Summary: It is the Sunday after the Second Task, and Viktor realizes he's done a poor job of communicating his intentions to Hermione. (rated PG, spoilers for GOF only, warning for pure, unadulterated fluff)
Author Note: If you are a reader of my story "A New Definition of Family" you will know I have a little romantic Viktor and Hermione sub-plot going on… Well, I felt this worked as a stand-alone for Hermione and Viktor, and I hope you do too, dear reader!
Hermione wound her way through the quiet castle corridors to the library. On early Sunday mornings she could get quite a bit accomplished when hardly anyone else was around and still meet her friends for breakfast, which was served later than on the other days of the week. She'd started this habit back in second year when she was taking extra classes using a time-turner, and she didn't see any reason to give it up. Especially since Viktor started joining her.
Hermione had endured no small amount of teasing that she was "the thing Krum would miss most" and she couldn't pinpoint why exactly it bothered her so. After all, she'd suffered far worse from her schoolmates, and usually she was able to shake it off and ignore it. By rote she took out her parchment and quill and ink, then opened her Transfiguration textbook, only to stare at it unseeing.
It had been disconcerting to discover the depth of Viktor's affection for her in such an awkward manner, and this had thrown her into confusion.
She'd spent the past two months since the Yule Ball warding her heart, telling herself not to fall hard for the charming Bulgarian, because, really, this had to be just a fling for him—a flirtation to pass the time while here in Britain. She knew he used his relationship with her to deflect the many, and often inappropriate, offers from countless schoolgirls, and she didn't mind that. She was happy to help make his stay as pleasant as possible, and those hussies could be positively pesky and annoying.
But now… She couldn't tamp down the rogue thoughts that kept suggesting there could be something more to this thing with Viktor. Not anymore. Certainly not since the second task, and if she thought back, there were signs she'd chosen to ignore. In the last couple of months as she'd spent more and more time with the Durmstrang champion, they'd discovered they had many similar interests, and they could talk and laugh for hours, and the kisses had gone from sweet and innocent to involving more tongue and teeth and hands—
She felt a blush creep over her face. Surely Viktor hadn't fallen for her—the bookworm, the—
Was she really the person he would miss most?
The library door opened with a creak to allow in a tall slouching figure. He found her eyes, and gave her a discomfited smile before walking toward the table.
Hermione's heart started flipping erratically against her ribcage. He asked me to go to Bulgaria with him! To meet his parents! Why would he do that, unless he—oh, Merlin!
"Herm-own-ninny." He was there, at the table, hands on the back of a chair, requesting permission to join her. Hermione swallowed nervously and nodded. He took the chair next to her and sat, turning to face her. "I haff been thinking—"
"Viktor, I—" she said at the same time. They both laughed uncertainly.
He inclined his head. "You first."
"No. You," she insisted.
Viktor took a deep breath and let it out. "I haff been thinking I have not done good vork explaining to you how I feel about you."
"Oh?" she replied weakly as her heart invited the rest of her organs to join the dance.
His eyes dropped to her open book. "Your reaction at the second task; you vere surprised to find yourself as hostage for me."
She watched his hand nervously playing with her quill. "I- I just didn't expect… the one you'd miss most…"
"Is vat I'm saying, mila." He dropped the quill to take her hand instead. "I do not speak English vell. I am sometimes, how you say, ashamed that I cannot find right vords to tell how I feel. I think I vill sound to you like idiot. I let pride keep me from being good napadnik—boyfriend—and you become embarrassed at second task—"
Viktor smiled ruefully. "You see? You do not effen know I vant to be boyfriend." He shook his head in irritation. "I am failure ven speaking to you."
She tugged his hand so he would look at her. "No! No, you're not a failure, Viktor! It's just that…" She blushed furiously. "This is all so new for me," she whispered. "I've never had a boyfriend before."
He looked at her askance. "Neffer?" She nodded. "Vy not?"
She shrugged and looked away. "I'm not beautiful." Viktor made a noise of protest, but she continued, "I'm a bit too swotty." At his look of confusion she explained, "Nerdy, bookish." It was her turn to fiddle with the quill. "I'm not very outgoing, and I'm bossy, and—" He gently pulled her chin around so he could see her face. She gazed into his dark-hazel eyes and shrugged again. "I- I'm not the kind of girl that boys want for a girlfriend."
She was quite sure her voice hadn't wavered, that no hint of self-pity had come through, but Viktor probed her with his eyes for a long time before he cupped her cheek. "Herm-own-ninny, English boys are idiots. And blind." He leaned forward and kissed her, pressing his lips to one corner of her mouth, then the other, before covering it completely with his. When he pulled away, she was breathless and convinced her heart was staging a breakout right through her sternum.
Viktor took Hermione's hand in his and played awkwardly with her fingers. "I haff confession. I haff neffer had girlfriend before."
"Is true. Ven I vas younger, I haff school, and I haff training for Quidditch. I haff no time for much else. I made Bulgarian team, and vas effen more busy. There is no time to meet nice girl and start relationship." He blushed, and continued to fiddle with her hand. "Many girls, many vomen, they vant to meet me and give me attention. I am like trophy to them. They don't vant to know me, they vant only the fame. Did I say this right?"
Hermione squeezed his fingers. "I understand what you are saying."
"Then I meet you, mila. And you ask me qvestions, and you listen to my answers. You treat me like normal boy, and I say to myself, 'Here is girl who is kind. Here is girl who doesn't just vant to say she—vat is vord?— bagged Viktor Krum.'"
She knew he wasn't deliberately trying to be vulgar, but Hermione blushed anyway.
He continued, "And now I haff made mess of it by not telling you that I vant to be boyfriend to you."
"No," she protested. "You haven't made a mess of things. I was just surprised, that's all. You see, I didn't want to get too… involved if this wasn't anything serious for you." Her cheeks flamed even more. "I think— I think I could fall head over heels for you, if I let myself, but—"
Viktor tenderly framed her face with his hands. "Falling head over heels is good, yes?" He smiled hopefully.
She smiled back. "It is if the other person is falling with you."
He leaned his forehead against hers; his lips were very close, and his voice husky when he replied, "Herm-own-ninny, I haff been falling since the Yule Ball."
"Me, too." Her response was muffled by the touch of his lips to hers in a fiercely possessive yet incredibly tender kiss—but Viktor understood her perfectly.
Napadnik: 'boyfriend' in Czech. Bulgarian is in Cyrillic alphabet, which I can't read. Czech is the closest I could get to Bulgarian, because I have some familiarity with it. If anyone wants to tell me the Bulgarian word for boyfriend, I would love to be corrected!