Disclaimer: I don't own HP or any of these characters. That belongs to JKR, Scholastic Books, Warner Brothers, etc.
It had been a week. It had been a whole entire week since Hermione had carefully orchestrated the events of her morning study session with Harry.
A week and the idiot still had yet to do anything!
She was certain that the idiot had finally seen her as a girl, rather than just a friend. Hermione had been interested in Harry Potter for quite some time now. She liked how she could hold an actual conversation with him. She enjoyed being around him. She could not spend enough time with him. In short, she was more than willing to have a different sort of relationship with him.
However, Harry, being rather daft, took longer to realize how he felt about her. Hermione was almost positive that he liked her. She could tell by the way his face lit up when he saw her, the way he always chose to sit next to her. She always knew how he felt and he had never told her to go away when he was feeling sad. Rather, he sought out her company and comfort. All in all, her suspicions were very well-grounded that he liked her too.
Only he didn't know it.
Not being one to wait around for fate to lend a helping hand, Hermione had decided to take charge of things. If Harry was having problems seeing exactly what the two of them had, she would open his eyes for him. So she constructed her schedule so she would see more of him. She made sure to always smile at him. She even dropped a not-so subtle hint that she was patiently waiting for the boy of her dreams to wake up and notice what was right in front of him!
Looking back, Hermione still could not figure out how he could miss that one. She pondered if it would have helped if she had added the words, "at this very moment," to the end of her hint.
Knowing Harry, he would merely smile and nod.
It was enough to drive any girl insane. After she had done all of that, Hermione had no clue what she was going to do with him. She had literally run out of ideas. The only idea she had left was to strip and dance on the table in front of him. She was not quite ready to go that far—especially when she had no assurances that idea would work.
So, instead, she did what every intelligent girl would do in the situation. She asked her mother for advice. She had written to her mother, not mentioning any names of course, saying she would like to get the attention of the boy she liked.
She was still embarrassed at her mother's reply. Her mum had written:
I am so happy to hear that you and Harry are getting along so well. I always thought you two would make the perfect couple. I can understand your frustration—your father was a little slow as well. Might I suggest that if you want Harry to see you in a different light, that you be a tad more literal? Perhaps if he saw you in starlight or candlelight, he would finally come to his senses.
She still did not know how her mother was able to figure everything out before she did. She thought it was dreadfully unfair that her mother would know about all this first. And Hermione did not even consider it a bit amusing that her mother was able to tell that she and Harry had feelings for each other before Harry had come to his senses.
However, her mother's advice was usually good and she took heed of it. After eliminating starlight, as Harry had seen her by that light before, she had decided to conduct one of their morning session by candlelight. Maybe that would make a difference.
And what a difference it did make! After asking a few silly questions about the candles, Harry proceeded to stare at her the entire time that morning. Hermione was absolutely ecstatic. Finally, finally the boy had seen the light! While Harry had not actually done anything that morning as she would have preferred, she was content to sit and bask in his stare. She had thought that now that his eyes had been peeled wide open for him, he would get around to asking her out.
Oh, if only life were that easy!
It was clear to everyone in Gryffindor Tower and quite a few out of it, that Harry liked Hermione. If Harry thought he was able to keep his feelings to himself, he had a lot to learn. He was obvious about his feelings for her. Whenever they were in the same room together, his gaze would eventually settle on her. Whenever she accidentally brushed up against him, his face would be infused with the deepest, red blush. She had even heard Dean Thomas and Seamus Finnegan talking about how Harry would speak her name in his sleep.
In short, the boy had it bad and everyone knew it.
But one week after that eventful morning, he had yet to do anything. Hermione was at her wits' end. She had done everything so far to help out with their relationship. Wasn't it time for him to put a little bit of work in?
The more she thought about it, the more aggravated she became. What did she have to do to get that boy to do something? Walk around with the words, "Kiss me, Harry!" flashing over her head?
It didn't help Hermione's temper that Harry was currently in the same room as her, attempting to look at her without anyone noticing. It was all she could do to remain in her seat with her head in her book. What she would prefer to be doing would be to be shaking Harry by his scarf and demanding to know where was his sense of romance.
"Hey, Harry," she heard Ron whisper. "Perhaps you should stop staring at Hermione. She doesn't seem to be in a good mood."
Thank goodness for Ron. She would not know what she would do without the help of the ebullient redhead. Thank goodness he distracted Harry from staring so she could stop thinking about the predicament she was in.
Then she heard Ron continue, "I don't think it's a good idea to get her upset." His voice dropped to a stage whisper. "I think it's that time of the month, if you know what I mean."
That's it, Hermione thought. Weasel stew for supper—the Ron variety. Why was it, in the history of the world, whenever a woman was the slightest bit upset, men would gather around and say it was because it was "that time of the month?" Then they would all nod sagely at one another as if that was the only reason why a woman could be upset. And they would never consider that perhaps a woman usually lost her temper because a man had done something downright idiotic. Which was the same as the situation she found herself in now. She could understand that Harry would find it hard to act on his feelings, but she had tried to make it as easy as possible for him. Hermione wasn't waiting for a grandiose declaration of love laid out in iambic pentameter—if Harry stuttered out, "IthkIreallikeyouHermione!" she would have been in raptures.
Hermione stood up. She had to get out of there. If she stayed in the Common Room any longer, one of her best friends would goad her into doing something she regretted. But before that, she had a few words for Harry.
Hermione stomped over to where Harry and Ron were sitting. She looked Harry in the eye and said, "If you're not going to do anything about it Harry, then would you do me a favor and stop gawking at me!"
With that she turned and left the room. The sad puppy-dog look on Harry's face almost made her regret her actions. Only almost though—she had put up with this nonsense long enough.
Three hours later, at supper, Hermione greatly regretted her choice of words. Harry had not been able to stop looking at her, although he tried to cover his actions up. He would stare at her with the saddest look on his face. Whenever Hermione turned her head to catch his glance, he would quickly look down so he would not have to meet her eyes.
The last time she had done that she could have sworn she heard him sniffing.
Hermione had felt like she was the scum of the earth after that interlude. She hadn't meant to hurt his feelings. Rather, she had hoped to goad him into doing something about what he felt. Something like saying he liked her or better yet, kissing her. Hermione sighed. She had really messed up this time.
It didn't help matters that Ron would occasionally look over at her with a look of disgust on his face. As far as she was concerned, the situation was at least half his fault. If he hadn't made his stupid, shallow "that time of the month" comment, she would have never blown up like that.
Hermione sighed again. She seemed to be doing a lot of that tonight. In the end, Ron's complicity in her tantrum did not make a difference. It was her words that had hurt Harry and therefore, it was her responsibility to make it up to him.
Especially because if she did not, they might never get out of this stalemate they had somehow landed in.
Hermione took her chance as they were walking back to their dorms after eating. "Harry," she said while catching his arm, "Can we talk? Privately?" Hermione glared at Ron, telling him to get lost with her gaze. Fortunately, Ron's sense of self-preservation finally kicked in that day and he told them he would see them later. He left, but not after sending a look at Hermione, warning her not to hurt Harry further.
Hermione sighed and turned her attention to Harry. The poor boy looked so downhearted. Even now, he would still not meet her gaze.
She just had to apologize. Hermione gathered her courage and said, "I'm really sorry about what I said earlier, Harry."
He looked up at her, the expression on his face still sad. "Don't worry about it. It's all right."
He didn't get it. She had to try again. "I am sorry though. I didn't mean what I said back then."
"Yeah, right" was the only reply she heard. It was time to change tactics.
"Could we go someplace a bit more private? Like the Astronomy Tower?"
Harry stiffened when she mentioned the tower. "I think here is private enough, don't you? No one else is around." A stubborn look appeared on his face and he looked as if nothing would get him to budge, not even if Snape ordered him to either go to the tower or lose a bevy of points for Gryffindor.
He could be so stubborn at times. She loved him in spite of that.
There are times in life when you have to take a chance. When there is nothing else to do but bet it all. When you don't know the outcome will be and you have to lay everything on the line on one leap of faith. Hermione leaned forward and took a chance.
She kissed him. Hard.
There was no response.
She pulled back from the kiss and looked at his face. Nothing had changed. The only difference now was that he had a dazed look in his eyes. She must have been doing something wrong.
She kissed him again, but this time with all the feeling she had kept locked up in her heart for the longest time. She loved him as she kissed him. She willed him to respond.
Still no response.
She pulled back again. The only difference now was that in addition to the dazed look, Harry also sported a rather goofy grin on his face.
There are lost causes and then there are really lost causes. Hermione categorized this lost cause as one of the latter. There was nothing else for her to do. She had risked everything on one roll of the dice and had come up empty. If two kisses couldn't fuel Harry to act, nothing ever would.
Perhaps she had been wrong all this time. Perhaps what she had thought was love was only affection. She turned to walk away. She really did not want to stay at the scene of her disappointment any longer.
Before she could leave, however, a hand reached out and grabbed her by the arm. Turning, she saw Harry looking at her, with the most gorgeous grin decorating his face.
"I'm sorry," Harry said. "I was supposed to kiss you back, wasn't I?"
That had got to be one of the most foolish things she had ever heard him say. Hermione opened her mouth to tell him what she thought of that remark.
Only he kissed her.
It would have been a perfect first kiss. Their mouths met, gently, sweetly, shyly at first. Then, with their confidence growing, mouths were opened, access granted, tongues met and clashed together. She threw her arms around his neck, running her hands through his hair. She felt him hug her around her waist, pressing her ever closer to him. Her feet no longer touched the ground, but she no longer cared.
A little over a minute or so, the kiss ended as both had to come up for air.
Harry smiled down at her. Kissing her nose, he asked, "Was that better?"
Hermione leaned her head on his shoulder, brilliant with relief. "That was much, much better."
Then another thought occurred to her. Hermione glanced up at Harry, with a challenging gleam in her eye. "I believe I kissed you twice, Mr. Potter."
Laughing, he pulled her close once more and drew her in again.
Author's note—This was much longer than I had expected.
*sigh* I would really appreciate it if you would take the time to
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