A/N: I had a surprising number of people ask for a sequel, and then VenusRising put the idea in my head of Harry retaliating in response to Hermione's naughtiness, so this was born.
It's just as silly, and ridiculous, and (in my opinion) somewhat forced, but it's what people, asked for, so I decided to go ahead and post it.
As for the people who told me how similar 'Of Quidditch Pants' was to another fic; I actually had read Quidditch Pants and Reports some time ago, but had forgotten about it. If I get too many more complaints, I'll definitely take it down—I'd hate for it to seem like I copied anyone's work! That wasn't my intention at all.
Thanks for all the great reviews though—they're the only reason I decided to go ahead and write this. Hope you all enjoy.
Oh, and as for what Hermione whispered to Harry in the first bit... I'll leave that to your imaginations...
The One Where Ron Ponders the Mystery That Is Hermione Granger, and Harry and Hermione Act Peculiar
Aka Of Ponderings and Peculiarities
Ron drummed his fingers on the table loudly, staring across the table at the young woman in front of him. Her eyes remained glued to her book, the heavy tome obstructing his view of her face. He sighed loudly, causing a Ravenclaw at an adjacent table to look up and glare in his direction. Ron ignored him, continuing to stare at Hermione. There was something strange going on with her, and he was determined to find out what it was.
He sighed again, louder this time, and strengthened his tapping.
The Ravenclaw harrumphed and left his table, journeying further back into the library stacks.
Hermione continued to take no notice of Ron.
Ron frowned and grit his teeth.
"Hey, you two!" Harry slid into the seat next to Hermione, a wide grin in place and an odd glint in his eyes.
Hermione immediately placed her book down, a smile lighting up her face as she inspected Harry fondly. "Hey, yourself."
Ron's frown deepened. "Hey," he grumbled.
No problem, really. I've only been trying to catch Hermione's attention for the past five minutes.
Harry leaned forward closer to Hermione, "Studying hard?"
Harry shifted in his seat, his hands moving underneath the table.
"Not too hard though?"
"Me? Never." Hermione smirked slightly. "Ron, on the other hand, could use a little—" She stopped abruptly, her face flushing red, and whipped her neck around to look at Harry, her mouth opened in surprise.
He smiled back innocently.
"Merlin's beard, Hermione!" Ron exclaimed. "Can't you just—" he trailed off, observing Hermione closely. "What's the matter with you?"
Hermione's hands were now gripping the table tightly. "I'm—nothing—" She swallowed heavily.
"Yes, Hermione, whatever is the matter with you?" The odd glint Ron had seen in Harry's eyes was now intensified, and combined with the full-blown smirk on his face, it made him look rather smug, if not slightly mad.
Hermione bit her lip, attempting to glare at Harry out of the corner of her eye. "N—nothing."
"Are you sure?" Ron asked, looking at her more closely. "You look pretty flushed! You aren't getting sick, are you?"
Harry's smirk grew. "Perhaps we should take you to Madame Pomfrey."
Hermione made an odd noise in the back of her throat.
"You're right, Harry! I've never seen you like this, Hermione! Have you, Harry?"
"Oh, perhaps once or twice," Harry replied, his lip twitching.
Hermione's head fell onto the desk with a thud.
"Should we get a professor?" Ron asked, panicking slightly.
"Maybe you should get Madame Prince," Harry suggested, his eyes twinkling.
Ron scrambled out of his seat.
She must be in loads of pain!
"I'll go find her, Hermione! Just hang on!"
He raced through the shelves of books, only slowing when he reached the librarian's desk, breathing heavily. "Madame Prince! You've got to come with me! There's something wrong with Hermione!"
Alarmed, she followed him back to the table, but when he arrived, Hermione was once again sitting up, looking distinctly ruffled, but otherwise relatively normal.
"I'm fine," she insisted, her arms folded. "Just a bit of a…fainting spell, I think."
Madame Prince, after Hermione's continued assertion of her well-being, left the trio.
"Are you sure you're okay, Hermione?"
"Fine, Ron." She picked up her bag off the floor. "I think I will go back to the common room, though."
"Need any help?" Asked Harry, leaning back in his chair, looking rather pleased.
Ron supposed he was happy that Hermione was feeling better.
"No," Hermione hissed, turning to glare at Harry. "And don't think you're getting away with this, Harry James."
With that, she left the library hurriedly.
Ron looked at Harry quizzically. "What was that all about?"
Harry shrugged, the peculiar smirk back in place. "Oh, nothing. She just thinks my cologne caused her fainting spell."
Ron shook his head. "Mental, that one."
Harry only grinned in response.
"Ginny… have you noticed anything… odd going on with Hermione lately?"
Ginny looked up from her breakfast and stared at Ron, a light frown on her face.
Ron shoved a croissant in his mouth. "Yeah, like weird."
"I know what 'odd' means, Ronald!"
"Sure, sure. Anyways," he continued, swallowing his food, "Have you?"
Ginny shrugged. "Not really; aside from how she's normally odd—spending all that time in the library and such."
"Yeah, but yesterday, she came down with this really weird sickness, but then she was fine after a little bit."
Harry slid into the seat next to him. "Are you still going on about that, mate? Hermione's fine… better than fine, I think." He grinned.
To Ron's disgust, Ginny swooned.
"I'm just saying, Harry… There could be something seriously wrong with her!"
"Well, what did she act like?" Ginny asked, managing to tear her attention away from Harry. "I am planning on becoming a Healer."
Harry choked on the juice he was drinking. "Really, Ron, Hermione's…"
"Well, first she got sort of red—looked kinda shocked. Then she started gripping the table and squirming, and moaning a bit. Then I left, but I came back she looked a little flustered, but otherwise fine."
Ginny stared at Ron for a full minute, a blank look on her face.
"What? Is it bad? Do you know what it is?"
"Of course I'm serious!"
Ginny glanced over at Harry who busied himself with a bowl of cereal.
"And I suppose Harry was with you, close to Hermione."
"Yeah, but what does that have to do with anything?"
Ginny only stared. "Ron, you are the most…" She trailed off, her mouth open, staring over his shoulder.
It was Hermione, but there was something… different about her. She wasn't wearing her robes, for one. For another, her uniform looked smaller, the top few buttons wouldn't close and her skirt came up higher than Ron remembered. Her hair was up in a bun, which was not terribly unusual, but she was also wearing dark-framed glasses on the edge of her nose.
"Hermione," Ron began, "What happened to your clothes? And why are you wearing glasses?"
She waved him off. "I accidentally shrunk them with a drying charm, and my vision has been getting worse." Oddly enough, during the time she was speaking, she paid Ron no heed, only stared at Harry, an odd curve to her lips.
"Hello, Harry." Her voice sounded husky.
Ron's frown deepened.
She walked around to the other side of the table; a crease appeared in Ron's brow as he noticed she was wearing high heels. She sat down across from Harry and crossed her legs, then reached down in her bag to take out a quill and some class notes.
Ron relaxed slightly; if Hermione was well enough to study, then surely not all hope was lost.
But then she began to suck on her quill—intently moving it in and out of her mouth.
"Hermione! What are you doing?"
She looked up from her notes. "Hmm?"
"You always said it was bad for your teeth to suck on quills!"
Her lips curled and her eyes lifted upward, again not meeting his eyes, but Harry's instead. "Well, yes, but it's such a hard habit to break. Honestly, sometimes, I just get these intense urges to suck on one!"
Harry began to cough loudly; Ron pounded him on the back absentmindedly.
"But, Hermione, you always get on me about it!"
"I know. I think I just have to be really firm with myself, wrap my hands around the issue, and stick to my resolve, hard and fast."
"Yeah, Hermione. You've never been one to fall back into bad habits."
"You're right Ron, I'm normally so good about it… I'm just feeling absolutely naughty."
"That's for sure," Ginny mumbled.
Hermione threw her notes and quill back into her bag. "Actually, I better get going. I have a few things I have to brush up on before class." She stood, but before she left she walked over to Harry, who gulped audibly.
"Oh, Harry," she cooed, "You've gotten crumbs all over yourself."
Her hands rubbed down his face, then over his lips, shoulders, and chest. "There," she said, looking him up and down, "That's better." She moved to go, but then turned back around quickly. "Oh, looks like I missed a few."
She brushed her hand slowly over his lap.
"There you are." Her eyes sparkled. "I'll see you in class!"
As soon as she left, Ron spun around to face Ginny, "You see! She's acting downright strange!"
"I'm not sure if that's the word I would use…" Ginny replied, her eyes wide.
"Harry—back me up here."
"Um—" Harry's voice sounded abnormally high-pitched; clearly he was nervous about Hermione's behavior as well.
Ron huffed. "Let's just look at the facts. Number one; Hermione shrunk her clothes with a drying charm that she normally performs perfectly, nearly every day. Two, she's wearing glasses. Three, her voice was hoarse and scratchy. Four, she's sucking on quills. And five, she has to actually finish up her work right before class starts. So, what does that all mean?"
"Enlighten us, Ronald."
The revelation hit Ron suddenly; his mouth opened and his eyes went wide.
The entire table went silent.
And then burst out laughing.
Ron was aghast; Harry left the table stiffly without another word.
"This is not a laughing matter!" Ron hissed. "What's the matter with you people? Look—you've made Harry upset! He probably didn't realize what was going on with Hermione…"
The table's occupants laughed harder. Dean actually fell off the bench he was sitting on.
Ginny was the first to recover, wiping tears out of her eyes. "And how did you come to that conclusion, Ron?" She asked, fighting back a grin.
"It's obvious, Ginny!" He yelled. "Her magic is weakening—she can't even do even a simple dying spell; her eyesight is failing—she needs glasses; her throat is shriveling up—her voice is all hoarse; she's loosing her self-control—her bad habits are surfacing, and worst of all, she's falling behind in school, which is why she need to do things before class today! And don't get me started on her fainting spell yesterday!"
"No! Look at you all—laughing about Hermione dying! You're supposed to be her friends!"
Ginny lost her control and burst out laughing once again.
Ron stormed out of the Great Hall, his ears bright red.
From that day onward, Ron began to keep a journal, detailing Hermione's actions in hopes to find the true nature of her illness. Clearly, she was too proud to come to him for help, so it became his mission to gather more information, incognito.
Tried to talk to Hermione today. She brushed me off and continued writing out some list. Only caught a glimpse of the piece of parchment before she pulled it away, but am curious what 'URST' means and what it has to do with Harry going mad. Perhaps it's an abbreviation of her disease. Looked through the library, but couldn't find anything. Will talk to Harry about it tomorrow.
Have become worried about Harry as well. Think he is taking the news about Hermione's state of health very badly. He can't seem to speak to her without becoming nervous and sweaty; he's not even able to string two full words together. Am now afraid to talk to him because it may make him more upset.
Worse, Hermione's clothes seem to be getting smaller. Tried to gently offer to help her with her dying charms, but she brushed me off with a strange smile. Am concerned; expected her to yell at me, but she seemed to be preoccupied with something else, probably her illness.
Hermione has developed a weird fixation with bananas and éclairs. She eats them at almost every meal. Harry has noticed this as well; saw him staring at her with his mouth open as she ate, looking really bothered.
Not sure what to make of this development.
Think Harry may be trying to drown himself; he has been taking an alarming number of showers—very long showers.
Caught Lavender and Parvati calling Hermione a cheeky minx. Yelled at them for being so inconsiderate of a dying woman, but then remembered the look she gave Harry in the common room that one day and her strange actions following it. Think it may be part of her rebellion against dying—rebellion against the 'old Hermione'. Will offer to help with this part of her last wishes, since Harry is obviously too upset to do so.
Am now in the hospital wing.
Asked Hermione what she wanted to do before she died, in a very casual way. She looked at me strangely, but rattled off a list of ways she wanted to change the world. She also said she wanted to have children; offered my assistance in this area, but got no response (aside from a few nasty spells--hence my current location). Am concerned she is in denial over dying and expressing it in violent ways.
Am curious how Hermione has the power to do the spells that put me here, but not enough to do proper drying charm.
Still in the hospital wing.
Have had no visitors aside from Luna Lovegood, who told me Harry and Hermione were too busy battling Long-Toothed Intenuats, or something equally strange, to come visit. Was desperate for information, so asked if they were dangerous, aka, could cause death. Luna laughed and told me I was silly.
Was unsettling to be called silly by a girl with the nickname Looney Lovegood.
Ignored the comment though, because she brought me chocolate frogs.
Finally out of the hospital wing.
Hermione's condition seems to have worsened during my absence; she kept falling over all day long. By a strange coincidence, she only fell into Harry, and steadied herself on the strangest parts of Harry, usually in the lower regions.
Offered to take her to the hospital wing, but she ignored me, as usual.
After dinner, Harry took his longest shower yet. Had to bang on the door constantly to make sure he was still alive. He came out eventually, muttering under his breath about Hermione and her killing him. Concern now at an all-time high for both his and Hermione's health. Resolve to talk to both of them tomorrow.
Ron walked into the common room, immediately scanning the area for either of his two best friends, but was disappointed to only find a few people scattered about the room, including Lavender Brown, scribbling furiously on a piece of parchment. Having nothing else to do while he waited for his friends, he walked over to her, hoping he would not regret his decision.
"Hey Lavender, what're you doing?"
She continued to write on the parchment without looking up. "Oh, nothing, just sorting out which god works best for me."
Ron gapped at her. "What?"
"Oh, you know, like, every day of the week, I pray to a different God. Monday is Buddha, Tuesday is Zeus, Wednesday is Jesus, Thursday is Allah, Friday is just plain 'ol God from the Bible and stuff, and weekends are neutral. I've been tracking the qualities of my days for a few weeks now, and each day, I record my results. For example, today, Michael winked at me, so that's a plus for Buddha, but I also got a 'P' on my Charms paper, so that's a major minus." She showed him the rather detailed chart. "It's a very serious matter."
Ron rolled his eyes and searched the Common Room again; to his surprise, he now saw Hermione sitting in the corner of the room reading a large book. He was just about to excuse himself from Lavender (who was still chattering about her 'ingenious' concept), but then the portrait door suddenly swung open.
Ron was overcome by the unsettling feeling of déjà vu.
Harry stepped through the portrait hole, again wearing his Quidditch pants, but now, his shirt was already off, thrown casually over his shoulder, and there was a definite swagger to his steps, a self-confident smile in place.
Beside him, Lavender crumpled up her chart and tossed it to the floor. "Call me Buddhist," she muttered, watching Harry as he walked across the room.
Harry wasted little time in walking straight up to Hermione and taking the book directly out of her hands. He then placed his hands on the arms of the chair on either side of her, leaning forward until his face was only a few centimeters away from her own.
Hermione's jaw dropped.
"Hello, Hermione," Harry murmured, quietly, but loud enough to hear throughout the silent common room.
Hermione's mouth moved, but no sound escaped.
"You know very well you've been driving me mad this past week."
"You started it," Hermione managed to force out, her hands clenched at her side. "In the library."
Harry smirked. "On the contrary, you started it, right in this very common room."
She licked her lips. "Fine. What of it?"
He leaned impossibly closer. "It's my turn again, love."
And then he began to whisper in her ear.
At first, Ron thought he couldn't understand Harry's words because of his soft and husky tone, but then he realized Harry was, in fact, speaking in Parseltongue.
Lavender was the first among the group, watching Harry and Hermione with rapt interest, to speak "Oh, Merlin. That's the hottest thing I've ever seen." She paused, her eyes looking upward. "Buddha, how could I have ever doubted you?"
Hermione clearly agreed with Lavender's first statement, because her eyes were now half-closed, her hands gripping Harry's shoulders tightly.
Ron began to suspect he had been very far off the mark about the nature of Hermione's strange behavior.
His suspicions were proven valid when Hermione, clearly finished with Harry's teasing, pulled his head towards hers, rather roughly, and crushed his lips into hers.
"Well, Ron," begins Lavender, her eyes glued on the couple, "looks like you don't have to worry about Hermione dying anymore… unless they forget to come up for air."
Ron couldn't help but agree.
A/N: So there you have it. It's unbeta'd, but hopefully I didn't make too many glaring errors.
Thanks again for all the wonderful comments on the first part of this story. You guys make me smile.