Blood of a Virgin
Summary: Harry finds out something interesting about his two best friends during the Horcrux Hunt. Awkwardness, schmoop and a dash of humour.
Disclaimer: JK is a goddess. I'm just playing with her characters. I promise to return them in tip-top condition.
A/N: Thanks to my ever faithful beta, Toni! She's stuck with me through more than one fandom. Hugs! This piece is also dedicated to tvchickelsie, aka Elise, aka "Number 6". I've been promising her a HP for a while now. This is for your first HD. Here you go!
It wasn't that Harry wasn't thrilled beyond belief, really. They had finally found the Horcrux. It had taken the better part of a year, a few confrontations with Death Eaters and living on the run but they had finally found it. Harry stared at the cup that had caused months and months of searching.
Despite being an object filled with dark magic, not to mention that little piece of Voldemort's soul, the cup of Helga Hufflepuff was very unremarkable. But Harry had learnt that just because something looked unremarkable, didn't mean it wasn't cursed enough to kill you. With that morbid thought, he turned to Ron and Hermione.
"Well, what now?" Ron asked impatiently. Harry noticed Hermione roll her eyes at him but give his shoulder a little squeeze in support. Harry ignored Ron for the moment and took out his wand.
"Harry, no," Hermione protested and put her hand gently on his arm. "We can't simply point our wands and hope for the best. We've been trying to find this cup for months. We really ought to check before doing anything."
Harry sighed. Hermione was right, of course. He lowered his wand and pushed up his glasses. "You're right Hermione. What do you suggest?" He slipped his wand back into his pocket, ignoring Moody's warnings about keeping the wand close enough to blow off a certain part of the anatomy.
Hermione swung round her bag and began rummaging through. Meanwhile, Ron had decided he would tap his wand against the wall as he circled the room. He heard Hermione sigh and eyed her as he could tell Ron's constant tapping was extremely irritating. He prepared for the snap…nothing. Ron kept tapping, completely oblivious as usual. Harry looked at Hermione again and noticed her face was scrunched up in concentration as she looked through the notes she had brought with her.
This situation between Ron and Hermione was…unusual to say the least. He was honestly very, very happy for the two of them. Just after Bill and Fleur's wedding, they had left for the Horcrux hunt and while there hadn't been any grand announcements of their relationship, it was pretty obvious to Harry. Ron and Hermione were in love. To their credit, he hadn't yet caught them in any compromising positions. An odd kiss and a cuddle was expected, however Harry was grateful that they were at least trying to keep it quiet. Apart from not wanting to be caught in the middle of anything unsavoury, he really didn't need anything reminding him of who he had left behind.
The subtleties were what Harry had picked up on the most. There was a lot less bickering nowadays. Hermione had become less likely to boss them around and Ron had stopped being an insensitive git. Now was the perfect example. Ron was even irritating him with the constant tapping and even though Hermione looked as if she was ready to burst, she remained tight-lipped. Suddenly Hermione leapt up. "Yes that's it!"
"Care to elaborate?" Harry asked. The only thing he wanted to do at this point was destroy the ruddy thing. Ron walked back over to Hermione and looked at the parchment over her shoulder. "How on Earth you can read that bloody writing, I'll never know."
"Honestly Ron. Language!" Hermione scolded and turned to look at Harry. "Harry, it says here that there is a potion that we can make that will significantly sap the negative magical energy Voldemort—", Ron made a small grunting noise as Hermione said his name "has placed into the cup to make it a Horcrux. While it won't destroy it entirely, it makes for a good start."
Ron quickly pocketed his wand and rubbed his hands together eagerly. "I think the plan is brilliant. What's in this Sapping Potion of yours Hermione?" Hermione began to shuffle through her pieces of parchment to find the ingredients list.
She found it and handed it over to Harry. "Some of these things might be a little difficult to find," she said as his eyes flickered over the list.
"Yeah but once we find them at least we'll have them for the next time we have to brew it," Ron supplied. Harry nodded in agreement.
"Ron's right. This isn't an exact spell or potion to destroy a Horcrux entirely so the ingredients aren't that complex. Just slightly rare or a bit pricey," Harry looked towards Ron's bag. "Ron, go and count how many Galleons we have left. We'll need to see if we have enough to buy some of this stuff outright,"
Harry continued going over the list of ingredients while Hermione was going through the procedure for making it. "We'd best start collecting all the easier things now Harry. That way we can brew it as soon as possible once we get the other things," Hermione said walking over to him.
Harry cleared his throat. "Easier things. Right. Let's see. Essence of belladonna, surely we packed some of that?" Hermione nodded. "Of course we did. Ah, here's something interesting, 'blood of a virgin'."
Both Ron and Hermione stopped shuffling around. "Yeah, good one mate," Ron scoffed and continued to go through the Galleons in his bag.
"No really Ron. It actually requires blood of a virgin." Ron cleared his throat and Hermione was silent. "You don't find that intriguing?" Harry asked.
"Well—" Hermione began. "It is a known fact that the blood of a virgin is a better option to use than normal blood but it is a bit odd that the potion specifically asks for it. It must be a really powerful potion."
Harry snickered. "Yeah, or whoever created it wanted to embarrass the hell out of insecure teenagers. So how do we decide who gets to do the honours?"
It was then that Harry noticed that Hermione had turned an interesting shade of red. "Hermione, does it matter if it comes from either a male or a female?" Harry asked.
Hermione shook her head. "No, just that the person who gave the blood is a virgin…" It was then that Harry noticed Ron had turned the same shade of red that Hermione was currently sporting.
"Are you two alright?" Harry asked, concerned. His two best friends were acting very strangely.
"Erm, Harry," Ron started. Harry looked at him expectantly. "Well, the thing about that is…"
"Is what Ron? What is wrong with the two of you! As soon as I mentioned the word virgin you both started acting funny!"
The red had traveled to Ron's ears by this point and Hermione's eyes had not left the side of the wall. "Well?" he pushed on after receiving a minute of silence.
"It's going to have to be you, Harry," Hermione supplied as she glared at a still silent Ron.
"Me?" Harry was confused. "Why me?" he asked.
Ron groaned. "Because Hermione and I can't that's why!" he snapped. He still didn't understand. They couldn't? Why on Earth wouldn't Ron and Hermione be able to give blood of a virgin? Oh. Harry suddenly felt very embarrassed as he looked at his two best friends.
Ron and Hermione had obviously been very discreet because there was no way Harry had a clue what had obviously gone on between them. "Oh," he said out loud. "Well then that's….fine. That's okay…not a problem."
"Are you alright?" Hermione asked. Harry nodded quickly.
"Yes, yes Hermione. I'm fine. I think. I'm just trying to process this…"
"It's alright," Hermione interrupted. "Let's just move on with it."
"Right, moving on. Good. So the belladonna essence?" Ron cleared his throat, causing both Harry and Hermione to look at him.
"Harry you're still alright to… you know," Ron paused. "To give your blood, right?" If there were a hole at this point, Harry would have gladly jumped in it, Horcruxes be damned.
"Ron!" screeched Hermione. "What an awful thing to ask!"
"No it's not!" protested Ron. "We need to know otherwise there's another thing we have to add to the list. It's not like we can walk up to an unsuspecting witch or wizard asking them if we can have their untainted virgin blood, is it?"
Ron had a point. But what Ron was asking went further than the need for their potion. Ron wasn't just asking so they had one less thing to purchase. Ron wanted to know if Harry had shagged his baby sister.
Harry looked at his best mate straight in the eye. "Yes Ron. I am fine to still give my blood." Ron visibly relaxed.
"Good…good," he murmured and looked towards Hermione. "Let's get to it." Hermione gave him a weak smile and began to collect what she needed from their potion kit. Ron smiled at Harry also and went back to sorting out the money.
Harry watched his friends. Their relationship was getting quite serious now. Suddenly Harry felt like the worst person in the world. Two of the people he cared about the most were now intimate and they had been unable to tell them on their own terms. Instead, he had to find out because they needed something to destroy the ruddy Horcrux. Harry shook his head and wiped his glasses on his shirt.
Dumbledore had entrusted this mission to him and he was going to complete it. But what would it cost him? He had already lost so much because of Voldemort. He had lost his parents, Cedric, Sirius and Dumbledore. He had given up so much, including the one girl he loved. How much more was he willing to give up—how much more was there? Harry slowly put his glasses on and watched as Ron and Hermione moved closer together and began to whisper.
He noticed the way Ron gently placed his hand on Hermione's hand and the way she looked at him. There was still so much left to do. There was still a War to be fought, an evil to conquer, and then a life to rebuild. They would all have to stand and face the evil and none of them knew if they would live or die. Right now none of that mattered. Ron and Hermione had taken the next step knowing all of this. And yet they still accompanied him, knowing they could die at any moment, knowing they could leave the other behind.
Harry smiled as he joined them on the floor. He held out his hand to Hermione. "Virgin's blood," he whispered. Hermione smiled at him but instead of holding out her wand to magically extract the blood as he expected her to, she hugged him. And instead of pushing her away, he returned her embrace. They would get through this and he would make sure than Ron and Hermione would have that chance after the War. And the thought that his best friends would get to live happily ever after just gave Harry enough hope that one day, he'd make it back to Ginny.