Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter. I DO own the video game Dragon Age: Origins (well, a copy of it, at least), and that is the primary culprit in the longer delay between the last chapter and this one.
A/N: Here it is; the final chapter of this little story.
What He'll Sorely Miss?
"Are you sure you want to do this, Hermione?" Harry asked, nervousness obvious in his voice.
Hermione, who did not share his hesitance in the least, smiled and nodded at her boyfriend from the seat next to him.
"Of course, Harry! This is perfect! Whether he intended to or not, Professor Snape played a part in the two of us getting together. Don't you think he deserves to be the first person, aside from Ron and Sirius, to learn that we truly are dating?"
"But—Snape? Snape? I can't believe you actually want to do this in front of that greasy git!"
"We did it in front of Ron and Sirius, didn't we? What's the difference?"
At Hermione's words, Harry thought back to the very memorable meeting he, Hermione and Ron had had with Sirius during their Hogsmeade visit the day after he and Hermione had become a couple.
After they'd done some shopping in the village, the trio made their way past Dervish and Banges, towards the edge of the village, just as Sirius had requested. There, they met up with Sirius himself, in his Animagus form of a large black dog. Sirius had led the three of them far off the beaten path, up a mountain to a cave that he'd been hiding in. Only then did he revert to his natural, human form.
The four of them had gone on to talk all about the strange events that had been happening during the year, and Sirius had also told the students a great deal about some of Voldemort's known Death Eaters. Harry was very much interested in what his godfather had to say, but as the conversation wore on, the urge to touch his girlfriend continued to grow. They'd been so careful to keep their contact to a minimum throughout the day, as they didn't want to make Ron feel uncomfortable or unwelcome. They had agreed that this was the best approach, as Ron had had less than a day to adjust to the fact that they were now dating. But still, it was frustrating Harry, to be this close to Hermione and not touch her, not kiss her. He'd spent years being her strictly platonic best friend, but he knew he'd never be able to think of her in that way again. Not after all that had happened the day before.
Eventually, the urge became too much. Without looking in her direction, Harry reached out and took his girlfriend's hand in his. Hermione didn't say anything to acknowledge Harry's actions, but the slight squeeze she gave his hand made it clear that she did not object.
Hermione might not have outwardly acknowledged the fact that Harry was holding her hand, but Sirius wasn't about to ignore this stunning new development.
"What's this, then?" Sirius questioned, his eyes wide as he motioned back and forth between his godson and the clever young witch who had always supported him.
"Er...well, yesterday, Hermione and I, we sort of started..." Harry trailed off, struggling to come up with the appropriate words amidst his embarrassment.
"Dating?" Sirius offered, deciding to take pity on his blushing godson.
"Yeah, that's it. We're dating. Hermione's my girlfriend," Harry agreed, feeling more confident as he saw the smile spreading across his godfather's face.
Sirius glanced at Hermione, who looked back at him with a bashful smile. Sirius grinned and nodded at her, before letting out a delighted laugh.
"That's brilliant! I'm happy for both of you! You know, ever since that day last year, when the two of you saved me from the Dementors, I'd been wondering whether or not there was more than friendship between you."
"I think we both might have started to have feelings for each other back then, even if we didn't realise it until recently," Harry mused.
"Well, congratulations, anyhow. You chose well, Harry. And, luckily for you, Hermione succumbed to your charms much faster than Lily did to your father's. James would be proud of you, I'm sure," Sirius said with a grin.
"I think he would. Mum too. I'm really lucky to be with Hermione," Harry said earnestly.
Sirius laughed at the blush spreading across Hermione's cheeks as she turned to wrap Harry in an affectionate hug. He was delighted to have this opportunity to see his young godson and his constant female companion in the beginning stages of what Sirius had a feeling would be a lifelong romance. Their interactions, the little looks and touches they exchanged seemingly without a second thought, distinctly reminded him of James and Lily during the early days of their romance.
Sirius smiled fondly as Harry and Hermione continued to clutch each other tightly, lost in their own little world. He could see, however, that the other onlooker present for this display was not as happy to be there as he was.
"Something bothering you, Ron?" Sirius asked, quietly enough that only the redhead could hear him.
Ron grimaced, but shook his head.
"Not really. I'm still sort of getting used to the idea of Harry and Hermione...together, that's all," Ron answered, his eyes averted from Sirius.
Sirius cast a quick glance at Harry and Hermione, who were still too engrossed in their hug to comprehend anything else happening around them, before looking back at Ron once again.
"I think I understand where you're coming from. You're worried about being left behind, right?" Sirus asked.
Ron's eyebrows drew together in thought, before he shrugged.
"Yeah, maybe," he said, attempting to sound indifferent.
"Remember, Ron: just because they're together now doesn't mean you're any less important, to either of them. They'll always make time for you. And hey, someday you'll find a girl of your own to squeeze the life out of, right?" he finished teasingly. Ron chuckled softly in response, and Sirius nodded to himself, content that he'd cheered his godson's friend up at least slightly.
He watched on as Harry released the hug and pulled back slightly, only to dip his head down and capture Hermione's lips in a kiss. Hermione tilted her head and pressed forward, deepening the kiss. They kissed for several seconds, oblivious to the fact that they were not alone.
Finally, Sirius caught their attention with an exaggerated, theatrical cough. Harry and Hermione quickly broke apart, finally remembering that they were not alone. They both blushed bright red and stared down at the ground in mortification, while Sirius showed his amusement with a deep bark of a laugh.
"You two were so caught up in each other that you forgot about everything else around you!" Sirius exclaimed once he got his laughing under control. "Just like James and Lily..."
Harry grinned in remembrance of that spontaneous incident, but even as he did so, he shook his head in disagreement.
"It's not like we did that on purpose—it just happened. And besides, Sirius was happy for us! Ron, too...well, I think," Harry replied. "Snape will either puke all over us, or keep us in detention for life. Either way, it's no good for us."
"Oh, lighten up, Harry," Hermione prodded. "We're already in detention, thanks to that whole 'running out of class' business. Don't you think it'll be worth a few more to see the look on Snape's face?"
"Are you seriously trying to talk me into antagonizing a teacher, knowing full well it'll probably lead to both of us getting more detention? Who are you, and what have you done with Hermione Granger?"
"What can I say, Harry? Being with you is bringing out my inner Marauder. You know, after all the grief you and Ron have given me over the years about lightening up, I'd think you would be happy to see me encouraging a bit of mischief."
"It's not that. I like seeing you having a bit more fun, and not stressing yourself out so much, like you did last year. But...the thought of doing this in front of Snape just gives me the creeps," Harry said, shuddering.
Hermione opened her mouth to respond, but Harry never found out what she was going to say, as the door burst open at that moment, startling them both. Severus Snape entered, reminding them, as always, of an overgrown bat.
"Potter, Granger...I see that you are both on time, at least. This detention is already going better than I had expected it to," Snape said sarcastically.
"Actually, Professor, we're early. Our detention wasn't supposed to begin for another five minutes," Hermione corrected.
Snape did not appreciate it.
"I'm well aware of the time, Miss Granger. Ten points from Gryffindor for interrupting me," Snape said icily.
"Git," Harry muttered under his breath.
Unfortunately, it wasn't quiet enough to prevent Snape from hearing it.
"That will be 50 points and two more detentions for insulting a superior, Potter," Snape snarled. But he wasn't done criticizing Harry just yet. "Hopefully you can manage to actually make it through this entire detention without fleeing the room. Because if you leave prematurely, as you did during my lesson last week, I will be forced to assign yet more detentions. And frankly, Potter, I'd rather not have to spend any additional time in your presence. I see quite enough of you as it is during your abysmal attempts at Potion-making."
Harry stared straight down at the table in front of him, willing himself not to respond to Snape's taunts and dig himself an even deeper hole.
Hermione, however, had other plans.
"Speaking of that incident in your class last week, Professor..." Hermione began, before Snape cut her off.
"What of it, Granger? I warn you, I hold you and your 'fascinating social life' responsible for disrupting my class, and I have absolutely no interest in hearing your feeble excuses," Snape said, the threat obvious.
"Oh, no, Professor, I wasn't going to try and make an excuse on Harry's behalf for leaving the room, or for myself in following after him. Actually, I wanted to thank you," Hermione said pleasantly.
Whatever Snape had been expecting to hear, it clearly wasn't that.
"...I beg your pardon? You wish to thank me?" Snape finally said, after several moments' hesitation.
"Yes, absolutely, Professor! I know it was very embarrassing for both me and Harry to hear such things spoken aloud in front of all our classmates, and at the time, neither of us were very pleased with you. But in the end, you helped us immensely."
"I helped you? How so? By giving you the attention you desperately crave?"
"Not at all, Professor. You helped us see what was right in front of us. Well, you, with a little help from the 4th-year Slytherins. And Rita Skeeter, too; can't forget about her. Whether you meant to or not, you all helped out. Thanks to that article, and everything it brought to light, Harry and I are happier than we've ever been. So, thank you."
"I'm afraid I don't quite follow, Miss Granger," Snape said slowly, frowning in confusion.
"Well, I suppose we could explain it to you, Professor, but I think we'd rather just show you. Right, Harry?"
Hermione slowly got up from her seat and looked down at Harry, flashing him her most mischievous smile. Harry closed his eyes and shook his head, but Hermione wouldn't take no for an answer. She reached out and clasped his hand, forcibly pulling him up to his feet.
If he'd truly put up a fight, Harry probably could have overpowered Hermione and remained seated. But, in the short time they'd been together, he'd come to realise that he was powerless to resist her when she gave him that smile. The second she looked down at him with that smile on her face, he knew he was going to do whatever she asked of him.
As both students got to their feet, Snape regarded them with suspicion.
"What is the meaning of this? You had better return to your seats before your detention officially begins, otherwise you will both be punished severely," Snape warned.
But neither Harry or Hermione was paying him the slightest bit of attention. They were too focused on each other to heed any threats from their surly Potions professor.
"Are you sure this is a good idea, Hermione?" Harry whispered, hoping she'd change her mind and allow them to return to their seats without incident.
"Trust me, Harry. He's had this coming for years," she whispered, smiling from ear-to-ear as she wrapped her arms around his neck and pressed her body tightly to his.
"EXCUSE ME-" Snape began, his eyes widening in revulsion. But there was nothing he could do to prevent what was about to happen.
Hermione brought her lips to Harry's in a gentle kiss, though she tightened her arms around his neck to ensure that he couldn't shy away.
She had nothing to worry about. After being still and unresponsive for a few seconds, Harry's lips began moving against hers, returning the kiss. His arms wrapped around her waist, pulling their bodies together even more intimately as they shared a passionate kiss right in front of their least favourite professor.
Snape was sputtering in shock and disgust, but they continued to kiss. Hermione smiled against Harry's lips, thrilled that he'd put his misgivings aside and was following her lead. She knew Snape would give them detention on top of detention on top of detention for this, but she couldn't bring herself to care. She knew that this image, of two of his most disliked students kissing passionately right in front of him, would irritate Snape forever. And the knowledge that he himself had played an integral part in this, in helping them find such bliss, would be almost too much for him to handle.
To her, it seemed a fair trade.
Harry wasn't thinking about any of that. Professor Snape, the man who had tormented him and bullied him for years, was the furthest thing from his mind. His attention was focused squarely on the wonderful bushy-haired woman in his arms. As the two of them kissed, all of Harry's worries, all of his troubles, were forgotten. The third task of the Triwizard Tournament, the likely plot against his life, the strange dreams he's been having throughout the year...none of it mattered, so long as he had Hermione by his side. Harry was beginning to believe that, with Hermione's love and support (not to mention her brains), he could accomplish anything. He reckoned that with her love, he could defeat Voldemort himself.
Perhaps even more impressive, he could snog her right in front of Severus Snape.
A/N: You may have felt that Hermione was OOC in this chapter. That was sort of the point. The idea was that being together with Harry was helping her become more carefree, relaxed, and mischievous.
I now consider this story complete. I intend to write more Harry Potter stories in the future, though I don't have any particular ideas in mind. If you have any story ideas to suggest, feel free to share them with me; maybe you guys can come up with an idea that catches my fancy.
Next time around, I'm going to write up a chapter-by-chapter outline, so I'll actually have an idea where the story is going. It'll also hopefully have some action and drama to even things out, instead of being pure fluff as this one was.
Thanks for all of the reviews and comments! Hopefully you guys enjoyed this little fic, and hopefully you'll check out my future stories, whenever they may be posted.