Summary: Hermione becomes aggravated with Harry when he's sulking in the common room one night, and she learns something she didn't quite expect. Wow, I stink at summaries.
Disclaimer: Harry's not mine. Hermione's not mine. I'm not making any money off this. No suing, por favor.
Aggravation. That's what Hermione was feeling. Oh, yes, she was exasperated to her limit and beyond annoyance with Harry because he was being, quite possibly, the daftest git alive at the moment.
Harry was moping about the common room brooding and snapping grumpily at everyone that passed, and every time she tried to talk to him about what had put him in such a foul mood, he'd snap at her, and so she'd left him alone and was now working on her homework – but every time she looked up, he was staring at her with this lost, hopeful look in his eyes like he was hoping she would come over and set things right. Senseless, that's what it was. If he wanted her attention so badly, why didn't he just take it when it was offered?
After she caught him staring for the fifth time, she'd had enough. She was determined. She would find out what was wrong with Harry Bloody Potter this time, even if she had to suck it out of him with a vacuum cleaner.
"Harry!" she said as she abandoned her homework, perhaps with a bit more force and volume than was necessary, "I don't know what's gotten into you tonight, but you're making everyone around you miserable – or extremely annoyed, in my case, and I've had enough. You'll either talk to me, or…never mind, you don't have a choice. You'll talk to me, and you'll talk to me now."
Harry stared at her, looking a little frightened. Clearly, she'd taken him by surprise. That was good. The element of surprise could work to her advantage.
While he was still in shock, Hermione went to him and grabbed him by the arm, hoisting him from his chair, and then she led him out of the common room amongst the stares of the other Gryffindors. She would take him to the Room of Requirement, where they could talk without fear of eavesdroppers or interruption.
When they arrived, Hermione pushed Harry down into one of the chairs the Room had provided and then sat down across from him.
"Talk, Harry," she commanded.
He glowered at her. Evidently, he'd recovered from his astonishment enough to be cranky again. "Why were you whispering with Terry Boot today?"
Hermione narrowed her eyes at him. "What does that have to do with anything?"
"Just answer the question," he insisted.
"Fine," Hermione huffed. "We were in the library, Harry. You have to whisper in there."
"Yes, but why were you whispering to Terry Boot?" Harry questioned.
"We were just talking about the Arithmancy assignment, Harry. Why are you so bothered by it?"
Harry scowled. "I don't think you should talk to Terry Boot anymore, Hermione. He seems like he's up to no good."
Hermione gaped. "Terry? Harry, he's part of the DA! Why on earth would you think he's up to no good?"
"I'm not saying he's in league with Voldemort – I'm saying his intentions with you are no good."
Hermione rolled her eyes. "Oh, don't tell me this is your version of the overprotective big brother act – I get enough of that from Ron. I'm a big girl, Harry, honestly, I can –"
"I'm not doing an overprotective big brother act!" Harry interrupted indignantly. "I just think Terry has…designs on you, and I don't trust him."
Hermione rolled her eyes. "Really, Harry, I'm sure Terry's feelings for me are entirely platonic."
Harry shook his head. "Oh, no they're not. I've seen the way he looks at you – and your…your…chest – when you're not paying attention. He's trying to get at you, Hermione, and I'm not about to sit back and let him."
Hermione raised an eyebrow, extremely shocked at what she was hearing. Harry could be such an idiot sometimes. Honestly, didn't he know she could take care of herself? "What's that supposed to mean, 'you're not about to sit back and let him' – what do you care if he likes me, and what makes you think I'll let him get at me, anyway?"
Harry's eyes widened in a very deer-in-the-headlights look, as if he was just realizing what he'd said. Hermione frowned. Something was very off with Harry's behavior – Harry'd never cared when boys had been interested in her before, not like Ron had…
Not like Ron had...
No…because Ron had been interested in her, too…
Hermione could only stare at Harry. Did he…did he mean what she thought he meant by that? And if he did, did she feel the same way?
One look at his nervous face reminded her of what she'd been denying to herself for years, suppressing and ignoring because she thought she didn't stand a chance with him, and she knew answer to that question – Of course.
She gulped, now afraid – what if she'd misunderstood him? What if she'd got it all terribly wrong and she was about to be rejected? "Harry…Harry, do you care that Terry might like me that way because you like me that way?"
Harry's Adam's apple bobbed as he mimicked her gulp. "Um…well…I just…I don't think Terry's right for you and –"
Hermione was beginning to feel aggravated again, and terribly impatient. "Harry, if you do like me that way, I'm just going to figure it out eventually, so it'd be a lot easier on me if you'd just tell me now one way or the other."
Harry looked a little frightened. "All right…yes. I do like you that way."
Hermione blushed. "And…that's why you've been in a bad mood? You were worried I might like Terry?"
Harry mirrored her blush. "Maybe."
Hermione felt all of her annoyance soften and quickly dissipate. "Oh, Harry," she breathed, "you're being daft again, you know that?"
Harry blinked. "I am?"
"Yes," she said, smiling. "Why on earth would I want Terry when I could have you? Use your head."
Harry's face slowly lit up with a smile. "You…you like me?"
Hermione laughed. "Why wouldn't I?"
"Well, I'm not smart enough for you or patient enough and I don't control my temper very well, obviously, and –"
Hermione rolled her eyes. "You're plenty smart enough for me, Harry, and I love everything about you – faults and all."
"You love me?" Harry said with disbelief.
"Yes," Hermione said hesitantly, worrying that she'd said too much too soon. When he stood and moved toward her, however, she knew she hadn't, and she stood to meet him halfway as he took her into his arms and kissed her. His lips were warm and dry and gentle, tentative and hopeful – his kiss was just like him, and she loved it.
Hermione sighed as he pulled away and let her head fall to his chest, eyes closed. She felt him chuckle.
"I'm glad we talked," he said.
She smiled. "Me too."