A/N: This is a repost and beta'ed copy of chapter 1. Some changes have been made at some parts. For now, the rating is PG-13 as I haven't made my mind up yet about several things that will happen later. Many thanks to Michelle, my beta-reader.
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or any of the JKR's wonderful creations. I am simply borrowing a few ingredients and mixing them up for a new kind of spirit, hopefully done in good taste. Cheers!
If You Believe – The Favor
"Could you run that by me again one more time?"
He was absolutely dumbfounded to say the least. How can she ask him this? He backtracked a little in his train of thought. Why is she asking him this? Why him? Why can't it be Ron or Seamus?
"You know and understand very well what I just asked you, Harry." She was maddeningly red already, she was sure of it. "Please, will you do this for me?" She hated pleading to say the least. Too proud of a lady she was to do any of it. But this was an important request. She really needed him to do this for her.
"Hermione," he sighed in frustration, "what you're asking me…it's…it's…so…I don't even know the word for it!"
She knew that it wouldn't be easy to convince him of it but she had no choice. She could only turn to him about it. It was embarrassing enough as it is. "Harry, I have never asked you for any favors. This is the only time I'm ever going to ask you to do something for me."
"Preposterous, yeah! That's the word I was looking for!" Harry ran his hands through his hair in frustration. He gritted his teeth. He wondered if their friendship was worth this much. They've been the best of friends for about eleven years now, through thick and thin. He would do anything for her because she's always been there for him. Anything, he told her before. That is, until now when she came to his home and asked for this special favor.
"Harry, it's just one night. Just one Saturday night. On October 15th." Hermione held her hands firmly clasped in front of her. "I know it's crazy. But I just need one night. A couple of hours. That's all. I'll even come by here at you're place to pick you up. We're doing it at this place that I reserved. A well known hotel. I think that would be the best place for it."
Harry walked out to the kitchen, got a glass, filled it to the brim with cold water, and drank it all in three gulps. He walked back into the living to find his best friend still there, looking down at the floor. He knew that it was extremely hard for her to ask him for such a favor. It was absolutely unheard of. It was also the last thing he expected to hear from Hermione Granger. Who would have thought that she'd ask him to grant her such a favor?
"I don't plan to leave your flat until you say you'll do it by the way. Even if it takes all night, with lots of begging, I'll do it." Hermione raised her face to meet his and held his eyes in hers. "You're the only one who can do this, Harry. No one else will do. Certainly not Seamus. He's not….qualified…for this. And even more so Ron!" She blushed again.
"Did you ask him already? Seamus, I mean? Maybe he'd be more willing to do this favor. In fact, he might actually jump at the chance to do this for you," Harry frantically explained. He was worried that Hermione's begging would wear him down soon and he might actually agree to her….her….sensual…proposition.
"NO!" Hermione returned quickly. She got up from her seat and walked up to Harry. "Look, Harry. I want it to be you. It can't be anyone else. It wouldn't be good otherwise. No offense to Seamus, and Ron even, but…well…they aren't you. And this is the first time that I'll be doing this."
"I can't. I don't want to!"
"Why must you be so stubborn? A lot of men would jump at a chance like this!" Hermione knew that her voice was rising but she didn't care. She needed this and no one was going to deny her. Not even Harry Potter. "And…and…if you do this for me, I'll really make it worth your while. You have my word on that."
"Oh really, now?" Harry didn't even bother to mask the sarcasm behind it. "And how do you plan on doing that?"
"Er…well…I know that your Wizards & Witches card collection is missing Merlin's Pre-Arthurian limited edition card…and that there were only ten copies printed of the card…" Hermione now had a wicked gleam on her lips. "I have a way of getting you one of those ten printed copies. Authenticated copies." She held a smug look.
"…" Harry gave her a deadly gaze. "You are an evil woman. Even worse, you're my mortal enemy disguised as my best friend." He narrowed his eyes on her.
She was finally getting somewhere! Hermione gave him an innocent smile. "I can feel the love there, Harry."
Harry plopped down soundly on the couch and closed his eyes. "Just one night, right?"
Hermione sat opposite him on a sofa chair. "Right."
"For how long are we gonna do it?"
"Two hours, tops." She smiled sweetly at him.
A frustrated sigh escaped his lips. "You sure that's it? No other strings attached? No other favors like that after that night?"
"Just that one night, Harry. At the hotel where I made my reservations at."
Hermione squealed. "You'll do it? You really will? This is so great, Harry! You have no idea what this means to me!" She got up and jumped him on the couch, hugging him tightly. "I could kiss you right now."
"Argh! Save it for Saturday night! No need to be that excited about it. It's going to be my first time too, you know!" Harry couldn't believe he actually agreed to do this for her. "First and ONLY time."
"Right, right." Hermione got up and reached for her coat. "Well, my job's done. I have to get going now. I'm already late for work." She slipped her coat on. "For a minute there, I was actually worried that I'd have to stay over here, to beg you all night to do this for me."
Harry, like his best friend, or maybe soon to be ex-best friend, stood up and opened the door to show her out. "Don't mention it. And I mean that. Now get out of here before I change my mind."
Hermione walked toward the door and before she exited, she pinched his right cheek. "Thanks so much, Harry. I knew I could count on you."
"Yeah, yeah," Harry muttered. "You'll pick me up, right?"
"I'll give you a call. I think it would be around 7-ish that night. Is that okay?"
"I guess. What do I need to wear?" He ran his right hand through his hair anxiously. He must really be crazy to have agreed to this.
"Oh. I don't care. So long as you take it all off on Saturday night, Harry." She winked at him mischievously. "The more clothes you have to take off, the more sensual and amusing it will be. Oh and make sure it's sexy, 'k?"
"Sexy. Right. I'll remember that." Harry grunted his displeasure. "I'll wear whatever I want to wear. Sexy or not. It's all getting removed anyway."
"Suit yourself. I'll call you and see you Saturday night then, lover boy!" Hermione walked through the door and down the stairs, leaving Harry's flat.
As soon as she was no longer visible from his sight, Harry shut the door loudly in frustration. He looked around his now empty apartment and proceeded to his bedroom. He opened his closet door and started rummaging through his wardrobe.
"What in the bloody hell kind of clothing am I supposed to wear as the stripper at a bachelorette party?"
To be continued…