Summary: Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree. Merry, merry king of the bush is he. La, Kookaburra! La, Kookaburra! Gay your life must be!
Fandom / Pairing: HP, K/Hr
Notes: Set during GoF. For Kizunami, who always wanted me to write this. ♥
Notes II: Yeah, I don't know why it's called this either. But it seemed to fit, so there you are. :shrug:
She'd noticed him. Of course she had. How couldn't she? Famous Victor Krum, international quidditch star. She'd watched him play at the World Cup. She saw him pull off a spectacular dive. She'd seen the girls following him.
Oh yeah, she'd noticed him.
He'd hide behind bookshelves, looking at her. The hairs on the back of her neck had stood on end and she could feel her face heat. This was different, this was something...something wonderful.
Famous Viktor Krum. Looking at her, Plain Hermione Jane.
She was kidding herself. For certain.
It didn't matter either way.
(It really did.)
"Is this seat taken?"
She looked up at him, eyes wide. It was Him, asking her if the chair across from her was taken or not. Unable to speak, she shook her head no and shrugged a little. He didn't want her, not really. He wanted to study. Surely one of the Slytherins had told him about her.
That was all. Really.
Quietly, she read her book across from him, fully aware he was looking at her despite the tome in his hands.
Surreptitiously marking her place in the book with a finger, she looked up at him. "Yes?"
"I vas vondering...You seem to haff a great knowledge of this library. Could you help me find something? The librarian, she is not very helpful." He spoke deliberately, Bulgarian accent making his voice sound deep and rich.
She smiled. Research. She could do research.
"Sure. What are you looking for?"
"If I vanted a book about advanced Transfiguration, vhere should I look?"
She stood. "I'll show you."
As he followed, he spoke. "My name is Viktor. May I ask yours?"
She smiled over her shoulder at him. "Hermione."
"Her--Hermy-own. That's pretty."
"Thank you. Was there a certain book you wanted?"
"Ah, yes. Tranfiguring NEWTs, I think is the title."
"This one, then."
When she handed him the book, their hands touched.
"You know who you remind me of?" He sat across from her, quietly scratching out an essay for Charms. The question had come out of the blue.
"Whom?" She set down her own quill and focused on him.
"My little brother."
"You have a brother?"
"Yes." He smiled fondly. (From somewhere behind him, his fangirls swooned.) "His name is Erik. If he vas here, he'd be a third year. He's like you, in some vays. He's always reading."
"My sister's about the same age. A year younger." She returned his fond smile with one of her own.
"Does she look like you?"
"A little. I take after my dad, she takes after my mother."
"It is the same for us; my father and I are said to look like brothers." He propped his head on a hand and looked at her, nostalgia colouring his eyes.
"Do you miss them?"
"Terribly, sometimes." He rolled his 'r's; it made her shiver.
"Me too. I'm muggleborn; the first year here was truly awful. I missed them desperately. I remember at one point I was ready to go home and give up on all this magic business." She pinked and looked away.
"And now you're one of the best vitches here."
She blushed deeper.
"Ve had a test today."
She smiled warmly. Somehow he'd gone from a silent study partner to...something she couldn't quite define. Something she loved to have. Something she hadn't realized was missing until now.
She made a face. "Professor Snape. How did you do?"
His face blank, he handed her the parchment, folded neatly in half. Hesitantly she accepted it and undid the fold.
There was a moment of silence.
"Victor!" She half-whispered. "You got an A!"
He smiled, legitimately proud. "I vas the only one."
"I'm proud of you." She felt idiotic as soon as the words had left her mouth. She felt the back of her neck turn red and thanked the stars it wasn't her face.
Victor, however, merely tilted his head slightly. "Thank you. That means a lot to me."
She looked at his hand on the table before meeting his eyes.
She was sitting at her favorite table in the library, huddled in the corner. The glass windows did nothing to insulate against the cold, but she didn't mind; the falling snow was lovely enough to make up for it.
She felt him behind her. "Hello, Viktor." She tilted her head back and smiled at him, upside down. She gestured for him to join her. Wordlessly, he fell into the seat.
"I love the snow," she murmured. "I love the color, the patterns. I love everything about snow."
"Back home, we would have long, white winters. At Durmstrang, we joked that the snow never melts."
"I honestly don't think I'd mind."
They were quiet for a long moment.
She turned to look at him, cheeks rosy from the cold.
"Vill you go to the Ball vit me?"
She ran up the stairs to the girls' dorms, as fast as her feet would take her. The boys hadn't even spared her a cursory glance, but that didn't trouble her in the least.
(The redhead playing chess watched, saw her flushed face and bright expression. He scowled.)
"Ginny!" She burst into the third year girls' dorms, seeking a different redhead than normal.
Three faces, none of them Ginny's, looked at her. "Ginny's gone for a walk," offered one of the girls, who was doing a second's hair.
"Thank you!" Hermione dashed out, the thanks called over a shoulder. She looked over the handrail, hoping to catch a glimpse of her friend, should she be in the common room, when she hit someone.
"So sorry! I'm distracted you see."
"No problem." Ginny replied, tilting her head slightly at Hermione's strange behavior.
"Ginny!" She grabbed the girl by the arm and pulled her into the fourth year girls' dorm roughly. The room was empty; Parvati and Lavender were downstairs.
"Ouch! Hermione, what's going on?"
"Ginny," she began, excitement leaking into her voice. "Viktor asked me to the ball!"
Ginny squealed. "Merlin, Hermione! Tell me you said yes!" The brunette nodded vigorously, a huge grin spread upon her face. "Eeeee!" She hugged Hermione, nearly toppling them off the bed.
They had comandeered a corner of the dorm and the bathroom for themselves. Ginny and she had decided that there was strength in numbers.
Her periwinkle blue robes had been aired out, a steaming charm helping to speed the process. She'd showered while the steam had settled in, feeling the cold from outside air bleeding from her bones. As she dragged the sponge over her skin, she contemplated the afternoon. Ron's still trying to trick me into saying Viktor's name, she thought derisively.
Still, she mused, I didn't take part. I decided it wasn't...worth it. She raised her arms, rinsing the soap off of them, before pirouetting to rinse out her hair. I suppose that's Viktor's influence; I want...more. She paused, fingers still entangled in her hair.
Well, she thought wryly, Mum always did say girls mature faster than boys.
She toweled off and dressed quickly, shivering against the cold floor of the dorm room. Ginny was beside her bed, taking down the two sets of robes. She checked her beside clock; they had two hours to go.
"Tonight...is going to be amazing."
"Planning on making the others jealous?" Ginny smirked and she blushed. "You're entitled. Come on."
She met him in a quiet corner of the school, where the only lights were the torches in their holders, and the only students were making (thankfully) muffled sounds behind closed doors.
"Hermy-own," Viktor had breathed when he had seen her. Her smile widened, something she hadn't thought possible. "You look...beautiful."
"Thank you, Viktor. You are too kind."
"I speak but the truth." He leaned down and gently kissed her cheek. She desperately wanted him to move futher south.
"Shall ve go to the Great Hall?"
"Yes." He held out his arm and she took it.
She couldn't help but notice the way their robes complemented each other.
He was the perfect dancer, telegraphing his moves perfectly. Her movements matched his with ease, step for step. She could feel the strength in him, in his arms, two wrapped around her waist. She was safe, and she loved it.
Two steps forward, two steps back. Left closed change, step, step. Turn and dip! She laughed as he pulled her back up, the song fading away. His own face was lit up, a broad grin making him far more handsome than she'd ever seen him.
She leaned into him as they swayed to a slow song, and she was reminded of the times she danced with her father, standing on his toes in her Mary Janes, laughing and shaking her head as her pigtails whipped around her face.
Then the song changed and the crowd rushed the stage, opting to devolve into a frenzied mass. She and Viktor were pulled with the current. She made the universal sign of "rock on" and jumped up and down with the rest of the crowd, Viktor right beside her.
She felt his hand on the small of her back.
They walked outside, taking a breather from the dance. They didn't say anything, simply enjoying the others' company. Subtly, she shifted closer to him.
He kissed her under the walnut tree. It was her first kiss and she smiled against his mouth. Somewhere in the distance, thunder rumbled. But the moon shone still, full and bright.
In the darkness the night offered her, she looked up at him, face flushed. His own features became more striking in the shadows.
Wistfully, she wished he was as handsome in the sunlight.
"Next time there's a ball, ask me before somebody else does, and not as a last resort!" She dashed up the stairs, not bothering to see the look on his face.
The door to the dormitory opened without her touching it, slamming shut behind her after she'd passed through. Sinking down onto her mattress, she let out her hair, the strangely silken strands falling into lazy curls around her face. Grabbing the pillow, she cried fitfully into it, beyond caring if the other girls saw her.
He was so stupid.
He's so stupid! She shouted in the confines of her mind. Stupid, stupid boy. The last word was venomous, and some part of her knew that that was exactly what he was; a boy yet.
Maybe she needed a real man.
The door to the dormitory opened and she quickly wiped her eyes, smoothed her dress, and moved to the edge of her bed.
She looked up to see Parvati sitting across from her, on the edge of her own bed.
"You looked really, really lovely tonight."
She sniffed a little. "Thank you. I love yours. They're so exotic!"
Parvati laughed quietly. "Hermione?"
"Don't...don't be too upset with him. They get better, you know."
She blushed and looked away. Eager to change the subject, she remarked, "Where's Lavender?"
"With one of the ones that's already 'gotten better'." Parvati smirked and Hermione burst into laughter.
He kissed her behind suits of armor and in hidden alcoves. He kissed her behind bookshelves and near trees. He kissed her gently; she was only fifteen.
But to her, fifteen was more than old enough.
She deepened the kiss, the nth time - for she'd lost count long ago - in the abandoned charms class. What had started as a test ended up the most breathtaking moment she'd had with him. She was flushed well and good by the time they separated.
"Viktor!" she gasped, unsure of what more to say.
"Hermy-own-ninny," he whispered in his her ear. She could feel his stubbled cheek rubbing against her own and she bit back a particularly out-of-character giggle. She felt giddy and light and full, and it was the weirdest combination she'd ever felt.
"Hermy-own-ninny," he whispered again, huskier. There was something there, and she shivered. It was times like these that she was all-too aware of the differences between masculine and feminine.
She loved every minute of it.
She looked at Ginny before looking away and blushing.
"Hermione!" Ginny's voice lost some of the astonishment and radiated glee. If possible, Hermione blushed redder.
"It's just a love bite, Gin."
Ginny clucked her tongue. "You just can't let the boys see that. Believe me, Ron would lose it for sure."
At the mention of his name, she sobered and looked out the window, wistful. "He would, wouldn't he," she murmured. She was halfway tempted to let him see it, if only to infuriate him. Since when am I so vindictive?
"Hermione...can I ask you something?"
"You just did." She smiled softly at the redhead's slightly sour expression. "Go ahead."
"How...how do you feel about Krum?"
She looked back out the window, at the white expanse of the grounds.
The million-dollar question.
"You're the thing that he would most miss." McGonagall looked directly at her, sharp eyes piercing, as she said that. As much as she wished it was only her imagination, it was undeniable.
Another pair of eyes bore into her, and she had to bite her tongue to keep from saying anything. It was better that he make his own assumptions.
It's better this way, she thought decisively. It was none of his business anyway.
His eyes drilled through to her heart.
They sat, lakeside. A large, fluffy towel with some kind of heating charm was wrapped around her shoulders. Her hair clung to her scalp in wet, wide curls.
She couldn't know that, to him, she still looked beautiful.
"Come visit Bulgaria vit me," he said, as they warmed their hands around mugs of tea. "Over the summer. I vill show you my homeland."
She was stunned. "Viktor, I..." She looked away.
His features softened. "I understand. You need more time."
She smiled. "Yes. Thank you." Why couldn't all of them be as understanding? she wondered.
A redhead broke the surface of the water.
In three months, they shared ten romantic walks along the lake, five late-night make-out sessions, seven deep conversations in the library, and one stargazing session in the Astronomy Tower.
As the Third Task loomed, however, she saw less and less of him.
Perhaps, she thought, the most disturbing part is...
I don't really miss him.
She sighed sharply and turned a page in her tome. Unbeknownst to her, the boys shared a look.
"You have to break up with him."
"No, I'm serious. How would you like to be strung along like you're doing to him?"
"It would...it would hurt."
"End it. Soon."
"Before the Task?"
"Better sooner than later. Believe me."
"Then...Hermione, you're really new to this, aren't you?"
"Hermione...then you're free."
"Free to do what, exactly? Pine? Wait? I'm not a patient girl, Gin. Not like you."
"That was low, but I'll let that slide."
"Oh, Ginny, I'm sorry--"
"Don't worry about it. Anyway, don't you see?"
"You have the ultimate leverage!"
They were separated from the others, far enough away for them to not be able to overhear. He rubbed his knuckles, a nervous habit she'd picked up on.
"Viktor?" she prompted again, fearing the question.
"Hermy-own-ninny," he started. "I asked to haff you over during the summer in my homeland."
Her stomach bottomed out. "Viktor, I--"
"I know ve are not going to be seeing each other anymore, but my invitation stands."
She smiled softly. "I make no promises, but you are too, too kind."
They hugged quickly and then she moved to join the boys.
When Ron asked for Viktor's autograph, she couldn't help but smile.
Bonus Deleted Scene:
"That." He pointed at the edge of a bruise under her collar.
She froze. "It's nothing," she replied quickly.
He reached over and pulled down her collar before she could react. "That's not nothing. Has he been hitting you?" She gaped at him, fishlike. "The bastard! I'll kick his ass!" He shot up and balled his fists, his gangly, boyish frame shaking in anger. He's still a good three inches shorter than Viktor.
"Ron! It's nothing. An insect bit me."
He visibly untensed, but he remained standing. "An insect."
"Why didn't you have Madame Pompfrey fix it."
Her lips tightened, turning white and flattening into a line.
"It's not an insect bite, is it?"
She shook her head. A silence stretched between them, long and uncomfortable. "It's a love bite."
His face, so expressive, ran the gamut of expressions before settling in on blank. "So, is that what you've been doing in the library? All that studying? Helping out Harry with the research on your own time was just an excuse, wasn't it?" His voice sounded less and less human and more like a snarl.
"I don't have to answer that." Her hand covered the bruise on her neck, the teeth marks a slightly darker purple.
"Is that it, then? Macking in the library, behind the annuals shelves? Next to the window with the chair in front of it?"
"Shut up. It's none of your business."
"Come off it, Hermione. You've made yourself into a harlot. Look at you, prancing about with your love bite, flaunting it like it's some trophy. Why don't you just take his Quidditch one. It's certainly bigger than his--"
"That's enough!" She glared at him murderously, with daggers in her eyes. Never before had she wished looks could kill. But he'd crossed the line. "What I do or don't do with him is none of your concern. Drop it, or so help me you'll have more than just a nose off-centre."
It's done! At last!
This is the K/Hr fic I promised you all months and months ago. Finally it's done.
Before you all go psycho on me for Viktor's accent, I'll tell you I spent a week and a half familiarizing myself with Bulgarian tonalities before I dove into this fic. I did my research; you can quote me on that.
Also, while Hermione doesn't have a sister as per canon, JKR mentioned in some interview (where we find out that Hermione's middle name is Jane) that Hermione was supposed to have had a little sister. So don't go screaming "Anti-canon!" at me; I know what I'm talking about.
The bonus deleted scene was something I wanted desperately to add but couldn't fit anywhere. But it was too much fun to write just to scrap. It's technically incomplete, but it's a deleted scene, so it's not meant to be full.