(A/N – Sorry about the really really really long wait!


Chapter 22 – Cheaters and Wandless Magic – Hermione's POV

"Harry, can I talk to you for a minute?" I heard Luna Lovegood ask as I climbed the stairs of the Burrow, looking for Harry.

"Oh… Sure Luna." I heard them walk into the closest room, Ginny's, and give the door a push, but it didn't close all the way.

I turned the corner at the top of the stairs and the hallway that Harry and Luna had just been in came into view. I walked towards the door to Ginny's room and pushed it open just as Luna pushed Harry up against the wall opposite and planted her lips on his.

I resisted the urge to scream in order to watch Harry's reaction. At first he froze in shock, then tried for a few moments to push the little slut away, before he relaxed and gave into the kiss, his arms snaking around his waist.

Breath catching in my throat, I stumbled silently down the hall and back down the stairs. I entered the living room just as Ron and Blaise returned through the back door, Ron with a big grin and Blaise with a smug smirk playing across his lips.

I stumbled across the room and collapsed into Ron's arms in tears, burying my face in his shoulder.

I sensed his jaw drop. "Uh – Mione? What's going on?"

I merely pointed over my shoulder at the staircase.

"Er… I'll go see," I heard Blaise stutter. His footsteps disappeared up the stairs.

After a few minutes I heard angry shouts, but I could not make out what they were saying until the shouting match made its way down the stairs.

"She already knows! She saw you, you bastard. She's down there crying right now!" Blaise shouted at Harry.

"No…shut up! I don't believe you."

Blaise entered the living room moments later. "See for yourself!" he shouted up the stairs.

"What's going on?" Ron asked, confused.

"Bastard was making out with Lovegood," Blaise said angrily.

This brought on a fresh wave of tears, and I sobbed into Ron's tearstained shirt.

"What… Harry? I don't-"

At this point Harry entered the living room, a purple tinge to his lips due to Luna's lipstick.

"Harry…?" Ron said, as if everything he had ever known was being pulled out from beneath his feet.

Harry ignored Ron. "Mione, I-"

I broke out of Ron's arms and ran out the back door and into the snow in only my socks. I took off for the forest.

Blaise followed me immediately, pausing only long enough to jam his feet into his shoes. Ron gave Harry one last, questioning look and followed us out the door.

I reached the wooded area and headed for the clearing in the middle with the log bench. By the time I reached the bench and collapsed onto it, my socks were soaked with melting snow.

Blaise arrived a few seconds later, pulling off his cloak as he ran. He draped it around my shoulders, as I was wearing only a thin sweater and a skirt. He buttoned it up the front, but I made no move to put my arms I the sleeves. It was warmer this way, anyways.

Just then, Ron came crashing through the trees, also pulling off his cloak. When he saw that I was already wearing Blaise's, he stopped. "Oh. Thanks," he whispered to Blaise.

"Of course."

"But…now you're going to get cold," Ron said worriedly.

Blaise rolled his eyes. "I'm fine. Shh."

Ron sighed and sat down beside me, wrapping his arms around me. Tears flowed silently down my cheeks as I relaxed against his chest. Blaise sat down on my other side and rubbed my back soothingly.

"I can't believe this…" Ron sighed confusedly.

There was a rustling in the trees and Harry stepped out into the clearing. Blaise jumped up and pulled his wand.

"Leave. Now," he said dangerously.

After a brief pause, Harry responded quietly, "What are you going to do if I pull my wand on you? You're no match for me, you know."

Blaise looked a little nervous for a second, but then cleared the emotion from his face. "You're not of age," Blaise replied simply.

Harry sighed, "I just want to talk to her-"

"I don't give a shit what you want," Blaise cut him off. "She'll talk to you when she's good and ready. There is nothing I hate more than a cheater. Now leave." He stepped forward, his wand pointing at Harry's chest.

"You can't tell me what I can and cannot do," Harry said angrily, stepping forwards.

Blaise pressed his wand against Harry's throat and growled, "I know an awful lot of dark curses, Potter."

"Yeah? Learn those from your Death Eater father?" Harry prodded.

"Harry!" Ron yelled angrily.

Blaise dropped his wand to the ground and turned around, suddenly looking like a lost, hopeless puppy. But then, after a few moments, he turned around, the snarl back on his face. "You know why I'm so pissed about this? You want to know why I'm defending the poor girl? It's because you remind me of my father. I had to take care of my mother every time he went off with one of his little sluts. Fuck you!" he spat on Harry's feet.

Blaise's anger was such that as he went to reach for his wand, it lifted off the ground on its own and flew into his outstretched hand.

"This is your last chance," he said, almost calmly. "Leave now."

Harry turned around and stalked out of the forest.

Blaise slumped down on the log bench, tears streaming down his cheeks.

"Oh, Merlin…I'm going to kill Harry," Ron sighed, gently rubbing Blaise's back.