DISCLAIMER: All rights belong to JK Rowling and her affiliates.
For Lea Depp and, as always, Hannah.
For No Good Reason
"Harry," I said, "I do not want to do this."
Harry gave me a look over the top of his tea.
"I don't care," he said. "If I have to be set up on a blind date by Mrs Weasley, then so do you."
"I don't like your logic," I informed him and added more sugar to my tea.
"I don't care about that either," he said and took away my teacup. "Now go home and get ready. We're meeting them in an hour."
"Can't I go like this?" I wanted to know, looking down at my robes. "I don't want to send out the wrong idea, so they think I'm actually interested or anything."
"Look, Hermione, we'll just say hello, have a quick dinner, and say you've got an early morning tomorrow. It'll be just like all the others. There's no harm in looking a little bit nice."
I didn't fully agree with him on that one, but I did obediently stand up and floo my way home. Glancing at myself in the mantelpiece mirror as I stepped out of my fireplace, I belatedly agreed with him that I could do with a little work. I loved my job, I did, experimental potions and charms was great, but it wasn't exactly elegant work. There were burn marks down the side of my black robes, a ragged hem where the material had snagged on the work bench, and my hair, unruly as per, was looking more singed than usual.
"Fine, Harry Potter," I said to my reflection. "You win."
I stomped my way upstairs wishing I lived with someone so they could hear my annoyance, and threw open my wardrobe with a satisfying bang. I looked at the array of clothing presented to me and sighed. Most of it was serviceable, drab, black work robes, with my past-their-use-by-date dress robes hanging morosely in one corner. I really should clean those at some point.
Well, I thought, best make the best of what you've got.
I sorted through my other wardrobe and pulled out some not-too-muggle looking clothes and dragged them into the bathroom with me. I loved a long, hot shower, but I had only an hour, and there was still that hair to tame, so I had a perfunctory clean and slid into my clothes with no fuss. It took fifteen minutes to subdue my hair into something resembling human, another ten to decide not to wear makeup besides a bit of mascara, and five to choose some sensible shoes (like I owned another kind).
I made my way downstairs pausing to feed Crookshanks, and waited for Harry on my couch with my foot tapping. The truth was, I really didn't want to go on this double blind date because I knew very well who I'd rather be going on a date with, and I knew his face very well.
Yes, it's your classic in-love-with-my-best-friend scenario. So sue me. And don't worry, I'm not going to wax lyrical about the wonders of his depthless emerald eyes, or his incorrigible silky black hair (I'd noticed long ago that we both had unmanageable hair and gleaned some small comfort from the fact we shared that bond … yes, I am sad), or his toned and muscled body.
That last one mostly because he's not that toned and muscled. He's pretty average looking, really, except for that - swallow- smile. Some guys have them, you know, that smile that seems unfairly charming. All of Harry's charm is in that smile, like whenever he smiles he steals charm from all those around him. Particularly me, I think, because whenever I'm around him I feel so far from charming I can't even pronounce the word.
But that's nothing new.
Where the hell is he? I demanded of myself, forcing myself to stay in the chair and not get up and pace.
Suddenly there came a knock at the door and I sprang up, knocking my shin on the coffee table.
"Coming!" I called, swallowing my curse and hobbling towards the door. "Oh, Harry!" I said when I opened it. "What on earth are you doing at my front door?"
"I didn't want to come by floo," he said. "The soot, you know."
"Mmm," I agreed.
"Are you ready?" he asked, and I nodded.
"Just my purse," I said and ran back into the house to pick up the small black purse that came everywhere with me. Magically enhanced with a charm, of course, what else did you expect?
I came back into the front hallway and then stopped because Harry stopped and stared at me. For future reference, I was wearing a deep purple satin skirt, and a white silk blouse with my mother's pearls around my throat. Nothing special because like I said, I didn't want this guy to get the wrong idea. Come to think of it, I didn't like the way Harry was dressed either, with black pants and a grey shirt, which looked entirely too nice for an I-don't-want-to-do-this blind date. But hey, who am I to judge?
"What?" I asked him self consciously as I moved towards him to leave the house.
"Nothing," he said and I thought I heard him swallow. How odd.
We were meeting our respective partners at a small restaurant in a street off Diagon Alley, so as I lived only a short way from both, we walked. It was a quiet evening, with a soft balm in the air, and the smell of afternoon rain drying around us. It was pleasant, walking next to Harry in the twilight with him looking quite handsome and me feeling at least presentable for once. We didn't say a lot, having only seen each other an hour ago, but that was okay, and it didn't feel like long before we reached the restaurant.
"We must be early," I said. "There's no one here."
"Yeah," Harry agreed and we sat down on a seat outside the restaurant next to a pretty hedge row and waited.
And waited a bit more, until we realised we were both incredibly hungry.
"Well," I said. "I'm not sure how to feel. Should I feel angry or relieved that we've been stood up?"
"I don't know," Harry said. "But I think we should eat anyway. It's too nice to go back home."
"Quite," I agreed and we claimed our reservation at the restaurant.
I won't bore you (or tease you) with details of the meal, suffice to say that after numerous blind dates it appeared Harry had acquired an extensive knowledge of wine, and the red that he ordered with the dinner went down very well with me after a long week of disasters at the lab.
"…So then," I said, laying my hand on his arm as we left the restaurant. "Malfoy walks past and says, 'What are you up to, Granger? Don't blow anything else up, your ineptitude is costing us thousands'. I tried to signal him to go away before it spread to him too, but he either didn't understand or wouldn't listen, and the mist floated to him and sealed his mouth shut, and I haven't told him the counter charm yet, so for all I know he could be patiently waiting it out at home."
Harry laughed and stopped abruptly.
"Do you want to go Fortescue's?" he asked.
"Oh," I said in surprise. "Sure. Why not?"
We turned towards Diagon Alley and bought two twin chocolate cones from Fortescue's late night Friday trading store, and strolled casually back towards my flat. We were both a little tipsy, and I felt very relaxed, and very happy to be here with Harry, eating ice cream, and watching him.
Unfortunately, I spent so much time watching him that I neglected to take proper care of my ice cream. We reached the stoop of my building and stopped, which is when Harry noticed the wayward drip of ice cream creeping down my wrist.
"Oh, Hermione," he said in a voice that seemed a tiny bit deeper than normal. "You've got a problem there."
I looked down at where he was pointing and giggled.
"Oh yes, I do," I replied, wondering if I had actually just giggled. I lifted my wrist to lick it off, but Harry caught it instead. I stared at him but he ignored my gaze and brought my wrist up close to his mouth, and he gently licked my wrist. It tickled, and I tried to pull away, but he held it firmly in his grasp. I realised I was going to have to let him continue, and stopped struggling as he softly licked his way down my arm to my palm, where he sucked quickly and gently on the fleshy part of my hand.
"Hermione," he said, looking up at me finally. "There's something I ought to tell you."
"Yes?" I asked, feeling slightly breathless and tingly after the way he had touched me.
"There were never any blind dates for tonight," he said sheepishly. I stared at him for a moment.
"Oh," I said faintly. "Um … why?"
"I organised it," he said. "I wanted to … well, I wanted you to have a nice time."
"Oh," I said again. "I did, Harry, thank you."
He smiled faintly.
"I'm glad," he said, but that didn't appear to be the end of it. He stood looking at me for a moment longer and I realised he still held my wrist in his hand. And that hand still held my half eaten ice cream, which had taken advantage of my distraction and proceeded to drip healthily down my arm again and onto his.
"Oh look," I said. "I've dripped all over you."
I threw the ice cream into the gutter and took Harry's hand into my own. He watched me carefully as I leant down and gently kissed away the cold chocolate ice cream. I pretended not to notice when it was all gone, and kissed my way up his palm, and over his fingers, kissing each sensitive tip gently before I let it go.
His eyes in the lamplight were black as he looked at me.
"I had a very nice time tonight, Harry," I said. "Do you … well … do you think maybe we could do this again?"
Harry considered me for a moment.
"Sans pretend blind dates?" I added and he smiled.
"I didn't know how else to get you alone like this," he admitted. I raised an eyebrow.
"You practically live in my kitchen," I reminded him.
"Yes," he said, and did I imagine that or did he move closer? "But we're not … alone like we are now."
"What do you mean?"
"You're relaxed," he said. "And we're here, under the moonlight. You look gorgeous tonight, and I want to be here, with you, like this.Alone."
"Harry," I said softly. "Oh, Harry. I want to be alone with you too."
"I hoped so," he said and leant forward, giving me no time to react, and he kissed me. He tasted like wine and ice cream, and I wrapped my arms around his neck, and he pulled me closer to him.
"I like this," I told him, and he laughed, a rumble deep in his chest.
"Good," he said. "I like this too." And he kissed me again.
Yes, the title is completely irrelevant. I just didn't know what to call it. This fic is for Lea Depp because it's her pairing, even though she probably won't read this, unless she's trawling the Hermione/Harry search page.
Anyway. I've run out of good Severus/Hermione and Sirius/Remus stories, so I've started reading more Hermione/Harry. And like a sponge, what I read, I write, which is hence this little offering.
Hope you enjoyed it despite the slightly rushed ending (it's very late, I have work tomorrow, and exam prep of my own to do).