Arieslily: Okay, so this is really just a stupid little one-shot fic.

Phoenix: Yeah, a foray into the unknown, so to speak. You've never used these characters before.

Arieslily: I'm well aware of that. So please don't be too harsh everyone! I thought I'd try getting a feel for the characters. I was just a bit inspired by the new Harry Potter book, the Order of the Phoenix. Although I must admit, so far it has been depressing me more than cheering me up. Anyway, all rights belong to J.K. Rowling, and all the publishers of HP. For those of you who have read the book, this takes place after Valentines Day, and before the end of the year. Probably around Easter or so, and is somewhat AU. Oh! And may accidentally contain spoilers for OotP.

Something a Bit Different

Harry Potter flopped down onto his slightly rumpled four-poster bed. Rubbing his eyes, he began to try and deplete the frustration from his mind. He had just spent the entire evening studying, which, truth be told, was not his favorite pastime. His mind was refusing to cooperate, however, and persisted in reprimanding him, in that Hermione-like voice, for not getting more work done.

It wasn't like he hadn't done anything. He had, for perhaps the first time all year, finished all of his homework in one night. Plus he had done some extra studying! But in his heart of hearts, even Harry knew that "a little extra studying" was not going to cut it. The O.W.L.s were coming up very shortly now, and he was in dire need of bringing up his Potions average.

Plus, this having to learn Occlumency business on top of everything else was really getting on his nerves. That reminded him though, that he had come up here to practice clearing his mind. After leaving the common room earlier in a total huff, he had proceeded to run up to his deserted dormitory, announcing to the few stragglers left that he was going to do some thinking.

Harry settled in and first tried to relax, then clear his mind of all thought. When that wasn't working, he began wondering how exactly they had expected him to be able to do this with all of the other things he had to worry about piling up around him. He sighed. There were just not enough hours in a day.

            Just as he was starting to get past his anger and aggravation, and was beginning to sort out his thoughts, Harry heard a light rapping on his door. Curious as to whom it was, as his roommates would never bother knocking, he called out to his visitor.

            "Who's there?"

            "It's me, may I come in?" answered a distinctly feminine, very pleasant voice that

could only belong to Hermione. Besides, she was the only girl in Gryffindor with

the audacity to request entrance to the Boy's Dormitories.

"I don't know, your stairs turn into a slide if we try to gain access to your


"Oh just let me in!"

"All right, fine, you can come in."

The door edged open and Hermione Granger made her way into the room. As the door swung shut, she glanced around a bit, then walked over to the mirror hung on the wall on the other side of the room from Harry's bed.

"Well?" he said.

"Well what?"

He gave her an expectant look.

"Oh, why am I here?"

He nodded slowly at her as if to imply that she was acting somewhat daft.

"I've come to see how you're doing. You've been so moody this year…I just

wanted to see if you wanted to talk about anything, and this was the first chance

I've had in quite a while when no one was around."

It was true; the Tower was quite deserted. Most people were at home on holiday, or were spending one of the last few nights having fun before the summer term started. Ron and Ginny were out practicing Quidditch as they spoke.

It was then that he noticed her looking in the mirror and fussing with her hair.

"I can't really think of anything at the moment. I mean, you already know how

horrible things have been this year, plus there's exams and this Occlumency


"How is that going?" she asked, and then pulled out her wand, tapped her head three times and muttered something under her breath. He watched intently as her hair began to shimmer and straighten. Then she started fussing with her hair again.

Harry shook his head and answered, "Not very well. I can never clear my mind

properly. You just interrupted my last attempt."

At this she turned, her hands holding her now stick-straight hair into some sort of twist-thing.

"Oh no! I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to. I thought you actually meant you were

coming up here to think and study in silence, which I didn't think you'd mind me


"To be perfectly honest, I'd much rather be talking to you about nothing than just

be lying here trying not to think."

"But it's so important! And after all my reminders to practice, I distract you while

you're doing just that. How horrible of me!"

"Don't be ridiculous."

She was still trying different hair styles. Upon observing this, another thought occurred to him.

"Just what are you doing over there?"

"What do you mean?" she asked, turning a funny shade of pink.

"You've been playing with your hair almost since the moment you walked in


"No I haven't…Well, yes I have been, but I don't see why it's of any importance

to you."

"I wouldn't say it's important, but it's so out of character for you that I became

curious." He lifted his head off of his pillow, throwing her an inquisitive gaze.

Still that rather nice shade of pink, Hermione replied, "I suppose if you must

know, I just received a letter from Viktor about an hour or so ago, saying he may

be able to visit on the last day of break. Tonks gave me and Ginny an excellent

spell for changing appearance and I thought I might try it before he came."

            "The other girls are up in your room, aren't they?"


            "So…You don't want them to see you worrying about how you look, especially

over a boy."

"Maybe," she replied, hesitantly.

"So you thought you'd what, kill two birds with one stone?" Harry questioned, smiling and seeming very amused with the whole situation.

Hermione paused for a moment, then said, "Yes, I guess so. You're not angry, are


"Of course not. Though I do feel a bit less important now."

"That's just silly. You were obviously my primary reason for coming up here. I

could have gone to the Prefect's bathroom if I really wanted."

Giving her a big grin he said, "I know."

She shot him a dirty look, turned back to the mirror, and tried the spell again, this time lengthening her hair and adding large, soft waves to it. Looking at it in the mirror she seemed satisfied and turned back to Harry.

"Well, what do you think? Is it a keeper?"

Harry sat up to get a better look at her. When he saw her though, his stomach gave a lurch. She looked very much like his mother did in all the pictures. For a second it was like being inside the vision again. It was actually a bit painful. He grabbed his own wand and strode over to Hermione with a pensive look on his face. She watched him walk to her, slowly becoming more and more worried. She began to tug at her hair and made to pull it half up by the time Harry reached her. While she was fretting, he reached up and took her hands in his own, pulling them down away from her hair, still smiling. Not quite understanding his actions, Hermione stood there, waiting.

            He tapped his own wand against her head and watched as her hair returned to normal. Taking a breath, he caught the scent of her hair and felt the nearness of her. His heart leapt and his stomach turned in a familiar way. It was quite like how he felt whenever Cho was around, but there was a deeper, different quality to it.

            "I think that if Viktor really cares about you, he'll like you just the way you are. Like I do."

She turned away from the mirror and looked into Harry's eyes.

"Really? You mean that?"

He nodded in reply, and noticed just how very close they were. Their faces couldn't have been more than a few inches apart now. They crept closer and closer, eyes sliding shut, moving until their lips brushed ever so slightly. But that satisfied neither teenager, and they moved their lips together once more, this time fully. Her hands glided up around his neck, and his arms slid firmly around her waist keeping them held tightly together.

As all this was happening, Harry couldn't help but think that this was entirely different from anything else he had ever felt in his life. But it felt right.

They pulled apart, slightly breathless, and leaned their foreheads together. Both were grinning sheepishly. 

"I don't think I'll be changing my hair again for quite a while," Hermione whispered.

"Oh," was all Harry could say, as his face fell and he started to pull himself away from her.

She held him to her still and said, "I don't think I'll be meeting Viktor either."

"Good," Harry replied, and he kissed her again to reinforce her decision.

They spent the rest of the evening curled up together, talking occasionally, but mostly just basking in the thought of each other. And for the first time since he began trying, that night Harry was able to free his mind and think clearly, and he knew it was because for the first time that year, things were going right.

Arieslily: Well… (hears crickets) anyone? What do we think?

Phoenix: I like it.

Arieslily: Is that all? Usually you won't shut up about this stuff.

Phoenix: When things are good, be straight to the point. I like this, that's enough to say. Besides I'll let everyone else do the talking for me, for once. =)

Arieslily: You heard her! Review please!!!!!!!!