I did it.

Voldemort possessed me and I tried to kill Arthur Weasley. The man who's been the next best thing to 'Dad' that I've ever known. Even Sirius is more like an uncle ought to be. Maybe just a goofy older brother really.

Doesn't matter. I did it.

Sqwarrrk!

Buckbeak doesn't like me ignoring him. The big burly Hippogriff is actually very affectionate. Dragging my tired, dirty ass off the dung and straw covered floor, I rummage in the burlap sack for another preserved ferret.

Ferret. Wish one of these was white. Just make my bloody day to toss that wanker to Bucky. Solve a problem or two.

Maybe a toad as well. A bloody fucking toad with pink bow on top.

The crunch as Buckbeak chews on the ferret corpse is strangely satisfying to me. Transference? Is that what it's called? Hermione would know.

Hermione. That's another one.

Christ, how can I think about her when I'm slinking around killing people? Cho is pretty and all, but the other day Hermione came down the stairs from the girl's dorm – like she's done for hundreds of other days – and I almost fell out of my chair. She was that stunningly beautiful.

Yeah, she's pushy. She can be condescending when she's in 'Know-It-All' mode. Though that's usually when Ron has her all het up. Why does he push her like that? He knows it just pisses her off. It would piss me off if he pushed me on Defence or Quidditch. Why does he pick on her like that?

Doesn't matter. I did it and Arthur Weasley almost died.

But she was so pretty.

She's my friend. No more and no less. Well, maybe my best friend. Besides, Ron is totally in to her. But she's no idiot; she has to know that he likes her. So why doesn't she do something about it?

Don't be an idiot, Potter. She doesn't do something about it because she doesn't like him that way. Duh! When has Hermione ever held back from something she really wanted? Ever?

She hasn't, that's when. She's a better Gryffindor than I'll ever be, or could possibly be.

Oh, Christ. What am I going to do? I did it.

Knock-knock

I'll ignore them and they'll go away. As usual. Wish Ron would get the fucking hint.

"Harry?"

Stunned, I answer, "Hermione? Is that you?"

"Yes, silly. Now open this door before I curse it down."

I shuffle to the door, and then tap the knob with my wand, unlocking it.

I turn back to my corner as she opens the door briskly.

I don't even hear her coming before she envelops me from behind in her arms.

Oh, God. I don't deserve her.

My chest heaving, I almost break down right there and then. It's been so hard the past few days. All she's doing is holding me and I feel better.

"Tell me."

So I do. The story pours out of me like water from a pitcher. Soon I can't stop the emotions and I'm crying as I tell her my fears that Voldemort is using me. Using me to kill or hurt people. Maybe even her some day.

I didn't realize that we'd slid to the floor. Neither did I realize that she'd shed her coat and was holding me against her chest. Her very ample chest I suddenly realized.

Ah, crap. I don't need to be perving on her when she'd trying to make me feel better.

But damn, she's got a nice chest.

Get a grip Potter.

Wait. Why's she here?

"Hermione, aren't you supposed to be skiing with your parents?"

She pauses in her rubbing of my back and answers, "You're more important."

I pull out of her arms and look at her incredulously. Her face is burning a pale pink and she's not looking at me. Rather, she seems to be inspecting a rather large Hippogriff dropping a few feet from us.

"Hermione, you didn't see your parents most of the summer. You should be with them."

With deliberate slowness, she stops inspecting the rather mammoth turd and looks me in the eye. In a very serious tone she tells me, "You're more important."

My brain is in vapor lock.

Point 1: Hermione is the most logical person on the planet Earth. If there were such things as Vulcans (and I'm not convinced there aren't) then Hermione would be the Head Vulcan. Or Vulcanette or whatever.

Point 2: Hermione never does something without a reason. Following point 1, the reason is usually a very good one. Unless it's that time of the month and then all bets are off. She's a right tartar for those five days.

Point 3: She's here with me rather than her parents. Her parents that she loves more than anything.

That must mean…

I'll admit that theory and memorization of facts is not my strong point. Action is where I do best. Thinking on my feet, reacting to stimuli and making the best out of bad situation is where Harry Potter excels.

The three points above flash through my mind like an incoming spell and I act.

Reaching up, I gently grab my best friend by the back of the head, pull her to me and begin to kiss her.

And, wow, is she kissing me back.

Her arms are around my back in a flash as mine encircle her.

I've gone from a weepy confession to full on snog in 7 seconds. I feel like I could take on Voldemort himself right now and have spare change for his minions.

Damn, she's good at this. I'm in heaven.

Her groans and moans seem to indicate she may be enjoying the experience as well.

I break the kiss, my eyes closed. Leaning my forehead against hers, I'm panting with emotion: desire, lust…and love?

"Harry, open your eyes."

Opening them, I see her right in front of me, her warm brown eyes full of emotion. Please, don't let me fuck this up now.

"I love you, Harry."

Closing my eyes in relief, I pull her to me and squeeze her tight. No one's ever said that to me and I don't know what to do. Except never let her go.

"I love you, Hermione."

I didn't even realize I was speaking, but I said it. In my shock and surprise at my declaration, I realize it's the truth. She's always been there for me. Always cared for me in little and big ways. Encouraged, browbeaten, held, cried for, tended, all the things that I now know are ways that she shows that she loves me.

She's the one I've always wanted with me. I've lived without Ron. Yeah, I missed the 'guy thing' during fourth year, but I would have been completely devastated had the roles had switched and Hermione been the one to disbelieve me.

I can talk Quidditch with anyone. I need her.

She's crying now.

Fuck. Good job Potter.

"Hey, now. None of that. Don't cry Hermione."

Quick as a flash, she's on top of me and her tongue is halfway down my throat. Who am I to argue with a lady?

What a magnificent kisser she is. Damn.

I have no idea how much time has passed, but we're laying on the only clean section of the floor. I cleared it out what seems like an eternity ago, but it's only been a few hours. Buckbeak is great, but sitting on Hippogriff shit isn't my idea of fun.

She's playing with the hem of my T-shirt when she says, "You didn't hurt Mr. Weasley."

I'm a little confused by the seeming non-sequitor, but recollect myself quickly. "How do you figure that?" This is Hermione, she's never wrong on the important stuff.

"You never left your bed. Besides, you can't apparate at Hogwarts. How could you get to the Ministry building and back in that short amount of time otherwise?

Relief. Joy, even. I almost start crying again, but settle for pulling her closer. Kissing the crown of her bushy hair, I tell her, "You're the best, you know that, right?"

I can feel her smile against my chest.

For a while, we lay there, enjoying the wonderful sensation of laying together. Our love is still so new that it's like a toy on Christmas day. Not that I've had a lot of those, but I understand the idea.

She pushes herself into a half-sitting position and stares into my eyes. After a long moment, she caresses my cheek and tells me, "You're mine. And I'm yours."

Grinning widely, I agree. "Oh, yes. You're mine, and I'm yours."

"I'm not letting that toad-bitch hurt you any more. We're telling Sirius and anyone else who'll listen." An impish smile forms on her face, "No one hurts my man."

That deserves a five minute snog which I happily grant.

Both our stomachs rumble, causing us to chuckle. "Hungry much?" I ask.

She gives me a little swat on the arm and mutters, "Prat. I came here first thing. I had brekkie and that's it today."

I rotate her left arm and see that it's half five. Standing, I give her a hand up. With a smile that hopefully is more mischievous than perverted, I brush the straw off her. All of her.

Her answering smile gets her another five minute snog after which, she brushes the straw off me. All of me.

I pick up her coat and a disturbing though flashes through my mind. "What about Ron?" I ask her.

She pauses, scrunches up her face like she always does when she's thinking deeply and answers, "He'll deal with it poorly at first. Probably will deal with it poorly that is. I know he's been crushing on me for a while, but really…" Gazing into my face, she continues, "I really want to keep being his friend, but you…you're my everything."

"I had no idea." But as I say it I know it's a lie. I've always known, but never recognized what was going on.

Quickly shaking my head, I tell her. "That's not really true. I did know. I just didn't realize what I knew." I half frown at what I'm saying, "If that makes any sense."

Strangely, her eyes tear up and she gently takes my face in her hands. "It does and it gives me one more reason to hate your relatives."

She'd do anything for me, I realize. Concurrent to that, I realize that I'd do anything for her. I don't think I could live without her."

"I love you, Hermione. With all my heart."

I did it. Thank god, I told her and did it.

A/N

1. I own nothing.

2. Just a little Harry/Hermione love that I knocked out over lunch. Kind of hard to type and eat leftover soup at the same time. Especially this soup. Mmmm-mmmm. Homemade (my wife's a great cook). Enjoy! (The story, not the soup. That's mine.)