A/N: Just another one-shot. Enjoy.

Takes place during Harry's seventh year.

Being an Idiot Can Pay Off

Harry glanced at the sky, which was threatening snow, as he rubbed his arms for warmth. He was absolutely crazy…or really clever and brave (only in his own mind).

You see, Harry had a problem. Hermione Granger was that problem. He had been madly in love with her for quite a while now and had yet to make a move. He had been testing the waters, seeing if Hermione was interested in him, and had sadly figured out that she didn't seem to hold any affection for him other than that for a friend. No matter what he did, she just didn't seem to respond in any way. He just didn't cut it for her.

Until today.

Because Harry had a plan, a most ingenious (or crazy, if you asked Ron) plan. Harry had been thinking about Hermione's romantic interests and what she saw in them. First there was Professor Lockhart. It was obvious Hermione only liked his looks, because he was a complete tosser otherwise. Then there was Viktor Krum. He was almost the exact opposite of Lockhart…except for the facts that they were both famous and a bit dim. But what Harry remembered the most about Hermione and Krum was that she seemed to comment on his bravery a lot. Despite how she tried to hide it, Harry noticed that Hermione was impressed when Krum had dove into the lake in the winter of fourth year.

Today was Saturday, January 23rd, 1998. And Harry was standing up on a makeshift diving board dressed only in his swimming trunks, poised to dive into the lake when the signal was given. Crazy.

"Crazy?" Harry asked himself as he stood there trying to ward off the cold. He chuckled to himself. "More like ingenious. Hermione will have to like me after this one."

It looked like Harry was continuing in the same vein as Lockhart. Good looking but incredibly stupid.

"Stupid?" Harry asked himself again. "More like manly and awesome."

A flash of red light came from the forest on Harry's left. The signal.

Harry took a few steps and jumped into the air, seeing Hermione out of the corner of his eye.

Just before Harry hit the water, he had only one thought.

Ingenious.


Harry opened his eyes groggily, looking around as they tried to focus. Which was impossible, because he didn't have his glasses on. Before he could move or even ask for them, they were gently put on his face.

He was surprised to find himself in the Hospital Wing.

"W-what happened?" he asked as his eyes settled on Hermione's angry face. That didn't exactly bode well for him.

"What happened?" she demanded incredulously. "You jumped into the bloody lake, that's what happened!"

"And…er…what happened after that?" asked Harry before mumbling, "I can't exactly seem to remember."

"You hit the water and didn't resurface, mate," said Ron before Hermione could yell at him more. Ron seemed to be trying not to laugh. "Hermione summoned you out of the lake and levitated you up here."

Harry flushed red, wishing he could die. Ron had been right in saying that his idea was crazy. This was absolutely mortifying. "Oh," was really all he could say.

"Oh?" said Hermione, face flushed red from anger. "OH? You almost died, Harry! Why in Merlin's name did you jump into the lake in the middle of winter? That's something Ron would do, not you!"

So Ron hadn't told her. Speaking of Ron, Harry caught sight of his best friend quietly slipping out of the room while Hermione was focused on him. "Krum did it and he was fine," said Harry as if that explained everything.

"Are you really that daft?" asked Hermione. "He's from bloody Bulgaria! Their hottest days of summer are colder than our coldest days of winter!"

Harry would have normally said something like 'don't you think you're exaggerating a bit?' but decided that being a smart-ass wasn't the best thing to do when Hermione was like this. "Right. I…er…didn't really think of it that way," Harry admitted.

"Obviously!" said Hermione. "Or else we wouldn't be here right now!"

Harry didn't know how to respond to that statement, but Hermione was looking at him expectantly. So he swallowed and said the first thing that came to mind, "I'm…er…I'm sorry I worried you so much, Hermione. And thank you for saving my life."

She seemed to calm down a bit, but not as much as Harry would've preferred. "I'm not going to let you die because of your own stupidity after I worked so hard to keep you alive through the whole Voldemort thing. P-promise me you'll n-never do anything that stupid a-again," Hermione demanded, her lips quivering and her eyes beginning to tear up.

Which made Harry feel even worse. Here he had been trying to impress Hermione with an awesome feat of manliness and in the end he had only made her cry. Now he really was a black-haired Lockhart. He had officially acheived tosser status.

Harry nodded solemnly as he avoided Hermione's eyes, not wishing to see the pain and worry in them. In avoiding Hermione's eyes he found that he was wearing his pajamas. "Er…Hermione, how long was I out?" he asked curiously.

"A little over a day," said Hermione, who still sounded pretty upset. "You really almost died, Harry."

Silence fell over the pair, and Hermione sat down on the foot of Harry's bed. Though he was still avoiding her eyes, Harry could feel Hermione studying him, her eyes analyzing him. "You never answered my first question," said Hermione quietly.

"What first question?" Harry asked just as quietly, finally looking Hermione in the eye again and glad to see that she didn't seem as upset.

"Why did you jump in the lake?" asked Hermione.

Harry looked down at his hands, unsure how to phrase his answer. He knew that he would be telling Hermione his feelings within the next few minutes, but he didn't just want to spring it on her. So he said, "Because Krum did."

Hermione's eyebrows furrowed. "Why would you want to copy Viktor? That doesn't make any sense to me."

Harry sighed, meeting Hermione's eye again. "Because you liked him," he admitted.

"Because I…" said Hermione, still not understanding for a second. Then comprehension dawned on her face. "Are you serious?" she asked slowly.

Harry snorted. "Is jumping into the lake in the middle of winter serious enough for you?"

Hermione blinked, dazed at this new information. "You…like…me?" she asked in disbelief, still trying to wrap her head around the revelation. "Why didn't you just tell me instead of risking your life?"

Harry grinned at this. "Because risking my life was so much manlier. And besides, I knew you didn't like me and thought it would be a good idea to gain your attention."

"How did you know whether I liked you or not?" asked Hermione, confused at Harry's logic.

"It was pretty easy to figure out," said Harry. "For the past few weeks I've been watching you and watching your reactions to me. They were only that of a friend. This was my last-ditch effort. It's alright that you don't like me back, though," he said, trying to keep things from getting weird again, "there are more women than men in the world, after all."

"Only because men do stupid things like jumping into ice-cold lakes when all they had to do was admit their feelings to someone," replied Hermione, a small smile on her face. "The reason it seemed why I was only looking at you like a friend would is because I trained myself to do so. It took a while to master, and even then I thought you had figured it out at one point in sixth year."

"Wait…you…what?" asked Harry, now his turn to be confused.

"You fool," said Hermione. "I've liked you since fourth year."

"Really?" asked Harry. "Well, in that case, I…er…"

"Stop being an idiot and just kiss me already," said Hermione, shaking her head at Harry's silliness.

"Oh, right," said Harry before planting his lips on Hermione's. She tasted like vanilla, toothpaste, and what only could be described as Hermione, which instantly became Harry's new favorite taste. And his first kiss with Hermione was everything he thought it would be. Fireworks exploded behind his eyes, his senses went on overdrive, his heart was pounding like mad…long story short, it was truly perfect.

"Wow," he said as soon as their kiss broke. "That was…that was…just wow," he said.

Hermione, eyes slightly glazed, pushed Harry so he was laying back down and sternly said, "No more kissing for you until you're all healed up."

"Oh, come on, Hermione," said Harry. "You can't really expect me to be satisfied with just one, can you?"

Hermione rolled her eyes and shook her head before giving him a quick peck on the lips. But as soon as she tried to pull away, Harry held her in place by the back of her neck and thoroughly snogged her, grinning against her mouth when she gave in and began kissing him back. They only parted when their need for oxygen became too great, both of them dazed from the intensity of the kiss.

"So…er…" said Hermione, shaking her head to try to clear the fog. "I have to leave to do some homework now." She smiled at Harry. "I'll be waiting for you in the common room so we can…study…together."

Harry just grinned at her and she slowly walked out of the Hospital Wing, looking back over her shoulder at Harry one more time.

Harry grinned to himself after the door had shut behind his new girlfriend. He hadn't told her he loved her, but that could wait. For now, he could be content in basking in the accomplishment of his goal and the execution of his plan. It didn't exactly go how he wanted it to, but in the end it had done its job.

And Ron said that the plan was crazy.

More like ingenious.

A/N: There you go, another attempt at humor.

Please leave me a review so I can know what you thought about it!