I Don't Need Protection



Pairings: Harry/Hermione

Disclaimer: Harry Potter, and all the characters associated there with belong to JK Rowling, Scholastic, and a bunch of people who are not me. I make no profit from this story and suing me would only yield a whole bunch of well-loved books.

Content Disclaimer: This story contains Violence , lots & lots of Violence ; however you want to say it. If you do not like that then keep on looking.

Distribution: Anyone who wants it. Just let me know and give credit where it is due.

Feedback: If you want more stories then you need to send feedback.

Spoilers: Any and All Books through Chapter 37 of Deathly Hallows

Summary: All too often in the H/Hr stories, when Ron loses his temper and confronts the couple for getting together, Hermione always cringes, and/or flees…what if she didn't?

Bashing Warning: This story will contain character bashing and a good old fashion beat down.

Harry Potter was many things; he was the boy who lived, he was the Dursley's house elf and punching bag, he was Ron Weasley's best mate and Hermione Granger's best friend. And right now he was a very embarrassed Tri Wizard tournament contestant. Professor McGonagall had just told him about the Yule Ball and the fact that he had to have a date.

He really wasn't sure about this whole date thing. Does one ask the cutest person, or your crush, or the person who you will have the most fun with? Hermione and Cho were each in the running. But then a voice sounded off in the back of Harry's head… "You don't really know Cho. She could be a fan girl, or the Ravenclaw version of Lavender Brown." The shiver that went down Harry's spine at thought was in no way pleasant.

But what would happen if he asked Hermione. Would she say yes? Would she laugh at him? Actually she definitely wouldn't laugh and if he wanted her to say yea, he'd better ask immediately. Hermione REALLY hated procrastination.

The things Hermione knew about herself weren't actually true. She considered herself plain, not true. While she wasn't textbook pretty, one day she would surpass all expectations anyone would have had for her in that aspect. She considered herself to be personable, not exactly true. She could be very affable, but she was pushy and did not play well with stupidity; so most others. What she had in abundance was compassion, and that is much better than being merely personable. She considered herself to be intelligent, that was the understatement of a life time. Only she and her parents knew that she had finished muggle secondary school before she began Hogwarts. She was a genius on the level of Einstein or Hawking. She considered herself to be the kind of girl who ended up alone because no male would ever actually want her for herself. She was, in fact, beginning to weigh the thought of settling for whoever showed her interest. This was, of course, completely and totally untrue. It had been fed to her by people so jealous of her intelligence and vivacity, that they used her only faults as weapons.

She was working diligently on her homework, a light smile playing on her slightly too full lips. Harry sat at the table in the Hogwarts Library, that the entire school understood belonged to Hermione and, when she deigned to share it with the boys, the rest of the Golden Trio. When she looked up he gave her a smile, "Can I talk to you for a minute?" He asked quietly.

Hermione gave a quick look over at Madame Pince. Seeing the librarian occupied trying to corral Krum's groupies, she gave Harry a big smile and nodded. "What did McGonagall want?"

"She wanted to let me know that I would have to enter the ball and lead the first dance. So she wanted to impress upon me the fact that I would need a date." Harry whispered, barely moving his lips.

Hermione nodded sagely. "Well, I guess you'll be asking Cho then. I'd suggest you hop to then. If you wait too long she may accept another's invitation."

"I'm not asking Cho." Harry said simply.

Hermione frowned. "Harry, if you have to have a date, why aren't you going to ask Cho? You have been fancying her all year."

"Well, a bit, yeah. But when I thought about it, I realized that I know nothing about her. She could be a closet fan girl, she could have a big mean jealous boyfriend, she could be Ravenclaw's answer to Lavender. I don't want to get to the ball and have nothing at all to say to my date. So I decided I'd ask someone who I think is pretty and who I'll be comfortable with." He reasoned.

"So are you going to ask Ginny then?" She asked after smiling at his logic. She couldn't disagree with anything he said, and since she knew Harry didn't make friends easily, she could understand.

"Hermione, if I'm not going to ask the girl who 'might' be a fan girl, why would I ask the girl who I KNOW is a fan girl?" Harry shuddered at the thought. He knew he ignored the fact that Ginny was a bit of a stalker, but he didn't realize that people might think he didn't know it to be true.

Hermione hid a giggle. He looked so very repulsed at that thought. Shaking off her laughter, she asked the only question she could think of; "So who are you going to ask then, you don't really know any other pretty girls."

The frown on Harry's face was befuddled, flabbergasted, and disappointed all at the same time. "Hermione Jane Granger. I know you, and you are who I'm going to ask. I even came immediately after I made the decision, because I know how you feel about putting things off."

"But Harry you said you were asking someone pretty." She blurted before she could stop herself.

Had Voldemort seen the look on Harry's face at that moment, he would have had to really reconsider if he needed that specific enemy's blood for his ritual. "I just did. I asked one of the prettiest girls I know. And I asked the most beautiful person. So are you actually just trying to stall to figure out how to say no without hurting my feelings? Because otherwise you just insulted my best friend, and I don't think I can allow you to do that."

"No Harry I'm not trying to let you down easy, I'd love to go with you…I just think that as your best friend, I think you could do better. You deserve to walk in that ball with the most beautiful girl in Hogwarts." Hermione said calmly.

"And I will, the most beautiful person, the brightest witch of her age." He smiled at her.

"Harry, I want to ask you something. And it's not that I don't want to tell people, just I don't want to have to deal with all the angry jealous witches you aren't taking…so can we hold off telling people that I'm your date for a while?" Hermione blushed at what she perceived as her own cowardice.

"I guess I see your point. I'm not sure how our celebrities do it in the real world…maybe muggle stalkers are saner than witches." He joked as she gathered her things and they made their way to the Gryffindor common room.

Several weeks past and Harry found time each day to speak with Hermione alone and learn more about his best friend. But inevitably the day finally came when the subject of the ball came to a head within the trio. And When Ron found out that not only was Hermione unavailable to be his last minute date, but that she was attending the ball with Harry; to say he was livid was a gross understatement.

Ron behaved as though Harry and Hermione making the decision to go to the ball together was a personal affront, a direct assault upon Ron himself. Finally the all separated, Harry and Hermione not speaking to Ron, and Ron telling everyone who would listen that "Harry was only taking Hermione because she was probably easy. After all muggle girls all have loose morals." Soon the entire school was abuzz. The Slytherins picked up on Ron's bullshit and took great pleasure in spreading the muck as far and wide as possible.

Draco Malfoy especially took great pleasure in taunting Hermione whenever he could. Harry was constantly crossing words with the blond ponce. Unfortunately one day after their shared Arithimancy class, Draco couldn't resist tormenting Hermione. "No Scarhead here to protect you now, Mudblood. Whatever will the slut do without her protector? Since you are spreading your legs for Potty, you should let me show you what a real man can do."

"Malfoy you should know better than anyone that I don't need Harry Potter to fight my battles for me." Before the pureblood prince could say a thing Hermione Granger; with a swing of her tremendously heavy backpack; had knocked him to the ground. She then proceeded to punch and kick him until he was curled into a fetal position, crying and whimpering. Then she straddled his chest and proceeded to beat him until his face was a mass of broken teeth, rent flesh and pooling blood. You see while Hermione didn't need Harry to protect her, Draco was worthless without Crabbe and Goyle in a physical altercation; and Hermione had given him no chance to use his wand. "You see Malfoy; there really isn't much I can't beat you at." Disillusioning the boy, she cast an intricate spell to wipe her magical signature from the invisibility charm and left the area with a smile on her face. She was done taking the high road; it was time to teach a few people some things.

She quickly made her way to the nearest bathroom, and cleaned her uniform, her hands and repaired her knuckles. She made her way to lunch sliding into her spot next to Harry and giving him her usual quick kiss to the cheek. "Get a room. We are good people we don't want to watch you two shag at dinner." Ron said snidely from further down the table.

Hermione was done. She stood, and quickly climbed on the table and with a sonorous spell began to unload on Ron with both verbal barrels. "You Jealous hearted , pitiful excuse for a wizard. You call yourself our friend, and yet you constantly stab us in the back. You've been spreading lies about Harry and I for the last four years, I kept quiet because you were Harry's 'friend'; but no more. Students of Hogwarts please listen. Harry Potter has not now, nor has he ever said anything negative about any Slytherin other than Malfoy and Snape. He doesn't think the entire house is destined to be evil, How could he…He just learned about the stupid house system on the train. He has never had a bad word to say about any of the following people, Neville Longbottom, Luna Lovegood, Su Li, Susan Bones, Hannah Abbot, or anyone really. the only people I have ever heard Harry talk negatively among the students were Malfoy and his clones, and the few Hufflepuffs that started the rumor that he was the Heir of Slytherin in second year. So basically if Ronald Bilius Weasley has ever told you that Harry Potter has said something about anyone it was probably a lie. IF Ronald has ever told you that I said something about anyone other than the select few people I have told off to their faces, it is probably a lie also."

"Every time he has supposedly been so heroic, he's crapped out on us. He almost got me killed within 2 months of us being here first year. When Harry dragged him to find me, he stayed by the friggin door the whole time. He got us through the chess challenge that part is true, but he pretended to be knocked out so he wouldn't have to go any further. Second year, all he had to do was keep Lockhart company, and try to move some rocks. Harry fought the basilisk and saved the damsel all by himself. I did the research that told him what it was…when have any of you seen Ronald Weasley in the library for more the ten minutes at a stretch. Last year, he didn't confront Sirius Black, who was completely innocent by the way. How any one believed that a wandless wizard could confund four people at one time is beyond idiotic. All he did was get bit by the dog that was traveling with Sirius. My cat never ate his stupid rat, who was really an illegal animangus, anyway. And we ALL know how he deserted Harry earlier this year, even the twins and Ginny told him he was being ridiculously childish. I have never liked Ron as more than a barely tolerated friend. Our arguments are not repressed sexual attraction. They are Arguments because I refuse to allow him to be a completely lazy arse by doing all his homework for him. I refuse to back down from a bullying, bigoted, intellectually challenged mummy's boy simply because we supposedly share a friend. Friends are happy for each other, friends support each other…friends behave like friends. You, Ronald aren't anyone's friend…not even your own."

With that she climbed back off the table, canceled her charm and set about eating her lunch. She wasn't surprised when the clapping started…she wasn't even surprised that Fred and George were the ones who started it. She was surprised when it became a standing ovation, and Harry and even most of the professors joined in. you could have knocked her over with a feather, when Snape joined the ovation. Ronald simply turned redder than he had ever been before, stood and stormed out of the great hall. Hermione knew that this wasn't over yet…but she did feel better. For the rest of the afternoon Ron glared at her whenever they happened to cross paths. She hid a smirk when the news made the rounds that Draco had been found beaten in the Arithmancy hall. Harry gave a curious look, almost as if he knew what she had done and understood. Ron celebrated the injuries of the other boy like the bigoted arse he was.

That evening, when Hermione entered the Common room after having adjourned to the library after finishing dinner, Ron immediately began his verbal barrage. "WHY? Why'd you have to go and humiliate me in front of the whole school?" Fred and George had moved to intercept their younger brother, but hearing the rampant stupidity that came spewing from his mouth, decided he deserved whatever he got. Harry stood from where he'd been sitting talking to Neville, trying to find out exactly what he had been blamed for by Ron over the previous years. Hermione allowed her eyes to meet his, she gave him a smile and without words communicated that she didn't need his assistance.

Harry relaxed and asked Neville if he thought they should get some popcorn for the show. The twins joined them and Harry summoned Dobby for the snack. Around the common room most people moved back and out of the line of fire.

"Why? Because I'm done being nice and letting you walk all over me. I'm not a door mat, I'm a human being. I have compassion, yes but I am no longer going to waste it on those who are undeserving, and unrepentant." She said as she slipped her wand into her hand.

"You are nothing but a mudblood slut. Spreading your legs for Harry because he is the boy who lived. He could have had any girl in this school, why'd he have to take mine?" Ron shouted. Hermione slapped him so hard his head snapped to the side. He raised his hand to hit her back only to find himself face to face with her wand.

"I could care less about some trumped up title the Wizarding world has given Harry. A title he hates because of all it has cost him. You call yourself his friend; you should have realized that long ago. And who on earth ever said I was yours. I'm not a possession, I'm not a thing. I'm me. And I love Harry. I can't stand you. Watching you eat makes my stomach turn. Listening to you whine makes me want to punch you in the throat. I find you repugnant in every way that actually matters long term." She snarled.

Ron pushed her back, but before he could draw his wand, Hermione had begun a string of hexes. These hexes included but were not limited to; the itching hex, a shrinking charm aimed at his genitals, the tooth growing spell, a hex that made his hair fall out, another that turned his entire body green, an hex that wrote the word 'betrayer' in zits across his forehead, a modified sticking charm that would bind the baldness and 'betrayer' hex to him for six months…making it impossible for it to be ended by any but Hermione. She also hit him with an old impotence hex and topped it off with a taste taker hex. He could eat, but he would find himself unable to take any pleasure in the taste of his food; another time dependant hex.

Turning, she left the idiot writhing on the floor in agony. Smirking at Harry and the twins, she said, "thank you for trying to rush to my defense, but as you can see I don't need protection.