Waking Hermione

By Poppy P

A/N: This is a sequel to "Waking Ron". To get the full gist of this story, you must read "Waking Ron" first, and review it too 'cause that makes the whole experience that much more meaningful ;) For those of you who have already read/reviewed "Waking Ron", hope you like this one as well. Thanks for the pre-beta read to Yolanda and thanks to Z for the final product. First posted at SugarQuill.Net. Cheers!

"Ron, are you sure you want to do this?"

Harry Potter regarded his best friend Ron Weasley with a mixture of awe and pity.

"Of course I want to!" said Ron stubbornly, pulling a dressing gown over his maroon-colored, paisley pajamas. "She'd want to have it," he added, tucking a golden envelope into his pocket, "I know she would."

Harry tried to reason with Ron. "But you heard what Madam Pomfrey said 'There's just no point talking to a Petrified person'."

"I'm not going to talk to her, I just want to slip Lockhart's card under her pillow," Ron whispered fiercely. "I mean, you and I know he's a big, smarmy git, but you saw how she kept this thing," he patted his pocket, "with her the last time she was in the infirmary."

Harry rolled his eyes, a gesture that was lost on Ron in the darkness of their dorm room. "If you really want to make her happy, slip Hogwarts, a History under her pillow."

Ron shook his head quickly. "I'm not lugging that thing all the way down there."

Harry stifled a laugh. He whispered back, "Well if you're sure…"

Ron nodded resolutely. "I'm sure," he hesitated, "You know, you don't have to go if you don't want to, mate. Just lend me the cloak and I'll be on my way."

Harry sighed. "Don't be daft, she's my friend too. Besides, you'll need a lookout while you slip it under her pillow."

"Right then, let's go." Ron stepped into his slippers, squaring his shoulders with resolution.

The two boys slipped out of the second year boys' dormitory, leaving the snores of their fellow dorm mates behind them. They passed silently through the Gryffindor common room and scrambled out of the portrait hole. Once the portrait of the Fat Lady shut behind them, Harry produced his invisibility cloak from under his robes. The boys tugged it on and made for the hospital wing.

It was a long, dark walk through the halls. They had to double back and find an alternate route three times, as several teachers and prefects were out patrolling the halls, hoping to stop another attack. Luckily, they didn't run into Peeves, as the invisibility cloak wouldn't have helped them there.

Finally, they reached the door of the infirmary, which was locked. As Madam Pomfrey had said, they were taking no chances. Harry had to Alohamora the door open. Ron didn't trust his wand enough to perform the simple spell. The infirmary was dark and gloomy as the only light was that of the moon spilling through an uncovered window. The sight of the four, Petrified students unnerved the boys, who hesitated at the door before proceeding.

"Which one's Hermione's?" whispered Ron.

"She's the one closest to the window," said Harry, gesturing across the room, towards a bed that was half bathed in moonlight. The light illuminated Hermione's hair, which tumbled about her pillow in frizzy, chestnut waves.

"Yeah, that's her," said Ron in an oddly constrained voice. He looked at Harry uncertainly.

"I'll just wait outside then, shall I?" said Harry, hand already on the doorknob. "To keep a look out," he added quickly.

Ron nodded gratefully. "I won't be long. I'll just leave this," he pulled the envelope from his front pocket, "and we'll be on our way." He waited until Harry had slipped outside before approaching the bed.

The moonlight fell on the left side of Hermione's bed, so that the right side of her body was cloaked in shadow. Hermione's eyes were wide open, staring into the darkness, void of their usual brown warmth. Ron gulped and touched her arm lightly. "Hermione?" There was no reaction. "Right, I know you're Petrified and all and you can't hear me, but I was just thinking about first year, you know when we went after the Sorcerer's Stone." Ron looked over his shoulder, but Harry was still outside as far as he could tell. "Remember how you woke me up after I got bashed in the head during the chess game? I've never told you this, but I know how you did it." Ron faltered, sure that the loud thumping of his heart would awaken everyone despite their Petrified state. He looked around at the other occupied beds, but no one stirred. He turned back to Hermione. "I know Pomfrey said the only way to wake you was with the Mandrake draught, but I was thinking, you see, if it worked for me, perhaps… it'd work for you too. Here it goes…" Ron shot another surreptitious look over the infirmary before bending down over Hermione. Awkwardly, he placed one hand in her hair and tilted her head up. Eyes closed, he dropped down to her rigid, unresponsive face and placed a quick, light kiss on her mouth. He pulled back quickly, opening his eyes with anxious hope. For one second, the moonlight tricked him into seeing the warm, golden brown of her eyes twinkle into life. It was only for one second though. Ron's shoulders slumped dejectedly. "It's just as well," he muttered sadly. "You'd probably hex me for doing it. Besides, if it had worked, I wouldn't fancy having to kiss Colin Creevey awake." He smirked mischievously. "Although Harry would probably have to do the honors there."

Suddenly, Harry swung the infirmary door open, interrupting Ron's impish thoughts. "Aren't you done yet?" he whispered across the room.

"Oh, yeah," said Ron guiltily shuffling away from Hermione's bedside. "Let's go before Filch catches us here." He started towards Harry.

"Uh, Ron?" Harry stared down at Ron's hand.

"What?" asked Ron, freezing in place.

"Hermione's card," whispered Harry, "you still have it in your hand."

Ron was glad for the semi-darkness which somewhat cloaked the hot, brilliant shade of red creeping over his ears and face. "Oh! Right, the card." He dashed back to Hermione's bedside and thrust the card under her pillow.

Harry looked at Ron dubiously. "What were you doing in here all this time?"

Ron swept his eyes over the room in panic. Spotting the small bed containing Mrs. Norris' Petrified body he blurted out, "I couldn't resist. I just had to go yank Mrs. Norris' tail a couple of times. I mean, how often does one get that kind of opportunity, you know?" He beamed at Harry. "Want to try it?"

"Er…no," said Harry. "Let's just get back to Gryffindor, shall we?"

"All right," Ron shrugged nonchalantly, "but I'm telling you, you're missing out."

Ron shot one more look back at Hermione before leaving the infirmary. She lay there, oblivious to everything that had just transpired. He heaved a heavy sigh. "Good night Hermione," he whispered, before closing the door behind him.