A Prior Engagement
~ Two Weeks Later ~
Harry gave a hearty laugh as Ella Granger pulled a face. "So what did you do?" he asked, while selecting a piece of fish.
She shook her head. "What else could I do? I chimed in of course, I asked them; 'Haven't you people ever heard of closing the got damned door?'" she looked at Harry. "I mean really, it's much better to face these kinds of things with a sense of poise and rationality, right?"
He grinned, "Right." He threw Hermione an amused glance and she gave him a wide smile.
'Ugh! Why does he have to be so sodding gorgeous?' she thought, 'Okay, I just have to stay strong. I will not shag Harry, I will not shag Harry, I will not shag Harry.' She flushed when he grinned and winked at her, 'Merlin, this is not working!' her mind wailed before she redirected her gaze back to her fish and chips.
True to their words, he and Hermione had refrained from any sexual contact since he left her house that sunny afternoon two weeks ago. All in all he thought they had been doing pretty well considering the fact that every time she bit her lip, which was quite often, he wanted to snog her senseless. And if you take that and couple it with the fact that eighty percent of the time the he looked at her, her thoughts were in the same direction, they were in fact doing damn well.
"Well as fun as this has been we have to get ready dear, we have to go, Mrs. Gloop is brining her boy Augustus in for one thirty," Mr. Granger stated, pulling Harry from his thoughts. The older gentleman wiped his mouth on his napkin and patted his full belly, before offering the younger man a smile.
Ella pulled another face. "I know, I know. Always with the sweets, that one," she said before looking at Harry once more. "I'm glad that you were able to make it over for lunch today since we couldn't do dinner."
Harry grinned, "No problem, you know there was no way I would miss one of your fabulous meals," he stated with a wink.
Ever since that Wednesday two months or so ago that Hermione had convinced him to come over for dinner, Harry had been coming back. In fact it had now become a new tradition for him to join the Grangers for dinner every Wednesday, since it was his usual night off while Ginny had to work.
"Too bad we have to go to the stupid party tonight," Mr. Granger grumbled.
"I'm sure it'll be fun dear," Mrs. Granger answered while picking up their plates.
"Really? Because last time it was a bloody bore," he responded rolling his eyes.
His wife gave him a reassuring pat on the arm. "Don't worry dear, if it's too bad I have a nosebleed nougat from the twins that will get us right out of there."
When the two shared a conspiratorial smile, Harry let out a bark of laughter and Hermione groaned.
"Mum, I swear you're as bad as the boys," she scoffed with a soft laugh.
Ella shrugged and threw her daughter a wink as she headed out of the room, "Desperate times my dear, desperate times."
Harry and Dan laughed when Hermione groaned; Mr. Granger then gave his daughter a kiss on the top of the head and followed his wife out of the room.
"So?" Harry said when they left, as he looked at his brown haired mate.
"So…" she responded looking down and fiddling with her napkin.
He sighed, "Well, what are you doing today?"
She chewed on her lip and his eyes darkened, "I have to –don't look at me like that Harry."
His gaze flew to her eyes, "Like what?" he inquired with his most innocent expression.
"Like you want to kiss me," she whispered harshly.
He smirked at her, "I can't help it Luv, I do."
She groaned, "Harry…"
'Don't tempt me like this, please.'
"Okay, okay," Harry sighed holding his hands up in surrender. "I'll cut it out. So back to my original question. What are you doing today?"
"Well… lunch is almost over so I need to head back to the office," Hermione answered looking at her watch and standing.
"And after work?" he pressed.
Her gaze flew to his, "Why?"
"Just curious," he answered with a small hitch of his shoulders.
"Well… I have plans," she stated stiffly, before grabbing her glass and taking it into the kitchen.
Harry followed her, "What kind of plans?"
She shrugged and began to rinse her dish.
"Hermione?" he persisted, "What kind of plans?"
The dark haired woman blushed and looked hesitantly at him "Well… I have…."
When he frowned she looked away and finished "…a prior engagement, that's all."
"You're going on a date!" he exclaimed.
Her eyes widened, "What! No…well, yes, but…"
"But what -how could you go on a date?!"
She glowered at him, "That's easy, some poor sod lost his mind for a moment and asked me out. So I figured I'd take advantage of his lapse in sanity."
"You know damn well that's not what I meant Hermione," he ground out.
"Stop looking at me like I've done something wrong," she hissed back.
"You're going on a bloody date!"
"So! You have a bloody girlfriend!"
He scowled at her and moved forward, trapping her between the counter and his arms "You told me not to break things off with Ginny."
"Yeah… well- I meant it, but that doesn't mean that I have to live the life of a ruddy nun," she responded eyeing him warily.
"Do you fancy this bloke?" he asked softly, suppressing a smile as she shivered in his arms.
"I… well, yes, he's a nice enough chap. We really get along and we have a lot in common."
He shifted so that he was looking into her eyes "Are you attracted to him?"
She blushed, "I-well-you see… I am, I guess. He's very handsome."
'Stop it Harry,' her mind plead.
"Is he better looking than me?"
"That's silly, you two look nothing alike," she frowned.
'No one's better looking than you.'
"Hermione," he whispered and she let out a small whimper.
'He had better not touch you.'
"Harry don't," she protested weakly.
"Don't what, Luv?" he murmured before capturing her lips in a deep, gentle kiss.
Hermione moaned against his lips and wrapped her arms around his neck. As his tongue swept into her mouth she buried her fingers in his hair.
The couple snapped apart as a throat cleared behind them. Harry's gaze immediately flew to the doorway where a smug looking Ella Granger stood with her arms crossed over her chest.
"I didn't mean to interrupt, but your father asked me to let you know that we were heading back to the office now," she stated giving her daughter an amused look.
"Oh… okay," Hermione responded flushing even more.
"Well, that's all I wanted, so…" she made a brushing motion with her hand. "As you were," chuckling she turned and headed back into the hallway.
"Sorry," Harry said softly after a minute of silence.
Hermione threw him a brief glare and shook her head before Disapparating with a loud 'pop'.
~ That Night ~
Harry fiddled absently with the pillow while eyeing his best mate. Ron gave him a strained smile as the uncomfortable silence continued to stretch.
"So… how are you?" Harry asked after moment.
The redhead nodded, "I'm doing well, uh, you?"
"Can't complain," he replied nodding also.
When Ron started making clicking sounds after another two minutes passed with no conversation Harry sighed.
"What are we doing mate?"
Ron gave him a surprised look, "Uhh, sitting?"
The dark haired man rolled his eyes. "You know what I mean, we've known each other for too long to be sitting here acting like strangers."
The other man gave a small smile. "Yeah, sorry it's just… you know we haven't seen too much of one another since the break up."
Harry nodded. "I know, but… that doesn't mean we're not still mates Ron. I'll tell you what, let's try this again. How are you –really?"
Ron grinned, "Well, really, I'm great. I finally figured out things with Luna and I haven't been this happy in a while."
"Really, so you mean she hasn't gotten sick of you yet?" Harry kidded with a grin.
"Not yet mate," the other man replied with a wink. "And I'm trying to make damn sure to keep it that way. So what about you?"
"I'm okay," Harry responded with a shrug. "Have you spoken to Hermione?"
Ron blushed, "Not really, no. Have you?"
"Yeah, actually we speak pretty often. So then with the way things are going with Luna you're sure that it's really over with you and Hermione?"
"Yeah, I'm sure. Hey if you two talk pretty often then why ask me if I've spoken with her? She would have told you if we'd talked."
Harry smirked, "You have met Hermione, right?"
The other man chuckled, "Right… like pulling teeth sometimes isn't it?"
His mate grinned. "Only the good information."
"So…" Ron hesitated, "how is she –you know, doing and all?"
Harry shrugged, "She's alright," he then pulled a face. "Actually she has a date tonight."
"A date? Really?" Ron asked wide-eyed.
'Good,' he thought with a sigh.
Harry frowned "You don't mind?"
"No, why should I?" the other man answered. "After all it was my fault things ended between us. Honestly I just hope she can find a great bloke, like she deserves, who can make her truly happy."
"You sound like a bloody Hallmark card."
"Never mind," Harry responded with a dismissive wave of the hand. "So you really don't mind?"
Ron shook his head "Nope… so are you going to answer me?"
"About what?" Harry frowned.
His mate gave him a probing look "How are you… really, Harry?"
"What do you mean? I said I was fine."
"You asked me for an honest answer and now I'm asking you for the same," Ron responded with a frown. "How are things going… you know, between you and Gin?"
The other man opened his mouth to respond before closing it and releasing a sigh at the determined look on his mates face.
"I… I don't know, honestly," he answered looking down.
"What do you mean?" Ron asked taking a seat across from him.
"I mean that… well, between both of our work schedules we hardly see one another anymore."
"Don't worry, I'm sure that once Ginny adjusts to her new job and they get a few more healers you guys will be back to normal."
Harry sighed, "But… Ron, it used to be that we could barely get though an hour without seeing one another, and it was torture to try to make it thought a day." He turned a troubled gaze to his mate "Now we sometimes go a whole week seeing each other only once, and even that's just in passing, and it's still no big deal."
His mate frowned for a moment before offering a weak smile, "Look, the two of you are crazy about one another, it's just a phase. You'll work everything out –trust me."
Harry looked away then looked back at Ron, "And if we don't?"
The redhead sighed and shrugged, "Then Christmas dinner is going to be really awkward this year."
A.N. I know, I know but I couldn't resist the shout out to Panic at the Disco. I love that song *lol* So what do you think? Please review and let me know.