Title: Rain Kisses
Disclaimer: They belong to JKR. Though, I suspect, when she created them, she never imagined this kind of a scenario.
A/N: Fluff warning! Plotless, pointless, piece of fluff. I don't know even know what possessed me. Damn plot bunnies.
Dedication: This is for my best friend, Lindsey who, in the rain yesterday, randomly said, "I love kisses in the rain. They're so romantic." Well, she couldn't just expect me to let that one go, could she? So I wrote this for her, because rain kisses do seem awfully romantic. She told me she loved the fic, but thought the title was horrid. I tend to agree, but it has stuck. I can think of no other title for this fic but Rain Kisses, but I do apologize for it.
It happened exactly eight days, two hours, and fourteen minutes before their first N.E.W.T.'s exam.
Hermione was, predictably, a complete and utter mess. For the past week, the only glimpses Harry and Ron had of her had been of a mange of bushy hair protruding from behind a large stack of books. Ron had been stupid enough to attempt speaking to her—something that had resulted in a long, shrill lecture that Harry had been forced to suffer through as well.
Needless to say, they thought it best not to approach her again until after exams.
Unfortunately, a meeting became unavoidable. Hermione came stomping down into the Great Hall at dinner. Harry and Ron immediately stopped talking in case it annoyed her. Hermione coming to the Great Hall was a rare event—she'd been using mealtimes as study sessions in the library.
"Err… hello, Hermione," Harry said carefully.
Hermione, looking pale and frazzled, glanced around the Great Hall with a deepening frown. "What are all these people doing?"
"Um," Ron said, looking weary. "Eating?"
Hermione tugged at her hair frantically. "Well!" she said, looking affronted. "They should be—"
"Studying, we know," Harry finished. "It's just that… don't you think it's a bit difficult to study all the time?"
"It's impossible!" Ron added loudly. "We think you're going mad!"
Hermione glared at him and Harry, suddenly fearing another "study" lecture, passed a bowl of potatoes in her direction. "C'mon, Hermione," he needled. "Even you need to eat."
Hermione glanced down at the bowl of potatoes, but shook her head. "No… I don't think…" she paused, thinking and chewing her lip. "A walk. Yes, that's what I need… clear my head for a bit…"
"But, Hermione!" Ron protested, looking at her strangely. "It's pissing down rain out there!"
To illustrate his point, Ron pointed at the ceiling. The three of them glanced upwards where it was raining violently.
"Honestly, Ron," Hermione sniffed. "I'm a witch. It is possible for me to handle a tad of rain."
"A… tad?" Ron repeated, incredulous.
Hermione shot them both scathing looks before turning on her heel and stalking out of the Great Hall.
Harry stared after her, feeling more than a little worried. "Do you think that maybe one of us should go after her?"
Ron glanced up at the ceiling again. "Yeah," he said. "Great idea. Good luck."
Harry frowned and turned to stare at him. "What do you mean?"
"Well, Hermione's been awfully grouchy lately," Ron explained, as if speaking to a child. "Just thought a bit of luck would help you out."
"Me out?" Harry repeated. "What about you?"
"Harry." Ron heaved a great sigh. "Do you think I'm stupid? I'm not going out there. It's raining bloody cats and dogs out there."
"I…" Harry stared at him for a moment before standing. "You're an insensitive git, you know that?"
"Yeah, I am," Ron said, helping himself to more potatoes. "Hope Hermione doesn't kill you."
"Gee, thanks," Harry muttered.
Hurrying outdoors, he was momentarily staggered by the sheer force of the wind and rain. Managing to regain his footing, he stumbled forward, his worry for Hermione increasing. He squinted into the darkness, Hogwarts' grounds appearing blurry and distorted by the rain.
"Hermione!" he called out.
Receiving nothing but the pitter patter of rain as an answer, he pressed forward. He somehow was able to make his way to the lake, stumbling and cursing. Within minutes, he was soaked through to the bone.
"Hermione!" he yelled again.
Not really expecting an answer, he was surprised when someone tapped him on the shoulder. Whirling around, he slid on the slick ground and landed ungracefully in a puddle. Winded, he looked up to find a very dry looking Hermione staring down at him. Though the rain continued to pelt down on her, it didn't seem to be having any affect.
"Harry," she said, looking startled. "What are you doing?"
Harry began to feel embarrassed. "Actually, at the moment, I appear to be sitting in a puddle."
Smiling ruefully, Hermione held out a hand to haul him to his feet. "Harry, what were you thinking? It's pouring! Coming out here without taking proper—"
"Yeah, yeah," he said, cutting her off and feeling decidedly more embarrassed by the moment. "Well, I was, err… worried about you, actually."
"Worried about me? You're the one that—"
"Slipped and fell on his bottom, I know," Harry finished, feeling quite stupid. "Look, Hermione, it's not just the rain… you've been, erm… somewhat, well… I don't mean to say…"
"Harry," she said tightly, giving him a look she generally reserved for Ron. "Spit it out, will you?"
"Right." Harry stared at her, wondering if he should ask what spell she used to repel the rain. Then, deciding that he was thoroughly wet anyway, it was probably better not to risk it. "It's just that… the thing is…"
She looked more than a little irritated by this point. "Harry, if you don't stop stuttering right this moment I'm going to…" Hermione trailed off, apparently not quite sure what she was going to do. She crossed her arms over her chest and settled for a huffy sigh.
Feeling like he had better tread carefully, Harry tried to muster up as much earnestness as he could manage. "The thing is, Ron and I think there's a… possibility you're running yourself too hard. Don't get me wrong, N.E.W.T.'s are important and all, but they're hardly the most important things in the world."
"Not the most important things in the world?" Hermione repeated shrilly. "Well, what else am I supposed to do, Harry? I could pretend N.E.W.T.'s aren't only eight days, two hours, nineteen minutes, and fifteen seconds away like you and Ron seem to be doing! But, unfortunately, I don't fancy not passing!"
Harry winced and took a tentative step closer to her. "Hermione," he said softly. "Look at you. You can barely see straight. You're not sleeping. You're not eating. Is it so wrong that I'm worried?"
She huffed out a sigh and cast her eyes downward. "No," she admitted grudgingly. Feeling like he was making progress, Harry held out a hand. She took it, frowning a him. "You're all wet," she groused.
Harry resisted the urge to roll his eyes. "You overlook the fact that I might die from overexposure and I'll overlook the fact that you are counting down the time to N.E.W.T.'s."
Harry was horrified when Hermione's eyes filled with tears. Harry took a startled step backwards, eyes widening in fear. "Oh, Harry!" she said. "I didn't even think! You must be freezing!"
"I'm, uh… fine, Hermione," he said soothingly, feeling decidedly panicky.
"Oh, I'm so awful!" she sobbed. "Yelling at you after you came out looking for me!"
"Well, it's, uh… no problem…"
Clearly unable to contain herself or something, she threw her arms around his neck. Harry held her, feeling uncomfortable. She was too close. Much too close.
"Hermione," he said. "I'll get you all wet."
"It'll be all my fault if you die!" she wailed, apparently not having heard a word he'd said.
"Hermione!" he said in frustration. "I'm not gonna die from a bit of rainwater!"
She pulled away from him then, lip trembling. "Well, I suppose not…" she said, looking sheepish. "And it was really very sweet of you to come out after me."
Harry shrugged, tilting her chin up so their eyes met. "It's sort of nice, actually. Everyone should get soaked to the bone at least once in their life. Besides, it's all very romantic, isn't it? With the rain and the lake and…" Harry trailed off, wondering where he was going with it.
Her eyes were unblinking as they stared into his. "And?" she prompted.
"And…" Harry said again, beginning to feel like a broken record. "And you and me and…" he trailed off, suddenly unable to go on due to a very dry mouth.
"Harry?" she whispered, leaning towards him.
"Err… uh… um… yeah?" Her face was awfully close to his.
"You stutter too much."
Then, Harry wasn't sure who moved first, who pulled who, who leaned forward, but their lips brushed—tentatively at first, but quickly becoming deeper as they moved closer to each other. The rain pounded down around them and though the first thing that came to Harry's mind was that his second kiss was certainly as "wet" as his first, he was also sure he could come up with a million and one other adjectives to describe it. It was wet, but sweet and purely innocent, marked by an intimacy he knew was only because it was Hermione he was kissing.
That thought jarred him back to reality. He was kissing Hermione! He was kissing Hermione, his best friend Hermione, who he really had no business kissing, and she was kissing him back, and it was an awfully nice sort of feeling, wasn't it?
Even more alarmed, if possible, by that thought, Harry pulled away, breathing heavily. "Hermione…" he sputtered. "You… you… we, uh… there was… did you…"
Hermione raised her eyebrows, looking pleased with herself. "Yes, we did just kiss. No, you don't have to apologize. And, yes, I've wanted to do that for a while."
Harry realized he was gaping at her and quickly closed his mouth. "Hermione," he said, still trying to get his bearings. "That was…"
"Incredible?" she said, with a grin. "Sweet? Romantic?"
Harry blinked rapidly, a lazy smile spreading across his face. "Yeah… it was…." A sudden thought struck him. "Ron!"
Hermione looked amused. "No, I'm not. But if you'd prefer…"
"What are we going to tell him?" Harry moaned, ignoring her. "He's going to… to…"
"I don't know!" Harry said, waving his arms and feeling a touch of hysteria.
That's when Hermione kissed him again. Momentarily stunned, Harry went rigid before relaxing into it. Rain splashed down their faces, making their second kiss very wet indeed. Their noses brushed, causing Hermione to admit a small gasp. As one, they moved closer together.
When they parted, they were both grinning giddily. By this time, Hermione was nearly as soaked through as he was. They made eye contact and Harry felt millions of words pass silently between them. Something had just happened, something that had clearly been brewing for a while. And nothing else mattered at the moment, not Ron, not what it meant for their friendship. Those were topics for another time. For the time being, Harry let go, allowing himself to just be.
They joined hands and stared at each other, smiles still beaming on their faces. "Planned the whole thing, you know," Harry said. "Thought a bit of snogging was just the thing to take your mind off exams."
Hermione's smile widened, lighting up her whole face. Harry felt his heart skip a beat. "Oh, it was very smooth, Mr. Potter. Very suave, indeed. You swept me right off my feet."
Harry blinked water out of his eyes and smiled sheepishly. "I guess it's a good thing you know how to get what you want."
Hermione leaned up to peck him on the tip of his nose. "Good thing," she agreed.
"So…" he began, glancing down at his wet clothing. "Do you think, maybe, we should head back up to the castle?"
Hermione frowned and experimentally touched her hair. Making a face, she squeezed a handful of water out of her hair, looking disconcerted. "Oh, no…" she moaned. "I can't even do a simple rain removing charm! That's not even N.E.W.T.'s level!" She looked up at him, appearing close to hysterics. "Do you have any idea how long it takes for me to dry my hair properly?"
Harry, feeling a little bit out of his area of expertise, cupped her face with both hands. "Or maybe," he said. "It's just raining very, very hard. Whatever happened to relaxing? Do I need to kiss you again?" he said sternly.
Harry felt her face heat up under his hands, giving him a small thrill. "Oh, I don't know if… mmmfff…."
Several rain kisses later, Hermione was sufficiently dazed enough to push aside (momentarily) her worries about N.E.W.T.'s. Feeling quite light-headed himself, Harry gripped her arm tightly as they slipped and slid their way up to the castle. Thankfully, he managed to avoid any more spills.
Laughing, they stumbled into the castle, continuing to hold each other upright.
"We're a mess," Hermione declared, not sounding in the least bit upset by it.
"Yes, we are," Harry said cheerfully, dripping water all over the floor.
Hermione giggled, looking more relaxed and happy than Harry had seen her in a long time. It struck him that it was because of him—she was glowing because of him. Such a powerful wave of affection and protectiveness hit him that for a moment he felt unsteady on his feet.
Harry did the only thing he could, he gathered Hermione up in a tight hug. She hugged him back fiercely and Harry knew that things between them would never been the same again. Which, at the moment, didn't seem to be bothering him in the least.
"Hey, Hermione," he said quietly, beginning to grin. "There's still a good… ten minutes of dinner left. Common room's probably all empty."
Hermione's mouth twitched. "Are you suggesting what I think you're suggesting?"
"Dunno," Harry said. "What do you think I'm suggesting?"
Hermione pretended to mull it over. "I suppose it would be an awfully good time to get some studying done without interruptions," she said seriously. Off his horrified look, she grinned and took hold of his arm. "Did you have something else in mind?"
"Well," Harry said slowly, allowing her to pull him along. "I was thinking about snogging you senselessly, actually. But studying sounds good, too."
"Haha," Hermione muttered. "What are we going to do about our wet clothes?"
Harry closed his eyes for a moment. A million replies to that question flashed through his mind—all of which sounded like a good way to get Hermione's fist on his face. He opened his eyes and, with an admirable amount of self-control, merely said. "I'm, uh, sure they'll dry."
Hermione smirked. "That was difficult for you, huh?"
"This is really all your fault," Harry said when they got to the common room. "If you hadn't run out in the middle of a freak storm, I wouldn't have felt the need to—"
"Harry," Hermione interrupted patiently, looking down at her watch. "Seven minutes until dinner gets out. Is there going to be kissing or not? Because, frankly, if you keep babbling on I'll… mmfff…."