Title: Knee Deep
Author E-mail: AmethystJackson@hotmail.com
Keywords: Harry Hermione Seamus Ron denial
Spoilers: PS/SS, CoS, PoA, GoF
Summary: Harry, as the title suggests, is knee-deep in denial, Seamus just broke up with his girlfriend, and Ron finds it all very amusing. I was going to make a connect-the-dots game, but it was easier to write a story.
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Author's Note: This is something I started before OotP and am just now finishing, so kindly ignore that boys can't get to the girls' dormitories. I think we've had enough angst lately, what with OotP, so this is just light fluffiness, hopefully good for a smile.
Volume 561, Issue No. 1
Week of July 27, 2003
Hello, good readers, and welcome to another edition of Witch Weekly. Due to the great increase in angst since the end of June, Amethyst has taken it upon herself to write something completely fluffy for you all - something worthy, even, of our editor-in-chief, Katie. We hope you enjoy, and when you're done, turn the page for our completely exclusive interview with Harry Potter.
Harry scowled at the Arithmancy problem before him. "This can't be right," he said, dropping his quill in defeat.
"Should've stuck with Divination," Ron muttered, predicting his own death with tarot cards.
"Well, Divination's useless," Harry replied, though he had the feeling that Arithmancy would be just as useless if he didn't get the hang of it soon.
Ron smirked at him. "You never cared before." He turned back to his work and added casually, "You just fancy Hermione now."
"I do not!" Harry shot back quickly. His face flushed at the words 'fancy' and 'Hermione' together. "How many times do I have to say it? We're just friends, nothing more -"
"Stop being a prat," Ron said. He leaned closer, smiling knowingly. "That 'we're just friends' line may work with everyone else, but I know the two of you better than anyone else, and you are by no means just friends. You're ridiculously obvious, Potter."
Harry sighed and leaned back in his chair. "It's pointless to even acknowledge it, you know. It will never happen. Besides, she's with Seamus --"
"Oh, like that's going to last."
"She probably still likes you --"
"Silly crushes. We're both over it."
"It just won't happen."
"Right," Ron said sarcastically. "And Snape'll be nicer next Friday."
Harry scowled for a second time that evening. "That's it. Back to Arithmancy." He picked up his quill again and looked down at the problem, but it made no more sense now than it did before.
"Maybe you should ask Hermione to help you," Ron suggested innocently.
Harry shot him a look. "You know what? I will. Because we're friends, and friends help each other with homework, and nothing more will ever happen between us." He then took off up the stairs, leaving his books and homework on the table.
"It's not just a river in Egypt, you know!" Ron called after him, enjoying himself immensely.
Harry knocked quickly and walked in. "Hermione, I - Hermione?"
She was huddled under her bedcovers, hurriedly wiping her eyes with her sheet. Her eyes were extremely red and puffy, and there was a slightly rumpled piece of parchment nearby - a letter, it looked like.
"What's wrong?" he asked.
"N-nothing," she attempted, but she seemed to realize how futile this was before Harry could call her on it. She sighed, and nodded toward the letter. Harry picked it up and read:
I'm sorry to tell you this, but I've met someone else. It's been great with you, but this girl I met is perfect for me, so I think it's better that I be with her than stay in a relationship that's probably not going to last.
Harry looked back at Hermione. What do I do first? Mmm…beat Seamus…no, kill Seamus - wait, comfort Hermione, then kill.
"Are you all right?" he asked. She obviously wasn't, but it was all Harry could think to ask.
"N-no," and she burst into tears again. Harry mentally smacked himself and went to lie beside her, putting his arms around her as best as he could around all the blankets. She clung to him, crying into his robes.
"I-I'm not g-good enough, am I?" she sobbed. Her voice was muffled. "Me and my b-bushy hair and b-big books…"
Thank gods, Harry thought, that experience had given him the ability to speak to crying girls - though, he would probably only make her cry more anyway. "Seamus is an idiot," Harry said fervently. "Your hair is beautiful, and those big books make you the amazingly intelligent person you are. If Seamus can't see that, he's…well, an idiot, like I said."
"I'll never be the kind of girl anyone will want," she muttered, her sobs less frequent.
"Nonsense," said Harry, running his fingers through her hair. He wanted to tell her how he felt about her, make her understand that he wanted her, that she was perfect in his eyes, despite his attempt to deny it, but the risk was too great. He wasn't about to gamble away their friendship. He settled for a half-truth. "I know someone who's crazy about you. You're very much…er…wanted."
"By who?" she snorted. "Ron?"
"No, not Ron."
"Who?" she asked again, and she seemed a bit more eager to know now.
"That, Hermione, is a secret. But he's completely in love with you," Harry said, smiling. He felt momentarily panicky. Hermione was smart; it wouldn't be too hard for her to figure out that he was talking about himself.
She frowned at him. "You're making this up," she said. "And I don't appreciate it. It's not fair, to get my hopes up -"
"I'm not making it up," Harry said firmly. "He just doesn't want you to know how he feels, so I'm not going to give him away."
Hermione sighed, looking doubtful. "If you insist."
Harry pressed his lips to her forehead, letting them linger longer than he would have a year ago, then got off her bed; he feared he would be overly tempted to kiss her in other places if he stayed. "Don't let Seamus get you down. He's an idiot."
Hermione smiled. "I won't."
She spoke again as he reached the doorway. "What did you come up here for?" she asked.
Harry had to think about it for a second. "Oh - help with the Arithmancy homework. I'll come up for that later."
Hermione nodded, and Harry walked back down the stairs.
Ron saw the expression on his face immediately. "What's wrong?"
Harry's eyes flashed - something was definitely amiss, Ron decided. "Seamus broke up with Hermione for someone else," said Harry.
Ron dropped his quill. Harry looked ready to murder, and Ron felt the need to help. "That arse! Let's go beat him to a pulp," said Ron. Harry raised an eyebrow. "You're right. We have to kill him. …Or should we go talk to Hermione?"
"Took care of her. Come on, you can hold him down."
Seamus rounded a corner and jumped in shock. Harry and Ron were standing in the middle of the hall, glaring at him, both with their wands raised. It didn't take a genius to figure it out.
"Look, mates," he said nervously, stepping backward. "It just wasn't working out, and then Susan and I -"
"You left Hermione for a Hufflepuff," said Ron in a flat, disbelieving tone.
"And you didn't even have the decency to do it in person," Harry nearly growled. Seamus thought he resembled Mad-Eye Moody at the moment. Maybe Harry was about to transfigure him? He was certainly capable of it now.
He tried again, in his most pacifying tone, "Really, it was nothing personal -"
"It was to her," snapped Harry.
Seamus had now backed himself into a corner.
"Did you cheat on her?" questioned Harry. A few angry red sparks were emitted from his wand.
"No! Nothing's happened between me and Susan yet -- look, I'm sorry if I hurt her, but we'd both end up miserable if we stayed together, so I've done us both a favor. Would you really want me to stay with her if my heart wasn't really in it?"
Ron's eyes were still narrowed, but Seamus knew that he, at least, wasn't about to hex him. "All right," Ron said as he pulled Harry away rather forcefully. "Stay away from her, or I'll let Harry hex you - and believe me, he will."
"I know some good ones," Harry said coldly.
Seamus nodded and gulped. They walked away, Harry still glaring back at him.
Later that night, Harry and Hermione sat in Hermione's private room, Arithmancy books and charts scattered around them. Hermione was peering over his shoulder to examine his work.
"Here's what you're doing wrong, Harry," she said, pointing out his mistake, her arm brushing against his. Harry squinted at the section she pointed out.
"You'd better explain," said Harry, quite lost.
She launched into a long explanation of what he ought to be doing and why what he was doing was wrong. Harry tried to take in what she was saying, but it was difficult. He grasped enough to fix his mistake, and Hermione positively beamed at him when he did. Harry felt his cheeks start to burn.
"I knew you'd catch on quickly, I just knew it. I'm so glad you're getting better at it. It's so nice to have you in Arithmancy -- I mean, all those Ravenclaws are nice enough, but it's more fun with you there."
Harry's heart was fluttering -- almost giddily. "I've got to say, it's better than Divination. It's nice, not getting death predictions every week." It's even nicer to have you smiling at me like that.
"I know who it is," said Hermione, and quite randomly at that.
"Who…what?" Harry asked, confused.
"Who, as you put it, is completely in love with me. I know."
Harry swallowed. "You do?"
Hermione nodded and smiled deviously. "He scared the living daylights out of Seamus, you see."
"Yes. I tried to talk to him and tell him that I was okay with him and all, and he nearly ran away from me. Apparently, my secret admirer threatened to hex Seamus if he didn't stay away from me. After that, it wasn't too hard to figure out…nearly obvious, really, all things considered."
Fuck, was Harry's only thought. "Hermione, I -"
Harry suddenly found himself on his back, and then Hermione was closer to him than she had ever been before, their noses nearly touching. "Why so afraid, Harry?"
"I'm afraid of losing you," he answered truthfully. He thought his heart would beat right out of his chest.
"You won't." She leaned forward enough to press her lips to his. Harry finally gave in. He reached up and tangled his fingers in her hair, kissing her back through the disbelief. He couldn't actually think about it then, but he knew all the pining and the struggling was over; they belonged to each other now. She was in his arms -- and her tongue, rather surprisingly, had found its way into his mouth -- and he was going to make sure she stayed in his arms. He certainly wasn't going to let anything hurt her now.
Hermione pulled away, smiling. "I was hoping I was right about you," she murmured.
"What -- you weren't sure?" Harry was surprised. He was sure it had been obvious, and on top of that, he couldn't believe Hermione had just done what she had if she hadn't known.
"No - for all I knew, you could have been talking about Neville, and threatening Seamus might have just been you playing the brother role. But I've learned that you never get what you want without taking big risks…so I took one. After all, there's nothing that can't be overcome with effort. If you hadn't felt the same way…well, we could have worked through it."
"I feel silly for being so afraid of this now," Harry said. "Should've been braver."
"Well, you can't always be brave. It would get annoying," said Hermione, and she kissed him again.
"Hermione?" he said a few moments later. "I think we're crumpling the homework."
"Oh!" They sat up, and Hermione retrieved Harry's homework, which was, as predicted, thoroughly wrinkled. "Oh…dear…I'm sorry," she said, smiling sheepishly at Harry.
"Oh well," he said. "Professor Vector will just have to settle for crumpled homework." He glanced at the clock. "It's getting late. I should probably get downstairs before Ron shows up and demands to know whether we've had a good snog yet."
"Well, we don't want to disappoint him, do we?" she said.
Harry grinned. "Care to give him a good show?"
Hermione blushed. "You really think he'd want one? I mean…well…we've never really discussed it, but he had feelings for me, didn't he? Does he still?"
Harry shook his head. "No, he says he's over it. Judging by the way he was accusing me of being in denial earlier, I get the feeling he won't mind."
"Well, then…let's go." She helped Harry gather up all of his books and papers, and then she led the way downstairs.
Ron smirked at them as they arrived. "Get all your troubles sorted out, did you?"
"Yes, quite well, I think," Hermione responded, exchanging a significant look with Harry. "Well, it's late. I'd better get some sleep - and you should, too, Harry, I think Professor Vector is planning a pop quiz tomorrow."
Harry nodded at her and smiled. "Good night."
"Good night," she replied, and they simultaneously leaned forward to share a lingering kiss that received a loud, celebratory cheer from Ron.
Hermione grinned at them and went back up the stairs.
"It's about bloody time," Ron said. Harry knew that the smirk wouldn't leave his face for awhile. "You know I've got to say it."
"Go on," Harry said. He had been waiting for it.
"I told you so." He repeated it in a singsong manner, "I told you so, I told you so…"
"For once, I don't mind hearing that," Harry replied.
"You were knee deep in denial, mate."
Harry plopped down in the chair across from Ron's, unable to get the grin off his face. "Yeah…I guess I was."
~ The Uneventful End