There was no reason to be smirking. But, of course, Hermione was, for the second time in three days.
Actually, there was plenty of reason to be smirking, but it didn't make sense. Why would she be so joyful that Lavender and Ron had fought yet again?
And, for the third time in two days, Hermione reasoned that it was all because of her fancy for Ron.
She looked up momentarily from her breakfast. Ron and Lavender were sitting next to each other, albeit they were not uttering a single word to each other. Immediately returning her attention to her eggs, she couldn't help but keep the smirk plastered on her face.
"Hermione… Is there a reason why you're smirking at your food?" Hermione looked up, slightly startled. Harry was looking at her with a rather concerned gaze, his eyebrows furrowed slightly as though he was bewildered. Sobering herself, she looked at him full-on, smiling.
"No, it's just… Well, Ron's out of the hospital, so you can get rid of Cormac from the Quiditch team, right? And maybe… If I'm seen around you two more, he might leave me alone…" She trailed off, grimacing. "In fact, there's Cormac now. Harry, make sure he doesn't see me, alright?"
Throwing her bulging bookbag down, Hermione sighed wearily, glancing over at Harry. He was feebly attempting to write his Herbology paper, something that she had been refusing to help him with for the past week or so. Rolling her eyes and mentally berating herself, she went to sit across from Harry.
"Alright, Mr. Potter, if it's really that hard for you, I'll correct your Herbology paper. But you really should learn to do these things for yourself," she scolded lightly, taking the roll of parchment from Harry and drew her quill from her bag, immediately spotting a glaring error and correcting it.
"Hermione, you're a life saver." Harry smiled weakly, rubbing his eyes. "You are aware that I'm going to let Ron see this, right?"
Crossing out another sentence and adding two of her own, she responded without looking up. "I'd be suspicious if you didn't."
"Thanks a lot, Hermione." Harry replied, and he patted her on the back, checking his watch. "Listen, I've got to hurry or I'll be late for Dumbledore…"
Deciding not to respond, she continued crossing out a few feeble sentences in a weary manner. Harry left the common room, and Hermione continued to correct his essay, almost laughing at parts. She was so engrossed in editing and rewriting that she did not notice Ron trudging through the common room a while later, tossing his bookbag on the big worn couch in a careless way, and plopping down where Harry had sat perhaps a half hour ago. His head went straight to the table, making a loud thunk on the table, startling Hermione and causing a large ink blot to form on Harry's paper. Hastily picking up her wand to remove the ink, she looked at Ron.
"Hermione. Please. Help me. I've been writing essays for so long my brain is going to bleed, and my hand is going to have the imprint of a quill forever." He rambled, the words not quite clear as his face was still smashed onto the table. Smirking inwardly, she pushed his head up with the hand not holding a quill.
"Ron, two hours is not a long time to be writing essays. Besides, if you had started them earlier…" She stated, laughing a bit. Returning to Harry's essay, she argued with herself for a few moments. Quickly deciding it was best to just try to correct his essays than watch him fail and blame it on her, she tapped the table with her free hand, not looking up from the parchment. "Oh, hand them over."
Ron sat there gaping for a few moments. Hermione cleared her throat, and Ron jumped, running to his bag and taking out the three scrolls of paper, throwing them down in front of Hermione. "Hermione, I owe you my life." He declared, giving her a huge hug and slumping into the seat next to her.
Hermione was extremely thankful for the fact that it was dark out and it was nighttime because if it weren't for the glow of the fire, Ron might have seen her blushing crimson. Sitting silently, Hermione finished Harry's essay and moved to grab one of Ron's rolls of parchment. Looking over at the ginger-haired boy sitting next to her, she realized he was asleep, or close to being so. Smiling slightly, she dipped her quill in the bottle of green ink in front of her.
Hermione nearly fell out of her chair. Looking over at Ron, he was smiling in his sleep. Why did he call for her? It was like him being in the hospital wing all over again…
"Yes?" She whispered, not expecting a response.
"Thank you. For everything." He murmured, burying his head further into his arms.
She sat there, wide-eyed for just a moment. Blinking rapidly, she realized the quill she was holding was dripping steadily onto Ron's Transfiguration essay, and she siphoned the ink off quickly, wondering why Ron would be talking in his sleep, about her…