Chapter 3: The True Love
"You are nearly there. She is right in front of you. Don't forget to take a deep breath before you plunge."
"Plunge where? Under water?" Harry demanded as he looked at the note in his hand.
It was now morning on Christmas Eve. The students, who had stayed back at Hogwarts for Christmas, were in the Great Hall having a Christmas breakfast as they compared stories over what their families did on Christmas Eve.
An owl had arrived in front of Harry, delivered the note and flew off again before Harry could send a reply Opening the note, he had discovered it was another clue.
"Don't be so melodramatic Harry," Hermione scolded as she took the note and read it over herself. "I'm sure they are encouraging you to pluck up the courage to ask the girl out or at least tell her how you feel."
"How can I tell her how I feel if I don't know who she is?" Harry demanded as he fought back his feeling at seeing Hermione dressed in a dark red top and matching skirt and boots. She was looking very Christmassy this morning and he had to admit that red was an attractive colour on her.
He had slowly came to realise that he had feelings for his long time best friend and broken out in sweats over how could he tell her without ruining their friendship. There was no indication that she felt the same and he cared for her too much to risk losing her.
"Maybe the Christmas tree heart would leave you a clue," Hermione spoke up. "I mean – it said you had to find out by Christmas, right?" Harry nodded. "Maybe, if you acknowledge you have feeling for a girl, it will unlock itself and show you the right person?"
"Would that work? I mean, what if it's not the girl I was hoping it would be?" Harry asked, frowning over the risk.
"Oh," Hermione turned to him with a curious glint in her eyes. "You have feelings for a girl?" Harry suddenly looked at her, warily, in hope she hadn't discovered who the girl was.
"Maybe…" Harry told her as he looked away, uncomfortable.
"Who?" Hermione demanded as a sense of jealously ran through her veins. Harry looked at her, curiously. He could hear a hint of jealously in her voice and hope began to rise in him, maybe she did feel the same as him.
"Why are you so curious?" Harry asked as he leaned in to his best friend, looking her straight in the eyes. Hermione was startled when she saw Harry leaning close to her and she couldn't stop her eyes from flickering down to his lips before parting to wet her own lips as she looked back up at him.
She noticed that Harry's eyes had also dropped down to her lips and had darkened when she moved her tongue wetting her lips before he looked at her once more. He opened his mouth to say something when a thud broke into their thoughts.
They turned to see Ron and Ginny sitting across from them with identical looks and Harry let out a muffled sigh as he shared an unreadable look with Hermione and moved away from her.
"We need to talk to you two," Ginny spoke up. Hermione raised her hands, cutting them off.
"Look, I get to go first," Hermione spoke up and they all looked at her. "I'm not interested Ron," Ron felt the last of his hope slowly die away. "I've never been interested in you that way, all we do is argument and degrade each other and despite what everyone else may think, I don't want to be in that relationship. I want a relationship with someone who actually understands me and won't want to change me." Harry just looked at her before he looked at Ginny.
"I want a relationship with someone who wants to be with me for me, not because I'm famous. I don't want to be Harry Potter in the relationship, I just want to be Harry and you don't want that," Harry told her. Ginny made to deny it when Harry lifted up his hand. "And I want someone who can understand my close relationship with Hermione – not throw a jealous fit over because I talk to her about things I can't talk to someone else about."
Ron and Ginny just sat there in silence before Harry stood up and left the Great Hall altogether, needing time away to gather his thoughts together.
Hermione watched him walk away with a sad look in her eyes before she picked up her books, pulled on her robes and walked out of the Great Hall as well but left the Castle to go onto the snow covered ground.
It had stopped snowing for a while and Hermione wanted to be outside in the snow where she could get peace.
A blonde haired female with blue watched the scene in front of her before shaking her head in sadness over two people's inability to deal with the fact that they were not going to get the dream they wanted – that it wasn't their destiny, she turned back to her breakfast, reminding herself to meet up with Harry later to give him his present.
McGonagall watched from her window at the Headmistress office – which used to be the headmaster Dumbledore's office. She watched as Hermione settled herself at the base of a very popular tree. She sighed to herself as she turned away from the window and paced the small office.
Harry and Hermione had grown close since they were in first year. She had watched them grow and blossom together. They worked well together. She kept him in line. He kept her carefree as much as he could and it was a blessing to see two people, working well together, friendship grows each year.
Walking back over to the window, she smiled when she saw that Harry had arrived next to Hermione and had engaged her in a snowball fight.
Hermione giggled as she threw a snowball back at Harry. Her books lying at the base of the tree, abandoned. Harry had snuck up behind her and dropped snow into her hair.
Harry laughed as he ducked the snowball and threw one back at Hermione, watching as she ducked behind the tree to evade it.
Snow glittered all over the place as the balls came apart after hitting something, showering the two of them in more snow and increasing their excitement.
Soon, Harry had decided to chase Hermione, causing her to squeal in fright and excitement as she dodged Harry's attempt to catch her till he tackled her to the snow, causing her to laugh in excitement.
They both lay there, laughing as they gazed into each other eyes before their laughter faded away. Harry eyes dropped down to her lips and he was about to bend down when a screech interrupted them. Lifting their heads, they saw Ginny rushing toward them, her cheeks flushed with anger.
"Uh oh," Harry whispered as he got up, pulled Hermione up, called over her books and both of them made a dash for the school.
While Ginny may be fast, Harry and Hermione were faster thanks to all their late night adventures – you had to be fast if you didn't want Snape or Filch to get a hold of you – never mind having a murderer hot on your heels.
They laughed as they hurried up the stairs back to their common room and ducked into their room. They were head boy and girl but had preferred to share a room with the others as a precaution, but they finally used the room in order to hide from Ginny as no one could enter the head boy/girl quarters unless invited.
"I'm going to head for a shower – the snow is getting under my clothes," she told him with a mock scolding glare. Harry ducked his head with embarrassment and to hide his laughter.
"Same here," Harry told her before he looked at his watch. "Beside, it's almost dinner soon, we missed lunch." Hermione arched an eyebrow at him.
"Do you really want to go back to the Great Hall where Ginny will be waiting for us?" Hermione asked and Harry blanched.
"Nah – I'll ask Dobby if he can make us some dinner and we can have it in here – we never used this place before," Harry told her and Hermione nodded in understanding as they both walked off.
While they were gone, a blonde haired female snuck into the common room with a pleased smile on her face. Harry had told her the password so that if she ever had any trouble or just needed to talk, Harry would be available.
They were getting closer together and maybe now, Harry would have something to look forward for the future. Waving her wand while muttering a strange spell under her breath, she left the common room with a happy smile, just because she was Harry's best friend, didn't mean she couldn't help someone else out.
Harry sighed as he sat on the couch in front of the fire with the Christmas tree heart sitting in his hands. He looked toward the fire then his eyes drifted up to the clock that was above the fire and he saw it was nearly midnight, Christmas was about to come.
There were faint footsteps. Harry turned to see Hermione making her way down the stairs, dressed in her PJs and she smiled when she saw Harry. Moving closer to him, she sat down on the couch next to him.
"It hadn't opened yet?" Hermione asked and Harry shook his head.
"No, not yet," Harry told her and she nodded.
"You know…" Hermione started and Harry looked at her once more. "You never did tell me who you fancied." Harry sighed as he looked away to the fire. "You don't have to tell me who she is, what is she like?"
"She's amazing," Harry breathed. Hermione tilted her head as she curled her legs up underneath her as she watched Harry change before her eyes. "She's smart, gorgeous – not that she would agree with me because she doesn't see herself like that. She's never once turned away from me and I can talk to her about anything and she wouldn't judge me."
"She sounds amazing," Hermione choked out slightly as Harry turned back to her. He lifted a hand and stroked Hermione's cheek, confusing her.
"Yeah, she is," Harry told her, gazing into her brown eyes.
There was a faint clicking noise and Harry looked down at the Christmas Tree Heart that was in his hand and saw that it was open slightly. He let his left hand over the top and pulled it open the rest of the way to show a small movie and he looked up at the girl across from him with a shocked look on his face before his eyes softened.
"Hermione, it you?" he asked and got a nod in reply as a lone tear fell from her brown eyes. He reached over and touched her cheek before she closed her eyes and he leaned in and kissed her gently on her lips. Hermione's right hand came up and cupped Harry's cheek before it slid into his dark locks, holding him close while her other hand clutched his robe and his hands were holding onto her waist.
Hermione let out a small sigh as her hand dropped away from Harry's hair, down his chest before it landed on his left thigh while her other hand loosened it's grip on Harry's robe as she looked up into his deep green eyes.
"I love you," Harry whispered and Hermione smiled lovingly up at him.
"I love you too," she whispered back before Harry took her lips in his again, enjoying their moment together.
In their distraction, they didn't realise that the door creaked open and a small figure popped her face into the room. Luna had suggested that she should face the facts herself with her own eyes.
A pair of brown eyes looked into the room, hurt and rage clear in their eyes but also with a hint of acceptance and loss before they turned away and walked off, their flaming red hair flowing slightly. She knew that she had lost Harry – if she ever had him.
A pair of light blue eyes gazes into the room before a dreamy smile covered her lips as she raised her wand and waved it before stepping away from the door and closed it with a quiet click, announcing that it had been locked.
A soft tune started up around the room, unnoticed to the two occupants.
Merry Christmas to everyone out there and I hope you get what you want!