This is a response to Proud Mudblood's year two challenge

The terms are as follows, with some slight modifications.

Description of the Story:

Instead of being in the Great Hall, Harry is in the Hospital Wing waiting for Hermione to be awakened from petrification. Because of the relative solitude, Hermione gathers her courage and gives him kiss, and they become a couple.


~Ron gets jealous (accepted)
~Ginny is disheartened, but accepts it and moves on (accepted)
~Ron must refer to Hermione as a "practice girlfriend" and get pummeled by Harry (Accepted
~The story must go through at least third and fourth years (unsure)
~Hermione must find that Harry can get emancipated before third year and gain the title Lord Potter (accepted)
~Using his status as Lord Potter, Harry must get Sirius free at the end of third year, during the summer (accepted)
~Harry must still live at the Dursleys, but Sirius joins him (unsure)
~Sirius becomes the new Defense Professor, but Harry still must be entered in the Tri-Wizard Tournament and portkeyed to the graveyard (unsure)
~When Wormtail cuts him, Harry must say, "I willingly give my blood." How this affects the ritual is up to you. (Unsure)
~Everything else is up to you!

"Well this stinks" thought Harry Potter, as he again lay in "his" bed in the hospital wing. Somehow despite Fawkes' tears curing him from the lethal effects of the basilisk venom from his encounter in the chamber of secrets, Harry had experienced a setback.

"Well at least Madam Pomphrey was kind enough to put Hermione next to my bed in here. Made it easier to find her when I was sneaking in at night too." The raven haired young man continued to himself, while watching his petrified friend.

Harry had spent nearly every moment he could since Hermione had been petrified in the hospital wing, sitting next to her. The only times he hadn't been next to her bed, he had either been in classes; taking copious notes for Hermione, or had been chased out by the Matron; usually so he would go eat. Harry had sat with Hermione and while they were alone, except for the other petrified students, had poured out his heart and the horror of his past to her. Madam Pomphrey had told him that Hermione wouldn't be able to hear him, but that didn't matter to Harry. Harry still needed to talk with Hermione, even if she couldn't talk back. Even if she couldn't hear, he still had to tell her, and so he had continued pouring his heart out to Hermione's petrified form.

On the day that Ginny had been taken to the Chamber, Harry had even gotten enough courage to kiss Hermione's cheek; this courage had been rewarded in its own way, by allowing him to find the scrap of parchment that Hermione had been holding when she was petrified.

Of course that led to the current situation, Harry again in the Hospital wing.

Turning to Hermione's stone-like form, Harry said "Well I'm back again 'Mione. Apparently I passed out in History of Magic, heh; it's a surprise anyone found out as you're the only one that's ever stayed awake in that class. The last thing I remember is Binns droning on about Ugnot the Unwashed, and then my eyes started burning like they'd been sprayed with acid. I woke up in here just a little while ago." Harry sighed then continued. "Of course now I've got something new to worry about. Madam Pomphrey said that my eyes are undergoing some kind of changes. The good part is I don't think I'll need glasses anymore, but I'm a little worried about that. When I opened my eyes she seemed to flinch back. She won't even let me use a mirror to see how bad it is."

"I really miss you 'Mione. I know you'd tell me what my eyes look like, and I'm sure you would mind if they were odd. I just know the Dursleys will make life worse for me, because this kind of 'freakishness' can't be hidden." The young man just sighed again. "I wish I had the courage to tell you how much you mean to me Hermione. I think I love you, I just don't know how to say that when you're awake."


A few days later, Madam Pomphrey bustled back into the ward. "Harry I have some good news for you. I think we'll be able to release you tonight. The changes that the basilisk venom induced in you have finished. Would you like to see what happened?" Harry tensed up for a moment, and then nodded.

Madam Pomphrey held up a small mirror to let Harry see his eyes. Instead of the usual round pupil that he had expected to see, his eyes were now slitted like a snakes or a cats. "Bollocks, the Dursleys are gonna kill me" were the only words out of Harry's mouth.

Madam Pomphrey's mouth narrowed at Harry's words, as she had seen all the damage Harry's small frame had undergone when he had arrived at Hogwarts. Only an intensive potions regime had helped with regaining some of the muscle mass the starved young man had needed, sadly he'd always be a bit undersized due to the chronic lack of proper nutrition growing up.

"Harry relax, I've some contacts that will disguise your eyes while you're away for the summer. They'll stay in until you remove them. I would advise taking them off a few times a week so they don't hurt your eyes, maybe at night. But other than that, things shouldn't be too much of a problem." the concerned Healer said handing Harry the small lenses. "I'd advise waiting a little while to put them in, as Professor Snape has just finished the Restorative Draught today. I know you'd want to be here to help Hermione." The Healer continued with a small grin. After all she had a nice bet with Filius that Harry would stay. Of course that bet with Minerva that one of the two would kiss the other before the day ended was even more lucrative. "How Minnie's missed the way that boy feels about Hermione I'll never know. Of course I'm certainly willing to profit from it. I wonder if it's too late to put some money in the Weasley twins dating pool for these two getting together between tonight and end of term. Probably, too bad." Pomphrey thought to herself.

Harry's eyes brightened. "I'd be happy to help you with Hermione's draught Madam Pomphrey!" Harry exclaimed.

"Wonderful to hear that Harry." Madam Pomphrey said with a smile "Especially since you just won me 10 galleons from Filius" she thought. "You just wait right here, I'll go get Miss Granger's dose.

Madam Pomphrey bustled down towards the door of the hospital wing to get the vials of Mandrake Restorative Draught. Seeing one of the Weasley twins passing outside the door, she gestured for his attention. Whispering so as not to draw too much attention, she said "20 Galleons on Granger/Potter between tonight and the end of term."

Fred consulted a small Muggle book that he and his brother had enchanted. "10-1 odds right now. Especially since Hermione's petrified. Once she's back the odds go to 1-10."

Poppy pondered then placed the bet. After the bet was recorded, she reminded Fred that as the Matron of the Hospital wing, she knew when the Draught was ready, before showing him the vial with a grin. Fred just shook his head. He knew when he'd been pranked.

Heading back to the eagerly waiting Harry, Madam Pomphrey handed him the vial of Restorative Draught. "Now Mr. Potter" she said more formal than before "You'll want to pour just a mouthful at a time, and then cast the swallowing charm. This will make sure it goes down properly. Once you've gotten all of the vial down, you'll need to stand her up to let the potion do its job." After teaching him the charm, and watching Harry give Hermione the first two doses. Madam Pomphrey started on the rest of the students. "It's amazing how gentle that boy is. I know what those beastly relations of his did to him, it's a miracle he's not a violent bully." she thought to herself as she continued to distribute the potion.

Seeing Harry finish Hermione's vial, and attempt to stand her up, Madam Pomphrey started over to help, but Harry, not noticing the Healer starting towards him, drew his wand and cast the levitation charm, and used this to lift and move Hermione, before lowering her to lean against him. Poppy's eyebrows disappeared into her hairline. "Using a first year spell like that, impressive." she thought to herself. Before continuing with the other students.

Harry felt the potion starting to take effect as Hermione's petrified body started relax. Using most of his strength, Harry kept Hermione in an upright and standing position; though he did have to sit down to keep her up.

As his bushy haired friend continued to react to the potion, Harry noticed that her raised hand which had been nearly high enough to cup his cheek had started lowering. Harry; his head resting on Hermione's shoulder, could hear her heartbeat get stronger.

Finally as the potion finished taking effect, Harry both felt and heard Hermione taking a breath.

"Hermione, are you back?" Harry asked the worry sounding as clear in his voice, as it appeared on his face.

"Harry?" Hermione's voice was faint but clear.

"I'm right here 'Mione. How are you feeling?" Harry asked.

"A little stiff and sore. What happened?" Hermione asked.

Harry chuckled a little, "Trust Hermione to want to know what happened first". Harry thought to himself before replying. "You were petrified, as you were coming back from the library with Penny, you ran into the basilisk. Thankfully you guys had a mirror, and it didn't kill you." Harry took a deep breath then sighed. "It took Ginny, Hermione, and I had to kill it. I, it hurt YOU 'Mione so I had to kill it."

Hearing the pain in his voice, Hermione started to turn around in Harry's arms, but Harry tightened his grip to keep her from turning.

"Not yet 'Mione, I need to tell you some things first. When I killed it, it bit me" At this Hermione gasped, and said "But how are you still here Harry, there's no cure for that".

"Fawkes cried into the bite, which healed me. The problem is that since no one has survived a basilisk before, no one was aware that there could be side effects. It's my eyes. I don't need my glasses anymore, but my eyes have changed. They look like a snake's eyes now Hermione. I'll understand if you don't want to be my friend anymore" Harry finished in reply, finally loosening his hold on Hermione.

Finally able to do what she had been wanting to do since she had awoken, Hermione spun in Harry's arms to face him. Staring Harry fully in the eyes; round cinnamon orbs into slitted emerald orbs. Gathering all of her Gryffindor courage, Hermione said calmly "I don't care about what your eyes look like Harry. I know you, the real you. I heard everything while I was petrified." Then leaned forward slowly, giving Harry a chance to pull away, and gently kissed him.

Harry in total shock that Hermione was kissing him, was unable to respond. Feeling Harry's lack of response, and mistaking it for rejection, Hermione started to pull away.

Harry realizing that Hermione, the girl he loved had thought his lack of reaction was a rejection, refused to let go, and leaned forward to return the kiss, putting all the love he could into it.

Hermione felt the love and emotions in Harry's kiss and returned it with all that she could.

"Hem, Hem" the two teens broke apart blushing madly as Madam Pomphrey cleared her throat.

"You two are free to go. Hermione, you're probably going to be famished so eat as much as you can, but slowly, don't overdo it. Harry, don't forget your contacts."

Harry quickly slipped in the contacts that the Matron had given him, then taking Hermione's hand fled from the Hospital wing.

On the way to the Great Hall for dinner, Harry stopped, then turned to Hermione, and asked shyly "You said that you heard everything?" as he blushed.

"Yes Harry" Hermione said, then blushing continued "And I love you too. I have done since you saved me from the troll our first year. I just didn't think you could feel anything for a bushy-haired bucktooth know it all like me".

Harry's eyes hardened for a moment, then said gently, "I'll not have anyone insulting my girlfriend, not even her".

Hermione's eyes widened. "Did you just call me your girlfriend?" she asked somewhat in shock.

Harry blushed then replied sadly "I'm sorry, I just thought that….I'm sorry I guess you wouldn't want a freak as your boyfriend."

Hermione shook her head, then replied, "Harry that's not what I meant, I'd love to be your girlfriend. I was just surprised you felt that way about me."

"Why are you surprised Hermione?" Harry asked. "You said that you heard everything I told you. You're the first person that I can remember hugging me, the first that's said that they loved me. You're my best friend." Harry said

"Harry, it's not that. It's just that, well, it's just that when I was younger, all the other kids would tease me and make fun of me for being a know it all, or having bushy-hair, or buck teeth. It's hard to imagine that anyone other than my parents or teachers could really care about me" Hermione said somewhat downcast.

Harry sensing the sadness in his new girlfriend wrapped her in his arms and his voice muffled against her neck said "Hermione, if you really heard everything, then you know how I grew up. I love you, no matter what anyone thinks, and I would be happy, and very proud if you were to be my girlfriend."

Hermione squeezed Harry tighter, and snifflying back tears of happiness replied. "I'd love to be your girlfriend Harry."