gave it a go - and I am super pleased! I love the hp books/films, and am a full believer that harry should have ended up with hermione, and so that is how this story is going to go. a few notes:

1) this will be canon up until 4th year.

2) harry/hermione WILL be endgame.

3) some ron bashing but nothing too bad.

4) no dumbledore bashing - I happen to adore the cooky headmaster.

I think thats all but will let you know if there will be anything else. this will diverge massively from canon - mainly in the form of the trios relationship, as well as some twists and turns concerning the main plot. also harry will be a little more cocky (not at first but as time goes on). this will be a slow burn relationship, don't expect them to fall in love in the first chapter.

okay, so I do hope you enjoy - any questions review away. also please don't bash my spelling/grammar, i've never been amazing shakes at it and sometimes stuff can fall through the cracks.

song recommendations: in my life/a heart full of love - les miserables (i particularly enjoy the movie version).


a heart full of love,

a heart full of song,

no fear no regret,

i am lost,

i am found.

...

When Harry woke up on Sunday morning, it took him a moment to remember why he felt so miserable and worried, his stomach churning for no apparent reason. Then the memory of the previous night rolled over him. He felt like a stone had dropped in his stomach; the Goblet of Fire spitting out his name in a dance of red..the whispers around the hall, Ron's nasty forced smile and cutting words, Hermione's worried glances and her hand on his shoulder as she had pushed him forward, whispering that it would be alright..

But would it?

There was a reason the age restriction had been added this year.. a reason that the judges felt as though no one underage could handle what would come. He was a 4th year, and only really excelled in DADA..he was sure if he applied himself a bit more he could move up the ranks in class, but for now that didn't matter; he wasn't ready to face the tasks that would be coming.

It was as simple as that, he was not ready.

Desperately trying to push the negative thoughts out of his mind, he dressed and went down the spiral staircase into the common room, he could hardly hide in his room forever (though the prospect was appealing). The moment he appeared, the people who had already finished breakfast broke into a fresh round of applause again. He managed a weak smile, that he knew wasn't even slightly convincing and resolutely made his way to the portrait hole. Going into the Great Hall and facing the prospect of all of the Gryffindors treating him like some sort of hero was not welcome but it was that or allow the Creevey brothers (who were frantically beckoning) to corner him. With grim determination he pushed open the portrait hole and climbed out, only to find himself face to face with Hermione.

"Hello" She said, holding up a stack of toast, which she was carrying on a napkin, and she had a bottle of pumpkin juice in each robe pocket "I brought you this.. want to go for a walk?"

"Good idea" Harry said gratefully, a real smile gracing his features for what felt like the first time in hours. "Thanks Hermione"

She smiled at him again and handed over some toast as they went downstairs, crossing the Entrance Hall quickly, without looking at the Great Hall. It was a cold morning and they kept moving, munching their toast, as Harry told Hermione what had happened after he had been called on by the Goblet of Fire the night before.

To his immense relief Hermione accepted his story without question. Without even thinking about it when she told him that she believed him, he bundled her into a hug. It was beyond comforting to have someone believe him, someone on his side. Hermione's cheeks flared pink as he grabbed her and she returned the hug squeezing him tightly, before letting go and continuing.

"Well, of course, I knew you hadn't entered yourself, no question" Hermione confirmed again and Harry felt a rush of warm go through him; this was how Ron was meant to have reacted. Hermione and Ron were Harry's two best friends; how could one accept the truth and the other deny it? He just didn't understand why Ron was so furious at him and yet Hermione was here stood with him, comforting him.

"The look on your face when Dumbledore read out your name! But the question is, who did put it in?" She looked nervous as she spoke, biting down on her lip as they stopped in front of the Black Lake. "Because Professor Moody is right Harry.. I don't think any student could have done it.. they'd never be able to fool the Goblet, or get over Dumbledores age line" Again she chewed on her lip, "I looked it up last night, the amount of power you'd need to confuse something like the Goblet? Way beyond anything even a 7th year could do, some adult witches and wizards wouldn't stand a chance"

Harry smiled at her again as Hermione conjured up a blanket for them to sit on. They spread it out under a tree near the Black Lake and sat down, the wool protecting them from the frosty ground. For a moment they sat in silence before Harry spoke; he needed to know.

"Have you seen Ron?" He asked in a quiet sort of voice, knowing he couldn't ignore the topic forever. His eyes flicked up to Hermione's face, her expression suddenly turning into a mixture of nervous and defiant.

"Yes, he was at breakfast, though I didn't speak to him much: She crossed her arms then, and shuffled a little closer to Harry. Her expression had turned to one of annoyance; evidently she didn't want to speak about this either.

"Does he still think I entered myself?" He couldn't help but sound annoyed; why would Ron think such a thing? He wanted no part of this, none. And even though he asked the question he felt he already knew the answer.

"Well...no, I don't think so.. not really" Hermione said awkwardly, her gaze shifting for a moment.

"What do you mean, not really? He does or he doesn't"

"Oh Harry isn't it obvious?" Hermione said her nerves going away, her tone despairing. Her gaze finally meeting his, her expression one of annoyance and exasperation.

"Jealous?' Harry said incredulously, "Jealous of what?" Harry shook his head; part of him had considered Ron might be lashing out because he hadn't been picked but had dismissed it, Ron didn't actually think he would have stood a chance did he? Harry who was consistently above Ron in class (when he put the effort in at least), knew he didn't have a hope! How could Ron think this was something he wanted? "He wants to make a prat of himself on front of the whole school does he?"

"Look" Hermione spoke patiently, "It's always you who gets all the attention, you know it is. I know its not your fault" She said quickly as Harry opened his mouth furiously, cutting in again so he couldn't speak "I know you don't ask for it.. but – well – you know, Ron's got all those brothers to compete against at home, and you're his best friend, and you're really famous – he's always shunted to one side whenever people see you, and he deals with it, never mentions it but I think this time it was too much" Hermione looked sad when she finished before speaking again "However I will say he's being ridiculous, its a pride thing and he should be here for you right now, hence why I refused to speak to him at breakfast, he shouldn't be sulking because he's not getting attention, he should be supporting you"

"Great" Harry said bitterly, his hands shaking with rage "Really great. How can he think I want this? Like I enjoy people gawping at my forehead wherever I go, like being famous because the most evil man of all time murdered my parents but couldn't finish me off" He shook his head then and risked a look at Hermione: she looked sad, and she was the only person he'd accept pity from right now. She was the only person in his corner.

"You should talk to him, make him see reason. I was going to this morning until he asked me who I believed" Hermione rolled her eyes then "And so I just left, but Harry you should talk to him about it, he's being stupid yes but he's still your friend"

"I'm not running around after him trying to make him grow up" He spoke a fraction too loudly and a few owls in the trees above took flight in alarm, and so he lowered his voice. "Maybe, he'll believe I'm not enjoying myself once I've got my neck broken"

"That's not funny" Hermione spoke quietly, her eyes full of fear. "That's not funny at all" She looked extremely anxious, her hands twisting together. "Harry, I've been thinking – you know what you've got to do, don't you? Straight away, the moment we get back to the castle?"

"Yes, give Ron a good hex to the.."

"Write to Sirius, you've got to tell him what happened! He asked you to keep him posted on everything thats going on here.. its almost like he expected something like this to happen. I've got a quill and some parchment on me.."

"Come off it" Harry spoke, looking around to make sure they couldn't be overheard. Luckily the grounds were deserted. "He came back to the country because my scar twinged. He'll probably burst into the castle with Lupin in tow if I tell him someone's entered me into the Triwizard Tournament"

"He'd want you to tell him" Hermione said sternly, laying out the quill and parchment in front of him. "He's going to find out anyway"

"How?" He said glancing down at the writing tools but not making a move to take them.

"Harry this isn't going to be kept quiet" Hermione sounded almost apologetic when she spoke "This Tournament is famous, you're famous. I'll be surprised if there isn't something in the Daily Prophet already..you're in half the books about You-Know-Who, you know, Sirius would rather hear it from you, you know he would"

"OK, OK, I'll write to him" Harry stood up with a nod, offering Hermione his hand. She took it and came to stand next to him. He tossed his last piece of toast into the lake, they both watched, side by side as a large tentacle rose out of the water and scooped it beneath the surface.

For a moment they just stood still, shoulder to shoulder. Harry could feel himself shaking and he wasn't sure if it was due to the cold or nerves. Still he stood next to Hermione, and as she wrapped a hand around his arm and placed her head on his shoulder, he felt calmed. They stayed like that for a while, arm in arm, close to one another, not speaking but not needing too.

Harry felt in that moment incredibly glad; glad that if one person had decided to believe him it was Hermione.


The next few days were some of the very worst Harry had ever had at Hogwarts. It was nearly as bad as when people had thought he was Slytherins heir. At least this time people weren't actively hiding from him in the corridors. Still, walking through the castle, hearing people whisper and mutter was not pleasant.

He could understand the Hufflepuffs attitudes, even if he didn't like it; they had their own champion to support. He expected nothing less than vicious insults from the Slytherins – he was highly unpopular there and always had been. But he had hoped the Ravenclaws might have found it in their hearts to support him as well as Cedric. He was wrong however, most Ravenclaws seemed to think that he had been so desperate to earn himself a bit more fame by tricking the Goblet into accepting his name. Why everyone thought he was fame hungry he didn't know, he was in the spotlight enough without wanting to be already.

He still wasn't talking to Ron, and hadn't tried too. Hermione had asked him a few times to attempt to talk to him but had dropped it when it had become clear how much Ron and his' friendship had fractured. He didn't know if it could ever be the same. The only thing keeping him from leaving Hogwarts forever were the Gryffindors who were still treating him like a hero and sticking up for him at all ends, and Hermione who had taken Ron's place completely. She walked around the castle with him, urging him to ignore people, and keeping him calm.

It was odd; Ron had always been his best friend, perhaps because he was a guy, maybe because they had the same kind of interests and attitudes. He had always considered Hermione a best friend but not in the same ways as Ron. Oh, how that had changed.

They spent nearly all of their time together. He sat next to her in lessons (and had found his work drastically improved by doing so), had managed to switch out of Divination for Ancient Runes (he had planned to beg McGongall to do so but she had agreed in a moment, commending him on giving up a 'wooly subject' for something proper) – it was a lot harder but Hermione was helping him catch up, and the teacher was happy with his progress. They spent hours in the library together, doing homework, working on papers and just being in each others presence.

There was a lot less relaxation and messing around but oddly Harry didn't mind. He felt that all of this time pushing himself on the school work front was keeping him distracted, was stopping him from worrying about the first task. And there was no denying how much his grades had improved, even Snape had been reluctantly upping his grades, a sneer on his mouth as he did so, (though the first week of improved grades had been difficult, he had taken 40 points each from him and Hermione, convinced Hermione had written the paper for him, and had stepped up the level of torture significantly). It was weird, but a great feeling to be praised by the teachers and told how pleased they were with him.

He had finally come to understand why Hermione worked so hard; instead of spending vacant hours doing nothing, he was actually getting a lot better, he had jumped grades in every single class. And the look on Hermione's face when he came second to her in every class, made him feel warm inside, she was proud of him, and he felt proud of himself.

Snapping out of his thoughts, he walked along with Hermione to Double Potions. It was a painful experience nowadays. Even though his grades were getting a lot better, the nastiness from the Slytherins and Snape was horrendous. They seemed determined to punish Harry as much as possible for daring to become school champion. He had struggled through the last session, with Hermione sat next to him muttering 'Ignore them, ignore them, ignore them' under her breath, he couldn't imagine today would be any better.

When they arrived outside of Snape's dungeon after lunch, they found the Slytherins waiting outside, each and every one of them wearing a large badge on the front of his or her robes. For one wild moment Harry thought they were S.P.E.W badges (he had his pinned to his bag at Hermione's insistence, she had hers proudly pinned on her robes)– then he saw they all bore the same message, in luminous red letters than burnt brightly in the dimly lit underground passage:

Support CEDRIC DIGGORY – the REAL Hogwarts Champion!

"Like them, Potter?" Malfoy said loudly, as Harry approached. "And this isn't all they do – look!"

He pressed his badge onto his chest, and the message upon it vanished, to be replaced by another one, which glowed green:

POTTER STINKS.

The Slytherins howled with laughter. Each of them pressed their badges too, until the message POTTER STINKS was shining brightly all around Harry. He felt the heat rise in his face and neck, and Hermione's hand reach out to clutch his. It was horrible; why were the Slytherins so downright evil? So intent on making people feel unhappy. His cheeks were red, and he felt his hands shaking. Goddamn his temper, he could not let it take over.

"Oh very funny" Hermione said sarcastically to Pansy Parkinson and her gang of Slytherin girls, who were laughing harder than anyone "Really witty" She rolled her eyes then, "Who did the charm for you? I can't imagine any of you have the knowledge even close to sorting these out, especially not Parkinson" She paused for a moment and smiled "I imagine you, Malfoy were unable to charm these either. Since you used to come second to me in every class.. well now third since Harry has one upped you, again"

The laughter stopped suddenly, the entire dungeon going quiet. Harry felt a deep sense of pride at Hermione's words. Next to him Hermione was the person they bullied the most, and though Harry stuck up for her as much as he could it was nice to see her stand up for herself. He squeezed her hand in thanks and she smiled at him. He noticed Ron out of the corner of his eye; he hadn't laughed at the badges but hadn't stuck up for Harry either.

"How dare you, you filthy little mudblood" Draco sneered at her and he saw Hermione drop his hand and go pink; as she much as she tried to pretend otherwise, that word still affected her greatly.

Some of the anger Harry had been feeling for days and days seemed to burst through a dam in his chest. He had reached for his wand and pushed Hermione to the side before he'd thought of what he was doing. People all around them scrambled out of the way, backing down the corridor. For a moment his eyes flickered to Hermione, who's own eyes were shining with tears. Ron had come to stand behind her, and his look of anger was close to Harry's.

"Harry!" Hermione said warningly, he would have stopped but he heard the thickness of tears in her tone, and so kept his eyes on Malfoy.

"Go on then Potter" Malfoy said quietly, drawing out his own wand "Moody's not here to look after you now – do it, if you've got the guts"

A cold smirk appeared on Harry's features, and his sneer rivalled Malfoy's at that point, it was rare for Harry to look so nasty, he was such a good person at heart the Slytherin like smirk appeared completely unnatural on him, but he kept it up all the same.

For a split second they both looked into each other's eyes, then, at exactly the same time, both acted.

"Furnunculus!" Harry yelled.

"Densaugeo!" Malfoy shouted.

Jets of light shot from both wands, hit each other mid-air, and ricocheted off at angles – Harry's hit Goyle in the face, and Malfoy's hit Hermione. Goyle bellowed and put his hands to his nose, where great ugly boils were springing up – Hermione whimpering in panic was clutching her mouth.

'Hermione' Ron hurried from behind her to see what was wrong with her, just as Harry turned around to stand in front of her. For a moment the trio was back together, and Ron looked at Harry properly for the first time in days but Harry couldn't pay attention to that now, Hermione was more important.

Ron dragged Hermione's hands away from her face. It wasn't a pretty sight. Hermione's front teeth – already larger than average – were now growing at an alarming rate; she was looking more and more like a beaver as her teeth elongated, past her bottom lip, towards her chin – panic-stricken, she felt them and let out a terrified cry.

'And what is all this noise about?' spoke a soft, deadly voice. Snape had arrived.

The Slytherins clamored to give their explanations. Snape pointed a finger at Malfoy "Explain"

"Potter attacked me, sir -"

"We attacked each other at the same time" Harry shouted, his eyes not leaving Hermione's, she was looking at him, fear evident in her eyes.

"- and he hit Goyle – look -"

Snape examined Goyle, whose face now resembled something that would have been at home in a book on poisonous fungi.

"Hospital wing, Goyle" Snape said calmly.

"Malfoy got Hermione!" Ron said. "Look!"

Ron forced Hermione to show Snape her teeth, and Harry stepped out of the way; he had been shielding her from the Slytherins but knew he had to show the Potions Master what had happened. Hermione was still doing her best to hide them with her hands, though this was difficult as they had now grown down past her collar. Pansy Parkinson and the other Slytherin girls were doubled over with silent laughter, pointing at Hermione behind Snapes back.

Snape looked coldly at Hermione, flickered his eyes to Harry and then settled them back on her "I see no difference"

Hermione let out a whimper; her eyes filled with tears, she turned on her heel and ran, ran all the way up the corridor and out of sight.

It was lucky perhaps that both Harry and Ron started shouting at Snape at the same time; lucky their voices echoed so much in the stone corridor, for in the confused din, it was impossible for him to hear exactly what they were calling him. He got the gist however as Harry's cry of 'Wanker' echoed across the walls.

"Let's see" He said in his silkiest voice "Fifty points from Gryffindor and a detention each for Potter and Weasley. Now get inside or it'll be a weeks worth of detentions" He sounded deadly but Harry didn't back down. Instead he stepped back, scooped up Hermione's bag from the floor and shook his head.

"Fuck you" Was all he said as he turned and made his way down the corridor, ignoring Snape's yells from behind him. Once he was out of sight he broke into a run, making his way for the hospital wing. For a moment he turned back and was disappointed that Ron hadn't followed him. Their friendship may have been shattered over the past days, and Hermione had completely taken Ron's place.. but it would have been nice to have the trio back together once more.

Still, as he made his way to the hospital wing, Harry accepted something; the trio could never be back together, not truly. He and Hermione were too close now, Ron had phased himself out.

There was no changing that now.


so thoughts? again this story won't bash ron too much but he will be feeling some pain, more so at the start of the story.

please let me know what you thought in reviews, its always nice to get feedback, positive or constructed criticism.

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i'm not following any kind of upload schedule as i'm far too flighty to do so, but I will be uploading consistently.

EDITED: 21/01/2018 - grammar/phrasing/syntax slightly changed, and small parts added.