Title: True Love and Secret Crushes 7/7Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters in the Harry Potter books. Their creation belongs solely to J.K. Rowling.
Characters/Pairings: Sirius/Hermione, Percy/Luna, Draco/Ginny
Spoilers: Up to Book 5, Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix. Characters and situations from the book except the major character death may be mentioned. If you haven't read it and wish to remain unspoiled, turn back now!
Summary: Answer to Shannon's Shades of Grey challenge with a Harry Potter twist. Fred and George's new invention causes everyone to admit to past or present crushes. The results inspire some very interesting changes.
Feedback: Is appreciated and cherished. This is my first HP fic I've been brave enough to post. Let me know what you think.
AN: Ok, here we go. This is the last chapter. I apologize for taking so long with this. I've been in a lot of pain lately, frankly just too much to be able to get anything done, so this part took longer in the posting than it should have. It's been finished for a while now; I just wasn't well enough to post it. I know I've left things sort of open here at the end. That was deliberate on my part as I plan on writing a sequel. I don't know when that will be posted though. I haven't had a chance to start it yet and I want to get some updates finished before I do. If you want to be notified when I do eventually post it then join my group. You'll receive updates to all my fanfic there. The addy can be found in my author profile.Part 7
Now that almost everyone had succumbed to the magic and confessed, the atmosphere seemed lighter. Relaxed even. Luna and Percy were talking quietly together, some might even say flirting, but Ron and Harry were determined not to say it much less think it.
Instead, they had begun playing cards with a deck Neville had managed to locate and all three of them were staring fixedly at their cards. They were pointedly ignoring the spectacle of Draco and Ginny and the jarring sight of Luna and Percy.
Harry and Ron both had their backs to the rest of the room leaving Neville the seat with a view of everyone. Neither Ron nor Harry was reassured by the occasional smirk Neville would wear after looking beyond them to what was going on. They determinedly pretended they didn't see it and concentrated on enjoying their game, taking solace in the fact that one of them was going to win and make Neville pay for those smirks they weren't seeing.
There were only two people in the room who weren't relaxed and enjoying themselves; two people who hadn't given in to the magic yet and could feel it bearing down on them with all the weight of a freight train. They gazed uneasily at each other, each willing the other to go first and at the same time wishing they wouldn't and remove all hope. Hermione was nervous about her feelings for Sirius. What if he thought she was too young? What if she didn't measure up to the list of women he surely had in his past? Hermione had never been highly sought after with the boys. Her intellect had put off many and her looks had never been much to brag about either. She had had bushy hair and overly large teeth. Those had both been taken care of but Hermione would never have the Patil twin's exotic beauty or Lavender's well-endowed figure. Why would Sirius want her?
Sirius was fighting his own doubts as well. Besides the fact that it would be an awkward situation considering she was the best friend of his godson Harry, Sirius's stomach was in knots thinking about Hermione's age. Why would she want an old man like him? There was a big gap in their ages and surely she would want someone her own age, someone she could share new experiences with, who had a common background, and was young and exciting. Not someone like him who had been marked by his years in Azkaban, the loss of his friends, and the years of war with Voldemort both times around. Why would she want him when there plenty of young men around who shared her intellect, who admired her beauty just as much as he did and had more to offer someone like her than he himself could?
These questions plagued them both, resurfacing every time they thought they had gathered enough courage to confess all. So they sat there in an uneasy silence, neither looking at the other.
Ron looked up from his lousy hand of gin rummy and glanced at the clock then over to Sirius and Hermione. "Can't you two get on with it? I'm getting hungry here!"
Hermione looked over at him in exasperation. "Ron, you're always hungry." The fact that fighting the magic was exhausting her only made her more irritated. With each minute she felt more pressure and she didn't need Ron reminding her that there was a simple if unpalatable solution to her problem; a solution they had all agreed to.
However, the idea had seemed much easier to execute back when they were still talking about doing it. Now that the moment was upon her Hermione was chagrined to realize she was scared. She had faced Voldemort by Harry's side in the final battle but the task of telling Sirius how she felt about him filled her with more fear.
"True," Ron acknowledged. "But could you try to hurry up? I don't want to be stuck in here all day." He glanced at Harry and Neville in turn. "No offense guys."
"None taken," Neville replied as he drew a card, decided he didn't like it, and put it on the discard pile.
Harry grinned. "Believe me, I know what you mean." He thought longingly of the dinner they would be having later tonight. Mrs. Weasley was sure to go all out and stomach-rumbling smells had started drifting through the house, even reaching them back here. He hadn't been able to nip any cookies for hours either and he was starting to go through withdrawal.
"Yes, Hermione," Ginny agreed. "I'm just dying to hear your list. You never really answered my question the other night after all." Ginny said pointedly. She grinned impishly at Hermione and said in a singsong voice, "Tell us."
"I will," Hermione said defensively. "I'm just trying to remember everyone."
Draco raised a brow. "You're not stalling are you, Granger?"
"No, don't be ridiculous," she sniffed, while inwardly admitting that was what she was doing.
"Right," Draco smirked.
Hermione narrowed her eyes in irritation. Damned if she would let Draco imply she was chicken. So what if she had feelings for Sirius? She was woman enough to admit it and among some of the bravest Gryffindors to ever come out of that house. Surely Sirius's reaction wouldn't be that bad? What's the worst that could happen? Pity, awkward silence, an uncomfortable shifting whenever they were in the same room? She swallowed uneasily and tried to ignore the butterflies in her stomach. Damn Fred and George. They would pay for this and pay dearly. Best just get it over with. The sooner done the sooner she could escape.
"All right, I'm ready." Hermione looked around the room and waited until she had everyone's attention.
Ginny straightened up in interest and practically vibrated with excitement. Ron, Harry, and Neville laid their cards face down on the table and gave their full attention to Hermione. Percy and Luna paused their conversation. When she met his gaze Percy sent her an encouraging smile. Luna folded her hands in her lap and fixed Hermione with a tranquil gaze. Draco just smirked challengingly.
So Hermione glared right at Draco and briskly recited her list in staccato fashion. "Harry. Ron. Lockhart. Viktor. Blaise. Snape." She stopped, quickly turned to Sirius, gathered all her courage and quit fighting the magic. It ran over her, engulfed her in its grip and took control. With almost a feeling of relief she said the last name softly, "Sirius."
It was done. There was a certain freedom in finally saying it, without having to hide her feelings or hold them in. In the next second she would finally know Sirius's reaction. All of the dread and fear was behind her now and there was no more waiting. Now that it was over with, no matter what happened Hermione knew she could face it.
As one, everyone's gaze swung to Sirius for his reaction.
He sat motionless in his chair showing no reaction but one. Emotion blazed in Sirius's eyes. The room held its breath.
Then in a burst of movement Sirius leaped out of his chair and stalked toward Hermione rattling off a list of names in one breath as he made his way across the room. "Lily, Maggie, Emma, Laurel, Lottie, Vera, Violet, Rhyssa, Rosalind, Aveline, Cora, Mary, Nina, Natalie, Philippa." He paused as he reached Hermione. Sirius gently grasped her face between his hands and breathed out her name as he lowered his head. "Hermione," he finished before their lips met.
With the spell broken, the group began trickling out of the room in twos and threes. Harry, Ron, and Neville were the first. "Finally," Ron said, holding his stomach. "I was beginning to waste away in there."
Harry eyes his muscular frame that topped 6'2 and shook his head. "Like there's much chance of that happening." Still he was just as eager to leave. The whole experience in that room was a bit surreal and he wanted to put some distance between him and it while he figured out how he felt about Sirius and Hermione.
Percy gallantly offered Luna his arm and she giggled at the gesture before slipping her arm into his. They left the room at a leisurely pace to find a quiet corner and continue getting to know each other.
Draco and Ginny left next after Ginny whispered an, "I knew it!" into Hermione's ear and a demand for details later that night. She turned back to Draco with a determined expression. Her words drifted back to Hermione's ears, "Now Draco, about this jealousy problem you have going on…"
Sirius and Hermione were the last to leave. When they did it was with matching giddy smiles and their fingers intertwined.The End
And now for the replies to your reviews:
Rin: Ginny's full name really is Ginevra. J.K. Rowling herself confirmed it in an interview. Thanks for the feedback though. I appreciate every review I get. It just tickles me pink when I get notice of a new review. I write for my enjoyment and I never post something if I don't think it's good, but it's still nice to get poitive acknowledgement of it.
poetrychik: Sorry, no Percy or Draco confessions for Hermione. I do have plans to write a Percy/Hermione fic in the future though and there might be some Draco interaction in Hermione Granger and the Mermaid's Curse. The voting is pretty close for a ship on that one. Sirius's list was pretty long though so I hope you enjoyed the last part. :)
really long review: Your aim away message was dead of laughter on acct. of me? That is just so nice to hear. /grin/ My work is done. Btw, is school still kicking your butt or have you been able to work on the pictures? I haven't heard from you so email me. :)
CapnJacksBonnieLass: I know. Those hands just inspire dirty thoughts, don't they?
Summery-ice: Not a fan of Ron? Well I suppose I can forgive you. lol. I'm a fan of the Weasleys so I'll just love him enough for the both of us. /grin/ Yep, my phobia of spiders is extreme and surpassed only by my phobia of bees. If you start the community, I'll attend. :) As for reactions to Sirius and Hermione's confessions...well that's saved for the sequel, sorry. This story was really about the confessions and the main results of that. The reactions and other repercussions will be fully explored in the next fic. And I must confess I'm puzzled by everyone's reaction to thinking I'm eil for stopping there. There's nothing cliffhanger-y there that I can see. I suppose you all just wanted some Sirius/Hermione resolution so I hope this chapter satisfies.
Moon Burst: Wow. Reviews like yours just make me grin. Thanks for the kind words. This may be the first HP fic I ever attempted and the first one of that sort I finished but it is by no means the last. I'm addicted to writing HP fics and all types of fanfic in general. I don't know if you've seen it but I've got 2 parts posted of another Hermione fic already and plans for many more fics. Since I'm a big fan of Harry/Ginny it's likely I'll write one of those eventually but I like a lot of different ships and characters so I probably won't stick to just one. Thanks for the great review!
GISingerJayne: Um, sorry no sex fantasy scenes in the library. I've never attempted smut scenes and I probably couldn't do them justice if I did. I won't say never but it's not likely you'll see any of those from me. Maybe if I had a co-writer who did write those well...maybe.
Rane2920072: Thanks for the wonderful review! Luna's a very interesting character and I hope to always do my writing of her justice. I'm relieved to hear I got it on target this time.
Saiyan SandBoarder: Thanks for your input. I mentioned in the author's note that I will be doing a sequel to this so all plans for revenge will be found therein. This story has been a lot of fun and I'm not ready to leave this world yet. :)
Leogal: Thanks so much for the feedback. Since your review was left quite awhile ago I assume you've gotten some help on uploading already. I know it's a very AU story but I'm glad you're reading and enjoying it anyway. :)
Acila: Thanks for the fantastic compliment. Reviews like yours make me giddy. I love writing, and hearing that somebody likes what I live to do is just...well I have no words to describe the high every review gives me. It makes me want to write even more just as a thank you.
Flaignhan: Well I couldn't update as soon as you would have liked. /looks mournfully at the spot where Flaignhan's review would be if the update had been more timely/ Sigh. It really couldn't be helped. /hopeful look/ I don't suppose you'll review anyway? Please?
Niphredel Black: It's later than I intended but here's the update. I hope you enjoyed it.
Kat: I had forgotten about that second cousin aspect when I began writing this. Yeah, that's a bit weird when you think about it. I'm sort of sick of Ginny/Draco fics myself anyway having read way too many. I overdosed on the ship. Now I'm a Harry/Ginny addict so other than the sequel to this I'll likely never write a Ginny/Draco fic again. I think I'll just pretend they're not related so I can get through the writing process of the sequel now that I've been reminded of their status. Thanks for your feedback!
Cybeleflame: I'm afraid I wasn't over the writers block completely. Sirius and Hermione wouldn't cooperate in this last part. I kept wanting to skip it and start the sequel. This went through many rewrites before I was finally satisfied. I'm glad you kept this on your favorites too. :) That made me really grin when I read that you had been convinced to keep it on there despite your usual practices. That was a fine stroke to the ego. Though I suppose things might have changed since then...Um, I'm not going to think about that. Instead I'll bask in the high your last review gave me. Happy thoughts, now. :)
Remembrance Lane: Thanks for the review. :) Good feedback makes me happy.
miriel216: Well when you put it that way, I suppose that was a bit evil of me. I hope you weren't sulking long and that this last chapter is as satisfying as you were anticipating it would be. Thanks for the entertaining review! I laughed when I read it and of course my youngest sister wanted to know why I was laughing. When I told her she gave me a strange look. I've said it before and I'll say it again my family just doesn't get my sense of humor. You don't think it's odd I laughed, right? This review was meant to be funny, wasn't it? Or maybe I am just that weird. I don't know. Either way I still enjoyed your review. Thanks for taking the time to leave one.
Nighthawk47: Thanks for reviewing. I hope you enjoyed this.
twilight-la-fae: Thanks! I liked your review even if I did have that Beach Boys song it reminded me of stuck in my head afterward. / sings 'and she'll have fun fun fun till her daddy takes the t-bird away' /
Makalani Astral: Thanks for the review! Let me know how you liked the rest of it won't you?
MagicFairyDuster: Thanks, writing my characters in character is very important to me so I wanted to give them all jobs I could see them having but I didn't want to write anything boring either. So all of their jobs are something I'd like to see them doing as well as something I could see happening. Oh Percy, you liked Percy. /big grin/ I just love Percy, myself and knowing this story has helped spread the Percy love has been one of the great side effects of writing this. I've gotten feedback from more than one person saying they liked Percy in this fic or because of this fic and that's just a huge compliment to me. I'm a firm supporter of Percy and I firmly believe that Rowling has given plenty of hints that Percy is not what he seems in the book, that he's doing something similar to what I've written him as doing in this story. And thanks for the input on the revenge for the twins. I plan to include that in the sequel so I hope you'll read it when I post it. Thanks so much for your feedback. :)
Frejya39: Thanks! That's a great compliment. I hope you found this chapter to be just as good as the previous ones. More fics will definitely be forthcoming. I have no plans to stop now. :) And you might be interested in knowing that I've recently signed a publishing contract so one of my original short stories will in fact be published soon. I'm going to have my story in a book. Saying that still makes me giddy. That's always been my dream to be a great writer and now that it's happening I'm in heaven. And hearing that you thought it could happen even before you knew it did is just icing on the delicious cake. Thanks for the great review!