Disclaimer: I don't own HP or any of these characters. That belongs to JKR, Scholastic Books, Warner Brothers, etc.
Hermione Granger hummed tunelessly as she silently congratulated herself on this victory of hers. It had taken months of wheedling, begging, and almost threatening to get to this day, but it had finally arrived. She had persuaded Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley to go out on their first date together.
A large grin covered her face at that thought. Ever since first year, Hermione had looked after Harry and Ron, her best friends. They had an awful predilection for landing themselves in trouble, despite all of Harry's protestations that he never went looking for it. Hermione knew that she couldn't watch over them for the rest of her life. Yet, over the years, not much had reassured her that they'd be able to fend for themselves if she ever left them. She had decided shortly after their fourth year to help them along their paths of love, because anyone who had eyes could see how ineptly they performed when it came to arranging a date for the Yule Ball.
Ron had been the easier of the two. Hermione had concentrated her efforts for much of her sixth year on finding Ron his match. Harry hadn't been too communicative at the start of the year, and besides, she knew he needed his space. He wasn't ready for that right after Sirius' death. Hermione knew that if she had managed to set him up back then that the relationship would have failed. Harry needed time to mourn before he could think romantically about a witch. His own brief fling with Cho Chang showed the consequences of a person trying to start a new relationship so soon after the death of a loved one. Because of this, Hermione was able to use all of her resources in getting Ron a girlfriend.
Looking back, that was a good thing. It had taken her nearly the whole year to get Ron to notice how Luna fancied him, much less ask her out on a date. Hermione had felt for the poor girl during those months when Ron was oblivious to her attentions. Luna didn't always seem all there, but that didn't mean she had no feelings. If anything, Hermione thought that meant Luna was more sensitive than most, though she bore up remarkably well when Ron had spent all of January composing a poem to send on Valentine's Day to another witch.
Hermione had nothing but admiration for Luna's behavior during that whole incident. She hadn't hexed or yelled at Hermione for receiving that Valentine. Hermione knew she would have been hard pressed to do the same if she had been in Luna's shoes.
Hermione still couldn't believe how clueless she had been about Ron's crush on her. The perfume for Christmas should have been a big hint. Hell! The fight they had after the Yule Ball should have told her that he fancied her. Hermione knew, however, that he wasn't the one for her and that she wasn't the one for him. They would never have any children, for one, as they'd always be too busy fighting. That wouldn't work out for Hermione, because she wanted a family. Not seven, thank you very much, but at least two so they wouldn't get lonely. Luna was a much better match for Ron, as she could take his teasing in stride. Somehow, Hermione had never been able to do the same. Ron's style of teasing was too harsh and hurtful; she much preferred Harry's way of teasing because it never made her doubt that he cared very much for her. The trouble had been getting Ron to see what was so clear to her.
That had been accomplished not so much by Hermione as by Luna. One day, towards the end of the term, Hermione had locked the two of them in an empty classroom and had left. They had both been rather miffed when she returned a mere two hours later. Ron's hair had been mussed up, and they were both flushed. Hermione had apologized for the interruption, saying that she couldn't very leave them alone there for the entire evening. Luna had replied that yes, she bloody well could and then slammed the door shut on Hermione's face.
Hermione had been worried when Luna had told her that one of their daughters would be named for Hermione. When they had come back from the summer holidays with Luna looking as slim as ever, Hermione figured out that Luna must have been having her on. Of course, the way those two were publicly fond of each other, Hermione thought that Luna would be lucky if they only had seven.
With the advent of seventh year, Hermione had turned her efforts into setting Harry up. Fortunately, she had already known who was the lucky witch: Ginny Weasley. That ought to have been half the battle right there. Unfortunately, both Ginny and Harry had been notoriously stubborn about her setting them up on a blind date. Hermione hadn't dared tell them what she was planning. Ron would have had a fit if he knew, and one of them would have told him. But it ought to be obvious to anyone with a sense of romance that they were meant to be together. Harry's father had fallen for a redhead and it just seemed right that he would do the same. Not to mention the fact that the girl in her sighed to think about Harry falling for a girl who had loved him but her love had been spurned. Hermione knew they would get along splendidly once they spent some time alone together. Better yet, Ginny wouldn't be the type to get jealous of Hermione's friendship with Harry. That had been a very important factor for Hermione when she had selected Ginny. Ginny was a bit more flighty and bit more insensitive than she would have liked, but she respected the fact that Hermione and Harry were best friends. That said a lot for Ginny, if you asked Hermione.
It had taken months of wrangling with the two of them before she had got them to agree to the date. Hermione had been able to cajole Ginny into agreeing by threatening to never, ever help her with Potions if she didn't. She hadn't pulled the same trick with Harry, as she didn't think that was fair. Harry did kind of have to worry about defeating You-Know-Who and therefore, he couldn't always spend as much time as he ought to on his studies. Harry had whinged and pouted and downright refused to even spend a minute with the witch before Hermione had finally pinpointed the source of his complaints. It turned out he didn't want to have to deal with a witch he didn't know and who would stare constantly at his scar. Hermione had reassured him that he had known the witch since first year and that she was too reserved (a white lie, if Hermione ever told one – Ginny was anything but) to ask him directly. Harry had readily agreed after that.
So Hermione couldn't be blamed for patting herself on the back. It had been a long and winding road, but she had finally accomplished what she had set out to do. Ron would be with Luna, and Harry would be with Ginny and everything would be right in the world. Hermione had been tempted to seat herself in the Gryffindor common room, waiting for the return of the happy couple but thought the better of it. They might be giggling and wanting some private time – and she didn't want to get a glimpse of anything that might be going on between them. Instead, she found herself a safe nook in the library, contenting herself with planning to tell them, "I told you so," several hundred times over the next couple months.
All of a sudden, someone set down his hands on either side of the book in front of her. "That wasn't a very nice trick to play," Harry spoke softly into her ear. Hermione whirled around and nearly tumbled off of her chair. She would have fallen if it weren't for Harry reaching out to steady her. There were some advantages to having a friend who played Quidditch incessantly. Lightning-quick reflexes was one of them. He took the seat next to her as she tried to stop her heart from racing. Somehow, some way, he always managed to do that to her.
"What wasn't a nice trick?" she asked him.
"Setting me up like that," he replied.
"But you can see why I couldn't just tell you how it was." Hermione frowned noticing he was alone, despite the fact that he should have still been with Ginny. "How did it go? Did you get along?"
"We got along brilliantly." Hermione's heart soared at those words. She had been right. "But that shouldn't come as a surprise," he continued. "We're friends, and we have a lot in common."
"I'm not surprised," she said. "Though where is Ginny? I thought she'd be with you."
"I think she's off snogging another wizard right now."
"What?" Hermione screeched. "But she was on a date with you!"
"Not because she wanted to. She only agreed to humor you, Hermione, and she soon saw another wizard that interested her more than me." He shrugged. "I don't mind."
"But . . . but . . . oh! I'm so sorry, Harry." She was going to wring Ginny's little neck the next time she saw her.
"You ought to be, fooling me like that."
"Fooling you like that?" She wrinkled her face in puzzlement. That was the second time he had said something like that. "I wasn't trying to fool you. I was always honest about this being a blind date between you—"
"And a witch you said I've known since first year. I didn't think that would be Ginny."
"But you met at King's Cross before you got to Hogwarts. Ginny told me so, back in second year."
"I hardly think that counts."
"Well if it doesn't . . ." Hermione paused. Given Harry's phrasing, it seemed as though there was a witch that Harry was interested in. Not Ginny, and she supposed she would never live that mistake down, but that wasn't important at the moment. What was important was getting Harry together with the witch he fancied. "So who is she? This witch that you've known since first year that you fancy?"
"I didn't say that—"
"No, but you perked up after I mentioned that you've known the witch I was setting you up with since first year." Hermione frowned. "I can't think for the life of me who she could possibly be. The only witch you spent any great length of time was me."
Harry groaned. "I can't believe you don't know."
"Well, I don't. And you're not helping here. Maybe you could give me a clue?"
"I thought it'd be obvious."
"It's not, Harry." Hermione was beginning to feel a bit aggravated with the boy. Bad enough that he didn't like the witch she had thought would be best for him, but for him to make her feel so obtuse as well . . . it was all she could do to not scream aloud with frustration. "Well, who is the lucky witch?" she asked, tapping her foot impatiently.
Harry turned bright red and plopped his head flat against the table. "You cannot seriously be asking me that question," he said.
"I am seriously asking you that question," she said. "Don't you know me by now? I wouldn't ask f I didn't know."
"True," he said almost mournfully. "You wouldn't. You'd be . . ." He trailed off, not finishing the sentence as if he couldn't think of what Hermione would do.
"I'd be busy arranging your first date," she told him.
"I doubt that."
Hermione yanked at the back of his robe, pulling up his head so he would meet her gaze. "Harry Potter! I would do that! I'd even help you ask her out, if you didn't have the nerve to do so yourself."
"That would be a neat trick," he said, smiling to himself.
"So who is she?" she demanded again.
"Well . . ." When he paused, Hermione was about ready to skin him alive, making her wait for his answer like that.
Then he did something she did not expect.
He kissed her.
Author's note: This is just a short story that I have on my hard drive that I thought I'd post. Yes, there is more and I'll be posting the next chapter next week. I hope you liked the start of this fic and I'd love to hear what you think in a review.