"Dare me."

Hermione Granger had no idea what she was talking about.

Of course, anyone who'd been drinking Firewhisky would have already lost coherent thought by now. But then, who would even considering taking more than two glasses of that stuff?

What with all the problems in the world and all that crazy relationships everybody had to deal with, one would think that if a person finally decided to get pissed, she would do it right, without messing it up with a stunt that would make matters even worse after she was done with hangovers.

But Hermione Granger saw no need to even think about that because she wasn't the type to get drunk and make crazy announcements in the middle of a pub.

No.

She wasn't the type to be spontaneous, nor relaxed at anything. In order, that was how things were supposed to be with her. She'd always been the most level-headed in their group as she never acted irrationally or impulsively.

She found it calming. This was how she ran her life. And it had always led her to right decisions, uh…almost always.

Her family saw this endearing. How could they not? She was family. There was, after all, a rule that said one cannot choose the family from which one came.

Her friends, who really couldn't do anything about her personality, just found it amusing. They put up with with the torturous details of her day with practiced grins of their own; she recognized them even when they're just about to smile.

Her cat found it assuring, since he won't have to fear for him meal everyday, seeing that Hermione knew when to feed him, what to feed him and how to feed him.

Her boyfriends…

Well, they considered it annoying…

And a one-way ticket to breaking up with her…

She sighed.

How many times had she heard the reason "it's not you, it's me?"

Honestly! If they didn't go out with her because of her looks, let it be a consolation that she had the brains to be appreciated for.

Her relationships usually began with the usual compliments that never seemed to stop until guys finally knew she was ready to take the next step. Once they were already one foot up with a routine, which was what Hermione preferred their relationship to have, they suddenly lose interest.

She'd already heard a lot of lame excuses, funny ones even.

But all of them boiled down to one reason.

She wasn't exciting.

And the most frustrating part was, she wanted to become one, but not without a fool-proof plan, which, rationally speaking, didn't really count for being spontaneous.

Her breakup with Lucas had taken her by surprise.

And it still hurt.

Considering that it only happened yesterday, it was no wonder it still did!

He had been the longest to endure her constant reminders and her perfect schedule. They had been steady for almost a year. After going through all those relationships with guys who couldn't bear to be shackled with her orderly manners, she thought that their record-breaking relationship was a sign that he appreciated her.

When he came to her office the day before, wearing a suit and everything a man in love should be wearing, she wondered whether he was there to propose. And she had every right to think so because Ginny had seen him in the jewelry shop a couple of weeks ago.

But much to her surprise, who came in looking all gorgeous and sexy as hell in her office after him?

His fiancée.

If anybody struck a knife at her heart at that very moment, she could have sworn it would have felt better.

Her friends had not yet found out why she had agreed to go out that night, when clearly she had other things to do. But she was sure it would come up sooner or later.

This thought made her realize that she had to do something impulsive. She had been contemplating on what to do when the words spilled from her mouth unintentionally.

She had been drinking, yes, but she wasn't totally out of it.

So what in hell's name possessed her to announce such a ridiculous thing?

"What?" Ginny Weasley, her red-headed friend asked. She had drunk a fair share of Firewhisky herself, but not so much that she didn't notice Hermione's unusual behavior.

Hermione gulped. She closed her eyes to steady her gaze. "Nothing."

"You said, dare me."

"Dare you to what?" Luna Weasley, wife of Ginny's brother asked.

"Forget I said it." Hermione said, but her answer had been in a not so firm tone.

"Why did you, though?" Luna asked, taking a sip of her Butterbeer, which she had decided to drink instead of alcohol, being two and a half months pregnant.

And Hermione was not jealous!

Amidst that thought, she shrugged. "I wanted to be impulsive for once."

"And since when did you decide to be one?" Ginny crossed her arms.

"Since Lucas decided to get engaged without me."

Ginny and Luna gasped together, leaning forward. Hermione wondered whether girls really did that, or it was just the two of them.

"When?"

"Did I found out? Or the engagement?"

"Both!"

"He came in yesterday, with her." Hermione's voice quivered. "They've been engaged for a week."

"Who's her?"

"I really don't know. He said her name was Victoria, but that was all I got from him."

"Why?"

"I knocked him off his feet." Hermione said. "And I don't mean with my looks."

"Since when did he start cheating on you?" Ginny asked.

"I---I never asked." She replied. "But I didn't need to. I know he's been at it for quite some time. I just never thought he would really decide to break up with me."

"You knew he was cheating, but you didn't say anything?" Ginny's voice sounded concerned, but there was still an edge of annoyance in there.

"I just thought that he wouldn't still be with me if he didn't at least care."

"And you think his cheating had something to do with you not being exciting?" Ginny asked.

"That has always been the case with me, Ginny." Hermione said. "I need to try something new to make sure whether it's really the one causing me all these trouble."

"So, daring you would be the first big step." Luna chirped in.

"I thought it would." She grumbled. "But now that I think about it, it's not really a good idea."

"Oh no, you don't!" Ginny said, her eyes turning wicked. "You can't take back what you said!"

"Forget it. I've changed my mind. I'm perfectly fine the way I am." Hermione said, although there was a catch in her voice that clearly said she really wasn't.

Unfortunately for her, and fortunately for her friends, they heard it.

"I'm sorry, 'Mione, but I've decided," then she stopped at the look Luna pointedly gave, "we've decided to do something about your problem."

Hermione sighed. The determined look on the faces of her two friends made her regret the way she had opened her mouth. It had not been supposed to be like this.

How could she have spoken something so lame-brained?

She may have been a heartbroken drunk, but really…a dare?

What had she been thinking?

Now that there was no hope of turning back with Luna and Ginny looking at her with those expressions on their faces, she leaned back. "What do you have in mind?"

Luna looked around the throngs of people milling about; there was a gleam in her eyes that clearly said she was in for it. Ginny did her own perusal, tip-tapping her fingertips on the table. There were a lot of people that night, but no one seemed to be unoccupied with their own business.

Hermione bit her lip. She was getting nervous, every second counted for their plan getting naughtier. She almost told herself to get up and get the hell out of the club. Nothing good would come out of whatever it was Luna and Ginny would be asking her to do. She knew that by heart

But isn't this what she needed?

What she wanted?

And hey, it was a dare!

But they would definitely go easy on her…it was her first time to do something like this anyway.

"I got it." Luna said, her voice was full of enthusiasm, Hermione didn't know whether to fear it or be calm because of it.

Hermione and Ginny turned to look at her.

"See that guy over there?" She said, pointing towards the bar.

"Where?" Ginny asked, voicing the question that Hermione herself wanted to ask, when all they could see was a long line of people by the bar, waiting for their turn to be served.

"The one sitting alone."

She spotted him in a heartbeat, her stomach doing a little flip when she saw how attractive he was, even if what she could see was only his profile. "You mean that guy with the black hair?" Hermione asked.

Before Luna could respond, Ginny whistled slowly. "Nice eye, Luna. You know, I never really understood how you ended up with Ron, you clearly have taste."

Luna just laughed at this. They all knew that Luna was head over heels in love with her husband, whom she met when they were still in school. Although, no one really knew how they ended up together. And no one bothered to ask.

"What about him?" Hermione asked, wanting the dare to be done and over with.

"Go to him and introduce yourself."

"That's all?" Hermione was surprised that Luna had come up with such a simple thing. She stood up to do exactly what she said, when a hand forestalled her.

She turned around and met Luna's gleaming eyes. Ginny was seating there, serenely, almost as if she knew what was going on inside her sister-in-law's head.

"What?"

"I'm not finished."

"You're not?" Hermione wondered.

Whatever it was, it couldn't be worse, could it?

"Introduce yourself…"

"I gathered as much." Hermione muttered, still waiting, looking at the man she was about to meet.

He turned around, as if noticing someone's scrutiny, but didn't look in her direction. But it was enough for her to feel her stomach whirl. He looked quite unreachable.

Could she actually do this?

She was never used to initiating conversations with men.

Heck! She wasn't even used to men coming up to her.

Usually, her boyfriends were former friends of hers whom she'd been much comfortable to be around with.

So, basically, she had no instinct whatsoever with introductions.

What was she supposed to say?

How was she supposed to look?

Would he like it if she introduced herself directly, or say something flattering first?

God!

"I don't think I can do this." Hermione muttered.

"Now, wait just yet, you're not going to back out. We're not going to allow you." Ginny said.

And she was actually serious enough to knock some sense into Hermione.

Besides, what was the point of backing out and going back to her usual ways? At that point, Hermione made the decision. She took a deep breath and just nodded once, to say that she was still in.

"Introduce yourself." Luna smiled at her.

"You already told me that." Hermione said, impatiently. "What's the other one?"

Luna and Ginny exchanged looks before Ginny motioned towards the guy man, who was busily drinking his own whiskey.

"You have to kiss him."

---------------------------------

A/N:

I did this a month ago, I think, when the idea came up to me. It's still raw, without my usual made up plot. I just wanted to see what the reactions would be. If they're good, I'm going to think of the entire plot so I could make the next chapters. If they're not, I'll just erase it. Final examinations would be next week, so I'll probably have another chapter up for my other story "Caught in the Past" by then. So sorry for the delay. I'm just stressed. Ciao!