Whatever it takes to Win

Disclaimer: I own nothing…natta…zilch. How fantastic for me! All of this goes to JKR.

The game had started a minute and a half prior to the stinging and the urge to poke the other person as hard as they could in the eye. It was permitted for the two who were engaged in this intense pastime to feel this way because both were hell-bent to have victory over the other, and that entitled them to do whatever it takes to win.

Each second that went by seemed like hours to the two, but they weren't going to back down. They took the sudden dryness and discomfort with open arms if it meant triumph.

His piercing emerald eyes glowered into her warm chocolate ones. His mind was solely on the game but he couldn't help but see the small flecks of gold that floated around in her irises as her orbs shifted as his did. They were beautiful. She was beautiful. No. He couldn't think about that. Focus. Don't blink.

Meanwhile, the brown eyed girl was battling with the same thoughts. Her eyes were fixed on the boy directly in front of her with so much intensity she found it amazing that her brain could even wonder off into such thoughts of how the green in his eyes reminded her of the emerald that was her mother's birthstone or how she found that looking into his eyes like this made her heart skip in a very unhealthy manner. But she could not think about these things and still have the audacity to beat him at the game he started. She was going to prove to him that he was not the only one that could stare for an unnatural amount of time. Oh yes, Harry Potter was going down.

"There's no chance of you winning, Hermione. You might as well give up and blink already," he said cockily as a smirk came across his lips.

She repressed the urge to roll her eyes.

"Have you ever known me to be one who would give up, Harry?" He shook his head carefully. "Well then why the hell would you say such a thing?" It was her turn to smirk now.

"Because you're going to lose."

"Am not."

"Are too."

"Am not."

"Are too."

"Shut up."

"No, you shut up."

She punched his arm and excitement rose in her stomach as he almost blinked, but it quickly vanished as he turned his gaze to stare right back into hers.

"You hit me."

"You're observant," she replied smartly, trying to contain her laughter at the sight of the genuinely hurt look upon his face.

"You're a cheeky little thing, aren't you?" he replied as a smirk came across his lips that would give Malfoy a run for his money. He was admiring her forwardness

"Only when I have to be," was her response.

They fell silent again as the competition continued, each second becoming harder than the last. They would take turns squinting their eyes just until their eyelids were about to touch then they would spring them back open, smiling at the disappointment that rose in the others eyes.

After a short while they both became aware that it was going to take a lot for the other person to give up and that they were going to have to go to desperate measures.

Hermione was the first to realize this; big surprise there.

A plan formulated in her mind at lightning speed. She thought of a weakness Harry had, but considering she couldn't exactly make up some treacle pudding at the moment she would have to resort to plan B, being a weakness all teenage boys had; hormones.

She smirked and saw suspicion rise in Harry's beautiful eyes. Oh yes, Harry Potter was definitely going down. She went over her plan carefully in her mind and guilt quickly rose in her chest. She was going to take her best friend down in the cruelest way, but she was not one to back down from a challenge, even if it meant stooping to a lower level.

After taking a deep breath, her eyes never leaving his, she gathered the courage to carry on with her plan. She brought her hand up and began to fan herself.

"Is it hot in here?" she asked in an exasperated tone.

He narrowed his eyes. "Um…sure?"

She proceeded to look completely sweltering as she reached to her chest and began to unbutton her sweater. With her eyes still glued to his she watched as his eyes slowly began to grow with each button she unfastened. When she reached the last button she was sure his breathing had quickened and that encouraged her to continue with her taunting.

With one swift movement she shrugged her sweater off of her shoulders, revealing the red form fitting, long-sleeved, dangerously low V-neck shirt she had on underneath. She was positive she heard him gulp.

Over the years Harry has become completely aware of how Hermione has…developed into a beautiful young woman. But now that her…assets were displayed in front of him, beneath that annoyingly obscuring piece of fabric, he became conscious to the fact of how much he wanted to see them, to touch them, to run his lips over the generous swell of them that was peaking out of the low dip in her shirt. He swallowed hard.

His eyes traveled from her chest up the length of her neck; has it always been that long? He couldn't tear his eye away from her flawless, milky, touchable, kissable skin. The urge to lean forward and press his lips to it was unbearable. He shook his head quickly, careful not to blink.

Hermione smiled. It was working.

"What's wrong, Harry? You look a bit flustered," she asked, trying to mask her delight with sweet sincerity.

She was right. His cheeks had become flushed and he was the one that was hot now.

"Um…y-yeah I'm fine," he stuttered.

A giggle escaped her lips and she inwardly scolded herself.

Wait a minute, was that a giggle? Hermione doesn't giggle unless she is doing something she knows is wrong. Harry arched an eyebrow, suddenly becoming aware that her previous acts were to try and get him to blink. Sneaky. He smirked. If this is how she was going to play, then he was going to call her bluff. It was his turn to play fire with fire.

But how?

Ideas collided in his mind but none stuck out to him. If she was going to use her body as a weapon then he could use his, right? He thought about this and then realized he couldn't exactly show off his privates to Hermione and the rest of the remains in the Great Hall, so the only accomplice he could use would be his chest. After all, it was getting rather warm in here.

"Actually, it is rather hot in here, don't you think?" he smirked again.

He didn't waste any time reaching down to unbutton every button on his white dress shirt until it was completely unfastened and hanging loosely off his shoulders, revealing the white tank top he had on underneath. He stared into her eyes, watching as they slowly widened and drifted down to the outline of his muscles on his chest that were bulging through his fitted tank top.

Her mouth suddenly became very dry as she watched him shrug the loose shirt off his shoulders, letting it fall behind him on the bench. His skin was fair and unblemished along his long muscular arms. She caught her hand slowly drifting out to touch his arms but she quickly held it steady, gripping the trim of her skirt.

A vision of him coming up behind her and wrapping those warm safe arms around her waist graced her mind as she continued to stare, her eyes unblinking. She felt her stomach flip flop and cursed herself for loving this boy; the boy she will never get to have as more than a best friend.

It was true; these two best friends had a bond that no other pair in this whole school had. They had the bond of love. Although, neither of them knew what the other felt of course. If they knew that then it would take the fun out of feeling utterly hopeless and miserable at night when all they could think of was the other person; wishing and yearning to feel their lips on theirs, to touch their supple skin, to hear them say 'I love you'. This not only occurred at night, it also transpired when they woke up, ate breakfast, sat next to each other in every class, walked from one class to the other together, went to lunch, studied in the library, ate dinner, and did their homework by the fire of their toasty common room. Can't you see the fun in that? Why would you want to ruin that?

Hermione rolled her eyes, shaking her from her state of stupor. So he had caught on; damn. She thought she might have actually fooled the great Harry Potter for once. He never ceased to amaze her; brilliance shining through at the most unexpected of moments. Well, now that he has caught on to her game, maybe they could take it a step further. A wicked plan shaped in her mind, but the dire pain in her dry eyes was killing her and preventing her from having logical thoughts.

"My eyes really hurt," she whined through gritted teeth. With her eyes glued to his it was easy to see he was suffering along with her.

"Y-yeah…mine do too," he mumbled.

Ding. Light bulb!

"How about we take a ten second break? We will both do it at the same time so it is fair. We can just tear our gaze away for ten seconds, blinking as many times as we please to relieve our eyes and then we can go back to our little game that I am going to win, alright?" Hermione suggested with playful smirk.

He nodded, desperately. "Alright. But just know, you are not going to win, Miss Granger."

"Oh yes, yes I am."

With that they both tore their gaze away from each other and began to blink rapidly, sighs of relief emitting from both of their mouths.

"One." Hermione started the dreaded countdown. She clenched her eyelids down tight, letting the liquid beneath them soak them thoroughly.

"Two." Harry kept it going, his hands rubbing his eyes fiercely. No matter how much he wanted to keep his eyes glued to her warm chocolate orbs he had to relieve himself once in a while in fear of seriously damaging his retinas.




They have hit the halfway point and their attempts to wholly immerse their eyeballs in their natural liquid became rapid and frenzied.



They were getting closer to going back to their original state and you could sense the dread in their voices as they continued to count.



"Aw bugger…ten."

Once again, warm auburn collided with brilliant jade to carry on their petty torturous game. Each individual mind contemplating the best way to bring down the other person once again. Their eyes wandered upon the other, taking in their positions as an element to their forming strategy.

He was sitting with his legs straddling the bench, facing her, while she sat Indian style in front of him; her pleated skirt strategically placed to fall down between her legs to cover up every part of her knickers just in case he decided to sneak a peek. He couldn't deny that he wanted to take a peek. What would they be? Lace, perhaps? Red? Black? White? Or maybe cute and colorful? Flowers, perchance? He shook his head and dismissed the images as a new plan came to mind.

She let her eyes follow his and saw them land on her thighs. She knew his brain was working up a new plan and she wasn't going to lie and say she wasn't frightened. His eyes began to linger further up her thigh and she blushed. But then an idea struck her. She smirked.

"Harry?" she started sensually. She let her hand slide up her smooth thigh and touch the fabric of her skirt.

Harry felt his stomach dance as he watched the slow movements of her hand.

"Y-yeah?" he answered distractedly.

She smirked again.

"What is your favorite color?" She bit her lip as she proceeded to inch her hand upward, pushing her skirt up a good half an inch with every movement.

His eyes grew at each inch of skin she was unveiling, his retinas burning from the lack of liquid. She was getting closer and closer to revealing her knickers and this caused him to forget her question. His mind was blank. The only thing he could focus on was the thing she was teasing him with. He shifted uncomfortably as he felt a tug in his groin.

Hermione watched as his hands began to grip the fabric of his pant leg as she got closer and closer to touching the crevice of her hip where her knickers sat. She blushed at her own forwardness, but proceeded with her plan. All she had to do now was refrain from blinking, even if he was too distracted to notice; it wasn't fair and she always played fair.

His breath hitched as the fabric of her panties became visible.

"Green…" he said breathlessly as his eyes traced the fabric of her knickers. Lace. He always knew there was another side to his modest best friend. But there was something about the green color of the lacy panties that seemed very familiar to him.

"Green, huh?" she replied in a soft, sultry sort of voice.

He looked up at her in confusion. "What?"

She inwardly smirked. "I asked you your favorite color, and you said green. So it is green, right?"

Harry had the sudden urge to blink, but knew he couldn't. He rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly. "Um…y-yeah. I guess it is." His eyes instantly shot down to where the emerald green fabric was still peeking out of her risen skirt.

Hermione followed his eyes and acted surprised. "Oh! Oh dear, how embarrassing." Her hand came up and she began to cover herself with her skirt again.

Inside of him, he felt the sudden urge to reach out and stop her and didn't realize until he felt the smooth skin of her hand that he had actually acted on that urge. He looked up to her eyes and saw that they were looking back into his, still unblinking.

"Don't," he said softly.

She felt his thumb move across her fingertips and a shiver run down her spine. His eyes were soft and full of an expression she could only compare with…love? This piqued her interest, but she didn't want to break the moment. The fact that his hand was so close to her knickers made her stomach tingle. She had to remind herself to breath as she felt his breath tickling her lips.

Harry stared into her giant chocolate orbs and felt his own roller coaster of feelings in his stomach. He couldn't believe that he had his hand so close to her precious core nor could he believe that she looked as though she was actually enjoying it. He could see the look of fear hidden behind an overpowering look of shock in the display of gold flecks in her eyes. What would he do now? He couldn't just take his hand away. No, that would be ludicrous when he was so enjoying the feel of her baby soft hand and the simple thought of being so close to her morality. But what was she thinking?

Her throat was closing up. She was sure of it. She couldn't breath. He was so close to her now; close enough to where she could taste his breath as she parted her lips to try and regain air in her lungs. As he moved closer to capture her hand, it caused his whole body to move closer, his rear scooting up the bench so now he was straddling her crisscrossed legs that lay on top of the bench. Oh god. Did someone cut off the oxygen supply to the room? Honestly!


Did he just say my name? Oh god…did I hallucinate? Just answer you fool!


A small smile came upon his features. "Are you still hot?"

Hot? Now that he said something she suddenly realized how warm it had gotten in there. Or was it just her? Or what is just the radiance of his hotness beaming down on her?

"Um…n-no not, not really, why…why do you ask?" she tried act normal. The stinging in her eyes now going unnoticed now as her mind was concentrating on something different; something much more important.

His smile grew a bit. "Well…I asked because your cheeks are awfully pink." His free hand, hesitantly, came up to rest gently against her pink cheeks.

A tiny gasp got caught in his throat as he felt the heat in her cheeks against his hand. Was every bit of her this soft? God, she was beautiful. He watched her take in a sharp breath as he touched her and he felt a warm feeling spread through his stomach.

Hermione's mind was on the fritz now. He was touching her in two places, both now warm as a cause of him. Wasn't she supposed to be doing something? OH! THE GAME!

Thoughts suddenly flooded back to her revolving around the game and her eyes began to scan his face. She felt his fingers caressing hers and saw a soft smile on his face. This could be the one thing she has been looking for that may defeat him. But he looks so peaceful. She drank in his innocence as he just stared at her, his eyes soft and warm, his smile pure but made a tingle emerge in her abdomen. No, she couldn't spring up and beat him in his own game now. Not when she was enjoying this as much as he seemed to be. She was in love with this boy; she wanted to stay in this moment as long as she possibly could.

In Harry's mind, the game had diminished and the only thing left was him and her, right here in this moment. The noise and the chaos of the Great Hall going completely unnoticed as it seemed they were floating in a cloud in the depths of the most serene part of Heaven. She was his angel right now. And he will be whatever she wants him to be.

"Hermione…tell me something?" he breathed softly.

She nodded slowly. "Anything."

"Tell me what your perfect man would consist of." His stomach suddenly stuck together to form a big, shaky nervous knot.

Her plush pink lips turned up into a small smile, her face absentmindedly moving against his rough hand. "Well…," she began in a tone that was just above a whisper, "he would have to be sweet, the kind of sweet that makes your heart warm up. He would have to be my friend; I don't want to be with someone I can't get along with and who doesn't know me like a friend will." She smiled at his understanding nod. "And he would have to be handsome of course, but not the kind of handsome anyone can see. I like the kind of handsome that you know only because you know the person from the inside out. Physical beauty can't even compare with inner beauty."

He nodded again, a smile on his face. "Do you have any favorite physical aspects though?"

She laughed lightly. "Of course I do, but I am not going to judge the person on those petty things."

His heart swelled. "Care to tell me the things anyway?"

A playful smile came to rise on her features. "If I must…"

He laughed this time.

"I like strong arms; the kind that will make you feel safe, not the kind that could lift a train off of you. Like, the kind that will keep you warm and wrap around your waist, pulling you close to them to the point where you feel like you just melt into them." A blush rose on her cheeks. "And…and I like really strong eyes; the bright kind with the most uniquely shocking features. And I like dark hair, I don't know why, but I've always found dark hair to be…sexy. And…well I guess that is about it."

"Is that all, that's everything you want in a man?" he asked softly.

She shook her head softly. "No…"

"What else?" His fingers began to tickle her thigh, causing a shiver to run up her spine.

"He…he must not be afraid to challenge me." Their eyes met once again. "He can't be afraid to lose at his own game."

Realization rose within Harry as he put everything she said together; the eyes, the arms, the hair, the friendship, the sweetness, and the games. The game. His game. Oh god.

"Who…who said he is going to lose?" His tone was barely audible as he spoke, slowly moving closer to her, his hand sliding off her hand to rest softly, possessively, on her panty clad hip underneath her skirt.

A gasp got caught in her throat as she saw him moving closer, his breath tickling her lips once again. Her heart beat sped up.

"T-there…there is no…no way he can beat me…" she challenged back.

"And why is that?" he asked, a playful glint in his eyes.

"Because…" she started, noticing how his nose had barely just slid against her own, "because I am…tougher than…than him."

"Is that so?"

"Y-yes…I am…I have more self con-"

He cut her off by pressing his lips firmly to hers. She drew in a gasp but didn't waste anytime melting into him, both their eyelids sliding down to cover their dry, stinging, parched eyes.

Once again, the two that were at each others throats in trying to win this game just moments earlier, were floating on their cloud of serenity. Together, connected to where their breath mixed together to make an even sweeter taste, they floated.

As soon as they parted their breathing ragged and their cheeks flushed, Harry rested his forehead to hers, his fingers dancing along her cheek. Their eyes fluttered open at the same time, meeting once again.

A moment passed where neither of them said anything, both trying to fill their lungs again. While they did that, they were also trying to get their brains to come up with coherent thoughts. Then finally:

"Who won?" she said breathlessly.

Harry smiled. "I did."

She laughed airily. "Oh you think so?"

"I know so," he said surely.

"Why…why do you say that?" she breathed, her cheeks flushed again as her goofy smile stayed in place.

"Because I got you."

He then pulled her face back to his and wrapped his arms strongly around her waist before lowering her slowly down onto the bench, her legs uncrossing to wrap around his waist, for a heated loving kiss.

They stayed like this for a long while, tasting each other and feeling every bit of each other they could, not caring about the people that surrounded them. They were together now. All because of a petty game Harry had started because he couldn't tear his eyes away from her enchanting ones and she had caught him and thought he was challenging her, but when in reality, he knew she would do whatever it took to beat him and he just wanted a reason to be close to her. He had no idea that it would lead to this. But he was not complaining. Not in the least bit.

A/N: I hope you liked it. Tell me what you think, please. I appreciate you reading. :D

3 TennesseeSweetheart