Thunder bolted across the sky. The rain clattered dangerously against the windows, as they rattled helplessly. Hermione twitches.
"Hermione, you don't have to be afraid – it's just hail." Harry states comfortingly, watching Hermione's uncertain eyes peeking over her book. They were focused on the pages, but they certainly weren't moving.
She suddenly put the book down on the coffee table.
"Let's play a game." She more or less ordered, placing her hands in her lap.
"A game?" Harry asked curiously, putting down his book and raising his eyebrow. Hermione Granger – playing games? He was about to ask more of what he was thinking, when Neville walked tiredly into the common room.
"Hullo Harry, Hermione. I'm going to bed." The Gryffindor stairs creaked as Neville made his way upstairs.
Hermione smiled, repositioning herself on the couch.
"It's called I Never," She said to Harry. "What you do, is that everybody starts out with five fingers – and a glass of alcohol. One person states something they have never done, and if the other person has done it, they take down a finger and sip a part of their drink. When all of you fingers are down, you have to take off one item of clothing."
Err… Was that such a good idea? They were friends… Honestly, out of all the games out there, muggle or wizarding, why did Hermione have to choose this one? Well… living with the Durlseys for most of his years – he hadn't really done that much.
"Ok." He finally said hesitantly. "I'm in." Hermione jumped on her seat.
"Oh – we don't have alcohol. We'll just use caffeine." Two goblets conjured on the table, and Hermione grabbed hers.
"Alright! I'll go first!" She said enthusiastically. The brown part of eyes her moved to the corner – glancing at the wall. She thought, tapping her fingers at the glassy goblet.
A mischievous look suddenly formed on her face.
"I have never… fancied a girl." Hermione laughed at Harry's interested look became bitter.
"No fair, Hermione!" He said over her laughs.
"I've never done that!" Hermione managed to choke out.
"Well, fine." Snapping the goblet into his hand, he sipped grudgingly. "Two can play this game. I've never fancied a guy."
Hermione casually sipped, not angry at all.
Harry frowned. "Why aren't you upset?"
"For what? Liking a guy? I'm not ashamed," Hermione said shrugging. "Let me think. I've never been kissed."
Harry resentfully sipped, a rush of caffeine running through his vanes. Suddenly, he regretted that kiss he gave Ginny last year.
"Two for you." Hermione stated, tallying in her head.
"Fine. I've never… Told anyone that I love them." Harry said truthfully.
"But you have fallen in love?" Hermione blurted out.
"Uh – I dunno. Never really thought about that."
"But you fancy someone?" Hermione continued on.
"You… you could say that." A smile played on the corner of Hermione's mouth.
"Back to the game, I haven't either," Neither of them drinks. "Alright… I've never confronted and told my friends about a crush I had on someone else."
Harry sipped, suddenly thinking that maybe he was too open about his personal life and crushes to Ron.
"I've never traveled."
Hermione stares at him in disbelief. "What? You've never been traveling?"
"Oh come on, Hermione, I lived with the Dursleys for basically all my life." Hermione shrugged and took a sip.
"I've… I've never fancied anyone in Slytherin."
"Really? So many people see you with Malfoy." Harry stated with a twitch in his mouth.
"What! Malfoy? And when did random people start paring strangers up with snobby Slytherins?" Hermione said surprisingly.
"I guess he is a little arrogant. I've never fancied anyone in Hufflepuff."
"Is this the 'fancying game' or what? Well, I haven't either." Hermione scoffed loftily. Harry laughed at her nonchalant behavior about Hufflepuffs. He knew Hermione thought of Hufflepuffs too cheerful and, well, too lightheaded for her taste.
She shook off that subject. "I've never… had a boyfriend."
"What?" Harry spat out – thinking about fourth year. "What about Viktor Krum?"
Hermione gasped offense-taken-like. "That, Mr. Potter, wasn't a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship… That was a – date to the Yule Ball."
"Oh. Well soon you'll be telling me that you weren't dancing that night, you were just walking through the crowd."
"Is that criticism? Don't answer that. But – on with the game. I've never smoked a cigarette."
"I haven't either. It sounds absolutely terrifying…"
"Oh, Hermione, no one is going to threat you on that." Harry said, with a playful hit against her shoulder.
"Fine. I've never… told a muggle friend of mine about Hogwarts." Hermione said.
"Oh, Hermione, you're too easy. Like I would have any muggle friend – or Dudley would let me."
"I'm just trying to think of things I've never done. You have two fingers left Harry, by the way, play the game wisely. I've never been to an amusement park."
"And you think I have? Well then… I've never read Hogwarts, A History."
Hermione dropped her smile. "Harry! That was required for Professor Bins Class!"
"That barely even counts as a thing you've never done!"
"Come on, Hermione! You only had two fingers up–"
"And you had three. Pretty close to me."
"Fine. Go on, Miss Bookworm."
"I've never played quidditch." Hermione said immediately.
Harry felt a certain loathing toward his broom. He sipped. "You've been saving that one. I've never… had a cat as a pet."
Hermione sipped. "You're jinxing yourself, Potter, backfiring. I've never had an owl as a pet. Ha! That was five! Take off something! Have you gotten drunk?"
"No. Tipsy is the word. But relax, it's just my shoes…" He glanced down, in horror. He was sure he had his shoes on. Well, besides, it was just a sweater. He still had his white under shirt, just like Hermione had her blouse.
"Now, just one more for you. I've – never talked to my parents."
"Oh, using you misfortunate past to make me drunk? Clever, Harry, but not enough," She took a sip, and removed her shoes and socks. "I've never ridden a broom."
"But what about – oh, wait – you never have. Really? You should go sometimes."
"Very funny Harry."
"No, on the back of my broom – I'll be steering. You'll just have to hold on," When Hermione's concerned expression still didn't change, Harry sighed. "Buckbeak was worse, you know."
"Well, maybe." Hermione said tentatively.
Harry sipped. "I've never fancied a professor."
"And you think I have?" Hermione asked with an innocent face.
"Oh come on! What about Lockhart? Or maybe even Lupin?"
Hermione looked at him with disgust. "Ok, maybe Lockhart but never Lupin. He was too old – and not too safe."
"Alright, but that means you still sip." Hermione hastily drank a drop.
"I've never fancied a Ravenclaw."
Harry sipped embarrassingly. "Really? Hermione Know-It-All Granger not being with a smart and witty Ravenclaw?"
"You surprise me, Hermione. I've never… broken a limb or something."
"But you lost your bones, once. I've never fancied a Weasley."
Harry sipped almost absently. "Really? Everyone always sees you and Ron perfect for each other."
"Well… Not really. Hope you don't mind my saying… but he's not good enough for you." Harry said shyly.
"Even though your talking behind your best friend's back – that's very sweet Harry."
Hermione shrugged off the weird feeling she suddenly received.
"I've never had… a stroke!" Harry said.
"What? That is your I Never? Oh, fine. I've never… had a kiss."
It was basically like her I've never been kissed she had said earlier in the game, but Harry didn't point that out.
"I can't believe you haven't had your first kiss yet," Harry blurted out. Hermione blushed. "No – I mean, you're the smartest friend I could have ever imagined having, and you're… you're very pretty, Hermione…"
"Well, thank you. I guess other people just see me like a nosy know-it-all and nose-buried-in-a-book person. You know, I'm just Hermione Granger. I read and study–" Hermione was cut off, because all of a sudden, Harry kisses her.
Hermione blinked several times before turning crimson. She didn't have any warning – and least expected it right now. Harry suddenly ripped away, and turned away.
"Oh my god, how could I have let that happen – I am so sorry, Hermione…"
Hermione, with a gentle smile on her face, pushed his shoulder around to see his face.
"Harry. I'm not… I'm not upset – I don't hate you."
"But you don't feel for me?"
Hermione was a little surprised. "What? Uh – what are you talking about?"
"Well…" He moved back in his chair as thunder ran across the sky. He rubbed the back of his neck, looking down at the floor. "I mean, remember before? When you asked me if I loved someone, or I at least fancied someone?"
"Yes." Hermione said transfixed by shock.
"Well, I do. You…"
"Um – the first one or the second one?" Hermione asked carefully
"Uh, I don't want to really say until you tell me what I did was just wrong." Harry said seriously.
"I haven't really thought about that – since, well, you're the Boy Who Lived–"
"Uh, Hermione? Please don't address me that. Scarhead is better." Hermione gave a laugh and Harry gave a small smile.
"I wouldn't ever do that–"
"Hermione? Am I out of line thinking this could ever work?"
As graceful and most less cheap-and-cliché-novelish, she closed the distance between them, witch really wasn't that much. Harry responded immediately.
He wrapped his arms around her protectively as she shivered against him – as more thunder slammed loudly against the window.
Harry slowly pulled away.
"Well. I guess I have something to add to the list," Harry whispered softly. "I've never kissed you before."
"Does this mean that you're in the lead again?"
"Hermione… I think now we're even…" The storm exploded once more outside. Well, at least Harry was here now.