Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or anything related to it. I wish I did...but I don't. It's Jo's baby and she gets the glory. I write fanfics to honor the stories I admire, even if I am changing the parings. No money is being made and no copyright infringement is intended.

AN: I've been on a huge fluff kick lately. Not sure where this is going to go, but I know it's fluffy. Probable lemons involved. On a personal note: Harry and Hermione kick some uber ass and I want to see them happy together. ^_^ And away we go! *holds up a cup of lemonade* Cheers!

(I'm silently praying this bunny does something good for me...)

How Did I Fall In Love With You?

Hermione sighed as she rest her head on her knee, looking out through the window of her bedroom. Years had changed her from the girl she had been when she was eleven and first journeying to Hogwarts on the train. She smiled, remembering the first time she'd met Harry and Ron on the train. She'd come across Neville looking for his toad and offered to help him investigate, hoping that he would become a friend. They were both outcasts. Hermione was sure that she was going to be the only person at Hogwarts who didn't know anything about magic, which was why she had spent the entire summer studying her books. She felt an odd sense of satisfaction when she realized that she knew more than the Harry Potter.

That was years ago... Eight years had flown in the face of tragedy, love, loss, war, and hope. They were Hogwarts graduates now, thanks to a few strings being pulled and high N.E.W.T. scores. They were heroes too. Everyone who fought in that last battle was suddenly someone to be respected and admired. Everyone who died was someone to be mourned. The celebrations had lasted for months and the Wizarding World was suddenly secure in its peace.

A knock on the door made Hermione turn and look as it opened. Harry smiled from the threshold of her room. "Ready to go?" he asked.

Hermione smiled and nodded. "Are you?" she asked.

Harry shrugged. "I'm a little nervous," he confessed.

Hermione laughed. "The man who single-handedly brought down the darkest sorcerer of all time is nervous when faced with a simple interview from a friend?" she asked.

Harry laughed. "It still isn't all that easy to talk about what happened," he said. "There are a lot of memories I'm still not ready to face."

Hermione gave Harry a sad smile. "You'll be fine," she said. "I'll be right beside you."

Harry nodded. "Thanks," he said, holding out his hand. "Come on, then," he said.

Hermione stood and walked up to Harry. As she met his eyes, she saw the fear inside. She kissed his cheek and proceeded down the hall ahead of him. Harry shut the door to her room and followed his best friend, remembering the first time he saw her and how far they've both come.

… … … … …

The interview took place in a conference room in the Leaky Cauldron. Harry recognized the room as the same one he'd been escorted to after running away from his aunt and uncle's in his third year. Sitting at a table was Dean Thomas, a notebook and pen already waiting. Harry couldn't help but notice that Dean was already writing something.

Dean looked up as Harry and Hermione shut the door behind them. He smiled brightly. "Hey," he said, standing and placing the notebook and pen aside. Like Harry and Hermione, Dean preferred to write with a Muggle pen instead of quill and ink. Dean shook both Harry and Hermione's hands. "How have you guys been?" he asked as the three of them sat back down.

"Good," Hermione said with a smile. Harry nodded. "What about you, Dean?" she asked.

Dean smiled. "Getting married in four months," he said with a smile. He chuckled. "You two probably already knew that."

Harry and Hermione both nodded. "Ginny told us," Hermione said. "Congratulations."

Dean smiled again. "Thanks," he said. "On to business?" he asked. The other two Gryffindors nodded. "First question then," Dean said, looking at his notebook. "The year in hiding...where did you go?"

"All over," Hermione said. "Wherever we could find a place to camp. We stayed away from cities. We did make a stop to Godric's Hollow though. And met up with Voldemort there."

Dean's eyes widened. "What happened?" he asked.

Harry sighed. "Hermione broke my wand," he said with a smile at Hermione's blush. "It was after Ron left us. I finally convinced Hermione to go and we saw my parents' graves, the house, and the sign out front with the well-wishes and such. Then we were lured into a trap by Voldemort's snake."

"Wait," Dean said, staring at the two of them. "How did a snake lead you into a trap?"

"It was disguised as an old woman," Hermione explained. "Dark magic."

Dean nodded. "Makes sense in some weird You Know Who kind of way," he said. "You said Ron left, what happened there?"

"The locket," Harry said. Dean gave him a questioning look. Harry sighed. "Voldemort used Horcruxes to stay alive," he explained. "We set off in search of those, we weren't in hiding. One of those Horcruxes was a locket that belonged to Salazar Slytherin. Ron, Hermione, and I would take turns wearing it and every time someone wore it they became agitated and irritable. Ron finally had enough and left for a while. He needed to get away from the locket."

"And us," Hermione said with a glance at Harry.

Harry nodded. "And us," he agreed.

"Any particular reason?" Dean asked.

Hermione shook her head. "Not really," she said. "He and I were fighting a lot and he was always jealous of Harry; it's a fault of his that we've all come to accept and ignore as much as possible. It really isn't his fault."

Harry shook his head. "And he's over a lot of that stuff anyway," he said. "The biggest issues were me being the hero and he not. Now he's a hero too. He gets to walk in my shoes."

Dean chuckled. "You know, I never knew he was jealous of you and I spent six years in the same dormitory," he said.

Harry smiled. "Most of the issues between Ron, Hermione, and I have stayed there."

"So, really quick, is there any truth to the rumors about you two?" Dean asked. "Is romance in the air?"

Hermione blushed and Harry cleared his throat nervously. "Rumors?" he asked.

Dean nodded. "The two of you live together, don't you?" he asked. Harry nodded. "Everyone thinks you're shagging and will be announcing either that you're expecting a baby or that you're getting married."

"What?" Hermione cried. "That's ridiculous! Harry and I are just friends," she said, her cheeks turning a deeper shade of red.

Dean chuckled. "Sure you are," he said, making a note."If you don't want to tell me, fine," he said. "You don't have to lie though."

Harry and Hermione glanced at each other. "Seriously," Harry said, "there isn't anything going on..."

Dean raised his eyebrows. "Really?" he asked, unable to believe it. "The two most eligible people in all of England live together and aren't shagging?"

Harry shook his head. "No," he said. "We're just friends, honest."

"So are there people in your lives then?" Dean asked. "The readers are dying to know."

Harry and Hermione shook their heads. "We're both still very single," Hermione said. "Ron's off the market though."

"He is?" Dean asked.

"Ginny didn't tell you?" Hermione asked. "Ron's found himself a girlfriend."

"Does Ginny know?" Dean asked. "She's always keeping me up to date on the family events."

Harry glanced at Hermione. "You know, she might not," he said. "Ginny was never fond of the girl Ron's with now."

Hermione scoffed. "Neither was I," she said with a forced smile.

"Somehow this smells like Lavender Brown or someone similar," Dean said.

"Brown," Harry said with a nod. "I wouldn't tell Ginny just yet."

Dean shook his head. "I'm not giving her that news," he said. "She'd hex me."

Harry and Hermione laughed. "She would," Hermione agreed.

"Right, so, next question," Dean said, looking back at his notes. "What have you two been doing since the war ended?"

"Enjoying peace and not having to look over my shoulder," Harry said with a smile. Hermione nodded in agreement. "We're taking things easy," he said.

"Neither of you are working?" Dean asked.

Harry chuckled. "I don't have to," he said. "My parents, Sirius, and Remus left me with more than enough."

"Professor Lupin?" Dean asked. Harry and Hermione nodded. "I didn't think he had anything to leave behind."

"He didn't have much," Harry agreed. "Most of it went to his son, but I think he wanted to make sure I had something as well."

"And you're not working, Hermione?"

Hermione shook her head. "Not yet," she said. "I'll start working when Harry makes me," she said with a chuckle. "Or when I get bored."

"And you don't mind footing the bill for two?" Dean asked.

Harry shook his head. "Hermione's done enough for me that it's the least I can do," he said.

Dean nodded. "Very cool," he said. "What happens next for you guys?" he asked. "I know that all of us are technically heroes now, but you three are the focal point here. Everyone wants to know what you're going to do."

"Well, Ron's going to become an Auror," Hermione said. "He's in the academy now. For now, Harry and I are just enjoying the quiet."

Dean nodded. "So it's the quiet life for the two of you?" he asked with a smile. "All alone in your house with no significant others, no jobs, no life outside of the yard, and you're not shagging?" he asked. He looked at Harry. "How do you do it?" he asked. "She's gorgeous. Same to you, Hermione," he said, turning to her. "There are millions of women around the globe that would kill to be your shoes and you're not even taking advantage of the situation you two have? Man, if Ginny and I could be together like that I would be the happiest man on earth."

Hermione glanced at Harry. "Sorry to disappoint," she said softly.

Dean shrugged. "Oh well," he said. "Hey, at least this way, neither of you are getting hate mail for this article," he said with a laugh. The three of them suddenly remembered their fourth year at Hogwarts when Hermione started receiving hate mail because of the article Rita Skeeter had done. "Anyway, just one last question, Harry," he said. "What happened in the forest?" he asked.

Harry sighed, having known this question was coming. "Ancient magic," he said softly. "A repeat of what saved my life when I was one."

"What?" Dean asked, genuinely curious.

"Sacrifice," Harry said. "I went to Voldemort knowing that I was going to die and that's how we all survived. I was willing, and did, give up my life for all of you."

"But you didn't stay dead," Dean said. "I mean, clearly, you're sitting across from me."

Harry shook his head. "No, I didn't stay dead," he agreed. "Voldemort and I were only dead a few seconds before we both came to."

"And what brought you back?" Dean asked.

Harry sighed. "A choice," he said. "I could go on and stay dead, or I could come back. I was done with what I needed to do, and I'd passed the task on in the event of my death. Once Voldemort's snake and I were dead, anyone could have taken down Voldemort."

"You and the snake?" Dean asked. "Is that why Neville chopped off its head?"

Harry nodded. "I'd asked him to. I told him that if anything should happen to me, he needed to kill the snake."

"Why?" Dean asked.

"We were the last two Horcruxes."

"You were a Horcrux?" Dean asked. "How does that work?"

Harry chuckled. "In order to tell you that, I'd have to tell you how to make one and that's very dark magic that we don't need to spread around."

"Fair enough," Dean said. "What is a Horcrux anyway?"

"It's an object that houses a piece of a person's soul," Hermione dutifully answered, adopting her role as know-it-all once again. Harry smiled as she explained it a little further. He'd always admired her knowledge and willingness to share it.

"And you were one of these things?" Dean asked.

Harry nodded. "That's why I spoke Parseltongue," he confessed.

"Really?" Dean asked. "So you can't do it anymore because you're not a Horcrux...right?"

Harry nodded. "That's the general assumption anyway," he said. "I haven't exactly tried speaking to snakes lately."

Dean chuckled. "Not much of a reason to anymore is there?" he asked.

Harry shrugged. "It came in handy after a while," he said. "The biggest problem is that I can't tell the difference when I'm speaking or hearing Parseltongue. To me it sounds like English."

"Really?" Dean asked. "I never knew that."

"Neither did I," Hermione said with an odd look at Harry.

"Yes you did," Harry said, turning to Hermione. "Remember? I told you when we left Godric's Hollow. I didn't realize the woman was Nagini because it was Parseltongue and you hadn't heard the hissing."

Hermione shook her head. "I was devastated that I'd broken your wand," she said. "I was determined to find a way to fix it."

Harry smiled reached for Hermione's hand to give it a squeeze. "I told you," he insisted, letting her hand go.

Hermione shrugged. "I believe you," she said. "I always have," she said as she put her hand on his knee.

Dean's eyes narrowed. "I know I've asked and I know you've answered, but are you sure you two aren't a couple?" he asked. "You certainly act like one."

"We're sure," Hermione said, looking back at Dean, her hand still on Harry's knee. "We're just really good friends."

Dean slowly nodded. "Okay," he said, still not believing. "Maybe you two should date," he suggested.

Hermione blushed as Harry's heart rate skyrocketed. "Why...why do you say that?" Hermione asked.

Dean laughed. "Look at you two," he said. "You guys compliment each other, you're not afraid to get in each others faces, and there's an obvious attraction between you. You answer each others questions, you find a reason to touch... Seriously, do I have to go on?" he asked. "Stop being so thick and get with the program here. Date!"

As if Dean's words had pointed out that Hermione's hand was still on Harry's knee, she sharply pulled it away. Harry felt the loss of Hermione's touch like a sudden hole.

Dean sighed. "It's not my business," he said. "Anyway, that's all of my questions so it looks like we're done here. Ginny wants to invite the two of you to dinner, by the way. Friday night at six."

Harry nodded. "We'll be there," he promised. Hermione nodded.

Dean smiled. "Great," he said. "Looks like I'll see you guys on Friday then. The article should be in tomorrow's paper so look for it and let me know what you think."

Harry nodded. "Will do," he promised as he and the others stood.

Harry and Hermione returned home after their interview with Dean. As Harry bolted the door behind them, he stared at Hermione. Dean's shock that the two of them were nothing more than friends only reflected how Harry often felt. He had the pick of any woman in the world if he so chose, but the only one he wanted was his best friend.

"Why are you staring at me, Harry?" Hermione asked, blushing a little as she shed her cloak.

Harry shrugged. "I think Dean was right," he said as he walked toward the kitchen.

Hermione followed. "About what?" she asked.

Harry smiled as he pulled two glasses from the cupboard and juice from the fridge. "Us," he said simply.

Hermione's eyebrows knit together. "Be more specific," she said. "Dean said a lot of things about us."

Harry chuckled as he poured the glasses. He handed one to Hermione before putting the juice back in the fridge. "You're a smart woman, Hermione," he said, retrieving his own glass. "I don't need to spell out what I'm thinking."

Hermione sighed before she took a drink and set her glass on the counter. "I don't want to jeopardize our friendship, Harry," she said softly.

"We won't," Harry said softly, putting his glass down. "He's right, Hermione, we're practically married except we aren't romantically involved with each other. I'll admit freely that it took me a long time to realize it, but you are the perfect person for me. You're the only woman in the world besides Luna and Ginny who doesn't give a damn about me being the Boy Who Lived and they're both taken. Where else am I going to find someone I can be with who isn't going to look at me and see my scar?" he asked sincerely. "You're beautiful, intelligent, funny, and a thousand other things I've been looking for in a woman. You have been there for me at every turn and the first time I realized how much you meant to me was during the second task of the Triwizard Tournament when I saw you at the bottom of the lake as someone else's prize. I stepped aside because I didn't think I'd be good enough for you because I always thought you wanted Ron. And for a while you did, but you don't any more. I've loved you almost as long as I've known you but I haven't paid attention to it because I didn't want to put you in danger. The danger is over now. We can live our lives the way we want to."

"But...what happens if we break up?" Hermione asked, feeling tears in her eyes.

Harry sighed and stepped close to Hermione, his hands sliding from her shoulders to her elbows and back. "Where did your Gryffindor courage go?" he whispered softly, reaching up to brush her hair back away from her face. He cupped her face in his hands. Hermione held her hands over his. "If we work at this, we won't have to worry about a break up," he said softly. "I want to work at this. I want to be with you. I want to feel how it feels to kiss you," he whispered, his face moving closer to hers.

"Harry," Hermione whispered, flinging her arms around his neck and capturing his mouth with her own, unable to hold herself back any more. Harry wrapped an arm around her waist as his other hand moved to the base of her neck. Hermione moaned as Harry began kissing her ear and neck. After kissing her one more time, he held her tightly to him, breathing heavily.

Hermione closed her eyes as she wrapped her arms around Harry tightly. She could hear his rapid heartbeat and felt like it mirrored her own. "How did I fall in love with you?" she whispered.

Harry chuckled. "I've asked myself the same question a thousand times," he whispered before he pulled away enough to tilt Hermione's face to his and kiss her again.

"Harry?" Hermione asked as she pulled away.


Hermione sighed nervously. "Bedroom," she whispered.

Harry's eyes widened. "R-really?" he asked, feeling the blood instantly move south in his body.

Hermione nodded. "I need you," she said, her hand moving to the waist of his jeans and tugging lightly. Harry felt his breath hitch in his throat.

"Not that I'm ungrateful or anything, but are you sure?" he asked, holding her face in his hands.

"I spent seven years wondering if I was going to die," Hermione said softly. "I'm not going to spend the rest of my life regretting things." She rose up on her toes and kissed Harry again. "We've both wanted this for a long time, or at least I know I have. Just because the romance is new doesn't mean the relationship is."

Harry smiled. "I think you just made me the happiest man on earth," he said.

Hermione chuckled. "Not yet, I haven't," she said with a smirk.

"Whose bedroom?" Harry asked.

"You have a bigger bed," Hermione said before she wiggled out of Harry's grasp and smiled before she sprinted from the kitchen. Harry stood, dumbfounded for a moment before he quickly followed. "Hey!" he called, chasing her up the stairs.

Hermione let Harry catch her at his door. He pressed her against it, kissing her deeply. Hermione reached for the doorknob and turned it, opening the door behind her and stepping back. Harry nearly stumbled before walking in after her and closing the door behind him. Hermione smiled as she slowly raised the hem of her shirt up over the waist of her pants. "Do you want this?" she asked, slowly raising her shirt teasingly. Harry watched, mouth dry as she exposed a flat milky stomach. "Well?" she asked, raising her shirt a little higher.

Harry mutely nodded. "God yes," he whispered before Hermione pulled her shirt over her head, exposing a lilac bra.

Harry smiled as he walked up to her, pulling his own shirt over his head. He waved his wand at the curtains, closing them, before putting his wand on the nightstand and kissing her again.

Before the kiss escalated, Hermione pulled away with a smile and walked around to the other side of the bed, leaving Harry feeling teased. He kicked off his shoes and socks before he climbed onto the bed and crawled over to her. "This doesn't work if you keep running away," he said with a smile.

Hermione smirked. "Who said anything about running away?" she asked.

Harry chuckled before he grabbed Hermione by the waist and pulled her onto the bed. She let out a high squeak and Harry laughed as he knelt over her, a knee on either side of her hips. Hermione blushed and held her hands over her face. "I can't believe I just did that," she muttered.

Harry pulled her hands away from her face and leaned over to kiss her. "I thought it was sexy," he whispered against her lips. Hermione reached for his glasses and dropped them over the side of the bed, hoping that she would remember that fact later on when Harry needed them back.

"No it wasn't," Hermione protested.

Harry smiled as he pulled away from her. He lightly ran his hand over her stomach, causing Hermione to squeak again because she was ticklish and he knew it. He laughed as she covered her face again. "Stop that," he said, pulling her hands away.

"Then you stop!" Hermione cried, embarrassed.

Harry shook his head, leaning in to kiss her neck. His kisses went lower until he found her bra. Without a second of hesitation, Harry captured her breast, through her bra, in his mouth. Hermione cried out, arching her back. Harry took that moment to unfasten the hooks holding the garment secure. Hermione briefly wondered how he'd done it so quickly, but the thought quickly vanished when Harry took her nipple into his mouth.

Hermione cried out again, her back arching once more. As to not leave the other side disappointed, Harry ran his thumb over the other nipple. Hermione cried out again before Harry abandoned her breasts and started kissing her stomach. Hermione felt things low in her body tighten, begging for release.

As Harry began to return to her mouth, she felt the snap of her jeans come undone and Harry push the zipper down. His hand cupped her and slowly rubbed back and fourth. Hermione pushed at her pants and underwear, wanting less separating her from Harry. Harry moved his hand away and unbuckled his own pants before moving away to shed them as Hermione did the same.

They each took a minute to just look at each other. Hermione felt excitement, seeing all of Harry for the first time. Harry, in turn, felt himself harden further, seeing a perfect woman lying on his bed.

Hermione held out her arms for Harry and he smiled as he lay next to her on the bed. He pulled her in close and kissed her again.

"I need you, Harry," Hermione whispered, reaching for his throbbing member. Harry moaned as Hermione wrapped her hand around him. She rolled on to her back, bringing Harry with her. She held him at her opening and Harry shook his head. "Not yet," he whispered, kissing her. Hermione frowned but Harry smiled. He leaned over and opened the nightstand drawer for a bottle of lube. Hermione chuckled as Harry placed some in his hand. "Do I need a condom too?" he asked.

"There are spells for that, Harry," Hermione said with a smile, reaching for his wand. She pointed it at her stomach and muttered something under her breath.

Harry raised his eyebrows. "You have that spell memorized?" he asked.

Hermione chuckled. "I have a lot of things memorized," she said before she kissed him and placed his wand back on the nightstand.

"Have you used it before?" Harry asked.

"No," Hermione said softly. Harry's eyes widened and he stared at her.

"Really?" he asked.

Hermione shook her head. "I almost did once or twice, but no," she said before she kissed him.

"And you?" she asked.

Harry gave her a weak smile. "Once," he confessed before realizing the lube in his palm was dripping onto his bed. Hermione lay back as Harry readied himself. "Ready?" he asked, positioning himself at her opening.

Hermione nodded. "Yeah," she said.

Harry eased himself inside of her. Hermione winced and clenched her eyes shut because he was bigger than she was ready for.

"Look at me, please," Harry whispered, moving her hair away from her face. Hermione opened her eyes and looked up at Harry. He smiled and kissed her. "We can stop at any time," he promised.

Hermione chuckled. "It's a little late for that, isn't it?" she asked.

Harry shook his head. "No," he said. "Your hymen isn't even broken yet." He smirked. "We can stop now and you can still say you're a virgin."

Hermione laughed and cupped Harry's face with her hands. "I don't want to stop," she said softly before Harry lowered his face to kiss her again, sliding further inside of her.

Harry broke the kiss and slid partly out before moving back in. As their movements sped up, Hermione felt her hymen break and gasped. Still moving, Harry kissed her cheek. "You okay?" he breathlessly asked.

Hermione nodded. "Fine," she panted. "Great."

Harry chuckled as he kept thrusting in and out of her. "Good," he breathed, kissing her once again.

It wasn't long after that their movements became almost frantic, the thrusting erratic. Hermione felt the pressure building up inside of her.

"In or out?" Harry asked.

"What?" Hermione asked, confused.

"I'm almost there," Harry said, kissing her neck. "Do you want me in or out?'

"In," Hermione whispered.

Harry nodded, thrusting a little faster and a little harder. Hermione cried out with each thrust, the walls of her vagina constricting around Harry's penis. Harry cried out as he moved until, with one final thrust, he buried himself deep inside of her and climaxed.

Hermione felt his seed burst into her and, overcome with the sensation, was sent over the edge of her own orgasm. Harry rolled onto his back, bringing Hermione with him so that she lay on top of him and he was still inside of her. "I love you," Harry whispered.

Hermione smiled as she rest her head on Harry's shoulder. "I love you too," she said.

That Friday, Harry and Hermione arrived at Dean and Ginny's house at a quarter to six. Dean answered the door and smiled at them. "Come on in," he said.

Harry and Hermione walked in hand-in-hand. Hermione looked up at Dean. "Where's Ginny?" she asked.

"Kitchen," Dean answered.

Hermione smiled and kissed Harry before she let his hand go and started for the kitchen.

"I thought you two insisted that you weren't together," Dean said as he shut the door.

Harry laughed. "We have you to thank for it," he said. "You pointed out what we were denying. After we got home, we talked about it," he said with a smile, remembering the day fondly.

"Wow," Dean said. "I didn't know I had such an influence."

Harry chuckled. "Thanks," he said.

Dean laughed. "No problem," he said.

AN: Plot bunny satisfied and still fluffy. lol Don't forget to review!