Disclaimer: The characters and canon situations in the following story belong solely to JK Rowling. I am not making any money from the publishing or writing of this story.
Scents: Honeysuckle, Baked Apples, Aftershave Lotion.
The Burrow was rambunctious and bustling with activity for the monthly Weasley brunch. Little Teddy and Victoire were running around chasing garden gnomes, and Ron was shamelessly flirting with Luna, even if she didn't seem to notice his advances.
George and Fred were scribbling furiously on a piece of paper, while Sirius and Remus sometimes interrupted them to give the twins some ideas. Hermione looked around the backyard for Harry, and spotted him talking with Ginny. 'She's probably trying to get him back, the calculating bitch.' Harry had broken up with Ginny, tired of the arguments they repeatedly had. But according to Ginny, Hermione was completely to blame; she had allegedly told Harry that Ginny had cheated on him with some random guy. Merlin knew she'd done nothing to earn the redhead's resentment.
She decided to get those thoughts out of her mind and approached the four suspicious looking men gathered around a piece of parchment.
"Take it from us masters. You have to mask it somehow." Sirius started. "Otherwise, someone will notice what it really is."
"And what exactly, are you boys talking about?" Hermione interrupted, hiding her chuckle behind her hand when the twins gave a little jump.
"Muffin!" Fred and George cried, and proceeded to squeeze her between them.
"You might want to be careful, Hermione. As they say, curiosity killed the cat." Remus said, his eyes twinkling with hidden mischief.
Hermione arched her eyebrow and crossed her arms over her chest. "And I don't know if you've heard boys, but satisfaction brought him back. So, what are you planning?"
"Planning? We were just asking Sirius and Remus here-" Fred said while putting his arm over her shoulders.
"-to teach us the art of wooing hot birds like you, Sugar plum!" George finished.
"Argh!" Hermione cried exasperated, freeing herself from their grasp. "How many times do I have to tell you? Stop calling me those names! And refrain from lying to me please. You know perfectly well I know when you're not telling me the truth."
"Aw, you love our nicknames, Pookie. The thing is, we are working on a new perfume for our WonderWitch line, and we're taking our inspiration from Amortentia." George said.
"Amortentia? What does it have to do with a perfume?
"That's for us to know…" Fred started.
"And for me to find out. Let me sniff it then." Hermione had a clear idea about the whole idea of the perfume now, but she needed to be sure. Knowing that everyone finds his or her Amortentia scents to be unique and delicious, it was obvious that the user would buy the perfume for its singular and attractive smell.
George searched his pocket for the small vial that contained the perfume. "Would you be our guinea pig, Sunshine? Just tell us what you think." He said and handed her the vial, ignoring the glare Hermione sent his way for the use of that nickname.
Hermione accepted the perfume and her eyes fluttered closed as she inhaled. It was heavenly. The sweet smell of honeysuckle invaded her senses, followed by the subtle blend of cinnamon and apples that would make her mouth water every time she ate baked apples. But her favourite, the one smell that made her senses go overdrive, was the spicy, loamy scent of a very familiar aftershave. The sudden realization made her jump and she almost dropped the vial, not noticing the four knowing smiles behind her.
"Something the matter princess?" Sirius asked. Oh how she longed to wipe that smirk from his face. "Did you smell anything unusual?"
"I didn't smell the same things I did on my sixth year. Your perfume is clearly faulty."
"Not a chance Cupcake. Remus related his scents with Tonks, so you might as well accept and thank Merlin that you don't smell my baby brother anymore."
"Amortentia scents don't just change!"
"But there's a small chance they can, don't believe everything the books say. I happen to know a few people whose scents have changed."
"Enough of that Moony, I want to know who she smelled." Sirius interjected, waggling his eyebrows.
"Stop that Sirius, I don't know who it smells like, and even if I did, you wouldn't get a word out of my mouth. And it doesn't even matter!" Hermione huffed and made her way into the Burrow.
Maybe it did matter after all. She just couldn't get that damn scent off her mind! It was the most alluring thing she had ever smelled, and strangely familiar at the same time. She'd already gone through a million names in her head and she still couldn't decipher who it belonged to.
Remus, Bill and Percy? All out of question for being happily married.
Sirius? Hermione snickered. She'd always known that if she were to smell him, it would coincidentally smell like wet dog.
Charlie? Awfully attractive, but sadly, the perfume smelt nothing like him.
Fred and George? Nothing like them, thank god.
Ron? Ron. 'There's absolutely no way I'm making the same mistake again.' Hermione thought.
There was still someone she hadn't named because she didn't dare hope it was him. And she knew for a fact he considered her family, like his big sister. For Merlin's sake, he was her best friend! She had always felt something- she wasn't quite sure what exactly- for him since she was fifteen, and that feeling had only intensified with the years. And certainly the time they had spent alone on the Horcrux hunt had done nothing to calm those feelings, she would just go to bed confused, telling herself it was only sisterly love what she felt for him.
But things were different now. He'd broken up with Ginny, thank Merlin for that. She couldn't stand the fangirl- because that's what Ginny Weasley really was- anymore. She just wanted the fame, the Daily Prophet's front pages, and the celebrity events that came hand in hand with the title of Harry Potter's girlfriend. Funny thing. Harry despised all those things.
And now she knew, and would never forget whose scent she'd smelled on the twins' perfume. Morgana help her. She was in love with her best friend, and there was simply no goddamn way she would let Ginny Weasley get him.
"Are you really sure this will help Padfoot?" Remus asked after Hermione left.
"Of course it will, Moony. Harry already realized it's her he wants, Hermione just needs a little push in the right direction."
"And how do you know that Sirius?" Fred asked.
"Because my dear godson talked to me about it." Sirius said and smiled at the memory.
"You don't understand, Sirius!" Harry whispered harshly.
"I do, Harry. There was a time when you thought- when everybody thought- that you and Ginny were made for each other, a match made in heaven. But do you really feel that way about her?" Sirius asked, just hoping his godson would see where this was heading.
"I just… I like Ginny, but it's not like it used to be. I don't even know why, but she's constantly saying some really spiteful things about Hermione. And she keeps asking me to choose between her and Hermione, I can't do that!"
"And how do you really feel about Hermione?"
"There is no me without her. Hermione has always been with me, even when somebody else deserted me. Behind very choice I've made, she's been there. She knows me better than I do! Besides you, she's my entire family. There's no way I would choose someone over her." Harry whispered.
Sirius smiled to himself. He wished Harry had known his parents. Sirius wished he knew that what he was describing was almost the same as the love and partnership James and Lily had. And if James wasn't here to guide Harry through this, he would be the one to do it in his place. "Then why are you with Ginny?"
Sirius' words had the desired effect on Harry. His hunched shoulders straightened, his emerald eyes widened and his mouth parted in shock.
Long, tense seconds that felt like minutes passed before Harry asked. "What if she doesn't feel the same?"
"For the love of- Harry listen to me carefully. Hermione's always put you in first place, before Ron and even before her own family. She has loved you for a long time- even if she hasn't realized it-, yet she was willing to let Ginny have you in order to make you happy. If that doesn't tell you how she really feels about you, I really don't know what else will." Sirius said, and watched with excitement as Harry's eyes brightened. He'd finally understood love had always been right in front of him.
There was a time when the redhead's company would've never bothered him, but right now, he was more than happy to be rid of her.
Sirius had told him that he, Remus and the twins had a plan to help Hermione realize her feelings for him- something to do with some scents, he wasn't quite sure- but he had to wait a little before he went to her. So he patiently waited. He watched as Hermione took a small vial from George hands and smelled it, how she jumped and her face drastically changed in realization and shock, and almost went after her when she stomped her way into the Burrow.
Some moments later and a quick nod from Sirius told him it was safe to go inside.
Hermione was seating on the couch when she smelled it again. That delicious smell was getting closer. "Hi Harry."
"Now, where's the fun in startling you when you already know I'm going to do it?" Harry asked, offering her his hand to help her stand.
"You should be more careful next time." Hermione accepted his hand and stood to her full height. "We wouldn't want you to get caught while at work, Auror Potter."
"You're right, Miss. Maybe you should tell me how you managed to know I was right behind you." Harry said, holding her waist.
"Mmm, I don't know if I should. It's a secret, you know." Hermione wrapped her arms around his neck and stood on her tiptoes to whisper in his hear. "But I can be persuaded."
"Then I'll try to do my best." Harry whispered and leaned into her collarbone.
He kissed his way up her neck, stopping at the edge of her chin, as Hermione closed her eyes and cocked her head back.
"P-perfume." She gasped.
He kissed her chin and stopped just below her bottom lip. "What was that?" He whispered huskily against her mouth.
There it was again. Aftershave Lotion. Harry's aftershave lotion.
"Kiss me already Harry Potter, or I'll swear I'll-" Hermione was interrupted as Harry crushed his lips to her, pressing his tongue against her lips to part them before exploring her mouth and consuming her passionately.
Hermione gasped softly when he broke the kiss. "I think I could get used to this." She whispered seductively.
"And I think I agree with that, love." He said as he leaned down for another kiss, his fingers running down her cheek as his other hand cradled her back.
"Oh, and please remind me to buy a whole order of the twins' new perfume before they even get out, Auror Potter. It has an enticing and unique scent." Hermione said, tugging Harry's head down for a kiss.
A/N: Thanks for reading! Please leave a review and tell me what you think.