Okay I have no excuses except I'm lazy, and I got a new computer which didn't have a floppy disc drive. Very sorry. So this is extremely dated now, seeing as HBP is out, and Hermione is way out of character but, hey, isn't that what fanfic is all about? Oh, and Penelope in this story is a year younger than Percy and in Gryffindor. Okay, on with the rest of it ... finally!
The next morning Hermione woke up with a pounding headache and no idea where she was. Where the fuck am I? Oh, I want to be sick.
Someone groaned nearby and she looked over in alarm. Holy crisis. She was next to Oliver. In Oliver's bed. And she could not remember how she got there. What the fuck am I going to do?
Trying not to wake him up, she got up as quickly as possible, her head pounding even harder, the need to be sick growing. She wasn't sure whether her nauseousness was as a result of her hangover or the sight of Oliver and what they had probably done the night before. Probably both.
'Fuck fuck fuck,' she muttered quietly, pulling on her clothes from the night before. 'Shit shit shit.'
She opened the door to his bedroom, and it creaked loudly. She looked quickly over at Oliver, heart in her mouth, but he was still fast asleep, sprawled out on the bed. Thank God.
She made her way downstairs to the fireplace, hoping there was enough floo powder to get her back to Hogwarts. She grabbed a handful of powder out of the pot by the fire and was just about to step into it when Percy's head spun into it.
'Hermione!' he asked incredulously.
'Percy!' Oh FUCK FUCK FUCK! What the bloody hell was she going to do?
'What the hell are you doing here?'
'What the hell are you doing here!' Hermione was beginning to panic.
'What's going on?' Oliver asked sleepily, descending the stairs, clad in only his boxer shorts. Could things get any worse? Oliver's half naked, I look a tad … disheveled, I've just made one of the biggest mistakes of my life, and Percy is witnessing it all!
Oliver wrapped Hermione in a hug from behind and kissed her temple. Ewww … nooooo. 'How are you this mo - ' He had just noticed Percy's head in the fire. 'Hello Perce,' he said, grinning at the fireplace, still embracing Hermione. 'How are you this fine morning?'
'I'm good …' Percy answered through clenched teeth. During Oliver's entrance his face had gone from complete and utter confusion to extreme anger. He turned to Hermione, incensed. 'I thought you said you weren't together.'
'I, well, I … ummm...' She could see both Percy and Oliver looking at her expectantly. 'Well, I just … we just…'
'Oh, don't bother,' Percy spat, glaring at her furiously. 'I don't want to hear it.' He turned back to Oliver. 'You can have the slut.'
'Hey! Don't you dare - ' Oliver yelled, but Percy was gone.
Oliver turned to Hermione, looking infuriated. 'He shouldn't have called you that. He had no right.'
'He just … he just …' Hermione hiccoughed, then burst into tears. Why did he have to choose that exact moment to floo Oliver?
'It's okay,' Oliver said softly, pulling her into his arms, hugging her tightly. 'Don't worry about it. He's an arsehole, forget about him. Besides, you've got me now.' This only made Hermione cry even harder, but she couldn't help feel a warm flood of emotion run through her. Oliver was being genuinely good to her, he always had been. He wasn't so bad – he wasn't Percy – but he wasn't so bad … he was definitely good-looking, and had a promising career in Quidditch ahead of him. Maybe things could work … I'll make it work.
'Thank you,' Hermione said into his chest, sniffling as her tears subsided. 'If you hadn't been here …'
'Shhh … don't worry,' he soothed. 'You better get back to school before people start to worry, okay?'
Hermione looked at him gratefully. 'Yeah, I guess you're right.' She turned towards the fire but Oliver pulled her back for a mind-numbing kiss. Hermione could have sworn she saw stars appear in front of her eyes. I could get used to this.
'Bye,' she said softly, with a vague smile, before she flooed back to Hogwarts. She barely heard him call that he'd Owl her soon, she was still in shock.
Luckily, as it was still fairly early in the morning, the Gryffindor common room was empty, and Hermione was able to make a quick retreat to the girls dorm. Ugh. Note to self: Don't floo with a hangover. Pulling the curtains shut around her she lay in the quiet darkness, pondering her situation. Okay, so she was with Oliver now. Not really what she set out to do, but it could work. A relationship with Oliver definitely had its pluses … that body … those kisses. Phew. Just the memory of it made her head spin … or that could have been the hangover. Closing her eyes she cleared her mind of all thoughts. She would just forget about Percy … move on. Her headache eased as the first waves of sleepiness washed over her. No more Percy – just Oliver.
'Oi woman. What did you do last night?'Ginny asked loudly, whisking back the curtains.
'No, no light,' Hermione mumbled, although it was probably somewhat muffled by the pillow she had shoved over her head.
'No, you're not going back to sleep. You're going to explain to me what's going on!'Ginny proceeded to rip all the covers off her bed, and finally pulled the pillow away, leaving Hermione no choice but to face her.
'What do you mean?' Hermione asked sleepily.
'What do you think I mean? You were gone all night and then,' she said, thrusting something from behind her back at Hermione, 'There's this!'
'Huh?' Hermione' brain didn't seem to want to function properly as she took the copy of the Daily Prophet thatGinny was proffering. Rubbing her eyes she looked down at the social page and saw a seemingly huge picture of her and Oliver at The Leaky Cauldron, looking a little more than friendly. Underneath, the caption read Oliver Wood, perhaps the new Keeper for England, looks very cosy with a mystery woman.
'Oh, yeah … that,' Hermione said, putting the paper down and looking at Ginny expectantly. 'What about it?'
'What about it? What does this mean now? Are you and Oliver together or what? What about you and Percy? Oh my God, I need to sit down!'Ginny said, looking extremely anxious.
'I've decided to move on,' Hermione said simply. 'So I moved onto Oliver. Is that okay with you?'
'Yeah, but … I thought you hated Oliver.'Ginny was utterly perplexed.
'Yeah, well, like I told you last night, I changed my mind. He was really sweet to me last night and well … one thing led to another … so, um, yeah. We're together.'
Ginnylooked absolutely dumbfounded. 'What about Percy?' she inquired.
'What about him? We're over. We were over ages ago. Plus, he knows about me and Oliver … believe me, he knows,' Hermione said, smiling wryly, and continued to tellGinny exactly what had happened.
The next few weeks were excellent between Hermione and Oliver. They Owled each other all the time and saw each other every second weekend in Hogsmeade. The only hiccup was one particularly bizarre incident where Katie Bell, one of Oliver's ex-girlfriends, accosted her in the hallway and warned her that 'Oliver's great at the start but then, after a while, he gets more – er – possessive. It's not all fun and games, believe me.' Hermione put it down to her just being jealous. The old green-eyed monster was out and about again.
February arrived, as did Valentine's Day. Hermione went downstairs feeling very happy, knowing she wouldn't be alone, as she had thought she would always be only a few months ago. She was very cheerful as she ate her breakfast, looking up every now and then, checking for any sign of owls bringing the daily mail. Finally, she heard rather than saw, the fluttering of hundreds of owls bringing more than the usual amount of mail in through the windows.
There were many squeals of delight as some people were showered with rose petals and chocolates. The Great Hall seemed to be slowly turning red with the hundreds upon hundreds of Valentines being delivered all over the place. After a few minutes of near chaos, things slowly became more quiet, and Hermione realised she hadn't got anything. Excusing herself, she journeyed slowly back up to Gryffindor tower and the sanctitude of her dorm room, feeling extremely hurt and dejected.
'What the …?' she wondered aloud. The floor of the dorm room and her bed had been turned red. Upon closer inspection, she realised that this red substance was rose petals and her heart leapt when she spotted Oliver, leaning against her bedpost, looking very smug and happy with himself.
'Do you like it?'
'Like it?' Hermione cried. 'I love it! Thank you!' She raced over and wrapped him in a huge hug. 'I thought you'd forgotten me!' she added softly.
'How could I do a thing like that?' He bent down and kissed her gently.
'How did you get in here?' she asked after her head had stopped spinning. I can't believe he can still make me do that.
'Oh well,' he replied, looking even more self-satisfied. 'You don't spend three years training the Weasley twins and not pick up a few things.'
'Ooh … Sneaky,' Hermione said, poking him cheekily.
'So, I thought we could have dinner at my place this weekend – to celebrate our two month anniversary. Whaddya think?'
Hermione face fell. 'I'd love to Ollie, but I have to study for OWLs. I promised Dean I'd tutor him in Charms and Transfiguration as well.'
'So you're going to be spending our anniversary with another guy?' Oliver scoffed, breaking away from her, looking quite mad.
'Uh, yeah, if that's how you want to look at it,' Hermione said slowly. He was taking this all a little too seriously for what was only their two month anniversary.
'Well, that's just great isn't it? I planned this weekend especially for you and you'll be spending it with Dean!' Oliver ranted.
'Ollie! Calm down! You're reading into this way too much. I'm sorry, but OWLs come first, you know that!'
'OWLs come first … as well as other guys?' Oliver accused, still mad.
'You're the only guy … you know that!' Hermione said, but she was beginning to become a bit annoyed. And that was a lie.
'Okay, I believe you,' Oliver conceded.
'Good,' Hermione said. 'But you should have never doubted me.'
'Yeah, I know. I jump to conclusions too easily.' You got that right. 'Am I forgiven?' He flashed her his most charming smile.
'Yes, of course you are.' Hermione rolled her eyes. 'Now let's go check out the Quidditch match. Gryffindor vs Ravenclaw. You can see how Ron goes in your old position.'
They walked hand in hand out of her dorm room and had to slide down the stairs. It seemed that someone else had tried to give their girlfriend a Valentine's Day gift … and had failed miserably.
Later that night, as Hermione studied in the common room, she couldn't help but let her mind wander. This was obviously what Katie had been talking about … Oliver's possessiveness. She could handle this much, but what if it got worse? Percy had always trusted her. Why am I still thinking about Percy? It's over between us. She shook her head and got back to the study and only stopped when she saw a familiar owl tapping at the window.
It was Hermes, Percy's owl. What on earth?
Hermione sat, stunned for a moment, then came to a little and realised the owl was still there, and waiting impatiently. She opened the window and accepted the package from the owl, the cold winter air stinging her face. Shutting the window she went back to her seat in front of the fire and glanced around. The common room was completely deserted so she had some privacy.
She stared at the package inquisitively, before curiosity got the better of her and she ripped it open.
A silver chain fell into her lap, along with a note. Holy crap. She opened the note gingerly and squeezed her eyes shut, afraid to read it. Finally opening her eyes she read slowly:
I think that I might fly away, in my hot air balloon,
And hide from worldly worries on the dark side of the moon;
There's but one thing I need before I float into the blue:
I need a sky companion and I want it to be you.
We'll fly beyond the storm clouds and we'll watch from up above,
I'll cover you in rainbows as we feel each others' love;
You'll shower in the stars at midnight in our special place,
I'll dry you with a comet's tail and kiss your beaming face.
Dreamy drifting panorama, changing every day,
Every night your loving smile will be my milky way,
The moon will wane before us, sailing there in heaven's height,
For nothing else can challenge our love's everlasting light.
Venus shining on us, glowing soft at our devotion,
Our daily drifting dalliance in love's celestial ocean,
I'll write you lovers' poetry, and you will be my muse,
Orion and Andromeda will oversee our cruise.
We'll sleep with clouds as pillows, maybe steal an angel's wings,
Then fly as magic lovebirds, or slide round Saturn's rings,
And should we tire of drifting and the stars all floating by,
We'll hook onto a meteor and soar across the sky.
Will you consent to be my mate on our celestial ship?
I'm ready, heart all packed with love, to last us for the trip,
Take my hand and step aboard, we're heading for the sun,
We're flying till we find the place where our two souls are one.
(AN: Okay, that was the firstpoem I came across whenI googled Love Poem. It's called Balloon by Graeme King so I hope no one minds me using it. I don't want to offend anyone or get sued for plagiarism!)
That was it? She read it over again and something clicked in the back of her memory. She had read that before but she couldn't remember where. Placing the note and the chain back in the envelope she flicked through her textbooks, not studying, but hoping for some sort of memory trigger. After going though all of them twice she gave up with a frustrated sigh. She'd go to the library first thing tomorrow morning. She yawned widely and suddenly realised she was extremely tired. It was only when she was lying in bed that she wondered why Percy had suddenly realised he wanted her back.
After two weeks of searching for the quote Hermione was just about ready to admit defeat. She had no idea where she'd read that quote, only knew she's seen it somewhere. She was searching the love section of the library for what seemed like the millionth time when she came across Penelope who quickly stuffed the book she had been looking at back onto the shelf. She wasn't quick enough though.
'Love Potions for the Desperate and Dateless, Penelope?' Hermione said, laughing. 'Now why would you be looking at that?' she asked sarcastically.
'It's none of your business,' she sniffed, eyeing Hermione warily. 'Why are you here anyway?'
'Oh, I'm trying to find the author of this quote.' Feeling a little sorry for Penelope she decided to show her Percy's note. Besides, Penelope had just been made a student librarian, so she'd probably know who wrote it.
'Oh that,' she said after glancing at it. 'That was in the first issue of the Gryffindor Gazette.'
'The Gryffindor Gazette,' Penelope repeated witheringly. 'I started it in first year but then I decided it would take up too much of my time.'
'Oh, okay.' Hermione could remember some rag that she had glanced over back in first year. It hadn't been very popular. 'So who wrote it? Nargowenski? Wombarkle? Lavartiti? Smith?' Hermione rattled off a list poets who wrote very popular wizard love poetry.
'No,' Penelope said scornfully. 'It was Percy Weasley.'
'What? Really!' Hermione spluttered. So Percy wrote it himself!
'Yes … he wrote it about me,' Penelope added proudly, holding herself like the pompous idiot she was.
'What? Really!' Hermione spluttered again. Penelope looked at her like she was crazy.
'Uh, yes … he never told me so. But a girl knows these things.' She smiled smugly at Hermione as she brushed past.
So Percy had reused some poem he had written about Penelope on her. The nerve! If he thinks I'm going to run willingly back into his arms, he's got another think coming!
'The Gryffindor Gazette?'Ginny asked, confused. 'I didn't even know that existed.' Penelope sniffed loudly from the other side of the common room.
'It doesn't anymore,' Hermione replied. 'There was only one issue. Back in first year. No one liked it.' She raised her voice towards the end, making sure Penelope heard her. It wasn't Penelope's fault that Percy was an insensitive prick, but teasing her made Hermione feel better.
'So what are you going to do?'Ginny asked.
'Nothing. Absolutely nothing. If reusing a poem that he made up for another girl is the best he can do then I don't want him back. He can suffer for all I care.'
'And what about Oliver?'
'Well, I'm going to his place this weekend. We haven't seen each other for a couple of weeks so it'll be good to see him again. But it will be weird after this letter thing from Percy … I'll just see how things go.'
'I take it Oliver's taken a backseat to this Percy issue.'
'Yeah, I guess you could say that.' Hermione sighed. 'What am I going to do? Poor Ollie … he doesn't deserve this.'
'Just see how this weekend goes. Things will work out. You'll see,'Ginny told her knowingly.
'Okay, I'll do that. Besides, we've got OWLs in a month. I have to concentrate on them, not stupid boys.'
Ginnylaughed. 'That's the spirit!'
'Okay, I'm going upstairs to pack. I'll see you on Sunday.'
Hermione packed her clothes quickly and headed downstairs the entrance hall where Oliver had agreed to pick her up. Her spirits lifted slightly when she saw him smiling at her.
'Hello,' she said, beaming back at him and hugging him. 'I missed you.' That was partially true. She had missed the company and affection he gave her. I missed him … yes …
'I missed you too,' he replied, kissing her nose. 'Now let's go. I have the best weekend planned for us.'
Hermione laughed. Slipping an arm around him she practically skipped down the steps. Her mind was set. This weekend was exactly what she needed to take her mind off her predicament. How wrong could one person be?
'So, what do you think?' Oliver asked proudly as he and a blindfolded Hermione stopped outside Chez Danico Voulez.
'Oh my God! No way!' Hermione exclaimed once the blindfold was removed. 'This is great! How on earth did you get reservations here?'
Oliver smiled broadly. 'I made reservations at our one month anniversary because I knew we'd still be together now.'
Hermione managed to maintain her smile. Okay that was sweet … sweet, yet creepy.
'Let's go in, shall we?' he said, offering his arm to her. Hermione slipped her arm through his and they entered the five star restaurant, the maitre'd bustled up to meet them.
'Good evening sir, ma'am, how may I help you?' he articulated in his distinct Oxford accent.
'Hi,' Oliver said smoothly. 'Table for two under the name Wood?'
'Yes, certainly sir. Right this way, follow me.' He led them to a secluded candlelit table in the back of the restaurant.
'Wow, this is great,' Hermione gushed, looking around at their fancy surroundings.
'I'm glad you like it,' he replied, taking her hand. 'Listen, I want to ask you something important.'
Oh fuck. Is this a proposal? Oh fuck no!
'Well, Puddlemere United are going on a tour of the UK this summer and I wanted you to come with me.' Hermione breathed an inward sigh of relief. No proposal of marriage … yet.
'Wow, Ollie, this is a big step. I don't know. What about my family? And my friends?' And Percy?
'Your family and friends will be there when we get back. I really want you there with me. What's holding you back?'
'Nothing, I guess …'
'Then why don't you come with me?' Oliver looked at her pleadingly. Augh! I'm suffocating!
'I, I just … I really need to think about this okay.' Hermione got up quickly, nearly sending her chair skidding backwards. 'I'll see you later.' She walked hurriedly out of the restaurant, trying not to draw too much attention to herself. Oliver was still sitting, speechless, rooted to his seat.
Hermione stepped out onto the street and looked around. Oliver had blindfolded her all the way to the restaurant. She had no idea where she was. She proceeded to wander the streets, getting more and more hopelessly lost until she finally sat down on an empty bench and buried her head in her hands, bursting into tears. This is hopeless. I'm hopeless. My life is hopeless.
'Excuse me, miss, are you alright?' a friendly voice enquired.
'No, I – Percy!'
'Hermione! What are you doing here?' he asked, surprised to see a familiar face.
'I'm lost. I have no idea where I am,' she admitted. Fresh tears welled in her eyes.
'It's okay,' Percy soothed, sitting down beside her. He placed a tentative arm around her shoulders. 'I know where we are.'
Hermione gave him a grateful, if somewhat watery, smile. 'Thanks.'
'So why were you lost in the first place?' Percy asked cautiously, still holding her.
'I, well, me and Ollie, I mean, Oliver and I, well …' Hermione felt like the dam wall that had been blocking up all her feelings and thoughts had crumbled. For some reason she vented all her frustrations about recent events to Percy, who listened intently. She tactfully left out anything to do with him.
'So what was holding you back from spending the summer with Oliver?' he asked slowly. Hermione could tell that it hurt him to ask this. I have to tell him the truth.
'You,' she said simply and she felt him tense slightly beside her.
'Really? Me?' Percy sounded genuinely shocked.
'Yes, you,' Hermione replied patiently, waiting for his reply.
'I, but, I… Oh, holy crap, this is huge.' Percy hardly ever swore. Now, it seemed, was a good time for a few well-chosen curses. 'What do you mean, that I was holding you back?' He obviously needed things to be clear.
I guess I'll have to spell it out to get it through his male head.
'I'm still in love with you, Perce. I always have been, always will be I guess.' There, she'd said it. He had to say something now.
'But … what about Oliver?'
'What about Oliver?'
'Well, you and him seemed pretty serious,' Percy said slowly.
'Yeah I know, but I realised just from talking to you that it was only his company and affection that I wanted, not him.'
'Oh … so does that mean that … you know … we're together again?' Percy asked carefully.
'Yeah, I guess. If you want to be,' Hermione replied, awaiting his reply with her heart in her mouth.
'Only if you want to be,' he said.
'Dickhead,' she said, shoving him playfully. 'Of course I want to be!'
Percy grinned happily, but then his face fell. 'What about my work?' he asked, genuinely concerned.
'I can overlook that for now,' Hermione replied. 'As long as you don't reuse your poetry on me.' She was only half joking.
'What do you mean?' he asked her with a puzzled look.
'You know what I mean,' she said. 'That piece of poetry you sent me on Valentine's Day. You used that on Penelope.'
'What!' he cried, letting go of her and jumping up. 'Penelope! NO WAY! I never wrote her any poetry! Especially not love poetry!'
'But … but that's what she told me. She told me you wrote it about her.'
'And you believed her? I wrote it about you!' Percy, calming down a little, sat back down.
Hermione sat shocked for a moment. 'But that was back at the start of first year.'
'I know. I put it in that stupid rag hoping that you'd read it and realise it was about you. But you didn't, so I had to go about things in more, ah, obvious ways.'
'Oh my God. I thought you were being slack and reusing old poetry. I had no idea … thank you,' she said softly.
'You're welcome,' he laughed. 'It was just a piece of rubbish poetry anyway. Written by a fool in love.' He smiled down at her. 'Still in love.' He bent down and captured her lips in his own. Holy crisis. Those aren't just stars, those are bloody fireworks.
'I love you too.' She snuggled deeper into his embrace and then a wave of guilt rushed over her. 'Oh shit, what about Oliver?'
'We'll worry about him later,' Percy said convincingly. 'Let's just worry about getting you back to Hogwarts before anyone realises you're gone.'
'No, that doesn't matter. I got the whole weekend off so no one is expecting me back until Sunday afternoon.'
'Oh. Okay. Well, you're welcome to stay at my place … if you want to that is …' Percy said. She could detect a distinct hopeful note in his voice.
'I'm sorry,' Hermione replied seriously. 'All I heard was 'Blah, blah, blah. Do me, do me now'.'
'Oh crap. Did I say that out loud? My apologies.' Percy laughed as Hermione swatted him angrily. 'C'mon, let's go back to my place.'
Hermione let him pull her up. She couldn't help but feel on top of the earth as he led her home. Everything was back to normal, back to the way it should be … or was it?